Anyone who has been following (even a little bit) the media coverage of yesterday´s historic vote on Scottish independence will have noticed the intense fear-mongering by British politicians and the corporate press about the dangers of ´going solo´. Apparently, they would have us believe, if Scotland left the United Kingdom, the economy would crumble, the health system would be in tatters, the Loch Ness monster would rise again, the world would end within six months; you get the picture.
All of this- plus ridiculously patronizing commercials like this one, designed to play on the fears of Scottish women- have made it impossible for voters to make an informed decision. In this clip from his internet series The Trews, Russell Brand (love him or loathe him) does another excellent job of tearing into the propaganda of Cameron´s “Better Together” campaign, pointing out that NOT ONE single newspaper supported Scottish independence in the run-up to the referendum.
Was this because independence was clearly a bad idea? Not at all (the key issues are covered here and most liberals would have to agree that a break from neo-liberal corporatist Britain can only be a step in the right direction). But the media are the instruments of the state, and the media wield great power over voters´decisions. Truth, justice and progress are nowhere near as important as the fear factor in these issues. As Brand states in the video:
“This result shows the power of the media and the limitations of democracy. As long as people live in a state of fear, it´s very difficult for them to have faith in a brighter future. The media, the financial industry, and our governments keep us in a constant state of fear so we are limited in our freedom.”
Better luck next time, Scotland.
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