Scottish independence, plus jokes.

Wings Over Scotland


The Bullshit Files

Posted on July 26, 2013 by

Tonight saw the launch of “Better Together Bathgate”, the No camp’s debut foray into our beloved hometown. The email advertising the event, sent out on the 15th of July, said “I hope to see you at the on 28th June” [sic], which might help to explain the rather sub-spectacular turnout of around 40 hardy souls from a town of 16,000.

bullshitfiles1

Of that 40 or so, several (perhaps as many as a quarter) were dastardly pro-Yes spies. And we know that for certain, because one of them was ours.

Our intrepid agent reported several other confirmed infiltrators, including one gent who went so far as to stand up and actually announce himself as an SNP independence supporter, and several folk appear to have just popped in for a nap.

btbathgate1

Our agent’s report described uninspiring speeches, save for one notable revelation:

“If any comments could be said to be memorable, they came from Blair McDougall, who among other things said that the SNP “deceive us at every turn”; that a Yes vote for independence equals uncertainty; that pensions will not be covered in the forthcoming White Paper.

Also, when asked if there would be a TV debate between Alex Salmond and David Cameron, he categorically said that wasn’t going to happen; any debate would be between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling.”

(Our emphasis.) But of rather more interest was the leaflet being given out in the room, which we can’t seem to find anywhere on the “Better Together” Facebook page or website and which contains some rather disturbing claims.

bullshitfiles2

You can click the two images to see larger versions and read the whole document for yourselves, but allow us to pick out a few highlights. We’re pleased to see that the pamphlet reflects the No camp’s much-vaunted new positive approach, screaming “CAN YOU AFFORD TO GO IT ALONE?” in huge text across the top of the front cover. You probably won’t be all that shocked by the implied answer.

lol1

An exclusive sight of the alternative referendum question wording, there.

lie1

Wait, what? We’re pretty sure the technical term for that is “complete cobblers”. Scotland will NOT lose the pound on independence, unless it wants to. Sterling, as everyone knows, is a freely tradeable world currency which can be used by any country that wishes to, without seeking the UK’s permission.

(The only conceivable semantic defence for what to all appearances is an outright scaremongering lie is the phrase “our own”. But even that disingenuous, misleading hairsplitting would require Sterling to be currently exclusive to the UK, which it isn’t.)

lie2

This short passage packs in quite a lot of untruth. The SNP, should it be elected as the government of an independent Scotland, has indeed pledged to reduce Corporation Tax, like the last Labour government and the current Tory/Lib Dem one. But not for “big businesses like Google or Amazon” –  for ALL businesses, large or small.

Secondly, of course, as pretty much everyone in the UK who’s capable of reading a newspaper will already know, Google and Amazon essentially pay no Corporation Tax at all anyway, so cutting the rate at which they’re dodging it isn’t going to make much difference to anything.

(Scotland’s share by population of the total amount of Corporation Tax paid to the UK Treasury last year by Google and Amazon is the grand sum of £202,000.)

And thirdly, the leaflet’s explicit assertion that personal taxes will be increased to make up this (almost completely non-existent) shortfall is one which has been flatly denied by the current Finance Secretary. If the No camp wish to suggest that John Swinney is lying, that’s one thing. But to state, as a fact, the exact opposite of what he’s actually said is… well, let’s keep it clean and use the word “audacious”.

lie3

This is an odd one. Most people will have found it difficult to avoid the news that benefit payments are being savagely slashed by the UK government as we speak, with more of the same to come. So it’s a little curious to imply that “guaranteed benefit payments” are only threatened by independence.

In fact, it’s openly-stated UK government policy that welfare payments are going to be cut further if Scotland DOESN’T vote for independence. And what’s more, even if that Tory/Lib Dem UK government is replaced by a Labour one in 2015, benefits will not only still be cut, but are likely to be made lower in Scotland in the rest of the UK.

blairbathgate

The picture above shows “Better Together” campaign director Blair McDougall in the process of feeding the paper’s contents to some empty chairs and a small handful of Bathgate residents who thought this was their Pilates class. But no exercise regime could involve this much twisting of the fabric of reality.

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137 to “The Bullshit Files”

  1. jim mitchell says:

    If it can now be proved that members of the Better Together campaign are disseminating actual lies, can that not that be challenged legally?

  2. Macandroid says:

    Were questions allowed from the floor and if so did anyone ask which drooling idiot made up these statements ?

  3. JPJ2 says:

    The unionist leaders are liars-who knew?    :-)

  4. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Far better to challenge them to a public debate in a hall in Bathgate exclusively on the content of the leaflet and the meeting it was introduced at. 

  5. fordie says:

    Sad to say but true. The BT campaign is largely aimed at the lowest common denominator.

  6. Richard McHarg says:

    41 in the audience, of which 8 were Yessers, with possibly another.
    There was a Rob Murray of Better Together who looked like he was secretly filming us.  He has tweeted that a woman was shouted down, and that this person called him ‘scum’.
    I believe he is referring to me.  I interrupted the woman for talking complete rubbish re the armed forces.  This was right at the end of the meeting.  However, I didn’t and nor did I hear anyone else call Mr. Murray ‘scum’.
    The meeting was also openly filmed by one of our guys, so that will provide any required evidence.

  7. joe kane says:

    For a moment I thought the title was “The Bullshit Flies”. Easy mistake to make when the meeting was held up for Blair who was arriving late by air all the way from his beloved London. 

  8. Sneddon says:

    Good work Richard.  How the hell you managed to stay awake and keep the head I don’t know but good on you.

  9. ianbrotherhood says:

    TBH, I couldn’t stomach much of it – would someone please identify the grey-haired belter at approx 26/27 mins?
     
    Kudos to the guys who captured this footage.

  10. CameronB says:

    @ Rev. Stuart Campbell
    See that link to the regional cap on benefits article. I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN.

  11. Richard McHarg says:

    I was taking notes, but we had a really good wee group out tonight.  Well done to all concerned.  
    I now have an idea who the Rev’s spy is, or am I right in thinking two spies?  The photo angles suggest two.
    That would confirm 9 Yessers in an audience of 41.

  12. Yesitis says:

    Better Together`s Rob Murray on Twitter with some of his Britnat Tory chums discuss the leaked video of the BT meeting in Bathgate.
     
    https://twitter.com/AndrewMGlasgow/status/360540662531227650

  13. pmcrek says:

    jim,
    As far as I am aware its perfectly legal for anyone to lie, even in publication, unless perhaps if it incites a crime, falls foul of anti-descrimination laws or the MoD/intelligence services dont like your face.

  14. Geoff Huijer says:

    Blatant untruths on paper.
     
    As already mentioned, surely there has to be some
    way these lies can be taken to task.
    It has gone beyond ridiculous.
     
    People should be given facts not shite like this.

  15. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I am still trying to figure out how the hell ANYONE from Better Together can stand up at any of these events and spew out their lies time after time after time and at the same time keep a straight face!

  16. The Man in the Jar says:

    Secret filming, Spies, whatever next.
    How long till smartphones are “discouraged” at BT meetings?

  17. Jimbo says:

    If there’s one thing that’s been proved to the Scottish public by this BT campaign, it’s that any lying fool can be a politician.
     

  18. pistonbroke says:

    I too believe there were a further two spies and I know who they are .
    I believe that lies were told tonight . Here is the secret vid.
     
     

  19. Gaavster says:

    @TMITJ 
     
    Surely you mean it’s only a matter of time before smart PEOPLE are banned from these meetings…. ;)

  20. The Man in the Jar says:

    @pistonbroke
    Thanks but no thanks! Hats off to you guys but there is no way that I could stomach that without dislocating my toes, I have my limits. Forty-nine minutes of misery!

  21. big_al says:

    So bliar had to travel up from London for this meeting.
     
    Must have been catching a show, or had tickets for the eye or something.
     
    Maybe he was down for the birth of the newest royal.

  22. EvelynSezAye says:

    If anyone said the word ‘scum’ to Rob Murray, then I most certainly didn’t hear it? I was there from the beginning until the end and arrived and left with the other Yessers, so I would think if this exchange had taken place either between Stacey and Rob Murray or Richard & Rob Murray, then I could hardly have missed it since they were sitting directly behind me. Rob Murray is a liar.end of..

  23. Ron Burgundy says:

    The only way to deal with propaganda lies from Project Fear is to kill it fast in the forensic way you have Stuart. As Martin Sheen’s character said in the film Apocalypse Now in relation to American military tactics in the Vietnam war – “The Bullshit piled so high you needed Wings to fly above it all” – no pun intended
    “Public spending £1200 higher in Scotland” –  Maybe Scotland gets half a Mars Bar compared to a quarter given to the North East of England. But Scotland contributes more revenue and when Barnett goes, and it will, after 2014 with a No vote all the Nations and regions of the Union State will be getting the same small austerity driven bit of the Mars bar – which will be nice
    “The cost of setting up a separate Scotland ” Establishing the infrastructure of a newly independent state will be an exhilarating prospect with much of already in place – not a cause for despair. The Irish did it in the 1920’s after a civil war and survived. We are in infinitely better economic position.
    “Creating borders” – that pish is such an easy hit. We will be in the EU which is a free trade area in terms of goods and people. Sorted.
    “No guarantees of benefit payments” Whist the borders point was silly this is brass necked cheek. Means testing of benefits and brutal public expenditure cuts are in the pipeline according to Osborne for 2016 /17. Voting NO will result in a lot lot more than the Bedroom Tax it will not just be business as usual more pageants military parades, celebrations and bread and circuses. Poverty and inequality will get worse, it has to by the very decisions they have taken in London as England moves to the Right.
    “A smaller economy means more risks” – Eh? How small countries like Denmark, Norway and Iceland are wealthy with banks insurance companies and pension funds. All Scotland’s economic risks come with a continued relationship to the failing Union State.
    Please all Wings readers get sharing the Rev Stu’s demolition piece far and wide across Facebook and Twitter. This is vital to spread the message and counteract the MSM

  24. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Ron Burgundy-
     
    Thanks for being able to keep the heid.
     
    I fear a lot of us are really close to losing the plot. I know I am. The sheer brassneck of these people is becoming too much.

  25. Doug Daniel says:

    I kind of wish I’d filmed the BetterTogether Aberdeen “launch” (can you launch something that doesn’t exist?) now, but on the other hand, my phone can only record about 10 minutes for some reason, so I couldn’t have anyway.
     
    When I was at the Aberdeen one, I felt it was best to remain inconspicuous; but actually, I quite like the idea of being totally blatant about filming them, as it’s bound to put them off a bit. The guy who points out the hypocrisy of saying “can you afford it?” when Cameron has said it would be wrong to suggest we can’t makes me want to go along to some proper local town hall meetings between the two camps and have a good argument.

  26. CameronB says:

    Perhaps that is the way forward. Film everything BT does, from street stalls to events like this. Make them aware that they are being watched by the rest of Scotland, not just their supporters. Their lies will undo them.

  27. Doug Daniel says:

    The only problem, of course, is that they would then accuse us of intimidation. But then, we can simply reply “you’re a public campaign, we have every right to share with others what you’re saying. Or is there something you’re trying to hide…?”
     
    Or simply say “well stop telling lies and then we won’t have to film you to highlight the fact that you’re deceiving the public.”

  28. Norman says:

    Saw a few bits utterly depressing, I’ve been to happier wakes.  Trotting out the usual stuff such as we get £1500 per head more guff.  Of course a big part of that is our contribution to UK and not actual spend in Scotia.  The fact we raise more revenue is waved aside.  Caught a wee bit of a wifey talking about insulting the memory of the dead in WW2 by democracy.
    When challenged he retreated very quickly didn’t he, explains their social media strategy which is don’t actually engage when challenged, they are hoping their lies are spread without challenge.

  29. Edward Barbour says:

    I found the statement by the first speaker regarding Sky, quite bizarre . Making out that Sky were only in the UK and only based in London. Which is strange as Sky are set up in Italy under Sky Italia (http://www.sky.it/) and in Germany under Sky Deutschland (http://www.sky.de/web/cms/de/index.jsp)
    On the subject of the leaflet, I found the bit about export markets completely an utterly incorrect. England (or Rest of the UK as they like to call it)  is not the largest market, the US is, as is other countries in the EU. This erroneous statement is based on the HMRC ‘Regional’ Exports chart, (https://www.uktradeinfo.com/statistics/rts/pages/default.aspx)   which shows Scotland way down the scale. This is purely down to export stats being based on ports/airports of exports, but as large amount of Scottish exports go out of English ports and airports, looks like hardly anything is exported from Scotland. As there is no direct stats for ‘exports’ from Scotland to England, the information for that has to be extrapolated from the VAT returns which shows sales by Scottish companies to English ones. So when combined the so called export figures for Scotland are fudged and are inaccurate. When Scotland becomes independent, sales to England or the rest of the UK, will continue as normal, being that it comes under free trade within the EU. But International Exports will no longer be attributed to English ports and Airports post independence, as English Ports and Airports will become ‘transhipment’ points, in the same way as Rotterdam and Antwerp is today

  30. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I’m curious.
    Did Blair pass HIS idea of what Croatia will have to past the leaders of Croatia BEFORE making these astounding claims last night? I mean, according to Blair, Croatia will have to join the Euro it has no choice in the matter and it WILL have to join the Schengen agreement again because it has no choice in the matter. Hmm…..
    I wonder haw Blair feels about Sweden and its IMMINENT joining of the Euro. Oh wait a minute Sweden voted NOT to join the Euro in 1996!!!

  31. Tasmanian says:

    Tempted to transcribe the video. But not very :)

  32. megsmaw06 says:

    The Bitters are late to the party here. The Yes Bathgate folk have been about for ages, going door to door and actually speaking to residents, even Fiona Hyslop’s been out and about with them. They regularly have a street survey going in the precinct and every Yes person I’ve met has been really upbeat, positive and cheery.
    Compare that to the Bitters pathetic leaflet full of lies that was quietly shoved through my letter box, with not so much as a chap at the door.

  33. john king says:

    the woman who said in that video that sky would relocate south of the border post independence, hhmm
    maybe she would like to comment on a meeting in sky2’s restaurant in 2007 where a hand picked delegation of employees of sky (of which I was one) were invited to put questions to none other than Mr Alex Salmond regarding the SNP’s vision for the future of Scotland, this was in the period prior to the SNP’s victory in the Scottish parliamentary elections where as we all know they achieved a minority government,
     now I dont know about you but if SKY were intent on influencing its staff against voting for independence, well they’re going a damn funny way about it by inviting only one prospective candidate party for the Scottish parly to give us a talk,
    Alex btw excelled himself that day and (with a few well placed questions by yours truly) such as what will the SNP do about ship to ship oil transfers in the forth estuary as forth ports authority were not obliged to take heed of any edicts passed by the Scottish parliament and effectively were a law unto themselves,meaning of course the (very real) danger of oil spills in the estuary,
    betcha didnt know that didya?
    but the assembled group were (to my knowledge) very impressed by an erudite and obviously intelligent man, 
    so to the woman in the video, check your facts before spouting rubbish sky has call centers in Mumbai and Bangalore in India and therefore has absolutely no concern about Scottish independence and has to my knowledge made absolutely no pronouncements on the subject, and believe me, IF  they had an opinion we would have heard about it.

     
    That meeting was no doubt a matter of public record and can be confirmed  by Sky
    should anyone care to ask them :)
     

  34. Ivan McKee says:

    Rev,
     
    Allow me to debunk some of the nonsense in the BT leaflet.
    To serve as reference for anyone looking for the facts to counter this particular piece of BT mis-information.
     
    Taxes
    “Public Spending is £1200 per head higher in Scotland than the UK….”
     
    And tax take per head in Scotland is £1700 per head higher than the UK.
     
    Not only are Scots contributing more to the UK than we receive the fact that public spending in Scotland is higher than the UK average is unlikely to survive a NO vote (Can you see any UK party at the GE 2015 trying to sell their English voter more austerity while Scots receive more per head than they do ?)
     
    They don’t give us more because they love us, they give us more to limit support for Independence. After a NO vote that logic no longer applies.
     
    The reason why public spending in Scotland is higher is due to free higher education, prescription charges etc, and also due the fact that some services which have been privatised in England are still public in Scotland.
     
    Not only is higher public spending in Scotland more affordable under Independence it’s also the only way politically to protect higher public spending in Scotland.
     
    Jobs
    Read this on Barriers to trade between Scotland and rUK after Independence. There are none.
     
    http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/no-barriers-to-trade-with-a-yes-vote/
    In fact inward investment in Scotland is higher because of the prospect of Independence (Ernst and Young report) and the evidence shows that it typically increases significantly in newly independent countries. See the links for the details:
    http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/inward-investment-to-soar-with-a-yes-vote/
     
    http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/inward-investment-another-unionist-myth-hits-the-dust/
     
    Pensions / Benefits
    With Scotland having a GDP 17% higher than the UK average and generating 9.9% of UK taxes while only incurring 9.3% of UK spending both benefits and pensions are more affordable under Independence. Social Protection (Pensions and Benefits) forms a smaller % of Scotland’s economy and public spending than it does of the UK as a whole.
     
    Private Pensions
    This old scare story refers to a EU requirement for cross border schemes to be made solvent in a shorter timeframe than that allowed for schemes that only operate in one country. Leaving aside the fact that why is it a bad thing for Pension Schemes to be solvent rather than for pensions to be at risk due to the black hole as they are at present, the fact is that cross-border schemes that operate between the UK and Ireland ALREADY have an EU exemption from this regulation.
     
    Savings
    ISA’s would continue to receive tax relief in an Independent Scotland (unless a party got elected on a platform of changing that policy- the same as could happen in the UK). Due to Scotland’s stronger economy and tax base that tax relief is more affordable under Independence than it is now.
    The Deposit Protection Scheme is an EU requirement. All countries have to have in place a 100,000 euro protection scheme (that’s why the UK scheme is £85,000 and not a round number because it’s the approx. equivalent of 100,000 euros).
    Due to Scotland’s stronger economy the protection scheme in Scotland would be more secure than the current UK scheme (which is only worth anything assuming UK plc doesn’t go bust).
     
    Also bank bail-outs are contributed to by governments based on where the bank does most of its business. The biggest contributor to the bail-out of the UK/Scottish banks wasn’t the UK government it was the US government due to the significant exposure they had in the US.
     
    Scotland’s share of the UK banks bail-out would have been no more than the 9.9% share we paid of the UK government’s contribution in any event (probably less in fact as most of the banks UK activities were in London).
     
    http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/why-did-the-banks-only-become-scottish-after-they-failed/

  35. john king says:

    Blair Jenkins
    “every single vote will count”
    well that will make a change wont it Blair?  :(

  36. john king says:

    Blair Jenkins 
    “Don’t assume its already won ,in every poll it shows the better together lead extending really?
    but there’ll be ups and downs,”
    know something Blair?
    mibbe trying to soften the blow before the latest poll revelations? 
     

  37. john king says:

    Blair Jenkins
    “there are two country who have not signed up to the Shengen agreement 
    the UK and ireland
    hence why we don’t have any border controls between us” EH? no really EH?
    we haven’t signed up to the open borders agreement, which is the reason we HAVE open borders,?
    sorry quickly losing the will to live here, seriously, did noone challenge that risible assertion marcia?

  38. JLT says:

    jim mitchell says:     
    If it can now be proved that members of the Better Together campaign are disseminating actual lies, can that not that be challenged legally?
    ————————
    I said this the other day too. I’m sick of it now. I’m hoping the SNP / Yes Team have a game plan to eventually deal with these lies. I can’t believe that Salmond and Co. will just meander quietly over the finishing line, without at least some sort of protest to the law lords or the Westminster Committee.
    This is lying, and lying deliberately to one’s own people. I have a couple of names in my head for these people…Traitors and Quislings. If they know that they are lying, then what else can they be? How can one lie about their own nation and to their own people? What runs through their heads?
    I don’t mind an argument from these people, but this isn’t arguing. This is lying, and therefore the names that I just said …one cannot protest if the name describes them perfectly.

  39. DMyers says:

    In the immportal words of Karen Dunbar, “I smell shite!”

  40. Craig P says:

    Bizarre. So at best, only 30 undecideds/no supporters at this meeting? Which BT meeting will have a majority of yes supporters in the audience I wonder?
    (and if you were looking for a positive case for the union to take away and tell your friends, family and work colleagues – how depressed would you be at the thought of going home and disseminating all that fear, uncertainly and doubt?)

  41. john king says:

    got as far as that tw*t talking about 1707 and the words of Robert Burns and finally lost my porige, I had to give up, sorry,  

  42. Davy says:

    Well it does look like fun was held by all down at Bathgate, and a very well done to the YES’ers who attended. Its nice to see the BT campaign being recorded in all its glory, as its very hard to denie your lies when they have been recorded.
     
    And if 9 out of 40 attending was for independence, its not a very encourageing turnout for being ‘better together’,  infact if everyone at the meeting “had been” for the ‘BT’ campaign it would still be an abysmal turnout.
     
    Keep it going folks.
     
    Saor Alba.
     
    PS. a message for my ‘YES’ organisier, “Ryan”, all my leaflets delivered, ready for somemore please. (I know he reads this).
      

  43. Macart says:

    Lies, damned lies and Blair McDougall.
     
    Point and laugh. :D
     
    Wonder what the reaction of the average no voter will be toward their leadership when the lies are exposed. As and when they realise they’ve been lied to and used and not by the dastardly separatists. Hope messrs Darling and McDougall like living in a ‘foreign’ country.

  44. Tattie-boggle says:

    In the Video Millions of personal ? anyone …….

  45. Dal Riata says:

    @john king
    Blair Jenkins? Huh? Shome mishtake shurely?

  46. Shinty says:

    John King – Blair Jenkins?

  47. Tattie-boggle says:

    Personnel …

  48. EvelynSezAye says:

    ….& did you notice the missing word…….TRIDENT! Wasn’t mentioned once!

  49. Iain says:

    john king says:
     the woman who said in that video that sky would relocate south of the border post independence, hhmm’
     
    Perhaps she meant THE sky? No sky and associated sun, moon and stars after independence.
    Good work all round. Will it come to the point when BT meetings have more Yes than No supporters attending? However I wouldnae bet tuppence against BT coming out with ‘Yes intimidates the undecided’ bollocks.

  50. EvelynSezAye says:

    BT have Blair McDougall ‘flying up’..a couple of councillors & a wee lassie who works in SKY…we have many MANY well known diverse people who are QUEUING up to speak for YES…Alan Bissett, Elaine C etc etc….maybe they should have asked Susan Boyle along, cos she only stays up the road…

  51. GOrdon Smith says:

    I notice the leaflets have no identifiable origin (no better Together logo), no tactic. Package lies and the worst pajorative asertions , without taking responsibility. Perhaps why it is not on the official website etc.

  52. Paul Martin says:

    Its not the first time that BetterTogether have produced material at an event that isn’t part of their “official” offering. Same thing happened here at a BT stall in Edinburgh,a 2 sided leaflet attacking Salmond as a liar,this, that and the other…. Wish I’d kept it now rather than chuck it in the bin.
    Does the Bathgate material contain any reference to who printed it or is it unattributable ? 
    Liars and cowards the lot of them…

  53. Albalha says:

    @Dave Mcewan Hill says ….
    Far better to challenge them to a public debate in a hall in Bathgate exclusively on the content of the leaflet and the meeting it was introduced at.
    I think that’s the best way to tackle the misinformation and scaremongering which after all is only going to increase.
    A touring cast of high profile debaters, who may neeed to be remunerated, but I think it’d be worth it.
    And of course with the ‘well known’ you attract people and publicity.
     

  54. HenBroon says:

    Seems to me that the best thing that Yes could do is to follow these meetings with one of their own and trash their lies. It cannot be that difficult to organise given there were Yes people there of their own bat. I think the public would appreciate that also. I know if this lot came to my local hall I would be asking that very question, where is Yes?

  55. Firestarter says:

    Andrew Morrison tweet from the link above :
     
    “Hear, hear. If the best someone has to do is watch our banter, they must be sad indeed.”
     
    Ha, ha …….. did one of the BT mob actually say that??? Priceless! LOL :)
    https://twitter.com/AndrewMGlasgow/status/360540662531227650
     
     

  56. CameronB says:

    This could perhaps be too expensive, but why not stream such follow up meetings using footage from earlier BT meeting. Might sound overly technical, but a laptop, some video editing software (free), and bobs your uncle. Indepndenista TV, uplinked to Google, Youtube, Vivo, etc.

  57. Doug Daniel says:

    You just wonder with the lies they have in their literature… I mean, never mind the politicians and various other folk who need the union to survive to allow them to keep their snout in the trough – what about the normal people who want the union to continue for whatever reason? Do they understand that the pish they’re spouting is utter lies, or do they just put the blinkers on? Do they not get that horrible feeling of guilt ordinary people get when they have to use lies to get people onside? Do they not wonder why it is that their entire argument is built on lies and obfuscation?

  58. john king says:

    @john kingBlair Jenkins? Huh? Shome mishtake shurely?

      doh

  59. Luigi says:

    I heard there have been a few BT infiltrators at the YES meetings. Unfortunately, they usually came back supporting independence! 

  60. Atypical_Scot says:

    Love the export graph, Scotland only exports 76% of exports. 

  61. Luigi says:

    This “rUK are our biggest customers” crap is rather tiresome. We are also a big customer. How much trade does the rUK depend on Scotland for? It goes both ways!

  62. JimbotheScot says:

    well done to the guys for actually sitting through that drivel and filming it and getting the truth out there

  63. raineach says:

    I work in Bathgate and never heard a word about this meeting, either before or after. I happened to be one of the organisers for the Morningside Yes launch meeting which we trailed on blogs and leafletted shops as well as 5000 neighbouring houses. And we had standing room only. There doesn’t seem to be much enthusiasm for No – an ocean wide but an inch deep

  64. Murray McCallum says:

    The future pattern of trade is by nature open to change.  No country is limited by its historical or current mix of trade.  I loathe the way bitter together frame everything with the current status quo being some kind of perfect scenario that cannot be improved.
    If borders are such a problem to trade ambitions why are Southern UK so keen to leave the EU?
    A core Westminster economic policy appears to be that property prices in the South East must be protected / further inflated at all costs.  If people are worried about the future then the explosion of the SE property bubble should be a major concern.

  65. john king says:

    situations vacant
    wanted; proof reader for a man who has difficulty telling the difference between Blair Jenkins and Blair McDougal :)
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  66. Morag says:

    Was that wee Paddington Mundell I saw in one of the photos?

  67. martyn says:

    typical brit nat ignorant woman at the end, along with the old man.
     
    “you must be a nationalist” she said, i would have replied with “yes well given your willingness to spread sh1te you must be a unionist”

  68. Robert Kerr says:

    The property bubble shall burst eventually. It is government policy to protect the banks. The “toxic debts” are still on the books. The banks are broke if the book values of the mortgage securities, aka house values, are realistic.
    Time to split and be free
    Saor Alba
     

  69. Robert Kerr says:

    Choosing the labour SpAd Blair McDougal was to cause confusion with Blair Jenkins…. Sad really.
    Saor Alba

  70. Albalha says:

    @johnking
    Only one has an OBE
     

  71. Glasgow Steve says:

    Way to play the man not the ball guys. The national game of he said she said continues and the population at large remains entirely uninspired. A plague on both your houses

  72. Albalha says:

    @RobertKerr
    In the interests of accuracy, can’t help myself, Blair McD was talked about a few weeks before the appointment of Blair J was announced.
    I realise, however, you may have an inside track not in the public domain?

  73. Atypical_Scot – Love the export graph, Scotland only exports 76% of exports.
     
    The other 24% will be McEwans Export! :)

  74. Melissa Murray says:

    i truly don’t comprehend a campaign which lies and scares folk. We definitely have our work cut out for us. But remember a positive, truthful campaign will always win over a negative, lie-filled one.
     
    But truth be told. I don’t want to live in the Scotland these people exist in. I truly despair for this country in the event of a NO vote.

  75. Robert Kerr says:

    No insider stuff, just healthy cynicism !

  76. Can anyone explain what I’m missing in the opening paragraph of the ‘Savings’ section to me, as its got me stumped?
     
    If we are no longer part of the UK, of course ‘tax relief’ will end, as we won’t be paying UK taxes at all, surely?

  77. Tasmanian says:

    “I notice the leaflets have no identifiable origin (no better Together logo), no tactic. Package lies and the worst pajorative asertions , without taking responsibility. Perhaps why it is not on the official website etc.” – Gordon Smith

    Cunning! So it’s not just the Rev who can identify their typeface and… appropriate it.

  78. molly says:

    If you click and enlarge the picture ,it comes up as Better Together Company Ltd ,right at the bottom. It then gives the address. 

  79. Xaracen says:

    “But remember a positive, truthful campaign will always win over a negative, lie-filled one.”

    Only if they get roughly equal exposure. But if the messages of the positive campaign are actively and substantially suppressed or distorted by the print and broadcast media, this will no longer be true.

  80. Albalha says:

    @RobertKerr
    Well in this case it could be called the other way round!

  81. Colin Dunn says:

    Actually, the idea of a ‘myth-buster’ team of Yes supporters attending every No meeting to film the event and ask pertinent and polite questions, is an excellent one.
     
    Rebuts the nonsense and also shows the BT team that they are being watched and fibs skewered.

  82. Sunshine on Crieff says:

    Ivan McKee

    Taxes
    “Public Spending is £1200 per head higher in Scotland than the UK….”
     
    And tax take per head in Scotland is £1700 per head higher than the UK.

    Do you have a source for the stat on tax take per head? It would be useful to quote when arguing Scotland’s viability.

  83. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Way to play the man not the ball guys.”

    Um, I can see why you could have claimed that about the previous post, but this one is a factual analysis of the No campaign’s claims, not their personnel.

  84. bawheid bragg says:

    medals all round for those that filmed it. in fact medals for anyone who watched it all the way through (I tried…)
    “The Bullshit piled so high you needed Wings to fly above it all” – catchy!
     

  85. Marcia says:

    Sunshine on Crieff
    Here is a factsheet the Yes campaign issued in the Spring:
    http://tinyurl.com/cghwq7p
     

     
     
     
     

  86. Atypical_Scot says:

    @Horace says yes;
     
    Bugger! I’ve drunk all of that. Sorry Scotland, I thought you left it out of the graph for me?

  87. Bill McLean says:

    On “bullshit” – I see Jezerna hasn’t yet appeared in the Herald but OBE is there spreading his usual misinformation and diverting. There’s a new member of “black ops” appearing now and then called Edward Longbottom (we all missed that one) – in fact I think he appeared in Wings last night. I really wish people would disengage from these three. I’m convinced Jezerna and OBE are part of a wee cabal. They are frequently put in their place but can produce reams and reams of cut and paste at will. Ignoring the ignorant is always a good idea and you can see their ignorance and arrogance marching side by side. Vote YES or people like these will rule us forever to suit their agenda!

  88. tartanfever says:

    @ Melissa Murray
    i truly don’t comprehend a campaign which lies and scares folk. We definitely have our work cut out for us. But remember a positive, truthful campaign will always win over a negative, lie-filled one.
     
    But truth be told. I don’t want to live in the Scotland these people exist in. I truly despair for this country in the event of a NO vote.
     
    Melissa,
    Agreed it can be dis-heartening, but ‘tribes’ exist everywhere, ours are just more noticeable because we have the referendum coming up. In the USA there are numerous tribes, like the ‘Tea Party’ – there are right wing tribes throughout all of political Europe, as there are left wing tribes. There are religious tribes, there are race tribes – even in what we would consider moderate countries – Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium etc.
    It happens everywhere it’s a fact of life. You can’t run from country to country in fear of an opposition that isn’t directly targeting you.

  89. handclapping says:

    Interesting comment by Glasgow Steve anent he said she said. This is the English way, by trial, but requires hard evidence to back up what is said. That is one thing missing from this debate.

  90. NorthBrit says:

    The ISA one is hilarious.
    You won’t get any UK tax deductions on ISAs to set off against the UK tax that you won’t be paying because you’re not UK resident.

    Their statement on corporation tax is manifestly untrue on what the SNP is proposing and absurd.  I know RevStu has made the point already but in case anyone from Bitter Together is reading:

    100% of zero = zero
    30% of zero = zero
    20% of zero = zero

    If you want corporations to pay tax, you need to write tax legislation that obliges them to pay tax in the jurisdictions where they are selling their products.

    And it’s “fewer” not “less”.  Their infamy knows no bounds.

    Illiterate, innumerate and economic with the actuality.

  91. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I wouldn’t bother arguing too much about the per head figures. These are partisan figures anyway, carefully chosen to show Scotland in a bad light and they don’t take any account for instance of the serious imbalance on public spending on government procurement on which Scotland gets not a lot more than half its rightful share or the Scottish revenues which are recorded through HQs in England and don’t appear on our balance sheet. Scotland’s geography means that a range of essential services cost more per capita to fund and these are the mainstay of these selective figures. They will also include expenditure set against Scotland (the Olympics for instance) which has nothing to do with Scotland.
    We will only get accurate figures after independence
    The general public don’t relate properly or with any real understanding to the stuff thrown about today and many only get the headline suggestion that we are subsidised – which is the object of this dishonest exercise (though why anyone but a fool would believe that the UK hangs onto to us to subsidise us is beyond me) .
    Far better to strongly underline that we raise more than enough revenue to maintain our services and to improve them.

  92. John Lyons says:

    The best way to combat These better together lies is to publicly ask the truth team for thier opinion on each of them.
     
    Not only would this bring attention to BTs lies, it would also highlight the Truth teams failures and cost Yes Scotland very little. And it might sew som disharmony between the Tory funded BT campaign and the Labour led Truth team.
     
    Worth a dig.

  93. Cath says:

    “Seems to me that the best thing that Yes could do is to follow these meetings with one of their own and trash their lies.”
     
    It would be far better if public meetings weren’t “yes” and “no” meetings but open public meetings / debates with both sides that the public were invited to come along to. Those are the kind of meetings that should be happening. Perhaps both sides want to rally their own troops first, but by next year, open public debates really need to be happening.
     

  94. Murray McCallum says:

    The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FCSC) is independent of government and Scottish financial institutions are already paying their levy.  You can find out more at http://www.fscs.org.uk/what-we-cover/about-us/
    ISA’s are currently tax free at source and offered by a wide range of UK financial institutions.  I have seen no announcement from any governemnt that this is about to change.  In fact all governments would appear to be encouraging easy access, low cost, private savings. 

  95. Jimbo says:

    “Way to play the man not the ball guys. The national game of he said she said continues and the population at large remains entirely uninspired. A plague on both your houses”
     
    Not so much a case of playing the man, or even a case of he said, she said. More a case of exposing liars and lies. Any upright, honest person who doesn’t achieve their goal because of some-one else’s blatant lies is going to be really unhappy – or don’t you see it that way?
     
    If we lose this referendum because of their scaremongering lies I don’t want to see the naysayers singing Flower of Scotland, marching in kilts, reciting A Man’s A Man For A’ That or espousing their Scottish patriotism. It would make me physically sick.

  96. Cath says:

    ” I don’t want to see the naysayers singing Flower of Scotland, marching in kilts, reciting A Man’s A Man For A’ That or espousing their Scottish patriotism.”
     
    Or indeed, whinging about a tory/UKIP government in Westminster

  97. Jimbo says:

    Aye, Cath. That too – along with moaning about austerity cuts, prescription charges, education fees, etc, etc. They’ll have had their chance and blew it.

  98. They bullshit that much they are sliding about in it, Maybe we should turn up at EVERY one of the BT meeting and challenge their lies, point it out to the people there that they are being lied to and taken for mugs, done in a polite way and filmed of course.   

  99. Marcia says:

    Will Henry McLeish be praising their new ‘optimistic’ leafet? Pray tell Henry.

  100. Murray McCallum says:

    The existing UK state pension run from Westminster is widely known not be be affordable – hence the steps towards everyone working till they effectively die and public service pension schemes being re-negotiated.
     
    The thing is, what has happened to the £billions paid in by workers and companies through National Insurance Contributions?  Do we all think Westminster has spent it wisely?  Obviously zero has been invested.

  101. Jimbo says:

    “Maybe we should turn up at EVERY one of the BT meeting and challenge their lies…”

    There’s absolutely nothing to stop us doing that, Buster.
     
    If they hold a public meeting they can’t complain if members of the public turn up to hear their points of view.
     
    Unless they want to claim that these meetings ere purely to further indoctrinate the converted in order for them to go forth and spread the gospel according to McDougall and Darling.

  102. muttley79 says:

    @Doug Daniel

    You just wonder with the lies they have in their literature… I mean, never mind the politicians and various other folk who need the union to survive to allow them to keep their snout in the trough – what about the normal people who want the union to continue for whatever reason? Do they understand that the pish they’re spouting is utter lies, or do they just put the blinkers on? Do they not get that horrible feeling of guilt ordinary people get when they have to use lies to get people onside? Do they not wonder why it is that their entire argument is built on lies and obfuscation?
     
    The thing is it is fairly complex. Just like the Yes side, there will be different elements of Unionist voters. You have the voters who have such hatred for the SNP and independence that they literally don’t care how victory is achieved. I reckon there is genuinely a section of Unionist voters who think the SNP are evil at worst, or at least beyond the pale at best. Therefore, achieving a No vote by out and out lying is perfectly legitimate in their eyes. 

    This group is probably not that big, but it is not insignificant either.  It would include some of those in SLAB, some Scottish Tories, some Lib Dems, Orange Order, SDL etc. Probably the biggest No group is the soft No voters, those who are mildly hostile to the SNP, and those who are concerned by change.  This group I would say include those who have been conditioned to think the Union is natural.  Also, included in this will be those who supported Devo Max, who have yet to decide definitely what way to vote. This group would be more likely to be more troubled by how a No vote would be achieved (for example, by the present methods of the No campaign).      

  103. Marcia says:

    Murray McCallum
     
    I presume when it was set up during WW2 it was presumed that it would be a fund that would be built up through National Insurance contributions and the income derived from it would fund the pensions. That did not happen and the NI contributions are really another form of income tax. Employees are really being taxed at 31% after personal allowances if they don’t go in the higher tax rate threshold.
    Scotland could do this after the resumption of Independence along with an Oil fund. The funds could invest in many markets. Could be conceivable that the fund through time could take a slice of the rUk markets and maybe a contolling one. Now that would be fun.
     

  104. muttley79 says:

    @Cath

    It would be far better if public meetings weren’t “yes” and “no” meetings but open public meetings / debates with both sides that the public were invited to come along to. Those are the kind of meetings that should be happening. Perhaps both sides want to rally their own troops first, but by next year, open public debates really need to be happening.
     
    Agreed, would be a good idea.

  105. Cath says:

    Thing is, I get the impression they’re talking more and more into an echo chamber. When they put out rubbish on their Facebook page, however obviously it’s a lie, however easily it can be refuted, their little band of followers jump on it. There’s an almost Pavlovian response of “ooh yes, Salmond bad, SNP bad, Salmond a fat lying dicator, it’ll all be a disaster etc, etc”.
     
    Meanwhile they ban and delete anyone who challenges, or puts another point of view, so the only feedback their getting is that load of tribally anti-SNP folk. who’re already totally misinformed by their propaganda. I’m not even sure many of them are based in Scotland, so probably know very little other than what they get from BT.
     
    But when they take that same message into town halls in Scotland I imagine most people, even those very favourable to a NO must think “WTF? Is this really it?” I know a number of people who are no voters but I don’t think they’ve had any real contact with BT, or seen what they’re putting out. What they’ve seen is the media gloss and spin on it. I suspect if they ever decided to get involved with the actual campaign they’d take one look and run a mile. I know no one who’d happily spout that kind of crap.
     

  106. Murray McCallum says:

    Marcia
    A Scottish sovereign fund / future wealth fund would be fantastic.  I totally despair at the leaflet highlighted in the article.  People need to be aware they have been ripped off for the last 40+ odd years.  They need to get angry.

  107. Cath says:

    Gah! Too late to edit and I’ve just noticed this in my last post: “the only feedback their getting” THEY’RE. Hate finding a mistake and not being able to edit it!

  108. Glasgow Steve says:

    Cath’s public debate idea rocks. It would however require cooperation of the two campaigns at grassroots level and thats where the hatred between them seems to be strongest.

    Articles like this, including the Better Together equivalents, come off as extended lists of reasons explaining why the other side are fannies, followed by incredible exasperation that the evidence that the other side are fannies is not quite enough to end and win the debate.

    Exhibit A
    1.Only 40 people turn up to a Better Together meeting
    2????
    3. Independence.
     
    Exhibit B
    1. Salmond Flys a flag at Wimbledon.
    2. ?????
    3. Union
     

  109. Cath says:

    ” thats where the hatred between them seems to be strongest.”
     
    There is no “hatred” between people who are Yes supporters and No supporters. I’m strongly Yes but know people who’re undecided and No. We have the debate in pubs, or at work. We also take it to doorsteps where, as yes campaigners, we’re able to talk perfectly reasonably and politely to people who may be utterly opposed to our view.
     
    Where there is “hatred” is between politicians, and some extremists on either side. They don’t need to be involved in the debates at all, frankly. We could arrange public meetings, and we can do anything we like, just as the people who’re voting next year. If I was on the No side, I think I’d prefer that to being represented by Better Together to be honest, as they pretty much only seem to have politicians. The Yes side seems much better at harnessing non-politicians so far.

  110. Glasgow Steve says:

    “There is no “hatred” between people who are Yes supporters and No supporters.”
     
    I apologise for my ignorance, i think perhaps i meant ideological disagreement rather than hatred.Those pub and work chats, in my experience, remain civil but get passionate, more passionate than anything i think is even allowed in the parliament.
    That said im not sure “spying” on “liars” is exactly luvy duvy stuff. Nor do i think it will encourage any not yet interested person to read into the issues which at this stage should be the main aim of both campaigns. 

  111. Macart says:

    Hatred?
     
    Just because someone intends to vote no? Why on earth would I hold that kind of grudge? Life’s too short for that nonsense.
     
    I strongly disagree with a no vote, but I reserve any dislike I may harbour for BTs leadership and the system of government it represents. Certainly not for the average member of the electorate who for whatever reason still has faith in that system or its representatives. Quite like the idea of open forums and debates though, it’d be one of the better ways to see which POV stands up under public gaze.

  112. Murray McCallum says:

    On the subject of the gold standard security we have as UK savers I see the Equitable Life fiasco just keeps going http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23454041
     
    Need to research who exactly was running the Treasury from 2000-2010 as they were clearly hopelessly incompetent.

  113. Robert Kerr says:

    The leaflet gives a name and address in Glasgow. However the registered address and trading address is in Edinburgh.
    https://www.duedil.com/company/SC425421/better-together-2012-limited
    The company has no telephone number nor website.
    Oh well. 
     

  114. Macart says:

    @Glasgow Steve
     
    Bloody lag!
     
    I see you’ve already posted a clarification. Hope this gets through quicker. 
     
    Anyway, the forum idea would be my preferred choice and campaign representatives get to state their case at a local level, but then have to answer questions from attendees. The best prepared, the fullest answers, and the best case laid out will gain the most influence at the end of the day. That being polling day.

  115. CameronB says:

    I doubt BT would be up for joint meetings, if this is the level of their argument. Pity.

  116. Macart says:

    @CameronB
     
    You can see where they might want to avoid that one, but it would be a case of ‘time to put your money where… :)

  117. Luigi says:

    Having public, constitutional debates over the next year, in every town and village hall, open to all, regardless of leanings, is a brilliant idea.  What a great way to engage the public and cut out the MSM.  It does not need the cooperation of both sides.  Either side could initiate it.  Invited speakers yes, but balanced and inclusive.  Maybe that’s where both camps are going wrong, having their own private meetings, preaching to the converted etc.  If well advertised, and made clear that all people (yes, no, undecided) are welcome to participate, it would have a good chance of success.

  118. Albalha says:

    Re public meetings on an earlier thread I suggested high profile people, who may need to be paid for, as a way to attract people and publicity.
    Someone well known chairing the debate, well known people from the different camps, YES/NO/DON’T KNOW. It could be tailored to the particular area.
    Questions from the floor. And a chance to be very honest about what nobody can know until after any vote, I’m concerned the current YES campaign is playing safe on that and the NO campaign just bashes on claiming to know what clearly they can’t know.

  119. archie says:

    hi a wee heads up Alistair darling is English born London 1952

  120. archie says:

    and forgot to say it`s a big YES for me in 2014
     

  121. BillyBigbaws says:

    The No campaign is being run along broadly similar lines to the way the No2AV campaign was run by Dan Hodges.  He outlines his tactics here, and it is very instructive:

    http://www.totalpolitics.com/campaigns/159562/creating-a-landslide.thtml

    This is the kind of machine we are up against.  From Hodges’ point of view, the truth didn’t matter at all, and what was best for the country didn’t matter either.  Only a resounding victory in a political battle that would serve to further his own ambitions and those of his party mattered.  Nothing else.  He was quite open about this, after the fact.  He says he was “adamant… about being consistently negative”.  And he won.

    Nobody should be surprised that the current No Campaign tells blatant lies about Scotland.  They did the same in ’79, and in ’97 – and it has served to keep their preferred power-structure in place up till now.  Why would they change what appears to be a winning tactic?  They don’t care you think their tactics are cynical, manipulative, hypocritical, or even inept – so long as they guarantee that a majority votes their way.  There’s not much point in getting outraged about it – UNLESS we are going to do something about it that will help us to win the referendum itself.

    Speaking of which, just how much dry powder do the upper echelons of the Yes campaign intend to sit on?      

  122. Sunshine on Crieff says:

    Marcia and Murray McCallum

    Thanks for your responses. I find it’s always better to quote a source when I’m trying to persuade.

    More ammunition!

  123. Cath says:

    “Maybe that’s where both camps are going wrong, having their own private meetings, preaching to the converted etc.  If well advertised, and made clear that all people (yes, no, undecided) are welcome to participate, it would have a good chance of success.”
     
    Our local Yes meeting was very much open to all – yes, no and undecided. The posters and flyers stated as much. But it was still a Yes meeting, run by the Yes campaign, all yes speakers etc. If I was undecided and interested I might go along, but I’d be unlikely to be swayed by it for that reason, a sort of “they would say that, wouldn’t they?” would kick in.
     
    So I think open debates need to be run either by someone outside the campaigns, or jointly by both campaigns. Maybe universities, or civic society organisations could help out with them?
     

  124. Betsy says:

    @Cath +Glasgow Steve,
    Completely agree open debates are the way to go. I’m doing my bit through my union branch and hope to hold a couple of open debates for our members in the run up to the referendum. It’s well worth approaching your union branch, if you have an active one in your work about setting something like this up. It’s a good way to reach people and in settings where people people all know each other they tend to be more comfortable getting their bit in.   

  125. Ivan McKee says:

    @Sunshine on Crieff
    Sorry didn’t get back to you earlier – had a hellish busy day yesterday.
    The source is the last GERS (Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland) report.
    I don’t think there is anyone on either side of the debate who disputes the figures in GERS so its a pretty rock solid source to quote from.
    Here is the link : but it is a monster report (90+ pages plus all the spreadsheets), so depending on how much of an anorak you are you might want to refer to it rather than actually read it :-)
    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0041/00415871.pdf
     
    The numbers for Revenue  (tax take) are at the bottom of page 30 (Table 3.1).
    This gives Revenue  for Scotland (including North Sea Oil- Geographical share) as £56.8bn (which is £10.700 per person in Scotland). The UK number is £572.6bn (=£9,000 per person).
    This is also the source for the fact that Scotland generates 9.9% of all UK taxes but we are only 8.5% of the UK population.

  126. EvelynSezAye says:

    Transcription of Balir McDougalls speech (verbatim)
    Blair McDougall Uncut!

    (talks about his plane journey…blah blah blah…get a dig in at Alex Salmond)

    I used to be a broad based campaign, people up here who probably don’t agree em on on very much at all apart from probably um this one issue em and I’m very proud that we’re broad based cross party, non party em because this is about doing what is right for our country, it’s about doing what’s best em eh for Scotland & setting aside eh politics eh for that em, I am a campaigner & I have always run eh political campaigns in one way or another um eh in the last 15 years um & I always say when I speak to audiences and I’ve always said throughout my my time as a political organiser em that every vote will count um eh eh in this election and and frankly it’s not always true when I say it to audiences, but it is true this time, in this referendum every single persons vote eh will count, whether you’re a single working mum um eh eh from Bathgate em or whether you’re the First Minister, it’s absolutely quality um in terms of that decision eh that we will make. The other thing I always say to people um eh in previous campaigns is that this will be the most important um historic vote that we will ever cast, again, this time, it happens to be true. Em it’s why is it so important, it’s so important because we’re maybe, if we vote Yes, dissolving a 300 year old political union & it’s going to be an irreversable decision. We absolutely need to get this one right, we need to be absolutely um sure um about this about whether we’re going to continue the success em of devolution or whether we’re just gonna continue to be a strong part em of the United Kingdom or whether we’re going to eh go it alone. Em I wanted to talk about partly principles & principles that I think are behind this campaign & partly the the the practicalities um of it um, a couple of friends who who have probably already heard me tell this story  em and I’ll apologise to but in a previous life I  have worked as a government adviser in Rwanda um & some of you will know the very painful and difficult history of that country 15 years ago & the violence em that took place there um I’m very proud this campaign is about values, about bringing people together about solidarity, whether you think about in terms of identity & britishness & the things that we share um across the uk or whether you just think about it in terms of solidarity um and the value & eh..eh..eh. we’re working together eh with other people, but when I was in Rwanda um somebody who was working with a young woman asked me eh the questions about how politics worked in Scotland um how Scotland eh eh eh eh hung together & they they are desperately trying to create that ensured identity to move on eh past eh  division & what she asked me was ‘You’re from Scotland and I said Yes & she said tell me how the Scottish & British get on in Scotland, she doesn’t understand that we were both scottish & british, she couldn’t understand that there was no contradiction in peoples minds in being both….& I think this is something which is a value in itself because all over the world people are sharing sovereignty, coming together in Africa where I worked you get former colonies eh 40 years, 50 years after having eh eh got their national liberation ….they are now coming together they are now sharing  um eh..sovereignty again because they know that the challenges of the modern world, the the huge eh eh challenges of global capitalism, the huge
    forces which are we see on television over the last 5 years in particular, overwhelming countries across the world, we cant do these things alone, we need to work together and you see that in North America you see it in Europe you can see it everywhere in the world the countries desperately coming together because we recognise that we are eh stronger when we work together & I think the most important example of that um in recent years, em not too far away from here, was the trouble with the Scottish Banks. The governor of the Bank of England talked about how banks were international for the big business but um um  the debts for them were national & that was certainly um the case with Scotlands banks but Alistair Darling  ?? bailed out those banks, um,  maybe ask why hes doing it, no conditions, no no no no sort of last minute kind of wrangling no juggling policies between em Edinburgh & lolo London to decide whether we should em bail out those banks or not..why? because we have that shared solidarity, that shared identity , those questions of togetherness, those questions of solidarity are not just a bonus,  they underpin the economic union they underpin em the social union & the shared institutions that we have , they’re not just, they’re not just a bonus, and I think that yes  there’s there’s there’s a benefit in the economy scale, being part of an economy that’s that’s that’s 10 times bigger, a part of the NHS thats 10 times bigger or part of the NHS that’s 10 times bigger or getting 10 times the amount of programming we pay for through the licence fee ?? through the BBC that we wouldn’t otherwise have had but I don’t think those things can be easily separated from that sense em  eh  of of of unity however you describe it, whether you describe it in purely practical terms of being in solidarity or whether you think about it in terms of  in terms of national identity, but our argument is and I think this is where most undecided voters are that this isnt just really a question of those high principles & values & ideas of identity, it’s as much for people a practical pragmatic decision about self interest. My argument is that scotland enjoys the best of both worlds.um um eh..in democratic terms we have a strong scottish parliament & make decisions on health & educaton em all the things we care about here in Scotland, I think we are successful & the scottish parliament over the last 13 years em eh but we also get to be part of something bigger, we also get to be part of something bigger in an unstable & an uncertain world. We also get the best of both worlds, I think, in economic terms , we are part of this bigger whole market, the bigger whole market as I said is 10 times the size em of our own economy & what that enables us to do as well as underpinning the successes of the decision of the decision making in the scottish parliament it also underpins em the things that eh make us special with the natural resources & human resources em that we unlock & to give you a couple of examples..uhmm Scotland has always been at the forefront of science & innovation & research in the world, we have huge numbers of eh  world class universities, far more than any comparable um eh small country em has in the world, that research, the work that  those scientists do , medical research & the new inventions & innovation is underpinned with UK research funding, we have 8% of the population we get double that um in terms of eh the UK eh tax & research money Why the subsidy?? its because we in Scotland are good at it, its the ???? of the United Kingdom  ??? unlocking our human resouce um not too far away from here um across in um um  Rosyth em you’ve got 2000 people , incredibly skilled engineers um building huge um aircraft carriers um not just um short term jobs in building ????????? and across the UK but 50 years of work because scotland has always built high quality technical warships eh for the United Kindom and I think that’s something that we should be em really proud about and at this???? today the First minister gave what was billed as a speech setting out his vision of defence em that he didnt have anything to say about how he would sustain eh those 4000 jobs in the yards , those 4000 more jobs  in em eh eh on the shipyards in the wider community. Em when you look at things like em eh the re-energy revolution that is happening across in Scotland at the moment if only we got a third of the entire British investment em re-energy paid for ??????……across the country we get a third of that ???? paid of the total amount. why, because we have that potential em here & that is underpinned by UK. Theres human resources, there’s ?? resources at best unlocked um eh eh by being part of the bigger bigger United kingdom.. em.and thats our argument, um, our argument  about being????? even if you dont feel that sense of identity,even if you dont buy into these big ideas um that are sort of the background of this today, em it just makes more sense as you’re going to have em your interest rates and the control of your currency um  down in London still sending representatives rather than diplomats..????…better to have your own currency than it is em to have your interest rates set in a foreign country. The occasional sense…??????? we have 4 times as much ????? .trade? & good? & ..services  than those em to the uh uh   ?????..the rest of the united kingdom  has to the rest em of the world and and  these opportunities that scots have and I’m speaking as someone who has lived & worked in the rest of the united kingdom, it would be eight hundred thousand, or would be eight hundred and fifty thousand of us live, work  & take ???? oppurtunities em in the rest of the UK. but even if you didn’t feel that sense of identity, even if you didn’t feel that sense em that’s it’s in our self interest, I think the fact that our own are so desperate not to answer questions about what independence should mean, to give people pause???? em em  about this. Eh eh last week em the first minister gave a speech where he labelled people who are against independence as a parcel of rogues em eh I know we’ve got eh Robert Burns eh on the wall eh today eh the parcel of rogues obviously meaning we’re traitors. Well I love my country every bit as much em as Alex Salmond does , I just don’t think that being Scottish means being um with Alex Salmond and and and em in independence and I’ll quote another eh of Robert Burns poems from my favourite poems eh eh Man was made to mourn where he says that, eh he asks if I was born a lordling slave by natures law defined, why was an independent thought of put in my mind, now, we are supposed to ask questions em of our government,that is especially true em when there is a referendum, we’re supposed to ask how things will work, things that we’re about to dissolve eventually, that union that has been there em for 300 years and just think about  our close on this what we’ve learned by asking those questions, so for years we’ve been told that north sea oil & gas ????? question B because of our campaign, because we asked the questions & because we leaked the famous John Swinney document we found out while they were out there in public telling us eh the oil would pay for everything but behind closed doors they were saying cause of??? volatility in the world cause of what happened with the world crisis that they were having to look at whether we could afford state pensions, they were having to look at what cuts to public services em they’d have to make, and again we’re seeing that as ridiculous as with Alex Salmond eh this week talking about three hundred thousand pounds for every man woman & child em there’s gonna be Lamborgini garages opening up in Bathgate as everybody rushes to work out how they’re going to spend their three hundred thousand pounds. If we had just shut up & stopped asking questions em when this campaign is based entirely on welfare, entirely on that ??argument? of welfare reform, we’re gonna find out that they’re own expert put, behind closed doors Nicola Sturgeon is setting up ???? there is NO plan for the payment of benefits, this isn’t something that’s happening in ten years time, this is something that’s happening in two years time & there is literally no plan, no system, to ensure that pensions and benefits are paid in two years time if we were becoming eh independence, so don’t ever stop asking questions, don’t ever buy into this idea that people who are questioning independence  & are doubtful about independence, who believe that our best future is as part of the united kingdom are somehow unpatriotic em or love their country any less em than the Nationalists do, and the final thing I’ll say is this, do not assume that this referendum is won cos it isn’t. The polls thus far, every single one of them has moved in our favour and against the Nationalists & since the launch of better together took the launch of the Yes Scotland campaign, that won’t be the case all the way through this campaign, there will be ups and downs, there will be movement in the polls & its right that there should be, people should be testing both sides of the argument & questioning how what the best future for Scotland is, but there is a majority of Scots at the moment who believe that our best future is as part of the United Kingdom, but that will only be a majority if that majority turns up, so those of you in the room today who are supporters of better together, it’s not enough just to give your vote um on the day, we need your voice, we need your volunteering and I would encourage you to sign up because it is only a majority for people to stay in the united kingdom, if that majority turns up in September next year. Thank you very much

  127. beachthistle says:

    @EvelynSezAye
    Bloody hell. I’ve always thought that BMcD was going to be out of his depth re ‘directing’ the No Scotland campaign (a good thing for Yes by the way). This drivel shows he is worse than I thought possible. The Rwanda anecdote leading to his spiel  about post-colonial independent African countries  ‘now wanting to share sovereignty’ is incoherent bullshit. No African country is saying to a neighbouring African country “let’s join up, share the same government, etc.”. Some of them seem to becoming more positive re engaging with the African Union, but (for the moment) we have a direct corollary for that: the EU, not the UK!
    (as an aside, I was working in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)  – a neighbouring country to Rwanda – around the same time BMcD was working there. As I remember it the main source of insecurity and anxiety being talked about in DRC wasn’t the big bad wider world, but the actions of its neighbour, er, Rwanda.)

  128. EvelynSezAye says:

    So Blair actually admits near the beginning, that he sometimes tells his audiences lies…but on this occasion, he is telling the truth?? Whit?

  129. ianbrotherhood says:

    @EvelynSezAye-
     
    Outstanding.
     
    I’m doing a transcription job right now – five hours worth of interviews with a well-known artist. I’m averaging 7 mins of script per hour. Killer job, but at least the interviewee is reasonably sane and interesting, and I’ll get paid.
     
    But Blair McD? Oh, FFS, even the thought of it…must be right up there with Rev’s Lamont/Toby-jug Taylor interview.
     
    I shall raise a glass to you later today Evelyn.
     
    Slainte!

  130. Adam Donaldson says:

    Spotted a pile of these leaflets on the reception desk of an NHS hospital in Aberdeen on Friday.  Did not need to read the small print on the back to see who had produced it. I did though…

  131. EvelynSezAye says:

    I don’t think that’s strictly allowed Adam..is it? For any political stuff to be in public buildings? I know that Council offices, libraries etc are not allowed to advertise this stuff?

  132. EvelynSezAye says:

    Adam, you should contact Alex Neill & Nicola Sturgeon cos I really don’t think that is legal? The NHS is run by the Scottish Government who at this moment happen to be SNP…so I doubt that they’d be too happy about this.

  133. Taranaich says:

    when I was in Rwanda um somebody who was working with a young woman asked me eh the questions about how politics worked in Scotland um how Scotland eh eh eh eh hung together & they they are desperately trying to create that ensured identity to move on eh past eh  division & what she asked me was ‘You’re from Scotland and I said Yes & she said tell me how the Scottish & British get on in Scotland, she doesn’t understand that we were both scottish & british, she couldn’t understand that there was no contradiction in peoples minds in being both…
     
    Or maybe, judging by the “how the Scottish & British get along” discussion, she’s gotten English and British confused. Wouldn’t be the first time.
     
    As an aside, I was interested to learn that ethnicity was officially outlawed in Rwanda in 2004: you cannot hold even a discussion about different ethnic groups without risking prosecution.  Given all the discussion of Scotland’s cessation of existence as a country, all the way down to being unable to select Scotland from drop-down lists on websites, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sectors propose to eliminate Scottish, Welsh, English and Northern Irish entirely – not even divisions into North, West or South Britain, just one big monolithic BRITAIN. In fact, I’m pretty sure several already have.
     
    That’s a particularly dangerous line of thinking, where countries, ethnicities and whatnot are seen as divisions, and incompatible with unity – and can only lead to the dilution and impoverishment of any organization which does so. One nation, one language, one people will result in a grey, tepid, homogenised husk, rather than the varied, vibrant, multicoloured whole.

  134. Dennis Webster says:

    Evelyn.  You and the yeam should be awarded a medal for sitting through this. Did no one fall asleep?

  135. Adam Donaldson says:

    Evelyn, I was in the same hospital today and no sign of the leaflets.  The whole reception desk had been tidied up in fact.  As I will be there every day this week I’ll keep my eyes peeled for their reappearance.  Curious to see if it was a one off anyway.



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