Comment posted Discouraging omen: Sturgeon at Infrastructure falls at the first fence by newsroom.
‘a single new fact can render all your constructs false’ – agree absolutely – and thank goodness. If this wasn’t so, everything would ossify.
But you can’t say we fail to recognise this since, for the latest example, we made public the new information we got on the Argyllshire Championships; apologised voluntarily to those whom the wrong facts led our earlier analysis to misjudge; and re-evaluated the situation in the light of the new information.
None of us who write here – sometimes collaboratively – start with a thesis and go looking for material to fit it. We arrive at a thesis as a result of observation, information and research. And we happily change it when external facts and events make that necessary. That’s the renewal.
I personally can’t imagine anything more impossible or terrifying than continuing to think the same thing. There are values you hold that broadly stay the same – but events and situations change all the time and if you’re alive, they drive constant revision and revaluation, often radically so.
But – and this is also a personal view – I don’t believe one can live constructively without engagement. Life is about a series of mini-conclusions one comes to on the best available evidence – at the time. The alternative would be passivity, limbo, watching the ever-changing whirl of things remotely but not catching them, experiencing them as they and you meet briefly in the chaos.
Nothing happens without decisions being taken and no decision can be any better than the best possible in the moment – which will change and require different decisions next time. The personal choice is to stay on the periphery with a telescope; or get in there, eyes wide open, make the best you can of it and be prepared to change.
I never understand why we punish politicians for ‘u turns’ – when these are simply proof of learning.
All of this also sort of covers your last remark about ‘recognising the validity of alternative opinions and the inherent fragility of our own world views.’
If we did not recognise the validity – the imperative – of alternative views, we, as individiuals and as a team, would either not enable or heavily moderate submitted comments, many of which are thoughtful, closely argued – and contrary. We even accept that straightforward abuse has its place. This facility, while I wholeheartedly agree with it, has not been of my doing but of a principal colleague’s. And we didn’t discuss it. He just set it up that way. It was immediately right and has been a huge strength in the character and the ‘ownership’ it has taken on.
For Argyll has effectively become a very specific kind of blog belonging to the growing and active community who use it. We in the core team are as much facilitators as information providers, challengers, campaigners and overt evangelists for Argyll and its inventive businesses.
Apologies for the late night waxing philosophical – but take it as evidence of respect, because it is.
newsroom also commented
- The English and the meaning could not have been plainer. Both were unequivocal.
Moreover, in the newsroom, we make a point of taking nothing from anyone. If we review a book, we pay for it. If we cover a show or an event, we pay for it. if we are interested in a service, we pay to use it. If someone needs to meet us or we need to meet them in the course of working up a story, we pay for the coffee or the soup and sandwiches.
We do this for two reasons – we must be under no obligation to anyone that might be thought by anyone to compromise what we say. And we believe that the things we cover have a value – and that value is to be paid for.
For example, we were generously invited to the reception, the launch and the dinner at the opening of Southworth Developments new Ugadale Hotel at Machrihanish – and we did not go.
We absolutely support the energetic investments, the entrepreneurial imagination and the commitment to quality that characterise David Southworth’s and Brian Keating’s spectrum of projects in Campbeltown and Kintyre.
But we have a job to do that requires actual and perceived independence so, while we may have seemed churlish and ungrateful [neither of which we were], we did not attend these events.
But supposing we had gone… and had continued to be as supportive of these initiatives as, for good and given reason, we are – we could not cleanly have distanced ourselves from potential accusations of being seduced by a free dinner and inclusion in a glamorous event.
We are pretty puritan – perhaps very puritan – in our view of the role of working journalists. Wherever we are, we are working and we are outsiders. We have to be.
An example of the antithesis of our stance in this respect is the custom in the BBC that reporters attending, for example, the racing at Royal Ascot and similar events, dress up like guests and racegoers. They are working journalists and, in our view, they should appear to be distinct from those they are there to interview and to comment upon. They actually look quite silly.
The generally estimable Clare Balding, who reported on the Diamond Jubilee Thames Flotilla from the lead boat, the fabulous royal row barge, Gloriana, was so regally dressed and hatted for the occasion that when she left the closed cabin, went onto the deck and waved to the crowds [another error], she was mistaken for the Queen by those on the river banks.
The only ‘perk’ of this job that we accept as legitimate is the reward of doing the job, of seeing inspirational people, businesses, communities, services and projects at close quarters and growing to understand more of very specialist worlds like, for example, wholesale distribution, quarrying, boat building, museums and heritage management, event management, public transport, tourism, further education, marketing and politics.
- Doh. It means that THESE posts are from me.
- It seems a modest enough black list, Simon. I’ll settle for that.
You forgot the typos, though – and the dread frequency of leaving the ‘l’ out of ‘public’ with the most astonishing consequences, most of which, fortunately, get trapped before they make it to the screen.
Good to see you and the Doc getting on. Perhaps being the catalyst for that should go on the positive side of the record?
- No objection to being told we stick in folk’s craws. We need to.
The jury’s still out on the euro.
We’re studying developments carefully – the legal judgment yesterday – that the European Central Bank’s proposed European Stability Measure BIG bail out fund) does not contravene German law (Germnay being the major finders of the measure) also said that any increase in the German contribution to the fund would have to be approved by the German parliament.While some of Germany senior politicians, including Chancellor Amgela Merkel, are willing for their country to pay to keep alive the political aim of a United States of Europe, founded on the already introduced common currency, the German people, whose money it is, are not.
Spain and Italy are refusing even to ask for the bail out funds they need because they feel that the conditions attached would impede their recovery.
EC President Barroso has also just published a call for all EU member states to join in a political union that is a precursor to a united Europe as a single entity. The reaction has been something of a recoil – yet that is logically the price of the common currency.
It would be a brave person who would bet on the euro. This has a way to go before we see which way the weight is falling.
On the Helensburgh dancers issue, your remark here is unworthy of you.
We had been given confident factual information by the authoritative source – which there was absolutely no reason to question. If the director of an event that runs a competition tells you that this is a qualifying contest for a national finals, of course you accept it. They should be expected to know, Our earlier analysis of the situation, quite reasonably, was based on the belief that this information was correct.
It turned out to be untrue, with the Event Director of the Cowal Games – who had given us the information – admitting to us yesterday morning that it was not true. The Argyllshifre Championships is not a qualifier for these finals. We believe that Malcolm Barclay had not known that at the time of telling us it was.
We immediate;y offered an unsought and unqualified apology to all those we felt we had misjudged.
No one asked or suggested we should do this but we knew we should.
You may be irritated by our confidence in what we say – bur that is the result of hard work and a great deal of research. It doesn’t mean we’re always right – but we always show the evidence for why we see what we see.
And we’re honest, as the apology to Helensburgh shows. That matters more than ‘humility’.
While we beg to differ on the reading of the evidence of Nicola Sturgeon’s lack of effort to get properly into her infrastructure brief, events will prove one of us wrong. If it’s us, we’ll be quick to put our hands up.
An independent mind has to take things as they are, not as it wishes they were. We do wish they were different but we’re not given to blinkers.
- The Scottish Goverment has already tested this case in the most telling way – in the tender which was awarded to Argyll Ferries. No operator saw any chance of making money on an all-in-one vehicle and subsidised passenger service. There were no takers. And that was the commercial judgement from those in the industry.
This study is going to be a fabulous spectator sport – and since it’s being imposed on the taxpayer, we might as well all sit back and enjoy the carnival.
Recent comments by newsroom
- Minutes of today’s meeting of ‘Concerned Councillors’ Group
The information is not unconfirmed. It is utterly authentic.
The venue was in Lochgilphead and yes, we admit to being more concerned with the content that the venue.
This does not mean that you are wrong – and there is indeed an additional interest in the session being held outside Kilmory.
- Minutes of today’s meeting of ‘Concerned Councillors’ Group
Duplicate salaries would not be possible within the rules.
This would be a matter of sharing the leader’s salary three ways for the duration of the triumvirate.
- NOW – 21.00: BBC 2′s ‘Town’ with Nicholas Crane visits Oban
Wasn’t it fantastic – history – and with Catherine Gillies at Dunollie as mercifuly crisp as a brandy snap; the entrepreneurial spirit; the landscape; the seascapes; the island connections; the uniquely beautiful waterfront location that actually addresses its waterfront; the thrilling, mad and testosterone-packed outdoor activities born from the natural resources of a place like this; the masculine industry at Glensanda; the great food; the great music….
Now it all has to be made to be true all of the time.
There was that honest and fundamentally worrying glance at the shops for sale and to let, the shabby properties… and we all know there could have been more of this.
But this programme reminded us all of the core value to Argyll of the unique asset of Oban.
The warmth of the programme should not make us complacent that all is well with Oban – but absolutely determined to get it up to speed and keep it developing.
- Minutes of today’s meeting of ‘Concerned Councillors’ Group
The SNP group are clearly unable to progress what they had already agreed at the earlier meeting on 16th May. All of them seem to be totally unable to agree to anything. “Impotent’ gets nowhere near the reality.
The paralysis bears witness to the situation we have already published – that the SNP party now requires its councillors to submit their intentions in advance for signing off [or not] by either the local MSP or an NEC member – and the SNP Constituency Association Convener.
The minutes also bear witness to what we said this morning – that they were squabbling amongst themselves and getting nowhere.
What no one could have imagined – nor would we have dared to publish it – was that we would be getting a New Way hydra as leader.
A triple headed short term leadership with three very different heads – Duncan MacIntyre, Michael Breslin and Vivien Dance.
Did someone say something the other day about popcorn and a seat in the front row?
The difference between the clued up and the clueless revealed in these minutes could not be sharper – and the frustration of the clued up is manifest.
It’s dreadfully funny – but you have to feel real sympathy for Councillor Walsh. Follow him through the minutes and you get the picture.
- Serenissima waits for higher tide – and she has had earlier identities
We are, of course aware of that.
Watching at the time, what we saw her do was make marked changes of course over a short distance, some times at 90 degrees and at one point turning through 180 degrees three times in a row.
While some of this could have swinging to tide and current, the repetitions did seem to suggest controlled activity.
And it was only when she settled that her AIS recorded ‘At Anchor.’
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