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Wings Over Scotland


The not-so-straight debates

Posted on January 15, 2013 by

Writing a site like this is in one sense an exercise in idealistic cognitive dissonance. No matter how often the opposite turns out to be the case, you always sort of hope, deep down, that if you highlight someone’s occasional failings in a calm and factual manner they’ll say “Oh well, that’s a fair cop”, and even if they don’t change their ways they’ll at least acknowledge the validity of legitimate, honest criticism.

But as we say, it rarely turns out that way. Last night we picked up on what was at heart a fairly minor semantic quibble with high-profile Scottish-politics commentator David Torrance, arising from the evening’s edition of Scotland Tonight. He got in touch with us on Twitter almost immediately to object in rather strong terms to our views, and an exchange went on until around 2am when everyone seemingly went to bed.

We thought no more of it, although we hoped this morning that there might be some answers to some questions that Mr Torrance had explicitly invited during the debate. Instead, to our surprise (we know, still) and dismay, not only were none to be found, but the entire discussion – at his end, anyway – had completely vanished.

Well, sort of vanished, of course. We might be idealistic but we’re not stupid, and if there’s anything we’ve learned about the internet it’s that people like to try to delete their trails when they’ve done something they’re embarrassed about. Another thing we’ve learned is that it almost never works.

So for the sake of posterity, here’s what David Torrance – a vociferous critic of online rudeness in the Scottish political sphere – said to us on Twitter last night that he doesn’t want anyone to know about any more.

(We’ve corrected the odd Twitspeak abbreviation for readability, but changed nothing else. As Twitter conversations are multi-threaded, we’ve done our best to get comments all in the right order. You can see the unedited original tweets here.)

————————————————————————————————

DAVID TORRANCE: You’ve outdone yourself in terms of paranoid ramblings. Definition of ‘majority’ in electoral terms widely understood except by you.

WINGS OVER SCOTLAND: Except the referendum isn’t an election, is it? Who wins if there are two Yes votes and one No vote? People who don’t know either pick a side or stay home. Side that gets the most votes has a “majority” by definition.

DT: Um, that would make a 2-to-1 victory for ‘yes’. You can’t strip out don’t knows in a referendum, thus no one in UK polling does.

WOS: Of course you can, because that’s what happens in the actual vote.

DT: Anyway enough, as a pal once said: you can’t shout logic at a maniac & expect to win the argument. Happy (deranged) blogging.

WOS: Not quite sure why believing in basic X>Y arithmetic makes one a “deranged maniac”, but as you like.

DT: Oh, mustn’t have made myself clear: I meant generally.

WOS: ZING! Must be a lot of deranged maniacs in Scotland, then. But as a Tory I imagine you think that already.

DT: No, you’re the deranged maniac, who (ironically) gives your own side a bad name; you’d need self-awareness to appreciate that.

WOS: I’m aware of soaring readership figures, but they’re probably all psycho nutjobs too, I suppose. Gnite.

DT: And don’t you think labelling me a ‘Tory’ & using a (rather good) old pic to illustrate your blog is a bit puerile?

WOS: You are, aren’t you? I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of, even though I’m at the opposite end. And there aren’t any better landscape pics. Feel free to send one over if you’d prefer it.

DT: By any measurement – voting habits, political beliefs & party membership – I’m not, and here’s you claiming to be ‘factual’.

WOS: Happy to stand corrected, merely the impression I’ve arrived at from everything I’ve seen you say.

[Torrance is also former Parliamentary aide to Scotland Office minister David Mundell.]

DT: Such as? You’ll be referring, of course, to all the articles I’ve written slagging off the Scottish Tory Party (of which there are many).

WOS: Well, the fact you write prominently on the very Tory ThinkScotland seems a pointer. Ian Smart slags off Labour frequently too, and Jim Sillars the SNP. [Making the obvious point that someone can criticise a party while still being a member, voter or supporter of it.]

DT: I’ve written several articles for newsnetscotland too, so not sure what your point is.

[We could only locate this one, though NNS has no search facility or author pages so there may be others we haven’t found.]

WOS: My point, simply enough, is that the impression I’ve personally formed is that you lean towards the Conservatives. I make no claims of a scientific basis, merely a view formed over many months.

DT: And if it’s nothing to be ashamed of, why did your pejorative use of the term & picture feature so prominently in your blog?

WOS: “Pejorative”? In what sense? Mentioned it once, in the phrase “Tory commentator David Torrance”, which doesn’t seem to fit [that description].”

DT: To imply political bias/allegiance in a commentator is generally pejorative.

WOS: I’ve repeatedly said on the site that there’s nothing wrong with commentators having allegiances. They’re people too. I’d find it a lot weirder and be a lot more mistrustful if they didn’t.

DT: Your use of that pic underlined that general aim.

WOS: These were the options.

DT: They all look reasonable to me. Except the ones that aren’t me, obviously. [Around this point someone else interjects that the shot of Torrance with Thatcher and Major is “a smashing picture”. Torrance replies “Indeed it is. I regularly use it to annoy left-wing friends on Facebook.”]

WOS: But you like the one I used. “Rather good”, you said. And it’s landscape. So what’s the problem?

DT: It had absolutely nothing to do with the content of your blog.

WOS: If you have any pictures of you looking confused with an abacus, I’d be happy to run them. The blog was about you and it’s a picture of you. That’s a connection. I like having a picture in a post.

DT: That’s an incredibly feeble argument but then, as I said, you’re a little bit nuts.

WOS: Having a picture of the subject of an article is a “feeble” justification? Er, okay.

DT: I’ve tried to reblock you but can’t. G’nite.

WOS: Then feel free to just ignore me. I shan’t bother you again. I’m genuinely disappointed and baffled that you’re so angry. But mostly disappointed that you’re sticking to your absurd line that most votes in a 2-choice referendum isn’t a majority.

DT: When did I say that? I was only ever talking about polling – you’ve erroneously conflated the two.

WOS: Define “erroneously”. As there will be no Don’t Knows, the polls show which side will win, and therefore have the majority. And just by the by, I’ve added a footnote to the article noting that you object to the description “Tory”. Fair-minded, me. Even to people hurling abuse at me with piqued abandon.

DT: You could also correct the part of the blog which claims I said something I didn’t. And remove the irrelevant picture. I didn’t assert what you just claimed I did; I was only ever talking about Indy polling, not the [referendum] itself. Sigh.

WOS: Which part would that be?

DT: I never disputed that more yes than no votes in the [referendum] wouldn’t constitute a majority.I was talking about opinion polls.

WOS: My interpretation of what you said respectfully differs. But then, I’m a paranoid deranged maniac.

DT: It’s not a matter of interpretation, it’s about what I did & did not say. And you consider your blog responsible & accurate?

WOS: That assertion rests on a non-definitive interpretation of the word “majority”. As far as I’m concerned, a poll showing more Yes votes than No votes in a referendum with only two choices is a majority. Your alternative view is also legitimate, but somewhat hairsplitty.

DT: [Are you] not embarrassed to have written blog based on a misrepresentation of my argument & undermined it with puerile language & use of pix?

WOS: Still waiting to hear what the “puerile” or “pejorative” language was, or why you want a picture you like removed. But, y’know, shall I start scouring your work for things I consider inaccurate or misrepresentation? Or would that be the action of a tiresome obsessive?

DT: Yes, and I’ll fess up when they (genuinely) are inaccurate or misleading, something you seem incapable of doing.

WOS: Okay then, but we could be here a while. (And clearly I’m not – I’ve added your refutation, while retaining it as my personal impression.)

[At this point we essentially stuck a pin in Mr Torrance’s work, alighting on a piece from ThinkScotland about last year’s fuss around EU membership.]

WOS: Let’s start with “Before that [Alex Salmond] replied ‘yes’ (apparently meaning ‘no’) when asked if he’d sought legal advice on an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU.”

DT: And that’s inaccurate how?

WOS: What Salmond actually said in that interview was “Yes, [+qualifier]”. You’ve ignored the qualifier and called him a liar.

DT: Pretty feeble. And I called no one a ‘liar’ – that’s the sort of word people like you use.

WOS: You said that he said yes but meant no. What would that be but a lie?

In the same piece, you talked of “the political pooper-scooper” and “cleaning up First Ministerial mess”. Not puerile? Or is it humour when you do it, but puerile when you’re at the other end?

“Desperate not to be labelled a “cutter Salmond presented a reduction in further education college funding as a modest rise.” A clear implication that he did it deliberately, rather than reading figures provided in error in good faith. Which is a much more likely explanation, given the certainty of detection and embarrassing apology. But you presented that as a deliberate act, in a piece called “Salmond’s fickle relationship with the truth.” Fair?

[Six hours later, not directed at us]

DT: Twitter seems to have unblocked everyone I’ve blocked (with good reason), but they still show up as ‘blocked’. Any advice on how to rectify?

————————————————————————————————

By that point, Torrance had deleted every one of the tweets to us recorded above. It seems fair to assume that he’s not, despite explicitly inviting it, going to respond to the challenge of his inaccurately misrepresenting what Alex Salmond said about the EU, or tell us whether it’s more puerile to talk about “cleaning up First Ministerial mess with a political pooper-scooper” than it is to publish a mildly amusing picture of someone in an article about them.

To be honest, after he went silent at 2am we expected that, and we’d have let the matter drop. But when people suddenly try to pretend something didn’t happen at all, especially when they’ve accused us of all sorts of unprofessionalism and hypocrisy in the process, we’d rather keep the records correct.

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167 to “The not-so-straight debates”

  1. Macart says:

    Something I’ve noted on many media sites, one man’s witty repartee or stinging and well worded riposte is another’s puerile ad hominem attack. Spookily, I think you’ll find that almost all of the latter are performed by those of us deeply unhappy with Westminster rule. The former of course being any weel kent face of the media or Westminster politics.

    Who knew? 

  2. naebd says:

    The rehashing of twitter/innernette squabbles – this is not big and not clever.

  3. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Nobody said it was. But Torrance and his ilk relentlessly attack “cybernats” for abusive behaviour and dragging down the debate while high-minded sorts like themselves try to maintain standards. And they can only get away with that sort of hypocrisy if they get away with trying to eradicate the evidence to the contrary.

  4. Morag says:

    It’s really quite sad.  I genuinely enjoyed Torrance’s biography of Salmond, which I felt was largely fair and even-handed.  I developed a degree of respect for the author, realising that he was basically of the Tory persuasion.

    I had a short email exchange with him more recently, after I left a comment on an old blog post of his.  I don’t recall his being outrageous on that occasion, though the details somehow escape me now.  I think he was trying to talk down support for independence, though for who’s benefit I’m not sure.  But again, I thought he was an OK sort of guy really.

    This, however, is simply appalling.  I have no respect left.

  5. Pa Broon says:

    Its interesting and highlights another aspect of blogging versus paid journalists where we have a paid journalist being a bit offended at being pulled up on a point then seemingly trying to back peddle.

    I don’t really know whether David Torrance was trying to spin or misrepresent the difference between a poll and a referendum to produce an answer that suits a particular argument. (I don’t follow his output that closely.)

    But, when taken in context with the rest of the tripe being churned out by a great many ‘paid journalists’, one could be forgiven for thinking the worst.

    Maybe he just got a bit confused at the beginning of the argument and is too proud to put his hands up and say so for fear of appearing a bit daft, something ‘paid journalists’ can’t really afford to do. (Unfortunately confounding the initial daftness by trying to remove it.)

  6. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Morag: Yep. As I said in the other piece, I’d had nothing but civil and interesting chat with him. I was genuinely shocked to find myself blocked with no warning, many months ago now, but even after that I don’t believe I’ve ever said anything nasty about him on the site. So the unprovoked volley of abuse was bewildering and saddening.

  7. cadgers says:

    @naebd
    And deleting tweets to look as if no said conversation took place? That strikes me as childish and boo sucks.

  8. muttley79 says:

    This looks like a similar episode to ones Rev Stu has had with McColm and Rennie.  He stands up for himself and they seem to lose the rag if they are challenged.  I don’t think it is the fact that people get angry on Twitter that is the issue, after all everyone loses the place from time to time.  It shows that journalists are feeling the heat of the referendum campaign, even this early on.   

  9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Oh, wait – there are a couple of critical comments here, from a year ago, but I don’t know if that’s pre- or post-blocking. May well be pre:

    http://wingsland.podgamer.com/new-year-same-old-unionists/

  10. Morag says:

    (“whose” benefit – damn no-you-can’t-edit decree.)

    I checked back for the blog post of his I commented on, and I think it’s slightly telling.  He denounces “cybernats” and thinks Fifi la Bonbon is “charming”.

    http://davidtorrance.com/cybernats-a-scottish-political-phenomenon/

  11. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Oh, tremendous find, Morag. Not only does it contain an early example of Torrance prickling at being called a Tory (so why DOES everyone seem to think so?), but it also contains this nail-on-head illustration of what I was saying to naebd:

    “‘This is not unique to The Herald’s website, or to Scottish politics, but as the content and tone of this conversation [with “cybernats”] represents a daily injection of poison into the well of Scottish public life, we are all worse off for it.’ Too true.”

    Presumably calling people you disagree with “paranoid deranged maniacs” is a healthy contribution to the well of Scottish public life, then? Um. Editing that in.

  12. Morag says:

    There’s someone in that conversation who is paranoid, but I don’t think it’s you.  Now who could it be, let me see…?

  13. Morag says:

    The only way I could imagine the word “charming” being attached to wee Fifi was in the context of industrial-strength application of sarcasm.  But he seemed to be perfectly serious.

  14. Fiona says:

    O/T but there is a new independence blog to be read
    http://www.scotreferendum.com/2013/01/15/road-to-2014/
    and this one comes straight from the horses mouth-well the Deputy FM anyway.

  15. Keef says:

    Stu, I still think asking for a pic of him looking confused with an abacus was the best part of the whole episode.

    In order to be right wing to this sort of magnitude, requires a certain degree of unbridled arrogance.  Deleting the evidence says a lot more about him than it does you.

    Signed

    A fellow deranged maniac 🙂 

  16. muttley79 says:

    The whole “Cybernats” thing has been used by unionists as some kind of an explanation, and excuse for the failure of the No parties to engage in a meaningful way with the constitutional question in the last decade.  Iain Gray even blamed “Cybernats” for his defeat in 2011!  Rather than blame “Cybernats” they would do better to reflect on the inadequate Calman Commission, and their complete loss of the political agenda in Scotland.      

  17. douglas clark says:

    Without really wanting to enter this discussion, if I had a photograph of myself with the blessed Margaret, I would probably bury it, on a moonless night at an unmarked cross-roads…..
     
     

  18. Morag says:

    …. with a stake through its heart.

  19. pmcrek says:

    That confused with an abacus line is an absolute gem 10/10

  20. HenBroon says:

    I to have been blocked by DT for almost the same argument you were having. He is of a certain generation. The Playstation kid, who fancies himself so much he styles his hair like the Jedward, he really does fancy himself. The one thing I have noticed with the No mob is that if you ask them difficult questions they immediately resort to abuse then they block you To much Ghandi. The sure sign that they are really struggling to put together a cogent positive for the Union. DTs redacting of Twitter is utterly pathetic and juvenile as is his arguments. He appears to have blocked several hundred. Like a wee bairn at the check outs denied sweeties.

  21. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    The main problem with unionists (politicians and bloggers) is they will not admit to being biased. The reality is we all are, when considering Independence. There’s a world of difference between being biased and lying.l

    It’s all part of their deception camapaign, aided by the MSM.  They spread scaremongering stories and attempt to palm it off as the truth. Let’s be honest scaremongering is just a polite word for lying. Therefore anyone who disagrees with their viewpoint is described as deranged, stupid etc.

    Due to their inability to promote positive reasons for remaining in the Union,  they refuse/can’t have intelligent dialogue with us.  How can they, when intelligent people, such as your good self, can easily destroy their argument with facts.         

          

  22. scottish_skier says:

    Slightly OT but…Interesting the increasing calls from the Scottish Government to negotiate with the UK Government on the basics what happens if it’s a Yes. I wondered when this issue might start cropping up. They will of course have already been in discussions (nobody with half a brain would think otherwise), but this would be to make it formal.

    UK Government over a barrel somewhat. If they don’t openly negotiate, it looks very bad and encourages a Yes (Scotland’s wishes should be respected, whatever the outcome). If they do openly negotiate, independence seems much more of a formality than a leap in the dark and so it encourages a yes. Tough one.

    Re polls, I’m of the opinion that after Yes overtaking the no mid 2011 (Tory return and SNP euphoria win response), we have just passed peak union support (sudden feet back on the ground nerves about what it all means / lots of questions needing answers and naff all to do with jublympics I might add) and we’ll now see the no shift to unsure with the Yes slowly climbing back up again. Modest Labour vote recovery for Westminster will fall away too. That TNS poll could indicate that’s what’s happening now. Interesting to watch. 

  23. zedeeyen says:

    Nothing particularly interesting to add, but…

    WOS: If you have any pictures of you looking confused with an abacus, I’d be happy to run them.

    That comment made me blow coffee out of my nose. 

  24. Indion says:

    http://www.parliament.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingID=12170 

    Above link is to Westminster HoC debate on intergovernment S30 order to facilitate the legal holding and running of the Indy Ref by end 2014. It cannot be amended, so it’s a straight Yes to approve or No to chuck out.

    The debate began at 12:46  

  25. naebd says:

    cadgers says:
    15 January, 2013 at 11:46 am

    “And deleting tweets to look as if no said conversation took place? That strikes me as childish and boo sucks.”

    Me too. I’m glad we all agree, kinda.

  26. douglas clark says:

    Just a general comment, maybe OT, who knows?
     
    The problem a lot of professional writers have had with this new technology fandango is that it lets anyone who can make a cogent case, for anything at all, make it. And there are now venues where their more egregious stuff can be challenged that they can’t control. It is the lack of control -hat you’d have more luck herding cats than you would people who write into sites like this one – that gives journalists and writers nightmares. Their status and salaries are somewhat undermined when there are members of the general public that are better informed than they are.
     
    I think it is this inability to control the agenda, or more generally the facts, that has firstly removed the magic – in the sense of a cheap trick – from all opinion formers, and secondly, largely explains why newspapers are in serious decline.
     
     

  27. Indy_Scot says:

    I have listened to some of his opinions in the past, and if was very clear at the time that what he was saying was not actually fact, but clearly what he would like to be fact.

    I have noticed that this theme runs through much of what he says. It is for that reason that I find his views are of little value.

  28. Doug Daniel says:

    David likes writing about how awful the pro-indy side have made the independence debate. Here’s an article he did for Total Politics which I replied to: http://www.totalpolitics.com/articles/298782/the-politics-of-scottish-factionalism.thtml

    When I flirted with the concept of following people on Twitter I didn’t necessarily agree with, I followed David for a while. But I soon got tired of the unionist prism he sees things through. It’s ironic he accuses you of lacking in self-awareness because he seems to be one of those folk who erroneously think they’re capable of complete impartiality. As you say yourself Stu, there’s nothing inherently wrong with not being completely impartial – as long as you don’t try to kid yourself that you are.

    David obviously doesn’t like being called a Tory commentator because he considers himself to be impartial, and perhaps worries work will dry up if people start thinking he’s not impartial. Well, Simon Pia manages to continue a media career, despite being about as impartial as an Orangeman refereeing an Old Firm match. Or perhaps he just worries people will stop taking him seriously.

    David says he’s written lots of articles criticising the Scottish Tories. Well, people tend to blog about the things that occupy their thoughts – hence why most people don’t bother writing about the Tories, because the only folk who care about them are Tories. Even so, when I call someone a “football commentator”, I’m not calling them a football…

  29. cath says:

    “Due to their inability to promote positive reasons for remaining in the Union,  they refuse/can’t have intelligent dialogue with us.”

    The trouble with this approach is they’ve laid a whole minefield of problems for themselves. It’s been obvious for years now that there are a large number of well informed, articulate, passionate people willing to argue for independence. Threads on sites like the Guardian are brilliant examples of this, where the under the line debate is often of a far higher quality than the article. And against this, there is very little – if any – genuine pro-union, anti-independence passion.
     
    I’m sure if you’re a unionist, and making a living from it, it must feel like some orchestrated campaign if you’re bombarded with comments – some of which I’m sure will be abusive or not exactly diplomatic – slamming your position.
     
    But they have failed to recognise that this isn’t some orchestrated campaign from SNP headquarters, but simply people debating their own positions and becoming increasingly exasperated with lies and abuse. I was a Lib Dem and devo-max supporter in 2007, and it’s been the negativity, the bile and abuse, being called “cybernat” etc for daring voice a different opinion to these arrogant commentators that has largely turned me into an SNP member and active Yes campaigner.
     
    In failing to listen, instead demonising all those perfectly reasonable people into strawman “cybernats” (Willie Rennie’s outburst at Martin Sime for talking about devo-max, for example, was utterly breathtaking) and failing to recognise the vacuum of any real people arguing coherently for the status quo, the unionists have boxed themselves into a pretty unpleasant corner now.

  30. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Indion: that link’s not behaving, and there’s no rogue space to explain it. Try this if you want to follow the S30 debate, folks:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/21006885

  31. martyn says:

    he is lucky no-one got hurt when he threw his toys out the pram
     

  32. Doug Daniel says:

    Cath – can I just say that your conversion from supporting devo-max to full independence is a great example of why the Yes campaign will win.

  33. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “David says he’s written lots of articles criticising the Scottish Tories.”

    Indeed. Which you’d think would make the term “Tory commentator” even more legitimate and inoffensive, as he commentates on the Tories all the time…

  34. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “But they have failed to recognise that this isn’t some orchestrated campaign from SNP headquarters, but simply people debating their own positions and becoming increasingly exasperated with lies and abuse. I was a Lib Dem and devo-max supporter in 2007, and it’s been the negativity, the bile and abuse, being called “cybernat” etc for daring voice a different opinion to these arrogant commentators that has largely turned me into an SNP member and active Yes campaigner.”

    Cath, I’d love if you felt like submitting an article on that theme. You’re an eloquent and persuasive commenter.

  35. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    “Cath, I’d love if you felt like submitting an article on that theme. You’re an eloquent and persuasive commenter.”

    Good call, I’ll second that!

    Weve had this from a male perspective before on wings (me) but never from a female one. What do you think Cath?

  36. Jeannie says:

    Just had a look at the debate on the BBC Democracy Live and have had to stop watching as I just can’t stand either the look or sound of Margaret Curran.  She just turns me off completely.  The same thing happens to me with Johann Lamont.  Where does Labour get these people?

  37. Dal Riata says:

    As I alluded to in Stu’s previous article, what we are seeing is the gradual reduction of power journalists had in dictating how a society should be and what it should believe in via whichever vehicle employing them in the UK MSM.

    The UK MSM is right-wing: since the announcement of the referendum in 2014 there can now be no doubt about that. Take for example that so-called last bastion of the left-wing press in the UK the Guardian; it has come out as anti-Scottish independence in one of its “The Guardian view” editorials. The right-wing UK Establishment using its lackeys in the MSM has had its way for so long that journalists in its employ have been no more than propagandists, rather than the investigative news hounds they believe themselves to be.

    Before the prominence of the internet, journalists were more or less able to write what they wanted without recourse or being held to account. Now their writings can be scrutinised for the ‘real truth’ and their work can be shown up to be untrue whenever, or if  such a case occurs.

    The ‘plebs’ now have a voice to power and that ‘power’ doesn’t like it one bit. Now they have to face up to their misdemeanours and answer questions about their assertions. Unfortunately, or perhaps deliberately, some of those journalists resort to little more than abuse when called out for their inaccuracies and agendas, note the original use of ‘cybernat’. When you have held that power and influence for so long anyone now calling you out is seen as a threat, any initiation of discussion or debate inevitably ending in the ‘journalist’ calling their adversary ‘abusive’, ‘offensive, ‘delusional’, etc.

    The MSM and its pro-Union journalists now see the internet and blogs such as WOS as something to be feared. They are seeing the future of journalism taking place on the internet before their eyes. Their style of unquestioned guff is no more. and, indeed, is becoming extinct as we speak.

    Finally, of course not all journalists are of the sort mentioned above: there are fine journalists out there doing some sterling work. (I wish more of them had a bigger ‘voice’, though!)

  38. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Dal Riata: speaking as someone with experience on both sides of that divide, you’ve pretty much got it bang on.

  39. Aplinal says:

    OT been listening to the “debate” in Westminster.  Any respect I used to have for Charles Kennedy has all but vanished.  Poor speech.  Curran was her usual self, no need to elaborate.  Now we have AD.  Oh, God, my will to live is ebbing away.

  40. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    I had no problems with Kennedy’s speech (didn’t see the last 60 seconds or so). He’s entitled to oppose, and to do so strongly for what he believes. He was still vastly more respectful towards the debate than the sneering, mocking, cringing hyenas on the Lab and Tory benches.

  41. Fiona says:

    @ Dal Riata
    Your argument is spot on and today I can’t help but see the parallels between the demise of HMV and the plight of newspapers- particularly in Scotland.

    HMV has a nostalgic place in many peoples minds as the reliable place you went for your music with the experience of browsing etc,. Whilst the world around was changing rapidly and music became downloadable, with Amazon becoming so popular for buying cd’s HMV continued on their way almost with their fingers in their ears pretending all was well- or just plain ingoring the actuality of the situation.

    Newspapers and journalists in Scotland today are trying to do the self same thing- pretending that they are the last bastion of truthfulness and can influence peoples opinions without any competition. Try as they might to ignore, or traduce, internet news and opinion sites and the shriller they get with their attacks on the “amateurs” the more they are being left behind.

    Eventually newspapers will go the same way as HMV unless that is they start to accept they are only part of the debate and not the sole arbiters of the debate- they have a chance to continue into the future but I fear like HMV they will simply put their fingers in their ears and pretend all is well. Poeple have an almost nostalgic attachment to a particular paper and it is hard to give up for many, but eventually even the most loyal newspaper readers get to a tipping point where they refuse to buy something which continues to insult them and their views on a daily basis. I can think of no other consumer item where it is deemed acceptable or indeed it is encouraged that the customer is insulted daily.

  42. Morag says:

    I am not listening to that debate, but just tell me one thing.  Are there actually speakers opposed to the granting of the Section 30 order?  If so, who are they and what reasons are they advancing?

  43. Castle Rock says:

    Fully agree with the comment from Dal Riata and I think Mr Torrance has just exposed himself to the wider public as a complete and utter hypocrite.
     
    How can he try and twist ‘…If this is the most damaging tittle tattle SoS or David Torrance can dig up…’as abuse but then call someone paranoid, deranged and a maniac’ and not see the hypocrisy then he really is beyond parody.

    To add insult to his own injury he then castigates cybenats for not posting under their real names and then praises Fifi la Bonbon for being charming and coming to his defense.  Charming??? I nearly fell of my chair at that one.  Perhaps Mr Torrance would like to explain who Fifi la Bonbon really but I suspect he won’t as that will end her political career for all the abusive comments she posted on the Scotsman.

    He really does reek of hypocrisy.

  44. KOF says:

    I’ve been listening to the debate too. Is it me or was there a waft of the old “40% rule” from the previous independence referendum cropping up in the speeches? It’s too important for a simple majority, they say. Hmmm?… 

  45. Marcia says:

    Fiona,

    Your post is what I had been thinking for a while. When I lived in London until 1990  I would take trains and buses to pick up my copy of the Scotsman or Herald or visit the offices of DC Thomson in Fleet Street to pick up the Courier a day late. Now I cannot bear reading any of them.  

  46. Doug Daniel says:

    I’ve often voiced the same feelings as Dal Riata. Notice the gusto with which the media has taken the term “troll” into their lexicon – in its original (internet) meaning, it was someone who went on a forum and made inflammatory comments for the sole purpose of winding people up. Now, the media has distorted it to basically mean anyone who says anything critical about someone on the internet, particularly online bullying.

    Saying that someone was criticising their work would suggest the person at least has some sort of basis upon which to do it, but writing them off as a “troll” allows journalists to paint themselves as the victim of someone who has a vendetta against them. And “cybernat” is just a variant of this new definition of “troll”, hence  why we’re all called cybernats. No need to answer our points if we’re just nutters.

  47. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Jeannie

    “Where does Labour get these people?”.  Ex cooncilors mostly. The big problem they will have after the YES vote is unemployment. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but who is their right mind would employ those characters?  

  48. Dave Smith says:

    “The MSM and its pro-Union journalists now see the internet and blogs such as WOS as something to be feared. They are seeing the future of journalism taking place on the internet before their eyes. Their style of unquestioned guff is no more. and, indeed, is becoming extinct as we speak.”

    And as Geddy Lee once sang; “…and the knowledge that they fear is a weapon to be used against them…”

    We should take every opportunity to bludgeon these feeble ‘journalists’ onto the ropes until they start reporting facts and not London propaganda. 

     

  49. dadsarmy says:

    Watching the debate, so far the only people speaking about the section 30 have been Robertson – and Davidson (on now). The rest were all NO campaign speeches, though Curran did do maybe half and half. I though Kennedy was poor, and I’m afraid my respect for him is diminished. He seems as bitter about the SNP success in 2011 as the rest of them.

    Yes, the way Robertson speaking to the point was inerrupted, and background noise, without the speaker calling to order, would be enough to make some undecided voters to vote YES, to get shot of the way Westminster (doesn’t) work.

    It was also noticeable that having let all the NO campaigners waffle on, she made a long point about speeches should relate to the section 30 order – immediately before Robertson spoke. Very poor.

  50. Elizabeth says:

    listening to Ian Davidson – sighs!!! He’s on aboot date of referendum being timed for Bannockburn and celebrating the slaying of large numbers of English…..whit a balloon! 

  51. dadsarmy says:

    Oh, Kennedy called out Davidson when he was on his pet scheme that his constituency should be able to remain with the UK. Good for Kennedy!

  52. Davy says:

    Thanks for that Rev, after taking the wife to the dentist followed by a trip to the garage this morning I really needed a laugh, their is nothing more satisfying that seeing a tory unionist getting his comeupance and a journalist to boot.

    Again many thanks,

    Alba Gu Brath, vote yes. 

  53. dadsarmy says:

    Davidson: “We can only assume the SNP have an ulterior motive”, and similar several times before.

    I wish the whole Scottish Electorate could be forced to watch the debate all the way through. It’s shameful. The YES vote would be about 95%, with only politicos voting NO. Nobody pointed out that the devolution question was identical to the proposed independence question.

    Having said that, the SNP should not have walked out during Davidson. That’s very weak, and counter-productive.

  54. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Nobody pointed out that the devolution question was identical to the proposed independence question.”

    In fairness, someone did that very early on.

  55. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Oh, Kennedy called out Davidson when he was on his pet scheme that his constituency should be able to remain with the UK. Good for Kennedy!”

    See? Told you he was a slightly better class of Unionist.

  56. Dan Huil says:

    Whether in internet comments,or in public debate,unionists are clearly getting more and more desperate.

  57. Aplinal says:

    re: Kennedy.  OK, Rev.  I’ll give you that.  I supposed that I expected better, and was disappointed with the words he chose to use on numerous occasions. 

  58. Aplinal says:

    Rev. Stu – I understand what you are saying about walking out on Davidson, but as he threatened an SNP female MP with a “doing” I think it was a show of appropriate disrespect to him, and I for one have no problem with that.
     
    Regards the debate, I have stopped watching.  Some strange Tory from Epping Forest (I think) is giving the most absurd speech.  I admire your ability to suffer through these numpties, and I cordially offer you my sincerest respect!  You have a stronger stomach than me!

    EDIT: Oops, having reread the comments I can’t find that about Davidson. Did I imagine it

  59. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I understand what you are saying about walking out on Davidson, but as he threatened an SNP female MP with a “doing” I think it was a show of appropriate disrespect to him, and I for one have no problem with that.”

    I agree. I said on Twitter I thought it was absolutely the right thing to do. Plus, hilarious.

  60. dadsarmy says:

    WHY is a conservative member for Epping (lovely forest) being given so much time? On and on. Yay, she’s putting people’s backs up! Oh no, still on, over half an hour. Shut up. Her lips don’t even move in synch with her voice. Still on.

    I’m thinking though that the SG should consider how to get army units stationed abroad – including the rest of the UK – the vote. I actually agree in the case of the army; they are posted, and that’s involuntary and out of their control, as opposed to people deciding to work down south, and move their residence. And yes, I know sometimes people are “re-located”, but they could always take a settlement and look for a new job. Many have.

    The simple answer of course is that units and regiments should have a home garrison, and this would be UK forces wide, but I guess it’s never been considered important before. A UK government oversight.

    Rev – I’ve always had a lot of respect for Kennedy, and many people I talk to in his constituency think the world of him. Very active in the constituency and influential to go with it. A smart and genuine operator. I guess he just did the same as the rest of them – did a NO campaign speech and criticised the SNP at any opportunity. I found that disappointing, but it was milder than the rest.

  61. dadsarmy says:

    Alpinal / Rev
    The headlines tomorrow will be “SNP pull disresepctful stunt and walk out on their own Section 30 order debate”.

    They need to get over themselves.

  62. scottish_skier says:

    The section 30 debate is about as irrelevant as David Torrance to the outcome of the 2014 referendum.

  63. Aplinal says:

    @dads
     
    I suspect you are right.  Sad, but true.  I really don’t HATE the MSM, I think I am more terminally disappointed in their blindness to their own bias – if indeed they DO think that they are UNbiased, rather than a deliberate attempt to distort and thereby “rig” the referendum.
     
    This year will see the release of many SG papers on aspects of an Independent Scotland.  I am foolish to think this thought, but maybe, just maybe, the MSM will present them objectively.  (I know, I know!)

  64. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    I’m definitely sympathetic to the idea of serving forces getting the vote if their normal residence is in Scotland.

  65. mogabee says:

    There was an earlier speech from the member from ?Borders, whose name is Stewart. He rumbled on about history and who came from where, but thankfully was “gently rebuked” by deputy speaker. He kept reinforcing the fact that this referendum / referenda (his word), needed to be in the public’s eye, as on tv etc. Bit ironic really!
     

  66. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Rory Stewart. As someone tweeted, he looked “as though he may have lunched well but not wisely”.

  67. Jeannie says:

    Tuned back into the debate again.  Couldn’t believe they were still rambling on.  Since I last posted, I’ve taken a pile of rubbish to the dump, gone to M&S and B&Q, dropped a card off at a friend’s house, come back and phoned my mother and had a cup of tea….and they’re STILL wittering on.  The Conservative bloke, Stewart, who’s speaking just now is tedious and boring beyond belief.  Sorry I missed Charlie Kennedy – I’ve got a soft spot for him.

  68. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “and they’re STILL wittering on”

    Almost three hours still to go. I realised too late I should have made a “live chat” thread for the debate.

  69. mato21 says:

    It would appear A.Robertson had a scheduled meeting with the Electoral Commission at 3pm today

  70. cath says:

    “Cath, I’d love if you felt like submitting an article on that theme. You’re an eloquent and persuasive commenter.”

    Thanks Rev. I’ll have a bash, and try to put some female perspective in too, as I suspect there is a difference there as well.

    Very glad I’m not watching this S30 thing having read some Twitter comment. 

  71. Jeannie says:

    @Rev
    Almost three hours still to go
    Dear God!

  72. Morag says:

    Almost three hours still to go. I realised too late I should have made a “live chat” thread for the debate.

    Well, this one’s doing OK.  Anyone who still has a burning desire to slag off Torrance can always do it in the previous thread.

    If they can only vote yes or no, and it’s obvious political suicide to vote no now that the agreement has been signed by Cameron, what the hell is taking them so long?

  73. Dal Riata says:

     @Rev Stu,  Castle Rock, Fiona, Dave Smith  and co.

    Thanks!

    The future of what we now know as ‘journalism’ is uncertain, to say the least.

    When, eventually,  newspapers are no more and titles move 100% online, will we continue to see journalists ‘working’ for these titles? Will a journalist be someone who writes his own blog? Will there be the need to study the craft of journalism and be ‘qualified’ before anyone can truly call themselves a journalist? Will the ‘trade’ of being a journalist die out altogether like the now gone telegraph operators and lamplighters of not so long ago? Only the future will tell us the answers.

    I don’t gloat over the potential end of journalism or journalists. The organisations that many of them, as of now, work for…well, that’s a different matter.

  74. Jeannie says:

    Nope, can’t stand any more – surely this type of torture is outlawed under the Geneva Convention? Surely

  75. dadsarmy says:

    I look at it this way. I watched the Edinburgh Agreement “live”, and the SNP NATO conference live, as I t hought that NATO was a critical part of defence, and a potential weak point. I’ve been waiting for Independence for nearly 40 years, and having a boring better together slag-off the SNP who are to be deeply mistrusted because they’re the devil in disguise and should be sent to jailhouse rock, for a few hours as a background while I get on with other boring stuff, is the least I can do!

  76. Cuphook says:

    All this S30 debate does is make Unionists look stupidly out of touch. It would be good if we could get the highlights on video; though it might take an artist to convey the ‘arguments’ while capturing the general logorrhoea.
     
    The general feeling is that they’re all upset that someone has challenged their kakistocracy. God forbid that their right to rule is questioned.
     
    End of the day they have to pass S30 or there will be a fight in the courts which they will lose. As I said yesterday, the HOC acknowledged this 15 years ago. We are sovereign – not them.

  77. dadsarmy says:

    Hey, I like this Mark Lazarowicz guy, he’s straight up. There’s hope for the Labour party yet. I don;t think the rest of the party agreed with him.

    Edit: I forgot to say earlier Curran was still on about “accepting the rules of the EC”. She just doesn’t get it. The EC themselves stated very clearly that they don’t set rules, they advise.

  78. Morag says:

    Hell with this, I’m away to the SNP branch meeting.

  79. Jeannie says:

    I don’t believe it – there’s an eejit accusing SNP of using ethnicity to further the debate – he obviously hadn’t heard of civic nationalism.  He’s citing Braveheart and Bannockburn and insisting things already agreed….need to be agreed!  And he’s the MP for Livingston. What an embarassment!

  80. dadsarmy says:

    Wishart on, I like him.

  81. Indion says:

    Rev Stu at 12:59pm
    re my Indion at 12:46pm

    My fault entirely, having missed out the letters ‘live’ from:
    http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=1270 

    TVM for re-directing folk to the same view thro’ the BBC’s Democracy Live window.

    Given the reality of this not-so-straight debate, many contributions (purportedly
    representing the whole of the UK), many speakers are raising bars and putting down markers that a Yes vote of itself will not be enough to satisfy their absolutist democratic sensibilities. 

    So yet again nothing unexpected and thus unanticipated by all who have planned ahead for many years, thinking through culmination points and contingencies towards the eventual end state of optimal autonomy all-round.

    But for the 5 hours so far, bar noble exceptions from some unionists, the unitarist message to separatists remains “don’t do as we do, do as we say …. or else”.

    Aye, right!   

  82. muttley79 says:

    @Rev Stu
     
    Did Darling himself really call Salmond a fascist dictator (I had a look at your Twitter page), or was it someone else?

  83. Christian Wright says:

    Is Torrance a Tory?

    Is the Pope Catholic?

     

  84. God, I love this site. My thanks to all.

  85. creag an tuirc says:

    ‘Doin’ Davidson did say something about the Edingburgh agreement nulifying the SNP crying foul when we all vote NO, I hope the reverse is true Mr Tadger Davidson.

  86. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Did Darling himself really call Salmond a fascist dictator (I had a look at your Twitter page), or was it someone else?”

    A whole bunch of them did. Sarwar for sure.

  87. muttley79 says:

    Meant to add just shows the transformation of Scottish politics that the unionists are foaming at the mouth in the Commons at a referendum for independence going through.  That they are calling a democratic party and their leader fascists and a dictator respectively shows how much they are losing the plot.  I could never have imagined 10 years ago that we would be where we are. 

  88. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Thanks Rev. I’ll have a bash, and try to put some female perspective in too, as I suspect there is a difference there as well.”

    Indeed. We’re a bit of a sausage-fest here ATM, more balance would be extra-lovely.

  89. Stevie Cosmic says:

    Cathy Jameison claiming voluntary sector/public sector workers being threatened by ‘cybernats’ if they hold a unionist position.
     
    She MUST be challenged on this.

  90. Castle Rock says:

    Cathy Jamieson is being absolutely disgraceful with her smears and scaremongering.
     
    Wasn’t she the one that turned her back on the Scottish Parliament and ran down to Westminster knowing full well that she was in line to lose her seat in Carrick, Cumnock and DoonValley?

  91. muttley79 says:

    Ha, ha, Sarwar promised about a week ago that the No campaign would end the negativity!  Would you buy I used car from this man?…

  92. Stevie Cosmic says:

    Can’t believe how much flak Pete Wishart is taking. This is jaw-droppingly hypocritical given some of the earlier contributions from unionists…..
     
    Jamieson’s claim that unionist public sector workers ‘recieving phone calls’ is surely an all time low for Labour. If she is to make allegations like this, she must be challenged to provide the evidence and the matter must be reported to the police.
     

  93. Jeannie says:

    Just tuned in again……I can’t believe just how bad this is!  And we’ve been told that the best of Labour is at Westminster…..this just beggars belief! And these people think they should get a 32% raise in pay?  The only thing they should be getting is their books. I know I keep saying it, but I honestly can’t believe how bad they are!

  94. cynicalHighlander says:

    Now attacking Blai Jenkins!

  95. muttley79 says:

    The unionists are desperate to maintain their lifestyles and careers in London.  They keep on saying they are going to win, and yet they are acting in the most hateful, bitter way…

  96. dadsarmy says:

    Ah! An anti-SNP summary of points, by the soon to be redundant shadow Scottish Minister. I guess he’s afraid of his own shadow.

    The word is INDEPENDENCE what a moron.

  97. muttley79 says:

    Just saw Sarwar calling Salmond a dictator on Reporting Scotland.  He really is horrible.

  98. cynicalHighlander says:

    Biased question.
    Referendum Question
    ” Do you agree with the recommendations of the Boundary Committee for England to reorganise (insert name of county council) and (insert name of district council or district councils) into a single tier of local government for your area?’.”
     
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/vo021218/debtext/21218-27.htm

  99. dadsarmy says:

    An impartial Deputy Speaker would now be telling this guy to wind up, same as Wishart. Oh, it’s not happening, what a surprise. Jeez, it really is disgusting. A half-hour to the Indpendence side, 6 hours to the Unionists.

  100. Stevie Cosmic says:

    wow.
     
    just…wow.
     
    Absolutely unbelievable contribution from Gordon Banks. 

  101. dadsarmy says:

    26,000 replies to the SG consultation on the referendum, most in favour of the question and all the rest. And it’s 16-17, not 16-18. 18 year olds already have the vote. 19 minutes

  102. Cameron says:

    Morag says:
    15 January, 2013 at 11:41 am

    “It’s really quite sad.”

    Pa Broon says:
    15 January, 2013 at 11:44 am

    “Its interesting and highlights another aspect of blogging versus paid journalists where we have a paid journalist being a bit offended at being pulled up on a point then seemingly trying to back peddle.”

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    15 January, 2013 at 11:46 am

    “Morag: Yep…. So the unprovoked volley of abuse was bewildering and saddening.”

    muttley79 says:
    15 January, 2013 at 11:48 am

    “This looks like a similar episode to ones Rev Stu has had.” 

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    15 January, 2013 at 11:55 am

    “Oh, tremendous find, Morag….Presumably calling people you disagree with “paranoid deranged maniacs” is a healthy contribution to the well of Scottish public life, then? Um.”

    Morag says:
    15 January, 2013 at 11:58 am

    “There’s someone in that conversation who is paranoid, but I don’t think it’s you.  Now who could it be, let me see…?”

    HenBroon says:
    15 January, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    “The one thing I have noticed …. is that if you ask them difficult questions they immediately resort to abuse then they block you To much Ghandi.”

    ronald alexander mcdonald says:
    15 January, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    “…. they will not admit to being biased. The reality is we all are…. There’s a world of difference between being biased and lying…. Therefore anyone who disagrees with their viewpoint is described as deranged, stupid

    etc….they refuse/can’t have intelligent dialogue with us.  How can they, when intelligent people, such as your good self, can easily destroy their argument with facts.”

    douglas clark says:
    15 January, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    “The problem a lot of professional writers have had with this new technology fandango is that it lets anyone who can make a cogent case, for anything at all, make it…. It is the lack of control….that gives journalists and writers nightmares. Their status and salaries are somewhat undermined when there are members of the general public that are better informed than they are.
     
    “I think it is this inability to control the agenda, or more generally the facts, that has firstly removed the magic – in the sense of a cheap trick – from all opinion formers….”

    Indy_Scot says:
    15 January, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    “I have listened to some of his opinions in the past, and if was very clear at the time that what he was saying was not actually fact, but clearly what he would like to be fact.”

    Doug Daniel says:
    15 January, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    “It’s ironic he accuses you of lacking in self-awareness because he seems to be one of those folk who erroneously think they’re capable of complete impartiality. As you say yourself Stu, there’s nothing inherently wrong with not being completely impartial – as long as you don’t try to kid yourself that you are.”

    cath says:
    15 January, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    “But they have failed to recognise that this isn’t some orchestrated campaign …, but simply people debating their own positions and becoming increasingly exasperated with lies and abuse…. for daring voice a different opinion to these arrogant commentators that has largely turned me into an SNP member and active Yes campaigner.”

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    15 January, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    “Cath, I’d love if you felt like submitting an article on that theme. You’re an eloquent and persuasive commenter.”

    Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:
    15 January, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    “Good call, I’ll second that!”

    Dal Riata says:
    15 January, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    “Before the prominence of the internet, journalists were more or less able to write what they wanted without recourse or being held to account. Now their writings can be scrutinised for the ‘real truth’ and their work can be shown

    “The ‘plebs’ now have a voice to power and that ‘power’ doesn’t like it one bit. Now they have to face up to their misdemeanours and answer questions about their assertions. ”

    “Unfortunately, or perhaps deliberately, some of those journalists resort to little more than abuse when called out for their inaccuracies and agendas, note the original use of ‘cybernat’. When you have held that power and influence for so long anyone now calling you out is seen as a threat, any initiation of discussion or debate inevitably ending in the ‘journalist’ calling their adversary ‘abusive’, ‘offensive, ‘delusional’, etc.”

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    15 January, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    “Dal Riata: speaking as someone with experience on both sides of that divide, you’ve pretty much got it bang on.”

    Doug Daniel says:
    15 January, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    “Saying that someone was criticising their work would suggest the person at least has some sort of basis upon which to do it, but writing them off as a “troll” allows journalists to paint themselves as the victim of someone who has a vendetta against them. And “cybernat” is just a variant of this new definition of “troll”, hence  why we’re all called cybernats. No need to answer our points if we’re just nutters.”

    Dave Smith says:
    15 January, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    “We should take every opportunity to bludgeon these feeble ‘journalists’ onto the ropes until they start reporting facts and not London propaganda.”   

    Firstly, I would like to make it clear that I am not attempting to derail this thread on to “another subject”, which has been determined by Rev. Stu as having no relevance to Scottish politics. I have no desire to divert the theme of the discussion, as I am far beyond blowing coffee out of my nose. Indeed, I can attest there is a sublty enjoyable thrill when at the point of filling ones pants.

    Secondly, I hope that I am not considered cruel or be seen as one who revels in schadenfreude, as there is actually a serious point to my post. When WOS describes itself as “an exercise in idealistic cognitive dissonance” and runs an article entitled “The not-so-straight debates“, a natural striker does not pass up the open goal. One rarely comes across such a remarkable example of serendipety, if that is what has happened here, with an article making a very good case for the importance of recognising “nonsence” when we see it. I would go further, and suggest it is essential that we remain dilegent of the output from all those in a position to influence oppinion, even when it is coming from those we might consider to be “on our side”.

    Thirdly, I apologies for the amount of space I have taken up with the quotes from other poster, and claim “fair use” if any commentors feel I have used there words out of context or in support of opinions they do not necessarily agree with (mine). Re-posting these comments is not simply the actions of another obsessive compulsive, though some might argue that one. I find there is no better way of convincing someone than through there own words, and hope to draw attention to the uncomfortable fact that the No crowd do not hold exclusive rights over hypocrasy. Please note I make no assumptions as to the views of those I have quoted. I simply felt that their voices made my point for me, far more eloquently than I could have.
     
    Back-peddling and hypocrisy I hear you cry. The internet is indeed a “glass house”, so careful with the chuckies.
     

  103. muttley79 says:

    @Cameron
     
    What is the point in your post?

  104. Stevie Cosmic says:

    Boy, they’re really going for the jugular on the role of the Electoral Commission. Is there something they know that we don’t?
     
    I wonder…..

  105. Indion says:

    So many unitarist rabbits caught in the ambition of their own headlights at our expense.

  106. Jeannie says:

    And the worst thing about it is that these people obviously think they’re performing well, judging by their smirks and self-congratulatory facial expressions and tones of voice.  Since it’s not long till Burns’ Night, I’d advise them to either up their game or or pray that some poo’er the giftie would gie them to see therselves as ithers see them.

  107. Morag says:

    Muttley79 said
    Just saw Sarwar calling Salmond a dictator on Reporting Scotland.  He really is horrible.
     
    Does any obsessive-compulsive feel like transcribing that?  I saw it too, and it was well out of order.  I’m pretty sure he said something about the SNP’s majority not being legitimate like in other parliaments.

  108. Cameron says:

    @ muttley 79
     
    Simply that the past conduct of those in a position to shape public opinion, should not be “memory-holed” so readily. I think that is in line with the article.

  109. Stevie Cosmic says:

    Does Mundell not even feel an iota of embarrassment while addressing the house in the way he is?

  110. M4rkyboy says:

    There has been a drought of political action over the Xmas period so i must disagree with previous commenters who have groaned at the thought of 6hr+ debates.
    Thats the bill passed.Once i have listened to Browns remploy schtick i will get stuck into 2hrs of
    http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=12273
    HoC Foreign affairs select committee-the foreign policy implications of and for a separate Scotland.
    I need to get a life.
     

  111. Morag says:

    Muttley79 said:
    What is the point in your post?
     
    Don’t encourage him.  Something about the all-pervasive influence of the NWO and/or the Illuminati or something like that.  Since RevStu thinks it’s petty to point out that he can’t spell, I have no further comment.

  112. Cameron says:

    See what I mean!

  113. Morag says:

    When are they actually going to get to the point of voting on it, anyway?

    (I decided not to go to the SNP meeting after all because it’s absolute brass monkeys out there, my car’s getting low in petrol and I left my wallet at work.)

  114. dadsarmy says:

    I want to see Mark Lazarowicz and Charles Kennedy at Holyrood in 2016 – and none of the rest of them. It’s a disgrace, as Wishart said, what should have been a debate of dignity now that we are to have our Referenum – a referendum wanted by many NO voters too, was turned into a rancid bitter twisted dungheap by Labour. Mundell, as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland, showed no dignity.

    I might like to see Michael Moore in Holyrood though. I can’t quite make him out, but I think he’s a decent guy.

    What a contrast that debate was though, to the dignified and – friendly – signing of the Edinburgh Agreement by Cameron, Moore, Salmond and Sturgeon. They did it right, Labour today shamed themselves with their blind hatred of the SNP, including the NO campaign Darling. I hope they all campaign vigorously for the NO campaign. Wherever they go, they’ll leave the undecided voting YES.

    Lazarowicz will convince a good few to vote NO – he’s the sort of guy you’d be happy to see as a father-in-law for one of your daughters!

  115. Dave Smith says:

    @Cameron. I wouldn’t feel this desire to bludgeon journalists with a large pair of boxing gloves if they actually reported the truth instead of offering smear and fear.
    I am sick of my countrymen having their intelligence insulted by those who have abandoned professional integrity, be it under state duress or party political agenda. 

     Elizabeth says:
    15 January, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    listening to Ian Davidson – sighs!!! He’s on aboot date of referendum being timed for Bannockburn and celebrating the slaying of large numbers of English…..whit a balloon! 

    Of course, Davidson completely misses the irony of the fact that his own puppet masters are the very same year staging the commemoration of a tragedy that led directly to the death of millions across Europe and probably set back the social and scientific development of mankind by decades.

  116. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Does any obsessive-compulsive feel like transcribing that?”

    It’ll all be in Hansard tomorrow or thereabouts. Count on a thorough examination – the edited highlights should be quite something.

  117. Morag says:

    We managed to have the 1997 referendum on the actual 700th anniversary of Stirling Bridge (I think), without actually noticing at the time.

  118. muttley79 says:

    @dadsarmy
     
    Yes, Kennedy would be a good addition to the Scottish Parliament, whether he is tired of politics I don’t know.  I think Moore is okay.  From Labour I always thought Jamieson was decent.  However, it sounds like she has caught the Ian Davidson bug of hating the SNP.  The Labour M.P.s at Westminster are mostly a horrible lot.  Curran, Davidson, Murphy, Sarwar…

  119. Scott Douglas says:

    Did Anus really question the legitimacy of the SNP majority at Holyrood?

  120. Vronsky says:

    “Is the Pope Catholic?”
     
    Of course not.  You know the old saying: conjurors don’t believe in magic.  You might as well ask if Unionists believe in the Union. 

  121. Scott Douglas says:

    Can’t really see much of a political future for much the Labour lobby fodder who contributed today.  You almost feel sorry for them having worked so hard to get to the trough only to see it in danger of being whipped away from them.

  122. Stevie Cosmic says:

    “We have a majority SNP Government in the Scottish Parliament, but that is not a democratic place in the conventional sense; it is a dictatorship of one man sitting in Bute house, who will do not what is in Scotland’s interests, but what is in his own or his party’s interests. We need to be very clear about that as we go forward.”
    http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/commons/todays-commons-debates/read/unknown/241/

  123. Cameron says:

    So that is what Parliamentary Privilege is for. The protection of those who could easily be considered disingenuous, at the very least.

  124. muttley79 says:

    @Scott Douglas
     

    Did Anus really question the legitimacy of the SNP majority at Holyrood?


    Yes, he appeared to do just that.  Why he said that and the bit Stevie Cosmic has quoted I have not got a clue.  I don’t know if he was snorting coke in the men’s toilets, sniffing clue, or had taken meths beforehand?  Of course the only real alternative is that he cannot  acknowledge, or accept Labour getting beaten in Scotland, or being out of office.  A toys out of the pram job. 

     

  125. macdoc says:

    The unionists can say such slander because the media will never take them to account. Any decent impartial journalist would say “That’s a very serious claim do you have evidence for this statement?” When he fumbles about with his reasoning the commentator would dig him up on his hypocrisy, try to explain how Salmond’s behaviour is no worse than any other democratically elected leader. Then vilify and/or embarrass him for making up such an outlandish dangerous statement. 

    Of course this will not happen and Labour know it. That’s why they can say whatever they like!! Very unpleasant characters. 

  126. Donald Kerr says:

    Always enjoy your posts, Rev. Great reading. How you get the time and inclination I do not know but it’s all greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work.

  127. dadsarmy says:

    I missed the start:

    (Michael Moore peamble)

    Mr Brian H. Donohoe (Central Ayrshire) (Lab):
    What is the role of the Electoral Commission? Can the Scottish Government override it or is it mandatory for them to accept what it says?

    Michael Moore:
    I applaud the hon. Gentleman’s early intervention. He will not be surprised to know that he has anticipated slightly an issue that I will turn to at reasonable length, with the House’s permission, later in my speech. Put simply, we expect the same standards to apply to the Scottish Parliament as apply here—no greater, no less. (my bold)

    SO – why exactly were they all going on and on trying to pin down the SNP to blindly accepting whatever the EC came up with?

    Anyway, my respect for Moore goes up.

  128. Castle Rock says:

    Thanks for posting the link cynicalHighlander, I flicked through the Ian Davidson bit and the man is nothing more than a bully and a thug.
     
    How did Scotland ever get into the situation where we elected people like him?
     
    I’ll be glad to see the back of them for all the harm they have done.

  129. sneddon says:

    Dadsarmy ‘Lazarowicz will convince a good few to vote NO – he’s the sort of guy you’d be happy to see as a father-in-law for one of your daughters!’  I would not let him near my dog.  Total blairite,  voted both for and against tutition fees!!?  Voted against going to war in Iraq but voted against an inquiry into it !!?   I rememember hin as just another bawbag councillor back in the day.  He’s found his level and he ain’t about to rock the boat.

  130. Cameron says:

    Another example of BS left unchallenged by the MSM, and hopefully not too OT.

    “Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, has waded into the row over bonuses at Goldman Sachs warning it would be “rather clumsy” and “lacking in care” of big banks to attempt to defer bonuses to allow highly paid bankers to pay a lower rate of tax.

    Goldman is considering deferring parts of bonuses from 2009, 2010 and 2011 which were due to be handed to bankers in the coming weeks beyond 6 April when the top rate of income tax will fall from 50% to 45%.

    Appearing before the Treasury select committee, King told MPs: “I find it a bit depressing that people who earn so much seem to think that it’s even more exciting to adjust the timing of it to get the benefit of the lower tax rate … knowing this must have an impact on the rest of society, when even now it is the rest of society that is suffering most from the consequences of the financial crisis.”

    Jill Treanor
    guardian.co.uk,Tuesday 15 January 2013 14.22 GMT
     
    A bit rich coming from the head of an institution that was founded under Royal Charter, and which does not have to submitted itself to a financial audit or published who its’ directors are.
     

  131. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I always thought that tomorrow never comes.”

    Blimey, that’s impressive.

  132. scottish_skier says:

    The negativity/smear of unionist politicians and the MSM will be a pivotal component in the final undoing of the UK. 

    It’s all happened before so many times across the globe historically. It’s nothing new.

    As Henry Mcleish correctly noted, 2012 was the final peak of support for the union. That’s over now.

    By the time we go out to vote, whilst we will inevitably be on the edge of our seats, the result will in all probability be a foregone conclusion. 

    There is no going back, only forward. The signs are all around us.

  133. H Scott says:

    muttley79

    He wasn’t ‘sniffing clue’ because he hasn’t got one. 

  134. dadsarmy says:

    Sneddon – ah well, I never knew about him until today – first impression.

    scottish_skier – Labour were totally negative and anti-SNP in 2011 and lost. They were told that many times, by all the media too, but haven’t changed at all, and today confirms that. They think they still run Holyrood, that they’re right, and that everyone looks at them bad-mouthing the SNP continually and constanly, and agrees with them. Yet they lost councillors, they lose MSPs. they lose members, and their ratings in the polls drop. But they are so into each other, trying to outdo each other with the best one-liner or 100 liner put down of the SNP, they have no grasp on reality.

    They’re a core part of the YES campaign. Which is sad really.

    I can’t see the Liberals sitting on the same platform as Labour for long. And as part of Better Together, they’re pissing off the Tories who will take less and less part in the campaign, including Cameron. Weird.

  135. Bill C says:

    @Stevie Cosmic-“We have a majority SNP Government in the Scottish Parliament, but that is not a democratic place in the conventional sense; it is a dictatorship of one man sitting in Bute house, who will do not what is in Scotland’s interests, but what is in his own or his party’s interests. We need to be very clear about that as we go forward.”  In my opinion this comment from Sarwar, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in Scotland is extremely serious and cannot go unchallenged.  It is not only a despicable personal attack on the First Minister of this country but an attack on the very principle of the democratic process in Scotland.  Once elected politicians start throwing explosive terms like “dictatorship” around we are entering the very dangerous world of political anarchy.
    It is a measure of the man’s intellect that he uses such language to describe a fellow democratically elected politician.  It is a slur which will appeal to and may very well provoke a reaction from the very lowest in the ‘Bitter Together’ camp.  The use of such irresponsible language must be ended now, before the political thugs waiting in the wings, decide to use such language as an excuse for violence.

  136. muttley79 says:

    oops I meant glue not clue!

  137. Rabb says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    I’m definitely sympathetic to the idea of serving forces getting the vote if their normal residence is in Scotland.

    This is a good point. I am in favour of making this happen. Whatever your opinion is on the UK, there are scots putting their lives at risk for us in various “unsavoury” locations around the world. The very least we can do is respect their right to vote on the future of their country like the rest of us.  

  138. scottish_skier says:

    @dadsarmy

     that everyone looks at them bad-mouthing the SNP continually and constantly  and agrees with them

    Yes, quite so sadly. Independence is a perfectly viable choice; that is the simple reality. It is up to the pro-union campaign to prove Scotland remaining in the union has advantages over that, not the other way around. That’s why we are where we are (e.g. voting in a referendum next year) the case for the union is just looking increasingly weak. It has been weakening for decades now. Those overtly pro-union seem unable to grasp that, yet the majority of the Scots electorate do quite well in their own ways.

  139. Dal Riata says:

    @Cameron at 6.44pm

    Since you used part of a previous post of mine in your own post, what was the point you were trying to make? mutley 79 asked you a similar question, but your reply to that, I’m sorry to say, didn’t make things any clearer as to your assertions. Could you please enlighten me (us)? Thanks!

  140. Cameron says:

    @ Dal Riata
    I replied to Mutley79, who had asked for similar clarification, that I was attempting to ensure;
    “Simply that the past conduct of those in a position to shape public opinion, should not be “memory-holed” so readily. I think that is in line with the article.”
    I had not wanted to point fingers and name names of any individual(s) I consider to be hypocrites, as I did not want to disrupt this thread with an old argument. Specifically the one between myself and Morag, on her Lockerbie article in case you missed it.
    In the discussion thread on that article, Morag descended to precisely the levels of unprofessional abuse she is critical of on this thread. Perhaps I might be considered childish for bring this to the fore again, but I think the events of “that Autumn day” continue to have massive significance to democracy throughout the world, not just Scotland. I also feel that I was justified in suggesting the two tragedies might not be as isolated as Morag assumes, given the mass of empirical evidence linking NATO to terrorist atrocities against civilian targets. As such, I felt Morag was not only bad mannered, but that her dependance on Hanlon’s Razor seriously compromises any input she might have to uncovering the truth.
    I hope that I have not offended you by partially quoting from your comments, and thank you for the opportunity to express myself more fully. In no way did I intended implying that you share my views. I just thought you expressed your well, when expressing your concerns over institutionalised cognitive dissonance. (smiley face)

  141. Morag says:

    I warned you….

  142. Cameron says:

    @ Morag
     
    As know one else seams interested, I would like to thank you for helping me prove my point, once again.

  143. ianbrotherhood says:

    Oh FFS, here we go again…

  144. Cameron says:

    @ ianbrotherhood
     
    No we don’t. I’ve said enough so em out a here.

  145. Indion says:

    I apologise to all for my earlier non ‘live’ link.
     
    If anyone wishes to view the HoC S30 debate in full, here is the link via the UK Parliament Live TV archive, my having filled in the search boxes for today’s HoC coverage – http://www.parliamentlive.tv/main/archive.aspx – leaving those interested to hit ‘ watch ’ (bottom right) ….. and use the link again to search for tomorrow’s HoL coverage to get back to later even if watching it live at the time.
     
    For a preview of Forsythe’s contribution tomorrow, he’ll be on Newsnicht in next to no time at 2300.

  146. Morag says:

    It seems to me that the mainstay of the unionist debate at the moment is the comfort blanket of their conviction that the vote next year will be a majority for No.  It allows them to make supercilious, patronising and dismissive remarks, and generally fudge the issues.

    I wonder how they would be – will be – if and when the opinion polls were showing a clear majority for a Yes vote.
     

  147. Jeannie says:

    @Indion
    Just saw him – looking more and more like Sooty every time I see him – just needs a wand. Why do they keep going on about the bloody question – I understood the election commission is testing out the question at the moment and the Scottish Government is waiting for them to report back.  What’s hard to understand about that?

  148. Rabb says:

    I’m sorry David if you’re reading this but when I see the picture of you at the top of the page I just see Larry Grayson “Shut that door!”

  149. dadsarmy says:

    Damn, I’m going to hate myself for this, but Truth is important.

    The MP for Eppping who spoke for maybe 45 minutes plus more later, not only put the backs up of Labour MPs, but they came back to her points several times later and refuted some of them. Which means, I guess, that her points were validly expressed as they contributed to the debate with another point of view, agree or not.

    Shudder, that’s a load off my – chest.

  150. Indion says:

    Rev Stu et al following ‘The not-so-straight debates’

    Re what turned out to be an open thread on the HoC S30 debate, my first post was but a fcuk’d attempt to induce what you picked up on from others too thank goodness. Given DT’s majoritarial leanings, the link to what was bound to be similar expressions for super-majority preferences on constitutional matters as yet uncodified (eg Rory Stewart) was enough to butt in with.

    And to me, the HoC debate, as much else before it, was all about laying that and other groundwork for comeback in the event of what Whitehall/Westminster would deem to be a decisive result if over 50% of those who did vote favoured Yes – not that that would be the first, let alone the last hurdle, albeit reliable polls in favour of Yes would expedite matters.

    I don’t doubt you know this. It’s just that Whitehall/Westminster minders need to know we English, Irish, Scots, Welsh and Cornish/Scillian, Manx and Channel plebs in our isles should be way ahead of and should not let London mark time until their own designer polls catch-up. It’s all too easy for pollsters to tell political parties what they want to hear (cite 2011), and kinda like fixing Libor rates for cartel profit as a subset of the symbiotic but patsy ConLabLib franchise apparently running the UK state’s market – aka the UK Plc of unlimited public liability. To owe the state is one thing; owning the state so we don’t is another.   

    IMHO (groan), self-governance here, in what should be our isles, begs the question whether we (all the people) favour a British State or a British Union. Only the latter could encompass all those Irish who are no more geographically challenged nor politically sensitive than the rest of us, and who wish to be the best of together by not being so stultifyingly corralled (sp?) under the most centralised government in the West.

    British, British-Irish, Brirish – wtf, lets do it for our nations of families in a fitting family for democratic nations.

    So Stu, if you have the time, I too would be delighted if you also ran what turned out to be an open thread for the follow-on HoL debate later in what is now today.

    I’m expecting more examples, of what freedom from invites freedom to, to flush the unitarists away for starters, before we get and/or get union or unionists like me.

    If you are minded, suggest you might title your HoL post ‘The not-so-straight debates Part 2’

    (As to DT, being openly generous, neither of the Blairs would have had any need to write a book about someone that told us more about the author than we already knew about the ‘subject’ he sought to possess.  Moreover, I can’t help but laugh at his pretentions of being in the know given his dismissive views on sovereignty.)

    Finally, i’m not much fussed about the way ‘Are you up for it?’ is phrased. ‘It’ will be as envisaged by the SNP Scottish Government’s white paper due out this autumn. If ‘it’ has not dawned on any of us what that might be, it’s because not enough of us have said out loud what we, the people think ‘it’ should be.
     
    Bugger, is that as this our time? It’s still dark, but even if cloudy there are always blue skies for the clear sighted. Now, where did i put my glasses? Mmm, that tastes good.

  151. Doug Daniel says:

    As a couple of others have said, Michael Moore showed signs that he’s not the drooling, swivel-eyed unionist like so many that surrounded him. From Hansard: 

    “Mike Freer (Finchley and Golders Green) (Con): Does my right hon. Friend not agree that it is an anomaly that a Frenchman living in Edinburgh can vote on Scottish independence when a Scot living in London cannot do so?

    Michael Moore: I think that that is a reasonably easily understood anomaly. The French person, the EU national, who has made a commitment to living in Scotland is entitled to vote in a referendum there, just as they would be in the Scottish parliamentary elections. It is important that we show consistency on that front. I accept, however, that there is a range of opinion on this matter, and my hon. Friend has made his own point clearly.”

    Fair play to Moore, he’s given a fair answer there – the EU nationals who will get to vote have indeed made a commitment to living in Scotland, and therefore deserve more say in how the country they live in is run than someone who has left the country to go live their lives elsewhere.

    Perhaps Moore is not beyond help, regardless of his article on Sunday. 

  152. Luigi says:

    Aye, decent answer from Moore this time. He could have added, however, that an English person living in Edinburgh will also be able to vote in the referendum, whereas a Scot living in London cannot. Most of us have no problem with that whatsoever.
     

  153. Willie Zwigerland says:

    Doug Daniel/Luigi
    That’s fair enough – however the more worrying anomaly is where a Scot living in Paris will be entitled to vote, but a Scot living in London is not?

  154. Adrian B says:

    Willie,

    Neither a Scott living in Paris or London is able to vote. The original wording was that a Frenchman living in Edinburgh could vote, but a Scot living in London could not. 

  155. Doug Daniel says:

    Willie – that would indeed be a troubling anomaly, but I’m not convinced it’s true. Since the Scottish Elections register is based on the Local Elections register, and one of the rules of that register is that you’re resident in Scotland, then why on earth would a Scot living in Paris have a vote in the council elections?

  156. Willie Zwigerland says:

    Doug Daniel – ah – I had assumed that anyone who was entitled to vote in Scottish Westminster elections was also entitled to Holyrood elections (and hence the referendum). So you’re right, that anomaly wouldn’t arise bsaed on the chosen franchise.

  157. dadsarmy says:

    The Liberals have a history of being interested in Constitutional affairs, inclduing Federalism, so I guess it’s no surprise that Michael Moore will give a straight answer.

    What I wish is that the LibDems were more pragmatic, and realising that a Federal UK is absolutely unworkable without full regional Governments in England, in which there is virtually zero interest, take our Independence as the next best option for at least this part of the UK. It may happen, even if just privately.

  158. Graeme Purves says:

    David Torrance doesn’t block “with good reason”. He blocks because he’s got a thin skin and doesn’t like having the weaknesses in his arguments highlighted.

  159. Grouse Beater says:

    WOS: What Salmond actually said in that interview was “Yes, [+qualifier]”. You’ve ignored the qualifier and called him a liar.

    That’s the ‘fair-minded’ Torrance I read: http://wp.me/p4fd9j-2WO

  160. Truth says:

    I can vouch for Mr Torrance having written several articles for newsnetscotland.

    I used to be an avid reader of that site until they started ridiculous moderation policies and played fast and loose with personal data.

    I even wrote an article for them in their early days when they requested material to help them. That article is now nowhere to be found. I suspect Torrance’s are also now gone.

    He was paid for his and I believe the site was run by different people then. Perhaps they retained them?

    Anyway, I often wondered at the time why they were paying a Tory commentator to write articles for what was a anti dependence site.

  161. scottieDog says:

    Msm journalists are no doubt lamenting the good ole days when they could write their piffle unchallenged.
    They’ve ruined their profession all by themselves

  162. Douglas Guy says:

    I like reading BECAUSE I disagree with his political stance. He is prolific, writes well and sometimes challenges my preconceptions. But him thinking he is impartial is just a little bit nuts. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I’d be surprised if most avid readers here didn’t enjoy reading Rev Stu even at his nuttiest.

  163. K1 says:

    I love how everyone started commenting on this thread today as if…it was written today…alert reader chips need new batteries all round.

    ‘Rev Stu even at his nuttiest’ He’s ‘fruity’ not ‘nutty’…tut

  164. HaggisHunter says:

    As a political amatuer I can clearly see DT is too opinionated and full of hair splitting shite that takes a debate nowhere.
    Does he support Trident and Royals? The answer is obvious. So it’s Brit Nationalism instead of progression

  165. DerekM says:

    Its amazing astonishing free Scotland onions ya bams indyref and nae cheating Torrance your a snivelling wee shit.

    Jings i thought i had stumbled on to time travel for a second and i was back in 2013 🙂



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