By site member ‘Joker’.
Forgive the dramatic tone within the title... but that is a question I've asked myself lately.
I've been a subscriber to Newsnet Scotland since its inception as a fortnightly newsletter sent via e-mail. Many months on now, it's blossomed into a professionally designed and frequently updated news site that I visit every morning, afternoon and evening. I've even made several donations.
The reporting is top-notch. The articles are drawing comments that almost universally praise the quality and consistency contained therein. Echoes of "... if only the people knew", and "... the truth must be heard" abound in the halls.
Like the rest of you, I want to see Scotland flourish in a similar manner with a true leader at the helm. I believe at present that Alex Salmond is that man, however... I am not writing this to convert anyone to a political "side". I am encouraging a different idea: Democracy.
In Newsnet Scotland, at last, we actually have a site that reports the unbiased truth. Real information, which other countries take for granted, we view as an unexpected luxury. The corruption at Glasgow City Council, the bias of the BBC, the newspaper propaganda - things that, if people knew about them - would lead to outrage being aimed at the establishment.
It is an establishment that treats us with contempt, restricts our choices, impedes our development, and does so without regret or remorse. We do not move forward, we do not move back. We remain in a state of arrest, at the will of those who benefit from us. All accomplished through control, manipulation and misinformation. We are a caged animal, we have been beaten onto our knees for so long that we have almost grown to accept it.
Anyone who has read Fahrenheit 451 will recognise our current situation.
It's a sad state of affairs resulting from a story that has gone on for several chapters too long. The lies, deceit, and corruption... it decays our national pride with each passing day. Things need to change.
The natural and obvious counterbalance to lies and misinformation... is truth and information. Objective fact, balanced reporting, and considered judgement. With these tools, the tidal wave of information and progress cannot be so easily controlled. Leaks will appear, information will escape, people will talk, ideas will form... and progress is inevitable. The artificial dam of lies will collapse under the pressure of a hundred thousand voices that cannot be silenced, all demanding their freedom and deserved justice.
This brings me to my original point: Democracy.
In order for the system to work, the public must be informed. The reality of our situation is that the bulk of the voting public are not informed. Single mothers, single fathers, busy parents, stressed students... people from every sect of society who do not have the time to find information that is not readily available, even deliberately obscured, are being denied their right to an informed vote. This is the real tragedy of Scotland, ongoing. These are the people who decide elections.
For our Democracy to be corrupted in this manner is unacceptable. Whatever party people vote for, the vote MUST be INFORMED. They must know not only WHO they vote for, but also WHAT. Names, labels and history be damned, be it Labour, Conservative, SNP or another. Knowledge of the here and now is the key. The knowledge to make an informed decision based on reason; to make a judgement on who is the best qualified leader today.
An uninformed choice is no choice at all, it is the enemy of democracy. This is the enemy that we face now.
This site is a lone voice in a crescendo of loud and calculated lies. It represents those of us who lack the resources with which to promote their messages above the white noise. It is never mentioned on the news. It will never appear in the newspapers. The BBC have banned any mention of this website from BBC blogs. The villain of democracy is not an enemy with a gun or a knife. It is a silent aggressor; a stealth like presence that stalks and censors us every day. How do we fight something like that?
I read the answer in a comment on this very website. We do not oppose the media.
We REPLACE them. We BECOME them.
We spread the facts as widely and frequently as possible. We counter their manufactured negativity with REAL positivity. We INFORM the people and let our facts carry themselves over the media propaganda. There are many of us. Can we be silenced? No.
This brings me back to the title. What have I done? I asked myself that recently, and the answer was "almost nothing". I hadn't done anything other than read the articles, nod my head, agree vehemently with the comments, and be outraged. Why wasn't I emailing this site to my friends who would be interested? Why wasn't I printing articles off and sticking them on notice boards? Why wasn't I recognising that we have an opportunity HERE and NOW to get the word out to people? Why wasn't I leaving stacks of print-outs in places where people would see them?
I was lazy, without even realising it. The information is here, and the number of users seems to be growing... but the election is drawing ever closer. How many people out there still don't know how corrupt Labour has become? How many are in blissful ignorance of the truth? How can we spread the word FASTER? People want the truth. All we need to do is provide it.
The reality of our situation is that we cannot rely on the SNP to fight the uphill battle themselves. Nor can we expect sites such as this one to fight the lies themselves. The outpouring of support for the SNP in light of the legal case against the BBC shows that people DO believe in Scotland. They raised £50,000 in 48 hours with a single call to arms. Scotland still has the energy that we are famed for, that has served us in centuries past. It's just sleeping, made sluggish through deceit. It's confused, unfocused, and diluted by the torrent of nonsense we are subjected to every day by the puppet-masters. Sites such as this one, and several others, can unite that energy however, and break the barriers that constrain us.
My message here is simple: Get out there, and spread this around. Time is short. Print articles, email links, post it to facebook, post links on other sites (in a non-disruptive fashion of course), and let people see what the establishment doesn't want them to. Tell people that the BBC are even censoring this website on their blogs. Leave a small bundle of articles on a desk at work. Reach the common person and let them know what's going on.
Everything you do, post it into the comments of this article. If you tell people... then let site readers know, let’s encourage one another. If you post it onto a public board, be it on the internet or a real notice board... inform the site. We can work together better than if apart. If others see us leading by example, they will follow and do the same, knowing that they are not the only one. Community is our strength.
Whichever way people choose to vote is their own choice... as it should always be.
We do not want to influence their vote, only inform it. So long as they cast that vote as an informed voter in a true democracy, instead of a slave to a corrupt system, our mission and goal will have been achieved.
It's about time we had our country back, and I'm sure the rest of you wouldn't disagree. Let's start today. Scotland is famed for its inexhaustible fund of self-belief and energy. It only needs to be released.
We can do it.