Saturday, February 6, 2021

Scot Goes Popcast with special guest Dr Yvonne Ridley

There was an overwhelmingly positive reaction on Twitter a few weeks ago when I asked if I should consider starting a 'Scot Goes Popcast', so I thought I'd give it a go as a one-off, and then make up my mind about whether to do some more.  For the 'pilot episode', I was delighted to be joined by Dr Yvonne Ridley, who was once voted "the most recognisable woman in the Islamic world".  

She talks about her experience as a captive of the Taliban in 2001, and as the Respect Party's candidate in the landmark 2012 Rotherham by-election.  She shares her memories of campaigning for Yes in the 2014 independence referendum, and as a long-standing SNP member offers some forthright views on the sacking of Joanna Cherry.  I also asked her about anti-Semitism in the Labour party, her stint as an animal handler on the TV series Outlander, and her new sci-fi/time travelling/Scottish historical novel The Caledonians.   

Devotees of the Scot Goes Pop channel on YouTube may not be totally dumbfounded to hear that I ran into some technical problems.  Well, what can I say, I'm not the BBC.  I used Cleanfeed for the recording, which worked great when I was on Paul Kavanagh's Wee Ginger Dugcast last year, but it wasn't quite so straightforward this time for some reason.  I think the main lesson I've learnt is that for any future podcasts I'll have to use a laptop, because the background "vacuum cleaner" noise that's audible throughout is simply the whirring of the desktop.  Anyway, you can hear what we're both saying, so that's the main thing!

If you have any problem with the embedded player below, you can also listen via the direct link HERE.  I'll also try to upload it to YouTube (and maybe to one or two other places as well) later on.


  1. Fantastic result today, big shouts all round, lets hope the lads have the steel to face down 90,000 English eyes and do it again 2 years hence.

    And Skier you've always known what dugging is, don't be shy fella!

    1. And no offence mean't to any of the above, I just don't understand it too well. A great day for Scotland I think regardless.

    2. What you do in your spare time is up to you as far as I'm concerned dugger.

  2. The idea that Yvonne Ridley is the most recognisable figure in the Islamic world is one of the most hilarious bloggings I have read for a while. Comedy gold. Congrats - that was hilarious.

    1. Woman, not figure.

      The, not uncommon, usage of niqabs and burkas might have an influence on this, no?

    2. As clearly stated, it wasn't an 'idea', it was the result of a vote.

      "She has been called 'something close to a celebrity in the Islamic world' by the journalist Rachel Cooke, and in 2008 was voted the 'most recognisable woman in the Islamic world' by Islam Online."

  3. This would explain the lack of traffic jams at Channel ports.

    'Brexit: Anger at Michael Gove as exports to EU slashed by 68%'

  4. I know that there were some concerns about the time between the two jabs a few threads back, go to see that the WHO has looked at the data /studies and changed its opinion.

    UK's Decision To Delay Second Covid Vaccine Dose 'Vindicated', Says WHO Envoy
    The UK’s decision to delay giving a second vaccine dose has so far been ”vindicated”, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) special envoy on Covid-19 has said.

    David Nabarro said the vaccine rollout in the UK had been a “great lesson for the rest off the world”.

    Certainly what’s happening with this virus is we are leaning all the time,” he told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme. “Thank you British scientists.”

    “Isn’t it wonderful it has turned out, as a result of the UK’s bravery frankly, that this extended interval seems to be associated with even greater protection.”

    He added: “Yes I think the UK’s approach, so far, has been vindicated.”

    1. I'm not sure this was a 'uk' decision? I thought vaccine deployment strategies are devolved.

    2. Yes the final decisions of vaccine strategies were signed off by the individual Governments. That's why I argued against the statement that it was somehow the UK Government forcing Scotland into the strategy it was using a few posts back.

      If you have an issue with the use of the UK in this interview you should probably contact the WHO press department.

    3. I was just asking a question. It's as I thought; the UK can't be credited for this aspect of covid strategy, but individual national governments within it can be.

    4. I saw that interview and it is not quite like Adam portrays above.

      " This extended interval SEEMS to be associated with greater protection."

      " UK bravery" - implies a risk was taken. Was it right to take such a gamble even if it turns out ok. I still say no it wasn't.

    5. As I said before its risk / reward. Vaccine trials usually last multiple years to get more data and long term data. These vaccines have been devolved and gone market in under a year. If you don't want risks then you should be petitioning the Scot Gov to stop vaccinations until there is more data.

    6. Yes, that's how I understood it. Experts had to decide what was more risky; giving more people a single dose vs less a double dose. Both carried risk, so modelling etc would be done to try and assess which has less risk. I think the use of the word 'brave' is not correct, and I hope it wasn't nationalistic, as science should never be influenced by such things.

    7. Adam , I never said I wanted to eliminate all risks - just no need to take unnecessary risks going against the manufacturers advice. In fact the people getting the vaccine first are those most at risk of death or serious illness so the case is strong that they should get a second dose as per the manufacturers instructions.

    8. I very much the WHO or its representatives are nationalistic - quite the opposite actually.

      I think the word 'brave' is more referring to being politically. After all other Governments / head of states were publically Critising the Scot Gov in regards to it vaccine policy

  5. When the UK PM calls ethnic minorities in the UK 'vermin who don't have the right to vote for 40 years', this is only to be expected. Look at the hatred Trump stirred up in the USA with such language. The 'British Trump' ((c)POTUS) is doing the same thing.

    Brexit triggers spike in anti-Scottish sentiment in England, study finds

    BREXIT has triggered a rise in anti-Scottish sentiment in England, according to academics who have uncovered a “surprising” number of experiences of hostility south of the Border.
    The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) researchers say evidence suggests there has been a “shift in atmosphere” south of the Border towards those perceived as “foreigners” after the 2016 vote.
    Some Scots living in England have reported an increase in incidents such as “sneering contempt” and “abuse about Jocks”.

    Boris Johnson's adviser on ethnic minorities retracts resignation letter

    Number 10’s adviser on ethnic minorities considered resigning over fears the Conservative Party was pursuing a “politics steeped in division”.

    Samuel Kasumu reportedly retracted his resignation letter – in which he said tensions in government were at times “unbearable” – on Thursday after talks with vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi.

  6. The benefits of running your own country rather than having your racist neighbours do it for you. Badly.

    Republic beats Northern Ireland for life expectancy and households are £3,300 better off

    Life expectancy is also now 1.4 years longer in the south.

  7. Interesting talk James. Thanks. Hope there are more.

  8. When Ed Milliband says he's proud of the Union flag, we should point out it shows the domination of one country by another.
    Hiding the saltire beneath the English cross of St. George was a capitulation too far in 1707 and was agreed by the Scottish Tories of the day.
    They sold our future for their own greed and personal gain.
    No other world flag humiliates one of its national components in this way.
    Now our oppressors want to impose this flag on our car number plates at a time when Scots by a majority want it abolished. Time to move on.

    1. The union flag probably the second most hated flag in the world after the Swastica.

    2. No matter what your sentiments are, the union jack is a successful worldwide marketing device, and hating it isn't going to change that, or people's liking for Man U. football tops in Vietnam.

      To contrast, the saltire is the flag of Tenerife and the Russian navy (etc). I heard it is used to promote Alabama.

      If you really are bothered about it,you don't have to have car number plates with anything other than numbers. Take it from me - you can drive all across continental Europe, and live there, with a car with no national identification. I think it may be theoretically illegal, but no-one cares.

      Nowadays there is so much stuff unnecessarily branded 'Scottish' that the name gets associated with impending failure. On the international level, take RBS and BoS as examples. On the local level - my area's telephone exchange box.

    3. Domination of 25% of the world by another.

      It's incredible that people like Ed Milliband cannot see how grossly offensive the union flag is to so many people, including legal citizens of the UK, including those 'born and bred here' i.e. have not even sought out that citizenship.

      I am an Irish national and Scottish/British citizen; legally both. To shove the butcher's apron in my face is disgusting. Was he proud when, in thanks for fighting in the trenches, the brits turned their guns on my Irish family because the former didn't like the result of a democratic election?

      So much for an inclusive Britain; the union flag to many UK people is like confederate flag or KKK flag to many in the USA.

    4. "No matter what your sentiments are, the union jack is a successful worldwide marketing device"

      I think this is genuinely in your mind. I've travelled the world with work, have friends, family and colleagues from across the globe, and this just isn't the case in my experience. Nationalistic brits are the only ones to put the union flag up, including British terrorists groups in Northern Ireland.

      Jeez, most people in the second country of the union don't want to be British never mind folks in e.g. Ireland, India or Kenya...

      Hell, even Gibraltar now lets Europeans in without checks but demands brits show a passport.

      It's like the 'mother of all parliaments' crap. Nobody says this apart from English/British people.

    5. They actually have large scale e.g. Scottish and Irish celebrations in quite a few other countries, but I don't think any other countries do 'British' celebrations.

      Unless you include celebrating independence from Britain; that's super common globally. Everyone can't wait to get the bunting out for that.

    6. There are about 150 million people in Pakistan would be very happy to become part of the UK. There are very few people who would like the UK to become part of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan (complete with plenty atom bombs).

      You are a totalitarian arse, with all the vision that comes with it, who lives in one of the richest places on the globe.

      I think your mind is so clouded that you believe that in the event of independence a whole shedload of young Scots will emigrate to the various Baltic republics to get jobs. After all, you think independence really went well for Lithuania (it didn't - it was a nightmare far worse than the previous nightmare - that's why they are in the UK).