Exploring the flaws in Reuben Duffy and The National’s stance on Alba

Did Neale Hanvey actually say “Ukrainian independence needed to be balanced against Russia’s security concerns”? Reuben Duffy claims that he did. His entire critique of Alba Party’s stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine is based on these words. Yet he neglects to provide a source. And I can find nothing in any published statement from the party which remotely resembles the words Reuben Duffy attributes to Neale Hanvey.

My provisional conclusion, pending some further explanation from Mr Duffy, is that he has misinterpreted what Mr Hanvey said. The resemblance of the article to maliciously dishonest propaganda may be accidental. Mr Duffy may have made a genuine mistake. Or perhaps Neale Hanvey actually did speak as Reuben Duffy asserts, but the professional writer and author of “an academic report focused on Scotland’s foreign policy footprint” simply failed to properly identify his source in a way that cannot do other than call into question his credibility.

Questions arise, also, for The National. The newspaper has presented the article as if it represents authoritative analysis and dispassionate commentary. If my suspicions prove to be well-founded, then it is neither.

Edit Sunday 27 February 2022 14:15

Interesting response from Neale Hanvey.

Edit Tuesday 01 March 2022 06:30

The latest chapter in this sad wee saga is authored by Alex Salmond. As this has been published by The National this morning Neale Hanvey may feel his demand for a right of reply has been satisfied.

Mr Duffy claims to have found a fatal flaw in Alba’s arguments when Neale Hanvey condemned the Russian invasion and called for diplomacy based on Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity but addressing Russia’s security concerns. Neale at no stage said, as claimed by Duffy, that Ukrainian independence had to be “balanced” against Russian security concerns. If Duffy had a decent argument then he wouldn’t have to make things up.

Alex Salmond: This is no time for puerile whataboutery from politicians

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15 thoughts on “Exploring the flaws in Reuben Duffy and The National’s stance on Alba

  1. While the words supposedly came from Neale Hanvey, a photograph of Alex Salmond was used as in the headline of the article. I wonder why.

    I guess that’s Duffy’s career, as either a writer for The National, or as an SNP hopeful, evaporating before our very eyes. After all, how could it continue after such an aspirational, but poorly written, hit-piece.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I’ve been thinking for a while of cancelling my subscription to The National. OK I can accept the fact that it is essentially the SNP house mag, but it does cover other indy stuff. The current standard of journalism though is woeful, just woeful

    Liked by 4 people

  3. It would be the height of folly for an Independent Scotland to invite Russia to install Short and Medium range missile systems along the border with England and to discriminate and terrorize Scottish Citizens of English descent – that would be balancing our Independence with the security concerns of our large and powerful neighbour – that is known as “The Real World”.

    If Neale Hanvey did say the words attributed to him that makes him a sensible commentator in my view.


    1. I’m not sure the pont trying to be made there.

      As for The National, it has had a very poor level of both journalism, and commentary, for a good while now.
      An article about fires in Glasgow last year was abysmal. Full of gossip, and factual errors into the bargain, about fire, past fire events, and about Glasgow buildings.

      It seems to be getting onto the anti ALBA bandwagon, along with others.
      Perhaps it thinks ALBA is a problem for the wider Independence vote.
      Maybe the The National should be trying to put things straight, rather than play the Unionist game, which sadly, it appears to be doing at times.
      But at other times, it seems to do a “mix and match” approach, like when it highlighted Neale Harvey being booed by tories in House of Commons mid week.
      It has to improve, and do a lot better for both the newspaper’s sake, and for Scotland.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve looked again at the statement by Neale Hanvey on behalf of Alba and only a very incompetent or alternatively a malicious journalist could have interpreted his words thus.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. That claim is all over DODGY USA ‘news’ media. I cannot find it attributed to anyone on www. Duffy is really not very good at his job is he? The art of misinterpretation Vs the Art of ‘But we know what you really meant to say’. it is shameful & his maw should be embarrassed! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. After I’d originally read: “Peter A Bell, ‘Thinker. Listener. Talker. Reader. Writer’, I was impressed by Mr Bell’s claim – as I may say the same, I was compelled to read more; after all, everyone and everything is open to question… like membership of political parties?

    I’ve ended my long-term membership of the SNP after it changed from being meritorious, into what it is today. I’m not alone here. Scotland’s political course has become adversely influenced and we’re now reading about “the British SNP”?

    Sadly, the dishonourable/criminal London government have treated Scotland as THEIR last remaining colony… We may quietly concede to their thinking, OR resume our path towards the regaining of our independence!

    “Saorsa” mans: Freedom, liberty and redemption

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think Duffy should be ashamed to call himself a journalist and the sturgeon fanzine should be ASHAMED at hosting and allowing that deliberate attempt at trashing Neale Hanvey’s reputation without even attempting to prove to their readership a link to the supposed comment

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Newspapers like the Daily Record and the P&J do news. As far as I can see the National reports on political stuff on Twitter with a bit of regurgitated Glasgow Herald. I heard they have a miniscule staff based in Cardiff. You don’t need a newspaper to read crap on Twitter.


  9. This is from the Alba party website, supposedly posted 22nd February.


    It could have been edited since I guess, however, the Record has much of this quoted on 22nd February by Paul Hutcheon and all quotes on that article match the press release word for word. I’d do archive.org but for some reason it doesn’t work for me any more (old browser). In addition a btl poster quoted part of it on 25th February at 22:53.

    Based on the actual Alba article for which there is even a link in the National, quoting Neale Hanvey, Reuben Duffy is either illiterate or deliberately misrepresenting completely, what Neale Hanvey actually said. Which is something in itself many have said.

    Duffy should retract, and the National should print a front page apology for gross misrepresentation.

    I am not a member of Alba, nor would I be.

    Liked by 1 person

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