Saturday, 21 August 2010


Yesterday Radio 4’s “Any Questions” came from the Harvest Field Centre in Sutton Coldfield, a leafy suburb of Birmingham.

Eddie Mair’s guests on the panel were Baroness Ruth Deech, Chairman of the Bar Standards Board, Douglas Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, author and historian Alex von Tunzelmann and Maajid Nawaz, founder of the Quilliam Foundation.

It was brought to our attention by Cynical Highlander that 36 minutes into the programme there was a discussion about the release of Al Megrahi. I found some of the comments quite literally incredible.

The Noble Deech said:

"If Scotland wants to be independent, OK be my guest, go ahead do what you want and please take back with you all the Scottish politicians, there are so many of them you know, starting with Blair, (sic) Brown and Campbell (sic). Take them all back and off you go and go off on your own because actually we are all subsidizing them, I think, by way of benefits and all sorts of reasons and if they want to show how independent they are, then OK thank you and goodbye."

Nice delivery by the way Your Baronessness!!

But she wasn’t the only one who insulted us.

Douglas Murray’s (Eton and Oxford) remit as being a director of social cohesion clearly doesn’t run to any kind of cross border friendships because he certainly cares very little for us or our politicians. What a load of hatred spewed from this guy.

This is what he said: “There is not very much to do if you are the Scottish Justice Secretary in a devolved Scottish Assembly (sic). You can at least read the one important bit of news that’s come across your desk in the last five years (sic). The problem that I think, (sic) the most galling thing about this whole thing is this pretend, horrible, charade building in Edinburgh called the Scottish Parliament and the horrible charade politicians who inhabit it and who occasionally crawl out of the darkness and explain something to the rest of us, as if we’ve never thought of moral questions before. I mean Kenny MacAskill and Alex Salmond these horrible grandstanding, Mickey Mouse politicians have been parading around talking about the unique compassion of the Scottish people. We are uniquely compassionate no one else feels compassion like me. I’m feeling so compassionate at the moment I can hardly bare it.”

What a tosser.

OK. If you do not believe the Scottish government, if you think that Kenny MacAskill and Alex Salmond were so incredibly stupid that they let a supposed mass murderer out of prison, knowing that he would live for another 10 years, then doubtless you will be very angry with them.

But Alex Salmond is a wily character. Even his worst enemies would give him that. He knew that this would be raked over not just by Scottish politicians but by the politicians of the most powerful country in the world. With respect to any Labour, Tory or Liberal leaders in parliament most of them have been walked all over by Salmond. The international stage was going to be a very different kettle of fish. Questions would be asked by some of the most powerful people in the world.

Salmond knew that. He knew he would be questioned by, Obama, Clinton and members of the Senate and House of Representatives... He knew the eyes of the world would be on him... and the decision he, or Kenny, made.

I simply don’t believe that he made it for any other reasons than the ones that he gave. He’s just not that gullible

Mickey Mouse panellists on the BBC playing for a laugh and quite clearly being carried along once they knew they had the English audience on side should be ashamed of themselves. The programme in question is a respected vehicle for intelligent political discussion. If panellists are looking for a cheap laugh, the ‘Now Show’ or the ‘News Quiz’ is the correct place to look for paying employment.

But the clear hatred of Scots, and Scots politicians (all of them) and of the Scottish parliament was made more than clear by the warm reception that these people's rants got from the Sutton Coalfield audience.

They may be the best advertisement for Scottish Independence possible. The SNP could begin to afford this kind of publicity.

Tape it Alex, and use it in the campaign!

Pics: Deech, MacAskill and Murray.


  1. Sorry if there are spelling errors in the above post. It was done in a bit of a rush, but I wanted to get it out before I head off for the rest of the day.

    I'll check up on it later.

    Grateful thanks to Cynical Highlander for the heads up.


  2. what a bunch of play to the gallery to**ers, I'm sick to death of em all!!!

    Long live Scotland and its independance (if it ever truely achieves it)

  3. can the speeches be put up on utube for all to hear

  4. In all fairness, we poor English Unionists are forced to suffer BBC shit like this every minute of every hour. There is little doubt Bliar is very wealthy, like many of "New" Labour shit. They remain very much mourned by The BBC. One thing is for sure, every country has its share of crap. Scotland has much to admire and I would rather fight their cause than any politicians'.

  5. Bit of an odd panel, I thought.

    * A virulently pro-Israel lawyer with suspect views on Islamic types.

    * A ghastly Islamaphobic neocon who has previously said that "all immigration into Europe from Muslim countries must stop", but who is never off the BBC.

    * A former member of Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, who left to set up the Quilliam Foundation think tank which received £1 million from the UK Labour Government. Quilliam later went on a witch hunt against Osama Saeed.

  6. Also, Baroness Dreich was strangely silent about massive subsidies to the state broadcaster when she was a BBC Governor from 2002-2006.

  7. I actually heard the transmission over the web and was speechless.

    Newsnet will, I think, be including the broadcast in a blogpiece out soon.

    What spoke volumes was the rabid mob of the audience and the silence of Eddie Mair.

    If you could substitute Paki of Muslim for Scots this would have rightfully viewed as racist but it is OK for the English to be racist against Scotland and the Scots.

    An utter disgrace and I bet the BBC will do nothing about it.

    Why do I think that there is a concerted and directed media onslaught of disinformation against the SNP and Scotland which smells beyond that of individual political parties. Some serious power levers are being exercised.

    We must be frightening someone or something.

    Wonder who that could be?

    Who has form in this sort of psyops?

  8. I'll drink to that Indyan.

    As George the Baron Foulkes might say though... It's an outrage.

  9. Anon:

    I suspect they can, but I'm not sure how. I hope that other bloggers will pick this up though and get that programme heard through the blogesphere.

    There's a reply programme called "Any Answers" to which my mum listened, and she said that there were very few mentions of this.

    Radio 4 is proabbly not much listened to in Scotland and I can only suspect that people in England have no issues with us being called scroungers by an illbred elderly baroness and our parliament and parliamentarians being berated by a silly little twat with attitude problems... and, despite his first in English from Oxford, a very poor command of the language. I suspect papa must have been able to provide a new roof for the library...

  10. Thanks Oldrighty... I'm glad we'll have to on side when we strike ...LOL

    I think that people should be a little more temperate when they are on a programme on BBC.

    These people may well have felt strongly about Lockerby, which is in Scotland (so I'm surprised the baroness was much bothered that it suffered). But these rants were well beyond what was acceptable.

    Radio Four used to be for the intelligentsia: it appears to have been dumbed down to the level where any loud mouthed pratt can come along and rant.

    It's time the BBC was abolished.

  11. Yes G Campbell....(hello by the way) It was an odd panel, but you can't get hold of MPs at this time of the year and Lords are usually like hens teeth. They are on their happy hols, now that school, I mean parliament, has broken up.....and the money the BBC offers is insufficient to tempt them back from where ever it is these people go ... They'd certainly be at home in Disneyland

    I didn't know much about any of them... Thanks for providing us with that gen. They are indeed odd.

    Deech appears to have made a lifelong habit of getting money and honours and titles from the public purse. So I wonder if she thinks she shuld be made independent too?

    Both she and her friend, the inarticulate "first in English" from Oxford Murray, now have details of their little rants on their respective Wikipedia pages.

    I wonder how that happened.

  12. I'm sure you're gonna tell us Bugger...

    I thought it was racist too... and normally I like most people, laugh racism against me off. But this time I was fair fizzing with rage.

    I seriously think that unless the government does something to reign in the BBC NOW, we should all, at least in Scotland where we get a terrible deal out of them, cease to pay our licence fee. I mean, they are cutting policing by 25% - 40%, and the BBC is left in tact...What Alice in Wonderland world do we live in?

  13. The warm display of Tory respect for their Scottish cousins was just breathtaking. Not and the worst offenders Baroness Dreich and that ghastly would be intellectual are half quislings of the worst sort. I often wonder what it is that keeps the Tories holding on to Scotland with such grim determination. And I often ask Tories. After all if it were not for Scotland England would be a happy land of never ending Torism where colours would be brighter and the birds would sing out their happy hearts for England. But I never get an answer, surely it’s not their kind regard for the sponging, wining, piss-artists and drug addicts north of the Watford gap. Wonder what it could be?

  14. "Why do I think that there is a concerted and directed media onslaught of disinformation against the SNP and Scotland which smells beyond that of individual political parties. Some serious power levers are being exercised"

    For a readable answer to this question, you could do a lot worse than to read "A Yearning for Jacob's Son" by Ross Robertson (Caldivum Press, 2009), a political thriller with more than a touch of verisimilitude.

  15. They seem to dislike us, if the reaction to today's rant is anything to go by Munguin. The audience were fair cheering them on when they talked about spongers and their ghastly little parliament and their ghastly little politicians.

  16. birnie. Hello. Nice to see you...

    Thanks for the details of the novel. Love political thrillers and I love books with a message....something I can learn from without it being too hard a read!

    I'll defo read it.

    Maybe a wee synopsis .... if you're up for it?

  17. I missed this too but I'm sure it's repeated on Sunday around 1pm - both the questions and answer programmes.

  18. What Alice in Wonderland world do we live in?

    The one where the BBC is the Media Whore who will tailor remake its face to suit Cameron, if he pays the Piper, or rather, we do.

    Power without responsibilty.

  19. Two things strike me about this. I have not heard the programme, yet, but it strikes me that Eddie Mair is a Scot, I think, from the Dundee area. I wonder what his views were on the subject.

    Murray's Social Cohesion Group is defined as being a "non-partizan think-tank". Thank goodness they are not a partizan think-tank or we'd have to head for the hills...

  20. It's repeated on Saturday Subrosa, but a click on the first paragraph of the story will take you to the iPlayer and, as Cynical Highlander said it's in about 35 minutes. I couldn't work out how to get it to go straight there... However, in case you’re not used to the BBC player, you don’t have to listen to the whole thing, you can use the bar at the bottom to take you to the place you want to be. (Listen to Tris the techie telling you what you probably know already, after you taught me half of what I know about how to do a blog!)

    Two things struck me about it: These rants against Scotland were the work of two supposedly intelligent people whom the BBC thought worthy of taking part in a serious discussion programme; and the fact that the audience, again, you would suppose made up of intelligent people (on the basis that no-one really stupid would chose to go along to a broadcast of this nature, where doubtless they would yawn their way through the proceedings), and they thought these people to be funny and right headed in their rant.

    It was also noticeable, as Bugger pointed out, that Eddie, who is no wilting violet about butting in on people, and who is normally an excellent chairman, said nothing.

  21. Bugger: I suppose that’s the way of the people who depend so much on Cameron not saying “BBC...cuts between 25 and 40%”, and the end of the likes of Alan Yentob’s free first class life for contributing precious little.

    It could only happen here though, that people will tolerate cuts across the board on virtually all services, except the BBC, especially when it’s been shown how much of the money they take for granted is wasted on lunches. And liquid ones at that.

  22. Yeah Brownlie. I’m sure someone I used to work with went to school with him in Arbroath. I think he started by reading the news on BBC Scotland. He was Jackie Bird.

    He now presents the PM show at 5 pm on Radio 4, where he has proved himself to be no shrinking violet when it comes to putting Cabinet ministers in their place. In short he’s not backward, or cowed. It is surprising that he said nothing.

    It’s also surprising that no one on the panel said... “sorry Eddie but......” . After all, his Scots accent is strong. English people couldn’t help but know he was Scottish.

    There was nothing clever about it at all. And really neither of the two I mentioned was addressing the issue of Megrahi. They were venting their spleens on the Scots and their politics.

    And cohesion....? Bloody hell. If i were interviewing for that position I can’t imagine anyone less able for the job than wee Murray. If that's him try to "coheses", I'd hate to see the results of him getting in a bit of a strop and trying to smash!!!!

  23. I'd just like to say a public thank you to Doug the Dug, who went to all the trouble of putting the 6.5 minutes of that question on to an MP3 for me, in the hopes that I would be bright enough to get it on to the blog..... and save you having to work your way through it...

    ....Unfortunately he had a great deal more faith in my abilities than were totally justified.... so sorry, we're not any further forward.

    But Doug... Thanks man... I really appreciate that!

  24. Saturday, August 21, 2010
    "Eddie 'Said Nothing?'"...
    Eddie Mair was brilliant. He sat through 50 minutes of high-fallutin' ill-informed hot air, the most rabid of evilly ignorant Anti Scottish discrimination and finished with a wonderful set-up and slam-dunk on Baroness Deech.
    The last question was "W'd the mimmbis of the punnil engba embaqqe on a university course today, knowing they could be twintee fooive thousand pounds in debt boi the endiveet?"
    (Think Birmingham when you read it.)
    Ruth Deech was last to be invited to comment...
    Mair: (Cooly), "Ruth Deech, I'll give you £25,000 if you can summarise your views on this subject in about 30-odd seconds".
    Baroness Deech: Waffle .. "It tooke mey nyne tryes to get up to Oxford - including Caymbridge, but it was worth it ... waffle... It's all about intelligence and intelligibility".. {unspoken message I am conseederably reechaah and more in-teeliginte than yaoh} .. waffle. Stop. .
    Mair: (oh-so-silkily) "I'm afraid you went slightly over - so the money isn't yours.."
    That is the BBC Any Questions put-down of the decade for my money!

    Is the Any questions website.
    Is the player for that programme.

    But the player site is not available!
    "Try again later" it helpfully suggests!

  26. LOL Ski Presto.

    Top marks for being able to type in Brummy!

    EEts not iesie ees eet? Boot yow deed good! Yow cid ave the 25 grand for yowr self.

    I didn't hear the end bit.

    Eddie is good usually, and very funny. I just expected him at some point, while that silly cow was going on, to say something about racial rants not being acceptable on the PC BBC...

  27. BBC... conspiracy Anon?

    Nah.... Well yeah actually, probably....

  28. OK you "simply don't believe" that Salmond & co (&whoever were winding them) didn't have any doubt that Megrahi was totally guilty but had only 3 months to live & thus shopuld be let off. You are entitled to that opinion but not to have it taken seriously.

    I consider the fact that the Home Secretary decided that Biggs should die in prison, without any need for mercy & then less than a month later & just before the decision to release Megrahi, totally reversed himself & released him shows who was directing Salmond's pantomime.