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Tuesday 21 April 2015

Sun Scotland Hypocrisy

Yesterday, as if you needed to be told, the SNP unveiled its manifesto for the General Election. Party leader Nicola Sturgeon has, predictably, had her image splashed across every paper in the UK, and many of the titles selling only south of Carlisle and Berwick-on-Tweed have also run a series of distinctly unflattering articles in accompaniment. Typical of these has been the Murdoch Sun.
Or perhaps I should be more precise: the English version of the Murdoch Sun. Is there a difference? As Derek Jameson might have put it, there surely is. One need only take one glance at the front page of the Scottish Sun today to find that Ms Sturgeon is portrayed in overwhelmingly positive terms when Rupe’s downmarket troops want to get Scots to part with their discretionary cash.

Sturgeon’s vow to Britain … WE CAN MAKE IT BETTER … TOGETHER … SNP’s manifesto fight for Scotland and UK” it proclaims. Yes, here the SNP is clearly A Very Good Thing. And, on top of that, there is no visible mention of Mil The Younger and his Labour pals. But one look at the appallingly tacky SunNation site gives the approved view south of the border, and here the SNP is treated very differently.

LEFTIE STITCH-UP WILL MAKE ED PM DESPITE LOSING ELECTION … SNP’s desire to 'lock Tories out' means Miliband can replace Cameron without winning on May 7” screams the headline, followed by “It is now obvious why geeky Ed Miliband has taken to swaggering around with a smug grin. Thanks to the SNP he no longer needs to win the election on May 7 – he can become Prime Minister anyway”.

Really? Go on: “while the Lib Dems say they believe in dealing with the largest party, the SNP is untroubled by such niceties. Their arrogant leader Nicola Sturgeon’s chief motive is to ‘lock the Tories out’ of power, regardless of whether most voters in England want the Tories IN government. Clamouring for power, Labour now make no pretence of their eagerness to do a vote-by-vote deal with any left-wing parties willing to prop them up”.

And, as the man said, there’s more: “The SNP is already setting out its terms: it will force Labour to abandon spending cuts and our nuclear weapons. It will even block ANY defence spending if need be to get its way. Labour’s agenda - already the most left-wing in 30 years and an imminent danger to the recovery - would be dragged even further to the left. Miliband would drive the economy back to the cliff edge. The SNP - bent on breaking up the UK - will bind him hand and foot, and floor the accelerator”.

Quite apart from the flagrant dishonesty on display there, it’s not difficult to notice that there is not so much a gap, as a gaping chasm, between “SNP’s manifesto fight for Scotland and UK” and what has been spun in the English version of the Sun. One suspects that Scots voters have already seen through this charade.

Let’s hope that rather more punters in England and Wales see through the hypocrisy too.


Darren said...

The right-wing - press and political parties - seem to have a mindset stuck in the eighteenth century. The possibility of complete BS being quickly called out by electronic means is alien to them. They appear to believe any old nonsense spouted in the home counties will never be heard elsewhere. The Sun is just buttering it's bread on both sides, akin to the bat in Aesop's Fables.

Andy McDonald said...

Besides, the SNP can't really do anything about defence. When it comes to it, the Tories will back a minority Labour government over Trident rather than vote out of spite. So in such a situation the SNP position is irrelevant.