So today we’ve had another “Don’t vote SNP on the list” article, which now seems to be evolving into #HashtagsBad – yes, I went there.
There probably aren’t that many articles – I found these after a very quick search – but thanks to the constant churn of retweets and comments on Twitter it feels like much more .
James McEnaney: Why we shouldn’t rely on the SNP to deliver Scottish independence CommonSpace, 11th December
The Road (To Indy) Goes On Forever, And The Party Never Ends Bella Caledonia, 5th January
Why #BothVotesSNP at #sp16 elections won’t work CommonSpace, 6th January
Yes really, that is the actual title – I think they must have had someone on day release from the Mail – but I’ll admit “phallocentric language” is a a different angle, I’ll give them that.
I would like to state right now that I am a fan of our alt-media, but I am concerned that they are following the same path of our traditional media.
It’s not a secret that Mike Small is a signatory of the Scottish Left Project (the thing between RIC & RISE) or that one of CommonSpace’s columnists is a RISE list candidate. Nether of these things make either man a traitor, a snake in the grass or a 5th columnist. You are an idiot if you think so.
(And while I’m at it leave Neil Mackay & Alan Bissett alone. They both are dedicated to the independence movement. Jeez, the abuse they get is ridiculous and counter-productive.)
These alignments are out in the open, and can be accounted for when reading their articles. The thing that concerns me is that both organisations appear to believe that they are following a correct not to be questioned course. They can and should be questioned, same as traditional media, same as the SNP, same as any other political party. If you are going to put your opinion out there, you have to face the fact that people can and will disagree with you *dons tin hat, in case anyone reads this* But to stand there and complain about criticism is hypocrisy.
Today Bella had another article, a very good one Understanding Mainstream Media – Notes from Political Sociology
This explains why media news professionals are generally the last to see any political bias in what they produce for here exists an ‘orthodox’ media ‘perspective, which explains why almost all media sources run the same stories, with only the order in which they are presented being the only tangible difference.
I am far from being an expert (very far) but it feels as though the current orthodoxy in some of our alt-media is to push RISE. They probably see it as providing opportunities to other voices, but it feels like a lot of these voices are singing the same tune; a pro-Indy, anti-SNP one. If it were a case of wanting a more diverse pro-Indy Holyrood, surely there would be more pro-Green pieces?
Alongside this, I agree it is not a crime to criticise the SNP, but it would be a change if occasionally we had something positive. I’m not asking for gushing pieces lauding what a marvelous job they are doing on a daily basis, but as traditional media seem to think they are the official opposition and will contort themselves in knots finding the bad in any news, it would be good to get a break from being told SNP voters are stupid, deluded or being conned. This hasn’t worked for the MSM, why do they think it will work for them?
A significant proportion of the population are happy with the SNP. Today’s Daily Record / Survation poll shows remarkable satisfaction ratings, and Nicola Sturgeon’s personal approval ratings are something most politicians could only dream of.
Next, the hashtag issue.
When you are on twitter and don’t have your own column in either traditional or alt media, you only have 140 characters to make your point, unsurprisingly the SNP tweeps push back with a hashtag, as it is the easiest way. #SNPBad only came about because of the MSM churned out reams of print over any possible scandal or set back as if it were the end of the world. It’s got to the stage now where there are practically sweepstakes being run over what the next one will be. Although certain metropolitan titles always seem to top the wildest imaginings I’ve seen on Twitter.
I’m not denying there are some out there that have gone over the top, it is Twitter we’re talking about, a platform designed for misunderstanding and ramping up of issues.
It would be better if everyone could take a step back and breathe, our alt-media is not there to scupper independence. They are allowed their own opinions (yes, really), RISE is the flavour of the month, and it’s not like Tories, Labour or LibDems are going to form a competent opposition.
I would like to see RISE (& the Greens) pro-actively target left-wing unionist votes, rather than the SNP list vote. The independence movement need to grow, not bicker amongst itself. It is not an attractive trait and unfortunately something the left is prone to – see Labour as a prime example.
Finally, list votes.
Just vote for whichever party you think will do the best job for you, who you want to see in government. The “first/second vote” is a misnomer, you vote for a candidate and a party. James Kelly has made the point, most recent here, that you can’t game the D’Hondht system. If you feel strongly enough, go canvass, persuade not hector.
Whichever side you are on, can we please stop the zoomerism?
Featured image copy of Ring A Ring Of Roses by Franz Stuck