By G.A.Ponsonby
 
The biggest story of the week broke on Saturday, ex Tory party Treasurer Peter Cruddas claimed that the Tory party may be faking its support for the Union and in fact was positioning itself for negotiations post-independence.
 
The Times broke the story and backed it up with a video recording of Cruddas making the claims.

In terms of the independence debate it is the biggest story thus far.  That senior members of the UK government have either privately conceded defeat or are actively in favour of Scottish independence is dynamite.

How so?  Well consider for a moment if a senior figure within the SNP had claimed that some Ministers within the Scottish government were privately against independence and were in fact faking support and wished the Union to continue – yep, it would be a big story.

The BBC gave the Cruddas story its due online prominence when it broke, not surprising really since every major newspaper and outlet had pounced on it.

It was a ready-made Sunday Headline and that’s pretty much what happened.  The story was big political news, in particular Scotland where the referendum dominates the political landscape.

Even Radio Scotland’s Shereen show, not normally known for covering stories that might help the cause of independence, mentioned the story – for thirty seconds, although this was probably more to do with the fortuitous invite to Ewan Crawford, a former SNP media adviser, than any desire to give the story prominence.

Scotland on Sunday splashed on the story, even the Sunday Mail ran with it and the BBC’s broadcasting rival STV also gave the story a high prominence.  It was a political behemoth of a story, of that there was no question.

However it coincided with the publication of the UK Government’s referendum consultation, and the spin being pushed by London was that most submissions wanted the independence referendum sooner rather than later.

A ‘sooner than later’ headline wasn’t exactly a scoop, nor was it a surprise given that many submissions to the consultation had been solicited via a Labour party website.

So, given the almost universal agreement amongst news outlets in Scotland that the new Cruddas revelations was Sunday’s hot political item, or at least in the top three, how does one explain what happened on BBC Scotland’s Politics Show that afternoon.

The number one item was, believe it or not, a Labour party inspired accusation that the Scottish government’s referendum consultation was unfair and had been deliberately designed to be abused.

I have to admit to having been thrown by this gambit by Labour and indeed the BBC in Scotland.  Where was the Cruddas story?  Why had, what amounted to a Labour smear, been allowed to displace real and sensational news?

There isn’t an answer, unless you entertain the thought that this was pre-planned and organised. 
The UK government consultation was scheduled to be published this weekend and presented an opportunity for Unionists to dictate the political narrative.

It was the ideal opportunity for London to once again run with their ‘sooner rather than later’ tagline and try to undermine the Scottish government’s consultation at the same time.

In Scotland though the attack on the integrity of the Scottish consultation required the assistance of the Labour party.  Any attempt by the Conservatives or Lib Dems to generate momentum would have fallen flat.

So it was that Labour stepped in and provided the smear and, as is typical, the state broadcaster provided the platform.

The BBC had clearly agreed to allow this Labour attack to form the centrepiece of this Sunday’s political show, and ordinarily nobody would have batted an eyelid. 

However the Cruddas story presented BBC Scotland with a dilemma – do they drop the pre-arranged smear in order to cover the emerging (and significant) story or do they keep to their schedule?

Not surprisingly they chose the latter and myself, and I suppose many others, sat open mouthed as a bizarre discussion then took place based exclusively on Scottish Labour party claims.

Isabel Fraser handled the ensuing debate well, and to be honest Labour Deputy Scottish leader Anas Sarwar dug himself into a bit of a hole after implying that submissions to the UK consultation, made via a Labour party website, had been monitored.

But as good as Ms Fraser is, the elephant in the room was the Cruddas story and everybody knew it.

The choreography was evident when, within moments of the show, BBC Scotland placed the smear at the top of its online news site. 

It beggars belief that Scotland’s top politics show could have ignored Scotland’s top political news story, then compounded things by supplanting the top story with a very clearly contrived smear.  Hours later the Cruddas story was considered less important than a piece about Welsh rugby player Gavin Henson.

The choice of wording for the online headline, as is becoming the norm for the BBC, was again misleading ‘Row over independence responses’ it bellowed - ignoring the fact that the consultation is about the referendum and not about independence.

In fact the Scottish government’s consultation makes no mention of independence – quite why the BBC is presenting it in this fashion is unclear.

Not for the first time a Labour inspired complaint had knocked a news story that was damaging to the Conservative party, and by extension the Unionist anti-independence campaign, off of the BBC’s top spot in Scotland.

The Cruddas story did make it onto the Politics Show in a hasty discussion right at the end, but you would have been forgiven for wondering what was being discussed.

Whoever made the editorial decision to give a Labour party smear such a high profile in a political programme whilst all but ignoring the Cruddas story and the huge implications it has for the Conservatives in Scotland in terms of the referendum campaign has some explaining to do.

BBC Scotland’s reputation when it comes to political coverage is low at the moment – and it is slowly getting worse.


[Newsnet Scotland comment - Usually we place a news story as the top item on the site.  However, such was the orchestrated nature of this episode that we felt that as many people as possible ought to be aware of what was happening.

The ‘Scottish’ press have decided to run with the Labour party smear as can be seen from the links below.  The first two headlines read out on Good Morning Scotland's newspaper review at 06:15 this morning were the Scotsman and the Herald stories.

Scottish Daily Express - SALMOND ACCUSED OF USING 'CYBER-NATS' TO SKEW REFERENDUM
http://www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/312044/Salmond-accused-of-using-Cyber-Nats-to-skew-referendum

The Scotsman - Scottish independence: Nationalists anonymous spark new referendum dispute
http://www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/312044/Salmond-accused-of-using-Cyber-Nats-to-skew-referendum

The Herald - Salmond accused of rigging poll feedback
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/salmond-accused-of-rigging-poll-feedback.17194511

To suggest that people ought to be forced to reveal their identities when either voting or submitting their political views is reprehensible in any democracy.

This demand to know who you are and where you are coincides with new legislation being planned by Westminster that will allow the British State to monitor every email, text, telephone call and website visit each one of us makes.

The right to express one’s views anonymously is fundamental to a free and open society.  To deny anonymity is to invite tyranny and retaliation from those who wield power.

If the denial of anonymity and the demonisation of those who challenge the status quo without wishing to reveal their identity is now a basic tenet of Unionism – then we want no part of it.]

 

Newsnet Scotland relies on you, the reader.  If you can, then please donate to ensure the site continues to grow - anonymity is guaranteed. http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/contact-us/donations

Comments  

 
# bodun 2012-04-02 01:35
This was an extraordinary choice of emphasis in the circumstances. Stuart Hosie gave a good account of himself, demonstrating the hypocrisy of the Labour Position, then picking up on Sarwar's revelation of monitoring and pointing out that half of the UK Government's 3000 responses had been sourced through a Labour Party portal.

However, deft handling of the smear aside, the choice to lead with this story over the Cruddas revelations, in particular, demonstrates a new, higher level of collusion between the establishment and the state broadcaster than we have seen before. This does not bode well for the next two years and lends credence to those who are calling for outside monitoring of the media during the debate.
 
 
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-04-02 08:51
I just read a comment on the Hootsmon comments section that the same process was used in the Calman proposals consultation, can anyone confirm this cos if true it nails the whole accusation tae the floor..thnxs and sorry for jumping to the top of the page but this is important [me thinks]
 
 
# Exile 2012-04-02 10:20
Absolutely, bodun. We need to get in the Council of Europe or the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe to monitor these goings-on, and the sooner the better.
 
 
# Vincent McDee 2012-04-02 10:49
The article shows the Daily Express link under the Britsman by mistake. Here is the correct one:

scotsman.com/.../...
 
 
# DJ 2012-04-02 18:09
How did the first comment get posted 3 hours before the article?
 
 
# Embradon 2012-04-02 19:09
Happens all the time on the Scotsman - or it used to. I have always assumed it was an in-house troll as the early comments were usually designed to lower the level of debate and it generally worked.

As a result I never even look in now - it only encourages them.
 
 
# Christian_Wright 2012-04-02 02:40
The Herald never even ran the latest Cruddas revelations at all, so far as I could see. Their current lead "Salmond accused of rigging poll feedback".

It is time we had an inquiry into the conspiracy between the media and the Unionist cabal. This is blatant manipulation. Given that there is a state broadcaster and therefore public money involved, an investigation is a legitimate response.

[NNS Mod Team - Innaccurate claim removed]
 
 
# Christian_Wright 2012-04-02 10:36
"[NNS Mod Team - Innaccurate claim removed]"

No citation? Nature of the alleged inaccuracy? Evidence? None? With respect to the placement of the Cruddass story on the BBC website the account given was correct. No false claims we made.

No idea why you would do this.

[NNS Mod team - You claimed that the story was no longer visible on the main BBC Scotland online news site when it was still visible.]
 
 
# Christian_Wright 2012-04-02 15:24
[NNS Mod team - You claimed that the story was no longer visible on the main BBC Scotland online news site when it was still visible.]

That is simply false. At the time of writing that was a wholly accurate statement. Since "the claim" was not censored until some considerable time later, how could you possibly know? You would censor a post on that spurious basis? Never saw that in the TOS.

No point in further discussion however, this whole thing is nonsensical in my view and serves no good cause.
 
 
# Christian_Wright 2012-04-02 03:08
The following was first posted in the reader comments section to the Herald's lead story entitled "Salmond accused of rigging poll feedback", since their conduct is an extreme example of the thesis argued herein. What are the odds on it not long seeing the light of day therein?

Cruddas has revealed that the Conservatives want to see Scotland exit the Union, but that they must appear to be fighting to save it so that they can minimize the "deal" given to Scotland upon its exit.

Now that is a story of considerable import that has found zero coverage in the Herald whilst this froth gets top billing. I think the biggest story today is why that is? Why is it that the Herald is apparently suppressing this bombshell news and promoting this vacuous nonsense?

Is it the case that whenever the Labour Party accuses the SNP, that the Herald must headline the accusation, no matter how inane? Is there collusion between the Herald and the Union opposition to suppress news that is detrimental to the Unionist case?

The Herald's readers deserve an answer.
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-04-02 08:09
Herald readers will exercise their opinion of this cover-up collusion by keeping their money in their pocket each day from now on.

It seems Murdoch is the only paper owner to report the facts and detest the man for what he's done and is capable of doing, but credit where credit's due.

What are the Herald and the BBC thinking of by ignoring this Cruddas news in their productions? If they are not reporting on genuine fact nor chasing up investigations to reveal more, do they even care what Joe Public thinks about them? If they've lost that sensitivity, they've lost the will to live as journalists.
 
 
# kofk 2012-04-02 03:09
Hopefully this may fall into the hands of the Justice Secetary Kenny Mcaskill for further scrutiny!!?
 
 
# km 2012-04-02 03:42
The drip-drip of the Cruddas affair is interesting - typical Murdoch too, if it had all been released at once, then the bits about Tory attitude to Scotland would have been buried. This way, it gets highlighted and reinforced. I wonder what other things will come to light in the next couple of weeks? And I wonder perhaps if Salmond was forewarned by Murdoch a few weeks ago? Whatever the case, these revelations are hitting home, and the union is looking more fragile by the day.

My other thought was that the Sunday Times didn't just happen to get lucky with Cruddas. He had obviously been shooting his mouth off for a while before this operation was planned and executed. I don't know how the conversation with the potential investors from Liechtenstein would have got around to Scottish independence? Looks like there may have been a few leading questions thrown in - I hope that the Times journos got a few names to be released in the next few weeks.
 
 
# Dougie Douglas 2012-04-02 03:46
Nothing is surprising when it comes to the BBC anymore. I am just glad that NNS is taking note and creating a record of bias.

This record can be wheeled out at some time in the future as absolute proof of bias. Maybe a cash-up supporter can bankroll a special news-sheet highlighting this undemocratic conduct.

It is frustrating that the SNP leadership are leaving this bias largely unchallenged. I can understand the danger in attacking the BBC which is still seen as an authority by many. My hope is they have a strategy up their sleeve - bidding their time until an absolutely water tight case be presented.

Fun and games but utterly undemocratic.
 
 
# clootie 2012-04-02 06:03
The bias of the BBC is very frustrating. However the good news is that it is now so blatant that even those I speak to who are neither SNP supporters or convinced by the independence arguement now accept that the BBC are bias. The BBC are losing the respect of the general public in Scotland who tended to believe that the BBC were neutral in the past.
It is obvious that a great deal of co-operation is taking place between Labour party officials and the BBC in Scotland.
 
 
# weegie38 2012-04-02 06:21
Quoting clootie:
The bias of the BBC is very frustrating. However the good news is that it is now so blatant that even those I speak to who are neither SNP supporters or convinced by the independence arguement now accept that the BBC are bias. The BBC are losing the respect of the general public in Scotland who tended to believe that the BBC were neutral in the past.
It is obvious that a great deal of co-operation is taking place between Labour party officials and the BBC in Scotland.




Yeah, their slip is showing, as it were. I think the BBC is losing the game amongst voters with the time and energy to find out, and the more net-aware. The problem, however, is the hordes of old biddies for whom it's long been perceived as unbiased.

I watched the piece about this on Reporting Scotland last night, and it seemed to take up over half the bulletin. At the end of the day though, it did come across as rather insubstantial, and if anything, looked too political (i.e. it was all coming from Labour). Giving the story the prominence they did was biased, but if anything, if ended up making Labour look petty (not hard, I know).
 
 
# UpSpake 2012-04-02 06:40
It really doesn't take this latest episode to remind us that the BBC, in Scotland at least, is working to an agenda that is entirely hostile towards our democratically elected government. That the SNP is the popular majority is ignored by them both in repsect for that win and the fact that the SNP are what the establishment and the BBC hoped would never happen, be a majority.
That being said, the BBC are utterly anti-Scottish and forcing their agenda down our throats in the hope that they will influence our thinking.
Well, it ain't working and more so, it exposes them for what they really are.
Were they a properly commercial channel we could simply switch off and or, watch something else. The fact that they take a tax/fee from us for the priviledge of laughing in our face says more about our subservience to their will than our outrage at being lied to and manipulated whether we think we are or not.
Only hitting them below the belt, denying them their tax, will in any way focus attention to their 5th column activities.
Problem is, how can we convince the Eastenders fans that this corporation is corrupt ?.
 
 
# Vincent McDee 2012-04-02 10:09
Actually, there is a way, by getting in contact with any of the members of the Audience Council Scotland.

See here: en.wikipedia.org/.../...

The ACS holds a number of public engagement events throughout the year across the country and meets monthly to discuss issues concerning audiences. ACS engages with audiences in a range of ways, it monitors comments made by audiences to the BBC, reviews audience research, and may commission its own, ACS engages directly with members of the audience via focus groups and a range of audience events.

The members are :

Jeremy Peat Chair and National Trustee for Scotland (reappointed 2008)
Robert Beveridge
Douglas Chalmers
James Cohen
Beth Culshaw
David Garrick
Patricia Jordan
Eleanor Logan
Sir Neil McIntosh
Rak Nandwani
Callum Thomson
Lesley Thomson

And for more information about where the SC stands about the BBC see here: scotland.gov.uk/.../...

Even wikipedia says: "Reporting Scotland has come in for much criticism lately for its seemingly biased pro-union coverage of the Scottish Independence referendum debate leading to many complaints from Nationalists about it failing to be impartial"

en.wikipedia.org/.../...
 
 
# Briggs 2012-04-02 18:10
Upspake

My good lady watches 'EastEnders', has always voted for and even stood ,unsuccessfully , as an SNP candidate.

What's your point?
 
 
# Ready to Start 2012-04-02 06:49
On Saturday evening I watched BBC TV 24 hour news on American lottery record jackpot winners when they claimed that Questions were raised about Mr & Mrs Weir's donation to the SNP... no explanation was given or clarification .. but as it was linked to criminal activity of an American mega winner, the clear implication was given that there was something dodgy about it.

So much for the BBC being the impartial broadcaster of record.
 
 
# Briggs 2012-04-02 07:27
When I contributed to the consultation, I freely gave my name and where I lived ....why wouldn't I do so or why wouldn't anyone else?

I'm reminded of the Holywood Film 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World'
 
 
# G. P. Walrus 2012-04-02 07:54
I also gave my name and address on the SG consultation.
 
 
# proudscot 2012-04-02 11:55
Quoting G. P. Walrus:
I also gave my name and address on the SG consultation.


As did I.
 
 
# rhymer 2012-04-02 11:40
Quoting Ready to Start:
On Saturday evening I watched BBC TV 24 hour news on American lottery record jackpot winners when they claimed that Questions were raised about Mr & Mrs Weir's donation to the SNP... no explanation was given or clarification .. but as it was linked to criminal activity of an American mega winner, the clear implication was given that there was something dodgy about it.
So much for the BBC being the impartial broadcaster of record.


I was watching that with friends and one of them - a long time labour supporter - said, "that was uncalled for, that was totally out of place. Now I see why you have said that the BBC is biased". We had a great discussion about it and after showing them the Newsnet site I have four more people doubting the BBCs lack of truthfulness.

So... It is really blatant and rather crude propaganda is getting noticed and they are losing the trust of more and more Scottish people.
 
 
# CharlieObrien 2012-04-02 06:56
Seems a lot of non stories out there silly ones,that is makes me think something is being hidden.I just don't trust those in Westminster,sur ely even they could not screw up so much silly stuff in one week,as to call the "petrol strike" or non strike his Thatcher moment seems OTT.I have the feeling that they have got a big scandal just around the corner.
 
 
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2012-04-02 07:24
Well, the only way to combat this is to get this article "out there". Facebook it, email it, print it and stick it on lamp post it. That's our job. It's not a job we should need to do but have to do.

I'm proud to be one of you. I'm proud to be a CyberNat.
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-04-02 07:37
Fraser and the BBC's so called 'politics show' is a joke. Always has been , always will be. Apart from the bias, the sheer quality of the programme is dreadful - badly presented, badly scripted, badly edited and so on. I know Fraser has her supporters on this site, but maybe now they will start to look and see her for what she is, nothing more than a BBC political lackey.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-02 07:38
I'm interested in what the Cruddas story will do with respect to Scottish Tory voters. To find out the ones you worship in london want rid of you/are not fighting for you/are working to get the most out of your country's finances when the deal is struck could have a significant impact on how they feel regarding independence. Imagine we all discovered the SNP were preparing to give up the independence struggle and barter with London on a new union... Time will tell.
 
 
# G. P. Walrus 2012-04-02 08:47
They're going to have to scour Scotland for a smaller phone box to host their next conference.
 
 
# john__ 2012-04-02 09:09
It certainly explains why Murdo Fraser was more popular amongst the MSPs. They probably knew what the MPs in the south thought, and hence knew that only an independent scottish tory party could thrive. The membership, however, are still living in cloud cookoo land, and hence voted for the line in the sand, believing that they were still loved by their southern neighbours.

John
 
 
# Exile 2012-04-02 10:28
Well, ss, now we'll know if the BBC monitor this site, if tomorrow's headline is: "Cybernat claims SNP preparing to give up on independence and negotiate a new Union." Perhaps we should be careful of the analogies we draw. The importance of the Cruddas story is clear for all to see without giving hostages to fortune.
 
 
# Macart 2012-04-02 07:39
I've been largely out of touch with the net for the past few days, but I've been keeping an eye on tv newscasts since NNS first broke the constitutional aspect of this story. I've been utterly stunned and angered at the blatant avoidance of this aspect by the MSM. What Cruddas and by implication his masters did in terms of cash for access was bad, no doubt, but the revelation on what appears topdown, widespread Conservative attitude toward the union is seismic politically and goes to the core of state political relationships within these islands. The silence has been deafening!

This manipulation of the media and indeed the media's willing collusion is almost cold war eastern blok in nature. In what strange other world does proof positive that the chief defenders of the union dissing the FM of the partner nation and apparently mob handed showing scant regard for union partnership, not make the front page of every rag on these islands???

The sooner we are rid, the better.
 
 
# Exile 2012-04-02 10:31
"...almost cold war eastern blok..."

How come 'almost'?
 
 
# Macart 2012-04-02 12:39
Fair point Exile. The blanket thrown over this story is nothing short of disgraceful by all concerned.
 
 
# Ready to Start 2012-04-02 07:39
Lodge a Freedom of Information request to UK government re independent verification and number of respondents via Labour Hame web site on their referendum consultation.
 
 
# G. P. Walrus 2012-04-02 07:51
The BBC biased? I can't accept that!

I was just listening to a learned discussion on GMS about science, well psychology.

It seems that some interesting research has been done on the link between self confidence and success. For example [I'm not expressing my own opinion here, this was in the item] men on average have more self-confidence than women and this may be linked to self-confidence and success.

Now it seems to be the case from many studies that the Scots are much less self-confident than the English ....

... may be we should just forget about this independence malarkey and retreat under the duvet.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-02 07:55
'Dependence' does not instill self-confidence. Independence does.
 
 
# G. P. Walrus 2012-04-02 08:00
The thing is, this "Scottish Cringe" thing is entirely manufactured. I was never brought up to think Scots were inferior. I was always hearing about our proud traditions, how we were open and international in outlook and how we invented almost everything. The phrase "proud Scot" is well-known around the world. The fact is we are known for our self-confidence everywhere, except in the self-hating world of the BBC and the Labour party.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-02 08:04
Aye, I would agree. The Scottish cringe seems largely confined to certain - mainly unionist - circles.
 
 
# nchanter 2012-04-02 09:43
Quoting G. P. Walrus:
The thing is, this "Scottish Cringe" thing is entirely manufactured. I was never brought up to think Scots were inferior. I was always hearing about our proud traditions, how we were open and international in outlook and how we invented almost everything. The phrase "proud Scot" is well-known around the world. The fact is we are known for our self-confidence everywhere, except in the self-hating world of the BBC and the Labour party.

I agree 100%-- A proud Scot.
 
 
# Soixante-neuf 2012-04-02 12:40
It's funny, you know. Some time ago I noticed that virtually every article or comment with the phrase "proud Scot" in it was actually pro-union.

Go figure.
 
 
# G. P. Walrus 2012-04-02 13:23
For the avoidance of doubt, I am a pro-independence proud Scot :-)
 
 
# J Wil 2012-04-02 08:42
My experience with Scottish education was that it did not give me the confidence to speak out in public and when I went out into the wider world I had to develop these skills myself. I now see my grandchildren being asked, from an early age, to give talks in front of class, on a variety of different subjects which they have had to research. They seem to have much more confidence than I had at that age.
 
 
# nchanter 2012-04-02 09:46
Quoting J Wil:
My experience with Scottish education was that it did not give me the confidence to speak out in public and when I went out into the wider world I had to develop these skills myself. I now see my grandchildren being asked, from an early age, to give talks in front of class, on a variety of different subjects which they have had to research. They seem to have much more confidence than I had at that age.

A big difference between culture and cringe, as in children should be seen and not heard it was the way then , cringe NO.
 
 
# Holebender 2012-04-02 15:02
It wasn't just that children should be seen and not heard. Children were often undermined for speaking Scots at school and an awful lot of Scots developed an aversion to speaking in public as a result. It feeds through to low self confidence and it reinforces the cringe.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-04-02 16:00
I can agree with that. I was pulled up by my French teacher for talking about a 'motor' (car). She made me feel like some kind of low life and I have never forgotten it. Now its common usage.
 
 
# Arraniki 2012-04-02 07:51
And there was I almost convinced this was a 1st April prank.

Seriously, though, what next? An end to the secret ballot?

The Cruddas story, however, has an extended mileage. It totally undermines the Tory position as "saviours of the union".

My goodness, Machiavelli, they are devious supporters of independence.
What a gift!
 
 
# nchanter 2012-04-02 09:48
Quoting Arraniki:
And there was I almost convinced this was a 1st April prank.

Seriously, though, what next? An end to the secret ballot?

The Cruddas story, however, has an extended mileage. It totally undermines the Tory position as "saviours of the union".

My goodness, Machiavelli, they are devious supporters of independence.
What a gift!

Could it have been MANDYaviavelli
 
 
# proudscot 2012-04-02 12:12
I'm afraid I have to correct you on the subject of "the secret ballot", Arraniki. Next time you vote in any election, for either local council or government (both Scottish and Westminster), watch the actions of the polling station official who issues you with your ballot paper. You will then see that they copy the number of your ballot paper against your name on the electoral register before them on the table.

If necessary, this could result in your ballot paper being traced back to you, in the event say, of a written threat or obscenity on your paper. So essentially your vote is not as "secret" as you think.
 
 
# hiorta 2012-04-02 07:54
The Unionist cause is running scared - very scared. Surely mere political change is not that terrifying, as it happens all the time. Indeed in a democracy, it is so designed.

So, this begs the question 'Why'

What dark secrets are hidden behind the phoney jovial face of Unionism? Is the electorate being ripped off?
In many ways this is arguable, but in a massive way?
What if the major expenditure of the peoples' money was really a scam - the money said to be used for one (ultra expensive) thing, being syphoned elsewhere instead?
Would that be sufficient reason for the present series of smokescreens?
 
 
# nchanter 2012-04-02 09:50
Quoting hiorta:
The Unionist cause is running scared - very scared. Surely mere political change is not that terrifying, as it happens all the time. Indeed in a democracy, it is so designed.

So, this begs the question 'Why'

What dark secrets are hidden behind the phoney jovial face of Unionism? Is the electorate being ripped off?
In many ways this is arguable, but in a massive way?
What if the major expenditure of the peoples' money was really a scam - the money said to be used for one (ultra expensive) thing, being syphoned elsewhere instead?
Would that be sufficient reason for the present series of smokescreens?

Maybe they think the USofA will come to the rescue and save Trident. A witches brew.
 
 
# Aplinal 2012-04-02 07:56
We need to get the international media to look into this. I wonder if Al Jazeera would take it up. they are building a reputation for pretty unbiased reporting, notwithstanding their origins.

I am not sure who else might be interested. Any ideas?
 
 
# Holebender 2012-04-02 15:11
Origins? You mean the fact Al Jaz was started by a group of ex-BBC Arabic service folks?
 
 
# thomsor 2012-04-02 08:29
Alpinal, don't get to dewy eyed about AL Jazeera as they are certainly not the beacon of unbiased reporting on western news they once were. RT do a fair job for obvious reasons.
 
 
# Aplinal 2012-04-02 08:54
Fair enough, I was just thinking of who to turn to. Surely SOMEONE would want to take this up?
 
 
# J Wil 2012-04-02 08:34
I just hope that the SG stick to their guns with this as there was a suggestion that the anonymous replies would be dropped.

From what was being said by Stewart Hosie, the consultation was entirely legitimate and no different to previous Labour consultations.

It would be wonderful if the SG consultation, even without the anonymous ones, was completely unambiguous and the opposite result to the filtered Westminster one.
 
 
# G. P. Walrus 2012-04-02 08:44
Another odd aspect of BBC's Scottish Politics coverage was the repeated assertion that opinions expressed on the referendum were somehow "votes". Stewart Hosie had to correct Isobel Fraser a couple of times.

BBC bias aside, it is a problem when the analysis of politics provided is woolly and mis-informed ... and Fraser tends to be more incisive than most.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-04-02 08:47
What is obvious is that the BBC Trust, in spite of complaints from the SG, has done nothing to curb BBC Scotland's worst excesses of bias.
 
 
# steveb 2012-04-02 08:46
This is only going to get worse as the months go by. Make no mistake how far they will go, as not to stop Independence could, in all likely hood cripple England for generations to come.
The very thought that England could become a bigger basket case than Greece is unacceptable to them.
Manipluating the news will be seen as fairly civilised when seen in the light of things that they will stoop to in the months to come.
 
 
# steveb 2012-04-02 08:49
Think about it folks, what will they do if the news manipluation fails to get the Independance movement derailed. Will they just say, "oh well we gave it a fair go let's now get down to the settlement discussions", and smiles all round?
I don't think so.
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-04-02 09:00
It was noticeable on Sunday Politics and this morning's Reporting Scotland that the Labour guy did not deny the bulk of the UK consultation returns came from the Labour Hame portal he rebutted only by claiming the SNP had cybernats making multiple returns.

I completed my return last night because this was alleged as a fragile "iffy" area of concern and I was also prompted by an article by Moridura.

I had to give my name and address, phone number, e-mail address and also state whether I was responding as an individual or on behalf of an organisation, political party, etc., I also had to state if I was a plain Mr or an MP, MSP, academic, whatever else.

Now for me and my simple mind, I am quite sure enough information was given to permit a cross-check of my single response and indeed, if I had attempted to make another response, as claimed by this Labour guy, I would have to have changed these details or stick out like a sore thumb to a one eyed-man!

Given the paucity of this Labour smear on the Scottish Government's consultation process - I'm quite frankly appalled that the BBC and the Herald could give it any prominence, never mind to headline it.

Unless it was to cover up Cruddas - a seriously damaging issue for their unionist cabal - which it certainly did.
 
 
# Exile 2012-04-02 10:36
Perhaps it's more a case of Labour judging others by themselves, like with their postal voting scams.
 
 
# cirsium 2012-04-02 13:12
or the survey for the closure of Arbroath primary schools carried out by Angus Council with multiple posts in favour of the closures coming from just two responders

forargyll.com/.../...
Excerpt:
"It turned out that the two main offenders were BT addresses, one of which was a static address. This means that the identity of the perpetrator is discoverable.
However, BT needs a court order or a request from the police in order to release that information.
This has not been done but it means that should this matter come to law or this proposal be taken to a judicial review, the legal means to identify one of the people who submitted large numbers of online responses exists and will be used.
We understand that the static IP address in question was the one submitting 89% of the online responses to the survey on the merger of the two urban schools into the proposed new school – and the one asking for the new school to be named after Peter Nield, the Education spokesperson responsible for the scheme.
One of the IP addresses, responsible for one of the smaller number of multiple hits, turned out to be behind Angus Council’s own firewall. Despite requests Angus Council are adamant that they cannot identify the terminal responsible."
 
 
# Blarney 2012-04-02 09:03
There is more on the Cruddas story to come.
 
 
# DoricBob 2012-04-02 09:09
Stewart Hosie made the point that the very same consultation process was used by the Labour-LibDem governments, including Calman and the smoking ban, However, this was conveniently glossed over in subsequent "news" reports, which infuriated me. He also made the point that the votes would be verified by an external body - none of which was repeated at any point by the BBC.
 
 
# Mako 2012-04-02 09:12
So when is the protest going to happen? I would suggest, for maximum vcoverage, to hold the protests during the May elections.
 
 
# RTP 2012-04-02 09:18
Isabel Fraser handled the ensuing debate well, and to be honest Labour Deputy Scottish leader Anas Sarwar dug himself into a bit of a hole after implying that submissions to the UK consultation, made via a Labour party website, had been monitored

What was the Lab party web site anyone know.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-04-02 11:24
But the BBC nullified Sarwar's admission on subsequent news progammes when they selectively manipulated his comments.
 
 
# spagan 2012-04-02 09:18
OT
I've posted this on the other "referendum consultation" stream as well.
I have responded to both the UK and the SG consultations - just the once to each!
The SG consultation was fully automated and I received a response by email immediately, informing me that me contribution had been received.
The UK Government consultation provided no immediate feedback of any kind. After a week, I posted on NewsNet to see if others had a similar lack of response. Somebody said that it had taken about 10 days for their response to come through.
I waited and still heard nothing.
In the last few days open for the UK, I re-submitted my original comments - this time copying in to my MSP (Fergus Ewing) - and suggesting to Michael Moore that the exercise was amateurish at best and "well dodgy" at worst.
Hey! I subsequently received a thankyou for my submission.
How many submissions by email to the Scotland Office (sic) were "filtered" - sorry "mislaid"???
Will the BBC check out the validity and reliability of Mr Moore's charade?
 
 
# frankyB 2012-04-02 09:18
The only way we'll get the BBC play fair is to bring this to world's attention. The world should learn that the BBC has become as biased as Syrian state television.

We should shame them in the eyes of the world

Why don't we organise a picket at the BBC HQ in Glasgow from now until the referndum?

I'd find time for this worthy cause and I'm sure others would as well.
 
 
# alexb 2012-04-02 09:25
Why are any of us are surprised about the bias emanating from the B.B.C? This has been happening since time-immemorial, although probably has become more pronounced since the "spectre", as far as they are concerned, of independence, has become a real possibility. As I warned weeks ago, the establishment will use every dirty trick in the book to try to derail the S.N.P bandwagon, and the B.B.C is one of their more effective tools, along with the MSM.
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-04-02 09:26
Posted this on an older thread but it is probably as relevant if not more so here

I chose to make my submission anonymous simply because I didn't want people unrelated to the Scottish Government to use the list to cold call me. I supplied my name, address, phone number and email address to the process so anyone checking the details will see I am not anonymous.

If down the line I am required to untick the anonymous box I will.

It is no surprise that the Parties of ID cards and monitoring every email, every phone call want everything, including your pant size. They really are the most illiberal, control freak bunch of horrors this country has produced for quite some time.

I want to see the UK process picked apart with as much rigour.
 
 
# Holebender 2012-04-02 15:25
The point is you supplied your details even though you asked for them not to be published. To me, that is not an anonymous submission.

I don't even know if it's possible to make a submission without filling in your personal information. I've just had a look at the website and it clearly states that anonymous responses will be discarded, and it also clearly states that personal details are required beside each box. I don't know if this is an update or if it was always like that - I filled in the form several weeks ago and included my details, but I don't remember if they were required at the time.
 
 
# RTP 2012-04-02 09:30
Doubts cast on consultation.Scotsman.

This story did not get much cover nothing on the BBC as far as I know.Alan Trench “I wish they [the Scotland Office] had read my submission properly.”
 
 
# Wee-Scamp 2012-04-02 09:47
The problem is that as long as the BBC keeps transmitting those awful programmes Eastenders and River City and keeps up its coverage of Scottish football then many people will believe it can do no wrong.
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-04-02 10:01
BBC News and its journalist side is completely separate from its wild life documentary/light entertainment side. I think our quarrel is with a tiny part of the Beeb and a surprisingly small number of people.
 
 
# Marian 2012-04-02 09:59
When my partner and I separately submitted our views on the referendum to the Scots government consultative website we both freely gave our email address and names and received the following email messages by return:-

"Thank you for your response to the consultation. This has been passed to the Elections and Referendum Team."

So it appears that a record of who sent what is being kept.

*************** *************** *************** *********
Not sure about this other part of the message we received though as Cable & Wireless have had a track record of working for HM spooks in the past:-

"This e-mail (and any files or other attachments transmitted with it) is intended solely for the attention of the addressee(s). Unauthorised use, disclosure, storage, copying or distribution of any part of this e-mail is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient please destroy the email, remove any copies from your system and inform the sender immediately by return.

Communications with the Scottish Government may be monitored or recorded in order to secure the effective operation of the system and for other lawful purposes. The views or opinions contained within this e-mail may not necessarily reflect those of the Scottish Government.

The original of this email was scanned for viruses by the Government Secure Intranet virus scanning service supplied by Cable&Wireless Worldwide in partnership with MessageLabs. (CCTM Certificate Number 2009/09/0052.) On leaving the GSi this email was certified virus free.

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for legal purposes."
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-04-02 10:08
Marian

That is just a standard virus check that all Government departments have to use to ensure their systems are secure from breach. C&W have the contract to do that at the moment. This is separate from anything the UK Government is planning to do using GCHQ
 
 
# alexb 2012-04-02 10:17
O/T. I see the Tories, "Keep Scotland in the Union" campaign is being run from Haywards Heath, a town in the South of England. I wonder what Ruth Davidson has to say about that?
 
 
# Mully 2012-04-02 11:50
"Keep Scotland in the Union" - this is a misnomer to start with. When are they going to realise the Union is between Scotland & England, no other country is involved in the Union. If we leave the Union then there is no Union it will be disolved.
 
 
# Mei 2012-04-02 10:25
Can the SNP learn anything from this?

How GG skewered Labour in Bradford

labourlist.org/.../...
 
 
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-04-02 10:33
I can never get logged onto the Daily Record's comments section since they changed it tae via facebook, i have resisted these "social network" sites but since the D.R is a mass publication and therefore its important to get the Indy message accross I dropped my opposition andsigned up to facebook, I should'nt have bothered as from the D.R site i cant log in, ..am i doing somthing wrong.

P.S the herald edited half my post, one that the Express and the Hootsmon thought acceptible to publish
 
 
# Mako 2012-04-02 12:01
I have troble wit this also. I do manage to get on but cant figure out how I do it. Try loggin into facebook first.

I understand thatyou are not keen on facebook but I urge you to use it to connect to fellow SNP and/or pro-independence folk. There are a lot of us and some have went as far as arranging a march in Edinburgh this year. there is even a page dedicated to exposing BBC bias.

have a look for me btw, Dave Dailly.
 
 
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-04-02 12:45
I now get logged on then after writing my comment it shows the progess bar with the statement "please wait till we add your commen" for and i'm not jokin an hour till i get fed up close the window , reopen it and suprise my comment is no where to be seen.

P.S..Dave...Studied Sports Therapy at ******** same Dave???

The D.R use to have around 250 comments on big stories, at present they have 12 on the consultation story....Just shocking
 
 
# Vincent McDee 2012-04-02 10:43
Pete Wishart, the Perth and North Perthshire MP also used his speech, at a media conference in Salford, Greater Manchester, two weeks ago, to suggest the BBC is an “institutional enemy” of the party’s drive for separation.

For more information about see: gordonjohnston.wordpress.com/.../...

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

allmediascotland.com/.../...

There was an article in the Scottish Sun now disappeared, but still showing in search.

No mention in the BBC, O'course.
 
 
# Old Smokey 2012-04-02 10:50
A bit O/T, but interesting..
Just came accross the Blog of American Seth Godin (for more abut Mr Godin www.sethgodin.com/sg/bio.asp )
His latest offering on his blog is the following, which has no relation (as far as I know) to the current debate on indpendence, but I hope some will find it interesting non the less.
'The coalition of No

It's easy to join.

There are a million reasons to say no, but few reasons to stand up and say yes.

No requires just one objection, one defensible reason to avoid change. No has many allies--anyone who fears the future or stands to benefit from the status quo. And no is easy to say, because you actually don't even need a reason.

No is an easy way to grab power, because with yes comes responsibility, but no is the easy way to block action, to exert the privilege of your position to slow things down.

No comes from fear and greed and, most of all, a shortage of openness and attention. You don't have to pay attention or do the math or role play the outcomes in order to join the coalition that would rather things stay as they are (because they've chosen not to do the hard work of imagining how they might be).

And yet the coalition of No keeps losing. We live in a world of yes, where possibility and innovation and the willingness to care often triumph over the masses that would rather it all just quieted down and went back to normal.

Yes is the new normal. And just in time.

sethgodin.typepad.com/.../...
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-04-02 11:02
INSTITUTIONAL LABOUR BIAS in the BBC Scotland Region. I don't have a Facebook page,but now in response to listening to the BBC Radio programmes referred to here,I'm opening one NOW,and passing this on to world-wide media sites/stations.
My current subscriptions are worldwide and on varied subjects. Via Facebook and also Twitter,this article will appear in full.Hope the Mods don't go wild!
Weeks ago,I gave up on BBC Scotland and Lord Patten,and am having no more of it.
In my own country I expect to be truthfully informed from a paid-for State Broadcaster.
No more,and no less.

Labour Party Scotland/British Broadcasting Corporation,Sco tland Region.
Spot the difference.

Patten had the chance a couple of months ago to deal with this,and has failed abysmally.
Being a Unionist just may have something to do with it?
That's for others to judge,when the time comes.
 
 
# Mako 2012-04-02 12:02
[Posts should be made only once, and not repeated - NNS Mod Team]
 
 
# D_A_N 2012-04-02 12:24
If you or anybody else have a facebook join our demonstrate against the BBC page to find out the latest updates of when we will be holding our first march.

www.facebook.com/.../

also if people could please, please share this image. we're gonna make it viral. Already 150 shares in half a day on.fb.me/H75Mny
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2012-04-02 11:06
OT

Well, well what a turn up for Westmidden!

dailymail.co.uk/.../...

Voters are so disgusted with politics that the three main party leaders are collectively the least popular in the history of polling.

A survey yesterday put the negative ratings of David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband at the lowest cumulative rating, a staggering -121 per cent.

The Prime Minister saw his personal rating – the difference between the number of voters who think he is doing a good job and those who do not – plunge to -27 in the latest YouGov poll.

The YouGov survey also showed 68 per cent of voters think British politics is corrupt, while eight out of ten voters believe honours have been given in exchange for donations.

(my emphasis)

The UK voters think that they have the best Government that money can buy!
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-02 11:35
Ah, you beat me too it.

Yes, seems the neighbours are getting restless too. Hopefully they do something about it.

Off to take a shower now - always feel grubby after reading the Mail.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-04-02 11:36
So much for the Mother of Parliaments which has passed its wisdom to the colonies and seeks to pass it to the rest of the World.

I heard Douglas Alexander talking about the Falklands yesterday and saying that sovereignty is enshrined in international law. The way he wants to treat Scotland you would not believe that these words could come from his mouth. His credibility is in shreds.
 
 
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-04-02 13:21
I read that plus I had a quick [really quick] perusal of the readers comments and its disappointing that they come to the wrong conclusions and express support for the nazi BNP,the even more Tory than the Tories and xenophobic UKIP. and a nostalgia for Thatcher. Will the average English D.M voter never learn that is less right wing policies they need not more

{this in reply to roll on's post..oops]
 
 
# Mr Rational 2012-04-02 11:15
To follow that, I believe that politics is split into two camps, the politics of hope and the politics of fear. One is asperational, wanting to make progress, look to the future and give people and society encouragement to do better, the other peddles fear, mistrust and puts you down at every opportunity. If we all had the second 'naw ye cannae' the world would be a poorer place and we would never dream to better our lot.

Nothing surprises me about Auntie any more, I'm waiting for a picture of the first minister with a cartoon devil ears and coloured red to appear at some stage, wih the subtitle underneath proclaiming the SNP will eat your first born....
 
 
# X_Sticks 2012-04-02 14:13
Would ethat be this picture Mr Rational?

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

Not the beeb though, just the Guardian (you know, that basion of fairness and democracy).
 
 
# Edna Caine 2012-04-02 21:31
X_Sticks -

TBH, it's not as horrifying as the picture above it of Stewart Lee, the article's author.

Stewart Lee is unbelievably thick and a very unfunny "comedian"
 
 
# Peter A Bell 2012-04-02 11:26
And there's another thing that underlines the foolishness of this fuss about the consultation. With well over 20,000 members and a superbly efficient campaign organisation, why would the SNP need to resort to multiple anonymous submissions? Even supposing there was some advantage to be gained from this, what would be the point? Only one perfectly legitimate submission from as little as a third of the party's members would still result in more than double the number of responses that the UK government's effort managed to attract.

Peter A Bell: No decency in the name of the union
 
 
# Arraniki 2012-04-02 11:41
I will not actively advocate breaking the law but I cancelled my direct debit for the tv licence in 2010.

And I do not buy newspapers.

I use my computer and the internet instead.
 
 
# Legerwood 2012-04-02 11:44
Quote:
To suggest that people ought to be forced to reveal their identities when either voting or submitting their political views is reprehensible in any democracy.


Eh! Are you serious?

Which democracy do you live in where anyone can turn up and vote without identifying themselves?

If I want to vote I have to ensure I am registered to do so by having my name and address entered on the electoral register.

When I go to the polling station I take my voting card with me which contains my name and address.

I identify myself to the person issuing the ballot papers and my name is scored of the list.

The consultation on the procedure to be followed for the referendum should at the very least ensured that the people submitting comments were resident in Scotland. This protects the integrity of the process.

This article seems to be more about deflecting attention from the issue of the conduct of the consultation than about answering the questions this issue raises.

If the SG wantsd to conduct the referendum then it has to show it can conduct a consultation about the process in a free and fair manner that is not open to abuse.

The cruddas story was important but the doubts being cast on the competence of the SG in relation to the conduct of the consultation given that they want to be in control of the conduct of the referendum is of equal, and possibly, greater moment.

Moridura has a blog on the subject. Scroll down to find the section on the referendum debacle.

moridura.blogspot.co.uk/
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-02 11:51
There is a difference between voting and telling people what your vote is. I guess what was meant is that why should you have to reveal what your views are on the referendum if you don't want to? I agree that ideally there should be a way of making sure that you are a resident of Scotland. However, the only way to completely de-link you from your submission would be to give you a polling card which you can use to collect a blank submission form which did not have your details on it. When complete, you would put this in a locked box with a slit in the top to be opened later on somewhere else. I can't see how you could de-link to the same extent online.
 
 
# exel 2012-04-02 12:10
Quoting scottish_skier:
There is a difference between voting and telling people what your vote is. I guess what was meant is that why should you have to reveal what your views are on the referendum if you don't want to? I agree that ideally there should be a way of making sure that you are a resident of Scotland. However, the only way to completely de-link you from your submission would be to give you a polling card which you can use to collect a blank submission form which did not have your details on it. When complete, you would put this in a locked box with a slit in the top to be opened later on somewhere else. I can't see how you could de-link to the same extent online.


I can, exclude all anonymous responses?
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-04-02 12:15
Quoting exel:
I can, exclude all anonymous responses?


And keep all the ones from Michael Mouse and Hugh Jarse?
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-02 12:18
Yes, but then that's not fair on those who wish to cast their views without being identified, as per an election. What if, e.g. someone working for the Scottish Tories supports independence but does not want to lose their job. Do they not get a say?
 
 
# exel 2012-04-02 11:55
Well said!!

Our posts seem to have crossed in the ether.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-02 12:05
Yes, I'm not sure how else the consultation could have been conducted without resorting to the good old ballot box.

They'll just need to have the results properly scrutinised as best possible.
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-04-02 12:03
Is it though? I am sure I heard on the radio this morning that the consultation process is the same as the one SG normally uses including that used for the Calman Commission. A consultation is not a vote but an open door policy to allow people to vent. It will no doubt produce some "interesting" submissions be it about a wind farm, a power station, a new road, same sex marriage or a referendum. It is a means for people to express an opinion or make a suggestion. Once the submissions are all in it is normal to sift through them to sort out the serious from the "interesting" and the genuine from the attempts to move the agenda. The same sex marriage consultation received many thousands of responses, a great many orchestrated by religious opponents, presumably with a pro forma response provided by their respective bodies. Pro forma responses tend to get aggregated into bundles and weighted accordingly.

The reasons Labour are bumping their gums are

1) The SG consultation is going to get a lot more responses than the Westminster one so as to make the Westminster one appear a lightweight joke

2) Eeek! Cyber Nats!

3) There is a suggestion the Westminster consultation is somewhat over-represented by politically generated responses

4) Eeek! Cyber Nats!

5) There is no 5

6) Eeek! Cyber Nats!
 
 
# Edna Caine 2012-04-02 22:08
Legerwood -

Have another look at Peter's blog -

moridura.blogspot.co.uk/

April 2, 17.27 :
- 3.5% of responses to the SG consultation are anonymous and will be discounted
- there is no evidence of multiple identical responses from the same person
(safeguards are being applied to identical responses from elsewhere [I suspect editing of the LabourHame dummies guide to democracy]}

FFS, everybody. It's only a CONSULTATION. It's not a vote. Why are we wandering off into the realms of compromised secrecy in balloting?
 
 
# exel 2012-04-02 11:49
“To suggest that people ought to be forced to reveal their identities when either voting or submitting their political views is reprehensible in any democracy.”

A trifle disingenuous Mr. Ponsonby if you do not mind me saying so?

To be forced to reveal your identity when voting is certainly reprehensible as you say. When you vote you have to prove your right to do so.

To submit your political view without revealing your identity is an entirely different matter. It leaves the veracity of the outcome of consultations, opinion polls and sensible discussion in extreme doubt.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-02 11:53
When you put your completed ballot paper in the ballot box it does not have your name on it/any way to identify it as yours clearly (EDT - without the original counterfoil) for good reason.

My parents recall how being found out to be a nationalist in days gone by could cost you your job.
 
 
# exel 2012-04-02 12:02
scottish_skier 2012-04-02 12:53
When you put your completed ballot paper in the ballot box it does not have your name on it/any way to identify it as yours for good reason.

I fear you are wrong, each voting paper is numbered.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-02 12:10
Yes, but that would require you to get a hold of the counterfoils and the completed ballot papers which of course are kept seperately; they latter remaining under lock and key. Needed unfortunately as it prevents ballot boxes being stuffed with fake ballots.
No system is perfect.
 
 
# exel 2012-04-02 12:17
Quoting scottish_skier:
Yes, but that would require you to get a hold of the counterfoils and the completed ballot papers which of course are kept seperately; they latter remaining under lock and key. Needed unfortunately as it prevents ballot boxes being stuffed with fake ballots.
No system is perfect.


So your vote can be traced to you?
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-04-02 12:25
I'm pretty sure the consultation submissions, even the anonymous ones, can be traced back too .... via IP addresses if nothing else.
 
 
# creag an tuirc 2012-04-02 18:05
The IP address issue is an important one, using this as a method to prevent multiple submissions (like online polls) would exclude several adults in the same household having a say in the consultation. I believe this is why the consultation process is open to duplicate submissions. which works both ways. There's only one bunch that's desperate and it aint the cybernats.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-02 12:28
Yes it could if someone could gain access to both the final ballots and the counterfoils. However, if you did not have each ballot paper recorded, someone could much more easily stuff 1000 fakes into the box during e.g. transport. How would people know which were the dodgy 1000?

A true secret ballot requires everyone to wintess everyone else casting their vote and to be present at the opening/counting - just not possible, so the next best thing is done.
 
 
# Aplinal 2012-04-02 12:09
I think you will find that it is possible to track back everyones' vote, should a government wish to do so. Each voting slip is numerically identifiable, and these cross reference to your registration. Our vote is not so secret as you think.

[OK, I will re-check this - but that was certainly the case 10/15 years ago!]
 
 
# Legerwood 2012-04-02 12:29
I think it still is.
 
 
# Legerwood 2012-04-02 12:28
Quote:
scottish_skier 2012-04-02 12:53
When you put your completed ballot paper in the ballot box it does not have your name on it/any way to identify it as yours clearly (EDT - without the original counterfoil) for good reason.


But in order to have the right to put my vote - or opinion in this case - in the ballot box I have to identify myself first.

It would have been prefectly possible to set up the on-line consultation in such a way that the person has to identify themselves i.e. name and address and e-mail address before submitting their views which can then be anonymised (if that is a word) and ensuring that multiple submissions are not being made.

That way you ensure that only those resident in Scotland are taking part in the process.

To liken this consultation to other consultations is disingenuous. It is a consultation to determine how the referendum on independence will be conducted and as such is way more important than one about a smoking ban or even Calman.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-02 12:39
I have three e-mail addresses...

I see your point, but even if you checked the 'keep my submission anonymous box', your details are still linked to it. Oh - look what Johann Lamont has sumbitted 'anonymously'....

Anyhoo, it is a consultation, not a vote! Nothing is binding; it's just suggestions. The suggestions that will carry the most weight (in the eyes of the public) are from those people/groups who did identify themselves.
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-04-02 12:47
Quote:
It would have been prefectly possible to set up the on-line consultation in such a way that the person has to identify themselves i.e. name and address and e-mail address before submitting their views which can then be anonymised (if that is a word) and ensuring that multiple submissions are not being made.


It does allow to provide all your details, name, address, phone number and email address, and then you can choose not to have your name publicised.

Multiple completely anonymous submissions from one IP address would be detectable.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-02 14:42
I just need to turn off and on my router to get a new IP. Just need to clear cookies too to 'vote' more than once on these online polls if you really want to for some reason.

Multiple anonymous negative submissions from cyberbrits to the scottish consultation is distinctly possible. Good for Labour to raise this point ;-)
 
 
# G. P. Walrus 2012-04-02 17:36
Presumably those who think that expressing a political view without revealing your identity casts doubt on its veracity will henceforth abandon pseudonyms and reveal their identities when posting on this site.
 
 
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-04-02 11:53
With well over 20,000 members and a superbly efficient party organisation, why would the SNP have any need to "rig" the consultation"

But it still begs the question that if there is an organised conspiricy of "evil cybernats" then why did'nt they flood the UK Govt's consultation and skwer it to 20.000 responses towards the Scots Govt positionand away from the Unionist position. Hhhmmm
 
 
# Peter A Bell 2012-04-02 12:01
There are more questions than answers. (With apologies to Johnny Nash.)
 
 
# G. P. Walrus 2012-04-02 13:35
But why are there more questions than answers?
 
 
# Edna Caine 2012-04-02 22:12
GPW -

You've asked a question that I cannot answer
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-02 12:00
If you were an important member of the Labour, conservative or Liberal parties and secretly supported independence, would you wish to have your details made available on your submission? That could get you fired/chucked out of the party, just like e.g. Peter de Vink.
 
 
# Arraniki 2012-04-02 12:16
pace exel

When you vote you have to prove your right to do so.

If we are talking about the electoral process, then not really. You can give any name and address you like if you know it is on the register.

Blatant electoral fraud happens. Dead people do vote. Even the 'canny be bothered' voter can have his right to vote stolen.

There is no requirement to prove who you are to the clerks ticking off names and handing over ballots.

There should be, of course.
 
 
# exel 2012-04-02 12:42
Arraniki 2012-04-02 13:16
“Pace???? Exel”
 
 
# Marga B 2012-04-02 12:55
There is in Spain. But then most people have state ID.
 
 
# Sannymac 2012-04-02 12:21
I believe that all readers of this paper are convinced of the anti - SNP - Independence bias of the Scottish BBC.
Is there nothing that we can do about this diabolical attack on our freedom of speech? Is it possible for an individual, group of individuals or a political organisation to take legal action against the BBC on the grounds that they are in breach of their own constitution!
Consider the effect on the general public if a writ were issued for the BBC to answer in court. The public might begin to understand that, the BBC cannot no longer be the trusted and truthful purveyor of Scottish News!
I expect that such action, if possible, would be expensive but surely there are enough of us in our country who would not object to making a contribution to the costs.
 
 
# Arraniki 2012-04-02 12:26
pace
Aplinal 2012-04-02 13:09
I think you will find that it is possible to track back everyones' vote, should a government wish to do so. Each voting slip is numerically identifiable, and these cross reference to your registration. Our vote is not so secret as you think.


You are correct.

At the Glenrothes by-election you may recall that the marked registers which indicated who voted (but not how they voted) and which are legally available to political parties, were found to have 'disappeared'.
It would have been possible for the SNP to contact a sample of electors to ascertain if they had in fact voted in the by-election which Labour won, against all predictions.
 
 
# Islegard 2012-04-02 12:40
Labour Party voting irregularities seem to be common at every election. How can we be sure it won't occur widely again during the council election?
 
 
# Arraniki 2012-04-02 12:33
Pace scottish_skier 2012-04-02 13:00
If you were an important member of the Labour, conservative or Liberal parties and secretly supported independence, would you wish to have your details made available on your submission? That could get you fired/chucked out of the party, just like e.g. Peter de Vink.


A very good point, indeed.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-02 12:49
What % of the submissions were anonymous?

I happily put my details on mine.
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-04-02 12:58
Quoting scottish_skier:
What % of the submissions were anonymous?

I happily put my details on mine.





Likewise, although I asked for my name and address not to be published it is there should anyone want to check the credentials of my submission.

I would have no issue with completely blank profile submissions being set to one side. I suspect as many of these will be from those with considerable antipathy to the process as from those supporting it (maybe a lot more).

I would also like to see a breakdown of the Westminster consultation submissions too.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-04-02 13:04
Did you see that one expert is already claiming he has been mis-represented on the "before 2014" claim (see Scotsman) "I wish they had read my submission properly"
 
 
# snowthistle 2012-04-02 14:01
Was it Alan Trench? He's been on twitter saying that he was mis-represented.
He says that anyone who wants to see what he actually said can read it here

.../scottish-independence-referendum-response-to-the-two-consultations
 
 
# RTP 2012-04-02 15:43
The Scotsman have a short story on this naming Moore as not understanding what Mr Trench said.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-04-02 15:18
Yes.
 
 
# Leswil 2012-04-02 12:52
The way the media and political groups now control the media over Scottish Independence is in parallel with Putin's campaign in Russia recently. A few sundays ago I watched an interview ( BBC) with a correspondent who was asked if he could call Putin's election fair.
He commented that it was hardly fair as Putin and his groups were in total charge of the media and the opposition got hardly any air time, and even then it was a negative spin.
So here we are in a country that tries to suggest that we show other countries how to attain democracy.
Problem is, we really are not in a democracy anymore as all the comments above now apply to the UK, and particularly the "Unionist" parties.

With the BBC and others looking as if they take direct spin instructions from them.
We are seeing the true colour of all these groups ( let us call them that ).
If there was ever a reason be afraid for democracy, it is now here, in the British Isles.

We really do have to get out of this no matter what your political persuasion. Once Independent, democracy can again take it's rightful place in a FREE and DEMOCRATIC Scotland.
 
 
# Begbie 2012-04-02 13:13
Sannymac 2012-04-02 13:21
I believe that all readers of this paper are convinced of the anti - SNP - Independence bias of the Scottish BBC.
Is there nothing that we can do about this diabolical attack on our freedom of speech? Is it possible for an individual, group of individuals or a political organisation to take legal action against the BBC on the grounds that they are in breach of their own constitution!
Consider the effect on the general public if a writ were issued for the BBC to answer in court. The public might begin to understand that, the BBC cannot no longer be the trusted and truthful purveyor of Scottish News!
I expect that such action, if possible, would be expensive but surely there are enough of us in our country who would not object to making a contribution to the costs.

Sannymac i would happily contribute towards the cost of getting the bbc into court for breach of constitution
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-04-02 13:13
Sannymac----at the top of the page newsnetscotland asks for donations to keep it going----the only beacon of balance in an otherwise heavily biased Scottish Politics TV/Radio/Press.
I donated a few weeks ago,and will do so again today.
It's our only hope.
None of us are overflowing with cash,but I'm willing to pay a wee amount,and
certainly won't be wasting it on what passes for the Scottish Press.
BBC-----We have no choice-----why you may ask-----that's for another time.
 
 
# Arraniki 2012-04-02 13:21
exel

I was quoting your post above, exel 2012-04-02 12:49

Pace Latin - "with due respect to".
 
 
# I Say Yes 2012-04-02 14:01
Look what's on Labourhame.

Lamont has called on the First Minister to make moves to recall parliament or hold immediate all-party talks on the referendum consultation.

www.scottishlabour.org.uk/.../
 
 
# GrassyKnollington 2012-04-02 14:50
erm would this be the same Johann Lamont who helpfully provided a nice pre-filled form here?

www.scottishlabour.org.uk/.../
 
 
# oldnat 2012-04-02 15:54
I would have thought it would be quite easy for any external verifier to identify multiple identical responses, whether they come from the same computer or not, and whether they had any source identification (including the URL?) or not.

For a techno-numptie like me - would the emails sent via the Labour site show up in the electronic record as having come from the Labour server, or from the home computer?
 
 
# red kite 2012-04-02 17:35
Quoting oldnat:
For a techno-numptie like me - would the emails sent via the Labour site show up in the electronic record as having come from the Labour server, or from the home computer?


It would certainly be identified from the server.
 
 
# Barbazenzero 2012-04-02 18:35
If Labour are just sending the form via SMTP, the headers (which you don't normally see but usually can inspect even in webmail) will have a line like:

Received: from mail185.messagelabs.com (mail185.messagelabs.com.[85.158.143.19]) by mx.google.com with SMTP id .....

That's from an email to me from HMRC but all the Labour emails will emanate from one server or group of servers. That should be very easy to spot by any auditor, although the same will apply to many home users who send via their internet service providers, as each will have a small number of SMTP servers.

Of course, it would be possible to write a mailer robot which forged unique headers, but although I've come across robots which could make good emulations of La Mont or Sarwar, I have yet to come across a Labour apparatchick who could create such a robot.
 
 
# oldnat 2012-04-02 19:07
LOL Thanks.
 
 
# jim288 2012-04-02 16:30
Quoting GrassyKnollingt on:
erm would this be the same Johann Lamont who helpfully provided a nice pre-filled form here?

www.scottishlabour.org.uk/.../



I became a member of the SNP earlier this year and recently received an email from Peter Murrell (chief executive of the SNP)encouraging me to make my views known to the Scottish Government on their consultation on the referendum.

He helpfully suggested I could use a quick response by clicking on this link

snp.org/.../...

and putting in my name and email address.

As it happens I've already drafted my own response and much as I'd like to I can't see the difference in principle between what Johann Lamont and Peter Murrell are doing.
 
 
# oldnat 2012-04-02 16:34
Political parties tend to do these kind of things! However, it remains true that it should be relatively easy to present the results of the consultation as -

1. Individual and organisation responses
2. Organised "click button" responses organised by parties (counting the number on each side).
 
 
# gfaetheblock 2012-04-02 17:28
Are you are aware that the SNP are doing the same?

Gives no credit to either party imo.

snp.org/.../...
 
 
# Old Smokey 2012-04-02 16:28
Why am I not surprised, this is yet another Labour concocked and cooked spin
I see by the way they are trying to make Lamont more..statesperson like, labour have been at the photoshop again
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-02 14:23
I wonder how many anonymous submissions were from unionists unhappy with the proposed agenda.

There seems to be the assumption that anonymous ones would be these mythical cybernats with multiple identities.

What if it turned out that the majority of anonymous ones were all against proposed plans? If they were from nationalists, then they would be in general agreement with things in the main.
 
 
# pa_broon74 2012-04-02 15:00
Johann Lamont needs to haud her weesht. She needs to be careful about making these kinds of comments because no one said anything about the SSM consultation while it was on the go (it used the same methods as far as I can remember) and the UK government consultation is by no means secure in terms of multiple entries (I wouldn't google that term at work by the way,) nothing on the internet ever is.

This is just unionists howling at the moon using this daft idea of a cybernat armchair army as a vehicle.

Meh.
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2012-04-02 15:13
Appears that with Labour history repeats itself:

The two most deadening words in Scottish politics a whispered name that could cause his her most critics to slump comatose on parliament floor. It is a name that reduces barking dogs to a whimper and makes the most neurotic cats sleep through a march past of mice. Throwaway the sedatives and repeat until the urge to fall asleep doses totally in: lain Gray Johann Lamont.

If I remember correctly it was penned by Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman. But it was also quoted by Wee Eck:

theyworkforyou.com/.../...
 
 
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2012-04-02 15:24
Today I contacted the Media Officer of the OECD and asked for monitoring, reporting and help where the bias of the BBC in Scotland is concerned. I could have muddied the waters and brought in all sorts of other factors but thought best to keep it simple. I will keep you informed if I get any response from this.

I sent a copy of this article and a flyer showing that every other part of the UK BBC blogs invite comments but not Scotland. We need help here and if anyone has any better ideas then please air them.

A protest at Pacific Quay would rebound badly on the protesters and give the unionist parties ammunition to fire at Alex Salmond et al.

External pressure is where it's at. Get messages out to as many international news outlets as possible with enough proof attached. I feel certain that they'd all like to see the Beeb take a nose dive. If we all have a try then some of the messages will get out.

Good luck.
 
 
# setondene 2012-04-02 15:42
It could be in England's interest to allow Scotland to become independent if it then became a weak and easily dominated client kingdom. You can be sure the tories will have gamed this scenario.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-04-02 15:54
In 3-4 years time an Englishman/woman can truly say,
"I'm English",and be VERY proud of it.

Seems OK to me,instead of all this juxtoposition and waffling we cuurently have.
 
 
# oldnat 2012-04-02 16:17
I note that there is already evidence that Moore's spin machine is spinning out of control.

scotsman.com/.../...

"DOUBTS have been cast on Westminster claims that 70 per cent of respondents to its consultation back a referendum next year, after an academic said he had been misrepresented. ...

Alan Trench, an academic who specialises in devolution and was named as one of the 70 per cent, insisted he prefers 2014.

He told The Scotsman: “I wish they [the Scotland Office] had read my submission properly.”
 
 
# xyz 2012-04-02 16:25
lol .. hilarious
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-04-02 16:29
They appear to have put the wrong headline on that article. Shouldn't it be "Moore accused of rigging poll feedback"?
 
 
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2012-04-02 17:02
Or "Con/Dems accused" for a change. lol
 
 
# Arraniki 2012-04-02 16:53
Just heard the SG will disregard anonymous contributions to the consultation. Quick fix.

I don't necessarily agree with that. It should be possible for someone to remain anonymous to protect themselves from any possible consequences of being identified as supporting independence, eg., one David Cameron.

However, with an SNP membership all easily endorsing the SG view, it will not make much difference to the numbers.

I believe Oldnat can clarify the membership number.
 
 
# oldnat 2012-04-02 17:55
I can't keep up with the growing membership numbers! At the end of January it was almost 21,000. No idea what it is now.
 
 
# Legerwood 2012-04-02 16:56
Movement from the SNP on the consultation fiasco. BBC has the story at top of its Scotland page.
bbc.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Hirta 2012-04-02 17:33
I bet the writer of that article on the BBC loved doing that piece !
 
 
# Briggs 2012-04-02 17:55
From the cuddy's mouth

scotland.gov.uk/.../...
 
 
# Briggs 2012-04-02 17:57
'A Scottish Labour spokesman said: "This is a humiliating climbdown for the SNP government, which appears to have lost control over its own consultation and now appears to be making it up as it goes along'

Child.
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-04-02 18:28
Sap more like.

I bet the bulk of those 414 excluded submissions were of the more vitriolic pro Union ilk. Labour may well have just pressured the SNP to exclude Unionist submissions.
 
 
# Keppoch 2012-04-02 20:06
Quoting Jim1320:
Sap more like.

I bet the bulk of those 414 excluded submissions were of the more vitriolic pro Union ilk. Labour may well have just pressured the SNP to exclude Unionist submissions.


They also irritated me enough to just complete the SNP's consolidation form. Might not have done so otherwise ;-)
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-04-02 17:13
So only 3.5% were anonymous. These cybernats are not much good, are they?
 
 
# sneckedagain 2012-04-02 17:20
There is no point in complaining to the BBC by phone or email.
Complaints have to be made by letter which means they have to reply by letter
 
 
# exel 2012-04-02 17:45
From BBC Scotland’s political agenda 2 April 2012 Last updated at 17:17:“Scottish ministers said anonymous responses would not be allowed.”
 
 
# Briggs 2012-04-02 18:00
We have that out of the way ........now what about the other consultations?

Are they being conducted with the same rigour?

We'll never find out.
 
 
# jasp303 2012-04-02 18:20
There was four and a half pages of anonymous submissions included in the analysis of Westminsters "The Referendum on Separation for Scotland: Unanswered Questions" February 2012 under the heading 'written evidence'. Have a read of this little lot...

publications.parliament.uk/.../...
 
 
# oldnat 2012-04-02 18:31
And most of them were sent in by Daily Record readers - as the Record proudly boasted!
 
 
# Briggs 2012-04-02 18:32
I gave up half way through the list.

The bleating grew way to much for me.

Off topic ...........the empire strikes back!

moridura.blogspot.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-04-02 18:57
No issue with using anonymous submissions in Westminster then? What a shower of absolute hypocrites!
 
 
# Begbie 2012-04-02 18:43
jasp303

I nearly lost the will to live reading that list
And just how stupid are some of the questions
if i stick a crayon up my *** will i still be able to colour in might as well be in there
 
 
# mato21 2012-04-02 18:59
O/T
Good read and comments
Anti-Englishness and the SNP

newstatesman.com/.../...
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-04-02 19:11
Quoting mato21:
O/T
Good read and comments
Anti-Englishness and the SNP

newstatesman.com/.../...








I see John Ruddy is there :)
 
 
# Begbie 2012-04-02 19:20
Read the article and comments
Very accurate i thought
i personally have not witnessed any anti englishness from any one who supports the snp/scottish government but have seen vast amounts of anti scottish comments on sites elsewhere
Did notice one of the comments was from a certain john ruddy from labour hame who comes across as very anti scottish/ snp
like most of the opposition.
Personally i really feel for the people of england who find themselves between a rock and a hard place with regards to their choices of who to vote for and do have to pay for prescriptions,e lderly care,education and may soon lose the nhs
but i feel their only hope is our independence
 
 
# oldnat 2012-04-02 19:33
As an "old" nat, I do remember a significant anti-English aspect in politics in the 60s and 70s. However, it wasn't restricted to the SNP!

Looking back, it stemmed from a lack of confidence in Scots as to "who we were". Most Scots are long past that kind of thinking, but it's now the English who "don't know who they are", and that does tend to result in the kind of comments that we see on many sites from some of those in England.

In due course, they will grow up, as Scots have done, and go back to being good friends and neighbours.

For the Brits, there seems to be no real solution. They will linger on for some time to come, but eventually will wither away like the "Empire Loyalists" have done.
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-04-02 19:01
Presumably those of us who completed the consultation and supplied full details but chose not to have our names made public do not have to go back and un-tick the no publicity box?

Don't have a huge issue about it and I do want my submission to stand.
 
 
# oldnat 2012-04-02 19:19
I've sent a message to Bruce Crawford's office asking for reassurance on that.
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-04-02 19:26
I fired off a question to SG asking the same :)

Nearly 12,000 submissions - and weeks still to run. The publicity coupled with the rather mean spirited attacks might well work in favour of the consultation process.
 
 
# GrassyKnollington 2012-04-02 19:36
Now that the SNP have announced that no anonymous submissions will be allowed I presume that the unionists will swiftly move to announce that they too will reject anonymous submissions to their own consultations.

Methinks they've loaded both barrels and shot themselves in the foot yet again.
 
 
# Concerned Scot 2012-04-02 19:32
Donation gladly sent.

I just wish there was some way of letting the BBC know the true outcome of their smears and sophistry, ie lots of ordinary people decide to donate money to a pro-independence news site.

Would it change their editorial policy ? No need to answer that, I already know.
:(
 
 
# RTP 2012-04-02 19:36
We have become friends of an English couple who moved here nine years ago I was speaking to them last week about the fuel carry on and the things they had to say about Cameron and his toffs are not printable.They both had a good word for AS so I said tongue in cheek they would be voting for independence answer was a positive YES,so there you go we are not anti English as many say and many of them may vote for us.
 
 
# the wallace 2012-04-02 19:57
Hopefully, the ebc will be taken to task for their now blatant unionist bias, by one of the european bodies, and punished publicly and heavily.
 
 
# brh206 2012-04-02 20:06
I have given up on the BBC for news and political commentary now. I still check out sport but even that isn't great if you don't support one of the old firm. The BBC sadly is just not a trustworthy news outlet now, like most of the MSM overall. I hardly buy a paper other than the local rag, I get most of my news via the net and try my best to surf for the truth. I am no fan of RM and his empire but if he stays annoyed at the main political parties down south and we get some type of truth out to the masses then I'll accept it. I sometimes watch Fox News for a right wing laugh and the BBC is now that standard of reporting. I also don't think the trustees or the Chairperson will do anything about the poor and somewhat bias reporting. What will be interesting is when we get to the referendum. I suspect if the polls leading up to the vote in the last month or so show overwhelming support for indepenedence, we will start to see a change in the BBC reporting as it dawns on them that they might like to continue being employed in Scotland with a state broadcaster.
 
 
# amfraeembro 2012-04-03 08:34
Or it'll be "toodleoothenoo" ©Brian Taylor
 

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