Scottish independence, plus jokes.

Wings Over Scotland


Confused old man speaks

Posted on July 16, 2013 by

Lord George “Devolution will kill nationalism stone dead” Robertson of Port Ellen is among several ennobled former Defence Secretaries who’ve been busying themselves with writing to the press this week. And for once, it’s not about dog dirt and potholes.

As well as being co-signatory with several other Conservative and Labour peers to a letter in the Telegraph urging the UK to commit to a like-for-like replacement of Trident, Robertson also bothered the Herald with a missive aiming to “nail some wild assertions and fallacies about Scottish public opinion on the subject”.

robertsonbush

We could score a cheap point here by noting that the befuddled pensioner apparently thinks the SNP secured 45% of the vote “in the 2010 General Election” – rather than in the Holyrood one the following year – but instead we’ll point out the ermine-clad statesman’s rather more serious attempt to mislead.

Robertson draws attention to a recent poll conducted by another of his titled chums, Tory peer Lord Ashcroft, but for some reason elects to present its conclusions in an inexplicably selective and misleading manner. For example, of the Scottish voters polled he asserts that:

“Only one-third (34%) said the UK should give up nuclear weapons completely.”

Yet that figure comes from a caveated question later on in the poll. Lord Ashcroft’s survey, the full results of which can be seen here, starts off by asking a much simpler and more direct question on the subject of nuclear armament:

In principle, do you support or oppose the UK having nuclear weapons?

OPPOSE: 48%
SUPPORT: 37%
DON’T KNOW: 15%

Let’s just repeat that: only 37% of Scots support the UK having nuclear weapons.

The 34% opposition figure quoted by Lord Robertson comes from the next question, which offers a range of options for a decision to be made in almost 20 years’ time, when the existing Trident system will become obsolete. The 34% in favour of scrapping it is in fact the most popular option.

Lord Robertson’s preferred choice, the replacement of Trident with an equally powerful system (“We firmly believe that we should not water down the strategic deterrent”), is backed by just 20% of respondents. Another 31% support a completely theoretical cheaper and less powerful nuclear armoury about which no details were offered.

The implication of the line in the good Lord’s letter to the Herald, of course, is that two-thirds of Scots want to see the UK retain nuclear missiles. The reality, even on his own highly selective parameters, is that the slimmest possible majority – 51% – supported that idea in an extremely abstract sense, and dependent on the existence of an unknown and possibly illusory alternative two decades into the future.

Further on, Lord Ashcroft muddies the waters still further by asking Scots what their view would be in the event that Scotland was independent. At that point the picture changes radically, with 50% in favour of expelling the weapons from the new nation and only 35% wishing them to remain, presumably in some sort of annexed UK sovereign enclave – the same option which was hotly and strenously rejected by Downing Street this very week as “not a credible or sensible idea”.

(Robertson then embarrassingly cited a UK-wide survey with a tiny Scottish sub-sample, but curiously chose to omit a TNS-BMRM poll from this March which found an overwhelming four-to-one margin against replacement.)

We doubt many people are fooled by Lord Robertson’s clumsy attempts at manipulating information – or indeed pay any attention to anything he says at all, given his track record of perceptive political insight. But it seemed worth painting back in the elements of the picture he’d left out.

In his memoirs, Tony Blair revealed the truth of Westminster thinking about the UK’s nuclear “deterrent”. The book noted that “The expense is huge and the utility non-existent in terms of military use”, but the former PM admitted that he’d shied away from disarmament for purely political reasons, deeming it “too big a downgrading of our status as a nation”.

It’s remarkable that with the cat so long out of the bag and the horse so far bolted from the stable, Unionist politicians are still trying to sell the absurd notion that Trident plays any part in the UK or Scotland’s safety (“we should not take risks with our security by downgrading to a part-time deterrent”). In that context, crudely twisting a few poll figures is the least of the deceit.

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115 to “Confused old man speaks”

  1. Desimond says:

    Downgrade?…and lose our tea and biscuits on the Security Council…NEVER!

  2. Craig Munro says:

    Lord Robertson of Port Ellen

  3. I hated Cruise missiles, Polaris and I hate Trident – get them off Scottish territory and for the safety of Scots stuck with the things in Faslane, & the whole UK dismantle and disarm. They are a vanity weapon to boost UK profile in the UN and international community – a big stick. they don’t deter, they will never be used, they are under US control not independent to UK – get rid – aaargh!  #implodes

  4. BillDunblane says:

    Wee George is one of Dunblane’s residents we’re not so happy to shout about.
    A complete fool.

  5. Pronouncements from Trident-supporting politicians resemble spam e-mails for penis enlargement so much that perhaps ‘Son of Trident’ should be renamed Priapus.

  6. scottish_skier says:

    TNS-BMRM
    I HAVE NO IDEA WHO THIS POLLING COMPANY IS.
    <innocent_whistling_smiley>
    Other than that, bang on polls-wise.

  7. bawheid bragg says:

    Haud oan…were Labour not anti-nuke…once upon a time?

  8. Angus McLellan says:

    Not sure about the Security Council claims Desimond. Here’s Professor Walker talking to the Davidson Committee:
    /begin/
    [Q1448] …
    But a point made to me by a Brazilian Government diplomat and others from this kind of community is that, if the UK decided to give up its nuclear weapons, it would probably do more to secure its position as a permanent member. Seriously, many countries in the world would love to see a permanent member of the UN Security Council that did not have nuclear weapons. They would also very much welcome the idea of the UK taking the lead in promoting nuclear disarmament-not just a lot of rhetoric and admittedly some very good work with the Norwegians and others in preparing the ground for nuclear disarmament.
    All I am saying is that, internationally, the community of states out there would be very divided on this, and you might find that a lot of them are very sympathetic to the Scots and unsympathetic to the British Government, particularly if they tried to coerce the Scots into accepting what they don’t want.
    /end/

    So there you go.

  9. benarmine says:

    Rev, I was going to urge you to post again quickly to move the sight of m’Lord’s puss further down the page as it upsets my constitution ( an unwritten one by the way ). Now you go and show another one…  He really is a regrettable individual.

  10. Embradon says:

    Hey – less of this “befuddled pensioner” ageism!
    George (now Lord of Port Ellen) was a couple of years ahead of me in school when, unless my fading old memory fails me, he was a firebrand left winger and orator AGAINST the presence of the US Navy Polaris base in the Holy Loch.
    I dare say there are quite a lot of pieces of silver attached to the Head Honcho’s job at NATO (not to mention the ermine retirement package).

    I saw him just recently and was struck by how well he looked cf the photo with Bush.
    Grecian 2000 or has he not been supping with a long enough spoon?
     
     

  11. Hairy Beastie. says:

     “The expense is huge and the utility non-existent in terms of military use”, but the former PM admitted that he’d shied away from disarmament for purely political reasons, deeming it “too big a downgrading of our status as a nation.”
     
    I could have told you the former… and pretty much everyone else knows the truth of the latter statement anyway. It’s all about looking like the big man, having nuclear weapons. It’s the international equivalent of the wee ned getting towed along the road by a Rottweiler.

    Wha daur meddle wi me? An eternally unspoken threat that hitting me will end up hurting you a lot more than it hurts me. Pathetic, really.

  12. Jeannie says:

    “Confused Old Man Speaks” – oh it’s about George Robertson?  I just assumed it was about Eddie McGuire from the Whistlebinkies on Newsnight Scotland last night.

  13. Murray McCallum says:

    Clearly facts are irrelevant in George’s life which maybe explains why he got so far up the slimy pole with honours attached.
    Don’t most Scots instinctively know that, on the whole, we don’t want nukes on our land?  Hopefully this type of intervention will yet again lead to ridicule.

  14. Desimond says:

    Angus McLellan – Fair point and if only someone from the UK War Machine MP Club could listen to it.

  15. Chalks says:

    Same guy that gave a recommendation for Thomas Hamilton to own a gun isn’t he?

  16. HandandShrimp says:

    Isn’t there somewhere he has to bomb? Why is he wasting our time on this sort of thing.

  17. Max says:

     
    Some say that Robertson is wedded to Trident, I would say he should be welded to it instead. 

  18. Jiggsbro says:

    Same guy that gave a recommendation for Thomas Hamilton to own a gun isn’t he?
     
    No. And he successfully sued the Herald for publishing on-line comments that said he did, so perhaps best not to repeat that common misconception.

  19. Desimond says:

    NATO / OTAN….now i know what NATO stands for, but OTAN…anyone think of a few acronyms there!

  20. Macart says:

    Or he could just be honest and say that Washington has told us it doesn’t wan’t to lose its only fleet carrier/ongoing payday in Europe. Basically that’s all we are to the folk on the hill, a stationary flat top with a service contract.
     
    Personally I could care less what the rUK does with its toys of mass destruction once they’ve been booted across the border. If they’re smart though, they’ll use this opportunity to chuck the damn things altogether.

  21. Jiggsbro says:

    OTAN
     
    It’s French for NATO. 

  22. Macart says:

    @Desimond
     
    Trident replacement?  NO TA!

  23. handclapping says:

    Yes keep Trident and scrap the Army. Then when terrorists take over London we can nuke it! Way to go George :)

  24. Jiggsbro says:

    If they’re smart though, they’ll use this opportunity to chuck the damn things altogether.
     
    Are you mad? We have literally NO IDEA what threats we will face in 30 years time. Therefore, the only rational response is to bet an obscenely large amount of money that we’ll face a threat that can only be deterred by nuclear weapons. Of course, we have literally NO IDEA what that threat might be, which only proves how dangerous it is. Or could be, if it ever existed.

  25. Kenny Campbell says:

    OTAN is backwardese for NATO

  26. MajorBloodnok says:

    OTAN
     
    Y también español.

  27. Macart says:

    @Jiggsbro
     
    LOL :D
     
    Aye we’ll regret it when we see the shadow of that mothership hover over George Square in 2020.

  28. scottish_skier says:

    OTAN is how Yoda says it.

    help you I will…

  29. Dcanmore says:

    Yeah George ‘Bomber’ Robertson used to campaign on an anti-nuke ticket until of course he got a sniff Establishment power. Oppose everything your opponent supports until you get into office and then don’t change a thing. Apparently that Labour mantra only applies in Scotland these days. These muppets don’t believe in democracy, hence their bee line to the Lords once they became unelectable, and they certainly don’t believe in democracy within Scotland that’s for sure.

  30. handclapping says:

    Organisation du traité de l’Atlantique Nord (OTAN)

  31. Craig P says:

    George Robertson – a man whose main talent these days seems to be taking offence from ‘cybernats’, if his column in Scottish Review is anything to go by. I am sure this article will be added to his scrapbook against which he fulminates ‘I shall not give in to their bullying and intimidation’ (or words to that effect, as if he is some kind of crusader for justice rather than one of the most priviledged men in the world), before coming out with some more pompous prickery about the need for WMDs, top tables, and how Scotland is shite.
     

  32. scottish_skier says:

    Organisation du traité de l’Atlantique Nord (OTAN)

    Aye, as Mrs SS calls it. They drive on the right hand side of the road too. Damn foreigners, just always have to do the opposite of the British. I’m sure it’s a wind up.

    ;-)

  33. Luigi says:

    GR is a classic example of your Labour over-achiever.  For someone so unappealling, of obvious limited ability, and prone to very stupid comments, he somehow managed to rise very high without trace.  Must have been a real yes man.  Perhaps that’s why so many doughnuts join the Labour party – it’s their only chance to make it.

  34. Andy-B says:

    I see a war of words has broken out between Danny (Beaker) Alexander, and Phil Hammond, Defence Secretary, Hammond want to push ahead with the £20 Billion spend on renewing Trident whilst Beaker..oops! sorrry Alexander has proposed cutting the nuclear Trident sub fleet in half, or even possibly sending the subs out to sea..nuclear free..Hammond said..” Its reckless to adopt a part time deterrent”…..(source Daily Record).

  35. Jeannie says:

    For George Robertson – this applies to you on so many levels.  Listen to the words.  And appreciate that this is what really talented people sing for political giants.  I cannot imagine what song they’d come up with for you.
     

  36. Gordon Bain says:

    It really IS NATO in French! Who knew?

  37. @Gordon Bain
     
    The French?

  38. annie says:

    Apparently James Naughtie of radio 4 today programme is to head up BBC referendum team.  He was accused of being impartial when prior to 2005 general election he began a question to Ed Balls “if we win the election” so I suppose its business as usual at the BBC.

  39. Andy-B says:

    O/T but deliciously interesting is… that Alex Salmond will today compare the unionists to Vampires…saying..”Their claims disintergrate as soon as they see the light of day”….these words will or have already been spoken at a speech on the Isle of Man today by the First Minister…..Salmond, also said he will dubbed, the UK Better Together Group….”Project Dracula”…..in hindsight Alistair Darling is indeed a bit pale in colour…and reminds me of Christopher Lee….now where did I leave the garlic…Ah their it is………(source Daily Record)

  40. G. Campbell says:

    FFS FFS FFS!

    “Presenter James Naughtie is to play a key role in the BBC’s coverage of the Scottish independence referendum. He will present the Good Morning Scotland radio programme on Radio Scotland two days a week beginning in the autumn.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-23330151

    Still, at least Gerry Hassan will be pleased.

    “A London-based Scotsman coming up with his doom-laden mentality, speaking to some poor workers losing their jobs, some old unionist chums, and not one nationalist with a small ‘n’ or capital ‘N’ perspective.”

    “Apparently, by the time you read this, more of this London-centric drivel will have been broadcast, always more effectively delivered by a Scot.”

    http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/gerry-hassan/some-thoughts-on-james-naughtie’s-sunshine-on-scotland

  41. handclapping says:

    @Gordon Bain
    Handclapping, thats who! :))
     
    @Rev
    O/T the SoS figures for their Royal Mail 14/07/13 “poll” are worth noting for normality vis a vis next time there’s a BT not nasty enough “poll”

  42. Andy-B says:

    I see Whitehall big wig Bernard Gray (Chief of Defence materials)….is determined to close, the UK’s Codification Bureau, which is based in Glasgow and handles much of NATO’s catalogues for defence equipment, Gray is insisting the work must be moved to Bristol, with the excuse that “A Geographically dispersed workfoce, would not ensure coherent working practices and outcomes”..A possible 1300 jobs will be lost in the process..(Source Daily Record).

  43. Atypical_Scot says:

    Lets assume the Trident base is moved at/after independence. Who/how is the movement of the submarines monitored in Scottish waters? 

  44. scottish_skier says:

    OT, but good news.
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/bbc-scotland-gets-backing-from-less-than-half-of-scots.1373980990
    BBC Scotland gets backing from less than half of Scots
    Less than half of all Scots believe the BBC is good at representing their life in its coverage of news and current affairs.
    Just 48% of people in Scotland believe the corporation does well at this – the lowest proportion of any of the countries in the UK.
    “The [BBC Audience] council believes the BBC should be more accurate in reporting how the UK is governed, more searching in comparing public policy in the different nations and should achieve a better balance in reporting Scottish and non-Scottish news for audiences in Scotland.”
    And from a report by the BBC itself, albeit it somewhat at arms length…
    I wonder what an independent poll would find.
     

  45. handclapping says:

    @AndyB
    And there I was thinking that our Ministry of Offence would be just the people to have worked out how to ensure that a geographically disperced armed force could manage coherent working practices and outcomes. Whitehall and Westminster not even up to the task in respect of the entity they consider “their” country, again.

  46. Macart says:

    @skier
     
    Oh dang. They’ll feel that slap right down to their boots.
     
    I believe that’s what’s known as a ‘right facer’.

  47. Andy-B says:

    @Handclapping
     
     
    It looks like their preparing to pull out of Scotland or at the very least, deny Scots MoD jobs….the mask slips yet again.

  48. Murray McCallum says:

    @scottish_skier
    Just 48% of people in Scotland believe the corporation does well at this – the lowest proportion of any of the countries in the UK.
     
    As the Westminster government love market-based incentives why not link the BBC license fee to this?  Scottish license fee reduced by 52%.  That is a reasonable starting point at least.

  49. Embradon says:

    Who/how is the movement of the submarines monitored in Scottish waters?
    Using the Nimrods at Kinloss… oh, wait..

  50. Andy-B says:

    O/T again I do apolgise..
     
    The BBC internal complaints department has refused to look into allegations, that the corporation deliberately employed, a news blackout, of comments made by European Minister Lucinda Creighton, after she clarified her stance of the EU membership of an independent Scotland.
     
    Citing a technicality in the way the complaint was drafted, The BBC’s Editorial complaints Unit, has refused to investigate claims the BBC were guilty of selective reporting….my my who’d have believed the BBC would be so one sided in their reporting…Errrm!…EVERYONE!

  51. Onzebill says:

    @Scottish Skier
    What was this??
    TNS-BMRM
    I HAVE NO IDEA WHO THIS POLLING COMPANY IS.
    < innocent_whistling_smiley>
    Other than that, bang on polls-wise.
     

  52. Atypical_Scot says:

    @Embadon;
    It’s plane to see we have a problem.
     
    Trident sub bumps into offshore wind turbine with a ‘Vengeance’.

  53. scottish_skier says:

    Onzebill says:
    What was this??
    TNS-BMRM

    The Rev will ken. Let’s call it proof reading.

    http://www.tns-bmrb.co.uk

    ;-)

  54. Jiggsbro says:

    Less than half of all Scots believe the BBC is good at representing their life in its coverage of news and current affairs.
     
    I don’t want my life represented in news and current affairs. Unless it’s because I’ve won the Euromillions.

  55. Linda's Back says:

    James Naughtie wouldn’t need any briefings from London Labour before assuming his role as the London State Broadcaster’s representative in Scotland.
    Shortly before the 2005 General Election James Naughtie started interview with Labour politician Ed Balls  “If we win the election…”, which led to criticism that he was not neutral as required of BBC political journalists.
    It doesn’t say much for the remaining Scottish based BBC presenters that they are dispensable as soon as something important comes along such as saving the Union.
    Yet the vast majority of BBC reporters /interviewers are still wedding to the idea that the UK is best.

  56. Dcanmore says:

    “Over promoted in Labour … rose without trace.”
     
    I’m pretty sure that George Robertson won the position of “General Secretary of NATO” in a raffle.

  57. Jeannie says:

    @Linda’s Back
     
    “London State Broadcaster’s representative in Scotland”
     
    What a great title for him – I think we should stick with that.

  58. Max says:

    OFFICIAL – Scots don’t trust the BBC to report the news and currents affairs.
     
    We were right after all. 

  59. Rod Mac says:

    Setting aside for a minute the obscenity that are WMD.
    In Uk circumstance ,let us for arguments sake say Russia suddenly  again becomes a problem and god forbid we go to war and it is a nuke war.
    If UK could (which it cant) get all its subs and all its nukes in the water and fired them at Russia /China whoever it would take out an obscene amount of people some estimates around 5 miilion.
    In WW11 Russia/Soviet Union lost 20 million souls .China has a population of over 1 billion.
    Taking out 5 million will make little impact in the overall scheme of things.
    Now what is left of Russia or China or whoever fires back  bye bye UK and all the 62 million on it.
    If we are to have WMD the only point is to have as many as can take out your enemies completely .
    so in so many ways WMD are a waste of time, if you must have Nuclear weapons there are other types and delivery mechanisms that would still let the Little Brits have their nuclear erections that would be far more cost effective and easier to store ,hide from the enemy and upgrade at anytime.

  60. Jamie Arriere says:

    Eh, I’m getting confused here?
     
    The job applications highlighted by HoraceSaysYes are open for applications up July26th/Aug3rd. I take it James Naughtie is not getting the main Editor’s job as it is still open for applications? Will that new editor be reporting to him? So that new editor will be an ‘ambassador for the BBC’ but still reporting to Naughtie? What about Boothman?
     
    Interesting some of the ‘duties’ in the job description:
     
    To ensure a high level of fast, accurate, engaging and fair journalism across our Referendum coverage.
     
    Be influential in shaping and developing the BBC’s news agenda across the Referendum period.
     

    To help the team generate stories and encourage creative story treatments.

     

    Be influential? BBC’s news agenda? Generate stories? Creative treatments?
     
    Hmmmmmmmm

  61. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    ““Confused Old Man Speaks” – oh it’s about George Robertson? I just assumed it was about Eddie McGuire from the Whistlebinkies on Newsnight Scotland last night.”

    Heh. I was going to make that joke in the first line but decided I didn’t want to add “ageist” to the list of all my other terrible “isms” according to certain people.

  62. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I could have told you the former… and pretty much everyone else knows the truth of the latter statement anyway.”

    WE all knew it, but to have Blair actually admit it in writing was fairly extraordinary, and doubly so in the context of people still blithely trying to use the “security” argument now.

  63. Luigi says:

    Max,
    The BBC has lost much of it’s power to persuade.  A number of sickening events over the past two years have convinced many people that the corporation is rotten to the core.  Increasing numbers of people no longer give the BBC the benefit of the doubt.

  64. Luigi says:

    I’m pretty sure that George Robertson won the position of “General Secretary of NATO” in a raffle.
    A political appointment, if ever there was one.  it certainly wasn’t on merit.

  65. G. Campbell says:

    FFS.

    “A shamelessly patriotic new BBC1 Saturday night quiz show called I Love My Country is not a prime-time advertisement for Ukip, its star contestants have insisted.”

    “The audience is whipped up into a patriotic fervor and Mrs Logan signs off the show saying ‘They all love their country and so do I.'”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/its-not-a-ukip-advert-stars-back-bbcs-patriotic-show-i-love-my-country-8709615.html

    “Gabby Logan”

    “Micky Flanagan”

    “Laurence Llewellyn Bowen”

    FFS.

  66. NorthBrit says:

    I am astonished that the innocuous Naughtie should have been selected by the BBC at the same time that Tom English is demonstrating his superior skills on Twitter.
     
    Perhaps his apparent inability to comprehend the difference between “British” and “Welsh” outweighed his self evident charm, impartiality and possession of an appropriate surname.

  67. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Scottish Skier
     
    16 July, 2013 at 3:02 pm
     

    This survey would have been carried out last year?
    I wonder what the figures would be this year?

  68. Desimond says:

    That TV show sounds like a bad joke!
    A Londoner, a Brummie and a Yorkshire\Welshwoman walk into a BBC bar, and say KERCHING!

  69. MajorBloodnok says:

    I’m sure there will be absoutely no jokes at the expense of British/Celtic regional stereotypes.  Oh, and I hope they get Susan Calman on. She’s a laugh.

  70. ianbrotherhood says:

    Menzies ‘Yes, I’m Still Here’ Campbell is on Radio Scotland, bumping his gums about Trident, SNP, Nato etc, trotting out 400-word sentences, sounding every bit as important as he’s ever been.
     
    One of the great tragedies of the Con/Lib coalition is that it gives the BBC an excuse to continue parading these living fossils. 
     
    (If you didn’t hear it, please don’t expect to read it anywhere – no-one could reasonably be expected to transcribe such masturbatory drivel.)

  71. Jiggsbro says:

    A shamelessly patriotic new BBC1 Saturday night quiz show called I Love My Country
     
    Sounds like the sort of poisonous nationalism we can do without. It’s typical of Salmond to try to distort the BBC’s output to reflect his odious brand of…the UK, you say? Oh. excellent, exactly the sort of patriotic, feel-good factor the country needs! 

  72. AlexMcI says:

    @ Ianbrotherhood, I was unlucky enough to hear that, if you understood whit that man was slevering about could you please give us the short version, for us who have not been lucky enough to be in possession of a babel fish.

  73. handclapping says:

    Forget the moral case, lets talk money.
    Thanks to GO we’re into austerity. Already Trident costs x% of a budget that is being cut such that our new carriers have no planes, the RAF is rationing training flights and the Army is being cut. So where do we go from here, further rundowns of our forces capabilities while Trident like some NHS PFI takes more (2x) and more (4x) of the buget till we get to the point when some bunch of foreigners ( the English, Welsh or Ulstermen? ) can tie a knot in the Imperial Lion’s tail and all they can do is say stop it or we’ll nuke you?
    If this damn stupidity goes ahead, I would give about as much for the chances of the Falkland Islanders as for those from Diego Garcia. Think about that Lord George.

  74. CameronB says:

    George and Bungle
    The General Secretary of NATO and his boss. Does that not scare the living crap out off you?

    Of course, now we have the Dane, Anders Fogh Rasmusse, who strongly supported the invasion of Iraq, and of course President O-bomber.

    http://www.livingunderdrones.org/

  75. Jamie Arriere says:

    I apologise for really lowering the tone (but the BBC are inexorably leading us there), but the day that they screen ‘The Greatest British W*nk Off’ where contestants do the deed to the accompaniment of Rule Britannia, seems to be drawing closer!

  76. ianbrotherhood says:

    @AlexMcl-
     
    Listening to Campbell, for me, is very similar to taking too much Solpadol – I’m aware that my body is processing something unwelcome, but I can’t even be bothered trying to identify what it is, or remember why I felt moved to take it in the first place.
     
    And, to answer your question – no, I haven’t the faintest idea what he was on about.

  77. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    He wouldn’t have been given the job if he was not prepared to do so.
     
    He is quite an intelligent approachable man and his real desire was Barosso’s job but, they wanted a Southern European.
     
    I would back him to try again for Barosso’s position when he quits , just before 2014 referendum.
     
    I would wager he would be very receptive of Scotland in the EU.

  78. Dal Riata says:

    From that Independent article re the ‘I Love My Country’ show:
     
    “During the opening episode, the teams have to identify Peterborough on a map of the UK using a Yorkshire pudding.
     
    Another round “celebrates the British traditions and past-times that make us what we are” – although in this case the activity is Brazilian samba dancing.
     
    The audience is whipped up into a patriotic fervor and Mrs Logan signs off the show saying “They all love their country and so do I.””
     
    Sometimes, just sometimes, there are no words.
     
     
     

  79. Jeannie says:

    @ian brotherhood
     
    I heard the interview with Ming Campbell.  It was just awful.  I was just waiting for him to shout, “Nurse!”  Essentially he was saying that Danny Alexander’s report was in-depth and well-researched.  He also trotted out the old canard that Nato might not let Scotland join if we vote for independence.  You know, he really should check out a map of the North Atlantic.  Given Scotland’s position, I would think that Nato would be bending over backwards to ensure that Scotland is a member.

  80. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    It’s a Knock-Out II, without Stuart Hall, I hope.

  81. lumilumi says:

    O/T but is the next scare story brewing?
     
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-23331456
     
    Google Maps has wiped out Jura. Cue BT screeching the whole of Scotland might be wiped out from Google Maps if it dares to separate!
    :-D

  82. Morag says:

    Well, the EU wiped out the whole of Wales once, if I recall correctly.

  83. MajorBloodnok says:

    @lumilumi
    Maybe the MOD has jumped the gun and annexed that bit of Scotland already.

  84. CameronB says:

    10 no 11 Places You’re Not Allowed to See on Google Maps
     
    http://mashable.com/2012/03/20/google-maps-censored/

    Wooooooooooooo. :)

  85. J. R. Tomlin says:

    But, Desimond, the Security Council serves GOOD tea and biscuits. Have to hang onto that even if it costs billions the UK doesn’t have!

  86. ianbrotherhood says:

    Did anyone see George Robertson in his recent House of Lords appearance?
     
    I can’t remember what he was on about (apart from the ubiquitous and unnecessary reminder that he’s the ex Sec Gen of Nato) but the change in his face was quite extraordinary. Perhaps he’s had false teeth installed, but the change seemed more radical somehow…
     
    He reminded me of Burt Reynolds sans moustache.
     
    Seriously.

  87. lumilumi says:

    CameronB @7.46pm
     
    One of the places we’re not allowed to see is Mike Russell’s house in Cowal. A year or two ago I was virtually travelling along a road there for another reason and one house was blurred, and some other gen lead me to realise it was Mike Russell’s house. :-D

  88. lumilumi says:

    @MajorB
     
    Does Jura have suitable deep water ports? Suitable old rock for storage? Is this a fait accompli?

  89. velofello says:

    Trident – Bronze Age stuff. Seems some organisation using cyberwar technology were able to take control of Iranian nuclear refining(?) centrifuges and so cause them to self-destruct! 
    And then we have the DRONES flying in our skies- the UK has them. Sitting in front of a computer monitor “one” can zap an enemy facility from the comfort of “ones” office by the pressing of a button. So submarine drones do seem the way to go buddy.
     

  90. lumilumi says:

    @velofello
     
    Didn’t the third in line for the throne (for now, before the royal sprog is born) say that war in Afghanistan is like a video game?
     
    I remember when the illegal Gulf War kicked off. Finnish TV showed US footage of their bombing of Baghdad and on the soundtrack an US air force guy seeing it from a bomber went “Oh, wow, it’s beautiful, all lit up like a Christmas tree!”
     
    I felt so sick I almost trew up.

  91. CameronB says:

    Seems some organisation using cyberwar technology were able to take control of Iranian nuclear refining(?) centrifuges and so cause them to self-destruct!

    Did you mean our senior partner in NATO?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/world/middleeast/obama-ordered-wave-of-cyberattacks-against-iran.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  92. CameronB says:

    Re. the Stuxnets virus. The US and Israel do seem to be holding a smoking gun.
    http://defensetech.org/2011/01/20/more-clues-to-stuxnets-origin/

  93. Jeannie says:

    @Cameron B
     
    Funnily enough, there was something on Radio 4 yesterday around 6pm about that very thing.  Somebody was talking about this happening and in revenge the Iranians allegedly wiped out the hard drives of some 30,000 computers of a large middle-east company which I think was called Saudi-Iran (I couldn’t quite make it out properly).  What was being implied in the programme was that Iran or someone else was trying to send a clear message to Western powers, but especially the United States that they had the power to wipe the computers of the banking system in the west and bring about total chaos.  In other words, “back off or else”.

  94. scottish_skier says:

    I think was called Saudi-Iran

    Might that be Saudi-Aramco? Boy did they have some serious computer problems. For weeks we had to send them stuff to home addresses etc just to be sure.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/24/hacking-group-claims-massive-saudi-aramco-attack_n_1826910.html

    Of course made no significant dent in oil production as production systems are not heavily reliant on computer networks/the web; can be run fine without as they have there own basic systems. More of a mild inconvenience than anything that episode.

  95. Jeannie says:

    @scottish skier
    Saudi-Aramco – that was it.  Just checked the TV guide and it looks as though it must have been part of the six o’clock news or possibly PM at five o’clock.  I was in the car at the time and not sure of the time, but it might be available still on i-player.

  96. AlexMcI says:

    @lumilumi  don’t think I would fancy trying to take a submarine through coryvreckan straits.

  97. velofello says:

    Give a man a uniform: We humans do seem to have a capacity to act inhumanely.or, if you prefer, to cheat.
    Centuries ago, in my studies, we were told of experiments where participants were given, lets call it a pain dial, whereby the participant could observe the pain inflicted on his victim as he screwed up the pain dial. The victim was faking of course but the willingness of the participant to inflict pain on behalf of authority was no fake.
    And so it seems there will be spotty youths willing to sit before a computer screen and impartially zap the “enemy” but in reality not like the video games they played as kids.
    In video games you score points, in reality actions what is the gain?
    in cricket the English media are justifying a Mr Broad’s unwillingness to “walk” as he was caught “out’ as the right thing to do, meaning cheating is justifiable as a means to an end.
    To the end of winning the game? what game?
     

  98. lumilumi says:

    O/T, and sorry to go on…
     
    I happened to live in the US in the late 1980s when there was that stooshie between the US and Libya, Gulf of Sidra, and the US bombed Libya. The news came back that Muammar Gaddafi’s daughter had been killed in the bombing, and my American school friends fist pumped and went yesss!
     
    I felt sick, and tried to say, are you really glad that a child has died? Some of my friends were a bit embarassed but then went, but they’re the enemy… Most didn’t get my point.
     
    It was scary to live in a country that sees itself as the God-ordained only best country in the world, destined to lead the world. They think it’s incumbent on them to be the world police and make all the countries like theirs. And they don’t see how undemocratic their own country is, or how wrong their system of political power/money/corporate interests is.
     
    Anyway, I’m a bird of ill omen. I lived in the US when Ronald Reagan was shot at, I lived in Australia and was right there in Darling Harbour during Australia Day celebrations when Prince Charles was “shot at” (start gun, not an actual firearm). Hmm. Where should I go next? :-D

  99. velofello says:

    Jeannie; why on earth were you listening to Radio 4? i had you imagined as a Marian Faithful type burd! Oh well.

  100. lumilumi says:

    @alexMcI 9.59
     
    Hmmm… There’s a thought.
     
    Steer all Trident subs to Corryvreckan and they’ll disappear down the vortex never to be seen again. Nuke problem solved! :-D

  101. Jeannie says:

    @velofello – I was waiting for “I’m sorry I haven’t a clue”.  It’s a great laugh.
     And am I like Marianne Faithfull?  Well, I do admit to a liking for Mars Bars, but I’m defo a much better singer than her (though, admittedly, that’s not saying much) :)

  102. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Lumilumi-
     
    I daresay you’ve already seen it – all of it – but here’s a wee snippet of Team America, for the uninitiated:
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIPSvIz9NDs

  103. lumilumi says:

    velofello @ 10.03pm
     
    As to Stuart Broad’s not walking… He wasn’t playing the old English gentleman’s cricket, he was playing modern, international, competetive cricket, just as everybody else. It’s the Ashes, FFS!
     
    The Aussies have long had a team policy of “never walk”, and they never do.
     
    The Aussies wasted their reviews, England kept theirs for crucial moments. That said, it was a bit of a let down that the nail-biter of an Ashes test match was decided on a slight touch on the bat after a review.
     
    I first became properly introduced to cricket when I lived in Australia, and I absolutely love test cricket, it’s so complicated and unpredictable and dramatic. The Ashes is a legend, the most important thing to England and Australia.
     
    I’m having cricket fan friends (very rare in Finland) over on Saturday, third day of the second Ashes test. I can get online radio commentary & scorecard, and we can talk about how none of us understand lbw. :-D

  104. AlexMcI says:

    @lumilumi 
    @alexMcI 9.59
     
    Hmmm… There’s a thought.
     
    Steer all Trident subs to Corryvreckan and they’ll disappear down the vortex never to be seen again. Nuke problem solved! 
     
    That would do it, although I don’t know what the good people of Port Askaig would have to say about it. its a beautiful part of the country, and I can trace my family back to there from the early 1700s. If you have spare time I would recommend walking from port askaig over the hills to the west coast of the island. Lots of natural caves you can camp in and thousands of deer. There’s no roads to get there. Foot patrol or boats the only way . But the whelk picking is very rich. Oh and take a  bottle of Bunnahabbain with you.

  105. lumilumi says:

    @AlexMcI
     
    I’ve actually walked in those parts, and it is indeed beautiful. :-)
     
    And I’d never want to foist nuclear wrecks on the good poeple of Port Askaig, I was more thinking of them disappearing down Corrywreckan to some other alternative universe, never to be seen in this world again. Well, one can hope, aye? :-)

  106. AlexMcI says:

    @ lumilumi yes in a perfect world eh.

  107. john king says:

    I remember back in about 1983 I was sent to Brussels to do a small job in a NATO  building there, only a few days work, but when I got there the materials for the job (which were sent over from Luton before my arrival) wernt there, after some investigation it was discovered that the dutch authorities had impounded them on the Dutch Belgian border because duty hadn’t been paid on them or something, but because they were for NATO they were exempt from duty,    
    at which the high heid yin in the buidling got involved, a very nice gentleman from Denmark or Norway I can remember where, but because my small part in this project was crucial to the completion of the work he decided he take a van from the motor pool and drive me up to the Dutch border and get the authorities to release the stuff, 
    so there we are driving along in a NATO on one side OTAN on the other van feeling quite important and the guy strikes up a conversation about where I come from, and when I said Scotland he looked at me and said “I know that “but specifically where in Scotland? when I told him I was from  a small town he wouldn’t have heard of called Lochgelly he replied “actually I know it well and it was your dialect that made me ask because I recognised it from the time I spent working on the golfball in Kinross , and I stayed in the commercial hotel in Cowdenbeath, you could have knocked me down with a feather,
    by the time we got back to Brussels  I had made firm friends with a bone fide real deal spy

    the rest of that conversation is confidential ,if I tell you I’ll have to kill you

  108. john king says:

    lumilumi says 
    “One of the places we’re not allowed to see is Mike Russell’s house in Cowal. A year or two ago I was virtually travelling along a road there for another reason and one house was blurred, and some other gen lead me to realise it was Mike Russell’s house.” 

    ha ha ha ha 
     
    Billy Connoly had an answer for that, 
    a prescription windscreen
    only problem was that everyone thought you had a giant heed :)
     
      

  109. john king says:

    “Does Jura have suitable deep water ports? Suitable old rock for storage? Is this a fait accompli?”
      
     
    what? you mean? 
    take it off the maps and everyone will forget its there?
    cunning but devilishly clever

  110. john king says:

    lumilumi says
    ” Hmm. Where should I go next?” 
     
    Dunno but GCHQ are most certainly watching you now if the wernt watching you before 
     ahem :)
      

  111. john king says:

    “And am I like Marianne Faithfull?  Well, I do admit to a liking for Mars Bars, but I’m defo a much better singer than her (though, admittedly, that’s not saying much)” 
     
    Have you noticed how much smaller mars bars are today? cough cough

    I even heard Mick Jagger complaining about it the other day :)
     
      

  112. Chalks says:

    Jiggsbro, see how there is ? next to my comment….your allowed to ask questions without being sued, you’ve also cleared the issue up so why would he sue?

  113. Shinty says:

    @Chalks
    Conveniently for some the Cullen enquiry into the Dunblane Massacre is just another big secret to be kept hidden for 100 years –  ‘to protect the children’ you understand.
    I agree – ‘definitely shite’. – that’s 21st Century democracy for you.
     

  114. Jeannie says:

    @John King
    Have you noticed how much smaller mars bars are today? cough cough
     
    So they ARE getting smaller?  I just thought I was needing distance glasses :)



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