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Mental Mickey’s Wild Ride

Posted on August 09, 2012 by

Strap yourselves in, readers. And scatter some cushions around your chair, because there’s a pretty good chance you’re about to fall off it. Not in surprise, though, because as we predicted yesterday the Scottish media has imposed a near-blanket ban on reporting Labour MP and Scottish Affairs Select Committee chairman Ian Davidson’s astonishing meltdown on Tuesday’s edition of Newsnight Scotland.

The Herald buried a small neutral piece on it yesterday afternoon in an obscure corner of its website, with no bylines and no quotes from any of the parties (in either sense of the word) concerned. Interestingly the exact same story appears word-for-word in the Daily Record, still without attribution, but that’s it for news coverage.

On the BBC website there’s not a peep, even in the Scotland Politics section, despite the direct and savage attack on the Corporation’s prized impartiality. (Political editor Brian Taylor hasn’t graced the site with a blog in six weeks.) Over at the Guardian, the paper’s fearless Scotland correspondent Severin Carrell – normally so keen to cover media matters – felt a five-minute fuss over an advertising poster at Edinburgh Airport was the big Scottish story of the day. And so on.

The Twittersphere was also strangely quiet, or at least the Union-friendly side of it was. Tom Gordon of the Herald and Eddie Barnes of the Scotsman both tried to play the story down as a storm in a teacup (here’s a fun game to play: imagine the Scottish media reaction if Stewart Hosie or Alex Neil had done the same thing, especially during the political slow news season), and every normally-prolific Scottish Labour activist adopted a policy of total radio silence on the subject.

Only Angus Macleod of the Times went public to suggest that Johann Lamont should discipline Davidson for his “bonkers” outburst, while Al Jazeera reporter (and former Scottish Labour senior media adviser) Andrew McFadyen called the performance a “bad misjudgement” directed at “one of the best broadcasters in Scotland”, while noting that the point of politicians giving interviews to TV news programmes is supposed to be “to win people over, not put them off”.

We were just about to congratulate ourselves on our powers of insight when we noticed a link hidden right down at the bottom of the Scotsman’s politics section. “Michael Kelly: Showdown has put BBC objectivity to the test”, it said. We went and made ourselves a drink. “This should be good”, we thought. We weren’t disappointed.

There’s a reason we went to the trouble of creating our own cobbled-together hub link to Mr Kelly’s outpourings in the Scotsman for our blogroll, in the absence of a proper one in the paper itself. (It’s almost as if they’re ashamed of him.) It’s for moments of sheer comedy genius like this. Because – and once again, we urge readers to ensure that they’ve taken adequate safety precautions before continuing – Mr Kelly devotes his column this week to asserting that Ian Davidson’s appearance on Newsnight Scotland was a triumphant victory.

“Ian Davidson, Labour MP for Glasgow South West, is in pretty cocky form this week. He has just taken on the might of the BBC’s Newsnight Scotland and its stand-in presenter Isobel Fraser – and won twice.”

They say stand-up comedians should always open with their best joke, and you can’t fault Kelly there. (We also take our hats off to the sly, insultingly untruthful description of regular presenter Fraser as a “stand-in”.) There was another cracker hard on its heels, with the assertion that “Davidson’s logic was impeccable” – a claim we suspect even Mr Davidson will be a little surprised by, since he hadn’t bothered to deploy any in his bewildering rant about “paid” lawyers saying anything you want them to, despite none of the legal experts who have publicly disputed his interpretation of Scottish constitutional law having being paid by anyone to do so.

Frankly, we could spend the rest of the day taking apart every individual line, twist and U-turn of the deranged insanity which thrashes and convulses at the page to fill the remainder of Mr Kelly’s 1,034-word column before eventually concluding with the startling assessment that “Davidson won the substantive case hands-down” and that Newsnight Scotland can therefore only ensure its future immunity from bias allegations by, um, being far more hostile to the SNP. But just as we wouldn’t review a Fringe show by simply listing all the jokes, we won’t ruin your enjoyment with spoilers.

The Scotsman has earned every single click on its link. We salute its admirable commitment both to comedy and to care in the community. Enjoy.

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  1. 10 08 12 17:19

    Newsnight: there was no meltdown | Edinburgh Eye

55 to “Mental Mickey’s Wild Ride”

  1. Don McC says:

    Mmm, over on the Scotsman, “The ability to add comments has been temporarily disabled. Thank you for your patience, service will return to normal shortly.”

    I wonder why.

  2. Juteman says:

    Fantasy land. Unbelievable version of reality.

  3. McHaggis says:

    Does the Labour party still believe that such transparent nonsense win over the hearts and minds of the electorate?

    Have they still not grasped the fact that the internet provides folks the opportunity to view interviews etc which 10 years ago they might have missed and had to rely on columns like Kelly’s to read about what happened?

    Kelly seems not to have caught up and his miniscule credibility is completely shredded by his comments.

    Years ago, Labour could easily get their supine friends in the media to print black was white and they’d be believed. With blogs, twitter, facebook and youtube, this trick no longer works.

  4. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

    Davidson can’t help being a baldy wee obnoxious, ignorant, lunatic. These are traits that propel you to new heights of advancement in Labour. And in Glasgow Labour are basically a prerequisite.
    We must then assume that being a mindless, witless, toadying, arselicker to anything even vaguely Labour shaped is what makes ‘journalists’ like  Michael Kelly on the Hootsman get up in the morning and swell with pride as their little tail wags eagerly for their Labour masters.

    A cautionary example that spinning the unspinnable as a victorious triumph only ever succeeds in making the pet Labour mouthpiece doing the spinning somehow look even more unpleasant and stupid than the obnoxious cretin they are desperately trying to protect from ridicule.

    Davidson was a car crash. It was astonishingly embarrassing to watch an actual MP and member of a select committee do that to himself on live TV.  Everybody knows that if it had been an SNP MP making a complete twat of themselves like that wee bald Labour dinosaur then Michael Kelly would have been beside himself with rage, fury, indignation or whatever emotion his Labour friends had decreed he should feel that day.

    If Ian Davidson had stopped long enough in his deranged insane ranting to jump up on the newsnight desk, drop his trousers and proceed to coil out a wee brown surprise into Isabel’s lap – smirking and grunting as he did so – it would be the likes of Michael Kelly telling us that this was an act of supreme principle and courage in the face of Isabel Fraser’s oppressive BBC jackboot.

    And it wouldn’t be Davidson’s wee brown surprise that would be giving off the most foul stench then, it would be Michael Kelly as it is right now.  

  5. Seasick Dave says:

    I’m not sure how anyone, from whatever side of the political divide, could make any sense of that.

    The technical expression is ‘doolally’.

    What does the Scotsman gain by printing such gibberish?

  6. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Clicks from comedy fans. I could have just linked to a cached version of the page to deny them the traffic, but they earned it.

  7. Holebender says:

    I noticed Cooncillor Kelly making a few comments on the Scotsman and Herald sites yesterday. His line seemed to be that Isabel Fraser was hysterical and it wasn’t Ian Davidson who lost it. (Some wag asked if it wasn’t Ian Davidson who was the imposter in the studio who looked just like him.)
    The Scotsman article is just weird. I have never read anything by Kelly before but if this is a typical example I find it difficult to understand why anyone would pay him for writing such stuff. He seems not a little contradictory with his cheering on of Davidson followed by (a) it is up to Davidson to produce evidence for his claims and (b) he – Kelly – had never experienced bias on Newsnight. Does Kelly suffer from some mental disorder (other than Labour Party membership)?

  8. Macart says:

    Fully agree Rev. That’s what you call closing ranks. Mr Kelly clearly has substance abuse issues, since his perception of reality is clearly impaired.

    What he saw was a top flight politician and chairman of the Scottish affairs committee skilfully handling the politically biased assault of a TV interviewer.

    What we saw was an inarticulate and clearly out of his depth, party trougher on the wrong end of a simple yet direct question. This resulted in boorish rude behaviour which quickly escalated to bullying and slanderous assault.

    I’m fairly certain the vast majority of people watching Newsnight and the now viral vid will agree that the second version is closer to the truth by far.

  9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    It’s all over the place. Firstly Davidson has won two mighty victories over the hysterical woman, then the onus is on him to provide the evidence, then Kelly is sure the evidence will turn up even though he can’t even muster a rumour from all his Labour pals, then he’s experienced no bias himself, then the BBC always gives Salmond and the SNP an easy ride, then Davidson must be invited back in order to show the BBC’s neutrality, despite Davidson insisting that it has none, then the SNP must be attacked for “opposing devolution”, even though the BBC shouldn’t be pro-devolution because that would be biased. You’d go dizzy trying to follow it.

  10. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

    It’s worth pointing out that very early on in Michael Kelly’s unwitting comedy masterclass he came perilously close to admitting the truth about Davidson’s performance, albeit through the medium of the Freudian slip.
    “Ian Davidson, Labour MP for Glasgow South West, is in pretty cocky form this week.”
    So very, very close! Almost but not quite Mickey.

    O wad some power the gift tae gie us, then Michael Kelly and Ian Davidson would never dare show their faces again.

  11. Doug Daniel says:

    This is outrageous. Isabel Fraser is possibly the finest journalist BBC Scotland has, and what we’re apparently seeing here is an orchestrated attempt to discredit her, just because she has the temerity to treat Labour exactly the same way she treats the SNP.

    I expect nothing less from Michael Kelly, whose continued employment in the media baffles me, but why are the BBC not sticking up for their employee? I’d be a bit pissed off if I was Fraser, although being the professional she is, I expect she’ll just brush it off.

    I’m not convinced Ian Davidson’s rant was anything more than an imbecile going off on one, but the ensuing damage limitation certainly seems to be following Big Lie methodology. Now that the media pieces are out there for Labourites to reference, they can safely come out of hiding. 

  12. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    “It was highly entertaining to see her outraged reaction – a common response from journalists used to the aggressive interrogation of others when a personal attack is made on them. It provoked her into claiming that there was evidence that she was not biased. I’m not sure she needs to produce evidence and even if she does, I wish her luck in proving a negative.
    “No, the onus is surely on Davidson to produce the evidence he claims he has that Newsnight Scotland and its presenters habitually favour the views of the Scottish Parliament over Westminster. No doubt it will be documented in time. So far, I have only been able to track down the opinion in Labour Party circles that Isobel Fraser “has form”. For those sad enough to spend Sundays away from church and the golf course, the most recent incident occurred when, on the Scottish section of the Sunday Politics, it is claimed that Fraser gave Labour’s Richard Baker a “roughing up” by condemning his policy as one of “managed decline”.”


  13. Prophet_Peden says:

    The ‘Newsnat’ quip is undoubtedly publicly embarrassing for Labour. But I think there will be a good few who agree with it and probably smirked as the interview took place.
    Having watched the ‘Newsnat’ interview in the cold light of day and followed on with your linked to Scotsman article I have to conclude that Labour are being silent because they don’t feel there is anything to apologise for.
    Davidson was belligerent but whether that can be called abusive I’m not so sure. Personally, I could have slapped his bald pate for him.
    He did stick to his Section 30 guns and proclaimed that without approval the referendum could be bogged down in court.
    I read a piece, twitter linked to, by Ian Smart  (commented on by yourself Rev Stu) and it seemed to concur with a few of the issues raised in the Newsnat interview.
    I was therefore very surprised by the date of Smart’s piece. It was from May this year??
    My worry now isn’t so much what’s going to happen to Davidson (though I would like to see him humiliated) but what’s going to happen to the referendum.
    Do you think Westminster will get away with dictating terms?
    To me it looks like it’s going to be My way or the High Court way.

  14. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    “Newsnight would be required to be much more hostile to the SNP. They are, after all, now the only party to oppose devolution.”


    Trying to imply that the SNP would rather have no devolution than more….


  15. Theuniondivvie says:

    I thing Miles Better Micky’s form was franked when just after the SNP’s win in 2011 he described them without a hint of irony as ‘greedy bastards’ in a piece in The Scotsman. He’s rarely bettered when it comes to embittered SLAB incoherence, and he’s got some competition.

    Incidentally, shouldn’t geneticists be looking into this flowering of human expression in the Kellys – MSP Jim, Cllr Terry and billious old eejit Michael?

  16. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

    “I have to conclude that Labour are being silent because they don’t feel there is anything to apologise for.”
    And that in an nutshell is why Labour will always be so out of touch with the scottish public. It’s why wee bald westminster dinosaurs like Davidson can roam the airwaves with arrogant impunity while dictating what SLAB must do for the greater good of their westminster troughers. It’s also why the SNP won a landslide.
    Labour simply don’t get it and still show no sign of ever doing so.

  17. Holebender says:

    Davidson is now characterising the interview as “a robust exchange of views” as if he had been debating a political opponent rather than being interviewed. I suppose that fits in with his allegation of bias.

  18. James Morton says:

    They say that Politicians are like nappies.  They both need changing regularly and for the same reason…the wiff coming from Scottish labour atm is getting pretty bad…time for change we can believe in ;o)

  19. Turnip_Ghost says:

    What I found interesting was the reference to the video interviews. We often claim that this is bias against the SNP because it doesn’t give them a chance to defend themselves but they see it as bias because it means they can say what they want without being challenged. Simple solution, no more video interviews. 

    And since it was also an attack on Fraser it can be safely assumed that perhaps they recognise that she is one the few journalists who actually does rip into politicians when need be and as such they want her either 1)removed 2)discredited or 3)her wings clipped so she won’t be as robust with unionist politicians when it comes to the debates. 

    Interesting. And the article fair cheered me up this morning 😀 

  20. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

    “as if he had been debating a political opponent rather than being interviewed.”
    Which gets to the nub of his lunacy Holebender.
    It was a one to one with the newsnight presenter. He can hardly pretend to have been confused by a cacophony of other party interviewee voices arguing at full volume. Unless, as now seems likely, they were voices shouting in his own head.
    Nor can he fall back on the lame excuse that he was under pressure from a shouty, angry and belligerent sub paxman style interviewer like Brewer. Isabel Fraser just isn’t that type and the contrast between the two was excruciatingly embarrassing to watch.
    What we have is an idiot Labour MP acting like a petulant screaming toddler. Davidson was utterly oblivious to his surroundings and furious that what he stupidly thought was a watertight reasoning was politely demolished with ease by – as he obviously saw it –  an impertinent woman who didn’t know her place. Davidson’s thuggish bullying manner to Fraser revealed that all too clearly.
    And we all know it’s not the first time Davidson’s done that but it was the most astonishing and public example to date.
    Lamont also doesn’t seem to realise that this charmless thug will take her silence as consent for more of the same. So we may not have seen the last of his extraordinary lunacy.

  21. orpheuslyre says:

    Lamont is silent because she agrees with Davidson. They are the same kind of labour politician.

  22. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    The deputy editor of the Scotsman just tweeted: “Gold medal to Isobel Fraser for sticking up for her and Newsnight Scotland’s neutrality. Ian Davidson looks ridiculous.”

    I tweeted back politely asking him why in that case his paper hadn’t carried any coverage of the story, other than Kelly’s deranged rant putting the exact opposite view. No sign of a reply.

  23. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Lamont also doesn’t seem to realise that this charmless thug will take her silence as consent for more of the same.”

    In that Herald piece Davidson says “I have been greatly heartened by views I have received from many in the party”. Perhaps Lamont is one of them.

  24. Adrian B says:

    Is Newsnight Scotland biased in Favour of The SNP, as claimed by Labour MP Ian Davidson

    Here is a link to a poll from ALLMediaScotlan d


  25. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

    Fair point orpheuslyre and Rev. Stuart.
    I fear the sheer out and out obnoxious idiocy of Davidson’s actions had temporarily blinded me to the limitless ability of Lamont not to recognise a disaster when she sees it and even encourage it to ever greater heights. It is after all what she does every day when she meets with her fellow SLAB MSP luminaries.
    But I strongly doubt that even within the nest of bitter vipers that is SLAB and Labour it cannot only be the former Labour press officer Andrew McFadyen who still has a shred of decency and common sense still in there fighting to get out. Some hapless voice of sanity in SLAB will have pointed out, in secret at least, that Davidson is pure poison.
    It will also be on Lamont’s own head if she allows the westminster Labour contingent to ride arrogantly into town shooting themselves and SLAB in the foot while laying down the law with scarce a seconds thought as to how that will play for SLAB. A harbinger of things to come for the No campaign and a further weakening of Lamont’s already scarce credibility as someone who isn’t hopelessly in thrall to her westminster masters.
    Lovely bit of hypocrisy from the deputy editor of the Scotsman there Stu. Well highlighted. I fair enjoyed that. The silence of the damned.

  26. molly says:

    There is a difference between a ‘robust’ debate and a personal attack and the fact Michael Kellys piece in The Scotsman is quite congratulatory in tone speaks volumes about the mindset.
    Surely in a ‘ debate’ if you resort to personal attacks you’ve lost the argument,yet here we have a national newspaper happy to print “Davidson won his personal attack on Fraser “.
    What bothers me is in 2012, these dinosaurs (and I include whoever proof read M Kellys piece ), think by evading the questions, attacking probably one of the more courteous interviewers and trying to defend completely boorish behaviour on national TV ,is somehow acceptable.Who exactly do these people ‘think’ they are representing ?
      The problem for me as a Scot is I am embarrassed that senior politicians (including Johann Lamont at FMQ ) find it acceptable to personally attack others as a form of ‘debate’ rather than the issues . 

  27. Siôn Eurfyl Jones says:

    Davidson being given a “good seeing to” by the admirable Fraser. 

  28. YesYesYes says:

    Doesn’t this episode also bring a fresh perspective to the unionists’ complaints against ‘cybernats’, not to mention the absurd demands of unionists that Alex Salmond needs to get a grip on this ‘problem’?
    I mean, what’s worse, a senior politician of Scottish Labour being seen to offend, publicly bully and make wild accusations against a female TV presenter on national television, or a small number of over-zealous nationalists being mildly offensive on the internet?  

  29. Macart says:

    @ Molly

    Nope, no debate to be found there. Lots of shouty stuff, a couple of pointed questions and a huge pile rudeness and slander, but no debate.

  30. MajorBloodnok says:

    I finally managed to watch the video this morning.  What struck me was how calm and matter of fact Davidson was and that his attack on Isobel seemed (to me) to be calculated and probably premeditated.  Labour obviously feel that direct intimidation and ‘punishment’ is required to stop the rot of potentially equal treatment from any part of the MSM.

    This may seem extreme, but his cold-eyed contempt brought to mind a distressing scene in an Italian arthouse film I saw once where an ugly and brutish individual punishes a perceived opponent of the Mafia by giving the man’s fiance ‘a doing’.  You know what I mean.

    I do not think we should underestimate how deeply the undemocratic impulse runs in Scottish Labour nor be surprised at what they are prepared to do and say to regain the power that has slipped (and is still slipping) away, because that is all that matters to them.

    That said, they are so wrapped up in their own cause and mindset and playing to their own core supporters that they seem unaware of neutral and other spectators looking on in disbelief and horror.

  31. Jeannie says:

    Like Molly, I often feel embarrassed by the low standards of performance of some of our elected representatives, especially during FMQs.
      As this is televised, any interested party throughout the world has an opportunity to view Scotland in action through its Parliament.  For those seriously interested in promoting Scotland’s strengths, especially with a view to job creation and inward investment, it is a golden opportunity to show the world what we have to offer in a mature country – Scotland in action through its Parliament.
    Unfortunately, too many of our MSPs choose instead to waste this precious time on moronic displays of internecine warfare and petty political point scoring.  What impression does this give to potential overseas employers?  If you were thinking of investing in Scotland, would you want to deal with people like that or invest in a country whose politicians think nothing of displaying their ignorance for the whole world to see?
    I thought one of the lowest points was witnessing Johann Lamont in full “Gallus Alice” mode, enquiring as to whether certain parties would be invited to “Wee Eck’s hoose for a cup of tea”.  She may not like Alex Salmond, but I see no reason why she should not respect the Office of First Minister and make her point in a respectful manner.
    At the end of the day, the Parliament belongs to the Scottish People, not to the politicians.  Holyrood is only one of their work locations and, as we pay their wages, they are simply our employees.  If I behaved on national television, accessible throughout the world, the way Johann Lamont did that day, I think I’d be on a serious disciplinary.
    Televising FMQa affords them a wonderful opportunity to advertise Scotland at its best, in the hope it will attract positive attention from would-be investors.  If only they could rise above their own prejudices and put the People first.
    Rant Over.

  32. Holebender says:

    I have to admit Mr. Davidson has done a pretty effective job of deflecting attention from his committee’s ridiculous report.

  33. Arbroath 1320 says:

    O.K. folks I know that we are in the middle of the “silly season, politically speaking, but honestly Davidson’s Newsnicht rantathon the other night was pure comedy gold. When you add in the comedic genius of Kelly over at the Scotsman I am left in a position where I’m now looking for something to ease the pain of my aching ribs! Stuff like this should come with a government, SCOTTISH government, health warning! 😀
    I can’t wait for the DVD to come out, I’m sure it’ll be a number one hit for Christmas!
    When are the T-Shirts being printed?
    You know the one’s that say “Where were you when Davidson exploded?” superimposed over a photo of that very nice chap Mr. Davidson. 😆

  34. Between the two of them they did a good job of acting out an argument,it is an obvious scam,a set-up ,a lie.If the BBC can get a Labour thug to accuse them of SNP bias it would help them in their claim that they are impartial (lol) they are biased and anti independence,these people will sacrifice a country for their own profit,they disgust me.

  35. Jeannie says:

    T-shirt idea appeals to me, Arbroath.
    Also, could some enterprising person with the appropriate skills maybe make up one of those mixer-type dance music/rap efforts with Davidson just repeating “Newsnat Scotland” and Isabel saying, “Will you apologise?” at repeated intervals?
    Do you think it would be played on any of the BBC radio stations?

  36. Alex Grant says:

    What I would like to know is “do Labour supporters generally agree with Kelly?”
    We know it was bad but do our Unionists friends or the undecided think it’s a big deal? I’m not sosure. There is no doubt Davidson’s comment was carefully planned and I see it as an attack on the BBC’s most balanced reporter and an attempt to allow the useless clowns wh run  BBC Scotland to be able to tell any Independence orientated protester to pipe down as they are criticised by both sides – QED we are balanced. And I’m afraid the BBC’s lack of subsequent comment tends to support this?

  37. baycitytroller says:

    Rev Stu,

    Sorry to have to contradict you, but The Scotsman did in fact cover the original story. I just searched for “Ian Davidson” in their search box and the article came up. Don’t honestly know if I would have come across it browsing their site though.

  38. Clawd Baws says:

    If you had taken a punter off the street and asked them to argue Davidson’s position, you’d stand a good chance of getting someone more lucid and articulate. He typifies what labour have to offer and Kelly illustrates beautifully the pin the red rosette on the donkey and folk will vote for it story.  Hilarious and deeply depressing at the same time.  It makes you wonder what needs to happen, to what depths do we need to fall before folk stop voting for labour?

  39. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    “Don’t honestly know if I would have come across it browsing their site though.”

    You wouldnt have. I just went through every heading and sub heading and its just not linked to anywhere.

    They may be able to say they posted it, but unless you use their search function and type Newsnight Scotland you wont get it. In other words you wont stumble over it while browsing.

  40. baycitytroller says:

    @ Scott Minto

    I try to spend as little time on their site as possible – more than one shower a day is excessive but the need to cleanse is overwhelming. You obviously have a stronger stomach.  

  41. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “What I would like to know is “do Labour supporters generally agree with Kelly?””

    It’s hard to tell, as just about every prominent one I know has either completely vanished online since Tuesday night, or is simply refusing to discuss it. I’m not sure if that tells us that they’re ashamed of him, or ashamed of the fact that they agree with him.

  42. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Get Davidson, Kelly and Lamont on the telly every week. Get more sense from the Marx Brothers.

  43. Colin Dunn says:

    Remarkably little twitter traffic on this one from Tom Harris, Duncan Hothersall and Ian Smart. Embarassed, or just keeping their heads down, do you think?

  44. kevybaby says:

    apologies if this is a bit off topic but say the section 30 powers are not given to the Scottish Government, they run the referendum and win convincingly and Westminster take the thing to court, my question is which court? A scots court would probably throw it out, theres no basis for an english court to intervene and the UK supreme court have made their position clear by the “AXA vs Scottish Government” piece you ran previously. I would think any EU/international court would see it as a country voting for self determination and back the scots. For all the bluster about this I just don’t see where they would go with it. Any thoughts?

  45. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:


    The scenario you talk of was covered in depth by Professor Matt qvortup in an article for the Herald in February.

    Here is the link:

    Quote from article:

    We have few directly comparable cases, but it seems likely that the Law Lords would at the very least be inspired by the Canadian Supreme Court. In 1998, in a reference about the legality of a referendum for the French- speaking province of Quebec, the Canadian judges held that the rest of Canada “would have no basis to deny the right of the government of Quebec to pursue secession”.       

  46. Adrian B says:

    I think this is why online unionists are attempting to scare us into claiming that Westminster has the power and AS must meet up with Michael Moore to sort out the single question. sm753 has been doing the you don’t have the power bit. Another is exel on NNS. Grahamski Micheal Mckeon and many others are doing the same thing across the Herald and Scotsman.

    They are actually terrified of a democratic result. Although one or two may possible believe their own nonsense They still do not have a positive case for the Union and are well aware that the majority of the electorate want Devo something.

    Westminster do not want to offer any more than the Scotland Bill. They believe that by offering Devo now, come the referendum, the Scottish electorate will actually want more powers than they would offer. If they do offer Devo it will be 6 weeks before the Referendum before they actually come up with it. At this point a proper discussion will become very difficult. 

    In order to counteract this we have to outline what powers the Scottish Government has now and underline what powers it does not have! Many are genuinely under the illusion that the Scottish Government already has far more powers than it does have. The public at large need to understand the limitations of not having full powers.  

  47. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I think the answer to Westminster’s empty threats is “deny the SOVEREIGN people of Scotland THEIR right to hold a referendum at YOUR peril!”
    Any attempt by the Bitter Together Brigade to try and delay Scotland’s Independence by visiting the courts will result in nothing more than a gigantic pile of egg landing on their face!
    I agree with you Kev.
    The Scottish courts would throw any legal attempt by Westminster to prevent Independence straight back out, no questions asked.
    Following the AXA court case in London the Supreme courts in London would NOT touch any Westminster attempt to stall Scotland’s Independence with a barge pole.
    It is perfectly clear that as a result of the U.K. signing up to INTERNATIONAL law then the E.U. and U.n would run a mile before allowing the Westminster government to try ANY delaying tactics to Scotland’s Independence. Let’s not forget the Cameroon bar recently quoted International law when talking about the FALKLAND ISLANDS referendum.
    Question. What is the difference between the Falkland Islands holding a referendum and Scotland holding a referendum………… NONE as far as I can see!

  48. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    @Adrian B – sm753 and Michael Mkeown are one and the same person.

    Its also a safe bet that exel, Grahamski, Ituna Semea, Terry Kelly etc… are perhaps the same few people on multiple sites. Writing styles overlap, as do links, wording and arguments. They are no different to nats in casting their nets wide. The main diffrence being that nats usually dont try to hide they are the same person on other forums even when they do use other names.

    I myself am Sneekyboy on the Guardian, Sneeky on Scotsman, Sleekit on NNS and Scott Minto here and Herald, but I’m open about being the same person and keep a theme.

    Others like oldnat or madjockmcmad use the same name everywhere.   

    But the positive thing about the independence campaign is that those who are not online activists, but normal everyday people, are posting frequently in favour of independence. So the arguments in favour of Independence are getting through (at least to the internet users)

  49. deerokus says:

    Michael Kelly is a truly mental individual.  I’m a Celtic fan, and it infuriates me when he appears in the media as some kind of spokesman for us, having lead the club to near-bankruptcy when he was in charge, (it’s exactly like having Craig Whyte as a fan’s spokesman for Rangers), and having talked enormous amounts of nonsense ever since.

    He is one of the worst of the unionist campaign, and thankfully he seems to be given quite a lot of airtime and column inches. I have no idea why that is, or why he’s considered to have a valid opinion on anything – he seems to have dined out for 30 years on his idea of using Mr Happy to market Glasgow.

  50. baycitytroller says:

    Interesting developments overnight.

    A letter in the Scotsman from Ian Small (Head of Public Policy & Corporate Affairs, BBC Scotland) defending Isabel Fraser. However, he is not defending her from Davidson, rather from Michael Kelly. I suppose that’s fair enough given that the Scotsman published an article by Kelly the previous day but there surely needs to be some sort of statement regarding Davidson comments on air. Here is the text;

    Published on Friday 10 August 2012 00:00

    MICHAEL Kelly is entitled to his opinions about BBC ­journalists (Perspective, ­9?August), however ill-informed and unfair those opinions may be, but we completely ­reject suggestions of bias on the part of our journalists working on Newsnight Scotland or, indeed, on any other of our programmes.

    When Mr Kelly says Isabel Fraser “has form” it is as one of the BBC’s most highly respected and valued journalists. Ms Fraser did what BBC journalists do week in, week out when she robustly, but fairly, challenged the views of Ian Davidson MP on Tuesday evening’s show.

    It may be uncomfortable for some when we ask the questions that our audiences want asked – but that is what we will continue to do and will do so as professionally as Isabel Fraser did on Tuesday. To suggest that by asking these questions she holds or promotes a particular opinion is, quite fundamentally, to misunderstand political interviewing.

    Audiences expect fair and impartial journalism from the BBC and they expect those who hold power to have their arguments robustly challenged.
    That is what we will continue to do on their behalf.

    Ian Small

    Head of Public Policy & Corporate Affairs

    BBC Scotland

    Pacific Quay


    Meanwhile over at The Herald they are giving coverage to Davidson now claiming the whole thing was a conspiracy.

  51. McHaggis says:

    Just to sum up, we now have Davidson, ably supported by Kelly, Foulkes (twitter last night), Terry Kelly and just about no-one else.

    Says a lot really! 

  52. kevybaby says:

    Cheers Scott!!

  53. MajorBloodnok says:

    @ baycitytroller

    Ian Small’s letter seems a pretty robust defence, whether he mentions Davidson by name or not.  The main point is that it continues to draw attention to the story rather than it being buried, which is a good thing.

  54. Alasdair says:

    We’re all quick to jump on the BBC for apparent anti-independence bias, I think that on this occasion people should be willing to voice their support via the BBC feedback system.

  55. Holebender says:

    Kevbaby, to answer the question you posed last night, I believe any court action would happen before the referendum takes place. In other words anyone who goes to court will do so to prevent the referendum from happening without permission from Mother Westminster.
    Going to court after we have voted would be seen as locking the stable door after the horse has already got out, and would be pointless as the people will have had their say. The litigious unionist types want to prevent the people having their say because they fear what will be said.

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