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Telling good journalism from bad

Posted on April 05, 2015 by

As alert readers will already know, this site’s core long-term aim is to eventually render itself redundant, by showing people how to read between the lines, spot what isn’t being said and understand the various tricks that newspapers use in order to get the public to believe things that aren’t true without ever doing anything so crass (and more to the point, legally-actionable) as directly lying.

telleak

Today’s papers provide an especially clear-cut example.

Pretty much everyone reports the ongoing developments in “MemoGate” (the Nicola Sturgeon leak scandal that nobody’s managed to make a single hashtag stick on). And it’s possible to discern, from nothing more than the headlines and straplines each one uses, which are at least attempting to provide something approximating to journalism and which are simply cheap propaganda and smear sheets.

Let’s illustrate:

SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY
“Inquiry launched into leaking of memo showing Sturgeon backing Cameron”

SUNDAY MAIL
“Civil Service boss orders probe into leaked memo which claimed Nicola Sturgeon wanted to see David Cameron remain in power”

SUNDAY EXPRESS
“Inquiry launched into Nicola Sturgeon’s leaked memo ‘backing David Cameron'”

SCOTTISH SUNDAY EXPRESS
“Hunt for source of leaked memo claiming Nicola Sturgeon backs Tories”

SUNDAY TIMES
“Inquiry ordered into ‘dirty tricks’ against Sturgeon”

SUNDAY POST
“Hunt for Sturgeon ‘dirty tricks’ mole”

SUNDAY HERALD
“French diplomat: I told ‘friend’ in Scotland Office about Sturgeon meeting”

SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
“Cabinet Secretary orders inquiry into how Nicola Sturgeon’s comments were leaked”

MAIL ON SUNDAY
“Cabinet Secretary orders official inquiry into how memo claiming Nicola Sturgeon wants David Cameron to stay in No.10 was leaked… as she continues to deny saying it”

Our readers are pretty bright, but for the benefit of any Scottish Labour MPs reading (and we know they are), we’ll spell it out. With the facts hotly disputed, some papers report the story neutrally, as they should – “hunt for mole”, “leak claims”. But others, most notably the Telegraph and Scotland On Sunday, treat the alleged comments attributed to the First Minister as facts.

The Telegraph – understandably defending its own story – says unequivocally that they were “Nicola Sturgeon’s comments”, something everyone who was in the room when the remarks were supposedly made has absolutely categorically denied.

Scotland On Sunday, though, has no dog in the fight, yet runs a headline saying that the memo SHOWS – not claims or alleges – Sturgeon backing Cameron. Interestingly it’s almost word-for-word the same as the Sunday Express’, but crucially the Express puts the claim in quote marks where SoS doesn’t.

And it’s no slip of the tongue. The paper also carries an editorial leader emphasising its doubts about whether the First Minister, the French ambassador and the French consul-general might be lying.

“It will take many more days before the full facts of this saga are known and a judgment can be made about whether the British government memo leaked to the press this weekend was an accurate account, or an invention, or a simple misunderstanding.”

Will it? What will we find out? Everyone in the room is telling exactly the same story. Nobody else was there to witness it. Unless it was being covertly recorded – which would be a whole other scandal – nobody will ever be able to prove that Nicola Sturgeon said what every witness present says she didn’t.

The fact is that we already know everything we’re ever going to know, except the name of the Telegraph’s source. (Which we may never discover.)

The leader goes on to add:

“Yesterday Sturgeon struck an outraged tone, saying she had been fighting against the prospect of a Tory government all her adult life and would continue to do so. And yet a reasonable suspicion remains.”

Does it? On what grounds? A fourth-hand claim by someone who wasn’t there, from a UK government civil service that’s known to be actively hostile to the SNP and the Scottish Government? (A fact already willingly revealed by Sir Nicholas MacPherson, but also amply proven by the very fact of the memo being leaked.)

It’s a serious enough matter to accuse the First Minister of lying (something heavily implied by both the first six words and the last six words in the above paragraph). But there’s at least a motive for Nicola Sturgeon doing so.

What absolutely nobody’s been able to explain is why the French ambassador and consul-general would also do so. They have nothing to gain from supporting the Scottish Government over the UK one – the latter is plainly the more powerful.

They could have simply refused to comment, proclaiming honourable confidentiality but in reality leaving Sturgeon swinging in the wind. Yet in the strongest terms that a diplomat will ever use, they instead chose to unambiguously and repeatedly deny the claims in full public view.

frenchembassy

Any newspaper which talks of the memo “revealing” or “showing” what Nicola Sturgeon said is purposely misleading its readers. The body text of the story will of course be full of disclaimers noting everyone’s denials, but by then it’s too late – we all know that it’s the headline readers take in and which sets the frame for the story.

(Basically people expect a headline to be a summary of the facts below, so if the headline says it’s so, they assume that that’s the balanced conclusion to be drawn from the detail, no matter what that detail then says. And as the link above shows us, the chances are they won’t have read the detail anyway.)

Headlines are the distilled essence of newspapers. Not a single word in them is there by accident. And they’re how you tell honest journalists from liars.

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    243 to “Telling good journalism from bad”

    1. Clootie says:

      …and they will keep hoping to get some mud to stick.

      The story will roll on and the intent will have been achieved – no one will remember the denial and lack of evidence. The mission was to leave that last phrase stuck in peoples heads “…And yet a reasonable suspicion remains.”

    2. Bob Mack says:

      Cabinet orders Inquiry into how comments the First Minister never made were leaked.That would have been better

    3. Fiona says:

      That is well worth repeating, and your illustrations are glaring evidence that what you say is true.

      However in this case I do not think the general principle is producing the usual results. I do not think many people believe there is any doubt that this is a lie, pure and simple

      Of course there is doubt about what the long term result will be, and perhaps in the future that will change when people only remember vaguely and the idea that there was some scandal which showed Ms Sturgeon to be a closet tory will stick. Presumably that is the calculation these “opinion makers” have made

      Fortunately a month is not the “long term”. If I am right then most people know this is a lie and it will undermine whatever comes next out of this bag of smears. That is my hope

    4. Ken500 says:

      ‘Journalists’ controlled by the Official Secrets Act from reporting Westminster crimes. They would rather tell lies.

      Carmichael has surfaced with more nonsense. The Press Corp.

    5. Cag-does-thinking says:

      With you on this Stu. It’s also an indicator of intent how prominent a story is placed.

      Most notably in this age of 24 hour rolling news is that the story which is a non story gets hours and hours of national TV airtime while the campaign itself gets less than a cursory glance.

      The idea presumably is that the public forgets Nicola’s display in the debate and the English pub voters get to think that the SNP are all conspiracy theorist nutters as they were taught to believe in the run up to the referendum.

    6. HandandShrimp says:

      Depressingly most of them are biased liars with axes to grind. The Telegraph is a particularly disreputable paper these days. The red tops are what they are.

    7. Doug says:

      If Nicola Sturgeon had her phone in the room, it was being recorded .. but not by her. If the security services were spying on Labour government ministers, who would be naive enough to think they WEREN’T spying on the phones and tablets of the Scottish Government.

    8. Alastair Watson says:

      there definitely not journalists, there desperate power driven locusts, It really is shameful behaviour and an insult to the intelligence of the people

    9. TD says:

      As always Stu, your analysis is spot on. They cannot hide when you unpick their misleading and disingenuous “reporting”. You say what many of us feel, but which we might struggle to articulate in such a comprehensive manner.

      Thank you.

    10. alastair says:

      Government Health Warning.

      Lets look at lessons from history. For history reflects human nature and traits. And history put into a personal scale – my history, my father’s history, my father’s father’s history, my father’s father’s father’s history. This gives history a tangible scale that the individual can touch.

      We rightly praised ourselves during the Scottish Referendum that the campaign was model. No violence, civic unrest, subversion,with discussion, argument, voice, rational and inclusiveness – Scotland at its best.
      The result was No but the movement grows exponentially in momentum, membership and expectations.

      I fear that we could be pushed into a rerun the Irish experience.

      We are trying to exit the UK in a democratic way by relying on UK democracy and the Establishment’s willingness to accept the will of the Scottish people. Play fair and allow when the rollercoaster now running comes back into the station with a clear will of the Scottish people – to determine our own destiny.

      Ireland – history of my father’s father. Rebellion, bloodshed, murder, subversion, generations of terrorism and the worst form both sides.

      India, America – history of my father’s father’s father. Rebellion, bloodshed but with inevitable results. The most heinous periods in the demise of the Empire.

      Australia, New Zealand – history of my fathers father were both were mature enough in culture, economy for a smooth transition.

      So UK Establishment. Look at your history. What is it to be?

      Ask your father or if you are lucky your fathers’ father what’s inevitable.

    11. RMF Brown says:

      This has been a complete humiliation for the Telegraph, and of course, the British Labour party in Scotland.

      To see them jump upon a bandwagon going over a cliff, and then have to back track at the speed of knots was something to behold. Comedy gold.

      I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, a very very very tiny part of me is glad we lost in September, because the unionist implosion since then has been something to behold.

    12. Macnakamura says:

      I still have time for James Cooke but his interview with Nicola was in keeping with the agenda of the leakers.
      Instead of making the story about the malign motives of the leaker and the smear he tried to establish that there was no smoke without fire.
      Doing his job, yes, but he could have done his job differently.

    13. Walter Scott says:

      Reverend, you say we may never know who leaked or who had the opportunity to do so. The name Alastair Carmichael keeps coming up, also, he has been very quiet about it. An enquiry won’t get to the truth this side of the election. I don’t do twitter but would be interested in knowing how things are playing out for Carmichael & if he’s said anything.

    14. heedtracker says:

      Ultimately its that red and blue tory right to reign over us, only just clinging on to control of Scotland.

      It looks like a majority of Scots voters want Scotland to have an actual say in Westminster. May 7 is a great opportunity for Scotland and clearly nothing legit can stop this. So here we are. THE VOW’s a giant fraud and very dirty UKOK tricks probably wont change much either.

    15. Billy says:

      Great piece rev’d stu, very informative and helpful in enabling me to read between their lines.

    16. David Wallace says:

      It seems that the perpetrator(s) of this lie completely misjudged French notions of democracy.

      One can only assume that they stupidly believed the French would refuse to comment on the matter, citing diplomatic privacy and that would make Nicola ‘look guilty’. Leaving her high and dry.

      Fools, vive The Auld Alliance!

    17. Joemcg says:

      Agree 100% Stu. Look at that Torygraph headline. Shocker. Still reporting that it actually happened.

    18. Andy-B says:

      Add to the fact that 99% of the national press are hostile towards Scotland gaining more power,or Scotland becoming independent, and the picture becomes clear.

      The antagonistic national papers will drag this out,for all its worth even though its all lies.

    19. b robb says:

      Stuart Campbell says

      As alert readers will already know, this site’s core long-term aim is to eventually render itself redundant, by showing people how to read between the lines and understand the tricks that newspapers use to get them to believe things that aren’t true without ever doing anything so crass and legally-actionable as directly lying.

      As a long term lurker I have to say I think you’ve succeeded in your aim – most of the points you go on to mention seemed to jump off the pages now, and you wonder how anyone can fail to pick up on them. Next lesson might be how not to jump to over hasty conclusions in case we end up copying the lamentable behaviour of the labour tweeters.

    20. MoJo says:

      the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, so we must be vigilant for the next 5 weeks and keep calling out these lies and distortions in the media.

      Even the Guardian has noticed the different headlines in Scotland and England.

      http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2015/apr/04/nicola-sturgeons-tv-success-exposes-the-so-called-national-press

      An educated electorate is a powerful one….

    21. Hoss Mackintosh says:

      Yes – we are lied to every day of the week and every week of the year.

      All in defence of the Union.

      plus ca change…plus c’ est la meme chose.

    22. Hazel says:

      It’s not surprising that the French issued such strong public denials about the meeting – they take diplomacy very seriously indeed. French used to be the language of diplomacy after all, and they see themselves as masters of the art. They won’t be at all happy that a private diplomatic meeting has been dragged into a party political fight and used to smear a foreign leader they have to work with. Especially when it’s alleged that it was one of their diplomats who relayed the claims in the first place.

      The Tories and Labour are so used to bullying the British electorate without comeback that they’ve forgotten not everybody will dance to their tune. Not the Scots, who refuse to vote for Tory governments and who really do believe in progressive policies, and not the French who after all are another world power, at least on the level of the UK.

      The other thing that strikes me about this fiasco is that the black arts spooks in the Scotland Office and at the Telegraph who concocted the plan have clearly forgotten about the Auld Alliance. Pissing off the Scots and the French on the same day is never going to work that well for the English.

    23. David McCann says:

      I sense the hand of McTernan here.
      He has form and knows enough people in high places to influence events.
      His record in Australia is not exactly exemplary

      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/gillards-foul-mouthed-flack-john-mcternan-exposed/story-fn59niix-1226781041595

    24. Hoss Mackintosh says:

      Well done the French!

      I would think they will invite Nicola over as guest of honour for the Anniversary of the Battle of Bauge in 2021 when are an independent nation again.

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Baugé

      🙂

    25. Democracy Reborn says:

      It pains me to admit that I used to buy Scotland on Sunday many years ago. In its regular mainstream reporting and editorials, it is now little more than a pro-unionist/Labour rag with a scattering of a few independence-supporting columnists to give a veneer of ‘balance’. Take even a cursory look at Kenny Farquharson’s tweets over any given period, and you’ll find thinly-disguised contempt for independence, the SNP and Scottish Govt. Then again he’s recently moved onto the Times, so his political journey is now complete.

    26. Alex Birnie says:

      I posted this on FB as a spoof “scoop” yesterday at 13:46 – “I heard from a bloke down the pub who told me that his granny is a cleaner in the public hall in Kirkwall and she overheard Alistair Carmichael’s wife after a WRI meeting, boasting about how he had ordered his civil service assistant to bodge something together about Nicola Sturgeon and the French Ambassador which would “dish the dirt on Sturgeon”. So there you have it. I have met the highest standards of the British press and uncovered a story that will bring down the Secretary of State for Scotland. FAO the editors of the Daily Reek, Daily Torygraph – “Gizza joab?”” – I am now offering clairvoyant readings for £50……:)

    27. BenInsular says:

      Reorters don’t write the headlines – subeditors do, often under severe deadlne pressure, and having to summarize an article’s content to a very few words. This explains some of the disjunct between the headlines and the articles, but very often betrays the paper’s overall editorial stance.

      More and more nowadays, headlines are written with the aim of providing online clickbait – see the Huffington Post for some extreme examples of this on any given day.

      This continues the tradition of blazing frontpage headlines in the print press – designed to stand out on the newstand, often sensational, and preferably pithy (“GOTCHA!”), and designed to pander to the views and prejudices of the target readership.

      As a blogger of some experience and renown (I’ve been the former, never the latter except for a few brief spectacular splashes), you’ll no doubt appreciate the importance of the headline for drawing readers in. You’ll also probably agree that there are only so many times anyone can try to gull readers, who quickly grow impatinet if senstational headlines aren’t borne out by the content (I think this pressure is greater online as outlets tend to be smaller – yours being an exception! – and readerships usually more fickle (many people will often ignore the politics espoused by their regular paper and stick with it over the years even dispite it because of something else it offers, like sports coverage, a good crossword, favoured columnists, sheer habit etc.)

      None of this negates your observations on the articles’ contents, of course. Journalists have got to make a story, sometimes out of very sparse material – or even, on a bad day, thin air – trying to find a unique angle, and always looking over their shoulders at their rivals.

    28. Holebender says:

      pedant>There are no MPs, Labour or otherwise, at the moment. /pedant>

    29. Stoker says:

      MoJo wrote:
      “An educated electorate is a powerful one….”

      Then you go and post a direct link to a Unionist rag.
      Talk about irony, eh!
      🙂

    30. gordoz says:

      We all know what side 95% of the press are on (James Cook is not anywhere near the worst of MSM journo’s) I don’t doubt this UK government memo exists.

      The fact that its content is a calculated spurious comment of pure conjecture, with no basis in fact; confirmed by all parties accused is more than concerning. This was published and broadcast everywhere before UK state reacted at all.

      The main worry is why the UK government did not pounce on this before the FM complained. Remember they are only investigating a source for the leak – not the content of the said leak (aka falsehood / fabrication). So this non story will only continue to run when they wan’t it to.

      Just what other fabrications via Governmental memo, Chinese whispers aren’t we hearing about yet ?

      Keep watching the polls folks !

    31. thomaspotter2014 says:

      Interestingly relevant new law from Conservative Cabinet Secretary Francis Maude made on 16/03 2015.

      Source:Sunday Herald page 13 by Rob Edwards.05/04/2015

      ‘Francis Maude made a surprise change to the civil service code requiring nearly half a million Government employees to “ensure you have ministerial authority for contact with the media”.

      That should just about cover Carmichael’s Scottish Office and the intentionally leaked false smear.

      Should be fun watching this shower of dirty lying bastards investigating themselves with this new law.

      Pass the popcorn,it’s getting real interesting.

      Westminster R.I.P. It’s over for you lot.

    32. manandboy says:

      All of this, and more to come probably,
      is what constitutes the basis for Murphy’s confidence
      that Labour can “turn this round”.

      Vile smears and outright lies.

      The Unionist foundations for democracy.

    33. Kenny says:

      I’ll bet Murphy is using “reasonable doubt” within the week. “It’s like a trial where the voters are the jury. There is no doubt that a Labour majority will get rid of David Cameron. But we’ve all now got a reasonable doubt about whether we can trust Nicola Sturgeon not to let the Tories back in by the back door.”

    34. Fraser Gibb says:

      It’s the “When did you stop beating your wife?” technique.
      No amount of “I never beat my wife!” will undo the inference.

      Good tactic!

    35. If the response that Nicola Sturgeon received at the anti-Trident march and rally yesterday is anything to go by then the Scottish people do not believe one slanderous word being printed and broadcast about her. This story will only strengthen the resolve to get rid of the Westminster old boys club once and for all.

    36. Caledonius says:

      Well it seems to be backfiring in some ways. Wee old woman sitting outside her home yesterday, I approach with my SNP leaflets give a weak smile and ask if she would like one.

      “Ah wis voting labour son, but this bullying Nicola Sturgeon, bad taste ye ken? Am voting SNP now.”

      Really gave me a lift. I very much hope there is more like that out there. Nicola is certainly more likeable than salmond to many folks, the media may find alot more people sympathetic to her side of this story than if it had been Alex.

    37. Geoff Huijer says:

      Scotland on Sunday were finished for me when they did this:

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/just-checking/

    38. Blair paterson says:

      I have complained on here in the past about the S.N.P. Being to soft on the msm and this is the result of it the msm can say and do as they like to the S.N.P. As there is no comeback from them they should have sued these liars ages ago ,will they do so now? I hope so , lord Macalpine should you how to do it so please for goodness sake put a stop to this and sue every one of them

    39. Swami Backverandah says:

      “The fact is that we already know everything we’re ever going to know, except the name of the Telegraph’s source. (Which we may never discover.)”
      Will Simon be asking his source for a refund?

    40. Elmac says:

      Following posted by Lochside on the previous thread

      https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=816197151794309&id=664987453581947

      Its a long read but utterly damning. We already knew we lived in one of the most corrupt societies in the “civilised” world. Here is the tip of the iceberg.

      Question is how do we stop this happening again at the next referendum? Will there be ballot rigging at GE 2015? Not the same issues involved and the opposition is fragmented so perhaps less likely. Looks like Scotland probably did vote yes last September as many suspect despite the WM/media lies, omissions and scaremongering. Unless the popular vote for independence reaches a level where even these criminals cannot disguise it, there has to be a clamour for UDI which would be a drastic step with god knows what repercussions.

      All very depressing.

    41. scunnered says:

      no wonder you get frustrated stu
      you do a great job educating us and exposing them for what they are…in my work they think im quite clever because I tell them the truth behind the headlines but im only telling them what ive read on here
      all the time im pointing somebody to this site and they love it but theres always going to be the gullible people who are just too lazy to investigate things for themselves and its convenient for them to believe the papers
      but there will come a time where the lazy and gullible are swamped by the converted on here
      keep chipping away please.

    42. Blair paterson says:

      Sorry should have said lord Macalpine showed you how to do it

    43. galamcennalath says:

      Wings gets a lot of criticism from certain quarters.

      Yet here you will only find good investigative journalism supported with links/references to original sources.

      What does that tell you about those who criticise?

      Answer, all you need to know about them!

    44. Swami Backverandah says:

      Look who’s got a gong in huffy pust on Cook “vicious abuse” article.

      “Influential Nationalist blog Wings Over Scotland called the abuse “counter-productive”.

    45. gordoz says:

      Cracking piece on this subject in : ‘To September and beyond’ Tab in Scottish politics section above.

      Worth a read!

    46. Stoker says:

      The Rev wrote:
      “alert readers will already know, this site’s core long-term aim is to eventually render itself redundant,”

      And i mean this in the best possible way when i say that i can’t bloody wait, hopefully that day will be very very soon.

      Because that means we will be free and independent of Warminster.

      C’mon troops, spread the WOS word far and wide, lets get our wee country that place on the international stage she needs and deserves. A seat at the top table helping to influence the world into a far better place for future generations worldwide.

      What’s not to like – kick out the Unionists – vote SNP.

    47. proudscot says:

      It will be interesting to watch the televised debate between the leaders of the Scottish political parties this coming week. I wonder whether Murphy, Davidson and Rennie will even attempt to repeat this unfounded and unproven smear. And if any of them dare to do so, I hope Nicola will skewer them by demanding to know if they are calling her, the French Ambassador and French Consul-General liars!

    48. Swami Backverandah says:

      OOOPs.
      In my desperate attempt to locate my irony emot, I inadvertently hit the “u” key.
      Should of course be huffy post – not pust.

      Wouldn’t want to be thought counterproductive, posting on a “Nationalist” blog, twould one.

    49. Andrew Brown says:

      Slightly O/T. Yesterday in Dunfermline High Street my wife and I encountered a small number of Labour canvassers (just what is the collective name for them, a lie, a muddle or a confusion ?).

      Predominately young women all in their early twenties plus a few men of various ages. The youngsters looked like bussed in PPE students. One young man I saw was getting a very firm but polite earful from a local lady. Another of the older canvassers was dressed in a suit, but with no tie (just to show solidarity with us plebs I suppose). Looked glossy and full of himself so I reckon he was a Councillor.

      When approached by one of the older male canvassers I politely declined a leaflet and the Memsahib showed her SNP badge. Later she proceeded to advise one of the young Labour ladies that the reason Labour were unpopular was because we were angry that under their governance poverty had (and still was) increasing.

      I had to do a Carmichael at this point and walk away as I have learned from experience to be very frightened of angry, principled and intelligent Scotswomen who are discomfited and of a mind to share said discomfiture.

      Labour are obviously trying to drum up support here. Anyone else experience something similar this weekend. I’ve never seen them put in much effort here before although they did wheel in Crash for the referendum.

    50. itsme says:

      Bit long and slightly OT – apologies.

      Putting to one side for a moment the truth or otherwise of the leaked memo it surely must be of the greatest concern to every voter that there is a politically motivated civil service leak during the election period.

      For those of us who believe in democracy and the integrity of democratic process, which I’m sure includes Sir Jeremy Haywood and 99.99% of the civil service , but perhaps a slightly lower percentage of journalists and newspaper proprietors, this is an affront to the notion that we are a bastion of democracy. Further, it is deeply damaging and dangerous to political discourse and especially so here in Scotland where views seem ever more polarised.

      Just what are the political parties in this country thinking in seeming to hold to some sort of self-imposed silence on the matter?

      Easter weekend aside, I have yet to hear a single politician on my TV or radio expressing the sort of outrage you imagine they might, were a civil service leak intended to damage their own party pop up during an election. Imagine a civil service leak that was intended to damage “national security” – all hell would have broken lose. An election to decide on the actual government seemingly not that important.

      Rather, they seem to prefer to spin a line in their own self interests. Bugger the notion of a free and fair election as long as we stick the boot into the other guy. And they wonder why they are held in such utter contempt?

      As what point is someone from the media going to ask whether they condemn, without qualification, and in the strongest possible terms, a civil service leak designed to interfere with and subvert with the democratic process? Anyone? Anyone out there in the media think this might matter?

      Having looked at every Scottish Labour MP’s twitter feed this morning (sad I know) it’s a very telling picture. There was a clearly orchestrated and suspiciously straight out the traps, operation to disseminate the Telegraph story from almost every single one of them, as you might expect of course. Did not one of them think – hang on a minute this is interference in an election by the civil service?

      Since the wheels almost immediately fell off the bus? Silence. A damning and deafening silence. In fact many seem to have gone totally “off grid”.

      There is a similarly worrying silence from the other main parties. Is there not a single one of them able to see past their own interest and willing to live up to their oft repeated mantra that they are in politics to serve in the public good? They should call in their media advisers and spinners, fire them, and begin again.

      I sincerely hope that Sir Jeremy will act as quickly as possible and not kick this into the long grass, since the reputation of the civil service here in Scotland has taken a bit of a knock following the Public Administration Committees recent post referendum report, which was surely jaw dropping for many who believe that an impartial and professional service is crucial for a functioning democratic state. Personally I think he should have been dealt with in the most brutal manner possible – pour encourager les autres.

      Had he done so perhaps this shameful and disgraceful episode might never have occurred. The full report is here for anyone interested:
      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmpubadm/111/111.pdf

    51. TD says:

      Caledonius

      I agree with you – I think your wee old woman will be typical of many people. SLAB and the other unionists don’t seem to realise that the days when they could pull the wool over the eyes of the electorate are gone. People see through them now, partly because of people like Stu doing a great job and partly because of social media. The electorate are far more savvy than they used to be.

      On balance, I think that Memogate will turn out to do more good than harm for our side of the debate. We must remain vigilante in continuing to expose them, but I don’t think we have got anything to worry about if they keep this sort of thing going. If they had good, logical arguments, they would use them. So the fact that they are resorting to this sort of thing shows us (if we didn’t already know) that we have the better of them. Which means that our independence is just a matter of time.

      It’s coming together nicely.

    52. The French are Scotland’s friends….they don’t like the English.
      Scotland will once again be Independent, given time, and the French are looking to the future…England will again be isolated.

    53. Capella says:

      I think I detect a change of tone in the Guardian/Observer regarding their attitude to Nicola Sturgeon. Includes an article on Mhairi Black’s challenge to Douglas Alexander and Kevin McKenna on the SNP revolution. The BTL comments were remarkably sane when I last looked. Even Steve Bell’s cartoon of the leaders debate leaves Nicola relatively unscathed. Weather is changing.

      https://archive.today/a9y3H

    54. Valerie says:

      Yes, noticed that, Swami! It is a shame if the tweets were OTT, about James Cook, and I know it’s just emotion, but it is not helpful to hand these open goals to Unionists.

      I think what was a bit of an amazing result yesterday, was the immediate response of SNP/Indy supporters, was to immediately call BS, on Frenchgate. That type of reaction, shows that there is now, not only an educated electorate, but one that trusts the SNP to be honest, and mean what they say.

      I’m sure the SNP appreciate what a heavy burden that places on them to act and deliver. Woe betide them if they are found wanting in the honesty department.

      I say that as a new member, and I wouldn’t remain a member if I thought they were not going to deliver in terms of conduct and honesty, but I don’t think there has ever been this type of phenomena before.

    55. Campbell: “something everyone who was in the room when the remarks were supposedly made has absolutely categorically denied”

      On that point Paul Hutcheon of the Herald is twisting himself into a pretzel to “prove” otherwise.

      Of course Blair McDougall was immediately all over this like a cheap suit, as he retweeted his little heart out.

      Tweets Paul Hutcheon: “French diplomat dodges whether First Minister said Miliband is not “PM material”.”
      http://paulhutcheon.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/french-connections.html

      Christian Wright: @PaulHutcheon Hey Paul why haven’t you highlighted the other interviews this man endured WERE HE IS UNEQUIVOCAL? Better yet Call him and ASK

      Paul Hutcheon: “@ChristainWright can you use any more block capitals?”

      Christian Wright: “@paulhutcheon It’s called EMPHASIS given twitter has no bold or italics. Now why have you ignored other interviews where he’s unequivocal”

      DANA: “@paulhutcheon why don’t you answer @ChristainWright questions, instead of worrying how he writes?”

      Christian Wright: “Isn’t it the case @paulhutcheon that you’ve not called Consul because you’d then have to include his debunking of your thesis?

      Christian Wright: “The huge story here is of a smear perpetrated by govt & pimped by Labour. But Hutcheon traduces Consul

    56. Capella says:

      Steve Bell – the Leaders’ Debate cartoon. Nicola hasn’t got a kilt on. Has he lost his nerve or is daylight dawning?

      https://archive.today/GfoEG

    57. boris says:

      I am confident there will always be a place on the social network for “Wings”. I hope you have the name protected.

      http://caltonjock.com/2015/04/05/uk-spymasters-keep-tabs-on-you-because-they-love-you-read-this-lot-then-lie-down-in-a-darkened-room-to-recover/

    58. Anne says:

      I was in Morrisons supermarket where I saw the Sunday Herald was at the back of the newsstand out of sight. So I switched it to the front where everyone can see it and one woman stopped and read the front page on Sturgeon, stating that the French Consul said Sturgeon had never said she had a preference for David Cameron.

    59. Swami Backverandah says:

      @ Capella

      It’s laughable isn’t it that it’s taken the lefties at the G this long to realise that the SNP is the only hope for the UK in restoring decent socialist values into Gov. policy.

      I’d call them thick, but that’s me being counter-productive 😉

    60. tombee says:

      With some, not many, honourable exceptions the MSM in this country has sunk as low to the depths of depravity as it is possible to go. These people are of the same ilk as those who hacked the phone of a murdered young girl to cause great heartache to her family.
      Such was the degree of depravity of their actings, that some of them, not enough of them, ended up in prison.
      This is the slime life we are dealing with.
      If they can conduct themselves, as some of them did, in the search for questionable snippets of information, by hacking a dead girls phone, then why should we ever expect them to behave with any semblance of honour on any other occasion ?.

    61. Macart says:

      Reasonable doubt?

      FFS

      A fourth hand account in a contrived memo versus first hand accounts from those directly involved.

      The media, never knowingly honest. They’ve had their arse handed to them by both the First Minister, the French Ambassador and the French Consul General.

      How about we cut to the chase media? Which little rat in the Scotland Office are you protecting? Where was this distorted memo issued from? Who issued it, how far up does the authority for this clusterfuck go and I think we can already guess the purpose for ourselves.

      Some suit, YET AGAIN, in the CS has stepped beyond the bounds of their remit. This time involving French government officials. The whole thing reeks from top to toe and you people are playing with semantics?

      How about finding the guilty parties and actually doing the right thing just for once? Who knows? You might even enjoy the experience.

    62. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      Speaking of the coming inquiry + Could the inept cowardly oaf Alistair Carmichael be preparing to throw his own spad Euan Roddin to the wolves in a desperate attempt to fend off the inevitable?

      Pretty damn odd that his name has suddenly been popping up on lib dem blogs just after the official Cabinet Office investigation was announced into the the leak of the bullshit memo.

      It’s precisely the type of thing Carmichael would do though. If there’s anyone AT ALL he could use as a human shield then he will unquestionably cower behind them and hope they take all the flak.

      That means the Spads and civil servants in the scotland office can all expect to be in the firing line way, WAY before Carmichael takes the slightest bit of responsibilty. They are all ‘expendable’ in his eyes.

      Something they will already be acutely aware of since they will know better than most just how insufferable and bullying Carmichael can be to his ‘underlings’.

    63. Andrew Coulson says:

      What would Mycroft make of this?:

      Consider the full text of the memo, which the Telegraph has reproduced (as good evidence for its real existence).

      The first paragraphs deal with significant and quite complicated issues, in a fully plausible way. This material is interesting to read, for those of us who don’t normally get to see real government documents, but is entirely irrelevant to the smear: so this convinces me that the document is entirely genuine — it was written by ‘Author A’, a Scotland Office permanent civil servant, and it records feedback from the Consul General about meetings between members of the Scottish government and the French ambassador.

      One feature of the crucial last paragraph that has not been much remarked on, is the assertion that ‘FM stated …. that she had no idea ‘what kind of mischief’ Alex Salmond would get up to….’. This is even less plausible as a remark from the FM to the ambassador than the comments about Mr Miliband, and no doubt added to A’s confidence that all these remarks resulted from translation error or misunderstanding.

      Since A did not believe that Nicola Sturgeon had said what was attributed to her, I think it is safe to conclude that A did not do the leaking. The memo was written some weeks ago, so it must have been seen by someone who recognised its potential value as a ‘dirty trick’, and who then saved it up for the appropriate occasion for its use to arise.

      The obvious suspects are party political special advisers, and with Alastair Carmichael as Scottish Secretary, these will have been LibDem appointees.

      I’m not quite as pessimistic as you are about the possibility of learning something from the Cabinet Secretary’s inquiry. Sir Jeremy will not want it to be thought that career civil servants can expect to be able to set off crude party political smears with impunity. A spad would now be beyond reach of discipline or adverse HR reports, so we may find that his/her name is itself leaked, as an appropriate penalty.

    64. Welsh View says:

      Smear and fear. I’m not supprised that the Unionist cabal are resorting to this tactic. Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP have got them rattled. ‘Go get ’em, Nicola’.

    65. heedtracker says:

      Steve Bell – the Leaders’ Debate cartoon. Nicola hasn’t got a kilt on. Has he lost his nerve or is daylight dawning?

      Graun will only get worse. Bell’s a thug with a Milliband fetish but every sneering chunk of anti Scots democracy racism he comes up with, gets the OK from Grauns’s phoney progressive liberal editors, all ex private school boys, Oxbridge, frightfully clever…

      There’s even regular rancid Graun “contributors” BTL Cif farting out stuff like this

      “From the reaction of the nationalists, you’d think this was an assassination attempt.

      Imagine if a small media operation had reported this in an independent Scotland. They’d try to shut it down and arrest the owners. Media control seems to be incredibly important to them.”

      How charming they are. As if there are not enough UKOK journos banged up. TeamGB meeja says and does anything they like but don’t be critical or they spit out their rule Britannia dummies, waa waa waaa.

      Has anyone anywhere seen my Graun CiF and rather creepy anglophile Slovene girlfriend Profesor Aliesbadas, since she won the referendum, for Slovenia:D

    66. shiregirl says:

      I’m new to this website but have been reading the informative and entertaining posts over the past few days. I am not a political whizz, but have felt aggrieved at the blatant anti-scottish rhetoric being printed (and spoken) by many parts of the media. Something has changed this weekend and people I normally speak to about other things are talking about this and the forthcoming election – there is genuine anger and disbelief at what has happened here – a few people I know are now voting SNP. So, thank you WOS for helping me read between the lines and for your up to date information.

    67. Gary45% says:

      The UK paradox – “Labour – innocent even when proven guilty, SNP – guilty even when proven innocent”.
      Better together ?
      Gary

    68. Robert Kerr says:

      I note the Bell “cartoon” depicts the Green Lady Natalie Bennet as a emerald pile of ordure.

      Nice touch!

    69. Colin Duff says:

      I’m hoping the #Nicileaks hashtag gains a bit of traction.

    70. Betty Boop says:

      @ gordoz, 2:55pm

      Cracking piece on this subject in : ‘To September and beyond’ Tab in Scottish politics section above.

      I can’t find the time to get around too many blogs, so, thank you for pointing this William Duguid article out!

      Really enjoyed reading it. We need a laugh in the face of this lunacy 🙂

    71. Gary45% says:

      The Labour party trying to hand out election leaflets, has the same effect as chasing someone up the road with a sh*t on a stick.
      Gary

    72. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      @Anne

      “I was in Morrisons supermarket where I saw the Sunday Herald was at the back of the newsstand out of sight. So I switched it to the front where everyone can see it and one woman stopped and read the front page on Sturgeon, stating that the French Consul said Sturgeon had never said she had a preference for David Cameron.”

      To be honest Anne most of the SNP and Yes supporters I know instinctively and automatically do something like that when they are in a supermarket or newsagent.

      You pick up and have a quick read of the National or Sunday Herald or whatever front page – but when you put it back down you simply put it down in front of the most lying and offensive unionist front page at the time. Of which you are guaranteed there’s at least one if not several. 😉

      It does no harm and isn’t even noticeable save for denying the smearing tabloid a bit of free shelfspace advertising and visibilty. 🙂

    73. Stoker says:

      Graeme Borthwick wrote:
      “The French are Scotland’s friends..”

      Aye, quite a contrast to that wee Spanish ynaff during the referendum working in support of the UKOKers, eh!
      (can’t remember his name, don’t really want to either)
      😉

      ((((( FREEDOM FOR THE CATALANS – OUR FRIENDS ACROSS THE SEA )))))

    74. Capella says:

      @ Robert Kerr it could be lime flavoured angel delight!

      I was trying to figure out the imagery but not being a Guardian reader since Indyref I don’t get the connections. Prefer Greg Moody and Chris Cairns as the art work is much superior.

      @ heedtracker. You are absolutely right of course. But can a thug not reform?

    75. Just back from an afternoon cavassing in the sun, that makes a change for a start, in a traditionally strong Labour supporting area. Guess what? Not only did we get a good reception, S.N.P very much in favour, but not one person mentioned the “memo”. Just to say.

    76. pete the camera says:

      Andrew Brown says:
      5 April, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      Slightly O/T. Yesterday in Dunfermline High Street my wife and I encountered a small number of Labour canvassers (just what is the collective name for them, a lie, a muddle or a confusion ?).

      the collective name has to be a “slaver” as in mooth dribblers

    77. Ken500 says:

      Is the Telegraph snitch a public official. They should get charged. Where’s the Chilcot verdict being blocked by unelected civil servants.

      Cameron is feeding the lambs and starving the vulnerable. Like lambs to slaughter. He has no shame,

    78. Dr Jim says:

      5 minutes with any of them and they’ll spit the truth

      There are no good newspaper journalists
      if they had any principles newspapers wouldn’t employ them

      The first Minister only defended Cook to stem the outpouring of anger from the nasty Nats that they would then hold against us as positive proof we’re all horrible bad extremists
      She did a good, job so much so even down south are seeing the truth of it

      Although i don’t know if the pen is mightier than the sword
      Nice thought but if it were true how come the winners always rewrite history for long enough to make it irrelevent

      Coca Cola is better then Pepsi Cola, say Coca Cola,
      Pepsi is better than Coke, say Pepsi Cola
      Both say, why would you drink the other?

      Thus rendering all other Cola’s meaningless

      Thats Politics

    79. Alexander McLean says:

      I think Carmichael should be investigated. He suddenly disappears when the shit hit the fan. He is a creep and I really believe he is involved somewhere.

    80. Kenny says:

      Remember how the Blue Tories shafted the Red Tories in the indyref campaign? Well, now they have done it to the Yellow Tories.

      This “memo” was phrased in such a way that it was supposed to damage the SNP in Scotland and Labour in England. Who gains from that? Plus, it appeared in the Torygraph. QED

      [Ed showed how gormless he really is by running a story which actually humiliated him, printed in a paper which had written a disgraceful thing about his late father, and all this after everyone else had given up on the story and seen through it.]

      The Yellow Tories are the useful idiots who will now carry the can, because Carmichael is at the Scottish Office. [O/T Cameron, you could make your precious CUTS by abolishing the “Scottish Office”, it is not needed and you could sell its prime real estate on Whitehall. Better than hounding the blind and the disabled, no?]

      I can imagine the Yellow Tories were initially jumping up and down at the idea of getting back at the SNP for the “Help me Rhona” debacle and all the maulings Bain has taken at Holyrood. But Carmichael is so bovine and dense he could not see the trap he has fallen into.

      Hence why Carmichael is lying so low! If not, he would have had his story all prepared and would be giving interviews left, right and centre, basking in the chance to be in the limelight for a change (don’t forget the Lib Dems are now officially a minor party, often running sixth behind UKIP and Greens).

      Believe me, this was the work of Cameron, a bitter and twisted hater of the people and democracy if ever there was one. And things usually happen because of a number of factors which the whole establishment is terrified of (England becoming as politically active as Jockshire, Nicola’s promise to abolish the House of Lords, threat to our beloved weapons of mass murder which help us to “punch above our weight” and raise the butcher’s apron over johnny foreigner).

      The giveaway for me was the “concerned politican listening very hard” look he gave to Nicola during the TV debate. That actually means that he seriously hates you for daring to raise your voice and question the “lord of the manor”. Believe me, Cameron has a kink in his personality just as much as Gordon Brown (Broon is an egomaniac, but does not have the same pathological hatred of the unprivileged per se).

      James Cook was TOLD in no uncertain terms, from London HQ, to make the story run and run on the BBC. His story was written and all he had to do was to put words in Nicola’s mouth.

      Cook was desperately trying to fit the (non-)story into the pre-existing headline cooked up by the Establishment. He would not give up on this! And when Nicola clearly stated: “I’m not accusing anyone” he went ahead and wrote in his story later that day: Nicola makes ACCUSATIONS of dirty tricks. These are the VERY WORDS that he kept trying to put into her mouth!

      Therefore, the story of “accusations” had already been written by James Cook [or FOR James Cook???] on Saturday morning, ready to be published AFTER he had interviewed Nicola, but written BEFORE.

      Can you imagine the telephone call made that turned a really OK journalist, who did not even disgrace himself in the indyref, despite being BBC, into the James Cook we all saw on Freedom Square on Saturday?

      Believe me, this was Establishment dirty deeds by David Cameron and all those who went to Eton with him. Carmichael is just a useful idiot to them and would never have the gumption for something which has led to an international and domestic scandal. And does anyone outside Carmichael himself really think he would ever be let into their inner circle anyway (“What? That fat jock? Why, he has more chins than papa has counties! Now, which resto shall we trash today, such jolly japes!”).

    81. Luigi says:

      Anne says:
      5 April, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      I was in Morrisons supermarket where I saw the Sunday Herald was at the back of the newsstand out of sight. So I switched it to the front where everyone can see it and one woman stopped and read the front page on Sturgeon, stating that the French Consul said Sturgeon had never said she had a preference for David Cameron.

      Well done! Little things like that can make a big difference. Keep pushing the favourable headlines in front, leave old copies of the National in cafes, on buses etc. If enough wingers adopt these simple habits, it will make a huge difference.

    82. Billy says:

      See Rsole Carmichael has came out of his hole.
      SCUMBAG
      http://t.co/mM0ucIhMTL

    83. Croompenstein says:

      I really hope Creepy Jim and Wee Silly Willie try and run with this in the debate, it would be interesting to hear James ‘Bannockburn’ Cook’s reaction

    84. desimond says:

      Pete the Camera

      Surely the collective noun for anything Labour is ‘An Astonishment’

    85. carjamtic says:

      In my experience/opinion this leaked memo story is only the opening salvo,to test the water,more bile to come and by the lorry load.

      I am not concerned with any reporters/journalists in the field,they are doing their job(some may be useless idiots or having a bad day),I am more concerned about the management,editors etc..

      No matter the content they have a duty to report the story accurately and with due diligence,(don,t they ?) any found not doing so,deserve to be pulled up.

      The younger more inexperienced reporters we watch they’re careers with interest and wish them well,they are tomorro’s editors,keep asking the difficult questions without fear or favour,please.

    86. David Agnew says:

      The more they try to push a smear that has already backfired, the more damage they do themselves. The vast majority of those who switched from lab to the SNP, did so because of this sort of thing. They already expect the SNP to be smeared…that the msm did so after that big debate, just confirms their already low opinion of the msm.

      At this point the only thing that is getting smeared is the UK, The UK media, The Scottish Office, and Westminster. They’re trapped by their own stupidity and can only do one thing…keep shitting in their own nest where we can all see them.

    87. Robert Peffers says:

      @Fiona says: 5 April, 2015 at 1:34 pm:

      “Fortunately a month is not the “long term”. If I am right then most people know this is a lie and it will undermine whatever comes next out of this bag of smears. That is my hope”

      Do you really thinks so Fiona?

      Just yesterday I posted the truth of the old persistent claims that Alex Salmond had lies he had EU legal advice. This had been dragged up yet again in relation to the present Unionist scam. Proof it had never died or been forgotten.

      I was never fooled by that claim either and had retained a transcript of the Neil/Salmond TV interview and the truth of the false accusation was even more basic than the present pack of lies.

      The accusers simply, by idiocy or design, simple failed to comprehend what was actually said in the interview. Their scandalous claims simply could not be true because the question asked by Andrew Neil was not, “Did you seek EU Legal advice”. It was plainly, “Did you seek legal advice from your own legal advisors”.

      So try and explain how answering truthfully that you had, “sought legal advice from your own legal advisors”, was translated into, “you sought legal advice from the EU”, by both your own supporters and your opponents?

      There was all sorts of attempts to show Salmond had not lied – except the real explanation that the question he said yes to was not the one the scammers claimed he had answered. One such, Labour’s Ian Smart, an actual Legal Eagle was pushing that lie for all he was worth.

      I do not know about anyone else but when I went to school we did not just get taught reading and writing but comprehension of what we read and also how to write the actual meaning we intended.

      This present set of claims of SNP lies and misdeeds is really quite transparent. As the Rev Stu keeps pointing out. Read the actual words Boys & girls and you will read the truth. However, if it is not the truth you will spot the liars with ease.

    88. muttley79 says:

      I read the SOS story on Willie McRae. Can anyone with a degree of informed knowledge of the general circumstances of his death give an assessment of it? I read it and thought it sounded at least plausible, but I do not know a lot about the story in general.

    89. cearc says:

      Caledonius quoted,

      ‘“Ah wis voting labour son, but this bullying Nicola Sturgeon, bad taste ye ken? Am voting SNP now.”

      They seem to have no notion of the ‘attacking oor wee lassie’ effect!

    90. Dal Riata says:

      @heedtracker (3.40 pm)

      As from yesterday, that’s me in the Guardian’s “Your comments are currently being pre-moderated.” sin-bin… yet again!

      You mentioned the ‘Slovenian’ – I’m positive that’s the one who grassed me up the last time. (Funny how ‘she’ has disappeared without a trace since the referendum…)

      This time I believe it was a nutter that goes by the pseudonym of cliffhilda, if I can remember the name rightly. I usually ignored that ones trolling, but I just couldn’t let one of ‘its’ comments go the other day. It was in line with one of my usual responses (keeping within CiF’s guidelines) to the other regular trolls on CiF, who, to their credit didn’t get me moderated never mind sin-binned, but that one is particularly nasty and has been complicit in getting more than me ‘binned’.

      But here’s the thing. The Guardian allows these obvious trolls to spew anti-Scottish xenophobic and racist offensiveness and abuse left right and centre, but you reply to them in terms nowhere near the levels of bile that they direct at you and others, they then complain to the moderators… and then *you* are the one who gets sin-binned or banned…! Oh, riiiight! Well done Guardian! Slow handclaps all round… Absolute ‘kin farce.

    91. YESGUY says:

      Have to say Stu.

      You have educated so many of us up here. I doubt we would believe ANYTHING the press say about the SNP . They are LIEbour run propaganda units and we know they spout shite.

      Great comments too Wingers 🙂 You are up to speed but for the lurkers out there a wee “free lesson in bullshine” should come in handy. Once the scales are off the eyes are inundated with the stuff.

      Attacking oor Nic was a dodgy thing to do. We don’t like bullies and these Torygraph tollies are a laughing stock rag.

      Been on the union websites annoying the hell out of them. They were all over the place yesterday and today they’ve gone all quiet.

      Funnily enough, i haven’t been banned from any of them yet ????? I trying though.

      And all these new NS fans down south have become allies . never had such backup from the English. They tend to see this as about them…. and it’s not. And they seem to be agreeing with me.

      Hope Wee Eck stirs up more shit. WM are crapping themselves. They need someone to hate and wee Eck loves that.

      happy May days are acoming 😀

      P.S James Cooke is a useless turd. His questioning of our FM was a disgrace. He got his answer and still persisted in telling Nic it was true. What a plonker.

      You’ll note i didn’t call him a tractor ( “ED”- learning see ;0 )

    92. Robert Peffers says:

      @Cag-does-thinking says: 5 April, 2015 at 1:40 pm:

      “With you on this Stu. It’s also an indicator of intent how prominent a story is placed.”

      Well made point, Cag-does-thinking. Perhaps you may remember this one? Ironically from the Telegraph.

      By Andrew Sparrow, Political Correspondent:

      12:01AM BST 10 Oct 2001:

      A LABOUR aide who advised the Government to use the attack on the World Trade Centre to distract attention from “bad” news stories was fighting for her job last night.

      Jo Moore, who works for Stephen Byers, the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, was widely condemned for showing spin at its worst when her news management memo was leaked.

      Which, of course highlights yet another dead tree press scam.

      They will make big play when a rival rag does such things but ignore their own misdeeds.

      Rather like highlighting the puckle mote in their neighbour’s eye while squinting past the muckle great tree trunk in their own.

    93. MrObycyek says:

      The interview last night on Sky News with Christopher Hope of The Daily Telegraph revealed some interesting things.

      He was asked by the Sky anchor if he was happy with the source and he replied that he was. There’s a surprise.

      Christopher Hope also mentioned that Nicola Sturgeon was being clever by claiming that the leak was from a UK official. The First Minister is indeed very clever however Hope gives away the impression here, as if there was any doubt in the first place, that the leak actually came from a Scottish official.

      Hope also mentioned that he believed that this memo was not a confidential document and a memo like this would normally be widely circulated. This, one would think, should have warranted a rather obvious follow up question but alas the Sky man did not ask it and that was the end of the discussion on that particular issue.

    94. Robert Peffers says:

      @Alastair Watson says: 5 April, 2015 at 1:44 pm:

      ” … It really is shameful behaviour and an insult to the intelligence of the people.”

      Well, Alastair, while you are correct, it can only be an insult to the intelligence of those who buy and read it. Who, though, continues to buy and read a paper when they are intelligent enough to realise their intelligence is being insulted.

      As a very, very much younger man my broadsheet of choice was the then top quality, “The Scotsman”. Not only that but you could pick up a copy in every reasonably sized airport in the World and in most countries major cities.

      When it first began to decline, and thus insult my intelligence, I have never bought a copy since. That was indeed a very long time ago.

    95. Douglad says:

      This paper has previous in this kind of reporting,remember when their reporters walked into a bombed out palace of saddam hussien and bingo, here’s a file about George Galloway.

      All those responsible for this must be held to account and face criminal charges with the severest penalty being imposed and the Telegraph should be closed down.

    96. gordoz says:

      @Andrew Brown

      Same in Greenock Yesterday – Bus load of Labour luvvies & 2 Mp’s

      Local Peoples reaction – too little too late.

      They are really trying now though ‘Bussing them in from everywhere

    97. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      @ Dal Riata

      As Hootsmoneditor on cif I seem to get binned when I complain about the moderation.

      For example, when the news broke about Big Ears’spider letters I congratulated them in their fight against censorship as a reply to one of DialMforMurdo’s posts which was sandwiched between moderated posts, me being a smartarse.

      It was moderated of course…

    98. Mark Russell says:

      On the topic of despicable journalism, this appeared in the English version of the Sunday Torygraph, courtesy of our own Bruce Anderson AKA Andrex as Mrs Thatcher used to call with some affection.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/11515597/Never-before-has-Scotland-been-quite-this-deluded.html

    99. itsme says:

      Yesguy

      I fail to see the need to continue to personally abuse James Cook.

      You must know that “oor Nic” as you put it, tweeted her support of him yesterday. You must also know that “Wee Eck” also holds him in high regard.

      You are of course free to disagree with his line of questioning or the questions that he ask – but please ask yourself how calling him a useless turd and a plonker helps.

      It merely gives the other side ammunition to tar the rest of us with the same brush and to say how evil nationalism is; and you just become a reflection of all that you no doubt find loathsome in the likes of #snpout and the legendary britnatbot.

    100. Paul D says:

      Caledonius,

      Similarly, yesterday I took my No voting Granny* out because it was a nice day (and partly to stop her wanting to kill my Grandad, but that’s another story… 😉 ). Anyway, out of the blue she volunteered that she was going to vote SNP because “none of they other buggers will do anything for us”. If only this epiphany had been a few months ago!

      *I know, I did try – as did the rest of the family

    101. Robert Peffers says:

      @Macnakamura says: 5 April, 2015 at 1:46 pm:

      ” … Doing his job, yes, but he could have done his job differently”.

      As a famous guy once said, “Mibbies Naw! Mibbies Aye!

      Thing is, Macnakamura, just exactly what was the job he was attempting to do? He isn’t self employed and thus will have a job description, perhaps even a written contract.

      I’d bet that job description requires him to do his employer’s bidding and we all know the BBC’s funding is by grant from the United Kingdom Treasury. It is not, as many folk think, tied to the TV Licence fee the BBC collects on behalf of the UK Treasury.

      The BBC are also subject to having the tune they play subject to the wishes of those paying their contracted piper. So I ask again – what was his job?

    102. muttley79 says:

      I was just looking at the Electoral Calculus predictions for next month. They also show the 2010 general elections. Now, from 2010 we have seen a massive change in Scottish politics, what with the SNP landslide in 2011, and the indy referendum campaign.

      The Liberal Democrats vote is almost certainly going to be shredded, while SLAB’s is probably going to suffer heavily in most areas. However, there really is no reason and excuse for complacency. Most of the Labour seats have massive majorities, the turnout was pretty high in most places in 2010 as well. It looks like there could be many seats where the gap between the SNP and Labour is tiny.

    103. HandandShrimp says:

      Just had a telephone conversation with Pierre-Alain Coffinier (PAC), the French CG. He was keen to fill me in on some of the conversations his Ambassador had during her visit to Scotland last week. All of this was given on a confidential basis, so please limit any onward circulation.

      This is the opening paragraph of the memo so any suggestion that this was posted on the noticeboard of the Whitehall toilets for all to see is a bit of a lie. It had limited circulation and it should be easy to track who had access.

    104. paul gerard mccormack says:

      Carmichael. The smirking smile of a fat cat who has licked the plate clean of all the cream.

      And so this lettre francais came from the scottish office. Good. That narrows the gossip down significantly and he’s in charge of all those 20-year olds.

      It would appear this is only ever going to come out in instalments and then at the end the point will be, well, who would you believe?

      But, the scottish electorate aren’t going to play this game anymore. They know they’ve been played and it’s all over.

    105. Gary45% says:

      I thought FUD was an expert on glue?
      He can’t seem to get anything to stick to the SNP.
      Lets hope the Unionist parties keep up this low life, gutter smearing, as it keeps back-firing spectacularly.
      Gary

    106. Brian says:

      I see Carmichael using the opportunity to get his revenge on Nicola, who destroyed him in one of the Referendum debates.

    107. gerry parker says:

      @ Mark Russell.

      I don’t click on direct links, especially to the mail, telegraph DR or Gruniad.

      use http://archive.today/

      It stops these people getting internet traffic they use to keep their advertisers paying.

      Precis the article or use Archive.

    108. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      A good Martin Rowson cartoon about Frenchgate.

      Don’t worry, I won’t link it Gerry 🙂

    109. Sunniva says:

      If it was not a confidential document then it was possible it circulated widely. If so, it is possible that it could be easily doctored.

    110. scottieDog says:

      The word leak infers that there is substance. How can something be leaked that doesn’t exist?

    111. Capella says:

      @ Muttley79 re Willie Macrae. The account I have is in the book “Britain’s Secret War” by Andrew Murray Scott and Iain Macleay. – out of print I think (but you can buy one from Amazon for £999.11)!.
      It is implausible that someone could shoot a bullet (or two according to some reports) into their temple then fling a gun anywhere. He was apparently found with his hands folded in his lap and his car keys in his hands. A pile of shredded papers belonging to Macrae were found about 15 yards from the car with his watch sitting on top. His briefcase was missing.
      So although the account of the moved car may explain one mystery, it doesn’t explain them all.

      An enquiry would be a good idea I think.

    112. bjsalba says:

      Not all folks in England fall for this crap. This is what a relative of mine said in response to Frenchgate.

      If it’s in the DM (or almost any other newspaper) – then DON’T BELIEVE IT!!

    113. Lesley-Anne says:

      Why tell the TRUTH when a few “not quite” TRUTH’S will do?

      Alternatively never tell a whole LIE when a “partial” LIE can achieve so much more damage?

      If nothing else comes out of this, and being the village idiot I suspect THAT is exactly what will happen here, then it proves beyond anypone’s doubt that the S.N.P., and in particular their awesome leader Nicola Sturgeon, have got Westminster and their mates the London centric MSM and other media SEVERELY rattled!

      For the first time in decades, if not centuries, Westminster is having to come to terms with a NEW force in politics … the politics of TRUTH! The S.N.P. alongside the Greens and Plaid Cymru combined will be an awesome force of good in WM and they will do their combined utmost to hold the old guard of political parties to account on absolutely everything. THIS above everything else is what TERRIFIES WM and it mates.

      The London centric MSM, media and WM have become so lazy in their day to day operations with regards to U.K. politics that they don’t know anything different. Well come May 7th they are going to receive one hell of a rude awakening and they are TERRIFIED cause they have nowhere to hide any more.

    114. woosie says:

      Elmac;

      Very interesting document, confirms what I’ve suspected since before the referendum; UK gov rigged the ballot by tampering the postal votes, which emerged as much higher % no than overall.
      I fear that they will stoop much, much lower than smears in the near future, including tampering with the Scottish votes.
      We can only keep the faith, and chip away at the most corrupt government in the free world.

    115. itsme says:

      OMFG

      Carmichael video from C4 news telling us “it’s the middle of an election campaign these things happen”.

      I had to endure watching it twice as I thought I must have misheard him.

      http://news.channel4.com/election2015/04/05/#update-931

    116. Joemcg says:

      Hmm.. Still waiting on a live James Cookweiller interview from Edinburgh with Carmichael. The pimpernel was on the doomed yellow Tory campaign trail in the capital today.

    117. DerekM says:

      It is all actually quite clever on reflection in that by continuing the
      line of Nicola said or did not say she preferred the tories and ed is unelectable has done a few things imo

      After looking so good on national TV a lot of swing voters
      in England started asking questions about Nicola ,now she
      basically came out and appealed for them to put Ed the red
      in No10 and she would provide the spine ,now this went down
      well with those swing voters and scared the pants off one party.

      This set in motion a trick we last saw before the referendum
      it was called Better Together now the real beauty of this trick
      is that you get your opponents to power to think you are on their
      side then you let them do your dirty work for you but stay in the
      background the outcome is that your party stays clear of most of the
      backlash,we have basically in Scotland fell for it as have the labour
      party in England and the lib dems because in the big picture there can
      only be either Tory or Labour in government and its England`s swing
      vote that decides.

      The Conservatives have used their attack dog press to sucker
      the lib dems into doing this with a nice little promise of a
      seat next to them for the next 5 years the lib dems on a sinking
      ship have jumped in the tory life raft cowards first not knowing
      there is a big hole in it idiots,now the lib dems tell those rabid
      idiots the SLAB through wee wullie winkie and they are all going nuts
      shocking, outrageous,astonishing they cry even their boss down England
      like they had just been thrown a big juicy bone a few wise heads went wait
      a minute i smell something not right and ducked out the meal.

      “Eh what are you talking about you silly people Nicola said no such thing” said
      the French ambassadorial team oh crap said the lib dems ,growl chump slurp
      went Slab eh what do you mean its a trap ohh crap but a few real SNP haters
      still growl away.

      Nicola comes out swats it away and all day we hear
      tory this tory that but everybody is looking at labour
      and going was it them or was it the lib dems ,Dave comes out
      with a short statement blah blah vote for me knowing all the heat
      is being directed elsewhere and ducks for cover a tactic he used so
      well in the referendum and the tory machine grinds into election full speed mode.

      Now its not the first time the tories have used a paper to do this to
      England to make the Labour leader look unelectable a bit of a chump
      and then they get the swing and it will get rid of those lib dems so
      they can move in and target their seats.

      Job done old boy guffaw open a bottle of that champers silly
      oiks now what are we going to do about the SNP.

      Vote SNP they are our last hope do not be fooled again Scotland.

    118. Nana Smith says:

      Someone pretending to be Ruth Wishart on the Scotsman commetns section.

      https://twitter.com/zer0deConduit/status/584699857996230656

    119. Author_Al says:

      Am I right in thinking that McPherson will be the one investigating the leak of this memo?

      On March 15th 2015 MSP Kenny Gibson said, “Sir Nicholas Macpherson should come to Holyrood to explain his perspective. The Treasury cannot just change the rules governing the civil service to suit themselves.” (This regarding the leak issued by a Treasury civil servant while the RBS board was still meeting to discuss the matter of relocating).

      So we have a Civil Service guy – a unionist apologist – who presided over a clear breach of protocol, who will now investigate another clear breach of protocol.

      The truth will out…as if.

    120. frogesque says:

      My take on events.

      Yes, a memo exists.

      Yes, the memo is a pack of lies.

    121. One_Scot says:

      Is it just me, or is there a few pretend Indy supporting trolls on this site.

    122. caz-m says:

      Dougie Alexander’s Paisley South Labour Party twitter account isn’t as popular as they would like it to be.

      I am sure one of his followers in the picture is Labour Councillor, Terry Kelly,(wee fat guy with glasses)

      https://twitter.com/Douglas4Paisley/status/584303956953817088/photo/1

      I have also emailed Alexander, asking him and his leader Ed Miliband, to apologise to Nicola Sturgeon for the disgraceful smear they attempted yesterday.

      For those of you interested in contacting the little rodent:-

      EMAIL: douglas [at] douglasalexander [dot] org [dot] uk

      WRITE: to Douglas Alexander, 24 Southfield Avenue, Paisley, PA2 8BY.

      CALL: 07410441474

      TWITTER: @Douglas4Paisley

    123. Mealer says:

      One scot 6.38
      There’s bound to be a few.I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

    124. K1 says:

      Naw One_Scot it’s no just you. :-;

    125. velofello says:

      Kezia,

      Checks the facts first.

      Dad

    126. Joemcg says:

      One-scot-probably. Whilst perusing the loony Brit Nat threads on that Wishart story notice a large increase in new names it’s the Indy ref all over again.

    127. Author_Al says:

      @One_Scot
      Use the ‘find’ button on your browser to explore threads and you can certainly see patterns of erstwhile trolling from some. The odd post dropped in here and there to stir things up.

      No proof of actual trolling though. Stu is pretty damn good at spotting them.

    128. heedtracker says:

      Dal Riata says:But here’s the thing. The Guardian allows these obvious trolls to spew anti-Scottish xenophobic and racist offensiveness and abuse left right and centre,

      They sure do. The Guardian absolutely detests Scottish democracy. They’ve virtually never reported anything about Scotland and never will, other than totally monster everything Holyrood and SNP. I dont think any Scottish Graun readers were bothered too much until that is Graun turned out to be just as ferocious right wing britnats as all the rest of the teamGB media.

      English Britnats like phoney leftie Guardian or say a thug like Steve Bell know that they can do or say anything like because England owns and controls Scotland and who cares what a few sweaties think. They’re Britnats, fully aware that Scotland running Scotland will diminish England and that cannot be permitted.

      SO get back to your incestuous sadomasochistic folk dancing in your ridiculous kilts and vote Jim Murphy’s SLabour, or else, Steve Bell will draw horrible cartoons about you shagging your family, in your kilt:D

    129. bookie from hell says:

      itsme says:
      5 April, 2015 at 6:23 pm
      OMFG

      Carmichael video from C4 news telling us “it’s the middle of an election campaign these things happen”.

      bfh—unreal comment—sounds guilty

    130. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      One_Scot at 6.38

      There is

    131. crazycat says:

      Archive link to the Guardian cartoon (which I don’t find that impressive; everyone’s sense of humour is different)

      https://archive.today/G4EJ8

    132. gordoz says:

      @itsme says – C4 clip

      Seems to me the big Yellow puddin’ is calling the FM of Scotland a liar in that clip.

      Smearing / These things happen during elections ??
      What ? Fabricated statement deliberately leaked to Tory supporting press via official HM government documents .. Thats normal practice is it. Sorry ??? WTF – too many cream cakes have put this clown on a sugar high !

      Scottish Secretary – Memo definitely not a smear.

      Ergo – Ms Stugeon & French Government officials are lying – No ?

    133. macnakamura says:

      Asked if the buck stops with him, Mr Carmichael added: “Of course as the Secretary of State for Scotland I am responsible for the Scotland Office, but you seem to be making some fairly substantial presumptions about the role of the Scotland office in this, that’s why we’re having a proper inquiry.”
      ========
      A non-denial denial.

    134. liz says:

      Talking of James Cook, both Nicola and AS have praised him because he is probably someone semi-reasonable in the BBC, so it could be a bit of mixing by them.

      Anyway Smurph was in ER yesterday, at a bowling club event with about 10 people attending, James Cook and the BBC cameras were there, was that because there was nothing more important happening in Glasgow yesterday, like an anti-Trident march?

      He obv then hightailed it to George Sq to interview, j’accuse, Nicola over memogate.

    135. gerry parker says:

      @
      caz-m.

      That photo should get a few votes for Mahari Black.

      🙂

    136. Achnababan says:

      Pictures can also be used to lie and deceive not just headlines Rev.

      Check out the top story on BBC Scotland (shire) section of the BBC website and there is a piece about Osborne warning of an unholy alliance between Labour and SNP.

      Pictures faithful to the actual story would surely include either:

      a) Osborne
      b) Milliband and Sturgeon
      c) Osborne, Milliband and Sturgeon

      Who is actually pictured?

      Osborne and Sturgeon!

      Ergo… obviously trying to promulgate the BBC/Labour smear that somehow Nicola is linked to Osborne.

      Same smear Cookie boy was attempting yesterday on the First Minister……

      Sinister forces at work here … but they have been exposed to light now thanks to you and the Wingers

    137. HandandShrimp says:

      I see Ed left his notes at the debate on Thursday and the Bun has got their hands on them. It lists a set of attack points for Ed to use against Nicola but he never got round to them.

      I would imagine Nicola’s team will be sorting those out for the next round.

      Ed to his team “Thanks guys, that made me look really prime minister material didn’t it, you wazzocks”

    138. Lollysmum says:

      I’ve just tried to post a comment on the Graun article about Nicola by Roy Greenslade (linked above)But kept being told that my email didn’t exist or password was wrong.Fact is I use the same email on every site where I comment so it doesn’t ring true. Have any others had this problem or is it Graun’s way of limiting responses?

      I only wanted to reply to one of the comments which said that this smear was going to do a lot of damage to SNP.

      I intended to say that:
      1)during the debate on Thursday & to 9am Friday morning 2,012 people joined SNP.
      2)After the smear broke on Twitter Friday night that SNP signed up another 2,021 new members yesterday

      My conclusion-if that’s damage then I can live with it as with 34 days to go we could have been signing up another 68,000 members at that daily rate. If that is damage then bring it on because it suggests that the people are definitely not listening & are angry.

      Went out with my daughter & family today for an Easter meal & was floored when she started asking questions about NS & the smears & what lay behind it. She’d always been brought up to challenge everything she heard & to look for the evidence & to her the story sounded dodgy.

      She hadn’t seen the debate but people had been raving about Nicola at work the day after. This is a company that operates nationally but is based in the very English(posh)St Caesar!ns. Now if they were talking about Nicola & SNP in their workplace, where else in England is it being discussed in England?

      My daughter went online to check for herself & what she read didn’t chime with what I’ve said about NS or SNP. She also knows that I wouldn’t be connected with a bunch of ‘crackpot nationalists’ so she knew it had to be lies. She is going back to work after Easter with facts at her fingertips & examples of some of the stunts they’ve pulled so far in govt & MSM & some of the stuff we’re expecting before 7th May.

      There’s no doubt that Nicola had a very big impact on England last Thursday evening despite WM & MSM being reluctant to admit it.

      I refer back to my earlier post when this story first broke when I said Cameron is behind the smear. The longer it goes on the more convinced I am that he is the instigator who told Scottish Office to find something /anything that could be adapted to suit his purpose.

      The UK watched as Nicola wiped the floor with Cameron & Milliband so Cam’s ego took a severe battering (thanks Nicola)as he’d been put in his place by a wee Scot (without even a tin hat for protection :-)). Oh the shame, the embarassment. He’d planned on dining out on his demolition of NS but it all went horribly wrong especially when she said that he sounded ‘like a petulant schoolboy’. Cameron was never going to let that go unanswered & this is the result.

      So the big boy (Cameron) did it with the complicit LieDems to take the flak & doesn’t have the sense to run away. Come 7th May he may well wish he had run away to sunnier climes aka a tax haven 🙂

    139. HandandShrimp says:

      Carmichael’s take on it all – shit happens.

      It isn’t any wonder that Nicola disemboweled him in the debate last year.

    140. Glamaig says:

      Vote SNP they are our last hope do not be fooled again Scotland.

      Spot on. Give SNP max support or we’re all screwed.

    141. caz-m says:

      Gerry parker

      It’s a right motley crew that Alexander has put together to help him win the Paisley South seat.

    142. Dorothy Devine says:

      HandandShrimp, pity she didn’t do for real!

    143. Paula Rose says:

      I’m not sure about prime minister material being used for suits – I think it looks better as dresses or skirts.

    144. caz-m says:

      Nana Smith 6.51pm Re: Region powers.

      I have been saying this for a wee while now. Over time, the English Labour Party will start to fragment into their own regions. They will re-name themselves locally and fight for issues that are important to that particular region.

      The English Establishment will be regretting that they “won” the Independence referendum.

    145. Glamaig says:

      Liz @ 7:04pm
      The contrast between the two events! up to a dozen people in a staged event in an affluent suburb, rapidly followed by 3-4000 in George Square.

      I wonder what he and his crew really think, seeing the reality on the ground like that.

      There must be people at the BBC longing for permission to say it like it is.

    146. Joemcg says:

      Caz-how the Fxxx can ANYONE in their right mind take time out to help that little weasel keep his big nose in the trough is a mind bender. He comes across as repellent and thourougly unlikeable. Aye it’s a fuct up world.

    147. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Paula Rose Ah love ah dominant wummin in ah Pinstripe suit.

    148. Jim Morris says:

      The Telegraph memo also tries to pit Salmond and Sturgeon against each other. They forget that Unity is different from Unionist.

    149. Jim says:

      @scottieDog
      The word leak infers that there is substance. How can something be leaked that doesn’t exist?
      ___________
      I think that is what the Rev meant by reading between the lines.

      The Memo will exist in it’s original form, i.e, without the falsified bit about Sturgeon preferring Cameron and thinking Miliband as being unelectable as PM.

      Therefore; they can say, “We are investigating how the memo was leaked”, which is true; which will reinforce in some peoples minds that if the memo is real then Sturgeon really does support a Tory PM.

      It’s a mind fuck, pure and simple.

    150. heedtracker says:

      Carmichael’s take on it all – shit happens.

      He looked like the cat that got the cream. Something’s going on.

    151. caz-m says:

      Did anyone else witness the in depth reply George Osborne gave to Murnaghan on Sky News today?

      Murnaghan: “Will you be renewing the Trident missile system and will they be based on the Clyde?”

      Osborne: “Yes”

      And that was it, a one word answer from Osborne.

      That was us told. That one word answer summed up what he thinks of Scotland and any opinion we might have regarding Trident.

      We are getting Trident renewed, whether we like it or not.

    152. Gary45% says:

      If Carbuncle is involved in this, and he is heading off to feed from the trough.
      lets get a campaign started to get him sacked before he picks up his cushy pension, or lordship.
      Time to wipe the big cheesy grin from his coupon,and all the rest of the troughers.
      Gary

    153. Robert Peffers says:

      @Billy says: 5 April, 2015 at 1:50 pm:

      “Great piece rev’d stu, very informative and helpful in enabling me to read between their lines.”

      Often, Billy, the trick is not to read between the lines but actually read and understand the lines. Put the lines in the right order and discarding the bits written in such a way as to deliberately mislead you to think in a certain way.

      Rev Stu is showing how to spot the tricks of the journalists who want to make you think in a certain way. If you know the tricks they cannot fool you.

    154. Glamaig says:

      Lollysmum @ 7:13pm
      Cameron is behind the smear.
      I think you are right. That is why it happened so quickly after the debate.

      It reminded me of the fast reaction when the polls swung to 51% Yes. Cameron was away that weekend so it was Osborne who announced something (cant remember what it was) the next morning, and Project Fear stepped up to full power. It was like a button had been pressed it was that quick. I remember thinking, here we go, they’re in full panic mode.

      Camerons demeanour was a bit odd during the debate. I wonder if the cogs were already turning in his mind when he realised his carefully duped electorate were suddenly being exposed to the truth in their living rooms.

    155. HandandShrimp says:

      I hope Magnus manages turf Carmichael out. Carmichael is possibly the worst Scottish Secretary in years.

    156. Fiona says:

      @ Robert Peffers

      It is not as easy to escape their fooling as you imply: there is also the power of setting the agenda to contend with. They tell us what to think about, very largely. And it is not easy to see what we are not thinking about while they do that. They also define the range of the debate and therefore what is “unthinkable”. That, to me, was the power of the minor parties in the leaders debate. They openly rejected those limits and showed that what follows is not at all obvious if you reject the hidden premise which seems to determine it

    157. Gary45% says:

      Carbuncle is blaming it on the Heedrum Hodrum collider being switched on.
      I think I heard someone say that who was standing in the next room from me, who heard it from someone else maybe.
      Gary

    158. Heiniken says:

      It is only necessary to raise a bugbear before the English imagination in order to govern it at will. Whatever they hate or fear, they implicitly believe in, merely from the scope it gives to these passions.

      William Hazlitt, British essayist, The Life of Napoleon Buonaparte, 1830

    159. Marian says:

      The Westminster parties must be punished severely at the ballot box for this crap.

    160. Heiniken says:

      Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.

      Napoleon Bonaparte

    161. Nana Smith says:

      Good grief what next. Will be alerting my snp candidate tomorrow just in case these leaflets are up in my area.

      https://twitter.com/JINTY1B/status/584762167964082176/photo/1

    162. Capella says:

      @ Mark Russell
      Here’s the archive link to that Bruce Anderson article in the Telegraph. It’s truly poisonous stuff and bereft of logic. We are all delusional you see:

      https://archive.today/OPUCd

      “Two generations ago, most Scots lived within 50 miles of a steelworks, a shipyard, a coalfield – or all three. A lot of Scots regarded that as part of their economic birthright. This came to a rapid end. But it is unfortunate that Margaret Thatcher was prime minister in the final phase.”

      So it was just Thatcher’s bad luck to be holding the gun when it went off!

    163. Heiniken says:

      I am sometimes a fox and sometimes a lion. The whole secret of government lies in knowing when to be the one or the other.

      Napoleon Bonaparte

    164. heedtracker says:

      One of the probably really really amazing troughing for life reasons Carmicheal looks like a big fat smirking cat/slug, is that Orkney has so many anti SNP English incomers. That’s not criticism, its fact. The vast majority of English people in Scotland are always going to vote for England and the union and its the same in Orkney.

      Native Orcadian’s also vote ConDem because English people bring in a lot of money and jobs to Orkney. They boost house prices, fill up schools and demand, with all the self confidence incomers with stacks of cash always posses, lots of services and funding. Its a good thing, Naw thanks LibDem voters will tell you.

      And that’s why we have a grinning buffoon like Carmicheal. Orcadian’s probably do care that Libdems reneged on all their pledges, but because things like student fees in England don’t affect their children, they can still happily vote Carmicheal.

      Aren’t folk lovely in this lovely union.

    165. Tom Parkhill says:

      “Headlines are ..how you tell honest journalists from liars”.

      This is wrong. Headlines are written by sub-editors, so they are part of editorial policy. Often headlines actually contradict what the journalists has said in the article. In fact, they are how you tell honest newspapers (not journalists) from liars.

    166. gillie says:

      Fingers pointing at Chris Flatt PPS Scotland Office as having ordered the writing of the leaked memo. There may well have been two memos, the original after initial contact with French and an amended version that was ultimately leaked to the Daily Telegraph.

      There is a suggestion that the French consul general may have cooperated with the Scotland Office in leaking the amended memo. The French ambassador will not be pleased.

      This could get messy. Heads will roll.

    167. Nana Smith says:

      The Nicola Sturgeon memo: Westminster’s nasty machinations have been exposed

      Last line is a beaut…

      https://archive.today/mFHLD

    168. Heiniken says:

      “When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.”

      ? Napoléon Bonaparte

    169. Glamaig says:

      8:14pm
      Folk in Orkney probably vote LibDem because they always have. Its a tradition in that neck of the woods. As in other parts of the country traditions might be about to change.

      As for your other comments, birthplace and nationality are not a good indicator of voting intention and in any case are irrelevant.

    170. itsme says:

      Defcon f*cked – brilliant.

      https://twitter.com/PickardJE

    171. Onwards says:

      Iain Gray’s Subway Lament says:
      5 April, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      You pick up and have a quick read of the National or Sunday Herald or whatever front page – but when you put it back down you simply put it down in front of the most lying and offensive unionist front page at the time. Of which you are guaranteed there’s at least one if not several. 😉

      haha, I do this all the time.
      Going to make a point of putting it over the Telegraph from now on.

    172. Paula Rose says:

      Heedtracker darling – this English rose is not enamoured by your comment.

    173. Jock Scot says:

      Hazel says at 2:08 pm

      It’s not surprising that the French issued such strong public denials about the meeting – they take diplomacy very seriously indeed. French used to be the language of diplomacy after all, and they see themselves as masters of the art. They won’t be at all happy that a private diplomatic meeting has been dragged into a party political fight and used to smear a foreign leader they have to work with. Especially when it’s alleged that it was one of their diplomats who relayed the claims in the first place.

      The Tories and Labour are so used to bullying the British electorate without comeback that they’ve forgotten not everybody will dance to their tune. Not the Scots, who refuse to vote for Tory governments and who really do believe in progressive policies, and not the French who after all are another world power, at least on the level of the UK.

      The other thing that strikes me about this fiasco is that the black arts spooks in the Scotland Office and at the Telegraph who concocted the plan have clearly forgotten about the Auld Alliance. Pissing off the Scots and the French on the same day is never going to work that well for the English.

      I may still be wearing my tin hat from yesterday but the question..Is the UK gov’t trying to start a fight with the French came to mind..Blaming the French for the HSBC shit was insulting and now this. Is there something going on in Europe that we are unaware of?

    174. MJC says:

      Expect everything and nothing from those holding threads of power. They cannot change by themselves, however WE are change and that will be the clincher. Onwards as always.

    175. orri says:

      Got to agree with the birthplace thing, I know an English couple who came to Scotland to get as far away from London as possible. They support the SNP.

      Traditionally Scotland voted Labour, at least ever since it traditionally voted Unionist and before then who knows.

    176. heedtracker says:

      @ Glamaig says: “As for your other comments, birthplace and nationality are not a good indicator of voting intention and in any case are irrelevant.”

      And prior too that

      “Folk in Orkney probably vote LibDem because they always have. Its a tradition in that neck of the woods.”

      Its good to larf. Thanks Glamaig.

    177. HandandShrimp says:

      Nana

      That leaflet is outrageous. Murphy has taken leave of what very little sense he has. A bare faced liar.

    178. Onwards says:

      caz-m says:
      5 April, 2015 at 7:53 pm
      ..
      Murnaghan: “Will you be renewing the Trident missile system and will they be based on the Clyde?”

      Osborne: “Yes”

      And that was it, a one word answer from Osborne.

      That was us told. That one word answer summed up what he thinks of Scotland and any opinion we might have regarding Trident..

      There was a report in the Sunday Times saying that Britain could save £13 billion if it replaced Trident with nuclear armed jets.

      http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/scotland/article1519176.ece

      I don’t understand the insistence on expensive submarine launched American ballistic missiles.
      The SNP has always been anti-nuclear, but I have found that it can be a weak spot, and open to accusations of naivety and hypocrisy.

      When you think about it, a handful of air launched nuclear bombs is just as much a deterrent, especially when we are part of NATO anyway.
      There is obviously huge pressure from the USA to basically subsidise their Trident system in return for favours.

    179. Paula Rose says:

      Jock Scot – that Hazel is spot on.

    180. crisiscult says:

      Great post. The thing that annoys me more than just the telegraph’s behaviour, is sitting through such a stark example of propagenda. Every UK news outlet talking about whether the SNP want the Tories. Pretty much nothing else happened this weekend that was newsworthy, and so very important that all journalists are on deck to cover this ‘story’ and not out there investigating anything. (eh, the last sentence is supposed to be sarcastic).

    181. @Heedtracker

      so many anti SNP English incomers.

      That is nothing but racist crap we had no bloody choice in were we were effing born so stick it baCK UP YOUR EFFING ARSE.

    182. Legerwood says:

      The Independent on Saturday had a very clear concise article about the smear.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/general-election-2015-nicola-sturgeon-denies-claim-she-prefers-david-cameron-as-alleged-account-of-civil-service-memo-is-published-10155548.html

      Zoe Williams in The Guardian online also has an interesting article on this business.

    183. orri says:

      The scary thing is that not only might the memo exist but the version passed on to the Telegraph might not have been tampered with. If that is the case then as absolutely no one actually at the meeting concerned agrees with the reported version you have to wonder if this instance is the only one. Just how much of the UK’s international diplomatic strategy is based on this kind of tittle tattle and how much of it is missing the caveat emptor attached in this instance.

    184. Nana Smith says:

      @HandandShrimp

      I’m hoping Nicola calls him out for this projectfear2 scare at the debate

    185. JayR says:

      RE Orkney and English residents.

      The 2011 Scottish Census shows that 6.0% of people in Orkney identified as English only (highest percentage of any local authority in Scotland). For Scotland as a whole only 2.3% of the population identified as English only.

      17.6% of people in Orkney were born in England. The figure for Scotland as a whole is 8.7%

      Orkney had the biggest No vote in the referendum.

      However, I think that has less to do with there being a disproportionate amount of English people, and more about the type of people those English people are. Older, more affluent (i.e. classic No voters).

      Every English person I know voted Yes.

    186. Thepnr says:

      @Hoss Macintosh

      Left a message for you in Off Topic.

    187. K1 says:

      Legerwood, please ‘archive’ links to the newspaper and bbc articles where possible. It adds to their revenues if not archived. Also, archive creates a hardcopy of the article that cannot be altered, and therefore provides a useful reference when changes are made to said article at a later point.

      Your link: archived 🙂

      https://archive.today/8txsX

    188. Ken500 says:

      The Telegraph has not heard of the McCrone Report which was kept secret. The equivalent of £Billions which Thatcher secretly took and closed every manufacturing facility in Scotland. ‘This must be kept secret’ written in her hand on the Documents released last year. Her Minister resigned.

      Trident/illegal Wars, banking fraud and tax evasion. Westminster are a bunch of crooks. Warmongers, child abusers, tax evaders and bank fraud. Their crimes are protected by the Official Secrets Act.

      It was the Telegraph that documented the MP’s expenses scandal. Yet they are supporting the thieving criminals and Thatcher who started it.

    189. Caroline Corfield says:

      orri

      If you get a chance to look at wiki leaks stuff you’ll see that tittle tattle isn’t just confined to the UK of GB and NI, the USA is quite prone to the kind of gossip that councils used to produce bylaws to stop. Scurrilous, opinionated and second, third and fourth hand. They have a fb page, and last year posted up some of the stuff that US “diplomats” we’re passing on.

    190. De Valera says:

      Carmichael isn’t just one of the worst Scottish Secretaries ever, he IS the worst ever – an utter baffoon who not only demeans his office but his country too.

      Most of these LibDems get elected due to the same reasons that many SLab MPs get in, my father voted for them and his father before him……… Hopefully this will change though.

    191. Robert Peffers says:

      @Kenny says: 5 April, 2015 at 2:27 pm:

      “I’ll bet Murphy is using “reasonable doubt” within the week.”

      I believe a fair majority of the electorate in Scotland don’t give a rat’s droppings what Murphy is using. In the first place, Murphy, like most others of the Labour Branch Office persuasion, imagine the independence supporting people of Scotland owe some, set in stone, alliance to the Labour Party. These numpties have proven this imagined right of fealty of the Scots for many decades.

      Witness their continual bleating that it was the SNP that sunk Labour and let Thatcher into power. This, of course has never fitted with the facts as the whole truth can be seen in the voting figures but what mental kink is it that makes them fondly imagine the SNP elected members owe any kind of loyalty to the sleazy bunch of sycophants that are the Unionist Establishment Labour Party?

    192. Mealer says:

      De Valera 9.41,
      It’s not enough to hope for change.We have to chap doors.

    193. heedtracker says:

      cynicalHighlander, this is a democracy and we vote how ever we like with no judgement. But facts and stats are very clear as is anecdote. So whatever’s yanked your chain, too bad. Why the hysterics when voters say I’m English, I voted and I vote anyone but SNP? I hear it al the time and once again, this is democracy.

    194. Lesley-Anne says:

      Erm … oops!

      https://archive.today/SUy9Z

      Mr Sinclair also said “the SNP have an intellectual and strategic capacity that outstrips the opposition” and Labour’s “young talent” at Holyrood, including Jenny Marra: “are only there by accident”.

      😀

    195. Gary says:

      Is EVERYTHING they say a lie?

    196. Joemcg says:

      Don’t get this outrage when our few (and it is only very few)English posters on here lose the rag about people saying a large percentage of that nationality voted no. Maybe the truth hurts.

    197. Joemcg says:

      BTW every English relation to me and every one of them I know voted a big fat no.

    198. Capella says:

      There’s some first class comments under that Independent article.

      TOM SHARP
      Les Hayword
      How would you like it if somebody accused you of wanting that posh tw*t to be PM? I couldn’t imagine a bigger insult. Can you?

      CAKES AND ALE
      Is she wrong?

      TOM SHARP
      No she feels dirty that anyone could make such alligations! How could ANY Scot want the posh Bullingdon tw*t to be PM?”

    199. Marie clark says:

      “Gary 10.00pm Is EVERYTHING they say a lie? In a word YES.

    200. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Re Carmichael and his ‘one of these things’ comment –

      What really hacks me off about this clown isn’t so much what he said, or the way he said it, but the fact that he’s doing so in a busy office, with a lot of staff. All very cosy.

      This balloon has nothing of positive substance to offer the people of Scotland, yet he enjoys all the trappings of a serious political player.

      I’ve spent most of today struggling to create a new banner for SSP Ayrshire using a quilt cover, cheap acrylics bought from B&M etc, and, believe me, it shows. The only reason I’m having to do this is (and colleagues are working on other versions) is because we can’t afford to get those all-weather jobs printed up.

      SSP and other leftist groups are presented as the fount of all evil, as the ‘enemy within’ and all manner of other shite – if we were such a threat, wouldn’t we have some dastardly fanatical funders helping us with such basics?

      Believe me, we DON’T have any such support! That’s why our propaganda has such a ‘home-made’ feel to it – it fucking well IS home-made! Anyway, best stop grumbling – I’ve got two hundred SSP gonks to knit before Tuesday.

    201. carjamtic says:

      Ken 500@9:39

      For the reasons you list,I gave up on politics/politicians,I stopped voting,they wore me down demoralised me.

      Two years ago a wee spark ignited my dormant political interest,that wee spark has grown into a bright burning flame.

      SNP & NS have given at first hope,now they have given me back my pride,I am proud of my socialist beliefs and I am proud to say,I voted YES,proud to say I vote in SNP.

      There is a better tomorro,I, a normally cynical bastard,not a nationalist,will vote SNP as their values are my values.

    202. crazycat says:

      @ Joemcg at 10.08

      The problem is not the stating of the fact, but the extrapolation from it that, should there be another referendum soon, all people born in England (whether they consider themselves English or not) – or even all people not born in Scotland – should be excluded from voting.

      Fortunately, the number of people who make this stipulation are also few in number.

      (It is similarly reprehensible when the outcome of the referendum is blamed on old people, though I haven’t noticed anyone seriously suggesting that there be an upper age limit on the franchise, presumably because they know that they themselves will eventually be old.)

    203. Nana Smith says:

      @Lesley Anne

      Oh dear, I wonder how long it took him to realise that. After all he was Johann’s little helper.

      Hilarious thanks for the laugh!

    204. crazycat says:

      Oops, really clumsy second sentence there 🙁

      Its meaning should be clear, though.

    205. Robert Peffers says:

      @shiregirl says:5 April, 2015 at 3:43 pm:

      “I’m new to this website but have been reading the informative and entertaining posts over the past few days. I am not a political whizz,

      Few of us are political Whizz (Ahem!), Kids, Shiregirl. Some of us, though, have been around politics for a very long time. In most cases experience has been a good teacher. Never be too shy to have your say nor impart any information you deem relevant.

      We may not all agree with you, we often don’t agree among ourselves, but we will listen to what you say or ask.

    206. @heedtracker

      It was Scots who sold out Scotland in the 1700’s and it was Scots working in the BBC who sold out in the referendum damn all to do with any other nationality. Blaming others born outside these borders for the 2014 failure is cheep electioneering.

    207. Author_al says:

      Two of the most rabid pro-Scotland, pro-SNP, pro-Indy, anti-SLAB, anti-Trident people I know are English. And I’m one of them.

    208. Sinky says:

      Alex Salmond on political dirty tricks in to-morrow’s The National

      https://twitter.com/ScotNational

      Why does BBC or SKY never feature The National on their paper review

    209. Jet Jockey says:

      The Macrae saga , the police replaced the car in the wrong place, really!!!!! A transit van went off the road in a remote mountain area near Tomintoul the marks through the heather were still visible 1 year later. Were the police involved all totally blind, no one could possibly believe such a crass excuse for such an error. I am afraid this only highlights the fact it was not suicide.

    210. call me dave says:

      Prof Robertson:
      A humorous approach to tearing lumps out of the BBC news (mostly)

      http://newsnet.scot/2015/04/broadcast-news-19-are-the-propagandists-losing-their-nerve-in-election-run-up/

    211. Joemcg says:

      Author_al-proved my point. You all take it like its a personal insult! It’s the same on the loony Brit Nat threads on MSM. Strange.

    212. Big Jock says:

      I think the stats were that 80% of English in Scotland voted no. That’s the facts like it or not.

      Like the fact that Rangers are a British not a Scottish team. I apologise to the 20% who voted yes. But your countrymen and women are part of the Jk Rowlings of this world. They only want to live in middle class Scotland where the country is owned by the British. It’s to do with them being insecure about their own nationality. If they can say to a Scot that we are all British then they can deny their own nationality and subvert the Scots.

      A Pole or an Indian has no baggage in terms of knowing their nationality is different. They will comfortably vote Yes and celebrate the nation they have moved to not try and deny it exists separate to their own nation.

    213. TJenny says:

      Ian Brotherhood – Ah, Gonks! Are they back in? I well remember them and indeed had a few. There was also, back in the day, a nightclub in Edinburgh called ‘The Gonk’. Happy days. 🙂

    214. Robert Peffers says:

      @Billy says: 5 April, 2015 at 4:27 pm :

      “See Rsole Carmichael has came out of his hole.
      SCUMBAG
      http://t.co/mM0ucIhMTL

      The honourable statement from a leader is, “The Buck Stops Here”.

      He is the Minister – he is the ultimate person at fault.

      When the French learn that, “Such Documents are circulated around Government Ministries”, they may not be best pleased. It does, after all, accuse the French as liars.

      To you or me what seems a gentle verbal nudge given in consular language can actually be a serious international telling off.

    215. heedtracker says:

      @cynicalHighlander Blaming others born outside these borders for the 2014 failure is cheep electioneering.

      Yes it is and I’m not doing that. The whole point is the freedom to vote as you see fit and I do not see why its racist to talk about who voted and why. I know a lot of proud English voters in Scotland and they are all more than happy to explain why they voted, why they wont vote SNP May 7 and why I shouldn’t vote SNP either. And that’s absolutely fine by me. Once again, Its not racism, its democracy.

      Quite a lot are my family members. You want to try shutting them up:D

    216. Achnababan says:

      Just watched Carmichael’s Channel 4 interview courtesy of Billy’s link.

      He manages to look and sound like a guilty pudding who knows his tea is most definitely oot!

    217. Author_al says:

      Proved what point Joel? I am more than happy to accept that English No voters screwed it for a lot of people. I take it personally not at all. the fact I have to state my positive actions re Scotland on this site is rather depressing. You are coming across as xenophobic. Don’t be a twat and stop promoting divisions on here where there are none.

    218. Natasha says:

      Rev Stuart Campbell

      if anyone here’s got a problem with people being born in England, I’ve got a problem with them.

      29 March 2015, 9pm

      It would be nice to see some action on that.

      It’s fairly clear to me who the racists on this site are; they even seem to be proud of themselves for hating anyone who wasn’t born here. Let’s just try substituting the words “black” or “Jewish” or “Moslem” for the word English in those comments, shall we?

      Sounds good, does it?

      No, I thought not.

    219. Cadogan Enright says:

      One benefit of a coalition is to get control of the Scottish Office and clear the place out = or even shut it down totally.

      “Scottish Office – what we do”

      “We ensure the smooth working of the devolution settlement in Scotland. We represent Scottish interests within the UK government and we represent the UK government in Scotland.”

      Only true bit “we represent the UK government in Scotland.”

    220. Robert Peffers says:

      @carjamtic says: 5 April, 2015 at 4:34 pm:

      “I am not concerned with any reporters/journalists in the field,they are doing their job(some may be useless idiots or having a bad day.”

      You are fully entitled to your opinion, carjamtic, but I contend there is a great deal of difference between respectfully asking the interviewee awkward questions and not accepting a brush off from the interviewee and insisting upon being answered and bad mannered bullying. The case in point stepped well over the line into disrespectful bullying after the lady gave a satisfactory and complete answer.

      There can be no contradiction of a reply that states the accusation the interviewer made never happened and was backed up with the information that everyone at the meeting , all of the highest honesty, had confirmed. To then attempt, in an overly aggressive manner, to browbeat the lady was inexcusable.

      If the interviewer cannot learn to deal with people with due respect he has no place in the business of journalism. I’ll put that another way. It is of mutual benefit for political figures and members of the media to interview and be interviewed.

      This requires that both parties co-operate for mutual benefit. One to get their views and aims publicised and the other to gain information for their news outlet.

      If they are as bad mannered and objectionable to the sources of their information then that information will soon dry up. The line between a good and a bad interviewer is quite narrow and, in this case was overstepped.

    221. Elmac says:

      A lot of comment on Referendum voters with English connections.

      I was born in Scotland of an English mother, my wife is Cornish. We have lived in various parts of the world but latterly, for many years, in bella Caledonia. We both voted yes because Scotland is our country and we earnestly believe that taking charge of our own affairs to bring social justice and end corruption in our society in Scotland is paramount.

      Our hopes and aspirations, what we identify with, are bound up with our life here. For us the argument is clear. For others, who may have retired here for a better quality of life after living elsewhere in the UK, and are dependent on UK private and public pensions which they believe are at risk in an independent Scotland, they may feel insecure and want to vote ” to protect what they have”. We need to convince those people that their fears are unfounded. I know that there have been various statements to this effect over the Referendum period but I believe it should be emphasised and repeated regularly on the run up to GE 2015.

    222. Author_al says:

      Furthermore,
      Rather than rile up ‘the few’ English Indy supporters on here (and be surprised at their indignation when English Nos are constantly blamed for the defeat) why not look at the millions of No voting indigenous Scots who screwed it for everyone?

      I meet them every day and they are more than happy with their negativity, feeling they saved Scotland rather than abandoned it.

      Xenophobia is a two way street, see? Fucking counterproductive too.

    223. Robert Peffers says:

      @muttley79 says: 5 April, 2015 at 4:50 pm:

      “I read the SOS story on Willie McRae. Can anyone with a degree of informed knowledge of the general circumstances of his death give an assessment of it? I read it and thought it sounded at least plausible, but I do not know a lot about the story in general.”

      Wow! Muttley79, there are mountains of the stuff on this case on YouTube

      here’s a starter of part one for just one series : –

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsqJEN9ouY0

    224. Lesley-Anne says:

      Just a couple of things about the Scotland Office here.

      1) I seem to recall before the 2010 General Election the Liberal Democrats were calling for the S.O. to be shut down and unified with the N.I. Office and Welsh Office. I wonder whatever happened to that … oh that’s right LibDem’s went into coalition with the Tories and … got their earse into a big fat S.O. “company car.”

      2) I seem to remember early on into the coalition that someone somewhere had suggested that the S.O. dealt with around 10 (TEN) e-mails and letters to deal with a WEEK!

      If point 2 was correct then obviously the inhabitant of the chair in the humongous office of the Secretary of State for Scotland Westminster had far too much time on their hands.

    225. chossy says:

      Just watching QI and one of the facts was that in order to check a toilets quality of flush, they would stuff half a telegraph in it….. Seems pretty apt.

    226. Big Jock says:

      Regards the English no voters. The same could be said for over 60s. The majority voted no. My dad does not take offence at me pointing that out. He is a 70 year old yes voter.

      We don’t need to blame people. However we do need to know what groups we need to convince. Otherwise another referendum may produce another no vote. Let’s try and change the mindset of these groups but let’s not be afraid to mention the facts.

    227. orri says:

      OK since it’s been brought out again,

      The results of a potentially flawed survey were that in the referendum 52.7% of scots voted Yes, 27.9% of those from the rUK and 42.9% of those from elsewhere, including those from EU countries.

      The last figures I have are that 83% of the population of Scotland were born here, 10% from the rUK. Serindipity is apparent in that if you assume equal turnout for the UK citizens those figures would give a slim 50.033% for YES. In order to reach a final figure of 44.7% using those figure 3/4 of those who voted would have to been born outside the UK. There were 94,122 EU citizens registered to vote. I don’t know how many from the Commonwealth or the republic of Ireland.

      The only way you can make sense of it is either that people have told porkies regarding how they voted or that if only those presently in Scotland were asked and it’s accurate then there must have been a very large quantity of votes from outwith Scotland on the No side.

      There were 722,223 postal votes cast. No indication given of where those votes were posted from. Assuming the vote was won there that’d mean roughly a 160,000 : 560,000 split or 78% No vote from there.

    228. Grouse Beater says:

      Elmac: We need to convince those people that their fears are unfounded.

      Good post.

      There is a difference between arguing with a man’s politics and dismissing him because of his birthplace.

      The problem is, life is not that simple. A man’s politics spring from somewhere.

      And yes, many a Scot sees himself as a ‘Brit’ – not an unexpected outcome after decades of inculcated propaganda.

      The First World War was all about ‘England.’ After what they had seen and done soldiers who returned from the killing fields contemptuous of their ‘betters’. They had had enough. That left politicians and generals with a serious problem, how to appeal to a different patriotism for conscription to the Second World War – they chose Britishness. Whether a Jock, a Paddy, a Taffy or a Tommy, being a Brit was easy, there was a single identifiable enemy. Matters today are far more sophisticated. But Westminster wants us all to remain ‘Brits.’

      When the dominant nation sets the standards and criteria for selection some will kowtow, prostrate themselves to achieve temporary preferment. They become acclimatised. You get half-baked Scots too long in London such as the cheap journalist Fraser Nelson ridiculing his birthplace in order to appear more English than the English. It’s safer that way.

      Should we take his crap and turn the other cheek? Hell no. Someone has to tell him to take a hike. When life moves from bad to worse nations have revolutions.

      If a person relates to Westminster, all things London and the City, who sees Scotland as part of ‘his’ country, meaning England, we have a problem, Huston.

      What is the point in suffering at the hands of those with a superior attitude to ‘northerners’ and ‘Jocks.’ The Irish know how to handle that kind of colonial arrogance.

      Some enlightened English might vote against the corruption they see is London, others might prefer the devil they know to the devil the No campaign said awaited them in an independent country.

      For my part, I learned early to be ruthless by spotting zealots early so they did not waste my time ‘trying to convince them.’ They come in all shades and from all countries including my own.

      Finally, to the poster keen to tar and feather at the drop of a post, ditch the dishonesty in selecting one rebuke of Stuart’s whilst ignoring the important one:

      “Disagreement is entirely welcome in comments on this site, but abusive arseholery will not be tolerated. Everyone clear?”

    229. Cag-does-thinking says:

      Good headline from the National. It seems to be finally finding the right tone and I’m glad I stuck with it. Having Alec Salmond writing for it will help sales I’m sure.

    230. Paul D says:

      So Carmichael dies know who was involved:

      https://archive.today/K2CHc

      The question is, was that before or after the journalist called him on Friday?

    231. Paul D says:

      Dies = does

      A Freudian slip I fear!

    232. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Headlines are written by sub-editors,”

      SOMETIMES they are. There’s no hard-and-fast rule about it. But the title of this article refers to journalisM, not journalisTS. And sub-editors are journalists anyway.

    233. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Incidentally, any more argument on this thread about “English No voters” will incur my extreme displeasure.

    234. Robert Kerr says:

      ‘terminate with extreme prejudice’ as they say at Langley!

    235. Pam McMahon says:

      Several miles back in these comments, some people seemed to be suggesting that an SNP MP should be SoS for Scotland after the election. I can’t understand why anybody would think that an SNP MP would want to be Westminster’s mouthpiece in Scotland?

      The Lib Dems were thrown a few sweeties by their coalition partners, one of which was the Scotland Office. It was chucked at Carmichael because it only needed someone who could read the latest Westminster diktat without laughing, or bursting into tears. Job done.

    236. arthur thomson says:

      A disgraceful attempt at smearing Nicola but if anyone didn’t know her name before they surely know it now. Plenty publicity and plenty opportunities between now and the GE for Nicola to put it straight.

      Just one thing though, how DARE anyone smear our first minister. Maybe I am just over-sensitive because to me she is a STAR.

    237. MD says:

      Presumably this will be a much shorter inquiry than usual. Heywood picks up phone to Carmichael, Carmichael names who leaked, leaker interviewed then fired for breaking purdah rules. Leaker has a chance to name any co-conspirators who are also interviewed and fired or cleared as appropriate.

      Shouldn’t take more than a few days.

    238. Grouse Beater says:

      argument on this thread about “English No voters”

      Anybody interested in pursuing the discussion on who should vote next time, and why, might be interested in this essay and the open comments section:

      ‘Scottish, English, and Neo-Democracy”: https://grousebeater.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/scottish-english-and-neo-democracy/

    239. Apache says:

      Honest journalists in Uk MSM? Not many I can think of. No longer can it be considered an honorable profession.



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