Stop Press Please

As if the near obliteration of Labour, Lib Dem and Tory parties wasn’t enough, we should remember the other big losers from May 7 – the Scottish media. The bulk of the Press was comprehensively trounced and had its vein-bulging nose rubbed in the dirt by the voters who scoffed at the wearisome fear creation and appeals to a dead British patriotism which was all the hollowed out mainstream could muster.

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The pitiful ‘political editors’ who are in reality the billposters for the Unionist parties running with their slogans and plastering them up for the lieges, went through the dawning realisation that their sources were bankrupt. The MPs and fixers who had provided the flow of copy, who phoned with a story on the QT or could be relied upon to magic up a damning quote on cue, were stripped of all potency and influence. Even the ‘we-know-what-you-want’ conspirators McDougall and McTernan lost all efficacy as their brand became contaminated not just by the defeat of the campaign they devised but by the contempt of Labour members.

The commentators who have soothed the Union’s path for years with sly smears on Nationalists while ignoring the failings of a dysfunctional ruling system were scattered by the voters’ preference – scattered and chased out of town by the mob. They have become figures of fun in the pages of our national Press, pontificating still on the meaning of it all without the courtesy of an apologia for being profoundly wrong. The Sunday Post should be suing for breach of the copyright – every Scottish paper now has its Merry Mac’s Fun Parade. It’s called Comment and Editorials.

The tortured logic of the tartan commentariat is awesome to behold. The first thing we learn from the geniuses in print is that the people didn’t vote of their own free will but were, by some mysterious mind-bending process, duped (all 1.45m of us) into supporting the SNP which is, without qualification, a Bad Thing. This way, it’s the voters (all 1.45m of us) who are wrong, not the commentators. Here the tricky thing called reality is warmed up and gently bent into a curve so it leans towards a journalist’s pre-conceived position.

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Second, they didn’t vote SNP for independence. Mercy me, no…that would never do. That’s what they have in places like Burundi and Yemen and even in Ireland. And look what happened to them. No it’s simply a protest, like UKIP and will pass. No need to worry.

Then we’re told they can’t succeed at Westminster because the Tories have a majority – therefore it was a waste of time voting for them. They’re already ineffectual and time will prove they’re a waste of space.

Lastly, it doesn’t really matter that they knocked Unionist politics out of the park – Westminster was never that important and their success can be dismissed…far better to focus on SNP policy failings at Holyrood – that’s where the real fight is going on. Concentrate on the nuts and bolts in Edinburgh and the fear of electoral oblivion can be pushed to the back of the mind.

Into this self-serving deluge of denial we can add dashes of despairing Unionist wishful thinking. Hence, a large SNP group fully participating in the Commons will become British and go native as they see for themselves the advantages of the UK. Nationalism will decline. (You read it here first).

The white-knuckle grip with which serious commentators cling to some out-dated vision of Ukania is the hallmark of an embedded Unionism that is quite simply incapable of visualising Scotland as a normal country. Of course, the individual journalist never sees it this way. The excuse is always that they are being objective and reporting what happens and they don’t take sides. Really? I can count on the fingers of one hand the journalists who were either relaxed about the idea of independence or openly supportive across 14 daily and Sunday papers. Dismissing the right wing rags of Mail and Express as propaganda and not really newspapers at all, there is the Telegraph whose editor admits he was recruiting for Better Together, fundraising for them, spiking stories at their behest and keeping readers in the dark about his activities. The Times didn’t use a single pro independence commentator throughout the entire campaign in a total failure to reflect opinion. And so it goes on…

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I’m all for plurality but where is it? The Sunday Herald stood alone and the National only emerged after the vote. How trailblazing that looks now as the discredited rest of the mainstream stumble about searching for a reason to believe and finding none. You get the sense that they know they need Labour because the Liberals are floating face down, the Tories are toxic, there aren’t enough readers of Green persuasion and they can never embrace the Nats. Expect much cheerleading and solemn approval of Murphy’s rescue plan and Kez’s leadership bid and systematic denial of what is known to the dogs in the street – Labour still hasn’t reached the bottom of this hole.

In case you think I’m not interested in criticism, I should point out that in the coming weeks I want us to stop constantly campaigning and to look at the development of policy and that means confronting SNP failings. They don’t get a free ride.

But whatever limitations there are in the Nationalist agenda, they can’t be used as an excuse to hide the searing truth…that Unionism is failed by its own champions. The myopia, tribalism, vitriol and mendacity of the Unionist side has been exposed by the election result and the Scottish media takes its share of the blame for never seriously challenging its assumptions while unfailingly flag-waving for its adherents.

In their desperation to curry favour and do their duty, too few of Scotland’s journalists even questioned whether Better Together was the right vehicle. (I read one recently suggesting Labour had no choice but to participate. Eh?) They never questioned if Darling was the right man to lead. They ignored his international itinerary to make £250,000 from corporate clients while vilifying Salmond for official hotel bills. Hardly ever did any of them consider the possibilities for Scotland that could be found in other countries.

Our media spend their life, like Labour, behind the curve bewailing rather than embracing SNP success. This is the new Scotland. We’re living it. Catch up. Keep criticising but at least try to sound less bewildered and afraid. Change happens. Here is half the population who voted, shaking the ground on which our government is built and all we get from those claiming the right to inform us is grudge and grievance. They’re no’ as left wing as they pretend…they’ve cut college places…they’ve no’ dualled the A96 yet…

Like Labour, they never accept their failings and the public know it. On May 7 the Scots gave two fingers to the newsroom spivs and manipulative commentators, ignored their message and threw away the dog-eared formbook. The media is failing Scotland just as much as Labour. And like their last-gasp party chums, they will find reform beyond them.

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49 thoughts on “Stop Press Please

  1. Brilliant article. Thank god for sites like this one. I have long since refused to buy unionist newspapers, or look at their websites. Hit them where it hurts. Political reporting on television is an insult.

    • I could not agree more, i stopped buying newspapers, apart from The National and Sunday Herald. Do not watch BBC news on television any more because of all the totally biased comments and coverage.

  2. And, as if on cue, Tom Brown in the Daily Record goes one further: “the Scottish landslide was not really a vote for the SNP and definitely not for independence.”

  3. Ex journalist. Utterly detest BBC Scotland and BBC Radio Scotland, in particular. These people shame their profession on a daily basis. No more excuses.

    Nothing wrong with holding personal opinions but it should be impossible to tell an individual journalist or editor’s particular political leanings. It isn’t.

    It should be a matter of pride and honour that these same journalists question with more vigour those they agree with. They don’t.

    All but one radio journalist, as far as I can see, fails on this most basic level of standards.

    Has it been ever so? Probably. No-one noticed in the past because different editorial approaches balanced each other out.

    The referendum lifted up Aunty’s skirt and it wasn’t pleasant underneath.

  4. Gordon McAllan

    “….. systematic denial of what is known to the dogs in the street – Labour still hasn’t reached the bottom of this hole.”

    There remains, as a clear priority, in Scotland’s interests (and, perhaps paradoxically, as a crucial component in the owning-up essential to the Labour Party in Scotland, if it is ever to generate public trust) a full, headlights-on, exploration of the Labour Party machine in local government: the entrenched, self-defensive, despotic “party caucus” model which has neglected its own peripheral voting fodder and of ourse its electorate, over decades. The advancements, the contracts, the vested interests …… The “We know best – you’ll get only what we decide to give you, now and again,” unchallenged rule, with the occasional school visit as a backdrop for a politically-charged publicity shot in a comradely rag. And, as the public, we have accepted that mutely, for too long. Fundamentally, we are talking about the concept of public SERVICE, and how far that has strayed from the truth and democratic essence it should maintain.

    Perhaps a role for investigative journalism? Is there any left?

    • At last, somebody can see through not only the individuals but the network with which they’re all embroiled.
      One other thing, you wouldn’t, by chance be talking about West Dunbartonshire Council and the history of its dodgy dealings, especially during the 80s/90s when 7 out of 11 councillors were done with fraud.

  5. Seconded. Even the Grauniad has moved to the right under Rusbridger and didn’t give us any support.

    I’ll be interested to read your agenda for moving forward and critique of SNP policy. Everyone knows they have faults, that Independence was always going to be a rocky road and it wasn’t going to lead to a Marxist utopia (as some idiots in the msm called it), but I’d rather have them than Blair/Brown/Miliband or the old Etonian millionaires punishing the poor, the vulnerable, the disabled and rewarding their millionaire friends in finance and business and destroying the last vestiges of Attlee’s welfare state by privatising all the profits and socialising all the risks.

    For me, the SNP were always a means to an end and once we have independence then it’s all to play for – whether that’s a new socialist party, the Greens or a much more left of centre SNP. The Liberals (whaur’s yer Home Rule now, Willie) or Labour as presently constituted have no agenda for a more equal, fairer society.

    • SquirrelTowers

      Exactly, I will never buy the Guardian again. I didn’t expect uncritical adulation from them for Independence, but a fair portrayal and analsis of what was happening in Scotland was during the #indyref

  6. jacquescoleman

    Excellent stuff and all the more so coming from someone who used to be one of them. Particularly liked:-

    “Dismissing the right wing rags of Mail and Express as propaganda and not really newspapers at all,”

    And one HAS to ask, who are the misbegotten souls who buy them?

  7. Here is a fun game that all the family can play –

    When confronted with an obnoxious, loaded question, such as “Why did the SNP take so long to give the £1billion they pocketed to the councils to help the people made poorer by SNP policies?”

    you could choose to answer plainly

    “John Swinney manages to balance the books properly, year after year – and even manages to save money. The £1 billion given out to the local councils was to mitigate the effects of Westminster policies – and it’s now the responsibility of the [mainly Labour led] local councils in Scotland to ensure the money reaches the poorest people.”

    but it’s more fun to simply guess the press source that the loaded-questionasker reads;

    “I bet you read the Telegraph on a daily basis, then treat yourself to the Mail on Sunday once a week – and of course you watch the BBC news each evening, because you find Channel 4 is too complex and challenging.” [It’s entirely possible that you may have to leg it] [More rational friends will laugh and tell you if you’re right or wrong with your guess] [People might call you the same unpleasant names that they themselves have learnt by rote – from reading said articles]

    It’s become a fun game for many people to play – and has led to many a change of heart. Most people hate to think that their opinions and views are not necessarily their own – and most people are horrified to realise that they are simply a willing mouthpiece for empty rhetoric and utter nonsense.

    May I take this opportunity to say thank you for your blog – it’s a relief to be able to read about the press, the people and politics without feeling that my family are being insulted, wrongly labelled or vilified.

  8. Gavin C Barrie

    Consider what Darling and Brown achieved with their behaviour in referendum campaigning, a temporary halt in the progress of Scotland’s demand for social change. And their reputations are in tatters.

    The Scottish edition editor of the Telegraph received a modest bonus from his boss for his clandestine efforts to thwart social change, as you mention above, and his reputation is in tatters.

    History will not be kind to these three.

  9. The thing that puzzles me, is that in all the litany of disasters that were promised us by the media, yet none of them pointed at how Ireland which shares a land border with the UK was desperately begging to come back into the warm clutches of the UK.

    Oh, it isn’t…. 🙂

  10. Come on Derek – nail some names to the mast (I’ll start with BW in the WHFP)

    As for you second point – yes, it is time to analyse what the Scottish Government is doing as all that seems to have been put on the back burner to make way for the tsunami of euphoria.

    But there are real problems. Teachers are concerned about the new exam system; there are real problems with the merged Edinburgh College; and the sustainability of remote rural health services is on critical – just ask the good folks of Mull or Ardnamurchan.

    I am not saying these are SG’s fault – but SG need to be challenged on them as the solutions, in part at least, lie with them.

    The annihilation of (Not) Labour must not come at the expense of an effective opposition. Good democracy demands effective opposition.

  11. ronald alexander mcdonald

    I predict a bloodbath in Labour’s scottish branch. They’re going to have the best part of forty chancers trying to get on the list for the scottish elections next year. I can hear their appeal to their London masters. Get us on and we’ll make sure the branch office will continue to be subservient to London.

    Meanwhile, Andy Burnham appears to be suggesting cutting them loose. This is of course purely for financial. reasons. It’s hilarious, considering that nobody in the branch office has a backbone to take any progressive action.

    • Heidstaethefire

      I predict you’re too late with your prediction, R.A.M. They’re already fighting like ferrets in a sack, and it’s away tempting tae prod the sack.

  12. Knives are out to get a place on the ScotLab List for Holyrood !

  13. Derek, we’ve all complained about the cynical abuse and exploitation displayed by the UK press – e.g. the entirely different headlines emblazoned on the English/”Scottish” editions of the “Scare-away” SUN; the “Daily Wail” and the Daily Mirror/Record. But, the same cynical ploy pertains in “home-grown” foreign-owned newspapers too – i.e. the blatant, New Labour supporting “Herald” and its pro- independence sister-titles “The Sunday Herald” and “The National”. This betrays the all-American philosophy of “give the dopes – sorry, the ‘customers’ what they want”, rather than “what they need” i.e. the truth! Indeed, the UK is fast approaching the levels of ignorance displayed by the ordinary American citizen who, has not only become the best-entertained individual on the planet, but also the least aware or concerned about current affairs, geography, and foreign policy – “bread and circuses” comes to mind. And, with the return of “Maggie” Cameron & Co, it is a foregone conclusion that the Leveson inquiry findings and the question as to the non-dom ownership of UK press/ broadcasting outlets will be swiftly buried.
    It is, therefore, incumbent on the SNP Government to address and expose (especially, in Westminster) this extremely dangerous state of affairs, which threatens what little remains our democracy. However, their first stop should be at the door of the UK’s State-Broadcaster: the British establishment Broadcasting Corporation (Be-BC) and its sub-office at Pathetic Quay. A public inquiry must be instituted ASAP by the Scottish Government into BBC Scotland’s coverage of the independence campaign AND the General Election. I look forward too, to the findings that private discussions with the Trade Unions and ordinary workers provide. Meantime, I’m sure the BBC staff can expect that “The beatings will continue until morale improves”?!!

  14. I think both Labour and the media haven’t yet figured out what happened. Labour had been on the slide and would probably still be in a tough spot just now, but during the referendum campaign they just COMPLETELY sacrificed all trust people had for them. We knew Labour people were dementedly lying through their teeth and that the media were reporting those proven lies as facts. We saw them demonise and smear decent people as fascist monsters. We now just simply don’t listen to a word they say.

    I voted SNP, but I did feel sorry for Miliband. He really did put forward quite a strong left wing programme and the SNP really just copycatted it. The SNP is not intrinsically more left wing than Labour. I think the focus on universalism is not, as so many have claimed, a middle class sop, but a way of doing things more efficiently while encouraging take-up of the service. Also, the free prescription you take now might prevent the week in hospital you get if you need to put that money towards a new pair of shoes for the wean. Also, with no power over taxes or social security, there was little opportunity for the SNP to be more redistributive.

    Moving forward, I think both the Community Empowerment Bill and the land reform process are going to be key. Both need to be given as radical an edge as possible. As Andy Wightman has noted, communities across the country had their assets – specifically land – stolen. We will do the thieves the courtesy of letting them remain as free men if they return their stolen property forthwith. If communities can gain access to productive assets, we will start to see (and to BE) communities rebuilding themselves. This is redistribution at a much more profound level than simply shuffling money around.

    • The SNP copied Labour Walloofs stop reading the Rags.

      • The SNP had never mentioned a mansion tax before Labour did. The manifesto for this election was very clearly designed to mesh with Labour’s on some issues and diverge on things like Trident. Politically it was very smart, but there was nothing in there that was MORE left wing than anything Labour had already put forward. It doesn’t make either side right or wrong or better or worse. It’s just what happened.

        I’ll say again, I voted SNP and have done for most of my life, but it’s a mistake to paint them as intrinsically left wing, or as more left wing than Labour. It’s not necessarily true. And as I said, I think pushing unversalism is important and valuable and is part of what has helped Scotland’s polity remain much more pro-social security than England’s seems to be. But in the absence of a credible opposition, we as supporters and members should be pressing the SNP to be a bit more radical. The point of getting more powers is to transform Scotland. If we start moving in the right direction on things like land reform (including land value taxation) and community empowerment then Scotland CAN become a much better country and ever more distant from England’s weird Tory thing. Then independence can happen pretty naturally. But we need the SNP to take this groundswell of eager, mostly working class support, Short money, membership fees and everything else and use it to start carrying out some more transformational work. I didn’t vote Yes to not frighten the horses. I want to startle those buggers good and proper!

  15. Agree with all you say Mr Bateman.

  16. Searing analysis Derek.

    The awful truth that the Scottish public have lately discovered is that Westminster politicians don’t control anything anymore. They’ve been unmasked as imposters. A mirage.

    The awful question is though – who or what the h*** does?

    • Heidstaethefire

      You’re right, there are two sets of issues in play here (at least). Those on Scotland’s governance, and those relating to the globalising nature of change in the west. They are, of course, interrelated.

  17. smiling vulture

    Gordon Brown ,hibernation,heard nothing since election

    • The only certainty about Brown and Darling is that they won’t be hiding away in the same place.

    • In Victorian times people would come and pay money to look at freaks like him. A latter day Joseph Merrick (apologies to Mr Merrick, who was apparently a nice guy)

  18. For too long British Labour have been London’s representatives in Scotland.
    Now Scots have decided that we will represent ourselves in Westminster and see if that turns out any better.
    I am not sure that it will because Westminster is overwhelmingly England’s parliament dominated by English MPs but at least it will show moderate Scots that if we want to be sure of having the major say in how our country is run then independence is the only way to achieve that.

  19. hossmackintosh

    Great analysis Derek.

    I think it is neatly summed up by poor old cockers at the ToryGraph.

    “The SNP problem is that they won too many seats! ”

    You could not make it up!
    LoL Lol Lol.

  20. Your point about the established Scottish media needing Labour is exactly right, Derek. This morning BBC Radio Scotland seemed to be devoting all of its resources to examining how the corpse might be resurrected, with Glenn Campbell as chief necromancer.

  21. Kevin Murphy-Steele

    The unionist newspapers have also managed to conveniently airbrush over the rather chequered early days of the Scottish Parliament under Labour and the Lib Dems; the cost of the Holyrood building, Officegate and Joke McConnell – they forget that the SNP were the ones that brought respectability and discipline to it, and successfully took it through its growing pains a lot more competently than Labour’s bunch of cardboard cutout MSPs ever could.

  22. Bugger (the Panda)

    There is only so many times you can fix a burst baw. The BBC is burst and can only stay viable In Scotland as an SBC without the usual suspects. The Inky fingered press has so undermined their own brands that it would take a marketing Nobel Laureate to work out a recovery plan before the money runs out.

    The National now looks to have been a master stroke. New title, half way house to the internet but, there is still room for 1 quality pro Scotland independent title. maybe combining the two east and west broadsheets may be needed to get a potential critical sales mass but what to call it and who to employ?

  23. I got scunnered with the papers and TV a long time ago. One item where I had special knowledge alerted me to what I thought at the time was sloppy journalism and now think was something worse – deliberate dumbed down and distorted reports fed to the he public to make it snazzier for the listeners. As far as I can see it has now morphed into something nastier – full blown propaganda – flat out lies and deceit.

    I now research many of the stories in the media. I read some of the public papers. I talk to people whom I know are involved. The more I learn the more contempt I have for the media and the more admiration I have for what the SNP government has achieved.

    I won’t say the SNP Government is perfect – I would be extremely suspicious if they were. They do, however, try to run the government competently in the interests of the majority of the people. Can that be said of Westminster?

  24. Superb post Derek. Damn near woke the neighbours up shouting YES, and I live oot in the back of beyond. 😀

    Our media, our commentators should take a hint. This isn’t a protest, its not a warning anymore either, not after almost eight years, its simply the way it is. They’ve been telt.

    Currently they don’t represent almost half the population, they don’t protect that half, they don’t speak for that half. In any democracy the world over, that is an appalling indictment of the press. They made this abundantly clear over the past four years especially, though it has been going on for some considerable period of time, that last four years was a real eye opener in just how politically, corporately and constitutionally compromised our media truly was. Our media, our fourth estate, let down their profession and ignored their public. In fact, IMO they let every single one of us down, YES and NO voter alike.

    They deserve this humiliation and this public reprimand more than words can express, they’ve certainly earned it.

    Oh and if they are lucky enough to survive the ongoing evolution of our society, modern communications and politics over the next few years? They may want to review their place in society, much like today’s Labour party in Scotland. What are they for? Who do they represent? Are they for profit and patronage alone or do they serve a public need?

  25. I’ve been waiting for an article like this. I thought exactly the same as Derek after the Glorious 7th, boy has the media failed utterly.

    They will still be telling themselves that it’s just a temporary local difficulty, normal service will be resumed as their sales and viewing figures fall even further and faster. How soon before the Hootsmon becomes a local freesheet? The Courier was canny, it signed up Wee Eck as a columnist. Foot in both camps, trying desperately to stay relevant. What’s the Press and Journal going to do now there are no Unionist MPs closer than Embra South?

    Roll on the next local elections then they will see what a grass roots rebellion and a deadwood purge looks like.

  26. I wish you would say what you mean Derek. Stop sugar coating it.

  27. Wow derek.

    Your at it again, getting the right words for so many’s anger at a disgraceful press.

    Brilliant and Commenters , big thumbs up. Seeing Scotland shake off the apathy and fighting for the truth makes me really proud. We need more like you. Sadly too many are useless voice boxes spouting lies and spin tha even the North Koreans would be proud off.

    The Britnat press are losing and the more we talk, share and highlight the lies the sooner we will be rid of the bastards.

    As for LIEbour.

    Why do we need THEM in opposition. We have the entire UK for that job. I hope with all my heart that LIEbour are annihilated at the SE 2016. Complete wipe out, sadly because of PR they will still have their scummy representaives in parli.

    Green , SSP or a new Independent Democratic party maybe for opposition . But for the time being the SNP carry our hopes and support until we finally have a free country. The rejected mp’s trying to get in the SE 2016 will be ample proof that the same old unionist shits run LIEbour.

    Fucking die you liars, cheats and traitors.

    Kenny.

    Come on man you should know better. Stop picking bones on SNP until we have a creditable opposition. Support the ONLY party that will put Scots first. Sly digs are noticed now, ( Ronnie 🙂 ) and your only falling for the lies the MSM throw to you to make you bark. Just incase it slipped your notice LIEBOUR ARE NOT LEFT WING. – FACT. Now shut up and eat your cereal 😉

  28. Alasdair Macdonald

    I agree. It is a good article, which makes me wonder how Mr Bateman was permitted to work for the BBC. He is the only person who actually challenged the single statement made continually by the former representative of the CBI in Scotland. More power to his new media venture.

    However, the broadcasters and journalists, whom he is correctly excoriating simply continue to go on doing what they have always done. They are well paid for it. Despite the growth of social media and blogs like this, the main stream media blast out their message fortissimo every minute of every day and this makes it hard to put reasoned counterarguments to people who are working all hours and bringing up families. However, there is hope and the outcome in Scotland of the recent GE indicates that increasing numbers of us are not accepting the pap.

    A couple of other points:
    *We must of course continue to question, challenge and hold the SNP to account. It is too easy for such parties to become ‘institutionalised’ as we saw with Scottish Labour. There has to be continual debate.
    *We should stop using the word ‘nationalists’ to mean both the SNP and people who support independence for Scotland. First of all these two groups, while they have members in common, are not identical. Many of the latter are the people who will challenge the SNP. Secondly, the unionists use the word disparagingly, because they know it carries overtones of ‘blood-and-soil’, fascism, xenophobia; they use it as a ‘dog whistle’. For several decades, the SNP has been about the right of those who live in Scotland, irrespective of their place of origin, to run Scotland in their own way. It is also the Scottish NATIONAL Party – there is no ‘ist’ at the end of the middle word. Those of us who are not members of the SNP and never voted for them until the GE hold a range of political views from socialist to conservative in a variety of mixes. We are for independence because we believe that the UK is being run by Westminster/Whitehall for The City of London and global capital. It is screwing the people of England as much as the rest of us and many of the people of London to a huge extent.
    * We must continue to be alert to the traps that Westminster will set for the SNP and for Scotland. The fox hunting changes likely to be proposed for England and Wales is one such. (The SNP MPs must abstain.) There will be others, because Westminster/Whitehall has had many centuries of coming up with such wheezes. They will always behave viciously and murderously to maintain their privileges. Alistair Darling, in leading Better Together, was acting in the interests of his class. They are already deciding the succession for the shell Scottish Labour Party. Is there any real difference between the long goodbye of Jim Murphy and the reversed resignation of Nigel Farage?
    * We must seek to help people in England build alternatives to Con/Lab/LibDem. UKIP is the one which speaks to them, particularly in Labour voting areas. The publicity UKIP gets from the media and the shrewd ‘sound-bitery’ of Mr Farage, is more acceptable to many than the mealy-mouthed New Labour ‘narrative’. Personally, I would prefer if they took more interest in the Greens, but I fear that the gap between what the Greens are saying and where many potential voters are is still very wide, and they are greatly ignored by the media or selectively quoted.

  29. I heard someone suggesting an RIC tour of the UK. I’m up for going one better – a YES tour. Get RIC and WfI and Common Weal and Derek and whoever else to go round a few of the bigger towns and cities in England and Wales and talk about what we’re actually doing up here. Personal contact with people is the only sure way to bypass the media. If we truly want to build alliances in the rest of the UK, we need to think about how we can do that.

  30. Great article Derek.However, I don’t view our unspeakable media as just blinkered and stupid incompetents, I see them as implacable enemies of our country’s ‘aspiration’ for freedom.

    When you consider Slab’s MPs and Msps total uniform backing of the ‘Better Together ‘ along with the BBC inspired onslaught on any semblance of democratic discourse.

    Add in the yellow press monolithic and monobrow narrative of lying disinformation.Then it is difficult to see it as anything other than a concerted and collusive political attack on the body politic of Scotland.

    Why would any journalist worthy of the title nit seize the opportunity to chronicle the zeitgeist and question the nature of the decaying and bankrupt labour hegemony in this country?

    Were they all stupid and or bigoted Britnats? Or more credibly aren’t they pimps and prostitutes ..the modern equivalent of a ‘parcel of rogues’ reprising the role of fawning colonial arsekissers for which a minority of our countrymen have blighted out reputation over the centuries?

    I know one thing for certain, history will condemn them for the men and women of straw that they really are. A rotten but justified legacy for sure!

  31. I remember when to upgrade hospitals Labour bought some paint, I remember Labour upgrading our roads, they bought some paint, I remember Royal visits to wave at us, Labour bought some more paint

    Then after all that upgrading and painting Labour needed to travel to other parts of the world, presumably to see their paint
    Strangely enough though it was always the same two colours of paint Magnolia and Pale green so I could never figure out how they managed to spend all that money abroad looking at paint

    Still, now we have the SNP, hospitals, they build them, not only that bigger better under budget, so annoying,Bridges, bigger better and under budget, they’re pissing me off now coz every time I think about it they keep doing good stuff
    I just don’t know why anybody would want to vote for these terrible people who keep trying to do stuff for Scotland

    We’re just not used to this

  32. Spot on. If I look at the editor of my (successful but pro SLab) local rag, his career was built partly on nurturing contacts with the local SLab politicos. Any other course would have left his bum out the window.

  33. Thank you Very much Derek brilliant + on the BALL article
    much respect to you

  34. I’m pleased to hear that you are going to embark on constructive criticism of the SNP, as well as having an in-depth look at their policies.
    Effective opposition and scrutiny from the media are essential for any government. With the Labour Party in the disarray we find them in and the msm in a similar position (where they must decide on radical reform or die) that opposition needs to come from elsewhere.
    Those of us who support independence must provide forensic examination of the government to ensure their success.

  35. “forensic examination of the (Scottish) government” – I’ve argued before that we need an independent think tank to promote Scottish Independence, analysing the economic and social case and countering the lies, deceit, misinformation and demonisation coming from WM and the dominant right wing think tanks, as well as the closet neo-liberals like the IFS. Gordon Wilson said something similar recently. It would also examine the SG’s policies and decisions as Lynda suggests.

    Whenever the next referendum is, we need to get our “propaganda” out there first and get it into the alternative media and the National.

    One issue that needs to be addressed is the issue of the currency, which seemed to be a weak point in the campaign. It could start by re-visiting the Fiscal Commission’s analysis, and if sticking with Sterling (probably short-term) is still the best option then we need to get the positive arguments out there, and convince voters that Sterling and the (nationalised) Bank of England belongs to us all and not just to Westminster.

    The idea of an Economics & Communications think tank ties in with Derek’s critique of the media, because we are never going to get a fair hearing in the msm.

  36. Anyone seen or heard of Grahamski?
    He’s rather conspicuous by his absence, especially in light of labours stunning showing at the GE.
    You would think that he would be on here telling us all about the positive response he was getting on the doorsteps……………….

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