The baby and the bathwater

If you follow social media, you’re probably aware that there’s considerable anger and dismay amongst independence supporters about The National’s decision to give publicity to the post-verdict statement from the anonymous women who were the complainants in the Alex Salmond case. I’ll be blunt, it’s an anger and dismay that I share. It was, to put it mildly, deeply misguided for the only pro-independence newspaper to further publicise what many in the independence movement perceived as an attempt to appeal to the court of public opinion after an actual court had thrown out all the allegations against a man who is hugely popular and influential amongst independence supporters. It sparked off a wave of anger and suspicion about the motives of the sole independence supporting newspaper within an independence movement which is already reeling from months, indeed years, of repeated assaults from the British nationalist media.

As we all know the complainants concerned are not merely the powerless and naive victims of a powerful man. We are not permitted to speculate upon their identity, but it is common knowledge that they are highly influential, powerful, and politically well connected in their own right. It is only natural that their letter, written behind a cloak of anonymity, would be seen as an attempt to pursue a political vendetta against Alex Salmond by other means. That’s precisely how it was viewed by many independence supporters on social media. Their anger is palpable, all the more so because they feel that they have been betrayed by the one newspaper that they felt that they could trust. We expect this sort of thing from the British nationalist press. We don’t expect it from our only pro-independence newspaper.

As you all know, I am a columnist for The National. I’ve seen comments online impugning my own integrity as though I somehow share responsibility for perpetuating accusations against Alex Salmond. I am not an employee of The National. I am a freelance writer. I have no control over the newspaper’s editorial policy. I do not generally write for the Sunday edition, which has a different editor from the daily edition. As is usual in newspapers, Sunday editions with an editor of their own have their own distinct editorial policy. I had no knowledge of what the paper was planning to publish on Sunday, but even if I had I do not have any ability which could have prevented it. It was a grave misstep, one which I sincerely hope will not be repeated. For a newspaper to misjudge its readership so badly is a serious error, and I had I known in advance I would have counselled against it.

Despite the fact that both The National and The Herald are owned by the same company, they are editorially independent and are run independently. The National is not subsidising The Herald or vice versa. Both newspapers are owned by Newsquest, an American multinational company which owns hundreds of newspapers in the English speaking world. This company has no opinion either for or against Scottish independence. Its owners genuinely don’t care one way or the other. All they are interested in is that the newspapers that they own are successful. Despite some of the frothier comments you may read online, there is no grand Yoon conspiracy to use The National as some trojan horse. The editors and staff of The National and its Sunday edition are as committed to the cause of Scottish independence as you or I. They believe passionately in it, so much so that they’re prepared to work for a newspaper that is regarded with disdain in the hidebound and cliquish world of the Scottish press.

In The National’s defence, the newspaper is currently being produced in the middle of a lockdown. Most of the staff are working from home. The paper was already being produced by a small team who are overstretched, but now that team is scattered and isolated and like the rest of us they are worried about their families, their friends, and the uncertain times we live in. This means that an editorial decision doesn’t get the proper feedback from within the team of journalists that it usually gets. There’s no one in the office to say, “This might not play well amongst our core readership.” The additional stress and difficulty of producing a paper under such trying circumstances makes mistakes more likely.

The simple fact of the matter is that if independence supporters don’t buy The National, we’ll have no pro-independence newspaper at all. The National is able to reach parts of the population that no indy blogger – least of all those who are leading the charge against the current incumbent in Bute House – is capable of reaching.

The only people who will benefit if The National loses readership are British nationalists. They are delighted by the self-destructive efforts of some people within the independence movement to attack other parts of the movement. The British nationalists deeply resent the very existence of The National, and nothing would please them more than to see it fail. Then they could go back to having the Scottish traditional media landscape entirely to themselves. It’s already difficult enough for pro-independence voices to be heard in the Scottish media. It doesn’t help the cause of independence to make it even harder. The National is the only outlet in the Scottish traditional media which promotes and publicises the grassroots movement and its initiatives. It’s the only newspaper that gives space to voices like mine who criticise the British nationalist media. So yes, I have a vested interest in the health of the paper, but I care even more passionately that pro-independence voices are given a breadth and reach that might otherwise be denied to us. The bottom line here is that our movement needs The National a hell of a lot more than Newsquest does.

The National is an imperfect media vehicle for independence, but it’s the only newspaper we’ve got. The SNP is an imperfect political vehicle for independence, but it’s also the only credible party we’ve got which is capable of winning enough seats to form a majority. And pro-independence bloggers – myself included – are the most imperfect vehicle of all. Yes, I understand your frustrations. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

And finally, because we could all do with some cheering up during these difficult times…


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153 thoughts on “The baby and the bathwater

  1. Sorry Paul, I cancelled my National subscription. I’ll give my money directly to you, Wings and Craig Murray in future. I can’t conceive of any reasonable excuse for publishing that letter, even taking account of the circumstances you describe above. A resignation or two and a full apology might make me reconsider, but only might. Newspapers are on a shoogly peg anyway, they need to think harder and take greater responsibility, not pile in with all guns blazing.

    • Sorry to hear that. I stand by my subscription for the reasons noted above by Paul and because the staff are really committed to providing good reporting and coverage of Scottish issues.

    • SandyW,

      I think ‘The National’ is under severe pressure. It has it’s sport correspondent doing political pieces without any degree of nuance, or apparent oversight. It is using anyone who isn’t sick or self isolating to keep content up. These are difficult times for all of us. It is probably Callum Baird’s worst nightmare.

      Was it a mis-step to publish this piece of pish? Yes, it cerainly was. Should “The National” apologise? Probably. Should you take the huff?

      Probably not if you truly want independence.

      Thse are perilous times for ‘The National’. And we truly need the voices of Callum Baird and Paul Kavanagh (Wee Ginger Dug) having a place in the mainstream.

      I will see what I can do about funding the Wee Ginger Dug and Craig Murray, so we have. at least, that in common.

      I wouldn’t give a brass farthing to Wings. The man has too many bats in his belfry for my taste.

      But that’s just me.

      • I cancelled my online subscription, I now get the paper from my newsagent so he gets some income from it too even although it costs me a bit more. I don’t have full access to the National website but a lot of the comments on articles were doing my head in, from the Yoon trolls to the anti-SNP rants so that’s no loss.
        I also support Wee Ginger, that dug is worth every penny.

        I used to contribute to Wings fundraisers, he won’t be getting any more donations from me.

    • I have also cancelled my subscription and am now making monthly donations to the Dug and Craig Murray. I’m sceptical about the Nationals impact on No voters. Many are auld and set in their ways or just plain pig heeded. I can’t see any Sun or Daily Record readers switching to something that doesn’t confirm their daily bias. More effective I think to contribute to the new media online and to give money directly to individuals like Paul and Craig.
      Thanks for all your hard work Mr Kavanagh.

    • I get the requests to be more understanding, but two full pages with prominence? This wasnt just someone taking the eye off the ball.

  2. If the editor of the Sunday edition of the newspaper is as ‘Committed to the cause’ as you or I, he would hardly have required feedback from his staff as to the unsuitability of the article and the trouble it would cause. If the newspaper itself is blameless, then the editor certainly isn’t.

      • Aww C’mon Paul, you’re either committed to the independence cause or you ain’t? You don’t just “take your eye off the ball” and lose your entire beliefs in an independent Scotland by platforming this bunch of devious charlatans that’ll stop at nothing in order to bring down Alex Salmond?

        Don’t do this Paul, don’t even try to defend the indefensible, it’ll come back to bit you too.

          • I’m with you on this Paul, also Martin Hannan is in our local Yes group so I can back upi what you say about the commitment of the staff to independence. But Sunday’s story really had a horrible feeling of what happened to the Sunday Herald when Neil Mackay turned against the Yes movement. I can understand people being upset because it’s deja vu all over again.

      • The Sunday editor must be a trained jurno, an intelligent person no?
        Then how the hell can anyone defend that persons decision to publish clear-as-day unionist propaganda? It is inexcusable! If as stated, they are as committed to the cause as any one of us, then that committed “trained journalist” obviously shouldn’t be in that job!

  3. Excellent article. Independence supporters criticising WGD need to back off. Totally out of order.

    Although I was not particularly happy for the alphabet sisters letter to be published I can see how a journalist/editor can think it should be published as it is news.

    My greater concern was the National reporting of the trial itself. I didn’t get a National every day during the trial because of the virus but the papers I did get just seemed to copy what the Britnat papers were saying. Did a reporter from the National actually attend the trial? If not then that is pretty poor.

    Not buying the National is not the answer. Putting forward what you would like changed or improved upon – e.g. No more Tories (Fry) given columns.

    Neither is giving up on the SNP the answer. Do not resign but change it for the better. It needs some people removed permanently as they are obviously saboteurs who do not care one jot for Independence.

  4. Hear,hear Paul, very well said. I’ve just taken out a subscription for the National as I can’t get out to pick up my paper copy. I did this because I felt that the paper should have my support as usual.

    Yes, it was a massive boo boo to print that letter from the alphabet sisters, and I now look at rape crisis in a different manner too. But, aye, there’s aye a but, The National is not an SNP pamphlet, it’s a newspaper, so I suppose it’s handy to see what the opposition are doing and saying.

    I’m not a member of the SNP, but the stable definetely needs a good muck out. I won’t stop my support of the paper either, we will need it in the long run. I hope that they don’t make another mistake as big as this was. What these females are doing is despicable, but nemesis will find them eventually.

  5. I was annoyed (very) with the reporting of the Alex Salmond case in the National and the fact that much of it, as Cubby above has referenced, seems to have been taken directly from BritNat output.
    Wasn’t surprised either to see that there may be legal action taken against some of those who are determined, irrespective of the integrity of the judge and jury, to continue the trial by innuendo with the undoubted co-operation of the BritNat media.
    God knows what would have been written if he had been found guilty, if this is what is written and, worse, can apparently be legally written, about an innocent man.
    But, as you say, the National may be imperfect but it’s all we’ve got.
    We can complain and indicate what we’d like changed but we will not, and cannot, give up on it.
    Incidentally, heard Nicola Sturgeon’s coronavirus feed today. Does the National get an opportunity to ask questions?? Didn’t hear them called by name – but the usual suspects such as the Torygraph and the Daily Mail were? (And the BBC – who, it was alleged, cut off the live feed for the weather!!!!)
    Just wondered???

      • I agree with all you’ve said Paul and I think Richard owes Calum, all staff, associates and the readership a formal printed explanation for his editorial decision. This decision has achieved what? It has certainly caused so many so much hurt and grief at a time when there are so many other things we should all be focusing on!

        The assessment of risk of implementing his editorial decision to publish this anonymous attack on a named individual who has been cleared of all charges in a court of law needs real scrutiny. The impact of it has brought even the continuing existence of our only Indy newspaper under threat! Everyone associated to it now has an additional stress of worrying about their own livelihoods at this time of unprecedented uncertainty! This alone, should bring the decision under intense scrutiny, leaving aside the open goal of litigation for defamation it has created!

        LI’ve the wee video BTW 😂

  6. Totally agree that the letter was ill advised but as you say, The National is our only public voice in the news stands, so I’ll be keeping my subscription going. Having said that, whoever made the decision to publish and start a trial by public kangaroo court witch hunt , needs a severe talking to.
    Thank god for you and the wonderful Randy Rainbow. Keep safe – we need your eloquence and humour in these long lonely days of self isolation stretching ahead .
    PS Glad you cleared up the dog walking question, my four legged best pal says thanks!

  7. I’ve been buying the newspaper however it’s been getting ever more difficult to find, especially as it’s constantly being hidden by Unionists. So I’ll
    now subscribe. Most readers of the National aren’t exactly daft. The newspaper published data that was being broadcast by the media, such as the BBC. Why would they not publish this news item and let the readership see what’s going on? Show that they are not biased. What we see now are Scots shooting themselves in the foot, as per usual. Prepared to deprive the independence movement of influential voices, such as Gordon MacIntyre-Kemps and Paul Kavanaghs et al. Prepared in fact to see people who are being sidelined by the MSM losing a source of revenue. See the BritNats rubbing their hands in glee. Between one thing and another right now it’s easy to see how we’ve been shackled to this Union for over 300 years.

  8. I understand that we need The National – but how can we show our DEEP displeasure at this dreadful “misjudgement” if not by refusing to give them our money? It’s a conundrum.

    • I wrote to the editor ( and received a polite and informative reply ) – but am still considering withdrawing my subscription .
      I was disappointed that comments were not allowed on any of the numerous articles on the ”Alphabet Gang” published in The National !

      • James, please don’t. There is no paper on the planet where I will agree with every word of every article and it really would not be very healthy either to be so in a group-speak bubble. This cabal are very politically influential (or have been until last week!) and well connected. It should not unduly surprise us they can get the editor to publish their stuff. Personally I would not give them the time of day, and I think maybe next time around Richard Walker may think more carefully. I know some of the National staff and they are all very dedicated. I think there are less than 10 full time employees and they have 30 odd pages to fill with something every 24 hours. I certainly doubt they had anyone they could spare to sit at the Salmond trial for two weeks. I would also point out there have been some very pro Salmond articles, e.g. from Joanna, and one of Salmond’s friends is on the full-time staff and wrote very much in his favour the day after the verdict. Lastly, me and my business XYZ Maps have spent several £1000 supporting the National over the last few years.

        • A very sound post in general but the articles I read by Kathleen Nutt, for example, on the Salmond trial did not impress me at all. Why doesn’t Richard Walker post something to provide a fair reporting balance – I suggested Craig Murrays J’ Accuse article but no reason why they could not do something else to balance up their one sided reporting.

          What does Angus Robertson have to say on the matter. Has he said anything in his column yet. I am sure he has a keen interest in the matter.

  9. Something to remember for all indy supporters in the aftermath of the current crisis. ‘All of us together’ and ‘All parties and no parties’ isn’t a serving suggestion. It’s the recipe for a population, for common cause and for many… friendship.

    The only people who benefit from the creation of caustic divisions within the independence movement are? Take a wild guess.

    Have a difference of opinion on strategies, personalities and parties by all means. Grump about the story/shit storm of the day. Oh hell yes. But be respectful of each other.

    We all want a better, more responsible, more caring and humane system of government. You argue in bitterness, then we lose before we begin. We get there TOGETHER, or we won’t get there at all.

    It’s just that simple.

  10. If it’s the baby itself who pisses in the bathwater I’d be sorely tempted to throw out both. Not blaming you for one minute Paul but they are not doing much to help themselves.

  11. Like all of you, I was raging when I read that article, although I can’t say I ever contemplated cancelling my subscription. That would be cutting off your nose to spite your face.
    The letter was definitely news, and I can’t blame the National for publishing.
    I consider the letter itself to be contemptible, continuing to attack – by implication, at least – an innocent man from the safety of your court-imposed anonymity! As someone said above a, I will look at Rape Crisis with less sympathy from now on.

    I don’t know whether this figured in the editor’s judgement, but I now wonder whether he was right – it is usually better to know what your enemy is doing and thinking.
    We may not like it, but at least we know that the alphabet sisters, having failed in court, seem intent on continuing their struggle by other means.

    • PortJim – second attempt , other comment is out there somewhere , anyway I bloody hope their continuing struggle is not being financed by my subscriptions to the SNP , by all means sisters keep it up it’s your call , but on yer own Dime thanks .

      Anyone any suggestions of how to eradicate the obvious rot inside the SNP management , or is the Nuclear option prefered , because I cant believe the blind , deaf & dumb excuse works ,someone must have noticed something was Rotten in the state of Denmark, ” look it up it’s a well known quote referring to something seriously amiss, in this case in the management structure .

      Any comment Nicola ? .

      • Ever thought that “they” are trying to bring Nicola Sturgeon down too, Robert? Two birds with one stone and all of that. Get rid of the leaders — a known tactic used in warfare. Plus of course creating divisive havoc amongst the troops? Looks as though they’re doing a grand job. Let’s not let them win.

  12. I believe The National should have published the letter.

    But only if the authors had agreed to put their names to it.

    • Excellent point. While they have anonymity they are free to say what they like. Demand they sign their comments with their names their comments may then stop or be more circumspect.

  13. This business has been crook from the start. Back to fundamentals. What I would really like to know is: who leaked to the Daily Record in the first place? And threby set the ball rolling. I reckon if we knew that, we would have a fairly good idea why…

    • As I have said more than once why has there been no investigation into who leaked the details of the accusers testimonies. Every last detail leaked except the accusers names.

      This information being highly personal and confidential would only be available to a small number of people.

      • Do you actually know that investigations aren’t being carried out? Another person with inside information? This comes across to me as a massive interconnected, convoluted can of worms that can’t possibly be dealt with in the timescale that you suggest.

        • “Oh and, eh, last post on this subject from me in relation to anything that you have to say about it”

          Petra March 28th 2020 The R-Word

          Now I think it is rude to quote someone’s words back at them but since it didn’t stop you in a previous post quoting my words I will make an exception for you Petra. It would be good if you stuck to your promise.

          You are starting to remind me of the Iraqi foreign secretary during the Iraq war claiming at a press conference in the centre of Baghdad that the Iraqis are pushing the Americans Out of Iraq as you could hear the American gunfire in the background.

          There is and has been no valid reason why an investigation into the leak could not have been carried out long ago.

          Do the decent thing and stick to your promise.

      • The Scottish civil service needs looking into, the last Scottish Secretary increased by so much they had to move into larger offices in Edinburgh. They don’t want to lose their jobs after independence as they are picked by Westminster. The Scottish Government has to choose from the list, instead of employing themselves.

  14. So angry when I read the piece in the Sunday National! Misjudgement doesn’t even begin to explain it!
    However “baby & bathwater” was the phrase that came to me when I read the furore on social media this morning!
    I agree 100% with Paul! The virtues and necessity of The National far outweigh calamitous moments like these! Also I could never in all conscience support any decision that would have a cabal of rabid Unionists whooping with delight! The fact that not everyone in our movement feels the same is the thing that I find most worrying!

  15. The National’s article has made a lot of independence supporters very angry.

    We had already figured Salmond was not a saint – although he looks like one compared to the Westminster establishment.

    If it leads to a clean out of the SNP careerists with an alternative agenda to independence it will have done a fine job.

    (I’ll admit to smoke coming out my ears when first reading that article 🙂 )

  16. “anonymous women who were the complainants” do you have an issue with anonimity in sexual abuse cases?

    “the complainants concerned are not merely the powerless and naive victims of a powerful man”
    Is it only powerless and naive women who are abused?

    Salmond’s QC let the world know what kind of person he was in court. And added to this on the train. He should be nowhere near the independence movement.

    • I have no issue at all with anonymity for complainants in sexual abuse cases. Not sure why you think I do. I believe that those accused of sexual abuse should also be anonymous right up until they’re convicted.

      The kind of man Alex Salmond is is one who is entirely innocent of sexual abuse. And since it’s reported today that’s he in the mood to sue those who suggest otherwise, you’d be wise to be very careful about your insinuations.

      • I think you do because you stress it more than once in your article? You also make the 2nd point I highlight as tho sexual abuse depends on a woman’s standing?
        Yes he was acquitted, not proven of attempted rape.
        His lawyer described his behaviour as inappropriate and expanded on this on the train video. He should be nowehere near a modern inclusive political party or movement. Just like Sheridan. Ego problems.
        I thought you were excellent, magnificent in the indi campaign and beyond. On this, sorry to say, and with reference to women and sexual abusr, you have gone down in my estimation – I am sure that is irrelevant to you .

        • I think I know my own mind and my own opinions considerably better than you do.

          I make the second point because it is widely believed – rightly or wrongly – that these allegations only came about in the first place as part of a political vendetta.

        • Ed Lowe, you would have more credibility if you got your facts correct.

          “Not proven of attempted rape”. Just a plain wrong statement. Away and do something useful and check the verdicts.

          Ed Lowe – are you a saint or something?

          • Not a Saint at all. But never stood for public office not been found “not proven on one charge of sexual assault with intent to rape”
            Am no going to reply to you cause you have no name and neither of us would gain anything. He was acquitted of all charges. I do not think him fit to be in public office. You do. End off.

          • You think only saints should be in public office. Sorry to disappoint you not many of them about Ed. Certainly not the alphabet sisters who were not believed in court. Certainly not the conspirators behind them

            Ed you are commonly known as a Holy Willie.

          • I agree.

            The Britnats will think a majority not guilty verdict could mean 7 not guilty and 6 guilty but it could also be 12 not guilty and 1 not proven. Just as the not proven verdict could mean 7 not proven and 6 not guilty.

    • “Salmond could be a better man” that’s what was said in court. Anyone who thinks they could not be a better person is suffering from what ails Donald Trump. Can you not be a better man Ed Lowe?

      The only two humans that are supposed to have been perfect are Jesus Christ and Mohammed, well maybe some other religions as well Bhudda, anyway you get my point.

      The argument is not about whether Salmond should be near the independence movement the argument is about deliberate saboteurs in the SNP/Scotgov.

      • “Inappropriate” towards women according to James Doleman report and admitted to sex with one. And then there is the recording of his own QC.

        • Now Ed getting your facts wrong once can be taken to be a mistake. Getting it wrong again leads me to think you are at it. Salmond never “admitted to sex with one.” You are just like the alphabet sisters another smearer. I certainly think you can be a better man.

  17. A Gerald Ratner moment I believe , he often regrets his moment in the spotlight , I dont really believe this ,well let’s call it a momentary Lapse of reason was intended , the reaction to it was , well unpredicted and unforeseen , oh for a reset switch when you need one eh ,

    My only Gripe with the National is the daily unionist comments to every single story they present , same folk every single day , it’s like a magnet to unionist nutters , and i often wonder if it’s intended to increase traffic to their site , probably a good business decision , but bloody annoying to independence supporters ,the other comments like a MI5 front well I suppose it’s possible who knows just now in these turbulent times,

    The only winners in this saga are the unionists , watching independence supporters at one another’s throats is party time to them , toss in a grenade then sit back and enjoy works every time

    For the Benefit of those who dont know Gerald Ratner in the space of 2 minutes single handedly destroyed one of the most successful Jewelry businesses in Britain, with his fatfull comment ” basically a lot of what we sell is CRAP ” he still regrets that Lapse of reason , or a brain fart if you like . I bet the editor of the National feels the same right now cut him some slack we all make mistakes .
    How we rectify them is another matter any suggestions for the editor ? .

    • “Any suggestions for the editor.”

      Yes he can publish Craig Murrays J’Accuse article in full to show some balance as an editor.

    • “The only winners in this saga are the unionists , watching independence supporters at one another’s throats is party time to them , toss in a grenade then sit back and enjoy works every time”

      This. Definitely this.

      There are too many people prepared to view even the most carefully-worded criticism as an unforgivable attack that must be countered with the most insulting response possible.
      It feels like a very long time has passed since the high hopes of mid 2014, and with the current crisis, it’ll be even longer before things start moving again. That kind of waiting is bound to fray the nerves. Stop and let the red mist clear a bit before responding to someone you think has rubbed you the wrong way.

      Be calm, be kind, and don’t feed the trolls! 🙂

  18. Gordon Jackson QC, known as Jackass, has done irreparable damage to Alex Salmond’s reputation, didn’t seem to think highly of AS at all, in fact far from it, and has undermined the case to some extent by outlining how he tried to discredit one the alphabet complainants.

    Another strange coincidence? A ordinary train commuter who was sitting nearby (and could see GJ’s face through the gap in seats) somehow realised who he was and recorded what he was saying. Then they released the video in conjunction with the Rape Crisis Centre’s “statement.”

    https://inews.co.uk/news/scotland/alex-salmonds-qc-to-be-investigated-after-naming-accusers-on-train-2521770

    • “Undermined the case to some extent by outlining how he tried to discredit one the alphabet complainants”

      Nope he is a lawyer that is his job to discredit them.

    • We all know that lawyers will do their utmost to undermine the credibility of witnesses, however Gordon Jackson QC stating that, “All I need to do is put a smell on her” smacks of something else. Something along the lines of what we’re told the alphabet cabal tried to do to Alex Salmond and have condemned them for.

      • They are not lawyers in a court of law. The alphabet sisters are supposed to tell the truth they are under oath in a court of law. Surprised I have to point this out.

        Jackson was no different from Prentice using his tactic in court of continually repeating the same question to imply the witness is lying.

        Also you are assuming Jackson did say that. Where is the person who recorded it standing up and confirming its reliability as an honest recording. Just another anonymous person. A lot of alphabet sisters trying to hide along with an anonymous recorder of a home movie.

        “Of what we’re told the alphabet cabal tried to do to Salmond……” sounds like you don’t believe it. Also they didn’t try to smear Salmond they actually did along with their helpers in the Britnat media. People in the SNP colluding with the Britnat media. Unforgivable.

  19. Yes Paul, I agree with everything you have said above. My disillusionment with the National began some time ago when misleading headlines began to appear more and more often. It was augmented during the Derek McKay scandal when a Yoon troll accused me of encouraging grooming, and despite contacting the National, I got absolutely nowhere trying to take the troll to task. I know about data protection and freedom of speech, but as a professional who dealt with young people on a daily basis, I was understandably infuriated by the comment.
    It was cemented by the articles on the former FM yesterday. Alex Salmond has been tried and acquitted of the charges laid against him. This is now a vendetta, and the National should have had the good sense not to get involved. It is disgraceful.
    I have supported the National from day one, and have been tempted in the past to give up on it. The only reason I didn’t was I could imagine the Yoons glee if the paper folded. This time I fear they have gone too far and I will not be renewing my yearly subscription.

  20. I had someone telling me that last week Holyrood passed the LCM for the UK Coronavirus Bill, so therefore effectively we should be following UK Gov advice. Not so at all, and some of the anti-Devolutionists will quote something hoping nobody will check it out. Don’t they know me by now?

    1). It’s called the Coronavirus Act 2020. Which implicitly means it includes devolved powers and therefore different sections for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Guess what? It does!

    2). Check out the Schedules e.g. “SCHEDULE 22 – Powers to issue directions relating to events, gatherings and premises” and you find this:

    “PART 2 – Powers relating to events, gatherings and premises in England”
    “PART 3 – Powers relating to events, gatherings and premises in Scotland”
    Same for Wales and NI.

    And in that part 3 you find:

    “If at any time the Scottish Ministers are of the view that …”

    and mony more like it. Same for other Scheules, I just found that one in 42 seconds as the answer to, well, everything basically.

    DON’T LET ANTI-DEVOLUTIONISTS LIKE THE HERALD GET AWAY WITH IT.

    It’s the thin edge of the wedge. Our Government is the Scottish Government. Scotland is devolved. And UK Advice if followed instead of the ScotGov could actually get people fined. See Construction sites for an example, but also a more tricky one – wheheter to go to work or not if it can’t be done from home.

    Sorry WGD, I really feel strongly about this, even though it’s nothing (directly) to do with Independence. As far as you being blamed for what The National does quite right too – it’s not your fault. But don’t be too hard on them, their sister paper covers it and if they don’t, they’ll be accused of being a nat rag. To be a genuine newspaper they really have to cover at least some news like this that people don’t like. It’s a disgrace! And they still didn’t do FOODBANKS

  21. I’m afraid obviously in the excitement of getting a scoop it overruled common sense as to the point of the newspapers existence. Also it has become a bit too close to a certain wing of the independence movement and SNP. We are not all RISE supporters or GRA supporters. In fact publishing letter would have the full support of this wing of support, they don’t want Salmond anywhere near the SNP or independence.

  22. “To be a genuine newspaper they really have to cover some news that people don’t like.” Fair enough,

    but they should publish a counter balance that some other people won’t like eg Craig Murrays J’Accuse article. I doubt they will but, as ever, always willing to be proved wrong. Go on the National show you are taking a fair and even handed approach that all good journalists should do.

  23. I agree with your conclusion Paul, and like you I was angry, but will continue purchasing the paper as it is the only one that supports independence. I don’t visit social media much and do not use wings now because of all the coward’s that hide behind a pen. I come from a generation when you said what you thought to someones face. Regarding what is going on just now I believe the WM gov. have been planning since 2014 to divide the yes movement, and as the movement probably has about 70/75% of SNP voters they have started dividing the Party using lies about the situation between NS and AS and I don’t know how many spies and plants have infiltrated the movement..

  24. I don’t expect to agree with everything I read in The National or any other newspaper I read regularly, in fact I’d be a bit worried if I did. I disagree strongly with the decision to publish an anonymous letter following the jury’s verdict, but I’d equally strongly defend their right to do so.

  25. I have to say that I thought the National article was relatively neutral.
    The headline was a lot less lurid than what the others would have had, and hopefully there will be at least some comments which point out that Alex Salmond was acquitted and that these women had no real case which would not be the case if it had come out in one of the UKMSM tabloids.
    As I am at an age where I should no longer go out to get my copy daily, and I cannot leave it anywhere for other folk to read, I today began subscription on-line.

  26. Like you Brenda I read the article online and had no particular issue with it. It was news, so they reported it or should they only report “good news” specifically for Independence supporters?

    You know a bit like the Daily Mail does for their readers without exception by telling them only what they want to hear.

    Apparently, they did that at one time in Russia, Pravda I think was the name. In the UK it’s the BBC, we really don’t want to start behaving like the Mail or the BBC, let’s hear it warts and all.

  27. Isn’t it time to finally separate this whole Salmond thing from the issue of independence?
    I don’t know Salmond personally. People who know him seem to generally like him. I accept the verdict. I believe it’s fair and just.I would have accepted the verdict had it been the other way round. Neither of the outcomes would have changed that I’m going to vote yes.
    I haven’t read this statement from anonymous women, but I’m going to read it now out of pure curiosity. And I’m sure it won’t change how I feel or how I’m going to vote.
    Maybe National’s just normalising independence.
    People have to start living with the idea that some people might not like some other people in the independence movement, but still be very much pro-indy.
    I’m going to vote SNP as long as Scotland’s part of the UK because I see it as a vehicle to achieve independence. Once that is done I might vote for someone else.

    • The whole problem is that the accusers are people involved within the SNP and are not pro-indy. One of them described themselves as “Indi lite” in court! These same people would have had an innocent man jailed.

      It wont stop me voting for who I think best to deliver Independence, but these people should be removed from their positions asap. Read Craig Murray’s blog and I’m sure you will agree.

  28. does anyone know the name of the ‘senior political journalist ‘from Glasgow who was the subject of the ‘joke’ because they were drunk, took part in a sex act, and passed out on the floor of Bute House with their manhood exposed?
    Come on Scoop Hutcheon; like the unnamed drunk sex mad hack, reveal all.
    Surely this is the mother of all ‘human interest stories’?

    Some hack somewhere is sweating blood as I write.
    Perhaps Salmond’s legal team will metion the scribbler when they seek redress in court.

    • Perhaps Salmond will reveal all in his forthcoming book. Maybe it was Hutcheon?
      Maybe it was Clegg with his old pal Liz.

      • You may say that, Cubby, but to quote Francis Urquhart ‘I couldn’t possibly comment’.
        The Herald was mentioned I believe.
        Surely there’s a lady reveller somewhere who knows more?

  29. Too many of the I won’t read The National already read the Sun, Mail, Express, Record (good football coverage apparently).

    If they only told the truth. Some also say they won’t vote for the SNP until the First Minister goes. Really? It means they prefer the austerity tories and Lib Dem cohabiters. With labour Iraq war is a curse around their neck.
    Look around. Who is performing the best in protecting the NHS and its people in Scotland from the horrible pandemic?

    If you do not vote for the SNP or the Greens you are supporting the Unionists. Be honest, just admit it.

  30. Paul,
    I take a different view; publicising the rant from the alphabet women has done themselves no favours whatsoever. What might have gained traction through hints and whispers is blown open and blown away.

    If we hadn’t seen that letter, but had only read about it, with selective quotations elsewhere in the media, we might have extended a whisper of sympathy. As Petra above says, “we are not stupid” (opinions vary) and, while it may not have been a wise move to publicise without commentary, there has been plenty of subsequent commentary calling into question their integrity, and the integrity of others. The role of Rape Crisis Scotland has been called into question. The role of officials within the SNP is called into question. We wait in anticipation for the cold dish to be served.

    Craig Murray has blogged more and is worth a read.
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/03/jaccuse-2/

  31. Not being on the “inside” like some, I’m left wondering what’s really going on here.

    I could understand, in the wake of the MeToo movement, if a bunch of women felt mistreated by AS to some extent or another and wanted to make a point in public pour encourager les autres. And how they might well feel frustrated that a jury, in full possession of the facts, didn’t in the event agree with them. Frustration and excessive righteousness though can all too easily descend into a “lynch mob” mentality that is ultimately dangerous to the proper administration of justice.

    But is there more to it than that? The most troubling aspect of this whole unseemly business is that there does seem to be. Hints that there are people who have an ulterior motive in removing Alex Salmond from politics altogether, at any cost, which if true, is reprehensible. All the more so if they are members – at any level – of the SNP, attempting to enforce some narrow policy agenda of their own in flagrant disregard for the damage that they are wreaking on the cause of independence.

  32. I was about to cancel my subscription to the National but have now put it on hold. So well done Paul.

    The National really has to distance itself from the Herald, which has gone from a well liked, fair, popular and influential paper, to a gutter-press, fake-news spreading rag, full of miss-information and british propaganda.

    Subscription on hold for now, but don’t take your supporters for granted like the SNP seem to be doing at the moment.

  33. I will keep going with subscription. In no small part due to your efforts Paul. The National owe you big time Paul. Any further outrageous acts like Sunday’s disgrace and I will be off. Thanks.

  34. I dont accept in the modern business life we live in that the Herald dont use Skype as a shared meeting system for their team of contributors.
    They will be and would have used it especially in current crisis as many companies are doing.
    I can accept a 1/8 page headline might get overlooked but a front page headline like this is inexcusable and to defend them is unjustified and just as bad.

    I’m sorry but as much as I admire what you stand for and write, the National have duped their readership and extreme damage has been done.

  35. while i agree with most of what you say, im getting fed up, as obviously many people are, with the constant cockups from the national. Do as they claim or reap the consequences, ive been on the National reader panel and fuck all has changed, especially on distribution, and im not convinced anything will. There are committed people who will fill its place.

  36. Cubby – cant disagree with you saying earlier that the National should be obliged to run in full Craig Murray’s latest blog even just for a sense of balance, Lets see eh .

    up the page is a link to Craigs thoughts on the alphabet sisters methods and motives .

    I ask again any comment Nicola ? this is from a current member WTF is going on ? . and why is Evans still in the building , does she have a gun ? or does she know where the bodies are buried

    I will say again the only winners in this mess are unionists DON’T HELP THEM that dosnt mean we cant question the SNP leadership .Because this would not be being discussed if they had being paying attention to what the State were up to ,Wakey f/n Wakey please .

    • Do you seriously think that Nicola Sturgeon is going to make a statement about this fiasco at this time, Robert? Eh, stand on the podium and make an announcement in between reporting on coronavirus deaths? How the BritNat MSM would love that, don’t you think? We also have no idea of what’s going on behind the scenes. Who’s being questioned, how many people are involved and how far this goes. To my mind the only person who seems to have his head screwed on the right way in relation to divulging all is Alex Salmond. The man who surely knows much more than key bloggers and he’s had the decency of the Statesman that he is to keep his claptrap shut, much as he’ll be seething, and let Nicola Sturgeon get on with the crucial job of saving lives right now. Bide your time and you’ll surely see the cabal get its comeuppance.

  37. I have in the past asked SNP members to enquire as to why and who removed A. Salmond from the history section of the SNP official website and since the trial verdict to have him reinstated.

    I thought I would have a look to see if there was any change. Not looked for a while. The whole website has changed and there does not seem to be a history section at all now. I suppose that is one way of still not mentioning Salmond without making it obvious.

    Scottish independence should not be all about Salmond or Sturgeon.

    The SNP should not be all about Salmond or Sturgeon.

    • Yah beat me to it Cubby i was just going for a wee look , looks like shredding the evidence , at least we know someone is working , i wonder what for ? ,or maybe more appropriate for who ? .
      The shit is going to fly big time the only cover available is this virus i bet a lot of folk hope it lasts a long time , north and south of the border it stops a lot of awkward questions being asked .

      • Sorry Robert didn’t mean to steal your thunder.😀😀😀😀😀

        At least I know that there is one SNP member who knows what is going on in their party – well in addition to Craig Murray. I may not be a member but I have voted for the party all my life as the party of Scottish independence. I will never vote for a Britnat party.

  38. Another measured response Paul. If the National had not printed the letter there would not have been the ideal opportunity for you to publish the reasonable person’s response to it.

    For my part, I think it would be advantageous if people took just a few steps back and adopted a more objective approach to all that is going on. We know that we will never get fairness from the media and we only harm ourselves, unnecessarily, if we keep getting aerated by that fact. On balance, I think it is best that we box clever and take whatever advantage is on offer without allowing ourselves to be seduced into believing that it was necessarily given genuinely.

    It is apparent to me that some people think our project is a game, to be won or lost in a moment of time. But I don’t share that view. I see it as a process that demands consummate patience and stamina.

    Even so, I see a valuable place in the mix for those who are apparently fearful of or are disdainful of what they perceive to be lost opportunity. In my opinion they often confuse movement with action. Even so, it does no harm in my view that it is perceived by our opponents that there are hotheads in our movement. On the contrary, I think it adds vibrancy.

    What is key is that we embrace our differences, don’t get unnecessarily worried and keep an unwavering focus on our single common goal. That is what our opponents fear – a movement that refuses to conform to their twisted attempts to define it and keeps its eye on the goal. We will do that.

  39. Its interesting that they chose to go with the National as opposed to the Herald, for example. I mean, they must have had an idea what the reaction was going to be.

  40. I disagree with all those who have posted here (at least all those I have read). Even with the WGD himself (yes, it’s come to that).

    The National is a newspaper, and that statement by the anonymous women was big news.

    I don’t want protected from important news, and I don’t want it filtered through some third party, whether a reporter or blogger. I want to read a statement such as this for myself, and make up my own mind.

    Richard Walker (Sunday National Editor) did not endorse the statement; he just printed it, to keep us informed.

    That’s what newspapers do, and should.

    I’m as angry as everyone else with the women’s statement; perhaps just as angry as the brilliant Craig Murray (J’Accuse: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk).

    But warring with our only pro-independence newspaper is clearly counter-productive when it is just doing its (honourable) job.

    Want to kill off The National by cancelling your subscription? Really?

  41. I think
    William Purves at 6:32pm
    has definitly hit a seam that needs to be explored a lot more thourghly. We are not permitted to know anything about AS accusers and rightly so. There seems to be an acceptance that a section of the SNP is involved some how. What is known is that senior Civil Servants were definatly involved in both cases before and posibly after the fact.
    Lets all try to understand, anyone currently described as a “senior civil servant” will probably have a planned career in the civil service which extends from before the birth of Holyrood to their ultimate retirement date at what ever age that maybe. That retirement will be on a handsome index linked pension possibly with a golden handshake on departure. Irrespective of their manner of departure, provided they have achieved the minimum length of service. A far better situation than most of Jock Tamson’s Bairns. A situation which allows some Civil Servants to take early retirement up to 20 years before JTBs.
    Look at the graph below you can see almost 2/3s of Civil Service in Scotland work for Whitehall,

    /sites/default/files/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/1-Headcount-bar.png/sites/default/files/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/1-Headcount-bar.png

    More civil servants are based in London than in any other UK region – some 79,000 staff, or 18% of the total: an increase from 16% in 2010. The East Midlands hosts the fewest (just over 20,000, or fewer than one in twenty civil servants), even though – in general population terms – it is larger than the North East of England, Northern Ireland and Wales. In both Scotland and Wales, there are more civil servants working for UK government departments than there are for the devolved administrations.

    With that sort of proportionality given a choice of 6 how do you choose 1 or 2 assistants who have your own or Scotlands interests at heart, they may work dilligently for you, but report to Whitehall. Before you are presented with the choice of those 6 they will have been vetted by a senior civil servant who definatly reports to Whitehall.
    The Civil Service is always portraided as completely independent and scruppulishly nutral of any political partisanship. This is a highly laudable desire, but has prooved many times in the past to be simply a desire, which is not atainable.
    Given the premis in the second paragraph. there is no sanction which would give them any cause for concern. Or slow their machiavellinan scheems. Even being convicted of a criminality still sees them far more cumfortably provided for than JTBs.
    So what can you do, you have no way of knowing the caniving or scull dugery until it lands at your door. How to tell the good apples from the bad in a barrel with so highly infuentil bad. No point in trying to remove the one or two. You have no idea if, or how badly the others are tainted.
    The way out is feed the barrel load to the hogs, clean it out, go back to the tree and start again.
    IMHO There is absolutly no reason for 2/3 of the Civil Service in scotland to be working for westminster.
    It is possible that we are living through Scotlands ****gate conspirisy. Or maybe I’ve taking that to far??

  42. So forgive me if I seem somewhat out of order here but..
    The globe is facing into a centennial plague
    And one of the most prominent Scottish social media outlets is arguing about
    …..? might not in better use of bandwidth b to suggest ways to social assistance to adhere to the norm in the rest of the world and all sorts of good things like that rather than worrying about what is ultimately not an existential issue?

      • Watching mutch of the UK, and yes Scotland you’re still part of that, seems like watching into… To be honest I don’t know what it is. There seems to be a complete lack of seriousness throughout the country the policy the state about what this is. Your police are arresting people for buying Easter eggs and your government appears to be a suicide cult. I do feel sorry for you all

    • Aye Brian here’s a thought start yer own blog and you can save the world. Until then I think you will find its mostly political arguments and discussions here on Paul’s blog, it’s not yours not mine or any of the contributors it’s Paul’s it says it at the top of the page .
      I wouldn’t normally comment on a post like this it’s not my place , I like many others I am a visitor and try to stick to the rules of the house . And Not attempt to change them .

  43. The alphabet sisters letter was news.
    The National is a newspaper.
    Who ever said that a newspaper shouldn’t publish news items….it’s their job

    The news story was just that…news it wasn’t an editorial or an opinion piece.

    I prefer my news to be accurate and relevant. The fact that the alphabet sisters letter was unconscionable was not a good reason not to publish it. It may have been upsetting to read but the fact is it was news and the National had a duty to publish it for only one good reason…it’s news.

    You may not like every factual piece (the fact that someone wrote an open letter) you read in a credible newspaper but hey that’s life in the real world.

    I won’t be canceling my subscription to The National simply because they in my opinion they did nothing wrong in publishing the news. I didn’t like the piece in the same way I don’t like it when they publish the football results when Rangers get beaten at home to Hamilton but hey that’s the news nothing I can do about it.

    • I have to agree totally. You don’t get to pick the news you want to read, it is the news. Too many newspapers are biased towards one side or the other of any divide. Know what? I’d prefer news untainted by any bias at all.

      Just the news if you don’t mind, thanks very much.

    • It was news and they are correct to print it. Craig Murrays J ‘Accuse is also news and they should print that as well. If they don’t then they are being selective/biased.

  44. Those who help The National to disappear helps the britnats. So are you a britnat?

    I support Independence others seemed to support other peoples failed bids to be MSP’s resulting in bruised egos.

  45. I’m not sure if people realise that the women did NOT write a letter to The National, it was an open letter published on Rape Crisis Scotland website.

    It was published the same morning on The Herald with the first comment at 6.52 a.m., which means the Herald published it very likely BEFORE The National published theirs, which is likely for various reasons I won’t go into.

    There were also 2 versions in The National and I’ve a feeling the one that was high on the main page was the one without any attribution “READ: The full statement of the Alex Salmond trial women”. The more normal version is now attributed “By Press Association 2020”, with the title “Complainers in Alex Salmond court case ‘devastated’ after former FM acquitted”, which wouldn’t attract a clivk as fast as the other one in any case, the way headlines work..

    Just to make that point again, it was NOT a letter to The National.

    • Like you, I was beginning to wonder if people were aware of the fact that it was an open letter from the Rape Crisis Scotland’s website that was published in the National, Yesindyref2. In fact taking a look at some posts on a number of websites I’m beginning to wonder if some who say they’re dumping the National actually buy it or have even read the article.

  46. Why would we care if another unionist paper goes defunked? One more gone is surely cause for celebration, this is not the Nationals first step into the realms of 5th columnist, I stopped buying it over a year ago for the same reason I stopped buying the Scotsman.

    • It’s just news not the editors opinion. How can anyone be disappointed in a newspaper publishing the news??

      To me the National as a newspaper has an obligation to publish news. I may not like the news and I certainly don’t think the letter or the writer’s opinion should have been written and posted on a website in the public domain in the first place. However the fact that it was written and posted online is in itself news. I didn’t see any editorial contribution from the National agreeing or disagreeing with the content so how can the paper be in any way complicit. They are just reporting the news.

      If the National suffers and falls on account of publishing bad news particularly in this precarious time for newspapers then it will be a travesty and all of those who cancel their subscriptions will undoubtedly be culpable in some way.

      We simply can’t lose the National so take off your blinkers and view reality…..newspapers print news.

  47. Sandy Thomson – anyone who bought the Scotsman at any stage in the past 10 years is a 5th columnist in my view. Easy to besmirch, isn’t it.

    See how easy folks it is to undermine poor sandy.

    Weirdly Sandy was there any specific news items that you liked? My problem with many like you is I am not sure you ever bought The National or Sunday National never mind read it. Could be wrong of course but the ultra wings brigade types ( many are Unionists pretending to follow AS — see I done it again) seemed to get het over one thing at a time. Can they only get angry over 1 thing at a time I wonder or is it orchestrated? Say the same thing over time and time again. Hypocrisy when you see their complaints of the AS trial. Just in case you are wondering the Civil servants involved should be sacked.

    Who needs facts when innuendo is fine. It was the FM that done it ! Yet when you look at some of the hard core sack the FM— gettit?, nudge nudge, they all have torn up their SNP membership at least 5 times, stopped buying The National for disagreeing with an article in the paper like wee 5 year olds taking the strunts.

    The inability to recognise that they are supporting a strategy of removing the only daily newspaper supporting independence and removing a First Minister who has ( despite the undermining during the general election by the same folk) sits on the cusp of major majority at next years election. Independence supporters mon derrière.

    Personally I think you guys are all ex-Trotskyist, ( Darling comes to mind), disgruntled Sheridan wannabee’s or frustrated Lib Dem’s who cannot believe that David Steel and Jeremy Thorpe weren’t good guys. For the tories you are playing a good game but still you are losing.

    Evidence? Who needs evidence when innuendo is all around.

  48. Who care’s. Support for the SNP/Independence rising, The nae sayers proved wrong every time. An all out SNP Holyrood win predicted.

    Support for SNP/Independence rising with Nicola Sturgeon as leader. Another IndyRef within a few years. The majority support.

    The best time to have an IndyRef is when it can be won. Demographics changing.

    If there had been an IndyRef planned for October. It would have had to been cancelled/postponed.

  49. On BBC Scotland Douglas Ross who works for the Governor of Scotland attacks the First Minister – couldn’t help himself. He wants construction workers to return to work.

    No, not to build hospitals but generally.

    He seemed fond of referring to Public Health England as proof that it is safe from COVID.

    England has a worst record in dealing with the issue than here.

    The country he states, (that’s England Wales N Ireland Scotland) should do what England does. Ross is so wrong. Does he not realise that many construction workers get lifts by their colleagues – even having a van with 4-6 guys bunched up to get to work. Social distancing? Too late Ross, they share the same vans on the way home.

    Still construction companies are good in supporting the tories when the time is right.

  50. The explanation that the Sunday editor had a bad day doesn’t cut it for me. The person must be a trained journalist who got the job over others because they have more understanding/training/experience. Now I ask you is it more or less likely the knew what they were doing?

  51. Thepnr @ 2:27am
    I have to agree totally. You don’t get to pick the news you want to read, it is the news.

    Oh! yes you do.
    You can’t un-hear, or un-think something.

    But you can definately not read what’s below any particular headline.

    Example:-
    taking them at their word many people including myself who read the National do not always read Michael Fry’s column. Simply because his adherance to and defence of the current economic/financial system grates on my nerve ends.
    I do sometimes go back and read it to understand what the comments section is baised on.

    Given the opportunity would I remove it from the paper, NO.

    Because he presents as a resonably inteligent person who’s opinions and views I may detest, but I require to be exposed to in order to confirm and or re-evaluate my own.

    So yes most definitly you do get to choose the articles you read.

    • Pogmothon, Frys articles are not news – they are his opinions. Similar opinions can be found in the Mail, Express, Telegraph, Times etc etc.

      Frys views are watered down versions of the true Tory reality so you are not truly testing your opinions against true Tory philosophy.

      To be clear I do not have a problem with a newspaper reporting news. It is when a newspaper is selective about the news it reports and pushes opinions as news.

      Craig Murrays article J’Accuse is news – will the National publish it.

  52. Fair enough. I’m going to give them another chance. I really do value voices like yours and Callum Baird’s. I regularly listen to the podcasts (p.s. please make them easier to find).

    The piece on the Sunday edition was so self-destructive, I’d wondered if someone had given a certain former editor of the Sunday Herald a turn at the helm.

    • Richard Walker was the guy who made the Sunday Herald support independence during the referendum. He founded The National after the referendum. He is 100% committed to independence.

      The podcast is cancelled for the time being sadly. The recording facilities are in The National’s office, which is closed and most staff are working from home. I’m going to try and look into another way of doing it myself.

  53. ” indy blogger – least of all those who are leading the charge against the current incumbent in Bute House”.
    Indeed so, Wings has gone from forming a party that would support and also push the SNP Scottish Government, to full on opposition to it. Many of those who comment on his post have a desperate dislike, getting on to hatred, of the SNP SG.
    So effectively joining the ToryLabLibs in opposition, but possibly expecting pro-Yessers to canvas for his stance.
    Labour did that in a way during the IndyRef, it worked with the Tory opposition then expected the Yes movement to vote Labour into Westminster.

  54. Now that some people have finally got “J’accuse” off of their chests is there any chance, ANY chance, that we can all move on now and let Nicola Sturgeon get on with saving lives, as per Alex Salmond’s request?

    I don’t know about you, but I’m extremely concerned about, as examples, a number of elderly people, a sister-in-law who has cancer and a niece who is extremely ill following recovering from cancer (chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery). I’ve got no idea how many of them will make it through this … or not. However what I do know is that up until now, touch wood, Scotland has lost one third of the numbers that are dying in England no doubt accounted for by our superior NHS and decisions made by Nicola Sturgeon versus Bojo the Clown. The last thing that we need now are the constant attacks on the FM of Scotland. To hear the “get her out” screeches ringing in our ears. More so to witness the total destabilisation of the Scottish Government if the numbers involved in the “cabal” are to be believed and cleared out right now. That of course is what Westminster, the BritNat establishment, the Holyrood Unionist chancers, SIU, the MSM et al are waiting for with bated breath. Don’t fall into the trap, folks. Bear in mind too that millions of Scottish people who live outside of the pro-independence online bubble would be horrified if they knew that a number of key individuals are doing their utmost to undermine Nicola Sturgeon’s credibility, especially at this time.

    We’ve all got a good idea who the key players are now and know that they’ve been in “situ” for some time. Let’s just get through this crisis by supporting Nicola Sturgeon in doing an excellent job. The big “clearout” for reasons already mentioned can surely wait.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-52012145

    As to the National publishing “J’ accuse”! They would have to be crazy if they did so, as I could see them being hit with a number of lawsuits taking into account that the blog contains unsubstantiated allegations against Police Scotland and so on.

  55. Gary Smith, billed as head of BBC Scotland, explains in the columns of the ever compliant Uncle Tam Scotsman why even the 90 seconds of admittedly SNP BAD Scotland Shite News Where You Are insert into the 3 and one quarter hours of BBC England’s TV Breakfast propaganda has been cancelled because of the corona pandemic.
    A load of pusillanimous toss of course.
    Nicola Sturgeon and the Scots Medical Team are getting too much positive coverage. That’s the reason, Mr Smith.

    This morning I tuned in to the ‘national’ 3 hours of Jackanory News for thick adults.

    From the Salford Sofa they report that The Daily Death Toll is now magically a ‘UK’ figure, masking the fact that Scotland is responding much more dynamically to the crisis than Dear Old England.

    Why doesn’t BBC Scotland show 3 and one quarter hours of cartoons for our children instead?

    There is absolutely nothing in relation to Scotland, and Wales and N Ireland for that matter, in this ‘England is the UK’ rambling nonsense.

    I see the linesman Douglas Ross has become a medical expert on the virus

    He argues that ‘firms’ complain to him that in Merrie Olde England they are permitted to spread the disease by allowing their slave labour to work on office buildings and new Little Boxes housing developments, because it is all about making money for the Rich, and fuck the health of the proles out there contaminating society.

    Up here, they are banned from doing what they like by that nasty Nicola Sturgeon.
    But Ross is a greater expert than our Chief Medical Officer?
    What a fecking brain dead idiot this wee man is.

    I take it that the building firms are Blue Tory big donors, and that there will be juicy jobs further down the line for any Blue Red or Yellow Tory politico who lobbies for business rather than protect the health of their constituents?
    Gary Smith, Douglas Ross; ProudScotsBut.

    There will be a reckoning.

    • In whom do we place our trust?

      Catherine Jane Calderwood FRCOG FRCPE is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland.

      Or SFA Linesman and Blue Tory Placemat, Douglas Ross, whose education and medical background appears to be education; ‘Forres Academy and Agricultural College’, according to his Wiki entry.
      No brainer, if you ask me.

      Where the feck to these lame brains get the absolute gall to spout this garbage in public, and worse still, have a compliant bunch of hacks and broadcasters repeat this gunge in their dying Dead Tree Scrolls?

    • I watched Nicola Sturgeon’s coverage of the coronavirus crisis earlier and she was excellent at imparting facts, with empathy and compassion, as usual followed by Catherine Calderwood and Mike Russel explaining new legislation. Nicola Sturgeon also discussed the concern that she has for individuals who are potentially at greater risk now of suffering domestic abuse. 24×7 helpline still open to them and more money on offer to support them. Look out for Westminster coming out with this one now! She then went on to say that 27 reporters had questions that they wanted answers to and that she wanted to deal with them all. She managed to cover 3 of them and then she was cut off. Par for the course on a daily basis now. Someone mentioned (Channel 4?) that Mark Drakeford had divulged that there had been disagreement between Scottish, Welsh and NIrish representatives versus English involved in the latest Cobra meeting on a number of issues. Douglas Ross’s construction industry comments were brought up. Nicola Sturgeon agreed that there had been disagreements which included London (versus England) but as the FM of Scotland she’d to make decisions based on doing her best for Scotland, such as the difference between Scottish / English stance on the construction industry. She said that her priority is on focussing on saving lives. Her decisions are based on the fact that once dead you can’t bring the dead back to life. Note the difference between her and LBJ and you can see why support for her is rising. And by God I can’t wait for the day when we get rid of erses like Ross.

      • The full update was on BBC Scotland, Petra.( But only because the hacks ran out of SNP Bad questions to ask. It would have been cut short rather than allowed to over run.)
        There were 19 Yoon hacks asking Q’s, beginning with the Hon Sarah Smith, mostly negative q’s to give them grist to their we’re all doomed! mills.
        Three questions on early prisoner release and what about their victims?
        Mike Russell slapped that ‘we’ll al be murdered in our beds’ nonsense down.
        Sturgeon, Calderwood and Russell were excellent, and certainly gave this 72 year old confidence that we are on top of this epidemic Up Here.
        Gina Davidson attempted to restore the reputation of Rape Crisis following the murky goings on during the Salmond Witches Hunt, and was assured by the FM that Police Scotland, the social services staff and extra funding would be allocated to counter any upsurge in domestic violence.
        Without exception, the hacks were looking for bad news stories; they were disappointed.

  56. Now that everyone has got Tony Blairs illegal war in Iraq and lies about Weapons of Mass destruction off their chests can we just forget it and get on with electing our great leader once again. Tony Tony Tony. All bow to Tony.

    Oops temporarily fell into a Britnat Labour time warp.

    Some people never learn from history.

  57. Paul,

    Thanks for that.

    It is actually annoying that I cannot put a razor blade between your opinions and my own. I am as far from an acolyte as you could imagine. And yet…

    Still, and apologies to some others, this is probably the best and most committed, and open eyed, independence site that there is.

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