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A blog about blogs

Brian Taylor | 14:49 UK time, Thursday, 17 December 2009

This blog is about blogs. Or, rather, a particular blogger.

One Mark MacLachlan who used to work in the South of Scotland office of Mike Russell MSP.

Not content with that role, Mr MacLachlan apparently sought to advance his party's cause by writing a blog. Under a pseudonym. With an enigmatic title.

Seemingly, this blog contained alleged smears against political rivals, both in the South of Scotland and in Holyrood.

In the customary fashion, the author was disclosed. Mr Russell deplored the content of the blog.

Mr MacLachlan resigned from his post.

Mr Russell told BBC Scotland that he had known nothing of the blog's content and had, indeed, been "shocked".

Political integrity

This morning The Herald published email correspondence between the MSP and his former staffer in which Mr MacLachlan is shown asserting that Mr Russell had known of the blog - and had suggested content for it.

To date, I have not troubled you with this story on this site - or, indeed, anywhere else. An error, no doubt, on my part but I felt that minor matters like the state of the economy might command more public interest.

I only raise it now because Iain Gray chose to major on this topic in questioning the first minister.

Mr Gray suggested it was a question of the minister's integrity.

Further, he quoted a suggestion from Mr MacLachlan to the effect that he had been obliged to stand down and that his resignation note had been written by the FM's special adviser.

Labour's Holyrood leader demanded a parliamentary statement from the minister on the matter.

In response, Mr Salmond cited Mr Russell's previous denials - and suggested that Mr Gray might have usefully chosen another topic, such as the collapse of the airline Globespan or the climate talks in Copenhagen.

'False' alegations

And there's more. Mr Russell has now reiterated his insistence that he knew nothing of the blog's contents.

He has asked his lawyers to advise his former employee that his allegations are "totally false".

He says, further, that any repetition of these allegations by Mr MacLachlan will result in legal action.

Further, Mr Russell has, in effect, referred himself to Holyrood's Standards Commissioner for investigation.

He does this, he says, confident that he has acted properly in every way.

Purely in the interests of balance - and before you all rush to your keyboards - I will also note that Mr Salmond raised with Mr Gray the issue of a donation from Prestonpans Labour Party to the Holyrood Labour leader.

I have not, to date, troubled you with this story either. However, it is to the effect that East Lothian council previously provided a marquee to Labour in Prestonpans over a number of years for use at a fund-raising barbecue.

The suggestion is that this was, improperly, a donation in kind to a political organisation.

It is further noted that the branch provided a donation to Mr Gray's campaign to be Labour leader at Holyrood.

PS: Have any of you read Wilfred Owen's wonderful poem, Futility. It ends:

Was it for this the clay grew tall?
O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth's sleep at all?

PPS: If you think I am grumpy because the SFA are after United's manager, you are right.

PPPS: Have a Good Yule

Comments

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  • 1. At 3:10pm on 17 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Hot on the heels of the latest media smear against the SNP comes news that Ireland came out of recession in September, thus beating the UK who still languish in the doldrums.

    Click Here

    The news ought to come as an embarrassment to Labour MSP’s, MP’s and media commentators who have consistently trumpeted Ireland as a basket case. Jim Murphy in particular will be embarrassed after his infamous ‘arc of insolvency’ slur.

    The Herald sink to even murkier depths with their gutter headline based around an email which appeared an attempt to blackmail Mike Russell. The Herald continue in a similar vein with an unfortunate closure of a rural school, badly in need of repair, being twisted in order present another anti SNP headline.

    This week also saw the BBC’s Glenn Campbell join the rest of the Scottish media in seeking to belittle the First Ministers visit to Copenhagen and diminish Scotland’s valuable contribution to the climate change debate.

    There were also complaints from Labour over bonuses paid to NHS staff, the Labour attack on the SNP was dutifully reported by the Scottish media but failed to make it clear that the party who had negotiated many of these contracts were .............. Labour.

    Labour attack Kenny MacAskill over the release over Christmas of open prison inmates, despite the numbers of such releases being significantly higher when they were in office and the practice having existed since the 1950’s.

    Meanwhile the UK plummets towards bankruptcy and Scotland’s budget faces being slashed no matter who wins the next UK election.

    This, when Scotland has actually contributed £2.3 billion more than she received from the UK treasury over the last few years.

    Why report news when you can simply use Labour statements and contort any issue that pleases you?

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  • 2. At 3:19pm on 17 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    I have not, to date, troubled you with this story [Prestonpans Labour Party Fundraising Revelations] either.

    Why?

    The fundraising story is different from the blog smear in that there is irrefutable proof and an admission from Labour that the then Labour run council provided resources to the local Labour party to help with funraising for the Labour party.

    It is also not disputed that this local party donated money to Iain Gray's leadership campaign.

    Further, there is evidence that not just payment in kind but actual use of council finances prior to 1996 to help Labour raise funds.

    This is the difference between the stories, one contains no corroborative evidence and the other most certainly does.

    Meanwhile, whilst we are talking about smears, allegations and innuendo why still no mention of the BBC's recent apology to Alex Neil?

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  • 3. At 3:22pm on 17 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    Brian
    When Mr Gray attacks the Prime Minister about the antics of Mr McBride, then will I pay attention to what he says on this blogger to our Parly.
    When will we get the proper opposition to the SNP that we are paying for?

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  • 4. At 3:49pm on 17 Dec 2009, john wrote:

    "Purely in the interests of balance"

    I have to contend, sir, that you have not been balanced, as both instances cited show the paucity of talent within the opposition to the current administration in holyrood.

    John

    ps. In case you were wondering, I now count the media (well most of it) as within the opposition.

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  • 5. At 3:59pm on 17 Dec 2009, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    Did Gray discuss the collapse of Scotland's biggest airline - No.. Did he discuss the improvement in unemployment - No .... Did he discuss the economy at all - No ....

    Instead he chose to chase after Mike Russell regarding a not very important blogger that used to work for him.

    No wonder a lot of people still think of the Scottish Parliament as nothing more than a glorified parish council.

    Gray should be thoroughly ashamed of himself and the Labour Party should really think about what on earth their role is.

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  • 6. At 4:05pm on 17 Dec 2009, jwm007 wrote:

    #1

    I totally agree with your comments. I subscribe to the electronic edition of the Herald and this morning I have written to the editor to cancel my subscription. If Scottish journalists think that publishing Labour Party press releases are a substitute for proper investigative journalism then they should pay from their pocket - simply stop buying these rags. However, we have a problem with the BBC which lives like a parasite on our license fees. Can you remember the last time this Company ran a positive story on Scotland? I normally refer to it as 'London/Salford Calling'. Journalists such as Glen Campbell and the amazing wooden top Sally Magnusson are amateurs to say the least. Campbell comes into an interview ill-prepared and then gets the run around by Alex Salmond - to my great delight. Does this not sound familiar - Ian Gray. At the last SNP Conference he made it clear - on air - that he was looking forward to a Labour revival. Somehow I don't think Scotland would survive the ordeal.- remember the feeble 50!!

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  • 7. At 4:14pm on 17 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    Will the Labour party be moving to end all blogs including this one? Would they dare go that far?

    I can't see that being allowed to happen in England, as there would be riots, so could Scotland be the only place in the world where blogs are outlawed, apart from dictatorships?





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  • 8. At 4:19pm on 17 Dec 2009, parisfrance wrote:

    Oh forgoodnessake.

    Is Ian Grey determined to make a laughing stock out of Scottish politics?

    What in the name of God's holy trousers is this?

    Our economy totters, our employment strains against the leash of disaster, our troops toil in far away lands fighting for their very lives, and Ian Grey raises THIS?

    We have a country of 5 million people, many of whom are struggling financially, many of whom are without jobs, many of whom are fighting to keep their jobs, and Ian Grey wants us to think about a blog and a blogger that, when it was up and running, probably attracting at best a dozen hits a day?

    Is this guy real? Is this Labour party real? Is this the level they've dragged us and our parliament down to?

    Brian, for pity's sakes, does it not make a mockery of you and your profession? to have to attend to parliamentery affairs with a well-honed critical eye and then . . . you're forced to write about THIS?

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  • 9. At 4:23pm on 17 Dec 2009, sid_ts63 wrote:

    you must surely be asking yourself,Brian,why people feel the need to set up a blog of any kind and spend the time and the effort that is obviously required to maintain it ? why would that be ?
    Could it be , that unlike generations before us, we are not as gullible as they were and we certainly do not take as gospel what the BBC try to pass as fact.
    could you possibly tell me the difference between a political blog on the Internet and the behaviour of your colleague Mr Campbell?

    the only difference I can see is Mr Campbell has substantially higher viewing figures. granted they are reducing weekly as more and more people see him for what he is!

    oh and the people of Scotland pay him to deliver his venomous hatred into our homes and if you want to read a blog you need to go looking for it!

    the BBC ceased to be a public service broadcaster a good few years ago the BBC are now nothing more than a media service for a political party

    Sid

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  • 10. At 4:33pm on 17 Dec 2009, Pat McGroin wrote:

    Ok, now I'm scared.
    I love the SNP but this time I believe Iain Gray.
    Where's oldnat to alay my fears?

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  • 11. At 4:40pm on 17 Dec 2009, Alex wrote:

    The important thing surely lies in the nature of the banned blog - some of the stuff published was pretty disgusting - and whether there is any truth in the email exchange published in today's Herald.

    Mike Russell has denied that he knew that his employee was the cybernat attack blogger. The blogger says that Mr Russell knew fine well. He also alleges that his resignation letter was written by a senior SNP adviser.

    I don't see this as a minor matter. Having an attack dog working for the party is bad enough. Turning a blind eye to the blogging is another. But knowing that the blogger is a party employee, and knowing the nature of the blog entries, and still turning a blind eye is quite another....

    If there is truth in these allegations, then Mike Russell and others have questions to answer.

    As for whether Ian Gray was right to raise the issue: Alex Salmond thinks it's ok to raise the Prestonpans Labour allegations. In which case he cannot object to these allegations, which have much more serious implications, being raised as well.

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  • 12. At 4:46pm on 17 Dec 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    The sooner that utter numpty Iain Gray is removed from the Scottish Parliament the better. This is not politics it's playground politics. How childish. It is the integrity of Iain Gray that is in question here, not Russell.
    Scotland is stitched up, ripped off and slandered by Gray's Unionist party and he has the brass neck to raise a pathetic attack on the SNP based on a campaign by the (so called) Scottish press to destroy a blog.
    Better he should be telling the people of Scotland why the Labour Party has missappropriated funds from the Prestonpans Council.
    Independence can't happen soon enough.

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  • 13. At 4:55pm on 17 Dec 2009, Gavin Lessells wrote:

    Poor Glenn!!!? Mind you, he is not alone. There are some Beeb news editors who are open to question. One could be forgiven for assuming that were Labour to report an increase of sweetie papers on the street since the SNP took offioce, then they could make a negative item from it including interviews with hard pressed road sweepers.

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  • 14. At 4:57pm on 17 Dec 2009, john wrote:

    #11 Bloomineck
    "which have much more serious implications, being raised as well."

    Are you trying to tell me that someone calling someone else names (I don't know the content of the blog, but can imagine) is more serious than the institutionalised raping of our country?

    IF the blogger's allegations are true, then a minister misled parliment, and allowed an employee to spread dirt about other politicians. That would be reprehensable, but playground politics.

    IF the prestonpans allegations are true, then a political party has been abusing its power to raise funds for itself, and it has been doing this for years. That is corruption on a grand scale.

    John

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  • 15. At 5:17pm on 17 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    11. At 4:40pm on 17 Dec 2009, BloominEck wrote:
    The important thing surely lies in the nature of the banned blog - some of the stuff published was pretty disgusting
    Care to give an example?

    I don't see this as a minor matter. Having an attack dog working for the party is bad enough.

    The first Unionist to cite the smear, as fact, has appeared.

    cybernat attack blogger.

    A use of the pejoratibe term 'cybernat' coupled with the adjective 'attack blogger' seeks to demonise those who support constitutional change and express views online.

    Note that the online Unionists are ignored, even those who use disgusting language - believe me the websites exist and are not difficult to find.

    But knowing that the blogger is a party employee, and knowing the nature of the blog entries, and still turning a blind eye is quite another....

    More innuendo painted as fact - this is exactly how the unionist media operates. Print an allegation with no evidence and then sit back as it is used by Unionist bloggers in order to demonise one part of the online community.

    Now, how exactly does this differ from what Mr MacLachaln allegedly did?

    MacLachlan's blog was a mixture of revelation and satire - it was quite a well put together blog. MacLachlan made no more factual inaccuracies than Jim Murphy, who we know recently removed alleged defamatory material from his own official website - a story that did not appear in the mainstream Scottish media.

    Let's just repeat that:
    The Secretary of State for Scotland, Labour MP Jim Murphy, recently removed statements from his own website after receiving a threat of egal action

    Lest we all forget, the erstwhile de-facto Secretry of State and Labour MP David Cairns described independence supporters as "swivel eyed anti-English bigots".

    Ex Herald journalist and now BBC employee described online critics as "vermin".

    As recently as Sunday the BBC allowed a journalist to make generalised insulting and possible defamatory remarks against independence supporting online contributors.

    This is why non Unionist bloggers are angry and frustrated, a clear double standard in operation.

    I would suggest that the possible institutionalised corruption at the heart of Labour run councils is far more important than the online opinions of a lone blogger - others may disagree.

    I would also venture that there are many, many websites and forums and that contain disgusting remarks aimed at Alex Salmond - I know because I found them easily.

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  • 16. At 5:20pm on 17 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    Hang on, a few posters in previous weeks have been highly supportive of the aforementioned blogger.

    Russell is threatening legal action. What does that say about the views of the SNP leadership on bloggers?

    It proves that those bloggers, however good their intentions, must be careful with their actions otherwise they can damage the very party they wish to support. It also gives the opposition a chance to deflect public attention elsewhere.


    --------------------
    7. At 4:14pm on 17 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:
    Will the Labour party be moving to end all blogs including this one? Would they dare go that far?

    I can't see that being allowed to happen in England, as there would be riots, so could Scotland be the only place in the world where blogs are outlawed, apart from dictatorships?

    ----

    I think you are being a little but far fetched here.

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  • 17. At 5:26pm on 17 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    10. ecosse1982
    "Where's oldnat to alay my fears?"

    Xmas shopping!

    Read the article. Hutcheon says nothing of importance. It's a typical journalist making implications with no supporting evidence. If any evidence actually linking Russell to the blog emerged, I might share your concern, but I've seen none. There are many politicians (in all parties) that might well be complicit in such activities - remember Damien McBride's blogging schemes dreamed up while working in Downing St - Mike Russell is not one of them.

    Brian finally mentions the East Lothian affair, but as something insignificant. After all everyone with any knowledge of the workings of pre-PR LAs in Scotland knows that this kind of low-level corruption involving Labour was so endemic as not being worth mentioning (BT is from Dundee!). What should have concerned him is the practice continues even after Labour lost power in E Lothian. That suggests a level of embedded corruption that needs to be actively rooted out.

    Finally, I note Brian's PPPS. If this is going to be his last post this year, I'll take the opportunity to wish you all a good Winter solstice - along with any associated religious or pagan rituals that take your fancy!

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  • 18. At 5:26pm on 17 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Comment 14 hits the nail on the head.

    I could be wrong and hope that I am, but I would venture that Paul Hutcheon has not sought to investigate the alleged corruption involving a Labour run council and the local Labour party.

    How many other councils controlled by Labour are/were operating similar agreements involving council reaources?

    Now, I'm not for one moment suggesting that any are/were, however the issue requires investigation.

    Iain Gray himself was a regular attender of the East Lothian fundraising events - how many journalists have asked him on record what he knew regarding the council involvment in these events?

    Local party spokesmen appeared to think that everything was acceptable, so there would have been no reason for them to hide the arrangement - indeed one might have expected them to mention the help received from the council to high profile Labour visitors to the event.

    Who were the workmen who erected the marquee? Were they ever rewarded in kind or even thanked by any Labour officials?

    Many, many questions to answer over this but as usual our ever compliant Scottish media close their eyes and ears.

    Who was it that once suggested he would ask difficult questions?

    Mr Brian Taylor, that's who - we are still waiting for his first one (divide by zero doesn't count).

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  • 19. At 5:28pm on 17 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

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

  • 20. At 5:29pm on 17 Dec 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    14. john
    "Are you trying to tell me that someone calling someone else names (I don't know the content of the blog, but can imagine) is more serious than the institutionalised raping of our country?"
    John, with regard to this, if one were into conspiracy theories one might wonder why E-Clear (based in London) who were the company processing the online sales for flyGlobespan were witholding £20m in sales that were already cleared. One might wonder if this was part of the institutionalised rape that you are talking of. Getting "rid" of Scotland largest airline company would be another blow to any independence movement.
    Globespan's cash crunch

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  • 21. At 5:33pm on 17 Dec 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:

    Politicians deserve each other. Do we deserve them? No wonder so few folk turn out to vote.

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  • 22. At 5:36pm on 17 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

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

  • 23. At 5:56pm on 17 Dec 2009, Robabody wrote:

    #5 WS said "No wonder a lot of people still think of the Scottish Parliament as nothing more than a glorified parish counci"

    I recall that Blair opined that the Scottish parliament would be the equivalent of a Parish Council. Since he was labour's leader at the time, he must have had a good idea of the calibre of the representation we were going to get................and he was right

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  • 24. At 6:04pm on 17 Dec 2009, Robabody wrote:

    #9 Sid - I suspect that's because they are based in Glasgow. I suits their personal networks and contacts. Now there would be a piece of work, BBC Glasgow (scotland) people mapped against labour (unionist) party connections

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  • 25. At 6:08pm on 17 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

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

  • 26. At 6:15pm on 17 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    Brian
    A subject to mull over the mince pies; we pay £8000 odd for a councillor, what are we getting from the Tory, Labour and LibDem MSPs that make them worth so much more?
    As an extension to that train of thought, what are we getting from about 400 of the 650 MPs that makes them worth even more?

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  • 27. At 6:41pm on 17 Dec 2009, Wansanshoo wrote:

    ''David Costello, chairman of the Prestonpans Labour Party, said the council historically did not charge Prestonpans organisations for the marquee, through a long-standing agreement between the local authority and Prestonpans Community Council.''

    So the council suppply, deliver, erect and take down a marquee for all ''Prestonpans organisations'', or not ?

    Brian Taylor, there is one helluva protracted Labour sleaze story in this and you know it !


    Wansanshoo.

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  • 28. At 6:47pm on 17 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    Brian
    I am glad that it was a cloudy, dreich day in Edinbugh today, otherwise I would be worrying for your health in that it was the sight of real motes dancing in a shaft of sunshine in the Chamber that had inspired your remembrance of WO's O what made fatuous sunbeams toil To break earth's sleep at all? rather than the metaphorical ones in the music hall knockabout that is FMQs. In the latter case, I find no evidence of mental instability, but, try not to get shot.

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  • 29. At 6:49pm on 17 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    In your passing Brian any comments on the actions of the high commisioner of Scotland's blog, in case you havent seen it the links below.

    Jim Murphy backs down after Tory threatens defamation action

    "PPS: If you think I am grumpy because the SFA are after United's manager, you are right." Why not neither justifies full time employment and it would reduce Dundee's running costs.

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  • 30. At 6:51pm on 17 Dec 2009, coineach watson wrote:

    When are we going to hear the REVELATIONS (i.e. true statements) about the Prestonpans Labour Party that Iain Gray mentioned at FM Question Time this afternoon. Or is he suddenly going to be voiceless because it might just hurt his party?
    The ALLEGATIONS (i.e. unsubstantiated rumours) about "The Blogg" have yet to be brought to light - maybe Mr Gray has some evidence. If he does, show it, if he doesn't, which I suspect, he should shut up.
    Maybe Mr Gray should think about going back to teaching and apply immediately for early retirement and do Scotland a favour. As an opposition leader and a politician he is obviously a non-starter.

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  • 31. At 7:00pm on 17 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    26. handclapping
    "A subject to mull over the mince pies; we pay £8000 odd for a councillor, what are we getting from the Tory, Labour and LibDem MSPs that make them worth so much more?
    As an extension to that train of thought, what are we getting from about 400 of the 650 MPs that makes them worth even more?
    "

    Politicians pay structure has been manipulated to those levels as a means of acting superior to the rest of us, I am all in favour of putting a cap on wages across the board of everyone which would go a long way of reducing the gap between the "haves" and "havenots" resulting in a much more favourable society.

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  • 32. At 7:24pm on 17 Dec 2009, R campbell wrote:

    The 'Scottish' media/Labour (same thing) are really dragging this out for all it is worth. When unionists have their moments of indiscretion it really goes away very quickly though. Who remembers this story dragging on for long:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article2896629.ece

    An aide to the Labour leader at the Scottish Parliament has resigned in disgrace after calling the First Minister a “c ” at an awards ceremony.

    Matthew Marr, chief press aide to Wendy Alexander, issued a grovelling apology for his behaviour at the Scottish Politician of the Year Awards last Thursday, which culminated in him screaming abuse at Alex Salmond before apparently ranting to bemused onlookers: “I hate the f g middle classes.”

    Although Ms Alexander initially ordered her inner circle to protect Mr Marr, a Labour insider said: “It was when she heard that he had also been rude to staff at the hotel that she realised it had gone too far.”

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  • 33. At 7:28pm on 17 Dec 2009, nate_oz wrote:

    Well the Unionists claim that Scotland can't survive alone while using Ireland as an example for this, is in absolute tatters. To enter recession after us, to exit before us and still be 40% per head better off than us, why don't the media report that the Scottish Government was right for a change instead of bringing them down.

    And no focus on Iain Gray's sleazy dealings with taxpayers money, surprise surprise. Glad that Brian has made an attempt to be more balanced today. Glen Campbell treating Alex Salmond the way he did on Newsnight Scotland mortified me as a fellow Scot.

    We have more renewable energy capability than anyone in Europe, we have world leading climate legislation yet the UK government blocks our attendance and the example we have set!! Alex Salmond done the only thing he could to have us represented and I for one applaud him for his efforts.

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  • 34. At 7:33pm on 17 Dec 2009, R campbell wrote:

    Re my 32: I also note the SNP's response to the whole situation was:

    "The First Minister accept Mr Marr's apology and regards the matter as now closed."

    Contrast that with how Labour are acting now over this one blog.

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  • 35. At 7:48pm on 17 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Unplugging from the world's power lines

    "Some begin their off-grid quest out of environmental concerns and some see it as an antidote to rocketing energy prices and fears of economic collapse. Others simply want to be independent."

    I think the last sentence says it all.

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  • 36. At 7:55pm on 17 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    #16

    Perhaps, but Labour were going to call in all internet communications before they hit some resistance. Labour tend to close doors when they are threatened and nothing is beyond them. Some organizations don't even need to be told what to do, a nod and a wink and it's done. The Labour supporting Herald have closed down their comments section and The Scotsman has also excluded comments on articles from one of their main protagonists and selectively on other articles which are contentious. I believe also that the Daily Record closed down comments for a time when it got too hot for them. Then there was Nick Robinson's blog!






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  • 37. At 7:58pm on 17 Dec 2009, spinspamspun7 wrote:

    Brian,don't despair,your manager is just ticking boxes for the future !
    Start wearing glasses ! Makes Levein look studious !
    On holiday for a few weeks,why not run a session for your collegues,
    Campbell/Renton/Robertson,on how to suppress their bias ?

    #8
    "Is Iain Grey determined to make a laughing stock out of
    Scottish Politics"
    I would suggest that Grayman is the "laughing stock" in FM's Q's

    #15
    Where is Cairns now? Where is he stashing his salary and expenses?

    #21
    You want to help?

    #30
    Grey back to teaching?
    Inspiring children!No chance.
    Go bore,and sell corsets!

    Such a sensitive soul!
    Get your Santa list done.
    Must be a book/pamphlet on "How to do better and succeed"

    ps Can I book the East Lothian tent for Hogmanay ???

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  • 38. At 8:17pm on 17 Dec 2009, kenstor wrote:

    oh dear! somebody dared to question the snp administration. we cant have that, how dare anyone question that which is perfect.
    dont they know? its everybody elses fault.

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  • 39. At 8:23pm on 17 Dec 2009, Astonished wrote:

    Well Brian - You ,at last, mentioned marqueegate. I note you haven't asked any difficult questions of Mr Grey. Too scared ?


    How about asking difficult questions of that blogger who defamed a person and a couple of nations - You know the guy ; big labour mouthpiece. Claimed to have a degree and didn't. The 'arc of insolvency' guy. Glenn's buddy - the one he never asks the difficult (or even pertinent) question. I think someone once called him a chump.


    Brian: How about you stop running away from the difficult questions ?


    The double standards evident in every area of BBC Scotland must be addressed.

    Brian I still think you are capable of asking difficult questions of the labour party. However for some reason you refuse to do so and this blog merely re-inforces that opinion.


    PPS Season's greeting to all.




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  • 40. At 8:36pm on 17 Dec 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    @37 spinspamspun7 asked "ps Can I book the East Lothian tent for Hogmanay ???"

    no can do, Glenn's taking it to Arran for a camping holiday.

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  • 41. At 8:36pm on 17 Dec 2009, romeplebian wrote:

    11. BloominEck
    I am inclined to agree , lets get the gloves off and get all the dirt out in the open once and for all, so anything that has been hidden D notices, the Beeb being impartial, the press being impartial, the lies and deception of Westminster, the corruption, the bribes yes lets get it all out, because whilst this is all going on the people of Scotland are not getting what they paid for

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  • 42. At 8:38pm on 17 Dec 2009, Astonished wrote:

    38 Kenstor - well done .

    Labour's long running corrupt practices should just be glossed over. That is why we have the whitewash commission, the Hutton inquiry , radio labour and labour tv.


    Oh aye...... and you !

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  • 43. At 8:53pm on 17 Dec 2009, tullibardine wrote:

    I suspect the monotonous banality of some questions raised on FMQ wouldn’t be tolerated on most local councils but today Messrs. Gray, Goldie and Scott surpassed even themselves.

    Gray should have had the sense to change tack after his first question bit the dust. But perhaps he doesn’t do thinking on his feet. Goldie and Scott’s questions weren’t much better. Perhaps a little more research wouldn’t have gone amiss which could have saved them being slapped down by Salmond.

    According to Hamish Mcdonnell (Scotsman) on being interviewed by BT he thought that Messrs Gray, Goldie and Scott raised some good issues. Perhaps Brian should have reminded him, gently of course, as is Brian’s wont, that perhaps when all is considered and with due regard to personal politics, questions regarding the state of the economy would have been more appropriate.

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  • 44. At 9:04pm on 17 Dec 2009, brigadierjohn wrote:

    Relax, I'm not returning. Just couldn't resist a comment on the Universality of Sleaze (is that it?) shock horror drama. It is truly a wonderful spectacle to see the SNP rebuttal machine in full swing.
    Key points, it would seem: never address the issue, change the subject, attack the usual suspects, never, never concede anything, let alone the possibility of error by the party or its supporters.

    It appears we have a perfect, fully united SNP, backed to the hilt by every supporter on every issue. Does anyone ever ask how likely that might be? I mean, rabid Old Firm fans are never done criticising their own teams. Likewise Labour and Tory party members, etc. But the SNP is always right. It is always someone else's fault.

    This is not a make-believe world, but it's populated by some make-believe characters, who wouldn't know reality if it rose up and whacked them.

    Yes, yes I know. We're all out to get you.


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  • 45. At 9:04pm on 17 Dec 2009, nate_oz wrote:

    The blog is a bit quieter as of late, don't you think?

    I just watched FMQ's, Iain Gray sure knows how to embarrass himself, although so did Annable Goldie by criticise the Scottish Government for not utilising the benefits of private health care when it was the private sector that cancelled the contract at Strathcathro.

    The opposition need to start doing their homework if they want to take on the mighty Salmond lol, furthermore his team of loyal cabinet members, most united cabinet i've ever saw in comparison to the Lab-Lib Dem coalition, that was a disaster, when Iain Gray gets given the boot that will be them on their 6th leader if I have counted correctly?

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  • 46. At 9:17pm on 17 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    44. brigadierjohn
    "This is not a make-believe world, but it's populated by some make-believe characters, who wouldn't know reality if it rose up and whacked them."

    Has someone given you a kiss to wake you from your slumber?

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  • 47. At 9:23pm on 17 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    44. brigadierjohn

    Nice to hear from you again. Have a good Xmas & New Year.

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  • 48. At 9:48pm on 17 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    And for those anti-Brits amongst you who accuse Britain of being the US poodle. Here's a BBC clip which shows the Brit PM leading Al Gore.

    http://tiny.cc/PHBWr

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  • 49. At 9:49pm on 17 Dec 2009, wilddog wrote:

    I watched the show today and also the Wed.one with an ex Labour councilor at the helm at the end of today's prog.we had Hamish backing Lab and Auntie who did not know that it was the private crowd that canceled the agreement.Maybe,maybe we will start getting good honest reporting from BBC Scotland next year,sure hold the Government to account but also report about the others and their dealings.

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  • 50. At 10:07pm on 17 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    48. oldnat

    Ah but the question is "Who undid their jacket buttons?"

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  • 51. At 10:18pm on 17 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    50. cynicalHighlander

    Jacketbuttongate?

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  • 52. At 10:53pm on 17 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Paul Hutcheon and Tom Peterkin have both been contacted by Newsnet Scotland.

    Hutcheon over allegations contained in his article and the implied allegations of lying in the article headline and Peterkin over the following statement that will feature in an article in tomorrows Scotsman:

    "Then, Salmond had told Gray the blogs were nothing to do with the SNP – a hollow claim following the exposure of MacLachlan."

    My emphasis.

    A serious allegation from Peterkin, who of course will have sound evidence with which to back it up.

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  • 53. At 11:07pm on 17 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #44 Dear John
    If I could find the servant who removes your coffin lid, I'd hammer a stake through his heart. How nice to have you back at our after-dark sessions adding a little bite to the procedings. However your recent repose in the crypt does not seem to have improved your dark vision; It appears we have a perfect, fully united SNP, backed to the hilt by every supporter on every issue. My,my. Have you asked yourself how likely that might be?
    But the SNP is always right. That must be awfully scary for you, especially as Labour and Tory party members are never done criticising their own teams. But the final point I would like to make on your view of life, the Universe, and everything, is, from which parallel world are you viewing when you deliver your deathless line This is not a make-believe world, but it's populated by some make-believe characters, who wouldn't know reality if it rose up and whacked them.

    Have a Cool Yule and all the best for 2010, 2011, etc., ad inf.
    And don't forget to take your humbug with you, your slumber will be longer than a sermon.

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  • 54. At 11:14pm on 17 Dec 2009, A_Scottish_Voice wrote:

    Brian I have to admit I found your statement -

    "Purely in the interests of balance" - somewhat perplexing.

    As far as I am aware you have never felt the need to balanced or fair before, so why should you be now.


    It because the pathetic petty negative politics being peddled by Labour and pushed by the Scottish media, is now so plainly obviously biased towards Labour for the sake of political gain, that it is now cringingly embarrassing even to yourself, so much so that you possibly feel the need to acknowledge that it has gone to far.


    This will never do, I use the BBC as a barometer of how politically anti SNP the media is at any given point in time, I can't have you going all
    balanced on me.


    Take a few days off during the holidays, and I am sure you will be back to your usual self come the new year.

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  • 55. At 11:14pm on 17 Dec 2009, john wrote:

    Just read Gray's comments from FMQ (quoted from BBC article):
    "Mr Gray, who said he had been the victim of internet slurs about his marriage: "I wish to see these anonymous blogs rooted out and got rid of." "

    Is it just me, or is this a very sinister statement?

    John

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  • 56. At 11:38pm on 17 Dec 2009, Freenonbrit wrote:

    I've followed Scottish politics for over forty years, and during that time there has been barely a month in which the Scottish press has not had an opportunity to report some kind of dishonesty or malpractice by elected representatives or officials of the Labour Party. For too may of them, it's in their nature; they think that their cause is one of such unassailable sanctity that any measures taken to further the Party's interest are justified. And members of the Scottish Press didn't, and don't, expose the rottenness, either because they also believe in it, or because they'd become persona non grata and their careers would go down the pan.

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  • 57. At 00:43am on 18 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    11. BloominEck
    "In which case he cannot object to these allegations, which have much more serious implications, being raised as well.

    "
    Yes, an employee bloggiing on HIS OWN TIME is saying what he has EVERY RIGHT TO SAY (there is free speech in Scotland, is there not--EVEN FOR EMPLOYEES OF AN MSP??? OR HAVE THEY DONE AWAY WITH THAT LITTLE ITEM?)

    And you actually BELIEVE that this is more important than Labour using PUBLIC FUNDS TO CAMPAIGN????

    Good lord.

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  • 58. At 06:07am on 18 Dec 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    I have to agree with Brian that this is a monumental scandal. Dundee United are always giving away our best players and managers to the detriment of the team; from Ron Yeats, Andy Gray to the current Rangers manager. When are we going to be able to keep our best and compete with the big two?
    As to the blog and the blogger, I'd be disappointed if it was found that the minister was behind the antics of this blogger.

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  • 59. At 06:46am on 18 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    A plan to let councils save money by allowing them to place public notice adverts online instead of compelling them to pay newspapers has been attacked by Unionist parties.

    Now why would Unionist parties be 'outraged' over a plan that might help save front line services?

    Click Here

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  • 60. At 07:06am on 18 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    The author of the blog at the centre of the 'blogosmear' issue is apparently to give a statement to the media at some point.

    He was apparently contacted by Paul Hutcheon the day before Hutcheon's article appeared in The Herald. Mr MacLachlan seems to have formed the impression that the article was to be an attack on him.

    Mr MacLachlan further states that the (incomplete) emails were not obtained through him.

    The blog itself never was as bad as the media are making out, however the role of the media in this issue is fast becoming the story.

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  • 61. At 07:08am on 18 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Big prize to anyone who spots a headline in the Scottish media proclaiming that Ireland were out of recession in September.

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  • 62. At 07:57am on 18 Dec 2009, Roll_On_2010 wrote:


    Political leaders accused of ignoring Flyglobespan collapse.

    None of the main opposition leaders questioned Alex Salmond during First Minister’s Question Time about the parent company of Flyglobespan going into administration, with the loss of up to 800 jobs.

    A surprised Mr Salmond mentioned the omission himself after Iain Gray, Labour’s Holyrood leader, chose to ask him about a row over a political blog.


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  • 63. At 08:37am on 18 Dec 2009, Florence wrote:

    Was disappointed that Iain Gray on Good Morning Scotland wasn't asked by Ms. Mir about Jim Murphy removing from his blog defamatory remarks about a Tory. Pity. It might have been interesting.

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  • 64. At 09:02am on 18 Dec 2009, forfar-loon wrote:

    44. brigadierjohn Yay, the brigadier returns! Welcome back buddy! It's just like the good old days! Maybe their artistic differences can finally be put aside and we'll see that long-awaited reunion concert in the Usher Hall with brigadierjohn and bighullabaloo crooning saccharine ballads at each other, oldnat and Brownedov heckling from their balcony and Thomas Porter selling the ice cream and pop at the interval. All proceeds from ticket sales to go to Bloggers Anonymous.

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  • 65. At 09:02am on 18 Dec 2009, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    #61

    You also won't find any references that Norway has moved from 10th in 2008 to second in 2009 in the league table of European countries receiving the most cleantech VC financing led by large solar and electric vehicle investment.

    Ahhhh ... the joy of being a small independent and stinking rich country.

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  • 66. At 09:04am on 18 Dec 2009, coineach watson wrote:

    On a more serious point, one wonders what Mr Gray would say about his master, Gordon Brown's and Foreign Secretary Millibrand's statement that they are going to change the law in England to permit War Crime suspects to enter the country with impunity.
    I am, of course, referring to the case of Tzipi Livni, the past Israeli Cabinet Minister who was part of the group which authorised the attacks on Gaza which killed over 1,000 innocent men, women and children using illegal Weapons of Mass Destruction.
    What has Mr Gray and the Scottish Labour Party to say about that, or does Mr Gray receive "shut-up" money like many members of the Labour and Conservative parties from Zionist supporters in the UK and where exactly does that money originate from?
    Maybe he is too scared to mention anything as the same law could be used against members of the Westminster Labour Party over the Iraq and Afghan wars.

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  • 67. At 09:19am on 18 Dec 2009, john wrote:

    #63,
    Yes that is the question that was missing. other than that, it was better than the normal fare.

    As uaual, when pressed, gray sounded like a broken record, unprepared to deviate from his prerehearsed soundbites. Pathetic in my opinion.

    In the same interview, I also heard about Marqueegate for the first time on the BBC. Would have fallen over had I not still been in bed.

    Ironic that all that balance was making me unsteady on my feet.

    John

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  • 68. At 09:38am on 18 Dec 2009, The Fickle Finger wrote:

    Aye, it's a sin. The SFA going after Levein! Shame on them.

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  • 69. At 09:40am on 18 Dec 2009, dear_wendy wrote:

    What I'd like to know, following Mr Gray's line of questioning yesterday, is just how Alex Salmond is expected to police the internet and moderate personal blogs?

    All he can do, is act against those employed by his party, and to a lesser extent members of his party who overstep the mark.

    And that is exactly what he has done.

    McLachlan lost his job.
    Alex requested that "CyberNats" stick to positive campaigning at the last conference/gathering/thingy.

    What more can he do?

    Counter this with the actions of Mr Gray and the Labour Party.
    Can anyone recall the last time Labour did ANY positive campaigning?
    When has Mr Gray ever requested Labour supporting bloggers to keep it positive?
    When was Mr Murphy censured for comments he had to withdraw from his blog under threat of legal action?

    Gray doesn't like free speech. He does the good old mainstream Scottish media.

    Another "Courageous" line of questioning.

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  • 70. At 09:43am on 18 Dec 2009, Richard_the_Rogue wrote:

    24. Robabody

    Maybe you should keep an eye on the Channel 4 site that is attempting to do just that...

    http://quirkynats.freeforums.org/who-knows-who-t236.html

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  • 71. At 10:11am on 18 Dec 2009, ahumscottish2 wrote:

    Hi all,

    Online Ed where can I subscribe to newsnet?

    Interesting day yesterday. The sad state of affairs is that there is no impartiality anymore in either press or BBC, the world could go to hell in a hand basket, led by Lab/Con or even Libdem but it would be the SNP who caused it.

    I hear Scottish Water have been going through another restructuring, I believe that is at least 5 times in the last 8 years this has happened, now can anyone tell me why, there is also a private company who own approx 49% of this public owned company why is this?? Correct if I am wrong but does this not sound like as complete waste of tax payers money and who is too blame Lab/lib or more likely when the papers finally catch on it will be the SNP. Is it going to go private???

    Ian Gray is completely out of his depth and again it was sad to see no attempt by anyone in the BBC putting difficult question to LAB personnel.

    Sad Sad Sad

    I wonder when Jim Murphy will say anything about Ireland coming out of recession the Arc of Insolvency and all that!!!!!!!!!

    Any Hoo to all, have a good Chrimbo and a Very Happy new Year when it comes

    PS May be the ghost of fair impartial reporting will visit all BBC and press people this time (fingers crossed)

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  • 72. At 10:17am on 18 Dec 2009, Pat McGroin wrote:

    17. oldnat

    Thankyou. Emotional crisis averted.
    Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hogmanay.

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  • 73. At 11:26am on 18 Dec 2009, tullibardine wrote:

    A wee bitty off topic but:

    Constituents in Glasgow North East, who recently elected Labour's Willie Bain as their new MP, were found to have the least power over their lives.

    http://tinyurl.com/

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  • 74. At 11:37am on 18 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    It seems that Guido has got hold of the Blog Affair and has gone to town on it. At least one blogger is suggesting that this is the thin end of the wedge for blogging here and perhaps even south of the border.

    The SNP are now in a weak position to object very much to blogs being taken down, even if they wanted them in the first place, although this is being pushed by Gray and the Labour party.

    Perhaps it is for the best well before the election, when it will be all be forgotten by the public. The effectiveness of these blogs is very questionable anyway as they don't reach a very wide audience and they certainly have had no obvious effect on BBC Scotland or the Scottish press. The SNP heirarchy must know that and they have been doing well inspite of the media. There must be other, official ways, of taking the BBC to task.

    Stupid of MacLachlan to do what he did after the McBride affair in London. Do they never learn? I wonder if he is a Labour insider?



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  • 75. At 12:07pm on 18 Dec 2009, loveme2times wrote:

    71,

    Newsnet Scotland - http://newsnetscotland.blogspot.com/

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  • 76. At 12:14pm on 18 Dec 2009, john wrote:

    #74
    Sounds like labour are shaping up to try to use this to make it illegal to disagree with them in a public forum. I would laugh if it weren't so serious, as any legislation requiring registration, etc. will make moderate (in their words) but factual bloggers think twice. How would it be policed anyway? Are they going to suggest that you can't comment on politics without a license (available from your local labour run local authority)? are they going to block blogs from abroad? Is Scotland now going to get a web filter like China?

    The most horrifying thing about the whole affair is that one of the senior politicians in our country is touting this: "I wish to see these anonymous blogs rooted out and got rid of.". The really scary thing is that this idiot has some influence in some quarters.

    I can't help being reminded of the international donations legislation that was brought in to to prevent sean connery donating to the SNP. So far the only people caught out by this have been labour party officials *cough* wendy *cough*. I am prepared to wager that if such restrictions were brought in then there would be a fair tranch of unionist and labour orientated bloggers falling foul the restrictions before any significant numbers of "cybernats".

    John

    ps. anyone know where I can get a badge: "cybernat and proud"

    pps. are you a cybernat if you are a nationalist and have access to the internet? or do you actually have to have horns and a forked tail as well?

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  • 77. At 12:33pm on 18 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #76 john
    You are a cybernat if you post and are not actively decrying Scotland. The forked tail is optional.

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  • 78. At 1:16pm on 18 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    The 'blogosmear' story gets more interesting the more you find out.

    Mark MacLachlan has denied passing on the emails to Paul Hutcheon. Now, the implication is that they were passed on by someone from the SNP, an idea I find fancifull.

    However journalist Joan McAlpine seems to believe this is a believable scenario - again I have difficulty in believing it.

    Joan writes:
    Someone within the SNP seems to think it was a good idea to leak emails between Cheesegate blogger Mark MacLachlan and his former boss Michael Russell, the education minister

    It appears to be a cack-handed attempt to smear MacLachlan, in fact it does just the opposite. It turns the story back to the question of "what the minister knew"

    Anyone with half an idea about how the media works would have known this is the way it would be presented - the press in Scotland has become the official government opposition. Either someone inside the party doesn't like Michael Russell, or requires training in effective news management.


    My emphasis, but something many of us have been saying for some time.

    Question is why would the SNP leak emails thus breath some life into a story that was on life support when it first broke?

    There's more to this than meets the eye !!

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  • 79. At 1:24pm on 18 Dec 2009, brigadierjohn wrote:

    Re #47: Thank you, oldnat, for your courtesy; thank you #64 forfar_loon for your humour, old buddy. What became of BigH? Maybe the BBC had him jailed (it's in their Charter, you know :-)), but no matter.
    Particular thanks to handclapping, #53, for proving me right (as I knew someone would) on every assertion I made. Bullseye! Fair attempt at humour, however.
    I'll reconsider my options in the New Year, but why would I return? The Nats, cyber and otherwise, are doing a grand job in my absence.
    Just for balance, (Information Note for the hard of understanding: that means considering an alternative viewpoint objectively and reaching a reasoned response) let me say here that in recent months I have agreed 100 per cent with McAskill on Megrahi and with Swinney on Garl. And I felt sorry for Ms Hyslop.
    Meantime, best wishes to friend and foe for the festive period.

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  • 80. At 1:34pm on 18 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    I've given him pelters in the past, but kudos to Douglas Fraser who I believe was first to break the story regading the withholding of funds from Fly-Globespan by the clearing agency.

    It beggars belief that Iain Gray pursued a newspaper smear at FMQ's instead of this.

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  • 81. At 1:38pm on 18 Dec 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:

    #76. john.

    Agreed.

    Politics might be more lively if the non-socialist New Labour Party banned public dissent.

    We need a tartan Aung San Suu Kyi.

    See you in Saughton or Barlinnie.

    Orra best,

    Michael.

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  • 82. At 1:45pm on 18 Dec 2009, Nat_very_likely wrote:

    #74
    I agree with most of your post Hamish but couldn't it be that Scottish media bias would be even worse without the monitoring of us cybernats?

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  • 83. At 3:13pm on 18 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    #82 I hope you are right.

    It is sad that it has got to this stage here, when most UK politicians would have been condemning the Iranian establishment for shutting down its blogosphere in an attempt to hide what they were doing and lauding the opposition supporters for trying to find ways of keeping the world informed about what a tyrannical dictatorship can do. We are almost in the same scenario.

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  • 84. At 3:29pm on 18 Dec 2009, dear_wendy wrote:

    #79 Brig John

    "Just for balance, (Information Note for the hard of understanding: that means considering an alternative viewpoint objectively and reaching a reasoned response) let me say here that in recent months I have agreed 100 per cent with McAskill on Megrahi and with Swinney on Garl. And I felt sorry for Ms Hyslop."

    I like and admire this spirit of balance and reconciliation, brought about by the festive season no doubt .....

    Allow me to join you in spirit, from an SNP supporting perspective.

    I personally disagree with the SNP on the potential removal of Public Notice advertising in the press.

    I agree with Tavish on looking to trim the wages of top earners in the public sector.

    I agree with the Tories on the manner of their dropping the Lisbon referendum, and often admire Bella's performance during FMQ's.

    I even applaud the BBC for Gordon Brewer's objectivity and forensic destruction of Labour's Calman proposals.

    I agree with Labour on....... on ...??....?. on ..... erm? ....
    .. aha I have it!!

    I agree with Labour that Ian Gray is the best man to lead them in Holyrood!!


    Merry Christmas, one and all!

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  • 85. At 3:32pm on 18 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    "Prime Minister Gordon Brown has now offered, at the climate change conference in Copenhagen, a cut of 42 per cent [upped from 20%] in Britain’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2020."

    Brown has gone gaga in making such offers which will do huge damage to the British economy and all for improving his own image.

    Ref: Taxpayers Alliance article via Guido's blog.

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  • 86. At 3:45pm on 18 Dec 2009, Kingkev wrote:

    Mr Grey on radio scotland this morning was still at it and hes getting plenty of coverage with the bbc on this topic which is rather pathetic considering people are getting payed off companies going to the wall and all hes worried about is a wee smear on a blog.
    Well done Brian this morning as you corrected the interviewer of the situation but she did make amends in her line of questioning to Mr Gray asking him if everthing was OK and Mr Russell was clear would you say sorry to Mr Russell (not a hard question) but he couldn`t even answer that one.
    I also got my reply about my complaint to the bbc about the manner of questioning the FM on newsnight, basicly it was the reply iwas expecting (it was a robust interview) blah blah but i suppose least they responded to me but still disagree with them.

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  • 87. At 3:51pm on 18 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Journalist and Dundee Utd - the perfect link for Brian!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/8420559.stm

    Examples of similar political interviews demonstrating mutual incomprehension might be fun - but glencampbell is barred (too common).

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  • 88. At 4:13pm on 18 Dec 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:

    #85. hamish42

    Psst! He does not mean it.

    They all know that.

    Shhhh!

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  • 89. At 4:15pm on 18 Dec 2009, Sheneval wrote:

    74. At 11:37am on 18 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:
    "Stupid of MacLachlan to do what he did after the McBride affair in London. Do they never learn? I wonder if he is a Labour insider?"

    I have ofter wondered the same thing about some of the more extreme SNP supporting posters on this blog and have thought they could get together to produce a series of books entitled:

    1. 'How to damage your party in one easy lesson'
    2. 'Abusive posting for Dummies'
    3. 'How to defend the indefensible by the use of personal attacks/insults. subtitled: (Let's pretend it's satire)'

    In the meantime of course it takes some of the heat off Labour following the Prestonpans allegations, and if Mr MacL was a mole, he would be a happy man today.

    In saying that, I doubt if he will find it easy to get another job in politics or anywhere else for that matter.

    Personally I like Michael Russell having been involved with some correspondence with him some years ago on the connection between Genealogy and Tourism, when it was obvious he fully understood and appreciated the benefits of the former to the latter, something that at least one of his ministerial colleagues doesn't understand to this day, so I wish him well and hope that his denials come to be accepted as the truth.





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  • 90. At 4:41pm on 18 Dec 2009, tullibardine wrote:

    Part of a letter from Professor Tom Gallagher in the Herald.

    ‘But one hopes that a politician with his (Mike Russell) intellect will see the need for Nationalists (to be found not only in the media but also in my own academic profession) to be more respectful of opposing viewpoints, however uncomfortable these may be at times.’

    How cyclopean can this man get?

    http://tinyurl.com/y8dyro8

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  • 91. At 4:41pm on 18 Dec 2009, john wrote:

    #85
    The way he's destroying the UK's economy, a cut of a lot more than 42% may be achieved.

    John

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  • 92. At 4:55pm on 18 Dec 2009, Blind_Captain wrote:

    In a strange kind of way it is actually a welcome sight to see Grey and Labour banging on about the blog. By focussing on such trivial matters he makes himself and the Labour party look foolish.

    I would imagine that a lot of monitoring will now be carried out by Labour and their associates on the various blogs, including this one.

    So, let them monitor, let them complain. This is "new media" being used for a democratic purpose. We'll debate, scrutinise and pass comment. Sometimes the comment and content will be found to be objectionable depending on your political viewpoint. That's a fact of life that Grey and others will just have to get used to. We are not going away.

    On another matter; should the various newspapers go to the wall bacause of the Scottish Governments proposals re Public Notice advertising in the press, then tough. Notice and hint to the press; make the papers balanced and unbiased and this potential reader might return to them.

    Further notice to the press; I walk into my newsagents, take a look at the headlines, skim through the paper if required and as soon as I see an anti Scottish Goverment news item, I put the paper back and don't buy it. Why? Answer - I don't like to have my intelligence insulted!


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  • 93. At 5:05pm on 18 Dec 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:

    Labour should be voted in at the next General Election with a big majority.

    Whichever party forms the next government will become so unpopular that they will be destroyed as a political force. Remember what happened to the Tories after Attila the Hen* was in power?

    Labour spilt the milk - they should have to wipe it up.

    Orra best folks,

    Michael.

    (*Margaret Thatcher - ok?)

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  • 94. At 5:05pm on 18 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #79 dierjohn
    "I have found someone else whom I think the world of. I think the only way out is for us to get a divorce"

    proving me right on every assertion I made. Bullseye! ... ?
    never address the issue,check
    change the subject,check
    attack the usual suspects,check
    never, never concede anything, let alone the possibility of error by the party or its supporters.Ooops, I seem to have written:- "It appears we have a perfect, fully united SNP, backed to the hilt by every supporter on every issue. My, my. Have you asked yourself how likely that might be?"
    Well if you see that as proving you right on every assertion, then you won't even get into the pub darts team. Bullseye! indeed, more like more "brigadier" bullshit.


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  • 95. At 5:06pm on 18 Dec 2009, coineach watson wrote:

    Regarding the Copenhagen Summit - one wonders how much Carbon Diaxide has been created by all these politicians travelling in their private aircraft etc. to the conference.
    One also waonders how much food and alcohol has been consummed by the same politicians. I bet enough to have fed a reasonable sized country for about a week.
    These "Summits" are just designed to enable "the elite" of the World to enjoy themselves at OUR expense. Generally they acheive absolutely NOTHING - they are not allowed to as the big business who are paying the politicians do not want anything to be "agreed". What a waste of time, money and effort.
    As to the G7 and G20 summits would it not be easier if all the politicians attending them were to hire an ocean liner and park it in the middle of The Atlantic or Pacific Oceans - then their "security" could be assured and there would be no trouble in any of our cities.

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  • 96. At 5:33pm on 18 Dec 2009, Nat_very_likely wrote:

    #89 Sheneval

    There isn't one regular nationalist poster on the Blether who could reasonably be described as an extremist.For someone who decries abusive posting you don't seem to practice what you preach.

    At a time when political corruption is rife,nuclear weapons are stationed in Scottish waters against the nation's wishes,we are denied our right to a constitutional referendum and the state broadcasting service has lost trust you want public discourse to be conducted in the language and manners of a vicar's tea party.

    "Man is who he is,not how he expresses himself."

    Saint-Exupery

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  • 97. At 5:46pm on 18 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    95. coineach watson
    "As to the G7 and G20 summits would it not be easier if all the politicians attending them were to hire an ocean liner and park it in the middle of The Atlantic or Pacific Oceans - then their "security" could be assured and there would be no trouble in any of our cities."

    And we could have a competition as to who removes the bilge plug, it would get more voters than X factor.

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  • 98. At 5:56pm on 18 Dec 2009, Kingkev wrote:

    93. At 5:05pm on 18 Dec 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:
    Labour should be voted in at the next General Election with a big majority.



    All i can say thank god Labour is not in power in Scotland and the SNP are even although its minority government, could you imangine how it would be, we would be well shafted cause they couldn`t fight Scotlands corner when the times were far better, than they are now.

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  • 99. At 6:04pm on 18 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    76. john
    "are you a cybernat if you are a nationalist and have access to the internet? or do you actually have to have horns and a forked tail as well?"

    Forked tail is basic equipment for cybernats. Just as halo is for cyberslabs.

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  • 100. At 7:18pm on 18 Dec 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #92 - "should the various newspapers go to the wall bacause of the Scottish Governments proposals re Public Notice advertising in the press, then tough. Notice and hint to the press; make the papers balanced and unbiased and this potential reader might return to them."

    The brigadier returns and what happens? We start talking about newspapers going to the wall again. Real sense of Deja Vu.

    But, ever since the newspapers gave evidence at the Scottish Affairs commission into the state of the Scottish press, where it was stressed how badly our printed media need a large cash injection to help sustain them, the bias shown towards the Scottish government has intensified substantially. Now that Westminster has effectively ruled out such a cash injection (after all, hard to argue that the Scottish press is a special case and England's isn't), I wonder if we will see any change of stance.

    It's priceless to see the likes of McLellan at the Scotsman and Jim Raeburn, the director of Scottish Daily Newspaper Society, moan how the proposals to save the tax payer £6 million per annum will undermine democracy and make the government less accountable. Perhaps when they realise that it's not just the SNP who need to be held accountable (how many hundred millions of pounds did the Unionists waste on Edinburgh trams against the election pledge of the SNP?), democracy will actually be served by the pulp rags that masquerade as newspapers in Scotland.

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  • 101. At 7:21pm on 18 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    92. Blind_Captain
    "In a strange kind of way it is actually a welcome sight to see Grey and Labour banging on about the blog. By focussing on such trivial matters he makes himself and the Labour party look foolish.
    "

    Honestly, other than political geeks, how many people even READ political blogs?

    But they at least have been the one media not controlled by the establishment. Obviously, the Labour party has no enthusiasm for the right to express one's opinion free from intimidation--INCLUDING when that opinion is not a popular one.

    Thought that was SUPPOSED to be what democracy was about.

    Apparently, for Labour democracy is the freedom to spout a party line.

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  • 102. At 7:57pm on 18 Dec 2009, tullibardine wrote:

    BBC news:
    ‘The Scottish government is consulting on changing the law to allow public notices to be advertised online.
    The move could save councils £6m a year but newspaper publishers say the loss of the money could be devastating.’

    Apparently, the Scotsman is fiercely opposed to the proposal.
    The Scotsman's editor John McLellan said: "SNP politicians wring their hands about the future of the Scottish press and then they do their best to damage Scotland's entire local newspaper industry.
    "And they call themselves democrats who believe in accountability. It would be laughable if it wasn't so serious."

    The laughable part of it is that the Scotsman’s problems have been self inflicted.

    A classic case of the biter bit?

    The Herald currently sells about 56,000 copies a day while The Scotsman only sells 46,000. Barely a decade ago, each sold about double that number.

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  • 103. At 8:03pm on 18 Dec 2009, peteraberdeenshire wrote:

    I heard the tail end of Ian Grey this morning when he spat out the term Cybernat which i find offensive, it seems the idea of people posting their views and feelins as individuals is beyond comprehension to Grey and the Labour party. I post occasionally on issues or events that are important to me, not because someone somewhere tells me what and when to write.
    Thats the thing about supporters of the SNP, they come from all walks of life and political views, but if Grey and the Labour party dont like free speech then tough, but he has proven once more what a small minded person he is, but as someone said the best man to lead his party. Says it all really.

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  • 104. At 8:09pm on 18 Dec 2009, Robabody wrote:

    #70 RTR - many thanks - missed that! Jopefully It'll be a good piece of work.

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  • 105. At 9:21pm on 18 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Globespan

    The plot thickens.

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  • 106. At 9:30pm on 18 Dec 2009, spinspamspun7 wrote:

    #93
    "Labour spilt the milk-they should wipe it up" Milk? mess or s***e ?
    Is there a leader of scottish labour capable of doing a minimum wage job and clean up ??? Murph is quiet !

    #97
    Spot on.Put leaders in a boat,let them rot,middle of an ocean, till they agree !!!

    #99 McClure. Why abusive ???

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  • 107. At 9:33pm on 18 Dec 2009, spinspamspun7 wrote:

    #93
    "Labour spilt the milk-they should wipe it up" Milk? mess or s***e ?
    Is there a leader of scottish labour capable of doing a minimum wage job and clean up ??? Murph is quiet !

    #97
    Spot on.Put leaders in a boat,let them rot,middle of an ocean, till they agree !!!

    #99 McClure. Why so abusive ???

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  • 108. At 9:38pm on 18 Dec 2009, spinspamspun7 wrote:

    #93
    "Labour spilt the milk-they should wipe it up" Milk? mess or s***e ?
    Is there a leader of scottish labour capable of doing a minimum wage job and clean it up ??? Murph is quiet !

    #97
    Spot on.Put leaders in a boat,let them rot,middle of an ocean, till they agree !!!

    #99 McClure. Why so abusive ???

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  • 109. At 10:24pm on 18 Dec 2009, hadrianswall wrote:

    The Unionist media is dying on it's feet. I am delighted.
    We all know how this mafia works. Labour mafia councils give Unionist mafia papers public money to run adverts. In return the Unionist media print Labour mafia press releases and ignore any other political viewpoint. Let's face it, if the Unionist media bite the hand that feeds them they will fold quicker than they will otherwise.
    There is no hope for the Unionist media. Just go.
    BBC Scotland will be next.

    Freedom

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  • 110. At 11:09pm on 18 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Remember this man Mystery of Tony Blair's money solved. Hanging would be too compassionate.

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  • 111. At 11:21pm on 18 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    110. cynicalHighlander

    What did Macinroe say mods! I posted a link to the Guardian relating to that war crimminal Blair or has the prince of darkness been spoiling your festive season.

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  • 112. At 11:22pm on 18 Dec 2009, LondonSteve wrote:

    where has the link gone???

    haha conspiracy conspiracy!! Why the fear? why fear the nats so much? why pull out all the stops? I jest of course, there is no conspiracy, there is no ploy to keep us in the dark to keep us in the union. no no. that's why we hear so much from EVERYONE why we are so much better in the union. We should just sit tight and accept oor wee hand out.

    Stand up. Grow up. Move out.

    Might not be as good as living with your parents when you first move out but it's always better giving it a go thatn being a, as the movie says, a 40 year old virgin. Even he found love.

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  • 113. At 11:23pm on 18 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    For those who believe that complaining to the BBC is a waste of time:

    One such complaint has elicited a response from the BBC - and it has basically been upheld.

    The complaint from a member of the public centred around the BBC's reporting of the story of the Scottish AWOL prisoner found hanged in Africa.

    The BBC alleged in their original story that no arrest warrant had been issued for this mans arrest - this was untrue.

    Not only had a warrant been issued, but it had been issued at the earliest possible opportunity.

    The BBC have acknowledged the error and have now amended the article in question.

    However, their excuse for the 'error' is flimsy and may well form the subject of an article on the Newsnet Scotland blog.

    There are so many at the moment that it is difficult to keep up.

    As expected Paul Hutcheon has (not surprisingly) declined to respond to Newsnet Scotland's pertinant questions about his blogsmear article.

    Oh, Newsnet Scotland are in line to crack the 500 subscriber mark by the end of the year.

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  • 114. At 11:24pm on 18 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    109. hadrianswall
    "The Unionist media is dying on it's feet. I am delighted."

    I'm not so sure. The Unionist bit being so omnipresent is obviously not good, but what we need is a media which represents all strands of Scottish opinion - including the Lab/Con/LD alliance.

    Most of what is in the press - especially the local press - isn't political, and provides a focus for and news of community activities.

    Of course, Labour (in Ayrshire at least) used advertisement placement as a way of controlling the local press - but that was just part of the whole marqueegate culture.

    The answer is to destroy the corrupt politicians, instead of the media that they used their power to control.

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  • 115. At 11:33pm on 18 Dec 2009, spinspamspun7 wrote:

    #106,107,108

    Sorry about repetition,buttons getting sticky.
    At least a post!

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  • 116. At 11:37pm on 18 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    114. oldnat

    The local paper in Aberdeen the P&J is now taking the side of Trump and ignoring the local population who have religously bought there paper showing that they are becoming corrupted for financial reasons rather than serving those loyal local readers. When any information becomes corrupted to serve the financial institutions first it is a sad day for humanity.

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  • 117. At 11:52pm on 18 Dec 2009, LondonSteve wrote:

    113

    Well done online ed. Just shows that positive reporting will win through. 500 subscribers, cracking stuff.

    Talking up scotland and her people will always win through

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  • 118. At 11:54pm on 18 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    I suggested on Thursday that another blog might be imminent given the uncomfortable content of this blog - I might not have been far off.

    The link to this blog has disappeared from the main news sites - even the blog story takes you to a blog from 8th June.

    So, as it stands, casual readers will not be able to find this blog - that's for sure. It may prove to be a temporary blip, we'll see tomorrow.

    Anyway, the news that Ireland came out of recession still doesn't appear to have reached the ears of the Scottish media.

    Also, this little titbit from The Herald was tucked away in a dark recess:

    PPP Dishonest

    Has any Scottish journalist asked Iain Gray about Jim Murphy's alleged defamatory webste statements?

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  • 119. At 00:07am on 19 Dec 2009, LondonSteve wrote:

    118

    When and at what point do the papers/media eventually just give up trying to cover up labours mistakes and just accept that this isn't the way to go! we are better people than this! we deserve better than this! I cant continue to write this spin this nonsense, i need to just tell things as they are!??!??!?! Good grief.

    Please just give everyone a hard and fair trial.

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  • 120. At 00:08am on 19 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    102. At 7:57pm on 18 Dec 2009, tullibardine wrote:

    The newspapers do have a valid point. As pointed out earlier, the majority of income comes from advertising. Newspaper adverts can be hideously expensive - I know, I used to persuade clients to pay for quarter page adverts when I worked in recruitment.

    If the Scottish Government decides on this action, it could be construed as an indirect attack on the press, or at least certain parts of the media will do so.

    But if the media was more balanced it would help. You cannot have a situation where the press is controlled by the government in power. Or is some cases the government controlled by certain elements of the media, allegedly of course.

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  • 121. At 00:20am on 19 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    If at first you dont succeed!

    Mystery of Tony Blair's money solved

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  • 122. At 00:26am on 19 Dec 2009, LondonSteve wrote:

    120

    is it not the case that if perhaps the dead tree press gave a better balanced view filled with investigative and interesting journalism that readership would go up and therefore takings would also go up and then less dependence on would be required to the point that they could go out of business cause government/council money was withdrawn? shows what a terrible business model they were following.

    they'd better learn from their mistakes fast and adapt to the market like so many other people are having to do right now

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  • 123. At 00:29am on 19 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    120. enneffess
    "You cannot have a situation where the press is controlled by the government in power"

    Absolutely true. But neither can you have it controlled by the opposition!

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  • 124. At 00:33am on 19 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    121. cynicalHighlander

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  • 125. At 00:35am on 19 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    December is a good time to look back.

    Remember how we were told that devolution would kill the demand for independence?

    Mori have occasionally gone behind party labels to examine people's core political identity. These are GB figures.

    Political ID, Jun 01, Aug 03, Jan 05, Apr 05, Mar 06, Jun 08
    Old Labour, 12%, 15%, 16%, 12%, 16%, 17%
    New Labour, 29%, 17%, 19%, 23%, 18%, 14%
    One Nation Tory, 11%, 10%, 6%, 7%, 11%, 11%
    Thatcherite Tory, 9%, 12%, 11%, 9%, 11%, 14%
    Liberal, 12%, 15%, 12%, 16%, 12%, 13%
    Social Democratic, 7%, 7%, 6%, 6%, 6%, 6%
    Nationalist, 1%, 1%, 3%, 3%, 4%, 5%
    Other, 5%, 3%, 2%, 2%, 1%, 2%
    None of these, 6%, 13%, 15%, 9%, 13%, 8%
    Don't know, 8%, 7%, 9%, 11%, 8%, 11%

    Worth noting. Scotland/Wales are only 10% of the GB population, yet those in GB defining themselves as "Nationalist" have risen from 1% to 5% between 2001 and 2008.

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  • 126. At 00:36am on 19 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    121. cynicalHighlander

    My previous referred comment by the mods suggested that hanging would be too compassionate for the person mentioned in my 121.

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  • 127. At 00:45am on 19 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    the mod cant get use to me 'hanging out the washing' in my reffered posts, sad people.

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  • 128. At 00:48am on 19 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Now I can wash my hands of Blair!

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  • 129. At 01:54am on 19 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Catalonia leads the way in Spain.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/world-news/spanish-region-votes-in-favour-of-bullfighting-ban-1.993234

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  • 130. At 02:17am on 19 Dec 2009, spinspamspun7 wrote:

    #128 Can I make a suggestion!!!

    Use toiletpaper o0r the heather !!!

    Looking forward to Bliar telling lies in the New Year !
    bLIAR,and may your time come !!!

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  • 131. At 02:44am on 19 Dec 2009, spinspamspun7 wrote:

    #116

    Disagree with Trumps proposal.
    Please explain the word "religously" ???

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  • 132. At 02:54am on 19 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    125. oldnat
    "Worth noting. Scotland/Wales are only 10% of the GB population, yet those in GB defining themselves as "Nationalist" have risen from 1% to 5% between 2001 and 2008.

    "

    Amazing. Have a feeling that's a poll result some will be eager to ignore.

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  • 133. At 03:01am on 19 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    107. spinspamspun7
    "#99 McClure. Why so abusive ???

    "
    Abusive? LOL

    I have NO idea what you think was abusive in that remark--sarcastic, yes. ABUSIVE? HUH?

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  • 134. At 03:47am on 19 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    The shameful Conan the Librarian uses a sweary word.

    http://mypseudepigrapha.blogspot.com/

    Tsk!

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  • 135. At 09:01am on 19 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    To jediirnbru:

    Thanks for the message - should be interesting.

    Newsnet Scotland topped the 500 mark yesterday ..... 1000 here we come.

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  • 136. At 09:19am on 19 Dec 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    I've just read the bleat about newspaper advertising.

    I wonder what would happen to the Guardian if the BBBC and the Government were forced to withdraw their advertising?

    I don't care what happens to the Scotsman.

    I discovered the local paper shop gets 6 Scotsman nowadays, granted I live in gorgeous Glasgow - but 6? and they still have a couple left at 8p.m!

    I feel no loyalty to my once beloved Herald, a mere shadow of its former self intent on an anti SNP agenda and using Labour press releases as copy.


    Perhaps Scottish businesses would be happy to pay astronomical costs for advertising if there was a broader Scottish viewpoint within the pages?

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  • 137. At 10:12am on 19 Dec 2009, Nat_very_likely wrote:

    There's an audio clip on the BBC news pages of Gordon Brown's message to Terry Wogan.

    Brown says "I wanted to let you know how very dearly you'll be missed."

    Not much chance of anyone saying that to him when he leaves No 10.
    Well,Charlie Whelan maybe.

    Gordon's anglicizing of his accent continues apace.Listen to the clip and you can hear the extra special effort he's making not to roll the Rs.

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  • 138. At 10:36am on 19 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Anyone can play BBC Scotland's brand new game 'Spot The Scotsman'.

    The BBC in Scotland appear to, of late, be subliminally plugging The Scotsman newspaper.

    The latest sighting can be found
    here.

    Look out for this product placement on Newsnight Scotland, The Politics Show, GMS and of course the web.

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  • 139. At 11:57am on 19 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    SNP Councillor told lies over internet blog

    "Yesterday Mr Davidson told the Standard: “It was an error of judgement which I deeply regret. It was not a clever thing to do. I stand by what I said in the email but I should have made a public statement.”"

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  • 140. At 12:14pm on 19 Dec 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    116. At 11:37pm on 18 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander

    More people I've spoken to are for the trump development. It just the ones that are against it are more vocal, but probably in the minority. Its always the same few faces you see in the news at the protests.

    Saying that I do feel sorry for the people who may lose thier homes, and if I were in that situation, I would probably be against it. They should be offered alot more than they are at present, for the inconveniance of relocating. And Trump jnr seems like a nasty piece of work.

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  • 141. At 12:24pm on 19 Dec 2009, Astonished wrote:

    The problem for Councillor Davidson, and every other SNP councillor, is that making "a public statement.” regarding the labour party will either be under-reported, misreported, blatantly lied about or not reported at all. The Scottish Media have a great deal to answer for.

    Lets be clear the report in the "cheese blog" was accurate, labour councillor Smyth was expelled for disgraceful behaviour. He should be the person resigning.

    If this story could not be (mis)construed to attack the SNP then it would not have been reported at all.(see marqueegate, Mr Marshall's scamming, where bain of Glasgow lives etc. ad nauseum)


    Can anyone honestly see BBC Scotland reporting on Councillor Smyth's expulsion, unless they could attack the SNP ? The glencampblly BBC must shoulder the blame that the only honest reporting (although a tad earthy) appears in the blogosphere.This is to be regretted although it remains a fact.





    Delighted to hear "online Ed's" newsnet is doing so well and actually increasing circulation. More power to your elbow.

    Here is the link (hopefully):

    http://newsnetscotland.blogspot.com/

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  • 142. At 12:26pm on 19 Dec 2009, sid_ts63 wrote:

    afternoon , as someone who has the audacity to disagree with the Labour Party in Scotland and wants to stand up for his rights and his country ,as in the nation of Scotland, if that makes me a cyber- nat then my message is clear :
    where do I get the T- shirt and I would be honoured to wear the badge with PRIDE.
    you know when you have your opposition on the run , they resort to getting nasty, rude and ignorant. so don't give them the ammunition guy's.why lower our standards to meet them?

    All the best to EVERYONE for Xmas & the new year

    Sid

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  • 143. At 2:17pm on 19 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    Interesting to see the Scotsman et al getting heated about the loss of revenue. After spinning against the SNP for so long its now a case of the biter bit and well deserved! I can only assume that their venom against the SNP will get even more venomous as they sink into the mire they have created for themselves. I remember their unfinching support for Gordon Brown when he was dismantling the Scottish economy now its affecting them directly.

    I wonder when BBC Scotland will realise that their actions will also rebound on them at some point too. Better to stay on the fence, work by the rule book and give impartial accounting of political matters as you are bound to do by your charter, but don't!

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  • 144. At 2:54pm on 19 Dec 2009, Robabody wrote:

    Post 114 Oldnat “but what we need is a media which represents all strands of Scottish opinion - including the Lab/Con/LD alliance” That’s all I every want – not to stifle debate, not to misreport, not to misinform, just straight honest robust reporting of all aspects on an equal basis and let people make their own mind up. I do not want a return to the SNP having to print papers to get a fair hearing as they had to just prior to the devolution vote (a period that should live in Scottish press infamy). To me, it’s ironic that as I say this, we have ED trying his very best to get a fair hearing through the emedia as the MSM are already falling at the post. You can bet a fair few dollars on the fact that the SNP will have to resort to printing again when the independence referendum is date called! Ghastly.

    Post 119 Jed “When and at what point do the papers/media eventually just give up trying to cover up labours mistakes and just accept that this isn't the way to go!”

    I can never, even in a independent state, see that happen as they are too entrenched and in bed with them (in some cases literally). As for putting stuff on the web – get on with it. We are being encouraged from all airts and pairts to have an E society, so let’s move to it ( and it has the extra bonus of being a cost reduction exercise). As to the whines about not every-one having a computer, or e-access, well it didn’t seem to matter much last week, why the rumpus about it now? Tut Tut Rob, you naughty boy you

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  • 145. At 5:32pm on 19 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    139. cynicalHighlander

    And the reporting an OUTRIGHT LIE by the Dumfries & Galloway Standard!

    Their comment that Its most vicious attack was a personal slur on local Labour councillors Colin Smyth and Ronnie Nicholson, after Mr Smyth was ejected from a council meeting.

    How was the blog saying that he was ejected a personal slur? IT WAS THE TRUTH.

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  • 146. At 5:36pm on 19 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    142. sid_ts63
    "so don't give them the ammunition guy's.why lower our standards to meet them? "

    And how do you do that when if you tell THE TRUTH it is labeled a smear?

    Why are people--knowing the bias of the media--accepting that it was somehow wrong for bloggers to tell the truth?

    Yes, Universality of Cheese was somewhat satiric but only once do I recall his using an obscenity and that was NOT in the reporting of Councillor Smyth's shameful behavior and expulsion. It was used toward the editor of the NotW some time earlier.

    WHY do people just accept this nonsense for truth? You should know better.


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  • 147. At 6:28pm on 19 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    48. oldnat
    "And for those anti-Brits amongst you who accuse Britain of being the US poodle. Here's a BBC clip which shows the Brit PM leading Al Gore."

    Hey, just because I say that Britain is the US poodle does NOT make me anti-Brit. I LIKE poodles, I'll have you know!

    And you might want to recall that the redoubtable Mr. Gore is no longer a member of the US government so he can afford a seeing-eye poodle--an odd choice, I'll give you. If I were looking for a seeing-eye poodle, I wouldn't choose Gordon Brown for the job.

    Oh, they got lost, right? =)

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  • 148. At 7:27pm on 19 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Holidays cancelled as travel firm Allbury collapses

    "The administrator of that Edinburgh-based company is querying why around £30m was held back from Globespan by E-Clear, the company that handles its credit card transactions.

    E-Clear also handled credit card transactions for the Allbury Travel Group."


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  • 149. At 8:29pm on 19 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    148. cynicalHighlander
    Edinburgh based? I thought it was based Hertfordshire.

    That's what your linked article says.

    Allbury Travel Group, based in Hertfordshire...

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  • 150. At 8:32pm on 19 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Just to let you know... I'm in the midst of writing a contracted sequel so I'm not about much. I haven't abandoned you and no doubt will be back as abrasive as ever soon.

    In the meantime, my posting will be a touch more sporadic than usual.

    A Blythe Yule an a Guid Hogmanay!

    Be well, warm and dry.

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  • 151. At 8:49pm on 19 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    Feeling more up to things, having had to get an extremely nerve removed from a tooth :( (that was bliss compared to the pain)

    122. At 00:26am on 19 Dec 2009, jediirnbru wrote:

    The newspapers are losing readership primarily due to the Internet. I only buy the Saturday papers (my wife insists on tv guides!), and when there are good offers on the go. I've used the cheap holiday bargains a few times, don't care what people think.

    But I agree they would retain readers if they were more balanced. Papers have always had political leanings, but these days some go a little far.

    As for monitoring blogs, unless someone is being blatantly abusive, there is nothing they can do to stop you. To prove it, I'll...ughh..........................

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  • 152. At 8:50pm on 19 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    150. At 8:32pm on 19 Dec 2009, JRMacClure wrote:


    Totally off topic, JR. What is the secret to your success? I've been writing and submitting for a few years now with zip in return bar a couple of positive feedbacks. I do mainly scripts.

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  • 153. At 9:36pm on 19 Dec 2009, romeplebian wrote:

    149. JRMacClure

    the Allbury Travel Group are another company to go bust , no connection to Globespan, but it would appear both used the same credit card processing co , and from another article they themselves appear to be in bother

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  • 154. At 10:36pm on 19 Dec 2009, spinspamspun7 wrote:


    Brian,

    Where did your blog begin?
    Grayman asking questions?
    Been to Dumfries,back to East Lothian !!!
    Supporters!?!?

    #150
    What a load of tosh ?
    Can you advise where I can read your pearls ?

    Any political honesty left this decade ???

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  • 155. At 10:54pm on 19 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    152. enneffess
    "I do mainly scripts."
    A totally different field than novels.

    The secret to success in writing novels?

    I freely give away the secret since no one will follow the advice as did Mr. Heinlein years and years ago as does Dean Wesley Smith in his blog entry:

    http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=74

    This is how you do it (except I disagree with Dean on the subject of an agent--I have one and wouldn't be without one)

    As I say, scripts are an entirely different field with rather different rules from what I've heard.

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  • 156. At 11:07pm on 19 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Doric dictionaries at the ready, Desperate Fishwives is on telly



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  • 157. At 11:29pm on 19 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    The Herald's latest offering on the blog story is toe curlingly embarrassing - for all the wrong reasons - what are The Herald doing to their reputation?

    I was in the process of drafting an article for the Newsnet Scotland blog when I read this latest Herald offering.

    The Newsnet Scotland article is, I believe, apt:

    Why do we frighten them ?

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  • 158. At 00:16am on 20 Dec 2009, RandomScot wrote:

    enneffess

    I'll pass on advice the ex-editor of Bizarre once gave me. Writer's Block is a myth, you need to write, you write.

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  • 159. At 00:19am on 20 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    154. spinspamspun7
    "What a load of tosh ?
    Can you advise where I can read your pearls ?
    "
    Some are pretty easy to find. Others are under a pseudonym that -- you could figure out if you worked at it.

    No secret really but if you can't figure it out, that's your problem. *shakes head*

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  • 160. At 00:22am on 20 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    156. cynicalHighlander
    "Doric dictionaries at the ready, Desperate Fishwives is on telly"

    Thanks for the link. LOL!

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  • 161. At 00:25am on 20 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    154. spinspamspun7
    What I do for a living is entirely irrelevant to my political opinions, by the way, and to your general hostility. The fact that some people here figured it out is also irrelevant.

    You'll just have to continue being generally a pretty unpleasant person. I have no reason to answer your personal questions.

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  • 162. At 00:33am on 20 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    "MSP Cathy Jamieson launches bid for Westminster seat"

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2009/12/a_blogs_about_blogs.html#dna-commentbox-text

    An interesting question. Why do Unionists want to be irrelevant back benchers voting on English domestic issues rather than being involved in determining Scotland's future policy?

    Could it be -

    Westminster MP salaries are higher than MSP salaries?
    Westminster expenses remain higher than MSP expenses?
    London is such a nice place to live and work? (Willie Bain thinks so)
    Scotland isn't important enough - English education/health etc are automatically more important?

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  • 163. At 01:04am on 20 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    162. oldnat
    Oldnat, I think you messed up your link.

    By the way, what did you say to make the moderators mad at you?

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  • 164. At 01:30am on 20 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    158. RandomScot
    "Writer's Block is a myth, you need to write, you write."

    According to my son, "Writer's Block" is very real and demanding to be played with! Tough son - what you did to us! ..... :-)

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  • 165. At 01:32am on 20 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    162. oldnat

    Apologies. This should have been the link.

    http://news.scotsman.com/politics/Cathy-Jamieson-declares-ambition-to.5926325.jp

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  • 166. At 02:00am on 20 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Since it's panto season

    "It’s only you Brits who don’t appreciate me, insists Tony Blair"

    Oh No it's not! The Scots despise you as well!

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6962872.ece

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  • 167. At 10:29am on 20 Dec 2009, sid_ts63 wrote:

    #146 JR ,morning, I obviously didn't make my self clear.
    the unionist's are wrecking our country out of total spite, they don't deal in the truth, they deal in spin and downright untruths I fully agree.What i was trying to say is if you are in the right and what you are arguing for is the correct ,true ,position you don't need to call your opponent's rude ,silly names or smear them. what they are doing shouldn't need us to come down from the moral high ground and join them in the cesspit of spin and lies.
    Who ever said that getting out of the unbalanced union would be easy and that unionists would just lie down and let it happen ?
    it is going to get very very dirty and i repeat speaking the truth is the way to go the more they spin the sooner they will be found out.people know what they are like we don't need to make it up about them it is happening for real!

    Sid

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  • 168. At 11:14am on 20 Dec 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    From the Beebs "Bombers Condition Deteriorate's" article:

    "When he was repatriated he was believed to have a three-month life expectancy."

    I thought we'd been over this 'fact' already?

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  • 169. At 11:16am on 20 Dec 2009, Nat_very_likely wrote:

    166. oldnat
    "It's only you Brits who don't appreciate me,insists Tony Blair."

    A profiteer is not without honour save in his own country.

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  • 170. At 11:33am on 20 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    168. At 11:14am on 20 Dec 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:
    From the Beebs "Bombers Condition Deteriorate's" article:

    "When he was repatriated he was believed to have a three-month life expectancy."

    I thought we'd been over this 'fact' already?


    Ths story appears on the eve of the anniversary, this was predicted by almost every poster to this site - the newspapers will run their own story with accompanying statements from Labour et al.

    The three month life expectancy is the line being pushed by the BBC and incredibly it is very easily disproven ad has been, it is a clear abuse of their charter.

    The BBC were contacted by myself pointing to the official statement which said that three months was a reasonable estimate - nothing else.

    They simply ignored it and as you can see continue to report inaccuracies. What is so wrong with simply reporting the truth that 3 months was considered a reasonable estimate for his life expectancy - it isn't difficult?

    Could it be that the BBC are actively trying to help push the Unionist line that there was some kind of three month limit and that anything over this calls into question the medical advice MacAskill received?

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  • 171. At 11:43am on 20 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Looks like the BBC have spiced up the Megrahi story already:

    This wasn't in the original article:

    The scenes which greeted the bomber on his return to Tripoli, where Scottish flags were waved, also caused outrage.

    It is just so blatant that it beggars belief - wee Glenn could have penned this sentence himself - note the use of the 'Scottish Flags' so that people who don't know what the term saltire means will still get the message.

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  • 172. At 12:26pm on 20 Dec 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    Online Ed

    We knew that this was always going to come back, already we've seen stories along the line of 'three months is up and he's still alive, SNP bad'.

    The way the Beeb has reported the three month life expectancy aspect serves to reinforce the misconception of the actual legal requirements which allowed Megrahi's release.

    As far as I understood the situation the law states a convict that has three months or less to live from a terminal illness may be released on compassionate grounds, however at the discretion of the Justice minister the life expectancy of a convict suffering from a terminal illness could in fact be greater than three months and still legally be released in this manner.

    On an aside, it's been refreshing to be able to view A History Of Scotland in my current part of the UK, even if later than when aired in Scotland.

    From my point of view this series is essential viewing for all Scots and should perhaps be shown in high school history classes; with 'The Scottish Nation 1700-2000' also an essential text.

    The last episode concerning Scotland in the 20th century and the road to self-determination aired last night. The programme provoked both sadness and at times anger at Scotland's plight during the last century.

    Anyone still under the illusion that the Union has been beneficial should view this programme and answer why socialism at Westminster is still viewed as preferable to self-determination, when it had it's chance and failed during the last century to serve Scotland's interests.

    It beggars belief that we're still being fed the same line, even more so that people swallow it whole unquestioningly. A refresher in Scotland's recent history, which sadly most are ignorant of due to it never being taught in schools (with the exception of the two world wars), would perhaps better inform those that seek to habitually maintain the union 'just because'.

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  • 173. At 12:33pm on 20 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    153. At 9:36pm on 19 Dec 2009, romeplebian wrote:
    149. JRMacClure

    the Allbury Travel Group are another company to go bust , no connection to Globespan, but it would appear both used the same credit card processing co , and from another article they themselves appear to be in bother



    Credit card companies have to keep a certain amount of cash to pay out any insurance claims, since you can claim your money back in such circumstances.

    There are already hints by some parties that the downfall of Globespan is somehow a sinister Westminster plot, and Salmond looks like he is about to embark on another "this is unacceptable to the people of Scotland" rant, when he really should understand how the business works.

    Perhaps people should look at the price of aviation fuel.

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  • 174. At 1:26pm on 20 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    Blair looks very strained and drawn in recent footage and he doesn't appear to be the man he was. No ready, relaxed smile. It looks like the pressure is getting to him.

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  • 175. At 1:31pm on 20 Dec 2009, tullibardine wrote:

    #173 enneffess said:

    ‘the Allbury Travel Group are another company to go bust , no connection to Globespan, but it would appear both used the same credit card processing co , and from another article they themselves appear to be in bother’


    But there’s a lot more to it than that. It has emerged that the Allbury Travel Group wholly owned by the Cypriot tycoon (Elias Elia, owner of the credit card processing company) went into administration at midnight on Friday.’


    It would appear Labour have been pulled up short.

    http://tinyurl.com/y9gasxz

    The news comes as an Ipsos MORI poll for the Observer shows that Labour's recent recovery in the polls has come to a dramatic halt in the aftermath of Alistair Darling's pre-budget report. It puts the Conservatives on 43% (up six since last month), Labour on 26% (down five) and the Liberal Democrats on 20% (up two). Support for the other parties has now dropped from 14% last month to 11%.
    If replicated at a general election, Cameron would have a majority in parliament of at least 100 seats.

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  • 176. At 2:32pm on 20 Dec 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    "England's 2018 World Cup bid gets £2.5m government loan"

    'The UK government is to give a £2.5m loan to back England's bid for the 2018 World Cup.

    Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said the money would "help the campaign team make the case for a fantastic World Cup in England in 2018".

    The money will be paid back along with a share of the profits from the tournament if the Football Association's (FA) bid wins.

    This week, the government also signed off on £300m of financial guarantees.'

    Maybe Labour supporters could ask Westminster for a loan for the GARL, seeing as how it's for an event we have already secured, or perhaps even for other important infrastructure projects.

    Wait a minute, is that not called accelerated capital....maybe not, perhaps it's called full fiscal autonomy?

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  • 177. At 2:35pm on 20 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Mori poll – England only – unweighted base 860 respondents

    Con 46% : Lab 26% : LD 20% : Green 3% : UKIP 3% : BNP 2%

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  • 178. At 3:35pm on 20 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    And, for what it's worth (not much!)

    Mori poll – Scotland & Wales only – unweighted base 157 respondents

    SNP/Plaid 22% : Con 23% : Lab 29% : LD 16% : Green 4% : UKIP 4% : BNP 1%

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  • 179. At 4:30pm on 20 Dec 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #173 - "Salmond looks like he is about to embark on another "this is unacceptable to the people of Scotland" rant, when he really should understand how the business works."

    Since Elias Elia is supposed to have been behind a failed bid to take over FlyGlobespan and the whole thing has been referred to the Fraud squad, perhaps you should understand the full story before calling into question Salmond's understanding of anything. Far from being a "rant" as you put it, Salmond has raised some very good points. Over 800 people have lost their jobs but, hey, it's an opportunity for Unionists to stick the boot into the SNP since they're the only ones that seem to be showing any concern about it. Certainly doesn't interest the Greyman who'd rather question Salmond about cheesy blogs.

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  • 180. At 4:51pm on 20 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    AIRLINE GOES BUST; THE MYSTERIOUS ELIAS ELIA

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  • 181. At 5:26pm on 20 Dec 2009, The Forfarian II wrote:

    "PPPS Have a Good Yule"

    I would much rather have a merry Christmas, and that is what I wish ane an' a'.

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  • 182. At 5:29pm on 20 Dec 2009, The Forfarian II wrote:

    #173, enneffess wrote:

    "Credit card companies have to keep a certain amount of cash to pay out any insurance claims, since you can claim your money back in such circumstances."

    Or they could just themselves take out insurance!

    However, they prefer to keep as much money as possible for themselves and self-insure, whilst charging merchant customers for the privilege of fleecing them!

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  • 183. At 5:34pm on 20 Dec 2009, The Forfarian II wrote:

    Mike Russell is brave - or as naive as he ofttimes appears!

    "Say that again, and I'll sue," he tells his former aide.

    So all Mark MacLachlan has to do is to repeat his 'allegations' and he will get the publicity of recounting all and more in court - which will surely be reported ad nauseam by the Unionist press.

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  • 184. At 5:39pm on 20 Dec 2009, The Forfarian II wrote:

    #169, mistydougie wrote:

    "[Re Tony Blair:] A profiteer is not without honour save in his own country."

    If only there had been a profit for the UK... On the contrary, it has been an unremitting expense!

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  • 185. At 5:40pm on 20 Dec 2009, The Forfarian II wrote:

    #169

    "Blair" and "honour" so close together?

    Surely some kind of mistake...

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  • 186. At 5:47pm on 20 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    179. At 4:30pm on 20 Dec 2009, ForteanJo wrote:


    The problem is that Salmond has a tendency to open his mouth before all the facts comes to light, and can come out with the wrong comments (eg calling bankers spivs but then expects them all to come to Edinburgh).

    If things were so dodgy then why did no one pick this up earlier? Why is it always a case after the horse has bolted? Westminster seemed blind, and the Scottish Government were as blind.

    A company does not simply go into administration unless the company execs are with-holding information. If they thought they were having money witheld then why did they not raise this earlier? If there was no response from the Treasury then why not go to Swinney, because I can guarantee he would most certainly have raised noises.

    I'm annoyed because once again there will be allegations that Westminster is against Scotland, since Swinney has requested that those people on "flights only" will not be covered under ATOL. If he is so concerned then why were proposals not made earlier when other travel companies went bust?

    Basically 550 people are out of work - and no one in political land saw it coming.

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  • 187. At 5:48pm on 20 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    182. At 5:29pm on 20 Dec 2009, The Forfarian wrote:


    That's why I refuse to have a credit card. Last one I got rid of in 1992.

    And I take out my own insurance when booking holidays unless it's one of the cheapo newspaper ones.

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  • 188. At 7:38pm on 20 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    167. sid_ts63

    You speak a lot of truth, sid. But when they are smeared a themselves by the unionist press, a certain number of people are going to strike back. This is human and those who tell nationalists to be always above the fray aren't, I feel, being realistic. Also, the fact is that satire such as you find on the Hootmon Headline blog is in fact often effective, sometimes more effective than reasoned arguments. And it is rarely polite. :-)

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  • 189. At 8:19pm on 20 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    186. At 5:47pm on 20 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    The problem is that Salmond has a tendency to open his mouth before all the facts comes to light, and can come out with the wrong comments (eg calling bankers spivs but then expects them all to come to Edinburgh).

    You are confused about this and it has morphed into a factoid (something presented as fact that is actually untrue).

    Salmond accused "Spivs and Speculators" of bringing down HBOS, I believe short sellers were the target of his wrath.

    In your confusion you have remembered the words 'spivs', 'speculators' in relation to the Halifax Bank of Scotland and fashioned a completely fabricated version of what was actually said.

    I'm afraid the rest of your comment falls into the same confused category, no doubt someone else will point out the errors.

    Also, please be carefull how you fashion your responses to others, the convention if you are preceding a comment with 'so and so wrote:' is to follow it with what it is that they did write.

    i.e.

    189. At 8:19pm on 20 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:
    I am online Ed

    and I am enneffess.

    instead of:
    189 At 8:19pm on 20 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    and I am enneffess.

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  • 190. At 9:02pm on 20 Dec 2009, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    Hi Scotland, I'm looking for feed back, I posted happy Christmas in Gaelic (Nollaig shona duit) on another BBC blog and it was found to have broken the house rules because it was not in English. Does this happen in Scotland?

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  • 191. At 9:11pm on 20 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    189. At 8:19pm on 20 Dec 2009, Online Ed


    Point taken on Salmond, but it proves a point I raised weeks ago that the SNP have to watch what they are saying. Not so much in context but the words themselves.

    People remember key words - not the context.


    As for convention, you'd better start berating nearly everyone else while you are at it......

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  • 192. At 9:13pm on 20 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    190. DisgustedinDERRY
    "Nollaig shona duit"

    We'll see!

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  • 193. At 9:13pm on 20 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    190. DisgustedinDERRY
    "Does this happen in Scotland?"
    Yes!

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  • 194. At 9:15pm on 20 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    190. DisgustedinDERRY

    And in our version

    Nollaig chridheil huibh

    agus bliadhna mhath ùr

    Mods. Thanks for passing DisgustedofDerry's Gaelic. I'm sure that you'll do the same for this. The sentiments are meant for you guys as well - Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

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  • 195. At 9:15pm on 20 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    186. enneffess
    "calling bankers spivs but then expects them all to come to Edinburgh"

    Having himself BEEN a banker himself, I hardly think anyone but you thought he was calling all bankers "spivs".

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  • 196. At 9:18pm on 20 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    192. cynicalHighlander
    ""Nollaig shona duit"

    We'll see!
    "
    Usually Gaelic is moderated. I've had it happen. I'm glad to see that they're making an exception.

    And yes, they are included in the good wishes, after all I may think it's an unreasonable rule since Gaelic is spoken and native to the nation of Scotland but they hardly make up the rules they enforce. They generally do a good and even-handed job here.

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  • 197. At 9:21pm on 20 Dec 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    @186 Neil, YFS is a sign off meaning Yours For Scotland and I know you would never have chosen a new handle meaning Not For Scotland but is it maybe Not For Salmond?



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  • 198. At 9:26pm on 20 Dec 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    A very merry Christmas to one and all - even misguided unionists!
    ( with the exception of those at the " impartial " BBBC!)

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  • 199. At 9:30pm on 20 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Alex Salmond’s Government is going to have to go on a bit of a diet

    Who says so? None other than our dear friend and failed diplomat Mr Jim Murphy; go on a bit of a diet !!, surely this flippant statement is a godsend to opposition politicians.

    Anyway, it appears in The Herald who have very generously given not one but two Labour politicians the opportunity to tell everyone how good Labour and they themselves are.

    It's a must read and is indicative just how badly The Herald has deteriorated.

    Read the nauseating nonsense here.

    The Herald aren't even pretending to be impartial and informative anymore - I foresee a further drop in circulation.

    Oh, if you haven't already then pay a visit to the Newsnet Scotland blog for our take on the blogosmear coverage.

    Click Here

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  • 200. At 9:32pm on 20 Dec 2009, Nat_very_likely wrote:

    So Foulkes claimed £44,000 in expenses in 2008-9 to attend his sad,unelected chamber at Westminster that perpetuates the Great Chain of Being into the 21st century.

    £44,000 added to his £55,000 MSP salary.

    No doubt he is convinced that he's worth it.

    No doubt he can think of 44,000 reasons for keeping Scotland tied to the Union.

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  • 201. At 9:46pm on 20 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    The Herald puff piece on Murphy contains some absolute gems, right out of the political Christmas cracker.

    This:
    Jim Murphy boasted he had the best office in Whitehall, once the love-nest of Lord Byron and gushed over the sunsets at St James’s Park.

    This:
    “It’s fantastic, gorgeous,” he declared in the neo-classical surroundings of Dover House, the top storey of which is said to be stalked by the ghost of Byron’s lover, Lady Caroline Lamb.

    This:
    Given the gargantuan scale of Britain’s debt mountain, Mr Murphy was clear that Scotland, just like the rest of the UK, would have to share in the pain and at this point became, understandably, defensive.
    Seems that Murphy was at last asked a serious question, to which he responded 'Glenn, Glenn .... where's Glenn?

    This:
    He talked animatedly about the affection people had for Scotland’s 32 local councils but then noted how there was “a vast, vast, vast amount of waste inside the public sector bodies”.

    This:
    While the polls have narrowed of late ...
    Is that the polls that show the Tories with a lead of between 17 and 20 points?

    Finally Murphy at his 'honest' best:
    The size of the Scottish budget will be decided in Scotland

    It really is hilarious, like en election pamphlet pushed through the letterbox; only this is The Herald.

    Cathie Jamieson's puff piece immedialtely below is another cracker.

    Like trying to view an impressionist painting, The Herald are now too close to Labour to see the damage they are doing to themselves - someone in that organisation needs to take a few steps back - either that or the graph showing circulation is upside down.

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  • 202. At 9:54pm on 20 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    200. mistydougie
    "No doubt he can think of 44,000 reasons for keeping Scotland tied to the Union. "

    But since none of his thoughts are worth more than 1p - he'll have 4,400,000 reasons.

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  • 203. At 10:06pm on 20 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    201. Online Ed

    As a Glaswegian, Murphy wouldn't understand the irony of his occupying an office where Byron (an Aberdonian) conducted his affair with a Lamb.

    Personally I deprecate such activities. Lambs are far too young to be involved in such activities.

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  • 204. At 10:28pm on 20 Dec 2009, Nat_very_likely wrote:

    #202

    Good point oldnat.Forgot about the not worth tuppence factor.


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  • 205. At 10:37pm on 20 Dec 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    @203, thats easy for ewe to say.

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  • 206. At 10:40pm on 20 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    205. GrassyKnollington
    "thats easy for ewe to say."

    Best banner I ever saw at Pittodrie was "We'll support ewe evermore". (They even got the apostrophe right!

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  • 207. At 10:50pm on 20 Dec 2009, spinspamspun7 wrote:

    Cathie Jamieson,standing to be elected as MP !!!
    wee willie Bain,watch your ****.
    People want to rent your holiday home !!!

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  • 208. At 10:51pm on 20 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Does he have a pair of wellies? haven't seen them on his expeses yet.

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  • 209. At 10:57pm on 20 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    208. cynicalHighlander

    Of course he doesn't have wellies! He's a Glaswegian and doesn't understand the finer points of N-ewe Labour.

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  • 210. At 11:08pm on 20 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    Brian
    Isn't it grand that we can't afford ambassadors to tell us if we are going to be attacked but we can still afford Trident in case we are. It must be one of those Union dividends we hear about.

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  • 211. At 01:10am on 21 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    It's important not to talk the Scottish economy down.

    "Wind-farm investment boost for Aberdeen firm"

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article6963550.ece

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  • 212. At 01:13am on 21 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    "Political leaders accused of ignoring Flyglobespan collapse" (more accurately opposition political leaders)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/scotland/6834997/Political-leaders-accused-of-ignoring-Flyglobespan-collapse.html

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  • 213. At 04:23am on 21 Dec 2009, MaudDib wrote:

    #69 dear_wendy
    "Alex requested that "CyberNats" stick to positive campaigning at the last conference/gathering/thingy."
    What went wrong?

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  • 214. At 06:16am on 21 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    102. tullibardine
    ""SNP politicians wring their hands about the future of the Scottish press and then they do their best to damage Scotland's entire local newspaper industry. "

    Hah. Councils have a lot of money to throw around saving the poor put-upon Scotsman. Don't suppose that rag might look into actually--reporting he news for a change instead of printing Labour press releases...

    Nah. Never happen.

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  • 215. At 06:36am on 21 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    213. MaudDib
    ""Alex requested that "CyberNats" stick to positive campaigning at the last conference/gathering/thingy."
    What went wrong?
    "
    Say nice things about the Iain Gray? Forget it.

    I will restrain myself from calling the editor of NotW any more *ahem* naughty names. At least for a while. ;-)

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  • 216. At 11:17am on 21 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    197. At 9:21pm on 20 Dec 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:
    @186 Neil, YFS is a sign off meaning Yours For Scotland and I know you would never have chosen a new handle meaning Not For Scotland but is it maybe Not For Salmond?


    My handle is an old one I have used for years.

    I'm not a great lover of Salmond, Sturgeon being my most favoured Scottish politician.

    It's not down to a lack of respect, far from it. In fact, I used to be highly favourable of him, that was until the SNP put themselves forward as the "Alex Salmond for First Minister" party, rather than themselves.

    No single person should be more important than their party, since their failure means there is a good chance the party can fail as well. Neither has he been fully tested, since the opposition up here are incapable of putting real pressure on him to date. He also has the advantage of blaming Westminster for almost any problem concerning funding. Hopefully that will change after next year and proper economic responsibility is given.


    But I would never go as far as changing a handle to reflect my views.

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  • 217. At 12:00pm on 21 Dec 2009, Nat_very_likely wrote:

    216. enneffess

    The "Alex Salmond For First Minister" was a one off to get the SNP at the top of the very lengthy ballot paper in 2007.I don't think it was even Salmond's idea.

    The London based media have for a long time talked of the SNP as having little more than Salmond in terms of first class politicians.Such a view is based on lack of knowledge of Scottish politics and the Nationalists in particular.But their habitual references to Salmond when they mean the SNP does create a perception in our minds.I think Salmond is the outstanding politician of his generation in Scotland and perhaps in British terms also.Many people think so incuding SNP opponents.I reckon though that Alex is much more of a team player than he's given credit for.He's a long way from being the Eamonn De Valera of Scottish politics.

    Enneffess I agree with your high rating of Sturgeon but there are plenty of talented people in the SNP.I might be biased but I don't think Scottish Labour can match them for numbers of quality people.

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  • 218. At 12:46pm on 21 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    Slow news on the Blether, so I had to go looking for myself. The piece on the snp.org site about the Labour peers troughing it caught my fancy. We don't need 700+ "peers" revising the incompetence of our 650 representatives in the Commons. For the sake of tradition have a hereditary to sit on the Woolsack, elect 72 Senators as for Europe and allow the Government to appoint 3 Barons of the Exchequer. It's taken Labour 12 years to get nowhere; another Unionist dividend.

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  • 219. At 1:19pm on 21 Dec 2009, ahumscottish2 wrote:

    Hi All,

    Question a little off the subject.

    Does Blair's answers on why we went to war bring back into question the SNP/Pliad Cymru impeaching demand/proposal??

    Just a thought

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  • 220. At 2:06pm on 21 Dec 2009, sid_ts63 wrote:

    #219 ahumscottish2- ,afternoon, yes it brings it back into play BUT I would not hold your breath. it would not suit the political classes one little bit hence it ain't going to happen. All that Blair is showing is the complete and utter contempt for the rest of us that shines thru from the political classes. what he is showing is that he can do & say whatever he likes ,whenever he likes and the establishment won't or dare not touch him .
    he didn't get the nickname "Teflon Tony" for nothing you know

    Sid

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  • 221. At 2:15pm on 21 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    219. ahumscottish2
    "Does Blair's answers on why we went to war bring back into question the SNP/Pliad Cymru impeaching demand/proposal??"

    "with the resignation of Blair on 27 June 2007, the entire issue of impeachment is now moot."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeach_Blair_campaign

    Could his leaving Parliament entirely (ie not accepting a peerage) been motivated by the need to avoid the risk of proceedings? I wonder.

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  • 222. At 2:24pm on 21 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    I can't understand why Skye ignores Scotland in its news bulletins. It seems to be 100% focused on England even although it has many customers in Scotland. We had an example today where we had a roundup of the status of all the English airports on Skye News but no mention that Aberdeen and Inverness had severe weather problems, or whether Edinburgh and Glasgow were operating normally.

    At least the BBC gave them a mention, even if they did not list them on their bulletin board with the others. It looked like a kind of after thought, which I have no doubt it was, as nothing about Scotland ever comes naturally to the BBC, unless its SNP bashing, or murders and deprivation.

    When we need to get some info about Scotland we have to wait for the Scottish news, which is far to infrequent in this kind of extreme weather. Another reason for having a Scottish TV channel. Of course we could switch on BBC Radio Scotland, but that is second best really.


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  • 223. At 2:55pm on 21 Dec 2009, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    It is despicable that the celtic/gaelic languages in a so called United Nation are being surpressed by a broadcasting corporation funded by the people. In N.Ireland posts which contain any language other than English, even a Christmas wish of good will to the host, is automatically turned down. Shame on the BBC!!!

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  • 224. At 4:49pm on 21 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Dutch have a simple answer to energy crisis – working together

    "Fred Gardner's idea is simple. So simple that intelligent Scots will try to find a snag, instead of trying to follow suit. He found that around a quarter of the unit price of energy is pure profit.

    Profit currently handed to shareholders of the big power companies.

    And since some of those power companies are government-owned (along with the grid network), that's a straightforward steal – taking cash from the public in the form of hiked-up energy prices to give to private shareholders."




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  • 225. At 4:50pm on 21 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    223. DisgustedinDERRY

    Have you tested how political this is, by posting the Ulster Scots wish?

    "Biddin ye a blythe yuletide an a guid new yeir"


    Will Betsan's Blog accept the Welsh (or Irish Gaelic) Seasons Greetings?

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  • 226. At 5:01pm on 21 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    "Details of a review by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission into the case of the Lockerbie bomber could be made public in the New Year.

    The commission investigation concluded Abdelbaset al-Megrahi's conviction may have been unsafe. Megrahi was jailed for life in 2001 for the 1988 bombing.

    Scottish Ministers passed an order through the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 that would allow information to be released on or after 1 February 2010.

    The Commission will now consider whether it is entitled to publicly disclose any of the information it obtained during its review.

    The Commission's chief executive Gerard Sinclair said: "The Statutory Instrument permits the Commission to disclose information only with the consent of those who have provided the information. In considering whether it is entitled to disclose information, the Commission will also have to have regard to other relevant matters, including European Court of Human Rights and data protection legislation and all other relevant law."

    http://www.publicservantscotland.co.uk/news_story.asp?id=11692

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  • 227. At 5:03pm on 21 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Election Debates

    The 3 UK parties have made a deal to have 3 debates. Wait for the legal challenges!

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  • 228. At 5:07pm on 21 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    223. DisgustedinDERRY

    I see your Gaelic greeting is now up on the NI blog. I suspect this was a fussy mod, who has been overruled by his/her boss, rather than a policy thing.

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  • 229. At 5:15pm on 21 Dec 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    #227 oldnat

    Yes, I just spotted that.

    I expected the BBc to quickly declare thtthe SNP intended blocking this in the courts.

    It is far from trivial - it represents a distorted view of what the establishment expects us to vote for.

    The Liberal Democrats have achieved NOTHING in the last 20 years - The SNP have formed a minority government and bolstered thier support in Scotland. The Tories are NON-ENTITIES in Scotland.

    This debate is a sham.

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  • 230. At 5:18pm on 21 Dec 2009, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    Ref #225: At last my post has been accepted. Only after a serious amount canvasing might I add. I didn't try Ulster Scots as it is a dialect of English, as can be seen by your seasons greetings and how it is said. This would give our intolerant moderator in N.Ireland an excuse to enrage Nationalist posters like myself. Tiocfaidh ar la!!

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  • 231. At 5:24pm on 21 Dec 2009, tullibardine wrote:

    I see Westminster MPs will quiz Alex Salmond, Kenny MacAskill and Sir John Elvidge, the Scottish Government`s permanent secretary and most senior civil servant, on January 10th over Megrahi’s release.
    The following sentence in the article intrigued me somewhat.
    ‘The inquiry is also studying co-ordination between London and Edinburgh in representing Scottish interests in Europe.’

    http://tinyurl.com/yj3ughs

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  • 232. At 5:27pm on 21 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    227. oldnat
    "The 3 UK parties have made a deal to have 3 debates. Wait for the legal challenges!"

    The BBC would surely be undemocratic in broadcasting this in Scotland, Wales and NI without inclusion of minor parties within the UK unless we accept a 2 party dictatorship.

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  • 233. At 5:33pm on 21 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    New tourist attraction in the pipeline! I wish.

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  • 234. At 5:53pm on 21 Dec 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    The establishment rolls on regardless, refusing to accept that the political landscape has irrevocably changed.

    I cannot see how the broadcasters will be able to show that they are not favouring traditional unionist 'one nation' parties over the independence parties, and thereby possibly affecting the election results.

    Electioneering by the media, surely not.

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  • 235. At 6:03pm on 21 Dec 2009, The Forfarian II wrote:

    I presume that STV will keep up their recent track record and refuse to show the ITV debate...

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  • 236. At 7:09pm on 21 Dec 2009, Nat_very_likely wrote:

    The SNP stated publicly that thay were prepared to be flexible over any arrangements for their inclusion in the TV debates.The BBC has imperiously ignored them and in doing so has insulted the Scottish people.

    The line that the SNP and Plaid cannot be included because they will not be forming the next government at Westminster is contemptible.They are major parties in their countries and involved in governing.For the BBC to pretend that is not the case and that the English Lab/Lib/Tory system can be imposed on us in this way in an important election must offend anyone who holds democratic values and has a belief in fairness.

    One can almost hear the sniggering of the BBC metropolitan elite as they dine together in their favourite Mayfair bistros and make patronising remarks about the uppity Celtic nationalists trying to cause problems.

    These are the same people who will happily give a TV debate platform to the racist BNP.

    Just as the Labour Party once had values but is now a self-serving entity that just happens to go by the same name,so with the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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  • 237. At 7:25pm on 21 Dec 2009, RandomScot wrote:

    @Disgusted in Derry

    Ulster Scots is not a dialect of English, but a dialect of Scots.

    Scots is not a dialect of English, but a related language to English, like Dutch is related to German.

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  • 238. At 7:27pm on 21 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    When the three unionist leaders get round to discussing consitutional matters on telly, like disseminated powers to Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland, who is going to be there to represent the interests of these countries? Cameron's discourse as to why they should be excluded is hollow.

    The TV companies cannot be allowed to get away with this type of discrimination.

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  • 239. At 8:08pm on 21 Dec 2009, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    Hamish, discrimination has been around for centuries, nothing new in so called National TV companies not giving the occupied nations a communication tool.

    RandomScot, I think you will find that Scots as in a language is not related to English, more a natural transgression of Gaelic speakers being forced to speak English. Therefore Scots as a language does not exist, more Scottish people speaking English. This can be seen from tip to toe in Ireland with the spoken English changing to suit the dialects of Gaelic, as i'm sure it does in Scotland. If you think of our imigrant neighbours and how they speak English, well it's the same principal. Gaelic however is a language in its own, futhermore Scots Gaelic is a transgression from Irish Gaelic as i'm sure you know that the Irish colonised Scotland and spread the celtic faith and language. The Irish gave you your kilts, clans and bagpipes amoung other things.

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  • 240. At 9:16pm on 21 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Evil Cybernat blogger Conan the Librarian is at it again:

    Hootsmon Headline

    Conan is patiently waiting for his turn to be attacked by the MSM though. Calls out, "The Herald, where are you?"

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 241. At 9:28pm on 21 Dec 2009, InfrequentAllele2 wrote:

    239. DisgustedinDerry

    Scots is a language in its own right. It is not simply English in the mouths of former Gaelic speakers. There are many more Gaelic loanwords in Scots than in English and there is arguably some phonological convergence between Scottish Gaelic and Scots, but the major linguistic features which distinguish Scots from English are not due to Gaelic influence. Scots developed independently.

    Scottish Gaelic bears much the same relationship to Irish as Lowland Scots does to English. Both pairs are closely related languages, Irish and Scottish Gaelic descend from Old Irish, English and Scots descend from Old English. Both were introduced into the territory of modern Scotland in the same historical period, Old Irish around the 5th century, Old English around the 7th. The Old Irish and Old English dialects introduced into Scotland evolved here to become the modern Scottish Gaelic and Lowland Scots languages. Both are equally native. Both are equally Scottish.

    Scottish Gaelic was not regularly used in writing until the 18th century. Before that date Scottish Gaelic speakers used Classical Irish as their written language and Scottish Gaelic was not recognised as a language distinct from Irish, it was regarded as an Irish dialect. Originally Scottish Gaelic and Irish were connected by a chain of transitional dialects stretching through Ayrshire and Galloway into eastern Ulster. The Gaelic dialect of Ayrshire and Galloway died out in the late 18th century and Scottish Gaelic became sharply separated from Irish for the first time.

    Lowland Scots has a longer history of use as a written language. Writing in Scots began in the 14th century, and the language was widely recognised as being distinct from English. In 1498 the Spanish ambassador to the court of James VI, Don Pedro de Ayala, remarked of the king that "His own Scots language is as different from English as Aragonese from Castilian." (By Aragonese Don Pedro meant Catalan, the official chancery language of the Aragonese state which had recently entered into a union with Castile.) See http://www.scots-online.org/airticles/eurlang.htm

    Each of the countries of these islands has its own linguistic history. Scotland's is gloriously multilingual.

    Whatever language you speak - Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ùr Dhuibh!

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  • 242. At 9:43pm on 21 Dec 2009, A_Scottish_Voice wrote:

    If BBC Scotland thinks it is going to broadcast a General Election debate in scotland with Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats which excludes the SNP, thereby discriminating against my political views -

    After threating me with a £1000 fine forcing me to pay them £142.00 -

    I can guarantee you that I will not be paying them a single penny next year, and the can take me to court where I will argue that my human rights have been infringed and that I am a victim of extortion.

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  • 243. At 9:45pm on 21 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    240. JRMacClure

    Any comment on this!

    "Cllr Terry Kelly said...

    (Jeanne Tomlin) 20/12/09

    Nationalism is a vile creed and its followers in the SNP wallow in it; these vicious morons have been orchestrating contemptible and malevolent campaigns against anyone who dares to disagree with them and they are now at long last being found out; that is a cause for celebration; they are a bunch of low life racist bigots.
    "


    I objected.

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  • 244. At 9:46pm on 21 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    That's very strange since as far as I know there was only ONE link in my above post #240. I can't figure out WHAT the moderators were doing. lol

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  • 245. At 9:56pm on 21 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    244. JRMacClure
    "That's very strange since as far as I know there was only ONE link in my above post #240. I can't figure out WHAT the moderators were doing. lol"

    Having their xmas party, hic.

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  • 246. At 10:34pm on 21 Dec 2009, Wee Folding Bike wrote:

    Jim Murphy claimed that the SNP should not be on a TV debate because they have no chance of forming a Westminster government.

    That'll be his party ruled out too then.

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  • 247. At 10:35pm on 21 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    David Cairns has described the please for the SNP leader to be included in the leaders debate as a "thinly-veiled but sinister threat".

    Are we in Alice in Wonderland here or is it George Orwell's 1984.

    The SNP form the Government of Scotland and they are the largest party in Scotland having won the popular vote in the last major election (Euro) as well as Holyrood.

    Note that the BBC have removed the links to this blog from both their main news sites.

    I found out that Nick R's blog is still in its prominent position.

    Why have the BBC removed the link to this site?

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  • 248. At 11:22pm on 21 Dec 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    From the BBC news page:

    Labour's Gordon Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg have agreed to go head-to-head in a series of three debates.

    The first will be on ITV, the second on Sky and the third on the BBC.

    There will also be separate debates involving the main parties in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


    If I read that correctly then the Conservatives, Labour and the Lib-Dems will get a high profile three way election debate broadcast across the UK followed by a four way election debate with the Conservatives, Labour, the Lib-Dems and the SNP broadcast in Scotland.

    In other words the Conservatives, Labour and the Lib-Dems get twice the election coverage of the SNP in Scotland with the SNP relegated to a second string debate which won't involve the other party leaders.

    I can see that passing the political impartiality test.

    In the Herald:

    Scottish secretary Jim Murphy today called for a Scottish version of the debates in addition to the UK versions, and has asked his SNP, Lib Dem and Tory counterparts to take part.

    Apparently Jim Murphy doesn't want Alex Salmond on TV unless he considers himself as Alex's counterpart in Scotland.

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  • 249. At 11:25pm on 21 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    231. At 5:24pm on 21 Dec 2009, tullibardine wrote:
    I see Westminster MPs will quiz Alex Salmond, Kenny MacAskill and Sir John Elvidge, the Scottish Government`s permanent secretary and most senior civil servant, on January 10th over Megrahi’s release.
    The following sentence in the article intrigued me somewhat.
    ‘The inquiry is also studying co-ordination between London and Edinburgh in representing Scottish interests in Europe.’

    -----------

    Another story has appeared in a free paper today, and a story I for one was not aware of.

    Apparently Megrahi has almost two million dollars (?) in a Swiss bank account, with his defence saying that it was to bypass embargoes for purchasing items. Haven't got the paper at home and can't remember precisely what the items were.

    I think this one might be the first of more stories to appear.

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  • 250. At 11:29pm on 21 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    242. At 9:43pm on 21 Dec 2009, A_Scottish_Voice wrote:
    If BBC Scotland thinks it is going to broadcast a General Election debate in scotland with Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats which excludes the SNP, thereby discriminating against my political views -

    After threating me with a £1000 fine forcing me to pay them £142.00 -

    I can guarantee you that I will not be paying them a single penny next year, and the can take me to court where I will argue that my human rights have been infringed and that I am a victim of extortion.


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

    You haven't got a hope of winning. They will argue that the SNP are not putting candidates in sufficient seats to win a majority, unlike the other three, and therefore that eliminates them from the debate. That is regardless of the fact they may have the most seats in Scotland next year.

    Your human rights will not come into it, since you are not being denied a vote.

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  • 251. At 11:37pm on 21 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    227. At 5:03pm on 21 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:
    Election Debates

    The 3 UK parties have made a deal to have 3 debates. Wait for the legal challenges!

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

    I assume that the SNP will pay the legal fees themselves however. Serious point since if they use taxpayers money it will most definitely be pointed out.

    And who will pay the defence? The taxpayer?

    This could get messy.......

    You know the response from certain politicians up here: "The SNP is wasting taxpayers money when they should be addressing the economy etc etc".

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  • 252. At 11:43pm on 21 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    251. enneffess
    "And who will pay the defence? The taxpayer?"

    I think you are confusing criminal and civil cases. There is no "defence" in a civil case. If the SNP (the party, not the government) petition the Court of Session (and there are plenty of SNP QCs who'll do the work for nothing), then it is open to other parties to oppose the petition (and they have their own QCs too).

    The Court will simply rule on a point of law.

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  • 253. At 00:01am on 22 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    #252 oldnat

    Ah, never thought of that.

    What are peoples reaction to Murphy's offer of a regional version of the debate?

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  • 254. At 00:12am on 22 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    253. enneffess
    "What are peoples reaction to Murphy's offer of a regional version of the debate?"

    Posturing by a colonionist.

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  • 255. At 00:14am on 22 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    An interesting comment on Iain Dale.
    "Blogger I Squiggle said...

    I’ve had another thought on this – it isn’t going to happen. I can’t see how this can be possible to broadcast in Scotland, when the SNP are the governing party in that devolved government, and would obviously cry foul not to be party to such a debate when it came to a GE. And even in Wales and NI , the nationalist parties can claim a share of the representative pie. So is this an English only broadcast? And if it is, what constituency does Gordon Brown represent? Riddled.."

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  • 256. At 00:16am on 22 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    253. enneffess
    "#252 oldnat

    Ah, never thought of that.

    What are peoples reaction to Murphy's offer of a regional version of the debate?
    "
    He is not actually offering a "regional version". The regional version would include leaders of the party which HE IS NOT.

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  • 257. At 00:22am on 22 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    253. enneffess
    "What are peoples reaction to Murphy's offer of a regional version of the debate?"

    Actually, I'm not bothered if Salmond is involved in UK wide debates. A reasonable alternative model would be for the English to have a debate of their own on their own issues : there could then be 2 other debates on UK issues Economy and Defence/Foreign Policy. After these 2 debates, the SNP in Scotland and Plaid in Wales could have an equivalent half hour to answer the same questions - since the Unionists are scared of a face to face.

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  • 258. At 00:57am on 22 Dec 2009, highlandarab wrote:

    I read this blog from time to time (when I can find the link) but this is only the second time I have added a comment.

    I am probably what is known as the silent majority but I thought I would add my tuppence worth in just for something to keep me occupied late one night.

    The live TV debates are beginning to really hack me off and so this is a medicinal rant. So!!

    I assume that I am not going to be represented in any of the 3 UK debates because I support the 'wee diddy party' that has no interest in English Education or English Health Issues that will dominate the debates because my chosen party has 'parochial views' about representing only a little bit on the edges of Europe.

    And I assume that the studio is only big enough to hold 3 'big' people so no room for anyone else, and so someone has to be left out, and it would cost a lot for a taxi all the way from Edinburgh to bring in someone else when we have no money left? Best leave it to the experts!

    Should the same rules not apply here for a Scottish debate?

    Only 3 parties allowed to be represented - Don't invite one of the Scottish 'diddy' parties - delete as appropriate - Conservative (nae seats from the north hopefully again), Lib Dems (last in power in UK back when trains were just being invented so not really likely to win that many votes), Labour (new old or middle class? - unlikely to be in power again for a good few years so what's the point). From previous seats gained I would guess that it would be the Conservatives who would need to stand aside as they are least likely to gain seats in Scotland.

    I also think that the 'Scottish' debate should be aired throughout the whole UK. Realistically it would let the others not in Scotland see what the likely barganing power of the 'smaller' parties is when they get the likely hung parliament - and - if we have to suffer endless questions about items that have been devolved and have no bearing on us (but still called British anyway) then it is only fair that they should have to hear concerns whether they be devolved or not from us (is there not previous for discussing devolved items in a by-election? so that would be OK then).

    I assume that the 'UK' debate will be a prime time TV slot, therefore the same needs to apply to the UK Scottish version of the debate. Cancel Coronation Street (permanently please if possible!) and replace it with this. Make sure it is prime time viewing for all of UK. It might just make a few people realise that there is actually a debate with differing views going on just a few miles north of where they are and they should not just be limited to the common goals of all three southern parties where they reside.

    I am not sure what format I would really want to see. It is a UK election and the party leaders have been invited to the UK version, so it seems only fair that the leaders of each of the parties should be involved up here - so Gordon needs to face up to Alex since Mr Grey is only really the class prefect in a building in Edinburgh and not really a leader in his own right, and the 'Scottish Sec' (sorry forgotten his name - Jim somebody I think) is not really the leader of anything and probably ranks as below Mr Grey in order of seniority?.

    I am not sure about how the other parties work out leaders - whether the Scottish one is a Scottish leader or only a group leader, and whether the UK one is the 'big boss' but I am sure they must know and will be able to work out who needs to sit in the appropriate chair.

    On a completly tangential point I always loved the idea of every 300 years or so changing things round a little. 'A change is as good ... etc.'

    I think we should move the UK parliament to Inverness. As far from the South as the south is from me at present. Completely spin everything round 180 degrees. There should be about 600 Scottish MP's and 80 odd from the South. We should send a block grant south each year and allow them a little bit of decision making themselves. The channel tunnel will be closed and transported up to Aberdeen to Bergen. All the media and financial institutions will be moved to Inverness .... move the queen and her family up for the summer ... you get the picture.

    For too long we up here have milked the system and I feel sorry for the ones who subsidise us by so much each year. For the next 300 years we should be able to repay the compliment and subsidise them to the same amount. We can look after all of their wellbeing and all in life will be good for them... We could speak up for them at 'big meetings' so that they were looked after well and we would take care not to let them out of our sight incase they got up to mischief. We would care.

    Alternatively, I'm a big boy now - can I go out and play on my own with the other countries. They seem to be having so much fun out there.

    I am feeling a wee bit better now.
    I think I am going to bed to have a good rest before facing the snow covered roads out to my asbestos filled school that the Lib Dem man in London seems now to care about despite not knowing / caring about only two years ago. My how Alex has changed the political landscape of the north already.

    Nighty Night

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  • 259. At 01:18am on 22 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    258. highlandarab

    Thanks for that post. Cheered me up no end.

    Re your asbestos filled school. How can any SMT in the '80s not have managed to get it cleared out then? Rank incompetence I call it. We ran an organised campaign involving parents, pupils, unions to get it all cleared 25 years ago! (Correction - not "we", of course. As loyal employees of the council we simply passed on the concerns of the customers. We organised nothing!)

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  • 260. At 06:12am on 22 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    I am quite disappointed the Scottish National Party will not take part in debates that will be broadcast in Scotland, however, whats is this about, really?

    Is it because the Scottish National Party can't ever win enough seats to form the Government? I know other parties i.e. UKIP have enough candidates in place that they could form the next Government, so that can't be it.

    It's descrimination at its worst. The Tories are irrelevent to Scotland, all parties are irrelevent to Northern Ireland etc it's a mess.

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  • 261. At 06:38am on 22 Dec 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    # 258

    Nice post - made me chuckle and you might be on to something there ;-)

    Trans-continantal tunnel between Aberdeen and Bergen? That's a phenomenal idea!

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  • 262. At 09:48am on 22 Dec 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    I'm for the trans continental Aberdeen /Bergen tunnel too!
    Marvellous idea!
    Let's get digging!

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  • 263. At 10:12am on 22 Dec 2009, The Forfarian II wrote:

    If the putative UK election debates are (as I have heard claimed) to put before the electorate the candidates for Prime Minister, it is right and proper that Wee Eck is excluded - but why the **** is Numptie Clegg ["I'm important, I am, I Am, I AM"] being allowed to participate?

    Brown v Cameron (or, if the parties have any sense, Mandelson v Hague - each is head-and-shoulders above the currrent leader) might have some small merit; letting the LibDems join in makes it a farce, but an unfunny one....

    They probably won't even do a Brian Rix and lose their trousers halfway through...

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  • 264. At 10:23am on 22 Dec 2009, The Forfarian II wrote:

    Debates between party leaders sound the death knell for representative democracy...

    I do not elect the Prime Minister - I do not even have a vote - but I DO vote for my constituency MP.

    If party leadership is all that matters, why does the House of Commons not introduce a proxy system, where the leaders can cast ALL of their MPs' votes as one? (A bit like the union block votes which used to make TUC coverage hilarious in the past, with Evans, Scargill, Knapp casting hundreds of thousands (millions, even) of votes by holding up [or getting one of their minions to hold up] a single card.)

    At present, almost all of the party leaders are liabilities to their parties' electoral chances (Wee Eck is the exception) - the best thing each of the parties could do is NO CAMPAIGNING AT ALL. If you say nothing, you cannot make a gaffe and opening your mouth can only cost votes (never gain any)...

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  • 265. At 10:26am on 22 Dec 2009, The Forfarian II wrote:

    What is Craig Levein doing in this picture?

    I now he only looks about twelve, but is he really playing at being a 'plane...?

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  • 266. At 10:28am on 22 Dec 2009, Nat_very_likely wrote:

    258. highlandarab
    "The channel tunnel will be closed and transported up to Aberdeen to Bergen."

    That got me thinking highlandarab.Since some Scots can't imagine Scotland not being in a union,maybe we should consider leaving the costly UK and joining up with Norway.With their Oil Fund to develop our renewable energy potential we would be the wealthiest per capita country in the world or thereabouts.Edinburgh and Oslo to maintain jurisdiction over their halves of the partnership with the federal capital alternating between Glasgow and Stavanger.And for the federal anthem all we have to do is choose one of the many fine tunes of that great Scottish Norwegian Edvard Grieg.

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  • 267. At 12:10pm on 22 Dec 2009, A_Scottish_Voice wrote:

    #250 - That is not the grounds on which I would argue that my rights have been infringed, and I don't agree that the SNP have no place at the table just because they are not putting enough candidates forward to win the election.

    This debate increases the profile of the other main parties in Scotland, thereby having a negative effect on the chances of the SNP winning seats in Scotland.

    That in itself is fundamentally wrong.

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  • 268. At 1:29pm on 22 Dec 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    I fear that the metropolitan elite who decide these things have pushed ahead with this debate without really thinking about the possible legal ramifications.

    It's not surprising that they have ignored the different circumstances in Scotland as laid out in their own legislation. What is surprising is that they seem to think that giving the LabLibCon alliance a SECOND bite of the electioneering cherry in Scotland will somehow redress the balance and make things ok.

    Hearing the condescending metropolitan types telling Scots to shut up and get back in their box has become routine but hearing Secretary of State Against Scotland Jim Murphy do the same thing is, as always , so much worse.

    Plus we have a new one for the unionist lexicon. Speaking on behalf of Scotland when broadcasting law is about to be broken in the run up to a general election is now "bullying".

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  • 269. At 1:35pm on 22 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    250. enneffess
    "They will argue that the SNP are not putting candidates in sufficient seats to win a majority, unlike the other three, and therefore that eliminates them from the debate."
    Since when are UK elections for a "majority"?

    I thought you had a representative system and elected individual MPs. In the US, debates make sense. We vote for a president, not for representatives.

    If you are voting for individual representatives, surely anything that puts ones from particular parties (SNP AND Paid Cyrmu) at a disadvantage in their own constituency is undemocratic and should be illegal.

    The debates seem to me to be nothing but a pretense at having adopted the American system.

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  • 270. At 1:51pm on 22 Dec 2009, highlandarab wrote:

    Eekk! Can't believe someone answered my rantings last night - Wayyy! power!

    #259 "How can any SMT in the '80s not have managed to get it cleared out then?"

    Sadly it was not (officially?) discovered until a few years ago when we were all advised how to deal with the problem. The usual overaction of health and safety considerations - don't stick pins in the walls / don't use cellotape / don't let pupils bags hit the wall / etc. and you will all be safe.

    To be fair the Lib Dem manny from this area in London has been quite eager to be noticed in the last few months and wants to see massive remedial work done (I thought some of the local youth could torch it until it was pointed out to me that asbestor won't burn!) Shame he didn't think it was a problem when his party had joint ownership of the Scottish budgets, but there you go - we could always ask the 3 leaders at their national question and answer service.

    Still - come the revolution etc.


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  • 271. At 2:52pm on 22 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    I've now had a post withdrawn for being "off topic" on the last thread. That's amazingly hard to do on one of Brian's blogs! However, Hutcheon writing about bloggers would have made it on topic here.

    I guess that Hutcheon guy was unchuffed when Online Ed contacted him! Presumably MSM journalists only think that they are allowed to invade others privacy.

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  • 272. At 3:18pm on 22 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    269. JRMacClure
    "Paid Cyrmu"
    Plaid Cyrmu

    Sorry for the tangled fingers

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  • 273. At 3:25pm on 22 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #271 oldnat
    Presumably MSM journalists only think that they are allowed to invade others privacy.
    A) What evidence do you have that MSM journalists think?
    B) How do they get dressed in the mornings if they only think that ...?
    C) Surely you meant 'journalists think that they only are'.
    Definately a Tsk! 8-)

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  • 274. At 3:27pm on 22 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    272 JRMacClure
    Cymru
    Tsk 8-)

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  • 275. At 3:27pm on 22 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    272. JRMacClure
    "Plaid Cyrmu

    Sorry for the tangled fingers
    "

    They're still tangled! Cymru. :-)

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  • 276. At 4:22pm on 22 Dec 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    Nonsense, I've only had the one glass but I think you'll find it's Palid Cumry.

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  • 277. At 4:26pm on 22 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    273. handclapping
    "Definately a Tsk!"

    OK I'm grovelling in embarassment! :-)

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  • 278. At 4:40pm on 22 Dec 2009, Florence wrote:

    Apologies for being so ignorant but what does MSM stand for as in MSM journalists?

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  • 279. At 4:47pm on 22 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    278. Florence
    "MSM journalists"

    Main Stream Media (no apology needed - took me ages to work it out!)

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  • 280. At 5:18pm on 22 Dec 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    On the subject of these electoral debates, I think the SNP could be satisfied if the appropriate disclaimers and riders had to be put against each promise and assertion:

    "We'll cut NHS waiting times.....except in Scotland because that's devolved".

    "We'll introduce tougher prison sentences...except in Scotland because that's devolved".

    "We'll put more bobbys on the beat...except in Scotland because that's devolved".

    "We'll cut business rates...except in Scotland because that's devolved".

    "We'll introduce a replacement for the council tax...except in Scotland because that's devolved".

    After a list of these, people will start questioning the relevance of the Union.

    "We'll cut public spending and slash front-line services...including in Scotland because even though these are devolved areas, we stipulate Scotland's spending money".

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  • 281. At 5:38pm on 22 Dec 2009, Kingkev wrote:

    247. At 10:35pm on 21 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:
    .

    Note that the BBC have removed the links to this blog from both their main news sites.

    I found out that Nick R's blog is still in its prominent position.

    Why have the BBC removed the link to this site?




    I was wondering the same question , Why have the BBC removed the link to this site? The BBC are at it.

    The reason why Salmond is not being included in the debate is that he would take the shine right off of Cameron . Salmond is a far better debater than the other three leaders and they know it and they can`t have that.

    But i would like Salmond to go head to head with Murphy because Salmond would wipe the floor with him and show him up for what he really is.

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  • 282. At 5:48pm on 22 Dec 2009, Robabody wrote:

    #243 CH - Ooops, I can see the odious moat in his eye.



    #247 OnEd "David Cairns has described the plea for the SNP leader to be included in the leaders debate as a "thinly-veiled but sinister threat"".

    Now that statement in its self is sinister, as it seeks to deny free speech and fair representation............still I always thought that D Cairns was a sinister type.


    Nice letter that in the Herald the other day re cybernats and the press -did you catch it?

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  • 283. At 5:50pm on 22 Dec 2009, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    Thank you InfrequentAllele2, what a great insight into the Scots language, in fairness though the Ulster Scots for a hoover is 'Fluer sucker' (I heard this in a radio programme debating Ulster Scots) in other words something that sucks the floor, in other words a hoover, in other words a dialect of English. I probably spelt that wrong but the online Ulster Scots dictionary didn't recognise hoover, maybe the scots only have wood floors and tiles. To be honest I spent five minutes trying to find any translation for a variety of words, council, government etc. Unfortunately to no avail. Is the Ulster Scots language a recognised European minority language?

    On another issue, would it be possible for all the Nationalist parties in Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland to have enough of a mandate in Westminister to unite and control? I think not as i'm sure the English have made sure of it by way of MP numbers. (I think this is called gerrymandering)

    On a related issue it amuses me how the BNP class themselves as Nationalist and UKIP want Independence but neither would like to see Nationalist opinion in Scotland, Wales or N.Ireland prevail.

    Bloody Unionists!!!

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  • 284. At 5:55pm on 22 Dec 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    Actually,the more I look at Brown's new found faith in his own debating skills, I actually wonder if he's only agreed to these debates safe in the knowledge that the legal challenges will be unsurmountable. That way, he can't be accused of running scared (as he was a few months ago when the idea was first aired).

    It'll be interesting to see if any of these broadcasters will leave themselves open to the potential punishments a court could impose if they press ahead with broadcasting the debates.

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  • 285. At 6:02pm on 22 Dec 2009, Robabody wrote:

    #258 HA - Look here, it's one thing to come on and write interesting stuff with valid points and constructive remarks but I draw the line at your proposed ban on Coronation Street! A one off, as suggested, to facilitate the debate, you just might manage to get away with but we'll never get independence threatening to put it off the air permanently(even if it is only a personal thought). No, No, the nats have been accused that often that they will close down Corrie, I've added it to my unionist bingo card. Now as I sit and listen to them spout, I can put an x in the box for all the well known phrases and sayings that are used to put Scotland down and when I get a line or a full house, I can shout Bingo! So no more loose talk please about doing away with Corrie, I thank you!

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  • 286. At 6:06pm on 22 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    Well, glad to see a certain train company totally incapable of running trains in what cannot be described as extreme weather.

    Everyone told to leave work early, got to Central Station, only to be told trains cancelled to EK AGAIN!! Have you ever tried getting on a bus after such an announcement?

    So back at work for a wee while.

    Might start a blog........



    On the tv debates, the general consensus at work is that the SNP should be allowed a say, and that is from non-supporting people as well. Some argued that it is only fair, which if you look at things objectively is correct. Others pointed out that it would finally give Salmond some real debaters to deal with. And yet more said that it would be an opportunity to put Salmond on the spot with regards to some policy decisions that were not carried through (education was mentioned).

    So all in all he should be allowed. And while I'm not his biggest fan he is good to watch in a debate.
    #283

    I misread your comment! Glad you typed it correct!

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  • 287. At 6:23pm on 22 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    283. DisgustedinDERRY
    "'Fluer sucker'"

    That does sound a bit like an invented term. I'd be surprised if many Ulster Scots speakers actually say that.

    As a piece of Xmas trivia, the first vacuum cleaner sold in the UK was non-electrical and was called a "Ukanusa Drudgee". Even in the late 19th century, the corruption of language by advertisers was appalling!

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  • 288. At 6:34pm on 22 Dec 2009, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    I have lived in Ulster most of my life and I have never heard anyone speak Ulster Scots. Sorry: correction, only Nelson McCauseland!!

    Derry City council want to revamp it's image and change its logo to include Irish, English and Ulster Scots but unfortunately the Ulster Scots agency have not invented a word for Council but they believe it might be Cooncil, need I say more!

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  • 289. At 6:35pm on 22 Dec 2009, tullibardine wrote:

    During an interview with Eddie Mair, former Defence Secretary John Hutton confirmed he was the cabinet minister who, in 2006, said Gordon Brown would be an "effing disaster" as prime minister. I don’t think he realised how much of understatement that would turn out to be.

    Asked about his current view of Brown, Hutton said:
    "My opinion has changed... I think he has - and certainly, in all of his dealings with me, showed nothing but, sort of, a great deal of support and help during my time as a minister.”

    Talk about being damned with faint praise! Why didn’t Hutton just say his opinion in 2006 was spot on?

    http://tinyurl.com/yaod8ms

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  • 290. At 7:15pm on 22 Dec 2009, reaktor303 wrote:

    #288. DisgustedinDERRY

    Counsel was the old Scots word, or other similar spelled variants. Conseil was the French.

    'ou' is the Scots diphthong for what would be pronounced as 'oo'. eg: "stour souker" (dust sucker), or Gordoun Broun's Lang Toun hous.

    The 'oo' was seemingly due to latter English language influence and IMO should not therefore be used as we already have our own established way.

    Ulster-Scots don't follow those rules though. Nor does some current modern Scots.

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  • 291. At 7:17pm on 22 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    289. tullibardine
    ""My opinion has changed... I think he has - and certainly, in all of his dealings with me, showed nothing but, sort of, a great deal of support and help during my time as a minister.”"

    Haha! Actually saying it might have been less of an insult.

    And by the way, I'm trying yet again and apologies to any and all Welsh for my complete inability to correctly type Plaid Cymru.

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  • 292. At 7:30pm on 22 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    291. JRMacClure
    "to correctly type Plaid Cymru"

    But can you pronounce it?

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  • 293. At 7:42pm on 22 Dec 2009, Roll_On_2010 wrote:


    Brian do you reckon your boss is dropping a hint for you. The link to your blog disappeared of the Scotland page a few days ago and now Nick Robinson's blog link has appeared in its place.

    By the way NR’s last blog was the shortest one in on record. It opened at 17.00 hrs today and shut down 40 minutes later containing only 6 comments.

    Brian maybe they trying to tell you something!

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  • 294. At 8:22pm on 22 Dec 2009, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    #290
    You see herein lies my problem. You say 'Gordoun Broun's Lang Toun hous' which even I can translate as Gordon Browns Long Town House. English being spoken by Scottish, Welsh or Irish people is not a language more a dialect!!!

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  • 295. At 8:41pm on 22 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    292. oldnat
    "But can you pronounce it?"

    Kind of. ;-)

    *experiments: Plade kamri...* Not terrible but there are no Welsh around to give me funny looks either.

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  • 296. At 8:46pm on 22 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    294. DisgustedinDERRY
    "not a language more a dialect"

    I think most Northern Europeans would take exception to being told they speak a dialect of English.

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hus

    On a recent trip to Gothenburg, our English colleague was a bit miffed that the Scots could have a fair stab at reading many signs, by pronouncing them in Scots.

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  • 297. At 8:53pm on 22 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    294. DisgustedinDERRY
    No, it is a language which has, like all living languages, adopted words from other languages.

    It is not merely a dialect because it has a separate history with a separation derivation. It was, in fact, as one time the language of state of the Scottish kingdom. Correspondence, including correspondence to and sometimes even from other nations as well as trade, was conducted in Scots. The denigration of Scots as a dialect spoke by the ignorant goes along with the general denigration of all things Gaelic and non-English. It is a mistaken perception

    There is an excellent article on this subject here: SCOTS AS A EUROPEAN LANGUAGE 1500 - 1700

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  • 298. At 9:00pm on 22 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    295. JRMacClure

    My Welsh friends would give you credit for making a fair attempt! They taught me that Welsh is fairly easy because they actually pronounce all the letters. Once you grasp the pronunciation of the dipthongs, I've learned not to totally offend them!

    Most Americans seem to use a very limited range of vowel sounds (which is why I read Scots Nursery rhymes to my grandson). I read a couple of lines of one to a group of American actors. There are actually 8 slightly different vowel sounds in the extract, but even these trained people could only hear 4.

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  • 299. At 9:23pm on 22 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Cathie Jamieson Resigns !!

    Forget the spin that Labour are putting on this, one of Ian Gray's few decent shadow ministers is deserting the sinking ship - either that or she has been politely asked to move on - Jamieson's face doesn't fit.

    This follows her sidelineing after Jackie Bailie replaced her as health spokesman.

    Whatever the reason, Jamieson has turned her back on Gray and Holyrood.

    Now we know why the media were running the stories about her wanting to move to Westminster.

    Will wee see a 'Gray Suffers Blow As Jamieson Resigns' headline?

    No, of course we won't as the BBC, Herald and Scotsman are already up and running with almost exactly the same Labour press release in place.

    Don't believe me?

    Have a read:
    BBC Scotland
    The Scotsman
    The Herald

    All three amazingly have pretty much the same headline wording:
    'Quits Front Bench'

    Meanwhile The Herald continues it's charade as a quality newspaper with a series of headlines that are, shall we say, not sympathetic to the SNP.

    The media in Scotland are now no more than background noise as Scotland continues to awaken from a long hibernation.

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  • 300. At 9:45pm on 22 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    299. Online Ed

    3 Unionist sources - one text. Sounds just like the election debates are planned to be!

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  • 301. At 9:46pm on 22 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    I had a look and a dip into Nick Robinsons blog today - posting on the hoof as most do.

    I was struck by one thing. the ignorance (not rudeness!!) of our English cousins on all things Scottish and political.

    There was a sense that they are completely reliant on their traditional media for news about us, which is why so many of them have completely swallowed the whinging subsidy junkies myth.

    There was also a sneering almost aloof manner to some posts, very similar to that usually adopted by some Scottish Unionists.

    We all had one thing in common though - a dislike of Brown and the rest of the Unionist Scots.

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  • 302. At 10:05pm on 22 Dec 2009, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    #296
    Did they read the signs in Scots Gaelic or Scots?

    I'm not trying to be offensive just trying to gain knowledge. To me it seems as dialect as I have shown I can translate it easily. A Gaelic teacher whom I have asked agrees that it is dialect.

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  • 303. At 10:14pm on 22 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    302. DisgustedinDERRY
    "Did they read the signs in Scots Gaelic or Scots?"

    We were both Aberdonians, so we read the signs in Scots. Does your Gaelic teacher really say that Swedish is a dialect of English?

    There are families of related languages. Within each family there are shared words. Infrequent Allele is the real linguistic authority here though.

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  • 304. At 10:16pm on 22 Dec 2009, nate_oz wrote:

    So the Mighty UK is the only G20 country still in recession according to todays media. Ireland are out of recession and better off per head of population as far as GDP is concerned.

    Not content with the shame or the UK's fiscal situation the media further tarnishes this countries reputation as a democracy by sidelining the First Minister of Scotland, whose party is leading in the Westminster Election voting intention polls.

    Please explain BBC why you would broadcast the Conservative leader in a debate in Scotland when there is no popular mandate for them here, people don't forget the past that easily. And as for our Scottish friend Gordon Brown, unlikely his party will even win the election but certainly more relevant than David Cameron. The SNP on the otherhand are likely to command the largest percentage of the Scottish vote in the Westminster elections, by not giving them a spot in this debate you are marginalising public opinion in Scotland and failing to represent the majority, slightly undemocratic don't you think?

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  • 305. At 10:20pm on 22 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    I wonder if the promise of a safe Westminster seat was what it took for Jamieson to play ball and not cause Gray some serious problems by resigning in more 'dramatic' fashion.

    One unhappy Labour MSP and signs that all is not well.

    'Scottish Labour front bench in chaos'

    No, we won't see that either.

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  • 306. At 10:24pm on 22 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    305. Online Ed
    "a safe Westminster seat"

    Kilmarnock? My guess is that Labour might just hang on, but it's hardly a safe seat.

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  • 307. At 10:44pm on 22 Dec 2009, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    #303
    Sweedish, like English is a Germanic language, maybe thats why your Scots was similar??

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  • 308. At 10:47pm on 22 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    307. DisgustedinDERRY

    Exactly. The differences are, however, sufficiently great to justify their being described as different languages.

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  • 309. At 10:54pm on 22 Dec 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    302. DisgustedinDERRY
    "I'm not trying to be offensive just trying to gain knowledge. To me it seems as dialect as I have shown I can translate it easily. A Gaelic teacher whom I have asked agrees that it is dialect."
    Fair enough - seeking knowledge is always a good thing. Presumably you read InfrequentAllelle2's #241, which offered a fair amount of detailed knowledge.
    Knowledge that impacts directly on your stated ability to translate with facility - the two tongues share a common ancestor, the most immediate common ancestor.

    What knowledge is it you seek then? Your gaelic teacher tells you it's a dialect, some posters on this site suggest otherwise. Perhaps InfrequentAllelle2 or your gaelic teacher know of some other forums where these issues are discussed, or perhaps can point you at some other research which supports their relative positions.
    Is it fair to say that your position is that you feel that Scots gaelic is to Irish gaelic as Scots is to English?
    Is your position that Scots culture (if reduced to language, instruments and attire ;) is merely an extension of Irish or English?

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  • 310. At 11:02pm on 22 Dec 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    If they can get Brian to stop greeting, unclamp his hands from Craig Levein's ankles and stand up we might get another blog about the party leaders' broadcast and Cathy heading south in search of a bigger Primark.
    ( don't blame me, Jonathan Watson started it)

    Online Ed, I read Nick Robinson's blog today too. Lots of "Jocks, know your place" sentiment over there. How very dare we.

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  • 311. At 11:11pm on 22 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    At the door of a 'bus in Stockholm was the message "Let smal barns get af furst." or words similar to those.

    Not sure if my spelling is correct as it was some years ago, but I took it the message was to let small children get off the 'bus first and that there was a strong link between the Scots and Swedish languages. Maybe someone can correct me if I am wrong.

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  • 312. At 11:50pm on 22 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    298. oldnat

    Diphthongs give me a lot of trouble and my total inability to master a rolled R. I'm pretty sure there should be a diphthong in Cymru and possibly in Plaid even I can't hear one.

    But I find mostly people are nice enough if you're making an attempt.



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  • 313. At 00:10am on 23 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    Cathy Jamieson has basically done a similar tactic to what Salmond himself did when he resigned the first time as SNP leader.

    I expect her to win her Westminster seat - and I am very interested to see what appears on this blog about her holding Holyrood and Westminster seats - I'm against it but there are plenty who support Salmond.

    After the Holyrood elections, which I expect the SNP to hold a majority, assuming she keeps her Scottish Parliament seat she will likely go for the leadership or deputy with/under Andy Kerr. The Labour Party up in Scotland will probably be stronger (not difficult) and the SNP will be under more pressure as they will be in their second term. Then she announce that she will not stand in the following Westminster election.

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  • 314. At 00:35am on 23 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    313. enneffess
    "I am very interested to see what appears on this blog about her holding Holyrood and Westminster seats"

    Since the total workload of a Scottish MP and MSP shouldn't exceed that of an English MP, I've never seen the problem, if they are representing the same area in both Parliaments. Banff & Buchan and Gordon are neighbouring constituencies with many common interests, in the same way that Kilmarnock and Carrick are.

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  • 315. At 00:57am on 23 Dec 2009, Florence wrote:

    279 : Thank you, oldnat.

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  • 316. At 02:13am on 23 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Bank Aid

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  • 317. At 04:22am on 23 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    Enneffess,

    I am not against an individual being an MP, MSP or MEP, minister, Prime Minister and First Minister all at once.

    I am not against the idea because the public will vote for the person knowing full well their intentions. Although I find it unacceptable for Labour to do so, mainly because Labour have accused Alex Salmond for ages now.

    Andy Kerr will never be Labour leader as he is a clown and even I would prefer Wendy or Iain to remain.

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  • 318. At 07:10am on 23 Dec 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:

    On this language business my late father used to relate how when he was working at the Co-op dairy in Berryden (Aberdeen)they had a new bit of machinery installed from Germany, which came with an engineer from the manufacturer to explain how it worked. He had learned what little English he spoke in a PoW camp and it turned out to be not a lot; however to everybody's bemusement they found they could actually understand each other pretty well if he simply spoke German and they spoke Doric.

    Back on politics, may I express my outrage at the way one of Salmond's lackeys is brazenly proposing to stand for Westminster, after "resigning" from the SNP front bench... oops, sorry, wrong party.

    Great wumman, obviously destined for better things than the Nats pretendy wee parish cooncil parliament. Am I getting it right now Glenn?

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  • 319. At 09:15am on 23 Dec 2009, forfar-loon wrote:

    311. hamish42 I noticed that sign on the Swedish buses this year too Hamish. With a decent level of German and Scots you can understand most things in Swedish and Danish, at least if they're written down.

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  • 320. At 09:27am on 23 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #319 loon
    I could never remember the Swedish for car, which is bil. Until someone pointed out that it was English ... automobile! 8-)

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  • 321. At 09:45am on 23 Dec 2009, forfar-loon wrote:

    320. handclapping Yep, but we sometimes have to watch out for false friends, e.g. in Sweden be careful asking for a kiss: kiss & bajs. The perfect gift this Christmas :oD (and in passing I note that in German "gift" means poison).

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  • 322. At 09:58am on 23 Dec 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 265 The Forfarian II

    It looks like he has a bad case of dandruff to deal with.

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  • 323. At 09:58am on 23 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    I see from the FT that 120 MPs at least will be leaving at the GE not counting those that stand and loose their seats. When you look at what the Mother of Parliaments has achieved in their terms, you have got to think what a bunch of wasters and dead beats. Then you read that it is going to cost us £10 million to get rid of them. And they wonder why people are turning off politics!

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  • 324. At 10:27am on 23 Dec 2009, RandomScot wrote:

    German has other old friends for a Scot, like 'Macht sicher' for makesure or 'Mak siccar' in Scots,

    Watching Wallander with your ear tuned to Doric gives you bits you understand, and there are a good number of Scandinavian words that make sense in Scots, but not in Standard English..

    DisgustedinDerry,unless you are arguing that German and Flemish are the same language, they are related,and up to a point mutually intelligible, butthey are not the same.

    Or is Gaelic just french because, for example, the words for How and Church are pretty much the same in both?

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  • 325. At 11:04am on 23 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Never happened, right?

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  • 326. At 12:19pm on 23 Dec 2009, ahumscottish2 wrote:

    What is going on all these national (Scottish) papers pillaring the SNP for their stance on NOT being allowed participation in the upcoming debates. This really makes me sad to be in a free speaking democratic!?!?!?!? society where we only get to hear on side of the coin. OK if they want to stop them particpating then we will not have a tory leader speaking at the proposed Scottish version. Brown won't take part as he is afraid to, and as for Cleggy(more closely related to Last of the Summer than any poltical party) well enough said.

    I know the Record has a Red top but to act like old time Russia??? is unbelievable (no say for the party that runs Scotland)

    The Cathy J (alright Bernard Son)opting to go to westmunster, representing Killie wow Gray gigidy gigdy must be panicking, no hope no policies and no positivity!!!

    Merry Xmas

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  • 327. At 1:28pm on 23 Dec 2009, Roll_On_2010 wrote:

    Trouble down on the NuLabour funny farm:

    Meddlesome is not a happy bunny.

    A rift between Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson is threatening to derail Labour’s plans for a New Year fight-back, it can be disclosed.

    Last night, one close friend of Lord Mandelson told The Daily Telegraph: “Peter thinks that Gordon has used him to stay in place and has now just disposed of him. He clearly thinks he has served his purpose and Peter is upset about that.”


    How did the leadership posters go:

    Not Flash Gordon just Gordon… yep Duff Gordon.

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  • 328. At 2:30pm on 23 Dec 2009, RandomScot wrote:

    Disgusted in Derry

    I'd be interested in your perspective from Stroke City

    I was once at a training course in London. On speaking some Gaelic a lassie told me, very firmly, that that was a dead language.I, perhaps incorrectly, made some assumptionsabout her based on that.

    So my question is, from the Nationalist side in Ireland, does it ever occur that Scots is denigrated as an inferior form of English, in order to associate its speakers with incomers and planters?

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  • 329. At 2:59pm on 23 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    I hope the Whitehall Civil Servants appreciated the nice Xmas presents we gave to a lot of them.

    http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_3611208.html?menu=

    Does anyone know if there is a Barnett equivalence that Scotland should have got?

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  • 330. At 3:06pm on 23 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Since the Chilcot enquiry started, I've been suggesting that it was a Brown ploy to put all the blame onto Blair before the election.

    This is more evidence of that, I think.

    http://todayinpolitics.independentminds.livejournal.com/44047.html

    Classic Scottish Labour strategy, from those who think they have a "Devine" right to rule.

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  • 331. At 3:28pm on 23 Dec 2009, InfrequentAllele2 wrote:

    DisgustedinDerry

    The Yiddish linguist Max Weinreich once said that a language is just a dialect with an army and a navy. The question of whether a particular speech variety is a language or a dialect owes more to politics and culture than to raw linguistic difference.

    Everything you say about Scots vis a vis English can also be said about Scottish Gaelic vis a vis Irish. When you speak a particular language it's quite easy to understand related languages. Because I speak Spanish I can understand written Portuguese perfectly well - but that doesn't mean that Portuguese is just a dialect of Spanish. Because I speak Sc. Gaelic I can understand written Irish. Spoken Irish causes me more problems - especially Munster people, who just talk weird if you ask me. Modern standard Irish, the type you're probably being taught, is based upon Munster dialects. These are the dialects furthest removed from Sc. Gaelic both geographically and linguistically. Donegal Irish is much more similar to Sc. Gaelic. The Irish dialect of Rathlin Island had more in common with the Sc. Gaelic dialects of Islay and Kintyre than it did with Connacht or Kerry Irish.

    English council is counsil (pronounced coonsil) in Scots. The Irish word for council is comhairle, the Sc. Gaelic word is also comhairle. Derry Council is Comhairle Dhoire in both. Gordie's lang toun hous / Gordon's long town house in Sc. Gaelic is taigh-bhaile fada Ghòrdain, in Irish it's teach-bhaile fada Ghordain. Some Sc. Gaelic dialects have the word teach for house, and some Irish dialects have the word ti (spelled tigh before the Irish spelling reform of 1948), so if anything in these examples Sc. Gaelic is more like Irish than Scots is like English.

    When Scotland was an independent state using Scots as its official language, there was no doubt that Scots was a full language in every sense of the word, complete with army and navy. Scots was used for the same range of functions as the official languages of other European states of the time. Within Scotland it spread at the expense of Gaelic. However during the Reformation the English Bible was adopted by Scots reformers for political reasons, causing written Scots to become heavily influenced by English. After Scotland lost her independence English became the sole official language, and soon spoken English began to influence spoken Scots heavily too. Regions of Scotland which lost Gaelic after 1707 are nowadays Scottish Standard English speaking, not Scots speaking. That's why Inverness people claim they speak the best English in Scotland.

    Because Scots and English were closely related to begin with, Scots was not replaced by English in the same way that Irish and Gaelic were replaced by English. Gaelic and Irish retreated territorially, but Scots was replaced piecemeal by English in the mouths of Scots speakers. A series of "interlects" arose, which are neither fully Scots nor fully English - neer guid fush nor yit saut herrin as the Scots phrase has it. Most modern Scots speakers use varying proportions of Scots and English forms in their speech depending upon the social situation. It's often arguable whether a given utterance is Scots or English. These interlects are what most of us refer to as Scots nowadays. Traditional Scots is on the verge of extinction.

    A similar phenomenon occurs whenever two closely related languages come into contact, one enjoying high social prestige, the other low prestige. Many people in Ukraine speak Surzhyk which depending upon your point of view is either a type of Ukrainian heavily influenced by Russian, or a type of Russian heavily influenced by Ukrainian. In the towns of Friesland in the Netherlands many people speak Stadfries or Stedsk which is a mixture of the native Frisian language with the closely related Dutch.

    Having said all that, Ulster Scots isn't a language in its own right, it's a dialect. However it's not a dialect of English, it's a dialect of Scots - albeit a Scots dialect which is heavily influenced by English. If a standard written form of Scots existed, it could easily be used by speakers of Ulster Scots - and it would look a lot less like English on the page. However it's highly debatable just how many Ulster Scots speakers are left, the language is even more highly endangered than Irish. Almost all the remaining speakers use a mixed English-Scots interlect and not traditional Scots. Ulster Scots was recognised as a language as a quid pro quo to the Ulster Unionist community in return for the recognition of Irish in Northern Ireland which was demanded by the Nationalist community, but this is bad history. Until the 19th century many Ulster Protestants spoke Irish and many Ulster Catholics spoke Scots - especially in Donegal and in eastern regions of the Six Counties.

    Irish and Scots are a part of the linguistic heritage of both communities in Northern Ireland. The Nationalist rejection of Scots is every bit as wrong-headed as the Unionist rejection of Irish. Ireland and the Irish have never been a monolithic bloc speaking only one language. That idea derives from the romantic myths of 19th century nationalists.

    Sorry for the long post, but it's Christmas and it's quiet - so you can indulge me in my linguistic geekery!

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  • 332. At 3:57pm on 23 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    331. InfrequentAllele2
    "so you can indulge me in my linguistic geekery!"

    That's the trouble with your posts! You know a lot, you can explain it well to the rest of us, and we all learn from you.

    Really inappropriate for this blog! :-) Keep the posts coming, mate!

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  • 333. At 4:41pm on 23 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    Now we have The Times editorial telling us why Salmond should not be in the debate with the three unionist leaders. Not surprising really as they are just part of the media cabal against independence, but you would think they would lay that aside in the interests of democracy.

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  • 334. At 4:53pm on 23 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #332 oldnat
    No, REally inappropriate for this blog is someone who half knows a little, never references it and from whom we learn nothing. 8-)

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  • 335. At 5:00pm on 23 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    334. handclapping
    "REally"

    Subtle.

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  • 336. At 7:58pm on 23 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    333. hamish42
    "you would think they would lay that aside in the interests of democracy."

    I'm sorry to say that I wouldn't think that. Far too many of them have shown by their actions that preserving the union is more important.

    Although, I must admit that for most I don't really think it's loyalty to the union but loyalty to what gives them their power and prestige.



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  • 337. At 9:00pm on 23 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Gordon Brown's letter to Father Christmas

    And he got a reply!

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  • 338. At 9:24pm on 23 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    337. cynicalHighlander
    "Father Christmas"

    Just more evidence that Brown has "gone native" in London. No self-respecting Scot would use such a term!

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  • 339. At 11:14pm on 23 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:


    Christmans Greetsings

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  • 340. At 11:32pm on 23 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    339. JRMacClure
    "Christmans Greetsings"

    LOL

    How did they get the Labour MSPs to co-operate in filming that?

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  • 341. At 11:43pm on 23 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    At least, I'm not typing in English any better than Welsh. 8)

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  • 342. At 00:07am on 24 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    341. JRMacClure
    "At least, I'm not typing in English any better than Welsh. 8)"

    This close to Xmas, you're allowed to be into the Bowmore!

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  • 343. At 00:12am on 24 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    Almost time for Santa, so wishing all a good christmas and new year and look forward to an interesting 2010.

    What's everyone's resolutions? (non-political!)

    I'm buying an exercise bike and will use it. I've held this year's resolution by not consuming a single sausage roll from Gregg's, despite sterling efforts by work colleagues to tempt me.

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  • 344. At 00:53am on 24 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    343. enneffess

    *sigh* Write more.

    Three novels next year. And yes, exercise would be good. Join a gym and actually show up once in a while. =)

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  • 345. At 01:03am on 24 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    343. enneffess
    "What's everyone's resolutions? (non-political!)"

    I resolve to have no resolutions!

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  • 346. At 01:18am on 24 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    "Public health chiefs back minimum price for alcohol"

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article6966758.ece

    "All of Scotland’s 17 public health directors have backed the SNP government’s proposal to introduce a minimum price for alcohol.

    The directors have signed a joint letter to MSPs of all parties detailing the scale of the alcohol problem and calling for an end to the sale of cheap drink.

    The intervention of the country’s leading public health specialists adds weight to the SNP’s argument that there should be a minimum price set per litre of alcohol in an attempt to end cut price supermarket offers which have been blamed for encouraging irresponsible drinking.

    It is also embarrassing for Holyrood’s opposition parties who have pledged to vote against the proposed legislation."

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  • 347. At 01:25am on 24 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    "the world’s first shopfloor Santa Claus was also a Scot, an economic migrant who moved to America in search of work and ended up inspiring a tradition that has defined Christmas for millions of children."

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/the-secret-scottish-santa-who-inspired-a-christmas-tradition-1.994227

    That's something I never knew!

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  • 348. At 04:24am on 24 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    346. oldnat
    "It is also embarrassing for Holyrood’s opposition parties who have pledged to vote against the proposed legislation.""

    One can only hope. I wonder sometimes if it is POSSIBLE to embarrass them. Their only interest seems to be their own power and benefit. If keeping the SNP from being able to say they passed an important piece of legislation trumps the good of the Scots...

    Do they care about anything else?



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  • 349. At 11:33am on 24 Dec 2009, rolfrae wrote:

    348 The answer is no, they don't care about anything else. They will ignore this letter and do all they can to scupper the SNP's plans. Worst thing is the press will ignore it too and the general public will be none the wiser (most of them being too drunk on Xmas booze to notice otherwise!). Jesus could resurrect on top of the Gray man's Xmas tree to tell him that minimum pricing is the way forward and still he'd vote against.

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  • 350. At 12:37pm on 24 Dec 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    If you think that there is media bias in Scotland, look no further.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/politics/gray-praises-unsung-heroes-in-christmas-message-1.994255

    Can you spot which party leader is missing here?

    Surprised the headline is not "Alex Salmond abolishes Christmas"

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  • 351. At 12:49pm on 24 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    350. dubbieside
    "Can you spot which party leader is missing here?"

    Being an MSM journo is a really hard job though! To find the FM's Xmas message, they would actually have to log onto the Government website!

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2009/12/23144214

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  • 352. At 12:58pm on 24 Dec 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    Oldnat

    Thanks for the link. I have not seen Alex Salmonds message in any paper I wonder why?

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  • 353. At 1:12pm on 24 Dec 2009, skint wrote:

    #352 Dubbieside

    Its buried in the Scotsman on an article on the queens speech.

    Appalling article by the Herald, can expect much else from that rag these days.

    A Merry Christmas to everyone, whatever your political persuasion.

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  • 354. At 1:44pm on 24 Dec 2009, reaktor303 wrote:

    298. DisgustedinDERRY

    Ahh but Lang Toun was Kirkcaldy rather than long town ;-P (don't think he stays there but I wasn't being factual.)

    Isn't the German something like?

    - "Braun's lange stadt haus"

    Even without understanding German, it could perhaps be understood too. It also looks like the Scots than English. Though I guess the old English way would be as similar looking too.

    (Wonder if German 'stadt' is related to the Scots 'steid', which can also mean town?)

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  • 355. At 2:14pm on 24 Dec 2009, RandomScot wrote:

    If I want English wikipedia articles (health warning, soemtimes Wikipedia is not totally accurate) I go to en.wikipedia.org. If I wish Spanish I go to es.wikipedia.org and now, if I want, if I want Scots I can go to http://sco.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page.

    Jings.

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  • 356. At 3:06pm on 24 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    Surprisingly the Daily Record did mentioned Alex Salmond's Christmas message.

    The headline "Salmond hails Scots".


    Ref: The article in the Times about support for the minimum pricing of alcohol.

    Murdo Fraser's response was pathetic. Not sure how he can hold his head up. He must be losing the Tories even more votes in Scotland with this.
    His excuse for not supporting the policy, ...he doesn't know if its legal. Well he has had plenty of time to find out.

    The SNP must be sure of the legal position, but, it seems they are not allowed to disclose this advice according to parliamentary rules. The opposition must know this but it doen't stop them from insisting that the SNP should disclose their advice. The opposition are again trying to fool the public using dishonesty.

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  • 357. At 3:29pm on 24 Dec 2009, InfrequentAllele2 wrote:

    In 2010 I resolve not to allow my blood pressure to be raised by reading English politics blogs.

    All these writers resolving to finish their novels has inspired me. I also resolve to finish my novel - I've been trying to read the bloody thing for the past 5 years, and I really ought to take it back to the library.

    354. RandomScot

    Being a Weegie I forgot that the Lang Toun was a term for Kirkaldy, so I translated it wrongly into Gaelic and Irish. I translated it as "Gordon's long townhouse" instead of "Gordon's Lang-Toun house". My bad. It should have been Taigh a' Bhaile Fhada aig Gòrdan in Scottish Gaelic and Teach am Bhaile Fhada ag Gordan in Irish.

    By the way, the name Kirkaldy has nothing to do with kirks. It comes from the Gaelic Cathair Chaladain, which is a gaelicisation of the older Pictish name Caer Caledin - roughly translated as "fort of the hard men". Fifers had attitude even 2000 years ago. Some things never change.

    Scots steid, German Stadt, Icelandic staður, Swedish stad, Gothic staþs and English stead all descend from Proto-Germanic *stadiz. The English word stead is now obsolete and found only in placenames - Wanstead, Stansted etc. Proto-Germanic is the ancestor of all modern Germanic languages. It was spoken in northern Germany and southern Scandinavia around 2000 years ago.

    Outside Germanic steid is also related to the Latin status, Greek stasis and Sanskrit sthiti. The word was inherited natively in all these languages, and goes way all the way to their ultimate common ancestor Proto-Indoeuropean. Almost all the languages of Europe, Iran and northern India descend from this ancient language, which was probably spoken somewhere to the north of the Black Sea around 6000 years ago. The Proto-Indoeuropean word has been reconstructed as *stetis and meant "stance, position".

    The best online resource for word origins is http://www.etymonline.com/

    For Scottish place names you can't beat http://www.spns.org.uk/

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  • 358. At 3:35pm on 24 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    I've been telt. I'm to be sociable for once. Bah, humbug! No Blethering with Brian so I'll have to wish you now ... to one and all a peaceful Christmas.

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  • 359. At 3:44pm on 24 Dec 2009, RandomScot wrote:

    Infrequent

    It was not I who wondered about Steid and Stadt, but seriously thank you for the info. I am only a very amateur etymologist since I may love lanhuages, but the learning is not returned, though I was able to delight a Hungarian mate with the knowledge that Spanish has one load word from Hungarian (Coche, a car, which, like our word coach, descends from the Hungarian word kocsi), but that is by the by.

    It is a pity Brian is on his hols, I would delight to hear his thoughts on the Health authorities backing the SNP, which I am sure he would have covered (aye, richt an a)

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  • 360. At 3:57pm on 24 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    A Climate Carol

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  • 361. At 4:47pm on 24 Dec 2009, InfrequentAllele2 wrote:

    359. RandomScot

    Sorry, I meant reaktor303, the comment just before yours at 355.


    On topic - vaguely and sort of - can someone explain to me what's happening with the proposed party leader debates? I've read conflicting information in the press.

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  • 362. At 5:15pm on 24 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    361. InfrequentAllele2
    "what's happening with the proposed party leader debates?"

    No more news yet - the "friendly" discussions between the broadcasters, Tweedledee, Tweedledum, and the simply Dums on the one hand, and the representatives of democracy, freedom, justice, and the spirit of Xmas on the other :-) will resume in the New Year.

    In the meantime, Will Patterson has a very sensible thread on the subject -

    http://macnumpty.blogspot.com/2009/12/telly-box.html

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  • 363. At 6:35pm on 24 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #362 oldnat
    "In the meantime, Will Patterson has a very sensible thread on the subject"

    Thanks for the link to J A MacN, who at least explains the situation in terms of the UK's non-constitution as it is, unlike virtually all of the MSM.

    Two good alternative views are put on NR's now closed Nationalists could go to court over debates thread, viz:

    #84 wyrtaliesin
    "What's the problem?
    one debate shown only in England (Lab, Tory, Lib)
    one debate shown only in Scotland (SNP, Lab, Lib, Tory)
    one debate shown only in Wales (Plaid, Lab, Lib, Tory?)
    one debate shown only in NI. (SF, SDLP, assorted unionists)
    Record them all in advance, and show them at the same time.
    Simples!
    "
      and
    #85 Ed2003
    "To be clear, I think the principle of such a debate is terrible. We now have a presidential system in outlook, scope and now, with this debate, in intent, but still maintain the vestiges of a truly independent parliament. The two cannot coexist. Either we have a directly elected president who is then kept accountable to, and scrutinised by, a truly independent and effective elected chamber, or we return to a parliamentary system in which a PM and the government are restrained by parliament. The current system has all the flaws of a presidential system but none of the advantages of a House of Commons."

    The first represents the values of "British muddle" and is probably the only realistic option for the FM to push for. I note your rather similar suggestions in your #257, but do not believe that separate questioning would be adequate or that any of the media or parties involved could be trusted to restrict themselves to "English only" issues.

    The second is actually more relevant in pointing out the constitutional issues involved. As the MSM seem to want to change the UK non-constitution into having a directly elected UK PM, perhaps they will campaign for a state-wide referendum (counted nationally, of course) to authorise the change to be held before the debates, and so to be pushed through Westmidden as soon as the "honourable" members return to their trough after their hols.

    IMO, neither is likely to happen, but will simply be used by Duff Gordon as plausible excuses to avoid the debates entirely.

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  • 364. At 8:09pm on 24 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    363. Brownedov

    Always good to hear from you. My guess is that Brown has always had an escape strategy to avoid any debates.

    Political geeks will always want to watch these, regardless of their suspect format. However, I am not convinced of the argument that Scots would be resentful of their prime time programming being hijacked by debates between the 3 UK leaders. I'm still tempted to get a postal vote, then head for the USA during the election!

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  • 365. At 8:34pm on 24 Dec 2009, Roddy Ferguson wrote:

    Festive greetings all you blogers, Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.

    God willing next year will be the year that Scotland is reborn and rejoins the world as a free, independent and interactive nation on the global stage, at last freed from this unequal, unrepresentative & servile union.
    As a Nationalist (man & boy), I have always believed the time would come
    when my country and it's people would restore their sovereignty and with 2010 just around the corner, that time is now.
    I firmly believe that the longer the Unionist parties deny the people the right to vote in the Constitutional Referendum, the clearer it becomes to all that democracy is a word they pay lip service to but dare not risk putting it to the test least the result goes agin them.
    I perceive, even amongst those who could be described as "luke warm" towards Independence, a growing resentment over not being treated with the respect to exercise their right to voice their option through the ballot box on a subject that affects their future and that of their children.
    It has, in my experience, solidified the case for Independence as I have had conversations with individuals who I know were not pro-Independence or were at best sceptical.
    What caused this "road to Damascus" revelation ?, the realisation that the system is self-perpetuating and will resist, at any and all costs, change even if that means the veil of democracy has to be discarded and the naked truth revealed ...........
    "you Scots are part of the Union and you will only be released from it if we say".
    The difference this time is the backlash from that truth, that the voice and will of the Scottish people will be ignored if it contradicts the interests of Westminster.
    Finally they can no longer suppress the truth (although I agree the media in Scotland are still trying) and I believe the Scottish people are starting to get the message ...............
    "wake up and smell the coffee, and hold onto the cup before they steal that too !!!"

    Soar Alba

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  • 366. At 8:53pm on 24 Dec 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8429145.stm

    Anyone else see this?

    17 health chiefs calling on all MSP's at Holyrood to back the minimum pricing scheme.

    I wonder if Labour will drop the act and ACTUALLY COMMIT to improving the lives of the people of Scotland. It transcends party politics and will by hook or by crook become law.

    I just hope we don't have to utterly crush Labour at an election to see it made a reality.

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  • 367. At 9:22pm on 24 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #364 oldnat
    "Always good to hear from you."
    Likewise.

    "My guess is that Brown has always had an escape strategy to avoid any debates."
    A pretty good one, I'd say.

    "However, I am not convinced of the argument that Scots would be resentful of their prime time programming being hijacked by debates between the 3 UK leaders."
    Quite possibly so given the level of political apathy evidenced by low election turnouts. But it would still tilt the political scales in some way, though whether to the advantage or detriment of the UK "big 3" remains to be seen.

    "I'm still tempted to get a postal vote, then head for the USA during the election!"
    There we part company. A main reason for having been much less than semi-retired over the past few months, is the plan to be completely so for the next six in order to "enjoy" the hustings. Masochism, I know.

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  • 368. At 9:24pm on 24 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    366. Gary Hay
    "I wonder if Labour will drop the act and ACTUALLY COMMIT to improving the lives of the people of Scotland."

    Ah the optimism of the young! :-)

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  • 369. At 9:26pm on 24 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    367. Brownedov
    "A main reason for having been much less than semi-retired over the past few months, is the plan to be completely so for the next six in order to "enjoy" the hustings."

    If you plan to do that in Scotland for part of that time do let us know. we can arrange a meet via quirky.

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  • 370. At 9:33pm on 24 Dec 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:

    #365. To Roddy Ferguson. When I first started blogging on here, I mentioned a new think-tank Scottish Independence political party and got a rough ride. Fair enough.

    At 9.30pm today, our site hit recorder had clocked up 150,842 hits since the end of August this year.

    There is huge interest in Independence.

    Happy X2009 and NY2010.

    Michael.

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  • 371. At 9:40pm on 24 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #366 Gary Hay

    "I wonder if Labour will drop the act and ACTUALLY COMMIT to improving the lives of the people of Scotland. It transcends party politics and will by hook or by crook become law."
    No chance at all so long as they're wedded to the dream of power at Westmidden. Even if they ultimately abandon that dream, they're still inherently centralisers.

    "I just hope we don't have to utterly crush Labour at an election to see it made a reality."
    Why?

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  • 372. At 9:49pm on 24 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #369 oldnat
    "If you plan to do that in Scotland for part of that time do let us know."

    I certainly will, although with the 90-day onshore limit for expats and HMRC being less generous than most tax authorities re UN pensioners it may be a shorter visit than I might wish.

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  • 373. At 9:59pm on 24 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    372. Brownedov

    There's more than a million illegal immigrants unknown to the authorities in the UK allready just tell them you're going to vote Labour and you'll get the red carpet treatment and fastracked through immigration, tis a time for wishes anyway.

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  • 374. At 10:09pm on 24 Dec 2009, Robabody wrote:

    Well time is getting on and I've a date with a dram......so best wishes to you all and that includes everyone, whether I agree with you or not!


    Peace be with you all

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  • 375. At 10:28pm on 24 Dec 2009, macgilleleabhar wrote:


    Nollag Cridheil

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  • 376. At 10:29pm on 24 Dec 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    <RICHPOST>#363 Brownedov:<BR /><BR />The most interesting thing in the discussion about the debates is the myopia of the broadcasters, journalists and the many bloggers and commenters who are against the SNP being on a party leaders' debate.<BR /><BR />For many Scots it's not myopia, it's just the usual dislike of the SNP coming through but it's got the same effect. They haven't looked at the SNP's case to be on the broadcasts <strong>in Scotland</strong>.<BR /><BR />The number of party election broadcasts a party gets in Scotland are [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]worked out</a> in the context of a party's electoral performance in Scotland, not across the UK and this is also done for Wales, Northern Ireland and England.<BR /><BR /><a href="http://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv/ifi/codes/bcode/elections/">OFCOM</a> recognises the disparate national nature of the party setups across the UK and gives the SNP and PC major party status in Scotland and Wales and the guidelines are not based on a unitary UK.<BR /><BR />The three-way leaders debate is a multi-party election broadcast and it's been based on the OFCOM defined three major parties in England. What the broadcasters have done is tried to apply the English rules on impartiality on a UK wide basis.<BR /><BR />Nobody out there in metropolitan land really seems to understand that the SNP is not demanding to be on the UK wide broadcasts but only on the debates broadcast in Scotland and that any rules on political impartiality which apply will be applied in a Scottish context where the SNP are defined as a major party.<BR /><BR />If a judge rules that a three party broadcast is illegal in Scotland then Sky will have to switch it off because they can't do regional broadcasting, the BBC and ITV will have to switch off Northern Ireland and Northern England in case any signal leaks across to Scotland and if it is ruled illegal in Wales then the only place it will be seen will be in South East England on terrestrial regional transmitters.<BR /><BR />The broadcasters should really have talked to the SNP and to PC before they started hyping the debates. </RICHPOST>

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  • 377. At 10:56pm on 24 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    365. At 8:34pm on 24 Dec 2009, Roddy Ferguson wrote:
    What caused this "road to Damascus" revelation ?, the realisation that the system is self-perpetuating and will resist, at any and all costs, change even if that means the veil of democracy has to be discarded

    In an effort to maintain this Union the Unionists are destroying every institution, rule and protocol that underpins our democracy.

    Anyway, for me 2010 looks to be very exciting.

    Noticed the story today stating that Elliot Morley and Jim Devine had refused to co-operate with the metropolitan police over the expenses investigations; apparently answering questions with the phrase "no comment".

    Metaphorically taking the fifth !!
    Oh, and well done Harry Reid in the USA for making significant progress on the health reform bill. He's lost significant support in his constituency, he'll be voted out at the next election, but went ahead with the bill because he felt it was the right thing to do.

    I'm off now for a whisky .... have a Merry Christmas

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  • 378. At 10:56pm on 24 Dec 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    Readable Version:

    #363 Brownedov:

    The most interesting thing in the discussion about the debates is the myopia of the broadcasters, journalists and the many bloggers and commenters who are against the SNP being on a party leaders' debate.

    For many Scots it's not myopia, it's just the usual dislike of the SNP coming through but it's got the same effect. They haven't looked at the SNP's case to be on the broadcasts in Scotland.

    The number of party election broadcasts a party gets in Scotland are worked out in the context of a party's electoral performance in Scotland, not across the UK and this is also done for Wales, Northern Ireland and England. (Top link in Google)

    OFCOM recognises the disparate national nature of the party setups across the UK and gives the SNP and PC major party status in Scotland and Wales and the guidelines are not based on a unitary UK.

    The three-way leaders debate is a multi-party election broadcast and it's been based on the OFCOM defined three major parties in England. What the broadcasters have done is tried to apply the English rules on impartiality on a UK wide basis.

    Nobody out there in metropolitan land really seems to understand that the SNP is not demanding to be on the UK wide broadcasts but only on the debates broadcast in Scotland and that any rules on political impartiality which apply will be applied in a Scottish context where the SNP are defined as a major party.

    If a judge rules that a three party broadcast is illegal in Scotland then Sky will have to switch it off because they can't do regional broadcasting, the BBC and ITV will have to switch off Northern Ireland and Northern England in case any signal leaks across to Scotland and if it is ruled illegal in Wales then the only place it will be seen will be in South East England on terrestrial regional transmitters.

    The broadcasters should really have talked to the SNP and to PC before they started hyping the debates.

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  • 379. At 11:13pm on 24 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #376 DougtheDug
    "Nobody out there in metropolitan land really seems to understand that the SNP is not demanding to be on the UK wide broadcasts but only on the debates broadcast in Scotland and that any rules on political impartiality which apply will be applied in a Scottish context where the SNP are defined as a major party."

    Quite so. It certainly seems beyond the comprehension of BBC Scotland. Sky probably have smarter lawyers on tap, thanks to their association with the tabloid press and presumably know the rules but were so keen to get the debates that they accepted any conditions the "big 3" imposed.

    I really can't see them being allowed in the form proposed and strongly suspect that neither can Duff Gordon.

    Anyway, Robabody has given me a thirst so festive greetings and goodnight all.

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  • 380. At 11:17pm on 24 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    376. DougtheDug

    The time when one wishes an edit button!

    Have an enjoyable festive season.

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  • 381. At 00:03am on 25 Dec 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    @376 well said Doug.

    Isn't it sad and predictable that no-one in the Scottish media is saying how disgraceful this is. If the SNP didn't highlight the unfairness, it would go unremarked.
    Our unionist friends seem to be revelling in this story as with the marginalisation of Scotland, they're back in their comfort zone.

    Ah well, it was ever thus.

    On a cheerier note, Happy Christmas one and all :O)

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  • 382. At 02:57am on 25 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Did I ever confess to being a strange person? I just spent half an hour on Christmas Eve watching Irn Bru commercials on Youtube. =)

    Started with that Christmas one where the snowman drops the boy and nicks his Irn Bru and couldn't stop. *shakes head sadly*

    (My favorite? I think the banned one)

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  • 383. At 02:59am on 25 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    376. DougtheDug
    "The broadcasters should really have talked to the SNP and to PC before they started hyping the debates."

    They knew from when it first came up that there were serious legal problems with it and went ahead anyway.

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  • 384. At 07:17am on 25 Dec 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    I'd just like to take this opportunity to wish all of you and yours a merry yuletide.

    On the subject of the leaders' debate, it's strange to read a blog that hasn't descended into a rabid anti-scot rant over this subject. The ignorance over both the law and the consitutional makeup of the UK exibited by most posters elsewhere demonstrates yet again (if any demonstration was still necessary) that to the majority of the citizens of these fair isles, Scotland is little more than North Britain, Scotlandshire, a vassal state that should know its place.

    Personally, I don't see these debates going ahead. Whilst Duff will heave a sigh of relief, Labour will blame the nationalists, both here and in Wales, for their anti-democratic and arrogance stance for using the courts to uphold the law. Expect to see plenty of air time for the Greyman as Glen Campbell lets rip into Salmond (again) whilst skillfully avoiding the fact that the Greyman wouldn't have featured in the regional version of these debates, with old Spud Murphy pulling rank and sidelining the leader of the Labour group at Holyrood.

    Luckily, few north of the border are buying into the "anti democratic" tag the Unionists are desperately trying to label the nationalists with. The Lib Dums are being particulary stupid here (more so than usual) and I expect even more of their supporters to turn away from the party in disgust and embarressment (so it's all to the good). Scots tend to have a notion of fair play and the unionists can't spin this to make the nationists exclusion in any debates heard north of the border seem fair.

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  • 385. At 12:36pm on 25 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #384 ForteanJo

    Well said, especially your "The ignorance over both the law and the consitutional makeup of the UK exibited by most posters elsewhere demonstrates yet again (if any demonstration was still necessary) that to the majority of the citizens of these fair isles, Scotland is little more than North Britain, Scotlandshire, a vassal state that should know its place."

    On the now closed NR Nationalists could go to court over debates thread, that situation is not only demonstrated by many of the posters but even more worringly by the author of thread himself, the BBC's political editor!

    At least the closing post on the thread challenges that view somewhat.

    On less solemn note, Merry Christmas all and a belated Happy Hanukkah!

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  • 386. At 2:12pm on 25 Dec 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    #371

    It's a delay in getting the legislation through - waiting invariably means delays.

    I couldn't care less about what happens to the Labour party. I know if it doesn't perform well in Scotland at the next GE there's every possibility they will be all but wiped out in the UK.

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  • 387. At 7:21pm on 25 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Since its xmas (a good one to all) my cracker joke of the totally inept!

    The Shard, London's 80-storey skyscraper

    No wonder the worlds in such a mess when this is conceived, I would call it London's folly.

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  • 388. At 10:25pm on 25 Dec 2009, macgilleleabhar wrote:


    FFS

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  • 389. At 10:58pm on 25 Dec 2009, spinspamspun7 wrote:

    Blame and all you Englishires.What do we hear 1966 and again and again and again!!!
    Understand you have lost your footie man,not the end of the world by
    someone dumped back by English 2nd tier footie.
    Is he good? or just another trier !!!

    Watching Parliament Channel.Jim Devine asking questions about
    loan sharks,and he won't answer questions about his expenses !!!

    Maybe am a long way off the blog,but sleaze !!!

    Another blog is needed to allow comment!!!

    Where are you on holiday ???

    This post took the time between crackers!!!
    Sorry,Crackers and Stilton !!!



    Blame the Government,blame NaLab,blame SNP,Torys Lib
    Dems not connected !!!

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  • 390. At 11:41pm on 25 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    389. spinspamspun7
    "NaLab"

    I quite like that term! They're certainly "nae Lab"!

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  • 391. At 10:44am on 26 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    The Herald may not have said it themselves, but today at least they give prominence to a sensible letter on the TV debate issues with A TV debate without nationalist parties is not just unfair but unconstitutional, too. Not quite getting an impartial MSM view, but a chink of light, perhaps.

    OTOH, their Iain Macwhirter's excellent Excluding the SNP is unfair and undemocratic appears only on his own blogspot.

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  • 392. At 12:45pm on 26 Dec 2009, tullibardine wrote:

    From the Times:
    ‘Gordon Brown’s national roadshow to promote the concept of Britishness has turned out to be an expensive flop.’

    ‘The Conservatives say ten members of the public turned up to the first event in Leicester in December 2007, which cost £37,000 and was hosted by Jack Straw. They say that after that embarrassment, his Ministry of Justice restricted attendance at Governance of Britain events to people selected, and even paid, by the ministry.’

    ‘A total of 21 local authority representatives turned up in Leicester, but attendance fell at subsequent events to 11, then 10, 7 and 2. Finally, at an event in Newcastle on November 21 this year no councillors or officials turned up.’

    It doesn’t appear to have been the success Brown anticipated.

    http://tinyurl.com/ye2jjyz


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  • 393. At 1:19pm on 26 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Clutching at straws-

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article6967800.ece

    "Scots Tories pin hopes on late surge in support"

    Their "evidence"?

    That appalling internal opinion poll of theirs, with its skewed questions and adding up three tiny sub-samples from YouGov.

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  • 394. At 1:53pm on 26 Dec 2009, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

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

  • 395. At 2:24pm on 26 Dec 2009, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    #331 InfrequentAllele2
    Thanks again and as I said before it's knowledge I seek not conflict, you must understand, where I live I have both Britishness/Unionism and Ulster Scots are rammed down my throat.

    I do agree that in my country we have an intolerence for differing traditions. This comes from a History of mismanagement by Westminister and then Unionism which led to mistrust amoung our people.

    I read alot about the debate for Scottish independence and think it is a great idea, all you have to do is read the posts on this or the English blog and the attitude of the English people towards any differing opinion to the pro union media in England, which is forced upon the whole (un)United Kingdom. We are all whingers and would not last if left to our own devices. England is only glorious because of its treatment of occupied lands near and far and the theft of their wealth.

    It is good to see that through a bit of stirring on my behalf that Scotland can unite in terms of its people, you all agree that Scots is a language and I do not disagree. Why I ask do we as people, who have suffered from the Union between us, not stand up, unite and overrun Westminister?

    (#394 was the same as this, I also added the Gaelic definition for a united front and it broke the rules for having non English words!!!)

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  • 396. At 3:59pm on 26 Dec 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:

    I had a Letter to the Editor published in The Herald today.

    It is not promoting any political party.

    It is intended to shred Brown and Blair.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/herald-letters/saturday-26-december-2009-1.994406

    Best,

    Michael

    NOTE:

    I am not deliberately breaking house rules. Sometimes we seem to be allowed to post URLs and sometimes not.

    "URLs (web site addresses) can only be posted if allowed under any relevant local house rules".

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  • 397. At 4:07pm on 26 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    391. Brownedov

    As usual Conan the Librarian has produced headlines on the topic:

    Hootsmon Headling

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  • 398. At 4:40pm on 26 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #397 JRMacClure
    "As usual Conan the Librarian has produced headlines on the topic"

    Point taken, and very good they are, but the Hootsmon has simply gone quiet on the issue, while the Herald seems at least to be prepared to publish the occasional glimmer of reason.

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  • 399. At 5:37pm on 26 Dec 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:

    #371 and #386. Gary Hay and Brownedov.

    Delays in getting legislation enacted at Westmidden are due to excessive Parliamentary recesses.

    More than 140 days so far this year.

    365 days pay for 160 days attendance (remember weekends when checking arithmetic).

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  • 400. At 5:42pm on 26 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    398. Brownedov

    No argument. I was just pointing out that Conan is his usual satiric self although I realize satire is not always appreciated.

    Changing the topic slightly, I was bemused by this one. Let's not go into the hypocracy of this while assuring people that the recession means that it is impossible to have a Scottish referendum.

    Let's BUY Britishness

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  • 401. At 5:55pm on 26 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    The Nevsky Times

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  • 402. At 6:19pm on 26 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Having scoured today's MSM without success for anything new on the election debates issue (please correct me if I missed something!), I thought a scan of the Electoral Commission, Ofcom and even this website for statements might yield something new. No such luck directly, but the Electoral Commission's Party election broadcasts has a new link to a PDF of a the BBC's latest Criteria for the Allocation of PEBs by their Chief Political Adviser and dated 23 November 2009. This states that the Threshold Criterion for PEBs UK-wide is a registered political party which:
      (i) stands candidates in a minimum of one sixth of the total available seats up
       for election in Great Britain (ie 106 seats); or
      (ii) stands candidates in a minimum of one sixth of the seats up for election in a
       nation of Great Britain and currently has more than one elected Westminster MP


    Both the SNP and PC clearly meet part (ii) of those criteria, but as Scotland has only 59 seats and Wales 40, they will presumably only be standing in 99 seats in total. By forming a formal alliance and putting up 7 candidates between them in border seats they would qualify on both grounds. How about Berwick-upon-Tweed, Hexham, Penrith plus Carlisle for SNP candidates and Forest of Dean, Hereford plus Ludlow for PC candidates?

    Also, for those who haven't already read it, there's also a link on the same page to the Electoral Commission's own 2003 report and recommendations on Party political broadcasting.

    On the Ofcom site, Section 6: Elections and Referendums has a lot to say on the matter and the leadership debates seem to be covered by s6.12:
      Where a candidate is taking part in a programme on any matter, after the election
      has been called, s/he must not be given the opportunity to make constituency
      points, or electoral area points about the constituency or electoral area in which
      s/he is standing, when no other candidates will be given a similar opportunity.


    And the BBC reports: But opponents accused Mr Salmond of "bully-boy" tactics? Aye, right.

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  • 403. At 6:23pm on 26 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #401 cynical
    An article by Mad-dog is 'premium content' It's as bad as the Yanks allowing us to be their poodles as long as we pay, you know Trident, Iraq, etc.

    How come in Scotland you have so many relations and the wife knows who they all are?

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  • 404. At 8:28pm on 26 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    403. handclapping

    Idle gossip!

    Tony Blair costs British taxpayers £6m a year to protect another poor purchase by a corrupt government. UK citizens are being shortchanged every step of the way, if he feels in need of protection then it should be paid for by himself and him alone the same goes for all the monarch's siblings.

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  • 405. At 8:35pm on 26 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    404. cynicalHighlander
    "Tony Blair costs British taxpayers £6m a year to protect "

    But just think how much more it would cost for his security if he spent more time in England! They'd have to withdraw the army from Afghanistan to protect him if he came here!

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  • 406. At 8:45pm on 26 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    405. oldnat
    "But just think how much more it would cost for his security if he spent more time in England! They'd have to withdraw the army from Afghanistan to protect him if he came here!"

    The Tower of London would suffice think of the tourist attraction as it would boost the industry tenfold and save the IMF having to refuse a loan.

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  • 407. At 8:56pm on 26 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    The Hypocrisy Vortex

    That title Lib Dums is so apt they wouldn't recognise a black hole as they are forever looking up their own backsides.

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  • 408. At 9:24pm on 26 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    405. oldnat


    "Many a conscripts Nationalism undoes mods petty tipexed yearnings" has been modded, solution needed to get passed the razor wire.

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  • 409. At 10:37pm on 26 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Christmas in the House

    Lets get MSM to publish these writings then some MPs might start to have a little bit of humility and public condemnation.

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  • 410. At 10:43pm on 26 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Bingo

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  • 411. At 10:44pm on 26 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #404 cynical
    She only had one sibling, Margaret, and she is now dead. Did you mean progeny?
    #408
    I only do Sudoku now. 8-)

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  • 412. At 11:20pm on 26 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    407. cynicalHighlander

    Must be a ref to backsides and black holes the mods don't like, oh well so be it!

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  • 413. At 11:21pm on 26 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    He's on a roll.

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  • 414. At 11:56pm on 26 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    413. cynicalHighlander

    If at first oh never mind.

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  • 415. At 09:32am on 27 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    An unattributed leader from yesterday in the Edinburgh Evening News - Election debates - is less stridently anti-SNP than usual, but still makes the entirely invalid point in a representative democracy that: "This is a general election, not a Scottish one. The First Minister's voice – or even that of his man in Westminster – is a sideshow, albeit an important one."

    As so often from the Hootsmon family, the comments are more interesting than the article itself.

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  • 416. At 09:54am on 27 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    The fragrant Ms Hjul is on form in the Sunday Thunderer with her strident Salmond’s grandstanding over TV debate is a turn-off, sub-titled "SNP leader should concentrate on the dull reality of his responsibilities and forget making mischief with London".

    Her lack of understanding of the representative nature of UK "democracy" is amply demonstrated by her: "[T]he regional leaders cannot try to claim equal billing, not even with Nick Clegg. His chances of winning may be remote, but at least he is in the race. Salmond is not and, in fact, is committed to the destruction of general (that is, British) elections."

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  • 417. At 10:07am on 27 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    A more positive article in the Sunday Thunderer is Jason Allardyce's Salmond offers deal to ditch threat to TV debates, beginning: "Alex Salmond has offered to drop his threat of legal action to block a series of televised leaders’ debates during next year’s general election campaign if broadcasters agree to give him a prominent role as a pundit."

    Nothing really new, but well worth a read.

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  • 418. At 10:17am on 27 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Another interesting article in the Sunday Thunderer is Michael Portillo's Whatever the maths, David Cameron gets No 10, suggesting that in the fairly likely event of a "hung" parliament, "[f]or Cameron, the price the Lib Dems would demand to join him in a coalition is too high. He cannot concede proportional representation, which would be disastrous for both main parties; nor can he accept Vince Cable as his chancellor, because his bond with George Osborne is the Tories’ greatest strength."

    Accordingly, he suggests that the Tories would probably emulate the SNP in forming a minority government.

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  • 419. At 11:58am on 27 Dec 2009, Roll_On_2010 wrote:


    Coming to a billboard near you.

    I personally like Poster 6: The Monster Raving Loony Party.

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  • 420. At 2:51pm on 27 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #419 Roll_On_2010
    "I personally like Poster 6: The Monster Raving Loony Party."

    I rather agree. Perhaps they'll be having a dry run for some of them in the forthcoming Leicestershire NW by-election, following David Taylor MP's death yesterday.

    The 4.75% swing needed should be easy for the Tories, but it will be interesting to see if they can get double figures.

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  • 421. At 3:17pm on 27 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    PS to my #420

    It should also be a test of whether UKIP and the BNP will improve on their 3% of the vote in 2005.

    In this year's Euro elections, in the East Midlands region, UKIP took a 16.4% share and the BNP 8.7%, so the by-election result may not be a foregone conclusion.

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  • 422. At 3:41pm on 27 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    New Swingometer

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  • 423. At 4:15pm on 27 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Still nothing I can find on the BBC site, but confirmation from STV that the SNP won't dropt the leader debates issue in their SNP enters talks to curb TV debate row.

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  • 424. At 4:26pm on 27 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #422 cynicalHighlander
    "New Swingometer"

    Many thanks - bookmarked.

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  • 425. At 4:30pm on 27 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    420. Brownedov
    "Leicestershire NW by-election"

    I'd be very surprised if this takes place. There are no absolute rules, and Labour will not want a bye-election they are sure to lose just before a GE.

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  • 426. At 5:07pm on 27 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #425 oldnat
    "There are no absolute rules, and Labour will not want a bye-election they are sure to lose just before a GE."

    I agree that there are no absolute rules, but can't see them avoding the issue until May, if only because it would look so bad in the GE campaign.

    If the GE is called in early March, they might just get away without calling it, but there's no question of this being a special case like Glasgow NE and if it comes to a vote in the House of Cards then, unlike last time, they'll have the official opposition and all of the smaller parties against them.

    Sky News expect it to be held quickly, and I think they may be right in that NuLab might just get a pleasant surprise if UKIP and the BNP put up a good showing and split the anti-Lab vote.

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  • 427. At 6:58pm on 27 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    426. Brownedov
    "if it comes to a vote in the House of Cards then, unlike last time, they'll have the official opposition and all of the smaller parties against them."

    I can't see it coming to a vote, all parties are too keen to keep by the convention that they set the date of by-elections in constituencies they hold.

    However, it make sense for Labour to call the election as early as possible, preferably in bad weather! so that they can make the result appear meaningless with a turnout less than Glasgow NE.

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  • 428. At 7:15pm on 27 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #427 oldnat
    "However, it make sense for Labour to call the election as early as possible, preferably in bad weather! so that they can make the result appear meaningless with a turnout less than Glasgow NE."

    Yes, that would make sense, although you're wrong about the other issue. The SNP did attempt to call the Glasgow NE election in the last week of the Summer term but were thwarted by NuLab voting to close the session without the writ being called.

    Elsewhere, I see that this website has finally got the message that the leader debates issue is not just going to go away with the new (16:57 GMT) SNP to hold talks over TV debates, which for once does not have a rubbishing rent-a-quote from the "big 3".

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  • 429. At 7:24pm on 27 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    PS to my #428

    And, BTW, the turnout may not be too bad. Unlike the Glasgow NE, Norwich N, Glenrothes, Glasgow E or Crewe & Nantwich by-elections, at least this one would be fought on a fresh electoral roll. I do grant that bad weather and a lacklustre campaign may "help", though.

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  • 430. At 8:16pm on 27 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    427. oldnat
    "However, it make sense for Labour to call the election as early as possible, preferably in bad weather! so that they can make the result appear meaningless with a turnout less than Glasgow NE."

    And hides a surge of postal votes.

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  • 431. At 8:47pm on 27 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #430 cynicalHighlander
    "And hides a surge of postal votes."

    Perhaps so, but Leicestershire is no Glasgow or Fife, having been Tory controlled since 2001 and before that was NOC for 20 years. I rather doubt that the conditions are quite right for a Glenrothes 3.

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  • 432. At 03:26am on 28 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Leader debates

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/politics/salmond-may-go-to-court-over-snp-absence-from-tv-debate-1.994730

    Salmond is playing a clever game. I wonder if part of the plan is to force the theming of the debates. Clearly if one debate was limited to English domestic policy and clearly defined as that, then only English politicians should be involved in that. Genuine UK issues - the economy and defence/foreign policy could be covered in the remaining 2 debates - the SNP and other smaller parties within the UK could actually be more effective if given a commentary role on what Lab/Con/LD say in a 3 way debate. That gives the Unionists a problem!

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  • 433. At 04:03am on 28 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    432. oldnat

    Very clever indeed. I am, as I often am, struck with admiration for Mr. Salmond. If you ever put more assets up for sale, we might be in the market for a smart politician. ;-)

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  • 434. At 04:10am on 28 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    417. Brownedov

    The SNP has praised the approach of Sky, which is understood to be prepared to let Salmond comment on the performance of the other leaders in a studio discussion immediately after the UK leaders’ debate as part of its UK-wide output.

    So he gets to comment on their performances without their having the chance to respond. Now THAT would thrill any of the three of them. It does make me chuckle.

    And I have a feeling (as others have said) that GB was counting on the SNP to get him out of debates he can't POSSIBLY want to take part in. I do think that's why Salmond has no intention of stopping them. But he'll make sure that the SNP isn't totally excluded which will come out as a victory for him.

    Smart man.

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  • 435. At 04:11am on 28 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Does anyone have thoughts on the disappearance of the link to this blog from the BBC Scotland main page? Considering the Labour hostility to blogging, I'm wondering just exactly what this may mean.

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  • 436. At 04:14am on 28 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    434. JRMacClure

    Quick PS: If he got even two minutes to respond (and I am sure he'll do better than that) he would come out looking like he'd won the fight in my opinion. It can only help the SNP at this point, I believe and the other parties have well and truly painted themselves into a corner.

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  • 437. At 06:35am on 28 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Interesting discussion you got into over on PB, Oldnat.

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  • 438. At 09:15am on 28 Dec 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    Hope you all had an excellent over stuffed Christmas.
    Thanks to an enthusiastic blogger I asked for , and got , the book by Ross Robertson " A Yearning for Jacob's Son" so far , so intriguing!
    My thanks to the mystery blogger!

    An irritation has occurred - again!

    I have been looking for a place dubbed " North Britain" which exists in the weather mans vocabulary and that of the Scottish Prime Minister .

    I have yet to hear the immortal words " South Britain" " West britain"
    " East Britain" "N by Nor'West Britain" "SSE Britain"

    Do they have the temerity to refer to a country called Scotland by the disrespectful tag " North Britain"?
    This " impartial " BBBC is pushing its luck!

    Is Wee Wales next ?
    Northern Ireland?
    Certainly with the latter , they would be pushing their luck!
    May even find themselves flattened!

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  • 439. At 09:42am on 28 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    435. At 04:11am on 28 Dec 2009, JRMacClure wrote:
    Does anyone have thoughts on the disappearance of the link to this blog from the BBC Scotland main page? Considering the Labour hostility to blogging, I'm wondering just exactly what this may mean.

    The BBC were contacted about this well over a week ago, they siply ignored the complaint.

    The Herald continue it's campaign aimed at suggesting some sort of orchestrated smear campaign by the SNP. The Scotsman have picked up on it and are running it as well. They are now printing as truth that there was a campaign to smear opponents and have moved the peopaganda on in an effort at suggesting ministerial involvement.

    Remember that they have no evidence whatsoever to back up their claims of a smear campaign.

    So, the age old Unionist trick of printing an allegation, providing no evidence to back it up but print it over and over. Next step is to suggest involvement in the original smear (for which there is no evidence) but now print as fact the original smear.

    We also see the easliy discredited 'black hole' argument hitting the headlines in both papers; The Scotsman has disabled comment on both these stories - it also bars many posters who aren't of the ranting type but are independence minded.

    The BBC have removed prominent links to this blog, thus rendering any visits by casual readers to a minimum - if any at all.

    Some very big stories have been suppressed, manipulated and or embelished this last ten days.

    Marqueegate - suppressed
    Blogosmear - embelished
    Cathie Jamieson resignation - ignored
    Debate row - Manipulated
    Teachers - Re-hashed (See EIS Attack)

    There are others like the Treasury pulling the plug on the Scottish investment bank despite allowing the Welsh one to go ahead.

    The Unionist controlled media have free reign just now and boy they are making the most of it.

    The Herald has destroyed itself utterly, it has now become 'The New Scotsman'.

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  • 440. At 10:30am on 28 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #432 oldnat
    "Salmond is playing a clever game."
    Agreed, especially re....

    #434 JRMacClure
    "And I have a feeling (as others have said) that GB was counting on the SNP to get him out of debates he can't POSSIBLY want to take part in. I do think that's why Salmond has no intention of stopping them."
    Quite so, I'm sure he's counting on the performance of the Supreme Leader being sufficiently lacklustre to provide a good few extra votes for the SNP and is doing his utmost to provide no excuse for Duff Gordon to withdraw.

    #437 JRMacClure
    "Interesting discussion you got into over on PB, Oldnat."
    Seconded. I particularly liked the 2039 wiki translate.

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  • 441. At 11:41am on 28 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    PS to my #440

    Rees-Mogg in the Thunderer provides a good read on why Salmond must want Duff Gordon to participate in the +leadership" debates at all costs. As his Voters want hope: Mr Glum doesn’t offer it asks, "If a politician doesn’t believe in his own star, how can anyone else?"

    I particularly liked: "Mr Brown is the arch pessimist of modern English history. We have not seen comparable pessimism since Stanley Baldwin observed that “the bomber will always get through”", noting Rees-Mogg's particular use of English, presumably putting the final boot into Duff's Britishness campaign.

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  • 442. At 12:00pm on 28 Dec 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    The unionists are running scared again. Time to bring out a "oil does not cover the deficit story.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/politics/oil-revenue-black-hole-sparks-new-independence-row-1.994711

    http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/politics/Energy-revenue-39not-enough-to.5940432.jp

    Good to see just how worried they are getting. Both The Herald and The Scotsman running the same Labour press release. When will it make the BBC news page? I thought they always got the Labour press releases as well.

    Must be an election coming.

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  • 443. At 12:25pm on 28 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    440. Brownedov
    "#437 JRMacClure
    "Interesting discussion you got into over on PB, Oldnat."
    Seconded. I particularly liked the 2039 wiki translate.
    "

    Thanks, both, for the compliment!

    I might have a go at doing a BT version of Auld Lang Syne.

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  • 444. At 12:27pm on 28 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    442. dubbieside

    Deficit? Scotland? With our reputation?

    "The Government paper is alleged to indicate that Scotland would have "a massive £3.5 billion budget deficit" - the UK deficit last year was £49.3bn. Scotland has about 9% of the UK population, so our population share of the UK deficit would be £4.44bn, so Scotland is performing better in economic terms than the UK. Since 1980 Scotland is supposed to have an accumulated deficit of £23.5bn, but the UK has carried a £353.2bn deficit over that period, and Scotland's population share of that deficit would have been£31.79bn. So what the Scotland Office / Treasury report actually shows is that Scotland performs better than the UK economically. Independence cannot come soon enough!"

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  • 445. At 12:51pm on 28 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #442 dubbieside
    "The unionists are running scared again. Time to bring out a "oil does not cover the deficit story."
    Still nothing on this website I can spot, but Conan has a nice take on it.

    #444 cynicalHighlander
    "Deficit? Scotland? With our reputation?"
    Thanks for the link. Hard to argue with Cashley's numbers, which no doubt is why no comments are allowed on the Herald and Scotsman articles.

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  • 446. At 12:51pm on 28 Dec 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    @442 dubbieside, these "black hole" scare stories were much better when Wendy and Professor Arthur "Bleak" Midwinter told them.

    I imagine Midwinter's in Qatar, mumbling " no oil left here, only sand, yer all doomed!"

    It's such a shame that unionists rely for their success on the ignorance of Scots. The lies aren't working like they used to though. The new desperation at The Herald is evidence of that.

    When Maddox starts to malfunction, walking round and round in circles repeating "where are the cybernats?" in a Dalek voice, we'll know they're in big trouble.

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  • 447. At 1:08pm on 28 Dec 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    cynicalHighlander re 444

    Thank you for the link, Calum is always worth reading. Interesting in The Scotsman the press release was printed under Madox name so no comments allowed.

    The other big con that we need to overcome to ensure transparent figures is the fact that if you live and work in Scotland for an English based company, Tesco or Deageo as examples, the tax and national insurance you pay is counted as English revenue, not Scottish revenue.

    Throw in the total cost of Trident being allocated to Scotland as Scottish expenditure as it is based here, and the so called Scottish deficit can continue to be thrown at us if we ever look like getting ahead of ourselves.

    As I said it just highlights how worried the unionists are.

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  • 448. At 1:10pm on 28 Dec 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    Brownedov re 445

    Thanks for the link to Conan.

    Welcome back your contributions were missed.

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  • 449. At 1:37pm on 28 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    #434 JRMacClure
    "And I have a feeling (as others have said) that GB was counting on the SNP to get him out of debates he can't POSSIBLY want to take part in. I do think that's why Salmond has no intention of stopping them."

    I was slow to pick up on this, but yes, these debates can only serve to hurt Brown in England and perhaps even the rest of the UK as his handling of the economy and failure to prevent the banks from cavalier risk taking is highlighted - not to mention the UK debt mountain.

    If he tries to use them in order to attack the SNP then there may well be a backlash in Scotland as people will note that the SNP were denied a place in the debate - it may be seen as cowardly and engineered.

    I'm sure that Salmond will insist on being allowed to address any such attacks afterwards.

    I do wonder now if this has been a strategic blunder by both Brown and the Unionist media in Scotland [who have very unwittingly headlined the disregard for the SNP].

    They may well have hoped and even believed that the SNP would indeed go to court to prevent these debates and have got slightly ahead of themselves with their 'SNP deny free speech' type headlines.

    I wonder also if the SNP see an open goal here in the shape of a Scottish debate where they can rebutt anything Brown may have said in the 'main' debates whilst at the same time using the Scottish version as a platform in order to destroy the credibility of Jim Murphy.

    They can also use the blatant disregard for Scotland in order to insist on certain conditions for any 'regional' debate. The debate must feature only on matters currently pertaining to Westminster or matters relating to further devolved powers.

    Brown is facing the prospect of being torn to pieces by Cameron and Clegg whilst Salmond offers his take on events. Amazingly, it will be BBC Scotland in reverse where it is always Unionists who comment on Salmond's performance at FMQ's.

    Yes, the prospect of seeing Jim Murphy facing live scrutiny is mouth watering.

    My prediction however is that Labour will realise their bluff has been called and set about imposing all sorts of restrictions on any debate featuring Murphy.

    They may even try to pull out of such a debate or replace the hapless Murphy with the equally hapless but easily expendable Iain Gray. By obtaining an agreement that only reserved matters be discussed then Gray will be badly weakened even before he sets foot in the studio.

    Expect Murphy to feature in the Scottish media early in the New Year, backpeddling furiously, as the reality of the situation finally hits him.

    Who to put up in order to flatten him?:

    I opt for Nicola Sturgeon, you remove much of Murphy's limited arsenal whilst at the same time reducing his status.

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  • 450. At 1:44pm on 28 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8431711.stm


    Like it or not, education is going to be a difficult issue for the Scottish Government. Education and health are always notoriously difficult for any government, although Sturgeon has worked miracles with health up here. Hence the continuous attack on education.

    It may be a rehashed story, but the figures were obtained (if I am correct) via an FOI request by the Lib Dems, so the figures will be factual.

    The reduction in numbers cannot be exclusively blamed on school closures or previous administrations either.

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

    432. At 03:26am on 28 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:
    Leader debates

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/politics/salmond-may-go-to-court-over-snp-absence-from-tv-debate-1.994730

    Salmond is playing a clever game.


    As long as he doesn't try to be too clever. He obviously will not try to stop the programmes being broadcast, as that would being playing right into his opponents hands (ie state censorship accusations).

    Taking part in any debate carries its own dangers for any leader. One badly worded answer can make a huge difference.

    But with these tv debates, will they really attract the interest of the majority of the electorate?

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

    404. At 8:28pm on 26 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    All ex-PMs and certain ex-cabinet members retain security personnel for life, or until there is clear evidence there is no threat to them.

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  • 451. At 2:10pm on 28 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #448 dubbieside
    "Welcome back your contributions were missed."
    Nice of you to say so, but not by all, I suspect.

    #449 Online Ed
    "Amazingly, it will be BBC Scotland in reverse where it is always Unionists who comment on Salmond's performance at FMQ's."
    A good post and an extremely valid point. You'd think Sky and I/STV would be clamouring for such a "pundit", but I can understand that Pacific Quay might not find the prospect so entertaining.

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  • 452. At 2:18pm on 28 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    The last line of attack for TV and radio debates is the chairperson. It won't be the first time that he/she has guillotined or manipulated a debate to exclude a reply from the SNP or even to omit a particular topic because it is too embarassing for Labour to be given an airing; and then there is the old trick of the chairperson adding his/her personal opinion, like Sally Magnusson when she chaired the Scotland's History discussion panel and in a non-neutral way made it clear what her position on independence was, overtly non-political, but respected by a great many people who would absorb everything she says.

    They are all at it, too numerous to mention.

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  • 453. At 2:37pm on 28 Dec 2009, frankly francophone wrote:

    Having just broken a resolution by breaking in briefly to see how you are all getting along, I thought I might take my eye off the bigger picture for a moment to wish you the season's greetings for auld lang syne, with a few thoughts on the predictive power of various types of economist at

    http://frankly.yolasite.com/index/merry-xmas

    now that the second wave of US mortgage crisis has been sighted on the horizon, with all that this may be expected to mean for economic recovery in the near future, as the influential Paul Jorion blog reveals, links to which are scattered about my blogspottie.

    As for BT's current topic, blog-gate and marquee-gate, I perceive to my not very great surprise that the political scene in Scotland has not changed much lately, whereas in Corsica, for example, as the BBC has probably not been telling you, a right old stishie between independentists and supporters of the union with France has broken out since the island's prefect took leave of his senses and set up a separate Corsican website for the current National Conversation on French national identity and related topics.

    That website has, of course, turned into a somewhat familiar-seeming battleground between those who want Corsica to remain in the French state and those (apparently most of the posters) who take the contrary view. A tame Establishment Corsican is on his way from Paris even now to try and calm the troubled waters, ready and able to be supremely patronizing and condescending to dissident elements in the grand old unionist style that we know and love. More on this if you are interested at

    http://frankly.yolasite.com

    The fact that this highly pertinent parallel situation exists should come as no surprise, Scotland being by no means unique, of course, in qualifying for categorization as what the recently deceased anthropologist/ethnogologist/philosopher Claude Lévi-Strauss defined as a 'société partielle' as distinct from a 'société globale'. In the present stage of evolution of the European Union, member states may be perceived by some to be in the process of turning into something perilously resembling the former within that constitutional structure, resulting in an increasingly strident demand from their constituent 'sociétés partielles' to be accorded member-state status, or at least more self-government, so as to keep pace with developments rather than lose status and influence within the new structure. So we find related political and constitutional pressures building up in subordinate territories around the EU, strengthened by present-day means
    of mass communication, not least of which is the website blog, for the creation of which, warts and all, may the Lord be thankit.

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  • 454. At 2:48pm on 28 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Re the latest stories in the Herald and the Scotsman promulgated by Ms McKechin of the anti-Scotland Office, let's at least hope that her opponents in Glasgow North make the most of her antics. Unfortunately, it's the unLib unDems who were in 2nd place in 2005, needing a 5.98% swing to consign that lady to the ranks of the unemployed.

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  • 455. At 2:48pm on 28 Dec 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    @450 enneffess wrote
    "As long as he doesn't try to be too clever. He obviously will not try to stop the programmes being broadcast, as that would being playing right into his opponents hands (ie state censorship accusations)."

    I think you're confused here Neil. If the broadcasts are halted in Scotland it will be by a court applying the rules of political impartiality NOT by Salmond or the Scottish Government.

    In fact such a ruling would prove that it was the SNP that had been censored in the first place.

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  • 456. At 2:50pm on 28 Dec 2009, Florence wrote:

    452 HAMISH42 : Please, God, not Sally Magnusson. "Chairing" is certainly not her forte as was so glaringly demonstrated during the Scotland's History debate. She was toe-curlingly dreadful and I hope I never have to experience the like again!

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  • 457. At 3:12pm on 28 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    449. Online Ed
    "Brown is facing the prospect of being torn to pieces by Cameron and Clegg whilst Salmond offers his take on events. Amazingly, it will be BBC Scotland in reverse where it is always Unionists who comment on Salmond's performance at FMQ's.
    "

    It would have been truly entertaining to see their faces when they realized the corner they had backed themselves into. This could not have been the scenario they were counting on.

    450. enneffess
    "Taking part in any debate carries its own dangers for any leader. One badly worded answer can make a huge difference.

    But with these tv debates, will they really attract the interest of the majority of the electorate?
    "

    The novelty will probably increase the interest. I'm guessing on a pretty good viewership, but who knows if it will be a majority.

    Absolutely there is always danger of a misplaced word. However, from what I have seen GB is such a horrendously poor debater (is he really as bad as he seems?) that anyone is likely to shine in comparison. Cameron gives an impression as being a bit of a flyweight, but I still think he'll look good next to Brown. And what's his name? I have no idea about him.

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  • 458. At 4:15pm on 28 Dec 2009, Robabody wrote:

    # 438 DiaB your comment re the Herald - spot on

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  • 459. At 4:25pm on 28 Dec 2009, Robabody wrote:

    #449 Ed "I wonder also if the SNP see an open goal here in the shape of a Scottish debate where they can rebutt anything Brown may have said in the 'main' debates whilst at the same time using the Scottish version as a platform in order to destroy the credibility of Jim Murphy".

    Assuming of course that you get level playing field questions and are allowed to answer them and are not Glen Campbelled, as per the Glasgow NE interviews, with constant interuptions

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  • 460. At 4:45pm on 28 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    459. Robabody
    "Assuming of course that you get level playing field questions and are allowed to answer them and are not Glen Campbelled, as per the Glasgow NE interviews, with constant interuptions"

    You are underestimating Salmond. Of course, there will be interruptions but he is quite capable of handling them AND making them look like idiots while doing it.

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  • 461. At 5:16pm on 28 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    455. At 2:48pm on 28 Dec 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:
    @450 enneffess wrote
    "As long as he doesn't try to be too clever. He obviously will not try to stop the programmes being broadcast, as that would being playing right into his opponents hands (ie state censorship accusations)."

    I think you're confused here Neil. If the broadcasts are halted in Scotland it will be by a court applying the rules of political impartiality NOT by Salmond or the Scottish Government.

    In fact such a ruling would prove that it was the SNP that had been censored in the first place.

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

    I'm not confused. Remember how the media have reported Salmond's complaints about the debates, and how it is currently being reported he is looking at legal action. It doesn't matter that the court makes the decision, the media headlines will be that Salmond instigated the court action which has subsequently denied viewers in Scotland the opportunity to watch the debates. That is why he will not pursue that line, rather look at if the BBC has broken the rules on impartiality.


    On the tv debate, how about something on the line of wrestling royal rumbles? That would be far more entertaining.

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  • 462. At 7:19pm on 28 Dec 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #461 - "Remember how the media have reported Salmond's complaints about the debates, and how it is currently being reported he is looking at legal action. It doesn't matter that the court makes the decision, the media headlines will be that Salmond instigated the court action which has subsequently denied viewers in Scotland the opportunity to watch the debates. "

    I think you over estimate the power of the media to spin everything into an anti-nationalist message. At the same time, you're underestimating the ability of your fellow scots to see through the MSM's lies. They've simply ran out of steam, and only the most gullible still rely on these headlines as gospel.

    I do like your idea of a royal rumble, 3/4/5 go in, 1 comes out. I do think that old Duff would have the edge over the likes of Call-Me-Dave and the Clegger (unless they blindsided him) but it would be fun and, as you say, far more entertaining.

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  • 463. At 8:43pm on 28 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    450. enneffess
    "404. At 8:28pm on 26 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    All ex-PMs and certain ex-cabinet members retain security personnel for life, or until there is clear evidence there is no threat to them.
    "

    On these shores not for someone with an overflated ego poncing about the World stage to benefit his bank account non of which comes back here. If he wants to swim with sharks let him buy his own spear gun and not expect us to fund him.

    I see we have reached 22% of electricity required in Scotland generated from renewables will the beeb take note!

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  • 464. At 9:04pm on 28 Dec 2009, Robabody wrote:

    #460 JRM - I dont want to under estimate or over estimate AS's abilities. As I've said before, a level playing field from supposed non political interviewers would do nicely. A well placed interuption, repeatedly done, destroys the delivery. Meantime a non interupted question to the opposition allows a smooth reply. It's the perception thing. Like you, I'm sure AS will tear them up for toilet paper.

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  • 465. At 9:17pm on 28 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    464. Robabody
    "I dont want to under estimate or over estimate AS's abilities. As I've said before, a level playing field from supposed non political interviewers would do nicely. A well placed interuption, repeatedly done, destroys the delivery. Meantime a non interupted question to the opposition allows a smooth reply. It's the perception thing. Like you, I'm sure AS will tear them up for toilet paper. "

    Well, it's been so long since there was a level playing field in Scotland, I'm not sure Mr. Salmond would know what to do with one! (*snort* So long--like never) I agree it is something that SHOULD be there. I just think he'll deal with it not and still succeed.

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  • 466. At 9:19pm on 28 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    464. Robabody
    "I'm sure AS will tear them up for toilet paper."

    I would love Alex to tell Glen "If you stop interupting you might learn something for once in your life."

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  • 467. At 10:09pm on 28 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Predictions

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  • 468. At 10:32pm on 28 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    467. cynicalHighlander
    "Predictions"

    I'm disappointed he didn't also predict that oldnat would win the lottery! Mind you, I'd actually have to buy a ticket to do that.

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  • 469. At 10:41pm on 28 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    3. At 8:43pm on 28 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Good news on renewables. Now all we need is for the Scottish Government to set up their own energy company so we really do have a power company that is truly Scottish, because my energy bills aren't coming down. That is despite living within 5 miles of the biggest windfarm in Europe.

    The sign of true success is when prices start tumbling.

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  • 470. At 10:54pm on 28 Dec 2009, spinspamspun7 wrote:

    The Scotsman's wee sister,Edinburgh Evening News has a decent
    summary of The Scottish Government 2009.

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  • 471. At 11:10pm on 28 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    469. enneffess
    "The sign of true success is when prices start tumbling."

    Available energy throughout the world is diminishing yet demand is increasing, market forces and all that. The only way is to produce your own but in a capitalist environment money rules.

    "Good news on renewables. Now all we need is for the Scottish Government to set up their own energy company so we really do have a power company that is truly Scottish, because my energy bills aren't coming down. That is despite living within 5 miles of the biggest windfarm in Europe."

    It needs local community ownership but when the majority of land is in limited private ownership that is unlikely to happen. When the land is given/taken back to the people, a lot of the land was stolen in the past, then communities will benefit not until.

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  • 472. At 09:44am on 29 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Could this affect the Barnet consequential?

    Click Here

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  • 473. At 3:05pm on 29 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    472. Online Ed
    "Could this affect the Barnet consequential?"

    Sounds likely, but I wonder whether the charities involved in medical research will move their funding to hospitals outwith England.

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  • 474. At 3:18pm on 29 Dec 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    Can I just put on record how disappointed I am with Iain McMillan of the CBI. A man always ready with anti SNP soundbite, he's starting to sound like Labour's Comical Ali.

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  • 475. At 4:50pm on 29 Dec 2009, Robabody wrote:

    #474 GK - Quite! I wonder if he polled the membership first and asked their opinion or is it the usual post Christmas rant caused by an irritated liver? It seems that BIG business is not to be trifled with........ spoon-fed, subsidized and toadied to, yes, trifled with, no! Frankly had I been a member of this body, I’d be quite embarrassed by some of these statements.

    Memo to Mr. McMillan, a) must read “How to make friends and influence people” as part of your Continuous Professional Development plan for 2010, b) must take members opinions and Andrews Liver Salts before spouting the next annual review.

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  • 476. At 4:56pm on 29 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    "The [English] Green Party have just released an ICM poll of Brighton Pavilion that shows them leading the Conservatives by 8 points in the seat with Labour in third place.

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/2394

    Good news for us, I think. The English Greens are essentially localist, and not aggressively Unionist. The more English Greens there are at Westminster the better.

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  • 477. At 5:01pm on 29 Dec 2009, Florence wrote:

    474 GRASSY: After the interview with McMillan this morning on GMS I sent an e-mail suggesting that the Labour Party in Scotland would not have to expend any of its resources on a spokesman as long as there was McMillan at the CBI.

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  • 478. At 5:09pm on 29 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    474. GrassyKnollington

    Iain McMillan and Scotland PLC

    Radio Scotland has shown its bias on this story, pathetic.

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  • 479. At 5:23pm on 29 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Could the Murdoch media be coming around to the idea that following the same line as the Record and the other North British MSM may not win them the circulation battle?

    In desperation for new news, I resorted to Google and discovered Donald MacLeod Who is scared of telly debate from the "Scottish" Sun of 26 December.

    Beginning "THE claims by Labour MP Anne McGuire and Lib Dumb leader Tavish Scott that Alex Salmond's bid to be included in the General Election TV debates is "outrageous" and "anti-democratic" have to be the most ludicrous comments this year" and continuing with sensible arguments why the SNP should be represented, could this be part of the reason why the FM has not been pushing Sky too hard but is apparently concentrating his efforts on the BBC?

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  • 480. At 5:28pm on 29 Dec 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    Progress report on Ross Robertson novel , A Yearning for Jacob's son, halfway through and thinking it's more like a history of the past couple of years than a novel.
    Quite terrifyingly real!

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  • 481. At 5:40pm on 29 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #476 oldnat

    Yes, saw that, but thanks for bringing it to our collective attention. Brighton Pavilion was also the one seat PoliticsHome predicted would go Green in their 2009 marginals poll.

    It certainly seems the best hope of England electing one MP who is not overtly Unionist.

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  • 482. At 6:05pm on 29 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    PS to my #481

    Presumably, if elected, the new Green MP for Brighton Pavilion will sit with the SNP and PC in a Westmidden emulation of the European Parliament's Greens | European Free Alliance group. Could be fun if they invite Co-President Cohn-Bendit to the "Mother of Parliaments".

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  • 483. At 7:42pm on 29 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    479. Brownedov
    "could this be part of the reason why the FM has not been pushing Sky too hard but is apparently concentrating his efforts on the BBC?"

    It is certainly possible and it scares me to agree with ANYTHING the Murdoch press says, but who can disagree with this:

    What are they all scared of? Yep, you guessed it - Alex Salmond.

    Absolutely!

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  • 484. At 8:12pm on 29 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    483. JRMacClure

    PS. I personally hope Mr. Salmond gives BBC a good roasting and serves them on toast points. That they are now lower than the Murdoch press says a lot.

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  • 485. At 8:54pm on 29 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    I'd suggest that Salmond is not pushing Sky too hard because Murdoch is far, far more dangerous than the BBC ever will be.

    His media are quite capable of destroying a political party's ambitions simply because of the near monopoly he has.

    He can make an assault via tv and the tabloids. One of his rags has been pushed hard in Glasgow in recent months and the sales figures are going up.

    But Sky etc will support the SNP if they can see a financial benefit to them, be it sales or control of terrestial tv. Murdoch would love to take control of ITV. STV would be the next best thing.

    The BBC is an easy target because it is state controlled, and subject to the whims of the government of the day and/or most influential parties. The SNP will almost certainly have huge influence in Scotland next year.


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  • 486. At 9:46pm on 29 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    #474

    It seems that no one has noticed the other Times article referenced next to your McMillan article as there are no comments to it. It sounds like a heartfelt bleating for recognition that McMillan is not the ogre he is being painted. He treats all political parties the same apparently???

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  • 487. At 10:06pm on 29 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    485. enneffess
    "The SNP will almost certainly have huge influence in Scotland next year."

    And down south in the the den of corruption, the onionists will be hiding as shallots and then find the've sprung a leek which they are unable to plug no matter how many sods they dig up.

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  • 488. At 10:36pm on 29 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Mike Weir says that insolvency fee levels need to be investigated

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/mp-accuses-accountants-of-cashing-in-on-recession-1852235.html

    'He pointed to the case of holiday firm Apal Travel, which went into liquidation in 1974 but only saw its wind-up completed in September of this year. Creditors did get back 74p in the pound but many had died while waiting for their money. More than 19,500 liquidations were started five years ago but have still not been finished. Of liquidations begun 20 years ago or more, almost 7,000 still have not been finalised.

    Mr Weir said: "The UK Government must take a serious look at the workings of the insolvency industry that appears to be raking in a fortune at the expense of creditors." '

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  • 489. At 10:53pm on 29 Dec 2009, sid_ts63 wrote:

    evening all, maybe if Mr McMillan stuck to being a businessman instead of playing at being a pretendy politician (we have plenty already Mr McMillan!!)we might start getting out of recession.
    I don't believe for one minute that every single member of his "organisation" is over the moon with his personal political stance.

    I wonder how long before members start telling him so ,or have they started already?
    Sid

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  • 490. At 11:21pm on 29 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    England ready to pull out of Commonwealth Games

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/commonwealthgames/6908454/England-ready-to-pull-out-of-Commonwealth-Games-over-terror-risk.html

    They're just practising for 2014.

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  • 491. At 11:33pm on 29 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    490. oldnat

    TB can go that will cut the cost of security. I wonder how many teams will pull out from the Olympics, cue Bob Dillon.

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  • 492. At 00:15am on 30 Dec 2009, enneffess wrote:

    490 & 491

    Joking aside, there is a very real terrorist threat in India. Not necessarily aimed directly at the English team. It only requires one terrorist to get through, and the region has been notorious for suicide bombers aimed at politicians for years, let alone athletes.

    Some people seem to forget that the most dangerous terrorists are those who are fully committed to their cause. And some do not care who gets in their way as long as their message gets through.

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

    #489 sid

    I agree with your post, but he does have a valid point regarding Diageo. Salmond should never have gone on the streets of Kilmarnock. That should have been left to local MSPs and MPs while he stayed at Holyrood announcing he was making every effort with talks. You can quite rightly argue he was fighting for Scottish jobs, but if that is the case then where was he when thousands for other jobs went, Freescale in East Kilbride for example? His actions left him wide open to accusations of selectiveness.

    You leave the political street fighting to non-ministerial politicians. They are not normally involved in negotiations and the ministers will deal with the company executives in a more formal fashion. It also means that if negotiations fail, the ministers can say they tried their best and it does not give any openings to the opposition.



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  • 493. At 08:51am on 30 Dec 2009, Helmsda wrote:

    490. At 11:21pm on 29 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:
    England ready to pull out of Commonwealth Games

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/commonwealthgames/6908454/England-ready-to-pull-out-of-Commonwealth-Games-over-terror-risk.html

    They're just practising for 2014.

    If you mean athletes from England (and from the other Commonwealth countries mentioned in the article, including Scotland, as potentially threatened in the 2010 Games) are likely to be targets of terrorist attacks in Glasgow, this is a very serious development. Or is it just an anti-English joke in dubious taste?

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  • 494. At 10:00am on 30 Dec 2009, sid_ts63 wrote:

    #493 oh dear is this just one of the downsides of being a world power !
    or is this just proof that England is just kidding itself on AGAIN !!

    when you go around the world flinging your alleged weight about what the hell do they expect?
    Is everyone going to welcome them with open arms!
    Sid

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  • 495. At 10:50am on 30 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    For once, an honest political headline in the Scotsman! Murphy's call for humility rings hollow, their leader's headline, says it all really.

    An exception that proves the rule or a preview of their New Year's resolution, I wonder.

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  • 496. At 11:10am on 30 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    493. Helmsda
    "just an anti-English joke"

    No more a sardonic reference to the spokesperson who said that the "Government of England" would protect them.

    On the serious issue of terrorism - you inflame terrorism by expansionist policies of regime change. You succour terrorism by allowing them to damage events such as the Games.

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  • 497. At 11:15am on 30 Dec 2009, Nat_very_likely wrote:

    #495

    Jim Murphy is the sort of guy that would boast about winning a humility contest.

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  • 498. At 11:25am on 30 Dec 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #497 mistydougie

    LOL and how true.

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  • 499. At 11:40am on 30 Dec 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    Well I was fairly incandescent yesterday with McMillan ( good to see others were too, thanks for info and links) but Jim Murphy today really takes the biscuit.

    Whoever can he mean?

    The reason Murphy's wish for 2010 is a vacuous soundbite with absolutely no substance is because unlike Alex Salmond he has no authority or power to lay out a vision for Scotland. The man is an embarrassment and it was never more apparent than today that he is London's man in Scotland rather than Scotland's man in London.

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  • 500. At 11:53am on 30 Dec 2009, sid_ts63 wrote:

    morning,#495 brownedov, And here was me thinking the "silly season" was during the summer recess but our good friends in the Scotsman print this cracker in deepest darkest winter, at the end of the piece, - "Mr Murphy might be well intentioned"
    Oh how I laughed and laughed and laughed!

    Sid

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