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By G.A.Ponsonby
 
A band of hard line Scottish nationalists this week turned on UKIP leader Nigel Farage, forcing the mild mannered English gent to flee from Edinburgh in fear of his own safety.
 
This lie is being perpetrated by malevolent forces within the media here in Scotland.  It is a lie that has at its heart the aim of portraying Scots who oppose fundamental Unionism as nothing more than an anti-English Facist mob intent on silencing all who oppose them.

That this lie is being perpetrated by the very people trusted to expose society’s wrongdoers and shed light on the dark corners of power, is indicative of the corruption that is eating away at journalism in Scotland.

The narrative of the Farage protest of course falls apart when one looks at the facts.  The students who shouted at Nigel Farage after he gave a press conference in Edinburgh, included many English amongst their ranks, one of which was arrested by police.

Another student who gave statements to the media was Max Crema who is a member of the Labour party.  There are also claims that people had travelled from England in order to attend the protest.

Taking part were also members of the Radical Independence group and a banner in support of independence was displayed.  Thus, this protest was cross party and cross national and certainly not as presented by many in the Scottish, and indeed the UK media.

The lie itself has been embellished with claims that Farage was told to go back to England and suggestions that the Union Flag should be burnt.  In one clip a Scottish student can be seen telling Farage to take his EU salary and go home.  Has this been extrapolated using journalistic licence to turn it into an anti-English cry?

Mike Shaw, president of Edinburgh University Students Association's Socialist Society, tweeted: "Ukip protest yesterday branded as 'anti-English'.  As a proud Englishman, arrested yesterday for protesting, I dispute these claims."

Also present at the protest was Scottish Labour party researcher April Cumming, who tweeted: "I'm not a yes campaign member, I came to protest the damage your anti-immigration rhetoric is doing to whole UK"

But where did the lie that the protest was organised by anti-English Scottish nationalists come from?

The Independent newspaper reported:

"Mr Farage, whose party has no elected representatives in Scotland, ventured north of the border on Thursday but was besieged in an Edinburgh pub when supporters of Scottish independence mounted a protest."

It seems to have been based on comments from Farage himself who claimed the protestors were anti-English Scottish nationalists.

Farage described his vocal critics as: "deeply racist with a total hatred of the English and a desire for Scotland to be independent from Westminster"

He added: "If this is the face of Scottish Nationalism it's a pretty ugly picture.

"This was dressed up as anti-racism protest but it was a pure anti-English thing.  I'm accused of being a racist, but it's ok to hate the English.  If the police hadn't been there it could have turned very nasty."

Of course we already know that elements within Scotland’s media need no persuasion to headline such attacks on Scottish independence.  They don’t even require proof to run with such claims as the recent episode with comedienne Susan Calman proved.

Ms Calman’s claims of death threats and a "shit storm" of online abuse have still to be backed up by any substantive evidence.

No sooner had Farage blurted out his evidence free attacks on Scottish nationalism than the usual suspects started manipulating the story into one which turned on independence supporters and SNP leader Alex Salmond.

Tory Lord, Michael Forsyth said: "There is an element that is not very pleasant. They are called cyber-nats and are a pretty unpleasant and nasty bunch.

"It is the worst aspects of nationalism – very inward looking and very self satisfied and rather unpleasant. It is anti-English and anti-London,"

Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone said:

"Alex Salmond simply pays lip service when it comes to condemning abusive language in his own party.  Yesterday’s abuse handed out by separatists was another shameless example of the lengths they will go to hijack the independence debate in Scotland.  If such abusive comments are allowed to continue unchecked, the next 18 months will descend into little more than an anti-British hate campaign."

So a protest that has no connection to the SNP whatsoever, but has at least one member of the Labour party present and contains several English students, is now an "anti-British hate campaign" organised by "separatists".

As ever, playing a lead role in the misinformation was the highly corrupt elements at BBC Scotland.  Despite their own reporter David Miller tearing a hole in Farage’s ridiculous claims that the protest was an anti-English pro-indy organised event, elements within BBC Scotland continued with the lie.

Kaye Adams promoted the anti-English narrative and asked callers to comment on Farage’s claims.  Again showing no desire to simply examine the evidence, Adams lent the airwaves to the politically partisan and factually ignorant with one caller incredulously blaming ‘cybernats’ for the Farage protest.

This is the same Kaye Adams who recently falsely claimed there had been a rise in anti-English attacks in Scotland and invited people to phone in to lay ‘blame’, which of course turned into an anti-Alex Salmond tirade.

For those unaware, official statistics show that anti-English attacks in Scotland fell last year.

But the spin that this was an SNP promoted rally and the students were members of the SNP began to unravel when UKIP representatives changed the "Scottish nationalist" line.

In a BBC Newsnight interview, UKIP MEP Roger Helmer claimed that the term ‘Scottish nationalist’ was not in fact directed at the SNP but a more generic description of independence supporters.  Thus, he sought to bring in the Scottish Greens, the SSP and any other groups or individuals who support independence.

Helmer even attacked the BBC who he claimed were guilty of presenting the protest as an SNP versus UKIP battle.

However it is these false narratives that BBC Scotland loves and it was evident on Saturday when BBC Scotland yet again allowed the lie to be trotted out.

David Torrance, someone who is usually one of the more reliable commentators, claimed the protest was entirely made up of members of the Radical Independence Campaign.

"Around fifty students in the Radical Independence Campaign" was how Mr Torrance described the protest makeup.  Again, the lie goes completely unchallenged despite a fellow guest on the show actually naming one of the protestors, Englishman Mike Shaw.

Mr Torrance also drew parallels between UKIP and the SNP, describing both as nationalist parties.

However perhaps the more striking parallel should be between UKIP and the Better Together campaign after it emerged donations to UKIP had come from a businessman who held less than appealing views on women.

Demetri Marchessini, a Greek businessman who gave UKIP a £10,000 donation this year, believes women should wear skirts rather than trousers.

Writing on his blog, Mr Marchessini said: "There is a basic fact of life that women do not grasp - skirts give erections, but trousers do not."

He also claimed that "date rape" allegations "mean nothing", since because there is "no violent act it is difficult to know whether any rape took place" and described unmarried  mothers as "naughty girls" who should be given a "smack".

The embarrassing donation of course has parallels with the anti-independence campaign Better Together after it accepted £500,000 from someone whose company paid a war criminal $1 million and had links to Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Farage exposed his own limitations when confronted by the student protestors who he apparently insulted as they tried to question him.  The episode also exposed the rabid anti-SNP media machine that operates in Scotland which tried desperately to link the SNP to this protest.

Nigel Farage is a Unionist whose party wanted – until last week – to scrap the Scottish Parliament.  He espouses what many believe to be extreme policies that are homophobic and xenophobic.  He took part in a publicity stunt in Edinburgh, which was styled as a ‘campaign’ press conference for a by-election over one hundred miles away.

He was confronted by students, some of whom were English, who disagreed fundamentally with these policies and who wished to challenge the man who has been living off of his party’s success in the English local elections.  Farage responded by launching attacks on independence and the Scottish National Party.

His comments, issued at a moment of high panic and embarrassment, should have been ridiculed by serious journalists who could very easily have established the facts about the protest makeup.

But why look for uncomfortable facts that would have got in the way of an anti-independence narrative?

The Scotland on Sunday continues with the anti-SNP narrative by singling out Mr Salmond for criticism in a leader entitled 'Salmond should stand up for free speech'.

The comment ends with the following passage:

The Dreyfus trial it was not, but Mr Salmond has noticeably not condemned the fact that the demonstration stopped Mr Farage putting his case.  The First Minister perhaps was not asked about this but his words leave him open to the criticism that he supports behaviour which seeks to curb free speech. We are sure this is not Mr Salmond’s intention but his statement has allowed opponents like Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie to question his motives.

Referring to the Farage incident, Mr Rennie said the First Minister "must speak out against this attack on free speech".  Mr Rennie is right.  We look to Mr Salmond to respond with an ­unequivocal statement in ­support of free speech.

Mr Rennie is right is he?

Here’s what Rennie said:

"It was deeply ironic when these self-proclaimed anti-racist campaigners told an Englishman to get back to his own country.  Anti-racists turned racist but were too ignorant to notice.  I am sure most people in Scotland will be appalled at this behaviour. 

"These people do not speak for Scotland.  Alex Salmond must speak out against this attack on free speech."

These anti-racist campaigners included Englishmen within their ranks.  Moreover, Farage had been allowed to hold his press conference but asked to leave by the pub management after the debate started to become heated.  At no point did anyone silence the outspoken right wing politician.

Mr Rennie would be wise to reflect on his own party’s betrayal of Students in England over tuition fees and the protests that the Lib Dems had to endure, before labelling other students as "racist".

He might also wish to recall a leaflet he himself had to apologise for after it was posted on his official Facebook page, which was racist and offensive ... and anti-Salmond.

Comments  

 
# Ben Power 2013-05-19 06:30
An important point continually missed in this UKIPPER stuff is that they are prepared to betray and abandon every Brit living and working in EU under the free movement protocols of EU by insisting UK leave the EU.
That will already be placing those UK Nationals under stress and local threat. Then what happens to those UK nationals if this lot actually achieve leaving EU.

Their right to work, rights to reside, rights to health care and dare I say it local unemployment benefits in EU end with UK departure from EU.

There are a couple of million UK citizens living in EU, that's at least equal to the number of supposedly being disadvantaged by EU immigration here.

Interestingly though, EU citizens living here cannot vote in UK elections so it is an easy target for the fishy cowardly behaviour of UKIPPERS.

It would be interesting to see how brave these xenophobes would be savagely and directly attacking local residents prepared to vote.
 
 
# davemsc 2013-05-19 08:05
EU citizens living in the UK have the right to vote in European, local, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish elections, in referendums, but not in Westminster elections.
 
 
# Ben Power 2013-05-19 19:55
That is precisely the point. Europeans cannot vote in Westminster elections. Farage and the Tories are demonising EU and immigrants for votes.
Europeans living here cannot vote against them in protest.
EU immigrants and immigrants in general are being used as scapegoats.
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2013-05-19 06:57
Another leader of the anti Falange protest was English Harrow educated public school boy Max Crema who is a Labour Sabbatical Officer at Edinburgh Uni – a full-time student union official supported by the Labour Party but no MSM or BBC calls for Johann Lamont to condemn him.

Max has some fascinating comments on Labour at

www.lrcyouth.org.uk/.../
 
 
# BDF 2013-05-19 08:23
Quoting From The Suburbs:
a full-time student union official supported by the Labour Party


One small comment regarding Max Crema - as a EUSA sabbatical, I am not sure that he could really be described as being 'supported by the Labour Party'. I believe EUSA is still independent from the NUS (although please correct me if that has changed), and - as I recall - the extent of support from any political group within EUSA's societies, whether its the Labour Club or any other, is strictly limited to having a supply of willing footsoldiers to draw on when you want to put your leaflets out in the student accommodation sites and student unions during your election campaign. After you are elected - that is basically it. You may (or may not) be asked to effect policy in a particular way by a given group, but I don't believe there is any way that 'support' could be given to a candidate once in post as a sabbatical.
 
 
# BDF 2013-05-19 09:04
But I agree, FTS, he certainly does have some interesting opinions on Labour, particularly as a motivation for joining them!!
 
 
# Macart 2013-05-19 07:03
The Farage farago was a nothing incident involving a minor right wing politico, yet our precious UK press and their big Westminster pals are desperately spinning their collective faces off. They are deliberately and with full knowledge of the consequences, attempting to demonize and isolate supporters of Scots independence. Their releases are intended to incite outrage, anger and I am perfectly willing to believe violence.

Begs a question of any of them still left with any kind of human conscience..... just who is provably displaying bigotry, intolerance and anti democratic credentials?
 
 
# Diabloandco 2013-05-19 07:28
I find it shocking and disturbing that the media of Scotland is so keen to do our country down using this silly little man as proof of " anti English " feeling, "violent affray" and racism.

I got to wondering in which other country of the world would this happen?

I wondered which part of the Scottish media could think it apposite to send a TV journalist to the USA touting for those who would condemn Scotland over the release of Mr Megrahi, searching for those who would willingly boycott Scotland.

I wondered just what rewards they reap for undermining a nation, by lying ,obfuscating and spinning.

It seems to me a perverse way to behave towards your own countrymen and women.

I hope that the insults heaped on our intelligence will pay unique dividends to those who insist on ignoring impartiality ,truth and honesty.
 
 
# Breeks 2013-05-19 08:16
This is just a turn of the screw.

Unionism is losing the argument, indeed it has lost the argument and the message is slowly working its way through our population. The NO campaign and their lackeys in the media will adopt any flag of convenience to bash the pro-independence campaign.

We should all be alert to provocateurs and agitators at public meetings. It seems that militant Scottish Nationalists is to be the next Unionist contrivance to dominate the 'debate', pedaled as usual by our despicable media. I don't believe it will resonate, but fall flat like every other damp squib that rolls off the Better Together production line.

Be aware however, let's not fall in to the trap of throwing these 50 protestors to the dogs by publicly disowning them. Militant hoodlums they were not. Farage and UKIP are the undesirables, and those 50 protestors in the Grassmarket actually did the whole of the UK a favour. Give it time....
 
 
# clootie 2013-05-19 09:12
Breeks

I fully agree and the last paragraph was a critical point to make.
 
 
# gus1940 2013-05-19 08:35
Any guesses as to what will feature in todays Scottish Sunday Politics and the line that will be taken by carefully selected participants.

O/T

Excellent article in today's Sunday Herald by Ian McWhirter on the EU which should be widely publicised and fired in the direction of the xenopohobic Little Englanders arguing for withdrawal.
 
 
# Cuphook 2013-05-19 08:37
Does anyone have access to the Sunday Times so that they can tell us about these two articles?

UKIP rise spurs Scots to go it alone

thesundaytimes.co.uk/.../...

Farage spat a further blow to tolerence

thesundaytimes.co.uk/.../...

And RIC are also raising funds to pay for the Summer campaign:

radicalindependence.org/.../...
 
 
# Johnston 2013-05-19 08:42
Has Farage broken the Law, under Public Order Act 1986? incitement to racial hatred.

Deliberately provoking hatred of a racial group.
Distributing racist material to the public.
Making inflammatory public speeches.
Inciting inflammatory rumours about an individual or an ethnic group, for the purpose of spreading racial discontent.
 
 
# springster 2013-05-19 08:47
Two guests on Derek Bateman's headline show have both trotted out the anti-English line.

A Northern Irish Editor of the Daily Record and an English Editor of the Daily Mail. This is what happens when you give journalists who have an agenda access to BBC microphones and present them as objective analysts which they are not.

The series of scares from the No campaign is apparently "working effectively" and they are only posing legitimate questions. Mature debate and analysis my foot.

Partisan commentary dressed up as professional journalism more like.
 
 
# springster 2013-05-19 09:31
Also want to say well done to the Balanced Debate rally people for yesterday's march in Glasgow. Speeches were terrific, especially from Paul Holleran and Tommy Sheridan.

I also have a Newsnet mug, which is adequate compensation for getting soaked in the torrential rain that didn't relent one bit. Marvellous day and hope to see you guys again at the next rally.

I saw the event being filmed and look forward to watching the speeches again.
 
 
# Richardmci 2013-05-19 09:29
O/T I see YesOnAir has gone live.

facebook.com/.../...
 
 
# rapid 2013-05-19 10:18
A situation where Scotland votes yes in 2014, negotiates 'in' to the EU followed by rUK voting 'out' of the EU would have massive advantage to Scotland as many organisations based in London would move their HQs to Scotland.

There are many EU nationals that are on boards of FTSE100 companies that might have problems in a closed borders rUK.
 
 
# Leader of the Pack 2013-05-19 10:59
April Cummings Labour party researcher at the Scottish Parliament also admits to being at the protest. Its time to stop buying newspapers and paying the licence fee to the BBC its the only effective way to protest.
 
 
# maisiedotts 2013-05-19 11:42
Fresh controversy for UKIP as their Aberdeen by-election candidate is linked to right wing group. Very disturbing.

heraldscotland.com/.../...
 
 
# proudscot 2013-05-19 12:02
This blinkered anti-Johnny Foreigner (aka anti-EU) attitude of the Tory right wing and their UKIP counterparts, will play increasingly in favour of the pro-indy allies in YES Scotland campaign.

That, plus the splintering of the NO camp into a Tory/LibDem faction, Darling's Negativity NOs and now North British Broon's Nonsensical NOs, will soon be sowing as much confusion among the voting public as it is doing among themselves. "Weasels in a sack" also springs to mind!
 
 
# Nautilus 2013-05-19 12:09
Well, Springster, I don’t think the Unionist parties in Scotland teaming up with UKIP against the ‘yes’ campaign will do their cause much good. In supporting UKIP, they are automatically aligning themselves with the ‘out-of-Europe’ lot which a recent poll has shown strengthens the cause of Scottish independence.
I was there in St Enoch square getting drookit, and, like you was impressed with the speakers. Bit disappointed with the numbers, but it may have been the weather. Perhaps this made Bateman feel free to put blatant unionists on his show without even the pretence of any balance or counter-opinion. I wonder how real professionals view this lot of amateurs. The bias wasn’t even subtle.
 
 
# thejourneyman 2013-05-19 12:52
The game plan is becoming clearer as the financial elites that control the media and government try ever harder to prevent a YES vote in Scotland next year.
To the initiated it is now self evident that these corporate elites know what the full implication of Scottish Independence means for rUK. To the uninitiated I would point them to question the corruption of government, banks, energy cartels, petrol cartels and the financial sector etc, etc - wake up - the structure of our society is still collapsing around us.
Meanwhile many of us are still buying the fear and negativity put out by UKGov about why the people themselves can't do better. It's propaganda designed to keep us enslaved to the system that provides great wealth for the few. A No vote is a vote for continued enslavement.
 
 
# chicmac 2013-05-19 13:08
Really good and very necessary article.

If I might be excused some dreadful alliteration. Well my brain inflicted it on me, so Ill share the pain.

Expect coverage by our compliant cabal of Farage's faux rage for ages.

Ouch.

The Farangist Party can do no wrong in MSM eyes.
 
 
# kenneth_clark336 2013-05-19 13:18
My partner and I eventually dried out after yesterday's rally and handed out leaflets we had left over while having a meal and drink in pub before heading back to Dundee. Had a conversation with two women who have bought into the evil Salmond versus Britain nonsense. We told them the groups involved yesterday represented other parties, and convinced them to divorce the debate from party politics. Impressed by the speeches, and songs, and the determination not to let an atrocious day dampen enthusiasm. Well done everyone. As an aside, I nearly choked on my porridge this morning when I saw the Sunday Post front page featuring Denis Healey admitting Westminster has lied to Scots about the value of the North Sea riches! Someone help me to my feet. :-)
 
 
# Barbazenzero 2013-05-19 20:12
Can't find a web reference to the Healey article in the Sunday Post, but STV have a good report on it at news.stv.tv/.../...
 
 
# snowthistle 2013-05-19 20:36
Here is the original interview
holyrood.com/.../...

Incidentally, now that Gordon is back on the scene are you going back to your old moniker? Can't get used to the new one.
 
 
# brusque 2013-05-19 14:19
Completely O/T but nevertheless relevant.

Westminster MPs to be awarded a payrise of £10k - £20k.

Led by Bercow the current Speaker, who says that even £20,000 will not be enough, but would at least mean getting the "right" people into Parliament. There is a slight upside, which is that they might get the £20,000 rise, but will have to forego expenses:-)
 
 
# jamaisarriere 2013-05-19 14:38
It is a tribute to how anodyne and faceless political discourse is in Britain, when a supposedly aspiring party leader can't deal with a bit of face-to-face banter, political debate or barracking. Instead he goes running off playing the victim.

Farage is a quitter, and retreat from complex difficult debate and inclusive problem-solving is his political strategy whether in Brussels or Edinburgh, and his only qualification for the popularity he's gained is that he is neither Cameron, Clegg nor Milliband. I'd much rather he be ignored as he has been by Scottish voters at every election, but pompous fantasist idiots like him don't often read the runes until they're shouted in his face.
I don't care whether the shouters are pro or anti-independence.
 
 
# gus1940 2013-05-19 16:29
Can I suggest that a new section of the Newsnet Site be created containing The NO Lot's 500 questions with the facility for us to provide comments and answers for each one.

I would suggest that it be a permanent feature accessible on the left of the screen in the same way as the 'Independence Fact Sheet'

I no longer buy a daily paper but read the on-line versions and sites like Newsnet but am as yet unaware of the 500 questions being published anywhere in the print, broadcast or on-line media.
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2013-05-19 19:37
On doorsteps this afternoon several people praised the anti Nigel Falange protests including Englishmen and women and not one person had any sympathy for UKIP and this in the kind of area Tories should be getting votes.

So right wing press, George Galloway and opposition political pygmies attacks on Alex Salmond over UKIP having absolutely no effect.
 
 
# cjmasta 2013-05-19 21:35
Kaye Adams is so blatantly abusing her position almost daily I hope more callers like the guy from Dundee the other week get through to point out to the public that her and the BBC are working to an agenda.
Any fair minded person will not take too kindly if they realize what they`re up to at Pacific quay.
 

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