More on the Mediation of Alex Salmond from TuS resident contrarian, Contrarian

Responding to the above:
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

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.


14 thoughts on “More on the Mediation of Alex Salmond from TuS resident contrarian, Contrarian

  1. William Henderson December 15, 2018 / 6:10 pm

    Tomorrow’s headline:

    “Brexit Solved! England Declares Independence From the UK”

    Hope springs eternal in the human breast………….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Contrary December 15, 2018 / 6:45 pm

      Haha! Ah but William, in this Brexit age, ANYTHING can happen. It would be a shame though, and shame Scotland, if we only managed independence through England’s choice. Though I do quite like the idea of a nice wee federal state with Wales and Ireland, or maybe a loose supportive coalition of countries, The Celtic States of the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Doesn’t work too well as an acronym, forget it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Contrary December 15, 2018 / 9:34 pm

        Oh yes that’d be superb, been meaning to go back and visit Brittany for years, and Cornwall is great, and could do with a wee economic boost.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Contrary December 15, 2018 / 8:40 pm

    Correction: ‘Official Secrets Act’.

    Sigh. I did have a niggle in the back of my mind, ‘you’ve written too much’, but then remembered posts are only posted on random John-whims and can’t be predicted!

    I thought I’d return to see if I could get away with another contemplative ramble, and as it is a sort of continuation of the above this seems an ideal platform – and it’s all John’s fault.

    I’m having a rest-day so reading whatever is out there, and has posted a blog by Mark McNaught to get involved in opining on a written constitution:

    I thought it was our pal Clydebuilt, who hasn’t been around for a while, that had written it, but no. I was hoping for something shorter and pithier, or at least easily navigable. Anyway, I’m convinced that it needs to be done before any independence vote, so encourage people to have a go. I’ll be campaigning to have Perth as the capital, or a rotational system, btw.

    But one of the main things I would like to see outlined before an independence vote is a schedule in the event of Yes – what we need to put in place first, middle, and what can be left til last, what needs to be built, what needs to be negotiated, who are our negotiating team? Etc. What needs to be voted on – do we stick to consultations on things like the written constitution, form of government, or are these referendum type questions? Trying to get a smooth transition with a vindictive union partner will not be simple, so I want plans. I don’t want petty bickering over an economy we don’t yet have, any currency we may or may not want, whose pensions are whose – I want a plan with deadlines on who is going to sort it, when and how. I don’t want a decree of what it will be, just the process of how it will come about.

    That was actually an aside.

    I have heard a lot of dissatisfaction with the SNP recently, and in particular with Nicola Sturgeon – I understand, and feel, the frustration as politics is played out – and much more so when party politics is played out – but, so, the ‘grassroots’ aren’t happy with how the political game is being played? You are dissatisfied because the state machinery is telling you to be dissatisfied. The messages are insidious, and I don’t joke about agent provocateurs, they are the ones questioning the person (not the sentiment) – if you find yourself doing it, think about where you got the information from. We don’t all agree, never will, but that’s where compromise and tolerance come in. Attacking the person instead of the opinion is classic statecraft (as the saying goes) (watch the above programme).

    Anyway, Grousebeater has expressed his dissatisfaction – I’m not picking on him, just using it as an example – asking if Alex Salmond would have left calling an indyref as long as Nicola Sturgeon (… Doubts being sown into the activists minds,,, dun dun dun). Now, to my mind:

    1. Alex Salmond had no intention of calling the first independence referendum – support was very low – he was badgered into doing it by unionist factions, and rose to the challenge.

    2. It is a very different atmosphere now, where those self same unionists that were sneering and badgering to have one before, are dead set against it. (Note the raft of English politicians coming to Scotland when the opinion polls showed independence support getting ‘too high’ in the first ref. Note the lack of interference by EU countries during the EU ref.)

    3. We’d all be sitting in the doldrums despairing at ever having a nation again without the SNP taking up that first challenge – we wouldn’t even be considering it as a possibility without the SNP having first made it possible.

    4. Now that there is an independence movement(s), we have a choice of the political route, or other routes. I choose the political route in the first place, and so have to trust in the SNP to do it right.

    5. The SNP are being pushed to extremes to call an indyref early in order to discredit them, damned if they do, damned if they don’t. You think the blatantly anti-Scottish actions in and from Westminster are just being done to piss us off? It is to get the referendum started at a bad time, one where Westminster could possibly blame others for their mess. This has the benefit of pissing off more and more people that wouldn’t have normally noticed.

    I don’t think any political party is particularly worthwhile, I think the political system is shit, and some say the SNP are naive. That’s as may be, but to think the SNP don’t have a whole raft of powers rallying against them is naive. They are right not to say how or when the next independence vote will come – it’s about the only hold they have over the state. Meanwhile, they are doing things, they are campaigning, they are garnering support and good relations in the EU and Scandinavia and internationally, they are running the country. And while Brexit is on-going any English MPs normally well disposed to the SNP, may not be if their support is lost in Westminster. Maybe some people actually believe what the BBC tells us though?

    Anyway, I too wish they’d call the next independence vote, I wish we were already out and free from the shackles, I wish we never had to be a part of this cruel and unrelenting union. A vote has to be a majority one though, not just my wishes, and with the raft of – recently exposed – state actors, and media, arraigned against it, we need as much backing and support possible. That means good relationships, or even an impartial arbiter.

    Don’t be dissatisfied, be confident. It’ll happen one way or the other.

    Liked by 2 people

    • johnrobertson834 December 15, 2018 / 8:48 pm

      This writing suggests leadership qualities. Come out an declare yourself for election to something!


      • Contrary December 15, 2018 / 9:28 pm

        Hahaha 😀 the ability to ramble at sporadic intervals won’t necessarily be a good platform to stand from! And there is only one issue I don’t repeatedly change my mind about every day. And I have a tendency to get bored and just say,,, rude words 😉 But kind of you to say -blushing emoji-.

        I’m plotting the formation of a new political party though – it has a triumvirate structure for each candidate so you have your main political mouth piece, the head researcher (or secretary or whatever), and the head administrator. So when you vote, you get to vote on who will be supporting the MSP in office as well as the actual msp. Each candidate needs to have skills that would allow them to take up a ministerial post, and those would have to have an administrator capable of focusing on local issues to the constituency. I envisage sober people with grim faces in shapeless black suits.

        “Do you have gender identity issues? Then never fear! The Contrary Party has the answer! Clothes and faces so dour no one can tell the gender anyway!”. Yup it’s a win win.

        I haven’t fully thrashed out the structure and I may have gone off piste there, and it might just be because I like the word – triumvirate – and the concept. (I first came across it in Alistair Raynolds Redemption Space trilogy in case anyone’s interested. Or is it Chasm City trilogy? I forget). I see my role more as a facilitator.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. johnrobertson834 December 15, 2018 / 8:50 pm

    TuS having a wee boom today – pushing 3 000 views so far. Double typical readership.


    • Contrary December 15, 2018 / 9:32 pm

      It’ll be the security services 😉 I threw in some key words to make their search easier, they’ll be packing out your file John.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Contrary December 16, 2018 / 9:28 am

      Seems most likely. Newspapers seem to be missing a trick by not reporting any news about Alex. But then, their reporting doesn’t seem to be predicated on selling newspapers.


    • William Henderson December 16, 2018 / 11:22 am


      The trial by television doesn’t seem to be going so well. 🙂


      • gavin December 16, 2018 / 1:32 pm

        Compare and contrast the coverage of Salmond (both sides of the border), remote from power, with the coverage given to Damian Green, who was Deputy Prime Minister of the UK, when his alleged sexual harassment came to light.
        Green, who now carry’s a “whiff” about himself, at the very least for lying, is repeatedly a talking head on the BBC, contributes articles to English broadsheets and sits in Parliament. His mis-demeaners are conveniently ignored by the print and broadcast media, as are the accusations rife at Westminster about a large body of politicians in that parliament.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Broadbield December 16, 2018 / 7:48 am

    I’m reading Fintan O’Toole’s “Heroic Failure” about Brexit. I don’t know how it ends yet, but it’s not looking good so far. But he has some very interesting theories on the “English Problem” as does Anthony Barnett in “The Lure of Greatness”.

    Liked by 1 person

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