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Wings Over Scotland


At one remove

Posted on August 31, 2013 by

Saturday is notionally our comedy day, but it’s nice to see the Scotsman joining in with the fun this week. We’re rapidly coming to the conclusion that the failing paper is now being operated as some sort of elaborate ironic prank, and the lead home-news story this morning does nothing to dispel that theory.

falsetto

The report is a fairly standard piece of anti-wind-farm fluff, a trope always popular with the right-wing press. The news, such as it is, is contained in the third paragraph:

“The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) ruled the UK government was in breach of Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention, which requires ‘full and effective’ public participation in environmental issues and demands citizens have the right to participate in the process.”

The story goes on to note: “The UNECE said that, while Westminster breached the convention, the Scottish Government had not.” So that’s all pretty clear. It’s a story about the UK government doing something wrong, and the Scottish Government being cleared of the same charge.

The Scotsman’s headline, obviously, is “SNP close to being dictatorship”.

Now, we’re being a bit unfair. The paper does add “- wind farm critic” to clarify that the allegation is being levelled by someone else, specifically the woman who brought the case to the UNECE but appears to have been unable to read its findings.

But we suppose “Ranting nutjob fails to understand outcome of own complaint” would be a rather less dramatic headline, so instead the former newspaper pads out the piece with a series of further diatribes against the SNP from similar fruitcakes, including “the Scotland Against Spin anti-turbine campaign group” (who we must admit we hadn’t heard of until now).

In a display so spectacularly lacking in self-awareness that we suspect it might actually be a bit of performance art left over from the Fringe, the group’s spokeswoman asserted that “The SNP leadership has its fingers firmly stuck in its ears”, which seems a touch rich coming from someone else who inexplicably hasn’t noticed that it was the UK government which was found guilty and the Scottish Government innocent.

Of course, it’s all very well mocking for comic effect the brainlessness of plaintiffs who claim that the finding against Westminster somehow convicts Holyrood as well, even after the UNECE explicitly said the precise opposite.

But the Scotsman isn’t some mad old windmill-hating loonbag. It is, we still have to assume, staffed by intelligent and sane professional journalists. So the choice of headline, and the respective amounts of space given to the demented frothings of the campaigners and the Scottish Government spokesman (who gets 21 words at the very end of the 500-word piece), can only be seen as deliberate acts.

Tick tock, Scotsman. Tick tock.

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66 to “At one remove”

  1. Bubbles says:

    If I performed in my work as these journalists do in theirs I’d get sacked. Plain and simple.

  2. HandandShrimp says:

    The Scotsman is a silly place, people should not go there.

  3. Juteman says:

    Alex Salmond ate my gerbil.

  4. Juteman says:

    “If I performed in my work as these journalists do in theirs I’d get sacked. Plain and simple.”
     
    Why would they get sacked? They are doing exactly what they are paid for.

  5. Murray McCallum says:

    My advice to the “former newspaper”; The Scotsman?
     
    Stop all the fictitious, broad generalisations and get back to what is important to real Scots based in London – bringing an end to the unpopular and unelected dictatorship of Alex Salmond.

  6. Brian Powell says:

    It Keeps up their internet count of visitors, as proIndependence supporters keep going to the comments pages on the Scotsman and arguing about the article. The comments and thumbs up counts are almost exclusively from ProIndependence supporters.

  7. I’ve found it impossible to log in to comment on Scotsman stories for 24 hours, now. I don’t know why. Other people seem to be managing. I did make several abuse reports on the John MacFarlane 3 posts but that can’t have anything to do with it because he’s still logging in and spamming his irrelevant nutter pamphlets.

  8. Randomscot says:

    Handandshrimp
     
    good working in of Monty Python and the Holy Grail there

  9. Jimbo says:

    “Tick tock, Scotsman.”
     
    The ‘tock’ is redundant, they’re barely just ticking over.
     
    Hell mend them, they’ve brought it upon themselves. The fairy tales they print could rival those of Hans Christian Andersen

  10. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I’ve found it impossible to log in to comment on Scotsman stories for 24 hours, now. I don’t know why. “

    There’s a story on the site saying they’re having a technical issue with logins. Though oddly it does seem to be mostly affecting pro-independence visitors. I haven’t been able to get in for days.

  11. HandandShrimp says:

    Randomscot
     
    🙂 I thought so

  12. Neil McAdam says:

    Rev.
    I have no idea how you were able to write this piece.
    Surely the tears of laughter/despair after reading the article, made the keyboard all soggy!
     

  13. Shirley says:

    Hilarious but tragic at the same time!

  14. Holebender says:

    Implement? Implicate, surely!
     
    Although I’m sure YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT…

  15. The Rough Bounds says:

    My guess is that the (haw, haw!) ‘Scotsman’ will last until just after the referendum when it will suddenly close doors, having, as they obviously hope to, discouraged the Scots from voting for independence. The top directors etc will be given golden handshakes with the odd gong thrown in, and will head off into the sunshine somewhere to spend the rest of their lives congratulating themselves on having stuffed the Scots.
     
    We mustn’t let that happen. See you at the Edinburgh Rally in September.

  16. John Hannah says:

    You know that person at school. The one who would said stuff and was kinda believed to begin with.
     
    Then bit by bit it got to the stage where someone would say, ‘guess what so and has so said?’ Then you’d think, ‘what pash are they coming out with now?’
     
    That person is the not only the Scotsman but most of the MSM in Scotland. They are fooling no one and discrediting themselves.
     
    It may take the Scotsman to pour themselves down the plughole for the rest to realise this. Or maybe they wont. As you say, ‘Tick tock’.
     
    On a side note …I can’t make it because of work, so good luck to those attending the Public, (ticket only???) Better Together meeting in Glasgow today. Let us know how it pans out.

  17. gavin lessells says:

    The Herald is ahead if the Scotsman in seeking comment contributions.
    Latest ploy is to stick provocative headlines in the on line site.
    This morning we have Daring telling us not to fall for Salmonds Indy Lite ad. Flagged as one hour ago and not in print version. YOU can comment for only £3 a month, otherwise you cannot even read the nonsense.

  18. Angus McPhee says:

    Have to say , I think these Dictatorship claims are rather helpful given that 44% of people voted “for dictatorship” and therefor must be going “what but I voted that way” and at least  a quarter of the rest of us must be going “well, perhaps not who I voted for but….”

  19. Alba4Eva says:

    My goodness… a Secondary School kid would do a better job of journalism.  It almost beggers belief.
     
    Tick Tock.

  20. Dinnatouch says:

    At least the Scotsman reports that the Scottish government had not breached the convention, the same story in the Herald makes no mention of Holyrood’s exoneration:
     
    “And although the 69-year-old’s victory was over the UK government’s policies, she used the ­occasion to accuse Alex Salmond of “bludgeoning” anyone who opposed the SNP’s renewables agenda.

    Mrs Metcalfe, who lives near Taynuilt with her husband Peter, took the case, on behalf of the Avich-Kilchrenan Community Council, to the UN’s Economic Commission for Europe’s compliance committee after becoming increasingly frustrated when trying to access information about a wind farm near her home.

    The UN committee ruled the UK Government had acted illegally by denying the public the right to be fully informed when drawing up the national renewable energy action plan.

    The community councillor claimed the UK’s renewables policies had been drawn up in such a way that it denied the public the right to vital information.

    She claimed this prevented people from learning of the negative effects that wind power can have on health, the environment and the economy.

    The Carraig Gheal wind farm near Mrs Metcalfe’s home has 20 turbines which stand at up to 75 yards tall and have a blade diameter of up to 120 yards.

    Mrs Metcalfe had claimed the farm was located in an area of great beauty and was also a nesting site for golden eagles.

    Speaking after her victory, Mrs Metcalfe launched a scathing attack on the wind farm policy adopted by Scotland’s First Minister.
    She said: “Alex Salmond is ­driving an aggressive green agenda like an express train across Scotland, bludgeoning anyone who gets in the way as being a Luddite and anti-green.”

    Mrs Metcalfe added she was relieved the UN had ruled in her favour. She said: “It was very ­gratifying to find that such an important point was upheld. The ramifications will become clearer in time. There will be resistance from various quarters.”

  21. Jon D says:

    Last month, reader’s were asked to give their opinions on the Scotsmans new website.
    Needless to say my comment did not last for very long

    “The Scotsman was launched in 1817 as a liberal weekly newspaper by lawyer William Ritchie and customs official Charles Maclaren in response to the “unblushing subservience” of competing newspapers to the Edinburgh establishment. The paper was pledged to “impartiality, firmness and independence”
    Oh, how times changed…….. and Ritchie and MacLaren must be fair birlin’ in their graves at the current state of play in relation to journalistic subservience to the Scotsman’s unionist masters.; debate stifled and the Scottish people ridiculed. 
    And, yes, I do expect this post to be removed just like my last one. However screen shots have been taken.”

  22. EdinScot says:

    The hootsman (i refuse to call them the Scotsman) really are on an intravenous drip.  In the name of the Lord, will someone please do the honourable thing and switch off their life support and put them out of their misery.  I mean, really, on this evidence alone its surely a case of tick tock what a load of crock.
    O/t, good luck to those that are stomaching the BT No Scotland event today in Glasgow. 

  23. Jeannie says:

    I’m really wondering just how much influence newspapers and politicians have any more. I don’t doubt they have a degree of influence over public opinion, but I’m kind of struck today when I think that despite a full year of Britannia Rules the Waves – the Royal Wedding, the Olympics, The Jubilee, The Royal Birth, Wimbledon, etc. – the public doesn’t feel “British Empire” enough to engage in a military conflict in Syria.  You’d think with all the propoganda about how important Britain and its place in the world is, there wouldn’t be a better time to launch a foreign war that would tie the newspapers up in salubrious headlines for ages and divert the people’s attention away from the austerity problem at home.  You might have thought that with the flag-waving Britfest of the last year, the public might have enthusiastically gotten behind the government on this one – but no, we are deeply sceptical, don’t believe a word they say, are demanding proof and doubt their wisdom and judgement.  And the papers aren’t having much influence either. All of which was illustrated in the recent Wings poll.
     
    We also appear not to care all that much about the “special relationship” with the USA, though I would argue that that was more apparant in Scotland a few years back at the time of the Megrahi release.
     
    Maybe the Arab Spring effect is taking place over here now – we’re not taking to the streets exactly, we’re just rebelling in a way that’s more in keeping with our character and ignoring the lot of them.
     
     

  24. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “At least the Scotsman reports that the Scottish government had not breached the convention, the same story in the Herald makes no mention of Holyrood’s exoneration:”

    But in fairness, the Herald at least headlines its piece “UK’s wind farm policy in doubt after grandmother’s UN victory”, not “SNP dictatorship”.

    It does also go on to add:

    “A Scottish Government ­spokesman said: “Scotland has astounding green energy potential and vast natural resources and there is strong public support for developing cleaner energy which harnesses Scotland’s abundant natural resources, creates jobs, helps tackle climate change and reduces our domestic energy dependence on imported fossil fuels that have driven up customers utility bills.

    “The Scottish Government has taken a consultative approach when considering wind farm applications and a similar approach to our Renewables Routemap overall. We are also committed to applying strict environment assessment procedures.”

    He added: “We are pleased, therefore, that the Aarhus Committee has endorsed the Scottish Government’s position in terms of public access to environmental decision-making and environmental information.

    “The Compliance Committee, having considered questions around public participation in the development of our renewables policy and handling of the Carraig Gheal wind farm consent application, as well as access to and dissemination of information in considering did not find the Scottish Government in breach of the Aarhus Convention.””

    The focus of the two articles is entirely different.

  25. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    O/T but quite relevant.
    The Scotsman, I believe, allows sponsored articles. This is codespeak for pay us and we will publish your pash and bile, so long as it drives up our clicks rating.
     
    I wonder if Kelly, Wilson and McTernan are paying the Scotsman to have their delusional keich and bile published or is someone else paying for it?
     
    Any way to find out?
     

  26. Edulis says:

    It is madness what the Scotsman and Herald do. If indeed they are more and more dependent on the on-line business then I for one have lost all respect for them. I used to be an avid reader of the Scotsman while it was objective/slightly conservative, but the journalists are now a joke. I have given up with their on-line comment because of the number of trolls (no doubt in-house). More recently I found the Herald a better bet for comments and opinion from Iain MacWhirter and Ian Bell, despite the West Midlands and Woking inputs.
    Now with the pay bar added to Magnus Gardham as their political editor I have given up. I will get my news and comment elsewhere. There is plenty of it.

  27. Albalha says:

    O/T But re post above and the BT event is anyone going, I have the ‘ticket’ but not sure I can go……if no one else is I might make more of an effort.

  28. Atypical_Scot says:

    As we’re on the subject of wind farms, how many of the sites on this map can we blame the First Minister for?
     
    http://windfarmaction.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/the-uk-wind-farm-map-the-telegraph/

  29. Bob Howie says:

    I love these anti wind turbine comments, especially, they are not efficient, if it cost nothing for the energy you put in and get electricity out, that pays for the turbine and you can sell the power, how is that not efficient. They tell you nuclear is better but I can assure you if you tell them it is being built next to their house they soon change their tunes, just typical NIMBY’s, personally I would enjoy having a turbine close to me, at least I would get a lot of sleep.

  30. Bigheed says:

    I feel sorry for normal workers in the Scotsman who just do as they are told and work hard. They cannot be blamed for our loathing of this joke of an organisation.
     
    Its like getting your perfect Federation deployment – you will be working on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise and then finding out that Captain Kirk is a complete Fanny!!!!!!!

  31. Weedeochandorris says:

    A great piece Rev.  Pox on the Scotsman, needs to be put out of its misery soon, the squealing death throes are awful.   Used to go on there myself and post but now with all the eejits wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole. I suppose if you even think ‘wings’ when you’re on that site your post disappears into the ether.  Anyway, the bright side was somebody’s post on there led me to here 🙂

  32. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Bob Howie
     
    I have never ever seen an economic case for a nuclear plant installation which included the present value of the cost of dismantling the station and the return of the land to the original state and the cost of the storage of the residual contaminated land, gloves and overalls, pipework, concrete and machinery until whenever.
    When Broon tried to offload the remaining UK nuclear stations even EDF, despite close family connections with Gordon, backed away. That left Mitsubishi nosing around but I believe they have other concerns nearer home with the forced dismantling of Fukushima.
     
     
     
     
     

  33. John Hannah says:

    Albalha 
    Yes there are a few people going. Some with tickets and some not. 🙂

  34. Embradon says:

    Douglas Fraser has a piece on the demise of the Scottish press, on the BBC website, entiltled “Scotsman in Trouble”
    While Frasers analysis is otherwise balanced and informative on the plummeting sales figures, it once again ignores the elephant in the room.
    The “Scottish” papers in general, and the Scotsman in particular, antagonise and alienate 40% of their potential customer base with their lack of balance and undisguised anti SNP propaganda. What other field of business would do that?

  35. Albalha says:

    @John Hannah
    Okay ….. thanks, your smiley face is tempting!

  36. Angus McPhee says:

  37. AnneDon says:

    @Bugger the Panda 
     
    I asked this question about Michael Kelly a couple of days ago. I also noticed that there was an accusation in the comments under his piece (which had not been removed) that he paid them £300 to be published?

  38. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    Considering Carraig Gheal [Green Power Ltd] initially applied for the windfarm planning permission in 2004, subsequently granted permission by the Scottish Government in 2008 [see link] the accusation by Mrs Metcalfe of ‘express trains’ and ‘bludgeoning’ is a bit thin.
    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Business-Industry/Energy/Infrastructure/Energy-Consents/Applications-Database/Carraig-Gheal-Index/Carraig-Gheal-Decision
    Of course the Scotsman writer may have read this but like so many others deliberately omit relevant details which do not suit their purpose. Attack and blame A.Salmond for the demise of a pensioner in Taynuilt.

  39. Hetty says:

    Fukishima disaster is now at level ‘3’. I have not seen anything about it on the bbc news website, what a surprise.
    If you read RT news, (Russian tv) there are some interesting articles on this and other world news. Level ‘3’ is not good and it is leaking hundreds of tons of radioactive water into the sea, daily. I think folk have their head in the sand over this one, yikes! It’s level ‘5’ tops and that spells..start to worry, including all of you wind farm objectors.
    Rather a wind farm close to my house any day than a nuclear power plant 30 miles down the road…oops, forgot about Torness…
     

  40. Jen says:

    I am not surprised at the Scotsman, I don’t read the newspaper as it is bad for my my mental health. 

  41. annie says:

    Looks like the Rev. is to be the subject of Sunday Mail story tomorrow – I stopped buying it years ago so will have to wait for the archive link.  I daresay when you show these so called “journalists” up for their lazy and inaccurate reporting and their downright lying and bias you have to expect them to come after you- we are all right behind you Rev.

  42. Dave says:

    The Herald is now behind a paywall but I only ever read the headlines and comments anyway which are still visible so it doesn’t affect me. I still visit the Hootsmon for a laugh at their headlines but I installed AdBlock Plus so I don’t see any ads and the Hootsman lose on revenue.
    It would be nice to find out whose money is propping up the dying comic.

  43. Hetty says:

    in fact on reading the comments on RT news, some people think Fukushima is already at level ‘5’ and climbing. Jeez.

  44. ScotFree1320 says:

    @Hetty

    This from Fukushima’s legacy is only just beginning

    One almost forgotten reactor core meltdown that happened in 1957 gives a clue to how long the Japanese problem may persist. This was a fire in a reactor at Windscale in Cumbria in the UK – small by comparison with both Chernobyl and Fukushima.

    It was one of the two reactors producing plutonium for the British nuclear weapons programme. It caught fire and part of the core melted. Fifty-six years later, the reactor still has to be constantly monitored and guarded.

    Several plans have been developed to dismantle the core and decommission it. But all have been abandoned, because it is considered too dangerous to tamper with. Although the UK’s nuclear expertise is arguably as good as Japan’s, the problem remains unresolved.

    The reactor building is among the abandoned relics of Britain’s 1950s nuclear arms race, sitting behind barbed wire at the now renamed Sellafield site.

    The Fukushima accident left Japan with three much larger reactor meltdowns. There is a long way to go.

  45. Vincent McDee says:

    While I was expecting it, the “claims” have appeared sooner than I thought:
     
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/10277337/Alistair-Darling-Alex-Salmond-set-to-publish-dishonest-prospectus-for-independence.html
     
    Alex Salmond is preparing to publish a “dishonest” prospectus for Scottish independence that pretends the UK’s benefits will survive separation, Alistair Darling will warn today.

  46. Iain More says:

    Dave,
    Ta for that info about AdBlock Plus. Yes it would be nice to know who is propping up the Johnstone Press and who is holding all those Junk Bonds!
    I have been finding that whilst I am out campaigning for a Yes vote in the Referendum that there is a definite trend amongst the No voting braying megaphones. They are anti renewables, not because they have thought about the issue or even about energy policy but because it is a pet topic of Alex Salmond, the SNP/Greens and the present SG.
    It is a knee jerk reaction of the UKIP types who will object with blanket drooling monotony to anything that the SG proposes whether it is good or bad. In fact if Alex Salmond or the SNP proposed disbanding Holyrood totally the same No voters and the Brit Nat Press and Media loudmouths would object to it because it was proposed by AS and the SNP.
    Now back to the A9 and one of the present Brit Nat Press and Media anti SG campaigns and ignoring the fact and the actual reality that bad and reckless drivers cause accidents and not roads. 

  47. frankieboy says:

    I look forward to the day that The Scotsman closes. ‘So long, and thanks for all the pish’ might be a good closing headline.

  48. Roger Terrett says:

    So Darling is psychic as well as daft?

  49. @ Vincent McDee
    The none subscribing link.
    http://archive.is/vM4ts

  50. Jimbo says:

     
    “Speaking after her victory, Mrs Metcalfe launched a scathing attack on the wind farm policy adopted by Scotland’s First Minister.”
     
    “Alex Salmond is ­driving an aggressive green agenda…”
     
    The demonisation of Alex Salmond continues unabated. When it is negative news, or some-one with an axe to grind, it is never ‘the Scottish government’ – It is always Alex Salmond. It would appear that no-one else in the Scottish government comes up with any policies or initiatives for Scotland. Alex salmond is a one-man-band. Alex salmond is to blame for everything bad that ever happens in Scotland – ignoring the fact that even grassroots members can also have a say and a vote on policy.
     
    I don’t ever recall the Scottish media making such claims about Gordon Brown’s  assault on the poorest in society – That Gordon Brown forced ATOS upon them – That Gordon Brown introduced the bedroom tax – That Gordon Brown is against free prescriptions etc. etc.

  51. HandandShrimp says:

    Frankie
     
    I think it means Alastair can be daft in advance….a rare gift

  52. Jim says:

    Not only am I a former reader of the Scotsman, I am also a former visitor to its site. They were no longer prepared to allow me to make comment on their fictituous nonsense after several years of doing so, so I’m no longer prepared to entertain their site on my PC screen.
    We should all leave it be and leave the Unionists commenters to argue among themselves. They will soon get bored having no-one to abuse and the Scotsman will have killed discussion.
    The Rev and others can keep us all updated.
    Just a thought. Normally members of the public ask their local newsagent to order in a publication for them. Maybe we should all ask our local newsagent not to order in a copy of the Scotsman due to its prejudices and lack of respect for democracy!
    Most newsagents wouldn’t miss their half-a-dozen sales!

  53. Murray McCallum says:

    cynicalHighlander
    http://archive.is/vM4ts
     
    Pity Alistair Darling wasn’t so keen to put forward such an opinion on the Iraq dodgy dossier when he is in the UK Cabinet. He must wake up every day having forgotten what happened the day before. We don’t though.

  54. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Hetty
     
    Try this one for real knee trembling re Fukushima
    http://www.zerohedge.com/node/477904
    Zerohedge is a upscale blog on financial articles and money analysis. For the to jump into radiation is a first.
     

  55. frankieboy says:

    You won’t be able to be daft in advance in an independent Scotland. Hey, that could be another projectfear topic!

  56. John Dickson says:

    “Simone” Johnson is peddling the same pish about windfarms in the torygraph

  57. Dougiealba says:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/argyll-grandmother-takes-uk-and-eu-to-the-united-nations-over-plans-to-turn-scotland-into-windfarm-hedgehog-8399574.html
     
    Apparently the somewhat confused lady in question is 69 years old and retired to Argyll 22 years ago (aged 47?) “from England”.
    Seemingly her concern for wildlife does not extend to “hedgehogs”, or at least those in that part of Surrey known as Scotland.
    It is none the less interesting to note that she is under the impression that Alex Salmond’s powers extend to being a “dictator” over both UK and EU administrations.
    No doubt the fact that the UN body could find no fault with the Scottish Government is a result of the power Mr Salmond wields over them as well.
     
    Incidentally, I am another of those for whom the Hootsmon’s “technical difficulties” have excluded from commenting today.

  58. Ron Burgundy says:

    At the risk of being perceived as an obsessive can I remind all Wings readers
    DO NOT READ THE SCOTSMAN SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY
    IMPLORE ALL YOU KNOW AND LOVE WHO READ THE RAGS TO DESIST FORTHWITH
    IF WE NEED TO SOIL OURSELVES BY OBSERVING THEIR OUTPUT THEN PLEASE LOG ON TO THE ARCHIEVE IS WEBSITE AND DO SO WITHOUT GIVING THEM THE ONLINE TRAFFIC FOR WHICH THEY COLLECT ADVERTISING REVENUE.
     
    Here ends the public service information
     

  59. Andy-B says:

    The Scotsman newspaper makes the Beano and the Dandy seem intelligent, though I must admit, Ive never laughed so much when reading the Scotsman.

  60. Taranaich says:

    A bit of a slide off-topic, but I think related to the whole “Scottish media has certain issues in terms of reporting independence”: I’ve been invited to discuss independence on Inverclyde Radio’s “Your Voice” program, which goes out live at 11AM this coming Monday.  I’ve been listening to various radio interviews and podcasts regarding the subject (including Rev’s and “For A’ That”) to try and get a good angle on it.
     
    For me, I think it’s a matter of instilling the confidence to succeed in people: I personally believe the closing of the shipyards has wreaked a massive psychological toll on the people of Inverclyde, and fostered an inferiority complex which has left so many hard-working people hopeless. Independence, to me, is a way of restoring hope to the area – hope sorely lacking given what the area’s been through. So many people I’ve talked to feel that we’ll never experience a success like the shipyards again, that there’s no way to regain that optimism and prosperity. In the hands of the current UK government and any of its major competitors, I’d say that’s true – but an independent Scotland which has command of its own wealth, taxes, resources and people? I think it can be done. Maybe not in the lifetime of those who suffered the most under Thatcher, but perhaps in my own. There’s already been a lot of growth in the past few years: who knows what we can achieve in a few decades?
     
    But the only way people can have hope is if they know it exists. So I’m going to finally stick my neck out for what I believe, and appear on radio to talk shop. I think I’ll also be starting a blog dedicated to political matters (separate from my personal blog, I think the Rev has the right idea there), since I don’t want to just clutter up this fine site’s comment thread with my ramblings.

  61. Iain says:

    For me, the most interesting thing in Douglas Fraser’s report on the BBC website (see ‘Tick Tock’ at the end of the above article’) is this:
    ‘ I heard from Prof Raymond Boyle, a communications expert at Glasgow University, who observed that newspapers can no longer be seen as carrying a sense of Scottish national identity.’
    There you have it. Prof Boyle spelled it out: the Scottish press is seen, by a significant proportion of the public, as not being Scottish anymore. Given that the Scottish press is universally hostile to independence, there is an obvious link:  opposition to independence has lost Scottish newspapers readers. You know it, I know it, and Fraser must know it, but couldn’t report it.

  62. cirsium says:

    @Iain 8.16pm
    What is Scottish about the Scottish press?  The Herald is owned by Newsquest, a division of Gannett, a US media holding company.  The Scotsman is owned by Johnson Press, a UK Regional Newspaper Publisher.  

  63. Geoff Huijer says:

    I haven’t bought, read the print version or online versions
    of ‘newspapers’ for yonks now. I click on the Rev’s archived
    links though…
     
    Life all the better for it – reading out and out untruths
    and spin just makes the blood boil.
     
    Print and be damned? Looks like they are…

  64. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Slightly O/T
    just back from manning Dunoon YES shop on Cowal Games day. 139 bands I’m told and just about greeting as usual at the march past. Do we actually understand what our communities have got with pipe bands?

    However during a busy day handing out badges and car stickers and getting folk to sign the declaration one guy came in to tell us that the furore about the £100 payment had actually led him to read the article and changed him from a NO voter to a YES voter.

    Delightful little cameo at the Better Together Stall up the road was related to me. A few guys wearing Rangers tops approached them, chatted to them than took a huge bundle of their pamphlets….. which they then proceeded to carry across the road and throw in the bin. Wish I had been there. 

  65. Muscleguy says:

    @Angus McPhee
    Count me in that quarter. I am on record in various places online saying I didn’t vote SNP but credit to them for the result and their stewardship has not been half bad and indeed somewhat actually competent.



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