The Authentic Voice of Britain

Had dinner with the Prime Minister. Gave him advice on where he’s going wrong and told him how John Reid suggested I should lead Better Together and that I agreed. So while that money-grubbing loser Darling was the public front, I was actually directing the campaign behind the scenes. And me just a simple newspaper editor from a council estate…


Assuming that the Jackie magazine word balloons that constitute Alan Cochrane’s self-declared ‘part in Salmond’s downfall’ diary are approximately true (including Maggie’s fish lasagne!), it is the clearest indication yet of the corruption of what we used to think of as journalism. This, remember, is someone who, along with the institution that is his paper, is at the heart of Britishness. He admits – conveniently after the event – of being not an informed observer, but an active participant on one side of the independence debate.

There is, in my book, a difference between supporting an argument, and meeting and consulting with its leaders, and helping to organise it (as in meeting Reid in the Lords and seeking his agreement to lead the Union campaign). Giving lines for the Prime Minister to deliver (virtually speech writing) isn’t journalism – it’s double-dealing.


All of the above can of course be done if the journalist informs his readers of his involvement. That’s called disclosure and it’s what journalism is for. Did Cochrane make clear what he was doing? I only recall a detailed piece about dinner at the Peat Inn that, to my recollection, made no direct reference to his personal presence – which would have raised questions in readers’ minds. Why so coy? Deliberately to hide from the readers your direct involvement (no matter how over-written) while at the same time commentating on the same topic as if merely observing, is dishonourable. It makes you untrustworthy and it matters not if you are Unionist or Nationalist – all readers are deceived equally.

If it is true that Cochrane was also promised a financial incentive if he helped to deliver a No vote, then the old craft is stained by Telegraph venality. That is tantamount to saying truth, accuracy and principle mean nothing and propaganda will do, so long as it keeps the British establishment in control.

No, I’m not surprised by Cochrane’s subservience to Britain’s elite. I’ve long called him Bleeding Knees for the amount of crawling he does to London. But I am shocked at the injury done to journalism and its honest practitioners.

All informed journalists spend life close to the front, as it were, which means in direct contact with the decision-makers. That shouldn’t mean they are so close they take their word unchallenged or that they become a cypher for their views, which of course is exactly what does happen in many cases. For all the criticism that can be levelled at Jeremy Paxman, he was never a partisan networker and treated all sides with sneering contempt so that when he was asked about running as a Tory for Mayor, he appears not to have hesitated in declining.

I too directly engaged in that I approached senior Tories with the idea that Cameron should meet privately with Salmond in 2011 to find common ground, if there was any, on the constitution, ahead of any referendum as it could – and I think, would – have delivered a Devo Max deal in keeping with majority Scottish opinion. (It didn’t happen, you may have noticed, much to Labour’s chagrin today). The difference is that when it came to it and I wanted to go public with my pro-independence views, I resigned my job to free myself to do so. I didn’t compromise the organisation I worked for and I don’t believe I breached any code of ethics. I then wrote about my actions on this blog in some detail – months ahead of the vote. Of course, it wouldn’t change an iota in terms of the result, but it seemed to be the honest thing to do. I went for disclosure not concealment.

The Telegraph’s disgrace rather confirms the view that anybody involved in Better Together finds it impossible to locate the virtue of honesty. It’s as if it is congenital that any run of facts has to be re-arranged because that’s what they do. Truth became more malleable to them than in any previous campaign and popular perceptions turned upside down. The contemptible champion of this was Blair McDougall, now with his own dark little corner in nationalist history along with George Cunningham and Ian Davidson. This week he was still at it on Twitter (who can’t let go?) declaring that (apparent) confirmation of naval orders coming to the Clyde was a boost for Scotland and ‘a disappointment for Nationalists’, implying that Yes would prefer London to renege and jobs to go and yards to close. Nice, eh?

What this flipped over of course was the truth of the situation throughout the campaign – that it was Yes that insisted the orders would come to the Clyde whatever happened. We said the Clyde yards were the only logical place to build the vessels and made the case for the work and jobs. It was Unionists who said the orders might not come. But in the mad scientist’s lab that is McDougal’s mind, the opposite is true, simply to attempt a partisan jibe.

There is no doubt we were beaten but day-by-day the sickening reality of how that defeat was engineered becomes apparent.

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44 thoughts on “The Authentic Voice of Britain

  1. Good article as ever Derek. What sickens me is that the truth will never reach those who need to hear it.

    • Not strictly true, Jean. Scotland is changed forever, and is constantly changing as powerful and truthful social networking, The National, Sunday Herald, burgeoning SNP, Greens and Socialist members, Wings, Bella, Ginger Dug and a potential new Scottish news channel and Derek Bateman etc, etc are now flooding Scottish society with the very truths – past and ongoing – you bemoan as lost.

      Be optimistic, Jean!

  2. I wrote to Ian Davidson after Zambella’s musings about where the frigates might be built ( and after the former’s usual flippant remarks in the Commons during what passes as Scottish Questions).
    Safe in the knowledge that he has his job secure for the next 6 months he was his usual combatative self in his reply.

    Oh for a huge effort to send him packing in May.

  3. Big media – hopelessly politically compromised.

    Who knew?

    What Mr Cochrane though, is cheerfully holding his hands up to, is nothing less than you’ve described above Derek. He has totally undermined the position and ‘reputation’ (?) of his title, his colleagues and printed media in general. He allied himself directly to undermining a democratic process, spreading fear, uncertainty, doubt, mistrust and misdirection. This individual has apparently openly admitted his part in massive public deception and manipulation, using his position and national soapbox in order to do so. That he has according to rumour also personally profited from these actions would not really come as much of a surprise either, but I think what he has admitted to is a profound enough crime to the electorate all on its own.

    His endless personal enmity and assaults toward Alex Salmond over recent years not being enough he also spared more than a few of his columns to demonise the YES movement in general. As for his part in Alex Salmond’s downfall? A bit premature on that one I think by Mr Cochrane, as I’m sure the UK political establishment will find out to their cost in due course.

  4. The question has to be asked “What did the unionist side achieve with their undoubted victory?” Did they manage to preserve a unified “nation” where truth, honesty and integrity are the core values? No. Did they achieve a UK with a single sense of purpose? No. Have they created a state that is confident in itself and in who and what it is? No. Have they demonstrated rather nicely the principles of “whatever it takes”, “truth is the first casualty of war” and “the end justifies the means” in order to suppress an optimistic, visionary and inspired movement? Yes they have. Were they frightened of an equitable, liberal minded, prosperous and progressive Scotland? Yes they were.

    Will they win in the long run? No. How do I know? Because the truth will out.

  5. Steve Asaneilean

    Good to have you back on blistering form Derek – I had started to worry that maybe your blog here had run out of steam and was reaching the end of the line and that maybe you were too busy with other projects to keep this one going.

    I am very glad to be wrong.

  6. Sianna MacDonald

    Beaten, perhaps, but not for good. Sentimentalist as I am, I’ll throw the Declaration of Arbroath out there without shame or embarrassment. Good article. I am still chuckling at the label “Bleeding knees”…

  7. Well said, Derek. Actually I am quite happy to let the likes of Cochrane feed the establishment what it wants to hear, in other words: that the No “victory” was decisive and the possibility of independence has gone. Arrogance and complacency on their part can only help the independence movement.
    Meanwhile Dave’s little helpers, the Labour party in Scotland, continues to implode. No wonder Brown and Darling have run away from next year’s election.

  8. I used to wonder what a ‘tumbrel remark’ was, but not after reading Cochrane’s Telegraph article. Truly sickened and angered. It confirms just what the Scottish struggle for independence was, and is, all about.Civic Scotland was, and is, actually ‘at war’ with the ‘British Establishment’ albeit, for their part, a covert war. The YES movements’s positive messages, in hindsight, now seem woefully naive. We were as naive as Chamberlain who thought Hitler could be pacified and that he would play by the rules and be a man of his word. Whilst the YES movement fought an honest campaign with integrity and ethics, we, like Chamberlain had no idea what kind of monster we were actually dealing with, in this self-serving, entitled, British ‘elite’. Contemptible Cochrane is simply another Establishment stooge and a cringe-inducing Eton wannabee, to boot. ‘They’ (the so-called ‘toffs’) will hold Cochrane in more contempt that even I. His sycophantic scribbles reveal the so-called ‘high heid yins’ in all their merciless ‘glory’. . Sorry old boy, Cochrane will only ever be a factotum to DC’s ilk. DC ‘dressed down’ to meet him, his ‘retainer’, whilst he wore his flunkey suit to honour ‘the great man’ even noticing you. DC’s ‘police protection’ seemed to induce pre-orgasmic bliss. Oh, the irony, made all the sweeter by Cochrane’s blindness to the fact that his article reveals his inner ‘Uriah Heep’ far more than it does anything else. He also gives the YES Movement valuable ammunition. DC will not be best pleased but Cochrane & DC seem to think the Jocks have been ‘packed away’ for ‘a generation’. I’m afraid not, old bean.

    But see thon wee, ruthless Betty, (purring into her sagging jowls), mayhaps she could open the next Scottish food bank & we could give her some more cream? Never mind, puss-in-cahoots, revenge is a dish best served cold. The Scottish Parliament’s first vow of intent (a warning shot across the bows of the Scots ‘elite’ that it means business) after the Referendum, a vow which it will keep, unlike Better Together, is to abolish the corporate tax exemption bestowed on Betty’s family’s vast Highland estates; bestwoed by Thatcher, kept by Blair & Brown in their red-tory aping. This abolition is going to cost Cochrane’s ‘noble’ and not so noble pals, millions in rates. More importantly, wee Betty was just given notice by Holyrood that if she does anything with ‘her’ land, which the elected representatives of the people, deems to be not in the interest of ‘the people’, Holyrood can & will now intercede to stymie Betty’s wishes. Betty’s just been telt that SHE is not sovereign in Scotland anymore; the people are. She’ll no like that. This retaliatory declaration of war seems also to have fallen under the radar of the British Establishment press (or they are aware of it but simply choose to ignore it)! Land Reform is coming to a royal estate near you, Betty, and you too, dear Editor of the Mail. The Referendum is going to be an extremely expensive exercise for Betty, her ‘landed gentry’ & ‘nouveau riche’. Just like Chamberlain, Scotland now knows the many headed snake, with which we have engaged. Next time, the kid gloves must come off. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when Nicola engages with wee Betty for the first time, as First Minister. I suspect a frosty atmosphere after Cochrane’s faux pas. Betty must be furious with this ‘oink’.

    Know thine enemy, Nicola, know thine enemy! Les tumbrels sont pret. Vive l’Ecosse!

    • I agree with most of what you have said except the naivety of the Yes campaign.

      Alex Salmond was very well aware of the ‘dark forces’ we were up against – he mentioned that in his speech at the Edinburgh march in 2013.

      The decision to go for a positive campaign was the only option open to us as we would not have been able to out-fear Project Fear.
      I do believe it did lead to more people joining Yes.

      As for Cochrane and his ilk, they are beneath contempt – he has outed himself as a crawler to the establishment and if he expects gratitude from them , I think he is in for a shock.

      • Liz

        Totally agree, I know for one I am immensly proud to have been part of yes because of our positive campaign

        We hold our head high and proved scotland is a beacon of progressive thinking

        We proved there is another way to do politics

        We proved that you can win even when you loose

        We have changed our country for ever

        We may have lost to fear, for who couldn’t understand the fear a pensioner must have felt over their pension, but in the end we have won, for the truth will out, and I would rather be honest than be the winner in a single battle of this war

        One only has to examine the levels of hatred shown towards the SNP by people like Cochrane to know that they have won nothing and lost all

        For the heart of Scotland is the heart of her people and that heart is clean of corruption and free from the stain of fear mongering

        And that is why this movement continues today stronger than ever

    • Margaret Telford

      excellent Post

  9. The day I knew game was up was hearing
    Douglas Alexander tell a pensioner live on BBC Morning call her pension was uncertain if a yes unchallenged
    Then repeat the shipbuilding lie on the week the navy had just bought its latest HMS from Norway again unchallenged
    Yesterday the Herald declared that muhammad was the no1 boys name in England its not in fact its declined
    Easily checkable on office of national statistics website

  10. Absolutely nuts,at least people online can research(but for how long), but if not others believe the press,which as you show,are forming twisted opinion ,and all for money! I believe society is at a crossroad in Scotland,and fortunately some have awakened,
    when oh when, will we be free of corruption,paedophilia,lies ,and greed

  11. Whatever future Scotland’s freedom holds,
    we will forever know our English masters knew no bounds
    to the evils they worked against us.

  12. Highly motivating list of responses. Thanks.

  13. Yet despite it all, the very best they could manage; and even this is claimed to be due in no small part to the intervention of Brown, was nothing more than 55%. When you count the don’t knows, that number comes down radically. They failed to settle it for a generation. The only settled will they have “is” 55%. The damage done to achieve that is there for all to see. They have made Britishness so odious to those who voted yes, that there is no way forward for the unionists to reconcile that 45% of the electorate to accept it. Acknowledge it – yes. Accept it and give up, Oh Hell no! Its why they are still going through the motions of the better together campaign. They have damaged the credibility of the MSM. And they have sacrificed the Scottish labour party, so that the union may live. The smith commission was the only chance they had to build bridges, and they botched that as well.

    Why are unionists looking and sounding like losers? Simple really. They won but nothing changed. They still have Cameron & Osborne in charge. We still have austerity. Miliband is still trying to out-right wing the tories and UKIP. The BBC still seems to have its head up Farage’s backside. The economy is lurching back into recession. We are looking at a sovereign debt crisis in the face, and Osborne’s plan is to make Austerity a Law. Thats right, being an utter bastard to those who had no involvement with the collapse of world banking are to be legally hounded by westminster, regardless of who gets in.

    The No camp have literally nothing to celebrate. Its at this point that Cochrane comes out to claim credit. A nattering nabob of negativity who revels in a victory where nothing changed. Nothing was achieved. Nothing was gained, except perhaps a stay of execution. If that miserablist view of the UK is what makes him proud to be British – then he’s welcome to it. I am completely disinvested with the whole concept. I don’t even like using the term british as a collective pro-noun.

    I’m done with it. I’m done trying to understand a fossil like cochrane who dwells in the past and celebrates a happy clappy vision of the UK that never existed. I’m washing my hands of Britain. A polished turd is still a turd after all.

  14. Every time that ignorant blow-hard Cochrane spouts off, this link should be shoved under his pig like face.

    If only his brain were a fraction of the size of his ego.

  15. This ‘union’ is over.
    For a while we’ll have to live together
    while the cheating goes on.
    The purse lies open, the contents spilling out
    but still he takes – ‘What’s yours is mine’ he cries.
    His friend Smith pops in to say ‘how are you?’

  16. Never in the history of the many has so much arse kissing been done by the few, big beast broon should be ashamed of himself as should all the others of his ilk. Didn’t someone once say that he liked the people he’d bought to stay bought ( and if they didn’t they should have said it)

  17. What concerns me is, now The Telegraph has had it confirmed by their own employee, (they were paying Alan Cochrane to write for them, while he used their paper/ his column on behalf of the Govt) , where does that leave their ethics?

    How does Alan Cochrane expect any reader to receive any of his future scribblings?

    The lasting impression of Better Together is the trouble with common decency is , it’s not that common…

  18. thomaspotter2014

    I don’t think it would come as the greatest surprise to find out that all of these Better Together traitors to Scotland will have been paid out on the No result,what else matters to them other than money and power.
    But it’s not over by a long chalk.
    We only need to win once.

  19. I look forward to reading Old Cockers’s book. The more insider information regarding the organisation of the Better Together campaign we can get our hands on, the better we can understand the “Proud Scots but”. Our motto should be “know your enemy”, or, doffing my cap to the shade of Margo, “know your opponent”. They won on 18th September, we must endeavour to ensure they don’t win next time.

    Can we persuade Darling to write his account of his triumphantly successful defence of the Union? It would be interesting to compare and contrast with Alan Cochrane’s version of events.

    • I wouldn’t trust Cochrane’s or Darling’s version of events. I suspect they’ll both withhold any information that might help the pro-independence campaign to know the anti-independence enemy. They might be spiteful, cynical and downright sneaky, but they weren’t born yesterday.

    • Would it be reliable? I think the man is a fantasist. His book would only tell you about the mind of a sick, crawling, puffed-up sycophant, of the kind of Jock the British Union routinely breeds.

  20. I probably am not as prosaic as some of the comments here, blame being up with a sick 3 year old for 20 hours. But how anyone managed to even read the preview passages is beyond me, I managed to the first mention of DC looking so relaxed in his pullover before I had to close my browser, and wash my eyes out with dettol.

    What an odious man he is, some people on the no side believed in what they were doing but cochrane seems to just be furthering his career at the expense of his nation. As Burns said ‘bought and sold for English gold….’

    The latest editorial I don’t understand this, forget manifestos, forget any thin differences between them just remember ‘SNP BAD’.

    Then you have Willie Rennie and the moral milk monitor Caron Lindsay who have decided what is good and bad on the Internet. Good is the ‘independent’ lib dem voice blog (independent in this case is not controlled by Nigg Clegg) and bad of course being Wings of Scotland. They have found that wings has embedded itself into the Scottish Government. So it of course should be blocked on Scottish Government computers. Of course the Daily mail/telegraph and their abusive comments are ok.

    Today has peeled back a curtain for me. They are not interested in any sort of reconciliation. They do not want to work together. They are not interested in improving Scotland for now and Future generations of Scots.

    They are interested in themselves, in greed, in money, in control, in crushing any attempt of putting a heart into this country.

    Well ok then bring it on, we have had a short rest, we have refeshed our batteries our liberty is in site and hell be dammed we will get there each of us supporting each other.

  21. I used to think him a bit of a buffoon but now I despise Alan Cochrane. He’s a crawler and a sycophant, even to the point of fawning over an ugly customer like John Reid. If, as reported by Private Eye, he was also on a big bonus for a No vote, then his bile-filled anti-Yes Telegraph columns can only be looked at as an exercise in cynicism. As a self proclaimed tout for Cameron and Better together he is truly a degraded figure.

  22. Isn’t this a version of embedded journalism, with all the moral implications? So it doesn’t only happen in wars. Or maybe, just that.

  23. Maybe just one fact that is mightily pissing off Quisling Cochrane is that his home city of Dundee voted YES by a sizeable majority. I have never held him in any respect due not only to his frankly anti-Scottish bile in his puerile scribblings, but also to his unremitting hatred of and abuse towards Alex Salmond, once again awarded the Spectator’s Politician of the Year Award, by the way.

  24. Surely there can be no surprise that Cochrane, Gardham, Torquil Crichton, etc were batting with all their power for the dark side? They have never hidden their partiality.

  25. Cochrane’s crawling should be required reading for undecided voters the next time

  26. I suppose that we can expect to see books along similar lines from Glenn Campbell , Gary Robertson, Jackie Bird, Eleanor Bradford, Magnus Gardham, Murray Foote, David Cleggand , Alan Roden and the sad Unionist sycophants at The Scotsman.

  27. You all may complain about Cochrane but he was paid by his British employer to write his abusive articles against his country and he loyally obeyed. And as mentioned above, seems he was promised a bonus too, on a sliding scale dependent on the size of the No vote, should No be secured.

    He will retire in a few years time. He will then have time to reflect on his past working career, and talk about his past with his grandchildren.

    “Grandad, is it true what my classmates are saying, that you received a bonus of just £10,000 for working against independence for Scotland?”.

    What a stinger of a question for your retirement years – and just £10,000.

    • Yes don’t our Traitors work cheap.

      • It’s like the 2014 version of the £20,000 of arrears that Lockhart of Carwath said was sent up to Scotland in 1706 to ease the passage of the Union ahead of the vote; disbursed amongst a plethora of minions and placemen. Oh how history repeats itself.

        Parcel o’ rogues.

  28. Another incisive piece, Derek.

  29. Still laughing at Bleeding Knees, you and Paul should get together I think we would never lose the smile on our faces. Both he and Mrs Cocker are a disgrace, look at the carry on with David Hayman. Oh for a return to the days when it was quite respectable to Tar and Feather.

  30. Interesting. Hope all is going well with Eilidh, used to be friends with her at school before the unpleasant efforts of a certain group (including one who later became a tabloid journalist..) lead to her moving.

  31. I rarely read anything Cochrane writes (and won’t be buying his book), and I almost bristle whenever he appears on TV to pass comment on anything, as he rarely appears to seriously consider the slightest merit of an opposing view.

    He is not a journalist, a weigher of ideas, he is a cheerleader. It’s akin to John Simpson arriving in a war zone driving a lorry full of weaponry for one of the sides. An utter disgrace whether you support independence or not.

    Maybe he should wear the full cheerleader’s uniform with his red white & blue pompoms…and his bleeding knees on view to all

  32. If this story is true then yes, Cochrane is a traitor. But he’s a traitor to journalism, the sort of journalism that goes after truth, that doesn’t kneel down before the rich and powerful but drags truth kicking and screaming out from behind the shutters of the State and other vested interests that would keep it hidden, the sort of journalism that puts the journalist in personal danger whether to his or her life or reputation. Many have died working in dangerous environments as they tried to bring the truth to the world, while others have risked their careers chasing “inconvenient truths”. Cochrane has hammered a fistful of nails into the coffin of real journalism and richly deserves our contempt.

  33. Good Derek – nail the ba**ard.

    The National now outsells The Scotsman. The Daily Rancid sees its sales fall by half. The Torygraph and the puerile Cochrane barely figure in Scotland and Cochrane’s thirty pieces of silver comes to a mind-sapping 10,000 paltry squid, which I hope Mr Taxman duly has note of. The Herald and ghastly Gardham are being propped up by the Sunday Herald and The National – one way or the other – but it be telling nonetheless to the Newsquest beancounters.

    All in all – right is might, so write right, or your history! Aye, right!

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