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  By a Newsnet reporter

Yesterday saw yet another report from a so-called ‘independent’ think-tank leading the news agenda. 

The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) published research it claimed showed an independent Scotland would be an economic cripple, unable to sustain even those meagre public services we currently ‘enjoy’ through being part of the Union.

In a now predictable barrage of bulletins, interviews, reports and headlines BBC Scotland – our own broadcaster – trailed this piece of nonsense across the day’s news output.  The message was that yes, things are bad just now, but if you Jocks try to go it alone then you’ll be in even worse trouble.

Just in case the message wasn’t getting across, the BBC ordered its reporters to describe the think tank as “highly respected”.

The IFS apparently concluded that an independent Scotland would face unsustainable levels of public debt.  Trying to handle the revenues from oil, whisky and financial services would result in Scotland finding it much harder than the UK to reduce its debt levels.

Presumably harnessing our massive renewable resources – hydro, wind, wave and tidal will prove beyond our once world renowned engineering skills.

The report apparently looked fifty years into the future, so it wasn’t just Scots already born who are being portrayed as somehow inept and lacking the skills of other small nations, but Scots yet to be born.  We’re inadequate before we even emerge from the womb.

The icing on the cake was the claim that Scots are growing older than the people in the rest of the UK.  Somehow we will be unable to attract those migrants that growing and successful economies regularly welcome.

So we are too poor, too stupid, too wee ... and now too old to govern ourselves.

The ‘report’ followed recent attacks on Scotland’s ability to sustain a shipbuilding industry and suggestions that our world renowned University research projects would suddenly lose funding if a Yes vote prevails in next year’s referendum.

So genetically incapable are Scots that we will be unable to think up alternative economic policies to the ones being pursued by Westminster.

We’ve even had suggestions that Scots will turn on our own ethnic minorities should we vote for independence, with Polish people and Pakistanis the targets of some in-built Scottish racism.  We need the Union, you see, to stop us from descending into racial anarchy.

Whether these never ending stream of reports are having the effect the pro-Union media hopes, is difficult to determine, but there’s something uncomfortable about forecasts that seem to rely in portraying Scots as somehow incapable of handling independence, of lacking the skills needed to cope in a changing world – of being inferior.

The research funding scare story is a case in point that relies on persuading people that Scottish Universities receive funding from outwith Scotland’s borders, not because of the excellence of the institutions and our academics, but because we are part of the UK.

The narrative is similar to that used for decades against nations keen to break free from the stronghold of colonialism.  The BBC is helping those opposed to independence to pummel the people of Scotland with colonial inspired propaganda, which is an attack on self-confidence.

Native Africans and Indians were routinely told they were not capable of governing their own nations.  Ethnic minorities have fought a continual battle against generalised caricatures portraying them as either less intelligent, prone to corruption or somehow incapable of exercising the same societal disciplines and restraints of their ‘colonial betters’.

This is now happening to Scots who are being subjected to the most dreadful stereotypical slurs.

The conduit of this Unionist inspired assault on the Scottish psyche is, in the main, the British Broadcasting Corporation in Scotland and the Unionist sympathisers that occupy key positions within that broadcaster.

It’s unedifying and unnecessary.  It’s also verging on racism to imply that Scots, despite the overwhelming advantages we have as a nation, couldn’t make at least as good a job of governance as the current or future Westminster government.  That this nation couldn’t adapt in a way its small European neighbours have, to the challenges of the world.

The media is now moving from its soft pro-Union stance to a more hard line fundamentalism that will serve no-one, least of all us Scots.  Watch Newsnight Scotland and you’ll now regularly see hard-line right wing newspapers promoted, usually with a very prominent anti-independence headline visible.

The IFS will produce more reports as will the OBR and the CPPR and a host of other organisations staffed by people keen for Scotland to remain in the Union.

Let them all publish their reports.  Let them produce their think tank ‘research’ until the cows come home.  But let's not promote their politically inspired message of doom.  To naively believe that all of these organisations, or many of the key people within them, have no agenda is preposterous.

If they want to promote these thinly disguised anti-Scottish views then let them pay to promote them themselves.

Comments  

 
# thejourneyman 2013-11-19 08:03
It is clear that most of our representation in that den of inequity that is Westminster are, and probably have been for some time. Driven by self interest. But they have missed one key fact, the world has moved to a new Age of Enlightenment, and the light is starting to reach the recesses of years of corruption and untruths. This is why Scotland will once again become a beacon for the world.
 
 
# Spirtle 2013-11-19 08:19
Here is the whole distortion laid out nicely:
bbc.co.uk/.../...

This is the BBC's sense of balance. This is wrong in so many ways that it will give right minded people high, if not higher, blood pressure reading it!
Encapsulating the 'Yes' campaign as being only the SNP for starters!
The rest is badly misrepresented with no way to correct the outright bias.

Yes indeed!
 
 
# Alibi8 2013-11-19 13:12
The paragraph that stuck out for me as being utterly risible was this one:

"The SNP also says people would be able to get a Scottish passport after independence - whether the government in the rest of the UK would agree to issue them isn't yet clear."

Why would it be anything to do with the rump UK? That paragraph sums up the attitude running through the whole article - that of regarding Scotland as no being a proper nation even if we regain our independence.
 
 
# Hillside 2013-11-19 21:02
This makes me angry. The very first point: ''IT'S SCOTLAND'S OIL' The old ones are often considered the best'' sets the tone for the whole article. It's old jokes that are considered the best, so they start off an article supposedly giving an 'insight into the SNP's vision' by dismissing the first example as a joke! And it doesn't get any better. The SNP are described as 'ducking', 'insisting' & 'suggesting' whereas their critics are generally given the last say. Outrageous. And I'm paying for this through my licence fee?
 
 
# Jo Bloggs 2013-11-20 17:04
"The SNP also says people would be able to get a Scottish passport after independence - whether the government in the rest of the UK would agree to issue them isn't yet clear."

Is this perhaps them attempting to parody themselves? For me, it's already way beyond parody. I hope to God Scotland votes YES. Wish I had a vote, but as part of the diaspora I have no say.
 
 
# Louperdowg 2013-11-19 08:34
Coincidentally, this IFS propaganda piece was launched the day before Scottish ministers launch a paper on the economic opportunities of independence.

Its all so transparent.

Shame on the BBC.
 
 
# hiorta 2013-11-19 08:36
"So genetically incapable are Scots that we will be unable to think up alternative economic policies to the ones being pursued by Westminster"

The best way to counter this torrent of the Westminster hatefest pouring over Scotland as we aspire to our right to self determination - the exact same right, incidentally, as is taken for granted by these folks, is simply to show them it in action.
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2013-11-19 08:39
We will see how impartial the “national” and Scottish BBC/ STV/ MSM is over its treatment of the Scottish government’s authoritative report on the Scottish economy compared to the wall to wall orchestrated coverage of the "independent highly respected" - but commissioned and paid for by the UK government - IFS report based on discredited OBR projections.

Scotland must be unique in that all the main media outlets give supine uncritical coverage to a foreign government’s report which trashes a country which would be one of the richest nations in the world.
 
 
# admiral 2013-11-19 08:55
The antics of the No group are truly shameful.

What they are in effect saying is that not only is Scotland too wee, too poor and especially too stupid to govern itself, but vote for them (LibLabConDem) and they'll do nothing, nothing at all, to address this.
 
 
# fairliered 2013-11-19 08:57
If anyone is in doubt about the articles, broadcasts and blogs presented by the MSM, replace the words Scotland and Scots with Pakistan and Pakistani. Then decide whether they are racially acceptable.
 
 
# white cockade 2013-11-19 09:00
O/T
Tried to donate to the crowdfunding appeal,but don;t have a credit card. My two options PayPal or Direct Debit. Any advice anyone
 
 
# gus1940 2013-11-19 09:15
Not commented on so far is the fact that the BBC and the rest of our wonderfully unbiased media had obviously been fed copies of this 'report' well in advance to enable them all to lauch an immediate across the board campaign of support for its content and to get everything lined up for the late night political TV programs.

A womderful example of The Project Fear United Front in action.

I await their reaction to next week's White Paper. The decks will probably already being cleared for a concerted attack on its content.
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2013-11-19 09:25
gus1940

It was an orchestrated event organised by the UK government complete with press briefings highlighting the most pessimistic aspects of the report which were the long term forecasts.

The IFS report is based on the current UK economic policies and the media ignored the short to medium term findings that Scotland would be better off for the first five years of independence.

After that it will be up to the economic policies which could involve much greater growth adopted by whichever political party is in power in an independent Scotland
 
 
# Abulhaq 2013-11-19 09:36
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is the ultimate paymaster for IFS research work. The IFS trends to economic neoliberalism. Respected, by some, it may be but as an organisation it has a particular socio-economic axe to grind. Trailing the research as anything other than Unionist propaganda is nonsense. The population question is however something an independent Scotland needs to address.
 
 
# call me dave 2013-11-19 09:46
Grimaced a wee smile from under the bedclothes this morning when I hear George Kerevan,cutting off Hayley Miller on GMS. Suggested a 1bn saving on defence wasn’t much, Kerevan said that may be the case for those on a BBC salary....Aye right.

Is it morning yet, is the sky still blue, has the all clear siren sounded??

Well that was a vicious salvo from the unionists yesterday, co-ordinated as a spoiler for Mr Swinney's paper this morning.
Anyhoo! Tin hat off and away to breathe the clean Scottish air and to remind myself that we have all the water, wind and wave energy, oil, world renowned food products, whisky, engineering, world class universities, science and technology, tourism, well educated people, and a decent set of political leaders etc.

Who do I trust, let's vote YES and make the country a better place to live and love.
 
 
# X_Sticks 2013-11-19 10:19
The propaganda fest from the UK media yesterday was nothing short of incredible.

We've long thought that we would be up against the british establishment, now we know that it is not just the BBC and the "Scottish" press, but also BBC 24 hour news, Channel 4 and STV.

I think this is good news for the Yes side, it tells me that the union has realised it is going to lose.

The BBC have hiddden their bile filled comments piece from yesterday away. You will only find it through hunting through sub-links from other articles. You can have a look at what our UK partners think of us here:

bbc.co.uk/.../...

Interesting to note how the Highest/Lowest ratings come out. If I was cynical I might think some tweaking of the votes was taking place. Surely not from our state broadcaster?
 
 
# 1scot 2013-11-19 10:46
Well we knew what to expect from the MSM. This racial prejudice is a little out of hand.
The BBC should hang their head in shame, as a state broadcaster they are very much out of line here. I stopped paying for their services a long time ago, and do not see me returning to paying for them any time soon.
 
 
# creigs1707repeal 2013-11-19 10:48
Unfortunately too many people rely on the MSM, BBC, STV etc for their news and I suspect the vast majority will not realise how they are being manipulated with lies, misdirection and disinformation. This must be countered head-on. A youtube video titled 'The Scottish Media are Lying to You' (with loads of examples) needs to be made and distributed far and wide. Leaflets showing the dark side of the BBC/MSM (with examples of their bias and lies) need to be made and distributed all over the country. We need to take on these sobs full-on for if we don't this referendum might well be stolen from us with a tissue of lies--and how will we all feel about that?

Let's take them on. Let's get those videos made, leaflets distributed that show this bunch for the cowards and liars that they are.

YES Scotland
 
 
# bringiton 2013-11-19 10:50
People who try to forecast future events and outcomes have about as much chance of getting it right as Gysy Amalia.
Their assumptions appear to based on an independent Scotland continuing to behave as if it were still under Westminster imposed conditions.
No one can say for certain what circumstances will be even 10 years out. If the IFS is such an expert on the future,how did they miss forecasting the economic crash of 2008 and the subsequent global depression that followed?
 
 
# Rafiki 2013-11-19 10:56
One must assume that this highly respected think tank has been advising the Westminster Government. We might ask how that body managed to get into the biggest economic disaster in the last 100 years.
I think we should be told.
 
 
# thejourneyman 2013-11-19 12:21
Aye and who knows how long before the next crash. The UK Gov is dtermined to "revive" the economy by manipulating the housing market to encourage consumer spending on the back of new debt and have the support of BOE pegging any interest rate increases to unemployment which someone sufggested the other day they might actually ignore the 7.0% threshold. The IFS report is clearly Gov driven and any sensible informed individual should see that but unfortunately too many of our fellow countryman still shop exclusively at the MSM outlet!
 
 
# Jimbo 2013-11-19 11:22
Great article. It sums up exactly how I felt last night watching the news, then later on Newsnight Scotland and Scotland Tonight. I find their constant doom laden lectures to us insulting and offensive.

I found Iain Gray's utterings most cringeworthy. It got the stage that when Simon Johnson came on I had to turn the channel.
 
 
# indy2014 2013-11-19 11:33
I have to admit I'm fed up being the fish to the unionist bait. We're paying to be brainwashed into believing we're less than every other people on earth.

The BBC building is nothing more than a 300 million pound relay station for English media. They don't even have a studio. Debates and interviews are held in its hallways. You could set up Reporting Scotland news desk in your living room!
 
 
# balgayboy 2013-11-19 12:33
Would love to contribute to the cause but why no paypal choice?
 
 
# James01 2013-11-19 12:57
The collective orgasm over this report by the Scottish and British media was nothing short of disgraceful. It was presented as absolute fact rather than what it was, opinion and speculation. The flawed model and ridiculous assumptions this report used wasn't questioned in the slightest. If the IFS tried to predict how the economy would go next year they'd probably get it wrong but somehow they can predict 50 years into the future!

The BBC of course opened up this story up for comments as it featured on the UK website, something they would never do if it only featured in the Scottish section, some of the comments from people down south were nothing short of racist.
 
 
# loveme2times 2013-11-19 13:12
Just been reading this link about the IFS report on business for Scotland website (link from wings) it makes very interesting reading and rips the report apart for what we know it really is, worth a read if you have a spare 5-10 mins.

www.businessforscotland.co.uk/.../
 
 
# Davy 2013-11-19 13:22
Iain Grey looked like a kid who had just been given an ex-large bag of sweeties, then he opened his mouth and all the sweeties fell out.

Stewart Hosie took him apart with no problem on both the BBC & STV, but of course the broadcasters were doing everything they could to promote the IFS report to the detriment of Scotland.

We know this how the MSM is going to behave, I am sure we will remind them of it after independence.


Vote Yes, Vote Scotland.
 
 
# call me dave 2013-11-19 14:59
A little oasis here and some common sense

www.businessforscotland.co.uk/.../
 
 
# Hibernian 2013-11-19 15:20
We really need an independent radio outlet to spread he word, bring back the pirate radio station
 
 
# daveniz 2013-11-19 15:56
have you notice the difference between headlines

yesterdays IFS Westminister funded report had the MSM use 'would' in its headlines!

today the white paper has the MSM use 'could' in its headlines!

the bias language of the media is downright evil in its pursuit to put Scotland down!
 
 
# bringiton 2013-11-19 16:11
What if the truth is that England is the economic basket case and without Scottish resources will face an uncertain and straitened future?
Would explain much of the hysteria coming from Westminster and it's press.
 
 
# reiver 2013-11-19 16:35
I was particularly interested to compare how today's launch of the Scottish Government's Economic options for independence document would be covered as I innocently thought that it may get treated (by the BBC) in the same way as yesterday's IFS report. How naïve of me ! Yesterday we got an audio clip from Alastair Darling telling us that the IFS report scuppered all the lies from the SG. Today we got an audio clip on the radio bulletins - not from Alex or John as you might expect, but from the other Alastair , reminding us about the 'highly-respected' IFS report demanding to know about the higher taxes that will need to be imposed.

At the moment it does seem as if the BBC's coverage has been rather less than equal for the two documents - I do hope that Newsnet is monitoring the coverage in its usual analytical style.
 
 
# BetterTogetherForWho 2013-11-19 16:35
The time has arrived when the Scottish people should be asking the BBC a few questions, the first being, ‘why should we pay a licence fee to receive a state propaganda channel’. And, as we know, there is a large body of evidence available to support this. Perhaps ‘why was broadcasting a reserved issue in the devolved Scotland?’ would be a more appropriate question’. Rhetorical of course.

Other questions I have asked them recently:
Q1. Why was the protest outside Bedroom Tax vote dodger Anas Sarwar’s constituency office not reported on the BBC?

Q2. Why is there no opportunity for comment on BBC Scotland News Stories while this option exists on all other parts of the BBC News website?

You’ll all be unsurprised to learn that I received no response to these questions.
 
 
# James01 2013-11-19 17:00
Alistair Darling mentioned the word “trusted” when referring to the IFS both yesterday and today, yet in 2010 when the IFS produced a report criticising the then Labour government’s economic policy the organisation was described by Labour as “misleading”. So which is it “trusted” or “misleading”?

Interesting to hear what Lord Mandelson said at the time about the report which was projecting 7 years into the future, “It is simply not possible to accept the assumptions being offered by anyone, whether they are the IFS or the Treasury, or in what conditions anyone will be taking these decisions since it is such a long time period.”

If 7 years into the future is a long time period in economics then what on Earth is 50 years!

Here is a link to the story; theguardian.com/.../...
 
 
# mountaincadre 2013-11-19 17:27
I work on a sliding scale with these things, the more coverage they get with things like the IFS report, the worse,(for them anyway)the SG's own paper will make them look, they've done it from the start so I don't see them changing now.
 
 
# gus1940 2013-11-20 07:01
It can't be long till they start referring to The Independent, Highly Respected BBC.
 
 
# FREEDOM1 2013-11-20 11:45
Richard Murphy has also, in The Guardian, described the IFS as having "a bias towards the neoliberal view that suggests that labour should be heavily taxed whilst capital is left virtually tax free". He added: "Whatever the motive, the IFS's claim to be unbiased appears to me shaky
 
 
# trinity 2013-11-20 16:50
Thank goodness for the internet & Newsnet
without these two how would we be aware of all the underhand dealing of Westminster and the Labour party.

VOTE YES
 
 
# gus1940 2013-11-21 06:53
Project Fear are obviously Feart of The White Paper judging from the significant increase in their output of the usual lies, scare stories, and reports from 'respected' think tanks in the run up to the publication of The White Paper.

Incidentally where is Glen Campbell these days - we haven't seen or heard from him for a while? Is he off on yet another of his foreign jaunts at our expense looking for politicians to speak against Independence and its implications possibly with a view to distort what his sunjects say and broadcast around White Paper publication date.
 
 
# advocat 2013-11-22 15:24
I am looking forward to getting my Scottish passport, bring it on Alec!!!!
 

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