Manipulation (clumsy, obvious and failed)


It’s blatant, even for The Sun.

Perhaps Murdoch’s monkeys thought they could get away with it because nobody in Scotland reads the English papers, and nobody in England reads the Scottish version of their rag, right?


Twitter has been having lots of fun with it. One of the earlier tweets was from Calum S, as follows: “The Sun in England: ‘Stop the SNP running the country’. The Sun in Scotland: ‘Vote SNP!’ I wonder who that could help.”

The Conservative Party, according to the Murdoch minds. They reckon that, with this pluralism, they can encourage enough Sun readers to vote Tory in England and Wales, while the Scots have been primed to vote SNP already – locking Labour out of office and putting Cameron back into Downing Street.

Rupert is banking on Labour sticking to its refusal to work with the SNP, leaving the way open for another Conservative-led Coalition government. That way, we can all look forward to another “It’s the Sun what won it!” headline in the south, and a “Never mind!” sop to the Scots, who’ll be locked into the union but with no say in anything that happens – because they voted for nationalism.

Voters in Scotland may find it hard to square the right-wing rag’s support for the SNP with that party’s own claim to be left-of-centre – but then, the SNP has found it impossible to square its claim that voters should avoid voting Labour in Scotland so the SNP can do a deal with Labour after the election, or to justify its refusal to ask voters south of the border to vote Labour (John Swinney refused to do so – what – seven times on a TV news report). The reason is that the SNP needs a strong Tory performance in England and Wales, otherwise Labour won’t need to make a deal with anyone. It’s a completely contradictory position that Nicola Sturgeon and her gang have glossed over with repeated – and often false – attacks on Labour.

The Sun – or rather its proprietor, Rupert Murdoch – is acting on the assumption that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, supporting the SNP in Scotland because it will undermine Labour there. This puts the SNP in the uncomfortable position of seeming to be allied with the Conservative Party to lock Labour out of Downing Street – precisely the opposite of what Nicola Sturgeon has been claiming – in a close parallel to the Labour/Tory marriage-of-convenience that was Better Together.

The Sun‘s declaration – both north and south of the border – is an arrogant gesture, and a clumsy attempt to manipulate the public.

Will it work?

Only if you let it.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. Peter Kennedy April 30, 2015 at 4:39 am - Reply

    The newspapers are making themselves irrelevant during this campaign. I arrived at work before 6am the day after the first election debate. My colleague was just putting out the newspapers, and The Scum had ‘Oops I just Lost The Election’ as a headline and a picture of Ed Miliband.

    So the debates finished at 10pm, they wrote that story, chose the headline, set the page out, printed it and delivered it across the country in 7 hours? I don’t think so.

    As you say The Sun have been blatant and pathetic in this Election. I don’t know why we hold newspapers to a different standard than television. Even Sky News is not allowed to be this blatant, and they have the same owner!

  2. NMac April 30, 2015 at 5:38 am - Reply

    The thorough dishonesty and corruption of Murdoch and his reactionary henchmen knows no bounds. The rotten Murdoch empire needs to be dismantled.

    • Florence April 30, 2015 at 10:53 am - Reply

      Labour are committed to implementing Leveson, and have said they will look at the media & ownership. No wonder the Dirty Digger is on the war path. But will this affect voters – either way? I think Beakers revelations supporting the leaked memo on child benefit changes may be a more powerful push, affecting millions of the families that have just started to see their incomes rising. Fingers crossed that many Tory voters will change now.

  3. Joan Edington April 30, 2015 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Is this the first time you have noticed this dual publishing in England and Scotland? This has been going on for weeks by the Sun and the Mail at least. I would be disgusted if I thought that it would make a jot of difference to Scottish voters. If anything, all the Scot-hate and divisive publishing pushes even more people towards the SNP/

    • Mike Sivier April 30, 2015 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      It’s not about papers having different editions north of the border; the questionable issue is the difference in content.
      Also, you seem to have got your wires crossed; you can’t very reasonably call The Sun‘s support for the SNP “Scot-hate”.

      • Joan Edington April 30, 2015 at 4:55 pm - Reply

        I wasn’t being as simple as meaning the papers have different versions. What I was saying is that the same type of hypocrisy has been going on for weeks with the English versions stirring up the Scot-hate while trying to keep the Scottish readership happy. I have no wires crossed at all. They seem to be oblivious to the fact that we foreigners (as they obviously see us nowadays) have the where-withal to see what is being said by the same papers in England.

        • Mike Sivier April 30, 2015 at 5:31 pm - Reply

          Good. Then you can see how they are trying to manipulate us all into being pawns of the Tories. That’s all of us, north AND south of the border.
          Considering a large number of Scottish voters seem determined to go for the SNP in any case, it looks like it will be down to the English and Welsh to do the heavy work this time around.

      • Joan Edington April 30, 2015 at 7:16 pm - Reply

        As a follow-up to this, The Scottish Sun seems to have changed its tune. Today’s edition says “Vote SNP today and you put Scotland’s head in the noose”. You may prefer this to yesterday’s but it just shows what a sham these rags’ support really is.

        • Mike Sivier April 30, 2015 at 7:41 pm - Reply

          I don’t like either – they’re both just shabby attempts at manipulation.

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