The SNP won the general election in Scotland. They emerged with a majority of Scottish MPs.
There are thirty five SNP MPs against a combined Tory, Labour, Lib Dem total of twenty four. It doesn’t matter how many seats the Unionist parties managed to win back, they still collectively lost.
When Nicola Sturgeon reflects on the result of this general election she should focus on this most important aspect. Having done so, her actions ought to reflect the fact that she led her party to victory. Act like the winner you are First Minister.
After reflection I hope Nicola takes on the fantasist that is Ruth Davidson. Remember Davidson lost this election. She amassed just over one third the total number of MPs Nicola Sturgeon achieved.
On any question relating to Tory gains in Scotland, the First Minister’s response needs to be simple and cutting. “Ruth Davidson lost this election. She has no mandate. My party won in Scotland”
Winners do not take a backward step. Take the fight direct to Theresa May. Insist the UK Government respect the result in Scotland. You won, you want your place at the Brexit talks and Scotland’s Single Market membership ensured.
Do not prevaricate. Make it absolutely clear that the SNP is in no mood to play games with a weak and unstable Prime Minister who has plunged the country into chaos, allying itself with right-wing extremists in order to maintain a grip on power.
Nicola’s message on Indyref2 should be: “The Scottish people have spoken through their parliament and they have underlined this by handing the SNP a majority of Scottish Westminster seats. Unlike you, our mandate has now been consolidated.”
This is how to deal with Unionist triumphalism. Serve them a dish of cold reality. They threw everything they had at the SNP in terms of resource. They colluded with one another in order to maximise the British Nationalist vote in key constituencies. Yet they still lost.
Barring a collapse of the Tory – DUP alliance, there won’t be another UK general election for five years. The next Scottish parliament election is scheduled for 2021. The SNP can therefor afford to take a much harder line with the broadcast media, especially the BBC.
I’m not going to dwell on the BBC’s performance in this general election, save to say they turned it into a mid-term Holyrood style campaign which forced Nicola Sturgeon onto the defensive. The BBC helped Unionists in their tactical vote strategy. It also amplified the ‘divisive indyref2’ message by the three Unionist parties.
That last point brings me to my final and perhaps most important point. The SNP is getting no change from the pro-Union media. The party needs to alter its strategy and adopt a hard but fair line when dealing with the fourth estate.
It can do nothing about newspapers. But it can do something about broadcasters. I include both BBC Scotland and STV in the following.
The SNP should request forthwith that any and all reports, debates and discussions on independence give parity to both sides. If a pro-Union spokesperson is allowed airtime then a pro-independence spokesperson should also be given airtime. If two Unionists appear then two Nationalists should also appear … and so on.
If broadcasters refuse to accept this reasonable request then decline invitations to appear on any of their shows until they do. Instead issue a statement making clear they have refused to ensure balance and parity. Make the statement short and clear. Let them read it out day after day, night after night.
If BBC Scotland persists in allowing pro-Union contributors to outnumber pro-Independence contributors then make a very public complaint to the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit, then to Ofcom. Do not let it rest. You are the Scottish government.
Have short punchy statements ready to hand for those moments when those broadcasters try to doorstep SNP politicians. Ensure your argument is articulated clearly for the public to understand. Say nothing else to these reporters.
Challenge lies. I’ve lost count of the number of times BBC and STV presenters have confronted an SNP politician with an untruth. When it happens do not let the matter go without an apology or an acknowledgement. Insist that the reporter correct his or her claim before moving on.
Monitor news reports for accuracy. People trust the BBC. They believe what they see and hear. They do so because they have no reason to doubt what it reports. Give them a reason.
Anyone remember the news broadcasts below?
Good Morning Scotland claimed the UK government had pledged only eight Type 26 frigates during the indyref. It was a lie. A one hundred per cent untruth. Even today though, the BBC refuses to acknowledge 13 frigates were pledged.
Currently the BBC is implying that the SNP didn’t in fact win the general election in Scotland. Below is an excerpt from the top BBC Scotland news article on Saturday.
This line has been repeated by BBC Scotland presenters. But why would the SNP need to ‘insist’ it won the election in Scotland? It did win the election in Scotland.
Why isn’t the BBC reporting this very obvious fact? Do scientists have to ‘insist’ gravity exists? Do we ‘insist’ the earth orbits the sun? No, because verifiable facts do not require to be insisted. They just are.
The SNP leadership need to stop pretending the BBC is impartial. It isn’t. Its Scottish outlet is institutionally corrupt. You’ll only get balance, accuracy and impartiality if you demand it. So demand it.
Don’t play by their rules, play by your own. You have the backing of the entire Yes movement. If BBC Scotland and to a lesser extent STV defiantly refuse to play fair then they’ll lose viewers, they’ll lose trust and they’ll lose credibility.
The SNP won the 2015 general election in Scotland. The party won the 2016 Holyrood election. It won the 2017 Council elections and it’s won the 2017 general election in Scotland.
Act like the winners you are. If you don’t, then people will believe you did indeed lose. Ruth’s British Nationalists will then have won.
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