Ruth Wishart: English media make Scotland a nation of lab rats

COMMENT: Ruth Wishart, a Creative Scotland board member, gives her view on the UK media’s new-found fascination with Scotland ahead of the independence referendum in September.
Wishart analyses recent coverage of the debate by Channel 4’s Dispatches and the BBC’s Robert Peston.

Let’s be fair. None of us is locked into a harness on a bench, being made unwillingly acquainted with tobacco products. Nobody is dropping assorted poisons on to our pupils. Our skin is not being subjected to newfangled cosmetic preparations in order to observe whether we come out in plooks (Scots parlance for the common spot).
But as yet another brace of TV documentaries is screened featuring intrepid Englishmen trawling Scotland and prodding its inhabitants in search of referendum data, it becomes difficult not to feel like a lab rat – a common enough species about whose neurological functions more information is apparently necessary, to understand why it might want to alter the boundaries of its natural habitat.

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