Does it matter that a prominent nationalist website doesn’t consider accuracy as important? asks TOM HARRIS

 

First the bad news: NewsNat Scotland don’t like me. And now the good news: NewsNat Scotland don’t like me. Well, let’s face it: if they were ever complimentary about me, I’d know for certain that I was doing something wrong.

For the uninitiated, NewsNat was set up to provide its readership with an unalloyed nationalist spin to every news story. It fair foams at the mouth at every “injustice” perpetrated on Scotland by the Yoonyoonists and makes it clear that it reckons Alex Salmond is just fab.

Three times in the last week, the site has published fictional claims claims about me. And that’s fine, honestly. But you have to ask: if their arguments are so unarguably right, why do they have to make up stuff? Aren’t the facts alone enough to support a case for separation?*

In fact, the first lie published by NewsNat about me has since been removed. It claimed, somewhat bewilderingly, that the party leadership had exerted pressure on our MSPs to nominate me as leader. Now, you don’t have to have the ability to read words and stuff to know that I entered (and finished) the contest without the support of a single MSP. In fact, you barely needed to be awake to work that one out. But not the people over at NewsNat, oh no!

The second and third lies (yes! A double whammy!) were contained in this story: the first is the claim I had withdrawn from the leadership race after balloting had ended (yeah, I know). Nowhere does it quote a source justifying this unlikely – well, actually impossible (since ballot papers with my name on it had already been returned) event.

But read the headline: Tom Harris launches broadside against “backward” Scottish Labour. See that word in double inverted commas? That means that the word “backward” is a quote, presumably from me. Yet nowhere in the article does the word appear. Could that be because I never used it? Hmm… curiouser and curiouser.

In fact the same story also contained the germ of NewsNat‘s next lie about me, which was published four days later under the headline Harris claims Scottish Labour has less than 50% chance of surviving. The article repeats a quote I gave to the Sunday Times the previous Wednesday and which I had repeated a number of times at hustings events during the leadership campaigns. But then NewsNat adds:

  • Mr Harris’s comments follow criticisms he made of the party in Scotland last week when he suggested Scottish members were unable to make the necessary changes in order to ensure survival.

The thing is (and I accept this is a minor technical point, folks) I made no such suggestion. In fact, I made the criticism that Scottish Labour is far too conservative specifically in order to convince it to embrace change, not because I thought it was incapable of doing so.

But they were on a roll now: my comments, says NewsNat, “come just one day after the election of Johann Lamont as the leader of the party in Scotland.” Except they didn’t. They were certainly reported one day after Johann’s election, but obviously not made at that point.

Y’see, this is what happens when you have people with no journalistic experience – or indeed, experience of paying any attention at all to the media – writing for a website. The writer, (“A NewsNat Reporter”, it says here) obviously thought that features in Sunday papers are written last thing on a Saturday evening or perhaps first thing on the morning of publication. Some news stories near the front of the paper undoubtedly are. But features – such as that in which my comments were initially reported – are not. They’re prepared well in advance, with the author topping and tailing the piece as appropriate to make sure it’s up to date at publication.

Then, today, NewsNat goes in a strop because I used Twitter to point out its fondness for factual inexactitudes.

Well, it’s all part of the game we call politics, isn’t it? Granted, NewsNat goes further than the most disreputable tabloids when it comes to making stuff up about those who dare to oppose its world view. Bet, hey, it’s Christmas. Season of good will to all men. And Nats, even.

 

* No

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58 thoughts on “Lies, damn lies and Newsnet Scotland

  1. The entire POINT of LabourHame, which Tom set up, is to help Scottish Labour evolve to meet the current challenges it faces, isn’t it?

    Be a very weird thing for Tom to do if he thought Labour could not change – or that it was likely to be wiped out.

    Then there’s the whole ‘wanting to be leader’ thing – another very odd choice for a man who believes the thing he wants to lead is doomed…

    So, yeah. Not even credible stuff from NewsNat, IMO.

  2. I’ve always felt NewsNet Scotland should be done under the trades description act, as very little of what it reports is actual news – often opinion spun to suit a particular viewpoint. If ever Scotland had a version of Fox News – it would look like NewsNet Scotland.

    I wonder if their decision to locate in Denmark for legal reasons has anything to do with that allowing it to operate outside of the normal requirements for news organisations in this country?

  3. Tom, when you take the Scotsman and Daily Record to task for spin and propaganda, I’ll sit up and take note. Until then, you just come across as partisan – a little like Newsnat?

    1. Gregor – there is a difference between having an editorial policy – and Newsnat’s policy is biased towards the SNP just as this site’s policy is biased towards Scottish Labour – and publishing information you know to be factually incorrect.

  4. I went to the Newsnet website and read the article. I didn’t see any mention of not liking you Tom ?
    It does seem like a matter of little importance. What is more important is what is reported to have been said by you. Did you make the remark that ‘Labour in Scotland has a 50% chance of survival ?’
    If so, then as a lifelong Labour supporter I would like to know what you are going to do about it. Surely thats the most important point to be taken from this.

  5. As I said on another thread I have always thought Newsnet was a rather clever parody of the Scotsman. That’s why I read it and it gives me a good laugh of a morning. But it’s not really a proper news source any more than the Scotsman is.

  6. Eh ? Tom are you seriously claiming that Scottish newspapers don’t publish ‘facts’ about the SNP or nationalism that are factually incorrect !!! surely not even labour supporters would believe that.
    In fact Tom are you claiming Unionist politicians don’t make claims about the SNP or about each other, that are untrue ?
    The truth is Tom, that newsnet were simply repeating stories that they took from other media outlets, (adding a nationalist slant on it) they do this because noone else in the MSM supports nationalism. If they reported that you said this the day after, it is because this is when the paper was sold, now what you have to tell the people on labourhame Tom, is did you know the story would be published the very next day after the leader was decided, (it had been widely reported that JL was favorite) and if you did know then why did you seek to do this damage to her at the very start of her leadership ?
    This may be difficult for Duncan to allow on this site, but I truly do not mean any offence, but feel that you are taking the P out of labour supporters Tom.

    1. Tom are you seriously claiming that Scottish newspapers don’t publish ‘facts’ about the SNP or nationalism that are factually incorrect !!!

      Perhaps they do, Patrick. And when they do, do you expect those on the receiving end to stay quiet about it or to complain?

      And yes, the quote in the Sunday Times (and on Newsnat) is accurate – in fact I said it repeatedly throughout the campaign and any journalist attending the hustings would have heard me say it. But as any fule no, that is not my complaint: I was pointing out that Newsnat reported it in such a way that the reader would conclude that I had made the comment after Johann’s election, not before it, thereby making it look like a criticism of her leadership, which (obviously) it wasn’t. But I think you probably worked that one out for yourself, eh?

  7. Newsnet is a Nationalist website, who cares what they say, there doesnt seem to be much love on here for them either!

  8. Tom

    even the cybernats consider Newsnet Scotland (widely known as Numptynet Scotland) as beyond the pale… Apparently there has been a bust up between the organisers and the Extremist Nationalist contributors it will soon be gone the way of Siol nan Gaidheal.

    1. Do they? I’ve often got into discussion with cybernats who have then used something posted on Newsnet Scotland as “proof” something is true. Anything posted on virtually any other news source is dismissed as “unionist propaganda”.

      I’ve heard about the supposed bust up. I doubt it will ultimately have much effect. Just as the internet has helped propagate a swarm of conspiracy theories, so it has helped encourage mistruths and lies to re-inforce the supposed victim status of Scotland within the Union.

    2. Nah won’t happen niko.
      however, what about the “bust up” at glasgow city council ?
      That is real and it seems the new “deadwood labour pary” is
      planning to run a few candidates – any comments, Niko ?

  9. Yes Tom you shouldn’t sit and let anyone make untrue comments about you without responding so fair enough, but newsnet were quoting from another source that you say was true and they assumed that you had to have known that JL was going to win the contest (did anyone doubt it once she got the unions backing ?)
    So you must have wanted to warn the rank and file that they had been sold a ‘pig in a poke’ ?
    I agree with you that they were and this nonsense about her winning on the back of some union bosses stinks to high heaven, but you need to think about this carefully Tom cos it just looks like you made the comments with intent to harm, but now that you have an offer of a position from JL in the new cabinet you are trying to backtrack. That’s politics Tom (a quick change of direction) but to blame NNS ???
    BTW you came across well on TV but I think Kev it as the person who was ‘on message’ for the rank and file in the Labour Party.

    1. Patrick – Newsnat did indeed quote from another source, but, as I said earlier (you must have missed it), they added that my comments came “just one day after the election of Johann Lamont as the leader of the party in Scotland.” Let me reiterate that it was that addition I objected to – the claim that I made the comments in the wake of Johann’s election. I do hope that’s clear this time.

      Unlike you, i could not foretell who was going to win, although I gave Johann my second preference vote. How does that fit into your theory?

  10. Newsnet looks like a very dodgy website with very few readers. So best to ignore it.

  11. I have to agree with Alan Gallagher that the amateurish Newsnat nonsense should be ignored. We’re in danger of giving these clowns more attention, publicity and credibility than they deserve.

  12. Off topic (Tom’s lie claims ) – on topic (Newsnet)

    It is obvious that Newsnet is a nationalist leaning website – that as some of the comments above attest to upsets a few people from the other side of politics. Can I ask though; is it healthy to have a democracy where no mainstream media outlets support the party of choice or views of so many people? From my observations we are unique in Scotland in having this situation.

    We need media balance to make informed political choices, there is a wide perception amongst nationalists that the mainstream media is slanted towards unionism (something Tom tacitly accepts in his post @ 4.56). I think many of the readers here will know that to be true if we are being honest.

    Does this not explain the emergence of sites like Newsnet? – does it not actually provide balance by slanting in the opposite direction?

    We need a mature debate now more that at anytime, I can’t understand why a normally intelligent and restrained contributor like Tom would seek to belittle Newsnet by tagging them as Newsnat it seems a little intemperate.

    Newsnet is run by unpaid volunteers, without the resources or experience of larger media organisations it is not a surprise that some of their output is a little less polished than that of professional hacks. What should be of concern to readers here is that Newsnet has obviously struck a chord – not just with uber-nats but with a growing band of readers – over 50 000 unique visitors which equates to over 70 000 readers per month. From a standing start less than two years ago that should tell us something about the appetite that many Scots for having their media, as they would see it, more balanced.

    1. “Tired old attacks about London control hardly add to a debate.”
      But they are valid, are they not. So long as Scottish voters perceive Scottish Labour as a party that has to ask permission to think, to act, to make policy, the question will be asked.

      “John Ruddy says:
      December 21, 2011 at 11:37 am
      “you feel you must always defend a separatist website?”

      Thats the thing which always puzzles me about supporters of the SNP. Unlike virtually every other political party (and in particular the Labour party) – there is always a healthy debate about policy and personality. (Sometimes its not healthy, but it happens). Not every member of the party agrees with every policy. I dont even agree with my wife on some Labour policies! Yet we’re both members.

      The SNP seem to be different. They all agree with absolutely everything that Alex Salmond says, regardless of how dotty it might be. They also agree with everything every other member of the SNP says (although I suppose all agreeing Salmond on everything makes that bit easy).”

      I’m an SNP SUPPORTER, not an SNP member. I support independence. I’m against windfarms and EU membership. I’ve repeatedly argued my case on Newsnet, and have never been censored. Sorry if that doesn’t fit with the above.

      As someone now aware of various organisations agendas (Newsnets included) I’d like to think I can make my own mind up.

      One thing I have made my mind up on is that Labourhames use of the picture of the man in a straightjacket infers that SNP supporters are mentally ill. I object to that, in the same way I object to the term Daily Retard being used to describe the Daily Record, and the suggestion that its readers are labour supporting and backward. Perhaps 2012 could see some of our politics take place outside the gutter?

  13. Ok Tom, fair point, I need to look again at the newsnet article and again at your objection, before I make further comment.
    It is shocking that you feel the Labour party can possibly disintegrate in Scotland. 50/50 chance Tom ?
    I didn’t see much of the leadership campaign but you came across as far more comfortable in front of the cameras as well as answering questions. In fact you were not just comfortable you also came across as far more confident with the audiences and the cameras, however your message was so far removed from the normal LP in Scotlands script, I was genuinely shocked to here you being so honest.
    Is this why you feel that the LP can disintegrate Tom, is it the lack of media/ TV skills at the top of the party, or is it the policies ? what is going on, cos I just can’t understand why JL was elected leader. I think she is a very capable leader and I am certainly not in any way thinking about her image or anything like that, it’s just that she has clearly been someone who likes to work behind the scenes for Labour and comes across as ‘uneasy’ in front of audiences/media.
    You clearly have a strong opinion on this Tom but I’m still not sure what your reasons are ?

  14. Had a look Tom and NNS are saying that when they said that the comments came just one day after the election of JL as leader, they were referring to the ‘comments’ as revealed in the Sunday newspaper. They say that until you mentioned that you did the interview on the Wednesday before the article was printed. that they did not know when you said that labour had a less than 50% chance of surviving. It has been said several times by posters on NNS that since the result was to be on Saturday, you will have clearly known that the article would appear the next day after the leader was announced ‘Sunday’ then as a media savy politician, you would have not been at all surprised that your piece would damage the new leader JL or KMc. I don’t think they have lied Tom.

    1. No, I’m sure you don’t, Patrick…

      Okay, so let’s leave aside the argument about whether or not comments can be made and reported in a Sunday newspaper on the same day – what about Newsnat‘s claim that MSPs were pressurised to nominate me? (Let me guess: that post has been deleted so you can’t comment on that? How convenient.)

      Or how about their claim that I “suggested” that Scottish Labour members were “unable to make the necessary changes” to ensure the party’s survival?

      Or their claim that I described Scottish Labour as “backward”?

      Or their claim that I had withdrawn from the leadership race?

      These four statements were lies, plain and simple. I trust you won’t claim otherwise just because you’re a separatist yourself and you feel you must always defend a separatist website?

      1. “you feel you must always defend a separatist website?”

        Thats the thing which always puzzles me about supporters of the SNP. Unlike virtually every other political party (and in particular the Labour party) – there is always a healthy debate about policy and personality. (Sometimes its not healthy, but it happens). Not every member of the party agrees with every policy. I dont even agree with my wife on some Labour policies! Yet we’re both members.

        The SNP seem to be different. They all agree with absolutely everything that Alex Salmond says, regardless of how dotty it might be. They also agree with everything every other member of the SNP says (although I suppose all agreeing Salmond on everything makes that bit easy).

        If they weren’t a political party, they’d have all the attributes of a religious cult. Its just so weird!

        1. “The SNP seem to be different. They all agree with absolutely everything that Alex Salmond says, regardless of how dotty it might be. They also agree with everything every other member of the SNP says”

          What a tired, lazy, juvenile attack that is. Can you find a single nationalist-leaning website with a good word to say about the railways consultation document? Have you just chosen to ignore the extremely heated debate among nationalists about the sectarianism bill? (You can find plenty examples of that over on Lallands Peat Worrier.)

          But no, the party line has to be that the SNP and all its members speak with a uniform machine voice. The irony must escape you as surely as it has escaped Tom with this piece.

          Newsnet Scotland is a highly-partisan blog which has some very suspect opinion pieces but also provides excellent coverage of some genuine news stories suppressed by the mainstream pro-Unionist media. There’s no excuse for reporting untrue facts (eg Tom doesn’t seem to have said “backward”), but it’s also absurd to make a big deal out of something published on a Sunday being said to come after something that happened on a Saturday. I’m going to go ahead and assume that even the most fervent, hate-filled nat would still credit Tom with the intelligence to realise that an interview given to the Sunday Times would go public on a Sunday.

          1. “Can you find a single nationalist-leaning website with a good word to say about the railways consultation document?”

            Well, the line every nationalist I’ve questioned about this has been the official one – “Its only a consultation document, not policy”. I’ve yet to hear of any who will rightly condemn the Transport Minister for writing in the forward that the proposals were designed to improve Scotland’s Railways. He either agreed with them, or hadn’t read the document.

            As for the sectarian bill? Whenever Labour has attacked it, we’ve been accused of opposing for opposing sakes, for not having the interest of Scotland in mind etc etc. My point is I’m sure nationalists DO disagree with such things – they just do so quietly and in private, and close ranks against “outsiders” whenever anyone else may agree with them!

            I would like to credit even the most hate-filled fervent nat blog would realise that things quoted in a Sunday newspaper were not necessarily made on the Sunday (or the Saturday night). Obviously not.

          2. “My point is I’m sure nationalists DO disagree with such things – they just do so quietly and in private, and close ranks against “outsiders” whenever anyone else may agree with them!”

            And yet I’ve just told you where you can find them doing it loudly and in public.

  15. Sadly, in light of a more progressive attitude recently, my last post pointing out that Tom gave an interview to the Sunday Times which is published as one might expect on Sundays, the day after the leadership winner was to be announced, was moderated out.
    In it he said the Labour Party had less than a 50% chance of surviving .
    That is a fact.
    Newsnet Scotland accurately reported the interview. The problem isn’t Newsnet Scotland. The problem is the content of the interview. But I’m sure you all already know that. It would have been wiser to say nothing.

  16. John, You still don’t get it – the SNP are united in achieving Objective One. We may have different ideas about exactly what constitutes Objective Two (the general well-being of the people of Scotland – a wooly definition but bear with me). We agree that without Objective One, Objective Two is unobtainable no matter what individual interpretation we may have of Objective Two. So, it is going to take a VERY big issue for us to rock the boat on the way to Objective One. Believe me, internal debates behind closed doors in the SNP are noisy and passionate affairs, but once consensus is reached, there tends to be unanimity of purpose. There will be plenty time to explore individual agendas after Objective One is achieved. In the meantime, general left of centre policies (many of which Labour themselves were pushing on the doorsteps back in May) chime with the vast majority of SNP members and have spectacularly found favour with a majority of Scots voters, so why argue needlessly at this time?
    We are united in wanting to have Scotland run by the Scots for the Scots. After independence, I’ll probably be standing beside you in a new left party. Tom Harris is correct on this at least, the Labour Party in Scotland is unlikely to survive. A lot of good people in that Labour Party will doubtless join with a sizeable number from the SNP to form a new leftist grouping. And yes, some of the present SNP will likely join with Murdo Fraser. Who knows what will happen to those of a LibDem slant and who really cares?
    But until then, anyone who stands in way of Objective One is our enemy, anyone who stands with us is our friend. Its as simple as that and so utterly different from the way the Labour Party works that I am not surprised at your puzzlement. Throughout the long history of the SNP, there have only been two major egos that thought they were bigger than the SNP and Objective One and they are married to each other. Just think about that for a while and perhaps grasp that this is a major reason why we will beat you. Well apart from the fact that you don’t have a single good argument why Scotland should continue to suffer from Tory policies that it didnt vote for – again.

    1. Oh, there is also another major ego in the SNP. The SNP list strategy showed that he definitely thinks he is bigger and better than the party itself.

      There is, after all, a grain of truth in the joke that the S in SNP stands for Salmond.

    2. That Tom has interpreted your post as saying “the well-being of the Scottish people is less important than independence” says it all about Labour’s broken mentality.

      When people are trapped in a burning building, the priority is to put the fire out. That doesn’t mean rescuing the people is “less important”, it just means you don’t send firefighters in while it’s still an inferno. Clearly the wellbeing of the people in the building is the goal, but you need to do A before you can have any realistic hope of achieving B.

      For so long as Labour don’t grasp this (and they show no signs of it, bless ’em), the SNP’s steady progress towards a consistent majority for independence will continue.

      1. And this, genuinely, says it all about the SNP’s broken mentality. The union “fire” has been burning for over 300 years and rather than damage the building it has renovated it and improved it beyond recognition. And the trapped people have been free to leave whenever they wanted but have never chosen to. This is really no fire at all.

        1. The trapped people have never been given a vote on the matter. And the “improved beyond recognition” building is in hock up to its eyeballs, despite having a goldmine in the garden. The fire was probably an insurance job.

          1. My goodness you’re right. Thank goodness that when the SNP was elected in 2007 they had made a manifesto promise to give the people a vote. It’s a shame that they didn’t even bother bringing it to parliament (because on matters of such high principle it’s always best to make cynical political calculations about the likelihood of success). And even as the fire is apparently raging now, they won’t give the people a vote until 2014 at the earliest. Do they want these people to burn to death? I think this metaphor is cooked now.

          2. Duncan Hothersall

            You are not real how can one get a majority out of 129 when one only has 47 MSPs. I remember a PM, forget his name, who dithered if to hold a GE and then decided to hang on for 3 years until his time ran out. New motto “Do as we say not as we do”.

  17. Tom,
    I don’t agree with much of what you say, but thanks for coming back and responding to the discussion points, something that has been sadly lacking from some of the earlier posts.
    I look forward to you posting on something more substantive than inter-site disagreements. How about something on policy?

  18. Good luck to Tom Harris in his new post. It’s good to see some of the Labour MPs get on board. Hopefully the rest of Scotland’s Labour MPs will follow suit and join with those already under the instruction and guidance of their new boss, johann Lamont.

    1. Tom’s new post ?
      Sorry, I blinked between his nomination
      and his resignation and missed it.

  19. Duncan
    The past is of little relevance unless you learn from it. But you can’t change it.
    Only the future offers that opportunity.
    You continually deploy the same arguments that were used by the Irish unionists right up till 1916.
    But when the Irish trade unions marched into the GPO in Dublin in 1916 they started the future.

  20. Firstly I should say that I am a Nationalist. That was not always so – my natural inclination is radical liberal left. I watched what Thatcher did to my country and how a nation, having overwhelmingly voted Labour, got instead a whole generation of Tory rule. We all watched as our country’s resources were drained and all manner of social ills grew and festered.

    I rejoiced when Labour won in 1997, marched against the neo-con invasion of Iraq, and watched in despair as the party lurched to the right – as it had to – to retain power in “middle England”. We participated in the murder of countless thousands of innocents on pretence of seeking WMDs while stockpiling our own on the Clyde.

    It became obvious that, no matter how we vote in Westminster elections, we can never get other than a right leaning government, so strong is the right wing media in England. I looked for a response from the Scottish media but there was none.

    Every organ of that media is enmeshed with and dominated by the Labour Party machine and therefore share the parochial antipathy to the SNP.
    The Scotsman’s use of “SNP Accused…” has turned it into a joke.

    No-one who reads or participates in Newsnet believes it to be politically even-handed or to adequately report local minutia. It is, indeed, heavily biased toward the independence movement just as all of the MSM is biased toward the dependence parties and much of it actively practices censorship. Try mentioning Newsnet on a BBC site and you will be deleted by the profanity filter.
    Meanwhile, as they see past the MSM’s obfuscation, it is dawning on the Scottish electorate that we have a choice. While the SNP offers the Scotland the realistic possibility of re-industrialisation, social justice and prosperity, Labour is in danger of foundering in opposition-ism.
    The left in Scotland want real change not tinkering and more generations of futile opposition to the braying yahhs of Eton (or Fettes) and their hedge-fund masters. They can never achieve it through Westminster.

    Labour’s survival will depend on adapting to the new reality. More of the same is not an option. I fear for the party.

    1. “Firstly I should say that I am a Nationalist.” You don’t say! It never fails to amaze me when nationalists complain about the Scottish press being universally against them. At the last election the SNP enjoyed the support of Scotland’s largest selling tabloid and also the two national ‘qualities’. It looks like the nats have taken to post-truth politics with a vengeance…

      1. The Sun doesnt support Independence, they are only after sales, and they dont they dont come out with anything that promotes the SNP, they are empty.
        Fact is that there is no such thing as Scottish media, just like there is no Scottish Labour, they are London Labour, or British Labour and they should start to show what they stand for rather than pretend support of the Scots, because they had long enough to do make change and still achieved next to nothing.

      2. I do not regard either the Mail or the Sun as “Scottish Press”. They publish “Scottish Editions” because the “sponging Jock” stories they run in their southern editions would not sell well here.

  21. John Ruddy, you must be kidding?
    The major differance between NNS and here is that all posts (except the ones with abuse) get posted, but on Labour Hame, I can be more polite than the queen, but they get edited out, so in response to your comments, you must be joking, there are too many awkward questions for Labour hame that get deleted, so in terms of sites, the NNS has a healthier debate.
    I m not sure who is responsible for this, but he is doing the SNP a favour.
    The differance is that the SNP have concrete policies that are popular with party members and the general public, Labour dont.
    I ll be surprised if this is posted.

    1. That is simply untrue. I have had perfectly polite comments blocked on NNS, while many far from polite comments are allowed through on here.

      1. That is simply untrue

        I would suggest to the Labour party in Scotland that they should question if it is wise for your long term benefit to allow your activists to carry on telling blatant lies as the voters are far better informed nowadays.

        1. No it is not “simply untrue”. I had some comments published, but I had other perfectly polite comments blocked. I would suggest that you refrain from making statements on things about which you don’t know the facts.

    2. Healthier Debate? NewsNet Scotland? You must be joking!

      Anyone there who tries to make any argument that is not infavour of an independent Scotland is shouted down – often with personal abuse thrown in for free. Thats assuming the comments get past the moderation policy there. You also get discussions of how some commentators have managed to abuse people on other sites.

      Of course your comments will always get through, and so you will not notice a moderation policy. But I can tell you it is much stricter than on here!

      Often complete rubbish is posted as news and fact. There is no quality control.

      Oh, and my account has been deleted too – perhaps for trying to say things some people didnt want to hear?

  22. I rarely get a comment posted here but I am gratefull that you posted my last one.
    This is a major problem with Labour Hame.
    I wonder how many of the Labour hierarchy in Scotland read Labour hame?
    Maybe I am being too pushy, as MS Lamont has just been elected, but it would be interesting to hear what her views are on a whole range of policy, or will they be the same as before, or same as what London says?

    1. You have had 51 comments posted here, in fact. Perhaps you ought to focus on quality rather than quantity. Tired old attacks about London control hardly add to a debate.

  23. Duncan, there is nothing “tired old” about attacks on London control in the same way there is nothing ” tired old” old about attacks on Tory cuts. Both are real, both have been happening for a long time and not much is changing (yet) about either.
    Try not to use pejoratives like “tired old” when you simply wish an argument to go away.
    Now, are you going to write an article for NNS? A cogent defence of the Union and Labour’s role in its defence would be a welcome addition to the debate.You are not unintelligent and obviously well-informed, the floor is open to you. Although I have no official connection with NNS, (simply a reader) I am fairly sure an opinion piece would be well received. And that invitation goes out to ALL of the Labour/Unionist movement. Say what you like, avoid profanity or anything that is likely to get the site sued and it would most likely get published. Your opportunity to talk directly to, shall we say, “another constituency”.

  24. Tom –
    Why can a Labour supporter not be for an independent country – I have asked this several times and have always been ignored.
    I have commented before about the toilet humour on this site aimed at Nats. I want political debate on policy – not American style mud throwing.
    Why do we have such damaging rhetoric between our MP’s and MSP’s. The nationalist seem to be having an easy time because.
    a) We cannot accept Labour voters in Scotland to some degree support more power / independence
    b) We have too much damaging infighting at branch and MP/MSP level.

  25. So what was the point of this website again?

    Whatever it was, strikes me that this post is exactly what is was not for.

    And, Mr Harris, for as long as there are Unionists prepared to label those who aspire to self-determation as ‘Separatists’ don’t be surprised if those Unionists are labelled ‘Quislings’ in return. Both terms are as valid and offensive as each other, depending on the point of view of the reader.

    This is such a tedious thread it has taken me five visits to get through it. I only made such a supreme effort in the hope that my contribution would help save you all from yourselves.

    1. You seriously think calling someone who wants to separate the UK a separatist is as offensive as calling someone who doesn’t a Nazi collaborator? I’m afraid that renders your sense of perspective highly doubtful.

      1. Duncan, with respect and with the prospect of Godwins law going to various appeals….
        Like it or not, Scottish Labour ARE collaborating with the Tories. Some Tories are very publicly Nazi sympathisers as witness the tabloid revelations of a few weeks back. As it happens, I share your distaste of the “Quisling” jibe. It’s been done to death and whilst perhaps apposite on its first few outings is not a pejorative I’d use myself. Believe me, I have plenty others :-> Separatist just sounds like a lazy play on words and like “Quisling” is done to death.
        whatever – a happy and peaceful winter festival to you and yours and lets hope next year brings us closer together in the service of the working-class of Scotland and of the whole world.

  26. Hey Tom, I was interested to read your diary in the Herald. I agree with your response to the union leaders who wanted to know if you would support all strikes in the future.

    What did Joahan say that caused them to back her so heavily ?

  27. Any comment on what is happening with Glasgow city council,
    in light of the probable SNP gains and number of former labour independents who will be running against the party in May.

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