Tag Archives: Stuart Campbell

I’ll smash your heads and ask questions later – Wings Over Scotland

VIOLENT DODGY liar named and shamed as editor of Wings Over Scotland – Stuart Campbell.

The five floor, five bedroom, townhouse, Campbell claimed was a "huge block of rented offices."

The five floor, five bedroom townhouse which Campbell claimed was a “huge block of rented offices.”

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

A NOTORIOUS cybernat threatened amateur copyright investigators with extreme violence after they exposed his dodgy internet dealings in the late 90s, it has been revealed.

Stuart Campbell, 48, warned have a go sleuths Damien Burke and friends: “if I find any of you outside my door, be warned that I’ll smash your heads off the railings first and ask questions later.”

The chilling threat followed Burke’s revelation that Campbell’s home address in Bath matched the billing address of a hooky software company trading as Rocketship Services.

Rocketship was raking in the cash by selling and distributing CDs packed full of stolen game software at £30 per disc.

Burke’s investigation exposed Campbell’s posh Bath town-house residence as the front for the selling and promotion of the illegal CDs.

Stolen game software included hundreds of titles from Atari, Nintendo, SEGA and Commodore with an estimated street value of around £200,000.

Sinister cybernat Campbell, editor of Nationalist blog Wings Over Scotland, had denied Burke’s allegation that he was trading as Rocketship Services.

The bathroom in one of the floors of Campbell's former residence.

The bathroom in one of the floors of Campbell’s former residence. Rocketship Services sold their illegal discs at £30 a pop.

When challenged by Burke that it was an “extraordinary coincidence” that Campbell’s residential address matched Rocketship Services billing address, Campbell defended himself saying: “And I suppose I’m also all of the 300 or so other people whose address this huge block of rented office units is?”

But the claim that the address was a huge block of rented office units was a lie.

Campbell’s residential, and Rocketship Services’ billing, address was revealed by Burke as 4 Brock Street: a five bed, five floor, town house in one of the most sought after, expensive and prestigious locations in Bath.

Campbell’s violent threat followed suggestions from Burke and associates that they would visit the building to confirm if it was indeed the “huge block” of office units’ claimed by the Wings editor.

Burke reckoned a site visit would prove Campbell was lying about his association with Rocketship Services.

And that’s when Campbell demonstrated his willingness to resort to extreme violence, threatening to ‘smash heads first and ask questions later’.

The threat had the desired effect and frightened the amateur sleuths off, leaving Rocketship Services to continue creaming off profits at the expense of legal businesses.

Burke later revealed: “Rocketship’s posts were made using the same version of Microsoft software (used by Campbell), right down to the build number. Stuart and Rocketship upgraded their software at the same time, or within hours of each other. Rocketship’s posts came from Pipex, as did Stuart’s. The message IDs in Rocketship’s posts were similar to Stuart’s.

“On attaining Rocketship’s postal address via a false request for where to send a cheque for one of their illegal CDs, the 4 Brock Street, Bath address was supplied.”

Campbell strenuously denied the accusation. He said: “It’s been proven beyond doubt – by an independent observer – that these (big old five-storey town building converted into office units) premises are used by, among others, a letting company which forwards mail to dozens, even hundreds of people.”

4 Brock Street in Bath is currently on the residential rental market for a modest £3750 per calendar month.

Campbell is believed to have moved out some time last year, after his highly successful fundraiser.

Today, Campbell’s Wings Over Scotland launched it’s yearly Indiegogo fundraiser to allegedly, “mobilise for an emergency second indyref within months”.

At the time of writing almost £23,000 has been raised – enough to rent 4 Brock Street for approximately six months at current market rates.

Beautiful well kept gardens and 'maid service' are all part of the perks of a £3750 property.

Beautiful well kept gardens and ‘maid service’ are all part of the perks of a £3750 pcm property in Campbell’s corner 0f Bath. Champagne Nationalists ‘n’ aw that.

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Filed under CyberNats, Wangs Watch

Wings Over Scotland: Creepy as f**k #3 – Surveillance and intimidation

KNOWING THAT you’re being surveilled, investigated or spied upon is the subject of dystopian nightmares. Knowing that the people doing the surveilling are politically motivated and view you as the “enemy”, to be treated with “merciless contempt”, is worse than suffering nightmares – it’s the reality currently being faced by No supporters in modern day pre-referendum Scotland. AhDinnaeKen investigates:

A lovely couple. Rumour has it that they used to have to beat off paramours with a big stick when they were younger. Readers can relax - they're not married.

A lovely couple. Dr Morag Kerr (left) and Stuart Campbell (right) share sweet somethings pre-indy rally last year.  Rumour has it that they had to beat off would be paramours with a big stick en route to Calton Hill. AhDinnaeKen readers can relax however – they’re not married.

By Creepias Phuck

“I’M JUST curious to know where he lives so I can metaphorically stick two fingers up at the place.” said Dr Morag Kerr in the comments section of the Wings Over Scotland blog site earlier this year.

The target of her curiousity was Keith Howell, an indy-ref No supporter keen to hold the Scottish Government to account for alleged inappropriate use of government funds. Mr Howell claimed the current Holyrood SNP incumbents have misused public money to promote the “SNP manifesto” and “propaganda” document also known as the White Paper.

So keen was Mr Howell to pursue and publicise this claim that he’d paid for a full page ad in free newspaper, the Metro.

The timing of the ad proved to be unfortunate. It coincided with the removal of a Wings Over Scotland political poster the previous day from the Glasgow underground.

Howell became the focus and target of Campbell’s othering and hate preaching blame game. In a Wings blog entitled, ‘Ironic timing’ Campbell’s cabal of cultish followers swallowed the ‘hate ritual‘ bait and waded in to their perceived “enemy” with “merciless contempt”.

Dr Morag Kerr, Campbell’s self confessed No.1 fan – she claims he is a “genius” –  took it upon herself to track Howell down for her metaphorical master and posted the results on the Wings Over Scotland comments section.

Relying on her forensic analysis and evidence gathering skills, she provided not only Mr Howell’s address and postcode but also supplied explicit directions on how to find his property.

So incensed was Dr Kerr by Howell’s transgression against the indy holy grail, that she took it further. She furnished details on the value of Howell’s home, landmarks associated with it, the history of the area, speculated on potential business use, the area of land surrounding the house and suggested courses of action to be taken against the indy-ref transgressor.

The address details were eventually redacted by Campbell – for undisclosed reasons – but not before several days/weeks had passed. And, of course, the job/damage was done by then. Howell and his wife found themselves both intimidated and shaken by the online activities of Campbell and Kerr.

At least some of the Wangers have a sense of how such actions appear to a wider, saner, world.

At least some of the Wangers have a sense of how such actions appear to a wider, saner, world.

Mr Howell said: After I found myself in the crosshairs of Wings Over Scotland, my wife and I had a few sleepless nights after directions to our house were circulated amongst the followers of this site amidst a mini tirade of abuse and intimidation.

The irony and hypocrisy highlighted by this unfortunate incident was that both Campbell and Kerr at one time have had the same thing inflicted upon them.

And neither, understandably, liked it one bit.

Campbell’s name, address, tel. number and email address were all made public by Benchmark Reviews in response to alleged “personal threats” aimed at the Benchmark site’s editor by Campbell.

These details were made publicly available to anyone with a web browser until shortly after the Daily Record published an exposé of Campbell’s Hillsborough and anti-transsexual comments last year.

Campbell speculated that the Benchmark action ie in publishing his personal details, was for the purpose of “implicitly inviting people to harass me or worse.”

Nowhere, however, in the Wings thread where Dr Kerr ‘outs’ Keith Howell does Campbell step in and say ‘that’s enough, your action could be viewed as an implicit invitation for people to harass Mr Howell or worse’.

So called ‘alert readers’ can make up their own minds over what that tells them about Campbell and his peculiar interpretation of “professional journalism” or political campaigning.

Dr Morag Kerr, who is a bona fide conspiracy theorist also had her address and identity details made public at one stage. It followed the public exposure of her ‘operational’ conspiracy theory pseudonym, “Rolfe” by someone who opposed her views on the Lockerbie bombing.

A fellow conspiracy theorist of Kerr’s, writing on a website dedicated to the subject of Lockerbie, attacked the revelation, he said:

“Also, can you briefly explain what you intended to achieve sharing “Rolfe”‘s personal details recently? What consequence can that possibly have on any quest for the truth? Do you suspect she’s MI6 or something? Because you’d show that with something other than ‘hey, as soon as I know someone’s name I can startle and sort of threaten them with their own personal details.’
   
“You can try it against me if it gives you a rush. I’m immune. So what was that about? Makes you seem like an absolute loon, you know.”

In both instances the purpose of publishing the recipients personal details is clear. It’s implemented in order to threaten, harass and intimidate the subject of the exposure.

Given what happened to her, it takes Kerr’s exposure of Howell’s details beyond heinous and places them into the well established technical category of “creepy as f**k”.

In the first of AhDinnaeKen’s “creepy as f**k” series, we* covered Campbell’s coordinated surveillance operation against Better Together leafletters in February this year and contrasted it with the operational modus of the Stasi in Eastern Germany.

The Stasi had a strategy known as Zersetzung – a psychological term literally meaning decomposition. Zersetzung was intended to psychologically destroy opponents of the authoritarian East German regime.

No matter which side of the indy dividing line you sit on and no matter what you think of your opponents, such intimdidatory actions must be exposed and condemned for what they are – attacks on the foundations of free speech and democracy.

Mr Howell, right or wrong about the White Paper, has the right to enjoy his personal freedoms as much as any man or woman in Scotland.

For a set period, Mr Howell was denied this by the Zersetzung implemented by Wings Over Scotland and its number one fan, Dr Morag Kerr.

That the SNP hierarchy remain silent on such actions while, for example, praising Campbell’s Wee Blue Book as a “must read”, or his website as  “spectacular” reflects terribly on the type of post-indy future it depicts for ‘ordinary’ Scottish citizens.

It makes the Declaration of Independence look like the White Paper, apparently.

It makes the Declaration of Independence look like the White Paper, apparently.

In effect, it’s saying,’support the Nationalists and you’ll be alright Jock: Question them and you can expect to be named, shamed and intimidated into silence.

Is this type of surveillance and intimidation “operation” what Campbell meant when he said:

“Scotland still has a chance to escape and set an example of a better way, and anyone threatening that must be regarded with merciless contempt, for the sake of everyone who lives on these islands.” – Wings Over Scotland, Nov 2012.

It sounds eerily similar to the tone and message behind this chilling statement:

“Now that the German worker had rediscovered the road to nationhood, it ought to have been the duty of any Government which had the care of the people in its keeping, to take this opportunity of mercilessly rooting out everything that was opposed to the national spirit.” – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf 1925.

History showed us what such Nationalist sentiments of mercilessness can lead to.

The Nationalist hierarchy’s silence over Wings Over Scotland’s “operations” is deafeningly sinister.

Dr Morag Kerr was a SNP vetted candidate for a seat at the Scottish Borders Council, Tweeddale West by-election in Oct 2013.

Howell’s complaint aimed at the Scottish Government is potentially embarrassing for the Scottish Civil Service and the Firstminster.

Kerr and Campbell’s tactics were nothing short of a concerted and sustained attempt at silencing Howell’s perceived dissent through intimidation.

Are Kerr and Campbell the type of people you want to have influence in an independent Scotland?

Answers in green crayola crayon to Firstminster Salmond, Bute House, Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Filed under MobNats, Newspeak, Wangs Watch

Open letter: Why Wings Over Scotland must be brought to justice

ON AUGUST 13 last year, Stuart Campbell of blog site Wings Over Scotland defamed a hard working law abiding Scottish domiciled citizen. He did so with the intent of silencing him through intimidation. To date, it appears to have worked. AhDinnaeKen openly appeals to the injured party:

The defamatory story is still publicly available to read by anyone on the Wings Over Scotland blog site.

This defamatory story is still publicly available to be read by anyone viewing the Wings Over Scotland blog site. It is AhDinnaeKen’s honest belief that it is a seriously malicious and vindictive piece of work designed to injure the reputation of the named individual within it.

Dear Murray Brady

APOLOGIES for the unorthodox method of communication.

Please consider the following letter carefully.

AhDinnaeKen believes that Stuart Campbell, editor of Wings Over Scotland, has defamed you and seriously damaged your reputation as an individual and law abiding citizen of Scotland.

He has publicly accused you of being a “psycopath” and a “stalker” and of having “sustained” a campaign of “harrassment” against him using various “vile” methods over a period of months.

Yet, by Campbell’s own admission you are innocent in the eyes of the law of all such complaints made against you.

The first paragraph of the defamatory story, the Personal Touch, lists a litany of  crimes allegedly perpetrated by you against him.

The second paragraph claims that the procurator fiscal found insufficient evidence to prosecute you for these alleged crimes ie. Campbell’s accusations didn’t hold up under the light of professional legal scrutiny.

He said:

“It eventually resulted in an arrest, and a report by Glasgow police to the Procurator Fiscal recommending prosecution, which to everyone’s surprise was declined, after a very long delay and for unclear reasons.”

In other words the fiscal dropped the case due to lack of credible evidence.

His statement also begs the question, who is “everyone”? It certainly didn’t “surprise” the fiscal. According to the story, the fiscal investigated Campbell’s complaint, weighed up the evidence, concluded there was no case to answer and “declined” to take it any further.

That makes his accusation against you look not only defamatory, but malicious, vexatious and vengeful.

Of particular interest should be Campbell’s claim that he raised over £100,000 in a recent crowdfunding campaign. He’s allegedly cash rich and should have ample disposable income with which to compensate you for the damage to your reputation.

No doubt, there are lawyers out there who would be jumping over themselves to represent you.

Time is running out. You must demand a retraction, apology and compensatory remuneration for the unjustifiable and injurious claims he inflicted upon you through the medium of his blog site.

It’s also worth noting that Campbell told the Sunday Herald today that his blog is read by 250,000 unique users per month and has 4.5 million page views over the same period.

Whichever way you look at it, his story defaming you has clearly been disseminated to a large body of people. And it is still available to the public to read.

I suspect, if you took this further, your rightful and just complaint of defamation would never reach court – Campbell knows he would lose and would settle out of court. For justice to be served however, you need to be publicly exonerated by Campbell himself. You also need to be compensated.

Campbell recently forced an apology from the Scotsman newspaper for a couple of semantic mistakes they printed in relation to him. These mistakes were piddling inaccuracies compared to what he inflicted upon you.

The Personal Touch story published almost a year ago was an attempt by Campbell to intimidate, bully and silence you by injuring your reputation to the degree that a honest individual would think less of you in polite society.

He did so with the maliciously fraudulent “opinion” that you are the editor of AhDinnaeKen. It was written so in order to intimidate you into silence.

You know, and AhDinnaeKen knows, his “opinion” is a vindictive lie. In fact, any sensible, responsible and honest person would come to that conclusion when summarising the evidence provided in the Personal Touch story and the actual facts of the case.

Worth remembering also is that the burden of proof lies on Campbell’s head. He must prove that you are a “stalker” and a “psycopath” and that you, or agents acting for you, edit AhDinnaeKen.

He’ll need more evidence than the paltry fare currently provided by the maliciously false accusations in the Personal Touch story.

To defend himself, he’d need real world tangible evidence against you, as opposed to his self admitted “opinion”.

His case is so weak it’s laughable. In his summary, Campbell confesses: “While we have, as noted, no conclusive proof, our opinion, for numerous reasons, is that there is no doubt whatsoever the author of the blog responsible for the “dossier” is Murray Brady, or someone acting as a front for him.”

This is a breathtakingly fallacious statement which commits the fallacy of ‘denying the antecedent’ ie. Campbell admits there is “no conclusive proof” ergo there is doubt, yet goes on to deny that by saying “there is no doubt whatsoever“.

So, without “conclusive proof”, Campbell still has “no doubt”. You have to ask yourself, what kind of fool would be in “no doubt” after admitting there was no “conclusive proof”? Maybe his lawyers could provide you with a cogent answer. He certainly seems incapable of doing so himself.

Please action this. With Campbell’s profile being raised through appearances on television and radio, and newspaper interviews appearing in esteemed organs like the Financial Times and Sunday Herald, it’s time the wider world saw him for the nasty vindictive defamatory smear merchant he truly is.

As his Twitter timeline demonstrates, for as long as you remain silent on the matter, he can and will go on telling defamatory lies about you. Your first point of contact should be Campbell himself.

The press might be interested in this story and I recommend you contact them at some point.

Mr Campbell is now an official campaigner for Yes. This story is a real and provable case of an official Yes campaigner deliberately and vindictively smearing and damaging the reputation of an innocent party for vengeful personal and political reasons.

You must not let him get away with it.

Yours sincerely

Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

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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: 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.

11 Comments

Filed under Newspeak, Referendum, Wangs Watch

Why Wings Over Scotland is a thieving hypocrite

Hypocrisy is the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case. Thievery is the act or practise of stealing or thieving. Both of these actions are routinely practised by Wings Over Scotland. AhDinnaeKen presents a special feature length story on why Stuart Campbell of Wings Over Scotland is a thieving hypocrite who needs brought to book by the Scottish press:

The story Wings Over Scotland no longer wants you to see.  We* wonder why that is.

“Operation Apocalypse.” (above). The story Wings Over Scotland no longer wants you to see. We* wonder why that is.  Knowing smile.

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

IN 2004 Stuart Campbell of Wings Over Scotland decided to take his ex-employer to court for copyright infringement.

Campbell claimed that Future Publishing owed him more than a quarter of a million pounds for infringing his intellectual property rights.

Finding himself blacklisted by the company, he embarked on a mostly inept self documented attempt at repatriating some of the monies he believed the company owed him.

He also wrote a vanity blog covering some of the more tediously pedantic month to month correspondence between himself and Future’s lawyers.

He recently deleted the blog, entitled “Operation Apocalypse – A tale of British justice”,  for reasons undeclared.

Here's what you see when you click the "Operation Apocalypse" link above. Do I smell a sepa-rat?

Here’s what you see when you click the “Operation Apocalypse” link above. Do I smell a sepa-rat?

When someone doesn’t want you to know something therein lies a news story.

As the deleted blog relates, Campbell chose to represent himself against Future Publishing – archetypally proving the old adage/cliche that “a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client”.

Future Publishing, at the time, was a multi-million pound publishing company with an impressive, though dwindling, portfolio of computer/video game magazines.

Campbell had almost achieved editorship of one of those magazines, Amiga Power, when his nastier side came to the fore. It earned him a severe rebuke and censure from the public at large; his work colleagues; and Future’s senior management.

Campbell had written on the contents pages of Amiga Power, “Old soldiers, I wish them all dead.”

This outburst of mean spirited and childish petulance was to become the hallmark of Campbell’s peculiar brand of narcissistic pathology from thereon in.

The background to the “old soldiers” comment may have contained the seed of what was to become Campbell’s pathological and increasingly obsessive vengeful hatred of Future Publishing.

The then Managing Director of Future, Greg Ingham, had been contacted by the Royal British Legion objecting to Amiga Power’s planned front cover depicting a poppy.

Nice cover. Shame about the timing. And the taste. And the repecercussions. And...

Nice cover. Shame about the timing. And the taste. And the repercussions. And…the fact it never made it onto the shelves.

The cover image was an iconic poppy, the same image intended to be used for the promotion of an Amiga computer game – Cannon Fodder.

“War has never been so much fun” ran Cannon Fodder’s strapline.

Both the game and the magazine’s release in the shops were planned to coincide with Remembrance day.

The Royal British Legion had been alerted to this future event and publicly objected in the strongest possible terms. They considered it disrespectful to the war dead.

Ingham who, up till then, appears to have been one of Campbell’s fans said: “I’d tell just about anyone trying to interfere with our magazines to f**k off, but not the Royal British Legion.”

An executive decision was made and the cover was duly pulled and replaced (sound familiar?). The Cannon Fodder game publishers also found a substitute for the iconic poppy illustration.

Campbell, in a fit of hysterical and spiteful pique wrote the old soldiers epithet which earned him a severe rebuke from his employers, lost him the trust of his magazine colleagues and saw him doorstepped by the Daily Star newspaper.

When Campbell's precious cover got pulled, he spat the dummy and had a hissy fit tantrum. The poor guy.

When Campbell’s precious cover got pulled, he spat the dummy and had a hissy fit tantrum. The poor wee misunderstood cherub.

The red top also demanded an explanation for another of Campbell’s toxic magazine comments where he likened the Royal British Legion to “conscientious objectors“.

Cue much wailing, tantrum throwing, gnashing of teeth and crybaby behaviour from the diminutive demagogue which ultimately witnessed him leaving Future Publishing to join Cannon Fodder’s creators, Sensible Software.

His writings however were still routinely commissioned on a freelance basis by Future editors.

Then, in 1998, following a hold up in payment for a 20 page feature he had written for Future’s ‘Edge’ Magazine, Campbell overplayed his hand.

After taking the company to the small claims court and winning, he set the bailiffs on them for non-payment of the monies owed.

The rights and wrongs of the action are moot, but the consequences were highly predictable.

Campbell found himself blacklisted by the company, resulting in him being virtually unemployable in the specialist geeky sphere of ‘videogame journalism’.

Plotting venegance on his ex-employers for such an affront to his ego and livelihood, Future presented him with a fait accompli circa 1999.

The company had included some of Campbell’s work on a series of cover mounted CDs for PC Gamer magazine.

According to Campbell, this “copyright infringement” amounted to a total of around a quarter of a million pounds in unpaid fees.

In a piece entitled ‘Operation Apocalypse’ Campbell wrote: “I also discovered that Future had been illegally reprinting some of my earlier work for PC Gamer on the magazine’s website.”

Campbell yet again took the company to the small claims court for the website infringement and won.

After approximately two years from 2004 – 2006 Campbell obsessively reported on how terrible and downright evil Future were and equally polemicised on how certain he was that his righteous crusade would achieve a positive outcome.

Sounds familiar again, doesn’t it?

After protracted to-ing and fro-ing of correspondence with Future’s lawyers, he was eventually offered a £10,000 out of court settlement.

He refused.

Such a piffling amount was considered an insult to his precious and greedy ego and he pressed on with his case.

It’s worth noting again that, throughout, Campbell was representing himself. What this says about his hubris/arrogance/intelligence tells you all you need to know: Ecce homophobe. Or something.

His means at this time must have been severely diminished and it appears that the only regular source of income he could secure was working for Imagine Publishing’s Retro Gamer magazine.

There’s a degree of speculation regarding Campbell’s employment status during and after this period. He clearly wasn’t a charity. Though he may have been a charitable case.

He may, indeed, have been a Jobseeker signing on at Bath Job centre.

There’s no shame in that if he was. Worklessness happens to just about everyone from time to time. Even ‘tribune’ egos like Campbell’s.

What would be shameful though would be claiming benefits while knowingly engaging in undeclared freelance work.

Campbell has friends everywhere. This is from the thread where he declared his comic enjoyment of 9/11.

Campbell has friends everywhere. This is from the discussion thread where he declared his comic enjoyment of the 9/11 tragedy.  Ironically, the editor of Imagine Publishing’s Retro Gamer magazine defended Campbell’s frothing and disturbing rant.

AhDinnaeKen contacted Imagine Publishing to see if they could shed some light on the speculation.

No one spoken to would, or could, confirm or deny the company had ever been contacted by the DWP concerning Campbell’s employment status.

Maybe Campbell, if he was feeling ‘charitable’, could clear that up – for the sake of clarity if nothing else.

Don’t hold your breath though.

If recent comments by Campbell concerning his former employer cum client Imagine Publishing and Retro Gamer magazine are anything to go by, it’s fairly safe to assume they don’t have a working relationship anymore.

Following a geeky ‘professional video game journalist’ argument in 2012 concerning which computer – the Commodore 64 or the ZX Spectrum – was the best, Campbell said of the magazine’s Commodore 64 verdict: “Last month’s Retro Gamer reached a similar conclusion for much the same set of spastic-faced reasons. (“Whine bleat SID chip wah wah wah.”).

“But fuck all of them, because they’re all cunts and they can suck our dicks.”

Hmm. Quite!?

Campbell certainly seemed reticent to confirm what status Wings Over Scotland currently has when questioned by Guardian journalist Severin Carrell recently.

Carrell revealed that Campbell had agreed a contract with advertising agency Primesight – through the Echosign process – which categorised Wings Over Scotland as a “charity”.

Self-employed? Charity? Copyright infringer? Maybe it is time for Campbell's legal status to be declared.

Self-employed? Charity? Copyright infringer? Hypocrite? Thief? Maybe it is time for Campbell’s legal status to be declared.

If Campbell hadn’t agreed to this, the political propaganda posters advertising his Nationalist Front website, would never have made it on to the Glasgow underground.

The “charity” status ensured the alleged ads weren’t vetted to Primesight’s usual standard –  though it’s worth noting that Primesight took the hit for the slip up and Campbell got his money back.

If the last few paragraphs have seemed like a bit of diversion, stay with it, the issues discussed are important to the conclusion of this story.

Campbell lost his court case with Future.

More than six years of whining, moaning and tediously dull bitching was resolved in a matter of minutes in court.

It left Campbell “shellshocked” and liable for legal costs of approximately thirty thousand, potentially bankrupting, pounds sterling.

Campbell’s argument was thrown out by the judge due to numerous “procedural errors” made by the  ‘professional journalist’ during  the pursuit of the case.

At this point it’s worth repeating again – for comedy effect you understand – the old adage, “a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client”.

As the recent advertising debacle with Primesight suggests, Campbell lacks intelligence and nous when it comes to ‘procedure’.

He emailed Primesight to tell them he wasn’t a “charity” but still acquiesed with the deal when company rep, Gerry McGread, told him, “that’s ok and not a problem.”

Campbell, if he had any brains, would have pulled out there and then.

Anyone who takes a rep on commision's word at face value needs to take a good hard look at themselves in the mirror.

Anyone who takes a rep on commision’s word at face value needs to ask their mummy for advice. Something isn’t quite happening in their lives.  Professional they aint.

The same could be said of his hilariously ill fated claim against Future.

It’s a truism that most ‘normal’ people learn from their mistakes. Can the same be said of Campbell? He seems doomed to repeat them.

The point of this feature concerns Campbell’s pursuit of Future Publishing for what he believed to be the theft of his copyright. It’s also concerned with his subsequent actions as the sole operator of Wings Over Scotland.

Campbell guarded his copyrighted material jealously – covetously so. And it would be moot not to agree that he was right to do so.

But, given that he is so aware of his own rights on copyright theft/infringement, why is it that he plays so loosely and contemptuously  with the copyright of others?

Campbell used the following phrase recently “Tick tock, Scottish newspapers. Tick tock.”  to vindictively taunt professional journalists worried about their jobs.

He relishes their prospective loss of employment due to the hemorrhaging of both revenues and circulation at papers such as the Herald and the Scotsman.

Yet, Campbell is a willing and active agent of those papers decline.

Using the archiving website Archive.is, he routinely archives the majority of the newspaper reports he links to from his site for his readers consumption.

The Archive.is site allows a snapshot of a page/story to be stored and a new shorter link to be created – all executed with “merciless contempt” for the convenience of his readers.

This serves the actively spiteful purpose of denying said papers much needed click through stats.

We*'d call that an admission that Mr Campbell knows that using Archive.is with the Herald is less than "honest".

We*’d call that an admission that Mr Campbell knows that using Archive.is with the Herald is less than “honest”. Dear dear. Time to get the cheque book out, we*thinks.

Higher figures makes the news sites more attractive to prospective advertisers meaning, ultimately, the papers can generate more revenue.

In terms of the Herald, the use of Archive.is, also bypasses their paywall system, further denying that paper potential revenues from their electronic subscription service.

Therefore, part of Campbell’s use of the Archive.is site is to to systematically and deliberately circumvent potential revenue streams. That’s theft, plain and simple.

It doesn’t so much make Campbell a “brigand” – as one snivellingly sycophantic acolyte put it yesterday – it makes him an every day common or garden tea leaf.

He’s welcome to sue AhDinnaeKen for saying so if he doesn’t like the simple truth of the matter.

Consider the Herald website’s terms and conditions of use:

“No part of the Site can be reproduced on, transmitted to or stored on any other web site or other form of electronic retrieval system, nor may any part of the site be accessed in such manner as to make it appear part of any third parties web site without our prior written consent.”

It couldn’t be any clearer.

Storing Herald stories using Archive.is is a breach of the Heralds terms and conditions (T&Cs) and thus a breach of contract over which the Scottish courts have exclusive jurisdiction.

Section 25 of the T&Cs also states:

“Framing or other techniques to enclose any part of the heraldscotland website are not permitted”

These terms and conditions are explicitly agreed to if you use the site.

Breaching them, at best, could be seen as an accident. Continually flaunting them goes beyond mere “procedural errors” and becomes something much more serious.

Effectively, Campbell’s site with its alleged readership of 233,296 individuals and 3,647,300 page views, is denying not inconsiderable chunks of revenue from Scottish newspapers.

And just like Tesco says, every little helps.

What Campbell’s ‘trusting’ and profligate readership have to understand is that they are paying him to “steal”, in their name.

High ranking acolytes such as Scott Minto aka @sneekyboy at least display an awareness of the malice aforethought behind what Campbell is up to.

Consider the following Twitter exchange:

Scott knows exactly why Wingsy exonerates the use of Archive.is. He understands the potential consequences.

Scott knows exactly why Wingsy recommends the use of Archive.is. He understands the potential consequences. With friends like that…etc.

Declining circulation is affecting newspapers worldwide, not just the Scottish press.

Campbell’s making himself rich at the expense of other journalists work – at a time when it can be least afforded.

Irony doesn’t come into it. Hypocrisy and thievery does.

For someone who so tenaciously pursued a third party for the ‘copyright infringement’ of his own work, Campbell seems pathologically unsympathetic to the wilful copyright infringement of others intellectual property.

Astonishingly, Wee Stuarty, with his impressively ‘BIG’ stats is happy to continue his relentless thievery to the commercial detriment of Scotland’s newspapers.

It’s unlikely to happen, but AhDinnaeKen implores the likes of the Scotsman, the Herald and the other newspapers whose websites Campbell routinely steals from, to make an example of his site.

He’s got the money available to pay adequate compensation, so,  the legal beaks should be set on him. Ensure you get your rightful share of his ill gotten gains.

Wings claimed some time ago to have a readership, “bigger than the sales of the Herald and Scotsman put together”.

Therefore, the site has absolutely no business stealing content from either of those sites – or any sites – whatever the alleged justificiation.

As his sojourn against Future Publishing proved, he’s more than aware of what constitutes copyright infringement.

And he’s equally aware that such infringement should be fiscally compensated for by the infringer.

What he seems less aware of is how this rank hypocrisy and wanton thievery looks to the wider world out there.

For the sake of any defamation challenge from Campbell, AhDinnaeKen would like to point out that we’re not calling him a “thief” in the strictly Scottish legal term, we*’re calling him a “thief” in the strictly, morally justifiable, term.

And we* believe that we’re fully justified in saying so.

Campbell’s previous actions have clearly demonstrated that he is, among other things, a thieving hypocrite.

AhDinnaeKen is calling him out on that. Sue us* Wingsy boy, if you can prove we*’re wrong.

The post which drew our attention to Campbell's sensitivity over his humiliating court defeat. Notice the car being stolen analogy. Kind of implies that Campbell considered Future's copyright infringement as theft.

The post which drew our attention to Campbell’s sensitivity over his humiliating court defeat. Notice the car being stolen analogy. Kind of implies that Campbell considered Future’s copyright infringement to be theft. Thanks Dual_Intention, whoever you are. Wish we could see your  original post.

33 Comments

Filed under CyberNats, Media, Morality, Wangs Watch

Press Gazette, Wings Over Scotland and journalism by assertion

THE IMPORTANCE in journalism of verifying sources of facts can not be overstated. The general rule is that any fact of importance reported by a journalist should be verified by at least two trustworthy sources. AhDinnaeKen investigates a report in yesterday’s online Press Gazette claiming that pseudo-political website Wings Over Scotland raised over £100,000 via crowdfunding:

"Most media organisations have a rule that all facts should be confirmed by two reliable sources." - Media helping Media.  Seems that's not the case at the Press Gazette any longer.

“Most media organisations have a rule that all facts should be confirmed by two reliable sources.” – Media helping Media. Seems that’s not the case at the Press Gazette any longer.

By Hookline Ansinker

“WINGS OVER Scotland raises £100k via crowdfunding” trumpeted the online version of the Press Gazette yesterday.

AhDinnaeKen read the story – and the comments below the line – a couple of times and cannot vouch for its veracity.

A grave state of affairs given that this is the prestigious Press Gazette, with a reputation to maintain, and not just a cheerleading blog for Wingsy.

You see, the story appears to have broken a couple of the basic tenets of journalism ie it has not verified or corroborated its facts from a trustworthy independent source.

This state of affairs is reinforced, ironically, by the Jedi Reverend Campbell himself who picked up on three small alleged inaccuracies reported in the piece: 1) the timing of the alleged passing of the £100,000 mark, 2) the number of unique readers of his site and 3) the very very basic spelling of his name. (At the time of writing these inaccuracies have been corrected – source Jedi Rev Campbell)

Hardly a confidence builder in the veracity of the story which leads with the line, “A pro-independence Scottish political website has raised more than £100,000 via crowdfunding in the space of a couple of weeks.”

The only sources quoted or referred to in the story are Campbell himself and someone called Amanda Geary of the University of the West of Scotland.

It’s notable by its absence that Amanda’s authority or expertise in the field, or whatever she is, isn’t revealed – she could be a tea lady for all the reader knows.

Keen readers will also note that Amanda’s University is the same University which employs Professor John Robertson – the professor who recently couldn’t back his research data when he claimed that the BBC’s news reports were biased against independence.

To paraphrase Scottish comedienne, Karen Dunbar, “Do I smell shite?”

Far be it from the likes of AhDinnaeKen to question the integrity or veracity of the Press Gazette’s reporter, Ray Clancy, but we*’d like to know just one thing:

Was the alleged figure of £100k+ raised, independently verified by Ray?

There is not one line in the story which suggests that the figure was verified independently. In fact, Campbell’s BTL comment on inaccuracies suggests that the source was Campbell himself – hardly trustworthy in this instance.

If the figure wasn’t independently verified, it can only be concluded that this story highlights the scourge of modern online journalism – journalism by assertion.

Professional journalism, to maintain its integrity must, with the emphasis on MUST, be journalism by verification.

Otherwise it’s mere propaganda and undermines its role in society.

As a recent blog by AhDinnaeKen highlighted, it is perfectly feasible and possible for an Indiegogo fundraising recipient to re-route monies raised in a ‘Flexible’ campaign straight back into the said Indiegogo account.

Campbell has been notably prickly when questioned on this. But he’s never actually shut down potential detractors by providing verifiable evidence.

Coincidence or magic? You decide!

3 Comments

Filed under Media, Opinion, Wangs Watch