Friday, 18 January 2019

Re-Framing the Picture

Currently the SNP at branch level are getting in a spin over re framing the political dialogue.

At first sight re framing says "PSYCHOBABBLE" in big bold letters to most folk stuck in the confrontational operating mode which is central to UK politics. Chucking 'facts' at other political supporters which usually ends up with neither party listening as they strive to beat the other side down and prove their own righteousness.

Watch the Tories or Labour at this confrontational approach at FMQ's on a weekly basis. Does their "questioning" change squat diddly? No, they are more likely to be seen as inept by the watching public outside their own narrow support. In the case of Labour, Leonard's supposed telling "Questions to the First Minister" backfire badly. Unsurprisingly from a "Scotch" party that does not know that Tryffan is a mountain in Wales, in their latest scenic views of Scotland promotion.

Folk, last night on BBC Question Time, saw Fiona Bruce repeatedly referring to the the SNP Government as the "Scottish Regional Government" - this is a classic attempt by the British Establishment to try and re frame the status and undermine the people of Scotland's perception of the Holyrood Parliament. Make no mistake, it was very deliberate and no doubt Ms Bruce had been told to refer to the Scottish Parliament in this way, by her briefer at the BBC.

The British Establishment have been at this for a long time; hence why so many Scots still beleive that with out Westminster's kindly hand we will be doomed. There is a continuous drip, drip, drip of Scotland too wee, too poor, too stupid from all the media outlets, in this way the British State has an ability to control the "story"

In the next few weeks will see us once again on a campaign for Scottish Independence, once again facing the core problem of many of active voters in Scotland are pre-conditioned to believe what ever the kindly supporters of Britishness tell them is a good reason to vote "NO".

We will once more face a plethora of well funded Unionist campaign's as to why British is best, leaning heavily on the tales of Empire, two world wars and how Brexit will enable this new empire to be kick started. Shouting "This is all rubbish wrapped in a Union Flag" will not move the entrenched pre-programmed "Scotland's crap, you need Westminster" trope these Scots have long believed, even if a lot of us know this is a load of old Unionist bollocks.

This is where re framing comes in. Today after golf I was listening to the usual Tory coterie declaiming how Ms Sturgeon was going to wreck Scotland with her supposed "Independence referendum" which did not really have much support in Scotland. Anyway everyone knows she is hated across Scotland.

What was the point of swapping Westminster for Brussels they said, I asked just how much sovereignty did the EU have over Westminster. Lots was the answer. I suggested 10% was around the actual amount of sovereignty the UK had seceded to the EU where as Westminster had 90% of sovereignty over Scotland. In the EU an independent Scotland would have 90% sovereignty. Rubbish, I was told, SNP made up figures. I continued to ask questions, especially to one particular person, a local Kirk Elder.

"Just how do you square your Christian beliefs with the party you vote for's austerity policy on the poor, the destitute and the sick or the attributed deaths the policy has caused?" I asked in a calm voice.

The reply was a terse, "I'm not talking politics with you!". He was clearly uncomfortable, his arms wrapped tightly round his body, he half turned away from me, there was a clear conflict going on between his espoused Christian beliefs and the reality the party he votes for policies' on welfare and health were at odds and conflicted with the fundamental tenet of Christianity, "Love your neighbour as yourself". I accept it is not likely I will ever change his fixed political view point, he has invested far too much time and effort in justifying his political position over his life time, believing "Westminster knows best", but maybe I have put a little doubt in there, a little maggot of a question, that may over time re frame his fixed view.

On the doorstep, over the next few months, we will come up against folk who want to tell us how hated Nicola Sturgeon is across Scotland or the how EU has stolen "British Sovereignty" from us poor Brits; so much so, we can not even go to the "lavvy" without an EU directive. Let's not get into a rammy, no matter how tempting it is, but reflect back their statements as open questions in a calm manner;

"Nicola Sturgeon is hated, is she, Why?" or "What EU directives have effected you at work or at home?".

An open question shows you are actually listening to what they have said by reflecting it back as a question and are demonstrating a concern (empathy) for them. It is not the response many of these folk will expect as they are wanting a rammy to prove how stupid the SNP and their supporters are. Let us not go there, no rammy. Some will be like the Kirk Elder above and in response turn away and slam the door, others will start to have a conversation with us. This is when re framing can begin, not by protelising the "Independence Case" but by asking the other person to look at their fixed views, such as "Everyone in Scotland hates Nicola Sturgeon" and question themselves as to the truth of it.

Re framing is about shifting the story from "Scotland can't survive without Westminster's kindly largess" to "Scotland needs to be an independent nation once more."

We do that by putting maggots of doubt about the British Establishment story in everyone we talk to who is unsure or against independence by listening, properly to what is being said and not by gasping to jump in and tell them what an eedjit and bampot they are.

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