I have been reading posts in various social media sites where individuals are vociferously claiming vote rigging in last week’s Scottish independence referendum. I have watched videos that purport to show said rigging. I have to say that I have not seen anything in these videos that cannot be explained by count procedures. I say this as somebody that has attended election counts in both Dundee and Edinburgh, albeit a long time ago, and as someone who has served as a Polling Clerk in Lanarkshire. Plus, as someone who would undoubtedly have voted Yes had I still been living in Scotland (see recent posts to this blog).
The human mind is fertile territory for conspiracy theorists. The propagation of elaborate vote rigging theories relies on that. Also, conspiracy theories typically divert people from blatantly obvious explanations. A terrific example is 9/11. There are myriad conspiracy theories concerning what happened that day, these are usually given more air time than the real reason – the events around 9/11 were blowback from flawed foreign policy decisions. The CIA recognizes blowback. Paul Wolfowitz has talked about blowback. But it seems to be off limits to bring this up, even though it is so glaringly obvious. Those that talk about blowback are often lumped into the “Blame America Crowd”, only one step away from being a “Truther”.
Which takes me back to the vote rigging allegations. They have the potential to be a form of black propaganda, or to evolve into such, where phony allegations are used that lead to division. This is the value of the illusion of conspiracy to the Westminster political establishment. Black propaganda can be amplified by a compliant media to sow discord between allies so people/ideas can be marginalized. Those that are pushing these allegations really need to take a deep breathe and think about who benefits politically (or if I am engaging in my own conspiracy theory). “No” won because of its scaremongering. But the establishment was rattled and the world didn’t end. Its time to focus on the future.