Opinion - Uncategorised

2007 - 2021

Unravelling with Hysteria

CHCxlu_WcAA1pr_By Mike Small

The credibility of the Union is un-peeling daily before our eyes. As The Scotland Bills unravels and the commitment to further powers gets daily downgraded, eroded and ridiculed in ‘our national parliament’ the realities of British rule are being further exposed and understood.

As Boothman exits, with questions unanswered and bunker mentality enshrined at the BBC HQ, their flagship current affairs programme asks, apparently straight-faced: “@BBCScot2015 David Starkey has criticised the left for not “recognising” the SNP’s “national socialism”. Is he right to compare the SNP with Nazism?”.

This is extraordinary journalism, a new nadir for the BBC in Scotland.

The sense of disappointment and the air of a stale, decaying order is palpable. If the Smith Commission was a desultory but opportunistic stratagem for political survival, it will do nothing to stem the haemorrhaging of credibility to block it at every turn. As Kenny Farquharson, ex of Scotland on Sunday and now resident at The Times puts it: “Smith was the Whitehall response to the indyref. So what is the Whitehall response to Scottish general election result? There isn’t one.” 

Instead we have Labour incompetence  broken promises and the havering figure of Secretary of State Mundell, the comic Ian Murray, and the Dead Duck Alistair Carmichael; remnants of an occupying force, ruling without authority, mandate or credibility. Even the much vaunted political ‘giants’ of yesteryear like Dewar, Forsyth or Steel would find the situation politically indefensible.

The only response to the General Election result seems to be vitriol and barely concealed hysteria.

Iain Macwhirter cites Labour MP for Linlithgow, Michael Connarty saying that voters had been “taken in” by a Stalinist “cult of personality”, whilst Gillian Bowditch rails in her Sunday Times column “When reasoned argument folds before the baying of the mob, intellectual, moral and political bankruptcy follow”and  Kevin McKenna comments (‘Hatred of austerity, a rejection of greed … if this is a ‘cult’ count me in’): “Forget all the mince about their professed love of Scotland and the social, emotional and cultural ties that bind our two great nations…buying off the waverers with a fictitious Vow that unravelled quicker than it took to throw away the fag packet on whose back it was written was just a jolly old hoot. But the 56 Nationalist MPs and the inevitable talk of a second independence referendum demands an upscaling of the propaganda war. Thus lips have curled in disdain at the nature and character of the 56. Some of them aren’t even proper politicians for heaven’s sake. Mhairi Black, the youngest MP ever, has been depicted as a ned who stopped drinking superlager just in time to contest the election. That she has emerged under incessant questioning as a bright, eloquent and confident young woman has confounded many.”

Of course at the forefront of this hysteria has been our very own Jim Murphy, who threw a few punches as he was led screaming out the back door of politics likening the atmosphere in the TV debates in Scotland to a “quasi-religious rock concert so whatever truth you told it did not really matter”.  Murphy like so many others seems to be incapable of grasping the basics of democracy, saying of a second referendum: ““Why wouldn’t there? If you are an insurgent nationalist party with unprecedented power and with an absolute majority, why wouldn’t you try and engineer a set of circumstances to get you another referendum?”

By ‘engineer a set of circumstances’ we think he means, gather popular unprecedented support?

The temerity of electing our representatives is an affront to British democracy, and reasoned argument will be responded to with threats and ridicule.

Conceal, hide and deflect. Reject accountability. These are the tactics of the deposed and rejected parties.

As the the alternative media build new institutions to push for openness and transparency, the old guard are in lock-down. We hear that Downing St. emails are automatically deleted within three months, so public can’t make FOI requests, and that the Scotland Office has blocked the release of information about the leaked memo of a meeting between Nicola Sturgeon and French ambassador Sylvie Bermann.

SNP depute leader and treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie said yesterday: “The Tories must stop playing games with Scotland, and clarify whether or not David Cameron’s assurance that further changes to the Scotland Bill will be considered still stands.” He added: “With only one MP in Scotland and no democratic mandate, the Tories cannot ignore the wishes of half of the Scottish electorate who voted SNP last month.”

Except they can, and they are. Only they may not yet realise the consequences of what they are doing.


Comments (63)

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  1. bringiton says:

    “We hear that Downing St. emails are automatically deleted within three months”
    They have recently,or are about to pass a law in Westminster,compelling Internet Service Providers to retain all of our emails for a year.
    Did they exclude themselves from this legislation?
    Wouldn’t surprise me,they are above the law on just about everything,or so they think!

  2. Muscleguy says:

    We are being goaded, goaded into going prematurely for a 2nd referendum before the polls are firmly enough in our favour and they hope goaded into violence, or just lots of intemperance on twitter.

    We need to record, log and collate. All this can and should be used on doorsteps both next May and whenever the next IndyRef is. The unionists are busy denying the mandate we sent to Westminster and are rubbing our noses in their undemocratic hegemony. They do this gleefully and with disdain. We MUST NOT rise to the bait. Revenge is sweetest when it is served ice cold.

    1. Valerie says:

      Totally agree with this analysis. It’s a deliberate strategy, and needs to be exposed, so we don’t have any whiteheads on Twitter, providing Unionists with ammunition.

      1. Valerie says:


        1. K.A.Mylchreest says:

          The only reason we got a referendum was because both sides genuinely believed they would win it. And the government almost miscalculated. That probably won’t happen again. The Scottish government have more sense than to ask for a referendum until they feel confident they would be certain to win, whereas the UK government are not going to allow one they would lose. Conclusion, there can never be another indy ref. We will have to find another way forward.

  3. Drew says:

    I think you and Starkey must have the same Alma Mater, the language of the propagandist looks the same to me.

  4. Bryan Weir says:

    Who is “you”?

  5. ceebee says:

    snp nazis ? i dont think so
    its the lot that are in goverment in westminster that are nazis . the quicker we have another referendum in scotland thebetter
    there should be a ban on any slagging matches in the media . just a straight forward vote and no jigger pokery with the count no visits from david cameron and his entourage and no more unkept promises . give us our oil whisky and all other sources of revenue back

    1. James Coleman says:

      NO! No! No! We were goaded into the Referendum too early last year. We must not fall into that trap again. We do Indy again when WE decide time is ripe. And that will not be until we are 67% for, in polls, Daily Record supports Indy or gone bust, and rump SLAB (whatever that may be) supports Indy.
      Those are ESSENTIAL before another Independence Referendum.

      Just keep plugging away. Join Twitter, reply to blogs, diss all the crap from WM and Slab. Insult them as and when necessary and keep Scotland in Public Eye. Remember, no matter how much they insult us, ALL publicity is GOOD publicity. SNP at WM are showing the way. They are grown up, whereas the English MPs are acting like children, that is getting into the MSM.

      1. leginge says:

        totally agree with james coleman and muscleguy – a step by step approach is necessary over the next few years to build the institutions required to nullify all economic scare-tactics from the No side. We need a drip-feed of positive true statistics about an independent scottish economy and it’s ability to sustain the country’s pensions, welfare, education etc if we are to obtain the 20% swing from NO to Yes among the scots born voters needed to be sure of winning. On this matter IMO we are losing the argument due to the severe lack of statistical information on the Indy side – I mean how do we counteract the IFS lie about a £7 or £10 billion hole in the scottish budget ? what is a more realistic figure and how would it be financed ? We need a website set up that we can all tap into to provide this information as and when necessary

        1. Kenneth G Coutts says:

          I second that, is that it passed,pity we haven,t an outlet media like RT.com,Bella.com and lottery funding now the Lottery chance has gone up to near impossible.

  6. kate says:

    the real proto fascists of british politics are in the major parties, who practice state managed, ruthlessly anti-democratic, war mongering capitalism in the interests of the wealthiest, backed up by censorship, the of crushing unions, non profit organizations and human rights and their control of what passes for law – as did national socialism. the pretence of labour to a critique of the SNP from the left makes any sane person want to vomit at the hypocrisy. just stop.

  7. Clootie says:

    I find it amazing that when the LibDems during the last few parliments had numbers on a par with the current SNP standing they appeared on every political news feed and programme as the “third party”.

    It appears that SNP 3rd. party ranking is insufficient to achieve access to the media. It must be the “correct” third party.

    The status of 56 MP’s has at best elevated the SNP to 5th. equal place in status by those who infest the London bubble. The ranking is Tories / Labour / UKIP / LibDems and the rest.

    It appears that we (Scots) selected the wrong party (stupid) and fail to realise our insignificance (too wee) as the most recent oil income forecast suggests remain supported by England (too poor)

    We have come a long way in 3 years.
    In 2012 we were “too wee, too poor and too stupid”
    In 2015 we are “too wee, too poor and too stupid”

    …Time for another Vow… 🙁

    1. James Coleman says:

      C’mon! Talk like that will get us nowhere. Positivity is necessary. Think of what we HAVE achieved. What did you expect? That they would welcome us with open arms? Don’t be naive. The bulk of England still think our only aim is Independence (and though it is for me) let’s try to show them in the meantime that we have other good things to contribute. It will take time for SNP to achieve 3rd Party status in the media, especially when it only represents 10% of the UK population and most of England are fed up with talk about Scotland

  8. Dominic Berry says:

    I love this National Socialism. Every time I hear it from my English friends, I point out to them that if we’re Nazis, so are the Greens. If opposing an “economic strategy / reality / responsiblity” to get the very poorest to pay for the folly of the very richest, is ugly nationalism, call me Adolf Hitler. I can pile into them about how lamentably awful their news sources are if that’s what they think the YES campaign is about. It really throws some cold water in their face and they kind of do a double-take on their whole media feed. Good thing.

  9. kailyard rules says:

    UNIONIST MENDACITY and betrayal is, even more this very day, a loudly apparent fact. Recognition and comprehension of this must be the prime topic within daily conversation.

    Starkey needs psychiatric help.

    1. Bryan Weir says:

      IMO what Starkey needs is to be ignored but the media won’t treat him with the contempt he deserves. Watch out for an appearance from him on Question Time quite soon. (Not this week though, Alex Salmond is on it. The Beeb would not want to see one of their old favourites ripped up once and for all.)

      1. Valerie says:

        Alex and Starkey on QT at the same time would qualify as blood sport! The Beeb would never be that stupid as you say say. Old man Starkey would be apoplectic.

        I too think Starkey needs some good professional help from a nice day care centre

        1. Gribble says:

          Oh, I don’t know, Alex could just say to him ‘Behave yourself, man!’ and kill 2 birds with one stone…

      2. Kenneth G Coutts says:

        Starkey has already been ridiculed and laughed at on question time

        1. HerewardAwake Awake! says:

          I suspect that Starkey is not a well man. Nobody takes him seriously. Obscurity awaits him.

  10. Iain Miller says:

    ….. or, as someone else once said, “they know not what they do.”

    1. Jim Morris says:

      What they do is English Votes for Scottish/Welsh/Irish Laws. 12% of the time it should be SWIVEL (Scottish/Welsh/Irish Votes for English Laws). After all we are a democratic family of nations and we trust each other. Right?

  11. Elaine Fraser says:

    I visited Mr Connarty at his surgery a few years ago . I sought his help in securing a social worker for my relative who had been diagnosed with Alzheimers. As I relayed to him the problems I was having in my battle to secure appropriate care for her etc he told me to ‘join a group’. At another visit when I remained dissatisfied with outcomes I remember vividly his response – ‘the trouble with you people ‘. As a life-long Labour voter the ‘you people’ astonished me.
    Fast forward to 2014 and I finally took Mr Connartys advice and I joined ‘a group’ – Women for Independence intelligent , concerned , supportive, forward thinking , warm . So thanks Mr Connarty – great advice!

    1. Valerie says:

      Your less than polite encounter with Connarty, coincides with my knowledge of the man. A nasty piece, now duly dealt with.

      1. Broadbield says:

        I remember Connarty from the early(ish) 70’s at uni and when he was out on teaching practice. He seemed to be a socialist and well to the left – like Straw, Hain, Brown, Darling. Where are they all now? Well to the right.

  12. Donald Mitchell says:

    An interesting wee story doing the rounds today is that Yes people are registering as Lab supporters so they can vote for Jeremy Corbyn, either to punish that party and make them (even more ) unelectable or in the hope of pulling Labour to the left. It’s true that some of Corbyn’s views seem almost sane, anti nuclear, anti austerity etc so it could be a possiblity.
    It only costs £3, Red Tories out for the price of a pint?

    1. Robert Peffers says:

      If Labour paid me £3,000 to vote for any Labour useless numptie I would find myself unable to accept, (and I’m a disabled OAP who, at the moment, is flat broke).

    2. ColinD says:

      Let them elect Andy Burnham, the bookies favourite. He’ll hopefully attract some of the Tory vote and then we really will hold the balance of power after GE2020 with 59 SNP MPs and a minority Labour or Tory WM govt. By then we’ll have a rock-solid pro Indy majority and Scotland will finally be Independent by the mid 2020’s. Or I’ll eat my hat.

    3. Andy Dewar says:

      Hi Donald,
      Yeah I heard that to but a more interesting one on Wings yesterday, get funds together and use billboards to tell the truth when the Unionists spout pish. Check out wings for more info watch this space.

      1. Scunterbunnet says:

        There’s now a forum for anyone interested in taking the billboard idea forward, as discussed recently in the Wings comments threads. It’s at https://counterpropforum.wordpress.com/

        All welcome.

        1. Donald Mitchell says:

          Thanks all for your replies. The billboards sound like a very good idea, unionist lies need to be rebutted and that could be a very effective way to do it.

  13. Dan Huil says:

    Tonight BBC Scotland leads, no surprise, with a story about low oil prices. No mention of Westminster denying Holyrood’s permanence in law. Thank god for sites like this. I believe more and more folk in Scotland are treating the MSM as untrustworthy outlets that deal in unionist propaganda.

  14. Broadbield says:

    What the likes of Starkey illustrate when they fall for the “reductio ad Hitlerum” fallacy is that far from being insightful geniuses they reveal their own intellectual mediocrity. Their stupefying crass asininity diminishes only themselves.

  15. James Coleman says:

    An excellent article Mike. We need more of the this type of critical stuff and less of the woolly waffle. And what we need more than anything is a sound economic/fiscal think tank to produce Scottish figures in competition against OBR and IFS.

    1. leginge says:

      again spot on James – I agree there does seem to be a lot of waffly stuff, philosophysing about democracy and long articles about ‘the awakening’. Well they are wide awake now and need a vision of what a future independent scotland would look like – with some details about wages, pensions, jobs, nhs, where would scotland sit in comparison to say Denmark or holland…this is the critical information now required to win over the waverers. Try arguing with a No voter or indifferent unionist and you’ll see what I mean.

      1. Connor McEwen says:

        FEAR,FEAR, Leginge .
        It is impossible to see the future,so Unionist play on this.
        Facts about the hear and now matter

        1. Leginge says:

          Connor McEwan “impossible to see future” but it is possible to present a vision, a goal. And regardless we need to counter the Unionist vision of a bankrupt scotland under independence.

  16. Kenneth G Coutts says:

    Great article, Graphic in words!

  17. jeans-jacques says:

    Agree totally about WM strategy of prevarication and provocation. However there must
    be a commitment for Indyref 2.0 in next’s years SNP manifesto. The EU referendum will
    not only provide the trigger it will fracture the Tory party, the only UK party now capable
    of supporting the UK.

  18. Bill Fraser says:

    That there will be a second referendum in the not too distant future is inevitable.The lack of understanding by the Westminster hierarchy to the feelings of the Scottish people and the need for change will ensure this’

    1. Leginge says:

      Another referendum within the next 2 or 3 years would be lost – people on these sites seem to be living in an echo-chamber of self congratulation. Talk to a No-voter, check out the comments that flow into the Herald , daily record, Edinburgh evening news – you’ll see the magnitude of the problem still facing a Yes side to cut through the ignorance and lies and prevailing viewpoints of probably half the population.

      1. Bryan Weir says:

        I agree with Leginge. We must not let the General Election result fool us. There are so many people who voted SNP because the Labour party they supported had deserted them. I would say that the vast majority of the unionists amongst them will not be swayed. We still have work to do before we can say that this is done deal.

        We also have to come up with the terms for the future referendum with Westminster who, with the very real threat of a Yes vote this time, will not be so easy to deal with.

        1. ColinD says:

          Agreed, the power of the MSM shouldn’t be underestimated. That’s why the SNP\NS are wise to play the long game.

  19. david agnew says:

    This is the all too predictable outcome from the Indy-ref campaign. Labour needlessly and recklessly pushed around 50% of its own vote into the SNP camp. Its reaction: To keep pushing the arguments that had led them into this self made cul-de-sac. As Derek Bateman put it in his recent blog, the consequence of this was to embed that support for the SNP and these people to identify themselves with it.

    The price to save the Union was for those parties who championed the union to be defeated badly. The response to this: To keep pushing the arguments that have failed already. Its the simpleton logic of those who rely on a broken clock, because it’s right twice a day, or a variation of the 1% doctrine of the neo-conservative movement in America.

    They are now tying themselves in knots replaying the indyref and trying to convince themselves there never was a vow in the first place. Any day now, I am awaiting the Daily Record to announce without any sense of shame or irony, that the Vow was an SNP idea all along.

  20. Big Jock says:

    I am not sure why we have to wait for another referendum. We started with 30% the last time and ended with 45%. We are starting with 47% if the polls are correct this time. It is not unreasonable to expect a 5% swing to Yes.

    Sturgeon is not Salmond and carries mainstream popularity. This can make a difference!

    If SNP get 60% at Holyrood they must have a mandate for independence.

    1. ColinD says:

      …Only if IndyRef2 was part of their manifesto

  21. Leginge says:

    Never forget we are up against the british ruling establishment – in the next ref they will re-run Project Fear at an even higher level – where are our answers ? currency, pensions, wages, the deficit, defense etc, etc – not one Indy-supporting website addresses these issues specifically and in detail (although Business for Scotland gives it a try) it’s not enough to vaguely state that Scotland will be one of the richest countries on the planet. If we want a revolution in our democracy, social justice and land reform – that will only be achieved with Independence – so how do we get independence ? by winning the economic argument in the minds of the undecided and No’s

    1. ColinD says:

      Agreed. The questions over the currency and doubts over the viability of an independent Scotland’s economic model killed us in Sep14. The economic answers have to be pretty much bullet-proof to withstand the sort of onslaught we’ll face from the UK establishment and their cronies.

      1. MBC says:

        But on the other hand, any solution we come up with will just be torpedoed.

        Attack is the best form of defence.

        We need to show how poisonous our relationship with the UK is. Our own version of Project Fear. Hos the union is destroying Scotland. Let them call it thd politics of grievance.

        We have plenty to be aggrieved about!

      2. Drew Campbell says:

        I’m sympathetic to your sentiment, Colin, but there’s simply no such thing as bulletproof answers, especially in economics. Most of the job is about building confidence and, yes, credible evidence of implementing successful, distinctive alternatives.

        Land reform has potential to be hugely significant and should pave the way for the replacement of Council Tax (a timebomb under the Scottish Government) with Land Value Tax, provided the SNP isn’t too embarrassed about stealing the Greens’ clothes. This will be depicted as Robert Mugabe politics, of course, but it can and will win people over because it’s fairer, redistributive and nigh on impossible to avoid.

        If this is accompanied by a radical restructuring of local government to smaller, less remote and far less corporate-minded authorities with strong rules of accountability and transparency, it could demonstrate a willingness to engage with people in a way the centralising, paternalistic Labour Party and gerrymandering, condescending Tories could never do. A remit for those authorities to devolve services, budgets and responsibilities to local communities and neighbourhoods will really strengthen communities and, above all, build that vital confidence.

        If the referendum taught us anything, it’s that grassroots up is the way we win people over. It’ll take time, but the closer we get to the critical mass the more the British State and its oleaginous time-servers will expose themselves in their true, hideous colours.

  22. Sheena Jardine says:

    I think that the SNP should go into the Scottish Election campaign pledging to hold a referendum on FFA, clearly defined. This would not put off people from voting for them and it is a vote we would very likely win. It would also force Westminster’s hand into delivering it. If they didn’t deliver, then surely we can go to the EU or hold a third referendum on Independence, which we would very likely win then.

    1. Drew Campbell says:

      Sounds like an intelligent strategy, Sheena. Like it.

  23. Iain More says:

    Personally I think the SNP should go into the Holyrood Election on giving Westmidden one year tops to deliver Devo Max or we go UDI in 2017.

    FFA cant be clearly defined because the Brit Nats still or will have an iron grip on the Press and Media and they will do everything they can to muddy it, they already have. The mere mention of FFA and what it means sends me into a coma. Devo Max as in everything apart from Foreign Affairs and Defence being transferred to Holyrood is clearly defined.

    Oh and no more Referendums please, the London Govt is already trying to rig the EU Referendum.

    1. Leginge says:

      DevoMax nor FFA is NOT clearly defined in the minds of the working people – what does it mean to their wages ? their future pensions when they retire ? their jobs ? when every multi-national in Scotland will raise the ‘relocate’ fear again, what currency will we use ? can we get some commitment from the EU on future membership ? Much work is needed behind the scenes to provide at least some plausible answers to these questions to be able to convince vulnerable working people that the leap to Independence is not gonni end in their unemployment. As it stands currently most people have the £10billion budget hole uppermost in their thoughts because we haven’t countered it robustly enough.

      1. Mr T says:

        An interesting observation is that the Yes camp spent virtually all of their time describing just how green the grass was over the other side of the fence, but the No voters were much more concerned that there was virtually no plan to get over the fence.

        De-risk the transition and you’ll get some of the soft Noes.

      2. K.A.Mylchreest says:

        I’ve always assumed that FFA (or call it what you will) is what the Isle of Man has. It works for them and they’re tiny. So why not sell it as “IoM Status”? How scary can that be??

    2. Mr T says:

      Just so long as the SNP point out to the electorate that going UDI means going without the computer systems to process tax, benefits, vehicle registration, etc, etc….

      What are we going to do? Run a country on post-it notes?

      1. MBC says:

        I agree with you that it is not possessing the machinery of government that makes No voters fearful, and rightly so. It’s not that they disagree, most of them, with the idea of independence, but that when they think about it, they feel they are looking into a black hole. It’s the transition, the arrangements that would need to be set up – and would require co-operation – that bothers them.

        Greece may be bankrupt, but at least it has all the machinery of government – a fiscal-military state. It controls its army, it has a tax collection system, a treasury.

  24. Paul says:

    ”what is the Whitehall response to Scottish general election result? There isn’t one.” – there is, and it is becoming perfectly clear what it is;- ignore the SNP and hope that this is their high point and soon ‘the country’ will get back to business as usual.

  25. C Rober says:

    The electorate has grown up

    They use twitter , facebook , bella and wings , but the old guard , the people that need to be reading , what are they are reading ? NOWT but material from those that chose to betray , lie , scare and bully the voter for their wealthy like minded brethren.

    The weapon of HMG and the wealthy , is as always , the newspaper and media empire of king makers like Murdoch , and as long as HMG elects those that run unbiased taxpayer entities like the Biased Broadcasting Corporation , then can we expect change?

    Even before the indy ref I noticed the “good time to bury news” mentality , simply because I have many ways to get my news , Euronews and the internet.

    From those sources I could see real news being aired , not the continuation of the Pedo hunt of the week saga , like some bad magicians misdirection , now the norm on BBC and SKy….give the baying mob their heads , and they are happy like the pigs in shit they are expected to be , or the sheep they want them to be.

    This is how the FACTS that the VOW being broken was buried that very day , and kept silent , just bury the news in whatever we have in Glitter/Saville news this week , if we dont have any drag something out of storage we shelved months ago and call it a special report…..but god forbid dont look any further into the Westminster pump and Snuff Wains Club.

    The vote in Westminster was not carried just by the expected English Tory , but also voted on in agreement by those most scorned by the Scots , the Labour party , showing what they really want from the Scots is sandbags. A party whom ironically had helped give the Scots a taster of self empowerment , in turn for OUR votes leading to a Labour govt with Blair , are now wanting it removed as a punishment for our defiance in Mays elections…..Like some child saying “its ma Baw an a wan it back”.

  26. Peter Williams says:

    The first hurdle-Labour-appears to have been overcome in Scotland. Labour needs to become history-permanently. The Party has proved time and again their support for Unionism first, City of London second, International wars third, with Wales and Scotland somewhere on the bottom.
    In England, with the proposed boundary changes, and a Labour Party that allows the Tories to set the political agenda, Labour hasn’t a hope in hell of getting into government.
    As for another independence referendum in Scotland, it is fairly certain that the SNP will have all their ducks in a row before contemplating such a move. One of those ducks will be the permanent demise of Labour in Scotland.

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