Category Archives: Opinion

Sturgeon endorses independence by Xmas 2018 – Review

Independence by Xmas 2018, a new currency, increased taxes, decentralisation of local government, a hard border with rUK and trust in the political class are the visions presented by Gordon Guthrie in his new book recommended and endorsed by Nicola Sturgeon. AhDinnaeKen took a quick peak:

First Minister endorses book which trashes previous SNP currency stance as "weak". There's a thing.

First Minister endorses book which trashes previous SNP currency stance as “weak”. Now, there’s a thing.

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

“Scotland will become independent on the same day that the rUK leaves the European Union around Xmas 2018” reckons Gordon Guthrie in his new book, Winning the Second Independence Referendum: A Manifesto For Scotland In the European Union After Brexit.

It’s a bold claim which could easily be mocked and ridiculed before being summarily dismissed. But Guthrie is no fly by night nationalist fantasist. He’s one of the unsung heroes of the SNP’s spectacular electoral successes since 2007 onward: his analysis software, know how and ‘five year plan’, significantly contributed to the SNP’s ever increasing popularity and election gains since 2002. Guthrie joined the SNP in disgust at New Labour’s Iraq policy. Labour’s loss has been the SNP’s exponential gain.

Guthrie’s opinions matter. His personal manifesto, contained within this short, punchy, cogent, fast paced book, is easily worth the two pounds sterling you’ll probably not pay for it.

For there’s a real, hard, pragmatic edge to it. It’s neither sentimental nor emotional and at times could be described as brutal. For example, in the event of independence, Guthrie says: “there will be a violent squeeze on OpEx expenditure in Scotland and a jump in CapEx . The Holyrood based political class, and the institutions that support them will be put under severe pressure overseeing that.”

It’s an admission that there will be nae money to do virtually anything with.  There’s also a tacit inference of potential social unrest with “violent squeeze” and “severe pressure” being the giveaway. Coupled with his insistence that Scotland should have its own currency while dealing with the realities of a hard border at Gretna, it presents a virtual tap in for opponents who claim that independence would lead Scotland into levels of debt, poverty and penury which could set it back for decades.

Of particular interest to Scottish Unionists will be the notion that they “can only be betrayed” by their political Unionist brethern south of the border. For, according to Guthrie, the strongest Unionists in the UK are the Labour party – and they are currently a hopelessly divided and ineffective force in British politics.

The Conservative and Unionist Party, however, are transforming into little Englander, UKIP styled Nationalists. Their finger pointing blame game isn’t going to stop at Johnny European foreigner. ‘Whinging Jocks’ up North will inevitably become a target as the SNP Executive engages in increasingly intransigent demands over right wing Tory Nationalist Brexit plans.

A steady ship from the Scots Nationalists where they “must sit and wait patiently” while Brexit economic and political shockwaves destroy what’s left of Westminster’s political credibility and stability is the crux of the Guthrie gameplan. English Nationalist anti-Scot remonstrations will drive more Scottish No voters toward the Yes camp than Yessers ever could:

“Popular support for independence will not be won by the Yessers converting the No voters – but by the English Unionists chewing up and spitting out the Scottish ones.”

It’s hard to disagree. You can see the clear and present reality of that happening right now in front of your eyes – if only you cared to look.

Where Guthrie appears to be further out of step with current SNP leanings lies in his demand that there must be a new Scottish currency. Here, his argument takes a nosedive. There is no mention of where and how we would build the needed reserves to make such a currency viable in international markets – though he does concede that higher taxes and pain are an inevitability either with or without independence.

Instead he focuses on the issues of operating a dual currency economy – citing Northern Ireland and the Czech-Slovak velvet divorce as the examples to take lessons from. The rationale is there, but the elephant in the room of where the reserves are going to come from is blindsided. It, like the Yes currency argument of 2014, is still the independence movement’s bogeyman.

He’s also out of step with SNP policy and action with his plea that there must be less centralisation and more decisions taken locally: “We are beset with the sins of centralisation too, and we must shake off those habits.”

But that’s unlikely under the current Nationalist regime. Quite the reverse is happening now in modern ‘civic’, ‘democratically awakened’ Scotland: institutions and local councils are being, almost routinely, defenestrated, hollowed out and brought under increasing Holyrood/Sturgeon/Murell control.

However, one place Guthrie’s book wins is in its strategic long term optimistic vision of Scotland as a major European player in the sphere of digital innovation. There is a convincing, aspring and inspiring case made here for Scotland’s current position in the tech scene to be expanded upon and exploited within a Brexit scenario.

Skyscanner and Fanduel, from having a couple of handfuls of employees six or seven years ago, are now billion dollar companies with thousands of employees. They are a success story which demonstrates the power of multi-national, multi-ethnic cooperation – about a quarter to a third of their employees are not UK born. And it’s this outlook and culture, combined with naked ambition, which Guthrie considers would enable Scottish companies to take on and compete aggressively with Berlin. It’s the sort of fighting talk which fires up this jaded Scot into believing in the innovative potential of oor great wee country and oor great wee people – even though a large part of the game plan hinges on the influx of hundreds of thousands of highly paid, highly skilled immigrants.

Of course, the offset of Guthrie’s infectious optimism is that it unravels with some of its appeals to trust: “The second part is to put our trust in our fellow citizens, people who just happen to work for a local council, or the civil service, or who we have elected into office.”

A major element of the success of the SNP has been in its hoovering up of this disaffected distrust of public institutions and the political class. Scots, in general, have felt increasingly disenfranchised from the political process since the election of Margaret Thatcher in 1979 – ironically assisted into power by a willing and complicit SNP. Tony Blair’s New Labour further reinforced and cemented this disaffection.

But the SNP are only as trustable as the parties they have replaced and obliterated in Scotland. And, given that much of their success has relied on the apeing of the New Labour machine politic, that’s hardly a swingeing endorsement or testament to their trustability or competence to deliver on their promises.

Guthrie also demonstrates an almost idealistically naive belief and trust in the EU as a benevolent force for good: “For Scotland, the European Union is a union of equals and the UK was not.”

You only have to take a look at the treatment of Greece and the hardship currently imposed on its people by the European Union’s Brussels-Berlin nexus to sneer at that belief. If that’s a ‘Union of equals’ then UKIP are a progressive and civic party of altruistic philanthropists – a debate for another book and another dimension in time and space.

The latter half of the Guthrie manifesto covers the practical steps with which Scotland could affect its full transition to independence. It positively hums with Guthrie’s digital expertise and optimistic ‘trust’. It reads like an integrated system of varyingly ambitious subroutines in a complex and functionally synchronised computer program.

And that’s no bad thing. If only councils, public institutions, businesses and government could integrate with such harmonious machine efficiency – we’d be laughing all the way to the Sugarcandy mountain bank.

Overall though, Guthrie has taken the brave step of presenting a cogent, honest and mostly credible vision of how an independent Scotland could look and act in a post-Brexit future. It’s not perfect and it’s not wholly convincing – but that conclusion will depend on your political leanings and outlook.

Where the book does win however is in the optimistic pragmatism of the vision it presents. It’s not the sterile Salmondesque technocratic vision of economic levers and unconvincing currency unions; rather, it’s a working template which, after a lot of penury, poverty and social unrest along the way, could just work for the betterment and enrichment of the country.

Nicola Sturgeon’s endorsement and promotion of the book earlier this month seems rather odd given Guthrie’s trashing of the previous referendum currency stance as “weak”, his belief that there would probably be a hard border between Scotland and rUK, and the need for decentralisation of local government. But, as Nicola said, Guthrie’s book is good and fairly quick to read – “recommended”.

A cogent and challenging read. Gordon Guthrie (above) presents a vision of an independent Scotland which will challenge Unionsists and Nationalists alike.

A cogent and challenging read. Gordon Guthrie (above) presents a vision of an independent Scotland which will challenge Unionists and Nationalists alike.

 

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Lies, damn lies and Wings Over Scotland statistics #1

ANOTHER BLOWHARD trumpeting of “readership-stats”, another con-trick from Bath’s fatuously fraudulent ‘reverend’. According to Stuart Campbell, editor of Nationalist Front blog Wings Over Scotland, the site had 293,753 unique visitors in October 2015. Rejoice and raise the saltires, hang the Unionists, beseech the MSM etc. AhDinnaeKen finds itself asking the questions: Can we trust those figures and what benefit are they to Campbell?

Don't believe everything you read in the Nationalist Front media.

Don’t believe everything you read in the Nationalist Front media.

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe – Temporary Google Analytics expert

NEVER SLOW to blow his own trumpet and maintain the myth of a massive readership, Stuart Campbell of Wings Over Scotland recently confirmed to his ‘alert readers’ that just under 300,000 unique visitors or “readers” – as he often refers to such numbers – visited his blog in October 2015.

Very impressive and a potentially powerful political influence if the figures were to be believed which, according to web traffic and internet specialists and user analytics experts Incapsula, they can’t.

According to Incapsula’s findings, 62.3% of traffic to medium sites like Campbell’s – with 10,000 plus visitors per day – are bots. Or non-human traffic in human speak.

Doing the math, the impressive figure of 293,753 unique visitors for the month of October, suddenly whittles down to a less impressive 95,400.

Campbells published figures instantly reduced by one info-graphic ©Incapsula

Campbells published figures instantly reduced by one little info-graphic ©Incapsula

It’s still a formidable figure in anyone’s language but, unfortunately for Wings, it’s exponentially less than the 300,000 claim.

Then, of course, the method of recording and reporting those numbers has to be further taken into account.

Each “unique user” or “unique visitor” is actually a little computer cookie known as an _utma Cookie which is recorded and reported by a Google tool known as Google Analytics. According to Yehoshua Coren, a Google Analytics expert, unique visitors are not commensurate with unique people or readers.

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.”

Wings has a noisily notable hard core “fringe” following of assorted cybernat oddballs, expatriates, geek loners, paranoid conspiracy theorists, adolescent gamers, ‘superior intelligence’ IT coders, dribbling media illiterates, barren ‘genius’ cat people and intellectually starved SNP politicians.

Many of them will view the Wings blog using anything between 3 to 10 devices such as home computers, mobile phones, work computers/tablets etc. To be generous, we’ve also factored in random different browsers set to varying states of privacy – as referenced by Yehoshua Coren above.

Cutting Wings some slack and opting for the smallest likely average figure of viewings to 3 separate devices/browsers per actual person, that gives the blog a monthly real human being readership of around 31,800.

It’s still relatively impressive in a not really impressive at all kind of way – given the blog’s tediously repetitive ad nauseum formula of; mainstream media bad, Labour party bad/, SNP criticism bad, and anyone and everyone else not on board, a “stupid f**king c**t” bad etc.

But the more realistic figure of just under 32,000 unique readers pales compared to the trumpeted 300,000 readers figure.

There’s a thing.

DDos attacks can add

DDoS attacks can add “unique user” figures in multiples of thousands depending on the sophistication of the attack. Any old Rogue Coder could implement such a phenomenon.

Also, when you further factor in Campbell’s own claim that the Wings blog site is under almost constant DDoS attack – cyber attacks which aim to shut sites down through swamping them with “unique user” hits – then it begins to look positively paltry considering the hype which precedes it.

It also somewhat undermines the alleged authority which a “readership” of 300,000 is intended to convey. So there’s another thing.

DDoS attacks can produce what are known as ‘spikes’ in unique user figures. One site in a Google analytics discussion forum recently complained of a “sudden spike in direct traffic increase of about 30k (30,000)”. And the spike occurred in one day. Who knows how many DDoS “unique user” spikes are an integral part of Wings reported figures?

One thing’s for sure, Wings will never tell you because it would directly interfere with his duplicitous intention to con Twitter and Facebook users into thinking he’s part of some sort of “wonderful” Nationalist internet movement.

As recently laid bare in a Twitter conversation with Herald journalist, David Leask, Wings “hits” or “readers” as Campbell prefers to call them, pale into insignificance beside newspapers like the Herald.

As Leasky was the first to point out – in terms of accuracy and fairness – comparing Wings with the likes of the Herald, in terms of numbers, is “hardly a fair comparison”.

Typical Leasky: straightforward, accurate, factual and devastatingly understated.

Typical Leasky: straightforward, accurate, factual and devastatingly understated.

Readers can make up their own minds. But any Unionist or Nationalist or interested observer who thinks that Wings Over Scotland is a political player should think again.

If you believe that Wings trumpeted figure of just under 300,000 unique users is anything remotely close to individual readers then AhDinnaeKen has some plain and simple advice for you: take a long hard look in the mirror – that’s what a zoomer looks like.

30,000 to 60,000 false

30,000 to 60,000 false “unique user” hits in a day makes a mockery of Campbell’s claims. Maybe some independent corroboration and forensic analysis is needed there.

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Moan McVulpine: Stop mentioning ‘social justice’ as SNP exposed as exploitative predators

SNP DRONES have been warned against mentioning ‘social justice’ while Michelle Thomson’s business affairs are given the once over:

"..unrepentant criminals are not a good look for us." said a Women for Independence supporter before Tommy's first Hope over Fear rally. What's NEC member, Joan McAlpine's, excuse for her overt and proud support.

Proud to support convicted perjurers anywhere – Joan McAlpine and the Annan and Dumfries crowd at Tommy Sheridan’s Hope Over Fear, recently.

By Moan McVulpineproviding succour for charlatans everywhere

IT WAS compared to Hitler’s belief in the power of the ‘Big lie’. Michelle Thomson exposed it as a sick joke.

During the general election, SNP drone politicians were told to continually refer to the SNP’s commitment to ‘social justice’.

Apparently it plays to the Nationalist mindset lurking in everyone to feel morally superior to opposition groups such as the paedophilic warmongering traitorous anti-Scots Unionist parties.

SNP activists and politicos alike were encouraged to monotonously bang on about the party’s commitment to ‘social justice’ while ignoring the exploitative predatory antics of their own would be politicians.

The internet was aghast at the lack of basic checks by the Nationalist machine to root out unsavoury characters from representing the party and, by extension, Scotland.

Sadly, not too many were surprised. Convicted wife beater Bill Walker’s selection as a MSP set the benchmark. Michelle Thomson’s selection continued the tradition.

Someone asked if the SNP will still be able to refer to being the party of ‘social justice’ without people laughing in their face.

The simple answer is, I’m afraid not. Next!

Hard on Nationalists like to castigate their opponents as traitors to their country. Joan McAlpine in her recent Daily Redcoat rant delivered a hard core sermon about “imposition” of identity on the Scots by the evil British Brainwashing Corporation.

She invoked the paranoid conspiracy mentality of fringe nutcases like the Wings Over Scotland sect and Newsnet “crackpot” GA Ponsonby, by citing TV programmes such as the Great British bake off as examples of imposed cultural imperialism.

We’re still laughing our kilts off at that one. Padded cells and straitjackets come to mind.

But the essence of the ‘big lie’. The fundamentals of the Nationalists sick joke are no laughing matter.

McAlpine recently attended the Hope Over Fear rally – fronted by convicted perjurer Tommy Sheridan. Her attendance was apt and told its own story.

Joan effectively wrote the book ‘A Time to Rage’ which chronicled, what was then considered to be, Tommy’s heroic struggle against the forces of an oppressive state.

But, as was later revealed by Sheridan’s subsequent court cases, it was all a fabricated sham. A frontispiece of Tommy’s unbridled, ego driven, ambition to promote Tommy.

A hubristic messianic powerdrive, so to speak.

Tommy had only ever been about Tommy. His antics in court, and his motivation to protect his public reputation, demonstrated his ruthless willingness to turncoat and sell out his own principles, political convictions, friends, family, party and position.

Anyone with any ability to reason could see that. The evidence was all laid out in court by Tommy’s scorched earth policy of putting anyone who opposed him to the sword while burning all of his previous achievements.

The crash and burn strategy of the reckless unwavering arsonist.

McAlpine’s attendance at Tommy’s Hope Over Fear political vehicle can be taken as approval of such behaviour. It possibly explains her ability to see an imposed imperialism in the Great British bake off.

If I could shout in her tin ear – I would say, ‘we’re on to you’.

McAlpine’s the type, just like Tommy, who would rather everything ie Scotland, crashed and burned around her, in order to achieve her driving political ambition.

There’s no room for ‘social justice’ in that vision of her great wee country.

It speaks volumes about the Nationalist mindset.

Be afraid Scotland. Be very afraid.

COMEDY RELIEF

 

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Sturgeon to Daily Mail: “I’ll purge party of duplicitous First Ministers”

  • SAINT NICOLA of Sturgeon pledges to cleanse party of untrustable and duplicitous First Ministers.
  • Vows to clean up politics from ‘sullied’clandestine meetings.
  • Will come clean on fracking deal with INEOS once she’s back in office in May 2016.
  • AhDinnaeKen reports:
"My personal use of Twitter is an important part of that (ScotGov)accessibility." Sturgeon told the Scottish Daily Mail. Maybe the Wi-Fi was all used up in New York.

“My personal use of Twitter is an important part of (my government’s) accessibility.” Sturgeon told the Scottish Daily Mail recently. Maybe the Wi-Fi was all used up in New York. when she met Rupee.

 

By Meeja Byaas – undeclared meetings with media tycoons correspondent

NICOLA STURGEON has dramatically intervened in the battle against secret First Ministerial meetings with Murdoch media moguls.

The Firstminster vowed to clean up Scottish politics by purging her party of political leaders who attend clandestine meetings with right wing News Corps proprietors.

Writing exclusively for the Scottish AhDinnaeKen, Saint Nicola said the time had come to ‘send a clear message that politics in Scotland will not be sullied by this type of inappropriate behaviour’.

She also called on frontline politicians who ‘secretly’ meet controversial media barons to stop “prostituting the office of First Minister”.

An AhDinnaeKen investigation found that two out of the last three Scottish First Ministers had ‘secret’ meetings with Rupert Murdoch and deliberately withheld the information in order to deceive the Scottish people.

We also uncovered hundreds of excuses centred around the mantra of ‘jobs’, ‘more jobs’ and ‘6500 jobs in Scotland’.

The findings come only a day after the Scottish Daily Mail revealed that the First Minister had misled the people of Scotland by not letting on she had met the proprietor of the “derogatory” and “sexist” Sun newspaper in New York.

Ms Sturgeon said: “I’m really sorry that the Scottish Daily Mail found out about this.

“Reporting things that I would rather they had kept hidden is typical of mainstream media bias against me, my party and the people of Scotland.

“I blame the BBC.

“When I became First Minister I said I wanted to lead one of the most accessible governments in the world.

“The Scottish Daily Mail have just blown that posturing rhetoric clean out of the water.

“Bastards!”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3218638/SNP-leader-Nicola-Sturgeon-meeting-Rupert-Murdoch.html

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Salmond demands apology for BBC bias during sacking of Berwick

BERWICK WAS the key to mediaevel Scotland’s economic wealth and formed a major part of the country’s culture and identity before it was put to the sword by the evil English basturt homophobe, King Edward Longshanks. Exminster and Regent of Scotland, Alex Salmond, has demanded that Queen Elizabeth personally apologise for its sacking in 1296. AhDinnaeKen reports:

We need the kind of upstanding reporting of political affairs you find in the Sun said Exminster Salmond, yesterday

We need the kind of upstanding reporting of political affairs you find in the Sun said Exminster Salmond, yesterday

By Fewdull Mastersretrospective history and grievance correspondent

ALEX SALMOND has called for the return of Berwick and a full and unconditional apology from the BBC for its “biased” report of the sacking in 1296.

The Ex-Firstminster also demanded reparations be paid for the ensuing damage to Scotland’s economy and that the Queen should be forced to take the “walk of shame” doon the Royal Mile.

“Berwick was the economic powerhouse of mediaevel Scotland” raged Salmond “and its loss has reverberated throughout the centuries of our oppression and tortured subjugation by the imperial basturt English.”

The outburst follows yesterday’s Salmond led launch of a Nationalist campaign entitled ‘It’s Oor Berwick – hauns aff English basturts!’

Mr Salmond said he did not voice his criticism earlier due to an important consultation with William Wallace’s entrails.

The BBC’s feudal overlord in the Scottish province, Sir Auld Nick Robinson, said: “It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are reporting, but for freedom of speech – for that alone, which no honest BBC man gives up but with life itself.”

Historical grievance and chip-on-shooder spokesperson for the Nationalists, Wee Naebudy, said: “Once we achieve oor ffrreeddoomm a hundred years from now, Auld Nick Robinson’s getting blacklisted and burnt in effigy – er haud oan, we’ve din that already.”

 

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Exclusive: Wings Over Scotland’s philanthropy set to implode

SELF-SERVING propagandist and would be public philanthropist Stuart Campbell of Wings Over Scotland may have some serious explaining to do to the contributors of his latest Indiegogo fundraising wheeze. AhDinnaeKen reports:

Indeed, it is unbelievable Hannah. But maybe not in the way you believed.

Indeed, it is unbelievable Hannah. But maybe not in the way you believed.

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

IT INCREASINGLY looks like “kind hearted Reverend Stuart Campbell” will be left with egg on his face following his public championing of a convicted thief, jailbird and self confessed drug addict.

Louisa Sewell, 32, of Kidderminster – the would be beneficiary of the ‘reverend’s’ widely publicised benevolence fundraiser – may not be the benefits sanction ‘victim’ she appeared to be.

On November 2014 she was charged with conspiring to commit fraud by using a bank card belonging to “vulnerable” woman Pamela Brighton.

Sewell was committed to appear at Worcester Crown Court in January this year suspected of being part of a predatory gang which callously stole and spent almost £5000 of Ms Brighton’s life savings.

As reported in the Shuttle. The source of the story which moved the 'humane' reverend.

As reported in the Kidderminster Shuttle last year. The shuttle was the source of the story which spurred the ‘humane’ reverend into fundraiser action.

Four members of the gang were later convicted of the crime, with gang leader Joanne Railton, receiving a 23 month jail sentence and a restraining order barring her from contacting Ms Brighton for three years.

Railton, a serial thief and drug addict, is Facebook friends with Sewell and, judging by Ms Sewell’s Facebook posts, drug addiction is another common interest she shares with Railton.

On 30th August 2014, Sewell posted on her Facebook page that she was “baaaaaack …got outa jail after 18 days”.

According to Sewell she “put myself in jail to detox, refused the meth”.

“I can finally wake up like “normal ppl” she said.

Campbell, editor of Wings Over Scotland and self-appointed champion of Sewell, is currently using his Twitter feed to bash the Scottish media for not reporting his public act of philanthropy – as if they were under some sort of moral obligation to buy into the cynical falsehood being perpetrated by the story.

A little light reading between the lines and a modicum of digging by AhDinnaeKen demonstrates why the majority of the Scottish media showed little interest in Campbell’s self-serving publicity wheeze.

Maybe the likes of STV’s besotted schmuck Stephen Daisley, the Herald’s out of kilter Iain McWhirter, or the numerous duped contributors – like Hannah Burdell MP – to the Stuart Campbell adulation fundraiser could explain to the Wings man the value of basic journalistic follow up procedures when going to bat based on a locally reported news story.

It would be less embarrassing for him and less expensive for everyone else involved if he was to do so in future. His followers, without irony, refer to his thousands of polemics as “forensic” in their analysis. Quite!

Several newspapers throughout the country, mostly England, reported on Campbell’s fundraiser as if he was a man of the cloth or a church leader. Campbell even tweeted such phrases used by the papers in mockery of the honest mistake.

“Reverend” still buys you a modicum of respect with the press and clearly demonstrates that your story gets an easier, less scrupulous, ride. The English media are plainly not aware of Campbell’s ‘reverend’ credentials or his anti-UK/Tory/Labour/Westminster and pro-SNP/iScotland agenda.

Maybe the cabal of self adoring “cybernats”, so keen to backslap themselves and praise ‘reverend’ Campbell as the totem of their maudlin and contrived charitable acts, should revisit Alex Salmond MP’s pearl of wisdom when he said, “I’m innately suspicious of someone who calls himself a reverend who isn’t.”

Indeed. The Sewell affair appears to justify Salmond’s suspicion.

What will Campbell’s coterie of smug morally superior acolytes have to say?

Time will tell.

Maybe they can answer the most pertinent questions asked here by AhDinnaeKen.

Don’t hold your breath waiting though.

Man of the cloth demands his charitable act should be publicised. Nothing narcissistic about that.

Man of the cloth demands his charitable act should be publicised. Nothing narcissistic about that.

 

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Wings Over Scotland and the poverty porn vanity project of champions

WINGS OVER Scotland’s Stuart Campbell did an allegedly good and kind thing recently. Donning the cloak and mantle of a philanthropic samaritan, he ran an Indiegogo fundraiser with the intention of helping a recently convicted thief pay her draconian court case fees and fines. But is this ‘act of kindness’ anything other than a tokenised “gesture” of narcissistic self promotion and fetishised poverty porn? AhDinnaeKen investigates:

Self promotion and chastising of the Scottish media in one Tweet. Result!

Self promotion and chastising of the Scottish media in one Tweet. Result!

“There is a place where kindliness and charity tips into narcissism and self-promotion.” – Eric Joyce – Wings Over Scotland contributor.

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

STUART CAMPBELL of Wings Over Scotland elevated his status to that of social media sainthood recently.

At least, he did so, in the eyes of his more gullible followers and supporters.

The “kind” “reverend” organised an Indiegogo appeal to raise funds needed to pay convicted thief, Louisa Sewell’s, court fees.

Those with a more sceptical eye may have spotted a few things ‘not quite right’ about the “reverend’s” alleged benevolence.

According to Campbell, as soon as he became aware of Sewell’s predicament, he was so overcome with compassion he felt compelled to do something.

“Help make it happen for a small gesture of solidarity and Stuart Campbell!” ran the heart tugging mendicant styled phraseology at the bottom of Campbell’s Indiegogo fundraiser page.

Help make it happen - for Stuart.

Help make it happen – for Stuart.

A somewhat curious choice of wording, given the beneficiary of the charitable donations is supposed to be Sewell, not Campbell

Perhaps, like many, we’re missing something by the phrase “make it happen for… Stuart Campbell’. Perhaps not. It’s the first of many indicators that Campbell’s so called “gesture of solidarity” was nothing other than an onanistic exercise in vainglorious “narcissism and self-promotion”.

A quick trawl of the Wings timeline revealed that the fund had been set up with no contact having taken place between Campbell and Sewell or Sewell’s lawyer.

A curious state of affairs, considering that the “kind” “reverend” should choose to champion her without at least the courtesy of seeking her permission to do so beforehand.

Some might call it arrogant presumption on Campbell’s behalf. Others would see it for what it is…

Effectively, Campbell’s action has stripped the unfortunate Ms Sewell of any dignity she may have had left by making her a widely publicised “charity” case – whether she chose to be the recipient of his ‘charitable’ act or not.

Indeed, it’s a full-on tip of the hat to the dark side of neo-Dickensian Victoriana, where Campbell is publicly parading his charitable acts and expecting plaudits for doing so – witness the allegedly humorous tweet chastising the Daily Record and Daily Mail (above).

Tasteless and exploitative at best, calculated and manipulative at worst.

What’s most curious though and serves as a demonstration of the double standards, bordering on criminal stupidity, of Campbell’s alleged “media monitoring” role is the “facts” the papers missed out.

In a Wings blog Campbell wrote, “We explained this site’s most fundamental purpose as being to teach people how to read between the lines and spot what isn’t being said.”

There are quite a few important things which aren’t being said in the original story reported in The Kidderminster Shuttle newspaper.

Anyone with a modicum of emotional intelligence might have found out the answers before becoming a public champion of the poor hungry benefits victim forced to steal confectionery to feed herself.

According to the Shuttle, Ms Sewell stole a pack of Mars bars because her benefits had been sanctioned and she had been hungry for days.

Missing information i.e. “what isn’t being said” includes the following:

  1. Unemployment in Kidderminster is very low at approx 2 per cent of the working population (ONS figures). What was Ms Sewell sanctioned for?
  2. What circumstances led to Ms Sewell being hungry for days? (aside from the obvious).
  3. Sewell’s solicitor claimed in court Sewell had no one to turn to. Why didn’t she visit Kidderminster’s Salvation Army? They do food parcels for those in need and it’s less than 600m away from the Kidderminster Jobcentre.
  4. The original report said that Sewell had received Foodbank vouchers. The Kidderminster foodbank is approx 100m away from the Jobcentre. When was Sewell issued with the vouchers and why couldn’t she visit the foodbank? The shop the Mars bars were stolen from – Heron Foods – is approximately 200m away from the Jobcentre and the foodbank is on the way.
  5. The Kidderminster Shuttle reported the magistrate as saying: “We do not readily accept you go into a shop to steal just for being hungry.” What else was said by the Magistrate in summation before sentencing? One sensational and emotionally charged line in a local newspaper is hardly enough to provide the full picture.
  6. Does Sewell have previous convictions for theft or crimes of dishonesty? There is no mention anywhere of this pertinent fact.
  7. Campbell claimed in follow up newspaper reports that Sewell “was failed by society on so many levels and at so many points down the line it’s just horrific.” How could he tell from the condensed ‘news value’ information provided by the Kidderminster Shuttle report?

For someone who claims to “teach” people to “read between the lines and spot what isn’t being said”, Campbell made some heavily amateurish and clumsy presumptions in his kneejerk sentiment based reaction.

Indeed, benefit sanction ‘victim’ stories provide archetypal emotionally charged ground for propagandists like Campbell to exploit and manipulate for their own self-serving purpose: anger coupled with maudlin sentiment masquerading as civic pride and noble expressions of collective identity.

Courtesy and etiquette doesn't even come into it.

Courtesy and etiquette doesn’t even come into it.

Opportunism plays its part, of course, as does a Nationalist mindset where the fate of Ms Sewell isn’t anywhere near as important as the opportunity to chastise the ‘evil’ UK welfare system and the Scottish media – all fundamentally underpinned by Campbell’s calculated self-promotion and narcissism.

Perhaps AhDinnaeKen is being too sceptical. We know through practical experience and numerous examples, just how brutal, unjust and uncaring the current welfare system can be on some of the most vulnerable people in society.

But it’s just such opportune circumstances which allow extremists like Campbell to cynically manipulate and play with people’s emotions in order to achieve their self-serving aims.

If Ms Sewell truly is a poor victim then, to a degree, it’s all well and good that her draconian court fees and fines are going to be paid for her.

However, anyone thinking Campbell’s fundraiser was about the fate of Louisa Sewell needs to think again. It was always about Campbell.

As his Tweets and posts prove, Sewell’s story is the sideshow. The star attraction is Campbell himself. Take a look at the collective and maudlin expressions of thanks aimed at him if you find that hard to believe.

Poverty porn fetishism serves only the purveyors.

Who’s the real beneficiary of this story? Hint, it isn’t Louisa Sewell.

Who's going to monitor the media monitoring the media. Melissa would be hopeless at it.

Who’s going to monitor the media monitoring the media? Melissa would be hopeless at it.

 

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