Banner

By G.A.Ponsonby

Like many others I sat open mouthed listening to Iain Macwhirter’s rant on Radio Scotland yesterday morning.

So uncharacteristic was the apparent loss of control that I at first missed the central theme of his point - that Alex Salmond had supported the “monopolistic commercial interests” of Rupert Murdoch.

There were two things wrong with this claim.  The first of course is that ownership of BskyB would have hardly represented a monopoly, given the presence of the BBC, which dwarfs News Corp’s media reach in the UK.

The second though, and one that perhaps offers an insight into the blinkered thinking of the Unionist, and one that Macwhirter will struggle to comprehend is that a virtual media monopoly has existed in Scotland for decades.

The so called Scottish media has been controlled by one single entity throughout Mr Macwhirter’s journalistic career – the entity is Unionism.

Until very recently, and it is still to be proven if the Sun’s ‘worship’ of the SNP is long term, no media outlet would touch the SNP with a barge poll.  Independence was the unmentionable, and if former Herald editor Murray Richie is to believed, any journalist that publicly expressed sympathy for the SNP’s ultimate aim found his or her career path blocked.

That’s the reality of Scotland’s media machine, one dominated at the moment by a publicly funded broadcasting  giant that even Macwhirter himself admitted not so long ago operated a policy that weeded out those journalists and commentators prepared to give the SNP a fair hearing.

The current campaign of course is only the latest in a series of similar attacks on the integrity of Alex Salmond.  It follows the Doosan story and of course tea with the lottery winners amongst others.

The modus operandi is always the same – smears by political opponents, devoid of evidence, followed by headlines in the usual newspapers that are picked up and amplified by the BBC.

It matters not that there is no truth in the claims, by broadcasting a continual stream of ‘Salmond Accused’ and ‘Salmond Denies’ bulletins the BBC subliminally sends the message to viewers and listeners that the SNP lack integrity, the latest is an honest error over a meeting several years ago between Murdoch and Salmond in New York.

The BBC is of course immune from any public backlash, being protected by a licence fee.  Newspapers however are reaping the circulation rewards for this unimaginative and blandly partisan approach.

Even now, the Scotsman with its circulation in freefall and owners Johnston Press recording huge losses, the business opportunities offered by endorsing independence are eschewed in favour of even more rabid anti-SNP prose.

The Herald too recently has lost its editorial marbles and is resorting to the kind of coverage that led to its infamous editorial when it attacked SNP supporters after a particularly rabid series of articles following a mock auction at an SNP fund raising dinner in an Indian restaurant.

This approach to political reporting is partly what Euan Crawford was leaning towards when he diplomatically referred to the ‘hysteria’ that has surrounded the Salmond BskyB story.

As usual though, no campaign can hope to be successful unless the mass broadcast media run with it.  And again, BBC Scotland have been only too willing to run with any and every aspect of the ‘story’.

Relentless coverage that has served, I believe, to cause even more people to question the agenda of the state broadcaster.

That the story broke on Wednesday just as BBC Scotland were running with Glenn Campbell’s latest ‘scoop’ – re: Ron Gould’s attack on the referendum.  The result was that the station gave the impression of running a continuous stream of anti-SNP, anti-Salmond bulletins.

The reason for the panic is of course the local elections next week and the fear that Labour may well lose its last bastion – Glasgow.

The monopoly that Iain Macwhirter should be railing against is right under his nose.  Somehow though I don’t expect him to publicly acknowledge it any time soon.

Comments  

 
# hiorta 2012-04-27 06:57
British Unionism at its most sinister.

The face speaks of reason and fairness but the brutal, booted feet make damn sure no one in the industry can practice it without permission.

This could be called Fascism and some other descriptive terms might also apply to this secretive concentration camp, but the cure is simple - Independence.
 
 
# Leswil 2012-04-29 12:02
Hiorta,
I agree, however you do have to look back very far to find a parallel. Just look at the Putin's Russian Election. I was watching a BBC reporter who was in Russia watching their election "process", he described almost to a "T" what is happening here and now. Control of the media, restricting airtime to the opposition, spinning and cutting editorial to suit their purpose. All happening here and now!
When asked by the BBC on air if he thought it was fair, he responded that it was not a democratic process.
To expand that to the UK, it appears that Westminster Unionists are using all the same tactics, therefore by the BBC's own comments, we are not engaged in a DEMOCRATIC PROCESS either, so where does that leave the UNIONISTS?
Fact is we are no longer a DEMOCRATIC country. We need to realise that and meet the fact head on.
 
 
# G. P. Walrus 2012-04-27 07:08
The article mainly, and rightly, focusses on the BBC.

What we are witnessing at the moment, IMHO, is the political-media arm of the BBC going down screaming.
The Tories hate them, are in Government, and will get round to privatising them, along with everything else, as soon as can be managed.
The SNP has no power over them but an independent Scotland will see an SNC emerge with a much more representative and inclusive focus with proper accountability to the general public (I hope, but certainly the current political-media arm will undergo radical change).
They are desperate, out of ammo and fast running out of time.
 
 
# km 2012-04-27 16:52
Quote:
The Tories hate them, are in Government, and will get round to privatising them, along with everything else, as soon as can be managed.


Hadn't really thought about it before, but as Rupert pointed out, all governments hate the BBC, and then keep on giving them what they want. The Tories probably quite happy to keep them sweet until at least 2014.
 
 
# UpSpake 2012-04-27 07:09
BSKYB we can at least decline to purchase. We are taxed for the bias and rabid anti SNP opinions of the BBC. Lead balloon I think. After next week, all will be a bit clearer. It's all about Glasgow isn't it ?. The SNP trounce Labour and the game is over for the BBC. They can't eat humble pie, they will have no credibility left.
Will Sally Magnuson's eyes roll backward when Labour loose control of Glasgow, do I really care. If we weren't taxed for the garbage that pours out of the BBC then they could go down the tubes for all I care. However, no matter how Thursday pans out, the tax stays. That in itself in the 21st century is an anachronism. We should be free to choose to take the BBC service or not !.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-27 07:39
"The SNP trounce Labour and the game is over for the BBC."

If the SNP trounce Labour then the union is over, never mind the BBC.

So yes, that is what this is about. There is a war (seriously, this is the british empire losing its last colony and a resource rich one too) on and we have a major battle next week. If the SNP win that battle, Scotland controls Scotland at 2/3 levels. The significance of the council elections should not be underestimated.

Canny believe MacWhirter. True colours? I hope not as that would be a pity.
 
 
# Diabloandco 2012-04-27 07:16
Utterly sickened by the smirking Scottish media and its attacks on the man - actually utterly sickened by the Leveison output and coverage but thats another story.
Didn't hear Mr McWhirter ,whom I normally consider worthy of the title journalist, unlike so many.Really disappointed that he too was attacking and unreasonable.
Yesterday some wee lassie came to my door and asked me about my newspaper reading /buying - I told her I read none and any information I required could be found on the internet and one particular on-line newspaper.I kind of expected a " wouldn't you like to have the Herald/Record/Times etc delivered to your door?" but no.I assume she and her companions were researching for something/somebody but life was making demands on me so I didn't stop to ask!
 
 
# Wave Machine 2012-04-27 07:28
Something that should be remembered is that time doesn't stand still. The various journos, commentators and the BBC need to take note of this. There is going to be constitutional change. They require to think about their future careers, because, from a professional point of view, they are undermining their credibility. I won't be buying any newspapers nor listening to any broadcasters that have taken part in this laughable exercise in attacking a democratically elected government. I won't be alone.

The other point to note and I arrive at this conclusion after just listening to a certain N Sturgeon on Radio Scotland this morning, is that the ridiculous attempts by BBC Scotland to give her a hard time just present the Deputy FM with an opportunity to shout out loud about the strengths of the SNP and to rubbish Labour. An own goal scored by the BBC this morning.
 
 
# gus1940 2012-04-27 07:45
Nicola showed commendable restraint as she dealt admirably with the disgusting verbal assault by that biased ill-mannered BBC attack rodent Gary Robertson.

It wouldn't surprise me if the BBC don't have an agenda whereby they try to provoke somebody from the SNP just too far with their bias, lies and distortion that they lose it on air and lash out in disgust and frustration.
 
 
# Independista 2012-04-27 09:14
And last nights two pronged attack from Gordon Brewer and Lamont was just as bad, although I have to say I thought Nicola wiped the floor with both of them. However, is it the job of a Newsnight presenter to continually prompt the Labour numpty in to asking the probing questions she so clearly is incapable of making herself?
 
 
# John Lyons 2012-04-27 10:14
I don't like Brewer. At All. But give him his due, he did pull Lamont up for saying it was alright for Labour to talk to Murdoch because they'd learnt from that mistake.

Unfortunately I think he's a BBC unionist who just doesn't like Johann Lamont, rather than a fair and impartial commentator.
 
 
# proudscot 2012-04-27 10:27
yQuoting Independista:
And last nights two pronged attack from Gordon Brewer and Lamont was just as bad, although I have to say I thought Nicola wiped the floor with both of them. However, is it the job of a Newsnight presenter to continually prompt the Labour numpty in to asking the probing questions she so clearly is incapable of making herself?


I thoroughly agree with you, Independista. Nicola did indeed come across strongly and well against the combined attack of the arrogant Brewer and the repetitive ranting Lamont - when she was not being shouted down and interrupted.

How the droning, at times almost inarticulate Lamont ever managed to become a teacher beggars belief and perhaps her inadequacy in that profession explains her defection to her current occupation in politics, where she is proving to be even more inadequate, if that's possible. She can't even read her prepared and interminable soundbites questions without stumbling over their delivery and mispronouncing the longer words (i.e. anything over two syllables).

As for McWhirter, I admit he has had me fooled up until his hysterical anti-Salmond rant. He has managed until now to appear reasonably balanced in his articles, but the mask slipped big time in this performance, and his ugly unionist hatred of the SNP was made even more evident by the comparative calm and reasonableness of Euan Crawford.
 
 
# Clydebuilt 2012-04-27 21:14
Quoting Wave Machine:
I won't be buying any newspapers nor listening to any broadcasters that have taken part in this laughable exercise in attacking a democratically elected government. .


You should continue to listen to the bbc
an old Vietmanese proverb.

"keep your enemies close"
 
 
# 1scot 2012-04-27 07:46
I am a little surprised and disappointed and surprised at Iain MacWhirter. He came across as a bit better than this. However as wave machine pointed out, they have to think of the future, and the future looks like being a BBC free zone. The sooner the better.
 
 
# Brechin 2012-04-27 07:46
I've had enough. Salmond must go. This obsession he has about creating jobs is just ridiculous. Every week, it's "jobs this, jobs that". He's got to go...........................I want to live in a Scotland where party politics take precedence over everything else....... I want to live in a Scotland in which the poor and unemployed are deliberately kept down so they can be used as voting fodder........ I want to live in a Scotland led by a worldclass stateswoman like Johann Lamont........... I want to live in a Scotland that can proudly boast that its biggest city council is among the most corrupt in the western world.......... I want to live in a Scotland with a free press, that can deliberately distort the news and treat its readership with utter contempt............Johann, help us, deliver us from this strange hell of increasing confidence, business growth, positivity........I want to go back to the good old days and I bet you do too.
 
 
# Exile 2012-04-27 07:58
BBC headline: "Even cybernats turn against Salmond."
 
 
# FREEDOM1 2012-04-27 08:16
I agree Brechin. The FM had the cheek to meet Murdoch FOUR years ago at breakfast and discuss of all things his Scottish Ancestry without telling the labour opposition. Now that is a sackable offence. Salmond must go. Labour and lament are Pathetic.
 
 
# John Lyons 2012-04-27 10:15
...... I want to live in a Scotland led by a worldclass stateswoman like Johann Lamont...........

LOL!
 
 
# smallwhitebear 2012-04-27 15:19
Absolutely hilarious LOL
 
 
# IamSparticus 2012-04-27 11:48
When you put it like that Brechin it highlights how ridiculous this situation is. Labour and Lamont are not fit for purpose, the BBC is not fit for purpose but on the brightside their inadequacies will be the thing that turns people off, hopefully sooner rather than later.
 
 
# RTP 2012-04-27 07:46
Something maybe to think of.Murdoch a very,very rich man decides he has had to much hassle in the UK and sells up his newspapers dismantles all in Scotland and gets out who is going to be the first to shout and will the SNP get the blame.
As for Macwhirter I always thought him fair minded but no just the same as the rest.

Just noticed this will not please Labour just before the elections..


Millionaire Labour Party donor defects to the SNP
 
 
# jafurn 2012-04-27 08:38
A sign of things to come perhaps?



heraldscotland.com/.../...

(Businessman Mohammad Ramzan has come out in favour of Alex Salmond's party ahead of next week's council elections, blaming the Labour administration in Glasgow for a "lack of ideas and innovation"........)

(......Mr Ramzan said: "I am delighted to be supporting the SNP at this year's local elections on May 3. I have been a businessman in Glasgow for over 35 years and I have always wanted what is best for the city.

"Unfortunately, under the current Labour administration the city has not moved forward, there is a lack of ideas and innovation, and they now spend more time squabbling among themselves than trying to help ordinary Glaswegians.

"That is why I will be supporting real change under the SNP.".......)

Considering he is the uncle of Mr Sarwar this is an interesting development.
 
 
# Thee Forsaken One 2012-04-27 09:49
Quoting jafurn:
"That is why I will be supporting real change under the SNP."

Considering he is the uncle of Mr Sarwar this is an interesting development.


One imagines there are some harsh words travelling between members of the Sarwar dynasty around about now.
 
 
# Robabody 2012-04-29 17:32
Or as Shaft might have put it "up yours baby"?
 
 
# Brechin 2012-04-27 07:49
Do we think this is a deliberate ploy by the SNP? The longer they drag this out, the more public exposure Lamont gets. For Labour this is never a good thing. Wily old foxes eh?
 
 
# PrideoftheClyde 2012-04-27 08:56
God, I hope so. I can't remember the last time Lamont made a public appearance that wasn't FMQs or her weekly visit to Lidl. So you can imagine my joy, after a long stressful night shift, I got to see on iPlayer why the Labour party keep Lamont in a box until Thursday afternoons. Utterly utterly woeful performance. Sounded more like a wee wifey moaning about the frequency of bin collections than a serious politician.
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-04-27 09:29
Absolutely right guys. There's very strict control of Lamont's public appearances and Labour are keeping a distance between Scottish labour and Westminster labour.
She is wheeled out for FMQ's or to give speeches at conferences, apart from that, it's all press releases reported verbatim in the mass media.
We never see her from one Thursday to the next, and her weak point is labour policy, trident, fees, prescriptions, council tax charges - hence why there is never any discussion of such matters in the press. This week has been a great distraction with the Murdoch, Doosan and Trump news, it's time to get back on track and talking about policies.
 
 
# PrideoftheClyde 2012-04-27 10:36
Most may have missed it but I almost wet myself laughing when Brewer said to Nicola to 'let Johann Lamont have a... shot'. Summed it up really, the grown-ups were having the real discussion but give the wean Lamont a shot since she's here. Don't want to hurt her feelings, mind.

It was like watching a ten year old trying to join in on a conversation between her parents.
 
 
# John Lyons 2012-04-27 10:22
Totally agree. Lamont sightings rarer than Lord Lucan when councillor after councillor quit labour in Glasgow, including four (I think) in her own constituency and her husband is deputy leader of the Labour council. Yet a faint whiff of maybe Salmond has screwed up and she's off to Pacific Quay faster than a greyhound out of a trap.

And FMQ's is dangerous territory for her too. Classic Salmond telling her she should be wary of mentioning dunces caps when she cant tell the difference between two hours a week and two hours a day.

I've often thought of sending her two pictures, one of her elbow and one of her bahookie and asking her if she can tell the difference. If she gets it right, I might send a picture of Donald Dewer or John Smith so she can see what a proper socialist working class politician looks like!
 
 
# Displaced Patriot 2012-04-27 11:31
I've often thought of sending her two pictures, one of her elbow and one of her bahookie and asking her if she can tell the difference. If she gets it right, I might send a picture of Donald Dewer or John Smith so she can see what a proper socialist working class politician looks like!
...........

Donald Dewar a Socialist???? you are having a laugh ,right?
He was eductated at one of Scotlands most exclusive private schools Glasgow Academy ,he died a multi millionaire with investments in all the privatised utilities that he had "objected" to being sold off by the Tories.
Like so many of the labour mob in Scotland ,they are careerists and no more a socialisst than Boris Johnson
 
 
# Exile 2012-04-27 07:51
"...the latest is an honest error ..."

Honest, GAP? Are you sure? I don't think the BBC do honest errors.
 
 
# Lamplighter 2012-04-27 07:55
A couple of days ago, much to my surprise, I filled up an internet survey from Yougov - the subject being anti Scottish independence bias in various newspapers and broadcasters.

No idea who commissioned the survey though...
 
 
# gus1940 2012-04-27 08:31
This YouGov panel member was not asked to take part.

Just remember that they know where their panel members' political sympathies lie.

I suppose that they had to ask some SNP supporters and you must have been one of the lucky ones.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-27 12:44
I completed a voting intention one (full Scotland) the other day but have yet to see the results of it yet.

A newspaper bias one could be interesting.
 
 
# gus1940 2012-04-27 18:05
But will it be published?
 
 
# Diabloandco 2012-04-27 07:55
Anybody checked out the Scotsman?
There is what can only be described as libellous comment by someone calling himself/herself International oil Terrorism.
I would like to think that the moderators of the site were vigilant enough to remove and safeguard their reputation - but it is the Scotsman.
 
 
# RTP 2012-04-27 08:04
Saw that as well Scotsman will not take that out and what aboutthis part.

"Taxpayers money they are involved in now for almost 30 years, as detailed by Customs and Excise and Advocates."
Am I allowed to copy that??

SNP only in Gov. for 5 years.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-04-27 08:07
When some of the articles are verging on libellous, what can you expect. Fortunately though it seems to be "Sunifying" itself and most people are obviously turning straight to the back pages: most popular stories yesterday:

- Rangers
- Rangers
- Rangers
- Billy Connolly
- Murder trial
 
 
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-04-27 08:02
An excellent, balanced and completely opposite view to that of McWhirter on the relationship between monopolistic media and the Westminster establishment.
 
 
# SEUMAS31 2012-04-27 08:05
Exile, at least we have gained another millionaire supporter according to the Herald today.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-04-27 08:24
It also has an editorial (not opinion) headline which made me choke on my porridge:

Alex Salmond: Asset or Liability?

Aye, Alex Salmond, Herald Politician of the Year 11 November 2011.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-27 08:46
Indeed, this is very good news. The uncle of one Anas Sarwar, in fact.
 
 
# Thee Forsaken One 2012-04-27 09:47
That's someone not getting invited to the next family gathering!
 
 
# J Wil 2012-04-27 11:39
Will it be a Godfather moment?
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-04-27 08:16
The reason for the panic is of course the local elections next week and the fear that Labour may well lose its last bastion – Glasgow.

This says it all for me. Where were the Glasgow based papers when we needed to hear about City Building ? or City Parking ?. I heard the BBC mention the other day a council in England disputing a £200k pay off to an ex-councillor - thats nothing to the reputed £615k to Willie Docherty, the largest single pay out to an ex-councillor ever in Britain, and it's not newsworthy.

When papers and reporters turn a blind eye to this kind of real public scandal right under their noses and instead chase and hound someone because of a dodgy e-mail that mentioned him, then it's time for them to step back and realise the dis-service they do to the public at large..

Many posters here admire McWhirter, personally I think he's probably the best of a very bad bunch, and I mean a very bad bunch.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-04-27 11:34
MacWhirter, who had the reputation of being even handed with his poitical observations, seems to have developed a habit of sitting on the fence with some things and being totally on one side of it with others. He gets most uptight about Alex Salmond's activities regarding NI and Murdoch, but sits back and says nothing about BBC uninhibited bias in the way they stream Labour Party soundbites straight onto the TV screen.

With everything you have to follow the money, which has a great habit of motivating people about their future remuneration prospects.
 
 
# deepwater 2012-04-27 13:31
I'd put Ian Bell ahead of McWhirter, always did, by quite a wide margin.
 
 
# Macart 2012-04-27 14:16
Fully agree deepwater, I'd say Mr Bell is the standout commentator in the country at the moment.

P.S. Right after you and Paul of course. ;)
 
 
# Robabody 2012-04-29 17:55
Quite TF, they do indeed do us all a great disservice, regardless of the party or politics we have. For, although they will hardly acknowledge it, it is to labour's detriment too. For example, how little the press played on this:
aangirfan.blogspot.co.uk/.../...

And the MSM imagine that we will not forget?
 
 
# MajorBloodnok 2012-04-27 08:17
Excellent article Mr Ponsonby - that's it exactly. The Unionists can see that they are losing power but know not how to stop it, other than through agression and dirty tricks. But most media folk are smart enough to realise on what side their bread is buttered and will start to change their views - you'd hope anyway. Oh look, a flying pig.
 
 
# Proadge 2012-04-27 08:17
Thanks for this excellent article.

As you say, 'Until very recently... no media outlet would touch the SNP with a barge poll.' But while some of the MSM did lend their support to the SNP in the 2011 election this was very much based on the SNP being the best party to run a devolved Scotland (a no-brainer given the uniformly lamentable state of the opposition parties). Not one MSM outlet supported actual independence, indeed all made clear that they remain hostile to the idea that Scotland become a normal, grown-up country.

I know of no other country in the world where all of the MSM, including the state broadcaster, are irrevocably opposed to the national government's fundamental raison d'etre.

The real MSM monopoly is as intact as ever.
 
 
# Ken Mac 2012-04-27 09:48
Apologies Proadge for being pedantic but please don't repeat Mr Ponsonby's lapse. We're dealing with the wrong kind of 'poll' here.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-27 08:21
A superbe article, Mr Ponsonby. It is concise, factual, and makes a most important point regarding all the hubris and disgraceful unfounded slurs getting chucked at the First Minister.

Perhaps Mr MacWhirter, who I usually have some time for, will take a few days off, and give it all some thought in the cool light of day.

As regards the deliberate and progressive character assassination of Mr. Salmond by the blatantly biased BBC, let us be clear, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Come the referendum, make no mistake, our hated public broadcaster, the blatantly biased BBC, will likely be leading the personal insults abuse and character slurs against our democratically elected First Minister of Scotland.

Am I correct in thinking that no other media outlet, apart from the BBC, has run so many negative stories about Alex Salmond this week. That single fact, on its own, speaks volumes about the lack of impartiality or indeed, integrity, by the BBC. At one point I thought they had, in true crisis style, cancelled all 'journalistic' and copywriting leave, such was the hasty stream of vicious and quite unfounded rhetoric from the state run monopoly broadcaster.

Even today, in the wee hours of the mroning, the BBC Scotland news webpage, had at least FIVE anti SNP stories as the lead item.

The BBC motto used to be "Nation shall speak peace unto nation", but I'm starting to think it has been re-written, and is now just a variation of the BA's "to fly to serve". The new BBC motto is possibly now "To lie, to serve".

It makes me and others even more resolved to win this fight for independence, and win it well. Next week, we have the chance to show just what we all think of these fawning unionist puppets, so let's make sure the result is a good one.
 
 
# Ken Mac 2012-04-27 09:50
"To lie, to serve". Excellent, someone should be designing tee shirts.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-04-27 11:00
Have a look at today's Scotsman. Majority of political articles are SNP-knocking. A record even for them.
 
 
# john__ 2012-04-27 08:37
Macwhirter has a point regarding the murdoch empire: They are in it just to make money for news international. So if they got complete control of B-Sky-B then I would worry a bit. However where I think Macwhirter is wrong is the assumption that Salmond would effectively prostitute himself for a few jobs (that is what labour do, except the jobs are for themselves). If he wants to look at a healthy business relationship between a politician and a mega rich businessman, then he has to look no further that the other story of the week: Trump.

When trump got his golf resort, bringing jobs to Scotland, Salmond was accussed of being in his pocket. Where are these accusations now? They are gone because Salmond has shown that he has his own agenda, and that agenda is Scotland.

I am reminded of the Churchill quote during WWII (referring to his alliance with Stalin): "If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons".

It is all about pragmatism and what is best for Scotland. If that involves supping with the devil, then as long as the spoon is long then I am ready to go along with it.

News international may not be the devil, but they should be treated with caution, as their only motivation is their bank balance.

John
 
 
# Marga B 2012-04-27 11:03
John, that's a very good point. In a nutshell what we are seeing here is a battle between pragmatism and ideology-based politics.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-27 08:47
To those with an interest in politics, I found this link via the SNP (Angus Robertson) website.

Straight out of the Labour party 'Spin' handbook. It truly beggars belief.

www.youtube.com/.../
 
 
# Caadfael 2012-04-27 09:38
SHEEP!!
Sounds pretty much like the SLAB line to me!
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-04-27 09:55
I didn't actually listen to that Bill Shorten interview, but I'm sure that whatever he said is right.
 
 
# Davy 2012-04-27 10:50
Quoting Robert Louis:
To those with an interest in politics, I found this link via the SNP (Angus Robertson) website.

Straight out of the Labour party 'Spin' handbook. It truly beggars belief.

www.youtube.com/.../


It is amazing, nobody would believe you if you told them about it, it has to be see.
 
 
# DonMc 2012-04-28 01:12
Quoting Robert Louis:
To those with an interest in politics, I found this link via the SNP (Angus Robertson) website.

Straight out of the Labour party 'Spin' handbook. It truly beggars belief.

www.youtube.com/.../


Please please please. If you think that the MSM in Scotland is anti SNP then you would not wish to live here in Oz. All the media, and I mean all, including radio, print and tv are anti the Australian Labor Party. The Australian media is 100% for the Liberals & nationals coaliton (Tories) here, a political coalition that would make the American Tea party green with envy. The Murdoch owned morning cable tv programme that Bill Shorten appeared on is more right wing than even Goeballs dreamed of.

Do not make the mistake of comparing the Australian Labor Party with the UK Labour party. Shorten said what he did because any little word of difference between any Government Ministers and PM Gillard is jumped upon and used as evidence that there is a split. I know this sounds silly but I wish for a "Sun" to support the left in politics here. The Media here only makes me more and more homesick for some semblance of sanity in representative democracy.

For those with disbelief, I direct you to go to the "Age" site, what is laughingly called a quality newspaper. Read the comments and see the same type of posters found in the "Scotsman et al". No point in going to the "Sun Herald" site here as you have to pay, and no educated Melbourne person would even open the "Sun Herald"

Sorry for the rant but I have to put up with two very biased medias, one from my homeland Scotland, and the one here in Australia. Frustration as everyone knows leads to anger, and boy am I angry.
 
 
# skelf 2012-04-28 05:45
Thank you DonMc for explanation re Bill Shorten. I coulodnt have explained it better
Anne
 
 
# 1876 2012-04-27 08:56
I think the smearing of Alex Salmond by the BBC is a spectacular own goal.All it's doing is bigging him up as a major political player in the eyes of the electorate as a big beast stiding the UK and World stage.
The Scottish Parliament was set up as a regional talking shop to pacify nationalism while control stayed firmly at Westminster.Not the high profile establishment with a charasmatic leader which they have now!....If a UK poll were to ask you to name any past or present First Minister of the Welsh or Scottish Parliaments,wha t do you think the amswer would be?....I think we underestimate the public in their ability to work things out for themselves,and as they say,the only thing worse than bad publicity,is no publicity...So BBC keep it up,keep Salmond and the SNP in the headlines and keep independence to the forefront,you're doimg a sterling job!
 
 
# Training Day 2012-04-27 09:25
MacWhirter's opinions, despite putative leanings away from the Unionist norm, have always had as their foundation the continuation of the United Kingdom as the default position. His 'reasonableness' is simply a product of comparisons with the likes of Crichton, Young, Fraser, Cochrane et al, besides whom, on the question of Scottish independence, Edward 1 appears an amenable cove.
The fact that he lost the plot so spectacularly, irreperably damaging whatever credibility he retained, simply throws into stark relief the desperation of 'journalists' who have made a comfortable living from the Union, Westminster-centrism, and distorting both the history of the Scottish nation, and its current momentum to re-assert itself. They are fighting for their very existence and they know it. Let us ensure their efforts are in vain.
 
 
# GrassyKnollington 2012-04-27 09:55
ot but talking of Crichton, any of our readers in the environs of the Western Isles able to shed any light on why Torcuil's brother Donald who was a failed Labour MSP candidate at the 2011 elections is now standing as ....the horror.....an independent candidate for the council elections.

Has he fallen out of love with Labour?

And on thread, good article. I must confess to banging my head off the wall when I read posts asserting that Iain MacWhirter's not a unionist.

He was/is that rare thing, a journalist willing to criticise Labour in Scotland and praise the SNP when he saw fit.

The toxic media environment up here meant that this led to Iain being almost feted by some SNP supporters. Iain was doing what any half decent journalist should have been automatically doing anyway.

His knocking of Labour was more often frustration at their incompetence handing victory on a plate to the SNP than any sympathy with what he referred to for years as separation.

He's most certainly not an independence supporter, not by a long stretch. I think of him more as an " I'm agnostic, I like the status quo in Scotland, show me in forensic detail how an independent Scotland would make my life better man".

For ease of use I prefer to call such people unionists.
 
 
# Training Day 2012-04-27 10:07
Quite so, Grassy. In our eagerness to divine some fairness and balance in the media, to demonstrate to ourselves that we are not being invited to view events through a looking glass, supporters of independence can sometimes seize too firmly upon anything which even remotely approaches even-handedness (which should as you say be the default position). I'm sure many of us will have had the experience of looking at 'Scottish' media output (from whatever source) and thinking 'this can't be happening?'

But once you have liberated yourself from the superstition that our media are in any way objective it's actually quite cleansing..
 
 
# Seagetagrip 2012-04-27 09:30
Re The Herald.
I posted a comment after the McWhirter article which included the phrase "a media feeding frenzy" followed by a reminder of the local elections being imminent. It was not published.
 
 
# RTP 2012-04-27 09:48
Millionaire Labour Party donor defects to the SNP

I'm sure Lamont will have something to say about this,Salmond sucking up to another Millionaire, ie Eck a sucker again
 
 
# admiral 2012-04-27 10:06
Quoting RTP:
Millionaire Labour Party donor defects to the SNP

I'm sure Lamont will have something to say about this,Salmond sucking up to another Millionaire, ie Eck a sucker again


I hope she does - it implicitly criticises the family of her deputy at the same time.
 
 
# mealer 2012-04-27 09:49
There is ,of course,a huge mud-slinging campaign against the person of Alex Salmond being carried out at the moment.It is well orchestrated across all the unionist parties and the media.With the BBC playing a central role.It is timed to co-incide with the local elections.The good thing about it is,that it reinforces the idea among the people that the unionists have NO POSITIVE CASE,and have to resort to mud-slinging negativity.Lets keep our cool in the face of this fire-storm of bile and hatred towards Scotland.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-27 10:09
Wholly agree. the SNP has a real positive vision for Local councils across Scotland. The shrieking and wailing by the likes of Lamont and the other Labour apparatchiks, does their case no good.

The Scottish public can see through this nonsense, just as they did so in May 2011. Let's stay positive, whilst the shrieking hysterical unionists lose their heads. Let's show that the SNP are good in Government, and can be good in local councils too, putting people at the top of their agenda.
 
 
# Islegard 2012-04-27 10:27
For anyone interested here is a transcript of the debate on the Lord's amendments to the Scotland Bill which is now back in the House of Commons:-

services.parliament.uk/.../...
 
 
# xyz 2012-04-27 13:40
The version accepted by Holyrood .. can this be further amended?
 
 
# Islegard 2012-04-27 16:27
Yes it can and will be. Actually it was still being amended days after Holyrood voted to pass it. The Bill was passed by Holyrood when they don't know what the finished Bill will be as it's still being created. Bizarre.
 
 
# xyz 2012-04-27 21:22
Bizarre indeed .. talk about voting for a pig in a poke.

No doubt it will become the focus of Indyref in due course .. I just hope the details of this half measure can be made clear to voters.

I guess all that is really required is the truth about the advantages of independence to be widely known. How I'm not sure. No impartial press, anti democratic tax funded BBC .. Westminster lies about Scotland.
 
 
# Mark MacLachlan 2012-04-27 10:44
Regardless of the minutia of the Salmond - Murdoch meetings/exchanges. One would hope that in an Independent Scotland, our First Minister could treat tainted, avaricious corporations with a history of deceit, corruption and vile propaganda with the disdain they deserve.
 
 
# admiral 2012-04-27 11:01
Quoting Mark MacLachlan:
Regardless of the minutia of the Salmond - Murdoch meetings/exchanges. One would hope that in an Independent Scotland, our First Minister could treat tainted, avaricious corporations with a history of deceit, corruption and vile propaganda with the disdain they deserve.


It is the unionists' who are scaremongering about the "uncertainty" of businesses re investment in Scotland. It is a very difficult balance to achieve - supporting inward investment and job creation with shaking a moral superiority stick at the very corporations who are looking at investing.

However much we may personally dislike Murdoch and his empire (or Trump or any other member of the billionaire's club), at the end of the day politics is the art of the possible. This is the game all modern governments (and all modern political parties) play.

The outrage of political parties (and other media organisations) at Murdoch is surely a prime example of sheer hypocrisy at work. They are all to one degree or another reprehensible in their conduct in the pursuit of power or in seeking to influence the exercise of that power. The SNP plays the British politics game, because that is the way power in the UK currently works - it is necessary to play the "system".

However much we may desire reform and will seek to enact it in an independent Scotland, it is well to remember the aphorism of a US president about being inside or outside the tent.
 
 
# call me dave 2012-04-27 11:34
Yes I agree : The SNP are playing the system well and will soon emerge from this unionist smear campaign into calmer waters.

As for the reference to being 'inside' or 'outside' the tent, the labour party are inside the tent, but have forgotten to direct their aim outside and will suffer the consequences at the elections in May.
 
 
# Diabloandco 2012-04-28 09:05
That'll be them all then?
Ive never been one to accept that the only baddie in the piece is the one the BBBC and the Guardian would have us believe.
I know nothing about the Murdoch empire but that which the MSM projected.
I know nothing about the BNP/EDL other than that which the MSM projected.
I knew nothing about Iraq/Afghanistan/Libya/Syria/Iran other than that projected by MSM.
I don't trust the MSM.
 
 
# balgayboy 2012-04-27 11:53
BSB is subscriber only, a personal choice to each individual, unlike the bbc which is a state tax "must pay" institution. Which choice would a free people in a real democracy prefer? No brainer for me. Roll on 2014
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-04-27 12:12
BBC.We've seen it all before.2010.TV
newsnetscotland.com/.../...
2010.
Heard him,Campbell,on Radio Scotland,8.5am today with Nicola Sturgeon for a couple of minutes.
Changed over to Radio Tay FM.
That's the good thing with radio in Scotland-----choice.
 
 
# balgayboy 2012-04-27 12:32
Quoting Dundonian West:
BBC.We've seen it all before.2010.TV
newsnetscotland.com/.../...
2010.
Heard him,Campbell,on Radio Scotland,8.5am today with Nicola Sturgeon for a couple of minutes.
Changed over to Radio Tay FM.
That's the good thing with radio in Scotland-----choice.

Yup, that would be my preference as well, personal choice and open debate along with those who stand up for an open debate regarding an Independent Democratic Scotland. Only found on this website BTW. Roll on 2014
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-04-27 12:40
Agree.If ever there was a case AGAINST State Broadcasting---BBC Scotland has signed and delivered it.
It's all there,in the archives.
 
 
# farrochie 2012-04-27 12:45
My choice is Radio nan Gaidheal, even though I don't speak Gaelic.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-04-27 13:17
I like the subtitles!
Seriously,on TV I thoroughly enjoy the Gaelic programmes.
They don't carry political baggage,and reading the subtitles-----seem balanced,and newsworthy.
 
 
# Will C 2012-04-27 12:46
Some of you folk on here should really lighten up on Johann she does get some things right. Only yesterday she was berating the First Minister for attracting rich businessmen to his cause and lo and behold, today, up pops Mohammed Ramzan (brother of Mohammed Sarwar and uncle of Anas Sarwar)supporti ng the SNP campaign in Glasgow! The wummin is gifted, she can see into the future and to think woman used to be burnt at the stake for having such powers!
 
 
# jafurn 2012-04-27 13:10
Quoting Will C:
Some of you folk on here should really lighten up on Johann she does get some things right. Only yesterday she was berating the First Minister for attracting rich businessmen to his cause and lo and behold, today, up pops Mohammed Ramzan (brother of Mohammed Sarwar and uncle of Anas Sarwar)supporti ng the SNP campaign in Glasgow! The wummin is gifted, she can see into the future and to think woman used to be burnt at the stake for having such powers!


I was beginning to wonder about this as it wasn't mentioned on the news at lunchtime...is this not newsworthy then???
 
 
# Will C 2012-04-27 16:26
I would say it is very newsworthy when the brother of an ex-Labour MP (now a Labour Lord) and uncle of the present deputy leader of Labour in Scotland defects to the SNP and comes out in support of the SNP campaign in Glasgow. Of course mention of this on the British Bias Corporation's website!
 
 
# Macart 2012-04-27 14:17
Excellent piece Mr Ponsonby and much needed balanced appraisal.
 
 
# raisethegame 2012-04-27 14:58
Michael White article in the Guardian..he refers to the FM as 'the Houdini of the heather' and can't resist a reference to Braveheart:

"I think Alex Salmond should feel so grateful to Rupert Murdoch that he'd volunteer to polish his shoes every morning. Why? Because back in 1995, 20th Century Fox funded Braveheart, a fantasy movie about the Scots patriot William Wallace. It violates history almost as much as other movies starring that chippy anti-Brit Australian (remind you of anyone?) Mel Gibson. With its strange blend of history, football and wicked Englishmen, it's done wonders over the years for Scottish nationalist sentiment..."


"Alex Salmond survives Rupert Murdoch's disclosures - so far"
guardian.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Louperdowg 2012-04-27 15:03
Keep 'em coming Michael.

We need as many gratuitous insults as we can get to be absolutely certain of Independence :)
 
 
# Dál Riata 2012-04-27 19:53
This one is one of the more odious "Salmond Accused" articles it has been my misfortune to have read recently. Lies, borderline racism, sneers, blah, blah,blah ... Pitiful guff.

Pompous, clueless a**e:

"What has struck me several times from the distant safety of London is that..."

Profile: "Michael White has been writing for the Guardian for over 30 years, as a reporter, foreign correspondent and columnist." ...

... with nothing positive to say for, or about Scotland, or indeed, why we should be continuing to stay attached to this union-of-unequals.

Anyway, gaun yersel, son, your helping us re-attain our independence with each one of your unionist propaganda pieces!
 
 
# Robabody 2012-04-29 19:12
As Winston might have said: Never in the field of human discourse, did so few spout, so much guff, to so many.
 
 
# Dowanhill 2012-04-27 15:00
I thought Joanne Lamont exceeded her usual dreadful performance ten fold, Excellent viewing for undeciding voters who are unsure about independence. More of the same Joanne, please. On observing her pre-drafted questions. Did anybody notice that when she was trying to articulate her pre-defined questions. The word 'cash' was coming out incoherently as 'quiche' and was quickly corrected. 'Quiche' for questions anyone!
 
 
# gus1940 2012-04-27 18:14
Agreed - but how many people actually watch FMQ's?

Unfortnately, the majority will see the misleadingly edited BBC News version with accompanying biased comments from Flubber, Campbell & Co.
 
 
# GrassyKnollington 2012-04-27 15:30
Anyone else listen to Brian Taylor's Big Debate from Moray today ? What a travesty.
I switched off after about 20 mins. Tory Mary Scanlon was ranting about how the First Minister gloats, humiliates, bullies and doesn't respect the opposition. This the day after Lamont called Alex Salmond "Eck" and "a sucker".

Catch her here about 14 mins in

www.bbc.co.uk/.../b01ghp23
 
 
# Hing em high 2012-04-27 15:47
The same Mary Scanlon who drove a great many Tory voters into voting for Richard Lochhead at the Moray by-election several years ago now. The Tories spent a six figure sum on that election and their vote actually went down - I am not going to lose any sleep over her poisonous rants.
 
 
# GrassyKnollington 2012-04-27 16:00
Indeed. Interestingly the entire invited audience sounded as if it was comprised of Moray's Tory voters from the part I heard.

It sounded so one sided and Brian sounded so immensely cheery at the way the discussion was going that he was relaxed enough to occassionally step in and defend the SNP himself!
 
 
# jafurn 2012-04-27 15:40
Directed to this from a tweet by Angus Robertson...

Angus Robertson ‏ @MorayMP
@StephenNoon blogs as thoughtfully as ever.


stephennoon.blogspot.co.uk/.../...

A very interesting and thoughtful article..
 
 
# balbeggie 2012-04-27 16:02
Now, if only the press were as calm as him.
 
 
# Briggs 2012-04-27 19:54
As you say a good article.

Hope the reception the SNP are getting on the doorstep feeds through into the Polls next Thursday.
 
 
# Clydebuilt 2012-04-27 21:03
Heard that Kaye Adams is to interview Alex Salmond on Call Kaye( Monday 30th), she's been absent from her show for several weeks. Where was she?

Down in London being schooled in how to handel (insult) Alex?
 
 
# balbeggie 2012-04-27 21:35
she has been doing daytime tv
 
 
# Concerned Scot 2012-04-27 21:24
I'm amazed that the Herald thinks Mr Sarwar is a member of the House of Lords. his nomination to the peerage was blocked in 2010, as this story in (guess where) The Herald relates:

heraldscotland.com/.../...
 
 
# Clydebuilt 2012-04-27 21:30
Macwhirter has form on this kind of thing.
After the SNP victory in the 2007 election Iain waxed lyrically about the SNP and Scotlands prospects as an independent country. Then as the next Westminister election came along, he slowly turned against the SNP.
He's done the same thing again.
His attack on Ewan Crawford was orchestrated with Garry Robertson standing back and letting it all happen. Ewan did very well.
Iain has lost his credibility with a large percentage of the audience.
As Iain Bell said the BBC will be damaged by it's role in the referendum. After this week clearly it isn't just the BBC that is being damaged.
 
 
# peter,aberdeenshire 2012-04-27 22:12
A few points from today, I heard Nicola being hassled by Gary Robertson today and it was an fffing disgrace, that was no robust interview as the BBC like to call it it was a presenter who could not contain his personal dislike for the SNP.
Blubber with Flubber was pretty much the same, funny how most of the dissenting voices were non natives, I liked the comment from the audience member about how we the Scottish people do not respond well to threats.
My MP Malky Bruce had his usual anti SNP rant in the local weekly paper, how much longer do we have to suffer this p****.
Back to the Flubber prog, what a bitter little unionist Mary Scanlon is, almost every reply mentioned Alex Salmond, and not a single positive reason to vote Tory.
It really has come to the point where the gloves have to come off, the future of Scotland is at stake here, the rump UK realise that if we go leave the union they are ******
 
 
# Massacre1965 2012-04-28 09:09
Quoting Dundonian West:
I like the subtitles!

On the radio??
 
 
# Arraniki 2012-04-28 10:09
Remembering the many serious sacrifices over the decades/centuries that people made to forward our many now 'taken for granted' freedoms - the extension of the franchise, votes for women, formation of unions to improve workers' conditions, etc., I decided a small sacrifice of my own in support of the 'great cause' was necessary.

You can do one or two things with a Direct Debit.
 
 
# Scotlandfirst 2012-04-28 18:43
Do you think the Unionists have lost the argument or their minds? I just love it when they blow their top, and resort to insults as their only ammunition in support of the union. The more they do this the more votes we win without even trying. Bring it on!
 
 
# druidh 2012-04-30 19:30
I thought Iain Macwhirters outrage was completely bizarre and uncharacteristi c. I wondered if it was borne more out of a hatred for Rupert Murdoch than any antipathy towards Alex Salmond. Perhaps he was once turned down for a job with NI?
 
 
# rob4i 2012-05-02 12:48
It is becoming more and more clear that the Unionist Ideal within the UK is fragmenting, especially in Scotland and has exceeded its sell by date.

It has only lasted this long because of the dominance of the UK media driving the Unionist agenda for decades, by twisting or misrepresenting political news most often by headline soundbites designed particularly to mislead the Scottish readers, thankfully they have woken up to the disgraceful subterfuge and will now have the oportunity to rid Scotland of the curruption of democracy that is Unionism for good!!
 

You must be logged-in in order to post a comment.

Donate to Newsnet Scotland

Banner
Banner

Latest Comments