When the Queensferry Crossing was being built on time and on budget we put up a satirical post suggesting that we had found the true identity of the engineer behind this remarkable bridge crossing. WE suggested it was none other than Montgomery Scott ( James Doohan) the fictional engineer on board the Star ship Enterprise whose captain regularly expected him to ‘change the laws of physics’ and do the impossible. You know, he is the one that had the reputation of being a miracle worker. We were only kidding! It seems the media really do think that not only the engineers but the Scottish Government are capable of changing the laws of nature.
Today we saw the mainstream media, the BBC mainly, perform simultaneously as a news outlet and propaganda mouthpiece for the Tory government. Admittedly this is becoming more common these days. The main story on the BBC was the Queensferry Crossing closure and it was delivered with the kind of ‘bitter and twisted’ overtones that really asked ‘who is to blame for all this disruption’. As per usual the ‘disruption’ was incredibly being nudged in the diretion of the Scottish Government and the SNP in particular.
There has always been more than a hint of this on the BBC before. Just weeks ago and on days when there were no MET Office weather warnings there was a piece on the radio and TV about ferry services. The insinuation was , yes, the cancellation of ferry services was somehow the fault of government and not the inclement weather.
Many people in coastal and island communities will however vouch that in January and February in Scotland the sea does indeed get a bit choppy and you do not need to be a starship engineer to know it is best not to set sail. People could get hurt or worse die of drownings at sea.
The MET office that UK bastion of weather reporting have devloped a system of warnings to let us know when extreme weather will arrive and what to expect. In the last few days there have been 3 consecutive such warnings and there are another 3 such warnings ahead for the end of this week.
This is what they say:
Heavy snow and strong winds will combine to lead to disruption to travel, especially over higher routes.
Snow showers and icy stretches may lead to further disruption on Wednesday morning.
These warnings are given out so that people can change or delay their travel plans to avoid extreme weather so people can be safe and the road network does not get congested as it did on similar occasions in the past with drivers stranded in cars overnight. A sensible warning.
The trouble with the media is that they think we are stupid. We are aware that on the one programme they cannot present us with a main story that blames the closure of a bridge crossing in mid winter on the government/SNP and a range of other weather related stories that contradict it? Or can we?
Blatant press manipulation of the facts is what we are seeing.Transport Minister Michael Matheson was very factual in his radio interview this morning but at every turn the interviewer was doing that ‘nudgy’ thing they do. “What about the design of the bridge?” etc,.
Truth is the bridge is built, it exists and it is winter on a planet suffering from climate change. Cold weather, ice and snow happens and can stick to metal structures.
The BBC seem to think Scotland should be immune to such hardship and were bleating about 18 minute delays to the commute today stoking up the chaos.It is winter in Scotland. We were warned by the Met office days ago.
In recent years we had the ‘beast from the east’ a spell of extreme weather in early March. No ice build up occured on the Queensferry Crossing bridge at that time and engineers like Scotty are working out why and in what weather circumstances the icing on cables and towers will occur.
In the meantime the BBC continue to stoke the blame game at the same time as broadcasting the news that Michael Gove will be the Cabinet Minister in charge at the COP climate conference in Glasgow later this year
This despite the fact the UK is ill prepared to host an international climate change conference, but Scotland is.
Embarrasingly todays ‘bridge chaos’ story also serves to mask this fact and the announcement of the continued funding of the HS2 high speed rail link despite the fact the budget is spiralling out of control.It will not reach Scotland despite the fact we will contribute to it financially
That and Brexit means there will always be a demand for ‘look the other way’ stories and this one takes the biscuit.
We would like to think if Scotty was indeed still working on the project he would be talking to his co-workers about independence and the importance of voting Yes in the next referendum. Knowing Scotty he would probably also be working on his own solutions:
- a Romulan/Klingon style cloaking device so the bridge would be invisible to those that seem to hate it so much
- a land/space bridge that starts in Portpatrick and passes through Larne in Northen Ireland before going to the moon and back
- a permanent force sheild on all public roads that stops motorists from getting them or their cars wet and we can all drive convertibles with our ‘taps aff’
We wish everyone working on this bridge well and thank them for their hard work and indeed their sacrifice. We are not laughing at anyone here but just trying to make a point about media and communication.
Travel safely and do not travel in extreme weather if you do not need to.