Ken MacColl? ‘The pseudenum cleansing agenda’ …

Comment posted SNP need to back off the ‘Anti-Scottish’ tactic by phill.

Ken MacColl? ‘The pseudenum cleansing agenda’

phill also commented

  • Def hit a nerve here.
  • He probably wasnt a wise choice in the first place, and thats where the beeb got it wrong. As for Andrew marr i think he’s pretty good at getting them all ruffled and thats what he’s there for surely.
  • Lol @ Neil Macintyre, well said!
  • Ken
    I wouldnt defend ‘bullying’ from any quarter, and firmly believe that use of that tactic renders any assosciated opinion less effective. You cant reason with a bully.
  • The pro independents need to take criticism on the chin and also handle ‘wind ups’ similarly. Too much anger coming out of this. Forargyll have in general been supportive (some would say unstinting!)of the work SNP have done particularly regarding impotant local issues where along with the likes of ‘Argyllfirst’ have captured the gist of what people want. When they (FA) point out perceived weaknesses, it has to be dealt with maturely by nationalists. Some commentators posting here are or have been official officebearers in the SNP and should know how to deal with criticism better. In general constant references to ‘London’ this and ‘Westminster’ that make folk wonder how you will handle things when going it alone. You are winning the battle so far but must act responsibly when the likes of forargyll (who have been supportive in pointing out much good in snp locally) occasionally suggest things could be handled better.
    Alex Salmond is by far the best operator for some time and has pulled the party up. It is only yours to lose. Many folk like me know Scotland will be a great country, as it always has been irrespective of 2014, so come on convince us, but for goodness sake keep the heid.

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140 Responses to Ken MacColl? ‘The pseudenum cleansing agenda’ …

  1. all too reminiscent of the Aryan myth . . . the SNP will have written its name on the same page as the BNP.

    I presume this article is a ploy to win Kintyre1 back into the fold?

    At least Paxman only compared Salmond with Mugabe, not Hitler.

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  2. OT slightly

    Listening and watching the amendments recently put forward by some members of the Lords..Distinctly “Un-Scottish” in their flavour.

    i.e. amendments with regard to “free tuition” were particularly disgraceful,with downright lies told,with ne’er a blush!!

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  3. Thought this list might be of some interest, so we can see who ForArgyll’s new bedfellows are in the natbashing arena:

    Salmond / Dictator comparisons:

    1. Slobodan Milosevic (Denis MacShane, Labour MP)
    2. Benito Mussolini (Lord Foulkes, Labour peer)
    3. Adolf Hitler (Tom Harris, Labour MP)
    4. Adolf Hitler (again) (Ann Moffat, Labour MP)
    5. Joseph Stalin (Alan Cochrane, the Telegraph)
    6. Robert Mugabe (Lord Cormack, Conservative peer)
    7. Robert Mugabe (again) (Jeremy Paxman, BBC)
    8. Kim Jong-Il (Lord Forsyth, Conservative peer)
    9. Caligula (John Macleod, the Times)
    10. Nicolae Ceausescu (Neil Collins, the Financial Times)
    11. Genghis Khan (Kevin McKenna, the Observer)
    12. Nero (Annabel Goldie, Conservative MSP)

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  4. ForArgyll seems to have hit a nerve here! The referendum is a long way off and the nats are already sounding extremely nervous.Paxman is not always right,Tom Harris and Ann Moffat might just be good judges of character.Salmond and Sturgeon cannot open there mouths without using the term “the Scottish people will decide” ,they would do well to remember that,blaming the Government in London for everything will not wash with the Scottish people. The deflection of the referendum is only a smoke screen for the nats ineffective performance in Government.If any comment makes Kintyre 1 return surely this would only improve the quality of ForArgyll.

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    • The debate needs the Kintyre 1′s for stimulus as no use if everyone of the same mind as has unfortunately happened in most posts.

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  5. Gus, you may think (or wish) that the SNP are sounding nervous, but I haven’t detected it.

    What exactly is wrong with the term ‘The Scottish people will decide’? Sounds perfectly reasonable to me, and to compare it with the outpourings of Hitler during the rise of the Third Reich is sensationalism of the worst kind.

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    • For ratzo: We cannot see anything amusing in pointing to creeping fascism. That this will be unintentional does not neutralise its fascist impact.

      Scots who do not want independence are no less Scottish than those who do.

      Each, as they see it, has the interests of the country at heart; and each has anxieties over the independence referendum that lead them to do what they can to manipulate it towards the outcome they would prefer to see.

      We are on the record as being opposed only to the status quo, which Scotland has clearly outgrown; finding equally acceptable an openly and well specified independence or an equally open and well specified federalist revision of the UK.

      In our view, it is dangerous not to identify and be critical of bad practice, from wherever it comes.

      The sort of blind or nervous affiliation that makes it possible for people to accept on condone wrong conduct because it comes from their own ‘side’ is what breeds monsters.

      Who wants to live in a country, independent or not, where any criticism or opposition is hit upon as ‘Anti-Scottish’. If you cannot see where this can only lead, that too is of real concern.

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      • Oh dear! It actually gets worse :-)

        I wrote 24 words criticising your logic.

        You respond at great length on fascism (again), and hint that I, too, am a fascist.

        Seriously, you need to raise your game.

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  6. As a regular reader of For Argyll, I have to say that this article is one of the shallowest that Newsroom have come up with yet. To suggest that the SNP, who are probably the most inclusive political party in Britain, is ‘is all too reminiscent of the Aryan myth’ is frankly disgraceful.
    And the suggestion that SNP politicians should drop the word Scottish or Scotland from their vocabulary is just ludicrous.
    I sincerely hope that For Argyll is not following BBC Scotland, and inventing words and phrases, which SNP politicians never used. See this article.

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  7. Newsroom.
    You are not getting away with that reply. Context is everything, and in the example you gave of Mike Russell’s, reply to Liz Smith, who admitted that she wanted to introduce student fees, he said that the Scottish tradition was free education and that it was ‘anti Scottish’ ( ie against) to that tradition to do otherwise. He did not say SHE was anti Scottish for having that opinion. To your readers I would say listen to the debate and make your own mind up.
    Use the slider to go to 13 minutes10 seconds

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    • This is where the SNP need to sort out the rough edges. I feel they will have a succesful referendum result, but really need to grow up and take it on the chin at times.
      In politics no one is expected to have a neverending purple patch!

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  8. It’s exceedingly difficult to hear ANY rational quote from the SNP side,’coz the MSM won’t allow it!!

    Did anyone hear a complaint when Labour’s Lamont said that Alex Salmond hated the English?

    Suffice to say,the debate has only just begun and already the nastiness is abounding!

    All I can say is,the SNP have never had so many people signing up to join….What does that say about the negativos!!

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  9. I’m going to defend newsroom here,

    Well pointed out the poison of nationalism could easily surface through the ” your not Scottish if you don’t vote for independence” an immature and ill-conceived concept at best.

    My grandfather fought some stupid little man who thought his tribe was best and that you weren’t truly german unless you believed in his goal. My father did the same in the middle east and I’ve had my fair share of idiots who used the nationalist cause to drive their political aims and seen the wanton wastage which has come about of one perverted vision.

    I’m Scottish, I’m British and what’s more I’m allowed to make my own mind up over this important issue without dictate, unfurled banners and the sound of trumpets.

    Newsroom well done for making a statement. Let leave the ” if you don’t vote ……….. your not ……….” to the immature shallow and limpless individuals who should be confined to the pages of history.

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    • OMIO,

      ”your not Scottish if you don’t vote for independence”

      Excuse me, but can you point to anyone other than yourself who has said that?

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  10. Its great to hear that so many people are signing up to join the SNP if this continues we will surely get a straight yes or no question on the referendum.Every cloud has a silver lining.
    Power to the people oops that should be Scottish people.

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  11. I would suggest that anyone who has any doubts about the political thoughts of Joan MacAlpine and/or Michael Russell should do a little background reading into their published works and opinions which extend over many different aspects of Scottish life and letters.

    (Y)ourmaninoslo is perfectly free to his own opinion just as I am entitled to disagree with him -as would most citizens of Oslo.Norwegians, like Scots, are a fusion of many peoples but that does not deter them from taking a successful independent stance and taking responsibility for their own future.

    Several of our “National” -London based – newspapers publish what they style “Scottish” editions. In those days of easy travel and so early in the referendum process it is illuminating to read the relentless anti-Scottish propaganda that spews from such journals as the “metropolitan” Daily Mail and the Daily Express when writing about our Scottish government and how it contrasts with their own publications on sale north of the border.The London Evening Standard mercifully does not circulate in Scotland but it reaches depths in politcal comment that are rarely equalled
    Webcraft’s examples at #3 could be replicated several times over from those journals before they put a kilt on their Scottish editions.

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    • Well said Ken. I’ve been trying for some time now to explain to my mother that the ‘Scottish’ Daily Mail is just the Daily Mail with the ‘whingeing Jocks’ stories taken out.

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  12. interesting that certain parts of the media seem desperate to find the faintest whiff of xenophobia from the SNP but conveniently ignored Joanne Lamont’s comment the other week where she near as damned accused Salmond of being racist:

    “My problem with David Cameron is that he is a Tory, Alex Salmond’s problem with David Cameron is that he’s English’. Some people are being very selective with what rhetoric they want to hear or get offended about.

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  13. “The emergence of this simplistic binary division of Scots from Anti-Scots, especially when allied to heavy-handed gravity and anger, is all too reminiscent of the Aryan myth. And look where that led so many.
    Much more of this and the SNP will have written its name on the same page as the BNP.”

    In actual fact the BNP, the National Front, UKIP and the Tory/LibDems are on the same page as Labour and the Orange Order in being unionist and anti Scottish independence. (Note I said anti Scottish independence and not anti Scottish). Comparing the SNP to past and present fascists is a cheap tactic which shows an overflowing of opinion and a quite obvious dearth of fact. There are no facts which justify describing the SNP and Alex Salmond as respectively fascists and Hitler. This is badly expressed, badly written opinion masquerading as objective fact.!/photo.php?fbid=377340132281914&set=a.130587086957221.22991.127993583883238&type=1&theater

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  14. I’ve not read such an ill conceived, ill constructed and ill-willed article since … … … (Now let me see), Ah! Yes! The early hours of this morning, Sat 4 February. That was when the BBC broadcast an interview with an English team Rugby player. The player informed us that he and his team mates were instructed by English team officials that, “The SCOTS hate The ENGLISH”. Yet that same BBC, a Labour Party Propaganda machine, (and breeding ground for Labour Party Politicos, Gordon Brown among them). Had banned the appearance of Scotland’s First Minister on the doubtful grounds of political balance. I sent them the following complaint via both POV and Newswatch.

    However, the BBC has nothing on this present propaganda machine – just who do you think you are fooling?

    “After banning Scotland’s First Minister from a pre-arranged appearance before, and during, the Scotland vs England Rugby game, (on rather strange political grounds), the BBC news reports carried a rather potentially dangerous inflammatory item. They interviewed an English Rugby player who claimed the entire England team had been instructed the Scots hated the English.

    This may indeed be a matter properly dealt with by the Scottish Police as inciting hatred is a criminal offence. Perhaps even a further complaint to The Council For Europe may be in order after the example of the Egyptian sports field killings. I cannot believe the BBC could sink to such depths of iniquity and irresponsibility.

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    • Did the Daily Record not have a story on Friday from the Scotland rugby team about how much they hated the English and nobody more so than the coach(who just happens to be English?)

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      • If you watched the game today you’ll have heard the real statement, which, and I’m paraphrasing, was – ‘no-one in the Scotland team hates the RFU more than Andy Robinson’.
        Note – ‘The RFU’. Not ‘the English.’ This was a deliberate distortion by the press of a reference to Andy Robinson’s previous troubles with the RFU.
        Newsroom, for what it’s worth, this was a very poor article with no substance to back it up. If political policies or statements are detrimental to or derogatory towards to Scotland they are anti-Scottish. Simple. Ditto for any other nationality. This is NOT the same as declaring anyone who doesn’t support independence as anti-Scottish, and to my knowledge no-one has done that.
        As for the comparison with the BNP, I can’t even bring myself to start on that. It’s sick.

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  15. It was a stupid thing to say, and it is quite evident from the playback that Michael Russell knew it was a mistake as soon as he had said it.
    An experienced politician of his stature should of had more sense than to give his opponents a free shot at goal.

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  16. James, if you buy The Wrecker and believe its content you may end up with the most surprising take on almost any topic.

    If you are interested in really eye opening comment on the present constitutional state you could not do much worse than visit the current website of the Daily Telegraph where a hugely condescending article about the First Minister is attracting some very strange comments about today’s game at Murrayfield and “chariots”

    Robert Peffer’s account of the decision to invite the First Minister to the pre-match comment at the Calcutta Cup match and then to withdraw the invitation on the grounds that this might affect the Council Elections in May may sound far fetched but it does appear to be true! This may explain why no account of this sorry debacle appears on the BBC website.

    At one time we relied upon the BBC to report news without fear or favour. Changed days indeed!The saddest part of this is their apparent inability to recognise that there are now other means of broadcasting news and comment.

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  17. Some of the vitriol being spewed by some of the cybernats here goes to prove Newsroom’s point.

    Not as bad as NewsnetScotland though which becomes more Nat-extremist by the day. Some items and some user-posts on there make me fear for the future of Scotland as a harmonious and tolerant society.

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    • I’m not seeing any vitriol on here W.S., can you give me an example (other than gratuitous SNP/BNP comparisons?)
      Newsnet Scotland is an openly SNP – supporting site, so it’s hardly surprising that its content is pro-independence. I read it fairly often and I rarely see any vitriolic comments on it – the vast majority are reasoned discussion and debate. Anyone who steps out of line is generally ticked off pretty sharply and rarely resurfaces. You might not agree with the views on it but then I don’t agree with the views on pro-union blogs – where, incidentally, I’ve encountered far more vitriol and far less tolerance. I assume you would class the Labourhame and Scottish Conservative sites as equally extremist?

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    • WS, you sound like a sensitive soul. I cannot see any post here that ‘spews out virtriol’, just some differences of opinion, which you somehow view as intolerant and fearful ? Therefore I cannot take your other claims seriously as I suspect you have an ulterior agenda ?
      Your comments about Newsnet could not be further from the truth either, as the forum is actively moderated and posts are generally of a very high standard compared to those all too common ‘burn the witch rants’ contained in the Telegraph or Daily Mail online forum postings.

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  18. I think it was ForArgyll that started with the vitriol, in what has been one of their more ill-considered articles.

    To remind those who may have got too carried away with the comments to have actually read the article, Newsroom said:

    all too reminiscent of the Aryan myth. And look where that led so many


    . . . the SNP will have written its name on the same page as the BNP

    It was an appalling article. I challenge anyone – but particularly WS – to point to any equally ‘vitriolic’ phrases used by any of the defenders of the SNP on this thread.

    Seems to me that ForArgyll is in danger of going the way of the Hootsmon.

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    • WEBCRAFT wrote: “Challenge anyone – but particularly WS – to point to any equally ‘vitriolic’ phrases used by any of the defenders of the SNP on this thread”

      I said “vitriol”…..I DID NOT accuse the cybernats of using “vitriolic phrases”, maybe you don’t understand the nuances of the English language.

      I assume that you see yourself as a self-appointed “defender of the SNP”?

      Well, if you can’t recognise the vitriol in the attacks on ForArgyll and on the British media from the BBC to The Mail etc then, again, it proves the point about the myopic extremism at the heart of the cybernats.

      BTW BellaCaledonia is another one (like NewsnetScotland) skirting the dark side.

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      • If you’re looking for vitriol, try looking at some of the comments on articles about Scotland on the Telegraph website. It’s frightening that some people actually believe this stuff.

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      • @WS


        You have failed to quote one single piece of ‘cybernat vitriol’ from out of all of the above comments.

        I suggest you back your comments about ‘vitriol’ up with quotes from the comments above or withdraw them.

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        • WS.
          Bella Caledonia. That will be the website voted no. two in Scotland by its peers?
          It is a beacon of light in a sea of mediocrity in the MSM.
          Just take a look at their contributors list. Gerry Hassan, Mark Ruskell, Mike Small, Kevin Williamson, none of whom are members of the SNP, but all respected writers and commentators in their own field.

          But then I suppose you think ANY vaguely pro independence comment is ‘vitriol’.
          Happily the Internet has allowed us ‘cybernats’ to have our views published. All except BBC Scotland of course.

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  19. Good for you Ourmaninoslo. There’s nothing anti-scottish in voting according to your beliefs. Nice to get the opportunity, I say.
    But before you get to answer the question in the referendum, would YOU like to have some say in what that question is?
    What is anti-scottish is for people who have no voting rights in Scotland to set the question, the timetable and the terms of the debate.

    Re the BBC pulling the Alex S pre-match interview……it was an odd decision to ask AS in the first place. Why not Shona R?
    Having however decide to ask AS rather than SR, I can only assume they were asking him for comment as a punter/celeb/well kent face NOT as a minister….so why the panic at the BBC about pre-election sensitivity and impartiality? Does anyone know if the traditional period of pre-election purdah observed by the BBC has been changed and extended, if so why and when? If not, why this curious series of decisions?

    Newsroom: Sorry, not up to your usual……transparently duplicitous, not helped by the mock heroics of anti-fascism and feigned hurt at being misunderstood in the addendum in the comments. If this article had been a comment rather than the leader, I’d have written it off as trolling.

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  20. “Some of the vitriol being spewed by some of the cybernats here goes to prove Newsroom’s point.”

    W.S. you should use direct quotes to point out what you find offensive. If we’re talking about language, saying that someone ‘spewed’ vitriol is using emotive language which can be viewed as offensive. You also talk about cybernats and ‘Nat-extremist’ which again comes across as offensive. The tone of your comments seems to be one of hostility and aggression and you don’t at any point use fact but resort, like the article, to opinion instead. The whole comparing the SNP to fascists and reiterating the idea that Scotland will be a less tolerant country if it becomes independent is a tired and shoddy trick that is wearing very thin. At the moment the SNP are on a 58% approval rating with a huge rise in Labour heartlands, while Labour have dropped to an all time low. Negative smear campaigns against the SNP are clearly not working. In the past I’ve voted for every party except the Tory party and the only credible party in 2012 is the SNP. Every other party has promised cuts for the poor, the sick and disabled which will lead Scotland into even greater poverty. The economic argument for independence is compelling, (the McCrone report, the article by John Jappy etc), as is the right of any country, however small, to self determination. The disenfranchised poor of Scotland are not stupid and Labour party sympathisers and activists should not treat them as such.

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  21. The pro independents need to take criticism on the chin and also handle ‘wind ups’ similarly. Too much anger coming out of this. Forargyll have in general been supportive (some would say unstinting!)of the work SNP have done particularly regarding impotant local issues where along with the likes of ‘Argyllfirst’ have captured the gist of what people want. When they (FA) point out perceived weaknesses, it has to be dealt with maturely by nationalists. Some commentators posting here are or have been official officebearers in the SNP and should know how to deal with criticism better. In general constant references to ‘London’ this and ‘Westminster’ that make folk wonder how you will handle things when going it alone. You are winning the battle so far but must act responsibly when the likes of forargyll (who have been supportive in pointing out much good in snp locally) occasionally suggest things could be handled better.
    Alex Salmond is by far the best operator for some time and has pulled the party up. It is only yours to lose. Many folk like me know Scotland will be a great country, as it always has been irrespective of 2014, so come on convince us, but for goodness sake keep the heid.

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  22. Phill,

    When certain commentators cannot understand the difference between argument and abuse and post accordingly, I cannot for the life of me understand why you advocate the position of advising supporters of independence of ‘taking criticism on the chin’.

    Would you not agree that bullys only bully when other people let them away with it ?

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    • Ken
      I wouldnt defend ‘bullying’ from any quarter, and firmly believe that use of that tactic renders any assosciated opinion less effective. You cant reason with a bully.

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  23. Following on from the First Minister first being invited and then bounced by the BBC from appearing on a pre-match discussion at Murrayfield I watched with interest how our media would report this. The Sunday Herald has given it front page treatment while the BBC , utterly predictably, has pretended that it has not happened. It did not gain a mention in any of their news bulletins and in the course of today’s Politics Scotland could not make it in an hour long programme about the political scene in Scotland.

    Does this extraordinary decision, based apparently on the possibility that the SNP could gain an edge in the forthcoming local council elections, mean that David Cameron, Lord Coe, Lord Foulkes, Uncle Tom Cobley and all will be from now on excluded from programmes about the forthcoming Diamond Jubilee and the celebrations of the London Olympics?

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    • Mention of Lord Foulkes reminds me of years ago when he appeared on Newsnight Scotland and ran rings around the apparently brain dead BBC Scotland interviewer – proof of just how wiley this particular politician is, but he’s not alone and Alex Salmond’s jokey style cloaks a very smart operator. His recent ‘discussion’ with Jeremy Paxman showed the latter to be at risk of decaying into terminal boorishness, and let’s hope Alex’s forthcoming meeting with Chris Patten (another very smart operator) does some good for BBC Scotland, as well as clarifying to what degree it should be subject to remote control from London.

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    • fat chance, Ken.
      More likely the Beeb are setting the ground rules and establishing precedent for a political news blackout during the commonwealth games.

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  24. Well dear bravehearts the gaffer was punted from a sports programme. So what? Sport should have nothing to do with politics anyway so lighten up.

    From my perspective your leader fails the used car test anyway. Would I buy a used car from him? Emphatically not, I would probably come away with a Reliant Robin and it would have only 2 wheels.

    As for the Scots and the English there is a longstanding problem which many of you prefer not to recognise. There is a strong dislike and as evidence I give you the “anyone but England” teeshirts of a recent world cup endorsed by several famous Scots. Reminds me of a famous Scottish phrase ” Half in fun, whole in earnest”! Why do you deny that this attitude exists?

    Strange that a Nazi slant should enter this arena as weeks ago it occurred to me that Scotland could be sleepwalking into something it doesn’t really want in a similar way that prewar Germany slipped into National Socialism. Take away the violence of 1930s Germany and it is much the same. We know what you want, we have all the answers and our leader is great. Join us and your future will be great.

    Another worrying similarity is the handling of the local council settlement by John Swinney. He virtually held a gun at the heads of the Councils and told them they all had to accept his deal or all would suffer a 5% cut as I recall. This is more than somewhat autocratic and anti-democratic.

    The same can be said about freezing the Council Tax. Does this not take away from local democracy? Another example of centralisation. Another parallel?

    You hold out the vision of a wealthier Scotland. The likliehood is that the rich will get richer and the poor, if they are lucky, will stay the same. Pie in the sky and dangerous pie at that.

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    • You make the valid point that sport should have nothing to do with politics with an exhortation to “lighten up” and and then go on to talk about world cup “anyone but England” teeshirts. If that’s not ironic enough we are then treated to your thoughts on National Socialism in 1930′s Germany. “Lighten up” indeed.

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  25. I see the cybernat bullies have now ceased their attacks on ForArgyll ! Could it be because they’ve just read the Herald interview with Salmond where he calls a BBC employee a “Gauleiter”, and we all know the Nazi connotations of that particular word. Goose/gander, pot/kettle.

    I saw the dark heart of nationalism in the Balkans and I know for a fact that nationalism needs three things to be able to thrive.

    1. It needs an historic sense of grievance and a current sense of marginalisation.
    2. It needs clearly identifiable enemies. (Here we have seen ForArgyll, BBC, The Daily Mail, the Scotsman and myself given that role.)
    3. It needs good men to keep silent (or be silenced).

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  26. When Scottish rugby fans tune in to the BBC to watch Scotland v England the last person they want to listen to is Alex Salmond, invited or not. Salmond would not have been able to resist throwing in some of his separatist agenda into the pre match chat, so the BBC were right to pull him from the programme.For him to then whine about the BBC running a “tin pot dictatorship ” well this really takes the political biscuit. Pots and Kettles????

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    • Steady Gus.

      The Nationalists have complained to the BBC about the use of the word “seperatist”.

      They have also complained about “secession” and about “leave the U.K.”

      I think someone on Jura saw this coming !

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      • Separatism is something quite different from independence. If the BBC think that “separatism” is worthy of consideration as a constitutional option, I would suggest they take the opportunity of the public consultation process to raise and propose it as a possible additional question to be asked of the electorate in the referendum.

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    • I wonder who gave you the authority to speak on behalf of Scottish or any other category of rugby fans? Ironically it was those attending Murrayfield that first succeeded in officially adopting Flower of Scotland.

      The First Minister is clearly an informed and enthusiastic supporter of football, rugby and horse racing and was originally invited to appear on this programme by the BBC! The terms of his appearance had been previously agreed upon and are published in today’s Sunday Herald.
      The subsequent ban suggests that the anonymous “powers that be” that decided then that this was a political risk were being pulled by strings from sources close to central government.This brings into question, and not for the first time, the impartiality of the national broadcasting service. WS and Gus MacKay may think that is acceptable. I would suggest that this is sinister.

      ( BTW WS is not half deluding himself if he thinks he is identifiable.)

      I see that the Prime Minister is to be interviewed by that searching political analyst Andrew Marr on a programme about the Diamond Jubilee on BBC1 this week. Do you suppose that Mr Cameron’s contribution will be unemcumbered by either politics or nationalism? Do you think the BBC should take the risk?

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      • Who gives you the authority to speak on virtually every topic on here.I was giving an opinion based on conversations with many people who watched the game and some who did not, the unanimous view was that Salmond should not have been on the programme. This was people with different political opinions and none.The difference with narrow minded nationalism is you have tunnel vision.Personally I could not care less what Andrew Marr is interviewing David Cameron on,your petty insults to Marr and the BBC do you no credit.

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      • At least the precedent has been set by the BBC. We will not now have to watch or listen to Cameron, Clegg, Moribund or Boris when the Olympics are on, just in case they let something political slip. Aye right! One law for those politicians and another for anybody who disagrees with them. We’re not sleepwalking into a pre-war Germany situation, as somebody suggested earlier, we are already there. The “impartial” BBC doing the establishment’s dirty work for them and censoring any dissent in the provinces. “We will keep our United Kingdom united and we’ll stoop to any depths to do it”.
        Another few votes for the “Yes” side then.

        So is this making the news then? No. The news is all about Alex Salmond’s reaction to the ban. All the Scottish Unionist Party leaders (and Gus MacKay, our local Labour stalwart) are lining up to criticise him for sticking up for himself. The playground bullies are on a roll. What will they say when the BBC bans them from speaking on a subject because it may be political? Freedom of speech? Not on the BBC!

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        • Moribund, you do of course refer to Ed Miliband, but why use his real name when you don’t even give your own. As I mentioned in an earlier post, nats getting nervous, yes indeed.

          stalwart – you do flatter me!

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          • For Gus:-
            I’ve been called Andy for almost 60 years now. Or are you going to start an anti-SNP rant about that now.
            Hold on, I’ll phone my Mum to check, I may have got that wrong too.

            Edit: Called Mum and she tells me that my name is Andrew, not Andy!

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        • Aye,right!…and pigs will fly.

          I was puzzled by Gus MacKay’s remarks about the “ineffectiveness of the Scottish Government” in a posting at the start of this blog when the latest IPSOS/Mori poll this week shows them to be at 49% with Labour at 23% but Andy has explained it all-Can’t be a lot of fun being a Labour stalwart this season.Who would have believed that common cause with Cameron and Clegg could look like a alluring prospect?

          As for me,I am considered to be fairly broad minded, I travel a lot and I get on with most people. I speak for myself but am gratified to see, as I get older, that many more people seem to have reached the same view as I have. Why let others take your decisions when you can do that yourself!

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          • Yes ineffective in government. The nat ploy to blame everything on London is wearing thin.Opinion polls are opinion polls, no more,if the nats were so sure of winning the referendum they would do it sooner. Bring it on! The nats false promises pre election will be brought to the attention of the voters and they will decide.
            The desperate attempt by nats to suggest there is a “common cause” with C and C other than to defeat nationalism is absurd.You also seem to have come to the conclusion, however arrogantly,the result is in the bag.

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      • No politician should have been asked. That was the BBc’s first mistake.
        If a politician were to be asked, it should have been the minister with a responsibility for sport. That was the BBC’s second mistake.
        Having asked Salmond and having made the mistakes they did, they were discourteous in cancelling the interview and wasting his time. That was their third mistake.
        Given the resulting stooshie, they should have ‘fessed up, been transparent about process and reported it along with a public apology for wasting the first ministers time. That was their 4th mistake.

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  27. The way Scotland played I think our dear first minister might get a game so lets not panic folks only another two years of crap till we put this to bed.
    To be or not to be independent,that is the question?
    Power to the people.

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  28. The nats can complain to whoever they choose!

    They are separatists as far as I am concerned.

    You only have to read some of the posts to realize what we are up against.

    Post 16 -click on the link, vile comments from people spewing out their interpretation of nationalism.

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    • I clicked on the link and you are right, it is obscene. What an unholy alliance. The Labour Party in the same bed as the National Front, The BNP and the Orange Order. Who would ever have thought it? It just shows how low the major parties will stoop to get what they want. After Independence they can be assured that I will never give any of them my vote, EVER.

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      • Oh Andy, don’t be so gullible.

        The offending link takes you to the facebook page of some sad and lonely individual who goes by the name of Am Buidheann Dubh.

        There is no alliance between those parties. He simply pasted them into a collage to try to make some twisted and spurious point.

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        • You mean there is no “official” alliance? That the Labour, Liberal and Tory Parties have not joined up together with the BBC to fight the Nationalist menace? And the other extremists have not joined them? So the last week was just a bad dream then. Thank goodness, what a nightmare that was.

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      • W.S.

        So,someone takes the time to give his view and you are scathing?

        I think that says that you are no longer willing to listen to reasoned debate.I’m not being critical…just bemused!

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  29. In the eighties I campaigned for the SNP in Pollokshields in Glasgow which has a high percentage of asians in the population. After knocking a dozen or so doors I became perturbed about the look of fear on some of the faces who answered those doors. Eventually I found a feisty woman who was quick to tell me that the Labour party had told her the SNP was the Scottish branch of the BNP. She took it from my wordless tears that frightening people had been the last thing on my mind.

    For that reason I object strongly to any hint of a connection between the SNP and the BNP. The SNP I’ve been in for thirty years has members from many nations including England and the chances of it becoming racist are about the same as it becoming unionist. It may be fair comment that the silly season has broken out with the whole name calling thing, but linking it to the nastier brands of nationalism has real consequences that we should ALL take care to avoid.

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    • Your first paragraph had me thinking Aye Right! to use the words of Andy(does not have a surname)and Ken MacColl. Now I must admit I don’t know Pollokshields but is it not the area that elected Tommy… what’s his name?

      Connections between various parties have been suggested by several posts, perhaps you have not had time to read all.Or are you just being selective with your objection. Nationalism can be nasty as you point out, best avoided!

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      • Yes Gus, ” nationalism can be nasty”

        Ask the Iraqi’s and the Argies and the Afghani’s what they think of British Nationalism. Not pretty is it ?

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      • Your response is curious. Why would you doubt what I wrote? Have I come across as a liar before?

        Tommy Sheridan stood in Pollok constituency. Pollokshields is a couple of miles from Pollok and Pollokshaws is a mile or so from both. Pollok Country Park touches the edges of all three. Check it on a map if you’re anxious.

        And yes I did read the rest of the threads. I just wasn’t much concerned about the blethering. I only commented because I see the potential for people that I regard as an intrinsic part of the Scottish fabric to be alienated or made fearful and I think people need to think about that before they go chucking names about.

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        • Did I say you had come across as a liar before?

          And I did admit I do not know Pollokshields area and I clearly do not know the other Pollok’s

          Are you another who sees nothing wrong with the link on post 16 ?

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  30. For the cybernats:
    Everyone is aware of the existence and operation of the so-called ‘cybernats’ – the SNP’s internet attack dogs, sent out to howl at the quiver of criticism on the horizon.

    It is not difficult to discriminate between the, sometimes angry, responses of wounded nationalists and the vicious rants of the cybernats.

    I have been watching the comments to this article and its clarifying comment with interest, amusement and serious concern.

    The interest is purely academic, in the sense of observing and analysing behavioural phenomena. In the extremist comments I have seen an all but absolute absence of reason; a shrill and dark abuse of anyone with contrary views; and an unthinking dismissal of an issue that begs reflection.

    The amusement relates to the rural Irish wisdom that: ‘If you throw a stone amongst a pack of dogs, it’s the one that gets hit that squeals’.

    So I know that our very real anxiety about the underlying fascist attitude in the emergence of the ‘Anti-Scottish’ tag has been received as damaging.

    The real damage is in the attitude rather than in the criticism. The cybernats and their masters might better reflect on the damage done by their own conduct in the face of reasoned criticism.

    For Argyll has been well disposed to independence – and equally well disposed to a federalist solution.

    In the light of what I have seen in the extremist strain amongst the comments above, I now have very real reservations about an SNP led independence, if this is evidence of what is to come.

    What I am seeing is the habit – the deliberate habit – of the truly fascist. This will not tolerate criticism in the pursuit of a totalitarian, authoritarian nationalism. This will not stop to discriminate between legitimate and illegitimate criticism. ALL criticism is regarded as illegitimate.

    If the SNP attack dogs can be licensed to behave in this way at a time when their party is working hard to court favour for an independence vote in 2014, what will this sort of administration be like when, if successful, it no longer needs to worry whether people like it or not?

    Will I personally vote for independence if this is the true proposition to contemplate? If this is where we are headed, I would no longer consider it for one second.

    I have been horrified to live through the Blair regime that saw folk arrested in Brighton – by police – during a Labour party conference, simply for wearing anti-Blair T-shirts; and at the same conference saw an octogenarian physically hauled out of the conference chamber for shouting ‘Rubbish’ during a speech by Jack Straw.

    That is starting to look pretty tame against the incipient fascism here in Scotland.

    What the cybernat behaviour has done in the extremist comments above is to reinforce in large the initial concerns we had at the ‘Anti-Scottish’ adventures – that there is a genuine fascism being consciously loosed to shout criticism of any kind into silence – and that is cause for all our concern.

    Anyone who imagines that For Argyll is likely to be cowed by anything, never mind brutishly irrational screeching, has profoundly misread who we are and what we are for.
    Lynda Henderson

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    • I have yet to read any extreme comments from any ‘independence’ minded poster on this thread.

      I think you protest too much, and I guess you know it.

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        • I wholeheartedly agree with you that extremeism in any form is not healthy.

          However, as far as this thread is concerned I have made a fair and reasonable comment ( as have many posters) that your accusations of extreme fascist comments being posted on this thread is untrue, and none can be cited.

          I regret that you take the position that you do, however I respect that and will leave this forum to your like minded friends who obviously feel threatened by any opposing view.

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        • No comment

          The last refuge of the political scoundrel. I did expect better than this from ForArgyll. If you are going to make childish accusations of fascism you should at least be prepared to defend them.

          Ken, don’t leave this forum. I think the thumbs show quite clearly that ForArgyll is out on a limb on this one . . . lets’ keep them there rather than legitimising their opinions by ignoring them.

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    • Where on earth does this come from? I have pretty much kept out of this thread as I consider the original premise silly but this latest rant is just bizarre.

      There was a potentially interesting line of debate here concerning whether or not a political policy can be considered intrinsically Scottish and whether opposition to that policy can therefore be considered anti-Scottish (and my personal opinion on both counts is that it cannot).

      However, this has been entirely lost amongst the frankly hysterical accusations that the SNP has become an intolerant fascist organisation. Unsurprisingly, this has provoked a strong reaction amongst SNP supporters who object to being called fascists (and who wouldn’t?). You then proclaim this reaction as evidence that the SNP is indeed a fascist organisation!

      The casual bandying around of the term “fascist” demeans all those who suffered under Franco, Mussolini and Hitler and is just so far wide of the truth as to be laughable.

      I suppose this retort makes me a fascistic cyber-nat attack dog?

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    • My response to your post was nothing to do with cybernattery or Britnattery.

      It was certainly not extreme, athough it seems to have been the point that you resented the most.

      My point, which I’m happy to repeat, was that your argument was actually even weaker than the argument you were attempting to criticise.

      My concern is because I teach university students about the origins and nature of fascism, and it is too serious a subject to be manipulated like this.

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      • For ratzo: No one comment gave us cause to decide that it was important to call attention to a direction of travel that is potentially dangerous and should be left behind.

        And this is no facile argument.

        Supporting the charging of fees for tertiary education – for example – may be short or long sighted, it may be capitalist, it may be elitist, it may damage the economy, it may fuel growth – but it is not ‘Anti-Scottish’. It is entirely feasible than an independent Scotland might have to charge such fees – and how would that square with the tag of being ‘Anti Scottish’?

        As soon as you start labelling anything negatively as  ‘Anti-Scottish’, you are also creating a positive category of ‘Scottish’ – and that binary distinction in these terms is essentially racist and yes, it is incipiently fascist.

        Fascism is not hurling people into concentration camps and murdering opponents at will.

        That is the end result of fascism.

        Fascism is the insistence on and the imposition of a single perspective, a single purpose, a single rightness – and an inability to tolerate the contrary view.

        This is why the Blair regime became essentially fascist and why much of the legislation enacted – badly -  in a hurry, by David Blunkett was fascist in spirit.

        Maya Evans, standing at the Cenotaph in London in October 2005, refusing to stop reading (not shouting) aloud the names of British soldiers who had been killed in the 2003 Iraq war was neither a terrorist nor did she represent a terrorist threat. But she was arrested and charged under anti-terrorism legislation – simply because what she was doing was politically uncomfortable for the Blair regime that had taken us into that war. That regime could not tolerate that contrary view. Evans became the first person in the UK to be convicted under Blunkett’s 2005 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act.

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        • “Fascism is the insistence on and the imposition of a single perspective, a single purpose, a single rightness – and an inability to tolerate the contrary view.”

          …..I live and learn; I thought that was bigotry.

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    • I presume you include your own comment in this?

      I had hoped that commentators on here would raise the tone a bit and focus on the issues rather than just the meaningless slagging off that marrs so many other forums. Too much to hope for I suppose.

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  31. Ah, Mr. Blix,

    On yet another forum with your customary mixture of invective and disdain I see. Have you found the SNP’s weapons of mass destruction yet?

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  32. I too have followed this thread for a while, and, as ever, with online discussions the fact that we have neither body language, eye-contact or any of the other physical tell-tales to guide us on how to take people’s comments allows us to take them in the worst possible light. Anonymity is part of that worst light, but also that of the expression of views in text rather than in conversation. I am certain, although I may be opening myself up to accusations of temporising too much, that face-to-face all of the views hitherto expressed would not be as stridently put.

    Nor am I convinced that the cybernats are any different from the cyberlabs, cybertories and cyberwetblankets (sorry, -libs), any informal collective of online activists who will generally aggregate around critical stories about their parties. This is not concerted or coordinated in any organised way per se, but only seems so because of the organising nature of the internet. Call me naive, but when you look at any thread in any paper national or not, there’s always someone rabid, always someone who’s writes as if he or she is drunk and always the class joker. The politically motivated may indeed move in organised packs online, but I don’t see it at all from the outside in. Inside out and it may be that the email address of contributors or their IP address might tell a different story, but as FA assiduously does not reveal those details we can’t make those assumptions. Indeed, if I were a betting man I would take the outpouring of independence-minded commenters as a clear indication as to the way things are going.

    On this issue of anti-independence being un-scottish, well, its a very silly thing to indicate, because I know there are unionists out there who are Scottish first & foremost. And yes it does smack of an incipient, unthinking divisiveness in the SNP’s spin. FA takes this to the extreme, perhaps to ensure the warning is heard and people like Mike Russell back properly and fully away from any such missteps again — the first thing I ever heard about the SNP was that they were the Scottish version of the BNP and this perception, often wrongly perpetuated by the English who fear the BNP gaining momentum in the wider Union, needs to be quashed if the independence debate is to be fully heard and appreciated.

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    • Techroom, thanks for a reasoned and well-observed comment. I hope Newsroom has taken some calming breaths and had a read back at what she wrote at 1.23 a.m. I’m being kind and attributing it to lack of sleep.

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  33. Alison – if you don’t stop patronising people and continue to fail to listen to what is being said, even if you disagree with it, then you will never achieve your dream.

    Certain commentators, on both sides, really aren’t helping their cause. Post no.16 above is a very good example, it simply re-inforces the beliefs that non-independent voters have of nationalists, and it’s not a nice picture. Own goal!

    I said earlier that it was a stupid thing for Michael Russell to say, if he hadn’t said it this thread, and others, would never of happened. Own goal!

    Arguably, it is good that it has happened, as all views and opinions should be out in the open, however from my perspective as an undecided, the nationalist debate hasn’t exactly been progressed in this thread.

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    • Patronising? Sorry you’ve lost me. I genuinely think Newsroom lost the plot in the early hours.
      Comment 16 – likewise, pretty calm and reasoned debate to me. If you don’t believe that the BNP & Co have aligned themselves with the unionists then do a wee internet trawl. Fact. That however doesn’t make the unionist parties fascists, it just means they have some rather unfortunate allies, which they probably aren’t that happy about. I don’t go for name-calling on either side.
      No offence, but you have no idea of my dream.

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  34. Thank you Techroom for a more balanced view of this issue.

    It also leads us neatly back into the issue rather than the hyperbole. A deliberate tactic to demonise opponents of independence as anti-Scottish would indeed be a very stupid. However, no-one in the SNP has suggested this and if they had I would have been the first on here to condemn that.

    What two SNP MSPs said, on two different occasions and on different subjects (neither of which was independence) was that the opposition were pursuing policies that were in effect anti-Scottish in that they attacked Scottish interests.

    The first, from Joan MacAlpine, related to who sets the conditions around the referendum and she objected to those in the opposition who wanted to allow Westminster more of a say in setting the conditions as acting to thwart the rights of the Scots to determine the conditions of their own referendum. I understand her viewpoint though I don’t share it. While the SNP has a strong democratic mandate from last year’s election, the finer details of the referendum were not tested in the election (even the date was not in the manifesto). This leaves things open for opposition politicians to argue for whatever conditions they wish. Indeed the SNP recognise this otherwise why are we having a consultation on the referendum.

    Mr Russell’s comment specifically concerned the Tories and their campaign to abolish free higher education in Scotland. This was a policy they put before the electorate last May and their support dropped further. In contrast, all of the other parties in Holyrood backed continuing free higher education.

    What is more interesting is Mr Russell’s assertion that free higher education is a Scottish principle and that those opposing it are being anti-Scottish and anti-educational. This merits further examination.

    There is no doubt that Scots value education at all levels and, with the exception of some Tories, we view that free access to education should be a universal right at primary and secondary levels and on the basis of merit at higher levels. Scotland did of course introduce universal and free primary school education before any other nation on the planet (as we are fond of reminding ourselves). Scottish commitment to higher education is also historically well established as indicated by the fact that Scotland had founded twice as many universities as England prior to the Union.

    So it is fair to say that Scotland has a long and proud tradition in pursuing education.

    However, free higher education is only a distinctive Scottish “tradition” in that we are the last man standing (or to be more exact the only one who got back on his feet after the original introduction of tuition fees in 1998). Free access to higher education based on merit has long been a feature of the UK Higher Education system but has of course been recently abandoned, first by the then Labour Government then followed through by the current Coalition Government. The policy of free higher education on the basis of merit has widespread support in the Scottish Parliament but it is difficult to propose that it is a distinctly Scottish principle as opposed to a Scottish consensus (and one arrived at within a generation at that). I therefore feel that Mr Russell was overstepping the reality when he accused the Tories in the Parliament of being anti-Scottish because of their support for tuition fees.

    He is on much stronger ground when he describes those opposing free higher education in Scotland as being anti-educational (although had he said anti-meritocratic then he would have been on rock solid ground). Labour have a difficulty here as they support the concept of no tuition fees in Scotland but do not want to give succour to the SNP on this issue (or indeed on anything), nor do they wish to see further distinctions developing between Scotland and RUK, especially where these seem to favour the Scots. Thus we have the unedifying sight of Lord Foulkes arguing that Scottish Universities should not be allowed to charge tuition fees to students from the RUK as these would not be “fair”. Indeed at first glance this might seem a reasonable position but it should always be borne in mind that this situation has been brought about by Westminster’s decision to make Higher education in England amongst the most expensive in the world. It was not tuition fees per se that caused the problem but the decision to make them so high that forced the Scottish Government to introduce tuition fees for students from the RUK as the only way to maintain free higher education in Scotland. That might sound a contradiction but had the SG maintained free access to everyone from the UK then the Scottish universities would have been swamped by students from outwith Scotland. Scottish students are no more and no less bright than their RUK compatriots but there are a lot fewer of them. Given the opportunity to study free at a Scottish university or pay £27K to attend an English university, what is the average bright lad or lass from Birmingham, Newcastle or Brighton going to do? So 10x as many requests for admission from RUK as from Scotland (and not helped by the tendency of universities to give more credence to A levels than Highers). Cue ethnic cleansing of Scottish students from Scottish Universities. Of course, they could attend RUK universities, taking up the spaces left by the RUK students coming north of the Border but only if they can find the £27K.

    Of course the Scottish Government could just charge tuition fees and the problem goes away (and as the Tories wish)but this would be a huge betrayal of genuinely held principles of the SNP (and backed by most Scots).

    I think this was what was behind Mr Russell’s actual comments and it has been borne out of the frustration of seeing some unionist politicians pursuing for narrow party advantage policies that are not in the Scottish interest.

    I agree that Mr Russell did not express himself perhaps as well as he might. Rather than anti-Scottish, talk of acting contrary to Scottish interests. The difference is subtle but will keep him away from any further misunderstandings on this issue. (This will not of course prevent opposition politicians twisting this into anti-Scottish but at least it is easier to refute).

    Newsroom made an initial point that had merit: careless use of language damages the SNP cause. This was, however, spoilt by imaginings of a spin doctor plot to polarise “Scottishness” into who supports and who does not support independence. The SNP strategists are a lot more clever than that and I’m sure they will be working hard to avoid giving the opposition the chance to twist words into an unfavourable stushie in the future.

    What I really didn’t understand was Newsroom’s suggestion that FA was under a concerted fascist SNP attack or indeed that anyone had said anything that could be interpreted as such in response to her fairly serious allegations that the SNP was pursuing some sort of fascist agenda. As techroom has suggested, the number of responses reflects the number of SNP supporters on here and I assert that the strength of response reflects the degree of insult rather than any attempt to shout Newsroom down.

    However, it is her blog and she can say what she likes. Just don’t expect everyone else to be nodding dogs in agreement.

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    • I think that there is some effect on the Barnett formula with regards education,something about less money in Barnett because of fee situation.

      Will need to clarify that point though.

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    • People like Gus Mackay and members of other parties should be thinking of the future. IF the people of Scotland vote for Independence, there are thousands of SNP supporters like me who will be casting their vote for other parties. Allowing for a re-alignment of political groups, the Labour Party would be the party of natural choice for many. I would have to think long and hard about voting for a party whose members had called me a cybernat attack dog. I’m not even a member of a political party. I just want an Independent Scotland.
      But, of course, it suits the UK parties if all SNP members and supporters can be shown as evil Fascists. I am not. I would consider myself very much a Socialist. Can the Labour party claim to be the same? Not on their record of the last 10 years. At least with the Tories you know what to expect and they rarely let you down. I suspect the Green Party will do very well after Independence. They will very likely get my vote as they show an intelligence and integrity sadly lacking in most other parties.

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  35. Before this thread is cut, would be interesting to hear a comment from he who likes to quote opinion polls (Ken) on the Herald opinion poll “blow for SNP as support for independence slips”.

    Of course as I have already stated that is what they are, opinions taken from a very small number of people.

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  36. You really need to calm down, Gus.
    I am sufficiently long in the political tooth to know that opinion polls are simply snapshots and that the media normally present them only to suit their own agendas. I am not in the habit of quoting them and merely did so on the above occasion to illustrate the fact that although you may think (hope) that the Scottish Government is performiong badly most Scots seem to accept that in the present straightened financial climate-for which the previous administrations at Westminster and Holyrood have some responsibility – they are doing rather well and are much to be preferred to any alternative that is available.
    If you place a lot of credence in the Herald’s presentation in this particular instance I wish you the best of British but taking the present trend in polls -and the trends are far more important than individual polls- I take considerable comfort from the way they are going.

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  37. yI can assure you I am perfectly calm, as I stated at the outset of this particular post newsroom seemed to have hit a nerve here.Only as it progressed did I realize it was a very raw nerve.The rabid answers from cybernats has been very amusing.

    Alex Salmond has always reminded me of Dads Army’s Capt.Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe)and on that theme I remember my favourite from that programme, Lance Corporal Jones(Clive Dunn) renowned for hi frequent cry of “They don’t like it up ‘em!”.

    He was of course making reference to the Germans. It would appear nats don’t like it either.

    Best of Btitish to you also!

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      • And I’d suggest he’s never been in the same room as Alex Salmond. Love him or loathe him, he’s the furthest thing from Captain Mainwaring as it’s possible to get.

        Gus’ identification with Lance-Corporal Jones is interesting though and his more frequent cry was “DON’T PANIC!” whilst revolving with his rifle pointed at the various members of the cast. Which neatly describes this thread really …

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    • Do you find defining people according to fictional comic stereotypes comforting?
      In a debate of this sensitivity I think it’s both shallow and unhelpful.

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  38. Comment number 1 on this thread asked if this article was a ploy to get kintyre1 back. Could it be that he/she is masquerading under the guise of Gus Mackay given the tactics of both are almost identical, ie poke the cybernats on any pretext and watch the resulting mayhem. If this can be done without contributing anything positive to the debate then so much the better. Negative campaigning is a proven tactic in Scottish politics. The Labour Party are masters of it. I hope that the next two years in the run-up to the referendum brings an improvement in the standard of debate otherwise voters will be sick of the sight and sound of politicians. This applies to For Argyll too!

    I am still waiting for a case to be put for the Union. Anybody?

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    • FOR- Andy Andrew

      Comment 1 also pointed out MSP’s calling people who don’t agree with them Anti-Scottish,is this positive campaigning? As you say two years until the referendum,who’s choice was that? You flatter yourself if you believe your contribution is of a higher standard than others.Sorry, Kintyre 1 and I are not the same person,but I’m sure he/she is every bit as Scottish as me and also proud to be British.

      FOR – jake

      lighten up!

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      • Fair enough. If I was OTT, I’m sorry.
        You’ll take in in good part then if I refer to your comment with the mis-spells as “Gus-typo Tactics” !!

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        • As I said, I was in a hurry. Tactics ? Not sure where your coming from there!

          But can you believe I get thumbs down for highlighting my own typo errors,just goes to show the kind of people on here.

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          • The thumbs up/down “scores” are interesting but not exactly revealing. It is clear that some people use them as an indication of approval or disapproval of the poster rather than their comment. Certain posters attract flak just for who they are.

            The other thing that interests me is the very high scores that some posts can attract. You can “vote” more than once simply by using a different broadband connection. Thus I can vote here on your post then go to my lab and vote again on it there. However, some of the early posts in this thread have attracted almost 80 votes which seems a lot.

            In any case, I wouldn’t pay much attention to the thumbs.

            Thinking on this thread overnight, it struck me that Newsroom is confusing Totalitarianism with Fascism. Fascism is indeed intolerant but then so are lots of ideologies. For example, for much of its history, the Catholic church has been extremely intolerant of those who disagree with it but this does not make it fascist. The example of Tony Blair’s Labour government showing zero tolerance to objectors at its conferences could be taken as evidence that Tony Blair was totalitarian in outlook but it doesn’t make him a fascist. (As an aside, I was surprised that no-one with Labour Party leanings objected to Tony Blair being described as a fascist – maybe they believe it to be true!).

            Fascism is usually intolerant and totalitarian but the definition is that it is right wing and anti-democratic. It believes in national (and/or racial re-invigoration through political or military violence. Communist Russia under Stalin was fundamentally intolerant, a prime example of totalitarianism but it was most certainly not fascist.

            So, are the SNP totalitarian? The evidence suggests that this is almost as laughable as calling them fascist. When you look at the list of historical analogies applied to Mr Salmond (post 3 from Webcraft) they are all easily identified as being totalitarian in the true sense of the word (with the possible exception of Milosovic) but many are self evidently not fascists. There is clearly a strident unionist attempt to demonise the First Minister but the association between this list of despots and Mr Salmond solely comes from the fact that he now enjoys a majority in the Scottish parliament and he is a strong, charismatic leader rather than any evidence that he shares much in common with anyone else on the list.

            This stushie has arisen because various people have tried to assert that the SNP have a deliberate policy of labelling anyone who disagrees with them as being anti-Scottish. As I myself and numerous others have pointed out that is not what anyone in the SNP has actually said – and indeed the SNP have categorically said the opposite on the subject of independence. The SNP are intensely democratic and inclusive – the very opposite of fascism. Look at their approach to the referendum: they organise an extensive consultation over all aspects of the referendum. Why do they do this? They have a majority in Parliament so can do what they like and instead they consult to look for consensus. Look at the budget. Again, John Swinney could use the SNP majority to push through anything he likes. Instead he sits down in discussions with the opposition parties to look for consensus positions. That doesn’t look very totalitarian to me. And then there was Mr Salmond’s speech in front of Prestonfield House. He said that the SNP did not have a monopoly on wisdom. I haven’t extensively searched the writings of all those who Mr Salmond has been compared to but I will wager that few of them ever said anything remotely like that.

            The SNP is a (slightly) left of centre party with a strong democratic, inclusive and tolerant history. The SNP fundamentally oppose the use of violence in the pursuit of their aims and make no attempt to limit membership on the grounds of race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Mr Salmond is no shrinking wall flower but he is also no despot. He leads a strongly collegiate government composed of talented people, some of whom he has been in serious disagreement with in the past but who all now pull together. Mr Salmond is a leader but he is not The Leader. The SNP have a democratic mandate but far from abusing that mandate they are governing in a consensual manner that would probably be baffling to recent leaders of the Westminster Government.

            I have sat at the feet of enough great men to know they are all made of clay. Mr Salmond is not perfect; the SNP is not perfect. But anyone who compares them and their activities to fascists is doing themselves no favours as far as credibility goes.

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      • As far as I can see, no MSP has called anybody anti-Scottish. Read their comments properly, in context.
        I was not talking about the standard of my own contributions. It was about those whose job it is to contribute, like the politicians and the press. Some of the comments I have read about an independent Scotland would not be out of place in a Terry Pratchet novel.

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    • And from me, thank you Dr M. The other parties could learn a lot from the SNP about how to behave towards the electorate. While they may not have a monopoly of wisdom, they do appear to have a monopoly on common sense and honesty among the political parties, so far. With this in mind, and to do my bit, I signed up today!

      Thank you also, Gus, for reminding me that there is an alternative to the rabid, lying, twisted, undemocratic, warmongering, imperial, self-serving, elitist, immoral and thoroughly unpleasant politics of Westminster.

      I did extend an invitation earlier to any Unionist to defend the Union as it stands but that would seem to be beyond those who go to such efforts to attack anybody who wants to see an alternative.

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      • Andy,

        From the reaction of the thumbs down brigade to your last posting you appear to be on the right track.
        I can truthfully state that applications to “sign up” locally and nationally are at an all-time high.

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