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Showing posts with label Brian Monteith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brian Monteith. Show all posts

Monday, 16 December 2013

My Tweets – Monday. Donors, culture, powers after a No vote

I can help: they're campaigning to keep Labour MPs jobs, salaries and expenses intact on Westminster gravy train Peter Curran@moridura 9m @leeb0147 All the Scottish puppets of three Union parties will offer recommendations, worth zero - immediately binned by Westminster bosses.

Peter Curran@moridura 10m Brian Monteith:"opinion polling showing UKIP could do well in Scotland in next June’s elections" What elections June 2014? EU 22 May 2014?

Peter Curran@moridura 25m

@leeb0147 Any increased powers would be electoral suicide for a UK party that proposed them in 2015 manifesto, or introduced them. DevoMinus

Peter Curran@moridura 27m Brian Monteith:"it is as if the Scotland Act is the dog that does not bark, that it has been muzzled by its owners" You got that bit right.

Peter Curran@moridura 34m What Brian Monteith, BetTog and 3 unionist parties avoid like the plague is that Unionist Scotland has near zero influence on more powers.

Peter Curran@moridura 35m Brian Monteith "strange aspects of debate that neither BetTog campaign nor three main unionist parties mention Scotland Act" Not strange. Sinister

Peter Curran@moridura 38m

Read Monteith's incredible smoke screen and nonsense on more powers, then read my blog http://www.scotsman.com/news/brian-monteith-unionists-need-alternatives-1-3234337 … and http://moridura.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/what-awaits-scotland-after-no-vote.html …

Peter Curran@moridura 40m This must be black humour: it's removed from any reality. There's a good reason why the Scotland Act is avoided by BT http://www.scotsman.com/news/brian-monteith-unionists-need-alternatives-1-3234337 …

Peter Curran@moridura 42m Brian Monteith: "If unionist parties . argue that they will give further powers to Holyrood . their record suggests they can be trusted" !!!

Peter Curran@moridura 47m @LichtieFreedom Your tweet was addressed to me, Graeme - no link to Marion

Peter Curran@moridura 53m @LichtieFreedom Who's Marion?

Peter Curran@moridura 54m @LichtieFreedom It has been unkindly suggested that I DID come from anothe planet. When I mix with deadhead No supporters, I feel that way..

Peter Curran@moridura 56m @MackinonMarquis My ebook has a Mackinnon in it, Rhoda.

Peter Curran@moridura 58m @Ross_Greer @JoanMcAlpine @GailLythgoe Is it being recorded, Ross? YouTube?

Peter Curran@moridura 1h @pilaraymara Great article on Scots and home, Pilar. Here's the traditional song of Scots leaving, promising return. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7cmmQwRnks …

Peter Curran@moridura 1h @MarketWatch Money isn't 'real' but it's taxable. Bitcoins are a currency, not money.

Peter Curran@moridura 4h @joycemcm B - and maybe C?

Peter Curran@moridura 4h If I'd just arrived in Scotland from nearby planet, I'd be convinced to vote YES by the arguments and character alone of those supporting No

Peter Curran@moridura 5h Anyone who doubts that there's a Scot/Brit Establishment hostile to the independence of Scotland only has to look at BT's big money donors.

Peter Curran@moridura 5h Arsenal FC chairman, Old Etonian Sir Chips Keswick (wife daughter of 16th Earl of Dalhousie) gave BetterTogether £23k http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chips_Keswick …

Peter Curran@moridura 5h Donald Houston, Ardnamurchan Estate owner - huge donor to Better Together - also owns Glenborrodale Castle Hotel and the Adelphi distillery

Peter Curran@moridura 5h Sir Keith Craig and Christopher Wilkins gave £10k each to Better Together. Both linked to Hakluyt http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakluyt_&_Company … Now there's a thing

Peter Curran@moridura 5h £10k donation from Sir Keith Craig - works for intelligence-gathering firm Hakluyt. Christopher Wilkins gave £10k. He helped found Hakluyt.

Peter Curran@moridura 5h Andrew Fraser, stockbroker - £1m donor to Tory Party - gave Better Together £200,000. Blair McDougall welcomes such Tory donors, such cash.

Peter Curran@moridura 5h Donald Houston, Ardnamurchan Estate gave £600k to Better Together: £500k thru Rain Dance International and Beinn Bhuidhe £100k in own name.

Peter Curran@moridura 5h Historical novelist Christopher Sansom, whose novel 'Dominion' attacked SNP, has given £294,000 in total to the anti-independence campaign.

Peter Curran@moridura 5h Scotsman catches up with donor story: big pic of UK-OK Blair McDougall. UK's not OK, Blair - haven't you noticed? http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scottish-independence-pro-union-donors-revealed-1-3234090 … … … 

Peter Curran@moridura 6h @lipmarty75 @StephenMcGann It would not be as meanignful. It's perceptions vs stats reality, and Scotland is very different in both areas.

Peter Curran@moridura 7h @lipmarty75 @StephenMcGann We have a thriving Muslim community in Scotland, making a great contribution to our economy and our national life

Peter Curran@moridura 7h National Collective have committed the unforgivable sin from a unionist perspective - they have made an independent Scotland fashionable ... 

Peter Curran@moridura 7h @Fankledoose How could I? I am one - but proud to be a member of National Collective, trying to get fit enough to join the partying ...

Peter Curran@moridura 7h What represents Scottish culture better than the youthful, joyous, partying, literate, artistic, musical, intelligent National Collective?

Peter Curran@moridura 7h Christians united in love and harmony? Naw, same auld squabbling Kirk factions and as ever, money, property, power. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/minister-fails-in-battle-to-leave-kirk-over gay-clergy-row.22958926 …

Peter Curran@moridura 7h @StephenMcGann @GlaikitGeezer @IpsosMORI This chart is not UK - it's Census population 2012 England and Wales. Scotland and NI not included

Peter Curran@moridura 7h Very odd comment from a Marco Antonio Godoy. YouTube marked as spam, but I let it through for a laugh. Scroll down http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95veFnBZnjo&google_comment_id=z12rtf3pttaczjrfo23devkovnrycdov1&google_view_type#gpluscomments …

Peter Curran@moridura 7h A culture is more than its art: it is a people expressing their values and their choices through their art, behaviour, languages and choices

Peter Curran@moridura 7h David Torrance misunderstands in saying a culture is more than who rules us. It's about who the Scottish people choose to rule them.

Peter Curran@moridura 8h @pilaraymara Thanks, Pilar - I hope Clifford clears his name. Many Scots fought and died to fight Franco's fascism in the 1930s

Peter Curran@moridura 8h Court confirms judgment of the Fonsagrada, which condemned Clifford Torrents Colman, who hammered off the Franco plaque, to pay 434 euros

Peter Curran@moridura 8h A culture springs from the people, David Torrance. Scotland's people express their wish for independence significantly through their culture

Peter Curran@moridura 8h "Our culture is more than the result of who rules us" A unionist, David Torrance, rattled by National Collective. http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/our-culture-is-more-than-the-result-of-who-rules-us.22938947 …

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

“… the birth of a new democratic, sovereign Scotland” Brian Monteith in the Scotsman

Tomorrow, Venus will cross the face of the Sun. No, it’s not a Page Three girl on the front page of a tabloid, it’s The Transit of Venus, an astronomical event which last occurred in 2004 but won’t occur again until 2117. It happens when Venus, the Earth and the Sun are in alignment.

The independence referendum in the autumn of 2014 will be the last for a long time, but no one can predict when, if ever, another such event will occur if Scotland votes NO. A large number of things will have to be in alignment if Scotland is to achieve its independence, and the Scotsman newspaper is doing its best to ensure that they are not, in fact, its aim is to ensure a total – and permanent – eclipse of the aspirations of  Scots who want their country to be independent by permanently keeping a dead moon, the UK, between Scotland and the light of global freedom.

However, as is their way, they do occasionally give a place to a commentator who has something useful to say about the Great Debate. Today it is Lesley Riddoch on the BBC, specifically BBC Scotland. It is well worth a read, and you can read it here.

In her trenchant analysis, Lesley makes a point that has been close to my heart, one that I have made many times, about the narrow pool – and narrow geographical radius from Pacific Quay - from which BBC Scotland lazily draws its commentators.

LESLEY RIDDOCH

“... the Beeb’s own narrow selection of TV guests reinforces the impression that intelligent opinion is held only by the hyper-opinionated metropolitan few.

“... current affairs relies on a small number of conveniently located commentators who hop nightly between the Pacific Quay studios of the BBC and STV. Does no-one outside the chattering classes or the Central Belt have a view on our constitutional future?”

The main reason I suspect is that BBC Scotland only makes up its mind very late in the day to invite a commentator or panellist - often at short notice on the day of transmission - and defaults to the easy option of drawing from the Glasgow media types’ dormitories, e.g. Glasgow central and the West End. Extreme parochialism and crony networks have always been a feature of BBC Scotland in my lifetime, although there are brave and hardy – some might say foolhardy – journalists and producers who try to break down this stultifying pattern.

BRIAN MONTEITH/ThinkScotland.com

A regular contributor to the independence debate in the Scotsman is Brian Monteith. His right to such a regular platform rests on the fact that he is ‘on message’ in totally opposing independence, and his democratic claim to this rests on the fact that he is policy director of a right-wing think tank funded by a rich individual, Robert Kilgour.

The Scotsman give the URL of ThinkScotland as ThinkScotland.com

I have news for them – this domain is for sale – I quote whois.com as follows -

This domain name (THINKSCOTLAND.COM) without content is available for sale by its owner through Sedo's Domain Marketplace.

Best get it right, guys – it’s thinkscotland.org

Here’s what I’ve said about them in the past The New Right in Scotland

Brian is full of advice for the NO Campaign today – read him here Unionists for Scotland not a contradiction

He at least gave me one laugh -

Secondly, and most importantly of all, these are swing voters; they are currently counted in the unionists’ No pile but if they move to the Nationalists’ Yes pile, they have the effect of not just adding to the Yes vote but subtracting from the No.”   BRIAN MONTEITH

Fancy that! If someone who planned to vote NO votes YES, it adds one vote to the YES’s and subtracts one vote from the NO’s. What an insight! I never thought of that! That level of deep psephological understanding warrants at least a CBE, maybe even a knighthood.

But Brian also made a kind of Freudian slip, and brightened my morning no end with this phrase -

“... the result would be the break-up of the United Kingdom and the birth of a new democratic, sovereign Scotland.”  BRIAN MONTEITH 

The birth of a new, democratic, sovereign Scotland 

I like that, Brian!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The New Right in Scotland? Brian Monteith, the Scottish Tories and C-PAC

Brian Monteith had an article in the Scotsman yesterday entitled Scottish slant on US group could fill Tory gap

My resp0nse is in a letter published in the Scotsman today - New Right Fears  (By the way, I should have said Rush Limbaugh, not Ross Limbaugh – typo!)

If you want to know what the group that Brian Monteith is touting as a model for the Scottish Right - C-PAC – stands for, try Conservative Political Action Conference

Here is what I said about Brian Monteith, his think tanks and his thoughts on Scottish Conservatism back in October last year – worth another look -

BLOG OCTOBER 2011

I had something to say about Brian Monteith and ThinkScotland back in July

Brian Monteith - ThinkScotland July 2011 and here we are again today...

Calling something a think tank is intended to give it an air of responsibility, conjuring up images of learned, objective academics, highly qualified in their fields, detached and disinterested, considering great problems, offering their pearls of wisdom to the people.

There are probably a few think tanks internationally that more or less conform to that ideal, but many are front organisations for shadowy interests, such as the kind of things American neocons sponsor quietly. The religious right is fond of them too, and these types of think tanks offer lucrative lecture tours and sponsorships for academics and experts who display the correct political orientation, or who are happy to faithfully reflect a line, and compromise their academic integrity for the goodies they receive.


Some of the even manage to fool the charity commissioners and are set up as non-profit organisations – non-profit until you consider the substantial gain to individuals involved in them in fees, lecture tours, expenses, global travel, etc. Indeed we have a recent egregious example that brought down a cabinet minister in the UK.

Think Scotland, however, is not one of the above types, and as my July blog – linked above – shows, there is nothing secretive about them, in who their founder and funder is, and what their politics are – it’s all up there for inspection if you take the trouble to visit their website - ThinkScotland - about us

What they most certainly are not is objective about Scotland, Scottish politics or the Union. And as far as the elected Government of Scotland are concerned, well, this can be judged from today’s effusion from Brian Monteith in the Scotsman – where else – entitled

 Sinister centralism at home in SNP. Monteith's Scotsman article 31 October 2011

In his second column, para 4, Brian Monteith makes the following complaint, after asserting that anyone that is not one of us (i.e.) the SNP) … “will be ridiculed, pilloried or marginalised”.

“ … cybernat bloggers consistently play the man and not the ball when posting comments on Scotsman.com”

He goes on to say “Sadly this style on intimidation is something that one has come to expect from the SNP.”

Of course Brian does not ridicule, pillory, or play the man, not the ball. (He can hardly marginalise the Government of Scotland, elected by a landslide majority.) The full text is linked above, so you can read it all for yourselves. But here is a flavour of Brian heroically resisting the tendency to ridicule, pillory and play the man – and woman – not the ball …

EXCERPTS

“There is a repugnant, sinister centralism in the SNP government’s behaviour …”

“All politicians suffer from hubris and Alex Salmond reveals it with alarming regularity, but what appears to be a bullying nature and a fear of losing control are now coming to the fore.”

“If this type of spinning and subterfuge continues, last week’s apology may not be the last Alex Salmond has to make.”

“Sadly, this style of intimidation is something one has come to expect from the SNP; it betrays an ugly side to nationalism that is as abusively sectarian as anything said at an Old Firm match – “

“Even the nice Mr Swinney has shown bullying tendencies that cannot be dismissed as mere political arm-twisting …”

“Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon will reintroduce her policy of minimum pricing of alcohol despite the evidence debunking the claim that price is the main factor leading to alcohol abuse. Her bullying of smokers will continue unabated …”

“In education, we can see an impatient if not arrogant Michael Russell dropping the arms-length principle; threatening the independent appointment of university principals and condoning the “merger by fax” of Dundee and Abertay universities …”

Russell’s central diktat …”

“Whichever way we look, Scotland under the SNP is becoming centralised, censored or bullied. Is it any wonder so many question privately what independence would be like under an imperious Premier Salmond?”

COMMENT

The above is the language of a right-wing think tank, representative of nobody but the individual who funds it and the handful of people who contribute to its ‘thoughts’. In it, I hear the authentic echoes of Fox News and Ross Limbaugh. It uses highly coloured terms, expresses contempt for individual politicians by the use of these terms, and attempts to engender an air of conspiracy and paranoia around the sober business of government, in a highly challenging time for the Scottish economy and the Scottish people, when the global economy is extremely fragile.

If this kind of journalism is what ThinkScotland produces – and what the Scotsman thinks deserves a platform - I think Scotland can do without its thoughts, and the Scotsman has to reflect on its editorial judgement. Of course, Brian Monteith can dismiss me as a cybernat blogger, part of the great SNP conspiracy and sinister centralism.

And of course he can also say that I am playing the man, not the ball.

Well, this man has no ball, so what’s left for me – or anyone – to play?

Monday, 31 October 2011

Playing the man and not the ball – Brian Monteith in the Scotsman

I had something to say about Brian Monteith and ThinkScotland back in July Brian Monteith - ThinkScotland July 2011 and here we are again today...

Calling something a think tank is intended to give it an air of responsibility, conjuring up images of learned, objective academics, highly qualified in their fields, detached and disinterested, considering great problems, offering their pearls of wisdom to the people.

There are probably a few think tanks internationally that more or less conform to that ideal, but many are front organisations for shadowy interests, such as the kind of things American neocons sponsor quietly. The religious right is fond of them too, and these types of think tanks offer lucrative lecture tours and sponsorships for academics and experts who display the correct political orientation, or who are happy to faithfully reflect a line, and compromise their academic integrity for the goodies they receive.


Some of the even manage to fool the charity commissioners and are set up as non-profit organisations – non-profit until you consider the substantial gain to individuals involved in them in fees, lecture tours, expenses, global travel, etc. Indeed we have a recent egregious example that brought down a cabinet minister in the UK.


Think Scotland, however, is not one of the above types, and as my July blog – linked above – shows, there is nothing secretive about them, in who their founder and funder is, and what their politics are – it’s all up there for inspection if you take the trouble to visit their website - ThinkScotland - about us

What they most certainly are not is objective about Scotland, Scottish politics or the Union. And as far as the elected Government of Scotland are concerned, well, this can be judged from today’s effusion from Brian Monteith in the Scotsman – where else – entitled

 Sinister centralism at home in SNP. Monteith's Scotsman article 31 October 2011

In his second column, para 4, Brian Monteith makes the following complaint, after asserting that anyone that is not one of us (i.e.) the SNP) … “will be ridiculed, pilloried or marginalised”.

“ … cybernat bloggers consistently play the man and not the ball when posting comments on Scotsman.com”

He goes on to say “Sadly this style on intimidation is something that one has come to expect from the SNP.”

Of course Brian does not ridicule, pillory, or play the man, not the ball. (He can hardly marginalise the Government of Scotland, elected by a landslide majority.) The full text is linked above, so you can read it all for yourselves. But here is a flavour of Brian heroically resisting the tendency to ridicule, pillory and play the man – and woman – not the ball …

EXCERPTS

“There is a repugnant, sinister centralism in the SNP government’s behaviour …”

“All politicians suffer from hubris and Alex Salmond reveals it with alarming regularity, but what appears to be a bullying nature and a fear of losing control are now coming to the fore.”

“If this type of spinning and subterfuge continues, last week’s apology may not be the last Alex Salmond has to make.”

“Sadly, this style of intimidation is something one has come to expect from the SNP; it betrays an ugly side to nationalism that is as abusively sectarian as anything said at an Old Firm match – “

“Even the nice Mr Swinney has shown bullying tendencies that cannot be dismissed as mere political arm-twisting …”

“Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon will reintroduce her policy of minimum pricing of alcohol despite the evidence debunking the claim that price is the main factor leading to alcohol abuse. Her bullying of smokers will continue unabated …”

“In education, we can see an impatient if not arrogant Michael Russell dropping the arms-length principle; threatening the independent appointment of university principals and condoning the “merger by fax” of Dundee and Abertay universities …”

Russell’s central diktat …”

“Whichever way we look, Scotland under the SNP is becoming centralised, censored or bullied. Is it any wonder so many question privately what independence would be like under an imperious Premier Salmond?”

COMMENT

The above is the language of a right-wing think tank, representative of nobody but the individual who funds it and the handful of people who contribute to its ‘thoughts’. In it, I hear the authentic echoes of Fox News and Ross Limbaugh. It uses highly coloured terms, expresses contempt for individual politicians by the use of these terms, and attempts to engender an air of conspiracy and paranoia around the sober business of government, in a highly challenging time for the Scottish economy and the Scottish people, when the global economy is extremely fragile.

If this kind of journalism is what ThinkScotland produces – and what the Scotsman thinks deserves a platform - I think Scotland can do without its thoughts, and the Scotsman has to reflect on its editorial judgement. Of course, Brian Monteith can dismiss me as a cybernat blogger, part of the great SNP conspiracy and sinister centralism.

And of course he can also say that I am playing the man, not the ball.

Well, this man has no ball, so what’s left for me – or anyone – to play?

Monday, 25 July 2011

Brian Monteith and ThinkScotland.org

Brian Monteith makes one of his regular appearances in the columns of The Scotsman today, with a piece entitled Playing the name game could help the LibDems, one of a series of articles from Brian and others that have appeared since the SNP’s electoral victory in May, all of them designed to offer one form or another of artificial resuscitation to the parties so decisively rejected by the Scottish electorate.

Since Brian Monteith is a Tory, and ThinkScotland.org is a Tory thinktank (I will defend that assertion shortly) - although it doesn’t fly under Tory colours - this is rather like one corpse trying to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to another- a grisly spectacle, not for the faint-hearted.

All of the articles of this type are characterised by loathing for the SNP, the democratic choice of the people of Scotland in two elections, who presumably ‘thought Scotland’ when they made their choice so decisively at the ballot box.

I quote -

While the SNP delays and dodges tough decisions …”

The LibDems are at a very low ebb in Scotland and it is no surprise that the SNP is mischievously  suggesting members and politicians leave the party to join them. Leaving aside the notion that true liberals would wish to join a party that has some of the most illiberal Tartan Taleban within its midst …”

What is Brian - and ThinkScotland’s - grand plan for the LibDems?

Leave big business to the Tories, and leave  the unions to Labour for now - the Liberals can give a voice to the articulate and moderate professional classes that is warm and reassuring to voters about what independence might mean.”

In spite of the above, he closes by advising the Liberals to return “to their radical Scottish roots”.

By abandoning big business to the venal and values-free Tories and the unions to the equally venal and values-free Scottish Labour Party? How radical is that, guys?

Become the Valium Party for those timid professional classes to scared to stand for anything, desperate for reassurance, and let the Tories and Labour continue unchallenged with their rapine and exploitation of the people?

ThinkScotland

Here is the link to ThinkScotland - About us - go the the team for more information.

It was founded by Robert Kilgour and the organisation is wholly funded by him. He is a Scottish entrepreneur, international investor and property developer working out of London.  He stood as a Tory in Hamilton South in 1997.

ThinkScotland states that it “is not aligned to any political party and welcomes diverse contributions and debate.”

It looks to me like a Tory thinktank, but judge for yourself by its team of advisors -

Phil Gallie (deceased) was one - a former Scottish Tory MP and MSP

Elena Kachkova -Parliamentary Adviser to Struan Stevenson MEP at the Scottish Conservatives Central Office (1999 - 2002). She moved to South Africa in 2002 where she continues a successful career as a Consultant on matters relating to the former Soviet Socialist Republics, and political affairs in South Africa.

Richard Cook - Director of an export company in the environmental waste management and recycling industry. A former Vice Chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party.

Struan Stevenson became a Conservative MEP in 1999. He is currently the Conservative’s Front-Bench Spokesman on Fisheries and Deputy Spokesman on Agriculture.

Shailesh Vara was elected as the Conservative MP for North West Cambridgeshire in May 2005. He is currently Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons.

Margaret Mitchell was elected as the Conservative List MSP for Central Scotland in 2003.

There are other advisors whose political affiliation is not stated. They are -

Bob Leitch - Chief Executive of Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry

John McGlynn - founded the Airlink group with interests in car parking, property development, document storage and venture capital. In 2005, he founded Scotland House to promote business links between Scotland and Estonia

Paul Holleran - National Organiser for the National Union of Journalists.

Tino Nombro - of Ambergreen - an early pioneer of search marketing delivering cutting edge search strategies for forward thinking bluechip brands, including My Travel, Marks & Spencer Money and Carphone Warehouse.

Charles Ferguson - a Solicitor Advocate based in Hamilton - specialises in criminal matters.

Jackie Anderson - retail experience at Mark & Spencers' store at the Gyle, Edinburgh, “before deciding to travel the world and write - bringing her down-to-earth, provocative and humorous take on life to ThinkScotland. “

CONCLUSION

Lastly, let me address Brian Monteith’s shabby attack on the SNP.

Yes, Brian - there are those in the online community who express extreme views in favour of Scotland’s independence. Like the sectarian ranters of Scottish football, they are matched by equally extreme views from the Tory extreme right and the Labour extreme left.

But there is a difference, and one that the Scottish Tories and LibDems would do well to consider carefully, and that is that the Scottish National Party is not afraid to reach out to the deprived and underprivileged in Scottish society - the people who have been betrayed over generation by Scottish Tories and Scottish Labour. These Scots - often young Scots - have been deprived educationally and socially, and their political views are often inchoate, and expressed in primitive and sometimes extreme language.

But they are learning and learning fast, and they know who is on their side and who is not. It once was the Labour Party - it was never the Tory Party - it is now the Scottish National Party.