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Shooting at shadows

Posted on January 22, 2015 by

We’re a bit surprised The Sun managed to get an issue out at all today, to be honest. The editorial team must have been struggling to see through their tears of laughter after they managed to get two days of free publicity in every rival newspaper in the country and a ton of coverage from national broadcasters over a completely imaginary decision to stop featuring topless models on Page 3.

And they must have almost wept with the hilarity of getting The Guardian to line up a whole collection of its most pompous feminists to prematurely proclaim victory and parade some gloating triumphalism across several pages, before putting a winking Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth front and centre this morning and innocently pointing out that they’d never actually said anything so why was everyone acting so surprised?

Now, of course, every rival paper in the land will spend ANOTHER day or two talking about the sting, and The Sun will continue to roll on the floor and clutch its sides and get away with printing stuff like this:


And the thing is, nobody who looks like an idiot today will learn the lesson.

The deepest irony about the entire incident is that the modern incarnation of Page 3 in The Sun is probably the paper’s LEAST offensive depiction of women. Its models are smiley and happy-looking, of a variety of body shapes (not exclusively the big-haired, big-boobed skinny footballers’-wives types of the 70s, 80s and 90s), not portrayed in sexual positions or with either leering “Phwoar, eh lads?” captions or nasty sarcastic text about their views on the balance-of-trade deficit.

They’re shown as nice normal people, with (clothed) selfies of them at home with their dogs or on holiday. If you took the exact same pictures and the exact same text and put them in a women’s magazine, nobody would bat an eyelid. (Indeed, elsewhere modern young women DEMAND the right to go around topless in public.)

And while everyone screams blue murder about them, The Sun gets away with things that are truly vile.

The front covers above all come from the last couple of weeks. They show part of an extraordinary hate campaign The Sun conducted against two women who are overweight and claim benefits. Neither are particularly sympathetic characters, but the paper uses that as an excuse for an appalling monstering campaign based on a series of disingenuous distortions, and nobody in the left-wing press said a word.

(For example, the first story claimed that the benefits claimed by the women were “the equivalent of a £46,000 salary”, an outrageously crass distortion of the reality aimed at making other poor people angry, even though it was a combination of BOTH their benefits and inflated the true figure by over 33% by factoring in imaginary tax.)


The paper kept up the assault for days. The two women had claimed they couldn’t work because they were too fat, so The Sun deployed some classic divide-and-rule tactic by finding another fat woman who DID hold down a full-time job and encouraging her to lay into the pair in print.

It used that story to hang attacks against other overweight benefit claimants on, identifying several “grasping layabouts of the year” – all of them women too – feeding a constant narrative in the right-wing press of recent years cementing the idea that the unemployed are all lazy scroungers, and dividing the poor against each other.


And next up came the masterstroke – it ran another spread on the sister of the original family, another plus-size lass who earned a living in porn.

The Sun got to, if you’ll pardon the phrase, have its cake and eat it: not only did it get to continue the attack on the “scroungers”, not only did it get to keep fat-shaming, but it also got an excuse to print pictures of the sister in sexy lingerie and showing off her “natural 36G boobs” underneath a classic tabloid pun headline. Jackpot.


But even after it ran a comically hypocritical editorial talking about the sister living on “sleazy money” by “flashing [her] boobs on the internet” (the paper’s subsite, consisting of nothing BUT people flashing their boobs on the internet, is behind a paywall), none of this attracted comment in the Guardian or the Independent.

No feminist went on BBC Breakfast to defend any of the women who’d been vilified and abused without ever committing any crime. Instead they continued to focus their ire instead on pages where other women had chosen of their own free will to appear with their tops off and get paid for it.

What does any of this have to do with Scottish politics? Fundamentally nothing. But the whole furore is an illustration of something about the media we’ve been pointing out for the last three years. There wasn’t a single shred of actual evidence that The Sun had changed its policy on Page 3, but based on no more than a couple of vague unattributed nudges and winks the entire UK press decided that the story was fact and reported it with one voice.

Judging by the massive pious huff dominating social media this morning, it seems that none of them have had the epiphany that perhaps a good journalist checks the facts before running the story and pontificating on the ramifications. It bodes ill for the coming election, and for the reporting we’ll get on the new draft devolution bill.

But more than that, it shows that if the British left doesn’t soon get its finger out of its collective hole and try to start sorting its priorities out, our society will continue to be dragged towards a hellish, compassionless future in which topless models will be the least of anyone’s worries.

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    1. 22 01 15 11:43

      Shooting at shadows - Speymouth

    105 to “Shooting at shadows”

    1. Doug Daniel says:

      I predict you’re going to get some very angry tweets today from people who don’t read any further than halfway down the second paragraph…

    2. gillie says:

      The media have made rights tits of themselves.

    3. Salt Ire says:

      Nicely put.

    4. Muscleguy says:

      Feminists in New Zealand some years ago got an amendment to the crimes act making it legal for women to go about topless, it was previously an obscene act. This was not because they particularly wanted to but for equality reasons. Males can go about topless, and in NZ not infrequently do so.

      There have however been unforeseen consequences relevant to this article. The owner of some topless bars and lapdancing establishments in Auckland does an annual parade down Queen St, the main drag in Central Auckland called Boobs On Bikes. Various well endowed women are driven, generally pillion so they can wave to the crowds on motorbikes, motortrikes and quadbikes. The council has tried any manner of bylaw to stop this but all have failed because the national law says it is fine. They all ware helmets so they comply with traffic regs.

      Be careful what you wish for, it might come true.

    5. Jim Thomson says:

      …. and breathe.

    6. Jiminy Cricket says:

      It’s perhaps a little disingenuous to say there wasn’t a ‘single shred of evidence’, when the Times reported that it ‘understands that Friday’s edition of the paper was the last that will carry an image of a glamour model with bare breasts on that page.’

    7. Clootie says:


      I prefer your point on the quality of journalism to the drivel generated by page 3 “storoes” at present in the MSM

    8. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “It’s perhaps a little disingenuous to say there wasn’t a ‘single shred of evidence’, when the Times reported that it ‘understands that Friday’s edition of the paper was the last that will carry an image of a glamour model with bare breasts on that page.’”

      That would be the somewhat key distinction between “evidence” and “unattributed second-hand hearsay”. Or “gossip”.

    9. emz says:

      Well played by The Sun, even though it’s a crap paper, brilliant marketing ploy! As much as I dislike the rag I’ve got to give them that one. On a side note, the fat mum & daughter story, the daughter’s apparently 17st, how does that stop you working? I’m heavier than that now and I manage to work fine. You’ve got people who are genuinely unable to work being told they have to work because of IDS welfare reforms, and you’ve that lazy fat feck not working just because she’s fat. From one fatty to another, GET OFF YOUR FAT ARSE AND GET A JOB!

    10. Murray McCallum says:

      Good points well made. You, the messenger, will no doubt get the usual flak too for pointing this out.

    11. Macart says:

      Neatly done. 🙂

    12. Dr Ew says:

      Righteous anger targeted where it belongs. Excellent article.

    13. BrianW says:

      @ gillie 10:49am

      I’ll see your “The media have made rights tits of themselves.” and raise you a..

      yes it’s all gone tits up..

      (I can see more of these lines being made today in order to make us all – thank god we’re not making “there’s been a ball’s up” jokes.. that would be an entirely different page 3 – cringe)

    14. Robert Louis says:

      Excellent piece of writing. Excellent.

    15. bookie from hell says:

      Whats page 3 smithcommission?

    16. Craig says:

      ‘The country’s top spongers’ I had a good giggle.

    17. Fishtank says:

      They failed to stay abreast of the situation.

    18. A.N.Surgent says:

      The sun a paper written by half-wits for half-wits.

      Here is the full draft that makes us the most powerful colony in the history of all universes.

    19. joe kane says:

      That was a bit of a grassroots blogging journalist tour de force there Rev. Excellent stuff.

    20. heedtracker says:

      UKOK establishment made an enemy of Murdoch though, but he needs them as much they need him so he shits on all of us. Its an industry that attracts characters of Alan Cochrane’s calibre, or the THE VOW editor of Daily Record or Jacky Bird, or Sweaty Brewer or Nick Robinson or any BBC Scotland ligger etc. The UK press, an endless list of extremely dodgy characters to whom lies and fear mongering are an integral part of life.

    21. donald anderson says:

      I’m merr offended by photies o’ Saint Jimmy and othe Lab Brit Nats and the way the Brits go on about their “Freedom” of the Press Barons.

    22. gillie says:

      Since journalism is populated with privately educated graduates I doubt there is a hack out there that would dare get their hands dirty by actually fact finding.

      The messenger has become the message.

    23. Tamson says:

      Good piece of writing. Your opening section will almost certainly raise the temperature of any feminist, but when they read on, will any have the guts to admit the Sun’s pages 1,2, and 4-onwards are more damaging to society as a whole?

    24. Devorgilla says:

      I never believed this story, because the Sun is an utterly vile rag.

    25. R-type Grunt says:

      This is journalism. Thank you.

    26. Big Jock says:

      Storm in a D Cup!

    27. CyberNiall says:

      Jim Murphy nipple tassels. Now there’s something we can all take offence at.

    28. crisiscult says:

      “It bodes ill for the coming election, and for the reporting we’ll get on the new draft devolution bill.” Euphemism? Nobody reading this site will believe we’ll get anything other than a concerted attempt to hoodwink the electorate into thinking a) that there’s a range of views on this and we, the MSM are openly covering those views, and b) the views are as follows: i) home rule will be terrible ii) this is a fulfillment of the vow.

      We’ll again be relying on websites like this one to get the real information out to people (i.e. why the devo proposals are not enough and why we need to make sure Unionists are ousted to give us the best chance of getting the devo max that we need). I hope we’re going to be ready. Talking to ourselves on social media, we found out to our cost, is not enough.I’ll repeat again – please, WBB 2, pulling no punches.

      BTW, is anyone else fed up hearing the line that we are being offered a form of devolution that is 3rd, 2nd, 1st most devolution in the world, without any response such as ‘how do those powers compare to a state in the US, Germany, or Canada?’, for example?

    29. Alan McHarg says:

      Nail…head…hit! well done Rev. Yet another “boob” by the media. The MSM should consider their “nipples well and truly tweaked”! And is BBC24 a bra size? so many questions…

    30. velofello says:

      MSM must hate you Rev. They’ve made right pricks of themselves, and there you go by analysis – journalism(?) – explaining just how shallow,squalid, and unfit for their prized Freedom of the Press, is MSM.

      Today’s National has a couple of excellent letters on the disservice afforded to us by the BBC. Another unfit for purpose outfit.

    31. crisiscult says:

      forgot to ask, does the National get covered in the GMS review of the headlines slot?

    32. geeo says:

      Paedophile MP’s, murders in the name of religion, corrupt media with its own sex abuse storm, poverty requiring foodbanks and people killing themselves due to millionaires docking money from them for little or no reason, yet the biggest news today if you get your info from the uk MSM is about the evil of fat “wasters” and page 3 pictures.

      Makes me wonder what was pushed through parliament over the last few days they didn’t want publicity about ?

      Oh wait, they are virtually on holiday mode now anyway !

    33. Macandroid says:

      ‘Scotland in the United Kingdom: An enduring settlement’

      Would that not give you the dry boak?

      Other variations please:

      Scotland in the United Kingdom: An endearing settlement?
      Scotland in the United Kingdom: An entrapping settlement?
      Scotland in the United Kingdom: A not very enduring settlement?

    34. Amber says:

      You’re right. The liberal feminists that write for the Guardian and other liberal newsmedia completely lack any sense of intersectional politics. They believe that so long as they (middle class, straight, white women) benefit from the current societal structure and aren’t objectified, there isn’t any problem. That the choices they make are feminist by default, just because they’re women. The media likes to focus on what we like to call ‘libfems’, or ‘femlite’, rather than those that are considered in the digital feminist sphere real icons (mainly because our icons tend to be dark-skinned, LGBT+, and/or dirt-poor).

      However you’re not really in a position to decide what women should be campaigning for. People have wanted page three gone for years, and your protests that its ‘less demeaning’ doesn’t change the fact that it’s still demeaning, and more than that, it perpetuates an attitude towards women that shows us as commodities, things to be bought. Even then, the only reason the page has become less demeaning is because feminists have been fighting for decades to get rid of it, and the editors, under that pressure, make concessions in the hope they’ll go away. They sure as hell aren’t doing it out of the kindness of their hearts. And these women aren’t just campaigning on that single issue: they will be campaigning against the sexism in our society in general, but you have to target specific instances of sexism in order to show people what the problem is, like Page Three, or FGM, or the lack of voting rights (historical example). And I’m sure some of those women will probably be in Women for Independence.

      Until you’ve had someone tell you you’re too pretty to be working, and you should be doing something like page three, as I actually have had someone say to me, you don’t get to decide what we should be fighting for.

    35. Swami Backverandah says:

      The Russians have reached the Scottish Borders.
      House prices here have quadrupled overnight.

    36. Johnny says:

      Some respondents on the Rev’s Twitter are nearly as reactionary on this as UKIPers would be in reading some Daily Mail rag article about immigrants. No idea of nuance, letting X mean Y, a refusal to see that there are many worthy causes out there that the Sun editors want them to ignore. Very single-minded.

    37. Ellie Robot says:

      I did ca’ canny with the ‘goodbye to Page 3’ chutzpah, because there wasn’t any official announcement from The S*n, Uncle Rupert or any other connected mouthpiece.

      Even if it had been true, it would have been only a small brick in a very big wall. Not unwelcome, granted, but a tiny gesture that would allow us a foot in the door.

      I’m glad Gillie made the point about journos in the main being educated, often middle and upper class types: I was beginning to think I was alone in using that, when shooting down the ‘classist’ pro-P3 argument!

      Well done Rev, love this piece.

    38. MajorBloodnok says:

      Some people may regard this as all quite funny, but in the words of someone or other “Titter ye not”.

    39. PK says:

      That’s Slim Jim just declared he’ll be standing in East Ren 2015GE.He won’t be getting my vote anyway and if the recent stv poll is to be believed he won’t be getting many, especially as the good folks of Giffnock realise he’ll be bailing-out after a year

    40. mogabee says:

      Journalism, not “churnalism”

      The faces of critics when the SUN was reviewed!

      Absolutely priceless..

    41. Macca73 says:

      If you’ll pardon the pun IF they are to get rid of page three then the only TITS will be the ones left reading it!

    42. Grouse Beater says:

      Wings: a whole collection of its [Guardian] most pompous feminists …

      I can’t tell if they were Guardian mouthpieces, but the ‘feminists’ I heard discuss the matter on radio programmes were pretty sensible, level-headed woman. In fact, one was extremely sceptical about the absence of Page 3 women remaining more than an editor’s weekend break.

      How long would Page 3 exist if it showed men’s tackle as a selling technique?

    43. McV says:

      Your analysis is spot on. I’ve noticed you getting flak from some who see parts of this article as an outright defence of Page 3, but I can see that you are just providing the other end of the argument.
      When I told my better half about the story going around that Page 3 would no longer be in The Scum, I showed her what appeared on page 3 that day. It was a long lens shot of some Hollyoaks actresses running around the beach in skimpy bikinis. She was of the opinion that The Sun has just got worse. They’ve gone from paying willing models to pose topless, to invasive paparazzi shots of minor celebs for free. (costs for the photographers have probably gone down as well)
      And I’ve got to agree with her. I’m not sure this is quite the victory some had hoped for.

    44. Johnny says:

      The other thing is that, at no point does the article say that the No More Page 3 campaigners should not do what they are doing (and, given it’s supposed to be a democracy, I would insist personally on their right to do so) but this and similar accusations seem to be being levelled anyway.

    45. kailyard rules says:

      “Mammaries are made of this” as Dino sang.

    46. Martin McDonald says:

      I have no strong views either on Page 3. Is it within cBut, for the first time ever, I must commend the Sun for one of the funniest pieces of mass-media trolling I’ve ever seen.

      Their rivals and, remarkably, the BBC spent a massive amount of time on this. On Tuesday they were talking about it on my way to work in the morning on radio Scotland and they were still going on and on and on about it on my way home. It was as if there wasn’t actually a Trident debate going on at all.

      The smugness and the triumphalism of these news outlets, on a story which clearly wasn’t verified in any way shape of form, has now been force-fed back to them in a very amusing way.

      That’s what they get. Good.

    47. ErinT says:

      If I really had to classify myself I’d say I was a “feminist”. Personally, more egalitarian.

      I have no problem with other women choosing to model for Page 3. I don’t have a problem with Page 3 despite thinking it is unsuitable for print media that isn’t top shel and there isn’t a Page 4 of scantily clad men. Bodies are bodies and we should be past the stage of judging and discriminating over them.

      I do have a problem with The Sun which is nasty, vile and utter trash. Much like the Mail’s sidebar of shame. Seeing as I don’t read The Sun, thanks for bringing to attention the degree that it indulges in fat-shaming, poor-baiting, anti-equality and sex-negative garbage.


      Yeah, agreed! Places like the Guardian (it is my daily newspaper and I love it but it still deserves criticism) really do focus on the white, middle class areas of feminism and privilege. Even in discussing LGBT* issues, the B and the T are quickly sidelined in favour of tackling the far more palatable L and G problems. Ugh.

      No more page 3? I’d prefer no more tabloids.

    48. Morag says:

      I have vague memories of Page 3 pictures that were a bit on the offensive side, but not for many years. I just can’t see why so many people get so aerated about it. They’re pictures of pretty girls, in non-sexual poses, and they happen to have their tops off. So Freaking What?

      In comparison to the rest of the dross in that paper, page 3 is arguably the nicest part of the publication.

    49. This post set me thinking, so, I went to Wikipedia and found:

      The Year of the Sex Olympics is a 1968 television play made by the BBC and first broadcast on BBC2 as part of Theatre 625. It stars Leonard Rossiter, Tony Vogel, Suzanne Neve and Brian Cox. It was directed by Michael Elliott. The writer was Nigel Kneale, best known as the creator of Quatermass.

      Influenced by concerns about overpopulation, the counterculture of the 1960s and the societal effects of television, the play depicts a world of the future where a small elite control the media, keeping the lower classes docile by serving them an endless diet of lowest common denominator programmes and pornography. The play concentrates on an idea the programme controllers have for a new programme which will follow the trials and tribulations of a group of people left to fend for themselves on a remote island. In this respect, the play is often cited as having anticipated the craze for reality television.

      Kneale had fourteen years earlier adapted George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four as a classic and controversial BBC broadcast and the play reflects much of Kneale’s assimilation of Orwell’s concern about the power of the media and Kneale’s experience of the evolving media industry.

      When I read this post, I, who remembers watching The Year of the Sex Olympics when it was broadcast, immediately thought – we have now reached the situation which that single play forecast, and it is just one of the ways in which THEY keep us down.

    50. Chris Baxter says:

      One of your best yet. Brilliant.

    51. Robert Peffers says:

      O/T, (kind of).

      So while we are all, (Err!), tittering at the Sun’s masterstroke at the expense of what passes as the UK media I note there is a wee story slipping through the net almost unnoticed.

      “MPs call for Manorial Rights Review”.

      An MPs Committee report says, “The Law Commission”, should consider axing the ancient laws of “Manorial Rights”, as legally claimed by Lords of the Manor. Whereby holders have rights to hunt, shoot & fish or dig for minerals on other people’s land, a throwback to the Feudal System. The sting it the tail is they also recommend compensation should be paid to the holders if the Manorial Rights were scrapped.

      Hang-on though, this needs a wee bit of further thought about the history behind this whole system. We are back again at the ignored fundamental human rights of the people of the United Kingdom. Just what gave these, “Manorial Rights”, in the first place.

      The historic, “Devine Right Of Kings”, that was the law of the Kingdom of England’s three countries until the 1688, “Glorious Revolution”, in which the Royal veto was removed from the imported joint Royals of King Billy & Queen Mary of Orange. This supposedly transferred the royal powers to the people but in fact retained the Royals and made the English Parliament sovereign in a, “Constitutional Monarchy”. It effect it simply began the, “Establishment”, and made them the new elite ruling class and left the people still as the, Establishment’s serfs.

      Yet these MPs, (Members of The Establishment), also recommend that we, the people, should compensate the Lords of the Manor for stealing our rights since the Middle ages? It is long past time we, the people, jolted these elected members back into the modern real World. Perhaps even taking compensation from the Lords of the Manor for what they have thieved from the people since God alone knows when.

    52. Grouse Beater says:

      a refusal to see that there are many worthy causes out there that the Sun editors want them to ignore

      The depiction of women as sexual objects, chattel to be used, abused, and discarded for the new, depicted as ideal whores, is about the best analogy one can find for today’s the free market and rampant capitalism.

    53. think again says:

      A photie of Jim Murphy without a halo, oh you are awful Stu.

      Let us spare a kind thought however for poor Nicole who never dreamt she would be a Murphy supporter and is now, like my eyeballs, scarred for life.

    54. crisiscult says:

      “Until you’ve had someone tell you you’re too pretty to be working, and you should be doing something like page three, as I actually have had someone say to me, you don’t get to decide what we should be fighting for.”

      This is a point I think is worth developing because we probably all have those personal experiences that may be shared by a wider group, though we often don’t know until we get or create a medium to share those experiences. For example, I was working in an English speaking location, dominated by people of a certain type of English accent, where comments were made several times about my likely problem with alcohol, and how I should probably be working in the building trade, not law. Unless you’ve shared an experience like that, you might think that the person with an axe to grind should move on and worry about some other issue.

    55. RandomSwitch says:

      I signed the “no more page three” petition at
      – I have no issue with portrayal of nudity where apposite –
      Rather for the nakedly cynical titillation by Murdoch of his papers readers to appeal to the ‘male gaze’ of his readers as a sweetener to its true display of vile political pornography on its other pages at the Rev rightly contends.
      But as to the petition, I realised that I had taken up company with strange bedfellows when I noted there was not one male name amongst its signatories.
      And the Rev’s analysis of the spume of “feminist” self congratulatory outpourings in the grunaird and such reminds me strongly of the many strands, waves of feminism of which this particular chest beating display of righteousness is a hangover of the discredited 2nd wave, reactionary, 1970s men blamers which found a home in liberal organisations, including labour’s hierarchy.
      I await the next petition update keenly.
      My 2 pence.

    56. Oscar Taime says:

      @A.N.Surgent @crisiscul the Radio 4 Today program this morning once again saw Naughtie fawning over an establishment guest – this time Wee Danny Alexander – by agreeing with him the statement today’s publication would make Holyrood “one of the most powerful devolved institutions in the world” and restricting himself to asking questions that amounted to “and the SNP are bad aren’t they Mr Alexander”?

      So let’s have a wee look shall we. On 5 December 2014 we have this:

      “… the increasing calls for an independence vote in Catalonia is a message that even in a region that has been devolved *far more powers than Scotland* has received, the call for separatism remains just as strong – if not stronger.”

      Hmmm. Is Mr Naughtie expecting some ermin perhaps?

    57. Kim nicoll says:

      Sorry guys-I am a bit disappointed by the tone of the Rev’s article and yes I did read it all. I agree that the Sun must’ve been cock a hoop at the wall to wall coverage it got and the way the MSM lapped it up.

      However, the word feminist is tagged alongside pompous. Why?

      The day to day experience of women in Scotland is not one of equality and those of us who support independence know that we’re a million miles from living in the kind of open, fair and respectful country that we want and despair when men albeit well intended just don’t get it.

      Women experience everyday sexism and it’s not just boring and tiresome. So come on guys, let’s walk the walk -we can all be feminists-starting with supporting the end of page 3 and not just in rags like Sun

    58. Wp says:

      O/t but did Murphy really say Labour would build 100,000 houses ?
      In all the years in power in Holyrood they built the grand total of 6.

    59. Luigi says:

      The British Boobcasting Corporation certainly dedicated a fair bit of airtime to this matter this week. They swallowed it hook line and sinker.

      Mind you, I remember The Sun pretended to support Scottish Independence for a few weeks, way back in 1992 (probably part of a ploy to ensure that Neil Kinnock never became PM), and quite a few of us were fooled at the time.

    60. Grouse Beater says:

      They’re pictures of pretty girls, in non-sexual poses

      I’ll dine out on that remark. 🙂

    61. Blackhack says:

      The Sun is full of tits and always has been….When I say tits, I mean the ones laughingly called journalists….

    62. crisiscult says:

      Oscar Taime – thanks for that. That’s the type of thing a wide audience will NOT get, but they need (in summarised format).

    63. Macart says:

      The standard of journalism in the UK.

      Research, checking and confirmation of fact/source material. The talent of the editorial team, management, administration, corporate/political bias/influence involved, objectivity of the author of any given piece and the agenda/s set by all of the above.

      Honest mistakes, deliberate mistakes, lies (both overt and by omission), misinformation, obfuscation, propaganda?

      All things to think about when the meeja release anything for our consumption.

    64. Chic McGregor says:

      Now, an inverse strategy for Wings,… hmmmm.

      Hey everybody, I heard a rumour Wings is stating a page 3 on Monday. 😉

    65. Oscar Taime says:

      @crisiscult on your second experience sharing post.

      One can not help but remember with a certain fondness the sudden realization on starting advanced studies at a reasonably well known “secular” University in London, that one was, in fact, a mean, boorish, drunk “sweaty” whose only redeeming feature was that one might be watchable if a fight broke out.


    66. Roughian says:

      The Year of the Sex Olympics
      Big Brother, I’m a Celeb get me out of here, Question Time and All Creatures Great and Small in the one show!!!!

    67. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “However you’re not really in a position to decide what women should be campaigning for.”

      Lucky I did no such thing, then. I referred to “the left”, not “women”.

    68. KillieBoab says:

      Just heard from Dim Jim himself on ‘Daily Politics’ that ‘The vow has been delivered’.


    69. Murray McCallum says:

      The widespread coverage of The Sun non-event detracted from the Russian invasion of Scotland.

      I can’t believe COBRA never met to discuss how Russian subs could cruise up and down the River Clyde, totally unimpeded, in proximity to UK WMDs.

    70. Oscar Taime says:

      @crisiscult back to the first thread

      Yup & I’m rather hoping the good Rev will put together some comparison summary of how our powers current & proposed, actually stack up against others including Catalonia, Quebec & possibly even the German Lander & state governments in the US. maybe we can help?

      Could be useful for a possible WBB2 or a Wee Red Tory Book cos whatever we’re doing in here & elsewhere online it’s what we do out in the streets & on the doorsteps that will ensure the polls stay on our side.

    71. Helena Brown says:

      Well I always say if you do not like the Sun stop buying it. This has been in the paper (can you call it a paper, thought comic was more correct), since it was first Published. Women have earned money and a reputation on those pages. Those who would prefer that they earned it other ways can make that point, but unfortunately as long as there is a sex trade there will be glamour pictures and porn and people making money out of it.
      A bit O/T I was asked if I wanted to buy the Daily Retard this morning so I could use the £5 voucher for my shopping in Aldi. I declined, said I would happily give someone the £5 before I would allow that rag an reason for an increase in their sales.

    72. Helena Brown says:

      Chic, is Stuart posing naked or maybe one of the stalwarts on these pages, nae women mind, time for us to have a laugh.

    73. A.N.Surgent says:

      Oscar Taime

      The “SNP are bad” seems to be the stock answer to everything and anything these days. Even the slump in oil prices is put at the SNP`s door, no mention of the fact that every oil producing nation, across the world is in the same boat. Apart from Saudi Arabia.

    74. Helena Brown says:

      Morag We certainly agree with the fact that there is any amount of Porn in the Sun than on page three. Then of course we could also refer to the front page of the Daily Mail.

    75. bjsalba says:

      Earning their title as gutter press.

      And what does that tell you about the man that owns this paper and the people who work for him?

      You are what you publish.

    76. Grizzle McPuss says:

      As we used to chant as schoolboys…

      “Some girls wear bras
      Some girls wear string
      Page three girls just let them swing”

      Then, for titilation in adulthood, and to keep abreast of current affairs, I learned to tune into WM every Wednesday at 12 noon to see a left and a right tit swaying at one another.

    77. heedtracker says:

      The whole point is sex sells. There is no other reason for Murdoch doing it. Loads of marketing wraps sex round garbage products and it works. The difference comes from reprobates like Murdoch and say the neo fascists that own the Daily Mail, all deciding they that are teamGB moral arbiters and stinks to high hell.

      How did you make so much money uncle Rupert? Paid nothing in taxes, flogged shite on the backs of young girls but do as I say, vote how I tell you etc

      But on the other hand these news businesses are what they are, conservative, far right, exploitative, creepy w_nk mags for sure but not hypocrites.

      Look at the Guardian, trading on being progressive liberal, democratic, open minded for change yet they shat on Scottish democracy and never even had the decency or courage to say why, not once.

      That’s far worse than some rich old wrinkly sitting with his suit trousers round his ankles in his Wapping executive loo. staring at naked girls that wouldn’t touch him with a barge pole, unless he paid them. So he does:D

    78. A.N.Surgent says:

      Oscar Taime

      The “SNP are bad” seems to be the stock answer to everything and anything these days.The demand for ermine is going to sky-rocket with the amount the state needs to reward the naesayers

    79. Mattyboy says:

      I’m really at a loss at why anyone would buy this tory rag in the first place. After it’s disgraceful treatment of the Hillsborough victims and families and it’s continued attacks on left of Centre working class people you would think we would know better. I wouldn’t take it to the cludgie if I ran out of toilet paper

    80. Grouse Beater says:

      The widespread coverage of The Sun non-event detracted from the Russian invasion of Scotland.

      Still chuckling. 🙂

      Perhaps we should ditch nuclear powered subs and instead use the cheap, safe power we had in the subs gifted in Cornflake packets powered by bicarbonate of soda!

      Also: a good day laughing at Danny Alexander’s risible claim devolved powers – not yet devolved and maybe not at all – are the greatest, most splendiforous powers given to any small, chippy, insignificant shire in the galaxy!

    81. Chitterinlicht says:

      Well said. ( I read all of the article)

      There really are some fannies and willies out there.

    82. Charles mc says:

      Just how many page 3 models will ba claiming being it’s now? It’s good that everyone’s attention is focused on benifit cheats when the 1% rake in millions in austerity benifits

    83. Dr Jim says:

      But then again, the Sun’s not a newspaper is it, it’s a magazine printed on paper for people who don’t buy magazines

    84. mumsyhugs says:

      Must admit I had a wee snigger to myself the other day when Jeremy Vine talked on the radio about Sun ‘readers’ because mostly they only buy it to look at the pictures! 🙂

    85. Clootie says:


      Talk about “product placement”. I can hardly watch the TV now without Saint Murphy popping up – offloading foodbank trucks / Jogging in Glasgow /saving the NHS etc

      Is this the plan? Have him constantly on the TV taking over from Gordon Brown the role of saving the world.

      For the next few months we will have photo opportunities and sound bites. I prefer action and competency addressing social fairness so will be sticking with the SNP.

    86. Brian Fleming says:

      Some thoughts stimulated by some of the comments above… The use of sexual organs (primary or secondary, male or female) as terms of abuse seems to me to indicate a profound sickness in our culture.

    87. Morag says:

      It occurs to me that this brouhaha is another upside of no longer watching television. I caught a couple of tweets about the issue yesterday which I pretty much skimmed over. My entire broadcast diet is Radio 3, which damn well isn’t going to demean itself to mention the Sun and page 3 anyway, and besides it only has about three very short news bulletins a day which I usually manage to avoid.

      I really had no idea what was going on until I saw some stuff this morning on Stu’s twitter feed, and then this thread. What a fantastic time saving it is, not even to have been aware of the stooshie.

    88. Chic McGregor says:


      Erm, the reverse strategy is to rumour there will be a page 3 but then not have one. PC and PR

    89. Elaine Gunn says:

      The problem isn’t women choosing to make money for taking their tops off – I am a feminist, and I support their right to do so. The problem is that there is a place for ogling nude or semi-nude people, and that’s in pornographic media, not mainstream newspapers. Just because the Sun gets up to even nastier things than perpetuating the objectification of women, doesn’t mean that its perpetuation of the objectification of women isn’t a bad thing.

      When I was a little girl Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister. I was too young to fully understand the reasons behind the hatred of her in Scotland; all I knew was that by her very presence in 10 Downing Street, it was possible for a woman to be Prime Minister. I spent a bit of time wanting to become Prime Minister myself, then started reading James Herriott books and decided on being a vet instead.

      My point is, that young girls are influenced by media. The message that Page 3 sends out, is that girls and women are good for standing about passively in their pants being pretty. Do we need more women aspiring to passive pants-clad prettiness in our society? Or do we need more people getting themselves educated and challenging thee cultural norms that allow this awful, toxic media machine to operate unchecked?

      I didn’t vote until I was 30 years old – a symptom of the inherent political apathy and disenfranchisement that I developed from growing up in Scotland as part of the UK. When the referendum came, I decided I had to educate myself, as this vote would matter in a way no other vote in my life could ever matter – and such was my political awakening. The two may seem unrelated, but it was around the same time that I stopped worrying quite so much about what I looked like in my pants…

    90. john king says:

      BrianW says
      “I’ll see your “The media have made rights tits of themselves.” and raise you a..

      yes it’s all gone tits up..”

      Come on cut them some slack man, I think they were trying to make a clean breast of it.
      AH’ll eh , get ma overtheshoulderboulderholder. 🙁

    91. john king says:

      Grouse Beater says
      “How long would Page 3 exist if it showed men’s tackle as a selling technique?”

      Like this you mean

      I DARE YOU!

    92. john king says:

      kailyard rules says
      “Mammaries are made of this” as Dino sang.”

      “Thanks for the mammaries”. :)Bob Hope

    93. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “However, the word feminist is tagged alongside pompous. Why?”

      To indicate that not all feminists are pompous.

    94. Terry says:


      Agreed. And portraying page 3 as the girl next door encourages Neanderthals to think the girl next door is a sex object. Arguably a lot more dangerous than remote porn – after all its usually the girl next door who Gets raped by somebody She knows

      There’s maybe a place for titillation but not on a familys breakfast table. otherwise some good points made in article.

      Murdoch is an exploitive monster. He will play games with breasts to make him as much money as possible – as he plays games with whatever he chooses to. Vile.

    95. Paula Rose says:

      @ Elaine Gunn 2:43

      I couldn’t have put it better.

      What place is there for such things in a newspaper.

      Rev’s analysis –

      Same thing, such vilification is not news.

      The Sun – The Scum.

    96. Wee Jonny says:

      I ran over a feminist in my new convertible and killed her today.

      Oh dear, I can just see the headlines,

      ‘Topless model kills feminist’.

      True Story.

    97. Jimbo says:

      “…based on no more than a couple of vague unattributed nudges and winks the entire UK press decided that the story was fact and reported it with one voice.”

      Yup, that nicely sums up the quality of the entire press corps in this disfunctional yookay.

      None of them want to be seen to be the odd man out, so they’ll all jump in the same shit just to prove they’re with it.

    98. HandandShrimp says:

      As someone said, all too often page 3 is the least offensive thing in the Sun.

    99. FairiefromEarth says:

      Keep them dumb us the useless eaters and keep them fighting with one another, thats why 0.001% of the World population ownes 50% of everything. The papers are doing exactly what they are designed for 1984.

    100. punklin says:

      Very good points Stu about the gullibility/mediocrity of the uncritical press and media but otherwise not too sure about your over-simplification of very complex issues re body/weight/work – and feminists/the left who I am uneasy at easy vilification of (“pompous… etc.”). It’s a difficult world and those struggling, like us independistas, to make sense of it and change it for the better should not be condemned by those on the side of progress, such as your valued site…

    101. Gizmo says:

      This is exactly why you irritate politicians and “journalists” alike – by showing them up for not applying even a moment of critical thought and inquiry to any “stories” that pass them by.

      The best commentary on the papers head-long rush for the gutter is the fact that they aren’t even seen fit to wrap fish and chips in, anymore.

      Whilst they die a slow, lingering death – websites and blogs, like this one and others – continue to show them how it’s meant to be done.

      Keep it up!

    102. Eman says:

      Why can’t you condemn both? The objectification of women on page 3 and the attack on the women on other pages? Would you publish an article saying ‘Why the fuss about this unimportant racism when there’s other/worse racism going on elsewhere”? You make the connections and do the research in your other articles, so why so hard to do that when it’s all about demeaning women? If women that stand up against this are feminists, great. It’s up to them/us to campaign when and where we can. Many are involved in the campaign for independence. Standing shoulder to shoulder…

    103. Paula Rose says:

      Bit confused – is it news that the fairer sex have mammary glands?

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