sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul

Wings Over Scotland

Ploughing the depths

Posted on January 05, 2013 by

We’ve been warning for a while now that the independence debate is likely to get uglier before it gets prettier this year, despite the protestations of the No camp that they want a mature and respectful discussion. The bleaker reality, however, is revealed by former Labour spin doctor Simon Pia in today’s Dundee Courier.

His column “The Long And Winding Road To 2014” isn’t online as far as we can tell, but the SNP’s Kevin Pringle kindly took a snapshot of the piece for us. You can click on the image above to read the whole thing, but one passage in particular is revealing when it comes to what we should expect in the next 18 months.

“What is particularly amusing is hearing the Nats appeal for a high-minded debate being echoed by Alistair Darling and the uber-unionists. One ploy Darling can be relied on is to bore everyone senseless over the debate while his underling big Blair McDougall and his “bettertogether” muckers get down and dirty in the gutter with Blair Jenkins and co of the Yes lot.

My money would be on Big Blair rather than wee skinny Blair for that one. But whether one likes it or not, it is in the interests of the unionsts to lower the tone.”

(Wings Over Scotland accepts no responsibility for the grammatical or literary failings of either Mr Pia or the Courier’s sub-editors, if it still has any.)

We’re inescapably reminded by Pia’s comments of an oft-quoted (and -misquoted) piece of wisdom that’s most commonly attributed to George Bernard Shaw: “I learned long ago never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

Be Sociable, Share!

24 to “Ploughing the depths”

  1. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    And yes, I did mean to say “ploughing”, not “plumbing”.


  2. Juteman says:

    “I am not a nationalist, and i am not a unionist.”


  3. Erchie says:

    I came to the conclusion that there is no desire for a debate from Better Together, who are basically run by Labour on a day to day basis.

    They want to drag everything down, counting on the electorate to say “a plague on both your houses” and with the turnout is dire or the middle of the road folk don’t turn out, giving the “NO!” crowd the victory.

    It’s galling but given such a biased press it’s a hard tqactic to counter save by presenting as much dignity as you can retain, which doesn’t always work 


  4. Vronsky says:

    I laughed out loud at the strap line: ‘Political analysis by Simon Pia’.  Still giggling, actually.


  5. Juteman says:

    Both my parents still buy the Courier everyday. I think it’s an age and habit thing. Both were Labour voters until about 10 years ago, then they both started voting SNP. My dad has always been a YES, but my mum was yet to be convinced until a little while ago. 
     I started pointing out to them that various ‘independent media’ folk were actually connected to unionist parties, or married to unionist politicians. Bit by bit, my mothers attitude changed. When she realised she was being lied to, and taken for a fool, she turned. Now, when i visit, i’m often asked “did you read what that lying so and so was saying yesterday?”

    So how do we counter this? By pointing out to folk who these so called ‘independant’ journalists, TV presenters, experts etc, really are, and their incestuous relationship to political parties. It needs to be done every day, and every time a story is discussed at home, or in the workplace.


  6. Don McC says:

    “They want to drag everything down, counting on the electorate to say “a plague on both your houses” and with the turnout is dire or the middle of the road folk don’t turn out, giving the “NO!” crowd the victory.”

    This, Erchie, is exactly the tactic.  The antis know that they can’t guarantee a “no” vote (and a “yes” vote is becoming increasingly likely despite what “opinion polls” predict) so they’re pinning their hopes on being able to rubbish a “Yes” vote.  A close “yes” victory with less than a 60% turnout?  How is that a vote for independence?  It’s why they aren’t even bothering with a positive argument (beyond the “Union makes us all £1.00 a year better off [assuming oil is $20 a barrel]”).


  7. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    ““I am not a nationalist, and i am not a unionist.”

    I imagine he’ll be going for the “I’m a devolutionist” line or some variant thereof.


  8. Cuphook says:

    ‘My money’s on Big Blair rather than wee skinny Blair’.
    What is the Unionist obsession with weight? We’re continually told that independence will fail because Alex Salmond is fat and now we are told that it will fail because Blair Jenkins is skinny. Is there an optimum weight required for the ability to deliver on your political promise?
    Maybe you should be telling us the BMI of everyone you report on so that we can get a better idea of their abilities.


  9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Here’s the text of the article –

    Good work, but you’ve left out “tell” in the last line.


  10. FreddieThreepwood says:

    @ Juteman

    Speaking of so-called independent journalists … I watched the Review Show last night with Kirsty ‘John Smith House’ Wark interviewing Billy Connolly and yes, despite the fact the subject matter appeared to be his life and work, she couldn’t resist asking him how he would vote in 2014 – knowing perfectly well the answer in advance. Sure enough, the auld dope trots out his ‘all politicians are idiots/we should all be coming closer together, not further apart’ off the point line.
    Cue big grin from Wark. Job done.


  11. balgayboy says:

    My son-in-law was/is a labour voter but was not very interested in politics and had not made many comments or views regarding the upcoming referendum previously. We went for a walk with my grandchildren on new years day and I was pleasantly surprised to hear him raise the subject of the 2014 referendum and how dismayed he was with the negativity spouted by the media and the pro-union party’s. i had never tried to persuade him previously as he is his own man but his comments gladdened my heart that level headed people are aware of the MSM negativity and feel insulted by it as well. People will see through this pro-union scaremongering.


  12. BillyBigBaws says:

    I think I used to argue with Simon Pia’s brother on Facebook.  He was a nice enough guy.


  13. Peter A Bell says:

    Rev Stu
    Sorry about the missing word. Mr Pringle’s image was a bit of a challenge even for the high-end OCR I use.


  14. Derick says:

    balgayboy –  point your son in law at Labour for Independence, or Labour voters for Independence on Facebook.
    Am I the only person that thinks Celts for Independence fb with all the Irish Republican emphasis is a false flag operation?


  15. dadsarmy says:

    Latest story in the Herald: “Shots fired at police in latest Union Flag row”.

    And from Friday’s Herald: “Union flag protesters ready to target Sturgeon”.

    I seriously think she should get police protection.


  16. Juteman says:

    There is also a ‘Rangers fans for independence’ Facebook site.


  17. thomas says:

    @freddie threepwood

    aye freddie

    i used tae like billy connolly but fur years now the big yin  his jist gave me the boak.

    independance fur ireland but no the country o his birth.



  18. Derick says:

    There is indeed a Rangers fans for Scottish Independence site – good on them.  There is a Celtic Fans for Scottish Independence – which is a genuine site and all round good guys.
    The one I am concerned about is Celts for Independence
    Seems to post a lot of Irish Republican/IRA stuff.  Can’t see how that is supposed to be helping obtain a Yes vote


  19. jake says:

    Pia, pia, piano
    piano, piano.

    Pia, pia, piano
    pia, Pia NO


  20. Morag says:

    Cool, Jake!


  21. Cameron says:

    Why do people still think that William “Billy” Connolly, Jr., CBE, is still a man of the people. Where does he live and where does he pay his taxes?


  22. Macart says:

    Well if anyone should know about campaigning tricks and spin…… Mr Pia certainly has the right CV. As for Blair V Blair? I reckon he may be underestimating Blair Jenkins just a tad. I don’t think he would get into that sty in the first place Rev. Better to feed the pigs from a distance, run them round a bit to keep em in good trim and make bacon…………….. mmmmmmm bacon. :)


  23. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Why do people still think that William “Billy” Connolly, Jr., CBE, is still a man of the people”

    I’m not sure anyone other than his media pals DOES think that.


Leave a Reply

↑ Top