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By Jason Michael
One of Scotland’s greatest embarrassments has taken a parting shot at a Scotland that just grew tired of his garbage: “Journo Stephen,” from the regressive pages of the Daily Mail, has decided to tell Scots and Scotland what he really thinks. Pitiful.
Stephen Daisley’s lengthy whine about his former employer STV and his delusional paranoia over the SNP, published at lunchtime today on his rather self-importantly named blog – stephendaisley.com, sure hit Scottish social media running. It’s now approaching ten in the evening and already “2K+” have shared it on Facebook, but the impression we get from the discussion on Twitter is that most are sharing it out of a sense of collective mortification for the self-defeated “JournoStephen.”
(((StephenDaisley))) (@JournoStephen) February 04, 2017
Was it right to describe this as his suicide note? Having suffered the loss of people close to me by suicide I am aware of the seriousness and the painful gravity of this terminology, but now having read this blog post of his – originally published in the Daily Mail – that is what it is; one long, self-pitying and self-centred woe-is-me, and goodbye-cruel-world. The world is to blame for failing to recognise the brilliance of his blinkered, biased, and bullshit journalism, and so – like his pal David Torrance is wont to do on Twitter – he has had a wee tantrum.
Still at least trying to be professional he framed his little pity-party with the grandiloquent introductory words: “The rise of nationalism around the world is a shocking, disorienting experience.” Of course this couldn’t be about his inability to be a balanced commentator; it was all about the wicked nationalism that is poisoning Scotland against him. For a decade the Scottish National Party – his “nationalists” – has “bullied [its] opponents, and divided the country along a nasty dichotomy…” and “Salmond was instrumental in the cowing of non-nationalist Scotland.”
It would be easy to confuse what he is trying to describe as an account of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, mainly because that is exactly what he is trying to do. “Mainstream politics,” he says – and quite rightly – “is under threat like at no time since the 1930s.” Yes, he is referring to the rise of European fascism and antisemitism. He drives this home when he reminds his readers that he prided himself in standing up to what we all know was the weaponisation of invented antisemitism in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. History is repeating itself and Daisley is the last hero standing.
On his Twitter profile he is “(((StephenDaisley)))” – the “echoes” being a shout-out to the fight against online antisemitism and a visual cue of his firm stand against the far-right. Recent events in the United Stated cause us all alarm, and Daisley isn’t alone in his fear of a resurgent racist right, but to him Scotland was the “testing ground” with the nationalism of the SNP. Ignoring the fact that Nicola Sturgeon denounced the state visit of Donald Trump to the UK on the grounds that he had banned people entering the US on account of their religion when Theresa May knew of it ahead of time, Daisley is using “nationalism” as a code for his fellow unionists.
Not unlike the dog whistle sectarianism of Murdo Fraser, Daisley is repeating “nationalism” as a code that deliberately and disingenuously conflates and confuses Scottish independence with the horrors of 1930s fascism and antisemitism. It is this, rather than the pro-British politics he espouses, that makes him the repulsive scumbag that he is in Scottish public opinion. It was this base rhetoric that frightened the Scottish Jewish community during the 2014 referendum – a minority that was rewarded for its unionism with a spectacle of unionists on George Square celebrating the victory of the Union with Sieg Heil salutes.
There will be a chapter in my memoirs entitled 'Stephen Daisley and the gagging of the Scottish Press, and how I almost got away with it'.—
Pete Wishart (@PeteWishart) February 04, 2017
After this he bemoans that Pete Wishart described his journalism as “crap.” Wishart was being kind. The only person who fails to see this is Daisley himself. His journalism, not the will of half of Scotland to be shot of London rule, divided the country on lies and dangerous fear-mongering. His journalism is shite; lacking any integrity and willing at every turn to provoke panic and violence to save a dead political cause in a nation that proved for one day to be the healthiest and most vibrant democracy in the world – no thanks to him.
His real problem isn’t even with nationalism. He loathes Scotland, and he makes no attempt whatsoever to hide this:
Scotland gives all the impressions of an advanced polity but that facade rests on hollow institutions: A parliament of biddable backbenchers and scant scrutiny; a media lacking resources and corporate gumption; a voluntary sector conscripted into politics; and an intelligentsia that has already made its mind up.
Had any of this be true, Yes would have won the day. It didn’t. All he is saying is that he hates the idea of a nation that has its own institutions outside Westminster, a parliament where the majority of those elected by the Scottish people happen to disagree with his nationalism, and a media no longer able to get away with the pish he is selling. The game is up and he knows it, and this is the only reason for his pathetic and ugly little outburst.
What really proves all of this, and highlights the hypocrisy of half-baked ideologues like Daisley, is that he has gone crawling off to no less a flag-waving, hate-mongering, and openly racist rag than the Daily Mail. This is the pinnacle of the career of Scotland’s greatest journo? Well, good riddance to him. He has only managed to show that he was a big bag of hot fake news all along. Don’t come back.