It would have been more to the point if The National had challenged unionists’ hysterical reaction to suggestions of a Tunnocks boycott on grounds of rationality rather than disparaging those making such suggestions.
The National pretending that this is just about advertising is every bit as fallacious and/or disingenuous as British nationalism’s buckled trumpets pretending that the wilder and weirder postings on social media are representative of the entire independence movement. The reality is that Boyd Tunnock was quite explicit about the packaging changes being intended for the purpose of promoting a unionist message.
The question that we should be addressing is why it is supposedly OK for business people to use their clout in the service of a particular political agenda, but somehow deplorable if consumers use such power as they have to further their interests.
During the first referendum campaign we saw employers quite openly threatening their workers with the loss of their jobs if they dared to vote Yes. This was deemed by the British establishment to be perfectly acceptable behaviour. But when anybody so much as hinted at the possibility of the workforce and/or the public making a perfectly proportionate counter-threat, the British establishment was provoked to paroxysms of outrage.
We know also that businesses were organised to act collectively in defence of the power, privilege and patronage of the ruling elites of the British state through interventions by, among others, David Cameron.
By what reason or logic is corporate power legitimate but consumer power not? If there is no moral, ethical, or legal impediment to companies using their might for political purposes – either separately or as organised by the Prime Minister of the UK – then how can there be any reasonable objection to consumers using their purchasing power in an identical way – either individually or as organised through Facebook?
Asking, and attempting to answer such questions would have made for the kind of powerful and provocative editorial that this most definitely isn’t.