Press ‘tsunami of demonisation’ of the First Minister risks thousands of lives

In my local store this morning, the disgraceful undermining of a strategy, backed by experts such as professors Bauld and Sridhar, personalised so as to demonise the the most caring and popular and most democratically representative political leader, in the UK.

The press should be ashamed. You can’t even see the supposedly intelligent Telegraph, top left, shouting: Sturgeon signs death sentence for Scottish pubs.

Driving home I heard Radio Scotland’s Steven Jardine ask listeners to respond to the question of whether these new restrictions are ‘fair‘.

Surely in the midst of a pandemic which has killed thousands in Scotland and where cases are surging, that’s not the question? He could have got an S5 pupil to research the scientific evidence for him and presented that instead?

BBC Scotland have more tasteful headlines but the same perspective. First Minister tries to save lives but that’s not what matters to us?

If compliance levels turn out to be less than required, to suppress this virus, we know who to blame.

29 thoughts on “Press ‘tsunami of demonisation’ of the First Minister risks thousands of lives

  1. These concerted ‘attack lines’ in the bulk of the press and in the broadcast media have recently become much more obviously organised, with very similar phraseology being used. I suspect that this is largely due to the people placed by Mr Dominic Cummings within the Scottish Conservative Party to organise campaigns.
    Since the press have shed so many jobs, there are actually very few people to organise to coordinate the lines of attack.

    The framing of the phone-in question in terms of ‘fairness’, is, I think an example of this.

    However, still showing a degree of independence and journalistic rigour on Good Morning Scotland, Gary Robertson actually asked the two spokespersons for the licensed trade about the lurid and apocalyptic language they were using.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. It has been obvious that the “Scottish” media have had the knives out for Sturgeon since the polling which showed her way ahead of Boris a month or two ago. Every covid-19 story by commentators/journalists has also being accompanied by an unsupported (because it simply isnt true) claim that Scotland has done as badly as England.
    This is a personalised attack on Sturgeon, both as a person and as a political leader.
    The attack lines in EVERY newspaper is exactly the same . Same script?
    This is NOT journalism as is normally practiced in a democracy.

    Scots used to “consume” more newsprint than anyone else in the world.
    Now we dont.
    Anyone surprised?

    Liked by 6 people

  3. I know we here regularly criticise the ABC and MSN in general for their pro-unionist biased manipulation of stories so if they can do it in that context why oh why do they have to choose life and death public health messages to assert ‘the freedom of the press’ and publish ‘balanced’ reporting that undermines those messages.
    I know it is a hundred times worse on our side of the (non existant) border but it applies in England as well. I suppose it essily gives them the next ‘lockdown isn’t working’ and the ‘cure is worse than the virus’ stories but at what an appalling cost. Some have said we are at war with this virus and if you accept that analogy then the MSN are the fifth column. The real Churchill would not have accepted it.
    The sooner we get independence and have all the levels of power including using the media as a power for good the better.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. John,I don’t know if you saw Peston ITV last night he had Davidson on let her ramble on no one from SNP to counter her and its all the fault of the SNP that talks break down according to Leadsom and the Lab person just as bad who was born in Edinburgh but lives in England,a right union get together it was. Davidson says she backs Dross about what he says about London not worrying about Scotland but in other words did not have the “balls” to say so herself when in charge.

    As for the papers disgusting headlines I wonder what it will look like when Boris does the same in England.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right, Scott. From the middle-east National [not Scotland’s National newspaper]:

      “Boris Johnson is drawing up plans to shut pubs and restaurants in the north of England within days to contain a surging infection rate.

      There could also be a ban on overnight stays away from home in some areas.

      It comes after Scotland yesterday announced pubs in the worst-hit areas would shut for 16 days.”

      The hypocrisy of Scotland’s media will be exposed yet again.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. BBC Radio 5 about 10.40 last night.
    Some expert spelling out why further restrictions like closing Hispitality is required, to stop the NHS being over run, and the consequences of that.

    All we get on Britain’s propaganda Station based in Scotland is ” Hospitality owners failing to understand why The FM has had to take action , and worse. Plus Broadcasters asking the audience if they will obey the restrictions, do they agree they are necessary!


      1. I watched the exchanges elsewhere and was horrified to see it become a “continuation of life and normality for the majority” versus “capitalism as it has been for the few”argument.
        What is particularly disturbing is the continued promotion of “herd immunity” despite 6 months of extensive worldwide analysis with zero proof of it’s majority persistence.


        1. Herd immunity re.covid is destined to abject failure
          1.long term covid
          2.years and many cases before any degree
          Of imagined success
          3.The more the virus infects the higher the risk of a very very dangerous mutation
          4.Covid is a RNA Template virus that cannot proof read its genetic code
          Therefore and by nature continually mutates
          5.Eradication is IMPOSSIBLE now
          6.Control ,evolve as a human society,adapt and survive is the ONLY WAY NOW this is a universal truth with such a virus and only knaves believe they can defy nature
          But alas Eton & Oxbridge have no such wisdom to impart no matter how much they chaonlythe wealthy who in this instance are indeed the Stupid


  6. A very clear message and a fact based one
    Derived from research teams world wide
    TOO all owners and staff of everyone in the MSM

    The evidence emerging is now so strong that any who in a position of responsibility CAN NO LONGER IGNORE
    And here is a synopsis of the research and evidence
    Over 30 % and no matter what age group
    Become infected and experience from mild to very severe conditions will be subject to Long Covid which is a most serious matter indeed because it may be 1 or any combination of
    Permanent lower lung scarring
    Liver damage
    Heart damage
    Kidney damage
    Brain frontal lobe damage
    All 5 above are the major organs of the body
    I personally know a 41 yr old fit healthy
    Rugby playing male who was hospitalised
    With covid and I quote his own words
    3 months after discharge from hospital
    I am fucked now for life and have aged at least 20 yrs,no longer fit to work and as time rolls on I shall become a ever increasing burden upon my family and society and it sickens me to the core never been a SNP fan .which i am now
    To watch and see the media attempt to
    Thwart Nicola at every opportunity for selfish and political matters
    Hell mend them and terrible to say I only
    Wish they catch it and end up like me

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That’s very sad, and of course we know it’s happening to many people. This is not like flu where you are ill for days and recover almost fully soon after, it seems to be much worse in the longer term for many people. It’s actually disabling, which is just tragic in the extreme, especially when we have an EngGov who have no sympathy for people who cannot work due to disability. Very worrying indeed.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Those that endeavour to protect the wealth as opposed to both health and wealth
        Will most certainly lose the wealth
        And a ever increasing risk of the health
        From day 1 science and the WHO were well aware of such consequences
        But greed tends to have a open mouth
        And closed ears
        Because a open mouth can hear NOTHING
        and in regards this virus such closed ears are akin to a parachute
        Absolutely useless till it opens


  7. Maybe if we had hundreds or thousand more cases they would be happier.Even better maybe hundred more deaths .It is to try and keep US safe .That she is trying to be fair to as many as she can.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Indeed to add to all the above BBC Scotland in true form echoing much of what the papers are saying and also crucially forgetting to mention £40m will be available to mitigate the financial damage to the sector. It is simply outrageous what is going on in the media which of course, as has already been said, is prompted by the increasing popularity of Sturgeon and the Indy support.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. “.. echoing much of what the papers are saying ..”

      It’s interesting to see a similar point being made from a very different perspective. This is from George Monbiot in the Guardian on 7 October under the deadline: “The biggest threat to the BBC’s independence is the corporation itself”.

      Monbiot writes: ‘.. when I watch Marr’s Sunday programme, it seems to me that the BBC is already part-owned by the oligarchs. To an even greater extent than most BBC news and current affairs, his show follows the newspapers’ lead. Six years ago, Robert Peston, then the BBC’s economics editor, remarked that BBC news is “completely obsessed by the agenda set by newspapers”, especially the Mail and the Telegraph. Since then, nothing has changed. The BBC follows the billionaire press like a faithful dog.’

      Monbiot goes on: ‘These newspapers do not report the news: they create it. Every day, massive events happen: environmental disasters, theft and fraud by the very rich, power grabs and attacks on democracy. Instead of reporting them, the newspapers concoct scandals out of marginal topics, or out of thin air. They turn the public anger that should be directed at billionaires and corporations against refugees, Muslims, the “woke”, the poor. News in the UK is the propaganda of the oligarch, amplified by the BBC.’

      Finally, he adds something quite important especially if placed within the context of the BBC and Scotland: “Impartiality is not just about balance. It’s about the way you construct a picture of the world.” We can replace “the world’ with “Scotland”: Tusker daily reflects on the ‘picture’ of Scotland that the BBC constructs daily.

      Monbiot argues: “The BBC’s appeasement of monied power, both conscious and unconscious, won’t save it. Like Donald Trump, the billionaire owners of the newspapers are constitutionally dissatisfied. However much wealth and power they accumulate, they cannot fill the hole in their hearts. They supported Johnson for a specific purpose: to destroy obstacles to their power – tax, public protections and public institutions.”

      I suggest we here in Scotland experience a BBC complicit in – at least appeasing, at most advocating for – powerful forces within the UK state threatened by self-determination for Scotland and by end of their precious (to them) Union.

      Liked by 4 people

  9. So they are going full on witch hunt in an attempt to demonise Nicola Sturgeon, as has been pointed out portraying anything N. Sturgeon does as being her own personal project. They did the same with A. Salmond. He was demonised not just in Scotland but in England, I had family and friends saying they couldn’t stand ‘that Alic Salmon’ but they didn’t know why!

    The BritNats are desperate to detract from Nicola Sturgeon’s popularity as a competent, caring and effective leader in Scotland, especially when she was included in the list of women leaders who are successfully dealing with and tackling Covid!
    So the demonising will continue unabated. Meanwhile they portray the likes of untRuth Davidson as somehow honest and genuine same with DRoss, when the opposite is true, giving them a platform free of contradiction, which is very sinister indeed.

    It’s a coup in a way, it’s what the US does in Latin American countries, then they install a ‘leader’ of their choice. They can’t do that here, so the tactic is to portray the FM as just well, a very bad person. They know sh*t sticks as well. Let’s hope people have plenty of dettol to clean off the muck the Britnats are throwing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ArtHetty
      Fret not as a trained scientist well versed in collating reputable trusted data
      I am 100 % confident that England is heading for the Titanic iceberg now
      I said over 3 weeks ago that when it became apparent that the 2nd wave had commenced and all the data of the last week merely confirms that new cases,ICU & Hospital admissions are now exponential and that such along with winter flu WILL collapse the EHNS

      Did you see Boris at PMQ,s
      A broken man now
      As a football or boxing manager would observe and then comment to their team
      Go Finish Him off now he is a goner
      Humiliate, Play with him as a cat with a mouse and kill at your pleasure
      Or just put the beast out of its misery
      Your choice


  10. Now here is a ‘test’ for BBC Scotland. Will this be reported?

    The Faculty of Advocates in Scotland has written a remarkable open letter to the UK Prime Minister and Home Secretary, as reported in The National.


    It’s in response to the PM speech to the Tory party conference when he stated that his government was “stopping the whole criminal justice system from being hamstrung by what the home secretary would doubtless – and rightly – call the lefty human rights lawyers, and other do-gooders”.

    The dean of the Faculty, Roddy Dunlop QC in a letter approved by its office bearers, writes: “I deprecate the recent pronouncements – from the Home Office, then from the Home Secretary, and latterly from the Prime Minister himself – to the effect that there is a problem with ‘lefty lawyers’ or ‘activist ‘lawyers’ who are ‘hamstringing’ the justice system.

    “Whether the topic is immigration, or crime, or the constitution, lawyers that act against the state are not being ‘lefty’, nor ‘activist’: they are doing their professional duty. It is simply unconscionable for Her Majesty’s Government to decry in this way the actions of professionals who … are not at liberty to do otherwise.”

    Dunlop goes on: “In this country (and the same cannot be said of all countries), instances of violence against lawyers are, fortunately, rare. However, in a climate of increasing populism, this sort of rhetoric is not only facile and offensive: it is potentially harmful.”

    “With great power comes great responsibility, and I have to say – with great respect – that I simply cannot fathom why is thought in any way appropriate to attempt to vilify, in public, those that are simply doing their job, in accordance with the rule of law.”

    The National reports backing for the Faculty’s position from Scottish Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf and from Joanna Cherry MP. In a tweet on the matter, the Justice Secretary observed: “Radio silence from Scot Tories on this.”

    Will BBC Scotland follow the Tories’ example and remain silent on the matter, and in so doing demonstrate its ‘world leading’ expertise in bias by omission? Time will tell.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. And by (worrying) coincidence I came across this today thanks to Richard Murphy’s excellent Tax Research blog.

      Lord Neuberger, former president of the UK Supreme Court is reported in the Guardian regarding comments he made yesterday:

      ‘Addressing an online meeting of lawyers, Lord Neuberger on Wednesday evening condemned the internal market bill, which enables the government to breach international law and exempts some of its powers from legal challenge.

      “Once you deprive people of the right to go to court to challenge the government, you are in a dictatorship, you are in a tyranny,” Neuberger told the webinar. “The right of litigants to go to court to protect their rights and ensure that the government complies with its legal obligation is fundamental to any system … You could be going down a very slippery slope”.’ ,

      This is remarkable language for a very senior (and arguably establishment, given his recent role) lawyer. Has the UK BBC reported this I wonder?

      We have rightly been concerned that Scotland has been taken out of the EU against the wishes of a majority of its electorate. Arguably, what we are facing now is even more fundamental to our rights as citizens and therefore more urgent to act to avoid – namely being dragged into this Tory regime’s populist hell that we most certainly did not vote for.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Incredible that there are people who still want to go to pubs and clubs and sit drinking without a mask on with other people doing the same.
    No chance of social distancing
    Every chance you will get covid19 and then spread it to other people during the five to fifteen days you don’t know you’ve actually got it

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I sympathise with those who are employed in hospitality. They need support – and I believe ScotGov is doing the best it can to supply that support.

    But I keep coming back to the thought that Scotland has an alcohol problem. Couldn’t this time be used to address that?

    I don’t know if anybody caught FMQs when NS was asked whether licensed restaurants had to close and the response was that they could open but not sell alcohol. Later BS found someone to say “there’s no such thing as a licensed restaurant – there’ll all called licensed premises…” What’s the word I seek? Picky? Petty? Deliberately obtuse?

    His point being how would they tell which could open and which couldn’t. I suppose they could follow Richard Leonard’s method. He must have one – he asked why not just close the ones that disobeyed the rules and let the rest stay open?


  13. I don’t think much of people who are opening businesses exposing their staff to this terrible virus, when they can keep them on furlough at a relatively small expense. Money more important than their own people.

    Don’t watch the BBC. When I stray onto it, I find their “reality” quite jarring. It’s a weirdly different world.

    Liked by 2 people

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