Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Sun, SNP and Salmond

Rupert Murdoch has had another meeting with the First Minister, only a few days after announcing the "exclusive" story with the date of the Referendum.

According to the FM's spokesman, they discussed "substantial economic footprint in Scotland", and "further investment".


In London, if anyone from the SNP is actually paying attention, there happens to be a major ongoing inquiry coupled with police investigations and a number of arrests. The revelations continue to pour out, with allegations that elderly relatives have had their phones hacked amongst other things.

But Rupert says that's all in the past, as if to dismiss the whole matter as quickly as he disposed of the News of the World.

Up here in Scotland, the First Minister is getting uncomfortably closer to Murdoch. Too close some would say. Perhaps it is because the SNP finally has an ally in the media in the guise of the Sun newspaper. Some may say that's fair enough, since the other parties do it. All well and good, and considering some of the bias against the SNP it is understandable.

But why on earth go to the paper / organisation which has dragged itself through the mud? The silence from Scotland over the whole phone hacking affair has been notable. It suggests that in return for positive coverage, the SNP has remain tight-lipped.

Murdoch is buying influence with the Scottish Government and succeeding. Salmond is not in control here - Murdoch is. The SNP are no longer pulling the strings, and this will become more and more evident.

Even some of the most ardent nationalists are voicing concerns - and these are real concerns that should not be ignored, even if mine are.

Business has always influenced politics, and always will. But to have someone who controls a hefty chunk of worldwide media influencing politics is dangerous.

An independent Scotland will require a state broadcaster. But given the rather fragile relationship between the SNP and the BBC, one can safely assume that the current BBC management in Scotland will be sidelined in favour of a "professional" broadcaster - i.e. Murdoch's mob. Then we are getting precisely what some nationalists are complaining about - state propaganda.

Do we want an independent Scotland where the Government has it's closest ally in the form of an organisation that has been using methods that are totally and utterly unacceptable to society?

Bear one thing in mind: Murdoch's organisation is currently under investigation by the FBI.

How will the First Minister appear if charges and convictions follow?


  1. No East Enders? That's unthinkable.

    According to Severin Carrell on the Guardian, "sources" tell him that there are already discussions ongoing between the BBC and the SNP on the hypotheticals of the BBC in an independent Scotland. So your safe assumption almost certainly isn't.

  2. Sorry, well past my bedtime. I forgot the link, Carrell's scoop is here.

    Under the 4:34pm update:
    "Senior sources have disclosed that discrete, unofficial talks between the Scottish government's advisers and the BBC about a future role after independence – assuming Scotland votes for it – have already started.

    The current Scottish government position about relying heavily on a Scottish corporation may change by 2013."

  3. Tut tut... any more of that and you'll have that Peter Bell come and visit your blog...

  4. Angus, I know that there are ongoing prelimary discussions, to which neither side will confirm. But believe me, if independence happens, Murdoch will be calling in his favours. He doesn't give out freebies. Well, not all of the time.....allegedly......


    Allan - I like danger.......