Café carnage?

Carnage in a café in Morocco 2011

Stephen McGowan, self-proclaimed ‘leading and prolific author‘ of the law firm TLT, is all over the Scottish media today saying:

If parliament does not define cafe and it is left to local interpretation as is suggested here, then expect absolute carnage across the country. 

Hmm, prone to exaggeration?

The Herald has him in this:

Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of overseeing a “complete shambles” ahead of a two-week hospitality shutdown in central Scotland.  Experts said the measures risked “absolute carnage” after confusion erupted over which businesses will be affected.

Shambles and carnage, both bloody words in their original meaning.

There has been carnage, real carnage, in cafes many times before. In Jerusalem in 2002, Paris in 2010, Marrakech in 2011. Closer to home, we’ve seen it in Belfast in 1972.

How about, if you have something reasonable and evidence-based to say and bearing in mind the context of the Government’s responsibility to protect hundreds of thousands from this deadly virus, choose your words more carefully?

20 thoughts on “Café carnage?”

  1. Meanwhile, in another place.

    Replying to
    One can imagine the delight in Whitehall as the ‘traffic light system’ was first proposed. Clear and simple. Red, amber, green. Divide the country into 3 zones. Have stricter rules where the case numbers are highest. 2/

    The usual suspects in the press were duly alerted. Boris would be bringing – if not good news – then at least some clarity.

    But… it appears that the plan has yet to be fully thought through. 3/
    Phil Syrpis
    Three key things were (and still are, it seems) missing.

    First, we don’t know how the country is to be divided into three. Where is in which tier? What triggers movement from one tier to the next? How much discretion will the Govt retain? 4/
    Phil Syrpis
    Second, we don’t know what restrictions will apply to each tier. It seems to be accepted that we will be moving beyond the rule of 6 and 10pm curfews… and that we will be stopping short of ‘lockdown’… but what are the rules for each tier to be? 5/
    Phil Syrpis
    And third, what, if any, plans are there to compensate those who will suffer as a result of the more stringent restrictions? 6/
    Phil Syrpis
    Without answers to these questions, the proposals do not add up to very much at all. And yet, as I watch the news, they are being discussed as though they represent a carefully calibrated shift in strategy.

    They are a long way from that. And they do not provide clarity. 7/
    Phil Syrpis
    PS: My best guess as to what is going to happen. The rules will be not unlike those just announced in Scotland. But a bit less restrictive. And with a lot of discretion for Ministers. That seems to have become the pattern. 8/8


  2. Yet more anti-SG propaganda even if ludicrous use of language.
    Probably intended as diversion for Scots from the embarrassments in London, not least of late from the legal establishment…

    Liked by 1 person

    years of Tory rule
    Needless Austerity
    Poverty increasing
    Food Banks
    Long lasting drug problem all brought on by Thatcher,s de industrilation and deliberate and by using our oil wealth
    And all in 1 of the richest Nations
    With massive natural resources and the capabilities to deploy for the responsible
    Common good
    That is CARNAGE

    Liked by 1 person

  4. BBC hurl Hospitality at Scot Gov.

    The BBC are facing a backlash from their remaining audience. All this week they have served up Hospitality owners facing being closed down, angry and blaming Sco Gov. .

    On GMS Stephen Riecher (st. andrews Uni) explaining how to combat Covid , followed by J. Leitch atfter 8am putting the Gov. And Scientific case.

    Morning Moan-in. Stephen Jardine read txts.with a slight majority pro Scot Gov. Some “sick with Hospitality reps. Moaning”
    It’s the first day during this propaganda onslaught when pro Scot Gov, anti Covid voices have been given a fair representation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The restrictions starting this evening, will be reviewed in 3 weeks, which takes us to 30, October, which is the day before the furlough scheme is due to end. So ‘hospitality’ businesses can use that scheme as they did previously.

      Rather than carping at the Scottish Government, why are they not demanding that the furlough scheme be extended, in some form?

      The Chancellor of the Exchequer is to make a statement later today.

      It is very likely that similar, perhaps even stricter restrictions will have to be introduced in England.

      Then, the Scottish media will be complaining, “Why are similarly HARSH measure not being imposed here?” They love these brutal terms, like HARSH, CARNAGE, DEATH KNELL, etc.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Alisdair
        How about these words to described ABC (BBC)
        As a Gentleman I must refrain from
        Use of more suitable and profound terminology

        Liked by 1 person

  5. “They love these brutal terms, like HARSH, CARNAGE, DEATH KNELL, etc.”

    They do, indeed, Alasdair, and will have opportunity to use them.

    “Fionna O’Leary, 🕯
    World Health Organization reported a record one-day increase in global CV19 cases, with the total rising by 338,779 in 24 hours. The previous record for new cases was 330,340 on 2 Oct.

    Europe is now reporting more cases than India, Brazil or the USA”


  6. BBC Scotland.
    Context and perspective free “news”.
    A daily platform for “victims” whether representative or not–usually not.
    Opposition given freedom to say any old thing without question or interruption.
    News at 1.30 and 6pm ALWAYS start late–often up to 4minutes late.
    Crude bias and Unionist-slewed output the norm, with Unionist agitators given air time with reference to their political ties.
    Presenters like Gordon Brewer not intellectually up to the job, and are obviously not neutral.

    BBC England may be frightened by the Johnson regime(which affects many aspects of their journalism) , but it tries to present news with context, regionality and in some depth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “BBC Scotland. Context and perspective free ‘news’. A daily platform for “victims” whether representative or not–usually not.’ So very true gavinochiltree, and demonstrable, in plain sight.

      I watched BBC Reporting Scotland yesterday evening (I know, I know!). I didn’t count the number of times one particular word was used during the programme but it was used frequently and the overall programme was framed by it. The term was ‘confused’ or ‘confusion’. This frame was reinforced by various Vox Pop interviews.

      If matters are ‘confusing’ on something as important as public health-related issues then can it be acceptable for the public service broadcaster to leave the claimed public confusion largely unaddressed? Is it acceptable for the public service broadcaster to fail then to give voice to those who could (and would) resolve people’s specific, expressed ’confusions’ which the BBC has itself amplified?

      Well no – and to fail to do so is hardly in line with the terms of the BBC Charter:

      “5. The BBC’s Mission
      The Mission of the BBC is to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and DISTINCTIVE output and services which INFORM, EDUCATE and entertain. “(my emphasis)

      The Charter also states:

      “6. The Public Purposes: The Public Purposes of the BBC are as follows.

      To provide impartial news and INFORMATION TO HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND and engage with the world around them: the BBC should provide duly accurate and impartial news, current affairs and factual programming to BUILD PEOPLE’S UNDERSTANDING of all parts of the United Kingdom and of the wider world.

      Its content should be provided to the highest editorial standards. It should offer a range and DEPTH OF ANALYSIS AND CONTENT not widely available from other United Kingdom news providers, using the highest calibre presenters and journalists, and championing freedom of expression, so that all audiences can engage fully with major local, regional, national, United Kingdom and global issues and participate in the democratic process, at all levels, as active and INFORMED CITIZENS.”

      In addition, and exacerbating the frequent absence of context, BBC Scotland’s coverage, and especially its Reporting Scotland programme, makes heavy use of the ‘salient exemplar’ as a journalistic tool.

      It is widely accepted that the human psyche is predisposed naturally to take an aberration— what linguist George Lakoff called the “salient exemplar”—and conflate it with the norm. Context free reporting amplifies the distortions in public information and understanding caused by (over-) use of the salient exemplar.

      I think we can be sure that the professionals leading BBC Scotland’s editorial policy know about the ‘salient exemplar’ and its use as a tactic in agenda-driven political discourse. And yet they seem happy to exploit this device frequently regardless of whether it accords with the intent – or even the spirit – of the BBC Charter.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. ‘Drivetime’ tonight was rabble rousing on behalf of the Licensed Trade. This was pure political involvement and overtly hostile to the policies of the SG.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Having just watched the career “confused” Peter A Smith from ITV’s abrasive theatrics at today’s Covid Update “from a cafe in your own constituency”, there is no doubt the politically directed propaganda has now been focussed on the FM in person.
    Coincidences occur, but when the Herald goes full on confusion on hearsay which ITV then apes almost verbatim, collusion is a more obvious than mere chance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bob Lamont
      No doubts whatsoever all this is command and control by the Dark Forces
      Of Wastemonster
      And you aint seen nothing yet
      This is just the warm up


    2. In fairness, Bob…
      He *could* just be a lazy and/or crap journalist who’ll latch onto anything that sounds sensational enough to make him look good without bothering to work.

      Must’ve been put out by NS saying Oh yes – I think I know the one you mean. I like it. Then go on to say their local health people would be able to clarify but if in any doubt, err on the side of caution until you find out!


      1. In fairness, his stunt did indeed fall flat, actually quite surprised the cafe owners didn’t give him a free aerosol cream facial live over ‘their’ alleged confusion.
        Indeed from previous appearance he is trying to stand out rather than be an outstanding journalist.
        He certainly came off the worst from his stunt, something tells me after misrepresenting the owners’ opinion once he’ll not try a second time, but a can of foam will be readied should he be so brazen to try again.


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