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By Jason Michael
EARLIER I WAS CHECKED by my friend Paul Kavanagh for some harsh words I penned about Mr Murray Foote, the former editor of the Daily Record responsible for the publication of ‘the Vow’ on 16 September 2014. Forty-eight hours before the people of Scotland went to the polls to vote on their independence Foote’s newspaper ‘mocked up’ a solemn promise from the leaders of the three British unionist political parties stating that if Scotland voted to remain in the union its parliament in Edinburgh would be made a permanent democratic institution and would be given ‘extensive new powers’ amounting to federalism or Home Rule. The words of this ‘document’ – which had a tremendous impact on the referendum – were ‘composed on behalf of the politicians and provided to the Record by a trusted source within the Better Together campaign.’ It was Mr Foote’s decision to publish this lie in his paper, and he defended that decision after the fact.
Foote has since had a Road to Damascus experience and now claims to support Scottish independence – good for him. And, of course, as a prominent figure of the unionist cause in 2014, his defection to the Yes camp has been rewarded generously by the Scottish National Party … you see (and call me cynical) guys like Murray Foote don’t get out of bed in the morning unless someone is crossing their palms with silver. The mastermind of ‘the Vow’ has been hired by the SNP as its top spin doctor, and we are meant to shut our faces and be happy and welcoming because someone impressive has made the journey from No to Yes. Well, not me. I am not happy about this and I am not feeling particularly welcoming. This is foolishness and, worse, it is the road to defeat.
Didn't 'the Vow' bring these unionist parties together in a common crusade to damage Scotland? twitter.com/murrayf00te/st…—
Jason Michael (@Jeggit) December 29, 2020
Please don’t get me wrong, I am delighted Scots who voted against Scotland in 2014 are coming round to the good sense of independence. Paul is dead right; we will never win our independence unless we win over to Yes those who voted No in the last referendum. We have to covert hearts and minds to independence and we have to welcome these converts, but this does not mean we should be naïve and uncritical. There is a categorical difference between ordinary people, misguided and duped by the propaganda in the British press that dominates the Scottish media landscape, who voted No and the architects of the unionist anti-Scottish campaign who told them those lies. Mr Foote, as the editor of the unionist tabloid responsible for ‘the Vow,’ belongs to the latter category, and so to celebrate his defection and financial reward as yet another Journey from No to Yes story is naïve and foolish to the point of utter stupidity. Beware of Greeks baring gifts!
Anyone familiar with the history British imperialism and the independence struggles of other countries which won their freedom from Britain will be well acquainted with London’s Trojan horses, its gifts, and its bribes. Now this is not me saying Murray Foote is an enemy within. I don’t know – and that’s my problem here. I don’t know. For all I do know, Foote might be the Bobby Sands or the Mahatma Gandhi of Scottish independence, but, and until there is something to convince me otherwise, I simply do not trust him. We have no reason to trust him. It was Paul Kavanagh himself who wrote that if the British government wasn’t up to dirty tricks it wasn’t doing its job right. Britain is always up to dirty tricks – it’s what Britain does.
Sure, we don’t know if Murray Foote is a hirling. He could well be sincere, but we cannot afford to take his word for it – look who he is and what he did! Considering we can’t read people’s minds or see their inner motivations, all we have to predict future behaviour is past actions, and in Murray’s case this is pretty clear cut. As the editor of a national newspaper, he took directions from ‘a trusted source within the Better Together campaign.’ We don’t know who that ‘trusted source’ was. What we do know is that the editor of the Daily Record published this highly partisan and manipulative garbage in his paper, knowing perfectly well whose interests it served. Then we’re aware of the Integrity Initiative at the British government’s Institute for Statecraft, the nefarious interference of the British state in the media and the manipulation of news reporting and journalism in Scotland … and then we think of this ‘trusted source’ again. Sure, I don’t know. But it doesn’t take a bloody genius to get a little suspicious.
Murray Foote lied. He took the money for the lies. But now he supports independence he gets priority seating (and m… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
Jason Michael (@Jeggit) December 29, 2020
The fact is that Mr Foote was paid handsomely to publish lies in the Daily Record to undermine support for independence; leading to us being trapped under London Rule, being dragged out of the European Union against our will, and having the powers of our parliament greatly reduced. Now Murray is being handsomely paid by the Scottish National Party to … erm, …does anyone actually know what it is he does? There is a pattern here – money. It needn’t be the case that Foote is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He might just be one of those characters Britain has always relied on to keep small nations under its yoke; the kind of person – a ‘professional’ – who is always eager and willing to be sold to the highest bidder. Certainly, as a scion of that class that never loses, whatever happens – independence or no independence – Mr Foote will land on his feet.
So no, I am not happy and I am not quite ready to extend the hand of friendship to Murray Foote. This is not about ‘forgiveness.’ This is about the future of our country, a country and a nation which is right now locked in a zero-sum battle with the British state – an imperial power which time and again has shown its hand when it comes to using assets, agents, and useful idiots to achieve its objectives. Foote’s actions in 2014 placed him firmly on the side of the union, and in his role as editor of the Daily Record he was a powerful asset to the British state. Assuming he is not a stupid man, I’m not prepared to buy the excuse that he did not know what he was doing. He knew fine well what he was doing and what was at stake. His actions played a significant part in the outcome of that referendum and have brought all of us to where we are now – bound and gagged in the boot of London’s car as it races over the cliff-edge into oblivion. This is not a failure of forgiveness. It is common sense.
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