The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Flog It!

Posted on November 21, 2012 by

Do you think the Scotsman is concerned that readers might miss the latest front-page attack piece on the Scottish media’s November target-of-the-month Mike Russell?

(Note that this isn’t just multiple links to the same page, the clever trick that the paper pulled last Friday in relation to essentially the same incident – this is the same story repeated word-for-word on two separate pages, as you can see by the fact that one has three comments while the other has 59 comments. It’ll be interesting to see which one gets pulled if and when they correct the error – our money’s on the one with 59.)

[EDIT 12.05pm: Sure enough, the 59-comment version of the page has now vanished, leaving only the three-comment version.]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

64 to “Flog It!”

  1. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Good spot, although those are at least two separate stories, albeit they’re two versions of the same content.

  2. muttley79 says:

    The Scotsman’s newspaper sales are plummeting at the same rate as their credibility.  Someone said it was down to around 32,000 from 38,000 a year or so ago.  It is sad because it used to be a very good newspaper.  The Herald is going the same way as well.

  3. Embradon says:

    Presumably the Editor, having made a mistake, will be “under pressure to quit”.

  4. patronsaintofcats says:

    With the plummeting circulation and share price, do you think we should cobble together and try a hostile takeover of the Scotsman?  I think about £28.75 should do it – who’s with me?

  5. gnohbdi says:

    Please, stop cyber bullying The Scotsman.

  6. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I’m sorry gnohbdl, I don’t see any cyber bullying of the Scotsman on this site. What I do see are a lot of individuals discussing the ridiculous actions of a once proud newspaper as it begins to go through the throws of its final death plunge.
    The Scotsman is the one who is behaving like the bully. They are the one who is constantly running with the scare stories. They are the one calling for ministers to resign because they made a mistake and then apologised for their error. If the Scotsman was anything like a decent newspaper they would have been chasing for Labour shadow ministers to resign as well. After all we are all well aware of all the blatant lies that have come from Labour shadow ministers yet not one of them has ever apologised. Where are the investigative reports from the Scotsman into all the “claims” by Labour?
    If the Scotsman wants to stop the inevitable cessation of its title then they had better stop all their SNP/Nat/YES camp bashing and start to look a lot more closely at their own behaviour. Any newspaper worth its salt would ensure that it presented its readers with a balanced report on everything not, as is the case of the Scotsman and others, of just presenting their own self centred anti Independence views.
    So gnohbdl, if you wish the cyber bullying to stop can I respectfully request that you ask the Scotsman to present a balanced report on all its Independence related stories. If they are not prepared to do that then they are leaving themselves wide open for increased falls in their circulation numbers and people will continue to discuss their unionist approach to presenting lies, deceit and misinformation as peddled by Labour and the other anti Independence parties in Scotland.

  7. scottish_skier says:

    Warning over Scottish Economy within United Kingdom

    Well that would be the alternative headline anyway.

    While independence carries potential risks which are difficult to predict with certainty, the economic problems of staying in the union are all too evident.

    Can the UK ‘survive alone’?

  8. BillDunblane says:

    The thing that concerns me, is the possibility of the Scotsman (and others) being ‘financed’ from without, until the referendum has passed.   There is no way that their current plummeting sales can cover their costs.

    Don’t they have a legal duty to their shareholders? 

  9. Tamson says:

    Those numbers are indeed correct. You can’t get equivalent figures for the Herald, because its owners had it reclassified s a regional paper. Regional papers only need to release figures twice a year.

    By my reckoning, the Scotsman now sells much less than The Times and Telegraph combined in Scotland. A disgrace for the so-called “national” paper.

  10. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I’m sorry gnohbdl, I don’t see any cyber bullying of the Scotsman on this site.”

    I think he/she was joking.

  11. Morag says:

    You need an easily-posted rolleyes smilie or something like that.  It’s too easy to take a joke at face value if you’re not in the mood.

  12. Bill C says:

    @Arbroath 1320 – gnohbdi was taking the proverbial wasn’t he/she? Or at least I hope he/she was!

  13. Arbroath 1320 says:

    To be honest Bill I wasn’t sure. 🙁
    I agree with Morag, if there had been a 😆 or a 😀 at the end of his/her post then I would have been more likely to see it as a “fun” post, without it I’m afraid I took it at face value.
    Going O/T for a minute, I’ve come across this via Facebook and it is, in my view, scary, VERY scary. I think we can add this to the ever growing list of reasons NOT to stay in the union.

    Don’t you just love it. The Westminster troughers screw the taxpayer to the hilt, their banking buddies screw the country to the deck, their millionaire buddies gallivant around the world whilst paying minimum tax and what happens? The poor, the unemployed, the lowest paid, the ill, the infirm, the sick are kicked in the proverbials and told you WILL comply or lose everything.
    To paraphrase a well known,former, T.V. game show:
    George Orwell come on down!

  14. Silver19 says:

    A new storm is brewing :-

    When are so called Scottish Labour going to apologies for the many times they misled the Scottish Parliament

  15. muttley79 says:

    The S.G. need to get a grip with their stats and figures! The No parties’ strategy is to say Salmond is untrustworthy, if he keeps giving them ammunition then things could get very tricky.

  16. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Good old BBC, spinning it for all it’s worth.
    “He had claimed 18,000 people in Scotland were employed in renewable energy but altered this to 11,000.”
    Erm no he didn’t claim the figure was 18,000.
    According to Holyrood’s official report, Mr Salmond said during first ministers question time on 25 October: “There are now, I think, 18,000 people employed directly in renewable energy across Scotland.”
    He said he thought, thought BBC. That is a hell of a lot of a different matter than claiming as BBC CLAIM he said.
    Perhaps someone at the BBC should learn to spot the difference between someone CLAIMING anything as fact and someone THINKING something is fact. These are TWO entirely different positions to take. One is definitively claiming something to be accurate and true the other is, at best, suggesting a figure without any reference to it being factually accurate.

  17. Dcanmore says:

    So when is Scottish Labour going to apologise by saying there are 11,000 Scottish jobs  dependent on keeping Trident and would leave Helensburgh a ghost town if Trident was removed. When actually the figure is around 500!
    When is Johann Lamont going to apologise for misleading parliament over a fake rape story.
    When is the Scottish Labour party going to apologise for saddling local authorities with £billions of debt through it’s misguided PFi schemes.
    And that’s just the beginning of it. They haven’t said sorry for one damn thing over the past 15 years while now rebranding themselves as the new Thatcherites.

  18. muttley79 says:

    I made the mistake of assuming that the story was correct because it was on the BBC webpage.  BBC Scotland have to be careful though.  It would just take one person in that organisation to get disillusioned with their increasingly biased reporting, and another major crisis would engulf that body as a whole.  Could they survive it?

  19. MajorBloodnok says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says: ““I’m sorry gnohbdl, I don’t see any cyber bullying of the Scotsman on this site.
    I think he was joking.”

    Yes, that’s what I thought.  But then I am generally of a sunny disposition and will laugh at anything.  Particuarly the Scotsman.

    [insert 😆 here for Arb’s benefit]

  20. muttley79 says:

    Lads, how to you get a smiley face?

  21. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Muttley you are right in calling for the S.G. to get a grip on things, however I would just say that when mistakes are found to have happened, as they have all to frequently in the last week unfortunately, at least the S.G. has been man enough to return to the chamber and openly apologise for their mistake. I do not believe for one second that any mistake that has occurred on the S.G.’s watch happened as part of a deliberate act to mislead anybody.
    Unfortunately the same can not be said of the Labour party. As Dcanmore points out Labour have a long and (un)distinguished reputation for openly telling lies, lies that they know to be lies, in the chamber and elsewhere and yet no one from Labour has ever apologised for misleading the chamber or the country for that matter. I think there is a phrase about people in glass houses throwing stones that springs to mind here.
    As I’ve said, whilst I think that making errors in statements to the chamber is unfortunate mistakes can and do happen. I do think that it is really unfortunate that the S.G. has had to apologise around three times in the last week but heavens above this is not the end of the world. If anything this does prove that the S.G. is human and humans do make mistakes. What I think is really obvious is the fact that when the S.G. make mistakes they apologise for their mistakes something Labour are apparently incapable of doing.

  22. scottish_skier says:

    I wouldn’t worry about all this silly stuff over stats etc. If the SNP want to lose votes in a big way they need to do one of these sorts of things:

    1. Jump to the right-wing, which would be associated with
    2. Dumping free tuition, privatising the NHS etc
    3. Get caught with hands in the till in a big way / have a major expenses scandal
     (although they could get away with this if competent as a government)
    4. Support rewewing trident
    5. Advocate foreign wars


    Otherwise, their vote will hold up just fine; we might see some spikes for labour, over independence concerns, but these will melt as per early 2011.

    Does the average Joe really care whether college funding figures were +/-1.7% accurate and that the FM said sorry for making a mistake? Do they care whether 11,000 or possibly 18,000? jobs are associated with renewables? Nope. Only people who milk this stuff/pretend it is a huge scandal are committed unionists.

    Unless the SNP become just like the unionist parties or one of the unionist parties jumps to the left and becomes like the current SNP, then the latter will continue to ride along nicely in the polls. We’ve been through so many ‘AS is untrustworthy’ type smear stories over the years I’ve lost count. Overall, zero impact on SNP vote share within standard variance; still bouncing along at the ~45% mark.

    This is standard in politics. Negative only works when both parties are almost identical policy-wise and so smear/character attack is all that’s left. Even here it does not ‘work’ specifically, as it reduces turnout/turns off voters who will jump at the chance to vote for a ‘positive’, alternative if they can see one. Labour are in essense using the methods they use against the Tories in Westminster; attack, smear, shout etc. However, this won’t be effective against the SNP in the long run as the SNP are not politically just the same as Labour in the way the Tories are. 

    I’m not sure who is advising unionist parties on tactics, but they clearly know very little about political strategy.

  23. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Thanks for that Major. 😆
    I’m normally the one making light of situations, guess I wasn’t expecting anyone else to be doing the same, and in such a manner. Still you live and learn, at least until the next time I get it wrong! 😆
    type : followed by lol followed by : gives you 😆
    type : followed by D gives you 😀
    Hope this helps. 😀

  24. Morag says:

    OT, but this is bizarre.  I went to the Women for Independence online survey here, just for fun.

    I was working through the questions, and when I came across one I didn’t want to answer I just left it blank and that seemed to be OK.  And then I got to question 19.  These are the options.

    – I don’t think I’ll vote in the referendum at all
    – I might vote yes in the referendum but would like more information before making up my mind
    – I’m definitely voting ‘No’ in the referendum
    – I will probably vote in the referendum but haven’t decided how I’m voting yet
    Other (please specify)

    There is a text-entry box to specify your “other”, but no button against it.  Clearly, none of the four printed options suits me, so I entered “I’m definitely voting ‘Yes’ in the referendum” and tried to submit the answer.  It wouldn’t take it.  I was told I had to pick one of the four options or I couldn’t proceed with the survey.

    So I just came out of the site.  Is this just extreme incompetence on someone’s part, or what?

  25. muttley79 says:

    Do you mean this=

  26. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I think your right S.S.
    I think it was when he was at the LSE giving a talk about Scottish Independence that A.S. said something like “when you have a negative campaign running against a positive campaign the the positive campaign always wins. When you have two negative campaigns running against each other the the least negative campaign will win.”
    For me the apologies are, nor have they ever been, an issue with me. In my view these mistakes prove one thing above all else and that is that the S.G. is human. They are not a bunch of London controlled robots. Humans make mistakes, that’s part of life.
    We all make mistakes in our daily lives so why would any one think that politicians are infallible?
    They are really being a wee bit stupid in my view.
    Why should being a politician make you any different to any one else?

  27. muttley79 says:

    Do you mean this=

  28. Westie7 says:

    FMQ Tomorrows first question will be on

    Snakes on the bog are more important however than 

    I actually thought the blatant thumb nosing couldnt any any worse than before May 2011, something seriously needs to be done about this 

  29. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I had the same problem Morag. I’m thinking whoever created the survey must of thought that no one would dare have a view other than those already posted. Like you I thought this was really unfortunate at best incompetent at worst.
    By jove Muttley old bean I think you’ve got it! 😆

  30. TheeForsakenOne says:

    @Morag: I do a lot of surveymonkey surveys for my employer. It’s incompetence at the heart of your problem on the site. It looks like they’ve accidentally made the final option for the question associated with the traditional ‘other’ option. Very stupid error.

  31. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Westie your snake link didn’t work for me but this one did.

    I think some one was having a hissy fit when they investigated this legless story of a susspissiouss event methinks. 😆

  32. AndrewFraeGovan says:

    My wife looked at that survey, but didn’t proceed as it said at the beginning they only wanted undecided or NO voters to complete it. I suppose they’re looking for people to reassure/convince, rather than running some sort of poll.

  33. Morag says:

    Oh, I didn’t realise that – I must have overlooked that part.  That would explain it then.

  34. Aplinal says:

    You’re probably correct.  I wonder if oor Ruthie can think of something different to ask, or if she will simply tag along after Ms L?
    It really does get rather tedious.

  35. Westie7 says:

    Aplinal says:

    Ruthie will prob come oot wi’

    Standard Life
    Pro-Devo-New Devo whatever Devo

  36. AndrewFraeGovan says:

    Yes, just looked it up:
    “One last thing – if you are a man, we’d rather you didn’t take part. The same applies to women intending to vote yes in 2014. This survey is about listening to women who often don’t vote at all, or who don’t know how to vote in 2014, and who are rarely given a space to share their views. We hope you will respect this. Thank you.”

  37. Morag says:

    Yes, I went back to the first page and I’ve read it now.  It’s at the end of a long block of text.  I think they need to make it more prominent.

    The first question is, “are you a woman?”  Maybe the next question needs to be, “are you certain to vote ‘Yes’ in 2014?”  Then they could just divert all respondents who indicated ‘yes’ to that to a page saying, thanks but don’t bother.

  38. AndrewFraeGovan says:

    That indeed is what happens if you admit to being a man. Maybe they would make the change you advise if you were to suggest it to them. It does seem to be catching a lot of people out.

  39. albaman says:

    Tomorrows F.M.Qs is going to be rather entertaining!!!, especially with Tricia Marwick
    in the presiding chair,did you see her reaction to Michel McMahon unguarded
    comment after the “POINT OF ORDER” by Liz Smith.   

  40. Robin says:

    For those angered/confused etc. by the Scotsman and rest of the MSM being so biased in their coverage of the referendum debate etc. it is worth bearing in mind the close links between the media and the the intelligence agencies of the UK: 

  41. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    That one should work. Don’t know where these rogue spaces are coming from all of a sudden.

  42. Boorach says:

    Immediate actions on discovering a python in toilet; first check fly, if done-up correctly call SSPCA :lol

  43. Boorach says:

    Onlyposted that to experiment with the smileys!, failed again!!  missed second : 😆


  44. Boorach says:

    O/T Newsnet have an item on BBC trust and a meeting to take place in Holyrood on December 11th. I would urge as many as possible of you within reach get along and make the case against the obvious unethical, biased reporting of the YES campaign and all things SNP.

    The meeting will have the ‘Question Time’ format that worked well in our successful public meeting in June.  The December 11th panel includes respected journalist Iain MacWhirter, Historian Professor Tom Devine, former SNP advisor Ewan Crawford, SNP MSP Joan McAlpine and blogger Kate Higgins.

    Those wishing to register their interest can do so at this link –

  45. AndrewFraeGovan says:

    O/T Stu, a wee piece on ScotLab’s 5 point “Plan for Jobs” would be good.

  46. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    There’s a what now?

  47. AndrewFraeGovan says:

    Spot the reserved matters!

  48. Boorach says:

    @ AndrewFraeGovan

    5 point plan??

    As a plan it ranks with Margaret Curran’s demand to know the SG’s plans for their 4G windfall doesn’t it?

    An undeliverable plan to go with in imaginary windfall!

    Who says labour’s Scottish branch don’t have policies? All we need is a good scriptwriter and Glasgow could have a brand new, original panto this year!

  49. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    AndrewFraeGovan says:

    @Morag – That indeed is what happens if you admit to being a man

    And why would Morag admit to being a man???? 😀

  50. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    😆 My computer is a bit tempremental with the old emotives

  51. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    “Scottish” Labour 5 point plan

    1) £2Bn tax on bankers bonusesReserved to Westminster
    2) The Scottish government to bring forward long-term investment projectsBlock Grant Funding required Reserved to Westminster  
    3) Reversing January’s damaging VAT rise – Reserved to Westminster
    4) A one year cut in VAT to 5% on home improvements – Reserved to Westminster
    5) A one year national insurance tax break – Reserved to Westminster

    So in other words the “plan” of “Scottish” Labour is to ask Westminster to do everything for it!

    Rev, I think this needs a poster!!!     

  52. dadsarmy says:

    🙂 🙂 🙁 🙁 😉 🙂 ;( ;-( :<) just testing!

  53. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Any one want to have a guess as to who drew up these points in the Labour 5 point plan?

    I’m guessing a certain Margaret Curran  was involved with most of this drivel. It all seems like the sort of guff that she would come up with to follow up her expert analysis of the dispersal of 4G licence fees.

  54. AndrewFraeGovan says:

    |@Scott Minto

    “And why would Morag admit to being a man???? :D”

    Aye I was waiting for that *yawn*

  55. scottish_skier says:


     think it was when he was at the LSE giving a talk about Scottish Independence that A.S. said something like “when you have a negative campaign running against a positive campaign the the positive campaign always wins 

    Quite. The pro-union campaign is destroying itself and it can’t see it. If they wanted to use negative as a weapon, they should have saved it for the last couple of months where it could make a temporary difference by introducing doubt if things were tight. Otherwise, a busted flush in good time.

    It is stuff like this which will ultimately decide the result of the referendum.

    And I note it is what the Scottish parliament is delivering/has delivered rather than the SNP per se. It is a different way of political thinking that has ultimately brought Scotland it’s parliament back again and led to the referendum. That same factor will likewise decide the latter.

  56. Boorach says:


    Aye, you’re right….. She even posed for thepublicity picture!!

    At least she had the good grace not to look directly into the camera! 

  57. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Phew, thank Gawd for that Boorach. 😆

  58. Rod Macfarlane says:

    I wrote a very brief piece about Labours 5 point plan earlier in the evening

  59. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:


    Agreed with your article. Working on a Graphic now 

  60. patronsaintofcats says:

    OT have you seen this article?  The picture of Ruthless is truly frightening!  

  61. Boorach says:


    That piece on the homeless is excellent news and will do the SNP and Scottish Parliament no harm whatsoever.  however, I’ve said that I’ll live in my van till till we are independent and fully intend to do so though that could well generate a few extra NO votes!!) 😆

    Compare and contrast this policy with westminster’s social cleansing by way of slashing assistance with rents and  council tax.

  62. sneddon says:

    patronsaintofcats says:  

    OT have you seen this article?  The picture of Ruthless is truly frightening!

    To be fair,  someone did spill her pint!:)

Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top