The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Rubbish Journalism Ahoy

Posted by The Futility Monster on August 24, 2009 @ 06:31

How much longer will they last?

How much longer will they last?

In what is starting to become a common theme around here, this morning’s brief look through what’s churning through the news cycle has not impressed me one bit.

The real problem here is the way the newspapers are behaving over the release of the Lockerbie bomber. Personally, I think it was handled very well, and the SNP appear to have arrived at the right outcome and have again shown themselves to be worthy of holding high office, exercising power cautiously and responsibly.

Meanwhile, in the Times, the stakes have been raised:

Lockerbie release could topple SNP government

Everybody loves the chance of a motion of no confidence. The drama, the excitement of politics at its most fragile. With everything on the line.

But they appear to be the only paper leading with the possibility that the SNP government could fall as a result of this decision. No other people appears to have the same quotes from Alex Salmond. Indeed, the Telegraph is more interested in how the affair reflects on Gordon Brown. The Guardian instead are looking at the alleged damage to US-UK relations.

The fact that there’s no one key theme suggests that everyone’s looking for their own angle on the story. All looking for how the story can further their agenda. The Telegraph is the obvious example of that.

But The Times really does take the biscuit. For an SNP administration riding high in the polls, after taking a brave, principled stand on a very difficult decision, one which co-incidentally happens to put them on the world stage and give a chance to rile up our friends across the Atlantic, it would be utter madness for the opposition parties to gang together and topple the Scottish Government.

In short, it’s not going to happen. The Times appear to have their political radar severely off kilter. Perhaps not a surprise; they are heavily London-centric after all.

The SNP would love another election. They have been looking for an opportunity to do so for a long time. Secretly, I think they hoped they would lose their budget battle, and hence get a chance to take their agenda back to the electorate while simultaneously blaming the opposition parties for the mess of a motion of no confidence.

The same would be true here. The SNP don’t want to engineer their own downfall; electorates don’t tend to look kindly on governments that do that. But if they are removed as a result of opposition parties trying to play to the gallery, looking tough on television, they are sure to get bonus sympathy votes.

Of course, such a situation might also achieve the useful benefit of being able to use the momentum to carry forward into next year’s planned independence referendum. The SNP would be sure to increase their number of seats, Scottish Labour would plunge even deeper into crisis, the Scottish Lib Dems would lose even more territory.

Again, in short, it’s not going to happen. Unless the advisors surrounding Iain Gray and Tavish Scott are complete fools, they will sense a mile off that Alex Salmond has once again thrown down the gauntlet, and laid the bear trap ready for them to stroll into it, as they normally do. He is fully in control of the agenda.

The opposition just don’t know how to handle him. Like the Tories didn’t know what to do with Blair, and had to wait till he departed the scene for reasons other than electoral defeat, the so-called opposition will merely have to wait for nature to take its course before they get a chance again.

That The Times fails to understand the nuances of this situation is, perhaps, yet another reason why print journalism is failing; and the blogosphere will continue its ascendancy.

And Murdoch wants us to pay for this crap.


One Response to “Rubbish Journalism Ahoy”

  1. […] Rubbish Journalism Ahoy […]

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