sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul

Wings Over Scotland

An open question to the Scottish media

Posted on January 26, 2013 by

We know for certain that a good many Scottish newspaper and broadcast journalists read this website, so maybe one of them will enlighten us about something. The latest Scottish Social Attitudes Survey report contained a wealth of tables and statistics in respect of the independence debate, but the entire media seized, with complete and startling uniformity, on one in particular.

It was a curious choice to highlight, as it related to a vaguely-worded, ambiguous question with no relevance to the options which voters will actually choose between in the referendum. Yet the very same survey contained a much more interesting set of results which got either a dismissive passing mention or no coverage at all.

Since, as we’ve already established, there’s no Grand Unionist Black-Ops Society which meets in Pacific Quay to decide how best to serve the grim needs of the No campaign, we’d honestly like to know how not one single newspaper, TV channel or radio station thought this particular question merited lead status in their coverage of the SSAS. Because it presents a radically different picture of Scottish opinion to the one absolutely everyone decided, by miraculous coincidence, to paint.

The poll is pretty self-explanatory. The four options equate directly to (from top to bottom) independence, “devo-max”, the status quo and the complete abolition of devolution. (Or “support for devolution”, as the endearingly-guileless “Better Together” prefers to call it.) And the most obvious conclusion is that the status quo – which a No vote will represent in 2014 – is the least popular of the three “mainstream” choices. (Abolition not being advocated by any political party.)

If you strip out the “devo max” fans and the undecideds entirely, the results come out at pretty clear 54-46 victory for Yes. If you divide the same votes equally between Yes and No (as seems eminently reasonable) you get a closer 52-48 victory for Yes. And even if you split the devo-maxers and don’t-knows 2:1 in favour of No, independence only loses 47-53, a similarly tight result which, like the even-split distribution, falls within the standard 3% margin of polling error.

Allocating two-thirds of those who want far more powers transferred to the Scottish Parliament – basically independence except for the armed forces and Foreign Office – to the No camp seems a very generous division, but it still produces a referendum balanced on a knife-edge. Yet the Scottish media would have us believe instead that Yes voters are basically outnumbered by an overwhelming three to one.

(The figures also show that despite the orgy of British nationalism unleashed during the Jubilee and Olympics, support for independence in 2012 was still substantially higher – by 25% – than in 2010, and support for the status quo still lower. It’ll be intriguing to see the direction of movement in 2013, with no multi-billion-pound advertisements for Britishness running on every channel for weeks on end.)

So with the best will in the world, Scottish journalists, reporters and broadcasters – do you truthfully believe your coverage of the past week has accurately reflected not just Scottish opinion, but also a balanced view of the contents of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey? We know you’re there. We’d love to hear from you.

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97 to “An open question to the Scottish media”

  1. Billy says:

    The media covered The Rangers saga so well ( cough cough) so we can expect similar with the independence debate.
    George Galloway has entered The Rangers debate. Hurrah !!

    Early day motion 913 – RANGERS TAX LIABILITIES – UK Parliament



  2. Albalha says:

    Yes been pointing this out on the BT Guardian piece since yesterday, do you have access to the press release issued by ScotCen? I assume, having listened to Curtice yesterday morning they chose to highlight the 23%.

    Not obviously any excuse for the MSM not to dig further but it gives a picture of the ScotCen/NatCen position.


  3. kininvie says:

    I’m going to come back to you (again, I fear) with the observation that this simply is not how newspapers work. The late morning ‘conference’ that decides the content of the next day’s news pages demands stories that will pull the reader’s eye. So what is the better story? ‘Independence falls to 23%’ or ‘Majority agrees with more powers for Scotland?’ All follows from that


  4. Albalha says:

    Answering myself I’m guessing there was no shortened Press Release?, but just the full initial findings report, the 35% finding isn’t included in the main table but is referred to below as a question they’ve been asking since 2010, however it’s clearly there.


  5. Albalha says:

    The paragraph below the main table in the initial findings report

    An alternative measure, (which has been asked since 2010) secures rather higher levels of support for a proposition that implies independence without actually using that term – that ‘The Scottish Parliament should make all the decisions for Scotland’.
    However, support has dropped on this measure too during the last year – from 43% in 2011 to 35% in 20


  6. JPJ2 says:


    If the MSM was not biased pro-union surely a much more eye catching story available in some recents polls would have been-and undoubtedly will be again-

    “Support for the union falls below 50%”    

    So-when will we see that?? 


  7. Moujick says:

    Dear Wings….wheesht…don’t point it out to them….their complacency is our friend……


  8. Doug Daniel says:

    Going by Kevin McKenna’s latest article, I reckon he definitely reads Wings. He alludes to an article from Bella Caledonia in June 2011 so I suspect he reads articles about him (as anyone would).

    So I propose that it was your decision to move Kevin from Zany Comedy Relief to the normal blog list that thawed his attitude. “Hey, maybe they’re not so bad after all, these Cybernats…”


  9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “So what is the better story? ‘Independence falls to 23%’ or ‘Majority agrees with more powers for Scotland?’”

    I don’t think you can divorce that editorial decision entirely from the increasing dissatisfaction of the public with the one-sided media, though. There’s surely money to be made by being the newspaper of independence, if you’re putting it down to a purely commercial call?


  10. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “If the MSM was not biased pro-union surely a much more eye catching story available in some recents polls would have been-and undoubtedly will be again-

    “Support for the union falls below 50%””

    Indeed. It’s hard to spin independence support staying the same and opposition falling by a fifth as “Blow for Yes campaign” purely on news grounds.


  11. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Going by Kevin McKenna’s latest article, I reckon he definitely reads Wings.”

    I like to flatter myself that we do meet all of his cited criteria: good-sized readership, decent writing, and both rebarbative and obsessive 😀


  12. Naebd says:

    It’s the Wings Wot Done It?


  13. Neil Jn says:

    I work in a busy newsagents. The’daily record’ has been offering an ‘opportunity’ to acquire the rag providing you have already bought something, thereby offering the prospect of money off your purchase. This allows them to include the purchase in circulation figures rather than be seen as a free copy.
    The responses I have received have varied from an astonishing look, making it clear that the customer is offended by the idea that I have singled them out as a ‘record’ reader, to the unambiguous ‘I would rather slit my wrists’.
    My point is, that I am confident that the majority of the Scottish population, is not as stupid as the puppet, Magnus Gardham thinks they are, nor are we as stupid as Alistair Darling hopes we are.      


  14. Vincent McDee says:

     British Empire Corporatocracy at work. See here:


  15. RandomScot says:

    Mr McKenna does refer to the basic message from the survey, mst Scots want all powers at Holyrood


  16. beachthistle says:

    All good questions to put to the Scottish media professionals who (in most cases gleefully) parroted the “23%/lowest since devolution” message, in particular those who continue to do so even when they know it to be misleading (to say the least). However, though I don’t find myself defending Scottish press and broadcast hacks much these days, I think it is interesting, and a factor in their defence, that the original ‘lowest’ spin/message came in the original press release from the ‘NatCen’ (sic) Social Research – in fact their press release was actually entitled/headlined “Support for Scottish independence at lowest level since devolution”

    This is interesting, and, to my mind, a cause for wider concern: i.e. that those doing research and polling with regard to the Scottish public’s thoughts regarding Independence are going beyond being objective observers, studiers and reporters, to becoming active participants.
    I would argue that NatCen did so last week, and that Ipsos Mori also did last year, with their ‘Business Leaders’ poll which, surprisingly, Ipsos Mori self-financed. It appears to have been the first time that Ipsos-Mori’s annual  ‘Scottish Corporate Reputation Survey’ had asked anything directly about Scottish politics (and certainly the first time regarding Independence), and Ipsos-Mori must have known before they started that the senior business figures they were going to ask would include  a larger percentage of Tories than in  most other groups in Scotland;  and that as such they were most likely to harvest more negative attitudes towards Independence than from most groups making up the Scottish population. The fact that Ipsos-Mori still went ahead with the Survey, actually paying for it themselves and then making a big negative public/media  splash (again led by their own ’embargoed’ press release, entitled/headlined “Business leaders fear impact of independence”) I think calls into question their status and role in the Independence Referendum campaign (and perhaps calls into question the wisdom of The Electoral Commission to hire them to do the consultation regarding the Referendum question?).
    So a pretty rum state of affairs if not only do we have ALL the mainstream media in Scotland and UK  treating the idea of Scottish Independence the same way they treated communism during the Cold War, we also have some of those who are supposed to be bringing the wider public’s thinking into the mix in an objective, neutral manner starting to show signs of partiality and connivance.
    On a more positive note, the more the Yes vote is underestimated and/or under-reported in polls and the media the more the UK government will merrily go ahead with their wrecking of the welfare state and EU brinksmanship,  and the longer the Better Together No campaign will continue with their (self defeating) negativity, both of which are boons for ‘Yes’!


  17. Cameron says:

    @ Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Some of the links in this article appear to lead to adds. Has your site been hijacked or am I missing something?


  18. Stevie Mach says:

    I suppose I’ve been so disgusted with the Scottish Press for so long, that supposing one of the rags decided to come over from the dark side and print some actual unbiased news reporting, I would still be unable to trust it.
    I’ve got out of the habit of buying newspapers now, and doubt it is something I would go back to again. So this ex-buyer and reader is lost for life. No wonder circulation figures are so woeful.


  19. M4rkyboy says:

    The chances of the BBC,STV,Guardian,Telegraph,Daily Record,Herald,Scotsman-all supposedly independent of one another-adopting the exact same interpretation of the survey is too far fetched.I believe this is not coincidence.


  20. kininvie says:

    I fear the same mentality infects PR agencies & (some) research institutions that I outlined above. If my press release gives a journo an obvious ‘story’ to take forward to conference, I have a better chance of seeing it given space. Also, don’t forget that many of the journos made redundant end up working for PR – and don’t change their mentality.
    @revstu I’m not putting it down to a ‘purely commercial’ call. The driving force is what will get the browsing reader to buy my product as opposed to the opposition.
    However, on your other point, I think you can safely bet that if newspaper execs see a reliable commercial advantage, you will find the editorial line changing. To that degree, the response to KMcK (in terms of website hits) will be giving them cause to consider – and the fact the Observer has given him a follow-up slot will be further ammunition. They won’t change overnight; they’ll be looking at the risk of losing advertising or being seen to back the wrong horse. Polling evidence (among the demographic where they pitch their sales) will be another lever in the dam.


  21. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Some of the links in this article appear to lead to adds. Has your site been hijacked or am I missing something?”

    Which ones and to where? They all look fine at this end.


  22. Cameron says:

    @ beachthistle
    If a revolution is to succeed, it must get the support of the intelligentsia. Thatcher was aware of this and certainly handbagged all academic opposition to her ideology. A tad less vigorously than say Pol Pot, but with the same clinical and devastating results. The “unnatural” selection process imposed on academic freedom has resulted in the likes of experts such as Prof. Curtis, and many of the middle and senior management in companies like Ipsos-Mori.


  23. Cameron says:

    Survey, question and coverage. I haven’t clicked on them, as my browser is set to show a graphic of where the link is taking you to. Survey is taking you to a survey for a $5 reward, the next is for a free iPhone, the last is for an insurance company.


  24. the bunnyman says:

    to me, the reaction of the No campaign was exposed by the SSAS. despite figures that should have them smug and comfortable with the present figures, what we witness was the Unionist Party’s clamouring to champion more powers for the Scottish Gov. this suggest to me that they are well aware that the No Vote has a foundation as strong as a vinegar sodden chip poke.


  25. Cuphook says:

    The links are ad free for me. I use Adblock Plus so maybe that makes a difference.


  26. Nairn Clark says:

    It’s not conspiracy, it’s groupthink. There’s no need for a conspiracy so long as the media polices itself in an almost unconscious manner. People who work in the same industry tend to think more like each other as time passes, and when they leave that industry, they train their successors to think in the same way. Under such circumstances, it’s a rare individual who breaks the consensus, because they want to be viewed by their peers as a competent, respectable professional, to reflect a construct that has developed over time. To say otherwise is to become an outsider, worse, a kook.

    in short, the media report the poll in the same fashion because they simply cannot conceive of an altenative interpretation. That’s the tragedy.

    Remember when the media could not conceive of an SNP government? Remember the WMDs Iraq had to have? this is why.

    the media is lazy, but then, so are most of the readers. It takes guts to argue against the consensus, so why bother?

    You don’t need a conspiracy – you just need apathy. It’s just as powerful, and so much cheaper. 


  27. Cameron says:

    @ Cuphook
    I’ve got Adblock as well, but had allowed all of this site. Perhaps that is my mistake. I will give them a go anyway, so you’ll know to send out search parties if you do not hear from me again. :)


  28. Cameron says:

    @ Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Sorry to tell you, but the links took me to where the thumbnails were suggesting. The first two are from US servers and the last from a UK server.


  29. Holebender says:

    When one of the main authors of the report goes with the 23% figure it is hardly surprising that the media follow like sheep. I think we can safely assume that Prof. Curtice is familiar with the contents of the report, so why did he go with the line he chose?


  30. Cameron says:

    @ Rev. Stuart Campbell
    View is also an add for iPhone and comes from a US server.


  31. Doug Daniel says:

    Well I’m not sure why Cameron’s having trouble, the links all go where they’re meant to for me. There is ONE that leads to spam, but it won’t damage your computer, just your brain.

    (I refer to the link to a Magnus Gardham article of course…) 


  32. Cameron says:

    @ Doug Daniel
    I thought it might have been myself that had been hijacked, but I do not seem to have the same problem with other links on this or other sites. I don’t understand it. :(


  33. dadsarmy says:

    Don’t know if I’m behind the curve on this, but googling “Scottish Social Attitudes 2012” give

    and the most prominent bit is

    Latest results

    The latest findings show a 9% drop in the number of people who are in favour of Scottish independence to 23% – the lowest since devolution. Fewer people we spoke to said they thought independence would have a positive impact on Scotland’s voice on the world stage, national pride and the economy.

    So, yes, where it says on their front page: “Britain’s leading independent social research agency ” I’d challenge that assertion. A more appropraite summary would have been: “A constant 84% over 13 years support a Scottish Government“.


  34. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Survey, question and coverage.”

    I don’t know what you mean by that. None of the links have those words in them.


  35. dadsarmy says:

    Too late to edit, “constant” isn’t right, “consistent” isn’t right, but perhaps “relatively consistent” would do the job.


  36. Cameron says:

    @ Rev. Stuart Campbell
    They appear as active links on my browser, which is the latest Firefox. I am running Adblock Plus but have allowed all of your site. Hope that helps.


  37. gman says:

    OT/ Irish response to that interview…


  38. muttley79 says:

    I think last week was an good example of the Scottish media’s inherent bias towards the No campaign.  Anybody with any kind of political sense would have realised that Cameron’s speech on the EU had the most serious implications for the No campaign.  Late last year the media and the No campaign were making a hell of a fuss about the EU from the Yes perspective.  When Cameron held out the prospect of a EU referendum, what did BBC Scotland in particular do?  They never interviewed anyone from the No campaign.  Despite all the uncertainty a referendum on the EU would bring…There is just no questioning of what a No vote would mean at all.  


  39. Cameron says:

    @ Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Unless you have done something, it just gets odder and odder. The active links have now disappeared from all of the words I listed. I still have the addresses the links took me to, if that would be of any help.


  40. TheRealHenBroon says:

    Another missile has exploded in the unionists compound, how much more can they take?

    Dear Nicola,

    I want to thank you for a brief but informative meeting yesterday. I am concerned that an interview which I conducted with the BBC is being misconstrued and wanted to assure you that it certainly was not my intention to interfere in any way with your domestic debate.

    It certainly was not my intention to intervene in the Scottish debate about the future of your country. As I stated clearly to the BBC (though perhaps they did not show it) this is a question exclusively for the Scottish people and I fully respect that fact.

    I was asked about the future of negotiations with the EU in the event that Scotland votes for independence. I thought that my reply was largely in line with that of the Scottish Government. I certainly did not at any stage suggest that Scotland could, should or would be thrown out of the EU. Scottish people are clearly citizens of Europe.

    I did answer the question about hypothetical negotiations with the EU. I think it is clear that a newly independent state would have to (and would have the right to and indeed should) negotiate the terms of membership, as they would undoubtedly be somewhat different to the existing terms. I did say that this would take some time, which I expect it would. I also went on to say that a newly independent Scotland would be welcome as an EU partner (and I think that applies to all EU member states including Ireland).

    My understanding is that the Scottish Government has already committed to a negotiation with the EU between 2014 and 2016, if you vote for independence in 2014. If my interview suggested something other than that, this was not my intention. I think my comments have been misconstrued. I sincerely regret this.

    As SNP Westminster Leader, Angus Robertson said ‘Negotiations on the terms of membership would take place in the period between the referendum and the planned date of independence’, and that ‘The EU would adopt a simplified procedure for the negotiations, not the traditional procedure followed for the accession of non-member countries’.”

    I think that sums up the situation quite well.

    I hope that this clarifies my position, and again I regret that my words seem to have been presented or taken out of context.

    Warm regards,

    Lucinda Creighton


  41. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I still have the addresses the links took me to, if that would be of any help.”

    By all means. It looks increasingly like it’s your computer that’s picked up something nasty, though. I’m currently, by sheer coincidence, doing a full site backup which means checking every file for malware as it comes across, and there’s nothing untoward so far. And no, I changed nothing between your comments.


  42. Cameron says:

    @ Rev. Stuart
    Sorry, spoke too soon. I’ve just refreshed and Survey and coverage are back as active links.


  43. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    You do seem to be the only person it’s happening to. What anti-virus software do you use?


  44. wullie B says:

    to those getting links to iphone , I had tis bother on another site  this is a fix to one common popup scam


  45. Cameron says:

    @ rev Stuart
    I have ZoneAlarm Pro running as a firewall and AVG as anti-virus. Perhaps not the ideal set up, but it tends to keep me pretty safe. I will do a scan right now, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t me. Perhaps I have just experienced a problem with Firefox, though I would have thought that unlikely. Sorry for any panic, but I thought I should bring it to your attention.


  46. Cameron says:

    @ wullie B
    That will be it, as I downloaded some software from last night,


  47. wullie B says:

    @cameron check the link to something I had a pproblem with ,the above link helped fix it and havent had it again, but certainly sounds like problem you are finding


  48. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Sorry for any panic, but I thought I should bring it to your attention.”

    No probs, always better safe than sorry. Backup now complete, nothing reported.


  49. wullie B says:

    no probs ,it drove me mad when I could see it but no one else could,if you hover over the picture  WITHOUT clicking it will prob come up with an address if not above google the web address and add  uninstall


  50. mogabee says:

    I am having no problem with links.


  51. Cameron says:



  52. Graham Anderson says:


    I agree, but as a thirtysomething who has long stopped purchasing the printed press I can’t help but think this rationale is exactly what’s killing print media. What sane person would buy a newspaper that chases headlines when facts are more readily available digitally? 


  53. muttley79 says:

    ‘It is difficult too to understand how any person living in Scotland can express fear about the prospect of independence when around one million of our fellow citizens are wondering how they will live when the Westminster government’s benefit cuts truly begin to bite. And how long will it take the SNP to accept and deploy David Cameron’s gift to them contained in his proposed EU referendum: that if sufficient numbers of English people exercise their vote in 2017 then every Scottish vote will be rendered meaningless.’

    From Kevin McKenna’s latest article.


  54. Marcia says:

    The Yes campaign placed this advertisement in certain newspapers today.


  55. Vronsky says:

    The meeja works.  Here’s the product.


  56. Graham Anderson says:


    Is this the original share URL? I ask because I don’t want to hammer someones personal dropbox by sharing it via FB/Reddit etc. Is the pdf available from the Yes site directly? 


  57. Cameron says:

    @ Vronsky
    What’s wrong with that? Just smart enough to press the buttons and pull the triggers, but not smart enough to enter the political debate.


  58. scottish_skier says:

    Aye, solid 7 in 10 within variance for independence or as close as you can get. It’s not going away….

    So when unionist politicians say “nobody want’s independence, just devolution”, all across Scotland, a large majority of people think “Well not me, I want much more than that”.

    That 23% guff is already dying as a story and polls don’t change what people want, they just reflect what people want in different ways. Oh, and Dave’s EU referendum isn’t going anywhere for now, so the recent diversionary tactics were as pointless as they were stupidly obvious.


  59. Marcia says:


    It comes from the SNP’s Peter Murrell’s twitter account.  Available to all. 


  60. Graham Anderson says:


    No better example of why education in Scotland should remain free and accessible to *anyone* born in Scotland. Self determination *will* make us more enlightened, and nae fucking guns required.


  61. Doug Daniel says:

    Since we’ve been on the subject of subtle bias the past couple of days, the SoS provides an interesting case in point. Starting tomorrow, they’re giving each side of the debate four weeks to make their case with essays.

    You’ll notice it starts off with the Yes campaign, which means, of course, that it ends with the No campaign. So Yes gets four weeks to make nuanced arguments, and No gets four weeks to knock them all down with their lies and leave readers with their pish as the lasting memory.

    In the grand scheme of things, it won’t really mean much – we’re over a year away from the actual campaign, after all – but it’s a nice little example. Kenny reckons it’s fair enough for the ones making the case for a change to go first (and in fairness to him, this is what often happens in debates – but such debates also have a “reply” section where the order is reversed). But what’s perhaps a bit more interesting is that Yes Scotland’s Comms Director reveals that it was this order, or nothing:

    Of course, it may be that Better Together were the ones who threatened to pull the plug if the order was reversed… 


  62. muttley79 says:


    Do you think there will be another costly intervention by Cameron on the No campaign’s unity?


  63. Ghengis says:

    I agree with Beachthistle above .. and would add that

    NatCen Social Research
    35 Northampton Square, London, EC1V 0AX

    is about as trustworthy as a LabConDem politician.
    The fact that so called journalists jump at the possibility of just regurgitating unionist propaganda just highlights their lack of integrity.


  64. Graham Anderson says:


    Magic, thanks. It’s a really positive message. The copy is spot on. 


  65. Cameron says:

    @ Graham Anderson
    I wish I still had my printing press.


  66. Seasick Dave says:

    Here’s a pic to cheer you up, Rev…


  67. ianbrotherhood says:

    It seems the BBC are going to go on strike after all – NNS currently headlining with details.  It would be ‘nice’ if some disgruntled Beeb insider could respond to Rev Stu’s invitation and provide insight as to what things are like at the moment. If ordinary punters are prepared to get organised, someone in the Beeb should do the decent thing and give us some inside-griff – after all, we’re concerned about the integrity of the organisation and want it to do what it’s supposed to do. Many BBC staff surely want the same, so a wee bit solidarity going both ways would be good to see right now. 


  68. Graham Anderson says:


    You have!!! It’s here, on the record, forever. We can submit all the content from all the debate to

    Just keep tapping the keys and help elevate the online debate! 


  69. Cuphook says:

    If in doubt it’s always worth running Trend Micro Housecall. It’s an online virus scan so you don’t need to disable the one that you currently use. It’s caught some trojans and worms that my own (and friends) antivirus has missed.


  70. Cameron says:

    @ cuphook
    Thanks for the link, but it turned out to be a browser add-on I had given permission to last night, when I downloaded software from Sorry for the confusion.


  71. ianbrotherhood says:

    Vronsky –
    That wee video was great. (I only got eleven wrong – anyone beat that?) 


  72. Graham Anderson says:


    Top notch. It’s easy to bash the organisation but let’s protect the people. 


  73. dadsarmy says:

    OT – years ago I got something from I ditched AVG (paid) then. MS security essentials (free) does for me, with the occasional Malwarebytes run. I check sometimes with superantispyware. I’ve high browser security settings, just adding “good” sites (like this one Rev!) to my trusted sites, clear out browser cache nearly every session and use ccleaner. I also clear up the register using ccleaner and then winaso. Even defragging can help to stay clean – moving files can overwrite malware.

    HTH. But don’t buy anything online until you’ve cleaned up, and consider changing psswords afterwards.

    Edit: tahnks cuphhok, I was trying to think of that one.


  74. scottish_skier says:


    It does seem Dave et al. stay out of things generally then suddenly throw a spanner in the Better Together works at opportune moments. I’m quite confident we’ll see more from Dave and George in the coming months. As I’ve said before, they can’t win in 2015 and keep Scotland – just impossible. At the same time, devo just can’t be pushed any further without causing massive uproar in the shires. Scottish independence became inevitable when Scots stopped voting en masse for one of the UK big two. Just a question of time. Dave knows it, the SNP know it. Nuff said.

    At the moment, I’m going to watch what happens with the Tory vote vs UKIP re the EU referendum. ‘Tory poll boost’ headlines would be very interesting…


  75. william pirrie says:

    O/T  since the “Better Together” is the campaign for a no vote shouldn’t they be known as the “No better together” campaign.


  76. scottish_skier says:

    cont…. oh, that and the boundary changes  – all a little quiet on this front but should pop up soon again. Torpedo No. 3?


  77. Cuphook says:

    From what you’ve said I’d run it anyway. Call me paranoid but giving permissions that allow ads onto your PC is worth a full system scan. 


  78. Cameron says:

    @ scottish_skier
    If a week is a long time in politics…


  79. muttley79 says:


    Do you think Cameron’s slip about the No campaign being called the Yes/Alastair Darling’s campaign was a mistake or deliberate?  Re the boundary changes: Do you reckon a deal is on the horizon between the Tories and DUP, SNP, P.C. in Wales?


  80. Cameron says:

    @ Cuphook
    I will run a scan, but it was a Mozilla approved add-on and I have zone-alarm running at full security setting. That and Windows 7 pretty much means I’m running a Mac or Linux system, as everything needs permission before it can be installed. That is my understanding of how it all works. (confused face)
    Thanks to everyone for all the useful suggestions. :)


  81. scottish_skier says:

    Ha ha – Freudian methinks. He sees it as Labour’s thing no doubt though, whatever that means…

    The boundary changes is a tricky one. In reality, it could be passed if the Tories make a deal with the SNP, plaid etc. However, the danger there is ‘SNP make deal with Tories to boost Tory election chances’. Might be not well received (although I don’t see this really being an issue if it came to pass).  That would be wrong though as it would actually make UKGE’s fairer, removing some of the advantage Labour have but not all. As a strong supporter of democracy, the SNP should support the move by default. After all, if England (or the UK) wants a Tory government, it should get one. 

    Personally, I think the lib dems will cave in and enough of them will support it. They need to work with the Tories now they’ve made that deal with the devil. Otherwise, wipeout beckons in 2015. However, the SNP and plaid can say to Dave ‘We can talk if Nick is playing silly burgers’; conditions attached…


  82. muttley79 says:

    Yes, the risk in doing a deal with the Tories is a real one. 


  83. wullie B says:

    furtgher to above ,ita usually a pre checked box,which you have manually deselect to avoid it, I also picked it up from a download site which offers free software(movies,music and ebooks) also lol


  84. ianbrotherhood says:

    Serious question – I’ve only been ‘here’ for a few months, but am aware that WoS is over a year old – have any BBC people been contributing here, below-the-line, that anyone’s aware of? 
    The reason I ask – it seems extraordinary that talented people, who presumably are motivated and dedicated enough to forge careers in such a competitive industry aren’t up-in-arms about the management of the BBC. It must be soul-destroying to enter the profession, qualified to the back-teeth with all sorts of skills, then gradually find that you’ve become part of a rather dodgy Ministry for Information.  
    Many years ago I met Greg Philo of the Glasgow Media Group – we were doing an interview for Variant magazine. I didn’t say much because I had scant idea what he was talking about, but reading back on what he did say to William Clark (then editor of Variant), it’s interesting that even then, perhaps 14, 15 years ago, there was, apparently, a real climate of fear inside the old Queen Margaret Drive BBC HQ – one insider had told Philo that it was like Watership Down, you would turn around in the office and someone else had vanished. Mind you, that would’ve been when Birtism was really taking hold and everyone in the Beeb was spending half their time working out how to invoice each other.
    This kind of facility didn’t exist back then. I find it strange that concerned media-people, especially BBC folk, aren’t taking advantage of this and other sites – I’m sure they’d be made very welcome and listened-to intently.
    Just a thought… 


  85. scottish_skier says:


     Yes, the risk in doing a deal with the Tories is a real one. 

    You mean like for 4 years 2007 to 2011, when the SNP relied on the Tories to carry many bills through Holyrood?

    Nope. The danger is sacrificing your own policies to give the Tories power (and a wee pretendy bit of power for yourself), not working with them constructively. Think Lib Dems….

    The UK Tories are no longer a threat to Scotland. They’re gone, fecked. Unless for some bizarre reason Scots vote to keep them in charge come 2014.

    I suspect however that if it came to a deal on the boundaries between UK home nation ‘national’ parties (Tories England, SNP Scotland, Plaid Wales), it might be put to a free/anonymous vote…. Still think sufficient libs will cave in though. 


  86. muttley79 says:


    I had hopes that someone in BBC Scotland would get disilliusioned with the slavish unionist approach to Scottish politics, break ranks, and get the stench out in full public view.  I have now given up on that ever happening.  It would certainly shake the Scottish political scene up….


  87. ianbrotherhood says:

    Are BBC staff bound by the Official Secrets Act? 


  88. Holebender says:

    Well well… The Sunday Mirror has published a poll showing the Tories gaining ground on Labour and UKIP falling away. What was it scottish_skier was saying about the likelihood of a Tory victory boosting the YES vote?


  89. ianbrotherhood says: 
    26 January, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Are BBC staff bound by the Official Secrets Act?


  90. Marian says:

    If I was a disillusioned BBC employee and wanted to blow the whistle on the anti-SNP bias at Pacific Quay I would do at a time when it would cause maximum damage e.g in the last week or so before the referendum.


  91. kininvie says:

    @Graham Anderson Inertia, largely. But also because people are more interested in sensation than in facts.  Sad but true. Look at the success of the Daily Mail. Pull them in with Red wine cures/causes cancer, hook them with your puzzle/fashion page, and transfer them seamlessly to your celebrity gossip website….
    We, the pointy-headed community, may not like this, but it’s real. The problem is what the ‘serious’ broadsheets do about it. There are a number of strategies, which you can see at work in the Telegraph, Times or Guardian. But even so, they are on life support. The Scotsman dithered, failed to decide or invest, and is going to die.


  92. ianbrotherhood says:

    @cynicalHighlander –

    Cheers, cheers, and thrice cheers for that – never seen it before. Great stuff.
    Begs the question, which is maybe O/T – what results from these ‘investigations’?
    The HoC were debating ‘blacklists’ during the week – I stumbled across the debate, didn’t catch much of it, but what I did hear was appalling – people arbitrarily ‘named’ on lists without their knowing, consigned to the Dole forever. The ‘Economic League’ was mentioned. Haven’t had time to check them out, but it sounded like something Orwell might’ve included in Nineteen-Eighty-Four.


  93. Macart says:

    Just checked out the latest article from Kevin McKenna Rev…………………. My ghast is well and truly flabbered. I know we’ve noted for some time a more positive tone to his writing, but I actually finished reading it with a smile. :)


  94. kininvie says:

    @muttley 79
    Has it struck you that the people who write for BBC Scotlandshire are doing just that? I have no wish to know who they are, but am in little doubt they are trained journalists. You don’t get precision of the story structure they use unless you’ve worked with it for years.


  95. @ ianbrotherhood
    Just searched for it but links to those protecting the establishment have always had links to the beeb whose employees will of signed certain documents preventing them from speaking out in a totallly free manner and we blamed ‘reds under the bed’ for the ills of the world.


  96. BigCheese says:

    What was most revealing about Kevin McKenna’s article was that he ‘took a call from a senior Labour figure who politely and sincerely asked what was going on and what, specifically, were my problems with the Labour party.’ That the Labour party feel justified in asking journalists to justify their comments when the comments do not follow the Labour party line is mind blowing.


  97. muttley79 says:


    I don’t know who writes for BBC Scotlandshire.  That is kind of the point though.  We need someone to come out with proper evidence and put it in the public domain.  Otherwise BBC Scotland will just keep doing what they were up to last week in Dublin.  Sadly I am not holding my breath on that score.


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