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Fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake

Posted on January 26, 2018 by

The very strange man who is David Leask, chief reporter at the Herald, has been hard at work with a shovel ever since we ran a couple of stories on Monday.

Accusing this site of publishing “an implausible blog about our paper this week, based on some unchecked &, well, weird assumptions”, he curiously neglected to specify what those assumptions might have been, while embarking on a long, rambling and bewildering rant about what does and doesn’t constitute “fake news”.

Leask’s argument, at least in so far as we can make any sense of it at all, is that even deliberately and knowingly made-up lies printed in mainstream newspapers are not, and can never be, “fake news”.

That’s a term which he insists only applies to spoof sites pretending to be real news outlets, which we’d presume – although it’s by no means clear – means the likes of The Onion or the Daily Mash.

Which is an odd angle.

For one thing, there’s already an official definition of the term – one which was arrived at with much public ceremony – and it’s nothing like the one Leask is using.

On any traditional reading of English, that description applies to, for example, this week’s demented newspaper coverage of the official flying of flags in Scotland, which the Scottish Daily Mail has apologised for today and for which we expect the Express and Telegraph to follow suit under pressure from the Scottish Government.

All of the papers’ headlines were certainly “false” (hence the apology), and certainly “sensational” (being front-page splashes screaming about personalised attacks on the Queen and her family), and they were most certainly “done under the guise of news reporting”. So they were fake news, right? Not according to David Leask. They were in the Mail and the Express, so apparently they CAN’T be fake.

But as he’d attacked us (again) as part of this debate, we thought we should address Leask’s claims about this week’s Wings pieces commenting on the Herald’s front-page lead on Monday, in so far as we could work out what he was actually claiming.

The only problem with these assertions is that they’re, to use another technical term:

Leask was trying to pretend that the Herald’s front page was justified on the basis that Oxfam releases short blogs along with its reports, which are tailored to particular countries. In the case of the Monday report, that blog was this one, which quoted Glasgow-based Oxfam researcher Dr Katherine Trebeck.

But we’d known about, acknowledged and reported Dr Trebeck’s comments. (We’d linked in one of our posts to an extended article she wrote for Holyrood Magazine on the subject, published the same day.) She was making generalised comments about inequality in Scotland, pointing out that while the Oxfam report released that day was global and didn’t mention Scotland, inequality was “also” a problem there.

But that wasn’t what the Herald said. It didn’t say “a new report has been issued on global inequality, which is also a problem in Scotland”. The Herald couldn’t possibly have been any clearer that its headline – “SCOTLAND’S WIDENING INEQUALITY GAP IS ‘OUT OF CONTROL'” – was current and referring to the report itself.

All emphases below are ours.

A new report from Oxfam reveals that in Scotland, the richest one per cent has more wealth than the bottom 50 per cent combined.”

That’s a lie.

Oxfam has just published a report that seeks to expose the extent of the gap and its effects in Scotland.”

That’s a lie.

Oxfam’s report says the top one per cent in Scotland own more wealth than the bottom 50 per cent put together”

That’s a lie.

The report released on Monday said none of those things. It didn’t mention Scotland anywhere, let alone “reveal” anything or “expose” anything about it. And nor did Dr Trebeck reveal or expose those things.

The statistic about the richest 1% owning more wealth than the bottom 50% that she mentions briefly in passing came from a report published nine months earlier, to which neither her blog post nor her Holyrood Magazine article made any explicit reference and which is not mentioned or linked to in the report Oxfam published on Monday.

What’s more, as the paragraph below from the April 2017 report shows, it was citing figures from a single period between 2012-14, and notes that there is no more recent data available to draw wider conclusions from.

So we also know that this line from the Herald story:

“The gap between the rich and the poor is not a faraway crisis, says the charity; it is right here in Scotland and it is getting worse.”

…is at best unproven and years out of date, and at worst could be outright false (for more than half of the period measured inequality in Scotland was apparently falling), yet the Herald presents it unequivocally as new and accurate information.

Once again, as we’d pointed out on Monday, we’re not for one second disputing that there’s massive inequality in Scotland, just as there is in every single country on Earth. Inequality is the most fundamental characteristic of capitalism. That’s how capitalism works. Saying there’s a lot of inequality in capitalist economies is like saying there’s a lot of water in the sea. What we’re talking about is terrible journalism.

The Herald ran a massively misleading story pretending that information existed which simply doesn’t exist. It created a sensationalist headline out of a single throwaway half-sentence in what amounts to an opinion column based on questionable figures from years ago and pretended that it was hard data from a brand-new scientific survey.

At the very best, that’s producing a broadsheet newspaper on the basis of “unchecked and weird assumptions”, ironically enough. If only there was some shorter, punchier phrase for that.

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      Fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake | speymouth

    212 to “Fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake”

    1. Lenny Hartley says:

      Brilliant job Stu, absolutely slayed him.

    2. Bradford Millar says:

      Leask is basically saying any news that ridicules Scotland or the SNP without any basis or proof is not fake news, if it were the other way about he would be saying it’s proof of fake news he is showing his bias to protect the British establishment, the sooner we are out the UK the better a bill would have to go through hollyrood demanding impartiality from any media outlets that wish to work in Scotland

    3. Proud Cybernat says:

      BREAKING from Pravda Quay
      with Union Jackie Kim Ono:

    4. ClanDonald says:

      Did Leasky just make a claim that they had access to country specific info about Scotland from Oxfam and that is why the Herald article wasn’t misleading?

      But if the Herald DID receive country specific info on Scotland, why is none of it detailed in their article?

      Surely if they had access to such info they would have mentioned the numbers in order to justify or illustrate the claims in the article? I mean, why on earth would they leave them out?

      The absence of this data from the article leads me to believe it doesn’t exist.

      I suppose a quick phone call to Oxfam will clear this up once and for all?

    5. Neil Anderson says:

      Hi Stu. Your previous article “Keeping the Peace” is producing an “Error 404 – not found” response when I try to access it. Any thoughts? Thanks.

    6. Dr Jim says:

      Willie Rennie journalism:

      You didn’t say it but I know you’re thinking it therefore I condemn you as (insert adjectives and slurs here)

      The truth as the media thinks or hopes it to be, and even if it’s not that’s hardly the point of the exercise


    7. Stan Wilson says:

      Is it just me, or are others having an issue reposting this article by Stu to Facebook?

      Never had a problem before.

    8. Andy-B says:

      Mr Leask, might not realise it, but he’s helping to damage the Herald’s credibility, which will manifest in continuing falling sales.

      Newsquest, might think that portraying Scotland as some kind of basket case is good for the union. However I’d imagine sales and credibility should matter more, if there’s still any journalistic integrity left at the Herald that is.

      Mind you the BBC are to pay for “local journalists” I’m pretty sure Newsquest is to benefit from that.

    9. Black Joan says:

      Very well said, Rev.

      Amidst all the escalating Britnat duplicity, it is so important to know that YOU will never allow the Party to get away with “two plus two equals five”.

      (And respect to The National for yesterday’s headline: “The Lying’s Rampant”.)

    10. Welsh Sion says:

      Is the BBC going to apologise for running this? Don’t hold your breath …

    11. Lenny Hartley says:

      Stan Wilson, why dont you just share on facebook, WOS is on Facebook as well!!!

    12. Bob Mack says:

      There are certainly problems in the mainstream Yoon media.
      There are those things they want to hear and those things they do not want to hear.

      They know what you are saying is accurate Stu, but it would damage their fragile self opinionated view of the world to admit it. How could some blogger from Bath have a clearer view of the world that ME, a recognised expert in my field.

      What the Yoon media now lacks is very important . It is integrity. They are left holding the rags of their dishonesty , not only to themselves, but to their readership, because they know deep down they are lying.

      I am afraid the mainstream media has gone away beyond redemption. It is a political vehicle to maintain an ever diminishing State, at a tremendous cost to itself.

      Thankfully, and I mean this as no false compliment, there remain journalists like yourself, holding on to the truth whilst the rest diminish. I wish publications like Bella etc would do as you do, but you can see the rot setting in slowly.

      Stay strong and honest Stu. Tell it as it is, rather than what we want it to be.

    13. George Drever says:

      Great work Rev, another devastating exposure of the joke that is Scottish ‘journalism’. Big question – how do we get these articles out into the big wide world? Sharing, re-tweeting etc is largely ineffective due to the echo chamber effect. Why does The National not take up these articles? Any other ideas, eg billboards?

    14. Proud Cybernat says:

      Skewered him, Rev. Nicely done.

      PS – I like the new ‘IGNORE’ button. I can see I’ll be using that on a few trolls on here. Ta.

    15. Luigi says:

      I’m sure most people will agree with the principle of freedom of speech – the right to offend, misinform, bamboozle, con and all that. Whether news is considered by some to be fake or not, those spreading the story have a freedom and right to publish and be damned. As long as people are held to account.

      The problem with this latest crude effort to ban certain items of news is simple:

      Who decides what news is “fake” or not?

      Its a slippery slope indeed. 🙂

    16. Calum McKay says:

      I think one of the assumptions is that because the Herald has printing presses, journalists and a history, that it can not be a fake news purveyor.

      Lets’s be blunt, fake news means press, TV or other channels telling lies knowingly.

      I have always viewed the herald as a paper that has distorted news to its editors opinion, lying has been core to achieving its editors goal.

      Now we have channels and forums that can take their editor’s view to task immediately in real time, bypassing the dealy of the postal sysatem.

      the herald have been caught of guard by new technology and people’s behaviour in switching away from buying papers, the herald now finds itself and its employees in a weak position. In response the herald uses its communication power to counter those who would expose the papers views as lies. This behaviour will be terminal for it.

      The herald is on its way out like many other papers in Scotland, it’s in its death bed, rightly so, they have resorted to lying rather than presenting the news faithfully. I say this as an ex reader.

    17. One_Scot says:

      The man is an absolute idiot. Cannot wait for these people to become a total irrelevance when Scotland becomes Independent.

    18. Lollysmum says:

      I love the way you take apart Leasky’s papers output ( won’t use it’s name as it signifies honour & integrity which doesn’t exist within that organisation). In a few short paragraphs you demolish his crappy argument & he has nowhere to hide.

      It’s the most polite way of saying bollocks that I’ve ever seen/heard. More power to your elbow & Keep up the good work.

      BTW have you seen that Indiegogo is closing – moving to selling Bitcoin I expect

    19. Ken500 says:

      The biased Westminster controlled Press is a disgrace. Owned by tax evading Non Doms. A total joke. They are ruining their own industry. Regurgitated lies. They can’t count or read a balance sheet. Most of them should hang their head in shame. Murdoch is a criminal. Hacked phones and bribed public officials. Surveilled people. Then destroyed evidence. Responsible for death and destruction world wide. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion.

      They are jealous of sites like Wings. They make a better living. Jealousy is a terrible thing. The internet calling the bastards out.

    20. Highland Wifie says:

      When it comes to journalism the likes of David Leask is just no match for the forensic dissection that Rev Stu undertakes. These people just spout verbal diarrhoea and expect nobody to question it. When they are exposed with an analysis such as this there is never even an acknowledgment of their mendacity far less an apology.

      DL, and anyone else thinking about drivelling in public like this, should perhaps think twice about the veracity of their drivel before they do.

    21. heedtracker says:

      Another awful display of how professional liars go about their daily business.

      His “hyperpartisan bloggers” is very creepy too, from the most hard core right wing gutter media of any western democracy, probably.

    22. Blind Squirrel says:

      By Herald logic a report saying “world economy is in good shape with x growth” could be changed to “Scotland’s economy…” But they never makes these “mistakes” with positive stories 😉

    23. Macart says:

      Oh, that’ll leave a mark.

      Mr Leask should also maybe consider that newspapers themselves aren’t above bias and hyperpartisan attitudes, or perhaps he missed the past week altogether somehow? A fake is a fake and a lie, however well laid out in type and four colour, is still a lie.

    24. shug says:

      I guess a Journalist like Leask was asked to produce the article and was given a brief of the line to be taken.

      I do not think he would have come up with such a misleading report on his own and it would not get past editorial control in any reasonable paper unless the instruction from above was to “make it up”.

      So will he come clean and say why he made up such a load of tripe.

      Certainly if he says he was told to he will not have a job but he will have some integrity

    25. Vronsky says:

      I’m an old guy (that’s code for ‘nearly dead’) and must necessarily choose my projects carefully, time being of the essence.

      So, my options:

      (1) Explain to David Leask that he is mistaken.

      (2) Explain Galois Theory to my cat.

      I’m going to go with with (2). It’s feasible. It’s fun. And our Molly is the only cat in Airdrie with some sort of handle on disjunct permutations.

    26. Andy-B says:

      From what I can see, it appears Mr Leask penned this on Saltire vs Union Jack as well.

    27. Richard McHarg says:

      Well, if Leask thinks it worth mentioning Wings Over Scotland, he’s clearly worried about the impact of this site on public opinion. Excellent!

    28. heedtracker says:

      Another, another day at the not Hyperpartisan UKOK hackdom coalface.

      Stinky olde The Graun’s got the Heil apology for their union jack garbage headlines this week. You can’t actually find it in the Heil this morning either, so god knows what these liggers are on about.

      The Guardian non hyperpartisanly called Nic Sturgeon a nazi too. We are certainly up against very aggressive tory liggers or as their S_____D region’s FM puts it,

      She added: “Rigorous scrutiny of politicians by a free media is fundamental to our democracy. But when newspapers publish blatant untruths they do a disservice, not just to those they defame, but to the integrity of their trade. That’s why it’s important to challenge falsehoods.”

      Oh how UKOK hackdom larfed.

    29. Colin Dawson says:

      Most of the powers required to properly tackle inequality are reserved to Westminster. How, for example, can Scotland tackle the legal and illegal tax dodging by the wealthiest individuals and businesses that deprives public finances of the resources necessary to tackle inequality?

    30. Andrew Brophy says:

      Stu. I salute your ability to, consistently, debunk these people. Brilliant piece.

      With characters like Leask running the show, no wonder the Herald has shredded any credibility it might ever have had, and is plummeting into the worst place for a purported newspaper to be; irrelevance.

    31. Morgatron says:

      Just superb Stu. These two fake stories have really ripped my knitting this week.

    32. Training Day says:

      Ooyah! That was a belter, Rev. Filleted and served.

      One has visions of Leask and his ilk slowly rocking back and forwards mouthing to themselves ‘But I’m a professional..I’m a professional!’…

    33. packhorse pete says:

      Excellent, as usual. Many thanks.
      Of course, there’s nothing surprising in Leask’s blustering polemic. Why, the man doesn’t seem able to write clear English. But that says it all about the Herald these days. There is no difference any more between tabloids and broadsheets – just as there are no political journalists, only propagandists.
      I don’t buy newspapers any longer. Lies, distortions and fake news. Fortunately, their words have less and less power these days.

    34. yesindyref2 says:

      1). I read the Herald report and since it’s not “one of my things” thought nothing about it, and didn’t check it out.

      2). I looked at Wings where it said it had scanned the report and the word “Scotland” (etc). wasn’t even mentioned.

      3). I got the report and checked through myself. Scotland was indeed, not mentioned, not only that, the report was very clearly a word report.

      4). I went back and commented on the Herald article, as had others.

      Conclusion 1: The Hearld article was “Fake News”.

      Conclusion 2: without Wings Over Scotland and that article, I’d not ahve known the Herald article weas “fake news, and could and would have been taken in by it.

      Conclusion 3: blogs have a part to play in holding traditional media to account

      Verdict: David Leask is wrong, and is defending the indefensible.

    35. Capella says:

      Brilliant. People like David Leask don’t expect to be criticised by the great unwashed. Yet here we are, reading an expert critique of his illogical position.

      It reminds me of that Noam Chomsky clip where he tries to explain to a young Andrew Marr that the state doesn’t need to censor him because he already spouts the correct views having internalised them from an early age. Like teaching a dog a card trick.

      BTW I’ve noticed little x marks after commenteer names. I take it that is an “ignore” button. Looking forward to trying it out when a suitable candidate comes along.

    36. Marcia says:

      I am old school, fake = lies. I see some people on twitter now apologising to the FM for their lies.

    37. Aaahhh… Davvie Leask.

      I blocked and muted the fanny months ago.

      Herald going down the swanny, sinking to screaming 128pt headlines of lies while drowning in debt.

      If it wasn’t for the 8K copies of the National sold every day, the fanny would be out of a job.

      You would expect journos to be good with words, but nah.

      Davvie, when you have to dug yourself in a hole so deep that the heat from the rounds of hell melts your face, you should stop.

    38. yesindyref2 says:

      “world report” not “word report”

    39. Proud Cybernat says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever made a comment to him on Twitter and he blocked me. He seems only to like conversing with people of like mind. Which begs the question–what kind of ‘professional journalist’ would deliberately go out of his way to seek only one side of any issue? His own actions speak very clearly to the conclusion that this man is not, by any reasonable definition, a ‘professional journalist’. Tjose are not the actions of a ‘professional journalist’ but rather someone with a ‘listen to me’ complex.

      Welcome to the 21st century, Mr Leask – where your Jackie Baillie gets challenged by the great unwashed. Horrible, innit!


    40. Street Andrew says:

      Pants on fire at the Herald.

      David Leask defends paper’s credentials by making up more bullshit.

      Yeah Right.

      You couldn’t make it up. George Orwell tried and produced the mainstream media handbook in the process.

      Reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher who regarded ‘Yes Minister’ as a government training manual.

    41. heedtracker says:

      Coffee time online trawl through the giant UKOK tory hackdom news networks, usual vote tory, Rees-Mogg’s a god, SNP bad, S_____d region non existent, OBFA dumped, dancing in the Scotland streets etc.

      But at bottom of all beeb Scotland gimp network stuff they’ve slipped this in,

      Why you can trust BBC News

      “Our editorial values say: “The trust that our audience has in all our content underpins everything that we do. We are independent, impartial and honest. We are committed to achieving the highest standards of accuracy and impartiality and strive to avoid knowingly or materially misleading our audiences.”

      and on and on they beeb gimp drone.

      “The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.” ? Ralph Waldo Emerson

      We’re certainly counting spoons very fast in Scotland, thanks to WoS.

    42. Legerwood says:

      The Scottish Government produced a report on poverty and inequality in Feb 2017. It covers the period 2012-14 if I remember correctly and maybe earlier.

      The Oxfam/Fraser of Allander report of April 2017 may have drawn some of its stats from the SG report.

      Sorry cannot give link to SG report – on my mobile at moment. It is on web site

    43. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I think David Leask is in his own wee “Wonderland”

      Not down a rabbit hole but up his erchie where he doesn’t know the year never mind the time of day.

      Self sophistry is his trade mark

    44. galamcennalath says:

      The pro Union legacy media are using fake news as a propaganda tool.

      Their problem is, the concept of fake news itself is being given publicity. People are thinking twice, or looking beyond the upfront story. A lot of naive folks have traditionally believed what they see / hear / read in the media but now that propaganda opportunity is being eroded, slowly.

      So the game has become one where fake news is being redefined by those who deploy it, as Stu so eloquently shows here. They want fake news to mean alternative news, and they want their fake news to continue.

      There are some pretty fundamental questions in all this.

      1) Their Union cannot make a case for it continuation without constantly resorting to fake news as propaganda, what does that say about the Union and its adherents?

      2) Why is there very little fake news promoting Scottish self determination or attacking the Union?

    45. Just another wee note…

      Dear Journos,

      · Respect is earned, not owed.
      · Once Respect is lost you can’t have it back.
      · Respect is an armour that protects you from attacks. Without it you’re vulnerable.
      · Respect is reciprocal and recursive.



    46. Robert Peffers says:

      @Proud Cybernat says: 26 January, 2018 at 10:57 am:

      “PS – I like the new ‘IGNORE’ button. I can see I’ll be using that on a few trolls on here. Ta.”

      All very well, Proud Cybernat, but what if someone thinks of you as a Troll and clicks the, “ignore button”?

      Then, of course, you can click to ignore the person ignoring you.

      Which may get other commenters to click to ignore both of you and in no time at all Wings will be a nice wee cosy talking shop composed of many little groups all individually talking to only those in their wee private, “clique”.

      Indeed a clique of clicks, no less. Perhaps it is time to go commenting elsewhere.

    47. May I suggest that since Dead Tree Scrolls like the Herald Britland and its Edinburgh sister title he Hootsman now number their readership in the thousands, and falling, we cease referring to these post Wizard and Hotspur Unionist comics as ‘mainstream’ media.
      Surely the metaphor is now ‘slipstream’ media.
      The Herald and hacks like Leask no longer represent the prevailing current of opinion, the direction of movement, or influence in newsbreaking; he is not ‘mainstream’
      WoS, WGD,Grouse Beater, Bateman, et al., are the new ‘mainstream media’.
      As Leask clearly demonstrates here, he is merely a turbulent flow of hot air driven backwards by the propeller of Truth, as reported here, and in the growing number of independent sites who don’t rely on an unseen US Far Right Sponsor for their wages.
      I recall Leask travelling the world during Indyref 1 getting too wee too stupid quotes from furriners…
      He is ‘slipstream Sam,whose future is selling advertising space in the Findo Gask Thunderer.
      The slipstream media is how I will frame the contributions form the Scottish Rags from here on in.
      Stu, they must have your face up on the dart board at Yoon Central by now.

    48. SOG says:

      DL: ‘That’s right. These are press packs and reports produced by charities for journalists. Reports will also be based on interviews with their officials etc’.

      So – we turn around press releases, but try to avoid letting people know that – would be my interepretation. Trust is easily lost, can be regained only with openness, and then slowly.

    49. galamcennalath says:

      yesindyref2 says:

      blogs have a part to play in holding traditional media to account

      Yes, that’s what it’s really all about. Beyond the Scottish/UK political bubbles there is a global phenomenon….


      … like it never has before. And they won’t be enjoying the experience one little bit!

      World wide, the media especially printed, has exercised way too much influence over events. Their role should be to inform and to hold those in power to account. Too often, they misinform and wield power.

      History books are full of it. When governments seem to over react, you just know there is excessive media influence.

      Also, if the media is being used as an instrument of the state, that’s bad. I would venture the option that when the state is being manipulated via rabble rousing by the owners of the media, that’s even worse!

    50. Meg merrilees says:

      Welsh scion @10.49

      re the Biased Broadcasting Commissariat … all the more gob-smacking that they went with the false flag headlines when their own ‘Fact-checker’ clearly points out that the FM was correct all along.

      Daily Mail obviously knew it was lying since it dropped the story on day two unlike the Express and Scotsman who still ran with it… and wasn’t it interesting that (t)Ruthless and her band of useless lobby-fodder steered well clear of it at FMQ’s – a sure sign that the whole thing was a set up. It would come as no surprise to learn who had engineered it and i wonder if she can drive a tank!

    51. heedtracker says:

      Once Respect is lost you can’t have it back.

      Very true. I read the tory grot that is The Guardian today for decades but look at it now, one of the most aggressive SNP out attack propaganda units going, matched only by massed ranks of beeb gimps in Pacific Quay.

      Graun spectacularly celebrated the Orange Order during their spectacular vote NO Scotland 2014, last night SLabour finally or have nearly succeeded in scrapping the OBFA, its a nightmare waiting, yet creepy Graun liggers puff up SLabour and Leonard nobody.

      Keeping a region down and in its place, is a very dirty business.
      Scottish politics
      Scottish Labour party to vote on using more women-only shortlists

    52. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Corrado Mella @ 11:50:

      Once respect is lost you can’t have it back.

      Oh, surely not. Everyone is capable of taking a wrong path sometime, and it’s human to persist down it some way before finally waking up. It’s the waking up part that’s important.

      But the re-acquisition of lost respect is indeed hard to earn, and does require a degree of honesty and contrition.

      The Herald specifically could begin that process by finally coming true on its eve-of-indy promise to revise its “no” stance if we were ever to be taken out of the EU against our will.

      And cease casting insidious and unwarranted aspersions against our Scottish Government, which is striving to do its best for all of us in very difficult circumstances that are in no way of its own making.

    53. Iain says:

      The whole media news industry depends on people believing – or at least wanting to believe – a substantial proportion of what it tells them.

      And the jobs of its employees depend on success in this exercise. But unlike the old days, people are not as dependent on journalists for information as they used to be, and they very often get it quickly and with greater detail and accuracy before the hacks can sell their version to them.

      So the hacks’ sense of self-importance and their livelihoods are on the line, and they’re really peeved about being taken to task.

    54. orri says:

      The point here is that 3 newspapers ran with the same press release which was prompted by an update in printed advice which should have been done over 7 years ago.

      It’s also whether you accept that an element of deliberate lying as defining “fake news”. Which is Leask’s apparent quible. Allows him to excuse a lack of fact checking. Obviously that lack might be understandable if it’s a hot scoop. But given how fast twitter users tracked down exactly what was going on or Sturgeon was at setting the story straight it’s kind of hard to allow that in this case.

      Further to which the Mail article on the front page ends with the change being “ratified”. The Express goes a stage further by refering to a snub to the Queen. Elementary fact checking would have shown neither allegations were true.

      The facts are that on Royal occasions with agreement from the Queen the Royal Standard of Scotland is to be flown. Also on Remebrance Day the Union Jack is to be flown. In addition on Armed Forces Day there’s a specific flag, which is based on the UJ, that will be flown.

    55. Peter Craig says:

      A little off topic Friday fairytale.
      The old cybernat shuffled into his kitchen to make his morning coffee, the heady days of fighting for indy were long gone, almost a decade had passed since he had stood weeping for joy in Glasgows recently renamed Freedom Square to celebrate Scotlands rebirth.

      He had desperately wanted to go through to Edinburgh and join the festivities in the capital but the M8 eastbound was gridlocked, the trains and buses were not issuing tickets the whole world, it seemed, had descended on Auld Reekie.

      As his coffee cooled the old man tried to remember that day, the laughing, crying, singing and of course drinking. He had never really been a big drinker but that day he had sampled everything from vintage Champagne to Buckfast. The over arching memory though was the crying, tears of joy certainly but more than that, tears of relief, a feeling that a great peril had been averted, a disaster avoided.

      He wondered what had happened to all the former friends and adversaries in the intervening years. In the period between the Referendum and Independence Day most of the more colourful unionists simply packed their tents, deleted their accounts and faded into obscurity, but not all, Bat guano mental Jill, was found in Fingals cave by some American tourists wrapped in a union flag drinking Gin from a royal wedding mug and singing Jerusalem.
      The pundits and politicos did what they do best, they simply reversed their position and said that all they ever wanted was Independence for Scotland done properly.

      The BBC quickly became SBC financed through advertising and with a purely Scotland led editorial position. One however, a dog food salesman, who, having become so enamoured with his own voice, could not let it go. He hawked his opinions around any media outlet that would listen, they quickly tired of his graphs and the plaintive wails of “but I’m right, GERS proves it” and refused to take his calls.

      Then there was the Cybernat General himself, most had imagined a triumphant return to Scotland, an appointment as Scotlands ambassador to the U.N.( kidding) and celebrations of Asgardian proportions. It was not to be, a few months after the historic vote that returned Scotland to her rightful place in the family of nations, a little piece appeared on WoS, it was very poignant, very short and very final, “WE FUCKING DID IT” and that was it, we never heard from him again.

      The internet being what it is the rumours were rife, aliens, kidnapping, MI5, CIA et al.. Most people wondered but hoped he had simply needed a very long rest.

      Having finished his coffee the old keyboard warrior thought that he had better get a move on, big day today, now that the Clyde was free of Trident the six biggest oil companies were berthing their exploration vessels at Faslane and Coulport a report was due out today about projected revenues from the new oil fields in the Firth of Clyde.

      What he was most excited about was the unvieling of a of a plaque in Freedom Square honouring many of the people and groups that had been at the forefront of the struggle for independence, because after much lobbying, the WoS Logo was right up there in a prominent position.
      Thanks Stu.

    56. FTDMAIL says:

      The Unionists are running scared. When they resort to outright lies and distortions you know they are losing the argument. This along with the flag story reeks of desperation. They seem to be trying to pump these stories out before they go under. They may have controlled the print media in Scotland but they don’t have control on online and increasingly that is where the media battle for indie will be won. Let’s see how the try and play the Better Together card when Davis f*cks up Brexit talks and it starts costing Scottish jobs. That’s a lie they won’t be able to spin. All blame will be put at Tory England’s door. That will easily give indie 10% in the polls and the job will be done. Despite what folks like Leasks has to say about it.

    57. Indy2 says:

      This “Ignore” button means I can now block Trolls like Heedy and Peffers and about another dozen similar Trolls.

      No more links to the Guardian from Heedy or 1000 word posts from Peffers.

    58. CameronB Brodie says:

      @David Leask
      You’re not thick, simply normatively and ideologically bound to the past. So you will probably still appreciate that once a man in your position has revealed to the public that they are intrinsically dishonest, their value to the Establishment is considerably diminished. Much like your so-called yoonion of equals, no?

      You are, no doubt, aware that your actions support the New Right’s heady brew of ‘common-sense’, right-wing populism and English nationalism?

      Why We (Often) Believe Fake News
      Naive realism and worldview preservation.

      The actual definition of fake news is news spread to intentionally deceive people using inaccuracies or things that are entirely made up. This has nothing to do with political bias. Saying Barack Obama saved 5 men from a fire if he didn’t is fake news. Saying Donald Trump’s inaugural crowd wasn’t as large as he claims isn’t fake news. It might be motivated by partisan beliefs. But it is still not fake news. Reality is still reality.

      Why the fake news panic matters

      What has been labelled “fake news” covers a wide spectrum of problems with news and information. The problems are driven by structural issues which the developed world has yet to address. These include digital accountability of algorithms and the dominant market power of the big technology companies that devise them; the failed business model for serious news and information; deep public confusion about the differences between facts and opinion – often created deliberately by political interests at home or from abroad – and the consequent dominance of assertion over evidence in public debate. All of which has created a vacuum of trust which is undermining many of the institutions upon which open, democratic societies rest.

      Fake news and the spread of misinformation

      “Displacing Misinformation about Events: An Experimental Test of Causal Corrections”

      Abstract: “Misinformation can be very difficult to correct and may have lasting effects even after it is discredited. One reason for this persistence is the manner in which people make causal inferences based on available information about a given event or outcome. As a result, false information may continue to influence beliefs and attitudes even after being debunked if it is not replaced by an alternate causal explanation. We test this hypothesis using an experimental paradigm adapted from the psychology literature on the continued influence effect and find that a causal explanation for an unexplained event is significantly more effective than a denial even when the denial is backed by unusually strong evidence. This result has significant implications for how to most effectively counter misinformation about controversial political events and outcomes.”

    59. Proud Cybernat says:

      @ Peter Craig


      See it. Believe it.

    60. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “PS – I like the new ‘IGNORE’ button.”

      Wait, is it working? It doesn’t work for me, which is why I deleted the post announcing it.

    61. bjsalba says:

      I understand that in Germany there are rules about where and how apologies and retractions are placed and sized in newspapers.

      I’d like to see that here. I’d like to see that here – and I’d like to see it applied to TV as well.

    62. They the media never mention the inequality between Scotland and the rest of the U.K. How the Scots have free student fees free prescriptions free care for the elderly free hospital car parking free roads with no tolls and plans for a no profit energy company all brought in by the bad SNP no they ignore these inequalities because they wish they did not exist and surely all these benefits in Scotland must mean Scotland is the least unequal country in the UK and they the UK media must hate that

    63. heraldnomore says:

      Leask confirming what former readers of The Herald have known for some time. And they wonder why the circulation is not quite what it once was, mirroring the curve in quality.

    64. Morgatron says:

      Welsh Sion @ 10.30
      Exactly, I think this should have been the 1st apology NS should have recieved and then the unelected Fudo (plug) Fraser , then these rags editors and every other one of the complicit shites .

    65. galamcennalath says:

      bjsalba says:

      I understand that in Germany there are rules about where and how apologies and retractions are placed and sized in newspapers.


      I would go further. From what I read, Canada has laws which ensure that the media can be restricted when it threatens “social harmony”.

      In the constitution of iScotland there need to be provision to allow freedom of speech, but balanced with restrictions on ‘hate speech’ and perhaps lessons learnt from Canada’s approach.

      The media have an important role to play in a democracy. They should shine a spotlight on government and inform the voters. They must not be allowed to subvert democracy.

    66. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      This “flaggate” episode reveals that the Unionist papers are desperately trying to activate and hang on to the middle ground of more conventionally-minded readers.

      They are the people who will win or lose IR2 for us – the persuadeable 5-10% – so it’s welcome that Nicola, the SG and the SNP are all now beginning to firmly challenge the Leaver/BritNat smears.

      Ably assisted, as it happens, by the ever-increasing unbelievability of the aforesaid smears.

    67. starlaw says:

      The flag story is fake news, it was news seven years ago it is not news now and if its claimed to be news, which its not, then its fake or false news.

    68. Effijy says:

      Leaks said, Zoomer Demented.

      Another Uncle Tom taking the money to ply
      Westminster propaganda as the truth and assuring
      Us that we are too dumb as a nation to read and
      Understand a report.
      Is English his main language or just his main interest?

    69. Brian says:

      As I said on Twitter, it seems the yoons are allowed to lie with no consequences and yet we suffer when we tell the truth. The world is truly fucked up.

    70. wull2 says:

      There is only one way to sort this flag thing out.
      vote YES next time.

    71. heedtracker says:

      Ignored says:
      26 January, 2018 at 12:43 pm
      This “Ignore” button means I can now block Trolls like Heedy and Peffers and about another dozen similar Trolls.

      Honestly? I wish I was a yoon troll, a SLab troll, a tory troll, a FibDem troll, even a Green troll, after watching them last night against the OBFA, but you name it chum, oh how I wish I was a WoS btl yoon troll.

      If only because life in teamGB is rather ghastly if you’re not a tory, red and blue, all the awful immorality that comes with voting red and blue tory, let alone actually choosing to be a UKOK hack/propagandist for a career.

      But this is what UKOK politics is really, endless lies and deceit, in Scotland.

      In England, it does just all seems to work but then the giant beeb gimp network’s really powerful doon there:D

      Hope that helps Indy2.

    72. Ottomanboi says:

      The British invented the modern form of fake news ie false information or black propaganda. In WWI there were stories and images of German atrocities usually involving babies and mothers. In WWII the Political Warfare Executive was active in anti-Nazi, or fake ultra-Nazi, propaganda broadcasting aimed at Germany. The Zinoviev letter was a classic fabrication as was the lurid tale of Sayf al-islam Gadhafi’s involvement in money laundering. Interestingly, a good deal of reportage over the decades from the Arab world is of questionable accuracy; Arabists being something of a rareity.
      Fabricated events sell papers. One look at the front pages of the likes of the Express confirms the notion that factual truth is irrelevant
      With an active imagination you’re never stuck for ‘news’. The dividing line between fake and plain lying is, of course, a matter of the items functionality.

    73. One_Scot says:

      Right, I don’t know if I’ve missed something. I’m getting a small grey cross at folks names and when I hovver on it it states ignore ‘name’.

      Does anyone know if it works as I am not wanting to accidentally ignore someone, well not yet anyway. Lol.

    74. Capella says:

      @ One_Scot – turns out everyone was discussing this earlier on a previous thread. If you click on the x a box appears saying “Ignore”. The post is still there but I suppose it helps with scrolling past people you don’t want to read.

    75. Flower of Scotland says:

      Leask and his British Nationalist partners are fair mad at you Stu because they want their Fake News to go out without a “blogger from Bath” analysing their news. He,he!

      Stan Wilson@10.46 I couldn’t post anything Indy related to Facebook this morning for 2hrs, nor could I share. Technical problem or………….

    76. Proud Cybernat says:

      @ Rev
      Wait, is it working? It doesn’t work for me, which is why I deleted the post announcing it.”

      Hmm – not sure, Rev. Not entirely sure how it’s supposed to work. I clicked to block a poster just a couple of mins ago, refreshed the page and I could still see their post. Not sure if it only works with subsequent posts they make (i.e. after I clicked to ignore them).

    77. orri says:

      The ignore button is actually worse than useless. At least on my browser it puts a sodding great green cross besides the users name highlighting it and drawing your attention to their posts.

    78. Cuilean says:

      The stench of self-righteous entitlement from Leask is quite overwhelming. Leask is taking the peassk, safe in the cowardly knowledge that others of his ilk and in his metier will protect & support his unhinged ‘logic’.

    79. ScotsRenewables says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell
      26 January, 2018 at 12:46 pm
      “PS – I like the new ‘IGNORE’ button.”

      Wait, is it working? It doesn’t work for me, which is why I deleted the post announcing it.

      NO, does not seem to do anything other than put up an ‘ignored’ tag beside the poster.It is meant to make their posts disappear. Might be because you are using another plugin to handle comments? Shame, it would have been a great feature.

    80. David MacGille-Mhuire says:

      “Keeping the Peace” piece showing “Error 404 – Cannot be found”.

      Nothing in archives.


    81. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      The Ignore plugin has been deactivated. Please stop talking about it (which includes “Keeping The Peace”) now.

    82. dakk says:

      Never been able to take this purveyor of fake news seriously.

      Leask has an uncanny resemblance to Wallace and Gromit.Both of them.

      His and the Herald’s brand of fake news belongs in the same fantasy world as his more illustrious lookalikes.

      Thought I would just sneak this last one in before the IGNORE button is up and running properly.

      Been nice knowin’ y’all 🙂

    83. Excellent article Stu keep up the great work.

    84. Arbroath1320 says:

      To be fair to this poor wee chap oor Stu wrote his article about the Herald’s headlines here on planet Earth. The problem is that the poor wee man is defending the Herald’s headlines in the alternate universe in which oor poor wee man normally resides.

      Obviously when people on planet Earth only ever see ONE version of the headlines it is clearly OUR fault because WE are unable to acquire the Herald that is printed in the alternate universe to find out the REAL truth as opposed to the PRETENDY truth we all see here on Earth! 😀

    85. Iain says:

      Whether its flags, Oxfam reports, or whatever, it seems that one member of the dubious press concocts a story, then the rest tweak it a bit before circulating the same story. No journalism is involved, but plagiarism seems to run rampant among the hacks and the papers they work for, even despite ‘egg on the face’ consequences.

    86. Iain mhor says:

      A great dissection.
      There is an interesting phenomenon nowadays of of expecting Newspapers and other media to be if not ‘truthful’ at the very least conscientious in checking the veracity of their output. How old is bollox and how new is fact checking? Let’s find out on t’internet :

      “The first regular source of Political Fact-Checking appears to have been a blog launched by the United Kingdom’s Channel 4 News in 2005, to cover a parliamentary election”
      (The Rise of Fact-Checking Sites in Europe
      Reuters Institute / University of Oxford)

      We really don’t trust our media – they know why, but they are somehow powerless to change it.

      “Among those who do not trust the news media, the main reasons (67%) relate to bias, spin, and agendas. Simply put, a significant proportion of the public feels that powerful people are using the media to push their own political or economic interests, rather than represent ordinary readers or viewers. These feelings are most strongly held by those who are young and by those that earn the least.

      • In many countries, particularly the US and UK, some media outlets are seen as taking sides, encouraging an increasingly polarised set of opinions. Others are criticised for not calling out lies, keeping information back, or creating a false equivalence of partisan opinions that are obscuring facts and understanding”
      (Bias, Bullshit and Lies – Audience Perspectives on Low Trust in the Media – Reuters Institute / University of Oxford)

      Since the dawn of time ‘News’ was word of mouth and much of it hearsay and nonsense. Getting to the truth of the matter has always been acknowledged as difficult. The earliest ‘press’ publications were villified even in the 1600’s. Newspapers borrowing and regurgitating from one another is centuries old. In fact pretty much from the outset was standard practice. The 1800’s and the rise of Anglo-American newspaper publications brought with it sensationalism and dare I say ‘Fake News’ in the era of ‘Yellow Journalism” Fact checking was a novelty and barely had traction into the 1920’s. The Pulitzers both published ‘Yellow Press’ and without a hint of irony, pushed for greater accuracy.

      “The ‘Bureau of Accuracy and Fair Play’… (introduced in 1913 in ‘The New York World’) …was focused on complaints, looking “to correct carelessness and to stamp out fakes and fakers.” They would keep track of who was making errors, to catch repeat offenders. At the time, the idea was termed a “novel departure” by an industry publication, but it still concentrated on reprimands and apologies rather than preventing those errors from making it to print”
      (Here’s How the First Fact-Checkers Were Able to Do Their Jobs Before the Internet – TIME magazine)

      Having the State control the media goes as far as 1538 : “Henry VIII of England decreed that all printed matter had to be approved by the Privy Council before publication” and having ‘Anti Scottish’ rants is not a new phenomenon.
      The journalist and a politician John Wilkes was at it in the 1700’s – “When the Scot John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, came to head the government in 1762, Wilkes started a radical weekly publication, The North Briton, to attack him, using an anti-Scottish tone”

      I’ll stop there, there is nothing new under the sun.
      In my youth my father told me ‘never believe anything you read in a newspaper, not even the fitba’ results”. Rubbish has been published for centuries – but people still seem astonished it happens ! Thankfully and increasingly, people are demanding accuracy of reporting and doing their own fact checking.

    87. Dek says:

      Devastating critique. Will Leask do the decent thing ? The Herald died with Ian Bell

    88. Rod says:

      A good journalist would take the Oxfam report and do a bit of legwork to find more detailed statistics that would let us compare the inequality in Scotland to the rest of the UK, Europe, and the world.

      That would be interesting.

      But it would require effort.

    89. ronnie anderson says:

      Peter Craig Fae wan auld fulla tae anither the SBC would need a Editor ( non better than The REV ) but in saying that the last paragraph re the Plaque ( Not for Glory Not For Riches Not for Honours ) .

      To the Future in a INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND Cheers .

      Where’s this feking button x

    90. Gregor says:

      Every official public complaint about the UK gutter press should also now include reference to the politically motivated UK Regime’s Fake News unit.

    91. Thepnr says:

      Looks like Mr Leask’s blood temperature is reaching boiling point. Probably over boiling point after reading Wings today. Good!

      Pretty soon these “newspapers” won’t be able to afford the paper they’re printed on thanks to Journalists such as bawfaced Leask.

    92. yesindyref2 says:

      @Peter Craig
      Give me back my time machine!

    93. Tam the Bam. says:

      Excellent piece Rev.I earnestly hope you carry out a similar forensic dissemination on the work (I wont call it journalism) of one Thomas Gordon.

    94. K1 says:

      We’ll aw jist huv tae continue manually ignoring each other noo 😉

    95. HandandShrimp says:

      It is a joy that the Mail’s tiny apology is headline news across the media.

      Their fake news is outed and they are discombobulated. 🙂

      Of course the other 99% of crap they spout is little better but small victories remind the readers that the media is not to be trusted.

    96. call me dave says:

      @Peter Craig

      A braw wee cameo there! 🙂 I’d settle for that.

      “a smirk in a suit” Captured him in a sentence.

      PS: This morning.

      My 83 yr old Daily Mail acquaintance in the cafe this morning broke into my thoughts while doing the X-word in The National.

      “Terrible all this knife crime in Scotland” says she ..??

      “Shurley schome mishtake”..says I (best James Bond acc)
      “You mean London and darn Sarf”?

      “No Scotland” says she…


    97. K1 says:

      Print oot this for her call me dave:

      How Scotland reduced knife deaths among young people

    98. The more these British nationalist newspapers stories are exposed as fake news to the public.

      Then the quicker they lose influence and what credibility they have and their sales continue on a downward spiral.

    99. ronnie anderson says:

      Waffle Friday did you’s know there’s big discounts oan Waffle , ah couldn’t possibly mention Waffle without mentioning David Davis .

    100. yesindyref2 says:

      Back in the heady days of a Demon TAM a guy called Richard Clayton (you never know, perhaps RFC’s were named after him) and his team put together the Turnpike suite. I still use the email, best not on the market or supported anymore.

      Turnpike had a newsreader, you could killfile a poster, but also wth a custom rule kill all responses to that poster. You could even kill whole threads, and not even download them. Or another custom rule to not download posts with say $$$ in them.

      Would there be anything on the market like that, you could get your webhost to install on the dedicated server for you? It’d have to be dual mode – default and “expert” user for us readers / posters. Preferably with perhaps a text file that gets stored on our devices for those security-minded folk like me that run ccleaner to delete all cookies 2 or 3 times a day.

    101. ronnie anderson says:

      K1 (K1 says:
      26 January, 2018 at 2:33 pmWe’ll aw jist huv tae continue manually ignoring each other noo ? )

      Aye but we Wingers do it with ah smile an ah good degree of hilarity ( smilies )

    102. yesindyref2 says:

      Actually if your server is running any Linux, there’s probably free software to download, and supported with a users forum. Back in the 90s I got a chat program I installed for one website but had to get rid of in the end after a few break-in attempts (which failed), as it would have taken too long to rewrite it any more to make it totally [1] secure. I thik that was Matt’s archive all the same!

      [1] as totally as anyone can get, with security these days.

    103. Thepnr says:

      @call me dave

      Can’t think what to do about the 83 year old lady who visits your cafe. If you took her Daily Mail away then she might not come back. You could show her this but she most likely would think it’s false news. In addition to the link K1 added there is also this.

      I had to think twice about linking to this BBC article from two days ago because although it states that knife cime in England & Wales has risen by 26% in the last year it does not state the figure for Scotland though it does say:

      Knife crime in England and Wales is rising, but an initiative in Scotland has seen a significant fall in the number of stabbings.

      It’s a very poor piece especially the headline, you read that headline then forget everything else but the truth is this is not “Fake News”.

      Last year, more than 35 children and teenagers were killed with knives in Britain, but none were in Scotland.

    104. call me dave says:


      Thanks for the article ‘which I never seen’ although I knew in a general way how the Scottish situation from a few years ago had been tackled and with much success.

      I had a go at imparting such knowledge but but…she was referring to a Scottish school where a pupil had been stabbed …and had no concept of the London ‘crisis’ or about the contrast between Eng & Wales V Scotland.

      She’s a lost cause really… 🙂 True Blue and loves Queenie too!

    105. yesindyref2 says:

      @call me dave
      Worth the effort though, all it needs is remove one brick to disturb her faith in the Mail, and the rest comes tumbling down.

      Not only for her, she’d probably be the bestest YES campaigner ever after that!

    106. Proud Cybernat says:

      @ Call me Dave

      Cut the Daily Mail banner and stick it over ‘The National’ banner and hand her the paper. Sit back and watch her face.

      Not sure if that would be considered ‘Fake News’ or not because she’d actually be getting the truth for once albeit under a fake banner.

    107. yesindyref2 says:

      @@call me dave
      Just thinking, use the Mail against her. Show her that retraction they published apparently on page 2, of flaggate – with if you can get it, the original Mail article.

      Little acorns …

    108. stu mac says:

      I’m a little late onto this one but I think it’s worth saying this anyway. What purpose do they think their attacks on blogs like this achieve? Like many others on here I used to be a regular reader of the Herald. I stopped buying because they were becoming less and less trustworthy as a paper (and this applies to other papers too). They have become worse since I stopped meaning there’s no way I’m ever going back. They seem incapable of realising that a bit of honest journalism might bring back some lost readers. But then perhaps they don’t want us back. We are after all the people who saw through them and would continue to be critical (and leave again because) of any lapse back to bad habits. I think their owners must see them as mere propaganda outlets and could care less about their future as long as they do a job for the moment.

    109. ronnie anderson says:

      Call me dave
      On a good news day for Scotland when news media we’re engaged with Scotlands Knife crime initiatives & people from other parts Ie London coming to Scotland to meet with Police to initiate the same practices in London , & some pupils from Barmulloch stab a 14 boy .

    110. CameronB Brodie says:

      Re. bollocks merchant David Davis and the magical properties he would have us believe of Brexit, which is the articulation of populist, English nationalism and signals Britain’s commitment to a “race-to-the-bottom”.

      Theory and Brexit: can theoretical approaches help us understand Brexit?

      Theory can be applied to different aspects of Brexit. We could use theories to explain why the British people voted as they did. Historians will use theories to explain Brexit in a longer-term framework. Generations of students (especially PhD students) will soon use Brexit as a case study in their various theoretical discussions of European integration or disintegration. We could use theories to focus on the UK, but that overlooks that Brexit is a two-way process that involves 27 other member states to say nothing of the numerous EU institutions and international players that will shape it. We can try to use theories to predict what might happen during the process of Brexit, giving us pointers of what to look for.

      There are four theoretical approaches we can use as a starting point to analyse Brexit: neoclassical realism, constructivism, bureaucratic politics and cognitivism. These four approaches have a history of being used to explain British foreign policy, most notably in the recently updated book Losing an Empire, Finding a Role: British Foreign Policy since 1945 by David Sanders and David Houghton. Each can be refined to become more nuanced theoretical approaches. Here we look at them in a general way….

      Brexit offers opportunities

      …Regulatory constraints from the EU do not relate only to clinical trials. The European approach to the use of data for research purposes is excessively restrictive, a far cry from the UK framework laid out in July by Dame Fiona Caldicott. Similarly, in stem cell research Britain stands almost alone in Europe in its approach to the field, free of restrictive regulation.

      Much the same could be said of the research and application of genetically modified crops, vaccines or genomics. Being constrained by EU restrictive regulation in the future is a clear liability. Add to this the constraints on state aid, which inhibit the UK’s ability to support the science-based industries more directly as the Americans do, and we can see that a future in which British scientists collaborate with their European counterparts but are not bound by EU regulation looks tempting.

      How can the British government make this a reality? First, it needs to come up with an industrial strategy that incorporates areas of strength in the research base including life sciences, energy, digital and data. The appointment of Greg Clark to lead a department with explicit responsibility for both industrial strategy and science, the appointment of George Freeman to chair the prime minister’s policy board, and the retention of Jo Johnson as minister for universities and science, are welcome signals.

      If the UK does separate from the EU regulatory system, there must be changes in the way we govern these industries, in line with the philosophy of low regulatory burden, risk-based regulation and speed. A failure to implement sweeping changes to regulation and its institutions in the UK would be to miss an important opportunity….

      Possible impacts of Brexit on EU
      development and humanitarian policies


      Brexit could have a major impact on EU development and humanitarian policies. However, although Brexit is highly likely to happen, there are still uncertainties about the UK’s new foreign policy approach and its repercussions on aid. The UK may act under three different scenarios (nationalist, realist, cosmopolitan) with different consequences for EU aid. The UK’s leaving would challenge the EU’s role as the world’s leading donor: while global aid may decrease by up to 3 %, the EU could lose between 10 % and 13 % of its world aid share. Its presence, through ODA, in neighbouring countries throughout Eastern Europe and North Africa could be particularly affected, with a cut of between 1% and 4%, depending on different scenarios. The EU could react to Brexit by adopting two distinct approaches to foreign policy and development cooperation: either limiting its role to that of a regional power or growing to become a global leader. In the first approach, Brexit would have a very mild effect and would lead to very few policy challenges. However, in the second, the EU would need to compensate for the loss of Britain’s contribution to EU aid, both in quantitative and qualitative terms.

    111. stu mac says:

      @Street Andrew says:
      26 January, 2018 at 11:43 am

      Reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher who regarded ‘Yes Minister’ as a government training manual.

      Not really. She was fond of it because it reflected her prejudices. In fact Civil Servants were obliged to do as they were told and mostly did but they were also obliged point out problems (how to finance, feasibility etc). She (and her cronies) didn’t want to listen to any sensible criticisms or watering down of her policies – either by the “Wets” or Civil Servants. So she initiated a policy of undermining the Civil Service and politicising it (“is he one of us?”). “Yes, Minister” was useful propaganda for her because, exaggerating for the comedy, it made out politicians were the tools of Civil Servants. As a result of this and the removal of the long time period before taking jobs with companies they had dealings with (and New Labour encouraged this too) we have the current corruption and revolving door between government and big business.

    112. ronnie anderson says:

      The Empires dead but they won’t bury it lol

    113. Dan Huil says:

      Brilliant work yet again by the Rev. Rabid Britnat media excuses are truly Alice-in-Wonderland stuff.

      The British nationalist media’s anti-Scottish propaganda will backfire. Britnat media is rotten to the core; its demise is imminent.

      We must keep the pressure on these Britnat liars.

    114. Hamish100 says:

      I’m expecting to hear an apology from BBC Scotland tonight

    115. auld highlander says:

      A sparsely attended speech seemingly,

      From the New York Times: Theresa May Arrives in Davos as U.K.’s Post-‘Brexit’ Slide Continues

      “Britain’s stature on the world stage has diminished, and its economy has sagged. The former colonial empire has been reduced to a lesser actor, a reality that hit home on Thursday as Mrs. May delivered a sparsely attended speech before the World Economic Forum…

      “…The day before, President Emmanuel Macron of France had received rock star-style treatment from a packed crowd that waited nearly an hour for a chance just to get into the room where he was to speak. People who arrived a moment before Mrs. May’s speech found empty seats within a few rows of the stage…

      “…She cast Britain as a country that is not in retreat. ‘The United Kingdom has a proud history of stepping up and seizing the opportunities of our time,’ she said. ‘We stand ready to do so again.’ By that point, several people attending the speech were standing and walking toward the exits.”

      One day she will get a standing ovation when everyone stands up and pelts her with rotten veg.

    116. manandboy says:

      Is it not the case that once the State sponsored Media is committed to a lie, there is no going back, as fear of the consequences of telling the truth increases with every additional lie. Its a vicious circle with a noose at the centre.

      Take for example the very British lie that Scotland is too poor.
      If The Herald were to print the truth about Scotland’s vast wealth for a few days, the Colonial balloon would burst, Independence would follow and the British Establishment would be bankrupt.
      It is to avoid this end that the lies must continue and so The Herald and all the rest of the Media have no choice but to lie – until after Independence, when there would be no point,for the whole world would then see the truth that Scotland was very very wealthy.

      So there is a lot of pressure on guys like Leask to lie his butt off.

    117. Legerwood says:

      O/T slightly but still the Herald.

      They seem to be trying to squeeze more mileage 0out of the flags story. Scotland Office refusing to apologise for Mundell’s remarks on the subject in Parliament- it is behind the pay wall but you can see enough to get the picture

    118. Iain says:

      O/t Despite the trolls advice I still think that the SNP government should as a matter of decency promise that as soon as Scotland becomes independent that they will pay at least the European Union average old age pension.
      Doing that would probably ensure a yes vote in indy referendum 2.
      Indy Scotland should be an example of fairness, not a mean and bitter state like the uk .
      We can and must be better.
      Life expectancy is less in Scotland, that alone is justification.
      The Scottish government has shown that it cares for all the people of Scotland,this would show it.

    119. K1 says:

      Aye Ronnie. Ahm always smiling through the tears 😉

    120. galamcennalath says:

      manandboy says:

      fear of the consequences of telling the truth increases with every additional lie

      It’s like some semi religious tale from a 1950s children’s short story about the immorality to telling fibs.

      One fib leads to a bigger fib and suddenly your soul is damned and lost forever … or something quaint like that.

      Their Union has lost any meaningful worth now – built on deceit, hypocrisy, and false promises.

    121. skintybroko says:

      Iain – What Scotland needs is a root and branch review of pension provision, the public sector pensions constantly outperform the private ones and more and more people are being pushed into company schemes, I’m sure, with a view to stopping the old age pension all together but Govt of all persuasions wont touch public sector pensions as they are too lucrative to the political class. I wouldnt be surprised if every additional penny of income tax is just going to shore up the public pensions hole and not direct to the service that it has been politically geared at.

    122. Kenlike says:

      @ auldhighlander

      Aye, thon May could empty a bus shelter in a blizzard

    123. Dave Robb says:

      BBC Scotland has now downgraded the Daily Mail’s “apology” to the politics section. Will it survive to tonight’s Reporting Scotland? It would be a nice surprise if they keep it in. I’m not holding my breath!

    124. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Legerwood @ 16:31,

      Mundell’s attempted manipulation is quite brazen, if also transparent. The worst Scottish Secretary ever by a long way (and that’s saying something, given most of his predecessors). He is probably being kept on by Treeza specifically because he’s a total muppet, a pathetic pushover.

      It’s cute, really, the way the Tories first set their fake hare running, and its utter falsity having been exposed, are now trying, with the help of their usual media pals, to blame Nicola for starting it!

      One is tempted to respond to him in kind:

      “It beggars belief that, at a time when your party is furiously alleging that the sky is falling in on all public services in Scotland, its chief priority is – ahem – flags.”

    125. Thepnr says:

      Tell you what I believe is also behind this fake news rubbish. It’s that many people in Scotland are voting with their feet by refusing to pay the telly tax.

      In 2016 the last figures I can find 10% of households in Scotland were classed as “evading” the TV licence compared with only 6% in England and 6% in Wales.

      For arguments sake let’s say that the Scottish figure had increased to 12% in the last two years. That would surely set alarm bells ringing in Downing Street.

      “We’re losing control” which they are but they’re not going to tell you that are they.

      Don’t watch their propaganda and definitely don’t pay for it.

    126. East Neuker says:

      Has anyone else noticed that the BBC website very briefly carried an item about the Mail’s apology to Nicola Sturgeon, albeit blaming AS instead, but very quickly replaced it wit a report about the dangers of magnetic putty? I kid you not. I’m not savvy enough to have copied it. Did anyone else see this?

    127. Orri says:

      What I remember of the schoolboy stabbed in Aberdeen is that there was already a Holyrood backed initiative by the Police to visit schools and the local educational council declined participation.

      Whether that was a self satisfied assurance that that kind of thing only happened in more scummy schools, a matter of political intransigence or both is up to debate.

      The tragic consequences aren’t.

    128. Effijy says:

      The Herald now has a circulation of less than 25,000 copies per day, and falling dramatically each year as the dumbest of its subscribers finally realises that it now just a propaganda pamphlet with adverts.

      People like Leask have been happy to scrafice, the paper, journalism, and Scotland to their own Tory Westminster end.

      Sorry to see such noble history die, but its riddled with cancer
      and has no quality of life.

    129. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Effijy @ 18:44,

      It’s more a Labourite end (assuming there’s much difference), together with just a hint of an Orange Order / Loyalist thread running through. Don’t forget the heavy treatment it handed their sports staffer Graham Spiers when he got a little toooo close to the truth…

    130. Iain says:

      The 77th must be having their tea, I’ve not been rubbished by trolls.
      Scotland needs a decent public sector old age pension, people do not want to spend their retirement years in poverty.
      In many communities in Scotland, the state old age pension is an unobtainable dream.
      Scotland must face up to the challenges of 90% of all jobs disappearing in the next 20 years to robots and automation of most professions.
      We must have a plan.

    131. Clootie says:

      In Leask world THEY decide what YOU will read and it must be true because THEY have presented it.

      This is the same media who have presented propaganda for the union and the Royals for decade after decade. They are now upset because they have been caught lying…not on one story but in a consistent and measurable manner the presses started rolling.

      The MSM are no longer trusted because they lie, select sound bites, demonstrate bias, select the stories to cover, focus on negative news etc, etc.

      May the end for the Herald and Scotsman have a quick end.

      Journalism in the true sense has moved to “reputable bloggers” who report FACTS!
      …a novel concept Leask cannot grasp.

      Leask and Co would like to return to the 30s and the world of Pathe News shown in the Cinema. Even in the 50s the story of Everest being climbed was kept from the public in order tot to detract from Liz1s coronation.

      They want sheep not readers!

    132. Thepnr says:

      What can we do about the Herald, the Scotsman, Daily Record or Sun for that matter?

      Well nothing really, we cannot save them as their journalists are destroying their newspaper all by themselves. I’ll shed no tears.

    133. Meg merrilees says:

      East Neuker

      Yip.I saw it this morning – a strong picture of Nicola and and the headline which said Daily Mail apologises to Nicola Sturgeon over flag story. this was the link at the time – don’t know if it will work now.

      Now the article is tucked in amongst other general items, no photograph and strap line shortened to Daily Mail apologises over flag story.

      Have a look at this one – another belter. You can link to it from their article about Trump wanting to visit Scotland, but use this link to get the specific article…

      President Trump’s uneasy relationship with Scotland. Near the bottom it quotes what the leader of each of the scottish parties has said about Trump accompanied by 6 photos.

      The subtitle to these 6 photos says:
      The leaders of the main political parties in Scotland elaborate on how they would handle a phone call from US presidential hopeful Donald Trump

      Guess who is at photo number One?
      1 = Ruth Davidson
      2 = Patrick Harvie
      3 = Kezia?
      4 = David Coburn
      5 = Nicola Sturgeon – Leader of the biggest party and the principal politician in all of Scotland by dint of her title of First Minister of Scotland.
      6 = Willie Rennie

      Subliminal – at every turn they try to trick us!

    134. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Dek at 2.02

      Indeed. And Joan McAlpine SNP MSP was its acting deputy editor at one point but her politicals tance finished her at the Herald

    135. Alastair says:

      Newsing the report not reporting the News.

    136. Robert Peffers says:

      packhorse pete says: 26 January, 2018 at 11:34 am:

      “I don’t buy newspapers any longer. Lies, distortions and fake news. Fortunately, their words have less and less power these days.”

      Sadly, packhorse pete, it was always thus. The only difference now is that increasing numbers of the electorate, with the assistance of such as Rev Stu Campbell, are now very much better informed and are picking up on things they missed in the past and now know they are being lied to.

      I could trot out several very old stories that we old campaigners knew about but we could not get the truth out to the general public. For example we knew about the McCrone Report but could not get this out to the public for two very good reasons.

      The SNP were never a wealthy party and the SMSM, and the Westminster controlled propaganda broadcasters, just didn’t propagate the real facts.

      Another little news item that the SNP has been telling the public for many years is what the GERS figures were for and why they were total mince. Then there was the SNP campaign that told the World in big black letters:-


      but most Scots didn’t believe that it was.

      Matter of fact lots of, (cough!), Scots still don’t believe it. Yet there isn’t a day goes by that there isn’t some wally or other, right here on Wings for example, claiming to be an independence for Scotland supporter claiming that the SNP/SG/Nicola Sturgeon, Holyrood SNP MSPs, SNP Westminster MPs or the Independent newspaper are either doing nothing or are ineffective and useless.

    137. geeo says:

      @call me dave.

      Remind her that there was NOT a single knife related death in Scotland in 2017. Not one.

    138. CameronB Brodie says:

      I had a mate who started in philosophy before graduating in AI. That meant we got to play networked arcade games with dudes in MIT’s AI lab. That was thirty years ago but I think there’s still a way to go before the machines take over.

      For example, how does AI articulate human values and negotiate social norms? Those are challenging tasks to achieve, I certainly struggled following my brain injury.

      Introduction: de/humanization and critical realism

      In many ways, our current epoch witnesses dehumanized social relations. While alienation (Marx) and disenchantment (Weber) or the deficit in social solidarity (Durkheim) are by no means recent phenomena, processes of dehumanization continue to prevail in most spheres of society. In the public sphere, discussions which privilege compliance with bureaucratic regulations and quantifiable indicators (such as GDP and its growth) over human needs and flourishing, have the effect of excluding large portions of the electorate from public debate while accelerating the demise of the Welfare State….

      Computation as Anti-Holos

      Here is a technical sketch of how all of nature could arise from a foundation which is ‘aesthetic’ rather than physical or informational. I conceive of the key difference between the aesthetic and the physical or informational (both anesthetic) is that an aesthetic phenomenon is intrinsically and irreducibly experiential. This is a semi-neologistic use of the term aesthetic, used only to designate the presence of phenomena which is not only detected but is identical to detection. A dream is uncontroversially aesthetic in this sense, however, because our waking experience is also predicated entirely upon sensory, perceptual, and cognitive conditioning, we can never personally encounter any phenomenon which is not aesthetic.

      Aesthetics here is being used in a universal way and should not be conflated with the common usage of the term in philosophy or art, since that usage is specific to human psychology and relates primarily to beauty. There is a connection between the special case of human aesthetic sense and the general sense of aesthetic used here, but that’s a topic for another time. For now, back to the notion of the ground of being as a universal phenomenon which is aesthetic rather than anesthetic-mechanical (physics or computation)….

      AI, Quantum Information, and External Semantic Realism: Searle’s Observer-Relativity and Chinese Room, Revisited


      In philosophy of mind, Searle contrived two arguments on the impossibility of AI: the Chinese room argument and the one based upon the observer-relativity of computation. The aim of the present article is two-fold: on the one hand, I aim at elucidating implications of the observer-relativity argument to (ontic) pancomputationalism, in particular the quantum informational view of the universe as advocated by Deutsch and Lloyd; on the other, I aim at shedding new light on the Chinese room argument and the nature of linguistic understanding in view of the semantic realism debate in philosophy of logic and language, especially Dummett’s verificationist theory of meaning. In doing so, philosophy of mind turns out to be tightly intertwined with philosophy of logic and language: intelligence is presumably the capacity to reason, and in view of a distinction between statistical and symbolic AI (“AI of sensibility” and “AI of understanding” in Kantian terms), philosophy of logic and language is arguably the part of philosophy of mind that concerns the symbolic realm of intelligence (i.e., the realm of understanding rather than sensibility).

      More specifically, in the first part of the article, I argue that pancomputationalism cannot be maintained under Searle’s external realism; nevertheless, a radical (external) antirealist position, such as Wheeler’s (“It from Bit”), may allow for a possibility of pancomputationalism. The Searle’s argument and the infinite regress paradox of simulating the universe yield challenges to pancomputationalism and the quantum informational view of the universe, leading us to the concept of weak and strong information physics (just like weak and strong AI).

      In the second part, I argue that Dummett’s principle of manifestation on linguistic understanding commits Searle to semantic realism due to the nature of his Chinese room argument. Searle’s position must thus be realism in two senses, that is, it has to be external semantic realism. I finally focus upon recent developments of categorical quantum mechanics, and discuss a quantum version of the Chinese room argument. Underpinning all this is the conceptual view that the duality of meaning manifests in different philosophies of logic, language, and mind.

    139. Hamish100 says:

      Cameron Brodie are you trying to say Murdo Fraser Boris Johnston Ruth Davidson are robots. Surely its wullie rennie that has shown no inteliigence since elected…………… right enough Murdo Fraser could also be AI or is it ArsE.

    140. CameronB Brodie says:

      Definitely the later Hamish. 😉

    141. Patsy Millar says:

      I stopped my subscription to the Herald at the end of last year and now only get it on a Monday for the wee stinker (my only serious addiction) and on a Saturday for the magazine. I might be able to give up the magazine, but I’m afraid I can’t do without the wee stinker yet. Will I be forgiven?

    142. Lenny Hartley says:

      Patsy Millar’ cant you just take a photo of the Wee Stinker on your phone? print it out and then you dont have to contaminate your hands with that Rag. I say that as a regular reader for over thirty years but stopped getting it in 2013 due the the lies they were printing in the run up to
      Indy ref 1

    143. Bruce says:

      So who gives a toss anyway? Publish some lies about something which most of the population could’nt care less about. Issue an apology. Therefore can publish lies about something of importance. No apology so it must be true. Sounds reasonable.

    144. Sinky says:

      @ Patsy Millar says @ 7.19:

      If you register for E Library at many local authorities you can access full Herald etc for nothing via Press Reader.

      Back to the BBC, are they just incompetent or in the words of George Foulkes they are doing it deliberately?

      This evening’s report Daily Mails apology regarding the Tory press office release Unionist Flag smear failed to point out that the Scottish Royal Standard was being flown with the Queen’s approval rather than the Butcher’s Apron.

      Their coverage implied OK its wasn’t Sturgeon but Salmond to blame .. so just a minor error.

      Well worth reading Derek Bateman on this topic

    145. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      RE: mentions of “Yes Minister”.

      Peter Jay, one of the writers, was reported to have said that the writers were complimented by both Labour and Tories for getting it right.

      This particular clip shows the attitude of the “UK establishment” to “the ordinary people”. It’s one of my favourite sequences from the series.


      Hi CameronB Brodie.

      I must admit that I don’t always read all your input and links but you’re doing a great job in backing up premises with academic citations.

      Mair power ti yir elbow an’ thah’…

    146. Not Convinced says:

      Can’t help thinking that something comparatively simple that an independent Scotland could do to help reign in the media would be to require that any corrections be given equal prominence (in terms of column inches, relative position and time on the front page) as the original error? So if $NEWSPAPER has a front-page story for 3 days about how e.g. “Ruth Davidson murders kittens!” which is then shown to be false, then for 3 days their front-page story is either “We where wrong, Ruth Davidson doesn’t murder kittens” or (if it can be proven to be the case) “We lied! Ruth Davidson doesn’t murder kittens” … With no exceptions! Doesn’t matter what else is going on in the world, if the Queen’s died, war’s been declared or a cure for cancer has been found your front-page headline has already been decided upon!

      But we have to get to the independent Scotland part first, as we can be pretty sure that the UK’s never going to do this.

    147. packhorse pete says:

      @Robert Peffers
      “Yet there isn’t a day goes by that there isn’t some wally or other, right here on Wings for example, claiming to be an independence for Scotland supporter claiming that the SNP/SG/Nicola Sturgeon, Holyrood SNP MSPs, SNP Westminster MPs or the Independent newspaper are either doing nothing or are ineffective and useless.”

      This, Robert. However, I do think that the influence of MSM is decreasing, day by day. Even the circulation figures don’t reveal the lack of faith that many have in the political content of so-called MSM. People I know buy the Mail for sport, gardening, holiday offers, with no interest in the “Nicola Sturgeon killed my baby” type of drivel.

    148. Fred says:

      @ Iain, good idea about the pensions!

      What a twisted shite of an excuse for a man that we have for a Secretary of State for Scotland. A candidate for “Fanny of the Week!” if ever there was one!

    149. Alastair Naughton says:

      How can these people get away with this shit? And this is a “quality” paper, not the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, never mind the Sun, the Daily Record or the Daily Star!!!!!!

    150. ronnie anderson says:

    151. Liz g says:

      RE… The fake Fleg thing..

      Well,Well,Well….isn’t it just so interesting that no one is actually suggesting that Queenie be asked about this “Fleg ” thing???

      This still seems to be a no go area for the MSM.

      If memory serves, there was a Fleg issue in N.Ireland a few years back,did any biddy think to ask the wummin then what she wanted?

      Seems tae me she is the very person who could settle it…is she no ?

      Hur “pepel” would then be saved from a great deal of uncertainty……. Now apparently “uncertainty ” is the worst thing ever….or so I’ve been told.
      So, I say …….let the wee wummin speak……!
      Has anybiddy asked her?

      But seriously this is the one place “the establishment” won’t go….we can use that…

      The Media,( and not for the first time ) have manufactured an attack on the Crown!

      They forget…or choose not to remember…. The Scottish Crown….is beholden to us….Mibbi it’s no the BBC we should be writing to after all??

    152. Orri says:

      It wouldn’t suit the MSN agenda to look too closely at what’s really going on. One could easily spin this into a demand that the Royal Standard be torn down and replaced by the much superior Union Jack. Obviously the Lion Rampant having a far longer history than it is irrelevant.

    153. galamcennalath says:

      “British officials are in discussions with Brussels about extending the Brexit transition period to almost three years, The Telegraph has learnt.”

      What matters most to WM? IMO, the continuation of UKOK and their Union.

      Keeping EU ‘business as usual’ almost up until Holyrood2021 and avoiding an excuse for IndyRef2 could be their strategy.

      If they can hold out for three years, then achieve a pro Union majority in Holyrood, then they are ‘home and dry’ effectively forever.

      Will that strategy work? Not if we make a good case for Indy above and beyond Brexit.

    154. Dr Jim says:

      @Robert Peffers area: More than mine

      There are folk wiser than me on this whole flag issue and her Maj, but if my memory of history serves me correctly her Maj is Queen of England not Queen of Scotland but Queen of Scots and in that role her job is the protection of Scots as a soveriegn Nation and if she does not do that job well in the people of Scotlands judgement the people of Scotland have the right to replace her and select another Queen who we think is more appropriate to the task

      Do I have the general gist of this Robert?

    155. dave Stewart says:

      Late news from AOL, not a fan but!!
      The work of Scottish health workers around the world was praised by Bill Gates as he heard about initiatives in Africa.

      The philanthropist met First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at St Andrews House in Edinburgh and was given a presentation on the work being carried out by NHS Scotland staff in Zambia, Ethiopia and Malawi.

      He said: “The Scottish Global Health Collaborative is a really smart idea. We know from the Ebola outbreak that a health crisis somewhere can soon become a health crisis everywhere.

      What does EBC scotland have
      Irish jobs secure and wait for the squirrel,
      Male vulture lays an egg Teachers will strike for a 10% wage rise.
      Is this news or just padding to fill the site

    156. CameronB Brodie says:

      Thanks Brian, it’s surprising me the amount of stuff I’d forgotten about. 😉

      Psychology, Gullibility, and the Business of Fake News
      On the meaning and misappropriation of the term “fake news”

      Fake news is false information masquerading as news, especially when the author knows it’s a work of fiction. Recently, the term “fake news” has been misappropriated to describe real news that is at odds with one’s personal opinion. That’s not the same as fake news, but biased news and fact rejection are related issues that are also important in terms of how we produce and consume information.

      David Rand: The cognitive science of fake news

      Why do people believe patently false news headlines, and what can be done to undermine belief in “fake news”? In this talk I will describe a number of recent findings from my collaboration with Gord Pennycook exploring these issues. For example, what is the role of rational deliberation in belief in fake news? Many have argued that people use rationalization to convince themselves of the truth of stories which fit their political worldview (a form of “motivated reasoning” or “cultural cognition”). On the contrary, in a recent set of studies, we found that people who engaged in more deliberative thinking were better at discerning fake from real news, even for headlines that aligned with their political ideology – suggesting that low-level cognitive processes motivate belief in fake news, and deliberation can override such automatic responses….

      ‘Fake news’ study finds incorrect information can’t be corrected simply by pointing out it’s false

      “Our study examined how people adjust their attitudes after they learn that crucial information on which their initial evaluation was based is incorrect, and to what extent cognitive ability influences this correction,” Dekeersmaecker told PsyPost.

      “The results of our experiment indicated that individuals with lower levels of cognitive ability, were less responsive to this corrective new information, and the initial exposure to the incorrect information had a persevering influence on their attitudes.”

    157. Orri says:

      A transition period is just that. It’s not an extended negotiation so would be part of the Brexit deal nailed down unless a Westminster government threw a strop.

      I really wouldn’t assume it would delay indyref2 until 2021. If anything Flaggate has shown Sturgeon’s patience has a limit.

      May might try her “now is not the time” schtick again but will be told GTF.

      All a 3 year transition allows is an easier continuation of Scotland’s access to the Single Market.

    158. Gfaetheblock says:

      All jolly good, but Leask is right. If a story is wrong in a paper or broadcaster, you have bodies to complain to and it will be addressed (as the IPSO threat got the Mail to correct the fact that the flag change was not on Sturgeon). This is an error by a paper, and is as old as journalism.

      Fake news is In the ‘guise’ of journalism, usually from sources with a narrow, one issue agenda to push, such as beirtbart, the daily stormer or the like.

      This is not hard to understand.

    159. Thepnr says:

      A three year rather than a two year transition will make very little difference to whether or not Scotland has or should have a second referendum.

      Personally I favour going for one in either spring or autumn 2019 but to be honest it would be a gamble with the polls so close. I suppose it will almost always be a gamble until the effects of Brexit are truly felt.

      They are being felt now with the devaluation of the pound, inflation over 3% and lower growth than the rest of the EU but I don’t think enough notice or attribute that to Brexit.

      The main effects will only be noticed if unemployment starts to rise rapidly, say Nissan was to shut it’s whole operation in Sunderland and transfer it to Portugal or wherever, Yes then people might start to take more notice.

      Our problem is that these are all “if’s and buts” and being unable to predict the future if we get it wrong next time then it is certain that another next time would be a long way into the future.

      Still spring and autumn of 2019 are still over a year away and things could change a lot between now and then. I hope and wish that we are ready and ably to win our Independence then but for right now at this moment it’s a watch and see.

      Not wait but watch, to me that’s the sensible approach for now.

    160. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I would urge everybody to go to BBC Ceefax Scotland and see the disgraceful report of the Daily Mail’s apology to Nicola Sturgeon which transfers the blame to Alex Salmond without any mention of the flags protocol being agreed with the Queen to fly the royal standard in its palace.

    161. Liz g says:

      Cameron B Brodie @ 9.50
      Just like Brian I can’t read everything…. But I love your stuff….and just lately it’s been keepin me sane.
      The fact that you are backin up what you say…..well done you…don’t ever stop…..
      We all need to know …..just because we feel in our gut’s that
      we are takin the right world view….the fact that we have work from “the intelligencia ” demonstrated and referenced by you really does help to give us the confidence we are on thee right track….!
      Otherwise we would think we were livin in the twilight zone.
      And we would be “Believein ” the propaganda.

      Keep on keepin on my friend.. X..

    162. K1 says:

      They raised the flag issue to drown out the success of the PPB that shows how much the SNP ‘has’ done for Scotland ‘so far’. They are a shower of shite and I’m not surprised to see the obfuscation being reported btl on Wings wrt to shifting the ‘blame’ to AS, as if there is any ‘blame’ for anything, quite obviously nothing actually happened…but wtg the BBC: never knowingly truthful in reporting anything factual.

    163. Gary45% says:

      The Herald should change its name to Dumb and Dumber.
      David Leask “not smart enough to be classed as stupid”.

    164. Rock says:

      “The Herald ran a massively misleading story pretending that information existed which simply doesn’t exist.”

      Buy the fake “independence supporting” The National to keep its elder sister The Herald alive.

    165. K1 says:


      Stop promulgating ‘fake news’.

      ‘Aren’t you part of the same company as The Herald?

      Yes, we are – along with 20-odd local newspapers and several magazines like the Scottish Farmer. But we run a completely separate operation. We have access to the same photographers, and we use the same sports writers. The other papers have no influence over us, and we’ve got no influence over them.

      But is our money going towards The Herald?

      No, we’re in a completely separate financial line. Decisions are made for each title based on the performance of each newspaper, and The Herald will sink or swim based on its own performance. As will the Greenock Telegraph, the Evening Times, the East Lothian Courier, or any of the other Scottish newspapers in our company’.

    166. Ian Brotherhood says:

      I’m sticking this in as a virtual ‘X’ in response to what was posted at 11.04, and hoping that the system-that-never-was-and-must-never-be-named will, in the fullness of time, be implemented.

    167. manandboy says:

      If we apply ‘follow the money’ to Brexit, it leads to The Scottish Office in Edinburgh with its big budget and big staff increases. It does look as if the Tories are merely putting on a show about Brexit but doing very little work. In contrast they are investing heavily in the Scottish Office. The Tories know that Scotlands energy,food and water guarantees the future for the British elite.

    168. CameronB Brodie says:

      Liz g
      Thanks Liz. I kind of had the feeling that a bit of scientific understanding would help solidify the commitment of some, to continue to fight for Scotland’s self-preservation. Purely in the neoclassical realist sense, of course. 😉

    169. colin alexander says:


      What’s your take on the FM writing for the Daily Record?

      You go on about The National all the time.

      The Record is a far bigger enemy to indy than the Herald and yet it’s the National and Herald you go on about.

    170. Rock says:



      Stop promulgating ‘fake news’.”

      You stop promulgating the fake “independence supporting” The National’s propaganda.

      Although, only around 8,000 in Scotland are gullible enough to fall for it.

      The vast vast majority of independence supporters agree with me.

    171. Dave McEwan Hill says:


      Utter rubbish

    172. Meg merrilees says:


      According to the Guardian tonight there is an increase of 16 points on the side of people wanting a second EU referendum once we know the details of the deal.

      So does that mean that HM Gov Westminster is going to rig the referendum to make sure that the 2nd EU ref throws out Leave and so it removes the ‘material change’ for Scotland to have a 2nd Indy ref.

      Seems that’s about the only way they can think of to possibly save their Preciousss Union now…

      Let’s face it, they can create a poll and say what they want, if it’s in the papers folk will believe it… and we’ve just seen how untruthful they are prepared to be. I suppose we ‘aint seen nuffink’ yet.

    173. yesindyref2 says:

      Well, here’s a strange thing to think about. From the Herald, 3 headlines from the tope 8 on the front page of the website, prominent:

      “Scotland Office refuses to back down over flag row” (top)
      “Majority of voters want second EU referendum”
      “Nicola Sturgeon secures newspaper apology over flag row”

      4 out of 8 Trump or not a lot, and just one:
      “Teaching chiefs demand 10% pay hike”

      So, there you go, wherever we go, whatever.

    174. Meg merrilees says:

      Man and boy

      If we follow the money to the Scotland Office – I read this evening that Mundell is refusing to apologise to the FM over flag-gate. Let’s hope she or Alex sues!

    175. Rock says:

      colin alexander,


      What’s your take on the FM writing for the Daily Record?”

      If the FM or any SNP politician is to boycott any media, they have to start with enemy number one: Pravda GB.

      “The Record is a far bigger enemy to indy than the Herald and yet it’s the National and Herald you go on about.”

      This very WOS article, if you cared to read it, proves that the Herald is as much an enemy as the Record.

      I doubt the likes of yourself, Robert Peffers, Petra and the rest of the usual suspects even bother to read WOS articles.

      “You go on about The National all the time.”

      The Record doesn’t pretend it is unionist – it is unionist and everyone posting here knows it.

      The National pretends it supports independence but its only aim is to milk gullible independence supporters.

      If it really supported independence, it would have hard hitting WOS type articles exposing the unionist hypocrites as front page headline news every day.

      The National is a fake, as much if not more than the Labour party.

      The vast vast majority of independence supporters have seen through it, only the most gullible 8,000 or so haven’t.

    176. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Putting up a big Saltire in your garden or in your front window is more effective than any other of providing the right atmosphere and we should all do it.Momentum is not caused by bandying about facts and figures but by making people understand that things are moving and they had better get on board with it because that’s where the right people are going.

      YES Cowal will post a 3ft x 5ft Saltire to anybody anywhere for £3.50 or a YES or EURO Saltire for £5. “Forward” 186 Argyll Street Dunoon PA23 7HA

    177. Andrew Gallacher says:

      David Leask has blocked me on twitter for asking him to publish the country-specific media pack on which (he claimed) the article on the Oxfam inequality report had been based. Pathetic.

    178. Thepnr says:

      Check out Thomson and Thompson all we next is Captain Haddock.

    179. colin alexander says:

      Bella Caledonia’s editor quoted the “burning Herald’s” comment several times.

      I immediately warned against comments like this when it was made; that it would be seized on as an example of extremism.

      If I’m anti-indy, how come I spoke out to warn against comments like this?

      I’ve also repeatedly spoke out about commenters slagging potential YES voters, such as Labour voters, religious people, Greens, Left-wingers etc.

    180. Thepnr says:

      @Andrew Gallacher

      Your not alone, Mr Leask has a very thin skin.

    181. Hamish100 says:

      HI Rock of ages

      You say The National is keeping the Herald alive. Must be doing well then. Must hurt you.

      Are you one sad journo that didn’t get a job at the National whose front pages are the best designed in Scotland England etcetera. I think you said you were a Guardian reader.

      Fake News Fake Rock

    182. Paisley bud says:

      David Mc Ewan 11.58 is right, that’s what’s needed and it’s easy to do.

    183. heedtracker says:

      Chuckle brothers Colin A and Rock want to close the National down and get the SNP out, all for independent Scotland.

      Usual stuff for the UKOK Chuckle brothers but stinky olde the Graun hates social media even more and probably for exact same reasons too.

      Jump in anywhere. Super rich fascism and their msm liggers have seen the future and do not like it.

      “The internet monopolies have neither the will nor the inclination to protect society against the consequences of their actions. That turns them into a menace and it falls to the regulatory authorities to protect society against them,” he said.

      He said Davos was a good place to announce: “Their days are numbered.”

    184. CameronB Brodie says:

      Alex 😉

      “There are plenty of others willing to call you a failure. A fool. A loser. A hopeless souse. Don’t you ever say it of yourself. You send out the wrong signal, that is what people pick up. Don’t you understand? You care about something, you fight for it. You hit a wall, you push through it. There’s something you need to know about failure, Tintin. You can never let it defeat you. ” – Captain Haddock

    185. Chick McGregor says:

      Let’s be clear. The new range of yoonbots, whether politicianbots or mediabots, are not based on AI.

      AI is not a structural basis which suits the purposes of the great and failing neoliberal/feudal experiment nor its psychotic cabal of progenitors.

      That is why we have this entirely new range of yoonbots which is instead based on AS, Artificial Stupidity.

      You have to admit they do a damn realistic job of it though.

    186. colin alexander says:


      When did I say I wanted the National closed down? I didn’t.

      I said, if some indy supporters are encouraged by it, then it serves a useful purpose.

      By the way, I don’t do all the jargon insults, so, what’s a ligger?

    187. Thepnr says:

      @CameronB Brodie

      Now that quote is sheer class, nice one in finding it 🙂

    188. heedtracker says:

      Also from stinky olde The Graun. Guess which region of Britain and Britons are completely missing? Starts with an S and this took a whoppy 4 The Graun liggers too!

      ‘We’re not morons’: Brexit divisions harden across Britain

      Brexit: Britons favour second referendum by 16-point margin – poll
      Jessica Elgot, Alexandra Topping, Steven Morris and Josh Halliday

      Fri 26 Jan 2018 16.31 GMT

    189. colin alexander says:

      Robert Peffers

      “13. The UK Government’s position follows this legal opinion: that the rest of the UK would become the continuator state and that Scotland would become a new, successor state.”

      Did you write a rebuttal to this in 2014?

      What does the SNP about this?

    190. heedtracker says:

      By the way, I don’t do all the jargon insults, so, what’s a ligger?

      I have no idea Colin A. Maybe ask your Brother Chuckles Rock?
      He’s got his finger on the pulse, or somewhere

      But this is a good example of liggers, beeb style. All about the English as per but there is one mention of one SNP MP, in there somewhere.

      Maybe you lot should rename the UK, Brengland perhaps, Engltain, Torytannia, BeebGimpland etc.

      Ten things we learned from following MPs on Instagram
      By Joey D’Urso & Esther Webber
      BBC Political Research Unit

      2 beeb liggers this time. My aren’t they busy.

      “The viciousness of Twitter and Facebook is well-documented. A survey for BBC Radio 5live found at least 50 MPs had been subject to abuse during the 2017 election campaign, including “co-ordinated Facebook attacks”.

      No idea why beeb liggers are using the old inverted comma technique there and also have never heard of a “Facebook attack” either.

      UKOK tory “liggers” certainly have the “knives out” for Facebook. “Wonder” where this “mass beeb gimp led monstering” of online stuff what our “noble” and honest “tory liggers” can’t touch is all heading, “I shudder to think.”

      Inverted commas are “fun” right enough” “:D”

    191. scottieDog says:

      Can’t help thinking that flag gate was well orchestrated – a lot of noise to draw the attention away from what’s going on in WM – the quiet unravelling of devolution.

      Gordon macintyre kemp explained very succinctly to a parliamentary committee how brexit and devolution are incompatible. He’s right. There is no way WM are going to be able to forge trade deals when hard headed Americans are saying they don’t have the authority to speak for ‘the provinces’.

      The loyal unionist press will continue to fight to keep the Scottish govt extremely busy on the back foot having to deny outrageous made-up headlines and deal with a barage of FOIs whilst running services on a diminishing budget whilst unionist councils attack them on another front.

      No doubt the brexit can will be kicked down the road until as far as 2021 allowing the unionist cabal in Holyrood a crack at unseating the snp. Success will no doubt mean a further dilution of devolution..

    192. John says:

      Leask is just using “alternative facts” system pioneered in the White House. It’s not fake news or lies, just an alternative way of explaining facts. Just miss out or reinterpret the important parts of story.

    193. Cactus says:

      Awe Fur Fake Sake, get on down with the Pop:


    194. louis.b.argyll says:

      Robert, desist, don’t answer, ffs.

    195. Macart says:

      Y’know, given that the pertinent facts of the fleggate story are and have proven to be, a complete fabrication. The next questions should be motivation and intent.

      The nature and prominence of the headlines were inflammatory in the extreme. They were intended to cause maximum insult and effect. To foment the maximum amount of response from both readerships and intended subject. Doesn’t it seem strange there was no attempt to verify the facts behind the story? For all the world it seems it was never even a consideration.

      So, careless (and I hesitate to use the word) journalism, or a deliberate act of incitement? Is it possible for the editorial staff of three prominent titles to be so careless in their research? Were they completely unaware of the effect their editorials would have on an already polarized public opinion? Did they even give a shit what the effect would be, or the consequences of their actions on the public?

      What is more likely? That these editorial departments and the politicians who used the story for their own ends were completely unaware of the true facts behind the issue, or… Or that they knowingly took these actions with no care whatsoever for the public ramifications? If the latter, that would be pretty cold.

      An old question to be sure, but would the UK political class use people like this? Put their own in harms way for political advantage/expediency?

      Worth a thought.

    196. louis.b.argyll says:

      The Tories/UK gov will have to, as preparation for trade talks, harmonise ethical/food standards across the UK.
      They must lower existing food standards to match the ‘rest’ of the world..or be uncompetitive.
      Bleached chicken, antibiotic steroid beef will be traded for deluxe whisky, ON OUR BEHALF, thanks UK.
      We might sell more stuff to the US but could be banned from China’s new Asian bloc, and the EU, and therefore Canada too.
      How’s the knitwear industry going down in the Borders? Huh? The USA trashed it? Yes.

    197. Macart at 7.54am.

      I would say your latter conclusion in regard to the reporting of the “Flaggate” story is spot on. And this is only a small sample of what we can expect in the run-up to Indyref2.
      It will be a co-ordinated propoganda campaign from the British Unionist Establishment using all their powers, and they are considerable, to destabilise the Scottish Independence supporters, the S.N.P Scottish Government, and anyone else who dares believe in an independent Scotland.
      As we are all too aware, almost all of the media is in thrall to their Westminster masters, so those promoting the lies, half-truths and general bad-mouthing of independence supporters, will be given prominence in banner headlines, while any correction, if indeed any is acknowledged, will be buried so deep, it will never resonate with those who have seen, or heard the previous headlines.
      While this, and other independence supporting websites do great work in exposing the lies of the M.S.M, and their fellow travellers, the fifth columnists amongst us, we face an uphill struggle in the face of what will be an increasingly vicious onslaught, from a British Establishment desperate to retain absolute control over Scotland, and its people.

    198. heedtracker says:

      Nothing on the beeb gimp network, latest Trump sex scandal wise. Probably, if not completely, because Orange Hitler will be at the core of the BBC’s Project Fear 2 campaigning.

      Stinky old progressive liberal The Graun pile on, to save Orange Hitler.

      Just another day at the tory UKOK britnat media here in teamGb but even so.

    199. gus1940 says:

      It’s a good thing to judge people by the company they keep.


      Nicola – Bill Gates
      Maybot- Trump.

    200. Cairnallochy says:

      Noticed the tweet by one of Historywoman’s followers who is closing down his 2 Scottish outlets and is serving redundancy notices on the staff employed, due both to flag – gate and to the desire of so many Scots for independence. I wonder how many No voters are being punished for a piece of fake news.

      Had a similar discussion with a Newcastle man on holiday in 2014. He told me that he had cancelled his summer booking at a private (No voting) hotel in the West because of the Scottish referendum and he was angry at how many bookings they had lost because of that Alec Salmond. I did detect a certain lack of irony which he didn’t appear to appreciate and became rather cross at having it pointed out.

    201. Macart says:

      @Alex Beveridge

      I don’t think there’s any other reasonable conclusion to reach Alex. It was a deliberate act of malice on the part of both the media and politicians involved.

      Deflection from the big issues affecting the UK may have been the primary motivation, not to mention using Scotland, its First Minister and the independence voting public as their go to punching bag. It spoke volumes however that they use their own readerships, their own support base in the way they have. They were willing to throw everyone involved under a bus for political advantage.

      Spreading hatred, fear, rage and intimidation for gain.

      People need to get it into their head, the nature of the creature they’re dealing with here. This is the establishment political class. It’s what they do and what they are.

    202. CameronB Brodie says:

      Has Historywoman still not found a sense of psychological attachment that is grounded in her community, rather than in the ‘One Nation’ ideology? Until she does so, she is likely to continue supporting reactionary, authoritarian, English nationalism and the dribbling insanity of the full English Brexit.

      Nationalism, Patriotism, and Group Loyalty:
      A Social Psychological Perspective

      The Bases of Group Loyalty

      The bases for group and national loyalty are widely assumed to be lodged in human needs: “Groups in general are organized to meet human needs, their structures and processes are in part molded by these needs” (Guetzkow, 1957:47). At the level of the nation, the group fulfills economic, sociocultural, and political needs, giving individuals a sense of security, a feeling of belonging, and prestige. While these needs are regarded as universal, their strength appears to vary in different nations and in different individuals (see Terhune, 1964; DeLamater et al., 1969). These needs are not limited to national identifications but have been found to be the basis for group identification in general. “The ways by which an individual relates to his nation have aspects in common with the ways an individual relates to any group of which he is a member” (Terhune, 1964:258).

      The underlying needs for attachment take several forms. In general these needs tend to arise out of the affective and instrumental functions that nations serve for their citizens. As Terhune (1964) has observed, the nation achieves personal relevance for individuals when they become sentimentally attached to the homeland (affectively involved), motivated to help their country (goal oriented), and gain a sense of identity and self-esteem through their national identification (ego involved). DeLamater et al. (1969) added to this triad a normative involvement which occurs when individuals internalize the norms and role expectations of the nation. Parallel concepts are found in the literatures on individual motivation and small groups. Much of social behavior appears to be motivated by the need for affiliation (affective involvement), the need for achievement (goal involvement), and the need for power (ego involvement) (McClelland, 1975; Winter, 1973).

      Groups function because they are attractive to members (affective involvement), accomplish things and solve problems (goal involvement), and provide status for members (ego involvement) (Bass, 1981; Stogdill, 1974). Kelman (1988) has recently proposed that these needs form the basis for the individual’s need for self-protection and self-transcendence. People see the nation as providing them and their progeny with security and safety as well as status and prestige in return for their loyalty and commitment. Although these needs, in general, characterize the bases for nationalism, individuals often combine and emphasize them in different ways. Terhune (1964) found a group of non-American students more focused on nations as problem solvers while American students perceived nations more as symbols and objects for sentimental attachment. DeLamater, et al. (1969) reported stronger affective attachment to nations by people who saw the nation as a symbol for what was important in their lives. These same individuals were more traditional in their nationalism and more negative toward all supra-national organizations….

    203. CameronB Brodie says:

      @ all proud Scotbuts, British nationalist and supporter of the full English Brexit.

      Individualism, nationalism, ethnocentrism and authoritarianism

      Chapter 3
      A Conceptual Model of the Relationships between Individualism, Ethnocentrism, Nationalism and Authoritarianism

      I shall argue on theoretical grounds and on the basis of a literature review that there is a strong and positive relationship between ethnocentrism and authoritarianism (Schmidt and Heyder, 2003; Tajfel, 1982; Turner, 1982; Eisinga and Scheepers, 1989), and also a strong and positive relationship between nationalism and authoritarianism (Smith, 1998; Scheepers, et al., 1989; Todosijevic, 1999; Stellmacher and Petzel, 2005). The literature also suggests that there is also a strong and positive relationship between ethnocentrism and nationalism (Billiet, et al., 2005). On the other hand Billiet, et al. (2005) support the view that there is a negative relationship between individualism and authoritarianism.

      Duckitt (1989) suggests a link between authoritarianism and collectivism, and that both are in opposition to individualism, particularly that both authoritarianism and collectivism submerge individual rights and goals to group goals, expectations and conformities. Nevertheless, Peters and Marshall (1996)argue that collectivism, if properly defined, is based on consensus decision-making, the opposite of authoritarianism.

      Individualistic people tend to not be coercive in their behavior; they will not try to dominate other people. In liberal government, in which the concept of individualism is highly regarded, authoritarianism is not a strong ideology. Liberal government has a tendency to not conduct repressive action to compel or dominate its citizen.

      In a community that is ethnicity-oriented, individuals are suggested or even obliged to acknowledge the origin of their own indigenous people and adopt their ethnic-cultural practices and customs. If they do not, they will be penalized for breaking rule. This imposition is carried out through various mechanisms, although not necessarily by means of physical force. In this way, the self-interest of individual will be neglected, in the interest of the ethnical group. Hence, the ethnocentrism leads to authoritarianism.

      That tendency also applies to nationalism. Nationalism is also a belief in the collective. The difference between nationalism and ethnicity is that ethnicity is more based on the relation of people with similar historic-cultural background, while nationalism is based on the obligation to value and follow the state or country. Albeit ethnicity more focuses on the cultural aspect and nationalism on the state, both concepts have similarities, namely put the group interest above the individual interest.

      Below, the four concepts are defined in micro terms and related to the underlying philosophical paradigms and value systems. Moreover, they are integrated into one comprehensive conceptual model. In section 3.2, the concept of individualism is discussed and in section 3.3 the concept of ethnocentrism. In section 4.4 the concept nationalism is paid attention to and in section 3.5 the concept of authoritarianism. In section 3.6, the conceptual model of interdependencies between individualism, ethnocentrism, nationalism, and authoritarianism variables is presented….

      Authoritarianism and National Identity: Examining the Longitudinal Effects of SDO and RWA on Nationalism and Patriotism


      The resurgence of right-wing political parties across the globe raises questions about the origins of national identity. Based on the Dual Process Model of Ideology and Prejudice, we argue that people’s tendency to submit to ingroup authorities (Right-Wing Authoritarianism [RWA]) and preference for group-based hierarchy (Social Dominance Orientation [SDO]) underlie people’s belief in the superiority of their nation (nationalism) and attachment to their homeland (patriotism). We examine these hypotheses using three waves of data from an annually conducted national longitudinal panel study of New Zealanders (N = 3,838). As predicted, RWA had positive cross-lagged effects on nationalism and patriotism. Conversely, SDO had a positive cross-lagged effect on nationalism, but a negative cross-lagged effect on patriotism. Little evidence of reciprocal cross-lagged effects (i.e., national identity on authoritarianism) was found. These results demonstrate that nationalism and patriotism are related, albeit distinct, ways of identifying with one’s nation that are ultimately rooted in authoritarianism.

      When the appeal of a dominant leader is greater than a prestige leader


      We examine why dominant/authoritarian leaders attract support despite the presence of other admired/respected candidates. Although evolutionary psychology supports both dominance and prestige as viable routes for attaining influential leadership positions, extant research lacks theoretical clarity explaining when and why dominant leaders are preferred. Across three large-scale studies we provide robust evidence showing how economic uncertainty affects individuals’ psychological feelings of lack of personal control, resulting in a greater preference for dominant leaders. This research offers important theoretical explanations for why, around the globe from the United States and Indian elections to the Brexit campaign, constituents continue to choose authoritarian leaders over other admired/respected leaders.


      Across the globe we witness the rise of populist authoritarian leaders who are overbearing in their narrative, aggressive in behavior, and often exhibit questionable moral character. Drawing on evolutionary theory of leadership emergence, in which dominance and prestige are seen as dual routes to leadership, we provide a situational and psychological account for when and why dominant leaders are preferred over other respected and admired candidates. We test our hypothesis using three studies, encompassing more than 140,000 participants, across 69 countries and spanning the past two decades. We find robust support for our hypothesis that under a situational threat of economic uncertainty (as exemplified by the poverty rate, the housing vacancy rate, and the unemployment rate) people escalate their support for dominant leaders. Further, we find that this phenomenon is mediated by participants’ psychological sense of a lack of personal control. Together, these results provide large-scale, globally representative evidence for the structural and psychological antecedents that increase the preference for dominant leaders over their prestigious counterparts.

    204. Cubby says:

      Scotland votes for a continental breakfast but gets a fool English Brexit.

      A FAUX democracy.

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