Dim and Dimmer

I’ve just spent two hours rifling through the outpourings of revulsion about modern Scotland expressed by ‘respected’ journalist Chris Deerin. What a way to start a Bank Holiday. It’s like looking for a £10 note in the rubbish bin and getting covered in squidgy, smelly goo.

From the Mail to the Telegraph, from the Spectator to the Guardian, with stops in between at right-wing websites and marketing magazines, his bile appears, pulsating with insult, denigrating our politics, sneering at our political leaders and crawling on hands and knees to ‘beautiful’ Britain.


It would take the National Library to archive this compendium of malevolence and spite and no doubt they would file it under Bigotry – anti-Scottish. I don’t advise you to follow my example as it’s enough to give you the dry boak. It’s difficult to know if this is a contrived persona designed to provoke or an intellectually genuine worldview – that half your own people (at least) are variously a bit thick, gullible, violent and narrow-minded. Since I don’t regard the Daily Mail as a newspaper and don’t read it, I only come across Deerin through Twitter which led to today’s garbage trawl…and when you read it in a single sitting you get the impression of a clever man with writing skills who just can’t stop his loathing from creeping through. He derives pleasure from belittling, in a kind of cruel torment for those who don’t share his Moonie-esque adoration of Britain – a country for whose documented failings he has profound myopia. This is Katie Hopkins does Scotland. We are his cockroaches.

Katie Hopkins

His loathing of all things Yes (and therefore popular) is persistent, as if today’s Scotland was a script that had gone wrong and he was incapable of stopping it. When it’s the world that’s wrong, not you, the usual diagnosis is madness. Indeed he seems to be infected with the Thatcher elixir that neo cons still find so exhilerating. The Iron Lady is one of his reference points, as it is for Michael Forsyth, accompanied by a disbelief that anyone could think this wasn’t normal.

He can’t help himself. When the hashtag I’m SNPbecause went up his tweet said: I’m ‪#SNPbecause I’m disappointed with the way my life has turned out, I’m angry and I blame everyone else, especially the English. Innocuous? Witty? Maybe, except when you take in the rest of his body of work you realise the idea that this is cheeky chappie having a chuckle evaporates in the miasma of bitterness.

If bigotry is intolerance of another view, we have here a new trophy to mount alongside Tom Gallagher, Bruce Anderson and Max Hastings. But sneering at Scots, even by Scots, has a long and ignoble history. If it isn’t us, it’s the Irish.

So why am I bothering with another deranged Thatcherite? After all to Clever Chris I’m one of these… ‘The Nats are aided by useful idiots in the Scottish media and cultural elite. From comfortable middle-class pads in the less affordable parts of Glasgow and Edinburgh, these socialist tub-thumpers promise that a left-wing tartan utopia is within grasp, and that a ‘yes’ vote can save the grimy-faced, honest-as-the-day-is-long Scots toiler from exploitation by effete Tory thieves in London. They advance the idea of Scots as being nicer, fairer, more attached to the brotherhood of man. What little divergence there is comes down to a mix of rather obvious things — the cultural hangover of anti-Thatcherism, which keeps the Tories at a low ebb north of the border; a political culture that, since devolution, has become inward-looking and self-obsessed to an unsettling degree; an elite that relentlessly claims Scots are more compassionate, more egalitarian, less racist and kinder to babies than the English. And for all its superficial modern sheen and tactical excellence, Scottish nationalism continues to be what it always has been: ugly, divisive and insular.’

Nice, eh? I love the idea that a polemicist working for the Telegraph and the Mail accuses anyone – anyone – of being divisive and insular. Maybe he’s not so clever after all…

No, the reason I’m putting myself through this is an invitation on Twitter from thoughtful and (unlike me) sensitive Nationalist Andrew Wilson to follow Deerin apparently so that I could be irked or provoked etc. by him and would add to his Twitter following. I, bluntly, said No Thanks. This to me is all part of the chattering class cartel, the cosy clique that says no matter how revolting, insensitive and divisive your writing, you’re still a nice middle class fellow and therefore one of us. This is the same groupthink that produces the Press Awards in which Deerin is hailed as a genius and the Record is Paper of the Year. Talk about living in a bubble.

The idea is that whatever you say about Scotland and the Scots, it’s all just a game of no consequence, especially when the guys get together at the bar for a self- congratulatory drink. Punters are suckers. Who cares so long as we all make a living?

The trouble with this is that these cynics have been rumbled, not just by cybernats, but by the those same ‘slightly dim’ Scots. How else could a sizeable chunk of Daily Record readers vote SNP if they didn’t read and reject the blatantly anti-SNP smears it prints? The public now laugh at the clever dick commentators who warn them of disaster and bankruptcy. The General Election was a wholesale rejection of the Too Wee, Too Stupid mantra of the Deerin tribe. Throughout the post war period the media has played a game of belittling Scotland to the point it became an obsession, a default setting telling us we were second class and not good enough. You still hear it today – We can’t be independent, we’re not good enough. Deerin’s rants are triumphant expressions of exactly that mentality telling us we can’t do it, that we’re not worthy. The big change, one he’s clearly missed, is that we’ve broken out of the trap. It isn’t just an SNP surge we’re experiencing – that’s just the chosen vehicle. It’s a release, a freedom from restraint, a re-discovery of self. We didn’t wait to be led by a party – like the goons he paints – we went out and did it ourselves, on doorsteps and keyboards. We found solidarity of spirit and ambition. We researched and challenged. We saw through the crippling cringe of Deerin and his like and left him behind in a previous Scotland in which Yes voters like Tom Devine or Crawford Beveridge or Philppa Whitford are somehow cranks, mindless dupes or thugs.

The bit that fascinates me though is how this carefully-crafted virulent anti-Yes image squares with Chris Deerin’s day job – as a member of Charlotte Street Partners, a company that ‘helps businesses, organisations and individuals create and deliver strategies for communicating with their customers, staff, media, investors and financial markets, employees, politicians and regulators.’ He creates communication strategies?

‘Hi. I’m Chris. I’ll be handling your account. You want to invest in Scotland? Oh dear. You do know the Scots are a bit dim, don’t you? They like to boast about education but it’s been left to rot. There’s no ready-made workforce anymore. Haven’t got the brains. It’s why they open the door to immigrants. The health service here is flabby. Scots are soft and sappy people, narrow minded and can’t think independently for themselves. Don’t look for innovators here. That’s all gone. And don’t look for support from the government. They’re dangerous nutters encouraging conspiracy and orchestrating smears, like a one-party state. These are ugly divisive people incapable of seeing when they’re well off and with hair-raising socialist tendencies. May I suggest you try Ireland? Anything else I can help you with?’

No wonder Andrew is trying to rehabilitate him. I don’t care about the politics of the people I work with because I don’t need to know. But if I run a company and he wants my business am I not entitled to wonder if it’s a good idea to be associated with someone who fills the media with tirades so hate-filled, so extreme and so out of public favour? I might even agree with Deerin’s views but is that the image I want my customers to see? Do I really want them to know I think they’re thick and bit backward? I truly wish success to Charlotte Street Partners but I’d be amazed if potential customers don’t share my revulsion. Is insulting the nation now a communications strategy?

My last word goes to this true and sane judgement on the Unionist nutters from writer Ian Smith. ‘And finally, this guff is self-defeating.  The more that commentators in the Sun, Express, Telegraph, Mail and so on fulminate about all things Scottish and chuck insults around about Jockistan and Alba-bania, the more likely Scottish people are to say in response: F**k them.  And then go off and vote for the SNP.’ Now that’s what I call a communications strategy.









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42 thoughts on “Dim and Dimmer

    • Who knows? He was certainly all over the place in the weeks before the election. I was constantly being told he’d been seen canvassing here, there and everywhere.

      Only he knows what motivated him to get up and do all that.

  1. Couple of points.
    1) Philppa Whitford, Breast Surgeon turned SNP MP. Yes voter?
    2) By leaving out this eejit’s name or simply alluding to it instead of repeating it over and over you might have help starve him of the google hits he so obviously craves.

    Keep up the good work nonetheless.

  2. Another Unionist nutter is Jill Stephenson, retired academic at Edinburgh University. This woman got a good career and pension out of Scotland and our intellectual tradition and heritage yet spends all day every day of her retirement on twitter denigrating the hand that feeds.


  3. Sarah Colison

    Pretty weird and embarrassing stuff Derek.

    We’ve all known for some time that you’re a very angry individual and now to direct it personally at one journalist is just creepy.

    You really need to take a look at what is making you so unhappy in your life that you felt the need to write this.

    • Go patronise somebody else, Sarah.

      • jacquescoleman

        Hear! Hear! She wouldn’t be a unionist troll would she?

      • Telt! Very many of us are raging at the bilious shit coming from certain journalists, and as long as they continue to treat us as if we are lesser, dimmer, weaker, then they leave themselves open to articles like this which call them out on what they are spouting. And with Deerin advising businesses on ‘communications strategy’ while simultaneously denigrating them, their customers and their country, Derek’s article is indeed very mild. We are all fed up with the bwankers, unionist politicians, media and their constant anti-Scottish rants and we are all hitting back at last. Way to go Derek!

    • Sarah, we happen to agree with every word written by Derek. Too-bad you don’t like the idea that Scots now have a voice, one of many, outwith the bitter and elitist Unionist claptrap we’ve been served for decades, longer.

      Keep taking the pills, hen

      Carry-on the excellent work, Derek.

  4. George S Gordon

    Says it all Derek – if only I had a fraction of your fluency!

  5. Don’t quite know where to start with this post. Maybe all I should say is this, no matter how much you disagree with someone else’s politics there is no need for personal attacks such as this. Rather than being outraged by a newspaper columnist, perhaps you should be outraged by the failings in our education system which result in declining literacy and numeracy standards – how about you direct your anger towards that.

    • If you take the trouble to read it you’ll detect a clear argument that the role of the media in Scotland has for decades diminished our country and crushed the hopes of our citizens. We expect low standards and dismal conditions because we’re told generationally that’s all we’re worth. That leads to reduced living standards and life chances. It withers our resolve. I don’t stand up for education policy of the SNP but you’re being deflected by them into missing the overriding issue of a national narrative driven by a cynical and self-centred elite.

      • Utter nonsense. You have a remarkable tendency to think YOU represent the views of Scotland. Scotland is a proud country, I certainly don’t recognise this negative conception you continually portray.

        You sound as if you have some form of depression to be honest.

    • Deerin’s articles are vile stuff. If I see his name on something these days I don’t read on, I don’t need to put myself through that.

      It’s time someone told it like it is.

  6. If only Bateman wasn’t so selective. There have been articles by Deerin that also acknowledge the rubbishness of BT campaigns, admires the spirit of Scotland and even our dear FM leader.
    We don’t win hearts and minds by being blindly unbalanced

  7. These people fear what they don’t understand and what their own nature can never allow them to be a part of. As human nature dictates, what you fear, you hate and what you hate, you strike out at.

    The Deerins of this world do not share our life or experiences, they can’t possibly empathise or even conceptualise what has happened in Scotland from their own myopic wee bubble. All they know is that they and their world view have been narrowly acknowledged in September just past and comprehensively rejected in May.

    For the past three years the establishment commentators have gotten pretty much everything about what’s happening in Scottish politics spectacularly wrong (deliberately or otherwise). From their lack of knowledge, empathy and understanding and fuelled by the self interested agendas and narratives of their political leash holders, was born the demonisation of all things Scottish and in particular all things pro independence. What they have done in their ignorance, is feed the current anti Scottish hysteria gripping most of the UK media and chattering classes and more than likely hastened the end of the political union.

    God you only have to listen in stunned amazement to the commentary on some of those daytime shows where the demi celebs sit round a table and stick their tuppence worth in any time Scotchland is mentioned. They have no idea because they are fed information by a media equally lacking in information, but by no means short on self interested opinion and wild speculation. Short-termism writ large, what started out as a political expedient has formed a momentum and a life all of its own. Its running wild and out of control and can only have one outcome, the one where a very patient Scottish electorate does indeed say ‘F**K them and the horse they rode in on’ to a political system and a media which has treated us as second class citizens in our own home.

    IMO, the long term view is beyond the establishment and the media, the here and now expedient is all that matters. The outcomes for the actions they have taken over this past three years will eventually come back to haunt those who started this poisonous narrative.

    Their choice.

  8. robert graham

    oh he dosnt like the scots then oh dear i won’t sleep tonight ,another telegraph/sunday post/daily mail/daily record for the fire morag it’s going oot ach the bloody s/ht stuff won’t burn either what’s this stuff bloody use for its useless waste of good paper

  9. jacquescoleman

    Methinks you are under attack by the Unionist trolls who won’t have a word said against their beloved purveyors of anti-Scots dribble.

  10. jacquescoleman

    People like Deerin can’t have much of an intellect when they don’t realise they are being used by the English gutter press. They always have plenty of English gold to throw at people who will write Jock bashing articles and PARTICULARLY if they are also Jocks.

    Does Deerin not realise he is only used by these disgusting rags because he is willing to write derogatory copy about his fellow countrymen? Has he forgotten he is Scottish and is he not aware that the newspapers he writes for, see him as a Scot?

  11. Excellent article showing the bias and prejudice of the unionist press. Chris Deerin had escaped my notice but i will now actively avoid him. I was disgusted by a recent article in the Torygraph by Rosa Prince, Assistant Political Editor, on ’10 things we’ve learned about the SNP this week’, who has clearly been taking lessons from Cochrane. Her piece was condescending and insulting, calling the 56 MPs ‘goons and infants’, belittling their use of Gaelic and Scots during swearing in, mocking their previous careers and decrying their choice of food and drink. it is OK to swill down your steak with claret in the subsidised dining room but eating a chip butty on the terrace is obviously not done.

    I followed the reference by Smiling Vulture to the Scotsman article on Mundell and was appalled by the tone of some of the comments. The result of all these is that i feel the need to get out in some good fresh air to wipe my mind of these atrocities.

  12. Good Stuff Derek.

    The bile goes on and on. I know each time we share , we gain another vote.

    MSM cannot get past the referendum and the 56 has scared the life out of them. I think all we need to do is let them carry on the way they are doing and it’ll all be over bar the shouting as we wave goodbye to the onion. ( meant that)

    And the trolls are out in force . bank holidays are a bastard to these lonely souls.

    Sam ( Big thumbs up )

    Summed up nicely my friend. 🙂

  13. “The General Election was a wholesale rejection of the Too Wee, Too Stupid mantra of the Deerin Tribe”

    By that yardstick Mr Bateman the result of the Indyref ‘was a wholesale rejection’ of the dreamers that make up the independence movement.


    • Stuart: 56-3 is a triumphant score for the SNP – but 11-9 for the No voters was not a ‘wholesale rejection’ of Independence, was it? What would you do if your team won 11-9? Run around the pub shouting about how it was a ‘decisive victory for your team’ and ‘trouncing’ of the other side ?? Yeah – whatever.

  14. Your best article yet.

  15. Deeply embedded in the psyche of the English elite and their Scottish wannabes is an ingrained sense of superiority and entitlement.
    The English public schools and some Scottish ones have taught this ideology for generations but,unfortunately now that empire has gone,can only be acted out by hanging onto the coat tails of the USA.
    They don’t like to be reminded of this fact and when we Scots threaten to completely dispel the myth by revealing their real place in the world,they tend to react badly.
    I hope that our block of Scottish MPs at Westminster will bring enlightenment to the English establishment but it will be difficult to break habits acquired over many generations.
    Thanks Derek,excellent as always.

  16. Unionist condescension towards Scotland can only aid the break-up of the “united” kingdom. Amusing that those who declare themselves defenders of their beloved “united” kingdom are the ones doing the most damage to it. Long may it continue.

  17. ronald alexander mcdonald

    The Union probably has another six to ten years left. Sad little people like Deerin know it. The most frustrating thing for them is there’s nothing they can do about it.

    I can sense their desperation. It’s as if their saying the more I tell the peasants they’re useless the worse it becomes. The peasants are truly revolting!

  18. Derek, the trolls you’re now attracting would suggest you’re getting to them. As someone once said “if they’re shooting at you – you know you’re doing something right”.
    Please keep right on doing it.

  19. I really enjoyed this. I have also noticed a lot of these unionists newspapers. Are not selling in Scotland. At the end of each day they are piled up ready to be returned. Job done. Keep writing Derek

  20. Burbling fanaticism from someone who is so deranged that rational thought is no longer an option. A zealot, with a cultish appeal to similar simple minded souls prepared to toe the nationalist party line

  21. Steve Asaneilean

    Gosh – did I fall asleep and wake up in Bergen?

    Ikke mat troll!

  22. #2, didnt work first time, same happening on Bella

    Great article, thanks. We are truly getting to the unionist establishment troughers and their lackeys, with 56 SNP MPs it can only get better!

  23. Ian MacDonald


    What a coincidence I thought.

    Chris Deerin’s name has been buzzing round my head for the past few days. Thought I should check out who he is for some reason I couldn’t quite fathom. And then along came this article.

    Then I got to paragraph nine, and of course I realised I’d read Andrew Wilson’s tweet as well.

    Thanks for saving me the hassle!

  24. Steve Asaneilean

    Derek – I don’t see this as a personal attack on a fellow journalist.

    Rather you are using some of the writing of one man to highlight the general issue of how MSM are treating all of us.

    The Better Together campaign was continually couched in negative terms – “can’t”, “won’t”, “bad”, “worse”, etc.

    Not once did I hear a truly positive case for staying in the Union.

    And so the poverty of aspiration and imagination from the No side goes on. They still cannot move beyond “SNP bad” and “Yes” supporters “badder”. They still cannot articulate a truly positive case for being Better Together.

    And they say (let alone do) nothing about poverty, inequality, corporate greed and dishonesty (instead they rush to the defence of the member for Orkney and Shetland).

    As I said before all they articulate is fear – fair of change, fear of uncertainty, fear of challenge.

    That’s not how I want to live my life and it’s not how I taught my children to live theirs.

  25. Well said Steve. One of the reasons I like Dereks site, Wings and Leslie Riddochs is because it puts things into perspective.
    When you look at some of the headlines over the last few weeks , manipulating Libor, concerns about the safety of Trident, the court case of Andy Coulson, accountability of a politician blatantly lying each are worthy of a huge UK wide debate,yet what are commentators like Deerins themes?
    I’ve never been into class politics , it always seemed to me the lines were too blurred and anyway because someone has money does not make them any better than someone with nothing but if Mr Deerin or even the constant Twitterer who used to be a historian , stepped outside the UK for five minutes, they would realise, you cannot hing a ‘ country’ the gither with over used bunting and aeroplanes blowing red/white and blue smoke out its tail.
    In parts of the World like Asia , where there is an abundance of University educated young go getters , they’re bypassing the old school tie network , they’re creating businesses and setting up systems that work ,They are realising you either move with the times or wither. They use the Internet/media to expand their horizons , contacts , business, they are looking forward not using it to try to relive or cling onto the past.
    Wouldnt it be great if for a change our own opinionated commentators/ twitterers like Deerin would use their columns / tweets to put forward something positive , look forward and even start a campaign for the UK . How about they start with demanding some accountability for Libor , Trident etc , you know they Great British values we are all supposed to adhere to or if they really are too parochial , there’s an MP who lied right here in Scotland, let’s hear you actually stand up for they Great British values someone once told me about.

  26. It’s not that we fear that we are not good enough. It’s that they fear that they are not good enough. They need someone to look down on, or to rule over, to convince their ego that they are worthy. All of those countries they used to look down on, now stand eyeball to eyeball with them, as equals. We are their last crutch.

    I don’t know if we will be poorer or richer. However, the psychological reason why we must become a sovereign independent country, equal in the world with all others, is clear as day. Yes I’m worried about when that happens. Bt happen it must.

  27. I thought it was a great article. Shame those people who love the union never say why they want to stay part of it…..

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