Proof of media collusion at the heart of the British political Establishment
When Peter Oborne came up with the concept of Britain not so much having a competitive political and media Establishment but rather a collusive political and media Class, who work together, have similar interests, go to the same schools or universities, marry each other’s relatives, and generally represent a group whose interests are often starkly against the interests of the majority of people in the country, he could hardly have expected a clearer proof than the gloating article written by the Telegraph’s, Alan Cochrane, which I reproduce below.
If only Alan Cochrane and the British Political and Media Establishment could be charged in a criminal court with conspiracy against the People, then it is no exaggeration to say that Alan Cochrane’s article (if it came with the required 'Statement of Truth' and his signature) would amount to confession evidence!
What it shows, all too clearly, is that far from having an independent media with genuine professional standards of reporting the facts without fear or favour, instead what we have is a media that actively seeks to be propagandist for the British Establishment. Looked at this way, Alan Cochrane’s article is a searing indictment of the gross lack of professionalism at the heart of the British media, whose principal interest is in manipulating the electorate into voting for whatever the Establishment wants, rather than what is good for the People.
For all those of us that read newspapers or look any other mass media productions, whether it be radio or television, from the established media, it is a salutary lesson that we are probably giving undeserved attention to people whose object is too often to manipulate and deceive us into voting for whatever their agenda is, rather than making any serious attempt to tell the unvarnished truth so that we can make up our own minds!
There can be no clearer evidence of the corruption at the heart of the British Establishment except that is a contemplation of the evidence which was given in the Leveson enquiry. The most important aspect of which was many further examples of just how incestuous the relationship is between senior British politicians and the British media.
Here is the article:-
Alan Cochrane: my part in Alex Salmond's downfall
The two-year battle to prevent the United Kingdom’s break-up was at times bitterly fought, and – as these extracts from his candid Scottish referendum campaign diary reveal – The Telegraph’s Alan Cochrane was right in the thick of it
February 4 2012: The search for a leader of the ‘No’ campaign begins
I eventually got through to John Reid, the former Labour home secretary. It took umpteen phone conversations with his secretary and with the noble lord himself before he agreed to meet me. JR – they really are appropriate initials for the great man – took me to the Pugin Room in the Lords, where we had tea. He doesn’t drink now. He’s very funny about his drinking days.
When asked whether he had a drink problem, he always says: “Aye, my problem was I couldn’t get enough of the f------ stuff!”
I tried to interest him in taking over the anti-Nationalist campaign, but right from the start he said he wasn’t interested, wasn’t the right man and wouldn’t do it, no matter who asked him. He suggested all sorts of people who would be better than him, former chancellor Alistair Darling and Jim Murphy, Labour MP for East Renfrewshire, being the two most often mentioned.
His initial reluctance, he says, is because he’s still chairman of Celtic, which he’s due to be for another six months or so. And he doesn’t have to explain why that would stop him being a unifying figure in a campaign to save Britain.
Half of West Central Scotland, the Rangers half, would say: “We’re no’ listening to a bloody Tim like John Reid.”
David Cameron knows he has to keep Ed Miliband on side in the fight for the Union because it will be Scottish Labour’s foot soldiers who will have to do most of the work.
So if Cameron recruits Reid, he risks losing – or at least annoying – Miliband. Jesus, talk about wheels within wheels. I think it’s worth the risk as Reid would be great at tackling Eck’s bombast Alex Salmond’s nickname is “Wee Eck”]. But I think I’m going to lose this one.
February 14 2012
After months of b-----ing about over whether I should be working for DC as a special adviser and then nothing happening, I told them at Christmas that I’d rather forget it, if they don’t mind, as I want to get on with the rest of my life.
I don’t like people describing me as a Tory, as I’ve hardly ever voted for them, but I like Cameron, and I’d have worked for him on fighting independence. Still, I’m probably better where I am.
So it was a bit of a surprise when, out of the blue, I got an email from Julian Glover, the new speechwriter at No 10, telling me that the PM had said I should be shown a copy of his speech due to be delivered in Edinburgh on Wednesday. I made a couple of minor suggestions: one was not to compare Scotland to Latvia, as this would annoy the natives; and that his offer to think about more powers if the Scots voted against independence would be the story. And so it proved.
Bigger surprise later, when I was asked whether I could have dinner with the PM at the Peat Inn in Fife. Oh, very well, I said. As if!
DC came in an open-necked shirt, with a sweater around his shoulders. The rest of us were in suits. Very relaxed. Moderately priced burgundy. “We can’t spend too much taxpayers’ money,” he said.
Kept asking things like: “If I say X, what will Salmond say to that?” And made clear that while he might be able to do a deal on timing or on teenagers voting, there was no way – absolutely no way – that he would agree to a second question.
If it came to it, DC said he had his final option of Westminster holding the referendum. “Let him boycott it,” he said.
He also asked what Salmond’s final position would be, and was told by Andrew Dunlop [Cameron’s special adviser] that it would be to hold an illegal referendum and tell the PM: “I’ll see you in court.”
DC loved my line about my son and daughters, and how I don’t want them to be foreigners to each other just because some live in Scotland and some in England. Everyone likes it – German newspapers, French TV. The Nats hate it, so it must be good.
When we meet at breakfast the next morning, DC says he might use it in his speech. He had been for a run with the cops. Looks fit, not tired at all. I gave him a spare Caledonian Club tie, which looks very like the SNP one, and he says he’ll wear it next time he’s up.
The night before, as we ate venison, DC moaned about the fact that he couldn’t go deer stalking any more. I suppose he doesn’t want to hark back to the grouse-moor-image days of Harold Macmillan, or to be seen out with a rifle. But apparently he’s a very good shot: the journalist Bruce Anderson was with him once when he got a left and a right.
DC says that recently he fancied a bit of shooting, so took his 12-bore out into a wood near his home and bagged a couple of pigeons. It must have been quite a sight – the wood had to be surrounded by coppers with guns. Whether that was to protect the ramblers from the PM or the PM from the ramblers wasn’t clear. Anyway, he misses shooting/killing things. It’s changed days if a council hoose lad like me can go deer-stalking but the Old Etonian PM can’t!
May 25 2012: The ‘Yes’ launch
What a load of tartan cobblers that Yes launch was – 500 people talking and singing to themselves. Nothing coherent, just this nonsense about freedom! And, Jesus, Brian Cox [the Scottish actor] ain’t going to convert anyone. He was positively scary. Hannibal Lecter has nothing on him.
June 6 2012
Had lunch with Alistair Darling in Centotre [an Italian restaurant in Edinburgh]. First class, but very fiery spicy sausages. Now confirmed as the Better Together leader, he is in good heart and confident of seeing off Eck.
Got the impression that the Union launch won’t now be until the end of June. But he agrees that the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee has done us a whole lot of good. He cannot see much light ahead and bad economic news must mean – surely – that voters will stick with the UK.
June 25 2012
The Save the Union campaign – “Better Together” – launched at Edinburgh Napier University, where Eck used to stage his spectaculars. But this time there were no free bacon rolls.
It was quite a good launch; they had ordinary people instead of phoney celebs. But Charlie Kennedy, the former Liberal Democrat leader, didn’t show – said his parents are ill. Charlie is a brilliant performer and campaigner but he is totally unreliable. They’ll have to ditch him.
January 17 2013
Astonishing lunch invitation from Rory Bremner, the impressionist/comedian. He’s planning a show about Scottish politics. Boy, that is going to be difficult. Tapas lunch to talk Scottish politics.
The problem Rory has is that there’s only one personality: Eck. He didn’t appear to “have” him yet, as he didn’t “do” him during lunch, although he kept doing Blair, which is really brilliant. He said that before he’d done Blair for the first time, Blair had joked that he could have a knighthood if he didn’t do him, and then after he did do him for the first time, he was offered an OBE, which he turned down.
March 14 2013
Did another session with Rory Bremner, who’s still having a go at Scottish politics. He talked in a funny voice for several minutes and I hadn’t a clue who it was. Apparently, it was Alex Salmond; I’d never have guessed.
October 21 2013
Had a long chat with Darling, who is a bit less than confident. “I’ve always thought it would be a close result,” he says. “Maybe 60/40.” How do we galvanise our bloody support? I’m sure people would visibly support the cause if we gave them the opportunity. What about car and window stickers?
March 24 2014
Polls all over the place. ICM says Nats catching up, TNS says “no, they’re not”, and then YouGov says “well, yes, they might be”. However, the latter is still suggesting it’s 60/40 against independence. Big “Don’t knows”, but I think I can guess what’s happening. People don’t want to appear to be anti-Scottish, so may be saying either they’re voting Yes or that they don’t know. I reckon they’ll mostly vote No in big numbers. Christ, I hope I’m right!
April 15 2014
Incredible day. That complete idiot Philip Hammond gave an interview in which he said that everything was negotiable after independence, which means – as the Nats seized on – that sterling and Trident could be on the table. Stupid, stupid man.
Darling manages to have a laugh and says if the Tories behave like this during next year’s election, Labour will walk it. I think he’s right and I also think he may well fancy his chances a bit more of a new career with Labour.
May 5 2014
Amazing email from some young lad who says he works for Gordon Brown, who, apparently, has read Yes or No? [Cochrane and George Kerevan’s book on Scottish independence], likes it and wants to meet. Of course, I say I will, but then I wake up in the middle of the night thinking that maybe this is a hoax.
May 13 2014
Got another email from the Great Broon’s laddie, and I’m meeting Broon at the Sheraton. What’s this all about? He must want something.
May 14 2014
Astonishing meeting with Gordon Brown. He was sitting alone, except for his two protection officers, in that vast Sheraton lounge. They moved to the next table when I turned up, leaving Gordon to talk to me alone. He’s actually read my bit of the book and cross-questioned me carefully about my background, slagged off poor old Kerevan for being a Trot, and interrogated me about my family, especially the girls.
He said he’d been offered a place at Oxford but chose to go to Edinburgh. “I wish now that I had gone. I think I missed something by not going.” I said he hadn’t done badly, PM and all.
His main theme was essentially that the Better Together team, and especially the Tories, were pitching the campaign as Scotland versus Britain, which he, rightly, says is wrong. It should be that Scotland will be better if it remains within the UK. Osborne and Cameron etc were wrong – totally wrong – in their approach. Basically, he thinks everyone is wrong except him.
May 15 2014
Through to Glasgow for drinks with DC. He was in sparkling form, although he looked a bit knackered. He came into the room and immediately took off his tie. He looked slim and fit and held court with the Scottish editors brilliantly. Lots of jokes about the Cup Final, which somebody had told him was between Dundee United and St Johnstone.
He thinks the referendum campaign is going OK, but that Eck is more interested in process than in debating the issues. He said he wanted the debate only because it would be against an English Tory; I said he could forget about the Tory bit, as it was only the English bit that Alex wanted to highlight.
He was very preoccupied with giving Holyrood more powers. I said he was pre-empting Tom Strathclyde’s commission, which he denied, and went on to say – incredibly, to my mind – that there was nothing wrong with different tax rates in the different parts of the UK.
Eh? Did I hear right?
He made a very good joke about Salmond and Nigel Farage. Someone asked him whom he disliked most – Salmond or Farage. And he got on to thinking about both of them standing on the cliff edge at Beachy Head. Who would he push off first?
“Oh, Salmond,” he said with a grin. “Business before pleasure.”
May 21 2014
Dinner with the Darlings, and what a feast. Maggie is a great cook – fish lasagne preceded by the kind of duck/pancake dish that you normally only get in Chinese restaurants. Great craic, too.
I told Alistair all about the Brown encounter. His most prominent reaction was to shake his head in bemusement and wonder at the rubbish Brown talked.
He was also very funny about his conversations with Gordon. Broon would castigate him about something that had been said in his book, to which Alistair would say: “But Gordon, you always say you haven’t read my book!”
And Gordon always says he never reads the newspapers and yet he can quote whole pages back to you.
Both were very sad about Gordon. Not just the Darlings, but many of Brown’s friends and former friends are worried about him, stuck in that house in North Queensferry all week with the boys, while his wife is in London.
June 6 2014
Lunch with John Reid in Glasgow. He insisted on curry at the Koh-i-Noor. Delicious, but I can’t eat curry at this time of day. Great craic, much of it slagging off Broon.
John Reid told me that he once pushed Brown up against the wall in the Members’ Lobby, when they were both in the Cabinet, and threatened to punch him unless he stopped seeing conspiracies everywhere. Wish I’d been there to see it.
What I didn’t know is that, according to John, Brown begged him to stay in his Cabinet when he took over from Blair. No way, said Reid. But he does admit that Brown can be a brilliantly successful player in this campaign.
August 6 2014
the first television debate
Who would really have thought it? Darling smashed Eck in the first debate last night.
Everyone on the Nats’ side, including that eejit Blair Jenkins, supposed boss of the Yes campaign, had been crowing about how much of a hammering Darling was going to get. I wasn’t especially worried as these debates never add much to the sum of human knowledge or affect the result much. But I texted a “break a leg” message to Alistair all the same.
However, it wasn’t needed. Salmond was hopeless. It looked like he hadn’t done any preparation at all and got absolutely skewered on the pound, which Darling returned to again and again.
Darling’s best moment – and the one that had the overconfident Salmond stuck for an answer – came when he asked his opponent to “contemplate for one moment that you might be wrong”. Of course, Alex Salmond never believes he’s wrong – so he was stumped.
The Nats are shell-shocked this morning. Their hero has been hammered. Is this their worst moment? I bloody well hope so. BT have got to get cracking now and keep up the pressure.
August 25 2014: the second television debate
Disaster! Darling hammered. The whole thing was terrible. It was pretty clear that the Better Together side were playing for a draw and, as Alex Ferguson would have told them, if you play for a draw, you get a hiding.
I texted Darling beforehand but my “break a leg” message didn’t seem to encourage him. The BBC b-----ed up the thing in spades.
For starters, Glasgow’s Kelvingrove gallery was much too grand a venue, and instead of having Glenn Campbell, the moderator, between the two contestants, they made him stand to one side. Stupid. The upshot was that he couldn’t hear – or at least didn’t seem to be able to hear – what Salmond and Darling were shouting at each other. Worst of all, it will put new heart into the Nats.
Afterwards, I tried to gee him up, but Alistair simply replied to my text with the understatement: “Audience two-thirds Nat.”
September 8 2014: 10 days before the vote
I got a call from Bruce Waddell, a former editor who now appears to be Broon’s apostle on Earth. (Who’s paying him, I wonder?) He says that the great man wants to talk to me and that I could expect a phone call within 10 minutes.
Sure enough, almost on the dot of 10 minutes later, Gordon comes on the line, in fairly friendly tones, to give me a précis of the speech he’s due to make. However, that’s not before he gives me a b------ing.
“The last time we talked, you didn’t seem to accept what I said. I hope you will this time, because your views carry a lot of weight with the other political journalists in Scotland.”
Gosh, why is Gordon being so nice? He proceeded to tell me – or, rather, repeat – his view that Cameron and Osborne had been presenting the campaign as something akin to Scotland versus Britain, instead of the two visions of Scotland. “It has been absolutely central to what’s been going on here that we [Labour] have got to have a vision of Scotland’s future,” he said.
“Although the campaign on the pound has worked over the summer, we don’t want to always be relying on the negative. We have to make our country feel proud.”
Brown then told me about the blueprint he was to announce later – a firm timetable for the new powers for Holyrood, with work beginning immediately after the vote, on September 19, then preliminary agreement by St Andrew’s Day on November 30, and draft legislation ready by January 25 2015.
These dates will p--- off Eck mightily but are a great gimmick by GB; only he could have thought of them. But more importantly, only he could have delivered this promise and got people to believe that something was in the offing.
September 14 2014: 4 days before the vote
Brilliant, brilliant story. The Queen, after the weekly service at Crathie Kirk, walked over to some well-wishers and told them that she hoped everyone “would think very carefully about the referendum”.
But that was only half the story. This was a completely deliberate and put-up job by the Palace.
My old pal Jim Lawson was the only reporter outside Crathie Kirk when the royal party came out, and, as usual, he and the photographers were corralled some way away from Her Majesty and the usual crowd of royalists who gather there every Sunday. But on this occasion, the police were told that the press – Jim and the snappers – could go over to where they could hear what was going on, and that’s how the story about the Queen’s remarks got out.
It was a bit of a coup for the Palace and the Queen herself. There is absolutely no doubt that she did it deliberately; and knew exactly what the effect would be – it was the splash everywhere. Fantastic.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she was provoked into it by Salmond saying last week, when there was a bit of a stooshie about whether she should speak her mind on the issue or not, that he thought she would be “proud to be Queen of Scots”. That implied some sort of support for independence.
A very bad move by Our Great Leader, and one that must have convinced Her Majesty to speak out.
After the referendum
By any standards, it was a pretty conclusive result. Astonishingly, however, the weeks following the referendum have been dominated not so much by a “we wuz robbed” feeling among Nationalists – that was always likely – but by a sense almost of guilt among the Unionist community that they’d won.
At the root of this strange phenomenon was the Vow: a piece of brilliant tabloid journalism in which the leaders of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties promised “extensive” extra powers for the Holyrood Parliament.
It has since been transformed in the public mind into something resembling Magna Carta. Talked of in hushed tones, it is normally now referred to as “the solemn Vow” which must be honoured, and which Nationalists insist pledges so much devolution as to make it indistinguishable from “pure” independence.
If Alistair Darling was the overall star of the marathon campaign, the man who won most of the plaudits for the sprint in the final weeks was undoubtedly Gordon Brown. No team player he, the Great Clunking Fist showed, with remarkable displays of passion and emotion, that he can remain a tremendously influential figure on the British political scene.
I’m delighted that separation was comprehensively defeated and that my family and I are to be allowed to remain British. That, for me, was what this battle has been all about. It wasn’t about politics, it wasn’t about journalism. It was about who I am.
Here is the original article >>> Alan Cochrane: my part in Alex Salmond's downfall - Telegraph