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Hung out to dry

Posted on August 07, 2012 by

We must confess to rarely finding ourselves either surprised or impressed by the Scotsman. Today, though, is one of those days. The staunchly Unionist paper’s leader column features a detailed assessment of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee’s latest pronouncements on the independence referendum, and it’s a damning one.

Under the headline “Law derives authority only from the people it serves”, the piece basically reprises this site’s feature from last weekend on sovereignty, and dismisses the report’s findings as in essence an irrelevant technicality, lecturing that “it is clear the committee has fundamentally misunderstood the way modern democracy works”.

The column’s appraisal of the political reality is unambiguous:

“The law only derives its authority from the people it is there to serve. No court, in Scotland or the United Kingdom, whatever its formal powers under law, can flout the will of the people. No court can say to the Scots: “This far and no further”. The select committee might like to ponder on this before attempting to fix the boundary of the march of the nation by putting spurious legal impediments in the way of the people determining their future.”

It’s hard to overstate what a dramatic statement this is. Accusing the report of relying on biased “experts” for its conclusions, the editorial is a humiliating slap-down to Ian Davidson and the other members of his committee, which is left looking petty, partisan, arrogant and foolish even in the eyes of its own supporters. It also represents a direct and unequivocal assertion of the sovereignty of the Scottish people, over the Westminster parliament the committee is a mouthpiece for.

We can only speculate as to whether the column is motivated by a genuine belief in that principle or by a realisation of the tactical blunder the Unionist parties have made, but either way it’s a remarkable development. We wouldn’t want to be in Mr Davidson’s shoes right now. One of his most steadfast allies has just given him a doing.

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    73 to “Hung out to dry”

    1. RandomScot says:

      but not in a sexual way

    2. Doug Daniel says:

      Can you just clarify whether you meant “a doing” in the sexual sense, or if you just meant it in the sense of some harmless serious assault?

      We wouldn’t want to confuse the two, as one is unacceptable, whereas the other is perfectly fine – and we have Mr Davidson himself to thank for making that distinction, thus correcting those of us who wrongly thought both were unacceptable.

    3. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      I don’t answer questions from fascists.

    4. Peter A Bell says:

      The Scotsman’s dismemberment of the report is more a comment on the inadequacy and incompetence of Ian Davidson’s committee than a sign of even-handed analysis. The Scotsman is not above trying to defend the indefensible. But even they had to acknowledge that this is one turd that simply can’t be polished.

    5. Colin Dunn says:

      Interesting read. I must confess the focus on the legal detail of the referendum rather than democratic will is what’s rather put me off Lalland Peat Worrier’s blog recently. He too is fixated on the legal minutiae and doesn’t seem to realise that democratic will ultimately trumps mere legality.

    6. RandomScot says:

      Peatworrier hangs around with fellow lawyer loveandgarbagon when he discusses them loveandgarbage will have a go at other people’s POV but, politically, rarely nails his own colours to the mast.

      As the only group .i have never seen him criticise is Labour (apart fom criticisms oftechniques, rather than policy), I’m guessing that’s where his heart lies, certainly he is avowed Unionist.

      Keeping such bad company, peatworrier is quick to jump on the legalities of ‘naw ye cannae’  Rather than investigating the politics of ‘well maybe you can’

    7. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      In fairness, LPW is a law graduate and looks at things expressly from the perspective of law. I do think that blinds him to practical realities on occasion, but then he rarely claims to be assessing practical realities.

    8. Adrian B says:

      I think that the issue of sovereignty, set against the background of Westminster legal wif waf and once rolled out and understood by the bulk of the Scottish people will put much more of Unionist scare stories in perspective. Much further traction on this than first meets the eye perhaps?

    9. pa_broon says:

      Heard Davidson on the radio this morning, one wonders how he keeps a straight face when he talks about this stuff.

      He said they had impartial academics giving evidence, for a start if they truly were impartial then they wouldn’t have been giving evidence and, imagine if the Scottish Government arranged to have a similar committee with the greens and socialists but didn’t include any unionist parties, the results would be laughed out the door.

      As these should be, Davidson is a political zombie who isn’t able to operate beyond his own extremely limited political programming.

      He’s also a self-serving git.

    10. RandomScot says:

      I don’t want to cast peatworrier as an “ivory tower academic lawyer’ because that would be unfair.

      Reading him and loveandgarbage, and other tweeting/blogging lawyers, is interesting and often insightful, but youfod get the feeling that the LAW ends up more important than people. Certainly, and often for good reasons, LAW has nothing to do with JUSTICE.

       the opinion of both these learned gentlemen has been, for some time, that a s30order is necessary.

      There are good political reasons, restrictions being one of them, why the SNP wouldn’t go down that route.

      However, if the Unionists are so confident that Scotland will reject them then why not just issue that unencumbered s30 order? 

    11. redcliffe62 says:

      I think Mr Davidson is an asset to the independence movement and should be supported in all his ranting and raving and then quoted in 2014 verbatim.

    12. MajorBloodnok says:


      On that thought it’s difficult to think of any prominent Unionist who isn’t an asset to the Independence movement….

    13. TheeForsakenOne says:

      The pavements outside The Scotsman will now have a two sets of four grooves in the path leading to their door as Iain Davidson makes a rare visit to Scotland outside a General Election to tell the paper that ‘who cares?’ about their opinion and that he will give them ‘a doing’ if they step out of line again… The damn ‘fascists’.

    14. John Lyons says:

      If the Scottish Government has it’s illegal referendum without an S30 and there is a yes vote which Westminster chooses to ignore, what happens next? Where exactly does the Legal arguing take place? Is there a European or international court the Scottish Government can go to to force them to acknowledge the will of the people?

      Or is it down to us to vote SNP in the 2015 General election in which case we’ll never have enough influence? Would ignoring the result convince enough Scots to abandon the Unionist parties for the SNP to have the majority of the 59 MPs? (Or is it 55 by then?) A Majority in both parliaments would give us some influence, but we could still be easily ignored. Even if we won the vast majority of them we’d still only be 20% of the size of Labour who didn’t have enough to win.

      Frankly, I dare the bloody unionists to try and stop us in the courts. I’ll go mad, and I won’t be the only one, but what’ll happen? Rioting like there was in Tottenham is counter productive as we”d only be destroying our own country and marches and protests are like water off a ducks back to most politicians, so what other options are there? We’d have to go along with it, and every year they can drag it out is another year closer to the oil running out. That’d be enough to make some people start to think twice about independence…

    15. Adrian B says:

      It’s up to Westminster to provide the Section 30 as only Westminster can do it. If they fail to issue it, and the Referendum goes ahead, you have to ask what Westminster would stand to gain. At present Cameron is only offering a S30 if there is one question on the ballot paper. By doing this Cameron is breaching International law. He is sticking his neck on the chopping block, calling our bluff.

      Alex Salmond has always played the long game. Westminster never does – just look at what happened with the vote on AV, all over in 5 minutes. No debate, No discussion, just a quick vote.

      Alex Salmond is a man of strategy – I don’t know if he plays chess, but he should.

      The world is looking on. Salmond is playing by the book. Any intervention will come down on the side of the Scots. How would it look to the English if Cameron failed to issue a section 30. Not as if he would not have time to do it?    

    16. Prophet_Peden says:

      “But even they had to acknowledge that this is one turd that simply can’t be polished.”

      Funny you should mention that. I am in possession of a piece of polished coprolite which I’m sure you’ll know is a fossilised turd. So I suppose you can, technically speaking, polish a turd. 🙂

    17. steve mckay says:

      Watching several of the Scottish Affairs Committee meetings online I became increasingly amazed at the partisan and often patronizing tone taken by Mr Davidson.   He came close to attempting to lead the ‘witnesses’ on many occasions.   He is long on opinion and short on understanding the views of others.   This ‘humiliating slapdown’ was inevitable, well deserved and more importantly really cheered me up!

    18. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Please forgive my ignorance here as I have a wee rant.
      According to Davidson and his gang of Muppets Scotland can not hold a referendum because the constitution is  reserved to Westminster. I’m sorry, who’s constitution are you talking about Davidson?According to a piece I read recently, can’t remember where sorry, a Labour M.P. claimed Scotland needed a written constitution but England didn’t because they had the Queen. Excuse me?
      As far as I can recall Scotland already has a written constitution. In fact it is the OLDEST written constitution in the world, and it was used as the basis for the American constitution amongst others to boot! I am off course referring to the Declaration of Arbroath signed in 1320!I may be missing something here, which if I am I apologise. My understanding of the situation is that the Declaration of Arbroath is STILL a legal and BINDING document, therefore OUR constitution, the SCOTTISH constitution supersedes anything that comes out of Westminster.
      The question therefore is which constitution is Davidson referring to?
      Is he referring to the Westminster,England’s, constitution which does not exist on paper but only in the minds of the Westminster politicians?
      Is he referring to the WRITTEN and legal Scottish constitution?
      If he is referring to the former then by the same token I claim Scotland to be an Independent country. After all his constitution is only in his head so my country’s Independence is in my head, FOR NOW!
      If he is referring to the later, which I very much doubt, then he should be very aware that OUR constitution puts the power in the hands of the people of Scotland and NOT in the power of politicians without our, the peoples, express wish!
      Davidson is a Muppet of ALL Muppets and is nothing but a bag full of hot air! Like most Scottish Labour M.P.’s at Westminster, every time I see or hear him he makes my skin crawl!

    19. Adrian B says:

      @Arbroath 1320

      ‘Muppet of ALL Muppets and is nothing but a bag full of hot air! Like most Scottish Labour M.P.’s at Westminster.’

      Perhaps a good source of green energy if all this hot air could be gathered to provide hot water or/and heating in the colder months.

    20. molly says:

      John Lyons,caw canny, people I speak to know ‘we’re having a referendum,’  whether David Cameron issues a section 30 or not. ‘ Ordinary  people’ for whom rioting is not in their nature but knowing the difference between fair and unfair is.

    21. scottish_skier says:

      Whether Westminster recognizes a Yes vote or not from a free and fair referendum in Scotland is irrelevant.

      Following a Yes, the Scottish Government would declare independence and it would then be the rest of the world that recognises Scotland as an independent country.
      I imagine the Germans and the French will be the first to do so. The USA will not be far behind. The UN, EU etc will follow. 

      This referendum was never supposed to happen. That has been the strategy since the beginning. There was a good reason for this; it would be out of Westminster’s control, as it is now.  

    22. Peter A Bell says:

      Feel free to try it with a fresh one.

    23. ratzo says:

      Shades of the Cunninghame amendment.

      Davidson’s still hoping to amend the terms of the referendum and also the date.

      Here’s what he says:

       “…we believe the best way to proceed is for the Government to propose a detailed and specific Section 30 notice, giving the Scottish Parliament powers to conduct a referendum on Separation, and that this S30 notice should be subject to a scrutiny process by the Scottish Affairs Committee and approval by Scotland’s MPs.”

    24. R Louis says:

      An excellent closing line to the article.  A ‘doing’ indeed.

      Let us never forget, that were Scotland to vote for independence, then Davidson and his Labour ilk from Scotland would all lose their rather cushy jobs in London W1.  They would lose their free flights to London, their taxpayer funded second homes in London, their ‘expenses’,  and most importantly their rather juicy salaries.  As a chair of a select committee (no matter how inept that committee is), Mr Davidson is paid £65,783 as an MP, PLUS an additional £14,582 for his chairmanship ‘skills’.  Giving a grand total salary  of £80,365.

      Labour MP’s in Westminster – the ultimate self preservation society.

    25. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Mr Davidson is paid £65,783 as an MP, PLUS an additional £14,582 for his chairmanship ‘skills’. Giving a grand total salary of £80,365.”

      Chuck in the average level of expenses and Mr Davidson’s job is worth comfortably over £200K a year. It sure is hard to figure out why Labour’s Scottish MPs want to maintain a Scottish presence at Westminster.

    26. Peter A Bell says:

      Does Davidson not also get a wee “bonus” from Yes Scotland? He certainly earns it.

    27. R Louis says:

      Actually while looking up some figures, I strayed on to the financial declarations of a certain Alistair Darling.

      The amounts he is paid for giving a talk, or even just a risible article in a newspaper (600 quid) are staggering.

    28. I get the impression that sometimes people making “serious judgement” think that they are speaking to idiots and that they can tell us anything that they would like us to believe and we should just accept what they say.How absurd,is the best I can think of.

    29. MajorBloodnok says:

      ratzo quotes:

       ”…we believe the best way to proceed is for the Government to propose a detailed and specific Section 30 notice, giving the Scottish Parliament powers to conduct a referendum on Separation, and that this S30 notice should be subject to a scrutiny process by the Scottish Affairs Committee and approval by Scotland’s MPs.”

      Just what you’d expect from that bunch of self-serving irrelevants.

    30. sm753 says:

      Arbroath 1320
      “As far as I can recall Scotland already has a written constitution. In fact it is the OLDEST written constitution in the world”
      Does it? Is it? Proof please.
      “and it was used as the basis for the American constitution amongst others to boot!”
      Was it? Again, proof please.
      “I am off course referring to the Declaration of Arbroath signed in 1320!I may be missing something here, which if I am I apologise.”
      Oh that! I thought that was a letter to the Pope, signed by a hundred-odd Men with Fancy Titles and Hats.
      “My understanding of the situation is that the Declaration of Arbroath is STILL a legal and BINDING document,”
      In that case you should have no trouble finding it in the Records of the Parliament of Scotland:
      Or indeed the current Statute Law Database:
      Let me know how you get on.

    31. H Scott says:

      To sm753 re the Declaration of Arbroath:

      There is a certain type of English person who reveres and lauds England’s traditions and heritage but belittles other peoples. The ‘Ugly Englishman’ if you will.  You appear to be that type.

    32. Adrian B says:

      @ Arbroath 1320

      Don’t worry to much about sm753, he bows to the alter of David Cameron, and is a little put out by the fact that Scotland doesn’t vote Tory. 

    33. sm753 says:

      “The ‘Ugly Englishman’ if you will.  You appear to be that type.”
      Phew! Not English, so that gets me off that one. Do you dislike the English particularly?
      But while we’re on the subject, the “English” Magna Carta – in its various vintages –  actually has a fairly close resemblance to a constitutional document. Although even there we have to recognise that it actually went out of use and was superseded by parliamentary statute.
      The DoA, on the other hand, with its long ramblings about Scots being descended from “Scythians” and the list of about a hundred non-existent Scots kings, is nothing like a “constitution”. Yes I know, declaration of independence and legitimacy I know, but not a “constitution”.
      That’s just my reading of course, if there are any “Scythians” about they might be able to correct me.

    34. sm753 says:

      “Adrian B says:

      Oh, Wiki. Er.
      Perhaps you might actually want to look at what it says:
      Yep, there we go, “Scythians” and the claim of “113” Scottish kings, and all the rest.
      Nothing about separation of powers, rights of the crown v. nobility v. commoners, etc etc. Not much use as a constitution, is it?
      As for the Claim of Right, you linked to the, er, “wiki” article about the 1989 version. Did you mean to do that?
      Of course the 1689 version wouldn’t do much more for your argument, as it similarly lacks “constitutional content”. IIRC it says “James VII is useless and can get lost, we (Parliament) are inviting Wills & Mary instead. Endex.”

    35. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      I tend to agree that the Declaration of Arbroath is not a “constitution”, except in so far as it’s widely regarded as one of the first examples – if not THE first – of a constitutional/contractual form of monarchy. Beyond its assertions of the rights and obligations of the monarch, it’s not a constitution.

      I’m not sure what that has to do with the subject at hand, which is either sovereignty or realpolitik, depending how you frame it.

    36. Juteman says:

      I’ll settle for independence, then i’ll place my trust in my fellow citizens to ‘do the right thing’ on whatever needs doing.
      Simple as that.

    37. MajorBloodnok says:

      How dare you.  I’m actually 50% Scythian and 75% Paphlagonian.  sm753, on the other hand, is 100% troll.

    38. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      @sm753 – Aha… so you are Michael Mkeown of the Herald comments section.

      You really are quite tiresome with your constant linking to a website for UK legislation POST Treaty of Union and asking why the protections of Scots sovereignty are not listed there.

      I’ll give you a clue… its because they are listed under Scots Law, before the union and enshrined in the Treaty of Union with the maintenance “for all time” of the Scottish legal system. 

    39. Barbarian says:

      Committees can debate what they like, and their opponents can reply how they like. But how many people are really interested?

      There is no groundswell of support for any choice at the moment. No momentum which makes the politicians sit up and listen. The ears did twitch when the SNP won its majority, but there is still not a hint of a charge for independence (or the union for that matter).

      Ever get the feeling not many people really care?

    40. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      “Ever get the feeling not many people really care?”

      Well they do say ignorance is bliss…

      and the pro-independence campaign will be doing all it can to end that ignorance of Scotlands true situation between now and 2014.

      2 years of the truth seeping out and a whole load more people will indeed care!     

    41. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      This was INTERESTING. I posted in the HERALD on an article this morning demolishing the Ian Davidson Statement and this was the web address of the article:

      After my post went live the article disappeared and reappeared later – same title and content but new comments – without mine. This was the new web address:

      The original page was removed from their site and replaced with this one…

      I’ve left my comment again.        

    42. sm753 says:

      “I tend to agree that the Declaration of Arbroath is not a “constitution”, except in so far as it’s widely regarded as one of the first examples – if not THE first – of a constitutional/contractual form of monarchy.”
      Er, there was this Magna Carta thing in 1215. Other than that, we agree.
      I cannot BELIEVE I just said that.
      Hey, it was somebody else brought up this 1320 stuff.

    43. sm753 says:

      “You really are quite tiresome with your constant linking to a website for UK legislation POST Treaty of Union and asking why the protections of Scots sovereignty are not listed there.”
      “Acts of the Old Scottish Parliament
      Your search for Acts of the Old Scottish Parliament has returned 109 results.”
      All the still standing pre-1707 legislation is there, and I think you’ll find that
      is the most complete available source of all records.
      No apologies necessary, I quite understand.

    44. Adrian B says:


      ‘Nothing about ‘Independence’ of powers, rights of the crown v. nobility v. commoners, etc etc. Not much use as a constitution, is it?’

      No It was never written as a constitution, nor actually adopted as one. If you can find my words claiming otherwise then I might be interested.

      ‘As for the Claim of Right, you linked to the, er, “wiki” article about the 1989 version. Did you mean to do that?’ 

      Yes, that is why I linked to it. I know it’s only ‘wiki, a bit beneath you perhaps? Pleas read on at you leisure.   

      The Claim was part of a process which led to devolution of powers from the Parliament of the United Kingdom to a new Scottish Parliament in 1999. Its title was a reference to the Claim of Right Act 1689, an Act of the Parliament of Scotland which limited the power of the Scottish monarch (at the time, William and Mary) in much the same manner as the English Bill of Rights passed the same year.’
      ‘In October 2011 the Scottish Government announced that the Claim of Right will be brought before the Scottish Parliament to allow MSPs to re-endorse the claims of the sovereignty of the Scottish people.[1]

      ‘The Claim of Right reads-

      We, gathered as the Scottish Constitutional Convention, do hereby acknowledge the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs, and do hereby declare and pledge that in all our actions and deliberations their interests shall be paramount.
      We further declare and pledge that our actions and deliberations shall be directed to the following ends:
      To agree a scheme for an Assembly or Parliament for Scotland;
      To mobilise Scottish opinion and ensure the approval of the Scottish people for that scheme; and
      To assert the right of the Scottish people to secure implementation of that scheme.’

      Now I have not claimed that anything that I have shown you is a legally binding document. They are not – no question about it!

      What you fail to take into account, is the process, the drama and theatre in which the effect that both of these documents has provided at two relevant stages in Scotland’s history. Both of these documents are no more than ‘wif waf’ as legal documents.

      Furthermore with or without a section 30 being organised by Westminster (more wif waf.) Should the people of Scotland vote overwhelmingly for Independence, then I doubt ANY legal document could legally challenge the wishes of the Scottish Electorate.

      Now what was that about reading what it says? 


    45. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Er, there was this Magna Carta thing in 1215.”

      I’m sure you’ll correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as my limited understanding stretches the Magna Carta did not provide for the removal of the monarch, and so isn’t quite the same thing. It placed certain restrictions on his powers, but contained no effective remedies if the king ignored them, which he quickly did.

    46. Adrian B says:

      It’s worse than that Rev,

      More from ‘Wiki”

      ‘According to a poll carried out by YouGov in 2008, 45% of the British public do not know what Magna Carta is.[114] However, its perceived guarantee of trial by jury and other civil liberties led to Tony Benn referring to the debate over whether to increase the maximum time terrorist suspects could be held without charge from 28 to 42 days as “the day Magna Carta was repealed”.[115]

      It’s obviously not very interesting to most of the UK population either.

    47. MajorBloodnok says:

      Although interestingly Alexander II of Scotland was involved in ‘persuading’ King John to sign up – the Scottish army marching through England all the way to the South coast possibly having something to do with it….

    48. douglas clark says:

      Oh! You’ve got to be watching NewsNAT Scotland.

    49. pa broon says:

      I caught the end of Davidson and fraser’s tete a tete. Exciting stuff.

      Davidson accuses Isobel Fraser of bias in favour of the Nats which is hilarious.

      The man is a gonk.

    50. Bill C says:

      Hi Douglas, like you I suspect ,I have just witnessed something that I never thought I would see in my lifetime – a unionist Labour MP accusing “Newsnat” Scotland of being biased in favour of the SNP.  Isabel Fraser clearly could not believe her ears. Come independence Mr. Davidson has surely earned himself a place in the independence Hall of Heroes.  With this guy in the unionist camp, indepndence is a shoe in!

    51. Adrian B says:


      Transcript please if you can Rev. I don’t think this will be shown on iPlayer. 

    52. douglas clark says:

      Bill C,
      The first time he said Newsnat, I didn’t believe my ears, nor the second time. But the cretin really, really did!

      That was, perhaps, the moment when the fat ugly face of the Bitter Together campaign actually fell apart. That will be on U-Tube, every newspaper and every web-site with an interest in independence.
      For the moron thinks his legalistic nonsense outweighs our right to have a referendum!

      Think again, Davidson.

      What a spectacular own goal! 

    53. douglas clark says:

      Adrian B,
      I would have thought that that will definitely be on iPlayer!

    54. James Morton says:

      I always felt that Salmond was playing a long game – with two years to go, it is clear he is keeping his powder dry. Its almost as if he doesn’t need to define Independence, he just needs people like Davidson to define Union and the rest will take care of itself.

    55. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      Hung out to dry? Davidson’s just hung himself by the balls live on TV. Absolutely astonishing stuff on Newsnicht. Portrait of a bullying mentally unstable thug.
      How will scottish labour dig themselves out of this hole Davidson’s just dug for them?

    56. Bill C says:

      Douglas, one of those moments you will remember on the day of independence!

    57. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      It’s going to be a long transcribing job. That was so stark raving mental I hardly know where to begin with it.


    58. Betsy says:

      Wah! I got sidetracked with other things and missed this. It’s not up Iplayer yet. Any chance of a few more spoilers? It sounds like a hoot!

    59. Bill C says:

      Rev you can do it, get typing. This is indeed a succulent lamb moment!

    60. douglas clark says:

      James Morton / Bill C,
      Oh! I so hope so!
      The boys and girls on Newsnet Scotland are going to go into a tailspin! How do you protest against BBC Scotland when their main nightly news programme has been accused of being biased in our favour!

    61. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      Betsy, just a little teaser to give you a flavour of the jaw-dropping stark raving insanity.
      Davidson basically told Isabel Fraser she should get herself elected as an SNP  politician so she could better spout her ‘Nat propaganda’. I’m paraphrasing because the ‘interview’ is an astonishing non-stop parade of lunacy to incredible to fully ingest in one meagre viewing. The actual words he used were probably even more lunatic.
      It’s one of the most unbelievable things I’ve ever seen on Newsnicht.
      Scratch that, it IS the most unbelievable thing. It’s even outcrazied John McTernan’s many Newsnicht brainfarts.

    62. Betsy says:

      I’m looking forward to this clip when it appears. I think the only way Labour could top this is to unleash comedy hero Councillor Terry Kelly on the TV viewing masses.  

    63. douglas clark says:

      The man deliberately called newsnight scotland newsnat scotland and accused them of taking an ‘Edinburgh’ stance against a ‘Westminster’ stance. He was actually so stupid as to get Isobel Frazer annoyed. He would have regretted that had he moved out of the Cro-Magnon age of Labour Party Politics, which he clearly hasn’t.
      He was too stupid to realise that he had dug a trap for himself and then fallen into it.
      He has failed the traditional test of ‘better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and have it proved.”

    64. YesYesYes says:

      It’s been clear for some time now that there’s something not quite right about Ian Davidson. But there’s something else that this evening’s exhibition displayed only too graphically. These were not the words and actions of someone who was confident that he’s going to be on the winning side in the referendum debate.
      Gone are the days of the cosy consensus of Scottish Labour and the Scottish MSM, where they could both condescendingly dismiss the prospect of Scottish independence. Scottish Labour is waking up from its dogmatic slumber, and it doesn’t like what it is seeing and it doesn’t know what to do about it.

    65. Adrian B says:

      NEWSNAT SCOTLAND August 7th 2012

      Thanks to Peter Curren

    66. Peter A Bell says:

      Tough job for voice recognition software.

    67. Betsy says:

      Good Lord! The man is off his bean. I have to say I’d be fascinated to hear the details of these previous complaints of bias made by the Labour Party he refers to. I don’t imagine many of his colleagues will be in any hurry to back him up.

    68. douglas clark says:

      I am of the same opinion as you. Iain Davidson had come in for criticism yesterday from all sorts of places, including a quite incredibly democratic article in the Scotsman of all places.
      The whole nonsense of his position was taken apart in that leader article:
      which is what the Rev Stu led this whole discussion off with. 
      Davidsons’ arguement – that power lies at Westminster, indivisibly – unless Westminster says otherwise – has been the subject of much mirth.
      Because it is not true. Because it is self-serving. Well, just because….
      So, Davidson has had a day of being rightly ridiculed for his stupidity.
      And then that woman dared to ask a Master of the Universe, a man who wears a fucking watch! A question!
      Well, lets be fair. If you’d made a complete and utter fool of yourself the length and breadth of the land, and had been seen to completely lacking in any credibility whatsoever, what would you do?
      Would you:
      a) Deny that you had been a carpetbagger? Despite evidence to the contrary. Claim you are an honest broker?
      b) Say ‘Newsnat Scotland’ and pretend that that was of a wit that has not been seen since TWTWTW?
      c) Attempt to discombobulate the journalist – Isobel Fraser – by suggesting that, rather than ask questions of  a Master of the Universe like the Fat Controller, sorry Iain Davidson -she should desist instantly and become an SNP candidate?
      d) do all of the above?
      Davidson’s immense intellect, so remote from the rest of us that we missed it, but probably observable somewhere, decided that the answer to his conundrum – that he had made a complete tit of himself over the last twenty four hours – required him to adopt a, and b, and c. Quite the wee terrier.
      A perhaps apocryphal story. Once upon a time there was a beggar in George Square who, well, begged for money. He was blind and had lost the use of one hand. Glaswegians are, by nature, generous and money poured into his hat, which he used as a begging bowl. Every so ofter someone would walk by and kick his hat almost to Queens St Station. When one of them was challenged, they told a tale:

      The beggar had once been part of an extortion gang in the East End of the City. They had threatened honest businessmen that they would blow there business up if they did not pay for protection.

      Eventually one business said no and our hero was sent to ‘send a message’. He unloaded a hand grenade at the window of their shop. It bounced off the window and the rest is history.
      Mr Davidson should reflect on the educational aspects of that tale, removing his somewhat natural propensity to see himself as the more violent focus of the story. It is merely a fable for him to think about, if, he is, in fact capable of thought.

    69. Adrian B says:

      Does Isobel Fraser need to re-negotiate her BBC contract after the ‘Davidson incident’, Danger money now required when interviewing Labour MP’s? 

    70. YesYesYes says:

      @douglas clark,
      Interesting and deep. I’d add another ‘because’ to your list. Ian Davidson’s and Scottish Labour’s argument, indeed their entire world, has been falling apart for some time now, because many of the old certainties and the old inertias that served them so well in previous decades are gone or are disappearing.
      When Immanuel Kant was awoken from his dogmatic slumbers by the work of David Hume, he had a ‘silent decade’ before producing his magisterial ‘Critique of Pure Reason’. Scottish Labour may not have been ‘silent’ over the last decade but, politically, they’ve had the equivalent forced on them by the disaster that was New Labour. Scottish Labour has been hollowed out.
      Their sole purpose in Scottish politics is to save the union. Politically, they have nothing to say to us anymore other than ‘vote No’. What’s left is a neo-liberal shell of a party that, for the first time in a generation, when invited to define itself, it simply doesn’t know what it’s for. How fitting that Scottish Labour, this political zombie stalking the landscape of Scottish politics, is represented by a vapid and nasty bully boy reduced to intimidating one of the most polite and mild-mannered female presenters on Scottish television.      

    71. Adrian B says:

      British bulldogs anyone?

    72. James Morton says:

      Scottish Labour have been behaving like some spoilt brat, sticking their fingers into their ears and going LALALALALALALALALALA! I’m not listening LALALALALALALALA! I’m still not listening! and so on and so on.

      They have transformed into this array of cartoonishly inept, bloviating blowhards whose political acumen is dwarfed by their displays of beligerent imbecility.

      They have spent so long playing the man not the ball that they have driven themselves insane.

      This is why I think Independence would be good for labour, a chance to kill off this wretched remnant driven to absurdity by its own cognitive dissonance and change into something less…well…mental.

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