’Tis the season to be merry, for both Yessers and Nawbags (© Pete Wishart, 2014), although sadly these days not so often with each other. So by way of good cheer I bring you the pick of my more forensic tweets for 2015.
Twitter’s 140 characters enforces a different discipline than the more discursive (posh for rambling) possibilities of a blog. But as everyone knows, the size constraint can be circumvented by adding attachments to a tweet, and I often do. My sources in various organisations were able to pass me a number of items that I shared with the wider world.
The year started slowly but May brought news of the sad demise of the National Collective, that part of the arts community gung ho for indy, unfortunately not gung ho enough to sustain their enthusiasm beyond eight months after the referendum. Private Eye’s resident teenage poet asked his Scottish cousin to come up with a short eulogy and Euan McThribb obliged, although the Eye refused to publish the resulting masterpiece.
June brought intelligence of the SNP’s ‘56’ settling down at Westminster to form the main opposition to the Tory/Labour better together alliance. Unionist media suggested they were unable to act independently on social media so their deputy Westminster leader, Stewart Hosie, reminded them via the whips’ office of the freedom they enjoyed.
Unfortunately as the year wore on it was revealed that there were one or two (no more, I’m sure) bad eggs amongst the 56 and SNP chief executive Peter Murrell wrote urgently to all selection committees to remind them of the rigorous checks needed on candidates for Holyrood in 2016.
October also brought welcome news of a specifically Scottish trade mission to Iran to be led by father of the nation Rt Hon Alex Salmond MP, MSP and MA Hons (2:2, economics and medieval history). News leaked of the interim advice given to potential delegates keen to sell to the Iranians.
Events gathered pace towards the end of the year with joy throughout the nationalist community at the Sunday Herald’s free gift of a plastic ‘Yes’ badge for all its readers. Editor Neil Mackay broke the good news to staff, one of whom (no names, no pack drill) passed a copy of his memo to No Thanks!
There was widespread disgust at the deteriorating situation in Syria but relief when first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the Scottish government’s game changing contribution to a peace process people had scarcely noticed until then – training for women peace-keepers. Civil servants were immediately at work drawing up a programme.
But no government can sustain unalloyed good news and the tail end of the year brought the temporary closure of the Forth road bridge to enable repairs to some minor pieces of steel that no-one even normally sees. Unkind unionists suggested that the government might be at least partly to blame for this small hitch but online commentators soon put them right by identifying the responsibility as resting with Westminster and/or Labour and/or the Lib Dems and/or a Greek cheese, FETA. ‘Yes’ stalwart Lesley Riddoch leaped into the breach (metaphorically of course, not the breach on the bridge) and joined commuters from Fife to reassure them that all was under control. An alert passenger managed to ease his arm out of his neighbour’s oxter and record the train manager’s announcement on his i-Phone. A transcript follows.
Curiously, a few readers on Twitter thought that some of these items might not be 100% true, a typical response being
WTF! Did she really do that? I don’t believe it. FFS.
More sensible readers praised the ability of No Thanks! to source the truth behind the news that the mainstream media ignore. To them, to the naysayers and sceptics amongst you, and even to the few unionists who read this blog, I send Season’s Greetings.
Normal service will be resumed shortly.
My thanks to the assorted whistle blowers who have passed material to No Thanks! in 2015 but who must perforce remain anonymous. I look forward to receiving further material from you in 2016 .