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Wings Over Scotland

Man bites duck

Posted on July 14, 2013 by

The Times got rather huffy with Alex Salmond this week, when in a speech at a Nigg engineering yard the First Minister made the not-entirely-controversial suggestion (or in the Times’ view, “an unprecedented attack”) that the Scottish and UK printed press was biased against the independence movement.


(Or, as the irony-bereft paper impartially put it, “him and his plans for separation”.)

So we had a quick check through the archives (via the kindly reader who sends us such things) for stories about Scottish politics run by the Times in June alone.


We wouldn’t be so ungentlemanly as to impugn the editorial integrity of the good people at the Times, of course. We’re sure they regard each of the articles above as a legitimate and fairly-reported news story, and the complaint as a badge of honour.

Readers can decide for themselves what that list walks like and quacks like.

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73 to “Man bites duck”

  1. Juteman says:

    Even the headline is wrong!

  2. Ray says:

    I stopped reading the Times when I moved, and won’t pay for it online. By looks of above I’m not missing much, many of those headlines are harsher than those of the Telegraph!

  3. Macart says:

    And they’re surprised we actually noticed? 🙂

  4. Murray McCallum says:

    Trying to look at it objectively (honest), what stands out is the simplicity and crassness of the negative stories.  Seems to be no new angle or exploration of the simplistic scaremongering by the Times.  All very lazy page fillers.  I wonder if the people compiling the paper have a bit of a laugh about the articles?
    These stories are hurting the No campaign.

  5. Atypical_Scot says:

    Is there anything coming from south of the border that can stand scrutiny on this, such a profound subject?

  6. dee says:

    Why do they think the statement from AS is so outrageous. Just listened to Radio Scotland this morning and the debate has descended into farce.  It was like a Better Together love-in.  Still hoarse from shouting at the radio, not a good thing to do first thing on a Sunday. But you get my point.

  7. HandandShrimp says:

    If The Times can’t look over their own headlines and see how they lean then they are in De Nile up to their necks. As for Cockers frequently deranged pieces, he is leading a one man war against the SNP and devolution never mind independence. The Mail? Let’s not go there.
    Salmond bites duck and duck said Quack

  8. kininvie says:

    A wee song to calm you down…. (with thanks to Yes Inverness)


  9. HandandShrimp says:

    I take it it was the replacement for Newsweek that you are talking about. I started off listening. It wasn’t too contentious but I got bored and switched off about 9.30. It doesn’t have the sparkle that Derek’s show had.

  10. setondene says:

    My brother, who lives near Cambridge, reads the Times and believes this crap.

  11. Hetty says:

    It’s the Michael Gove quote that’s got me worried, his poor kids.
    I mean he does seem to be from another planet, and living on one as well.
    Or is that just wishful thinking.

  12. HandandShrimp says:

    People buy newspapers to confirm their prejudices not to be informed.

  13. Atypical_Scot says:

    People buy newspapers for the second, third and fourth uses of the medium.

  14. DougtheDug says:

    I suppose in fairness to the English press they do not believe that they are biased.
    The idea of breaking up the 1000 year old nation of Britain is so ludicrous that it has to be reported in those terms and since the SNP and the independence movement is a one man band started, run and maintained by Alex Salmond who is therefore power mad and dangerous that has to be reported too.
    The Scottish press just fear being Scottish, or more accurately, being non-English.

  15. Graeme Purves says:

    British Empire Loyalist, Angus Macleod, had a predictable hissy fit about Salmon’s comments on the dead wood press on the sadly diminished Newsweek Scotland yesterday.  Without Derek Bateman, Newsweek is just too boring to be bothered with.  I won’t tune in again.

  16. Dorothy Devine says:

    And that HandandShrimp is why I stopped reading them – sadly I have yet to persuade my even more luddite husband to do the same ,he could read Wings, Newsnet ,National Collective and many, many more but he likes the physical paper.
    That said he does mutter ” rubbish” every now and then as he peruses the Herald – one day he’ll yell “RUBBISH” and that will be the end of that!

  17. Dal Riata says:

    The UK MSM is an undemocratic farce of mis/disinformation, fearmongering, FUD and lies (and not only regarding Scotland and its independence). They are unfit for purpose. The day the last of these so-called newspapers declares themselves bust will be a great day for society, rid of the damage they have inflicted upon it for far too long.
    The BBC in Scotland is also unfit for purpose. An independent Scotland with is own dedicated television service focusing on Scotland, with other programmes brought under licence from other broadcasters worldwide as need be is the way forward.

  18. Jeannie says:

    Great wee song.  Thanks for that – I’ve put it on Facebook and Twitter.

  19. G. Campbell says:

    Bloke does paper review every Saturday on Good Morning Scotland. Bloke brings up ‘Salmond attacks press’ story in Times Scottish edition. Bloke says Salmond is “desperate” and blames Yes Scotland for its lack of impact. Bloke reviewing papers is Angus “we’re a Unionist newspaper” Macleod, Scottish Editor of The Times. Universe collapses in on itself.

    at 37:38

  20. Adrian B says:

    Sorry for going O/T, there is a humorous piece over on Newsnet that is well worth a read.

    “The Better Together sweetie shop consists of a forlorn and dusty shelf bearing a pot of Labour’s own-brand invisible jam, some tatty royal memorabilia, and a collection of VHS tapes about famous British military victories narrated by David Starkey.”

  21. Vambomarbeleye says:

    The vast majority of the news papers have lost their purpose since the invention of toilet paper.
    I used to buy the scotsman for the sole reason that it fitted across the fire place to draw up the fire. Could usualy make a paper last around a year.
    Can anyone come up with a list of the papers and their political leanings.

  22. muttley79 says:

    Richard Bath’s column on the back page of the sports of the SoS is ‘interesting’ today.  Here is a flavour:
    ‘Which brings me to last Sunday when a Maxwell-sized shiver ran up my spine as Alex Salmond unfurled the saltire on centre court at Wimbledon.  It’s too easy to get hot and bothered over his unstatesmanlike and toe-curlingly crass behaviour, but what really did matter was the fact that he was saying”look at me” when our attention should have been reserved exclusively for Andy Murray.’
    It goes on in the same vein throughout.  The ‘Maxwell’ reference is to Robert Maxwell.  Me thinks Richard Bath is a British Nationalist, and yet another Scottish cringer. 

  23. handclapping says:

    The Times is right, its Salmond whose quakers. The consequences for their readers, who believe that everything they need to know is bounded by Highgate, Stratford, Clapham Common and Heathrow i.e. not broad minded enough to extend as far as inside the M25, are so extreme as to be a mental health risk for them. This risk, as a Lupert journal and therefore an upholder of the status quo, they could not possibly take so they have to ignore the possibility and keep their readers sane by denying them any knowledge of what is happening in Scotland other than the state of the moors prior to the Glorious Twelfth and the results of the (Burntisland – who?) Braemar Highland Games. /*end irony*/
    My sister reads the Times and is becoming sceptical of BT’s claims. 🙂

  24. handclapping says:

    O/T The Burntisland Games are tomorrow, Monday 15, and there’ll be a Yes stall.

  25. HandandShrimp says:

    If hacks like Bath really cared about focussing on Murray they wouldn’t keep going on about 3 seconds of the Scottish flag on TV. They don’t care about Murray’s victory as much as they care about pushing their own wee Unionist line. Mind you I haven’t bought a SoS in years.

  26. muttley79 says:

    I get the distinct impression that they do not like the Saltire flag.  So much for being proud Scots…
    On another subject: has anyone read Kevin McKenna’s article in the Observer today?  Says that there is concern over the performance of the Yes campaign.

  27. bruce hosie says:

    The reason they are upset is they don’t like the truth because they never actually report it.

  28. HandandShrimp says:

    Yes, I saw that article. On balance it is not a bad piece and gives a good cover over the major issues. Kevin thinks the Yes campaign has not taken off but he does note that the SNP were languising in the polls in 2010 and stormed through in 2011 so did hedge his bets.
    Comments not allowed yet I see. I think the usual suspects on the No side will have more gripes than those of us on the Yes side if they do allow comments though.

  29. Famous15 says:

    Alex Salmond at Nigg was kind to the BBC in saying that they were not so much biased but did  repeat what the biased print press said and used their commentators. Radio this morning was a brilliant example…a range of hacks with one opinion. Many Tories and Unionist fellow travellers are frankly unable to comprehend that there is another view of the world outside their isolationist bubble. Vote YES to preserve your sanity!

  30. seoc says:

    Completely off topic, my sincere apologies.
    Does anyone have news of the campaign for a Scottish Domain? I’d heard .Scot was requested.

  31. Linda's back says:

    One silver lining in to-day’s Sunday times
    THE comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli has moved back to Scotland to “bang the drum for independence”.
    The 44-year-old broadcaster, who has written and appeared in comedy programmes and documentaries, has been based in London for almost two decades.
    However, the former Celebrity MasterChef finalist has returned to the land where he was raised to play a high-profile role in the Yes campaign.
    The secular Sikh Glaswegian said: “I’ve come home to beat the drum for independence. It’s not about creating a country but about restoring a nation.
    “What are we scared of? We were one of the leading nations in the world until 1707.”
    The Glasgow University law graduate said he was convinced Scotland was not getting a fair deal from the current constitutional settlement.

  32. Seanair says:

    I sent an e-mail to the website for a Scottish domain but got the disappointing reply that this is not likely now until 2014 or2015 (probably the latter).
    Decided in the US of course so we have no input.

  33. Gordon Hay says:

    A bitty O/T, but I don’t know whether to be amused, flattered or concerned that SoS have printed a comment I posted on-line a fortnight ago to a E McColm article on today’s letters page, purportedly sent by me by email, which it wasn’t.
    I can’t be bothered going through the comments T&C’s to see if we actually sign up for that by commenting, but surely they have more letters to choose from than have to resort to this?
    Or are they setting me up for something next week – moi, paranoid?

  34. David McCann says:

    RE Richard Bath. What do you expect from the editor of Scottish Field. A unionist to his bootstraps! He is never  happier than when hobnobbing with the toffs!

  35. roboscot says:

    A top level domain will come eventually. I think the dotScot people are just a way back in the queue. It seems the policy has changed on top level domain names from being highly restrictive to accepting any reasonable and credible proposal. The Scottish Government support the dotScot bid. The earlier LabLib Scottish Executive refused support. 

  36. Morag says:

    If hacks like Bath really cared about focussing on Murray they wouldn’t keep going on about 3 seconds of the Scottish flag on TV. They don’t care about Murray’s victory as much as they care about pushing their own wee Unionist line. Mind you I haven’t bought a SoS in years.

    Loads of people at Wimbledon were waving saltires last week, precisely to show their support for Andy Murray.  The BBC showed quite a few of them, also quite a few people waving union flags in what appeared to be a similar spirit.  When Alex and Moira waved their saltire quite far on into the presentation ceremony, the BBC camera cut TO them for a moment, as part of the general fast-cut collage of the crowd they were doing at the time.  (Having watched the whole thing, I do not believe the BBC was malign in any way in this matter.)

    This was entirely innocent, and seemed to be shown by the BBC in that spirit.  Just another little bit of fun colour during the celebrations.  The subsequent brouhaha is absolutely preposterous.

    By the way, isn’t Moira looking great?

  37. The Man in the Jar says:

    Oh what I would give to be a fly on the wall in 431 days time. Just to see the expressions on the faces of the hacks and those that comment negatively in their chip wrapper papers when the result of the referendum is announced as a great big Yes! Oh the wailing and gnashing of teeth will be audible from the top of Ben Nevis. That is if it is not drowned out by the sound of Scots laughing!

  38. Shinty says:

    Man in the Jar
    Will we worth watching the girnin’ faces at Pacific Quay as the votes come in.

  39. Big Jock says:

    I just treat the media in this country like the propaganda machine of the Third Reich in world war two. I go in and out for a laugh but come here for proper journalism not state sponsored lies and disinformation.Shame on you all Scottish media.The first thing you are supposed to learn in journalism news reporting, is to report the news not invent it or only give one side of a story because it suits your agenda.

  40. The Man in the Jar says:

    As my Mother used to say. “They’ll be laughing on the other side of their faces” No I never understood it either. 🙂

  41. CameronB says:

    @ The Man in the Jar
    The side of your face which will be laughing, will not be the side your mother is about to take her hand off?

    Re. list of complaints. Is that it? etc., etc.

  42. Les Wilson says:

    Stu,you are right I too am amazed it is so short.
    O/T I read during the week that a tv pundit had mentioned the UK arsenal ( aka US !) be held at the French nuclear facility in Brittany. I just would like to point out a few parallels with Brittany and Scotland.
    Brittany was the last region to be absorbed into greater France, many Bretons do not consider themselves French, even now. Many feel insulted if they are called French. They are also  Celts, and hold an affinity with Scotland,Ireland,and Wales in this regard, and with Cornwall.
    The French sited their Nuclear arsenal around Brest, which is as far away from Paris as they could practically have them. Bretons it seems are expendable just  as Scots are.
    However, to site UK nuclear weapons there would possibly be a good move for rUK as they will not be too far out of reach,only a short sea crossing.
    Still, having had a house in Brittany for 5 years I have grown to know the Bretons quite a bit, and they are a very vocal people and would, I am sure, not take kindly to UK nuclear weapons being in their midst. These people have farmers dump tons of earth on access roads to supermarkets over the price of milk! Who knows what they would come up with to prevent the siting of these weapons anywhere near them.
    So in the main they are very like Scots in many ways ( maybe we would not blockade supermarkets over milk, but it does show how determined they are).
    The parallel between Paris- Brest,  and Glasgow- London,is absolutely the same scenario, carried out  by governments to protect their own interests not the interests of the native people.

  43. seoc says:

    seanair & robscot.
    Many thanks for the updates.
    “”Me thinks Richard Bath is a British Nationalist.””

    As there is no ‘British’ Nation – there can be no ‘British Nationalists. 
    Perhaps ‘british tribalist’ is their highest pinnacle

  44. Peter says:

       I remember the 1986 Commonwealth games being ruined by the actions of the britnats.  The lovely better together government that gave Edinburgh precisely £0:00 towards the event and the labour scumbags who got their corrupt donor involved.
       Anybody who is ashamed of the national flag should either emigrate or be taken out into the street and shot. A fitting end to a bloodsports junkie that would be.

  45. Jiggsbro says:

    As there is no ‘British’ Nation
    Remind me: why are we bothering with this independence referendum?

  46. scottish_skier says:

    Brittany was the last region to be absorbed into greater France, many Bretons do not consider themselves French, even now. 

    They’ll also come and play the pipes at your wedding wearing kilts.


    Mrs SS is of part Brittany origins and we had our wedding in Normandie.

    Off to Benoded (Benodet) on hols again soon with my ‘foreigner’ wife and half ‘foreigner’ kid. We’ll be seeing a few of my ‘foreigner’ family, eating ‘foreign’ food and lying on ‘foreign’ beaches (just in case e.g. Alastair Darling is reading).

  47. handclapping says:

    Like the stake in the heart, just to make sure.  🙂

  48. CameronB says:

    @ Jiggsbro
    I’m a bit confused over this one as well. I though Britain was a unified state (as was the former USSR), comprised of sovereign nations (namely Scotland and England).

  49. The Man in the Jar says:

    Talking about “foreigners” playing bagpipes may I recommend this video by Hevia a Spanish piper, beautiful!

  50. scottish_skier says:

    Nobody has a British birth certificate. There’s isn’t such a thing (as far as I’m aware – my own has me as born in Scotland with no mention of Britain).

    That’s why the only significant grouping to state ‘British’ as their (primary) nationality are immigrants; specifically immigrants to England who feel they are not allowed to be English as that’s reserved for white ‘indigenous’ people.

  51. Jiggsbro says:

    Nobody has a British birth certificate.
    But many people have a UK birth certificate and many people refer to the UK as Britain. There’s quite a significant crossover between those two groups, which means many people think they have a British birth certificate. And they’re right.

  52. Frazer Allan Whyte says:

    To be fair –  Hague’s claim that a “split” would reduce Britain’s world influence is both true and an extremely positive development. Any reduction in the damage done by Westminster’s Empire hypnotized would-be warmongers would be a good thing and alone the lives saved  would justify a “yes” vote.
    A bit OT but a comment in the Guardian yesterday suggested a really good solution to the Faslane trouble. On independence, Scotland could claim ALL fUK weapons on her soil and then put the wretched things out of commission permanently – now that would be a real signal to the world of what freedom means to Scotland.

  53. scottish_skier says:

    But many people have a UK birth certificate.

    Really? I honestly haven’t seen one of these. Do you have an example? Which GRO issued it? Does is mention ‘Britain’ or the ‘UK’ somewhere?

    From my birth certificate (1976) there’s no mention of Britain or the UK at all. I was clearly registered as being born in Scotland. My 5 year old’s certificate is the same with a nice thistle watermark; no mention of the UK nor Britain, only that she was registered as being born in Scotland.

    My French marriage certificate (Mrs SS and I married there) says I’m Scottish as are my parents. My Scottish marriage Certificate also doesn’t mention the UK or Britain, just Scotland.

    I may have British Union citizenship due to being Scottish, but legally, both here and abroad (at least with respect to France), my nationality is Scottish.

  54. scottish_skier says:

    Note that someone’s choice of national identity is their own as far as I’m concerned. I could say I felt Euro-Russian (and hope for a union of all countries under this umbrella into one nation) but that doesn’t make it a legally existing nationality.
    However, legally, people born in the UK are born Scottish, English/Welsh or Northern Irish. They all get British citizenship as part of that, however if they travel to e.g. Europe, legally their nationality would be from the country (legal jurisdiction) they were born in (as I understand it) unless they have decided to become a national of another country. Thus as per my marriage, the French legally consider me Scottish just as they’ll consider someone from Northern Ireland Northern Irish, not British.
    Not sure how it works globally, but I’d be very interested if any country in the world did actually consider ‘British’ as a nationality for legal purposes.

  55. AnneDon says:

    My sister lives in London;  she and her husband read The Times and The Sunday Times. Even before indyref, I tried to convince her to balance things. Their coverage of anything that doesn’t directly impact posh North Londoners is varies from non-existent to woeful, via patronising.
    Actually, its like most of the MSM in that.

  56. Currywurst says:

    “Not sure how it works globally, but I’d be very interested if any country in the world did actually consider ‘British’ as a nationality for legal purposes.”
    Er, try having a look at what’s on your passport under “Nationality”.

  57. CameronB says:

    @ Currywurst
    A passport is an optional document which one can buy if one wishes to go abroad. A national identity is something you are born with, or can choose to adopt. Keep up.

    P.S. I do not currently have a passport. Does that make me nation-less?

  58. AlexMcI says:

    @cameron b. don’t worry mate, you will be able to apply for one soon without feeling a sense of shame .

  59. CameronB says:

    @ AlexMcI

  60. Currywurst says:

    “P.S. I do not currently have a passport. Does that make me nation-less?”
    No, Just sad.

  61. CameronB says:

    @ Currywurst
    Why sad? Is possession of a passport an indication of my self-worth, or significance as a human being? Or is it some panacea to untold joy and fulfillment. Anyway, as AlexMcl suggests, I will hopefully be able to buy a Scottish passport soon, which won’t come with added imperialist baggage.
    You are not even attempting to debate.

  62. Patrick Roden says:

    My Passport says  United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. But inside it says place of birth…Dundee.
    It then makes the request to:
    ‘allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be required’
    So it looks more like a document that is used for citizens of all the nations who are United into the United Kingdom to pass through foreign ports legally and safely and nothing to do with showing if you are Scottish / English or whatever.
    it’s a travel pass. the information it contains is simply to make sure you are not using someone else’s travel pass.

  63. john king says:

    so how’s the duck doin?

  64. john king says:

    currywurst says

    “P.S. I do not currently have a passport. Does that make me nation-less?” No, Just sad.
    Sad but £81.25 better off than you 


  65. john king says:

    the man in the jar says
    As my Mother used to say. “They’ll be laughing on the other side of their faces” No I never understood it either.
    Watch yirsel she’ll mibbe draw her haun aff yer jaw.

  66. CameronB says:

    @ john king
    That’s a couple of hundred better off, thank you, as I choose not to sponsor the BBC. 🙂
    Clinically depressed, yes, but I still don’t get this “sad”. Just because I don’t have a passport? It is very early, so I’ll say no more this time. 😉

  67. Macart says:

    Why sad? Is possession of a passport an indication of my self-worth, or significance as a human being?
    Very well said.
    Passport? I don’ need no steenking passport to tell me who I am or where I come from. And even if I did conform to the laughable theory that I would require a passport to travel through barbed wire bedecked border posts going from Scotland to England I’d rather have the one which ensured I live in a modern progressive democracy.

  68. scottish_skier says:

    Er, try having a look at what’s on your passport under “Nationality”.

    Have a look at your own again. Does it say ‘British’ here or ‘British Citizen‘.

    Passports don’t define nationality for legal purposes, they define citizenship status. The two are not always the same. That’s why e.g. under French law I’m a Scottish (legally) national, a British Citizen and European Citizen.

    Nationality is the legal relationship between a person and a nation state. Nationality normally confers some protection of the person by the state, and some obligations on the person towards the state. What these rights and duties are vary from country to country. It differs technically and legally from citizenship, although in most modern countries all nationals are citizens of the state and all citizens are nationals of the state.

    If you want to base your nationality/national identity on your passport/citizenship, then you are European above all. Check out the front cover, first line. It’s an odd way of looking at things, particularly as that’s not how it works legally.

  69. Jiggsbro says:

    Really? I honestly haven’t seen one of these.
    Really? You have one of these. You have one of the Scottish variety.
    Seriously, do we automagically get independence if we convince enough people that Britain/UK doesn’t even exist by cleverly redefining our terms to erase all evidence of it? Has sophistry replaced the Yes vote as the primary expression of the settled will of the people?

  70. Xander says:

    O/T(T) – Breaking news – Initial reports suggest Better Together are about to lay claim to the letters U and K. An outraged cybernasty is rumoured to have responded “Oh yea! Well yo now what yo can do with that – get it right fcing p yo!”  🙂

  71. Jeannie says:


  72. scottish_skier says:

    Seriously, do we automagically get independence if we convince enough people that Britain/UK doesn’t even exist by cleverly redefining our terms to erase all evidence of it?

    No. Some people, including myself, were just pointing out some points of interest regarding nationality vs citizenship; these not being the same thing. Britain is a bit of an odd case in this respect because of it’s structure, i.e. a union of countries/provinces based on treaties with various overseas territories left from empire days.

    You can even get a British passport that’s not an EU one showing how nationality does not automatically yield citizenship.

    I found it interesting how the French consider me Scottish by law as British is considered a status of citizenship, but not nationality for very clear legal reasons. In the case of my marriage, (the authorities of the countries of) Scotland and France needed to be in agreement that all was correct and proper, with me stated as Scottish on the certificate.

  73. Joybell says:

    @ Cameron B
    People like Currywurst are probably extremely proud of their British passport and that makes them “sad”, not you.  I could apply tomorrow for an Irish passport as I was born in N I.  If Scotland becomes Independent Currywurst can still keep his precious British passport.  I have somehow felt a little bit ashamed of mine of late, but my logical Husband reminds me that it’s just a travel document after all.

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