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Category errors

Posted on January 21, 2014 by

Veteran readers will be aware that there are basically two types of misinformation perpetrated by the Scottish media. The rarer type is the flat-out lie, where things that are simply demonstrably untrue are presented as facts – a common example being the regular assertion by journalists that all three Unionist parties are committed to giving Holyrood new additional powers after a No vote, which was neatly skewered by Andrew Nicoll in yesterday’s Sun (image link, no paywall).

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The subtler variety is when newspapers and broadcasters report true information in a misleading way, sometimes so drastically that it comes out meaning the exact opposite of what it actually means. A story today is a case in point.

The Scotsman and Herald both lead their independence-news sections with the same thing – a report by the Economic and Social Research Council about inequality. The Scotsman’s piece is headlined “Independence will fail to close inequality gap”, a line entirely enclosed by the sort of sneaky inverted commas that ought to act as a giant clanging alarm to skilled readers of the paper, and it opens with a couple of paragraphs which come dangerously close to crossing the line between mere misrepresentation and outright falsehood:

“An independent Scotland will have little scope to drive down the gap between rich and poor, a new report indicates today.

The prospect of achieving Scandinavian-style equality levels in line with SNP aspirations seems unlikely, according to the paper by the Economic and Social Research Council.”

The paper indicates absolutely no such thing. As one of the report’s authors, Dr David Comerford, took great pains to point out on today’s Good Morning Scotland (audio here), the report restricted itself very specifically to studying the effects of tax and welfare policy. The Herald’s coverage is rather more honest in its opening lines:

“An independent Scotland would require fundamental changes to its economy to reduce the gulf between rich and poor to the same level as Nordic countries, claims a study published today.

We’ve added the emphasis at the end to illustrate the point. The ESRC did not find that improved equality was “unlikely”, merely that it would be difficult to achieve by means of taxation and welfare alone. In other words, it would be unlikely to happen in a Scotland that remained in the UK, even if that Scotland was given extra devolved taxation powers, because the more important levers would still be at Westminster.

If the report damns any constitutional arrangements as ineffective tools for improving equality, it’s the status quo and so-called “devo max”. Only the full and wide-ranging set of powers delivered by independence – such as the ability to set minimum wage levels – would, the study finds, have a chance of bringing about that goal without simply driving high earners across the border. Dr Comerford says so explicitly:

“An independent Scotland would have access to fiscal powers with which it could influence inequality more directly than it can at the moment.”

Dr Comerford’s radio comments also contrasted the UK as one of the least equal developed countries in the world with the most equal ones, particularly Norway and Sweden, and noted that their taxation and benefit systems were only slightly more redistributive than the UK’s, but that their greater equality came about largely through a more even wage curve. Or as the report’s co-author David Eiser put it:

“Achieving Nordic levels of inequality in Scotland will likely have to involve some equalisation of incomes before taxes and benefits, rather than a large increase in redistribution.”

The case shows how easily facts can be distorted and spun to mean something that’s not just a bit inaccurate, but presents a picture diametrically opposed to the reality, without actually technically printing anything that’s untrue. By judicious and selective quoting, a report saying “ONLY independence can reduce inequality” has become “independence CANNOT reduce inequality”.

All this site can do is advise readers to always look very closely between the lines for what’s really being said, although even that doesn’t protect against outright omission of key facts. It’s perhaps that latter reason which explains the safety-first approach being adopted by rapidly-increasing numbers of Scots: simply don’t take the risk of reading certain newspapers at all.

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      Giving up on mainstream media | Arc of Prosperity

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    1. Seventyone says:

      I haven’t bought a newspaper in over six months and am unlikely to ever again. I cannot see how the newspapers can hope to come back from what they’ve published and tried to do if we vote Yes.

    2. Jim Mitchell says:

      Anybody been keeping a count of all these lies?

    3. Les Wilson says:

      Yes, Rev is right again,this stuff is prolific across the press at large. The so called “Scottish Press” do this constantly but in many cases the same is used in the “English ” press, one might say to mislead English readers to the point of being anti Scottish.

    4. Chris says:

      STV news gives a fairer account.

    5. Marker Post says:

      As soon as you see quotation marks around a headline in the Scotsman, there’s no real point in reading the article itself.

    6. G H Graham says:

      Indeed, it’s now rather difficult to determine who tells the most lies.

      Politicians or newspaper editors?

    7. G H Graham says:

      “The lines below this comment have been left completely blank in an attempt to attract readers of The Scotsman.”

      .

      .

      .

    8. Ken MacColl says:

      Well done Wings for highlighting yet again the way our “quality” broadsheets participate in the distortion of the comment on referendum debate. No surprise that the Hootsman is deeper in the glaur than the Herald but the distinction is, as usual,a fine one.

      I watched over the weekend in the vain hope that either of our dedicated broadcasters would take on the findings of the West of Scotland University about the evidence of bias and partiality in their presentation of referendum news but in spite of all the talented journalists working away at the gleaming towers on Clydeside the BBC and STV were not able to find anything more sensational than the news that the Rangers stayed in a 4* hotel before playing at Forfar.

    9. farrochie says:

      Let @ESRSPress know about this distortion via Twitter.

    10. farrochie says:

      Sorry, @ESRCPress.

    11. Ian Kirkwood says:

      Any News on that other academic report from UWoS?

    12. Andrew Morton says:

      @Marker Post

      As soo as you see text in a Scotsman article, you know that lies are being told.

    13. Andrew Morton says:

      Soon dammit! Soon!

    14. Peter A Bell says:

      I’d have been more impressed with Andrew Nicoll’s article if he hadn’t opened with that appallingly lazy “one’s as bad as the other” line. That’s what journalists write when they are either too ill-informed or too intellectually indolent to actually analyse and articulate the differences between the two campaigns.

    15. Training Day says:

      Regardless of the outcome of the referendum (it will be a Yes) these ‘newspapers’ and all so called journalists who worked for them belong in the dustbin of history. They’re just like, sooo 1930s..

    16. Alex Grant says:

      I see the Times takes the same line! Also in an article about a Festival cooperation between the NTS and the London National Theatre ( their description) the headline reads ‘Festival proves it’s no crime to be Scottish and British’. Incredible!!

    17. bunter says:

      Joan McAlpine has an article in The Record regards the UWS report on media bias. Wouldn’t it be nice if some Yessers could bring the subject up on the BBCs debate tonight from Greenock, or QT from Dundee on Thursday. I believe Jim Sillars is on QT so Ive sent him a wee grovelling message suggesting it would be helpful to the debate if someone was to raise the matter.

    18. The Man in the Jar says:

      Off topic a bit.

      A friend was recently obliged to place a notice in the obituary section of “The Scotsman” the cost was £480.00 a bit steep I thought. Anyone know how this compares with other *regional* newspapers?

      Having lost revenue from the living and being mired in debt are they making more of their profit from the dead these days?

    19. Mealer says:

      The question is,can Scots make their country more fair and equal like the Scandinavians have or are we too useless? IF we are too useless,is it a genetic thing?

    20. yerkitbreeks says:

      I have a grudging admiration for these journos who are able to distort a factual report so “well”. The problem of course is that due to lack of time or intellect, the headliners are what the readers remember.

      What did you think of the brief allusion on GMS to a new website ? jointly run by academics and editors ?

    21. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I wonder if all these press articles are boilerplated (several variants typed out) and sent out to the tame press pals who change bits and bobs and give it their byline.

      Easy peasy and now off down the pub.

    22. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Peter

      I think Mr Nicoll is just following the Sun’s (current) Editorial Line of neutrality.

      It says something about the Scottish Media that currently the ‘gold standard’ for impartiality and balance amongst the dailies lies with of all papers ‘The Sun’.

      OT

      I see Alan Roden is flogging the ‘Damn those vile Cybernats’ horse again today.

      Obviously highlighting the hypocracy of the bile BTL directed towards ALL Scots from Daily Mail readers is lost on the poor man.

    23. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I’d have been more impressed with Andrew Nicoll’s article if he hadn’t opened with that appallingly lazy “one’s as bad as the other” line.”

      In fairness, I’ve cut out the long preamble to that column, in which he listed examples of both sides making speeches essentially just saying “independence is bad/good”.

    24. Embradon says:

      I remember a crit. of a festival fringe comedy play, ironically in the Scotsman, which ran – “a few of the audience thought it hilarious. They should get out more”.

      Next week the play was using fliers which read – “..the audience thought it hilarious..’The Scotsman'”.

      The Hootsmon appears to have taken the art of deceit by selective quotation to a new level.

    25. G H Graham says:

      From a unionist leaning newspaper’s perspective, a line like “one’s as bad as the other” is a usefully lazy way of disengaging otherwise interested voters such that they might end up either, not voting or voting NO at the referendum.

      It’s a stretch of the mind to imagine undecided voters being persuaded to vote YES when sublimated by status quo propaganda.

    26. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Taranaich (from a previous thread) –

      No can do. Didn’t realise that debate was so soon. Tonight nae use for me. Sorry. Hope you make it along, and it goes well.

    27. Juteman says:

      Radio Scotland news doing their bit for the union, by putting as negative spin as possible on this. Every hour, on the hour.
      You can sense the glee in the presenters voice.

    28. heedtracker says:

      If you think this is bad you want to see the BetterTogether/vote NO propaganda pouring out of the Press of Journal here in the North East, 70,000+ sales a day. So Scotland is being systematically misled and lied to day in day out by the BBC, ITV and all national and local newspapers.

    29. Macart says:

      The UK media?

      What media?

      Near as I can tell we’ve got a collective Westminster mouthpiece with the ethics of a serial con artist selling dodgy insurance to pensioners on the doorstep.

      I’d trust anything they say about as far as I could chuck a JCB.

    30. CameronB says:

      OT, sorry.

      I just watched a documentary about our “Special Relationship”, or rather a history of the economic competition between Britain and our former colony across the pond. Pretty hard hitting and possibly a bit bias (La Rouch backing), but it did highlight the difference between the British and American approaches to the economy (end of civil war to 1932). Britain’s exploitation against America’s development approach.

      It goes in to a lot of detail about how WWI was the turning point in American history, and how the British system was able to take hold of American until Roosevelt’s New Deal.

      Regardless of its balance, or lack off, it did leave me thinking Scotland definitely could do with a new deal.

      I won’t link it as some will no doubt regard it as conspiracy theory, but it is called “1932: A True History of the United States”, in case anyone is interested.

    31. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

      BBC TV news effectively read out the Scotsman headline this morning in a 2 minute bulletin. It’s like being ambushed and smacked across the head.

      Noting Juteman’s comment above it seem like radio Scotland are having a go at brainwashing. There seems to be no restraining these scum bags.

    32. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Also O/T, but this could be interesting. Heard a trail for it yesterday:

      http://foolisholly.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/albion-street-recording.html

    33. David McCann says:

      OT, but I notice that Chef Albert Roux has commented that Scotland has been let down by the UK.

      http://archive.is/agZ3g

    34. Helena Brown says:

      Heard this on the TV news, well the wee opt in that we get and thought that someone had slipped in a Yes campaign broadcast because it was so much an own goal to be anything else for the NO campaign.

    35. X_Sticks says:

      “Scottish independence: Tax alone ‘cannot tackle inequality'”

      The BBC have opened comments on this article!

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-25820250

    36. Ian Brotherhood says:

      This story being covered right now on Radio Scotland.

    37. Macart says:

      @David McCann

      Well said Chef Albert.

      The Scottish government serves the promotion of Scotland better than Westminster.

    38. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      Watching Foreign Office question time and William Hague’s response to Angus Robertson’s [MSP] question was to paraphrase:

      Scotland’s fishing industry has done really well from recent negotiations, by this government, with the EU and will continue to do so, however if Scotland votes for Independence then they will NOT be in the EU.

      Is that so Mr Haugue?

    39. James123 says:

      Interesting to see the Daily Record having another pop at the Labour party today following yesterday’s piece by Jim Sillars. Reading the DR over the past few weeks it seems to me there have been just as many pro-independence articles as anti-independence articles. Maybe they’re hedging their bets and have decided to take a softer approach to the subject, although just when you think the DR is taking a more neutral stance they have a habit of biting you on the arse.

      http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/scottish-independence-leading-academic-explains-3042935

    40. Eric McLean says:

      We need Pirate Radio.
      An alternative for people to be recommended towards.
      There are enough people around for interview, comments, and News coverage.
      Guest appearances like Bateman and a few well kent contributors on here would ensure a growing audience.

      Does anyone have any experience in this area?

    41. HandandShrimp says:

      The Scotsman re-interpretation of this story says far more about what they wanted the report to say rather than what the report actually said. Reading events in the Scotsman is an exercise in distortion and manipulation to serve a very specific agenda. It is an object lesson in how the media attempts to form opinion rather than reflect it.

      Lying gits in other words. I heard the interview this morning and it was very clear what the author was trying to say. Tax and benefits are a small part of the story and ethos and societal norms are what matter. These can only be developed and formed over time by a very strong lead from the top. Independence is mostly a more likely route to achieve this than looking to London which is the most unequal part of the UK by some margin and becoming more unequal as time passes.

    42. Eric McLean says:

      Not sure how a photo of me against Sugar Loaf mountain appeared. I much prefer incognito.

    43. Harry Shanks says:

      @ The Man in the Jar

      If you think the Scotsman is steep @ £480, try enquiring about placing an small Ad in the Scots Independent – the prices would make anybody’s eyes water!!

    44. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “We need Pirate Radio.”

      The young people call them “podcasts” nowadays, Eric 😀

    45. Fergie 35 says:

      The Scotsman has become Better Together’s propaganda paper, it attrocious, and even if I hadnt been banned for disagreeing with the lies, I just couldnt go online and view it anymore

    46. HandandShrimp says:

      Oh! is that what a podcast is?

      :/ not a gardening term then?

    47. Ananurhing says:

      BBC Scotland as a public broadcaster has failed and is out of control. Boothman is at the heart of it and needs to become the story. He’s between a rock and a hard place being squeezed by BBC London, shafted by Paul Sinclair, and I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the Boothman/Deacon kitchen.

      You couldn’t be more in bed with Scottish Labour, and I think that calls his credentials and motives into question. His negative editorial interference is on record. That and Pacific Quay’s output substantiate this assertion. We must shine a light on him. Remember him sticking two fingers at Govt. by refusing to appear at Holyrood, twice, until Patten kicked his arse.

      If the BBC behaved this way at a UK level they would be accused of tearing up their charter, and there would be a parliamentary inquiry. Heads would roll.

    48. HandandShrimp says:

      Talking of the BBC (and STV) have either bit the bullet and reported on the UWS study? It seems to be that if the report had highlighted a bias in favour of the SNP in the press or something Sinclair would have had the BBC all over it like a rash and Severin would have a big article on it in the Guardian, Cocher’s head would have exploded leaving a red white and blue mess all over his screen and the Chris Deerin would pretend someone was mean to him over the issue on Twitter

      🙂

    49. tartanpigsy says:

      Eric McLean says:
      21 January, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      We need Pirate Radio.

      Stu- this isn’t neccessarily the same as a podcast. I tend to agree with him, we must get beyond the internet, pirate radio on FM.

      Anyone know legalities of broadcasting from for example IOM, or Donegal somewhere close enough outside of UK jurisdiction?

    50. James123 says:

      Are my eyes deceiving me? Are the BBC allowing comments on a Scotland only story? I must be dreaming, I’ll wake up in a minute.

    51. gerry parker says:

      “We need Pirate Radio.”
      Maybe the Dunoon Yes campaigners could help, there’s a studio at the end of Argyll street.
      May need to up the wattage though.

    52. Wee Jonny says:

      NEWS FLASH
      I’ve been reading Wings for a few months now and have even posted a comment or twa. Up till now I’ve believed everything that Rev’s written. Up till now.
      I started a conversation with one of my customers earlier on how I read a lot about Scotland’s independence. He asked if I was for it and I showed him my retro independence t.shirt and said Yes, 100%. Well that started a tirade of “Scotland will be bankrupt. There’s no much oil left. How will we pay for the unemployed, coz Glasgow has a huge unemployment problem. It’s Salmonds vanity project. Salmond doesn’t give a fork what happens to Scotland. We’ll get a Labour government coz Scotland loves Labour. (And my favourite) We won’t get to see this of course because of the biased meejaa. “. I told him we had oil, gas, whiskey, fish and the Scottish people. Another tirade about fish (he owns a chippy) being too forkin dear. He then told me I had blinkers on and couldnay give a fork about Scotland because I have no kids I should be thinking about everybodies kids and grandkids. I told him he was wrong and should read more. At that point thought he was gona punch mi puss but his phone went. So Rev please take this site down with immediate effect as you”ve been foond oot.
      And there was my wife saying just last night that I shouldn’t ram my opinions on independence down people’s throats.
      It’s very hard to have a decent conversation with someone when they’re 100% right about something when they’re 100% wrong. Sassij.

    53. Papadocx says:

      PIRATE RADIO SOUNDS WORTH A TRY!

    54. HandandShrimp says:

      Wee Jonny

      The moral of the tale is don’t speak to Ian Davidson

      😉

    55. X_Sticks says:

      Ananurhing says:

      “BBC Scotland as a public broadcaster has failed and is out of control. Boothman is at the heart of it and needs to become the story.”

      Totally agree Ananurhing. I have been on a mission to out Bootman for along time. Along with him the now invisible Daniel Maxwell too. He is the ringleader in the propagandist BBC.

    56. jingly jangly says:

      There already is a YES internet radio station!!!

      http://www.yesonair.com/

    57. Elizabeth Sutherland says:

      As I keep saying Rev. Go get em, oor media stinks.

    58. ronnie anderson says:

      Pirate Radio has been done in England, for several yrs,they

      avoided, the BBC, by moving around from flat to flat.Im on

      fur a turn on the radio shed ule,naw it,s to cauld i,ve a

      couple spare rooms, tea,coffee, provided, how many more

      would be up for hosting.All over Scotland, each city,

      anybody with amature radio exsperiance could do this.

      cover,s a wide area,explore this lad,s n Lasses.

    59. ronnie anderson says:

      anyone with amature radio exsperiance can do this.

    60. Papadocx says:

      @wee Joni 1:02 pm

      None are so blind as those who do not want to see.

      Ask him why the oil companies are investing circa £10billion in the Clare & krankies fields as we speak. Clare = 50billion barrels =60/70 years
      Why is Aberdeen planning a new harbour at Black Dog on the North side of Aberdeen.
      Ask him how he will benefit from London to Birmingham rail line, which he will help fund.

      Sounds like a tolly lost soul.

    61. gerry parker says:

      @Jingly,
      Registered and listening now thanks.

    62. bunter says:

      Good fun to be had on the BBC comments. Why not join in, and don’t forget to mention the UWS report LOL

    63. Brian MacLeod says:

      I have completely stopped buying Scottish newspapers.

      I’m not going to give another penny to those lying scum who are trying to betray our country to southern interests.

      If anyone starts a pro Scotland newspaper, I’ll start buying them again.

    64. Dick Gaughan says:

      jingly jangly says:
      There already is a YES internet radio station!!!

      Just checked it out and, so far as I can tell, it seems to be moribund since Nov 2012.

      Anyone know anything more about it?

    65. tartanpigsy says:

      @jingly jangly

      I think you’re missing my point,

      Yeah great more online dominance for Yes, its beyond the internet I’m talking about, that is where we need to reach out and convince others.

    66. Peter A Bell says:

      Pirate radio is, by definition, illegal. The campaign for Scotland’s independence must be lawful. There should not even be discussion of potentially criminal activity.

      Think with your neurones, people! Not with your hormones!

    67. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Has anyone else lost the top/bottom buttons which normally appear bottom right?

    68. Dick Gaughan says:

      tartanpigsy says:
      its beyond the internet I’m talking about, that is where we need to reach out and convince others.

      Great idea. Any suggestions about what more we can do and how we make it happen?

    69. mato21 says:

      Ian Brotherhood

      Yes.

      I was just going to ask the same question

    70. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Was over at Bus for Scot on one of Ivans articles and asked about the QE asset in the BoE. Gave me a link to a paper which has a new take on the debt. Worth a look, (and apologies if it has been shown before…)

      http://reidfoundation.org/portfolio/issues-surrounding-the-sharing-of-uk-debt-post-independence/

    71. Calum Craig says:

      “Ian Brotherhood says:

      21 January, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      Has anyone else lost the top/bottom buttons which normally appear bottom right?

      Yes. I’m on IE 11 at work though- wouldn’t be choosing this browser on my own computer.

    72. CameronB says:

      bunter
      Would love to but the site won’t let me sign in. I even created an account especially, so I had their confirmation e-mail to reply too.

      Have they closed comments?

    73. James123 says:

      Yesonair seemed to have good intentions when it was set up, guests, phone-ins, interviews etc, but sadly doesn’t seem to have taken off. Maybe with proper awareness something like this could work.

    74. ronnie anderson says:

      RADIO FREE SCOTLAND,no been on the airwave,s fur a long

      time,time to start it again, request,s via web site.

    75. Big Jock says:

      Scary thought for Jam tomorrow voters:

      Members
      1,320 posts
      0 warning points
      Gender:Male
      Location:Maddiston , Falkirk, Scotland 390ft above sea level

      Posted A minute ago

      Scotland will be a broken country after a no vote. The people who vote no will regret their decision. I believe that Westminster will attempt to take some powers back from Holyrood. Heres the really scary thing. Westminster has the power to pull the plug on Holyrood as the devolution bill did not make devolution irreversible. That’s what these jam tomorrow types people must remember when casting their votes.

      Difference between an Act of the UK and Scottish Parliaments
      An Act of the UK Parliament is supreme law within the United Kingdom. It cannot be overturned in any court in the UK.

      An Act of the Scottish Parliament is subordinate legislation meaning that, theoretically, it can be revoked by the Westminster Parliament, and Acts of the Scottish Parliament could be deemed unlawful in court if they conflicted with the statutory competence of the Scottish Parliament as defined by the Scotland Act 1998.

      In this regard, and however unlikely it may be, the Scottish Parliament could, theoretically, be abolished by Westminster. The sovereignty of the UK Parliament is asserted in Sec. 28(7) of the Scotland Act 1998.

    76. ronnie anderson says:

      ‘Ian brotherhood, YUP, am its a pain in the arse,ah hiv a synaptic pointing device, an it,s a pain in the arse tae, how day a stop that.

    77. CameronB says:

      Got this ‘helpful’ reply from the Scottish Law Society. The subject of my e-mail was Scots law, and the question was whether the Law Society had an opinion on Scotland’s apparent extinction.

      Sheena Cummings
      Jan 20 at 12:52 PM

      Dear Mr Brodie,

      Many thanks for your email.

      As the professional body for solicitors in Scotland I am afraid the Society is not able to help you in this matter. The Society performs a representative and regulatory role to the Scottish legal profession and as such it is not within our regulatory ambit to make comment on historical events.

      May I suggest that you could seek academic opinion on this subject. Many of the high street bookstores hold copies of various debates by historians.

      Alternatively you may wish to speak with the National Library of Scotland to ascertain if they can assist you in this matter. The contact details are:

      National Library of Scotland
      George IV Bridge
      Edinburgh
      EH1 1EW

      T: 0131 623 3700

      I do hope this will be of some assistance.

      Yours Sincerely, etc.

    78. Taranaich says:

      @Ian:No can do. Didn’t realise that debate was so soon. Tonight nae use for me. Sorry. Hope you make it along, and it goes well.

      Ach, sorry to hear that, would’ve been grand to meet up. Still, one of my friends is attending and is actually in the audience (they’re hoping to ask about either Trident or the BBC/STV bias report), so here’s hoping.

      I’m going to print out some copiers of that “useful websites” flyer, as well as a list of must-read material (McCrone, Claim of Scotland, Common Weal etc), see how it goes. I don’t know if I’ll just hand them out, or get to talking with people and hand them out if they seem interested.

    79. Papadocx says:

      @big jock 1:48 pm

      They will not eliminate the Scottish parliament. THEY WILL CASTRATE IT. Then use and abuse it at their whim for their own political gain. JOB DONE. Now they can rob us blind again. GOD SAVE THE UNION.

    80. Andrew Morton says:

      I’ve lost the up/down buttons too.

    81. CameronB says:

      …and here is my reply.

      Thank you for you prompt and curteous reply.

      Unfortunately, I am more than a little shocked and dissapointed that you are unable to indicate whether the Society actually believes that Scotland exists or not. After all, it is in the Society’s name and the solicitors that you represent practice Scots law. Or is that just Scotch mist?

    82. Grant_M says:

      Papadocx: “Why is Aberdeen planning a new harbour at Black Dog on the North side of Aberdeen.”

      Um, maybe I missed something! Isn’t the new harbour development to be at Nigg Bay (immediately south of the existing harbour entrance)?

    83. Illy says:

      Two things:

      They won’t castate the Scottish parlement. They’ll booby-trap it so the SNP get destroyed. (There was an article here a while ago about how giving Hollyrood more tax responsibilities would end up destroying the SNP)

      Pirate Radio isn’t illegal if it operates from outside any nations’ jurisdiction. That was the whole point.

      “Yes” has the internet sewn up, what’s needed is real-world exposure. Billboards, Radio, TV. Sides of the buses in Edinburgh and Glasgow with some of the White Paper’s infographics on them.

      So far the Yes campaign has stayed within the law, but as is so often pointed out, Westminster makes the law to suit themselves. I’m suprised that they haven’t done more with that to be a hinderence.

    84. HandandShrimp says:

      I thought the Scottish Affairs committee had bagsied Holyrood as their own pesonal chanty in the event of a No vote.

    85. liz says:

      Yes it is fun over at the bbc comments today, have upvoted every comment on UWS report and Derek Bateman – how long will it last?

      Holyrood will definitely be dimished to the point of uselessness if a No vote.

      That Scotland ceased to be and the silence from the SG – I don’t think they would have ignored it – AS is very astute and spent so long at Westminster I’m sure he would have been aware of this and possibly work is going on behind the scenes.

      Lastly, I comment less now on the MSM, although I think it might have been useful as it was mentioned that there are now more pro-indy comments from women on the Herald – and am going to get more involved in other areas.

      My bro and me are going to the glad cafe event and will voluteer to help out anyway we can,

    86. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Taranaich –

      Gutted I’m missing it, but there will surely be other chances – hope the rain clears if you’re going to be stuck outside, and that you don’t encounter any angry BT warmers. Stay safe mister.

    87. Iain says:

      I’ve just realised that I’ve become so used to distorted reporting in the Scottish press that I’ve accepted it as normal, and forgotten about the Press Complaints Commission. Surely the Scotsman article is a worthy candidate for citation? The Scotsman will be be told of every instance of complaint: even if nothing comes of objections to many particular articles, valid though they will undoubtedly be, there is virtue in the exercise itself, in raising attention at the PPC, and in harrying the dishonest hacks at the newspaper.

    88. SquareHaggis says:

      Apparently there was a show on ITV last night regarding Rabbie Burns.

      I didn’t see it but am told it was using the same tactics, claiming Burns would have been agin Independence, some professor arguing against.

      Anyone watch it?

    89. SoDa says:

      I came to let you know of the fun to be had over on the BBC, they are taking a spanking on the comments, but i see from the comments here you all already know lol

    90. Dal Riata says:

      Newspaper? Nah, haven’t bought one for years. The ‘news’ is on the interet now. The so-called newspapers of today are nothing but the opinions of journalists and the agendas of the editors and the owners. Who wants to pay money to read lies and opinions? Not me, anyway.

      With the way the print media has behaved regarding the referendum and Scottish hopes for independence up to now – and which will, undoubtedly, continue in the same manner right up to the day of the referendum itself – I will have no sympathy at all for any of them, right down to the last survivor, as they go bust one by one and have to close (or move online in their entirity). Jobs lost by these inevitable closures? Tough! You fly with the craws you get shot with the craws.

      One other thing. Regarding the decreasing numbers of newspaper sales: it’s not just certain demographics within society that are stoppping the habit of buying a newspaper. Those numbers being lost to newspapers forever include the whole gamut from rich to poor from ‘Yes’ voter to ‘No’ voter. This applies to the ‘Sundays’ as well as the dailies.

    91. Richard says:

      Dal Riata

      On the point about newspapers, I received an email about the guardian cutting its prices on the day that I called to cancel my subscription. Wings and Yes are better receptacles for my limited money. As for the Scotsman..

    92. ronnie anderson says:

      @Conan @ lily, & the Suffrajet,s stayed within the LAW,

      the UK have abused our Scottish Law,in the Treaty of

      Union,or I missread the J.H.PATON book,30day,s porridge is

      worth suppin, fur Freedom,s Gain, there,s plenty of

      lamp post,s, pole,s, a wee 3.4 inch sticker,We need to get

      out by whatever mean,s, sticker,s advertizing site,s like

      Wing,s, for Factual Info Sorry REV you can hardly be

      accused of a midnight flyposting walk, Law whit Law.Did I

      mention I dont know the rules of Cricket,( ah ken jiminy

      kriket)The Marques of Queensberry is long DEED.

    93. HandandShrimp says:

      “Alas, I have often said to myself what are the boasted advantages which my country reaps from a certain Union that counterbalance the annihilation of her Independence, and even her name !”

      In a letter to Mrs Dunlop Burns I think makes quite clear his position. What some on the No side seem to be arging is that if Burns were alive today he would be so awed by the benefits of the Union that he would change his position and argue for the Union. This of course supposes that he would coampre the 18th century to 21st and not 21st Scotland century with other 21st century countries. I am a little sceptical. Yes, Burns wrote some pro British stuff when backs were against the wall regarding Napoleon and questions were raised about his loyalties but those were particular circumstances and to extrapolate to the general from the specific is perhaps unwise. In the letter he clearly states that he “often” thinks the Union was not a good move. That I believe is rather more in accord with his overall stance.

    94. CameronB says:

      The benefits of this Britain? A few year old but always worth remembered.

      John Pilger – Flying the Flag: Arming the World

    95. fairiefromtheearth says:

      I take it Dr Comerford will be getting in touch with the procerator fiscal and making a complaint about the papers who distorted his work?

    96. Derick faeYell says:

      CameronB – If I had a spare pound I would send you it for that exchange with the venal lawyers!

    97. CameronB says:

      Derick fae Yell
      Thanks very much. 🙂

      I think it’s a public disgrace if this remains the Society’s position. It looks like they are not prepared to lay claim to the legal system they make their living from.

    98. Desimond says:

      Congratulations to STV and especially BBC who portrayed the “Taxes not enough to close gap between rich and poor” story in the style we expected.

      The BBC Scotland final feel good story with the Scots amputee walking to the Pole with a big Union Jack next to his picture was lovely too.

    99. dave kemp says:

      Interestingly though :

      1) The BBC website is allowing comments (still after a long time..) on a Scottish political issue.

      2) The bulk of the comments are, from a browse, YES.

      This is surely a very odd situation. Any time before when I check the BBC no comments are allowed. Is it just me ?

    100. Ken500 says:

      There has been two editions of YES newspapers going out, hundreds of thousands. There will be even more. That will give the punters something to think about. Along with the Pro Independence sites like Wings. They are now the most visited sites.

      Thanks to everyone. Yes, this will be won.

      It is the people who usually do not vote, who will decide. They are off the Pollsters radar.

    101. Murray McCallum says:

      CameronB replied:
      “Shocked … you are unable to indicate whether the Society actually believes that Scotland exists or not. After all, it is in the Society’s name and the solicitors that you represent practice Scots law. Or is that just Scotch mist?”

      Which leads me to enquire with the UK Film Council, given the UK Government believes Scotland ceased to exist in 1707, if the 1954 Hollywood movie ‘Brigadoon’ should be re-classified as a documentary.

    102. Ken500 says:

      Scottish lawyers training is provided/funded by Scottsh taxpayers.

      The agreement of the Act of Union 1707 was that Scottish Law would be separated forever, and there could be no overruling. It could only be changed by negotiation. Ie the two governments would have to reconvene and be independent. That did not happen, with Devolution, so the London Supreme Court is illegal. Tony Blair will soon be at the Hague. Chilcott verdict etc.

      Westminster wants to prevent Scottish independent membership of the EU or UN or NATO because the Scottish Gov could complain about the way Westminster Unionists have behaved in relationship to Scottish Affairs. Westminster would be censored, and they know it.

    103. ronnie anderson says:

      @conan,@lilyThat last post on the Suffrajet,s Should have read Strayed,

    104. dadsarmy says:

      Thanks for the tips about the BBC being open. I registered and posted this:

      John Robertson, University of the West of Scotland, has produced a report which shows the BBC is biased against Independence.

      Would BBC Scotland like to invite John Robertson as a guest, and have a complete Newsnight Scotland programme with the sole purpose of exploring its own bias, with an equal number of Pro-independence and Unionists on its panel?

    105. dadsarmy says:

      And then I posted this:

      And having had the Newsnight Scotland program exploring its own bias, with UWS who produced a report which shows the BBC is biased against Independence, would BBC Scotland have a follow-up Newsnight Scotland which examines where the responsibility lies, if it’s with the presenters of news or current affairs, or with the editors, or further, perhaps much further, up the tree?

    106. dadsarmy says:

      Next article they have which shows any bias against Indepednence perhaps someone could post something similar there, rush over here (and Newsnet) and post to get everyone to upvote it so it gets the Highest Rated tag?



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