Scottish independence referendum, plus jokes.

Wings Over Scotland


The phantom menace

Posted on May 01, 2013 by

We’ve spent a fair bit of time over the course of this website’s existence documenting the multi-media witch-hunts that invariably arise in the Scottish media whenever some obscure and/or anonymous independence supporter on the internet says something slightly intemperate (or even just expresses an unpopular opinion).

We especially enjoy contrasting it against the way that the elected, taxpayer-funded representatives of major political parties can get away unremarked with comparing the First Minister to dictators and genocidal mass murderers (of the sort “Better Together” donors like to give hundreds of thousands of pounds to).

hatespeech

The vast difference in the amount of media weight given to abusive behaviour from British nationalists and that from the independence side (the infamous “cybernats”) has long been a feature of Scottish political debate, but over the last 12 hours the phenomenon has seen an intriguing new twist.

Today’s Scotsman carries no fewer than THREE articles on the same subject – the, and we quote, “shit-storm of aggression” that apparently befell comedian Susan Calman after she made a few mild jokes on Radio 4′s News Quiz last week.

The most prominent piece runs under the quite extraordinarily hysterical headline Susan Calman: Death threats for independence satire, and there’s also a typically idiotic opinion column from the reliably-poisonous Brian Wilson AND an editorial leader bemoaning the “unacceptable”, “vindictive” and “malevolent” “abuse” of Ms Calman.

[EDIT 2nd May - the original Scotsman article has now been overwritten by a completely different one. See here for details. You can view a screenshot of the original piece here.]

Half of last night’s Newsnight Scotland was also devoted to the issue – along with a passing and swiftly glossed-over mention of the events of last week’s “Have I Got News For You” which focused not on the controversial comments but the apparent inability of Scots to take a joke – as part of a wider debate on the lack of Scottish political satire.

(We’ll deal with that one right now just to get it out of the way – there isn’t much Scottish political satire in the media because [a] the BBC haven’t commissioned any, and [b] the only Scottish politician most people have heard of, including Scottish people, is Alex Salmond. The last opinion poll we saw suggested that a third of Scots still didn’t even know who Johann Lamont was, despite her being leader of the Holyrood opposition for almost a year and a half, and running “The Salmond-Bashing Show” every Friday night might be a bit unsubtle even for the BBC.)

All the coverage was based on a blog by Susan Calman complaining about the reaction to her News Quiz appearance. But the odd, and new, thing about the latest terrible cybernat “outrage” is that absolutely none of the coverage actually quoted or sourced any of the alleged abuse. Calman herself said only this:

“I’ve been told that someone has written a blog which is pretty abusive towards me after my performance on News Quiz (there’s probably more than one, no need to point them out to me).  I haven’t looked for it, and won’t.”

She’s been TOLD that someone wrote a nasty blog, that nobody can identify, which she hasn’t read. Crivvens, hold the front pages! Every single atom of the media hype that’s been hastily whipped up appears to be based on a blog whose very existence is only a rumour, and whose subject definitely hasn’t seen it either way.

Ms Calman does also make vague reference to being accused of racism (gosh, how awful – we can understand why the Scotsman would be against that sort of thing) and in one instance having a single swearword directed at her, though again there are no actual quotes or links to the alleged insults. We’re still not sure that would qualify as “bullying”, a “shit-storm of aggression” or a “barrage of abuse”.

(She also speaks rather obliquely of “death threats (real or otherwise)” without actually saying that she’d received any, though that didn’t stop the Scotsman blaring them across its story as a fact.)

We spent some of last night and a chunk of this morning trying to find this alleged “abusive blog”, or indeed anything that would constitute any of the descriptions used in the media. We’ve had no luck. If anyone can direct us to it, we’d be most grateful. Because otherwise, it would start to look awfully like an orchestrated smear campaign based entirely on a hypothetical situation.

waldorfstadler1

But even if it were true (which it might be – the whole point is that we’ve been given no evidence with which to verify or otherwise), the shock-horror reporting would be based on a very curious premise. Brian Wilson’s typically unhinged, obliviously hypocritical rant concludes with a passage that begins:

“Politicians may be expected to have thick skins but academics, publishers, comedians, business people even journalists are not paid to be subjected to the kind of abuse which is now absolutely guaranteed in response to anything that can be interpreted, however wildly, as being ‘anti-Scottish’ according to a certain orthodoxy.”

Hang on, what? We’ll give you academics and publishers, but COMEDIANS aren’t expected to have thick skins now? Has Brian never been to “Late’n’Live” at the Edinburgh Fringe, or indeed any stand-up comedy performance anywhere on Earth? At the worst, so far as we’ve been able to establish, Susan Calman has been subjected to a bit of heckling, and if she can’t hack that she’s probably in the wrong job.

And one more thing. At its best, comedy is challenging and confrontational. Calman has pathologically avoided expressing an opinion, which is all well and good, but if you make an enormous fuss over your supposed neutrality – as she has – it’s hardly surprising that people will speculate about and scrutinise your motivations.

As it happens, the comedian earlier this year devoted an entire half-hour BBC Radio 4 show to the subject of “Nationality” – ironically in a series entitled “Susan Calman Is Convicted” billed as one where “the Glaswegian comedian explores issues on which she has strong opinions”.

She devoted a lengthy part of the introduction to emphasising that she was going to avoid the subject of nationalism, and then embarked on what amounted to a 30-minute virtuoso demonstration of the Scottish Cringe, with the full range of “Brigadoon” and “Braveheart” references on display.

You can listen to it here, and draw your own conclusions.

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  1. 06 06 14 17:57

    Frances Barber’s Cybernat abuse | Roaming Adhocrat

214 to “The phantom menace”

  1. Iain says:

    Calman deserves pelters because she is shyte. no other reason required.

  2. Tom Hogg says:

    I once checked Murdo Fraser’s  Twitter timeline after he complained of cybernat abuse and found ONE slightly unhinged attack along with several well argued rebuttals of his standpoint.
    When challenged, he failed to respond. No surprises there. Omerta seems to be the way of BT.
    I suspect that we are seeing the same phenomenon here, a hyperbolic inflation of events.  You don’t have to look too far to find actual abuse from the more excitable end of the BT spectrum, just type Alex Salmond as a search term in Twitter.

  3. Tom Hogg says:

    @Iain
    That’s not really helping

  4. Seasick Dave says:

    “There’s probably more than one…”
     
    Hunners, even.
     
    BTW, Rev, can you settle an argument?
     
    My mate says that Susan Calman is a comedienne, I say she isn’t.

  5. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “That’s not really helping”

    I think it’s still legally permissible, just, to say that you think a comedian is rubbish.

    On the broader point, I’m sure I don’t have to say that it would be disappointing if any commenters made the allegations true by being abusive in this comment thread.

  6. Marcia says:

    Jings, Crivvens etc. Can I suggest that the delicate journalists at the Beeb and the Scotsman take a trip back to the archives of the Scotsman et al and read the cut and thust of politics in the early to mid 20th Century. The articles would have all the reports of the public meetings and the rowdy heckling that went on then. Instead of the heckling crowds then we now have the internet and twitter. It would be good to go back to genuine public meetings rather than the controlled offerings we get these days.

  7. Lianachan says:

    Speaking of witch-hunts, I see that the BBC are not content with hounding out just one transport minister (because it snowed), and are now in pursuit of another (because a ferry broke down).

  8. Ray says:

    The problem I had with the Calman thing initially “targeted” is that it wasn’t funny or even just insightful in the slightest - someone who said on their own blog they do a bit of research on the matter simply went on Radio 4 and dumbed the whole thing down to “we’ll keep the pound and the Queen, so what’s the point?” I assume that is what riled people up, if at all.
     
    I’m listening to the show Rev has linked at the end of the piece. Was this broadcast 30 years ago? Have we actually moved on at all? :(

  9. Iain says:

    @Tom Hogg
    ‘Wait, what? We’ll give you academics and publishers, but COMEDIANS aren’t paid to be subjected to abuse now? Can we assume Brian’s never been to “Late’n’Live” at the Edinburgh Fringe, or indeed any stand-up comedy performance anywhere on Earth? At the worst, so far as we’ve been able to establish, Susan Calman has been subjected to a bit of heckling, and if she can’t hack that she’s probably in the wrong job.’

    If Calman was Eck’s love child, had a saltire tattooed on her chest and had signed the Yes petition 433 times, I would still hold the same opinion. As suggested above, if you put your wares out for public approval don’t whine when they don’t approve.

  10. Gordon Bain says:

    I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark and state that I’d guess Ms. Calman is a Unionist. Given her illustrious father it seems a no-brainer really. However it does concern me that there’s quite so many well-paid ‘journalists’ out there who wouldn’t recognise a principle if it bit them on the erse!
    Saor Alba!

  11. HighlandMartin says:

    Good morning,
    I did pickup on the lack of detail in the alleged death threats in the piece.  As for her being singled out because she was the daughter of the author of the Calman Commission, that one went completely past me.  I will be interested tomorrow, to see if we have a picture of a cleaned pillar outside The Scotsman offices on the Better Together website with a DIE SUSAN DIE just about visible. 

  12. Macart says:

    I have no idea who this person is.
     
    Clearly publicity not really working then. :)

  13. sneddon says:

    After listening to the News Quiz I got the impression the other guests were taking the piss out of Susan for perhaps a cooment she made off air.  The News Quiz, like HIGNFY and the Now Show  can politely be described as ‘not as funny as it used to be’.  Instead of challenging stereotypes it’s reinforcing them.  Comedy on the  BBC in general has become, IMHO, the preserve of a sneering, middle class sort.  Plenty of comedies satirising the working class but none satirising the middle class.  There are  one or two outstanding comics out there but the BBC seems to stick with the ‘approved’ types.
    OT – This weeks scare http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-22358118
    International influence FFS

  14. Ray says:

    Following from my last comment, I had to stop listening to that Calman show early on, never even got to Braveheart and Brigadoon. Explaining to people what tablet was and doing the whole kilt = skirt thing did it for me. Yawnarama!

  15. Memphisto says:

    You give far too much exposure to the Scotsman…nobody cares what they write…when you walk around Glasgow, every so often you come across dog shite on the path and you avoid it, sometimes you step on it but instantly know that you have stepped on dog crap as it smells bad and is a bit slimy and try to wipe it off…afterwards you laugh it off and forget about it…that’s like reading the Scotsman…

  16. Skep says:

    Can’t say I find Susan Calman funny anyway. Tend to avoid any programs she’s on.

  17. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    How come we didn’t see a big stushie when that BT numpty tweeted Frankie Boyle’s home address and suggest that someone ‘pay him a visit’?
     

  18. Rod Mac says:

    It is the usual cybernat smear that is used constantly by the unionists.
    It is all part of the drip drip negative stereotyping of nationalists as some sort of lunatic fringe motivated by Braveheart and not really mainstream opinion.
    All is solely meant to imprint on the minds of the electorate that to support Independence is only for die hard freaks and not for the “normal ” person.
    I have seen Ms Calman a few times and I find myself not only ,not amused but almost embarrassed with her lack of humour.
    There are very few that can make me laugh, indeed we all know that many many famous comedians dreaded facing a Glasgow audience at the old Empire for example.
    They used to sell bags of rotten fruit outside to pelt the “English comedian”
    Des O’connor once famously fainted and could not go on, eric and Ernie once played and Ernie came out dancing to deathly silence , when Eric stepped on to the stage a few seconds later a voice from the gods said ” F@ck no there are two of them”
    so for Ms Calman or Brewer or Wilson to try and make this some kind of new cybernat invention is to say the least a lie.
    Every day Unionists make false accusations about ALl us nationalists being anti English and racists.
    If we referred to English as tramps , or told them to bugger off the MSM in Scotland would have a field day.
    It is yet another tactic to deflect from the sores of Westminster and I for one have more important issues i would like to see Brewer , Wilson and others address

  19. Training Day says:

    Says Wilson..”even journalists are not paid to be subjected to the kind of abuse which is now absolutely guaranteed”

    Yup, we should all wrap it and let Gardham, Gordon, Crichton, Campbell et al get on with their job of fearlessly..er…and without fear or favour..um.. do that thing they do..

  20. Craig Evans says:

    As a Yes campaign supporter I regularly listen to the News Quiz show and this week, as usual, I laughed my head off.
    I find Susan very funny and took no offense at her comments. Whoever made these alleged comments on the alleged blog need to get out more!
    This navel gazing will get us nowhere, let the Bitter Together lot spout there rubbish as usual; it’s them who will look foolish and we will have the last laugh!

  21. Indy says:

    There is always the possibility of ignoring stuff like that because you will now be accused of trying to bully her off twitter.  There is no need to rise to the bait. Just ignore this kind of stuff – there is nothing that can be done about it and it makes no difference to anything anyway. Will anyone change their vote because  of something Susan Calman says on radio 4? Not likely is it?  But now your interaction will be twisted to suit the cybernat narrative and will just perpetuate the myth. It’s daft, yes, but rise above it.  There is nothing the No campaign wants more than to tie us up in these dreary and ultimately pointless exchanges.

  22. Dorothy Devine says:

    I find the lady  about as funny as a verruca ,however if she has indeed been threatened then surely the boys in blue will be hot on the trail?
    Just like they were for some Labour lady who was mugged some time ago ( though rumour hath it that the lady was fond of a wee swally and tripped over her own feet)
     

  23. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “There is always the possibility of ignoring stuff like that because you will now be accused of trying to bully her off twitter.”

    If we let idiots (not you) dictate what we write because we’re scared they’ll put out a load of smears about it, they’ve won. There’s an extremely valid point here about media coverage of “abuse”, and I’m not going to be chased away from making it because some dolts will say stuff they’d have found a way to say anyway.

    (You are of course correct, in that the predictable outpouring of faux-outrage is already well under way, but the trick is to not care what stupid people say or think. That’s a principle I’ve held fast to for the last 22 years, and it’s always served me well.)

    Whatever we say will be twisted (and especially me, because I’ve put my head firmly above the parapet. There’s a certain irony in that Susan Calman says you can’t do that, and then when someone does she attacks them for being, and I quote, “the vilest possible person”). That’s sort of the point of the piece. If we took that to its logical conclusion, we’d never say anything for fear of it being spun negatively.

    Unsurprisingly the m-word is already being thrown around with abandon, despite the fact that not one single word of the article makes any explicit or implied reference to Ms Calman’s gender. As I say – it doesn’t matter what we do, they’ll misrepresent and smear us anyway. So we might as well do it, because it’ll happen either way.

    The day we say “I better not talk about this, because Duncan Hothersall will dishonestly misrepresent what I said”, we might as well pack it in altogether.

  24. dmw42 says:

    It would be far more appropriate for the Hootsmon and state broadcaster to focus on the torments being inflicted on the people of Scotland by a Westminster government!

  25. pmcrek says:

    Perhaps this is simply a reflection of the financial and talent difficulties at the Scotsman. Articles about people being mean on the internet… whats next? Cats face rampant speciesism from cybernats mocking their grammar skills?
     
    To put it in perspective, the UK takes bullying a bit further than informing comedians they aren’t very funny online, just ask folks in Basra or those subject to RAF Drone strikes in Afghanistan, a rather apt continuation to “the Phantom Menance”…

  26. Doug Daniel says:

    The problem with all this stuff about how satire needs to be part of the independence debate and how thin-skinned Scots are making it a no-go area is that, quite simply, none of what is being criticised is satire.
     
    I listened to the News Quiz in question, and I didn’t think it was anything particularly bad. I’ve certainly heard worse. However, the fact remains that what she was doing wasn’t satire – it was simply a Scottish comedian going on a London show, in front of a London audience, surrounded by comedians based in London, who were making fun of Scotland in the same way they do about various foreign countries. And what did Susan do? She joined in.
     
    Now, I don’t necessarily blame her for that – she’s there to get some laughs, and making pro-independence jokes is hardly going to do that in front of a London audience – but let’s not pretend that it was “satire”. Let’s look at the Oxford Dictionary definition:
     
    “the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticise people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues”
     
    Now, which part of saying we’ll use caramel wafers and tea cakes as our currency – or that Scotland’s main exports are oil, whisky, tartan and tramps, as Ray Winstone did on HIGNFY – satisfies the conditions of the definition of satire? Which powerful institutions are being sent up by using the usual all-Scots-are-penny-pinching-junkies-and-alcoholics-who-deep-fry-all-their-food type jokes?
     
    We don’t get satire about Scotland on these programmes. We get ridicule. Effective political satire depends on the audience having a knowledge of the subject you’re satirising, but most people in Scotland barely know what’s going on with the referendum, so a wider UK audience isn’t going to know. Satire about Scottish politics on a UK show works about as well as satire about German politics – i.e. not at all. All we get are lazy rehashes of the usual stereotypes, with perhaps the odd joke about Alex Salmond, which depends more on the audience knowing the media caricature rather than the proper situation.
     
    One of the best bits of Alan Partridge is the one where he rattles off a whole list of old-fashioned Irish stereotypes in front of a pair of Irish guys. It’s funny because the idea of someone still thinking those sort of things are still acceptable to say – never mind in front of two Irish folk – is ridiculous. But that’s the point, because what the Alan Partridge character is sending up is the sort of Daily Mail reader who actually exists.
     
    However, if Steve Coogan went on a panel show and made those same jokes for real, he’d be the centre of a huge media controversy. Yet when someone does it about Scots, it’s fine. Maybe once we’re independent, that will change. And if it doesn’t, well who cares – we’ll be watching our own programmes anyway.
     
    I would LOVE to see some proper satire about the referendum etc. But it can only be done by Scottish comedians on a Scottish show. And even then, most of it wouldn’t work, because most of it would be based on the media portrayal – i.e. it would be all about how daft independence is, because how much of the audience would get a joke about how Jackie Baillie never lies, or about Johann Lamont wanting a debate? Who would understand a joke about Ruth Davidson standing on a beach, discreetly rubbing out a line drawn in the sand? Would anyone have a clue what the joke was if you had Ian Davidson threatening to give people “a doing” in various absurd situations?
     
    The only satire I’ve seen about Scottish politics is on Only An Excuse, when he does Alex Salmond. And it’s actually not bad. But nobody seems interested in commissioning a whole series of that sort of stuff, and it would need to expand onto the other parties to be proper satire.

  27. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    What Doug said.

  28. Alan Gerrish says:

    Have never thought Calman was remotely funny, but she was apparently a lawyer in a previous existence so can presumably stick up for herself.
    Also wanted to comment on:  OT – This weeks scare http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-22358118
    International influence FFS
    I heard the interview with Nicola Sturgeon on GMS this morning which reinforced my view that the BBC doesn’t understand irony. Nearly collapsed when the Beebrobot said the committee was concerned (independence) could lead to a “perception” that the UK’s international influence was declining .FFS indeed!
    As if the “evidence” of a decline in international influence hasn’t been recognised internationally for decades; Imperial mindset still alive and well, folks.

  29. balgayboy says:

    No problem taking a fee for the publicly funded BBC appearances from the same people that are the butt of her cringe humour. 

  30. pa_broon74 says:

    I don’t mind Susan Calman and I don’t really care what her politics are. There is an exchange rate mechanism in place though when it comes to critical commentary re. independence and unionism.
     
    Not wishing to make the point too tortuous, but it seems with this story we’ve moved in to an area of ‘fiat’ faux indignation. In the same way money can be invented to meet an end, so can indignation – as long as you’re on the unionist side of course.
     
    This is also an opportunity for me to hawk my only claim to fame; I work beside someone who attended Susan Calman’s wedding.
     
    I know – ROCK & ROLL!

  31. pmcrek says:

    @Alan Gerrish
    “I heard the interview with Nicola Sturgeon on GMS this morning which reinforced my view that the BBC doesn’t understand irony. Nearly collapsed when the Beebrobot said the committee was concerned (independence) could lead to a “perception” that the UK’s international influence was declining .FFS indeed!”
     
    Re Doug’s excellent post about satire, seems the only real satire we get about Scottish politics is from politicians essentially doing themselves.

  32. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Have never thought Calman was remotely funny, but she was apparently a lawyer in a previous existence so can presumably stick up for herself.”

    Criminy, a comedian AND a lawyer who cries themselves to sleep over a bit of criticism? Wow.

  33. Jiggsbro says:

    At the risk of adding to the shit-storm of aggression, I too do not find Ms. Calman particularly funny. But then I’m a misogynist/nationalist.

  34. a supporter says:

    “…  these dreary and ultimately pointless exchanges…”
    Ah, but such pointless exchanges are excellent as a way of showing up the cringers and their English ‘friends’ as the two faced hypocrites they are. (And I recommend that all Unionists go and have a look at HIGNFY to see just what their ‘friends’ think about them.)  And it does us no harm either to maintain our pride in being Scottish. It never ceases to amaze me that the English accuse other ethnic groups of racism when they are the worst racists on the planet with their newspapers full of it every day. And not just the imagined version of it. The irony of that and their views about everyone else is lost on them.

  35. pa_broon74 says:

    Also…
     
    I saw the bit on Newsnight last night on the telly, as soon as they started in on the ‘no satire’ thing I immediately thought of BBC Scotlandshire. I think its ironic that the only Scottish political satire that I can think off is based on the program in which they talked about a lack of Scottish political satire.
     
    If you see what I mean.

  36. Jimbo says:

    Same as Macart @ 9.59 am, I had never heard of this person until reading about her in WOS.
     
    Looks to me like they are whipping up controversy for the purpose of generating publicity, while at the same time using it to have a go at the Independentistas.

  37. balgayboy says:

    Just wonder if HIGNFY will do a sketch on Morris Dancing in this weeks show….being the 1st May today and all that stuff? 

  38. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Susan Calman bluntly stated she would be voting “no” on HIGNFY some time ago. I caught it on “Dave” so it won’t have been recent and I suspect her political position and connections explains her rapid ascent because it certainly isn’t her comic abilities.
    Don’t worry guys. We’ve got Kevin Bridges and Frankie Boyle and there’s lot more to them than there is to Ms Calman.
     
    It’s getting really daft now. I think we should borrow the bairn out of the Broons to caricature her as the the wee Scottish cringe.
    “I said we’re too weeee, we’re too poor, we’re too stupid and now they’re saying bad things about me. Boo hoo hooo.”
     

  39. Colin Laing says:

    Rev. stu  Giving her any  web space is just pandering to a spoilt wee lassy who does not like being criticized.

  40. velofello says:

    Well expressed Doug Daniel.
    Newsnight with Brewer on this Calman subject last night, could that indeed be defined as BBC satire on Newsnight, intended or not?
     

  41. O/T – I see that one of the stars of the ‘Zany Comedy Relief’ section of Wings’ blog roll, Mr A Cochrane, is going to be answering questions for a BBC ‘webchat’.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-22363837

    Any suggestions? :D

  42. balgayboy says:

    Yup, old Cochers is the paragon of impartiality and balance..aye right, better to just read his tripe in the DT. Good old EBC Scotland always trying to get the balance…and we are paying for this shite!

  43. Bill C says:

    @Alan Gerrish – ” Imperial mindset still alive and well, folks.”  I have been thinking for a while that the whole Bitter Together thing is more to do with saving what’s left of the Empire than any mutual benefit to Scotland and the rUK.  Seems like the imperialists did not disappear when India went.

  44. Juteman says:

    What is Ms Calman actually upset about?
    She says herself she hasn’t read this supposed blog. What if it doesn’t exist?
    Will we see headlines attacking the person who made up the story about the blog?

  45. mealer says:

    Susan Calman is usually alright in small doses.I find she’s a bit behind the curve most of the time.She gets a high profile on BBC because she fits in with their very limited and unambitious comedy offering.Her style doesn’t appeal to me,but it will appeal to a fairly large section of the BBC audience.I have no doubt that her fathers prominence has had an influence on her career.Opened a few doors etc.But I wouldn’t hold that against her.Its the way of the world.The media response to the alleged content of this alleged blog is typical.I don’t let it trouble me too much.I just keep smiling and spread the positive message. 

  46. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Susan Calman bluntly stated she would be voting “no” on HIGNFY some time ago. I caught it on “Dave” so it won’t have been recent”

    Any recollection of who else was on?

  47. Gordon Bain says:

    Susan Calman may not be funny on her own but when paired with the “Ultimate Comedian” that is Fred McAuly it’s a laugh-a-minute roller coaster of jokes. Catch them together on Radio Scotland of a morning. Awesomeness!

  48. Cath says:

    What Doug said.
     
    I listened and to be honest didn’t find it offensive and it was relatively funny – certainly nowhere near as bad as HIGNFY.
     
    What it was not was satire.
     
    Up here we have a country fighting for independence, and the debate very deliberately being stifled. You only have to look at the stuff with National Collective and Wings, and with Mary Lockhart forced to stand down for daring to be pro-indy to see that. The BBC and other media are complicit in those attempts to stifle debate, and to create narrative which is not only a drip-drip of scare stories but worse, seeks to create the idea that independence is a crazy notion. That independence supporters are deluded, anti-English, only worthy only of derision.
     
    And this is a debate the Scottish people need to be having, and deserve to be allowed to have. We have voted to be able to hold such a debate and a referendum, the first time in over 300 years we have been able to give an opinion. So the fact the London based media is desperate to crush the debate and not allow it by such tactics is an absolute abuse of state power.
     
    We need to be able to discuss things like what currency will we use post independence. We don’t know yet: of course we don’t. It’s one of the many things we need to debate: what is best for Scotland? If we take independence next year, these will be the kind of debates any normal country has. Yet the No side want to drag it into a mire where any attempt at debate is jumped on instantly as “a split in the yes camp”, “the yes side at war” and similar.

     
    And this is the issue with “satire” broadcast from the BBC in London. If it simply takes the form of sneering at those daft jocks, dismissing independence as a silly idea, and continues that media narrative attempting to shut down the debate, it just isn’t funny, and certainly isn’t satire. Ironically enough, Calman identified how Tories sent up to Scotland to patronise us come across up here. But failed to realise patronising BBC panel shows from London often come across the same way. A sneering, London-centric elite, perplexed by the very idea a nation might want sovereignty – “really dear, what a quint and odd little country Scotlandshire must be to want to run its own affairs”
     
    There is loads to laugh at in Scottish politics at the moment, and the establishment and powerful need to be held to account. But the BBC, media and NO campaign ARE the establishment and powerful. Which is why they cannot make satire out of Scottish politics. The satire is there – they just don’t like it and tend to dismiss it as “nasty cybernats” because they’re the brunt of it.
     

  49. balgayboy says:

    Apologies for O/T but have reasonable punt on Bayern Munich to win the European Championship…just a thought that 2 German teams might play this out in Wembley Stadium, London!

  50. scottish_skier says:

    The whole faux indignation things seems to be on a similar theme to ‘Vote No or wee Sandy from Orkney will cry’ BT videos.

    “We love the union, but we’re sensitive souls and you people that want independence are just jolly rotten, so much so you make us want run upstairs to cry, slamming the door of the bedroom behind us of course. It’s just so unfair.

    It’s really quite astonishing to watch the pro-union campaign accelerating to final collapse. Happening quicker than I thought.

  51. Rod Mac says:

    O/T Rev just to let you know someone is having a right go at you in Scotsman on the Calman thread , one of our cyberfundies is quoting from WOs ensuring it is one with sweary words of course

  52. southernscot says:

    @Horacesaysyes
    Question for Cockers on BBC webchat
    Mr Cochrane if Scotland votes YES will you be reclassified as a Foreign Correspondent for the Telegraph.

  53. Peter Mirtitsch says:

    I love the way the Hootsmon article refers to “gentle mickey taking” Ms Calman appears to have been indulging, er.. in. BTW, WHO IS SHE??? I know she is the daughter of the Calman Report author, and apparently being gay and Glaswegian defines who she is to distract that she appears to be a mediocre comedienne, at best.
     

  54. G. Campbell says:

    Susan Calman on twitter: Do you want to know how many times I’ve cried in the last week?

    Wings: Yes. Yes I do.

    Susan Calman: Then you are the vilest possible person.

    An excellent response from Susan there after the Rev stupidly answered Ms Calman’s rhetorical question/cry for attention. Don’t be so gullible next time, Stu.

    In parallel universe #123,634,599,232, the twitter conversation went like this.

    Susan Calman: Do you want to know how many times I’ve cried in the last week?

    Wings: No. No, I don’t.

    Susan Calman: Why not? I’ll write a blog about it tomorrow.

  55. Rolf says:

    Calman is an ideal Scot for the BBC – one who aspires not to be Scottish and looks down her nose at Scotland. No ideas above her station that might upset the establishment.

  56. YesYesYes says:

    Most modern comedians are pretty dumb and extremely conservative (with a small ‘c’) when it comes to politics. Even Ben Elton in the 1980s (when he was funny for the right reasons) played it safe with his regular critique of Thatcherism. It wasn’t always like this.
     
    For example, Lenny Bruce was imprisoned several times for his comedy, regularly physically attacked by irate Americans, and persecuted by the authorities, the Home Office even banned him from entering the UK in the 1960s. Bill Hicks, too, was another politically astute comedian, using the combination of intelligence, impeccable timing and the sheer absurdity of life, including the peculiar political beliefs of the American right in particular, to draw attention to the many contradictions of America’s ‘moral majority’. And that’s what distinguishes these two from most ‘comedians’ today. They didn’t just challenge ‘authority’, they challenged the prejudices of their audiences (Hicks relished the prospect of doing gigs where the audience didn’t get him, and many of his gigs in the southern states in America ended up as heckling matches and/or fights).
     
    When I listen to Susan Calman doing her ‘Scottish routine’ (yawn), particularly in front of an English audience, my heart sinks, not just because she isn’t very funny, in fairness she can be mildly amusing at times, but because it reminds me of a black comedian doing racist jokes in front of an all-white (racist) audience. In other words, it doesn’t challenge the prejudices of the audience, it confirms the audience’s prejudices, it tells the audience what the ‘comedian’ thinks the audience want to hear. That’s why, in terms of the ‘politics’ of Susan Calman’s comedy, she should be compared with Bernard Manning and Jim Davidson but with an interesting modern ‘political’ twist, that exploits the residual influence of ‘alternative comedy’ (itself a distant memory nowadays), or what the humourless usually refer to as ‘political correctness’.
     
    Whenever I hear any of my English liberal lefty buddies telling anti-Scottish jokes, particularly in reference to our alleged tightness with money, I always respond with the same line: ‘Yes, it’s funny isn’t it, how the Scots and the Jews have so much in common’. That association usually disarms them, for the English liberal lefty knows enough to be aware that while anti-Scottish jokes are ‘safe’, anti-Jewish jokes are rightly to be condemned. Of course, you have to be careful to pick the right English audience with this response. For example, the average neanderthal BNP or UKIP member would probably laugh at this response.
     
    In fact, this story reminds me of a Jewish joke (Jewish joke in the sense that it’s a joke that is told and understood by Jews within Jewish communities). The joke is reproduced in Slavoj Zizek’s recent book, Less Than Nothing, it was a favourite of Derrida’s and, no doubt, Lenny Bruce would have loved it:
     
    Three Jews are in a synagogue, a Rabbi, a wealthy businessman and a poor man, each seeking to demonstrate their nullity to God. The rabbi stands up and says, “God, I know that I am worthless, and before you I am nothing”. Then the wealthy businessman stands up and says, “God, I too, am worthless. Obsessed with money and material wealth, but before you I am nothing”. Then the poor man stands up and says, “O God, I have lived all my life in poverty, and before you I admit that I am nothing”. At this, the wealthy businessman taps his elbow into the rabbi’s ribs and says to the rabbi, “What a cheek. Who is this guy who dares to claim that he too is nothing”. 

  57. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Susan Calman on twitter: Do you want to know how many times I’ve cried in the last week?
    Wings: Yes. Yes I do.
    Susan Calman: Then you are the vilest possible person.”

    Thing is, that was such a ridiculously theatrical question I absolutely genuinely thought she might be joking (being a comedian and everything), so responded flippantly, but immediately followed it up with a serious response saying “(I didn’t, of course, say you’d made it up. I said it was curious that nobody had produced any evidence, given the coverage)”.

    That was when the “vilest possible person” reply arrived. Which seemed, y’know, a bit ironic in the context of whining about people saying mean things on Twitter. I mean, the vilest possible? More than, say, Jimmy Savile, or that guy who tied some woman up for a fortnight and cut bits of her off before killing her? More than the average paedophile?

  58. scottish_skier says:

    People need to stop worrying too much about the media bias and crap such as highlighted by Rev above.
    Likewise, I find it hilarious each time BT link to a clearly biased newspaper article, particularly if it concerns e.g. a ‘Westminster Committee Warning over Independence’. Do they really think people will believe it?
    More fool them.
    This from MORI, Scottish sub-sample of 100 which is reasonable.
    Only 22% Trust senior figures at the BBC to tell the truth
    Only 42% Trust News Journalists on the TV in general to tell the truth
    Only 32% Trust News Journalists from the Telegraph, Guardian etc to tell the truth
    Only 8% Trust News Journalists from the Sun, Mirror etc to tell the truth
    Only 33% Trust their local Westminster MP to tell the truth
     
    Only 15% Trust UK government ministers to tell the truth
    Only 10% Trust Westminster MPs in general (to tell the truth)
    About 1/3 trust their local Westminster MP? Well that’s about core support for the union so hardly a surprise there.
    Anyhow, moving on…

  59. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “O/T Rev just to let you know someone is having a right go at you in Scotsman on the Calman thread , one of our cyberfundies is quoting from WOs ensuring it is one with sweary words of course”

    Ah, Longshanker, bless his deranged, obsessive wee heart. He REALLY doesn’t like not being allowed to post here.

  60. Training Day says:

    Hear Hear Cath – all this flummery is about is attempting to close down or marginalise one side of the debate.  Guess which one.
     
    I have to say though that I think the time is now right to force our arguments more visibly to the front.  I am more than a tad weary of listening to the default MSM ‘debate’ which consists, as it did on GMS this morning, of a daily ‘warning’ (viz Craig Murray) about something, like, really really bad happening under independence, followed by an aggressive interview punctuated by constant interruptions to make the SNP/YES response appear spluttering and defensive.  Better Together are rarely represented as the default position of the MSM is that they (BT) do not have to answer questions. 

    Time to change the dynamic.  Refuse to discuss ridiculous reports like the one mentioned above which suggest we should vote No cos if we don’t the Lord High PlamJamfrey of Bermuda might feel his status is a bit diminished.  Talk about what we’re going to do and treat BT with the derision it fully merits.

  61. Laura says:

    Just had to google Ms Calman to find out what she looked like – sorry still don’t know her.
    You know what they say in show biz – no such thing as bad publicity

  62. Doug Daniel says:

    You know you’re right when David Torrance and Kenny Farquharson are not only disagreeing with you, but needing to focus entirely on a sentence that could have been worded better to attack you.
     
    https://twitter.com/KennyFarq/status/329543959502278657

  63. EdinScot says:

    The Unionists have been in control of the microphone for so long, they’ve forgotten that there’s two sides to a story.  They;ve abused their own power and are actively seeking to destroy democracy but so blinkered they’ve become that they really cant see the wood for the trees.  We, of that other side of the population that they want to go away have a duty to call them out and stand our ground, otherwise independence for our country wouldnt mean a damn thing as we’d be swapping one screwed up democracy for another. 
     
    Cath – you’re in blistering form in your post above,  did your keyboard catch fire…way to go, especially that last paragraph.  So hope you dont mind me giving it a deserving second airing below.
     

    There is loads to laugh at in Scottish politics at the moment, and the establishment and powerful need to be held to account. But the BBC, media and NO campaign ARE the establishment and powerful. Which is why they cannot make satire out of Scottish politics. The satire is there – they just don’t like it and tend to dismiss it as “nasty cybernats” because they’re the brunt of it.

  64. scottish_skier says:

    Oops, sorry, that should have been TNS-BMRB
    http://www.tns-bmrb.co.uk/news-and-events/survey-finds-low-morale-in-austerity-britain
    People south of the border are not stupid either.

  65. Iain says:

    It’s interesting to compare Calman to Reginald D. Hunter (who was pretty much the only non-participant in the HIGNFY giggle-at-the-Jocks-fest) – he’s currently going through trial by media ordeal over his appearance at the PFA dinner. He actually did get all satirical on their ass by doing a set based on race, and then the PFA jumped the satire shark by playing the politically correct card and asking for their fee back.
    I’m fairly sure Reg hasn’t tweeted about how many times he’s cried over the last couple of days. 

  66. Jstew says:

    You sir, are the Rush Limbaugh of Scottish politics. When the Yes campaign loses, your nastiness will shave contributed that the defeat. Reflect on that. 

  67. G. Campbell says:

    “Susan Calman has not had it easy.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2012/mar/03/susan-calman-saturday-interview

    Privately educated. Ex-lawyer. Daughter of a knight. 2 arms. 2 legs. All facial features in the right place. Never off the bloody BBC.

    Where can we send chocolates?

  68. G. Campbell says:

    “Growing up gay in Glasgow was like being ‘a vegan abattoir worker’.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2012/mar/03/susan-calman-saturday-interview

    That’s Glasgow for you. Full of carnivore carrot scrapers.

  69. Iain says:

    @G. Campbell
    “Growing up gay in Glasgow was like being ‘a vegan abattoir worker’.”
     
    When did she grow up, the 19th century?
    It certainly wouldn’t have prevented a thriving career in the council (and before anyone gets on their high horse I think that’s one of the few good things about that dysfunctional organisation, regardless of the various numpties who have done the thriving).

  70. Norsewarrior says:

    “Apologies for O/T but have reasonable punt on Bayern Munich to win the European Championship”

    Given that Bayern are not a national team I’m afraid your punt has no chance of succeeding.

  71. balgayboy says:

    G. Campbell says: 11.55pm
    Yup, we all know more genuine cases for sympathy and help. This is the least example of lack of opportunity, leg-up and poor background. Therefore go south where your sympathetic luvvies reside and start making comedy of them..not for long I would expect though.

  72. Captain Caveman says:

    /glances at photo
     
    … Would. :D
     
    Soz, I’ll fetch me coat.

  73. Jiggsbro says:

    Some people do seem to take the internet very seriously. As Neitzsche would have said, “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you belm long onto the interweb the interweb also belms back at you”. Only in German, obviously.

  74. muttley79 says:

    This is just yet another attempt to demonise the dreaded “Cybernatz”, and indirectly independence as a whole.  The fact that the Scotsman is running with this story tells you everything you need to know.  That newspaper long ago gave up any attempts at balance, and is now a full blown propaganda machine.  Its readership has collapsed and it has no credibility anymore.  The MSM will ignore the death threats to Salmond and Sturgeon, and highlight any abuse the other side receives, or is alleged to receive.  All it does is highlight in stark terms the difference in power between the two sides.  Hopefully next September we will vote Yes to giving Scotland the power to decide its own future.  If this happens then much of the MSM and the present establishment will deservedly be dumped in the rubbish bin of history.  It also shows that the Scottish Cringe is alive and well among Scottish Unionists.

  75. handclapping says:

    How can you be a Rev and not bring in making bricks without straw?

  76. balgayboy says:

    Norsewarrior says:12.05
    Apologies for the lack of clarity describing the only European Championship football being played in 2013. As you correctly pointed out it is the UEFA Champions League that I have a punt on. Nevertheless my punt is still good and the fact remains that there is a good possibility that 2 German Bundesliga teams   will be playing at the FA claimed “home of football” at Wembley Stadium. Good luck to Bayern and I hope the local people will fully support the event. I will enjoy my winnings. 

  77. Morag says:

    Look, if there is actually a blog post, even a single one, which contains abuse against Susan Calman, could we please have some evidence of it?  Maybe a Google cache link or a wayback machine version, if the author has taken it down in remorse?

    It’s not that I want to read abuse directed at Susan Calman, I just want some scintilla of evidence that this abuse they’re devoting prime news bulletins to actually exists.

  78. Craig M says:

    I listened to Susan Calman on the programme in question and it struck me that she was non commital from a career perspective. I’m sure that being a “Professional Jock” makes a lot of money in front of certain audiences and she wouldn’t want to turn off that particular supply of income. As a Scot, I find her brand of humour embarrassing, and that’s just my opinion, I’m sure others find her funny. I guess the question is whether Calman, being the political satirist that she is, can see that the Scotsman is actually using her to bash her fellow Scots who have a particular political hue? Remember that this is the paper that thinks it perfectly reasonable to put a swastika on the Saltire. If Calman doesn’t disassociate herself from the Scotsman, I know what opinion of her I will hold.

  79. Roddy Macdonald says:

    Well, absolutely nothing abusive on her twitter feed.  Google renders nothing but tumbleweed.  Can’t see anything particularly abusive on FB either.  Strikes me that a third rate comic has come up with a great publicity stunt. It’s now 12:30 and we’ve had this on the BBC and Hootsmon but still just rumours of blogs and social media abuse.  Has anyone actually found any evidence of this alleged abuse yet?

  80. Robert Louis says:

    ‘Boo hoo, those nasty Nats don’t like it when I abuse them and ridicule my own country’, cos I can’t think up any jokes’.  
     
     If the likes of this cringing Calman nonentity wants to stand up on stage and slag off numerous groups of people in the name of ‘comedy’, then she needs to understand, she might get exactly the same back.  If she can’t handle that, then she needs a new job.
     
    Maybe she needs to try some jokes about the English on the BBC, and see what happens – or would jokes like that not be ‘funny’ to the English? 
     
    This whole story in the Scotsman is truly utter nonsense, with no foundation in fact whatsoever.
     
     

  81. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Well, absolutely nothing abusive on her twitter feed.”

    That’s the odd thing. Peter McMahon of the Scotsman just tweeted “If anyone doubts the abuse, just go and look on her Twitter feed. Appalling.” I’ve been looking at her Twitter feed since 7am and I can see absolutely nothing even remotely fitting that description. It’s all starting to look very suspect.

  82. Doug Daniel says:

    G Campbell – “Privately educated. Ex-lawyer. Daughter of a knight. 2 arms. 2 legs. All facial features in the right place. Never off the bloody BBC.
    Where can we send chocolates?”

     
    Now THAT is satire.
     
    Cath, I think your post pretty much sums up what I was trying to say, and a bit more. Fortunately you haven’t worded a couple of things in such a way that they can be taken out of context to look like Cybernatty chippiness, so you won’t feel the ire of the David Torrance & Kenny Farquharson two-pronged attack.

  83. Roddy Macdonald says:

    The plot thickens! Time to call in Inspector Corner of the Yard I think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtJrMtGmZFc

  84. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Rev-
     
    Please confirm this for non-Twitterers : via the ‘Twitter’ feed on this page, top-right, do we get to see just the same that you do? By clicking ‘view conversation’ we can cover everything you’ve sent or received?
     
    If so, I assume the ‘abuse’ she and McMahon are on about didn’t come from you.

  85. Chic McGregor says:

    I think there is a huge market for social voyeurism in ‘Middle England’ (Where ‘Middle’ means SE).  We have had an endless procession of dull SE sitcoms over the past 3 or 4 decades where half the ‘jokes’ are based on the ‘let’s laugh at those who don’t live here’ line.
     
    Basically, anyone North of Watford or West of Reading and probably East of the M11/North Circular Road (i.e. Lower Estuarine), is fair game.  It isn’t just the Scots.  The Geordies, Scousers, Mancs, Brummies, Norfolk, Welsh, Irish, French, Germans, Belgians etc.  all come in for it.
    In particular, they (i.e. whoever decides what gets on the box), IMO, seem to like it even more if it is an actual member of the group itself who does the required stereotypical denigration.  That is how it seems to me anyway, others may disagree.
     
    But if I am right about that, then practicing cultural self-denigration could have a distinct career/economic advantage.  What do you think?
     
    I think something similar, if less subtle, used to happen in the USA in regard to black Americans up to about 30 years ago, at which point they had had enough and took control of their own culture and made it what they wanted it to be.  Before that they only seemed to get film and tv work if they conformed to ridiculous self-denigrating stereotypes manufactured by the white population.
     
    The reasons for this phenomena, I am much less clear about, since there are many candidates.  Trickle down effect from the monarchy? public school system? perceived wealth? maybe they just feel superior?  racism? vestigial imperialism?
     
    But if they genuinely feel superior, why the need for continual reassurance?  Is it a veneer of bravado for a buried sense of inferiority?  Or perhaps the primary motivation, at least amongst the main movers and shakers, is political control?  Some vestige of Empire?
     
    Who knows for sure?
     
    However, one thing which is clear is that it is not good or healthy thing.  Obviously the self esteem of the more vulnerable members, e.g. adolescents, of those groups undergoing the treatment could be quite badly effected.  However, I would also ask you to consider the effect on those who are fed the ‘your superior’ line.  In many ways, in terms of personal growth and learning for example, it is just as damaging.  Maybe even more so in terms fulfilling their full potential and appreciating the realities of life.
     
    It isn’t a blame game.  We are all effected by what we are fed and by what financial /career paths are open to us.  We are all, in that sense, victims.

  86. Jiggsbro says:

    I’ve been looking at her Twitter feed since 7am and I can see absolutely nothing even remotely fitting that description
     
    You missed the evil cybernat who wanted to know how often she’d cried? I’ve never seen such dreadful misogynistic abuse.

  87. molly says:

    I was waiting for Newsnicht to expand the debate (as if ) to include, not just satire but perhaps the way in which Scotland /Scots are presented across the media.
    As the guy Morton said by prefixing everthing by ‘Scottish’ when a show is UK wide ,you are bringing to the attention of the viewer /listener the comedian,writer, actor, academic, whatever, is first and foremost Scottish so everything that follows is based on their background of being Scottish -otherwise why say it?
    You don’t get and now live in the studio is Cambridge educated Stephen Fry or Oxford educated Ian Hyslop , so why do the media feel the need to prefix Scots and in all fairness the Irish as well ?
    Last Thursday, on ‘This week’ Andrew Neil when chatting to a German comedian about ‘Nations and myths’ thought he was hilarious when he asked “does Scotland still play football/have a football team ?”
    On Friday HIGNY- 
    On Friday -News Quiz Susan Calman
    Tuesday -Susan Calman 
    Wednesday,Susan Calman
    Couple the comments with the patronising (if minimal ) coverage of anything that happens in Scotland and maybe ordinary folk are just scunnered at being mispresented .
    Gangs of BRITAIN was on a few Sundays ago (filmed in Glasgow), the amount of people tweeting from Glasgow ,saying “thats not my City ” or “don’t recognise my City”, well that is how Glasgow is presented to the rest of Scotland far less the rest of the UK. 
    Not living in Glasgow ,all you get from BBC Scotland reported from Glasgow is murder,drugs,poverty, murder. They seldom show positives or the good things people are doing so is it such a leap to wonder if our own media only present a certain view ,the wider media will take their cues from them.
    The difficulty arises when people start to believe the myths. Some were actually tweeting ‘won’t be going to the ‘The Commonwealth Games then ‘ if thats Glasgow or another myth that gets raised regularly, despite Scotland exporting billions in fine food produce ,we are now known for the ‘deep fried Mars Bar .
    I think if Mizz Calman has an issue with people tweeting, the best person to get advice from would be somebody like Andy Murray. He in a joke said ‘anyone but England and that went down well, did’nt have any repercussions for him ?

  88. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Please confirm this for non-Twitterers : via the ‘Twitter’ feed on this page, top-right, do we get to see just the same that you do? By clicking ‘view conversation’ we can cover everything you’ve sent or received?”

    As far as I know that’s the case.

    “If so, I assume the ‘abuse’ she and McMahon are on about didn’t come from you.”

    I actually think McMahon DOES mean me, astoundingly.

  89. Spout says:

    Ms Calman is the epitome of the walking,talking and performing Scottish Cringe.
    Taking £££s to appear on Radio 4 and repeat variations of the deep-fried mars bar/unhealthy/drunk/tight Scottish schtick.
    Then ‘filling in’ for Fred on Radio ‘Scotland’ struggling to appear incredibly interested/delighted in the minutiae of the very culture that she has been brought up to disdain & distance herself from…..
    As with many ‘anti’ players in the journey to Independence – we can look forward to enduring them in our Media & Politics post-independence and try to forget how they tried to thwart our ambitions for our country.

  90. Seasick Dave says:

    But Rev, surely you are an evil cyberLib?

  91. scottish_skier says:

    Everyone in my office is outraged at this story. Been the talk of the water cooler all morning. Neighbours mentioned it too when I saw them briefly before leaving for work. Consensus is that, following this story breaking, they all support Westminster rule again now and shall be voting No, then Tory or UKIP henceforth.

    Obviously, I just made that up.

  92. muttley79 says:

    I think this another example of the Unionist dominated MSM lashing out at people who have challenged their dominance in the media.  As with the Taylor donation they simply will not report things that are inconvenient to the No campaign, unless they are left with no choice.  They have not reported all the bile directed against Salmond.  This leads one to the conclusion that they think it is either 1)  too embarrassing to the No campaign for them to report what is going on. Or 2)  they think it is okay for Unionists to abuse independence supporters.  I also think they now Scotland is changing before their very eyes, and they do not know how to deal with it.

  93. Yesitis says:

    Cath
    But the BBC, media and NO campaign ARE the establishment and powerful. Which is why they cannot make satire out of Scottish politics.
     
    Spot on, Cath. I think one of the many reasons (pro-independent) Scots may be perceived as lacking in humour regards the referendum, is the lack of  pro-independent MSM in Scotland (a fact Susan Calman should be aware of). The unionists have all the exposure to say anything they want, while pro-independent Scots suffer wave after wave of unionist propaganda via the BBC etc, with only a few internet sites (no offence, Rev) offering chances to rebuke or offer positivity.
     
    If you are one of the few Scots offered a large mainstream audience to say what you want, if you are going to touch upon politics, expect a reaction. To expect everything to be hunky dory is just painfully naive.
     

  94. Seasick Dave says:

    I noticed on some Mock the Week episode that was on a couple of nights ago that Scotland was fair game again and we even had the ‘Glasgow Kiss’ rolled out, dusted down and given artificial resuscitation for the sake of a few cheap laughs.
     
    Cutting edge or what?

  95. Inverisla says:

    There is some political satire over on the Daily Mash, if anyone is interested..
     
    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/politics/ukip-membership-drive-to-include-free-golliwog-2013050167224
     

  96. G. Campbell says:

    Any Fred MacAulay listeners here? I don’t tune in all that often but I’m pretty sure I remember Susan Calman mentioning to Fred that she’d been up all night typing up The Calman Report for her dad.* This would have been around the time the final document came out. So in a sense, Susan would have been involved in the creation of a document which aimed to “secure the position of Scotland within the United Kingdom”.

    I could be entirely wrong but I do have a memory of it, and I’m pretty sure my dreams involve more exciting personalities than Susan and Fred.

    Anyone remember this, or am I going mental?

    * Of course, she could have been making it all up for comic effect.

    Please help me sort out my memories, fellow WoSers.

  97. Roddy Macdonald says:

    A full search of twitter for @SusanCalman shows absolutely nothing between 23 April and 5 hours ago: https://www.diigo.com/item/image/3wizl/59m8
    I suspect the poor wee darling just wasn’t getting enough attention.

  98. Mac says:

    Calman, Calman? Where have I heard that name before?
     
    Ah yes, isn’t her father a comedian!

  99. Albalha says:

    This whole story just smacks of Scottish parochialism, most depressing. If we do get a YES vote I hope we can live in a country where the broadcasting establishment doesn’t act as if Fred Mc and S Calman are the only ‘comedians’ worthy of airtime, in my view neither is even funny, I’m more of a Frankie Boyle person myself. Each to their own of course.
    And on the BBC and comedy I wonder how much they’re spending on the ‘Guessing Game’ programme, they’re endlessly trailing at the moment. Why don’t they give new talent a chance instead of yet more Clive Anderson and yes S Calman. Slashing Radio News budgets but splashing the cash on hackneyed humour.
    To think we’ve months of this to go and, by all accounts, things will only get worse.
     
     
     

  100. HandandShrimp says:

    Well I am an evil Cyber Gnat and I think Brian Wilson is a pathetic sell out muppet (not that he will mind because he is a politician and thick skinned)
     
    I have no strong views on Susan Calman (what I have seen she seems an OK comedienne) and certainly I would not dream of having a go at her for any comedic rannygazoo on a radio show. As to death threats…most comics have died a thousand times.  Actually talking of comics, how are things in the Scotsman today?
     
    On Brian Wilson, I think Frankie Boyle or Jerry Sadowitz or a host of others would be a bit surprised to hear comedians are shrinking violets…but then Wilson is a muppet.   

  101. Albert Herring says:

    “When the Yes campaign loses, your nastiness will shave contributed that the defeat.”
     
    What does it mean?

  102. Iain says:

    @HandandShrimp
    ‘ Jerry Sadowitz’
     
    Ah, Jerry, the finest comedic genius that Scotland has produced since Stanley Baxter, and that includes Billy, Frankie, Limmy and, yes, even Susan.
     
    Any word if Jerry has a view on the big question?
     
     

  103. Mac says:

    http://www.timeout.com/london/comedy/susan-calman-interview
    Q. You’ve said that political comedy is something you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have the guts. What gave you the courage this time?
    A. ‘I got a little bit more confident in who I was, and a little bit more confident that people might actually want to listen to what I had to say. I purposely share things with the audience. That means some people might hate me, but if you like me then you tend to like me a little bit more because I’ve told you about myself. I think with comedy, especially today, a little bit more bravery is required. I like the comics who do what’s in their gut.’
    It would appear that Ms Calman is pre-disposed to thinking that ‘some people‘ already hate her for her political comedy. I wonder who these imaginary or real ‘some people‘ are? 

  104. Chic McGregor says:

    @Spout
    There is a long history of coincidental output of ridiculous Scottish stereotypes in the run up to an election in Scotland, often brought back for a ‘one off’ specials like Rab C and McGlashan.  We can indeed, expect much more of it, going by past patterns.
     
    I believe Rory Bremner has bought a house in Scotland so he can move up here to make a satirical series in the run in to the referendum.
     
    Humour has two great political advantages.  First, it reaches deep into the psyche and can render serious arguments non-serious.  Second, criticism of it can be dismissed as ‘lack of sense of humour’.
     
    I see some have already accused Scots who complained about the HIGNFY skit have been accused of that by some unionists and usually those who number amongst the most humorless individuals one could meet.  BTW the HIGNY presenter is only the messenger, they work off scripts and autocue.
     
    However, there is a simple test for acceptability, which I call the reciprocity test.  All you need to do, is to substitute ‘English’ for ‘Scots’, ‘Gin’ for ‘Whisky’, ‘Chavs’ for ‘Neds’, ‘Tripe’ for ‘Haggis’, ‘Jellied Eels’ for ‘Deep Fried X’ etc.  you get the gist. 
     
    Then imagine the same insult being put out on a similar platform in Scotland. [Ignoring the fact that a) There is no satirical output on Scottish tv. b) It would not be allowed by the editors even if there were).
     
    Would there be complaints and repercussions?
     
    It is a very simple test.

  105. G. Campbell says:

    Roddy Macdonald said:
    A full search of twitter for @SusanCalman shows absolutely nothing between 23 April and 5 hours ago

    I definitely saw a nasty tweet about Susan a few days ago when I was searching twitter. The tweeter must have deleted it.

  106. Seasick Dave says:

    I still like the one about the Scotsman who loved his wife so much that he almost told her.

  107. G. Campbell says:

    And would you Adam and Eve it, Susan Calman is a panelist on Radio Scotland’s The Guessing Game, currently being broadcast at this very minute.

  108. Sandy says:

    If we step away from the whole did she/didn’t she get abused angle, I think she makes some very valid points relating to the way the debate should be conducted and the aftermath for the nation if we conduct the debate in an overly aggressive fashion. On both sides of the debate. I do think that opinions harden against the yes campaign when ordinary punters get what they perceive to be bullied and harangued for asking questions to try to gain a greater understanding of the facts they require to make such a momentous decision. Obviously its a passionate issue and the passion can sometimes overspill, but I think the future Scotland would be better place if we all learned to respect eachothers opinions more.

  109. muttley79 says:

    @Mac
     
    It is a feature of Scottish Unionists that they think they can be as negative as possible about Scotland, and at the same time, not be criticised for the damage that this does to the nation’s collective psyche and self-confidence.  To justify their negativity the legend of the evil Scottish Nationalists has to be summoned to explain the reaction they bring about by their own actions.  I hope Susan Calman has not been abused, but to me this is just another example of the MSM’s in Scotland attempts to demonise advocates of independence.  We saw it last year with the treatment of Alastair Gray by the media in Scotland.  This kind of a thing has been ever present since the SNP made their big breakthrough in the 1960s.  The establishment has responded since with dirty tricks, and this is continuing.  The tragedy for them is it has not worked, in the same vein as scaremongering has not worked.  The MSM and the no campaign simply cannot be positive about Scotland, and that is the elephant in the room.       

  110. Jason says:

    What also might be interesting here (if someone else hasn’t already pointed it out) is the correlation between that was said on HIGNFY and News Quiz and what journalists and anti-independence politicians have been saying; both programmes featured comments along the lines that keeping the currency and the Queen isn’t independence, which is exactly the kind of thing that is being said on the news. 
    That the political argument is a poor one is one thing, but the comedians could at least try to find a different angle. 

  111. Chic McGregor says:

    What about, Frankie Boyle, Kevin Bridges, Gregg Hemphill and other pro-independence comedians getting together to do a Yes campaign benefit show called “Standup for Scotland”?
     
    I would contribute a few gag suggestions for free myself.
     
    Anyone out there with contacts to those guys who would like to suggest it to them?
     
    Better sooner than later to let the video circulate since it would never get on tv.
     
     
     

  112. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I think the future Scotland would be better place if we all learned to respect eachothers opinions more.”

    It’s curious that you only apply that principle to one side of the debate.

  113. Sandy says:

    I didn’t think I did! I thought I made it clear by saying the words ‘on both sides of the debate’!

  114. Mac says:

    Roddy Macdonald said: “A full search of twitter for @SusanCalman shows absolutely nothing between 23 April and 5 hours ago”
    G. Campbell sais: I definitely saw a nasty tweet about Susan a few days ago when I was searching twitter. The tweeter must have deleted it.”
    Convenient that! What you mean is that you thought you saw a nasty comment, but can’t find what you thought you saw now, and lacking any evidence of what you thought you saw concluded that someone must have deleted what you thought you saw that you can’t now find to prove what you thought you saw was simply not a mental aberration on your part in the second place after your first place went missing. 
     

  115. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I didn’t think I did! I thought I made it clear by saying the words ‘on both sides of the debate’!”

    You said “I do think that opinions harden against the yes campaign when ordinary punters get what they perceive to be bullied and harangued for asking questions to try to gain a greater understanding of the facts they require to make such a momentous decision.”

  116. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    Did we ever find out how many times she has cried in the past week?
     
    Last time I cried was Saturday night – I was so full of Lambrini I got stuck trying to take my tank-top off and panicked, thought I’d never get out. Thankfully the dogs sensed my alarm and carefully unpicked the v-necked collar fabric with their teeth, thus freeing me. Those were tears of drunken hysteria. And I really liked that tank-top.
     
    On Monday it looked sunny so I ventured into the garden to attend to the weeding. Ten minutes later I was back inside plucking Smartie-sized hailstones from my hair. I cried then too, but those were tears of frustration.
     
    Trying to think when was the last time I cried because someone called me a name…nope…nada…must be many many moons ago, maybe Primary Five.
     
    In Tokyo, twenty years ago, a very drunk Japanese salaryman called me something I didn’t understand, spat at me, then started crying himself – but he thought I was American so that doesn’t count.
     
    Aye…sticks and stones, eh?

  117. Tom Hogg says:

    Who cares if she is in favour of independence for Scotland, the Isle of Wight or Tristan da Cuhna?  I don’t. Move on. Tomorrow’s chip paper.

  118. HandandShrimp says:

    More importantly, another Westminster committee says independence is almost as evil as ressurrecting Hitler.
    If such committees were balanced they would lay out the positives and the negatives. They only ever look for negatives. The MSM lap up these negatives never asking why there are only negatives (as they would the findings of any other committee on any other topic).  

  119. YesYesYes says:

    @Alberty Herring,
     
    ‘“When the Yes campaign loses, your nastiness will shave contributed that the defeat”
     
    What does it mean?’.
     
    I think it means that either someone from the Better Nation team is moonlighting, or that Susan Calman has discovered a sense of humour.

  120. G H Graham says:

    Mediocre comedienne achieves publicity turnaround with exaggerated claims of online abuse.
     
    And while she offered not a single, specific, example of the ‘outrage’ aimed at her, one fact has at least been confirmed; the woman isn’t funny.
     
    Next puerile, pointless, scare story please.
     
    P.S. Anyone any idea when The Scotsman will shut its doors forever? It surely can’t be long now. I’d like to donate all the unused newsprint to a charity that voluntarily cleans up other people’s dog shite.
     

  121. Mac says:

    The Times commenting on  that Susan Calman in 2011 “status as a diminutive lesbian — she is 4ft 11in — gives a certain grist to her mill but, her Hobbit-like stature aside, what strikes you about her is her chirpy, optimistic level-headedness.”

    I suppose in repeating what is already in the public domain now means WoS is going to have another solicitor’s letter in the post (aka Ian Taylor). After all the accusation of “optimistic level-headedness” might be construed as being defamatory. 

  122. Albalha says:

    @ianbrotherhood
     
    What is a Japanese salaryman?
     

  123. molly says:

    ianbrotherhood my Granny used to keep  her knitting patterns in her shortbread tin.Once I’ve let my deep fried Mars Bars cool (for the bairns tea) and been to my GP for ma prescription i’ll dig out a nice pattern. I’m sure theres a tartan one somewhere or would you prefer one with a Panda ,then you’d be bang up to date  with current trends with your tank top!

  124. Cath says:

    “The unionists have all the exposure to say anything they want, while pro-independent Scots suffer wave after wave of unionist propaganda via the BBC etc,”
     
    Not just propaganda but also attacks and abuse. That’s what’s surprised me since becoming politically involved over the past year or two. Prior to that I was fairly apolitical, but loved a good debate.
     
    The most depressing thing is that this should be a really good debate, but the level of abuse I’ve either had directly or witness via the media towards those who support independence has been eye-opening.
     
    And I think that bodes ill for the UK more than Scotland. If we vote Yes next year, rifts will heal fairly fast. If it’s a no vote and we are stuck being ruled by those who have been doing the sneering, abusing and patronising, they won’t. I very much expect to be leaving Scotland in the event the vote goes the way of leaving those people in charge. My eyes are well and truly open now and it’s not a pretty sight.

  125. G. Campbell says:

    Boris Johnson is the English Susan Calman. Discuss.

  126. Chic McGregor says:

    G. Campbell says:
     
    1 May, 2013 at 1:08 pm
    Any Fred MacAulay listeners here?
     
    He’s Scottish, he’s from my home town, but he is one of the very few people I cannot stand on tv and radio.  I think it’s the voice.

  127. Albalha says:

    @cath
    Yes, if it’s a NO, I’ll probably leave and I reckon a lot of people will be thinkng along the same lines.
     
    @molly
    Now that’s what I call satire.

  128. Spout says:

     @Chic McGregor
     
    Indeed – I look forward to a recommissioning of the McFlannels by BBC ‘Scotland’ in 2014 with a Ms Calman playing Ivy McTweed and perhaps Willie Rennie as the Rev David McCrepe, and then a re-animated Thingumyjig with Fred Mac Auley as the Laird O’ Cowcaddens.
     
    It is important for the BBC to feed Scots with a tartanalia/shortbread tin cultural diet instead of the multi-faceted deep and enduring Scottish culture which we know exists and may act as a resonant signifier of our standing as a worthwhile separate National Identity….from wholesome ‘Britishness’.

  129. MajorBloodnok says:

    @ Tom Hogg
     
    Interesting that you mention Tristan de Cuhna (popn. c.275).  Its capital is called Edinburgh of the Seven Seas.  I’ve not actually been there, but not far off.  The currency they use is pounds Sterling….
     
    @Capt Caveman
     
    I’m shocked. Also, she’s definately not your type (a good face for radio though).

  130. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @Albalha-
     
    Sorry, I should’ve put that inside inverted commas, or italicised.
     
    Here’s a picture of a ‘salaryman’:
     
    http://www.mikesblender.com/sleeping%20on%20train%201.jpg
     
    They’re the guys who work in the offices, stay as long as they can so as to impress colleagues, never see their children, sleep approx 5 hours a night etc. The guy who had a go at me was one of the older ones, not unlike the bloke in the picture.
     
    When I explained I was Scottish he apologised for ten minutes then took me and a pal to a karaoke club in Ginza and bought us Johnnie Walker Black Label for two hours. Result!

  131. Craig P says:

    “The Salmond-Bashing Show” 
     
    Rory Bremner was on radio a while back saying impersonating Salmond was one of his new projects… he believes Salmond is some kind of silver tongued demagogue and wants to do skits that show him in this light… one of his ideas is to portray him as Blofeld from the Bond movies… only downside is that Bremner has been away too long and confessed he hadn’t mastered impersonating Salmond effectively. 

  132. Albalha says:

    @ianbrotherhood
    Thanks for the fulsome response, can’t imagine many spitting stories have happy endings!

  133. Jeannie says:

    Did she actually, deliberately give the story to the Scotsman herself or did they just pick it up from somewhere?  It just seems strange that you get Brian Wilson writing about it plus a leader article going with it too.  Could she not have given it to the Sunday Herald, for instance?  Why the Scotsman in particular – especially as everyone and their dog knows it’s somewhat economical with the truth.

  134. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Chic McGregor-
     
    re MacAuley.
     
    Ditto. The radio goes off when he comes on.
     
    Hard to believe he was once regarded as a fairly edgy stand-up, but that was a long time ago, before Aunty Beeb clasped him to her suffocating bosom.
     
    These days he’s about as edgy as a blancmange.

  135. Morag says:

    Bremner is good.  He did a better Blair than the pillock they got to play him in the docu-dramas.  I ROTFLMAO when he was on in the Blair years.  If he does Salmond well, I won’t be complaining.  However, if he studies his subject properly he may find he’s not quite what he thinks.

  136. Albalha says:

    @jeannie
     
    She wrote about it on her blog. Now as to how/why the media decided to pick up on it …..though it’s a pretty small pool of people in Scotland.
     
     

  137. iain taylor (not that one) says:

    Never heard of her until today. I rest my case. 

  138. G. Campbell says:

    Mac said:
    What you mean is that you thought you saw a nasty comment, but can’t find what you thought you saw now…

    I was specifically searching for “Susan Calman” mentions on twitter after the OTT fuss about her News Quiz appearance, and there was definitely one tweet which, if you were a sensitive soul, could be construed as threatening. I have absolutely no idea if that particular tweet was the “death threat” in question. I just remember thinking, oh FFS. 

    In future I will screengrab all my twitter viewing and send printouts to you by post.

  139. Doganon says:

    O/T I’ve just had a quick shufti at the conclusions of the Foreign Affairs report ref’d by the Beeb ‘Scottish Independence: Damage…’ article (linked above) and I AM HORRIFIED as it is full of veiled (and not so veiled) threats! Have I been asleep and somehow missed the MSM’s and / or Rev’s coverage on this?

  140. muttley79 says:

    @Craig P
     
    Rory Bremner was on radio a while back saying impersonating Salmond was one of his new projects… he believes Salmond is some kind of silver tongued demagogue and wants to do skits that show him in this light… one of his ideas is to portray him as Blofeld from the Bond movies… only downside is that Bremner has been away too long and confessed he hadn’t mastered impersonating Salmond effectively.   
     
    Bremner is as establishment as they come.  No surprise that he thinks Salmond is a demagogue.  If Salmond was a Unionist they would love him.  That they do not have the self awareness to realise this says more about them than it does about Salmond.  They just cannot accept when their team is getting beaten. 
     

  141. Albert Herring says:

    “Rory Bremner was on radio a while back saying impersonating Salmond was one of his new projects…………..  confessed he hadn’t mastered impersonating Salmond effectively”
     
    He “did” Salmond on telly a couple of weeks ago. He’s absolutely correct.

  142. Jason says:

    1. The media (the BBC in particular) produce inadequate, singularly angled coverage of the independence debate. 
     
    2. Panelists and comedians lazily refer to this and then make poor-quality jokes (though they can’t really talk subjects the Scottish or UK audience won’t know about due to the lack of coverage in the media).
     
    3. A few members of the public then attack the panelists/comedians.
     
    4. The media then attacks sections of the public (with some attempt to analyse the state of satire in Scottish politics, but misses out the new, grassroots stuff), but ignores the failure of mainstream news to cover the independence issue properly.

  143. HandandShrimp says:

    Jeannie
     
    From the way it reads it doesn’t look like Calman knew much about it and hasn’t seen much of anything and is responding to what she has been told the nasty rough boys said…which begs a question regarding Wilson and the Scotsman….actually no it doesn’t, we know their game. It could just as easily have been off the shelf with “insert job” here hence the rather incongruous notion of “comedians” being thin skinned.   

  144. Doug Daniel says:

    Here’s an easy way to settle this. Why don’t the BBC get Frankie Boyle onto HIGNFY some time, with Greg Hemphill as the presenter, and a pro-union comedian on the other team (there must be one that is prepared to stand up and be counted, surely? We’re always hearing that hardly anyone supports independence, so it stands to reason that there must be loads of pro-union comedians), and then let them joke about Scottish politics all through the show?

  145. Mac says:

     
    1 May, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Mac said:What you mean is that you thought you saw a nasty comment, but can’t find what you thought you saw now…
    G. Campbell sais:I was specifically searching for “Susan Calman” mentions on twitter after the OTT fuss about her News Quiz appearance, and there was definitely one tweet which, if you were a sensitive soul, could be construed as threatening. I have absolutely no idea if that particular tweet was the “death threat” in question. I just remember thinking, oh FFS. 
    In future I will screengrab all my twitter viewing and send printouts to you by post.
     
    Being less sensitive than others, maybe I am one of those “vile persons” who has never cried. 

  146. Morag says:

    So have I got this right?  It’s quarter to four in the afternoon of the day following the revelation of this “shitstorm”, and we still have absolutely no evidence of any actual abuse suffered by poor Susan, certainly not prior to the reporting of it, even if she has taken a bit of a ribbing since.

  147. DougtheDug says:

    I searched for @SusanCalman in Twitter and I can’t find any abuse in that timeline, especially between April 26 when she did the News Quiz and April 29 when she wrote the blog.
     
    Well apart from this from someone who may or may not be Scottish.
     
    Le Creuset Fiend @LeCreusetFiend 27 Apr
    Susan Calman’s entire act in a nutshell:
    “Ah’m Scawwtish”.
    *The End
     
    Abusers may have deleted their tweets but even so there are also no reactive tweets from Susan Calman which would still be up there and no reactive tweets from anyone else.
     
    I’ve also searched google and found nothing abusive. It’s not to say it’s not there but if it is, it is difficult to find. Especially that elusive blog.
     
    She may have received abuse via email or via the telephone but if you’re looking for Susan Calman directed abuse in the cyber world then the internet is empty.
     
    It’s a pity she hasn’t told us where the abuse came from and posted a few examples up.

  148. Doganon says:

    O/T apologies, answered my own question – the html link says that the report was ‘ordered to be printed on 23rd April’ but it wasn’t published until today. Sorry. The report is still really scary though <<goes back to hiding behind the sofa >>

  149. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    Awful quality, but still good enough as a reminder of the ‘joke’ -
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJj2ei6WNQs

  150. K Mackay says:

    Chic McGregor, really like the ‘standup for Scotland’ idea, why not try using twitter to get ahold of them? worth a shot.
     
    P.S sorry all in italics, copied and pasted chic’s name, now can’t turn off italics, probably computer being rubbish rather than site.

  151. Jiggsbro says:

    Looking at Susan Calman’s blog, she appears to genuinely believe that repeating the usual English ridicule of Scots, to an English audience, is a crucial part of the referendum process, because it’s important to satirise Scottish politicians by belittling Scotland and the Scots as a whole.
     
    But she won’t say what side of the debate she’s on. That would be the debate about what she has referred to as ‘Scottish separation’, so we’re very much in the dark as regards her opinion on whether we can survive with an economy built on caramel wafers and Lulu albums.
     
    She probably did get bullied growing up gay in Glasgow. And like many people who’ve been bullied, she perhaps used humour as a defence. But what she was doing on the News Quiz was like using humour to ingratiate herself with the bullies by joining in with the bullying. Apparently, she doesn’t need to agree with every Scottish person just because she’s Scottish, in the same way she doesn’t need to agree with every woman or every gay person. That would be a more convincing argument if we’d ever heard hear ridicule women or homosexuality in the way she ridicules Scotland.
     
    I don’t think anyone cares very much which side of the debate she’s on. I just wish she could satirise the politics rather than ridicule the nation. But ‘Och, we’re too poor, too wee and too stupid, I’ll just go back to eating my deep-fried shortbread’ probably plays better with a Radio 4 audience than informed satire about a political scene they know nothing about.
     
     

  152. Aplinal says:

    @ian
     
    re your post at 1.52
     
    Classic stuff.  What have you written, and is it available on kindle or online. You certainly make me laugh.  Great stuff.  (Mind you I am a bit pissed! It’s 1st May here and a big holiday) 

  153. Mac says:

    So there was no internet abuse.
     
    We have a fictional blogger/tweeter/facebook/email cybernat vile personage that looks like has been simply invented to create a media inspired “s**t storm response” about a minor celebrity that basically very few people know, or care about, but who appears to cry a lot.    
     
     

  154. Linda's Back says:

    This week’s Private Eye (page 21) has a bit of satire (well funny compared to Susan Calman)  headed  Alex Salmond’s Shopping List for Scottish Independence which again repeats the lie (no doubt put about by right wing unionists) that Alex Salmond supported joining the Euro up to a year ago.
    The last recorded instance was on Politics Show on 6th November 2011, which was 18 months ago but hey lets not let facts get in the way, Salmond said: Well I think there are good arguments for joining the euro, but you can only do that when the euro system was – was stabilised and only when it was to Scotland’s economic advantage and only if you got the support of the people in a referendum. Until such time as that happened then we’d keep sterling.
    Which is no different from Labour or Lib Dem position on the Euro.

  155. Albalha says:

    @Aplinal
    Where are you? Is it warm?

  156. Jeannie says:

    Well, I’ve now read Susan’s blog and I’ve read the twitter stuff….and I’m still none the wiser.  Why did it warrant a discussion on Newsnight Scotland? 
     
    From what I can make out, somebody, somewhere (we don’t know who) took exception to something she said on the News Quiz and conveyed their opinion of it to her in a form (we don’t know what) that she found abusive.  Am I right so far?  Next thing you know, it’s being discussed on Newsnight Scotland and in the Scotsman newspaper, including a leader piece and a guest columnist piece as evidence of ….what exactly…..without any evidence to back it up.
     
    For God sake – own up whoever you are and put us all out of our misery.  What in the name of God did you say that caused all this fuss????

  157. thestooshie says:

    I don’t think a lot of stuff being said here is helpful to the overall argument. Regardless of Calman’s perspective otherwise, the comments she made on the News Quiz were deliberately non-committal, and her subsequent blog was as well… with no mention of it specifically being “cybernats” who had got onto her for what she’d said on the News Quiz. So essentially no reason from Calman herself to attribute any attacks to “cybernats.”
    The Scotsman story was a lot more loaded with it’s terms, and it is this story that has led people like Jim Murphy to attribute any attacks or abuse that Calman may have received to the “cybernat” community.
    Now, when I read this and as in independence supporter, I felt as though I would have known if something a comedian had said had kicked up a stink because online supporters of independence don’t exactly keep quiet. However, the Scotsman report was the first time i’d heard of it.
    Nonetheless, I don’t think the comments on this post are doing much to quash the  accusations that attributed to us with little basis. If anything, we appear to be providing a basis upon which they can be attributed. We mustn’t pander to the stereotypes made of us.
    Completely agree about Scottish politics not possessing enough recognisable figures for satire though, beyond Salmond. That’s something else that could change after independence, of course.

  158. MajorBloodnok says:

    Hang on.  You mean “Susan Calman” isn’t just the English translation for “Sandi Toksvig”?

  159. Albalha says:

    @Jeannie
    As I’m doing an admin day, any distraction is welcome so I went back and read the comments on this site below the HIGNFY story. (The R4 programme was brought up at some point.) Nothing incendiary there either, a fair few, expressing the opinion she’s not funny. The connection to her father, K Calman was referred to as well, which of course is mentioned in her blog.
    How much time did the Scotsman spend on the Scottish football story which, according to A Thomson of Channel 4, generated comments worthy of reporting to the police by a number of journalists.
     
     
     

  160. Morag says:

    Thestooshie, “cybernats” were explicitly blamed for the alleged abuse on Newsnight last night.

  161. Roddy Macdonald says:

    I hear she’s looking for musicians for her new song and dance act: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5FpKAxQNKU

  162. DougtheDug says:

    A correction to my previous comment.
     
    There is one reaction from @SusanCalman between 26th and 29th April but I’ve no idea if it’s in connection with her News Quiz appearance as I can’t find the tweet she’s replying to.
     
    Susan Calman @SusanCalman 27 Apr
    @Grazer10 oh do fuck off. Thanks.

  163. Mac says:

    Okay it was me, I did it.
     
    I am Spartacus.

  164. Jeannie says:

    @albalha
     
    I happen to really like the News Quiz on Radio 4, I have to say.  It can be very funny.  And I’ve heard Susan Calman as well.  Like all comedians, sometimes she’s funny and other times she’s not.  But I wonder if she’s just finding out what the rest of us have known for ages – that the subject of constitutional change gets people upset, on both sides of the argument.  That’s no reason not to discuss it and no reason not to joke about it…..but you have to understand that not everybody will agree with you or find your comments funny.
     
    Personally, I’ve been on the receiving end of quite a few abusive comments for supporting independence.  But nobody wrote about it in the Scotsman or discussed it on Newsnight, sadly.
     
    It might just be that Susan set something in motion that she hadn’t intended and didn’t foresee that certain elements within the media might use it for their own ends.  My feeling is that it’s not those in favour of independence she should be worried about, so much as some of those who purport to be her friends but are not above exploiting her for their own ends.

  165. thestooshie says:

    @Morag
    Ah alright, I didn’t watch Newsnight. Still, Calman’s own comments did not blame “cybernats” so I don’t blame her. I blame The Scotsman and the BBC.

  166. Jeannie says:

    @Mac
    Thought as much :-)

  167. thestooshie says:

    @DougTheDog
    @Grazer10 won’t say what he says but his Twitter states he is “an ordinary Scot undecided about independence.” So hardly a rabid “cybernat” !

  168. thestooshie says:

    @Jeannie
    I wouldn’t say i’ve ever been on the end of abuse for supporting independence, thankfully. I have however, been patronised to the ends of the Earth for it! My relatively young age and female gender certainly don’t help.

    As an aside, @Grazer10 just tweeted me saying this is what he said to Calman to prompt her “oh fuck off” reply:
    @Grazer10 2m
    “@thestooshie @WeAreNational @endless_psych that she missed being on hignfy to give Scotland another slagging like her newsquiz pish”

  169. Jeannie says:

    @thestooshie
    At least she said “Thanks”.  Personally, I do prefer it if people are going to tell me to fuck off that they’re at least polite about it :-)

  170. clochoderic says:

    If you want to listen to some real, laugh-out-loud satirical comedy try tuning into “Down The Line” this evening at 6.30 PM on Radio 4.
     Any Scottish characters featured are just as likely to be obssessed by parking charges, TV cookery shows or global warming as any other.
    This is satirical comedy done with genuine affection for the subject and real skill and talent with no time for lazy stereotypes.

  171. Albalha says:

    @jeannie
    I’m quite partial to the News Quiz too but for me neither Calman or Fred Mc is up to it, at its best. Of course there are non Scottish comedians who’re not up to it either.
    I’d like to hear Frankie Boyle on it, that’d be more like it.  

  172. BillyBigBaws says:

    Known Pro-Independence Comedians from Scotland:
    Kevin Bridges
    Frankie Boyle
    Greg Hemphill
    Robert Florence
    Limmy
     
    Known Pro-Status Quo Comedians from Scotland:
    Susan Calman
     
    If the two campaigns were to organize competing stand-up nights then the same abysmal, yawning gulf in terms of talent would show itself in the comedy sphere as it has in all other areas.
    You might say I’ve left out Robbie Coltrane, but he has expressed support for independence in the past, to the embarassment of the Scottish Labour Party.  What about Billy Connolly?  He now refuses to express an opinion either way – and I doubt it’s because he feels intimidated by Nats or fears causing offence!   What about Rory Bremner?  Who cares?
    Anybody aware of where Jerry Sadowitz stands, just as an idle question?

  173. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Anybody aware of where Jerry Sadowitz stands, just as an idle question?”

    I suspect an accurate depiction of Jerry’s position would increase this site’s profanity count about 900% by itself, and boil down to “a plague on all their houses”.

  174. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Known Pro-Status Quo Comedians from Scotland:
    Susan Calman”

    In fairness, the evidence is entirely circumstantial so far, so the word “known” isn’t really valid there.

  175. Jiggsbro says:

    I’d like to hear Frankie Boyle on it, that’d be more like it.
     
    Frankie Boyle on a Radio 4 comedy panel show? I think that comes in Revelations, between ‘blood moon’ and ‘rumours of war’, as a sign of end times.

  176. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Hang on.  You mean “Susan Calman” isn’t just the English translation for “Sandi Toksvig”?”

    Oh Major, you really should be writing us some comic pieces. Seriously.

  177. Roddy Macdonald says:

    Rev
    I hate to tell you this, but googling some of the phrases regurgitated in the Hootsmon piece gets you to their source.  The Phantom Raspberry Blower appears to be you, or at least some of your commenters here: http://wingsoverscotland.com/have-we-got-friends-for-you/
    Can’t find any death threats though.
     

  178. Jeannie says:

    @clochderic
     
    Just heard it – brilliant!  Especially loved the Four Arsemen of the Pocalypse :-)

  179. Mac says:

    So it looks like it was all stunt involving a mediocre comedian, an imaginary friend, a fictional cybernat blogger, various people who thought they read something somewhere but can’t remember where, when and what, and a coterie of mendacious unionist journalists and commentators at the Hootsman and the Beeb.
     
    …… and the only response we get when it all backfires is, “Oh fuck off”
     
    That’s us told!

  180. Clydebuilt says:

    Chic McGregor
    aye Calman and Fred Macauley are a pair. Both Unionists, both unfunny. Fred used to whine about his career going no where daily on his show.
    When Craig Murray was standing for Rector of Dundee university, the Daily Record brought out a special edition. Lorraine Kelly and Fred Macauley had a page each telling Students not to vote for Craig Murray.
     
     

  181. Jiggsbro says:

    Can’t find any death threats though.
     
    They’re clearly implied in phrases like “It’s a shame that Susan Calman…is on the News Quiz so much these days”. There’s an unspoken “She wouldn’t be if she was dead, which she would be in an independent Scotland because she would have been executed along with all the other quislings”. You can see why a vulnerable woman would have been upset by such comments.

  182. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I hate to tell you this, but googling some of the phrases regurgitated in the Hootsmon piece gets you to their source.”

    I did actually wonder if that might be the case when I read them this morning. Which would make the whole thing even more insanely overblown. I hadn’t ruled it out, but I thought there surely MUST be more to it than that.

  183. Juteman says:

    Keep on digging Stu, and never give in to the cuddly class.

  184. Heather McLean says:

    WHO is Susan Calman? I’d never heard of her until now !

  185. BillyBigBaws says:

    “Known Pro-Status Quo Comedians from Scotland:
    Susan Calman”

    Rev Stu said:  “In fairness, the evidence is entirely circumstantial so far, so the word “known” isn’t really valid there.”

    Fair point.  She says she is undecided, or at least she doesn’t want to say.  It would be quite an unusual Yes voter who would lay claim to having typed up the Calman Report with their own hands though!

  186. Dal Riata says:

    Our old friend, the (Scottish) Daily Mail, also has this ‘story’, in today’s edition, page 11. 
     
    The ‘story’ is headlined, “Comic finds referendum debate is no joke” and is by Alasdair Glennie. 
     
    Paragraph 3: “Scots panellist Susan Calman said online trolls accused her of betraying her own country after she cracked jokes about the referendum.”
     
    Paragraph 4: “Miss Calman, 38, a regular guest on the show, said the ‘s***storm of aggression’ after the broadcast was worse than anything she has encountered in her professional career as a comic.”
     
    Paragaph 8: “Miss Calman refused to reveal her own views on independence on the show. But writing on her online blog, Glasgow-born Miss Calman said: ‘I was accused of betraying my country, of being racist towards my own people and of being a c*** (my favourite) – which did lead me to ponder if we should laugh at Scottish politics? Is it something we should joke about? Of course it is.’”
     
    Paragraph 9: “Miss Calman – who is in a civil partnership with a woman – added ‘I’ve talked about a lot of things in my career, my sexuality, capital punishment, depression, cats. But nothing has ever created such a s***storm of aggression.’”
     
    Paragraph 10 (final) “‘Sadly for those abusing me I’ve had much worse. Try growing up gay in Glasgow in the 1980s.’”
     
    “I was accused of [...] being a c*** (my favourite)…” Has anyone seen anything online of this particular accusation? Some people here have already said that no such abuse was seen on her Twitter feed, though abusive tweets could have been erased. Maybe she got abusive comments on her blog (I haven’t checked her blog so I don’t know if comments are allowed)?
     
    If those kinds of accusations are to be made and the issue is of such importance then evidence of some sort should be provided surely, otherwise people may come to the assumption that the MSM are making a mountain out of a molehill, spinning and twisting a non-event to find any excuse to misleadingly show those of a pro-independence bent in a negative light… and that just wouldn’t be right, would it?!
     
     

  187. Juteman says:

    @ Dal Riata.
    You cynic you,:-)

  188. Mac says:

    “I’ve been told that someone has written a blog which is pretty abusive towards me after my performance. I haven’t looked for it, and won’t.”

    We have yet to see any evidence of abuse and now 24 hours and more on we are no further forward as why Susan Calman said what she said. 
    Why would anyone publicly claim to have suffered abuse and then refuse to provide evidence of it?
     
    This could do serious damage to Susan Calman’s reputation.

  189. DMW42 says:

    Why are we still feeding the ego of this publicity seeking ‘moistened bint’*. If she’s that concerned, fonerapolis.
     
    * moistened bint courtesy of MPFS, now that was comedy.

  190. Tobias Smollett says:

     
    Doug Daniel said:
    “the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticise people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues” …
     
    …We don’t get satire about Scotland on these programmes. We get ridicule.
     
    So, by your own admission we get a subset of satire then? 
     
    Clarify please. I don’t follow.

  191. Jiggsbro says:

    Clarify please.
     
    “to expose and criticise people’s stupidity or vices”

  192. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “So, by your own admission we get a subset of satire then?”

    Yes. We just get the “ire”.

    Seriously, does the Union have ANYONE fighting for it except grammar pedants?

  193. Mac says:

    ” I was accused of [...] being a c*** (my favourite)…” 
     
    This story just gets weirder and weirder.  Since Susan Calman has already said she wouldn’t read the offensive blog this further claim of abuse must be from another party.
     
    One day on and all we have is hearsay and no direct evidence of abuse. The pressure is now on Susan Calman to supply that evidence or she will suffer reputational damage.  This has all the makings of a tragedy.

  194. annie says:

    Well that Ms Calman had her 15 minutes of fame – can we all move on.

  195. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @Rev-
     
    They certainly seem to have more than their fair share of colons.

  196. Dal Riata says:

    Oh, and by the way, the Scotish Daily Mail was in great form today, Monday, 1st May, 2013!
     
    All of the following, articles and comment piece, are written so as to denigrate the Scottish government, the SNP, Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon, Dennis Canavan, the Yes Scotland campaign and Scotland and its hopes of independence in one way or another:
     
    “Yes campaign starts to split over pound”
    “Scots families miss out on nursery cash”
    “I bet my house on a Yes vote, says Salmond”
    “Separate foreign policy plan ‘risky’”
    “Scandal-hit cardinal in move back home to Scotland”
    “Comic finds referendum debate is no joke”
    “Towns and cities under threat from the turbines”
    “Calls for methadone crackdown as drug deaths soar to record”
    “Tax hike slashes whisky sales to British drinkers”
    ‘Daily Mail Comment’ “A diplomatic row”
     
    Total? Ten …TEN!!
     
    Blimey, how do they find the time to concoct their other ‘stories’ about immigrants, gays, Muslims, foreigners, wind-turbines, the NHS, the poor, etc.? Those hard-working journalists, eh! What a privilege it must be to state one’s place of employment as the Daily Mail….

  197. Tobias Smollett says:

    “Seriously, does the Union have ANYONE fighting for it except grammar pedants?”
     
    I assume you’re being ironic? Or something else perhaps?

  198. fordie says:

    @IanBrotherhood – that’s funny
    In my opinion Scots have a fabulous and positive! self-deprecating sense of humour. We don’t easily take offence but – agree with Rev – should absolutely complain and resist where people (Scots or otherwise) take the p..s on the old, or is it new, ‘you’re too stupid/unsophisticated’ argument and insist they desist. This is a virus and leads directly to the chip on the shoulder syndrome which, in turn, leads to an acceptance of soft and hard mockery within the UK and wider. Why should we need to explain our cultural norms?  

  199. Paul Watson says:

    Keep going Rev, the truth will out!!!!

  200. Marian says:

    The unionists are up to their old tricks of orchestrating a whispering campaign to try and destroy the credibility of the leadership of the campaign for independence, and consequently destabilise the movement altogether.
    This is classic stuff from the British state whenever it is threatened from within and has been established practice for well over a hundred years mainly through Whitehall’s own spooks and proxies In the MSM and more recently the broadcasting media.
    It was used extensively in Northern Ireland during the 80′s Troubles, and during the Miner’s strike, and the winter of discontent, and in the 1920′s and 1930′s, and even as far back as the eighteen-hundreds in dealing with attempts to organise labour into trade unions and campaigns for better wages and conditions.
    There will be people within the independence movement who will know who is doing this.

  201. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Marian
     
    There will be people in the independence movement actually doing this

  202. heedbaw says:

    Just had last nights Newsnicht on whilst tooling about. Given their subject it seemed strange that the intro mentioned In The Thick Of It as the most popular satire that has been on TV recently that they omit to mention that it is written and directed by a Scot. Though that would’ve then blown the whole point of Scots don’t do satire out of the water before they had even started.

  203. Doug Daniel says:

    Tobias – “So, by your own admission we get a subset of satire then? 
     
    Clarify please. I don’t follow.”
    No, because the ridicule isn’t directed at satirical targets – it’s directed at us. When comedians talk of Scots being tramps, junkies, alcoholics etc, they’re not talking about politicians, they’re talking about ordinary people.
     
    Perhaps I should have said “we get ridiculed” rather than “we get ridicule”, but it sounded better in my head at the time.

  204. Keir Liddle says:

    As an aside the guy who was throwing about Frankie BoylR&D address has recieved a dressing down from his University because of it.
    Won’t go into further detail but that is what has transpired.
     
    Its worth noting that I do know people who have received death threats over Indy stuff. Notably a Scots legal blogger who summarised whether there was a legal issue over the referendum (pre Edinburgh agreement).
    So there are a subset of Nats out there who are twats. Though they tend to do so out of the public eye so no one more reasonable can “have a wee word” and get them to knock it on the head. So I wouldn’t be 100% surprised if there were death threats. Though the language used in the Scotsman makes it sound like a twitter storm it needn’t have been.
    What I think we should be doing is cataloging the abuse sent by the Unionist side so it can then be presented to the media or elsewhere. As there is a hell of a lot of it, including death threats aimed at Salmond, threats of violence against Boyle etc. 
    To my knowledge that’s never been addressed in the mainstream media. We should pick up the slack. Search for these things, screen grab them, storify them and then present them to the media/the better together campaign and ask them to reign their support in.
     
    At the minute they have control of the narrative completely so a few utter numptys are used means to attack the Yes campaign on the whole.
    We should be documenting these attacks and showing it’s not just “cybernats” and challenge them to show the abuse is worse from our side.
    That might just put the myth of the CyberNat to rest once and for all.
     
     
     
     
     
    so 
     
     
     
     
     

  205. Graham Ennis says:

    Weel…….”the only Scottish politician most people have heard of, including Scottish people, is Alex Salmond. The last opinion poll we saw suggested that a third of Scots still didn’t even know who Johann Lamont was, despite her being leader of the Holyrood opposition for almost a year and a half, ”  Says it all, does’nt it. The Rosa McKlebb of Scottish politics can’t even get the name recognition of an obscure brand of Scottish malt……..Scottish mainstream politics are the politics of the kindergarten. This is the classic situation, in a Colonised country, where everything is deliberately infantilized, by the Colonial power. (See the classic analysis, by Franz Fanon.) 

     

  206. Mac says:

     
     
    Still no hard evidence of abuse aimed at Susan Calman, so we can conclude this has been a stunt.
     
    So who has been the victim in all this?

  207. Stevie says:

    “””The only ‘abuse’ offered here is that she’s not funny… hard to listen to the self-congratulatory tone of voice and weak comedic quips that must be aimed at a bettertogether afternoon tea and cakes drawing room gathering. Tiresomely unfunny. Frankly, had she been funny I would have laughed whether it was against us or for us but in the end, ‘satire’ is not a goons show meets used quips love in. The problem is that the BritNats are unable to actually be funny when discussing Scottish independence – actually they are not funny much when discussing Scotland because the humour is poorly understood caricatures of Scotland. Caricature is a poor oasis of humour at the best of times. In the end, one has the impression that had Ruth Davidson chosen comedy as a career then she would sound exactly like this. In other words – very amateurish, she needs to do stand up to see if she can get better at all, though at this time it doesn’t seem like she’s naturally humorous. http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/hyslop-tolerance-call-amid-calman-independence-abuse-1-2914670“””  

    Listening to the show, it’s very poor — the English lad has some natural humour but for someone purportedly making a living out of being funny, it’s doubtful this person has much hope of much success.

  208. Eilif Gustafson says:

    Yeah well, if any of the cyberbritnats pay Frankie Boyle or “this cunt” a visit for the implied purpose Frankie will just set aboot them like John ‘Airport Hero’ Smeaton, that’s the Glesga way. And anyway “this cunt” is also a f**king legend!

  209. Craig P says:

    Billy Big Baws – do you *really* want to get Jerry Sadowitz’s opinion? How offended do you like to be? :lol:

  210. BillyBigBaws says:

    I honestly do want to know Sadowtiz’s opinion. 

    Obviously he is not going to be nice, or kind, or forgiving, or a supporter of any political party or figure or movement that currently exists in this human world of ours, but things have progressed so far now that his honestly-expressed opinion on Alex Salmond would probably just be a watered down version of what we hear every week from Alan Cochrane and his ilk. 

    Sadowitz would swear more, obviously, but the comparisons to actual real-life murderous dictators would be less frequent.

    Sadowitz has always been well ahead of the game, anyway, by at least twenty years, so he probably knows we’re independent already.
     

  211. Les Wilson says:

    Strikes me she is getting a lot of publicity for a mediocre comedienne, call me a  cynic! 

  212. thebunnyman says:

    just woke up. did someone mention the Scottish folk group, The McCalmans :-)

  213. Derick says:

    The Falkirk Joke (originating in Bo’ness)
    Guy fae Bo’ness is standing in the pub, minding his own business, having a quiet pint. In Falkirk obviously
    Another guy storms up to him “OI YOU!, YOU LOOKIN AT MA BURD???”
    This is not a reference to any MP btw
    Sez innocent party ‘er, no’
    Nutter “WHY NOT” and pits the heid on
    why are you not laughing? it’s so unfair!! boohooohooohooo bub. sniff
     

  214. Derek Robertson says:

    Not a fan of The comedienne in question but as I  listened to a podcast of this News Quiz episode I was unaware of the so called ensuing shitstorm of abuse that apparently followed. As I listened to her ‘satire’ i couldn’t help thinking of the song Amos and Andy by The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy…and felt a sadly resigned at how some people are willingly (or unconsciously) capable of such public displays of self-loathing of their Nationality.



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