Scottish independence referendum, plus jokes.

Wings Over Scotland


The Tallinn Protocols

Posted on August 25, 2013 by

Alert readers will be aware that we like to occasionally have a bit of light-hearted satirical fun pointing out the gulf in numbers between grassroots campaigners on the Yes side of the independence debate and their counterparts in the No camp.

tataysidehouse

But we’ve been gathering evidence of a much more sinister side to the phenomenon.

It’s not entirely new. A couple of months ago we carried a report of authorised Yes activists being intimidated out of a fair near Elgin with implied threats of violence, on the grounds that the “Better Together” campaign had failed to put up any advocates of its own and the presence of Yes Scotland therefore created an imbalance.

But recently we’ve been hearing more and more from pro-independence campaigners that the same tactic – often with the support of sympathetic Labour councillors – has been deployed across the country. Unable to rustle up any supporters to argue its case, the No camp instead uses its own weakness as a weapon, demanding that Yes stands be removed (or refused permission in the first place) simply because their Unionist opposite numbers refuse to turn up.

Scottish football fans will find the scenario familiar. In 1996 the Scotland national side made the long journey to Tallinn in Estonia for a World Cup qualifying match. The Estonian team famously didn’t show, on the grounds that their FA had objected to the start time being brought forward due to fears over inadequate floodlighting, and the match was abandoned moments after the Scots kicked off.

forfeit

Under FIFA regulations, the outcome should have been clear – the awarding of a 3-0 victory to Scotland. But for reasons never properly explained (no “force majeure” had been involved, like the Estonian team coach being in a car crash or some such), the Federation instead ordered the game to be staged again at a neutral venue, where it ended up in a 0-0 draw, depriving Scotland of two precious points.

Clearly, this favourable outcome struck a chord with “Better Together”. The following are just some typical examples of the various different strategies used by No campaigners to suppress debate that we’ve been sent this month.

JOHN McGUIRE, SOUTH AYRSHIRE

“You asked for any instances where YES folk were harassed at any public events. Me and some others were challenged at Ayr Flower Show on Friday August 2nd. Three of us (with Blue waistcoats) were on the main drag through Rozelle Park, not inside the event, and an officious lady asked us to move. Our answer was no, with a smile. We then took some hassle from John Walker (the chairperson of the flower show).

We were accused of being in breach of The Representation of the People Act, (nonsense), barricading the entrance (definitely not), we were blocking the main thoroughfare (definitely not). Told that were not allowed not allowed to distribute leaflets and he was away to get the Police. They never appeared after 2 hours.

So essentially while we refused to move we were courteous and invited him to go get the police. Heard later that the Tories complained we were aggressive and rude, a complete lie.”

FAY SINCLAIR, DUNFERMLINE

“Last week we had our stall at South Dunfermline Gala cancelled with less than 24 hours notice. I had booked and paid for the stall weeks in advance, making it clear it was for Yes Scotland and would involve handing out pro-independence information about the referendum to members of the public. I was told this was fine as long as it was not party political.

The evening before the event the secretary of the organising committee (who had taken the booking) called me to say we weren’t allowed to be there. She told me it was because it wouldn’t be balanced as the other side would not be represented and that they’d received several complaints. We registered our disappointment but stayed away and focused on leafleting the surrounding area instead.

After I complained to the press about feeling pressure had been put on the committee for political reasons, I received my refund and a letter stating that the committee had taken a majority decision and that it was because it was a “children’s gala” and not political. But the way it was handled seems to be a tactic employed by Better Together across the country.

Yesterday local activists had a stall set up outside Pittencrieff Park in Dunfermline for the annual Bruce Festival. We’ve asked the past two years (last year as Yes and the previous year as SNP) to have a stall in the venue but were refused. Last year we set up a table just outside the gates and had no complaints, so decided just to do that again this year.

About an hour after setting up our stall on the street outside the park gates event security approached us and asked us to leave. We refused on the grounds that we were exercising our right to free speech and were entitled to campaign on a public street. They threatened to call police to have us removed and at one point called over a passing policeman who was very disinterested as we were clearly doing nothing wrong.

The local councillor for the area (Neale Hanvey) was there and managed to speak to the organisers, who said it was because Better Together weren’t also represented that we couldn’t be there. In the end they agreed to “let” us keep our stall outside the park gates if we agreed not to turn up on Sunday. So the gazebo will stay in the box and we’ll be out with leaflets in hand and Yes balloons to give out to the kids to hopefully flood the venue with our message. This blatant attempt at censorship will not be accepted.

We had a fantastic response from the public today with hundreds of flags given out, probably close to 1000 pieces of pro-independence literature freely taken and dozens of people signing the Yes declaration.

People want access to the facts to make an informed decision about their country’s future and while more of the scare stories peddled by the No campaign crumble by the day they are clearly running from the debate, working behind the scenes to deprive people of access to information rather than engage and present their case. It only makes activists like myself more determined to make sure people do have the information they need to vote Yes next year.”

JOHN HENDERSON, KIRRIEMUIR

“We set up a Yes shop in Kirriemuir recently to promote the cause, and in the window we display leaflets from Labour for Independence, Women for Independence, the Greens and the SNP as well as Yes materials. It’s really worth a look if you’re ever in the area. Recently, however, a local busybody has complained to the cooncil that we’ve put up a sign (a Yes campaign banner), repainted the shop ( from dull maroon to blue and white) and changed the use from shop to office, all without permission.

The cooncil have instructed us to take down the banner (done), and apply retrospectively for permission to change the colour scheme and change of use. All this will cost us £300, money we don’t have.”

BETH WATT, MUSSELBURGH

“After seeing BT leaflets displayed outside the large lecture hall in Queen Margaret University last year, I asked permission to display some Yes leaflets/literature. I was told by the gentleman in charge of this kind of thing that I would be unable to, as they do not allow political materials in the uni. When I told him that there were BT leaflets outside the main lecture hall he explained that these were left over from some conference (I have no idea what the conference was and had not seen any info on it via intranet).

I complained about them allowing the BT leaflets to be displayed (whether they were leftovers or not – rules is rules) and I was told that if I wanted to do any sort of campaigning I should ask the student union. I went straight over the the SU and spoke to the president, who told me the same thing – can’t leave any Yes stuff cos it’s not fair on the No side.”

These don’t seem to be isolated incidents. After Kirriemuir another Yes shop, this time in Dunoon, was targeted by Loyalist vandals, and when the local newspaper covered the story Orange activists attempted to incite nail-bomb attacks on its office.

yesdunoon

A regular occurrence (the most recent example we were sent happened at Davidson Mains in Edinburgh earlier this month) seems to be police being called to investigate Yes stands “blocking” streets, which invariably results in no action and officers having their time wasted as well as campaigning being disrupted.

And of course, we shouldn’t forget other attempts to use threats of prosecution to silence discussion of events “Better Together” would rather went undiscussed.

We sympathise with the No camp’s inability to motivate people to tramp the streets promoting continued Westminster rule over Scotland at a time when a UK government of unprecedented inhumanity is dismantling our post-war society and freedoms at a pace even the Telegraph can’t stomach. But it’s not an excuse for trying to subvert democratic free speech and debate by underhanded and bullying means.

As we were writing this post, we received another email from Fay Sinclair:

“We were back today with Yes balloons and leaflets but no stall and the artistic director started shouting at me (a heavily pregnant woman) in the street claiming we were ‘hijacking’ his event. When told Bruce fought for independence his response was ‘No, Bruce fought for money!’ He was very aggressive so an official complaint will be made.

Local councillor spoke to head of Dunfermline Delivers which runs the event and we’re setting our stall up outside the gates again today. A less assertive team may have been intimidated into leaving but we knew our rights and stood our ground.”

Just over a year after the farce in Tallinn, Scotland secured qualification for World Cup 1998. Estonia didn’t make it. With the anti-independence campaign already reduced to such desperate measures as these in their attempt to keep the truth from the Scottish public, we have a good feeling about a year into Yes Scotland’s future too.

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189 to “The Tallinn Protocols”

  1. The Water Beastie says:

    Remembering one of the famous chants from that match (“There’s only one team in Tallinn”), it may indeed be that the comparison with on the ground support, is a valid one for the Referendum…..

  2. Marcia says:

    You have placed her to just within her ward boundary. Well done.

  3. sneddon says:

    I guess this is the ‘they come to fight you’ stage.  It amazes me they actually think this tactic would even work on anyone let alone a bunch of stroppy independinistas :) Well done all.   Panic and fear from the onionists.  I agree I’m having a good feeling as well into the last year of campaigning.

  4. ianbrotherhood says:

    Well done Fay Sinclair, and a’body else who stood their ground.

  5. Hazel Lewry says:

    It’s about time all the Yes campaigners began video-ing these desperate attempts to curtail free speech on Scotland’s streets.
    Get them compiled into one documentary style film and on YouTube.
    Then we keep doing it to let the rest of the country see and fully understand just how hard UKOK are working to stifle the debate.

  6. sneddon says:

    Just left a polite commet on the Dunfermline Delivers FB page.  https://www.facebook.com/dunfermline.delivers
     
    It also vexs me as it’s funded out of my tax money as well.

  7. Albalha says:

    Perhaps we’ll see the headline …..
    ‘Festival director claims Bruce only cared about the loot’

    And on Kirriemuir surely YES Scotland can help them out with the £300?

  8. jim mitchell says:

    Back in June of this year, myself and a bunch of other Nat’s set up a YES stall in Sauchie Main Street, outside of, but not blocking the entrance to, a shop, which fortunately for us was/is owned by one of our members, now I have been involved in this kind of thing for the SNP for years, for the first time ever two police officers got out of their car and asked us what we were doing and did we have permission, something which has NEVER happened before, when we pointed out that we didn’t think any was needed as we were not blocking access to anywhere or badgering people to take stuff and it was obvious that we new the rules,, they made it clear that there was no problem, when we introduced them to the man who is not only a local councilor but the council leader, they became very genial!
    I believed them when they said they were just checking, but after reading this, I can’t help but wonder.

  9. jim mitchell says:

    Hazel Lewry, thatis a great idea, my vid/cam goes with me next time.

  10. Jiggsbro says:

    They’re fighting dirty now and when the polls move away from them, they’ll fight even dirtier. And all the while, the MSM will be scrupulously even-handed in complaining about the dirty fighting, by making out both sides are as bad as each other.

  11. Adam Davidson says:

    Love Hazel Lewry’s suggestion about videoing all contact attempting intimidation of Yes supporters. There is no law against this filming. Will be very effective when linked to extensively on YouTube.

  12. David Fletcher says:

    Voice your complaints. 
    http://m.facebook.com/thebrucefestival

  13. iain taylor (not that one) says:

    SLab did this exact thing for an independence debate run by the students at Adam Smith College in the spring. Refused several invitations to put up a panel member. Then just before the day of the debate Lindsey Roy MP (yes, SLab) tried to intimidate college management into cancelling it because the panel wouldn’t be balanced.
     
    Fife Free Press (Johnston Press, like the Hootsmoan) carried a bland story on it, ignoring Roy’s antics and the straw poll after the debate (an win for “Yes”).
    The week after they printed a letter from an SSP representative telling the whole story. Who reads the letters page in the FFP?

  14. les wilson says:

    A must read in the Guardian today, a must read by all of us!
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/25/toughen-up-scottish-nationalists-mckenna 
    Sorry REV, please allow the link,it is worthwhile .

  15. Jamie Arriere says:

    One suggestion for anyone manning a stall anywhere, is to make sure there is someone with a smartphone  capable of filming any exchanges (borrow one if needs be). Any footage of this intimidation in action would be even more powerful than the Rev’s article.

  16. seoc says:

    If the BT opposing crowd were invited to participate at such events (in writing) then if they choose not to appear it’s hardly unfair.

  17. Heather McLean says:

    ” By popular demand, the triumphant return of Lonely Better Together Lady!”
     
    Hehehe!! Love it! ????????

  18. HeatherMcLean says:

    I have absolutely NO IDEA why multiple question marks appear after any post I make when I use my iPhone , so apologies in advance to any grammar Nazi’s out there who may be rading this!

  19. Macart says:

    They’re really worried now and they should be. Two years of relentless PR and our vote, far from being smashed, is beginning to creep forward. The efforts of the YES campaign in the street deserves the best of back slaps and online… Better not, he’ll only blush.
     
    What goes round, comes round.

  20. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Sorry REV, please allow the link,it is worthwhile.”

    Um, I always allow links. Although I tweeted about that particular article at about 6.30am.

  21. Bella Caledonia says:

    It won’t work. The Bruce Festival was awash with Yes balloons and saltires. Great atmosphere despite the organisers. Well done to Fay and others.

  22. Seasick Dave says:

    Heather
     
    I suppose that the iPhone put the apostrophe in Nazis as well? :)

  23. Seasick Dave says:

    Bella Caledonia
     
    Any pictures that the good Rev can use?

  24. Braco says:

    Bella Caledonia,
    just out of interest, what did you make of your editor Kate Higgins’ performance on tv the other night pressuring the YES Scotland campaign and leadership over the hacking scandal and ‘hunnergate’? Didn’t want to raise it over on Bella as it seemed rude somehow. Very interested in the Bella take on it though.

  25. Albalha says:

    @Braco
    Sure BC can answer for themselves but think at the time they tweeted something about her ‘havering’.

  26. Braco says:

    Albalha,
    It was a genuine question as I don’t follow twitter. It’s good to hear. Thanks
    Still like to hear from them about it though as it has gone completely unmentioned over on their Website.

  27. Jeannie says:

    Had a similar experience earlier this year in Kirkintilloch – was asked by a female security guard to move away from the entrance to the Regent Centre shopping arcade (just me on my own) and was told I had crossed an invisible line and I had to stand outside of the invisible line, not inside.  Trying not to laugh, I moved over to the other side of the road and someone came out from a cafe and asked me to move away from there, too.  I wasn’t even at the door.  I was only handing out leaflets too.
     
    I’m also aware that our group was told to leave the Kirkintilloch Gala by the local Labour council leader – they didn’t even have a stand, were just walking about.  I understand they just ignored her. 
     
    Can’t believe how willing and complicit some people are to suppress our hard-won, democratic rights to free speech.  I’m sure people in some parts of the world would view this with disbelief.

  28. faolie says:

    @les wilson, your link’s broken. Here it is here: http://archive.is/NF8KU.
     
    For those that missed the Rev’s memo, copy the link url, go to http://archive.is and paste the link into the box, hit enter, then copy the archive url. Aside from not having to visit whichever MSM rag’s website to read said article,  it also archives it, even if the rag then deletes it from their site.
     
    Good article tho. As it says: As such, the Yes campaign should simply have said the £100 was merely “expenses” and then asked if someone in the opposition campaign was guilty of handling stolen goods, a serious criminal act. Isn’t that exactly what we’re talking about here?

  29. Hazel Lewry says:

    Re: Guardian article. Error 404 Page Not Found!
    .
    As for video recording and taping encounters – just make sure you let them know this is what you’re doing, and keep our side civil and polite!

  30. Jeannie says:

    Took up Morag’s suggeston and bought Murray Ritchie’s “Scotland Reclaimed”.  Mr. Jeannie got to it first though, but he’s just shown me something pertinent – with respect to the 1999 Scottish Parliamentary Election, Murray Ritchie writes, “Labour strategy seems clear enough.  It is to meet each and every statement made by the SNP with an avalanche of ridicule and accusations of dishonesty.  I just wonder if this overkill will not eventually backfire”.
     
    They’re obviously falling back on former strategy – “It’s an old trick, but it might work again”

  31. Albalha says:

    From the link in the article I’ve tried to register to read the Dunfermline Press article on the banning last week. For the life of me can’t get past the anti spam detector and its words to decipher.
    Grateful if anyone has access to it and could post it. apologies if I’m missing something very obvious from the link.

  32. Seasick Dave says:

    Jeannie
     I’m sure people in some parts of the world would view this with disbelief.
     
    I’m in the Far East and I’m aghast!
     
    I loved the invisible line routine. You just couldn’t make it up. Thanks Kirkie Labour.

  33. Albalha says:

    @Braco
    I don’t use twitter but now and then have a wee recce to see, at times like that, what folk are saying.

  34. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    For those that missed the Rev’s memo, copy the link url, go tohttp://archive.is and paste the link into the box, hit enter, then copy the archive url.”

    Even easier than that – if you drag the “bookmarklet” button onto your bookmark bar, all you need to then do is press the button when reading a web page to get the archive URL immediately.

  35. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    Dunfermline is the place of my birth and I am proud of it. Fond memories of School Gala marches into the Glen clutching white cake boxes with the obligatory foody goodies inside. Proud to be associated with King Robert the Bruce who fought for Scottish Independence.
    Reading Fay Sinclair’s piece regarding Dunfermline events makes me so sad.
    These anti-independence organisers, committees and others of the same ilk will be consigned to the midden of miscreants next year. How dare they, in their positions of self appointed authority, decide Scotland’s independence by interfering with free speech. You have shame on you and it will never be forgotten.
    Keep up the good work to Fay and others.
     
     

  36. Seasick Dave says:

    I suppose the other side of the coin is that, if its an SNP council area, then Better Together should be welcomed in to community events.
     
    There is absolutely nothing to be gained from doing the same as them.
     
     
     

  37. DanTDog says:

    Just deposited my own groat’s worth on the Dunfermline Delivers FB page… the more the merrier! As an exiled Fifer myself, I find the organisers’ attitude disgusting, and disturbing, if not entirely surprising.

  38. Jeannie says:

    Do you know, I just don’t buy this argument – we can’t allow one side as the other side isn’t here – what’s that about?  Who are these people who are taking it upon themselves to act as some kind of pretendy “electoral commission”.  Why should they feel it’s encumbent on them to provide space for both sides at any cultural event or ban one side just because the other side isn’t putting in an appearance?
     
    Why are they acting as a replica electoral commission?  How did they get it into their heads that they were required to do this?  It’s ridiculous – ultimately it would mean neither side would be in a position to provide information to the public without coordinating it in advance with the other side.  How is that supposed to happen?

  39. pmcrek says:

    Any chance we can sort out and publicise a crowd source to raise £300 for John Henderson in Kurriemuir so they can sort out their shop? Would be happy to contribute.

  40. Albalha says:

    @jeannie
    Agreed. Utterly bizarre that we seem to have, throughout the whole of Scotland, dictatorial committees who, in many if not most cases, will be funded to some extent from public funds.
     
     

  41. faolie says:

    @ Albalha can’t get past the anti spam detector
     
    You need to answer their wee survey first to access any article. But here’s the link to the page anyway:
    http://www.dunfermlinepress.com/news/roundup/articles/2013/08/23/468664-yes-scotland-banned-from-gala-in-dunfermline/

  42. Iain says:

    @Seasick Dave
    ‘I suppose the other side of the coin is that, if its an SNP council area, then Better Together should be welcomed in to community events.’
     
    Absolutely, with the added bonus that BT being given a chance to make their positive case for the Union usually gets a few Yes votes in the bag.

  43. Jeannie says:

    @dantdog
     
    Sounds like the same sort of folk who run Aberdour Community Council.  Maybe the Yes folk in Dunfermline could exact their revenge by taking a leaf out of this guy’s book – I’ve posted this before, but it’s a great way of expressing your contempt for the local “establishment” when they get carried away with themselves.

  44. Gallowglass says:

    Those images above are the Davidson Mains in Edinburgh pictures taken by myself.
     
    I sent a note to the site when it happened, and I’ll be visiting all the others to see if it happens.
     
    All it takes is one phone call.  It was evident even as the police drew up that they were not blocking the pavement, yet they still spoke to the stall holders all the same.
     
    Harassment via a third party as far as I am concerned.
     
    FREE SCOTLAND!

  45. Albalha says:

    @faolie
    Many thanks for pointing out what should have been obvious to me! Duh.
    Good to see they reported it and empty chaired the Council responsible, who may have hoped, by not commenting, they’d kill the story.

  46. Gallowglass says:

    You should put the pics in the article Rev. for those who don’t read the comments (I don’t always it has to be said)

  47. Weedeochandorris says:

    les wilson says:
    25 August, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    A must read in the Guardian today, a must read by all of us!
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/25/toughen-up-scottish-nationalists-mckenna 
    The page seems to have disappeared link takes me to message 
    Sorry – we haven’t been able to serve the page you asked for!

  48. David Smith says:

    So, according to the Torygraph today, you’re a peddler of simplistic propaganda Stu.
    Why are you trying to muscle into a market that the MSM have already cornered.
    We demand answers! ;-)

  49. panda paws says:

    The police came out to speak to us on both occasions I’ve been at a Yes East Ren stall. We couldn’t set our stall up Cowan Park in Barrhead for their gala day – a Labour councillor had been apparently agitating against it despite it being a public park. We set up across the road, the police came and we’d a French journalist there who saw it all.

    Speaking about silencing folk, over at the Guardian a number of comments by pro-independence supporters are “disappearing” on Severin Carrell’s articles. Not modded, but literally deleted without a trace.

  50. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “So, according to the Torygraph today, you’re a peddler of simplistic propaganda Stu.”

    Wait, what now?

  51. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I sent a note to the site when it happened, and I’ll be visiting all the others to see if it happens.”

    Man, I looked EVERYWHERE for those. Gmail is awful. Edited them in as links now.

  52. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    On the Dunoon shop incident I manage it and there has been some interesting fallout from it.  
    Firstly it was not the shop that was threatened with nail bombs . It was David Goodwin the editor of the excellent online Cowal Courier newspaper who had covered the vandalism in his daily news bulletin.

    We had three instances of pro union Orange Lodge leaflets being stuck to our shop window with some sort of powerful adhesive. We had to use industrial solvent to get them off. We wrote to Orange Lodge HQ in Glasgow (which address was on the leaflets) asking the lodge to remove them. A gentle man for the Orange Lodge came to talk to us and after an apology  suggested that it was nobody from the local Orange Lodge as the leaflets in question had been circulated in their thousands at marches across Scotland.

    I accepted this. He went on to say that many members of the Lodge will be voting YES.
    Since that point we have had quite a number of chaps in wearing Rangers tops getting YES car stickers and badges and I met a whole group of them coming back from Ibrox two Saturdays ago saying they were voting YES.
     
    (Ally McCoist is a YES man)
    So all is not as it seems

  53. ianbrotherhood says:

    George Robertson – veteran of untold thousands of demos, hustings and stalls, knocker of millions of doors – demonstrates the cat-like reflexes of a genuine street-fighter. No ‘Project Feartie’, oor George -
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcFxwFYRf0s 

  54. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Firstly it was not the shop that was threatened with nail bombs “

    Yes, the sentence points out that it was the newspaper that got the threats.

  55. Weedeochandorris says:

    Ok found it thanks Faolie.  Very interesting and have to say I agree that turning the other cheek is not always the best response. There is definately a time to hit back twice so you won’t be slapped again – if we’re not already at that point we soon will be.  

  56. Rooster says:

    Surely all that needs be done to ensure fairness is to allow the other side, whoever that may be, the oppurtunity to attend. Since their attendence is outwith the control of anyone but themselves it is surely unfair to deny admittance to anyone else based on it.

  57. Joseph Curran says:

    I think it’s becoming clear that this kind of intimidation will become worse over the next year, so is it now time that the YES campaign issued legal advice over this kind of bullying?  They should also have a legal team ready for the volunteers to contact if they have any problems setting up stalls.

  58. Fay-Yes says:

    Thanks for all the support for our stall in Dunfermline.
    I’ll be making complaints to the organisers and press about how we were treated, particularly when there was a very aggressive man shouting in my face. I don’t think that shows the festival in a very good light to be shouting loudly “Bruce just fought for money” at a pregnant lady as people are entering the venue! It’s a shame as the Bruce Festival is a great event and is planned to be part of next year’s Homecoming Scotland. I can only hope the organisers either learn lessons or are changed for then.

  59. Boorach says:

    Can anyone tell me how I can get my hands on some Yes leaflets?
     
    I’ve tried YesScotlland but though they were helpful all I actually got were printouts of some of their on-line publications. Fine for me but not a lot of good for distributing.

  60. Boorach says:

    pmcrec

    Any chance we can sort out and publicise a crowd source to raise£300 for John Henderson in Kurriemuir so they can sort out their shop? Would be happy to contribute.

      
    Good idea, count me in…. any chance of you organising something Rev?

  61. Albalha says:

    And Armed Forces Day in Stirling next year, Hammond hopes it’ll help their Unionist cause
    The national event for Armed Forces Day is to be held in Stirling next year ahead of the independence referendum.
    UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the event would help underline the strength of the union.
    Scotland’s veterans minister, Keith Brown, said he was not concerned with the UK government’s motivation for bringing the event to Scotland.
     
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-23831879

  62. cirsium says:

    @pmcrek – good idea.  I would be happy to contribute.  John Henderson- Kirriemuir over to you.

  63. gavin lessells says:

    O/T
    All is not doom and gloom at Pacific Quay.
    Ken MacDonald conducted a fair debate on the programme “Headlines” at 0900 this morning including Gerry Hassan. The existence of this site, Newsnet and Bella Caledonia were mentioned and the organiser of the latter gave an excellent interview and explanation for the success of these blogs with YES supporters.
    Unfortunately, as I sail a wee boat and have not been to a course at my local library, I am technically unable to provide a link to “Headlines”
    Perhaps some kind technocrat might do the business for me?

  64. Ian Grant says:

    Gallowglass, thanks for posting the pictures you took of our Edinburgh West Davidson’s Mains stall. In fact, the police were very reasonable and supportive. They vindicated our right to run the stall, and said that the phone caller was wasting police time. The individual who called the police was, however, rude and threatening, and it could have been very frightening for anybody not accustomed to rabid NO supporters.

  65. Linda's back says:

    Albalha says:
    25 August, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    And Armed Forces Day in Stirling next year, Hammond hopes it’ll help their Unionist causeThe national event for Armed Forces Day is to be held in Stirling next year ahead of the independence referendum.
     
     
    Absolutely Marvelous and it is taking place next June at the same time as the official opening of the new Bannockburn visitor centre.
    Stirling’s Provost, Mike Robbins, spoke of the city’s pride in becoming the focus of next year’s events will be in line for an OBE for services to the Union.

  66. Albalha says:

    @gavinl
    Here it is, I thought the media discussion was good but they didn’t do very well on the hacking/Bulmer story. Even the chap from the Herald didn’t know the real story, or of course chose not to disclose it.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b038zhpm/Headlines_25_08_2013/

  67. gavin lessells says:

    Albalha
     
    Many thanks for that. It is the media discussion which is well worth a listen. Ken MacDonald has made it plain in two consecutive programmes of the anti Independence bias of the Scottish press. From the evidence sofar available from Pacific Quay I think he could be putting his head on the block as far as Boothman is concerned. It really should listened to without prejudice.

  68. Albalha says:

    @gavinl
    I think we can be sure that Ken Mc is not only a YES man but doesn’t give a flyer about senior management.
    His reading out of the text about him being supportive of YES, running into a Labour bully and the programme being renamed ‘Nedlines’, priceless.

  69. Chic McGregor says:

    @Dave Hill
    “Ally McCoist is a YES man”
    Do you mean he has come out in favour of yes to independence? or was it a punny?
     
    If he is in favour of independence then he is the first I’ve heard of those who co-signed the anti-independence letter/advert which the unionists payed to appear in the Scottish press some years ago.

  70. Andy-B says:

    Cant leave any leaflets or have a stall promoting the YES campaign
    because it would be unfair on the BT camp who have no representation
    surely thats the fault of the no camp, for not having any representation, as for threats from the O/O despicable barely describe them and their tactics.
     
    Surely the YES should be allowed to at least hand out flyer, to people in a public area, flyers for everything from sunbed shops to carwash sites are handed out every day outside premises in Scotland.
     
    it seems BT have begun intimidation tactics across the country, using the O/O members and other pro-unionists, and yet the MSM try and make Nationalist, look like brown shirts.

  71. Anon Sailor says:

    May I offer the services of our Yes Bouncers and Minders for indy.

  72. Angus says:

    You should have a phone recording app on standby for these confrontational occasions just so you can prove who is doing the shouting-just passing on a lesson learned that really worked.

  73. HeatherMcLean says:

    Boorach says:
    25 August, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Can anyone tell me how I can get my hands on some Yes leaflets?
     
    I’ve tried YesScotlland but though they were helpful all I actually got were printouts of some of their on-line publications. Fine for me but not a lot of good for distributing.

      Try your local SNP office, they may have some that they will give you .. why not volunteer to help out when they go leafleting?Boorach

  74. Gallowglass says:

    “Man, I looked EVERYWHERE for those. Gmail is awful. Edited them in as links now.”
     
    Hehe, no problem.  I feel a bit famous now!  Thank you. :)

  75. orkers says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill
    Not all Rangers Supporters are Unionist arseholes Dave. A lot of us are football Fans who are also going to vote ‘Yes’.
    Thanks for your heartening post.

  76. Red squirrel says:

    Sorry OT and with a health warning! Still trying to get my head around this one but the headline is 3% drop in No vote since Jan.
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/424454/EXCLUSIVE-Fears-of-exodus-if-Scots-vote-to-split

  77. Albalha says:

    Earlier in the thread @Braco was asking what Bella Caledonia thought of Kate Higgins ITV performance. Anyway just thought I’d have a look at her blog and on the horror of the deaths off Shetland she says, the oil and gas industry is ‘at risk’, oh come on. 
     
    This weekend, four families are in mourning, thousands of co-workers are shaken and one of Scotland’s most important industries is at risk.

  78. Murray McCallum says:

    You would hope, in addition to the internet, that the public spaces of Scotland were an equal place for willing campaigners to inform the public.
     
    As well as their strategy of draining the hope out of Scots with their constant stream of miserableness, it also seems the No campaign are trying to suck the oxygen out of free speech.

  79. orkers says:

    @Albalha
    I signed up as a follower of her blog, but have grown so disenchanted that I’ve recently unsubscribed.
    She’s become, or perhaps always, was a bit suspect.

  80. Jen says:

    I agree with Jeannie at 4:21, where is the requirement stated that both sides have to be present in the local community for gala and festivals.  Seems like a form of self censorship or people are feart of being seen as Yes supporters.  The Scottish Cringe in action whilst I think their is an element of prevention from Labour people within the council system and general supporters of the Union. 

    It’s like saying you can’t have a girl band at the gala day if there is no boy band. 

    In my opinion, its stopping people obtaining information that could make their mind up.  Are the Unionists afraid to state the positive case for the Union of Equals?  I think so and it shows their lack of support. 

  81. Tony Little says:

    Just been watching the AD interview on HARDtalk.  Amazing!  If he gets flustered to such a degree from a relatively gentle interviewer, no wonder he runs scared of AS!  YES should take clips for this and get them out to a wider audience.

  82. scottish_skier says:

    RE Angus Reid and the Express.
     
    Haven’t seen the tables yet but another poll consistent with No dropping back and Yes rising slowly.
     
    Also, within variance (+/- 3%), once again consistent with Panelbase.

  83. HandandShrimp says:

    So the message is that because Better Together could not organise a piss up in a brewery and have no on the ground activists then Yes Scotland, which is well organised and does have activists, can’t campaign?  That doesn’t make a blind bit of sense. I think this needs to be taken to Holyrood and for some ground rules laid down here.

  84. handclapping says:

    @Red squirrel
    You can see why they didn’t want to write about space monsters when they had their very own 848,000 (16% of 5,300,000; I presume most of those polled and answering would want to take their children with them.) exodus as a result to have to justify :)
    Its also worth noting that the Express could only afford a poll of 530 so the results are likely to be even dodgier than the normal.
    Way to go Rev and the Wings crowd funders!

  85. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Chic
     
    I read fairly recently that Ally had declared for an Independent Scotland with the Queen as head of state like New Zealand or Canada.  

  86. Albalha says:

    @ScottishSkier
    What is Angus Reid polling? A reputable organisation? 549 seems a rather small sample.

  87. Castle Rock says:

    So will the Unionists now be demanding that there should be EDL\BNP\SDL stalls at an anti fascist protest before it can go ahead?
     
    Never thought it was possible but Unionism\Bitter Together have sunk to a new low.

  88. scottish_skier says:

    What is Angus Reid polling? A reputable organisation? 549 seems a rather small sample.
     
    It’s a bit on the low side (error +/-4.4%) but AR are fine. Much better than Yougov or MORI.
     
    I await the tables before concluding any further than I have. 
     

  89. Boorach says:

    Heather
     
    no such thing as an SNP office in this area and haven’t seen any street stalls etc advertised on YesScotland ergo the need to do some solo work

  90. Murray McCallum says:

    Look, I’ve always said Scotland could have free speech.  Any country in the World could have free speech. The question for me is, should Scotland have free speech?
     
    Sorry, a bit of Darling logic for everyone.

  91. handclapping says:

    @Albalha
    Canadians.
    Yes.
    Every poll has the chance to be completely wrong, the larger the sample the less chance of this happening. The smaller the poll the dodgier may be the results from it eg ~1000 for +- 3% on a nation of 5,000,000 but 300 for the same on a constituency of 70,000.

  92. Albalha says:

    @Boorach
    Where do you live?
    I don’t hink it’s about an SNP office but a YES Scotland presence.
    Unless you’re somewhere like Jura I can’t believe there’s not a YES bunch of folks relatively near to you.

  93. orkers says:

    ‘Chic I read fairly recently that Ally had declared for an Independent Scotland with the Queen as head of state like New Zealand or Canada’
    I’d be pleased beyond measure if he actually had said this. It would be a magnificent weapon on a few football forums I know.
    Can you provide some proof Dave?

  94. Albalha says:

    @ScottishSkier
    Oh I do enjoy your analysis, let us know when you see the results.

  95. scottish_skier says:

    +- 3% on a nation of 5,000,000 but 300..
     
    And people should remember the +/- % is precision, not accuracy. +/-3% does not mean the e.g. 34% Yes is within 3% of the actual number. What it is, is within +/-3% of what you’d get if you sampled another identical demographic sample the same day with the same question using the same methodology/weighting. Precision is how close you are to hitting the same spot each time. Accuracy is how close you are to the actual number.
     
    You can be super precise and totally inaccurate. A thermometer that measures the melting point of ice within +/- 0.0001 C is extremely precise, but if not calibrated and reading 5.0001 C, it’s inaccurate. 
     
    There is no way to know which methodology is the most accurate. For that, you’d need to sample everyone and compare how well you did with your 1000 sample approach. So pollsters wait on actual election outcomes and see how well they did.
     
    A year in advance, polls are fairly pointless. At least actual numbers are. Trends are of interest though.

  96. Vambomarbeleye says:

    Armed forces day.
    Need to get as many veterans as possible on parade wearing YES badges above their medals.

  97. jim mitchell says:

    So scottish_skier, re your last post, a technical analysis of this poll then would sum it up in terms of it being, more unionist mince?

    I just love it when we go into the detail

  98. scottish_skier says:

    By pointless I mean Y/N polls. The example being MORI. They publish figures showing apparent super support for the union, but then say ‘actually, only 56% of people are set on what they want to vote with 44% still making their minds up so all to play for.’
     
    The more probing questions such as those in the WoS poll are far more interesting at this stage.

  99. Albalha says:

    @Vambomarbeleye
    If you have any influence then I suggest you go for it. I’m absolutely not the Armed Forces type.

  100. Boorach says:

    Albalha
     
    Am in Easter Ross and from what I see on YesScotland events listings there is little or nothing N of Inverness

  101. scottish_skier says:

    mince
    Not mince, just not a good predictor of what will happen. Far too far out. See my note on MORI – the union favourite due to high ‘shy Yes’ factor.
     
    Unless you have info on who is dead set, who is open to changing their minds etc, then a straight Y/N on what you’d vote ‘tomorrow’ is not a great deal of use at this stage, other than for trends.
     
    The Yes was ahead of the N in 2011. It has been there before. People who support Yes have been saying no for reasons I have speculated upon before.
     
    I predict a closing of Y and N by the end of the Year / early 2014. This will mainly be due to N support dropping rather than Yes rising massively. If all goes well, then Yes will start to take off as we head towards September with a clear lead going into the referendum. 

  102. Vambomarbeleye says:

    Why ! is any one surprised at the dirty tricks. It was all ways going to be thus. Look around at what happened in Eastern Europe and Western Europ for that matter.
    We have been lied to for years. Why would it stop now. What about the SNP guy that was found dead at Kintail in very iffy circumstances.
    Expect to be hacked, obstructed lied to etc. Do record and keep all evidence. We don’t have to stoop to their level but we do have to be able to prove what they are up to. So evidence and name and shame.
     

  103. Vambomarbeleye says:

    @ Albalha
    Funny you should say that. I will see what can be done.
     

  104. faolie says:

    So did anyone else who read the Express’s poll have this vision of long lines of refugees slowly making their way across the border with their goods and chattels, heading for the transit camps in Carlisle and Newcastle? Well with comments like “However, our poll suggests a sovereign Holyrood would be left in charge of around three million people who wish to remain citizens of a foreign nation.” what else are we to infer? Just hilarious.
     
    That page deserves to be archived: http://archive.is/GME0J

  105. Albalha says:

    @Boorach
    A quick search finds in Dingwall  http://my.mutterings.co.uk/politics/events/yesscotland-in-dingwall-3
    Though where exactly are you in Easter Ross?

  106. alexicon says:

    As regards the cynical attempt by Westminster to use the arms forces day at Stirling for political reasons, wouldn’t it be a good idea for the local YES campaigners, as well as outside assistance, to have a large presence at this union flag waving jamboree. 
    To fly the Independence flag for Scotland.

  107. sneddon says:

    ‘Need to get as many veterans as possible on parade wearing YES badges above their medals.’   I’m sure our friends over at ‘Veterans for Independence’  are already planning  to.
    Let’s be easy on the BT people eh?  They can’t get boots on the ground as they are busy on the phones compaining to the police and undertaking ‘Shouting at pregnant women’ courses.  :)

  108. scottish_skier says:

     “However, our poll suggests a sovereign Holyrood would be left in charge of around three million people who wish to remain citizens of a foreign nation.” 
     
    3 million really well off people. All that income from oil, whisky, power, food and drink exports etc with 2.3 million less to provide public services for.
     
    Woo-hoo!
     
    Pity the Express talks a lot of shite.

  109. Chic McGregor says:

    Dave Hill & Orkers
    “I read fairly recently that Ally had declared for an Independent Scotland with the Queen as head of state like New Zealand or Canada.  ”
    I hope that is correct but not so much because I think he is a ‘big feather’ more because McCoist was the signee I was most surprised to see in that ad. always wondered if it was just to please his mentor Smith.  Always thopught he had that wee bit more about him smeddum-wise.
     
    BTW here is the infamous list of signees.
     
    Sir Alex Ferguson Alex McLeish Bobby Lennox Graeme SounessWalter SmithCraig BrownAlly McCoist Billy McNeill Roy Aitken Tommy GemmellCraig Levein Sandy Jardine Bertie AuldJohn Greig Gary McAllister 

  110. PRJ says:

    When setting up your stall why not have two, the other for the No campaign. A simple sign stating “Invited but Nothing to Contribute” should suffice.

  111. Chic McGregor says:

    cut’n’paste of the list was screwed by the comment editor, sorry.
     

  112. Boorach says:

    Albalha
     
    Am in Tain, there is a local SNP branch (closed for summer) and last High St stall had zero info to distribute. 
     
    Thanks for the link, that event was back in Jan but I’ve gleaned a phone number from it so will give it a try first thing.
     
    Am fed up with inaction and will fly solo if necessary as I could cover Alness – Bonar Bridge/Dornoch hence need for materials

  113. Macsenex says:

    Re Armed forces day: time for all veterans who are nationalists and those of us whose late arenas were service people and wear their medals with pride under YES banner.

  114. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Chic
    Odd , because Craig Brown has contributed to our Saltire Newspaper and certainly made pro independence remarks in the past. I suspect the list is out of date

  115. Albalha says:

    @Boorach
    I’m not a paid up member of YES Scotland but here’s another link
    http://www.yesscotland.net/alexcaithness/yes_tain_highland_games
    Anything to get us over the line, that’s my quest. Noy sure if the above link helps or not.
     

  116. sneddon says:

    Chic- Thanks for posting the list.  It’s been a while but I’ve never seen a list of so many irrelevant turnip heads in one place.  I’m so happy most of them don’t live in Scotland and hopefully when we get our independnece the remainder will bugger of as part of the ‘Express’ exodus :)

  117. fitheach says:

    @Boorach
    Send us an email via the contact form http://yeshighland.net/contact-main and we will put you in touch with other Yes people in your area. Volunteers always most welcome

  118. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Boorach-
     
    Not meaning to be a doom-and-gloomer, but be careful if you’re going solo – few weeks ago, at street-stall on a very busy Ayr High St, we had a nasty one with a homeless dude (a fit-looking ex-services type, in his sixties) who went off on one when he heard us shouting about the Bedroom Tax – ‘why didn’t ye’s help me twenty-three year ago? Eh? Eh?’ He zeroed-in on one of the lads, had him backed-up against a shop-window and looked very close to head-butting him as the rest of us shifted in between them. He did leave eventually, but not before announcing exactly what he thought of us and issuing threats to each of us in turn. I don’t believe he even knew who were were, what party we represented. We just happened to be there when he was in the mood to have his buttons pushed. These guys can crop-up anywhere, and they’re dangerous. I dare say you can look after yourself, but be careful – always best to have someone else with you, for corroboration if nothing else.  

  119. Albalha says:

    I will eat a fair few of my wide collection of hats if Ally McCoist declares openly and publicly for independence.
     

  120. Albalha says:

    Oh and @boorach rather rank that your local Tain SNP branch shuts down for the Summer, don’t they know there’s a vote to win? And people wonder why I’ve no time for organised politics.

  121. fitheach says:

    @Boorach
    I don’t know why my URL didn’t get converted to a clickable link in my previous post but here it is again our Yes Highland contact form

  122. The Flamster says:

    Jeannie, I too bought Scotland Reclaimed and I am over half way through it.  Talk about DeJa Vu. I feel as if I am reading in present time as it’s the same tatics being used over and over again. Apart from people no longer with us nothing has changed. Great read though – you will enjoy it.
    Also according to book – Craig Brown is a Yes.

  123. ianbrotherhood says:

    McCoist would be a cracker to have on-board. 
     
    Best McCoist story I’ve heard is the one (he tells, allegedly) where he and Durrant happened to find themselves in an earthy establishment in Amsterdam. 
    Durrant: How much is it for a w**k?
    Lass: Sixty Guilders (or Euros, whatever)
    McCoist: How much is it if you’re not a w**k?

  124. Albalha says:

    @Macsenex
    If you’re a veteran and minded to vote YES then anything you can do to promote that on Armed Forces Day has to be welcomed. Saor Alba.

  125. handclapping says:

    The 300 sample size for a constituency is an interesting number. If you go canvassing you’ll get 6 or 7 responses in an evening so a squad of 9 will get 60. With an average constituency of 60,000 in 5 wards, then 45 people spread over the wards will get a “poll” of that constituency in an evening. So not only doe you get 100 new supporters and the chance to move 130 up the Don’t Know ladder but HQ gets a real insight how the campaign is going in that constituency for free.

  126. Thepnr says:

    Re the Kirrimuir Yes shop, I believe they may already have received any financial assistance they required through the help of LFI. See the article for 14th August here:
     
    https://www.facebook.com/SLFI.TaysideFife?fref=ts

  127. sneddon says:

    Albalha- ‘I will eat a fair few of my wide collection of hats if Ally McCoist declares openly and publicly for independence.’
    Is that with salt n’ sauce or ketchup.  Stranger things have happend(usually at sea but you never know)  :)

  128. handclapping says:

    Does anybody know how the vote will be taken? Will it be by constituencies or by Councils? It will be more expensive but quicker by constituencies but slower and cheaper by Councils. Will it even be done overnight?

  129. Boorach says:

    Albalha
     
    Thanks for all help. Wasn’t at the games but street stall on same day as mentioned earlier… pitiful.
     
    Ian
     
    Don’t worry about me, also ex services and I back down for no-one. Might well quiver in my shoes but am a thrawn b’stard! :-)
     
    Fitheach
     
    Email on way, thanks

  130. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Boorach-
     
    More power to ye mister. You’re team-handed anyway – loads of us right there in spirit, always.

  131. Lydia says:

    Perhaps we should at future events offer to provide a “No” campaigner so that it’s “balanced”? Can take it in turns to hold a “No” balloon and ask ridiculous off-topic questions.

  132. Re indy sites Vasi used to be a good link but appears to have died a death which is pity maybe someone with the ability could do something similar for Yes sites reading some of the above posts.
     
    https://twitter.com/VAScotIndy

  133. Boorach says:

    Thanks Ian
     
    Saor Alba

  134. alex taylor says:

    Boorach
    I picked up 6000 Independence Rally leaflets from the Yes office in Glasgow last week. Is that what you’re looking for?

  135. Boorach says:

    @ Alex
     
    sounds like it, anything to hand out on the High Streets, start conversations and hopefully mobilise others in the area.

  136. Edulis says:

    I was at the Glen Urquhart games yesterday and the Yes gazebo was in evidence. It got a steady stream of engaged people. I was on another stall but managed to have a chat with one of the volunteers. When I reamed off WoS as one of my must see blogs, I was surprised to find out that he had never heard of it. So there are committed Yes people who haven’t caught up with the revolution that is happening on places like Wings.

  137. Heather McLean says:

    PRJ says:
    25 August, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    When setting up your stall why not have two, the other for the No campaign. A simple sign stating “Invited but Nothing to Contribute” should suffice
    Now that sounds like a cunning plan! :-) 

  138. Heather McLean says:

    PRJ says:
    25 August, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    When setting up your stall why not have two, the other for the No campaign. A simple sign stating “Invited but Nothing to Contribute” should suffice.

      Sounds like a cunning plan! I like it!

     

     

  139. Bubbles says:

    @ Edulis
     
    i joined my local SNP branch a few months ago and I also mentioned WoS and NNS and nobody had heard of either! That was a couple of months ago though but still…. I was the most informed at that meeting. Which is sad really.

  140. Thepnr says:

    Coming back to the original article I just wanted to say that every sane person in this country should be disgusted by any form of censorship, however that seems to be one tactic of what can only be described as very small minded people.
     
    I would also like to say thanks to those brave souls mentioned above who are willing to argue for their beliefs on behalf of all us supporters despite the aggressive opposition.
     
    Lets face it is our job to let the people of Scotland know just what is going on, it shouldn’t be too hard to persuade them that the MSM and the establishment is totally against giving them a free choice in so far as it will first try to poison their opinion through lies and deceit.
     
    I think we have to give up on hoping a Knight on a white horse will come charging into BBC and make everything fair. Lets just take up the mantle ourselves and get out there and talk to people day after after…………..

  141. fitheach says:

    @Boorach
     
    Just received your email and sent off a reply.
     
    You should ask the Rev if he can remove your email address from this thread as otherwise you will get loads of spam.

  142. ianbrotherhood says:

    @fitheach-
     
    I posted my e-mail address here maybe four, five times (a couple of weeks ago) while gathering names for the Glasgow meeting – didn’t get anything dodgier than the usual shite from payday-loan sharks etc.

  143. Boorach says:

    @ Rev
     
    Could you please remove my email from above post but let Alex Taylor have it should he ask.
     
    my thanks and apologies for inconvenience

  144. Beastie says:

    Vambomarbeleye says:
    25 August, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Armed forces day.
    Need to get as many veterans as possible on parade wearing YES badges above their medals.

    Absolutely. Brilliant idea, and I’d be very surprised if Veterans for Scottish Independence hasn’t got a similar line on it. I am ex-military myself and have no medals, because I was only ever eligible for one and I didn’t think involvement in the second Gulf War was anything I would want to wear a medal for so I refused the campaign medal. But I’ve got a wee badge that says ‘Armed Forces Veteran’ on it pinned to my suit and that would be well augmented by a Yes badge. I’d be delighted to turn up in Stirling on Armed Forces Day next year just so Phillip Hammond could have an apoplectic fit.

  145. Albalha says:

    Yes and I’ve posted my e mail recently on this site too, and it’s still out there in quarantine, nothing untoward has unfolded. By all means be careful but let’s not buy into scary, scary land. Reds under the beds, bogey men etc, etc. Fear of fear is a tragedy.
    If they want to get you they will and won’t be standing by the WoS website to catch you out.
    Please let’s stay real, as they say, or at least once said.

  146. The Rough Bounds says:

    It might be a good idea if you are refused entry to anywhere to place your Yes Scotland stall (because there isn’t a Bitter Together stall) to get a Yes supporter to pretend that he/she is the No supporter and wants to set up inside the park beside the Yes stall. He/she, once they are inside the park or wherever, should then behave like an absolute pratt (which is what No supporters are) and give out a load of baloney to the punters.
    That has got to be worth a laugh.

  147. Albalha says:

    @Bubbles
     I thought you were posting from Canada, where are you in Scotland?

  148. Calgacus says:

    I know people who swore they would leave Scotland if we voted Yes in 1997.
    They are still here.

  149. CameronB says:

    I am surprised that Yes activists would consider undertaking anything on their own, I would assume against the advice of the official Yes team. I would be even more surprised if the official Yes team has not issued guidance to campaigners, in terms of procedural and legal does and don’ts. If a campaign which always intended a heavy reliance on grass-roots support failed to do so, I would simply ask why?

  150. Albalha says:

    @CameronB
    Bloody good point, if I may say so, you’d think YES Scotland would help coordinate requests …..interesting.
     

  151. CameronB says:

    @ Albalha
    I have yet to contact my local Yes group, so I am totally unaware of what they are doing re. guidance to activists. From what I have been reading here though, it would not appear to be enough. For example, Yes sponsored events without documentary video footage as standard practice, FFS.

  152. Jamie Arriere says:

    No real problem with the Armed Services Day in Stirling – nice of them to give the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders a ceremonial duty to do. Might be a good idea to suggest a future SDF will have a future for the A&SH which is more than just guard-changing ceremonies and posing for tourists.

  153. alex taylor says:

    Boorach
    Already emailed you. So, ‘let’s do a thing’.

  154. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Rather ironic that unionists in Scotland have been complaining about roads being blocked when their compatriots have been doing the very same thing (and far worse) in Northern Ireland over the last year. 

  155. Paula Rose says:

    I’ve registered with BT to run a stall in my area if they wish, at least they won’t be able to claim no volunteers :)

  156. Doug Daniel says:

    It shouldn’t come as any surprise to us that this is going on. As soon as Blair McDougall accused Yes supporters of dirty tricks campaigns a few months back, that should have been recognised as an admission that they were indulging in dirty tricks themselves. Accusing your opponent of that which you’re doing yourself is one of the standard tactics of deceitful campaigns like Better Together, after all.
     
    Maybe people should start asking to have a stall to promote BOTH sides of the debate, and just take along a handful of BetterTogether leaflets to put on the table. Can’t think how else to get around this sneaky trick, since we can’t force them to turn up.

  157. Paula Rose says:

    Perhaps we should encourage a grass roots bt campaign, and all get together and help them be better campaigners – after all they’re not doing very well. I could have a knit-in.

  158. Chic McGregor says:

    @Dave hill
    ‘”Odd , because Craig Brown has contributed to our Saltire Newspaper and certainly made pro independence remarks in the past. I suspect the list is out of date”
     
    I did wonder about pa Broon because of his stout opposition to Scots playing in the GB Olympic team, he was convinced that was a real threat (via Blatter) to the Scottish national team.  Maybe that was a turning point for him, but  I never saw a definitive statement from him pro Indy.  Would be delighted if he has.
     
    Also note that Billy McNeil stood as a candidate recently for the pensioner’s party which, at least for the 2007 election seemed pro indy but not sure of their current stance.
     
    The list is certainly old (2003 election? ) but accurate.
     
    The more who are converts from it the better.

  159. Boorach says:

    My thanks to all for your encouraging words last night. I am now in touch with folk in the area and further afield. I am also working on getting some leaflets for distribution, thanks Alex.
     
    CameronB
     
    I’m getting on in years and was around a long time before health and safety was a glimmer in the government’s eye, wouldn’t know how to start a risk assessment or whatever it’s called. We are the grassroots and if we all wait for someone else to add the fertiliser we will lose by inertia.
     
    For me ‘now IS the day and now IS the hour’ if we don’t win it this time I may not see the next referendum. I’ve faced rioters on the streets of Hong Kong, Belfast and Londonderry and spent a year in the Borneo jungle during the confrontation in the sixties so I’m damned if I’ll be faced down by anyone with opposing views on the future of my country.

  160. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Boorach-
    No knowing where your travels will take you, but if you let us know where you’re likely to be pitching-up I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d be keen to pop along and see you. Here’s me e-mail:
    ian [at] stevenston4 [dot] fsnet [dot] co [dot] uk
    Good luck mister!

  161. Albalha says:

    @Boorach
    Great to hear it’s all worked out and yes as @ianb says let folks know what, where you’re up to. My e mail sitting in quarantine.
    If I’m up Tain way, which happens, I’ll give you a shout. I may even help deliver a leaflet or two!

  162. Boorach says:

    I wish you would all just shut up! I can take aggression, confrontation etc. but theres something about kindness that goes straight to the ducts. Thanks all :-)

  163. John Lyons says:

    Well done yes Dunfermline, I was Robert Bruce at pittencrief park and the yes badges and balloons were very noticeable inside the park, even interspersed among the 12,000 visitors as they were. Bleep up the good work!
     
    just a query, but since the park is a public place and not actually owned by Visit Dunfermline, couldn’t you just set up in the park anyway?

  164. Albalha says:

    @JohnLyons
    Now that’s cool, ‘I was Robert the Bruce’ …… on the parks they’re local authority but outside is public and okay, if that makes sense, as long as you’re not blocking any access.
    That’s my understanding.

  165. Barontorc says:

    Of course the answer to this;  ‘no BT stand, so no YES stand permission’ is for the local council to supply information desks/stands to represent both views of the referendum debate, which can then be manned by supporters/delegates as a public information source.
     
    The BT people seem to have no idea just how  debilitating to their cause it is to refuse to discuss their side of things. To then demand by threat and police involvement that the YES side also be silenced is farcical and political suicide. They have all but packed it in and are leaving it to the democratically corrupt MSM and BBC.
     
    Is it any wonder the strategists in YES see no reason whatsover to interrupt them and just stay watching from the side, quietly conserving their powder?

  166. John Lyons says:

    Here’s another thought, the SNP don’t have any representation in the House of Lords. Does that mean, as it’s clearly one-sided and biased, we can just close it?

  167. John Lyons says:

    Albaha, it’s not as glamourously as it sounds. Wear 4 stone in weight of chain mail for about five hours and pick your way through the horse apples for the jousting…. On the otherhand, having people bow as you walk past is fun. I only did it on the Sunday, as Saturdays Bruce was unable to attend, but if I’d known Fay Was being hassled I would have been unavailable too.

  168. Albalha says:

    @JohnLyons
    Whatever else it sounds somewhat surreal, in a Fife park in August 2013! What happened to Saturday’s Bruce?
    Re the Lords it wouldn’t be Scotland’s to close, there will be quite a carry on with the life peers, I posted an analysis of it some time ago, here’s the link again interesting read imo.
    http://nottspolitics.org/2013/03/06/what-will-become-of-the-may-2015-uk-parliament-if-scotland-votes-yes-on-independence/ 
     

  169. John Lyons says:

    Yes, it wasn’t a serious suggestion because quite obviously the British Government simply wouldn’t stand for it, but it illustrates the point, why should we?
     
    I don’t know what happened to Saturdays Bruce, I think he had a better offer and knew I’d cover him.

  170. Dave says:

    A helmet cam is a cheap way to record these busybodies.

  171. Morag says:

    The thing that bugs me about all this is that if the boot was on the other foot it would be all over the papers and RS, and we’d have Brewer on Newsnicht dementing on about the evil separatists using this vile underhand trick to silence their saintly opponents.
     
    All Susan Calman has to say is that someone told her someone had been a bit rude about her on the internet, and it’s practically a diplomatic incident.  And it wasn’t even true.  Wasn’t it all over the media when someone allegedly vandalised the BT offices or something?
     
    But now, even the computer hacking isn’t being pursued with any vigour, and nobody’s assuming that BT were involved and castigating them publicly or anything like that.  And this nasty little ploy to hamstring the Yes activists will just be ignored as if it isn’t happening.

  172. John Lyons says:

    Not surreal to me. I was Robert the Bruce at Fort George Celebration of the Centuries and I was the older Robert Bruce at Aberdour as I cast my memories back and watch a Younger Robert capture in various battles. The surreal part for me is I’ve only been Bruce three times this year, but I think that might change next year…

  173. lumilumi says:

    John Lyons, 9:45
    I only did it on the Sunday, as Saturdays Bruce was unable to attend, but if I’d known Fay Was being hassled I would have been unavailable too.
     
    Or you should’ve sprung to her defence like a knight in shining armour! :-D
    (My brother was into live role play before the kids came along and made a chainmail tunic for himself. It weighed a ton… well, 20 kg. You have to be fit to wear one of those and actually move around!)
     
    On the more serious matter of the No campaign apparently trying to suppress debate, information dissemination and free speech in the run up to the referendum. I think this is a really serious and sad development for democracy in the UK. The No campaign has the MSM on its side so their (mis/dis)information gets disseminated on a daily basis. They can’t mount a grassroots campaign and so want to deny one for the Yes side.
     
    I think the Yes campaigners should keep a record of these incidents where the Yes campaign have been denied stalls, leafleting, whatever.
     
    I’ve had a few chuckles over the idea floated in this tread and an earlier one about Yes campaigners volunteering to man BT stalls for BT’s non-existent grassroots volunteers to gain access to public events. :-D See how kind, helpful and public-spirited the Yessers are!

  174. Gordon Bain says:

    @ Albalha
     
    I am Canadian but I live in Scotland and come from Scottish blood (long story). I live in rural Angus, not too far from Kirrie. Speaking of which, a local company called Autoecosse recently opened a branch in Kirrie and just today I noticed they have 4 large Union jacks flying outside their building with no Saltires in evidence. If I can word it properly I’m going to fire off an email to them.

  175. Albalha says:

    @gordonbain
    Thanks for the response. Flags are becoming more and more numerous. I travel a fair bit around Scotland and it’s interesting to see more and more saltires in gardens but also an increase in Union flags.
    I’m not sure there’s much you can do if businesses want to fly the Union flag, though you may elicit an interesting response. 

  176. Albalha says:

    @johnlyons
    You’re right I’ve no experience of re-enactment I’d wager however, as you say, you’re going to be busier as RtheB next year. 
     

  177. Jeannie says:

    @albalha
    @gordon bain
     
    I drove from Glasgow to Orkney last week and thought I saw quite a lot of saltires flying in Caithness.  You also see quite a lot in parts of Argyll.

  178. lumilumi says:

    I holidayed in Scotland this summer and definitely saw more saltires than two years ago.

  179. Molly says:

    If there is a police officer who reads this or anyone knows one could they not advise us re bi-laws if not I’m sure Mr House would be happy to give us advice to save wasting his officers time. As for the nonsense of the Better Together have to be present  , where is this written ? The Referendum is not Council business , so who came us with this notion that both sides have to be present ? It’s not party political its people supporting a campaign . If this ‘equality’ was true , every time Alistair Darling gave an after dinner speech , someone from Yes would have to be present or every time a press release is printed , you would need to have a Yes press release so Which is it ?

  180. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Test case required here. Somebody refused a stall on the spurious grounds that NAW isn’t having one should set one up anyway and see what a the council/police can do about it. Full publicity should be planned 

  181. John Lyons says:

    Yep, on the publicity side/ bleeping records, maybe a Facebook page would help make it all easily accessible…

  182. Gordon Bain says:

    I see far more Satires these days than ever before Which is as it should be. Union flags too but not so many and always positioned for maximum effect. Alyth has a huge flagpole on the green and previously it’s always flow the council flag; not anymore. Now it’s a huge Union Jack! If you drive further into the village there’s a house covered in the damn things. I’m guessing its a local bull boy councillor that’s responsible.

  183. starlaw says:

    be very careful about taking photo’s of policemen  , its illegal ,  disgruntled cooncilors , jobsworths or other busybodies , fine …. 

  184. Rusty Shackleford says:

    starlaw says:
    26 August, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    be very careful about taking photo’s of policemen  , its illegal ,  disgruntled cooncilors , jobsworths or other busybodies , fine …. 

    Not entirely true I gather, some useful information here:
    http://www.urban75.org/photos/photographers-rights-photographing-police.html

  185. Malcolm Kerr says:

    The local press are at it too. Wyvex Media (the Oban Times group) now intend to take no material from either Yes or No campaigners ‘in the interests of balance’, until after the referendum. The Arran Banner (part of the group) declined this week to publish a picture and short report on a recent Yes Campaign BBQ. See Yes Scotland Arran on Facebook. On enquiry about their approach to commercial advertising (e.g. to advertise an event or public meeting) it seems that these will have to be approved by head office. 

  186. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    The Oban Times group is English owned and fiercely anti independence and has been for some time.
    They have the Campbeltown Courier and the Argyllsshire Advertiser as well.

  187. CameronB says:

    @ Boorach
    I understand what you are saying and I admire the spirit. We are the grass roots and it is up to us to get things done. That should not mean volunteers going out on their own though IMO, whether or not they can ‘handle’ themselves. As I said, I have yet to contact my local Yes group, so can’t really comment on how they prepare volunteers.

  188. Pat says:

     “Orange activists” and “Loyalist vandals” in Dunoon ! Is this Scotland or Northern Ireland ?



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