Never trust a unionist!

The problem with articles such as this written by hard-line unionists is, not so much spotting the dishonesty and distortion, as deciding which bits of dishonesty and distortion to deal with. Unless one has unlimited time, it is rarely feasible to deal with all the lies and misrepresentation. Often, it is a matter of choosing things at random.

So it is that I find myself responding to this gobbet of dishonesty,

What they don’t want you to know is that it’s £3bn (and probably actually less than that) over ten years.

We should probably make allowances here. The pedant would doubtless point out that it’s not actually a lie unless the person saying it knows it to be untrue and is wilfully seeking to mislead. It is entirely possible – even probable – that Alex Massie has genuinely convinced himself that the SNP has sought to conceal the fact that the £3bn in question is (a) an estimate; and (b) a reduction in Scotland’s budget spread over ten years. Only a little experience of the British nationalist mindset is enough to be aware it is quite possible for such ideologues to be blind and deaf to what has actually been said if this conflicts with the reality constructed by their dumb prejudice.

Thus, Mr Massie could well have had right in front of his nose a direct quote from John Swinney or Nicola Sturgeon which gives the lie to his assertion, but it would be invisible to him. A quote such as the following from the First Minister (,

The current proposal on the table from the Treasury, which has been described by them as a concession, would, by our estimation, and all else being equal, reduce the Scottish budget by almost £3 billion over the next ten years.

Pardon me labouring the point here. Bear in mind that the purpose is to overcome stubbornly selective blindness/deafness and a pathological urge to deny reality. That is why it is necessary to point out as pedantically as I do that the words “by our estimation” wholly contradict the first part of Massie’s claim, while the phrase “over the next ten years” totally demolishes the second.

These are the facts. Those who, unlike Alex Massie, deal in observable reality rather than fantasy and fabrication, must decide for themselves whether the man is a liar. And whether it is advisable to give any credence to the remainder of his scribbling.

Should we, for example, take him at all seriously when he claims to have found a “splendid irony” in an SNP perspective that is entirely a product of his own imagination? Especially when he boldly declares his bias with the assumption that the British Treasury has “fairness and logic on its side” in its dispute with the Scottish Government over a fiscal framework for the latest round of inept constitutional tinkering.

In a very real sense, it doesn’t matter whether political propagandists such as Alex Massie are liars, according to any strict definition of that term, or merely the purveyors of untruths that large numbers of people see when they look at journalists. It is of no consequence because British nationalists do not regard it as wrong to lie in the name of defending the ruling elites of the British state. Indeed, if the first independence referendum campaign taught us anything, it is that British nationalists take considerable pride in being effective liars.

This, as much as all the considerable and conclusive evidence of dishonesty, is why we should never trust a unionist.

21 thoughts on “Never trust a unionist!

  1. Peter, on 9 February you re-tweeted Peter Murrell saying \”Scotland was promised extra powers, not extra powers in exchange for a £3bn cut in our budget\” @NicolaSturgeon. No mention of that figure being spread over 10 years or its being a forecast rather than a fact. So that's the head of the SNP copying in the 1st minister on a tweet that deliberately overstates the difference between the 2 governments positions. I think you do protest too much!


  2. In fact looking at Nicola Sturgeons timeline she refers to a £3bn budget cut on a number of occasions rather than a £300m cut which would be consistent with the populations understanding that Scotlands Budget refers to a single year. Seems like Mr Massie is making a valid point Peter, you may find one quote of the FM refering to it being over 10 years, however in all her output on Twitter she refers to the £3bn figure without clarification. Never trust a separatist hey!


  3. Are you aware that Tweets are limited to a maximum of 140 characters? See if you can work out why that's relevant. And why it is so plainly idiotic to suppose that a Tweet might trump a full statement.Have a wee think.


  4. It's not idiotic Peter. It's idiotic to aggregate 10 years worth of variation to get the £3bn figure and then pump that out on Twitter, it's pretty easy to say on average we will be £300m worse of each year.Have a wee think.


  5. Yes that is a fact, as are her tweets mentioning only the £3bn figure. They are both facts. The world is not clear cut but using £300m per year would have been a more honest representation of what the argument is about


  6. I don't suffer fools gladly. But instead of whining why not devote that energy to trying to figure out the glaringly obvious reason that the £3bn figure was used?Your problem is that you didn't ask the obvious question. You just followed your prejudice as far as a conclusion that you were comfortable with, then stopped thinking altogether.O reflection, I'm fed up with this. So you've missed out on an opportunity for a bit of intellectual exercise. The reason the £3bn figure is used is that it relates directly to the £4.5bn being bandied about by the British Treasury.I'll leave you to ponder that with no expectation at all that you'll grasp the point.This exchange is closed.


  7. So I was watching Alex Salmond on BBC Breakfast yesterday morning, where he was turning all questions re the EU around to his agenda on Scotland. And lo and behold he accused Cameron of arguing about a trivial £30m a year on EU child benefit payments, when there was a £3bn difference between the UK and Scotland in the fiscal framework negotiations.Not only again proving Mr Massies point but going further in deliberately seeking to mislead viewers with a skewed we say, never trust a Seperatist.


  8. I must just note that I was correct in assuming that you would remain stubbornly blind to the facts of the situation. And while you continue to whine in the most pathetically childish fashion about Alex Salmond saying £3bn, you dumbly ignore the British Treasury using the figure of £4.5bn. Evidently, you are too stupid to realise that the former is directly comparable with the latter.As we say, British nationalists are intellectually crippled by their hateful ideology.


  9. Dear oh Dear Peter your argument seems to have changed. You started by haranguing Mr Massie for suggesting that the SNP did not want the public to know the £3bn was over ten years. You are now saying it is perfectly reasonable not to mention it is over 10 years because the Treasury have referred to a figure of £4.5bn. I notice this is not an argument you put forward in your original article. Probably because it is pish.As you say\”If alternative media is to pose a meaningful challenge to established power then it must capture the authoritative status once associated with the 'quality' newspapers and the BBC\”You have a long way to go!


  10. Like ||I said. It was always unlikely that you would understand the point about directly comparable figures. Not that it is a difficult thing to understand. Just that you are evidently not equipped to grasp it.What is slightly puzzling is why you are going to such extraordinary lengths to emphasise your stupidity.Not my problem.


  11. Crikey, the're at it again. FM says in Parliament \”new offer would lead to £2.5bn cut over the 10 years from 2022\”, then SNP immediately tweet, \”treasury latest offer, wait 5 years then cut Scotlands budget by an estimated £2.5bn\” when the mean an estimated £250m.Any rational definition of Scotland's Budget is for a single financial year, as per Mr Swinney's annual budget statement, so yet again Mr Massie's point is being proven.Time to take down your article?


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