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Rumblings of discontent

Brian Taylor | 17:05 UK time, Friday, 28 August 2009

It may not last. It may fade. But, right now, people in Scotland seem decidedly hostile to the decision to release Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Opposition to the particular decision taken by Kenny MacAskill is nearly two to one. Even offered options, a majority say that the Libyan should never have been released from jail.

Intriguingly, glancing at the figures in more detail, opinion against release appears particularly strong among younger people with the elderly more inclined towards compassionate release.

But, in all age groups, more oppose the decision than support it. Plus folk feel Scotland's reputation and that of the Scottish Government has been damaged.

They also feel that the Prime Minister has taken a hit while believing that he should not have intervened. He is adamant that he did not.

Overall, a range of factors could be combining here. In street interviews, some mentioned their disgust at the sight of Saltires in the crowd greeting al-Megrahi in Libya.

Like Gordon Brown, it seems they were repulsed.

Further, the reaction from the United States, including the anger of victims' relatives, may be influential.

Further still, the scale of the atrocity. Al-Megrahi protests his innocence but he was found guilty of causing the deaths of 270 people when Pan Am 103 exploded in the skies over Lockerbie.

Most simply, people may feel that this was essentially the wrong call by Mr MacAskill who will now defend his decision again in a Holyrood debate next week.

They don't seem to like the fact that the minister visited al Megrahi in jail despite his insistence that this was required under the rules of the Prisoner Transfer request. (Others dispute that).

However, they don't feel that Mr MacAskill should quit. And, certainly, there's no sign of that following his public statement, his Holyrood version of same and with the debate in sight next week.

Again, things may change. Mr MacAskill may be able to convince more people that his decision was based on mercy to a dying man - and was right.

As things stand, though, Scotland is not happy.

Comments

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  • 1. At 5:58pm on 28 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    It would be interesting to see exactly what questions that asked to get that result.

    Did they in fact ask if Mr. MacAskill was wrong? Or did they ask if releasing Mr. al-Megrahi was their preferred action, for example.

    It's far too easy for such polls to be manipulated and the fact that the vast majority of Scots do not think that Mr. MacAskill should resign further calls into question the result of this poll. I'm skeptical. No, I'm not a Scot, but I'm not stupid. Nor are the Scots. One expects better of you Mr. Taylor.

    I've seen it asked why Morning Extra had to beg with for people to call with adverse comments on Mr al-Megrahi's release if Scots are indeed so opposed. This supposed "silent majority" is being awfully silent.

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  • 2. At 6:05pm on 28 Aug 2009, JohnMcDonald wrote:

    People can disagree with the Government but disagreeing isn't the same as not wanting to vote for them.

    All the evidence I see and hear is that this was perceived as an action of a competent and admirable government.

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  • 3. At 6:07pm on 28 Aug 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    "It may not last. It may fade."

    You're doing your damnest to make sure that doesn't happen, BT. How many blogs on this saga are we up to now? Seven?

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  • 4. At 6:17pm on 28 Aug 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    "As things stand, though, Scotland is not happy. "

    Scotland has been subjected unremittingly to the idea that MacAskill was wrong, that the scenes in Lybia were abhorent and that Scotland's international reputation has been severely damaged. Of course Scotland is not happy right now.

    However, the media will move onto a new topic eventually (even you will, BT), and when they do, Scots will re-examine their thoughts and feelings about this. It'd be interesting to re-run this survey then.

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  • 5. At 6:18pm on 28 Aug 2009, Dave wrote:

    This isn't news but blatant propaganda. The BBC should rename itself Pravda forthwith. I can't find anyone who disagrees with this decision so I don't know where these figures come from. I see a lot of useless, opposition MSPs who appear jealous that an SNP administration got to make the first really important decision since devolution. It also appears most of them would abuse due process to arrive at a politically acceptable decision and not the "right" one!

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  • 6. At 6:19pm on 28 Aug 2009, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    Will the cost of this poll come out of your salary BT because I sure as heck didn't think I would be paying for it when I coughed up for my licence fee .....

    That apart, I would suggest that in order to judge the validity of this poll we should know which newspaper the respondents read, which political party they support and their general standard of education.

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  • 7. At 6:22pm on 28 Aug 2009, guddleheid wrote:

    Here ,here #1.
    The general public do not understand the nature of polls - if an individual goes to a pollster they can say what result they would like and the pollster just has to ask the right questions in the right format and to the right people - eg: asking questions in certain postcodes will get a certain response which will be different from asking the same questions in a different post code - its about money,'class',background,etc - and hey presto, you ahve the result you wanted. Easypeasy.
    Do not trust polls. If you want to see how people are feeling you need to listen to ther adio, watch telly, read several varide papers, and go online to check out the blogs etc. Then listen to what your family,friends,colleagues,etc and then use your brain and think forself to see what you think the majority are thinking.
    Since polls are not usually open - we don't see the questions asked, the criteria for the poll, the postcodes used etc- and since most polls are carried out by interisted parties with a stake in the outcome it is hard to trust them.
    What stake does the bbc have in a poll? Well, who knows, but since there is so little proper journalism left on the bcc - i.e. just the fair, unbiased reporting of facts, not opinions - it is hard to trust anything they report nowdays.
    As #1 said, the 'silent maority' that the oppsition keeps talking about is very silent, almost deathly quiet. Well done Kenny and the SNP for the courage to do the right thing despite everything. Shame on the oppsition for making politics of it - and if it had been the SNP in oppisiton and they made politics out of this, I would have been ashamed of them too.

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  • 8. At 6:24pm on 28 Aug 2009, enneffess wrote:

    I've had a look at some polls, some newspaper comments and some websites.

    While the polls show that the SNP may have taken a hit in the polls, Alex Salmond rides high on the choice of First Minister, and by a large margin.

    To me that should raise a note of caution to the SNP. It is still Salmond who is the strap that holds the SNP together. Lose him and there could be problems. To be fair Nicola Sturgeon is popular, but Salmond is a major influence in my mind as to how people vote.

    Will Megrahi be a problem for them? Difficult to tell, but the issue WILL resurface come the next election.

    But polls are indictive of current issues in general and there are plenty of banana skins for the other parties.

    Brian, there are other issues which could have been raised here as a topic until next week, rather than having almost a thousand posts in the last topic. People lose track or get stuck in a revolving door of debate.
    The Diageo issue is still bouncing about. Tennent's has been sold. There are threats of strikes at Network Rail.

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  • 9. At 6:25pm on 28 Aug 2009, raisethegame wrote:

    I find the results hard to believe - almost all the people I discussed this with seemed to think Mr MacAskill did the right thing. However, here's where you can read the questions which were asked and download the survvey details: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8226585.stm

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  • 10. At 6:32pm on 28 Aug 2009, R campbell wrote:

    BBC Scotland did a few phone in on morning extra and the majority of people supported the decision. The BBC then did a show asking are you one of the silent majority who oppose it - then please, please, please phone in. Still the vast majority of callers where in favour.

    Also, the majority of people on all the message boards and internet sites in Scotland that I can find were in favour of him being released. I can quickly dredge up at least 3 polls from various regional newspapers and they are all overwhelmingly in favour of release.

    The BBC have become as untrustworthy as the Scotsman newspaper for Scottish political news. That really IS a huge insult to the BBC.

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  • 11. At 6:32pm on 28 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 1 JRMacClure

    The link to it is here.
    Just click on the box under BT's little piece which will take you to the questions.

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  • 12. At 6:33pm on 28 Aug 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    I, quite frankly, don't believe it and since when did the BBC start commissioning polls on contentious political issues?
    What was the last one, Brian?
    Did we have one on the illegal invasion of Iraq, for instance?

    Does the BBC charter allow this?

    Having worked for a polling company I know how easy it is to get the result your client wants.

    The BBC is now into the realms of destroying what credibility as an honest organisation it had left - and that wasn't a lot following it's quite disgraceful bias since the beginning of the affair.

    Do you think intelligent and honest people don't notice?

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  • 13. At 6:36pm on 28 Aug 2009, Mercutio wrote:

    For goodness sake Brian, please don't upset the Nat bloggers by suggesting that the Scottish Government could possibly make a mistake, and that their decisions are not heartily endorsed by an adoring public. MacAskill and Brown both exuding high levels of sanctimony are deserving of public opprobrium over this shambles.

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  • 14. At 6:38pm on 28 Aug 2009, wilkos7 wrote:

    It appears to me that one vital question has not been asked.
    Before being interviewed they should have been asked "Have you heard the complete transcript of Kenny MacAskill's speech?"
    It was given at lunchtime on Thursday - not a time when many would have had an opportunity to hear it, particularly the 'young' who have influenced the outcome of this small poll. I think myself priviledged to have heard a masterpiece of detailed moral deliberation and when he concluded with his decision I felt glad to live in a civilized country, the UK, and that Scots should be proud to have shown the world their compassion.

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  • 15. At 6:39pm on 28 Aug 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    The Daily Mail did a poll in Scotland on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday which is 51% to 43% against releasing Megrahi.

    The BBC does a poll in Scotland on Wednesday and Thursday and the figures are 60% to 32% against releasing Megrahi.

    Usually the margin of error in these polls is 3% but even assuming that the Daily Mail poll is at the top end of the error in favour of releasing Megrahi and the BBC poll is at the bottom then they are still more than 6% out in each figure.

    I don't trust polls which are surveyed within the same timescale but come up with such widely differing results.

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  • 16. At 6:39pm on 28 Aug 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    Some real polls organised by honest people

    Newspaper online polls on the al-Megrahi release, 28/8/09, 12:30 p.m.

    For release Against

    Dumfries & Galloway Standard 88.4% 11.6%

    Annandale Observer 73% 27%

    Perthshire Advertiser 90.6% 8.4%

    Ross-shire Journal 87% 13%

    Scotsman 58% 42% (despite Edinburgh Evening News claims!)

    Lennox Herald 80.5% 19.5%

    Oban Times 89% 11%

    Kilmarnock Standard 72.5% 28.5%

    East Kilbride News 71% 29%

    West Lothian Courier 75.2% 24.8%

    Hamilton Advertiser 60.3% 39.7%

    Airdrie Advertiser 56.1% 43.9%

    Wishaw Press 83% 17%

    Paisley Daily Express 62.23% 37.7%


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  • 17. At 6:39pm on 28 Aug 2009, aerohappy17 wrote:

    it didn't matter what decision he made he would have been wrong.
    oposition parties is turning the scottish parliament into a childish, sour-graped fiasco because they are jealous that they are not the government.
    Scotland is growing slowly into a better place now that NO one party can dictate to us scots, but the government now have to get support from other parties before anything can be done ,Brilliant.
    What about the train/track upgrades from Aberdeen to the south, are we forgotten about, us Scots in the north east do egsists

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  • 18. At 6:39pm on 28 Aug 2009, jamesscotland wrote:

    "...right now, people in Scotland seem decidedly hostile to the decision to release Abdelbaset al-Megrahi"

    Hang on a second: the poll doesn't tell us that. Opinion polls are good at measuring (e.g.) voting intentions; they're very poor at measuring strength of feeling.

    There will be some people who think Kenny MacAskill believed outrageously and unforgivably in releasing Megrahi; there will be others who would personally have reached a different conclusion but accept that it was a legitimate decision to make.

    Both groups of people, however, fall into the same category as far as the poll is concerned. Arguably the question about resignation tells us more (as you note, the majority do not think MacAskill should resign), but even then the raw figure is fairly meaningless as there will always be a significant number of people who are opposed to the politics of a particular minister and would like to see him/her resign.

    Public opinion *may* be "decidedly hostile", but it's a fallacy to believe that we know that because of this poll.

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  • 19. At 6:45pm on 28 Aug 2009, stoneybuddie wrote:

    I really don't know who were contacted by this poll. I have listened to many news programmes this week and there have been many letters published in the Press and Journal. Many people wrote to the editor and the vast majority of those who wrote were in favour of this decision by 5 : 1. It appears the political parties are seeking to make political capital over what was quite simply a decision made by the individual into whose jurisdiction this falls having due regard to the advice given to him.

    I am shocked and disgusted that this is going to run and run and that in itself will be much more damaging

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  • 20. At 6:47pm on 28 Aug 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #5 - "It also appears most of them would abuse due process to arrive at a politically acceptable decision and not the "right" one!"

    With more and more Westminster MPs going on the record to say that it was the right decision, I wonder how their Holyrood counterparts feel after the baying for blood over the last week or so.

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  • 21. At 6:48pm on 28 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Mr. Taylor, some might question the word "hostile" in this blog as being prejudiced and prejudicial. Where was the question about hostility in the poll? I'd like to see something substantiating "hostility".

    One may disagree with an action without therefore being "hostile" to the people who took it. In fact, that happens all the time. Is there anyone, anywhere, who agrees with all the actions of their government? I can assure you I frequently disagree with the American government, including the administration I voted for.

    I happen to agree with some who think that the SNP took a ding but this constant rant from the BBC is considerably past anything reasonable and has long since passed into propaganda.

    Where is the discussion of the purchase of Tennent? Is that possibly good for Scotland? Does the BBC even care?

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  • 22. At 6:51pm on 28 Aug 2009, KilliefaninAyr wrote:

    When the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church in Scotland both support the decision to release Megrahi that merely confirms which of the world three major religions puts compassion at the forefront of their belief system - Christianity. Islam and Judaism do not come out of this with much to their credit, the former being used to justify the atrocity in the first place and the latter in the form of the most vociferous relatives of the US victims insisting on Old Testament 'eye for an eye' retribution. That the US is in thrall to the Jewish lobby explains the White House outrage and as for the FBI Chief's reaction, I don't think we need any lessons in justice from him or his ilk.
    I for one amd proud that we stood up to global bullies, and that overrides the embarrssing scenes in Tripoli.

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  • 23. At 6:52pm on 28 Aug 2009, Ringan wrote:

    Brian

    You and BBC Scotland should feel very ashamed for being associated with this cynical and dishonest poll.

    To my great astonishment and disappointment, BBC Scotland has spent the last few weeks stirring up and pandering to ignorant, red-necked opininion on this issue. It has been politically partizan throughout and sought to convey the erronious impression that there is a "major international backlash" against the decision of the Justice Secretary when international opinion outside the United States is very supportive.

    Intelligent and informed Scottish opinion is strongly behind the decision of the Justice Secretary. I'm sure this wasn't any of your doing, but sadly, once again, BBC Scotland has failed the nation.

    Ringan

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  • 24. At 6:53pm on 28 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    11. gedguy2 wrote:

    # 1 JRMacClure

    The link to it is here.
    Just click on the box under BT's little piece which will take you to the questions.

    ------------------------------

    Thanks for the link. I'd read Mr. Taylor's little comments but had missed the link, I'm afraid. The questions, as far as I can see, ask nothing about whether the responder is "hostile". *raises eyebrow*

    That is an interesting assumption on Mr. Taylor's part.

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  • 25. At 6:54pm on 28 Aug 2009, Trimm Trab wrote:

    Messageboards and phone ins are entirely unrepresentitive of what people think. Those who feel the need to shout loudest are attracted to both - so you cannot judge anything by them.

    My work place has 12 employees - we were discussing this last week. All but 2 thought it was the wrong decision. That 2 didnt care one way of the other. Some of the 10 were swaying the other way due to the hysterical and hypocritical US reaction.

    Me personally I was swaying but with a lot of thought I think it was wrong. He could have staying in Scotland without any problems - despite what some say - and we would have not had all this.

    Personally I think McAskill was trying to make an example - I think he really chose the wrong subject although the idea was right.

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  • 26. At 6:54pm on 28 Aug 2009, teajenny22 wrote:

    Where on earth did sally magnusson find the info to say that three quarters don't support - it is 60%! Cannot believe this - surely we are already seeing the positive effects of the decision and we will so in years to come. It has helped scotlands reputation as an independant and freethinking country internationally. Everyone must know in their heart it was the right decision.

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  • 27. At 6:54pm on 28 Aug 2009, beautifulrenniks wrote:

    If i was diagnosed with terminal cancer would that give me the right to go out and kill a plane full of inocent people, then get away with it." I DONT THINK SO" So does that leave the floodgates open for terrorists and other criminals to come to Scotland to commit hannus crimes knowing that if they are caught and have a terminal illness they will get away SCOT free.........

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  • 28. At 6:55pm on 28 Aug 2009, Stephen_James_Taylor wrote:

    Yet another poll that seems divorced from the reality of Scotland's public opinion. Most people I have talked to think the original conviction was politically motivated and that now Scotland has a last had a chance to redress the balance. Politics should be about the people and not the select few who work in Holyrood.

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  • 29. At 6:55pm on 28 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    To be fair to Brian, and you know that I don't like doing that, some of us complain that he avoids the main political topic of the day if it is against the interests of the Labour party. Now we have a subject that is/was highly important. Personally, I would be happy for him to keep this subject going for the next few weeks as I believe that a lot more information is going to come out about the trial and conviction which is not going to be too complimentary towards either the Tories or Labour. Keep in mind that al-Megrahi was charged during the Tory era and kept locked up during the Labour era. However, you can be sure that if another anti-SNP story just happens to appear then he will rapidly drop this story and leap onto the next one.
    I expect that you will see quite a few anti-SNP stories coming out in the media in the run up to the GE. This way the Labopur party can give a list of all the 'bad' things those nasty nationalists have done while in office. Big boy politics.

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  • 30. At 6:55pm on 28 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #8 Neil_Small147

    "Will Megrahi be a problem for the (SNP)? Difficult to tell, but the issue WILL resurface come the next election."

    Yes, this will resurface at the next election.

    People will remember how the BBC tried to make them believe the majority of Scots were against al-Megrahi being released.

    And, taking great offence at the sheer audacity of such a blatant insult to their intelligence, they'll give the BBC and the so-called "opposition politicians" a kicking they'll never forget.

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  • 31. At 6:57pm on 28 Aug 2009, albanaich3 wrote:

    This was not journalism, it was propaganda. And absolutely revolting.

    The aim of the journalist should be to 'inform' and if you don't inform the public that the bombing of Pam Am 103 was an appropriate and measured response to the shooting down of the Iranian Airbus by the USS Vincennes, then you are lying.

    The journlists involved know that the bombing Pam 103 was directly associated with the shoot down of the Iranian Airbus, but they choose to present it as coming 'out of nowhere'

    I'd sack them for lying. . . .. but hey, I'm sure they'll get jobs with Fox News in the USA, this is exactly the kind of selective reporting they want.

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  • 32. At 6:58pm on 28 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "'It may not last. It may fade. But, right now, people in Scotland seem decidedly hostile to the decision to release Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi' Brian Taylor, BBC Scotland political editor."

    Well, Brian, quite apart from the fact that you inexplicably assume "people in Scotland" BELIEVE this BBC "poll", "it" won't fade as long as the contemptible anti-Scottish press and broadcasters we have in Scotland are so obviously intent on doing everything they can to keep "it" alive.

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  • 33. At 7:06pm on 28 Aug 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    Tut tut tut Brian. If I had one of those Tunnock's teacakes to hand I'd be lobbing it at you right now.

    The BBC poll sounds about as trustworthy as Gordon Brown's smile. As others have said when BBC Scotland are actively asking people who oppose MacAskill's decision to make themselves known pronto because the previous respondents were unfortunately giving the wrong viewpoint, you can hardly expect us to trust you to then run a poll on the matter.

    We already know the answer you wanted. To come on here and say yes, it's true, "Scotland is not happy" really takes the teacake.

    Note to self, add to list of phrases I thought I'd never utter:

    " I'm more inclined to trust the Daily Mail".

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  • 34. At 7:13pm on 28 Aug 2009, JohnMcDonald wrote:

    "Message boards and phone ins are entirely unrepresentitive of what people think. Those who feel the need to shout loudest are attracted to both - so you cannot judge anything by them."

    Well, you can judge by them. Not statistically, but more general tone. And I know from being a regular reader and sometime contributor that there has been a sea-change since May 2007. I truly wonder what the next election in 2011 will bring.

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  • 35. At 7:14pm on 28 Aug 2009, Fionascot wrote:

    I just don't get it! I have spoken to a great number of people since Megrahi was released last week and not one disagrees with the decision to release him. Listen to the radio phone-ins, read the comments to the various debates on this site - the Scottish people are overwhelmingly in support of Kenny MacAskill's decision.
    Why is the BBC so determined to undermine the Scottish government by giving airtime to political pundits and opposition politicians who are destroying the goodwill for the nation of Scotland that has been created because Kenny MacAskill took this bold step.
    The people of Scotland will have their say when we next go to the polls.

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  • 36. At 7:15pm on 28 Aug 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Brian I hope your face is as red as that rosette in your top pocket.

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  • 37. At 7:20pm on 28 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 27 beautifulrenniks

    Hello
    Oh dear. He didn't have cancer at the time the plane was blown up but got terminal cancer several years later while serving the sentence, which was why he was released. However, there is a huge list of diseases (mostly mental) which would have stopped him from being convicted of the crime. That is the nature of justice in Scotland and in the rest of the UK.

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  • 38. At 7:22pm on 28 Aug 2009, g_c_campbell wrote:

    It really was classic Bill Whiteford on Radio Scotland's Newsdrive earlier.

    To Iain Gray: "This poll gives you ammunition for next week's debate."

    Headline update: "Labour says a poll proves that they were right to oppose release of the Lockerbie bomber." UK Labour? Scottish Labour MPs? Scottish Labour councillors? Or just the Labour group at Holyrood, Bill?

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  • 39. At 7:24pm on 28 Aug 2009, albanaich3 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 40. At 7:25pm on 28 Aug 2009, opinia wrote:

    Like some of the other bloggers, I have met only people who agreed with the decision of Kenny MacKaskill in releasing Mr Megrahi.I do not think that Scotland's standing has been diminished, on the contrary, I believe that Scotland's standing will be enhanced by the decision. Those who advocate keeping the man here until death are seeking vengeance and not justice. Furthermore, the media I believe are guilty of stirring up things without informing people of all the facts.There is a lot of doubt as to the guilt of Mr Megrahi,and so although he was found guilty, it is not beyond the bounds of probability, that there was a miscarriage of justice as has been evidenced by past court decisions. As for members of the Labour ,or Liberal parties hopping onto the bandwagon, I find this puzzling since both those parties say they stand for justice and humanity.I also don't think that a poll of 1005 people can be representative of the Scottish people and I did not like Mr. Taylor's last comment on the news that the saltire was flying limply. Was that not an opinion, and as such a news reporter should not be voicing his own personal opinion comment but simply reporting the news.

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  • 41. At 7:26pm on 28 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 26 teajenny22

    Hello

    'Where on earth did sally magnusson find the info to say that three quarters don't support - it is 60%!'

    By tomorrow it will be closer to 90%.
    Keep in mind that only 1005 people were interviewed for this poll. That's 1 in every 50,000 people, which tends to put it in its proper context.

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  • 42. At 7:27pm on 28 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    You might want to take a look at a report on a somewhat less partisan appearing poll. I don't totally accept it because I don't know who paid for it or what questions were asked, etc. But the results are more believable.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLR264712

    In case my link is removed (I'm never sure about posting links here) the article breaks it down as this:

    "Thirty-seven percent of those polled, the largest group, said they "strongly disagreed" with the decision to free Megrahi, while a further 10 percent "tended to disagree".

    But that was almost balanced by 19 percent who "strongly agreed" with MacAskill and 21 percent who "tended to agree". The remainder either had no strong opinion or said they did not know about the merits of the decision."

    So that would be 47% who strongly or somewhat disagree and 40% who strongly or somewhat agree. That's much closer to the Daily Mail results which adds credibility. Two similar polls tend to substantiate each other while the BBC one is out in "left field" as we Americans say.

    For shame, Brian Taylor. I am appalled.

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  • 43. At 7:28pm on 28 Aug 2009, oldbuthopeful wrote:

    I think caution is best in this situation
    Firstly polls are particularly fickle, especially one that is a snapshot at a point in time, which this one is. It would be interesting to be able to run the same poll in a month and three months and see what emerges.
    Secondly and most importantly, I am not sure what a poll has to do in this particular matter, we elect government to govern, are you suggesting that at every turn we should only do what is popular?
    Thirdly MacAskill followed the law and guidance impeccably, are we suggesting that that we should only enforce laws that are popular?
    I think MacAskill and the Scottish Government have show leadership, in a very awkward and difficult position, one that was not of there making. They did not make any of the laws they followed, so are we saying that the law is wrong. It has been suggested that Judges should make these decisions, do we think they would make a different decision.
    I do not accept nor believe that Scotland has been damaged in any meaningful or lasting way, it is of note that there are many very positive comments around the world as to the decision.
    The man is dying what is to be gained by having him die in prison, absolutely nothing other than to serve some sense of vengence.

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  • 44. At 7:29pm on 28 Aug 2009, peteraberdeenshire wrote:

    Rumblings of discontent? No Brian outright disgust at BBC Scotland carrying out a campaign against the elected government, minority or not of Scotland. Every newspaper letters page, on line forum and even Morning Extra's phone in seemed to contradict what this poll commissioned by the BBC suggests, despite the plea for people who disagreed with MacAskill to contact Morning extra. The almost tangible glee with which this was reported on drivetime tonight again highlights the bias within the BBC particularly in Scotland.
    How though does this fit in with the charter which should ensure impartiality, and how can any reporter write or broadcast this nonsense unless they happen to agree with it because anyone with a sense of right or wrong would question such behaviour.
    This last wek or so has marked a new low for the BBC, licence fee? What was it Jim Royale would say?

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  • 45. At 7:31pm on 28 Aug 2009, alba1812 wrote:

    Everyone I have spoken to (I live in Edinburgh) is as outraged as I am by Mr Al-Megrahi's release. I haven't met anyone at all who supports it. It's a clear case of the feelings of the criminal being put above the feelings of the victims. Myra Hindley was never let out, and she only killed 5 people, not 270. Mr MacAskill must have taken leave of his senses. His statement was bizarre, to say the least. He must go, and be replaced by someone who understands the gravity of the crime that was committed, and who will side with the victim not the criminal.

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  • 46. At 7:43pm on 28 Aug 2009, ratzo wrote:


    Its good business to keep this story going.

    America has forgotten about it but in the meantime there's a lot of mileage left in it.

    Gordon Brown has yet to take the full impact of tory & media criticism over what shady stuff he and Blair did with Gaddafi.

    Then there's the vote in parliament next week. With a little push from the BBC the unionist parties could come back round to the idea of a no confidence vote. That would be fun.

    If they work it all back up into a froth the american media might even become interested all over again.

    ho hum.

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  • 47. At 7:54pm on 28 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Of course in assessing the political fallout from this, it is important to remember that large numbers of people don't vote. In the YouGov poll it is noticeable that in social classes A,B,C1 50% of repondents supported MacAskill, while in social classes C2DE, only 37% did. 53% of those 55+ supported him as opposed to 37a5 of younger people.

    The % of respondents who would not vote or "don't know" totals 19% in bothe the June and August polls. Since modern elections have many fewer voters than was once the case, a good 20% of those saying they would vote for a particular party won't vote at all. Previous research indicates that these non voters will come heavily from the sections of the population which are lower social class and younger.

    Even on current polling data, the electoral hit will be less than the hit in popular opinion.

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  • 48. At 7:56pm on 28 Aug 2009, Blind_Captain wrote:

    Let's not get upset about polls; they are a reflection on a moment captured in time. I've come to the conclusion that they are worth, at best, a brief look and, for the press, they are an ingredient in whatever message they want to promote. Let's not indulge in conspiracy theories as it sounds like sour grapes.

    They are dependent on whatever side of bed someone got out of on the morning of the day they were questioned.

    Here's a good news item; I emailed Malcolm Chisholm to thank him for his positive contribution and comments regarding Kenny MacAskill's decision.

    He replied to me as follows;

    "Dear xxxxx,

    Thank you very much for your email.

    I have certainly had an overwhelmingly positive response to what I said and it is good to know that there are so many people across Scotland who understand the decision of the Justice Secretary.

    Kind regards,

    Malcolm Chisholm"

    I find this more of a reflection of what is really going on. And all credit to Malcolm Chisholm for his honesty and sense of fair play.

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  • 49. At 7:59pm on 28 Aug 2009, albanaich3 wrote:

    What a laugh!

    A senior figure BBC Scotland has chosen to express his views and. .. . . . there's a complete disconnect between what he believes and what the rest of us believe.

    Don't you just love the internet? Where you can watch folks screw up in real time?




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  • 50. At 8:00pm on 28 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    I've just taken my own poll of those on this blog who are for and against up to #44. I have ignored the views of the regulars as we already know their views.

    For the poll:against:unsure
    18:3:2

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  • 51. At 8:01pm on 28 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    345 alba1812

    Why should MacAskill resign because he took a decision you disagree with?

    If the Tories had wanted to include the gravity of the crime as a factor, they had the opportunity to accept an amendment to that effect when the 1993 legislation was being debated.

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  • 52. At 8:01pm on 28 Aug 2009, wilddog wrote:

    Now that BBC (Labour) have come out with this poll will Gray,Bella and Tavish be calling a vote of no confidence on the SNP Government and will Bella and Tavish be backing Gray to take on the position of First Minister or don't they have the b**** for that.

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  • 53. At 8:01pm on 28 Aug 2009, reaktor303 wrote:

    Is this really the role of a public service broadcaster, which incidentally is under Westminster/Liebore control?

    What's amongst the first things they target in war? They knocked out Saddam's TV straight-away didn't they?

    Re: Hindley - did she protest her innocence and was a patsy? Dinnae think so.

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  • 54. At 8:08pm on 28 Aug 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    45. alba1812
    Did you actually listen to all of the emergency session of Parliament? Somehow I doubt it. As someone else said 'a measured retelling of all the legal procedures' which led him to the conclusion that the only way to interpret Scots Law was to compassionately release the man home to die.
    Scots justice is about due process, not vengeance. Apart from in your redneck area of Edinburgh, it would appear.
    What difference would it make to the victims anyway? It was the US Government that killed them anyway, the CIA KNEW that flight was going down, thats why all the military and diplomatic personnel were rebooked onto different flights. Thats why a whole load of students who were stuck for flights home before Xmas suddenly got seats. The only US government casualty was a CIA whistleblower on the way home from the Far East with physical evidence that the CIA was involved in heorin trafficking. Convenient, eh? Hence Lockerbie was crawling with CIA operatives the following morning, blithly trampling all over a crime scene to retreive embartassing suitcase full of white powder.
    If it hadn't been for ATC delays, the aircraft would have gone down in the Atlantic accordingly to plan with no embarrassing wreckage.

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  • 55. At 8:11pm on 28 Aug 2009, JonBoy wrote:

    And the purpose of the questionnaire that the BBC licence payers paid for was exactly what? To keep the story in the public domain and further “damage” the reputation of Scotland that some in the Corporation seem willing to blindly inflict because of their loathing for all that Alex Salmond stands for? The interview by Kirsty Wark with the First Minster on NewsNight was nothing more than a rather sad episode of Wark reminiscing for the old days under her hero Dewar.

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  • 56. At 8:13pm on 28 Aug 2009, Richard_the_Rogue wrote:

    What's that funny noise?

    Oh, it was just the sound of the last shred of respect that I had for the BBC evaporating.

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  • 57. At 8:22pm on 28 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Re: Myra Hindley -

    Would someone care to tell this poor ignorant American if Myra Hindley was convicted in a Scottish court and held in a Scottish prison?

    Just wondering.

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  • 58. At 8:25pm on 28 Aug 2009, teajenny22 wrote:

    # 41 gedguy2

    'Keep in mind that only 1005 people were interviewed for this poll. That's 1 in every 50,000 people, which tends to put it in its proper context.'

    Yes, unfortunately that is why it is so disturbing that this ridiculous poll should be passed off as the views of the whole of Scotland. Blatant manipulative over-simplification and misrepresentation of national opinion.

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  • 59. At 8:45pm on 28 Aug 2009, commandlinegamer wrote:

    I think the dice in Vegas' craps' tables are less loaded than those poll questions.

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  • 60. At 8:50pm on 28 Aug 2009, kipcarter wrote:

    There is little that I can do about this terrible travesty of justice except that my wife and I will NOT be visiting Scotland next fall. We will go to France instead

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  • 61. At 8:52pm on 28 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #57 JRMacClure

    LOL I like your pose of naive innocence!

    To these questions one could add -

    Did Hindley ever make a plea for compassionate release?
    Did Hindley have a diagnosed terminal illness?

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  • 62. At 9:02pm on 28 Aug 2009, Failtegualba wrote:

    I am a Londoner who has lived and worked in Scotland for several years and yet again I think the BBC has got this wrong (as they did with the NHS earlier this week). Not a single Scot I have asked thinks it was wrong to release Megrahi - they may not agree with the Libya airport celebration, but the release raises little argument. As to your survey it says 1005 people by telephone from across Scotland. Who were these people? Were they all Scottish? Or people like me who have moved to Scotland from down South? How was this verified? And where across Scotland were these calls made? You will get quite different responses in Govan compared to Irvine or Edinburgh because you are questioning entirely different populations. If you cold call a member of the public asking such questions, will they answer honestly or just want to get off the phone? and even with the spurious arguments made for the statistical analysis, there are still a majority who believe MacAskill should not have resigned. There has been a very strange skewing of the arguments around this survey with the rather murky suggestion of some sort of deal for oil. But let us give Scotland credit for a good compassionate decision on a man whose conviction was always very dodgy. If the English can let Ronnie Biggs go, surely a dying man with an unsafe conviction can have the opportunity to spend his last months with his family. These strange and sweeping statistical analyses do the BBC no credit. Stick to the objective dispassionate reporting of the news for which the BBC was always well respected as the BBC is rapidly losing its once excellent reputation for this.

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  • 63. At 9:02pm on 28 Aug 2009, TuscanRJBH wrote:

    Well done brian you got the result you wanted for the poll... However ... Penny to a Pound, this poll will be totally irrelevant in just a few short weeks time. .. The SNP will retain power with a increase in its majority in any election this year or next... Anyone Care to take the bet with Me?

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  • 64. At 9:03pm on 28 Aug 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    60. kipcarter

    You're choice, personally I only visit places that I want to visit without the influence of political pressures.

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  • 65. At 9:20pm on 28 Aug 2009, Dave wrote:

    #60 kipcarter

    So the French, who wanted nothing to do with the illegal war in Iraq, are now rehabilitated in US eyes? Ever though of taking a "staycation"?

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  • 66. At 9:24pm on 28 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    With the appearance of this truly contemptible piece of propaganda masquarading as a so-called "poll" of Scottish opinion, is it not time one of our distinguished MSPs raised a question when Holyrood resumes about the clear lack of "impartiality" in BBC Scotland's political coverage?

    This blatant attempt by BBC Scotland to distort public perception really has crossed the line between mere ambiguous "interpretation" of facts and a more sinister, deliberate attempt to show the SNP in the worst possible light and thus favour their political opponents. This is not the function of BBC Scotland.

    It is not morally right that a public service broadcaster funded wholly from a compulsory public tax on every citizen regardless of political affiliation, be used to finance political polls that are clear attempts to bolster one political party over another. The same would be true if the BBC was commissioning polls favouring the SNP.

    This sort of obvious attempt at swaying voting intent one might expect in some undeveloped hellhole dictatorship, but not a democratic Scotland in the 21st century!

    Our MSPs need to stand up now for the right of the Scottish public to have access to genuinely impartial political news coverage before we sleep walk into a totalitarian state where we have Winston Smiths changing the wording of the blog posts rather than just stopping them being published.

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  • 67. At 9:24pm on 28 Aug 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #57 JRM
    #61 oldnat
    No, no, I think she did, Yes but it could have happened anywhere between 50 and 75 or later in some cases.

    Brian
    Scotland is unhappy that you didn't ask whether we should bring back hanging. That might have afforded some interesting correlations, still it seems that the Secretary did his job and people appreciate that even if the answer was "wrong" in their eyes.
    I think the political question out of all this is should a politician be making theses decisions at all? This problem started with the release of Pinochet by Straw. Of course in that case as Pinochet was a CIA client there wasn't an outcry from the USA but I think his "government" was responsible for more than 270 deaths. Even so, the English Justice Secretary showed compassion. It's a tricky one.

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  • 68. At 9:26pm on 28 Aug 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #6 Wee-Scamp
    "I would suggest that in order to judge the validity of this poll we should know which newspaper the respondents read, which political party they support and their general standard of education."

    Spot on. The PDF available on this website's Majority 'oppose' Megrahi release only shows weightings for Gender, Age & Region. It also omits - very unusually for ICM - the Fieldwork dates and is not yet available from the ICM website.

    This is unlike the ICM June poll for BBC Scotland on identity, devolution and independence weighted on the same factors but also on Social Class, Working status & Religion. As political matters, both polls should have been weighted according to the Scottish subset of their standard Political - see UK Polling Report's FAQ on weighting here. ICM don't seem to weight on education or newspaper readership but probably should.

    Hardly their fault, but ICM were certainly not the ideal pollster to choose, having only done the one other BBC Scotland poll in 2009. TNS and YouGov at least do regular Scottish polling.

    The questions chosen would arguably have been fair had the media coverage itself been fair, but to include the words "From what you yourself have seen and heard" as a preface to the questions invites the BBC response.

    IMO, just three questions were needed, viz:

    1. Has press and broadcasting coverage of al-Megrahi's release been fair and balanced?
    2. Should MacAskill have ignored the wishes of the US government and used the PTA negotiated for al-Megrahi by Blair and Brown?
    3. Should MacAskill have ignored prior practice of all Scottish Justice Secretaries and ignored the fact that al-Megrahi met the compassionate release requirements on political grounds?

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

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  • 69. At 9:30pm on 28 Aug 2009, masterpantsman wrote:

    This poll was deeply flawed and designed to get the headlines that BBC Scotland required.

    No questions were asked on opinions regarding whether this was a "safe" conviction.

    All questions should have had the Proviso "On the basis he was 100% guilty"

    There are huge doubts over this man's sole guilt, or any guilt, if there had been Capital punishment would any jury have given the Death Penalty on the evidence available ?

    The questions in this poll should only have been asked of people who were aquainted with the background to the case.

    Another case of bad journalism BBC Scotland.

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  • 70. At 9:35pm on 28 Aug 2009, Rustigjongens wrote:

    The poll by the BBC is perfectly valid, 1,000 people is more than adequate to use to gauge the feeling of the Scottish public, you do not need to poll 50,000 or even a million people to gauge the general consensus, MORI, YouGuv or Gallup will tell you exactly the same thing, 1,000 people is the accepted level required for this sort of survey.

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  • 71. At 9:44pm on 28 Aug 2009, masterpantsman wrote:

    1,000 may be a valid number for a poll, but how many of the 1000 knew what the facts of the case were.

    This was not a poll for a general election, were talking about a man's life/death situation.

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  • 72. At 9:52pm on 28 Aug 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #934 sneckedagain [previous thread]
    "When was the last time the BBC commissioned a poll on a contentious politcal issue?"

    ICM did their last Scottish poll for BBC Scotland on Calman and 10 years of devolution with fieldwork from 22 to 24 June. You can download it here. Like this one, there was no political weighting.

    Also like this one, the questions themselves and the order asked left much to be desired.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

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  • 73. At 9:52pm on 28 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #70. Rustigjongens wrote:

    The poll by the BBC is perfectly valid, 1,000 people is more than adequate to use to gauge the feeling of the Scottish public, you do not need to poll 50,000 or even a million people to gauge the general consensus, MORI, YouGuv or Gallup will tell you exactly the same thing, 1,000 people is the accepted level required for this sort of survey.

    --------------------------------

    I agree that 1000 people is a reasonable sampling number but it takes more than that to make a poll "valid". The method of selection of that 1000, the phrasing of the questions, the weighting or total lack of it, and a number of other factors come into deciding whether a poll is "valid" or not.

    That is a long way from proven in the case of this poll, especially since the results vary pretty substantially from several other polls taken in approximately the same time frame, including one by MORI.

    Nope. Questionable poll and nowhere does it say that the Scottish people are "hostile" as Mr. Taylor stated that it did.

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  • 74. At 9:53pm on 28 Aug 2009, ironcameronwallace wrote:

    Why is it when the bbc publishes a poll it is highlighted as the only test of public opinion. This is not the case, there have been many polls pubished since Mr al-Megrahi's release and they all support Kenny MacAskill's decision. What gets me is the weighted opinion of the BBC against looking at the full picture, the idea of balanced reporting and journalism has gone. They take headlines and use negative spin to put accross one side of the story. This is evident in the news bulletins when they only ever give one side of the story when it concerns the SNP, and they slip in a comment at a later stage of a programme from a SNP spokesman but never repeat it in news bulletins. It is biased on a huge scale, and impartiality is out of the window. I would take this poll with a pinch of salt, obviously it is a headline grabber just the sme when they prattled on about there last opinion poll on independence. Again their polling is out of step with other. Very poor journalism, and dont even mention Glen Campbells one sided biased!

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  • 75. At 10:05pm on 28 Aug 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Congratulations to the BBC for creating this wholly fictional snap-shot of Scottish Opinion. Of those who want to engage in public debate and actively act to do so, an overwhelming majority are in favour of the decision - just look at the letters pages of Scotland's only quality daily.

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  • 76. At 10:06pm on 28 Aug 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    When will the BBC be officially endorsing Labour Party candidates in Scotland ... the announcement can only be weeks away.

    How else can such blatant bias be explained?

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  • 77. At 10:06pm on 28 Aug 2009, Donald_McNairn wrote:

    Brian, interesting post, but how can we (Nationalist Community) believe BBC ? You would sell your grannies’ to a glue factory to maintain the union?
    BBC are proven misleaders, I have no trust with them on any subject!
    BBC are anti-Scottish!

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  • 78. At 10:07pm on 28 Aug 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    I don't know where they found the 1005 people, but they are certainly not representative of people I have spoken to since this affair began (and where did that first leak that put MacAskill under such pressure to make a decision come from?!).

    Not everyone I have spoken to agrees with the release, but most do. I would guess about 80/20. This would seem to be broadly in line with the polls from the local papers that sneckedagain posted at #16 (thanks for that).

    That said, I think polls are as valuable as a chocolate frying-pan. They can be manipulated in too many ways. As such I don't place any faith in any of them.

    I do question the BBC's partiality in commissioning the poll in the first place. It seems to me that they just weren't getting the reaction they expected from the messageboards and the phone-ins but they had no "ammunition" with which to fight back with (nor any of the other pro-unionists), so they had to conjure up a quick poll. I'm finding it difficult to think of ANY other time that the BBC has commissioned a poll. They normally just quote other peoples, but dammit! they aren't saying what they want either!

    This seems to me to be the BBC pathetically trying to justify it's own biased coverage of the al-Megrahi affair. 'The thrashings will continue until you believe us and do what you are told.' It's the death-throes of the Union and that has them worried to "a very hot place".

    Thoughout it all they have bombarded us with Unionists and Americans telling us how bad this decision is and how damaging it is to Scotland, but at every turn they have been trumped. They brought out Hillary, we brought out Martin Cadman. They brought out Obama, we brought out Dr Jim Swire. They brought out Robert Mueller, we brought out Alan Millar. They trotted out Iain Gray, Tavish Scott, Nicol Stephen, David Cameron; we brought out The Rev Galloway, Archbishop Conti, David Steel, Henry McLeish, Malcolm Chisolm, Tam Dalziel, Rev Dr John Cameron. We only heard from American families that were against the decision, in spite of the fact that I know there were supporters amongst them.

    I am by no means trying to reduce such a serious issue to a game, but that is almost what it has come down to due to the extreme bias of the British establishment. One of the problems with the establishment is thier mistaken belief that money = intelligence. The more money that you have/earn the smarter you must be. Therefore because they are on fat salaries they must be smarter than the rest of us. Well, they don't fool me. It is the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation after all. In that name there are two parts that don't align with a desire for a free Scotland; "British" and "Corporation". They must consequently be against independence.

    I'm no lover of Alex Salmond, but as a semi-intelligent person I see the SNP as the means to an end, the end being the freedom of Scotland. What would happen to the political landscape in Scotland afer independence is anybody's guess. My guess is that the SNP would not continue to hold power for long after our self determination is achieved unless they prove themselves capable of rising to the Scottish peoples expectations.

    At the moment they still have a long way to go to meet mine. However, with this courageous decision Kenny MacAskill has proved himself capable of meeting my expectations. The only other politician that has done that in this affair was Malcolm Chisolm.

    I didn't believe Tony Blair and his reasons for invading Iraq. I marched against the war. I have been proved correct in my opposition to that and I expect I will be proved correct on this one too. If need be I'll march again.

    al-Megrahi was a fall guy. He may have been involved in the atrocity, but I do not believe he was the perpetrator. The al-Megrahi has been used by US and UK goverments to both bargain for business with Libya and damage the SNP is beyond reprehension.

    What the media SHOULD be baying for are the documents held by the American and British governments that would provide us all with the truth of the matter. Not holding my breath for that one though, it would only prove they've being lying to us all along.

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  • 79. At 10:12pm on 28 Aug 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    Before everyone gets carried away about this poll lets remember the other poll that was heavily promoted by the media, including the BBC.

    In the week running up to the Glasgow East by-election there was a poll that showed Labour 17% ahead of the SNP. Now I wonder how that election turned out?

    We will get an indication of what Labours private polling on this is on Wednesday, as if Labour thought that this was a true reflection they would be proposing a vote of no confidence. Wednesday will be more empty words from what used to be the two stooges, now unfortunately three stooges.

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  • 80. At 10:16pm on 28 Aug 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    Remember the glee on the face of Glenn Campbell last Thursday night, when he described this as a defining moment for the SNP. I think he was correct, but not for the reasons he thought.

    The question to be asked on the doorsteps before the next election is simple. "Do you want a government who try to do what is right, irrespective of the outcome, against an opposition who only do what is correct for their masters in Westminster?

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  • 81. At 10:17pm on 28 Aug 2009, frankly_francophone wrote:

    On the subject of other opinion polls conducted since the announcement of the decision to release Mr al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds to allow him to die at home, I came across one the other day which appears to give a somewhat different indication of Scottish opinion on this matter.

    Information on the poll and the results produced by it are given in 'SNP Support Holds Firm' at

    http://frankly.yolasite.com/

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  • 82. At 10:21pm on 28 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    I see that this poll has had a airing on BBC news24. To those who think that the BBC have no right to commission a poll I would suspect that they have this right. However, isn't it strange that this poll result is brought out just before a potential vote of confidence in Holyrood. You can be sure that Gray has now got a bit of ammunition, which he didn't have last Monday, to throw at the legally elected government of Scotland. Black propaganda by the UK government, via a public(?) broadcaster, in action. Expect a flurry of this, and more, running up to the general election.

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  • 83. At 10:26pm on 28 Aug 2009, enneffess wrote:

    Hypothetical question here (please note the word HYPOTHETICAL, as is "flying pigs").

    Had the result shown a majority in favour of the release, what would be the response? (hypothetical of course :P )

    More chance of Dick Dastardly catching that pigeon.......

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  • 84. At 10:28pm on 28 Aug 2009, Rob M wrote:

    Having read several comments on BBC Bias on this issue I note with some discontent that no mention has been made of the findings of question 3 in the poll about release from jail where although 52% said "No release" 29% said release to Libya and 15% said release to Scotland, thus gives a NET figure for release of 44% "food for thought!" also the first time a NET figure is used is Q7 "Scottish government Standing with voters" where Net damage ties those that think a little damage 27% with a lot of damage 49% =76% assuming you can't please all the people all the time" had the NET figure been for little 27% or no damage 21%=48%, and just to show no bias on my part Q9 the same as (7) for Gordon Brown would yield 62% for little 33% or no 29% damage.

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  • 85. At 10:29pm on 28 Aug 2009, gentlemanheelander wrote:

    Brian you should hang your heed in shame, this poll fell on you like manna to a starving man. A starving, blind man.

    Not only did you miss all the polls so helpfully provided by your readers, that point to the opposite opinion. You also forgot the Scottish religious leaders, and amazingly, on the opposite side of the moral spectrum, the lawyers, who both unanimously supported this moral and legal decision.

    You however, seem incapable of reading an unbiased news report. Oh, hang on, this is Scotland, I watched a "man on the street poll" in Edinburgh at the weekend, you found two Englishmen and no Scots! Why was that Brian? Hmmm? Tell you what, if you've got the balls, pop out now and ask the next ten passers-bye(that are Scottish mind you!), and we might believe yer heed's no stuck somewhere it can't hear or see from. That's really the only viable excuse I would believe for being so blatantly biased and inaccurate.

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  • 86. At 10:29pm on 28 Aug 2009, romeplebian wrote:

    just watched your report on the news Brian, you want to hang your head in shame if you call this fair and balanced reporting resign now, Im paying for your wages and you are not fit purpose

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  • 87. At 10:32pm on 28 Aug 2009, frankly_francophone wrote:

    #60 kipcarter

    You and your wife may find that the French - and indeed the European Union as a whole, for both principled and pragmatic reasons - are not hostile to the decision which the Scottish Government has taken in this case.

    An indication of this can be found in the penultimate paragraph of 'A Declaration of Independence' at

    http://frankly.yolasite.com/index/a-declaration-of-independence

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  • 88. At 10:32pm on 28 Aug 2009, hamiljas wrote:

    I simply do not accept that his poll has produced an accurate result.
    I have not heard anyone say that it was wrong to release him on legal grounds of compassion. The people interviewed seemed to represent, mainly, the white track-suit brigade. The opposition parties and the media simply look for opportunites to score political points. I find myself in the unusual, and uncomfortable, position af agreeing with the First Minister.

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  • 89. At 10:33pm on 28 Aug 2009, masterpantsman wrote:

    Brian, can I ask if this was a manufactured "damage limitation" exercise by the BBC for Scottish interests abroad ?

    The headines of the poll will now resound around the world (BBC qualified, USA intended) that the majority of Scots disagree with their Government.

    That the Scots view conforms with their USA(ill informed) counterparts, so really it's not the bad Scots at all but their Government, so they can all continue to visit Scotland.

    If that's the case, then it's commendable but it's still rubbish journalism.

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  • 90. At 10:34pm on 28 Aug 2009, littlemarcam wrote:

    This is a quick and dirty survey of opinion on a very complex issue. And I question the outcome; a relatively small sample, with views only collected over the phone. How truly representative? And purpose of the survey?- to continue knocking the decision? To keep the issue as bad news alive? The purpose of news programmes and journalism is to report it,preferably unbiased, not to make it.

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  • 91. At 10:35pm on 28 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "News Corporation's James Murdoch has said that a "dominant" BBC threatens independent journalism in the UK."

    I was at the MacTaggart Lecture and heard Murdoch's lecture.

    The BBC's "news story" quoted above completely fails to mention some of Murdoch's most telling criticisms.

    Luckily I took them down at the time in shorthand: "In this all-media marketplace, the expansion of state-sponsored journalism is a threat to the plurality and independence of news provision, which are so important for our democracy."

    Mr Murdoch referred to George Orwell's 1984 and said that book's message was more relevant than ever: "As Orwell foretold, to let the state enjoy a near-monopoly of information is to guarantee manipulation and distortion. The only reliable, durable and perpetual guarantor of independence is profit."

    Perhaps Murdoch had just read BBC Scotland's "poll of Scottish opinion" on the al-Megrahi decision before he made his comments. If so, he certainly hit the nail on the head with his description of "manipulation and distortion."

    It really is time this public-tax funded monstrosity was made to live in the real world and earn its keep like the rest of us. Of course, Murdoch has an axe to grind (so don't bother pointing it out. I have a brain. I can see that for myself) but there is also the not insignificant point that he's right.

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  • 92. At 10:41pm on 28 Aug 2009, BrianSpenceAberdeen wrote:

    Polls may come and polls may go but what will be remembered in this affair is that Kenny MacAskill took a courageous and principled decision. He did not bend to popular opinion, ignored the usual pressure from the United States and showed, whether you agree with the decision or not, that here was a government minister who did what he thought was right. Normally politicans are slated for bending towards the "easy option"; not this time! Well done Kenny!

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  • 93. At 10:47pm on 28 Aug 2009, edinchris wrote:

    Seeing as everyone on this blog seems to be seeing MacAskil as an angel, I think someone needs to give a contrary view. I think the decision to release Meghrahi was shocking!

    Why? Well, as I see it, there are two options:
    1) He was guilty of the Lockerbie bombing - If this is the case, then it is crazy to say he should only serve an 8 year prison sentence for it. The idea of compassionate release is absurd. Peter Tobin has only murdered 2 people (instead of 270) but if he was found to be terminally ill, there is no chance that he would be released. Why should there be one law for one man and a diferent law for another?

    2) He was innocent of the Lockerbie bombing - Setup by the Libyans, convicted under pressure from CIA - who knows. If this was the case, then his apeal should have been heard and we could see from the evidence if he was innocent and should be released.

    What has happened instead is that we will now have no idea whether or not he did commit the crime, and MacAskil has shown comtempt for the Scottish justice system in releasing someone who was found guilty in a Scottish court! Our "justice system" is now a laughing stock around the world!

    The SNP have once again proved to me that they are incapable of making a difficult decision. They can only do populist, cosmetic policies and cannot tackle the real problems facing Scotland. I cannot wait until 2011 when I get the chance to wipe that smug grin off Mr Salmond's face by voting them out of office.

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  • 94. At 10:51pm on 28 Aug 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    I'm sure that the survey was done professionally and the answers recorded were as given but I've got some doubts about the questions themselves.

    I've gone through the questions from the PDF the BBC have made available and re-written them so that they favour Kenny MacAskill's decision. What is interesting is how the actual questions are mostly mirror-images of the pro-MacAskill questions.

    Q.1 You may have seen or heard recently that Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the man found guilty of the Lockerbie bombing involving the Pan-AM airliner, has been released by the Scottish Government on compassionate grounds. From what you yourself have seen and heard do you think the Scottish government was right or wrong to release Mr Al-Megrahi?

    No mention of terminal cancer in the first question which was the reason he was released on compassionate grounds. Putting in the fact Megrahi is dying of terminal cancer puts the question in context.

    Q.1 You may have seen or heard recently that Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the man found guilty of the Lockerbie bombing involving the Pan-AM airliner, has been released by the Scottish Government on compassionate grounds as he is dying of terminal cancer. From what you yourself have seen and heard do you think the Scottish government was right or wrong to release Mr Al-Megrahi?

    Q.2 Mr Al-Megrahi has been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. Do you think he should, or should not have remained in prison in Scotland until his death?

    The first two questions are actually the same question. Do you think that Megrahi should have been released and should he have been kept till he dies are just the same question in different forms. What the survey does is not introduce the fact he has terminal cancer until the second question where the affirmative is the easy answer. It also makes it difficult to answer, "should not have been kept in jail", to the second question if you've answered, "wrong to release", to the first one.

    Q.3 Some people have suggested that Mr Al-Megrahi should have been freed from jail but then be made to remain in Scotland until his death. How about you, do you think he should have...?

    The option of returning to Libya is not given and again the easy answer is to agree with the questioner. See the difference with:

    Q.3 Some people have suggested that freeing Mr Al-Megrahi from jail and then sending him back to Libya until his death was for the best. How about you, do you think he should have...?

    Q.4 Do you think the Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill should, or should not have visited Mr Al-Megrahi in prison before making the decision to release him?

    This is an out of context question. Kenny MacAskill didn't visit Megrahi to talk about his compassionate release he visited him to talk about the prisoner transfer. It seems the makers of this questionnaire don't understand the actual circumstances of the visit. It's not going to influence the previous questions but it might influence the following ones.

    Q.5 Do you personally think the Scottish government's decision to release Mr Al-Megrahi was taken on legal grounds alone or do you think there were there other factors that influenced the decision?

    The idea of "other factors" is introduced into the question in a positive way. Put it in a negative way and see the difference.

    Q.5 Do you personally think the Scottish government's decision to release Mr Al-Megrahi was taken on legal grounds alone and avoided other factors that may have influenced the decision?

    Q.6 Based on what you know do you think the Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill should or should not resign for his part in the release of Mr Al-Megrahi?

    The assumption here is that he has done something wrong. The question is not has he done something wrong but just how wrong was he. Again turn it round and it becomes positive.

    Q.6 Based on what you know do you think the Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill should or should not be praised for his compassion in the release of Mr Al-Megrahi?

    Q.7 Do you yourself think that the standing of the Scottish Government with voters in Scotland has been damaged by the decision to release Mr Al-Megrahi?

    There is no option here as is given in the question on Brown. Not "has or has not been damaged" and again we've got that negative word "damaged" in the question not a positive word like "enhanced". Put in "enhanced" and it changes.

    Q.7 Do you yourself think that the standing of the Scottish Government with voters in Scotland has been enhanced by the handling of the the release Mr Al-Megrahi?

    Q.8 Do you think that the UK Government should have tried to influence the decision by the Scottish government or was the UK Government right to not get involved?

    Question posed from a UK context not a Scottish one. Again the easy answer is to go with the first option and answer yes. Change it to a Scottish context and it changes the question.

    Q.8 Do you think that the Scottish Government was right to avoid influence by the UK Government or should the UK Government have been involved?

    Q.9 To what extent do you think Gordon Brown's reputation has or has not been damaged by the release of Mr Al-Megrahi?

    Here a choice given unlike question 7. Take away the choice and it becomes easier to answer that he has been damaged as in question 7.

    Q.9 To what extent do you think Gordon Brown's reputation has removed been damaged by the release of Mr Al-Megrahi?

    Q.10 Irrespective of what you yourself think, do you think the decisions taken by the Scottish Government in relation to Mr Al-Megrahi have, on the whole, damaged or enhanced the reputation of Scotland?

    The subject has been led into negative answers all the way through, they're not going to answer positively now.

    I've no idea if the results would be different with the positive questions and of course what you want is an unbiased survey, not one which leads the subjects to the answer you want, but I don't like the questions in this one. A personal opinion of course.

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  • 95. At 10:51pm on 28 Aug 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    It would seem very few of those polled have a connection to the internet. Or perhaps at all?

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  • 96. At 10:53pm on 28 Aug 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    2. At 6:05pm on 28 Aug 2009, johncmcdonald wrote:
    "People can disagree with the Government but disagreeing isn't the same as not wanting to vote for them."

    true, but the SNP have been hurt among the socio-political group ABC1. Now only enjoying the support of 24% of this group (the same incidently as the Scottish Conservatives do among this most wealthy grouping).

    The implications of this in rich suburban/rural Tayside where there are two SNP-Con marginals still waits to be seen.

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  • 97. At 10:58pm on 28 Aug 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    93. At 10:47pm on 28 Aug 2009, edinchris wrote:
    "Seeing as everyone on this blog seems to be seeing MacAskil as an angel"

    Meet the cybernats....

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  • 98. At 11:01pm on 28 Aug 2009, A_Scottish_Voice wrote:

    "It may not last. It may fade" -

    Not if you and the BBC have anything to do with it Brian.

    I cannot recall watching anything so partisanly cringe worthty for a long time. - A BBC poll on Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. Since when did the BBC lead with one of their own polls on anything.

    It would be laughable if it wasn't so pathetic.

    I can't recall anything of this nature regarding Labour going into an illegal war for American oil at the cost of hundreds of lives.

    Does no one at the BBC have any idea how desperate this is beginning to look trying to milk this story day after day.



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  • 99. At 11:10pm on 28 Aug 2009, Tom wrote:

    Edin Chris:

    #93.

    Compassionate release is not based on sentence served nor crime committed, it's something which has not been discussed at all actually, I personally feel that if the opposition honestly believe Al Megrahi should not be released then laws need to be changed to prevent the release of the convicted terrorist.

    Peter Tobin is also healthy, as far as I am aware of, so please let us stick to facts and not start basing ridiculous ideas and speculation.

    "What has happened instead is that we will now have no idea whether or not he did commit the crime, and MacAskil has shown comtempt for the Scottish justice system in releasing someone who was found guilty in a Scottish court!"

    MacAskil took appropiate action considering the options available. Compassionate release, as I said, is not based on being guilty or not, sentenced or not but on the individuals health.

    "The SNP have once again proved to me that they are incapable of making a difficult decision."

    For your information it's not party policy, and I am offended that you would actually dare to make this issue about party politics. This decision was down to one man, it was not party policy. It's no wonder you disagree with MacAskil's decision as you clearly are anti-SNP.

    Party politics is not welcome in this discussion.

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  • 100. At 11:15pm on 28 Aug 2009, A_Scottish_Voice wrote:

    Having just read through some of the previous posts, I have to agree with many of them, this Poll in effect has nailed the BBC's true colours to the wall.

    They can now no longer try and pretend that they are impartial, because they clearly are not.

    Having said that my viewing time of BBC news coverage has been reducing month on month.

    They definately have the Scotsman stigma.

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  • 101. At 11:15pm on 28 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    I have just read James Murdoch's MacTaggart Lecture in which he attacks 'dominant' BBC . It is 12 pages long but well worth reading, as it is pertinent to this blog and what some of us have been trying to say on Brian's previous blog.

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  • 102. At 11:17pm on 28 Aug 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    I'm laughing, then I'm laughing again and then just for a bit of good measure I'm laughing at you all a little bit more!

    Strike of the Scot Nat conspiracy theorists again, "It's all a fix", grow up.

    Your incessant attempts to justify the fact that the majority of Scots does not, and never has, supported your agenda and political views by blaming the media is the most tiring thing on the planet.
    If the media really were so unrepresentative of the Scottish population then rival media organisations which better represented "our" viewpoint would overtake them.

    I, and I imagine most other Scots, resent the implication from a small number of people that post on this blog that they are somehow more intelligent than we are, that their views are somehow more right than ours are and more valid.

    I counted twenty odd posts above claiming that the poll had clearly been fixed because "I've spoken to all of my friends" and "I've looked at internet websites".
    Most of my friends think agree with me about the decision, shock horror, we all spend time with like minded people. But no worries, an independent random poll of a 1000 people is innacurate but random Scot Nat conspiracy theorists poll of his 5 mates is much more likely to be representative of the Scottish population.











    One aspect, not the only one, but one aspect of good democratic governing is listening to the views of the people. Outside of the minority of hard liners on here it was plain to everyone that most of the country were against this decision.

    What Salmond should now be saying is that the people are wrong, pointing out that the people support the death penalty but we don't allow that. What he's instead claiming is that we're somehow unaware of the facts, somehow too ignorant to make an informed decision. If there's a person in Scotland who isn't well aware of the factors that were involved in this decision I'll be very surprised indeed.

    Apart from the irony that he didn't seem to notice of claiming that the cancer was the "only factor in the decision" before going onto claim that "once the Scottish people hear all of the factors in the decision", what greater level of information is there to provide us. The man killed 270 people. The man's dying and meets the criteria for being considered for compassionate release. Our government(s) believe we will benefit from sending him back to Libya.

    It's patently obvious to everyone with half a brain cell that MacAskill weighed up all of these factors and came to a decision. We just disagree with his decision. He has every right to claim that he disagrees with the views of the people on this one and thats a gutsy move which may or may not benefit him long term. He has no right to claim that our opposition is based somehow on us being ignorant of the facts, such patronising remarks will only backfire.




    It's time some of the people who post on this blog wake up and enter the real world. If you really were as representative of the Scottish population as you try to portray by spamming this forum with anti english insults and smear campaigns against people holding the view that the Scottish people do on the future of the union then the SNP would win the majority of the vote in something. Yet they never have, ever.

    I got endless amounts of abuse and demands for evidence on here when I pointed out to you that the Scottish people were not happy with this decision. I present you this evidence.

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  • 103. At 11:20pm on 28 Aug 2009, A_Scottish_Voice wrote:

    Just a thought -

    Is there any chance we could get the BBC to do a Poll on whether or not the public think that the Licence fee is good value for money?

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  • 104. At 11:21pm on 28 Aug 2009, masterpantsman wrote:

    Why? Well, as I see it, there are two options:
    1) He was guilty of the Lockerbie bombing - If this is the case, then it is crazy to say he should only serve an 8 year prison sentence for it. The idea of compassionate release is absurd. Peter Tobin has only murdered 2 people (instead of 270) but if he was found to be terminally ill, there is no chance that he would be released. Why should there be one law for one man and a diferent law for another?

    2) He was innocent of the Lockerbie bombing - Setup by the Libyans, convicted under pressure from CIA - who knows. If this was the case, then his apeal should have been heard and we could see from the evidence if he was innocent and should be released

    Your second option negates your first option, i.e we'll never know whether he's 100% guilty or innocent.
    Yes he was convicted but the evidence was circumstancial, he has always maintained his innocence, he was moving to his second appeal but would have died a convicted man in jail before it was heard.

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  • 105. At 11:23pm on 28 Aug 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 106. At 11:31pm on 28 Aug 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #93 - "Seeing as everyone on this blog seems to be seeing MacAskil as an angel, I think someone needs to give a contrary view. I think the decision to release Meghrahi was shocking!"

    Nobody is calling MacAskill a messiah/angel/godlike. Most will agree the decision is unpalatable. That doesn't make the decision wrong.

    "Peter Tobin has only murdered 2 people (instead of 270) but if he was found to be terminally ill, there is no chance that he would be released."

    I'm sure you can cite your evidence for this. Don't tell me, you've looked at your crystal ball and foretold what the Justic Secretary will decide in the coming years.

    Can I have this week's lottery numbers whilst your looking at Jack Straw's schedule?

    How many times can this be said? Megrahi's actual guilt is completely irrelevant in all this. As thing stand, he was found guilty in a court of law and, despite his protestations of innocence, he returned to Lybia as a guilty man.

    "MacAskil has shown contempt for the Scottish justice system in releasing someone who was found guilty in a Scottish court! Our "justice system" is now a laughing stock around the world!"

    No, MacAskill followed a course of action almost dictated by the Scottish justice system. Hardly the actions of a man trying to show it contempt. And whilst the good ol' US of A disagree with it, their feelings about our justice system are far from universal. Most of mainland Europe have already come out in support. Hardly makes it a laughing stock around the world.

    "They can only do populist, cosmetic policies and cannot tackle the real problems facing Scotland. "

    Yes, Megrahi's release really was a populist, cosmetic decision.

    As others have said, keeping Megrahi in prison to die is about vengeance, not justice. Scotland doesn't have the death penalty and, whilst I'm sure a poll like this would find 60% (or nearly 3/4 according to Sally Magnusson) in favour of restoring the death penalty here (I'm sure you'd be amongst that 3/4), that doesn't make restoration of the death penalty a good thing.

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  • 107. At 11:31pm on 28 Aug 2009, Tom wrote:

    NCA999:

    #102.

    I'd actually be pleased to know about these 'English insults', however it appears that you are also using this platform to attack the SNP and her supporters. It's disappointing to see individuals sinking so low that it results into the same old, anti-SNP drama that we see.

    Instead of discussing changing the system to ensure convicted terrorists can never be released you result into the old attacks against the nationalists that you must repeat once or twice before disappearing for a week or two.

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  • 108. At 11:35pm on 28 Aug 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    93. edinchris

    Try reading this from 1993. (Hat tip oldnat)

    "Power to release prisoners on compassionate grounds

    (1) The Secretary of State may at any time, if satisfied that there are compassionate grounds justifying the release of a person serving a sentence of imprisonment, release him on licence.

    (2) Before so releasing any long-term prisoner or any life prisoner, the Secretary of State shall consult the Parole Board unless the circumstances are such as to render consultation impracticable.

    (3) The release of a person under subsection (1) above shall not constitute release for the purpose of a supervised release order"


    and In the interests of justice

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  • 109. At 11:40pm on 28 Aug 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    102. At 11:17pm on 28 Aug 2009, NCA999

    "It's time some of the people who post on this blog wake up and enter the real world. If you really were as representative of the Scottish population as you try to portray by spamming this forum with anti english insults and smear campaigns against people holding the view that the Scottish people do on the future of the union then the SNP would win the majority of the vote in something. Yet they never have, ever."

    We know for sure:

    i] the majority of Scots disagree with the Megrahi decision. This is now proven by the YouGov poll with a large 1,078 Scottish-only sample.

    ii] we also know that over a third of the electorate WANT MacAskil to resign, again vindicated in the polls

    iii] we know that support for Independence has plummeted to just 28% in the YouGov polls (despite them asking the question along the Salmond prefered version)

    iv] that the SNP no long command more than 25-29% of the Scottish electorate in regards to Westminstr voting intention

    So why are WE unionists justifying ourselves to a clear minority who fail to command even a third of the electorates' support for seperatism?

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  • 110. At 11:42pm on 28 Aug 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    102. NCA999

    SNP TACTICAL VOTING

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  • 111. At 11:42pm on 28 Aug 2009, fifebirder wrote:

    Looks like I upset the mods in the "where next" blog #952 - anyway it was meant ot go in here.
    Just watched BBC 10 oclock news - Where did the BBC get their poll results. I've spoken to loads off people about Megrahis release and about 1 in 10 disagree with MacAskills decision. The BBC and the Greyman claim this is a definitive poll - dinnae make me laugh. Its no more definitive than the poll I've done. This is pure anti Scottish/SNP propaganda.
    James Murdoch(Ruperts son) has stated that the BBC is state sponsored journalism and should be reigned in - state sponsored prpoaganda is nearer the mark. The more i watch the BBC news the closer I'm getting to smashing my telly. Some head bummer at the BBC then replies that the "BBC continues to be impartial" - aye right what news are you watching pal.
    THe BBC continually puts Scotland down and their political journalists should be ashamed of themselves. Is that what you were taught on the journalism courses at Uni - keep Scotland down at all costs. This poll is not a true reflection on Scottish opinion. We keep getting the too wee/poor/stupid message put to us by the BBC and if the Scottish people believe any of it then maybe we are too stupid to be independent. Sensible people must get sick of the lies and distortions that the BBC spins on every Scottish news item. We get the same style of news reporting that the Iranians get - state lies.

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  • 112. At 11:45pm on 28 Aug 2009, Thinkinggirl78 wrote:

    I am very happy at the decision made by the Justice minister. I believe that he made the right decision because the case against Al-Megrahi was not so strong and he may well be an innocent man. I believe it was courageous of Mr. MacAskill to make this decision and wish that more of the MSPs would think independently. I too feel that the BBC are unbelievably biased against the SNP and Scotland. For example, the interview with Colonel Gaddafi's son was hardly talked about at all, but can you imagine how much coverage it would have got, had it mentioned a deal of any sort, done with the Scottish Government. On the contrary he said no deals were done, and yet mentioned deals that were done with the UK Government and yet no-one is talking about that. I wish for more impartial coverage from the BBC, and (is it too much to ask), for support for the SNP and the first minister at times. They certainly deserve it.

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  • 113. At 11:46pm on 28 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    By the way, where are the calls for changing the statutes regarding compassionate release? Haven't seen them anywhere. Surely if everyone in Scotland hates compassionate release, it's urgent for these laws to be changed. Isn't it? That is surely the only way to keep it from happening again. Perhaps Mr. Taylor could start the ball rolling on this urgent concern.

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  • 114. At 11:48pm on 28 Aug 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #102 - "by spamming this forum with anti english insults and smear campaigns against people "

    Not that you've any credibility left on these blogs, but how about a couple of examples of this spamming?

    Yeah, thought not.

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  • 115. At 11:49pm on 28 Aug 2009, ScotsSevensNutjob wrote:

    So a majority of Scottish people think Megrahi shouldn't have been released? So what? Lots of people don't know anything about this case and haven't bothered to read up on it. They don't even realise that there is a strong chance that Megrahi had nothing to do with this.

    Brian, don't you think you should be raising awareness of something that a frighteningly large number of people seem to be blissfully unaware of?

    That Megrahi's conviction was a miscarriage of justice? That there are a great deal of smokes and mirrors around this issue and that Britain and Americans stink worse than anyone else in this matter?

    I enjoy your articles but I do find it frustrating how very few people realise the shoogly basis on which he was convicted, and the intrigues that surround this whole incident.

    You are a journalist. You also seem to know more about what is going on than you're prepared to say.

    I would like for you to write a complete review of the Lockerbie case from it's origins to the present day.

    Just like in America, more and more journalists are being paid to spout opinion and agendas.

    Give us the facts. No-one else is.

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  • 116. At 11:49pm on 28 Aug 2009, Dmkie17 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 117. At 11:50pm on 28 Aug 2009, romeplebian wrote:

    86. At 10:29pm on 28 Aug 2009, you wrote:

    This comment has been referred to the moderators. Explain.

    don't like criticism Brian ? you give it but we are not allowed to give our opinion . I'll repeat I pay your wages resign now ! if this gets moderated without any email notification I will be taking this further

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  • 118. At 11:52pm on 28 Aug 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    The truth never dies

    "In his first full-length interview since being released last week, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi told The Herald: "We all want to know the truth. The truth never dies."

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  • 119. At 11:54pm on 28 Aug 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #109 - "So why are WE unionists justifying ourselves to a clear minority who fail to command even a third of the electorates' support for seperatism?"

    That is so rich coming from the supporter of a party that would LOVE to command anywhere near a third of the electorate's support.

    You realise, Dean, that what you're crowing over is the prospect of the Grey man taking over at Holyrood. Tory true colours revealed yet again.

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  • 120. At 11:56pm on 28 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    109. Must be time for a no confidence vote then.

    I'll watch with interest to see if the opposition have the b*lls to go for one.

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  • 121. At 11:56pm on 28 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    93. edinchris

    Seeing as everyone on this blog seems to be seeing MacAskil as an angel, I think someone needs to give a contrary view. I think the decision to release Meghrahi was shocking!


    If I defend someone from demonisation it doesn't mean I believe they are anglic.
    It was indeed a shocking decision.

    Why? Well, as I see it, there are two options:
    1) He was guilty of the Lockerbie bombing - If this is the case, then it is crazy to say he should only serve an 8 year prison sentence for it.

    He isn't serving an 8 year sentence, he's serving a life sentence. He could have been sentenced to a million years - he can only serve as many years as he lives.

    The idea of compassionate release is absurd. Peter Tobin has only murdered 2 people (instead of 270) but if he was found to be terminally ill, there is no chance that he would be released.

    You have evidence for that assertion? If the track record of accepted applications for compassionate release were not enough, I would think that that the release of a 'mass murdering terrorist' would tell you that a double murderer would probably be the lesser hurdle.

    Why should there be one law for one man and a diferent law for another?

    There isn't.


    2) He was innocent of the Lockerbie bombing - Setup by the Libyans, convicted under pressure from CIA - who knows. If this was the case, then his apeal should have been heard and we could see from the evidence if he was innocent and should be released.

    We can't compel him to appeal.


    What has happened instead is that we will now have no idea whether or not he did commit the crime, and MacAskil has shown comtempt for the Scottish justice system in releasing someone who was found guilty in a Scottish court!

    MacAskill is required by our justice system to make a decision on his release as a consequence of an application for relase on compassionate grounds. He has shown the very opposite of contempt for our justice system, as witnessed by the failure of of the opposition to make any headway attacking him over the techinalities of the process.

    Our "justice system" is now a laughing stock around the world!

    That you believe it to be so is very sad. The ridiculous rationalisation you have for doing so is sadder still.


    The SNP have once again proved to me that they are incapable of making a difficult decision. They can only do populist, cosmetic policies and cannot tackle the real problems facing Scotland. I cannot wait until 2011 when I get the chance to wipe that smug grin off Mr Salmond's face by voting them out of office.

    Populist, as in 'what the people want'?
    I look forward to Mr Salmond's smug grin greeting you the day after that election.

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  • 122. At 11:57pm on 28 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #102 NCA999

    This may distress you, but I actually agreed with much of your post. You might actually be a reasonable poster if you hadn't started it with that nonsense about laughing, and then an inaccurate jibe about "anti-English insults".

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  • 123. At 11:59pm on 28 Aug 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    Over on UK Polling report it shows how three major polsters (YouGov, ICM, Ipsos Mori) all showing that Scottish public opinion has shifted against the SNP over the Megrahi issue.

    Now the SNP may have been right to release him, but it is perceptions which count- and Salmonds talk of the polls showing a "reaction to a reaction" seems like hot wind to me.

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  • 124. At 00:01am on 29 Aug 2009, Dr Bee wrote:

    I think this poll is a total farce - and I am appalled that the BBC has seen fit to publish its findings. I would love to know what people thought of the release just after the decision had been made - and before all the critical press coverage of the release. I'm afraid that all this poll really shows is what people think in the light of the coverage of the last couple of weeks. Maybe if you'd had the foresight to ask the questions before all of the media influence, and again after, then we could have shown that peoples' opinions are influenced by the media.

    We have become so subservient to the views of our American allies across the pond - that we don't dare to stand proud for our own values and decisions. That is the sad result of the so called 'special relationship' - and it is constantly reinforced in the written and broadcast press.

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  • 125. At 00:05am on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    102. NCA999
    "people holding the view that the Scottish people do on the future of the union then the SNP would win the majority of the vote in something. Yet they never have, ever."

    1st March 1979

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  • 126. At 00:05am on 29 Aug 2009, enneffess wrote:

    James Murdoch is entitled to his views. However, I suggest people look at the tactics of his company.

    One piece to ponder: one of his newspaper's journalists, at Lockerbie the day after the event, allegedly stole a photograph of a victim after having their request to have it refused.


    I have a question for those who commented on Ted Kennedy doing good work. What about his views just prior to his death that Megrahi should not be released?


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  • 127. At 00:06am on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    109. deanthetory
    Your certitude in the polls reminds me of Linus from 'peanuts'.

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  • 128. At 00:09am on 29 Aug 2009, RandomScot wrote:

    Hi folks

    As I said on the previous topic I *was* one of those polled, and you can see whay I found the questions slanted.

    There weas also, no notice, any questions on the perceptions of the responses from the opposition, what people thought about the reports of American anger and threats of boycotss and, as was mentioned in an earlier post, the headline questions contain no context.

    Quite frankly I am saddened by the role of the BBC in this affair

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  • 129. At 00:14am on 29 Aug 2009, Florence wrote:

    To say I was staggered by the result of the poll is putting it mildly. After all the support for MacAskill's decision on the phone-ins, including the one for which Shereen pleaded with those opposed to call, it is beyond my simple brain to understand the ICM poll. Where, all of a sudden, did the opposition come from? Could someone out there give a reasonable explanation for this shock?

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  • 130. At 00:20am on 29 Aug 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    "I wish for an impartial BBC and is it too much to ask for a support of the SNP and the First Minister?"

    Either you get why this is a ludicrous statement or, as I suspect you don't, you'll realise that this statement is basically the argument that all of you conspiracy theorists, we're right and the Scottish people are wrong spammers on here are making.



    I love the fact that there are STILL people posting on here claiming "of all the people I've asked". Citing a political poll whilst simultaneously criticising political polling. Criticising the nature of a poll that conducted by professionals that accurately sampled every age group, every region, every profession in Scotland and suggesting instead "what my mates think".

    Seriously guys, get a grip. Perpetuating your conspiracy theories as a means of justifying the fact that people don't agree with your seperatist agenda is insulting. You've obviously justified it to yourselves that we, the Scottish people, aren't capable of making the right decision and therefore need to be coerced into agreeing with you. Well sorry but no.

    This whole, "anyone who is Unionist is anti Scottish" is the best example of this. What is actually happening here is that arguments of rebuttal to SNP claims, which are basically "Yes we can" statements, can always be spun as if the person in question is saying "No we can't". This is the reason why you run a campaign like the SNP originally tried to do. The reality however is that the vast majority of people in Scotland are proud to be Scottish, proud of their heritage and would defend it, but would also disagree with the your agenda and therefore be in the "anti-Scottish" camp.

    The single reason why I dislike the SNP is because they portray anyone who opposes them as being somehow less or anti Scottish. I resent such an implication.




    Then we get #115 who's STILL claiming that Megrahi's supposed innocence has ANYTHING to do with this. No it doesn't, if he's innocent then he should appeal. His release, agree or disagree, has nothing to do with this. If, as you suggest, the BBC were to give more airtime to your claims, because you're much more likely to be well informed than the legal professionals who sat through the case, then they would be perpetuating the mis-information that Megrahi's guilt/innocence was a factor in the decision.




    I would like to make one serious point however. I'm not calling to change the statutes on compassionate release. The situation at the moment is that if someone meets the legal criteria then they go to the Justice minister for their decision. The reason the decision is taken by somebody with no legal competence is because it is not a legal decision. I support the fact that people should be entitled to apply for early release, I just don't think that in the case of the most extreme criminals, when a serious amount of hurt will be caused to the victims, that they should be released.

    I think you'll find most people are of a similar opinion, that the decision was wrong, not that the power to take the decision shouldn't exist.

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  • 131. At 00:21am on 29 Aug 2009, Tom wrote:

    I must ask, but should public opinion actually matter about the release of Al Megrahi?

    The public might prefer capital punishment but I do not see that happening, so should we actually care about what the public says concerning Al Megrahi?

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  • 132. At 00:23am on 29 Aug 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    I have just read the James Murdoch MacTaggart lecture. God help us all if he ever gets his way!

    Some of what he said about he BBC is pertinant, but his answer would be to privatise it for profit. "The Absence of Trust" - he reminded me of Ka in the Jungle book.

    I think we need to tighten up our OWNERSHIP of the BBC. That's right folks we ultimately OWN the BBC. We the taxpayer fund the BBC and it's supposed to be there for our benefit. Privatisation is already creeping in around the edges of the institution. We should never allow such a powerful tool to fall into the hands of either the government or the private sector.

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  • 133. At 00:27am on 29 Aug 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    p.s oldnat

    I apologise if you were insulted by my comment. I was ranting a little bit I'll admit but I think I was trying to make a serious point about the one sided viewpoint people are taking on here, summed up perfectly by the "I want an impartial BBC that supports the SNP" comment above :)

    It was a cheap jibe and wasn't directed at you.

    Thanks for your support in the cause of reasoned argument and logical debate.

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  • 134. At 00:27am on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    123. deanthetory

    Now the SNP may have been right to release him...
    Did you think it was right to release him?

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  • 135. At 00:29am on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Dean, you probably seem like hot air to Mr. Salmond. Seems fair to me. Opinions shift. So what? It's election results that count. Are we going to see a no confidence vote? :)

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  • 136. At 00:29am on 29 Aug 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    And one final comment to Dr Bee.

    You've obviously not been persuaded by the media in this matter. What gives you the arrogance and the right to claim that somehow everyone else, that somehow I, am not intelligent enough to form an individual and rational decision based upon the facts?

    Maybe you could stop blaming the media and start accepting the fact that sometimes not everyone shares your views.

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  • 137. At 00:32am on 29 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    This is not the time to expect everyone to be thinking rationally. An occasion like this means that emotions will be dominant as opposed to reason.

    Political parties exploit emotions rather than reason to get votes. Its the way of the world.

    However, some consistency in morality and policy would be useful.

    For example, I'd expect dean to condemn the terrorists funded by the USA over many decades (as well as the USA itself). He will no doubt wish to condemn the release of terrorists in Northern Ireland and South Africa as parts of the peace processes there (he will be unconcerned that violence would continue). He will wish to attack the Tory legislation of 1993 for having created this situation and urge that popular opinion be allowed to influence legal decisions (he will be happy for the UK then to be excluded from the Council of Europe as being in breach of the ECHR). He will wish the Scottish anbd UK Governments to re-introduce hanging, as that is clearly in line with popular thinking (Oops, thrown out of the Council of Europe again!)

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  • 138. At 00:32am on 29 Aug 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    Compliments to the moderators tonight. The moderation has been largely timely and seemingly fair.

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  • 139. At 00:38am on 29 Aug 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #129,

    it was BBC inspired.

    Those with no real opinion, who may be called by x polling agencies at home may well have a very different opinion from those who are willing to actively take part in the public debate.

    That the BBC has decided to ignore all previous polls by the local press and other agencies in favour of their own (the only one done solely in Scotland to come out with this result) is manipulation and is shameful.

    There is no other way to put it.

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  • 140. At 00:41am on 29 Aug 2009, Tom wrote:

    NCA999:

    #130.

    "The single reason why I dislike the SNP is because they portray anyone who opposes them as being somehow less or anti Scottish. I resent such an implication."

    Just as I have to sit and listen as you talk about anti Englishness that apparently occurs amougst the supporters of independence. It's honestly all in your head, political parties can not portray individuals as being less Scottish or anti Scottish, however it's quite easy arguing in Scotlands favour as a nationalist because to an extent you do not have to consider the rest of Great Britain. I hold the opinion that it's none of my business what happens in Northern Ireland, Wales and England. However as a pro union or British person then you must (or should) consider the implications on the rest of the United Kingdom and simply not a small part of it.

    Perhaps you feel less Scottish or anti Scottish because deep down you believe Scotland does receive some rotten deals and do not want to be seen to agree with the nationalists?

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  • 141. At 00:42am on 29 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #130 NCA999

    "I'm not calling to change the statutes on compassionate release"

    You should be. It is inimical to good law that a judicial or quasi judicial decision should be influenced by factors like political advantage.

    If the gravity of the crime is deigned to be a factor then write that into law. The Tory legislation was fundamentally flawed.

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  • 142. At 00:46am on 29 Aug 2009, Tom wrote:

    Oldnat:

    #137.

    "He will wish the Scottish anbd UK Governments to re-introduce hanging..."

    I'd prefer some sort of old fashioned Gladiatorial fighting between prisoners, at least we can sell some tickets and make some money out of it, perhaps create employment too!

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  • 143. At 00:51am on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #130 "I'm not calling to change the statutes on compassionate release. The situation at the moment is that if someone meets the legal criteria then they go to the Justice minister for their decision. The reason the decision is taken by somebody with no legal competence is because it is not a legal decision. I support the fact that people should be entitled to apply for early release, I just don't think that in the case of the most extreme criminals, when a serious amount of hurt will be caused to the victims, that they should be released."

    -------------------------------

    Wait.

    You oppose the law since no matter how much "serious amount of hurt ill be caused" they are eligible for release...

    Yet you also oppose CHANGING a law that you state that you oppose.

    Want to explain that? Please.

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  • 144. At 00:53am on 29 Aug 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    134. At 00:27am on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:
    123. deanthetory

    "Now the SNP may have been right to release him...
    Did you think it was right to release him?"

    You ask two things, do I agree with Compassionate Release as vital to the Scottish judicial system (as MacAskil explains) yes. Do I agree in this case no.

    Why? Well I believe that convicted terrorists surely constitute an exceptionalism in regards to Compassionate Release when releases the convicted terrorist from the ability of the government to retain a level of control.

    This is why I honestly do get upset when I get the feeling (and it is only a feeling I grant you) that MacAskil failed to honestly investigate alternative Compassionate Release options. He may have, but I require a little more of him than he has granted up till now.
    Especially when I read the article about Strathclyde police disagreeing with what MacAkil said to the Holyrood chamber last.

    But as I say, the alternatives may have been investigated- but I require more evidence of this and look forward to the release of ALL advice given to the Scottish executive as promised. It will make interesting (and enlightening) reading.

    135. At 00:29am on 29 Aug 2009, JRMacClure wrote:
    "Dean, you probably seem like hot air to Mr. Salmond. Seems fair to me. Opinions shift. So what? It's election results that count. Are we going to see a no confidence vote? :)"

    No Confidence? Nope, Goldie will never vote to employ a First Minister Gray. A vote to censor? Perhaps- as part of the long running 'scalp' strategy apparently against Mr MacAskil (on some fair ground perhaps). But with only a third of the Scottish electorate seemingly supporting a MacAskil resignation they may hold back. But now they have all backed themselves into a corner and they MUST now do something or risk having this fire storm stirred up turn on them.

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  • 145. At 00:54am on 29 Aug 2009, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    130. At 00:20am on 29 Aug 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    "The single reason why I dislike the SNP is because they portray anyone who opposes them as being somehow less or anti Scottish. I resent such an implication."

    It's not a matter of anyone being anti Scottish but of course all the other parties are unionists so they and their supporters are effectively declaring that they put the union and the British establishment first and Scotland second.

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  • 146. At 00:57am on 29 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #133 NCA999

    Alas, you misunderstand. "reasoned argument and logical debate" actually requires that you argue for something sometimes, instead of constant negativity.

    Once you can control your propensity for cheap jibes against others, and propose positive political stances, then you might fulfil your potential to be a reasonable poster

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  • 147. At 00:58am on 29 Aug 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    oldnat

    Wow, some actually serious arguments from a Scot Nationalist on this blog.

    You make a valid case but I'd like to take issue with a few of your points.
    There is a significant difference between what happened in the Good Friday agreement and what has happened here. In Ireland firstly the situation of release was completely different, it wasn't showing compassion but about healing a community divide. It was an acknowledgement of past struggles and an attempt to move on from them. I would point out here in particular that the people of Northern Ireland were granted a vote on the matter and chose overwhelmingly to ratify the agreement - so it isn't the best example to use in amongst an argument that the government shouldn't listen to the people.

    These people were released not because we wanted to release them or because we thought they should be free but because it was necessary to rescue those societies and prevent further violence. There was no such need in Megrahi's case.

    I would also point out that there is a serious difference between early release and capital punishment.
    The harm of capital punishment is that those who are wrongly convicted have no recourse of appeal after they are punished. Government's have a responsibility to protect their citizens. Whether Megrahi was released or not is not an issue of protecting his rights. The only right of relevance here is that of his freedom of movement, which has already been forfeit as a result of his crime. The debate in this instance is whether he should be granted positive liberties.
    Now my argument is more about it being wrong than about it being unpopular but I would make the point that the government only has a responsibility to overrule the populous when popular opinion is depriving some individual of their rights and liberties, as in capital punishment.

    That is not the case here.

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  • 148. At 00:58am on 29 Aug 2009, masterpantsman wrote:

    I resent the fact that some are trying to turn this blog into a political debate and making political points.

    I'm a Tory minded voter and totally agree with MacAskill's decission, it's about justice and humanity not tribalism

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  • 149. At 00:59am on 29 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #142 Thomas_Porter

    Better still, lets have gladiatorial fighting between politicians!

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  • 150. At 01:05am on 29 Aug 2009, Freenonbrit wrote:

    Despite claims to increasing sophistication and weighting, polls can still be startlingly inaccurate: you have only to consider the Glenrothes by-election to appreciate the importance of unaccounted factors! It appears that this poll is at variance with others on this issue, which were not reported by the BBC, and also with what appears to be most people’s impression of public opinion.
    However, were this poll in any way accurate, it would simply reflect the view of Al-Megrahi ‘s release on licence as presented by the media, including the BBC and not least BBC Scotland. The decision was not viewed impartially; from the start and before any views other than warning shots from the USA were known, it was represented as a mistake; there was a gross imbalance of opposing and supporting opinion, with the former being sought and reported, and the latter being either reported subsequently and more briefly, or omitted altogether. Without evidence, opposition politicians in Scotland were quick to suggest that Scotland’s international reputation had been damaged; this was widely reported as fact, with Newsnight Scotland glibly announcing ‘global outrage’: in fact, on the international scale dissent came only from some Americans.
    It has been apparent for some time that the Scottish national media feels that, fulfilling its Unionist loyalty, it should provide an opposition to the Scottish Government in the absence of an effective one in the elected parliament, and it certainly seems that someone in BBC Scotland has seen this issue as an opportunity to mount a sustained attack on the SNP. Not surprising, really, given BBC Scotland's intrinsically Unionist character, and that it appears to have more connections with the Labour Party than one might expect to have happened by chance.

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  • 151. At 01:10am on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    112. Thinkinggirl78

    "For example, the interview with Colonel Gaddafi's son was hardly talked about at all, but can you imagine how much coverage it would have got, had it mentioned a deal of any sort, done with the Scottish Government. On the contrary he said no deals were done, and yet mentioned deals that were done with the UK Government and yet no-one is talking about that."

    Agreed!
    Hopefully some other media outlets will offer it some visibility.
    Hopefully, the UK media (as opposed to the Scottish) with their desire to gun for Brown will open it up. That should expose it up here too.

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  • 152. At 01:11am on 29 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #143 JRMacClure

    NCA999's ability to hold contradictory beliefs simultaneously is not unique. Fortunately, it is not uniquely Scots. I see the same thing here in North Carolina - mind you there are a lot of Scots genes here (and not just as forenames!) :-)

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  • 153. At 01:12am on 29 Aug 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    #143

    Yea, if you read what I actually said and go back to school then you'll understand it.

    The law is that the Justice Secretary has the power to release you from prison. If you are dying and meet certain criteria then you can apply for special consideration of circumstances to be released.

    It is not the case, as people here and MacAskill have implied, that being released is a right. It's a privilege and there is a difference.

    I agree with this (you follow that yes??)

    MacAskill decided to extend this privilege to Mr Megrahi and I don't agree with that.

    Do you understand the difference between agreeing that the justice secretary should be able to take a decision and disagreeing with the decision he took on one instance?

    I get that in the land of "Everything said by someone that doesn't support the SNP must be wrong" subtlety of argument isn't easily followed, but I'd have though that this one you would have been able to follow.

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  • 154. At 01:12am on 29 Aug 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Are we truly saying that 60% of Scotland is without compassion?

    Is it to be! hail the Romans for they showed strength by feeding the weak to the lions.

    Strength doesn't come from denying a dying man his last wish.
    Strength comes from the reason to meet compassion and release the dying man.

    Look, if Libya was really celebrating a terrorist for his actions, don't you think that the mighty Americans would have had more than just a few words to say to Libya.For

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  • 155. At 01:12am on 29 Aug 2009, Dr Bee wrote:

    @136 NCA999

    Maybe you should have read my post instead of lashing out. I didn't claim that anyone (yourself included) was not intelligent enough to form an individual and rational decision. I am also not naive enough to expect everyone to agree on an issue.

    I do know that if a jury in a court of law has been unduly influenced by media coverage then the case is often impossible to prove. My point was and remains, that the poll's outcome is very likely to have been influenced by media coverage of the last couple of weeks.

    I also have a personal opinion that I am entitled to hold whether it concurs with yours or not - and that is that we have kowtowed to the US perspective too much and that we should stand proud for having made a principled decision. Please don't be arrogant enough to deny me my own opinion.

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  • 156. At 01:22am on 29 Aug 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    #155

    Yes and my question was,

    Why is it the media were conveniently able to override the opinions of everyone who now disagrees with you but they weren't able to have the same effect upon you?

    You didn't directly claim to be superior to others, if I had been quoting you I would have put quotation marks in. What I was pointing out is that an ignorant and arrogant claim that somehow I and the rest of Scotland are somehow not expressing our real view because we've been mislead by the press is an insulting one.

    So again I ask my question, if the press were so able to forcibly change my opinion, why did they not have the same effect upon you?

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  • 157. At 01:23am on 29 Aug 2009, Zemi wrote:

    If they'd asked these same people these same questions a week ago, before they'd been told what to think by the bombardment of inappropriately opinionated and presumptively uncivilised press and television campaigns masquerading as journalism, I believe the poll would reflect the opinions of this comments column far more closely.

    It's actually quite worrying to see how hysterical reporting can influence a people I'd normally consider quite canny. It's tragic.

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  • 158. At 01:28am on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #153. NCA999 wrote:

    #143

    Yea, if you read what I actually said and go back to school then you'll understand it.

    ------------------

    Gratuitous and rather silly insult. I'll ignore it and not bother with replying in kind.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    The law is that the Justice Secretary has the power to release you from prison. If you are dying and meet certain criteria then you can apply for special consideration of circumstances to be released.

    It is not the case, as people here and MacAskill have implied, that being released is a right. It's a privilege and there is a difference.

    I agree with this (you follow that yes??)


    MacAskill decided to extend this privilege to Mr Megrahi and I don't agree with that.

    ----------------------------------------

    No, but there is obviously nothing to PREVENT the use of this to freeing someone who "being freed hurts people" so if you so believe then the only sensible action would be to reform the statutes preventing from happening again. Forbid it being applying to anyone who has commited murder, for example. Prevent it from applying to someone who has committed a "serious crime" however you might want to define that.

    -------------------------

    Do you understand the difference between agreeing that the justice secretary should be able to take a decision and disagreeing with the decision he took on one instance?

    -----------------

    You say that another such decision should never be made so I say you should take action to prevent it. Do you understand that it is possible to change laws?

    -------------------------

    I get that in the land of "Everything said by someone that doesn't support the SNP must be wrong" subtlety of argument isn't easily followed, but I'd have though that this one you would have been able to follow.

    --------------------------------

    Funny thing, sir, but I am not a supporter of the SNP. As a matter of fact, since I am not a citizen of GB it would be against the law. I have no opinion on whether independence would be the best option or staying in the union. That is for Scots to decide.

    I do, however, have a lot of respect for the courage of Mr. MacAskill in making what he had to know would be an enormously unpopular decision and Mr. Salmond in standing behind him in that unpopular decision at what was bound to cost their political party. It's not something one sees very often.

    I find it interesting that, accusations aside, ALL of the insults seem to come from the unionists and be pointed at anyone they perceive as nationalist. I have yet to see an anti-English comment from a nationalist here. I've seen plenty of anti-SNP rhetoric though. It does give one pause.

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  • 159. At 01:28am on 29 Aug 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    I ask the same question posed in comment 156 to Mr Zemikean in 157, and to anyone on here who is running with this media conspiracy story that somehow our real views aren't being reflected because we've had them forcibly changed by the media, whilst simultaneously you guys have remained unaffected.


    I would also point out the contradiction in claiming on the one hand that the poll doesn't accurately represent what the people think whilst at the same time claiming that the reason the people think the way the poll showed is because the media has changed their minds. Which is it guys, are you claiming the Scottish people support or oppose Megrahi's release.

    These attempts to cover up the fact that you don't represent the views of the Scottish people are quite pathetic.

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  • 160. At 01:32am on 29 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #147 NCA999

    OK. We are agreed that the gravity of the crime should not necessarily be a factor in deciding whether a terrorist should be released from prison or not. There are other factors which are relevant. We are agreed(though others aren't) that moving forward a peace process is one.

    I assume that we also agree that a terminal illness and the lack of public risk (both are required) should be allowable as a valid reason for compassionate release?

    So, let's move to our fairly limited point of disagreement.

    I am saying that factors like gravity of offence3 could be written into law - though I would oppose that. I was in favour of releasing Hess from Spandau in his later years as his imprisonment served no other purpose than revenge (which I find morally distasteful)

    What is your position?

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  • 161. At 01:37am on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    144. deanthetory

    You ask two things, do I agree with Compassionate Release as vital to the Scottish judicial system (as MacAskil explains) yes. Do I agree in this case no.

    Why? Well I believe that convicted terrorists surely constitute an exceptionalism in regards to Compassionate Release when releases the convicted terrorist from the ability of the government to retain a level of control.

    He wasn't convicted as a terrorist. He was convicted of 270 counts of murder. Anywaty, one of the criteria is that the parole board are satisfied that imprisonment is no longer required for the protection of the public. So control for what end?

    This is why I honestly do get upset when I get the feeling (and it is only a feeling I grant you) that MacAskil failed to honestly investigate alternative Compassionate Release options. He may have, but I require a little more of him than he has granted up till now.

    I honestly get upset by the fact that for every single instance of people talking abut a failure to examine alternative options for compassionate release, I have yet to hear a single example from them! Let me hear yours.

    Especially when I read the article about Strathclyde police disagreeing with what MacAkil said to the Holyrood chamber last.

    They didn't disagree. MacAskill said that the police gave him advice which he believed ruled out certain options, Strathclyde police (in their first statement) simply stated that if they were called upon to do it they would - I would expect no less, neither would MacAskill but it doesn't mean he would make them do it if he felt it were the wrong option. Also I note that you don't refer to the subsequent statement which stated that there was absolutely no difference between MacAskill's comments and the position of Strathclyde police.
    If you still actually believe the MacAskill was trying to claim that the police ruled out options then I pity you like Mr T would.

    But as I say, the alternatives may have been investigated- but I require more evidence of this and look forward to the release of ALL advice given to the Scottish executive as promised. It will make interesting (and enlightening) reading.

    What alternatives?!
    Remember, true enlightenment can be painful ;)

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  • 162. At 01:40am on 29 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #148 masterpantsman

    The reality is, however, that this is a political blog. Consequently, some wish to make party political points, some are concerned to analyse the political consequences.

    Simultaneously there is a general moral/political debate being conducted, to which you may wish to contribute.

    That opinions on the Megrahi release are not party aligned is one of the really good things about the debate.

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  • 163. At 01:42am on 29 Aug 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    NCA999

    As soon as Megrahi touched down in Libya, the British media, the foreign secretary, the home secretary and the PM, all sang from the same hymn sheet and automatically condemned the flag waving as an act to support a terrorist actions, while on news programmes the likes of Jim Knight labour MP was telling people not to mix the release of Megrahi with the trade issue.Now NCA999 that is fact, that is what occurred, so why did the British government automatically decide it was an act to support the deaths of the lockerbie victims? and if they believe that to be the case, why are they not supporting sanction instead of trade with Libya?.

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  • 164. At 01:44am on 29 Aug 2009, Dr Bee wrote:

    Oh I thought @136 was your final point to me :D

    @156 I didn't suggest that you (nor the rest of Scotland) weren't expressing your real views!!! I suggested that the outcome of the poll was likely to be influenced by the media coverage! Now - I've said it three times and I won't bother responding again.

    You may not have been affected by press reports. Others in Scotland won't have been affected. But I believe that a large number of people will have been. Your question is totally void as I never suggested that the press had forcibly changed your opinion. If my view wasn't changed by the press coverage it was because I became uncomfortable with the manner in which the press chose to highlight the criticisms of the decision and particularly the prominence they gave to the views of various figureheads in the US.

    I also take exception to your description of my observation and comment as being an 'ignorant and arrogant claim' - and for that reason I'm afraid I don't intend to engage in any more discussion with you.

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  • 165. At 01:44am on 29 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #153 NCA999

    Oh dear! You have slipped back into your old nasty ways again! Just where in the USA do you suggest that Ms MacClure goes back to school to study the finer points of Scots Law which you clearly demonstrate that you don't understand?

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  • 166. At 01:46am on 29 Aug 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    I don't agree entirely that the gravity of the crime is not a factor, although I think it is intrinsically linked to other factors of importance like appearing soft on terrorism, causing hurt to families of the victims etc.

    Early release is a privilege not a right and as such should only be granted in the absence of any sizeable harm to others.

    I wouldn't have released Hess because the balance of harms would have been shifted away from him and onto others. As a guilty man he does not have such a right.

    The pain and suffering that would have been caused to, amongst others, the Jewish people from releasing him would have been far greater than any benefit.

    There are many situations where this line is variable, the good friday agreement is one, as are TRC's in S.Africa and most importantly the views of the victims and of wider society are another. In order to grant someone positive privileges, to which they have no right, the balance of harms must be firmly in the beneficial column. The GFAgreement was an example where the benefits outweighed the harms, releasing Megrahi was not.

    Every situation is different, that's why it should be open to interpretation by the Justice Minister.

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  • 167. At 01:47am on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #159. I would also point out the contradiction in claiming on the one hand that the poll doesn't accurately represent what the people think whilst at the same time claiming that the reason the people think the way the poll showed is because the media has changed their minds. Which is it guys, are you claiming the Scottish people support or oppose Megrahi's release.

    ----------------------

    A lot of people have posted here. I'd be interested in knowing who "you guys" are and why everyone has to agree. There are widely differing opinions.

    I've worked for political polling organizations. I know how easy it is to skew results. I've done it. It's done every day by polling organizations for political organizations all over the world. You talk as though it would be some kind of shock for that to happen. I'm shocked when it doesn't.

    There are also other polls that have been released such as one from MORI showing very different results from this one that add to questions about this polls validity.

    As for whether people are affected by the coverage, of course some are. So what?

    That that has nothing to do with whether the questions in this poll were written in such a way as to skew the results. They clearly were. It was easier for people to answer questions in one way than another. THAT immediately skews the results--result: an invalid poll. Any pollster who can't do that won't keep clients very long.

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  • 168. At 01:49am on 29 Aug 2009, Philip wrote:

    No.22...I am not ashamed the saltire was flown in Libya. Much prefer it to be flown than burned.
    What a poll eh...1005 people from just under 5 milion of a population.
    It is now the norm for the BBC to be the purveyours of Bias.
    Brian.. I am ashamed of the BBC but very proud to be a Scot.
    Now decided to jump ship from Labour and join the NATS. At long last, a political party I can trust

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  • 169. At 01:51am on 29 Aug 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    Well I think the BBC's motives on this affair are repulsive. I believe also that the BBC Trust must have given the BBC full permission, or promised to turn a blind eye to any action they take against the SNP and any accusations they want to level against them in order to deliberately harm them.

    Not surprising really. Since the SNP came to power, the operation of BBC Scotland has come under extreme scrutiny, as has that of the BBC in general (e.g. no Scottish news was being shown nationally). This has opened a can of worms for the BBC, exposing the withholding of the licence fee money from Scotland, exposing the BBC's deliberate lying about where programmes were being made to cover up the evidence of withholding the licence money, the setting up of the Broacasting Commission, which suggested that Scotland should have its own TV channel, the letter of reprimand Salmond sent to the head of BBC Scotland for stopping Iain McWhirter from commenting on political matters on it's programmes because he had given a forthright and honest appraisal of the state of BBC Scotland to the said commission.

    Brian, I think the reason that people think Scotland's reputation has been damage is because your employer is only too willing to tell them that.

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  • 170. At 01:54am on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    147. NCA999
    The harm of capital punishment is that those who are wrongly convicted have no recourse of appeal after they are punished.

    There is more than one harm caused by capital punishment.
    Capital punishment asserts the most absolute and complete domination of the individual by the state.
    Capital punishment legitimises murder under certain criteria.
    The only difference between a murderer and the state then is the criteria.


    Government's have a responsibility to protect their citizens. Whether Megrahi was released or not is not an issue of protecting his rights. The only right of relevance here is that of his freedom of movement, which has already been forfeit as a result of his crime. The debate in this instance is whether he should be granted positive liberties.
    Now my argument is more about it being wrong than about it being unpopular but I would make the point that the government only has a responsibility to overrule the populous when popular opinion is depriving some individual of their rights and liberties, as in capital punishment.

    You base your argument on the notion that a prisoner should only be released where it is necessary to protect his human rights. I'm assuming you do this because you object to the fact that a convicted mass murderer was released because of a more general principle of compassion - which was the actual reason in this case. It isn't about us actively seeking to grant him positive liberties. Compassion simply prevents us as a society from permitting needless suffering, compassionate early release is a mechanism to allow its possibility. It may give a gift to the recipient, but it is us as a society it protects.

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  • 171. At 02:02am on 29 Aug 2009, Zemi wrote:

    @ NCA999

    Few people who formed an opinion on the initial factual reporting of Megrahi's release will have changed their views since then. I suggest, however, that many people will not have given the matter a great deal of judgemental consideration at the time. Those are the people who have been 'told what to think' by the media and comprise the majority of the poll sample. It wouldn't surprise me if a good number of the respondents pre-ambled their replies with the words "Well, now that you mention it...". By then, it was too late.

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  • 172. At 02:03am on 29 Aug 2009, Philip wrote:

    No.60...See Ya.
    Enjoy France...
    oops...forgot to add ,they support the Scots...Where to now for the hols?

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  • 173. At 02:03am on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    159. NCA999

    "I would also point out the contradiction in claiming on the one hand that the poll doesn't accurately represent what the people think whilst at the same time claiming that the reason the people think the way the poll showed is because the media has changed their minds. Which is it guys, are you claiming the Scottish people support or oppose Megrahi's release."

    If you take a group and then act like it's an individual, it's trivial to make it look schizophrenic.

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  • 174. At 02:16am on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    154. derekbarker

    Are we truly saying that 60% of Scotland is without compassion?
    I hope not.

    Is it to be! hail the Romans for they showed strength by feeding the weak to the lions.
    I hope not!


    Strength doesn't come from denying a dying man his last wish.
    Strength comes from the reason to meet compassion and release the dying man.

    I agree!

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  • 175. At 02:28am on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Anyone who's still up might want to take a look at the MORI poll on UK Polling Report which is quite different from the BBC poll--very substantially. I still haven't seen the question, but you'd think they were polling a different country. =)

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  • 176. At 02:34am on 29 Aug 2009, yarrumg wrote:

    I would suggest that in future all polls regarding any issue in Scotland should be conducted only by Rab C Nesbit and Jamsie Cottar.
    This would ensure a totally unbiased result,and woe betide anyone who dared to challenge their methods or the results.
    It might even rekindle an interest in all things Scottish,

    just a thought.

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  • 177. At 02:36am on 29 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #166 NCA999

    As Brownedov constantly points out, it is very difficult to conduct a debate when posters don't include the post number and moniker they were replying to. Please try to follow blog protocol.

    "Early release is a privilege not a right and as such should only be granted in the absence of any sizeable harm to others."

    You make this a statement, as if of fact. However, it is not the legal principle involved here. It is a principle w8ithin Sharia law that the hurt to the victims is a critical factor in deciding the punishment. If you wish to move Scots Law nearer to the concepts of Sharia, as opposed to European, law then you should openly state that.

    You perhaps need to to go back to school yourself! There follows a very brief history of how the 1993 legislation developed for your elucidation.

    Scots Law is part of mainstream European law, being based on a coherent set of principles, as opposed to English Law which is based on Common Law amended by statute.

    In the eyes of the ECHR, both systems were tainted by an unfettered right of the Crown (exercised by politicians) to exercise clemency - regardless of any factor. This being unsustainable with membership of the Council of Europe, Lord Kincraig was commissioned to examine the implications for the legal systems within the UK. On the basis of the Kincraig Report, the law in England was modified in 1991 to change the Crown clemency into compassionate release by the Home Secretary, and the 1993 Scottish Act was designed to bring Scots Law into line with that.

    Little regard was paid in the 1993 legislation to the fact that Scots Law is fundamentally different to English Law in regard to principles. English Law does allow arbitrary judgement by the Crown (but the number of times that the UK Government has been overturned in the Courts suggests that they still haven't learned that European law in the form of the ECHR takes precedence), but Scots Law doesn't.

    Hence every Scottish Justice Minister has followed Scots principles of law. Overwhelmingly, Scots lawyers have supported MacAskill's decision.

    You might want the law to be diffewrent than what it is. So campaign for a change in it.

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  • 178. At 02:51am on 29 Aug 2009, Tom wrote:

    Well Oldnat, duels occured during our last Scottish Parliament. I see no reason why the Scots can not continue our most famous custom of fighting amougst ourselves. It certainly would spice up First Ministers Question Time!

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  • 179. At 02:58am on 29 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #175 JRMacClure

    "you'd think they were polling a different country"

    Actually they might well be!

    If the MORI poll is UK as opposed to Scottish, then it's unlikely that the Scottish sample is aligned to the Scottish dmographic.

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  • 180. At 03:03am on 29 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #178 Thomas_Porter

    LOL Salmond and Grey could be Sumo wrestlers, while Nicola would be ace at the traditional style of gralloching the Unionist steeds!

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  • 181. At 03:06am on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    178. True but swords are no longer worn and pistols (I believe) largely illegal over there, which leaves rolled up newspapers and swatting each other on the nose. While that might be appropriate for some politicians--

    Ok, I like it. I suggest "you guys" (now my favorite phrase of the day) adopt it.

    I'd suggest adopting it over here but considering the American propensity for carrying deadly weapons... Would it be good or bad if all the Legislators killed each other off. I can't quite decide. *ponder ponder*

    I probably just said something illegal in the US. Hope the FBI or CIA isn't looking. It was a joke! Honest!

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  • 182. At 03:23am on 29 Aug 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #181 JRMacClure

    Thou art funny Brother' well dude! lets hope the services dont come knocking at your door.

    Oldnat your post 177 was superb and factually uplifting, aint it good to praise rather than have a go, anyway I need some shut eye, off to cowal, Dunoon today.

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  • 183. At 03:26am on 29 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #181 JRMacClure

    McArthy is dead! Long live Cheney!

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  • 184. At 03:29am on 29 Aug 2009, jammaboy12345 wrote:

    I would like to know who the BBC asked about the libyan bomber
    to complete this poll no 1 asked me or any of my friends i would also like to coment on how the BBC always seems to go in faviour of the tories or Labour in scotland
    I and everyone i know which is a lot of people agree with the drcission to let him free as this shows that Scotland has compassion.
    The BBC always seems to get the true feeling in Scotlad wrong.
    I dont know where they got the 1005 people that they survayed but this DOES not reflect as the whole of Scotland feel
    Im sick of Labour and the other parties in Scotland trying to point score that is all they want to do the simple fact is that Labour are pure mad they are not in power here now. They would be best served getting their own house in order and looking to see how they can actually STOP this war that they dragged all of us in to against our will they never get it rite. and always have something to say about SNP well done SNP you never fail to make me proud im Scottish.
    It is funny that Gordon Brown never comented on this the reason for this is that he never wanted to embarris his Scottish party as he does agree with the decission.
    after all it is bringing him more money in to his country
    I hope LABOUR AND THE TORIES never get back in to power in scotland they seem to want to infight and make Scots look bad.
    As for the Americans i feel the loss just the same as all of Scotland but you need to consintrate on your own justice system which is appoling to say the least.
    well done Kenny you stand up for what u believe in this was a hard decission and all the Scots are not against your drcission like the BBC would have us all believe
    The BBC would be best served if it actually stoped takeing sides in politics and reported fact not a poll that was 1005 people no 1 has ever heard of.
    I repeat no 1 asked me or anyone i know which leads me to think this is all made up to keep this in the NEWS and make the SNP look bad.

    well done SNP u took a hard decission and made it good and stood up for what you believe in.

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  • 185. At 03:31am on 29 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #182 derekbarker

    Thanks. Enjoy the games.

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  • 186. At 03:41am on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #175 Nope. They say specifically it's a Scottish poll.

    Here's Anthony Wells' rather brief comment: "47% of the Scots MORI interviewed disagreed with the decision, with 40% agreeing. Unlike Yougov and ICM who gave people a straight choice between right and wrong, MORI offered a more nuanced scale, so 37% strongly disagreed with the decision, 10% tended to disagree, 21% tended to agree and 19% strongly agreed.

    No tables yet, so we can’t see exactly what wording MORI’s question used."

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  • 187. At 03:42am on 29 Aug 2009, jammaboy12345 wrote:

    I realy think there is something suspissious about the BBC poll i dont believe this was conducted properly
    no 1 i know comented on it
    i actually think the BBC takes too much to do with the union of this UK
    it is biased againsd SNP always has been

    it is all for the tories and Labour god help them as those other parties all just want to infight
    it serves the BBC to have as much of this in the news think about it they have no other news to report so they have to drag this out as long as they can

    statment to BBC get out of politics and be impartial

    stop dragging stories out just to get the rateings

    i dont believe your poll no 1 in Scotland actually does

    if your going to ask Scotland what they think ask us all not just a bunch of people you chose and report the truth not some distorted version of what u actually want everyone to believe

    its that old chestnut again weel tell you this no 1 will question it as they have seen it on the news mmmm what did you ask in your survay who did you ask ??

    ill repet no 1 asked any of my friends or me your poll is flawed

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  • 188. At 03:42am on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    177. Oldnat

    And intelligent and informative comment. Thank you.

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  • 189. At 03:47am on 29 Aug 2009, jammaboy12345 wrote:

    AND GET IT RITE MOST OF SCOTLAND DO AGREE WITH THE DECISSION YOU HAVENT EVEN CHECKED TO SEE WHO DOES OR DOES NOT

    U WANT US TO BELIEVE THAT MOST DISAGREE sorry your wrong we have compassion here

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  • 190. At 03:57am on 29 Aug 2009, jammaboy12345 wrote:

    Labour should reolise people are sick of their lies i have a gr8 idea cut MP'S WAGES in half they do nothing but bicker and want power

    if they cut the MP's wages we would not be paying as much TAX

    TAX ON WHAT U EARN
    TAX ON WHAT U SPEND
    COUNCIL TAX (get rid of that)
    TAX FOR BREATHING

    CUT MP'S WAGES AND WHAT THEY GET TO SPEND and we will be roling in money

    stop makeing stupid polls that consist of lies

    and actually do the job at hand

    PARTIES WORKING TOGETHER instead of punching to get in to power it is destroying politics

    they do nothing when they get in anyway

    Labour and lib were in power for years SNP HAVE DONE MORE in 2 than they have in all the time they were in power

    wake up SCOTLAND

    DRAW A LINE make them work if they want to become MP'S good but you work for us we decide what u do after all we pay TAX ON EVERYTHING

    come to think of it where does all this money go .....LONDON thats where

    wakey wakey

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  • 191. At 04:03am on 29 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Interesting article in the Scotsman

    http://news.scotsman.com/politics/US-anger-at-failure-to.5600133.jp

    "But a spokesman for Mr MacAskill defended the minister, arguing that the discussions had taken place before an application for compassionate release had been received on 25 July"

    I've always had concerns as to why MacAskill made a single staement covering both the decisions on the UK plan for Prisoner Transfer and the compassionate release application, but I presumed that they were roughly simultaneous. It now appears that they were not.

    Consequently, it would suggest that the SNP have a serious weakness in not recognising the news cycle and responding appropriately to it.

    Neil Small has identified this on a number of occasions, and aye-write suggested improvements. Those of you in the SNP (I haven't rejoined yet) need to press the main Independence party to be more professional in its approach.

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  • 192. At 04:08am on 29 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #188 JRMacClure

    As I suspect my current neighbours might say "Aw shucks".

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  • 193. At 04:10am on 29 Aug 2009, Ringan wrote:

    What we have here is a cynical attempt by BBC Scotland journalists to manipulate public opinion in order to manufacture a political crisis out of the Justice Secretary's decision. This is a clear breach of the BBC Charter. Ken MacQuarrie must make a statement on the matter and should resign.

    Ringan

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  • 194. At 04:10am on 29 Aug 2009, jammaboy12345 wrote:

    ROLL on Independance and a full flurishing SNP government thats what most of Scotland want instead of this Like someone comented on properganda

    BBC should be named EBC English or Labour news 24

    im sick of how people say how us Scots feel on the news without actually asking us

    your poll is Flawed and BBC should become un-biased
    everyone i know and i can hazzared a guess that all Scotland is sick of this
    we are not stupid here
    if you see England win a football game or cricket you get a full months coments
    if you get bad news in scotland u get another month of this

    if you get good news in Scotland u never hear it

    mmm BBC more like EBC

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  • 195. At 06:27am on 29 Aug 2009, Ringan wrote:

    GOOD MORNING SCOTLAND, MONDAY 30 NOVEMBER 2009

    GARY: On this morning's programme we ask the question "Why is al Megrahi still alive?" Later, we talk to a farmer in Wisconsin who has cancelled his holiday to Scotland. And after the 8 o'clock news, I will try to pull the Justice Secretary's tail. But first, here's this morning's Financial Report from Jamie McIvor.

    JAMIE: Thank you Gary. In the BBC Scotland piggy bank today we have 35 pence, an old ha'penny and a button from my blazer...

    and so it goes on...

    Ringan

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  • 196. At 07:14am on 29 Aug 2009, albanaich3 wrote:

    I've always thought I would make a nice drama documentary to have Captain Rogers and Commander Lustig of the USS Vincennes tried in a mock Scottish court for culpable homocide. . . . .

    It would make a nice comparison with bombing of Pan Am 103 and explain to the public why the bombing took place

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  • 197. At 07:55am on 29 Aug 2009, bobgrigson wrote:

    Sadly BBC in general and BBC north britain in particular have been appalling in their handling of the Lockerbie/ Megrahi affair.
    The opinion poll conducted is the sort of thng I would expect from the Daily Mail. The interview on reporting Scotland last night left me wondering why I should take BBC north britain seriously again.
    It looks like it will be left to the BBC world service to carry the flag which by rights gave the BBC it's high reputation and ironically was savaged by the Westminster Government over Lockerbie when it unearthed some extremely dubious activities of the security Services in the early 90's. The rest of the BBC and all other media sources failed to utter a peep.

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  • 198. At 08:07am on 29 Aug 2009, Danny1963 wrote:

    This poll carries no more weight than if it had been carried out by the Daily Record or the SUN.
    The BBC is a politically biased organisation and knew the result they wanted before they asked the question.
    Even during the week they had a programme completely dedicated to those who were against Kenny Macaskills decision due to the fact that when they tried to have an open forum most people were agreeing with him.
    I am furious that my licence fee is going to an organisation that makes no attempt to be neutral.

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  • 199. At 08:42am on 29 Aug 2009, McPhail wrote:

    Table 1
    'Q.1 You may have seen or heard recently that Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the man found guilty of the Lockerbie bombing
    involving the Pan-AM airliner, has been released by the Scottish Government on compassionate grounds. From what you
    yourself have seen and heard do you think the Scottish government was right or wrong to release Mr Al-Megrahi?'

    That is the first question. Polls are dodgy at the best of times but this subject is very complicated but it is easy to give a gut reaction to a simple question. The media has as usual been very negative to the SNP and people are influenced by that. This poll should have been pre-faced with ' Have you read and understood Mr McKaskills statement regarding the background to this decision and the operation of Scots Law?' Yes, more complicated but unless you can answer yes to that you are not in a position to make an informed decision. Reminds me of Mark Twain, 'Those who do not read newspapers are uninformed, those that do are ill informed.'

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  • 200. At 09:06am on 29 Aug 2009, that wee C wrote:

    Brian,
    I don't believe this poll result. Never before have I been so convinced that a poll was wrong.
    BBC or as most of us now call it the English Broadcasting Corporation is so Labour biased it is a laughing stock(I exclude you from this bias of course)

    Glen Campbell is one of the worst, we'd be better served by Glen Michael, he would at least give Iain Gray a grilling.

    I await some independent polls or the election but a lot of people are getting angry about this and my support for the union is being tested by the reporting on this issue.

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  • 201. At 09:29am on 29 Aug 2009, that wee C wrote:

    Have a look at this

    http://rinf.com/alt-news/breaking-news/lockerbie-case-new-accusations-of-manipulation-of-key-forensic-evidence/1135

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  • 202. At 09:47am on 29 Aug 2009, enneffess wrote:

    Polls work much the same way as interviews. It's all down to the questions. Interviews tend to be fair and do not have leading or direct questions. Polls do. But the objective is the same; get the answers.

    One example of this was the last Scottish Elections, where every SNP candidate was represented as not being a member of the SNP, but rather "Alex Salmond for First Minister". Classic move that would have gained a fair few votes. Can't be used again, well perhaps under the line "We don't want Mr Gray as First Minister".



    We've got one or two new posters on here (always welcome). But guys, this is not a mobile phone, so, no txt pls thx :p



    194. At 04:10am on 29 Aug 2009, jammaboy12345 wrote:
    ROLL on Independance and a full flurishing SNP government thats what most of Scotland want instead of this Like someone comented on properganda


    You are doing precisely what people are accusing the BBC of doing: assuming that you are speaking for most people. Everyone knows snap polls are flawed.

    As for England winning a game, however, I am in agreement. But thankfully Jimmy Hill is retired.......

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  • 203. At 10:21am on 29 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 204. At 10:23am on 29 Aug 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    There have now been three polls done of Scottish opinion on Al-Megrahi's release.

    Reuters/Ipso MORI 20-26 August 2009

    Against: 47% For: 40% Difference: 7%

    YouGov/DailyMail 24th - 26th August 2009

    Against:51% For: 43% Difference: 8%

    BBC/ICM 26 - 27 August 2009

    Against: 60% For: 32% Difference: 28%

    From this it appears that the BBC/ICM poll is an outlier with a 28% gap where the two others have a 7-8% gap. The fact that Scotland is still close to evenly split on the decision despite the relentless and continuing media assault on Kenny MacAskill's decision is heartening.

    You can see my take on the questions used in the BBC/ICM poll back up the thread on post #94.

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  • 205. At 10:30am on 29 Aug 2009, Baniebull wrote:

    Isn't this all about the SNP posturing and making an international scene - and domestically yet another cynical bid for the urban Muslim vote here?

    Baniebull

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  • 206. At 10:47am on 29 Aug 2009, raisethegame wrote:

    There have been references to polls in local newspapers. I saw these collated on another website:
    What the Scottish People Really Think (source: Mediawatch)
    Newspaper online polls on the al-Megrahi release, For Against
    Dumfries & Galloway Standard 88.4% 11.6%
    Annandale Observer 73% 27%
    Perthshire Advertiser 90.6% 8.4%
    Ross-shire Journal 87% 13%
    Scotsman 58% 42%
    Lennox Herald 80.5% 19.5%
    Oban Times 89% 11%
    Kilmarnock Standard 72.5% 28.5%
    East Kilbride News 71% 29%
    West Lothian Courier 75.2% 24.8%
    Hamilton Advertiser 60.3% 39.7%
    Airdrie Advertiser 56.1% 43.9%
    Wishaw Press 83% 17%
    Paisley Daily Express 62.23% 37.7%

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  • 207. At 10:49am on 29 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #126 Neil_Small147

    "One piece to ponder: one of his newspaper's journalists, at Lockerbie the day after the event, allegedly stole a photograph of a victim after having their request to have it refused."

    Why should anyone "ponder" over some ALLEGED theft that you offer no evidence for, no witness for, not even a source of who is doing the so-called "alleging". You don't even have the cajones to name the "newspaper" or the "journalist".

    One day you might waken up and realise that just because you're intelligent enough to think others are more stupid than you doesn't mean you're more intellgent than they are - it just means you're too stupid to see it.

    Have a go at James Murdoch if you like. He's in it for profit and doesn't hide it. But as far as his criticisms of the BBC are concerned, he couldn't be more right, and those criticisms apply especially to BBC Scotland, and especially to the example of this sham opinion poll trying to bend reality.

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  • 208. At 11:17am on 29 Aug 2009, raisethegame wrote:

    I hate saying I don't trust the BBC, but I believe there was a sea change within the organisation following the Hutton Enquiry. I think they lost confidence and became less independent - more anxious to please those holding the purse-strings. One of the manifestations of this is their attitude to the SNP Government. They don't quite believe what they are seeing. I do suspect that the BBC a) believe the current administration in Scotland is a 'blip' and that b) it will be business as usual and back to Labour in Scotland at the next Scottish election. They would be so much more comfortable if that were the case.

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  • 209. At 11:26am on 29 Aug 2009, Thinkinggirl78 wrote:

    133 NCA999

    "I was trying to make a serious point about the one sided viewpoint people are taking on here, summed up perfectly by the "I want an impartial BBC that supports the SNP" comment above :)"

    Please don't quote things out of context, it does you no favours. What I actually said was

    112 "I wish for more impartial coverage from the BBC, and for support for the SNP and the first minister AT TIMES"

    Can anyone tell me of ANY time when the SNP point of view has been supported by the BBC?

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  • 210. At 11:35am on 29 Aug 2009, EphemeralDeception wrote:

    The poll is certainly suspect but the modus operandi of the British Broadcasting establishment,long term , is clear.

    The classic method of divide and conquer. Split opinion, make the government look weak, like an 'executive' even. Question the ability of the Scottish government, the ministers in charge, the process, motives, indeed anything. Sew uncertainty and doubt wherever possible and at any occasion.

    This is not done in a classic Labour V Tory type way based on policy. It is done to question competence for self Governance in Scotland.

    So far it has worked very well.

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  • 211. At 11:36am on 29 Aug 2009, topherdawson wrote:

    Bad post Brian. Biased and transparently so. You have lost respect.

    More and more people are questioning Megrahi's guilt. If he is guilty MacAskill's decision still looks courageous, principled and legal. If he is innocent then the decision is a small step in the right direction and the Libyans were right to celebrate.

    I am hopeful that the truth will finally come out. Also I am beginning to see that Scots are less easy to fool than the media think. This topic will run and run, Brian, and perhaps you will see how far you slipped with this post.

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  • 212. At 11:37am on 29 Aug 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    I think that the long term consequences of the BBC coverage of the release of the Lockerbie bomber may be more worrying for the BBC than they think.

    At any other time the comments of Murdoch, who is after all only following a SKY agenda, would be met with anger at an attack on the integrity of the BBC.

    If more Scottish people either agree totally with Murdocks comments, or at worst are apathetic to them, then the future looks bleak for a license fee based public service provider.

    How long will people tolerate paying for a public service they feel they no longer receive?

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  • 213. At 11:40am on 29 Aug 2009, gt-cri wrote:

    #209 Thinkinggirl78:

    Glad you picked him/her up on that! Saved me jumping in; I thought it was worth it anyway! :=)

    "Scottish people are quite pathetic." (from NCA999 on previous thread).

    See, anyone can do it!

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  • 214. At 11:45am on 29 Aug 2009, Gaavster wrote:


    Interesting stuff here to be found here -

    http://www.boycottscotland.co.uk/

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  • 215. At 11:48am on 29 Aug 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    hi - #206 raisethegame- NO you just don't get it THEY ARE ALL WRONG.
    if the BBC says so then it must be the case.(Aye right)
    If this had been 10 to 15 years ago I would have sided with the BBC because I ,like the majority of the nation if not the world, believed what they told us because it was the BBC.
    That trust is dissapearing as quick as snow of a dyke. I do not trust a word that some employees of the BBC come out with these days.
    The BBC especially BBC Scotland are working to their own wee adgenda
    Never allowing the truth to get in the way of a good story or feeding their overblown ego's
    Sid (disapointed but not surprised)

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  • 216. At 12:10pm on 29 Aug 2009, gt-cri wrote:

    #214, Gavinahill:

    Oh no! The blog police will be moving in on your location for pointing this out.

    I love it, although with a little sadness as to the situation which brought about it's creation...

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  • 217. At 12:21pm on 29 Aug 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:

    Apologies for coming to this late, thanks to an early night and a long lie in, but I must respond to the canard repeated yet again in #54 about US intelligence pulling their people off Flight 103.

    In the first place a moment’s reflection on the fact that all or most of the students who died came from just one university, Syracuse, should throw doubt on the claim that they suddenly found seats available because the CIA cleared them.

    More importantly, as I’ve mentioned before, I was there at the time and a few months ago I was engaged in a discussion with some American historians on the unreliability of eyewitness testimony recorded long after an event. As a practical example I cited my own experiences at Lockerbie and commented that while I still have very vivid memories of what I saw and did, I find it very difficult 20 years on to recall the actual order of events. At that point one of the Americans, a retired US Army officer chimed in to say that he would never forget that Christmas either, because he had actually been booked on that flight, but managed to get his company’s paperwork squared away in time to beg an extra day’s leave off his commanding officer and catch an earlier flight. So yes he appeared on the original passenger list but the fact he didn’t fly on 103 had absolutely nothing to do with the CIA.

    Of itself this might be dismissed by the conspiracists, but as it happens one of the events of that Christmas I still very clearly recall was the discovery of the credit card. I don’t remember whether it was on the Tuesday, the Wednesday or the Thursday of that week, but I do remember it because what impressed us (for lack of a better word) was the way it was buckled and shattered, having clearly been very close to an explosion. The other thing we noticed, very much as an afterthought because the conspiracists hadn’t yet begun chattering, was that it was a corporate credit card belonging to a US Treasury officer – who very obviously had not been pulled off the flight by the CIA either.

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  • 218. At 12:21pm on 29 Aug 2009, A_Scottish_Voice wrote:

    Given that Megrahi backs an inquiry into Lockerbie to clear his name and give real justice to the victims, maybe Brain and the BBC can do another Poll to see if the Scottish people would like to actually find out what the truth is, rather than being Matrixly spoon fed BBC propaganda.

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  • 219. At 12:29pm on 29 Aug 2009, Aucheorn wrote:

    My daughter was unhappy about the decision when she heard the reports on the BBC News (Radio and Television). She wondered why that decision had been made, downloaded the FULL MacAskill speech and found that the BBC was only reporting half a story. I wonder how many other young people are illinformed because of the BBCs coverage ?

    As she said to me this morning " I have always thought I could trust the BBC, what are they hiding, for who and why ? "

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  • 220. At 12:44pm on 29 Aug 2009, MalcolmW2 wrote:

    One of the most noticeable features of this blog is how any poll which is favourable to the SNP is fully accepted by its faithful posters here, but any which is in any way critical, even slightly, is always somehow "flawed".

    No party, administration or government can be right 100% of the time. In the grown up political world people accept that, but here in the twilight world of cyberspace that reality is somehow reversed. The same is true of the independence "debate", which Scotland has not yet had. To read these blogs a neutral observer from Mars would think that it is all but decided. In fact, the vast majority of Scots, (who do not spend their time on the internet forums) have not yet spoken. If they do, and reject the idea, will that referendum also be condmned on here as "flawed"? Just wondering.

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  • 221. At 1:04pm on 29 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 214 gavinahill

    Excellent!

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  • 222. At 1:05pm on 29 Aug 2009, gt-cri wrote:

    #220. MalcolmW2 wrote:

    "One of the most noticeable features of this blog is how any poll which is favourable to the SNP is fully accepted by its faithful posters here, but any which is in any way critical, even slightly, is always somehow "flawed"."

    In similar to any opinion poll, surely the ease in which the questions can be skewed to suit a desired response merits some analysis of the way in which it was performed and by whom it was commissioned?


    "No party, administration or government can be right 100% of the time. In the grown up political world people accept that, but here in the twilight world of cyberspace that reality is somehow reversed."

    But its critics can be?

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  • 223. At 1:17pm on 29 Aug 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    One of the most noticeable features of the BBC, is that it will do whatever it takes to protect the British State - its paymaster.

    So don't worry, the propaganda department run by GC, SN, KW and JP will simply step up production if it ever looks like the British State, will be forced to allow a public debate and/or vote on Scotland's future.

    The wholesale manipulation, by the BBC, of public opinion in relation to this story has been nothing short of that undertaken by State TV in multiple dictatorships, or indeed that of Fox News in the U.S. Besides running its own "boycott Scotland" adverts I don't know what the corporation could have done to make its own view - that the decision was simply wrong (no arguments required) - clear to the British public.

    I no longer see any reason why the BBC should be publicly funded to pursue its own wholly partisan, political agenda. Even Murdoch's Empire is preferable to this.

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  • 224. At 1:23pm on 29 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 220 MalcolmW2

    'One of the most noticeable features of this blog is how any poll which is favourable to the SNP is fully accepted by its faithful posters here, but any which is in any way critical, even slightly, is always somehow "flawed".'

    If you care to check on some of my previous posting (I'm sure that you won't as I couldn't be bothered to find them either, so you will just have to take my word for it) you will see that I have doubted the validity of all polls except the most important one which is when we vote during a general election/referendum. So, we ('cybernats') are not all taken in by all or any of the polls.

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  • 225. At 1:24pm on 29 Aug 2009, Ringan wrote:

    217: Caledonian54 on the "Conspiracists"

    It is not necessary to be a "conspiracist" (note the calculated use of a pejorative term)to believe that the al Megrahi conviction is very suspect. It is based on circumstantial evidence of very dubious provenance.

    I can't see that the points made about Syracuse students and a US Treasury official demonstrate anything. Certainly nothing that points to al Megrahi.

    Ringan

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  • 226. At 1:25pm on 29 Aug 2009, scottishnomad wrote:

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  • 227. At 1:25pm on 29 Aug 2009, alastair_gordon wrote:

    I could never agree with albanaich3’s comments that the actions of whoever placed the bomb on PanAm103 was taking “appropriate and measured response” to the shooting down of the Iranian Airbus by the USS Vincennes, because two wrongs never make a right. However the hypocrisy of the US in this matter is appalling, 280 innocent civilians lost their live on that aircraft and I’m still to read of the court martial or trial of any American for that incident. (And I’m not prejudging whether they would have been found guilty or not)

    I do find it incredible that two men, with the same evidence against them, can be brought to court and one is found ‘Not Guilty’ and the other is found ‘Guilty’

    Irrespective of all that (and I’m ambivalent of whether Kenny McAskill’s decision was the correct one or not) I do applaud the Scottish Government for taking a decision that appeared to them to be right, and not to bow to the demands of the US as the British Government would assuredly have done.

    When the head of the FBI says that a Government’s decision is an insult to justice I have little to say to him other than Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Water boarding, and Secret Rendition are real insults to justice. And we Scots have no need to take lessons from anyone, especially the US, on ‘fairness’ or ‘Justice’

    Finally Brain, isn’t the whole efficacy of this poll summed up by extrapolating the figures that 40% thought it wasn’t wrong to release al-Megrahi, but 76% thought it would damage Scotland’s reputation – how can those figures be reconciled?

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  • 228. At 1:28pm on 29 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    For some time now I have 'had a go' at the British Broadcasting Corporation for their blatant anti-SNP biasedness, however, I am still a supporter of a publically funded media service (unlike some who would say that I am not). What I am against in the BBC is their interference in the democratically elected government of Scotland. Change this and I would return to my heartfelt respect for the BBC.

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  • 229. At 1:31pm on 29 Aug 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    217. Caledonian54

    That may well have been the US Treasury officer who was helping investigate the alleged continuing CIA involvement in heroin trafficking. He may well have been carrying large amounts of currency. Or perhaps not. Who knows? I bet the CIA does.
    A more scientific way of shedding some light on this would be to look at the passenger list and see just what percentage of the US casualties were Government, whether military, CIA or other (such as Treasury) and compare that for the passenger lists on the surrounding days and the same period in previous and subsequent years.
    Prove me wrong, if you can. In the meantime, I allege that the US (or some of its state organs) KNEW that flight was doomed and pulled their important assets off it, cynically dooming a large number of students and conveniently burying a story about CIA drug-trafficking.
    How many of the relatives can tell of their lost ones who phoned home overjoyed that they had been able to suddenly get a ticket home at short notice?
    How full was the plane? Would we not expect this aircraft to be 100% full just before Xmas?

    All in all , al-Megrahi, had nothing to do with this, he was fitted up because it appears he was one of their more successful sanctions busters working out of Malta.
    A smart piece of work by the CIA.

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  • 230. At 1:33pm on 29 Aug 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    Following on from posts #94 and #204:

    Brian, since the BBC/ICM poll is significantly different from the Reuters/Ipso MORI poll and the DailyMail/YouGov poll when the field work was done almost simultaneously for all three you should ask for your money back. Or to put it correctly, our money.

    ICM will have done the sample size calculations and the actual polling but who wrote the questions? If ICM wrote them then that's even more cause to get our money back as I don't regard them as in anyway impartial, especially as they follow the relentless media narrative of "damage" and "damaged reputation". To describe them as leading questions would be an understatement.

    If ICM wrote the questions you should also pull them up over the fact that the first two are essentially the same question and they stuck in a question at number 4 which is not related to the compassionate release of Megrahi at all.

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  • 231. At 1:34pm on 29 Aug 2009, poor_show_this wrote:

    12. At 6:33pm on 28 Aug 2009, sneckedagain wrote:

    "Having worked for a polling company I know how easy it is to get the result your client wants."

    I studied a masters in Political Research last year. Also sorts of potential biases which could affect the quality of your data, such as Question order effects, question wording effects etc, were covered. However this was done with the aim of avoiding this creeping into your results.

    Are you saying that Polling companies deliberately allow these effects to bias the data? I am genuinely interested in this. I'm quite sure there is potential for a less scrupulous organisation to allow this (after all, a client is paying money for their services). Does this genuinely go on?

    As for Megrahi - anecdotally I don't know a single person who disagrees with the release. Meanwhile I really don't think Scotland's reputation has been damaged and the boycott Scotland website really won't change that. Certain media have us believing were some sort of international pariah when nothing of the sort is true.

    The media and opposition response to this has been terribly depressing. The partisan nature of the attempts to get a majority for a critical motion is very poor indeed.

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  • 232. At 1:35pm on 29 Aug 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:

    #225 my observations have nothing to do with the question of whether Mr Megrahi is guilty or innocent. I don't know the answer to that one; all I do know is that the often trumpeted conspiracy theory that the the CIA knew what was happening and cynically allowed Flight 103 to go to its doom doesn't stand up

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  • 233. At 1:35pm on 29 Aug 2009, scottishnomad wrote:

    Since when did 1005 speak for 6 million ? And how many of that 1005 were actually Scots ? How was this verified ?

    I currently live abroad and haven't heard a single criticism of the decision from anyone I know, so where is the international condemnation ? Or is it perhaps just America ? The country whose actions brought about the bombing in the first place by the shooting down of an Iranain passenger jet ... (I think that is what our more vociferous contributors would call an eye for an eye or is that only valid when it is the Americans who are aggrieved ? )

    Also nice to see GB has his priorities right ... congratulating the ENGLAND cricket team being of great national importance than reacting to an international incident ...Nice one Gordon ....

    Lies damn lies and statistics !!

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  • 234. At 1:35pm on 29 Aug 2009, poor_show_this wrote:

    Also just to add - I don't believe the BBC is complicit in creating the response to this, but I do suspect they are being influenced by certain figures. The more a lie is repeated, the more it becomes truth.

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  • 235. At 1:48pm on 29 Aug 2009, scottishnomad wrote:

    At that point one of the Americans, a retired US Army officer chimed in to say that he would never forget that Christmas either, because he had actually been booked on that flight, but managed to get his company’s paperwork squared away in time to beg an extra day’s leave off his commanding officer and catch an earlier flight. So yes he appeared on the original passenger list but the fact he didn’t fly on 103 had absolutely nothing to do with the CIA.



    Of itself this might be dismissed by the conspiracists, but as it happens one of the events of that Christmas I still very clearly recall was the discovery of the credit card. I don’t remember whether it was on the Tuesday, the Wednesday or the Thursday of that week, but I do remember it because what impressed us (for lack of a better word) was the way it was buckled and shattered, having clearly been very close to an explosion. The other thing we noticed, very much as an afterthought because the conspiracists hadn’t yet begun chattering, was that it was a corporate credit card belonging to a US Treasury officer – who very obviously had not been pulled off the flight by the CIA either.

    Caledonian it's extremely unlikely that CIA would actually admit they had done so . And it is just as likely that this was pure co-incidence that he re scheduled his flight. It is also not beyond the realms if possibility that the CIA would not have pulled him off the flight to maintain OPSEC . A little far fetched perhaps but I know for a fact British security forces have allowed attacks to go ahead in NI in order to protect a source therefore it is not too great a leap of faith to think the CIA would do likewise .

    Re the credit card ...was it proved that the holder was actually on the flight ? Let's face it the owner of the bomb wasn't was he ?Of course there is no guarantee that the credit card would have survived the explosion had it been a " plant "
    I am not A CONSPIRACY THEORIST BY ANY MEANS but I wouldn't put a great deal of store by those points

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  • 236. At 1:48pm on 29 Aug 2009, enneffess wrote:

    #207 bigh

    The reason for my words is that Murdoch's organisation sues if you break wind.

    I was informed of the "alleged" theft 2 days after the explosion.

    Whether you wish to ponder it or not is your business. But stop resorting to insults every five minutes.

    This is a blog that anyone can post, can post what they like within the rules. People can disagree if they want but there is no need to resort to insults simply because you do not agree with the posting.

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  • 237. At 2:01pm on 29 Aug 2009, pete_wesni wrote:

    The trouble with the comments on this blog is that all the writers have the same mindset and just reinforce each other.

    They are so much 'in denial' that it makes amazing reading. Even someone saying that local 'Advertisers' have better polls than the BBC / ICM when these would be totally disregarded normally. The BBC poll had quite a large sample, twice that of the Times which got a similar result.

    If the BBC were biasing their news as much as said on here no-one would listen. There are plenty of other news channels.

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  • 238. At 2:03pm on 29 Aug 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE57R3O220090828

    Observe, BBC, a piece from another news agency - in which, note this, the truth is more important than a catchy headline.

    What is now quite clear is that is those who know and care least about the operation of Scots law and the background to the Megrahi case who are most against the decision.

    In the main, those who know more about each are more likely to be in favour of the Scots Govt's decision, as has been shown by those markers of public opinion (letters pages, phone-ins etc...) where the public need to proactively get in touch.

    The BBC poll fools no-one. (What a timely lifeline to a drowning Iain Gray it was!)

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  • 239. At 2:10pm on 29 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 240. At 2:11pm on 29 Aug 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    232. Caledonian54

    Caledonian54, if you were in fact directly involved in the clean-up, then you have my sympathy and thanks, not just from me personally but the whole of Scotland owes you a debt. In what capacity were you involved? This was work that none of us should have to do. All I did was get ready to run a GP friend down the A74 and give blood if required. Subsequent news reports that night soon told us there would be no requirement for any of that.
    However, I wonder perhaps if your justifiable sense of outrage at being so close to the consequences has clouded your judgment.
    Nowhere have you posted any meaningful rebuttal to the idea that the CIA were well aware of what was going on.

    And never forget, somewhere someone who is responsible for the deaths of 11 Scots and 259 others is walking around free. And our so-called "greatest ally" knows who it is.

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  • 241. At 2:12pm on 29 Aug 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #191 oldnat

    Surely this is a matter for the SG not the SNP?

    Now all relations of such nature are handled from St Andrews House, and the spokesperson was probably a SpAd or from their comms team. It might be that the Scottish Gov't is just unused to playing on the international stage, in that case no problem, experience will bring wisdom.

    We ought to do a poll on how many people here are actually SNP members. It would be interesting, I think.

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  • 242. At 2:28pm on 29 Aug 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    Murdoch Prince attacks the BBC.

    WIth the BBC under threat I consider Disraelis' Sybil, isnt the BBC one of those institutions which has the potential to cross class and socio-economic boundaries in this country?

    Surely we should reform the BBC to restore impartiality (lost after Kelly incident) to keep this institution which has such a great potential to draw groups together- to further the aim of 'One Nation'.

    So in short James Murdoch can keep his American philosophy of liberty through private profit.....I'll have the imperfect Beeb over a Murdoch dominated media agenda in the UK any day!!!!

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  • 243. At 2:31pm on 29 Aug 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #205 baniebull

    I don't think this is Nat posturing, as I am sure they would have been far happier NOT having to make the decision. Not to say they don't posture a fair bit, but for domestic consumption, I think.

    It would also seem unlikely that this was a "cynical bid for the urban Muslim vote." First of all, we've not got that many Muslims in Scotland. Secondly, it would hardly be worth upsetting our US cousins and troubling domestic opinion for that handful of votes, even if one assumes all Muslims think alike (a rather bizarre assumption).

    Thirdly, this is not really a religious issue - contrary to media reports which make out that al Megrahi was some kind of radical Islamist, even if he was the guilty man this was old fashioned political terrorism. If he did it it was under orders as a revenge on the US for their actions, not for any global caliphate or the likes. Same if it had been Iran, Syria or the Palestinians, it was a play in a grudge match, not an al Qaeda action. We're getting far too used to seeing everything through that lens.

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  • 244. At 3:05pm on 29 Aug 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    BBC impartiality is simply a lost dream, nevermind the political connections to Labour that run throughout "BBC Scotland".

    The BBC as a monolith may well be able to be reformed; BBC Scotland with GC, SN, KW etc ... etc ... in place, is simply not a credible news organization. These individuals believe they are bigger than the institution, and the programming; what is sad is that their bosses tend to agree!

    Imagine, if you will, a serious political correspondent tearing up the new government's manifesto just months after it had been elected to Westminster ... imagine the outcry that would create, now recall the enforced silence and seeming endorsement of that very act outside Holyrood, live on TV!

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  • 245. At 3:22pm on 29 Aug 2009, uk_abz_scot wrote:

    Brian - I dislike these polls with YES/NO answers.

    For example:-

    Do you want a hot summer YES/NO
    Do you want a drought YES/NO

    OR

    Do you want a white Christmas YES/NO
    Do you want your street blocked by snow and your pipes frozen YES/NO

    In short these polls all assume everything can be boiled down to YES/NO and are intellectually bankrupt.


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  • 246. At 3:30pm on 29 Aug 2009, jammaboy12345 wrote:

    Im fed up hearing the bad things that the snp are doing from the BBC they never report the good things that they do in Scotland.
    I personally am proud that we have a Government that is Scottish and stands up for Scotland.
    Labour never have done in the past and never do now they are just a puppy for the English government.
    same as the tories and Lib Dems

    at least in Scotland we actually have someone that will say NO to England i think thats a good thing.
    Im not anti English but i do believe we should have if not independance we should be able to do our own thing up here after all Westminster does not know what it is like to be up here
    THIS IS SCOTLAND
    our grandfathers and great grandfathers fought and died for independance they would be turning in their graves
    something ive noticed about Scotland we always lay down and do exactly what anyone wants this decission to let this bomer go is 1 single step in to letting people know we will do our own thing no matter what others thing it was not a wrong decission.
    we should be FREE in scotland to make our own decissions we give everything to England and get a hand out back why is this who says we should
    we should be a nation again i have noticed a lot of properganda about this nation being part of the union
    no 1 asked me to be part of it i dont want to be part of it
    good on SNP they do exactly what the Scots want and dont answere to no 1

    ABOUT TIME

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  • 247. At 3:39pm on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #231. Are you saying that Polling companies deliberately allow these effects to bias the data? I am genuinely interested in this. I'm quite sure there is potential for a less scrupulous organisation to allow this (after all, a client is paying money for their services). Does this genuinely go on?

    --------------------

    Take a look at the questions for this poll and answer that question for yourself. Just the fact that the first question does not mention that he was released because he was dying of cancer which is an essential element to make it even a truthful question. Then look at the following questions. Which way is it easier to answer? If someone answers yes consistently does that skew the survey?

    Does it go on? There is a reason why the first question should always be "who paid for the poll?" Yes, it does go on.

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  • 248. At 3:51pm on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    240. Sgt_Furry
    Sorry to come off topic, are you running the latest (3rd) version of the script? I put it up last night?

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  • 249. At 3:53pm on 29 Aug 2009, deducted3points wrote:

    #5. At 6:18pm on 28 Aug 2009, TurraDave wrote:

    "... I can't find anyone who disagrees with this decision so I don't know where these figures come from."

    Maybe you should try a bit harder TurraDave, I've spoken to lot's of people as well and I can't find many who agree with the decision. The vast majority think the Rev. MacAskill has done the wrong thing.

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  • 250. At 3:58pm on 29 Aug 2009, albamac wrote:

    241. fourstrikes

    "We ought to do a poll on how many people here are actually SNP members."


    I don't see how that has any bearing on the twin topics under discussion since neither the release of al-Megrahi nor the conduct of the BBC should be considered from a party-political viewpoint.

    Both raise extremely important questions for all Scots to consider. That simple fact seems to elude most unionists.

    I voted Labour for a very long time, almost twice as long as a particularly vociferous, young, Tory contributor has been alive. As others have said, the SNP is the only choice for those of us who seek something better for Scotland. They provide the means by which we can achieve that end. When Scotland gains independence and makes its own place in the world, the reshaping of Scottish politics, amongst many other desirable goals, will lie, entirely, in the hands of Scots. How anyone can see that as a bad thing is beyond me.

    I don't think much soul-searching is necessary when it comes to a question of how we wish to be governed and by whom. None of the three major Unionist parties has anything of worth to offer. It's patently clear that politicians who owe first allegiance to Westminster are incapable of representing Scotland in either parliament. Recent events have demonstrated, beyond doubt, that they aren't fit guardians of the public interest, in this country or any other. I can't imagine why anyone would want to elect or re-elect those members of a criminal fraternity who have so comprehensively illustrated their unsuitability as representatives of the people. Careless, callous, calculating and corrupt they betray our trust with every breath and drag us down into the mire that they wallow in!

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  • 251. At 4:01pm on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    123. deanthetory wrote:

    Over on UK Polling report it shows how three major polsters (YouGov, ICM, Ipsos Mori) all showing that Scottish public opinion has shifted against the SNP over the Megrahi issue.

    Now the SNP may have been right to release him, but it is perceptions which count- and Salmonds talk of the polls showing a "reaction to a reaction" seems like hot wind to me.

    --------------------------

    Amazing! Two of those three show the Scottish people close to evenly split. The MORI shows LESS than 50% opposed.

    Is it that you think if you lie about the results no one will bother to look?

    Nor can those polls show a "shift" since they are not over time and nor "against the SNP" since they do not show voting intention. If anything that the most recent poll shows the highest percentage agreeing and the lowest disagreeing, IF there is a shift it is toward agreeing with the release (which doesn't mean the same thing as being for the SNP in spite of your partisan sniping).

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  • 252. At 4:21pm on 29 Aug 2009, albanaich3 wrote:

    The whole point - and its completely ommitted from the debate by all the British and American media is - how could the Iranian government respond to the killing of 290 civilians. . . .

    The facts were pretty clear at the time, the USS Vincennes deliberately invaded Iranian waters to a cause military and diplomatic, the crew paniced and through incompetence amounting to culpable homocide killed 290 people.

    The US government thought it was a great job an awarded medals and promotions all round. . . .

    It's on a parr in perversity with giving a drunk driver an award for good citizen ship after he has just run over someone.

    What were the Iranians supposed to do?

    The USA 'doesn't do' international law - for which it has complete contempt, so without a direct military response, the USA as a nation was literally going to 'get away with murder'

    What alternative did the Iranians have to bombing Pan Am 103, were they just supposed to walk away with the USN laughing at them?

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  • 253. At 4:29pm on 29 Aug 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    #196

    Perhaps the theatre group that put on the Blackwatch play would take your idea and put it on stage if a script was available. These things seem to have more impact than all the blogging that is done here. There is a wealth of material for playwrights out there.

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  • 254. At 4:36pm on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #252. albanaich3 wrote:

    I'm sorry but blowing up an aircraft largely full of civilians in response to a wrong was not justifiable under any circumstances. The people on that aircraft and the people in Lockerbie were NOT at fault and that is an appalling thing to say.

    That is like saying that we Americans were right to bring down IR655. NEITHER act can be justified. BOTH were state sponsored terrorism.

    Iranians have oil which they can withhold. There are international organizations which a nation can use. They can, for heaven's sake, declare war and attack military targets instead of innocent people such as college students and the poor innocents in Lockerbie.

    Am I defending what my country did? No. But it does not justify the slaughter that Lockerbie was.

    Part of why I so admire what Mr. MacAskill did was that it was an END to a constant cycle of revenge that only perpetrates more revenge. It is time for it to end. And the only way to do that is for someone with amazing courage to step forward and take the heat.

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  • 255. At 4:37pm on 29 Aug 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    248. mrbfaethedee

    === OFF TOPIC ===

    No, I'll grab it now - thanks

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  • 256. At 4:46pm on 29 Aug 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    I notice the much trumpeted BBC poll has disappeared from ceefax.

    Headline News one minute, on the spike the next.

    I don't see the episode as entirely without it's upside. Many Scots will have been told by the BBC what they think over the last couple of days and thought "no, that's not my view at all".

    The BBC are a powerful and far reaching organisation but there is a limit to their political influence. Unless I see Glen sitting at the table folding slips at my local polling station at the next election I'm not too worried yet.

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  • 257. At 5:01pm on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #254. And to go on, that is part of why I am so disappointed in Brian Taylor and the BBC. Instead of supporting Kenny MacAskill's courageous stand they use it as a political football. It COULD be so much more.

    Mr. Taylor, think again about what you are doing. Consider gathering up some courage of your own. You, one assumes, are a unionist. This issue is NOT about that and sometimes members of the SNP ARE right whether you agree on independence or not. That isn't the only issue in the world.

    It is possible to take a stand against a constant cycle of revenge and hatred and then more revenge and hatred. Mr. MacAskill instead took a stand for mercy tempering justice. He took it against tremendous and totally unfair pressure from my own country and at tremendous political risk to himself.

    Consider whether this isn't something that should be supported no matter WHAT the political party.

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  • 258. At 5:12pm on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #256. GrassyKnollington wrote:

    Ha! I admit this is a generalization but as a non-Scot who spends quite a bit of time in Scotland, my experience has been if there is one thing that you can not do, it is tell Scots what to think. I suspect that applies to the BBC as much as anyone else.

    I wouldn't worry about it from that point of view.

    Whether the BBC should take a politically biased position as a state-sponsored news organization in a democracy is another question, one would think. Apparently, they consider as the BRITISH Broadcasting Company that it is within their purview to defend the union. Whether that is a legitimate position isn't for me to decide.

    But as an American, I used to go to the BBC as opposed to US news organizations for unbiased news.

    No more.

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  • 259. At 5:20pm on 29 Aug 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    The debate has morphed into the partiality or otherwise of the BBC.

    The poll, and Brian's response to it, were predictable right down to his assertion that "Scotland's flag hangs a little more limply tonight". An awfull phrase that just about reflects the extent to which Taylor has sold his own journalistic soul.

    This poll needed to be produced, without it the BBC and Unionist parties were starting to look foolish - public opinion, at least those members of the public who had felt strongly enough to text, email, phone and write, was overwhelmingly supportive of MacAskill.

    However, for me the most pathetic part of this whole sorry episode has been the refusal of our 'journalists' within broadcast media and press to pursue the biggest story of Monday's debate - Chisholm.

    I for one would be very interested to hear Brian explain why he did not follow up on this story. Here we had the most high profile debate that Holyrood has ever seen. The stakes were huge - the Unionist parties had politicised the release of Megrahi - it was simply inconceivable that a party member would publicly come out against the party line in this arena.

    Chisholm not only did that but compounded Iain Gray's misery by openly criticising the politicising of the affair, a clear attack on Gray's own handling.

    Brian has pretended that this event didn't happen, Iain Gray has felt no repercussions from Chisholm's attack from anywhere in the media.

    This is the journalistic equivalent of looking the other way and a particularly cowardly act.

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  • 260. At 5:38pm on 29 Aug 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    I have voiced my disgust at the BBBC on the older thread.
    I do not intend repeating it.

    Could someone please put up Mr Chisolms e-mail address at Holyrood/
    I would like to add my thanks for a sane ,sensible and honourable stance on this issue.
    Thanks.

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  • 261. At 5:45pm on 29 Aug 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    Those that poo poo the idea of bias at the Beeb should think carefully about the timing of the release of the poll results. 1 working day before a full debate on the subject at Holyrood. Add to that Bill Whiteford (who is a Beeb presenter) saying, on air, to the leader of the main opposition party, "here's some ammunition for you in the debate", even the most ardent Beeb supporter should feel uncomfortable with a beeb poll being broadcast by the beeb as "ammunition" for the opposition.

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  • 262. At 5:47pm on 29 Aug 2009, Gaavster wrote:

    Here you are diablo

    Malcolm.Chisholm.msp@scottish.parliament.uk

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  • 263. At 5:53pm on 29 Aug 2009, Colkitto wrote:

    "Megrahi backs Lockerbie inquiry" was a major headline on the BBC News website but it didn't merit a mention in the main evening news. Why is that ? Not anti-SNP enough perhaps ?

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  • 264. At 5:53pm on 29 Aug 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #241 - four-strikes - great idea but it might take the BBC a few tries to get the result your looking for!
    I am not a member of any political party

    I just have as much a dislike* of the labour party, Scottish labour or anything else they wish to call themselves. just as much as some high profile jumped up BBC presenters / news readers/experts/ newspaper reviewers etc all dislike* the SNP!!

    How long has this dislike*of the SNP been a prerequisite to getting a job with BBC Scotland??
    Sid (disappointed but not surprised)
    * note for the mods - I moderated myself!!

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  • 265. At 6:01pm on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    I'm rather surprised, but Reuters has the most even-handed and balanced coverage. They may be my news coverage of choice in the future. I don't require a news organization that always agrees with me. I don't even always agree with MYSELF. *crosses eyes*

    I do require at least an attempt at balance which is what I see here. It's neither support nor condemnation. Now from a blogger such as Brian Taylor, I think support would be reasonable. From the news articles, surly neutrality isn't too much to ask.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLS320509

    Reuters will now be where I go at least frequently. A refreshing breath of actual reporting instead of propaganda.

    No, it doesn't go into whether the man is innocent or not, but that is another news story. It is one that should be covered and I suspect we will hear more on it. I sincerely hope so.

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  • 266. At 6:02pm on 29 Aug 2009, Electric Hermit wrote:

    If I was relying on the Scottish media to inform my opinions then I would probably be opposed to MacAskill's decision as well. I wonder what the poll results might have been if the BBC, Scotsman, Record etc. had actually told people the truth.

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  • 267. At 6:04pm on 29 Aug 2009, Electric Hermit wrote:

    260. At 5:38pm on 29 Aug 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    "Could someone please put up Mr Chisolms e-mail address at Holyrood/
    I would like to add my thanks for a sane ,sensible and honourable stance on this issue.
    Thanks."


    The Scottish Parliament  - Current Members - Malcolm Chisholm

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  • 268. At 6:16pm on 29 Aug 2009, Blind_Captain wrote:

    Brian,

    Do you read our contributions? I'd like to know, please.

    There is definitely a lot of concern regarding perceived impartiality with BBC Scotland. I share those concerns and have contacted various MSPs to voice my concerns, and not one of those in receipt of my email is an SNP MSP.

    I honestly feel that the freedom of the press is at risk in Scotland and, by extension, our democratic institutions. Yes, it has become that bad! Perceptions are everything; it's the responsibility of the party (i.e. the BBC) on the receiving end of the negative perceptions to turn those perceptions around.

    I would like BBC Scotland to initiate a debate; a live debate, either on the web, or on TV. I would like you, Glen Campbell, and others to appear and to be put under scrutiny by an audience. The subject, is of course, "BBC impartiality in Scottish Politics."

    You may wish to extend invitations to contributors on your blog. Will you do this?

    Regards

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  • 269. At 6:20pm on 29 Aug 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    JRMacClure 265. loving your unconsciously true typo where you ask Brian Taylor to show some "surly neutrality".

    I have a feeling that if he chose such a stance under pressure from his loyal band of SNP commenters it would certainly be a tad bad tempered!

    Nearly as good as the person the other day who wrote "Iain Grey, whore"

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  • 270. At 6:24pm on 29 Aug 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:

    #240 - sorry to be so long getting back to you; the in-laws came round.

    I was involved in the Lockerbie clear-up because as soon as the magnitude of the clear-up operation was realised every mountain-rescue and fell-rescue team within range was called out by the police.

    However you're quite wrong that my views are clouded by outrage; quite the reverse, I applaud the release of Mr Megrahi. As I've said before I don't know whether he was guilty or not, although as an agent of the Libyan government he certainly was not a terrorist. To be honest, I don't really care. It was 20 years ago and the world has moved on. We should remember those who died, and as I said I'm certainly not going to forget the things I saw, but I do believe in forgiveness and I do think it is absolutely wrong for our present and future behaviour to be governed by something that happened long ago. Half the trouble in Ireland was due to neither side being able to forget who had done what to whom all the way back to Cromwell and beyond.

    As to the present and my earlier post, I was merely expressing irritation at the urban legend claiming the CIA pulled all their people off the plane when to my personal knowledge this wasn't the case.

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  • 271. At 6:35pm on 29 Aug 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    A message of appreciation has just been sent to Malcolm Chisholm. I urge others to do the same - Mr Chisholm is a Unionist who now has my utmost respect.

    This matter should have been treated in much the same manner as privvy council matters are treated in Westminster. The nation found itself in a difficult position and politicians should have worked together to minimise any possible damage to the reputation of the nation and our institutions.

    I'm still troubled by Brian's insistance on News 24 that "Scotland's flag hangs a little more limply tonight".

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  • 272. At 6:43pm on 29 Aug 2009, Electric Hermit wrote:

    270. At 6:24pm on 29 Aug 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:

    "...but I do believe in forgiveness..."


    We should be clear that al-Megrahi has been granted compassion, not forgiveness. He was released on licence. He was not acquitted.

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  • 273. At 6:59pm on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    I'm sure most have already, but anyone commenting in, or reading these threads should read al Megrahi's Herald interview.

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  • 274. At 7:18pm on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    269. At 6:20pm on 29 Aug 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    JRMacClure 265. loving your unconsciously true typo where you ask Brian Taylor to show some "surly neutrality".

    ------------------------------------

    I noticed that myself afterward and had to chuckle. I have to agree he would probably be surly. =)

    Please keep in mind, however, that I am not an "SNP commenter." I feel that, as an American, it's absolutely none of my business. (Amazing to hear an American say that, I know, but I've decided we should give up running the world. ;) )

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  • 275. At 7:31pm on 29 Aug 2009, Electric Hermit wrote:

    274. At 7:18pm on 29 Aug 2009, JRMacClure wrote:

    "I've decided we should give up running the world."


    The future's looking brighter already.

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  • 276. At 7:37pm on 29 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Out of interest, I had a look at another Beeb blog - Justin Webb's America.

    One poster, who was in Scotland last week, asked for American views on al-Megrahi's release. The rsponse (from a group who are just as opinionated as us on here) - absolute silence.

    I'm sure that most Americans were outraged when the news was announced, but unless I've missed it, the issue doesn't seem to have engaged the population.

    Is this just more posturing by the British that Americans would actually care much about what happens in this little country?

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  • 277. At 7:38pm on 29 Aug 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #274 JRMacClure
    Is that we as in American or we as in women? 8-)

    It is ironic that a blog on rumblings of discontent has become a slagging off of the Scottish media. As I don't read the Scottish press or watch the BBC Scotland output, I have no view but certainly some here think the media have never recovered from the front page that turned the SNP symbol into a noose. Is it really that bad?

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  • 278. At 7:50pm on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #277. Oh, we as in American (not that I see any signs of American politicians being convinced.)

    When it comes to women running the world, I'm all for it. I can't say that you lot have done a wonderful job so maybe we'll do better when we take over. I'm looking for a way for you to have the babies too but that's going slower. ;)

    From an American who is interested in Scottish and European politics, let me answer the question in 276.

    It is pure posturing. Most Americans if they have heard about it at all (and many have not) have nothing more than a mild knee-jerk reaction that freeing a "terrorist" is a bad thing and will forget about it until and unless someone brings the subject up.


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  • 279. At 7:50pm on 29 Aug 2009, Electric Hermit wrote:

    273. At 6:59pm on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    "I'm sure most have already, but anyone commenting in, or reading these threads should read al Megrahi's Herald interview."


    "gilded gold chairs"

    "cut glass crystal glasses"

    Was this written by a nine-year old?

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  • 280. At 7:50pm on 29 Aug 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Just read the Herald interview with Megrahi - quite a scoop for them. I have to admit to being shocked at the apparent warmth of the man for his fellow prisoners, captors and Scots in general. The article gives Megrahi free reign and he comes across as a sincere individual.

    The more you here of this man and the story of the trial the more you want to weep when you think how the population might just have been educated by the BBC here in Scotland.

    It really is a shame that people like Glenn Campbell were allowed to twist the appreciative waving of the saltire by people who quite clearly believed they were welcoming the return of a innocent man into something that it never was.

    Yes, it would have been better politically had the Scottish flag not been waved but once it had then it was surely incumbent on Campbell, there as analyst, to explain the actions in their true.

    People would surely have appreciated this alternative interpretation of Megrahi's arrival at Tripoli airport.

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  • 281. At 8:11pm on 29 Aug 2009, albanaich3 wrote:

    ..I'm sorry but blowing up an aircraft largely full of civilians in response to a wrong was not justifiable under any circumstances. The people on that aircraft and the people in Lockerbie were NOT at fault and that is an appalling thing to say.

    That is like saying that we Americans were right to bring down IR655...

    Well clearly the US government though it was right in bringing down IR655 when it handed out medals for 'courage' to the officers responsible for the killing. . .

    How does the world deal with a nation that depraved and sick?

    When we talk about Pan Am 103 that MUST be at the front of any debate, to distort the debate so that it appears Pan Am 103 happened in a vacum is propaganda.

    Suppose a Iranian warship sailed in the NY harbour, shot up the coastguard and then preceded to 'accidentally' shoot down an airliner coming out of Newark?

    How would the US public react? How would it be reported? What would they do if they knew the Iranian government gave out medals for courage for the attack?

    Most of the the so called 'journalism' with its slanted stories and biased polls is aimed at diverting us away from asking those questions.






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  • 282. At 8:14pm on 29 Aug 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #280 online-Ed

    Go on! reach it out there further.For a nation like Libya to react to an act of compassionate mercy and humanitarian will, is a bright light in a very dark world.

    Peace in our time! Hmmmm, not if we can't read the right signs.

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  • 283. At 8:24pm on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #281. I think I had this conversation with Electric Hermit.

    You *might* want to look at your own history before you get TOO self-righteous. I won't descend to listing British atrocities for you but if every single nation so treated by the British (yes, British because I refuse to solely blame the Scots) revenged themselves, you would be in serious trouble. But so would we. Neither of our nation's hands are clean, my friend. Both of our nation's have a lot to be ashamed of.

    Was IR655 probably the proximate cause of Lockerbie. Yes.

    But you don't explain how killing college students and innocent people in Lockerbie helped the innocents killed on IR655 or even revenged them--assuming revenge was a good idea which *I* for one do not agree.

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  • 284. At 8:33pm on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #281 "Most of the the so called 'journalism' with its slanted stories and biased polls is aimed at diverting us away from asking those questions."

    Here, I'm afraid you may be correct. However, your own government was "hand in glove" with mine in whatever cover-up was done, just it is taking part through BBC in the slanted journalism.

    Not many innocent parties here except the ones who have suffered. The truth SHOULD be told and don't you dare accuse me of supporting biased reporting because it is very obvious that I do not.

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  • 285. At 8:43pm on 29 Aug 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Talking to relatives in Greenock to hear their views is interesting. My own family is pretty much split down the middle - I'm the only 'political anorak'.

    Mother, father, wife, son and myself all support the release. Two sister's, two nephews my brother and his wife all against. Although one sister changed her mind when the context of the flag waving was explained ... brother less definite when the possible consequences of creating a martyr here in Scotland [a possible innocent one at that] were explained.

    None of them were aware that compassionate release was common and that a child killer had been released by the previous administration. One doesn't believe me "Why haven't I read about that then?" was the understandable reaction.

    Brother explained that all work colleagues he had heard offering an opinion had been against the realease, around 12 he estimated and noboby supportive. His line of work is supervising manual workers and The Daily Record is the newsprovider.

    Strangely though, even some of those against the release, when pressed, feel that the man is not guilty, so quite a paradox there.

    My view is that the media have created a climate that caters for the 'politically ignorant' as I label them, yes even members of my own family. The Megrahi case has saw these people fed a diet of what can only be described as propaganda, the aim of which is to use the release in order to damage the SNP.

    The sad fact is that the state broadcaster has basically helped to create the kind of environment that it was set up as a barrier against - tribal partisan political output that doesn't address the lack of understanding but instead takes advantage of it.

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  • 286. At 8:47pm on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    279. Electric Hermit
    lol

    But what about the words of Megrahi himself, and the sense you got of him?

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  • 287. At 9:24pm on 29 Aug 2009, Electric Hermit wrote:

    286. At 8:47pm on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    "But what about the words of Megrahi himself, and the sense you got of him?"

    To whatever extent one can gain an impression from such an interview, al-Megrahi comes across as sincere and reasonable. One might have expected him to be railing against the injustice done to him, but no. Of course, he is clearly close to death. I suppose that awareness must change a person.

    Having read the interview I am even more convinced that Kenny MacAskill did the right thing.

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  • 288. At 9:39pm on 29 Aug 2009, sir_mord wrote:

    #157 Zemikean

    For those thinking that the "hysterical media" has changed the public mood, or that the poll's are unrepresentative, a poll taken before Mr Megrahi was released shows 49 per cent of Scots thought Megrahi should remain behind bars in Scotland, 40 per cent felt he should be transferred to Libyan custody, and 11 per cent that he should be freed on compassionate grounds.

    Daily Express poll 17th August"

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  • 289. At 10:01pm on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #288 Which is an interesting result when you think of it. It shows a consistent MINORITY thinking that he should be kept in Scotland if you compare that with the recent MORI poll.

    That's not the conclusion that BBC or most of the opposition may want drawn, but I think it is an accurate one. :)

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  • 290. At 10:06pm on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #287. Electric Hermit wrote:

    286. At 8:47pm on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    "But what about the words of Megrahi himself, and the sense you got of him?"

    To whatever extent one can gain an impression from such an interview, al-Megrahi comes across as sincere and reasonable. One might have expected him to be railing against the injustice done to him, but no. Of course, he is clearly close to death. I suppose that awareness must change a person.

    Having read the interview I am even more convinced that Kenny MacAskill did the right thing.

    -----------------------

    Occasionally, we agree.

    To the slight extent one can go on appearances and the description of his condition from a journalist, some politicians may be embarrassed (if they're capable of that) by his death and their statements that the doctors were wrong. I fear (because I honestly pity the man--I don't think he was guilty) that he won't live long.

    There is no part of the whole story that many can take pride in except for the compassionate release.

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  • 291. At 10:14pm on 29 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #288 And that, sir_mord means that most of the others now agree with his being released. So I agree that the media hasn't changed minds but I suspect not in the way you would have preferred. Some 40% are instead thinking for themselves and deciding that what Mr. MacAskill did was the right choice--even if deciding so reluctantly.

    But you might prefer not to look at the MORI poll. :)

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  • 292. At 10:22pm on 29 Aug 2009, JohnConstable wrote:

    I am an Englishman and generally do not post on this blog as I am not generally comfortable in commenting on another countries affairs.

    However, this is still, just about, a so-called 'United Kingdom' so I suppose I can put in my five-eggs-worth on this matter.

    I found it deeply disingenuous of Gordon Brown to state that this was purely a matter for the Scottish Government.

    That was not the case, Brown as UK PM always had overall control.

    I am completely fedup with professional Scottish politicians plying their trade at Westminster when they actually have their own country to adminster but for us English to find ourselves as piggy-in-the-middle between warring Scottish politicians in Edinburgh and London is simply too much.

    If only the Scottish Independence referendum could be bought forward, both the English and Scottish peoples need to escape from this political morass.

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  • 293. At 10:49pm on 29 Aug 2009, Electric Hermit wrote:

    292. At 10:22pm on 29 Aug 2009, JohnConstable wrote:

    "That was not the case, Brown as UK PM always had overall control."

    No he didn't. But it doesn't seem to matter how often the constitutional and jurisdictional realities are explained, some people just can't seem to get their heads around it.

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  • 294. At 10:56pm on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    285. Online_Ed

    "My view is that the media have created a climate that caters for the 'politically ignorant' as I label them, ..."

    I completely agree.
    This group constitutes one of the major arenas where the game (in the worst sense) of politics is played, and mastering the art of disinformation with the aid of a compliant media is the key skillset.

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  • 295. At 10:58pm on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    287. Electric Hermit

    "
    Having read the interview I am even more convinced that Kenny MacAskill did the right thing.
    "
    I wonder if it sways any who were against the release?

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  • 296. At 11:11pm on 29 Aug 2009, U11655018 wrote:

    JohnConstable at #292.

    "That was not the case, Brown as UK PM always had overall control."

    Really? Wouldn't that entail him abolishing the Scotland act and the Act of Union. Or perhaps did you not realise that Scotland's Law, Education and Church have remained independent since 1707.

    "I am completely fedup with professional Scottish politicians plying their trade at Westminster"

    How churlish, we don't complain about the disproportionate number of English politicians plying their trade at Holyrood. SNP have six, Labour five, Tories one and Lib Dems..well no one cares really.

    The most important poll in Scotland right now is the Annandale Observer annandaleobserver.co.uk which has support for Macaskill's decision running at 73%. It's important because it is Lockerbie's local paper.

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  • 297. At 11:23pm on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    292. JohnConstable


    I am an Englishman and generally do not post on this blog as I am not generally comfortable in commenting on another countries affairs.

    I can only speak for myself, but I have no problem with comments from anywhere in the world appearing here. Anyone from the UK also has extra relevance given the amount of independence/or-not discussion that takes place.

    However, this is still, just about, a so-called 'United Kingdom' so I suppose I can put in my five-eggs-worth on this matter.

    I found it deeply disingenuous of Gordon Brown to state that this was purely a matter for the Scottish Government.

    That was not the case, Brown as UK PM always had overall control.

    As far as I know, the decision to release al Megrahi on compassionate grounds rest only with the Cabinet Secretary for Justice in the Scottish Government. So, in that regard I don't think Brown had any control over it.

    I am completely fedup with professional Scottish politicians plying their trade at Westminster when they actually have their own country to adminster but for us English to find ourselves as piggy-in-the-middle between warring Scottish politicians in Edinburgh and London is simply too much.

    The makeup of the current UK Labour party is historical, stemming from the persistence of the labour in Scotland while being slaughtered in England during successive Tory governments. Once Labour got back in, the top of the tree had a very high concentration of Scots. But I'm sure you know all that. As far as they are concerned any place in the UK is part of their country to administer. Any instances where legislation solely affecting the English is being decided by MP's representing Scottish constituencies is wrong, and should be rectified in my opinion.

    If only the Scottish Independence referendum could be bought forward, both the English and Scottish peoples need to escape from this political morass.

    Fingers crossed here too!

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  • 298. At 11:28pm on 29 Aug 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    292. JohnConstable

    "I am an Englishman and generally do not post on this blog as I am not generally comfortable in commenting on another countries affairs."

    Welcome.

    "However, this is still, just about, a so-called 'United Kingdom' so I suppose I can put in my five-eggs-worth on this matter."

    Boiled or Scrambled? (sorry couldn't resist)

    "I found it deeply disingenuous of Gordon Brown to state that this was purely a matter for the Scottish Government"

    He is judicially correct.

    "That was not the case, Brown as UK PM always had overall control."

    Not over our legal system

    "I am completely fedup with professional Scottish politicians plying their trade at Westminster when they actually have their own country to adminster but for us English to find ourselves as piggy-in-the-middle between warring Scottish politicians in Edinburgh and London is simply too much."

    Called a pigs breakfast!

    "If only the Scottish Independence referendum could be bought forward, both the English and Scottish peoples need to escape from this political morass."

    Please ask your/unionist politicians not to keep blocking it into the long grass.

    Just fried bread and we've got a full English breakfast, how's that.

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  • 299. At 11:35pm on 29 Aug 2009, Electric Hermit wrote:

    295. At 10:58pm on 29 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    "I wonder if it sways any who were against the release?"

    I think it might be a factor. I get a sense that a lot of people are having second thoughts. If they had a thought in first place.

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  • 300. At 11:40pm on 29 Aug 2009, Tom wrote:

    JohnConstable:

    #292.

    "I found it deeply disingenuous of Gordon Brown to state that this was purely a matter for the Scottish Government.

    That was not the case, Brown as UK PM always had overall control."

    It was a decision for Scottish Justice Minister, regardless of who was in power at Westminster and Holyrood. I find your comment misleading, I can see your not a Brown supporter but on this occasion the usual party politics is not welcome on such a sensitive subject.

    "I am completely fedup with professional Scottish politicians plying their trade at Westminster when they actually have their own country to adminster but for us English to find ourselves as piggy-in-the-middle between warring Scottish politicians in Edinburgh and London is simply too much."

    First of all Westminister is the British Parliament. The Parliament that administers all of the United Kingdom, including Scotland. Scottish politicians has as much right to be there as the English, to you suggest otherwise is quite offensive. I also suggest that you stop blaming Scottish politicians, how many MP's are English? Let's not pretend that England has no power at Westminster!

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  • 301. At 11:49pm on 29 Aug 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Lockerbie bomber 'set free for oil'

    "In a letter dated July 26, 2007, Straw said he favoured an option to leave out Megrahi by stipulating that any prisoners convicted before a specified date would not be considered for transfer.

    Downing Street had also said Megrahi would not be included under the agreement.

    Straw then switched his position as Libya used its deal with BP as a bargaining chip to insist the Lockerbie bomber was included."


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  • 302. At 11:54pm on 29 Aug 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    Like I said earlier - Mandy's machiavellian hand is in this.
    Lord Mandelson accused of secretly lobbying for Libya during Lockerbie bomber talks
    RELEASE OF SECRET DOCUMENTS AND INQUIRY NOW! [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 303. At 11:54pm on 29 Aug 2009, Tom wrote:

    If you are wondering where John Constable is coming from, I found this comment from John Constable in a different thread.

    "It is worth pointing out that al-Megrahi can only leave 'the country', meaning the so-called United Kingdom, with the specific agreement of the Prime Minister, who exercises that authority via the UK Border Agency."

    Apparently Jonh Constable believes Gordon Brown allowed Al-Megrahi to leave the country and that it had nothing to do with being released on compassionate grounds under Scots Law.

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  • 304. At 11:57pm on 29 Aug 2009, sir_mord wrote:

    #296 EwanfromDumfries

    "The most important poll in Scotland right now is the Annandale Observer annandaleobserver.co.uk which has support for Macaskill's decision running at 73%. It's important because it is Lockerbie's local paper."

    I can't find any reference to this poll on their website. The only reference I can find is here on this thread, where it states they are online polls, so not local polls and not representative, as they are self selecting.

    The Annandale observer does report that the Retired Chief Superintendent for Dumfries and Galloway and local politicians are very much against the decision, so local feeling hardly seems to be sympathetic.

    Anyway why are you guys so hysterical about "media bias" and so desperate to question these polls and prove them wrong? Surely in your view Mr MacAskill took a principled decision, not one to win votes.

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  • 305. At 00:30am on 30 Aug 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    Read all about it!

    "The Dogie dossier" by Eddie Barnes of Scotland's quality newspaper. Gooness me! The man can't even spell 'doggie'.

    Also:

    The Scottish government has received a letter from Nelson Mandela's organization saying that Mandela agrees with Kenny MacAskill's decision.

    Whilst: the Tories say "...he is in a minority of one."

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  • 306. At 00:31am on 30 Aug 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Brian:

    It may not last. It may fade. But, right now, people in Scotland seem decidedly hostile to the decision to release Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

    I think that the people of Scotland; will get over the hostility over the released decision of Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi....When the next news story comes in....

    =Dennis Junior=

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  • 307. At 00:33am on 30 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #292 JohnConstable

    Welcome. The more the merrier.

    I often agree with you, but in this case I think you misunderstand the terms. Brown is certainly a Scot by birth and upbringing. However, in political terms he is primarily British. The British are a nation in these islands (and as entitled to their view as those of us who are politically Scots or English).

    The Brits are the problem for those of us who want independence for Scotland, England or any other part of the UK.

    I have to disagree with some of my friends here. You are right in saying that "Brown as UK PM always had overall control". One of the problems with devolution is that the Brits reserved the right to legislate on any devolved issue. Had Brown wanted to determine the fate of al-Megrahi, they had the power to remove the amendment to the 1993 Act which was made under the Scotland Act in 1997. That would have made the decision one for Jim Murphy.

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  • 308. At 00:39am on 30 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    From UK Polling Report

    " there is yet another Scottish poll, this time from Yougov in the Mail on Sunday’s Scottish edition. The poll was conducted between the 26th and 28th August, so hot on the heels of the last YouGov Scotland poll, which was done between the 24th and 26th. The voting intention figures, each with changes from the previous poll 2 days before, are as follows:

    Westminster: CON 20%(+1), LAB 30%(-3), LDEM 18%(+2), SNP 26%(+1)
    Holyrood Constituency: CON 16%(nc), LAB 27%(-4), LDEM 16%(nc), SNP 34%(+1)
    Holyrood Regional: CON 16%(-1), LAB 26%(-2), LDEM 16%(+1), SNP 30%(+3)

    It’s a very short time span since the previous poll, but then, it’s also a fast moving story. It’s perfectly possible that all these differences are just variations within the margin of error. Alternatively, it could be a bit of a shift back towards the SNP as debate over the al-Megrahi release continues"

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  • 309. At 00:42am on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #304. Anyway why are you guys so hysterical about "media bias" and so desperate to question these polls and prove them wrong? Surely in your view Mr MacAskill took a principled decision, not one to win votes.

    -------------------

    So from your view when one sees media bias and mentions it that is automatically "hysteria", one takes it. Or is that only when it's bias that is convenient to your opinions?

    One should automatically question polls. In the case of the BBC poll, the questions were written in a patently biased way in order to solicit desired responses. What's more it varies substantially from the later MORI poll which shows less than half of Scots with a negative view of the compassionate release--a poll which some people are desperate to ignore.

    I, personally, agree with your contention that Mr. MacAskill took a principled decision, one he knew might in fact lose him votes. How nice of you to bring that up! =)

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  • 310. At 00:48am on 30 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    304. sir_mord

    Anyway why are you guys so hysterical about "media bias" and so desperate to question these polls and prove them wrong? Surely in your view Mr MacAskill took a principled decision, not one to win votes.

    Can't speak for anyone else (and ignoring the hyperbolic 'hysterical'), but I do think that Macaskill toook a principled decision. If the oppoition politicians were not so desperate to score political points off the back of anything they think they can (not should), all it would have remained.
    They didn't, instead they sought to make political capital out of it without any real cause; not liking the decision being insufficient. Also, for reasons I will not speculate on the media decided that they would focus almost exclusively on the negative views and aspects of the whole affair.
    So we end up with the MacAskill following due process under the law of this country and coming to a decision as he is duty bound to do, resulting in a sustained attack by the other major parties edited and amplified by mostt of the mainstream media who at the same time offer no criticism of the opposition.
    I think this is why feeling is running very strongly against the media (particularly the 'impartial' state broadcaster) by many commenters.

    To me, it seems fairly easy to see how one could get to that point of view.

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  • 311. At 00:55am on 30 Aug 2009, Colkitto wrote:

    I see Nelson Mandela supports MacAskill. I wonder if this will make the news both in London and Scotland ?

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  • 312. At 01:36am on 30 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Sunday Times article

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6814974.ece

    "Secret letters reveal Labour’s Libyan deal"

    Have I missed something? I thought all this was public knowledge that the PTA was designed to be a "Megrahi for oil" deal, and that the Scopttish Government bitterly opposewd iot.

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  • 313. At 01:38am on 30 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #311 mysteriousRiverclyde

    I wonder why we never hear from the Tories that al-Megrahi would have spent 5 years longer in jail, if Major hadn't rejected Mandela's offer that the trial be held in South Africa.

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  • 314. At 02:04am on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #312. Doesn't that article kind of leave out mention of opposition from the Scottish Government? Or am *I* missing something. It seems to imply, in fact, that MacAskill agreed to it which I believe is disingenuous to put it mildly.

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  • 315. At 02:10am on 30 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Scotland on Sunday

    http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/latestnews/MacAskill-defied-rules-on-release.5601215.jp

    "MacAskill defied rules on release"

    Except the article doesn't say that at all! It simply quotes part of the guidance for "the authorities" as to the factors to consider. They did consider that no doubt, and recommended MacAskill to allow compassionate release.

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  • 316. At 02:23am on 30 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #314 JRMacClure

    Yes, it's a strange leap from saying that the Brits were desperate to get al-Megrahi home in a shoddy deal that the Scottish Government opposed at the time, and MacAskill rejected when the Libyans asked for it, to assuming that MacAskill was concurring with the UK.

    I don't think that anyone can seriously doubt that, if al-Megrahi didn't have terminal cancer, he would still be in Greenock prison.

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  • 317. At 03:00am on 30 Aug 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    It maybe no skoosh. it maybe no hawk on awalkabout, it just might have been the right decision and who cares what the jury numbers may have been, then again you can just about see why many were stepping up the to take a shot at MacAskill.

    That was certainly a state farewell to Kennedy (ED) and JFK 's daughter looks every bit the politicians her dad was.

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  • 318. At 03:17am on 30 Aug 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Well! never give a sucker an even break' and I never voted for anybody, I always voted against. Yes! folks the master one liner W.C. Fields.

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  • 319. At 03:34am on 30 Aug 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    The louisiana purchase' Vente de la Louisiane,apparently Jefferson was better known for his human rights? Ehrrr! that french deal was very affective.

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  • 320. At 04:26am on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    I thought this might be of some interest:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/30/opinion/30qaddafi.html

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  • 321. At 05:45am on 30 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #320 JRMacClure

    Interesting indeed. Especially since the quality US press sem more willing to publish articles contrary to the "received" understanding than the Scottish press.

    In return you may be interested in this article from an independent Scots journalist

    http://www.scottishreview.net/KRoy132.html?utm_source=Sign-Up.to&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=159287-What+must+be+done+in+the+interests+of+justice

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  • 322. At 06:37am on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #321. That's quite an article.

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  • 323. At 09:28am on 30 Aug 2009, Donald_McNairn wrote:

    Brian, do you and the BBC have no shame as to the depths you and the BBC will go to damage the SNP?

    Brian, Scotland is suppose to be a democracy, it can not be one when you and your cronies carry on like this!

    If ever a country needed to have control its own media, and not let another country control the media, it is now!

    D McN

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  • 324. At 09:40am on 30 Aug 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    321 - Thanks for the link to the article.

    It won't have ascaped the notice of many that most of the informative and educational content on Lockerbie is making it's way into the public domain from outwith Scotland's borders or from non the traditional news vendors.

    The revelations about Straw come courtesy of The Times of England where the Prisoner Transfer Agreement has not been hidden behind attacks on the SNP.

    Like Trump all over, we are now seeing attacks on people outwith the political sphere but who were instrumental in the process. Some newspapers have decided to attack the medical evidence and the credibility of the doctor who put his name to the three month estimate.

    The Herald is giving the impression of backing away from this almost out of control attack on our Justice Minister and by extension anyone who took part in the process.

    It occurred to me that Labour and the rest of the Unionist parties seem to have given up any pretence at winning the intellectual debate and are now simply pleading to 'the mob' in an effort at making short term gains.

    Sooner or later though 'the mob', having been drawn towards the noise become bored with the flashing lights and smoke and start to find things out.

    My own experiences with the two people who were passionately against the release and who pretty much changed their opinion when two factors were explained was very telling.

    Here are the two points I made:

    1. What if Megrahi had died a martyr in Greenock and been shipped home to Libya in a coffin - scenes watched all over the Middle East and saltires burning. The appeal continues and he is postumously declared innocent. Scotland may well have found itself a target for any fanatical terrorist intent on making a statement.

    2. The saltires seen in his return were being held by Libyans as a sign of gratitude for mercy shown to a dying man - a man that the Libyans themselves believe to be innocent, they were not celebrating terrorism.

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  • 325. At 10:28am on 30 Aug 2009, gordon mccaskill wrote:

    It seems to me that the BBC poll tells us nothing that we did not already know. Opinion in Scotland is split down the middle. With minor variations based on sampling, every poll seems to suggest that self-same split. I might add, that in it is echoed in the makeup of the Scottish Parliament with the SNP on 47 and Labour on 46. I might suggest that this will not make comfortable reading for the SNP, as they appear to have made no progress since May 2007 and may even, again with minor variations, have hit their highwater mark. It may also suggest that the al-Megrahi release has a short and limited lifespan with no impact on longer political trends.

    The real question and the one which gives most concern is Scots view of their place in the world. Clearly, taking potshots at our closet ally, the USA, is not helpful and I would suggest that banging on about USS Vincennes or other apparent faults in US Foreign Policy will have some kind of impact on our place in world. Many of us have American relatives, we tend not to have Libyan ones. Might I also suggest that the CIA is unlikely to be as ruthlessly efficient as people might think, very large organisations are seldom that good. Might I also suggest that people change their view from blaming Iran to looking rather more closely at the US bombing of Libya in 1986 and, in particular, Malta's relationship with Libya from the early 1970s. Might I also suggest that rather more attention be paid to al-Megrahi's position as a very senior Libyan intelligence officer and how he got his job in the first place.

    That should give conspiracy theorists something to think about.

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  • 326. At 10:28am on 30 Aug 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    I note from a quick glance at google news that despite Labour and their media pals calling off the dogs on the Megrahi story when the searchlight swung slowly on to Brown and New Labour that the story is just not going away.

    The feeding frenzy that was allowed when MacAskill was in the frame was ugly and pitiless but when Brown came into the picture it quietly disappeared . Annoyingly for Labour though there seems to be plenty more dirty laundry in the basket and no matter how hard they sit on the lid it seems to dangle out bit by bit.

    I think we should bring up the BBCs handling of this story (from the initial sensational insider "leak" that was never verified but launched the media storm, to the strange ICM poll with it's leading questions) at regular intervals on future threads just to keep them on their toes.

    Like Brian's failed Divide by Zero "trap" with Alex Salmond , with a little help, this one could run and run.

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  • 327. At 10:29am on 30 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    We knew that 'evidence' would leak out after the release of al-megrahi. Personally, I never thought that it would be the 'flood' that it has become. If, the information that is being 'leaked' is anywhere near the truth, then it is obvious to anyone, with a couple of brain cells that are still functioning, that al-Megrahi was an innocent man. It then begs the question of: 'What was the Scottish legal system doing allowing an innocent man to be found guilty of the most heinous crime ever perpertrated on Scottish soil?' Especially when the case was heard without the 'natural justice' of a jury. Maybe those posters and others who keep going on about 'conspiracy theorists' will now retract their statements. I won't hold my breath on that one.

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  • 328. At 10:38am on 30 Aug 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    325. MagisterIlluminatus

    I see you are crawling back now. What's wrong? Has your business slowed to the point that your minions can find nothing to amuse you and in sheer ennui you turn to illuminating the plebs?
    For goodness sake don't mention the Vincennes! The Americans might not like it...
    Pitiful.

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  • 329. At 10:50am on 30 Aug 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    === OFF TOPIC ===

    Well done Mods

    Credit where it's due, fast moderation this morning - thanks folks

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  • 330. At 10:59am on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "The British government decided it was 'in the overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom' to make Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, eligible for return to Libya, leaked ministerial letters reveal."

    Okay last time I looked the "British government" was run by "Labour", led by "Gordon Brown" in London, who is also the boss of "Iain Gray", who leads "Labour" in Edinburgh.

    This same "Iain Gray" is furious at "Kenny MacAskill" of the "SNP" for returning "al-Megrahi" to Libya.

    Yet according to the facts stated at the beginning of this post it was "Labour" who made it possible for "al-Megrahi" to be returned to Libya - the very thing "Gray" is condemning "MacAskill" for!

    Scottish voters: please take careful note of the above.

    Vote accordingly at next election.

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  • 331. At 11:05am on 30 Aug 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    I for one would be very, very happy for this story to run. As I have already said, any short term gain by those unionists who sought to politicise this will disappear as the crowd become bored with noise and start demanding and getting facts and real analysis.

    The nature of the new evidence has already started to leak into the public domain along with the very interesting views of Lord Fraser on the mental abiities of the main prosecution witness in the case, Tony Gauci.

    Brown was being targetted at the beginning of this week, just as the Unionist parties were starting to back away from yet another no confidence vote threat.

    In light of the revelations made about Jack Straw, the BBC in Scotland are now trying to deflect attention away from London by conflating them with the release decision by reporting "Salmond denies trade deal with Libyans led to release".

    Classic technique - headline a denial of the deed from the innocent party and ignore the party who were proven to be guilty!!

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  • 332. At 11:09am on 30 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    325. MagisterIlluminatus

    It seems to me that the BBC poll tells us nothing that we did not already know. Opinion in Scotland is split down the middle. With minor variations based on sampling, every poll seems to suggest that self-same split. I might add, that in it is echoed in the makeup of the Scottish Parliament with the SNP on 47 and Labour on 46. I might suggest that this will not make comfortable reading for the SNP, as they appear to have made no progress since May 2007 and may even, again with minor variations, have hit their highwater mark. It may also suggest that the al-Megrahi release has a short and limited lifespan with no impact on longer political trends.

    I think you're probably broadly right about opinion split mirroring polling, although I suspect int the short term media coverage might have had a smalll influence towards disagreement, but I think longer term that will be balanced by small shifts towards agreement as the dust settles.
    I'm not convinced that it won't have future impact, I think it may do.

    The real question and the one which gives most concern is Scots view of their place in the world. Clearly, taking potshots at our closet ally, the USA, is not helpful and I would suggest that banging on about USS Vincennes or other apparent faults in US Foreign Policy will have some kind of impact on our place in world. Many of us have American relatives, we tend not to have Libyan ones.

    I think that the potshots you're talking about exist only on online forums and such, and as a consequence will have a anishingly small impact on relations with the US. Also worth noting that they are defensive responses against public criticism from senior US figures, which the Scottish Government has handled in a diginified and appropriate manner.

    Might I also suggest that the CIA is unlikely to be as ruthlessly efficient as people might think, very large organisations are seldom that good. Might I also suggest that people change their view from blaming Iran to looking rather more closely at the US bombing of Libya in 1986 and, in particular, Malta's relationship with Libya from the early 1970s. Might I also suggest that rather more attention be paid to al-Megrahi's position as a very senior Libyan intelligence officer and how he got his job in the first place.

    Large organisations only have to be good enough! If the inefficent CIA was behind some kind of stitch up, it worked. The only way we'd ever know for sure sure (along with the rest of what you mention) is via full disclosure in a public enquiry. Interesting point about al Megrahi's postion in the intelligence service, I had been underthe impression that wasn't a senior officer - I should go and poke around.

    That should give conspiracy theorists something to think about.

    I think that you'll find that all the 'conspiracy theorists' would support a full and open enquiry, that would give us the facts.
    I don't think it'll ever happen, so maybe we're just stuck with labelling each other :)

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  • 333. At 11:15am on 30 Aug 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Comment 330 bighullaballoo:

    Yes, this is one very obvious area of weakness for Gray and one that has become noticable through the absence of the Scottish media to highlight it.

    The trade deal revelations have highlighted the logic prevalent within the BBC in Scotland. Here we have yet another evidenced example of questionable practices by Labour and yet Iain Gray is no-where to be seen.

    Amazingly we have the BBC apparently asking Alex Salmond if the Scottish Government were behind the trade deals. We already know the answer for goodness sake, London Labour have acknowledged guilt - letters prove it.

    Have BBC Scotland even given Iain Gray the opportunity to decline to comment?

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  • 334. At 11:16am on 30 Aug 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    302. At 11:54pm on 29 Aug 2009, X_Sticks wrote:
    Like I said earlier - Mandy's machiavellian hand is in this.
    Lord Mandelson accused of secretly lobbying for Libya during Lockerbie bomber talks
    RELEASE OF SECRET DOCUMENTS AND INQUIRY NOW!

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  • 335. At 11:27am on 30 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 334 X_Sticks

    'RELEASE OF SECRET DOCUMENTS AND INQUIRY NOW'

    And pigs might fly

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  • 336. At 11:29am on 30 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 333 Online_Ed

    'Have BBC Scotland even given Iain Gray the opportunity to decline to comment?'

    And to add to that: 'What has happened to the Secretary of State for Scotland?' Where has his voice gone to?

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  • 337. At 11:50am on 30 Aug 2009, A_Scottish_Voice wrote:

    "Evidence is mounting of British government involvement in the decision to release Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi."

    Having read some of the proper news outlets on the latest developments, it looks like this could be Browns Watergate.

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  • 338. At 11:52am on 30 Aug 2009, MalcolmW2 wrote:

    # Thomas_Porter @300:
    "First of all Westminister is the British Parliament. The Parliament that administers all of the United Kingdom, including Scotland. Scottish politicians has as much right to be there as the English, to you suggest otherwise is quite offensive. I also suggest that you stop blaming Scottish politicians, how many MP's are English? Let's not pretend that England has no power at Westminster"

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- -- - -
    Thomas,

    This is not the first time you have written something along these lines. I think John Constable's point was that there is no English parliament, so the British parliament, including its Scottish members, legislates on English domestic affairs as well as "British" ones. He thinks that is unfair and I have much sympathy with him. Imagine if you can, that devolution had created a seperate English parliament, along the lines of Holyrood, but not a Scottish one whose affairs would still be administered by Westminster including all the English MPs. There would have been, quite rightly, howls of outrage on here from many, including you.

    Your reference to the numerical supremacy of English MPs at Westminster over the other home nations always ignores the fact that they do not vote as a block. Political party differences on many purely English domestic issues, such as foundation hospitals and tuition fees, has meant that Labour MPs sitting for Scottish seats have tipped the balance for the government; that cannot be right in such matters. Rather than be offended by John Constable's protests, when I am sure no offence was intended, try seeing things from his point of view. Whether or not the Uk breaks up into its constituent parts, the current arrangements cannot be allowed to continue.

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  • 339. At 12:01pm on 30 Aug 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    Quick switch from Jack Straw headline to Alex Salmond ,BBBC.

    Shocking that Jack Straw can weasel word away but we get weasel words from the BBBC, such as "SNP defends" ,"Alex Salmond denies" etc. etc.

    How very cowardly and depressing this has all become.

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  • 340. At 12:09pm on 30 Aug 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    335. gedguy2 wrote:
    # 334 X_Sticks

    'RELEASE OF SECRET DOCUMENTS AND INQUIRY NOW'

    And pigs might fly
    ---------------------------------------------

    Indeed gedguy, but there is some hope on this front, as some of the victims families in the US are trying to get the US documents released under FOI.

    The problem is that many of us suspect that these documents will be incriminating to both the US and UK governments. They would probably exonerate al-Megrahi and call into question much of the "evidence" produced in the trail.

    It's a pity that real investigative journalists are very thin on the ground these days. Most just seem to be mouthpieces for one propaganda machine or another. Unfortunately this would now seem to include the BBC.

    The fact that David Milliband slapped a PII on the documents held by Westmonster speaks volumes to me. There is a pile of dirty laundry they don't want washed in public. All the more reason to press for it's release. They should not be allowed to get away with this, especially as they have tried to use the whole affair to tarnish Kenny MacAskill and the SNP. And NO I am NOT an SNP member or supporter, but am a supporter of Scottish independence - the sooner this country is free of the yoke of Westminster the better.

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  • 341. At 12:11pm on 30 Aug 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    Worth noting

    Elaine C Smith gagged by Sunday Mail

    Those of you who read the Sunday Mail, will notice that Elaine’s column is no longer. It would seem that her pro-independence opinions are no longer welcome to group editor Bruce Waddell (or more likely to the London Labour hierarchy who call the shots). The last column she submitted, supporting Justice Secretary Kenny McAskill was pulled at the last minute.
    I hope as many of you as possible will phone, write, email the paper, to ask why her column has disappeared.

    Actress Elaine C Smith is convener of the Scottish Independence Convention

    Scottish Independence Convention
    24 Paton Street
    Alloa
    FK10 2DY
    [Personal details removed by Moderator]



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  • 342. At 12:19pm on 30 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 338 MalcolmW2

    'I think John Constable's point was that there is no English parliament'

    He has a point but it is only a small point. If he wants an English parliament then he should lobby for (which is what I believe he is trying to do by his posting on # 292) one. Personally, I would be more than happy with a English parliament as we might see the end of some of the English posters complaining of Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs having a say in purely English matters. However, the majority of those posters only seem to mention Scottish MPs and seem to neglect mentioning Wales and NI.
    The reason I mention a 'small point' earlier is the fact that the English MPs have always been able to outvote the rest of the UK by a majority of nearly 4:1, which seems to point to the English already having their own 'English' parliament. It is a misnomer to say that this doesn't count as they (the English) vote along 'party' lines and yet this explanation/excuse is not used for the Welsh, Scots and NI who also tend to vote along UK party lines. I accept that there is a difference in NI.

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  • 343. At 12:26pm on 30 Aug 2009, gt-cri wrote:

    #338. At 11:52am on 30 Aug 2009, MalcolmW2 wrote:

    "Imagine if you can, that devolution had created a seperate English parliament, along the lines of Holyrood, but not a Scottish one whose affairs would still be administered by Westminster including all the English MPs. There would have been, quite rightly, howls of outrage on here from many, including you."

    A rush of support for the SNP would have scared any UK Govt into a similar arrangement for Scotland...next?

    "Whether or not the Uk breaks up into its constituent parts, the current arrangements cannot be allowed to continue."

    What exactly do you want Thomas, or any Scot to do about that? Try campaigning for English, or English regional devolved assemblies and you'll find there is little appetite, beyond the BNP / UKIP supporters.

    I would respectfully and politefully suggest, as we are posting on a board concerning Scottish Politics, that you broadcast your (English only) proclamations elsewhere?

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  • 344. At 12:50pm on 30 Aug 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    Brian, you know all the details of this case.

    How do you feel about the BBC trying to drop the sordid Labour "deal in the desert" straight into Salmond's lap with their headline of Sun 30 Aug: "Salmond denies Megrahi trade deal"?

    Salmond is now forced to defend the SNP against allegations by the BBC of involvement in shady Labour business deals. What an absolute travesty of the truth and brazen act of manipulation. Do the BBC think no-one with a functioning brain is watching?

    It may be following a UK agenda of deflecting the storm away from Labour and towards the SNP but even by the BBC's now vanishingly low standards, it's an absolute disgrace.

    P.S re the questions in your ICM poll, as the senior political editor for BBC Scotland, I take it you had some input?

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  • 345. At 12:58pm on 30 Aug 2009, Tom wrote:

    MalcolmW2:

    #338.

    I understood perfectly John's position. I disagreed with how John expressed his opinion as it clearly was wrong, I pointed out the reasons.

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  • 346. At 1:12pm on 30 Aug 2009, MalcolmW2 wrote:

    #343 gt-cri:

    "I would respectfully and politefully suggest, as we are posting on a board concerning Scottish Politics, that you broadcast your (English only) proclamations elsewhere?"

    - - - - - - - - - -

    And as a Scot and BBC licence payer, may I respectfully and politely suggest that I am within my rights to respond to a post on here which I think deserves such?

    I don't expect or ask Thomas, or any other Scot to do anything about the present constitional imbalance except try and understand why not everybody is satisfied with it, and that some have legitimate complaints which they are entitled to express. You cannot seperate Scottish politics from the consitutional settlement within the UK. To think that you can suggests a dangerously insular view of politics in general, and Scottish politics in particular. Next . . ?

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  • 347. At 1:19pm on 30 Aug 2009, gordon mccaskill wrote:

    328. Sgt Furry

    'crawling back' how very small-minded of you. Although I concede I was a bit bored, ennui is far too strong a description. I may point out that the USS Vincennes connection has been done to death in some detail. It is however based on two erroneous assumptions. First that the close proximity in time to the shooting down of the Iranian airbus and the symetrical circumstances with Pan-Am 103 make a connection and, second, that Iranians think the same way we do, They don't.

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  • 348. At 1:28pm on 30 Aug 2009, Electric Hermit wrote:

    347. At 1:19pm on 30 Aug 2009, MagisterIlluminatus wrote:

    "...that Iranians think the same way we do, They don't."

    They're Iranians, not aliens. They would not be human if the did not think in terms of retribution for such an appalling act of mass murder.

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  • 349. At 2:34pm on 30 Aug 2009, gordon mccaskill wrote:

    348. Electric Hermit

    I thought that our thought processes were governed by compassion and rehabilitation. Yet, it would appear their thought processes are governed by retribution. I think you've just amply demonstrated that they don't think the way we do.

    Sorry, it was such a little trap. It was inevitable someone would fall in.

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  • 350. At 2:52pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Just an observation. A substantial part of the Scottish electorate is accustomed to voting against the BBC and general news media prejudice anyway. I have to wonder how much all this is going to affect voter attitudes there. After all, in my observation as an outsider, they've never done anything but attack the SNP anyway.

    Of course, that may or may not be why the SNP has been a minority government. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out in the elections.

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  • 351. At 3:01pm on 30 Aug 2009, gt-cri wrote:

    #346: MalcolmW2:

    "I am within my rights to respond to a post..."

    You weren't! You were hypothesising.

    "Political party differences on many purely English domestic issues, such as foundation hospitals and tuition fees...".

    You said it yourself; "purely English domestic issues". As a Scot who seems to be unable to differentiate the domestic English, Welsh & NI issues from domestic Scottish issues, you would have the more dangerous view, methinks.

    "You cannot seperate Scottish politics from the consitutional settlement within the UK. To think that you can suggests a dangerously insular view of politics in general, and Scottish politics in particular. Next . . ?"

    Domestically; one must separate them, if one is to compare, assess and understand them. I would, obviously, agree that some issues affect constitutional matters.

    English devolution is not one of those.

    PS- Your nationality is irrelevant. As is whether or not you are a TV license-payer. Neither exclude you from contributing to these discussions. I attempted to draw your attention to the incompatibility of your issue; "the current arrangements cannot be allowed to continue".

    By whom?

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  • 352. At 3:13pm on 30 Aug 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    347. At 1:19pm on 30 Aug 2009, MagisterIlluminatus wrote:

    "...that Iranians think the same way we do, They don't."

    After having the merit of his assertion questioned he wrote:

    I thought that our thought processes were governed by compassion and rehabilitation. Yet, it would appear their thought processes are governed by retribution. I think you've just amply demonstrated that they don't think the way we do.

    Sorry, it was such a little trap. It was inevitable someone would fall in.


    It wasn't a trap, this poster was caught out making a comment that sought to suggest Iranian's has somewhat different values and thought processes to 'us', which of course they don't.

    There will be some who are deceitfull [like us], sincere [like us] and everything else in between [like us]. They probably [again like us] have their own equivalent of the BBC that dispenses state manipulated 'news'.

    They will even have apologists who ignore news manipulation and suggest such notions are merely the rantings of conspiracy theorists.

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  • 353. At 3:18pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #349.MagisterIlluminatus wrote:

    348. Electric Hermit

    I thought that our thought processes were governed by compassion and rehabilitation. Yet, it would appear their thought processes are governed by retribution. I think you've just amply demonstrated that they don't think the way we do.

    Sorry, it was such a little trap. It was inevitable someone would fall in.

    ---------------

    Yet, you, sir, have shown time and time again that your thought processes are the same as the Iranians and purely fixed on revenge and retribution. So, obviously, you and they have much in common.

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  • 354. At 3:25pm on 30 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 348 Electric Hermit

    'They're Iranians, not aliens.'

    Well said.

    # 349 MagisterIlluminatus

    'Yet, it would appear their thought processes are governed by retribution.'

    And, of course, the fact that the Scottish justice system may have jailed an innocent man isn't 'retribution'?

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  • 355. At 3:31pm on 30 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 340 X_Sticks

    'The fact that David Milliband slapped a PII on the documents held by Westmonster speaks volumes to me.'

    This is not a new policy of the UK government. I seem to remember something about the UK government slapping a PII on the Triumph Herald, in the 50s, because the locks on the doors were liable to fling open when turning corners. Obviously, the UK governemnt thought it better that people were injured or died rather than recall the cars for the fault to be sorted out.

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  • 356. At 3:34pm on 30 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    349. MagisterIlluminatus
    You appear to have 'trapped' yourself (if that's what you want to call it).

    I haven't seen anyone claiming that our 'though processes' (that pretty much catches everything we think, yes), were governed by X, nor that those of the Iranians were governed by Y. This is either a silly little premise you put up so you could manufacture a point around it, or worse yet you have a profound misunderstanding of human thought and cognition to assume that anyone's thought processes can be governed by an abstract moral concept (or small cluster thereof).

    Besides, the point is that the compassion we are talking about here is that which has been written in to our laws, and is deserving of some protection from inflammatory reactions that some instances of it may provoke. The reaction of a people to the mass murder of fellow citizens, will naturally be an urge to vengence, I would hope that there would be sufficient provision in the laws of the affected state to prevent lowering the state to the same level as the murderer, by themselves retaliating against innocent civilians.

    You see, it's about how a state uses these moral concepts to reflect in its laws the behaviours to which it, as the aggregation of its people, aspire.

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  • 357. At 3:49pm on 30 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #351 gt-cri

    I have to disagree with you. The more perspectives that we get the better.

    In any case, the English are our allies. The more that they see that the Brits are essentially a political class who are runnibg both our countries in their interest, and not in ours, the better.

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  • 358. At 3:58pm on 30 Aug 2009, gt-cri wrote:

    Oops, my #351 should have said "...some issues affect SCOTTISH constitutional matters."

    English devolution is not one of those.

    However, they may want to work out a better model than the one foisted on Scotland!

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  • 359. At 3:59pm on 30 Aug 2009, Electric Hermit wrote:

    349. At 2:34pm on 30 Aug 2009, MagisterIlluminatus wrote:

    "I thought...."

    If only!

    You seem to view Iranians as a different species, devoid of the base instincts that afflict humanity. Needless to say, you are wrong. Wrong in a way that would cause embarrassment to a less over-inflated ego.

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  • 360. At 3:59pm on 30 Aug 2009, gordon mccaskill wrote:

    353. JRMacClure

    Ms. MacClure, My thought processes are based on whether I win or don't win and what I have to do or not do in order to win. In that respect, I suppose I am quite like the Iranians, with one important difference. They are quite good at tactics, hopeless at grand strategy. As an American you should know that U.S. foreign policy is played like a game of poker. In Britain, we play it like a game of chess, which is why we've been so good at it- for centuries.

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  • 361. At 4:05pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #354. gedguy2 wrote:

    And, of course, the fact that the Scottish justice system may have jailed an innocent man isn't 'retribution'?

    ----------------------------

    Gedguy2, I don't think you can call such retribution. Since, by definition, retribution is the dispensing or receiving of compensation for damage incurred. So if he was innocent the jailing of Megrahi was surely something called an injustice, not a retribution. Sorry to be picky over it, but I make my living with words so I get like that. ;)

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  • 362. At 4:05pm on 30 Aug 2009, romeplebian wrote:

    so to recap on the above posts

    the evidence against megrahi is questionable( he may not be an innocent but he might not have been the bomber)
    Milliband has slapped a privacy order on the evidence
    Because the appeal was dropped they hope it will all go away
    A labour run Scottish Government was in charge at the time of the trial
    if in doubt blame the SNP

    so the other case where they slapped a D notice that was based in Scotland I wonder if there is the same doubts about this now ?

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  • 363. At 4:33pm on 30 Aug 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    360. MagisterIlluminatus

    "In Britain, we play it like a game of chess, which is why we've been so good at it- for centuries."

    Called 'British Pomposity'

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  • 364. At 4:50pm on 30 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 361 JRMacClure

    I have a natural dislike of arguing with women, mostly because I have a habit of losing. However, in my dictionary (readers digest which I believe is an American publication) states:
    1 Something given or demanded in repayment: especially punishment or vengence for a wrong or injury.
    2 Theology Punishment or reward distributed in a future life according to the performance in this one.

    However, the point was that the result, if not innocent, was indeed retribution, which it was and my adding the 'may be innocent' was my own personal view. In other words, you are right and I am wrong again. This is a habit I need to get out of.

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  • 365. At 4:51pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "Salmond denies Megrahi trade deal"

    Now the BBC treats us to the absurd spectacle of Alex Salmond "denying" an allegation that the British Government were involved in a shady oil deal with Libya.

    A truly scandalous attempt to link Salmond's name inthe public imagination to alleged shady dealings by the British Government.

    The most utterly ridiculous thing I have ever seen on this website.

    What's next? "Salmond Ate Gordon's Hamster?"

    Roll on the next election so we can get rid of this shower of charlatans masquarading as Scots.

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  • 366. At 4:52pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #360. MagisterIlluminatus wrote:

    353. JRMacClure

    Ms. MacClure, My thought processes are based on whether I win or don't win and what I have to do or not do in order to win. In that respect, I suppose I am quite like the Iranians, with one important difference. They are quite good at tactics, hopeless at grand strategy. As an American you should know that U.S. foreign policy is played like a game of poker. In Britain, we play it like a game of chess, which is why we've been so good at it- for centuries.

    -------------------

    Sir, for being good at it you've lost quite an empire, although one might not count that as a bad thing.

    Let's not get into a comparison of the comparative merits of US and British foreign policy. I have an advanced degree in history and a long list of British atrocities, both foreign and domestic, which you would then might try to match with a list of American ones. Since your history is longer, let's also assume that I can come up with a longer list--which annoys Electric Hermit. Then none of us like each other if we did in the first place. Shall we count it as done and skip the intermediary steps?

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  • 367. At 4:53pm on 30 Aug 2009, gt-cri wrote:

    #357, Oldnat

    Hello again, Oldnat! I've been ill since being active on here last time; it's good to be active again! Delighted to see you're still as sharp!

    I think we may be on the same page but reading different paragraphs...MalcolmW2 seemed to suggest (IMHO) that England's domestic constitutional arrangements are directly linked to our own and we should be doing something about it. I disagree and would leave them to it; while watching with interest.

    I too hope England shall realise their own potential as an Independent country but I see little demand for it SOTB, or among the English I know as friends, relatives and work-mates; the separation of Brit / Angol(?) is less prominent I believe, than Scot / Brit...

    I am mindful of the vociferous "Scots have ruined England!" mobs on other blogs and wouldn't want to give any ammunition to those types!

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  • 368. At 4:54pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #360 MagisterIlluminatus

    "My thought processes are based on whether I win or don't win and what I have to do or not do in order to win."

    How sad is this? No wonder the world is in such a state.

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  • 369. At 5:13pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    The most scandalous and outrageous censorship of my post #365.

    The BBC has to understand that people are not going to swallow this attempt to try to blacken Salmond's name lying down.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Salmond himself is seeking legal advice right at this moment.

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  • 370. At 5:18pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 371. At 5:23pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #364. At 4:50pm on 30 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 361 JRMacClure

    I have a natural dislike of arguing with women, mostly because I have a habit of losing. However, in my dictionary (readers digest which I believe is an American publication) states:
    1 Something given or demanded in repayment: especially punishment or vengence for a wrong or injury.
    2 Theology Punishment or reward distributed in a future life according to the performance in this one.

    However, the point was that the result, if not innocent, was indeed retribution, which it was and my adding the 'may be innocent' was my own personal view. In other words, you are right and I am wrong again. This is a habit I need to get out of.

    ------------------------

    To be fair, I understood your point and was merely being picky about the word choice. Thank you for the smile.

    Watching the British and pseudo-Scottish news media behave like a school of paranas in the midst of a feeding frenzy has come to the point of being rather depressing. Needless to say the American media has largely forgotten it. ("That was a week ago. Are the STILL on about that?")

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  • 372. At 5:57pm on 30 Aug 2009, gordon mccaskill wrote:

    366. JRMacClure

    So you're a qualified historian, excellent. It is said that 2 historians in a room can have 3 arguments. I'm not sure that is entirely fair, but I'm sure you get the point. You are also entirely correct that comparative history is not very helpful except for producing long-winded essays of dubious historical merit.

    However, being an historian, I am sure you will be familiar with the term 'unwitting testimony'. I tend to use it all the time, people find it quite disconcerting. I am surprised you don't use it, but there it is.

    388. BigH

    You are quite correct - it is sad. I would, however, draw your attention to Orson Welles' speech in The Third Man when he said - 'despite constant civil war, the Italians produced the Renaissance, Leonardo and Michelangelo. In Switzerland, 300 years of peace produced the cuckoo clock.' Actually, he was wrong about that too, it was the Germans who invented the cuckoo clock. Humanity needs to drive of competition, the need to win. It may be sad, but it is the reason we are at the top of the food chain.

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  • 373. At 6:04pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #372 MagisterIlluminatus

    You don't speak for me so don't dare try to do it.

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  • 374. At 6:05pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "Salmond denies Megrahi trade deal"

    This story has disappeared off the BBC Scotland news page within two hours and is now nowhere to be found.

    I wouldn't be surprised if there was a legal threat to remove it or face the consequences - such was the absurd bias and attempt to distort reality on display.

    Unfortunately for the BBC who appear to be trying to do everything they can to deny this story ever existed - it still appears on Google News searches.

    A total disgrace. Public money should not be spent on this outrageous political propaganda.

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  • 375. At 6:23pm on 30 Aug 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    372. MagisterIlluminatus

    "It may be sad, but it is the reason we are at the top of the food chain."

    As were the dinosaurs, once!

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  • 376. At 6:26pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #372. At 5:57pm on 30 Aug 2009, MagisterIlluminatus wrote:

    366. JRMacClure

    So you're a qualified historian, excellent. It is said that 2 historians in a room can have 3 arguments. I'm not sure that is entirely fair, but I'm sure you get the point. You are also entirely correct that comparative history is not very helpful except for producing long-winded essays of dubious historical merit.

    However, being an historian, I am sure you will be familiar with the term 'unwitting testimony'. I tend to use it all the time, people find it quite disconcerting. I am surprised you don't use it, but there it is.

    388. BigH

    You are quite correct - it is sad. I would, however, draw your attention to Orson Welles' speech in The Third Man when he said - 'despite constant civil war, the Italians produced the Renaissance, Leonardo and Michelangelo. In Switzerland, 300 years of peace produced the cuckoo clock.' Actually, he was wrong about that too, it was the Germans who invented the cuckoo clock. Humanity needs to drive of competition, the need to win. It may be sad, but it is the reason we are at the top of the food chain.

    --------------------------------

    Unwitting testimony is indeed an interesting concept. Consider, for example, your assumption that in spite of massive contrary evidence Great Britain is at the top of the food chain. It testifies much to your culture and attitudes but little to the state of power in the world.

    You might want to be careful in quoting Professor Marwick, however, who was, after all, quite scathing on the topic of British patriotic polemic. :)

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  • 377. At 6:28pm on 30 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    372. MagisterIlluminatus

    You are quite correct - it is sad. I would, however, draw your attention to Orson Welles' speech in The Third Man when he said - 'despite constant civil war, the Italians produced the Renaissance, Leonardo and Michelangelo. In Switzerland, 300 years of peace produced the cuckoo clock.' Actually, he was wrong about that too, it was the Germans who invented the cuckoo clock. Humanity needs to drive of competition, the need to win. It may be sad, but it is the reason we are at the top of the food chain.

    Foregoing any quibbling over detail, I accept the thrust of your argument - that conflict seems historically to drive human progress.
    Any species seeking not to be at the mercy of its own impulses would be well advised to seek out the why's of this conflict driven motivation. We shouldn't capitulate to the notion that that's the only way it can be, should seek to find productive ways of accessing the same drivers. It's not a new notion, William James famously articulated much of the sentiment in The Moral Equivalent of War.

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  • 378. At 6:29pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #374. At 6:05pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "Salmond denies Megrahi trade deal"

    This story has disappeared off the BBC Scotland news page within two hours and is now nowhere to be found.

    I wouldn't be surprised if there was a legal threat to remove it or face the consequences - such was the absurd bias and attempt to distort reality on display.

    Unfortunately for the BBC who appear to be trying to do everything they can to deny this story ever existed - it still appears on Google News searches.

    A total disgrace. Public money should not be spent on this outrageous political propaganda.

    -------------------

    Whoa. Did someone twist BBC's tail or what? The lead story is suddenly: "Megrahi trade deal untrue - Straw
    Reports that the Lockerbie bomber's release was linked to Libya trade talks are "untrue", the justice secretary says."

    I have a feeling that somebody got their hide stripped. I would have liked to have been there for that lashing.

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  • 379. At 6:34pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Links to Salmond story now go to the Jack Straw story. Somebody is definitely in a panic. I've tried half a dozen links. Every one to the Salmond story now leads to the Straw story.

    It is amusing in a surreal sort of way.

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  • 380. At 6:35pm on 30 Aug 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    History abused again! The American authorities simply have no right and no justification for reacting as they did to the release of a potentially innocent and dying man,

    Anyone who doubts that should view the following link, in which Prof. of Govt. James Mitchell of Strathclyde University repeatedly skewers the ‘inaccuracies’ (read falsehoods) spread by FBI director, Robert Mueller,

    http://www.theherald.co.uk/features/letters/display.var.2527403.0.inaccuracies_and_misrepresentation_by_fbi_director.php


    Straw's dirty deal on Megrahi ... expect to see GC, KW, SN etc ... haranguing Straw, and imploring callers to get in contact to damn the UK Govt.,

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8229605.stm

    I am not holding my breath, however.

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  • 381. At 6:41pm on 30 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #367 gt-cri

    "Welcome back to the fight" (Casablanca)

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  • 382. At 6:45pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Anyone who wants to read the scandalous "Salmond denies Megrahi trade deal" for themselves can see (all five!) edited BBC versions of it on the excellent News Sniffer website.

    News Sniffer monitors corporate news organisations to uncover bias. Revisionista monitors the BBC news website and detects when articles change. The versions are viewable and the changes are highlighted.

    So, unfortunately for all you would-be truth twisters at BBC Scotland every word of every story you write is tracked and recorded for all time - even as you rush in a blind panic to try and hide it.

    WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WE KNOW WHAT YOU WROTE. WE ARE "MODERATING" YOU!! FEEL LUCKY, PUNKS?

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  • 383. At 6:51pm on 30 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 371 JRMacClure

    'To be fair, I understood your point and was merely being picky about the word choice.'

    I know; I was just trying to have a laugh which is far better than crying for losing again to women. I was interested to hear that you have a major in history. History is a hobby of mine and has been since my early 20s.

    'Watching the British and pseudo-Scottish news media behave like a school of paranas in the midst of a feeding frenzy has come to the point of being rather depressing.'

    Welcome to the machinations of the UK establishment when they feel under threat but that is what 'big boy' politics is all about. If you don't like the heat then get out of the kitchen. Myself, being an ex-firemen, I am not bothered by the 'heat' so most of the UK establishment's attacks on the nationalists are 'water off the duck's' back to me. By the way, I am Scottish but not a member of the SNP as I happen to live in England at the moment.

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  • 384. At 6:52pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #377 mrbfaethedee

    "Foregoing any quibbling over detail, I accept the thrust of your argument - that conflict seems historically to drive human progress."

    Don't swallow the junk he's trying to feed you. The desire for conflict did not drive human progress.

    The desire to RESOLVE conflict is driving human progress. Those who would seek to legitimise conflict as beneficial for mankind in fact seek to justify their own selfish pursuit of domination over others.

    Clearly that's far too evolved a concept for some here to grasp.

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  • 385. At 6:54pm on 30 Aug 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    An interesting article by Paul Reynolds
    World affairs correspondent, BBC News
    Megrahi freed: Some answers
    If al-Megrahi hadn't been freed by Kenny MacAskill then Westminster would have used the PTA to do it. I guess they didn't want to do it, knowing the Americans wouldn't be happy, but business is business.

    They manoevered MacAskill into doing thier dirty work for them by leaking the imminent release. They thought (I'm personally sure Mandy thought) they could kill two birds with one stone. Get al-Megrahi released which would keep Libya sweet and bring down the wrath of America upon Scotland to damage the SNP.

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  • 386. At 6:58pm on 30 Aug 2009, enneffess wrote:

    This is how other news sites are covering it:

    Reuters
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE57T0TW20090830

    Sky News
    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Lockerbie-Bomber-Was-Set-Free-For-Oil-Say-Leaked-Letters-From-Jack-Straw/Article/200908415371159?lpos=UK_News_Carousel_Region_3&lid=ARTICLE_15371159_Lockerbie_Bomber_Was_Set_Free_For_Oil%2C_Say_Leaked_Letters_From_Jack_Straw

    CNN
    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/08/30/uk.libya.lockerbie.bomber/index.html


    Only CNN mentions Salmond, the other two only make reference to the letter sent to MacAskill.

    So why has the BBC ran a news story where Salmond has denied it, and no one else is? If Salmond was making such a statement I would expect the others to report it, certainly Reuters.

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  • 387. At 7:01pm on 30 Aug 2009, gordon mccaskill wrote:

    376. JRMacClure

    I didn't say Britain, I said humanity which renders the rest of comments redundant. Moreover, I always found Professor Marwick to be of a somewhat Whiggish persuasion and thus not terribly persuasive. However, I was referring unwitting testimony as a psychological tool, not an historical one. My little experiment in it proved quite satisfactory.

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  • 388. At 7:01pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #379 JRMacClure

    Google the headline of that Salmond story along with the words "News Sniffer".

    You won't regret it.

    They can try to shut me up - but the truth won't be so easily silenced.

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  • 389. At 7:02pm on 30 Aug 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    I have tried to post the fact that the Sunday Mail at the last minute pulled Elaine C Smith's column supporting Kenny MacAskill and she has been replaced in the newspaper by Jackie Bird.

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  • 390. At 7:08pm on 30 Aug 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    The information I supplied on my post about Elaine C Smith's removal from the columns of the Sunday Mail came directly from the Independence Convention which is chaired by Elaine.
    I have no idea why my original posts earlier on this have been pulled

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  • 391. At 7:12pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #390

    "I have no idea why my original posts earlier on this have been pulled"

    Or, equally, why your current posts on the same topic are now being allowed.

    As JRMacClure says in #378 it seems backsides are smarting at BBC Scotland this evening, and rightly so.

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  • 392. At 7:17pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #383. At 6:51pm on 30 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 371 JRMacClure

    'To be fair, I understood your point and was merely being picky about the word choice.'

    I know; I was just trying to have a laugh which is far better than crying for losing again to women. I was interested to hear that you have a major in history. History is a hobby of mine and has been since my early 20s.

    'Watching the British and pseudo-Scottish news media behave like a school of paranas in the midst of a feeding frenzy has come to the point of being rather depressing.'

    Welcome to the machinations of the UK establishment when they feel under threat but that is what 'big boy' politics is all about. If you don't like the heat then get out of the kitchen. Myself, being an ex-firemen, I am not bothered by the 'heat' so most of the UK establishment's attacks on the nationalists are 'water off the duck's' back to me. By the way, I am Scottish but not a member of the SNP as I happen to live in England at the moment.

    ------------------

    Ah well, as an American, I've should have been inured by our own much beloved Fox News. (Using the words Fox and News in the same sentence being a bit of an oxymoron, but you know what I mean) After all I live in a country where some news people's favorite pastime is denying that our President was born in Hawaii.

    But there are things that "you lot" (who "you lot" is I'll leave open to interpretation) do better than we do and a vicious press may well be one of them. Ours can be pretty bad though--so I'll have to think on that.

    You can blame my fascination and degrees in history on my Scottish granny. (Yes, I did have one. But I refuse to refer to myself as Scottish American) She raised me on stories of Robert Bruce and the Black Douglas. I read Barbour when most tykes were still reading Winnie the Pooh. But my granny's stories more fun than college courses. They work hard at taking all the fun out of history.

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  • 393. At 7:27pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    What you said was: "...being an historian, I am sure you will be familiar with the term 'unwitting testimony'."

    A historian would hardly be familiar with the term used in a psychological sense--or this historian wouldn't.

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  • 394. At 7:37pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Looking at the four versions side by side is more than appalling. Anyone who wants to deny BBC bias should go take a look at it and then come back and say that again.

    The version I had read was biased but when you look at the various versions as they try to perfect a line of attack... It's amazing. Just amazing. I'm thankful on my decision not to go into journalism.

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  • 395. At 7:48pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #394 JRMacClure

    "Looking at the four versions side by side is more than appalling. Anyone who wants to deny BBC bias should go take a look at it and then come back and say that again. The version I had read was biased but when you look at the various versions as they try to perfect a line of attack... It's amazing. Just amazing."

    Welcome to The Matrix....

    I am thankful for my decision to go into journalism. It taught me to open my eyes and see what is there rather than just what others want me to see.

    I urge all reading this to visit News Sniffer as JRMacClure did and see the disgusting truth for themselves.

    And yet there will still be those who will come on here and try to convince us we're all "conspiracy theorists".

    It's not a theory any more when it's staring you in the face.

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  • 396. At 7:52pm on 30 Aug 2009, gt-cri wrote:

    #381 &#382:

    It's movie night! Oldnat: I know it too! The pace is increasing, even if ever-so-slowly.

    Bighullaballoo has reminded me of another quote (ok, a mis-quote):I love the smell of failed-censorship in the evening...smells like...Victory!

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  • 397. At 7:56pm on 30 Aug 2009, gordon mccaskill wrote:

    395. JRMacClure

    Then allow me to explain. A historian reads primary sources to get the historical information, but should also read between the lines to get a sense of what the person producing the primary source is actually thinking, or what cultural, national, or psychologial structures are acting on them to produce the primary source in the way they did.

    Every posting on this blog is a primary source and all of them reveal something about the person posting. In pretty much every case, they reveal themselves unwittingly, hence unwitting testimony. These revelations are very useful to someone who can spot the signs and exploit them. People are very disconcerted when you know how they will react before they react. They like it even less when you appear to know what they are thinking before they've thought it.

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  • 398. At 8:03pm on 30 Aug 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Newsnet Scotland has decided to run an online poll that is free to anyone who wishes to take part. The question and subsequent link to the voting form will follow this comment.

    The voting form is a simple web form held on a server with two radio buttons and a submit button - no information about the voter can be passed on.

    Newsnet Scotland will also be sending each of it's 180 subscribers the same message and link, with an additional message requesting them to forward the link to as many people as possible.

    This means, in principle, far more people have the opportunity to take part.

    There is only one question - on the decision to release Megrahi.

    Let's see if the mods will allow the [benign] link!!

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  • 399. At 8:04pm on 30 Aug 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing has terminal cancer and is estimated to have just three months to live.

    Last week, under Scots law, the Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill showed mercy to Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi and granted his release on compassionate grounds.

    Was this the correct decision?


    Click Here To Vote

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  • 400. At 8:06pm on 30 Aug 2009, gt-cri wrote:

    #395: BH,

    Thanks for "News Sniffer". I hope Northhighlander, NCA999 and the other nay-sayers are paying attention!

    I doubt they'll admit it, though!

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  • 401. At 8:06pm on 30 Aug 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    FOI Requests

    "As a public sector organisation, the Freedom of Information act requires the BBC to provide answers to reasonable questions from members of the public."

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  • 402. At 8:06pm on 30 Aug 2009, sadnats wrote:

    How desperate have the nationalists become in this whole sorry affair.Many commentators and the media seem to have totally missed the key points in all this.Consider the following;

    1.The opinion polls - Would the nats have called into question their accuracy if the results were in their favour?No of course they would not have!
    2.The release on compassionate grounds - Would this have happened if the 259 people on the plane had been Scottish?No of course it would not!
    3.The Americans - If it had been the American government who had released the bomber,would the Scottish government not be up in arms?Of course they would!

    The whole situation is a total shambles and a public relations nightmare.When will people wake up to this pathetic bunch of politicians.
    Alex Salmond was quick to sell off a corner of Aberdeenshire when an american came running with a fist full of dollars,but did not even have the decency to consider for one minute the american victims relatives.The man is a publicity seeking disgrace.Come on Scotland turf him out,the man who drives 200yds in a car, to have a cuury,what a joke he is!

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  • 403. At 8:12pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #394

    I'm sure Online_Ed will do a forensic autopsy on all five versions of the story for us all to enjoy - a thorough line-by-line analysis exposing every nuance of how they tried to twist the truth...and publish it in his email newsletter "Newsnet Scotland".

    They think they're untouchable...but they're not.

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  • 404. At 8:16pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    If Online_Ed doesn't do a detailed analysis then maybe someone at SNP will and finally some serious questions will be asked at Holyrood as to why this is going on.

    The proof is there in black and white on the News Sniffer website.

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  • 405. At 8:20pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #397 MagisterIlluminatus

    "They like it even less when you appear to know what they are thinking before they've thought it."

    And they don't like it at all when you show what they are thinking as they try to deceive the Scottish public.

    You have a nice evening now!

    We'll still be here making sure everyone sees the proof of the BBC's attempts to distort reality when you get back.

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  • 406. At 8:20pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #397. At 7:56pm on 30 Aug 2009, MagisterIlluminatus wrote:

    395. JRMacClure

    Then allow me to explain. A historian reads primary sources to get the historical information, but should also read between the lines to get a sense of what the person producing the primary source is actually thinking, or what cultural, national, or psychologial structures are acting on them to produce the primary source in the way they did.

    ---------------------

    Obviously. That's what the term means. It has nothing to do with "psychology" as I see you using it. It simply means that you have to look at original sources in context.

    However, if you think a degree or two in history gives you (or me) mind-reading powers, allow me my skepticism. I doubt it.

    Certainly, I know that you will come here attacking any commenter you view as a nationalist or member of the SNP. I know that certain others will invariably defend the SNP and nationalists. Some will be swayed by various arguments. That hardly gives either of us some deep and penetrating view into their psyches.

    For myself, as my grandfather used to say, "I ain't got no dog in this fight."

    I am an interested observer with a strong fondness for Scotland. I can understand both Scots who are nationalists and Scots who are Unionists. I probably have a certain emotional attachment to the nationalist view begin a bit of a Whig, as you might put it. I consider them natural allies.

    However, from a historic viewpoint both sides have an argument to be made for them. I sincerely doubt that is something you could consider. We all have our 'unwitting testimony', you, sir, as the rest of us. :-)

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  • 407. At 8:30pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #402. sadnats wrote:


    3.The Americans - If it had been the American government who had released the bomber,would the Scottish government not be up in arms?Of course they would!

    ------------------------------

    My dear sir, let me assure you as someone who is not a nationalist but IS an American, that had he been in the hands of the American government, he would have been dead--executed. He would not have been released on compassionate grounds since such a concept is totally foreign to the American way of thinking and American "justice".

    Your "point" simply contains an oxymoron. It is an impossibility.

    You need to re-think your arguments. As for the polls, a badly written poll is a badly written poll. I recognize one when I read one. Other polls may well have been valid. The BBC one had questions that were written to solicit a desired response. If you think it's never happened before (on all sides of the political spectrum) think again. It isn't even uncommon.

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  • 408. At 8:31pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #400 gt-cri

    "I hope Northhighlander, NCA999 and the other nay-sayers are paying attention! I doubt they'll admit it, though!"

    Of course they won't admit it. How could they? It would mean facing the truth of their own distorted reality.

    They will go on trying to tell you that what you saw in front of your eyes isn't real. They will try to tell you ""War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength."

    There are people trying to do the first one on this very blog. But I don't believe them. I will never believe them. I believe my own eyes and my own brain.

    The truth is there for all with eyes to see...and there's nothing they or their censors can do about it.

    Come on Online_Ed....show them what a real journalist can do with a story. I'm looking forward to it!

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  • 409. At 8:33pm on 30 Aug 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    It's 20:23 and the voting link in comment 399 has been passed - thanks to this evenings mod team.

    Little info on the form - it will allow a limited number of votes from the same IP address, that should eliminate bulk voting. Further, I'll be storing the results in a database and filtering out the mumbers using some simple SQL in order to ensure that no bulk voting has occurred.

    I'll let the poll run until the next edition [3] of Newsnet Scotland (mid September) and will reveal the results then.

    Shocking revelation regarding The Sunday Mail and Elaine C Smith. Equally bad the way the BBC has tried to twist Labour bad news over the Straw affair and conflate it with the MacAskill decision - it isn't even subtle, it's quite brazen.

    I wonder if it the BBC have become de-sensitised to their own bias?

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  • 410. At 8:40pm on 30 Aug 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Well, the poll at 399 is off and running with respondents into double figures already, don't know if this is blogers or subscribers - but keep it going.

    No, I haven't and won't be voting myself.

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  • 411. At 8:40pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    "It may not last. It may fade...."

    Perhaps Mr. Taylor was referring to the disappearing BBC stories? =)

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  • 412. At 8:50pm on 30 Aug 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    The individual who voted 11 times at 20:39 - naughty, naughty!!

    I won't say whether they supported MacAskill's decision or not but just to let you all know that bulk voting will not succeed.

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  • 413. At 9:18pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #409 Online_Ed

    "The BBC has tried to twist Labour bad news over the Straw affair and conflate it with the MacAskill decision - it isn't even subtle, it's quite brazen. I wonder if the BBC have become de-sensitised to their own bias?"

    If you're really wondering then get stuck into their "brazen" news story using the proof of their bias on the News Sniffer website.

    It's very revealing of their thoughts and motivations as they perfected their propaganda piece.

    JRMacClure (#394): "The version I had read was biased but when you look at the various versions as they try to perfect a line of attack... It's amazing. Just amazing."

    gt-cri (#396): "Bighullaballoo has reminded me of another quote (ok, a mis-quote):I love the smell of failed-censorship in the evening...smells like...Victory!"

    So how about some nice juicy stuff?

    Show exactly what they were thinking as they chopped and changed their story to bend the truth.

    Forget about your poll - admirable though it may be. Look sharp and get stuck into the real red meat!

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  • 414. At 9:35pm on 30 Aug 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    The Tartan Pimpernel

    "They seek him here, they seek him there
    The Union seeks him everywhere
    Is he in hiding or just too late?
    That damned elusive Sec. of State"

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  • 415. At 9:36pm on 30 Aug 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    379. At 6:34pm on 30 Aug 2009, JRMacClure wrote:
    "Links to Salmond story now go to the Jack Straw story."

    With this revelation it appears that Annabel Goldie and Bill Aitken were both correct to demand Labour answer more questions- now apparently we know why Brown and his cohorts in London have been so silent!

    Oil, New Labour and foriegn deplomacy--who would have thought?

    Well done Goldie and team, your insight had the benefit of foresight in the light of hyndsight.

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  • 416. At 9:44pm on 30 Aug 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    bighullabaloo wrote:

    "Forget about your poll - admirable though it may be. Look sharp and get stuck into the real red meat!"

    The poll is up a running - it needs no further input from me.

    I'm off to read the News Sniffer site that you have cited. The next edition of Newsnet Scotland will be given over entirely to the Megrahi story. The BBC coverage will form a large part of that edition from the soliciting of anti decision calls to Brian's 'Chisholm' moment.

    The conflating of the Straw revelations with the decision will also feature.

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  • 417. At 9:44pm on 30 Aug 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    Jack Straw, foreign oil- and New Labour...who would have thought it?

    All I can say is Goldie and Aitken were entirely right to demand that Labour answer its questions. Clearly the Scottish Conservatives had the foresight to realise that there was more to this whole affair than met the eye.

    Well done Goldie for demanding that Brown, and New Labour fully explain their silence on this whole sordid incident!
    This is why the Scottish Conservatives have rebuilt our support to 20% in the new Poll, and why the SNP have climed back up to 26%- the public know a currupt and double-dealing Labour machine!

    All I can say is what has happened to the honourable Labour party of Foot, and Benn?

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  • 418. At 9:58pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    My favorite, favorite part is the sudden change in photos accompanying the story. It is now a photo of Mr. al-Megrahi in a Libyan hospital bed receiving oxygen. What?! Don't tell me that the BBC is actually going to admit that the man is ill and dying!

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  • 419. At 10:04pm on 30 Aug 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Juat had a look at the News Sniffer site and it is indeed revealing.

    I note that it wasn't until 17:02 that the articles first paragraph changes from a denial from Salmond to a response from Straw.

    By then of course the article had been up since 10:00, so most people who were going to read it had done so. Both radio and TV have also managed to conflate the 'deal' with MacAskill's decision.

    Interestingly though the link to the article on the BBC Scotland website provides the 'Straw denies' headline but still contains the following text beneath the link:

    The Scottish government denies the release of the Lockerbie bomber was linked to UK trade talks with Libya.

    This text is nowhere to be seen in the actual article, however anyone viewing the link will automatically suspect that the Scottish Government are the subject of this 'deal' story.

    It is deliberate, it is brazen and it is a manipulation of news in order to influence the reader.

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  • 420. At 10:10pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "The next edition of Newsnet Scotland will be given over entirely to the Megrahi story."

    The real Inside Story - only in Newsnet Scotland!

    BBC Scotland: this deplorable one-way propaganda channel which you have attempted to use to define reality for the Scottish public is finally broken!

    Every version of every story - every word of every story - will be scrutinised on a daily basis to identify edits and changes that reveal the slightest hint of political bias.

    What you imagined to be the pulling of an impenetrable veil over the eyes of the Scottish public will be torn away and deception will be mercilessly exposed for all the world to see.

    Be afraid....be very afraid!

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  • 421. At 10:13pm on 30 Aug 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    deanthetory:

    You are correct in that Goldie and Aitken were critical of London Labour's deals with the Libyans. However, to give them credit for the grudging acknowledgement now shown by the BBC in Scotland to these trade deals is a step too far.

    These 'deal' stories are entirely due to the very professional English journalists who know a story when they see one.

    BBC Scotland have done their best to hide the 'deal in the desert' from the Scottish public, they have now resorted to another 'old indian trick' by simply joining the 'deal' story to the MacAskill decision.

    They are hoping that by conflating the two then some of this Labour mud will stick to the SNP, which of course it will.

    The Scottish press have placed any references to the 'deal' deep inside other articles attacking MacAskill or similar.

    Iain Gray has fielded not one question throughout this affair on the 'deal in the desert' - even today he is untouchable.

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  • 422. At 10:17pm on 30 Aug 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Picture exclusive: Megrahi in sick bed

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  • 423. At 10:21pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Is it just me - or have all the Unionists who tried to tell us BBC bias is just a "conspiracy theory" suddenly gone very quiet?

    I expect they don't like it when actual proof of the bias is staring them in the face.

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  • 424. At 10:24pm on 30 Aug 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Wow! in truth we do trust.

    In the name of the victims tell the truth, Straw.

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  • 425. At 10:29pm on 30 Aug 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    421. At 10:13pm on 30 Aug 2009, Online_Ed

    "The Scottish press have placed any references to the 'deal' deep inside other articles attacking MacAskill or similar."

    Hardly surprising given that the SNP administration is the Scottish medias' number one target- lets not forget the Sun headline on election day 2007!

    "Iain Gray has fielded not one question throughout this affair on the 'deal in the desert' - even today he is untouchable."

    Me thinks that come the debate on Megrahi Goldie will use it to continue her vocal assault on Labour, naturally again under the cover of attacking the SNP. But the point is, Grey will soon find that the hornets nest of public opinion he has stirred up over this release will soon be turning on him. In todays opinon poll (YouGov, Scotland only) Labour dropped 3% to 30%, the SNP up 1%, Scottish Conservative up 1% and th Liberal Dems up 2%- it seems to me that Labour are already being hurt; by Browns silence, the clear indications of a London Labour trickery etc....

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  • 426. At 10:30pm on 30 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    384. bighullabaloo
    I don't buy for a second that conflict is a thing to be ought for our advancement.
    I think it masks many aspects of society and the individual which do help us to advance. For the record I think you are correct to state the desire to resolve conflicts constitutes a driving force in how we advance. I think we ought to be able to direct ourselves along lines like that with the kind of organisation, motivation and commitment that we only seem to be able to generate for war.

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  • 427. At 10:35pm on 30 Aug 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    I went back to re-read Brian's "Rumblings of discontent", and somehow this time it came over completely differently - maybe the News Sniffer should check this out..
    -----------------------------------------------
    It may not last. It may fade. But, right now, people in Scotland seem decidedly hostile to the BBC.
    Opposition to the particular decision taken by the BBC to publish a dodgy poll is nearly two to one. Even offered options, a majority say that the BBC should never have released the poll.
    Intriguingly, glancing at the figures in more detail, opinion against the poll appears particularly strong among the elderly people with the younger more inclined to believe the propaganda.
    But, in all age groups, more oppose the poll result than support it. Plus folk feel Scotland's reputation and that of the Scottish Government has been damaged by the BBC.
    They also feel that the BBC has taken a hit while believing that they should not have intervened. They are adamant that they did not.
    Overall, a range of factors could be combining here. In street interviews, some mentioned their disgust at the sight of Saltires in the crowd greeting al-Megrahi in Libya being shown on BBC and described as "bringing shame on Scotland".
    Unlike Gordon Brown, it seems they were repulsed.
    Further, the reaction from the United States, including the anger of victims' relatives, may be influential on the BBC's reporting.
    Further still, the scale of the miss reporting. BBC protests their innocence but they were found guilty of breaching their impartiality.
    Most simply, people may feel that this was essentially the wrong call by the BBC who will now have to defend their decision to the people of Scotland.
    They don't seem to like the fact that the people saw through the propaganda, and despite the BBC's insistence that this propaganda was required under the rules of "must support the Union at all costs". (Others dispute that).
    However, they don't feel that Brian Taylor should quit. And, certainly, there's no sign of that following his public statement, his BBC version of same and with the debate in sight next week.
    Again, things may change. the BBC may be able to convince more people that their decision was based on the need to uphold a dying Union - and was right.
    As things stand, though, Scotland is not happy.
    -----------------------------------------------

    Is it just me or has the wind changed?
    Apologies to Brian!

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  • 428. At 10:42pm on 30 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    382. bighullabaloo
    Didn't even know such a site existed - thanks for sharing it!
    6 versions in the course of a day! Very revealing.

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  • 429. At 10:42pm on 30 Aug 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:

    #417 "All I can say is Goldie and Aitken were entirely right to demand that Labour answer its questions. Clearly the Scottish Conservatives had the foresight to realise that there was more to this whole affair than met the eye.

    Well done Goldie for demanding that Brown, and New Labour fully explain their silence on this whole sordid incident!"

    Ah come on Dean, I suggested way back that as the release stories weren't leaked by the Scottish government since it was flatly denying them, that somebody down south was involved and that the reason why Mr MacAskill was being accused of dithering was because he wasn't following the script by releasing Mr Megrahi immediately under the PTA.

    As my name is neither Goldie nor Aitken, I don't see why they should take the credit for working out something which really wasn't very difficult to work out at all - I mean even I managed to figure it out :-)

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  • 430. At 10:45pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Haha! That's hilarious! Thanks for the chuckle (ok, a grim chuckle but I'll take whatever I can get).

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  • 431. At 10:57pm on 30 Aug 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Chuckle vision! your having a laugh MacClureic. did the wet bet stick!.

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  • 432. At 10:59pm on 30 Aug 2009, barriesingleton wrote:

    IT'S THE FENG SHUI STUPID

    I have become aware that BBC South have got hold of aerial footage of your Parliament Building - looking for all the world like a (boat)train wreck and keep playing it. Is this to taunt you? Meanwhile it reminds me all to powerfully of my take on that building when I visited it:


    LAMENT
    (For the Scottish Parliament)

    Sticks and stones broke no one’s bones
    but they tried to break the bank.
    This Parliament where everything’s bent
    shape quite divorced from its intent
    all too reminiscent of London’s “tent” -
    stone treasure ships - that sank.

    Inside incongruous stainless steel
    unchallenged by times assault.
    Outside crazy-polling in heartbreak oak
    it writhes the facade - a facetious joke
    a suicide call to some maintenance bloke
    offered up to the sun and sea-salt.

    Did anyone check on his family tree
    this Spaniard who laughs from the grave?
    The oak once made ships whose hearts you could trust
    and iron was honest - it smelt of sea-rust
    when Spaniards hove in - no one was too fussed
    now - or later - they’d taste Scotland’s wave.

    As the varnish degrades on the stucco sticks
    it has worn off the stairs in a year.
    And wherever you sit in the gallery
    there’s always one spotlight to shine in your eye
    hung on rods poles and perches - a Dali-esque tree.
    “Change a light bulb?” - Well, let’s not go there.

    Those tailors who tricked the Emperor
    caused the poor chap to lose some face.
    But to wailing and gnashing of Scottish Feng Shui
    those once mighty folk will be now led astray
    as this pile "works its will", there will be disarray
    rational thought will not thrive in this place!

    So lets draw a veil on this sad sorry tale
    look away from this Great Nation’s pain;
    speak no more the proud names of the engineer-hand
    and architects too, whose fine works long yet stand
    for a cornerless corner of this “foreign land”
    will now, forever, be Spain.
    18.6.05





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  • 433. At 11:06pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #428 mrbfaethedee

    "6 versions in the course of a day! Very revealing."

    Welcome to The Matrix...you take the blue pill (BBC Scotland blog articles) and you get the same old distorted version of reality. You wake in your bed and you go on believing whatever they want you to believe.

    You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and you see how deep the rabbit-hole goes. The red pill is a subscription to the email newsletter: Newsnet Scotland.

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  • 434. At 11:10pm on 30 Aug 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    425. deanthetory

    Wake up dean I have just heard a conservative MP say that he believes that there was collusion between the two governments on Megraphi's release, completely out of touch with reality as are most conservatives politicians.

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  • 435. At 11:16pm on 30 Aug 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #406 JMacClure,

    I'd like to offer you another viewpoint. That of Scots who are neither nationalists nor unionists. We are socialists and internationalists.

    Not all of us agree that an independent Scotland is desirable. I believe that it is, but not every one of my comrades feels the same. The reason that I think it would be a good idea is tied into a couple of areas, but first of all I think we can break free of old imperialistic ties and forge a path which will be completely new. Kenny MacAskill's decision is an example of how Scotland should be.

    Being an oldfashioned lefty ;)I'm still holding the banner for a Scottish Soviet and workers' control. But also, I want to think we could climb the ladder as an independent nation and hold out our hands to our English, Welsh and Irish brothers and sisters.

    Comrades who don't agree with me are worried that Scottish independence could lead to BNP style nationalism. They are unhappy because they think Scottish independence could lead us to shun people of other nations. Yeah, that's the risk with nationalism...but that's also why we need to stand our ground, explain about workers' solidarity and discourage any racism while we promote independence.

    Heh, sorry. I'm getting longwinded...



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  • 436. At 11:21pm on 30 Aug 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #264 sidthesceptic

    I don't think the Beeb has an anti SNP bias so much as they take their "challenge the ruling party" remit seriously. Having said that I totally agree with you on the coverage of al Megrahi and have been very worried about how this has played out.

    Don't mind papers or news reporters, whatever, having bias. We all do. But I think people need to know what the bias is.

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  • 437. At 11:23pm on 30 Aug 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #433 Bighullabaloo

    Fascinating take, the red pill or the blue pill, shurely a glassh of water with one or the other.

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  • 438. At 11:26pm on 30 Aug 2009, gordon mccaskill wrote:

    406. JRMacClure

    Good, you seem to got it up until you thought I was mind-reading. I don't mind-read. I provide stimulus knowing it will provoke a certain reaction, that reaction governs what people think at that precise moment which is already the expected thought. You have heard of Pavlov's Dogs, people are exactly the same.

    I'm also pleased that you spotted the dichotomy that I am a poster therefore I too unwittingly reveal things about myself. However, as I stated some posts ago, I adopt personas or imagos as Dr. Hannibal Lecter would describe them. You have no idea what I am like.

    For the rest of you, don't get too excited about what you've discovered about the BBC. It is called updating and editing stories over the course of 24 hour news cycle. It may be sinister, though it probably isn't, or else how would find them.

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  • 439. At 11:26pm on 30 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    433. bighullabaloo
    Subscribed recently.
    I have to say too, I am becoming more and more disenchanted by the news coverage (more accuratley coverages, given the different focus on stories by region) by the bbc.

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  • 440. At 11:28pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    For those of you who just can't wait for another tantalising peek behind the curtain of the Ministry of Truth's "news story reality enhancement process" please Google: "Auntie Beeb's amazing, evolving, ID card stories".

    Remember! All I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more.
    After reading the above article there is no possibility of going back to deluding yourself that the BBC is an unbiased reporter of political fact.

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  • 441. At 11:30pm on 30 Aug 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #435 fourstrikes
    You know! behind those curves and sideshows, there happens to be a very constructive comrade.Solidarity my friend.

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  • 442. At 11:35pm on 30 Aug 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #250 albamac

    Definitely do not disagree with some of the substance of your post. Where my problem lies is that I'm a veritable Elephant's Child, and I wonder who posts what when where and why. (How, I'm OK with.)

    "I don't think much soul-searching is necessary when it comes to a question of how we wish to be governed and by whom. "

    However, this is problematic. Are we admin assistants voting on our managers, or something more?

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  • 443. At 11:40pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #436 fourstrikes

    "Don't mind papers or news reporters, whatever, having bias. We all do. But I think people need to know what the bias is."

    I think you have put your finger right on the problem there.

    No one would have any problem if BBC Scotland kep churning out oh-so-carefully-worded Labour Party press releases masquarading as unbiased political coverage, or even blatant ommission of certain critically-revealing facts, or even the scandalous headlining of stories to create entirely distorted versions of reality.

    What I can't stomach is the utter hypocrisy of doing all of that, then having the brass neck to insult my intelligence with the patently nonsensical claim that "impartiality" is a cherished tenet of BBC journalism enshrined in its Holy Charter.

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  • 444. At 11:40pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #406 JMacClure, I'd like to offer you another viewpoint. That of Scots who are neither nationalists nor unionists. We are socialists and internationalists.

    Not all of us agree that an independent Scotland is desirable. I believe that it is, but not every one of my comrades feels the same. The reason that I think it would be a good idea is tied into a couple of areas, but first of all I think we can break free of old imperialistic ties and forge a path which will be completely new. Kenny MacAskill's decision is an example of how Scotland should be.

    Being an oldfashioned lefty ;)I'm still holding the banner for a Scottish Soviet and workers' control. But also, I want to think we could climb the ladder as an independent nation and hold out our hands to our English, Welsh and Irish brothers and sisters.

    Comrades who don't agree with me are worried that Scottish independence could lead to BNP style nationalism. They are unhappy because they think Scottish independence could lead us to shun people of other nations. Yeah, that's the risk with nationalism...but that's also why we need to stand our ground, explain about workers' solidarity and discourage any racism while we promote independence.

    Heh, sorry. I'm getting longwinded...

    ----------------------------

    I understand that it's not something one can discuss in twenty-five words or less. Thanks for the explanation of your views. Other than that I hesitate to get into it at all, being an American, that it can get complicated also influences why I don't like to discuss it here.

    I can see both sides of what you're saying as well as the other sides. There are people in Scotland who still have strong feelings of a having been forced unwilling into a union, neglected, taken advantage of, etc. There are people who feel a strong connection to the union and feel at least somewhat (or a lot for some) British. There are people like you who have other points of view.

    Mine opinion, not that it matters, are very similar to yours. But I also understand the worry of the negative side of nationalism. That's more than I'm usually willing to go into it on the: "It's not my business" principle.

    But I will say, have said in the past, and will probably repeat in the future that the people of SCOTLAND should be given the opportunity of deciding for themselves.

    I am though occasionally reminded of a line from an old tune from The Corries (showing my age there). "All our problems will be solved when England gets home rule." That always makes me laugh. But who knows. Maybe the people of England do need to be asked if they want something, not including ruling other peoples. And Wales. NI? Heaven's. A country that shall remain nameless has made such a mess there, I don't even want to think about it.

    End of "none of my business' comments. =)

    Hope I haven't offended too many people.

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  • 445. At 11:44pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Comments I did NOT expect to see on the Telegraph. This is rather a change in direction for them.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/scotland/6115919/Lockerbie-bomber-compassionate-release-was-not-part-of-international-game.html

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  • 446. At 11:46pm on 30 Aug 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    So this is where you are all hiding ... I see Nelson Mandela also backs Al Megrahi's release on compassionate grounds. All we need now is the Pope and Mother Theresa and Kenny will look even rosier.

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  • 447. At 11:47pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Good lord. Someone has slipped a journalist a red pill! From Alan Cochrane at the Telegraph:

    "To anyone who knows anything about the current relationship between ministers in London and Edinburgh and about the devolution 'settlement' in general, such a theory is positively bonkers.

    First Minister Salmond and his team would no sooner take orders from London about someone held under their jurisdiction than they would jump off the Forth Bridge. ( Now, there's a thought.)

    But still the same told tripe is trotted out. To listen to Mr Salmond being interviewed on Radio Four's 'Broadcasting House' yesterday – surely the worst researched programme on the Beeb – we were treated to the idea that devolved Scotland still does what Whitehall decrees ( would that it did).

    There clearly was a prisoner transfer deal connected with oil business and Megrahi was obviously a part of it but those issues are for Gordon Brown and his Cabinet to answer, not Messrs Salmond and MacAskill. Indeed, that pair are coming over all holier-than-thou over the fact that they didn't send him home to die because of any deals done by London, but for compassionate reasons.

    Call me old fashioned, if you like, but that's what I believe to be the case. And I think the decision was the right one, even if they're getting more than a bit sanctimonious about the whole affair."

    Link posted above but I HAD to quote that. I'm in SHOCK!

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  • 448. At 11:52pm on 30 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    The Telegraph defending the SNP--ok, it's the end of the world. I'm waiting for trumpets and the Second Coming.

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  • 449. At 11:54pm on 30 Aug 2009, enneffess wrote:

    I've read a few of the links. And I've bounced about a lot of the web's news sites. And I cannot find a single article about Salmond that matches the BBC's one this morning.

    Question is, how many newspapers will highlight this tomorrow?

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  • 450. At 11:57pm on 30 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    438. MagisterIlluminatus
    If we're all just clasically conditioned meatsacks - what bell is it that compels you to don the bleak and pompous persona of MagisterIlluminatus?

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  • 451. At 11:58pm on 30 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #438 MagisterIlluminatus

    "For the rest of you, don't get too excited about what you've discovered about the BBC. It is called updating and editing stories over the course of 24 hour news cycle. It may be sinister, though it probably isn't, or else how would find them."

    Here come the attempts to convince you that what you can see with your own eyes isn't real!

    Read the five versions of the article on News Sniffer.

    See if the "updating and editing" is being done to add important new facts or clarifying the existing ones. You will find it is quite the opposite.

    Some facts that lend support to the credibility of the "unspoken agenda" are introduced, whilst less convincing facts in favour of the "agenda" are removed.

    Meanwhile, facts tending to damage the credibility of the "unspoken agenda" are re-worded in ways that reduce their impact, shoved down to the very last paragraphs of the story (see Salmond's comments for example, which earlier had been the lead in the original story) or deleted entirely!

    If this isn't manipulation of facts for the worst possible reasons then what is?

    For those of you who aren't too lazy to check for yourself whether it is "sinister" - rather than just assuming it "probably isn't" - read the stories and decide for yourself.

    Don't take my word for it.

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  • 452. At 00:03am on 31 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #449 Neil_Small147

    "I've bounced about a lot of the web's news sites. And I cannot find a single article about Salmond that matches the BBC's one this morning."

    You're not paying attention. Try News Sniffer and you will get five articles about Salmond that match very closely the BBC's one this morning - all talking out of different sides of their mouth.

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  • 453. At 00:07am on 31 Aug 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    438. MagisterIlluminatus

    For the rest of you, don't get too excited about what you've discovered about the BBC. It is called updating and editing stories over the course of 24 hour news cycle. It may be sinister, though it probably isn't, or else how would find them.

    We find them because of the beautifully trackable nature of the medium in which they are published. We can track them irrespective of the integrity of the story or publisher. That we can find them in no way leads to the fact they must therefore be benign.

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  • 454. At 00:09am on 31 Aug 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #444 JRMacClure

    That was quite a suture of a reply, neatly stitched together.

    The Corries! who were they then!

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  • 455. At 00:18am on 31 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    70s and 80s folk group.

    I don't think Beeb will allow this but I'll try.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s96dAiD16Ow

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  • 456. At 00:22am on 31 Aug 2009, enneffess wrote:

    Just looked at News Sniffer. Point taken.

    Reminds me of a "Chinese Whisper" exercise I did years ago, except this time the changes are deliberate.

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  • 457. At 00:24am on 31 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Sorry. You must have been joking. Of course, you know their Flower of Scotland! Silly old me.

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  • 458. At 00:26am on 31 Aug 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #455 JRMacClure

    Good stuff! In fact was the man Browne not responsible for "the flower of Scotland" lyrics.

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  • 459. At 00:27am on 31 Aug 2009, enneffess wrote:

    438. At 11:26pm on 30 Aug 2009, MagisterIlluminatus:

    Look, I'm convinced the BBC is at it!


    Nuff said, time for bed zebedee.......

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  • 460. At 00:32am on 31 Aug 2009, JohnConstable wrote:

    Thanks to all who responded to my post @ 292, especially oldnat, who rode to the rescue (again).

    I apologise for the delay in replying but I run several businesses here in England and weekends are nae different to weekdays in that respect.

    When I stated @ 292 that Brown as PM had overall control via the UK Borders Agency, that was not something I'd dreamed up (I'm not that bright) but was taken from a Times leader last week when this issue brewed up.

    As a native English person who is looking forward to eventually having an English Parliament, probably by default if the Scots vote for indepedence in Novemnber 2010, then I had been encouraged by this episode.

    Because every time the media down here in England mentions 'the Scottish Parliament' then even the least politically aware of my English compatriots (and there are many of them, quite unlike in Scotland), must wonder why we English do not also enjoy our own Parliament.

    As it happens, the appoximate English equivalent of the SNP, namely the English Democrats are slowly making some headway and may well have an MP at the next General Election (odds are currently 10-1 at the bookies).

    My I finish by begging you to bring home the professional Scottish politican Michael Gove, he of the expensive expenses, this Scotsman may well bring what is left of the English education system to its knees, assuming that 'Dave' Cameron and his privileged chums, by default, forms the next/last UK Government.

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  • 461. At 00:34am on 31 Aug 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #454 Derek - 'The Corries! who were they then!' ...shame on you boy ... your going back on the naughty step ... showing my age here but ive seen them live !! twice ! In Kirkintillock theres nae pubs ... now theres a song as well as our unofficial national anthem.

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  • 462. At 00:43am on 31 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    458. At 00:26am on 31 Aug 2009, derekbarker wrote:

    #455 JRMacClure

    Good stuff! In fact was the man Browne not responsible for "the flower of Scotland" lyrics.

    -------------

    Heh. We cross posted and I mentioned that. It was actually written by Roy Williamson (the dark-haired one) but since Mr. Williamson's death, Mr. Browne has made sure the song was not forgotten. They performed it together often. Did fantastic performances of it.

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  • 463. At 00:46am on 31 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Look at this right now from the BBC Scotland news page:

    Headline: "Megrahi trade deal untrue - Straw"
    Directly under this headline: "The Scottish government denies the release of the Lockerbie bomber was linked to UK trade talks with Libya."

    Straw isn't a member of the Scottish government. Straw's denial has nothing whatsoever to do with the Scottish government.

    Anyone reading just the above headline and introductory sentence is encouraged to believe the Scottish government's decision to release the Lockerbie bomber was somehow linked to a deal over trade talks with Libya, which they are now denying.

    This is a deliberate distortion of reality. This is intended solely to damage the reputation of the Scottish government.

    The Scottish public deserve better than this sort of cynical propaganda masquarading as "political news".

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  • 464. At 00:48am on 31 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #461. At 00:34am on 31 Aug 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #454 Derek - 'The Corries! who were they then!' ...shame on you boy ... your going back on the naughty step ... showing my age here but ive seen them live !! twice !

    --------------------

    I envy you. I never had the chance to see them perform and have always been a fan. Have ever DVD they ever made. Great performers. Ronnie Browne performed Ae Fond Kiss absolutely wonderfully.

    Their nationalist songs included a lot more than Flower of Scotland. Mr. Browne's Roses of Prince Charlie and Liberty are great songs as well (even if you're not a nat ;-) )

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  • 465. At 00:50am on 31 Aug 2009, albamac wrote:

    442. fourstrikes

    I didn't express that very well, fourstrikes. I'd intended to convey the idea that, given what we've witnessed in recent times, severing Westminster's leash should be a no-brainer for Scots but then, in the words of the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake, "Some people do not know what is good for them". Just So!


    By the way, have you had the nose-job yet? :)

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  • 466. At 00:52am on 31 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Interesting to see there is only one feeble attempt to deny the utterly irrefutable evidence of BBC bias on the News Sniffer website.

    Even some of the usual supsects who would sell their own granny rather than admit to BBC bias aren't attempting to deny it this time!

    At long last we see the final nail in the coffin of those who would have us believe that BBC bias is a "conspiracy theory".

    It's not a "theory" if it's staring you in the face.

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  • 467. At 01:05am on 31 Aug 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #464 JRMacClure i remember Elgin town hall reverberating to stamping feet during 'The Rattling Bog ' now that was a concert and i was only 8.

    #463 Bighulla .. if afraid what you have pointed out is nothing new with the beebs webpage. They usually have a headline that portrays the SNP in a bad light only to have the true story buried further down. Another is to let the SNP comment on something only for all the other partys to slag them off later in the story. As you can tell my writing style is sub standard but even i can see the nonsense on most news storys ..the reason i dont buy newspapers ... Mrs Ubin does tho and i usually hear her tutting when i start ranting on some piece of c**p unionist journalism....newspapers are for only 2 things, starting your fire and wiping your a*s (if your a poor student).

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  • 468. At 01:11am on 31 Aug 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #462 JRMacClure (you can read my mind! dont tell Magister)

    Hey! I'm a fan! great link! would it not be great to hear the likes agian............MacClure here's ta ya' cheers!.

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  • 469. At 02:00am on 31 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #468. It would be great to hear the likes again, but I fear there's no one like them. I'll sneak in a link to what I think is a rather rare performance of theirs (for reasons you can figure out)

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    They never put it on any of their CDs.

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  • 470. At 02:10am on 31 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Ha. BBC didn't like that link. Look it up on Youtube. The Corries Scotland the Brave. ;-)

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  • 471. At 02:23am on 31 Aug 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #294 To the shock and horror of some who are easily offended (or pretend to be) I have described the purveying of half truths and distortions to the ill informed and uninformed that is stock in trade of the Tory and Labour parties as the "half-wit factor" in Scottish politics. The longer this saga runs on the more Labour in particular will reduce its support base to those incapable of sensible thought because that is all they will be left with shortly.
    This behaviour has now reached a nauseating level and the speculating about how long it will take a painfully and terminally ill man (who is almost certainly innocent of the charges on which he was incarcerated) has now become absolutely disgusting. A number of political figures have proved themselves unfit to hold public office and huge areas of our press have disgraced themselves as has the BBC.
    The behaviour of the BBC merely underlines the fact that the union and the unionists are in deep trouble but should serve as a warning to optimistic nationalists that they can expect things to really hot up on the dirty tricks front very soon

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  • 472. At 02:31am on 31 Aug 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #470 JRMacClure

    It seems the MOD's have cut your link short, however I will indeed listen into
    the Corries and Scotland the brave'

    I have to say although, listening to Mr Browne's rendition of "RABBIE'S"
    A' Fon Kiss' was majestic.
    Back on topic, sky news have an interesting caption running on Megrahi's release and the UK's position some years ago?.

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  • 473. At 03:01am on 31 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Sorry one more comment (and yes, of course, Ae Fond Kiss is a Rabbie Burns song :) ) but I should mention that is a VERY non-traditional version of Scotland the Brave.

    Now back on topic: 471. sneckedagain.

    I'm afraid you can't expect anything else. They, I think, are convinced that they will lose a referendum vote. Why else the very dirty tricks to avoid one? Otherwise, they'd surely have it voted down and crow about it.

    At least, that's my thinking on it.

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  • 474. At 03:21am on 31 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Re the Corries

    As a student stunt we "kidnapped" them (and Paddy Bell) in 1964. Not only did they happily pay the ransom demand, but sent out for more booze, and led us in folk songs till early in the morning.

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  • 475. At 03:25am on 31 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #473 JRMacClure

    "convinced that they will lose a referendum vote" is, I think, a bit strong. Fearful is probably a better description. At the time of the referendum on devolution, I don't think they expected support to be as high as it was.

    A camp[aign focussed solely on Scotland's constitutional status is unpredictable for the Unionists, and it's that lack of predictability that scares them.

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  • 476. At 03:36am on 31 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #474. At 03:21am on 31 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Re the Corries

    As a student stunt we "kidnapped" them (and Paddy Bell) in 1964. Not only did they happily pay the ransom demand, but sent out for more booze, and led us in folk songs till early in the morning.

    --------------------------------

    Wonderful story!

    475. At 03:25am on 31 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #473 JRMacClure

    "convinced that they will lose a referendum vote" is, I think, a bit strong. Fearful is probably a better description. At the time of the referendum on devolution, I don't think they expected support to be as high as it was.

    A camp[aign focussed solely on Scotland's constitutional status is unpredictable for the Unionists, and it's that lack of predictability that scares them.

    ------------------

    That makes sense, but they have to be frightened. That is the only explanation for some of what is said and done.

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  • 477. At 03:55am on 31 Aug 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Jack Straw, the man who replaced Robin Cook as foreign secretary and backed Blair's every move to invade Iraq.Jack Straw a principle Home secretary, Hmmm! did Jack not offer his hand to Mugabe...............

    Come on Jack, these four walls are closing in on you.

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  • 478. At 04:10am on 31 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #476 JRMacClure

    It's always seemed to me that it would be a smart move for the SNP to include the Lib-Dem's theoretical support for "fical autonomy" or "fiscal federalism" in the same referendum as independence.

    It has become fairly clear that the Lib-Dems have become dominated by their Social Democrat wing, and the old Liberals have been marginalised. But it would be politically untenable for the Lib-Dems to oppose a referendum which included their supposed stance - especially since I guess it would be the option most preferred by Scots.

    Salmond previously floated the idea of giving Scots the chance to give 1st and 2nd preferences in a referendum, and I would certainly vote for independence first, but fiscal autonomy as a close second - I am an innate gradualist.

    This would force the Lib-Dems to dump or reassert their Federalist credentials.

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  • 479. At 04:27am on 31 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    478. At 04:10am on 31 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #476 JRMacClure

    It's always seemed to me that it would be a smart move for the SNP to include the Lib-Dem's theoretical support for "fical autonomy" or "fiscal federalism" in the same referendum as independence.

    ------------------

    I'd seen that idea floated and it would put the Lib-Dem's in an interesting position. Whether fiscal autonomy would be a long-term solution or not, it would almost certainly allow Scots to become more comfortable with finances being run in Scotland. I think one concern among nationalists would be splitting the independence vote so that neither option got enough votes. But in a lot of ways, it makes a lot of sense.

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  • 480. At 04:28am on 31 Aug 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #476 JRMacClure
    Beware oldnat may be letting personal prejudice cloud his judgement of the Unionist position. As a teacher he will know well enough - Never ask a question where you don't know the answer.
    I think their problem is that they are all jockeying to be last into battle as none trusts the others to be 100% for the Union. The Torys might transmogrify into Tartan Torys, a rather unsuccessful Labour epithet for the SNP in the early 60s. Gordon Brown signed the Claim of Right and the Liberals used to be the Home Rule party. If they can get it together, then the Nats get bashed, so the SNP need to take a leaf out of the British "How to Rule" manual and keep them divided. Judging by Calman this should not be difficult.
    It will be a very interesting time.

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  • 481. At 04:45am on 31 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #480. At 04:28am on 31 Aug 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #476 JRMacClure
    Beware oldnat may be letting personal prejudice cloud his judgement of the Unionist position. As a teacher he will know well enough - Never ask a question where you don't know the answer.
    I think their problem is that they are all jockeying to be last into battle as none trusts the others to be 100% for the Union. The Torys might transmogrify into Tartan Torys, a rather unsuccessful Labour epithet for the SNP in the early 60s. Gordon Brown signed the Claim of Right and the Liberals used to be the Home Rule party. If they can get it together, then the Nats get bashed, so the SNP need to take a leaf out of the British "How to Rule" manual and keep them divided. Judging by Calman this should not be difficult.
    It will be a very interesting time.

    -----------------------

    I agree it will be an interesting time. At this point, really it's all a matter of opinion until a referendum is set up and voted on. I see no sign that the opposition is willing to have a referendum voted on. Of course, that could change.

    I'm not sure about the "if they get it together the nats get bashed". You may be right, but I'm not sure that in Scotland one's opinion on nationalism depends on party. Sure most probably are SNP. But I've known nationalist Tories and Labourites as I'm sure you have.

    But I agree--interesting days. I am convinced the current brouhaha has more to do with fear of the SNP (and possibly further bashing Labour) than anything to do with the actual issue at hand.

    I'm going to watch with fervent interest, that's for sure. :)

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  • 482. At 05:02am on 31 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Let's assume that this story is true (I speculated here a few days ago that this might have been a factor),

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article6815755.ece

    "Kenny MacAskill’s insistence that he released the Lockerbie bomber solely on judicial grounds has been seriously undermined following claims by a senior Scottish government source that the nation could have become a target for Islamist terrorists if Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi had died a martyr in a Scottish prison"

    The Times, I think, has misunderstood. Scots Law demanded that mercy be exercised, but under Tory legislation, MacAskill could have overridden that for political reasons. According to the Independent the Americans were offering millions of dollars to keep al-Megrahi in Scotland.

    So what would the consequences have been, had MacAskill ignored Scots Law, and kept Magrahi here?

    Scottish lives could have been at risk due to jihadist bonbings in Scottish cities.

    US oil companies would have taken up the oil rights in Libya.

    In other words, following Scots Law had ancillary benefits for Scotland. Ignoring it would have been significantly detrimental.

    It would be hard to follow the dictates of law and conscience if the economic and security consequences were negative. It's not a hard decision when the consequences are positive.

    So thanks to the Unionist parties who wanted the Scottish government not only to act immorally, but also against our best interssts.

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  • 483. At 05:13am on 31 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #480 handclapping

    "personal prejudice" Me? Never! :-)

    Incidentally what are you doing up at this time of night? This is North American posting time!

    As to "Never ask a question where you don't know the answer." That has always seemed to me to be the sensible position on referenda/referendums (which is right?)

    Even more important is to ensure that the question(s) is/are totally fair but consequently screw a party like the Lib-Dems which posture on Scottish autonomy but frustrate it at every turn.

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  • 484. At 05:17am on 31 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #482. I saw that article and just shook my head over the reasoning. They might want to do a Scotland survey on THAT subject.

    Do you want Scotland to be targeted by terrorists? Yes/No

    *rolls eyes*

    I don't think it was the reason, but as an accusation it seems to me to fall pretty flat.

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  • 485. At 05:39am on 31 Aug 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #482 oldnat
    Great theory mainly spoilt by al-Megrahi being an operative of the Libyan government involved in sanctions busting. A sort of economic MI5. Not really terrorist stuff. I doubt many jihadists would be wanting to immolate themselves on his behalf.

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  • 486. At 05:46am on 31 Aug 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #483 oldnat
    Incidentally what are you doing up at this time of night? Never ask a question where you don't know the answer? Of course it would kill any Scottish debate stone dead, as the Scotch method is to answer a question with a question, don't you agree?

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  • 487. At 06:05am on 31 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #486. At 05:46am on 31 Aug 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #483 oldnat
    Incidentally what are you doing up at this time of night? Never ask a question where you don't know the answer? Of course it would kill any Scottish debate stone dead, as the Scotch method is to answer a question with a question, don't you agree?

    --------------------------------

    Haha! Scots? Stubborn? You're kidding, right?

    See. Even Americans can play.

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  • 488. At 06:29am on 31 Aug 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #486 handclapping

    LOL

    As to your #485 I think that assuming that the jihadists make logical decisions is a tad unlikely. I have never thought that their consistency of thought process exceeded that of the Labour Party.

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  • 489. At 07:16am on 31 Aug 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    "Straw admits cave-in over Lockerbie bomber demands "
    Good to see a headline like this in the Telegraph.

    And a hat tip to Mr Cochrane for consistently supporting the decision, albeit with the usual anti SNP digs - somewhat childish as they are.

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  • 490. At 07:42am on 31 Aug 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Yeah, the digs are not a big deal. Nobody says you have to like the SNP, or I certainly don't. Just do honest reporting. The coverage in the Telegraph sent me into shock it was so balanced.

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  • 491. At 08:14am on 31 Aug 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    JR , have you read his stuff over the last year or so??
    Play catch up and you will find just how horribly biased he is - both he and his wife, Jenny Hjul who writes for the Sunday Times have been so dreadful that English readers give them pelters!

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  • 492. At 08:23am on 31 Aug 2009, skint wrote:

    Heartened to see that Nelson Mandela one of the worlds most respected statesmen has come out in agreement with the Scottish Govt. Of course this news is consigned to an "other news" item.

    We all have to accept that it is after all the "British" Broadcasting Corporation and as such is a mouthpiece for the UK Govt and can never be seen to support a minority in the union.

    Interestingly we spent an enjoyable weekend in the company of an American family and inevitably the topic of the Lockerbie bomber came up, whilst as Americans they were disappointed he had been released they understood and accepted the reasons why, they were however appalled at what they regarded as the bias shown by the BBC on the topic, they are used to the propaganda poured out by their own news media but always believed the BBC to be impartial and often watch the BBC world news to get what they believed was a less biased view - no longer!

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  • 493. At 08:56am on 31 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 392 JRMacClure

    'She raised me on stories of Robert Bruce'

    Another of those Scottish historical myths that this man was a 'Scottish' hero. His family were of Norman descent as was Edward I, the 'Hammer of the Scots'. What really happened in British history was two Norman knights battled it out for land domination and the indigenous populations of these 'blessed isles' slaughtered each other on the battle fields so that those 'Norse' leaders could control lands that were not theirs. Such is the history of lies in Europe that effect us all.

    On another subject: Can anyone post me a link to Newsnet Scotland? I keep getting lost. Thank you.

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  • 494. At 08:58am on 31 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    Is that true that the BBC is about to release a headline stating that 'Salmond denies having anything to do with the Kennedy assassination'?

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  • 495. At 09:18am on 31 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    Where is 'Scottish' Labour's condemnation of Mandela backs Lockerbie decision. Let's see them attacking an international hero.

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  • 496. At 09:35am on 31 Aug 2009, skint wrote:

    #495 More to the point, where's the Beebs condemnation? or is it enough that they have consigned it to "other news".

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  • 497. At 09:36am on 31 Aug 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:

    #493 Gedguy2:

    The same goes for William Wallace. It was actually Andrew de Moray who led the Scots army and won the battle of Stirling Bridge. Far from being a military genious when Wallace was left in charge after Moray died, he ended up playing frozen rabbits at Falkirk. The reason why he subsequently became the hero was that he was a Bruce vassal, while Moray was the Red Comyn’s nephew. Now Bruce, as we know, became king not by beating the English but by gubbing the Comyns/Cummings, so when the official history was written, Moray was out and Brucie’s boy Wallace was in as man of the match.

    Nothing new about political spin and manipulation.

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  • 498. At 09:36am on 31 Aug 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    Re the BBC's deliberate attempt try to involve SNP government in Labour's "deal in the desert" with the intention of doing them electoral harm. The cynical little seeds were sown in their triumphant "Scots aren't happy" poll with the rather leading 5th question.

    Now we political anoraks know that St. Tony of the Blair's wee set up with Gadaffi was a function of the UK government but the trusty old beeb was relying on the fact that most Scots do not. They shamelessly set out to try and suck in the SNP and tar them with the dodgy deal as well.

    "Q.5 Do you personally think the Scottish government's decision to release Mr Al-Megrahi was taken on legal grounds alone or do you
    think there were there other factors that influenced the decision? "

    As "compassion" wasn't included as "another factor" when they got a whopping 68% response from the woefully ill informed, they felt confident to proceed as they did yesterday.

    x_sticks with his excellent spoof post @427 rather has it nailed.

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  • 499. At 09:43am on 31 Aug 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #467 ubinworryinmasheep

    "...afraid what you have pointed out is nothing new with the beebs webpage."

    I didn't point it out because it was "new".

    I pointed it out because it stinks.

    It's still stinking 12 hours later.

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  • 500. At 09:48am on 31 Aug 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 496 skintybroko

    'More to the point, where's the Beebs condemnation?'

    Room 101

    #497 Caledonian54

    'Nothing new about political spin and manipulation.'

    Sad but true.

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