The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Bill is in the news. It’s in the news because it’s also in the cross-hairs of the opposition parties at Holyrood.
Opposition parties see the chance to score a quick win against Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP Government. The Tories along with their Unionist sidekicks Labour and the Lib Dems are drooling at the prospect.
Doubt remains as to what Patrick Harvie’s Greens will do. Prior to the Scottish election the Greens pledged to repeal the Act. Political reality in the form of public opinion may force Harvie’s band of six to re-evaluate. Successive opinion polls have indicated strong public support for the legislation, not least my own twitter poll which indicated overwhelming belief that the act had been positive.
The media though doesn’t do public support. It has its own agenda and that agenda is to undermine the minority SNP administration. The Offensive Behaviour at Football Act is the new Edinburgh Trams.
Two weeks before the Scottish election I wrote an article on this very site that highlighted the ego driven divisiveness of the ‘radical’ left wing group that called itself RISE. My article contained a prediction of what might happen should the party flop in the Scottish election.
If opinion polls are replicated on polling day, there won’t be any RISE MSPs at Holyrood. But the fallout from their idiotic and divisive election campaign will hang in the air like a bad smell. So too will their bitterness.
They’ve tasted influence and they like it. Pro-Union newspapers like the Record and Herald have indicated a willingness to headline any anti-SNP gripe and stand ready to accommodate more. BBC Scotland will jump at the chance to have a predictably anti-SNP pundit review newspapers or appear on a panel.
If you want a glimpse at what RISE and its backers are on their way to becoming, you need look no further than their most high profile supporter – Jim Sillars. The Unionist media love Jim because his bitterness towards the SNP is stronger than his ability to exercise restraint and discipline.
No sooner had the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act been targeted by the SNP’s opponents than up popped RISE co-founder Cat Boyd on the BBC.
Boyd, who owes her media celebrity to the independence referendum [and ironically to the SNP majority in 2011] popped up again the following morning on BBC Radio Scotland – albeit a recording of her comments from the previous evening.
Cat Boyd is carrying on a tradition that’s been practiced within the Unionist media for years – that of the useful idiot. The useful idiot is usually blessed with confidence and articulacy but cursed with ego and political naivety. They cannot resist the lure of the media spotlight and are oblivious to their being used because it suits that media’s agenda.
Had Boyd, instead of attacking the legislation with melodramatic evidence free anecdotes, highlighted Scottish Labour hypocrisy over its own stance, she wouldn’t have darkened the doorstep of the BBC building. Below is what the Labour run Scottish Executive said about sectarianism at football back in 2002 and 2006.
Boyd was invited into the Unionist Broadcasting Mecca precisely because she echoed what Scottish Labour is saying now. She was useful.
Two of the most well-known useful idiots are RISE supporter Jim Sillars and former SNP leader Gordon Wilson. The two are a godsend to a pro-Union media on the lookout for anything they can use to attack independence or the SNP. When Wilson and Sillars speak you can guarantee a BBC reporter won’t be far away – nor will the headlines linking their damaging comments to independence or the SNP.
Cat Boyd has established herself as a bit of a regular on BBC Scotland. Her confident manner and ability to voice an opinion on anything found her fielding invites to appear on Radio Scotland as a pundit and reviewer. BBC Scotland was so comfortable with Boyd that in August 2015 she was allowed air-time to promote her new party.
She also learned not to bite the hand that was feeding her media profile as her anodyne criticism of the BBC’s referendum coverage illustrates.
I think it’s safe to say that a lot of the ‘frustrations’ at the BBC’s coverage of the independence referendum were based on more than the broadcaster’s parochial and trivialised coverage.
The Unionist media, especially the BBC, is a devious manipulative machine. It knows the Holyrood election left a legacy of bitter anti-SNP sentiment amongst some ‘radicals’. This legacy presents a mouth-watering opportunity for the Unionist media that it won’t fail to exploit.Views: 6646
NOTICE: Last month saw the launch of a ‘final push’ appeal to help complete the documentary based on my book ‘How the BBC stole the Referendum’. The appeal needs just 9% to reach its £5000 target. Donations to the appeal can be made by clicking here.