Maybe you haven’t noticed, but there has been a concerted media campaign in almost all of the media against Michelle Thomson MP (and by association the SNP). Almost every media outlet has carried negative stories about her alleged business dealings. The story has run in the newspapers, the radio and TV and it has been getting ever more lurid by the day (almost as if the story has run out of steam but someone wants to keep it going.)
It is an extension of the SNP bad rhetoric that the media spouts on a daily basis, but this time they are performing a giant, combined character assassination against an individual MP. We saw the same tactics used against Jeremy Corbyn recently as well. I do not intend to indulge in conjecture about the erstwhile SNP MP’s business dealings. What is more interesting to me is the attack itself. So lets take a look at it in a bit more detail.
The first, and most obvious, point about the attack is the concerted nature of it. Almost every newspaper is at it, it’s all over TV and radio news too. All of the media outlets are acting in unison, they have decided among themselves (or been directed) to relentlessly pursue Michelle Thomson and the SNP over this story. Why would they do this?
The UK has one of the most concentrated patterns of media ownership outside of China, if we take a look at who owns what we see that just 6 entities own almost all of it (excepting the BBC). Of these 6 none support the SNP, the BBC is certainly no SNP supporter either since it sees itself as the protector of the UK and the SNP as a threat. So it would appear that there is collusion over this story. It is the type of attack which we saw during the independence referendum as part of Project Fear. It also replicates the tactics used against Jeremy Corbyn. It’s hardly surprising that we see our media morph into tyrants when they are only governed by a Code with a regulator which lost its falsers years ago.
Perhaps there is a pattern forming? If you oppose the current neo-liberal ideology then you will probably be attacked. If you are perceived as a threat to that ideology then you can expect to feel the full force of the UK media monster. The media are behaving as a tyrant, ruthlessly attacking anyone who it perceives as a threat to itself or the status quo. There is no doubt that the SNP pose just such a threat. They threaten the very existence of the status quo. They threaten the comfy, pampered existence of the people and companies at the very top of the UK.
We also need to look at who this message is intended for. It’s certainly not for me, I switched off to the UK media a long time ago when I realised that most of their output was propaganda or meaningless celebrity padding. So it must be for someone else, probably soft SNP voters if such a person exists. But I think the whole campaign will backfire. We got both barrels during the independence referendum and those scars have healed thicker than the injured skin from which they arose. This will probably harden our resolve.
The UK media, with the exception of the BBC, all operate on the same business model. They rely on advertising to pay the bills so that they can sell their offerings at reduced rates. They only attract advertisers by having decent circulation figures, if those figures go down then so does the advertising revenue. So the best way to counter the media tyrant is to attack it at it’s very roots. Pay it no attention and give it no money.
The companies which advertise in the media are very proud of their reputations, if they think that their reputations will suffer due to their association with a particular media outlet then they will run to the hills and take their money with them. If only there was a way to show how tyrannical our media has become?