I’m With Yanis

And I thought the Holyrood elections would take precedence over Europe…no sooner do I write it than the First Minister does exactly the opposite, proving how out of touch with the Sturgeon leadership I am.

Off she goes to the enemy capital to encourage raging English Kippers to embrace refugees and whistle Ode to Joy. What about the council tax? I hear you call. What about the fiscal framework? Well, she’s not listening to that claptrap, not when there’s a chance to grandstand to the loony Unionists and get on the 10 o clock news as Tartan Nicola, somewhere between Mother Teresa and Joan of Arc.

Holyrood is the cooncil election by comparison with a joust with Boris and Dave to earn the admiration of liberal England. The positive case for EU membership she was laying out with emphasis on workers’ right, welfare with dignity and permissive values is so off the Brit agenda that lefties were tweeting how novel and refreshing it sounded. Which I suppose means she probably does know what she’s talking about.

Maybe too she realises that the support for Holyrood is rock solid and she can afford to gallivant on European business without losing votes. I had wondered for a while if all this Labour talk of the SNP being guaranteed to win was a ploy to undermine their vote because I don’t ever remember a party conceding victory weeks in advance and writing off their own chances to publicly. Back in the 80’s George Younger announced that the Tories were going to win in, I think the regional elections. The following day – after their slaughter – I reminded him of what he’d said to which he replied: Well, I was wrong….Labour aren’t bothering to maintain such fiction.

(I had a similar moment with John Nott at the Ministry of Defence just after the invasion of the Falklands. I said: You told us the defences of the islands were secure despite your budget cuts. What do you say today? He replied: Well, they obviously weren’t.)

On Europe, I’m with Yanis. http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2016/02/28/is-greece-not-another-compelling-reason-to-vote-for-brexit-on-23rd-june/

I’m going to hold my nose and vote Yes because I believe in the project and can’t see it reforming unless we stay in, once the neo cons are out of Downing Street or the Scots are out of the Union. Then we can campaign from the inside. I don’t buy the fear-mongering, just as I didn’t buy it during the indyref and find it spooky how the language today mirrors some of the daft stuff we had to put up with. An organised and educated population has nothing to fear from political change. Whatever happens we will make it work. I just don’t see the need for withdrawal from a club of nations designed to be self-supporting (except for Greece, of course) while continuing in membership – at huge cost – of the single market and exposing ourselves to the risk of ever more attritional market-based policies. The move for withdrawal is just the inevitable consequence of an internal right-wing Tory Party struggle and a Westminster failure to plan and co-ordinate immigration.

I see an article today suggesting London might be granted special status as a newly-defined city state in the EU if the UK votes for Out as it is hugely pro-EU and so rich that Brussels won’t want to lose it. Hmm. I understand the dynamic of that argument but suggest Brussels would find it easier dealing with a rebelling existing country with its own government appealing for help to remain than it would devising a whole new form of membership for a city without state infrastructure. Imagine how worrying a special London status would be for France/Paris or Germany/Frankfurt. Mind you, they’d give a leery eye to an EU region too, I dare say.

I’m sure Brexit will play a large part in the pilot programmes being made at Pacific Quay to pave the way for the famous Scottish Six which has kicked off one of those wondrous arguments that could happen in our benighted wee branch office of UK Ltd. An entire nation is actually discussing whether it should have its own news service. Five million people, 15 universities, the best-educated school leavers in the world, a self-governing state-let – unsure if it can handle its own news service. Nothing could sum up timorous, querulous, retiring, embarrassed Scotland better than: We’re not good enough to reflect the world to our own people. Could somebody else do it for us? Please.

It strikes me that there is some aspect of nationalism or independence which so discombobulates some people that they lose all sense of proportion. It’s like a 19th century kirk elder reacting to witchcraft. Fear and dread drives them to extreme reactions which at times are comical. To see an experienced, well-schooled hack of the old tradition like Alan Cochrane raging about the BBC giving in to the Nats is unintentionally funny. Wouldn’t reflecting modern Scotland be a better phrase? Have you read Cochrane bemoaning the lack of democracy in a single MP holding all executive power over the entire country? Does anyone who  knows how the country works really imagine that the BBC will broadcast live the Golden Spurtle Porridge Championships and At Home with Nicola in order to appease the SNP? If that were to be possible, wouldn’t it be the biggest own goal in broadcast history and damaging to the SNP? Even the usually intelligent Ken Macintosh, a former BBC producer, sounds unsure that this is the right move because he won’t hear Laura Kuennsberg. Actually, I’m pretty sure he will. But isn’t it a sign of the London dependency – the parochial fear – that so afflicts them?

That, rather than any Glasgow-based news service, is what is really embarrassing.

That’s not to say our friends at Pacific Quay won’t bugger it up. It isn’t so much the journalists as the executives who lack opposable thumbs at BBC Scotland.

If they’d come up with this idea a year before the indyref and demanded the money to pay for it, it would have been very difficult for London to turn it down. Instead the management said there was no need for extra resources – it was business as usual. Except of course they were simultaneously undergoing a ruthless clear-out of staff, excising so many of those with the nous to run the service they now seem to want.

Isn’t it one reason executives are paid so well – they’re meant to plan properly for foreseeable changes and unexpected contingencies. This episode hasn’t shone a kindly light on the new Head of News Gary Smith who appears to have conspired to keep his own staff in the dark – a classic piece of BBC chicanery that will go a long way to defining how he is judged. It drops him into the bracket I forecast – that of London placeman conniving with the bosses rather than putting himself on the side of the staff.

There are conspiracies now that this is set up to fail which sounds far too tricky for the BBC management to organise. And imagine if it was to crash and end in embarrassment, it would be a major fail for the existing board. Far more likely is that they are bungling their way into new territory and will require the staff to rescue them.

And have you heard the BBC Trust agitating on this? The people’s watchdog is another institutional failure stuffed with worthies who just love being ‘part of the Beeb.’ Is careerist Bill Matthews still there? Who knows, such is the subliminal profile he keeps. The only thing the BBC could do with is a dose of what the loony Unionists fear – some interference to make sure the people’s broadcaster at least attempts to get it right.

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28 thoughts on “I’m With Yanis

  1. I are heartily seek o’ EU hoo hah awreadies, I can tell you. Not the time IMO for Scotland to be having this convo, but we are where we are (sigh).

    So yes, I’ll be holding my nose and voting in until we can have that convo on our own and with our own terms of reference and have it we should.

  2. “There are conspiracies now that this is set up to fail which sounds far too tricky for the BBC management to organise. And imagine if it was to crash and end in embarrassment, it would be a major fail for the existing board.”

    I disagree Derek, I can see this being set up to deliberately fail? My evidence? Exhibit A – “Reporting Scotland”, an embarrassingly parochial, biased, cringingly SNPbaaad mess. And what about that program Sarah Smith presented? Another Labour apparachik presenting another party political broadcast.

    The BBC have no shame, i cannot see any repercussions for anyone they’re should the Scottish Six fail as it’s intended to.

  3. The BBC news service is beyond repair as far as Scotland is concerned. It should be a condition of SNP membership that members cancel their licence fee. It is trash TV produced by trash staff.

    • As long as it remains the british broadcasting corporation it cannot be trusted to deliver unbiased news reports about Scotland.

  4. There’s absolutely no reason why the Scottish six should be parochial – unless the ‘kailyard crew’ suffer a collective failure of imagination and finance (which they probably will). There is news to be had from Canada, New Zealand, even Texas (all of whom have large numbers of folk with Scottish descent). There should be ongoing news from Malawi – where the Scottish Malawi partnership continues to thrive. We should be hearing about the video games industry in Dundee – the life Sciences work all over – the renewables industry – Scots in Hollywood – it’s not as if there isn’t relevant material.
    Instead, we’ll probably get the equivalent of the mind-numbing Call Kaye, with a series of domestic ‘ishoos’ lovingly dwelt on at length, and at about the level of intellectual analysis appropriate to a local news rag.
    The BBC in Scotland fails because it simply hasn’t grasped that ‘The News where you are’, is no longer enough. Until it realises that, it can expect to be pilloried – and rightly so.

    • Well , there you go. Using the “kailyard” in a derogative way. Your “cringe” Kininvie?

      Although, like a kailyard,I would agree there are lots of turnips at the BBC.

      • Dave McEwan Hill


      • You’ll be a fan of Brigadoon then?

        • kailyard rules

          I never get my sporran in a twist when it comes to Hollywood or any other “set direction” etc..Let’s all have a chorus of “There’s no business like show business”‘

          I’m Glaswegian and know the real Scotland. I waste no energy on “cringe”. Harry Lauder was merely a clown, for example, and then it was back to work for those savvy enough to know the obvious.

    • Have you watched TV news in NZ? It is unduly celebrity obsessed and interrupted, literally, every 5 minutes for ad breaks (no exaggeration. There is plenty of news in NZ, but you do not go and watch the TV news to get it.

      Not a good example, sadly.

      Which is not to say I’m against the idea of a Scottish Six, NZ can be used as a cautionary tale of what not to do and where not to go.

  5. I think that Nicola Sturgeon trying to connect with the English voter will have as much effect as David Cameron trying to connect with us. She may even nudge the unsure voter to vote to leave, as the do not trust her. All to our good.

  6. “…We’re not good enough to reflect the world to our own people. Could somebody else do it for us? …”

    Wrong. It’s BBC Scotland that isn’t good enough to reflect the world to us. A Scottish Six produced by the BBC would be a britnat trojan horse. Don’t be taken in by the fake outrage from the unionist media on this- it’s yet another trap.

  7. Comparing the uk and the EU: the EU is the lesser of two evils. I’ll be voting Remain because I believe England will vote Leave.

  8. As I have stated on another site they the B.B.C. Insult our intelligence but what intelligence ?we belong to a nation who voted no to the chance of FREEDOM. A thing that other people including our own have given their lives for since time began I for one still feel ashamed and will continue to do so until we achieve our freedom

  9. Regarding the EU. How can anyone believe in the so-called ‘project?’ It isn’t a project. It’s a dictatorship. A dictatorship of an elite that have no idea what it is like to use your own washing machine or vacuum cleaner. A dictatorship of former Stalinists and phoney sixties commies, pedalling the mythology that they have prevented war in Europe, and the continental land mass is on the verge of a civil one. It’s scandalous. How exactly do you think you are going to reform it, Derek? Those old commies have got their minds made up, and they have provoked the rise of the right, instead of letting sleeping dogs lie, and the SNP think it’s a great idea? What part of ‘own sovereignty’ is it that Nicola doesn’t understand? Leave off the virtue signalling and get back to dealing with the people who put you where you are. You’ll have to do that when the EU collapses, which will be sooner than you think.

  10. I cannot think of any empires or conglomerate states that have ever been reformed. They end, and something else rises in their place. To argue that staying in Europe can lead to its reform is like saying your girlfriend isn’t perfect but you’ll stay so you can change her.

    Europe is non-democratic to its core. It has not been designed with the mechanism that would allow wide scale reforms to take place. You would be asking individual countries to give up their sovereign rights to decide what happens through the mechanisms of the Councils, the Commission and the Bank. You would be asking the commissioners to vote to destroy their own power.

    It’ll never happen.

    Just as reform of the UK will require Scotland to leave, effectively dissolving the unconstitutional and damaging Union, so the EU can only be changed by countries taking back their sovereignty and re-joining a completely different organism – one that acts for the people of the EU, not the power mongers.

  11. “experienced, well-schooled hack of the old tradition like Alan Cochrane ”

    You don’t surely mean the no schooled hack and erstwhile upholder of the world famous “Scottish Cringe” by any chance, Derek? You surely aren’t referring to Cochers of the Torygraff who earns a living dahn saath by ridiculing his countrymen and telling porkies about the country of his birth, by any chance?

  12. Why’s Nicola in London talking about the EU? Ignore the 10 o’clock news. It’s to be heard on the bigger stage by other EU leaders who will hopefully realise that this is someone they can work with in future, is positive about the EU, and that Scotland is something to embrace in Europe.

  13. Dave McEwan Hill

    Well said, Eric. Nicola Sturgeon knows exactly what she’s doing every time she does it.

    • I found M Bateman’s thinly disguised barb ‘Tartan Nicola’, ‘Mother Theresa’, ‘Joan of Arc’, interesting, and informative.
      Our FM is representing Scotland in many eyes, and as our political leader I not only expect, but also demand, that she actively campaign during the EU Referendum stooshie.
      As a supporter of self determination, I am more than happy that Scotland’s voice is heard throughout the EU, and indeed the world at large. If this means that our FM addresses Anti Nuclear Rallies in Traf Sq., (not that BBC Scotland covered it) and address an UK wide audience on staying in the EU Down There, so be it,
      It is oft observed that women, unlike men can do two things at the same time. As a fellow male, perhaps the author is incapable of grasping that NS (and Ruth, and Kezia) can rub the tummy of the EU campaign, while patting the head of the Holyrood election at one and the same time.
      It is a nonsense to suggest that NS, or any of our political leaders Up Here have taken their eyes off the Holyrood election ball.
      As stubborn tulips push through the gravel in my back yard, and March enters like a lion rampant, the Holyrood campaign will gather momentum, I’m positive.
      I’m trying to figure out what perceived slight DB may have suffered at the hands of ‘Tartan Nicola’. No Tunnocks with yer tea at the media bash, Derek?
      Most of us seem to consider a Stay vote as a given Up Here. I am looking forward to Kezia’s, Ruith’s, and Oor Wullie’s defence of the EU and of course their Holyrood manifestos….Let battle commence.

  14. Having said that the EU referendum is a distraction we could do well without and I am acutely aware that we have no power to take any decision about the EU without independence. I am sure Nicola’s team struggled with this and the best way to deal with it. The other alternative was to take the view that our position could only be properly determined when we are independent. That might have been where I am on this.
    On the other hand this issue will also distract and dilute the media’s planned continuous attack on the SNP re the Scottish election which will do us no harm.
    I can see nothing but benefit in Nicola Sturgeon appearing on UK wide and European radar and the wee lassie in the tin hat gains enhanced credibility as she goes.

  15. Search Engine
    Hybrid cars
    Human Genome Project
    Digital Camera
    Higgs boson ‘ God’ particle found
    World Domination by Simon Cowell
    All invented/discovered in the last 20-25 years

    Meanwhile in the last twenty years in BBC Scotland …

    Should we allow news to be reported by people living in Scotland for people in Scotland?

  16. I too will vote to Remain, not because I like what the EU has become, but because I can see no advantage in Leave, only disadvantage.

    It is a fact that the bulk of the UK’s trade is with the EU, a market of 400 million people. This has been the case for the past 200 years. It is not going to change.

    That being the case, in order to continue to be allowed to trade with the EU post Brexit we will still have to comply with 75% of the EU legislation as currently, just as Norway and Switzerland have to.

    Only we will cease to have any say in the European Commission or Parliament once we are no longer members. Thus cutting our noses off to spite our faces.

    Norway has her own reasons for not joining, namely to be able to pursue her own unique fishing and farming policies. Also, to preserve her own currency.

    We too have our own currency, and that preserves a good deal of our autonomy.

    Europe will also be weaker if we leave, and a weak Europe is not in our long term interest. UK is one of the three major economies in Europe, the other two are France and Germany. Without UK there will be no major power to counteract or balance those two.

  17. Neeps!

  18. Far be it from me to sound conspiratorial, but, after the Jingoistic Fear-Fest and xenophobia generated by the Tories at the General Election, sounding England’s Doom should a Combination of Labour and The SNP actually have a real say at Westminster, I wonder if Nicola’s Trip to the English Capital to speak on behalf of the ‘In’ Lobby was a rather cunning Ploy?

    The First Minister of Scotland taking a stand on any subject is guaranteed to get a very Large number of Knee Jerk reactions from the BritNats of, “If She’s For it We are Agin it!” Followed by a rousing Chorus of ‘Engurland, Engurland, Engurland! Brexit wins the Day and Scotland Walks Away!

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