Britain’s Pravda

I thought I’d better post again immediately before the men in balaclavas come round and disappear me. It seems Alex Salmond has joined in unholy alliance with Vladimir Putin and instead of joining NATO, Scotland will do a bilateral Warsaw Pact with Moscow. But the good news is, we get to keep the gas and Rangers and Celtic will join the Russian League and I’ll get cheap holidays in a dacha at the Black Sea.


The media and some people who should know better like David Aaronovitch who may developing a progressively anti-Scottish personal agenda, are trying to liken the two leaders because Salmond, silly man, suggested that not all of Putin’s record was execrable.

He said: “Obviously, I don’t approve of a range of Russian actions, but I think Putin’s more effective than the press he gets, I would have thought, and you can see why he carries support in Russia.

“He’s restored a substantial part of Russian pride and that must be a good thing. There are aspects of Russian constitutionality and the intermesh with business and politics that are obviously difficult to admire. Russians are fantastic people, incidentally; they are lovely people.”

Wow! Read it again and quiver. Is the man mad? He dares to give an even-handed judgement on Putin and suggests he may have restored some national pride…

Could it be true. Well, yes. It’s exactly what Putin has done in his own country. I have had Britain’s foremost Russian expert in the studio saying exactly that. Professor Stephen Whyte of Glasgow University travels extensively in Russia and has deep; insight into the country’s workings. He is no apologist for Putin. He states exactly what Putin has done and how he manipulates the constitution. But he has on several occasions confirmed that Putin is popular precisely because he has “restored national pride”. I do not believe I misquote him.

Salmond is stating what a BBC Moscow corr would tell you and yet in the hands of the Salmond-baiters he becomes “like Putin”, as to Paxman, he was “like Mugabe”. When it is the Yes side that is accused of smearing and intimidating you would have to scoff at the bitter hypocrisy of those peddling this stuff.

Imagine if Salmond had said he had no respect for Putin, or for Farage, do you think the press would have applauded, or would they have damned him as a narrow-minded nationalist who couldn’t do diplomacy?

Remember, this was said in March before the Russian annexation of Crimea and before the ugly goings-on in East Ukraine which may well have tempered any comments he made had he had advance notice. But, notice too how this interview is with Alistair Campbell, hardly someone Salmond could be expected to trust. Yet he is confident enough to be interviewed at length by an arch opponent.

And who is it who has been asking Putin to back his campaign against Scotland’s independence, despite promising it was an internal affair? David Cameron. Yes, the Prime Minister can make secret overtures to Putin against Scotland because they’re best buddies but if Salmond just gives a wee nod in Putin’s direction for achieving something that is manifestly true, he is denigrated as some kind of supporter of what?…illegal occupations…surely that’s Britain’s  forte.

There are many things to criticise Salmond for but abuse of human rights, manipulating the constitution, invading other countries and gay suppression are not among them. If Britain was standing up to Putin with more than limp words and limited sanctions, it might provide a counterpoint but the truth is that Britain is in no position to do so. The London property market would collapse overnight if Cameron took strong action, some private schools would be in financial trouble and think of all those oligarchs’ pounds in the banking system. And who does business with rich Russians? …

One day the clowns in the media will have to learn to treat a Scottish leader with the respect they do one from Ireland, Iceland or Denmark. It’s because we remain a region that the metropolitan elite treat us and our First Minister as upstart regional types who should know their place. Well I think we are learning, just not he lesson they think…

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93 thoughts on “Britain’s Pravda

  1. I trust the BBC will side step this obvious smear, as I am sure they wont want to be included with the long list of ”media clowns”.. Oh wait!

  2. Some comments in the print media, particularly those based in the Great City State of Londinium, are verging on anti-Scottish racism.

    Soon someone, perhaps me, perhaps someone else, will offically make a complaint to the police about anti-Scottish racist abuse.

    That is coming, without a doubt.

  3. The hypocrisy of the British nationalist media really knows no bounds.

  4. It’s blackmail and was also used against Farage by Clegg in those debates. For/against Putin will henceforth be used like Holocaust denial in order to smear politicians who dare not to toe the line.

  5. Link to FM’s speeches as they are made. Makes sense to post these below warped MSM reports.

    • Excellent resources. Thank you, Helen. My research hadn’t uncovered that site yet. The point of YES just gets more obvious all the time.

  6. An independent Scotland can only be a far right Nazi oligarchy or a far left Communist republic or, just possibly, both. But it cannot possibly be anything in between.


  7. Bloody hell. If you lot think David Aaronovich is anti-Scottish you have had really sheltered lives. (oh, and Salmond has made it clear that he has no respect for Farage)

  8. Did the FM go to Putins tent in the desert and give him a hug before he made his remarks?

  9. Dewey Cox
    “Some comments in the print media, particularly those based in the Great City State of Londinium, are verging on anti-Scottish racism.

    Soon someone, perhaps me, perhaps someone else, will offically make a complaint to the police about anti-Scottish racist abuse.

    That is coming, without a doubt.”

    My wife recently attended a seminar in Stirling for Women for Independence.

    Of the seven ladies at her table, two had come up from England. They both reported that the level of racist abuse leveled at them down there, especially if they let it be known they were Yes supporters, has increased very markedly in recent months.

    When she first told me that, I felt some anger, but on reflection, I can sort of understand it.

    Don’t know if you are familiar with de Bono’s logic bubble test? It is where you try to put yourself in the other person’s logic bubble, try to see things from their perspective.

    Imagine if it were an increasing demand for an independent England and it looked increasingly likely that the English electorate were going to vote to leave the UK. How would Scots feel about that? Especially those who like being British. Pretty hurt, bemused and angry, I can imagine.

    Doesn’t excuse racist abuse, but it does provide a measure of understanding. I think there will be some feelings of hurt and anger down there that are understandable and for which we should make some allowance. But only some mind.

  10. It’s intentional misrepresentations and misinterpretations of frank and honest comments like Salmond’s that has led us to the point of having a party leader repeat the same phrase over and over again in a two and a half minute interview – the infamous “these strikes are wrong” Ed Miliband interview.

    The media has to accept a significant portion of the blame for the current state of politics. If they would act like grown ups, they might get grown up answers to their questions.

  11. I’d trust Putin before ANY of that mob in Westminster.

    Watching RT helps put some of the anti-Russia spin
    in perspective too (perhaps spin from one side v spin from another but
    somewhere inbetween is the truth).

  12. Mr B,
    I have been disgusted, recently, with the total lack of balance re the current situation in the Ukraine, by the Western media. Putin has been promoted to the role of ‘Bad Guy’ and we are not getting the truth about what is going on in the Ukraine.
    I have written to the Independent to complain about the anti-Scottish attitude of certain of their contributors. One of the things I said to them was that they claim to be Democrats, but when an election result doesn’t suit them, as in our last one, they turn nasty and start hurling insults. Funny, but they never got back to me. I’m sure that’s an oversight.

  13. macgilleleabhar

    “If Britain was standing up to Putin with more than limp words and limited sanctions, it might provide a counterpoint but the truth is that Britain is in no position to do so”

    I read somewhere recently that the term used is “Londoning money” as opposed to the earlier term of “Laundering money.”
    Every dodgy character in the world has them by the short and curlies.

  14. thank you derek,sometimes i think i am the only one,wait there are a million others!!!!!!!!!
    communism was a scary word a while ago and they still call them that
    ,hagues inane comments that it will hurt some british businesses………why? are we going to fire our nukes at them? or are we gonna hurt them with words……..oh yeah!!!!
    the media tries to make us look like a world power…….wow what do i mean US kemo sabby

  15. Derek I read your posts usually as soon as they are put up on the blog. I see a change,you are becoming a bit more passionate as each day progresses. A good thing in my mind, the amount of intelligent writing available to those who care to look is astounding.

    My brother in law is Russian, he’s a biologist and quite possibly the most intelligent person I’ve ever met. He has views on all sorts of topics including Independence. Vote Yes he says, it’s the only thing that makes sense. I believe him.

    • As a Biologist myself I have known a number of Russian Biologists and they are scary educated people. Their maths is better than mine as is their physics and chemistry because they have been very well educated and no slack cut just because they were Biology students like we do.

      I have fond memories of an evening spent in Zurich with a Russian guy, a Norwegian woman from Tromso married to an Australian and a mad Greek Dentist after a conference.

  16. Thanks Derek for reminding us about Cameron’s call to Putin for help against our Independence referendum. Wonder if MSM will bring that up, suspect not.

  17. One of the reasons I stopped buying the Scotsman was their habit of collaborating anti-SNP propaganda with a front page headline, a Leader and a cartoon. I am extremely disappointed therefore to see that the Herald has copied this practice today and Steve Camley in particular should be ashamed of himself for being part of this charade.
    My response of course is to stop buying the Herald, which should be aware of the danger to sales by this absurd attack.
    Only the Sunday Herald left….

    • I’m with you about the Scotsman newspaper. However I still think the Herald mostly manages a good spread of views, for which I’m glad (not wanting to read just things that I agree with). I don’t agree with you about Camley’s cartoon. I’ve written a letter to the Herald today about some of the absurd comments about Salmond relating to what he said about Putin, but I thought the cartoon is actually quite funny. I think those of us of a yes persuasion need to be careful we don’t fall into the trap of not allowing for disagreement with us, sometimes vociferous disagreement.

  18. Another piece of great writing Derek. A few weeks ago I thought you’d gone soft over your defence of the BBC and I was thinking of taking your name off my car* but I’m glad I left it on as the past few posts have made your site the second (after Wings(sorry) I check as soon as I have any spare time.

    It’s a proper sign not scratched into the paintwork.

  19. “Remember, this was said in March before the Russian annexation of Crimea…”
    No it wasn’t. It was said on 14 March, 2 days before the dodgy referendum and after Russian Spetsnaz had been operating in Crimea for weeks. Check your facts before jumping to Salmond’s defence.

    “…but I think Putin’s more effective than the press he gets, I would have thought, and you can see why he carries support in Russia.
    “He’s restored a substantial part of Russian pride and that must be a good thing.”

    Yes its maybe a good thing for Russia, but not for its neighbours like Georgia in the past or Ukraine now or say Estonia, Latvia or Lithuainia in the future. The reason Putin has been so effective in Ukraine is because he has had special forces on the ground for weeks escalating the unrest, he has tens of thousands of troops and armour massing on Ukraine’s borders, he has been threatening to cut off western Europe from its gas supplies and he does of course have a massive nuclear arsenal to back up his position. He has done this not through being a nice guy, or an effective politician but through being a strong man in the best of Russian traditions. He is prepared to play higher stakes than NATO and they know it.

    Throughout history the Russians or the Soviet Union has shown that it willing to sacrifice far more than anyone else to win and NATO knows that Putin is playing for keeps here and so any moves have to be very carefully thought out. Even so when asked every leader of an EU state or a NATO member has spoken out against Putin and tried to present a united front, that is except Salmond who has shoved is foot in his gob.

    Now whether this was typical Salmond hubris or just him getting carried away in the presence of the GQ journalist is unknown but whatever the reason he has not behaved like a supposed international statesman. He is an amateur who has been surrounded for too long by weak yes men and women. The last proper politician in the SNP who stood up to him was Margot Macdonald and we all know what happened there. His comments on Syria were also completely misjudged when he claimed that Scotland would have backed military action after Westminster voted against it.

    ….and finally Derek, how ironic that you attack me and accuse me of having “contempt” for my elected leader and then you tell me to go move to Russia! Lol! The last time i checked i lived in democracy where i can criticise politicians if i like. You do know what happens in Russia when you speak out against Putin? Off to the SIberian work camp! Or maybe just a beating from an angry Cossack! Maybe your and Salmond’s vision for an independent Scotland is more like Putin’s Russia than your followers realise. In fact, maybe that’s why Salmond admires him?

    • Hi
      You can criticise who you like and I even post it for you. Ironic, no? I think that’s called a free country. You are hellbent on demeaning Salmond as part of a campaign against Scotlands independence and any ammunition however slight or twisted will do.
      Have you seen Cameron’s relationship with Putin and his oligarchs? …Look and learn and then tell me Salmond is some kind of Putinesque dictator and ask why it was that the clever West initiated a coup in Kiev but didn’t think Russia would retaliate.
      His remarks were truthful and that’s the problem. Tell the truth to the British media and they can’t handle it. It has to be twisted to fit an agenda. And you’re right there to help them. His words were considered and qualified and you only make them look sour in retrospect.
      If you’d ever indicated an ounce of respect for your country’s self determination and its elected SNP leadership, your remarks might convey something more than the predictable anti-Salmond slurs.
      If you think Salmond is an amateur, you’re in the wrong game. You won’t find anybody from the London elite to the Peterhead harbour who would agree with that and again it reveals your knee-jerk detestation of someone who challenges your lazy lack of concern for national democracy or the poor in your community.
      But then everybody else knows that. Sorry, is that playing the man not the ball or is there some other spurious Unionist complaint to be prepared for us? I repeat: Putin has restored russian pride is true despite every vicious act and suppression, it is a statement of fact I notice you offer no contrary evidence for.
      In the interests of freedom, I’ll publish your repost.

      • Very well said Derek, a veritable boot n ra bawz for someone with a rather obvious but tedious agenda

      • How on earth could you have impugned the veracity of the well known political commentator known as “Jings”- or is that a pseudonym for Grahamski?

      • Excellent riposte, Derek. Another hard of thinking chanty rassler put in his place!

      • Bravo Derek, now that is something which has been needed to be said to people like Jings.

      • Bravo Derek. Your reply encompassed my feelings exactly, I could not have expressed them better myself.

      • Derek, i’m afraid i was a bit irked when you accused me of having contempt for my elected leader the other thread, but at least you seem to have realised that i have the right to criticise Salmond if i like. In my view, i pay Salmond’s wages and like all politicians he is fair game.

        Unfortunately you haven’t addressed the the fact that Salmond made these comments on 14 March when the annexation of Crimea was virtually over and done with and had been happening for weeks. I really do not understand why you infringe on your own credibility to defend such a man. The fact is that if Ukraine goes the wrong way, we are closer now to World War III than at anytime since the fall of the Soviet Union. A supposed experienced politician should have the sense to realise that when discussing such matters they have to be very careful about what they say, and if in doubt say nowt! His attempts at backtracking yesterday were pathetic, we all know what he said and when he said it yet he seems to think that if he bends the truth enough we will all believe him. As i said i do not understand why you have to defend him, he is a big boy and should face the consequences of his words.

        I also stand by calling salmond an amateur, though perhaps i should have been clearer that i was of course referring to the field of international relations. Just look at his record (and this is just off the top of my head) NATO campaign in Kosovo; completely wrong in criticising military action that prevented genocide and still to recognise he was at fault. Refusing to meet the Dalai Llama when he was in scotland; downright embarrassing and a blatant attempt to suck up to the Chinese, that incidentally failed, seems they don’t respect spinelessness. Contrast that with Cameron meeting the Dalai Llama criticising the Chinese and still walking away with some big deals. Syria; claiming that Scotland would have supported military action when everyone else had already had the good sense to decide against it. Freeing Megrahi without an appeal being heard; massive insult to the US and of course lets not forget that Megrahi was supplied with cancer drugs that ordinary scottish NHS patients were denied and also why on earth was the justice secretary having one on one meetings with the biggest convicted mass murderers in scottish history? Unlike many others on here i have sat through numerous lectures by Professor Black on the subject of Megrahi, and while there may be questions over his conviction under no circumstances should he have been released 2 years early without an appeal being heard. But then again when the justice minister in question got corroboration so wrong it’s no surprise.

        Now lets move to events of the last few days, we have already covered his comments in Putin, but that does of course leave the EU debacle. For a man who is looking for the EU to do him a favour quite how he thinks going to Brussels and effectively threatening a political union of over 500 million people is going to get him special treatment is beyond me. Maybe this behaviour works in the chamber at Holyrood but to try this in the EU is simply laughable. To try and say that Scotland would breach the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and deny EU vessels access to Norwegian waters is none of the most ridiculous things i have ever heard. Mind, your comments on Peterhead may be more relevant than you realise, seems theres quite a few scottish fishermen who think salmond has some serious explaining to do.

        We also have the fiasco over the living wage. Salmond’s own people cant even find the law they were looking for, maybe that because as the EU stated it doesn’t exist?

  20. I expect that when Cameron went to Putin to grovel for help on containing Scotland that Putin saw how WEAK useless Westminster was and was emboldened to go a head with his plans for the Crimea.

  21. Think the Establishment are getting angry and trying to frighten us. Just laugh at them, and keep on keeping on. F*CK THEM!

    • I will be voting Yes as a member of the SNP for more than 30 years and I know all about the Britnat media’s twists and distortions. However, I do not agree with some of the things Alex Salmond says and this is one of them. Yes, he gave qualified praise to some of the things Putin has done and said he was not in favour of other things. He should have stayed well clear of anything that could have given the opposition any ammunition,at least until after the 18th September. Putin is a thoroughly dislikeable character – ask the peoples in the neighbouring republics who are now threatened by his forces, both within and outwith Russia. Like many other Soviet, sorry Russian, leaders he is a bully and is clearly instigating events in a neighbouring, sovereign territory. He wants conflict and is instigating a full-blown confrontation with the west at any costs (and these will be economically expensive for him). To praise him is naive, for Putin and his actions are to be condemned.

      • While some of your comments about Putin are correct, the one fact you are wrong about is that he did not instigate the overthrow of a democratically elected Government in Ukraine. The truth of this coup is there for all to see in the U.S media, yes U.S, and it certainly not as you portray it to be. Anyway, why would he? He didn’t need to as it was Russia friendly. The reason the U.S actioned, and financed, this “revolt”, is that it wants to surround Russia with missile bases, abd this was the next link in the chain. But once again, if this is all the No campaign have to offer, then the contest is already won. On my letter delivery today, I saw four Yes window posters. Not many I grant you, but four more than I saw last year. And with the bookies odds shortening daily, well, when are they ever wrong.

      • Joseph O Luain

        One very simple question for you Mr Cormac. To what end do you suppose Putin wants “a full-blown conflict with the west at any costs.”

      • As a member of the SNP I also have not always agreed with what Alex has said, but I do not think he has praised him merely said that the man has given Russia back it’s pride. Having read his speech yesterday in Brugge, he has done the same for Scotland, that is if the MSM would report it but no they merely spread slurs and considering that the Coalition are dependent on the Oligarchs of Russia’s money to prop up their great big cesspool of a City, I would let Alex off light.

  22. @ Jings

    ““Remember, this was said in March before the Russian annexation of Crimea…”
    No it wasn’t. It was said on 14 March, 2 days before the dodgy referendum and after Russian Spetsnaz had been operating in Crimea for weeks. Check your facts before jumping to Salmond’s defence.”

    Sorry but when you say “No it wasn’t” and then yourself give details which agree with what was said, that is as far as I read.

    • “and after Russian Spetsnaz had been operating in Crimea for weeks.” is the key bit if you were struggling. The annexation crisis started on 23 Feb and was over by Salmonds comments.

      ps. im not surprised you didn’t read the rest of it, selective blindness and all that eh!

      • May I ask have you been in Ukraine, do you know for certain what was going on, or is it merely the propaganda which has been pumped out from both sides of the coin. I no longer believe anything I cannot verify myself, thus is the damage done by our biased media, and as I have not been there recently, I cannot. So I think you should stop prating if you have no more knowledge than the rest of us.

  23. o/t Any news on the BBC journalists’ meeting at PQ today?

  24. The point of the Putin story being highlighted to day was not mainly to smear Salmond but to distract attention from a major speech he was making in Brugge about Scotland’s future role in the EU.
    It worked. The MSM and the BBC jumped at the chance to talk about something else.

    • Shades of the ”top secret” Scottish Government pensions document waved by Brewer on Newsnight which deflected from the favourable Gers report a year or so ago,

  25. Its the next phase in the government propaganda machine.Pillory your perceived enemy.If you can’t win with logic or wit denigrate the character. Subliminaly people will now associate Salmon’s with Putin.The Herald have been the most unsubtle in their state paid articles.Right now they have a picture of Salmond with a Saltire saying he has respect for Putin.Directly below guess what Putin with a gun and talking about genocide and homophobia.At least we now know our media are being paid by the government.Well we knew the BBC already but The Herald!

  26. They are all in it together, Jock.

  27. USA desperately wants another Cold War, to justify military spending (keeping the military machine oiled) and global adventures as well as keeping NATO relevant. The UK is caught in the middle pleasing an over-bearing ally but really wanting to keep the Russian money flowing preventing the London bubble from bursting. If London goes then all of the UK goes with it such is the state of the economy today.

  28. The fact that Cameron and Lamont have more in common with Ukip than with the SNP is being deliberately ignored by the media.Ukip hate foreigners so do the Tories.Lamont wants to end the something for nothing and social democracy offered by indie Scotland.Instead she wants austerity Britain,London Rule,A referendum on Europe,no Scottish immigration without Westminster authority,the destruction of the welfare state,tuition fees,NHS privatisation..the list goes on .Vote no as Lamont says and get right wing governments forever more.

  29. I am surprised that several respondents on here have not realised that we are being fed a complete distortion of the Crimea situation. And had it not been for Putin US/UK would probably be involved in an invasion of Syria by now. Putin faced them down. The UK media operates on the assumption that we all hate Russia. This is no longer the case among informed people who understand that half a century of US/UK hatred of USSR is no longer valid and that what we witness is the NWO being given the runaround by Putin and they don’t like it.
    I detest quite a lot of our leaders, past and present, rather more than I dislike Vladimir Putin – and he didn’t set Vietnam of fire, starve Biafra to defeat in the Nigerian civil wart, invade Iraq and invade Afghanistan.
    The fact is the people of Crimea, vast majority Russian and being supressed by a corrupt and xenophobic Ukranian administration. moved to exercise their democratic right to rejoin Russia. Putin did exactly the right thing and US/Uk posturing was pathetic.

  30. I see on BBC Scotlands website regards Salmond’s speech, that in Gavin Hewitts summary, he says that the road to an indy Scotland’s membership of the EU will not be straightforward.

    I wonder if that is another of those Marr type assertions and speaking for the NO campaign supporting BBC.

  31. Having read Wings Over Scotland on this, the speech by A Salmond took place two months ago. The msm anti Independence racket have quite clearly orchestrated the whole thing to coincide with what is happening in Ukraine now. A sinister ploy, but nothing that we didnt expect and we should be prepared for things to get even more sinister, we have to stay one step ahead. Demonise your enemy, ie Putin, then swoop in to tar your other enemies with the same brush, killing two birds with one stone, its what the western establishments are used to doing.

  32. macgilleleabhar

    It saddens me to read of the NUJ meeting today to discuss the BBC membership of the CBI,
    Trust is as illusive as Burns’s pleasures. One slip may raise an eyebrow but the behavior of the BBC management over their CBI membership means that trust has melted forever.
    This has been serial duplicity meaning there is no way back as no one can now have confidence in any news item or statement they make.
    As far as I am concerned from now on my outlook will be ” It may still be true although the BBC said it”

  33. Let’s face it, Salmond could have said many worse things: ‘I admire Iain Duncan Smith and his inspirational policies’ or ‘Margret Thatcher was a force for good in Building this country to what it is now’, for example.
    Don’t criticise him for telling the truth even though you don’t like it.

  34. I am so incensed by the entirety of the media in Scotland, it’s pretty much red mist time. I feel physically assaulted by their behaviour, literally cringing like a battered woman. And the BBC is the worst. Sorry Derek but it is. They’re fighting tooth and nail for a No vote and surely you have to recognise that by now?

    I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I feel like going into a Trappist retreat or something until 19th September. If, against all this, we succeed in getting a Yes vote, where do we look for our fourth estate? It’s desperate.

  35. Putin is a mobster. I mean that quite literally: the mob runs Russia and Putin is just one of their ‘made men’. For Salmond to express anything less than utter revulsion when speaking of him is disappointing.

    In mitigation, Salmond is now presenting on the world stage as the senior statesman of a new nation. He will be anxious not to slam any diplomatic doors, whatever he might personally think of the people behind them. That is all proper and dismally necessary, but where slime like Putin is concerned, surely he could keep a cool distance?

    • What he actually said does seem to qualify as a “cool distance”. The spin has been something else.

      And this interview from six weeks ago, which won’t appear in the magazine until later in the week, is leaked bang on time to be used to bury a major speech by Salmond. And the entirety of the media rolls over to have its tummy tickled and plays along.

    • Hi Vronsky
      On first read, thought you were referring to Cameron, BoJo et al: Mobsters par excellence running a mobster British state out of their armed Mafiosi compound that is London.

      Oops and jings, silly me…

    • Nobody is all bad. Putin is an elected leader for all the faults with Russia’s electoral systems. For all sorts of historical and cultural reasons Russians like a strong leader in a scary world. Even if he is tough on them. You have to see Putin and his actions and behaviour in this fact. I don’t pretend a thorough understanding of the Russian psyche but I know and understand enough of it. So while it would never be my choice I understand that it is theirs. All the great leaders of their history have been despots: Ivan the Terrible, Peter The Great, Lenin, Stalin, Kruschev and now Putin. Again that may not be to our taste but it is clearly to the taste of the Russians is a large part of the means by which he has given Russia back it’s pride after Yeltsin’s buffoonery.

      Go read some Russian literature, delve deep and you may begin to understand. Read Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago and within the excoriation of the system you will read respect and admiration for various things about Stalin and what he does. In later life Solzhenitsyn was a grumpy old man of letters railing about the decadence of modern Russia and hankering after the strong leaders of old. Much to the chagrin of his supporters back in America who thought they had ‘turned’ him in his exile.

      There is still much to deplore about Putin and his behaviour but he has read the mood of his people correctly and given them what they wanted. He is not a man I would want to count as a friend but I can admire his achievements while deploring the methods.

  36. Predictably enough BBC Scotland gave much more prominence to a selectively edited report of the First Minister’s two month old magazine interview in GQ magazine than to his important and considered speech in Bruges. Surely news is what happens close to when it happens?. The clear impression here is of news management or manipulation.
    Complaining formally to “the Anglo saxophone” is a wholly fruitless pursuit as they NEVER concede that they are capable of misreporting. Sadly, The Herald , appears now to be part of the same loaded presentation on its front page report today.

    This is the only daily I now read and I will not now be renewing my digital subscription when it expires.

  37. Then there is this

    Show your wives and grandma’s, their sons and grandsons may end up fighting more crazy wars.
    It would change some DK’s to a YES!

    Salmond’s speech was brilliant by the way, he is leagues above anyone at Westminster. I feel proud
    of him.

  38. Like the ever-principled and sincere Jim Murphy MP, I can’t tolerate Putin, and I’m looking forward to Mr Murphy’s sincere demand for an explanation from Lord Robertson of NATO and Tony Blair for their advocacy of support for and collaboration with Putin. I’m sure I won’t have to wait too long for Mr Murphy to switch on his sincerity and outrage.

  39. And yet all the time they denigrate “Mobster” Putin, they hob-nob it with the “Mobsters” across the pond. Which mob has caused more carnage in recent history? Nation states are a front for Corporate jockeying in any case. This isn’t the West v Russia, it’s Exxon and Haliburton v Rosneft and Gazprom.

  40. Poor Derek, do you think he’ll ever work again?

    • I think Derek is a shoo in for either the Director of Scottish Broadcasting or Editor of the New Scotsman/Herald, because we will NEVER trust the old ones no matter if on the 19th of September they recant.

    • He is working – better than most – and to great effect. Long may he continue!

  41. Looks like Guardham and Carrell are singing from the same hymnsheet this morning and running with Salmonds ”threat” to EU fishing fleets. Have’t checked the state broadcaster yet but as the worlds greatest news organisation gets its news from these rags, I wont hold my breath.

    Something is badly wrong with our press in this country and its time for an outside monitor of some kind.

  42. O/T EU commission presidency candidates debate – heard anything on the media?
    Where is Barroso, I thought he was running?

  43. The Voice of Reason. Thank you.

  44. Nor should we forget that George Robertson wants Russia in NATO.

  45. just after 8.30am this morning on GMS “Pupils today are sitting the new exams. Teachers unions have complained of their members being under stress because of increased workload and there are concerns that pupils are being used as guinea pigs”

    The new National 4 and 5 exams are part of the assessment structure for Curriculum for Excellence.

    It seems pretty evil to be informing pupils and parents that pupils are ‘guinea pigs’ on the day they begin to sit their exams.

    I was out walking my dog so this was the first time I’d heard the show today and therefore I don’t know whether this had been broadcast before…but I’d bet it had.

    Also during the 9am bulletin the bit about guinea pigs was dropped – maybe they realised that all the ‘guinea pigs’ would be behind a desk by that time.

  46. Our offshore medic is Ukrainian and when I asked him last month about Crimea he was very sangfroid about it saying that they would lose Crimea as the Crimeans wanted to be part of Russia.

    He thought that Putin was just a peacock although he needed watching.

  47. Any updates on Cameron’s meeting with Putin to undermine Scottish Independence?

  48. Ah, the vagaries of the media. I too looked at the Hewitt BBC write-up on the Brugge speech and was as ” astonished” at the proportion of Hague quotes in it ( from the previous day ) as I was at the timing of the GQ ” news “.

    At the same time, as I agree with your above comment on the undeniable ability of the FM compared to his peers, could it be that his Putin aside was in fact a de-Salmonding exercise showing him as not being too introspective on Inde, and internationalist ?

    Or am I seeing conspiracy where there is none ?

  49. Have just finished reading Alan Clement’s book “Rogue Nation” – published a couple of years ago. Makes good reading, not just for a holiday book

  50. “One day the clowns in the media will have to learn to treat a Scottish leader with the respect they do one from Ireland..”

    The difference being of course that the leader from Ireland has a democratic mandate to speak on foreign affairs, something Mr Salmond has not.

  51. I don’t understand how Grahamski, of all people, can find the time to leave comments here. I mean, he should be busy moderating all the comments that come flooding in to his WordPress blog, which he last updated on 23 January 2012 and in which he makes the following proud announcement regarding the referendum debate: “Over the next days, weeks, months and years this blog will be my contribution to that debate.” As I write this, his poor wee site stands as a monument to the popularity of his ideas, with just 1 comment, and even that is a sample comment to show semi-illiterate users how to contribute. And there’s more: he also started a blogspot blog, which was last updated over 2 weeks ago and in which the last of his posts attracted a whopping 5 comments. On top of all that, he’s secretly dating Johann Lamont. The poor guy must be run aff his feet. That’ll do, Donkey, that’ll do.

    • I was going to comment that people who are feeling blue presently with regard to the MSM should really look around the internet. You see very few No campaigners here,Grahamski, his alter ego Jings, now that is a real good Better together Name, Jings, Crivens, Help MA Boab. I encounter one or two elsewhere, and why they bother I have no idea. Better they remain where they are at least in friendly territory with the MSM, other wise they are wasting time typing.

  52. You know, I wouldn’t put it past Westminster and the NO campaign aligned BBC, to get the top Ukraine chap/puppet to make a statement of sorts to ramp it up to a global stushie. You can imagine the joy at BT/Pacific Quay.

    I take it Derek that BBC journalists will do the decent thing and take action if there is no resignation from the CBI. The main public service broadcaster taking sides will not give us the gold standard referendum that Salmond promised us.

  53. This morning’s politics show was a disgrace: did you see the segment on Salmond’s admiration for Putin?
    An intro absolutely dripping with sarcasm and pantomimed distaste – which managed not to reveal what it was that Salmond had admired.

    Then a nasty-clown montage of Putin bear-wrestling etc. The kind of slideshow North Korean TV would show about a US president.

    Then presenter and guest link in Farrage as someone else who admires Putin. Guilt by association because Farrage is accused of racism today by the big UK parties.

    And what did Salmond admire about Putin? We never found out.

    For some reason the whole conversation suddenly turned to the presumed fact that “people” admire Putin’s machismo. But not women. Women don’t like Putin or machismo (or, the dog-shistle says, Salmond) women like Ed Milliband.

    Raw, blatant propaganda,. There is no other word for it. Like an old US war newsreel about Hirohito or something. I hope Glasgow media group give us a breakdown of this stuff – the politics show, and Sunday politics with its animations, have jumped the shark

  54. I wondered whether there was any embarrassment at PQ over the Sunday Politics “Talking Helmets” and so on. Do they genuinely think it’s acceptable?

  55. The Earthshaker

    Great article as usual, I thought you’d appreciate reading Alex Salmond’s demolition of William Hague accusations over his GQ interview and Bruges speech in the Huffington post

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