The Grist

Way back in March, when I first joined GA Ponsonby’s Towards Indyref2 project, I published an introductory article setting out my own view of our purpose – our mission, if that’s not too pompous a term. In that article, titled Out with the old, I said,

The old media has largely abandoned its role as an adjunct to the democratic process – there to inform and explain and illuminate. The new media must take up that role.

I sincerely hope that, along with other websites such as Wing Over Scotland as well as bloggers like Craig Murray and Derek Bateman, we have succeeded to at least some extent in being a counterweight to the mainstream British media.

It is often pointed out that not everybody has easy access to the online media. It is important that we also develop a powerful alternative print media. In that regard, we are fortunate in having iScot Magazine – an excellent publication, even if I say so as a regular contributor. But there are other very good print publications ‘out there’. Many Yes groups work hard to produce hard-copy newsletters or magazines which can extend the reach of alternative media.

Notable in this regard is one such publication to which I have the honour of contributing. The Grist is published by a dedicated, hard-working team at Yes Kelty. It has now reached #Issue 11 and is available as a PDF download as well as the print version. I would urge all our followers to support this and similar ventures in any way they can. Perhaps make a donation. Maybe take advertising space. You could download the PDF and print off a few copies for distribution among those you know don’t have internet access. Or you could just share the PDF amongst your friends and post links to The Grist on social media.

Do something! Alternative media is important. We all must support it in any way we can.

By way of a ‘teaser’, here is a short extract from my own article in the current issue. Accompanied by the Chris Cairns cartoon, which is another regular feature in The Grist.

I don’t take a huge interest in official reports. They are almost never as disinterested and objective as their authors claim. And those who are expressly neither disinterested nor objective always seem to be able to take from such reports whatever suits their agenda. The more polarised a political culture is, and the more significant the subject of the report, the greater the tendency for each side to find in the same document things which can be used as sticks with which to beat the other.

You’d have to look long and hard to find an example of political polarisation more acute than Scotland’s divide on the constitutional question. And, arguably, no topic is more contentious than our National Health Service.

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