From the Demonising to the Diminishing of Alex Salmond’s story

salmomd not headline

There it is, down at the bottom left of the screen after scrolling down from headlines about the weather, tinned fruit and old film of the M8, an actual ‘news’ story about the Alex Salmond legal case:


It’s there but small or down the page on the Record, Scotsman and Herald websites. Readers might let us know where it is in the paper versions. I can see no sign at all of it on the Guardian or Telegraph sites yet both were very interested in the accusations. Why is a success in his defence not worthy of a headline when the initial accusations caused repeat drooling headlines?


For one journo, the reason is simple:


That leaves unanswered the question ‘Why Alex Salmond so much and so viciously?’. Is it because he, like Ken Livingston, dares to bite back at media bias?


Unlike the current SNP leadership, Salmond’s all-too-human behaviour, sharp wit and willingness to fight fire with fire, casts doubt on the mainstream media’s delusional sense of professionalism and ‘journalistic’ standards. They especially don’t like his mocking tone. His preparedness to use Russia Today, when the UK MSM will not give him space, is despised, despite the hypocrisy of their position. It infuriates them.

The accusations against him were all over BBC Scotland reports for days beyond any then current news value. Let’s see if their much-vaunted balance is in evidence now.


7 thoughts on “From the Demonising to the Diminishing of Alex Salmond’s story

  1. Legerwood December 15, 2018 / 10:26 am

    Herald has the story on front page – single column right-hand side – continued in side.
    Main story on front page is about drop in spending on public health campaigns. Obesity crisis gets a mention. Government spokesman points out Gov making more use of social media etc to publicise their health campaigns – cheaper and reaches more people.


  2. Scott December 15, 2018 / 2:29 pm

    As you will have guessed no mention in the Tory North Press P&J but not shy about writing about the case when it first broke evening having this headline.

    Claim that Angus Robertson was made aware of Alex Salmond conduct concerns.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Contrary December 15, 2018 / 2:30 pm

    Well, well, this is interesting indeed.

    Would that be the same Iain Macwhirter that said on radio Scotland just this past week ‘there’s no appetite for a second independence referendum’? Really? Nearly 50% of the population champing at the bit desperate for one translates as ‘no appetite’. Perhaps he doesn’t look at opinion polls or talks to anyone outside his social circle? Maybe it wasn’t him, but pretty sure that was the name given?

    Excuses for the BBC to be shite at their job? I’m tired of it.

    If the story re Alex Salmond was interesting before, and the media was fair minded and had the objective of informing the public, then this story should have been headlining all the papers. It isn’t, so we can only ask why not, and ask that media what their objective really is (they would dissemble and say is was a mere formality, too complex for us simple minded plebs, or there’s no scandal so wasn’t relevant, or you know the drill, just add your own vague beside the point weasely excuse). Why not just say ‘we hate Alex Salmond because he threatens our nice tidy status quo, and we want you to hate him too even if he’s one of the few people that gives you a chance of getting you out of the shit-for-you status quo’? Or words to that effect.

    There are a lot of alternative ways this could have been reported.

    I’ve just finished watching a late night discussion from 1989, not relevant to today you’d think? I found it very relevant, it is a discussion about the security services just before the new state secrets act was to be passed – closing down any future discussions like this. The open and relaxed nature of the discussion brings it home just how much open debate is stifled these days, but also how much there was already an issue with secret service accountability, competence, and who they were targeting, their politicisation, their old boys network, the ability for anyone to report illegal orders or acts, ,,, actually, there is a big list.

    1989 was of course after the Falklands, and during the Troubles, and Thatcher reigned. (And Bush was US president, they have an ex-CIA man in the discussion).

    I was fairly horrified when the law was passed in parliament recently (2016 or was it 2017?, how time flies) allowing the secret services unparalleled, unrestricted and unaccountable power to spy on its own citizens, with no media fanfare. What the Rt. Hon. Tony Benn says in 1989, what his concerns were, have come to pass. One thing often said, was that the secret service is there to maintain the (internal) status quo at all costs, and by all accounts were a shambles at catching foreign spies.

    Also interesting were the comments made about how the automatic reaction when any of these clandestine groups make a mistake, is to lie and make up a nonsense story – so even if their action was justified they can never come clean about what actually happened. Interesting opinions on what should and should not be secret, and the journalist in the group making a good point about ‘secrecy for its own sake, instead of when relevant’. You can have scrutiny without revealing state secrets (who is the state, asks Tony Benn, the crown? Who are we answerable to, is it a state within a state?). Also, the points made about your attendance at public school influences how much you can be ‘trusted’. Who decides what is ‘for the good of the public’, how can the public make an informed decision in elections when things are kept from them, etc.

    There is a lot in this, rather long, programme – and these are people with links and knowledge. Only one conclusion really regarding Alex Salmond, the security services need to take him down to maintain their status quo, and are doing what they always do (interesting comments from Mr Benn regarding misinformation peddled about him – as a politician he has a platform to speak out and fight back from – while others were at the mercy of vindictive defamation). I am always suspicious of any sensationalist reporting myself. There have been some bizarre ones recently too. But it’s no wonder the SNP keep closed ranks and squeaky clean images – they will be targeted.

    You might have been quicker watching (over 2.5 hours), than reading my comment though!!

    Fascinating 1989 After Dark chat about security services just before new secrecy laws come into effect

    Liked by 2 people

    • Contrary December 15, 2018 / 3:19 pm

      As Tony Benn says, too, ‘we did not allow the excuse of ‘I was ordered to do it’ in the Nuremberg trials, and we should not allow that excuse in the secret services’ (I’m paraphrasing)

      I would add that I think the staff of the BBC should not be allowed that excuse either. Or the people striking in the GMB union strike fiasco. Not a popular opinion I know, but we each have to take responsibility for our own actions, but at the same time there should be understanding that we can all make bad decisions and can be conned. Admitting a bad decision or not can make the difference between respect and disdain.

      Another interesting word that started being bandied about in the above discussion was ‘vindictive’. That word describes the impression I have of the English public school classes, I see it as the main describing feature of any future negotiations for an independent Scotland, we see it in their attitude towards Ireland even now – but that doesn’t stop decent trade deals and initiatives being made, so it just needs us to stay determined. (That is, expect it, but don’t bow to it)

      I really think that out of all the nations of the U.K., it is England that most badly needs independence, not from the eu because they don’t have a say constitutionally, but from the uk. Their national identity seems to be wholly focused on the British empire and somehow without it they’d be nothing. What rubbish, England is a rich and vibrant country with a huge variety in culture and environment – why aren’t they celebrating that, instead of the weirdo need to only judge their worth by how many other peoples they can subjugate? It’s not healthy. But while they struggle with this, I think the best we can do is get Scotland to be an independent country again, constitutionally, financially, culturally, and we’d be doing a favour for their good, and our good.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Henri Macaulay December 15, 2018 / 2:31 pm

    Their attempts to demonise Alex would be undermined if they covered it properly. The BBC is a disgrace – not the staff but the controlling powers.

    Liked by 1 person

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