By Paul T Kavanagh
We're doing things all wrong you know. After spending the past 18 months or so sneering contemptuously, ignoring all positive arguments for independence, and belittling Scotland's chances of making it as an independent state, the Observer/Guardian has decided that Scots are not having the debate we're supposed to be having.
Apparently we're being childish and puerile. And this from the paper whose response to the announcement of the referendum question was to publish a cartoon saying "Do you agree that Scotland should go and **** itself?"
In Guardian Towers the view is that there's too much bile in the independence debate. No shit Guardian. And it's mostly coming from the pages of Guardian editorials, aided and abetted by the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, and the BBC.
I'm quite happy to admit that my blog posts are often childish and puerile. I can do contempt and invective too. That's the appropriate response to being treated like an idiot, and being patronised and dismissed by clueless ignoramuses whose knowledge of Scotland and its political landscape begins and ends with a vague awareness that Scotland doesn't like the Tory party.
Contempt and scorn is the only possible reply to Unionist politicians and their media outlets who deliberately lie and misinform in order to preserve their career prospects. You can't have a debate with liars.
But it seems that it's just childish bile to point this out. Calling someone a liar is unhelpful to a debate, even when they are indeed liars and so are preventing the possibility of any meaningful debate taking place. In fact, that's the entire strategy of the Tory funded Better Together campaign and its peculiar lack of any public engagement.
Westminster didn't want this debate to happen, doesn't want electors to engage with it, and is doing its utmost to cover the entire process in mud and misunderstanding in an effort to prevent Scots from participating. Only one side is represented in the media. It's the exact opposite of a debate in a representative democracy.
And the Guardian/Observer enthusiastically goes along with it. So much for their liberal credentials. We expect this sort of thing from the Mail or the Telegraph. But when the supposedly progressive Guardian does it too it adds an extra seasoning of hypocrisy to the bubbling pot of bile. It's a recipe from the George Osborne Cookbook.
Because there is no doubt about it. Does the Guardian/Observer honestly believe that Alistair Darling and George Osborne don't know that Scotland cannot legally default on UK national debt? Does it understand that our political masters know that Scotland cannot be prevented from using Sterling? Does it believe that Barroso didn't know that in making his statement on Scottish independence he was exceeding his authority, interfering in subjects that are not his to opine on, and undermining the democratic basis of the EU Treaties?
Does the Guardian/Observer not know all these facts too? Because if that's the case, what is it doing describing itself as a newspaper – there's more rigorous investigative journalism in a primary school newsletter.
And if the writer of Guardian/Observer editorials does understand the simple and self-evident truth, that Scotland cannot be prevented from using Sterling and no one can be held legally responsible for a debt in someone else's name, and that the EU is pledged to support, defend, and accept the legitimate constitutional processes of representative democracy in member states, then it's still not a newspaper, it's a lying propaganda sheet. And as previously pointed out, you cannot have a debate with a liar.
Unionist politicans have many many faults. But they are not actually suffering from perceptual disorders or learning difficulties. I understand how dementia affects a human being, and Alistair Darling doesn't suffer from it. That doesn't prevent him conveniently forgetting things he said just a few weeks or months ago – like his statement that a currency union would be in the best interests of both Scotland and the rest of the UK.
They know the truth. They just choose not to tell it, and the Guardian/Observer, the BBC and the rest of the Unionist media pack choose not to investigate the veracity of their statements. They simply present them uncritically as a "major blow to independence".
This is our debate Guardian/Observer. We will have it on our terms, not yours. And we've been having an informative and bile free debate here in Scotland. You're just not reporting it. Scotland welcomes you to participate if you want to participate in a real debate.
But if the paper is going to continue to lie, smear, misinform and patronise, the Guardian/Observer and its leader writers can just fuck off – and you can take Alistair Darling, George Osborne, and Alistair Carmichael with you. There's some puerile invective you can add to your collection.
Read more from Paul T Kavanagh at Wee Ginger Dug