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Archive for the ‘media’


The big idea 604

Posted on August 13, 2019 by

Crazy stuff happens when we have a thought.

Buckle in for a bumpy ride if you don’t like pictures of my ugly mug.

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On Tape 324

Posted on August 11, 2019 by

We thought readers might possibly like to hear the unexpurgated audio of our interview with The Times this week, so that they could judge the tone of our “expletive-ridden condemnations” and whatnot for themselves.

Other than a few bits of minor tidying-up – such as me umming and aahing trying to remember the name of a song, or when the manager came round to ask if we wanted more drinks – this is the whole of the “official” interview.

(In conversation with Kenny Farquharson of The Times, 1 August 2019)
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Running the numbers 452

Posted on August 10, 2019 by

So, there’s been quite a response to our interview in today’s Times.

The interview was an interesting one in itself that we might talk more about later this weekend, but let’s leave that aside for now and talk about the headline take, because as usual the Scottish media is presenting it in a remarkably dishonest manner.

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Voices of the colonies 408

Posted on August 07, 2019 by

In case you missed it, there was an interesting phone-in on the subject of Scottish independence on James O’Brien’s LBC radio show from 10am this morning. I chipped my tuppence-worth in at the start (I’m the second caller, from about 6m 25s), but it’s fascinating listening to O’Brien’s tone evolve as the hour-long segment goes on.

(James O’Brien, LBC, 7 August 2019)
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We don’t doubt for a moment the sincerity and good intent with which he states his position. But when he talks in the intro about the special feelings he has when he’s in Scotland, which he also gets in Greece, the whole argument collapses.

Because O’Brien doesn’t appear to need to feel that he “owns” Greece, or that he’s a Greek citizen, to have that warmth towards it. He doesn’t need the people of England to elect Greece’s governments for it – he’s happy to have those feelings towards a completely independent country. So why not about an independent Scotland?

(Sadly I was cut off before I got a chance to respond to his point about Germany and its federal regions, which would have been to point out that no one German region is six times bigger than all the others put together and can – and does – impose its will on them whenever it wants.)

And much to his credit he appears to realise that as the show goes on. Whether he still thinks deep down that the Scottish independence movement is in significant part driven by anti-Englishness, only he can say. But his callers today at least appear to have made him think about it, and it’s a process worth listening to.

The cut-off 160

Posted on August 03, 2019 by

The Times leads its Scottish edition today with a piece on Ruth Davidson’s collapsing popularity with Tory members, which it helpfully illustrates with a graph.

Alert readers will notice, however, that for some inexplicable reason the graph ends more than a year ago, in July 2018, with Davidson’s rating still at a very healthy 54% – some three and a half times what it is now. So we’ve fixed it for them.

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The bag lady 139

Posted on July 27, 2019 by

We’re pretty sure we can’t be alone in being a little perturbed by this paragraph from a story in today’s Times.

It’s public knowledge that Davidson worked for BBC Scotland before becoming a Tory MSP, but we don’t think it’s ever been revealed that she was also working as a lackey, chaffeur and seamstress for a politician.

(Presumably in her spare time, but honestly who knows?)

BBC staff – especially those working in news departments – are supposed to be impeccably politically impartial, including outside of work hours, for extremely obvious reasons. We can’t help but wonder whether there are any current BBC Scotland news broadcasters running around the country fiddling with the flies of Conservative MPs while they’re on party-political business.

Is Glenn Campbell making tea for Ross Thomson? Does Isabel Fraser polish Alister Jack’s shoes on speaking engagements? Does Andrew Kerr have to keep Bill Grant’s sash and apron nicely ironed? Is it Gordon Brewer’s job to brush Kirstene Hair’s hair or remind her to breathe in and out?

Unfortunately, as it’s the BBC there’s very little point in asking, so we’ll never know.

All hail the new Britain 69

Posted on July 24, 2019 by

Let the bells ring out and rejoice.

Still, at least the Record hasn’t been so completely lacking in self-awareness as to point a finger at others in Scotland and say something like “far too many people who should know better are complicit in the tragedy”.

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Diversionary pointing 133

Posted on July 19, 2019 by

From today’s lurid Scottish Daily Mail cover splash about a “£1 BILLION TAX BLACK HOLE” appearing in the Scottish budget “despite [imaginary] Nationalist tax hikes”:

But hang on a minute.

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Forever England 146

Posted on July 12, 2019 by

Hey readers, remember that time when England went to war with Germany?

You know, just England, under its Union Jack flag. Nobody else.

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The four estates 235

Posted on July 07, 2019 by

There’s quite an interesting piece in today’s Sunday National detailing the extremely unequal representation of various parties on the BBC’s network politics shows in the last month, in which readers will be astonished to learn that the SNP (and Scotland in general) come off very poorly.

(Five appearances compared to eight for the Lib Dems, 40 for Labour and a startling 143 for the Tories.)

As it happened, it coincided with our coming by a list of people who’ve appeared on the Corporation’s nightly newspaper-review show, so we wondered whether the brave members of the press whose job it is to scrutinise politics independently might have redressed the balance somewhat.

Let’s find out.

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Imagine our astonishment 242

Posted on July 03, 2019 by

When this complaint got the brush-off from the BBC, flatly refusing a right of reply under Article 28 of the Broadcasting Code to the Corporation’s grossly unbalanced and factually-inaccurate coverage of our court case against Kezia Dugdale:

We now have to go through TWO more rounds of pointless dickaboutery and dismissal from the BBC, taking up several weeks, before Ofcom will take the matter up.

(You may have noted, incidentally, that the letter gives no indication that its response can be appealed in any way. It took Ofcom to tell us it could.)

We’ll keep you posted.

Prop up your jaws 799

Posted on June 25, 2019 by

You’re going to need to before you watch today’s episode of The Jeremy Vine Show, featuring Paul Burrell (who used to be a royal butler about 20 years ago and somehow is now a political commentator), Nicola McLean (who used to get her surgically-altered breasts out for tabloid newspapers around the same time and then went on a reality show for halfwits with no actual talents), and Carole Malone, who we assume is some sort of live public-safety-information warning about the dangers of overdoing HRT.

Vine watches the unfolding horror with the expression of a man absolutely convinced he’s going to be murdered the next time he comes to Scotland. The most painful part is probably just after (Scottish) co-host and former weathergirl Storm Huntley (no, really) helpfully pipes up to suggest “shortbread, tartan… bagpipes” as Scotland’s economic foundations, at which point Jeremy turns in last-ditch desperation to the audience to save him from this slow-motion trainwreck and… well, you’ll see how that goes.

When the second indyref comes along, whenever the Yes campaign has a political broadcast slot on TV, we suggest just putting this on every time.



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