Peddling myths

It is utterly ludicrous to suggest that the Scottish Government was trying to “hide” their latest oil and gas bulletin. How would that even be possible? The analysis has been placed in the public domain. That is as close as you can possibly get to the opposite of hidden. Once again we find the British parties at Holyrood happily making complete fools of themselves as they flail around looking for some stick with which to beat the SNP.

As the recent election results clearly demonstrated, most people in Scotland are singularly unimpressed by the antics Jackie Baillie and her Tory allies. But it seems that message was neither loud enough nor clear enough for some people.

The British parties in the Scottish Parliament aren’t the only ones who stubbornly refuse to accept that their droning “SNP BAD!” mantra is not only failing but failing in the most spectacular fashion. The unthinking anti-SNP propaganda pumped out by the media is all too evidently having an effect quite contrary to that which is intended. It does the opposite of what it says on the tin. The media seem to suppose that the solution is simply to ramp up the shrillness.

For months now the British parties and their friends in the media have been frantically peddling the myth that the Scottish Government was alone in failing to foresee the oil price crash. It is even idiotically claimed that “Alex Salmond lied” – as if a forecast could ever be a lie. It is another of those instances of unionists creating a special definition for a term to be applied only in a Scottish context. Anywhere else, a forecast or a projection is necessarily a conditional statement. It says, this is the trend and IF this trend continues then this will be the outcome at a given point. It says IF the price of oil is this, then the anticipated revenues will be this. The qualifier is ALWAYS implied because it is ALWAYS understood that there are variables with different degrees of predictability.

Except when it is a forecast published by the Scottish Government. Then it becomes a solemn undertaking with no conditions, no qualifiers and all variables completely under the control of a single individual. And, yes! That is just as ridiculous as it appears when it is baldly stated. But this does not deter the British nationalists a bit. The continue to push their inane myth regardless.

Their attitude to bodies such as the UK Government’s Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) is hardly less ludicrous. despite the fact that the former’s forecasts are constantly being revised, often massively, and the latter’s working assumptions are frequently quite bizarre, the British parties and the British media treat both organisations as if they were totally infallible – so long as their figures can be spun as bad news for Scotland.

The final element of this massive deception is the downright dishonest claim that the Scottish Government based the entire case for independence on oil revenues. A plain lie that is often associated with efforts to imply that oil and gas represent a crucial part of Scotland’s economy.

Put it all together and what you have is something close to the ultimate “Too wee! Too poor! Too stupid!” propaganda. And, not at all incidentally, an ideal excuse for unionists to deny the Scottish Parliament the powers it needs whilst pretending that they are doing it for the good of the people of Scotland.

The British parties were all but wiped out at the general election. The British press in Scotland is in terminal decline and the BBC is generally despised. All of which indicates that this orchestrated campaign of denigrating Scotland, disrespecting the people of Scotland, and demonising the SNP is massively counter-productive. The fact that British nationalists persist suggests that they simply have nothing else.


About Peter A Bell

Thinker. Listener. Talker. Reader. Writer. None of my attitudes are immutable. None of my conclusions are final. None of my opinions are humble.
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