Looking bullies in the eye

One of the most frustrating things about the Scottish Government has been its seeming reluctance to play hard ball. Too often, it has appeared, the Conservatives at Westminster or the British nationalist press in Scotland come out with some outrageous provocation or outright lie, and the Scottish Government tries to be the calm and sweet voice of reason. It doesn’t work. When you try to placate a bully, you only empower the bully. You only make it more likely that you will be bullied in future. You’re teaching the bully that they will face no negative consequences for their bullying. They’re going to keep bullying you. Bullies will bully you if you keep allowing them to. The only way to tackle them is to stand up, look them squarely in the eye, and tell them that they’re talking shite, tell them that you demand an apology, and in doing so you expose their mendacity for all the world to see.

So it’s heartening to see that over the past couple of weeks the Scottish Government has been a lot more assertive at calling out the lies and disinformation of British nationalism. It has managed to extract an apology from the Daily Mail for the story lifted straight from a Conservative party press release trying to stir up British nationalists about the union flag, a story which was a reprehensible and shameful dog-whistle to the sectarian bigots who lurk at the heart of the jaffa cake of British nationalism in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has also called out the duplicitious Conservative administration over its failure to publish the Brexit impact study carried out by UK civil servants working for the UK government. When the Scottish Government published its own impact study which showed that under every scenario Brexit would damage the Scottish economy, the Conservatives accused the Scottish Government of scaremongering, insisting that there was no basis to the paper. And all the while they knew that their own government had carried out a similar study which had come up with practically identical findings. Now the Scottish Government is telling Westminster that it has a right to view the document, and that when it does it will publish the document for citizens to see.

Westminster says it’s not in the national interest. Because obviously no one in the EU could possibly carry out an impact assessment of their own. Westminster possesses special powers of insight and analysis that lesser foreign mortals are incapable of. That’s what makes British nationalism better than the nationalisms of lesser nations. That and the fact that it’s so much better that it’s not nationalist at all. The truth is that the failure to publish the paper has bugger all to do with the national interest, and everything to do with the interests of a Conservative party that’s putting its own survival above all other considerations.

Brexit has only got as far as it has because politicians have been willing to make ridiculous claims and newspapers which feed on hysteria and hype and xenophobia have taken those claims seriously. Because we’ve been told to be afraid of mythical monsters, those Brussels bureaucrats who will devour our bent bananas, we’re at a very real risk from real monsters who will devour our civil liberties, our economic growth, and our families’ futures.

The stakes are so much higher now. The second Scottish independence referendum will be about rescuing Scotland from the wreckage of the British state. We can only do that if we are assertive, strong, and willing to call out the lies and nonsense that we’re fed by British nationalist politicians and their media allies. The fact is that stupid questions don’t deserve a serious answer, and British nationalism with its project fear is full of stupid questions. We should treat them with the contempt that they deserve.

Remember Magrit Curran and her claim that she was afraid that Scottish independence would mean her children would be foreigners to her? It was stupid concern which had no basis in reality, a non-concern made by a mendacious politician, but which was still treated seriously. Whatever citizenship Magrit has as a result of Scottish independence, her children would also be entitled to. The truth is that even if it were true that Scottish independence would mean that Magrit Curran would have a different citizenship from her children, then the resultant alienation Magrit would feel is not an argument against independence. It’s an argument that Magrit is seriously in need of family therapy and counselling. Stupid questions and stupid problems don’t require serious answers.

Remember the story that independence would mean that we’d no longer be able to watch Dr Who? It was taken seriously by the press. You can watch Dr Who in the Irish Republic. You can watch Dr Who in the USA. I never missed an episode of Dr Who during all the years that I lived in Spain. Dr Who can voyage to the furthest corners of the where and when of the universe, untrammelled and unbound by time and space, but apparently won’t be able to go further north than Berwick. Stupid questions don’t need clever answers.

The currency question is the mammy and daddy of all stupid questions. At its basis is the attempt to scare people with the wholly unrealistic fear that somehow Scotland is going to be the only country on the planet that can’t have any money at all.  Stone age islanders in the Pacific were able to develop a functioning currency, but it’s beyond the wit of Scotland.  The obvious answer to the currency question is a simple one; it’s, “Why do you care?” People care because anti-independence politicians are allowed to bang on about it unchallenged, as though it was somehow a serious obstacle to independence.  The reality is that as long as you have money in your pocket, and you can spend that money in the shops, it makes no practical difference if it’s a pound sterling or a Scottish pound. Scotland will have a currency, and that currency will be stable, because countries with far fewer resources and far weaker economies than Scotland have successfully established stable currencies. Insincere questions don’t need sincere answers.

The goal of opponents of independence is to make the independence movement waste time and energy on questions which are fundamentally unimportant. We shouldn’t let them. We should stand up and call them out for the shite that they’re talking, the nonsense that they’re speading. We should stop pretending that stupid questions deserve serious answers.

The biggest threat to Scotland is a British nationalism that feeds on myths and spreads lies and stories. It can only bully us if we allow it to. Let’s look the British nationalist bullies in the eye, and call them out for their ridiculous scaremongering. They’ll blink first.


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0 thoughts on “Looking bullies in the eye

  1. I do wish everyone would stop calling it “British Nationalism”. It is English Nationalism pure and simple. I live in England so I have to live with it daily. That doesn’t mean that every person in England agrees with it. It is Little England as shared by a significant minority some of whom are friends with a warped view of the world. They do not consider “Britishness” as anything other than a substitute for Englishness.
    PS Despite the name I am Glaswegian born and bred.

    • I’ve yet to meet a Scot who considers themselves ‘British’. Scottish first and foremost, wherever they are in the world.
      However, English people are quick to spout forth that they are ‘British’.

      • I’ve met plenty. British Nationalist is a more useful term because it includes Scots who regard themselves as British before anything else (e.g. Ruth Davidson, Gordon Brown…. etc etc). Calling out British Nationalism is important.

          • Im a scot i was born in irvine but my scouser father had me raised in england but i came home to scotland Your one of us scotland is your home so your a scot england might be your country of origin but you chose to live up here your one of us.

            ruth davidson isn’t though just cause she has the accent but her loyalty is to herself and only herself that’s why she turns on the English torys every now and again while running Scotland down same goes for the likes of the mundells (father and son) carlow Fraser ross thompson Douglas Ross and all other england puppets in both holyrood and Westminster they are not scots.

    • I agree, it is English Nationalism. Certainly, the Welsh are not involved in puting us down. Excepting, the rugby. The Northern Irish, have their own problems to bother too much with us. So it’s really only the English and their Anglo Scot lapdogs.
      Anyway, we live in the British Isles, so why should the English steal the British name. True, they’ve stolen everything else fom us. It’s like the Finns, being the only ones allowed to call themselves Scandanavian.

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  3. I too have been glad to see the Scottish Government becoming more assertive in recent weeks. We need more of it. A lot more of it. As in instant rebuttals, followed by demands for apologies and corrections to every last piece of lying propaganda in the meeja, every last unjustified bit of criticism, every last false claim. If we had had the truth in 2014, we would be free right now.

    • We’d of been free if we’d done the voting the scottish election way because all the counting would of been done here postal votes included no English fiddling which ruth davidson admitted to but never got charged which is a disgrace as she confessed to breaking voting law yet never got done.

      • The next time we must apply a very simple change to the postal voting procedure.

        The packs must remain completely sealed, as posted by the voter, until after the close of personal voting.

        This minimises the possibility of counterfeit packs being added to the total, minimises manipulation of the ballot papers, and means that the validation and counting are done at one time in full view of the Observers.

        Lobby your MSP. This is not an optional change, this is essential.

  4. Paul, you couldn’t have laid it out in clearer prose.Thanks.
    In a wee aside, but alluding to Pacific Islanders and their currency. Nauru, in said Pacific, celebrated their 50th year of Independence…. Jan 31 1968/2018
    A wee toaty island with 10,084 of a population, (2011 census), after years of haggling, got their independence.
    Come on Scotland, you can do this….they’ve only got mines to keep them solvent and they are one of the wealthiest of the small pacific islands!
    Look what YOU have! YOUse it!

    • According to Wikipedia Nauru is not doing that well! Heavily dependent on Australia and the most overweight people in the world! Also has 90% unemployment.
      Kinda hoping Scotland would not follow in their independent footsteps.

        • Talking about currency, I was still driving for the Ambulance car service during the last indieref, I was amazed at the amount of pensioners who seemed to think, that their pensions were paid from a kitty in London that they had paid into over the years. They didn’t understand that todays pensions are paid from today’s taxes and their pensions were never in any danger. This has to be explained, and a lot of people wobbled because of the currency question last time. We have to close off these attacks before they come at us again, it’s easy to say don’t worry, but they do.

      • Thanks for this…I had a look at their latest stats.
        A friend was just there as a guest for the 50th Anniversary.

        I should have left out the info and concentrated on the point I was making..they voted for Independence.

  5. An excellent article Paul, and I couldn’t agree more.

    I am an SNP member, currently living in London and I spent the last days of the 2017 election campaigning in Edinburgh.

    In my experience of Branch meetings and campaigning the one issue that unites every SNP member that I’ve ever spoken to is the – until now – softly softly approach taken with the media. Going round the doors in Edinburgh, a constant refrain was the lack of any serious efforts at either rebuttal or, more basically, just getting our version of events out there. While everyone understood the problem of media bias and that it might be an uphill struggle, nobody understood why the SNP leadership didn’t even seem to be making the attempt. If Wings could do it, why couldn’t we?

    Fortunately, since the publication of the 2017 GERS figures (not a great response but much better than previous years) things seem to be changing and I hope that the more assertive trend continues.

    I also agree with Les English on English Nationalism. I have great difficulty in getting the idea of Scottish independence over to my friends and neighbours because, quite unconsciously, they simply don’t see any difference between Britain and England or see anything wrong with London rule (apart from individual preferences for Labour or Tory).

    And in December I gave a Brexit talk to a small left wing political group in London. At the end I closed with the suggestion that the real problem was English Nationalism/Exceptionalism and I asked the audience if they agreed with me or had any thoughts on the issue. However, although there were a few smiles when I suggested that, if England had an equivalent to “Here’s tae us, wha’s like us – – -“, they wouldn’t use it ironically but mean every word, no-one came back on this. Lots of questions on everything else I’d said but nothing on the one question I’d actually asked them!

    • Well done!

      It’s difficult when you come up against that blank wall of blank incomprehension. You might as well be “speaking in tongues” ‘cus your dealing with concepts they’ve never tried to get their heads around. Some serious re-education needed and for some I fear it will be a hard lesson.

      So again, well done, I’m sure every little helps 🙂

      BTW, any idea how to handle lefty ‘internationalists’ ??

  6. DEFINATELY THE WAY TO GO, take no shite fa any unionist. If they shout at you , shout back even louder, if they spout crap make them eat it.

    We have the knowledge, we have the facts, don’t give an inch to any britnat bullshit. Watching our First Minster tear the opposition apart on Thursdays Question Time was inspiring and I hope she continues in the same vein.

    This is our nation, not theirs.

  7. I also noticed this week Mike Russell and John Swinney countering the lies Mundell was saying about the EU withdrawal bill. Mike Russell had really harsh words telling Fluffy and Lindington the time for having talks about talks was over and although Fluffy says there is an amendment in the Lords this amendment has not been see and therefore no agreement can be ageed by the Scottish government. It was the most forceful I had heard Russell, it was a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately it received very little MSM time and the only one getting the time on any bbc media was fluffy who was not questioned about the lack of is actions comcerning the amendment. All he would say was …everything is just fine. Yeh..for the Westminster government. I firmly believe there is much more than meets the eye with this and the new well staffed office of the ukgov In leith is growing in suspicion daily. Worrying time and no MSM is willing to discuss the mounting power grab. It’s hard to fight the MSM media, thankfullly we have bloggs like yours, but the Scottish Geverment need to grow a pair and fast!

  8. Let’s face it the snp.scottish government
    Is never ever going to get any backing
    From the Scottish tabloid.even a certain
    Scottish Sunday paper.that travels far
    And wide.seems to go out of its way to
    Show a bad reflection headline most
    Sundays against the Scottish government.anything that is snp bad
    And people swallow it.in my mind the
    Person who votes.cons.lab.or.libdem.
    Do not realise.that every vote for a
    Unionist party in time is going to destroy
    Their own great country Scotland.
    We have to get this point over.but.?.
    Is how.another thing I would like to see
    Done.when one looks at the headlines
    In many Scottish papers.on a day they
    Run the snp government.and Nicola sturgeon.down to the lowest.with their
    Lies.and untruths.i would go as far as
    To say.sue these newspapers.if they
    Where telling lies about you.you would.
    That might just curtail their bitterness
    Towards the Snp government.but I will
    Not hold my breath.lets get out of this
    Discredited union.and let our great
    We here in SCOTLAND.deserve better.

  9. Thank you WGD for stating what you would think might be the obvious – and that is that answering malicious attacks with soft words just doesn’t work. The impression the average person takes from this restraint, is that there is a lack of confidence in the argument. It was frustrating during the indyref campaign to have some indyref people, usually with a background in psychology, solemnly preaching to us that we had to be sweet and conciliatory at all times.

    Insultingly these foks seemed to think that if we were let loose on the public without their earnest instructions, that while campaigning, we would bawl at people in the streets or abuse them on their doorsteps. But it did seem that this stern remonstrance had been directed at SNP representatives too.

    Many of us then and since have longed for a more robust response to the quite ridiculous attacks by the British Nationalist parties and their cronies – which, as Paul says. amounts to bullying. I remember seeing Jeanne Freeman’s masterly demolition of Andrew Neil which has often been shared on social media. That’s what we want to see.

    It is time to ignore the PR sophistry of the recent young graduates who troop in and out of SNP headquarters and seem to have stifled any natural responses with their supposed expertise. As the article makes clear, anyone who has lived a reasonable amount of time as a social being, has learned that you have to stand up to bullies or they become ever more insolent in their confidence.

    At the risk of going too far back for some people, I remember hearing an archived radio interview by Edith Sitwell about a poetry performance of hers being heckled at the Edinburgh Festival. She was a formidable performer with her own eccentric poetry style and something of Grande Dame, who broke off her recital to shout back at the audience. She commented that the audience had then burst into applause and the recital continued. She said, ” That’s the thing about the Scots – they admire a doughty fighter.”

  10. Another great post by a superwordsmith. I can relate to your comments re currency. As an economics graduate it just seemed so obviously a lot of nonsense that was being spouted by Osborne during the referendum but a lot of people just get bamboozled by the nature of a currency. I spent hours trying to explain to my sister just what Paul said but she just said she wanted to keep the pound. My sister of course who voted no was always complaining about the Scottish pound not being accepted in England or abroad. Sadly a lot of Scots have a complex mindset re Scotland and British identity. Decades of brainwashing is not easy to get rid of.

    • Wholeheartedly agree Cubby. Decades of Scots language being erased too. Total manipulation within the education system up until devolution, even then, Gaelic was given the go ahead but Scots language sneered at from bespectacled snobs.
      Then there’s the daily mail reading generation from the 1930’s who believe every word they read…

      Excellent, yet again Paul.

      • There is a good use for the’ Daily Mail’ Deelsdugs.

        I use it to light my fire collecting it from acquaintances who read it. It seems to burn better than other papers due, I presume, due to its crap and waste printed inside.

  11. I was randomly browsing around some YouTube videos the other night & I ended up on a motivational speaker’s presentation. His tip for handling people who were maybe being a bit aggressive in their questions (let’s say, like a BritNat ranting on about, hmmm, currency maybe) was to say “That’s interesting” followed by “why would you ask me that ?” or “why would you think that ?” or “why would you do that ?” etc, whatever is most appropriate.

    Initially it’s a technique for stalling if you need to collect your own thoughts but I think I’m going to adopt it for #ScotRef – get the ones who want to pick a fight to justify their own blustering instead of always wasting my breath explaining things to folk who don’t want to hear it.

    An’ if that doesn’t work, I can always unleash Molly on to them 😁

  12. I’m 76 and pessimistic. All my life I’ve stood up to bullies and though I’ve been called some names at times I’ve always felt respected and listened to – except when I try by logic, facts, common sense or even appeal to emotion to convince my unionist relatives to even contemplate that an independent Scottish nation would be a feasible proposition. With no help from the media and negative lies from the BBC I fear I’m on hiding to nothing. It is like trying to convince a committed Christian to even consider an alternative scenario. It is an act of faith, nothing more. And nothing will convince them that Brian is not best. I despair, but, till my last Breath I’ll keep banging the drum, even if many don’t want to hear my tune or march to it.

    • The thing about people with committed faith in the irrational is that they become wholeheartedly and unshakably committed to the counter-argument if they ever see the light. Once the blinkers are removed they immediately see all the lies and falsehoods for what they are.

      • And if they don’t have a counter argument they resort to violence I come close to blows with the English when I lived down there when they called Scotland a basked case and I told them most of there british tech is actually scottish made they counter to it and out came there fists.

  13. If an independent Scotland launched its own currency then the pound would drop 10% in value overnight.
    Believe me, Westminster would do everything it could to ensure we carried on using the pound.

  14. A wonderful reflection, Paul.
    I repeat, no more Mr and Mrs Nice Guy.
    I’ll call into this excellent forum later, there is the serious business of Sunday breakfast to tend to first.

  15. And yet..and yet we have a presiding officer who has taken it upon himself to censor the truth; who says it is unparliamentary to call Rennie an attention seeker when it is obvious to all with eyes to see and ears to hear that that is exactly what he is. And a liar to boot. This same presiding officer who lacks the ability to control a baying mob as witness by the tories at every FMQ; a man not fit to lick Tricia Marwick’s boots; a pale imitation, an impersonator.

    C’Mon FM, get intae them. Ask for no quarter and give none.

  16. Everything you state Paul about bullying is correct. Both in the political and the personal level. It is indeed good to see the SG reacting as it should.

    On a personal level I spent three years of my secondary education in Hampshire and was the only ‘Jock’ there. For this reason my accent made me stand out. I was soon bothered by the school ned and his gang. How things have changed, the history teacher noticed this and explained to me that you need to literally fight back for it to stop. This I did and broke his nose by kicking it. The bullying stopped. I did get six of the cane from the headmaster. As I left his office he stated “I don’t think you will be bullied again Jock”.

    Politically you must verbally do the same. Kick the bastard back. I feel we can all help by writing to papers and any politician that tells lies or half truths. Give them a clear message.

    • Andy I have over the years sent letters
      To newspapers.about the prospects of
      A better independent Scotland.but have
      Never been printed.i completely agree
      With what you are saying.but if it was
      Something bad about the snp.then I have a good chance of it being printed.
      We need to get the message out that
      SCOTLAND.can be a far better country
      Standing on its own two feet.?.
      But how.the quicker SCOTLAND.
      Is independent the better.

    • I was born in Scotland but my father moved us to england and I got that abuse as well as I had a broad Ayrshire accent till my teen years and all though my school years and I never backed down from bullies even if I couldn’t win the teachers of my generation (whice was the one who saw the last days of direct rule by westminster) always took the bullies side which by high school I snapped and grabbed one of them by his neck pinned him against the wall and nearly strangled him to death in front of my whole class which his dickheaded mates in the class just stood there letting me slowly kill him no one among the other 28 members of the class dared to jump in to try and save him I only let go when his last breath was about to go as his choking sounds was what snapped me out of it I only remember it because a week later I saw my mother in the head teachers office and she went to town on the deputy headmaster about all the bullies and the schools did nothing about it.

  17. With regard to British/English arrogance and self-deception, I must link to this rather perceptive Guardian piece. Just the image alone …


    “The reason we are at the centre of most world maps is because the Earth revolves around us, not because it was us who drew the maps”

    “European negotiators concluded that [Theresa May] “does not live on planet Mars but rather in a galaxy very far away”.

    “[Brexiteers] had no more plans for leaving than a dog chasing a car has to drive it.”

    “Once again, Britain has overplayed its hand. Preferring to live in the past rather than learn from it, we find ourselves diminished in the present and clueless about the future.”

    All too true, unfortunately. Don’t know whether to laugh or cry … well actually I laughed out loud several times. OTOH I have to confess that there is a layer of my subconscious that shares these attitudes, simply as a result of my age and background, all those WWII films etc. etc.

    • If I wasn’t living in the UK, I’d probably just laugh at the absurdity of it all … Unfortunately I *am* living in the UK, so crying is definitely a possibility! 🙁

    • That’s the English for you they bang on about ww1 and 2 like they won it alone they don’t even like the fact the battle of Normandy the English would of been wiped out if our scottish troops hadn’t come to the rescue because they stretched themselves to thin plus the American squad that was there got lost the go on about 1966 and there only world cup win and think the British Empire still brilliant and wonderfull and going to this day when the reality was they where evil terrorists who raped stole and murdered everywhere they went.

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  19. Thanks Paul for saying exactly what I have felt for a long time. We need to strongly and consistently take the MSM to task. We also need to consistently remind people that the dangerous and farcical stage of UK politics that we are in the midst of was created by the Conservative party to try and resolve the, forty plus years, internal civil war they have been having over the EU. The current behaviour of the Tories should remind us that the survival of their party is paramount. Our economy, our standard of living, our human rights are not nearly as important to them as the survival of their ducking, diving, fucking party. That is exactly how selfish these people are.

  20. Only so many times you can get slapped in the kisser before the penny drops.

    Every day since 2014 we have had from every part of the media unrelenting drivel , at first is was just bending the truth , but as usual the Unionist backed media have to go over the top , Now its barefaced lies , Why because they can, who is going to question their outrageous assertions ? , that was a rhetorical question ,

    The frustration by many Independence supporters is and has been growing , we have folk on our own side saying the SNP should not ruffel the media they will make worse , ha ha oh f/k dear dear waken up look around , name one just one outlet that gives the SNP a fair shake .

    This misguided approach of not forcing the point on the likes of this government department known as BBC in Scotland , stop giving them ammunition by playing their game by their rules , make it personal when confronted by one of the actors who describe themselves as reporters or indeed journalists , make sure viewers see what this lot are up to.

    We had an example of this pish from Brewer today and this seems to be his or the BBC style , ask a stupid incomprehensible question then expect a coherent answer , instead of playing the game any SNP rep should turn the question and say is there a question in that comment.

  21. The best way to deal with the British Nationalist bullies and their constant dribble of Jackie Ballie is to stop reacting to their attacks and learn how to pre-empt them. Be cold and outrageous and set traps for the MSM which they will blunder into – yes there will be much flak, but the really important thing is that the SNP/SG is setting the agenda – much easier to deal with the muck when you already know what will be flying in your direction.

    The release of the SG-commissioned report on the effects of BREXIT was a good example. Well done, SG, but we need to keep the pressure on. If we sit back and go back into defensive mode, we will loose eventually (no matter how good the rebuttals are).

    Attack! Attack! Attack!

    It’s the only way we can win. 🙂

  22. Be bold. Take the initiative. For too long, we have allowed the British Nationalist MSM to set the narrative. This has to stop.

    Let’s get them onto our ground. They are going to attack anyway, so lets be the ones to choose the battleground(s).

    It should not be that difficult. British Nationalists are very Pavlovian and predictable in their response behaviour. All it takes is some effort to bait them and get them feeding out of our hands.

  23. There’s bullying and there’s bullying.

    The Establishment has long since conceded that Mundell Davidson Murray Carmichael Leonard and Rennie couldn’t sell a roll of loo paper to a man with diahorrea never mind put forward any case for maintaining their sad little Union.

    Brown and Darling have long since departed. Miliband Cameron Osborne Balls Clegg and the ‘fecking useless’ 41 Old Gravy Train Blair Red Tories have been shown the door, ingloriously kicked out on their filthy rich asses in 2015.

    There are no Clunking Fists replacements.

    Bully me once, shame on you. Bully me twice, shame on me.

    There can be no Mr and Mrs Nice Guy.

    These people lie and threaten, with impunity.

    Mundell stood by sheepishly while his English handler David Lidington, newly anointed Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster, lied on camera about the progress which WM and Holyrood were making over Brexit and Clause 11.

    Lidington has the unnerving habit when interviewed of looking away up to the right at some fixed point in the ceiling as he answers questions.

    I know that left hand right hand brain theory has been largely debunked as pop psychology but there may be some validity after all.

    Any observer of Non Verbal Communication would interpret The Chancellor of the Duchy Of Lancaster’s behaviour, not looking the interviewer in the eye, looking heavenwards to his right, as evidence that he was accessing the right hand creative side of his mind, searching his memory for the ‘ line to take’ wording of briefing notes which his SPAD had prepared for him to cover every eventuality.

    He was allowed to spout unchallenged Clause 11 nonsense by Sally Magnusson and BBC PQ.

    The previous Sunday he spent the whole of his interview with Marr looking to the heavens for inspiration.

    BTW RH LH Brain theory suggests that anyone looking downwards to the right is ‘creating’ a lie in response to a question.

    It is going to be difficult facing up to bullies if we are not allowed access to them, Paul.

    BBC Scotland indulges in one of the most pernicious forms of bullying.

    Most of us have experienced it to a greater or lesser extent at some point in our life.
    How many of us have left a room, and just know that the rest of the company is talking about you and not all of it was good?

    Brewer on Sunday politics today carried on where he left off when he used interviewed Angus Robertson with the Moray Firth as a back drop.

    Ian Blackford was interviewed ‘live’ from Kyle of Lochalsh, with the Skye (toll free) bridge and the snow capped Cuillin in the back ground. Magnificent.
    But for some reason Brewer did not seem to recognise this iconic Scottish landscape. Get out more, Brewdog, get some sun on your pasty cheeks.

    RBS bank closures got an airing, then onto that pesky independence referendum that the BadEssEnnPee keep banging on about.

    Pictures are beamed back from Mars as a matter of routine these days, but BBC Scotland cannot get a ‘live feed’from Lochalsh or Moray.

    Brewer used the time delay to good effect interrupting Blackford in his usual ‘bullying’ way.
    The Leader of the SNP at WM slapped him down several times as Old Brewer snapped and snarled because he wasn’t getting answers that he liked.

    Then Blackford ‘left the room’, and Brewer and his Yoon gang proceeded to bad mouth him.

    One of the new breed of Tory Boys, Colin Clark, who buckled when questioned about Clause 11 and muttered that it was ‘above his pay grade’ to provide answers to explain the delay in bringing forward Clause 11 amendments on time, had a wee go at Blackford for stealing headlines about RBS climbdown over closures.
    No bullying by Brewer here, though but mind.

    Then to close the show we had ‘Dame’ Anne McGuire, one of Tony Blair’s Red Tory ‘babes’, one of the ‘fecking useless’ 41 we kicked out in 2015, and Paul Hutcheon summarising the week’s events.

    Dame McGuire cooed that Brewer had Blackford ‘dangling on the end of a hook’ because the EssEnnPee had members on Chuka Umunna’s Second EU Referendum Group, but official EssEnnPee policy was to respect the result of Brexit One.

    Hutcheon extended the ‘hook’ metaphor to breaking point by declaring,on the basis of no evidence at all, that he suspected that ‘Nicola Surgeon’ would quite like a second EU Referendum, as this would get her ‘off the hook’, because she didn’t think another Independence Referendum was ‘winnable’.

    What absolute dross, Hutcheon.

    ‘Nicola Sturgeon’ is not calling for a second Indyref. The Scottish Parliament and roughly 2 million of the electorate and counting, are.
    But any opportunity to bad blacken the First Minister live on Sunday Afternoon TV cannot be passed up.

    I’d love to know how much these Yoon fellow travellers get paid for this.

    This is the new form of bullying, Paul.

    They won’t let us back into the room to look them in the eye any more.

    They talk about us and spread lies and invent SNP failure and negativity after we’ve left the room and can’t defend ourselves.

    Mr. Hutcheon, I don’t give a tinker’s curse what you ‘suspect’. You are a bought and paid for Fifth Columnist.

    Let that be a lesson to you, Mr Blackford. Decline to take part in this sort of set up.

    They set you up to fail.

    Re Molly’s Mum at 1.58 am 4th Feb on motivational speakers.

    You may be referring to a communications skill, ’actively listening’.

    The basic principle is to listen, without interrupting the speaker’s train of thought.
    It’s quite straightforward, but a lot to take in and develop.

    For example, our Pro Independence politicians should ‘follow and reflect’ more when Brewer and Company throw these daft questions at them.
    A retort could be:-
    “So, Gordon, what you are saying is that there is no appetite for a second Independence Referendum. Can you expand on what you mean by ‘no appetite’?”

    They’d soon get fed up getting their nonsense thrown back in their face.
    I will not be bullied or talked about when I’m out of the room.

    • Jack, always a pleasure to read your posts.
      Sunday breakfast time here in British Columbia. (I have always found it hard to say “British” without putting on a daft accent, but maybe that’s just a leftover from my Scottish upbringing.)
      Spent a pleasant 45 minutes last night watching First Minister’s Questions, Feb 1, on the old YouTube. What a pleasure to see Nicola Sturgeon wiping the floor with Ruth, Leonard & Rennie.
      It’s definitely time to turn the heat up. We should all take a leaf from Nicola’s book and stick it to the “opposition”.
      As far as the BBC goes, perhaps these overpaid TV wallahs are not as important as they think they are. The younger generation couldn’t give two hoots about Brewer, Marr, Dimbelby, etc.
      It’s going to be an interesting year.
      I’m a man of easy leisure; semi-retired and financially secure enough. (I just have to feed ma’sel, and that’s no too hard when you’re frugal, and have a few friends).
      Without blowing my own trumpet too loud. I was a President of the Glasgow University Mountaineering Club, back in the day, and most of my old pals are pro-independence. Once there’s a date for the indyref, I’m coming back to be involved. We’ll be taking it to the hills.
      From the Coe to the Cuillins. Cairngorms to wherever. Standing on our own two feet.

      • asty, maple syrup and pancakes along with bacon eggs and hash browns came as a great culture shock to me in the ’70’s.
        Then again, my Irish wife sprinkles SUGAR on her porridge.
        Is nothing sacred?
        I am sure that I speak for us all when I thank you and othrs in Canada, the US, Australia, Spain, and other faraway places for your support, advise, and good counsel over the years.
        We are nearly there.
        It goes without saying, but say it I will.
        You are all welcome for the Free Scotland bash.
        Tattie Scones, fried soda bread, square slice sausages, South Uist Black Pudding, fried eggs, and grilled tomatoes, with toast and Dundee jam or marmalade, as a second course. I’ll even get in some maple syrup.
        I’m in the book, guys. Look me up when you come over.

  24. I’ve long been disappointed by the lack of aggression by SNP MP’s and MSP’s when dealing with the Britnat media machine. Highly personalised attacks on the interviewer should come first, followed by general derogatory remarks about the Tory government and Westminster. Then attack the bias in whatever the loaded question is. When the interviewer intervenes, roll eyes and talk down. Not pretty, but just like negative campaigning by the yoons in pervious elections, it what wins the day. Pussy footing around and playing nice just comes over as under confident and weak.

  25. Excellent, Jack. (No surprise there, then). When I was in the Army, my CO often asked the RSM to escort me out of the room. But this was usually a precursor to getting Jankers, Fine or Severe Reprimand.
    Surely there are sufficient numbers of the populace who no longer fund this nonsense by paying the BBC Tax? Do they really not notice, or just don’t care? Are we really so inured to this shit that we have lost the will to resist?

  26. Totally agree with you & your analysis of rebuttal to lies, misinformation, provocation etc. is exactly the course of action that is required, Paul ……. and it appears from the plethora of responses that a considerable number of Independence minded folk concur
    I would love to see a more combative stance from all SNP MSP’s & MP’s when assailed with what is unadulterated shite from Brit Nats & their lackeys in the media.

    We know that the FM can (but all to infrequently) does engage political opponents and skewer them on their own lies and the other “big hitters” on her team can do likewise but my observations mirror previous posters belief that there has been a policy of “softly – softly” with these peddlers of misinformation.
    No more … time to expose the mendacity from whatever quarter it comes from in a robust manner, for make no mistake, this is a deliberate strategy by the Brit Nats to misinform the less politically educated by throwing enough mud that some of it will stick and all those folk will remember is the “Shocker” headline and Q.E.D. SNP baaaad.

    The Brit Nats (such as Scotland in Union) are well aware that the current standings of (approximately) 54% NO – 46% YES (excluding the D.K.) could very easily be reversed if the “Don’t Knows” can be persuaded that an Independent Scotland within the EU (or the EEA if the Scottish People so choose) is a far more desirable option than the prospect of continued Union with a UK which has no trade deals with ANY trading blocs anywhere.

    The key to success is winning over the “Don’t Knows” to YES and we can best do that by opening their eyes to the Bullshit that is spouted daily by unionist of whatever colour ….. more fire in the belly and fight please, SNP Leadership !!.

  27. This is such an important piece of writing, and very well written. It is imperative, that going forward when the indy ref2 is called, the stupid silly questions are treated with the contempt they deserve. No more seriously addressing ridiculous nonsense questions. We need to challenge the entire premise when they are presented. I mean Dr Who or Eastenders, FFS. All these programmes are sold around the world.

    I did hear some folks say some years back, that the reason the SNP didn’t respond and attack the media, was because they felt the media would then give them a hard time. I think clear evidence now shows that to be utter folly. The media tells absurd lies about the SNP and Scottish Government every single day of the week, because THEY GET AWAY WITH IT. Time to assert who we are and stand up for Scotland, and the Scots Parliament.

    As regards the term British Nationalism, I think it is much better than calling them unionists. Come the next referendum and a sneering Andrew Neil ask somebody like NS, ‘well First Minister what do you say in response to nationalists who …’. The response should be swift, and on each and every occasion ‘what kind of nationalists Andrew? British or Scottish?’

    Let us end this nonsense of being sneered at as nationalists, whilst they revel in being called ‘unionists’. England is very rapidly becoming one of the most rabidly nationalist countries in the world, and it isn’t inclusive, open nationalism like in Scotland, but the nationalism of hatred, isolation ,xenophobia, racism and arrogance, the very kind of nationalism, which history shows us over and over again leads to the rise of fascism.

    Glad to see greater assertiveness from the SNP leadership. Let’s hope it continues.

  28. More on the currency issue would help. God knows how much time I spent leading to Indy2014 saying that the currency question was nonsense.

    Basics: you have goods to sell, customers want them. They have goods to sell, you want them.

    Currency is the holding position whilst you sell your goods to them, hold a mutually agreed currency, and wait on them making/growing the goods you wish to have, buying with the currency you hold, the currency agreeable to both parties.And so arises the matter of trust in the validity of the currency.

    The UK would try to undermine the value of a Scots currency, but then, Scotland has the oil and gas resources, power supply surplus, food surplus,fisheries surplus. and whichever country wished to purchase our resources would need to accept our currency, and we theirs.

    And with these resources as noted above, we are self-sufficient, just like a wee island in the middle of an ocean, we can feed ourselves, and heat ourselves. And with the surplus of these resources we can trade for goods worldwide.

  29. Remember folks the old way.” You bait a sprat to catch a mackerel” ” slowly. Slowly catch a monkey” or ” even give them enough rope and they’ll hang themselves ” I don’t see bullying I don’t read bullying, however I do see and read manipulation. If life has taught me anything it is you can defend a truth till your dying breath but a lie will always out .Westminster is not stupid it has a wealth or experience to defeat it we must be equal if not better .it’s easy to fight fire with fire .because we understand what the fire can do.however find another weapon. Water sorts fire .attack the foundations .no power can stand without strong foundations.

  30. Since its founding in 1934, the SNP’s policy of ‘turning the other cheek’ was to counter-balance their (then) opponents’ criticism that the SNP were: fruitcakes, racists, blood & soil extremists, far right nationalists; i.e. the lunatic fringe.

    The SNP’s reasons for this laissez faire approach, right up until 2016 when they lost so many MPS was (a)let’s prove them all wrong by showing how reasonable we are and (b) don’t give the MSM any more ammo by rising to their baiting.It was a desire to let the voters see for themselves and a gradualist tactic of ‘let the people make up their own minds in their own time’ or ‘The Truth Will Out’.

    Well, all the people now know, since the ScotIndy 2014 & Brexit 2016 referendums, that the right wing press sponsored liars won both times. We also all know that ‘The Truth Will Not Out’.

    The reality is that voters don’t actually make up their own minds; they have their minds made up for them by the TV, the radio and most importantly the mainly right wing UK papers which dictate what the TV & radio narrate.

    Both referendums have, for that reason, been politically cathartic in both Scotland and the rUK. Both expose the lies and self-interests of UK political parties to put their own agendas or party interests before the people (or ‘the greater good’ or ‘the country’… whatever you want to call it).

    ‘The people have spoken. The bastards’, should be, more accurately,

    ‘The people have been duped. The eejits’.

    So, in this new reality, it is no longer expedient for the SNP to carry on ‘turning the other cheek’.

    If the SNP wish to win the hearts and minds of ‘the people’, they have to realise that they will no longer be seen as sore losers or cranks by challenging the UK Establishment’s lies, ably abetted as they are in the UK, by the self-regulating press, which press funds and runs the alleged press ‘watch dog’ IPSO.

    It has become mainstream public knowledge that the people are lied to by the status quo powers on a global basis. The internet has allowed ‘the people’ access to facts never dreamt of in 1934.

    So, SNP, no more ‘turning the other cheek’. This is a mortal battle,politically speaking, to the death. No prisoners will be taken by the British Establishment parties to maintain the status quo. To carry on turning the other cheek is to sign your own death warrant, politically.

    The only way to serve and save ‘the people’ now from themselves being continually duped by the UK’s far right MSM, is for the SNP to challenge each and every lie, each and every hour of each and every day.

    If the SNP fail to so challenge the MSM powers, they will quite simply have failed ‘the people’ they say they vow to protect. The SNP cannot say they have Scotland’s people’s best interests at heart if they continue to allow the people to be duped and flung to the wolves.

    No country ever won its independence by turning the other cheek to implacable, ruthless hidden foes.

    • Well said, Bibbit.

      As we celebrate the centenary of the Women’s Suffragette Movement, another brave woman’s stance 37 years later sparked the peaceful Montgomery Bus Boycott, a political and social protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama.

      The campaign lasted from December 5, 1955—the Monday after Rosa Parks, an African American woman, was arrested for refusing to surrender her seat to a white person—to December 20, 1956, when a federal ruling, Browder v. Gayle, took effect, and led to a United States Supreme Court decision that declared the Alabama and Montgomery laws that segregated buses were unconstitutional.
      It was a seminal event in the Civil Rights Movement.

      Perhaps as Brexit and Indyref 2 heat up, we should think seriously of introducing a Boycott of the Dead Tree Scrolls, and broadcasters who continue to peddle Brit Nat propaganda threats and and lies, and act as agents of the Red Blue and Yellow Brit Nat Tories.
      We shall overcome.

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