The double standards of the Scottish media: Part 7,952

Here we go again. More rank double standards from the Scottish media. I don’t listen to BBC Scotland at the best of times, and certainly not in the mornings, and most especially not the morning after a pro-independence march and rally when I’m knackered and my ageing bones are aching and my throat is hoarse from shouting above a sound system blasting out music.

Yesterday was a great day. Tens of thousands of independence supporters from all over Scotland came out onto the streets of Glasgow to disprove those who claim that there’s no support for independence and that Scotland doesn’t want another referendum. It was a massive vindication of Scottish independence, and the mass grassroots movement which seeks to attain it.

You might think that the march and rally would have been the big independence topic in the media the following day. Well not really, you’d only think that if you had absolutely no familiarity whatsoever with the media in Scotland and have spent the past couple of decades with your nose stuck in a copy of Hello magazine’s royal wedding special. I am reliably informed that on Good Morning Scotland on Sunday the topic was not the big march and rally for independence in Glasgow the day before. Quelle surprise. It was a gushing soft soap interview with Kezia Dugdale followed by a segment on how dreadful the behaviour of “cybernats” is, and how awful it is that certain pro-independence bloggers are apparently trying to “monetise the Yes movement”. Naturally pro-independence bloggers were not invited onto the programme to put their point of view. Because BBC balance.

No bloggers’ names were given, but I can only assume that I’m one of those pro-independence bloggers who were being complained about by anti-independence journalists who get a very good wage for their writing and commentary. After all, I have the gall and audacity to have a donate button on the blog, and the even greater gall and audacity to do an annual fundraiser. It strikes me as the height of hypocrisy to be criticised for hoping to receive some sort of wage for my work by people who receive a very good – and far more lucrative – wage for doing the exact same work only in support of a different political perspective.

Scottish culture does not like immodesty. We are taught not to blow our own trumpets, to hide our light under a bushel. But I’m going to be immodest here. I’m talented. I do worthwhile work. I work hard. I dedicate myself. If I really wanted to maximise the financial return for my talents and abilities, I can assure you that I wouldn’t spend my time and energy blogging and campaigning full time for Scottish independence. I do this because I believe passionately in it. Blogging for Scottish independence doesn’t make you rich. It’s a precarious and uncertain way to make a living. It opens you to all sorts of personal criticism and abuse.

Unlike most pro-independence bloggers, I am fortunate enough to have a platform in the traditional media with my weekly column in The National. But The National is just one newspaper, the sole independence supporting newspaper in a sea of publications which oppose it. It certainly doesn’t pay enough to allow me to live on what I earn from writing the column. So I blog full time, writing over 1000 words almost every day takes time and effort. I do a weekly podcast. I create shareable online images. I do speaking engagements all over Scotland for which I never ask for nor receive a speaker’s fee.

All the online content that I produce, which now amounts to over 3 million words, is available online for free. Unlike the BBC I don’t charge an annual licence fee and threaten those who don’t pay it with criminal action. Unlike newspapers I don’t take advertising or paid content and hide away behind a paywall so that content is only available to paying subscribers. No one is forced to contribute to this blog, and those who don’t contribute enjoy the same full and unfettered access as those who do. Yet apparently, according to the Scottish media, this is a funding model which is immoral in a way that criminalising a jobless single mother who can’t afford the TV licence fee is not.

I am not rich. I don’t have the financial resources of some of our opponents who can rely upon the overwhelmingly anti-independence media to give them well paid work. I live up a close in an ex-council flat in the East End of Glasgow and drive a small 10 year old car. Supporters of independence in Scotland struggle to get their voices heard in the mainstream. We cannot go cap in hand to rich individuals with titles. We can’t get financial support from right wing corporations. All those avenues are open to our opponents with their newspapers, their dark money, their broadcast media, and their “think tanks” with obscure funding from offshore trusts or donations from big businesses.

Independence supporters rely upon small donations from large numbers of people, and that means that our fundraising efforts must be transparent and obvious in a way that our opponents’ funding is not. It’s very easy to lay claim to the moral high ground about a pro-independence crowdfunder when you can rely upon a pro-British corporation to pay you a nice comfortable middle class salary. Who funds Kezia Dugdale’s cosy new job with a think tank? It’s certainly not as open and transparent as a pro-indy crowdfunder.

Our opponents apparently expect that while they can continue to enjoy their middle class salaries, those of us who oppose them should do so in our spare time, entirely for free. In other words they want opposition to independence to be full time and professional, but support for it to be part time and amateur. They don’t want anyone to devote themselves to working full time for independence, because then they have the field clear for themselves.

All this is part of a narrative which the media in Scotland, politicians opposed to independence, and anti-independence organisations, have been pushing for years. It’s the narrative of the cybernat, the myth that it’s support for independence which uniquely has a problem with bad behaviour. Sadly, that’s a myth that sections of the SNP leadership seem happy to buy into. Now I am not saying that there are no issues, that every single person who voices a pro-independence opinion online does so in a respectful and polite manner. Of course that is not the case. However the media focus in this country is overwhelmingly on the behaviour of the independence movement, even though the actual fascists, the sectarian bigots, the real racists, the real nazis, the holocaust deniers, the islamophobes, are mostly to be found amongst opponents of independence.

I welcome genuine and well meaning attempts to ensure that the independence movement conducts itself respectfully, politely, and honestly. All sensible Yes supporters do. However we must be careful to ensure that those attempts do not play into the hands of our opponents by allowing them to further the anti-independence narrative that it’s only the independence movement which has a problem here. There was a clear strategy on the part of our opponents in 2014 to demonise independence supporters as a means of attempting to ensure that undecided voters or soft no leaning voters would not engage with arguments for independence. That was the usefulness of the cybernat scare. It doesn’t help the cause of Yes to do Better Together’s job for it.

As the last remaining shreds of a positive case for remaining a part of the UK have been destroyed by Brexit and the arrogance of Westminster Conservatives, in their desperation opponents of independence are going to redouble their efforts to demonise independence supporters and campaigners. That means that if we are to talk about poor behaviour online, we must ensure that it is also opponents of independence who are held to account. It is the height of hypocrisy for the media to further a narrative that the SNP and the independence mainstream are responsible for the behaviour of the wilder fringes of the movement, but mainstream opponents of independence have nothing whatsover to do with the very real fascism, intolerance, sectarian bigotry and racism which characterises the wilder fringes of British nationalism. Those who criticise the independence movement must be held to the same standards which they want to hold us to.

So yes, let’s have a proper conversation about behaviour in politics. Let’s stop the comfortable pretence that it’s only one side in Scotland’s constitutional debate that has a problem. That means we also need to talk about the violent fascists, sectarian bigots, and out and out nazis who infest the campaign to oppose Scottish independence.

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78 comments on “The double standards of the Scottish media: Part 7,952

  1. Movy says:

    Great to see you and Ginger yesterday Paul.
    I assume you’ve seen the quite disgraceful rant by the Unionist joining the Farce for Good in George Square.
    How dare ‘they’ imply that it’s only those of us who support independence who use unsavoury language or worse.
    Of course there are people who go over the score – but they’re on both sides.
    I am so fed up with the media in Scotland and their constant SNPbaad# rubbish – and you must be too.
    Thank you for continuing your sterling, and greatly appreciated, work.

    • Anne Martin says:

      As you say, this behaviour can be found on both sides. However, the vast majority of the thousands marchers were happy and having a great day out, whereas I think that it’s fair to say that 100% of the group of unionists were unhappy and scowling.

      Why does being a unionist make people so angry all the time?

      • They know they are on the wrong side of history Anne.They see our numbers growing year on year despite all they do to stop us and they are afraid because we are evolving into a nation free from bigotry and intolerance and they know no other way of life.

  2. alanm says:

    The BBC is the enemy so I’d like to know exactly why we’re still playing the game by their rules?

    Am I the only person who thinks that refusing to engage with them is the way to go?

    How many householders in Scotland are taken to court each year and fined for not paying their propaganda tax? I think we should be told and I think the SNP should put a stop to it forthwith.

    • Cubby says:

      I think the answer is none for quite a few years. They like to put the frighteners on people though. Extortion with menaces = license fee.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I stop paying and since then they’ve been hounding us for payment. My partner agreed to a weekly payment card, but our ESA was stopped just after that and we have had no money coming in since. We’ve told them this, but am expecting to be chased again. How do other people get away with it?

      • Liz g says:

        Oh Elizabeth how horrible..
        There’s loads of advice online about how to cancel your TV licence and don’t worry nobody has been prosecuted in Scotland for decades.
        That’s another BBC lie by inference..
        The people who do get fined, ( not prosecuted just sent a fine )fairly or unfairly are usually condemned at their own front door out of their own mouths.
        So don’t ever talk to them…
        When they ask .. Are you the legal occupier…
        Just say wait and I’ll go and get them,close the door and don’t answer it again…
        Every time!!
        They are not allowed in your house!!!
        Do any and all contact by letter to keep yourself right.
        Good luck xxx

      • ArtyHetty says:

        If u do not watch bbc on any device, live or their catch up tv, u can tell them no thanks, you do not need a license. Its NOT compulsory & you can still have tvs and computers in yr house. Cut the aerial if u r worried. You cant be sent to prison for debt in Scotland, thy cannot lock you up for not paying tv tax, ie license.

        It’s not ‘getting away with it’ as if it were about just not paying for a service through choice but still using that service, it’s a matter of preference, & you have the right to choose not to use a service! Plenty ways to watch excellent programmes on internet, pay for Netflix, or free documentaries etc on youtube, national library of Scotlands image archive, or via, or Open Culture, and much more!

        You do though have to pay if you watch BBC, so just don’t, and looks like you have the internet, so you have choices. If your ESA was stopped, contact citizens advice or a local charity or your council for support and advice.

        • “If u do not watch bbc on any device” – Sorry, that’s not accurate, if you watch any live broadcast terrestrial TV, then you need a TV license.

          Catchup services, apart from the BBC iPlayer, do not require a TV license to use.

          It is time the Scottish Government made the refusal to pay the TV License a civil matter and not a criminal one, that way people who would want to refuse to pay it, but are reluctant to do so because of the threat of being taken to court and having a criminal record, can legitimately do so.

          • mogabee says:

            It is a civil matter in Scotland. You can refuse to pay and if you do not engage with them you will not be taken to any court!

            People need to realise there are no ways to determine who has a tv unless you tell them or buy a new tv and have your details passed by the company. DO NOT ENGAGE…let them send their letters, tear them up and ignore.

            • Kenzie says:

              Elizabeth, the people who come to your door are civilian employees of a private company called Capita. They have absolutely no authority whatsoever to either demand answers to their questions, or enter your home without your express permission which, incidentally, should always, but always, be refused. I have had two visits – the last one a few years ago – and I said to both that “Ihave two things to say to you, one, I do not need a TV Licence and two, I will not answer any questions. I then close the door. I keep getting the usual letters addressed to The Legal Occupier, but I just shred them, I don’t even open them.

              • Kenzie says:

                Elizabeth, I don’t know if this is practicable but if Paul will give you my email address you can contact me; I will give you my phone number and you or your partner can phone me and I will gladly give you whatever advice I can. But meanwhile, plase, do not worry. Nothing will happen to you regarding this.

  3. annraynet says:

    Well said, Paul, and I intend to put my hand in my pocket to show appreciation for your work.The times I have felt uplifted after being close to despair are many, though at present Im stll on a high after yesterday, with the feet recovering.

    As for those miserable-looking torn-faced individuals in George Square, who glowered in response to our waving, I felt sorry for them. However, I agree that they, the professional writers you mention, and the British State are treacherous and menacing, especially as they begin to realise they are in danger of losing the battle

  4. Paul Garbett says:

    I’m confused Paul – this seems to be a coordinated attack on folk like you & Stu timed to follow the return of St Ruth which I can understand and expected. I am at a complete loss as to why the SNP chose to facilitate this (if they did), never mind now after a peaceful well attended rally. As ever I will look to you to shed some light on what feels like a massively wrong footed. Like many Independence supporters I am seething, boiling mad today.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I suspect that certain politicians live in a bubble of political and media types, and don’t have a clear idea of how they come across to the rest of us.

  5. Tog says:

    Reblogged this on sideshowtog.

  6. Son of Perth says:

    Brilliant Paul. I can’t begin to explain how happy I was to be part of the march yesterday and how pissed off I am today to read SNP people slagging ‘cybernats’. We are on the receiving end of dreadful abuse from British Nationalists and yet are somehow the bad guys? Spare me. I shall continue to support the SNP because they are the means to independence but I am extremely disappointed today.

    • Movy says:

      This is for Son of Perth. I’ve already replied to Paul and his great article but I’m 100% in agreement with you.
      I am seriously annoyed with the SNP today. Like you, I will vote for them because I want independence – but once we’ve got it, well…
      The march was so good and to have our own side rain on our parade is just not on.
      No doubt the MSM will consider it job done. I no longer subscribe to the Herald, cancelled after the front page debacle following last year’s march, and hope they become an ex-Herald very, very soon.

  7. Cubby says:

    Excellent article. The media in Scotland is rotten to the core. Sorry I missed getting a copy of your book at Glasgow Green but nice to say hello. Ordered a copy from Vagabond Voices.

  8. panda paws says:

    bloody well said Sir. I’ve not read the Herald’s article but they should be ashamed of themselves for giving the British nationalist press a stick to unfairly beat us with. Eejits or naïve or both…

  9. alanm says:

    Sorry to learn that Gavin Kennedy is no longer with us. He was my economics professor at Strathclyde University back in the mid-1970’s and will be remembered as a truly inspirational character with a great intellect. The party could do with more like him today.

  10. Mary Deas says:

    Well said Paul. You are such an inspiration and can put into words what I am feeling. Keep doing what you are doing.

  11. Sal Newton says:

    Well said Paul and thanks for everything you and Ginger do to support the Indy cause.
    More than happy to continue buying t-shirt shirts, stuffed dugs and maps and make donations whilst I can afford to. You know you are winning when the potshots get more frequent and more personal.
    Keep up the good work 🐾🐾

  12. PeteR says:

    I suspect we may be beginning to see the unionist sleepers planted in the SNP getting their marching orders

    • Welsh Sion says:

      I suspect we may be beginning to see the unionist sleepers planted in the SNP getting their (orange) marching orders.

      – Too good an opportunity to miss. Thanks, PeteR.

  13. Andy Anderson says:

    Like all of you I am angry at the Britnat press. How do those people go to work happy to be biased and unprofessional.

    I had not picked up the SNP attack on cybernats. I will ask a few SNP members I know and listen.

    Good day yesterday and thank you Paul.

  14. Well said.

    I was unable to join march in Glesga yesterday… can’t afford journey from Inverness on state pension… will await march here in Highland Capital.

    Just here now with Stephen Nolan on BBC 5 Live. Is there any other proramme that reviews next day newspapers with 2 blatant Brexieers? Having tried several times to call in and, being a SNP/Independence supporter, and being told “we’ll call you back”…all I do is listen to rabid brexiteers blaming everyone including EU and “unelected” European bureaucrats for all the ills that have befallen govt.

  15. Iona says:

    Well said, Paul. I was absolutely furious with what I consider to be an imperialistic miss step from these top SNP politicians.

  16. Smash the Cybernats; Part One

    The Rake’s Progress

    There is no doubt that there is a coordinated effort by the foreign owned Scottish Dead Tree Scrolls hacks and hackesses and their incestuous Brit Nat pals in the Broadcasting fraternity/sorority to mount an attack on the New Media, the online modern day Hogarths, Jonathan Swifts, and Ned Sherrins of this world who have the rebellious arrogance to challenge the Iron Heel Oligarchy.

    William Hogarth 10 November 1697 – 26 October 1764) was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called “modern moral subjects”,

    Early satirical works included an Emblematical Print on the South Sea Scheme (c.1721, published 1724), about the disastrous stock market crash of 1720 known as the South Sea Bubble, in which many English people lost a great deal of money. In the bottom left corner, he shows Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish figures gambling, while in the middle there is a huge machine, like a merry-go-round, which people are boarding. At the top is a goat, written below which is “Who’l Ride”. The people are scattered around the picture with a sense of disorder, while the progress of the well dressed people towards the ride in the middle shows the foolishness of the crowd in buying stock in the South Sea Company, which spent more time issuing stock than anything else.

    He is perhaps best known being his moral series A Harlot’s Progress, A Rake’s Progress and Marriage A-la-Mode.

    Jonathan Swift, Irish cleric gave us ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, a biting satire of politics and morals of his time, written as a spoof version of the travel books popular at the time.
    Here’s a precis of life under the subjugation of Linadalino by Laputa which could have been written yesterday:-
    “Laputa had several methods of enforcing obedience from its subject towns. The island could be made to hover over a city indefinitely, depriving them of sunlight and rain. In more extreme situations, this would be combined with dropping large rocks on the inhabitants. Finally, the Laputans had the ability to lower their island directly onto a town, utterly destroying it. This was exceedingly rare, due to the risk it would pose to the integrity of Laputa itself.

    As a result of oppressions and tribute demanded from them by Laputa, the Lindalinians rebelled against their governor and constructed tall towers at each of the four corners of the city. On top of these, they placed powerful lodestones, or magnets. The result of this was that when Laputa approached them, it was pulled toward these towers more swiftly than the king had expected. As a test, the Laputans then dropped several pieces of adamant, the substance from which their island was constructed. These were violently drawn to the towers. Realizing the situation, the king of Laputa had no choice but to give in to Lindalino’s conditions. If he had not, the island would have been fixed in place and overthrown.

    The story of Lindalino is an allegory for Great Britain’s impositions on Ireland. Swift had earlier written a series of pamphlets, known as Drapier’s Letters, to rouse public opinion on the matter. Lindalino represents Dublin, and the impositions of Laputa represent the British imposition of William Wood’s currency”.
    (William Wood was awarded a contract to strike and issue coinage in Ireland which was resisted by the Irish and eventually withdrawn.)
    Or Scotland’s position within the Uk today?

    Shades of Scotland’s Pound, eh?
    Back later

    • Saor Alba. says:

      I’m now beginning to think that many in the SNP lack courage or are careerists. There is little sign that they are listening. I am not impressed and I am not even sure that they want independence any more. This is like having an open goal and slicing the shot over the bar. Very disappointing.

      The Irish had great courage, despite having quislings in their midst.
      Little kneeling to the British there and now they can no longer be dictated to, for the English Parliament is a dictatorship of a kind.

  17. Smash The Cybernats: Part Two

    The feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy

    Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ and Orwell’s ‘1984’ describe our modern dystopia from diametrically opposite viewpoints.
    Huxley predicted a hedonist nihilism, a ‘painless, amusement sodden consensus. ‘ Netflix, SKY, Virgin, Amazon Prime, The Great British Fuck Off series…comes to mind.

    Christ they even have a mindless ‘reality’ mindbender ‘Big Brother’ to keep Oi Polloi indoors in a stupor, feeding their faces with 99p pizzas and American Cola or booze.

    Orwell imagined a much more forbidding dystopia, where people are controlled by inflicting pain.
    The vile nasty cybernats quote this pest all the time.

    The Ministry of Truth, Room 101 (another TV show!), Winston Smith, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak are used on line to describe some of the more outlandish lies and distortions printed and broadcast in ‘Airstrip One’, or Faslane, as we like to refer to it.

    Modern UK is an amalgam of both dystopias: unbridled let it all hang out hedonism and food banks and the Rape Clause punishment by the All Powerful Oligarchy..
    Dreams of winning the X Factor while the losers slave away on zero hours contracts at the mercy of Big Brother.

    Nasty vile propaganda designed to attack the staus quo, if you ask me.

    • Saor Alba says:

      Superb comments Jack. You are on a roll. This is the Britain that I now recognise. The friends of the state are the vile fascists, the English Nationalists and the Plastic Scots (or ‘Proud Scots but……). Thinking is not on the agenda, but hate, control and lack of reason is. So many that are soporific fall for it and continue to fall for it.

  18. Smash The Cybernats : Part Three

    ‘It’s Over Let It Go.’

    ‘That Was the Week That Was’ was an incredible television breakthrough in the early sixties, produced by Ned Sherrin and fronted by David Frost, with contributions from the bright young things of their day, like, cartoonist Timothy Birdsall, political commentator Bernard Levin, and actors Lance Percival, who sang topical calypsos, Kenneth Cope, Roy Kinnear, Willie Rushton, Al Mancini, Robert Lang, David Kernan and Millicent Martin. The last two were also singers and the programme opened with a song – “That Was The Week That Was” – sung by Martin to Ron Grainer’s theme tune and enumerating topics in the news. Frankie Howerd also guested with stand-up comedy.

    Script-writers included John Albery, John Antrobus, John Betjeman, John Bird, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Peter Cook, Roald Dahl, Robin Grove-White, Richard Ingrams, Lyndon Irving, Gerald Kaufman, Frank Muir, David Nobbs, Denis Norden, Bill Oddie, Dennis Potter, Eric Sykes, Kenneth Tynan, and Keith Waterhouse.

    Vile nasty satirists the lot of them.

    Floggin’ was too god for these young ingrates at the time.

    ‘The Profumo affair was at its height, and satirical targets, such as Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and Home Secretary Henry Brooke were lampooned in sketches, debates and monologues. Some other targets included the monarchy, the British Empire, nuclear deterrence, advertising, public relations and propaganda, capital punishment,sexual and social hypocrisy, the class system, and the BBC itself.[citation needed] Well-remembered sketches include a controversial “consumers’ guide to religion”, which discussed relative merits of faiths in the manner of a Which? magazine report, which received controversy from religious figures at the time.’

    How very dare they?

    Neil Macnab, billed as ‘writer at large’ over at the Herald Britland lands an ‘exclusive’.

    “LEADING figures in the SNP have stepped forward to denounce online abuse by so-called “cybernats” – a hardcore fringe of Yes supporters on social media accused of trolling, bullying, harassment and intimidation. “

    The condemnation comes from Angus Robertson, former depute leader of the SNP; Stewart McDonald MP, the party’s defence spokesman at Westminster; and Alyn Smith MEP, the SNP’s leading voice in the European Parliament.”

    Somebody called Sam Shedden over at the Hootsman cuts and pastes Macnab’s ‘exclusive’ by, wait for it, e-mail, but he is definitely not a Brit Nat ‘keyboard warrior’, because he is for the Yookay.

    Like modern day Luddites, the Old Guard at the Dead Tree Scrolls and State controlled Broadcast media are lashing out at technological and social Change.

    Nobody under 30 actually buys a newspaper these days, and the 71 year old author of this piece is one of a growing band of Oldies who get their news and views online, and not from electronic versions of the Dead Tree Scrolls.

    Circulation is plummeting and the last helicopter will be leaving from the roof top of the Ministry Of Truth any day now.

    There is apparently a small team of lamplighters still operating in London, where gas lights have been installed by English Heritage.
    Aw, the nice.

    I imagine that the journos ‘hot desking’ in the Newsrooms of our declining Blahs must feel like lamplighters must have felt when electric light took off.

    Their gas is at a peep.

    You can almost taste their anger and frustration at the thought of the nasty vile New Kids On The Block, the keyboard warriors in their mother’s basement dressed in their underpants (att: Ruth Supermom Davidson )huddled over a lap top spewing cultish Scottish Independence bile into the Ether while ‘real’ hacks had to get a degree and do the time before they got to cut and paste the Blue Red and Beige Tory press releases ..

    They would have banned Hogarth, Swift, Sherrin and Frost, burnt copies of 1984 and Brave New World, and Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’ ironically, and sent the lot of them to Room 101 to have the grievance culture and thoughts of independence programmed out of their clearly disturbed minds.

    Silence the Nats, resist Positive Change, sell out your countrymen and women:

    The ‘double standards’ of Scotland’s Fourth Estate, Fifth Column, to which you refer in your excellent piece today, Paul.

    Good night all.

  19. Dave Llewellyn says:

    I am not the first in line to stand up for the SNP but I fear today they are being tarred unjustly with a stick that should be reserved for someone who’s involvement in the Herald article deeply surprised me and two of the people my money would have been on to be at the heart of it.

    I have noticed Joanna Cherry and Dr Phillipa coming out hard against the article and what it states.

    How the SNP responds to it is likely to define how grassroots activists see it for a long time. In the case particularly of number on the EU list I believe his position is untenable considering that his partner is one of the most revolting trolls on Twitter. The only reason I will be voting SNP in the EU elections is that the people below him on the list should not have to pay for his hypocrisy. If he ever runs for anything on his own I will be spoiling my ballot paper.

    • Saor Alba says:

      It will be interesting to see the SNP response. I am very concerned at the pathetic comments of Angus Robertson, Stewart McDonald and Alyn Smith. The present leader of the SNP in the English Parliament puts Angus Robertson to shame with his speeches and questions defending Scotland’s interests.

      Who else in the SNP have become comfortable in their positions (apart from these 3) and have learned the British code I wonder? Independence voters are not stupid and will remember at the ballot box.
      Your third paragraph is most interesting Dave and I heartily agree with you. This person is indeed a hypocrite and his blindness to his partner’s actions demonstrates this clearly. There are others on the list much more deserving.

      However, it is good to see the courageous Joanna and Phillipa coming out hard against this nonsense. Credit to them both.

  20. The SNP leadership pandering to Britnat prejudice and reinforcing this boring old narrative is not a good look. Really. It begins to show how out of touch with the reality of the internet SNP leadership actually is.

    More irritatingly it implies the SNP has the power over anybody who believes in independence to determine what they say and how they say it. Which would mean that the Tory Party is going to take responsibility for everybody who speaks in favour of the status quo?

    Maybe a bit of actual empirical research would be more constructive. I’m sure many research agencies would be willing to undertake the work. Better to have more data to hand than accusations, anecdotes and received prejudices.

    I am getting mightily pissed off with this idea that somebody else should keep an eye on what I write lest it offend against some arbitrary, double standard. I am perfectly capable of taking responsibility for myself thank you very much. Maybe this should be a more widely held ethical commitment.

    I also like to think of myself as talented (others have also said as much) and it would be lovely if I could make money as I recount my experience of being a cancer patient at my blog, but my rants are popular only with a small faithful readership. Heaven forbid that I also suddenly become famous and have to put up with judgements from on high about content and style, from some organisation that claims to oversee opinion about being a cancer patient.

    You are a very courageous (and excellent!) writer, but here I think you hold back – almost as if you are yourself taken in, too tentative to shout out the bloody obvious, that cyberbullying, trolling and political manipulation are undertaken on an industrial scale, much more frequently to the advantage of established powers.

    Again, empirical material would easily demonstrate this. Unfortunately though I suspect any studies adequate to this task would cost too much time, resources, labour and hard cash and would be ignored, underplayed or ridiculed by the establishment.

    • Well said, Duncan, which I observe without a hint of ‘judgements from on high’.
      I for one will no longer ‘act nice’ especially when I centre on the mince churned out by the Cut an Pastry Brigade at the Brit Nat ministery of Truth which act as a buffer zone between fatuous empty vessels like Davidson Leonard Dugdale and, oh God Help us all, the Dudley D Watkins cartoon cut out that is Willie Rennie and us Nasty Self Determinists.
      Bella Caledonia is having a go at Sturgeon too.
      I fear that there are snakes in the Independence grass roots.
      I treat people with respect those who deserve it.
      Behaviour breeds behaviour.

    • Saor Alba says:

      Well said Duncan.

      As I said above, it will be interesting to see the SNP response. No organisation can claim to oversee Individual opinions and conscience. That is why we choose who and what we vote for (at least those of us who are not dumbed down by the constant abuse of the constant British propaganda). The vast majority of independence supporters are capable of responsibility for themselves and rail against the double standards of the Establishment. Subservience is not an option.

      Jack has written extensively of those magnificent figures in the past who had the “arrogance” to challenge the mistruths of the Establishment, using the power of satire. Such programs as ‘That was the week that was’ would no longer be tolerated.

      Wake up Scotland before you sleep yourself to death.

  21. Luigi says:

    Certain SNP politicians who seem to be bending over backwards to placate a hostile media should try to be a bit more courageous and dignified. Stand up for your own side – you know most of what the media publishes about “cybernats” is complete giff, so why this continual attempt to pamper them?

    Here’s the bottom line – the British Nationalist media will NEVER give the SNP or the independence movement a fair hearing. There is nothing to lose and potentially lots to gain by facing the British establishment head on – every time someone in the SNP actually does that, party membership goes up – have you noticed? Has it sunk in yet. On the contrary, if you side with the media and attack fellow indy supporters unfairly, then you have much to lose. Why risk it.

    Most politicians are recognised as unreliable, spineless creatures. However, more is expected of the SNP. Back off.

  22. smac1314 says:

    Paul, you are a more erudite and witty writer than 99% of those who get paid by the ‘real’ news outlets. Having a pop at you and those who fundraise to allow them to promote independence is just projection by the ‘real’ journalists. They can’t believe that you can make money based on your principles, as they have sold their souls to their corporate masters.
    As for the SNP, it becomes clearer every day that the Yes movement (and maybe even independence itself) is an embarrassment to them. If they don’t begin to show some urgency, our country may be lost to us very soon.

  23. diabloandco says:

    I find it utterly shocking that the MSM is allowed to say and write anything it wants about the SNP , the YES movement and our precious bloggers – time for us all to show that their ‘moral high ground’ is on shifting sand.

    The good thing is that more and more folk must be noticing the lies and drivel emanating from an ever more desperate media and despite Westminster funds the end must be nigh for at least some publications. Once upon a day I might have mourned the passing of the mighty Herald now I am looking forward to dancing on its grave.

    As far as balance and sanity savers are concerned then you, Paul and Wings are my first ports of call , enhanced by those below the line who comment and provide additional material .

    I look forward to huge swathes of Scotland employing the Liverpool approach.

  24. Therapymum says:

    Don’t you dare justify yourself! There is absolutely no need for you to do so. Your blog has given me and many others a smile and hope when politics seem really dark. You always manage to hit the right note. For that alone you deserve praise and payment. I’m just sorry it isn’t more.

    I think yesterday’s intervention by the SNP trio was crass, misjudged and ill timed, coming as it did after a successful march. It’s made many people feel angry and upset, with Stewart McDonald’s comment about marches just putting the icing on the cake! I wouldn’t mind so much if their own hose was in order. It’s not, as Joan McAlpine, Joanna Cherry and the women who have been abused by Alyn’s partner can attest. It seems as though the SNP really feel that the grassroots, which Nicola Sturgeon said should take the lead to promote Indy, are a liability and a nuisance, not to be encouraged.

    What they forget is they cannot win without us – you, me and every single one of those marchers and tweeters and Facebookers that support Indy, anymore than we can win without them, as they are the only party with the ability to make it happen. Keep blogging, talking and appearing. We will keep supporting.

  25. deelsdugs says:

    I’m in the dark dear lovely people to what the SNP has been saying, as I’ve shut myself away from social media (as much as I can) and the outside world. I know there was a march, and very well done to you all, and huge thanks to Paul for his regular updates, but does somebody have a link to what has been going on?
    Thank you

  26. Macart says:

    Well said Paul.

    Been off for the past week or two and a little behind, but Jeez!

  27. Millsy says:

    Yes , it is outrageous !! With 99% of the written and broadcast media agitating for independence it is about time the SNP opened their eyes to the dreadful impact all these nasty bloggers are having on our peaceful , well-integrated society with its arms open to all regardless of religion , class or political leaning .
    They are a scourge on our society , fomenting unrest and attacking the most vulnerable among us , humanitarians like Kelvin MacKenzie , Katie Hopkins and others fighting tirelessly for the underdog .
    Thank God that St. Ruthie Davidson has returned from her sabbatical studying in distant Tibet , studying the mystical Dark Arts and gathering Dark Money for her assault on the bastions of power of the cybernats . She , and only she , can save the Union with her unshakeable principles of …..and she looks good on a tank , too !

  28. Having first joined the SNP in the mid-60’s I have been hesitating to criticise the SNP. However, there are aspects of SNP party leadership and public face which I am unhappy about.

    I am not happy with the answers given by the Scottish Government to many quite genuine questions. All too often the answer given is bland and uninformative. I believe this is the result of inheriting the Civil Service officers who frame the replies. The language used is pure civil service stonewalling non-answers. There needs to be a new way of framing answers which includes the idea of actually answering the question asked.

    The Scottish Government/SNP leadership plays by traditional rules. It is time for them to stop being concerned with being ‘respectable’ and, for example, loudly and consistently calling out the BBC for its biased presentation of what is going on in Scotland. I give you the coverage of the March at the weekend, the exposure given to Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Tory gathering in Aberdeen (cf coverage of the SNP conference in Edinburgh) and the latest figures of SNP/Independence supporting people not being included in UK politics/discussion programmes.

    Whenever there is an AUOB march it seems that the SNP schedule a Day of Action for something or other. I believe last weekend people were asked to deliver leaflets in their local areas.

    I am unhappy with the way in which our representatives in Westminster APPEAR to be fitting in comfortably with the Westminster club. Every week Mr Blackford asks perfectly justified questions of Mrs May. Every week he is publicly subjected to abuse from other MPs and to scornful and dismissive replies from Mrs May. Our other MPs suffer the same abuse when they speak. However, there is no public protest at the lack of respect shown to Scottish voters because our representatives continue to play by Westminster rules. Why are our MPs continuing to show respect in a situation where they are treated with extraordinary contempt?

    Why are the SNP fighting the UK corner over Brexit? The first duty of the SNP is to fight Scotland’s corner in any way they can.

    I am sorry that I have so little faith in the top organisers of the SNP now. I will continue to work for local SNP campaigns but it is getting harder for me to do so.

    SNP take note of the fresh ideas and enthusiasm engendered by AUOB and the local YES groups and stop treating them as movements to be always subordinate to the SNP and of less account. SNP shake off your straightjacket thinking.

    • Patsy Millar says:

      Thanks for expressing so eloquently what I too feel about the SNP at the minute. I will probably remain a member until independence and certainly continue voting for them until that is achieved; but at the moment I am a very unhappy bunny as far as Sunday’s three stooges are concerned.

    • Aucheorn says:

      I too first joined the SNP in 1960, and I too am considering my position and support for the present day hierarchy.
      It is the Yes campaign that got people involved, motivated and it was the Yes campaign that damn near pulled it off.
      I don’t understand WHY the SNP are fighting England’s battles, they obviously want to leave Europe, we don’t, THAT’S the fight the Scottish National Party should be concentrating on.

  29. Dorothy Sharkey says:

    Well said. I have seen more online abuse from the unionist campaign,and some elements are willing to turn up in person to make their attack,as in George Square after the referendum. Cybernat is a great word,we should own it. What irks the establishment more than money is that you challenge their narrative. Were it not for social media we would be fed the image of a caring, friendly Ruth Davidson,chatting to her friends at the BBC. We would be presented with a complete character assassination on our MPs – Mhairi Blacks brilliant maiden speech was disparaged briefly on BBC,with a few seconds footage edited to make her appear an idiot. Keep up the good work.

  30. Welsh Sion says:

    Off topic.

    Last week’s news:

    – Referrals to foodbanks have passed the 100,000 mark in Wales for the first time.

    This week’s news:

    – The Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a boy.

    Spot the scroungers.

    • diabloandco says:


      Wonder if Mrs May will give him a union flag Babygro?

      Should Scotland send them a baby box??

  31. Bob Lamont says:

    But is the success of the establishment’s tactics not exemplified by your own article, at least 60% of which is given over to you feeling obliged to justify your position, one quote from which some other nonentity will vilify next week and so the circle continues?
    Goading and insulting a personalised target has been the Empire’s weapon of choice for centuries, you can read their group contributions on every HYS item on the Beeb Scotland website, generally commenting in quick succession within seconds of the article first appearing, a fascinating study of alleged public opinion in action, with all the hallmarks of organised propaganda.
    The establishment ‘s influence has waned in the last decade and fallen dramatically in the last 3 years, bloggers are no longer a minority sideshow but serious channels of alternative information and opinion, challenging their erstwhile dominance, ergo, a target. In short, you are a victim of your own success (reach not financial), better to just embrace it and say keich to innuendo, hello to honest poverty, and continue the good work.
    They cannot attack YES or AUOB because there is no representative head to personalise and vilify, but they can ignore or sideline it, and that’s when the alternative channels highlight both it and the behaviour of the media, which only deepens the shaft beneath them.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Yeah, you’re right. I was very angry. I felt attacked – by the very SNP leadership which I’ve been doing so much to support in the face of all the media criticisms they get. I felt betrayed, quite frankly.

      • It should give the SNP leadership a lot to think about when someone like yourself needs to write what you did. I have been thinking for some time that I was imagining an attitude from the SNP that suggested ownership of the Independence movement. However, reading your thoughts on the subject and reading the comments, I recognise unease, to say the least, in the minds of many people regarding the way the SNP is behaving.
        I hope you continue with your writing because you present your arguments in a measured and reasoned way. We need you to put into words what many of us think.
        I’m not surprised you ran out of books. You should have left the dug in charge of the stall while you ran hame fur mair.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Reaction perfectly understood but do remember the “divide and conquer” approach is something the establishment are very good at, and demolishing the SNP must be top of their list.
        Fairly certain WGD is followed closely by SNP, so your article will be ringing alarm bells already, but some dialogue via SNP members might prod a nerve, the YES movement is a formidal group the establishment and media cannot break, unless they induce fractures…

      • Charles McGregor says:

        I clearly recall Nicola Sturgeon urging the indy support to demonstrate for independence.

        I also recall her in an interview after the big march last year saying how delighted she was at the show of support for indy.

        So it is somewhat surprising to me that some of her underlings have missed that clear message or, probably more likely, this is may be just another example of skullduggery by the SMSM.

        The levels of hubris and self-delusion which can manifest themselves for some individuals inhabiting a political bubble can, though, reach such overweening levels to the point where their rational function can be impaired. One had hoped for immunity from that well known effect amongst the SNP contingent, but … ?

  32. Millsy says:

    Considering the blanket ”SNP BaaaaaD !!” coverage from the BBC , STV and the print media (National accepted ) is it not time that the SNP as a Party refused to assist these outlets in their constant disparaging of Independence and the SNP ?

    Refuse interviews , refuse to take part in debates ( which are more often than not rigged against the Indy cause ) , do not give them any quotes or info or interact with them in any way .

    As a Government they are obliged to disseminate information etc… but give them the absolute minimum required .
    The media will soon find out that they need the SNP/Government far more than the reverse . Some may say this will only encourage anti- independence headlines /stories …well , welcome to Scotland in the 21st C.
    Spotting an encouraging story about the SNP/ Scottish Government from the MSM is like picking the Lotto numbers for a roll over… well nigh impossible !

  33. Saor Alba says:

    We are ALL angry WGD.
    I believe the SNP are passing the ball about the defence just now, instead of getting the ball forward.

  34. JGedd says:

    Just read that Manny Singh of AUOB has been charged under Section 65 Civic Government Act 1982. This begins to seem like a co-ordinated attack.

    To say that I’m angry about all this – including endorsement of Neil Mackay’s atrocious article by the likes of Angus Robertson – is putting it mildly.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      This how backed into a corner they are now its the end of the uk in full swing we stand strong through this and they are finished the Scotland haters will be out of ammo and we just strem roll out way to victory they are going to make our victory to easy the way they are going.

  35. Malcolm says:

    Today I wrote to Sky News and complained about the non coverage of the Glasgow march. The only english newspaper that even mentioned the march was the Guardian. Normally the Guardian is covered on the Sky News paper review as well as most other daily’s. Monday the Guardian was omitted !! They are trying their best to shut Scotland down. Its time for the SNP mp’s to start some walkouts at Westminster and get noticed. Stop playing to their rules.

  36. Arthur Thomson says:

    The Brits want the whole independence movement to be encompassed by the SNP. That way they can easily silence us. But it is never going to happen. We are people of independent mind with just one common purpose and zero commitment to any political ideology. We are a diverse body of people drawn from all walks of life who are only connected by our common purpose. Therein lies our strength. It is why our movement can never be fractured or truly divided – because we were never joined at the hip in the first place.

    There are, of course, those who think they have the recipe for our success. They believe – or in some cases they pretend to believe because they are actually working for the Brits – that there is a single way to achieve our common goal, which is their way, of course. I have no issue with that really, I just think they are misguided and that their protestations are best ignored. I can identify with their passion but I am not going to sign up to their delusions. I am an SNP member and will continue to be so long as I observe that, on balance, the SNP is working in Scotland’s interests and from what I can see they very much are. That does not imply that I think the SNP is perfect – how could it be – but it is infinitely better than any of the alternatives around.

    Thank you WGD for all your hard work. You are an inspiration and far more important than any of your detractors could ever aspire to be.

  37. velofello says:

    Constancy to purpose is my mantra. So I’ll continue my longterm SNP membership, and support the Yes movement as best I can.I am well accustomed to the caprice of human nature, Robertson, Smith and McDonald need, without delay, to answer for their contributions to the Herald article by Mackay.

    The value of the Yes movement is that there is no political figurehead to attack on policy –

    Surprise surprise then,the organiser of AOUB is being charged with starting a Yes march at a later time than GCC wanted! The consequence of this later start was – zilch,zero, nothing. No problems of any kind whatsoever. So why and who, in GCC raised this complaint?

    Is this the same GCC that are allowing Orange Order marches to continue in Glasgow following last year’s abusive behaviour as an Orange Order march passed a Roman Catholic church? Surely a public order issue potential that should concern GCC?

    So I repeat, give us names. Who in GCC initiated this action against AOUB? You are public servants, we have a right to know.

    • Millsy says:

      The concerning thing is that GCC is SNP run – if a complaint was made to the police about the march then it must have come from them !
      How on Earth do you win people’s vote and backing for independence by attacking an independence march ?

    • Cubby says:

      I would put money on it being a Tory councillor.😡

  38. Charles McGregor says:

    Just heard Tavish Scott say ‘Who can forget Winnie Ewing saying that the Scottish parliament has been recreated?’

    Well, me for one. I do remember her saying it had been ‘reconvened’ however.

  39. If I were head of Communications at SNP I’d order every elected member to record every conversation with the Dead Tree Scrolls from now on in. I’d write to the Brit Nat Dead Tree Scrolls and the State propaganda broadcasters and advise them that there would be no more interviews, especially pre-recorded stitch ups from remote parts of the highlands, with SNP Politicians.

    A complete boycott of the media.

    Pay for a full page advert in every Dead Tree Scroll and let the public know, no more set ups like the one Robertson, Smith and McDonald fell for.

    MacKay is NOT an SNP sympathiser: he is a tawdry wee hack scratching a living clacking away for a dying Blah.

    His readership must number in the thousands now and falling as summer comes and the Ranjers and Sellick endomorphs stop buying the rag to look at pictures of Gerrard and Lennon.

    In an ideal world, we would behave as though it was just politics, a difference of opinion, a different philosophy, and ideals.
    Well, it’s not.
    230,000 Scots children are living in poverty, and another 80,000 will join them by 2022 because of Blue Tory cuts to benefits, allowances and UCS.

    Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie are starving our children by government diktat.
    This week end the Imperial Guard came North to tell Scotland to get back in its colonial box; The Fish Called Gove announced that he will be holding back some of our money to control Education and Agriculture from England.
    Supermom Davidson, who comes across as more vacuous than the proverbial ’empty vessel’, declares that democracy is dead ‘forever’ in Scotland, and that as FM (no don’t, titter ye may, but she doesn’t really believe what she’s saying herself) she will introduce public private partnerships, the old Tory Blair back door privatisation/PFI New Labour Klondike bonanza for the carpetbaggers and spivs to hoover up public funds and open off shore accounts to store the booty.
    Remember Davidson trying to flog Teach First a couple of years ago?
    Gove wants to retain our Education cash, Davidson wants to give it to her pals in the private sector. A nice game played slow.

    Our NHS will be next. Virgin GP surgeries and G4S Ambulances.

    Well I ain’t going to be polite, or meekly take part in stage managed BBC QT, and ‘Leaders’ Debates’ with Glen Campbell or Just To Be Clear Gordon Brewer setting up the pro Independence guest while enquiring of Davidson how the wean is doin’?

    We are in the trenches now. Fix bayonets, as Iain Davidson would suggest.

    The hacks at the Dead Tree Scrolls are all Unionists now.

    They face the dole or sell their soul, or touting advertising space on the Findo Gask Thunderer to eke out a living .

    To quote ‘Network’: -‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more’.

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