The Scottish play

You can say pretty much what you like in the British media, especially about Scotland. You can publish screaming headlines that tell outright lies about public figures, especially if they support Scottish independence. You can spread falsehoods and by simple repetition make them into truths, like the lie that Scotland would be automatically excluded from the EU if it became independent. You can invent fictions like Gordie Broon’s vow and turn them into game changing events. And you can get away with it. Or in the case of the Record and Gordie’s vow, or Reporting Scotland and its unending diet of kittens fitba and SNP bad, you can even get an award for it. It’s the programme of the Scottish play.

It seems that the very worst that’s going to happen when a newspaper doesn’t do its job is that it gets a slap on the wrist and has to publish a retraction, buried away on an inside page where it will remain unseen and unexamined. It’s like being told you must atone for lying by going deep into a dark and trackless forest and whispering the truth to a tree – before taking a chainsaw to it and turning it into paper on which you print the latest shocking news of Kim Kardashian’s nail job from hell, or something about the fitba.

This is exactly what has happened with the report of the memo published by the Telegraph which wrongly alleged that Nicola Sturgeon told the French ambassador that she wanted the Tories to win the election. The Independent Press Standards Organisation upheld a complain against the paper’s reporting of the Frenchgate memo, and told the Telegraph to inscribe an apology on a leaf on a poison vine, parasitising a tree deep within the Amazonian rain forest where not even Sting is going to find it and do a benefit concert to publicise its plight. And with that, Scotland’s lip was plugged, but not in a shaman kind of way. Although it is fair to say that much of the UK coverage of Scottish affairs reads like it was written after the reporters had ingested some of the more psychoactive South American shrubbery.

Having been told by IPSO that its report was wrong and needed to be corrected, the Telegraph obliged, and printed a five line comment on an inside page by way of compensation for its thousands of words of front page lies, its photo spreads and the acreage of commentary and news their story provoked elsewhere in the fair and balanced media with the Amazonian trippy plants up its nose. Because that’s fair and balanced.

So we are now in the lamentable position where most of the mainstream media and a large part of the Scottish public hold one another in open contempt. The public regard the media with suspicion and won’t take anything it says at face value. And the media’s representatives regard the public with disdain. You can’t maintain a democracy under such circumstances. How can the media scrutinise and bring to heel powerful vested interests when the public believes that the media is a powerful vested interest that is beyond scrutiny and beyond control?

It’s because of the incompetence of the media that we get a Tory government which, when asked to list what it considered English only legislation, included the Scotland Bill. Before some readers get worked up into an outrage at how Scotland’s devolution is apparently considered an English only matter by our Tory masters, the inclusion of the Scotland Bill on the list was clearly a mistake, or a wind up. So instead feel free to get worked up into an outrage at the fact we are governed by morons who are not held to account by a media inhabited with venal idiots.

If we had a media which properly scrutinised the UK government on Scotland’s issues, eejit Tory politicians might think twice before releasing a list of English only legislation to the media, when that list contains the Scotland Bill. Clearly no one had bothered to read the list. Conveniently this provides us with an answer to the question of just how much scrutiny our political masters are being subjected to. It’s none at all. Scotland is defenceless before the most right wing Tory government ever.

But our government is not merely viciously right wing, and entirely bereft of a democratic mandate in Scotland, it’s so shambolic that it makes Wullie Rennie look like he’s a yoga master with the power to retract his own genitals into his body at will leaving nothing but an empty scrotum. Which may explain the habitual look on his face. But that’s the sort of dickless bawbags we’ve got for a government. And by and large the UK media does not seem particularly concerned by this state of affairs. Worse than that, most of them are egging them on to punish us even more.

We’ve become used to the charade now when the Westminster Parliament debates Scottish affairs. There’s an empty chamber in the Commons, only the SNP and a handful of other MPs turn up. There’s a gobsmackingly insane point of order from Jacob Rees Mogg. An irrelevant intervention from a Labour MP who thinks the debate is really about something else entirely. Then a vote is called, Scotland’s MPs troop into the division to vote one way, and they’re instantly outnumbered by hordes of Tories and Labour MPs who appear out of nowhere and vote them down without bothering to sit through Jacob Ree Mogg – although to be fair that last bit is entirely reasonable. Unless you have think a refugee from Jeeves and Wooster is of cutting edge relevance to modern Scotland there is no point to Jacob at all. There are primary school nativity plays which are considerably closer to an accurate depiction of reality than the House of Commons debating Scotland. The entire affair is a pointless ritual, the semblance of democracy but none of the substance, and if we had a media that actually did its job they’d be screaming that fact from the rooftops.

We’re only at the start of Act 1 Scene 1 in the Westminster Scottish play, and Scotland is bored already. How much more of this can we take before we vote with our feet?

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35 comments on “The Scottish play

  1. Well you only need to see the UK press and its hysterical reporting of the Greek people’s defiance in the face of the EUs very own Project Fear to question whether any of them have grown-ups on the payroll. That’s the problem with taking the Indyref Red Pill; everywhere you look and listen, you see and hear the instantly identifiable same pish.
    I can only hope that’s becoming more and more noticeable to Scots who fell for it last September. Not living among my ain folk I’m not really hearing any ‘word on the street’ but I hope there’s increasing numbers of red pills getting swallied!

  2. Poetry:
    ‘dickless bawbag’
    and such an accurate description of the pointlessness of it all.

  3. Mammy says:

    If one butterfly beating its wing will end up being a tornado then one strong voice will lead to a God almighty roar. So let’s hear your voice Scotland

  4. macart763M says:

    “We’re only at the start of Act 1 Scene 1 in the Westminster Scottish play, and Scotland is bored already. How much more of this can we take before we vote with our feet?”

    Not long now Paul. I reckon Wednesday should see the beginning of the end of this clusterfecked omnishambles.

    If the smart money is right on what Gideon’s about to unleash on the poor, then the hardship will travel rapidly up the food chain. For when the poor have no money to spend, and by poor I mean those who earn already on or below the national average wage, but still have some form of employment, then they join the ranks of the already poverty stricken. The knock on effect from the high street on up will be grim.

    That it takes such impending hardship to draw people’s minds into considering the deficiencies of their democracy is beyond sad. It didn’t have to be this way. Your representation mocked, ridiculed and ignored. Your own Westminster government defaming your country, mandated parliamentary representation and culture on a daily basis through their media wing without the right of meaningful redress. Your country stripped of resources to line the pockets of corporations, casino financial services sector and a treasury which needs to build infrastructure projects you’ll never see or use yourself. You’re then asked to help clear a national debt you didn’t run up and clear up the aftermath of an economic crisis created by those same institutions.

    The capper? The capper is that this self same ‘democracy’ plans to lock your representation out of their governing process and reduce all of us to second class citizens in our own home.

    It can still be changed though. All folks have to do is respond positively when asked a question and they can have the power of choice back in their own hands and one other thing beyond price.

  5. daibhidhdeux says:

    “Dickless bawbag(s)”. indeed.

    And Oor Wullie as a ‘yoga master” hovering somewhere in another yogic reality where JaBa is a composite of La Passionaria, a paleo-anthropologist, and Raquel Welch at the peak of her much under-estimated acting career.

    Ms Davidson with an independent spine along the lines of her political forebears pre-merging with the Anglo-Brit Tories and laying the foundations for the later Thatcherite rampage they were complicit in.

    Ms Dugdale, or her successor, as sentient, compassionate. coherent beings re-connecting with their Scottish, socialist, universalist roots as expressed by RB “The Gaucho” Cunningham Graham and Keir Hardie (Dominie John MacLean, Connolly, Lygate, the 1820 Martyrs et al way beyond the pale – even and perhaps even more so – today for these parvenu sell-outs).

    Nae chance.

    More likely, the Ango-Brits braying hauf-pissed on their Unionist WM benches, along with the above lackeys, donning retro-Mosleyite paramilitary uniforms and jackboots as they roar out “Rule Britannia”.

    Well the Greeks have just dealt their neo-Con/-Lib version of neo-Fascism a bloody nose at the recent referendum vote, and I trust the citizens of Scotland will proffer haunders come our re-iindependence re-run.

  6. mogabee says:

    It’s going to get worse before it gets better…and it really didn’t need to get to this point.

    Over the last 3 or 4 yrs my emotions have been all over the place, with Indyref and GE. I’m not about to give up though!

    I’m swinging between anger and anticipation ATM, and while watching our MPs, pride is there too.

    Can you imagine how bad it would be if I read the “Dailies” and watched the BEEB?

  7. says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  8. artyHetty says:

    The play, ah why am I thinking Greek tragedy, not for Greece due to the EU, but for Scotland. Westmonster have controlled and kept Scotland down for 100s of years. I just do not understand why anyone would vote for the beating to continue. Thing is, it’s the poor and vulnerable who are being humiliated and made destitute. Do the well off not affected by westmonster austerity enjoy seeing more people living in poverty? Must be the case.

  9. Scotsboy says:

    Why should we bother to be there. Go for independence.

  10. Liz S says:

    Watched Scotland Bill debate in HOC tonight and was amazed…Not !…. that hardly any Tory, Labour MP’s present ! Watched previous debates on Scotland Bill and same again, and yet as you rightly pointed out, when it came to voting for any SNP amendments the ‘No’s’ were far in excess of those who actually attended the debate thus the recurring theme of the ‘No’s have it’ was once again the order of the day.

    It would appear their job , both Tory and Labour, is only to vote against SNP or abstain and not actually bother to participate or even attend debates on the Scottish Bill.

    The contempt is obvious . The arrogant display of power over Scotland the Tories think they can maintain together with the contrived denial of the Labour party to the injustice being done to Scotland only feeds the desire to be free of this corrupt system.

    And as to the English press funded by self serving wealthy owners biased to a particular political party ,and their own nation, and the BBC , let them continue down the self destructive road they seem determined to travel in dissolving this union. 56 was the response Scots gave to all of the lies , fear and arrogance we endured throughout the referendum campaign. Looks as if they are trying to play hardball now …bring it on please and hopefully the scots next response will be a call for independence.

    And don’t even get me started on Twits on Twitter, both the famous and mere mortals, who seem to love preaching to the converted i.e. their followers Ha Ha and love to retweet more twits tweets and who constantly love to moan about the abuse they get from Cybernats but conveniently never mention CYBER abuse by the Unionists, which is , by the way, extremely racist and abusive towards scots.

    Better together Mr Darling ? Please explain .Perhaps Mr Darling you could start with EVEL .

    Oh and Mr Brown explain ‘near as Federalism’ please… waiting.

  11. diabloandco says:

    I am getting more and more depressed just watching and listening to the contempt , it must be unbearable for the 56 stalwarts.
    The arrogance and idiocy displayed by the “big three” is beyond belief – do they really look in the mirror with pride and say to themselves that they have done a good job or even that they have done that which for which they were elected while they sneer and snigger?
    Representatives of the people? None of the people I know.
    Representative of self interest and subsidised booze and food ? Aye.

  12. Luigi says:

    I see that honest Michael Carmichael is trying hard, angling for a leading role in this pathetic “Scottish Play”. The role of good cop? It seems like a deliberate attempt to rehabilitate the buffoon in the eyes of the public: “See he is not so bad after all, he is standing up for Scotland!”. Aye, right! I’m not sure if this is his own initiative (unlikely) or people have “helped him” with these ideas, speeches etc – now who would benefit from this, I wonder? A risky adventure, IMO, with the big bear lingering around Westminster like a bad smell, it is probably not the best idea to stand up and shout “Look at me, I’m still here, and I’m relevant!”. A smarter person in his predicament would sit down quietly, keep the head down and hope no-one notices him. I guess that is not his style.

    • Albaman says:

      No Luigi,
      He’s standing up for the Union, that’s why he wants a debate so that the conservatives cannot rail-road thier EVEL through in one day, which would devide, not just Westminster, but all political parties within.
      Goody goody, bring it on!.

  13. Dougie says:

    Unionists should take a minute to watch parliament and see just how a country they claim to love is treated with contempt at every turn even laughed at and yet polling still shows a majority for No proving those who voted No quite simply dont care

    • Liz S says:

      It is not ‘ there are none so blind as those who cannot see’ more ‘none so blind as those who WILL not see’.

  14. Could be!
    Who knows?
    There’s something due any day;
    I will know right away,
    Soon as it shows.
    It may come cannonballing down through the sky,
    Gleam in its eye,
    Bright as a rose!

    Who knows?
    It’s only just out of reach,
    Down the block, on a beach,
    Under a tree.
    I got a feeling there’s a miracle due,
    Gonna come true,
    Coming to me!

    Could it be? Yes, it could.
    Something’s coming, something good,
    If I can wait!
    Something’s coming, I don’t know what it is,
    But it is
    Gonna be great!

    With a click, with a shock,
    Phone’ll jingle, door’ll knock,
    Open the latch!
    Something’s coming, don’t know when, but it’s soon;
    Catch the moon,
    One-handed catch!

    Around the corner,
    Or whistling down the river,
    Come on, deliver
    To me!
    Will it be? Yes, it will.
    Maybe just by holding still,
    It’ll be there!

    Come on, something, come on in, don’t be shy,
    Meet a guy,
    Pull up a chair!
    The air is humming,
    And something great is coming!
    Who knows?
    It’s only just out of reach,
    Down the block, on a beach,
    Maybe tonight . . .

  15. lAnd yet the latest opinion poll I have seen, feel free to correct me, still puts the No side in the lead. Yes, I have every sympathy for the 56 having to put up with this every day in Westminster, but , in all honesty, did any of us really think it was going to be any different? That’s what we sent them to this dysfunctional Parliament to do, and put up with this they must, and from what I have seen so far, they are playing a blinder. The hope is that they will be helped in their task by the unionist parties obvious contempt for them, and us, but so far that particular aspect doesn’t seem to have registered with the Scottish people. As Paul says, maybe that will start to change come tomorrow, when Osbourne continues with his latest assault on the Welfare State, because, make no mistake, the Tories voted against it’s creation, and now they have carte-blanche to dismantle it, piece by piece.
    So, while we all want our M.Ps stay at Westminster to be as short as possible, I think this is going to be a longer game because, the next referendum must be timed to perfection, because, if we don’t succeed, then independence will really be offf the menu so some considerable time.
    Of course the M.S.M is our greatest enemy, but anyone on our side who hasn’t realised this over the years hasn’t been paying atttention. This I believe will never change, so we just have to live with it. It’s what they, the establishment, do, and don’t they do it well, in the respect that they can get away with any untruths they care to promote because they are either on the front page, or top of the news agenda. And, unfortunately, that’s what people read, see, or hear, and take it as gospel, without further examining the article. It’s just human nature, and that aint going to change.

    Frankly, without this website, and of course the others who are to numerous to mention, I think our task would be near impossible, so, more power to all your elbows, and fingers, and please, keep the writing coming, because knowledge is power, and the more ammunition you give us when we are out campaigning, the better informed we can make the people.

    • Luigi says:

      Give it time Alex. It’s a painfully slow process, much easier to steer a supertanker than a soft No voter. And yet when supertankers eventually respond and get going, there’s no stopping them. We are on our way!

    • macart763 says:

      The direction of travel on that poll is still in the right direction Alex.πŸ™‚

      Wednesday should be a cold bucket of water for some and as usual its down to the anoraks to keep folk informed as to the treatment both they and their representatives are receiving in the big hoose, which let’s face it, is nothing short of appalling. Scots are having their democratic rights stripped from them right before their eyes.

      But steady, steady is the form. Our turn will come soon enough.πŸ˜‰

      • Yesterday ‘Scot Goes Pop’ (James Kelly) revealed some eye popping facts on the 2% only increase and NO still being ahead:

        “The datasets for today’s poll aren’t out yet, but we can use the autumn poll commissioned by Wings as an illustration. On that occasion, the 491 respondents who recalled voting Yes were downweighted to count as 431, and the 474 respondents who recalled voting No were upweighted to count as 534. There’s no way of knowing yet whether the adjustment was quite so huge this time around, but if by any chance it was, it means that Yes would now be ahead if Panelbase were still using their pre-referendum methodology.

        So YES aint at 48% we are at 50% plus

        I want a second INDY Referendum, NOW!

        Cameron thinks we will wait another 10 years?

        F O

        F right O

        Come back, do a wee jig, then F right O again

        • weegingerdug says:

          We need to have a strong lead though. Ideally around 60% Yes. That’s the only “material change in circumstances” I’m interested in before having another indyref – being certain that we’re going to win!

          • fair dinkum, but, Paul, think on this, if the Greeks had thought the same, they would not have had their anti-austerity referendum on Sunday, as their polls all said it was neck and neck or YES just ahead! They won by 60%. Sometimes you have to just screw your courage to the sticking place.

        • macart763 says:

          Indyref now at 50+ isn’t conclusive enough. We need 60% or thereabouts not just to get started, but to make it stick. The settled will has to be apparent to all and beyond question.

          It’ll come round soon enough as will an SG seeking our permission to go to work on it. Westminster and the establishment parties are doing a fine job of gathering a strong case for us all on their own.

          • macart763 says:

            Or basically what Paul just said.πŸ˜€

            • And let’s have exit polls in the 2nd Indy Ref; and postal votes only if you physically can’t make it over the doorstep, ar in the armed services, work on oil rig or on hols abroad that day.THEN I might believe the UK elite and their minions played no jiggery pokery. Come on, we all know now they’ll stop at nothing in getting their own way, (Carmichael, forbye).

              Oh, my Scotland, my country, my people, ma bonnie broukit bairn.

              • Morag says:

                The voting system could be better, because it’s susceptible to minor personal fiddles. It’s not subvertible on a grand scale. I’d like to see postal voting severely restricted and voters having to produce ID at the polling station. I’d like to see the electoral register published in full and citizens encouraged to take a look to see if any of their neighbours had people registered who don’t vote there. I’d like to see neutral polling officers visit hospitals and care homes, only accepting votes from people who were at least compos mentis enough to know there was an election on.

                I’m interested in whether counting at polling stations might be more accurate as well as being quicker. But having said all that, there was no large scale subversion of the vote last September. There were probably as many Yes people living outside Scotland registered to vote at their parents’ house or whatever, as there were No. Nobody tampered with the ballot papers, either the postal or the polling station ones.

                They won by telling lies and frightening people, and at the end by offering an entirely insincere bribe. And the trouble is, people are still frightened. No matter how bad it gets, they’ve been conditioned to believe that independence would be even worse. We won’t win until we’ve broken that destructive mindset.

  16. hektorsmum says:

    Well we Scots have a bit of a death wish, must be the Calvinists among us. !979 we got gubbed and we should have known better. I could hardly believe 2010 when we did what we have always done and sent the feeble Labour Party South. Thankfully the Referendum which I along with many think was fixed, maybe not wholly by the Establishment, we were naive and allowed anyone and ony one to vote which included it appears a whole lot of people who have holiday homes up here to vote our Independence down. The Referendum did one thing it opened up the eyes of so many people who had not bothered with Politics.
    Well we will all have to swallow what the NO voters have bequeathed us but remember these are those who regard themselves as untouchable, they will discover that the Conservatives will simply regard them not as loyal Britishers but just Bleeding Jocks and they too will feel the contempt and will suffer the same punishment, maybe then they will see where they went wrong.
    Greece is being punished not just because they failed the Euro but because they also had the temerity to vote in a left wing government, Scotland will feel much the same pain given time. Believe me I want to remain in Europe, but this will need reformation, no not the sort David Cameron is thinking of, it needs to become less liberal capitalist and more socially aware

    • Morag says:

      See above. They fixed it by Project Fear and the Vow, aided and abetted by the BBC, not by tampering with voting papers. There were probably as many people registered to vote at their parents’ homes and so on so they could vote Yes as No.

      I agree the system is far too trusting and badly needs tightening up. But that wasn’t what lost us the referendum. It has to become clear to people that independence is NOT inevitably worse than anything Westminster wants to throw at us.

  17. Roibert a Briuis says:

    Surely Shirley the Scottish government can put an end to the lies that the MSM put into the public domain, especially the lies and untruths the papers print…and write into Scottish law that corrections have to be given the same prominence as the original article or program {same page, same area in the page, same program, same air time, same time of the transmission and time spent on transmitting the correction/retraction}.

    That surely would put an end to these lies being printed and broadcast.

    Hardly Rocket Science really.

    Where there is a will there is a way.

    Making this a law in Scotland cant be too hard – now can it?

  18. Jan Cowan says:

    Even though I don’t watch TV or read non-independence print I still get ANGRY and I’m trying very hard to cure this problem. I want to be bold and determined to win but I know that to achieve this goal, timing is extremely important. What though, if like the Greeks, we torqued everyone up to fever pitch then tossed in a quick referendum? Would it work for Scotland?

    As for #CarmichaelMustGo, he just HAS to go……not only for the honest constituents of Orkney and Shetland but for the good name of Scotland.

  19. macart763 says:

    Debate on EVEL taking place now Paul.

    Pretty much going as expected. Pete Wishart done well as did Alex, but somehow I doubt the other side of the house gives a shit. This has democratic carnage written all over it.

  20. This is worth watching – if only to confirm what we all believe. – …

  21. Fillofficer says:

    & why oh why do we need another referendum. They will NEVER let us HAVE independence. NEVER, can’t yez see that ? Could we no jist send NS to the UN tae demand it ? They must be watchin aw this pish with as much despair as us !!

  22. macart763 says:

    Mornin’ Paul.

    I take it you’ve been preparing for todays budget? Finger exercises, paper bag to hand for hyperventilation, that sort of thing?πŸ™‚

    Brace yourself, it may be stormy weather approaching.

  23. arthur thomson says:

    My heart bleeds like everyone else’s at our apparent lack of power to see off Westminster and its media front. But the only remedy to that is to grow our power base. The development of our alternative media, the development of our team at Westminster, links through the Scottish Government to other countries, serious political initiatives like land reform by the Scottish Government and the ongoing education of our people, are taking Scotland into the 21st century.

    There is much more to do before the next referendum. The remnants of Slab are the viper in the nest. We have to root them out at all levels. The tories and libdems are doing a good job of showing the world just how unprincipled they are but the phoney claims of Slab to some higher moral ground continue to undermine our efforts to change public opinion.

    I make these points only because I believe that we have to take great pride from our efforts to free our country and not become disheartened by our apparent impotence in the face of the gigantic struggle that we have to face every day. Yes, we should express and share our anger and dismay at the sheer injustice of it. We need a safe outlet for our feelings. But we have to use these expressions of feeling to galvanise our determination to win and not allow ourselves to be goaded into rash actions that could damage Scotland for a generation or more.

    I have no interest in Scotland being a gutted, gallant loser knocked out and brain damaged by a vicious opponent ten times its size. I want Scotland to be a clear points winner that has suffered the minimum of serious damage and is up and running to take its place in the world after independence. I look back at what has been achieved so far and I amazed. It is going to be uphill all the way but every day we are getting smarter and that is how we will ultimately win.

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