UPDATE: Livestream from Independence Live added.
I am heading out now to Glasgow for today’s demonstration for Scottish Independence. I am hoping to speak at the rally, but am not quite sure at the moment if I will get to do that. If not, I shall just be one of the crowd, tramping along. If you recognise me, do say hello.
Over 20,000 people have indicated on Facebook that they are going, but I fully expect the BBC to ignore the event. They will be far too busy wandering around Glasgow, desperately searching for Tory voters they can vox pop.
Use of vox pops in this election has been deeply disturbing. They are a device under which the broadcasters can slip in views of the “ordinary man” which they might otherwise need to challenge. Just this morning Radio 4 Today had somebody calling Jeremy Corbyn a “communist” without contradiction. Last night Channel 4 News did a vox pop in Mansfield in which seven out of nine people interviewed were switching their vote from Labour to Tory. When I was in Merthyr Tydfil last week I was given an eye witness account of a Sky News team going around the town centre literally for an entire working day and finding only two people who were switching from Labour to Tory. Those two people were broadcast as the entire Merthyr Tydfil vox pop.
It is not only the broadcast media. The mainstream media do it too. Rabid unionist propagandist Severin Carrell of the Guardian managed to do a vox pop around Glasgow East constituency which did not find a single SNP voter (the SNP will probably get over 50% in Glasgow East) but did find Tories (they will definitely get under 15%).
The point of such vox pops is of course to convince voters that people like themselves are thinking a certain way, and perhaps they ought to follow. It also introduces further pro-Tory slant which does not count against one party’s equal time selection. What we know already from the opinion polls is that the vox pops the media have given us are massively unrepresentative of the population.
I have never yet spoken at any demonstration or event for Independence without some well-meaning people contacting me to warn me against the group organising the march. My view is that I will turn up pretty well anywhere and speak to anyone in support of Independence. I am not sure if I will get to speak today, and I have seen no indication of who the other speakers are. But I shall be there. I am getting so overweight lately I can bulk out the crowd quite a bit!