OH, Jeremy Corbyn. Remember those heady days when a catchphrase and a sound bite were enough to inspire optimism amid the gloom of Tory austerity? When the momentum was with you, the Glastonbury crowd went wild for you and anything seemed possible?

Now the tide has turned. The media barons who control the UK have seen to that. They have conspired to bring you down, and their primary tactic has been fiendishly simple: printing and broadcasting the exact words that come out of your mouth.

Sure, there’s a bit more too it than that. They’re also giving voice to those within Labour who seek to smear you, discredit you and destabilise your party at the very moment when the UK requires an effective opposition. What must it be like to doggedly fight for the best interests of your country, only to be drowned out by those with ulterior motives calling into question your personal values? Perhaps you could find an opposition leader elsewhere in the world to ask.

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With yesterday’s speech at Edinburgh International Television Festival, you declared that you wished to start a conversation about how best to protect public-interest journalism, and smugly noted that “judging by this morning’s headlines, it’s already working”. Well done you. This is indeed a debate that needs to take place. I share your concern that the mainstream media have failed to adapt to a digital age in which readers and viewers expect journalists to investigate and interrogate but are disinclined to pay for the news and analysis they consume. Where the standard refrain is that you can’t trust journalists … unless, of course, they are reporting something that supports the speaker’s ideological position.

But I’m not sure why you think you, of all people, are the right person to kick-start this particular conversation, at this particular time.

You want to reduce government influence over the BBC while empowering its workforce and licence-fee-payers. This is a laudable aim, and one with which many in the Scottish independence movement would agree. But it might be worth spelling out exactly why you are concerned about the BBC’s output right now. At this absolutely crucial moment in the history of the UK, why might any of us be particularly concerned about truth and facts, and holding the powerful to account?

Was it excess government influence that led to the BBC booking Ukip representatives to appear on almost one in four editions of Question Time in the last seven years? And what does “balance” even look like when both government and opposition are trotting out the same meaningless platitudes?

Of course, addressing that question yesterday might have meant acknowledging the elephant in the room. Worse still, it might have required giving a straight answer when a journalist asked whether that elephant trampling its way to the front of the room, trumpeting over your speech then knocking over your lectern with its trunk would have left the Edinburgh International Television Festival better off. Perhaps you’d have highlighted your hope of building a good relationship with the elephant, or negotiating a future for the festival in relation to the elephant, to ensure the elephant did not damage festival standards. I mean, the last thing you need right now is anyone accusing you of anti-elephantism. You’ve got enough on your plate.

You’ve said your speech was not about “retribution or retaliation” against a UK media that has published and broadcast reports on accusations of anti-Semitism within your party. That’s just as well, because the media barons seem to need no further encouragement when it comes to highlighting the actual words that come tumbling out of your mouth when you’re north of the Border. Remember when you mused that having separate legal systems within the UK would be unworkable? Mind when you called for Scottish Water to be brought into public ownership? The Ferret fact-checking service, which you rightly praised in your speech yesterday, confirmed you were talking mince on the latter occasion, as Scottish Water is already a publicly owned company.

And of course, the other day you told us Scottish votes could have made all the difference in the last General Election. Oh, how we laughed. It’s like when a clueless American tourist asks us for directions to Hogwarts – except that Brad from Louisiana isn’t our only current hope of preventing a death-eater from becoming Prime Minister.

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It’s entirely understandable that you’ve never heard of Jackson Carlaw. He hasn’t appeared on a single TV baking show or stood atop any tanks, and if he’s partial to galloping around on buffalo he does so in his own time. Some would argue he’s not even tried to get your attention until now. Believe me, there are many valid criticisms to be made of the deputy leader of the Scottish Tories (I’d be happy to send you a dossier) but to be on the safe side, you might want to avoid making any declarations about the political motives of people you’ve never heard of. Journalists have a habit of writing them down and embarrassing you with them, the sneaks.

You might wish to wave away questions you don’t like, or sneeringly accuse those asking them of playing a game, but this is hardly compatible with your new role as self-appointed saviour of the UK media. What would be the point of funnelling cash to local reporters if all of those they wished to hold to account simply refused to answer questions, or cried “conspiracy!” every time they revealed their ignorance about an important issue and were quoted accordingly.

If you behave as if Scotland is a joke to you, and carry on giving mealy-mouthed responses to questions about the disastrous Brexit we voted against, Scots will not trust you with their votes. Blame the media all you like – better still, trying thinking before you speak.

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