BBC still manipulating the news

BBC Scotland’s Sarah Smith highlighted yet again why journalists are so poorly trusted within Scotland. Her attempts to smear the First Minister by saying (twice apparently) that Nicola Sturgeon was ‘enjoying’ the pandemic as she could set her own lockdown rules, different from the rest of the UK.  Of course, as the First Minister pointed out she 99130323_2667394680165167_5260931034580516864_oisn’t enjoying or embracing the daily delivery of the number of people dying from coronavirus. To suggest so is lamentable. It really says more of Sarah Smith than it does of anyone else. The First Minister – in complete contrast to the waste of space currently residing in a fridge in 10 Downing Street – has shown true leadership, presenting almost every coronavirus briefing while Boris Johnson has barely been seen, leaving his duties to an array of talentless, lying, failed spin merchants (also known as the Tory Government).

And as for the nonsense of Scotland going its own way, anyone who has paid attention – which obviously excludes the BBC’s Sarah Smith- would realise that it is the Tory 98174159_3520732824606931_2509946177311473664_nGovernment who have taken England on a different route from the rest of the UK nations. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all following the Stay at Home message while England hasn’t a clue what it’s doing thanks to Boris Johnson’s incoherent ramblings. Apparently, people in England have to Stay Alert – as if keeping an eye out for an invisible virus will ensure their safety!

To compound matters, Smith then tries the tired old non-apology routine. In true BritNat journalist style, she never apologises in the same manner her insult was made – i.e. live on the ten o’clock news. Instead she releases a couple of tweets which coincidentally allows her to repeat her accusations, ensuring that anyone who missed the initial broadcast will see Smith’s claims, and of course all the search engines online will associate the First Minister with ‘enjoying the lockdown’.

Quite rightly the First Minister said to her the matter is closed, she has more important things to think about but that gave the BBC the excuse they needed to shut down all the complaints against Smith. The only way to treat the BBC is to stop paying the TV licence. You shouldn’t pay to be lied to. The BBC has a long history of manipulating the news to suit the establishment’s political agenda – it is not an unbiased source of news. Go online and watch London Calling to see the devious tactics the BBC used during the Scottish Independence campaign in 2014.

Just as I was typing this up, I see that the UK newspaper industry are using the current crisis to hide their circulation figures. Maybe a wee peak at Wings Over Scotland will reveal the true crisis within the newspaper industry which was developing long before someone order a bat sandwich from a Wuhan takeaway! With lockdown many newspapers are suffering, people have realised getting a daily paper isn’t so important in times of crisis. If this habit has been broken, why would anyone go back to picking up a newspaper once lockdown is over?

After all, there are more credible sources online – whether that’s Wings Over Scotland, Wee Ginger Dug, Independence Live or many other websites, so why return to the printed press (unless it’s the National or the Scots Independent of course)?

Does Boris want more deaths?

The change in the Covid -19 message from a clear Stay at Home to a weak, wishy-washy, Stay Alert – will lead to more covid -19 deaths according to many health professionals (as highlighted in today’s National)

covid message

Boris Johnson and his cronies have effectivley downgraded the seriousness of the Covid -19 message; even going so far as to subtly change the warning colour from red to green, implying that there is less danger now.  How exactly is being alert going to help anyone recognise or defend themselves from an invisible virus?  No doubt under pressure from Tory businessmen who don’t give a damn about you or your family but are interested only in their bank balance, Johnson has been pushed to loosen the lockdown restrictions.  The National also highlights others concerns about this change in the message:

https://www.thenational.scot/news/18438693.people-cant-get-bad-uk-governments-new-coronavirus-slogan/

A few other people have already started mocking Johnson’s new message with their own creations:

The UK has the second highest number of deaths in the world from Covid -19 and instead of doing something practical to stop the spread of the virus, the UK Tory Government is risking everyone’s lives by downgrading their warnings.  Already both the Scottish and Welsh First Ministers have said they will retain the original Stay at Home warning but the English centric BBC (and other mainstream media) will promote the new message and no doubt some will be confused and now think its safe to relax their guard against the virus.

Boris Johnson has been a catastrophic failure as Prime Minister during this whole crisis and is now putting more people in danger.  Being Alert will not save you from the virus.  Ignore Johnson and his cronies – they don’t give a damn about you or your family.  Stick to the original advice: Stay at Home: Save Lives.

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The end of the Printed Press … hopefully!

The lockdown from the Coronavirus (Covid -19) outbreak has seen fewer people going to the shops and has resulted in a decrease in the sales of newspapers across the UK. One of the biggest casualties appears to be the Sun which is allegedly losing £68million during this crisis – what a shame, not!

The mainstream British press is pathetic.  Their idea of reporting a story and providing information to allow a reader to make up their mind about what happened is long gone.  Today most of the mainstream media are simply Press Relations publications for the owners of these papers.  They exist (often at a loss) to promote the political views of their owners.  Just this week a majority of the UK papers were all promoting the idea that Boris Johnson would announce a lessening of the lockdown and Monday would be the start of opening up the economy.  One paper was so excited it proclaimed what changes were coming and when – including bizarrely on the 31st of June!  It seems in the world of the press spin operations no one has a calendar or realises there are only 30 days in June.

Maybe the shift from reporting news to promoting the views of their owners could be the real reason why newspapers simply aren’t selling.  The lockdown has made people look at what is essential in the day to day lives and reading the lies from Murdoch and co simply isn’t as important anymore.

Coincidentally, today’s National runs with a story that highlights the extremely low trust UK readers have in their press.  Taken from a European poll, the UK’s press comes way out as last in the poll, highlighting a further disconnect between the press and the people.  Anyone who has seen the lies from the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum and onwards will be well aware of this.

untrsutworthy presshttps://www.thenational.scot/news/18435382.trust-rating-puts-british-press-bottom-class-trust/

In general, most national newspapers are simply a waste of paper.  The owners dictate what is printed and when – such as holding off for a month the story about the scientist who advised the UK Government on the lockdown breaking the rules to have his mistress visit him.  How ironic he gets sacked when his ultimate boss – the Prime 95749304_1738801039601301_3873724570124943360_nMinister – is lauded for his extra-marital affairs!

Newspapers are dying not because of the lockdown – that may have hastened their demise – but due to them being irrelevant to most people.  The lack of trust between the papers and the public highlights it’s not simply the lockdown and lack of access to papers that is leading to their irrelevance.  Maybe more people should support the actions of the people of Liverpool and simply boycott newspapers (and their advertisers) who continually spread lies, smears and fears – such as the constant attacks on Scottish Independence.

Media Hypocrisy over Scotland’s CMO

The resignation of the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland was not unexpected.  She made her position untenable after twice breaking the movement restrictions she expected everyone else in Scotland to follow.  How could the public trust her recommendations when she herself would flaunt them? In her defence though, the role of CMO is not really a public facing appointment, it’s more an advisory role and not one where the CMO has to work under such public scrutiny.  However, it’s difficult to support someone who believes they are above the rules which they set for society.

However, it was not a pleasant sight seeing the usual mainstream media acting like a pack of wolves hunting her down.  Has anyone questioned how the media got their photograph of the CMO were press photographers also breaking the rules regarding staying at home, were they stalking the CMO?  Online stories seem to suggest the photographer who captured the CMO at her holiday home had travelled 80 miles from his home to take the photo – was this classed as essential travel?  This would be the same so called journalists who ignored or made excuses when Prince Charles decided to ignore all the advice from both Scotland and Westminster and travelled to his holiday home while actually suffering from Cornonavirus, taking with him his usual royal lackeys.  In contrast to the CMO, Prince Charles is well aware of his public role as heir apparent and that he should be setting an example to the nation.  Maybe that’s why the CMO and the troupe of campervans trying to invade Scotland and Wales thought it was ok to ignore official warnings and make a run for it.  If anything what Prince Charles did was far worse than the CMO sneaking away to check up on her holiday home.  So where is the wolf pack of journalists harassing the Royal Prince?  Why have they suddenly turned into benign little puppies, rolling over and waiting for their tummies to be tickled – is it because they (or the owners of their papers) are keen on getting a knighthood or such similar bauble?

The CMO acted irresponsibly and she not only apologised for it but resigned from her job, Prince Charles brought his infected carcass to rural Scotland – passing on the virus to god knows how many more – yet no apology and no resignation; and all the while the mainstream media highlighted yet again that they have little interest in reporting stories fairly and are only concerned with following the tune their masters call.

UPDATE:

And now it seems like the UK Government’s Housing Minister Robert Jenrick has broken his own advice about not travelling by driving 150 miles to his second home as well as travelling 40 miles to meet his elderly parents.  I wonder what Jackson Carlaw MSP has to say about this?

Too Little Too Late

The Chancellors long-awaited support for the self-employed is far too little and far too late.  It will do nothing to persuade those who are self-employed to stay at home and stop the spread of the virus.

Basing the support on the average profit on three years tax returns ensures that a significant number of self-employed will not be eligible for this support.  Some estimate as many as one third of those self-employed with fall through the gaps in this useless system of support.  By basing the payment on profit the Chancellor ensures that the running costs of the self-employed such as car/ van, computer or any specialised equipment needed to perform their work will stay have to be paid from the government support, impacting on how much they would have left to pay for food.  Delaying payment until June is inhumane.  Most small businesses survive on a shoestring, they can’t hold out until June for money – they need to feed their families now!

Similarly, telling everyone else to simply sign up for Universal Credit is useless.  The DWP have massive backlogs of people phoning for hours trying to get registered – why have more resources not being deployed to tackle this?  And still the Chancellor expects people to wait 5 weeks to receive any benefits -how are people meant to survive during that period?

It wasn’t that long ago research highlighted that too many people in Scotland and the UK have insufficient savings to survive a loss of income. They have no safety net, yet the Chancellor expects them to wait 5 weeks for benefits or until June if the manage to be able to claim the limited support for the self-employed.

This of course, follows on from the sham support for businesses – with loans offered to keep them going, but it turns out this wasn’t support for businesses but – yet again – support for banks!  It comes as no surprise that the main banks have already started raising their interest rates to make as much profit as possible from this current crisis.  It really is time to follow George Kerevan’s idea and nationalise the banks!

The key to simply surviving the coronavirus is to stop the spread of the virus.  The UK government wants people to stay at home but its support packages are simply not enough.  If you were self-employed, say working on a building site, wouldn’t you take the risk of continuing to work so that you could get enough money to feed your family and pay your bills?  The UK government’s support will lead to more cases of coronavirus.

You only have to look at how other countries have responded to the coronavirus.  They’ve frozen mortgages, rents, utility bills etc but in the UK it’s all about making sure the banks can make extra profit!

It’s time for the Tories to put the people first not the banks.  If you want people to survive this crisis (and I’m not sure the Tories do) then you have to get them to stop going out but ensure that they can survive and buy food for their families.  It’s well past the time some form of Universal Basic Income was introduced.  It’s not enough to ask people with nothing to hang on for pitiful benefits and jump through hoops until June for some funding.  Introduce a Universal Basic Income now.

 

We’re not all in this together!

Don’t travel, don’t spread the virus

Save the NHS, Stay at Home

We’ve all heard these messages, repeated daily on all news channels but spokespersons from Westminster and Scottish Government.  There was a concern at the weekend about the number of campervans heading to the islands – no doubt helped by the Daily Heil (sorry Mail) encouraging people to get away to self-isolate) – putting pressure on local services and threatening the capacity of the NHS in rural areas.  The Scottish Government were strident in their comments, this is no time for tourism.  The virus must be contained and the best way of doing that is to stay at home.

Ok there have been quite a few idiots who think they’re fine and have been out in crowds ignoring the official advice.

However, when the heir to the UK Crown decides that he’s above the rules, and decides to travel to Scotland to bring his infected carcus to Balmoral that is despicable.  Not only should he know better but he should be setting an example.  Yet again the Royal Family show they don’t give a damn about the rest of us.  The BBC are at it again trying to play down this story pretending that every suspected covid-19 case over 70 in the Aberdeenshire area will get a test to see if they’ve got the virus – b*llsh*t! There’s not enough test kits for all the essential NHS and care staff so how come suddenly this overpaid, over-privileged layabout manages to get tested?

Yet again, the UK proves there’s no such thing as ‘all being in this together’.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52033845?fbclid=IwAR3agrkZ1q3Kptf9LkJIEEP1Db0aggAIzZXV8pq1eyezN8ixKXx6_mzgPcI

bigEars
Big Ears breaks guidance on travelling – how many others has he infected?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Callous Prime Minister

It comes as no surprise that the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, doesn’t give a damn about anyone else but his comments on the coronavirus really do sum up what a self-centred, callous individual he really is.

Despite almost every other country facing the threat of coronavirus quickly going into a shutdown, Johnson is happy to take his time before deciding to act.  He even suggested 88965955_4209833309034191_1563464586479271936_non ‘This Morning’ that one possible theory would be to ‘take it on the chin’ and allow the disease to spread through the population. Obviously, he is more concerned about the impact the virus will have on the stock market than the impact it will have on the public.  He even followed this up with a warning that the public should prepare ‘to lose loved ones before their time”, contrast this with the statement from the current Irish Taoiseach , Leo Varadkar, who instead said ‘Together we can save many lives’. While Ireland try to protect lives, the useless, ineffectual Tories simply warn us to expect many deaths.89229238_231664071561841_2046673880730304512_n

88416923_1416307238542382_5989909666157559808_nOf course, Johnson found some support for his views from the right-wing Telegraph newspaper where one of their senior journalists stated that the coronavirus might be beneficial to the economy by culling elderly dependents.  I hope the mainly elderly Tory voters are paying attention! Do elderly voters who backed the No campaign in 2014 still feel safer with the UK?  Your vote not only maintained your access to the worst pension of any developed country but also now singles you are as acceptable losses to be sacrificed to protect the stock market.

No doubt Jacob Rees-Mogg is currently dusting down his father’s book on how to make 89212049_2834468289977174_5814735731318325248_nmoney out of a crisis – finding another way to profit from other people’s misery.  He won’t be alone.  There is a high number of Tory MPs and Ministers with shares in private medicine and they will all be rubbing their hands in glee at Johnson agreeing to pay out £2.4 million per day to use beds in private hospitals.  Typical Tory – a national emergency and they see a way to boost the profits of private medicine (and the share value at the same time) instead of simply requisitioning them as required and worry about payment later.

Johnson has been slow to react to this crisis because he hasn’t a clue what to do.  When the public is looking for information and reassurance his bluster and buffoonery just won’t do.  His ambition was to be Prime Minister but now he has the keys to No.10 Downing Street he hasn’t a clue what to do.  Of course, he’s also really just waiting for his handler – Dominic Cummings – to tell him what his masters in the city want.  Killing off thousands of mainly elderly or vulnerable people would always be their choice if it meant keeping the value of their shares high. That’s why Johnson and his cronies were so angry when Nicola Sturgeon announced her plan to block gatherings of 500 or more people.  It made Johnson look weak and he’s now probably going to have to follow her lead.

90267097_1090443804671574_8027350251964727296_oWith extremely low Statutory Sick Pay, a lot of people are going to risk going to work and potentially further spreading this virus. Too many people are stuck in the gig economy, on minimum pay or zero hours contracts – they can’t just take time off, they have too many bills to pay.  Of course, other countries can find a way of supporting not just businesses but also their local population; whether that’s stopping mortgage payments or other bills.  The Tory government won’t want to give out money to the public but their friends in businesses are already lining up with their hands out – not least Richard Branson and his Virgin Empire looking for £7.5 billion for the airline industry. Apparently, capitalism only works when they screw the public over with high fares and then get government handouts when there’s a danger to their inflated profits.89587159_1893287214136367_116775663947481088_o

The crisis shows yet again that we need the powers of an independent country, one that can co-operate with its neighbours, one that can protect all its people and not just the mega-rich.  It’s time to self-isolate ourselves from the Tories and Westminster rule.

The Unelected Prime Minister

BRITAIN-EU-BREXIT-POLITICSThe brutal sacking of Savid Javid as the Chancellor of the Exchequer highlights the power that resides with the Prime Minister’s special adviser Dominic Cummings.

He had already crossed swords with Javid when he sacked one of his treasury advisers, Sonia Khan, and had her unceremoniously escorted out of the building by police officers.  And as if to underline the move the media were well placed to observe this and report on the power struggle within the top of the Tory government. However it looks like this might come back to haunt him according to this report in the Guardian.

It was clear that although Javid thought he may have had a good working relationship with Boris Johnson, he clearly wasn’t liked by Cummings.  This was underlined by Cummings referring to him as ‘Chino’ – Chancellor In Name Only!

cummings johnsonCummings was hired as Boris Johnson’s special adviser but it seems he is the real power behind no.10; wandering in whenever it suits him, making diktats and bullying his way through cabinet ministers and civil servants alike.  Fresh from his ‘victory’ leading the Vote Leave campaign – with all the lies, smears and disinformation that drove that campaign, Cummings was quickly installed as the main player behind (or driving) Johnson.  Despite breaking electoral spending laws and being held in contempt of Parliament, Boris Johnson simply didn’t care what others thought of Cummings being appointed his special adviser.  With previous stints as an adviser to both Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Gove, Cummings was well aware of the how the Conservative party worked.

On the day of the cabinet reshuffle Javid walked into 10 Downing Street believing his position was secure as Chancellor, it was but only if he became the puppet of no.10 – and Cummings.  Given the option of sacking all his advisers and being seen as a mere figurehead (or Chino) at the Treasury, Javid decided enough was enough and resigned.  It was a classic piece of political manoeuvrings by Cummings getting himself rid of a Chancellor by totally undermining his position and credibility.  However it also places a huge question mark on the incoming Chancellor – everyone now knows that it’s No.10 (and Cummings) who control the Treasury.

A real Scottish Labour Party?  Maybes aye maybes naw

The extremely disappointing UK general election result for Labour has led to some in their Scottish branch office to look at the option of creating a separate Labour Party in Scotland.  Leading this charge has been Labour list MSPs Neil Findlay and Monica Lennon, with the latter highlighting her thoughts on the issue in the Daily Record recently.

monica lennon splitTheir theory is that the British Labour party in Scotland was tarnished by the policies of the London based Labour party, which resulted in them losing all but one seat in Scotland.  Their concern was that the Scottish leader was isolated and his policy statements were often contradicted by Labour spokespeople from London, including Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.  Their solution is to split the Scottish section from the London party and form an autonomous Scottish Labour Party, one that can form its own policy ideas.  This would mean raising their own funds, persuading trade unions to affiliate and voting with their sister party (London Labour) – if persuaded.  It would be seen as a bold move but will the current Labour leadership go for it?   Ms Lennon has submitted these proposals to the Labour party’s review of last month’s elections but already she’s stated that this isn’t about supporting independence (which she opposes) but about having decisions about Scotland’s future taking place in Scotland rather than Westminster.

Some Labour sources have already dismissed this argument, fearing that advocating separate structures within the party lessens any credibility in supporting devolution rather than independence.  The British Labour Party in Scotland has had some form of devolved structures within the London Labour party, with its own executive committee and its own policy making body, however any policies made are routinely ignored in UK terms.  It seems Labour is struggling to adapt to devolution and, after 20 years of the Scottish Parliament, appear to have hit the buffers when it comes to offering distinctive policies for the Scottish electorate.  For instance, during the UK general election the London led Labour party was pursuing a policy agenda which simply lifted SNP policies which Labour MSPs had repeatedly campaigned and voted against!

It’s unlikely a review led by the same people who were in charge of Labour’s disastrous general election campaign will amount to much. The idea that the Labour party in Scotland could attempt some greater form of separation is fanciful, the Scottish branch office relies too heavily on its income from London – and during Scottish elections it also relies heavily on Labour members from other parts of the UK to come up to campaign for them.  It is however, ironic that at least some Labour politicians (and I suspect more of their members) are now effectively arguing not for further devolution of the Scottish branch from London Labour but are effectively suggesting independence for their branch!  At least now the argument that decisions made about Scotland’s future should be taken in Scotland is taking hold within the Labour party.

Whether this move is a genuine attempt to reflect modern Scotland and the desire for more powers or whether its simply a feeble attempt to raise profiles and perhaps simply save the jobs of current politicians we will just have to wait and see.

Rewarding Evil

The flawed ‘honours’ system hit a new low this week when it was confirmed that Tory MP and former leader Iain Duncan Smith was given a knighthood.  Duncan Smith was responsible for the shambles that has turned the DWP into one of the cruelest government departments, an organisation which hurts those most in need, an organisation which encourages an aggressive attitude to those who turn to the state for help.  Depending on which sources you use, thousands of people have died after being incorrectly assessed by the DWP as fit for work!  In any other country this would be a scandal and those overseeing such an organisation would be in court to answer for such an abhorrent regime.  But not in Tory Britain, instead the architect of all this misery is rewarded, after all, all those killed off were unlikely to vote Tory!

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80588452_1532430283561924_8034640654007009280_n (1)As if attacking the unemployed and the most vulnerable in society weren’t enough, Iain Duncan Smith’s latest political idea is to increase the state pension age to 75 years old.  Irrespective that many working-class people won’t live long enough to reach the pension age, the Tories are looking at how to bring this in. Their usual claims of the strain on the Government’s budget by paying out the state pension are the same old fake news we have come to expect from the Tories. There’s always enough money to cut the taxes for the rich or to bail out the bankers but the never enough for anyone else.   In contrast, France is undergoing a national strike over plans by the French Government to increase the pension age from 62 to 64.  Public support in France for strike action remains high, yet in the UK this would be unheard of.  Then again how many in the UK are aware of what’s happening in France as the BBC continue their blackout of the French strike.

The UK’s ‘Honours’ system is a bad joke, often rewarding senior civil servants and members of the establishment for simply doing their jobs.  Rewarding Iain Duncan Smith for all the misery his policies have caused is an insult to those who have suffered, and continue to suffer, under his policies.