2007 - 2022

Daisley Revisited

CrMR_lSXEAAaGow‘He’s not Robert Fisk’.

I know everyone’s bored of this but I think Stuart Cosgrove and Eamonn O’Neill basically nail the whole Daisley fiasco in the audio below.

In light of the Herald’s Tom Gordon flagging up this nonsense from Private Eye – “the Scottish NUJ is controlled by apologists for the nationalist state” – it’s worth re-publishing. While the commentators are good – and BBC Scotland should be congratulated for them – the host John Beattie does seem to be struggling with the subject.

The idea that the SNP has ‘unchallenged power’ in Scotland – and uses this to stop critical journalism is such paranoid fantasy it’s (almost) comic.

Comments (20)

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  1. Doug Daniel says:

    Cheers for putting up that discussion on John Beattie’s show, I missed it first time round and they really do nail the whole situation perfectly.

    Private Eye, on the other hand, can consider themselves to have lost a subscriber. Their coverage of Scottish politics has always been quite poor and half-arsed, but if that’s the standard they now aim to live up to, then they’re little better than the politicians and media organs they purport to scrutinise. That’s just absolute propaganda, and shows they’ve made no effort to even begin to understand the realities behind the story.

    1. They’ve never really had a foothold in Scotland – I don’t think its new Doug. They do some great stuff but this is really risible.

      1. Doug Daniel says:

        Aye, certainly not new, but the more politics in Scotland and England have diverged in recent years, the more painfully obvious it’s become. Their (lack of) coverage during the independence referendum was just embarrassing. There was so much material they could have worked with, but all they did was a few snarky quarter-page articles about Salmond.

      2. Graeme Purves says:

        It’s just the Spanner set at work.

  2. Pete Anderson says:

    I am a long time subscriber to Private Eye and there’s no denying the public school boorishness with which Hislop and his ilk view Scottish politics, but this “Media News” segment is certainly beyond the pale. Their readership deserves better.

  3. DialMforMurdo says:

    Always good to see the virtuous journalists of Private Eye, famed for their investigative prowess, swallowing the entire load of the accumulated Spanner gang’s loathsome output, without question.

    The very notion that any Scottish government could buckle an independent media company when control of Broadcasting is a power reserved to Westminster is entirely laughable. What would the SNP threaten STV with… delays on planning permission for where they place their wheelie bins?

    The feigned outrage from the precious darlings of the Scottish media is a sight to behold, citing freedom of speech, censorship and gagging, when journalist around the world are being killed and jailed, is playing the ultimate self proclaimed victimisation card. They are becoming masters at it. All for clickbait advertising and admission to the Spanner circle jerk.

  4. sludy says:

    You are correct than John Beattie struggled with his topic, and failed to offer any balance to the Eamon and Stuart show. Mind you, neither of them have much underpinning their rants. Why have this weekly assembly of smug, white, well-paid, middle-aged, middle-class men? It’s politics’ answer to John Torode and Gregg Wallace on Masterchef. Eamon O’Neill is a terrible toady: why not replace him at least?
    Anyway Bella has missed a crucial issue: a real crisis in the Scottish NUJ, and Paul Holleran in particular. His Len McCluskey posturing endangers his official role of representing members interests, rather than his political preferences.
    By the way, is Mike Small a member of the NUJ? I don’t cast aspersions, but I do wonder if he thinks membership is worth the candle

  5. Juliette says:

    I listened to the program also. Not sure what the criticism of the presenter is for? His job is to analyse possible motives of guests surely? And so what if Daisley is not Fisk, neither are most Journalists. Does this mean we ought to subscribe to some objective quality control as to whether Journalists (or anyone for that matter) are allowed freedom of speech without government interference? And is it then up to the MP’s to decide on that quality control?

    For example. Mike Small is far and away from being the quality of Robert Fisk either, yet receives creative Scotland (public) funding – or Bella does – and publishes opinion pieces in the guardian and other publications. Does this mean the UK government can ‘have a word’ with the guardian to stop him from expressing and opinion in the opinion section on the basis that he isn’t a very good writer and holds very extreme polemical views? And if Bella’s retweets certain people, would it be ok for the government to attack the editorial policy and adherence to neutrality.

    Seems the only issue here is that Daisley is not and independence supporter.

    But I suppose it means someone somewhere in the SNP must be worried by the popularity of Spanner and Daisley?

    1. Hey – I get Creative Scotland funding? Whoopee – I didn’t know that. How much do I get Juliette? Where do I pick it up from?

        1. Try reading the article first?

          “It was Mr Kelly’s opinion that the Scottish Review and Bella Caledonia should split the loot, which would then be passed on to the ’emerging critics’ in the form of editorial fees.”

          It may of been his opinion but we never applied for – nor ever received a single penny of public money.

          Please check your facts then apologise.

  6. Richard MacKinnon says:

    This is not news. Nobody knows or cares whether this unheard of journalist, Stephen Daisley strayed into self opinion or not. What was the story again? Can anyone remember? The only people that are determined to keep this going are other regional journalists . After all, what else do you do at work if there is nothing happening? You listen to the gossip around the photo copier.
    But even boring people have a tale to tell and there is something to be learnt from this non story. Reading between the lines, it tells me that there cannot be much happening elsewhere in the parish. That the source of this tittle tattle seems to have come from a politician suggests he is in the same boat as his old pals in the 4th estate. Bored and looking for something to do, like children at the end of the summer holidays he turns to raking around in the compost heap. Like most grown ups I cannot wait until the schools start back.

  7. John Mac says:

    Did hear this live on R Scotland but was unaware Private Eye was the source. Have been a long time
    subscriber to PE since late sixties but stopped reading it regularly since Indeyref. Our politics hardly
    featured during that time, not even in a “satirical” format, which is what would be expected. They could have poked so much fun at all the players from both sides of the debate but being so very
    “Londoncentric” (if that’s a word) this just didn’t happen.
    By the way I do enjoy Stuart & Eamon’s weekly media review, it does contain a balanced critique of
    current topics.

  8. Longshanker says:


    Take a re-listen to Stuart Cosgrove’s comments re: Daisley, around the 6 and a half minute mark concerning broadcaster impartiality and the @STVNews Twitter account. Then read this from March 2015: https://ahdinnaeken.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/the-good-the-bad-and-the-daisley/

    I was ahead of the curve on Daisley and his contrived editorial. It was only a matter of time before someone got their wrists slapped. And hey, I even provided a sympathetic mention of Bella.

    No need to thank me.



    1. Interesting – maybe it was a paid-for advert rather than a favour?

      1. Longshanker says:

        Possible but unlikely. Part of a sustained editorial promotion. If it was a paid for advert the promotions should have had “advertorial” stated somewhere on the page.

        It didn’t.


        1. Graeme Purves says:

          Isn’t ‘Ah Dinnae Ken’ a Stu Campbell fanzine?

  9. Gordon McShean says:

    It is understandable that those of us who advocate that Scottish independence should be pursued in any manner might be seen dangerous to those who wish to ensure their position in any resulting political institution. Journalists who manipulate the media with a determination to secure a particular political outcome scares the hell out of many of us – but why has the “big brother” presence of the SNP been allowed to subvert the most enthusiastic (and potentially more effective) initiatives within the movement? My personal experience of this negative force dates back to to the early 1950’s, when the SNP National Secretary, Robert Curran, had to go into exile due of a suspicion he’d been involved in planning unlawful protest actions (namely, the Johnstone gun heist). As an admitted participant in that action (described in my memoir RETIRED TERRORIST) I left Scotland and remained in exile. A few years later Robert risked returning to Scotland, where he was able to receive SNP forgiveness – but was never again able to obtain speaking rights for political issues. I salute the party’s determination to influence public awareness of its position – or withhold inappropriate news. However, actions taken to ensure the silence of others (like myself, a dedicated patriot) are hardly honourable. Having left Scotland in 1958, I returned -briefly and covertly – from the US in 1979. I hoped to achieve some connection with nationalist colleagues to assist me in achieving a return to Scotland without persecution. An afternoon sitting waiting in the Edinburgh SNP offices awaiting a conversation with someone – anyone – proved to me their intention to exercise control without constraint. I left Scotland with a stronger than ever feeling that the movement needed a representative organ embracing the honourable motives all nationalists.

  10. Gordon Purvis says:

    Thanks for posting this – excellent overview of the case in this excerpt.

  11. Graeme Purves says:

    ‘Muckle Neep Lost at Sea!”, as the P&J micht hae pit it.

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