Saturday, 21 January 2012


Today we get the first edition of the new tabloid-sized Dundee "Courier", which they euphemistically term “compact”. I would like to say that it’s a welcome, fresh and new face to the Scottish media scene but unfortunately, I can’t. The best I can do is say that it is shockingly partisan and riddled with mistakes. So no change there then!

I would have thought that it would be impossible for as paper as pro-Tory and pro-Union as the "Courier" to be more biased, but with its re-launch it has somehow managed it. 

Political Editor, David Clegg, launches the new paper with an interview with David Cameron, which is continued and fleshed out on page 10 under the headline “Leafy town key to fate of Union”. 

The leafy town in question is David Cameron’s constituency of Witney in Oxfordshire. What follows is one of the most pro-Union, pro-Tory puffs I have ever had the misfortune to waste ten minutes of my life on. You can just picture David Clegg simpering and drooling over the PM and failing to ask a single hard hitting question.

If DC Thomson wanted to increase the circulation of the "Courier", instead of tinkering with its format and rumoured price hike of a whopping 25% to 60p, a good way might have been to cater for the political aspirations of its potential readers. 

And that might have been indicated to them by observing the voting patterns of the folk in Dundee, Angus, Perth and Fife, which are most certainly not Conservative!

Instead DCT prefers to continue to frustrate them with this nauseating interview with the UK prime minister in which “Call Me” is allowed to expound the virtues of the Union and repeat ad nauseam that he “cares deeply” for it an that he “profoundly hopes” that people will vote for it.

Additionally, whilst in Witney, Mr Clegg conducted a vox pop of a supposed cross section of folk that he met. All, strangely, seem to agree with their leader. 

Clegg tells us that the majority of people he spoke to wanted Scotland to remain in the Union, which is a little odd considering that every poll conducted in England shows a majority for Scots leaving the Union. 

Is he trying to tell us that people in Witney in Oxfordshire are in inverse proportion to the rest of England? Or did he search out his respondents carefully before asking the question in an attempt to portray the English as dewy eyed lovers of all things Scots? (Instead of what they really think, which is mostly that Scots are a bunch of drunk, drug addicted, moaning spongers and subsidy junkies. 

Really, David (Clegg), if you are going to try that kind of thing, it might be a good idea to at least try to keep it within the bounds of reality and not in the most far flung realms of cloud cuckoo land where the sky is a bluer Tory blue and the birds sing out for England and St George.

Now on the paper itself. One would have expected that with the re-launch all the stops would have been pulled out to avoid the perennial "Courier" blunders. (For those of you who don’t read it, the "Courier" is hilariously badly proof read, in fact I don’t think it is proof read at all. Apart from the usual typos, repeat words, spelling mistakes and grammatical snafus, stories end, mid sentence, on a word like “and” with whole sections missing, and even worse, sometimes an entire story is repeated verbatim later in paper.) 

In the new paper I did not spot a mistake until page three, where we get the following “...Mr Hutchison said told the 'Courier'...”. Clearly Mr Hutchison at one point had 'said' something and later it was edited to him 'telling the Courier' but the word 'said' was left in. There are several more mistakes of a similar nature throughout the paper that are the result of sloppy editing and poor proof reading.

So all in all, not much change then... oh, except for the tabloid format and anticipated price hike of 25%.


  1. tris

    Umm! seems to me their is more than a whiff of Anti-Englishness in your missive.

    And in like vein not surprised that the English people who spoke to Cleggy said one thing to him and something completely different in private.

    Anyway one must thank the Courier for taking the Union road more and more are doing so.
    I mean Alex has caved in on announcing the Referendum date and now bows his knee to the Electoral commission...Next retreat on 16/17 year old voting and of course Devo max binned off the Ballot although we do have a lot of support from the snp msps on that one.

    all in all a good week for the Brother of the Union Camp

  2. I think most folk buy the Courier to see what's on in the area and look at the jobs etc. I doubt if anyone reads any of the articles. Except yourself ;)
    I suspect their online newspaper will end up like their evening paper ( Telegraph) and just give you a few lines and a note to buy the paper.

  3. Fluff piece

    more appropriate for Grazia or some other Metro centred personality mag

  4. tris. I bought a Courier when I was out earlier. Looks a bit similar to The Hootsmon.
    Vast improvement on the old Courier. And I got a compact cook book with ring bind folder. Too much ;)

  5. Niko:

    It wasn't Tris. It was Munguin.

    But, for what it's worth, I don't think his piece was anti English. It was anti DC Thomson; anti David Cameron, but it wasn't anti English.

    The English have, in any poll I've read, said that they'd like to see the back of us. And, frankly, I don't blame them. If I'd been fed the crap that Boris the Haystack has been spouting at them about how much we cost, I’d want rid of us too.

    If you ask the average Englishman, I bet he would say that we are subsidised by them. So they would be better off without us.

    They believe we cost them money. And I'm not guessing that. I lived for 12 years as a child in England. I went to school there. It's a part of me, and I am fond of it, but I know that they rarely give Scotland a thought, and when they do they usually think of it as a drag on them.

    As for being anti English, I've put up with a lot of anti Scottish behaviour in my time. The kids at school were cruel about my accent, about haggis, about porridge and the fact we all wore skirts and tartan hats, and drank vast amounts of whisky. They weren’t entirely sure that we had electricity or roads.

    They'd never been to Scotland, and they only knew what they had been told... popular jokes and misconceptions. Ian Rankin, Rebus, hard drinking, swearing, murder...

    Nothing was ever mentioned about Scotland in the news, unless it was a horrific murder. So they didn't really know anything about what it was really like. And the only Scottish characters they saw were the stereotype Jocks, drunk and fighting at matches. Rangers and Celtic. A bit like how we all thought about Ireland. There's more to it than terrorism, but does anyone know about it?

    To be honest, the jibes about Scotland went above my head. I couldn't care less what they thought of it, but it hurt when they made fun of how I spoke.

    And yet, I'm not anti-English. Look at the pictures of David Cameron's constituency. It’s lovely. France is lovely too, but I don't want them to rule Scotland.

    Has it been a good week for you and Mr Cameron? I don’t know. If you are going to do this without it turning to some sort of battle, everyone needs to compromise.

    The Commission is not particularly trustworthy or competent. It depends on how much they are threatened or cajoled, I guess, but I’m sure that there will be some sort of oversight, hopefully international. No one would trust the result if there were not.

  6. I live some 30 miles from Witney, in the same leafy Thames Valley, surounded by rolling downs and tranquil meadows, the very essence of an idyllic English pasturalism. Most of my friends and drinking buddies in my 15th Century local inn are solid members of the English rural middle class.

    Can't stand the bastards!

    P.S. When Mr Niko and the Hang-em, Flog-em, ultra-Tory reactionaries of the Courier leap into bed together, we have come to a pretty pass.

  7. I still live in London and, now, love the people but I have had to put up with being called a 'sweaty sock' for years. At first I used to get upset at them until my brother, who had lived in London for years longer than I, told me that 'sweaty sock' was rhyming slang for 'jock'. Armed with that information I was able to counter their insulting description of my nationality by calling myself that first.
    As usual Niko is trying to equate our dislike for the UK government with anti-Englishness. I think that says more about his idea of a Union than it says about our wish for independence. Niko is the epitome of the Scottish (?) Unionist. He refuses to give one positive reason why the Union should be retained because he knows that, so far, there are no positive reasons so he attacks the party that has brought us closer to democracy than his beloved and corrupt Labour party.
    The courier, when I was living in Dundee, was always my paper of choice as it had the lists of jobs on offer. As to its political leanings then it was always Unionist in outlook but it used to be even worse in the old days. I don't know if this story was true but I remember my mother telling me about DC Thompsons and its anti-Catholic policy. At one time DC Thompson's never employed a Catholic and it was a chance meeting, at a party in London, where the old Lord Thompson happened to meet the Bishop of Dunkeld there. The Bishop queried Lord Thompson about this policy in Dundee. A short while later the manager was 'sacked' and Catholics were employed. Dundee, like various other places in Scotland, had an anti-Catholic bias that was a festering sore in a democratic country perpetuated by organisations like the Masons and the Orange Lodge. The Masons, to their credit, have changed this attitude [I was asked to join once in Scotland and once in England but politely refused both of them. I'm not too sure if that was the correct decision.] but, for obvious reasons, the Orange Lodge still stick to their anti-Catholic bigotry. It is only as a Catholic that you still see the underlying bigotry that still applies in certain areas of Scotland. Let's hope that these type of people will, in the fullness of time, understand that we are not Catholics but Scottish with a different view to Christianity. Personally, I am an atheist and have no time for any religion but respect their right to worship an invisible super being, if that is what they want to do.

  8. CH: you never get the whole thing online with DCTs at least you got the union puff!

  9. Niko dom please feel free to point out the anti-English as opposed to the anti-Tory bits. I thought that you were anti Tory yourself but maybe not now after Mr millibean has kissed up to "call me" you can all stand United, as they say!

  10. Monty can you balme folk for not reading it when this is the sort of bias we get?

    DCT appear to have modernised everything else and joined us in the 21st Century recently so why not wake up to the fact that their Tory bias is not good for circulation in Dundee and neither wiill their anti Independence stance. Tinkering with the shape of the pages is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  11. Exactly Lupus quite sickening really!

  12. Ged like any term of endearment its only really endearing to them.

  13. Munguin, did you get a cook book free?

    We're all off to Monty's next Saturday to sample the delights of the free Courier Cook Book...

    7.30 OK Monty, bring your own Blue Nun!!!!?

  14. Tris,

    Does this nun have a circulation problem. A visit to her doctor seems in order. Or maybe she is just a Scottish Tory?

  15. nooooooooooooooo Ged... She's just rather rude....

  16. Hello Barney...

    Welcome to Munguin's Republic.

    It is worrying, isn't it, Niko joining the Tories? That would have been on my top ten list of things I never expected to happen!

  17. Tris,

    "She's just rather rude"

    I never thought of that one. Mind you, it just goes to show how your mind works ;-)

  18. Munguin. I think papers like the Courier are more for local news rather than political reporting. Although I can see a constant dripfeed of Tory propaganda having an effect over time.
    The 25% price rise is the talk of the steamie ( well on local chat show 'Tay talk in' with Ally Bally )
    Seems a bit steep in these straightened times.

    I've had a look through the cookbook and can't see anything worth cooking. No mealie puddin or square sausage on a bed of rocket anywhere unfortunately.
    I'm going to try 'Roasted Cherry Tomato Tarte Fine with Herb Pistou' and get back to you if it's suitable for a Munguins meetup with Blue Nun.
    Although Mateus Rose' is on offer in the co op so that may be more suitable.

  19. Aye Ged... It's an unfortunate trait!

  20. I remember an old guy, Monty, who worked for DCT all his life, telling me, how for as many years as he could remember and long before that too, they had churned out Tory propaganda, and for all these years the population of Dundee had voted solidly Labour, until the rise of the SNP.

    They don't really seem to have any great effect at all.

    Mateus Rose on special at the co-op? I'm there...and divvy too!!!

  21. Monty,

    Does Ken MacLeod still work there at Radio Tay? I had fond memories of working with him on the talk show in the 80s.

  22. tris.
    yes most of the MSM were anti SNP but it didn't seem to make any difference at the last election.
    I see that BBC Scotland have blocked all their comments on their blogs but doubt if it will make much difference either.
    Are 'divvy' cards not so 1970's ?
    Membership cards these days ;)


    I think Ken McLeod is still there although I'm not into country and western type of music. I found this link for you..

  23. Monty:

    It might be on a card, but it's still "divvy".... :)

    I don't know if it's 1970s. My granny always talked about getting the "divvy"

  24. The divvy was the same thing tris.
    A percentage of your spending is given in discounts. Although the membership card scheme is more of a data gathering scheme rather than a divvy scheme.

    Ged. you're welcome. Enjoy Tammy Wynette etc :)

  25. Och well, Monty, it's still money off at the end of the day...

  26. Gorgeous dress and lovely fabric choice! Don't be sad about ผลบอล moving to London, think of all the lovely vintage social events you ผลบอลสด can go to. Also London has great fabric shops!

  27. Ged.
    Your blog is blocking comments so I'll post here if Munguin/tris don't mind..

    All BBC programmes are biased in favour of the Union, global warming scam or the EU so aren't worth watching.
    But you can't stop paying them £145 a year because if you do they will put you in prison.

    Frozen Planet... last episode banned in the US because of global warming rubbish.

    Autumn watch. Rubbish about loss of Atlantic salmon caused by global warming. No mention of over fishing or disease spread by escaped farmed salmon.

    Birds eye view series. Guff about mother birds safely guiding young birds around windmills. Ignoring research showing thousands of migrating birds killed by windmills every year( bird mincers)

  28. Monty,

    Sorry to hear that you are being blocked. I've left it open to anyone to post which is why I get these rubbish postings like above with their Thai(?) writing. Maybe if you joined my blog then it might allow you to post. Sorry about that.
    The information that you have put out there I will look into but I suspect that it isn't the US government that is blocking it but that the TV channels are just not accepting them, maybe for the self same reasons that you are putting over.
    Sorry too to tris and Munguin for using your blog in this manner.

  29. Feel free lads. There's only a small fee! ;¬)

    At one stage something like that happened here. Unfortunately it was with someone who had taken issue about something that was written about him, and so it looked like it was being done on purpose.

    But it wasn't. (I'll always defend what I've said... or retract it with apologies.)

    You have to look at your spam box Ged. You'll probably find the comments in there. You will have to release them.

    Sorry about the above spam. I've removed a few pieces like that. Usually the filter catches them, but this person has managed to get through.

  30. Tris,

    I can't see anything in the spam box so it must be something else. Damned if I know what it is. I'm still trying to get to grips with this blogging.

  31. It takes time Ged... I'm still a bit dozy about it. Most of what I do happens by chance!!