How to enter a debate in this era without a platform?
How to make, a concise, comment on events of the day, but with more substance and potential than 140 characters allow?
There is no reason why my opinion should count more than the next persons. I have no right to be heard louder than you and I have only moderate conceit that my opinion can hold any sway.
But I don’t want to keep holding my views. I’d like to set them free, in the hope they inspire others, or even just make you think again.
I’m frustrated by the debate. Specifically the independence debate. The independence / dependence debate around Scotland ahead of our referendum on September 18th.
No, the debate is fine – to be encouraged – but let’s say the balance of coverage is rather frustrating. Do the maths.
Support for Yes – polls running conservatively at 40 – 45%
Newspapers on general sale in Scotland that advocate ‘Yes’? 3.2%
3.2% – that’s the Sunday Herald. Do the same comparison on number of issues per week – (you know, Sunday papers only publish once per week). So the comparison of papers on Scottish Newsstands every week, only one out of 116 advocates a Yes vote for Independence.
I’ve worked that out. That is 0.86%
Talk about democratic deficit.
For me, that means that as the debate goes on, there isn’t enough discussion about an unequal society. Not enough debate about how disenfranchised Scots should be mobilised. No consideration why Scotland alone, among small prosperous European nations, has seen consistent population decline for many years and why our there are not enough opportunities for our young people. Not enough balanced debate around oil, energy or manufacturing. Less discussion and more hyperbole around the currency and EU membership. Voices contrary to the established received wisdom are necessary to engage Scotland truly on September 18th and beyond.
So this is my platform. My speakerphone.
For the avoidance of doubt, with the aid of Wikipedia, the list of publications referenced to calculate the statistics quoted were (in absolutely no particular order)
The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Financial Times, The Herald, The Scotsman, Guardian, The Press and Journal, The Courier, i, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Star, Daily Mirror, Daily Record, The Metro and the Sun.
And the Sunday papers . . .
Independent on Sunday, Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, Scotland on Sunday, Mail on Sunday, Observer, Sunday Express, Sunday Mirror, Sunday Mail, Sunday Post, Daily Star Sunday, Sunday Sport, Sunday Sun. Oh yes, and the Sunday Herald!