From George Monbiot, I learn that all but one (Sunday) newspaper in the UK opposed separation by Scotland, so the fact that the vote is so close at the moment is quite remarkable since my sense is that newspaper reading is much more widespread in the UK than in the US and thus likely to be more influential in swaying public opinion.
But the problem may be the condescension with which the England-dominated papers apparently talked about the Scots.
In the coverage of the referendum we see most of the pathologies of the corporate media. Here, for instance, you will find the unfounded generalisations with which less enlightened souls are characterised. In the Spectator, Simon Heffer maintains that: “addicted to welfare … Scots embraced the something for nothing society”, objecting to the poll tax “because many of them felt that paying taxes ought to be the responsibility of someone else”.
Here is the condescension with which the dominant classes have always treated those they regard as inferior: their serfs, the poor, the Irish, Africans, anyone with whom they disagree. “What spoilt, selfish, childlike fools those Scots are … They simply don’t have a clue how lucky they are,” sneered Melanie Reid in the Times.
That so many Scots, lambasted from all quarters as fools, frauds and ingrates, have refused to be bullied is itself a political triumph. If they vote for independence, they will do so in defiance not only of the Westminster consensus but also of its enforcers: the detached, complacent people who claim to speak on their behalf.
While there has been some quibbling over how wealthy Scotland actually is compared to the other OECD countries, its economy holds it own compared to England. No wonder so many Scots are ticked off at being portrayed as moochers.
Stephen Colbert gave his take on this issue. I don’t understand the English threat to not ‘allow’ the Scots to use the pound as currency if they vote for independence. Why does England think they own the pound since both countries have used it for so long?
He also talked to an assistant editor of the Guardian who was very pro-independence.
(These clips aired on September 15, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)