Another day. Another ‘crisis’ in Scotland’s public institutions. I’m surely not the only one suffering ‘crisis-fatigue’ as the British media works at putting a grindingly negative spin on every mundane story in an effort to damage the Scottish Government by undermining public confidence in every aspect of our infrastructure. If the doom-merchants of the mainstream media were to be believed, Scotland would be a disaster area and every aid agency in the world would be rushing to offer assistance.
The reality, of course, is very different from the constant catastrophe portrayed by the British state’s propaganda machine. And there’s the rub. The more the media strives to turn the commonplace problems of our education system; our health service; our police service, and all the rest into sky-collapsing crises, the more people see the stark contrast with their everyday experience.
The more the British media talks Scotland down, the more people learn to see through the fog of distortion. This story, for example, depends for its negative impact on readers failing to realise that the supposed deficit being suffered by colleges is not due to a shortfall in funding, but to the transfer of reserves into special funds.
There was a time when lazy journalists could get away with this sort of misdirection. And there are still many who are gullible enough that they will not even try to look beneath the superficial message. But, increasingly, people are getting wise to the cheap tricks of the mercenary hacks’ trade. More and more, people are asking the awkward questions that expose the lies and deceit.
The power of the old media is not yet broken. But it is rapidly eroding. And we are all the better for the weakening of their ability to manipulate our perceptions and attitudes.
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