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Wings Over Scotland


How to make news from air

Posted on December 27, 2013 by

The Independent is the most English newspaper in Britain. Alone among the nationals, it has neither a Scottish edition nor even a Scottish news section. And for the vast majority of the time, it acts as though Scotland simply doesn’t exist at all. (Or, perhaps, as if Scotland was already independent and therefore none of its business.)

indysalmond

So it’s perhaps not altogether surprising that on the rare occasions it dares venture north of Luton, it invariably makes a gigantic ham-fisted hash of it.

The image above shows an unusually prominent Scottish story in the paper, probably because it’s Christmas and they’re so desperate to fill space that they’ll even let one of their London-based hacks have a bash at something about Jockoland. So badly is the Indie struggling to populate those empty column inches, in fact, that it’s created a whole story out of absolutely nothing. Let’s break it down.

“Alex Salmond is facing accusations of hiding the full legal reality behind the Scottish Government’s assurances that an independent Scotland would enjoy fast-tracked membership of the EU.”

Like he’s done for most of the last two years? Righto.

“The SNP leader launched his administration’s White Paper on independence last month by claiming legal advice given to the UK Government earlier this year described as ‘realistic’ a period of 18 months of entry negotiations between Edinburgh and Brussels.”

He didn’t “claim” it. It’s a documented fact that the advice says that.

“Holyrood’s Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, recently claimed a breakaway Scotland would have a ‘smooth and quick’ transition to full EU membership.”

Super.

“But both Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon failed to mention a subsequent legal ‘clarification’ given to the Edinburgh government on the politically crucial issue of EU membership.”

Are we approaching something that could possibly qualify as ‘”news” any time soon?

“The advice, shown to The Independent, highlights “serious unresolved issues” and potential difficulties in the process. Likely problem points include voting rights in both the European Council and Parliament, the validity of current UK opt-outs, the use of the euro and what was termed ‘further financial questions’.”

Hmm, doesn’t look like it. Those are simply the issues everyone already knew would have to be covered by the negotiations, which are why they would take 18 months rather than 10 minutes. So what’s the new information?

“Catherine Stihler, a Labour MEP who has campaigned for greater transparency over Scotland’s position on EU membership, said: ‘Alex Salmond has form saying one thing in public but knowing the opposite to be true. On this issue you can’t trust a word he has to say. The idea that everything will be all right on the night just because he says so isn’t credible.'”

[SUB: INSERT GRATUITOUS SMEAR PARAGRAPH HERE. IF STIHLER’S OUT, TRY FOULKES. THE OLD SOAK ACTUALLY HAS A PRE-RECORDED ALL-PURPOSE ‘SALMOND IS A LIAR’ QUOTE AS HIS ANSWERPHONE MESSAGE.]

“The document was presented to both Westminster and Holyrood in February this year. The ’18 months’ period regularly quoted by Mr Salmond is not contained in the February document. But both Mr Salmond and his deputy lean on a comment Professor Crawford gave to the BBC around the time of its publication, in which he described the ‘Scottish estimate’ of 18 months for negotiations on membership of international organisations as ‘realistic’.”

We’re now almost 400 words into this “exclusive” and we’re still just being told things we already knew. Any chance of a story coming along at some point?

“In the legal clarification that has been delivered after February,”

Nice detail work there. Narrowed it down to 10 months.

“Scotland is described as different from the seven countries currently waiting to join the EU.”

Well yes, of course it is, because unlike them it’s already in the EU right now. What astonishing bombshell can we expect the Independent to drop on an unsuspecting nation next? Sea Contains Water? Fire Hot? Rangers In Financial Difficulties?

“The updated legal advice for the UK Government, seen by Mr Salmond’s legal team, warns no time limit can confidently be placed on any negotiation period. And that although 18 months is a ‘reasonable estimate’, because the EU has not faced a situation that can be compared with Scotland’s position, the time frame could be longer.”

Oh wow. So after all that hyperbole and build-up, the big news here is that the 18-month estimate has now moved from being “realistic” to being “reasonable”? STOP THE PRESSES! HOLD THE FRONT PAGE! SALMOND MUST RESIGN!

“Another key issue in the legal guidance that will further weaken the nationalists’ guarantees on Scotland staying in the EU is the need for ‘an accession treaty to be ratified by members’. This is described as likely to ‘add time’ to the negotiation process.”

This weasel-worded paragraph doesn’t actually state whether this is a new addition to the UK government’s advice or whether it was always the case. The latter seems overwhelmingly more likely, because the fact that EU decisions have to be ratified by EU members is roughly as surprising as revealing that the “E” stands for “European”.

(And while we’re here, how can you “add time” to a process that has no fixed length in the first place? Such discussions would be the fundamental purpose of the process, not a surprise last-minute addition to it.)

“Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, indicated the uncertainty of a unanimous backing by all EU member states when he told a summit last month that if Scotland left the EU it would have to re-apply as a new member. He said: ‘A region that would separate from a member state of the EU would remain outside the EU – and that should be known by the Scots and the rest of Europe’s citizens.'”

Oh God, not this again. The problem with being a newspaper whose map of the UK says “HERE BE DRAGONS” on it anywhere above Birmingham is that you may just possibly miss key developments in a story, and consequently find yourself honking out streams of clueless hackneyed third-hand rubbish like a pub bore on his eighth pint.

“The Independent contacted Mr Salmond’s office and described the potential delays outlined in the new legal clarification.”

Or in other words, rang up and told the Scottish Government what it, and everyone else up to and including the dogs in the street, already knew – that EU membership negotiations would involve, um, negotiating.

“There was no denial that it had received the legal re-evaluation. “

That’s an interesting bit of phrasing, isn’t it?

“A spokesperson for the Scottish Government repeated what Mr Salmond said when he launched the White Paper on independence:

‘It is clear Scotland can negotiate the terms of independent membership of the EU from within the EU, in the 18-month period between a vote for independence and independence day itself in March 2016. That is a timescale described by the UK Government’s own legal adviser as ‘realistic’.'”

Or in other words, “It’s Christmas, you morons. Please stop ringing up and bothering us with this plastic Fisher-Price My First Journalism set Santa evidently brought you and sod off, or we’ll set the hounds on you.”

inverkip

The Independent currently sells a mindbogglingly low 2,885 copies a day in Scotland – roughly one for every person in Inverkip, and a circulation that almost inconceivably is still falling faster than any other daily north of the border. If we were its accounts department, we wouldn’t count on that trend reversing any time soon on this evidence.

When it sticks to England, it’s actually a pretty decent paper – arguably the most progressive in the UK. We hope that it sticks to its strengths in 2014, because its occasional dalliances with being a Unionist mouthpiece in the north are amateurish and embarrassing for all concerned.

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    69 to “How to make news from air”

    1. Harry Shanks says:

      I’m doing my best in their comments section over there!

    2. Wee_monsieur says:

      Well said, Rev.

    3. Craig Munro says:

      Anyone ever asked the UK Govt how long they’d expect it to take to negotiate their way OUT of the EU?

    4. Craig Evans says:

      Many years ago I looked to the Independent as breath of fresh air in the MSM, however after some time I began to notice there was no Scottish news in general and when there was an item it was written by their “Scottish Correspondent”. That and the fact that the TV listings were for London made me give up in disgust and I have never bought the paper again.

      I’ll even buy the Guardian or the Telegraph when travelling as at least I know where they are coming from.

    5. Camilla Kaczinski says:

      Craig, article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, gives a time frame of two years, unless the withdrawal agreement states otherwise. Considering the legal, human, and economic consequences of a state withdrawing, two years seems reasonable.

      http://www.lisbon-treaty.org/wcm/the-lisbon-treaty/treaty-on-European-union-and-comments/title-6-final-provisions/137-article-50.html

    6. alexicon says:

      It’s not just the Independent at it today.
      The IBTimes has a scare story du jour with a juicy headline.
       
      SNP WILL SCRAP MARRIED COUPLE ALLOWANCE.
       
      http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/scottish-independence-snp-will-scrap-married-couple-allowance-1430302

    7. JnrTick says:

      The wife buys the independent, says it’s very balanced (even re Scottish matters)
       
      Must get her to read your observations Rev.

    8. gordoz says:

      Independent  – ironic ?

      Sadly this rubbish is what informs parts of the English public and then the BBC will cite from it within the news – this goes on and on…

    9. The Independent’s cartoon today with Alex Salmond as a Christmas pudding of sorts is also very poor.
      The cartoonist is normally one of the best there is on most other subjects.

    10. J Hannah says:

      Funny how BT are tweeting this story today. You’d think there was almost a joined up approach lol. 🙂

    11. Cyril Matvech says:

      More Unionist terror created by the likelihood that Edinburgh will have completed all negotiations to become a full membership of the EU.

      Long before London has finalised any agreements of Scotland’s shares of the UK’s World embassies, the MoD, UK properties, security systems, border control responsibilitides, palace of Westminster & Whitehall, Bank of England and much, much more.

      The probability that events will leave yet another weak election losing coalesced new 2015 government (possibly including Labour & UKIP) to negotiate with with Edinburgh via powerful Strasbourgh, Brussels and Luxembourgh who will then have a duty to ensure that Scotland gains the fairest deal possible from a national government that has publicly declared it hatred of the European Union.

    12. Helena Brown says:

      May I commend Harry Shanks for his sterling defence in the Independent, I left them when they moved to their present comment system as did so many others. The Independent tends to only have the “Project Fear” items, Feeds so many of the English prejudice. Meant to say they are always behind the times and that most of the things they come up with have been debunked good and properly in Scotland.

    13. Calum Craig says:

      Tuba Blair thinks this news, saw he had retweeted the story… Says it all really.

    14. Mik Magnusson says:

      Mr Rajoy, Spain’s Prime Minister, does not have much of a grasp on geography. He tends to mix up “regions” (as in Spain’s own independence-minded Catalunya) with “countries” (like the Czech Republic and Slovakia — whose alliance ended with them both being granted EU membership). The Indie does not notice this either.

    15. DougtheDug says:

      “Catherine Stihler, a Labour MEP who has campaigned for greater transparency over Scotland’s position on EU membership”
       
      The Catherine Stihler who “campaigned” by sending in an FOI to find out if the Scottish Government had received legal advice on EU membership and what it contained?
      http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/uploadedFiles/Decision219-2013.pdf
       
      It’s always been a convention that a Westminster Government doesn’t have to tell if it has even received legal advice far less distribute it to the opposition however Labour don’t think that convention applies to Scotland and that any advice a Government receives must be shared with the opposition immediately. Unfortunately the Scottish Information Commissioner Rosemary Agnew agreed with her that different rules apply in Scotland though not to the point of handing over the legal advice.

      As an example of a classic British nationalist, Labour apparatchik who came in via student politics and being a Labour researcher to her seat as a Labour MEP I really, really hope that Ms. Stihler loses her place in the European Parliament this summer. 

    16. Red squirrel says:

      Re-heated leftovers are traditional at this time of year but even so this is pretty poor.
       
      Clarity on EU membership is available any time UK wants to pick up the phone. Now let’s all ask ourselves why they haven’t found time to do that 🙂

    17. David Smith says:

      Fears, jeers and smears. Nothing to see here folks, move along… 😉

    18. gordoz says:

      DougtheDug
       
      Has she done anything  other than raise her Labour profile ? anything for constituents ?

    19. AnneDon says:

      @DavidSmith: “fears, jeers and smears”  What a great description of the unionist campaign – and their MSM cohorts!

    20. Jill Parton says:

      We all know how “unbiased” the media are.
      This got me thinking…
       
      Now I run the risk of confusing myself here.
       
      The United Nations Charter on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)  Article 17 states:

      “Children have the right to reliable information from the mass media. Television, radio and newspapers should provide information that children can understand.”
       
      A child is classed as anyone under the age of 18.
      16 and 17 year olds will have a vote in the referendum, so the UNCRC pertains to them.
       
      At present the mass media are failing in their role under UNCRC.
      To that end so are Better Together. They are not providing any reliable information at all.
       
      As the UK are signatories of the UNCRC it is their legal obligation to provide the necessary information to allow these 16 and 17 year olds to come to an informed opinion. Failing to provide balanced information is in contravention of the UNCRC
       
      So now we need some 16 and 17 year olds to request that the mass media publish the information from BT and even Westminster. Under the UNCRC they must provide information as requested.
       
      Scotland’s Future provides the YES side of the debate. The NO side must now publish their plans or they are in contravention of one of the most important charters ever written.

    21. DougtheDug says:

      gordoz:
       
      Since she’s a list MEP elected on a Scottish wide list then we’re all unfortunately her constituents.
       
      The only time she’s ever made the news is when she decided that the Scottish Government’s legal advice also legally belonged to the Labour party.

    22. KraftyKris says:

      Yeah Harry Shanks makes the point that if Scotland was somehow ejected from the EU then there would be major consequences for EU nationals that are living, studying and/or working in Scotland. There also would be major consequences for all the Scottish/EU citizens currently working, studying and living in Europe (I was one not too long ago).
       
      Common sense and shared goals will prevail, Scotland wants to remain a part of the EU. The EU has no reason to eject Scotland, EU countries only have energy, fishing stocks and trade to lose.
       
      The whole thing really is bonkers. We’re being told far-fetched stories that the EU might eject Scotland while at the same time the UK government are proposing a referendum to leave the EU.

    23. David Steele says:

      That article really is English journalism at it’s most ignorant with regards to what’s going on in Scotland.  One would have expected the Indy to do a better job than that.  Oh Well, onwards and upwards eh.

    24. DougtheDug says:

      The common thread running throughout the Labour fronted, Conservative run Better Together disinformation campaign on Europe is that Scotland would be some mendicant nation begging to be let into the big EU house and if they let us in it would be only be on the basis of charity.
       
      In other words it’s just more of the same, too poor, too wee, too stupid angle that is at the base of all Better Together campaigning.
       
      What Scotland will bring to the table is 66% of the EU’s crude oil production, up to 25% of Europe’s tidal power, 10% of its wave power and around 25% of the European offshore wind resource potential.
       
      It also controls 25% of the current EU continental shelf in the North Atlantic and North Sea which are the the richest fishing grounds in Europe and has abundant supplies of fresh water.
       
      If an independent nation outside the EU with these resources wanted to join the EU their way would be strewn with petals by the EU members. Only in the doublethink of Better Together would a nation like this be denied entry or in Scotland’s case continuing membership of the EU.

    25. Ken500 says:

      Mr Rajoy and Mr Cameron won’t be there for much longer.

      When Scotland votes Yes. EU membership can be negotiated. Two years to get in/out.

    26. Ken500 says:

      Sweden in Norway out, are both doing well.

    27. Papadocx says:

      The propaganda we get from BBC MSM MPs ect is a totally different song from the one they are feeding Engerland. Divide and conquer the old colonial game GB invented. 
       
      It will make it much easier to kick us into shape and steal our children’s future if they can wind the English up about how we (SG) hate them and don’t appreciate all the subsidies they bestow on us, to wee, to poor, to stupid JOCKS

    28. Richard says:

      Watch out for the new addition to Project Fear. Too wee too poor too stupid and TOO DANGEROUS!! According to a Slovenian offshoot of project fear in the Hootsman BTL comments, Scottish independence will bring about the destabilising of the EU. if only I could get a shot at whatever he/she is on I could have a very interesting new year. mad bad poor and dangerous to know you viruses you!

    29. J Hannah says:

      A wee bit O/T but still about the papers. Johnston Press getting a bail out. I had a wee laugh at the last line …

      ‘The firm’s refinancing effort is being advised by Rothschilds’.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-25526493

    30. Marcia says:

      Reading the  comments on that article on the newspaper’s website does make you wonder about the state of education.

    31. Bertie K says:

      2,884 copies a day,
       
      A waste of trees.

    32. Craig M says:

      Is Archie Bland still at the Independent? He is Establishment to the bone, as is the Independent newspaper. Although it (used) to portray itself as “leftie and radical” this must be treated with derision. Being Leftie in London is now the new Tory.

    33. Richard says:

      @papadocx
      ‘The propaganda we get from BBC MSM MPs ect is a totally different song from the one they are feeding Engerland.’

      I recently compared the Scottish and English version of the times with my old school chum as he seemed obsessed by immigration. Down south they run their own version of Project Fear but demonising the Roma, Bulgarians,Romanians et al. It is only those of us North of the border that get fed our very own tailored version. I think it was pat Kane that tweeted a link to an Esquire journalist explaining the reasons for the lack of integrity in the modern press. These stories are pre-written, the journalist can stay in the bar longer and the know your place Scotland campaign gets its plant.

    34. seoc says:

      The strangely named ‘Independent’ has a one-eyed approach to life, it seems.

      When Scotland was dragged unwillingly, dreaming and kicking into this joke of a Union, not once in over 300 years did Westminster seek to confirm or ratify the ‘union’ by public vote. No prizes for asking ‘why not’.

      The ‘union’ stealthily became a lopsided partnership, then fell into a contemptuous unelected arrangement  from a Scottish point of view. But still no word on supposed equality.

      Now the squealing starts.

    35. Dal Riata says:

      As @alexicon mentions (above):
       
      That “SNP Will Scrap Married Couple Allowance” non-story was given prominence on the BBC’s app, quelle surprise! – although it has since been ‘retired’. Notice the accusatory headline – quelle surprise once again!
       
      If you are to actually read the article, you will see that the tax break, as is, favours men over women. The SNP would like a realignment, giving equality to women. A good thing, surely? Yet, to repeat, note the accusatory headline…
       
      Oh, and in the article, well away from the headline of course, it states:
       
      “Labour has also previously said Mr Cameron was “out of touch” if he thought the people would get married “for GBP [sic] 3.85 a week”.”
       
      Ah, headlines, eh. Where would Project Fear’s propaganda department, the MSM, be without them!

    36. Papadocx says:

      All we want to achieve is a peaceful democratic little country with good will to everybody and manage our own wee country our way. 

      We get threatened by the big bully next door and told all the plagues that THEY will visit upon our friendly peaceful wee nation, nice to know who your friends are.

      As Magrit Curran kindly pointed out the ROI has a very special relationship with GB, open border, freedom of movement, close political ties, no minefields or machine guns on the border   Help each other in Europe. So where are we going wrong to be treated the way we are, like lepers. Do they want us to negotiate our independence the way Ireland had to, is that what it takes to get treated with respect and friendship by rUK. I sincerely hope not. Though rUK has previous all over the globe unfortunately.

    37. Dal Riata says:

      That Indepenedent article is just a really rubbish attempt at the ‘Salmond Accused’ meme. The Telegraph does it so much better!

    38. liz says:

      @Richard – I used to think the Slovenian one might be Gordon Brown.
      The way of using 100s of words when less would do and the tortuous vocabulary.
       
      That one has form though because once on the Herald, s/he accused a commenter of saying that Slovenians were an inferior race – when no such thing had been said.
       
      That was around the same time as JoLa’s ‘virus’ comment.

    39. David Newbigging says:

      Haha! Reading this article then suddenly, there’s a picture of my house!

    40. Dal Riata says:

      @Richard and @Liz
       
      I am currently on the Guardian’s ‘naughty-step’ (premoderating comments (once again!) for having ‘words’ with the faux-Slovenian one on CiF! (I’m presuming it was that, because they never tell you what your ‘indiscretion’ was, which is maddeningly frustrating.)

    41. The Man in the Jar says:

      Anyone still concerned regarding The Spanish Government and the EU question should take a look at the “Wee Ginger dug” blog where the question is well and truly examined and the shenanigans dispelled.
       
      http://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/
       
      @Richard. The Wee Ginger Dug also got its teeth into the Slovenian one in a post back in October.
       
      http://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/adventures-in-forensic-linguistics-and-the-art-of-sock-puppetry/

    42. The Man in the Jar says:

      Sorry about the formatting Stu edit didn’t work. 🙁

    43. Ericmac says:

      @richard @liz @dal riata 

      The faux-Slovenian is more than one person…  Two, possibly even three.  They had an assignment in the Herald and now resident in Hootsmon.  

      Tony (Little) regularly battled ‘her’ as did I and it cost us the moderation free status.

      There are definitely forces at work all across the comments sections….  There are concerted attempts to stem the tide of YES comments.  The strange thing is, nothing really happens on Wings… apart from OBE doing a first foot maybe.  

      Perhaps (rightly or wrongly) they worry mostly about their propaganda articles being debunked right at source, rather than totally deconstructed on here ( a separate site) 

    44. Yesitis says:

      Well, Inverkip looks nice.

    45. Hetty says:

      Jill Parton says
      A child is classed as anyone under the age of 18.16 and 17 year olds will have a vote in the referendum, so the UNCRC pertains to them.

      In Scotland the age at which you are deemed an adult is 16, as far as I know, and according to Scots law.  If our young people have access to the information they need and are encouraged to enter into discussion and really think about politics and how it affects them and the society that they live in, they are perfectly capable of making decisions about how to vote in elections and in referendums. If the age you become an adult in Scotland is 16, I am not sure where this leaves our young people in terms of the UNCRC.

    46. Les Wilson says:

      During late summer I was on holiday in Cumbria, there we got ” Border TV”, I watched the News every day to see what was going on back home with the Indie debate, but er nothing. The whole 2 weeks nothing was said. Yes, the mentioned things from the Scottish side of the border but nothing on the referendum.

      So, it is quite right to say that the English get fed a far different story than we do, of course their fear is that some English people, in particular Northern people who are likely to also get the broadcast, may actually AGREE that Scotland has a case to be answered.

      This of course is part of the Westminster propaganda machine, to try and ensure the Northern English do not get any ideas of their own as to Scotland’s intentions.

      Therefore, you have to question why they would want to do this to their own, answer is, they are shitting themselves that it might just happen! Then they may have more of their own to deal with as well as us “unruly” Scots.

    47. Richard says:

      I have been having fun with the selfish Slovenian.it is a fair bet that he is paid. I think he masquerades as Czech on the guardian. I thought his stuff about a selfish Scotland (or was that a puff for shellfish Scotland) was priceless. He hasn’t read the white paper, he accuses the Westminster and Holyrood of being undemocratic but is a bit muddled about the benefits of the EU and NATO. In fact I get the impression he thinks that both are a bad idea but it doesn’t suit his discourse

    48. Jill Parton says:

      Hetty says
      In Scotland the age at which you are deemed an adult is 16, as far as I know, and according to Scots law.  If our young people have access to the information they need and are encouraged to enter into discussion and really think about politics and how it affects them and the society that they live in, they are perfectly capable of making decisions about how to vote in elections and in referendums. If the age you become an adult in Scotland is 16, I am not sure where this leaves our young people in terms of the UNCRC
       
      I agree they are adults under Scots Law. But this is a nice little loophole that includes them in the charter. They have a right under the internationally agreed charter to truthful information from the mass media. The role of government comes in somewhere in the charter too. Thus it is the Westminster government’s legal duty to provide whatever information these 16 and 17 year olds need.

      If 16 and 17 year olds ask the relevant people for the information, and quote their obligations under the charter, they should get the information they need to make the informed choice.

      They are not getting that at the moment. Nobody is unless they go and look for it. That is the problem. BT keep repeating that they don’t need to quantify what NO would mean. But Article 17 gives them the responsibility of keeping children informed. An interesting by-product of that would be keeping the rest of the adult population informed too.

      As UK are so proud of being at the Top Table at the UN they MUST be seen to be keeping to the charter.

      I need to go and research this further, I think.

    49. Barontorc says:

      I have long suspected that the BBC Charter is constructed on responsibility towards human rights at its most fundamental level and by extension wholly aligns with what we now see is from the United Nations Charter on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)  Article 17 which states:
      “Children have the right to reliable information from the mass media. Television, radio and newspapers should provide information that children can understand.”
       
      Things are starting to unfurl spectacularly against the UK Estabishment’s power play. At long last we are seeing legislative inroads that can bring them into line. 

    50. Paul says:

      Please Please Please let Jonstone press go bust.  I hope that after the Yes vote we get a referendum on Scotland’s future within the EU. I would prefer an alliance with the Nordic states and still remaining in N.A.T.O

    51. msean says:

      Petty and ill informed,file under union jackery,then forget.We have positivity on our side.

    52. Thepnr says:

      Lets look at the three major oft repeated scare stories one by one.
       
      EU in or out? Who really cares as long as we are no longer governed by Westminster?
       
      Currency Union in or out? Who really cares as long as we are no longer governed by Westminster?
       
      NATO in or out? Who really cares as long as we are no longer governed by Westminster?
       
      Let the BT crowd focus as much as they like on these non issues because that is exactly what they are. Merely a distraction and I for one am confident that none of the Project Fear lies will come to fruition. At the end of the day though I don’t really care. I just want OUT.

    53. Jill Parton says:

      I found this interesting titbit in the UK Government’s draft report to the UN re the charter. The report is due to be delivered early 2014.
       
      “4. In the UK, the media is independent of the Government and free to report its own views and opinions. It is not a matter for public policy to dictate to the press how they should talk about young people. However, the Broadcasting Standards Commission Fairness and Privacy Code of Practice, which covers children, sets out the principles and practices to be followed by all broadcasters to avoid unjust or unfair treatment in radio and television programmes. The UK Government has taken action to promote positive images of young people. For example, the UK Government’s Positive for Youth document 10, published in December 2011, recognised that 99% of young people are responsible and hard-working, and want to make the most of their lives and make the world a better place. “

      Media is independent of government and free to report its own views and opinions? Aye right!

    54. Doug Daniel says:

      When I worked in a shop during university, we used to get one copy of the Independent, and we usually still managed to have a copy to return to the suppliers at the end of the day.

    55. Ericmac says:

      @richard @liz @dal riata

      Slovenia Profile
      Similar style?  
      Definitely paid ‘researchers’ at work all over this campaign.

    56. Ericmac says:

      @thepnr

      I must admit I am inclined to agree with you.  When the system is broken and no longer fit for purpose, format your hard drive and reinstall.  

      The big Westminster Operating System doesn’t suit our 5.3 megabyte Scottish processor.
      The only problem is, a complete reinstall scares a lot of people.    

      Personally, I’d leave behind the following dys-functionality; HOL, EU, Monarchy, and Sterling, and return to a simple open source platform that looks after our own economy, finances, industry and resources.    

      A total reset.  A clean system.

    57. X_Sticks says:

      Papadocx says:
      27 December, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      “All we want to achieve is a peaceful democratic little country with good will to everybody and manage our own wee country our way.”

      Our country, our way. Catchy.

      J Hannah says:

      “‘The firm’s refinancing effort is being advised by Rothschilds’.”

      Whanever I hear the name Rothschild I am immediately suspicious. Is this the anticipated tory subsidy to keep the union press in print until the referendum? Is the “Shadow World govermnent”, the Bilderberger Club, involved? Wouldn’t surprise me.

    58. Derek says:

      [insert gratuitous Rangers joke here]
       
      Please don’t, they get upset…..

    59. theycan'tbeserious says:

      Scare today….debunked tomorrow! Nothing to see here…move on!! Just another day at the office!

    60. Richard says:

      @ericmac
       
      looks like it
      we might need to think about collating inputs from the other side. It is likely that they are using scripts as well as cover names. It could be a bit of a laugh cross posting answers to different papers 

    61. Richard says:

      @ericmac
      the top post on the page looks really close to the posts by the Slovenian in the Scotsman. While not verbatim close enough in content

    62. Ericmac says:

      @richard 

      Sickly patronising sarcasm is the trade mark. But I remember when she first started posting.  She was a pretending to be a casually interested party with no strong views.  

      Strange they have not appeared on WOS?  It would seem like a likely target.  Or has she been on here and I missed it?

    63. Richard says:

      @ericmac
       
      I challenged the Slovenian on the Scotsman. He worked hard to avoid saying that he was a no voter or he had no vote. The device about Slovenia is so they can throw the race card in to any disagreement. They have a couple of names usually a confection on something Scottish often with alba in it. the shadow for Jezerna appears to be robialba or somesuch. It might be worth capturing the key points and developing a cache of the arguments. at the moment, all I try to do is to bore the reader with as frequent and voluminous a post as possible. Most folk hardly read past the page with the article on it and I only want to push them from the front page as quick as I can

    64. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      @ Ericmac
       
      ‘The faux-Slovenian’ also had a wee turn on the Telegraph, usually on Cochranes slavers

    65. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Aye one of the monikers is abiesalba, which is the latin for European Silver Fir, so perhaps a passing knowledge of trees in their bag of tricks.

    66. Taranaich says:

      @Jill Parton: For example, the UK Government’s Positive for Youth document 10, published in December 2011, recognised that 99% of young people are responsible and hard-working, and want to make the most of their lives and make the world a better place. “
       
      That phrasing is extremely unnerving. Unsurprisingly we see “responsible” and “hard-working” appearing in a Tory document, but to see the state broadcaster using those very words to support their own way of doing things – in a statement where they speak of it not being “a matter for public policy to dictate to the press how they should talk about young people“. Do they realise how much of a puppet they look? “Of course the State Broadcaster is totally independent of the State, even the State agrees with us, don’t you agree, State?”
       
      What worries me even more is the implication of that 1% of children who aren’t “responsible” and “hard-working” according to that report. What happens to them? Do they deserve the same opportunity for unbiased media?

    67. Richard says:

      Massey in the times says that the YES campaign is about to turn nasty!! Does he know something we don’t?

    68. Taranaich says:

      Got to say Rev, this is some of the funniest writing you’ve come up with yet (in addition to the usual informative insight).  How fun you use Inverkip as an illustration: my friend stays at Loaf Cottage, across from the Hotel! (the only hotel)



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