Suspicions have been raised in recent weeks and months that the Scotland Office – the centre of the British administration in Scotland – is gearing up for something big. It is no secret that since the Conservatives came back to power in May 2010 the budget and staffing numbers of the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland have been on the rise. Since the 2014 referendum the influx of people and cash into David Mundell’s department has been accelerating, with staffing and budget now at a level capable of governing Scotland without Holyrood. They’re up to something.
They've been rumbled! The power grab intentions are real and we need to get out of this disfunctional union asap!
Yesterday’s march was a huge and brilliant turnout which far exceeded the organisers expectations. It is a manifestation of the movements strength and an inspiration for all. Marches like this are a message of intent, a learning curve for organisers and a boost of confidence for tired and battle-weary protestors and activists. The fact that the event was so large and went off without a single incident is testimony to the crowd and the wider movement. The result was also the payoff for months, in some cases years of patient steady movement-building on a very practical level by national grassroots organisations and a network of local groups nurtured and sustained by dedicated souls up and down the land. The sheer scale of the event will have made many people wake up to what’s latent in Scotland. This is far more powerful than the aristocratic loot showered down on Scotland in Union.
While we are all still waiting for some kind of "Official" announcement of #IndyRef2 as more and more shit keeps hiting the #Brexit fan the Scottish Alternative Media (SAM) goes from strength to strength with more improved quality production ...
... the MSM (CCP) and the BBC in particular are getting so nervous with REAL jouralistic competition that they have resorted to blatant politically motivated censorship and with the collusion of YouTube have closed down two independence supporting channels - "Wings over Scotland" and Peter Curran's "Moridura"!
Well, as you can imagine, the fallout has been spectacular and fast moving! –
Before we were so rudely interrupted, we were about to write a little more about the issues around the BBC’s takedown of this site’s YouTube channel. Because while we got a very respectable five-and-a-half minutes on Good Morning Scotland earlier today, you never have the time on radio or TV to say everything you want to.
Incidentally, we get the impression – nothing more solid than that – from a number of sources that BBC Scotland are somewhat out of the loop over the whole affair, and the impetus to silence Wings has actually come from London, which is slightly scarier. But aside from that, there are a number of really rather disturbing aspects to the situation.
You can hear the full interview here: [Audio in link]
It still seems to be just pro-indy channels that have had the Big Hammer treatment.
But what of the wider issues? The transience of news is in stark contrast to most other broadcasting. A huge amount of the BBC’s current affairs output either isn’t available on iPlayer at all, or only for a very brief period – an episode of Reporting Scotland, for example, is up for 24 hours or less, and the same applies to other regional news shows and indeed to the main six o’clock bulletin. So if anything important gets said on them, it vanishes down the memory hole almost immediately.
This entire affair quite frankly stinks to high heaven. The BBC have operated a plainly partisan policy, observably applying different rules and procedures to people with different political viewpoints. YouTube appear to have actively colluded with them rather than being neutral, and have even suspended their normal conflict-resolution system just for Wings Over Scotland for no obvious reason, even though our account was until then in spotlessly good standing.
The BBC is a publicly-funded and theoretically publicly-accountable organisation, yet it refuses to appear on its own programmes to explain its actions to the people who own it. (It’s going to sound rather hollow the next time it pointedly says that no Scottish Government minister was available for interview.)
We’re going to take this one as far as it’ll go, folks.
That someone as prominent as Alex Salmond has elected to intervene in what I wearily suppose will shortly be dubbed the ‘Wingsgate’ scandal, is quite significant. If nothing else, it serves to demonstrate just how important alternative media have become.
His intervention is doubly significant for the fact that, as well as concisely stating the points that the BBC must respond to in relation to its evidently selective and seemingly ill-founded copyright infringement complaint against Wings Over Scotland, Mr Salmond has broadened the issue to include the rights of persons appearing in the excerpts which have been removed from the public domain due to the BBC’s action. And he has introduced the further matter of the BBC’s apparent failure to remove material which has been found to be in breach of its own guidelines.
It looks increasingly like the corporation has opened a very large can of worms here. ...
That the BBC has got itself into this situation amply demonstrates the dumb arrogance of unaccountable power. Anyone with so much as the tip of their smallest finger on the pulse of Scottish politics could have predicted the furore which would ensue from closing down the Wings Over Scotland YouTube channel. Either the BBC was aware of the hornets’ nest that it was poking and simply didn’t care, or it was allowing decisions to be made by people lacking even a basic awareness of what they were dealing with. Whichever it was, it looks like an appalling failure of management.
Perhaps Alex Salmond’s intervention will rouse those somnolent and indolent hacks. But if the evidence of the past is any guide their mercenary ire will directed, not against the BBC, but against Salmond. If these loyal servants of the British state are true to tediously predictable form then we can expect that ‘Wingsgate’ will be spun as the SNP trying to ‘intimidate’ and ‘silence’ the BBC.
What that means is that, at least for now, our YouTube channel is back (Back! BACK!), minus the 13 videos complained about by the BBC on copyright grounds. The situation is once again that Corporation has 14 business days to file a formal court challenge, and unless it does so the channel will be reinstated in full.
Meanwhile, here’s how the Streisand Effect works.
There was a huge #AUOB (All Under One Banner) 100k+ March for Independence in Glasgow on May 4th, although it was bearly reported in the MSM - which is why we have such a strong alternative media in Scotland.
But when it was reported in supposedly independence leaning newspapers it was smeared with exaggerated claims of "cybernat abuse" and tag-teamed by some "gullible" or perhaps not so SNP MPs/MSPs/Ex-MPs/spokespersons and it has many in the greater YES Movement questioning their motives.
Are the SNP just too comfortable with Devolution?
Are the SNP infiltrated up to the top?
With the open goal of #Brexit before them why are the SNP stalling?
On Saturday, for the second year in a row, there was a huge and joyous independence march through the centre of Glasgow, which passed off with no incidents, arrests or disturbances despite attempted provocation from a small handful of abusive Unionist bigots led by a Holocaust denier.
But also for the second year in a row, one paper – or to be more specific, one man – took a rather more negative slant.
The Herald On Sunday ran with a four-page cover splash by former Sunday Herald editor Neil Mackay about vile “cybernats” having war declared on them by the SNP.
It followed a similar extended rant by Mackay following the previous year’s Glasgow march, at which the ostensibly pro-independence Sunday paper had infuriated readers by portraying the march as a violent clash between rival mobs and using it to attack the SNP, then using the reaction as an excuse for a three-page hyperbolic outrage piece on – you guessed it – vile “cybernats”.
The Yes movement gets very little positive coverage in the media, so many people remarked that it was curious for a professed independence supporter to spurn two such rare opportunities to show the movement at its best, and to instead undermine it by sowing internal anger and division, and gleefully hand opponents a weapon with which to beat it (which they of course seized eagerly).
... The UK government quite openly maintains a military-intelligence unit dedicated to precisely such pursuits, so it seems unlikely that other countries don’t.
Indeed, as a pro-indy lawyer friend of ours is fond of saying, “Speaking as a British taxpayer, if the UK security services AREN’T actively infiltrating and subverting the Yes movement I want my money back”.
If we’d managed to get the same guy to pull the exact same trick two years running, we’d be demanding a hefty bonus as well.
Especially if both he and his newspapers had been heavily engaged for some years in attempting to deflect suspicion by calling everyone else an MI5 plant.
Now, we don’t think Alyn Smith, Angus Robertson and Stewart McDonald – who were all phoned up individually by Neil Mackay rather than them collectively approaching him – are in the pay of either the Kremlin or MI5. (Well, okay, if we’re being absolutely scrupulously honest we’re pretty sure about two of them.)
But they might want to take a moment to think about what those entities would want from them if they were, and whether in that case it might be a good idea not to keep giving it to them for free.
Common Weal director Robin McAlpine says the divisions among pro-independence advocates over the All Under One Banner march is the product of two very different worldviews: one of the centrist political establishment, and the other of the grassroots movement
I BELIEVE in the Scottish independence movement. I believe in it very much and will vigorously defend it. So I'm angry this week.
But I'm not sure what good more anger can do right now so I think we need to try to understand why some in the SNP leadership seem so ready so often to go out of their way to offend so many in the movement.
I highly commend what Stuart Campbell, Paul Kavanagh and Kevin McKenna have written on this. But I want to argue that there is a fundamental ideological problem which has led us here. To understand it without anger I want to tell the story twice; once each from both viewpoints. Since I am hardly neutral in this I will be honest and use 'you' and 'we'.
And throughout all this we are promised light at the end of a tunnel which remains dark as far as the eye can see. We get restless. We have handed over our hopes and ambitions to a leadership which seems to use them for purposes different than those for which we gave them. Our money does not seem to be spent on the campaigning we want to see.
So, frustrated, increasingly disillusioned, we do what we've always done. We do SOMETHING. We do anything other than sit back and take it passively. And if all we can do is march, then that's what we'll do.
We march joyously and hopefully. We march as perhaps the most diverse group Scotland has ever seen march. We march to send messages to anyone that will listen that we have not gone away and will not go away. We march because we care, we really, really care.
But why oh why oh why can't our leaders understand this? Why do you disdain us so much? Why can you never find a kind word for us, why are there never ten free seconds for you to send us a tweet to wish us well? Why do you refuse to see what's happening?
We march because it's something, and something is better than nothing. We march because you're failing us.
On Saturday, I was an eye-witness to Manny Singh, organiser of the huge pro-Independence demonstration through Glasgow, co-operating efficiently and respectfully with the police in keeping order and protecting public safety, and in making sure the event was a joyous family occasion, successful and enjoyed by everyone. That included Manny liaising regularly with the most senior police officers in charge of the march. Before I made my speech, I asked him how it was all going and Manny volunteered unasked that the Police had been brilliant. From what I witnessed, the respect was mutual.
It is then extremely perturbing that, two days after the march, Police Scotland arrested Manny for organising an illegal procession, a charge that carries a maximum three months imprisonment. Plainly the orders for this radical change of attitude have come from very high. The defence of this draconian measure by SNP Glasgow councillor and ex-BBC intern Rhiannon Spear gives a clue as to where this is coming from.
Still more of a clue is the astonishing four page attack on Yes supporters that took up the the front and four pages of the Herald the day after the demonstration, in which the SNP’s NATO and monarchy enthusiast Angus Robertson and extreme Cold War Russophobe Stewart McDonald vented their spleen at Independence supporters who dare to take a more radical line. It was very thinly disguised as an attack on online abuse – of which in four full pages not one single example was given by them, let alone any qualitative or quantitative analysis.
Nicola has had to make repeated SNP conference speeches and every time been forced to pretend she is interested in pursuing Independence at a future date. Surely, SNP HQ thinking runs, it would be better to take some of the pressure off her by hobbling support for the pesky online Independence supporters and those noisy marchers?
The man who has organised the most successful pro-Indy campaigning since 2014 has been arrested, just for doing precisely that. Yet so far there has been not a single gesture of support for Manny, public or private, from any of the SNP hierarchy. Why do you think that is?
The attempt to hobble and limit the AUOB march, and the extraordinary four page entirely unprovoked attack the next day on “cybernats”, form part of a coordinated effort by the SNP leadership to control the wider Yes movement and subdue the demand for early Independence. They failed with AUOB due to Manny’s courage and integrity – hence the vindictive order for his arrest.
More from Craig Murray here in an extraordinary interview with Alex Salmond on RT -
Anyway, the YES Movement will stick with the SNP, for NOW, as the ONLY vehicle for bringing about Independence, but there will come a time very soon post#indy when they will all go their very diverse separate ways.
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