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Lies piled on top of lies

Posted on December 15, 2012 by

Contrary to what might sometimes seem to be the case, we don’t much like attacking the Scottish media, particularly the self-styled “quality” end of the market. Any good democracy needs a free press to function, and with newspaper sales in freefall the economic model for proper investigative and analytical journalism faces the biggest challenge in its history. We criticise the press not because we want to destroy it, but because we want it to live, and more importantly to be worthy of that life.

There is much to cherish in the pages of the Herald and the Scotsman, even if some of it (including but not limited to Iain Macwhirter and Ian Bell in the Herald, and Ewan Crawford and George Kerevan in the Scotsman) is used to provide a figleaf of balance behind which the papers can hide their bias. But it’s impossible for the publications in question to credibly protest that bias in the light of weeks like the past one, when the Scottish and UK press has united around a campaign of what cannot be reasonably described as anything other than concerted, co-ordinated lying.

We’ve already documented the dishonesty of the almost-uniform claims made in the press about the European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso’s comments on the EU status of independent states. Yet despite the reality being widely disseminated across the internet for days, the print and broadcast media is blithely sticking to its own blatantly untrue spin, despite the European Commission itself issuing unequivocal clarification to the contrary.

Here, for example, is Severin Carrell in Thursday’s Guardian:

“Nicola Sturgeon has signalled that an independent Scotland could be forced to negotiate with the EU over the euro, border controls and keeping the UK’s rebate on EU funding.

The admissions came as the deputy first minister was accused by her opponents at Holyrood of backtracking over Scotland’s membership of the EU, as she noticeably she softened her stance on an independent Scotland’s “automatic” right to join the union.

Sturgeon had previously insisted that an independent Scotland would immediately take up EU membership and inherit all the UK’s existing opt-outs without any need to negotiate or reapply”

Had she? That claim, in fact, is a lie. Almost since the day it took power in 2007, the SNP has been on the record as unambiguously stating that “Negotiations would also be required concerning the terms of Scotland’s (and the rest of the United Kingdom’s) continuing membership of the European Union“, and Nicola Sturgeon has been Deputy First Minister for every moment of that time.

Here’s the Scotsman’s Tom Peterkin a day later on the same subject:

“Nicola Sturgeon has agreed an independent Scotland would have to renegotiate its share of the multi-billion-pound rebate the UK receives from the European Union each year. The Deputy First Minister made the concession on another bruising day for the SNP over Europe, which saw Ms Sturgeon admit talks would also have to be held on EU border controls and the single currency.”

Did it? We’ve published Ms Sturgeon’s entire speech here. If any reader can identify the passages of it which make such admissions, we’d be much obliged if they could point them out to us. Here’s what she actually said on border controls and the single currency, for example:

“We would not join the Euro until and unless it was in Scotland’s interests to do so and we had satisfied the conditions for doing so. And, just like Ireland, we would not enter Schengen but would instead look to co-operate with Ireland and the rest of the UK in the Common Travel Area.”

That doesn’t sound much like the admissions described by Tom Peterkin. It is, in fact, a direct assertion that Scotland would NOT join the single currency until such times as it chose to do so. And as for the rebate, the word “rebate” does not appear so much as a single time in Ms Sturgeon’s speech, nor is it referred to by her in any other terms. Nor even does the Herald’s report on the Parliamentary debate which followed the statement make a single reference to the rebate. Peterkin’s claim that Sturgeon “agreed an independent Scotland would have to renegotiate its share of the multi-billion-pound rebate the UK receives” is simply a complete, total fabrication.

As for the Herald itself, its hapless political editor Magnus Gardham – as attentive readers of this website might have anticipated – bowed to no-one in his determination to lay untruth upon untruth in today’s edition of the paper.

“Nicola Sturgeon’s statement on an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU marked a fundamental shift in the Nationalists’ position.

They have moved from asserting, as a statement of fact, that an independent Scotland would remain in the club on exactly the same terms as the UK to acknowledging that negotiations would be required not just on routine matters, such as the number of Scots MEPs sent to Strasbourg, but also on more sensitive issues, including the euro single currency, the Schengen free travel area and Britain’s budget rebate.”

While repeating Peterkin’s fabrication about the rebate, Gardham deserves credit for at least a measure of sly subtlety here. The mention of MEPs is in reference to another Scottish Government document, this time “Your Scotland Your Voice”, published in 2009. A passage of that white paper (section 8.12, “Scotland in Europe”) contains the sentence “Settling the details of European Union membership would take place in parallel to independence negotiations with the United Kingdom Government, and would cover areas such as number of MEPs and weight in the Council of Ministers.”

Gardham has chosen to present this sentence – 36 words in a 187-page document that runs to a total of just under 43,000, or approximately 0.08% – as detailing the entirety of the SNP’s proposed negotiations, when it’s plainly no such thing. But this extremely selective reporting enables Gardham to apply an atom-thin cosmetic veneer of fact to his misrepresentations. He goes on to assert:

“This weekend history is quietly and ruthlessly being re-written. ‘We’ve always accepted the need for negotiations,’ say SNP spin doctors. ‘There was no shift in our position.’ They’re confident that by the time Scotland votes in 2014 folk will have forgotten the whole sneaky-seismic-repositioning-on-EU-membership row from the back end of 2012.”

Yet the claim he puts in the words of “SNP spin doctors” is empirically, demonstrably true. The party HAS always accepted the need for negotiations on the EU. The phrase “Negotiations would also be required concerning the terms of Scotland’s continuing membership of the European Union” is extraordinarily difficult to misinterpret. Saying the exact same thing in 2012 that you were saying in 2007 is not, by any remotely sane assessment, a “sneaky seismic repositioning”. It is in fact the polar opposite.

Even the UK Prime Minister won’t stick to the “quality” papers’ line. In today’s edition of the humble, downmarket Scottish Sun – which does not back independence – David Cameron is reported quashing the continued insistence of the No camp that new members of the EU are forced to join the Euro.

“Joining the Euro is not compulsory even for countries who have no legal opt-out, David Cameron revealed yesterday. The PM’s admission is a blow for the anti-independence No campaign, who claim Scotland would be forced to sign up to the single currency as a condition of EU membership.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Cameron said: “Not all countries in the European Union will join the Euro. Britain has an absolute opt out. There is no obligation on us to join the Euro. But, I believe, there are other countries in the EU who have no immediate or longer than that prospects of joining the Euro and I think that is the important point.””

As much as this site believes in taking a fair and moderate stance (though we make no pretence of impartiality), there’s no point in sugar-coating the dishonesty of much of Scotland’s media. Severin Carrell, Tom Peterkin and Magnus Gardham are simply lying to their readers in the pieces quoted above. There isn’t any wiggle room for interpretation or opinion – the statements they’re making are provably, unquestionably false. We’ve supplied the incontrovertible factual evidence above, sourced and linked.

Many journalists get very prickly on social media when they’re accused of bias. And sometimes they have a legitimate point, as the slightly more paranoid end of the nationalist Twittersphere picks apart every last article and comment looking for slights that aren’t actually there. But it’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you, and for as long as Scotland’s journalists are prepared to put their names to lies, they can have no complaints when people call them liars.

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    1. 16 12 12 08:28

      It’s a Stramash | laidbackviews

    98 to “Lies piled on top of lies”

    1. ianbrotherhood says:

      Have any of the ‘journalists’ mentioned ever contributed to this or other blogs? Perhaps they’re not allowed to, or are loathe to part with their wisdom unless they’re getting paid – it would be nice to see one of them deign to acknowledge this discussion.

    2. Grahamski says:

      “The party HAS always accepted the need for negotiations.”

      Nicola Sturgeon: “An independent Scotland would automatically inherit EU membership on the same terms as the remainder of the UK” 

    3. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      A comment made in 2006, and therefore clearly superceded by the 2007 white paper, even if you were daft enough to take a Q&A answer as a complete and comprehensive policy statement in the first place.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/question_time/6046338.stm

      The same answer also gives the SNP’s position as being in favour of the Euro, a policy which has changed as events have changed. (If you need help understanding what a “policy” is, just ask.)

      Still, welcome Grahamski! Unlike your own, you’ll find this site not afraid of letting people comment. Can we assume you share your MP Eric Joyce’s view on the reality of Scottish membership of the EU, also featured here, given that you campaigned to get him elected?

      http://wingsland.podgamer.com/scots-would-remain-eu-citizens/

    4. G H Graham says:

      When will the penny drop?

      Eliminate these newspapers by refusing to buy their titles, visit their webpages and making comments about their content.

      When all their corrupt, lying journalists are on the dole and the titles are confined to research drawers at the Mitchell Library, the electorate can claim a victory for truth & justice.

      Reading their shite just prolongs the agony.  

    5. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Eliminate these newspapers by refusing to buy their titles, visit their webpages and making comments about their content.”

      As the piece points out right at the beginning: eliminating them isn’t the goal. We need newspapers. We want to throw out the dirty bathwater, not the baby.

    6. scottish_skier says:

      “The party HAS always accepted the need for negotiations.”

      Nicola Sturgeon: ”An independent Scotland would automatically inherit EU membership on the same terms as the remainder of the UK” 

      Newly independent Scotland (saltire) negotiates
      Newly created state of ‘Britain and N. Ireland’ (Red St. George’s and St. Patrick’s crosses on white?) renegotiates

      The second situation canny be any other way, not when 8.5% of your population, 1/3 of your landmass and a majority share of your maritime waters are gone.

      EU will be itching to see what it can do about the former UK rebate as the UKoGB no longer exits. Will need to cut the rUK MEPs etc too. rUK has no oil and has lost a great deal of its fisheries so won’t be able to e.g. use the latter to bargain anymore.

      Unless Westminster sort of tries to pretend nothing has happened, keeps the union flag and still calls itself ‘Great’ Britain. Meanwhile, everyone in the EU giggles behind their backs. te-he

    7. Grahamski says:

      Rev Stu, you claimed the SNP had ALWAYS accepted the need for negotiations.

      That’s just not true, is it? 

      Interesting you question the provenance of that quote yet peddle quarter of a century year old throw away remarks made to a newspaper as bona fide ‘legal opinion’…

    8. ayemachrihanish says:

      Rev Why the lies? Because of the latest nationalist PR gift. Unionists single handedly created the situation where NS stands up to formally addresses the Scottish Parliament and provides, for a genuinely interested in UK current affairs “World Media”, a brilliantly crafted (and delivered) executive summary of the factual position. Bypassing all immediate UK attempts to spin it otherwise.

      Suddenly, the unionists need the fog of black opp’s malice and major lies and liars! And if the truth was of any help to the them they would print it!!

      How do we solve the problem? Exactly as you are doing. Objectively point out the truth, publish. With social media, Never have so many citizen in Scotland had access to the facts of the alternative MSM position – so quickly and so candidly.
       
       

    9. redcliffe62 says:

      It is fair to say Sturgeon’s words and some previously on EU matters have been misinterpreted for a false impression.  I would like to buy the Scottish papers again but things like this stop me.
       
       I hope everyone gives Grahamski a fair go here. This is not the scotsman website and people should have different opinions. 

    10. scottish_skier says:

      @Grahamski

      You do appreciate that the EU issue will have no bearing whatsoever on the outcome of the referendum? If anything, an uppity EU is likely to encourage a Yes vote for very obvious reasons. It’s not as if Scotland is massively in love with the EU or anything and well, most countries in the world aren’t in it, notably the one many independence-minded Scots would like Scotland to look like, i.e. Norway.

      The fact that those in favour of the union seem unable to grasp the above only serves to reinforce the need for independence. I would like to be governed by politicians with at least an ounce of grey matter.

    11. maxstafford says:

      Grahamski. I think it’s a bit ironic a Londonist  coming on here to  lecture us about truth. When  the entire case for the Anschluss is based on falsehoods.

    12. maxstafford says:

      Sorry about the Godwin-esque term there Stu. The more I read though, the more it seems to me that’s just what it is.

    13. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Three points.
      1. Most people on the streets do not see the EU issue as a defining issue re our decision on independence. Scotland’s viability, in our out of the EU, is the issue. The unionists are wasting their time and energies in inventing convoluted lies about our EU position
      2. The SNP has always been aware of the reqirement to negotiate our terms of membership to the EU from INSIDE THE EU. Grahnamski and others appear to be unabel to get their heads rouns this very simple position.
      3.We now a have a useful catalogue of demonstrable lies, starting of course with the McCrone report, as a useful weapon in our armoury. I depends how we use these lies. Online is fine but still does not touch a huge section of our community. It cots around 6p/7p to physically produce an eight page tabloid newspaper. Four of five of these, well designed and distributed across Scotland opver the next year, each of them exposing  a huge lie or lies to which the Scots have been subjected would render anything the unionists say meaningless. If you retailed these at, say, 20p with a front page that made everybody want to buy a copy you’d get most of the money back

    14. Grahamski says:

      The entire case for the Anschluss was Hitler’s determination to unite who he saw as the German peoples.

      I’m not sure what this has got to do with fibbing.

      Londonist? 

    15. Grahamski says:

      Mr Skier

      This isn’t really about the EU specifically.

      It’s about the validity of SNP assertions.

      The more SNP claims are shown to be not completely grounded in fact the better for the Better campaign.

      This isn’t a sprint it’s a marathon.

      Neither side will deliver a knock out blow two years from the vote.

      What you are witnessing an exercise in undermining the SNP’s credibility.
       

    16. Juteman says:

      @Grahamski. In other words, the NO campaign only has negativity? No attempt to give us the positive case for the Union, simply try to undermine the SNP.

    17. Black_Douglas says:

      The Unionist mainstream media and Better Together coalition are doing their best to land a blow on the SNP over this.

      The truth is, their assertions have even less substance than the SNP’s who have remained consistent over Europe since at least 1993.

      Clearly the forces of the Britnats are grouping together because they sense blood.

      So far, they have proven nothing against the SNP and looked foolish, covert and shifty in the attempt.

      Rev Stu’s right, the so called quality Scottish newspapers need cleansed of the Unionist filth infecting the once noble profession of journalism. 

      Keep up the good work Rev. Your journalism is the kind of journalism we need to to see in Scotland; factual and substantive, insightful and honest. 

    18. Braco says:

      Grahamski, It seems very similar to the previous Holyrood oppositions ‘long term strategy’ of undermining the SNP’s credibility. You certainly seem to have convinced the majority of the MSM and National broadcasters (just as you had in 2008 etc..) but I am not so sure you are being any more successful with the voting public than your ‘strategy’ was shown to be in 2011. Sadly I suppose, like 2011, we will just have to wait and see. I know where my money is going though.

    19. Iain says:

      ‘What you are witnessing an exercise in undermining the SNP’s credibility.’
       
      Nae doot, no one expected anything else. However at which point of the marathon will the Better campaign (catchy) start sketching out the positive case for remainining within the union, i.e the actual ‘Better’ bit? Until that happens, they/you won’t have any credibility to undermine. Or are you hoping for a zero sum game:
      ‘We’ve shown you that the separatists are just as shyte as us, best stick with the shyte you know, eh?’

    20. Training Day says:

      @grahamski

      “What you are witnessing an exercise in undermining the SNP’s credibility.”

      Well, precisely.  Good of you to be so candid.  And a legitimate tactic were it based on facts, and were there an alternative constructive vision for the future of Scotland on offer.  However, all we’ve seen thus far is scaremongereing and smear, with nothing positive on offer from your ‘Better’ capaign’.   If that’s not the case, people on here will be all ears for your positive case for the Union, believe me, we’ve been waiting long enough for it.

      Incidentally, do the regular comparisons you make between Salmond and Mussolini enhance the debate or edify its participants?

    21. Eoin says:

      As a note on MEPs, I believe that the press are, in this case, attempting to exploit a lack of awareness throughout the UK of how the European Parliament actually works. The suggestion appears to be that, if the number of Scottish MEPs has to be re-negotiated, that Scotland will end up with less MEPs.

      This is untrue.

      The UK splits its European Parliament members into constituencies, with Scotland getting a total of 6 MEPs (out of the UK’s 72 as a whole). Since the UK is a large country (by EU standards), it has less seats per capita than smaller countries.

      In other words, as a smaller independent country, Scotland would be entitled to more MEPs than it gets now as part of the UK.

      Scotland would have a population of about 5.2m (migration each way might change that in the event of independence, but I’m not going to try to guess how that’ll work out, so I’ll just go by that number). The EU member with the closest population to that is Finland, with 5.4m. Finland has 13 MEPs. Ireland, with 4.6m people, has 12 MEPs.

      Scotland would therefore most likely have 12 or 13 MEPs, compared to the 6 it has now. In other words, the worst conceivable outcome of the renegotiated number of MEPs is for Scotland’s representation in the European Parliament to double.

    22. George says:

      A lot of what Nicola says is contradicted by the Lisbon Treaty which we would have to sign if we wanted to join the club. The Treaty is easily found by google search.
      The treaty has it as a condition that we will agree to eventually adopt the euro  and have open borders etc. So to make out like it’s up to Scotland to pick and choose what to do in the EU  is nonsense.
      Our powers of independence would be eliminated. We’d have an input in  a majority voting parliament ( 6 votes out of hundreds) but no input at the decision making end…the Commission…that’s unelected and is for Mandelson/ Clegg/Kinnock/Brittan type folk.
       

    23. TheGreatBaldo says:

      They’re confident that by the time Scotland votes in 2014 folk will have forgotten the whole sneaky-seismic-repositioning-on-EU-membership row from the back end of 2012.”

      Actually Magnus has a point….not the sneaky-seismic-repositioning nonsense…..but that come 2014 no one will give a flying toss about arguments about process.

      Alex Massie wrote a decent article about 6 months back where he divided Scotland into 2 tribes ‘The Murrayfield’ and ‘The Hampden’…..as you’d expect the the Murrayfield crowd is generally more affluent, reserved and will make more rational based on evidence and are generally Pro Union.

      The ‘Hampden’ side of the debate are by far the most numerous and by and large right now aren’t engaged in the debate and indeed probably won’t be until the final weeks in Autumn 2014……and nothin short of Alex Salmond doin FMQ’s lubed up in Marmite wearing a Mankini is going to change that.

      The only ones who are paying any attention to this are those buy the Scotsman/Herald who were/are highly unlikely to vote YES in the first place…Aul Magnus may be firing up the base as it where but I doubt he’s moved a single floating voter into the No Camp.

      I’d say the best analogy for the debate at the moment is like those battles fought between tunnelling companies below the trenches in World War One…..intense violent clashes that are a matter of life and death to those involved but the rest of the world knows almost nothing about them.  

       

    24. antmcg says:

      Eoin, just to add to your piece, Malta with 427,000 populations has I believe 6 MEPS now, the same we currently have… Kinda says where Westminster think we belong

    25. scottish_skier says:

      the more SNP claims are shown to be not completely grounded in fact the better for the Better campaign. What you are witnessing an exercise in undermining the SNP’s credibility.

      This kind of thinking is precisely why Scotland will leave the union in due course. The SNP’s credibility is not being undermined; at least only in the imagination of those who would seek to do this. They’ve been being undermined for decades now, yet look where we are.

      I know some definite ‘no’ voters. They are very, very, unhappy with the no-campaign’s treatment of the debate and their favoured party; the SNP. They might be persuaded to vote yes if it’s kept up.

      The only thing that can save the union is a positive case for it continuing. I’m not going to hold my breath.

    26. Iain says:

      @TheGreatBaldo
      ‘nothin short of Alex Salmond doin FMQ’s lubed up in Marmite wearing a Mankini is going to change that.’
       
      Ouch, I’ve just poked out my mind’s eye!

    27. muttley79 says:

      @Grahamski

      It’s about the validity of SNP assertions.

      Confirmation that the whole focus of the No campaign is on the SNP.  Not much of a surprise there.  It just allows other parties and groups within the Yes campaign to continue campaigning.  However, the problem for the No campaign is that their own assertions are frequently not valid.  Alistair Darling keeps on insisting that Scotland would be forced to join the Euro.  This is simply not the case, as other countries have proved.  Why he continues to make demonstrably untrue and false claims is a mystery.  The other major problem for the No campaign is that they have no vision for the future of Scotland, except one that involves continued dependence on the block grant.  This is getting continually cut by the Tories, who say austerity is continuing till at least 2018.  The poverty of aspiration of the No campaign is remarkable.

    28. scottish_skier says:

      Alistair Darling keeps on insisting that Scotland would be forced to join the Euro. 
      Unionists espousing such drivel are either of very low intelligence or lying. Any preference on these two with respect to being governed by them?
      The electorate are not fools. Very dangerous to treat them as such; they’ll bite you in the ass if given a chance. Unionists seem not to have learned this, despite many lessons.

    29. Dal Riata says:

      Sorry Stu, but going by what we have today I’d be glad if the newspaper press died tomorrow.

      Do we really have what is called a “free press”? What I see today is a Scottish and rUK press coordinating as one to impose its will on the voters of Scotland in an extremely biased, disingenuous and devious manner.

      Ever since it became accepted as fact that Scotland is actually going to have a referendum on independence in 2014 the printed press has forgone any semblance of balance. What is presented now as ‘news’ is nothing more than outright state propaganda.

      A “good democracy”? I have lived and worked in countries such as Mainland China and Myanmar (Burma) and what passes as ‘news’ there is pure propaganda, for the state and by the state. Increasingly, what I am witnessing here in Scotland and rUK is a shift towards that seen in those countries. It is disgraceful in a so-called first-world democracy.

      I will never buy a newspaper here again. (I have been more or less fully online for any news anyway for the last two years.) Many of my friends and aquaintances do not buy newspapers, be it for political reasons, going online, or not.

      No, the press in this country is not fit for purchase. Why should I, or anyone, unless of a BitNat bent, pay for those pieces of paper that are doing my country down, rubbishing us and our culture and immorally influencing the electorate with lies, scare-stories, misinformation and smear?

      Those ‘newspapers’ will not be forgiven for what they have done, are doing now and will, no doubt, continue to do until their rightful demise.

      Sympathy when they die? No way. As the Stones said, it would be sympathy for the devil. 

    30. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      A very important point – and why we have toexpose them as liars.
      Nobody likes to think they are silly enough to have been taken advantage of or “takin’ a len of” as they say in Glasgow.

    31. muttley79 says:

      @s_s

      Sometimes I wonder if Darling is stuck in a 1960s-1970s political time-machine, where Scotland does not have a Parliament, the SNP are a threat, but the first past the post system means any real chance of a genuine breakthrough is remote, and the media in Scotland is in health state, with quality publications like the Scotsman and the Glasgow Herald…Also, of course social media, blogs, and the internet do not exist and the McCrone Report has just been buried.

    32. scottish_skier says:

      Scotland is a human being, just one made up of ~5.2 million minds. She listens, inquires, decides and reacts just like a human being because that’s what a nation is; a collection of human beings – who in the end all behave in similar and predicable human ways – acting as one.
      If you treat a human with contempt; lie to them, mislead them, demean them, try to scare them, they’ll eventually decide they’ve had enough and want shot of you.
      In contrast, if you are polite to them, praise them for what they have done well, encourage them, give them hope and aspiration, they’ll warm to you.
      It’s not rocket science; not even psychology 101.

    33. Braco says:

      scottish_skier  yes, I have been struck at how unpatriotic (shall we say) the Scottish opposition seem to be sounding to the non tribal. In their eagerness to side with (even) a dreaded Euro bureaucrat to the detriment of perceived general Scottish interests in an attempt to simply injure a political rival. It really reminds me of the metamorphosis that the Scots Tories went through in the early 80’s, from being perceived to be basically a Party of politically wrong Scots (and forgivable) to a Party dedicated to politics detrimental to the general perceived good of Scotland (unforgivable). Once that subtle transformation occurred they were finished. I fear for Labour under these circumstances as they seem as blind to the process as the Tories were. This debate IS about Scots National Identity after all (whichever side you are on) but if any side is perceived to have strayed into the ‘generally detrimental to Scots interests’ zone then the Scots Tories are waiting for them on the other side.This is by definition a very difficult hole for the SNP to fall down as they are seen to have no other ‘lands abroad’ as it were, but the phenomena is so powerful that even they were partially susceptible to it. I refer of course, to the late 70’s and 80’s when the perception was successfully (but falsly) implanted that the SNP had allied with the Tories to the detriment of Scotland in simple political revenge (bringing down the Labour government and ushering in Thatcher) The SNP have totally recovered from that, but as I say, only as a result of them so obviously having absolutely no political ambitions except for those in Scotland, their actions since and the patent untruth of the claim in the first place. Never the less it was a long road.

    34. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Correction

      We will probably have around 13 or 14 votes  ….. but if you think having 6 votes is better than that I suspect you are in a minority of one.
      The EU is voluntary. We can negotiate withdrawal if that’s what we want.  No doubt that is exactly what we will do if we feel strongly about any policy the EU adopts that we don’t like. Of course, only after we are independent.
      Oddly to date only Greenland has exercised its right to negotiate withdrawal
      Several countiries have negotiated opt out of the EURO. One pretty close to home actually – and Sweden recently. 

    35. muttley79 says:

      @s_s

      So why can’t Darling and company not understand this?  Denial, arrogance, protection of power and status?

    36. Braco says:

      muttley, yes I think so.

    37. scottish_skier says:

      @muttley

      So why can’t Darling and company not understand this?  Denial, arrogance, protection of power and status?

      I’d venture to suggest, that bar a few who are aware of the problem with the no campaign and have said so explicitly (e.g. McLeish), in general the pro-union camp is rather bereft of those of real intellect and ability. It’s not as if advancement in pro-union parties has been based on merit of late anyway. Historically, there’s been no real need for this; Scotland always voted Labour to keep out the Tories after all. That’s changed now; been happening slowly for 60 years. The breaking point was 2007 but still the pro-union side failed to give it credence, presumably in part due to the above and the general arrogance you noted.

      In Darling’s case he’s just lying much of the time; something he’s really not that good at.

    38. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I’m terribly happy with Alistair Darling as the leader of the No campaign and hope he stays in that position. London doesn’t understand Scotland and Alistair, the epitome of the politician who rose without trace, does not have the political abilties to inform them better .
      I don’t think Alistair understands Scotland either, by the way, and he obviously believes that we are all stupid. It’s a feature of public school education.
       

    39. ianbrotherhood says:

      OT, but has anyone heard if the protest/demo in George Square went ahead? Wonder if anyone bothered turning up.

    40. pmcrek says:

      @ianbrotherhood

      Found this on youtube:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIsBxIAzo4o

      First comment sums it up really.

    41. maxstafford says:

      I doubt their mothers let them go.

    42. Luigi says:

      Another EU scare story favoured by unionists concerns the infamous rebate won by Thatcher all those years ago. “An independent Scotland would lose this rebate, don’t you know?”. Indeed. Well, I am not so sure this fabulous rebate is all it’s cracked up to be. It was secured at great cost. Apparently what the UK gains in rebate, she loses in regional funding. This is fine for a London-centric system, more control to use your rebate money in the city and south east, instead of directing EU money to the regions. The result of 20+ years rebate? An over-inflated London and deprived regions. Perhaps that is why poor Ireland now has an extensive orbital motorway system and, after 30 years, oil-rich Scotland is still waiting for the M8 to be completed.

    43. Juteman says:

      Did the Rangers bus stop on the way to Montrose?

    44. scottish_skier says:

      What do folk think the numbers are? Looks like 20,000 at least to me, possibly 1 million.

      Can’t find anything in the news. Wonder why. The first [unofficial] ‘pro-union’ rally after all.

    45. Bert says:

      Lord Leveson has us bloggers in his sights Rev and doesn’t agree with your appraisal of the msm…
       
      Electronic pub gossip’
      During a speech at the University of Melbourne, he insisted there was an important difference between mainstream journalists with “a powerful reputation for accuracy” and bloggers and tweeters who were “no more than electronic versions of pub gossip”.
      But, he said, there was a danger that a perception online competitors were operating without legal restraints could damage wider journalistic standards and “lead to journalists adopting an approach which was less than scrupulous in the pursuit of stories”.
      He said: “In order to steal a march on bloggers and tweeters, they might be tempted to cut corners, to break or at least bend the law to obtain information for stories or to infringe privacy improperly to the same end.
      “It may encourage unethical, and potentially, unlawful practices to get a story.
      “In a culture which sees some act with impunity in the face of the civil law, and the criminal law, a general decline in standards may arise.”
      It could also lead to some newspapers deciding to publish entirely online and moving abroad to avoid UK law, although this was unlikely in the near future, he added.
       
      link…
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20709366
       

    46. kininvie says:

      The MSM are as guilty of sins of ommission as they are of commission. Not one of them, in anything I’ve read, has picked up the ‘in principle’ in Barroso’s statement about rUK not having to renegotiate. Barroso has been careful to stress the hypothetical nature of his comments all along, and while the only doctrine he has to hand is that which refers to the secession of a ‘territory of a member state’, he has made it quite clear that he will not comment on a specific instance until asked for a legal opinion by a member state. You would never guess this from the way in which his comments have been reported.
      The ‘in principle’ is actually worth considering (and should have been considered by any responsible reportage). The message is that rUK’s position as automatic successor state is far from assured in practice. Its ultimate status will depend on how the EC’s legal department (which, according to Newsnet’s FOI request, currently holds no documents relating to Scottish Independence) interprets the Act of Union and any other relevant legislation. The EC (wisely) is not going to state the legal position until it is forced to by events. It has no need to, has no wish to, and probably has not started to get to grips with the arguments. You would be forgiven for assuming from the press reports that the opposite is the case, and that we now have a clear statement of fact.
      That’s maybe fair enough from the No campaign’s point of view. But the lack of precision in Barroso’s reply is something that people living in rUK should have been told more about. As I read it, their position is far from assured, and it may well be that the EC will seize upon their changed status to inisist on renegotiation – notably of the notorious rebate.
      This matters because it risks another element of the Yes campaign’s vision of what independence will look like – namely the smooth ‘best of neighbours’ relationship with rUK that will automatically (where have I heard that word before?) come to pass after independence. Current assumptions from south of the border would seem to be that the Scots can bugger off if they wish, and then life will go on as normal. But there’s a strong possibility that it won’t – and then you can bet that the Daily Mail and its ilk will unleash their bile on the ‘traitrous Scots’. After all, we’ve been there before – for many a long century prior to 1746 – and some things don’t change much…

    47. ianbrotherhood says:

      pmcrek –
      Thanks for that link.
      Here’s hoping the Police got right up close and personal with their video cameras (as they did prior to the recent STUC march) – no doubt a lot of these same characters will crop up at a variety of events over the next eighteen months. 

    48. AndrewFraeGovan says:

      @Luigi
      As I understand it, the rebate was basically a swap for our fish.

    49. Aplinal says:

      AFAIR the rebate was conditional on a deal on fish and CAP and most importantly NO call on the massive regional grants available (subject to matched Westminster funding).  This enabled Thatcher to “stand up to Europe” and the downsides were of course never raised by the complaint MSM.  As a consequence, as Luigi points out, most of the country outside the M25 enclave suffered from limited development.  It really was one of the most short-sighted “victories” in thatcher’s long list of the same.

      A Scottish government would do well to accept the costs of entry, and claim ALL the regional aid available. It makes sound economic and long term sense.

    50. Marcia says:

      scottish_skier
       
      10 million – how many from Northern part of Ireland?

    51. scottish_skier says:

      Incidentally, it’s interesting that STV show a union jack fraying and torn for the unionist protests story. I wonder if that’s intentional. Certainly symbolic.

    52. Bill C says:

      I am disappointed but not surprised that 600 turned up, as I suggested on another thread (on here) a few days ago these people should not be underestimated. The fact that this was organised on Facebook only adds to my concern, as the organisers were most probably young, amatuerish and with no long term plan. However the fact they put 600 on the streets of Glasgow is worrying. There will be older, much more experienced elements within loyalist groups, taking comfort comfort from today’s events. If a bunch of amateurish kids can organise 600 to assemble in George Square, it is not rocket science to imagine what numbers organised, experienced loyalists groups could produce.
      However, before I am accused of scaremongering, cowardice and being a prophet of doom, let me be clear, I am not suggesting that nationalists in any way cower in fear of these people, all I am saying is be aware that they do not play by the normal rules of politics. 

    53. Juteman says:

      @Bill C.
       Relax. 🙂

      Your previous posts seem a tad doom laden?

    54. scottish_skier says:

      @Bill C

      Better together will be begging loyalist unionists to stay at home. The latter are a knuckle dragging advert for Yes.

      Has the BBC covered today’s jack waving protests? I can’t see anything from them. But then that would not surprise me.

      ———–

      EDIT

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-20740200

      Icelandic president gives Scottish independence the general thumbs up.

    55. Craig P says:

      Not exactly MSM, but the Scottish Review is one of the few news sites I have time for. There is a bit of investigative journalism, food for thought comment (90% of the time) and the cynicism seems pretty evenly spread around all sides. It does seem to be the only place I’ve seen intelligent unionist commentators, anyway. 

    56. dadsarmy says:

      I’ve posted in the Guardian under an SC article: “Spin, Severin, spin”. And the posting remained. I did something similar in the Herald, removed, tried again and the second paragraph was moderated out, but leaving the first one. Strange.

      SC’s worst articles aren’t open for comment. He does write some ineresting stuff, however, and there’s never a shortage of “cybernats” to correct him. Sometimes he even acknowledges the correction , but doesn’t change the articel, and then repeats the same stuff later on in another article.

      What I’ve noticed though is an improvement in the behaviour of “cybernats” in the Guardian, Scotsman and Herald (though that was quite good anyway). I’ve also noticed a deterioration in the behaviour of “unionists”. Long may it continue!

      But thank God there’s nearly two years to go – surely plento of time for all biased media to become totally discredited in the eyes of the voting Scottish public. As for the Guardian, less than 10,000 readers in Scotland, Well, rUK readers will be kept in the dark – including about the vulnerability of the rUK post Scottish Independence. Which is perhaps, for the London based media, the real betrayal.

    57. Bill C says:

      @Juteman – Do not mean to be doom laden, just concerned for folks safety. Will do my best!

      @S_S – You are probably right, might be the best thing that could happen to the YES campaign.  

    58. Ronald Henderson says:

      I couldn’t give two hoots if all the so called ‘quality’ papers in Scotland went down the drain. I hope they do. I’ll go out and buy a bottle of 16 year old Isle of Jura malt whisky when the Scotsman newspaper ceases to be.
      In other circumstances and in other ages these papers and the lies they peddle would have been regarded as treacherous, and the people involved as treasonable. We simply do not need them.
      Upon their demise other decent newspapers will arise in a free Scotland. Their quality would be assured because of the instinctively fair attitudes of the Scottish people and the demand for honesty in our society.
      And as our people learn the benefits of life in a more honest culture, then the ‘red tops’ like the Sun and the Record will also slowly, but surely, drop below the horizon and finally, unlamented and unloved, drop off the edge into oblivion.
       
      16 year old Isle of Jura malt whisky…I can hardly wait.

    59. Jeannie says:

      Had a look at the footage of today’s demonstration at George Square.  What happened to the women?  Were they banned or something?  I could only see around 3 of them.

    60. Jeannie says:

      I can understand, to a certain degree, that some Scots have an emotional attachment to the idea of the United Kingdom.  I have an emotional attachment to Mr. Jeannie (but don’t tell him).  Should I become unable to make my own decisions, I have signed a Power of Attorney so that he can make decisions on my behalf. But that would only apply under extreme conditions.  Otherwise, I rejoice in my ability to make my own decisions in my own best interests.
      So what baffles me is, why has Scotland, a land rich in resources with a mature economy, Parliament, legal and educational systems and established civil service given what amounts to a Power of Attorney to the UK Government to make decisions on Scotland’s behalf when it is perfectly capable of making its own decisions in its own best interests? I just don’t get that.  It would be like me giving Mr. Jeannie Power of Attorney over me at a time when it is not appropriate.
      To those planning to vote No, I would ask, “Would you be willing to give Power of Attorney to your next of kin at a point in time when you are clearly able to run your own affairs?” If the answer to this question is “no”, then I have to ask why you are allowing this to happen at a national level at the present time and why you wish it to continue into the future.
      Don’t you think it’s time to take back control and exercise some responsibility?
       

    61. Dal Riata says:

      Check out this link to Trends in the Living Networks, a blog by Ross Dawson:

      Newspaper extinction timeline and Newspaper extinction timeline: key factors make for very fascinating reading indeed. Scottish and rUK ‘ newspapers extinct by 2019? Maybe. 

      @Ronald Henderson -Re that 16 year-old Isle of Jura malt whisky: Maybe only another 7 years and then it’ll be time  to open that bottle! …And cheers to that!!

      http://rossdawsonblog.com/weblog/archives/2010/10/launch_of_newsp.html

    62. Marcia says:

      S S

      Interesting that the President of Iceland would welcome an independent Scotland. Are we going to see other European countries giving their tuppence worth?

      Edit: His comments have upset some in the No camp.

    63. Marcia says:

      and before wishing you a good night here is a nice video for you all to watch

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdC6ib_USAg

      the youth seem to be a bit organised. 

    64. Bill C says:

      @Marcia- Now, that’s what I call a video. what a contrast to the neanderthal meeting posted by pmcrek earlier. Thanks for both.

    65. Dal Riata says:

      @dadsarmy

      I, too, often post BTL (when able to!) in response to the Guardian’s Voice-of-the-Union, “Scottish correspondent” Severin Carrell. His ‘articles’ are but just another scion of the biased, misinforming, smearing and lying, Scotland-vote-No-or-else, team GB MSM. Yes, he will occasionally put out a reasonable and fair article on a subject outwith politics – but when it is an article on Scottish politics he reverts to default pro-union, anti-independence mode each and every time. (Check out his musings on Twitter for evidence of his bias). Whenever there is a whiff of an SNP/Alex Salmond/etc. ‘gotcha’ he will regurgitate article after article on the same subject, no matter how many times his ‘economical with the truth’-isms are exposed BTL. It is propaganda masquerading as ‘journalism’ – sheer dishonesty and worthy of contempt.

      You say “cybernats” behaviour has improved in the Guardian. Maybe there has been the odd troll “cybernat” BTL, but the majority of respondents have, I believe,  always made, and continue to make, lucid and informative posts, with the likes of Sneekyboy aka Scott Minto completely destroying the lies and misinformation from ATL, as well as BTL with some brilliant posts.

      I do agree with you when you mention the deterioration of the ‘unionists’ postings. Apart from the usual hit-and-run trolls, the few remaining ‘regulars’ are veering ever more towards pure bile, outright lies and, on occasion, racism – a sure sign that they have lost the argument already.

      And finally. Previously CiF in the Guardian wasn’t perfect, but it was okay for those who wished to continue discussions and, on the whole, ignore the trolls. Now with their nesting system it has become, as was predicted and forewarned, utter crap! First-page loading, trolls galore with their one-line ‘quips’, comments going everywhere and discussion going nowhere does not make for a pleasant experience…Blinded by desperation for click-through rates. Ah well, if its a troll-fest they want they’re welcome to it. Just plain and simple commenting BTL, like we have here, will do me fine!

    66. douglas clark says:

       
      Bill C is such a wee apologist for the Unionist Case. Who’s against us would realy care?
       
      No we shouldn’t,
       
      Well not at least about Bill C’s chums. For they would love us, dearly but, sadly
       
      Seems to me that Bill C’s friends are not going to swing an independence vote, one way or the other.
       
      Seems to me that Bill C is speaking with forked tounge.

      Jusr saying, they have no wothwhile arguenent
       
       

       
      I suspect

    67. douglas clark says:

      Just to be clear, I think Bill C is a closet Unionist. Spreading fear and ‘recognition’ of the potential violence of the thick end of the enemy is completely daft. I am a member of the SNP and no-one will stop me from standing outside a polling station in 2014 encouraging you, dear reader, from doing the right thing.
       
      This is the pits of an arguement by Bill C.
       
      I am disgusted by it.
       
      It is anti-democratic nonsense.
       
      It is, if you will, worse than what the current ‘No’ campaign has offered.
       
      I think, me of little brain, that any attempt by the broader idea of the ‘No’ campaign to threaten us into a ‘No’ vote will be completely counter-productive. I think we are thrawn enough to see through threats to our democracy.
       
      So, Bill C is playing the afeard card, the one that has ‘too stupid’ on it’s face.
       
      Fuck that,
       
      Just saying

    68. douglas clark says:

      Is the swing vote, those that want independence, against those that don’t, going to come down to how ‘wee, stupid or inadaquate’ a shower of Belfast thugs can make us feel?
       
      I hope not.
       
      It would be my ‘last hurrah’ on any political forum. It would be a surrender to numptys, It would  be a surrender to lunacy.
       
      It is, apparently, what Bill C  fears or wants.

      That is frankly not what you or I, dear reader, wants. We are better that that,
       
      I rest my case,

    69. Stuart Black says:

      Hi Rev, just to back the bias from Gardham and the rest, the letter that I had published in yesterday’s Herald – starting “Clearly the SNP has always recognised the need for negotiations.” – had, predictably been edited, leaving out the reason for this claim. You will, of course recognise these words and where they came from.
      Your Political Editor wrote (Fresh doubt cast on SNP plans to keep the pound, 14/12/12):
      “…. Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday signalled a significant shift  (my emphasis in all cases) in the Scottish Government’s tone on the issue of Europe. She said an independent Scotland would have to negotiate with the E.U. on the euro, border controls and keeping a share of Britain’s cash rebate.”
       
      Contrast this with the Scottish government document ‘Choosing Scotland’s Future’ from 2007, which states (clause 3.18):
      Negotiations would also be required concerning the terms of Scotland’s (and the rest of the United Kingdom’s) continuing membership of the European Union and other international bodies to which Scotland currently belongs as a component nation of the United Kingdom.”
       
      And clause 3.21:
      “An independent Scotland would continue in the European Union and bear the burdens and fulfil the responsibilities of membership. Following negotiations on the detailed terms of membership, Scotland would be in a similar position to other European Union member states of a similar size.”
      Dropping this out serves two purposes, it avoids making Gardham look like a liar, and it then leaves my opening sentence looking like a bald assertion.

      Naively, I thought OK, constraints on space, etc, and posted the missing text in the comments below the letter, and also under Gardham’s Comment piece, as a refutation to the ubiquitous Gordon Robson’s mantras of ‘Lies, lies, infamy, rubbish, etc, ad nauseum, ad infinitum. Neither comment has been allowed on the site.

    70. Macart says:

      In terms of the press Rev. technology is the killer blow, its on its way out regardless. Your daily blah is going the way of the dodo. What could have and should have happened is a managed decline in terms of handover from print to digital ending in a teary eyed farewell as the lights in the last press hall went out. People should have been able to reminisce over the great memories of past images and stalwart editorial. What they are being left with is Leveson, lies, criminality, political manipulation, bitterness and a burning need to punish those who have mislead them for so long. The larger titles are moving online in an attempt to stay apace with change, the smaller, like old soldiers will simply fade away. There will always be a mainstream media even in digital form but the press itself (ink on paper) will soon be a thing of the past. Unless of course, like me, you work on the dark side of the force……. commercial. 😀

      As for the EU, perhaps its just me but I’ve always taken the SG stance to mean exactly what they said, negotiating Scotland’s new stance from within the EU would mean just that re negotiation of existing treaties. There is no mechanism for expelling Scotland or indeed the rest of the UK nations from the EU fold. A whole new set of EU rules would need to come into being. I certainly didn’t need lawyers, constitutional or otherwise, to tell me this simply common sense. Still I’d be happy in or out. This negotiation process is portrayed by bitter together as a time of great uncertainty, upheaval and terror. Oooooooooo scary, run away, run away 🙁

      Or we might consider it a time of opportunity perhaps? Common fisheries anyone? Realignment with northern european countries? Energy agreements? Re definition of territories (getting that line redrawn round Berwick comes to mind). To name but a few. This big scary uncertainty is also a time of great opportunity and could see great benefit to many coastal communities. The whole point of having the ability to negotiate for yourself is quite liberating I understand. An experience I’m quite looking forward to.

    71. Bill C says:

      @ douglas clerk – Douglas I have no wish to get into a slanging match with you. Suffice to say that I have been a member of the SNP for over forty years and I have never heard such intolerance of another members viewpoint. For the record, I am a Scottish nationalist, republican and socialist.

    72. Stui says:

      Slightly off topic but maybe interesting as part of the debate since there are some who have advocated EFTA for Scotland instead of EU. Headline in todays NZZ – main serious Swiss Sunday Paper – “EU verlangt von der Schweiz weitere Milliardenzahlung, with sub heading Brussel ist unzufrieden mit dem bilateralen Weg und stellt neue Forderungen”. Translated means EU asks further billion payment from Switzerland, Brussels is unhappy with the bilateral way and makes new demands”. My german is not great but i gather from the article that Swiss (and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) have been paying cohesion payments for the new EU countries such as Bulgaria and Rumania. These payments are to be expanded to include all 12 new states plus Greece Portugal and Spain hence the need for more money. Interesting for those who advocate EFTA for Scotland (including myself, gives me pause to think) to note that if you want to negotiate with Brussels it might be better to do it from the inside. Being in EFTA does not necessarily make you in a stronger position, you have to conform to EU laws so you can sell your products, you dont get a seat at the table and you have to pay anyways. Might also show that EU is increasingly short of money, makes the idea that Scotland would be kicked out ever more absurd. 

    73. Macart says:

      @Stui

      EFTA, EU, UN, Nato PfP all have one word in common for Scotland’s future… negotiation. Great word that, just like independence it means exactly what it says. Both mean choices to take and more importantly having the freedom to choose. Just having future hypotheticals to consider is a fairly liberating experience for Scots. Now just picture having the actual choice placed before you, as in say two years time. Then we get to actually do the fun stuff like negotiate who gets to keep the best china, where the nukes wind up, who gets the Sydney Devine album collection……? Better yet, we get to see which countries, not just in Europe, actually want to do business, welcome us with open arms, support us, want us to join their clubs.  

      Exciting stuff, more to look forward to than be afraid of I’d say. 

    74. douglas clark says:

      Bill C,
       
      If you are who you say you are, go out and convince your fellow socialists to vote ‘YES’. Don’t come on here and talk doom and gloom.

      For that appears to be your only forté

      I do not believe that we are as weak a movement as you claim. We will see the fascists and the unionists off our front lawn.

      Tanks – r – us.

      I am sick of your apologies / explanations of what the bad boys in the Unionist camp might do. You see 600 folk and you panic, apparently.

      I will repeat, God willing, I will stand outside a polling booth encouraging people to vote YES in 2014.

      What say you?

      It is ridiculous to think that you and I should agree, just because we have both got an SNP badge. Frankly you are scared of the opposition and I am not. If I was afeard of these idiots, what would be the point?
       
      I live in Glasgow, I know the enemy. I see them as trivial idiots.
       
      Please, Bill C, stop panicking,
       
      Even Glasgow will vote the right way.
       
      For this is not an election, it is a poll.
       
      Just saying.
       
      It would be better if you came across as less of a fear laden loyalist than an apparent SNP card holder.
       
      How does that work for you exactly?
       

    75. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Unionist plants in the SNP operate by attacking other members and creating discord.
      I will repeat that.
      Unionist plants in the SNP operate by attacking other members and creating discord.
      They pretend to be super Nats and very often cause division over some ” issue of principle”. Or they disparage the efforts of others or they tittle-tattle causing low level disruption at branch level.
      We’ve got them about here and I could point them out. I’ve been a member for 53 years and I have identified them in many eras and many areas.
      No doubt we have them on the blogs as well.

      While not entirely sharing Bill C fears I recognise them as entirely legitimate but I believe the Loyalist connection to the YES camp is probably helpful to us in the eyes of a majority of Scots. And it cetainly provides a bigger problem to the Better Together campaign than it does to the YES campaign. It will certainly move another community we have to convince to pondering whether they would like to be associated with the NO campaign and the Union Jack. 

    76. Bill C says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill – Dave you have been around a bit longer than me and your insight and experience is always helpful;  I have agreed with and enjoyed much of your commentary over the years. I thank you for your conditional support and suspect you are right with regard to the Loyalists being more helpful to the YES camp that the Bitter Together campaign.

    77. velofello says:

      BBC4 at 10pm tonight -Storeyville, The Other Irish Travellers might be interesting and shed some light on the Loyalists views.

      Careful how you go Jeannie on this sound mind and body stuff. several years back i watched an old and very infirm person being helped into the hotel bar. “I hope I’m gone before I become like that” I mused. ” You won’t know you are” replied a friend. Which of the two outcomes she ventured I didn’t care to enquire.

    78. douglas clark says:

      Dave McEwan Hill,
       
      I have read over your comment a couple of times. What, exactly, did you mean by it?

      If you are referring to me you are as wrong as wrong can be.

      As Bill C appears to take some comfort from your words I can only assume you meant it to be ambivalent.

      You both need to get a grip.

      You have both read too many spy stories.
       
      Whilst Labour had Militant, what is your evidence that the SNP has exprierienced a similar threat?

      It is complete and utter nonsense.

      What Bill C appears to fear is the Orange card. As it is already lost to us, we should take it on the chin and move on.

      I am unaware of any attempt by them to compromise the SNP via entryism.

      They are entitled to act democratically for what they believe in.

      As long as they do not cross any legal boundaries then they are no different from the rest of the ‘Better Together’ mob. In other words pretty pathetic.
       
       

    79. velofello says:

      Rev Stu: Interesting piece on Swiss article.  The EU discussion/dilemma is only now just started.
      One view, graphically expressed by ex-USA President Lynndon Johnston is ” Better inside the tent pissing out”(?), whether with full membership or EFTA. Although reading your info from the Swiss article it does read like a tariff in essence is imposed on EFTA countries, and being upped.
      But then as i have stated before countries cannot manufacture natural resources, you either have them or you don’t. So an independent Scotland outwith the EU doesn’t really need to be in the EU to market and sell her natural resources. There is demand. And an independent Scotland can also use these natural resources to provide low cost energy supplies to business within Scotland to offset any EU tariffs.
      A No vote and continuing ties to the UK is problematic. Our decision on whether to apply for EU membership or not will be lost to us. Should the UK decide to leave the EU we couldn’t and wouldn’t be permitted by Westminster to provide low cost energy supplies solely to Scotland to offset EU tariffs. The UK would gobble up the low cost supplies. Witness the tariff on energy supplies imposed by Offgen currently.
      I I’ve read somewhere of a strategy put forward by Boris Johnson is to create London as an offshore financial centre, handling, to use an expression, dirty money. Scotland would not benefit from this strategy.
      So our problem is that remaining with the UK we continue on pocket money and see our resources plundered by a dominant anti-EU partner, and if the UK leaves the EU we couldn’t apply a low cost energy supply strategy. 
      By severing our ties with the UK we can remain outwith Europe and run a low energy cost  economy;or we can apply for EU membership based on the better inside the tent philosophy; or EFTA membership accepting the tariffs applied by the EU.  
       

    80. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I’m sure most people will understand that my post suggests we should be on our guard against intemporate and personlised attacks on our own supporters as this is a tactic very often used by our enemies hiding among us.
      What did you think it meant? 

    81. Derick fae Yell says:

      Succinct and to the point Dave McEwan Hill.

    82. douglas clark says:

      Whilst I am persuaded that you both have the interests of independence at heart, I am less than impressed with the scaremongering that you both advocate. Your own post at 12:00pm repeats the mantra that:
       
      “Unionist plants in the SNP operate by attacking other members and creating discord.”
       
      Twice.
       
      You go on to say that Bill C’s fears are entirely legitimate.
       
      Evidence please. You can undoubtedly point to cases where people have been expelled for carrying a false flag. At the moment I am unaware of any such case.
       
      For I have not encountered that in my far shorter time in the SNP and I strongly resent the implication that calling someone to account for that is wrongheaded. Who is at fault here? You with unattributed claims of entryism or me because I am not convinced by them?
       
      Without good and reliable evidence I fear that the two of you are doing more damage to the cause than I am by challenging you both. There are details of SNP policy that I disagree with, but this is a deliberate attack by you on the membership at large. Because, by implication, there are none as pure as you. Frankly, you should have thought a bit more before putting pen to paper.
       
      That is what I took from your post.
       

    83. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Eh?

    84. douglas clark says:

      Try reading it again. It is not difficult.

    85. cynicalHighlander says:

      ‘Reds under the bed!’ be aware but not paranoid please as we went through that in the sixties.

    86. Bill C says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill – As I said earlier, “I have agreed with and enjoyed much of your commentary over the years”. As our ‘friends’ down Ibrox way sing, “Simply the Best”.

    87. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Anybody who  believes the SNP is not routinely infiltrated is very naive indeed.
      I’d be very disappoined indeed if the British Government wasn’t up to the mark in that. What am I paying my taxes for? 
      All political parties, all trade union and most civic institutions are under continued examination and assessment . I could give chapter and verse on the incidents establishing this in my half century of political activism. The Labour Party used to be particularly infected but as it’s now fully on board with the establishment probably less so.
      Perhaps a readfing of “The Troubles”  by Ulick O’Connor would be instructive or a viewing of the Finnucane disgrace in NI. 

    88. Les Wilson says:

      As I have come to expect here, it is an excellent report.

      I guess we all are fed up to the teeth with the  lying MSM, but as ever “what can we do about it?” is there really no authority we can ask to look at all this?

      There is a conspiracy of the worst kind against the wishes of the Scottish people, it is something that Putin himself would be proud of. It is everywhere, tv, radio, newspapers, and Unionists of all persuasions. 

      They will not hear of the word bias directed at them, yet spill it out every day.
      Until we have a way to address the problem, we will be on the back foot and Independence might be stolen from us, yet again.         

    89. Bill C says:

      @Les Wilson – Total agreement, the democratic process in Scotland is being undermined on a daily basis, not least by our so called ‘national broadcaster’.  I wish someone could come up with a strategy  to counter the smears. distortions and lies.

    90. dadsarmy says:

      So I guess it’s a bad idea if I say I don’t think the SNP is perfect then …

      There was a good article by Kevin McKenna on Guardian today, one of the best I’ve seen on the EU. It opened a lot of questions, and there were some interesting posts, including from a Norwegian who’d been on the NO campaign for Norway’s EU referendums in 1972 and 1994. It seems that it’s their two main government parties that just dumbly implement EU rules, but that they can opt out – it’s in the contract. EFTA also excludes Ag & Fish.

      A very interesting claim by this poster is that if Norway left the EEA, the WTO rules would forbid the EU from making any trade restrictions on Norway.

      This is of interest both in case Scotland doesn’t inherit EU membership or votes to leave, and also and particularly the Unionist claim that the rUK would shut down trade with Scotland. It’s not just the EU that prevents that – it’s the WTO.

      That would need verifying though.

    91. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I don’t think anybody thinks the SNP is perfect
      It’s better than all the rest, however

    92. Vronsky says:

      The idea of a new newspaper is interesting.  In supermarkets the newspapers are usually arranged on an island table so that all the front pages are displayed.  I take a walk around the table just checking the headlines, gauging the temperature of today’s Unionist attack.  Most people never buy newspapers, hence of course their present travails,  and  I’m sure the newspapers realise this.  They know that there is no need to justify on inner pages the muck they have spread across their front page – few will see it. 
      So there is no need for the Yes campaign to produce its own newspaper – just a front page will do, displayed alongside the others. I’ve actually considered printing one myself  and placing it on the stand at Morrisons to see how long I could get away with it.  Just imagine if we could get a sensational, pro-indpendence, 72-point headline blazing from every newstand  every morning – if only for half an hour until the store manager spotted it. 

    93. Kenny Campbell says:

      The British state will continue to try to hold onto Scotland as long as the natural resources seem to be required. There will be no easy escape.

    94. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Good points, Vronsky

      But it only costs aroud 6p or 7p to physically produce an eight page tabloid and I’ve done so on eight occasions, distributing one to every home in this constituency.
      As you point out the front page is the most important. If you were to produce a front page that made everybody want to buy it youc ould easily sell them at 20p and get most of your money back on a national distribution through the usual retail outlets

    95. Davy says:

      Fit is their to be feart o, the MSM and BBC fabricating negative stories about Scotland ? fits new, and about six hundred unionist folk gather in George Square at the wk-end to hae a protest !!! you will get as much folk at a Broch Highland league game at hame on a Saturday. 

      So lets stop the scare mongering folks and leave that to the unionist bettertogether lot, its the only thing they have to offer. Instead show the positive face of Scotland, the Scotland that knows there are Nae Limits to what we can achieve, I dont see Alex Salmond and our SNP government wringing their hands about Scotland prospects.

      So nae mare feartie stories, instead promote yersels and promote Scotland, you deserve it.

      Alba Gu snooker loopy!   

    96. Vronsky says:

      “Just imagine if we could get a sensational, pro-independence, 72-point headline blazing from every newstand  every morning – if only for half an hour until the store manager spotted it. ”
      That (I now realise, after two beers) was a serious suggestion.  I’ve been trying to talk myself into it for a while.  Think globally, act locally.  It’ just a a kind of graffiti – politics as art.  Goes back to Pompeii, so it does.
      Stand down.  I’ll do it myself, and report back.

      http://tinyurl.com/bnku9fn

    97. abigdoob says:

      Like Yes supporters are being currently, Celtic fans were for years accused of paranoia with regards to their views of media & regulatory bodies bias in favour of the other half of the defunct Old Firm.
      We know how that panned out. 



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