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Dear Murray

Posted on August 24, 2018 by

The recent former Daily Record editor and even more recent Yes convert Murray Foote caught a few people’s eyes on Twitter this morning with a rather audacious use of the phrase “decent Tories like Adam Tomkins”.

But it was a piece he wrote for The Times that we found harder to swallow.

We’ve got some spare time today, so let’s go through it all.

Fair’s fair, can’t expect a former Record ed to start without a reflexive “SNP BAD”. It’s their equivalent of “Hello”.

Two paragraphs of waffly vague innuendo and smear with no specific examples cited. Not much anyone can do with that, but it helps pad the word count. Come on, Murray, get to the meat.

And we’re finally off for real, with the implication that a single tiny misstep caused the Sunday Herald’s readers to revolt in such apocalyptic and unreasonable outrage that it may have triggered the closure of the entire paper.

The reality is that independence supporters – and particularly SNP voters – had been increasingly disillusioned with the SH for years by that point. A new editor had seemed to be on a mission to antagonise the Yes mainstream in favour of far-left micro-parties like RISE, and an angry personal character hadn’t helped. For many the front cover on the Glasgow march was just the last in a series of straws.

This is a very strange argument if you actually stop for a moment and examine the statistics. Coming out as a pro-independence paper more than doubled the Sunday Herald’s sales. And those readers actually remained remarkably loyal in the face of a determined attempt to alienate them – it took years for the paper’s circulation to drop back down below where it had been when it declared for Yes.

During that time, of course, its rivals kept on falling. So even after its slump the SH is currently still shifting 40% more copies than its main competitor Scotland On Sunday (18K to 13K), which used to outsell it by a similar margin before 2014 (33K to 24K).

By any rational assessment, even after its relationship with readers soured, going indy was a positive economic move for the paper. Its sales were down 25% over the entire period, whereas the staunchly (and consistently) Unionist SoS is down by 64%.

Foote then makes an even stranger deduction. He notes that when another paper shifted in the opposite direction – away from mainstream soft-left pro-Holyrood Scottish political opinion and into the crowded right-wing market – its sales tanked.

A reasonable person might conclude from these two events that abandoning an under-served pro-Scottish sector for an oversaturated extreme-UK one was a bad idea, whereas moving into a pro-indy gap in the market had worked out well. Foote instead decides that the two very different outcomes somehow prove that all change is bad.

But then we start to get to the crux of the article.

Aha! It was big vile cybernats that did it and ran away! Apparently, holding newspapers to account by pointing out when they tell lies has “irredeemably poisoned” the well, so that no newspaper could possibly succeed no matter what it did.

But as we’ve just noted, the Sunday Herald DID gain – and gain significantly – by taking a Yes stance. People WERE still prepared to demonstrate faith. The simple fact is that the SH blew it.

Handed a vast influx of new readers desperate to trust it, it slowly squandered that trust by targeting a tiny niche and by attacking people on its own side. (It probably didn’t help that its two most prominent political reporters were – how can we put this? – perhaps not felt by the readership to be fully on board with the new direction.)

What Foote reveals here is that when it comes to the crunch, the mainstream media will always put aside its own differences and unite against the grubby proletariat who dare to question what they’re given.

And that’s neither surprising nor unique to journalism. These are people in the same industry, who go to the same pubs and parties and awards ceremonies, and who are locked in a siege mentality because their publications are all plunging down the same toilet, in more senses than one.

They’re all in the same boat, that boat is sinking, and they refuse to accept any degree of responsibility for the fact that they’ve been setting off cannons on board. It has to be SOMEONE else’s fault, so let’s somehow blame a handful of loonies on Twitter for the fact that you’ve binned 200,000 readers in seven years.

Murray chuckles this one off with a dismissive magnanimity, as if he’s above such base, crude unpleasantries. Which would work okay if he hadn’t called this site “A world of conspiracy theories, hatred and paranoia… a brand of nationalism that seeks to peddle falsehoods and unfounded allegations against anyone who isn’t a believer… nasty, sewage politics that debases public life” when we dared to suggest in 2015 that perhaps Scottish Labour had hired an actress to portray an NHS nurse in a leaflet.

(We suggested it as a possibility because they’d pictured her in her uniform, which is against NHS rules for real employees and could easily have recklessly got an actual nurse fired. It turned out that what we’d done was simply underestimate Scottish Labour’s legendary incompetence in failing to airbrush the logo out to protect her.)

If you go around calling other people sewage, you really can’t suddenly try to reclaim the moral high ground if someone calls you shite. (And we’re sure it was a total coincidence that this outburst came just days after the Record had finally had to grudgingly retract an absolute £20bn whopper of a front-page lie that we’d highlighted months earlier.)

This is a weirdly contradictory paragraph. On the one hand is says that the best you can aim for is balance, but at the same time claims that the Record’s readership is so poisonously entrenched in its politics (and whose fault is that, readers might wonder) that even introducing a contradictory viewpoint once a week can cost it readers.

But the penultimate sentence is a nonsense. Nobody is a critic of newspapers as a concept. They’re a fantastic concept. What people in Scotland actually want is BETTER newspapers, but having cried out in vain for decades, more and more of them are concluding that they’d rather have none at all than terrible ones that do nothing but spew lies at them every day.

Dreadful dishonest journalism isn’t any cheaper than doing it well. This site has spent six years documenting how the Scottish media doesn’t report the news but MISreports it, deliberately misleading readers with spin and distortion. And there’s no need to do that. It’s a choice. As Foote acknowledges in the paragraph above, editors do it to try to desperately cling to their existing readers by pandering to their prejudices.

If they reported the news calmly and accurately and fairly, rather than trying to hype every last thing into FURY and OUTRAGE and SHOCK, their readerships might not be so petrified (in every sense of that word) of any sort of change.

Well, they do say you should try to end on a joke. After boldly having a shot at claiming that people who want truthful news are Trumpite fascists, Foote manages to somehow deadpan his way through a line about the UK’s joke of a “press regulator”, IPSO, which – when it can be bothered to pursue things at all – savagely slams erring publications with the onerous responsibility of, um, a microscopic correction at the bottom of page 2 several weeks after the event.

If the Scottish and UK press were to sign up to any sort of meaningful regulation, where doing bad things had any real consequences – like fines, or corrections of equal prominence to the original falsehood – they might actually have (a) some trust again from readers, and (b) an incentive to be better at journalism in the first place.

But whenever it’s suggested, they circle the wagons together against the outsiders yet again and scream about “press freedom” and how regulation would hamper their ability to do the serious investigative stories that none of them ever actually do any more because they’re full of rehashed press releases from PR firms and political parties or paparazzi shots of “celebrities” flashing their underwear.

“Shut up when we tell malicious lies about you, for the good of the country” is a pretty ambitious line to close on. The truth of the matter is that everyone wants a free press holding power to account, but since that isn’t even remotely what we’ve got – in Scotland less so than almost anywhere else, since nearly none of our press is native – then dire warnings about its loss are an empty threat.

Because at the end of the day – as Murray Foote himself suggested indirectly in his Adam Tomkins tweet – having an active evil present in public life is worse than having nothing. And some things are better emasculated.

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    1. 24 08 18 14:56

      Dear Murray | speymouth

    121 to “Dear Murray”

    1. Dan Huil says:

      Brilliant post by the Rev. Once again further proof of the diseased state of the britnat press in Scotland is there for all to see.

      The britnat’s media’s only response, as we’ve seen, especially, over the last 24 hours, is further poison. They are forming a circle in a last stand and firing at anything that moves in a desperate attempt to cling on to influence. Their bulletins are blank.

      We must continue to boycott the britnat press and media.

    2. Ken500 says:

      It’s nothing to with the SNP Scottish Gov. It’s St Andrew’s House. Mundell’s territory. Unionist stitch up. Psycho bastards. How low can they go.

      Alex doesn’t look much bothered. Might be enjoying it. Having a go at the Tories.

      Foote just loves himself. Arrogant and ignorant. It’s all about him. Like most of the Press tanking. Non Dom tax evaders. Westminster controlled BBC.

      Thank goodness for the internet.

    3. Lou Nisbet says:

      There is another argument re the whole UK newspapers thing. It is simply that they are all utter crap. It does not matter what their political affiiations are if no one with any sense wants to read the damn things at all.

      I discovered the truth about UK newspapers on a short trip to Paris in the seventies. I got a copy of Le Monde and even with my atrocious French it was obvious to me that it was in a completely different class to UK papers.

      I have never bought a UK paper since. I used teletext and now the net exclusively. As the ridiculous costs of newspapers in the UK spiralled completely out of control you can now get a good fibre net connection for the monthly cost of most UK newspapers.

      The result – no contest – who needs to pay for inferior service when a vastly superior and global service is cheaper.

      This is NOT going to change. The UK press are on a downward spiral which nobody but the press cares about. How sad(not).

    4. Bob Mack says:

      In a nutshell, they destroyed themselves. They tried to control public opinion by fair means oror foul, believing that their influence would just be accepted willy nilly.

      People however have changed, as has our access to information.
      We have judged the press against other sources of information,such as Wings and found them wanting for truth,accuracy,and unbiased reporting.

      They shot themselves in the foot and now want to sue whoever made the bullets!!.

      The sense of entitlement continues unabated.

    5. Dr Jim says:

      There’s a thing that you do Stu and it’s the mainest biggesest reason they hate the bones of you

      You undermine what they think is their crafty intelligence by being smarterer than they are and exposing what they don’t want exposed

      The fact that there are a lot of diddies who think they’re smart alecs in the *churnalisties* game and you’re a smarterer alec than them so keep catching them at it and they no likey looking stupid

      If they had guns mate Phew!

    6. almannysbunnet says:

      What an absolute cracking read, one of your best. Let’s hope the new Sunday National proves him wrong and that a more balanced pro independence newspaper can garner a wide audience.

    7. Ken500 says:

      The DR has a story about a guy pulling off a mask. Among other nonsense. They expect to be taken seriously.

      They shut off comments after the VOW. Such was the anger and annoyance of their readership.

    8. Dr Jim says:

      This is the UK press and media who continually tell us they’re the best and truthiest in the world

      If that’s the case why are they rated down in the forties 40s for truth and accuracy by all the other countries press and media

    9. Muscleguy says:

      Foote puts up a false dichotomy over the choices of a paper in response to the rise of support for Yes. He thinks a paper should either be pro Union or pro Yes when in fact a paper that was scrupulously and fairly neutral would have been greeted as a good step, especially wrt the BBC for eg.

      How many of the papers are like that? I cannot think of one.

    10. Thepnr says:

      His whole article has been torn to shreds piece by piece.

      I hope he reads it, though that would likely make him even more unhappy than he is now at the fact that a blog which is:

      “A world of conspiracy theories, hatred and paranoia…”

      Wings articles actually get to the truth of the matter with far better writing than he himself could produce and he’ll know it after reading this. Neatly done again Rev.

    11. Merkin Scot says:

      The likes of the Record have had plenty of warning ie that people (particularly the youngsters) no longer have to put up with whatever establishment scripted crap that the MSM wants to punt.
      Hell mend ’em and their new gatekeepers with the Damoscene conversions.

    12. Proud Cybernat says:

      No newspaper is better than a bad newspaper.

      Or something like that.

    13. Marie Clark says:

      Murray Foote eh, leopard’s and spots.

      Great analysis Rev, it just goes to show why the newspapers are in their current state. No awareness at all have they.

      As for the Sunday Herald, I bought it from it’s very first edition, and I used to enjoy it. But it started to go downhill, bad choice of some of it’s journalists. I’m all for a paper with different points of view and analysis, that’s what they should do.Gradually though and I think for me most relevantly after the death of Ian Bell, the Sunday herald totally lost it’s way, and the plot, with all this Rise nonsense. So I made the decision to stop buying it. That was my right as the paying customer. If you start producing nonsense and further more, insulting the intelligence of your readers that what happens.

      Murray Foote seems to exist and a strange world. Not one I recognise.

    14. Ken500 says:

      Re Alex Salmond allegations. It’s not the Scottish Gov. It’s Mundell and the Tories. St Andrew House. Another Tory own goal. It will put up support for Independence. What a bunch of numpties.

      He took someone’s stapler? Or similar. The investigation conclusion is supposed to be released by Ms Evans. Can’t wait.

    15. Adam Tomkins is like the Mundells,s a cuckoo in the Scottish nest.How many of these have been bought in and paid for with money from where? Their main interest is themselves, a Scotland belonging to England as a long term colony,that has the resources and manufacture to trade with the world.London is the place for services?? so, has London to offer Scottish and Welsh goods renamed., in a place they refer to as North Britain. What London and S.E,England offers could be carried out anywhere,.The neglect of manufacture is their downfall,when dealing with W.T.O. deals,Geneva will prove a harder nut to crack than Brussels

    16. The reality is that newspapers can’t really win in a conflict with the new information age. It’s impossible. Internet entities can publish information, good or ill, within minutes; papers have an evening deadline and publish the following day.

      Their online editions don’t work as a check against this change, either. No matter how many journalists you hire, they’re only ever exactly that – journalists. In the same way politicians exist for power, it’s actually academics that know what the heck they’re talking about.

      Wings Over Scotland has a following because the quality of its research, IN A SPECIFIC SUBJECT AREA, is very high.

      But would we listen to its views on medicine?

      What about education policy?

      How about advice about developing a modern military?

      The online information space has experts on these topics (chosen at random), and no number of journalists can ever keep up with their output or accuracy of content. All they can do is report that someone qualified is saying something smart, and that it’s somehow newsworthy. When that “someone qualified” becomes failing businessman Kevin Hague, supported by ex civil servant Jim Gallagher, the entire gamut of Scottish political commentary gets ruined.

      Of course, once these monolithic organisations exist for a while, and get riddled with the problems described by Chomsky, facts end up an unnecessary commodity.

      I don’t know what the solution is.

      All I know is that this generational iteration of ‘news’ doesn’t have much longer to go.

      It’s in its death throes.

      And nobody will really miss it.

    17. haudonthenoo says:

      Correct Muscleguy.

      I’d be perfectly happy with a paper with a neutral stance.

    18. Giving Goose says:

      I don’t buy, nor read newspapers.
      I occasionally pick up some rag that may be laying around in the Muir of Ord fish n’ chip shop while I’m waiting on my jumbo haddock n’ chips (excellent fish n’ chips – the best in Scotland IMHO), but that’s about my only contact with a newspaper.

      There appears to be a sense of disbelief among people like Foote that the industry has gone down the toilet.

      I think that the Unionist downstream network (i.e. the MSM and pond-life-politicians of the x3 Scottish Tory parties) have still to come to terms with the changed political landscape in Scotland. They “don’t get” the desire for Independence.

      They certainly cannot identify the drivers for Independence, and that simple fact makes them crap at their jobs.

      If they did understand then they would attempt to make common ground with the Independence movement.

      Unionist Tories from all x3 parties are quite simply unable to empathise with ordinary people’s concerns regarding poverty, housing, health care, education, jobs, ethical foreign policy etc etc.
      Says it all really.

      Until they, the down-stream Unionists and pond-life-politicians, actually make an attempt to understand voter’s concerns, then they will always be seen as worshippers of Westminster and neo-colonialists by a significant part of Scotland’s population.

      And they call us Cultists!

    19. thingy says:

      It’s the arrogant pride in their own ineptitude that gets me. Infallible scrievers and agents of truth and honour… except when they have to admit that they fucked up underneath a hand-drawn advert for polyester troosers.

      They’ve been slowly drawing a blade across their own throats for years and now that they are bleeding out they are desperately, confusedly grasping in the dark for whoever chibbed them. Authors of their own demise one might say, cheesily.

    20. Malcolm McCandless says:

      We need to remind Murray Foote that a Vow is not worth the paper it is published in.

    21. Thepnr says:

      You should invite Murray Foote to write a rebuttal to this article on Wings. I’m sure he’d jump at the chance to put the record straight. Or maybe no 🙂

    22. Alastair says:

      “decent Tories like Adam Tomkins”.

      What the actual Murray? I’m tellin yer Mum cos she doesn’t read The Times, your lugs will be nippin fella.

    23. galamcennalath says:

      Foote just doesn’t seem to get it, at all. It isn’t a question of whether newspapers are pro Indy, pro UK, or attempt to be balanced …. it’s the FACT that newspapers are publishing vast amounts of disinformation.

      The misreporting takes umpteen forms …

      – intentional omission, and partial omission to deceive the reader
      – plagiarism and reprinting press releases without fact checking
      – extrapolation of a minor situation into gross misrepresentation
      – quoting false and impartial ‘experts’ without disclosure
      – made up stories, pure fake news

      I would have absolutely no objection to a publication taking a pro UK line and making the positive case for their Union. That never seems to be their approach, though!

      Excuses are made, like, pandering to the prejudices of existing readership, cut backs in staff numbers, etc etc.. Partially true, perhaps. However, it’s hard not to draw the conclusion most is intentional propaganda and subversion of democratic discussion.

      A free press can be biased and partisan, however it shouldn’t be little more than crude propaganda campaigns.

    24. Could not help but notice the rabid press British/English,on the demonising of Alec Salmond,suspect guilty until proven innocent.The damage has been done,the thoughts planted,not unlike the S.N.P, M.P,s,who went independent and stayed in parliament,after two years proved innocent of charges,Carmichael another error,the flags with Nicola Sturgeon proved false news.The damage was done with little or no apologies from the papers.At the end Alec should take them to court and sue for every copy that went to print, the source of this story should be investigated, and those that flagged it up and paid for it! to be made public should also be held to account, and pay damages.

    25. Macart says:

      First class post Rev.

      Mr Foote isn’t just wrong. He’s wrong in the worst possible way.

      The publishers and the editorial staff in Scotland’s media made their choices. They put political affiliations, corporate bottom lines and party ideologies before people. They put people in harms way. Needless to say, people didn’t and don’t enjoy the experience.

      You don’t get to claim your industry can reach out and inform or influence opinion, then walk away pleading innocence when the consequences of your collective editorials turn sour. The UK we see today? The media willingly helped create. You get to shoulder your share of the blame.

    26. Jules says:

      The big problem with the media is the fact that rich people own and control it. So – fairly obviously – it’s going to reflect the opinions, issues and world view of the 1%, by and large.

      So Scotland’s media (or rather, the media to which Scotland is subjected), tends to be owned and controlled by rich people who usually aren’t Scottish. Now that’s not exactly a great demographic for Yes… so is it any surprise that the print media is 99% against Indy? No.

      Some people say ‘ah, but that’s just the print media. At least broadcast is subject to rules about impartiality’. But that doesn’t work either. As Robert Peston admitted, the BBC finds it much ‘safer’ to just follow the agenda set by the big newspapers. To deviate from that would be ‘risky’, whereas simply following whatever the Times, Mail or Telegraph has decided is ‘news’ is not. So – again – the agenda is set by very rich, non- Scottish people.

      I do have a different opinion from many on the Yes side about the Sunday Herald. I don’t think it ought to have been slavish and unquestioning in its support of the SNP and Yes. I think it’s far more powerful to have a newspaper that questions everyone and everything, but when it comes down to it – supports a cause. But the problem with that is just how desperate Yessers are for a newspaper that ‘gets’ them and isn’t yet another SNPBad cheerleader. I do understand that, and feel the same to some extent.

      Ideally, for me, we’d have a full range of pro-Indy newspapers, some of which are cheerleaders, some of which are more questioning (a bit like the range of titles lined up on the pro-union side).

      But we’re a long way from that.

    27. Breeks says:

      Propaganda isn’t news.

      Propaganda is what we get instead of news, and a propagandist isn’t a journalist.

      Understand the distinction, and suddenly there is no mystery to the floundering sales of newspapers and contempt for broadcast media.

      Scotland’s problem with its news media is that it doesn’t have one.

    28. Clootie says:

      …not much of a conversion then!
      It looks like stabbing his nation in the back once was not enough for him.

    29. Merkin Scot says:

      Wings Over Scotland has a following because the quality of its research, IN A SPECIFIC SUBJECT AREA, is very high.

      But would we listen to its views on medicine?

      What about education policy?

      How about advice about developing a modern military?
      .
      Maybe WoS could do a Sunday supplement with a coupla recipes, a horoscope and a TV guide?
      On the other hand, Maybe Not.

    30. Tackety Beets says:

      Growing up in West ABZ my parents had P&J delivered daily.
      I remember reading what I thought was truth, it may have been in 60s

      By early 70s I explored other newspapers, I was not impressed. As a teen I clearly remember getting a “Rangers News” ( M Foote’s DR) that was me done with them all. Never bought anything else again. Occasional Sunday Post and P&J read at parents.

      On a recent visit to my mams, now mid 80s & Yesser, even the P&J has been stopped.
      After sum 60 years of P&J an aul wifie couldna hack it any more ………

      How D’ya like them apples Murray ?

    31. Geordie says:

      Their sense of entitlement to (1) exist and thrive, (2) peddle their own biased agendas, and (3) remain immune to the consequences of their own actions is quite breathtaking. Dammit, we should be grateful and treasure them! After all, without them we would now be Independent and what a fine bloody mess that would have been…

    32. Bob Mack says:

      Craig Murray blog. Nail on head.

    33. Chick McGregor says:

      Nicola has just released a statement.

      https://mailchi.mp/snp/going-for-growth-339669?e=6183b09454

    34. Juteman says:

      Superb and devastating critique of Foote and the unionist press.

      The Scots have seen that they are naked, and the newspapers they used as clothes have dissolved under your scrutiny.

    35. Valerie says:

      Great stuff, Rev. Demolished Foote’s mostly stated opinions, comprehensively.

      Foote and his ilk seem to think we can’t spot their abdication of any professional responsibility for the demise of newspapers.

      Along with most, I would like to just see wide ranging reporting with a neutrality.

      Keep it up, Mr Foote, we love hacks blaming the indy movement for the demise of newspapers.

    36. Albaman says:

      Stew,
      Today it’s Alex Salmond, tomorrow?,
      It could be you!.
      (They’d be daft to try it!).

    37. Clootie says:

      We need to learn from team Brexit – “No press is better than a bad press”

    38. Valerie says:

      @ Mr Foote

      We have heard for nigh on 4 years now, from the media, how the Independence movement is fractured, in-fighting, basically falling apart.

      We are still here. Lots of newspapers, demonstrably, hanging by a thread, or folded.

      I’m sure that sucks, like a big powerful sucky thing.

      I have a very tiny violin I keep for just such occasions.

    39. ahundredthidiot says:

      Gemes a bogey

    40. Brian MacLeod says:

      As an ex businessman, I cannot understand the mindset of the owners of the press.

      There’s half the country supporting independence, and you set out to antagonise them while your sales are falling.

      There has to be another agenda, because that is pure stupid business practice.

    41. boris says:

      American journalists too a long hard look at themselves. Were unhappy with the outcome and brought forward a code of conduct by which they are judged. Scottish media would do well to observe the 9 principles of journalism

      https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/24/9-principles-of-honest-journalism-by-which-the-media-are-judged-by-the-public-is-there-an-honest-journalist-in-scotland-bbc-presenter-isobel-fraser-is-one-but-she-paid-the-penalty-for-it/

    42. Foonurt says:

      Heard same, oan Radio Scoattlin some weeks back, reviewing yoan Sunday rags.

      Bliddae awfae, ae wiz tae. Whin ah heard eez name, ett thurr enn, ah jist noaddit.

      Yoan Heralds, burrlin thurr nickurrs, abun thurr heids.

    43. Tam the Bam. says:

      Superbly constructed piece Stuart.

      Forensic and cogent.

    44. Shinty says:

      Foonuts says:

      “Yoan Heralds, burrlin thurr nickurrs, abun thurr heids.”

      Fair brought a smile to my face, thank you.

    45. Murray Foote writing in the Times owned by Murdoch’s American News Corp calls me ‘wrong headed and dangerous’.
      He is defending a billionaire’s monopoly.
      He thinks that WATP bigot Professor Two Jobs Adam Tomkins is a ‘decent Tory’.
      This decent Tory is complicit in killing 120,000 UK citizens by austerity cuts since 2010, was rejected roundly in my constituency but gets on the gravy train by the Old Boys Network of un elected List candidates, and lies about GERS on a three line tweet, and would close Holyrood tomorrow.
      If this is Foote’s idea of a decent Tory, then he has a very strange take on what ‘decency’ actually means.
      Great post, Stu. I look forward to your juicy sex scandal being exposed.
      I hope it involves a bath full of custard, and exotic women.

    46. Foonurt says:

      Aye, yoan nurse/actress, wanin same.

      Ah aye mine, wan contributor’s coamment – “Jesus wept, she’s an actress.”

    47. haudonthenoo says:

      If there is a bath of custard , count me in.

    48. Game, set and match to the wee guy fae Bath.

    49. robertknight says:

      “Customers are to blame” says furious Snake Oil Peddler after clients refuse to trust his claims, object to the taste and refuse to make more purchases.

    50. katherine hamilton says:

      Mr Foote and all his MSM colleagues have a way out. Do as Wings does and a myriad of other internet journalists I respect do.
      Link to your sources of info you use to develop your articles.
      None of you do that. Until you do I shall continue to disbelieve you, mistrust you. THAT is the nub of your demise. Until you do it looks like you are making stuff up.

      The world has moved on. You have failed to respect your customers, taken them for granted and are now dying.

      The new media have nailed it, you and your ilk haven’t. That’s the curse of cybernattery, not what they say but the evidential context they operate in.

      Now stop sulking and welcome to the new world. Start a blog, tirelessly work for Indy, prove yourself, charge for it.

      If your good, crowdfund. I’ll stick in a few quid.

      There’s a gauntlet. Pick it up.

    51. Dave Llewellyn says:

      Off the Record ,. A twats a twat for awe that.

    52. Hamish100 says:

      I think the unionists are worried. Why else would the scummy Daily Record attack AS as almost guilty as charged.
      Lets wait and see. Nicola Sturgeon was statesman like on the radio. Ican only imagine the unionists like the record have polling data they do no like.

    53. jfngw says:

      It’s an interesting concept, we should continue to buy a newspaper even if we disagree with most of its content. The important thing is they continue to survive no matter how bad they are.

      If the content was worthwhile then people would buy it, the proof of the pudding is in the sales figures. I won’t purchase a newspaper just to keep a few hacks in a job just because they have some delusion about their own importance. If I want to read poorly researched journalism, often verging on propaganda, I can do it for nothing online.

      After all if I want to be told what a failure Scotland is I have BBC News to tell me that.

    54. harry mcaye says:

      Excellent article. However, as Stuart says in his first sentence, Murray Foote has recently come out in favour of independence and indeed, I recently delivered 1000 leaflets with his “So independence it must be” quote on them. His defence of his profession for many years is to be expected but I hope he is still welcomed aboard the indy train. I would like to think his recent conversion won a few more to the cause.

    55. T C POTTER says:

      Just thought the VOW enablers damascene conversion was a wee bit too convenient.BritNat attack meter on DefCon 2000. All Better Together arseholes breaking cover and now the allegations’

    56. Eckle Fechan says:

      Still reading and enjoying from the sidelines. Just two quick points.

      1. Congratulations on being able to even decipher that load of self-regarding bollocks.

      2. Newsprint tip: bearing in mind that I’m an ex-pat without access to Scotia ‘broadsheets’, and ever since the Guardian ditched the Berliner format for tabloid, I now ‘get’ the Telegraph quite regularly, gratis with my ‘loyalty’ card when I shop. It makes much better wrapping for food waste before it goes in the compost bin.

    57. T C POTTER says:

      Just thought the VOW enablers damascene conversion was a wee bit too convenient.BritNat attack meter on DefCon 2000. All Better Together arseholes breaking cover and now the Alex Salmond ‘allegations’ to top off the onslaught. Timing for all these attacks gives a clue to their integrity and validity. Buckle up ,we’re in the real Indy shitstorm now.

    58. katherine hamilton says:

      Hi harry mcaye
      I agree, he’s welcome. That was the gist of my comment. Come aboard. Leave the carping and get stuck in, if he’s up for it.

      He’s a journalist, retired I believe. He’s got the time and I assume the skills.

      Write a blistering, passionate and bulletproof article extolling why Indy is now a matter of life or death for Scotand and her people. Get the Times or better still, the Record, to publish it.

      Cause, life or death it is.

    59. Effijy says:

      Foot and his mouth really is a nasty disease!

      The Con man behind the Vow.
      The Vow that didn’t deliver one solitary promise
      and to which this clown proclaimed delivered.

      I take it that he is now missing the regular 30 pieces of silver
      From his old job and decided to pick up some more establishment
      Propaganda chequers.

      I remember the beast that is the UK Press condemning Michael Foote
      For attending a Remembrance Day service in a duffel coat.
      Those costs were good enough for many sailors to die in but the press
      Seemed to feel that he should only attend in a cashmere crombie from Harrods.

      If only that was the only issue in the world the media attacked him for months.

      Murray has made his Mint and is returning to the Westminster trough.

    60. Robert Peffers says:

      Ye canna mak a silk purse frae a soo’s lug, and yon Murray Foote is ae mucklr soo’s lug.

      Aiblins yon sud bi ae soo’s muckle lug.

    61. Highland Wifie says:

      I’m constantly amazed when I find intelligent and articulate friends still reading newspapers that peddle obfuscation, lies and spin and then announce that the people in charge (by which they usually mean the Scottish Government) are completely incompetent.
      Well you would believe that if you’re daft enough to read the ahem Scottish press. That’s what they’re there for, to make sure nobody gets the idea that we could possibly run our own affairs successfully. Job done. Even the brighter readers fall victim. Then those same readers become so disenchanted with the world as spun by the media that they disengage from political debate and come to believe it’s all hopeless.
      It’s hard work doing your own research and sorting the wheat from the chaff and that’s why Wings is so valuable because Stu does the hard work for us . He highlights the contradictions and the downright lies. He makes people start to question what they read more, to “be more alert”.

      Keep on doing what you’re doing Stu. Brilliant analysis by the way.

    62. Big Bill says:

      If you talk $hite I’m not listening and if you write $hite I’m not reading it or buying it- Simple

    63. Phil says:

      Excellect research, collation and writing! Wings is such a prominent target because of its patent truthfulness, continuous demonstrable accuracy and relevance to issues of the day.

      Thanks and well done once again.

    64. Bobp says:

      Newspapers shouldnt owe allegiance to any political party. just tell the truth , what part of that cant they get their heads around?. I suppose the ownership of them by individuals with a private agenda put paid to honesty and integrity.

    65. Clootie says:

      @harry Macy’s 4:49pm

      If you support Independence and your professional life has been in media then it is ridiculous to claim that the media is a victim of nationalists declining the purchase of unionist propaganda.

      As someone who was actively involved in opposing independence to a significant degree…if anything the article should have been very different. If real change had taken place he would be going in the opposite direction and lifting the lid on the bias of journalism in Scotland.

      He sold his soul, he took the money, he followed the directions of his unionist masters. He is now retired and can follow his “own judgement”…EXCEPT his loyalty remains with those who still follow his old behaviours.

    66. Famous15 says:

      O/T I am too old to understand.How is sexual harassment defined? I understand there was no sexual assault. There is a world of difference between murder and rape and asking someone if they had a poor nights sleep if they are making mistakes at work. The old comment “If I told you you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?” is clearly unacceptable in the workplace but is telling someone they look beautiful or hansome after they had a hairdo?

      Please help me to understand the modern world.

    67. defo says:

      They’ve got a special category of smear lined up for you Stu.

      ‘Blogger accused of sexually abusing kitten’s’

      Paedo, or sex pest isn’t enough for you !

      Should be fun 😉

    68. defo says:

      An they’ll used THAT photy. Guilty.

    69. ScottishPsyche says:

      I don’t expect anyone who has recently changed their mind in favour of Independence to repent every former misdemeanour but really! It is a lost cause in Scotland to ask for the Press to be treated with the fairness they have never given others.

      Today’s stuff with Alex Salmond reminds us there is no level playing field here.

    70. Kevin says:

      Brilliant, Stu.
      One of your most poetically damning pieces, I actually felt your anger and incredulity in that piece;
      ‘rehashed press releases from PR firms and political parties or paparazzi shots of “celebrities” flashing their underwear’..
      If one honest and blunt line were able to impact on newspaper sales, I reckon this one would do for the whole rotten newspaper industry.

      Bravo, mate. We so need you in this attrition.

    71. robert alexander harrison says:

      This one sided crap where the British can slander us our nation and culture to high hell yet the moment we hit them back in defence they play the victims I hate it cowards who pick fights then cry like a little bi@th when they lose really pisses me off the British nationalists and cowardly nature I’m sick of it.

    72. Murray Foote says “”that argument is so bogus it should be printed on the side of a bus”

      what he should have said was , `that argument is so bogus it should be written on a faded scroll and then printed on the front of a newspaper`.

      he says `Tomkins the decent Tory` and then tells US to remain vigilant for footholds of fascism,

      there are none so blind as those who will not see.

    73. gus1940 says:

      Be prepared for a flood of Opinion Polls ‘showing’ a massive fall in support for Independence.

    74. There is no ‘journalism’ or Press Freedom. They are paid propgandists working for the Iron Heel Oligarchy.
      Foote picks the Times to insult me and my intelligence.
      The format these days is this:-
      The Red Blue or Yellow Tory Branch Office Press Officer distribute s a copy of a forthcoming speech their Blessed Leader is going to deliver that day to an enclosed audience of the Faithful.
      NHS, Education, The Polis, no matter.
      The speech will lambast the Bad SNP and call on Sturgeon to put more money into class sizes, bed blocking, or Bobbies on the beat.
      The hacks in the Dead Tree Scrolls merely append ‘will say’ to the brief prepared by some minion in Brit Nats’ Branch Offices, and the sub editor will produce the ususal headline with suitable quotes.
      Nicola Sturgeon under fire for ‘failing to provide enough toilet Paper in Schools’.
      And they want us to but shit like this?

    75. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      There’s two things going on, I think, combining to make a “perfect storm” for the print media in Scotland.

      The first is a general decline in printed newspapers since the advent of the WWW. That appears to be universal, just one more feature of this dislocated age. People at the sharp end of all disruptive technologies, not surprisingly, tend to get desperate and lose their bearings about what is happening, tend to dig in rather than embrace change and lash out at the supposed “causes”, not always accurately. Feelings of hurt and unfairness predominate. Foote exhibits much of this behaviour.

      The internet, while freeing media from the clutches of the establishment and putting far more of it in the hands of ordinary people, has created its own problem of reliability of information and how to validate it. There’s much informed comment but also an enormous amount of complete bollocks (by no means all of which is as innocent as it may seem). It is observing this latter (while overlooking the former) that gives old-school journos like Foote their ammunition.

      The second point is the particular media situation here in Scotland. Everything was hunky-dory in its way while the NorthBritLab Establishment exerted a dominance both politically and journalistically, intertwined as the two were. Issues could be freely explored within well-understood boundaries. Life for journos and other media types was relatively easy. The rise of the SNP, ousting NorthBritLab from political predominance, changed that cosy consensus, and virtually all media sources reacted badly.

      Rather than fairly address the new situation, virtually all media sources reacted defensively, attempting in a highly-partisan fashion to restore their lost status quo. In doing so, they bled an increasing section of their readership, thus accelerating their underlying decline.

      Part of this rigidity of response has been caused, I believe, by an inability to obtain sufficient advertising revenue with an indy-supporting policy (and perhaps even any policy except a highly-partisan pro-Union one).

      What we are experiencing is a kind of quiet revolution, in which the Scottish Establishment, both political and media, are seen by an increasing number of people, especially the young, as having completely run out of ideas. They have nothing to offer as to the best way forward, only a nostalgic look backward.

      Consequently all we are getting from them is negativity, and – surprise, surprise! – that doesn’t sell so very well. That is the issue they urgently need to address, and which they are conspicuously failing to do.

    76. Dan Huil says:

      Just a thought: the Scottish civil service is responsible for collating the falsehood called GERS. IF Alex takes on the civil service and wins… no more GERS?

    77. Tam the Bam. says:

      To say I am incandescent with rage over the very public smearing of Alec Salmond doesn’t really cover it.How do I know its a smear you ask? Truthfully…I don’t..but he refutes the accusation and I believe him.I’m predicting this nonsense will be a prolonged affair (a la Michelle Thompson)with a resultant not guilty/not proven…whatever verdict.

      Job done for the powers that be (see Craig Murray’s excellent blog).Fight them Alec…fight them.

    78. Fergus Green says:

      Murray Foote, you’ve got a lot of nerve:

      ‘You just want to be on the side that’s winnin’

      (with apologies to Bob Dylan)

    79. Elmac says:

      I would rarely take issuue with anything the FM has to say. However, in her statement on the AS affair she stated:

      “However the over-riding priority must be to ensure fair and due process. I would also ask that the privacy of those who have complained be respected.”

      I would give these individuals exactly the same privacy as was accorded to AS. In other words none. They have made serious allegations causing immense reputational damage and we should be entitled to know who they are and what they are alleging so we can all have some understanding of whether their allegations are spurious or likely to have any merit. What a ludicrously slanted unfair system. I hope AS goes the whole hog and wins his case against the scottish government. We need fairness and clarity, not a back stabbers charter where they can cast aspersions knowing their identity will not be revealed.

      I hope AS can then establish his innocence and, if so, sue the pants off the complainants for the damage done. Oops – maybe I should not have said pants in case I am accused of being some kind of deviant!

    80. Tam the Bam. says:

      Elmac @ 7-05pm

      A few accounts I haven’t noticed before on here today…the above being an example.Hmmmmmm……….Wadaya think folks?

    81. Elmac says:

      Re Tam The Bam @ 7.17pm

      Whats that comment supposed to mean?

      If you look back far enough you will see I have been an occasional poster over the last few years. I am an avid reader of Wings but don’t recall your nom de plume either. If I had been new to Wings comments like yours would be enough to make sure I never came back. Wise up we are not all trolls!

    82. Dr Jim says:

      I don’t think anybody actually really believes any of this except the folk who want it to be true because they’re nasty people anyway

      The current FM once held my hand and arm simultaneously for a count of 5 mississippis then a little squeeze, does that mean she was being friendly, loves me, felt sorry for me, was harassing me, or were any of the above notions all in my head because I was excited to meet the First Minister of my country…..or…am I a zoomer who would think up anything to suit an agenda I was sent in to achieve years later by somebody else

      Or am I none of these things and just a paid employee of the British state to assist in the removal of a prominant politician who’s a pain in the neck, it’s not that we haven’t seen that before

      I would just say there are a million guesses so probably best wait and see and keep supporting the Independence for our country which is more than any one of us so don’t let them try and take it away by the use of any tricks and tactics whatsoever

    83. starlaw says:

      The news papers should stick to what they are good at, Football and horsey things, emergency floor coverings, and printing moaning letters from people with a cause they think is worth writing a moany letter about.
      Real Journalism now comes from the public to the public on sites like Wings over Scotland.
      Decent people do not buy newspapers to get a cheap thrill from some scandal invented or real.

    84. Corrado Mella says:

      Alex has ruffled too many feathers on his TV show.

      It was unavoidable that someone on the MI5 payroll cooked up something.

      If anything, this is one more reason to go, taking all our natural resources with us.

      I once thought a settlement with rUK on the North Sea Oil would have delivered a quicker route to Independence.

      Now I wish we closed the water taps, switched off the leccy feed to England and exported salmon and whisky from our ports and airports.

      England is fucked anyway, with our help or not: a quicker demise is better than a slow slide into the abyss of despair.

      Fuck’em.

    85. Ken500 says:

      What exactly does Leslie Evans do? Doesn’t spend much time at the office. She seems to swan about Scotland, like unelected FM and gets paid more than Nicola, £162,000.

      It’s the Scottish Office. St Andrew House. Not the Scottish Gov. Mundell and the Tories territory. Lots like another Tory own goal. That will put up support for Independence. Can’t wait for the ‘evidence’. It better be good. Looks like no one believes the nonsense.

    86. Tam the Bam. says:

      Elmac @ 7-26 pm

      Hook – line – and sinker.
      Elmac ‘hoist by his own petard’…methinks thou dost protest to much just to be a lurker.’

    87. Iron man says:

      This Salmond thing…I’m sure it is a set up. Divide and conquer and all that. Throw as much shit as you can and even if it doesn’t stick, there are those who believe it does, and the MSM will make sure of that. I hope it is a Cliff Richard moment and he sues the hell out of them. Not that I think it will be widely reported if that happens. The game is getting serious now.

    88. stewartb says:

      Ken500 @ 8:16 pm

      You wrote: “It’s the Scottish Office. St Andrew House. Not the Scottish Gov. Mundell and the Tories territory.”

      It may be a detail, but I’m sure that’s not the case!! St. Andrew’s House is a Scottish Government building. I think it accommodates the office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister along with the Private Offices of Cabinet Secretaries and also staff working in certain Directorates including health.

    89. Petra says:

      I started wading into this and then decided to delete the whole thing, my initial post outlining NUMEROUS examples of Daily Record Independence bias, because I just can’t be bothered with all of this hoo-ha anymore.

      Murray Foote knows full well that his newspaper was BLATANTLY biased especially in the run up to Indyref1 and during the subsequent Smith Commission period. It’s the bias, the propaganda, that’s led to the current situation in relation to all Unionist supporting newspapers. Most people in Scotland don’t give a damn about reports being pro versus con Independence. In fact we don’t want the one-sided gab fests at all.

      It’s THE TRUTH that we’re all searching for and that’s why I dumped the Daily Record et al in favour of coming on here. If Murray Foote can’t see that he’s got a real problem and to be honest, in reading his deluded article, I hae ma doots that he’s now an Independence supporter at all. However there’s such a thing as a second chance, so really looking forward to reading his next article. He could try shocking the Nation by covering the McCrone Report, our 6000 sq miles of Stolen Seas (and 7 oil fields) and / or the GERS fiasco, as examples. Impart the truth to the Scots. If he does attempt to do so, he’ll find out then what we’re up against (as if he didn’t know). Find out then why newspaper sales in Scotland (UK in general) are plummeting.

    90. ScottieDog says:

      It may well be a setup. It may also be a setup of the YES movement.
      I would imagine the MSM would love the YES movement to get squarely behind AS over this. Then comes the narrative of the nat bullies who think sexual harassment is OK.

      AS is big enough and more than clever enough to stick up for himself.

      It may take time but I’ll just wait for whoever’s behind this to shoot themselves in the foot.

    91. Robert Peffers says:

      @Dan Huil says: 24 August, 2018 at 6:33 pm:

      ” … Just a thought: the Scottish civil service is responsible for collating the falsehood called GERS. IF Alex takes on the civil service and wins… no more GERS?

      Nope! I may be wrong but it is my understanding there are really two lots of Holyrood Civil Servants. One lot belong to Westminster and are employed by Westminster and thus answerable to only Westminster. A.K.A. The Secretary of State for against Scotland. Mr Mundell will probably not even be their boss – I’d guess they tell Mundell what he must do not Mundell tell them what the should do.

      The other lot are employed directly by Holyrood and work directly for the SG and are thus answerable to the SG. It is the (Cough!), “British”, Civil Service that will do the GERS as GERS are Westminster figures.

    92. Croompenstein says:

      In 2013 Alex Salmond was out and about across the country meeting thousands of people in the run up to the referendum, he made time for everyone and anyone who wanted selfies and autographs etc.

      It would be easy for someone to make up stories as Alex put his arm round folk and stood close for selfies and photos as he is a man of the people.

      Alex Salmond has more honour and integrity than all the bastard Brits in this septic isle..

    93. Robert Peffers says:

      @Tam the Bam. says: 24 August, 2018 at 7:17 pm:

      ” … A few accounts I haven’t noticed before on here today…the above being an example.Hmmmmmm……….Wadaya think folks?”

      I wouldn’t bother attempting to single out the newer commenters, Tam. There are more than enough regulars who never miss the chance to follow their flock leader and while trudging along in their leader’s wake all the time bleating, “SNP BAAAD! SG BAAAD! Nicola Sturgeon BAAAD!”, you can follow read them here on Wings any day of the week.

    94. stewartb says:

      ScottieDog @t 8:56 pm

      Your wrote: ” I would imagine the MSM would love the YES movement to get squarely behind AS over this. Then comes the narrative of the nat bullies who think sexual harassment is OK.”

      I share your concern – and would add a concern over conspiracy speculating gone into over-drive. As I’ve written elsewhere this evening: I understand people’s concern, suspicion, loyalty etc but some of what’s emerged from too many individuals in the Yes movement writing on this issue concerning Alex Salmond has ‘not been a good look’.

      And candidly its neither necessary or helpful. Alex Salmond has this in hand. Now that this has blown up – fairly or not – we need to let the legal process work its way through. In the meantime, we can call out loudly the hypocrisy of some Unionist opponents and support our FM’s principled stance.?

      I strongly recommend reading the measured article written by Paul Cavanagh/Wee Ginger Dug on this subject today and taking its message on board albeit belatedly for some!

    95. Tam the Bam. says:

      Croompenstein @ 9-20pm

      Absolutely and that thought crossed my mind too…indeed..its a problem for any politician/prospective politician .
      Alex was ..and still is..a HUGELY popular figure in the Independence community (friends NOT of the Yes persuasion I’ve talked to over the last 4/5 years have remarked..’I dtest Alex Salmond because he is so damned good’.

      Says it all in my book…

    96. Meg merrilees says:

      Apologies – I suggested earlier that Leslie Evans answers directly to David Lidington. It would seem that David Lidington is the Cabinet Minister.
      The Cabinet Secretary is Sir Jeremy Heywood who is currently ill and his place is being taken by John Manzoni.

      I found this article when researching who the Current Secretary is and it contained the following two sentences from a speech given by Sir Francis Maude last year…

      https://www.globalgovernmentforum.com/uk-cabinet-secretary-defends-civil-service-wholly-inaccurate-attack-former-minister/

      In the speech, Lord Maude said: “Honesty and integrity are two of the civil service’s statutory values. Yet it is surprising how often ministers are told things that are simply not true. On two specific occasions, I was told that the cost of implementing a change, in each case to civil servants’ own employment terms and conditions, was literally 100 times what turned out to be the actual cost. Quite often, I would be told that the law precluded a particular course. More often than not, it was not to be the case.”

      He continued: “And when, after receiving candid and well-evidenced advice, ministers make a decision, it is the duty of officials to execute it. Again, surprisingly often, this simply doesn’t happen. On one occasion, I asked a cross-departmental group of officials why a cabinet committee’s very clear decision had simply been ignored. The answer? ‘We didn’t think it was a very strong mandate’. What? What on earth do you need? A Papal Bull?”

      Interesting thing to read when stated by a member of the UK government.

      Another telling fact was the information that the Cabinet Secretary is the head Civil Servant, is policy advisor to the prime minister and may also play a role in overseeing the Intelligence services.

    97. Ian Brotherhood says:

      It’s been very noticeable that Rev Stu has made not one comment on all this AS palaver.

      But Leasky has tweeted a blatant lie about ‘Wings’ and referred to us as his ‘wee fans’. Looks like he’s trying to goad Rev and/or us into providing him with a research-lite angle on this ‘sensational’ story.

      Away an dae some proper journalism ya hopeless fanny!

      😉

    98. Ken500 says:

      Mundell moved Offices in June to below St Andrews House. To eventually accommodate 3000 civil servants. Expanding his empire. The champagne and canapé parties, while the Tories are sanctioning and starving people. Although when Scotland becomes Independent the Scottish Gov can take it over. Nicola and the Scottish ministers do have offices there but must spend most time at Holyrood because that is where the Scottish Gov business is undertaken.

      The complains were made to the Civil service. Not the Scottish Gov. Nicola et al were only informed recently. So was Alex Salmond. The civil service knew about it in January. The Scottish Gov did not. What they have they been playing at for 8 months? Complaints 6 years old?

    99. Meg merrilees says:

      I posted this on the previous thread before realising that the ‘Dear Murray ‘thread was current; I feel it needs reiterating.

      Earlier tonight, I was driving home listening to Radio Shortbread as the 6.00 pm news broke. Of course Alex was headline news and the tone of the report was trying to be neutral but it’s not what is said but what is unsaid that makes it so invidious.

      Alex is taking the Scottish government to Court – but no mention of the Permanent Secretary being a civil servant, in hock to WM and working under The Cabinet Secretary.

      It was the tone of the more detailed item, after the headlines – Sarah Smith was in charge and she read out a resume of Alex’s career along the lines of ( these are my words):

      Alex Salmond was a great politician, revered by his followers and respected by his opposition but recently he has been mired in controversy with his show on RT. Even Nicola Sturgeon has advised her ministers to refuse to appear on the show because of it’s dodgy connections ( my words) and now this latest accusation will finish him off… what a shame.

      I hasten to repeat these are my words summing up the BBC’s pronouncement but it most certainly does not imply Alex is innocent till proven guilty, and I as I said above it is more what they don’t say rather than what they actually say that makes this whole business so sordid.

      Nicola is a consummate politician and excellent lawyer – she will handle this.
      Alex is the personification of ‘nemo me impune laces sit’ and as he said before –
      ye havnae heard the last of my bonnet and me…

      I’m truly sorry he and his close family and friends have to endure this. Mandela was jailed for decades; Catalan ministers are in jail as we speak; those who lead their countries to freedom have to be bold and brave. History shows us this:

      Look what happened to William Wallace (yesterday was the anniversary of his execution);

      Scotland will be free, we will become Independent and the WM cabal is getting truly desperate.

      This is the Government which has recently been accused of bugging the EU side of the Brexit talks FFS – they will stoop lower yet and the more successful someone is within the Indy movement, the more dirt will be shovelled on them.

      Is there any news today of the Brexit documents that have explained just how bad a no deal Brexit could be?

      I imagine there will be champagne corks being popped tonight by those who think they have dished up enough dirt to cause the Alex Salmond ship to sink taking with it the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon but they really do not know their ‘enemy’.

      This will not stop us – we can show them that with the Indy march in Edinburgh.

    100. Tam the Bam. says:

      Robert Peffers @ 9-28pm

      I do..Robert..on a daily basis..I value your contribution especially (not being sarcastic).

    101. Robert Peffers says:

      @stewartb says: 24 August, 2018 at 8:39 pm:

      ” … You wrote: “It’s the Scottish Office. St Andrew House. Not the Scottish Gov. Mundell and the Tories territory.”
      It may be a detail, but I’m sure that’s not the case!! St. Andrew’s House is a Scottish Government building. I think it accommodates the office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister along with the Private Offices of Cabinet Secretaries and also staff working in certain Directorates including health.”

      Whoa! I think you both may be wrong. There is no, “Scottish Office”, any more. It was re-branded as, “The Scotland Office”, and it is the Office of Mundell and The Advocate General of Scotland and is a United Kingdom Government establishment and thus not, “The Scottish Government”, —- at least not yet?

    102. Tam the Bam. says:

      Ian Brotherhood @ 9-30pm

      Exactly.

    103. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Meg merrilees –

      Hear hear.

      The Edinburgh AUOB probably didn’t need a fillip, but lo and behold…

      😉

    104. Phronesis says:

      Matt McGinn – a man of his time and ahead of his time. His lyrics resonate today- same issues, same context. Scotland will be reframing McGinn’s observations until we are in control of every resource that a normal independent country has control over.

      ‘Rich man’s paradise, poor man’s hell
      Rich man’s paradise, I bid fare-thee-well
      Bread and roses all the way, for the chosen few
      You ain’t thinkin’ of me my friend, but I’ll be thinkin of you
      There is no pity, down in the city
      The gentlemen with heads held high
      Won’t see the homeless lady, with a little homeless baby
      Little tears came glistening in his eyes
      Shipyard towns are dying, shipyard folk are crying
      Fearful of the things being done
      They won’t hear them wailing, you will find them sailing
      With their ‘Morning Clouds’ they’ll hide the golden sun
      When Sunday bells are ringing, you will hear them singing
      Songs of Praise, the Lord on high
      They will read the Lesson, call down Heaven’s blessing
      Living through their Sunday morning lie’

      ‘Bonnie lassie rise and dress yersel’
      The day wi’ moon be early
      We’re marchin’ in tae Glesga toon
      Wi’ Jimmy Reid and Airlie

      Put on the scarf I bought ye, hen
      For fourteen and a tanner
      Tae match the colours at oor heid
      Oor scarlet tartan banner
      Oor faithers fought this fight before
      MacLean, McShane fought fairly
      And we will fight them once again
      Wi’ Jimmy Reid and Airlie

      The Clydeside men are angry noo’
      They’re no’ goin’ on the dole queue
      Tell they men in London toon
      We’re takin o’er control noo’

      http://www.mattmcginn.info/

    105. Iain mhor says:

      It’s been decades since embedded hyperlinks were a thing.
      The newspaper industry can’t even do that properly in their online editions. Never mind their print editions. The best we get is “some asshole said” All the alternative media I read whether news, or my personal interest topics, do links. They link to sources, link to related topics.
      They Provide Information.

      None of the MSM shite provides me with information.
      It provides me with nothing more than a starter for ten to research myself and inevitably find out the reports are either, spin, fabrication, riddled with factual errors or downright lies. It takes my at most half an hour and I’m not a “Journalist” it just leaves me thinking, if any punter can research why are they incapable?
      Run SNP baaad or Tory baaad I don’t give shit. I give a shit about the information and whether it stands half an hours scrutiny. If I have to spend that to find I’ve been trolled. Those f***s owe me half an hour of my life. Nobody likes a Troll.

      They are not in the Information industry. It left them behind, they didn’t even put their hand out to stop the bus and get on and are therefore sinking into Yellow Press irrelevence where they belong. Good riddance.

    106. Robert Peffers says:

      Talking just after the anniversary of the death of Wallace. I wonder how many Scots actually know what the term, “Hanged Drawn and Quartered”, actually entailed?

      1.Dragged, usually by a horse, on a wooden frame to the place where he was to be publicly put to death. This is only one possible meaning of drawn. A more likely meaning of drawn is the removal of the inner organs.

      2.Hanged by the neck for a short time or until almost dead (hanged).

      3.Removed from hanging and placed on a table. Still alive, the victim was cut open in the abdomen and his intestines and sex organs removed (this is another meaning of drawn), The removed organs were burned in a flame, (before the still alive victims eyes), close to the prisoner.

      4.The victim’s head was cut off, and the rest of the body hacked into four parts or quarters (quartered).

      Such nice civilised people were the English in those days – Especially when they were dealing with those uncouth and barbarous Scots.

    107. stewartb says:

      Robert Peffers @ 9:53 pm

      You wrote: “Whoa! I think you both may be wrong. There is no, “Scottish Office”, any more. It was re-branded as, “The Scotland Office”, and it is the Office of Mundell and The Advocate General of Scotland and is a United Kingdom Government establishment and thus not, “The Scottish Government”, —- at least not yet?”

      I agree – but that was not the subject of my post. I (simply) stated that St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh is actually a Scottish Government building – not a Scotland Office (or a Scottish Office) building. I have visited St Andrew’s House on business many times and was glad only ever to meet with staff in Scottish Government departments!

      For information see: https://beta.gov.scot/about/contact-information/buildings/ and https://beta.gov.scot/about/contact-information/

      Postal address
      Scottish Government
      St. Andrew’s House
      Regent Road
      Edinburgh
      EH1 3DG

      So much so trivial maybe – except if some others here wish to indulge in conspiracy theorising let’s at least get the basics right! But I’d rather we just avoided the conspiracy speculation altogether for now.

      To summarise, on the original claim “It’s the Scottish Office. St Andrew House. Not the Scottish Gov. Mundell and the Tories territory.” – well no it isn’t (and OK, times two)!

    108. Elmac says:

      Re Tam the Bam @ 8.18

      Whats with the nonsense fishing stuff.

      I assume you are a genuine supporter of independence and as such your heart is in the right place. Pity your mouth wasn’t as well.

      If you don’t agree with what I said then say what you don’t agree with – we can always argue a point and, if necessary beg to differ. Its a broad church with independence as its goal so lets cut the crap and support each other. Will be at the Edinburgh march. Would be good to meet you and have a laugh at this spat.

      My main concern is that you thought I was new to Wings and. if you do that to others, you will deter pople who might want to participate in the blog. Give everyone some air before you jump to conclusions and lose us support.

    109. ScottieDog says:

      @stewartb
      Thanks read paul’s Blog. He said what I wanted to say and puts things so much more succinctly than I ever could.

      Big Eck can take care of himself. Lets keep moving forward and not play into the hands of the establishment.

    110. velofello says:

      Alex Salmond has complaints levelled against him.He is a the public figure. Who are his complainants? What are their complaints? Seems like a fair playing field to me can only be possible if the complainants and their issues are released to the public to consider.

      And if the content of the complaints are really serious why oh why have the complainants waited some 4 to 5 year delay?

    111. One_Scot says:

      ‘Big Eck can take care of himself. Lets keep moving forward and not play into the hands of the establishment.’

      Well said.

    112. stewartb says:

      velofello @ 10:36 pm

      You wrote: “And if the content of the complaints are really serious why oh why have the complainants waited some 4 to 5 year delay?”

      Sorry I can’t let this pass without comment. You may mean well but really(!) – with all that’s being revealed about various sorts of abusive relationships, including historic ones – can you not see that without a shred of evidence on the case: (a) how totally inappropriate such a remark is; and (b) how it could be used in a very damaging way (candidly, with justification if it gets further endorsement here) to characterise the response of contributors to Wings and the wider Yes movement?

      We need to take greater care over how we respond to this awful and highly sensitive situation.

    113. Tinto Chiel says:

      @Phronesis 10.14: thanks for that. Never heard that song before but I enjoyed the words. You and Wull rarely comment but usually come up with something memorable.

    114. Elmac says:

      Re stewartb @ 11.33

      Good point as we must be open to the possibility that the compaints are correct although 4 years plus is a strange delay. In support of velofello I would stress that AS is being subjected to vitriolic abuse and potentially destroyed as a political figure whereas the complainants are hiding behind a cloak of annonimity and with their precise complaints unspecified. How can that be fair? As velofello says there should be a level playing field.

    115. Wull says:

      On another WoS thread yesterday somebody on here posted an interview with the Permanent Secretary who is at the centre of the storm around AS, Leslie Whatever-you-Call-her, born in Northern Ireland and raised in England. This interview had been published in Holyrood Magazine, together with three pictures of her in exuberant, happy-and-very-laughy mood.

      The piece mentioned that she had been born in Northern Ireland and raised in England. In the interview, our (or whoever’s) Leslie claimed something to the effect that it was her job to ‘represent’ Scotland.

      That struck me as a strange word to use. She didn’t say who she was ‘representing’ Scotland to. Nor was there any mention of the source from whom, or from which, she received this mandate to ‘represent’ Scotland.

      That raises the question of who appoints her, and to whom she is ultimately accountable. Could it be that the answer to both questions is to someone else further up the chain in the (British) Civil Service hierarchy? She certainly does not speak for anyone in Scotland, far less for the Scottish people, since she is the elected representative of no one.

      My understanding is that her predecessor, whose name I forget, was well seen in Scotland, including by the SNP, but not so much – maybe not at all – in London. He was not a Scot but it seems some in Whitehall thought he had ‘gone native’. The use of such an outdated term from the days of the British Empire ought to be completely inappropriate in regard to Scotland, but may reflect the true attitudes of some of the top London mandarins who might well have used it in this instance.

      If the same mandarins at the top of the British Civil Service felt they had made a mistake with their appointment of ‘our’ Leslie’s predecessor, you may be sure they would have been determined not to make the same mistake again when they appointed her. She will have been very carefully chosen.

      It seems that it is Leslie who made the decision to go public with these allegations made against Alex Salmond. We cannot pre-judge what they are, because no one is telling us, but it is clear that Leslie has known about them since January of this year. The fact that she did not pass them to the police suggests that they were not of a criminal nature. If they were, and she did not bring the police into the matter at that point, ‘our Leslie’ would surely have been criminally negligent herself.

      Nevertheless, there is now a statement that Police Scotland have started an investigation of some kind, but it is at a very early stage. That suggests that something has now been handed over to the Police, but probably only very recently. Maybe only in the past couple of days, in fact.

      And that further suggests that it has taken well over six months for our Permanent Secretary, who ‘represents’ Scotland, and whoever else was involved, to ‘grow’ the case against Salmond. Is this the job of the Permanent Secretary? And is this what it means for her to ‘represent’ Scotland?

      On whose mandate? And to ‘represent’ to whom?

      What does it actually mean to ‘represent’ Scotland? Surely it’s something to do with making Scotland ‘present’, in your person, and in your actions. And to represent Scotland is to represent the Scottish people, because … well … what is Scotland without the Scots? Isn’t that the reason why we have elected ‘representatives’? They are there to represent us, aren’t they?

      That’s what I always presumed. When I read the interview with Lesley I learned something new. It seems we also have unelected ‘representatives’ who ‘represent’ us, whose names we don’t even know – I had never heard of Leslie before, and even now I can’t honestly remember her surname.

      And these ‘unelected representatives’ – oor Leslie in particular – who apparently ‘represent Scotland’ (or the minions under them and accountable to them) secretly investigate secretly (no doubt on our behalf and for our own good) any allegations that may arise against those we once did elect. And they also, apparently, decide when, whether and how to involve the Police in these investigations. And they also decide when and whether to inform (or not inform) the representatives we did elect whom they are investigating about the fact that they are being investigated.

      They decide who should be informed and who should not, and to what extent, and when and how. They pick the moment, the means and the people who will communicate some, all or whatever part of the information they want us, the Scots, and the wider world, to know about all this. And – oh yes, another thing – … and another, … and another … and so on.

      Thanks, Leslie. We really appreciate it. Isn’t it great for us to be so well ‘represented’? Just fantastic.

      Aren’t we lucky to live in such a wonderful Democracy?

    116. jfngw says:

      It’s always good to see the Guardians liberal outlook being reinforced. Even if you take your independence we will be keeping all the resources in your territorial waters, it’s hard not to find a better example of their colonial outlook. They probably were thinking the same when all the other colonies took independence.

      And you always need to take your independence, colonial types never give up their ownership easily.

    117. twathater says:

      Lots of good posts especially but not limited to Meg Merrilees , I would agree with the assertion to let Alex handle these accusations , he has the cojones and I’m sure the best legal representation . he only has to know that the people are behind him .

      As for Murray Foote well done rev for your demolition and exposure of his pieces , Mr Foote if you read Wings and the comments I’m sure Stu would be happy for your explanation of how we should be grateful and considerate to newspapers and journalists whose utterances consist of demeaning and denigrating Scotland , the SG , and ordinary hard working people whose only crime is to want to see their country freed from a disgusting suffocating union run by halfwits and dangerous incompetents

      I look forward to your reasons Mr Foote

    118. Ian McCubbin says:

      I replied to Tomkins with questions and evidence against his points. Did I get a reply or even acknowledgement, no.
      Well it was on twitter but still.

      Decent MP I vote no.

    119. CmonIndy says:

      My interest in Scottish-based newspapers is in how to arrange the stacks at supermarkets.
      Unionism Jenga.

    120. CameronB Brodie says:

      Tory minds don’t function in the same way as conservative minds. Conservatives accept change, if it can be shown to be for the betterment of society. Tories don’t, Tories oppose all change, out of principle, and actively seek to benefit the interests of inherited privilege.

      How to Deal With Resistance to Change
      https://hbr.org/1969/01/how-to-deal-with-resistance-to-change

      Developing a New Instrument for Assessing Acceptance of Change
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4884749/

      Transformation Planning and Organizational Change
      https://www.mitre.org/publications/systems-engineering-guide/enterprise-engineering/transformation-planning-and-organizational-change



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