Which *Nag is Your Money On?

I was planning a piece on the Commons debate on our independence and I did sit down and watch with my notebook and pen and I did have a few ideas and maybe a thought or two and…and…well, the truth is I threw them away after 15 minutes and watched Channel Four Racing.

You know how it is. We have a problem with our politicians and this afternoon’s show was a classic display of why people wish Guy Fawkes had got it right. They were oily to each other, playing their debating society rules – “Will the Hon Member give way?” – nodding at idiotic references to the war and British history and sounding shrill as if instead of self-determination something utterly daft had been proposed like getting rid of the Commons canteen and forcing MPs to run to Subway at lunchtime.

The first one I saw was Sir Gerald Howarth, whom I seem to remember as a right-wing bampot from the 80’s who was known as one of Maggie’s Militant Tendency according to Panorama. He is from the Thatcherite Way Forward Group founded to “defend and build upon the achievements of the Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher’s leadership, and to adapt the principles of her era in government to modern concerns and challenges”. Do they mean people standing on their own two feet and raising their own taxes and spending it as they see fit? Do they mean recognizing the UN-enshrined right of self-determination? Yes, it seems they do…

Their core stated aim is “to provide a forum for all those who share our philosophy, from Parliament to the constituencies and helping in the eventual restoration of people’s freedom and rights”. Hurray! Freedoms and rights…

Actually Gerald meant telling the Scots that such freedoms didn’t apply to us and talked more about our role in beating the Hun and about some old soldier he knew who had landed Meccano planes on the heaving deck of carriers with no hands while puffing his pipe and winking at the gels. I tried to make this relevant to Scotland today 70 years later looking to reinvent itself in a global community but I was distracted by his tie. It was tartan. Yes, a tartan tie. Why? I’ve no idea. Have you?

There were the usual humdrum references to sticking together and shared history etc for which I have a fair amount of time myself…when it’s done with intellectual honesty. What they didn’t say for the time I listened was that the UK loved Scotland so much that Westminster policies destroyed our manufacturing base and destroyed mining communities, imposed the poll tax and how Labour refused to fight it, even when we didn’t vote for those who did it. I must have missed the reference to the state lying to the Scots about our oil wealth. The other bit of history that eluded me was how they rigged the first devolution referendum and how one of their leaders promised a better form of home rule if we rejected the one on offer and then reneged.

There was one of the new Labour women from Scotland there too. Gemma Doyle, a left-wing woman who supports nuclear weapons…only in Scotland.

There was much talk and enthusiastic nodding about the need for a border and Scotland being thrown out of the EU and how our relatives would be foreigners – like the Ossis, we would meet Auntie Nellie at Checkpoint Charlie.  It was like finding yourself in a lift with a family of Moonies…you just press back up against the wall and smile a lot and when the bell rings – R|U\N|!

Forgive me but I when I hit the mute button I swore to myself: “What an ignorant, backward, smug bunch of Establishment fuckwits….”

There is a theme developing in the recent posts and I think it is this: the more we hear from the unintelligent, self-satisfied propagandists who have no concept of what is happening under their own noses, the more credible a Yes becomes. If this was to show the population that Westminster was truly the home of a vibrant, Scots-loving democracy, it was a poor shadow compared to some other dumb animals neighing and lolliping around the track at Doncaster.  I honestly think we should withdraw from Westminster. I just can’t see the point. Hardly anybody turned up – not even all the Nats, if I’m right – and the tone and content of what they call debate in the Mother of Parliaments in the Greatest Union in the History of the World made John Barrowman and the Krankies sound like Churchillian statesmen. If you are running a local Yes campaign…show the video – win the vote.

And, if you’re reading in Ayr, can somebody tell me why any sensate being with a basic mastery of pencil-handling would put a cross beside a box with Sandra Osborne’s name on it? Do they think she’s Ozzy’s wife?

By the way, I hear the radio listening figures are due out. Radio Scotland I hope is substantially up with all this news about a referendum. It’s the natural home for the nation and they’ve brought in  Jim Naughtie  so I’m looking for a big uplift in audience when the RAJARS come out.

*Aaaaargh!? I’ve just had an email saying radio Scotland is DOWN over 12 per cent. Twelve per cent! And that’s year on year, the key indicator. So here we are in the middle of the biggest story politically, culturally and historically in our lifetimes and the national broadcaster which has no – I repeat NO – competition for speech and politics is losing audience heavily. What excuse will Jeff Zycinski cobble together this time so the staff can have a belly laugh…? It was Chritsmas…there were power cuts…football games cancelled…Derek Bateman took redundancy – only joking! This on the back of the BBC’s latest travails is appallingly bad news which cannot be spun. Somebody somewhere, and it won’t be Kenny McQuarrie, has to start asking questions. Let’s hope the MSPs start  growling and get them round the ankle. Any ideas why radio audiences for speech radio would go down when the BBC is flooded with money for referendum journalism and we are all agog with interest? Maybe we’re all moving to Radio Four – I do hope not but remember Jeff says that’s alright because it’s still the BBC….

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22 thoughts on “Which *Nag is Your Money On?

  1. You’re only Human Derek and there is a limit to how much crap any person should have to listen.

    Treat yourself to a wee drink – tomorrow’s another day!

  2. 12 per cent down? Well there is a surprise, what with Auntie Beeb being the unbiased, truthful, balanced voice of the free world. Not to mention the impartial coverage, sorry, full and extensive coverage on the Scottish referendum debate in all it’s facets. I particularly enjoyed the report referring to the recent FT article and the selfless, open coverage of the UWS year long academic study of MSM referendum reporting.
    BBC ok!

  3. Re the tartan tie – would that be the wee bit Scot left in him? Was his great-great-gran not removed from her croft in the North? Can’t think of any other reason.

  4. Just read 12% down………not surprised. Many of us have simply given up on the BBC.

  5. Make it 00% Don’t watch or listen to the BBC. Make their viewing figures 0.
    Get rid of the HoC/L. Vote Yes

  6. cynicalHighlander

    Gave up BBC Scotland a year past as a New Year resloution which I knew was easy to keep for me.

    Forgive me but I when I hit the mute button I swore to myself: “What an ignorant, backward, smug bunch of Establishment fuckwits….”

    No need to apologise as the truth is better out in the open I don’t think halve of them could pass the 11plus as I have seen shorter planks with a better grain of straitness than those party clones.

  7. Derek – you are a wonderful writer – even when you use very naughty words, somehow they resonate with their proper meaning and oh so appropriate ……so very F&**£)&^ appropriate

  8. I’m from Ayr but haven’t lived there for a while. Obviously would never vote for Sandra Osborne anyway.

  9. ‘He is from the Thatcherite Way Forward Group founded to “defend and build upon the achievements of the Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher’s leadership, and to adapt the principles of her era in government to modern concerns and challenges”.

    What achievements and what principles? Derek, I don’t know if you heard or read Jimmy Hood’s (SLAB MP) comments today:

    “If the Scottish people are going to be better off economically and so on, I would still be against breaking away from the Union.”

    He really did say that!…

  10. I never listened to ‘Today’ on Radio 4, but was prepared to believe that Naughtie was a bit of a superstar . . . but . . how can I put this? . . actually, he ain’t. He mumbles and stumbles – this morning he even forgot the date. And now they’re shipping in another one – Sarah Smith – another exiled and anglicised Scot who has missed out on all the discussions of recent years and doubtless begins with all her Unionist preconceptions intact. Let’s hope I’m wrong.

  11. Brian Donohue thinks the UK has been together for 750 years.The lazy bastard hasn’t even read schoolboy Scottish history.He is lecturing on a union he loves but doesn’t even know when it was created.I rest my case…yes any monkey as long as its got a red rosette will do for some people.

    • Roibert a Briuis

      Actually i met the guy at a wee charity function in Irvine….as we shook hands (i was being nice as i was an invited guest) I could see the cogs whirling – now who is this, do I need to be nice to him or what? My reading of him was/is someone who knows how to climb the greasy pole – not that he has managed to get elevated to high office in the westmonster zoo apart from being really really good and top of the class at claiming expenses

  12. 12% down, well that’s about the same as the year-on-year drop in newspaper circulation in Scotland. People are turning away from the traditional.

  13. I really enjoy following news and current affairs generally; and I’m passionate about the referendum. I really don’t want to miss anything but I’ve reached the stage where I’m having to force myself to listen to or watch anything do with it. This is because I’m almost in tears, not only of rage, but of sorrow, specifically over BBC Scotland’s coverage. Until their referendum coverage started the BBC was my main source of news, and I really did believe that they provided balanced news reporting. If only I knew then what I know now.

    Now, I can’t believe how they are getting away with their distortions, their omissions, their partiality, their ‘independent’ experts who don’t declare their interest and so on. I can’t put into words the contempt I feel for this awful radio station. Apart from the very rare attempt at balanced referendum coverage – Ken MacDonald (mostly) on Headlines on Sunday mornings, John Beattie’s interview about energy this week (as somebody has already pointed out), and documentaries with Allan Little – BBC Scotland is playing an active part in the No campaign, and is doing so blatantly. To be fair, Scotland Tonight on STV often makes a good attempt at balance.

    I’m afraid that I have moved mainly to Radio 4. Not that I think that their referendum coverage will necessarily be any better, but I don’t think that they are, at the moment anyway, part of the deliberate distortion of the independence debate by BBC Scotland. Ironically, this can’t be said about James Naughtie, who seems to have fitted in seamlessly on Good Morning Scotland with his obviously partial approach to interviewing respective representatives of Yes Scotland and the No campaign. Dunkie summed up that situation perfectly in an earlier post: ” … our own wee haw-haw mannie on Good Morning Scotland two days a week”.

    How apposite is that; I hope it sticks!

  14. Since the UWS analysis and their smearing and bullying response to it, Brian Taylor`s big debate has been broadcast from a venue with an audience split of 200 Nos to 3(Three) Yes voters, the articles in the FT about Spain “not interfering” with Scotland`s EU bid and how an independent Scotland would start with stronger finances in the UK have been all but blacked out but Bob Dudley`s “fears over the uncertainty of independence” were lead story yesterday on network news.
    If it`s meant to be a show of defiance, well done boys, we get the picture, you`ve got your agenda and you`ll stick to it no matter what.
    Aye, Derek questions need to be asked, but by who ?
    The first time Salmond or anyone from the SNP starts saying what needs to be said, the howls of “SNP Want To Gag Press” will be as universal as they will be deafening. It will be like all the editors birthdays had come at once and could seriously damage the Yes campaign.

  15. I think you are turning into a rabid cybernat Mr Bateman. I suspect you have caught the dreaded virus. Welcome to the club.

  16. Derrick – I noted that AS specifically said at FMQ that Cameron would be only 10 miles distant from him in the Aberdeen area next week and that the ‘STV’ studio was available, so presumably he wants to have a ‘wee’ chin-wag with Dave. Do you think Dave might be washing his hair that night and can’t make it?

  17. In my household BBC listening is down way more than 12%. Its more like 80%. And I won’t be changing that any time soon. I’ll be voting YES and doing my darndest. to persuade others to do the same regardless of any Cameron speech.

  18. Derek

    The simple fact is people like myself just don’t really bother with the BBC anymore. I would normally listen to political shows, full of lies and bias. Sportsound, apart from Jim Spence, it’s pretty much an old firm former player boys club where only two clubs really exsist and more cash is spent on one episode of motd than the whole of Scottish Football with no coverage of the lower leagues on television even though lower league clubs make up over 80% of the game in Scotland. I used to love raido drame and the BBC used to produce classics like journey into space, all be it made before I was born and discovered late, but where is that quality now. You talk about the Newsnight report last night, and having watched it, isn’t it amazing that so many people can get excited about one 5 minute bit of news in the referendum debate, 5 minutes of actual impartial journalism in how many thousands of hours of lies and inbalance over the last few years, that sums up the BBC. It is only fit for privitisation because no one is going to make the necessary changes. Don’t get me started on that pish Call Kaye that I sometimes put on for 10 minutes in the morning if not at work to remind myself of one of the millions of reasons why people should vote YES.

    Bruce

  19. Anthony Armstrong

    Derek, I originally come from Lochside in Ayr, Labour are no better than the Tories and Sandra Osborne and her colleagues are useless.

  20. I’m in Ayr and re Sandra Osborne.. I never voted for her, but I suppose some folk could find her quite attractive? Then again, maybe not..

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