Tuesday, 15 March 2016

It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it

By Panda Paws

Alastair Campbell has a new interview out in the Guardian’s Scotland pages from which we quote:

“Campbell suggested that the SNP received uncritical coverage from sections of the media, in stark contrast with SNP supporters who argue that the media – in particular the BBC – displays bias against the party.

"He said: 'I do think the SNP have managed to cast a spell on large parts of the media. They certainly don’t get covered in the same way that we did when we were in government.' "

(Well I had to get an orang-utan in somehow!)
One commentator pondered, rather politically incorrectly, if he was back on the drink. But this is Campbell we are talking about; since when does the truth matter to him when spinning a yarn. The only other explanation is that the common sci-fi trope, beloved of Star Trek in particular, and a pet theory of theoretical physicists everywhere, is true – parallel universes do exist. 

There is one where the MSM is on the SNP’s side, one were Dundee is filled with No-voting, SNP-hating people and the number of failed Labour candidates is so high that the odds against two of them being picked to pose questions isn’t astronomical. 

And then there is the one the rest of us live in. 

What makes his epic 'SNP bad' rant even more odd is that it came during the launch event for his old pal Ken McIntosh’s bid to retain his Holyrood constituency seat, Eastwood.  

Ken has two claims to fame, first Ed Miliband had no idea who he was, and the second, he was beaten by Kezia Dugdale for the SLAB leadership (let that sink in folks).

So it was just a ploy to discredit his pal’s nearest challengers for the seat you ask? 

Well no. The polls suggest that the Tories will win Eastwood. It’s certainly a big target for them. But was a word said against their closest rivals and erstwhile Better Together colleagues? No, a big fat no. 

It was SNP bad all the way. 

Meanwhile, Ruthie the tank commander is making a blatant play for those Labour voters that are staunch Unionists - solidarity not being a big thing in Tory circles. And if Ken does lose his constituency seat there is little comfort on the list.  Three seats predicted for Labour and he is 4th on the list. 

Still there is always his previous occupation as a BBC producer, but would they accept someone with close Labour ties?
A BBC Producer with Labour Ties?
Perhaps he can get a job producing a segment for the Scottish Six called “It’s shite to be Scottish, but even worse to have Icelandic telly”
Hat tip to Wings!
One day I hope SLAB will wake up and realise that their real enemy is the Tory party. I suspect, however, that day won’t occur before the 5th May nor indeed the 24th of June.

Until then it might help their cause if they at least realised just how toxic the Alastair Campbells of the world are and that just because they have a Scottish name that doesn’t mean they know heehaw about Scottish politics or its MSM for that matter.


  1. http://mypseudepigrapha.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/mirror-mirror-hootsmon.html

    1. lots of Trekkers are indy supporters, I suppose it's because we don;t mind going where no-one (living)has gone before...

  2. "He said: 'I do think the SNP have managed to cast a spell on large parts of the media. They certainly don’t get covered in the same way that we did when we were in government.' "

    He's right about that, "Scottish" Labour were/ are never put under the same constant scrutiny, always negative and blatantly biased reporting.

    1. Of course he also said the SNP got uncritical coverage from sections of the media. I don't think they get uncritical coverage from pro-indy blogs, so I'm not sure what he's reading or indeed smoking!

  3. The debate about if the SNP or Labour gov't at Holyrood got the 'toughest' coverage from Scottish media is totally avoiding the real issue.

    A larger issue is just how poor the 'Scottish' newspaper editions are at actually covering *any* Holyrood activities.

    For the Guardian, Telegraph, Mail...even the Scottish Sun...so long as they stick a 'Scotland editor' on a desk and have a columnist dedicated to writing articles for page 13 or 31, they slap the 'Scottish edition' sticker on it.

    It isn't (or shouldn't be) a party political football. I genuinely think the media still hasn't woken up to the new power-centre in Scottish political life. Holyrood should have far more rolling political coverage.

    Take the BBC, while I praise the content they do have...I'd ask this question:

    'why is there not an hour long 'Daily Politics Scotland' type show on every day?' I love watching the DP broadcast covering UK-wide issues, and I'd happily keep broadcasting in 'north of the border'; but we could really use more in-depth daily coverage.

    That all said, I think the idea of a 'Scottish 6' is utterly daft. The 6 o'clock headlines aren't the issue. The issue is a chronic failure to provide in-depth Scottish political broadcasting & reporting of the same quality as is found in UK-wide shows/papers.

    The only exceptions to this rule I can think of are three specific papers/magazines namely the Scotsman, Herald & Holyrood Magazine.

    Apart from these three examples it's all just lip-service, or a mentality of 'that'll do'.

    1. As Panda Paws wrote the article I'm going to leave her to comment on the posts, as I always do.

      But I thought you might like to read the Wings article "The Murder of Words". http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-murder-of-words/

      Both the Times (of London) and the (Glasgow) Herald, present desperately misleading headlines, which defy logic, given the content of the report on which they are commenting.

      I accept that both newspapers have political priorities which do not favour the SNP. That's only right and fair in a democracy, and it's fair enough, in editorials and features, to represent the proprietors politics. But this is plain lying. And on a front pages in the case of the Herald.

      It seems incredible to me that they would do that, and that they would favour this lie over the story that there are to be £200 million cuts to Scotland budget.

      As for a Scottish Six, Id say the main problem with UK news is that there are four governments. Clearly the most important is the English one (as it covers 85% of the population). Each of these governments has very different policies on various matters devolved to them.

      So, for example, the BBC, quite reasonably, given that they provide 85% of the audience, concentrate of English laws and regulations.

      We have had wall to wall coverage of Mr Hunt's problems with his junior doctors for months. Now first of all, that's not of a huge amount of interest to the average Scot, Welshman or Irishwoman. And secondly, only rarely do they remember that they are broadcasting for Britain and that they need to mention that this is only happening in England.

      Today, on the National "Today" programme, there was extensive coverage of the changes that the Chancellor will introduce to schools. All will have to be academies and they all schools will be able to apply for money to extend the school day with sports and drama. It's not happening here, or in Northern Ireland (I'm not sure about Wales). But at no point did anyone mention this. So don't panic teachers, parents, kids adn local authorities. Education is not about to me centralised.

      It seems to me that Scottish viewers or listeners, hear the British and English news at six, and wait till 6.30 to find out about their own news.

      I'm not being heartless when I say I have very little interest in what's happening in England under another jurisdiction.

      Sorry... Back to Panda Paws now.

    2. what Tris said

  4. All of a sudden this individual, who manipulated the media for years, is given the opportunity to make statements on which he is apparently never challenged or asked for justification by those doing the interviews. You would think that the chief designer of the dodgy dossier which led to a massive loss of lives would be hiding his head in abject shame.

    1. I don't think that shame and Campbell are well acquainted with each other! I reminds me all of the fawning coverage Gordon Broon got when he was "saving" the Union. He was a proper elder statesman according to the same papers that castigated him as PM.

  5. So a brief summary of Ken "Iceland's a coup" Macintosh's career -
    Forgotten by Ed
    Beaten by Kez
    (Probably) beaten by Scottish Tories
    Best pals with dodgy dossier Campbell

    Better going back to the Biased Broadcasting Corp, Ken.

    1. I'd love to see polling for Eastwood. I have my doubts we'd be winning any constituencies this time round. I reckon 17-19 MSPs for Tories, but all from the regional (maybe one exception a constituency MSP for Berwickshire Roxborough?)

      Mind you, I'd happily be proven wrong and see Eastwood reclaimed for the first time since a certain disaster circa 1997...

    2. Provost, I wonder if the interview with Lesley R above was his audition reel. Or whether he'd join Jim Murphy bringing "peace" to the Balkans?

    3. Dean - here is some latest polling that echos previous predictions.


      Fair to say you are happier about the prospect than I am.

  6. Thanks for the article PP.

    I've no idea of Campbell is, as he was portrayed, a foul mouthed bully. But it seems to me that he was hugely involved in teh works of Tony Blair. Maybe even behind a lot of them.

    If I were the hapless Ken McIntosh, I'm not sure I'd want him speaking at my bid to be elected.

    1. Ah but Alastair is a big hitter, a star sprinkling gold dust on Ken's launch or something.

      I don't think SLAB have a concept of toxic - after all they seem happy with Ian Smart!

    2. Maybe Alistair and Ken are preparing the case for bombing Iceland, after all -

      They backed Scottish Independence
      They are foreign
      Their volcanoes are a threat to British aircraft (WMD perhaps?)
      And of course their telly programmes are mince.

  7. Panda

    I think the media downplay Holyrood nationally because they don't want to give it more credibility than they have to. The fact that many voters now care a lot less about Westminster is both good and bad but from a unionist point of view scary, it takes people a step closer to asking why are we still involved at all with westminster and that scares them. AC, yesterdays man and just not interested in anything he has to say, like I am with Labour now.


  8. Caught the headlines from that new paper called New Day, interestingly academies were for Britain which is strange, 300+ years Scotland has controlled education and the still do not understand the Treaty of Union in Englandshire. HELENA

    1. Hi Helena

      Englandshire understands the TofU perfectly. Scotland was annexed and became part of a larger, albeit renamed, England. We are no more important than Shropshire.

  9. Campbell spent so much time spinning it addled his brain!!

    1. He must still be dizzy from it all!!

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