Monthly Archives: December 2013

The question BBC Radio Scotland needs to answer

@Ergasiophobe tweeted BBC Radio Scotland’s Sunday morning Headlines programme last week (see below). The show’s presenter, Ken McDonald, chose to mention the tweet on air to deliver a gentle rebuke. He also used it to further deliver a lesson on BBC news ‘values’ to the tweeter and internet commenters in general. AhDinnaeKen figured that this alleged Macdonald “smackdown” entitled us* to this  reply:

The original comment which elicited Ken's mild rebuke.

This is the original tweet which elicited Ken’s mild rebuke. It was like being savaged by a dead sheep. Phew! Thank goodness it wasn’t Brewer. Eh?

Dear Ken, Headlines, BBC Radio Scotland.

Last Sunday I tweeted the above message with the hashtag #rsheadlines.

I chose my words – and punctuation – carefully.

On air, you chose to mock the message and deliver a mild put down.

Here’s what you said:

“A tweet just came in from somebody saying ‘The BBC has promoted a Nationalist Front website yet again referring to the “Reverend Stuart Campbell”.

“At least I know the Reverend Stuart Campbell’s name, whereas, I don’t know the name of the Tweeter because they’re hiding behind a pseudonym – Braveheart, eh?”

Which would be fair comment if your statement about ‘Reverend Stuart Campbell’ was acccurate.

You see, Ken, no one appears to know if he is a ‘Reverend’. Therefore, your claim of ‘knowing’ his name is incorrect – inaccurate, even. It could be legitimately counter-claimed that you’ve misled your listeners by making such a statement.

Perish the thought, eh?

Unless, of course, you managed to do what several print journalists failed to do earlier this year and verifiy that the “Reverend Stuart Campbell” is indeed a reverend.

I suspect you haven’t. Here’s why.

Consider the following tweeted questions to the “Reverend” from a variety of (non-reverend) print based newspaper journalists:

Answer, there came none!

Tom Gordon

Graham Grant 01 Paul Hutcheon

Not one managed to get a cogent, verifiable, reply to “Reverend Stuart Campbell’s” claim that he is a reverend – though he continued and continues to state that he is so.

My legitimate question to you Ken is this: Did you verify the reverend status?

If you didn’t, are you going to apologise on air for misleading your listeners?

A fair and relevant question, I’m sure you’ll agree.

ANOTHER TEDIOUS POINT OF PEDANTRY

After delivering your “smackdown” of @Ergasiophobe – which made me smile, bordering on, laugh – you then raised this wider point on the subject of internet commenters:

“People complain, not so much about how you handle the news – how you interpret the news – but about, simply, opinions that they don’t agree with being given some air.”

A fair enough comment, if it actually addressed the point of my original tweet. Which it didn’t.

My tweet raised the issue that you, Ken Macdonald, presenter of BBC Radio Scotland’s Headlines programmes, referred to “Reverend Stuart Campbell” of Wings Over Scotland.

I’d wager you haven’t corroborated that name from a secondary, verifiable, source. The circumstantial evidence is against you having done so.

On your other point of ‘interpretation’ and ‘handling’ of the news, by inference, you are effectively saying that Wings Over Scotland’s opinions are newsworthy.

Based on that notion, consider the following question put to a variety of prominent Indy tweeters:

Original Question

The original question as put to several correspondents. Surprisingly, the majority of non-respondents were pro-indy bloggers.

The replies, in no particular order were:

Andy Wightman

David Torrance Euan McColm Ian Smart James McKenzie Jane Carnall Mhairi Hunter PeatWorrier

Hardly scientific or conclusive, I know – and a few people declined to reply – but it is a straw poll based on identifiable, credible, individuals from both sides, and none, of the indy debate.

Optimistically, it’s inconclusive that Wings can be considered a source of news or a credible source of content to be considered newsworthy. But it does cast a shadow of doubt on your assertion regarding your “handling” and “interpretation” of the news.

Your programme, ‘Headlines’, by citing Wings Over Scotland as a news source grants the site a BBC legitimised credibility it doesn’t deserve.

As originally tweeted last week Ken, I find that “disgraceful“, bordering on offensive, given that much of the ‘polemic’ or ‘commentary’ or ‘analysis’ found within Wings Over Scotland is based on extreme, intolerant, divisive, bigotry – matched by a stream of hysterical diatribe and invective.

Within the pages of Wings Over Scotland, “Reverend Stuart Campbell” – or whatever his name is – has made the following statements: “I despise Unionists“, “the Scottish are cringing pitiful scum“, opponents of independence should be treated with “merciless contempt“, and stated that it’s “cowardly, craven and pathetic” to vote no.

So there you have it Ken. I’m calling you out on your editorial accuracy and your handling and interpretation of the news.

At best you’ve made an honest mistake re: the inaccuracy regarding Reverend Stuart Campbell’s name.

At worst, you’ve actively misled your listeners while promoting an extremist website.

Which is it?

If you ever want to verify my identity, send me a Direct Message. I’d be more than happy to provide you with some  worthwhile details.

Until then, you, your research team and your producer may like to reconsider citing Wings as a credible news source.

You undermine your own credibility by doing so.

Yours sincerely

Pseudonymous “Braveheart” – @Ergasiophobe

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To a Falkirk Playwright

Written by Longshanker after he had just witnessed the televised chip on shooder parochialism of Falkirk’s ain wee playwright, Alan Bissett, on Scotnicht. When asked who “Person of the Year” was, he replied, “Nicola Sturgeon”. Weel din parochialism sark. The two wummin guests plumped for Nelson Mandela and Mulala Yusuf respectively – people with a global, inspirational, impact. Bissett chose Sturgeon because she put two saft Scottish secretaries of state to the sword on the telly. Parochial? In mah sma’ toon we caw that “insular” and “myopic”. Weel din son – yer cheque’s in the post.

Alan Bissett: No so much a chip on both shooders. Mair a bag o' tatties on each - fir balance, ye understand.

Alan Bissett: No so much a chip on baith shooders. Mair a bag o’ tatties on each – fir balance, ye understand.

To a Falkirk Playwright – by Longshanker Burns

Wee, stupit, myopic, parochial playwright
O, how cringeworthy yer turn on #Scotnight
Thou need tae look within yersel’
Wi’ insular prattle
Thur’s a bigger world oot there
Than the Indy battle

I’m truly sorry Indy’s dominion
Has broken yer world social union
An’ justifies that insular opinion
Which makes thee startle
At limitations, of my Scots-born companion
An’ fellow immortal

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may grieve
What then? poor playwright, I must believe
Thou is obsessed wi’ Nationalist cheve
Like a sma’ toon, provincial virgin
Person o’ the year? Nicola Sturgeon!?

It made me laff, ho ho, ha ha.
How limited and insular, compared to Mandela
Or the wee brave lassie, shot in the heid
By religious oppressors, who left her for deid
Ye’ could argue it wiz a telly boob
But it made ye luk like a small toon tube.

LONGSHANKED

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MOAN MCVULPINE: What I have learned about Lockerbie over the last twenty five years.

Moan reflects on the lessons she has learned since she extensively researched the subject of the Lockerbie tragedy over the last quarter century.
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By Moan McVulpine:Putting the grief in grievance

THE LOCKERBIE bombing. It wiznae Westminster’s fault.

COMEDY RELIEF

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Wings Over Scotland set to negotiate European question for SNP

This piece could easily have been entitled ‘From denial to delusion in one laughable read’, but that could have been about virtually any Wings post. AhDinnaeKen attempts to investigate Wings Over Scotland’s recent European tirade through the blinding tears of laughter: 

"All the works of the SNP have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination." - Carl Jung

“All the works of the SNP have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination.” – Carl Jung

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

NATIONALIST FRONT websites often complain that the forces of Unionist oppression are stacked against their noble cause of independence. They’re sometimes justified in doing so – it’s foolish for Unionists, for example, to make petty claims such as the recent phone roaming rights debacle without losing a barrel load of credibility.

Of course, Nationalist Front hate preachers have only themselves to blame when everybody pishes themselves laughing at their swivel eyed denials  in the face of brutal reality. There are times when Wings Over Scotland’s alleged “rebuttals” are so nakedly crackpot in their delusion that, on reading them, you can only laugh, shake your head and wonder why there are intelligent people out there who take such frothing pish seriously.

Saturday was one of those times.

In a hysterical opinion piece entitled ‘The thin veneer of pretence’, Wings Over Scotland’s Stuart Campbell allegedly rebuts a pair of recent Herald and Scotsman stories.

Both newspapers reported on recent comments made by European Council president Herman Van Rumpypumpy on the status of newly independent states in the eyes of the European Union.

The actual text of Campbell’s alleged rebuttal reveals the depths of his risible delusions. If it wasn’t so cringeworthy it would be hilarious.

Campbell refers to Van Rumpypumpy as “unloved” which is an unattributed, assumptive, ad hominem, stated to immediately undermine – in the eyes of Campbell’s MobNat gang – the reputation of the EC president. It also part fulfils No.2 of Laird Wilcox’s 21 Extremist Traits – “Name Calling and Labelling”.

The actual facts contained within the Scotsman and Herald stories, and the conclusions that can safely be made based on those facts, seem not to matter to this latter day “Tribune journalist” of Scotland.

Regardless of how many times high heid-yin European officials such as Van Rumpypumpy and Jose Barroso outline scenarios concerning secession within European member states, Campbell keeps hysterically screaming “he wasn’t referring to any specific country”. The implication being that Scotland’s situation is immune from comparison with the pronouncements made because its set of circumstances are somehow unique and different.

Ye couldnae make it up.

Campbell hedges his whole argument on the comments made by Van Rumpypumpy being specific to Spain and not Scotland. They’re specific to neither. They’re generic.

To stave off any direct comparison being made to Scotland, Campbell rants:

“Scottish independence and the Catalan referendum are NOT the same scenario. The Scottish referendum is being conducted with the full consent and co-operation of the UK government, which has signed an agreement stating it will respect and abide by the result. The Spanish government, on the other hand, has flatly stated that it will not allow the Catalan referendum to take place at all, far less recognise its outcome.”

Which, of course, is correct. But it completely evades the conclusion of the scenario which is: “If a part of the territory of a Member State ceases to be a part of that state because that territory becomes a new independent state, the treaties will no longer apply to that territory.”

An unambiguous and crystal clear statement.

Should Catalonia, Scotland, or whatever  region of a European Union Member state become independent, according to Van Rumpypumpy, it will “become a third country with respect to the Union and the treaties would, from the day of its independence, not apply anymore on its territory.

Campbell knows that full well. He knows that to admit to such would be to accept that the SNP position of automatic entry or negotiated entry or back door entry or whatever entry it is they’re asserting that hour, is effectively scuppered – “torpedoed” as the headline in the Herald put it – as soon as independence is declared.

And, to admit to such, would be to accept that the independence campaign has been dealt a serious body blow in terms of both credibility and tenability in reference to European Union membership – the second such blow on the same subject to come from an officially ‘impartial’ elected European president.

The first major blow was the letter from president Jose Manuel Barroso of the European Commission who stated: “a new independent state would, by the fact of its independence, become a third country with respect to the EU and the Treaties would no longer apply on its territory.”

Another unambiguous and crystal clear statement which is virtually identical to Van Rumpypumpy’s pronouncements.

Predictably, Campbell regurgitates the official SNP party line that the negotiations would take place within the eighteen month period between the referendum taking place and independence being declared.

It’s yet another assertion based on the SNP being allowed to freely negotiate from within the UK –  a scenario which, so far, has been expressly denied it by both the European Union and the UK government.

Ironically, Campbell rounds on a perceived inaccuracy by Herald political editor, Marcus Gardham – “The Scottish Government has refused to approach Brussels for clarification…”  – and calls it a lie, in order to discredit the whole story.

This is a standard, diversionary, fallacious logic tactic of the kind routinely exploited by extremist types such as Campbell i.e. pick up on a small inaccuracy and claim that it disproves the whole argument/story. Which, in this case, it plainly doesn’t.

Nae luck Campbell son, yer tee’s oot!

In the eyes of the EU, Scotland is a ‘region’ of the UK. It has to be the official UK government which negotiates changes in treaties. Until Scotland declares its independence it maintains the status of a ‘region’ of the UK. Therefore, it would have to rely on the goodwill of the UK government to negotiate any existing and/or potential future treaties for it.

It’s possible that could happen. It’s equally, if not more, likely that the UK government would drag its feet in order to extract whatever concessions best suited its Scotland free future interests.

Who knows?

Certainly not Campbell. But it doesn’t stop him from asserting he does anyway.

According to the ahem, ‘professional journalist’:

“Rompuy’s (Rumpypumpy’s) comments are completely irrelevant to Scotland: he himself says that Scotland would only find itself outside the EU from the day of its independence, but in fact EVERYONE AGREES that it would have completed negotiating its independent membership by then, without ever actually being outside the EU at any point.”  [Our emphasis ]

Strangely, for someone so keen to trumpet that his facts are always sourced and cited, there’s no reference to the body or bodies which constitutes “everyone agrees” – unless you count Campbell’s citing of UK constitutional expert Professor James Crawford who said that Scotland could reasonably negotiate all treaties etc required for EU membership within an eighteen month timescale.

Which is all well and good, but when you look directly at what the good professor actually said, he made no reference whatsoever to whether or not those negotiations would or could be conducted by the SNP government, just that the timescale for negotiation was realistic. If the UK government dragged its heels, or the EU decided to play hardball, then the SNP would be powerless to do anything about it – as they’d still technically be a ‘region’ of the UK.

And, of course, they’d still have to seek the approval of all of the other 28 member states, any of whom could raise any type of time delaying objections in order to seek self interested concessions.

There’s nothing in the Edinburgh Agreement to say that the UK government has to negotiate one element of EU entry for a non-independent Scotland. And, so far, the UK government has shown no inclination to do so. Why would it? It only promotes the independence camp’s interests for less than nothing in return.

Consider what Professor Maxwell also said on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland on 11 February this year:

“Scotland as part of the United Kingdom continues within the EU, but Scotland as a new state will have to become a member of the EU by a Treaty of Accession, therefore there are things to negotiate.”

It’s worth noting he does not mention whether or when those negotiations would have clearance to go ahead. Crawford’s previous remark regarding the 18 month time scale is based on the presumption of smooth, glitchless and cordial negotiations.

Who knows how long the actual negotiations would take? Who knows if the other 28 member states would play ball?

The obvious answer is, nobody knows.

To cap his frenetic piece, Campbell finishes on a crescendo of victimisation and grievance by quoting Pinocchio Salmond himself:

“The United Kingdom Government has refused repeatedly to go to the European Commission with the precise legal scenario, despite the Scottish Government’s offer to do so.”

Politically, it makes no sense of any kind for the UK Government to approach Europe with such a scenario. In whose interests, other than the SNP and its subsidiary Yes campaign, would it assist? It seems to have escaped Campbell’s trenchant insight that, should a Yes vote be returned, Scotland is still in the same constitutional position as now, until it declares independence.

And, it’s worth remembering that EU Member states snubbed Sturgeon’s recent direct attempt to discuss Scotland’s post-independence European position. It begs the question – what would differ after the referendum? Even in the unlikely event of a Yes vote being returned, Scotland remains a ‘region’ of the UK until the declaration of independence in 2016.

It’s also worth noting the sabre rattling coming from the Spanish and their threat to veto Scotland’s entry into the Union, despite the acquis communautaire recently referred to by Pinocchio Salmond at FMQs.

Campbell’s hilarious conclusion, aimed at soothing the nervous Nationalists, hinges on his assertion that the Herald story lied when it stated that “Scotland refused to approach Brussels”.

He wailed:

“Unless, of course, the Herald – and the Scotsman alongside it – are pursuing a policy of deliberately lying to the Scottish people for political ends. Which, as we’ve just shown, they are. It’s just that most of the time, they’re a little more careful not to make it quite so obvious.”

Oh my aching sides! Wee angry men really should be allowed the chance to see themselves as others see them.

At worst, the Herald story contains an inaccuracy which hardly dents the inescapable conclusion of Van Rumpypumpy’s words regarding newly formed independent states in Europe.

At best, it reports what every news outlet and individual who has heard or read the words of Van Rumpypumpy already reported: SNP assertions on pre-negotiated entry to Europe are false and based upon supposition with no legal precedent, advice or backing – from anyone.

If ever you want to read approx 1200 words of someone sticking their fingers in their ears and saying “la la la la, I’m not listening”, then Campbell’s, ‘The thin veneer of pretence’ is it.

Sometimes, Campbell’s frothings have a (wafer) thin veneer of credibility about them. In this instance he’s exposed himself in the raw for the crackpot ‘out there’ denialist he truly is.

Whether his condition is pathological narcissism or florid delusion we* don’t know. It might be none of those pathologies.

But anyone who feels or thinks that Campbell’s rebuttal regarding pre-negotiated EU entry has rebutted anything, needs to take a good hard look at themselves and their political perceptions.

Something is not happening for you.

Desperate is not the word.

LONGSHANKER

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Scottish independence: Scots EU plan gets the green light from EC president

The writing on the wall is ever more clear – Project Fear will do and say anything to stop Scotland from claiming its inalienable right to achieve ffrreeddoomm!!™ from its ancient subjugating enemy – RUKland. AhDinnaKen rejoices:

“The moment you doubt whether you can dictate to the EU, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan.

“The moment you doubt whether you can dictate to the EU, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan.

By Dee Nile

COMMENTS BY the European Council president have confirmed the ease with which Scotland will be welcomed into Europe.

Herman Van Rumpypumpy said that, if Catalonia became independent from Spain, then there was no reason why Scotland couldn’t follow suit.

Bitter Together opposition parties said the Scottish government’s argument was now more credible than credibility itself.

Nationlistminsters said the comments were “clearly” welcome and would add pressure to the increasing scaremongerer-ing of their Project Feartie enemies.

Mr Van Rumpypumpy, who clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about, emerged from a meeting with David Cameron, convinced that the two men can circumvent the magical all encompassing powers of the Edinburgh Agreement.

He said: “If part of a territory has Moses Salmond in it, then normal rules  do not apply.

“If Salmond asserts it, then so must it be. Ignore the pish of the Unionyptians. They’re running scared.”

Triumphalist, self-righteous, morally superior, civic, inclusive, progressive denialist for the Nationalist party, Wee Naebudy, said: “It is now more clear than clarity that Europe will accede to the word of the Lord through our exalted leader Moses Salmond.

“The blasphemers have mocked, ridiculed and jeered our great leader.

“They will be laughing on the other side of their faces following the letter we found on NewsnetScotland.”

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University education: Sturgeon defends racist policy

It’s not because they’re English that Sturgeon will be charging English students for univeristy tuition fees – it’s because they’re mostly English. AhDinnaeKen investigates:

"And the LORD spake unto Moses Salmond, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go , that they may serve me."

“And the LORD spake unto Moses Salmond, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Charge they English basturts tuition fees, so that they may know my displeasure.”

By Anglo Phobe

NICOLA STURGEON has defended her plans to discriminate against English students wishing to study at post-independent Scottish universities.

She has strongly denied that it’s because they’re English and has assured critics that it’s only due to where they come from.

The Deputy Firstminster assured Europe that Scotland was an outward looking and welcoming country – unless you came from England.

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs the proposals to charge the English were put forward because it would be popular with Braveheart Commandos, Anglophobes still living in the early days of the 14th century and Joan McAlpine.

She added, if England renounces its Englishness then we might think about letting them in to our universities.

She said: “The problem with England is that its full of English.

“We must refuse them education on the basis of Englishness and previous historical scores which this proposal will go some way toward settling.”

Current EU rules prohibit states from discriminating on the grounds of nationality, meaning the Scots currently play at being British in order to discriminate against British-English nationals – which is allowed under the EU rules.

The 670 Commandments Of Salmond (White Paper) proposes retaining this policy so that Scotland can continue English discrimination post-independence.

Ms Sturgeon denied it was a form of institutionalised racist Nationalism.

She said: “This is not about where the students come from, it’s about where they come from.

“If they didn’t come from England then we would be most welcoming.

“But nae luck, yer English. Get ower it!”

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Moan McVulpine: Pay row proves Skintland gets shortchanged by SNP

MOAN exploits yet another opportunity to demonstrate the inherent superiority of the Scots over their more southerly English basturt cousins.
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By Moan McVulpineRolling in loadsa money

MOST folk would be a bit miffed to open a letter from the boss saying they would not get a proposed pay rise.

But I was delighted.

You see, I earn £50,000 plus in salary, have so far lifted more than £20,000 in expenses and have a nice little earner on a red top earning me approx £15,000 a year – for writing sanctimonious pish like this.

So, you see, I don’t need a pay rise. I’m rolling in it.

Nationalist MSPs are exploiting the opportunity to show that we’re doon there wi’ the people – no like they basturt English troughers at Westminster.

King of the opportunists and snake oil huckster in-chief, SuperSalm, immediately spotted the chance to make hay.

For the committed 25 per cent of Braveheart Commandos it shows the true virtue and self-righteous sense of civic duty of the Scots over the profligacy of the arrogant wasteful English.

And it hasn’t taken long for us Nationalists to sound the moral superiority klaxon to warn everyone of what independence would help us escape from.

MSPs are paid proportionately less than MPs and their expenses are much tighter too.

But when you see that they have time to debate golf and President Kennedy’s legacy, are you honestly surprised?

If they got paid proportionately for what they actually do then we really should be looking at Parish Cooncil wages.

Apart maybe from John Swindley and Firewummin Sturgeon.

John get’s danger money for having to deal with the fallout of SuperSalm’s off the cuff policies e.g. re-Nationalisation of the Post Office and a Penny for Scotland, being two that quickly trip off the tongue.

Meanwhile, Sturgeon’s having to carry the Firstminster and his stream of consistently embarrassing gaffes, as well as carry the main thrust of the independence campaign.

She’s worth all of the Nationalist backbenchers wages alone – she certainly does their work for them.

Politicians earn way above the average wage, anyway.

It is obscene that the likes of Joanie McArthyalpine can preach about the cost of Westminster MPs when she and her fellow Nationalist freeloaders do nothing but bitch about the UK Parliament most of the time.

They don’t even use the powers they have to good effect, never mind giving them more.

Here in Scotland we must ask ourselves if Holyrood is worth the candle.

It’s provided a platform for power hungry freeloading grievance merchants, more concerned with what Westminster is doing than what they could do for their own country.

Sending MSPs to Holyrood has already cost Scotland too much.

Were the likes of McArthyalpine and her ilk to gain more power, we’d soon find out that it was a price most definitely not worth paying.

COMEDY RELIEF

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