Manufacturing doubt

February 5, 2018

By Peter A Bell - Scotland

This snippet from the Financial Times, brought to our attention by Wings Over Scotland, perfectly illustrates the principal weapon deployed by Better Together/Project Fear during the first independence referendum campaign –  doubt.

The rules governing this form of negative propaganda are very simple. Where there is doubt, exaggerate it. Take the normal uncertainties of life and massively overstate them. Hyperbolise them. Use the media to make the commonplace incertitudes that would otherwise pass unnoticed loom huge, dark and ominous in the minds of voters.

Where there is no doubt, create it. There is nothing at all “contentious” about the post-independence division of mineral rights. The land and maritime borders defining Scotland’s sovereign territory already exist. They are governed by international laws and conventions. Disputes are arbitrated by international bodies under well defined procedures. There is almost no scope for contentiousness. There is no meaningful doubt.

So lie about it! Create doubt where none exists. Where truth is inconvenient, manufacture a new truth which better serves the purposes of established power.

This is not to suggest a ‘conspiracy’ of any kind. It is vanishingly unlikely that there was an editorial meeting at which it was decided to purposefully generate doubt about ownership of oil in Scottish waters. It’s actually worse than that. The British media now do this kind of thing instinctively.

The dishonesty of the British media is not necessarily intentional and actively malign. It is just as likely to be unthinking and passively contemptuous.


You can follow Peter A Bell at IndyRef2 and at Scotto Voce

1 Comment

  1. Christopher Bruce

    No! It is quite deliberate!

    The Westminster largesse which benefits the press barons, will entirely disappear when Scotland takes control of its mineral assets and gets North Sea areas, currently misappropriated, returned to it.

    The barons don’t like that.

    The barons will fight tooth and claw to rob the Scots for their own peculiar benefit.

    Westminster will help them but it won’t work this time.

    The lies will ramp up but the Scots have seen it all before.

    The SG will undoubtedly use oil revenue to rebuild our roads, our SNHS, our education system and our industries so brutally damaged by successive red abd blur tories.

    In the forthcoming independence referendum, the SG should promise another referendum on independence in 2025,with the single question, “Should Scotland rejoin with England in union?

    I already know the result of that one! It’ll be NO!


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