by Rab Bruce’s Spider

The past couple of weeks have shown, once again, that the UK media in Scotland is very much the enemy of the Yes movement. However, while most of the online Yessers responded with humour and mockery to the recent claims about Bots and an SNP civil war, a few have voiced opinions that certain individuals and organisations should be punished in some way once Scotland becomes a normal country.

Let me say that I have no time for the UK media in Scotland. I don’t watch or listen to the mainstream news except in very exceptional circumstances, and I don’t purchase newspapers. That’s not to say I don’t keep up with current political affairs since there are many online resources and news feeds from all around the world. But I detest the way the UK media in Scotland misrepresents and distorts events in order to promote the Unionist perspective, and I resent the fact that, for most of my life, I didn’t fully appreciate just how much they were lying to all of us.

But calling people in the media traitors or Quislings, and suggesting they should be kicked out of an independent Scotland is, I think, going too far.

One of the central tenets of the Yes movement is that we want to build an open, inclusive and welcoming nation. We cannot do that if we call for those who disagree with us to be punished in some way.

We need to accept the fact that, even if Scotland does become independent, the media is not going to suddenly vanish, nor is it likely to undergo an immediate change of heart. The tax-avoiding billionaires who own the print media will not alter their views, and the broadcast media, in whatever shape it ultimately adopts, will still take its lead from the print media. Of course, if the union is dissolved, the thrust of their arguments might alter, but they will almost certainly support whichever political party opposes the SNP.

Quite what that political opposition will look like is anyone’s guess. The current Unionist parties may wither without the financial support of their London bosses, or they may survive in slightly altered guise, perhaps forming a grand coalition party. But whatever they do, the neo-liberal globalists will provide them with backing, and perhaps those who currently supply Dark Money will continue to do so in order to keep anti-SNP parties alive and kicking.

We are going to have to deal with this whatever happens, but we cannot sink to the level of our opponents by demanding retribution. That is not how an open, inclusive and welcoming nation should behave.

I am not saying we should forget how the media has behaved, nor am I saying we should necessarily forgive. I’m not even saying we should trust them, even if they do claim to have changed their minds. But I am saying that we must be prepared to tolerate them as part of our society if they are prepared to live and work in Scotland.

Scotland, whether as part of the UK or as a normal country, will not be unique in having social divisions. Nor can we imagine that such divisions will magically disappear if we become independent. disagreement and argument is an important part of being a normal country. It would be nice if the Right Wing narrative of the media could be marginalised, but it isn’t going to go away. As we have seen over the past few days, one of the best ways to deal with this is with humour. That’s one thing we are good at.

Perhaps there will be opportunities to create a media which better reflects the mood and psyche of an independent Scotland, but it’s probably not going to appear instantly. A normal country needs a normal media, and it may well happen in time. But it’s not going to happen if we continue demanding retribution. We are better than that.