Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Maggrit Curran: She down with da young team.

You'll have seen or at least heard about Margaret Curran's recent outpouring via Buzzfeed here. You might also see that I commented on it at length, what can I say, I was at a loose end.

You might also have noticed in the comments someone suggesting a vote for the SNP next year is a vote for the Tories, that if you don't vote Labour then Cameron will be a shoo in at the Westminster general election.

It'll be a common refrain over the next few months that totally ignores certain realities. First off; if you do vote Labour and they get in, you'll get Tory policy anyway because that is what Labour have to offer, and secondly - and somewhat cancelling out the first point - is the existence of Ed Miliband. You know sometimes you cross paths with someone who looks a bit dim but lurking behind that bovine stare is a lancet-like intellect? Well, that's not Ed Miliband, what you see is what you get - there is a void behind his eyes where Labour policy and some wit should exist.

Most Labour voters are not like Labour staffers, they don't have the dogma of the 'Labour Activist', those hard-nosed reality deniers who'll throw demonstrably provable fact out the window and put their bizarre Labour spin in its place.

Later on in that thread someone else said:

Another thing Labour activists love to do is judge others by their own standards. I wasn't sure exactly what Nathan meant with his comment, I assume he means during the SNP's first stint as a minority government, the Tories occasionally voted with them. It goes with out saying, Labour would never (ever) do that. The SNP could promise peace on earth, an end to world hunger and the reintroduction of Fruit Spangles and Labour would oppose it. Hard though it may be to believe; in Scotland, the Tories have a more progressive attitude than does 'Scottish' Labour. 

It also rather ignores the notion that the Lib Dems and Greens also voted with the SNP occasionally - I'm pretty sure there might even have been policies where Labour voted with the Scottish Government - ocht, lets just say it out loud; THE SNP. Its fast becoming the case that Scottish Labour agreeing with you makes you look more of a twat than the Tories agreeing with you.

I know I don't need to tell people to be prepared for this sophistry - as someone pointed out on Twitter, there are a gazillion photos of Labour drones shmoozing with their Tory counterparts during the referendum campaign. They'll try to convince people that while they agreed on the meat of the referendum they disagreed on much of everything else. However, their policies & statements in the press highlight the dishonesty of that claim - most folk know the gap between Tory and Labour policy is broadly similar to that seen between the cheeks of a gnat's bum.

I won't comment further on Margaret's wee rant on Buzzfeed, because the football is on. We're thirty minutes in and the score line is still love all. Shit, no its not. England just scored.

Oh well. Maybe we'll equalize in the second set?

Monday, 10 November 2014

Scottish News anyone?

A lazy but no less important blog this Monday morning. (as much as these articles are ever important.)

Today saw the launch of a new website - scottishnews.scot. It comes from the same people who brought us Dateline Scotland during the referendum campaign - if you're not familiar with it, you really should seek it out on YouTube - it was the most honest of all referendum news reportage - a point I'd happily debate with any challengers.

What they're doing now is an altogether more serious look at the news in Scotland. Looking at news output on the telly today; we get some UK-wide news, English local news dressed up as UK-wide news, undisguised English local news then the news 'where we are'.

When put up against the turgid output from the BBC; Scotland 2014 (already near it's sell-by-date) the head-up-it's-own-arse Newsnight & Daily Politics etc and the slightly less plodding efforts from STV (Scotland Tonight) and Channel Four - Scottish Evening News looks like a refreshingly original take on the news in Scotland. 

Currently - even in Scotland-only broadcasts - our current affairs stories are often relegated to the 'and in other news' section. With this new set up, the 'English' news we get as headlines will make up the 'and finally' stories and Scottish current affairs - from where ever it comes - will be given the time and analysis it deserves.

I was donating £10 a month to Yes Scotland, its now going to Scottish News. I've never had a TV licence, if I did, I'd cancel it and give it to them. People hesitate to donate to these types of internet-based entities because of their intangible nature but think nothing of buying a daily or weekly news paper. While those publications are tangible, the contents are inevitably tainted by the political views of those who own the titles - which ever way they may lean. At least with this new set-up, Scottish news will be given the prevalence it deserves instead of being sidelined by stories that have no impact on Scottish Daily life.

There is broad agreement that what lost the referendum for the Yes campaign was a biased media - so this is an important step in the on-going journey toward independence. Plus, because of the unique way Scottish Evening News is funded - it'll behave pretty much exactly like how the BBC is supposed to but doesn't.

But then, I'm a bit biased myself, I'd happily pay cash-money to get Dateline Scotland back. It would still easily provide the most accurate & incisive assessment of the news in Scotland. Heck, the Dateline Scotland Ticker-Tape App is just waiting to be written. If you're watching the videos on YouTube, they're worth keeping an eye on, even if you have to watch the videos twice.


Thursday, 6 November 2014

I'll just send this tweet now shall I, what have I got to Lewes.

So this thing in Lewes that happened.

Yesterday saw a bit of a stramash unfold on Twitter, Lewes County Council tweeted a picture of an effigy to be burned that evening in the annual Lewes Bonfire night. The tweet has since been removed but who ever put it up is probably sitting outside the headmaster's office because it rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way. 

Two effigies of Alex Salmond featured.
The mainstream press reported the effigies (above) were not burned after all but neglected to say they'd been blown up with fire works instead - which is what they usually do. In the past, likeness' of Osama Bin Laden, Angela Merkel and George Bush have featured - Merkel was posed throwing a Nazi salute.

The question is, is it acceptable?

Burning an effigy of Salmond to me seems fair game, assuming burning effigies are what you're into. We can't moan about this but not criticise the burning of - say - David Cameron as puppeteer and Clegg as the puppet - because people did vote for them and while they may not have done so in numbers so passionately; it still counts for something. Including the Yes and 45% logos I think is close to the bone for many (myself included.) However, I take the view; if no one is there to take offence then no offence can be given. The good people of Lewes can do what they like, why the hell should we care?


If you flipped this round , what would the reaction be? People who complained about the Lewes Bonfire effigies are being criticised for being overly sensitive, the usual mantra about Scottish people and their grievances are being pedaled out, but do we not have good reason to be aggrieved? Salmond the man & politician can fend for himself, (and did so [Facebook link] very well indeed.) We're talking about incitement against a movement of ordinary people - Nessie was also represented - an endangered species no less, entirely unable to defend his (or her) self. If the vile cybernats did something like this depicting Alistair Darling with Iain Duncan Smith (an English-based monster) draped snake-like around his neck - it would be in the press for days, the Daily Express would have to bump the Franklin Mint adverts to make way for the outrage.

I think most folk were pissed off - yet again - at the on-going double standard.

In your head, try and say it with his accent. Its very plummy.

Apparently a Scotsman doesn't have to look far to find a grievance, but is it justified, is it all 'just a bit of fun' or are we all just too fragile?

In an environment where the people deciding whether something constitutes a grievance or not are also the ones causing the grievance; perhaps we've got a point after all.

Or is this just another grievance? Its so hard to tell these days.