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Wings Over Scotland


A period of silence

Posted on April 15, 2014 by

We’ve just been watching the latest of the BBC’s big independence referendum debates, and we’d like the hour of our life we wasted back, please.

shoutingmatch

It wasn’t as though it was the worst we’ve seen by a long chalk. It was, if nothing else, relatively even-tempered, helped by some firm moderation by James Cook. Lesley Riddoch was as reliable, sensible and on top of the facts as she always is (although even we’re starting to get fed up of hearing her go on about Norway all the time). And while Brian Wilson is a dishonest and bilious wee nyaff, he does have the one huge saving grace that he isn’t Anas Sarwar.

But tell us this, readers – what was the point of it all?

What did we learn from those 60 minutes that we didn’t already know? Brian Wilson and Alistair Carmichael thought that independence would be a disaster no matter what the subject. Lesley Riddoch and Angela Constance thought independence would be just peachy for everything. But then, we knew both of those things before the start.

We also knew that pretty much every answer every panellist gave would be applauded furiously by their own supporters in the audience, apparently under the mistaken impression that they were on an episode of Opportunity Knocks and whoever clapped the longest and the loudest would have their side declared the winner.

(Were it up to us, the approach taken in the 2010 prime ministerial debates – no clapping, from anyone, during the show – would be the law forever.)

No vote was taken at the start and the end so we hadn’t a clue whether anyone had had their mind changed by anything they’d heard or not, though we’d take a modestly large bet that they hadn’t. The whole thing filled an hour of airtime, and was otherwise of absolutely no use to a living soul.

Debates are the laziest, most cop-out way a broadcaster can handle just about any issue. Rather than have to do any actual journalism, they can just get both sides on to spout their prepared lines in response to vetted questions known in advance, and say that by providing equal amounts of soundbites from each they’ve done their job.

(Although it should be said that while Angela Constance may by all accounts be an intelligent and conscientious minister, she delivers a punchy, pithy, concise argument on TV like Eric Pickles tackles a salad. The Secretary of State for Portsmouth, meanwhile and as is his wont, mainly just blubbered about people being mean to him.)

But TV is supposed to inform, not just give people a boxing match to watch. How about a series that actually tries to establish the facts about independence? By all means take each side’s claims as the starting point, but then make at least some sort of effort to find out which, if either, is true (or at least closest to the truth).

Can it really be beyond a national broadcaster, sitting on a pile of extra money for referendum coverage, to go and ask some experts, to do a bit of research, to check a few archives and tell us something we didn’t already know? If we can do it every day with a skeleton staff and a bit of Googling and a few quid stuck in a collecting tin by readers, why can’t the BBC or STV?

Tonight we saw two politicians, one ex-politician and a commentator who’s rarely off the airwaves in one form or another say all the stuff we knew they’d say because we’ve seen them say it a hundred times before. And to be honest, we’re not sure it’d be different even with a fresh set of faces.

If the whole thing served any constructive purpose, it escaped us. We’d be happy if we never saw another one from now until September the 18th. If our broadcasters can’t do anything useful or imaginative over the next five months, then the next best thing might be if they just shut up, took a holiday and let everyone get on with it.

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141 to “A period of silence”

  1. Morag says:

    Come on, Stu, say what you really think!

  2. Paula Rose says:

    The Rev says he’d rather look at cite tags.

  3. Alba4Eva says:

    Just caught the end of Scotland Tonight. glad it was only the last 2 or 3 minutes… It was like listening to two drunk guys in a Glasgow boozer.

    Utter drivvel from both.

  4. tartanfever says:

    The BBC said this was the 4th in the series of debates. They had the Borders, Fife and now Kirkwall, I can’t remember where the other one was but going by trends I’ll bet it wasn’t in an SNP dominated area.

  5. goldenayr says:

    Just been watching a very interesting bit of negotiating on Scotland Tonight.
    Seems the Clyde shipyards are happy to call a YES if they get definitive orders.

  6. Jiggsbro says:

    I think they’ve given up on converting people to ‘No’. They’re just happy to spread confusion, boredom and apathy. That’s how democracy works in the UK now: sound and fury signifying disengagement. And Better Together are more than happy to play along.

  7. tartanfever says:

    Rev, just to let you know, the site is working super fast. This is the business since your upgrade.

  8. creag an tuirc says:

    They all need to be put into sound booths with head phones and mics. Only one booth can be active at a time. At the very least it would be great to see the Unionist booths steam up with rage as they try and shout over anything

  9. a supporter says:

    I never watch these programmes. As you point out they are the pits, full of meaningless babble, shouting and cheering. The best are programmes where two (or even three) antagonists are given a chance to say their piece without interruption and then a few well balanced commentators question them in turn, again without interruption, except by a FIRM moderator if one of them goes on too long or off theme.

  10. oldnat says:

    That’s why I didn’t bother watching it.

  11. Iain says:

    Yeah, it was crap. TV ‘debates’ never inform. The antagonists say what they want, and are countered by the others saying what they want. No issue is examined in depth; no falsehood or inaccuracy is pursued to the point of conclusive revelation, with a retraction required. It’s always: “Let’s move on to another point.”

    So the TV debate format always works better for those with most to hide: in the present circumstances, the unionists.

  12. kendomacaroonbar says:

    I find the caliber of the questions raised by the audience have moved on since indy televised debates started.

    That in itself is a plus point surely ?

  13. cynicalHighlander says:

    Or utube vids.

  14. G H Graham says:

    I just said a while ago on Twitter what you wrote above but in fewer words; “I’m off to teach the cat to make a cup of tea.”

    And you know what? I did learn something. Cat’s can’t make tea cos they don’t have any thumbs. Now readers might think I’m taking the piss.

    Of course I am, because like Stu, that’s the sort of mood this tabloid TV banality puts me in.

    Sure, Riddoch attempted to raise the game but she’s outnumbered every time by a biased broadcaster & panelists repeating tired, party political scripts. And yes, hearing how incredibly normal the kids are in Norway is getting old. I don’t have kids so really couldn’t give a shit about bilingual Saami street party sleepovers in an igloo with a herd of reindeer acting as security guards.

    So where do we go from here?

    Beats me.

  15. jingly jangly says:

    Agree, I didn’t even bother watching it, mind you I don’t watch tv now anyway since Im not licensed to do so anymore 🙂

  16. Chris Darroch says:

    Most frustrating show. Agree that these “debates” are severely limited.

    Annoying that many of the Twitterati could answer those questions better.

    No proper defence on why SNP are not introducing universal childcare now…..so annoying…..that defence should be a knee jerk response for these seasoned panellists/politicians.

    Etc etc etc.

  17. heedtracker says:

    Awe. It was great to hear the lovely Orcadian accent on tv for a change plus that photo of Carlos Dangerous up there is a long way from Rackwick

    http://hoyorkney.wordpress.com/My house is the one with stones on the roof, I wish.

    https://www.facebook.com/CarlosDangerForMayorOfNewYork

  18. TD says:

    Can’t agree with you on this one Rev. Certainly you and many readers of Wings are immersed in the issues and would not gain much from this debate. But remember that significant numbers of people are yet to engage in the independence debate at all. They are too busy just living their lives. So to get them engaged, we need to have these debates even if to seasoned campaigners like you they appear to add no value. I am as angry about the media bias as anyone, but in this case I do not think the BBC can be criticised. The more the issues are aired, the more the calm logic of the Yes position is likely to prevail.

  19. TJenny says:

    Rev – isn’t it that the whole point of the media portrayal of the indy ref:
    turn everyone off and bore everyone to death. A kind of scarey inversion of:

    Turn on
    Tune in
    Drop off zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
    🙁

  20. diane says:

    But he’s right, an hour of our life we’ll never get back, don’t know why we expect anything else!

  21. Chris Darroch says:

    What Iain said at 10:54

  22. Hamish Humphy says:

    I like Angela Constance but she wasn’t great tonight. Lesley carried the YES campaign in my opinion. And you are right….it was utterly, utterly boring.

    Pre-prepared sound bites and the inevitable slagging matches are not going to turn people on to the debate. At least it seemed a bit less bias than the BBC’s dreadful output at the moment.

  23. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Think what I learnt from tonight’s *ahem* debate was that Wilson, Carmichael and Cook are all condescending sexist b******s!

    Oh and one other thing I learnt was that 3 versus 2 is not a good enough ratio of “team” players for Better Together to win any debate. I thought they really should have held up the debate until quite a few more Better Together members could arrive on stage. At least then they might have stood an outside chance of winning 🙂

  24. Chris Darroch says:

    Good points TD at 10:58

  25. Morag says:

    I just said a while ago on Twitter what you wrote above but in fewer words; “I’m off to teach the cat to make a cup of tea.”

    *goes to follow G H Graham*

    *discovers @GHGraham1 hasn’t tweeted since February*

    *wanders off again*

    And you know what? I did learn something. Cat’s can’t make tea cos they don’t have any thumbs.

    My cat has thumbs. It doesn’t help, trust me.

  26. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “But remember that significant numbers of people are yet to engage in the independence debate at all.”

    And you think THAT would have engaged them?

  27. G H Graham says:

    Morag. No need to act so suspiciously. I tweet under GHarrisG. All you have to do is ask instead of acting like a smart ass.

    🙂

  28. bookie from hell says:

    Ian Murray office has brand new CCTV cameras ,

  29. Minty says:

    To cheer you all up, Newsnicht is running a lengthy piece on why BT are making a complete arse of everything.

  30. MacBee says:

    I have to admit that every time I think I am making progress on the don’t knows/no’s around me, those TV debates set me right back to square one. Rebutting the No’s tired arguments with the equally tired points from Yes camp is a total turn off.

  31. Donald says:

    I’m so glad I din’t watch it, slightly o/t the YES guy on Scotland Tonight a few minutes ago about the shipbuilding was atrocious, he seemed as if he had no clue. The YES side in my opinion really need to up their game if we are to win.

    I did notice that according to STV News Hammond just like Osborne before him had no time to stop and answer any questions.

  32. TD says:

    Rev – I think that as we approach the referendum day, more and more people will focus on the issues. Some will only do so in the last few days. So the BBC and other media need to cater for those people. I agree that the quality of the debate was poor and the format of the show was dull. But for some people who are just coming to terms with the issues, this programme would give them at least a flavour of the debate. I too would like to see a more intellectually rewarding examination of the issues – whether we will get this from any of the mainstream media I don’t know. I live in hope, but with low expectation.

  33. Morag says:

    Morag. No need to act so suspiciously. I tweet under GHarrisG. All you have to do is ask instead of acting like a smart ass.

    Hey, you’re not the only one who feels like taking the piss tonight you know.

    Srsly, is @GHGraham1 not you? The tweets on that account look pro-indy to.

  34. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Yes. I don’t watch these anymore. They have no effect unless somebody makes a massive blunder and the press will always distort the proceedings anyway.

    There are a number of pretty sharp operators on the YES team like Alex Neil, Kenny Gibson, Mike MacKenzie, Robin MacAlpine, Sarah Collins, Ivan McKee, Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp etc who have the ability to lay waste the opposition. I wonder why they don’t get asked on to panels.

    O/T
    I suspect our high level of activity is going to produce a significant distortion in our favour for the almost forgotten Euro election. We could get four. I’m sure we’ll get three and the removal of George Lyon would make my year.

    Can I take this opportunity to say a word about Gavin Lascelles who took it upon himself to fund and produce, against lots of silly official opposition ,the wee Aye Right cards of which over 300,000 have now been distributed.
    They have brought thousand to this site, other sites and the truth.

  35. Flower of Scotland says:

    O/t Newsnight ! Can’t believe it that they have two people from the NAWS bemoaning the fact that they are losing and YES has been a much better campaign ! Can you guess who ??? Katie Grant and Simon PIa . Makes me feel like another drink !!

  36. McHaggis says:

    The debate was as much fun as my last twitter exchange with a bettertogether bloke who waded into a thread telling me iScotland wouldn’t get any rUK naval orders.

    I asked 5 times for an explanation of why iScotland alone would be excluded, given many many other countries get defence contracts or parts of them from the navy.

    I never got an answer and apparently my arguments are sad and pathetic.

    One question. That was it… I asked one question

    Waste of time and energy – just like the TV debate

  37. benarmine says:

    The audience I thought was more impressive than the panel. That’s encouraging. Now on Newsnight – Katy Grant and Simon Pia. Really BBC? Thanks a lot…

  38. Jim Watson says:

    I got the “honour” of asking the first question in Greenock when the debate was there. Since then all I have got is harranging and contempt from friends about the banality of the question – my repeated assertions that it was the Beeb who edited, cut up and ultimately sanatised the point I was trying to make often falls on deaf ears.

    I would actually recommend that Ms Constance reads this sight – when Brian Wilson was going on about the cut of 140000 colleges places I was actually shouting at teh telly – Tell him about the Weighted Standard Uits of Measure – that will shut the fecker up. The children removed the drink from my hand at this point…

    I remember after the 87 general encountering Brian Wilson in Saltcoats. He was wearing a donkey jacket – the jacket is long gone but the donkey apparently remains…

  39. Papadox says:

    Entertainment tonight. Simon Pia (well oiled again) feel a bit sorry for him.
    Katie Grant thinks BT is abysmal. Needs to be more positive! Flogging a dead horse comes to mind, what she, HMG, EBC, MSM & merry England can’t grasp is there is NO positive case for the union on this side of the border anyway.

  40. Morag says:

    I got the “honour” of asking the first question in Greenock when the debate was there. Since then all I have got is harranging and contempt from friends about the banality of the question – my repeated assertions that it was the Beeb who edited, cut up and ultimately sanatised the point I was trying to make often falls on deaf ears.

    Could you give us details of what you wanted to ask and what you were edited into asking?

  41. rab_the_doubter says:

    I’ve recently come to the conclusion that it’s a waste of time asking any questions on a BT site. Just a frustrating lack of debate or common decency what with the abuse being flung about.
    I suppose that by being on there I’ve been an abuse lightning rod and the one thing I hope is that there are undecideds forming an opinion on the views expressed.

  42. Robert Peffers says:

    Let’s face the fact that as far as the TV debates go the TV companies are NOT interested in the politics. They want what they call, “Great TV”. That is, “confrontation”. A bit like the old TV Wrestling, Big Brother, Jeremy Kyle and programmes making, “Celebs”, out of totally ordinary, talantless numpties performing, (badly), in public.

  43. geeo says:

    @T-Jenny (10.58)

    “isn’t it that the whole point of the media portrayal of the indy ref:
    turn everyone off and bore everyone to death. A kind of scarey inversion of:

    Turn on
    Tune in
    Drop off zzzzzzzzzzzzzz”.

    Even this is a poor tactic, in that scenario the only people voting would be those still engaged in the issue, I imagine those people would predominately be YES voters rather than No voters on the premise that YES voters are more motivated to vote.

    There must be something that the No side say that is actually bad for the YES side..

  44. handclapping says:

    I think the Government (W) is making the Beeb do these deliberately so they can cut the Old Folks “free” TV licence.

    Ever wondered why the Government (W) has moved to decriminalise non payment of the broadcast receiving licence, otherwise known as the BBC TV licence? The furore over the first absent minded OAP being jailed for non payment means that they (wG aka the Tories) can’t cut the “free” licence until its not a criminal offence not to have one.

    The more rubbish they can make the Beeb put out the easier to say that the old folk should have the “choice” of not being forced to pay for a BBC they dont watch.

    O/T
    Pensioners, you may be afraid of voting Yes but you should be more afraid of voting No; just think of the £25 billion all the Westminster parties have promised to cut and think of the one section of society that hasen’t felt the axe yet. That’s right, us; even the “protected” NHS in England has been cut and two thirds of their Trusts will be bankrupt in 2015.

    Not scary enough? The National Insurance Fund that pays the OAP Income £84bn Expenditure £94bn Cash £25bn. Thats 13 weeks money in the bank. Run it on another year, 2015, and you end up with £15bn, that’s 8 weeks. The money runs out September 2016. Now that’s scary!

  45. ramstam says:

    The thing that’s changed recently is there is more debate about what will or could happen in the negotiations post Indy. This has people psychologically thinking beyond a YES vote. The “increased powers” idea lasted about 5 minutes in the public eye then died a quick death. I expect the narrowing in the polls to continue. NO have a defeatist look about them. As for TV debates – I’d rather see one of the many public hall debates from across the country.

  46. G. P. Walrus says:

    Maybe it’s boring because the debate is actually over. BT have chucked everything they have to chuck and they are out of bullets (and mixed metaphors). It’s going to be round and round the same old houses for them with diminishing returns right up to September 19th.

    Hopefully Yes have got some surprises to unveil to raise some excitement.

  47. Yesitis says:

    Tonight`s debate seemed particularly tired and worn out. Audiences are becoming more cynical and weary of the same answers from different faces, or different faces with the same answers.

    I think Jiggsbro captured it perfectly:
    “I think they’ve given up on converting people to ‘No’. They’re just happy to spread confusion, boredom and apathy. That’s how democracy works in the UK now: sound and fury signifying disengagement. And Better Together are more than happy to play along.”

  48. Kirsten Maclean says:

    Although debates are a frustrating format, I see a shift. After previous painful debates leaving me as you describe, tonight’s left me feeling quite uplifted (Scotnight and newsnicht on the other hand…) To dismiss it as a waste of time does, I think, negate Lesley’s excellent performance. I thought that some of the women’s voices tonight on the panel and in the audience were strong and that the yes argument shone out amongst the turgid, backward stuff from dinosaurs W and C. Lesley telling C to stop being so patronising made it worth the watch alone.

  49. Murray McCallum says:

    Thus far when the BBC tried to be creative we have ended up with that embarrassing defence hat cartoon rubbish, or Rory Stewart’s imaginary history of “Borderland”.

  50. Doug Daniel says:

    Nothing against Angela, she’s a good minister, but I really wish they wouldn’t choose her for these debates. I remember being distinctly underwhelmed last time she was on a BBC debate, and today I tuned in for the last 5 minutes (Tuesday is The Mentalist night, and I don’t miss that for anything), to see Angela’s last words being “what about the subsidy they don’t tell you about – the north sea oil going down to the treasury?” or words to that effect.

    Now fair enough, it’s true, but it sounded so contrived, especially as a final comment. You could tell even the pro-indy audience members weren’t convinced, as their applause had that sort of “shit, we should probably have clapped there, better do it now” feel to it.

    I think we need to get politicians off the screen for a while. By far the most interesting contributions on the current affairs programmes in recent weeks have been from academics and experts. Dr John MacDonald was on both Scotland Tonight and Newsnicht tonight for example, and he’s always great. Colin Flemming was good on Newsnicht too (although the unionist guy on Scotland Tonight was pretty dire). These guys don’t have to follow party lines, so they can speak freely and admit things the politicians won’t, rather than giving us the two extreme sides.

    Having said that, the two folk on Scotland Tonight’s second half were dire as fuck. What the hell was that nonsense about the British Army really being Her Majesty’s army? That pish isn’t flying with anyone. And the shipyard guy was your typical Labour acolyte. Folk like that are WORSE than the politicians.

    There’s nothing wrong with debates really – its ARGUMENTS that are the problem, and that’s what the TV channels give us.

  51. geeo says:

    I cannot wait for the campaign to officially begin!!

    As a comic, whose name escapes me once sang..

    “and it was over…before it began” springs to mind.

    The major issue for us now is complacency, and to be honest, I cannot see that happening.

  52. fittie says:

    As some said Pia looked p–h , but brewer let him away with some outrages comments .

    he was supposed to be telling us how better together being negative was not working but fell into the negative labour mantra of demonising Alex Salmond .Brewer let him away with calling Alex Salmond a loud vulgar rabble rouser ,he also manage to compare the SNP with Ukip and the national front in france .

    I wish Brewer had told him that the national Front in the Uk are anti SNP and support better together

  53. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    Being away for so long now from the UK, I have became desensitized to the soft soap wash of British TV (adverts on commercial TV realize their own bottomless inanity if conducted in a foreign language.)

    It was shock to me to turn up in Scotland in the middle of the last Iraq belligerence, to see how domestic TV could be so co-opted into being a jingoistic cheerleader for the latest adventure on behalf of our american cousins. (I already had doubts during the First Iraq war. fair do’s that Saddam had invade a sovereign country, but should we celebrate the mass destruction by tuning live on CNN. The surreal act of my father waving the poker at the TV whenever a picture of Saddam on TV was straight out of Orwells 1984, you could not really make it up. Then I thought that he was really writing about dictatorships in general, not socialism. Was I not living in a “free society”?

    Now why was I shocked? It was because I thought the BBC ideal mission statement was just about reporting the news objectively not subjectively. From then on I started to more sensitive to the input. I found the refusal to run a humanitarian advert in the middle of the Gaza crisis particularly disgraceful cowardly act. (The rot really set in after the Iraq war aftermath, when the whole corporation was cowed by the reaction to its investigations. There was its flight flag of surrender of any decency)

    So the BBC. In its proper sense cannot give subjective views on things. But how does that square the obvious evidence of bias

    In the end I can only consul you all that, it best to turn your back on MSM (Stu you are doing more and most to shine a light in the darkness). If you comment, keep on pointing out areas where bias occurs. Record, store, respond. Never lose the rag. They just want an excuse to bash us with the nasty cybernat label, which is insane because the only people physically harmed so far in this referendum is independence supporter.

    I have never one an argument by shouting or insulting anybody.

  54. Marcia says:

    Having read this I am glad I went to the Sheridan meeting:

    https://twitter.com/C_ALiddle/status/456131079683178496/photo/1

  55. Ken MacColl says:

    “Brian Wilson is a bilious and dishonest wee nyaff”
    Thanks for that Rev; succinct and to the point.

  56. ronnie anderson says:

    Newsnite. No more subilty from the Bbc on the backdrop

    Better Together,Yes Scotland stronger better together

    BIAS in the Extreme,no need to mention Pei eyed nor the

    other two,I’m happy that I dont contribute to Bbc licence

    fee nor BTs free advertizment.

  57. JWil says:

    I think there were two heros today.

    The first one was the young guy at the Glasgow weapons manufacturer who suggested that Philip Hammond was blackmailing Scotland over his suggestion that there would be no naval shipbuilding contracts given to an independent Scotland.

    The other hero was the young woman graduate who pulled the rug out from under Brian Wilson tonight over the lack of an interconnector between Orkney and the mainland which was producing a loss of revenue for the island. Wilson had already admitted that the interconnector, which had been promised for ten years, would not be laid until the results of the referendum were known.

  58. HandandShrimp says:

    I’m going to hold my hand up here and confess that I pretty much never bother switching the TV on for politics. I have ceased to use the TV for anything other than sport and entertainment. I get all my politics and news on line. The TV version is too corrupt and distorted. OK there is bias on the internet too but it is possible to open a dozen tabs and compare and contrast and instantly check facts. That is much much better in my book and I don’t have to subject myself to people like Wilson either 🙂

  59. caz-m says:

    From the debate we learned that if we vote YES, we will have NO renewable energy, NO defence, NO Nato, EU maybe, NO currency, NO shipbuilding, it goes on and on,

    And this is from Alastair Carmicheal, a member of the Sunshine Party.

    Also Scapa Flow will no longer be used as a “British Navy Base”. WTF.

    I also think Angela Constance needs to sharpen up on her rebuttals.

    Sometimes she looks like the happy pub drunk that you can shout any shit at and she turns round and giggles at you.

    Wake up Angela.

    As for the shipbuilding debate on STV and expert Tusa saying they can take the order “down south”, to where Mr Tusa. Portsmouth is finished as a shipbuilding yard. It will be closing in a couple of months.

    It is deceased.
    It is no more.

    What other way would you like to hear it.

    They will not be building Type 26 Frigates in Portsmouth, they will be built on the Clyde and that Unite union rep also knows this.

  60. kestral says:

    I found an interesting article who’s afraid of the big bad truth Joan mcalpine

    2011 BBC scotland radio 4 experts explaining how bank bailouts work

    Ie even without a currency union they would have to bail out toxic debt in their country for a bank who’s headquarters were in a different country

    Maybe they should rerun them or maybe we could get a transcript and put it on here

    90% of people still don’t understand how it works and why ruk
    would still be leander of last resort no matter in or out of currency union

  61. Dan Watt says:

    Could anyone link this on YouTube? I’m interested purely as an Orcadian 🙂

  62. CameronB says:

    I was going to ask whether this debate would have been of any use to those who’re just tuning into the debate? TD and probably some others beat me too it.

  63. Doug Daniel says:

    JWil: “The first one was the young guy at the Glasgow weapons manufacturer who suggested that Philip Hammond was blackmailing Scotland over his suggestion that there would be no naval shipbuilding contracts given to an independent Scotland.”

    Can anyone imagine this happening even a couple of years ago?

    This is why we’re going to win – because independence is being normalised. No longer do people have to hide their belief that Scotland should be independent for fear of being derided by those around us. You don’t have to worry that people are going to think you’re a weirdo that must have read a few too many books about Bannockburn. You can just come out and say it now.

    This was always the unionists’ main weapon, making independence out to be something daft. That horse has now well and truly bolted.

  64. JWil says:

    The dismal performance of Better Together was up for discussion last night.

    My thought as that the name itself doesn’t do much for the organisation.

    Implicit in the name is that it’s better for England because it can take Scotland to the cleaners in all sorts of ways and also that England will always be a crutch for Scotland to lean on (i.e. dependency).

  65. Adrian B says:

    Television – The drug of the nation.

  66. annie says:

    Can’t we all just go to bed happy knowing that BT are getting pelters from their own supporters.

  67. kestral says:

    Would be so great to have a proper balanced investigative press in Scotland

    It is so important to educate people by giving them the truth and both sides of the story

    Thankfully I see that the press are covering cameron’s inability to differentiate between debt and deficit

    Stu please please do an article on it – it will be so funny the man running the UK doesn’t know what the difference is between reducing the deficit and paying down debt

    Or he is a liar who lied to the people inn a blatant manner because he thinks they are stupid

  68. kininvie says:

    Maybe step back a wee bit folks? The demand for meetings, debates, TV outings, newspaper interviews etc is stepping up exponentially. It’s obviously going to ramp up even further. You can’t expect everyone to be on top form every night. People like Ivan are covering miles and miles all over Scotland to get to meetings, night after night. No one’s paying them…

    I’m actually worried that the Yes team can’t last the pace, and I suggest that rather criticise, maybe more of us should be aiming to take some of the burden. Everyone here who has been on site for any length of time knows the arguments. Step up; get a wee bit of media training; put your names forward to Yes HQ. Who gives a damn if you’ve never spoken in public before? You learn on the job. Soon it will no longer be enough to be a cybernat…

  69. caz-m says:

    @Doug Daniel

    Normalising the debate.

    I have just added another sticker to front windscreen, that’s me got five YES stickers on the car, also wristband and badges for jackets.

    I love being stuck at traffic lights now, so everybody gets the message.

    Or walking into a room with my YES badge showing,

    Or have my wristband showing so it is the conversation starter.

  70. kestral says:

    Just realised the article is old but worth a read cause it made me Laff like hell

  71. JWil says:

    The BBC as always (from its own point of view anyway) chooses its panel well.

    Angela Constance versus Brian Wilson arguing on energy policy? A stronger candidate was needed against Wilson whose very subject it is.

    Then Angela’s recent promotion to cabinet against the party’s wish for more women in positions of authority.

    I have always admired Leslie Riddoch’s contributions to the debates, but I think she can be a bit too intellectual and hard to understand at times, although it doesn’t help when everyone is allowed to shout her down.

    The presenter didn’t do a great job either. He seemed to apply control at times and didn’t at others, all in line with BBC unionist policy of course. Cutting people off when it is just getting interesting doesn’t do much for the entertainment value of the programme.

  72. caz-m says:

    Always wondered why Better Together would want to change their strategy if, as BBC Scotland keep reminding us, that they are miles ahead in the polls still.

    If you were running a campaign and you were miles ahead, you wouldn’t change a thing.

    Unless BBC Scotland are telling porkies and they are not miles ahead.

  73. RogueCoder says:

    @Rev @TD @ * wings
    I’m going to be Lib Dem for the evening and agree with both sides (And therefore, probably achieve nothing :D)

    Rev, completely understand your frustration – I’ve just sat through a replay of Kirkwall and learned nothing except that No seem to get away with a stunning number of lies that go completely unchallenged.

    But I also think TD is right, at least in one sense. Most people do not live and breathe the issues, and let’s face it, a huge proportion of the electorate are still sitting on their arses and failing to go and get the facts for themselves. It’s these folks that politicians spin their soundbites for; the people who simply aren’t informed.

    I have an image of clapping seals in my mind, not sure why.

    But here’s the real point I want to make; we’re asking politicians who usually obfuscate their way through conventional elections – where most of us don’t look too closely at what’s on offer – to explain their stance on complex issues. Most of these chimps don’t have a clue what they are talking about; they get cued up on some talking points by a small army of researchers, and then get shoved out in front of the cameras and told to turn every question around to deliver soundbites A, B and C for the campaign. Were you expecting some enlightened and intelligent point-counter-point arguments based on academic research? I don’t recall any political campaign ever being that.

    The referendum is polarising the debate in Scotland. Some of us have rolled up our sleeves, gotten involved in online debates and spent many hours sifting through dry statistics on subjects that two years ago we would have given a fig about in order to have the best possible arguments to win those debates. We got involved because we want Yes to win.

    However, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea to analyse budget papers or energy forecasts and work out who is telling the truth, and as long as the media is happy to keep shoving grinning idiots in front of cameras, then a certain percentage of the population are going to be lazy and just spoon down whatever they are fed – horseshit or not.

    What Wings offers IS the intelligent analysis, the facts, the figures, and an explanation of the political machinations at work. I’m sorry Rev, but you’ve made a rod for your own back!

    Now it’s incumbent on us, your biggest fans, to drive as many voters to this site between now and September 18th as we can possibly muster. Being informed is a natural Yes vote.

    Let’s make the debate happen here (some more).

  74. call me dave says:

    Just noticed the little blue ‘Top’ at the bottom left of the screen. Great, I suppose it replaces the old yellow button we used to have. Like the green arrows as well to move between articles.

    Still having to sign in on every comment though and submit button needs pressed twice sometimes.

    🙂

  75. CameronB says:

    kininvie says:
    16 April, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Maybe step back a wee bit folks? The demand for meetings, debates, TV outings, newspaper interviews etc is stepping up exponentially. It’s obviously going to ramp up even further.

    If we knew the doubling time for YES activity, we could work out when to expect YES to reach total saturation. Exponential growth is a dead give away. Bit geeky perhaps, but I do know a nerd or two. 🙂

  76. GrahamB says:

    JWil:
    For info, the defence company used to be known as Barr & Stroud when I worked for them. They were taken over in all but name by Pilkington Glass then radically downsized and moved from Anniesland (now Morrison’s supermarket) to Shieldhall beside the Southern General Hospital and the sewage works. They once employed 2500 but now I believe they have around 400. At the time of their move they had become Pilkington Optronics, half owned by Thomson CSF (almost wholly owned by the French Government) and since subsumed as Thales, wholly French owned I believe. Most of their manufacturing (tank gun sights, laser rangefinders and thermal imaging equipment) apart from submarine periscopes has been sub-contracted to who knows where.
    So a strange company to choose to promote UK defence commitments

  77. kininvie says:

    @cameron B

    You are right of course – I was using exponentially entirely incorrectly, But the point remains: there is growing demand.

  78. CyberNiall says:

    Maybe these debates should focus on one subject at a time. Include opinions of experts and allow each side to challenge each others allegations. Let panelists answer the question. Let those who ask the questions respond to the answer they’re given. It becomes a case of whoever gets the last word in wins and nobody can figure out who to believe.

    I prefer the documentary style programmes where they get opinions from either side. As long as it’s well edited it seems more informative.

    Maybe they should have a studio for each side, Better Together and Yes, filled with undecided voters. Both audiences ask the same set of questions to the panel. They are polled on what they think. The audiences then watch a recording of the other studio debate. Then take another poll and find out people opinions. It would be interesting to see how opinions form and change and if the original panel has a greater effect.

    Or we could make propaganda cartoons to patronise people into thinking the other option is “cataclysmic”, even though they are “wee things!”

  79. CameronB says:

    kininvie
    I wasn’t taking the mickey. 🙂

  80. Totally agree with this article, especially the point about the BBC & STV stepping up to the mark and producing something worthwhile for the people of Scotland whether it be a debate or a factual programme.

    Personally? I would enjoy a show dedicated to the voters. Interview the employed, unemployed, young and old. Find out what the PEOPLE want by simply ASKING us. We don’t want to sit and listen to people who don’t hold down a full-time job, pay taxes or are live on the breadline preaching statistics at us or trying to scare us in to remaining in the UK.

    I want the opinions of my fellow Scots to be represented in an honest and fair way. That to me would make an interesting hour of airtime.

  81. Appleby says:

    Brian Wilson was vile and awful as usual. Direct questions were simply ignored as he waffled on about doom and gloom with prepared statements, often not answering the question at all. Not much point in him being there or having the debate in that case. He dare not say anything but fear and doom, apparently. If pressed he’d say gravity would cease to function post-indy, no doubt. He wouldn’t even properly address or disagree with the “forces of darkness” speech and instead went on to support it in all its insanity. Must be that positive case for the union he promises to deliver at work. I hope everyone remembers him for a long time to come when it comes to elections…

    Why do such worthless idiots have these jobs in the first place? You’d think with the many people who’d be happy for the job they could find someone who wasn’t a useless idiot.

    It has been insulting to Scotland and infuriating to see them drag the debate into the gutter and cover it with nothing but ignorance and fear from the get go and I expect that will be all we get from them until the day after. It’s sickening scorched earth tactics at work. They don’t care about the harm they are causing or the damage of their lies or their spin machine working against Scotland as they attempt to woo domestic and foreign to the jock-bash bandwagon.

    How’s that Putin wooing to the Better Together side going, BTW, unionists? Forces of darkness, indeed…

  82. Appleby says:

    All debates should be forced to have no applause as it is pointless and the speakers should present proof of their claims as would be done on articles here. It’s beyond ridiculous that they are still trotting out the same old despicable lies that have been disproven again and again without any consequence and without being asked for proof – especially as the questions are vetted and pre-approved anyway for almost all of these events. Time to up the standards.

  83. Clootie says:

    @Kirsten 11.41

    Agree fully – we’ll put.

  84. Andrew Morton says:

    @JWil 11:59

    I think there were two heros today.

    The first one was the young guy at the Glasgow weapons manufacturer who suggested that Philip Hammond was blackmailing Scotland over his suggestion that there would be no naval shipbuilding contracts given to an independent Scotland.

    I liked the way he twisted the knife in Hammond when he said,

    “Threatening our families too was a nice touch.”

  85. john king says:

    Doug Daniel says
    “Can anyone imagine this happening even a couple of years ago?

    This is why we’re going to win – because independence is being normalised. No longer do people have to hide their belief that Scotland should be independent for fear of being derided by those around us. ”

    Compare and contrast Danny McGee with that obsequious hand wringing shop steward who says “serious question must be asked of the Scottish government”
    the irony that he was standing on the shop floor of a French company in Scotland was lost on him, but questions must be asked? dear God,

    That we have people like Danny who will stand up for themselves and challenge people like Hammond (incidentally did you notice the embarrassed half smile when Danny McGee challenged Hammond) shows Scotland has not lost its courage and dignity (unlike some shop stewards)
    the most telling point of that (yet another) away day visit
    was the stern dismissal of the STV reporters questions aimed at Hammond who was whisked away back to civilisation before his oxygen tank ran out,

    When you look at the forensic examination of the minutiae of every word every nuance every fart Alex Salmond emits, then when these people deign to come north to pontificate at us thronging natives then refuse point blank to answer any questions whatsoever, and stick closely to the pre arranged script, WHAT ARE THEY SO AFRAID OF?

    Anyone else notice Aistair Carmichael wears that title (secretary of state for bla bla bla)like a penis extension, the same title he thinks shouldn’t exist,(on that at least we can all agree with him ) he never seems to tire of telling us what his title is as if he gets a wee tingle in his nether regions reminding himself just how important he is,

    He said on BBC news this morning that “rule from Edinburgh would be just as bad as rule from London”
    so there we have it,an acknowledgement that rule from London is not working for the Orcadians but he seems able to see the future and point out that Edinburgh would be just as bad,
    don’t retire Alistair, your ability to see the future is a valuable asset.
    sorry rev but I couldn’t resist this.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTIWloXBCww

  86. Albalha says:

    @JWil
    “The BBC as always (from its own point of view anyway) chooses its panel well.

    Angela Constance versus Brian Wilson arguing on energy policy? A stronger candidate was needed against Wilson whose very subject it is.”

    The SNP will have chosen which minister to put forward, always the same with the political parties and these type of debates.

  87. Johnney come lately says:

    The Point of it all is to try as hard as possible to make the debates a total turn off for the viewer and entrench the idea that all politicians are the same. Remember it is in BT’s and Labours interests to spoil the level of debate.

  88. JLT says:

    Stuart’s right. These TV debates are beginning to grate. My wife watched it, and I caught the last 10 minutes. I saw a speech by all 4 representatives on ‘more powers for the islands’, and learned nothing new.
    Only the young graduate lass who is studying Renewed Energies gave a thoughtful insight as to how long it would take the UK Government to getting round to implementing a proper energy structure on the Islands. Carmichael had hinted it would be soon, but the young lass more or less corrected him, and said it would be 10 years at least from what she has learned from the industry!
    So an audience member seemed to know more than the Secretary of State for Scotland! Carmichael basically dropped the ball again, and placed Westminster’s view right under the spotlight. In other words …Westminster will get round to it when it can be bothered …or when every other possible major project in London is finished first …which will be never!

    There is only one debate, and one debate alone that will answer all questions.

    Salmond v Cameron.

    The rest of these are just sideshows. We saw that with Sturgeon and Lamont when Johaan just screeched, and Nicola just fumed at her.
    Carmichael is useless. Lamont …a bit like her name …wails (Lament), Sarwar foams at the mouth (and why is he involved anyway), Darling is dreadful, and even Swinney at times has come across as dull.

    As said, there is only one show to see. Will it happen? Who knows. But it has to be Salmond v Cameron.

  89. Andrew Morton says:

    Watching BBC Breakfast time. James Cook reporting from the Orkneys about demands for local devolution. The sting was in the tail when, in a last ‘throwaway comment’ he said that similar arguments could be made for other local authorities throughout Scotland.

    So once again BBS ‘Scotland’ peddling Labour Party divide and rule policies.

  90. Croompenstein says:

    Cook’s just blotted his copybook this morning. Doing a piece for EBC breakfast on the independence for the islands shite. He claimed there will be a vote a week after the indy ref! ah that ancient nation ShOrkHeb voting for indy..Freedom for Scapa Flow

  91. Mark J says:

    O/t but william hill just shortened the odds of a yes down to 2/1 from 10/1 before christmas.

  92. Macart says:

    No telly debate is worth a damn, its political match of the day. Every now and again you get a decent game and I’m sure we all wait for the inevitable howlers and fouls, but essentially most games end up as rigged draws.

    There’s only one two debates I’d pay money for in the run up to this referendum and that would be a Canavan/Darling debate or perhaps Salmond/Cameron. In terms of conditions?

    A large public meeting area such as a theatre, the audience given a secret ballot prior and post the event. As the Rev suggests absolutely no clapping or cheering during the bloody thing. Before and after is fine, but this wouldn’t be a Jerry Springer event. Two podiums, no cross talking or interruptions and a mutually agreed chair with a strict remit. Instead of the usual telly team perhaps an independent documentary team for the filming or streaming of the event.

    The only other debates worth a damn are those held in church halls, community centres, schools, colleges, homes, pubs, workplaces and the street.

  93. MolliBlum says:

    I agree with kendomacaroonbar / benarmine / KirstenMaclean that some of the audience input was very good indeed. People are obviously getting informed and engaged. It’s the politicians who need to up their game. Lesley Riddoch was really the only one who seemed to be making an effort.

  94. Cactus says:

    I wonder what the papers have in-store for us today.. tales of the (fun) expected?

  95. Tattie-bogle says:

    Newsnicht had a subliminal message last night the background showed the BT more prominently than the YES

  96. Sean says:

    Sadly, programme makers in Scotland, will not make any effort to present Yes in a good light. This is because with a yes vote, the TV industry in Scotland will shrink dramatically due to the loss of nations & regions budget (which is the reason most Indy companies have an office in Scotland at all), along with the withdrawal of BBC (obv.) and C4. If it can be demonstrated that the above is not true, we might get some even-handed debate, and maybe (remotely) some actual investigative journalism (well, we live in hope…). In the next couple weeks, snp rep will be speaking to PACT members, but few in the industry are optimistic.

  97. Zed says:

    BBC Scotland website has not one but 5 (FIVE) pro-Union stories this morning! That’s quite something even by their standards

  98. Doug Daniel says:

    Lesley Riddoch saying on Twitter that BBC Belfast are reporting that Orkney wants a vote on independence from Scotland regardless of the referendum vote – something that wasn’t even raised on the programme last night.

    https://twitter.com/LesleyRiddoch/status/456327066242138112

    Fucking BBC arseholes.

  99. Dan Watt says:

    @Doug Daniel,

    Nobody in Orkney wants it, that’s why it was never raised and I’m pretty sure that the petition was started from outside Orkney just out of badness.

  100. Tattie-bogle says:

    Doug do they want that sooner than later ?

  101. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    “O/t but william hill just shortened the odds of a yes down to 2/1 from 10/1 before christmas.”

    i got 9/2 in oct last year

  102. heedtracker says:

    Fucking BBC arseholes that make no actual logic or sense. Attack/stop Scottish democracy is all the BBC do everyday, but then same weirdly corrupt outfit report/boost/backing of Orcadian democracy http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-27043974

    Confused of Aberdeen

  103. Tattie-bogle says:

    BBC are just wankers

  104. Albalha says:

    James Cook in Orkney makes clear on GMS there’s NO interest in independence from Scotland, more powers yes, and why not.

  105. Grouse Beater says:

    BBC Scotland is chronically inept.

    It is also starved of cash.

    Employees shoud be looking for new job now, ready to move by 18 September.

  106. Hewitt83 says:

    I feel sorry for the Undecideds these days. They’re like people who have turned up really late to a party and everyone is pished and arguing. They’ll take one look in and turn around.

  107. MolliBlum says:

    @DanWatt/@DougDaniel: True, there’s no interest in Orkney. The petition is just another “divide and conquer” strategy by the No campaign.
    Mind you, there’s always a possibility that it may not necessarily have been started “outside Orkney” (@Dan) given that certain peers there seem a little concerned about their House of Lords trough drying out: “If I continue to keep my Orkney home, I would not be a resident taxpayer, so would not be able to keep my seat” says Jim Wallace (aka Lord Wallace of Tankerness)
    http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news/8466-scottish-lords-can-keep-titles-after-independence-says-lib-dem-peer

    Anyhow: the Scottish Government has already set up working group to determine the framework for greater autonomy for the islands in an independent Scotland, and have been negotiating this with local representatives for months. The sixth and last of their meetings will be held in Kirkwall in June, to finalise the proposals, based on the islanders’ own needs and wishes. Sounds a lot more sensible and carefully considered than some hastily-devised worldwide (!) petition.
    Never seem to hear about it in the MSM though. Funny, that.
    For background on the real motivation behind the petition, see: http://bellacaledonia.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/the-shetland-card/

  108. Fixitfox says:

    Thanks Rev. I’ll delete the recording unviewed and do the ironing.

  109. MolliBlum says:

    @Dan / @Doug:

    Oh, and just as an afterthought – given the concerns expressed by Lord Wallace regarding his seat in the House of Lords in the event of independence – I found it a curious coincidence (though it might be a common enough name, worldwide, so I don’t want to cast aspersions) that one of the petition’s signatories shares a name with this blogger:
    http://rosiewallace.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/buckingham-palace-been-there-done-that/

  110. Training Day says:

    The point of last night was so the BBC could tick a box. You want referendum coverage? Erzi fishul debate – and we’ve been all around the country. You want enhanced coverage? Erzi fishul Pippa, Poppy and Prue imported from our London nerve centre – shows you how seriously we take this issue. What more do you want?

    The fact BBC Scotland’s opt-outs are surrounded by ‘Great British’ programmes and Tory MPs saying a ‘pernicious scar’ has divided Britain is neither here nor there, of course.

  111. Iain Diamond says:

    Without trying to flatter, when I want intelligent, informed information regarding the referendum debate I read this site. I got fed up listening to the ‘Yes’ side and the ‘No’ side months ago, and as you describe they’re simply regurgitating the same ‘news’ over and over again.

    I think Journalism has been in decline for decades and very few professionals nowadays bother to do any in-depth research; it’s gotten so endemic that we now see Scottish Labour party unable to explain their own policies regarding Devolution and deflecting questions by saying, ‘An expert told me it was true’. ‘Bah, go beil yer heid the lot ‘o yi’

  112. farrochie says:

    I haven’t watched any of the televised debates. BBC Scotland have have no presenters who are prepared to stop lies and misrepresentations being broadcast. Brian Taylor’s countering of lies amounts to :”Ah, but the other side would say…”.

    With few exceptions, BBC Scotland news reporters and interviewers come across as poorly informed, unable to separate assertion from fact and unwilling to challenge obvious fabrication.

  113. Capella says:

    A new low for GMS today. There was clearly such a dearth of bad news stories for the Indyref that they were even reduced to interviewing each other around 7.00 am, on spring gardening! There was an item on blind sailors, and one on whether to grow a beard, interspersed as always by endless reports on travel, sport and weather. They managed to squeeze in a brief report from James Cook on last night’s debate in Orkney just before 8:50. They must have had to wait till it arrived off the ferry.

  114. Grouse Beater says:

    The Secretary of State for Portsmouth has no mandate in Scotland.

    “Debates are considered gladitorial material. Audiences participate to give thumbs up or down. This attitude began when news and current affairs became the dominant department in broadcasting taking over from drama, and with a superior budget to drama.

    Our “news” is delivered as if drama, in dramatic terms …

    “BBC Bias”: grousebeater.wordpress

  115. Desimond says:

    Arent these debates more for the BBC’s benefit than anyone elses?

    “Look we ticked the ‘Did our bit’ box Mr Campaign Overseer….we good?, thanks very much…bye now”

    Like a team winning a final on penalties, all the records books show is who won, in this case it will show BBC devoted XYZ hours of coverage to the Scottish ‘thing’.

    The fact its abysmal only matters to us, and what do we matter to them.

  116. Desimond says:

    @Training Day

    Just saw your post…cap doffed!

  117. Grouse Beater says:

    Arent these debates more for the BBC’s benefit than anyone elses?

    There is that element of justification, yes, but it’s their quality that fails any test.

    So far, the quality of BBC Scotland’s contribution to the future of the country it supposedly serves is lamentable.

  118. Grouse Beater says:

    It crossed my mind – once – that instead of devising BB1, BBC2, BBC3 and 4, the director general should have made them, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and devoted all their air time to the respective political and geographical area.

    With that configeration we could still tune in to whatever channel we wanted to watch, or switch between them.

    Instead, the BBC, a public service established to educate as well as entertain, decided to create a new bottom of the barrel to show the commercial stations exactly how much better it could do bad.

  119. Desimond says:

    @Grouse Beater

    Oh Quality … This was something I was thinking about on a recent discussion regards Private Eye on this site. Me thinks quite a few of these Establishment icons including the BBC and Private Eye are relying greatly on former glories and reputations.

    The recent comedy W1A regards BBC had the main character go through a rebranding hell only to summise that “Isnt the true mark of the BBCs brand, its output”.

    Quite.

  120. Grouse Beater says:

    BBC Scotland’s output will never gain attention unless BBC London’s veto, funding, and monopoly of transmission times is stopped

    We know that will never happen on the basis there are 320 million of them and only one Scot, or some such statistic that justifies domination.

  121. ronnie anderson says:

    Cmon people Im amazed at the ammount of posts saying their

    disengaging with these Referendum Debate proggrammes, but

    get their information from WOS ( B Together is winning

    then ) because that is disruption tactic ( TURNING PEOPLE

    OFF FROM VOTING ). How can we engage with our Family/

    Friends/ Neaghbours/Workmates/. How can we dispel the

    arguements when WE dont watch these programmes. This site

    would’nt excist if One man did’nt go shit trawling, for

    the information to keep us Informed ( do we then keep that

    to ourselves )or share it to help someone to be better

    better Informed.

    SWITCH ON TUNE IN & SPREAD THE INFORMATION THIS SITE CAN

    ONLY REACH SO FAR. WE ARE THE TENDRILS ON THE GROUND MAKE

    AS MUCH GROWTH AS WE CAN. WE CAN WIN, WE MUST WIN,OR OUR

    FAMILYS/FRIENDS WILL SUFFER. As most long term residents of this site know I dont get out & about much but when I do I engage people, when other people visit my house I engage Postmen/Wummin/Window cleaner get their Yes paper from me. Engage whenever wherever.rant over.

    Any more movement on Yes in Strathclyde park.Gerry/Partician.

  122. Desimond says:

    @grouse Beater

    The only stat or figure that will matter is a sudden revision in rUK BBC budget\license fee when they realise the massive black hole in the budget when Scotland says YES.

    The BBC will be one of many crying out “But how did this happen?….to us!!”

  123. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Just noticed the little blue ‘Top’ at the bottom left of the screen. Great, I suppose it replaces the old yellow button we used to have. Like the green arrows as well to move between articles.”

    We have WHAT now?

    “Still having to sign in on every comment though and submit button needs pressed twice sometimes.”

    This is related to caching, and was part of the security forced by the DoS attack which was swamping our bandwidth. Those measures are still switched on while our hosts make sure the new hardware is capable of dealing with traffic, but if it’s stable for a couple of days (looking good so far) the caching will start to be relaxed.

  124. Grouse Beater says:

    The BBC will be one of many crying out “But how did this happen?….to us!!

    Last time I talked one-to-one with the head of BBC Scotland, (probably my last time ever) a man I’ve known for over thirty years, he finished our conversation with the line, “Knowing your passion for Scotland, I hope you won’t go to the press if we say no to the project.”

    I knew that was coded language. My reply?

    “Are you trying to tell me the head of BBC Scotland does not have a veto?

  125. Training Day says:

    I’ve actually just watched the BBC’s ‘defence animation’. Words fail.

    The BBC will be the focal point for huge resentment – to put it mildly – if there is a narrow No vote. Hundreds of thousands of Scots will regard the organisation as the agent which tipped the balance. What then?

    Clearly, London has decided that BBC Scotland is expendable.

  126. GrahamB says:

    Orkney and Shetland still wanting to ‘separate’ from Scotland? Well maybe if they take Trident up there (someone was bleating on about the future of Scapa Flow last night) and we also give them a population share of the oil, sorted.

  127. Alfresco Dent says:

    Stu, my employer has just released their new company logo. I can supply a picture if you message me.

  128. gerry parker says:

    It’s good that the issues are being aired to a wider section of the public, and that Wingers (full respect to Stu) are ahead of the game with information that reveals the lies and distortions. Keep up the dialog with friends and family, keep wearing the badges, we’re winning.

    @ Ronnie, have posted some info in off topic.
    With all the work you’ve done so far in ‘sourcing ‘ things I’m not sure that we need do anything except swap contact details and take it from there. Usually trying to get a time and place that everyone agrees on is like herding cats. ( I can’t make evenings) I’ll pop by today for a culpa around one o clock to chat about it.

  129. Thistle says:

    I’m also dubious about doing debate type events as they turn into slanging matches and I’m not convinced people learn much.

    That said got suggestions about debates and can get anybody from No involved (we tried) give us a shout and we will setup a live stream..

    Anyway, livestream Wed 16th from Cumbernauld with Tommy Sheridan!

    http://new.livestream.com/IndependenceLive

  130. The Man in the Jar says:

    Training Day said.

    “The BBC will be the focal point for huge resentment – to put it mildly – if there is a narrow No vote. Hundreds of thousands of Scots will regard the organisation as the agent which tipped the balance. What then?”

    My thoughts as well. “Huge resentment” You can say that again.

  131. magicpants says:

    What’s going to become of the parasitical scumbag presstitutes at the Scottish end of the British Bullshit Corporation after Sep 18th?

  132. HandandShrimp says:

    There is an incredible air of desperation regarding the flurry of recent bottom of the barrel stories about independence be it the BBC or Westminster both (Commons and Lords). All the while Darling continues to attempt to take off through the power of eyebrow movement.

    The petition for an independence referendum for the all the isles (including the Western Isles I think) was raised a wee while ago and I noticed that a great many signing it had little or no connection to the Isles but a lot of connection to Better Together Facebook pages.

    Divide and conquer indeed, although they would presumably be furious if the petition was granted and the Isles left the UK. The petition is to the Scottish Government who as far as I am aware does not have the authority to grant such a referendum so I think there may be more than a little scare and dismay to this process than genuine desire to have a referendum. Of course the BBC are unlikely to report the matter with analysis, journalistic analysis seems beyond them these days. They are just a Better Together mouthpiece.

  133. Stuart, it’s the B.B.C so what else can we expect. Thanks for the info, as I gave up watching any news, or current affairs programmes produced by them a while ago. And I would just like to say thanks to Daniel McGhee of Thales. It took courage to stand up and say what he said. I have no doubt a lot of people would like the opportunity to quiz any unionist politician, but since they all run away after giving their spiel, it is never going to happen. Good news about the betting odds, as the bookies are usually never wrong.

  134. Kev says:

    The BBC know exactly what they are doing with these debates – filling the heads of the many undecideds out there with confusion and misinformation so that they become so annoyed and disillusioned with the whole thing that, come Sept 18th, they won’t bother getting off their backsides to cast their vote.

    I still have a few undecided friends, who, despite my warnings not to, still tune into these things only to switch it off in disgust after 10mins. The longterm effect is gradual disinterest in any discussion to the point that some just don’t bring it up anymore as something to talk about over a drink or dinner. Its really beginning to make my blood boil…

  135. Sean Lewis says:

    From the point of view of one who was in the audience it was a fantastic display of why politicians should be banned from the independence debate.

    We learned nothing new, not one second of the hour was free of political point scoring and at the end of it I was just further convinced that we in the Northern Isles would be better served we we were shot of the lot of them … Norway take us back PLEASE!

  136. Ravelin says:

    @Sean

    You just echoed my thoughts at the end of the program last night i.e when politicians are involved they just can’t help themselves. I’m Pro-independence but literately cringed when Angela stuck in the oil comment at the end. It was out of place, not needed, and just re-enforced the SNP stereotype many people have.

    The other 3 politicians involved were just as bad. For example,in response to the question about Lord Robinson’s comments, why could neither Brian or Alister just say something along the lines of “he raised an important issue but the language used was so ridiculous it demeans the debate and risks the actual issue itself being overlooked”. Instead they, in a round about way, tried to defend the statements.

    Of course the usual politicians ‘drift’ from the subject they were being questioned about onto something they’d rather make a point about was much in evidence. Only Lesley came out of it with pass marks in my opinion.

    I went to a Yes event at Aberdeen Uni a few weeks back which was much more informative, although obviously one sided given there was no BT presence. That event had 4 speakers, only one of which was a politician (Green MSP Patrick Harvie – excellent by the way), and was much more about what each speakers vision of Scotland could be if Independent.

  137. colin young says:

    After the miners strike and BBC’s distortion of events i dumped my tv.
    From the day i dumped the TV i have checked the BBC news on iplayer/internet only for the propaganda slant,years later the Iraq war was a lesson in full sale propaganda which conned the nation to war.

    It’s strange how unless you are passionate about something you fail to notice the distortions/propaganda till it lies to you.
    Not sure i trust ex employees who make excuses for the BBC.

  138. Krackerman says:

    I think it’s clear the pattern of behaviour from our London masters is established – fly in, drop fear bomb and run off before answering any questions or even speaking to the public….

    They MUST know how the first bombings went down – so why repeat??

    Obvious… they want us gone…

    Fine by me..

  139. Kate says:

    Have to disagree with the REV in regard to the debate, Lesley came across as the only one that was talking sense. While she may have talked about NORWAY a bit too much, as someone who has visited Norway a few times, has friends that live there, & has heard them talk about how they see themselves LONG before the referendum was ever on the horizon.

    Most feel closer to NORWAY, infact I have heard it said many times by friends & locals, that they feel more NORWEGIAN than Scottish. So Lesley had the perfect audience to address, in regard to the NORDIC way of life.

    As for James Cook the host, I would hardly say he was FAIR, he allowed Wilson to ramble on forever, then when he asked Angela Constance a question, he INTERRUPTED her before she even got started on answering that question, BIASED as ever I am afraid.

    I do agree though. That the YES side need to keep the likes of Angela OFF these debates, she really is not quick enough.

    The high point for me was. Lesley hauling Carmichael over the coals for his patronising tone, had any SNP person challenged him in that way! it would have been front page news about SNP bullying the poor man ( again ) So well done Lesley, as much as the debate was boring, Lesley DID do well, Cook was just awful, Wilson was what he always is. Full of S**t. And Carmichael ? well enough said.

  140. Kate says:

    Have to disagree with the REV in regard to the debate, Lesley came across as the only one that was talking sense. While she may have talked about NORWAY a bit too much, as someone who has visited Orkney a few times, has friends that live there, & has heard them talk about how they see themselves (LONG before the referendum was ever on the horizon. )

    Most feel closer to NORWAY, infact I have heard it said many times by friends & locals, that they feel more NORWEGIAN than Scottish. So Lesley had the perfect audience to address, in regard to the NORDIC way of life.

    As for James Cook the host, I would hardly say he was FAIR, he allowed Wilson to ramble on forever, then when he asked Angela Constance a question, he INTERRUPTED her before she even got started on answering that question, BIASED as ever I am afraid.

    I do agree though. That the YES side need to keep the likes of Angela OFF these debates, she really is not quick enough.

    The high point for me was. Lesley hauling Carmichael over the coals for his patronising tone, had any SNP person challenged him in that way! it would have been front page news about SNP bullying the poor man ( again ) So well done Lesley, as much as the debate was boring, Lesley DID do well, Cook was just awful, Wilson was what he always is. Full of S**t. And Carmichael ? well enough said.

  141. JWil says:

    @GrahamB

    Thanks. I do remember the name Barr & Stroud.

    I was at Gartnaval Hospital yesterday with my wife who was being treated. I mentioned to my grandson, who was also there and is a keen RAF cadet, that there used to be a company just over the wall from the hospital that made military optics. I think that may not have been Barr & Stroud?

    @Albalha

    I cannot argue with your point that the SNP didn’t put forward its own panellist, but I do wonder if they knew that Wilson was also on it and if they didn’t would they have chosen someone different?

    The SNP have some very strong candidates who would always do well, but sometimes they put up people who are not so strongly qualified. e.g. There was an SNP guy on the other evening whom I found very frustrating to watch as he did not seem to be making any headway in a discussion (on Newsnight Scotland I think).

    All of their reps should be capable of strongly arguing the case on any topic, especially ones which are in the news at the time.



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