As a Gramscian, I subscribe to the idea that a political, economic and social hegemony exists in our society. This means that society functions to the benefit of an elite and established order. Money and power are contained within the hands of the few, rather than in the hands of everyone. It is my belief that the media is also susceptible to this hegemony. It wouldn’t be in the interests of the media to be part of an independent Scotland because of the unionist hegemony that prevails. So of course, the debate tonight between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling would see the politics of spin, style and soundbites triumph over the politics of ideas, passion and substance.
Neither of these two men had a passion for what they were talking about. They simply attacked each other, used pieces of spin, like transcripts from interviews and newspapers to try and big up their own agenda. They don’t care about ordinary people in Scotland.
This debate was of poor quality which was surprising from a seasoned debater like Alex Salmond. Alistair Darling surprised a lot of people, and a lot of Yes supporting people in twitter were also of the opinion that Alistair Darling won the debate, and Salmond performed poorly.
The two spent far too long discussing the proposed plans for a currency union. I am of the opinion that the UK government are throwing their dummy out of the pram with the currency union. They’re acting like children, who want their own way, so make farcical statements and arguments as to dissuade people from voting against their desired will. The Yes camp have already made clear what plan B, C, D and E is. But why would the UK stop an independent Scotland from using the pound? It would not be in their economic interests.
Alex Salmond could have asked a myriad of questions last night, including questions based on the moral integrity of the UK government, like child poverty, income and economic inequality and their involvement in immoral wars. But, instead, he chose to ask Alistair Darling about alien invasions. I’m not sure what he was trying to achieve with that question but, he looked idiotic and childish. Was he perhaps, trying to demonstrate how idiotic some of the no campaign arguments are?
Remember folks, this referendum completely goes beyond what two old, white, middle class men in suits think and are telling you. This referendum is about more than what currency we’re going to be using, and whether or not there will be a border crossing at Gretna. It is about the future and it is about the democracy of Scotland. Should we go it alone, or should we remain part of the UK for another 300 futile years? Seek out independent news sources and unbiased information (it is admittedly, extremely difficult to come by) before making a decision. You cannot trust the main stream media or politicians to give you information that has not been spun by Malcolm Tucker on steroids, the only person you can trust to find the information you feel like you need is YOU. YOU are the person who is best placed to make your decision on the 18th of September.
I believe that this debate showed the need for a radically different media and news industry in Scotland. We have a diverse and active blogging community. Some of the blogs based in Scotland are absolutely fantastic, such as A Thousand Flowers and Bella Caledonia, and of course ScotsPolitics. We need a transformation where our media outlets hold our politicians to account rather than sending them questions that they are going to ask hours before an interview. I believe an independent Scotland could transform the way the media works in this country. We have so many talented people just waiting to burst into the media industry.
So, let’s give the people the information they need and want. It’s about time.