The Day Job

Haven’t written for a while – I’ve been doing the day job. I’ve also been preparing to go on holiday and hear Gillian Anderson plans to post a pic of me in seamed stockings.

See politics? Piece of piss. It really is.

That first paragraph encapsulates the entire Davidson Tory agenda – perform sub-Trump media histrionics to get attention and bite off snappy one-liners instead of policy development. So long as the media love you, so will the punters. Content is for losers.

And all across Scotland sensible Scots fell for it instead of asking hard questions about where this government is taking us. Funny how people who screamed for detail and certainty over independence, now meekly accept without question a catastrophic train wreck which will wipe years of growth off the UK economy.

I see the Brexiteer response is to say that Germany will really suffer when we stop buying their cars, which is true, it will. And am I supposed to cheer that the rest of Europe will also pay a price for British small-mindedness?

How long will the country suffer because of an ideological row in the Tory Party? Couldn’t they do that without ruining the country and our international relations? Can’t they get on with the day job? (It appears not as the economy tanks, the credit worthiness falters, promised policies are binned, the Cabinet disagrees and even long-held right-wing ‘principles’ like university tuition fees appear to be on the way out.)

It’s worth keeping some perspective on the bitter complaints from the politicos about the Scottish government and its perceived failings. The Tory MSP Dean Lockhart tweeted a graph showing Scotland’s economy on a low trajectory compared to the UK. No spin or excuses, he said.

Well, perhaps some context then…The UK economy he mentions is the worst performing in the OECD with growth levels below every European country bar none. On the same day the manufacturing industries were revealing how uncertainty is killing their business and how they’re pleading for guidance from the government. The financial bodies are now approaching Europe direct to see if they can strike a deal without the government being involved. The Lockhart approach is shamefully parochial without the wider perspective of a UK now in undeniable decline with galloping uncertainty of a kind we barely imagined over the indyref. Is it also fair to exclude the damning point that his party denies Scots the levers to run our own economy and then complains when we can’t…

And, as we’ve seen, Davidson chuckles and scoffs her way through it having created a media star relationship with the journalists which means she is rarely associated with her own party’s policies. Poking the SNP in the eye appears to be good enough to make her a serious FM contender.

But this is what we have to live with. So what is the SNP response? Well, this is the season for everyone coming up with pet theories. I’ve previously had a go myself and whether you agree or not, it’s pretty clear that the days of complacency are over.

Here are a few thoughts.

First, people have had enough of the SNP running everything. There were just too many of them. Whichever way you turned, there were Nats to the left and Nats to the right in a way that seemed to affront our sense of fairness. That was a problem for Labour for years too and I guess people didn’t want to repeat it. Ridiculous as the one-party state mantra was, it struck a chord. And voters learned that there was a way to stop it by lending a vote to the nearest challenger.

They were encouraged by the Unionists (yes, Labour too, urging folk to vote against the SNP, meaning Liberal or Tory if appropriate. Don’t give me your denials now)

And the referendum idea was merely the trigger to justify the vote. I distinguish between a desire to avoid going through a referendum process and the acknowledgment of a potential need for such a vote. The former is the scunner factor most want to avoid and the latter is the democratic method which people know could offer an alternative. They waved it away as if bothered by a persistent wasp.

So there has been a form of rebalancing of opinion against the concept of one dominating party.

But can we dispense with the canard that the day job is somehow being abandoned in pursuit of self-government? It has become childish and was never true. It is the case that the leadership can be distracted and there are the clearest signs of that at Westminster. What else was the snap election about but preparing to destroy all opposition to hard Brexit? What else is clearing out departments of state of talented personnel to turn them into Brexit operatives? There isn’t a voice in or out of Whitehall that would deny the UK government is overwhelmed by Brexit, not just pre-occupied.

And in Scotland? What is the evidence the SNP has surrendered policy objectives to independence? Did they bleat about it remorselessly or did the opposition tell voters they were doing so and plant the idea? Severin Carrell’s excellent observational piece in the Guardian from the north east hammered home the point that folk were scunnered with hearing about a referendum. But, given that the SNP deliberately didn’t push the referendum line, he failed to explain why people thought that way. Who in the SNP never stopped talking about it? Where did they hear it? Were they sure or were they hypnotised into disbelieving their own ears and eyes? The real story is the power of the political message overcoming rational thought – exactly the phenomenon that won America for Trump.

Oh, and the day job. You never hear it from the media so here is a sample – only a small sample – of Scottish government activity over seven days that mostly hasn’t been reported.

*Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has called for an urgent meeting (on the DUP deal) and highlighted that the Scottish Government will invoke the formal dispute resolution mechanism, if this situation is not satisfactorily resolved by HM Treasury.

*Creating a fully accountable railway policing service. Railway policing will come under the command of Police Scotland after legislation was passed by the Scottish Parliament. The expertise of British Transport Police officers and staff will be backed by the specialist resources of Police Scotland, including counter terrorism, air support and armed policing.

*Payments worth £6.7 million to Scottish sheep producers will arrive in farmers’ bank accounts this week, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has said.

The support scheme is targeted at sheep production on the poorest quality land to help farmers maintain the social and environmental benefits that sheep flocks bring to those areas, with payments being made to around 1,050 eligible producers by 30 June 2017

*Over two hundred projects working to promote equality and address discrimination will benefit from more than £20 million investment over the next year.

More than £5 million will be provided to organisations supporting engagement with communities experiencing prejudice on the grounds of age, disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation – while £2.7 million will go to frontline projects promoting equality and tackling prejudice.

*Transforming services to ensure people with dementia get the support they need, at all ages and stages of the illness, is at the centre of Scotland’s third dementia strategy.

*the Scottish Government intends to introduce legislation for a soft opt out system of organ and tissue donation.

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell has confirmed plans to bring forward legislation during this Parliament after 82% of consultation responses supported the move

*National workforce plan for future NHS staffing. An estimated 2,600 extra nursing and midwifery training places will be created over the next four years as part of wide-ranging measures to support and strengthen NHS Scotland’s workforce. 

*Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: We are doing all we can to deliver as many payments as possible this month. We are making progress, but we still need to do better. We have made a clear commitment to do all we can to make the 2016 payments by the end of this week and our staff are working as hard as they can to process the remaining payments. 

*background briefing tomorrow (Thursday 29 June) held by Scottish Government.Statisticans and analysts to coincide with the publication of a report on the impact of UK welfare reform in Scotland. The briefing will examine the evidence, facts and figures behind how the UK Government’s welfare reform programme between 2010 and 2017 has impacted on people in Scotland.

*Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell and Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman will tomorrow (29 June) visit Upward Mobility in Edinburgh to announce access for young disabled people to a £5 million fund to help them live more independent lives.

The Independent Living Fund (ILF) will provide a short-term award to people age 16-to-21 to help the transition into adulthood.

*The second meeting of a Ministerial Working Group, convened to examine building and fire safety regulatory frameworks, has taken place today.

*Proposals to transform the approach to planning for homes and infrastructure projects have been put forward by the Scottish Government.

*Improvements will be made to the way wild deer are managed in Scotland, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has confirmed.

*The UK’s Chief Medical officers (Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland) have released new advice on physical activity for expectant mothers – believed to be the first of its kind in the world.

*Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman said today that women, disabled people and young people would be those disproportionately affected by damaging UK Government welfare cuts.The Minister was commenting on a Scottish Government report detailing the impact of UK Government welfare cuts on people across Scotland published today.

*Minister for Childcare and Early Years Mark McDonald will launch a new guide to enhance the design of childcare provision across Scotland during a visit to a local nursery.

*The police and courts will have greater powers to protect the public from perpetrators of human trafficking and exploitation from today. Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Orders (TEPOs) can now be used by the courts to impose restrictions on people who have been convicted of trafficking and exploitation offences.

*Young disabled people will be able to access a £5 million fund to help them live more independent lives, Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell has announced.

*Views are being sought on the best way to spare child witnesses from having to give evidence during criminal trials.

*Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing said:

 

As the Auditor General has confirmed, the changes we have introduced are showing signs of progress, which will deliver further improvements over time. This includes significant changes to the development and implementation of the CAP IT, including strengthening governance arrangements with a new senior management team.

*Detailed work on how a potential bottle ‘deposit return scheme’ might operate in Scotland has been commissioned by the Scottish Government.

*Payments worth £2.4 million to Scottish dairy farmers will arrive in farmers’ bank accounts in the coming days, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has confirmed.

*Latest recruitment rates released by NHS Education for Scotland show that 97% of all medical training posts in Scotland in 2017 are currently filled.

*An HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccination programme for men who have sex with men (MSM) will begin in Scotland today (1 July).

*A consultation is underway on financial support for college and university students.

*A new guide to enhance the design of childcare provision across Scotland is now available for local authorities, private and third sector providers.  

*Significantly higher numbers of north sea cod, haddock and whiting may be available to Scots fishermen next year, according to new scientific assessments published today.

*Veterans Minister Keith Brown said: This weekend marks several poignant anniversaries of major conflicts where we remember those from Scotland and elsewhere who made the ultimate sacrifice.  I am here in Contalmaison to remember the men of McCrae’s Battalion who fought during the Battle of the Somme, 101 years ago.

*As of close of business last night (Friday 30th June) and subject to final confirmation we have made BPS, Greener and Young Farmer payments to 16521 farmers and crofters, valued at £343 million. This represents around 90.4% of expected total payments for those schemes.

*The way facial imaging and other biometric data is used to investigate crime is being reviewed.

The independent advisory group, chaired by John Scott QC, will consider human rights and ethical considerations of how biometric data is captured, used, stored and disposed of.

*Hundreds of Atlantic salmon will be tagged and released back into the water as part of a new study aimed at increasing the understanding of the routes they take and the conservation measures needed to protect them.

*External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop will be in Dublin on Tuesday and Wednesday to meet with her ministerial counterparts, as well visit a range of joint cultural and conservation projects under way between both nations.

 *The latest RBS business monitor prepared by Fraser of Allander contains good news for the Scottish economy. Companies across the country have reported modest growth in the three months to February, with the financial and business services and tourism sectors enjoying above average growth

*Economy Secretary Keith Brown will visit global manufacturing company Interplex in Arbroath on Thursday, 5 July to highlight actions to grow the economy.

 

Astonishing, isn’t it? If you got bored and raced through it, I’m not surprised. Most of this is not the kind of stuff that anyone would call ‘news’ but this is a taster of what is going on over one week when the journalists and the unchallenged politics tell us the SNP must get back to the day job. And this is the published material. Behind the scenes work goes on day and night covering every aspect of devolved government. Can you imagine Ruth Davidson having the intellect, commitment or nous to perform this kind of detailed, policy-driven work instead of riding tanks and tweeting?

By never informing people accurately of what is really being done on their behalf, the media commits the sin of misleading readers. I think their obsession with image and frivolity and soundbites merely infantilises the audience. That’s why people think education is failing – but that’s neither true nor fair to teachers. The same for health where staff are constantly undermined by glib, partial coverage. Further in both schools and hospitals, the public learn to be fearful and distrusting as they are assaulted by exaggerated talk of woe.

You have to ask though, why aren’t the SNP making more of what they do? How robust is their reaction? I think their machinery has stalled and needs a clear overhaul from the top down. There is no good story any more. To the public there is only one politician, there is no cabinet, no other stars, no other agendas on health, saving our environment, energy or new social benefit powers. The government has no command over the agenda as governments should have and, for all its faults, that’s not down (only) to a biased media. That just gets the SNP off the hook.

If the material is there, it will appear. If the message has to be forced, it can be. Heaven help me but I recall one of the biggest transformations in media history occurring after Alistair Campbell took control of government communications and knee jerk anti Labour stories were replaced by supportive writing. Here’s Wikipedia: He oversaw new co-ordination and rebuttal systems which gave birth to a communications machine which became both feared and respected, and the model for modern communications in politics and business. He earned a reputation for ruthless news management which made him many enemies in the media. But even the Conservatives conceded they were partly defeated by their inability to find someone to match him.

The message should never overcome the mission as has happened with the Scottish Tories who in policy terms are a shell party. But the message is as important as the mission because it makes sure the voters get it. The SNP has a message, a cause, others can only dream of. Time we heard it again.

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37 thoughts on “The Day Job

  1. Aye , that’s all very well , Derek , producing a long list of unheralded achievements . But where’s the pictures of Nicola mounting a Chieftain tank , or John Swinney mud wrestling with an overgrown sow . That’s what the electorate want !

  2. People don’t want sensationalism – they want good government, but right now they don’t realise what good government the SNP give them, and have been giving Scotland for the past 10 years.

    That’s why people felt safe voting for the tories in GE17 – they don’t feel the pain of the Bedroom tax, because the SNP mitigate it. Soon they won’t feel the pain of the ATOS/Maximus degrading interviews for PiP, because the SNP are going to implement change as to how these are done. Education in Scotland is far better than in England (don’t believe what you read in MSM), our NHS is properly funded and staffed, we haven’t sold huge chunks of it off to Richard Branson. And on, and on, and on…..

    Oh yes, vote tory as a protest vote but hop on the bus with your free bus pass, pick up your free prescription, pick your child up from your free nursery provision.

    The SNP need better PR….no actually, they need PR. Not spin, just the cojones to tell Scotland what they get now, and what they could be getting if they don’t stop bleating.

    They are doing an amazing job with ever decreasing funds – for a population, many of whom who don’t even understand where those funds come from in the first place (clue : YOUR income tax, YOUR VAT, YOUR Oil & Gas, YOUR Food & Drink sector….)

    Rise up people, and be a nation again. And please, stop voting for unionist parties, they just don’t care.

  3. That amount of work done by the Scottish Government on “the day job” was very enlightening though as you yourself have made clear means snot all to most people.

    Scottish voices don’t only have a democratic deficit if anything the media deficit is even larger.

    By the way, I read Severin Carrell’s piece in the Guardian and thought it was just the usual spin, crap in my mind. Your right about him not asking the right questions though. Just why did the people he interviewed in the main see that “the SNP never stop talking about Independence and I’m sick of it”?

    There’s the problem Independence faces right there Derek, pure bias and in a piece you describe as “excellent”.

    It wasn’t in my view anyway.

    • I am not sure how they (SNP) get this information out there when the mainstream media are all lined up against them. It is all fine and well but the media do not play with a straight bat in Scotland.

      Also I am sick and tired of hearing how crap Scotland performs when compared to the UK economy. Leaving aside the obvious (not having any real control), as it stands Scotland IS part of the UK so why do they always compare us against the whole? The whole includes the SE of England / London which totally warps the results. Any comparisons should be done by region and in that case we would see that Scotland is probably doing better than expected despite all the disadvantages (thanks SNP) and in addition many parts of England are a car crash. Still that is not the message the Unionist media want to feed your average Scottish numptie so we shall not get it.

    • Thepnr, indeed, Sevvy didn’t ask the right questions (I don’t think he ever does). That’s why, while it might have been an adequate observational piece in that it told the reader *what* the voters in the NE thought, it was not (as Derek states) ‘excellent’ because Carell didn’t care to tell us *why* they thought it in any meaningful detail. Too few journalists want to analyse deeper as Derek has done…because they know they don’t want to hear the answers.

  4. Already have heard of a very well educated and informed elderly couple, who still took on board the tory message that the SNP kept on ‘banging on’ about indy during the election, when of course it was the tories who did that. The power of the media.

  5. I posted most of this on Wings in July, 2016 – it seems appropriate to share it again here.

    ‘… it’s clear that refutation in political debate is far from straightforward. See this from Professor Martin G. Evans, an organisational psychologist at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, in an article in the Boston Globe (14 August 2014 – https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/08/13/confronting-and-refuting-political-lies/DqojwnVw9gDGWzAn2WrI6L/story.html ).

    It has been claimed that “ …. when disputants argue things out in the marketplace of ideas, lies will be exposed.” However, Evans disputes this.

    “Unfortunately, it is not as simple as that. The lie itself usually opens up a new arena for discussion and, by being first on the ground, sets up the mental frame for the argumentation to come. Therefore, those wishing to refute a political lie have a two-part task: (1) they must convincingly articulate the truth, and (2) they have to replace the existing frame of discussion with a more accurate one. Those tasks are very difficult to accomplish.

    Why? Because the mental frame the lie establishes is then used to channel the information we receive. Information consistent with the frame is easily assimilated in our minds. Information that is inconsistent with the frame tends to be ignored or distorted into being consistent.”

    Evans adds: “Counter-speech is at a major disadvantage here; the …. politician who gets the lie in first has the higher ground. This advantage for the lying party is enhanced by repetition. Repeating the lie time and again strengthens the network of nerve associations (the neurological substrate) underlying the frame in the minds of listeners and readers, making the lie more difficult to refute.”

    “Paradoxically, …. when the (opposing) candidate denies the lies, the same frame is invoked and once again the neurological substrate is strengthened. For effective counter-speech, the candidate must escape from the original frame. How? Well, for example, he could speak about all the good things he has done for his constituents and the people ..… By talking this route, there is a good chance that he can supplant the old negative frame with a new, more positive frame.”

    Professor Evans argues: “Cognitive science has much to teach us in the political arena. By increasing awareness of these tendencies, we can perhaps help inoculate the public against succumbing to these harmful distortions. But we also need to discourage the repetition of obvious lies.”

    The work of Evans reinforces the findings on the power of ‘framing’ by George Lakoff that is finding an attentive audience amongst progressives in US politics. According to Lakoff: “From a political perspective, framing has widespread consequences. For example, the concept of framing links with that of agenda-setting: by consistently invoking a particular frame, the framing party may effectively control discussion and perception of the issue.”

    Derek states: “I think their (the SNP’s) machinery has stalled and needs a clear overhaul from the top down.” This process should involve a very close reading of the work of Evans and Lakoff …. as well as learning lessons from Alastair Campbell.

    Here is Lakoff on CNN briefly explaining his analysis of Trump’s media tactics and how to counter them, including how ‘fact checking’ and refutation are not enough – i.e. will not be effective in changing views if communicated within the same ‘frame’ (apologies – my attempt at providing an archived link failed):

    http://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2017/02/26/fact-checking-trump-without-repeating-falsities.cnn

  6. Alasdair Macdonald.

    The ‘rapid rebuttal’ approach by Labour was effective because it stopped particular tropes gaining traction. However, after nearly 18 years of Tory government and the in-fighting of the Major administration, much of the media was ready to publish ‘alternative’ messages, especially as Labour had made a lot of overtures to them and their paymasters in the city.

    Undoubtedly, the SNP (and the Greens) would have benefitted from rapid rebuttal and the placing of counter arguments from the list presented by Mr Bateman, but, apart from the Sunday Herald, the National and, perhaps, the Scottish Sun, would any such statements have received wide publicity? It is unlikely the BBC or STV would give it much or any air time.

    However, given the decline of the print media, it is clear that the online media and social media will assume greater influence. So, the pro-independence groups need to be even more proactive and rapidly reactive. During the 2014 referendum campaign, this flowered. It is time now to develop it more systematically.

  7. Absolutely spot on Derek. We need a rebuttal unit and we need it now

  8. davidmccann24

    Time to bring back Kevin Pringle methinks

  9. Ive read a lot about the “autopsy” on SNP’s GE17 .

    I think they failed simply because almost a quarter of their supporters didn’t bother voting … Wings and a few others had the figures.

    Why bother when the SNP stopped being a Scottish party and began acting like a British one . They dropped all mention of indi . That from a party who exist to gain indi. Running away from what they are cost them. I was furious with the weak answers avoiding like hell any word of indi . WTF

    If we want the MSM to sit up and take not ice then we should have the SNP screaming Indi now before we are dragged out of Europe. I am sick of postponements because of the UK vote . England wants out . Fuck the single market and we have our FM parking Indi because she thinks the WM might give us this. Eck would have been shouting from the rooftops but Nicola seems to only react to any situation…… we need a leader not another Politician and i am slowly losing respect for her.

    If you want the MSM to print your stuff make it worthwhile and loud and demand indi . nearly 25% of SNP voters stayed away … Whats the point if they dont do Indi .

    63% of Scotland voted to stay in the EU 63

    why the hell is she bothered about the leavers. they LOST in Scotland nothing else counts and once again the losers have more say than the feckin winners even when we have a mandate. > And three times we have had to justify this mandate only for our leader to park the fecker till we’re out… She’s on a good wage and wont suffer regardless.

    I am disabled and i suffer .. for how long ?????? i voted and paid for an indi party and now feel like they are establishment

    or maybe am wrong and Nicola has a plan and am not patient enough 🙁

    Every week someone is being abused and killed by a westminster govt that ignore UN and Red Cross warnings .
    How long is this gonna take …

    Fecking SNP i supported for 30 years and have seen them win elctons with landslides and still we have nothing but Wait
    SNP failed to motivate their own supporters .. ARE the feckin DEAF cos we are screaming out loud as hell . We want indi NOW before were dragged out of europe ..NOW

    • I’d agree with a lot of this.

      Before Brexit it was taken as a given that the SNP would call a second independence referendum if Scotland voted stay and we were forced to leave. This was widely accepted (see the Daily Record the day after the vote for proof).

      And here we are – a year later. Somehow this has changed to a soft Brexit being okay and we’re all still waiting.

      The last spluttering gasp of the Unionist parties to avoid another referendum (which they knew was justified) was to scream “Scotland doesn’t want another divisive referendum!” And it worked. The SNP – rather than say the obvious (“yes they do”) or to point out there was absolutely no evidence of this, completely ignored it. They still don’t seem to have thought of a response.

      The SNP will continue to get a kicking over independence because it’s all the Unionist parties have (and it’s an easy vote winner). They’d be as well to actually argue back – at least that way they motivate their own support. As long as they continue to kick the can down the road they will lose votes (if there was to be another snap general election this year I doubt they’d win 20 seats under their current direction).

      If there was a date for a referendum the argument shifts completely. The Unionist parties can’t just say that Scotland doesn’t want a referendum, now they’d need to say Scotland doesn’t want Independence (a harder sell when Westminster is in full blown psycho mode). And the Independence movement can make traction on the horrendous government down south. There’s never going to be a good time for having the Independence argument again so if the SNP are waiting on polls being favourable there’s zero chance of it ever happening.

      Also, we’ve ran out of time. Once we leave the EU the game is over. As things stand the spectre of being out of the UK and the EU would be raised (like our continued membership isn’t a given) but after Brexit this argument would be plastered all over the place. “Alone.” “Isolationist.” “The North Korea of Europe.” It’d be everywhere, regardless of the clusterfuck that Brexit might be.

  10. Aye, but the independence movement needs better than selfies and managerialist politics if it is to get off the back foot.

  11. Born Optimist

    Suggestion: Invite the following to take part in one of your podcasts. Nicola Sturgeon, John Swinney, Ian Hudghton, Angus Robertson, Colin Beattie, Angus MacLeod, Derek Mackay, Fiona McLeod, Susan Aitken,Julie Hepburn, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, Alex Salmond, Angus Robertson, and all those brilliant MPs who were unseated at the last election. Put their feet to the fire and ask them what needs to be done to plan for another Referendum and what is holding them back from publicising their actions and taking the media head on.Then ensure the widest possible distribution of said podcast. Even better if could have IndyLive or Phantom Power Films produce film and DVD. Would that help set the cat among the pigeons?

  12. Very good thought provoking piece Derek. Nice to have some day job reminders. I do sense a bit of frustration among the troops at the moment. On a lighter note. Who should be out Alistair Campbell?? I would suggest…Dr Who(available soon),Pedro from Rangers(available soon), Jonah McTernan(always avaiable for a BBC Scotland comment) or even a Mr D.Bateman.

  13. Robert Graham

    Eh did he mention THE BRIDGE ? or did i miss that bit , Can i suggest every Union flag is removed from within a mile of the opening ceremony , and not one union supporting arse wipe is in any way involved in the opening ceremony , its not their bridge its ours and hee haw to do with their union , the best they could manage was ” A Vanity Project ” .
    As for our media , well not a lot to add , as far as they are concerned its hell on earth without the sun in this god forsaken edge of civilisation , nothing works and is all the SNPs fault , that more or less covers their daily output .

  14. Excellent stuff Derek. I just wish that for once it could find its way into MSM, if only to reach some of those who don’t access columns such as this and will thus never get to see or hear the facts of the real “day job”. We can but dream….

  15. On the doorstep the problem is still the same. Some are so brainwashed by the relentless media barrage of S.N.P bad that they will never believe anything else, no matter how it is presented.
    I’ve been out over the last two weeks delivering surveys pertaining to local matters on behalf of our hard working councillors, with the support of our M.S.P and M.P.
    And while the views of those who bothered to reply, freepost envelope provided, were mainly positive, you still got the comments such as (copied from the media since they can’t think of anything original to say), “you should get on with the day job and forget about this nonsense”.
    Now these surveys were about local residents concerns, and by the way we are the only party bothering since the Tories and Labour have combined in our local council to defeat the S.N.P despite them having the most seats, and yet they still continue in some cases to stick their heads in the sand, scream at Nicola, and blame the Scottish Government.
    As regards the recent polling days, I, as usual, was one of many in a number of teams who do “knock-up”, in a bid to make sure we get as many of our supporters to vote, and while we were very successful in the local elections, it seems we were less so on General Election day. Whether this was due to voter fatigue I don’t know, but we did our best.
    So locally we will do all we can to get the good news out there, but at times it’s an uphill battle to combat the lies of the M.S.M, who despite their failing influence, still convince an awful lot of people.

    • Robert Graham

      It’s obvious a lot of people either don’t know ,or simply don’t care about the protection on a daily basis that the SNP provide from a rabid Tory government.
      Maybe the SNP has been to successful in doing this , maybe it’s time for the comfortably off to start experiencing real Tory government with all its vindictive policies, No more free this or that let them experience life without the protection they enjoy from a government they would never vote for , over to you Ruth explain that too your adorning supporters if you can .

  16. “The real story is the power of the political message overcoming rational thought…”

    I think that means the britnat media, including the bbc.

  17. Simply Ace, Derek …. I owe you a pint.

  18. Severin Carrell’s (excellent?) observational piece was a rather easy walk-about discarding views which did not fit in with the preconception. Had it been excellent it would have compared and contrasted differing views, but there were none.
    But thanks for highlighting what the day job entails. There needs to be much more of this presented to the electorate.

  19. In terms of seats the SNP turned out the winner in the Local, National, and Westminster elections. The core message of the SNP is independence for Scotland. Working towards this is therefore part of “the day job”. I wish the SNP would respond much more robustly to the Unionist mantra of “no-one wants a divisive referendum” with “almost half the country is sick of your failing union being rammed down their throats”.

  20. “How long will the country suffer because of an ideological row in the Tory Party?”, as long as people look on like cattle in a field.
    I’m now convinced there are a big chunk of the Labour vote who don’t want to take responsibility for what they vote. In the past it was Trade Unions who were voted into power then the workers never had to take responsibility again. The Labour politicians in Scotland were voted back in time after time, despite there being a Tory UK Government most of the time, but the Slab MPS took the ‘responsibility’ with them far away to London. The voters didn’t need to do much.
    Then with the Referendum they were forced to look at responsibility and many couldn’t deal with it.
    Then along came Corbyn and the return to someone far away presented itself. Return to voting and not doing anything was suddenly back. Relief.

    • Should add, if Davidson became FM then then UK Tory Party would run Holyrood by proxy, It would be what Scotland deserves.

  21. I live in Belgium and have access to many European media sources; just one question why is there more actual News across here, rather than the constantly repeated sound bites about Trump, Brexit and other things that take up the whole of the UK media. Yes, they do talk about these “items” here, give them about 5 minutes of space and then spend the rest of the TV News broadcasts talking about the real News throughout the World that the UK media ignore. We even know more about what is happening in the UK and more recently about Scotland, than I believe you know about in Scotland itself. I wonder what the reason for that could be?

    • The establishment is the reason. They act in many respects like a huge cartel and through Murdoch and the Barclay bros they control much of the UK’s media output. In recent years there have been marches and demonstrations of 1/4 a million teachers etc in the center of London which got no mention on the domestic news programs. It’s not just us Scots they are manipulating it’s everyone! You cant wake those who ain’t sleeping. Nova Scotia anyone?

  22. I cant think of any other Country on the Planet , Where the media & the State broadcaster activly try to undermine the freely elected government on a daily basis , I doubt if any other government has to operate under such circumstances , a whole country being lied to on a daily basis , Ba*****ds every one .

  23. Hey Derek, where are you? We need you man.

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