Has the Herald’s Iain MacWhirter peaked?

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By G.A.Ponsonby
 
Respected by Unionists and Nationalists alike, Iain MacWhirter’s views on Scottish politics are read and devoured by those of us looking for informative and reasoned analysis on the Scottish body politic.
 
Assaulted by the David Maddox’s and Magnus Gardham’s of the print media and irritated by the Severin Carrell’s and Alan Cochrane’s, MacWhirter offered blessed relief – an oasis of relative objectivity in a journalistic desert.

Alas, it looks as though Mr MacWhirter has finally succumbed to the scourge of the Scottish media – the lurgy has taken him – and we mourn.

Like all falling stars MacWhirter’s downfall was quite spectacular, a hissy fit whilst taking part in a Radio debate with Euan Crawford alerted followers that all was not well.  This was confirmed with his article yesterday – local election polling day – which contained variations of the same clichés that followed the SNP’s first election win in 2007.

“Has the SNP peaked?” was the rhetorical question posed by Iain in an article that was a throwback to those days when newspapers spent their days waiting for the SNP’s mythical honeymoon to end.

In a kind of comedic coincidence, the Scotsman’s Tom Peterkin also asked “Will local elections results be end of SNP’s honeymoon?”, both were joined this morning by BBC Scotland’s Raymond Buchanan asking the same clichéd question.  The BBC man’s claim on Call Kaye that the Scottish local election results may lack legitimacy due to low turnout might be a clue as to which party has ‘won’.

However, if the sub-headline to Iain’s article was bad, then what followed was even worse as MacWhirter employed smear, wishful thinking and a sizeable dollop of eye-popping invention.

Try this sentence for size:

“How do Edinburghers express their fury at the trams fiasco when all the main parties are implicated one way or another, with the exception of the Tories perhaps?”

The trams were opposed both locally and nationally by one party – and it wasn’t the Tories.

The last council vote on the mater saw Labour supported by the Tory party in a proposal that was crazier than the original plan.  So insane was the amendment put forward by the Labour group that the person who proposed it was in shock when they left the chamber.

That the media, and BBC Scotland, desperately tried to blame the SNP (who had abstained) was evidence of nothing more than the state of the Scottish media.

There’s more in the article – take this for instance:

“All governments lose political momentum eventually: the media gets bored, scandals start chipping away at the leader’s credibility, voters start to blame the government for economic misfortune.  And by rights this should be happening to the SNP.”

The media gets bored with what Iain?  The Scottish media have desperately tried to create the impression of a scandal and inept ridden SNP Government since 2007. 

Edinburgh trams, Trump development, Megrahi release, Lunchgate, Souter knighthood, tea with Lottery winners and of course Murdoch meetings … and back to Trump again.  These are only a few of the shabby contrived ‘scandals’ devoid of evidence and, where investigated, resulted in a ‘not guilty’ verdict.

As far as “economic misfortune” is concerned, perhaps MacWhirter’s article was penned weeks before the latest economic figures were released that showed Scotland outperforming the UK, which has now been plunged into a second recession.

The SNP has been calling for more capital investment for months – the UK is in recession because of the Tory/Lib Dem government’s refusal to inject cash into this area.

Iain has a further pop at the SNP, claiming that somehow they have lost their way and a pre-referendum inertia has taken hold.

“The 2007 SNP administration had moral purpose coming out of its ears – condemning the war in Iraq, opposing nuclear weapons in the Clyde, tackling climate change and introducing the toughest CO2 emissions targets in the world.  Latterly it defined itself through opposing university tuition fees, promoting growth in favour of austerity and legislating for minimum pricing on alcohol.”

MacWhirter’s point is here is that this term, the SNP have lost the radical edge and aren’t really doing much.  The areas he chooses in order to back his claim though are spurious to say the least.

Iraq, nuclear weapons and the austerity measures are all reserved to Westminster and as far as I know the SNP stance on each has been vocal throughout and hasn’t changed.

Climate change and CO2 emissions?  Has Iain been on a remote island?  If there is one area the SNP has been pushing to the absolute max it is green renewable energy. 

The abolition of University tuition fees has been similarly profiled in tandem with Curriculum for Excellence.  And as for minimum pricing for alcohol, well that and anti-sectarianism legislation have both been pushed through in the face of fierce opposition from the Labour party.

Mr MacWhirter’s next observation is unfortunate, given the comments from Bank of England chief Mervyn King who revealed the eight month dithering of Gordon Brown’s Government when faced with the emerging banking crisis in 2008.

“It was that sense of purpose and conviction that allowed the SNP to sail through the 2008-10 financial crisis largely unscathed, even though Alex Salmond had been far too close to individuals such as Fred Goodwin and had been allowing his speeches to sound like press releases from RBS. Labour has never understood why it got a lot of the blame for the financial collapse and yet gained none of the credit for the banking rescue which was organised by a Labour Chancellor, Alistair Darling.  Why hasn’t Mr Salmond been tainted forever as the bankers’ little helper?”

Labour got the blame because Labour were in power, they alone controlled regulation.  Brown deregulated to such a degree that the USA were forced to do the same in order to prevent a migration of financial institutions across the pond.

The result was an anarchic free-for-all that saw a collapse in world banking and the demise of first Northern Rock then Bank of Scotland – Bradford and Bingley and RBS also succumbed.  US institutions also fell as the Ponzi scheme collapsed.

We now learn that one million job losses and a recession could have been avoided had Gordon Brown acted eight months earlier.  Maybe that’s why Alex Salmond hasn’t been tainted – it wasn’t his fault.

Iain then rushes to embrace the smears that have dominated much of the Scottish political narrative this past week:

“Alex Salmond, say Labour, is over-enamoured of rich men.  Look at the way he volunteered to lobby for Rupert Murdoch on his bid to take over BSkyB? … Look how he is refusing any inquiry into phone hacking in Scotland, and insisting it should be left to Leveson in London.

Labour is on the right lines here.”

So, smearing political opponents using baseless accusations backed up by conjecture and innuendo is “on the right lines”? 

Is this the same Iain MacWhirter who once wrote an article entitled ‘Stop the election smears, Brown deserves a fair chance’, where he proclaimed he didn’t believe stories suggesting Gordon Brown had a bad temper and had manhandled party aides and shouted at other workers?

Alex Salmond had five meetings with Rupert Murdoch.  He has claimed they were about jobs and investment, no doubt quite a bit if small talk ensued also, and – given Murdoch’s media background – it wouldn’t be surprising if the state of the newspaper industry in Scotland wasn’t discussed, another sector where jobs are in jeopardy here in Scotland.

In early March this year, on his blog, Mr MacWhirter wrote:

“Of course the First Minister insists Murdoch was just there to talk about jobs over ‘tea and Tunnocks caramel wafers’ as one of Scotland’s leading employers.  But if he thinks Scottish voters will believe that then he is out to lunch.  Salmond also says that he made his views clear about Leveson and newspaper ethics. 

But this came rather hollow from a politician who had just leaked the date of the Scottish independence referendum – 18th October – to give the super soaraway Sunday Sun a front page splash for its first edition.  Is that really the kind of behaviour we expect from our First Minister?  That he sells his referendum for a sycophantic tweet from Rupert Murdoch?”

More smears regarding the date of the referendum as claimed by the Sunday Sun.  There is nothing hollow about Salmond’s views on Leveson and newspaper ethics.  The SNP, alone in Scotland, has been hammering home the lack of action taken by Labour after the Operation Motorman report was compiled detailing widespread illegality across the newspaper sector.

MacWhirter, in common with almost every other journalist in Scotland, is guilty of suppressing Labour’s hypocrisy over illegal practices in the newspaper industry.  We are also still waiting for condemnation of Ed Miliband who attended an exclusive garden party hosted by Murdoch and who promised the Sun exclusive access to Labour’s new policy initiatives shortly after he became leader.

If Iain MacWhirter doesn’t want to accept Alex Salmond’s word that there was no secret deal agreed with Rupert Murdoch and that meetings focused on jobs then that’s his prerogative.  However a smear is a smear, whether levelled at Salmond or Brown.

The only way the First Minister can put a stop to wild smearing is to invite TV cameras into every meeting at Bute House.  Of course MacWhirter would be the first to accuse Salmond of gimmickry and of pandering to his own ego.

MacWhirter is one of a handful of commentators one could always be certain would employ reason and a degree of objectivity in his commentaries.

There’s no shortage of journalists prepared to manufacture attacks on Alex Salmond, we don’t need Iain MacWhirter to join this unseemly pack.

54 COMMENTS

  1. Iain MacWhirter has been on the slide for quite some time. His views have become more and more extreme, irrational, and poorly thought out. It’s three or four years ago that he said of Scotland’s population, it is ”appallingly white”, as if it’s our fault that we don’t have more black people living here. MacWhirter is on the way down and it’s really beginning to show.

  2. Iain MacWhirter has been on the slide for quite some time. His views have become more and more extreme, irrational, and poorly thought out. It’s three or four years ago that he said of Scotland’s population, it is ”appallingly white”, as if it’s our fault that we don’t have more black people living here. MacWhirter is on the way down and it’s really beginning to show.

  3. Always remember, none of this makes Scotland unviable as an independent nation.

    The referendum will be a different ball-game!

  4. Always remember, none of this makes Scotland unviable as an independent nation.

    The referendum will be a different ball-game!

  5. [i]”Labour has never understood why it got a lot of the blame for the financial collapse and yet gained none of the credit for the banking rescue which was organised by a Labour Chancellor, Alistair Darling. Why hasn’t Mr Salmond been tainted forever as the bankers’ little helper?”[/i]

    Has McWhirter really lost the plot?
    If Labour don’t understand why they were blamed, then they have too. A fireman does not get credit for damping down a fire if it was his negligence that allowed it to start in the first place.

  6. [i]”Labour has never understood why it got a lot of the blame for the financial collapse and yet gained none of the credit for the banking rescue which was organised by a Labour Chancellor, Alistair Darling. Why hasn’t Mr Salmond been tainted forever as the bankers’ little helper?”[/i]

    Has McWhirter really lost the plot?
    If Labour don’t understand why they were blamed, then they have too. A fireman does not get credit for damping down a fire if it was his negligence that allowed it to start in the first place.

  7. MacWhirter’s performance on Newsnight last night was in its own way as blustering and incoherent as his performance on Radio Scotland last week.

    Doubtless he cannot abide Murdoch, but his uncharacteristic hysteria, which surely irreperably damages his credibility, is a product at least as much of a fear that the debate is lost (regradless of what happens in the elections today). Expect the masks of other ‘impartial’ commentators to slip shortly too.

    That’s if there were any other impartial commentators to begin with..

  8. MacWhirter’s performance on Newsnight last night was in its own way as blustering and incoherent as his performance on Radio Scotland last week.

    Doubtless he cannot abide Murdoch, but his uncharacteristic hysteria, which surely irreperably damages his credibility, is a product at least as much of a fear that the debate is lost (regradless of what happens in the elections today). Expect the masks of other ‘impartial’ commentators to slip shortly too.

    That’s if there were any other impartial commentators to begin with..

  9. I have lost all respect for Iain MacWhirter; I’m sure he will not lose any sleep over that fact, but he will have to pay attention when people stop reading his (blatantly biased) articles, when sales of his employer go through the floor and when many more people add their voice in protest at the increasingly hysterical meanderings of someone who used to be able to call himself a journalist.

    Journalists report the news – they do not make it!

    • Unfortunately Scotland is unique. As well as being too wee, too small, too poor, we also live in a country where journalists do make the news.

    • Unfortunately Scotland is unique. As well as being too wee, too small, too poor, we also live in a country where journalists do make the news.

  10. I have lost all respect for Iain MacWhirter; I’m sure he will not lose any sleep over that fact, but he will have to pay attention when people stop reading his (blatantly biased) articles, when sales of his employer go through the floor and when many more people add their voice in protest at the increasingly hysterical meanderings of someone who used to be able to call himself a journalist.

    Journalists report the news – they do not make it!

  11. This is the f****n’ idiot who faithfully defended Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – until it was impossible to continue without making a complete ccc…lot of himself. And, along with Gerry Hassan, thought the way forward for “the left” was to vote LibDem at the last General Election! MacWhirter, Hassan and Roy have absolutely no credibility left as “impartial” commentators as – no matter how hard they try – they ALWAYS end up defending Labour. The SNP, on the other hand, are ALWAYS required to have an unblemished record on any subject – no matter the circumstances!
    So, where was Mr. Roy’s social conscience when Labour appointed ATOS and dreamt up the changes to disability benefits – now, so ruthlessly applied by Ian Duncan Smith? Does Mr “I’m not voting on principle” Roy want social-security benefits devolved to Scotland – as does the SNP Government? He, probably doesn’t know either but- he, can still decry the SNP for having any association with this French IT organisation through the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
    And, sadly, any doubt that MacWhirter has lost the plot was confirmed on Newsnight Scotland when he compared Alex Salmond with – TONY BLAIR! Even Gordon “but, but, but” Brewer was visibly shocked. Anyhoo, I hope Iain enjoys his dotage with his increasingly disreputable “newspaper” the Herald – or, perhaps, he could help Mr Roy to defend the indefensible “Urban Voltaire”?

  12. This is the f****n’ idiot who faithfully defended Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – until it was impossible to continue without making a complete ccc…lot of himself. And, along with Gerry Hassan, thought the way forward for “the left” was to vote LibDem at the last General Election! MacWhirter, Hassan and Roy have absolutely no credibility left as “impartial” commentators as – no matter how hard they try – they ALWAYS end up defending Labour. The SNP, on the other hand, are ALWAYS required to have an unblemished record on any subject – no matter the circumstances!
    So, where was Mr. Roy’s social conscience when Labour appointed ATOS and dreamt up the changes to disability benefits – now, so ruthlessly applied by Ian Duncan Smith? Does Mr “I’m not voting on principle” Roy want social-security benefits devolved to Scotland – as does the SNP Government? He, probably doesn’t know either but- he, can still decry the SNP for having any association with this French IT organisation through the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
    And, sadly, any doubt that MacWhirter has lost the plot was confirmed on Newsnight Scotland when he compared Alex Salmond with – TONY BLAIR! Even Gordon “but, but, but” Brewer was visibly shocked. Anyhoo, I hope Iain enjoys his dotage with his increasingly disreputable “newspaper” the Herald – or, perhaps, he could help Mr Roy to defend the indefensible “Urban Voltaire”?

  13. Ha! I had a feeling you wouldn’t show my posting about MacWhirter. You got the shakers when I told you about his statement about Scotland being ”appallingly white”.
    Too non-P.C. for you I suppose.

  14. Ha! I had a feeling you wouldn’t show my posting about MacWhirter. You got the shakers when I told you about his statement about Scotland being ”appallingly white”.
    Too non-P.C. for you I suppose.

  15. I’m really unsure as to what is going on with Iain – it all seems quite unusual.

    This article could easily have been called;

    ‘What’s eating Iain McWhirter?’

    Come on Mr.McWhirter, get back to being a bit more objective.

  16. I’m really unsure as to what is going on with Iain – it all seems quite unusual.

    This article could easily have been called;

    ‘What’s eating Iain McWhirter?’

    Come on Mr.McWhirter, get back to being a bit more objective.

  17. MacWirter, he has lost the plot along with his credibility!
    Many people including me, thought he was a fairly logical and fair(ish) guy.

    Taken aback by his recent bile.
    I guess he will be viewed very differently now and it is deserved.

  18. MacWirter, he has lost the plot along with his credibility!
    Many people including me, thought he was a fairly logical and fair(ish) guy.

    Taken aback by his recent bile.
    I guess he will be viewed very differently now and it is deserved.

  19. This is the f****n’ idiot who faithfully defended Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – until it was impossible to continue without making a complete ccc…lot of one’s self. And, along with Gerry Hassan, thought the way forward for “the left” was to vote LibDem at the last General Election! MacWhirter, Hassan and Roy have absolutely no credibility left as “impartial” commentators as – no matter how hard they try – they ALWAYS end up defending Labour. The SNP, on the other hand, are ALWAYS required to have an unblemished record on any subject – no matter the circumstances!
    So, where was Mr. Roy’s social conscience when Labour appointed ATOS and dreamt up the changes to disability benefits – now, so ruthlessly applied by Ian Duncan Smith? Does Mr “I’m not voting on principle” Roy want social-security benefits devolved to Scotland – as does the SNP Government? He, probably doesn’t know either – but he can still decry the SNP for having any association with this French IT organisation!
    And, sadly, any doubt that MacWhirter has lost the plot was confirmed on Newsnight Scotland when he compared Alex Salmond with – TONY BLAIR! Even Gordon “but, but, but” Brewer was visibly shocked. Anyhoo, I hope Iain enjoys his dotage with his increasingly dis-reputable “newspaper” the Herald – or, perhaps, he could help Mr Roy to defend the indefensible “Urban Voltaire”?

  20. This is the f****n’ idiot who faithfully defended Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – until it was impossible to continue without making a complete ccc…lot of one’s self. And, along with Gerry Hassan, thought the way forward for “the left” was to vote LibDem at the last General Election! MacWhirter, Hassan and Roy have absolutely no credibility left as “impartial” commentators as – no matter how hard they try – they ALWAYS end up defending Labour. The SNP, on the other hand, are ALWAYS required to have an unblemished record on any subject – no matter the circumstances!
    So, where was Mr. Roy’s social conscience when Labour appointed ATOS and dreamt up the changes to disability benefits – now, so ruthlessly applied by Ian Duncan Smith? Does Mr “I’m not voting on principle” Roy want social-security benefits devolved to Scotland – as does the SNP Government? He, probably doesn’t know either – but he can still decry the SNP for having any association with this French IT organisation!
    And, sadly, any doubt that MacWhirter has lost the plot was confirmed on Newsnight Scotland when he compared Alex Salmond with – TONY BLAIR! Even Gordon “but, but, but” Brewer was visibly shocked. Anyhoo, I hope Iain enjoys his dotage with his increasingly dis-reputable “newspaper” the Herald – or, perhaps, he could help Mr Roy to defend the indefensible “Urban Voltaire”?

  21. Just another one to appear at the truth and reconciliation committee hearings.

    No more to say than that.

  22. Just another one to appear at the truth and reconciliation committee hearings.

    No more to say than that.

  23. [quote]Respected by Unionists and Nationalists alike, Iain MacWhirter’s views on Scottish politics are read and devoured by those of us looking for informative and reasoned analysis on the Scottish body politic.[/quote]
    That statement actually leaves me doubting your critical faculties.

    I lost all respect for McWhirter as a commentator who could bring any insight into the politics of Scotland way back in the days of Jack McConnell and the free for all of the old Herald comments section.

    I’ve always been puzzled by those who think that Iain is any friend of the SNP or that his analysis is any better than their own insight into the world of poltics. As far as I’m concerned Iain McWhirter hasn’t changed one whit and his latest latching onto the Murdoch scandal is par for the course.

  24. [quote]Respected by Unionists and Nationalists alike, Iain MacWhirter’s views on Scottish politics are read and devoured by those of us looking for informative and reasoned analysis on the Scottish body politic.[/quote]
    That statement actually leaves me doubting your critical faculties.

    I lost all respect for McWhirter as a commentator who could bring any insight into the politics of Scotland way back in the days of Jack McConnell and the free for all of the old Herald comments section.

    I’ve always been puzzled by those who think that Iain is any friend of the SNP or that his analysis is any better than their own insight into the world of poltics. As far as I’m concerned Iain McWhirter hasn’t changed one whit and his latest latching onto the Murdoch scandal is par for the course.

  25. Quote Robert Louis “[i]I’m really unsure as to what is going on with Iain – it all seems quite unusual.

    ‘What’s eating Iain McWhirter?'”
    [/i]
    ………………………………….

    Quote Leswil “[i]MacWirter, he has lost the plot along with his credibility!

    Taken aback by his recent bile[/i]”
    ………………………………

    After the first SNP Holyrood win in 2007 Iain wrote articles that would appeal to Nationalists “Oil An Idea Whose Time Has Come” was one. Then as we approached the Westminister election the articles drifted to being pro-union one article provided a plan to get Labour re- elected.

    Since the Holyrood election last May Iain has been very balanced in his articles. Then in the last week oor Iain gets stuck right into Euan Crawford on GMS. then he turns out a load of Bilge in The Herald, printed on the very day of the Council elections. He had became a leading light in the Unionist atack on the SNP.

    So when the SNP wins his articles are aimed at keeping Nats quite and reading his paper. Then in the run up to elections when his writing might influence voters he attacks the SNP.

    It’s staring you in the face.

    Iain is a Unionist asset.

  26. Quote Robert Louis “[i]I’m really unsure as to what is going on with Iain – it all seems quite unusual.

    ‘What’s eating Iain McWhirter?'”
    [/i]
    ………………………………….

    Quote Leswil “[i]MacWirter, he has lost the plot along with his credibility!

    Taken aback by his recent bile[/i]”
    ………………………………

    After the first SNP Holyrood win in 2007 Iain wrote articles that would appeal to Nationalists “Oil An Idea Whose Time Has Come” was one. Then as we approached the Westminister election the articles drifted to being pro-union one article provided a plan to get Labour re- elected.

    Since the Holyrood election last May Iain has been very balanced in his articles. Then in the last week oor Iain gets stuck right into Euan Crawford on GMS. then he turns out a load of Bilge in The Herald, printed on the very day of the Council elections. He had became a leading light in the Unionist atack on the SNP.

    So when the SNP wins his articles are aimed at keeping Nats quite and reading his paper. Then in the run up to elections when his writing might influence voters he attacks the SNP.

    It’s staring you in the face.

    Iain is a Unionist asset.

  27. This is the f****n’ idiot who faithfully defended Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – until it was impossible to continue without making a complete ccc…lot of himself. And, along with Gerry Hassan, thought the way forward for “the left” was to vote LibDem at the last General Election! MacWhirter, Hassan and Roy have absolutely no credibility left as “impartial” commentators as – no matter how hard they try – they ALWAYS end up defending Labour. The SNP, on the other hand, are ALWAYS required to have an unblemished record on any subject – no matter the circumstances!
    So, where was Mr. Roy’s social conscience when Labour appointed ATOS and dreamt up the changes to disability benefits – now, so ruthlessly applied by Ian Duncan Smith? Does Mr “I’m not voting on principle” Roy want social-security benefits devolved to Scotland – as does the SNP Government? He, probably doesn’t know either – but he can still decry the SNP for having any association with this French IT organisation!
    And, sadly, any doubt that MacWhirter has lost the plot was confirmed on Newsnight Scotland when he compared Alex Salmond with – TONY BLAIR! Even Gordon “but, but, but” Brewer was visibly shocked. Anyhoo, I hope Iain enjoys his dotage with his increasingly dis-reputable “newspaper” the Herald – or, perhaps, he could help Mr Roy to defend the indefensible “Urban Voltaire”?

  28. This is the f****n’ idiot who faithfully defended Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – until it was impossible to continue without making a complete ccc…lot of himself. And, along with Gerry Hassan, thought the way forward for “the left” was to vote LibDem at the last General Election! MacWhirter, Hassan and Roy have absolutely no credibility left as “impartial” commentators as – no matter how hard they try – they ALWAYS end up defending Labour. The SNP, on the other hand, are ALWAYS required to have an unblemished record on any subject – no matter the circumstances!
    So, where was Mr. Roy’s social conscience when Labour appointed ATOS and dreamt up the changes to disability benefits – now, so ruthlessly applied by Ian Duncan Smith? Does Mr “I’m not voting on principle” Roy want social-security benefits devolved to Scotland – as does the SNP Government? He, probably doesn’t know either – but he can still decry the SNP for having any association with this French IT organisation!
    And, sadly, any doubt that MacWhirter has lost the plot was confirmed on Newsnight Scotland when he compared Alex Salmond with – TONY BLAIR! Even Gordon “but, but, but” Brewer was visibly shocked. Anyhoo, I hope Iain enjoys his dotage with his increasingly dis-reputable “newspaper” the Herald – or, perhaps, he could help Mr Roy to defend the indefensible “Urban Voltaire”?

  29. I’ve always quite enjoyed Iain’s articles, but I’ve noticed for years that he’s often plumb wrong when events actually play out. This happens so often that when he predicts good results for the SNP, I worry.

  30. I’ve always quite enjoyed Iain’s articles, but I’ve noticed for years that he’s often plumb wrong when events actually play out. This happens so often that when he predicts good results for the SNP, I worry.

  31. Just stop buying the papers that pedal this sort of garbage. When the profits drop enough they will either change or fold. Encourage word of mouth to existing more accurate media. The one thing that sort of personality cannot cope with is to be ignored or rendered irrelevant, that is why the article themes changed, to recapture personal attention to survive as a journo. Marketing, any attention is better than no attention for brand awareness.

    • It must be very difficult to breath life into a newspaper corpse, ask Rupert Murdoch. He buried News of the World before the corpse was even cold.

    • It must be very difficult to breath life into a newspaper corpse, ask Rupert Murdoch. He buried News of the World before the corpse was even cold.

  32. Just stop buying the papers that pedal this sort of garbage. When the profits drop enough they will either change or fold. Encourage word of mouth to existing more accurate media. The one thing that sort of personality cannot cope with is to be ignored or rendered irrelevant, that is why the article themes changed, to recapture personal attention to survive as a journo. Marketing, any attention is better than no attention for brand awareness.

  33. Altogether a first class critique which will no doubt make very uncomfortable reading for Iain McWhirter.

    Lets be generous to a normally good journalist and remind ourselves as someone said, “Only a mediocre person can always be at his best. ”

    Not one of Iain’s finest by a long way, that’s for sure.

    ps. I wonder when we can expect the Labour / Tory / LibDem’s to publish all their leaders emails on this matter ?
    I see the UK Government want fore knowledge of emails which will be used when they give evidence to Levenson, so they obviously intend to keep everything well out of public scrutiny. Now that’s what I call a cover up. Think about that Iain.

    • [quote name=”Jim Johnston”]

      Lets be generous to a normally good journalist and remind ourselves as someone said, “Only a mediocre person can always be at his best. ”

      Not one of Iain’s finest by a long way, that’s for sure.
      [/quote]

      Jim you need to ask your self about the timing of Iains fall of in quality,
      and his out of character attack on Euan Crawford. they all happened in the last days of the election campaign.

      This wasn’t a hiccup from everybody’s best mate, Iain was “on message” , part of an orchestrated smear campaign.

      AND HE’S DONE IT BEFORE.

      • Hi Clydebuilt,
        You and Dougthedug may well be right about Iain McWhirter, his timing etc. It will be interesting to see how he reports following all political leaders taking the oath before giving evidence to Leveson.

        I commented yesterday that I’m sure Mr Murdoch has a few exocets yet to be launched. I’ll try to keep an open mind until I see McWhirter’s reactions. If there is dumb scilence from him, it will certainly speak volumns about his credentials.

      • Hi Clydebuilt,
        You and Dougthedug may well be right about Iain McWhirter, his timing etc. It will be interesting to see how he reports following all political leaders taking the oath before giving evidence to Leveson.

        I commented yesterday that I’m sure Mr Murdoch has a few exocets yet to be launched. I’ll try to keep an open mind until I see McWhirter’s reactions. If there is dumb scilence from him, it will certainly speak volumns about his credentials.

    • [quote name=”Jim Johnston”]

      Lets be generous to a normally good journalist and remind ourselves as someone said, “Only a mediocre person can always be at his best. ”

      Not one of Iain’s finest by a long way, that’s for sure.
      [/quote]

      Jim you need to ask your self about the timing of Iains fall of in quality,
      and his out of character attack on Euan Crawford. they all happened in the last days of the election campaign.

      This wasn’t a hiccup from everybody’s best mate, Iain was “on message” , part of an orchestrated smear campaign.

      AND HE’S DONE IT BEFORE.

    • [quote name=”Jim Johnston”]

      Lets be generous to a normally good journalist and remind ourselves as someone said, “Only a mediocre person can always be at his best. ”

      Not one of Iain’s finest by a long way, that’s for sure.
      [/quote]

      Jim you need to ask your self about the timing of Iains fall of in quality,
      and his out of character attack on Euan Crawford. they all happened in the last days of the election campaign.

      This wasn’t a hiccup from everybody’s best mate, Iain was “on message” , part of an orchestrated smear campaign.

      AND HE’S DONE IT BEFORE.

  34. Altogether a first class critique which will no doubt make very uncomfortable reading for Iain McWhirter.

    Lets be generous to a normally good journalist and remind ourselves as someone said, “Only a mediocre person can always be at his best. ”

    Not one of Iain’s finest by a long way, that’s for sure.

    ps. I wonder when we can expect the Labour / Tory / LibDem’s to publish all their leaders emails on this matter ?
    I see the UK Government want fore knowledge of emails which will be used when they give evidence to Levenson, so they obviously intend to keep everything well out of public scrutiny. Now that’s what I call a cover up. Think about that Iain.

  35. Altogether a first class critique which will no doubt make very uncomfortable reading for Iain McWhirter.

    Lets be generous to a normally good journalist and remind ourselves as someone said, “Only a mediocre person can always be at his best. ”

    Not one of Iain’s finest by a long way, that’s for sure.

    ps. I wonder when we can expect the Labour / Tory / LibDem’s to publish all their leaders emails on this matter ?
    I see the UK Government want fore knowledge of emails which will be used when they give evidence to Levenson, so they obviously intend to keep everything well out of public scrutiny. Now that’s what I call a cover up. Think about that Iain.

  36. Who really cares or actually pays attention to this guy, I’ll bet the majority of Scotland’s population do not even know or care who this so called journalist is or what his views are. Scotland and it’s people are treading a different path from his twentieth century politics and bias. Not worth the time of day. Roll on 2014

    • When you sum up the total daily sales of the Scotsman and The Herald (around 78,000 and falling) they hardly represent a majority of voters in Scotland. In fact the people who do buy these papers (middle class and upwards) are most likely to vote a particular way and won’t change. Thus the political correspondents of these papers are preaching to the converted. Still fight them and point out why they are wrong regardless.

      The real battle is changing hearts and minds on the doorstep of the voters, and the independence movement must be motivated to do this consistently to get the word out. I’ve always believed that there are Labour voters out there who would vote for independence as long as they are convinced that independence does not translate into forever SNP government.

      • Dcanmore

        good points Dcanmore. .

        If it hadn’t been for the Smear campaign ran against Alex Salmond by the BBC and the print media, the SNP would have got closer to taking over Glasgow.
        SNP polling predicted a better result.
        The smear campaign was making in roads in the vote over the last few days.

        I don’t think we should be relaxed about the influence MacWhirter and his fellow pariahs have over voters.

      • Dcanmore

        good points Dcanmore. .

        If it hadn’t been for the Smear campaign ran against Alex Salmond by the BBC and the print media, the SNP would have got closer to taking over Glasgow.
        SNP polling predicted a better result.
        The smear campaign was making in roads in the vote over the last few days.

        I don’t think we should be relaxed about the influence MacWhirter and his fellow pariahs have over voters.

      • Ok, fair points. But there are more refined factors to think of. yes, the circulation may be poor, but have you ever wondered about those headlines ?

        You know the ones that say things like ‘SNP FAILS SCHOOLS’ then in the third paragraph in the small print it says’ so says a report issued by (fill in name of labour funded think-tank).

        Those headlines emblazoned in 96 point size font across the front page are seen by a many hundreds of thousands of people every day in newsagents, in buses, in shops and cafes. They don’t buy the newspaper but they read the headline.

      • Ok, fair points. But there are more refined factors to think of. yes, the circulation may be poor, but have you ever wondered about those headlines ?

        You know the ones that say things like ‘SNP FAILS SCHOOLS’ then in the third paragraph in the small print it says’ so says a report issued by (fill in name of labour funded think-tank).

        Those headlines emblazoned in 96 point size font across the front page are seen by a many hundreds of thousands of people every day in newsagents, in buses, in shops and cafes. They don’t buy the newspaper but they read the headline.

    • When you sum up the total daily sales of the Scotsman and The Herald (around 78,000 and falling) they hardly represent a majority of voters in Scotland. In fact the people who do buy these papers (middle class and upwards) are most likely to vote a particular way and won’t change. Thus the political correspondents of these papers are preaching to the converted. Still fight them and point out why they are wrong regardless.

      The real battle is changing hearts and minds on the doorstep of the voters, and the independence movement must be motivated to do this consistently to get the word out. I’ve always believed that there are Labour voters out there who would vote for independence as long as they are convinced that independence does not translate into forever SNP government.

  37. Who really cares or actually pays attention to this guy, I’ll bet the majority of Scotland’s population do not even know or care who this so called journalist is or what his views are. Scotland and it’s people are treading a different path from his twentieth century politics and bias. Not worth the time of day. Roll on 2014

  38. I have commented on a few of Iains blogs in the past. There was one in particular which I recall stating –

    [b][i]I have to agree with many others, I have read and watched Iains analysis over the years on various Scottish political stories and he is by far the best bar none in terms of calling it how it is.

    I don’t believe there is any journalist or media correspondent in Scotland who could tie his shoelaces.

    Friday, February 18, 2011[/i][/b]

    That was then, this is now.

    Now I view him with the same regard as I do Brian Taylor, which I can tell you is not a complement.

  39. I have commented on a few of Iains blogs in the past. There was one in particular which I recall stating –

    [b][i]I have to agree with many others, I have read and watched Iains analysis over the years on various Scottish political stories and he is by far the best bar none in terms of calling it how it is.

    I don’t believe there is any journalist or media correspondent in Scotland who could tie his shoelaces.

    Friday, February 18, 2011[/i][/b]

    That was then, this is now.

    Now I view him with the same regard as I do Brian Taylor, which I can tell you is not a complement.

  40. It is simple! He is doing what he is told or he doesnt work in this town again!

    It is sad to see an entire Proffesion living life on its knees! Individuals who seem incapable of growing a pair or a spine for that matter when it comes to defending Scotland from the whores in London.

  41. It is simple! He is doing what he is told or he doesnt work in this town again!

    It is sad to see an entire Proffesion living life on its knees! Individuals who seem incapable of growing a pair or a spine for that matter when it comes to defending Scotland from the whores in London.

  42. You think they’re bad, you should have listened to the odious Torcuil Crichton on the wireless this morning.

  43. You think they’re bad, you should have listened to the odious Torcuil Crichton on the wireless this morning.

  44. Ah! The odious Torcuil Crihton right enough. Allowed without question to spout his bile in a supposed interview with our champion, wee Gary. No friend of the SNP.
    As a BBC producer with Eorpa the Gaelic thursday night prog he did a study of oil potential West of the Hebrides. This was twelve years ago. Ho knows how much is there. He just does`nt want the Scottish people to have it!

  45. Ah! The odious Torcuil Crihton right enough. Allowed without question to spout his bile in a supposed interview with our champion, wee Gary. No friend of the SNP.
    As a BBC producer with Eorpa the Gaelic thursday night prog he did a study of oil potential West of the Hebrides. This was twelve years ago. Ho knows how much is there. He just does`nt want the Scottish people to have it!

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