Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Welcome to the wacky world of Mark Smith (twinned with Planet Daisley)

If you're starting to feel like you've taken out a subscription to the Daily Telegraph by mistake, it may be because you've been reading a few too many Herald columns from Mark Smith, who seems to have emerged from nowhere to fill the gap left by an earlier wave of militant Nat-bashers such as David Torrance.  I asked around last night to see if anyone knows who he is, but nobody seems to have the faintest idea - apart from a scurillous rumour that he might have been cloned from Mr Torrance's beard-clippings.  Judging from his profile photo he's a relatively young guy, which makes sense, because the person his writing most reminds me of is not Mr Torrance - it's Stephen Daisley.  You get the same sense of a youthful writer who incongruously yearns to be viewed as a worldly-wise sage, and who has enough flair for prose to think it's worth bluffing it.  But a bluff is most certainly what it is.  He's made a series of distinctly odd pronouncements in recent months, including some that are downright daft and offensive.

A few weeks ago he indignantly informed us that Nicola Sturgeon had made a terrible mistake by urging people to wear face coverings.  His reason for worrying (and I'm not making this up) is that he thought she would probably succeed in persuading people to wear face coverings, which he just knew would be harmful because he, Mark Smith, world-renowned armchair expert on respiratory infections and behavioural psychology, couldn't see the point of a scarf over the mouth and thought it would probably give people a false sense of security.  He also fatuously added that: "As a result of the First Minster’s pronouncement, more people are going to start wearing masks. At best, it will be a waste of time; at worst, it could increase the spread of the virus."

Hmmm.  Alternatively, Mark, the best-case scenario is that the scientific advice heeded by the First Minister is right and that face coverings will slow the spread of infection.  I've heard of journalistic conceit, but it really takes the biscuit for a columnist to completely exclude the possibility, even as a best-case scenario, that his own hunches are wrong and that the expert science is right.

Then there was Smith's reaction to the controversy over remarks on BBC evening news programmes by his namesake Sarah Smith - 

"She is expressing an opinion. And perhaps, when she hears the opinion, the First Minister could try to be a little less touchy."

You see, Mark, personal opinions are things that newspaper columnists like yourself are allowed to express.  Not so much BBC correspondents when they're speaking to millions of viewers live on air.  Sarah Smith's role is to report facts and offer politically impartial analysis.  Characterising what she said as an "opinion" means, whether you realise it or not, that you're saying the criticisms of Ms Smith were extremely well-founded.  As for the First Minister being "touchy", I'd suggest most reasonable people would conclude that her riposte was remarkably restrained given that the "opinion" was illegitimately expressed and impugned her own integrity.  She also magnanimously declared the matter closed after a grudging apology that was only made on social media, where it received a fraction of the audience of the original remark.

But it's not just Nicola Sturgeon that Mr Smith feels the need to periodically admonish (in sorrow more than in anger, you understand).  Earlier in the crisis, he had this rebuke for the "nationalist" hordes - 

"A message for nationalists: do not make the virus about Scotland v England - it demeans you."

Quite so.  By contrast, British nationalists who make the virus about "one United Kingdom moving forward together" are doubtless elevating themselves to a higher plane of existence.

Which brings me neatly onto Smith's already notorious new column that outrageously claims "nationalists" and lefties are "in love with lockdown".  He moronically portrays left-wingers as authoritarians who revel in strong-man leadership (you can tell he's just dying to trot out the stock Fox News line of "remember Hitler was a National Socialist, folks!"), and right-wingers as lovers of liberty.  As I've noted before, this is a faux libertarianism - or rather it's libertarianism for pathogens rather than people.  There's no 'personal freedom' in pointlessly ending up in an intensive care unit.  

There's a trademark Smith moment of unintended comedy midway through the column when he notes that right-wingers who flout the lockdown are putting themselves at risk, and claims that this proves that they cannot possibly be motivated by selfishness.  Yes, of course, Mark, they're nobly sacrificing themselves for the good of the economy.  Alternatively, it might just be that as 'rugged individualists' they have no sense of social responsibility whatsoever (there's "no such thing as society", after all), and don't much care who they infect as long as they're convinced - perhaps wrongly - that their own personal risk is reasonably low.

Curiously, Smith once again lambasts Cybernats for playing up differences between Scotland and England which he says don't really exist.  That would have been a much better line three months ago, because the divergence between the two nations is now demonstrably enormous.  England is opening up schools and non-essential shops, Scotland isn't.  England allows unlimited travel, Scotland is urging people to stay within five miles of home.  England has relaxed the shielding of vulnerable people, Scotland has not.

Smith thinks it was absurd that "nationalists" criticised Boris Johnson in early May for the first steps towards easing lockdown, when Scotland took similar steps only a "little later".  Seriously?  Three weeks is a "little"?  In a pandemic, three weeks is an eternity.

56 comments:

  1. Sounds like he just another propagandist for the Tories Covid 19 Death Squads.

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    1. Joined by the Scottish Nat zi granda and granny care home killers.

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassJune 3, 2020 at 9:42 AM

      GWC's friends murdered 6 million Jews during WW2 plus countless others.

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  2. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 2, 2020 at 10:50 PM

    One of many journalists who have signed the Ragmans roll.

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  3. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 2, 2020 at 11:21 PM

    40 minutes - that's how long it took MPs in Westminster to vote once today using the Rees-Mog conga method.

    UK - what a laughing stock.

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    1. They get paid plenty to Q.

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    2. 40 minutes? They could have used a free zoom account meeting..,
      Absolute eejits

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  4. It's mad how its always the SNP that gets (wrongly) accused of bringing politics into handling the pandemic, when that's what Westminster tories are doing all the time.

    An example -
    Matt Hancock: 'tomorrow we will launch NHS Test & Trace for England... and administrations in Wales and Scotland will launch theres in due course'
    Reality: Scottish Government announced their Test & Protect system the day before and was launching at exactly the same time as England

    Other things like Boris Johnson saying things off the cuff like, 'Scotland's struggling with carehomes', when the challenge in carehomes is exactly the same in England but as far as I know they've responded worse (not enough is made about the bank of staff the Scottish Government has put in place for carehomes to draw from to cover staff sickness.

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    1. The SNP are not accusing anyone it is their mad fringe nat si nutters that are accusing the English and Boris of murder. The reality is we and every other country were caught on the hop because China covered up for weeks and the WHO failed in their role.

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    2. Even if that were true about China/WHO (it ain't), the Tories literally watched what was happening in Italy and did NOTHING

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    3. Germany weren't caught on the hop.

      UK wasn't caught on the hop either, it went for herd immunity and then backtracked as reality struck home on what the resulting seath toll was likely to be.

      62,000 excess deaths so far despite locking down on 23rd March, left to run rampant there would have been mass graves needed.

      Boris and the rest of his crew could have reacted as fast as Germeny did. They failed to do that and are responsible for the majority of these excess deaths.

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    4. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 3, 2020 at 8:30 AM

      GWC like all Britnat turds just pumps out blatant lies. Do not give his stinking crap comments any credibility by replying.

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    5. There was a striking article on Bella a while back written by a Scot in Berlin. Germany response at national gov. Level seems to have been as slow and wrong as the UK initially - their fast lockdown was led by their very local government organisations starting with some village schools and accelerating so the central government had to play catch-up.

      Think they were able to follow peoples instincts rather than lead them - initially. They have done trace and track properly though once they got going.

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  5. "Having the MP for Milton Keynes in the Scotland Office show democracy is alive and well"... coming soon to a Mark Smith's next column

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    1. An impressive illustration of how hopeless Team Ruth is at Westminster. Out if the 6, they had Alister Jack in post already. Douglas Rosss resigned in a failed attempt to hold his seat at the next election. Mundell has already been booted out. That left Bowie, Duguid and Lamont as the only Scottish Tories left. Surely their talents and loyalty would be recognised at last by an admiring London?

      They were.

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  6. Like our unionist politicians, our unionist journalists are motivated by what London can provide, and ultimately want to be there. The politicians know that they can get access to people of influence and wind up with riches, and also honours which the population of Scotland would never accord them, while the journalists hope for more lucrative employment and flattering attention as commentators on, in their view, a bigger stage. Neither group has a serious interest in Scotland's prosperity or self-respect as a nation.

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    1. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 3, 2020 at 8:36 AM

      Absolutely 100% correct comment by anonymous at 11.47pm.
      It is part of Scotlands history and present times - people selling out their country to England to enrich themselves.

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    2. Better selling us out to the EU. We give them loadsamoney and we gratefully accept a small rebate. No accountability no audit. But we do get their surplus labour to work on our farms while the jock unemployed lay scratching their jaw mass.

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  7. I always thought "Mark Smith" was an unimaginative nom de plume of Sarah Smith.

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  8. GWC greetin because he might no get his care home blood money dividend from the Cayman Islands or some other Tory tax dodge.

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    1. I prefer Arran and I would not opt for a Scottish Care Home. You would have had a better chance jumping of a truck heading for Belsen. Shame on the SNP murder incorporated. Kill a granny and spare a bed.

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    2. Why not swan off to your beloved England, then, Goon Without Comprehension? You'll surely get a fine open welcome there, where the risk of catching the virus is very much higher and the care home death toll is deliberately downplayed, all to save the blushes of your precious rightwing (no-)leadership.

      But let me guess, you prefer to stay safer here and continue tosponge off the very communal benefits you relentlessly condemn, you pathetic foul-minded little hypocrite.

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    3. Unlike yourself I am Scottish and born in Scotland. Saves you guessing paddy.

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    4. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 3, 2020 at 11:32 AM

      GWC you are a Britnat turd by choice.

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  9. If Nicola Sturgeon cured Cancer all by herself the headlines would scream *Sturgeon puts doctors on the dole*
    If she managed to create an equal society the headlines would shout
    *Sturgeon introduces communism to Scotland*

    But mainly it's about her hair, or her shoes, or her jackets, or

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    1. Plus the drop in business to the undertakers.

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  10. The most prominent flouter of the advice to wear a mask is Nicola Sturgeon, in a public gathering like the parliament, or in front of a cameraman.

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    1. Please LISTEN to her advice when to wear a mask.

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    2. You clearly don't know what the mask advice is anon.

      This would make you a covid risk as you don't pay attention to important guidance.

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  11. Boris announces that 3 million Hong Kongers can come to the UK. Maybe 1/4 million to Scotland. That will scupper Nat si plans for their little parochial state.

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    1. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 3, 2020 at 11:35 AM

      GWC the resident Britnat turd that stinks out the place with his crap comments.

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    2. I'm sure the Brexit Brit-Scots that voted for less foreigners 'coming here taking our jobs and looking funny' will be over the moon at this news.

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    3. They voted to leave the corrupt mafia EU. You Nat zis love corrupt regimes. Hardly a word said about the Chinese dictatorship from you lot.

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    4. Theyr are 850,ooo poeple in Hong Kong and thy dont want it. Over 3 millon want it but 850,000 dont want it so guess what happens. They have too take it even thought theyres more of them as dont want it than do want it. Its so un fare on them as dont want it even thogh theyres more of them

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    5. Why didn't the British let people in Hong Kong vote?

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    6. You could'nt train them lot to vote.

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  12. The private care home business in Scotland slavered at the mouth when the Scottish government requested permission to transfer delayed discharge elderly to care homes because the care home *business* charged the Scottish taxpayer private rates for doing it for each and every person transferred, some at a cost of over £1000 per week

    The guidelines for patient care were made clear to all home providers of protection and infection control but the care home *business* only saw the opportunity of an immediate flow of vast revenue stream so they rubbed their hands took the money then did f*ck all to protect the health of the people they were entrusted with
    Covid 19 can't kill anyone if they don't come into contact with it
    so how did these people contract the virus? Improper infection control

    How have elderly people died in their own homes? Improper infection control by the carers

    If nobody comes anywhere near you you can't catch it

    Private care home providers and the people who work in them were soley to blame, not doctors, not politicians, not even rotten Boris Johnson

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    1. The Jocko Nat zis could have nationalised the homes without compensation. But why would right wing Tartan Tories fo that.
      Their EU bum chums would not allow them.

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    2. Hmm..

      GWC

      It says a lot when 'anonymous' beats you into a pulp. Which they have. I call 'bullshit' as your only means of communication.

      Your 77th approach is pretty uninspiring.

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  13. For those who are exercised about COVID deaths in Scotland--though not in England, apparently--here's something to think about.
    The UK has had 50K+ COVID deaths in a 65M population. Ireland, the independent country right next to it, has had 1658 deaths in a 5M population. That's *42%* of the UK rate.
    Looks like the best way to improve the situation in Scotland is independence, don't you think?

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    1. Or move to Ireland an howk spuds.

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    2. The English stole their spuds remember

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    3. Who would steal rotten spuds when you have parsnips.

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    4. GWC sees any misfortune of others as something that glorifies England. Or sometimes his sexual proclivities, or spuds into parsnips. The chap is all over the place.

      It is sad to watch.

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    5. You have a sad imagination but you are a Nat zi and that is consistent.

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  14. Uh-oh.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-52911605

    Dominic Cummings's Durham cottage plans investigated

    A council is investigating complaints that the property Dominic Cummings used during his lockdown trip did not have the correct planning permission.

    The PM's adviser stayed with his family in what he said was a "cottage" on his parents' farm in Durham, in April.

    The only planning applications listed on the council's website for the farm are for a roof over a swimming pool in 2001, and the removal of various trees.

    Durham County Council and a local MP have received a number of complaints.

    Downing Street has declined to comment.


    Is Cummings not the one that said the key to winning elections was giving votes what they want? Well, polls show voters want him out, so...

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    1. Looks like the dirt diggers are relentless. He should have brought his tent and pitched it illegally. His parents are criminals now.

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  15. It would be an excellent joke if the hero of the right were to fall on this.

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  16. Marky Smith is a Yoon and wrong 99% of the time. He war correct about Dr Who though. Destroying a positive male role model for the sake of feminazi ideology.

    He's also mostly correct about the kind of politicians who put a population under house arrest for their own good.The fact is that evil Right wingers and individualists value all lives. Socialists put the needs of the many ahead of the needs of the few. That's the whole point. You as an individual don't matter as long as Society prospers. Destroying the entire economy and blighting the prospects of anyone not currently a Millionaire is not what most people would expect from a government which claims to care about everybody, but that's where we are.

    And all to protect people who are not at any serious risk from the puny Covid19.

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    1. If that wee virus that you cannae see touch or smell gets you and you are on your last breath and the nurse gives you a morphine jab, remember to shout, vote fur ra Yoon yun.

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  17. The Herald jumped the shark quite a while ago. I haven't read the paper or even so much as visited their web site in an age so have never encountered this chap and likely never will.

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  18. Theodora TheodorakisJune 4, 2020 at 8:10 AM

    Does jump the shark mean the same as shoot the breeze? And what about split the wind?

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    1. It means "bite the bullet". You ignorant scotch sheep shagger.

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  19. Do not give this parody of an op-ed "journalist" any credence by devoting time to his nonsense. He is not as young as the photo seems to imply, because it is more than a decade that I gave up on buying the Herald and he had been writing for a fair period even then.

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  20. I stopped the Scotsman in the late 80s and moved on to the Herald till the 00s. Must admit I don't remember him. I preferred the Scotsman till it decided to shed readers in the 90s. Haven't seen either for well over a decade.

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