A Guest Post by J.M.
Today there have been clear efforts to inject division into the independence debate with media coverage of Pope Francis entering into the Scottish independence debate.
It is useful to look at this as an example of how the media works to reinforce division and push the agenda of the (anti-independence) ruling classes, and to study the filthy, underhanded methods employed by the British media to sabotage the movement for a self-governing Scotland by any means available and regardless of consequence.
Whenever a foreign head of state is quoted in the media as having commented on the Scottish independence referendum, it’s worth bearing in mind the international norm of non-intervention in the internal politics of another state. This is a well-understood norm and one that all national leaders are aware of. For example, Chinese foreign ministry had this to say when Obama met the Dalia Lama earlier this year:
The U.S. leader’s planned meeting with Dalai is a gross interference in China’s domestic politics. It is a severe violation of the principles of international relations.
It should be understood, then, that any foreign leader that even hints at their support for Scottish independence would cause a nasty diplomatic spat with Britain. Hence the strikingly similar language used by Putin and Obama in response to questions on the topic:
I believe one should not forget that being part of a single, strong state has some advantages and one should not overlook this. But it’s a choice for each and every people, according to their own circumstances.
We obviously have a deep interest in making sure that one of the closest allies we will ever have remains a strong, robust, united and effective partner. But ultimately these are decisions that are to be made by the folks there
Although these quotes are almost interchangeable, the British media reported persona-non-grata Putin as neutral, and the ever-popular Obama as a supporter of the status-quo. Of course, all reporters and journalists who ask the question know that their interviewee- bound by international norms- must not come out in favour of ‘Yes’, so it’s merely a matter of spinning their answer in accordance to the interests of the Unionist media.
It is no surprise then, that Pope Francis has today been reported as speaking out against independence. A number of reports that I will not link to on this site declined to directly quote the Pope but paraphrase his ‘anti-independence stance’.
First things first, here is the full text of the Pope’s interview with ‘La Vanguardia’ from which His comments have been taken.
The Pope’s comments which have been reported as Him entering into the debate on Scottish independence are as follows:
Does the conflict between Catalunya and Spain worry you?
All division worries me. There is independence by emancipation and independence by secession. The independences by emancipation, for example, are American, that they were emancipated from the European States. The independences of nations by secession is a dismemberment, sometimes it’s very obvious. Let’s think of the former Yugoslavia. Obviously, there are nations with cultures so different that couldn’t even be stuck together with glue. The Yugoslavian case is very clear, but I ask myself if it is so clear in other cases. Scotland, Padania, Catalunya. There will be cases that will be just and cases that will not be just, but the secession of a nation without an antecedent of mandatory unity, one has to take it with a lot of grains of salt and analyze it case by case.
This is the sole mention of Scotland in Pope Francis’ interview. I do not think it would be fair to describe this as opposing Catalunya’s independence necessarily, simply warning against conflict and division and encouraging people to analyse each individual case of secession.
The media coverage of the Pope ‘entering into the Scottish independence debate’ is disproportionate and misleading. The Holy Father’s comments do not amount to speaking out against Scottish independence. The British media would have you believe otherwise.
Now, as a Catholic who is fiercely pro-independence I am concerned about my fellow Catholics being misled by this coverage. I find myself bombarded with alienating and unfair comments about Catholicism from my fellow YES campaigners. I am angered by the views of the Pope being skewed and misrepresented by the British media, Westminster and the Better Together campaign in a deliberate attempt to divide.
It is difficult not to be angry at this spurious reporting. It is difficult not to be hurt by anti-Catholic comments being hurled about in understandable anger. It is difficult not to start lashing out in turn. But that is the game plan here: the game plan is to divide on religious grounds.
In 96 days let’s stand together, undivided by superficial, Westminster endorsed divisions and biases and vote YES for a self-determining, multicultural Scotland.
Let us not fall prey to deliberate and underhanded attempts to divide us.