Monthly Archives: June 2014

Sack the BBC! We won’t pay the licence fee.

“Sack the BBC! We won’t pay the licence fee”, was the hue and cry of the lunatic Nationalist flash mob fringe attending a demo at Pacific Quay yesterday. It was reported that the BBC janitor suffered cracked ribs from laughing too much. And yesterday wasn’t even a day scheduled for a full moon. “Crackpot website” Newsnet Scotland Tweeted that the event was attended by 2000 people. AhDinnaeKen decided to apply some basic physics based on crowd densities to see if the figures stacked up. Hint! They didn’t:

Measurements based on scale provided by Google maps image.  Red area is area immediately in front of Newsnet camera pan.

Pacific Quay measurements based on scale provided by Google maps. Red area is area immediately in front of Newsnet camera pan (below) with approx 17 people in it.

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

ON SEP 21 2013 at Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon roared: “You know how many people they are saying are here with us today? Not 10,000, not 20,000, but 30,000 people appearing for independence.

It was a lie. Or to be charitable, it was a communally shared delusion engaged in for the sake of making political capital and building voter morale.

AhDinnaeKen debunked the Sturgeon nonsense using basic crowd density ratios, surface area and distance variables here.

Now, following a worrying outbreak of the modern day Scottish version of the Ranters at Pacific Quay yesterday, the Nationalists are at it again.

Newsnet Scotland claimed that more than 2000 people attended the event…

Scientific evidence Newsnet style. A video pan at ground level. CSI Crackpot.

Scientific evidence Newsnet style. A video pan at ground level. CSI Crackpot with GA Ponseybody.

To back up the claimed figure they provided a YouTube link using a woeful panning shot, filmed virtually from eye level. And they relied upon the shot as if it was some sort of proof.

When you engage in a cheap stunt like that, you have to account for variables such as height perspective, crop factor, distance and surface area.

It's worth noting that there are people on bikes. Free space a go-go.

A frame from Newsnet’s video pan. It’s worth noting that there are people on bikes in the foreground. Free space a go-go.

Take a look at the picture above. Count the people to the left and immediate middle and you’ll reach 17 or thereabouts. The area, when matched with the Google map above, is approx 64 -100m sq – as highlighted by the red area .

In terms of body density to metre square the ratio could be anything between 0.27 to 0.17.

The collection area in front of the BBC building measures approx 2000sq metres i.e. it’s 50m * 40m when measured using the Google scale provided.

2000 multiplied by by 0.27 equals approx 530 people. At the more realistic density level of 0.17 it equals approximately 350 people. Either way, it’s nowhere remotely near 2000 people. So quite where the figure of 2000 came from, we*’d like to know.

And, it was notable that @ergasiophobe’s straw poll estimate of 300 – 500 matched up with the police estimate reported by the “British Brainwashing Corporation”.

Inserted for vanity purposes. We estimated this figure before the BBC reported the police estimate of "a maximum of 350 protestors".

Inserted for vanity purposes. We* estimated this figure before the BBC reported the police estimate of “a maximum of 350 protestors”.

The astute and the sceptical could rightly argue that the crowd density figure estimated above could be higher.

But… watch some of the livestream video beamed to the ‘watching world’ by internet TV. At no point does the roaming cameraperson even look like like bumping into anyone – there’s plenty of free space throughout the assembly area.

If you take the time to watch the walkabout sections, you’ll clearly see large open empty spaces everywhere.

According to crowd behaviour expert Dr. Dirk Oberhagemann – who documented the crowd crush tragedy at the Love Parade – free movement like that only occurs when the ratio is well below 1.

We* look forward to our crowd estimate being debunked. It’s at least four times more accurate than Newsnet Scotland’s pitiful attempt.

Next!

 

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Filed under Lies, Media, Treachery

Wings Over Scotland: The fallacy files #1 Dicto simpliciter – Hillsborough

IT WOULD appear that Nationalist Front blackshirt, Stuart Campbell, of Wings Over Scotland is ‘splitting’ the navel gazing online Yes campaign. One of the most frequently heard defenses of the Wings blog is that it “is accurate and cites sources” – a logical fallacy known as argumentum ab auctoritate. Forgive AhDinnaeKen’s laughter as we use this mini-series of features to demonstrate why the cabal of ever increasing Wings supporters are being sold a pup. In this post, we* take a look at a common fallacy exploited mercilessly by Campbell when ‘proving’ his alleged analysis – Dicto simpliciter:

Paranoia, grievance and conspiracy all rolled into one Tweet. Well done Jeff. We salute you McIndefatigability.

Paranoia, grievance and conspiracy all rolled into one Tweet. Well done Jeff. We salute your MacIndefatigability.

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

JOAN MCALPINE MSP’s, Twitter feed, alerted us to this little Twitter spat.

It’s worth reading through the whole thread. Several relatively prominent online Yes Tweeters engaged in a wee stooshie about the merits or demerits of Wings Over Scotland.

AhDinnaeKen became interested because 1) The Firstminster of Scotland’s speechwriter and ‘special’ aide took the time out of her busy parliamentary day in the run up to Sep 18, to ReTweet it and 2) one of the comments by Jeff ‘Nelson Salmondella’ Breslin, regarding Hillsborough, needed further analysis.

Jeff attempted to defend Wings by stating that he saw “nothing particularly offensive” in Stuart Campbell’s post on Hillsborough.

You don't need to read them forensically. All you have to do is take on board what you're actually reading. Logical fallacy a-go-go.

You don’t need to monitor them forensically. All you have to do is take on board what you’re actually reading. Logical fallacy a-go-go.

AhDinnaeKen has covered Campbell’s Hillsborough treatise twice: here and here (warning – they’re a bit long). The second one is worth looking at in terms of relevance to the above Twitter thread.

The Hillsborough piece by Campbell, ironically entitled, ‘No Justice for the 96‘ is typical of posts in Wings Over Scotland in terms of its narrative style and structure: it’s well written, fairly comprehensive in its selective facts and conclusions – and it’s completely fallacious. So fallacious, in fact, that it undermines itself and is offensive in that it feigns authority in order to falsely legitimise Campbell’s tribal, bigoted hatred against Liverpool fans.

The crux of the piece and the ‘trenchant’ insight into Campbell’s pathology of hate is encapsulated in the following statement written within the piece:

“At Hillsborough, EVERYONE pushing their way into the tunnel KNEW perfectly well that it opened into an enclosed area with no exits, hemmed in by overhanging steel fences, which minutes before kick-off was likely to already be crammed with people, and which took the inherently-hazardous form of a stairway.”

[Our* Emphasis]

The phrase “everyone” combined with “knew” is a lie. It commits the logical fallacy of Dicto simpliciter, or sweeping generalisation as it is commonly known.

Dicto simpliciter is frequently used to fit people into stereotypical moulds e.g. Frenchman are great lovers or short men have an aggressive chip on their shoulder or the average Scot is a drunk – everyone knows that.

In Campbell’s case, he appeals to the stereotype of the time – which was also the prevailing Thatcherite belief – that Liverpool fans were mindless, murderous, thugs. The implication being, despite the reams and reams of contradictory evidence, that the Liverpool fans knew they were killing fellow fans. Such a belief isn’t just stupid, it’s pathologically mind numbingly stupid.

Campbell went further in his hate piece. Having built a case predicated on a lie, he then further blamed Liverpool fans for the enclosed fences at Hillsborough being there in the first place:

“Hillsborough could have happened at almost any ground in the country in the late 1980s, but Liverpool’s fans must shoulder a disproportionate share of the blame for the existence of the fateful fences, which in part arose from their murderous actions at Heysel Stadium four years earlier.”

Another lie appealing to incomplete knowledge and relying, instead, on bigoted uninformed sentiment to fill in the cracks.

The Dicto simpliciter logical fallacy is routinely relied upon in order to appeal to generally accepted truisms. It’s a godsend fallacy for those harbouring grievances against other groups. Put into crude terms, the majority of Wings Over Scotland’s posts tediously and relentlessly build upon the following stereotypes: media bias is bad, Tories are heartless and bad, Labour are sellouts and bad, Better Together are “anti-Scottish” and bad – you get the tedious stereotypical idea.

Garve 01 Cites Sources

A good example of argumentum ab auctoritate – the logical fallacy of the appeal to authority. Wings cites sources and is accurate therefore it is true and authoritative. Forgive the smirk Garve, do you still believe that the earth is flat? There are some accurate and well cited sources out there to reinforce that long discredited belief.

AhDinnaeKen has covered Campbell’s Hillsborough lies before. We’re going to cover more of his lies and falsehoods, and the logical fallacies used to deliver them to his credulous readership. We*’re tired of intelligent apologists such as Garve Scott-Lodge or Jeff Breslin or Joan McAlpine attempting to excuse Campbell’s belligerent blackshirted bigotry.

It’s a stereotype associated with Nationalism that advocates of its creed – such as Campbell and his ‘alert readers’ – are prepared to turn a blind eye to its potential atrocities.

Campbell’s writings are mostly atrocious. They rely on buying into Nationalist stereotypes and cliches for them to be believed. It’s all a part of the groupthink mindset relying on ‘othering’ which has paved the way for Campbell’s, so far, limited success in gaining publicity and financial reward for himself.

In the Twitter spat linked to above, Garve Scott-Lodge also claimed that quotes used against Campbell are taken out of context in order to impugn Campbell. We* invite him to correct AhDinnaeKen on quotes taken out of context in this piece.

In future posts, AhDinnaeKen is going to highlight some of Campbell’s more cliched fallacies, selectively, without sentiment and as temperately as possible, given the tedious nature of the material being dealt with.

Be there!

[ * tired overly used joke based on pluralis majestatis which is as relentlessly tiresome as any Wings post ]

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Filed under Opinion, Wangs Watch

Wings Over Scotland: Does Stewart Hosie MP endorse coordinated surveillance of political opponents?

MOST PEOPLE appear to have missed Stewart Hosie MP’s effusive eulogy of Wings Over Scotland recently. AhDinnaeKen certainly did. Given the timing and the recent rumpus over Campbell Gunn and his laughably amateur reliance on information, probably, gleaned from the Wings Over Scotland blog, we* thought Hosie’s praise was well worth a re-visit. AhDinnaeKen explains:

The Courier has been holding some excellent debates throughout its circulation area. It's a pity this one wasn't better reported on.

The Courier has been holding some excellent debates throughout its circulation area. It’s a pity this one didn’t receive further publicity in the light of some recent smoking Gunn’s.

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

STEWART HOSIE MP is a Nationalist who could easily be described as an asset to the independence cause.

Unlike some of his compatriots, he looks and acts the part of the competent, forthright, no nonsense politician – an unusual phenomenon amongst Nationalist politicians.

Throughout his political career he has steadily increased his authority and has moved up the ranks, achieving the position of SNP Deputy Leader (Westminster division). In contrast to some of his fellow MPs, it would be fair to describe him as ‘solid’ and a safe pair of hands.

His television appearances are always dealt with by him in a peremptory authoritative fashion which brooks no credible opposition to his forthright arguments.

And that’s what makes his praise of the “phenomenon that is Wings Over Scotland” so curious. For someone who gives such a measured impression, this unrestrained eulogising over such a toxic, intolerant and potentially dangerous blog site, is as breathtaking as it is misguided.

At a Courier newspaper sponsored indy debate, held earlier this month on June 5, Hosie effectively anointed Nationalist Front blog, Wings Over Scotland and, by proxy, its editor, Stuart Campbell.

Hosie said:  (check around 27m 2os on video)

“We’ve seen the Bella Caledonia website – wonderful! The stuff the National Collective people do in the creative arts – wonderful! Newsnet Scotland doing a mainstream kind of job (sic).

“The phenomenon that is Wings Over Scotland. Who I understand now, have a hundred thousand page views a day and almost a million readers a year.”

As AhDinnaeKen pointed out last week, such figures are based on Google Analytics reports. For those figures to be used in such a manner is a bona fide sham – a complete and utter misleading falsehood – deliberately peddled to give a false impression of the reach, readership and reputation of the blog.

So, just like Nationalist Spin Doctor, Campbell Gunn, Hosie has shown that he is also willing to be duped by Wings’ editor Stuart Campbell’s toxic brand of lies, inaccuracies, misinformation and propaganda.

`
Due to the sycophantically sympathetic and supine nature of the Wings blog regarding independence and its passively uncritical view of Nationalist actions at Holyrood,  it’s easy to see why a mostly competent Nationalist politician like Hosie would be so willingly seduced by such meaningless figures and why he would perceive those “readership” figures as potential votes for Yes.

To compound his delight at this alleged grassroots upsurge of Nationalistic populism, Hosie went further in his praise of Wings:

“Now, whether you agree with them or not, the fact that the referendum has created so much interest, that a website like that is getting that kind of readership, that is quite spectacular.”

It would be “spectacular” if it was indeed getting that kind of readership. There’s no way of knowing what the actual readership figure is. And that’s why asserting such unverifiably false figures as “readership” and as a “phenomenon” fits so well into the common Nationalist narrative which mostly consists of bluster, belief and blind leaps of faith.

Curiously, Hosie’s portfolio at Westminster includes the role of Treasury spokesperson – a role, which according to the Parliament.UK website, he’s held since 2005.

Another set of figures which Stewart Hosie may have forgotten to verify independently.

Another set of figures which Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie might have forgotten to verify independently. Funny that.

It’s fair to conclude from this position that Hosie knows a lot about figures and how to disseminate them in a positive manner to reinforce the righteousness of his cause. It also explains why Hosie’s peddling of the figures disseminated by Wings, highlights a real weakness in the Treasury spokesperson’s alleged competence.

If Hosie could get the figures so spectacularly wrong with Wings without checking first, what else is he getting spectacularly wrong in his role as Treasury spokesperson? Did he verify or clarify those alleged readership figures from an independent source? Did he do the necessary groundwork? Or did he, take the information from the Wings blog as a given, without checking?

We* think we* should be told.

The parallels with Campbell Gunn’s rank amateur faux pas over the Clare Lally affair are clear to see. Both professional, political men appear to have been seduced and consequently duped by Wings unprofessional disingenuous innuendo. Both men, colloquially speaking, have made a right public arse of themselves by doing so. Hosie might just get away with it. The jury’s still out on Gunn.

Finally, we had the following supposition from Hosie, still on the subject of Wings – and to a lesser degree the other sites mentioned – where he engaged in a flight of futuristic fancy.

He said: “It will be interesting to see what happens, with all of those organisations and websites and Twitter feeds post-referendum – one way or another – to see if the community engagement and the activist engagement and these communities they’ve built, stay together and continue to do things.”

AhDinnaeKen wonders just what Hosie means by “continue to do things”. Perhaps he means “things” like the “creepy as f**k” coordinated surveillance of political opponents by Campbell from his flat in far away ‘gentrified’ Bath.

Campbell recently whined that he had been misrepresented by the Scotsman newspaper which reported that he “used the site to call on nationalist campaigners to photograph their opponents so that they can be publicly identified.”

If Campbell wants to complain about this Tweet which is still on display in his Twitter timeline, he can ask us to politely remove it, seeing as its allegedly causing him so much pain.

If Campbell wants to complain about this Tweet, which is still on display in his Twitter timeline, he can ask us* politely to remove it, seeing as it’s allegedly causing him so much pain.

Campbell bleated he’d been defamed by the Scotsman for reporting such and has allegedly instructed his lawyers to take requisite action. He has also allegedly complained to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC). We*’re still laughing at the prospect.

His complaint hinges around the Scotsman claim that the purpose of his coordinated surveillance was to “publicly” identify individuals. Campbell claims that was never the purpose of his orchestrated surveillance “operation”. Though he did admit to the Stasi like collation of a “BIG file” on political opponents.

Technically, Campbell might force an apology from the newspaper, though we* remain highly sceptical. If he does win anything, it will be a pyrrhic victory, for he’ll have to admit to the PCC that he had indeed engaged in a coordinated mobilisation of his ‘alert readers’ to surveil members of the public going about their daily business. No matter how you look at those “kind of things”, the reaction of the average person in the street is almost always the same – they find such actions “creepy as f**k”.

Are these grassroot manoeuvres the kind of “things” Hosie envisions those “communities” will “continue to do”?

If it is, then it’s a potentially potent political disaster in the making. And it’s an eminently avoidable one. The Nationalist hierarchy should deal with it now before it gets out of hand which, as the Campbell Gunn saga has so readily demonstrated, it might.

The SNP/Yes campaign make great capital out of possessing the grassroot “foot soldiers” who are going to take the Yes message direct to the doors of the people of Scotland. Many of these “foot soldiers” are advocates of Wings Over Scotland’s brand of so called “truth”.

What reassurance can the likes of Stewart Hosie provide to the public at large that these “communities” of grassroots activists aren’t going to be taking pictures, or worse, of No voters or their houses and be reporting back to some distant location in Somerset?

It’s not outwith the realms of possibility that Yes ‘Mavens’ with their blue and white Yes vests will end up being seen as sinister. And that would be a shame.

In a recent FT profile on the Wings Over Scotland phenomenon, Campbell predicted the following reaction in the event of a No vote: “people will feel they haven’t so much been beaten so much as they’ve been cheated.”

It’s open to speculation the kind of action Campbell would take upon such a result. He’s already demonstrated that he can locate and place willing and active grassroot “goons” virtually anywhere on the ground in Scotland. So, technically, nobody’s outwith his reach, anywhere throughout the country.

And Campbell has previously demonstrated a level of petty vindictiveness which borders on the pathological: his wishing of “all” old soldiers dead, calling victims of the Hillsborough disaster “c**ts” to the sister of one of the 96 dead, falsely claiming that the editor of AhDinnaeKen had been arrested for some Walter Mitty like fantasy crime against him, and calling on the burning down of parliament if independence wasn’t achieved in September, are all directly attributable to his titanic temper tantrums.

Jim Sillars engaged in some 'direct action' with Pat Kane some years ago. A window got broken. Campbell's solution is  a bit more radical going by this tweet.

Jim Sillars engaged in some ‘direct action’ with Pat Kane some years ago. A window got broken. Campbell’s solution is a bit more radical judging by this tweet.

All of these spiteful reactions occurred when something angered him, resulting in him lashing out disproportionately and without restraint. Who knows what he’ll be capable of if the referendum vote is a No. With his “BIG file” and his demonstrably unrestrained vengeful vitriolic vindictiveness, there is a real and present danger that something deeply unpleasant might just happen. We* hope that Stewart Hosie MP, Deputy Leader and Treasury spokesperson will be big enough to take his share of the responsibility if, and when, it does.

Hosie’s unrestrained praise for Wings took place after the coordinated surveillance “operation” had already occurred. Whether by accident or design, that means he has endorsed those “kind of things” as legitimate actions to engage in.

One of the accusations, rightly or wrongly, aimed at First Minister Salmond is that, by not sacking Campbell Gunn over his attempted smear of Clare Lally, he has effectively signalled that it’s open season for non-Yessers to be attacked without restraint – from the upper echelons to the lower grassroots.

Unless some kind of official statement is announced by the SNP regarding their relationship to Wings, with the intention of detoxifying Hosie’s effusive praise, then the signal is loud and clear: the Nationalists have declared a war of toxic hectoring abuse on their opponents. And, it’s likely to be perceived that they’re more than willing, like Salmond clearly demonstrated at FMQs, to turn a blind eye and ear to it.

Such a potential phenomenon fits some of the more well known and unpleasant stereotypes associated with Nationalism.

Next!

We* suggest you should dry your eyes and grow up you blackshirted baby.

We* respectfully suggest you should dry your eyes and grow up.

* pluralis majestatis used throughout in the pretence that we* still have an ironic sense of humour left

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Filed under Newspeak, Referendum, Wangs Watch

Campbell Gunn: Should have listened to AhDinnaeKen

AHDINNAEKEN’S NOT one for saying we* told you so to the SNP. But we* told you so SNP. Get yourselves embroiled with Wings Over Scotland, we said, and you’ll damage your cause. Yesterday, you got yourselves embroiled with Wings Over Scotland and you damaged your cause. You should have listened to AhDinnaeKen. As we* said earlier, we* told you so. AhDinnaeKen soporificates:

The face of the misogynistic Nationalist Front. Happy to call an ordinary mother a liar for expressing a view on the referendum. Check the Wehrmacht styled badge on the right of Mr Campbell's black-shirt.

The face of the misogynistic Nationalist Front. “Happy” to call an ordinary mother a “liar” for expressing a view on the referendum. In an irony free statement, he claimed that he had seen no one attacking Ms Lally.   Check the Wehrmacht styled badge on the right of Mr Campbell’s black-shirt.

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

ON SUNDAY AhDinnaeKen posted a story entitled ‘Wings Over Scotland: The facts behind the Financial Times profile’.

We provided some free advice for the SNP. They didn’t listen.

And look what happened!

Campbell Gunn, one of the Firstminster’s £1 million inner Star Chamber, is fighting for his job.

Gunn appeared to make the mistake of believing that Wings Over Scotland is a credible news source.

In his official capacity as Firstminsterial special adviser, he attempted to undermine ordinary mother, Clare Lally, claiming she was the daughter of a former Labour Lord Provost.

Remarkably, and no doubt by complete coincidence, Wings Over Scotland had previously blogged this fraudulent, risibly inaccurate, information.

Coincidence or magic? You decide.

Wings Nationalist Front hate-preacher and entrenched misogynist, Stuart Campbell, finally conceded his error. But the damage was done – Gunn had embarrassed himself and the Firstminster, made his job unntenable, and proved AhDinnaeKen’s prediction that embracing Campbell would damage the SNP cause.

Campbell claimed it was all the fault of the “newspapers” who, according to his particular brand of pathology, had “published contradictory accounts”.

Mr Campbell is on record referring to himself as a “professional journalist”. He frequently cites that he has 20 years experience of the “profession”.

One of the first things any journalist wannabe learns is the checking of sources and facts. If you’re going to print, publish or post anything that relies on factual accuracy, it’s a fundamental journalistic imperative that you double check your sources. Basic stuff.

It’s clear from Mr Campbell’s defence of the “confusion” that his sources were the “newspapers”. He even cited the Clydebank Post, implying that they were to blame for his rank amateur error.

Mr Campbell’s subseqent appearances on television were also enlightening. We’ll leave it to others to decide what he looks like, but on BBC radio – where thankfully we didn’t have to look at his face – he called Ms Lally a “liar”.

He said: “I’m happy to call her a liar”.

No contrition, no regret, no empathy. The classic reaction of a narcissistic misogynist without a shred of human empathy. No wonder he lives with rats for companions.

On the same day that AhDinnaeKen posted our* piece on the FT profile, Ian Smart, the well known Labour lawyer and blogger, blogged on the history of the SNP and the type of people who constitute its membership.

It’s well worth reading. A couple of lines were most notable given the subequent events re Ms Lally, Campbell Gunn and Wings Over Scotland.

Mr Smart said: “...to drop the Donaldson lecture would infuriate a significant minority in nationalist ranks. Who would dissent, thus highlighting their views. And that would be disastrous for the SNP electorally.”

The SNP is home to some fringe loonies – loonies such as Wings who see political capital in attacking ordinary women struggling with extraordinary circumstances.

When loonies like Campbell get their views highlighted, achieving the kind of publicity he got yesterday, then the truth is out. The type is exposed for the nasty, unsympathetic extremists they truly are – all in the name of a flag and a concept. The outcome is damage to the party and the party’s cause.

Campbell claimed that the Daily Record had referred to Ms Lally as being part of “the political elite”.

This was a complete fabrication. The Record said the following, “Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said Clare would be the first of several non-political appointments.”

The headline in the paper was “Mum joins political elite to fight for carer’s rights” – hardly part of the political elite.

So how Mr Campbell managed to twist this into Ms Lally being part of the political elite is mindboggling. No doubt to certain Nationalist types it makes perfect sense, but that’s why Campbell Gunn is fighting for his job and Stuart Campbell has been exposed, yet again, as a nasty wee man with a grudge against the world which the independence referendum is giving a tediously depressing outlet to.

Roll on Sep 18. The sooner we see the back of the likes of Campbell and his swivel eyed cohorts, the better.

Next!

* pluralis majestatis used throughout for illustrative tediously unfunny comedy effect.

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Filed under CyberNats, Wangs Watch

Wings Over Scotland: The facts behind the Financial Times profile

THE PRESTIGIOUS FT reported on the ‘phenomenon’ that is Wings Over Scotand today. According to the FT – and Google Analytics – the Wings Over Scotland blog reaches 1.7 million unique users. That’s more than half the Scottish electorate. Is Wings Over Scotland the unrecognised gamechanger which the Yes campaign so desperately needs? AhDinnaeKen soporificates:

"The internet media is the message and the message is ME!" said a Jedi Reverend recently.

“The internet media is the message and the message is ME!” said a Jedi Reverend recently.

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

WHATEVER YOU think of pro-independence blog, Wings Over Scotland (WOS), it can’t be denied that it is a phenomenon – of sorts.

To a particular type on the Yes side of the independence campaign, it is a beacon of hope, a debunker of mainstream media bias, an oasis of refreshing truth in a desert of unquenchable lies. In effect, Stuart ‘Charlie’ Campbell is seen as a righteous herald in the vanguard of Nationalistic ‘Tribune journalism’.

To almost everyone else, who is aware of it at least, the blog is a relentlessly aggressive Nationalist Front diatribe of hate-preaching, false accusation, paranoia, evasiveness, polarising invective, risible inaccuracies, extreme intolerance and “creepy as f**k” coordinated surveillance.

But whether you’re for the blog’s hate preaching demagoguery or against it, it can’t be denied that the monomaniacal ego driven individual behind it has attracted a certain type of attention during the Scottish referendum debate.

A sketch based profile in today’s Financial Times is an accolade of sorts and one which might encourage the Nationalist hierarchy to officially embrace the blog and the blogger behind it.

For the Nationalists to do so would be a strategic mistake. Many of the reasons why are embedded in the FT profile itself. There are many others, but for the purpose of this piece we*’ll stick to the Financial Times sketch.

Consider this from the second paragraph in the FT piece:

“Stuart Campbell, a video game designer and writer, uses his website Wings Over Scotland to demand an end to the 307-year-old union with England, attacking what he sees as the “lies” and patronising tone of the anti-independence movement.”

He’s a writer alright and he definitely knows how to construct a sentence. We*’ll concede that one.

Video game designer is maybe taking things a bit too far though. According to a prominent games industry insider: He always takes lots of credit for Cannon Fodder 2. Jon Hare, his boss says he just did some level design. But most of those levels were submitted by entrants to a competition. So Stu did little but takes credit for a lot.”

The 24th mission of Cannon Fodder 2 is to find out how many of the previous 23 missions Mr Campbell actually designed himself.

The 25th mission of Cannon Fodder 2 is to find out how many of the previous 24 missions Mr Campbell actually designed himself. The toughest misson of the lot.

Further investigation revealed that Amiga Power magazine did indeed run a competition in August 1994 for its readers to design levels for Canon Fodder 2. Campbell allegedly took direct possession of those competition entries from the magazine and used them for the game whilst employed by Sensible Software. ‘Alert readers’ can come to their own conclusions.

As for the “lies” and patronising tone of the indy debate”, if only Campbell could see hissel as ithers see him.

It’s worth noting that Campbell is a frequent user of the Thatcherite sounding term ‘WetNat’ which he uses with impunity to attack pro-Yes independence activists who don’t happen to agree with his hate-preaching tone or manner. Presumably, they are also part of the “lies” and “patronising tone”

When it comes to assertion based puffery, Mr Campbell can match and exceed anyone in the campaign – and that includes half witted politicians such as Pete Wishart MP. The FT further reported:

“With just over 100 days to go, Mr Campbell believes the internet has been one of the reasons the Yes camp is still in contention.” – nothing to do with the fact that the Nationalists have the full resources, power and expense sheet of a devolved government behind them then.

The emphasis above, of course, should be on the word “believes”. Tangible evidence is notable by its absence.

Campbell further asserted: “I think we would be absolutely nowhere without the internet. If this referendum was taking place in 1979, when we had the first devolution referendum, we would have no chance. But now people have somewhere else they can go and check the facts.”

The implication is clear, due to his blog, the Yes campaign is still in the running. Phrases such as “ye couldnae make it up” might be more fitting for such a risible assertion, but it’s worth looking at the evidence provided and the wriggle room it gives for Campbell’s ‘ego out of control’ hyperbole.

The FT reported Wings Over Scotland as the “biggest” politically dedicated website in the Yes campaign and cites a figure of 1.7 million unique users.

Impressive sounding stats indeed and, as Mr Campbell is more than keen to point out, that figure is more than half of the Scottish electorate, “If we got 1.7m votes in the referendum we would win.” he said.

But just how much credibility does that 1.7 million figure actually have?

Not much is the simple answer.

Like Campbell’s admission that he does not know the ‘political leanings’ of his ‘alert readers’, the 1.7 million is also a ‘known unknown’ which is effectively a stab in the dark at the true number of actual readers.

According to Yehoshua Coren, a Google Analytics expert, unique visitors are not commensurate with unique people.

He said: “We use the term “visitor,” but technically this means “__utma Cookie.” Cookies are browser specific. So if I, Yehoshua Coren, visit example.com in a 5 minute span from 3 different browsers, GA (Google Analytics) reports that 3 “unique visitors” came to the site. Similarly, if 3 different people in my household visit example.com at different times throughout the day, this is 1 “unique visitor.” Lastly, if I visit a website repeatedly using Private Browsing (Firefox) or Incognito Mode (Chrome), etc, my cookies are cleared on browser close so I’ll be an additional “unique visitor” (with a ‘new visit’) on every subsequent visit.”

These impressive figures are 'unique device' figures. Almost three times the population of the whole of Britain views the Daily Mail online. Wow! But how many real people does that actually translate into?

These impressive figures are ‘unique device’ figures. Almost three times the population of the whole of Britain views the Daily Mail online per month. Wow! But how many real people does that actually translate into?

In effect, the 1.7m figure is mostly meaningless if you’re trying to base a unique number of actual people visiting the blog. And it’s clear from reading the FT piece that the 1.7m figure cited is a cumulative figure from Wings first foray in the indy blogosphere in 2011. In effect, the 1.7m figure is as big a sham as Campbell’s thinly veiled claim to have helped keep the Yes campaign in the running.

It’s uncommon now for AhDinnaeKen to visit the WOS blog, but over the past three years it’s fair to say that I’ve used three different browsers on my laptop, occasionally I’ve browsed a page from my smartphone or my tablet and I’ve also looked at it from my NetBook.

According to Google Analytics data collation, that counts as at least six unique visitors. And given that I also have Private browsing switched on in Firefox on both the netbook and the laptop, that figure is likely to be exponentially higher.

AhDinnaeKen can make the claim that we*’ve almost reached a quarter of a million unique visitors since Feb 2012 – but the majority of them appear to be spammers. And the rest are visits by people mistaking us* for the “Onion” and finding out we* were “unfunny”.

So, for someone who claims to attack the “lies” and patronising tone of the anti-independence movement”, Mr Campbell really needs to get a better grasp of reality and stop lying to and patronising his own ‘alert readers’ with such questionably meaningless figures.

The £50,000 or so that he raised from Indiegogo is laudable, but given that questions have been raised over whether the lottery winning Weirs had anything to do with it, it’s mostly moot – as well as somewhat diminished.

It was highly notable that Mr Campbell did not hold a press event with a big symbolic cheque proudly displaying the alleged figure of £150,000 raised emblazoned on its front – as suggested by political commentator Euan McColm.

This may or may not have happened. But given the general "evasiveness" and lack of tangible proof, 'alert readers' can make up their own minds.

This may or may not have happened. But given the general “evasiveness” and lack of tangible proof, ‘alert readers’ can make up their own minds.

Also worth remembering is the old proverb (in)actions speak louder than words. In this instance, for a struggling Yes campaign, such a press conference could have been a publicity coup and a clear demonstration of the alleged grassroots momentum and passion for the campaign.

As such, the money raised was more of a damp squib than a high flying firework.

Then we come to the real lacking in the whole outlook and persona of Mr Campbell’s Wings Over Scotland campaign: his undisguised anger toward and hatred of the ‘other’ side.

Campbell told the man from the FT, presumably with a straight face:

“I don’t want to find myself living in Scotland if it’s a No vote. I couldn’t bear it. I would feel I was living in the most cowardly nation on earth.”

AhDinnaeKen is incapable of seeing the logic, reason or sentiment behind such a fundamentally zealotous belief. Once you’ve stopped laughing, you realise that such a belief is the philosophy of the extremist. Condemning your nation’s people for taking a democratic decision with which you disagree is what is cowardly. It displays the monomania of the wee boy who takes his ball away because his team urnae winning. We* respectfully suggest that Mr Campbell should dry his eyes.

Such a person would also probably refer to allegedly fellow Scots as “cringing pitiful scum” for voting incorrectly. Er, haud on, Campbell already has.

Whether it’s a Yes or No vote, AhDinnaeKen disnae care. Just so long as it’s a convincing victory and we can all be protected from the raw and ugly forces which inevitably drive Nationalism – whether it’s disguised as ‘civic’ or ‘progressive’ or whatever snake skin oil it happens to be wearing that day.

Campbell and his labelling of non-Yes voters as “cowards” personifies that Nationalist ugliness. If the SNP or Yes campaign embrace Wings, or any of its proposed indyref events, then it will be a sure fire reinforcement of Professor Tomkins recent assertion that the Nationalists had stopped trying to win the referendum and were now merely trying to shore up their core vote. Tomkins

Wings Over Scotland is now officially recognised by the Electoral Commission as an official  Yes campaigner. It means that Wings should face some real and proper scrutiny rather than being mostly ignored by the media as an irritating irrelevance.

The FT alludes to what could come. When questioned on the “reverend” status the reaction of Mr Campbell was described as “sketchy“. Which it would be, of course. He claimed that he had trained for church orders – it’s worth mentioning that the Jedi religion refer to themselves as a church.

Most notably, the word “evasive” is also used by FT journo John Murray Brown in relation to Campbell’s alleged passion for independence and his irreconcilable adherence to living in England for almost half his adult life, referred to in the piece as “two decades”.

Derek Bateman said recently of James Naughtie and Andrew Marr: “The problem here is one of assimilation because after 25 or 30 years absorbing London culture and learning about it, embedding themselves there and bringing up families, they lose some aspect of what makes them Scots.”

Well said Derek. The same could just as easily be said of Wings Over Scotland's Stuart Campbell, could it not?

Well said Derek. The same could just as easily be said of Wings Over Scotland’s Stuart Campbell, could it not?

The same holds for Campbell. AhDinnaeKen doesn’t recognise Campbell’s aspect of Scottishness. It’s out of date, distant, nasty and not commensurate with anything remotely ‘civic’ or ‘progressive’. The vision of an independent Scotland put forward by Campbell conjures up an image of jackboots, state surveillance, authoritarianism and intolerance.

The SNP should bear this in mind. The unique reader figures cited for the WOS blog are a testable sham. The blog is undeniably popular, but do the figures stack up? The philosophy of Campbell is built on intolerance, ‘othering’ and hateful extremism. If the Nationalists embrace him in the lead up to Sep 18 then they will taint themselves with the same label.

And it will be an inescapably damaging label.

We* await with interest developments on the campaigning front.

Next!

* pluralis majestatis used throughout for illustrative unfunny comedy effect.

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Scottish Independence: Electorate ‘unfazed’ by Salmond dictator comparisons

WHILE the Nationalists whip up some faux outrage and indignation at warp factor ten, 88% of voters said “Ho hum. Beam up the next grievance please. This one’s as dull as a di-lithium crystal scabby knee.” AhDinnaeKen soporificates:

Kim Jong-il Salmond and Moan McVulpine at the Big Parish Cooncil, yesterday.

Kim Jong-il Salmond and ‘aide’, Moan McVulpine, at the Big Parish Cooncil, yesterday.

By Hook Airs

THE SCOTTISH electorate is unfazed by the prospect of Firstminster Salmond being compared to a fat dictator, authors of a report have suggested.

According to the Institute of Straw Polls, the average punter in the street thought the Firstminster was a fat dictator anyway, with 37 per cent affectionately referring to him as ‘Jabba the Gutt’.

But Nationalist drones dismissed the findings, insisting that no subject was too small or too trivial to deflect from the question on everyone’s lips, “Has the Firstminster shagged Moan McVulpine while discussing the fiscal considerations of the oil index on the inter-disciplinary repercussions of tax returns, currency union and iScotland start-up costs?”

Darling mumbled, "Have you ever tried lifting 75 litres of bloody soil at B&Q?"

Darling mumbled, “Have you ever tried lifting 75 litres of bloody soil at B&Q?”

In an exclusive cock-up from the not so New Statesman, ex-Chancellor of the Imperial British Reich, Moveover Darling, did not say. “I haff vays of not making me tock.”

Mike Smalldick of the increasingly hysterical Bella Caledonication website, referred to the jibe as “standard Salmond Dictator Bingo” aka ‘one rubber duck, nobody gives a f**k’.

Smalldick further bleated: “This is pathetic. No one is taking a blind bit of notice of our faux outrage because they’ve seen and heard it all before.

“But rest assured there will be plenty more faux outrage, screaming, wailing and gnashing of teeth as it becomes increasingly clear that the majority of Scots don’t give a Kim Jong-il about the rebirth of oor Salmondland.

“It makes my blood-soil boil, it really does. Kevin, where’s that Butcher’s Apron and the matches?”

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Moan McVulpine: Voting Yes could be bad for your marriage

AS FULLA Shitford, a consultant divorce lawyer, warns, a Yes vote could destroy your marriage as you know it in Scotland. Moan urges Scots to look at why the majority of women voters will probably vote No.

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By Moan McVulpineTaking the adult out of adultery

DIVORCE WILL hit more than 11,500 women in Scotland this year.

Not all of them will be the fault of list MSPs.

One in four men, at some point, will feel the urge to stray and act upon it. It’s the news every faithful woman dreads.

Of course, the women will survive – temporally at least. But inside, it can be so spirit crushingly devastating that their soul and sense of self remains permanently damaged – crushed.

Fulla is a consultant divorce lawyer near Newton Stewart in Dumfriesshire.

She is in the same mould as Harmer Andwar, the high profile lawyerly defender of serial liars, misogynists and perjurers – otherwise known as Citizen Sheridanz.

Fulla knows that the message currently being sent out by the SNP is one of relentless insecurity for the bedrock of society – wives and mothers.

Aside from predatory list MSPs seeking out previously faithful husbands, Scots women will also have to beware narcissistic predatory misogynistic champagne Socialists who’ve gone to jail to defend their right to lie in court.

Many folk just don’t trust politicians and, given the antics of the two hinted at above, it’s no surprise.

Both are SNP endorsed because they’re an important part of the Yes campaign.

One can appeal to the Firstminster’s baser instincts and the other appeals to the dirty manky denim jacketed unwashed Trotskyite brigade – the People’s Republic of Cardonald, or somewhere like that.

Together, they’ll be responsible for thousands of lost Yes votes – they might even ‘collaborate’ on a book together. Er, haud on.

But the one real breathtaking element of the blatantly immoral brigade is their ability to pontificate as if they were somehow morally superior.

From bleating about “anti-Scots”, which is really just a synonym meaning “anti-SNP”, to calling everyone a liar but themselves, their well polished brass necks would be something to admire if they weren’t, on reflection, so transparently repugnant.

So when one of them uses their plinth in the Daily Redcoat to castigate the basturt English aka Westminster, it’s always worth reminding yourself of the type of person they are.

What’s in it for them: power, narcissistic supply, money, ability to abuse others with impunity?

When you answer those questions, the conclusion is always the same. They’re in it for themselves.

As Fulla Shitford once said: “Meet the new would be bosses. Same as the old has been bosses.”

COMEDY RELIEF

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