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Wings Over Scotland

The curious art of Helen Keller politics

Posted on February 06, 2013 by

One of the main reasons we started Wings Over Scotland 15 months ago was a recurring frustration at the Scottish media’s constant failure to represent our views. Time after time we’d sit watching the TV with our blood pressure rising, shouting “Why aren’t you asking this CLEARLY lying idiot the staggeringly bloody obvious question that anyone with a IQ higher than a badger’s bawbag would be asking?” at the screen until the neighbours started banging on the wall again.

We’ve come a long way in 15 months, and we can at least now draw a sizeable audience’s attention to such unasked questions. But the phenomenon hasn’t lessened any, and last night’s Newsnight Scotland provided a textbook example.

No-campaign frontman Alistair Darling was shown in a piece on the Scottish Government’s independence transition plans, making an extraordinary assertion which passed completely without challenge. You can see it four minutes into the edition for as long as the recording linked above is live on the iPlayer, and we’ve recorded the audio ourselves for when it’s deleted.

(We’ve also included for posterity Willie Rennie’s preposterously dishonest claim that an independent Scotland would need to negotiate “14,000 international treaties” between the referendum and Independence Day.)

Here’s what Captain Darling told the BBC, with a straight face:

“When you have a situation where the SNP cannot tell us what their position now is on things like the currency, or on pensions, or on defence, or on Europe, they’re asking us to [blah blah blah]”

Yet the truth is that we, and anyone else in Scotland with even the slightest of passing contact with the media, could in fact barely have AVOIDED finding out the SNP’s position on those matters even if we’d tried.

On currency, SNP policy is for an independent Scotland to use Sterling. (What’s more, we KNOW that Alistair Darling knows that, because less than a month ago he backed the policy on the very same TV show.)

On pensions, the YesScotland website has provided comprehensive responses to questions covering every aspect of the subject.

On defence, SNP policy is that an independent Scotland woud remain in NATO, but expel nuclear weapons (indeed, would explicitly ban them under a new Scottish constitution), and maintain its own defence force with a budget of £2.5bn a year (a 25% increase on the amount currently spent in Scotland by the UK Ministry of Defence).

On Europe, SNP policy is, and has been for many years, that an independent Scotland would negotiate the terms of EU membership while remaining a member in the intervening period.

Whether Alistair Darling believes these things will actually happen or not, it is nevertheless absolutely undeniable that the SNP has made it clear what its position is. So why is he happy to appear on television telling the bare-faced lie that they haven’t? We feel sure that if the former Chancellor had suffered some sort of brain injury affecting his short-term memory it would have been on the news.

Our question is of course rhetorical. Safe in the knowledge that the Scottish broadcast and print media won’t pull him up on such claims, Darling can keep hammering them into the electorate’s subconscious, hopeful that an inaccurate impression of an evasive, shifty Scottish Government will take hold. And his supposed interrogators will sit opposite him all the while, respectful “elder statesman” expressions on their faces, turning a deaf ear and a blind eye and playing dumb.

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    There is no failure except in no longer trying | A Wilderness of Peace

96 to “The curious art of Helen Keller politics”

  1. Billy badger's bollock says:

    What was the question again?

  2. meljomur says:

    Thanks Rev.

    I have started reading your blog, just for a daily dose of sanity. My feeling is soon, you will have more traffic than the Scotsman and Herald combined.

    The unionist media on this matter has become comical.  I just can’t believe that thinking, rational adults (despite your feelings on indy) are not insulted by the lies.

    In the end, truth and positivity will win out.  No matter how hard they try to smother it out! 

  3. Ysabelle says:

    The internet is the fly in their ointment. They must be hoping that either a lot of the population don’t use the internet, or if they do they’re not visiting independence-related websites. Many older people will not use the internet, though others do. I think it helps when people are nervous about technology if they have younger family members who can show them how to use it. Just having the likes of the YES site, NNS, Labour for Independence, and WOS to look up would get more people thinking about the gap between what the NO campaigners and the MSM and BBC are saying, and what is actually the case vis-a-vis the YES campaign and independence. 

  4. Dunc says:

    Well, I’m certainly forming an impression of somebody as being shifty and evasive, but it’s not the Scottish Government, and I don’t think it’s all that inaccurate either…

  5. Stuart Black says:

    Hi Meljomur, nice to see you, good here, innit? (Mafia from CiF)

  6. james morton says:

    I was always of the opinion that their campaign approach was going to lead them down a cul-de-sac. It’s a campaign not just based on negativity but one of fear of the unknown. The last thing they ever expected was to get answers to their questions, in fact they never expected it to get that far. So they are left with the only option they ever really had – ignore it. The big lie as it is said has one enemy – the truth. For the big lie to work, you have to keep people ignorant of the truth. But as reality breaks in as it always does, it shows the lie for what it is. The dilemma for Darling & co is that they have to keep parroting it. It not only makes them look absurd but so disconnected from reality that it becomes comical. For example the classic briefing by the Iraqi minister for propaganda that the US were beaten & defeated, while at the same time American tanks where parking outside his ministry.

    They will stay in their cul-de-sac with their faithful friends in the MSM fielding them softball questions and never challenging their statements. At the same time, people are going to see and hear the SNPs position and feel that sense of disconnect with the better together campaign.

  7. Training Day says:

    Pathetic, but entirely expected from those who masquerade as ‘journalists’ in Scotland.  I was speaking to a colleague yesterday whose only real concern about the referendum was, understandably, the future of her small child and whether the child would have stability and a decent economic outlook.  This colleague, unbidden, told me that she would vote No because ‘they say the oil is going to run out very soon’.

    A plague on all your houses, you scabrous liars of the ‘Scottish’ MSM… 

  8. Les Wilson says:

    Yes, looking at my recording of this “interview!, you are absolutely right, complete
    lies and attempts at scare tactics. There is of course no anti SNP ground barred or questioned by the BBC, as they are involved up to their necks.

    However we should not be surprised we constantly get this guff from the “unionist Conspiracy” Darling is a Westminster Labour MP, ( the most deceitful party! ) and as such lose his job come Independence, along with all his pals from Scotland.

    So he has strong self preservation issues, which mist his brain. He is however beginning to look and sound more desperate as the rants continue, that will not be lost by Scots.

    OT I watched the recording Newsnight, the labour guy just carried on with an anti SNP, unusually, Gordon Brewer stopped him, he must be slipping! 
    However, who made the most impression on me was little Willie Rennie, who is starting to look more and more gormless, and well out of his depth. 

  9. cuphook says:

    Not sure about the title of this piece – Helen Keller was a Socialist.

  10. cath says:

    ” He is however beginning to look and sound more desperate as the rants continue, that will not be lost by Scots.”
    Even the No pages are beginning to pick this up, and question whether he’s up to the job. Frankly no one is up to the job: it’s a poisoned chalice. Their only hope is that enough people will believe their lies for them to win. But then if they win that way, what have they actually won? An electorate where anyone with any political awareness and ability to read widely, think critically and not simply accept lies is bloody furious as well as disappointed, left with an outcome they don’t want. While the non-engaged and politically placid remain that way, or perhaps begin to realise they were duped afterwards and become angry.

  11. Seasick Dave says:

    But then if they win that way, what have they actually won? An electorate where anyone with any political awareness and ability to read widely, think critically and not simply accept lies is bloody furious as well as disappointed, left with an outcome they don’t want. While the non-engaged and politically placid remain that way, or perhaps begin to realise they were duped afterwards and become angry.

    That, Cathy, sums it all up very nicely. 

    Lay waste to Scotland and call it a victory.

    These propagandists simply have no shame. 


  12. Pa Broon says:

    I don’t normally watch Newsnight, I did last night though and was reminded why I don’t watch it.

    Willie Rennie made an arse of himself, the labour guy started off a bit swivel eyed then seemed to become more reasonable. Stewart Maxwell did well enough and Patrick Harvie was fine too, he made the point he didn’t often agree with Alex Salmond which I think is good, it lets people know its not a one man show.

    Alistair Darling is a no mark, I don’t think any one listens to him. He’s a new labour robot and I think with his baggage he’s mostly ignored or at least regarded with a fair amount of suspicion.

    Willie Rennie on the other hand, I want to feel sorry for, he’s like a puppy who’s been given a toy he can’t understand. He wants to play with it but he just doesn’t know how, he’s so earnest in his attempts but he’s been pre-programmed by fate to not understand how it works or what its for.

    Its a wee bit sad to be honest, I’m not sure care in the community should extend to our law makers and political representatives. I can only assume it was a sympathy vote.

  13. Scott says:

    Is there is a better website out there for Scottish political analysis and open comment?

    If there is, I don’t wanna know about it.”

  14. Ysabelle says:

    I do think it would be a terrible victory to win through lies and doing down your own country. Especially since it would become all too clear afterwards that they’d told so many lies just to get the result they wanted. No doubt they’d bang on about how we have to accept the result and move on, in the hopes the skeletons don’t come clattering out the closet. And how would it impact the BBC, an organisation that claims to be impartial yet has been acting as a unionist propaganda machine paid for by a totally misled public? 

  15. Christian Wright says:

    Alas positivity and truth will not necessarily win out in the end, especially when the critical target audience doesn’t get to hear it or hear it often enough.

    Secondly, while quality boutique web sites like this one are enjoying near exponential growth, it can be pretty much guaranteed that the demograph we need reach will not be among its patrons.

    Alistair Darling is certainly a cad and a bounder, but he isn’t the problem. The problem is the media’s gross bias which has led it to become no more than the personal megaphone of Unionists like Darling. 

    The chief offender among the media is the BBC. It is the chief offender not because its output is more slanted or mendacious than that of other propaganda channels. No, it is the chief offender because it is the most believed. The people we need reach trust it. 

    They trust its political reporting and analyses and that makes it easy for the beeb to sew fear uncertainty and doubt about the viability and the soundness of the independence project.

    The best and most effective propaganda is propaganda that is not recognised as propaganda by the target audience. This sort of customer conditioning is worth its weight in gold. How much do you think hours of daily free pro-unionist television advertising will be worth over the next 21 months, augmented by a daily diet of SNP-bashing in the national press?

    That is what we are up against and it is THAT which represents an existential threat to the independence campaign. The problem is not the lying pols, it is the media and in particular the BBC.

  16. Stuart Black says:

    No wonder that they wanted the referendum to take place as soon as possible. No-one could keep this kind of stuff going for long, even sympathetic interviewers are starting to get embarassed, cringeworthy stuff from Mr. Darling.

    I am, however, starting to fear that he may be replaced by someone else (ill health?, early onset Alzheimers? Plenty excuses), as it must be plain that he is not coming across well in the media. I don’t think anyone could make a silk purse out of this particular pig’s lug, but there must be someone who presents better than Darling.

    I really, really hope he stays though.

  17. fitheach says:

    @ Les Wilson
    However, who made the most impression on me was little Willie Rennie, who is starting to look more and more gormless, and well out of his depth.”
    When I saw the picture at the top of this article:
    I thought Gollum but gormless probably covers it too.
    @ cuphook
    “Not sure about the title of this piece – Helen Keller was a Socialist”
    I wondered what connection there could be between a famous socialist and AD.  A reference to the fact that Helen Keller was deaf and blind perhaps?

  18. macdoc says:


    I feel your pain and was shouting at the TV myself for the exact same reasons outlined above. Not because of what Alastair Darling was saying but because he knew he could say it and get away with it. The Bias in this debate is so extreme its going to be an incredibly hard battle. Not once are the Brit Nats taken to account on their ludicrous assertions. 

    Just last week 14% of Scottish people thought they would be better off financially as an independent country. Admittedly only 37% thought they would be worse off. The rest were unsure or though much of a muchness.  This is an abhorrent statistic when the evidence is overwhelming that Scotland would be better off financially. Its shows the damage that the state broadcaster and private newspaper companies have done to brainwash the Scottish population at large. Be under no doubt if the truth was told in the media then this would be an incredibly easy victory. This is the main reason people are against it, Lalland’s Peat Worrier has done a good blog on it. This is the argument we need to hammer home. 

  19. Bill C says:

    @Training Day -“‘they say the oil is going to run out very soon’.” Please tell your colleague that is not how the oil industry see it.  Two points: 1. I live in Aberdeenshire and travel into Aberdeen on a regular basis. Oil companies are building offices in the Westhill area like klondykers setting up tents in a gold mining camp, offices are also being built in Dyce, the city centre and other parts of Aberdeen. If oil is running out then the oil companies don’t know it. 2. Both my sons work in the oil industry and both have been told that industry estimates are that Scottish oil and gas reserves will be in production at least another 40 to 50 years. These are the facts, the oil industry does not invest in hearsay.

    I am afraid your colleague is a ‘victim’ and I use the word advisedly, of unionist propaganda. They used the same tactic in the ’79 and ’97 referendums.  It is appalling that people like your colleague are basing their decision on whether to vote yes or no on lies and distotions. Hopefully as we near the referendum, the truth on so many issues will become apparent and folk like your colleague will become a YES voter

  20. Vronsky says:

    @christian wright

  21. Bill C says:

    Re my post “distotion”should obviously read “distortion”.


  22. cath says:

    “there must be someone who presents better than Darling.”
    I can think of at least a couple. Trouble is would any Labour politician want to stake their career on it? Better Together is a pit I can’t imagine any half-decent politician wanting to stumble into. I wonder if even Blair McDougall isn’t regretting taking on the job? With a wholly biased media, sure, they can win but it must kill a part of your soul to be any part of it, if you have even an ounce of self respect or respect for democracy, truth and the electorate. And the internal contradictions between the Tory/UKIP part of it and the Labour part which doesn’t seem to know what it stands for must be virtually impossible to balance too.

  23. Training Day says:


    I know that she is being duped, Bill, I feel like asking her to write to Statoil or BP who will avail her of their view around the ‘shortage’ of oil.  But as Christian points out, she believes the BBC as they are, for many, the arbiters of truth and enjoy an incredible immunity from public doubt despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.     

    My colleague is emblematic of the default No voter – I’ll vote no because it’s what I’m being told to do by the ‘majority’.  We need to change that by getting the message directly into people’s homes.  Perhaps something the Yes campaign might care to pick up.. y’know, if they’re not doing anything else like…  

  24. TheGreatBaldo says:

    I think one of the most telling differences between the campaigns is that the YES side are aware that the eyes of history are upon them and that the day after the referendum they will need to work with their opponents so it’s not just about winning but about HOW you win…..

    There seems no awareness from Darling, Sarwar et al that generations from now will read what they have said and will not judge them favourably (still if it means assorted directorships and a chance to wear the ermine who cares !!)

    Or the fact the day after if they win there will be at the very least 40% of the population who they will have lied and smeared for the best part of 2 years……

    I’d love to know what version of ‘How to win friends and influence people’ they’ve read 

  25. Vronsky says:

    @christian wright
    I’m horribly afraid that you’re right.  We can tut-tut about the media but the best that we’re achieving on sites like this is giving activists a bit of ammunition to fight back.  That is worth doing, but the BBC has pretty much normalised the idea  that independence is completely loopy, at best the province of shysters and a few dangerous eccentrics.  Most of the people I hear expressing support for the Union are very confident in their opinion, even proud of it.  All the evidence available to them says that this is the view of sensible, moderate people: independence is seriously uncool.
    We need to get creative on what we do about this – chatting among ourselves isn’t going to cut the mustard.  New Labour are clearly very afraid of the ‘cybernat’ presence on the internet and throughout the social media but they probably overestimate its campaigning effectiveness.  Perhaps we need to be outrageous as well as creative.  I can remember an activist many years ago telling me that they sometimes did awful things in order to get into the local newspaper.  ‘The only page we can get is the front page’ he explained sadly.

  26. TheGreatBaldo says:

    Training Day

    Just to back up what Bill C said….ask her to look up the West of Shetland developments…..Total are building a massive support bases to support developments in this as yet untapped field.

    It was interesting that in his ‘goodbye’ interview Sir Ian Wood made the point that there isn’t enough appreciation of whats happened in Aberdeen and the economic benefits everyone gets….we have a genuine World Class and respected industry….’Scottish Crews’ are requested around the globe for their skill and their abilities to deliver…..the companies in Aberdeen don’t just work in the North Sea….go to any oil field in the world and you’ll find crews from Aberdeen working there…..


  27. Peter says:

    A little over a year ago I was firmly in the Unionist camp. No that I am particularly a Unionist or had any admiration of Westminster, even I could see that the UK has serious problems and needed reforming. However, I really didnt like Alex Salmond or indeed Nicola Sturgeon.
    Then there was a couple of events that caused me to look closer at the independence debate. Firstly, my brother from England was up visiting with his family and it was all very enjoyable and the engilsh weans managed to obtain a Glaswegian phrase book to aid with conversations (which was hilarious). When the subject of independence came up, my brother was of the opinion that I should listen closely to what Salmond says and to what is said about him. A few weeks later, I was watching an Alistair Darling interview and while I was watching I noticed that on some points he mentioned, even though I knew he was lying, the interviewer seemed reluctant to pick up on the statements. Which I found odd, to say the least.
    I then began paying more attention to the interviews and news stories and I quickly came to the conclusion that there was more going on than what was being presented. I watched and listened to what Alex Salmond was saying and compared that with what he was reported as having said and they were more often than not, quite different in substance and context. I then had to ask myself, why are all these Unionist lying to me? And I have as yet to come up with an answer, other than if I was told the truth, I might vote for Independence.
    In short, I switched over to the Independence side because of the lies and I know others who, though perhaps not yet convinced, similarly are questioning the need for lies and as such have gone from clear Unionist views to “don’t know”. My impressions of Salmond and Sturgeon have raised over the last year, though I would say this; if anyone is in a position to speak to Nicola Sturgeon please tell her that “if she should find herself visiting a primary school in a deprived area of Glasgow and a child stops in the corridor and says “hello”, it would be polite to respond in kind”. Failing to do so, may turn all who observe such a small incident away from listening to anything you may say afterwards and make defence of your position on any subject, ever more difficult. The perception of rudeness, can does carry a long way.

  28. Christian Wright says:

    What needs to be prioritized is not offering counterpoint to every dingbat charge the opposition dreams up, or challenging false or misleading data presented, but neutralizing the effectiveness of the conduit through which the lies and “inaccuracies” are disseminated.

    We cannot hope to unstick the Beeb and force change in its institutional position on independence, but we CAN go far to ameliorating its toxic influence on the outcome of the plebiscite on independence, by hammering home the message of its political corruption.

    This can be done by making it an issue to some degree on the agenda in every interview and debate. Having surrogates from the Good and the Great call for an enquiry citing BBC violations of its charter. The goal is not to hold an enquiry but to make it an issue in the public space so that it  becomes a real factor in the debate.
    Distracts from the positive message of imdependence? What message? We are not getting it out to the people who matter and the opposition are.

    We want to achieve two goals – minimise the effectiveness the propaganda by denying the BBC the fiction of its impartiality – trimming its current unrestrained  Unionist bias by openly calling them to account when they seriously transgress in real time if possible.

  29. The_Duke says:

    @ Bill C
    Totally agree. My wife holds a rather senior position within and Aberdeen based Oil company and the consevatively estimate 40 years left in the North Sea….. that isn’t taking into account the potential of all the deep water fields west of Stornaway. As technology improves these fields will become easier to extract.
    Point out to your collegue that these companies are investing 100’s of millions of GBP in the Nth Sea…. and they dont do that unless they expect a return! 😉

  30. Ananurhing says:

    Poor Wee Wullie Rennie. You can’t blame him for leaving no straw unclutched. He knows that unless he can pull off a political miracle, he’s out of a job come May 2016, and there’s now probably zero chance of the peerage he dreamed of. That can’t sit well with a self serving pathological narcissist.

    The compulsive lying from the Nos is becoming increasingly tenuous, and I sense that more and more people are seeing through the toxic guff being spouted. Completely subjective and anecdotal, but I notice unionist friends who in the past felt they had enough ammo to challenge the idea of independence, and relished a bit of Nat bashing, now avoid the debate if they can. I don’t think they’ve experienced a Dalmarnocene epiphany, but they’re less certain of their previous ill informed assertions. Something’s working.  

  31. muttley79 says:

    @Training Day
    This colleague, unbidden, told me that she would vote No because ‘they say the oil is going to run out very soon’.

    Ian Wood, who has just retired I think, says that the oil industry in Scotland is in very good health, and will last for at least another 30-40 years.  He is a unionist as well!

  32. Wullie says:

    dahling is probably a trifle worried that when Scotland goes independent himself and his pal brown might be extradidted to England to face charges of gross deriliction of duty and bankrupting England.

  33. Laura says:

    Surely even diehard Labour voters will start to doubt the competence of Darling, McDougall & Co. – Cameron’s master plan perhaps?

    I had always hoped that Charles Kennedy would turn to the YES side. Who knows maybe he will. I’ve never voted Lib Dem, I just think he would be a good MP in an Independent Scotland. Head and shoulders above Rennie & Scott

    As for the BBC in Scotland they are just digging their own grave. I cannot wait to watch them squirm when the tide starts turning and it will. 

  34. The_Duke says:

    @ Chritian.
    I made this point on another thread.
    The Scottish Govt and Yes Scotland should send an open invitation to all the major broadcast networks around the world to cover the final months of the 2014 referendum… it may be just enough to keep them honest during the run up knowing the eyes of the world and the media are on them. I am sure CNN would like nothing better than seeing the Beeb diminished at home and abroad

  35. TYRAN says:

    Say he is not lying. That really is all he knows. So a case of someone not on the ball and only putting in a halfhearted effort as not really bothered about the entire thing. The interviewer should have asked, “But don’t you know? We know all this already! It’s just you. So what rock have you been under? Are you really taking this job seriously as it would seem you are not?” Then zoom the camera close into his face, like out of a spaghetti western, awaiting his response… if any.

  36. Embradon says:

    Training Day
    You might draw your colleague’s attention to this BBC output:
    (part 1 of 4) Its amazing what Alba manages to sneak past the Pacific Quay censors!

  37. Stuart Black says:

    Yes Laura, I’ve been puzzled by Charles Kennedy myself, and I think he would be an asset in a post-independence Holyrood, any government needs a strong opposition, and the weakness of the three Unionist parties at the moment is truly frightening.

    However, as I watched Duncan Hamilton’s fine debating speech at Glasgow University, I was conscious of wee Charles’s face tripping him in the background, I may be projecting but I don’t see him swapping camps any time soon. Shame.

  38. muttley79 says:

    I see from reading WoS Twitter that Darling has said he will not give details on what a No vote means.  Surely this is going against the EC recommendations?  What about the 27,000 petition from Better Together?  Imagine if the SG had done this.  What would be the likely reaction from the MSM?  There really is no scrutiny at all of the No campaign.  It really is starting to get surreal. I think we have entered the twilight zone…

  39. Barbara Gribbon says:

    Training Day
    I don’t get these people. Just about all I care about is my wee daughters future. Yet as a result I find myself then feeling obliged to care about other people’s weans and how they might not have the chance to pretend to be middle class like I do, and thinking that’s not a future I want any wee one to grow up in, where everything revolves around that extra £10-20000 to get the right catchment and even then you’re kidding yourself because really what’s needed is a private education, and don’t even get us started on the tuition fees.
    As for the oil? As another commenter said, it seem to be doing OK, and don’t we have this massive renewables potential which if developed fully, would bring jobs to the north, cut our carbon output, and make the climate future more stable for future generations, not to mention partly expunging the moral deficit that the UK has built up through its overseas adventures. But I guess I’m just a wide eyed fantasist…

  40. cath says:

    “My colleague is emblematic of the default No voter – I’ll vote no because it’s what I’m being told to do by the ‘majority’.”
    There is also an opportunity for the Yes campaign in this though. The No side have no real arguments – that much is clear. They also have very few activists, commentators (beyond the regular, vitriolic, types in the Scotsman and Telegraph) or people who are passionate about their message. Given they don’t have a message beyond “doom and gloom” that’s hardly surprising. While on the Yes side there are creative people, business folk, activists of all hues. And there are blogs like this one and Bella through which truth seeps out.
    Yes most people take the lazy option of going with the majority and “conventional” view on most topics. Life’s too short to do otherwise. And that’s why polls are so important to the No side, as well as a biased media. But to assume people will stick with this method on something so important, on which they have a vote, is offensive to everyone’s intelligence. Most people do have other sources when they’re interested in the debate, and one big one is friends and family they respect, especially ones they know are more politically aware. So gradually as people come out for Yes, with good arguments and facts, those around them will begin to listen. And most people don’t take kindly to discovering they’ve been lied to or fed propaganda.
    There is a phenomenon in sociology (and physics) known as tipping point or critical mass. You don’t need to convince a majority. You just need to hit the critical mass of people engaged with, and believing in a previously “bonkers” idea for it to take hold and start spreading. At that point “the majority” view changes and those who do just “follow what others are saying” go the other way.
    Whether the Yes campaign can reach that point in time for the vote is anyone’s guess. It would be useful if they didn’t reach it until quite close to the referendum 🙂

  41. Craig M says:

    In bankcrupt Britain, where so many injustices are running rampant across society there is a complete derth of ideas to solve the issues. There is a reason for that absence; there are none. At least, there are none within the present constitutional arrangements. 
    So we have a society. with endemic child poverty, endemic lack of housing, an erosion of the various social safety nets, where it’s dangerous to get old, risky to be ill.
    Now those within the MSM are not uneducated and can probably see this but choose, intentionally choose; in fact let me apply some more emphasis; they cold heartedly and without the slightest bit of humanity, allow a travisty in economic and social management to go unchallenged.
    So let me return to my first paragraph; a part of the current UK have decided that it’s a good idea to leave this mess. By leaving this mess, they will, in point of fact, set off a series of actions and activities that will see enormous change come to the rest of the British Isles. Changes that will see a complete sea change in the way people interact with their government, and how that government(s) manages the economy and the society for which it is responsible. It will be a revolution (with a small R) and is long over due and desperately needed.
    These changes will see solutions start to evolve that will tackle child poverty and the various other ills that plague current UK society. The solutions will take shape in an independent Scotland and England. No, in my view, if you stand in the way of these changes, if you refuse to challenge the architects of society’s ills, like Darling, like Lamont, like Brown, like all the Better Together crew, then you are complicit in the continuation of these ills. In short Better together = child poverty; Better Together = mass unemployment, Better Together = dangers to our older population. And the MSM, i.e. BBC Scotland, The Herald, The Scotsman et al = support for the continuation of child poverty, mass unemployment etc. So the next time you see a news article regarding poverty, whether it’s in Scotland or England, remember the irony, because if it’s a BBC Scotland report, then they support this social injustice and share the responsibility for it happening in the first place!

  42. Braco says:

    Christian Wright,
    What’s your solution? You seem intent on banging away on your ‘sell it like soap’ ‘low information voter’ ‘Hammer thump media messaging’ (truth’s an irrelevance) political theory of campaigning. I might say, that without putting forward a workable solution to counter this crap, you just end up reinforcing the only underlying power of our enemies technique, that being the overwhelming feeling of the uselessness of even trying to fight such an all pervading media/establishment ‘big lie’. Is the moral of our own side of no value to you?. I have questioned your critic on a previous thread and asked, ‘How, if your theory holds water, are we now in the position of majority government, a question for the referendum settled and agreed and the date just around the corner, considering we have never had the ability to run the type of politically conventional and cynical campaign you constantly advocate? Are you in charge of a respected media outlet with country wide reach? Do you have the ability to change 90 years of BBC policy of ALWAYS supporting the British state? No? Well why not spend less time advocating the use of weaponry unavailable to the YES campaign and start building up for use the armoury of effective and proven weaponry we do have access to in abundance. I understand your frustration, and those of so many others that read this site (which is focused on exposing the Media Lies after all), but I feel that your post’s, being some of the most intelligent and consistent of their type, need to be questioned. How have we achieved what we have without the tools and method’s you advocate? I would not swap our weaponry for theirs. It has won the day again and again when deployed in the context of the Scot’s electorate and it will again this time. Yes the big horses with the shiny knights on them look and sound scary and impressive but I’ll just stand over here, side by side with my fellow peasants thanks. Confident in our moral, our fraternity and most of all, our big long sharp pointy sticks! With Rev Stu and his like out there digging the hidden ditches and the leaders of the YES campaign surveying and planning the battlefield to be, I can see only one outcome. Sorry, got carried away there with all that ‘Braveheart, ‘Treaty of Arbroath’ etc none sense that happens to be our history. (Weeemmbarrassedmachosmilything)

  43. Dcanmore says:

    Remember that Alistair Darling is a lawyer by trade so he is well used to getting paid to lie, and in this case the reward will be gongs, titles, ermine and directorships that go with it. He is not ignorant of SNP policies and the facts. He is lying to himself over and over again, conditioning himself until he actually believes he is telling the truth. A bit like Tony Bliar and WMDs.

  44. McHaggis says:

    @training day

    I feel your pain.

    A staunch unionist I know posted the ‘fact’ that oil would run out in 10 years from now (with a link to some oil industry report he had misinterpreted) on his facebook page.

    I challenged this assertion by providing links within his own document to refute that position and showed him where he had misunderstood the analysis. I also invited him to write to the Chair and shareholders of Royal Dutch Shell who had just announced a multibillion (or million cannot remember) pound investment in the North Sea with a life of 30 years, to point out to them that they were wasting their money.


    Then deflection to defence – “aye but under fat salmonds plan we’ll have no defence and everyone will lose their jobs”…

    and so it goes.

  45. HenBroon says:

    Capt Darling is becoming more like Comical Ali with every utterance. His “I am really annoyed” expressions and stern school teacher patronising tone is quite hilarious when you listen to his mantras. When you begin your reply to a question with “LOOK” you have lost before you start. I honestly think that he really believes he is speaking to 5 year olds.
    Every chance he gets he bangs the trade with the UK drum. In his mind because he will feel deeply aggrieved especially having to sacrifice the prospect of an ermine robe, although maybe his financial management of UK Plc did for that. But he will like all the rest of his tribe be facing the loss of a jolly good salary and fabulous expense account, the like of which he has not a hope in hell of commanding in the private sector. But he imagines that all the companies that presently trade with Scotland will pull up the draw bridge and say “right that’s it we will not sell to an independent country.” Because he and his bitter comrades feel we need to be punished for daring to take away his job. You could see it on the expressions of the Labour stooge on Newsnicht last night, he was practically foaming at the mouth when Brewer put that to him.
    This Scotland on Sunday article gives the lie to Darlings patronising lies.

  46. Seasick Dave says:


    Good to hear your story.

    Far be it for me to stick up for Nicola Sturgeon; she can easily stick up for herself, but recently I was walking down the street when my young nephew said ‘Hello’ in the passing. I honestly didn’t see or hear him and it was only when his mother after me that I realised he was there and had spoken.

    Nicola’s mind may have been elsewhere… 

  47. Bill C says:

    I obviously agree wholeheartedly with the oil related comments, we really need to get the truth out there.  However, I think Peter’s post is very interesting, a committed unionist converting to YES simply because he realised that he was being lied to.  There must be tens of thousands out there who, if they only knew the truth, would convert in a heartbeat. Which brings me to the contributions from Christian and Vronsky, both are spot on about the BBC. I think Christian sums it up perfectly with “That is worth doing, but the BBC has pretty much normalised the idea that independence is completely loopy, at best the province of shysters and a few dangerous eccentrics.”  Until we tackle that sort of subliminal propaganda, we will have an uphill struggle. Not sure what the answer is. Many of us complain on a regular basis to no avail. I think it may be time to call on support from an international body.  A few days ago, Cameron on here mentioned some sort of Citizens Movement could be set up to tackle this issue.  I really do think this is worth pursuing as I think a BBC which reported facts without a unionist bias could be a game changer.

  48. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “We want to achieve two goals – minimise the effectiveness the propaganda by denying the BBC the fiction of its impartiality – trimming its current unrestrained Unionist bias by openly calling them to account when they seriously transgress in real time if possible.”

    Is that not what this site’s been doing for a year and a quarter?

  49. Bill C says:

    “We want to achieve two goals – minimise the effectiveness the propaganda by denying the BBC the fiction of its impartiality – trimming its current unrestrained Unionist bias by openly calling them to account when they seriously transgress in real time if possible.”
    Is that not what this site’s been doing for a year and a quarter?

    Absolutly Rev and I think I speak for many on here in being eternally grateful for the work you do on behalf of Scottish self determination.  However, despite the good news that WoS visitor stats. are going through the roof, your audience is limited to those who are confortable using the internet, the BBC on the other hand, invades our homes on a daily basis. I think that a massive publicity campaign supported by a respected international body, is the only way we can counter the Pravda like reporting of the BBC. 

  50. Chic McGregor says:

    @Pa Broon ” I’m not sure care in the community should extend to our law makers and political representatives. I can only assume it was a sympathy vote.”
    One of my hobby horses for years is that something akin to the law of perjury should extend to elected representatives speaking on public platforms.  Those who say something which is untrue and where it can be shown they knew it was untrue should be subject to arrest by the police and trial should the procurator fiscal decide there is sufficient evidence.
    My reasoning is, that government is like a huge courtroom drama.  Each election the jury (the electorate) has to decide who they want to govern the country, just like in a trial, in order to enable them to do so effectively they require to be presented with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
    This is not just an analogy, because the primary aim of serving justice is just as relevant to government as it is is to the legal system, or should be.  Government is, if anything, even more capable of influencing the level of justice within a society.
    So I believe dissemination of the truth deserves just as much protection between elections as it does in a trial.
    The exception is in regard to statements made within parliament where it may often be the case where justice is best served when accusations are made and questions arising are asked based on nothing but hearsay.  Also, the new standard would not apply to private meetings, only to Public platforms where the ‘jury’ is being informed.   However, ‘leaks’ of private meetings should be illegal as well.
    I have long advocated that this should be included in a Government Transparency section in a written constitution (along with FOI and the permanent attachment to legislation of advice and opinion of a peer group elected expert revising panel, whether adhered to or not.)
    It presents the opportunity for an independent Scotland to set new standards on government transparency which would be the envy of electorates the World over (if not their incumbent politicos).

  51. Bill C says:

    @mutley 79 – I am almost sure that Ian Wood has recently stated publicly, that he is, as yet, undecided on Scottish independence.

  52. Pa Broon says:

    @Chic McGregor.

    I don’t think I disagree with any of what you’ve said there.

    Even in business, if you misrepresented (say) accounts or financial statements you’d be open to prosecution. Its a wonder that the very highest, most stringent standards are applied to almost every facet of our society except perhaps the one that requires it the most.

    Another wee union bonus I suppose.

  53. Bigheed says:

    As always, I agree with most of the points raised with regards to this man and the BT campaign in general. It really does petrify me if the “NO” bodies win this fight in 2014.

    O/T Can I give a bit of advice to those that are attempting to convince the “undecided” or the “NO- bodies” whether colleagues, friends or family. Unless you are calm, smooth and articulate please do NOT attempt to do it unless in a 1-2-1 situation. I have now encountered this twice and on both occasions I have had to bail out the person in front of a crowd as they have seemed mad and irrational.

    The one trait ALL Scots have is that they hate being taken as a MUG!! Calmly ask them to continue to read their Daily Record or Scotsman then give them this site address and NNS, tell them to read it for 5 mins and then form their decision. 

    If they are still on the NO side then fair enough, move on to the next person.

  54. The Rough Bounds. says:

    A lot of people on this site are saying that we are preaching to ourselves and that we have to get the Yes message out to the general public.
    I agree. The Yes Scotland organisation is supposed to be doing this very thing.
    But has anybody else had the trouble that I have had in trying to contact them? Sending emails to them is a complete waste of time. It’s almost impossible to get anyone on the phone. If you are lucky enough to get a person on the other end of the line they say they will call back but they don’t. They misplaced two cheques I had sent them and misplaced a cheque of my brother’s.
    What the heck is going on in their offices in Hope Street? It’s becoming embarrassing.

  55. Tamson says:

    Comical Ally strikes again.

  56. andrew_haddow says:

    Darling, the BBC and their various unionist cronies, acting quite deliberately and in cold blood, want voters to enter the voting booths in 2014 believing a load of lies. That is absolutely disgusting!

  57. scottish_skier says:

    UK borrowing will be £64bn more than forecast, says IFS

    UK borrowing is likely to be £64bn higher in 2014-15 than forecast in 2010, according to a closely watched report.

    The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says a weak economy will mean the government has to borrow more than it forecast, unless it imposes tax rises and further spending cuts.

    Public service spending could fall by a third by 2018, the IFS said.

    Increasingly something of a hard sell, this whole union thingy.

  58. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Christian Wright, 12.45
    Yep. I’m with you on this one. The BBC is in enough bother at the moment, there’s no sense expecting them to devote any serious effort to cleaning up their editorial act anytime soon.  
    The partiality may be sustainable (if for no other reason than they can’t behave any other way) but it’s not credible, and the longer it goes on the more obvious and embarrassing it becomes, as Peter detailed at 12.43.
    As well as objecting to specific instances of propaganda, we need to educate ourselves via places like this about the real nature of MSM and why they behave as they do. It isn’t rocket-science, but difficult nonetheless. There’s a lot of denial and fear when it comes to challenging orthodoxies.
    Did anyone hear the Commons debate, couple of weeks ago, about blacklists? The Economic League wound-up a few years ago, but another group appeared shortly thereafter called CAPRiM – it seems unthinkable that an organisation like the BBC wouldn’t use the services of such a company. Indeed, it could be argued that it would be remiss of them not to – got to keep those subversives out at all costs! 
    It’s an angle worth exploring. I had my own experience with the Beeb in Scotland which left me certain that I’d been so-listed. I can’t go into the details, but took the matter as far as I could before being – ever so politely – warned-off.

  59. macdoc says:

    Many of the unionists i’ve come across are quite proud to proclaim their unionism. Stating they aren’t British Nationalists merely pragmatic and aren’t swayed by romantic doggerel of Braveheart and Rabbie burns. they tend to think of themselves as standing on the side of being swayed by the head and not the heart. 

    We have won the intellectual argument but are being potrayed as eccentrics and or dumb by the media. The irony is of course the only legitimate argument of staying in the union is one of attachment and letting your heart do the speaking. I think this is what annoys me more than anything. 

  60. Chic McGregor says:

    The UK economy is in disguised financial crisis.  Only the inexplicably low interest rates on bonds issued maintains the facade.  When the AAA status finally goes, as it must if the ratings agencies are to retain any credibility, we will enter a phase of hyper inflation and rising interest rates.
    The British bond market will collapse (and domino internationally) and further borrowing via that route will not be possible.  The IMF and/or the EU may bail the UK out but with very large strings attached (hopefully some with nooses on them).
    Other nations are readying for this by buying Gold, Silver and commodities, in the UK Gordon Brown sold off what little gold we had at rock bottom prices and the UK cannot afford to buy any back.
    If the interest rate goes much above 5% the UK will not be able to afford interest payments and will become officially bankrupt.
    The question is whether this will happen before R-Day?  and if it does, how successful London manages to claim it is the fault of ‘Scottish’ banks again.
    VERY bad times ahead for the UK are unavoidable now.  There was a small window of opportunity about 5 years ago where, if they had done the right things, e.g. used their funds to directly stimulate genuine wealth production in the UK rather than hand it over to a failed financial sector who can distribute it anywhere, to anyone or indeed not, as they wish, things would not be nearly as bad as they are going to be.  But perhaps in-bred nincompoops who have been rendered emotional husks by an archaic public school system devoid of any contact with the real world and imbued with concepts of privilege and birth right are not the best group to make those decisions or even possess the capability of doing so.

  61. famous15 says:

    In the sixties I used to hear the expression ” I am not a nationalist but….” and there would follow a good list of reasons why independence made good sense. I am beginning to hear this again . Probably the reply should be “Who cares so long as you vote YES”

  62. Braco says:

    Christian Wright,
    Sorry, my post must have crossed yours in the ether. I think your idea of contriving to call the BBC and BBC Scotland out on individual and very specific, provable lies is a very, very good one. Who these ‘surrogates’ or ‘great and good’ capable of gaining the traction to achieve such a feet are, I don’t know. Another Independence special interest group in the making perhaps? Sorry if it came across as a rant against you personally, it certainly was not intended as such. It’s just that you put up such a good (but to me depressing) theory, I rail against it automatically. Your ideas and concepts of how to advance the cause will, I am sure draw real blood. Your ideas are not advanced however, by announcing to us in the massed ranks that our weapons are useless and we’re doomed to defeat unless we get our hands on some of those horses and banners from over there! I would love some horses, a horse(?). I would even settle for a banner, but I do not expect any and so I would say, plan accordingly. One of my favourite films is ‘The small Back Room’. The quote to me most appropriate from that film is that of an old stuffy but experienced non political general. ‘This war, contrary to current thought, will be won by the Army, the Navy and the Ar Force. In that order!’
    Cath, spot on! This is why I am very confident. My confidence is simply in our democracy and the sensibilities of our fellow Scots understand and counter it’s obvious vagueries (and by ‘fellow Scots’ I obviously mean our electorate). I really am sorry, I seem to have driven myself down this stupid macho war analogy cul de sac and may unintentionally be coming across as some sort of ethnic cleansing film buff! (SadweeSmily)

  63. Aplinal says:

    @Branco sad wee smiley = : – ( but without the spaces.  🙁

    ps. I agree with the overall tenor of your posts

  64. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Chic McGregor

    Exactly right.
    Think of the benefit we would have had if the money thrown into the black hole that is the banks was instead invested in infrasructure, manufacturing and modernising our industry.
    We could have guaranteed the deposits and legitimate debts of our people in the banks and allowed the rest of the international speculators in them to go to hell as Iceland did.

  65. Boorach says:

    @ Chic

    Just a thought. Broadcasting, in itself, may be reserved and there is nothing the SG can do about what the BBC cares to broadcast or how it conducts interviews

    I wonder if it would it be possible for the SG to introduce legislation which could be used against an interviewee who deliberately uses that medium to propogate lies and/or misinformation.

  66. Tattie-boggle says:

    Did any one notice the extra long pause on greece when informing the viewers of other countries independence dates . good old auntie

  67. Andy Anderson says:

    Yes it is incredibly Alistair Darling is allowed to make comments in the media, but is never required to answer for the statements he makes so he can tell the most obvious lie, but is never accountable to the public for it.
    Last year he wrote a full page in Scotland on Sunday in which he claimed to be a Keynesian economist. I wrote in and challenged him to defend that claim in the light of his actions as Chancellor and he just refused to respond and ignored the subject. He has no substance and no knowledge of economics so needs a friendly and co-operative media to allow him to keep under cover.  

  68. Cameron says:

    I reckon we have roughly a year left in which to stop the BBC from completely perverting the democratic process. Not only here in Scotland, but throughout the UK in general. If we are able to successfully prevent this from happening, we will have just under a year for the Scottish public to be informed by balanced coverage of the relevant issues. I think that will be more than enough time for the truth to prevail.
    However, I do not give this a snowballs chance in hell of happening, as the BBC is the British state’s “BIG STICK” with which to beat the masses down with. If this seams overly pessimistic, I would ask you to cast your mind back to the BBC’s cheer-leading role in garnering support for the illegal invasion of Iraq. Then there was the BBC’s subsequent whitewashing of the whitewash that was the Hutton Inquiry. Incidentally, the Nuremberg trials deemed such disseminating of false news in the support of aggressive war, a war crime in its self.
    Although I do not think there is much potential of bringing the BBC to heel, I am not suggesting that we do nothing. Instead, I think we need to mobilise our collective dissatisfaction in to one voice, much as a choir does. That is why I will suggest again, that we gather a citizen’s petition. This should be sent to the EU, the UN and every national government and observer body, calling on the recipient’s support in protecting the democratic process. I do not realistically think that outside intervention would result from this, but it would certainly raise the issue in the public consciousness. It would also be rather embarrassing for the BBC and the British State.

  69. velofello says:

    Much frustration being expressed here about the BBC. There are two actions each of us can take as individuals:
    Attend the BBC protest rally on 23 February in Glasgow. 
    Stop paying the BBC license.

    Yes there is a potential risk that the license fee representatives for the BBC will pursue you for non-payment. Several contributors here have described how to avoid that problem harming you. Is there not precedent of non-payment in Northern Ireland, and no legal proceedings for payment pursued against anyone?

    Think about the principle here:
    The BBC is broadcasting anti-Scotland slanted news.
    Is allowing disgraceful anti-Scotland statements to be broadcast.
    Their interview technique of persistent interruptions when a nationalist representative is being interviewed compared to the “free run” afforded to Unionist interviewees.
    And you are dutifully paying for this!

    I’ve advised previously on the FreeSat via a satellite dish and you can tune in to programmes from many countries – free to view. Note, the BBC transmit via FreeSat.
    Is it really the case that legally we are “not allowed” to listen to programmes broadcast via satellite from countries around the world unless we pay a BBC license even if we do not want to receive BBC broadcast products? Could we sign a promise not to view the BBC on FreeSat? Or buyer/seller relationship, the BBC block the FreeSat signal to non-license holders in the UK. That would be great publicity.

  70. Cameron says:

    Thought this was quite relevant and a good source of quotations.

  71. Christian Wright says:

    @Braco “I would not swap our weaponry for theirs. It has won the day again and again when deployed in the context of the Scot’s electorate and it will again this time.”

    And you know that how? No seriously, how? What’s YOUR detailed plan? If you cannot answer that, this statement is just RA-RA and pompoms –  cheer leading fluff. 

    “I have questioned your critic on a previous thread and asked, ‘How, if your theory holds water, are we now in the position of majority government”

    One encompassing reason – Sound management – demonstrated competence by a government delivering on policies the electorate voted for in 2007. The People could see in their everyday lives in a very concrete way, the benefit good government had wrought. 

    The challenge we face in convincing people to take a leap of faith and dump the state they have always known, the permanence and immutability of which was drummed into them from early childhood, is orders of magnitude greater.

    Quite honestly Braco, where I a disinterested observer reading your pie-in-the-sky faith-based quasi religious bull, I would not dream of voting for what you are selling in a million years, and neither would most people in Scotland. It comes across as nothing but zealotry.

    Now I have offered in this and other fora,  synergistic solution strategies that tie in with those outlined here. I do not have all the answers by any means, but that does not mean we can or should fail to confront the truth. 

    What are we supposed to do? Live in a feel-good alternative reality? Seek refuge in denial because solutions to that unpalatable truth are not handed to you at the instant our situation be comes plain to us?
    There a process involved that annoyingly require a stepwise approach. 

    The first thing that is required is an intervention, a deprogramming to shatter the illusions sustained by the group think.  If that is not successfully completed, we cannot move to the second stage. Redirecting people to face what the real threat is and developing strategies to deal with it.. “It’s the media stupid”, and in particular the BBC.

    If you cannot hack that or demand others provide for you solutions, then there really is no more to be said.

    This conversation is done.


  72. Christian Wright says:

    There is little to no chance of “bringing the BBC to heal”. What we absolutely can do however, is nullify or ameliorate its toxic effect upon the political process in Scotland by destroying or severely diminishing its reputation as a an impartial conveyor of fact, and the provider of scrupulously fair political analyses.

    The BBC’s power is that it is believed. We can either break that power or put a big almighty dent in it. Before this campaign is over, the zeitgeist must absorb and communicate the simple truth that WRT Scottish matters politic, the BBC cannot be trusted.

  73. Cameron says:

    @ Christian Wright
    That is why I said I saw little or no chance of bringing the BBC to account. My suggestion of a petition was intended to dent the BBC’s reputation. Do you not think that would be worthwhile and/or achievable?

  74. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    The only way to bring the BBC in Scotland into disrepute would be a demonstration that brought some part of London to a standstill. Does anyone imagine for a minute that BBC Scotland will properly broadcast a demonstration in Glasgow against BBC Scotland. 

    What we need is something international news media is likely to cover. 

  75. velofello says:

    @Christian Wright – Typos, we all do it. I’m sure you meant “to  heel”. The BBC are probably beyond healing. 

  76. Christian Wright says:

    @Cameron – Oh sure. Anything that draws attention to the BBC’s rabid pro-Union stance is worthwhile. Absolutely.

    What we must guard against though, is appearing to be whinging. This is an issue of fairness in the dissemination of information about the most important choice to confront the people of Scotland, not in 300 years, but ever. The people had no say in the 1707 treaty nor in the enabling acts of parliaments of 1708.

    Now you would think a choice of that import would require absolute impartiality on the part of the BBC to be SEEN to be done.

    There should be no reasonable doubt in anyone’s mind, but that the BBC is in compliance with both the word and the spirit of its charter as it is required to be.

    The BBC itself should show zero tolerance of manifest bias in their reporters, and presenters. We all have biases, but there is no excuse for indulging that bias when you are supposed to be impartially reporting the news, interviewing the principals in the campaign, or offering considered analyses.. 

    The BBC has gotten away with murder in respect of its antipathy toward the SNP and Salmond, and its utter disdain of the inalienable right of people of Scotland to be masters in their own house.

    Enough is enough. 

    Let me “retweet” Cameron’s great link

  77. Christian Wright says:

    He’ll – heal – heel : Details, details . . .  

    Thanks for the heads-up velofello 🙂 

  78. There’s always the old leaflet campaign.  But with something like the BBC which was until recently, an untouchable, where should it be pitched?  How much can Joe ‘never reads’ Bloggs be told re the BBC bias without him dismissing it as nat natter?

    How about the level of this ‘leaflet’ I just knocked up [not intended to be a leaflet just a focus point]?  Too much? Too little?  About Right? Off the mark altogether?

  79. Christian Wright says:

    “The only way to bring the BBC in Scotland into disrepute would be a demonstration that brought some part of London to a standstill. Does anyone imagine for a minute that BBC Scotland will properly broadcast a demonstration in Glasgow against BBC Scotland.”

    The issue of bring bias to the attention of the electorate does not require any demonstration, though I’ve nothing against demonstrations per se.

    If bias in brought up in a serious manner by the interviewee in a BBC interview/talk-show/televised debate, the BBC obviously have no choice but to show it since their bias has become a major issue.  What are they going to do – stop inviting representatives of the YES campaign onto programs about the campaign? Of course not. 

    Among the first things I’d do is issue a statement that the Campaign policy shall be to refuse interviews or debates where the NO campaign representatives and their fellow Unionist travelers outnumber the representatives of the YES campaign. That kind of ganging-up is getting old.

    Now QT among others have stated that the panels discuss a range of topics – immaterial. For that period when they discuss indy, there should be parity. Why is it that the YES side or the SNP are always the ones out numbered? 

    Every BBC invitation refused can become an issue. 

    Calls for an enquiry into BBC bias viz. indyref – from leading businessmen (we have a couple of the biggest), the SUN, learned counsel, petitions from concerned citizens, leading academics, questions in parliaments, astroturfing a groundswell of popular concern.

    It is of no consequence whether there ever is an enquiry, in fact it would be far better were there none since it would be an added distraction.

    The purpose is to get the sustained message into the public space so that it can be heard by the vital demographic groups we are trying to reach. The calls for an enquiry can serve to legitimate the charge of bias and mainstream discussion of it in the minds of our target audience. 

    Again, the prize is to nullify or minimize to the greatest extent possible, the power of the BBC to put their thumb on the scales of the democratic process, and fix the referendum.

    With this sort of sustained pressure, the low-information voter cohort most vital to our success can be immunized (at least partially) against the effects of the BBC’s Unionist propaganda.

    The NO campaign without the support of even just this single biggest broadcast player will suffer irreparable damage. 

    My only concern about marches is that either they will not be well attended, in which case we could shoot ourselves in the foot, OR, that with the help of some establishment agent provocateur, they turn violent, in which case it could destroy our campaign.

    Marches can be a risk and they can be an asset, and you would have to maximin that to determine whether they are worthwhile.


  80. Chic McGregor says:

    The other more positive approach is to actively promote sources of the alternative view which should be available to the electorate but which is not in the mother of democracies.  Here is what should be an animated GIF I did to promote NNS in its early days.  Still see it occasionally on some websites although the logo is now out of date.


  81. Braco says:

    Christian Wright,
    Why so aggressive and dogmatic? Is this conversation really done? It’s true I do not favour mid Atlantic management speak to get across my thoughts but accusations of quasi religion seem a wee bit shrill. In answer to your first question, my detailed (such as it can be in the quagmire that is Scot’s democracy at the moment) would be best understood from my posts on the great article here on WOS a couple of days ago written by Ray McRobbie, ‘Picking a Side’. The first of which gives a flavour.
    Go read it please, it won’t take long and won’t bore anyone who passed through it the first time. (smily)


    On your reasoning for our current achievements. Have the electorate not still accepted the fact of ‘nationalist’ good governance, understood and internalised the logic of closer governance being better governance? This is one of the weapons I was imploring you to focus on. All of this still brings me to the same question though Christian, how did the SNP manage to gain that wafer thin (yet mile wide!) government forming victory? No Papers, No Telly, No Radio and the Sun’s SNP ‘Noose’ headline just to put the tin lid on it. Any ideas?
    Your first step, second step to the solution schtik is and already has been underway in the Scot’s electorate for many, many years now. Early evidence? We effectively marginalised Tory representation using the weaknesses of the first past the post system. All against the same BBC bias and media outrage at CND, the miners, Toxteth riots, Liverpool, Ken Livingston etc. etc… To this day Scots have been forced to disenfranchise over 400,000 Scots Tory voters to try and make our distinct national voice heard at a Westminster level. This is the end game of a long process in my opinion. Longer than I can remember, that’s for sure. You are witnessing the avalanche but dismissing the decades and decades of snowfall. Proportional representation, both at Holyrood and Council level is what created the initial shockwave but the unstable cliff face of snow is what is moving. I am not in any way suggesting the fight is over or victory inevitable. I am merely suggesting that we turn out in greater and greater numbers and do more and more of the things that have won us EVERY election in Scotland since 2007. And at the same time as continuing to innovate campaign strategy, try not to undermine one of the MOST important elements of a winning strategy, optimism and hope of victory. These are not pie in the sky. ‘I would son, but what’s the point nothin’ll change’ can only be defeated by generally contagious enthusiasm and that’s what each individual well informed activist spreads like a virus, no matter how many ‘Soap Sud’ adverts appear on the telly.
    Please read my earlier post to you on this thread and maybe the others on ‘Picking a Side’. It won’t take you long but it may (or may not) change your view of me. I am only optimistic from watching, listening, studying and taking part in Scottish ‘politics’ for far too long. I am sure others here will verify that this does not naturally produce ‘an optomist’, but the evidence seems to be leading me in that direction. Until that is I read your posts, and then the four or five that follow yours starting with ‘ I fear your da de da……’ Without answers, it just seems deflating.


  82. Cameron says:

    Once again I find myself agreeing with both Christian and Braco, which get me nowhere other than slightly confused. 🙁
    I would not dare to suggest that all WOS readers are on the indie side, but would not the sizable WOS readership that does support a Yes vote, constitute a significant start to a petition? So what about it? Instead of preaching to the converted here, would it not be worth putting a petition together? I am sure our struggle has significant international support. Lets mobilise this and get the world on our side.

  83. Christian Wright says:

    And in other news:

    “If a Yes vote is returned, the newly independent Scotland will immediately gather eleven cats and try to beat them at football.”

  84. Jeannie says:

    Have come to the discussion late and am just about to depart for Blanket Bay to be honest, but I was just wondering, amidst all the focus on the BBC, what is the role of the STV news in all of this?  It’s not funded by the taxpayer, but by advertising.  I don’t pay a lot of attention to ads on the whole, but I would imagine that most of the advertising is coming from British companies, who will not want to lose any of their customers.  Do you think if the polls start to show an increase in support for independence the editorial view will become more pro-indy, or at least more balanced, to keep the advertisers happy?  Or should we identify the advertisers and target them?

  85. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    STV coverage is markedly more politically balanced than BBC and Bernard Ponsonby is very good indeed

  86. Braco says:

    Why the sad face? Agreement is good!  With less than two years, I see too much effort trying to get any form of impartiality in reporting of the politics surrounding the dissolution of a state from from which the BBC was born and is sworn to protect is naive. Look at it’s 90 year history. If we are dependent on that happening to win this referendum, as is being implied and focused on in these kind of posts then ‘Gem’s a bogie!’ cause it’s not going to happen. Do what we can to mitigate the worst of it certainly, but the battle is where it’s always been, face to face trusted interactions and slow methodical conversion of the electorate. I think it was Cath in an earlier post that put it much better than I could when she spoke of the ‘tipping point phenomena’ and how it manifests itself. We are heading for just such a phenomena and the catalyst will be the engaged debate among the electorate. The MSM can try and influence that, but without sensible, reasoned argument they will fail. All we need is widespread and heated discussion among the electorate for our arguments to dominate as they already have in every other open forum they have been tested in. That widespread heated debate WILL happen, but just really during the final 16 week campaign. We must work towards and be there with the answers that the electorate will be looking for. We do that, face to face, via internet and all other usual social and political channels and we win. I am confident we will do that and so I am confident we will win.    

  87. douglas clark says:

    It does seem to me that what the BBC is doing is advertising one ‘brand’ over another.

  88. Cameron says:

    @ Braco
    Agreement is good, confusion is not. That was the reason for the sad face, as I think that there is truth in what you say, but also in what Christian says.
    I was not suggesting for one minute, that we would be able to hold the BBC to the principles espoused in its founding charter. Rather, I was essentially suggesting a PR stunt, much as I see the principles of the charter were. I am not suggesting we “waste” a lot of time on this, but petitions kind of take care of them selves don’t they? I just thought that we need to think creatively in order to reach the tipping point, and employ all tools that are available to us.

  89. Braco says:

    Agreed, with no confusion. (winky)

  90. deewal says:

    Yes. Just tell everyone you meet to ignore the BBC. That should do the trick. Sorted.

  91. Boorach says:

    @ velofello

    I’m afraid the licence is for having a TV receiver in your home regardless of which channels you care to watch. 

  92. Derick says:

    suggest phrase ‘Saville Towers’ be used frequently

  93. The internet can tell the truth and on facebook,we have “the Cybernats” and the Britnats,we get frequent attacks on the nationalist campaign and scurrilous media attacks on those of us who do discuss or opinions on the “net/web” The idea ,I believe is to discredit us more,but honesty must shine through and I do think all questions will be answered in the last few weeks of the independence campaign.Indeed they must as to sell our country for the sake of 30 pieces of silver like it seems the media are doing will cause their names to be disgraced by history. 

  94. lumilumi says:

    Techically Mr Darling is correct, the NO Better Together campaign is under no obligation from the EC to define what a NO vote would result in. The EC called on the UK government (=Tories and LibDems) to do that, though Labour might also be expected to spell out their position because it is within the realms of possibility (however small) that they might form the next UK government.
    The Scottish Government is beginning to give more info to voters, and the YES campaign can pass it on as the position of one of the main supporters of the YES campaign. The NO campaign cannot pass on info to the voters because the three main supporters of their campaign will not commit to any position, except vague “we’re all in it, better together” and “jam tomorrow”.
    What I find appalling is that SG and YES campaign info is blocked by the MSM in Scotland as much as they can, while NO Better Together are given free rein to run with their lies and propaganda, unchallenged. It’s not something that should be happening in a modern, functioning democracy.
    Maybe most Scots don’t like it, either, as witnessed by the dramatic downward spiral of newspapers in Scotland, especially the “quality” ones. Fair enough, the Internet and the plethora of free news it provides has hit newspaper circulation world wide, but it seems worse in Scotland than anywhere else. Take Finland, population 5.2M. Broadsheets Helsingin Sanomat still has a circulation of 366,000 and Aamulehti 130,000. The two tabloids have a circulation of 160,00 and 120,000, and there are a couple of other broadsheets with a circulation of bit over or bit under 100,000. Maybe Finns just like their breakfast ritual of reading the paper before going to work/school (I learned to read upside down, right to left opposite my dad at breakfast table every morning :-D)
    That said, even that veritable institution, Helsingin Sanomat, will bow to pressure and go tabloid format. One of the unintended consequences is the plight of florists: they need broadsheets to wrap the flowers in!

  95. rb says:

    As a life-long supporter of Scots independence, I am utterly disgusted by your prejudiced and disablist language.
    How dare you use the name of Helen Keller – a lifelong socialist and disability campaigner – in a derogatory manner to imply disability as a slur on your political enemies.

    You are a shit. An utter shit.

  96. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    For Heaven’s sake, don’t be so utterly ridiculous.

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