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Wings Over Scotland


A circular argument

Posted on April 30, 2014 by

You can’t make this stuff up.

circledunc

Yes Glasgow has been inviting No speakers to take part in this Thursday’s event for literally months. They’ve contacted every single MP and MSP from a Unionist party representing a Glasgow seat, asking them to participate. They offered from the very beginning to let “Better Together” co-organise and co-host the debate, which will be chaired by the neutral Electoral Reform Society Scotland.

The only reason that “everyone on the platform is a Yes supporter” is because nobody from the No side is prepared to face the Glasgow public and put their case. The opportunity is still there. We confess ourselves perplexed that they seem determined to refuse it, and then to complain bitterly that the debate is one-sided.

(Also, of course, if everyone there is going to be a Yes supporter – even though the event’s publicity has all been targeted at undecideds – what better place for a No speaker to go? Surely people who currently aren’t going to vote for you are exactly who you want to persuade? Why bother preaching to the converted?)

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155 to “A circular argument”

  1. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Cardboard cutouts in place of several senior NO politicians and an actor to read out what they would have said, based on what they already said.

    Makes for good theatre, if that is all.

  2. Dinnatouch says:

    Their argument isn’t circular, it’s nonexistent.

  3. Murray McCallum says:

    It’s hard to believe that better together can’t get someone to publicly identify any benefits of the Union.

    Philip Hammond always seems to have something to say about this – some of it (currency union and negotiations) is quite interesting. He could be backed up by the CBI (maybe Douglas Fraser / Robert Peston from the CBI media team at the BBC could come along too).

  4. turnip_ghost says:

    *fingers in ear* LALALALALALALALA!! NOBODY ASKED US! THAT MEANS WE AREN’T TAKING PART! LOOK AT THE NASTY YES CAMP BEING ONE SIDED!

  5. ronnie anderson says:

    You,ve got to be in it to win it, in their case if their

    in it they still lose, is there raffle tickets on sale.

  6. Geoff Huijer says:

    Aaah the twisted logic of DH.

    A man best ignored.

  7. Big Red Machine says:

    Try to understand their position. Who will stay home to guard over their bins?

  8. Tattie-bogle says:

    No extra customers for Duncans Hot dog Stall then (evil nats)

  9. Jamie Arriere says:

    I hope it’s slowly dawning on the population of Scotland what has been holding it back for decades – the sullen, churlish, wimpish, dont-want-to-know-unless-we’re-in-charge pathetic cowardice of Scottish Unionism.

    Organise these events everywhere as often as possible, offer them their place on the platform. If they don’t show, they don’t show. The voters can make their mind up who’s speaking to them and answering their questions.

  10. Graeme Doig says:

    Better make it up as we go along. No depth to their stupidity. Cancer just keeps seeping out the establishment. Eye opening and infuriating in equal measure.

  11. Colin says:

    I’m not surprised that they are scared to debate in public, if the union was that prescious to them, they would fight for it, but clearly they don’t think so. So much for being better together.

  12. Rod Robertson says:

    Iain MacMillan not available ,Lord Reid works just up the road Marcus Gardham is in town Torquil MacLeod, John Boothman, all these champions of GREAT BRITAIN surely one of those can come and explain the positive case for the union

  13. Robert Peffers says:

    I’ve been attempting to get someone, anyone, to make the positive case for the union for almost 70 years.

    The only conclusion I can come to is their case boils down to this – “We are Better Together because we are Better Together and to prove it we are Better Together”.

    If pressed for actual figures the say, “But everyone knows we are Better Together and, anyway Scotland coundn’t manage on her own and everyone knows that”

  14. Griminish says:

    Perhaps Kirsten and Connor from Douglas Academy (winners of the STV debating competition) who both stated afterwards that they were Better Together supporters could be asked. To win they must have been excellent speakers with an extensive knowledge of the topic. Hope I have the correct names.

  15. Training Day says:

    Have I got news for you replaced Hattersley with a tub of lard.

    Can we mark Lamont’s absence with a bag of ‘grosseries’?

  16. JPFife says:

    Duncan Hothersall, the real life card board cut out. I take he has deleted the tweet as I don’t see it on his timeline.

  17. pa_broon74 says:

    I see Hothersal twisting & turning on twitter, he’s nothing if not energetic.

    I went to a Yes meeting in my local village, they had three ‘no’ people there (a Lab Cooncillor and two posh chaps) in the crowd (which was generally split three ways in terms of voting intent.) All the speakers were Yes’s but, the no people in the crowd had a pretty good crack at it.

    Fair play to them for turning up and putting their points across, shame its not happening in Glasgow.

    A lot of self-delusion going on in Better Together, ably demonstrated by Mssr Hothersal.

  18. Alba4eva says:

    I think the Cardboard Cut-out idea needs to be done… just get a whole set of quotes from said No’er and use where appropriate.

    Brilliant idea Panda. 🙂

  19. Mary Bruce says:

    I nominate Duncan Hothersall. According to him he has loads of evidence as to why we are better off in the union, surely he would love the opportunity to share this with a live audience? Come on, Duncan, you get these yes supporter telt.

  20. Adrian B says:

    This just popped up on the Revs twitter feed>>>>

    https://twitter.com/BT_EmptyChair/with_replies

    Good to have humour on your side.

  21. Paul says:

    Someone said to me recently that BT would be fearful that a Yes organised event would have many more Yes attendees, and that a No panelist could be in for an very tough time as a result. Is it the case that these events are majority Yes? If so, then as a Yes supporter, I can actually understand why No wouldn’t want to send people.

  22. fergie35 says:

    Hahaha.. Hothersall again.
    They are in denial.
    I see Hothersall has single handedly managed to turn labour hame into a ghost town.
    Well done Dunk, always good to have own goals scorers

  23. Grant says:

    Why not officially ask Duncan Hothersall, he seems to spend most of his day on twitter anyway. Some fresh air and a healthy debate may do him the world of good.

  24. Craig Dalzell says:

    It’s getting a bit like watching a man punch himself in the face while he screams “Why are you hitting yourself?”

  25. Susan says:

    They are scared of debating. Because every time they debate they push more undecided to the Yes camp. We have had 4 debates in Lewis and Harris; Yes won 3 out of the 4 debates.

  26. Nigel Mace says:

    In the 1990s my late wife and I helped to run the POO (Parents’ Opposed to Opting-Out) and PLEA (Parents’ Local Education Alliance) campaigns against the opting out of schools from LEA control in England. After the Tory government sponsored pro-opt-out body found that we regularly trounced their speakers in school debates and won the subsequent school votes (we only lost 3 out of 54 campaigns) they tried to stop all proper debates by refusing to provide speakers so that schools were placed in an impossible situation. Parents just started their own meetings and out-flanked them. The tactic is wearily familiar – and disgraceful.

  27. Kev says:

    Have been handing out hundreds of fliers for this event over last few days even though im not going to attend – its marketed to undecideds and I hope its just them that turn up – it will be a good indicator of the appetite for information among the people of Glasgow (and beyond).

    Also if anyone lives in the Lenzie/Kirkintilloch and surrounding area and know any undecideds, Jim Sillars and Colin Fox will be at the Kirky Miners tonight at 7pm.

  28. Greannach says:

    The reason the speakers are on the Yes side is because the No side couldn’t get anyone to participate. There aren’t enough of them. One is going to have his teeth out, another is visiting a retired Duchess in a nursing home and the only other one will be reading the news that evening on the BBC.

  29. ronnie anderson says:

    PMQs Cameron. Son of Blair lookin to join, Son of Kinnock

    looking to join, Son of Prescot looking to join Westminster

    Parliament.

    Looks like the House of Commons is becoming Heireditory,

    Labour voters being made total mugs,if these people get a

    seat in rUK parliament.

  30. MartinJ says:

    If you asked me at Christmas how i would vote in the referendum i would be undecided but probably voting No. This would have been down to the “better the devil we know” mentality!

    Over the past 2 or 3 months however i have had the chance to attend some speakers events and listen to the arguements in more detail and have to say i have been impressed with what the YES speakers vision for Scotland is all about! The NO arguement however started to irritate me so such an extent that i very quickly found myself moving to YES.

    If my experience is anything to go by the No campaign realise that every time they open their mouths they persuade people like myself to the side of YES so say nothing at all.

    I am now a commited YES supporter and look forward to a better future after Sep 18th

  31. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    ” I take he has deleted the tweet as I don’t see it on his timeline.”

    It’s here:

    https://twitter.com/dhothersall/status/461154732892233728

    He uses the godawful new Twitter layout that makes stuff hard to find.

  32. Doug Daniel says:

    They should just invite random idiots like Andrew Skinner and whoever is behind @ScotlandUnited1 along, they’d give the real unionist arguments.

  33. Graeme Doig says:

    ‘Paul’
    Fair point Paul. I’ve had enough of the status quo. Been Waiting 307 years for a chance for this country to stand on it’s own feet. That makes me pretty scary.

  34. bookie from hell says:

    There is more evidence for the Loch Ness monster than for key parts of the Scottish Government’s case for independence, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has claimed.

    vote YES

  35. Norrie says:

    Yes should read out the emails and dates of those emails to Better Together through out the meeting. Followed by the name of every refusnic.

  36. The Rough Bounds says:

    http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news

    …and yet BBC Scotland dares to chide Alex Salmond for a comment about Putin. Hmmm!

  37. bunter says:

    Horrid and angry female Labour trougher has a go at Salmond and Putin at PMQ’s.

  38. Luigi says:

    Jamie Arriere @1216pm

    Agreed – let’s keep the pressure on. Keep organizing public debates regardless of those “NO-shows”. Let the world see that BT is run by a bunch of useless, ignorant, dishonest cowards.

  39. rab_the_doubter says:

    Can’t be a circular argument – a Circle has dimensions.

  40. Jimsie says:

    ronnie anderson

    what about the son of a bitch. ( insert name you think appropriate ).

  41. farrochie says:

    “We have no limit in our ambition for Scotland”. Guess who?

    Nope, it’s actually the “Scottish” Labour Party. Their Together We Can leaflet just arrived.

    Together, with Tories and LibDems, Scottish Labour limits Scotland’s ambition to what it can achieve under Westminster rule. But it disnae say that on the packet.

  42. caz-m says:

    Ronnie

    Alex Salmond also got a mention in the English Parliament,
    But NO mention of Lord Robertson wanting Russia/Putin to join NATO.

    And Robertson said that AFTER the partition of Crimea.

    It was nothing more than an English Establishment smear.

    Also George Osborne selling Royal Mail shares to his brother in law.

    We need to get away from this lot as quickly as possible.

  43. Susan says:

    Paul
    The Yes supporters avoided attending one of the debates which was held in Lewis & Harris. The Yes supporters felt the debate was for the undecided and their questions. But as it turned out the No camp had brought many of their supports along, they still lost the debate.
    The other 3 debates were held in Secondary schools and one was held in Lews Castle College.

  44. farrochie says:

    The “new moral economy” – anyone heard about this?

    I’ll try Twitter.

    @farrochie

  45. rab_the_doubter says:

    Paul says:
    30 April, 2014 at 12:26 pmSomeone said to me recently that BT would be fearful that a Yes organised event would have many more Yes attendees, and that a No panelist could be in for an very tough time as a result. Is it the case that these events are majority Yes? If so, then as a Yes supporter, I can actually understand why No wouldn’t want to send people.

    I had a discussion with A BTer who claimed the reason you never see a BT badge is that they’re scared of getting ‘set about’ on the street. I did ask how, if as they constantly claim BT have a massive majority and there are only a few Yes voters, this could possibly happen.
    A bit of an alarming trend in recent days is claims of violence against BT supporters. One idiot tryed to claim his son had been glassed in a pub by 3 Yes supporters, adding a bit of decoration and colour to the story by saying that his son was in uniform at the time. I asked if he reported it to the police – no response. Things are really turning nasty on the BT side when they have to resort to this level of BS.

  46. Papadox says:

    PMQs Absolutly disgusting load of lies spewed out of Shiela Gilmores gob re Mr Salmonds historic statement on Putin in GQ magazine by A Campbell. Noddy Clark apparently in agreement, think someone must have wakened him up.

    When you got a shot of Cameron, Hague etc they did’nt look very comfortable, they new what a load of sh*t she was spouting. She is a vile SLAB propagandist for BT a nasty unprincipled piece of work. Lowest of the low.

  47. galamcennalath says:

    “nobody from the No side is prepared to face the Glasgow public and put their case”

    Perhaps they know they have no case to put!

  48. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Try to understand their position. Who will stay home to guard over their bins?”

    Totally stealing that 😀

  49. TYRAN says:

    How many BT supporters are there on Twitter. Seriously. Exclude all those connected with parties. About 10 or so?

  50. McDuff says:

    Q. Why are we better together.
    A. Because we just are!
    This seems to be the stock answer from Unionist`s` and to be fair it is hard to find holes in such a comprehensive well thought out argument.

  51. dadsarmy says:

    “We’re better together, stronger together, broad shoulders of the UK, top table, punch above our weight, best of both worlds, we pool and share resources.”.

    Yes, but can you tell us any more about those benefits?

    “We’re better together, stronger together, broad shoulders of the UK, top table, punch above our weight, best of both worlds, we pool and share resources.”.

    Yes, but do you have any actual arguments to contribute to the debate?

    “We age faster in Scotland, we spend more than we put in, and the nasty-wasty creepy-crawlies from Outer Space will invade us and eat all our Tunnocks teacakes.”

    Ah, thank you for that contribution to the great debate, we’ll let you know.

  52. Greannach says:

    We have the measure of Sheila Gilmore (Lab, Edinburgh East) in her support last month for the UK Government’s cap on benefits spending, despite 24% of children in her constituency living in poverty. Maybe Ms Gilmore reckoned the figure wasn’t high enough to justify her concern. Talk about compassionate Conservatism!

  53. Taranaich says:

    @Paul:

    Someone said to me recently that BT would be fearful that a Yes organised event would have many more Yes attendees, and that a No panelist could be in for an very tough time as a result. Is it the case that these events are majority Yes? If so, then as a Yes supporter, I can actually understand why No wouldn’t want to send people.

    Well there’s a simple way to remedy that: BT should organize more events of their own, and invite Yes folk to come along. We can then compare & contrast how many BT-organised events had Yes folk on the panel, and Yes-organised events with BT folk on the panel. Simple, right?

  54. Jeannie says:

    @kev

    Is the meeting in Kirkintilloch Miners’ Welfare tonight with Jim Sillars and Colin Fox definitely at 7 as I thought it was 7.30?

  55. MJ says:

    It’s the tactic which began a while ago as they realised they were loosing votes each time a Westminster MP came up to preach to Scotland. They stopped giving interviews and now they’ve stopped coming up at all relying on the Unionist media to spread their message.

    They now realise that they’re not winning the argument on stage either.

    BT would like to keep their heads down and hope time goes faster towards the vote before too many voters turn to yes, but “Team Scotland” are out knocking on doors and delivering information, that’s why we’ll win!

  56. Ken500 says:

    Gilmore’s question misfired.

    Cameron replied, ‘Countries (like Ukraine) had a right to self determination, supported by the West.’

  57. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

    This would surely be a good opportunity for the composer James MacMillan to attend the debate as the next best thing. Following his announcements regarding the ancient whirligig pronouncements of Hugh MacDiarmid, and his declared intention to write accompaniments to some of the poet’s works, he might try setting selections from The Battle Continues and singing those, which should bring the house down. I remember his very touching rendition of William Soutar’s Tryst, that I happened to see and hear on an STV Burns Night, years ago. (Tho I suppose he’d have us call it ‘rys’ now, judging from his ’weets.)

  58. Big Jock says:

    Alexander appears in a kilt in the scotsman at a CBI dinner (LOL). He has compared Salmond to the Loch Ness Monster…We thought Aliens and world war 3 were as low as no could go but this takes he biscuit. Shortbread tin Scotsman in a kilt. A member of I am Scottish…But brigade. We must be the only nation where people say their nationality and then add the but. I am not a racist …but.

  59. Kev says:

    @Jeannie

    Pretty sure its at 7 Jeannie, according to Colin’s twitter it is anyway:

    https://twitter.com/colinfoxssp

  60. Jeannie says:

    @Kev – thanks for that. Don’t want to miss any of it!

  61. Proud Cybernat says:

    They know exactly what they are trying to do–shut down debate. No doubt they will attempt to get this meeting shut down because there will be no one available from the No side. They are pathetic. Put an effigy of Alastair Darling in one of the chairs–there you go, two NO dummies for the price of one.

  62. muttley79 says:

    Duncan Hothersall appears to be conducting a personal experiment into how he can far he can push surrealism in his political comments.

  63. MJ says:

    O/T their long term tactic is obviously to make the referendum all about Alec Salmond becoming first king of Scotland and then to try and destroy his reputation!

  64. Mary Bruce says:

    Sorry folks, off topic. Just venting, can’t believe the anti-Scottish Scotland Office is tweeting this junk, what a pile of lies and they know it is lies, for instance they are STILL saying we can’t keep the £, even though we all know there is nothing they can legally do to stop us.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/youdecide2014/scotland-the-uk-10-myths-10-facts-oykn

  65. Desimond says:

    Shame, bet SPT were putting on extra trains too?

  66. Brian Powell says:

    Hothersall must have seen the tweets from the Electoral Commission about No people refusing to take part in a debate.

    Now the No campaign is ‘pressuring’ the Electoral Commission over groups campaigning for Independence being fronts for the Yes campaign, so these should have their spending curtailed.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/watchdog-under-pressure-over-yes-camp-spending.24096667

  67. Jamie Arriere says:

    “Someone said to me recently that BT would be fearful..”

    BT would be fearful of the sun going behind a cloud and casting a shadow over their small world.

  68. ronnie anderson says:

    @Jimsie 12.38. naw am no that Daft ( sons of Bitches )

    thats unkind tae the Dugs, RSPCA i’ll be Chappy it ma door.

    Ah hud a wee Dug cawd weaver
    he wiz always playin peever
    tae he meet ah bitch
    he,s no kickin a tin
    he’s pushin it in
    noo a selling puppys door tae door
    ah dont mind noo weaver’s no playin
    peever he’s humpin the bitch
    ah making mony on every score.

  69. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    The BT mob have a campaign which best described, mathematically and physically as a Klein Bottle, which has no inside and no outsid

    How so

    http://www.kleinbottle.com/bigclassicalklein.htm

  70. bigGpolmont says:

    Sod it I would decorate the place with copies of their emails declining the offers to take part and make sure everyone was aware of them perhaps even a powerpoint projection while waiting on the evening to start and I would tell them of my plans

  71. bigGpolmont says:

    Off topic folks sorry I am thinking on running a sweep of excuses Institutions such as the beeb to use on sept 19th
    And sorry since its my sweep I have first choice it is
    I vos (Sorry was) only obeying orders

  72. Grouse Beater says:

    How about some Spitting Image type puppets in place of No personalities? In real life they are, after all, exactly that, puppets worked by their masters.

    Just a passing thought …

  73. Democracy Reborn says:

    MartinJ:-

    Welcome onboard! I’m fairly new myself. If you’ve been following the site, you’ll know we actually have a sense of humour as well! Seriously, have you ever met a happy No voter?…

    Remember what Margo Mac said : those of us in the Yes side only need to persuade one other for independence to be realised.

  74. gordoz says:

    Honest question –

    Is this guy Hothersall really this idiotic, or is there some kind of cleverish petulance going on ?

    He knows BT refused to take part right ? (Elec comm confirmed this )

    (It really is tiresome stuff)

  75. Mealer says:

    The organisers should ask Mr Hottersall to represent NO in the debate.He could hardly refuse now.Or Atleast,if he did refuse the opportunity he would look like a silly ninny.

  76. The Rough Bounds says:

    It’s surprising how many people get the ‘benefit’ of a policy confused with a ‘feature’ of a policy. For instance, Better Together will claim that the UK is better together because we have a powerful army.

    That isn’t a benefit; it’s just a feature.

    What exactly IS the benefit from having a ‘powerful’ army? Doesn’t it cost a fortune? Why can we not be like the Scandinavian countries which have much smaller defence forces and a better standard of living because of the money that is being saved? Does our ‘powerful’ army not get embroiled in illegal foreign wars? Do our sons therefore not get killed needlessly?

    If you use this technique you can then open up a whole new debate with people and generally their arguments fall to pieces when it is pointed out that all they have been spouting are ‘features’ and not the actual benefits of any particular subject.

    Try it on yourself. Ask yourself why you buy a newspaper.
    Is it because it brings you news? That is only a feature of newspapers. What are the actual BENEFITS of buying a newspaper?

    You’ll catch my drift. Just watch them squirm.

  77. dmw42 says:

    I bet Danny Alexander is wishing he’d had a word with BT donator Ian Taylor before commenting on oil prices!

    Libya has “severe problems” and is producing “extremely little” crude, Ian Taylor said in an interview at the FT Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland. This is important for Europe, where oil demand has been higher than expected this year, he said.

    “Since the year has begun, we’ve still continually run into supply problems,” Taylor said. Any expectation of the oil price “going down significantly, I think for the time being, will have to be perhaps put on hold,” he said.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-01/vitol-ceo-taylor-says-oil-price-underpinned-by-libya-supply-halt.html

  78. HandandShrimp says:

    I think the issue is not so much fear to take part in a debate, although their track record is poor in such debates, but that the hatred for everything Yes is so visceral that they will not countenance even appearing to support anything organised by Yes even on a neutral venue with a neutral chair.

    They play this like party politics when it is a constitutional debate. They seem stuck in second gear. With only 4 months to go I can’t see them changing now. The die is cast for the remainder of this campaign.

  79. caz-m says:

    Why don’t we invite Livestream to film the debate Live, with cut-outs of Sarwar and Lamont involved in the debate.

    The cut-outs should then be asked serious questions about the benefits of staying in the Union etc…

    There wouldn’t be any reply, but it would make the point that Better Together have NO answers to ANY questions regarding staying within the Union.

    If anyone has contact details for Livestraem, then PLEASE get in touch with them and make this happen.

    I am sure that video would go viral and show it would show the world what Better Together thinks of the Scottish electorate.

  80. Flower of Scotland says:

    Naughtie doing comparison on Radio Scotland of YES and NO campaigns just now! Wow an American says most undecideds vote no eventually. He said in all referendums world wide the No side is always about fear and everyone is better together! The American says micro target all the undecideds in a sustained attack to get NO. Blair Jenkins always calm. Will make up my mind about this programme later, but dare I say it wasn’t too bad!!!

  81. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @ Kev

    Be careful they don’t count you in and add you the Labour Party membership numbers.

  82. manandboy says:

    ‘Better Together’ own the media, which is still the place where the vast majority of people get their information – and on a daily basis.

    Why would they bother to go to one-off local meetings where they are going to do very badly.

    BT is relying on TV to do their work – it’s all they need.

    TV is the single most effective tool by far for the broadcasting of information.

    Berating BT for not showing up at public meetings in half empty halls is a waste of energy – in my opinion.

  83. Ken500 says:

    Obama won, against the Polls

  84. heedtracker says:

    Bloody hell what next. You’d think a unionist like Horthersall up there would jump at this opportunity but no, lets leave it all to the BBC in Scotland.

  85. Grouse Beater says:

    @ B Panda

    The loss of a No contributor is fine as far as I am concerned. Who wants to listen to rote slogans?

    (Many thanks for your correction – integrated in my own way, but appreciated. Essay is work in progress.)

  86. bunter says:

    Just read Patrick Harvies article in todays Evening Times regards the CBI fiasco.

    He suggests in the piece that STV and BBC took a similar stance.

    Er naw!

  87. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Flower of Scotland –

    Yeah, heard that too – interesting, and pretty well balanced methought.

  88. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    With pleasure, hope I wasn’t too wonky

  89. GrahamB says:

    Don’t suppose EBC would loan the Have I Got News For You tub of lard used instead of Roy Hattersley years ago. It could be renamed Blair McD.

  90. ronnie anderson says:

    labour leaflet just in, false advertizing again

    labour voted against the bedroom tax

    Labour leading global justice
    preventing international tax dodging.

    I’ll read th e Green leaflet instead.

  91. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Currently 869 on this – tomorrow evening, 9.41, marks a full week. Can we get it to 1000, or will the BBC have surrendered by then?

    https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/lord-patten-chairman-bbc-trust-cancel-bbc-membership-of-the-cbi

  92. Dave says:

    Cardboard cutouts of all the BT invitees on stage would make for a great picture but it could backfire as it would open the event to ridicule. (Maybe BBC Scotlandshire will do a photoshop instead.)

    Why not a row of empty chairs with the no-shows’ name cards on them?

  93. Jim Mitchell says:

    They have just done the same thing here in Clackmannanshire!

    A member of the public tried to organise one for Clackmannan Town hall, was told by BT they would do it and now he has had to cancel the event because BT say they can’t get anyone to speak because it’s a YES event!

    Just when you think that they can’t sink any lower!

  94. Macart says:

    They could always pull a HIGNFY and use several packets of mince as stand ins for absentee BT reps.

  95. Macart says:

    @ Graham B

    Snap! 😀

  96. Ronnie says:

    Seems like a good opportunity for some ‘Empty Chair’ politics, per Clint Eastwood.

  97. Ian Brotherhood says:

    What’s the point of BT? Wrap them all up and send them, Freepost, to Nigel Farage.

  98. patronsaintofcats says:

    I like the plan for a cardboard cutout, empty chair or whatever – as long as it’s made abundantly clear to any undecideds that the No campaign have refused the invitation to co-sponsor, organise and provide speakers for the event. That will speak volumes to undecideds in the audience about how much UKOK are ready to have a real debate on the indyref and how prepared they are to defend their case for the union. The Emperor (BT campaign/Westminster/Union) has no clothes and it is plain for all to see. Nae nickers!

  99. Desimond says:

    Cant we get John Curtice in, he seems to be everywhere else..currently on BBC News24 talking about Nigel Farage not entering the Newark by-Election. Why?, I have no idea!

  100. Appleby says:

    I wonder if he does it all for a pat on the head as part of his blind fanaticism or if he’s dreaming of sliming his way up the junior ladder of Labour politics for some position? The motivation aspect is an interesting one.

    I can imagine him making excuses if the entire Labour party were recorded on video trampling live babies and laughing all the while.

  101. Duncan Hothersall would be welcome to speak at the YES East Lothian debates,im sure!

    I will send his contact details to the organisers as soon as I find them….any links Wingers?

  102. Appleby says:

    BT know they cannot handle a real neutral debate with undecided and mixed audience. They run in fear. They can only do rigged as they know that their case is incredibly weak and the fear will puff out and be shown as hollow and weak to all.

    BT, Duncan and the rest are making themselves a laughing stock with this behaviour and the excuses.

  103. iheartscotland says:

    @big red machine,
    Ok, WTF is in their bins? I have to know…..

  104. gerry parker says:

    Why not contact that unionist fae saltcoats that was on the u tube clip. I’m sure he could easily explain to the audience why we’re better together.

    🙂

  105. Papadox says:

    BT has no truthful answers to offer against YES, there ar’nt many people who will turn up to get gutted in public and get shown up for being liers and charlatans. There is NO real case for BT. The BT types are like kids hearing there is no Santa, they stick their fingers in their ears and shout down anything they don’t want to hear, mustn’t let the truth become reality.

    Hence the only answer you get from the frightened NO types is “I don’t like Alex Salmond” why? “Just because”. The truth terrifies them and their not going to vote yes and they don’t want to know the truth so you don’t go where your going to hear the truth.

    They just want everything to stay the same, don’t talk about it and it will go away, they only hear what they want to hear even though they know its lies, and you hate and keep away from the truth then everything will stay the same.

    NOBODY HAS OFFERED THE STATUS QUOE THAT AINT ON OFFER. HOWEVER IN THE CLOSED LITTLE BT MINDSET THEY KNOW THAT IS WHATS GOING TO HAPPEN. How do they know that? JUST BECAUSE! they are very sad people but it is their existance. Awarabest.

  106. galamcennalath says:

    Perhaps it would be best for everyone if BT just ‘threw in the towel’ now, if they’ve given up trying.

  107. iheartscotland says:

    Devoo nano micro?

  108. iheartscotland says:

    Aargh..Devo

  109. handclapping says:

    We must remember that it was a tub of lard and a comic that made the winning side on HIGNFY. In our case I would suggest someone in clown gear with word boards of BT’s finest moments like “Scotland was extinguished in 1707” etc. to be held up in response to each point raised by the speakers for the Yes side, just to keep it balanced like.

    I’m sure my fellow Wingers can provide another 11, thats 6 in response to 3 points made by 2 Yes speakers and 3 points each for the 2 “speakers” for the No side.

  110. Ian Brotherhood says:

    The only way Danny Alexander could look good in a kilt is if he put it over his face.

  111. Training Day says:

    It’s obvious where this is going. BT is going to gradually withdraw from the arena as a campaigning group and rely on the MSM to punt their message. If they can get away with as few set piece debates as possible during the campaign itself then so much the better from their point of view.

    The ‘Scottish’ MSM will of course hold the SNP responsible for this denial of democracy.

  112. Greannach says:

    @ ronnie anderson

    Ronnie, just send the leaflet off to UKIP or Better Together – No via Freepost.

  113. Craig P says:

    Says it all for the union when their best tactic is to avoid debate.

  114. gavin lessells says:

    I have heard on the evidence of several teachers that it is common practice for No Invites to decline at last minute which means that the debate cannot take place.

    Perhaps some teachers might confirm?

  115. Kenny says:

    The BBC surrender? Not now. If they’d wanted this to go away quietly they’d have resigned immediately like STV did. If just one newspaper would pick this up and run with it, they could deliver a crippling blow to the organisation. Sure, it might do some damage to BT in the short term, but whatever the outcome in September, surely the Sun and the Mail will still hate the BBC. You’d think they might take this chance to “stand up for democracy” and insist the BBC be held to account because “while the Sun opposes the Scottish separatists, we believe the BBC has a duty of neutrality and we will not see them steal licence-payers cash for a political campaign.” Boom. Astrong, interesting story attacking one of their key enemies with a load of smoking guns to show what a mess the whole thing was. You can hit them from three different angles and still have follow-ups for weeks as Auntie starts to write back to us, to BfS and as the EC makes its decision. Were I editing a newspaper, I’d be all over the story. It’s huge!

  116. iheartscotland says:

    You would see his arse then…oh, well,who could tell.

  117. joe kane says:

    EmptyChairs_Together ?@BT_EmptyChair –
    An attempt was made to suspend my account, and silence the chair. We’re through the looking glass here, people #Bingate #conspiracy #wibble
    https://twitter.com/BT_EmptyChair/status/461507149517312000

  118. joe kane says:

    The Royal Mail privatisers at Benefitcappers Together are so confident of their policies when it comes to arguing and voting for them in the House of Commons and Lords too.

  119. Papadox says:

    Why does the Labour Party not feel aggrieved and complain why the state broadcaster is in bed with their political opponents. EBC being members of a right wing political group (CBI) and supporting them with cash from ALL license payers including labour supporters?

    There is a very strong stink surrounding this mess, or is labour members of the CBI also, the mind boggles. Are there any answers to this from Milliband or am I just really really stupid?
    OK I’m stupid, just thought I’d ask.

  120. chalks says:

    Well they can’t stop one side of the argument having a debate.

    Call it a Yes Scotland discussion about an indy Scotland, rather than a fkn debate and you’ll get no folk in the crowd…

  121. CameronB says:

    Why does the phrase supercilious grinning idiot spring to mind?

    4 Legs Good. 2 Legs Bad. Independence Worse. A perfect Empty Chair quote for a later day Squealer.

    Squealer – Liar
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPdv5-GM4Lk

    Katorga

  122. chalks says:

    Well they can’t stop one side of the argument having a discussion.

    Call it a Yes Scotland discussion about an indy Scotland, rather than a fkn debate and you’ll get no folk in the crowd…

    In fact, one interesting thing to do in these situations, is to have Labour/SNP/Green/Tories for Indy people discussing the various polices they’d like to see in an indy Scotland….rather than a catch all thing

  123. Truth says:

    Surely if BT withdraw from debate like this, it only heightens the public demand for some sort of “leadership debate”.

    I can see the Cameron/Salmond debate happening after all.

  124. Macandroid says:

    Bit O/T

    Any thoughts as to what to do with copies of the Scots Independent newspaper once I have read them?

    I thought if I left them in a public place they might just vanish – so if anyone has a bright idea or two – please stick a comment on here or get back to me. a-t-pearson [at] blueyonder.co.uk

  125. CameronB says:

    The Urban Dictionery definition is rather apt. 🙂

    supercilious

    – showing arrogance

    – see british

    Those brits are so supercilious with their noses in the air.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=supercilious

  126. CameronB says:

    dictionary

  127. ronnie anderson says:

    Hiz anybody suggested cooncilor Terry Kelly,or wan of the

    newspapers unionist hacks,they seem tae have their fingers

    on the pulse of public opinion.

  128. galamcennalath says:

    It’s turning out like Gandhi’s analysis in reverse … We want to win, we’re willing to fight (in a democratic debating way), we start laughing at them, and finally we will just ignore them.

  129. Cath says:

    “Is it the case that these events are majority Yes? If so, then as a Yes supporter, I can actually understand why No wouldn’t want to send people.”

    I think they have two problems to content with. One (which is actually a problem for both sides) is that those who are already yes, or swaying towards yes, or most persuadable to it are likely to be those also most engaged and most likely to come along to a public meeting on independence. Bear in mind we find all this very exciting and historic, whereas most no supporters are hating every moment, scared of it, or just think things are fine as they are and it’s all a waste of time at best, a nasty schism at worst. So a definite no, or even someone who’s leaning no is a lot less likely to want to spend an evening at a meeting about independence. So if they want to have voices speaking for them in the audience, or there’s a vote at the end, they probably do have to go and round up a lot of known supporters and whip them into coming against their will. Whereas the Yes side will find, even if the organizers know no one in the crowd, there’ll probably be a fairly sympathetic hearing for the yes side at least.

    And second, they are representing Westminster, and often represented by MPs whereas the Yes side is often not a politician at all. So I suspect they find – as they would find in any public meeting, anywhere in the UK – that, regardless of the voting intentions, there are probably a lot of angry people. And people don’t take kindly to the sort of evasion and lies politicians come out with. So if you’re a politician reading from a Better Together script, you probably do find a lot of heckling, shouting, anger.

    This could perfectly well come from undecided people, or even no-leaning ones but they’re quite paranoid about “cybernats” and “real life cybernats” so likely see this as evidence we’re all out to get them. That’s the real danger for them, I think, and it’s been obvious on social media. Where the Yes side is desperate to engage with people with questions and try to give answers, BT take any questioning as a sign you’re “one of them”.

  130. EdinScot says:

    Isnt it odd that the Unionists are not slow on the uptake of pumping out the propaganda, unchallenged of course, on all tv and press outlets but when they’re given the chance to speak face to face with the public they appear all shy.

    This may be due to the very real prospect of that same said public getting their opportunity to counter and disprove the Unionists misinformation and outright lies and indeed rammng it back down their throat where it belongs. What cowards and shysters they are.

    Ianbrotherhood – just signed your petition for the BBC to resign from the CBI. Hope others can get us up to the 1000 mark and beyond to keep the pressure ramped up on this state broadcaster and not let them avoid their responsibilties and so wriggle off that hook.

  131. Harry says:

    First of all, Cath, excellent post. I agree many No voters are just not engaged and are sitting at home while all this is going on. We have a lot still to do.

    O/T but I notice a few recent tweets from the Dundee Courier, who have been doing an indy roadshow around Tayside and Fife. The results I have are:

    Letham YES 58% NO 41%
    Invergowrie YES 31% NO 69%
    Anstruther YES 41.5% NO 58.5%
    Broughty Ferry YES 51.4% NO 48.6%
    Arbroath YES 63% NO 37%

    So some mixed results there, but Yes winning 3 out of 5. Some very small samples though, Letham was only 36 folk!

  132. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    My enemy’s enemy is my enemy.

    Left Foot Forward on UKIP.

    http://tinyurl.com/mtl27a7

  133. Andy-B says:

    What happened to Anas Sarwar, he likes to shout, and shoot his mouth off why hasn’t he taken up the gauntlet,or is he busy giving paid speeches somewhere else in the world.

  134. joe kane says:

    Better Together is now taking on biblical proportions. It’s more like Sodom and Gomorrah.

    Can’t anyone find just one good person willing to stand up in public and defend the British Government and the beloved union with neoliberal Westminster in the largest city in Scotland in one of the supposed heartlands of the British Labour Party?

    Surely all that outpouring of undying love and loyalty in the vast union-centric media isn’t just a load of hot-air and flannel by a bunch of cowards and careerists?

  135. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @ joe kane

    Who subsidises the MSM?

    Who pays the Piper?

  136. Robert Peffers says:

    How about this YouTube link for the new BT anthem : –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omnw4qQ0AQw

  137. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Think I’ve figured out why the Better Together are feart to stand side by side with supporters of Scottish independence. I’m now convinced they are not attending independence debates because they have been too busy setting this up. 😛

    http://tinyurl.com/ptp65x8

  138. muttley79 says:

    @manandboy

    Berating BT for not showing up at public meetings in half empty halls is a waste of energy – in my opinion.

    I am afraid I cannot agree with this view at all. This is the biggest democratic decision Scotland has taken up till now, certainly the biggest since 1707 (and of course that was not a democratic vote). BT are blatantly failing the democracy test here, and it is simply not good enough to withdraw from debates on independence without good reasons for doing so. Taking part in debates is a fundamental element in the democratic process.

  139. joe kane says:

    Maybe a promise to crowd-fund the mortgage for a month of any Better Together spokesperson willing to attend the Glasgow debate might work. They can then use that in the debate as a circular argument as to why they’ve taken part in the debate.

    Priorities in order
    http://wingsoverscotland.com/priorities-in-order/

  140. David Agnew says:

    @Muttley79 and @Manandboy

    Have to agree with Muttley here. Bettertogether have taken a campaign position that insists on Scottish dependence on English money. They cannot allow themselves to have that scrutinised in public debates. They need to challenged on this. They need to be mocked from on high, every single minute of every single hour of every single day.

    The should be nowhere these idiots can hide, that we cannot find them and keep challenging them to put up or shut up.

    Let them keep making their silly little jokes, but we have to keep putting the pressure on them. The we use platforms like this site or any other to show them up for the cowards they are.

    These people are small minded folk. Their greatest ambition in life is to not matter and be unimportant. Lets make it difficult for them.

  141. Croompenstein says:

    Why not get Kev Milne through from Wester Hailes he articulates the No side rather vocally..

  142. Alan Gerrish says:

    Think this idea of a debate in Glasgow absolutely MUST go ahead, particularly with a neutral chair such as ERS. So far there have been no takers from the NO side, but don’t give up: continue asking every possible individual until you do get two participants, and no matter at what level. You start at the equivalent level of status as the YES side and continue down the tree,including politicians, lay-people, students, artists, musicians, whatever, until you get those two to take part.

    Contact all the unionist party leaders asking for their help if necessary,( they must also be shamed if they can’t find anyone to debate) then you list those who have been invited and declined from the start of the process and make this info available to the press and media ( whether they would use it is another matter, but it would be a great asset to Yessers when campaigning) and at the debate give it to the attendees; or if absolutely no-one agrees to attend you still go public. Billboards suddenly sound an attractive way of asking “Why don’t BT want to tell us WHY we are better together? What are they hiding? Why can’t they discuss it?”.

    There may be better ways of doing it, all I’m saying is don’t let them off this hook – it could be a great opportunity missed if we do.

  143. Jim Mitchell says:

    It’s a tactic, so like any other of the oppositions tactics we have to use it against them, I would suggest polite, worried sounding letters into papers, especially local ones, asking why there are no proper debates taking place and couldn’t Better Together organise some?

  144. dadsarmy says:

    Mmm, apparently Vlad just signed the “BT petition”. Dave will be dead chuffed.

  145. Chic McGregor says:

    “Letham YES 58% NO 41%
    Invergowrie YES 31% NO 69%
    Anstruther YES 41.5% NO 58.5%
    Broughty Ferry YES 51.4% NO 48.6%
    Arbroath YES 63% NO 37%

    So some mixed results there, but Yes winning 3 out of 5. Some very small samples though, Letham was only 36 folk!”

    I presume it is Letham in Angus they are talking about which is about 2000 people rather than the tiny Letham in Fife.

    But the point you make that it is the population size rather than the number of areas that counts which is important.

    In the above, I make the total population of the Yes win communities to be about 30,000 whereas the total population
    for the No win communities is about 5,000.

  146. theycan'tbeserious says:

    A “debate” requires opposing argument. Change the name of these referendum events from “Debate” to say “open floor” or “question and answer” session. That would suggest that information on the referendum will be discussed by all participating, but would not have to be cancelled due to a “No” no-show because the header doesn’t limit the event to opposing argument.

    Thoughts?

  147. CameronB says:

    I don’t know how it could be forced to happen, but this state of affairs can’t be allowed to continue. With the MSM and TV backing Better Together, these meeting are vital, IMO, to getting the Yes message out. Better Together can not be allowed to close the debate down. There will be blood on the streets if they win this way.

  148. Fairliered says:

    I’m astonished that Johann Lamont hasn’t offered to debate for the No side. After all, she is the debater of the year.

  149. Faltdubh says:

    Interesting reading about that Courier roadshow. The Courier is one of the most pro-Union papers operating in Scotland. Every week there’s column from Hjul or someone reffering to us as ”Nats”

    Yet, Angus – will vote yes! It might be ticht in Monifieth, Carnoustie, but Arbroath, Forfar, Brechin, Montrose – I’m guessing will all be yes voters. I think we’ll win about 65% here.

  150. Col says:

    What do you mean ” Santa isn`t real”?

  151. Chic McGregor says:

    ““Letham YES 58% NO 41%
    Invergowrie YES 31% NO 69%
    Anstruther YES 41.5% NO 58.5%
    Broughty Ferry YES 51.4% NO 48.6%
    Arbroath YES 63% NO 37%

    So some mixed results there, but Yes winning 3 out of 5. Some very small samples though, Letham was only 36 folk!”

    I presume it is Letham in Angus they are talking about which is about 2000 people rather than the tiny Letham in Fife.

    But the point you make that it is the population size rather than the number of areas that counts which is important.

    In the above, I make the total population of the Yes win communities to be about 30,000 whereas the total population
    for the No win communities is about 5,000.”

    I went and checked my memory/knowledge against wiki, the correct estimate is more like 39,000 for the Yes wins communities and 5,200 for the No wins communities.

    As penance, I’ll do more detailed arithmetic:

    Town: population: Yes%: Y prediction: No%: N prediction

    Arbroath: 23,902: 63%: 15,058: 37%: 8,843
    Broughty: 13,155: 51.4%: 6,762: 48.6%: 6,393
    Letham: 2,000: 58%: 1,160: 42%: 840

    Anstruther: 3,500: 41.5%: 1,452: 58.5%: 2,047
    Invergowrie: 1,659: 31%: 514: 69%: 1,145

    Total Yes estimate from polling 24,946
    Total No estimate from polling 19,268

    Overall Yes %age est. 56.42%
    Overall No %age est. 43.58%

    Bit surprised at Broughty being yes, it still enjoys a comfortable middle class + reputation.

    No surprise at Anstruther.

  152. Derek says:

    I have emailed my LibDem M.P. to see if he’d be interested. I’m interestested to read what he has to say.

    D.

  153. James Westland says:

    Chic, good info you got there. Whats the deal with Anstruther though? I used to go with a girl whose father taught at Waid Academy. Why should the place be pro-No? Any ideas?

    I agree re Broughty Ferry, Posh sububd of Dundee. Would have thought it was a solid No.

  154. geeo says:

    I presume this event is still going ahead ?

    Not saying it would, but rather than the event possibly turning into what could be an opportunity to simply berate BT for not sending anyone,(in case of anti indy journo looking to find a story about how these meetings are simply a nationalist rabble) would it be a viable idea to perhaps nominate someone to simply stand up when questions are asked of the BT campaign and give a standardised response ?

    Maybe something like..

    Yes; “what are the plans of unionist parties on how they will engage with Scottish voters at a general election campaign in the event of a YES vote ?

    BT nominee…”unfortunately, despite invitations to many BT representatives to attend this event, no invitees were able or willing to attend this event, the Yes campaign deeply regret this as we wish the views of all scots to be represented on these occasions in the interests of politic balance.

  155. Chic McGregor says:

    James

    Lived in Fife for about 4 years. The blue collar workers there are still very, very, socialist in culture, despite having GB as a resident. Remember Fife actually returned communist MPs to Westminster.

    On the other side of the socio spectrum, there is a lot of retirees of the ‘don’t want to be too far from Edinburgh’ ex ‘service industry’ professional class. Especially in the picturesque East Neuk.

    A political polarisation which does not auger well for indy in Ainster. Mind you, went to a great stag night there once.



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