It’s extremely rare for blogs or online publications to have any great effect on offline politics which makes the influence of the pro-independence website Wings Over Scotland all the more remarkable. I cannot tell you how many Scots I have had conversations with who have pointed to the discovery of WOS as key factor in their transition to progressive nationalism. The publication of The Wee Blue Book by the site, a detailed seventy-two page answer-and-question pamphlet outlining the steps required to establish and sustain a sovereign nation-state of Scotland outside the United Kingdom, became a significant – if only latterly acknowledged – asset for the Yes side during the 2014 referendum debate with nearly a million copes distributed in various formats across a country of five million people.
The owner and principal author of WOS is the former computer games journalist Stuart Campbell, and the success of his news and current affairs website has earned him the enmity of the more politically engaged elements of the unionist bloc in the UK, including a number of politicians and journalists, resulting in regular criticism of his publication. Indeed I can think of no other figure in Scottish politics who has been subject to the same level of vilification by the local and metropolitan press aside from the ex-leader of the Scottish National Party, Alex Salmond.
Appropriately enough, both men can be seen in this forty-two minute discussion published on Salmond’s YouTube channel, a shorter version of which was originally broadcast by the Russian Federation’s admittedly slightly suspect international broadcaster RT. Don’t let that put you off, or indeed the media-driven controversies associated with Stuart Campbell or Alex Salmond’s rather more recent and perhaps more substantive troubles, and give it watch.
The Wings Over Scotland author provides an excellent reason for the existence of his occasionally pugnacious website when he points out that despite nearly half of Scottish voters supporting an independent Scotland most of the nation’s news media is actively anti-independence. Which is remarkable in its way. And of course, a similar point could be made about our own press here in Ireland which is overwhelmingly opposed to the ending of partition and the reunification of the country despite successive polls showing a majority of Irish voters in favour of that outcome. Can anyone name a single editorially pro-unity national newspaper in Ireland? Just one? And if no such title exists what does it say about the position and purpose of the news media in our democracy?
Nations are the enemy of the new feudal elite of the super rich, especially nations intending to practise socialism, as they are intent on the protection of the workers in the care of their government from the inevitable exploitation by that elite. The mainstream press is the vassal of that elite, so any movement contrary to the intended order is to be subdued and silenced in any way possible. No, the importation of millions of scabs undermining worker’s rights and established working class benefits is not congruent with socialist ideals (particularly Americans need to keep things like that in mind when making their choice next year).
Wings Over Scotland is indeed an online commentary well worth reading.
Campbell is astute, logical and very adept at providing an insightful critique into what is going on. He is a perfect foil to the media controlled almost entirely by the establishment media. For that he is absolutely hated by the authorities.
Not so long ago he was forcibly arrested by Police on spurious allegations of verbal intimidation only for the allegations to be thereafter dropped. More recently, he raised a defamation action against the ex unionist leader of the Labour Party in Scotland for calling him in a national unionist newspaper a ‘ homephobe “ . Despite however him winning his case and the judge finding that over many years he had shown that he was certainly not homophobic, and that he supported such minorities, the judge nevertheless ruled that the Labour leader had made the comment based upon her own fair thinking and that accordingly Campbell should meet her legal defence costs of circa £100,000.
A bit like calling someone unjustifiably a dirty fenian bastard paedophile and then a judge excusing it on the grounds that it was fair comment and making the complainer pay costs. Tells you exactly how the establishment works – but Campbell at least has the ability and support of readers who within days crowdfund him against such establishment abuse.
But as I say, he’s well worth a read, as is Craig Murray an ex British diplomat. The anti establish independence supporting alternative media is strong in Scotland.
And yes, the establishment hate Alex Salmond. His topical political chat show on RT even more mandates that.
No surprise then that having already exonerated himself in a civil court he is now being pursued by a criminal court for allegation from many years back about alleged sexual intimidation.
That the police have spent millions investigating and given that the allegations relate not to any actual sexual assault but rather the perception that he was capable of abuse, one wonders why these allegations from nearly a decade ago have surfaced now.
With Salmond denying them completely you don’t need to be Einstein to wonder why the prosecutions have been initiated at a time when the British state is at its weakest.