The media narrative is unshakeable. Ruth Davidson won the general election in Scotland. It’s a Tory revival north of the border. The SNP’s Indyref2 plans are dead in the water.
Punt that line and your main stream media career is safe. The reason is simple. This was the pre-determined narrative before a vote was cast.
It goes without saying that the SNP suffered some casualties on their way to a second majority win. Losing Salmond and Robertson hurt. But the party still won.
On Sunday I tuned in briefly to Radio Scotland. I happened to catch the programme just as Gerry Hassan appeared. Hassan gave his final analysis of the general election campaign and its aftermath. Below is what the academic said about Ruth Davidson.
I was staggered at the naivety of the analysis. Nobody doubts that Ruth Davidson ran an effective campaign. Nobody doubts that she achieved remarkable gains. But to claim that she was the clear winner is going too far. It is though the line the media wants to push.
The description of Ruth’s success as proof of a Tory revival, with areas of Scotland turn a traditional blue, was also unbelievable. Her campaign had nothing to do with traditional Conservatism; it was solely about British Nationalism. Hadn’t Hassan noticed the blatant tactical coordination between Unionist parties designed to help one another oust the SNP?
In Alex Salmond’s constituency of Gordon the Conservatives came from a distant third to oust the former SNP leader. The Lib Dems lost 13,000 votes. The Conservatives gained 15,000 votes. The Lib Dems fielded a so-called ‘paper candidate’.
This isn’t a Tory revival, it’s the emergence of a de-facto British Nationalist organisation. It relies on the support of Unionist voters from all three of Scotland’s main Unionist parties.
Hassan’s most hilarious claim is that Ruth is principled on the issue of the DUP.
This is the same Ruth Davidson who fled an interview when asked about the proposed coalition.
As far as I can see Ruth hasn’t issued any objection to the coalition with a party with links to paramilitary organisations.
This is the same Ruth whose Scottish party refused to appear on the Sunday Politics Show to face questions from Gordon Brewer.
Ruth Davidson isn’t principled. She alters her stance on key issues regularly. First she was in favour of EU Single Market membership then she was against. First she said the UK government shouldn’t block indyref2 then she said they should.
What Ruth is, is a media construct. Her image is both protected and embellished. Pundits like Gerry Hassan, eager to conform to the demands of the media, will readily burnish the manufactured image.
I could have picked half a dozen pundits with similar ‘analysis’ of the general election. The Scottish media is ten-a-penny of this kind of guff.
Emerging alongside the glorification of Ruth is the nonsense that somehow Nicola Sturgeon has been damaged by this election, that she is somehow a liability. This drivel actually appeared during the campaign when The Herald’s political editor Tom Gordon asked a question at the SNP manifesto launch.
This will also gain traction as the media seeks to undermine the First Minister. A few commentators are already pushing this nonsense. If you’re looking to maintain or establish your main stream media profile it always helps to push the lazy consensus.
Finally, although not directly related to this article, I can’t end without mentioning a rather brainless piece of analysis from the ever ‘impartial’ Sarah Smith. Below is an excerpt from an article Smith published the day after the general election result.
The stupidity displayed by the BBC’s Scottish Editor is breathtaking. The first thing of course is that voters who backed Unionist parties won’t all have voted the way they did because they don’t want another independence referendum. A significant number may have voted on the devolved issues like education, Smith and her BBC colleagues pushed during the campaign.
The second is that, as far as I can tell, neither Labour nor the Liberal Democrats actually said they’d block one.
Indeed Jeremy Corbyn said precisely the opposite when asked. The Labour leader confirmed he would open talks with the Scottish government.
This though is the Scottish media bubble. Winners are losers and losers are winners. Fantasy becomes reality and invention becomes fact.
You need to get with the narrative if you want to be accepted into the MSM club.
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