Rock Star Sturgeon

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Nicola Sturgeon with a few members of the Irish Seanad

Without as much as a red face the BBC announced it was “troubled” by technical gremlins in its attempts to show Scotland how well Scotland’s First Minister was received by the Irish Government in her two-day visit to the Republic.

The ‘gremlin’ in question will have been a call from a Downing Street official to MI6 to pull the plug. It’s the same process that saw the highly successful Outlander drama series blocked from UK transmission. “We dare not get the natives restless.”

Don’t kill news, just delay it

Will a BBC employee break ranks and admit government interference? It can happen, has happened in the past, when Special Branch demanded documentary tapes of a spy satellite be handed over to them, a documentary recorded by a BBC Scotland team. (After a token skirmish, they were handed over.) With the internet able to get reports of events to people almost as they are in progress, quicker than newspapers or television, why bother strangling news?

The intention is not to block it entirely, but to delay it so that when an ‘approved’ edited version is shown it appears old, stale news. Its impact is thereby diminished.

Readers might like to do as I do, stop listening  to ‘Call Kaye’ on BBC Radio Scotland  – it only induces heart palpitations – with its never-ending array of extremist right-wing bigots, hot under the collar SNP supporters hoping common sense wins the day, and a line of terribly English-speaking experts leaving listeners with the impression Scotland has none of its own.

Tune into Irish Radio.

Tune into RTE 1 or 2. RTE 1 has the most news and discussion on current affairs.

The Irish take a quite different line on Scottish affairs from the British mainstream media, a healthier perspective of human rights and aspirations. The quality of daily discussion is of a high order, the Irish being born to speak in Joycean grammatical paragraphs, peppered with some of the wittiest digs you’ll hear this side of the Irish Sea.

One wry observation, every Irish newspaper is devoted to the good governance and promotion of the Republic of Ireland, unlike Scotland’s newspapers that are devoted to keeping it subservient to Westminster’s agenda and interests.  Scottish editions of right-wing newspapers found alternative news for their front page.

Oor Nicola’s speech

Sturgeon’s speech to the Seanad was wide ranging. She highlighted the historic, cultural, and economic links between Ireland and Scotland, both countries’ approach to asylum and refugees, and the controversial alcohol legislation and minimum unit pricing, which has been the subject of legal action in Scotland. She said that Scotland’s experiences in Europe had not been identical to Ireland.

Unsurprisingly, our good old British Special Branch controlled BBC kept the triumphant event and its nasty truth at bay from Scotland’s population. So, here are some quotations from Irish eyes and ears, with a video of her speech at the end of the essay, plus another of the Irish senators good wishes and questions to her.

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An historic moment, Nicola Sturgeon meets Ireland’s president Michael D. Higgins

The Irish Times

“There was a very touching end to Nicola Sturgeon’s morale-boosting Seanad visit. Star struck Senators fell over each other as they battled to take selfies with their famous visitor. Luckily for the frantic Senators, Sturgeon was very gracious.

Members of the Upper House didn’t stand on dignity when the Scottish first minister was leaving the chamber. As soon as she neared the exit, Senators – who stood and applauded as she passed by – began to stampede. As pressure built up from behind, the diminutive politician and her group were shot through the door like champagne corks.

In an anteroom, the politicians swarmed around their guest trying to position their phones while simultaneously elbowing colleagues out of the way. Earlier, there had been a lot of talk of gender equality and the importance of encouraging women to come into politics. It didn’t cut much ice when Sturgeon – a celebrity – arrived on the scene.

The women didn’t get a look in as the men employed vicious blocking moves around their prize. Then the Sinn Féin group moved in on her. It was all slightly mortifying. But Nicola seemed to enjoy it. Then, when the lads got their photographs they waited outside at the stairs, as if to form a guard of honour.

“Would you look at all of them, fan-girling like that,” sneered one of the lads, peering at the throng of women happily assailing their heroine. You wouldn’t catch us behaving like that, was the implication.”

Irish News

“Scotland will unequivocally support an open border for Ireland in the wake of Brexit, its first minister Nicola Sturgeon told the Seanad. Ms Sturgeon, the first foreign serving head of government to address the Upper House, said the Scottish government knew and understood how vitally important it was for Ireland to maintain an open border.

Sturgeon, highlighting the challenges of the vote to leave the EU, said that if the path the UK took “turns out to be deeply damaging” to Scottish interests, its people retained an option to vote for independence. She added, Scotland will unequivocally support an open border for Ireland in the wake of Brexit.

“I accept there is a mandate for UK government to take England and Wales out of the EU but I don’t accept that there is a mandate to take any part of the UK out of the single market especially when we consider the economic consequences of such a step. To guard against very real possibility that the UK does decide to leave not just the EU but also the single market, we are exploring options that would respect the vote in Scotland and allow us to retain the benefits of the single market, not of course, instead of free trade across the United Kingdom but in addition to it.”

The Irish Examiner

“There were heaps of praise for Scotland first minister. Giddy senators gave Ms Sturgeon sustained rounds of applause, an unusual sight in the sleepy chamber. The event began with Ms Sturgeon sitting listening to the humbled senators talk about the bonds between the two nations; challenges over Brexit, and their admiration for Scotland.

She spoke about the special and “unbreakable” bonds between the Irish and the Scottish. Both share a 1,000 years of history, and there are cultural and historic links between the two. Senators faced the Cathaoirleach’s bell more than a few times for speaking over time – praise and expression of support went on and on.

Scottish reporters in the press gallery said they were “amazed” to see senators fall over themselves to pledge allegiance to Scotland’s progress, a “sister-Celt nation”.

Fianna Fáils Mark Daly said “The SNP’s nationalism is not corrosive.” The same party’s Catherine Ardagh said “Nicola Sturgeon is a role model for women politicians. Half of Ms Sturgeon’s government are women”, a point not lost on our own government chief whip, Regina Doherty.”

Denis O’Donovan noted that there is “Only 20 miles of water between our two countries”. “We are Celts with everything in common”, declared Fine Gael’s deputy leader James Reilly. The general feeling was that despite rumblings to the contrary, and a Britain greatly divided over European association, there will be no new referendum on leaving Europe.

Ms Sturgeon said she was touched by the warm expressions of affection for Scotland’s aspirations. “I will draw great strength from it in the years ahead.””

Nicola Sturgeon addresses the Irish Seanad

Irish Senators address Nicola Sturgeon

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40 Responses to Rock Star Sturgeon

  1. Fran says:

    Aye Grouse,
    They try to keep a lid on it just like her visits to Europe. Cant have the natives knowing that their country, people and leaders are internationally popular.

  2. Grouse Beater says:

    You should see the crappy BBC 30 second extract. Sheesh!

  3. finnmacollie says:

    If Irish newspapers were to produce a Scottish edition I think they would sell well here, and is RTE available on satellite?

  4. Andrew McLean says:

    One day it is my fervent wish, we will look back at these times aghast that we allowed the state propaganda wing of the Westminster establishment with malice aforethought to slander and corrupt the political aspirations of our country.

    Any Scottish journalist worth his name, with few exceptions, should hang his head in shame today, because they have just been proven to be the malevolent cancer infecting free speech and honest reporting of the political awakening in Scotland today.

    Not without cause are they truly the scum Scottish press, propagandising harlots for a vile abhorrent union that has leached from Scotland far too long.

    We will never allow their venomous tentacles to strangle our nations rebirth.

  5. diabloandco says:

    Beautifully put, I can disagree with nothing.
    Grousebeater, equally beautifully put.
    I found it amazing that the STV news carried as much as they did and it made me suspicious!

  6. broadbield says:

    I’ll second that. Propagandists – almost every hack working for the unionist press and writing on Scotland is a mouthpiece working for the British State in the long tradition of propagandists. Now, they either know they are propagandists or they are totally self-deluded – surely they can’t believe what they write. Either way they should see a psychiatrist.

  7. John says:

    I get RTE radio 1 on longwave 252, the old Atlantic channel. Sean in the morning, Joe Duffy in the afternoon and Marian at the weekend. It’s good stuff, everyone gets a fair hearing and they certainly grill their politicians.

  8. cbmilne33 says:

    As all Scottish, Irish and Manx are Celtic Gaelic Nations we should be in a Federal Republic of Celtica alongside Brittany, Wales and Cornwall. Come to think of it as the Scottish came from Ireland we should all get those Irish passports as the people of Northern Ireland are doing so in their informal referendum to join Ireland.

  9. Thanks, Grouse Beater, for posting these videos. I had read Nicola’s speech but hadn’t seen her delivering it. She is indeed a star and her manner, approach, and words fill me with pride and could yet be the principal reasons for me to become a member of the SNP.

  10. Donald McGregor says:

    Heartfelt thanks for putting this out.

  11. Grouse Beater says:

    You’re welcome! 🙂

  12. Grouse Beater says:

    An interesting proposal. There used to be, perhaps still is, a loose association of Celtic countries to protect and nurture our culture. A Convention of Celtic Nations seems an eminently good idea.

  13. grahamp960 says:

    As an SNP member, independence activist, and life long supporter of the struggle, I’d like to thank Ireland for the warmth of welcome to our first minister and general support!

    Heart warming sincere and much appreciated.

    It’s evident for all to see that Scotlands standing in the world is growing, and that’s no thanks to the uk government for sure. I’m feeling proud and heartened by the past few days events.

  14. Grouse Beater says:

    With your permission, Graham, I’ll pass that sentiment – and second it – to the Seanad end of this week.

  15. cbmilne33 says:

    Typical of most establishment presstitiutes anyway.

  16. We never saw much about her Visit at all, but having read about her visit cheers us ùp . We don’t buy newspàpers anymore .

  17. Grouse Beater says:

    I read a few newspapers online, Sandra, but like you stopped buying them years ago. They peddle lies, half-truths, celebrity gossip, and right-wing orthodoxy. Men’s car magazines do the same, which is why you’ll find the occasional essay on the car industry in my site. Anyhow, many thanks for your comments. I hope you’ll drop in again.

  18. Ken Houghton says:

    Thanks for this. I searched on the BBC website to see “Oor Nicola ” in Ireland. The cupboard was bare.

  19. Grouse Beater says:

    The big difference between Dublin and Edinburgh, Ken, is when you arrive in Dublin you know you’re in a capital city of an independent country. That’s echoed in the confidence of the senators you see addressing Nicola in the Seanad.

  20. Colin Hunter says:

    RTE Radio stations are available through satellite, either on sky or freesat.
    http://www.freesat.co.uk/channels

  21. xraypat says:

    This lifted my heart.
    Recent news has been soul destroying and it’s just great to see all this support from Ireland.

    I intend to live long enough to celebrate an Independent Scotland. The way MSM in Scotland twists and manipulates news is unacceptable but I have no answer expect to boycott especially the BBC.

  22. heedtracker says:

    Hello GB. Another terrific read. We have BBC 24 news on all the time here at work, on the reception 2 big tv’s and that crew never mentioned this Irish visit once. Currently, its hours and hours of new England team coach BBC 24 news.

  23. Marconatrix says:

    There used to be an outfit called The Celtic League, with a mag called Carn or Cairn. Maybe they´re still around?

  24. Grouse Beater says:

    Worth a Google search…

  25. Marconatrix says:

    My own sentiments too. I found an alternative video of the whole session here :

  26. Bill Lees says:

    I watched the entire meeting and it left me massively encouraged and inspired.

    We should take heart in the unconditional support for our cause from the Irish.

    Particularly touched by the comment, “the genius of the Scots will deliver a successful independent country” (or words to that effect) coming from a country that escaped the brutal suppression of the British establishment we can assume they talk from experience.

    Envy isn’t a virtue but I am envious of what Ireland has, to be a confident independent country making their way in the world and contributing to the EU is where I want Scotland to be. The sooner the better.

  27. Jen says:

    Thought this article was going well until it glorified RTE which is so right wing and feeds its own agenda on a daily basis. I cannot begin to even scratch the surface with examples the awful reporting from this channel/radio station.

  28. Grouse Beater says:

    A strong recommendation isn’t glorifying anything, A radio station that discusses Scottish politics is preferable to one that reduces everything to a misleading and mediocre level.

  29. Rhian Devlin says:

    Great article, thank you. 👍

  30. wordpress says:

    I really like it when people get together and share opinions.
    Great website, continue the good work!

  31. Macart says:

    Thanks to the BBC debacle on the the First Minister’s reception and Hammond’s visit with subsequent press statements, its all beginning to come together neatly, Grouse.

    Starting with the Supreme Court in a couple of days and ending with the triggering of A50 in the spring, the Scottish electorate will be left in little doubt of what is facing us and what the choices are.

    Nice of Westminster to do the heavy lifting right enough. 🙂

  32. Grouse Beater says:

    You and I must have been related in a previous life. I don’t recall ever disagreeing with any analysis you’ve ever published. And I agree with your view here. 🙂

  33. Macart says:

    🙂 Ta much.

    Horrendous screen lag at the moment Grouse, so apologies for word doubling and excess commas and such.

    Anyroads, have you seen the Mail’s assault on the SC judges today?

    Pretty grim.

  34. Grouse Beater says:

    A good old Third Reich admiring English newspaper says judges who don’t follow Downing Street instruction are untrustworthy and unreliable as members of the judiciary.

  35. lanark says:

    Yes, avoid Call Kaye. Listening is not good for the blood pressure.

    There is no Irish equivalent of Kaye and BBC Scotland (or anywhere else in the world for that matter). Wha’s like us indeed?

  36. Grouse Beater says:

    I regard access programmes such as Call Kaye phony democracy. What’s allowed on air is heavily filtered.
    BBC ‘balance’ too often leaves a false impression of prevailing public opinion. And two ill-informed people shouting at each other, a BBC presenter cracking the gladiatorial whip, isn’t the civilised discussion that teaches us anything, other than some people will rather embarrass themselves publically for five minutes of fame than discard their prejudices.

  37. Clydebuilt says:

    Instead of boycotting our State Broadcaster, shouldn’t we ….
    Keep our Friends closer and our State Broadcaster closer. Yessers can get their news from Wings etc.

    Good article and comments…..

  38. Edward Freeman says:

    Available online through http://www.rte.ie/radio1/ as well.

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