I’m a Stormtrooper!

I couldn’t sleep and read the papers at 4 am. I saw Brian Wilson’s column and opted out of responding because I couldn’t get the point. Criticising BBC presenters is…sinister? What does it mean…does he think we’ll come round the croft on September 19 with baseball bats? (Don’t tweet this but I know the plan is to round up the Unionists as they approach the polling station, transport them to Leith and force them to scrub the decks of the Royal Yacht).

However I’m advised it might be good for traffic on the site to blog back and as it happens, it coincides with a major development here I hope to announce next week involving me and the media.

I have to say though that, if it’s of any interest to the editor of the Scotsman who wonders if his £200 to Brian is worth it, I haven’t had a single email, call or tweet about his star columnist’s effort this morning. A bit disheartening, no? Almost anything about independence is retweeted and shared across platforms and forums, yet I see nothing, a big zero, about Brian’s column in our “national newspaper”.

I’ll tweet this blog and give them some oxygen. http://www.scotsman.com/news/brian-wilson-sinister-signals-transmitted-by-snp-1-3350058

Let’s start with the basic premise…that in his Andrew Marr interview, Salmond displayed fury – and toe-curling unpleasantness -and in some unspecified way threatened something that should worry people who care for their country’s integrity. What I saw, and it’s on YouTube, was Salmond picking up on an inappropriate remark by a BBC presenter and, as is his right, challenging him. Or, as Brian puts it: UNLEASHED THE FORCES OF MENACE!!! What….with his Dan Dare Death Ray?

But, hold on.  There is no Salmond complaint, no Scottish government complaint, no SNP complaint. They are NOT complaining as they are entitled to do. Far from showing fury and scorning dissent, they are letting Marr off the hook for what every BBC journalist knows was an unprofessional slip. Asked time after time on the referendum question time, John Swinney refused to say the BBC was biased. Is Brian arguing that politicians should be compliant in the face of truculent presenters? Does he for example, approve of Ian Davidson insulting the professionalism of Isabel Fraser on Newsnight? Most people would find that much more offensive in tone than Salmond’s smiling intervention with Marr.

Marr of course had already bought, as has Brian, the Barosso line about difficulties in membership without ever asking what treaty would be applied and when did the EU enact a law about expelling members? Glaring, basic, journalistic errors that are glazed over by the ego of a handsomely remunerated public figure paid to interrogate but proving incapable when the moment arose. I wouldn’t have thought a graduate of journalism would approve of partial interviews.

Nor do I approve of Kenny McIntyre’s name being called in defence of opinionated interviewing. If that’s what the late BBC correspondent was doing I must have missed it. Forceful, challenging and demanding, yes, but impartial to a fault. Did he ever betray a personal bias? I have no idea, for example, what he voted or if he voted. I recall walking down a corridor in Queen Margaret Drive behind Donald Dewar who had just been speaking to Kenny. Dewar said to his aide… “he is absolutely straight and impartial”. It is inconceivable Kenny would imply to a senior politician on air that he thought he was wrong. Off air, yes! But that would cross the very line Marr did and McIntyre knew where that line was.

Surely the difference with Andrew Neil is that he declares his politics. He is a right-wing, anti devolution, anti single currency and anti the public sector (which pays his handsome wages). We know his views and so take them into account. He also interviews fairly in that each side gets the same treatment. (Memo to Naughtie)

Here is another insight into the Brian Wilson modus operandi. Instead of Scotland’s place in Europe being the issue – “As is Salmond’s way, the man was a welcome substitute for the ball.” How utterly journalistically vacuous is that? Corny, clichéd and a corruption of what every observer including the entire Scottish press recognized as a concerted personal campaign led by Labour against Salmond which was recorded by Professor John Robertson. But when you’ve only one eye, you only one see one side.

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Oops, this is where I come in. Cue music…I’m one of Salmond’s Stormtroopers. No really. Yes, read that again. A blogger, not a member of the SNP, who disagrees with Salmond on NATO and on currency, who expresses widely-held doubts about the impartiality of public sector presenters is (in Brian’s Wookie World) a Stormtrooper,

an elite soldier of the Empire, an ever present reminder of the absolute power of the  Emperor, a faceless enforcer of the New order often using brutal tactics, distinguished from all other by his signature white armour…

What ARE they putting in the peat in Stornoway?

In deconstructing this basilica of bile, beware the phrase – To be clear. In the mouth of a politician it means – Warning: big lie coming this way. Thus I am apparently saying Marr and – of course, the ubiquitous Naughtie – are not worthy journalists who earned the right to be on the airwaves. Only I’m not. In fact only a few posts ago I praised them as expert exponents of the art. I admit to not watching Sunday morning television but I fervently wish Andrew Marr to stay on air as one of the BBC’s most talented interviewers. He f****d up the Barroso interview and did the same with Salmond. I’ve made terrible errors on air and agonized over them later. It happens. And I expected to get criticism and a red face and duly got both.

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My point about Marr and Naughtie is that they are floating somewhere above the BBC rules by dint of their celebrity status. Marr re-crafted his book about Scotland to cash in on the referendum and duly told us we were anti English if we favoured independence. This is the standard sneer of the I-made-it-in-London crowd who simply cannot grasp that their country isn’t the hopeless pit they left behind.

In today’s Times Naughtie is interviewed as, you know, London celebrity-back-in-Scotland and he does seem to make more news than he actually reports. He confirms in remarks to Magnus Linklater everything I’ve been saying by giving us his sage interpretation that there is emotion in the debate but hard-headedness will win out. I could be wrong but I think that’s Nationalism equals emotion, Union equals common sense. If the BBC did its job properly, Jim’s boss would have a private word in his ear and suggest he stop parading his opinions across the media at every turn since he’s paid to be impartial and that sure ain’t what’s coming over.

Imagine what Brian Wilson would say if Brian Taylor told the Times that of course there was still an attraction to the Union but the demand for a New Scotland was overwhelming. Then of course journalists would have to be reminded of their duty to the country…

Incidentally, Salmond was right about Barroso sucking up to Cameron and other leaders because he wants the NATO job. It’s all over the media. http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/07/is-jose-manuel-barroso-after-the-top-job-at-nato/ Try Google, Brian.

The principle flaw however is the confluence of two artifices. One, that Salmond, and myself, are trying to close down debate. Now who does that remind you of in the referendum campaign? Salmond has travelled Britain – and Europe – to argue his case and was, remember, on the very Andrew Marr show that seemed to trash his EU case just two weeks before. Not exactly hiding is it? There is too over 600 pages of White Paper and the standing offer to debate live with the Prime Minister.

I’m out here. Right now. I gave up the comfort zone. The easy thing was to sit behind a mike and pick up the money. But here I am, giving it everything for the Scotland I want…online and in public meetings. And if I hear my country patronized or belittled or public broadcasters failing in their duty, in my opinion, I’ll say so.

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I can only assume it’s all getting a little uncomfortable for those with tentacles throughout the mainstream media to find the casual acceptance of their importance disappearing.

Here’s a media professional’s question. Why is Brian Wilson writing about a week-old event with a thin link to a nationalist blogger in an hysterically over-written paean of pish? What else is happening this week that Brian is well placed to write about? Oh yes, the Scottish Labour conference. Of course, Johann’s big event, the lurch to the Left, the wonderful Devo Nano initiative, Ed’s speech. Yet not a mention from Labour’s incisive commentator. Any idea why not? Does Brian approve of Johann’s further devolution plans and increased tax scheme? It would be nice to know.

The other part of the con is placing the idea that he is the unbiased observer. You may think that someone whose job was head of the rebuttal unit for New Labour might have learned a little humility over the years on the question of media impartiality. Donald Dewar told me Brian’s key skill was as a wordsmith who could take an opponent’s words and turn them into something totally different. A propagandist? I asked. Dewar smiled.

Didn’t Brian go to court in 1979 because the pro devolution parties had more faces on television than his side? I didn’t notice him going to court this time when three parties were lined up against one in BBC studios.

Wasn’t Brian in the same New Labour government that lied to parliament, the United Nations and the British people in order to justify an illegal war which killed untold thousands? His Labour journalist colleague Alistair Campbell was rewriting intelligence reports and creating paste-together films of atrocities to crank up public rage. They didn’t just criticise BBC reporters, they demonised a single journalist and forced the resignation of the Director General and precipitated the worst crisis in the corporation’s history. In an attempt to hide the truth.  Now that’s what I call sinister.

And so is the relationship with Ian Taylor of Vitol, head of what I regard as the most sinister company in business today given its associations and record. There was a time when radical outspoken Brian Wilson would have taken up the challenge of revealing the full story of Vitol’s background. Now he just takes the money. Half a million for Better Together, wasn’t it? But there I go, being all nasty again.

Here’s a link to what Brian and his Labour pals in the British establishment mean to me, a sometime Labour voter. This is what he and his corporate friends and the British state have done to Scotland and why diverting attention with cheap personality pap is failing in this campaign. I don’t care about Wilson’s journalistic integrity, nor overpaid Marr’s, nor Naughtie’s. Anybody contriving to create and perpetuate this slur on our country deserves every insult coming their way. It takes five minutes, the same as it takes to read the Wilson column. Then tell me what sinister is. Watch and weep.

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74 thoughts on “I’m a Stormtrooper!

  1. A “peon of pish” – love that phrase.
    Your bang on the money about Brian Wilson- he is just not interested in any improvement in self determination for Scotland in my opinion. He seems a pretty mean spirited individual to me.

    • “peon of pish” has now entered my vocabulary and will be shamelessly used whenever I can, but I doubt I could ever use it when talking about a more worthy recipient than Mr Wilson.

      • Sorry to be a pain, but surely the word you’re looking for is “paean” (not that that makes much sense either).

  2. Good afternoon Derek

    Many thanks for the link to Brian Wilson’s piece in the “Scotsman from Leeds”. If you had not included a link I would not have read it. Living as I do in the Hebrides we sometimes find the WHFP has carried useful information, but cloaked as ever in a mass of pro-labour drivel that is boak-inducing, even to the most dedicated party acolytes.

    This most recent piece shows Wilson’s skills in turning things round to suit his pint of view. But that is a skill we expect to find in politicians not journalists. I think the word sleekit would be too kind to him.

    I do not read the Scotsman any more and Brian Wilson’s article is just another reason amongst many for my stopping.

    Keep up the good work

    Peter

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  3. Here’s me thinking he was just bitter because he didn’t get the ‘Lairdship’. Splendid demolition of article by another of New Labours ‘sinister’ jobsworths!

  4. As previously mentioned here I had a brief exchange with John Robertson on publication of his work ( concerning funding, in order to exclude bias ) and suggested to him that he expect notoriety, and guess what happened ? I’m afraid, Derek, you’ve to expect some of the same as there are now powerful forces at work, and more to come, as the pendulum is perceived to swing away from NO.

    There are always two ways of winning, either to be better than the opposition, or to denigrate it. As there’s no evidence for the former ( positive vs negative messages etc ) we will over the next six months see more of the latter. As you know history is what historians decide but as someone out there is undoubtedly keeping a careful log of all the discourse, it’ll be fascinating to examine the ” monday morning quarter backing ” after September 19th.

    Meanwhile just accept that out here there are real people who value your contributions which are invariably thought – provoking and very much welcomed.

  5. If you’re a stormtrooper I don’t know what that makes him, but I imagine he will have taken a few tries to get his final sentence the right way round.

    ‘And, of course, as a consequential individual, I threaten no “civilisation”.’

  6. Watch and weep.

    I did and I did…

  7. I was all for AS writing to the BBC in London, Glasgow, anywhere, protesting about Marr, but once again he showed his mettle by mildly correcting Marr and NOT following it up thus giving no chance for “attacking the press” claims. Apart from the idiot Wilson of course.
    I class Wilson in the same category as those other contributors, Michael Kelly, Brian Monteith whom the Scotsman loves to encourage—yesterday’s men. No wonder it’s circulating is plummeting—yesterday’s paper!

    • I just can’t help but admire Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney when I see how calmly they take some of the abuse that’s dished out by interviewers, before responding confidently and courteously and taking no crap. What a contrast to the blustering antics of Johann Lamont, Alistair Darling, Jim Murphy & Ming Campbell when they encounter any questioning that’s even slightly tough.

      And as for Labour’s approach to just being against anything that the SNP proposes (especially if it finds favour with businesses) it’s petty to the point of childishness. They just cannot get over the fact that the SNP is both left-wing enough to show them how social justice policies SHOULD be implemented and also right-wing enough to create a favourable business environment leading to growth in our economy.

      Just imagine a newly independent Scotland, about to make it’s mark as a global citizen. There’s our First Minister (or Prime Minister…whatever), ready to represent Scotland in all sorts of important debates, discussions and negotiations. Somebody who is about to become the public face of Scotland within the international community….can you REALLY imagine it being Johann Lamont without cringing and saying to yourself “Oh fuck no!”?

      • Love it. Calamity Johann is a swamp donkey….and that’s being kind

      • I would like to take slight issue with the widespread idea that being willing to help businesses is right wing. Letting high earners not contribute according to their means is right wing, but helping businesses bring money into the economy, which can be used to help those in need, is surely mere necessity.

      • Elizabeth Buist

        Doug, I really couldn’t have said it better myself! Having had to find the strength to watch the round up of the labour conference with Brian Taylor. His asking for summing up of Johann Lamont’s speech by her colleagues was cringe worthy as you would expect but yes you guessed it the minute he asked them difficult questions they couldn’t answer they reverted back to……”well the SNP don’t know that either……..!” It beggars belief. Derek, this my first comment on you site but I have been an enthusiastic follower. You say so much of how I feel about the media etc but in a much more articulate way, thank you. As for the clip…As someone else said……..I did and I did…. Will try hard when I’m out and about to get the message out there…….yet another huge reason to vote Yes………

  8. “Why is Brian Wilson writing about a week-old event with a thin link to a nationalist blogger in an hysterically over-written peon of pish? What else is happening this week that Brian is well placed to write about? Oh yes, the Scottish Labour conference.”

    Brian’s lack of comment on the Scottish Labour conference says it all. Had he been upbeat and excited about the devo proposals or about Sarwar’s red paper (disappointed it wasn’t stamped Top Secret) then surely he would have been trumpeting Labour’s triumph. The fact he has had to trawl for another subject tells us much, not only about Brian but also about the state of Scottish Labour.

  9. Hi Derek,
    Again a very perceptive piece.
    One of the reasons I stopped reading the Scotsman some years ago was because of columnists like Brian Wilson, Michael Kelly etc and other right-wing commentators.
    Their poisonous outpourings were anathema to me, especially the bile they directed towards the SNP.
    Finally some information: Brian Wilson is not from Stornoway (thank God); he is married to a woman from the district of Uig in Lewis and they live in Uig.
    He is originally from Dunoon.

    • He is indeed from Dunoon. I was at Dunoon Grammar School at the same time as him. I even voted for him. In either the 1964 or 1966 General Election, the school held a mock election for the pupils. Brian Wilson was the SNP candidate and if I remember correctly, he won. Obviously, though, the SNP was not moving up fast enough to fulfill Brian’s ambitions. For some unknown reason, it has been his mission since then to attack the SNP at every opportunity. As soon as he appears on TV, you know that he is not there for any constructive reason, he is there to put the boot in to the SNP. It’s actually very embarrassing. I cringe when I see him as I know he will have absolutely not one positive word to say. This latest offering in the Hootsman is right up his street. An opportunity to spout a load of twisted bile against, by far, the most popular elected party leader in the UK, and get paid for it. It doesn’t matter to him that everybody else in the world of journalism sees Andrew Marr’s interview as a step too far, the SNP are fair game for any dirty tricks in his book. So much hatred in one person.

  10. ” I think it’ll be quite hard, to get back in, I have to say.”
    Any reason why Brian Wilson couldn’t re-quote Andrew Marr in his entirety?
    Ah, yes. That’ll be because it didn’t fit with his rabid viewpoint.
    Let’s not journalistic accuracy or integrity cloud the issue!
    The “dangerous times” we’re living in are better characterised by the bilious doggerel, espoused by the likes of Brian Wilson, which we have to endure from anti-Scottish Unionists. Rather than the biggest grassroots political movement for Scottish sef-determination Scotland has witnessed.

  11. Yet again a great piece Derek. Blog in blog out, you hit the nail on the head, saying what SNP politicians are afraid to say, as they still need the media on side to some extent.
    Keep it up, and keep sticking it to them!
    Looking forward no end to your ‘project’.

  12. Brian Wilson always looks as if he has just swallowed a wasp.
    There is something creepy about him.

    • Was at a party in Glasgow’s West End about 15 years ago hosted by a Labour supporting sports journalist. Saint Donald was there hoovering up the buffet as was Brian Wilson. He was in a white suit and tried standing in prominent positions but was still studiously ignored, what a plonker! He was quick to cash in on his Energy Minister’s ‘experience’ by joining a Czech or Hungarian wind energy company after he left office. He’s always been sour towards devolution and obviously independence but can’t imagine he has much perceived gravitas even among BT supporters. Anyway, the Hootman circulation is now so reduced that he’s unlikely to influence any DKs or soft NOs.

  13. Brian Wilson is simply a sour old man who laments his loss of power and importance, and is amoral enough to want to hoover up as much money for himself as he can, and to hell with the rest of us. He won’t write anything about the “Scottish” Labour Party conference because he couldn’t produce anything that wouldn’t reduce any grown up to tears of laughter.

  14. I find it uncomfortable,that this reporter is given credibility,I watched the interview and couldnt possibly take any menace of Salmonds words,but still the Scotsman prints it!!!!!!!!!!!
    I find your column does what the BBC is supposed to do
    INFORM EDUCATE AND ENTERTAIN,
    I would be grateful to vote for you to the Scottish Free Parliament

  15. Derek as ever, you are right on the money here again. Wilson is a bitter rabid wee ned, whose face betrays the bile sluishing round in his guts. He is bitter and rabid because he knows he is a, has never been. He made his mark as a liar and a popaganda merchant in the same mould as Carmichael, Sarwar, Jola and the rest of their ilk. He never got on the gravy train he coveted. His lack of ermine and ministerial limo eats at his soul.
    I had an exchange of views with him once in the Crown Bar in Stornoway many moons ago, when he shouted at a group of lads who were singing Flower of Scotland. He wandered in on his own, full of shit. He soon buggered of after he was told in no uncertain terms to mind his own effing buisness, he very little cred in Stornoway. And even less in Scotland. I put him and McTernan in the same box. Pig ugly inside and out.

  16. ronald alexander mcdonald

    Wilson is an example of the unacceptable face of Nationalism. British Nationalism. He’s poison!

  17. “But to Salmond, it was such anathema that he unleashed the forces of menace.” Copyright B.Wilson.

    I read Brian’s article with interest to learn the scripture on this litany of peril. I was surprised I hadn’t already heard about such Scottish agents provocateurs. I was alarmed.

    No offence Derek, but I was bitterly disappointed that the forces of menace seemed to be largely little old you. How inept is Scotland that even our “forces of menace” contain neither force and/or menace? The “menace” seems to involve people writing about how they feel largely because the MSM doesn’t reflect their lives or viewpoint.

  18. A great article derek, once again.

  19. An excellent castigation of Brian Wilson. He is an appalling journalist. And if he is a “star” reporter for the Scotsman it is little wonder it is heading for oblivion.

  20. Calgacus MacAndrews

    Brian Wilson has got it wrong trying to finger Derek as one of the Salmond Stormtroopers.
    This is them here on Glasgow Green rehearsing for welcoming the SLAB MPs permanently back home to Scotland on 19th September :-
    http://i.imgur.com/WEJBCuz.jpg

  21. I started realising around 12 months ago that the No campaign and Labour in particular were devoid of ideas and arguments and were running on tactics alone.
    The Devolution document they have just released confirms it.
    Interesting in the Telegraph, a former Labour party member and GMB trade union official, Dan Hodge writes, “Labour is closed for business. It has given up”.
    He was talking about Westminster, but it seems to be general. Though I see it as, they have given up thinking or behaving rationally.
    You would think that attacking, what should be their natural allies in Scotland, the SNP, and ordinary people, would be a dumb thing to do. (If you go to any SNP or Yes meeting, ‘ordinary’ people make up the forum.)
    But they seem to be at that eyes rolled back stage of panic and fear, they can’t see disaster coming.

  22. Brian WIlson’s tactic is straight out of the propaganda playbook – demonise the opposition. Accuse them of anything and everything, then repeat the lies often enough. The sad thing is that it works for some people.

    Out campaigning today, I had an Englishmen berate me for peddling “rubbish” because I was helping to man a YES stall. He proceeded to mouth off about AS being a liar, so I politely asked him what specific lies upset him, at which point he walked away, shouting that I was a liar too. It seems that debate is a word that is not in the vocabulary of the NO camp. Now why would that be, I wonder?

  23. Poor Brian Wilson, reacting as a rabid dog, foaming and incapable of rational thought. A quick shot to the head AKA the yes vote,and it’ll be all over(figuratively speaking of course)!

    Great piece BTW Derek.

  24. smiling vulture

    In June 1984, a mass picket of the Orgreave coking plant saw, for the first time in Britain, the deployment of police units carrying not the normal full length protective shield used to guard against missiles, but short shields that could be used aggressively in conjunction with batons. These units acted as ‘snatch squads’, beating or arresting individuals following charges of the crowd by mounted police – a tactic developed for use in riots by colonial police forces in Hong Kong.

    Coverage of such clashes on press and television was almost uniformly hostile to the strikers. When broadcasting footage of Orgreave, the BBC, incredibly, transposed the sequence of events, making it appear that police cavalry charges had been a defensive response to antagonism by stone-throwing pickets rather than an act of aggression. Only in 1991 did the BBC issue an apology for this, claiming that its action footage had been ‘inadvertently reversed’.

  25. I agree with you on most things, Derek – but, portraying “Brillo Pad” Neil as “professional AND impartial” is a bridge too far! Brillo has let his guard down on numerous occasions with his rabid Thatcherism, virulent anti- Trade-unionism and blind obedience to American Neo-Con politics – only outdone by his hatred of all things Scottish National OR Russian; as per his latest, uncontrolled outburst against Liam Halligan on the BBC’s “The Week” programme on Thursday. Indeed, Brillo hates Alex Salmond SO much that he has, previously, and dismissively, passed on the tedious duty of “interviewing” the First Minister, to his “ignorant of all things Scottish” underlings – Anita Anand and Jo Cockburn, who proceeded to make a complete cccc…..lot of themselves with their inane questions and anti-Scottish assertions. Then of course we have the “impartial” input from Kirsty “Donald where’s yer Dewars” Wark, with her infamous “interview” with Alex Salmond re- “Blairence of Libya’s” memorandum of understanding with Col. Gaddafi; with “Nochtie” Naughtie and Andrew Marr up to their necks in New Labour political circles, as is Sarah Smith – daughter of the late, right-wing Labour leader, John Smith – who is to “replace” the recently, vastly improved, Gordon “but, but, but” Brewer on Newsnicht Scotland. Add to this, “Clydebank’s lost son” Gavin Esler of “Dateline London” fame, and one sees a pattern, non? The Be-BC – the British establishment Broadcasting Corporation – doesn’t trust Scottish journalists to give a true, loyal, London-centric point of view re- Scottish Independence UNLESS their jobs are dependent on the continuance of the glorious Union Kingdom being maintained!

  26. John Dobbins, and of course it was Andrew Neil’s editorship which first turned the Scotsman from a fine newspaper into the nasty piece of chip paper it is today.

    • No, the Scotsman was in decline long before Andrew Neil buggered it up. From the time when Chris Baur became editor if my memory serves me well. Prior to that it had been an OK paper with an open mind towards Scottish political aspirations. As it has declined it has focussed more and more on its core readership who are (old) Edinburgh Tories. Not much of a future there I’m afraid. Andrew Neil was the last straw for many of its once faithful non-Tory readers, like myself.

      • I bow to your memory. Perhaps I just started to notice the move to the right when AN was Editor.

      • Dr David Ritchie

        Fair point, I used to think the Scotsman couldn’t get any worse when Magnus Linklater edited it. Every succeeding editor has proved me wrong.

  27. In an earlier blog I mentioned how in 1976 I was being evicted with my family of 3 young boys from the Island of Eigg by Keith Schellenberg and how Menzies Campbell rode into town in Fort William to defend the indefensible behaviour of his fellow Liberal crony Schellenberg.

    http://derekbateman1.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/the-futures-behind-you/comment-page-1/#comment-7118

    http://derekbateman1.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/the-futures-behind-you/comment-page-1/#comment-7127

    My conflict with Schellenberg had gone on for months and was being covered very sympathetically by Chris Bunyan of Lochaber Free Press. Stuart Lindsay of the Herald was great with us too. Even the Press and Journal got in on the act, but Brian Wilson’s West Highland Free Press wouldn’t touch the story, much to Chris Bunyan’s surprise. Chris Bunyan was very seriously hounded by Schellenberg for the articles he had written and Stuart Lindsay’s final piece for the Herald covering the day we left Eigg wasn’t published because the Herald was being lent on by Schellenberg.

    A section of the power elite was being threatened from below and Brian Wilson knew where his bread was buttered. Going against the powerful wasn’t his game even then in 1976. He knew where the main chance lay and that certainly wasn’t (as you might expect from a real socialist) with the wee fullah standing up to power. Naw naw cuddling up to power has aye been his game and cuddling up to and being a spokesman for the nuclear power lobby therefore came natural to him with all its links to the MoD etc. Wikipedia says of him ‘According to one’s point of view, he is either credited or blamed for doing more than any other politician to “keep the nuclear option open” through the early years of the Labour government, when many of his colleagues were determined to kill it off once and for all in the UK’.

    He is the epitome of bleak dried up bitterness in his appearance, in his ideas and his diction. Just mibbie there is enough socialist left in him somewhere to constantly eat at his conscience and make him the tortured soul he appears to be.

  28. Wilson,Darling and Broon are all Yesterday’s men and the newspaper that Wilson supplies comment to is unlikley to survive the referendum.
    To quote a Scottish colleague of the three stooges,”who cares”.
    No one will be listening to them or their anti Scottish media after September and not many are at present.
    Really good article Derek.
    Thanks.

  29. Hi Derek, as a matter of interest, did you ever have the pleasure of interviewing Ms Lamont? It would be good to hear what you think about what we have witnessed at the SLab conference,

  30. So Derek what do you think of Johann Lamont’s hate speech to.the Labour faithful including that reference to Alex Salmond’s childless marriage?

  31. Another great and fully committed article Derek. Like you I’m “all in” so to speak.

    I met Mr Wilson many years ago as a self proclaimed supporter of the Scottish Design Community. The buffets and wine were better quality than the beer and sandwiches obviously! Now however he doesn’t sen to have the same high regard for Scotland’s ability to commercialise its own intellectual property and make a success of itself. Not surprising ! He’s more interested in doing a few favours for the SW1 establishment. I don’t think he has any capacity to think beyond his own self interest. He’s a nonentity in the future of Scotland. And with Labours demise he knows it, and that’s why he doesn’t mention there enlightenment! Bye Bye

    • His wife Joni’s a lovely person though. There must be some good in Brian that she can see but others are blind to.

  32. Dr JM Mackintosh

    I have never had much time for Brian Wilson – he has always interfering with Highland and Island issues from the safety of his safe labour seat in Ayrshire (after he lost three elections in the Highlands – not surprising really). He always reminded me of a Labour version of Teddy Taylor pontificating on Scotland from his safe seat in Southend.

    He has turned the WHFP into an anti-SNP rag and his journalist contibutions always display a visceral hatred of the SNP.

    It kind of sums up today’s Scottish Labour Party. They just define themselves as an anti-SNP party and flatly reject any SNP policies even if previously they would have fitted with their socialist agenda.

    Hatred is not a very progressive way forward for a political party.

    Here is a nicer Brian Wilson…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGRdCHZlCXI

    • Actually, the WHFP has been more neutral since it was taken into staff ownership. There is still a column by Brian Wilson, but not the party-political editorials and slanted news articles.

      It was started by Wilson and a couple of pals in the 70s and appeared concerned with land issues and crofters rights, and seemed quasi-nationalist, but revealed itself – to my, and others’, surprise – as openly pro Labour at the first General Election after its founding. I found that perverse – the Labour Party was patently as much a part of the Establishment as Tory landlords. But Wilson et al evidently had a vision of turning the Highlands and Islands into a Labour stronghold. It never happened of course: Calum MacDonald had a spell as MP for the Western Isles, and there were one or two Labour councillors, but these were personal votes, and years of the WHFP pretending support for Gaelic culture and heritage while denigrating Scottish identity never struck the local electorate as a compatible stance. Those who have bought the WHFP have always done so for the advertisements and reports and photographs of local events, not for the politics.

  33. Dr JM Mackintosh

    Yes – definitely. Forget about that bitter pseudo – Highlander.

    This Brian Wilson is much better and more relevant to today’s Scottish society…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjSlx_bwt00

  34. Great article but not quite on the same page re Marr being someone great at his job.

    As evidence I provide a link wherein you can watch him gloriously out of his depth as he tries to interview Noam Chomsky, funnily enough with the title “On Propaganda” …

  35. It’s all just projection isn’t it? Brian probably sees himself as a stormtrooper for the better-together campaign. The same as Salmond laughing at Andrews Marr and making no formal complaint is a ‘sinister’ plot to gag the media – it must be surely – when Labour wanted to muzzle the media in 2003 they actually had a sinister plot, so surely that’s what the SNP are doing now – it’s what Brain himself would do, so his opponents must be thinking likewise – it’s just projection.

    The same thing with JoLa’s conference speech today:

    ‘The nationalists are running the most dishonest, deceptive and disgraceful political campaign this country has ever seen.’

    That is literally what better-together is. They must think that because they are shamelessly basing project fear on lies & deceit, then obviously the yes-campaign are doing the same thing.

    Same as in my last blogpost I was talking about Darling saying Salmond is too scared to debate him. We all know better-together are petrified of Cameron having to debate Salmond, in a leader-to-leader, of the two institutions we are choosing between, debate.

    It is so blatant that they are projecting their own emotions when they come out with this nonsense. If it wasn’t surrounding an issue that I care a lot about, it would be quite funny.

  36. Great article, Derek! Brian Wilson has always appeared bitter and twisted – so no transformation there, I’m afraid. As has been said previously the fact that he steered well away from any chat about the Labour Party conference gave the game away – ie nothing of note there so turn the spotlight elsewhere.
    He’s not important enough to be described as anything other than “unsavoury”.

  37. On Andrew Neil, it would be worth looking at his discussion with Liam Halligan on ‘This Week’ (Thursday, 20th March) for a less persuasive example of his method. Halligan had the advantage of the debate (a relative rarity), and Neil seemed to “lose the plot” completely, and almost lost his temper; requiring Portillo to feel obliged to intervene. More generally, something very interesting is going on within Neo-Con “intellectual” circles over Crimea; there is a widening gap between Europe and the US; and the British predicament is becoming profoundly uncomfortable, even contradictory – see Ben Judah for this (whether you agree or not), or the contrasting sophistry of ‘Open Europe’.

  38. Hi Derek a link to your interview on Black Diamond community radio, http://wp.me/p4rwLB-1U

  39. Reading Brian Wilson’s article: if he beleives this, then his fear has taken him over the line into a kind of hysteria and the first stages of insanity, if he doesn’t then it is black propaganda, also driven by fear.

    I can see the depths of trouble Labour is in when The Times and The Herald both carry articles bigging up Jenny Mara. A short look through the the contributions she makes in Holyrood and beyond to realise this is ill desrved praise. The idea they attributed to her was itself an non-idea, irrelevant.
    Then the Herald carried a leader about Ed Milliband’s importance in the Referendum. His actions are of importance to Labour in Scotland that may make some of the Labour voters, vote No, but that is entirely different to him being relevant in the way the leader suggested.
    The paper spent several pages attemptong to make Labour appear relevant, as if it were contributing to the discussion.

  40. Brian Wilson might now be an obnoxious wee toad but in his day he could sing a tight harmony with the Beach Boys.

  41. Well done Derek, another brilliant piece prompting a wheen of responses which educate and inform. Well Done indeed Sir!

  42. What is it about Scottish Labour and their fellow travellers that their political discourse consists of a visceral hatred of the SNP and Salmond in particular? All you seem hear from them is bile, insults, personal attacks and lies. Maybe I’ve got my head in the sands of Independence but I can’t remember the same sort of language emanating from SNP leaders when they talk about labour, Darling or Cameron.

    • I can’t think Lamont’s tirade is going to endear her or the Labour Party to many women, mothers or not. As women need to be enticed towards yes, did she really think that wasn’t going to be the outcome of her bile. Women don’t like the type of vicious name calling, redolent of the infant school playground, that Lamont and her cohorts are spewing. They want information, and they want the politicians who represent us to treat us, and each other, with respect.

      This Labour conference will not be remembered for its vision of a society, or of a Scotland, after either a yes or no vote. All that will stick in minds will be a lasting blot of nastiness.

  43. Read it and weep right enough. The fact that Brian Wilson’s Labour party intends to agree with Tory welfare cuts and further austerity really speaks for itself. He probably spends more for a couple of meals in a restaurant than many folk have to live on for a week. And he always tells us to vote No in referenda for more autonomy. He’s an apology of a man.

  44. To Seanair and setondene – Brillo has always had the “Midas Touch” – but, in reverse, and has been a disaster in almost every enterprise he has been involved with. Indeed, he changed, beyond recognition, the wonderful Sunday Times of Harold Evans, into a “lifestyle choices” magazine that pandered to the “loadsa money” spivs created by Thatcher’s Financial Services revolution; the effects of which, we are STILL suffering from today!. The Be-BC has also surrendered the ethos of critical political analysis and handed it over to this most ubiquitous of right-wing commentators, through his Daily, Sunday and Week in politics programmes OR, more accurately, The World According To (TWAT) – Andrew Neil!, with his Sunday programme, in particular, a total irrelevance to Scottish viewers, given his apparent obsession with Nigel Farage and UKIP. Keep up the good work Andrew, and hopefully, after September the 18th, we won’t have to watch any more of your right-wing pish on the telly – ever again!

  45. Derek, I’ll just add my appreciation of your article … excellent.
    Love it when you let go with both barrels !!!!

  46. For the life of me I cannot find the seduction within England!

  47. I think we have all got Brian-Wilson-fatigue in much the same way we have Alan-Cochrane-fatigue : I saw the article too at about the same time (among the mental Labourite British natonalist wash of anti-indy articles on their politics page) but couldn’t see the point of reading more swivel-eyed madness from the bespectacled BritNat loony tune.

    I suspect everyone feels the same because I didn’t see any links to it at all today – which I agree is remarkable – extremely rare. There is plenty on the net worth perusing: your excellent work, WOS, Newsnet, Bella and others, so I suspect the ever increasingly crackerpots Mr Wilson is just one of the eccentrics we can pass by and not feel the need to poke them with a stick in case they do themselves a mischief. Let sleeping hogs lie – they do so anyway.

  48. Wasn’t Brian Wilson in cohoots with George Cunningham bringing about the ruling that 40% of the Scottish population had to turn out to vote at the 1979 Referendum. This was the first and only time such a ruling has been applied to any voting system. He is an utter snake in the grass.

  49. Let’s cut to the chase.Brian was hostile to any devolution and probably still is.However that’s his opinion and he is entitled to it.What he is not entitled to do is right off 40% of the Scottish public who currently back independence as narrow minded thugs.We are open minded because we believe in something other than the UK and the status quo.You cannot be narrow minded if you choose to be open to change..Einstein said the first sign of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time.We have had the Union for 300 years.Labour have. been in power countless times.Yet Scots still have the lowest life expectancy and we are still an unequal society in the UK.How many chances do they want.The UK is dead,over corpsed!Brian I do worry for his sanity ..Stockholm Syndrome is virtually incurable.The hatred this man has for his own people and nation is verging on psychotic.Look what happened to Michael Kelly Brian?He is as mad as a hatter!

  50. lastchancetoshine

    That piece is nothing more than a clunky bit of propaganda aimed squarely at people who haven’t seen and will not see the interview.
    Imagine how long he’s last if doing book or movie reviews with that level of accuracy. I had to check there wasn’t some other interview he was writing about.
    Oh well, expect more.

  51. Very well said Derek.

    And it does need saying and repeating.

  52. Just thought i would comment and say neat design, did you code it yourself? Looks great.

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