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Wings Over Scotland

Call the fire brigade

Posted on May 11, 2013 by


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35 to “Call the fire brigade”

  1. Morag says:

    Hamish rocks!

  2. That's a huge file!

  3. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Heh. Had just noticed it myself, more sensible version uploaded now.

  4. Albalha says:

    If you watched QT this week the irony of David Davies talking about an in/out EU referendum, saying that people shouldn't listen to economic 'scare stories' coming from Labour etc, certainly won't have been lost on YES Scotland supporters.


    Just clicked on your name, are these YES posters part of the official campaign?

  5. mrbfaethedee says:

    That's (yet another) fantastic political cartoon from Chris Cairns!

    You guys should get a print run done of them as a book near/after the end of the indy campaign.

  6. Morag says:

    I've just realised what's weird about that tree.  It has leaves on….

    Haven't seen one like that since I can't remember when.

  7. Yesitis says:

    New poll results show 98% of Scots want out of the EU.


  8. @Albalha

    A few of the most recent posters I've made are official Yes ones, but most aren't.

  9. Albalha says:


    Is the multinlingual one, one, as it were … if so it would make sense to have it on their homepage, simply/strongly makes the civic point.

  10. @Albalha

    I sent that one to them yesterday, and they have used it on their Facebook account. What happens other than that I have no idea, or input on.

  11. pmcrek says:

    Somebody get wee Hamish an indy parachute!

  12. Jeannie says:

    That's a great image, Chris.

  13. Doug Daniel says:

    The consistently high standard of these cartoons is ridiculous. Just brilliant!

  14. Morag says:

    Chris's drawing is very detailed.  He reminds me a bit of Thelwell in that respect.

  15. Iain says:

    Off topic, an interesting series of posts on the SNP/Yes campaign strategy in the latest UK Polling Report thread from Peter Cairns (first one below) who I believe is an ex SNP councillor. Also an insight to the rage felt by some Unionists revealed by a SLAB poster Amber Star (sorry about length).

    "Bit of a long post this, but it might be interesting to a few as it’s about campaign strategy. Well I am not worried yet but I am concerned.

    I first heard the general outline of the SNP’s approach to the referendum about two years ago and signed up for it because I thought it was spot on. Based partly on the experience of Quebec where they thought they had gone to early and be out spent and out gunned the broad plan was to take time and to “Learn before you Lecture”. Before you lay out your case you have to find out what the issues and concerns are of the general population and then address them. As part of the strategy you would have to hold your nerve and let the opposition to use a military analogy; “Fire at Long Range”.

    The idea would be that be going at us first intensely the “No” campaign would in a way give away their positions while not doing any real harm, so that by the time of the real battle we would have had time to prepare and know how and where their main advance would be. We fully expected much of what has happened and watching an knowing which of their attacks have and haven’t has salience with the Scottish public let’s us strengthen where we need too and be prepared to counter when needed.

    So given that tv his is partly if not largely what we expected then why am I nervous. Well it could be that I am not good and the holding my nerve bit, holding your ground while they lob shells at you isn’t fun. Another part of it is the worry that even though they are a long way out we are taking hits and moral is suffering. Be it Agincourt or Culloden, you need to avoid breaking and running or charging the enemy, while all the time knowing that even if they do what you want and rush in to your trap the odds are still against you.

    Right now with just under 500 days to go we have taken some hits , to be true worse than I suspected, but we now know very well what to expect and from where and how they intend to come at us. We can now work out our strategy over the summer have an autumn conference and a bill in November with good answers to all the difficult questions.

    But to be honest, knowing how we are going to be attacked and where even if it helps doesn’t mean we can hold and win. You can see a nervousness in parts of the “Yes” camp and I think that is part genuine part that some either didn’t understand this would happen or didn’t think it would hurt like this. I am not one for ascribing characteristics to people’s, but Scots do tend to let their heads go down sometimes. We can’t afford to let that happen now.

    From. “Yes” perspective we have to dig in and hold our ground and in part hope that now we know what to expect our counter arguments are good enough and that months of relentless negativity start to lose their effect…. Your doomed, was funny for a while in Dad’s Army but it wore thin after a while.

    My worry is that we will give to much ground and get to hemmed in the rest of this year and won’t have time to recover our that we will panic and throw the plan aside and rush forward which would be a disaster. Seeing the pols s they are now and for a month or two isn’t fun but it wasn’t as if we weren’t warned more than a year back to be prepared for it.

    So much as “Brave Heart” was a mediocre film filled with historical inaccuracies, right now I am one of those guys with a big long pike waiting for a cavalry charge while arrows fall around me. It isn’t fun being shot at but we just have to take it because the real battle hasn’t even begun yet.


  16. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    Consequences of a No vote:

    Number 1: Food banks across Scotland

  17. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    Consequences of a No vote:

    Number 2: Escalating Child Poverty

  18. Boorach says:

    Brilliant Chris, love the apprehension on Hamish's face.


    I second mrbfaethedee's suggestion for publication.

  19. lumilumi says:

    aww, wee Hamish!


    Can't he grab a branch further up the tree? Somewhere north? I'd hate to see him fall with John Bull.

  20. Morag says:

    The branch you're thinking of is labelled "YES"….

  21. Morag says:

    RevStu, I just got told off on another forum for "hotlinking" to the Hamish cartoon above (the small version), on the grounds that it wasn't "explicitly allowed by the host web site".

    Can you clarify whether a hotlink to an image on WoS is allowed or not?  (I didn't actually realise I'd hotlinked, because I just cut and pasted the thing, but I suppose it must have had that effect.)

  22. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Can you clarify whether a hotlink to an image on WoS is allowed or not?  (I didn’t actually realise I’d hotlinked, because I just cut and pasted the thing, but I suppose it must have had that effect.)”

    It’s not a banning offence or anything, but it’s generally considered a bit rude on the internet, because it sucks up the host’s bandwidth (especially when it’s quite a large pic, as in this case) without generating them any hits. I’m not overly fussed, but if you’re going to just embed a pic somewhere else, it’d be nice if you also included the URL so people could at least have the option to come and see the original. The whole purpose is to attract readers and expose them to our arguments, after all.

  23. Morag says:

    The forum has changed the pic to a link now, so I'll just leave it like that if that's your preference.  In fact I didn't realise that the cut-and-paste routine created a hotlink, I thought it created a local copy.  I was obviously mistaken.

    Is the small version (the one I used) such a big picture, in the grand scheme of things?

    I've already posted a lot of links to here from that forum, so they're not exactly unaware of your existence!

  24. Indion says:


    Iain @ 7:08pm gave us a welcome insight into Peter's all too human concern in it’s being entirely natural at this stage.  The last thing we need is complacency.

    Most importantly, it’s excellent feedback to the overall YES team. They would not be doing what they should by way of getting reports back and observing otherwise how it’s going – the “it” being any task or objective to attain and secure the overall aim – if not maintaining rolling assessment briefs to inform paused for staff and leadership thought about the big picture to validate and re-direct courses of action if needs be*.

    If we, the people don’t ‘report’ what we see and feel up the line, how else can it be validated along with that from others to assess whether it warrants considered additional and/or changed courses of action to attain the singular aim?  And, without getting out and about to find out, where will we get that feedback from?

    Polling by/on behalf of our opponents who have swallowed the lost leading hook to the line of asking the wrong question?

    Or, more accurately – in the light of feedback and reaction all round – the one that has yet to be more fully defined so the electorate recognise their answer.

    The SNP and allied parties will deliver as best they can what the people in Scotland want. How to get them over the Referendum’s winning line is part of that process.

    So is maintaining morale in going forward under fire.  But it is not us who are taking casualties from the persistent scattergun sowing of blank cluster bombs. Witness the reaction to the last 500. We are so inured even I can spell the word now. Our standing fast sets an example to follow.

    They belittle our ambition because it surpasses theirs. They even wish to appear to be taking on the EU to prove to others who want their country back too.

    " First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then we laugh at them, then they lose the heid and lash out when they come to fight you, and then you win." (with apologies to M.K. Gandhi)

    Note [1] Folk should recognise that integrated assessment and re-assessment is an iterative process common to all command, control and reporting loops which link all levels of direction and delegated action.

    What is crucially important is not only that all components and contributors input to it, but also that they all have ready access to such assessments/briefs to inform their own delegated decision making in tasking others and allocating resources as well.

    And all the more so when most folk involved are volunteers from our communities of interest in common cause to provide our society and nation with the optimal autonomy to protect, promote and provide prosperity from providence for our common weal.

  25. Indion says:


    Power outage when in edit.

    end para 2 should be: ' …. if needs be. [1] 

  26. ianbrotherhood says:




    I don't doubt that Yes Scotland (and the SNP in particular) pay close attention to this and other indyref blogs because they also need to see what the 'wild cards' are thinking i.e.independent thinkers/critics who hold wildly varying attitudes on any number of topics, but coalesce around the clear short-term  'single aim'. 


    I guess you could select any dozen of the most regular posters to WoS, and ask them: why they post here?; what kind of 'Scotland' they want to see in five, ten, twenty years time?;  how they would change the strategy if given the chance? etc etc. The answers would be as different as the characters behind the avatars being used.


    Many of the voices here are poll-averse – not because of self-censorship, but because the personal ambitions and ideals are too complex to to snared by conventional polling.


    Example – many of us have been visiting this site for months, and some have been here since day one, but who can say with any certainty what Rev Stu is all about? Despite his constant presence here, I defy anyone to state categorically, precisely why he's doing this. Does he ever have a day off? Has anyone asked him why not? Should we organise a boycott to force him to do so?


    That's why polls are, ultimately, useless – they're no more effective than barometers which give a broad sense of the atmospheric pressure, but no indication whatsoever of what's actually happening on the ground at any given moment.


    We, right here, represent the massive majority who cannot or will not get involved in discussion of any kind, but know when they're being offered a decent deal.


    'Better Together' offers nothing, and the status quo is, well, to put it bluntly? It's shite


    No poll will ever capture that truth – because they never ever ask that question.


    Yes Scotland/SNP can exploit the best minds on the professional PR front, work their fingers to the bone to reach this or that demographic. Good luck to them. But we, here, can also have a powerful influence by acknowledging those who are utterly scunnered with modern life in general, politics in particular, and will vote 'Yes' because they think: nae merr ay this pish? Aye, ah'm up for that.





  27. Stuart Black says:

    Iain said: Also an insight to the rage felt by some Unionists revealed by a SLAB poster Amber Star.


    Yes, she's a caution, that one. Seems very angry indeed. Here's a wee flavour of her CiF approach, this being part of a response to Scott Minto she made a few months ago.


    "I suppose you're saying we should vote for separation then… except the only fiscal policy which I've heard from the SNP is they'll cut corporation tax for the likes of Murdoch. So you can keep it. I'm voting 'no' to separation from my friends & comrades in Manchester, Liverpool & London.

    And I want bands like The Smiths, Clash, Joy Division, Oasis, Gorillaz, Massive Attack to remain part of 'my' culture; I want Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Will Self to be part of my culture; I want all the James Bond movies to be part of my culture (I think we've had all nations + Australia presented as Bond)!

    So, I say 'no' to separation. I like British culture just fine!"


    Always puzzled me this one, can we no listen to The Clash if we vote YES?

  28. Indion says:

    ianbrotherhood inter alia @ 1:22am said:

    “ [We] will vote 'Yes' because they [we] think: nae merr ay this pish? Aye, ah'm up for that. "

    Good Morning and me too, as a social, conservative, liberal and radical (in being rooted) Scot and democrat on my way home 'cos I am up for it too.

    As for Rev Stu, he's got a great shite detector and exposure site going here, and that's not a boat any of us advocating our independence [1] would not wish to be on board rather swimming or sinking from being up to our necks and weighted down by financially induced democratic and economic deficits and debts.

    As I said in response to your midges crack on his "Let's be careful out there" post:

    Empty what is full. Fill what is empty. Scratch what itches.

    In order:

    Buckets full of shite in the mal-administration and mal-investment that condones and tolerates obscene levels of personal wealth at the expense of all but a few in the incredible beliefs that they made it on their own and that it will trickle down in the few know that when all the evidence – with notable exceptions – shows otherwise.

    Buckets full of prosperity all round.

    Scrubbing the meaningless in favour of the meaningful and ditching the parasitic predatory for the truly productive.

    Adam Smith's hidden hand of providence wasn't for trousering by financially bent political and banking wankers.

    BTW, I am not, never have, and never will be a member of any political party – let alone one that's part of the problem – and have stopped voting for the least of all evils in UK General Elections. I do support the SNP in all that it seeks to do and look forward to getting home to re-register my vote and sign and join the YES declaration and campaign to do what I can at the hearts and minds front on the ground.

    I comment here to reinforce and not to detract from the whole.  We let both our selves and each other down only when we fail in critical appraisal.  You didn’t and don’t as far as I know. I try not to also. Seeking or offering encouragement is not censure.

    As for any inference I may have mistakenly made about giving comfort and aid to our opponents, they stopped listening to what they didn’t want to hear long ago.  Had they done so and responded in a meaningful worthwhile way, the SNP would barely exist, let alone have been voted in to minority and now majority government. The last Scotland Act from the hands of Lab and then the ConLibDems reeks of their insincerity. Or – as you put it in being applicable to the Status Quo too – shite

    The UK political system does not give up real power.  It has to be taken, irrevocably.

    [1] Hit the tab to see WoS About Us

  29. Indion says:


    Tsk, poor ending. Better this on reflection:

    " ….. The UK political system does not give up real power it has taken.  In our case too, it will have to be brought to the point of our taking it back, irrevocably.

  30. ianbrotherhood says:




    Uplifting stuff – more power to ye.


    Posted this t'other day but no-one commented on it. Can't help feeling that the absence of Kelman is shameful.


    ‘We are talking about freedom. We exercise freedom. If freedom be denied us we seize it as our right. No one gives us our freedom. We take it. If it is denied us we continue to take it. We have no choice. If it is taken from us and we allow it to be taken from us then we are colluding in our own subjection.’
     James Kelman, from:

  31. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    @Indion @ianbrotherhood

    Fantastic comments, and so glad to be introduced to Kelman. I am so much looking forward to digging into his writings.

    Hail Alba


  32. ianbrotherhood says:




    Kelman has been very effectively airbrushed from MSM 'culture' for the past thirty years or more. He'll surely find a broader audience now whether they like it or not – I can't imagine what the precise circumstances would be, or the potential impact, but they've kept the cork in so long it could be quite a development as and when it happens. BT don't have anyone he wouldn't comfortably wipe the floor with.

  33. Indion says:


    Thanks Amadeus and Ian.

    Kelman's book is now on my buy list!

    Clearly, whoever in Brown’s Labour cabal chose Calman, learned that self-determination belonged to Blair – who was elected having promised to remain in charge for a full term up to the point at which he decided to go to make it so..

     And thus, in turn, Brown too in his regime change without a by our leave. After all, why waste energy, money and time with an election when self-selection is such an easy, cheap and itching to take over solution in getting things done to dither and gather dust over. Doubtless a decision on delegation would have taken even longer.

    Wendy must have known home rule for Gordon meant where he was biding.  

    Still, as long as that unfunny comedienne isn’t from Morningside, she’ll know which one her father is, and that’s all that matters, unless you don’t have one around to learn how love gives to begat not get.

    I mean, who wants a man or woman who can’t say no?

    That parting thought is for the YES campaign to have fun with getting more folk on board nearing 14/02/14!  Or would that not be covered by the play ethic Pat?

  34. Indion says:

    Way to go newsnetscotland @ 9:04pm

    And thanks again Ian, I hadn’t read that either!

    There is no end in trying to stay ahead in catching up.

    So I’m off back to “Bad karma chameleon ” to see if anyone has fessed up to what the “Ditch Tories Save Union” message from the Gordon Brown of North Britain presages to test my wishful thinking to destruction again. 

    And whittle them down to the only one left as a kinda confirmation of my preference, hopefully.  

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