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By a Newsnet reporter
 
First Minister Alex Salmond has told the Leveson inquiry of his fears that his bank account was accessed illegally by the Observer newspaper.
 
Mr Salmond was giving evidence to the Leveson inquiry when he described a conversation he had with a former journalist at the newspaper, who he said told the First minister that his bank account had been accessed in the run up to the 1999 election in Scotland.

According to Mr Salmond, the journalist provided details of the account, which could only have been known to someone who had accessed it.

He said: "What I can say is that I believe that my bank account was accessed by the Observer newspaper in 1999.

"My reason for believing that is I was informed by a former Observer journalist who gave me a fairly exact account of what was in my bank account that could only have been known to somebody who had seen it."

Mr Salmond recalled the journalist telling him of purchases the First Minister had made in a toy shop called ‘Fun and Games’ that had caused much mirth at the newspaper with colleagues speculating whether the shop was something other than a traditional toy shop.

He explained: "For example I bought some toys for my then young nieces in a toy shop in Linlithgow High Street which was called 'Fun and Games'.

"The person who informed me told me this caused great anticipation and hope in the Observer investigation unit because they believed that perhaps 'Fun and Games' was more than a conventional toy shop."

The revelation that the Observer may have hacked the First Minister’s bank account has taken the inquiry into a new dimension.  Thus far proceedings have focussed on News International and the Murdoch Empire and suggestions that other newspapers may have been involved in illegal activities has been muted.

Mr Salmond also fielded questions on his relationship with Rupert Murdoch, with the First Minister confirming he had met with the media tycoon once a year over the last five years.  Mr Salmond contrasted the five meetings he held with the very many meetings held by Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

Mr Salmond said he had met Mr Murdoch "five times in five years" which he believes was "pretty reasonable" and "isn't in the same league as Mr Blair, Mr Brown or Mr Cameron".

The First Minister also insisted that at no time had he sought the support of Mr Murdoch’s newspapers in return for political favours.  The claims follow an email in which Mr Salmond was said to be willing to lobby UK Minister Jeremy Hunt over News Corps bid for BskyB.

Mr Salmond repeated his explanation that his lobbying would have been in relation to jobs and investment in Scotland and again explained that at no time has he sought the support of any of Mr Murdoch’s newspapers.

Mr Salmond’s appearance at the Leveson inquiry followed fevered speculation from the Scottish media over whether his phone had been hacked.  Opposition parties had sought to use the speculation in order to attack the First Minister.

However the First Minister disappointed many journalists when he confirmed that investigations by Strathclyde police had uncovered no evidence that his phone had been hacked.

Comments  

 
# brusque 2012-06-13 16:58
Dignified is what comes immediately to mind.

Followed by open and honest and humourous.

I actually can't recall anyone else having such a favourable hearing.
 
 
# Mac 2012-06-13 18:28
Have to agree. Salmond is a much more rounded and balanced character than the hostile media try to make out.

Compare that to Gordon Brown where there was much sucking breath at his testimony to Leveson.
 
 
# Kinghob 2012-06-13 17:07
Even the 'moment by moment' hopeful as anything account in the sc*tsman failed to reveal anything against the First Minister.

One might imagine the bbc will have to doctor any part of this interview by the cretinous labour and tory charlatan hypocrites to look as if Alex Salmond was on the back foot whereas he certainly was not.

The media anticipated that the FM was hacked, he was, but only his bank account, still the 'scottish' media had a field day allowing the minions of labour and the tories and the libdems to attack the FM in anticipation anyway.

It will be a tad difficult for the bbc to simply bury the honest answers of Salmond-they will be spewing into their tepid beers tonight that Alex Salmond proved what an honourable politician with intelligence can do with the rather tame Levenson enquiry which is a bit of a toothless joke is it not?

Kinghob
 
 
# Exile 2012-06-14 09:33
I don't understand how having had one's phone hacked could lay one open to political criticism. Or is it the case of the victim being guilty of the crime? Forgive me, but I'm totally confused by this.
 
 
# Jimbo 2012-06-14 09:56
Hi Exile,

They desperately wanted Alex Salmond to say his 'phone had been hacked so they could attack his hypocrisy in sucking up to Murdoch and continuing a relationship with News International even after being one of their hacking victims.
 
 
# hafpipe 2012-06-13 17:25
Is the full version available to watch online somewere? Anyone got a link for it?

Thanks.
 
 
# oldnat 2012-06-13 17:29
www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/.../

(though I couldn't get it to load!)

The "English Parliament" clip is here

www.youtube.com/.../
 
 
# src19 2012-06-13 17:43
Or try here :-
levesoninquiry.org.uk/.../...

This one works.
 
 
# hafpipe 2012-06-13 18:49
Amazing! Thanks.
 
 
# Conan the Librarian™ 2012-06-14 06:20
Heh. Brilliant.
 
 
# Will C 2012-06-13 17:42
A true statesman, even Brian Taylor had to admit that the First Minister gave a very polished account of his dealings with the media.
 
 
# Fungus 2012-06-13 17:49
www.youtube.com/.../

Is also a link to the FM's evidence.
 
 
# brusque 2012-06-13 18:02
Taylor always manages to make "polished" sound like Mr Salmond is a Spiv!

As for Willie Rennie's ridiculous "prove something didn't happen"..........maybe someone should ask him for proof he is a competent politician. Where would he find it?
 
 
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-06-13 22:50
"As for Willie Rennie's ridiculous "prove something didn't happen"

Actually this is illogical, you cannot prove a negative......The onus is on any accusers to prove there was wrong doing or shut up
 
 
# Jim Johnston 2012-06-14 05:59
Oh no ?, aye, right.
 
 
# Seagetagrip 2012-06-13 18:12
AS killed the argument re the implication that the Murdochs had influenced their editors on his behalf by making the point that if they had influenced the Scottish Sun, why had they clearly failed to influence the editor of the Scottish Times. Great stuff!
 
 
# Wee-Scamp 2012-06-13 18:21
I was able to watch most of the broadcast live. For sure AS has killed Lamont's line of questioning on this issue stone dead.
 
 
# Silverytay 2012-06-13 18:26
Willie Rennie certainly manages to put a different slant on the presumed innocent until proven guilty scenario . Over the last couple of years I have noticed the cyberbrits have always alluded to things in A.S private life but how they can turn , buying toys for his nieces into something else takes some imagination .
Once again despite all the innuendo etc by the m.s.m and unionists against A.S , they fail to land a blow on him .
 
 
# J Wil 2012-06-13 18:33
I wonder if any of the opposition leaders will dare to go near the subject in tomorrow's FMQs?
 
 
# ituna semea 2012-06-13 18:33
" Mr Salmond contrasted the five meetings he held with the very many meetings held by Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron."
Is there a pro rata for Lesser Politicians like Mr Salmond and the UK's leading politicians.
Mr Salmond had five meetings in five years does that mean that Tony Blair is allowed fifty.
 
 
# oldnat 2012-06-13 19:08
That's weak - even by your low standards.

What was refreshing was the clarity and honesty of the answers - (I paraphrase)

"Yes. I was prepared to lobby in favour of the BSkyB deal, once I had assured myself that it would continue to provide high employment in Scotland. Westminster retained the decision on broadcasting, so i was simply concerned about jobs (sotto voce - I also knew damn well that the UK Secretary of State wouldn't pay a blind bit of attention to what I said, so who cares)"

"Yes. I tried to get media support for my party. Doesn't everyone? I didn't have to deals with anyone for that. The new Scottish Sun editorial team were keen to support the SNP because they had done extensive research among their readers. They wanted to be on the winning side."
 
 
# derek 2012-06-13 22:41
I don't know if 6,000 jobs constitutes high employment,Bsky B doesn't allow trade union representation? even when over 50% of the workforce want it.I think Mr J missed the opportunity to ask Salmond if he supported Murdoch's wish to break up the BBC, reduce the licence fee and their internet interests, so Murdoch could corner the market.I'm surprised the SNP don't mind being dictating to about employment policy from the Murdoch empire
 
 
# Suomi 2012-06-13 18:48
In response to itunuma semea,I find his idea that Alec Salmond is a lesser politician than the so called leading politicians,to be ridiculous.Even pro-uninionsist politicians in a very biased media have admitted that Alec Salmond is a very competent politician that is head and shoulders above all of the current UK politicians.The issue is not about how many meetings,bur about what the agenda was for those meetings.
 
 
# ituna semea 2012-06-13 21:47
"The issue is not about how many meetings,bur about what the agenda was for those meetings. "
The point about the number of meetings was raised by Mr Salmond himself. Re lesser politicians, surely even Mr Salmond's most devoted admirers cannot hope to equate the First Minister of Scotland with the Prime Minister of the UK. The number of his meetings with the "dirty digger" merely reflect the relatively "lesser" status of his office.
 
 
# oldnat 2012-06-13 22:48
We have an interesting article on psychological attitudes elsewhere on this site.

You might make an interesting study with reference to your continual use of pejorative terms and sneering vocabulary.

If we translate your words into the vocabulary of normal people, then you are simply suggesting that media moguls will spend more time courting politicians who have the power to make decisions affecting their profits than those who don't.

I agree with you. Now that wasn't so hard, was it?
 
 
# brusque 2012-06-13 18:51
I have no time for the Murdochs; however, I thought it was disgraceful that an 82 year old man could be attacked in the very room in which he was giving evidence early in the inquiries!! It was only a custard pie, but think what it might have been........where was security?

I also thought it was quite disgraceful that he was questioned for almost 6 hours in total at Leveson, and Lord Leveson was the only person to consider his years when breaks were arranged.

I am certainly inclined to believe Murdoch before any of the rabid Labour lot, including Tom Watson.

And Eck just showed them all how a real Statesman conducts himself. How lucky are we to have him?
 
 
# Macart 2012-06-13 18:59
Watched it start to finish and what a contrast to those who sat there before him. Relaxed, humorous and serious by turn and always forthright with his answers. No need for barnstorming bluster or Yes Minister obfuscation, each and every question given a full answer and even amendments and additions to Leveson's own records on calls and meetings. But mainly, other than the Observer revelation, it sounded like a businessman's diary being recounted. Fairly boring stuff and nowt to write home about.

Just checked Guardian site. Their first story on the subject covers everything except the observer allegation. Still no comments.

guardian.co.uk/.../...

Comments also worth reading here:

heraldscotland.com/.../...
 
 
# Mako 2012-06-13 20:49
Yes...I got a little carried away (Dave Dailly). I hear that the BBC England version of events was very different from the BBC Scotland version of events.
 
 
# Macart 2012-06-14 09:44
I'll bet it was Mako, you can hear the wind whistling through the pages of the press today. Nothing to see here, move along. :)
 
 
# clootie 2012-06-13 19:06
what a performance. I nearly choked on the English parliament quip.
 
 
# Macart 2012-06-13 19:45
Not too bad at all was it?

'Just the facts'

What do you reckon clootie, long day for the no camp at FMQs?
 
 
# clootie 2012-06-13 21:23
:D
 
 
# Leswil 2012-06-13 19:30
While the rest seemed uncomfortable A/S was confident and open and provided a case that is probably impossible to argue with.
He was refreshingly honest. I think that both Levinson and Jay, would not disagree.
Well done!!
 
 
# george davie 2012-06-13 19:39
According to Lord Leveson we are already an independent nation.

He uses the term "English" Parliament instead of "United Kingdom / British".

When Mr Salmond gently points out the error in his comment, Lord Leveson at least has the good grace to smile, laugh and show a sense of humour.

www.youtube.com/.../

PS Thought Mr Salmond was excellent on the extended live BBC(London)afte rnoon coverage.

On the heavily edited BBC Scotland (Glasgow)evenin g news Mr Salmond appeared "OKish"

Editing is truly a skillful art.
 
 
# Teri 2012-06-13 19:40
I thought AS was excellent throughout. There was nothing that anyone could point the finger at. He gave honest answers and explained well.

On STV news at 7.00 tonight Bernard Ponsonby when finishing his report stated that the response from Labour was 'This shows that Alex Salmond is at Rupert Murdoch's beck and call' How the hell did they reach that conclusion? I doubt they even watched it. Labour have truly lost the plot, along with any shred of credibility they had left.
 
 
# oldnat 2012-06-13 19:49
Yet another Labour accusation is dismissed

bbc.co.uk/.../...

"In a letter to Mr Kelly [SLab MSP], Sir Peter stated: "In his dealings with News Corporation, the first minister was not carrying out any statutory function in connection with the regulation of the media.

"His interest was in relation to BSkyB as a significant private employer in Scotland and the potential for the creation of additional jobs here.

"The investigating officer concluded that there had been no breach of the code of conduct for special advisers or the Scottish ministerial code.

"At no time did Mr Aberdein misuse his position or information acquired in the course of his official duties."
 
 
# Macart 2012-06-13 20:27
They had two free swings and missed on both counts oldnat. I hope they're braced for what comes next. Eventually that fulsome report and its findings on the testimony of Cameron, Blair, Brown et al. will be made public. There will be many coats on shoogly pegs and I'm willing to bet the FM will have plenty of opportunity to remind them of hasty and harsh words.

They deserve it.
 
 
# H Scott 2012-06-13 19:50
Alex Salmond gave his usual sound performance. Unfortunately, all the unionist politician and media attacks about his relations with the Murdoch's/News International did any harm they could do when they were meant to i.e. in the local election campaign, and there will be no comeback on the unionist politicians from an equally guilty media.
 
 
# Hillside 2012-06-13 20:14
It's been an interesting day watching the BBC. It's almost like BBC Scotland had set the 'narrative' over the last few days by portraying Salmond's forthcoming appearance at Levinson purely in terms of him having 'answer questions' about his dealings with Murdoch. Today though, the Observer / bank account hacking story has been picked up by BBC head office as the major story and has eclipsed BBC Scotland's carefully nurtured tale. Brian Taylor is like a dog with a bone though and tries his best to stick to the original script.
Personally I am flabbergasted at how the opposition in Scotland (in conjunction with their supporters in the media) have had the nerve to mount this sustained attack on Salmond, when their own leaders at a UK level are known to have been much closer to the Murdoch empire. Where was the comparable outrage when, for example, it was revealed that Cameron was sending Rebecca Brooks supportive texts even after she had been implicated in the phone hacking scandal? Anyone would be forgiven for thinking that only Alex Salmond had any contact with News International. And this distortion will only get worse as 2014 approaches!
 
 
# proudscot 2012-06-13 20:41
Excellent performance by the First Minister at Leveson today. What a contrast to Ituna Semea's "leading politicians". True to type, Blair was smarmy and evasive in turns, Brown was nervous and evasive all the time, and Milliband was [reference to personal characteristic removed - NNS Mod Team] and had nothing of any consequence to say.

If Ituna Semea wants to see yet another contrast between a leading politician and three lesser ones, Thursday's FMQs will provide yet another example.
 
 
# Davy 2012-06-13 20:45
Just had a read of "Brian Taylor's" little blog on the proceedings. He still gets in a couple of back-stabs with "But there was substance too" quip, and his last paragrapth indicating that regardless "he was a loyal and persistent supporter of the Murdochs".

And this from a man that does not have the #alls to allow comments and the right to reply on his blog.
 
 
# EphemeralDeception 2012-06-13 20:48
Lord Levenson also stated that Criminal law is/was devolved to Scotland.

However my understanding is that criminal law was never reserved to the UK parliament and has always been within Scotland's jurisdiction.

If I am correct then it cannot have been devolved and therefore Levenson's statement is false.
 
 
# oldnat 2012-06-13 20:56
Correct.

The administration of Scots Law was reserved to Scotland by the Act of Union. Civil appeals were soon after allowed to the HoL, and without a Parliament, Scots couldn't alter criminal law by themselves - the UK Parliament had to pass the laws until 1999.

Additionally
snowthistle (below)

It could be that they genuinely can't understand how anyone can possibly support anyone other than Labour at any time, for any reason.

Given some of the attitudes in parts of West of Scotland Labour, maybe they just assume that bribery and trade-offs is how things are done.
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2012-06-14 07:50
What I found most astonishing was not that Levenson felt the need to point out this most basic point (that Scots criminal law was 'devolved', though in fact it has always been independent and it was merely the responsibility for it that was devolved) to the inquiry, but his blase admission that he only recently became aware of that fact.

That this supposedly emminent legal authority could be so blindingly ignorant of such a fundamental point of constitutional jurisdiction is as telling as his embarrassment at the "English parliament" howler he let slip moments later. Admittedly, the latter was considerably more entertaining but both speak to a mindset that is prevalent among the elite of our neighbours to the south.
 
 
# Wee-Scamp 2012-06-13 21:36
Sadly, Alan Cochrane has chosen to accuse the First Minister of being "unconvincing" which essentially means he thinks he lied under oath.

telegraph.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# balbeggie 2012-06-13 21:56
Cochrane has been an unconvincing journalist for years peddling his opinions as news.
 
 
# Stravaiger 2012-06-13 22:58
Re Cochrane:

Do not waste a moment of your life bothering to respond to Cochrane. Like McKenzie and wee David Starkey he is just another wind-up merchant, a resident cheekie chappie paid to antagonise.

Nothing any of us can say will make him or his claque of Torygraphators think any differently. Ignore him and the time will come when the Barclays will give him his P45.
 
 
# flyingscott 2012-06-13 23:13
Oh, for the Barclay brothers back.
Infinitely better than Johnston press.
 
 
# gus1940 2012-06-14 04:49
What? with Brillo Pad they started the decline of The Scotsman which accelerated under JP.

It's Thompson Organisation that would be better to return -They produced an excellent newspaper not a propaganda rag as followed under The Barclays/Brillo and JP.
 
 
# Louperdowg 2012-06-13 23:15
Ignore him and the time will come when the Barclays will give him his P45.

The autumn of 2014, I believe.
 
 
# proudscot 2012-06-14 09:48
Quoting Wee-Scamp:
Sadly, Alan Cochrane has chosen to accuse the First Minister of being "unconvincing" which essentially means he thinks he lied under oath.

telegraph.co.uk/.../...


Cochrane being totally negative about AS and/or the SNP Government seems to be his entire raison d'etre. If Alex Salmond invented a cure for cancer, Cochrane's spin on it would be "Salmond accused of making the MacMillan Nurses redundant!"
 
 
# Stravaiger 2012-06-13 22:15
I was fascinated by the reference to the uber right-on Guardian/Observer's knowledge of Alex Salmond's bank account details.

He wouldn't have made reference to it had he not been certain of the facts.

The Guardian/Observer line on Scotland is fascinating. The SNP are doing for Scotland exactly what the Guardian/Observer would wish for England: a social democratic party with a pro-business, pro-welfare, pro-ecology, anti-nuclear (energy and WMD) agenda, supportive of free education and a free health service, elected by a democratic process by popular acclaim; maintaining the post-war Butskelite consensus......but completely independently of the very English liberal compassionate humanitarian establishment world that they inhabit. The SNP are implementing policies in Scotland that the Guardianistas can only dream about.

And yet their coverage of the SNP in general and of Alex Salmond in particular is so antagonistic and grudging at best and outright hostile in the hands of their "Scotland" correspondents Carrell and McKenna. How many of us have read the now familiar articles from their "Scotland" correspondent Severin Carrell, full of unchallenged opinions masquerading as facts, hidden behind the comment-free "severin wall" that shields the poor, sensitive Guardianistas from having to read anything that challenges their (exceedingly right-on) world view.

I have been a Guardian and Observer reader for more than four decades. In every social and political sphere they claim to champion the causes of humanity, social justice and the rights of minorities everywhere. And yet they have a blind spot where Scotland is concerned. Are they really just another part of the metropolitan elite? When it comes down to it are they just another bunch of Oxbridge-educated metropolitan sneerers who have run out of other people to sneer at now that homophobia, racism and anti-semitism are no longer acceptable?
 
 
# J Wil 2012-06-13 23:02
There was an addendum to this story in the Sky Press Preview tonight. The two journalists, one from the Guardian and one from the Times both dissed the story saying, why would we, the press, be interested in looking at a bank account as there is no story in it. The guy from the Times, however, undermined his logic when he went on to say if there was an entry showing that thousands of pounds had been spent on an escort agency then that would have been of interest. Is this any different to Salmond's suggestion that the Guardian was interested in digging the dirt on him with regard to the 'fun and games', toy shop angle? I am sure both The Guardian and the Times would have given their back teeth to get such a story.

Anyway Sky News summarised the discussion by saying that the story could not have been true. So there! That is how things get distorted in the media without recourse to anyone pulling them up on it.
 
 
# brusque 2012-06-13 22:16
Newsnight hatchet job; I don't know why I expected it to be otherwise!

Kelly still wants answers to his 39 questions..............as if he has anything to say in defence of his own bunch.

Brown lied through his teeth all the way through.
 
 
# src19 2012-06-13 22:58
Never mind the puerile 39 questions
we are still waiting on Labour to produce a list of meetings and contents with the Murdoch's over the 13+ years.

Labour refuse to provide details unlike Mr Salmond who made all meetings and their contents available.
 
 
# snowthistle 2012-06-13 22:18
Watching newsnicht and wondering why labour think the FM has to have bribed The Sun to support the SNP. Did Labour bribe the Daily Record or the Scotsman? How come it's all right for newspapers to support other parties but if they support the SNP there must be something fishy going on.
 
 
# Blanco 2012-06-14 07:07
labour paid the Record £1m a year in public sector job ads. When the SNP came in they stopped this and advertised these jobs on the Internet. So in a way, yes, Labour were subsidising the Daily Record.
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-06-14 08:20
Yes, Labour spent £1m in advertising with the Daily Record, whilst spending £40k with The Sun - both papers having similar readership numbers.

Daily Record wiki page: en.wikipedia.org/.../...)
 
 
# J Wil 2012-06-14 08:43
Labour made a promise to give money to the newspaper media to get themselves back into power in Scotland.
 
 
# govanite 2012-06-13 23:09
What I'm getting from this & from evidence to the Westminster select committee enquiry last summer is that Murdoch follows Adam Smith's division of labour theory.

It is just not possible to micro-manage a multi billion pound firm & expect it to be successful. Giving the Editors freedom to decide or at least recommend political support seems an intelligent way to keep the papers popular & selling. When all is said and done, Murdoch wants his companies to succeed. That is the limit of his political concern. Determined & ruthless he might be, but a control-freak he is not.

That and the knowledge that his 'Fleet St' operation is < 10% of his NI empire.
 
 
# Louperdowg 2012-06-14 02:52
Over on the Herald they are really quite disappointed that Alex Salmond wasn't snared in the trap.

Iain McWhirter's descent from fairly decent journalist to bitter hack continues apace and I find him to be barely readable or credible any more as his bitterness and snideness pervades all.

He even had the effrontery to admit that he knew that attempts had been made to hack into Alex Salmond's bank account to find out if he had a gambling habit.

Apparently,

"the story was too good to abandon just because it happened to be untrue. I don't know whether the Observer actually did break into Salmond's bank account, but I do know that other people were trying".

Despite this astonishing statement, which really undermines Mr McWhirter's claims to be a journalist of integrity, he goes on to claim

"to say that all news should really be seen as opinion is eccentric to say the least. If so, how can readers ever be expected to believe what they read? Objectivity may be difficult, but it is surely essential if the press is to retain its authority."

heraldscotland.com/.../...

The whole article is a sad reflection of what has happened to journalism in Scotland.

There really is no-one left to carry the beacon of honesty and impartiality and I must confess to feeling a little despondent as to where the new voices are going to come from.
 
 
# Macart 2012-06-14 03:29
Insomniacs are us Louper.

During his session the FM alluded to either the P&J or the Courier early doors in one of the questions. He effectively praised the fact that one of them had clear lines of delineation on commentary, news, columnists and reportage. Or opinion, fact and supposition.

I remarked some time ago in the Guardian CIF on the blurring of the lines between news commentary and news reportage. The fact that some newspapers sell the commentators opinions as news fact. I tend to find that the bigger the title the more this seems to be true. I myself have experience of working for smaller titles where the exact opposite is the case and factual reportage is the only thing a local populace will accept. Mainly I suppose because in small communities people know the facts already and look to local papers merely for factual confirmation with some added detail to the local tale.

Fact is the big rags owners are no different to Murdoch, hell most wish they were him. They are all politicized or have heavily politicized commentary elements and editorial direction. The only way for Joe public to sift fact from fiction these days is not, I repeat not, to follow the scratchings in the the daily blah, but read from a number of news sources and sift for the nuggets through the dross, building a more accurate picture from a number of differing views.

The days are long gone when you could rely on one source for all your info and in my book that's no bad thing.
 
 
# Barbazenzero 2012-06-14 09:28
Thanks for that link. A good if unconvincing read.

McWhirter's descent from fairly decent journalist to bitter hack (brilliant turn of phrase, btw) is perhaps due to his own inability to distinguish between fact and opinion.

The betting angle which McWhirter adds to the bank hacking story is only he seems to have mentioned yesterday evening and certainly sounds very plausible, if still anecdotal as ituna semea puts it below.

Let's hope Leveson or Jay read the Herald and ask McWhirter to elaborate.
 
 
# Seagetagrip 2012-06-14 06:41
The Herald via MacWhirter and an editorial still suggesting that nore to AS and Murdoch relationship than admitted.
It should be pointed out that the Herald supported the re election of Salmond and the SNP at the time of the 2011 Election. Therefore, what on earth did he do for them to gain such support and what on earth has he done to them since?
 
 
# gus1940 2012-06-14 06:44
Could Observer journo be NA?
 
 
# Fungus 2012-06-14 07:54
From MacWhirter's article:

"But as often happens in journalism, the story was too good to abandon just because it happened to be untrue."

Says it all really.
 
 
# ituna semea 2012-06-14 07:56
Mr Salmond helping to take the heat off News International by fingering the Guardian group. of course his evidence was anecdotal.
 
 
# Thee Forsaken One 2012-06-14 08:20
Quoting ituna semea:
Mr Salmond helping to take the heat off News International by fingering the Guardian group. of course his evidence was anecdotal.


I don't think I could live with all the paranoia and irrational hate you seem to have inside of you. I don't think my heart could take it. Although if you're just trolling and don't really feel that way then I can understand how you can live like that, although I find it a sad way to live.

You honestly think he would do that for someone he's only met five times? He doesn't work for News International so why bother? Not to mention the so-called 'heat' doesn't really seem to exist much. Sun still sells more than other papers and is declining slower than all the others.

Support? The Sun is still neutral to Independence and the Times is against it. He's not exactly getting much out of this so-called attempt to 'take the heat off' News International. It's not like he and Rupert are friends either.

Not to mention if you read up in the comments there is a quote from Iain McWhirter backing up his claim that many newspapers were trying to hack Alex Salmond's bank account.

If you're just being ignorant and paranoid, try to actually look at the facts instead of ignoring what doesn't agree with you. If you're just trolling then just stop -- it's a waste of your time and everyone else's.
 
 
# snowthistle 2012-06-14 08:31
ituna semea - " of course his evidence was anecdotal."

As is the 'evidence' against him, no? Unlike the leaders of the main UK parties where there is firm evidence of their cosy relationships with the Murdochs and their employees
 
 
# Silverytay 2012-06-14 08:51
T.F.O
I think we actually need trolls on sites like this . If any undecided voters are looking in it is an eye opener for them watching the likes of yourself and others on this site shooting down in flames with hard cold facts all the trolls and unionist lies . There is no point in just talking to the converted , we have to get our points across to the undecided even if that means posting on sites we would rather avoid like the plague . I suspect that the closer we get to the referendum there will be more sites doing a B.B.C Scotland and refusing to let Independent minded people post on their sites ! this is one of the reasons that newsnet have to reconsider their recent policy decisions . I have went to the trouble of having a t shirt made up with newsnetscotland on it so that I could advertise the site while I am on holiday but the way things are going I dont know if I have made the right decision .
 
 
# Thee Forsaken One 2012-06-14 13:16
I would like to think that the articles and intelligent comments would accomplish that but I suppose you are correct that there is a case for allowing trolls. As it was I'm not arguing against free comment, simply commenting for the sake of provoking argument.

I'm always happy to refute ignorance, but in the case of Ituna Semea I find it hard to believe someone can be that genuinely ignorant and actually post regularly on this site.
 
 
# lumilumi 2012-06-14 20:12
Maybe that particular poster you mentioned is playing the devil's advocate, therefore helping the independence movement to formulate its arguments better and in a more robust way?
 
 
# J Wil 2012-06-14 09:24
Why would Newsnight Scotland want to stitch together video clips from Salmond's evidence, which show all the times he said 'sir' to his interrogators, if it wasn't an attempt to lampoon him and make him look foolish in the eyes of the public? There has been a lot said in the past about the media taking things out of context to distort the reality of what has been said, eg the McCoist video for which BBC Scotland had to apologise , but with no explanation as to how their 'mistake' came about.

I am sure I could quite easily do the same with Gordon Brewer's facial expressions during an interview, which are not very becoming, and make him look extremely stupid.
 
 
# oldnat 2012-06-14 19:31
Watching Cameron at Leveson today, Nixon's advice to John Dean as to to give evidence on Watergate came to mind.

"you can say 'I can't recall. I can't give any answer to that that I can recall.'"

Of course, there isn't any evidence that there was anything wrong in the first place and given the number of meetings Cameron had with media people - 26 a month in opposition, 13 a month in office - it's unreasonable to expect him to remember what was said at every one.

Opponents of every politician will think the worst of them - that's politics. What is distinctive about SLab is the regularity with which they make allegations about the SNP, without a shred of evidence.
 
 
# Silverytay 2012-06-14 21:45
T.F.O
Thanks for responding .
The main trouble with trolls is the fact that they are looking foe a response that will put the nationalist community in a bad light .
As I stated on a previous post I was a labour activist and union shop steward for 10 years until I became disillusioned with the whole corrupt set up . I was so disillusioned that I stayed away from politics for 2 years until I accidentally found this site . It was only by reading posts from the likes of yourself and others on this site that I realised that there was another way . I have lurked about this site for almost 2 years without commenting , until newsnet shot themselves in the foot . As I have stated earlier today that the closer we get to the referendum the more the m.s.m will shut down the ability of the nationalist community to refute the unionist lies . I hope that some of the regular contributors on newsnet can point me in the right direction for getting our message across as I fear for the future of this site and others like it .
 

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