Channel 4 News 90

I phoned the Channel 4 Newsdesk to report a story. It went like this:

Male Voice: Hello Newsdesk
Me: Hello is that Channel 4 News?
Male Voice: Yes, how can I help you
Me: I want to report a story
Male Voice: Well there’s not much time left the news is about to go out
Me: It is quite a big story
Male Voice: Well run it by me
Me: It’s about a totally corrupt journalist named Alex Thomson who claimed there was a riot in Glasgow today when no such thing happened
Male Voice: Oh
Me: Are you interested?
Male Voice: Well, obviously I know who Alex Thomson is
Me: Are you interested?
Male Voice: Well I can put you through to viewer complaints….
[Click – goes to answerphone]

I phone back
Female Voice: Hello
Me: Hello. I was talking to someone about Alex Thomson invention of a completely untrue story, and I seem to have got put through to an answerphone
Female Voice: I can put you through to viewer complaints
Me: No, that’s the answerphone
Female Voice: Well, then the editor will hear what you say
Me: Really? Does the editor listen to the answerphone?
Female Voice: Yes
Me: The editor listens to every comment left on the answerphone
Female Voice: Yes
Me: So how many comments per day are left on the answerphone?
Female Voice: The editor doesn’t listen to the answerphone, they get the comments typed out
Me: So each and every message is typed out separately and the editor reads them all
Female Voice: No it’s a summary
Me: Alex Thomson was lying about events in Glasgow to try to influence an election. I want to talk to your superior.
CLICK put to answerphone

This is a picture of the actual scene, exactly as I described it earlier today. Alex Thomson should be sacked. he is a disgrace to journalism.

glasgow riot

Thanks to Wings Over Scotland for the picture.

90 thoughts on “Channel 4 News

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  • fedup

    Baghdad “freedom square”/Saddam statue deja vu all over again.

    Freedom of the press means you can own a one.

  • Mason

    I think you will need more than a static picture to prove your point Craig.

    What you have included in this blog neither proves or disproves the prevailing story.

  • Jives

    Absolutely terrifying,the terror of those 3 guys has me typing this beneath my desk.

    I genuinely fear for our democracy and society over this.

    It must be endtimes,surely?

  • craig Post author


    But actually you are wrong. there were at least twenty journalists with TV Cameras and stills cameras there. But there is no convincing footage of violence anywhere. It is not up to me to prove a negative.

  • Mason

    Watched the video and it seems pretty tame to me so if that’s all that occurred I can’t see why the media has made such a fuss.

    On the still picture how do we know that the crowd circled in red are Labour people? Hope I haven’t just asked another daft question.

  • craig Post author

    David is right – with the added info that some Labour people are holding blue placards with the same messages!

  • Jives

    Absolute non-story.

    Some guys from one side chant a few things,some guys from the
    other side chant some things and then Murphy gets into a car.

    Looks more like Murphy cant handle the perfectly normal democratic process.

  • Mason

    The video I watched has the protesters located in the red circled area.

    As this area was marked as Labour people on the still picture I wasn’t sure if the suggestion was that Labour people had faked the protest.

    Looking again I see that the protesters have drifted through the Labour pack chanting something about Tories.

    In any case it was pretty tame (hardly worth mentioning really) and I note the Guardian headline was:

    “Eddie Izzard and Jim Murphy abandon Glasgow rally due to anti-Labour protests”

    I suppose that’s fair but any suggestion of violence would seem to be baseless from this footage and should be challenged.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    It’s a clear smear. I won’t pollute CM with a link to Thompson’s blog, but it’s clear on there that he wants to equate Megaphone Man – something of a nutjob with previous for interrupting Murphy’s photocalls – with the SNP at large. Sturgeon’s on record as deploring it, which is all that ought to be needed.

  • Mason

    Have just had a look at various headlines coming through. They use the following words:

    [angry, scuffles, violent, abusive, aggressive and street brawls]

    From the video, I believe all of these descriptions to be inaccurate and somewhat hysterical.

    So yep I agree with your analysis Craig.

  • Republicofscotland

    As Ive said on many occasions broadcasting needs to be devolved whilst we push for independence.

    It’s completely evident that the unionist propaganda machine ie the press and new channels,are oppressive to nationalists as a whole.

  • Daniel

    This is what Thomson had to say in his closing remarks a few minutes ago live on Channel 4 News:

    “Some would say that this was all the darkest propaganda – a staged event by the Labour Party so they could wreck their own rally. Yes, people say this so as to have mud to throw at the SNP. Other people say that this simply shows there is a nasty undemocratic element attached to extreme nationalism as they would see it and the SNP should name and shame these people. There’s not many of them.”

  • Iain Orr

    Craig: thanks for that post – the transcript of your conversations with Channel 4 rang horribly true. My comment is not on that but goes here rather than anywhere else because it’s currently the most active thread – even though it is not about the next referendum.

    From the election “debates” it seems that the only referendums that are feared/desired are on Scottish Independence or on UK membership of the EU. The one I would like to see before all others would be on Trident. Timing would be tricky, given media and Conservative/ Official Labour collusion in portraying getting rid of our own WMD as weakening (rather then strengthening)the UK’s moral authority.

    Given that defence is not a devolved subject, if we end up with a Labour minority government the best way for the SNP to promote its opposition to Trident might be making agreement to have a referendum on Trident – a subject so fundamental that it merits a referendum – a condition for continued support. I say “continued” support because I see such a strategy as only having a chance of success:

    A) not early on but only after the SNP has managed to make common cause with a significant number of Labour MPs, including Cabinet members; nd

    B) When Labour would not relish losing a vital vote on an issue which is not crucial to the SNP’s political identity [what that is will depend on circumstances].

    Much would depend on the extent to which circumstances had added force to the arguments (inter alia from serving senior military figures) that a coherent UK defence policy needs more expenditure on force numbers and equipment (other than immoral weapons); and that the UK economy simply cannot afford to subsidize fantasies of an “independent” nuclear “deterrent”. Any thoughts?

  • Anne Keay

    I was there. I am in the photo. I did not plan to be there. I was shopping and heard the crowd and went to watch. I saw nothing except healthy democracy in action – a politician goes walk-about and people gather passionately to protest, call out, crowd in and generally make a lot of fuss and noise, as is their right.

    I had read on sites such as yours about these Labour rallies and watched in disgust at the stage managed event unfolded. There was no passion, no attempt to reach out to voters, no attempt to engage with the people of Glasgow. It was a press event, purely and simply. P

    I also saw and heard around me, from the few people who watched, only bemused indifference and/or dislike of Labour then, gradually, disgust at the pointlessness of the whole event.

    If I had ever believed that Jim Murphy cared one whit about the ‘ordinary’ men and women of Scotland, I would now know better. Neither he or any one of the Labour activists with him had any interest in talking to, engaging with or convincing anyone. It wasn’t about us – it was about tonight’s news and cheap headlines.

    I was revolted by the whole thing and, pardon my ignorance, astounded at seeing for myself what depths modern politics Labour style has sunk to.

  • Resident Dissident

    Clerkin obviously got a little closer to Murphy than Craig suggests

    And as for supporting the SNP – leaving aside the little matter of him being a council candidate for them in the past – Node might wish to look at his Twitter feed (already linked) at the time of the Leaders’s debate – the only positive comment was for Sturgeon – he even had a go at the lovely Leanne.

  • Melanie McKellar

    The group responsible for the ‘heckling’ have posted a video…James Cook from the BBC interviews them at the end as to their motives and who they actually represent…Mr Cook asked it numerous times, make your own mind up from the answers he received.

  • Resident Dissident

    I had read on sites such as yours about these Labour rallies and watched in disgust at the stage managed event unfolded. There was no passion, no attempt to reach out to voters, no attempt to engage with the people of Glasgow. It was a press event, purely and simply.

    So that gives you the right to drown them out with megaphones and scream in their faces does it?

  • Jives

    Project Fear…

    Then Project Egg..

    Now Project Loudhailer…


    What a bunch of buffoons.

    Pathetic really

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Surely there are only three questions which require elucidation (as far as this is possible):

    1/. who were the “protesters” – SNP people, SNP people + sundry elements, sundry elements;

    2/. what was the degree of “protest” – isolated shouts, heckling, chanting, serious attempt to drown out the speakers – and what were the means used (eg, were megaphones, bullhorns or whatever used or not)

    3/ if it is concluded that there were indeed attempts to drown out the speakers, is such behaviour acceptable in what is supposed to be a democratic election in Great Britain?

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