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Archive for the ‘scottish politics’


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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The irrefutable argument 140

Posted on July 05, 2019 by

We haven’t done a good old-fashioned Quoted For Truth in quite some time, but on occasion someone else makes a point in a way that just can’t be improved on.

We’ve always known/said that this is THE core case for independence, of course, but sometimes seeing it from another country’s perspective brings the message home.

No-Independence Day 465

Posted on July 04, 2019 by

I went for a very long walk before writing this post, because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t doing it in the heat of anger. But 8.5 miles and 18,753 steps later it still needs to be said and there’s no getting out of it, so batten down the hatches, folks.

Last night SNP MP Mhairi Black tweeted what may be the most ill-advised, destructive, offensive, repellent and just downright idiotic thing that I’ve ever seen an elected SNP member do. (Maybe not just the SNP.)

The video, bizarrely made for the amusement of readers of comedy lad-mag website Joe.co.uk, sees Black reading out a series of supposedly “transphobic” and “mean” tweets – almost all from women and only two of which were in any way rude – and reacting to them with a toxic mixture of arrogant condescension, mockery and insults, alongside a tirade of flatly wrong and endlessly-debunked myths.

It concludes with the smirking, sniggering suggestion that women, including survivors of male violence, who’ve expressed their serious concerns over reforms to the Gender Recognition Act – concerns shared by the overwhelming majority of women, and of the population as a whole – are “Jeremy Hunts”, a piece of rhyming slang that doesn’t need any translation.

The video pretty much speaks for itself, unfortunately, but let’s look at some highlights.

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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.

Live and in pieces 202

Posted on July 01, 2019 by

We suspect that LBC’s Iain Dale might have been reading this morning’s Wings article before he interviewed Jo Swinson tonight.

We can only hope any subsequent Scottish interviewers do as diligent a job, and also pick her up on a few of the blatant lies she did manage to sneak past Dale.

Political Jargon For Dummies 90

Posted on July 01, 2019 by

Prospective new Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson was interviewed on Sky News this morning, where she made the usual honking mess of the admittedly-impossible task that is trying to justify her party’s naked hypocrisy over second referendums.

Swinson indignantly insisted that “the SNP do not have a mandate for [a second indyref]”, a statement which we of course already know is unambiguously false.

The SNP campaigned in 2016 on an explicit pledge to have a new vote if Scotland was dragged out of the EU despite voting to Remain, and they won the election and formed the government, having secured more MSPs than Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems put together (63-60).

They then put their manifesto pledge to the Parliament, which voted for it by a clear majority of 54% to 46% (almost exactly the reverse of the 2014 referendum, routinely described by Unionists as an “overwhelming” majority).

Finally they campaigned on the same pledge in the 2017 UK general election, where they again won more seats than the three Unionist parties combined (35-24).

So that’s a pretty clear triple democratic and political mandate in any parliamentary democracy: a majority of MSPs, a majority of Scottish MPs and a majority of the Scottish Parliament. But since Jo Swinson doesn’t seem to recognise it, we wondered if she maybe just didn’t know what the word meant.

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Dissolve The Union, says Labour 225

Posted on June 30, 2019 by

That’s the only reasonable interpretation of this tweet from Jenny Marra MSP.

Because clearly if the Scottish Parliament of 1707 was an illegitimate oligarchy that didn’t represent the people – and it certainly didn’t – then it can’t have had any right to sign away the sovereignty of Scotland and the Acts Of Union must immediately be repealed and a new referendum held to decide whether Scotland should join the UK.

And of course, we already know how that would go.

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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.

A failure of balance 301

Posted on June 24, 2019 by

After five days I’ve had no response to this:

As Ofcom require any complaints about the BBC to be directed to the Corporation first, I’ve sent the BBC the letter below today (by physical mail, as the online complaint form is comically inadequate), which I expect to be a waste of time and energy. If I don’t receive a satisfactory response – and I’m sure that I won’t – I’ll take it up with Ofcom.

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The imperfect kiss 417

Posted on June 22, 2019 by

It’s not just angels who have wings 296

Posted on June 20, 2019 by

My interview on this week’s Alex Salmond show:

Click the pic to watch.

The snivelling beggar 251

Posted on June 19, 2019 by

A crude clip of this segment from Shelagh Fogarty’s LBC show yesterday is doing the rounds on Twitter at the moment, and it deserves both better audiovisual quality and a wider audience. If features Regan Morann, a rather confused Tory from Scotland who has quite an opinion of himself.

But for some reason, that swaggering self-confidence deserted him when confronted with the reality that Tories in the rest of the UK would throw Scotland (and Northern Ireland) under the bus in the blink of an eye if doing so was the price of Brexit.

An incredulous Fogarty, speaking for just about everyone listening to the show, asks “Where’s your self-respect?” as Morann burbles about debasing himself desperately in front of his English colleagues who don’t want him or care about him, and his eventual answer was enlightening, in a tragic kind of way.

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