Common Space editor defends coverage of Scottish Labour website launch

The editor of a pro-independence news outlet has defended an article that covered the launch of a website set up by Scottish Labour activists.

Angela Haggerty, who edits Common Space, took to twitter to hit back at independence supporters who criticised what they saw as the promotion of pro-Labour website Red Robin.

In a tweet, Haggerty said the Common Space article was in fact “flagging” the existence of the Labour site which she claimed could be evidence that Jeremy Corbyn’s party was targeting former Labour voters the party lost during the 2014 Indyref campaign.

Haggerty, who also writes for the Sunday Herald, said: “I reckon it could be significant that Labour is targeting a new media audience in Scotland. Why? Because it could indicate they’re targeting the indy audience they lost in 2014. Others in indy media who ‘attack’ us for flagging this should perhaps spend more time looking ahead.”

The row follows the publication of an article on Common Space that covered the launch of a website set up to promote news and views from a Scottish Labour perspective.  According to Labour MSP Neil Findlay, the site will cover “all things Scottish Labour”.

Contrary to the claim by its editor, Common Space messages appeared to be designed to welcome and raise awareness of the new site.

A tweet by Common Space said: “@redrobinscot a new media outlet which aims to bring news and views from the Scottish Labour party and the left in Scotland, has promised readers it will “find the stories powerful people don’t want you to see”.”

Haggerty herself tweeted: “Red Robin website joins Scotland’s new media scene…”

One article on the new Labour site contained a list of the party’s top twenty target seats at the next Westminster election.  A graphic singled out the top ten.  All of the seats are currently held by the SNP.

The ‘Red Robin’ twitter account contained criticisms of the SNP as well as attack on SNP MP Mhairi Black.  The account also contained several retweets of the Common Space article, one which contained a message of thanks to Common Space for “covering our launch”.

The Common Space and its editor are no strangers to controversy. In July last year both editor and site attacked another pro-independence website Wings Over Scotland over a defamation case the Wings’ editor had brought against then Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale.  The spat resulted in a backlash against the Common Space which allegedly hit the site’s then funding appeal.

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32 thoughts on “Common Space editor defends coverage of Scottish Labour website launch

  1. Jockanese Wind Talker

    Haggerty is a regular guest on BBC and I treat her output with suspicion as I do ‘Splitty’ Cat Boyds (I don’t buy The National on her column day).

    I can see another drop in funding to Common Space which will no doubt elicit another of these damage limitation excises from Robin:

    https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/11455/robin-mcalpine-kindness-or-cruelty-its-your-choice

    Common Space could well go the way of Bella Caledonia, only surviving on a Corporate cash injection to stay viable due to alienating its core audience.

    Bella did this through what appears to be arrogance on the part of its editor.

    Common Space appears to be doing the same but through Haggertys Tribal loyalty to ‘Radical’ BritNat Labour.

  2. Kevin

    The last straw.

    Common Space, and Angela Haggerty must think we’re as thick as, well, as her friend, Neil Findlay if they think this is ‘subtle’. They’re certainly doing their damnedest to keep the red flag flying high.

    Nope, not my kind of indy-friendly.

  3. Jon

    Captain Haggerty, surely Agent Haggerty is more appropriate.
    In addition to attacking Wings over Scotland, she’s had a pop at GA Ponsonby of this parish. Whilst defended Cat Boyd’s voting record.
    The go to nationalist journalist of choice for the BBC and STV.

    1. SF

      She changes her twitter handle fairly frequently – I’m sure she’s been Agent Haggerty at least once in the past.

  4. Bibbit Blair

    I’ve stopped sending money to Common Space due to their Corbyn leanings.

    They know Corbyn is content to crash out EU, so zero tolerance for these zealots.

    These labour leopards can’t change their spots.

    I pity them, really. They so desperately still want to believe in British Labour being the ‘goodies’ when time and time again, their alleged ‘goodies’ vote with ‘the baddies’.

  5. Arthur Martin

    All supporters of Scottish Independence who are funding Common Space need to take a hard look at themselves and question their continued support.
    The Labour Party is a British Unionist Party intent on keeping Scotland part of the UK. They worked hand in hand with the Tories during Indyref1 and danced and celebrated with them after the NO vote was announced. They haven’t changed their views on an Independent Scotland since then and will fight tooth and nail to prevent Indyref2 from going ahead.
    That’s all you need to know, and that Common Space is giving them a platform. Make your choice.

  6. Robert Graham

    The repercussions of the promotion of RISE at the last Holyrood elections are there for all to see , Labour in Scotland are no different from the Tory party just witness the TAG TEAM antics they employ at FMQs ,

    Are we being led to believe it’s all just a coincidence and the questions just happen to be similar when in fact most of the time exactly the same ,

    As a few people have pointed out these questionable supporters are trying to disrupt from within ,its obvious with some of the stuff promoted by Bella & Common Space they are not trying to appeal to a wider audience they are trying to erode the existing INDY support.

    I wonder who or what organisation got to them because so far it ain’t subtle more like the work of Scotland in Union bat shit loony .

  7. john

    Haggerty and Boyd , two peas from the same pod , they are NOT independence supporters , they are Labour supporters in sheep’s clothing , DON’T support them !

  8. gregor

    British Labour rabidly opposes the independence movement. What on earth are Commonspace strategists thinking by appeasing adversaries who are eager to crush Scottish independence for the foreseeable future (preferably for ever). Scotland is already misrepresented enough through domineering pro-unionist media platforms.

  9. Andy McKirdy

    The Labour Party are traitors and the enemy of Scotland and proved themselves to be this in 2014, FACT!!!!
    I will never again in my life trust them or anyone supporting them.
    Nothing more to add!!!!!!!

  10. Alexander MacDonald

    The recent behaviors of the “Scottish” Labour party, a party I voted for my whole life, is unforgivable. I can’t fathom how CP can promote them and also claim to be pro-Scotland. The mind boggles.

  11. twathater

    I agree with all the comments here , I think Robin has to look at the damage being done to CS and the indy support by haggerty , boyd and their fellow travellers , this promotion of liebour a party who vehemently and publically oppose independence is designed to subvert and fracture independence support .
    I watched haggerty on brewers show and can honestly say I was disgusted at her cringing sycophantic views in an attempt to curry favour
    As for boyd her imbecilic utterances on QT and GCC equal pay demonstration displays her true allegiance. Liebour through and through I want to be a trougher

  12. Alasdair Macdonald

    I think that a lot of the bile directed at Ms Haggerty and Ms Boyd is motivated by misogyny more than anything else. In most of the posts above the feeling I get is one of visceral dislike of two young women who are pretty upfront in their opinions and who have faced a fair degree of nasty trolling.

    Indeed, I suspect that many of the posters above are in that category and seeking to foment division in the pro-independence groups.

    Ms Haggerty is trying to start an alternative publication and that, in my view, requires it to publish a plurality of views. Ms Boyd has never been anything other than pretty clearly on the left of the spectrum and is entitled to support positions taken by the Labour Party with which she agrees.

    Misogyny has no place in the independence campaign.

    If we are going to win independence, we are going to have to attract some more Labour supporters. We should be encouraging Labour to resurrect the old ‘home rule’ debates which characterised it well into the 1950s.

    Many of us probably saw the interview by Mr Andrew Neill of a Cabinet Minister, whom he tore to shreds over the lies about Jeremy Corbyn. Mr Neill’s political views are an open secret, but he is clearly enough of a journalist to confront blatant lies. I suspect that some of the above might well have been supporting Mr Neill during that interview. However, I suspect some of them might have been involved in re-tweeting some of the Tory lies about Mr Corbyn.

    1. gregor

      Most importantly (in terms of winning) – do pro-unionist media platforms pose a significant problem for the Scottish independence movement?

      Is such a notion bile…

    2. MorvenM

      I’m an old feminist and I don’t see anything remotely misogynist about any of the above posts. Criticizing a woman’s views or suspecting her motives is not misogyny. Abusing the term demeans the debate.

    3. grizebard

      “Misogny”? Help ma boab! What evidence? This is setting up a straw (wo)man as a distraction from the very real criticisms that were aired about The BritLab Party and two people who happen to share a gender that no-one but you seems to care about but who do seem to have a track record of promoting that party even while it continues to attack the indy movement which they both claim to support.

      I’m not convinced that those two are by any means alone either, they are just the most visible. (For that refer to the media folks, not us.) Many of their past actions have left in their wake a well-founded suspicion that their real agenda is hard-left socialism by whatever means possible, and not independence at all.

      1. Jams O'Donnell

        I am of the opinion that there just must be activity up here by the British security forces against Independence. This might seem on the surface to be an outlandish conspiracy theory, but if you look at the history of British ‘intelligence’ operations (or for that matter, the CIA) it is well within the bounds of possibility. In fact, it would be pretty strange if they were not doing something along those lines. Some articles by BC on Syria for example were right out of the establishment patter book. Now that Bella seems to be losing it’s audience, you would expect MI5 to go on to pastures new.

    4. liz

      I’m a woman, and I don’t trust either Haggerty or Boyd. They constantly play the misogyny card when they are disagreed with.
      Boyd is a hypocrite, supporting equal pay outside the GCC when the SNP administration have already said they will pay up.

      Since SLAB tied the whole issue up in the courts for 10 years, it will no doubt be a minefield trying to unravel it all.

      They are Labour supporters disguising themselves as indy supporters.

      I stopped reading CS for that reason, I do like Dr Craig Dalzell and Robin McAlpine but I now only read CD on his own blog.

      It’s a cheap move screaming discrimination .

      1. Alasdair Macdonald

        Why has Ms. Cat Boyd’s name been introduced into this discussion, which relates to a decision made by Ms Angela Haggerty?

        Why are there ad hominem attacks being made on them?

        Misogyny, to a large extent, entails reacting hostilely to women asserting themselves. Ms Sturgeon, Ms Davidson, Ms Dugdale etc. all receive far more nasty trolling than men in similar positions.

        Are feminists immune to misogyny – ‘slut shaming’, for example?

        There was a Labour for Independence group, so voting Labour does not imply being anti-independence.

        I have not voted Labour for many years and I am unlikely to do so any time soon.

  13. gavin C barrie

    And Alasdair MacDonald, citing misogyny as a reason commentators here are criticising the expressed views of “the two young women” is quite simply wrong.

    Labour thanked CommonPlace for their coverage of SLAB’s Red Robin website. Need more be said? Haggarty is a regular on BBC Pacific Quay, ever wondered why?

    I most always disagree with Cat Boyd’s articles in the National. i think she needs to take a break and think through her politics.

    We are entering the endgame with the British state. That there are still “ordinary” Labour supporters in Scotland following their leaders’ behaviour in the 2014 IndyRef is indeed a puzzle to me, unless Labour supporters in Scotland in actuality are Red Tories, albeit the less well off ones.

    Does that mean I’m my a misogynyist. Heavens, wait ’till my wife of 50 years, two two daughters and three grandaughters learn of this.

  14. Big Jock

    She is a regular on Shareen. You don’t get that gig on Radio Youk unless you are willing to play the British love in game.

    Pretty vacuous programme and Angela talks in a drony invented tone. I have to switch off as I don’t think anyone actually talks like that without it being a deliberate wannabe hippy.

    The woman bores me to tears never gets to the point. Same as loki flowery language of no consequence.

  15. PhilM

    I hope that AMcD was consistent in calling out the Gingerist or miskokkinmallianist nationalist abuse that has surely blighted the lives of Ross Greer and Loki. I do not have ginger hair myself but I have chosen the noble path of advocacy for my fellows humans who have suffered centuries of oppression at the follicles of cis normative trichotyrants. Anyone who says Poverty Safari is an attention-seeking bid for a media career niche sitting on the fence between Corbynism and Independence is being Gingerist, a QED argument that should immediately shut down all debate for the benefit of a safe common place…sorry…space. After my noble advocacy I do not intend debating with any of you no matter how many good points you make or how comprehensively you debunk my evidence-free assertions.
    I will also be leaving Twitter for an extended period because you are all mean, unsocialised , and have bad characters from comprehensive schooling.

    1. Alasdair Macdonald

      PhilM, if I could work out what a ‘miskokkinmallianist’ was I might be able to agree or disagree with you, if you were in the mood for a debate.

      However, as someone who had black hair, but a red beard and moustache, and a wife who is richly and redly hirsute, I most certainly call out any gingerist abuse.

      I actually have a lot of time for Loki/Darren McGarvey and find his reflective and autodidactic offerings very refreshing.

      I am also too old to have had a comprehensive school education, but, I wish I had had. Indeed, ‘the bog standard comprehensive’ jibe was one of several reasons for giving up voting Labour.

      1. Rick H Johnston

        Aye, the Bog Standard comprehensive comment aye rankles wi me.
        Also as a supporter of council housing I hate the expression Sink Estate which is used in mainly the English media.
        Seems if ye live in a council scheme ye’re considered automatically to be of a lesser breed.
        Misogyny, Class prejudice, Racism.
        Scottish Statehood with written constitution ASAP.

  16. Pingback: Common Space: The Indy Movement’s Own Fifth Columnists | An Independent Scotsman

  17. Nick McBain

    “45 minutes after posting notice that comment was no longer permitted, Common Space then published an opinion piece from British nationalist Labour MSP James Kelly, the face of the campaign to remove the anti bigotry laws which were introduced by the SNP a number of years back. For me, that is the last straw. There have been one or two vehemently anti SNP columnists within Common Space and I can understand and accept that. The independence movement isn’t all about the SNP, and for one reason or another many of us have left them, while retaining support for independence. But this is something else. This isn’t constructive criticism from inside the movement, it’s now an open group of fifth columnists who are pushing a pro-Corbyn, Labour agenda. It seems to me that having hitched their wagon to the Indy movement in 2014, some of those who have carved out a space in the media have now decided to head for pastures new, in Jeremy Corbyn’s British Nationalist Labour camp.”

    Does it for me. No Misogyny, that’s a bit of a blind IMHO

  18. Rick H Johnston

    This whole ploy over repealing the OBFA fair gets my birse up.
    It’s entirely about defeating the SNP with total disregard for the rights of most fitba fans tae attend games without vile bigotry and sectarian abuse.
    Also I’m sick of the media repeating constantly that this act is either hated or unpopular wi fans..
    Untrue! There’s plenty surveys showing how popular the OBFA is.
    Scrapping this act wi nae replacement is dangerous and irresponsible.

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