Exclusive: Tom Gordon has not been gagged by the SNP

At the Scottish Independence Convention on Saturday, former Sunday Herald editor Richard Walker argued that the Yes movement “need to adopt a new approach to journalists, particularly those we disagree with.”

Later in his speech he added: “But if we continue to berate them what we will do will be to alienate the vast majority of Scottish reporters and pretty much guarantee that the next independence referendum will be beset by the same media problems as the last one.”

It’s a novel idea.  Be nice to journalists who were responsible for the shoddy coverage of indyref1 in the hope that they’ll unilaterally change their approach for indyref2.  I’m going to have to think about that one.  In the meantime …

Today I read an article by Tom Gordon of The Herald.  The article ‘Journalist in SNP “gagging” row Stephen Daisley quits STV‘ was titled an exclusive.  It’s The Herald’s most read article today.

The article centred around the decision of a little known journalist to quit his job and move into freelance.  The headline, as you may have noticed, sought to imply the involvement of the SNP in Mr Daisley’s decision.

The article was a rehash of a story that was being punted last summer by a main stream media desperate to portray the SNP as an out of control dictatorship hell bent on silencing honest journalists.

One of the journalists who initially ran it was Tom Gordon.

If the media was to believed then two SNP MPs had complained to STV management about a journalist who had been critical of the party.

The broadcaster subsequently gagged the journalist.  The journalist was Stephen Daisley.

The media narrative was twaddle.  There was no such gagging order imposed by STV.

What we in fact had was a tale of someone who had posted one inappropriate message too many on social media and two MPs who had taken issue with what they perceived were inappropriate tweets from an editor.

The story faded and died … until Tom Gordon resurrected it.

The resurrected pot-boiler was every bit as reliable as the original reports.

Below is a selection of sentences from the 2017 version.

THE senior STV journalist who was allegedly “gagged” by the SNP has resigned.

A friend said that he had felt “unsupported” by the management at STV.

His departure follows two SNP MPs complaining to his employer about his work, which often mocked the SNP and other parties, and STV then halting his articles on its website.

The SNP MPs complained at an event held by STV managers at Westminster last spring.

Mr Wishart also criticised Mr Daisley on Twitter in June, asking whether his comments were his own view of “just the view of the ‘digital arm’ of the STV family?”

That prompted Harry Potter author JK Rowling to ask Mr Wishart: “Is trying to intimidate journalists you dislike @theSNP policy or just a vendetta of your own?”

The following month, Mr Nicolson posted a dozen late-night tweets questioning Mr Daisley’s ability and neutrality after he appeared to recommend an infamous Twitter account called Brian Spanner, which posted misogynist abuse of female politicians.

When the Herald reported Mr Daisley’s articles had stopped, other parties accused the SNP of “gagging” him and criticised STV for “buckling to Nationalist pressure”.

Mr Wishart and Mr Nicolson subsequently confirmed on Twitter they had complained to STV.

STV, which at the time of the controversy said its output had “evolved”, has previously been accused of being too close to the SNP.

Its Hogmanay show for 2015/16 featured Nicola Sturgeon, her sister and her mother as guests and was hosted by SNP supporter and independence campaigner Elaine C Smith.

It generated almost 100 complaints alleging political bias.

Writing in a newspaper yesterday about press regulation, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said Mr Wishart and Mr Nicolson “should be thoroughly ashamed of their attempts to silence those in the media who dare to question the SNP”.

You don’t have to be a genius to see what Tom Gordon is trying to imply.  If innuendo and suggestion were evidence then Nicolson and Wishart would be guilty of having a journalist gagged and effectively sacked.  STV would be in danger of losing its licence to broadcast by bowing to political pressure from a party it apparently supports.

The facts paint a rather duller picture of a journalist who perhaps enjoyed the cut-and-thrust of twitter too much.  Who came to the attention of two politicians who responded in kind to his provocative social media ‘messages’ and who has now resigned his position and moved on.

If we were to play the same innuendo game with Tom Gordon we could point to the fact that during the independence referendum he used the image of Alex Salmond’s letter to Fred Goodwin on his twitter account.

He continued to defend the Memogate story even after the French themselves had denied the claims being levelled by The Telegraph newspaper at Nicola Sturgeon.

Gordon regularly published stories and press releases from the radical left faction RISE who were at the time running a campaign aimed at persuading SNP voters not to give their second vote to Nicola Sturgeon’s party.

This month Tom published a quite bizarre opinion piece that suggested the SNP was at sixes and sevens over its independence stance.

He is also fond of highlighting criticism of the SNP from the party’s former advisor Alex Bell.

Perhaps most damning of all is that Tom Gordon once stated that Anas Sarwar had been “blessed with his father’s charm.”

None of this proves that Tom Gordon has a grudge against the SNP or favours running articles that paint the party in a bad light.

But you can see how people might draw that conclusion when articles and tweets are presented in the fashion they have been.

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14 thoughts on “Exclusive: Tom Gordon has not been gagged by the SNP

  1. Harry Molloy

    Looks like the once great Glasgow Herald has joined the also once great Scotsman in a race to the gutter of the Scottish press

  2. Andy McKirdy

    Gordon and Daisley and many more, trust them at your peril, traitors, every one and have proven that themselves many times over.
    I’m heartily sick fed up of these British nationalist, self proclaimed political journalist/commentators, pontificating to all of us about how we should conduct ourselves and how we should welcome a range of views and opinions from all sides and how we should always play fair and as English cricketers would say”always play with a straight bat” and all the while they’re spewing a lot of shite to sabotage the independence of our nation.
    Fuck the lot of them. Hopefully they will soon be consigned to the journalistic dustbin of history.

  3. Mark

    Wouldn’t trust a SMSM journo further than I could throw them. I expect absolutely no improvement in the standard or quality of their journalism anytime soon. Instead of bowing down to worship at the feet,: I believe the Yes side should employ a full time individual(s) whose role would be to re-but the obvious bullshit that they purvey.

  4. Roddy Macdonald

    Only in Scotland would former News of the Screws bin raking gutbucket quits in huff after bosses stop him playing on Twitter in company time be news.

  5. diabloandco

    You have to laugh at the idea we should be ‘nice’ to journalists who publish utter ordure as truth and who wouldn’t recognise the words accuracy , integrity and honesty if they belted them regularly in the jaw.

    Come to think of it ‘belting them regularly in the jaw’ sounds more than a little appealing – metaphorically speaking of course. ( though there are exceptions to that!)

  6. Bunny Daft

    They seem to think they ‘deserve’ respect and social status because of the big UK-backed media brands they work for, regardless of how derivative and misleading their journalistic output is.

    I reckon the journos at 1960s pravda had the same attitude. Too concerned with appeasing their political masters to realise they’d become an irrelevance. And a joke.

    Out of all msm, it’s only the bbc we need to take down. They’re the only one with a residual following among the scottish electorate. Print media is a dinosaur, no one cares what they write and the natural selection of the marketplace will soon see these third-rate, provincial-minded hacks all washed up on a beach somewhere like the fossils they are.

  7. Dan Huil

    These so-called journalists are just britnat scum, doing Westminster’s dirty job and collecting their thirty pieces of silver. They know their influence is waning, mostly because of the internet which exposes their britnat lies and conceit.

  8. Geejay

    When you remember the fate of some real, courageous journalists who exposed corruption, cronyism and worse in a several despotic states, the likes of Gordon, Daisley and their fellow travellers make you sick – they are nothing more than propagandists.

  9. Hugh Wallace

    No, no. You’ve got this all wrong GAP. You should be doing what Richard Walker says and being nice to Tom Gordon because then you can win him over to our side.

    And if you believe that you will believe anything…

  10. Gordoz

    Spot on – don’t no about new or unkown journalists but I vote we make a special case for the noble Mr Gordon under the category of not to be trusted beyond innuendo & spurious trouble making garbage.

  11. Jockanese Wind Talker

    Surely one of the main benefits of Independence will be that the MSM in England won’t require ‘Scottish Editions’ and therefore propagandists Like Daisley, Gordon,Torrance, Massie et al will be out on their arses and looking for work.

    Doubt any of them would be employable in an iScotland if potential employer had just a quick review of their back catalogue.

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