Newsnight held an item on Scottish independence last night in which the BBC threw away any pretence at objectivity. Allegedly investigating the practicalities of independence, it ran a series of interviews with diehard unionist figures, mostly openly New Labour. The only “expert” interviewed on the economy stated that nobody could support an independent Scotland on the grounds they would be economically better off. Another “expert” opined that an independent Scotland may be kicked out of the EU, while a former New Labour Lord Provost of Glasgow said it was laughable that a country the size of Scotland could have its own army, navy and coastguard [presumably Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Ireland and Portugal don’t, then].
The point is that these were not presented as pro-union views, but as “expert analysis” of the practicalities. Jeremy Paxman then tried but failed to intimidate Nicola Sturgeon, and went through a pantomime of body language and facial expression at the idea that Scotland may leave NATO and eventually get rid of the pound sterling.
The good news is that propaganda as bad and blatant as this has little effect – and indeed is counterproductive for those promoting it – in a situation where people do have access to alternative sources of information. Scotland is not Uzbekistan. A great many Scots will have watched Newsnight last night, and realised that the BBC think we are stupid.