The Freemasonry of the Media

For 45 years I have been a ‘Member of Her Majesty’s Press’ and have now become a lifetime member of the National Union of Journalists. I was never one of the top gun star performers in any of the places I worked but I was steady and occasionally inspired. I didn’t ever cut it as a news reporter because it requires an unflinching doggedness for information that I lacked. I just didn’t care enough about what passed for news most of the time because it was the ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ sludge that you still read in the papers today.

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I became a better journalist when I left the staff job and was free to think for myself and come up with ideas based around issues rather than a traditional concept of hard news. This was particularly valuable in the BBC current affairs department where I eventually made what I think of as my main mark – presenting Good Morning Scotland for 10 years – my proudest moment.

At the BBC, I quickly realised that there was instant criticism of a kind that didn’t happen in papers. One of my first jobs was a film package on the ‘87 election in which, for timing reasons, I excluded mention of one SNP target seat. (Dumfries and Galloway, I think). I was sitting at the news desk watching Reporting Scotland, with my report, go out live. As soon as it finished, the phone rang. I picked it up and it was the SNP convener from Dumfries demanding to know who Derek Bateman was and why his electoral seat was ignored. I owned up and learned a lesson…you may not get everything right but you must bloody well try. If you know something is true, you fight to get it in. Demand the time from the producer. Stand up for the public’s right to know. Even the detail can count. People also regarded the BBC as theirs in a way they didn’t with the papers.

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And, despite the ego and vanity, both of which you need in the media, especially in broadcasting, I learned that criticism is part of the game. I had been pretty much inured to it in papers because people wrote letters of complaint and it was unlikely any would ever appear on the letters’ page. The attitude of editors was mostly to wish complaints away unless they were legally based. There was a kind of collective protection scheme in operation. By-line journalists were superior types and complaint was treated as a form of personal insult.

So, although I didn’t like criticism, I learned at the Beeb that if you didn’t balance, if you over-interpreted or went too far to one side or other, it came right back at you because there was a complaints procedure and you would be called to account.

Now this has changed dramatically for the press with social media because it means no one can write anything without an instant in-your-face reaction. I call it digital democracy.

But what hasn’t changed is the freemasonry of the media – a highly-tuned sense of commanding a special role that no one can breach. Anybody producing an alternative is an enemy, an outsider to be resisted. The mainstream enjoy their special status as upholders of freedom and champions of the people despite the ugly truth that led to Leveson.

Even when they are interfering with a murder inquiry or spying on detectives, they are adamant there should be no interference with their rights. It is after all a threat to democracy to interfere with the running of the media… And if you want to fire up a journalist try some criticism. Try suggesting that the source of their information might be contaminated by self-interest or that they regurgitate government releases as fact. Try suggesting that the funding of BT from Vitol is a revolting denial of everything that any socialist would hold dear and should have been investigated fully by the press. It is a truth as old as print that the first person to take offence will be the person who gives offence. No matter what inaccurate, unfair, insulting or offensive material a paper prints, the journalist will turn into a delicate petal at the first word of snub. People who spend every minute of every day judging others – organisations, families, politicians, artists – cannot abide themselves being judged. It has always been true which is why Scotland’s mainstream journalists are lining up behind Magnus Gardham of the Herald whose execrable one-sided column I objected to (see above). I went further and questioned the professionalism of someone in a key role who could write what is plainly a regurgitated Better Together briefing ahead of Monday’s leaders’ debate.

I think the piece beggars belief in suggesting that two interventions – one nakedly political – were from reluctant champions of the truth forced in the public interest to correct the deliberately misleading case of Yes. He writes that this is the Yes weakness which will be exploited – its untrustworthiness.

If you really wanted to make that case and stretch credulity, you really would have to acknowledge what only the most one-eyed already know – that the misleading, the hysteria and negative fear-mongering has been the hallmark of No. There are always two sides but in ignoring the documented record of No, he himself misleads. Is it deliberate or is it innocent?

I suggest there is a common view – and that much is true – that he is out of his depth, which is the bit they can’t take. You’re not allowed to personalise criticism in their world even if it’s relevant.

But where were these champions of restraint when one of their own, the Daily Mail, was pursuing innocent pro Yessers and photographing them and branding them Cybernats? Which of them supported me when I was called a nazi stormtrooper in the Scotsman? Did they object when the Express called me a bigot or any other number of Scots on one side of this argument? Of course not. I – and they – are not part of the Freemasonry of the Media protecting itself from what it is more than happy to dish out to others.

I ‘m sure there are pro Indy people who don’t like what I wrote but isn’t it interesting that on Twitter standing alongside the mainstream journalists are one from the Record, the paper that gave us Magnus, Paul Sinclair and Tom Brown whose withering anti Scotland views were reviewed here; Mike Elrick, the Labour spin doctor; the anonymous and notorious Labour troll Grahamski; a raft of bigoted Unionist twerps and the inevitable James Macmillan, the conspiracy fantasist. Could you have a clearer illustration of what the mainstream now represents – BT stooges, Labour loyalists and Union extremists. If that’s the combined opposition to telling the truth about the tawdry state of the Scottish media, you can keep it. You’re welcome. And it’s revealing that not one has anything but personal abuse or criticism of me to offer. I can’t see a single critique of the Magnus item. Do they agree with his analysis or is it just blind loyalty to one of their own?

The meetings I attend up and down the country seethe with contempt for those they see as misleading them and misinforming them. They know there is good work too but the overwhelming weight is seen as deliberately biased. Today’s Herald piece is a prime example and with the very existence of some papers in doubt you’d have to wonder at the intelligence of this suicide journalism.

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71 thoughts on “The Freemasonry of the Media

  1. The reaction validates your article. After a lifetime of keeping myself informed through newspapers, now I wouldn’t read a British one if I found it lying in a pub (apart from the Fife Free Press, for the ice hockey coverage).

  2. Well said Derek. I am so glad we have access to informationand discussion through the internet, with your columns at the head. I am enjoying TV Referendum presented by Lesley Riddoch, Pat Kane, Ian MacWhirter etc. who have had a couple of prominent No voters on the programme. Their views have been treated with respect, warmth and humour. Shame the No side can’t do likewise.

  3. cynicalHighlander

    They don’t like the truth as that’s not the British way old chap just not cricket.

    OT: Where have the timestamps gone from comments as ‘real’ journos would have them. (smiley thing)

  4. Bugger [the Panda]

    Wow, you are on fire. I am going to circulate tp some friends in the USA.

  5. These people aren’t really journalists. Pusillanimous time-serving dupes for the Union and Labour Party. Tick Tock guys, Tick Tock.

  6. Funnily enough, I left a message below a piece Gardham did describing it as a hatchet job…. And it simply never appeared. It was otherwise VERY polite. The phrase ‘hatchet job’ was also entirely accurate. He’s not even very good at making his arguements.

  7. Derek, they did not defend you when you were called a Nazi storm trooper because of only one thing, you support independence. This is all they need to launch their smears and abuse against you. The SNP have been called Nazis/fascists for decades as well.

    Now the MSM have enlarged it to include all independence supporters. These people are desperate to support the continuing role of the British establishment in Scottish affairs. These individuals are not natural supporters of democracy and human rights. Their actions have been awful in this campaign, they have disgraced themselves and their profession with their unprofessional conduct. The truth is that the MSM are an integral part of the No campaign and the British state. The idea that they are unbiased observers of the referendum is laughable.

  8. Superb, passionate and reasoned Derek, well done. The reaction from his fellow Unionist journalists is entirely expected though.
    I would understand Gardham and respect him a little more if he admitted up front he was a partisan in the mould of a Brian Wilson or a Michael Kelly at the Scotsman, at least they admit to being what they are and you know what you will get when you read them, fair enough. But Gardham hides behind a veneer of impartiality as this “news reporter” when in fact he is and has been for very many years a consistent purveyor of the NO campaign line. Today he perhaps overplayed his hand.
    On the wider point we have to look at the end of this campaign, if the result is NO it will be very, very close. Any defeat for YES will be narrow. How then will the Scottish press feel about their role in this, with the vast majority, effectively acting against and not reflecting the views and ambitions of nearly half the Scottish population. I think there will be a commercial price these already failing entities will have to pay for their conduct now. Readerships will collapse more and more as that YES part of the population recoil in disgust. A disgust which only rise as the consequences of any NO win begin to bite.

  9. What I have leaned from this campaign is that we were all getting on with our lives, working, paying bills, bringing up children, looking after sick relatives etc etc the media was taken over by a cabal, supporting the British state at all costs.

    I have been a supporter of an independent Scotland since I was old enough to think for myself but I did believe in British fairness and I believed in the BBC- I never however believed in the Labour party, I didn’t trust them but at the time couldn’t put my finger on why.

    It was very interesting to watch the journalist Glenn Greenwald – connected with the Snowden affair – wipe the floor with Kirsty Wark when she accused him of putting Britain’s security at risk and he told her that a journalist’s job was to hold governments to account and not to repeat their press releases,

    My eyes are now fully open and I will never be so naive again.
    Power to your keyboard Derek, people like you are the new defenders of the truth.

    • @liz

      Apparently before her interview with Glenn Greenwald, Kirsty Wark told Henry Porter of the Guardian that she was going to destroy Greenwald in her interview with him. We all know what happened; Wark was hammered by Greenwald. Kirsty Wark is an apologist, a protector, and stooge of the British state. Do not trust her at all.

      • Oh don’t worry muttley79, I don’t trust her at all.
        I now think that all people promoted in the beeb have sold their soles to the establishment

      • i saw that interview and was stunned by the remark. It must be on YouTube. It was a revelation. That journalists should be seeking the Truth and not act as agents of government? We had become so used to them peddling the spin and indeed doing the spinning.

        Derek – what a great article. We are all fully behind you. They know what they are. Gardham, Campbell, Wark and company are all are frauds, they disgrace their profession. Maybe their union should expel them.

    • Like Liz I feel one outcome of this campaign has been the laying bare of power; who has it, the self-interest which protects those in power, the disinclination of the powerful to admit the very humanity of non-members of their class, and the grim effort the powerful exert to hold that power.

      But, of course the joy of the Yes campaign is the cooperation and sharing and the hopes to build a more equal Scotland. A power here that ‘the powerful’ cannot contain.

      Derek works within a long line of defenders of the truth – first to mind is the jury who acquitted Clive Ponting.

      • We have all been on a journey. And what an eye opener it has been.

        • After September 18th there’s going to be a deluge of what the Americans call ” monday morning quarter backing ” ie a taking stock of the PROCESS rather than the result.

          Do not tell me the world isn’t going to be looking in to see the skeletons in the cupboards of everything from the ” Mother of all Parliaments “, down to the little bitties of the Establishment.

  10. Good for you Derek. I gave up buying the Herald years ago, and on the few occasions I have bought the Saturday edition recently, I’ve been disappointed to see that its political coverage is stuck in the same old Catherine MacLeod groove. She was a Labour insider and this current guy is the same. It always struck me as absurd that the paper seemed to think that it had to have someone on the inside track to get its political stories. Easier I suppose, but lazy and ultimately its a strategy that can only be destructive. The same happened in Scottish football with all those supposed big hitters sniffing round David Murray’s arse. Who the f*** really bothers with the sports papers these days? Come to that, who the f***bothers with the papers full stop now? More power to your pen, and your microphone, Derek.

  11. Bugger [the Panda]

    @ Jake Gittes,

    I think it will be a Yes vote of at least 55%, close but a win anyway.

    Gardam and his ilk will melt away and disappear into local rags in rUK. Gone and easily forgotten.

    It what will happen tp the Titles?

    An accelerated decline and closure?

    Anyway a new form or journalism will spring up to match and enhance a new nation.

  12. alexander nicol

    “Freemasonry of the media”, I have been banging on about this for some time but it has been that the BBC Management and Editorial are infiltrated by the “Common Purpose ” Graduates , this mind control organisation operated by Julia Middleton and sir David Bell ,By blurring the boundaries between people, professions, public and private sectors, responsibility and accountability, CP encourages graduates to believe that as new selected leaders, CP graduates can work together, outside of the established political and social structures, to achieve this paradigm shift or CHANGE. The so called “Leading Outside Authority”. In doing so, the allegiance of the individual becomes ‘re-framed’ on CP colleagues and their NETWORK. Common Purpose promotes the ’empowerment of individuals’, except where individuals challenge the activities of CP, and public spending on CP. These people are branded vexatious, extremist, right wing or mentally unsound. Mrs Julia Middleton, the Chief Executive of Common Purpose, praises the work of German bankers. Deutsche Bank is, of course, a major power behind Common Purpose. Mrs Middleton, earning circa £80,000 p.a. from her charity, is also very happy to promote the term ‘USEFUL IDIOTS’ in her book ‘Beyond Authority’. Are we the General Public the USEFUL IDIOTS, or are the Elitest Common Purpose Graduates? You must

  13. Thank you Derek for such a frank and enlightening report. I think that way that both you and any pro independence supporter is treated by SMS is deplorable. I have stopped buying newspapers with the exception of the Sunday Herald because of the bias. Do the newspapers think that we are so stupid to believe the misinterpretations and blatant lies that are being dripped to us? The main difference between this referendum and the 1979 vote is that the Scottish population is more educated, more informed ( through social media) and more engaged than at any time before. Add in to that the level of accusations of cover ups currently being levelled at both the BBC and Westminster some of the most heinous nature.
    Scotland is no longer a deferential nature skulking in the shadows waiting for some crumbe from the masters table , it is standing shoulder to shoulder with rUK and we the people of this great nation demand our right to independence. The Unionists In every walk and crevice seem hell bent on a campaign of lies, fear, innuendo and are targeting the most vulnerable sections of society.
    The Only way to put a stop to this in the short term is to boycott buying newspapers. Circulation figures are not good so a potential 2 million people stopping buying their unrepresentative trash will have an impact. Read overseas publications eg Irish Independent online. Do not contribute to this propaganda machine.
    Derek thank you for all you have done and all you are doing. Let’s push this YES over the line.

  14. Pity the referendum isn’t taking place while the Leveson enquiry was in operation. Watching all these journalists being exposed as biased hypocrites would have been “interesting”.

  15. Plus encore! A tweet I read after your first piece says it all. You are now the third most hated YES commentator after 1. Wings and 2. the great AlexS. That shows without any doubt that you are having a profound influence. They do not like it up ’em.

  16. I don’t say this often, but. You are *right*. You just are. And they *know* you are. Keep at it.

    People will remember who they still trusted by the end of this campaign – and as voters, we have a need, and a right, to trust our press. If they cannot meet that need, well, they know better than anyone what that means.

    • I think one of the things we have learned during this referendum is that it is not OUR press.
      Whether it is down to the owners or news editors or both,the British press has proved to be entirely anti Scottish.
      Their view from the start was that the referendum was a threat to the London establishment and must be resisted at all cost.
      They,along with the London political classes,fear the loss of prestige which will result when they have to start calling themselves English rather than British but that is all they deserve because they have clearly demonstrated that their interests lie south of the border and that Scots don’t really count.
      An example was ITV news a few days ago when the news reader announced that “In a little more than a month’s time,4 million people will decide the future of Britain”,the suggestion being presumably ” how dare they”.
      For a very large number of Scots,after the referendum,the press will be regarded as nothing more than the mouthpiece for a privileged elite.
      Shame on them for betraying fundamental democratic process.
      No more Free press.

      • Why have the press fought so hard and vociferously for the retention of a free press, when in fact all they actually wanted, as clearly shown during this referendum campaign, was to be manipulated by the Westminster government and its acolytes?

        It makes you wonder if they actually know the meaning of the word ‘free’.

  17. Bugger (the Panda)

    Bugger, there are two articles on Gardham. Posted the following on the. Earlier one.

    Apologies. Earlier post below.

    After the SNP won their majority Government the opposition was so woefully bad that elements od the MSM decided, or were asked to, become the actual opposition. This was a position they enjoyed and here we have state of the MSM today.

    Gardham and his ilk are just scribbling whores on a job rate. The love it. Power withour responsibility, the prerogative of the harlot through the ages.

  18. M ost people I know are getting very sick of the media and constant snipingfrom bt I hope Alec ignores it and gets on with a proper debate ,but doubt alstair has it in him,hi spin guys are working overtime

  19. Unhappy people, locked now in the lie created by their own words, lash out at someone they see as their tormentor. I have heard you and know you as an honourable man. They’ll seek to wound and discredit you but you have earned the trust and acceptance of so many of us. I feel only revulsion and pity for them. You have my respect, Mr. Bateman.

  20. What passes for the Scottish media is a joke with its endless barage of independence negativity. I just hope that after the referendum vote people will still remember the what the press has done and we can mount some kind of campaign to get rid of them from Scotland.

  21. Derek I want to thank you for this article. Now you know for sure that if you support a Yes vote the MSM will castigate you. Who really cares, not me for one. You stand your corner and keep on doing what you are doing. That is bringing the truth to those that need to hear it.

    It is not nice to be singled out and abused but I’m certain your shoulders are broad and can handle it.

    You have my respect and countless others I’m sure.

  22. Let us be honest here, Gardham is not a journalist, he is a Political Officer. He isn’t a particularly adroit PO but he is stuck in that position and tries to make what he thinks is the best of the job he has been given.

  23. Bugger (the Panda)

    Derek, here is a wee wing nut job thought.

    Gardam is privvy to the real polls and knows the game is up, his game is up.

    That article, so filled with bias and restrained bile is him lashing out like some petulant child when they know the have been found out and a price will need to be paid.

    Perhaps that article is the first page on his new cv?

    I hope so.

  24. Bugger (the Panda)

    Patrician

    Political Commisar?

  25. Was Sunday Herald a commercial decision? Lose some readers during the week. Buy them back at the weekend. I’m glad it’s there against the tide but I’m also smelling a rat.

    • In a way, I don’t care if it was a commercial decision and they are not being entirely up front because they are still reaching people who do not do on-line.

      I take the point the Rev Stu made about the different interviewing styles with Yes and No folk – Yes always being interviewed more aggressively as in the NHS interviews where Phillippa Whitford apparently got a rougher ride – it is still getting these important issues out and even if it changes one mind or gets a previous believer in the MSM to think again, it will have been worth it.

  26. Scots have a long memory. The Tory Party is still reaping the consequences of the poll tax. It will be the same for the Meeja.

    By the way, I thought circulation numbers came out in July where are they?

  27. One powerful critique of the media is this video based on the lyrics of Immortal Technique “The 4th Branch of the Government”. But if you want to watch it be quick as it regularly disappears from youtube. I don’t know why!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7AM-SYMA8s

  28. Thank you for another of your thought-provoking articles, which are widely respected and appreciated by those of us who now depend on online information for insight into the debate.
    Like most of my generaion, I have spent my whole life buying and reading newspapers, and relying on the BBC for “unbiased” reporting. The saddest thing for me, as an old person, has been the sad loss of intelligent and individualistic investigation by journalists and their acceptance of the corporate mindset to set the agenda. .
    The last time I remember it happening was when the Telegraph investigated and published the MP’s expenses fraud. Not in their political mindset, and probably not in their corporate interest, but pursued anyway.
    Bjsalba is right. Scots have (had to have) very long memories, If you fly with the craws, you will be shot down, eventually.

  29. Derek – Grahamski was outed as Jim Murphy’s man in Falkirk CLP during the car crash of Falkirk CLP and Ineos at Grangemouth (he admitted, stupidly, in a Gruniad post, he was an important member of the Falikirk CLP exec and knew exactly what had happened. His level of bile is clearly related to just how badly the internal polling within ‘Better Together – No Thanks’ is trending. To those of us who have tracked his ranting postings in the Gruniad and elsewhere it is clear he posts from the BT political program sheet. he has no ability to understand when his argument is facile and simply continues to post ‘nyah, nyah’ style comment once other posters start laughing at him, especially now when even the Tory’s best pal, YouGov, can no longer hide the upward trend of Yes support.

    To really upset him start asking related Yes questions about his supposed ‘socialist roots’ – his attempts to claim black is the new white are often amusing, as are his ‘bail out comments’ when he knows he is stuffed.

    In the end it is better to simply ignore him because it gets boring pointing out to him he is routinely talking utter pish. His alter ego – BangorStu is another equally irritating and ignorant BT plant.

  30. Having basically stopped watching TV NCA, I hadn’t seen the Glen/Kirsty thing. Having watched itl what a laugh!

  31. “Suicide journalism.”

    Two words that sum it up nicely! Let them reap what they sow!

  32. This is the same Derek Bateman who had such a lovely time working on Good Morning Scotland while his girlfriend Judith, was also the editor of the programme.
    How interesting that you feel you’re in any position to give out lessons on journalistic ethics, you sad old letch

    • Well done Michael, confusing the personal with work integrity.

      I’m sure you’ll be straight on to Sir Tony Hall of the BBC querying his ethical position whilst one of his News24 presenters, Joanna Gosling, is married to the new ‘Andy Coulson’ – Craig Oliver, Director of communications at Downing Street ?

      Please do keep us informed of how you get on. We’d love to hear from you again.

    • cynicalHighlander

      Agh the OBE one comes again, how’s Woking.

    • Michael, you truly are an arse

    • Wow, you Freemasons of the Press are really bitchy, aren’t you, Michael?

  33. Michael

    Nice to here such a cogent argument from you mate. Watch you don’t hurt yourself.

    Derek

    You have my utmost respect. Thank you for putting your head above the parapet and arguing for what is right and in the interests of Scotland. This was never going to be an easy fight against an establishment with self interest at heart. They have much to lose and you are, very much, on the front line.
    The genie is out the bottle for the unionists and their compliant media. Their’s is a monster that will be defeated on the 18th. If not then it will be fought until it breathes it’s last corrupt breath.

  34. Did anyone catch our gallant warrior (that’s you Derek) on Referendum TV today.

    Genuinely thought it was one of the best shows.

    You can watch it here: (Derek from 8mins on)

    http://www.referendumtv.net/referendum-tv-live-2408/

  35. I watched Gardham during a Holyrood Committee evidence session a few months back when Danny Alexander was in the hot seat.
    Gardham was seated directly behind Alexander, scribbling away in his notebook – until Alexander found himself backed into a corner and began contradicting himself, stuttering and spluttering as he did so.
    Gardham simply put his notebook and pencil down until the ‘crisis’ was over – which explains why none of that particular section was reported by him the next day.

    I’ve believed ever since that as Gardham MUST have known his actions would be spotted, he was actually sending us all a message about his allegiances – and giving every supporter of Scottish Independence an arrogant and elitist ‘two finger salute’.

  36. Things are becoming a tad tetchy from certain areas, one wonders when the towel’s gonna be thrown in, not that it matters a whit the NO’s tea is oot and they well know it.

  37. Derek

    This is getting silly. You may disagree with Magnus’s analysis, you may consider his writing style beyond the pale, you may even think him a dolt. That’s fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    However, the sinister element of your crass attack was the inference that Magnus was deliberately lying to advance his own political agenda. This belief, widely held in YESnp circles, that opposition can’t possibly come from anywhere but unprincipled, deceitful cynicism is as chilling as it is deluded.

    It should come as no surprise that fellow journalists defended Magnus not just because he is a decent and honourable man whose integrity is respected throughout the business but because journalists are usually the first victims of the forces against democracy.

    We all have responsibility in how this debate is conducted, we all should be aware that when decencies are abandoned and when respect disappears then we are all diminished.

    Your personal attack on Magnus has done your cause and the wider debate no good. Not as damaging as your quite frankly jaw-dropping jibe about Ian Wood having Alzheimer’s (perhaps you could reflect on that tweet and consider an apology?).

    Time to up your game, Derek, I can’t believe you want your legacy to be that of a spiteful and bitter man.

    Yours for Scotland!

    Grahamski

    • Oh the irony. The piety. From the anonymous. The troll extraordinaire. The juvenile jibe merchant. All journalists make withering assessments of people in public life. Every day. In politics that means politicians. So Lamont can be deemed ‘unfit to lead’. That is a professional assessment. It is not a personal one. That’s what I did – made an assessment of professional capability and credibility – just as you have often of me. It is not a personal attack. That’s your mistake in your rush to condemn.Journos can’t take what they dish out to others. They do it every day. But regard themselves as sacrosanct. This is not an election. It is a struggle for our nation. Anyone who is a player in the campaign and is posing as neutral but who works to misinform either through design or naivety is open to criticism. Get off your high horse. The idea that the media requires your protection is laughable.

    • “Spitefull bitter man” from Grahamski? LOL

      • Bugger (the Panda)

        Talking of that creature, I wonder what he is thinking this morning?

        No doubt he will be along later to tell us all what the Party position is.

        I believe it is being written, or historically rewritten, a la 1984, as we smile smugly.

        To finish off my day, I am off to skoff a bottle of Corbieres red, day over.

        Here is a quotation from someone, a foreigner to boot.

        The irrationality of a thing is no argument against its existence, rather a condition of it.

        Somebody called Friedriche Nietzsche said that first.

        I shall ponder this with my red and think both of Grahamski and Darling.

        I may be some time.

  38. When the book is written on Scotland regaining its independence objective readers will recognize the calumny inflicted upon the people of Scotland by duplicitous unionist “journalists”.

  39. I have read the Herald for almost the past 50 years but decided to cancel my print subscription last week. When I commented on Gardham’s piece online the other day, it was not published – perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised especially after reading this article but i did not feel it was particularly contentious – just my opinion stating that I felt I was not being offered an honest and impartial viewpoint and pointing out that I had cancelled my subscription just in time if this was indicative of the way the Herald was heading. I am also quite sad as I always felt the Herald was ‘my paper’ but no more. Wonder what will happen to this once highly respected quality newspaper after the YES vote?

    Thank goodness for your blog Derek and others like you.

  40. Dan Huil, what book? These people are no more than troublemakers and they know how to provoke.

    Is that a skill we need when we are trying to make the most important democratic decision we, the people of Scotland, have been given the chance to make for 300 years?

    Like Alex Salmon, bristled tonight with the ludicrous Darling – we’re talking Scotland here, no more and no less!

    Only a Scottish government will be interested in governing Scotland properly and these carpetbaggers will be seen for the nonentities they are.

  41. Derek, I wholeheartedly agree with the points you make in this excellent article. And, like you, I believe Mr. Gardham has got away with murder – but, that’s no great surprise, given that The Herald’s “default setting” is clearly pro- New Labour and anti- independence. I also maintain that the Herald’s policy of “defending the integrity” of their columnists has gone to the extremes when, apparently, NO personal criticism is deemed acceptable under their “moderation” rules. Indeed, some “colourful” words I have used to describe some politicians have been accepted and published as valid criticism in their comments section – but, hypocritically, are adjudged unacceptable if used to describe one of their journo’s who is defending the self-same policies of that particular politician! Indeed, David Torrance, the Herald’s “in-house” Thatcherite, appears to be better protected than a new-born baby wrapped in swaddling-clothes! Let’s also remember that STV (owned by Newsquest, as is the Herald) recently had a “cunning plan” to introduce Mr. Gardham as an “impartial overseer” in the referendum debate on “Scotland Tonight” – “lead balloon” doesn’t go far enough to describe this disaster!
    Then, of course, we have the “impartial” offerings from the British Establishment Broadcasting Corporation (BE-BC) or “The World According To” (TWAT) Andrew Neil ; Andrew “I’m backing Barroso” Marr; Kirsty, New Labour – “Wark in progress”; Clydebank’s “lost son” Gavin Esler – who was “bombed-out” by the locals; and last, but not least – “Naughtie Nochty” – London Labour to the core and the proud recipient of “A Tony” from Gordon Brown! Apart from rabid Thatcherite, “Brillo-Pad” Neil, all are “impartial” New Labour cronies – and, whose very existence depends on the status quo. They are crapping themselves that Scotland votes for independence, knowing full-well that there WILL be a backlash against all things Scottish – Andrew “No Marr”, Newsnight – no more, “Daily, The Week and Sunday Politics” – no more; “Dateline” – no more; Ermine, no more – for a desperate Darling; and a host of P45’s for treacherous and redundant “Scottish” New Labour MP’s. As ever, “follow the money” – and all is revealed! P.S. Here’s the comment the Herald refused to publish in response to one of Mr. Gardham’s “impartial” musings:-

    “Nice try, Mr. Gardham – but, you know the YES campaign has hit a raw nerve, especially so, when you reacted, over a month ago, like a “whippet out of trap five” to the existential threat, you know exists, to the NHS in Scotland, with the wholesale privatisation now taking place in England. £5-£25 to see your GP has been openly proposed as a “solution” to waiting-times in England – as reported by the Grauniad and Independent; add to this the £8-05 PER ITEM in a prescription and, already, the NHS is fast becoming the realm of the rich.
    Then, of course, we have New Labour’s “Comrade” Burnham whose proposals for a “true, ‘National’ Health Service” are short on detail i.e. whether the rampant privatisation taking place in England would apply to Scotland – or, if he would bring back “in house” those services already privatised by the Tories and their LibDem lickspittles, or indeed, those privatised in 13 years of New Labour “government”.
    But, “The NHS is only safe, if in Labour hands” – really? Let’s remember that the 1st UK Chancellor to cut NHS funding was Labour’s Denis Healey in 1976. But, even Thatcher crapped-out of cutting NHS spending, or of introducing privatisation – precisely because, “Maggie” was not stupid enough to interfere with the only “true religion” in the UK: the NHS! No, the real betrayal of the NHS started under Tony and Gordy’s regimes when privatisation and PFI contracts were let-rip – and, for which, Scottish Labour MP’s voted and imposed on English working-class constituencies! And, as we all know, had these “true socialists” tried this in Scotland – they would have been strung-up from the nearest lamp-post!
    And, like most of the unpopular DemCons measures now being derided as “inhuman” – most of them were instituted during New Labour’s 13 years of mis-rule e.g. ATOS, the “Bedroom-Tax”, “Zero-Hour Contracts” etc. etc. But, what really gets me is that even clever cccc…logs like Magnus Gardham and Andrew “”Brillo-Pad” Neil didn’t know that there were “Barnett Consequentials” (assuming these survive, post-referendum) with cuts to the publicly funded NHS! So, given Osborne and Balls have both promised a further £25bn in public-spending cuts – do you really want to take the chance that a publicly owned NHS will continue as such, if any of the 3 UK Tory Parties, or amalgam thereof, is again elected in 2015? The ONLY guarantee to avoid privatisation is to be Tory free, and the only way to be Tory free – is to Vote YES on the 18th!”

    • Bugger (the Panda)

      Newsquest is not connected to STV, as far as I know. They used to be but today their ownersa are Newsquest who are in turn owned bt Gannet Press of Langley, Virginia, USA.

      Gannet own USA Today which is the only pAn US printed press, with regional editions and 5 sets within theain outside page.

      Their next door neighbour is the CIA.

    • Bugger (the Panda)

      Sorry crappy dumb phone and fat fingers.

  42. Bugger! You’re right Panda – STV and The Herald WERE in the same media group, but, no more. That said, I’m sure contacts have been maintained through the “Old Boys”/Old Pals networks – either that or it WAS merely coincidence that Herald colleagues, Messrs Gardham and Torrance, appeared on STV, and initially introduced as “impartial adjudicators”. Anyhoo, glad you agreed with everything else I said in my previous post, Panda.

    • John, I agree with you. They drink on the same watering holes, attend the same dinner parties and support the same Party.

      I am more interested in the Ganett USA connection.

      USA Today is the only national newspaper in the USA.

      if you live within site of the ocean or Great Lakes you have a choice of higher quality newspapers, although the days of “great journalism” is really over with the big titles subject to sales drop and advertising migration.

      Between the two coasts there are a number of big city titles and loads of local newspapers. However the World outside the locality , never mind the USA is barely covered.

      USA does that in a very simlpe santised way, like Fox News is to TV. It is kind of like a Reader’s Digest Newspaper.

      Control that and you control access to a World view of foreign affairs and Washington based stuff to.

      It is just a coincidence that the Pantagon and Ganett HQ are neighbours.

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