By G.A.Ponsonby

“I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it” ... unless you are Scottish and support independence it seems.

It’s one of the defining aspects of our society, the freedom to express an opinion, to disagree, to criticise – in short, free speech is fundamental to who we are.

However, going by some of the reactions to an article written by SNP MSP Joan McAlpine this week, this basic human right is under threat from irate Unionists.

Journalist Ms McAlpine left the Scotsman last week and joined the Daily Record.  A wise move, if for no other reason than the Record’s circulation figures, although falling, are still way out in front of that of its Edinburgh rival.

But it wasn’t Ms McAlpine’s decision to ditch one paper for another that has caused a stushie.  It was her controversial first column for the Glasgow based tabloid that has raised the hackles of Scotland’s most sensitive group of people – the Unionist.

No sooner had the ink dried than came calls for her to apologise and stand down. The calls came from the usual rent-a-quote mob of Unionist politicians angry at Ms McAlpine’s comparison of the Union to that of a marriage of a talented woman to a domineering husband.

Before you could utter the phrase “liar, liar pants on fire”, Ms McAlpine’s words had been twisted, bent, repackaged and re-written by Scotland’s ‘Honesty and Truth’ Commission – otherwise known as Labour, Tories and the Lib Dems.

Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran said: "I can't remember a more ill-judged comparison. This will spark real anger and she should apologise.

"Every day, women in Scotland face abusive partners seeking to manipulate and control the relationship.

"Comparing the United Kingdom to an abusive marriage is absurd and offensive to men or women genuinely trapped in that kind of relationship."

Just to remind readers, this was the same Margaret Curran who said in an interview with Holyrood Magazine that if Alex Salmond was run over by a bus she wouldn’t care who the bus driver was.

Scottish Lib Dem deputy leader Jo Swinson also pitched in: "There should be an unreserved apology from Joan McAlpine and if one is not forthcoming Alex Salmond should sack her as his parliamentary aide.

"This is a deeply offensive comment that shows profound disrespect for the many victims of domestic violence which is an appalling crime." she said.

Tory spokesman David McLetchie added: "She is insulting the intelligence, common sense of Scottish women who know exactly what the value of a good partnership is when they see it."

http://blogs.dailyrecord.co.uk/joanmcalpine/2012/03/women-understand-independence-instinctiv.html

As can be seen from the link above, Joan McAlpine made no mention of abuse towards women or the imaginary wife in her article, what she did refer to was an abuse of power.

In fact the article cleverly used the same metaphor we at Newsnet Scotland used in the months prior to the Holyrood elections -

http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/1430-scotland-westminster

It’s been used by Unionists themselves of course when they routinely compared independence to a messy and costly divorce.  But hey, it’s OK for Unionists to compare independence to a bad marriage.

The quite blatant contorting of words by Unionist politicians and some of the more servile elements in the ‘Scottish’ media isn’t new.  Some weeks ago Ms McAlpine suffered at the hands of the same verbal fraudsters when she claimed that Unionists, by ignoring the democratic will of Scots in attempting to dictate the terms of the referendum, were behaving in an anti-Scottish fashion.

This was manipulated to great effect by commentators and opponents who accused Ms McAlpine of claiming that anyone who disagreed with the SNP were anti-Scottish.

She wasn’t – they lied – but Unionists own the megaphone so political pragmatism dictated that McAlpine effectively take the hit.

However there’s something much more sinister at play here and it strikes at the very heart of free speech.

There’s no doubt that Unionists are rattled by the likes of Joan McAlpine, a skilful wordsmith and former journalist of the year.  The platform afforded the SNP MSP by the hitherto unshakably Labour paper the Daily Record is a sign that, though their megaphone is loud, it is not the only one around.

It isn’t the criticism of Joan McAlpine’s article that is the problem here.  In fact, as has already been pointed out the article wasn’t criticised – what was criticised was a malicious interpretation, verging on fraud.  The problem is the calls for her to be sacked or forced to apologise for what was a very well written and succinct article that would have graced the pages of any newspaper.

If people want to read a really offensive article then try this one for size, and no, I am not advocating the author be sacked. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/05/stewart-lee-salmond-scotland-independence

It’s this increasing intolerance from Unionists towards dissenting voices that is beginning to worry me.

There’s a tendency to misrepresent perfectly valid arguments, thus demonising the messenger and by extension rendering their point of view invalid – and it’s dangerous.

We see this not just in Unionist reaction to nationalist viewpoints on the constitution but in the increasing trend to lump all anti-status quo views together and dismiss all as ranting bigots.

The language from once respected Unionists is also growing ever more rabid as exemplified by former Lib Dem leader David Steel who attacked the SNP’s criticism of the BBC, laughingly accusing the party of intimidation.

Mr Steel employed the now ubiquitous terms when referring to First Minister Alex Salmond with veiled references to North Korea’s late dictator Kim Jong II.

As well as playing the dictator card Steel also jumped on the rhetorical revisionist bandwagon when he said:

“Thus we are told that to be anti-SNP is to be anti-Scottish.  It is time for them to understand that the rest of us resent being told that to be pro-Scotland you have to be pro-SNP,”

This nonsense devalues democracy and renders debate impossible.  If your response to your opponent is to contort the meaning of their words then how can meaningful debate be possible?

Steel’s claim that BBC Scotland were being intimidated is ironic.  If what we have witnessed this last two weeks was an intimidated BBC Scotland then god only knows what we can expect when their confidence returns.

BBC Scotland’s peculiar brand of ‘balanced reporting’ was in evidence this last fortnight when they all but ignored the sensational claims in John Ashton’s book on Al-Megrahi.

Ashton learned a harsh lesson about Scotland’s media and was poorly advised by those around him by allowing himself to be used by the BBC and the rest.  His claims about Kenny MacAskill dominated the news and left the real controversy over Megrahi’s trial in the shadows.

The Scottish broadcaster is going to hell in a hand cart as it resembles more and more a colonial broadcasting outpost whose role is to manage news instead of reporting it.

Unionists are using their influential friends in the Scottish media in an attempt at intimidating their critics into silence.  Scotland will be a poorer place if the likes of Margaret Curran get their way and are allowed to browbeat and intimidate their opponents.

Comments  

 
# Ben Power 2012-03-09 12:50
Personally, I thought Joan McAlpine's comparison of the relationship tween England and Scotland as comparable to an abusive husband in a marriage was an excellent, timely and correct comparison. Especially on International Women's day.

Another point still remains though and that is that we are not appearing to be inclusive enough of women's hopes and dreams in the independence debates.
Women are the creators of the families that Scots culture is built on. Their particular views and feelings on the whole subject are vitally important to our future success as an independent nation.

Macho misogynistic responses to Joan McAlpine's brilliant debating point and any other pro independence point show up the commentators for what they are, but I imagine they would be to macho and egotistical to notice that.
 
 
# Teri 2012-03-09 19:19
Agreed. I think, too, that Joan thought of the type of readership the Record had and couched it in clear terms that could be easily read and understood by all. Not all Record readers would read an article on Politics, but this article didnt seem like reading anything political, though it was.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-03-09 13:03
I must say, the article you reference in the article above,

guardian.co.uk/.../... as an example of unionist offensive hubris, really is a nasty piece of work. I'm surprised such an article was ever published by the Guardian.

This article in NNS however, makes a very valid point, the near hysteria regarding Joan's article is not only ridiculous, but I quite frankly can see nothing offensive about it. I've even asked several female friends (or 'wimmin' as Joanne Lamont calls them every week in FMQ's), and they cannot understand the fuss.

The article by Joan does not belittle the awful nature of women or men who are abused in a relationship, nor does it condone any kind of abuse. If it did, I'd be condemming Joan MacAlpine too.

The fact is, that Labour in particular just cannot seem to be able to cope with the fact that the Daily Record is not singing 100% from their hymn sheet anymore. This faux outrage by Labour and their unionist media chums, is frankly nauseating.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-03-09 13:14
While not being my favourite of Joan's articles, it was honest and hard-hitting.

Every day the Scotsman contains several sleazy, smearing, bitter and often mendacious articles by jounalists and politicians (Tavish Scott, which are you these days, and even Iain Gray) whose only passion seems to lie in justifying their present and former existence in the case of the latter and grinding some axe or other, usually and rather improperly, political, in the case of the former.

As they say, people in glass houses ...
 
 
# Macart 2012-03-09 13:14
When you consider the amount of misinformation, lies and outright pooh slung in the direction of AS alone far less the rest of the independence minded, you come to realise just how accurate Joan's analogy was.

Did I jist hear you cheek back tae me?

Well aye, we did. We've been compared with everything from nazis and xenophobes to bile spewing gutter trash. Yards of ink and column space have been dedicated to trashing our ideals and aspirations. The airwaves are practically radioactive with broadcast misinformation about any possibility of achievements by our movement or our electorate. Yet one wee lassie has the cheek to fire back from the hip and their efforts are redoubled.

Abusive relationship??? Joan didn't go far enough.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-03-09 13:22
Quote;

"Did I jist hear you cheek back tae me?"


That is EXACTLY what this is all about. The anti independence parties feel they have a god given right to ridicule, rubbish and personally insult those in favour of independence, yet throw their hands up in fake outrage when they are even mildly criticised themselves.
 
 
# Macart 2012-03-09 13:28
As the FM said the other day on a similar theme RL, 'they better get used to hearing the facts'.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-03-09 13:30
And to hammer home the message;

'Facts are chiels that winnae ding.'
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-09 13:25
The best of it though Macart, is that they, the anti independence brigade, have been attacking us like this for some considerable time now and we are still here, wherever here is.

What they are incapable of realising is that their anti independence attacks are just not working.

They can not comprehend that the longer and harder they attack us the stronger we get.

The stronger we get the bigger we get.

The bigger we get the more paranoid they get.

The more paranoid they get the more pathetic their attacks.

The more pathetic their attacks the more ridiculous they look.

The more ridiculous they look the bigger the membership of the YES campaign becomes.

They are totally incapable of realising that they, the anti independence brigade, are doing our recruiting for us.

Thank you anti independence brigade!
 
 
# Macart 2012-03-09 13:30
WINNING! :)

The best of it though Macart, is that they, the anti independence brigade, have been attacking us like this for some considerable time now and we are still here, wherever here is.
 
 
# Peter A Bell 2012-03-09 13:43
I have to point out yet again that Stewart Lee's article was a work of satire. Unfortunately for him his effort at humour backfired because what he intended as a caricature of the British nationalist fanatic turned out to be no more than a disturbingly accurate reflection of the grotesque reality.
 
 
# Dougthedug 2012-03-09 16:30
I read Stewart Lee's article at the time of its publication and there were a number of people in the comments section who insisted that it was written as a joke.

If it was written as a satire it wasn't a very good one because all he did was collect the same old stereotypes about Salmond, Scotland and the SNP and publish them under his own name.

In comedy terms it was like Stewart Lee going up on stage and doing endless mother-in-law jokes as his fans insisted that it was in fact ironic and cutting edge and not misogynist at all.

Since the descriptions and stereotypes he used were no worse than any used in the MSM's standard commentary on Scottish culture, politics and independence then it was very hard for a non-fan to identify it as satire.

One thing he never did was to come onto the comments himself and tell his detractors that he did in fact write it as a joke.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-09 16:48
An example of Poe's law, perhaps: a parody of something extreme can be mistaken for the real thing, and if a real thing sounds extreme enough, it can be mistaken for a parody.

tvtropes.org/.../PoesLaw
 
 
# Dougthedug 2012-03-09 16:34
Quoting Peter A Bell:
...Unfortunately for him his effort at humour backfired because what he intended as a caricature of the British nationalist fanatic turned out to be no more than a disturbingly accurate reflection of the grotesque reality.


Well that's the argument. Was Stewart Lee pretending to be a British nationalist fanatic or is he actually a British nationalist fanatic?
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-09 13:45
"The Scottish broadcaster is going to hell in a hand cart as it resembles more and more a colonial broadcasting outpost whose role is to manage news instead of reporting it.
Unionists are using their influential friends in the Scottish media in an attempt at intimidating their critics into silence."
Balanced warning from G.A Ponsoby.

All democrats should take note.
BBC Reporting Scotland,and the other BBC TV/radio political Scottish outlets are no longer sources of reliable balanced political reporting.

Lord Patten is doing an Admiral Nelson on this,thus encouraging the BBC political editor and journalists in Scotland to continue as before.

If Lord Patten,a man of the highest intergrity,is unable to deal with this serious matter I fear for the reputation of the BBC nationally and internationally .

Lord Patten's silence discredits a fine
man,and an even finer institution.
 
 
# Training Day 2012-03-09 14:28
Dundonian, you and I agreed yesterday that the BBC in Scotland is now unaccountable, either to licence fee payers or to internal review.

The fact that Patten is doing nothing to address the fearsome levels of bias shown in BBC Scotland news and current affairs tells us that the behaviour of BBC Scotland is being sanctioned at the highest level in the BBC as a whole.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-09 14:45
Training Day you have hit the nail on the head--"fearsome levels".

As a point of interests,some of my apolitical work colleagues are commenting re BBC Scotland's "Stance"--worrying indeed.
 
 
# Briggs 2012-03-09 16:44
'Know a man by what he does, rather than what he says'

..........as regards Patten.

After all he is part of the English establishment and I would rather trust an itinerant tramp in the street than someone of his ilk.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-09 13:48
Quote:
“I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it” ... unless you are Scottish and support independence it seems.



I think this is what passes for the anti independence brigade's definition of democracy in action!
 
 
# Mac 2012-03-09 13:57
Who would have thought that the unionists had a soft constitutional underbelly and that it would involve an interpretation of their own making. By equating the union to domestic abuse themselves the anti-independence parties have created an unpleasant vision that they will have difficulty in eradicating from the public mind.

What do the unionists have to do to indicate to Scots that they have nothing to fear from Westminster? Drop Trident perhaps!
 
 
# RaboRuglen 2012-03-13 08:38
Hi Mac,

"What do the unionists have to do to indicate to Scots that they have nothing to fear from Westminster? Drop Trident perhaps!"

Good God man. Don't encourage them to drop Trident on us or we'll be radioactive for aeons.

Regards.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-09 14:03
We who are independent of mind, body and soul are prohibited, by the anti independence brigade (A.I.B.) from telling it as it is. However, they, the A.I.B. are quite happy to permit companies to operate on their behalf whilst behaving in an allegedly fraudulent manner.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17310557

The sooner we are shot of this disintegrating union the better.
 
 
# Ben Power 2012-03-09 14:31
Quoting Arbroath1320:
anti independence brigade (A.I.B.)are quite happy to permit companies to operate on their behalf whilst behaving in an allegedly fraudulent manner.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17310557

The sooner we are shot of this disintegrating union the better.


Good timely point considering the latest Condem scam on closing Remploy sites. £25000 annually per disabled person was just too tempting for Westminster mates to pass up. Relate that to the fraudulent manner outlined in the article.
 
 
# Legerwood 2012-03-09 18:01
It should be remembered that it was the Labour Government who started the closure programme. Just as it was the Labour Government who started reducing/making it more difficult for disabled people to claim benefits.

The Tories are just continuing what labour started. Similarly with the NHS and with Student fees.
 
 
# Ben Power 2012-03-09 23:54
Labour, Tories, LibDems, they all look and act the same. Vote for any of them and you get just the same end result.
We really do need to be shot of the lot and start afresh here in Scotland.
 
 
# Legerwood 2012-03-09 14:09
Quote:
It’s been used by Unionists themselves of course when they routinely compared independence to a messy and costly divorce. But hey, it’s OK for Unionists to compare independence to a bad marriage.

Indeed. And are we allowed to ask what are the grounds for the divorce? infidelity or abuse of power perhaps.

Ian Bell in his sketch about yesterday's FMQs did not think much of Ms Lamont's take on this article.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-09 14:16
It's time Joan really put the cat among the pigeons and did an article showing the Labour Party and family connections within BBC Scotland.

Speaking of BBC Scotland, did anyone notice their faux pas on the national news when they mucked up their link on the Rangers story. The cameraman was cleaning his lens when the link opened and the (all of 10 second?) article they were allowed had to be abandoned. It is hard to understand how regularly incompetent BBC Scotland can be. Also, another one on the Scottish lunchtime News.

Another thing that annoys me is when they show amateur footage of important events, without which they would be in dire straits as a news organization, and then add a disclaimer for the video. In other words we are showing this rubbish video, but we didna make it, so don't blame us.
 
 
# ubinworryinmasheep 2012-03-09 15:27
Radio Scotland always amazes me with folks being interviewed suddenly being cut off by the news. Do they nae have clocks in their office ? Its so unprofessional its comparable to Auchtermuchty Community Radio or something ....
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-09 16:43
There may have been an excuse when the new building was opened for unfamiliarity with the technology, but that is no excuse now.

We can now compare the technical performance of BBC Scotland with other channels.
 
 
# RaboRuglen 2012-03-13 08:45
Hi J,

You are assuming that their apparent incompetence in not deliberate. Given the number of times the SNP contribution (in comparison to others) is cut off for "technical reasons" I had assumed that much of it is entirely deliberate.

Regards,
 
 
# MajorBloodnok 2012-03-09 14:18
If the case for the Union was so strong you'd think they'd welcome the open and frank debate instead of trying to silence all voices raised in opposition....er....
 
 
# pa_broon74 2012-03-09 14:32
Are we allowed to refer to the union as a marriage? I only ask because Cardinal Keith O'Brien has issues with using the word for anything other than a holy betrothal between a man and a woman (who is able to bare children.)

Being more topical, the outpourings from the usual suspects is just unionist sophistry, just another example of them being entirely unable to come up with anything approaching the merest sensation of a positive case for the union.
 
 
# lochside 2012-03-09 14:39
I've always known that the British State was corrupt and vicious, but it's demoralising to see such open collusion by the BBC and 'liberal' papers such as the Guardian in publishing such anti-Scottish racist bile masquerading as 'satire'. Add in the spectacle of political pygmies like Curran and Steel swelling the chorus of nauseating hypocritical cant against Joan's astute metaphorical piece about the union and it makes you want to spit blood! We know and they know that they're liars, fools and knaves and if there is any justice the rotten lot of them will be eating their deceitful words after 2014!
 
 
# Exile 2012-03-09 14:51
Quite. I used to have some respect for David Steel. More fool me.
 
 
# Angus 2012-03-09 14:54
The BBC and the Scotsman, or more appropriatley north Britsman have become corny, nearly every political story has a unionist agenda.
So what if Joan creates a bit of controversy, at least it gets noticed.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-09 15:06
Not only does it get her noticed Angus but it diverts the A.I.B. from their erstwhile pathetic,useles s and incompetent agenda.
 
 
# cokynutjoe 2012-03-09 14:54
What bugs these people is not the content of the article but the fact that it had widespread coverage via the Record.
More power to Joan McAlpine's elbow, if she's upsetting this crew, she's doing something right.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-09 15:09
I don't think that it was just the widespread coverage either coky. I think for once in their miserable little lives the A.I.B. suddenly realised that her words would be resonating with a great deal of the readers. THAT is what I think really scared the bejesus out of the A.I.B.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-09 16:46
Unlike the SNP's first parliamentary term, when there were threats of no confidence votes flying around every second week, they now have the upper hand and can just dismiss what the opposition are throwing at them regarding resignations.
 
 
# Fungus 2012-03-09 15:00
How can Johann Lamont stand up at FMQs and start prattling on about offensive comments when she made up a lie, based on the rape and subsequent suicide of a young Ayrshire woman, spouted it in the chamber, causing God knows what sort of distress to the family then when pulled up about it says nothing. How can she talk about abuse to women when her party, of which she is the supposed leader, has members who threatened a women MP with 'a doing', threatened a woman councillor with her disabled son's job then pulled the councillor in front of a star chamber for a grilling, yet she has done nothing about it.

She can go and...quick open the door of the darkened room, I'm a coming in.
 
 
# D_A_N 2012-03-09 15:07
I thought here article was fantastic. Put it on my facebook. We do need to figure out why less women are inclined to vote for independence though. Could be something to do with change.

Most of my male friends I've talked to are at least open to the idea if not for it.. Almost every female I've talked to is against it. Although I know there are many for it, I'm just saying my experience.

o/t

who was it who was asking about the SNP conference for non-members? I have some vague information if you're still interested.
 
 
# ubinworryinmasheep 2012-03-09 15:34
Quote:
thought here article was fantastic. Put it on my facebook. We do need to figure out why less women are inclined to vote for independence though. Could be something to do with change.


I'm working on the woman at work (no not in that sense) and we had a talk last week and shes anti, so today I sent her the A-Z of independence myths off of here and she had a read and I think she will turn. I told her basically everything that comes out of a unionist MPs mouth is rubbish. I will post more of it later on FB for my friends out there that are undecided !!
 
 
# D_A_N 2012-03-09 16:20
nice work mate... :)
I'm still having a hard time with mine as we speak..

I've never been a great debater though, although I'm getting better.
 
 
# megsmaw 2012-03-10 17:03
I managed to correct some of the things my mother in law believed. She was a maybe for independence, but once I told her the truth about the things she had concerns over, she's a definate YES now!

My own mum is apathetic, but I know if I can get her to the polls she'll vote YES.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 17:06
Congratulations on getting your mum-in-law to "see the light" megsmaw.

As they say,

One step at a Time!
 
 
# Rafiki 2012-03-09 15:19
The faux shock horror at Joan McAlpine's article is a measure of the paucity of their arguments.

How long since you published Paul Kavanagh's "Divorce Letter"?
 
 
# GerrySNP 2012-03-10 02:02
Rafiki:
Absolutely right. Plaease republish Paul Kavanagh's pieces regularly!
 
 
# Marga B 2012-03-09 15:46
Whay are all 43 comments (or nearly all) from men? Does this reflect DR readership, or is there some other reason?

Don't know if this kind of article goes down well with women, which is the main segment "missing" in the SNP's portfolio.
 
 
# megsmaw 2012-03-10 17:15
I'd say if anything Joan's allusion would strike a chord more with women. I think that a lot of women have been in the same position as "Scotland" or have known another woman who has.

The allusion Joan used would be understood by EVERYONE who read it. That is why the AIB are up in arms, they want it to remain confusing so it files over the heads of the average joe.

I have used this comparison before while discussing Independence, but in my version Scotland was the victim of a forced marriage to England, with her relatives recieving a large dowry for her.
 
 
# westie7 2012-03-09 15:57
Live on BBC news24, English democrats mayoral candidate Robin Tillbury "fully expecting the referendum to be won by SNP. Time for England to start thinking about England, presenter caught a bit off guard ... :o)
 
 
# J Gordon 2012-03-09 16:20
The analogy wasn't wrong and the overreaction was predictable and poor, but I don't think it was Joan's best article both in terms of content or in style. I hope people will see through the faux horror of Lib Dems, Tory and Labour.
 
 
# Keep UTG 2012-03-09 17:28
Well the young lady who has authored this piece hasn`t been conned theregulus.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# oldnat 2012-03-09 17:42
She is obviously extremely well informed. She links to three Newsnet articles!
 
 
# balbeggie 2012-03-09 17:55
a good article on the economy too:

theregulus.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-09 21:25
Great article which should be published in full on NNS if possible to widen readership.
 
 
# UpSpake 2012-03-09 17:31
The BBC are the British State and as State broadcaster spout out all the unionist bile, with glee.
God forbid the BBC actually criticise Labour in Scotland and any of their shenanigans in Glasgow with or without a whiff of cocaine.
Joyce, an MP at Westminster, never a Labour MP says it all about zero criticism of Labour or any of their nonsense. Were it an SNP mp, and the attack dogs would be in full force.
Whilst the union must be defended at all costs, there is also a strong element in the SNP which will not tolerate any critisism of SNP policy or the lack of it.
We are all playing a silly game and as the rhetoric gradually ratchets up, all we do is risk the hotheads rising to the surface. Do we really want that ?.
 
 
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-03-09 17:40
The reality for us to get a grip of is the more the Unionists try to silence the pro-independence argument, the louder the pro indeoendence argument gets.

That with the best part of two years to go the unionists are reduced to attacking the metaphor rather than addressing the content reveals the paucity in their case.

Their only response is to think up even more ammendments to the Scotland Act Ammendment Bill to stop independence being 'legal' by usurping the people of Scoland's sovereignty by claiming we Scots are part of a parliamentary democracy represented by Westminster when the truth is very far from that as Scotland is a representative democracy - the people, not the crown nor parliament, are sovereign.

I would suggest the 'legal' reality is the day the Scots vote to withdraw from the Treaty of Union is verified is the day Westminster ceases to have any legal entity and reverts to being the English Parliament the parliament of the Principality of Wales and Province of Northern Ireland.

A 'yes' vote would in terms of the judgement of the UK Supreme Court in AXA and others vs the Scottish Parliament represent the democratic will of the (sovereign) people of Scotland.

Strange, isn't it: the final nail in the coffin of the Union could well come from a precedence set by the very body Blair created on the back of a fag packet to stop Scottish independence stone dead.
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-03-09 17:57
Mad Jock - yes - the ace hasn't been played yet - the Treaty of Union is that card - that, will be game, set and match!
 
 
# GerrySNP 2012-03-10 02:05
Agree - absloutely. We have to play the Declaration of Arbroath and the Claim of Right!
 
 
# mealer 2012-03-09 17:46
The Record is Unionist.I dont really have a problem with that.And by giving a column to Joan they have shown they are,at the moment,at least prepared to consider,and give voice to,both sides of the argument in this great debate.I believe they do so as a result of their recognition that their readership want to hear the debate.And if they dont get access through the record they may seek it elsewhere.Also,where will the Record be the morning after the referendum,in an independent Scotland,if they conduct a rabidly anti-independence campaign? They will be sitting on the side lines looking like fools.They have little to gain by being rabidly anti-independence,bu t potentially much to lose.
 
 
# RTP 2012-03-09 17:48
Libs.I still await a reply from Clegg about his remarks that we of the SNP are extremists.I have emailed twice but still no reply,not really surprised.

BBC,you might like to see the reply from them regarding why it is only the Scottish Democracy site that has not the "State of the Parties showing"


Thank you for contacting us.


Your comments were passed to the Head of News, who has asked that I forward his response as follows:


"Thank you for getting in touch.


The reason the state of the parties is not shown in Scotland at the moment is the graphic designers showed the 2007 election results in error. We removed it as soon as this was highlighted.


We are currently working on a new design for 2012".


Thank you, once again, for taking the time to contact us.
 
 
# Hirta 2012-03-09 18:05
O/T
bbc.co.uk/.../...

So long as we get our oil money returned then you can have some of our water :)
 
 
# .Scot 2012-03-10 03:39
Quoting Hirta:
O/T
bbc.co.uk/.../...

So long as we get our oil money returned then you can have some of our water :)





I just love the neck on Alex Neil. London can have Scottish water, only if they are willing to treat Scots as equals to Birmingham or Manchester. It looks like Scottish water will not be going to England via any high-speed rail line? It should also be remembered that the Scottish government has sent 160,000 litres of water to Northern Ireland to help with the supply problem, as tens of thousands of households remain in drought due to burst pipes without any quibbles.


The link is "Not the BBC" on a Scottish news article.
u.tv/.../...
 
 
# call me dave 2012-03-09 18:06
I'm voting Labour Oops! Scottish Labour just had Ms Lamont's party political broadcast . . OH! . . Just woke up in time before nodding off!

Not a lot about what they will do . . . a Rant against the SNP . . Oh what a great teacher and reader of children's minds she was. . . a sad loss to the education system.

Another great FM that Scotland will never have had.

The negativity is draining my reserves. .everywhere I look in the papers and on TV . Oh wait!
SNP conference to get involved with I wonder how many hours of coverage there will be . . . not a lot I'll bet.

Glass 1/2 full #:)
 
 
# Woodside 2012-03-09 19:50
Quoting call me dave:
I'm voting Labour Oops! Scottish Labour just had Ms Lamont's party political broadcast . . OH! . . Just woke up in time before nodding off!

Not a lot about what they will do . . . a Rant against the SNP . . Oh what a great teacher and reader of children's minds she was. . . a sad loss to the education system.

Another great FM that Scotland will never have had.

The negativity is draining my reserves. .everywhere I look in the papers and on TV . Oh wait!
SNP conference to get involved with I wonder how many hours of coverage there will be . . . not a lot I'll bet.

Glass 1/2 full #:)

Not to worry it is being streamed live by the party www.voteSNP.com/SNPconf I hope that link works, if not go to the SNP website and get it there. I'm not on facebook so could those who are share the link there please. If the MSM wont publicise the events of the conference we will do so ourselves.
 
 
# call me dave 2012-03-09 19:56
Thanks for this link. That's my weekend sorted then!

Kind regards
 
 
# H Scott 2012-03-09 18:47
I read the article. It's up to Joan's usual high standard and a reasonable metaphor.
The extreme unionist response I have seen in one or two other ocassions recently and suggests something profound is happening that they don't like and are not confident of stopping. It is fear.
 
 
# bringiton 2012-03-09 19:40
What debate ?
The Unionist parties have shown their hand at a very early stage and have made it clear that they wish to stifle debate on this issue by,firstly limiting the scope of the discussion and secondly by restricting the time available to do so.
I suspect that the only debate we are going to hear is between the Devo supporters and the Independenists.
The unionists can only carp from the sidelines as their only contribution will be to say NO to everything.
Unfortunately,a very one sided debate.
 
 
# curley bill 2012-03-09 19:53
Ever so slightly o/t:
I near wet myself this morning when an older gentleman came on Call Kaye and handed her her erse on a plate.
He said she spouted rubbish, should shut up because her guest made more sense in five minutes thsn she's ever done, and all she was fit for was making tea!
God knows how he got past the gatekeepers but he didnae half put her gas at a peep. She hardly opened her gob for the rest of the 'show' (as she calls it).

It's well worth a listen - just shortly before the 10 o'clock news.
 
 
# megsmaw 2012-03-10 17:28
I wonder if my dad heard it. He hates Kaye with a passion!
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 17:30
It wasn't your dad who phoned in was it megsmaw? :D
 
 
# Embra 2012-03-09 20:04
I am really fed up with the so called 'media' in Scotland.

It's gradualy been getting harder to get (recorded) FMQ's in Scotland.

I see BBC Democracy Live has the Welsh and NI FMQ's but NO Scottish FMQ.

It used to be that you could get it on the Holyrood website, but since lasy year they don't update FMQ's until several days later.

This means that the vast majority of people can't get to see what outrage lies the media is perpetrating about FMQ's.

I followed it regularly for years, until now, when they are basically censoring what we see and hear.

If a rally at Pathetic Quay is organised, count me in...
 
 
# Holebender 2012-03-10 05:42
It's always available from the Parliament's official website. Just search for Holyrood TV.
 
 
# Angus 2012-03-09 20:43
Embra,
You can watch FMQs on youtube, but I agree, the British state run media has put a gag on AS and the SNP.
As Wullie Rennie grudgingly points out, they cant control / shut up the dreaded cybernat (a community I m proud to be a part of)
 
 
# Embra 2012-03-09 20:55
On Youtube, I can only find a 13 minute long vid of Salmond vs Lamont,

do you have a link to it? thanks
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2012-03-09 21:00
Interesting article on Scottish voices in Rock Music at
guardian.co.uk/.../...
At the end of the article former Arab Strap vocalist Aidan Moffat says "I'm not sure how I'll vote in the independence referendum, but in the general election Alex Salmond was the only one going: 'We're brilliant.' Everyone else says: 'Times are tough, it's horrible.' He said: 'F**k all that, we're amazing!' He's a perfect reflection of a new attitude that seems to be catching – and he's right. We should be proud of our culture, and we don't need the approval of anyone."
 
 
# doctor_zaius 2012-03-09 21:01
This is all too sadly true. A friend and I were discussing independence on an online doctor's forum and the bile we got spewed at us was unreal. The counterargument s were just irrational or plain wrong and the propaganda pics...

The irony was that they accused us of being abusive/nutters/Braveheart types. The worst were the Scottish unionists, by far. You would hope education would breed rational debate. Apparently not.
 
 
# Hirta 2012-03-09 21:03
You know the BBC are poor when their own presenters fall asleep at the desk.

thesun.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-09 21:30
The report on Rangers matters from BBC Scotland tonight had its presenter standing outside Ibrox holding a big furry thing.

Things seem to be improving slightly for the club it seems. No [Edited - NNS Mod Team] then as they might say in Aussieland.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-09 21:34
Looks like Paul Murray's "Blue Knights" are finalising an offer to buy the club J. Wil.

www.bbc.co.uk/.../17301939

Just heard on BBC News that the "Blue Knights" are working in conjunction with the fans and Ticketus.
 
 
# Early Ball 2012-03-09 22:12
Am I missing something? Paul Murray was a director on the failed board.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-09 22:23
Out of the pot into the fire possibly?
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-09 23:58
It's good to hear that the players are taking a cut to help the club through its troubles and protect other jobs.

The mods don't like spoonerisms.
 
 
# .Scot 2012-03-10 02:37
Quoting J Wil:
The mods don't like spoonerisms.



C'mon, you have to give them kudos for the amount of your enlightening post they allowed. It all makes for a colourful forum.
 
 
# maxstafford 2012-03-10 00:34
Disappointed to hear David Steele's comments. Since I was a lad I'd always had him down as one of the good guys for trying hard to save the old Waverley Line.
It's said when you find out that one of your erstwhile 'heroes' is actually a 'deep depression in the ground where a kind of donkey lives'...
 
 
# .Scot 2012-03-10 02:29
The British Defence League are claiming that they are offended by an article in a British Red-Top news Paper? Pardon my scepticism.

Have the British Nationalists really never heard of the Daily Mail, sport, Star or the sun? Pardon my incertitude.
 
 
# Wave Machine 2012-03-10 08:32
I missed this and only picked it up this morning, Saturday. I'll add a comment or two over breakfast.

I'm genuinely surprised that we haven't seen demands for some sort of control to be applied to the Cybernat community. I'm proud to be a member and I feel that by contributing I am making a tiny difference to the debate. I hope it is positive contribution, I'll leave that to others to decide.
I often wonder what goes on in the darkened rooms of the Establishment, what plots are being hatched to dilute or limit the ability of the people to use new media in the Independence debate?
It must be terrifying for some in the unionist camp to watch events unfold without the historical ability to exert control being in place.
There must be demands by some powerful Unionists to alter the balance in their favour, either by laws or other controls. There is simply to much for them to lose; power, influence, careers, expenses.
If and when it happens, I won't be surprised to see the controls put in place.
 
 
# .Scot 2012-03-10 19:35
Absolutely agree WM. If we spot their attempts to change the shape of the ball or alter the rules so as only they can lift the debate ball in it's infancy, we have will have the ability to pour scorn on their attempts at chicanery, flim-flam and Bunco.
 
 
# skintybroko 2012-03-10 11:41
Having read Joans piece and seen FMQT it strikes me that Labour are terrified of the truth, Joans article is metaphorical but hits home with many of the people that have read it, fortunately the Unionists have the BBC to keep up the AI Rhetoric which is not surprising after all it is the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation - State sponsored so will always tow the status quo. We can expect the BBC to be impartial on other countries affairs but not our own as they will always pander to the majority which is the rUK.

The unionist parties are not simply concerened over losing power, influence, careers and expenses they are actually terrified at the prospect of being voted into power in an independent Scotland. Especially Labour who even after independence will be a strong contender for government. They know all too well that with a few excpetions they dont have any where near the calibre of politicians to manage the country, seven decades of decline have shown that they couldn't manage it as no matter who is in power at Westminster labour could do nothing for Scotland, they treat our current parliament as a country club expecting their Westminster cronies to manage on their behalf.

Roll on independence, the unionist Myth that the SNP will rule ad nauseum after independence won't be that far from the truth unless they get their acts together and start being positive about Scotland after all whilst I wish to see independence in my lifetime I dont paricularly want to see a one party state.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-10 16:23
David Martin.Labour mep."Tired predictable speech from Alex Salmond - looks like he and his party are running out of steam".

I leave his words to,'stand alone',and if we are wise we should do likewise.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-10 16:58
He's simply applying Westminster strategies to Holyrood. It's traditional, when opposing a government, to ignore anything they say or do and appeal to the voters whose political thinking doesn't extend beyond "I suppose it's time the other lot had a go". It's not particularly useful when there's more than one other lot who could feasibly form a government and so doesn't translate well to PR parliaments. Although, at the moment, there is only one other party in Scotland who could feasibly form a government...and even they can't feasibly form a government.

It's predictable, desperate, empty mud-slinging from a party who only have any steam by stoking the fires of resentment and anger.
 
 
# rob4i 2012-03-16 17:04
I just sit and tap my fingers on the table awaiting the Referendum and then wave bye to ALL UNIONISTS in Scotland! How do I know, THAT will be the result?

Because I know the psyche of self-serving Unionists. When time closes in on the referendum and latest polls show the pro-independence are moving ahead, it will be when the Unionists start to panic and revert back to their more comfortable position of poison and bile and they won't be able to avoid it and that is where they will lose, BIG style!

Thankfully Scotland has now woken up to the fact that the Union has had its day and the realisation that the Scots no longer have to put up with any of this Unionist deception!!

God Bless you all.
 

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