Scots Journalist Shakes The Dust & Heads for USA

Scots Journalist Shakes The Dust & Heads for USA

From the Mail Online…

For more than 40 years I’ve followed American politics and I’ve never known it to be as divisive, nasty, dangerous and violent — with gun-toting activists regularly roaming city streets — as it is today.

So it speaks volumes for the sad state of Scottish politics when distinguished Scots journalist Sarah Smith says she’s looking forward to escaping the ‘criticism, bile and hatred’ she’s endured as BBC Scotland editor for the calmer, less stressful beat of BBC North American editor.

Smith expects less vilification, fewer threats and less hatred than she’s experienced in her homeland these past six years. She speaks of being verbally assaulted on Scottish streets with shouts of ‘what f****** lies are you telling on TV tonight, you f****** b***h’.  Click here to read more…

Editor writes…

I’m no fan of Sarah Smith, believe me.  Long story  cut very short, some years ago, when I lived in England, she came to my home to interview me about an issue related to Catholic schools.  There was “history being made” because the Church had agreed to the first ever shared campus, with a Catholic and non-denominational school sharing premises.  My key point was that the bishop who had agreed to this deal, was in the wrong and I kept pressing that point, asking her to be sure to include my call for his resignation in her final edited report.

After a lengthy interview, just as I thought we were more or less finished, she asked me if I thought this shared campus might be a way for the politicians to do away with Catholic schools altogether; I took it to be a throwaway remark, just out of interest. I acknowledged that this might well be a possibility but the real fault doesn’t lie with them (we can hardly expect non-Catholic politicians to be crazy about forking out funding for separate Catholic schools) but with the bishop who had agreed to this shared campus. By doing so, he had endangered the future of Catholic schools. That was my key point.  In fact, when the report was aired, I was tagged on agreeing that this was a political manoeuvre aimed at ending the separate Catholic school system.  What a dishonest woman.

So, I’ve no time for Sarah Smith.  And as Dan Wootton points out in the above discussion, she – like every other “journalist” in Scotland – has never asked Nicola Sturgeon a single difficult question when she had the opportunity.  So, zero out of ten for integrity and minus-zero out of ten for “journalism”.  America is welcome to her.

Still, the vile treatment which she has experienced on the streets of Scotland and on social media, is appalling.  There IS a nasty atmosphere in Scotland these days, caused, it seems to me, by the divisive and de-stabilising nature of the perpetual independence mantra, coupled with the draconian Covid restrictions to which Sturgeon is clearly addicted, an addiction with which her fans have also become infected…Er… so to speak.  Or maybe you disagree?

Comments (28)

  • carlos10101

    Never talk to journalists.

    February 22, 2022 at 1:28 am
    • editor

      I do – but only by email now. I made that rule after the Sarah Smith debacle, when I would also only agree to appear “live” if invited to participate in TV discussions. “Going out into the whole world….” means just what Our Lord said!

      February 22, 2022 at 9:12 am
      • Margaret Mary


        You were on The Big Questions, for one thing, but you’ve not been on anything for a while, unless I’ve missed it. Most of us would walk a mile before agreeing to going onto TBQ — it was like a bear pit, LOL! Anyone who was not PC had better watch out – they were given a very hard time of it!

        February 22, 2022 at 5:25 pm
      • Laura

        Margaret Mary,

        And don’t forget Sunday Morning Live! She was on that back in the day before they went all posh in the studio, LOL!

        February 22, 2022 at 6:33 pm
      • Josephine

        Editor was also on Radio Scotland quite a few times over the years. Now they only seem to allow liberals of one stripe or another.

        February 24, 2022 at 12:17 am
  • Margaret Mary

    I’ve noticed the change in Scotland over the SNP years. There’s a fear of saying anything against them, although, saying that, I do meet people from time to time who roll their eyes when you mention the SNP or Nicolas Sturgeon.

    Sarah Smith is no big deal as far as her journalism goes. She doesn’t stand out in any way, so I don’t think she’ll be missed when she goes to the USA.

    February 22, 2022 at 5:20 pm
  • Laura

    There’s definitely been a change in the Scottish psyche in recent years, especially since Covid. Nicola Sturgeon’s superficiality has proved to be a winner. People see her speaking so confidently, as if she knows what she’s talking about, which she doesn’t, and because she speaks in a authoritative way, most people fall for it and think she’s a good leader. She knows this and it gives her even more confidence. She can read a room, so it will be like this until the public waken up and the polls tell her it’s time to go.

    February 22, 2022 at 6:26 pm
  • Nicky

    Dan Wootton’s discussion was quite lively but dyed in the wool SNP activists, like the one on the video panel, won’t change their minds. It’s a rare occurrence.

    Sarah Smith’s treatment was vile, that’s unacceptable, but I can’t say she ever impressed me. I didn’t know her father was the former leader of the Labour party, John Smith. That’s very interesting.

    February 22, 2022 at 6:39 pm
  • editor

    I’ve just popped in to post this news – Sturgeon is keeping Covid restrictions indefinitely, despite the falling “cases”. England anyone?

    February 22, 2022 at 6:58 pm
    • editor

      Racing – just noticed another headline saying all Covid restrictions in Scotland to end on 21 March, except self-isolation and testing to continue.

      I’ve no idea what is going on here – I never watch the “briefings”, so recording here, all that I know, do what you will with it (politely!)

      February 22, 2022 at 7:33 pm
      • LittleCharie

        It just shows that you can’t believe anything journalists write, espcially if they work for the DE. No wonder it’d known as the Daily Lie.

        February 23, 2022 at 1:51 pm
      • Josephine


        What’s the DE?

        February 24, 2022 at 12:18 am
  • Faith of Our Fathers

    ED I personally have never heard of Sarah Smith and it doesn’t seem that av missed a lot from Her many Lies.
    As for the Social Media abuse that’s easily sorted – Just don’t go on it – Am certainly not in the same bracket as this Woman but received Plenty of Abuse on Twitter . The answer was I came off Twitter.

    As for Her saying that She is slated about Lies on TV again although I don’t agree with anyone being so called Persecuted ,but I myself as I said am no where near in the same Bracket as Sarah Smith but if I Had £ One- for every time I was called a Fenian closely followed by B****** I would be a very Rich Man .
    Sorry if I don’t seem to have much sympathy for the Woman. But as one whose Life was threatened by Drug Dealers and the Scottish Police done absolutely Nothing. As av said on here I had to sell the House and lost about £ 18.000 in doing so .

    As a Woman who should know Her responsibilities She should either have left Her High flying Job if it got to Hot in The Kitchen. I can assure you that for the at least £150.000 a Year that She’s on I would gladly accept some abuse. At least She never received Death Threats.
    So She’s welcome to the U.S.A. at least I know I won’t be contributing to Her Massive Salary.

    February 22, 2022 at 9:52 pm
    • editor


      Agreed – these celebrities don’t seem to have too much in the way of a thick skin but that’s a feature of moderns. They need to be treated SO gently. Wales (I’m just hearing) is introducing a law / encouraging people (not sure which) to contact the police if they see a parent smacking a child, even a tap on the hand. Craziness upon craziness.

      February 22, 2022 at 10:44 pm
      • Faith of Our Fathers

        Now Now ED you should know better it’s not called a Parent now it’s called a grown up .
        Except of course when their Paid over £150.000 and want to tell us what to do.

        In ref to your comment of being interviewed by Smith concerning shared Campus. Now am going back to the 90s and I think it was a School up in Midlothian that Shared Catholic and Public Schools. Going into the Entrance to the School it was left for Catholic Pupils and Right for Public School Pupils. At the Catholic Entrance was a Crucifix which right away was said to upset the Public School Pupils. Of course it was removed. So much for Ecumenicism in Schools so to speak.

        February 23, 2022 at 7:10 pm
  • LittleCharie

    Editor, I have tried four times to post the following on the St Robert Southwell topic but without success. Please forgive me for posting it here and perhaps you can post it in the correct place. Thank you.


    Fr Andrew Southwell is actually Scots. He’s from Edinburgh where his family still lives. My friend is a neigbour of his brother. The following is from the website of St Bede’s Church in South London.

    Fr Andrew Southwell, born in Edinburgh Scotland in 1962 and was educated at Downside Abbey, Louvain, in Belgium, and the Angelicum in Rome. He was professed a Benedictine monk at Farnborough Abbey and was ordained a priest there in 1990. He was one of the founders of the traditional priory at Alton and came to St Bede’s in March 1997. Succeeding Fr Hugh Simon-Thwaites, S.J, he largely responsible for successful building up of the Latin Mass Community here and was the national Chaplain to the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales. He is also the chaplain to the Saint Catherine’s Trust, which runs monthly family days at St Edmund’s Ware, a family retreat every Passion Week, and an annual Summer School.

    Editor: Yes, I see that you have posted this several times – no need, either, really, since I know that Fr Andrew Southwell is Scots and family still live in Edinburgh. I would have been thinking of the fact that my Great Nephews met him when they attended the LMS Summer School in England a couple of years or so in succession. They loved him to bits, and he has visited them at their home in Glasgow when home visiting his own family in Edinburgh. So forgive my carelessness – I’ve now corrected my mistake in the comments and published your correction on the saint’s thread. Thank you for drawing this error to my attention.

    February 23, 2022 at 2:45 pm
  • Introibo

    Goodness there’s more life in a mortuary than on this blog these days. Each thread has an average of 12-14 comments and at least half are from Her Ladyship the editor. Remember the old days of 60-70 comments? What happened to all the old regulars?

    Editor: true. Some illness, some apathy, some, who knows? What’s your excuse?

    February 23, 2022 at 9:00 pm
    • Marinaio

      Dear Editor,
      In response to your comment on Introibo’s observation regarding so few comments, I think you could be right about apathy. I remember well the apathy after the treatment we received at the hands of our bishops following the 1984 Indult and then the Assisi scandal two years later. When we learned of all the conditions placed on realizing our “just aspirations,” which John Paul II called our attachment to the Mass of the Ages, many of us just decided to circle the wagons, so to speak.
      Or, maybe it could be overload, as well. So much news! What a week it has been: a radical racist judge is nominated to our Supreme Court by Sleepy Joe; Russia invades the Ukraine; and the FSSP agrees to a separate protocol with wily Francis (to mention just three topics). I hope I don’t shock everyone too much if I confess that of those three headlines, the most interesting is the “decree” allegedly signed by Francis that guarantees the “charisma” (don’t you love that word?) of the Fraternity of St. Peter.
      The other two news items were almost expected. Leftists have been after Justice Breyer to retire for some time, so that they could pack the Supreme Court before a validly elected President without dementia moves back into the White House. As for the Ukraine, regardless of how thuggish we may view Putin, the West (led by Democrat U.S. presidents since the fall of the USSR) have bullied Russia and in many ways brought this on ourselves. It does indeed fit, as so many commenters wrote in the “Instrument of Chastisement” thread, with the Fatima message and the failure (refusal) to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
      But this “separate peace” Francis has forged with the FSSP has really been on my mind quite a bit. As so many other commenters and bloggers have already pointed out, there is something that just doesn’t smell right about the whole thing. And when will we learn about what was discussed during the reported meeting between Don Davide Palgiarani and Francis? You probably saw all the “trads” celebrating the FSSP decree, including Michael Matt, who said that it shows that resisting really does work. But I am puzzled how Mr. “Unite the Clans” can say that when the alleged decree gives the FSSP a “privilege” that none of the other traditionalist groups have been given, to the best of my knowledge. Even the FSSP leadership agrees publicly that there are “grey areas.” Does it not appear that Francis is maneuvering to pick off each of the Ecclesia Dei groups one by one? After all, Traditionis Custodes is still invoked as the sine qua non, and we know what that contains.
      Regarding excuses for not popping in here more often and leaving a comment, I have no good excuses. Besides, as we always said in the Navy, excuses are like noses — everyone has one. But will it help if I promise that when I really, truly retire later this year, I will make a point of visiting daily and commenting frequently? Honest!
      God bless us all in these interesting times.

      February 26, 2022 at 9:48 pm
      • editor


        I did not mean to make you feel at all guilty about blogging here. For one thing, you have your own wonderful blog, and you are in full-time employment. Not to mention the fact that you are living at the other side of the world!. Goodness, I’ve had a man emailing me this evening to complain about comments on the Installation of the New Archbishop thread – and he won’t give up. Wants me to run a private blog just for him. This is the sort of idiocy I have to deal with, day and daily. Well, not quite, but you’ll get my drift 😀 Obviously, I’ll be delighted to have your regularly blogging but do not make it a burden.

        As for Introibo – he was a young man who had become a convert to the Faith when I met him at a TLM in Glasgow. He told me he was a regular reader of our website and blog and soon started blogging with us. I was impressed with his apparent intelligence.

        Then I got the bright idea of hosting an online blog-debate with some atheists who had been toing and froing here – it was on one of our older blogs, so, unfortunately I can’t put a link. I actually searched just now, briefly, to see if I could locate it somewhere but no luck.

        Anyway, blow me, instead of achieving a rush of converts to the Faith after the debate (which drew hundreds of comments) – instead of achieving those converts, we lost one blogger to atheism, none other than said Introibo. He claimed to have been convinced by the arguments put by the atheists. However, another (former) blogger who knew Introibo, told me that the real reason for the defection was that Introibo could not accept Catholic teaching on contraception. Yip, that again.

        Interesting, isn’t it, how the Devil knows how to use sexual matters to get his hold over souls.

        Praying for Introibo again – I’d forgotten all about him until his smart alec comment appeared recently.

        PS – agree with you on the FSSP/Papa Francis and the “unite the clans” nonsense. That is what it boils down to – nonsense. It’s like a “traditional ecumenism”. No thanks, from the land of the real clans 😀

        February 26, 2022 at 10:47 pm
  • mary

    How is Athanasius?

    February 23, 2022 at 9:38 pm
    • editor


      Athanasius is suffering horrendous side effects, ongoing even after his treatment is over.

      He can’t wait to get back to normal life, back to blogging and writing, so keep him in your prayers. Thank you.

      February 23, 2022 at 11:26 pm
      • Josephine


        I’m still praying for Athanasius. I hope it’s not long before he is back to his old self, and educating us all here.

        February 24, 2022 at 12:15 am
    • Athanasius


      I thought I should pop in and update everyone on my progress. My thanks to Editor for having thus far translated for me.

      First off, I am eternally grateful to Editior and to all the bloggers here for their extremely valuable prayers. I am also grateful to a number of good priests who have been in touch to check on me and offer Masses.

      My radiotherapy finished about 3 weeks ago but I was told that the burning continues to spread for at least two weeks post treatment. That has certainly proved to be the case, my throat has been on fire, though it’s calming a little now. I have no sense of taste when eating and my saliva glands have stopped working. This obviously presents issues when trying to eat food. Everything tastes like cardboard and my dry mouth means I have to sip water to moisten the food.

      The worst thing that happened was about 5 weeks ago when I caught viral enteritis and spent five days in hospital on a drip. I could neither eat nor drink and ended up losing a stone in weight at the most crucial time of my treatment when body weight and health are essential. My oncologist couldn’t believe it when, one week later, I had regained that lost stone, primarily because I forced massive amounts of food down my throat when it was difficult enough through the swelling to get even a sip of water down. He was well pleased with that effort which I believe was one of those manifestations of extraordinary strength that comes from God in answer to people’s prayers.

      I’m happy to say that the swelling in my throat has gone down substantially in the last two weeks, though the burning is still present to some degree and my voice comes and goes quite often. I’m making progress thank God, but the gastroenteritis is hanging on in there after five weeks and I’m now under my GP giving all kinds of samples to see if they can get to the heart of the problem. I feel quite well most days but I do get a little fatigued as the day progresses. I’ve been back to my work for weeks, largely because it costs my company to have to pay me to be off sick and pay a contractor to do my job. I felt ok to work, so why not.

      When I told the oncologist about this he said he has never in his career known anyone to be back at work this soon after treatment – said the majority of his patients spend between 18 and 20 hours a day in bed with fatigue. In his estimation I’m 80% ahead of his other patients in terms of health and strength. He also told me that while most patients lose around 8% of their body weight during treatment, I lost only 4%. He can’t quite figure it out but I know why these positive things are happening, they’re happening in repsonse to prayers. They’re graces from God, no question about it. I just wish I could get one other grace right now, the grace of being able to eat chocolate again. While savoury foods are largely like eating cardboard, chocolate and other sweet things taste like castor oil in the mouth. I will have no trouble making an absolute pig of myself when my chocolate taste returns. The bib will be on and the face and hands will be covered!!

      Thanks again to every one of you for you kind prayers and support, particulalry Editor who has been in constant touch.

      God bless

      February 24, 2022 at 12:22 am
      • mary

        Athanasius, (and Editor). Many many thanks for keeping me posted. I shall certainly keep you in my prayers. I hope you soon get past this dreadful ordeal.

        February 24, 2022 at 2:56 pm
      • Elizabeth

        Athanasius, so sorry you are having such a rough have been in my prayers every day, especially on the feast of St Blaise. Your patience and fortitude are remarkable and I do hope you will soon be feeling a lot better and that the treatment has been successful. Best wishes and continued prayers.

        February 24, 2022 at 8:37 pm
      • Marinaio

        Dear Athanasius,
        So very good to hear from you. Rest assured that you are in our prayers here in frigid north Idaho. Thank you for the update. God bless you and your family.

        February 26, 2022 at 9:13 pm
      • Athanasius

        Marinaio, Elizabeth & Mary

        I am deeply touched by your charity and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for those wonderful prayers. Things are definitely on the up now as regards my treatment, I am not nearly so bad in terms of pain as I was some weeks back. The voice still fluctuates between reasonable audibility and a whisper, but I’m told that this is expected and will continue for a while to come. Ditto the loss of taste and drying up of saliva glands. The good thing this year is that I don’t have to think about my Lenten penance!!

        Seriously though, I feel the grace from all those prayers, prayers which I attribute to the incredible progress I’ve made in terms of health and strength. Just two examples: My Oncologist tells me that the majority of his patients lose around 8% of their body weight during treatment. I lost only 4% in the end despite losing a stone during my 5 day hospitalisation with viral enteritis. Somehow, despite the swelling in my throat and the pain, I was able to shovel all manner of food down the hatch to regain that stone, which I did in a week. That was the grace of God because it was otherwise so incredibly difficult to swallow even soft foods. The second grace was my health and strength at the end of treatment. The Oncologist told me frankly that I am 80% ahead of his other patients in this regard. He also said that he has never known anyone to be back at work so soon after treatment, though he cautioned me not to overdo it. These positive things are all the result of God’s grace arising from the prayers of good people like you. God bless you all for your great charity.

        February 27, 2022 at 11:45 am
  • Lily

    I went to see if I could find the report Editor mentioned where she was interviewed by Sarah Smith but I can’t find it. I did find this report which shows Sarah Smith reporting as Scotland reporter this time (Feb) last year, 2021. I think it’s of interest.

    February 23, 2022 at 11:43 pm

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