Scotland in Union’s secret letter writing group in the Herald again posing as honest citizens

SiU regular David Bone, third row down and three from the right, appears in the Herald yesterday to praise the Union:

It’s not the content that matters so much, given its quality. It’s the fact that Bone is a member of an activist group writing to the media but pretending to be honest citizens and with an explicit commitment to deceive both journalists and readers. Bone and another regular, Allan Sutherland were together in the Herald only two weeks ago. The letter editor knows who and what they are. Sutherland was a caller to Kaye Adams on the same day.

Professors Pennington and Stevenson are members of the group and also feature regularly. Ian Murray’s agent, Phil Tate, is another. Who knows how many others there are.

This is not illegal but it is unethical and undemocratic. The editors involved should be ashamed.

12 thoughts on “Scotland in Union’s secret letter writing group in the Herald again posing as honest citizens”

  1. The media that operate in Scotland, are NOT NEUTRAL!

    I have no problem with banning RT, but there are many other media outlets which act against Scottish interests at the behest of our colonial “masters”. Ban them also.


    1. Banning RT is the thin end of the wedge. Russia Today has some brilliant programmes and great journalists. Max Keiser was offered a job on the BBC and right before the recording started a BBC producer told him he was not allowed to mention Israel in any context. Keiser walked out of the BBC for that. He said that RT had never tried to influence the content of his show in the many years he has been with the broadcaster.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “This is not illegal but……….”
    Maybe they’ll have to be a wee bit careful if the new ‘Hate’ law comes into effect.


    1. William Henderson, in my experience many of those who have strongly oppositionist views on such matters are so convinced of their own ‘rightness’ that they believe this gives them the moral right to describe others in very offensive terms, which in other circumstances, particularly if directed at themselves they would be disgusted and horrified. Professor Stevenson, for example, saw nothing wrong in describing Mhairi Black as a ‘slut’, but I am sure she would have felt hurt had such an epithet been applied to her or one of her friends.

      Of course, those on the left and in various campaigns can be equally guilty of verbal insults against opponents but go on their igh horse if someone describes them in such terms.Indeed, they are often ultra-sensitive to perceived slights.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The exact same letter was published in the Courier yesterday. However it was from Jane Lax of Craigellachie.
    Strange that two different people should write word for word to different newspapers.
    I have been aware of this on other occassions although the letters were not exactly the same, but they made the same points in a different manner.
    If this is not illegal, it should be.


    1. Yes, Ronald, I was just about to post a similar comment after double checking it was indeed the same letter.
      It must be exhausting for the poor souls to keep producing the thousands of letters that are simply a variation of the same message.
      I noticed in the Courier a week or so ago that one had replied to another, supporting criticism of the SNP, with no mention of their relationship.
      Another tactic to be employed in future?
      How long this has being going on is uncertain, but I recall in 2014 buying a Dundee paper for a train journey to Edinburgh which featured a highly critical letter of the SNP signed, “Concerned of Dundee”. Imagine my surprise while reading an Edinburgh pub’s copy of a local paper with exactly the same letter signed, “Concerned of Edinburgh”.
      The Courier insists on it’s letters being accompanied by a name, address and a phone number. Perhaps this dishonesty should be pointed out to various editors, although with David Clegg back at the Courier, would it change anything.
      As someone who writes to the Courier letters page from time to time, my own interest will be how various agendas will be treated near the end of any future independence campaign. I wrote five letters to the Courier in the final two weeks of the 2014 referendum. None featured and many of the other pro-independence correspondents “disappeared” also, to be replaced by wall to wall unionist contributions.
      When challenged, the then editor claimed they were only reflecting the balance of letters sent, which would have us believe that pro-indy writers simply stopped campaigning at such a crucial time.
      Doubtful and certainly untrue in my own case.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The exact same Ronald? Wow – if only we had teams of people scouring the papers for these – or a computer whizz creating an algorithm to spot replicated ‘letters’ under different names in different papers. It’s excellent proof that these aren’t real opinions by real people, but a coordinated group – and exposing it can be as effective as having our own letter-writers I reckon.


  4. John, another issue surrounding this is how much could independence profit from its own equivalent of SiU’s letter writing group? For instance an instant rebuttal group to correct the kind of rot that Bone is quoted as writing in your blog? Or even better, a group to write letters setting out positive ideas for independence – ie taking the initiative rather than just responding to the latest rot published in such as the Herald or spouted by Kaye Adams. As you might know I frequently do the former in the Herald, along with Ruth Marr, but sometimes it feels like it’s Ruth and me against SiU!
    It’s also quite time consuming. Ruth has her personal issues, and for me it’s a mega building project in our house which has meant for most of the last few months I havent been able to use my desktop (I am doing this on the settee on my wife’s Surface Pro).
    The very diversity of the independence movement is one of its weaknesses (at the same time one of it’s strengths) as it gets in the way of the kind of coordination (and focus) demonstrated by SiU. Put short, however much we may disagree with SiU, as well as be critical of the lack of transparency in its activities, what they do doesnt happen by chance but by organization.
    One last point, I only came across this in the last couple of days I have done some work on this and have evidence that the new list parties are likely to be the way forward as in several regions even if every single SNP constituency voter had voted for them on the list they still wouldnt have enough votes to secure a List MSP. A “new list party” would not be disadvantaged on the List by having won any constituencies. I could just stick it on to the comments to that article, but no one would read it . Would you be prepared to publish this as a response to the original article? If yes, let me know. I am in touch with Mike Danson, who I think you know


    1. Please do iamsoccerdoc, email John at the gmail account given at the top and he’ll respond – I believe the ‘gaming the system’ meme is just something stirred up by our friendly security services – very effectively I have to say – and could do with some hard and fast countering to get folk away from that kind of thinking.

      John isn’t always very,,, em, diligent ? ,,, at reading our comments.


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