Wednesday 27 November 2013


I gave up listening to the news interviews yesterday on the subject of our country’s future because they were almost unremittingly biased.

The BBC seemed to me to be taking full advantage of the fact that it has no obligation to be fair and balanced in its coverage of the referendum until the official campaign starts.

It appeared that Jim Naughtie was firmly in the camp of the No campaign, presumably with the backing of his bosses in London. I'll apologise if I've got him wrong, but I suspect that I have not.

No one, least of all Naughtie, seemed interested in asking hard hitting questions of the No side. Maybe the BBC genuinely believes that there is no need for Better Together to have a plan B, whilst it is imperative for Yes, but for the sake of decency, could they not just ask the questions about it.

The EU is a case in point. BT spreads doubt about whether or not Scotland would be accepted into EU, then whether it would be forced to accept the Euro, and then what the cost to Scotland (a rich country) would be.  But no interviewer to my knowledge has said…So Mr British government spokesman, the answer to these questions can immediately be got by you, as a sovereign state member of the EU. Why does Mr Hague or one of his minions not simply ask Brussels for that answer? They would be obliged to provide it for you.

Likewise, the question of membership of an existing sterling zone is a matter that could be settled now.

George Osborne is the Chancellor at the moment; notwithstanding accidents or serious fallings out with Cameron before October 2014, it is more than likely that he will be the Chancellor at the commencement of negotiations between Scotland and the UK.

Why hasn’t an interviewer put it to a No spokesman that Osborne has not ruled out sharing the pound?  After all he hasn’t, despite the silly hints from Alistair Carmichael that George Osborne usually gets what George Osborne wants (an interesting insight into Cabinet government in London and the habits of spoiled rich boys).

We all know the reason. By hinting and suggesting that it would not be
allowed, by international public law (rubbish) or by convention (rubbish) or by George Osborne (who knows) or Ed Balls (who may or may not ever be chancellor even if Labour wins the next or subsequent elections), the No campaign spread doubt on Scotland’s position.

 If they made a definite statement and said that certainly there would be no sharing, then the doubt would pass to sterling and its future.

International money markets would begin to consider seriously that, in the event of a yes vote and Scotland adopting a totally different currency, the pound, losing the massive petro boost, not to mention the large export contribution of Scotland to its value, would sink like a stone.

I even heard this morning that they were saying again that Scotland would be forced to join the Euro, despite it being impossible to join the Euro without first having spent two years in the ERM, and only starting that two years once the present currency meets economic equivalence with the Euro. Germany has had to spend too much money bailing out wayward economies to accept that Scotland should be able to skip all the preliminaries and go straight to Euro membership.

Surely someone in the BBC knows this, but chooses to ignore this, because it doesn’t fit with the agenda.

I wonder though, what is the point of this, particularly on Radio Scotland and Radio Four. By and large the audience is intelligent and thinking. If I can see through the imbalance in the reporting, so can the rest of the listeners. There are radio programmes with audiences which will swallow whatever the BBC throws at them. ‘Good Morning Scotland’ and the ‘Today Programme’ aren’t them. 

So isn’t the Beeb really shooting itself in the foot?

It’s strange that Labour seems to see no good at all in the paper when the Unite Union has already said that they are pleased to see some of the suggestions that the government has made with reference to industrial relations. You'd have thought that there would have been a similarity in what these two organisations, so closely associated with each other, would have thought was interesting.

The headline in the “Scottish” Daily Mail today was half a page of blistering attack on Scotland’s Future”. Even given that they are a bit on the mad side, I was taken aback by the vitriol. I haven’t read the document yet, but I'm always wary of anything the Daily Mail approves of. So I'm assuming from the paper’s outburst of visceral hatred that the document doesn’t contain any Xenophobic or Fascist policies, no cull of the poor or sick or Muslims.

So that’s a relief.


  1. The Spanish threaten to block EU membership of an "independent" Scotland.

    1. That's exactly what the SNP has always said BH. It will apply to join on a successful Yes vote. Apart from the liars in BT, no one has indicated any problem with this being dowe within 18 months.

      No one said that we would just stay in. But it would be a shorter process than most states because clearly most states have to prove that they have human rights, labour laws, blah blah in keeping with the standards of Europe. Clearly Scotland does, otherwise the UK would have been thrown out of the union before now..

      I'm not sure that the Spanish have said they will block Scotland’s entry. You have to have a real reason for blocking otherwise you look really stupid. And particularly in the case of a country which has been a member, whose people carry EU passports and EU driving licences and are above all EU citizens. It probably isn’t a good enough reason to block the application to say that you don’t want other people to enjoy the democratic freedom of voting for independence. After all, Spain wasn’t allowed to join when it was a dictatorship. Only when Juan Carlos brought democracy did they get to join.

      I imagine that other countries would put a large amount of pressure on Spain not to do so (and if it refused to back down I imagine that it might have some sanctions against it, given the reasons for veto are not wholesome) And I imagine too that their own fishermen would be vociferous in their demands that Scotland's waters should stay in the EU.

      In any case more and more it looks like England will pull us out of the EU if we stay with the UK. Cameron demanding the end to the free migration of workers...a basic principle of the EU... on the basis that UK don't like all these foreigners in their country is a demand that surely will be vetoed …and Cameron made to look foolish... nah downright bloody stupid.

      I lay money on it that unless Cameron fails to deliver on his promise of a referendum (in which case he is toast and UKIP is going to get very strong in England, given that half the Tory MPs and Lards will join it), England will vote to come out of the EU.

      The only foreigners they will take orders from are Americans.

    2. No they have not! Just because the Labour party and your personal friends in BBC Scotland like to write the news rather than report the actual facts to suit your joint political agenda does neither of you any favours in the honesty stakes. Trust in you both in Scotland is falling off the cliff.

      What Mariano Rajoy didn’t say Nov

      This was also confirmed on R4 this morning by someone direct from Spain.

    3. Do you believe what the BBC and The Scotsman say about Rajoy's statement?

      Silly Billy.

      I see that CH has already posted it but, it never is a bad thing to reinforce the truth.

  2. Even if an "independent" Scotland was allowed to use the UK Pound, it would mean loss of control over monetary policy. What sort of "independence" is that?

    1. I tend, personally, to be against the idea of a joint currency.

      Of course Darling Alistair continues to fear bomb us with Greece and Spain and Portugal, but we all know that that’s not quite the same thing as England and Scotland. That it’s against international law as that fool Carmichael stated is just ludicrous. (Someone in BT should lock him up in a box. He was a BIG mistake). And that the Welsh FM could veto it, as he said he would was really funny.

      I’d prefer to have a Scottish currency, but I’m told by economists that the removal of the petro aspect of Sterling BoP would mean that the English pound would crash, and drag the pounds of the other countries who defy Mr Carmichael’s international law into the gutter. Never mind Moodies downgrading it. They would use it as toilet paper.

      This would not be good for Jersey, Guernsey, IoM, Malvinas, Gibraltar or the rUK. And it wouldn’t be good for Scotland to have a basket case next door to us.

      I’ll put money on it that that is why Osborne has not actually said himself that he rules it out. He’s left that to the Grammar school oinks to do. You see it doesn’t matter how stupid they look, especially as they are Labour and Liberals.

    2. Very magnanimous. Or should that be self-deluding?

    3. What control do we have now?

      Silly Billy

    4. We are part of a political and monetary union in whichwe have a say through the normal democratic controls. The Nats want us to leave the political union but stay in the monetary union with the bigger partner having all the say.

      It's nuts from any perspective except yours.i

    5. No. I don't think it is BH. The Liberals, inexperienced and naive, are being played like toys by the Tories.

      When the inevitable U-turns come along it will be Carmichael and his likes that look like fools. Gideon will be able to say..."I never said that we wouldn't negotiate about a single currency". Just like when Carmichael made his point about the Clyde shipyards and the Tory minister contradicted him.

      That's why the Tories won't debate with anyone from the Yes side. It's not so bad if the likes of Carmichael or Moore are made to look like the third raters they are.

      In fact it suits the Tories nicely. They will be heading for another win and another 5 years of misery for the working classes (or subspecies as the Eton set like to think of them).

    6. With the Blue Tories in power in the UK and the Redish Tories waiting in the aisles to take over, assuming the UKIP don't form a coalition with the Tories?

      That we look forward to, as our future.

      What feckin influence would we have on the two right wind parties and of course the T party one either?

      Game over for Scotland in the UK and if you are a pragmatic as I hope you are you know that to be true and need to shift to a pro indie stance.

    7. Pretty much yes to all that.

  3. Braveheart,

    Well he would say that wouldn't he? He has his own nationalists he feels he has to deal with. Seems like a bit of an immature idiot.

    And not everyone loves Real Madrid. Och well, shellfish off the menu in the Spanish Capital. Let's see how long that lasts.....

    1. Yes. Exactly...

    2. He has his own nationalists. That's WHY he will veto an "independent" Scotland, to send a message to Catalonia not to be stupid enough to think they could break up his country and expect no consequences.

    3. So what do you think the rest of the countries that want Scotland in will do about that?

      What do you think the consequences will be next time Spain wants something... like another bail out for example.

      I suspect that someone will have a word in his ear.

      Of course England could always veto it. And I wouldn't put it past them. Veto nato too, and the UN and every other organisation, and the Willie Thingy's 5000 treaties...just to show what good losers they were.

    4. It only takes one to veto, and delay for years.... Didn't John Swinney say membership was "automatic"

    5. His advice from civil servants was that it was automatic.

      I think Spain would suffer reprisals not just externally from countries which want Scotland (and its resources inside) but from its own fishermen who fish the North Sea and Atlantic/Arctic Ocean for Spain's staple food. Fish.

      Imagine them being banned from Scottish waters...


      Be like taking fromage away from the French!

      But the man hasn't said he would veto the application.

    6. He didn't use the word "veto" but it is clear he wouldn't see it as automatic either. At least negotiations with the threat of veto. And it's a real threat because he has secessionists of his own and he wants to discourage them.

      Whether Spain would suffer reprisals? From whom? Which European country wants to see the break up of the UK? To such an extent that it would attack Spain for pursuing Spain's best interests? We're getting to the deepest reaches of cloud cuckoo land here I'm afraid.

    7. Many European countries are perfectly happy to see Scotland as an independent country. Despite the BBC construing her comments wrongly the irish FM has said so, and the Danish, The icelandic president (EFTA). As it looks more likely by the day that the UK will leave the EU, I think they would welcome Scotland with open arms.

      You said in your opening salvo the man threatened to block Scotland. (although you are right, he didn't).

      In the council of ministers discussions, what reason would Spain give for denying EU citizens continued EU citizenry...?

      The huff?

    8. I gave the reason. The Spanish do not want Catalonia to get any more ideas about breaking up Spain. If Scotland waltzes into the EU that would be a signal to the Catalonians that they could try to do the same.

      The Spanish Government doesn't want Spain to break up, so they will do anything they can to stop the Scots, IF they vote for "independence", getting an easy ride.

      I note you haven't addressed this any more than anyone has seriously tried to answer the questions and problems on the currency.

      Just asserting that the EU "will" or the UK Government "will" or anyone else "will"do what the Nats say just because you say it is not realistic.

      Eck is looking more and more desperate as his project flounders and all his assertions turn out to be empty.

  4. Braveheart,

    The Scottish Government has offered the UK Government a lifeline. If they are so warped that they refuse to take it then two things, we will confirm what we already know, that Westminster's leadership is not very good.If it comes to it should we take our share in gold or in dollars?

    1. They are just threatening to try to persuade people that life without them will be even worse than life with them.

      Hard to imagine as our sick and old are denied basic social security, but they will try after all.

      When we vote yes, osborne will be begging Scotland to keep his silly pound afloat.

      I'd rather link to one of the more stable currencies in the north of Europe myself, but as I say, I am advised that staying with the pound is good for the UK the other members of the sterling zone (there illegally according to Bruiser Carmichael) and therefore to Scotland as a major exporter to these countries.

    2. We should take our share in Gold. Dollars would be to volitile.

      Remember that one of the reasons for staying in Stirling is that a Scottish Pound would be one of the hardest currancies on the planet, (what with our massive oil and whiskey exports compared to our imports (I think the political term is "balence of payments")) which would hurt tourism.

    3. Yes, agreed. It would also hurt our the cost of our many exports.

      One of Switzerland's huge problems is tying to reduce the value of the FS because their very excellent goods are simply too expensive for anyone other than Norwegians, Danes, Greenlanders or Icelanders and very rich people to afford.

      And of course as our currency strengthened, so would the pound fall in value, possibly plummet.

      One of our big markets is England. They would be even less able to buy anything from Scotland.

      Our markets would be the rich northern countries and Americans.

      In teh meantime, heaven knows what would happen with interest rates in England; but to save the pound from junk status they would have to rise as they did when the pound fell out of the ERM... going up several times in one day as Lamont panicked and major took to his bed (well Lamont said he hid in a cupboard, but I imagine that was a lie).

      Sky high interest rates would mean that people would be thrown out of their houses as they couldn't pay mortgages...

      I'm not in any way an economist, but even I can see it would be more of a catastrophe fro the UK than it would for Scotland.

    4. Illy Stirling is a town in central Scotland. Sterling is a currency. You should only attempt take part in serious discussion when you can tell the difference.

    5. Don't patronise my readers Councillor.

      I decide who takes part in discussions on my blog and when people are criticised for their spelling, grammar, vocabulary or punctuation.

      Typos happen. I make them all the time. We are busy people and most are not typists to trade.

      It's also possible that the respondent doesn't speak English as a first language. And despite the recent increased incidence of racism in the UK, whether from Blunkett or Grieve, this blog will not tolerate any hint of it here.

      Not against the English, not against anyone.

      I hope that's clear.

    6. here! here ! tris
      we dont want no grammar police
      in the republic

    7. Absolutely Niko... otherwise where would we be?

      (Well that's what Munguin said anyway, and he's always right)

    8. I'm sure Illy can take a wee tweak.

      As to blocking comments. You would be the loser.

    9. Hardly the point. I make decisions here, as I'm sure you do on your blog.

      I didn't say anything about blocking people.

      But I'm not sure why or how I would be a loser from blocking someone.

  5. Braveheart is talking his usual rubbish. At no time, and not in this latest comment, has Rajoy said he would veto Scotland's EU membership.

    I won't accept that even Braveheart is so thick that he does not know that-so I say he is just lying again.

    1. This was the North Britishman at its biased best. Even they didn't actually say that he said he would veto it.

      But I gather the BBC has already said that he would.

      Once you tell a lie and there is no media to correct you, it becomes perceived wisdom.

      Still we all know where the Hootsman is headed....

    2. "Send reinforcement we are going to advance"


      "Send 2/6d as we are going to a dance"

      In Dad's Army as a message is sent by a daisychain or people to HQ.

      This story is still growing legs.

    3. No. They aren't the full shilling at the Hootsman, and they short change us all the time.

  6. Surely the Spanish Prime Minister is not so naive as to imagine for one minute that preventing Scotland joining the EU is going to persuade Catalonians to give up on their quest for independence?

    1. People as determined as the Catalans will press on regardless.

      Do your worst with your threats.

      Once again, bug bully countries are not much liked unless they are incredibly efficient and there with the readies to help you out when you're bankrupt.

      That leaves Britain and Spain, both totally broke, out.

      And it only takes a small country to veto whatever Spain next puts forward, and... pffffff

  7. You expect the BBC to be unionist-biased but I was surprised to see STV's Bernald Ponsonby(?) interviewing Salmond. He was red-faced and aggressively questioning Salmond who gave calm replies. However, when Darling was being interviewed later the questions were much more polite and he was given time to answer.

    1. Don't know about being a unionist more likely a Labour supporter like calling the Anus versus Nicola debate a score draw which was a nothing more than a rammy.

    2. He gives the appearance of some sort of neutrality, but I guess STV is some sort of subsidiary of ITV.

      Aren't you fed up of things we have here being "subsidiary" to UK things?

  8. John Brownlie

    As you probably know, Ponsonby stood as a Liberal candidate many years ago.

    Unfortunately the way neutrality is measured anywhere in the media is as follows:

    If you favour the Union you are regarded as neutral

    If you favour independence you are regarded as biased.

    That is how it works e.g the "neutral" panel at the BBC yesterday questioning Swinney/ Lamont:

    Glen Campbell Unionist
    Jackie Bird Unionist
    Gordon Brewer Poor Man's Paxman- all round cynic Does that count as neutral??.

    1. I have too much respect from my TV and the adjacent wall to watch the heavily-vaselined Brewer interviewing anyone.

    2. I'm with you. I can't watch them either.

      I prefer to read about them from braver people later.

      Anger second hand is less destructive.

  9. I used to be a news junkie, but have now stopped watching/reading most of the MSM. The constant lies and mis/disinformation has become too much for me to stomach.
    Getting the truth from online sources must be better for my blood pressure.

    The sad thing is, I used to trust the BBC to be reasonably impartial. Obviously I expected them to have a pro-British slant, but the level of deceit they practice is shocking. Their behaviour now means that I don't trust any of their stories on world events either. They have done serious damage to their reputation.

    1. I feel exactly the same.

      And as you say, if they lie on something you know a fair bit about, how much are they lying on stuff about which you know nothing.

      They are a deceitful organisation. Look at the sex scandals going back to the late 50s. The more you find out, the more you distrust them.

      I've often wondered why the Tories, who would sell their children, grandparents and elderly aunts into slavery for a few dollars, haven't sold off the massive BBC. A place full of bureaucracy gone mad, with loads of commercial potential.

      Clearly that is becasue they can manipulate them to do what they want them to do.

      Otherwise no rises in licence fees and no massive salary increases for the fat cats.

      They are a British propaganda machine paid for by us.

  10. It seems now that BH and all other rabid Labour/unionist supporters will have to apologise for deliberately misleading the Scots yet again for writing their facts as the honest truth when they are completely made up lies.

    Another 8 - 9 months of this to come no doubt or will they own up.

    Scotland and the EU: Mariano Rajoy should just jog on.

    1. Yep... thanks CH.

      I reckon that's quite a balanced report.

  11. Red Tory or Blue Tory choices choices...........?

    Media Lens Message Board

    This was the nod-and-wink arrangement between Labour and Tory governments and the five per cent who owned half the wealth of all of the United Kingdom. The Labour MP turned media man, Brian Walden, described how it worked. “The two front benches [in Parliament] liked each other and disliked their back benches,” he wrote. “We were children of the famous consensus … turning the opposition into government made little difference, for we believed much the same things.”

    1. Well, there you go...exactly what we have been saying.

      From the horse's mouth.

  12. Tris

    I never expected anything different really and I just found it all funny to be honest. Will the EU stop Scotland becoming a member, I very much doubt it due to the fact we want to be members, we are already european citizens, a lot fo europeans live here, we currently meet all treaty and legal requirements and we have around 12% + of it's natural resources and more if you want to add in things like fishing. I think the only nation that may object, when push comes to shove, might be England. Now who do you think the EU will chose, the member who wants to stay a member or the one who threatens to leave every two minutes. There is also the issue that no one in the EU has actually said that rUK would be the successor state as the UK will cease to exsist in the event of a yes vote.

    Currency, the argument is simple. Everytime the issue is raised the YES campaign need to ask BT and the unionists to rule it out. Of course they won't because rUK's economy and balance of payments will make it a basket case and on the brink of bankruptcy with the loss of its AA status, not triple A. I also think that given, unlike the unionists, Alex Salmond is not thick, that there is a plan B on currency that might just get announced a few weeks before the vote which might just screw up everything BT have come up with. Scotland, will the economy as it is even now, could probably go it alone with it's own currency and be fine. The losers would be rUK and the EU so not a problem there I suspect at the end of the day.

    This campaign hasn't even started yet, the YES campaign have not played all their cards yet while I suspect fear is the only card that BT have. Liek Carmichael last night, once the pressure really starts on BT in the official campaign, they will have no place to run and no place to hide then it's game on. I think that right now it's close leaning to yes, once the pressure is really biting and they continue to refuse to answer the questions on currency, on the EU, on assets, on further devolution then they lose it is that simple.


  13. Fair summing Bruce, although I think that if Scotland leaves the UK, it is not unreasonable to assume that the rUK will be the successor state... We leave them, not them us.

    But agree with you on everything else.

    The idea that any of these organisations would not want Scotland is farcical.

    Cameron goes around making enemies of the EU, demanding that one of the basic tennets of the organisation be disbanded. They tell him that it is out of the question and if he doesn't like it he should take the UK out.

    He is threatening to send warships to Spain (again)...

    He certainly knows how to get people onside.

    I agree completely about the currency.

    This is why the only people who actually count in this currency debate Osborne and Caeron are not commenting on it.

    They let the boot boys make the rash threats...Carmichael, Darling and Balls...

    They keep their powder dry. It will be them who decide. And they never said no.

    God, the Liberals are being used like toys.