Saturday, June 12, 2021
Thursday, June 10, 2021
All systems go: PLEASE SIGN the parliamentary petition calling for powers over broadcasting to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
No, polls do not show "consistent" support for self-ID - indeed the weight of evidence is that there is overwhelming opposition to the principle of self-ID
A step forward.— Alba Loun (@LounAlba) June 9, 2021
It gives me the chance to ask whether @JamesKelly would be able and willing to critique this selection of public opinion. (I see that it features our old friends SavantaComRes.)https://t.co/3qaiON6m9P
I'm not sure there's much to say about that - if I was an unwitting member of the public and was asked that question, I would say "yes", and I wouldn't mean by that answer what Stephen Paton wants me to mean. Most people are unaware of the kitchen sink definition of transphobia.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 9, 2021
The article linked above has plenty more polling data that backs up my point. pic.twitter.com/2YLAn3dnL9— Stephen Paton ☀️ (@stephenpaton134) June 9, 2021
Oh I see, it's not actually a poll, it's just a selective pick-and-mix of individual results that suit you from a variety of different polls. Anyone can play that game - there are plenty enough results out there that could be woven to tell the opposite story.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 9, 2021
It's been pretty consistent over the past few years that polling data (and for that matter, public consultations) has returned results showing that the majority of women are supportive of trans rights, across polling companies.— Stephen Paton ☀️ (@stephenpaton134) June 9, 2021
Well, that's only true if you have a more realistic definition of "trans rights" than I suspect you actually do. On the more kitchen sink definition, there's no consistency, and as you know there have been polls showing overwhelming majorities in the opposite direction.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 9, 2021
By 'trans rights', I mean exactly that. Support for self-id. Support for access to single-sex spaces, etc. Supported by the majority. Repeatedly.— Stephen Paton ☀️ (@stephenpaton134) June 9, 2021
Well, on that basis your statement is untrue. There's no consistency in polls on that subject.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 9, 2021
The data would disagree with you on that front.— Stephen Paton ☀️ (@stephenpaton134) June 9, 2021
Note: Stephen gives preferred pronouns of they/them, so out of basic courtesy (not because of diktat from the thought police) I'm going to do my best to use those, although I do feel the need to explain what I'm doing, because it would otherwise look like a very odd use of vocabulary. I'm also inclined to wonder aloud whether there's an issue with blocking people on Twitter and still expecting them to use the pronouns you have listed on your Twitter profile.
Sigh. I don't begrudge people using the block function because I do it myself, but I defy anyone to read the above thread and say that I was being offensive. I was robust but not rude, and simply stated verifiable facts. Stephen Paton has blocked me as a result.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 9, 2021
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and one of Scotland's leading pro-independence bloggers, was today denied leave to appeal over his conviction for...well, for blogging, and his eight month jail sentence. The ostensible reason he will be sent to prison is the harm allegedly caused by threatening the anonymity of the complainers in the Alex Salmond trial. I've even seen it being argued on Twitter that it's entirely appropriate to treat Craig as the equivalent of a violent offender and to put his life at risk (he has significant health problems) because the harm caused to the women in question was on a par with a violent offence.
The most obvious response to that point is that it hasn't actually been established that any harm whatsoever has been caused to the women - no-one has credibly demonstrated that identification occurred as a result of anything Craig wrote. But some would go further and ask why the law is taking such punitive steps to protect the women at all, given that the jury in the Salmond trial didn't - or so the theory goes - believe their claims. The reality, of course, is that the jury weren't faced with a binary choice between "the defendant committed the crimes" and "the women are perjurers". They were simply asked to decide whether the charges had been proved beyond reasonable doubt, which means that the acquittal verdicts can cover a spectrum of meanings, of which the possibility that the complainers lied is only one. It's therefore not a contradiction to say that Alex Salmond is innocent in the eyes of the law and also that his accusers are not perjurers in the eyes of the law - which by extension suggests that it's not necessarily wrong for the latter to continue to enjoy some protection.
But to me the real question here is why that protection is so one-sided. As Alex Salmond is innocent, why isn't the law extending him some protection, given that it's beyond all reasonable dispute that media reporting of the trial caused infinitely more harm to his own reputation than it did to the reputation of his accusers? That's precisely the problem that Craig Murray's coverage of the trial was intended to address. It's been pointed out by a number of people that if it hadn't been for Craig's reporting of the defence evidence, they would have been none the wiser as to why Mr Salmond was actually acquitted. The coverage would have consisted of blanket reporting of the prosecution evidence, followed by a seemingly inexplicable not guilty verdict, thus creating the bogus impression that "he got off on a technicality" or whatever. Indeed, that's exactly the impression that anyone who didn't read Craig's blog was left with.
As we have a post-trial legal process that is (theoretically) giving redress to the complainers, why isn't similar redress available to Mr Salmond? Why shouldn't the media be held accountable for one-sided reporting that caused immense reputational harm? And shouldn't we look at whether it's appropriate for the complainers to have been able to continue to use the cover of anonymity to try to get Mr Salmond found guilty in the court of public opinion after he had already been found not guilty in the real court? Legal protection must surely carry responsibilities as well as rights, and shouldn't be abused with impunity.
As Craig Murray's blog was the corner of the media that came closest to redressing the disgraceful imbalance in this episode, he should really be receiving an award for outstanding journalism, rather than facing jail time.
Parfum d'obsession, the new fragrance by Abla— Mark McGeoghegan ⬋⬋⬋ (@markmcgeoghegan) June 3, 2021
At what point do we worry about failures of self-awareness? This is, after all, a chap who is so obsessed with Alba that he's been 'hilariously' substituting the party's correct name with 'Abla' each and every time he's mentioned them over the last two months - which is quite a lot. Real people, of course, not only don't find that remotely amusing, they don't even know why they're supposed to be laughing.
When your relentless attack lines are only understood by an in-group who are in on an in-joke, that's a pretty strong indication that you're on the inside of the bubble looking out, not the other way around.
Sunday, June 6, 2021
Now Johnny he's a nationalist, but Johnny he's no fool, says all our problems will be solved when England gets Home Rule
Friday, June 4, 2021
Drama as it emerges that Gordon Brown's post-election propaganda poll showed a majority for independence - and found that voters don't think they should have to wait "a generation" to get a choice on their own future
I noticed earlier that the Stack Data poll from shortly after the Holyrood election, which showed the independence question tied at 50-50, still hadn't been added to the Wikipedia list of polls. So I've just put that right. The poll was a wide-ranging propaganda survey commissioned by Gordon Brown's anti-independence organisation Our Scottish Future, and the detailed datasets make for fascinating reading. As you'd expect, the questions were framed in a way that maximised the chances of getting the desired results, but there were a number that backfired. Most importantly, there was a question that asked respondents to rate their support or opposition to independence on a scale of 0 to 10, and the results were startlingly different to the standard question...
Take 3: The parliamentary petition on transferring all powers over broadcasting to the Scottish Parliament! (Updated)
UPDATE: Thanks to your help, the petition has received enough signatures to be checked for publication, and no more signatures can be accepted while that is happening, so I've removed the links below. I'll let you know what happens.
So, as you'll probably remember, I made a second attempt a few days ago at starting a petition on the UK Parliament website calling for all necessary steps to be taken to bring about a Scottish entry at the Eurovision Song Contest. I completely changed the wording to address the stated reasons for the rejection of the first one, and I identified specific steps that could be taken that are fully within the Westminster parliament's powers. I suggested on this blog that a second rejection would leave little room for doubt that the people in charge of the petitions process weren't acting in good faith - and that's exactly what has happened. Ludicrously, the wording of the rejection email this time was identical to the first one, even though the reasons in it quite plainly didn't apply to the new petition.
What seems to be going on is that they have a stock rejection wording for any petition with "Eurovision" in the title, and are just sending that out regardless of what the petition actually calls for. That being the case, there's clearly no point in trying to adjust the petition any further, and it's time for a completely new tack. I'm now attempting to start a petition calling for the wholesale transfer of broadcasting powers to the Scottish Parliament, and I've merely mentioned a Scottish Eurovision entry in passing as one of several possible benefits.
On paper, this petition meets all the conditions for publication, so it should be accepted, but in practice there are no guarantees - I had a look through a number of rejected petitions relating to devolution, and the reasons for rejection were often entirely bogus (ie. "this is a matter for the people of Scotland and Wales", when in reality Westminster retains the absolute power to unilaterally change the devolution settlements without consent, and indeed has repeatedly used that power). But all we can do is try. Once again, five signatures will be needed for the petition to be checked (and thank you for your patience in this matter!).
By the way, I know some people will object to this petition on the basis that we shouldn't be trying to 'make devolution work', we should instead be trying to get independence and that way we'll automatically get broadcasting powers. But the whole point of the exercise is to demonstrate that devolution isn't working and can't work, because no UK government will ever respect the wishes of the people on what powers should be devolved. If by any chance the petition is published and reaches 10,000 signatures, the government would be required to respond to it.
Petition title: Devolve legislative powers over broadcasting to the Scottish Parliament
What is being called for: Scotland's devolution settlement should be strengthened by removing broadcasting from the long list of policy areas that are reserved to Westminster. The elected Scottish Parliament should be given the power to restructure the TV and radio landscape in line with the wishes of the people of Scotland.
More details: Westminster's retention of essentially all powers over Scottish broadcasting is inconsistent with the claim that the Scottish Parliament is "the most powerful devolved parliament in the world". The long-overdue transfer of these powers to the Scottish Parliament would enable BBC Scotland and the Scottish ITV franchises to be reformed to meet the needs of Scottish audiences in terms of drama, news, comedy, a Scottish entry at the Eurovision Song Contest, and coverage of Scottish sporting teams.
Thursday, June 3, 2021
It's true that his own lawyer called him a sex pest and described his behaviour as inappropriate. I also think you're a disgusting individual for defending his behaviour, James. pic.twitter.com/pCUS8rfUHC— Jack Deeth (@JackDeeth) June 3, 2021
Lucky you. James does make me angry, for excusing the behaviour of a sex pest, for insisting we welcome creeps and centre their feelings, for the audacity to suggest it's a blunder to do otherwise.— Jack Deeth (@JackDeeth) June 3, 2021
I think we should welcome you, Jack, and the irony is I think we genuinely have.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 3, 2021
Who the fuck do you think you are to extend a welcome to me?— Jack Deeth (@JackDeeth) June 3, 2021
Ah, how the mask has slipped.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 3, 2021
I was warmly welcomed into the SNP, and into the places I've lived and worked and spent my time since I moved to Scotland.— Jack Deeth (@JackDeeth) June 3, 2021
I reject absolutely the welcome of random sex pest apologists.
Didn't you threaten to leave the SNP once? Didn't you suggest it was "transphobic" or some such nonsense? Come to think of it, you *actually left*, didn't you? Apologies if I'm misremembering this, but I don't think I am.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 3, 2021
The party lost my trust last year so I left. The party made sufficient changes to restore my trust so I rejoined. I'm quite motivated to see decent local councillors selected and elected next year.— Jack Deeth (@JackDeeth) June 3, 2021
Was your name read out at the NEC and were you banned for two years?— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 3, 2021
You'll need to find someone else to leak NEC proceedings to you, sorry— Jack Deeth (@JackDeeth) June 3, 2021
I'll take that as a no.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 3, 2021
It was. But then 99% of the transphobes left to form Alba.— Jon Smith (@S_U_A_R) June 3, 2021
Alba must be bloody enormous, then, if you're suggesting those people previously dominated the SNP.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 3, 2021
So this is, as far as I can see, a legitimate observation - Jack publicly resigned from the SNP in precisely the same way that the defectors to Alba did, and yet he's been readmitted well within the two year period that he should have been automatically banned for. It seems that different rules apply (or different interpretations of the rules) if your stated reason for resigning was that the SNP weren't taking a sufficiently extreme stance on identity politics.
I must confess I had no idea before this exchange that Jack harboured such bitter hatred towards me on a personal level. I've met him twice in real life at 'separatist dinners' and he seemed very pleasant and friendly. As a result we followed each other on Twitter for a number of years, although he quietly unfollowed me (in fairness he didn't block me) after the 2019 general election. I'm 70-80% sure the reason he did that was a single tweet I posted listing my personal five favourite results from the election, which amounted to aggravated thoughtcrime because Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath was one of them. It wasn't top of the list, I hasten to add - East Dunbartonshire was, but it seems that simply celebrating a pro-independence win is deemed a form of "bigotry" these days. If memory serves me right, Jack had said he would like to campaign for Labour in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, and he also gave a pretty strong indication that he wanted Joanna Cherry to lose her seat - which was even more outrageous, given that Ms Cherry, unlike Neale Hanvey, wasn't suspended from the party, and her only credible challenger was the Tory candidate.
I've belatedly put Jack out of his misery and blocked him, along with a few of his ultra-zealot tag-team chums.