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  By G.A.Ponsonby
 
Do you know that when they opened the coffin of Nostradamus, there upon his chest was a brass plate on which was engraved – ‘Even I wouldn’t believe Project Fear’.
 
OK, it’s a poor joke, but some of the claims from the No campaign we’ve had to put up with this last year have been just as poor.  A few have been forgotten, such as the claim that North Korea could nuke an independent Scotland.

But one thing needs be said, and that is that without the promotion of these scares by the media there would be no Project Fear to laugh at.

The media in Scotland has let the public down badly with its handling of the independence debate.  An over reliance on smears, scares and blackmail emanating from the pro-Union side has meant people have been denied what could have been an illuminating debate on the future of Scotland.

But let’s not look back, let’s look forward to what we might expect as we enter the final nine months to referendum day.  Will our print and broadcast media grasp the nettle and remember what honest journalism is all about or will it be more of the same from the professionals?

BBC Scotland

In two weeks from now the BBC Trust will publish its ruling in which it found BBC Scotland guilty of breaking guidelines on accuracy on the issue of an independent Scotland’s EU status.  The ruling follows a shocking year for the BBC’s Scottish branch which has seen it lose some of its most experienced reporters.

Derek Bateman opted for voluntary redundancy and Raymond Buchanan resigned, whilst others suffered compulsory redundancy.  It’s most adept political interviewer, Isabel Fraser, remains conspicuously absent from her TV role well over a year after Labour MP Ian Davidson launched a verbal attack on her reputation.

A series of strikes was averted at the eleventh hour after the corporation withdrew the threat of forced redundancy from another member of the BBC Scotland staff.

The much vaunted arrival of London based radio presenter James Naughtie to front Good Morning Scotland has been a disaster with Naughtie blundering his way through handovers and links and unable to disguise his clear pro-Union feelings in interviews.

Its head of News and Current Affairs, John Boothman, has been accused of bowing to pressure from Scottish Labour party officials and of trying to influence the content of political programmes. 

Another former reporter, Waseem Zakir, who had accused BBC Scotland of racial discrimination after he was made redundant despite having over twelve years’ experience, received a settlement days before his case was due to go to an industrial tribunal.

BBC Scotland enters 2014 with its credibility shot to pieces and giving every indication of an organisation in crisis.  Sadly this second rate regional institution is exactly what its pro-Union London bosses want so it will be business as usual in referendum year.

BBC Scotland relies heavily on domestic stories in order to fill up political news output.  Don’t be surprised to find the spotlight focus on Holyrood even more this year as the Scottish Government finds itself coming under greater scrutiny.

Watch for suggestions that the Scottish NHS is in crisis.  A very real crisis is hitting the NHS south of the border, and with the referendum looming it will help the No campaign if the Scottish public can be persuaded that their own NHS is just as bad.

Expect attacks on the SNP by Scottish Labour to increase and for BBC Scotland to run with them.  Johann Lamont’s party are not set up to challenge for government, the job of Scottish Labour is to sabotage governance in Scotland, her Holyrood Labour group is a political guerrilla squad.

The No campaign is now relying to an even greater extent on the esoteric issues of the EU and currency.  BBC Scotland will play its role in keeping these issues simmering, to the exclusion of the real referendum issues of welfare, opportunity and a fairer society.

Look out for BBC Scotland contacting the Foreign Minister of Greece in the New Year in order to seek some kind of comment on Scotland’s EU membership post-independence.  Greece takes over the EU Presidency on January 1st 2014 and will hold its first intergovernmental conference on January 21st.

It was at this conference in Dublin in January 2013 that Raymond Buchanan interviewed Lucinda Creighton.  This is precisely the kind of opportunity BBC Scotland will look to in order to keep the EU membership scare in the spotlight.

Westminster will continue to issue reports highlighting the perils of independence.  BBC Scotland devours such reports, and this will also continue.  Currency will be pushed more and more as we near September 18th.

Expect to see Westminster attacks appear more and more on Reporting Scotland.  The tea-time news programme is the most effective vehicle for getting the message across to the public, and it doesn’t allow questions to be put to those making the claims.

Also expect scrutiny of the Scandic countries to feature a lot more.  BBC Scotland once filled a whole Good Morning Scotland programme on the issue of Ireland when the country experienced its own banking crisis.  This was a result of Alex Salmond’s ill advised ‘arc of prosperity’ description of Ireland, Iceland and Norway.

An easy, and quite moronic, argument against independence is the apparent high taxation experienced by countries like Norway.  So watch out for any Douglas Fraser fronted programme that focuses on the Nordic countries.

In terms of the referendum itself, we’ll see a continuation of late night studio ‘debates’ with the audience made up of zealots from both sides who will insist on clapping and cheering their own respective team’s answers.  These information-free rammies will turn undecided voters off.

The job of BBC Scotland will be to appear to be providing in depth analysis and balanced coverage of the referendum but whilst singularly failing to do so.  Thus, issues that are damaging to the No campaign, such as the donation from Ian Taylor and the letter from the EC official confirming no legal barrier to Scotland negotiating EU membership from within, will be airbrushed out of their coverage.

We won’t see much call for the consequences of a No vote to be defined before the referendum.  That is the albatross around the No campaign neck and the beeb will pay mere lip service to that one.

BBC Scotland’s coverage will be brutal.

The Papers

They don’t have the resources to cover the referendum, and their circulation continues to plummet.  The Herald, Scotsman and Record will continue to push the ridiculous stories that have pockmarked media coverage of the independence debate.

Worst by a significant margin has been the appalling coverage of events in Catalonia and the moronic ‘dealt a blow’ claims with regards Scottish independence that follow statements from some of the key players involved in the Spain/Catalonia situation.  Newsnet Scotland has highlighted a few of the more embarrassing misinterpretations by our professional journalists, and Paul Kavanagh’s blog continues to correct the unremitting ignorance that passes for professional copy.

In truth what the Scottish newspapers, and the BBC for that matter, serve up in relation to the EU issue is not journalism or mature analysis, but manipulation and spin.  If you want to be really undiplomatic, then you simply call it bare faced lying.

The issue of EU membership come independence is of course impossible to set out in absolute terms, because the situation where a member state breaks into its two constituent components will be unique.  However, any realistic and honest analysis will come to one conclusion and that is that there is no mechanism for expelling a nation (Scotland already is a nation) which is already part of the EU.

The newspapers though will continue as they have done because it’s simpler to deliberately misinterpret in order to pursue your own agenda than to honestly analyse.  Of course, placing a simplistic albeit inaccurate anti-independence spin on opaque comments from Artur Mas and not so opaque politically motivated comments from Mariano Rajoy, is easy to do.

Not so easy would be to provide in depth analysis of reports from world renowned academics and economists like Professor Joseph Stiglitz.

The circulation figures suggest that the Scottish public are becoming increasingly weary of this narrow pro-Union agenda and lazy writing.  However these figures will do little to alter the anti-independence stance of the newspapers.

Expect them to up their attacks on online citizen journalism as sites like Newsnet Scotland seep into the public consciousness.  The Daily Record mounted the first real attack of this kind when its editorial described Newsnet Scotland as a “crackpot website” that “regularly engages in paranoid conspiracy theories”.

Their fear though is that more people actually visit these sites and learn that far from being crackpot, the standard of writing is as good as, if not better, than that offered up by the Record and its ilk.

STV

I have been impressed with STV’s approach to the referendum, but its political news coverage seems to ape the BBC more often than I prefer.

I don’t think STV will take a huge gamble by increasing its referendum coverage to any great extent.  It’s a private company and the bottom line is god.

Saying that, Scotland Tonight continues to provide better debates on the subject of independence and its new format, which sees each side allowed to cross examine the other, is one I like in principle.

Notwithstanding the public beating Nicola Sturgeon inflicted on the hapless Alistair Carmichael, I think their cross examination format needs tweaking to lower the heat and increase the light.

This referendum debate needs to be about information.  I like the idea of the host not trying to steer the debate, as happens on the BBC, however more needs to be done to ensure the exchanges do not descend into the kind of nonsense we witnessed when Labour MP Anas Sarwar decided to sabotage the programme by effectively refusing to participate.

Similarly, the Sturgeon versus Carmichael bout was cracking box-office but there was little attempt at real debate.

I would anticipate STV refining these exchanges to a degree.  By all means put questions posed by the protagonists to the other, but those responding must be allowed to speak whilst being pressed to provide an answer.

Whether STV bites the bullet and schedules a few prime time exchanges remains to be seen.  I hope they do.

The Campaigns

Better Together will continue to play the scare card.  If polls are to be believed then it has proven effective to date.  Polls though, despite what David Torrance says, are showing movement from No to Yes.

I predict that this will continue and the No campaign will become increasingly desperate.  This will manifest itself in a drift towards smears.  These have been part of the No campaign already, with attacks on Alex Salmond, but will increase dramatically in 2014 if the polls continue to show an erosion of the No campaign lead.

Do not be surprised to see Better Together issue allegations which turn out to be false.  They have already attempted to employ such tactics when claiming their HQ had been the target of almost daily attacks by SNP activists.  Only the refusal of the media to pursue the claim, which was untrue, saved the No campaign from significant embarrassment.

Alistair Darling is already coming under pressure for running what some leading Unionist politicians think is a lacklustre campaign.  I expect scares to morph into threats if Yes looks like it might be capable of overturning the current deficit.

Whatever the Edinburgh Agreement says, this campaign is all about winning at any costs for Unionists.  Scares will quickly become threats and the gloves will come off in earnest.

The No campaign knows it has the backing of the media in Scotland.  This media will comply and will provide as little scrutiny as possible to whatever claims Better Together makes.

Yes Scotland has been quietly getting on with the job it was designed to do, which was to mobilise grass roots activists.  They have an unsympathetic media who are forensically examining everything they do with a view to a damaging headline.

Even when the victim, yes Scotland finds itself under attack as witnessed by the coverage given to astonishing revelations its email communications had been hacked.

Yes Scotland has made some blunders, not least was the failure to anticipate the pro-Union media reaction to the fee it paid Elliot Bulmer for an article on a written constitution.  It has though learned the lesson from that episode.

The Yes Scotland campaign team could do worse than engage with the more thoughtful online outlets such as Newsnet Scotland and Bella Caledonia.  Too many good stories suffer from a lack of exposure, and another news outlet running an article can’t but help.

Online Media

Dominated by three sites – Newsnet Scotland, Bella Caledonia and Wings Over Scotland.  All three have their own unique approach to the independence debate and all three approaches are vital.

These sites are the only direct challenge to Scotland’s traditional media outlets.  Each should find its visitor numbers increasing as interest in the referendum grows.  Many of these new visitors will be those yet to make their minds up on how to vote in the referendum and they are there to be persuaded.

The Achilles heel of the Yes campaign comes in the shape of those who are unable to exercise restraint when posting messages online.  It will be for those who operate each website, including Newsnet Scotland, to decide whether the messages and articles that appear on their site will endear the undecided voter or alienate them.

The campaign that manages to entice and win over the undecided voter will win the referendum.

Comments  

 
#
Johnston
2013-12-31 14:20

“BBC Scotland enters 2014 with its credibility shot to pieces and giving every indication of an organisation in crisis.”

There’s a flaw in this argument and that is you are assuming the public are aware of this. The only people that are aware are those that are taking an interest in this campaign.
 
 
#
Christian_Wright
2013-12-31 20:08

Correct.

The low-information voters who will decide the outcome of this referendum, know naught of this fracas – they don’t read NNS or WOS or Bella.

YES should know this, and the NO campaign certainly does.

Short sound bites and headlines conveying simple notions will decide the outcome of this plebiscite because they are the most effective tools with which to reach the unengaged.

They way to get the message of BBC corruption across is by using the power of the BBC against itself.

The leaders of the Indy movement need to take up cudgel in the form of these articles and bash Auntie Beeb over the head with it by calling for an official inquiry into the Corporations misuse of public funds (if any), its exploitation and betrayal of the public trust, and it’s manipulation of the electoral process in pursuit of its own private political agenda.
 

 
#
X_Sticks
2013-12-31 14:41

I’ll give you another prediction Mr Ponsonby. There will be a huge unionist campaign to discredit the online pro-independence community.

The BBC have opened comments on a couple of obscure things recently such as ‘chipping’ dogs. I had a look, and while there were many comments about the article I did not recognise any of the people who were posting.

I think the Bitter Toogether mob (or the tories, same difference) have set up a call centre type unionist online squad to swamp the blogs next year.

The BBC articles were just them trying out the system.
 
 
#
Muz
2013-12-31 14:48

The possible insights into 2014 are a good read and thought provoking.

We also have the European elections in May 2014 which may, or may not, cross over into the independence debate.

“… after Labour MP Ian Davidson launched a verbal attack on her reputation.”

That sentence sums up the complete lack of integrity of New Labour politicians. A man who says he votes against the government by not turning up to vote!
 
 
#
mealer
2013-12-31 14:52

Aye.I wouldn’t disagree with any of that.I would say,though,that polling has shown that most people don’t believe all they read in their paper.More so when it comes to politics.They are more likely to believe a trusted friend or colleague.The success of the YES campaign depends on the willingness of its supporters to engage with and persuade their family,friends,  neighbours and workmates.For a lot of YES supporters that will mean taking a big step out of their comfort zone.We must be determined.We must be hungry for the prize.We must remember,too,th  at when this all started there was roughly an equal split between independence,st  atus quo and devo max.I reckon the majority of devo maxers are currently saying they’ll vote NO in the expectation of a good offer from the NO side.An awful lot more than air gun control.An awful lot nearer full fiscal autonomy.And I think that’s more than London is going to offer.Many of them will consider what’s on offer from both sides and shift to YES.
 
 
#
gus1940
2013-12-31 16:23

Wings has clickable links to NNS and many other sites – would it not be an idea for NNS to reciprocate not just with the existing link to Wings but to the others.

I hope that NNS does not see Wings, Bella C. and others as competition but as comrades in the fight for Independence – after all, the more people who access and read YES supporting sites the more chance there is of winning on 18/9.
 
 
#
Henderson
2013-12-31 16:27

Oh the Record –
The Daily Record mounted the first real attack of this kind when its editorial described Newsnet Scotland as a “crackpot website” that “regularly engages in paranoid conspiracy theories”.

As opposed to dogmatic propaganda mouthpiece for the Labour party in Scotland ?

more power to ya G A
 
 
#
bringiton
2013-12-31 16:37

All the best for 2014 to all at NNS.
 
 
#
kenneth_clark336
2013-12-31 16:42

The aspect of the debate so far which disheartens me is the woeful quality of the NO camp’s contribution. I have read a lot of insightful, intelligent and constructive material from YES supporters, mostly on sites such as this, but the wrecking ball which constitutes much of the NO camp’s contribution keeps swinging, reducing the level of the debate to ground level and lower. It may be a deliberate ploy to turn the electorate off, but Scots aren’t daft. They will want answers and if the media fails in this respect they will look elsewhere. My partner found comments concerning independence on her facebook page after Christmas. They included some of the scare stories so emphatically scotched by this site. Her response? She gave them links to this site and others. The quality of journalism represented here is a welcome presence. I wish I had it 30 to 40 years ago.
 
 
#
daveniz
2013-12-31 17:18

happy new year everyone 😀

The media are merging the things a succession state won’t have with what a successor state will have and picking the things that are negative to independence!

they say we won’t have this and that which would be if we were a succession state but we would have no debt either only successor states have debt and assests plus other things!
 
 
#
gus1940
2013-12-31 18:04

O/T

I have on several occasions tried to e-mail NNS articles to friends but every time when I click ‘SEND’ the message ‘e-mail could not be sent’ is displayed.

Answers please.
 
 
#
Jake62
2014-01-01 19:24

Also, I’d like to see a search facility on the NNS site – can’t understand why there isn’t one. Sometimes I need to find an older article to email to an undecided friend, and at the moment that’s not possible.

Search facility, please?
 

 
#
Leswil
2013-12-31 19:06

Yes, I expect all this and more,but it is, or should be, that all our pro Yes sites should mount a campaign of warning of what to look out for and how they
should react to the issues as they arise.

I would like to see ALL the internet avenues used in a concerted effort to challenge all that comes.

Websites, blogs, individual posters, all to take this head on. We have many of all these things and they could be our main response weapon if this could be done. Posting everywhere they can to take them apart, and debunk their virulent campaign against us.

So I would suggest that as many of these get together, to make it happen. The on ground campaign will also continue apace as we all try harder.
 
 
#
cardrossian
2013-12-31 21:03

I’ve solved the problem of BBC misinformation – I simply never watch/listen to their news broadcasts any more.

Sky, Al Jazzera and STV news give me better and more reliable coverage anyway
 
 
#
RTP
2013-12-31 21:33

Quoting cardrossian:

I’ve solved the problem of BBC misinformation – I simply never watch/listen to their news broadcasts any more.

Sky, Al Jazzera and STV news give me better and more reliable coverage anyway


Don’t forget RT.com.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to NNS and all the readers and keeping spreading the YES message.

 

 
#
carthannas
2013-12-31 23:30

To my mind, the real tragedy of the debate, is the appalling behaviour of BBC Scotland, the one organisation where all of us, Yes or No supporters, should be able to turn to for balanced coverage. Instead of that we find an institution that has been corrupting the whole issue, effectively taking an active pro-union part in the campaign.

BBC Scotland apparently doesn’t care that a sizable minority of its audience and some decent journalists are clearly aware of what it’s doing – and say so. It is sacrificing its reputation; but that doesn’t appear to matter. If NNS is read abroad, I hope that that audience take note of what is happening here. You only have to watch or listen to BBC Scotland, whilst following this and other indy sites, and you may also question what the BBC is telling you.

We will win!

Bliadhna Mhath Ùr!
 
 
#
Early Ball
2013-12-31 23:42

Well done everyone in raising nearly 14 grand for the YES campaign in Newsnet’s appeal. Just a few hours left. Brilliant effort.

Happy New Year to all.
 
 
#
goldenayr
2014-01-01 00:15

We hae oor tickets for the roller coaster.

Hing oan,an dinnae boak oan the wan in front.

Hae a guid new year a’body.
 
 
#
Adrian B
2014-01-01 04:16

This is the year that the Scottish people will claim their Independence once more.

All the best everyone – this is the one that counts!
 
 
#
staypos+ve
2014-01-01 06:37

The World’s media will descend on Scotland this Summer , Commonwealth Games coverage will piggyback Referendum. Fueled by a demand for information from Scots the world over. These Scots speak to relatives here in Scotland lets make certain the World’s Media Correspondents provide the diaspora with positive information. NNS Bella and WOS need to get onboard now and invite interest and supply material.
 
 
#
UpSpake
2014-01-01 08:50

RT were discussing the future independence vote in Scotland in last evenings program.
However, they were discussing it not with anyone in Scotland but with their London correspondant. the quality of the answers left much to be desired.
All London based correspondants and they are by far the majority ever appearing in print or on TV are substantially mis-informed and largely ignorant of the debate in Scotland.
As with Torrance, now London based, the subsidy junkie profile of Scotland is the one they promote in the face of contrary reality.
How can we get the message out when RT/Aljezera and others cannot see beyond London ?.
 
 
#
Leswil
2014-01-01 09:22

Happy New Year NNS !
Were you watching ” Only an Excuse ” on BBC1 before the bells ?
I was shocked at the way the show, which remember was a satire show based on football, was hijacked and used to bash A.Salmond, Indy, Bannockburn, Scotland in general.
I do not pay my licence fee to be insulted by a Unionist Media, that thinks it is above any kind of decency.
 
 
#
Abulhaq
2014-01-01 09:51

Project “Diss the Jocks” is what 2014 will be about. Ignore or marginalise in mainstream media such as the London BBC or ridicule à la Heffer in the prints. Near the time expect Britannia and her friends Cassandra and Pandora to come up with something really scary from their witches spell-book. Something to do with tectonic plates ought to it….Scoticum erradicum et expulsum! apologies to A Potter.
 
 
#
Barbazenzero
2014-01-01 10:07

Ian Bell on good form in the Herald today – see archive.is/40OgS
 
 
#
mudfries
2014-01-01 14:35

Interesting point that you don’t see Isabel Fraser on TV anymore, I suppose she didn’t ‘get with the programme’ as they say as far as the BBC is concerned in the Independence debate! I have noticed an ‘alleged’ comedian called Susan Calman on a lot of BBC shows recently, she must know how to ‘get with the programme’.
 
 
#
Marga B
2014-01-01 18:54

Happy New Year to everyone, and as usual, an OT but here’s the new English edition of one of the leading independentist digital newpapers, Vilaweb.

Just started this week, so updating capability in the English version. but the Catalan edition is a very reliable daily source of info on independentist developments:

www.vilaweb.cat/english
 
 
#
rabb
2014-01-01 22:31

“the job of Scottish Labour is to sabotage governance in Scotland”

I wonder how many SLAB & CON/DEM MSP’s are Common Purpose? It seems their objective is not to govern but to disrupt governance from within and de-stabilise.

Thankfully the public aren’t currently taking the bait. I just hope the Scottish Government can hold back the tide until the yes vote in Sep 18th.
 
 
#
call me dave
2014-01-01 23:12

Here’s what a well respected man thinks about the present situation.

Ian Hamilton QC

“Scotland has fallen amongst thieves…. “


www.youtube.com/…/
 
 
#
Leswil
2014-01-01 23:32

call me dave
That is a good thing to find, the man says it as it is. This is ammunition to use for the DK’s.
 
 
#
Frankie goes to Holyrood
2014-01-02 03:25

It may be worthwhile monitoring the Herald. If it keeps its promises on “integrity” (see below), it may help the YES cause.

(1) Herald Editorial on New year’s day:

“The Herald will strive to cover these events with pride and with passion, with integrity and with insight, and hopefully, both instructively and entertainingly.”

heraldscotland.com/…/…

(2)Sunday Herald on Sunday 29th Dec

heraldscotland.com/…/…
 
 
#
fergie73
2014-01-02 11:57

Perhaps one crumb of comfort is that although when immersed in the debate the bias is clear and for those not engaged it isn’t, this can play both ways. At times where I’ve zoned out the debate and social media for a while, then happen to switch on the BBC I sometimes can’t work out which interviewees are pro-union because their arguments are so convoluted – eg the currency one depends on seeding a belief full independence with Sterling isn’t independent enough. So switching on half way through and half paying attention that argument can come across as more radical pro-indy rather than pro-union.

There have been a couple of times I’ve genuinely thought “have the BBC got 3 pro indy to 1 unionist?” Then gone on Twitter to find people bemoaning the unionistbias.

In many ways the unionist case – and those making it – are so poor that the media focus on it and them may not be such a big benefit as they imagine.
 
 
#
Early Ball
2014-01-02 12:35

I think I will monitor the P&J; from Jan 1. Something like the number of positive yes/no/scottish government/uk government headlines/stories. I know it won’t make much difference but if it could be published on a monthly basis it might embarrass them. Anyone think of a standard to use if anyone else does it with a different paper.
 
 
#
Pictavia
2014-01-02 13:28

The P&J; is long past redemption and their UKOK propaganda supplied by gravy train devotees like Sir Malcolm is behind a pay wall. It must be over a year since I bought a copy, 18 months for the Scotsman and 10 years for the Record. I subscribe to the Herald and make small monthly contributions to here, Wings and Yes Scotland. Have also contributed to Bella and National Collective. It is my honest belief that the only way to fight UKOK misinformation is to help fund sites that have a proven track record of challenging the lies. The Record’s recent attack on this site is proof how uncomfortable life is becoming for them and a badge of honour for Newsnet
 
 
#
Clydebuilt
2014-01-02 15:35

“The Achilles heel of the Yes campaign comes in the shape of those who are unable to exercise restraint when posting messages online”.
Sites such as NNS, WoS, AND BellaC. have moderation that takes care of un-helpful comments, The Problem is Twitter and Facebook. Where we all have to be on guard for comments that don’t help a YES vote!
 
 
#
Joker
2014-01-02 17:22

I beg to differ. Two recent examples of people shooting their mouths off without thinking are:

1) Wings Over Scotland reporting that RBS filter YesScotland but not Better Together on their internal network. The number of knee-jerk idiots declaring that they have phoned to complain, screaming “disgrace” and even closed accounts because of this piece of utter non-informative drivel was absurd and indicative of a frequently sheep-like mentality of ‘Tell me what to think!’ on these sites.
2) The reception on this site to an article that people didn’t like from David Torrance was embarrassing. From demands to unpublish it, to threats of withdrawing future donations… it paints a picture of Yes supporters being a sad, insulated group of children who need to live in a controlled bubble of Yes propaganda.

Either the community needs to show it can moderate itself, or these sites need to (sadly) adopt a more parental approach to individuals’ comments.
 
 
#
VarisLoon
2014-01-02 22:44

Quoting Joker:

I beg to differ. Two recent examples of people shooting their mouths off without thinking are:

2) The reception on this site to an article that people didn’t like from David Torrance was embarrassing. From demands to unpublish it, to threats of withdrawing future donations… it paints a picture of Yes supporters being a sad, insulated group of children who need to live in a controlled bubble of Yes propaganda.



My objection to Torrance’s article is that he got paid for writing what was a non-story. I could have written better myself. There was no substance to it and for a professional to take payment for it must have been embarrassing for him.

 

 
#
gus1940
2014-01-02 20:11

O/T

I see that Misreporting Scotland got off the mark for The New Year in a predictable manner with this ‘Commission On Strengthening Local Democracy’ nonsense which is allegedly a cross-party organisation under COSLA’s Banner.

I think we can safely guess which 3 parties are behind it.

It is obviously nothing but a Better Together Front Organisation no doubt receiving funding form COSLA – will said funding be declared?
 
 
#
millie
2014-01-02 22:31

Yes, the Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy in Scotland is a body set up by COSLA.

This piece by Professor Richard Kerley who is an advisor to the Commission-
scottishpolicynow.co.uk/…/…

The Chair of the Commission – Councillor David O’Neill- who was interviewed on BBC by Jamie McIvor is also ‘President of COSLA’ – (although Jamie didn’t mention this fact).
cosla.gov.uk/…/…

Watch out for more BBC reports from this organisation!
 

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