Scottish Referendum and Solidarnosc
Craig Murray has passionately supported the ‘Yes’ campaign. He has been going round Scotland these last few days speaking at many public meetings. As an ex-ambassador who fell out with the egregious Jack Straw over the UK’s collusion with torture, he has an insight into our establishment. He has posted several blogs on his site about the referendum and the way the media have covered it. Among them was this little nugget yesterday.
Wisdom From Poland
“A Polish gentleman told me something profound last night. He said he had for months been determined to vote No, because he thought the United Kingdom had welcomed him in. Then he started to notice something very important indeed.
He had supported Solidarnosc as a young man, and he had lived through the overwhelming barrage of state media propaganda against it. All the newspapers, radio and TV had broadcast for month after month that if Poland left the Soviet orbit the economy would be destroyed, trading links would be severed, everybody would lose their pensions and housing, they would be invaded, the currency would collapse. Democracy campaigners were branded as right wing nationalist thugs. The people had no access to a fair hearing on the media, and communities had to organise alternatively through social networks.
A few weeks ago he had suddenly realised that precisely the same thing was happening in Scotland that he had witnessed in Soviet controlled Poland. A monolithic and all-pervading media was pumping out the same propaganda on a permanent basis, and even the arguments they were making were precisely the same arguments the Soviets had made. He had suddenly realised that democracy in the UK was an illusion – the apparatchiks of the main political parties and the entire media, both state and private, in fact belonged to and promoted the same ruling establishment. Only the methodologies were different, and raw power slightly better hidden in the UK than in the old Soviet bloc. But the truth was of hard rich men wielding power, in both cases, and keeping the people down.”
Craig was clearly a busy man yesterday as he also posted another blog containing a remarkable rebuttal by Brian Docherty, Chairman of the Scottish Police Federation. This was in response to the discovery that
“George Robertson has been designated by the Labour Party to lead a campaign to have a Yes vote nullified, on the grounds of campaign irregularities, intimidation and overspending. This has been agreed by Miliband’s office. One of the great advantages of being a small country like Scotland is that you very easily discover what is happening through family and social connections.
The media propaganda about “violent nationalists” is designed both to try to sway undecided voters to No (along with the disgraceful Gordon Brown “if you don’t know, vote No” slogan), and to provide ammunition to question the validity of the decision when they lose.
As I said, the great thing about a small country is it is very hard to keep secrets. People know what is happening, including the police. The Police Federation have put out a remarkable statement to contradict the media propaganda of violence and intimidation. Do not expect to see this featured prominently in the mainstream:
In response to increased press reports and comment implying increased crime and disorder as a consequence of the Independence Referendum Brian Docherty, Chairman of the Scottish Police Federation said;
“The Police Service of Scotland and the men and women who work in it should not be used as a political football at any time and especially so in these last few hours of the referendum campaign.
As I have previously stated the referendum debate has been robust but overwhelmingly good natured.
It was inevitable that the closer we came to the 18th of September passions would increase but that does not justify the exaggerated rhetoric that is being deployed with increased frequency. Any neutral observer could be led to believe Scotland is on the verge of societal disintegration yet nothing could be further from the truth.
Scotland’s citizens are overwhelmingly law abiding and tolerant and it is preposterous to imply that by placing a cross in a box, our citizens will suddenly abandon the personal virtues and values held dear to them all.
At this time it is more important than ever that individuals be they politicians, journalists or whoever should carefully consider their words, maintain level heads and act with respect. Respect is not demonstrated by suggesting a minority of mindless idiots are representative of anything. One of the many joys of this campaign has been how it has awakened political awareness across almost every single section of society. The success enjoyed by the many should not be sullied by the actions of the few.
Police officers must be kept free from the distractions of rhetoric better suited to the playground that the political stump. If crime has been committed it will be investigated and dealt with appropriately but quite simply police officers have better things to do than officiate in spats on social media and respond to baseless speculation of the potential for disorder on and following polling day”