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The truths they don't want you to read....

Friday, March 28, 2008

The earnestness of self-importance

Having access to newspapers not of this parish, it has been interesting to contrast and compare the relative importance of certain news stories.

For example, the Unionist walked straight into a Salmond trap this week with their unintelligent contribution to the debate on the governance of Scotland. Not that the “National Conversation” of the SNP is particularly intelligent, but smartly it has set the tone for the debate. Unfortunately, the tone is antagonistic, repetitive, insulting, shallow and downright boring, but it has the modest virtue of being the first on the scene.

In wade Alexander, Nicol and Goldie with a surprise attack that has been signalled for months, in detail, and without any great thought on the matter. Salmond is ready and offers a STV referendum on whatever terms ANG want.

“That isnae fair!”, they scream. Then realise the trap they have walked into. At this rate the SNP won’t need to campaign at the next Scottish elections.

However, having limited access to the newspaper of record (The Stornoway Gazette>), I have had to make do with various items of the international press on which to base my assessment of the above story.

My conclusions are (starting with the most parochial)

  • Stornoway Gazette: lead story – Ferry not running
  • Scottish broadsheets: Hugely significant and important
  • Scottish redtops: page 4. Page 1 features some half-naked bird from a soap opera
  • Scottish editions of English papers: page 14. Page 1 – train fares into Waterloo increased dramatically
  • English newspapers: absent. Lead story house prices to plummet/Buy to let landlords committing suicide by the million/Soap star slept with non-entity
  • European press: being a monoglot, I’m not really sure. I could find any words that gave me any clue
  • American press: where is England? Lead story “Talahasee resident plans to go abroad – US not invading anywhere today”

Reviewing the availability of the press and the coverage they give has certainly cast a new light on everything, not least the seemingly unavoidable availability of OK and Hello magazines and a whole series of brain-draining celebrity-obsessed identikit women’s publications, whose sole purpose seems to be to reduce everything to diets, clothes and a passing acquaintance with ‘fame’.

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