Monthly Archives: February 2014

Obsessed: Musings on the tawdry Joan McAlpine affair

YESTERDAY it was revealed that Joan McAlpine MSP used some heavy duty threats against a trusting woman whose marriage she had just destroyed. AhDinnaeKen reflects on what this says  about McAlpine’s character and how it reflects on Alex Salmond:

Threats, deception and 'special' favours all form part of the McAlpine modus operandi.

Threats, deception and ‘special’ favours all form part of the McAlpine modus operandi.

By Longershanker

THIS WILL be short.

On the 31st March 2013, Joan McAlpine tweeted a barely veiled threat against the editor of this site.

I was taken aback. A direct ad hominem attack and a threat of prosecution.

From a Firsminsterial aide, no less. Jings!

It almost intimidated me.

And then I thought, naw, f**k ye. Do yer worst!

It’s why I wrote this piece in reply.

Nothing happened. Surprise surprise.

Shortly after, I was contacted by a source close to McAlpine.

This source said “she is obsessed with your blog and who you are, she was always moaning about it.”

Which provided me with some succour. Not that I’d know why McAlpine would be interested in this site – unknowing smile. 🙂

Given the background, it’s worth taking a look at yesterday’s story in the Scottish Daily Mail.

A couple of quotes attracted our* attention:

“She is one of the most inexperienced MSPs there and yet, bizarrely, among the closest to First Minister Alex Salmond.”

Followed later by this:

“And yet, as Alex Salmond begins to consider his place in the history of the country he longs to take out of the UK, it is to his favoured prose writer Miss McAlpine that he has turned to work with him on his autobiography.

“As a result, special time with the First Minister is understood to have been granted to Miss McAlpine with a view to preparing the volume – putting several senior SNP noses out of joint.”

And finally there was this in the Scotish Daily Mail official Comment page in the physical newspaper:

“Miss McAlpine has thus far enjoyed an inexplicably charmed political life. Should Mr Salmond continue to indulge her and retain her at the very heart of his government, the public may have cause to question his judgement in the run up to the pivotal independence referendum.”

The words within that strike a chord are: “closest”, “favoured“, “special time“, “inexplicably charmed” and “indulge“.

It’s possible to add one and one and make three. And you don’t need to read too much between the lines to come to your own conclusion.

Given McAlpine’s reported track record, AhDinnaeKen would just like to consider the welfare of Moira Salmond.

They say history repeats and you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

How happy is Moira about this state of affairs? Answers in green crayon to the Presiding Officer, Whollyrude.

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Filed under Morality, Treachery

Moan McVulpine: Pretender to the Scots crown? Yes First Minister

AS Firstminster Salmond maintains the ruse of the North Sea’s potential, MOAN insists that’s the sole reason independence will have a chance in September – everyone in Scotland wants their X-Box:
Moan McVulpine Banner

By Moan McVulpineTaking the rational out of exaggerational

BARE FACED Liar One rose out of a Portlethen graveyard yesterday.

Out flounced Firstminster Salmond surrounded by the metaphorical graves of his long buried assertions.

“£1.5 trillion of oil reserves” in the North Sea he repeated yet again. Pull the other one Salm.

When Bonnie Prince Charlie attempted his power grab in 1745, lieing to the natives helped him gain the numbers which eventually threatened London.

But, when pressed, he was always short on resources and reserves, relying on bluff, bluster and force of personality.

The Scots who joined him were too trusting, too loyal, too blind.

Better trust in the Wee man’s judgement they said, he knows what he’s doing and look at the runaway success so far – we’ll all be rich.

So much for false prophets operating on hot air and promising the world.

Most pesky Scottish natives ignored the Pretender, preferring to look on with mild concern.

Salmond is not a statesman. So why does he talk down to us like one?

Effectively, the Nationalist Executive, supported by the Big Parish Cooncil at Whollyrude, cannot be trusted to do what it’s supposed to do.

The Edinburgh Nationalist elite have done virtually nothing with their devolved powers other than make laws which are repeatedly defeated in standard courts when challenged.

Norway, a smaller country than Scotland in terms of population, is far mroe prosperous than the UK.

So what? They do things differently there because they are different. They’re a different country. Ho hum.

So when Moses Salmond looks across the sea and says we could be like them, it bears further analysis.

And that’s when it comes down to trust.

Do you trust Salmond when he puts a hard figure on the oil reserves left in the North Sea?

The answer to that question will probably determine how you choose to vote.

Just because the Scots don’t trust the Tories doesn’t automatically mean they trust the Nationalists.

In many ways they’re both sides of the same coin – the Tories and the Nationalists – slippery, deceptive and indifferent to the general population at large.

They’re more interested in power and the maintenance of power in order to gain patronage from the various power elites out there. You scratch my back and…

Under the UN Law of the Sea Treaty, 90 per cent of the oil in our waters would legally belong to an independent Scotland.

But this, like so many other issues, would have to be negotiated – relying on the good will of our Southern neighbours to let everything run smoothly.

Like that’s going to happen any time soon. Gideon’s recent foray into Edinburgh is a foretaster of potential negotiations.

Wars are inevitably fought over territory, beliefs and resources.

Attempt to take away a valuable resource from a state used to its benefits for the past thirty years and you’re looking at BIG trouble.

Take a look at the relationship between North and South Sudan post-independence if you want a potential taster.

Oil is a bonus to Scotland and it’s the only tangible asset we have which gives the Nationalists a chance in their naked power grab for the country.

The Nationalists don’t have, and probably never will have, the arguments to carry the majority of the country with them.

Like the Pretender of 1745, they can inspire many with their promise of riches for those willing to follow their vision. Most of the Jacobite rebels thought they were going to get a X-Box, or its 18th century equivalent.

But when the Nationalist vision is closely scrutinised it doesn’t quite look the same in the cold light of day.

Not that the Hanoverian Tories can be trusted either. They’ll probably ‘bayonet’ the wounded after the main battle is fought. Like the Nationalists, they have no concern for the casualties.

Ho hum. The Nationalists brought it on themselves.

It all comes down to which side you trust – Unionist or Nationalist.

Some of us trust neither.

Next!

COMEDY RELIEF

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Why #IndyRef is a bore in seven quotes.

FOLLOWING THE events of the recent week or so in the indyref debate, AhDinnaeKen presents some highly selective quotes chosen at random which sum up, in anticipation, this editor’s creeping torpor and sense of trepidation at the inevitable tedious grievance fuelled acrimony to come:

The unphotoshopped turned up eyes of contempt of Stuart Hosie after being questioned by an uppity anti-Scot on his party's post indy tax plans. Not very braw look, is it?

The unphotoshopped turned up eyes of contempt of Stewart Hosie after being questioned by an uppity anti-Scot on his party’s post indy tax plans. Not very braw look, is it?

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

“A man with a grievance may easily become a bore, and this may be true of a nation with a grievance.”Claim of Scotland, HJ Paton 1968

Correct! Never a truer word said. There’s a sizable minority of Scots just now who are boring the rest to bitter screaming tears of monotony. The referendum is giving these bores a collective voice which has droned on and on for what is literally years now – it feels like decades. It’s not exciting, it’s not convincing and it’s not inspiring. It’s exceedingly boring and sometimes it feels like it’s a deliberate Nationalist ploy. The SNP do better in votes with low turnouts, so it makes sense for them to bore everyone but the most committed and fervent to tears.

“…and it is now likely that transfer of North Sea oil to Scottish ownership would occasion much bitterness in England if not an attempt to forcibly prevent it.”The Hallowed McCrone Report 1975.

The howls of outrage etc at Bullingdon Chancer Osborne’s declaration of “economic warfare” appeared to come as a surprise to some. McCrone predicted it back in the day and, with the spectre of independence having raised its inevitable head, the UK state has acted in kind.

What did the Nationalists expect? Kid gloves? Automatic indy? A velvet divorce? Think again laddies. Years of acrimony and, not so petty, petty squabbles are on the cards for god knows how long. Hurrah! Bet you can hardly wait.

"Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception." - George Orwell.  We do things differently here apparently.

“Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception.” – George Orwell. We do things differently here – apparently.

“No one wiff (sic) a semblance of understanding of Scottish history and indeed the Scottish character would have made a speech such as the one the chancellor delivered last week.”Alex Salmond, Business for Scotland speech, 17 Feb 2014

AhDinnaeKen agrees with the sentiment of the Firstminster’s statement. The Bullingdon Chancer of the Excequer’s visit to Edinborrow rankled. Hardball politics usually does. It strips away the veneer of the daily fluffy ‘reality’ most of us like to live with and leaves you staring directly at the raw naked ugliness of aggressive state power. Not nice.

But, Salmond could just as easily have been saying the above in terms of himself.

Attending conveniently unrecorded meetings with corporate media moguls in order to lobby for monopolies against the greater public interest is questionable at best, despicable at worst. Given that Salmond’s reward would have been a positive headline or two in a newspaper which is almost as equally despised as it is loved, it makes you wonder about the lip service paid to the ‘sovereignty’ of the Scots by the likes of Salmond.

A sizable minority of Scots don’t forget actions like that. Nor do they forget being lied to over legal advice, nor witnessing firsthand Scottish natives being walked over roughshod by the Firstminster in order to further American tycoon’s business interests. And it’s worth remembering that that action turned out to be for the greater good – we don’t think.

“Can we stop having English Tory MPs turning up in Edinburgh to bully the Scots and to poison the relationships between Scotland and England.”Stewart Hosie MP 18 Feb 2014 The Referendum Debate – BBC Scotland

Professor Adam Tomkins (a despicable Unionist) of Glasgow University said, in relation to the Nationalists: “…their strategy has changed. No longer seeking new votes (nor to win) but merely to shore up their core.”

Hosie’s core message in his referendum debate statement is clear. It’s a sure sign that the Nationalists are resorting to type. The enemy, as far as they are concerned, is the Auld Enemy. The English Tory MP referred to, of course, was the Bullingdon Chancer, George Osborne.

Much as the Chancer represents a branch of politics which is allegedly anathema to the majority of Scots, he is still the second most powerful politician in the land.

The Nationalists never had, and probably never will have, a mandate to declare UDI or dictate who can or cannot visit Scotland’s capital city. Therefore the Chancer has as much democratic right to deliver speeches wherever he wants in the United Kingdom – be that London or Edinburgh or wherever – as anyone else.

For a bitter and twisted Nationalist like Hosie to imply that Gideon has no place in Scotland is what is really ‘poisoning’ the debate and it’s sure to spoil the relationship between the two major regions of the UK. It begs the question, just how cordial will those negotiations with rUK be in a future independent Scotland?

Luckily, there are more temperate pro-indy voices in the debate:

Ever alert to the poison of Nationalist sentiment, Patrick Harvie calls for more temperate language and constructive debate.

Ever alert to the poison of ‘othering’ and  Nationalist sentiment, Patrick Harvie called for more temperate language and constructive debate.

“I think it might be a good idea to avoid that kind of language, even if people feel that George Osborne’s intervention was not constructive.”Patrick Harvie – 18 Feb 2014 The Referendum Debate – BBC Scotland.

Stated to directly counter Hosie’s unpleasantness, Mr Harvie may represent a party which makes less of a connection with Scots voters than UKIP, but his voice in the indy debate articulates the feelings, hopes and emotions of many less zealotous participants in the referendum’s politicking. Harvie knows exactly the type of sentiments and forces that crass unbridled statements such as Hosie’s are capable of unleashing into the populace at large.

He further added:

“Ask better of all your politicians on both sides than that kind of language.”Patrick Harvie – 18 Feb 2014 The Referendum Debate – BBC Scotland

Well said Mr Harvie. For the thousands of voters out there who find the impending anti-Scots, anti-English rhetoric of the Nationalists tasteless, dangerous and unbecoming of pretenders to the crown, your temperance, assurance and political emollience is a welcome antidote to the tedious abrasiveness so far witnessed/suffered/endured by everyone else.

“Labour’s devolution plans were lost and, in the aftermath, SNP MPs helped to eject the government by opposing it in a vote of confidence. The Conservatives won the resulting general election, and went on to hold office for the following 18 years. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s Scottish home rule was resolutely off the Western agenda.”The 1997 Scottish referendum: an analysis of the results.

Nationalism by its very nature is myopic. The practitioners of its blacker arts are narrowly focussed on a single goal and cannot see beyond those limited parameters.

Anyone with half a brain and an ounce of compassion in their soul could see what was coming with Thatcher the milk snatcher in 1979. And the great irony of the SNP’s treachery against their own sovereign people was that they were the main proponents in assisting her to achieve her smash and power grab on the great Scottish oil bonanza of the 1980s. Oh, the black black irony at the consequences of their actions.

Onyhoo, the Nationalists lack of foresight, more than anything else, is a phenomenon which has remained consistent since 1979 to the present day. Worth remembering post September 18.

Gollum forgot everything, including his humanity, in pursuit of the ring of power. A quintissential Nationalist in outlook.

Rev Gollum forgot everything, including his humanity, in pursuit of the ring of power. A quintissentially Nationalist trait and outlook.

“After some of the cross-border ugliness and bad feeling that’s been whipped up by the actions of Unionists lately, the only outcome of the referendum that will allow the people of Scotland and England to regard each other with dignity and mutual respect in the future is a Yes vote. Crawling pathetically back to London with our tail between our legs won’t do it.”Wings Over Scotland – any day of the week

And then we have the alleged grass roots antidote to mainstream media bias in the form of poisonous, hate-preaching, relentlessly boring websites such as Wings Over Scotland.

Loved by its acolytes as much as it is laughed at by everyone else, the Napoleon complexed, Gollum lookalike, editor of the site injects grievance, poison, bitterness, acrimony, falsehood, fraudulence and McCarthyite tendencies into the veins of the minority online section of the indy debate.

Yet, worryingly, senior Nats not only encourage such sentiments, they actively endorse them; Nicola Sturgeon, Roseanna Cunningham, Joan McAlpine, Ewan Crawford, Christine McKelvie, Angus MacNeil and, of course, anti-English Stewart Hosie, to name but a few.

With words like “cowardly” entering the lexicon of political debate from the upper echelon of the Natterati, it’s no surprise that sites like Wings take succour and flourish.

The danger for the indy minded acting as apologists for the site’s constant stream of bilious hatred and tediously boring grievance is, that they remain blind to and oblivious of the consequence of much of what Wings is actually saying.

To paraphrase Firstminster Salmond above, Scots don’t like being referred to as “cowards” or “pathetic” or “snivelling” by people who don’t even have the balls to live in Scotland. It shows a grave misunderstanding of Scottish history and character to think that calling more than half of the population “cowards” and “cringing pitiful scum” will be productive and convincing.

For the righteous and already convinced it may be so. For everyone else it’s a repugnant, albeit laughable, turnoff.

It’s why, the recent change of strategy by the Nationalists to resort to type ie castigating the ‘English’ as the enemy is bad news for everyone. Political debate will become increasingly fraught and polarised. More heat than light will be generated and, no matter the result in September, the country will be plunged into the socio-political darkness of blame, counter blame and recrimination. Or something equally as unpleasant.

Grievance is a bore. Actively nurturing that grievance for political advantage eventually stops being a bore and becomes dangerous.

Let the Nationalists inspire you with their vision of freedom’s hinterlands by all means. But as soon as they start talking of cowardly English or Scots, challenge them head on.

Such sentiment has no place in the debate. That it’s beginning to take centrestage is more than boring – it’s a real and present danger.

From bottom to top to bottom again, like begets like. Weel din Nicola, nice to know you're a fan of the Wingnuts.

From bottom to top to bottom again, like begets like. Weel din Nicola Sturgeon, nice to know you’re a fan of the Wingnuts hate preacher.

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Filed under Diplomacy, Referendum, Wangs Watch

Children to shop their parents to the Nationalists

WE* used to worry about reds under the bed. Then it was Nats watching your flats. Now kids are to be the eyes and ears of the state. AhDinnaeKen investigates the latest Nationalist intrusion into everyday Scots lives:

"If you tolerate this then your children will be next" sang the Manic Street Preachers. Looks like we tolerated it then.

“If you tolerate this then your children will be next” sang the Manic Street Preachers. Looks like we tolerated it then.

By Kreepy Asphuck-Stasi

CHILDREN ARE set to become the eyes and ears of the Nationalist party today.

Parents found to be out of line with the expectations of their country can expect their kids to shop them in to the authorities.

Get It Right F**kin Upye’s Clansmen (GIRFUC) was voted through by the Wee Stasi Cooncil at Whollyrude yesterday.

Both the nanny Labouring party and the centralising Nationalists embraced the population control measures.

One Nat could not contain his glee at the potential for keeping uppity parents in their place.

He said: “This is a fantastic protection for children. If we find out, for example, that a parent has a hankering for Unionism or Devolution-Max or Federalism or voting Tory then that obviously leaves the child vulnerable to imperialistic subjugating oppression.

“This could damage the child for the rest of their lives and no responsible government could tolerate that.

“We will immediately remove the child from the danger and place them in the hands of one of our protective correction centres.

“And we can keep them until they’re 21. Result!”

The only opposition to the socially just legislation were the usual crackpots, nutjobs and lunatics – the Tory party.

They even had the impudence to suggest that the bill may be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights

Dizzy Lizzy Smith of the tenaciously terrible Tories said: “This will tip the balance of family responsibility away from parents towards the state – something most Nationalists find completely acceptable.”

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Filed under Children, Law, New Bills

Moan McVulpine: Salmond thinks we were all Osborne yesterday

AFTER SOCIAL surveys revealed recently that less and less rUKers want a currency Union, Moan reckons Salmond’s greetin’, whingin’ and moanin’ hasn’t fooled anyone.

Moan McVulpine Banner
By Moan McVulpinehelping to Nationalise Nationalism

AND NOW for the even worse news.

rUK confidence in a currency union is at its lowest in 300 years and the numbers suffering permanent scepticism is at record levels.

The latest independent survey by YouGov revealed this dispiriting news recently.

But wait a sec, that’s not what Firstminster Salmond predicted – and surely the anointed one’s assertions are always truthful and correct.

In terms of the debate.

Back in 2012, Salmond made one of his grand blustering gestures with Andrew Neil in interview on the treacherous anti-Scottish British Brainwashing Corporation.

He fibbed: “Yes, (we have legal advice on Europe) in terms of the debate”.

Alas, for the boy formerly known as Believable, he was unable to confirm a single word of the lie and delayed a Freedom of Information request for longer than is decent, or acceptable.

And then he was found out.

No legal advice was taken – and the world saw him for what he was.

Within seconds, he not so much cemented, but doubly reinforced the belief that ye cannae believe a word the five pensioned gambler has to say.

And then we saw distasteful glimpses of his future corporate Scotland vision that independence would lead to:

Subsidies for tax avoiding parasitic Amazon, abuse of local power for his corporate pal Donald Trumpton, and clandestine lobbying intentions to help foist a sinister Murdoch media monopoly on the rUK.

He was bluffing about European advice and his bluff was called. He tried to bluff about his meetings with Murdoch and his bluff was called. He was bluffing about currency union and his bluff was called.

Anyone notice a pattern there?

The plain fact is this – nobody trusts Salmond other than the faithful, the deluded and the resentful. Y’know – Nationalists.

He is increasingly reverting to type ie stereotype. How many times did he mention the ‘English’ in his alleged ‘deconstruction’ of the Bullingdon Chancer’s speech in Edinborrow recently?

Hunners o’ times!

It’s a sure fire indicator that indy is going to lose.

In Scotland there are plenty of 90 minute Anglophobes, but ye cannae rely on them to vote Yes just because we* all allegedly hate Poshboy Tory Toffs.

Still, it’s clear Salmond has learned nothing from the Bullingdon Chancer’s intervention.

He keeps asserting, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, there’s no place like home. Or rather, there WILL be a currency union.

How often can he assert that before what’s left of his tattered political reputation is completely shredded?

He failed to rebut any of the awkward repercussions of the new political future of the currency union.

He is trying to avoid answering awkward questions.

So is his lapdog Swindley.

By their deeds shall ye ken them.

COMEDY RELIEF

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Filed under CyberNats, Moan McVulpine, Referendum

The cybernat side of Lesley Riddoch?

From deep within the dark underbelly of Dundee, special correspondent Stuart Winton puts his head briefly above the parapet to examine the seamier side of Yes campaign groupthink and polarisation:

Lesley puts highlights the gloss in her panglossian view of Scots, Dundee and Scotland.

Lesley highlights the gloss in her panglossian view of Scots, Dundee and Scotland.

By Stuart Winton

AS SOMEONE who has felt trapped in one of Dundee’s less salubrious areas for more than twenty years I always feel a bit patronised by the likes of commentator Lesley Riddoch. Apparently Lesley has an office in central Dundee, and I can walk there in little more than five minutes. But, and off the top of my head, I can also walk to the sites of around a dozen murders within a similar distance, and that’s just while I’ve been living at my current address. And while I’m sure there are worse locations in which to live in Scotland, the murders are just the tip of a crime and disorder iceberg in an area where the emergency services simply appear to mop things up when it’s too late.

On the other hand, Lesley’s take on Dundee is just a tad different. Of course, there’s the odd nod towards the city’s ‘social problems’, but a quick perusal of her several online pieces about Dundee is more likely to reveal Lesley waxing lyrical about how “winning the City of Culture 2017 title would be the icing on the cake for a transformed city” and about how “this plucky, energetic, wonderful wee city will do the impossible and defeat the pessimists”. Or the likes of this: “Dundee is a very playful city. It’s physically inspiring; the people are so talkative and are the funniest in Scotland.”

But when I get near home I keep my head down, scurry up the stairs as quickly as possible and lock the door. And even that’s no guarantee against the relatively high risk of fire or that someone might try to batter my door down because they’re trying to recoup a drugs debt and they’ve got the wrong address, say. However, Lesley probably doesn’t need to worry so much about such matters in the TV studios and university library, she apparently lives some distance away in rural Fife, and seems to have spent most of her life elsewhere in the UK. Did I say ‘patronising’? How about ‘insulting’ instead. She is an ambassador for Dundee’s ‘One City, Many Discoveries’ campaign. At least we can agree on the content of the slogan, albeit for different reasons!

What happens when you scratch the surface I wonder.

What happens when you scratch the surface I wonder?

But to be fair to Lesley, perhaps her rose-tinted view of Dundee can be explained by her relatively tenuous connection with the city, if not wholly excused. The numerous other members of Dundee’s Establishment with a similarly almost one-dimensional perspective who’ve spent their lives living and working here can’t be exonerated so readily.

On the other hand, my own personal perspective as regards such people is generally positive. While I may consider them self-righteous and condescending, and even indirectly dangerous in many ways, on the other hand most are no-doubt ultimately well-meaning.

However, it’s often the case that the more I read from such people the more I doubt their good intentions, and one such moment arose last weekend in relation to Lesley Riddoch, thus the lengthy preamble above. And there’s a perhaps wider message regarding Scottish political discourse that’s worth examining, hence the length of this post.

So last weekend Lesley took part in a radio discussion with English commentator David Aaronovitch, in which they disagreed about the political and ideological outlooks of people north and side of the border. Lesley tried to accentuate the differences, David did the same regarding the similarities. A fairly bog standard political discussion about a hardly original topic, conducted in what seemed like a reasonably civil if robust fashion.

Birds of a feather etc...

Birds of a feather etc…

However, Lesley asked for part of the debate to be posted on the Wings over Scotland website, presumably partly because she knew it would be exposed to a considerable number of sympathetic listener-readers. But as any reasonably informed and reasonably minded person would know, David Aaronovitch would also be subject to wholly predictable hyperbole, ad hominen abuse and ‘straw man’ attacks from author Stuart Campbell, which would act as a cue to a storm of ridicule and abuse from his online acolytes. Hence Campbell kicked off with: “Readers unusually sensitive to condescending, patronising metropolitan hacks talking down to far better-informed debating opponents, and who have any easily-breakable items nearby, are advised not to listen.”

Not much point in reading beyond that – in terms of tone and approach I couldn’t really discern much of a difference between the two participants in the radio discussion – and in truth I can’t really be bothered trawling through the below the line comments on the WoS blog to find the more unsavoury examples.

But a not-dissimilar episode from a couple of weeks earlier provides some readily available evidence in a handy graphic published in a, er, Scottish Daily Newspaper.

Does Lesley condone or condemn such comments. Her choice of one of the main orchestrators of such bile kind of answers the question.

Does Lesley condone or condemn such comments? Her association with of one of the main orchestrators of such bile, kind of answers the question. Don’t you think?

Thus commentator Chris Deerin – who had until recently been based in London as comment editor for the Daily Telegraph newspaper – had written a lengthy pro-Union piece for the Scottish Daily Mail, which was later published in an abridged form on the Guardian’s website. (And, coincidentally, he has also questioned the view that the Scots and English have fundamentally different political outlooks.)

Among the online comments aimed at Deerin by Yes campaigners were: ‘Akin to Nazi’; ‘Heap of nauseating shite’; ‘Bitter traitor’; ‘Racist’; ‘Utter moron’; ‘Kilted Uncle Tom’; ‘Slimy sycophant’; ‘White supremacist’; ‘Genuine Tory Quisling’; ‘F*** off back to London’.

Indeed, Wings author Mr Campbell had led the way with the distinctly uncomplimentary description “ridiculous cringing joke of a human being”. And when Deerin wrote a follow up piece outlining the abuse he had received, Campbell put a graphic of the article up on his website (what was that about ‘feeding the trolls’?) and hilariously named the file deerinisatwat.jpg. Oh how they laughed!

Dear oh dear! Is this what Lesley makes her think makes us Scots so different. If so, I think I'll change my nationality.

Dear oh dear! Is this what Lesley thinks makes us Scots so different? If so, I think I’ll change my nationality.

There was also the usual double standards from the Wings brigade; anyone who persistently uses the royal/editorial ‘we’ is surely just a tad patronizing himself for a start, never mind getting into the more substantive arguments. And while on the subject of the patronising plural ‘we’, there’s surely nothing more presumptuous and irritating in this context than the Yes campaign’s ‘we in Scotland’-style schtick, as used by Lesley during the radio debate. As if they speak for everyone in Scotland!

Of course, Margaret Thatcher was widely panned for using the words ‘we in Scotland’, both because of its monarchical tone and also because she was neither a Scot nor lived here. By the same token, Chris Deerin is told to, er, get back to London, while David Aaronovitch’s residency in Hampstead is highlighted. Stuart Campbell also alludes to the geographical issue in terms of “patronizing metropolitan hacks”, this coming from someone who has for some time been based in Bath, Somerset, England. SNP Government minister Roseanna Cunningham (who has also demonstrated a degree of endorsement regarding WoS) also weighed in in similar fashion, complimenting Lesley on doing “brilliantly against a metropolitan voice telling us we’re not who we think we are!”. But David Aaronovitch didn’t make any claims regarding everyone in Scotland, whereas Roseanna Cunningham presumes to speak for all of us here.

Then there’s the more substantive questions discussed in the radio debate. Lesley pointed out that Ukip is a substantially greater electoral force down there than up here, hence Scots are a significantly more upstanding, moral and wholesome race, er I mean ‘group of people’, and vote for the likes of the SNP instead. Which of course is a pro-independence party which uses the spectre of an alien, distant and unaccountable imperial bogeyman to garner votes, and campaigns for the repatriation of powers from that higher sovereign entity. Moreover, it portrays itself as anti-elites and anti-Establishment, and also advocates controlled immigration. Er, sounds familiar? Of course, I’m being slightly facetious here, but surely the SNP in Scotland acts as a conduit for much of the voter sentiment Ukip benefits from south of the border, thus the latter’s vote share in elections in Scotland and England is hardly a compelling comparison.

Which in turn points to another fundamental double standard in domestic political discourse. Talk about the EU/Europe/Europeans in the way Lesley talks about Westminster/the UK/the English and she’d probably be branded Eurosceptic/ xenophobic or even racist. But perhaps that’s essentially what David Aaronovitch is getting at with his term ‘othering’, whether it’s simply a euphemism or he’s really saying that it’s about something less than some kind of –phobia.

Then there’s the matter of the English/Scottish comparisons per se and, like comparisons of UK/Scotland sovereignty with that of the potential iScotland/EU relationship, the attempts of Yes campaigners to differentiate the two seem abstract, exaggerated and contrived.

Hence Lesley said in a recent newspaper piece: “Scottishness isn’t determined by one-off events. It’s a distinctive way of doing things which rests upon institutions that often predate the Union and modern policies which reflect, develop or revise our characteristic outlooks. When events seem to contradict these rarely articulated but deeply held values, alarm bells ring.”

Yes, it’s gratifying to know that when a perpetrator of one of the violent killings in my neighbourhood is tried under the Scottish court system it’s demonstrating the efficacy of an institution pre-dating the Union. And that since at least one of those killings has been categorised as culpable homicide rather than murder it’s good to know that that reflects “OUR characteristic outlooks” and “deeply held values”, and thus that particular criminal act is defined slightly differently to the crime of manslaughter under English law.
Guest Blog 08
(Careful readers will to that extent have noticed that I slightly misrepresented the number of murders in my locale earlier in that at least one of the killings I was thinking of was in fact technically a culpable homicide. Thus that would probably make me a “transparent lying wee shite” or suchlike in Wings discourse, to repeat a phrase used recently by Mr Campbell. On the other hand, I’m “flat-out lying” again, because what he actually said about a politician was that “Because we’re classy we try to avoid the phrase ‘transparent lying wee shite’, so we haven’t used it here.” So of course he didn’t actually call someone a “transparent lying wee shite” at all, you see!)

Anyway, the real purpose of this post was neither to examine the substantive political issues nor to critique the modus and pathology of the Wings phenomenon. Instead it was to highlight the slightly bizarre spectacle of the normally civilised Lesley Riddoch throwing David Aaronovitch to the wolves and attack dogs in the Wings over Scotland bear pit; following Lesley’s request Stuart Campbell soon tweeted: “Goodness me, 90 seconds in and already *I* want to punch the condescending twat.”

Indeed, on the previous day an article by Lesley on the vehemently pro-independence Newsnet Scotland website had lamented the “recent hostility dished out towards [journalist] Sarah Smith”, and that: “I’d guess many Undecided women have been quite appalled at the tiny number of belligerent comments posted on social media.” And the day after David Aaronovitch’s monstering on social media she wrote in the Sunday Post about “the unsavoury spectacle of cybernats attacking Sarah Smith.”

(Yet more irony in that there’s surely nothing more representative than the Sunday Post of the Establishment Scotland that Lesley compellingly critiques, while Newsnet Scotland is not averse to allowing comments such as the following recent contribution, which deserves to be quoted fully in all its paranoid, delusional and antagonistic glory: “In all seriousness I ask, why SHOULDN’T the Scots who support independence feel animosity toward England? That nation is fundamentally responsible for the unacceptable situation that Scotland finds itself in! We can put a gloss on it all we like, but the facts speak for themselves… the representatives of English politics have taken advantage of the Scots’ generous and egalitarian attitude. To hell with them! They can bitch and whine all they like, I really don’t care. if you think the world owes you a living, hell mend you if the world turns around and cuts you off. It’s not about xenophobia, racism or arrogance, it’s about self-preservation!”)

And this was all perhaps worryingly symptomatic of another worrying trend, that being the increasing evidence of the supposed ‘nice Nats’ morphing into ‘nasty Nats’, or at least demonstrating a level of support for the like of the Wings phenomenon that was not before apparent. This is perhaps more in terms of previous criticism of the nasty Nats from nice Nats disappearing, as if browbeaten into submission. But a few more seem to have crossed the cybernat Rubicon and jumped onto the Wings bandwagon, and have become less obviously critical of de facto cybernat-in-chief Stuart Campbell.

Lesley calls her personal website “Another side of Lesley Riddoch”. Unfortunately ‘another side’ of many Yes supporters is becoming increasingly apparent. But let’s hope that Lesley’s other side was born of a lack of understanding of the darker underbelly of cybernat discourse than anything more unsavoury.

(The author’s sequel ‘Why I fear the cybernats’ will be published once he wins the national lottery.)

Aarnovitch is a leading conspiracy theory buster. Wings site sussed within minutes of him looking at shock.

Aarnovitch is a leading conspiracy theory buster. Wings site sussed within minutes of him looking at it  shock.

9 Comments

Filed under CyberNats, Media, Newspeak, Wangs Watch

Bullies who tried to bully bullies get bullied

The Nats started it. Deny us our currency union and we’ll default on the debt they said. Get it up ye’s said the BritNat government – we’ll take on the debt oorsel’s. Now the Nats are to be told they’re no gettin’ their currency union. You’re bullying us, they bleated. AhDinnaeKen asks, what did the Nats expect, kid glove’s treatment? In the language of the playground, they started it – the bullies! AhDinnaeKen investigates:

If you try to bully someone bigger than you, expect to get bullied back. Don't bleat about it when it happens though.

If you try to bully someone bigger than you, expect to get bullied back. Don’t bleat about it when it happens though.

By Declar Asian-Ofwar

THE INDYREF has taken a turn for the bullying worse.

The Nationalist bullies tried to bully the Westminster bullies by threatening to default on their debt.

A bullies move.

The BritNat bullies pooh poohed the Nationalist bullies attempt at bullying by pulling away the debt carpet – they assured the bully markets that rUK was good for its debt and wouldnae be bullied by the Nationalist bullies.

The BritNat bullies are now going to bully the Nationalist bullies by bullying them over the currency union.

Ye’s urnae gettin’ a currency union they’ll bully.

The Nationalist bullies cried “bully!” and said the BritNat bullies were bullying them and it wisnae fair – it was bullying.

AhDinnaeKen said: “If ye try to bully somebody bigger than you, expect to get bullied back.

“Just don’t cry bully. It makes you look like a weak and stupid bully.”

So no change there then.

5 Comments

Filed under Diplomacy, Referendum