Monday, January 18, 2016

Response to Mike Small's Facebook post

Now that I've had a chance to calm down after having six hours of my life totally wasted by the editor of Bella Caledonia, I've reflected on what Peter A Bell and others said on the previous thread, and I do agree that it would be a breach of 'implicit confidentiality' to publish the email exchange between myself and Mike Small.  However, I've just caught up with a bizarre Facebook post from Mike in which he totally misrepresents the contents of the exchange.  So I think the obvious compromise solution is to paraphrase what was said.

Most importantly, Mike claims that he never rejected my article.  That is categorically untrue.  It took him until the fourth email to make the position explicit, but he did eventually confirm that I shouldn't have any expectation that the article would be published.  However, it was already abundantly clear from the first email that he had absolutely no intention of publishing it in anything remotely like its original form.  He stated that he had the following "problems" with it -

1) He didn't agree with my suggestion that RISE and the Greens were specifically pitching for tactical votes from SNP supporters.  He would have preferred me to say they were simply seeking votes from the broader electorate.

2) He didn't like the "apocalyptic" language I had used about the "future of our country" - he didn't think that was warranted because in his view the SNP haven't offered a route-map to independence (the subtext presumably being that people should vote RISE instead because they have offered a route-map).

3) He didn't like the fact that my analysis "ignored" his highly questionable belief that the SNP's landslide in the constituencies will be delivered by a "mass tactical vote", to which the radical left will contribute.

I don't know about you, but I'm struggling to see any way these "problems" could conceivably have been resolved without major surgery to the article to bring it into line with Mike's own personal views.  That makes something of a mockery of his insistence yesterday that Bella does not have an editorial line on tactical voting, and simply seeks to present a "range of voices" on the topic. 

I was rather exasperated when I sent my reply, because it was already clear to me there wasn't a hope in hell of the article seeing the light of day on Bella.  However, I answered his questions as best I could - mainly by explaining that I didn't accept his premise in each case.  I also pointed out that he had misconstrued what I meant about "the future of our country".

The second email from Mike took us deeper into 1984 territory, as he started setting me a number of purity tests that I apparently had to pass (although what my reward for passing would have been is anyone's guess) -

1) I had to demonstrate to him that I was committed to improving the nature of the debate (whatever that means), because he was "concerned" I wasn't.

2) I had to "recognise the problem" that I was pigeon-holing people in a tribalistic way.  (I think the subtext here was that he thought it was unacceptable that I had pointed out that RISE have zero support in the polls - he reckons that lots of people are natural RISE voters without realising it, because they identify as "green left liberal".)

3) I had to affirm that I consider myself part of the same "movement" as him, and show an interest in "resolving difference".

By that point, I had lost interest in playing along with his games, so I simply asked him to give me a straight answer as to whether he was planning to use the article or not.  He finally confirmed he wasn't, and gave me a condescending lecture about how I didn't understand that the editorial process involves "dialogue".

I make no pretence at being a journalist, but I have been through a significant number of editorial processes before, and not one of them has ever involved me having to pass a set of ideological purity tests before an article will even be considered.  As for his personal disagreement with the views expressed within the article, I'd have thought the most appropriate place to air those would have been in the comments section after the article had been published.  That's the way open debate works - you don't try to edit the views out of existence, you allow them to be aired and then challenge them.  The question of whether Mike was prepared to publish an article he disagreed with was a very straightforward one, and clearly the answer was 'no'.

What really angers me, though, is that Mike encouraged me to make a submission last night, in the full knowledge that all of this would happen.  He could have said "I'm sorry, but we don't publish articles that depart from the Bella editorial line on tactical voting".  But he didn't, presumably because it would have been deeply embarrassing for him to publicly admit that was his position.  Or he could have said "I'll consider publishing an article of yours, but we'd better have a discussion before you start writing it because there are conditions attached".  But he didn't - he encouraged me to go ahead and make a submission, on the entirely bogus basis that Bella offers a platform for a range of voices.  He deliberately wasted my time, and I'm not best pleased about it.

UPDATE : Mike's typically constructive response to this post was to call me an "arse" on Twitter, which was followed by Andrew Tickell and Jack Foster piling in with a couple of childish memes. I'm sad to say I've blocked all three of them - which I couldn't have imagined ever doing, even just an hour ago.  Doubtless I'll be accused of lacking a sense of humour, but I don't think playground insults and taunts constitute humour, especially from somebody as intelligent as Andrew.  I stand by everything I've said today, and if anyone has an adult response to it, I'm more than happy to listen.  But "arse" is not a response.

UPDATE II : Mike has resolved my ethical dilemma by unilaterally publishing the email exchange on Bella.  I'm relieved to say there are no omissions, and you can read it HERE.  Incidentally, I didn't receive the final email until this afternoon, after I'd published the article myself and gone back to bed for a couple of hours.  But as for what Mike's final sentence is actually supposed to mean in concrete terms...well, answers on a postcard, folks.

162 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I hope you'll forgive me for the repost James since I don't post often now, it went up just before this new post and seems most pertinent here. (And indeed is backed up by what you have now outlined)

    Myself and James are already more than familiar with petty and ignorant censorship from sites who try to pretend otherwise. That being so..

    To be sure, Bella is already well on it's way to alienating huge numbers of Independence and SNP supporters with their current antics. However, this is only the beginning.

    Mike Small doesn't seem to have thought through the consequences of his barely concealed allegiance to RISE nor his unquestioning acceptance of the amusingly flimsy arguments for risking in the list. This while arrogantly censoring the views of those who do not agree with the official Bella editorial stance on the list vote.

    The thing is, does Mike Small seriously believe that the 'drum circle' of the rise 'collective leadership' are going to be happy with just a few SNP bashing/Risk the list diatribes and articles. Particularly when we get to the final few weeks of the Holyrood campaign? Oh dear me, No.

    Those humble souls in RISE with an eye on becoming an MSP are going to want wall to wall coverage because, after all, isn't that what supporting RISE and their 'new politics' is all about? 'Or do you REALLY support RISE at all?', they will ask.

    Press releases and campaigning 'articles' will be churned out feverishly by RISE and they will fully expect them to be reproduced verbatim on Bella.

    Since, in the end, you will have to shit or get off the pot because the Greens and Solidarity WILL be asking for the very same thing.

    When that occurs there will be no pretence left since your only course of action will be either to please those in RISE who already expect your allegiance or to give Solidarity and the Greens the same platform. Something I don't imagine RISE would be too keen on somehow.

    Of course you could also try and publish viewpoints from the SNP but since you are already censoring SNP friendly voices like James it's crystal clear that isn't too likely. Nor do I imagine SNP supporters are likely to forget it or overlook your 'positioning' come the Holyrood election.

    Your choice of course. You may even be able to run Bella Caledonia as "Bella RISE" and massively increase your pageviews.

    Who knows?

    But surely, it's worth the risk? Isn't it? ;)

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    1. You've summed up my opinions exactly. I'm sad all the same. Bella needs to get real now.

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  3. So, in essence, any opinion is acceptable to Bella, as long as it concurs with Mike Small's opinion?

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  4. Anon : I've deleted your comment because it breached the moderation policy I've set out on many occasions.

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    1. So can I send you pics of my willy or not or are you going to delete this comment too?

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    2. I'm not going to delete your comment, but neither do I have the faintest idea what point you think you're making.

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    3. The point is my cock

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  5. This is a comment I made on an article by Peter A Bell that is just as pertinent here:

    "I don't go into Bella any more. It seems to have become a platform for those who want to damage the independence movement. The SNP are the only vehicle to independence. These people need to keep their powder dry until we get there. As things stand right now, we all need to pull together to achieve our cause. If these people are serious about independence, and not on some power or ego trip of heir own, then they have to realise that stealing fuel from the only capable vehicle you have won't get you to your destination."

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    1. The assertion that the SNP are the only vehicle to independence has no basis in fact. They are of course the main vehicle but the reality is that the independence movement would be far stronger if a broader cross section of represented parties supported the stance (i.e. 3 large parties support Catalan independence).

      The notion that nothing can be achieved until we get independence so we should just vote for the best vehicle to get there - no matter how long it takes - is equally devoid of reason. Demonstration of an effective devolved parliament (with divergent policy to WM) is actually more likely to be the best vehicle to independence so we should be voting for the most effective government in parliamentary elections, not for independence.

      It so happens that the SNP do probably offer the most effective government and so will be handsomely voted in, but any effective government needs a functional opposition so voting for another party on the list is not only a perfectly logical position to take, it has the potential to offer a more effective route to independence.

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    2. Thanks for your reply CMac11

      IMO the SNP are the only vehicle capable of getting us there. In a small country like ours where every vote matters, voting for other parties on the list who pretend to independence but lack voters in sufficient numbers fragments the independence vote. Diminishing the SNP's vote can allow the Unionist parties to get seats through the back door.

      I refer you to an article on Wings Over Scotland which partly explains my point: http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-eye-of-reality/

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    3. Just another point I meant to make, CMac11.

      You wrote"It so happens that the SNP do probably offer the most effective government and so will be handsomely voted in, but any effective government needs a functional opposition so voting for another party on the list is not only a perfectly logical position to take, it has the potential to offer a more effective route to independence."

      Why do you think it's logical for an SNP voter to vote for another party on the list to oppose them? Why, in God's name, would you cancel out your first vote by giving your second vote to the opposition? That is most certainly devoid of all reason.

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    4. Well, presumably your chosen party would oppose them on matters of routine policy, not on matters of independence. I should say my point is not that SNP diehards should switch vote, it is that there are good and logical reasons not to be an SNP diehard even if you support independence and that I object to the premise that an SNP parliament of 75 MSPs is any better than one of 68 for achieving independence, especially if the other parties are pro-indy and to be honest the point still stands even if James' worst nightmares are realised and an extra 1 or 2 unionists get in (shock horror, the movement will be de-railed etc etc).

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    5. "but any effective government needs a functional opposition"

      As amusing as Dugdale's efforts are, it's not as if she's boycotting Holyrood or ordering her MSP's to disrupt committees or fart into their microphones when they are supposed to speak during FMQ's or debates.

      Davidson may well be the Scottish tory leader who presided over their worst electoral result at westminster ever, but even she isn't ordering her own personal tank into Holyrood. She abides by the procedures and rules set out while taking part in the debate. So no, it isn't a non-functioning opposition, just a shit one that isn't trusted very much.

      Which is where we get to the nub of some of the most amusing self-indulgence many of the 'risk the list' types are guilty of.

      Oh it's not that they usually veer into the same absolute bollocks of a 'one party state' that we constantly hear from the most out of touch unionist politicians and their inept media mouthpieces.


      It's the bonkers idea that they are the arbiters of not just how a government should be constituted and perform but all the opposition parties too.

      They seem to think that unless their requirements are met for their 'ideal' nirvana polity then anything less is somehow tantamount to a dangerous democratic failing.

      Let's be frank. Broadly speaking, (though backed up by the evidence of polling and actual results) Labour are not trusted and rightly so. The tories are not trusted and rightly so. Both situations are due to their own actions/inaction on a wide range of issues as well as their actions during the first Indyref. So, yes, they are looking pretty damn hopeless at the moment but in what sense does that make Holyrood a non-functioning democracy? It doesn't.

      The VOTERS choose and they judge on past-performance just as much as credibility and trust.

      And just so we are clear, you also don't get gifted trust just because you aren't either of those two parties. (or the lib dems but they are an irrelevance to be fair) You have to EARN it. So unless RISE, Solidarity and the Greens actually start campaigning HARD for votes - with policies and with actual concrete reasons to vote for them - then they will never be taken very seriously by the public during this Holyrood election.

      So the idea that you can form a party, or indeed just take an existing small party, and somehow cure this 'glaring fault' in democracy (afualt nobody but the risk the listers and the unionist tabloids and politicians seem to be furious about) is a wee bit much.

      Governments and oppositions rarely if ever align to two strong and perfectly functioning units balancing each other out. It's the kind of utopian ideal callow students might lose sleep over but in the real world it is most assuredly not a massive concern.

      Labour are a bit of a shambles at westminster right now, (due to right-wing self-indulgent Blairite careerists and a weak leader who doesn't know how to cope with them) but come a few months time the tories will be spitting poison at each other over whether the tory party is pro EU and pro EU immigration or not.

      That's how it works.

      There is no utopian balance and never was.

      The first few years of Holyrood were marked by some shambolic stuff on all sides. Didn't make it non-functioning though.

      Another example. The last truly formidable Labour opposition was when the likes of Robin Cook and others had the tory government in complete turmoil over arms to Iraq and many other issues.

      Now, hilariously, it is the SNP doing the job of opposing the tories most vehemently. To the extent that the unionist parties have called it "weaponising" attendance.

      This while we are being painted as 'anti-democratic' (by out of touch zoomers obviously) because of the failings of the other parties in opposition at Holyrood.

      It's actually pretty damn funny when you think about it. :D

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    6. Cmac11: "The assertion that the SNP are the only vehicle to independence has no basis in fact. They are of course the main vehicle but the reality is that the independence movement would be far stronger if a broader cross section of represented parties supported the stance (i.e. 3 large parties support Catalan independence)."

      To be fair, that's also an assertion with no basis in fact. You're hinting towards Catalonia as proof, but they've just had an election where the two largest pro-indy parties saw fit to stand under a single vehicle, and where the smaller pro-indy party looked like it was about to scupper things completely at one point.

      (And it's probably worth remembering they've a long way to go before they become independent.)

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    7. This is true. I've invalidated my valid point by repeating the mistake.

      Much like some SNP 1&2 advocates do when they tell people they're "mad" not to vote SNPx2 in response to RISE or the Greens (supposedly) trying to poach votes in the opposite direction. For every one example of the latter I've seen 10 of the former which is really my only bugbear in this whole debate...

      In reality I think most people know just to vote for who you want so we're all wasting our breath.

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    8. It is an assertion based upon the massive increase in support for independence seen during the referendum as a direct response to the wider yes movement.

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    9. It is an assertion with no basis in fact. SNP majority government meant an Independence referendum. SNP minority government means no referendum. Have you worked it out yet?

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  6. I'm sorry to see these arguments between two, well, several writers I respect and relish reading, including bella and wings, peat worrier and especially scotgoespop . Just hope it doesn't all damage the outcome of maximising pro Indy vote in May. Many of us will be slogging our guts out canvassing. Peace envoys and cool heads needed not handbags at dawn. X

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    1. Couldn't agree more. Interesting though how James is deleting comments from people who don't agree with him and yet he's quite happy to keep trolls on his blog. I'm not really SNP at heart though they'll get my first vote but the insulting suggestions that other parties should stay schtum till indy and that they're only pretending anyway. Well I can just see no voters going yeah vote with these morons. No chance.

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    2. No, I'm not deleting comments simply because they disagree with me. If I was doing that, the comments threads on this blog would have been a hell of a lot quieter over the last...well, eight years. A single anonymous comment on this thread was deleted because it overstepped the mark and breached the moderation policy that I have set out several times.

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    3. @ Anonymous

      Your comment "the insulting suggestions that other parties should stay schtum till indy and that they're only pretending anyway" is obviously directed at my post.

      I did not say other paries should stay schtum. I was giving my opinion that that we should all stick together to achieve our common cause. For almost 50 years I have campaigned for independence. Now I see it within our grasp. I just worry that, on approaching the line, the independence movement becomes fragmented by parties with the same goal bickering between themselves.

      The term "pretend to independence was meant in the old meaning 'To aspire to' as in Pretender to the throne. I was not suggesting they were acting falsely. Sorry if I gave you that impression.

      Best wishes
      J

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  7. Over the past wee while, I've noticed a certain degree of fragmentation in and amongst the groups who purport to further the necessary requirement of independence for Scotland.

    It's beginning to be a concern as it, pretty much, mirrors the breakdown of any nationalist sentiment throughout Scotland's history, usually due to self interested groups, possibly with other aspirations, attempting to redirect the independence goal, elsewhere.

    I certainly hope, dearly hope, that I'm totally wrong.

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    1. You are especially susceptible to this, having the far left on your side. Every few years they destroy themselves in a display of petty infighting: which faction will prevail - the Sheridanites or the Drumchapel Popular Front?

      Even more to the point - who cares?

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    2. You care, Quisling!

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    3. Away and smash up a box of teacakes you halfwit.

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  8. It has been obvious for months that Bella has become totally subsumed by RISE.Any dissenting voices,no matter how moderate,have been shouted down.I stopped making what I thought were meaningful comments to any discussion long ago as it was a waste of time.Let's see how far their "shouty.shouty" style of campaigning gets them in the evening of the 6th of May.

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  10. Really disappointed with Bella over this, and I hope they allow the article to be published without censorship.

    I imagine a lot of people who previously funded them will feel the same.

    As mentioned above, the place to agree or disagree with opinions is in the comments section. Or to publish a counter-argument themselves.

    The comment about not seeking SNP supporters votes is ridiculous, when it is plain to see.

    I suspect this whole issue is to get people talking about RISE, because as things stand, they are an irrelevance. So they have succeeded in that, but perhaps at the price of their own credibility.

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    1. I see they have published it now.
      Happy they did so. It is up to readers to decide what is partisan or not.

      The Bella site has a lot of good articles, but the RISE obsession is dangerous IMO. The numbers just don't stack up.

      I wish they were in the SNP fighting from within.

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    2. "I wish they were in the SNP fighting from within."

      Yer on yer own there pal. LOL

      We are de-lighted they aren't.

      It's also why this little spat is meaningless when it comes to the actual Holyrood election.

      Oh don't get me wrong, James is 100% right to be pissed off at the comically inept attempts to fob him off then rewrite his post so it conforms to Bella/Small's own personal viewpoint, but let's be real FFS.

      The Holyrood election is going to be fought by an SNP that's popular, never had more members, is trusted a great deal more than the labour opposition and tory government, and indeed led by a leader who will have no trouble at all eviscerating the many ludicrous claims and smears from the yoons and their assorted little helpers in the media and elsewhere.

      Yet, even with all of the above, we are still campaigning every single step of the way for every vote we can because we do NOT take anything for granted.

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    3. Yes, the SNP is popular right now, but Bella is a popular platform, and RISE supporters have the potential to do a lot of damage on social media in the final weeks if their focus is on attacking the SNP. Especially if feelings have been hurt.

      Their message will be amplified to thousands by happy unionists who would love to see the YES side split, and who will play to fears of a 'one party state'

      One big advantage the SNP currently has is that unionists are divided, and labour is divided. That's the last thing the SNP needs at this time.

      The case for a regional vote for another indy party is also simplistically attractive, until you look at the actual numbers involved in realistic situations.

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  11. http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2016/01/18/a-reply-to-james-kelly/ Mike has no qualms in publishing your emails... ;)

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    1. I'm glad. As long as he's published them in full (I'll doublecheck in a minute), that resolves my dilemma. I wanted to publish them, but I had doubts about the ethics of it.

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    2. I read Peter's comments regard the publishing of them...and have made my views known to Mike on the original FB thread that stared earlier...and give him his due....he's replied...and the overall point that stands out to me is that yours is quite obviously and opinion piece...not an article....no editing required in my...opinion.... ;)

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  12. Hmm... interesting, coming at this from a reasonably objective perspective - I've read a bit from ScotGoesPop and a bit from Bella enjoyed both but wouldn't consider myself a follower of either. I caught your initial article first before hopping over to Bella's reply and back to this one. In truth I had settled my interpretation of events on reading Bella's summary of correspondence.

    It seems odd to me that they'd choose to publish a conversation where they are so clearly lacking in neutrality. The points raised and the tone they are in seem to have more to do with attempting to disprove your article than improve it. I should say that you come across as quite quick to anger on the other hand, understandable in the circumstance but it does lead me to wonder if with a more diplomatic approach the worst of this might have been avoided.

    That said I have no idea of prior correspondence on the issue and perhaps it's for the best really that an editor that would seek to have such a bearing on the opinions they publish rather than the quality with which they are expressed is revealed. At any rate it certainly leaves me with a lot to consider regarding Bella.

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    1. ...and this pretty much would confirm it...

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/8259177988/

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    2. There's a pinned pat at top of page where...Mike...shall we say...indulges himself...

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    3. Ah yes, I see now - maybe he doesn't see his own bias? May be interesting to see his reaction over next few days, since even there the majority of comments are questioning of his actions.

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  13. Having read http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2016/01/18/a-reply-to-james-kelly/ I think it's blindingly obvious to any reasonable human being that Mike Small had no intention whatsoever of publishing anything you submitted, James.

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    1. at the bottom of his response

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    2. His claim that he would have published it anyway is utterly incredible, and is directly contradicted by his own emails. But I'm glad the piece is there, whatever his motivation.

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    3. Wasn't quite where or when it should have been published though...

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    4. I don't think I'd call pasting James' article as a footnote to a piece where any reasonable human being will have lost the will to read after the exposition of Small's obtuseness "publishing it".

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  15. There’s one point I’m not hearing from either side of the tactical voting argument, namely the tipping point for another referendum.

    The simple reality is that it is only with an SNP administration in Holyrood that we can get a second referendum.

    Nicola has made it clear that she needs to see that the Scottish electorate want that before indyref 2 can get the green light.

    It seems clear to me that we can’t rely on opinion polls for this, and the only poll that matters is in actual elections. Therefore indyref 2 requires overwhelming support for the SNP in this election.

    So even though I do not consider myself an SNP supporter, they will be getting both my votes to put pressure/give confidence to the SNP to deliver indyref 2.

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    1. The tipping point for another referendum will come when

      A) The SNP has something approaching an economic case (they do not at the moment).

      B) There is certainty of a yes victory. A second failure would finish indy for a lifetime.

      C) The UK government is prepared to allow one. Keep in mind, they just did - and the answer was NO. There is no obligation to hołd another anytime soon.

      That's your tipping point. Oh and, of course, the SNP have to be in power in Holyrood. That's a given until 2021. Afterwards is more in doubt.

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  16. Here's my comment in response to Bella's blatant manipulation, under different pseudonym:

    "There seems to me to be a definite attempt by the editor to change the stance of the article in the email exchange. Many of the comments regarding the article would be more suited to the comments section. It was not the business of Bella Caledonia to require the article to be more conciliatory, but to either reject the article, or sub it for clarity and brevity, check it for accuracy, and publish it.
    I believe you invited James to submit the article so you could play him by suggesting changes you knew he would not accept (while at the same time allowing yourself the luxury of some highly evaluate terms and finger-wagging elsewhere on your site), and then present yourself as Honest Broker. A classic ploy in the Dark Arts.
    So please, whatever you do, don’t have temerity to present yourself as promoting openness and debate. You’ve shown yourself to represent nothing of the sort."

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  17. Does anyone read Bella Caledonia anyway? This blog and Wings does it for me. Don't worry about it James, your blog is quality and it will come out on top

    By the way I was somewhat involved with RIC during the referendum and attended their big conference in 2014. I think Kat Boyd and Jonathon Shafi are great. But RISE is pretty hopeless. No point splitting the vote for a lost cause. As for the Greens, they are a mixed bag. Patrick Harvie and Andy Wightman are cool. Some of the other middle class unionists not so much. All in all it much to tempt most reasonable people away from 2x SNP.

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  18. RISE is about the 47th far left offering to appear in recent years.They come and go,causing a bit of noise and commotion in the by going.I'll be working hard for an SNP win.Whether Rise becomes an irritating distraction or a colourful and interesting addition to the election campaign scene remains to be seen.Theyve never been heard of most places.

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  19. Nothing to do with tactical voting, but polling data and fundamental to the cross-border differences on the EU. UK Yougov poll.

    Generally speaking, do you think the British Empire was
    UK
    43% A good thing
    19% A bad thing
    25% Neither a good nor bad thing
    13% DK
    =+24% NET

    Scotland
    30% A good thing
    34% A bad thing
    26% Neither a good nor bad thing
    11% DK
    =-4% NET

    ---

    UK
    Do you think Britain's history of colonialism is...
    44% Part of our history that we should proud happened
    21% Part of our history that we should regret happening
    23% Neither
    13% DK
    =+23% NET

    Scotland
    Do you think Britain's history of colonialism is...
    34% Part of our history that we should proud happened
    36% Part of our history that we should regret happening
    18% Neither
    11% DK
    =-2% NET

    ---

    UK
    Thinking about how Britain talks and thinks about our past, do you think...
    29% Britain tends to view our history of colonisation too positively - there was much cruelty, killing, injustice and racism that we try not to talk about
    28% Britain tends to view our history of colonisation too negatively - we talk too much about the cruelty and racism of Empire, and ignore the good that it did
    27% Britain tends to get the balance between the good and bad sides of our colonial histor about right
    16% DK
    =+1% NET

    Scotland
    Thinking about how Britain talks and thinks about our past, do you think...
    49% Britain tends to view our history of colonisation too positively - there was much cruelty, killing, injustice and racism that we try not to talk about
    19% Britain tends to view our history of colonisation too negatively - we talk too much about the cruelty and racism of Empire, and ignore the good that it did
    19% Britain tends to get the balance between the good and bad sides of our colonial history about right
    16% DK
    =-30% NET

    This is something quite fundamental in terms of national psyche which influences the way people on either side of the border see their country's place in the world, and why Scotland is more pro-European.
    Far fewer rose tinted glasses in Scotland about the empire because it was never really Scotland’s. It was England’s empire to which Scotland found itself attached without a great deal of choice. Such was the world of the time; if you weren’t big enough to have your own, you ended up as part of someone else’s.

    So considerably more mourning for the loss of the empire and a view that England doesn’t need Europe to be ‘great’. In Scotland, the view is more ‘empire is over, time to move on’.

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    1. There are political differences "fundilymundily" between Scotland and England. We should never forget Scotland's role in the shameful British empire. Scotland regaining its independence, however, will go some way in righting those historical wrongs. Britnats will continue to live and dream in denial.

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    2. Thanks for this – fascinating statistics. But I have to quibble with your statement that the empire ”was never really Scotland’s”. In one sense this is obviously true. Scotland was never more than a bit player in the imperial stakes. Its own imperial project foundered at Darien and it was always too small and marginal to have a decisive influence in running the British empire.

      More fundamentally, English imperialism has a history dating back a thousand years to its invasions of Ireland, Wales and (less successfully) Scotland. The so-called British empire was largely an expansion and rebranding of this ancient English dynamic – but not entirely. After 1707 many Scots bought enthusiastically into the opportunities offered by imperial trade, soldiering and administration. It’s at least arguable that, on a per capita basis, the Scots did better out of the British empire than the English.

      But, while buying into the material benefits of empire, many 18th-century Scots remained defiantly non-English and put a lot of effort into defining an alternative British identity. It’s arguable that this non-English conception of Britishness was crucial to keeping the empire going as long as it did. (It also helps to explain why current English conceptions of their own identity are so muddled.) This idea of Britishness allowed people in the colonies and dominions to develop complex multiple national identities and to fudge fundamental questions about their allegiance. In this specific sense the 1707 Union and its aftermath may have been essential to the construction of a ‘British’ empire.

      Delete
    3. Go for a walk around cities like Glasgow and see the grand buildings erected with profits from trading with the tobacco colonies in the West Indies, or reflect on the city's history as a centre for building ships which supplied the empire. While you're at it, look at the statues of imperial monarchs and generals erected all over George Square.

      I'm as anti-colonialist as anyone but attempting to wash Scotland's hands of responsibility for the Empire is a pathetic cop-out.

      Delete
    4. NB I do think you are on to something when you link the differing attitudes to empire north and south of the border with the present-day differing attitudes to Europe. It's instructive that the alternative offered by many Eurosceptics: an 'Anglosphere' trading block comprised of the w UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, is effectively a recreation of the old empire minus the dark-skinned parts

      Delete
    5. The Empire is ancient history and had good and bad things about it. The bad things are bad by today's morality. What constitutes a crime against humanity in 2016 simply meant 'keeping order' in 1816.

      Anyway, as pointed out by others here, Scotland was ball deep in it all. We chose to be. We were not forced.

      And it certainly shouldn't be a consideration when it comes to whether or not we break up the UK.

      Delete
    6. Two quick comments:

      1) "The Empire is ancient history". If you accept my point above that there are continuities (not total but partial) between English and British imperialism then it's not self-evident that imperialism is ancient history. Some of the UK's current activities, in Iraq and Libya as well as Ireland, Wales and Scotland, can be construed as imperialist. Imperialism is not a simple concept.

      2) "We were not forced". True, but neither was the 1707 Union a totally free choice. There were threats as well as inducements. You are invoking a false dichotomy here. In the real world many, perhaps most, actions are not black and white but involve messy shades of grey

      Delete
    7. "The Empire is ancient history"

      I must have imagined that Falklands war then.

      " The bad things are bad by today's morality."

      Not true. There were people who spoke out against slavery and against the mass murder, starvation and imprisonment of civilians in the 19th century. In fact some historians have argued that the general sense of horror at civilian deaths was greater in the 19th century than it was in the 20th century, the age of mass aerial bombardment, etc.

      What has changed of course is that fewer people now think that non-whites are less than human

      Delete
    8. "And it certainly shouldn't be a consideration when it comes to whether or not we break up the UK. "

      You could argue that debates over the empire are very current. Some of the attitudes that the british establishment has about their place in the world, and what needs to be done to maintain it (intervene militarily abroad, retain Trident, etc) probably stem from an imperial sense of self.

      Delete
    9. The Falklands war was to do with the right to self determination and, to a certain extent, fighting fascism (Argentina was a fascist-led country at that time). If the Falklands is our empire then it's a fairly piss poor empire!

      Britain dismantled its empire. It fought to abolish slavery. It fought fascism. Many of the "victims" of our empire fought alongside us and still do. We have a commonwealth of nations of the former empire. If it was a bloodthirsty, evil organisation, we wouldn't have that. India would not have retained our judicial system.

      Perhaps the things you quote as evidence of imperialism (Trident, military intervention) are simple self preservation / common sense. It makes sense to bomb ISIS. It makes sense to hang on to the nuclear deterrent given it has coincided with the most peaceful period in our history. This isn't imperialism. Imperialism would be plundering countries under threat of annihilation from our nukes. We aren't doing that. We're doing the opposite - the British foreign aid budget is the most generous in the world.

      Delete
    10. Scottish businessmen traded in slavery and goods created through slavery or obtained by threat of force. Scottish soldiers provided the muscle of the British empire. Apparently they took quite a bit of pleasure in the ultra violent - surprising their English comrades with their 'zeal' in establishing / expanding the empire.

      And here we are - hundreds of years later:

      The Scots: It was the English that made us do it!

      (A defence that would not be tolerated even in a school playground)

      We really are awfully immature as a people.

      Delete
    11. All of that would also apply to the people of Ireland. But nobody ever makes any case against them for their MUCH MUCH LONGER involvement in the ENGLISH Empire.

      Still Scotophobic Quislings must do what they do.

      Delete
    12. Being called a Quisling by a national socialist really does take the biscuit.......hopefully not tunnocks.....

      Look, the bottom line is this - you can't claim your country to be touchy feely and all kind / romantic / innocent - and dump on another country for their violent past - when your own country is pretty well steeped in blood itself. We've killed our own countrymen in civil wars, we've killed the English (and not always in a fair fight either) and we've killed people across the old empire. The Saltire is a butcher's apron. But so is almost every other flag on earth. We are no worse than anyone else - but we certainly can't claim to be any better.

      Delete
    13. "If the Falklands is our empire then it's a fairly piss poor empire!"

      You're quite right, it is, nowadays, a rather piss-poor empire, but the Falklands are still an imperial possession, and one which requires totally out-of-line spending on a navy and air force to sustain it.

      "Britain dismantled its empire. "

      Ummm, no, the empire dismantled itself due to the former colonies rising up and fighting very hard for their freedom against the imperialist regimes- which carried out torture, mass detention and mass murder in an attempt to preserve itself (eg in Kenya). So please do not try to sanitise that history.



      Delete
    14. See Tom Devine's Scotland's Empire.

      Scots were heavily involved in the enterprise of empire. As Devine points out there often wasn't much at home so we looked outwards. This history is still very much still with us. If I remember the figures correctly from the book about 40% of the employees of the East India Company were Scots (EIC is the global corporation Adam Smith savages on a number of accounts in Book IV of The Wealth of Nations, including their starving hundreds of thousands to death--now estimated to be 10 million--in order to produce opium). EIC is no longer with us but a spin-off, Jardine Matheson, is still very much around. The same is true of HSBC. Look at their logos. Jardine's uses a Thistle and HSBC a modified St. Andrew's Cross. Both got started dealing opium in China against the wishes of the Chinese. Jardine House in HK is known by the locals as The House of a Thousand Arseholes and I don't think they are simply referring to the odd window design. Both companies currently have around about U$ 60 billion in revenue a year.

      Delete
    15. The Falkland islands were uninhabited when settled by British settlers in the 19th century. The modern state of Argentina did not even exist. The people there voted by about 99% to remain British. So, no, it's not an imperial possession. The anti British left just like to characterise it as that.

      The end of the empire was largely peaceful. Would Ghandi's peaceful protests have worked against, say, the Nazis or the Stalinists or the Imperial Japanese? No. They would have been crushed. It only worked because the occupier in this case - the British - were actually fairly reasonable.

      By the early 1980s, all of our empire had been dismantled / democratised. Although some in Zimbabwe probably wish they could wind the clock back, saddled as they are with Mugabe and his crackpot followers.....

      No, I wont say it :0)

      Delete
    16. "The end of the empire was largely peaceful."

      You do not respond to my references to mass murder, mass detention and torture in eg Kenya - because you know they are true.

      I'm done here.

      Delete
    17. In Kenya we were facing the Mau Mau - a brutal organisation that tortured, raped, murdered and mutilated indiscriminately. Our response was firm.

      Quite what any of this has to do with notional Scottish independence in 2016 is anyone's guess. There seems to be a Britain BAAAAD element out there. By the same logic, France, the USA, Japan and Spain must also be BAAAD.

      And Germany must be completely beyond redemption. By nat logic, they should break up into the old pre German states due to crimes that happened before most Germans currently living were born.

      Aldo

      Delete
  20. I hate living in this one part state where we are all clones and no dissent or discussion is allowed!
    In this particular no dissent no discussion issue, I'm agree Scot Goes Pop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aye, totally nuts. Everyone just in a nat back slapping echo chamber :-)

      Delete
  21. Stop the hatred you numpties. Stop it now! All of you on whichever "side" you find yourselves. You are destroying the Yes movement, MY movement too. Just stop.

    ReplyDelete
  22. James your assertion that bella caledonia has a policy of promoting tactical voting is disingenuous and as far as I can see untrue and divisive. However if you can provide me me with proof other than the dreary regurgitation of emails and recent grudges with Mike Small I'll gladly apologise. I will. Sparks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So the RISE press release published on Bella, headlined "SNP 2nd votes wasted", wasn't enough for you? If not, I suspect nothing is going to convince you. Hey-ho.

      Delete
    2. RISE never fails to 'raise' a laugh. It's like a bunch of guys down the pub deciding to form their own party.

      Delete
    3. You'd do well to admit that voting green on list in Lothian, fife and weej isn't the same as voting for a 1% rise party...the former blocks half a dozen nawbags

      Delete
    4. Looking at the 2011 election results I saw that about 6 or 7% of the list vote went to myriad minorities who ended up not getting elected. Had they been voting for a single party, they would have sent at least a couple of MSPs to Holyrood.

      I wonder where those votes will go this time around and what effect - if any - it will have on the eventual outcome?

      Delete
  23. And so it begins...


    Mandela

    ReplyDelete
  24. Shame Harry Hill's TV programme is no longer with us.

    James and Mike: Who's best: FFFFIGHT!

    Handbags at dawn.

    Meanwhile, SNP x 2.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Internecine warfare among separatists? Cheers Santa!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You paid back that 57,000 pound yet fat Blair?

      Delete
    2. Get back in your box, loser bitch!

      This is fun!

      Delete
  26. In 2014 I had some experience of Mike Small's editorial professionalism. I sent him an unsolicited article, wondering if he might be interested. I had an acknowledgement then he never got back. It was time-sensitive, so I was a bit irritated. I contacted him over a week later and he didn't seem to know what I was talking about. He suggested I send it again. I did. Another prolonged period of silence. I think I sent it a third time asking him to acknowledge that he'd received the email

    I got a load of guff about him running the entire site single-handed at the same time as looking after two small children and so on. He messed me around a bit more, then finally got back and said he didn't want to publish the piece because Bella wasn't covering that subject any more.

    Well, fine, it was unsolicited, no reason not to reject it. It was the weeks of delay and the failure to respond and then the pathetic bleating about single-handed blogger up to his eyeballs washing dirty nappies that got on my wick.

    (Bella's loss was iScot's gain. They asked me for an article with quite a short deadline for their first issue, and I had a stinking cold and couldn't string two sentences together. Rejected article from six months earlier to the rescue!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As my relations with Bella seem to have totally broken down, I may as well say this : when Mike commissioned me to write an article before the general election, he told me I would be paid £90 for it. I never received a penny. I didn't particularly mind, because I would have been happy to do it for free, but even so.

      For all Mike's preening, Bella doesn't strike me as the most professional of operations.

      Delete
  27. I'm broadly "green left liberal", yet I find it impossible to see Rise as anything other than an, at best, pointless, vanity project.

    I disagree with many SNP policies, but they'll be getting both my votes, for the best chance of independence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, fluffnik. First things first: independence.

      SNP x 2

      Delete
    2. I see that separatism now has the explicit support of 44% of the population, according to the most recent poll. This is less than the 44.7% gained in the actual referendum.

      It seems support for indy is going backwards.

      Delete
    3. I think you may be including 'don't knows' in your first figure, but not in your second.

      Delete
    4. The undecideds are up for grabs for either side - and most of them would vote no.

      The hard yes support is 44%. Fewer people are committed to independence now than in the referendum. That's undeniable.

      Delete
    5. The hard no support is 44%. Fewer people are now committed to the so-called united kingdom than in the referendum. That's undeniable.

      Delete
    6. Fewer people are committed to independence now than in the referendum. That's undeniable.

      It's fairly deniable, you're using two different methodologies. 'Don't Know' means 'Don't Know', you can't just allocate them to whichever side of the equation gives you warm fuzzies.

      If they were 'No', they'd have said 'No'.

      If you want to compare Referendum percentages to polling percentages, you have to eliminate the DK's. That's not politics, it's just basic statistics. And I'm a 'No' myself.

      Delete
    7. 44.7% were explicitly yes in the referendum (they had no choice but to choose a side if they wanted to cast a vote).

      44% were yes in the recent poll.

      Therefore, explicit yes support has fallen.

      I'm not allocating don't knows to NO - just pointing out they are not YES.

      Realistically, I will concede that a referendum held now would likely be a NO win 54-46 (if we allocate two thirds of don't knows to NO). That would be an improvement on the referendum for YES but would not meet this site's expectation of a 50-50 dead heat.

      Delete
    8. Full Panelbase results were:

      NO 50%
      YES 44%
      DK 6%

      We just need one vote and we're over the line :0)

      Who said unionism was dead? This poll refutes the claim completely.

      Delete
    9. Oy vey. Not sure if you're trolling for reactions or if your grasp of Maths is really that bad, but either way I think you're not my problem.

      I'll leave you to the Nats on this one. Good luck!

      Delete
    10. Anon, I think you need to look up the meaning of the word "explicit".

      Delete
    11. You need to look up the words Truth, Facts, Maths and possibly also Treason and Firing Squad. If I had anything to do with it.

      Delete
    12. Strange that you have no problem with an entire country being run at the whim of one single dildo of a politician. Just shows how much you really hate Scotland.

      Delete
    13. Again, you're not making any sense. I voted to keep the nation together. You voted to break it up. How am I the traitor here?

      Firing squad? Lol - this from a left wing pussy who would wet himself if he caught sight of a firearm.

      Who's the dildo - Sturgeon?

      You're right in one thing though - I do hate Scotland. I hate what it has become. Governed by halfwits, bent on carrying out a supreme act of economic and cultural vandalism, regardless of the wishes of the majority.

      Hopefully England put 5 by that pathetic shower you call a football team.

      Delete
  28. Poor old Bella. It's a crying shame.

    SNP 1 & 2

    ReplyDelete
  29. There seems no doubt that Bella is supporting Rise and that's fine by me, but say so plainly and point out you'd rather only have supporters of your views and that's still OK,
    What you can't do is pretend to ride two horses at the one time by attempting to attract other views falsely

    It's an unpleasant wee spat that shouldn't be happening and I have to agree with James who has never said he's anything other than he is and I have found this site Informative, well written and even generous to others at times

    So I'm afraid Bella is wrong and I base that on the last couple of weeks of, let's just say misguided (rather than anything else) Scribblings

    ReplyDelete
  30. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 19, 2016 at 7:08 PM

    Have to laugh at the Nat si MP'S debating Donald Trump who they now hate but was their hero. A Nat si MP will earn over 300k in five years for talking shoite while Scotland has foodbanks. Such a nice diversion discussing what is happening in another country.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Jimmy and Anon : Comments deleted. Seriously, there needs to be some kind of vague content to comments, not just personal abuse (and that applies regardless of whether it's me or someone else being abused).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Can you let me know what Jimmy said that was so bad please James?

      Micky.

      Delete
    3. Also the comment above, which I appear to have deleted, just says "woof".

      Delete
    4. Jimmy, if you were under the impression that a homophobic comment was less likely to be deleted than your previous four efforts, you were very much mistaken. As for your one-word 'woof' comment : yes, it was you who deleted it. There's no ambiguity over that, because if I had deleted it the message would read "removed by an administrator", not "removed by the author".

      Delete
    5. Who are you who is so wise in da way of science?

      Delete
  32. JAMES>>Hey there JK - I think SNP / SNP is a good option but as I understand it the system stops you from getting too many seats in if you try to overload it with votes. Is this the correct interpretation? It like when mother has finished feeding you, she starts giving the rest of the spahgetti to your little brother who is thick and votes labour. You know what I am saying . Anyway, is there a way to bypass the voting system and just keep on making your votes count towards the SNP?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope. The greater the number of constituencies won by party X in a particular region, the smaller the number of PR seats allocated to party X. The PR seats exist as a 'top up'. If you've won all or most of the constituencies, you don't need them.

      If all SNP voters did vote Green on the regional list, it truly would be a landslide of epic proportions for the pro indy side. But then there really would be a democratic deficit - half the country having gained absolute hegemony over the other half by means of electoral trickery in a deeply flawed system not designed to cope with such a profound social divide. Westminster would intervene, change the voting system. I've always said, we need pure PR - not this bastardised system we have now.

      Realistically, a small number of people will vote tactically in the hope of something like the above situation playing out. But there wont be enough of them and all they'll succeed in achieving is handing seats to the unionist parties and perhaps making the SNP weaker or even reducing them to a minority.

      Vote for the party you support. Forget tactical voting. If you do that, you wont have any regrets later. Succeed or fail, you will have done what you felt was right. I was going to tactically vote Labour. But I honestly can't stand them. So it'll be tory x 2 for me.

      Delete
    2. It must be hard for someone with an anti-Scottish mentality.
      Be true to yourself and vote Tory - or tactically to damage the evil nats.. whilst holding nose to support higher taxes and Corbyn and the Malvinas and the IRA and the non trident subs.. Dilemma dilemma, tough one for the UK Seps!

      Delete
  33. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 19, 2016 at 8:10 PM

    James, there seems to have been a natural propensity for verbal abuse by Nat sis for a very long time. A sense of humour is devoid in them. I still think it is a hatred of the English. They seem to come from villages that have not been discovered just like in the Amazon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi JAMES.

      Any chance of deleting these NAZI slurs please?

      Delete
  34. I was looking at stages of grief after the referendum, and was wondering when we would hit depression and it's started.

    Initially we were in denial 'it's a fix' etc, then anger, we blamed the BBC, ASDA, Tunnocks but most of all we blamed Labour and got our revenge last May. The bargaining, we need another indyref it will be different this time..... Now we are depressed and squabbling and fragmenting, Next Acceptance I wonder what that will mean....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @denise

      I think a lot of Yes supporters and voters have accepted the referendum result. We started off with independence at around the 25-30 per cent mark in 2011-2012, and made up a lot of ground. But clearly there were too many voters in Scotland who were not convinced by what they were hearing from the Yes campaign. You cannot blame those who voted No for this.

      I think the issue here is much simpler. Some people on the Yes side have decided to get directly involved in politics. There is nothing wrong with this. However, the problem is that Bella Caledonia has been punting their tactical voting schtick for months now, and have been getting increasingly ratty with the valid arguments being made against it.

      Delete
    2. Your grief process has some ways to go yet Denise (interesting analogy by the way). A huge number of yessers expect and will demand indyref 2 in 2016-21. Realistically it isn't going to happen and as that truth becomes evident, then a major split may occur. It will be quite something to watch, especially for us unionists. Popcorn time!

      Delete
    3. There may be something in it. Certainly Labour still seem to be in the denial phase after the GE, with all their talk of "post-truth politics".

      Delete
  35. I come late to this argument, but would say that I'll be voting SNP x 2. Anything else will be used by the British establishment and media as a sign of faltering resolve in Scotland for independence. As for the question of Scottish involvement in the British Empire and the rewards from slavery, may I point out that for most working class Scots, the Union amounted to little better than slavery. We had 12 year old children hauling coal out of mines until the mid 1800s. No, no working class Scot need feel guilty about slavery. It only enriched the already rich.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glesga East End Wurkin ClassJanuary 20, 2016 at 12:27 AM

      You live in the 19th century when the Jocks were killing anything that moved not wearing a kilt. Scotland needs to be led and governed by the Bank of England.
      Those Joke MP'S in the Commons are a typical disgrace to Scotland. Taking the money and discussing Trump, Scotland forgotten, foodbanks nae mair Sturgeon and Salmond nae mair, perra wee bloated Tartan Tory shoites. Vote Labour Twice, och aye ra noo Jock ye know wher yer breid is buttered yer Giro is in ra post.

      Delete
    2. It's now literally impossible to distinguish the satirical posts from the real ones.

      Delete
  36. As I understand it, the list vote is not a second preference vote.

    It therefore makes no sense to split your vote.

    If Party X most meets your needs/desires, vote for their constituency candidate and for the party on the list. If a few of Party X policies don't meet your needs/desires, become a member and see if you can get them to come closer to what you want.

    Party Y may have a few lead policies that are closer to what you want, but if the rest of what they propose are much further further away, it makes no sense to vote for them at all.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I stopped reading BC months ago as the quality of the articles was just shocking and the site redesign made it practically unreadable.

    It kind of worked as a blog but when Small tried to take it up a level it turned into something on the level of a sixth form journalism project.

    It's an embarrassment to the indie movement and serves no real purpose - it's not like it's going to convert anyone. We need websites that will appeal to undecideds rather than just the faithful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 20, 2016 at 1:19 AM

      You need the truth and the Union is better than Merkel and the euro. Wake up Nat sis. You know it makes sense.

      Delete
    2. Glasgow Working Class.January 20, 2016 at 10:34 AM

      You know it makes sense to reject the little Englander mentality with its neo-liberal economics that are ruining the economy. Like the Titanic the rich have to taken to the lifeboat and the rest are in the water whilst the band play on.

      Delete
  38. The incompetence displayed by the recent PR antics of RISE and their vehicle Bella is staggering. What they hoped to achieve over the past weeks is anyone's guess. At best i imagine they have hardened their existing support by playing the victim and creating an us vs then mentality. When your existing support is nearly non existent however that is hardly wise.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I've been following all this slightly depressed but also with the view that these wee storms happen from time to time. I like Bella Caledonia very much. I'm surprised at the insight into Mike Small's editorial activities that the email exchange highlights - in light of the "Schh for Indy" and Loki stuff his insistence on changes to James' article are bizarre and revealing. Someone needs to have a word in his ear. I'm reminded of the demise of the once go-to site "Better Nation". Wanting folk to vote for a particular party is fine. Publishing an article on reasons for voting for a particular party is fine. If this appeal is an appeal for a List vote, why is publishing an article on the complications of List voting not fine? Bella is at the moment a bit diminished in my eyes. Maybe that's not such a bad thing. We'll get over it. There's too much good stuff on both Bella and Scot Goes Pop not to.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Glasgow East End Wurkin ClassJanuary 20, 2016 at 12:39 PM

    Considering the state of the oil industry it is just as well Scotland remained in the safety of the Union. Time to get out of the EU and save millions for our own people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 20, 2016 at 7:31 PM

      Osborne has miscalculated on the price of oil and now doesn't know where to turn as the deficit spirals out of control. Scotland could weather a drop in oil prices but the UK cannot afford that luxury.

      Delete
  41. Beth : I'm not sure where your comment has gone - it appeared in my inbox, so I came here to respond to it, but I can't find it anywhere on the thread. The crucial point you're overlooking is that this was not a completely unsolicited submission that Mike received as a bolt out of the blue. He responded to me on Twitter at the weekend with wounded indignation, claiming that Bella does not have an editorial line on this subject, and was simply presenting a range of views. So I challenged him - was he prepared to run an article putting the alternative point of view? His reply was cagy, but he encouraged me to make a submission. That was the context. He knew perfectly well that it defeated the whole point of the exercise if the article was modified to bring it more into line with his own views. That was why I reacted as I did when it quickly became clear he had been leading me up the garden path.

    ReplyDelete
  42. it is like an episode from coronation street, any news on the latest eu polls?

    ReplyDelete
  43. I must admit, I am a bit perplexed by this whole saga.
    I have been following both SCOT goes POP and Bella for a long time and value both enormously.
    I think that this kerfuffle could have been totally avoided if Mike had just published James' article in full at the start and let it be openly debated on Bella.
    All sides could then have had their say and the matter would not have raised temperatures, to the height it now has.
    We need both these Sites to be healthy and well used and it would be a great pity if they now become confrontational.
    However, I also believe that there is more than enough common-ground between them, that this will not be the case.

    The good news is that this whole debate about tactical voting, comes from a position of overwhelming strength on the Pro-Indy side.
    Without much doubt, there is going to be a substantial majority of Pro Indy MSPs in May, allied to a substantial majority Pro Indy Scottish vote.
    The Unionists are merely impotent spectators in all this - and will continue to be after May.

    Personally, I am still undecided on how to cast my second vote and will probably not make my mind up until much closer to the day itself.

    Both sides of that argument have merit, but I think the riskier option is to split my SNP vote.

    Still.......nothing worth achieving in this life, is without risk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow East End Wurkin ClassJanuary 20, 2016 at 7:11 PM

      If you are a socialist then you would not go near the Nat sis with a barge poll.

      Delete
    2. Around 400,000 Labour people did, during IndyRef - and most have stayed with us.

      Delete
    3. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 20, 2016 at 7:27 PM

      If you are a socialist then Labour would not be your home as that party controlled from London is in the pocket of the bankers in the City of London.

      Delete
    4. Where does that leave you, then?

      Delete
  44. Question: if James Kelly already has a successful blog called Scot Goes Pop, why did he want to publish on Bella? Why not just publish on his own site in response to the ShSh piece and be damned?

    Did Mike Small try to publish a reply to Ponsonby on Newsnet Scotland?
    No, he published a response on Bella.

    Toiling to understand why this is such a big deal. It all seems to have got way out of proportion...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Answer, Mike was insisting that Bella doesn't have an editorial stance and isn't pushing one particular line. "Just giving a platform to a range of views." So James suggested he would write a piece giving the contrary point of view to "Shhh for indy".

      Mike neatly demonstrated that he does have an editorial line and he is selectively pushing one point of view by demanding that James's piece meet conditions that most certainly were not met by the original "Shhh for indy" piece, and essentially wanting James to alter his article to conform with Mike's prejudices.

      Delete
    2. So this is all about outing Mike as a RISE supporter? When we all know he spoke at the first RISE conference? Shock, horror...

      This is like something from the primary school playground, and I find it odd James Kelly´s last THREE pieces have made reference to Mike Small...even publishing email exchanges, something I don´t agree with. A) It is a breach of confidentiality, and B) Neither James Kelly nor Mike Small are THAT INTERESTING...

      This all looks like petty blogger rivalry to me, and completely without any wider significance...

      ...can we get back to politics and move on from the personal?

      Delete
    3. Actually, four posts in a row have made reference to Mike Small. On the other hand, three of them were on the same day, and were about exactly the same issue as events unfolded. Still, four in a row, eh? "Obsession"...

      And you appear to have got mixed up, old chap. Mr Small published the email exchange, not me. I held back, because...er, I thought it would be a breach of confidentiality. But apart from that, what a truly fabulous point.

      Delete
    4. I overlooked the abusive comment from "Whodunnit" when it was posted in this part of the thread a couple of days ago. It's been deleted now.

      Delete

  45. I don't really write much on blogs or websites , because I do not believe I am all that skilled in expressing my thoughts in words . I have made an exception to the rule because I am a bit angry with all these RISE ,luvies and the self appointed intelligentsia of the Yes movement
    Firstly can we knock this stuff on the head that that RIC did great work in getting the working classes out to vote in the referendum . Anyone who was about their mass canvasses will testify that they were a total shambles , apart from making good photo shoots they did nothing in regard to gathering information in fact following the first few canvasses Yes Scotland could not input the data because it was useless



    Anywhere RIC did work Glasgow it was organised by ex or current SNP members. Any local profile they had is gone anyone who joined in the campaigning either joined the SNP or continued to do work in the ommunity work..
    Mike Small is typical of these left wing luvies , he wants influence wants to be heard and thinks he has a right too because he writes good blogs on the internet. Ask him to chap a door in Govan Possil Castlemilk and he would disappear like snow off a dyke on a warm hot summers day.They want all the glamour but do not want to do the hard graft

    Il be voting SNP 1&2 . I dont agree with every SNP policy but on the whole they have run our devolved Parliament in a competent and fair manner I want Independence and James makes a compelling argument for not taking a risk

    Anyway RISE dont deserve a vote, they launch a party have a press release get their pals to write good things about them in their blogs and hey bingo they think they have a right to a seat in Holyrood . Shower of chancers.

    The part of Glasgow I live in is now an SNP stronghold but it has taken years of work, 20 years in fact .20 years of chapping doors in rain sleet and snow . 20 years of talking to voters of their concerns or advocating on their behalf for better services from the Housing or Social Services , not as much fun as discussing politics with revolutionaries from Spain or Greece over a glass of fine red in a wine bar up the Byres Rd

    Come May RISE will get an absolute doing at the polls it will be a embarrassing around the level of the Christian Alliance or the Raving loonies.
    I would just ignore Bella James it is an insignificant blog read by pretentious posh twats

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    Replies
    1. I've never come across a Rise activist yet.I think they're best ignored.Lets just crack on with our own campaign.Theres a huge amount of work to be done.Hundreds of thousands of doors to chap and folk to talk to.We need to do this work not just for a victory in May,but to build up information for the next referendum.

      Delete
    2. "I would just ignore Bella James..."

      Good advice, I doubt he'll follow it though. If James had ignored them this argument would have never happened. Instead he went out of his way to write a piece here trashing Mike personally ('the increasingly disturbing attempts to pathologise non-tactical voting on the regional list') just because he disagrees with him. Following that article he had a spat with him on Twitter (accompanied by another article here). Then he sent the piece just to prove he wouldn't use it and immediately ran on here to claim Mike was the second coming of Stalin at the first sign of trouble.

      There's something a little bit silly and overblown about this whole feud thing, but there's no question James started it. The initial article he wrote on here was completely uncalled for and if someone had written a piece like that about you I doubt you'd be immediately rushing to accept his article on your website.

      I'll be voting SNP in both votes, but that's not the point. James has acted pretty appallingly here and not for the first time gone full aggressive lunatic on someone who frankly did very little to deserve it (beyond daring to have a different opinion).

      Delete
    3. Good afternoon, Gordon. I probably wouldn't have known it was you (yet again) if you hadn't called me an "aggressive lunatic". You gave it away at the end. Who exactly is it that has the personal problem here? I might have more respect for your little hate campaign if you weren't hiding behind a pseudonym (something I have never done).

      By the way, you're quite correct that I didn't just ignore what Mike was doing, and that I told people what was happening rather than keep quiet about it. Well spotted, sir. I'm sure nobody else would ever have noticed that if you hadn't been on hand to point it out.

      Delete
  46. Glasgow East End Wurkin ClassJanuary 20, 2016 at 8:21 PM

    So David Francis you are not a socialist! And if the 400,000 were socialists then Scotland would not have voted for capitalist Nat sis and food banks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, what were/are the 400,000 Labour defectors?

      I thought you said you were a Labour supporter - or was that someone else?

      I get mixed up with all your usernames.

      Delete
    2. Glasgow East End Wurkin ClassJanuary 20, 2016 at 9:58 PM

      I am not a socialist but support Labour regardless.

      Delete
    3. Glasgow sooth side Wurkin ClassJanuary 20, 2016 at 11:54 PM

      David, It is just you and your Nat si pals playing silly buggers.

      Delete
  47. Fred Dibnah fae Scotland knocking doon the Nat sis.January 21, 2016 at 1:06 AM

    Angus Robertson Nat si MP asks the PM question's about Yemen while the Nat si Shia MP leans on him with affection.
    Meanwhile in Scotland we have foodbanks and workers in the oil industry are losing jobs and homes.
    Nat si scumbags. I wish the Scottish masses had the time from work to listen to these shysters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could always write to your MP to complain. They're elected to represent all their constituents. Alternatively, stay on here and be a figure of fun.

      Delete
    2. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 21, 2016 at 8:26 PM

      Fun! That is your domain. We Unionists won and laugh at you Nat sis moreso your winging and hard done tae stories. You will be in your grave old chap and there will be the Union. Not like me to rub it in but I will make an exception for you. Idiot.

      Delete
    3. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 21, 2016 at 8:31 PM

      Also Anon, listening to the performance of the Nat si MP's in the Commons I would only write to them to offer advise. They are a shambles and only collectjng their taxpayers money under false pretense. CAMERON is wiping the floor with the idiots.

      Delete
    4. Knock yourself out GWC.

      Turning up for debates, clapping, calling Cameron to account?

      Never seen the like have we GWC?

      Delete
  48. Just out of curiosity, I tried to comment on the Bella Caledonia thead, on their web site. Apparently that is not possible, perhaps they have had enough?

    Or they know me by now, or my technical skills are just a bit shit?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I've managed to keep away from that thread for a couple of days, but it looks as if he's closed it. Reading through it now, one thing that's quite irritating is the illogical order in which the comments platform presents 'replies to replies'. It's very difficult to follow the chronology of the discussion unless you keep a very close eye on the time-stamps. There's one bit towards the end where it looks like I make two comments back-to-back, but in fact the second one was posted a day earlier than the first!

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