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Wings Over Scotland


They who will not hear

Posted on March 31, 2014 by

As we launch our exciting 12-part beginner’s guide to debunking the No campaign’s scaremongering strategy with a piece on the currency issue, a document sent in this morning by an alert reader couldn’t have come at a more timely moment.

It’s a letter written five weeks ago by Bill Munro, the elderly owner of holiday firm Barrhead Travel, which calls itself “the UK’s Number 1 Online Travel Agent”.

barrhead

As you can see, it outlines a quite extraordinary apocalyptic scenario in the event of a Yes vote (“we would not be able to trade outwith Scotland for at least 3 years”), as part of a thinly-veiled diatribe aimed at frightening the company’s almost 500 employees into a No vote on pain of losing their jobs.

And even leaving aside the fact that it’s barking mad, the letter illustrates one of the greatest obstacles in the way of the Yes campaign – for all that people clamour and plead for “more information” about independence, information is only any good if people actually listen to it.

Because one of the oddest aspects of Mr Munro’s letter is that it mainly concerns a report that was already out of date in the most dramatic and important manner weeks before he wrote it. In the second-from-last paragraph on page 1 of the letter, he quotes “leading international banking expert Robert Lyddon” as saying this:

“Scotland would need to accept a 5/63rd share of the UK national debt as the price of being released from its current position of joint and several liability for all £1,185bn of it.”

Which would be all well and good and a compelling debating point, if the letter wasn’t dated 24th February and this hadn’t happened on January 12th:

ftcom

Six full weeks before the publication of Mr Lyddon’s report (on February 21), the UK government had announced, to an avalanche of media coverage, that in the event of Scottish independence the rUK would take sole responsibility for 100% of the current UK’s debt. Scotland’s “joint and several liability” was a fantasy.

Yet somehow this pertinent fact escaped the attention of both Mr Lyddon and Mr Munro. Or, since we must in practice assume that neither are complete imbeciles who never read a newspaper or turn on the TV, they merely chose to overlook it.

(“The Lyddon Report”, so far as we can see – though we haven’t yet waded through all of its 85 pages of wild, frequently factually-inaccurate anti-SNP ranting – makes no reference whatsover to the announcement, even to dismiss it.)

It’s doubly curious as Mr Munro hasn’t always been such a fan of the UK, as he revealed in an interview with the Scotsman in February 2011, when Labour was still expected to win the Scottish Parliament election and Conservative-supporting Mr Munro had no cause to fear an independence referendum:

“However, Munro says there is a divide along the latitude that runs through Newcastle, with travel operators to the north of that line currently getting an average of 100 less per person for each holiday they sell.

Scotland certainly seems to still be in recession,’ he says. As the country’s largest independent travel company, Barrhead must contend with this fact of life.

Industry regulation is another inescapable reality, but on this front, Munro is campaigning hard against UK government regulatory reforms he says are not going far enough to protect consumers.”

But the underlying point will still be one that causes Yes Scotland serious concern. When presented with information, from their own side of the debate, which completely blew apart their reasoning, neither Bill Munro nor Robert Lyddon actually re-evaluated their position. Instead, they pretended that that information simply didn’t exist, and set out to scare and bully 500 people into voting No on the basis of complete falsehood.

For the good not just of the employees of Barrhead Travel but of everyone in Scotland, the Yes campaign must hope that the rest of the population doesn’t approach the biggest decision in Scottish history with similarly closed and blinkered minds.

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132 to “They who will not hear”

  1. Gillie says:

    Simply bullying in the workplace. An employer has no right to instruct employees on how they should vote in elections of referendums.

    Would you do business with an organisation that doesn’t respect their own workers? Barrhead Travel have damaged their own brand. What a stupid thing for Bill Munro to do.

  2. Richard says:

    Never bought a holiday from his company, but I now wish I was considering it simply so I could cancel my provisional booking in disgust from this.

    That said, I’ve spent most of the last year contemplating joining the Labour party just so I could resign my membership in disgust, so take what I have to say with a pinch of melodramatic salt.

  3. Grouse Beater says:

    I repeat, companies do not have rights as if an individual.

    The neo-cons and neo-liberals may wish for that as heaven on earth, together with the eradication of all union representation, but we have to resist it vigorously, ensuring in a new Scotland that doctrine cannot be implemented by diktat or stealth.

    For a company boss or owner to threaten his staff with Armageddon if Scotland gains comprehensive autonomy is to negate the democratic right of employees to make their own decision and to exercise it.

    He – not his company – ought to be fined.

  4. Gillie says:

    It would appear that Barrhead Travel employees have strong opinions about the company.

    http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/2012/08/02/41275/big+interview+focus+on+staff+will+help+us+be+the+best+says+barrhead+chief.html

    Quote, ” worked for barrhead Travel for years, I can honestly say there are the worst company I have ever worked with, they dont know how to treat there staff, take deductions from staff salary payments, due to small errors,and make staff fill in questionaires so they can be voted for awards .”

  5. iain taylor (not that one) says:

    interesting piece about him here

    http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/2012/08/02/41275/big+interview+focus+on+staff+will+help+us+be+the+best+says+barrhead+chief.html

    clearly his political narrow mindedness has overcome his “enlightened” HR policies

    pity his memo didn’t include a wee synopsis of the McCrone Report

    would love to get one of his employees as a client

  6. big_al says:

    Lyddon Consulting Services Independent Report into the fiscal
    implications of Scottish Independence

    Page 82: But there is only one way to continue to use the pound: vote ‘No’

  7. Jimbo says:

    I’m shocked that a man in such a position of responsibility can (obviously) knowingly and blatantly lie to his staff.

    I do hope his staff show more good sense than he does, and check out the real facts for themselves.

  8. We won’t be booking a holiday through Barrhead Travel then.

  9. Jamie Arriere says:

    I have barely started reading it, and the first anomaly hits you straight away – the old chestnut, we’ll be “outwith the EU” followed by we’ll need to conform for EU Fiscal Stability and prepare to join the ERM/Euro.

    Utter nonsense.

  10. Donald says:

    At the next employee get together, no doubt he’ll be giving it ‘our greatest asset is our people’ nonsense these types spout and expect us to take in. I’ll bully you, intimidate you, treat you like a fool….but you’re my greatest asset. Aye, right.

  11. CalumCarr says:

    Clearly Bob Lyddon sees himself as an expert and his report as authoritative but he loses all credibility when he writes (page 4),

    The second piece of intelligence that the SNP wishes to keep secret is that Scotland cannot have its cake and eat it:

    .
    .

    6. get a share of “UK national assets”, whatever they mean by that and they do not say: Bruce Forsyth?

    The emphasis is mine. And we are meant to take his report seriously? Ha!

  12. Andy Anderson says:

    Well, I’m pleased I saw that today. I was intending to contact Barrhead Travel because I though I should book my next holiday with a Scottish based company. But I am certainly not going to support a company which is associated with putting out political lies to the Scottish people.

  13. Training Day says:

    Mr Munro and Tom Harris MP appear to be au fait with the EU’s expulsion procedures. We’re all ears anytime you want to tell us what they are.

    Looks like an ‘impending disaster’ for Barrhead Travel rather than an independent Scotland..

  14. a Supporter says:

    “Yes campaign must hope that the rest of the population doesn’t approach the biggest decision in Scottish history with similarly closed and blinkered minds.”

    Unfortunately Stu most people are not as committed as you and I. And door to door canvassing can pass on info very readily to people who for whatever reason fail to read info available.

    But in passing I want to mention that it ill-behoves YES Scotland to pander to the Media with a warning to tweeters not to be too nasty to Mr Munro during the raging comment on Twitter. My view is if this idiot is willing to put his misinformed views forward to 500 staff some of whom are bound to be YES supporters then he deserves all he gets. And Munro apparently appeared on a TV prog recently claiming he was UND. Anyone have any info?

  15. Adrian B says:

    The report itself is full of contorted non truths put together in a fashion to make it appear like the author knows what he is talking about. You could get a more accurate report from a class of 13 year old children.

    Not sure why Bill Munro sees this as facts not lies put out by the SNP, but I rather suspect that it has something to do with his political allegiances. Certainly the report that he uses has a certain Alistair Darling quality about it on the tone of the message.

    Good Luck to Bill on getting his staff to vote no – I think he has probably just shown his staff how silly Bill Munro really is.

  16. Grouse Beater says:

    I would think Barrhead Travel the tip of examples. I think the tactic endemic, encouraged by some university principals.

    In an ideal nation such attacks would be deemed attempts to undermine the democratic process, and duly sanctioned.

    In the USA equivalent behaviour gets a competitive website established, entitled, “Barrhead off its Head” so it lands next to the actual company in Google Search, a site where disgruntled employees and clients state their anger and protest, advising others not to book with Barrhead.

  17. Dan Watt says:

    I see that, amongst others, the disgusting slice of head cheese, otherwise known as Jim Murphy, is jumping on the unionist anti cybernat bandwagon and condemning people calling for a boycott of Barrhead Travel.

    Bet you never saw that one coming, eh?..

  18. cognitive burp says:

    No more holidays being booked with Barrhead travel….

  19. Desimond says:

    Dare I suggest this may open a gap in the market for a new Scottish Travel Company named WINGS OUTTA SCOTLAND

  20. Bill C says:

    Just posted the following on Barrhead Travel’s Facebook Page. I would urge others to do something similar. They should not be allowed to tell lies and tell their staff how to vote.
    “Absolutely disgusted by your decision to try and influence your staff as to how they should vote in the Scottish independence referendum. I have read your letter and it is riddled with misinformation. Be assured that you have lost thousands, if not tens of thousands, of potential customers, my extended family included.”

  21. Rableather says:

    What steps, if any, can be taken to let employees know the diatribe they have been told?

  22. yerkitbreeks says:

    @ Gillie Yes, I suspect the bullying you allude to. This isn’t confined to bullish proprietors but extends to landowning. I live in the Borders where feudalism is alive and well. Many employees, renters and others tied to the estates will be intimidated by their public school masters especially if they live in his cottages.

    Imagine telling one of our DUKES what he could do with his hounds or grouse moors – you’d be out on your ear before you could spit !

    If you need more information about these bullies have a look at the Scottish land and Estates’ members responses to the forthcoming Land Review consultation set up by theScottish Government.

  23. Giving Goose says:

    Has anyone considered that the leak to the Guardian re a currency union could indeed be a symptom of an internal power struggle within the Tory Party. I’m thinking that Hammond could be behind the leak as some have speculated, and it could be a push for the leadership maybe?
    Here’s my grasping at possible motives 🙂
    http://whitefeatherclub.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/it-could-be-hammond/

  24. Dcanmore says:

    When you Google Munro and his business, he has had an extraordinary amount of publicity in both The Herald and The Scotsman over that past five years or so, like all of his press releases seem to get printed. And apparently he stepped down from running the company in 2010 and forced his daughter into a management buyout rather than just hand the reins over as an ongoing family concern. Still likes to stick his oar in now and again going by today’s evidence. Nice chap!

  25. wee jamie says:

    Has Mr Munro never heard of the Ratner effect ? Or does he WANT to bankrupt his own company ? Either way, it is very foolish to antagonise that many potential customers, and disgruntle that many employees.

  26. a Supporter says:

    Just had a look at http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/2012/08/02/41275/big+interview+focus+on+staff+will+help+us+be+the+best+says+barrhead+chief.html

    and most striking thing was 1 comment from staff/exstaff saying Co is good the rest that it is lousy; also a number of comments were modded off.

  27. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I owe my soul to the Company Store.

    ‘Nuff said

    BtP

  28. Chris says:

    I wish I could say that this scaremongering was unbelievable but sadly no. When we wake up on the 19th of September (following a yes vote) we will:

    Still be in the EU
    Still be trading with the rest of the UK
    Still be able to spend out Scottish Pounds in the shops
    Still be watching the BBC (if you want)
    Still be able to buy a holiday (if you can afford it) in Barrhead Travel

    In other words the world will not stop spinning on its axis despite what the no campaign would have you believe. There will, of course, be negotiations to conclude but Scotland has the upper hand as follows:

    The UK Government’s insistence that Scotland ceased to exist in 1707 and that they will be the continuing state means that Scotland is not liable for the debt incurred by the UK. It can of course negotiate to take a “fair and reasonable share”.

    No country has ever been chucked out of the EU- when Greenland left the then EC in 1985, after obtaining Home Rule from Denmark, a new EC Treaty was required.

    A Scottish Pound states that the bank will “promise to pay the bearer on demand ten pounds sterling“ which means that the Scottish parts of Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and National Australia Group have the stocks of Bank of England currency needed for either a formal or informal Sterling Zone, or if we choose to have our own currency, ample foreign reserves.

  29. Fiona says:

    Tee hee: did you read the first line? It is always a good idea to start an internal memo with a big, fat, lie, I think. Guy seems to imagine he is the lord of the manor and the serfs look to him for guidance in all the big decisions in their lives. I wonder if he gets primae noctis rights yet? or if that is only an aspiration for after we have reformed the economy on medieval lines

  30. Jean says:

    The memo is full of lies and misinformation. It’s more likely he will lose business because of the memo. I’m supporting firms which are supporting Scotland, so no business for him from me. Maybe he will wake up and see some sense in a neutral or pro independence approach?

  31. Wp says:

    Lets face it, think of all the bosses you have had over the years,if any of them told you to vote a certain way what would you do ?………. Thought so. Another own goal.

  32. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Desimond

    “Wings outta Scotland”

    A market niche has opened

    I doff my chapeau.

  33. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Onwards and upwards

  34. Fiona says:

    @Wp

    Indeed. After thirty years of “businessmen are the fount of all wisdom and much to be admired” the only people who believe it are themselves. With few exceptions they couldn’t run a bath and depend on those same employees to make the business work DESPITE the stupid policies they adopt. It is all work around them, as any “work to rule” swiftly shows.

    Contemptible but telling: they honestly believe we look up to them and their “leadership”. Not my experience nor that of anyone I know

  35. Catherine says:

    Other companies are cleverer about it, just letting rumours spread that they will relocate in case of a YES vote, but not actually issuing statement. It is just as disgraceful though…

  36. bookie from hell says:

    bill munro an the bluegrass boys travelled everywhere

    oh sorry wrong guy

  37. Adrian B says:

    I think that @BarrheadTravel must be doing a roaring trade today from No voters.

  38. Irene Buchan says:

    I have taken note of all companies who denigrate Scotland’s abitility to control its own affairs as well as those who scaremonger and spout negativity about independence. When I want to buy things or services I will be avoiding all those who I perceive have been less than honest with their contribution to the independence debate.

  39. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @Adrian B says:

    One way tickets only?

  40. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I like Fiona, she knows how to use a (semi) colon.

  41. Fiona says:

    Hmmmm

    For Scotland to avoid damagingly high interest rates, they would need to obtain Standard and Poor’s triple A rating, which would not be possible to obtain on day one

    I seem to remember that Standard and Poor disagree. But I am sure that the author is right and Standard and Poor is wrong: what do they know?

  42. Macart says:

    That’s basically mendacious thuggery in action by Mr Munro.

    @ Jean

    “Supporting firms which are supporting Scotland.”

    Well said.

  43. chalks says:

    Well he is right about one thing, with a Yes vote his business will be fk’d.

    Due to that letter.

  44. Fiona says:

    Hmmm

    If the UK national debt were split on a per capita basis, an independent Scotland would therefore need to take on £102 billion of debt, with a GDP of only £144 billion: a 71% debt-to-GDP ratio, fully 11% worse than the Fiscal Stability Treaty target ……

    And fully 19% better than the UK’s current 90% debt-to-GDP ratio

  45. Alfresco Dent says:

    I don’t use travel agents to book holidays but if I did…

  46. Cath says:

    “it ill-behoves YES Scotland to pander to the Media with a warning to tweeters not to be too nasty to Mr Munro”

    Tend to agree with this. It’s one thing if someone is subjected to abuse for coming out in favour of one position of the other – as any “cybernat” who’s ever come out for yes already knows very well.

    But quite another to be angry at someone in a position of power sending staff a letter filled with lies to try and scare them into doing his bidding. Not to be angry at that is wrong, whatever side you’re on.

    I’d hope the Yes campaign would distance itself from any employer who threatened their NO supporting staff with dismissal or dire warnings about their future if they didn’t vote yes.

  47. Cath says:

    Anyway, I was going to book a holiday with them last week, but thankfully didn’t. I did, however, have my Yes badge on when I went in 🙂

  48. Nick says:

    So according to this – Scotland would take on £100Bn debt and not be able to use the pound.

    Make up your mind, do you want the debt paid or do you want to have all the currency to yourself – can’t have both.

  49. crisiscult says:

    Irene Buchan says:

    31 March, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I have taken note of all companies who denigrate Scotland’s abitility to control its own affairs as well as those who scaremonger and spout negativity about independence. When I want to buy things or services I will be avoiding all those who I perceive have been less than honest with their contribution to the independence debate.

    Irene: can you list some of them? If I’m in doubt where to spend my money, which businesses to frequent, etc, I think I’d rather choose businesses that aren’t trying to influence or bully their employees.

  50. Mr Munro has just lost a customer.

  51. Gaavster says:

    What’s the first rule of politics when you’re taking a ‘doing’…

    Deflect,deflect, deflect…

    Surely this has more to do with timing than anything else

  52. Desimond says:

    @Fiona

    He does have a fair point there regards rating. I mean, imagine the shame if UK ever lost its prize AAA rating…oh look a squirrel!

    🙂

  53. G H Graham says:

    Barrhead Travel has just been added to the list which includes Tunnocks, Standard Life, Mackies Ice Cream & Ultimo etc.

    They should not be surprised that folks will take their business elsewhere after scaremongering their own staff with incomplete facts & bare faced lies.

    It’s how the free market works.

  54. Gillie says:

    It is absolutely crazy for employers to bully employees in such a manner.

    You would think those in the Labour movement would be disgusted, but it appears that Jim Murphy supports Munro’s actions.

  55. Gillie says:

    G H Graham – you will have to add Baxter’s to that list.

  56. Spout says:

    Strange coincidence…

    I heard of a workplace yesterday (albeit smaller than BT) where the owner had gone around the staff and told them to vote No.

  57. Morag says:

    I’m weakening a bit on the Baxter’s front. Had some Scotch Broth at the weekend. Delicious it was, too….

  58. Seasick Dave says:

    I see that Michelle Ultimone has been parading her puppies in a British Airways swimsuit, soon to be a collectors’ item come September.

  59. kendomacaroonbar says:

    That’s one Munro that should be bagged.

  60. kendomacaroonbar says:

    Steady Morag…STEADY !

  61. TYRAN says:

    What a KOK

  62. Kev says:

    Dearie me, so people in countries outside the EU can’t fly to EU countries? So if I phoned them up saying I fancy a wee holiday in the Swiss Alps I would be told to forget it – as the Swiss haven’t joined the EU yet?

    Might try that right now actually…

  63. Gillie says:

    You need only look at the damage done to the Mitt Romney campaign when US company bosses told employees to vote for Romney instead of Obama to see how stupid it is to do such things.

    It is crazy and very counter-productive. You would have thought that Obama’s strategist Arnie Graf, hired by Labour, would have informed the likes of Jim Murphy of the dos and don’ts of campaigning.

  64. Iain says:

    Looks like another bumper week for the Yes campaign.

    ‘Stay with UK says ‘Scot’ Simon Cowell: Si chips in to referendum debate
    X FACTOR boss Simon Cowell has waded into the big debate over Scottish independence, urging voters not to cut ties with England. The media mogul, who revealed he is of ­Scottish ­descent, said he would prefer the nations to co-exist as “one big happy family”.’

    http://tinyurl.com/pqawrbp

  65. sneddon says:

    I love the bit where Mr Munro says “many of you have been asking about my views on the referendum” He’s barely stopped spouting his views since the referendum was first mooted. I think the staff are winding him up and watching him go when they ask him questions like that or alternativly he’s confusing people with his pets .

  66. Murray McCallum says:

    Mr. Munroe’s letter says in the 2nd para “… the facts, not the lies being put out by the SNP”.

    He is, of course talking about the elected Scottish Government.

    It does make me irritated to see an individual state in writing that the SG are liars and then proceed to fill a letter with erroneous and contradictory factoids. The fact that his letter has gone to his direct employees makes it even worse.

  67. ianbeag says:

    Used Barrhead several times for international flights. That’s it – no more, ever. I’m with Irene Buchan to by-pass the peddlers of the anti-Scottish NO message. Perhaps this is a good time to list them and that includes various insurance firms and Tunnocks biscuits etc. etc.

  68. Jimbo says:

    “You would think those in the Labour movement would be disgusted, but it appears that Jim Murphy supports Munro’s actions.”

    Of course he does. He no doubt sees blatant lying as acceptable when it comes to saving his privileged position within the Union.

    When it comes to lying Munro is small fry compared to the Labour Party and Better Together – they lie to 5.2 million of us on a daily basis.

  69. Vincent McDee says:

    Bill is just being coherent with what it says in his tin:

    They do the thinking for anyone else (if you let them)

    http://www.ttgdigital.com/toolkit/technology/a-system-that-does-the-thinking-for-you-introducing-barrhead-travels-new-tech/4690276.article

  70. Grouse Beater says:

    Barrhead Travel boss, Munro, should be told …

    IT. IS. BLACKMAIL.

  71. Jon D says:

    O/T, Still loving the Wings Advert here again in today’s Edinburgh Metro.

    Loud and proud, Rev. Great work…

    http://tinyurl.com/qez9s5o

  72. Jim T says:

    @Irene Buchan 1:38pm

    http://companycheck.co.uk/director/900091405

    Just saying…

  73. Laurie says:

    Just returned from holiday in the States arranged by the excellent staff of Barrhead Travel. Have also just informed Mr Munro via Facebook that it will be the last holiday his company arranges for me. I am so sorry for the 500 staff for any lack of future business caused by the stupidity of Bill Munro.

  74. Big Al says:

    Bill Dumro….is pretending to be a Lord and the his serfs better comply. He does not get it, indy means we can control tourism therefore potentially more holidays to and from Scotland because we will be better off, even without the oil

  75. desimond says:

    @Iain

    Any chance perhaps that the Scots would be the biggest callers per head of population to Simons cash-cow X-Factor Premium Rate phone lines?

  76. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Iain
    Simon Cowell. I loved the description of him by Lauren Laverne.

    “Simon Cowell the man who single handedly cut the throat and drank the still warm blood of British popular culture!”

    Could not agree more.

  77. Davy says:

    What a prick.

  78. Adrian B says:

    The real question is has Jim Murphy used @BarrheadTravel to book his summer holidays?

  79. No No No...Yes says:

    Slightly off topic but in response to Iain at 2:26 pm, regarding Simon Cowell.
    What about this then:

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/466895/Hasn-t-Scotland-got-talent-Simon

    Cowell is so proud of Scotland he doesn’t think we have any talent. Or it that just the Scottish Labour Party he is talking about?

  80. Adrian B says:

    Here is Stephen Noon’s take on this Barrhead Travel story.

    There’s been a flurry of concern online this morning over a memo, supposedly from Bill Munro of Barrhead Travel. Part of me wonders whether it really can be from him, given that it is riddled with embarrassing errors. Here’s just 6 of them:

    http://stephennoon.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/flight-of-fancy.html?spref=tw

  81. The Man in the Jar says:

    BTW. Lauren Laverne also called The spice Girls “Tory Scum”

  82. Ann Summer says:

    Has he ever heard of Gerald Ratner!! Would seem so as he obviously takes sound business advice from him. Bye bye Barrhead Travel I fear %~/

  83. Dave says:

    Oh the Barrheid Travel facebake page is shaping up to be quite entertaining for the next wee while

  84. martin says:

    If you are in business you do everything to keep your reputation intact. You never enter politics unless its necessary. We have yet to hear from Barrhead Travel with regards to issuing a statement. However if the leaked email is true Barrhead Travel will probably loose business based on the publicity received. When I called Barrhead Travel I chatted to a very helpful chap called Chris and he supplied me with this contact: Customerfeedback [at] barrheadtravel [dot] co [dot] uk please remember that the staff have had no control over any of this and I am sure many of them will be concerned by the letter.

  85. iain taylor (not that one) says:

    Must admit I thought travel agents had gone the way of ostlers.

    Haven’t used one since the 90s.

  86. alexicon says:

    Just phoned (don’t do pussbook)barrhead travel and informed that I’ll never use their company for my holidays due to their boss’s lies.
    I was genuinely going to get an all inclusive holiday for 5 (2 children)in Turkey this year, not with them now. I also have some friends in barrhead travel who I feel sorry for.
    I did pass my sympathies to the young lady on the possibility that some may loose their jobs, but they should look at their boss for that problem.

  87. Art McG says:

    As someone who has booked an expensive holiday with Barrhead for this May I won’t be using his company again after reading that nonsense and attempt to “persuade” his staff into voting No. So it won’t only be possible business loss in England that he will have to worry about but also definite loss from Scotland!

  88. Desimond says:

    @Adrian B

    Jim Murphy…he must be gutted if he no longer gets invited to those “Business Opportunity events” bought and paid for by Arms Companies and Middle East Rulers who believe fear is power.

  89. Adrian B says:

    @alexicon,

    The people on the front line of any business are always the ones that take the most flack – they are invariably the lowest paid and the part of the company with the highest staff turnover. They are not at fault – I think that you should call back and apologise at aiming your anger at the wrong people.

    We all make buying decisions made on many different points that motive our feel good factor for purchasing. In this instance spare a thought for those working under the kosh of people like Bill Munro. Right now a job is a job for many and today will have been a difficult day for many on the front line of Barrhead Travel.

  90. Craig P says:

    If I were Bill Munro I’d be buying the Waverley, trips doon the watter are about to become a lot more popular in a country where the RAF have bombed all out airports.

  91. Adrian B says:

    @Desimond

    Jim moved with the sharks – Milliband did not like him, so he was out on his *rse. Jim did like the power of big weapons, but Milliband got rid of Murphy, just as Scotland will get rid of WMD.

    Were there is a will – there is a way.

  92. Viking Girl says:

    I’ve thought for a while now that people asking for ‘information’ really means that they want to be told what the future will be. No-one can tell them that. It requires a leap of faith to take control of your own destiny.
    As for work-place bullying, like the insurance firm that recently said it would go south if independence happened, which is the third time they said it, such an assertion looks like it could possibly be an attempt to threaten employees with job losses. Not very nice.

  93. alexicon says:

    @Adrian B.

    I’ll do no such thing! I was extremely courteous and wished the young lady a good day.
    Maybe their boss should apologise to them for putting their jobs at jeopardy?

  94. Dorothy Devine says:

    I have not weakened – no Baxters soups , no Tunnocks caramel wafers or tea cakes ( that was particularly hard! and if anyone tells me that Lees have been blackmailing their staff into voting no I’ll greet!) no underwear from moaning Michelle , no Standard Life insurance ,no Mackies ice cream despite a 100% free offer in local Spar and no Barrhead travel from now on.

    Have I missed anyone?

  95. beachthistle says:

    I knew I remembered his name from somewhere….am assuming he is the same Barrhead Travel boss who was presented by STV as being an ‘undecided’ business-person in their pre-CBI interview package on Scotland Tonight last Wednesday?

    See and hear him starting at 00.02.15 into
    http://player.stv.tv/programmes/scotland-tonight/2014-03-26-2230/

    STV journo’s lead-in…:
    “…some business people remain to be convinced one way or the other”…

    …to Barrhead Travel’s Bill Munro (for it is he, Mr Undecided (Aye Right!) and with the added inference that he is neutral after the previous business-person in the piece was described by the STV journo as being “a member of pro-independence lobbying group Business for Scotland”):

    “..there aren’t sufficient answers to many questions”

    Naughty not-at-all-neutral Mr Munro?

    And/or naughty (or duped by BT?) STV!? Making a point of highlighting the bias of the pro-Yes guy, then immediately hiding/not even hinting/ not mentioning bias (that a simple google search would have shown) of the pro-No guy..

  96. Robert Louis says:

    It is fine for people to privately hold any position they like. However, when it comes to issuing rubbish like this based upon a pack of lies, then it is not. In addition the document clearly states that the SNP are lying – and that is a complete and utter fabrication.

    So, to be clear, Barrhead travel will no longer get any business from me, and in addition I will deliberately encourage other people that there are many better SCOTTISH travel agents, offering better deals. I just checked and it looks like other travel agents might be cheaper anyway.

    A bit angry about this, as I used to use them BECAUSE they were a Scottish firm. Not any more.

  97. Ron Burgundy says:

    Totally agree Robert Louis, I will never touch them now and will encourage all whom I know to avoid. They have to pay a commercial price for this insane intervention. Unlike Standard Life, Barrhead probably rely on the Scottish market more than others. They will suffer for this commercially.

  98. GordonMcA says:

    @alexicon
    Quite right only 1 person to blame if there is any damage to the business. Don’t understand why you should even think of apologising. How else will these bosses get the message.

  99. call me dave says:

    He is now in the Hootsman, unrepentant.

    http://archive.is/673JG

  100. Andy-B says:

    It seems like a clear cut case of frightening your staff into voting no, which in the long term will cause more problems for Scottish travel agencies.

    As London will probably adopt a third runway, which will make it a bigger hub than it already is. Scotland needs its own hub and after independence something positive can be done, to draw tourists away from the “Death Star” known as London.

  101. Heather McLean says:

    Argghh!!! God preserve us from the ignorance of idiots! I came on here so someone can cheer me up! I’m just back home after leafleting in Dundee City centre.

    The stupidity and ignorance of some people is shocking! I was handing out Women for Independence leaflets and while most of them were taken off my hands quite eagerly, I got a wee bit depressed at the attitude of a few people who
    “don’t like Alex Salmond” or who said ” No because I’m a Labour supporter”. It makes me feel like screaming!

    You can’t reason with these people!
    What can you do to get through to folk like that?

    The newspapers and the TV channels have a lot to be responsible for with their blatant misrepresentation of the facts and outright lying!
    Please somebody here on Wings – cheer me up!

  102. SquareHaggis says:

    Hope this company hasn’t sold many seats to and from the upcoming Commonwealth Games as it could get quite messy for them…

  103. beachthistle says:

    @Andy-B

    Good point about what will happen to tourism in Scotland if/when London gets a new runway/airport – and to rub salt in Scottish wounds if there is a No vote, the ‘public’ money to pay for building it will probably come from the same source as it does for (‘national infrastructure’) CrossRail: the hard-currency North Sea oil & gas related revenues, not the soft-currency London City funny money…

  104. Robert Louis says:

    Heather,

    Many people in my experience will say things like that, but often change their minds. I never give up. I’ve personally changed the minds of two what can only be described as ‘rampant’ unionists, who believed the rubbish about Scotland getting subsidised by England (when of course the facts show the reverse is true, with Scottish taxpayers contributing more to London than Scotland gets back via barnett).

    Also remember, there was a time ,just say, fifteen years ago, when the notion of the SNP getting elected was regarded as a joke. Now, not only have they been elected, they have a majority, and now here in 2014, we have our independence referendum. The idea of independence has been ‘normalised’. Things have changed forever, and with each passing day, more Scots are finding out just how much they have been lied to by London and their unionist p(m)uppets in Scotland. 🙂

  105. Papadox says:

    I’m sure we could solve this problem very easily. Take the vote away from those who are employed and give the master one vote for each employee plus 50% . Problem solved. It worked OK in the past. That’s it serfdom, those who are feart already indirectly support this system.

  106. Art McG says:

    I just received a phonecall from the Barrhead rep who booked my holiday after I sent him an e-mail re this issue and he advised Barrhead will be issuing a press release tonight.

    He felt that he had not been threatened to vote one way or another and would make up his own mind.

  107. iain taylor (not that one) says:

    Just read the Hootsmon piece. What a disingenuous tw*t.

    Sends employees a memo telling them independence will be a disaster for their employer (with an official looking but Mickey Mouse report-to-order) and then claims they can make their own minds up.

  108. jingly jangly says:

    Phew, was this afternoon talking about using Barrhead Travel to book up a few of us to fly/hotel/car in Portugal for the Gilbrater Scotland match next year. Ive used them a few times before, but no more.

    They go on a list that is getting longer

    Golden Wonder Crisps (Since they shut down their profitable Bathgate plant decades ago)
    Tunnocks – Probably the hardest to give us
    Baxters – Easly Aldi soups are as good and cheaper
    Mackies – Very Easy, Arran Dairies Ice Cream is better and the MD is a YES Man.

  109. Grouse Beater says:

    To make matters worse, not even the funereal Jim Murphy, MP, feels able to protect the democratic process.

    He praises Barrhead’s Munro for his antics.

  110. Papadox says:

    Saw the guy on stv news the other day from Barrhead travel, he looked furtive and ill at ease. How did stv choose him and Barrhead travel for an on site interview were they just driving by or maybe they were there by invitation. THE PLOT THICKENS WHOSE TELLING THE TRUTH?

  111. Papadox says:

    @Heather McLean says:

    Keep yer chin up heather we are only asked to try. What % didnae like Alex salmond or were going to vote labour?

    It tells you a lot about them. They are ignorant to what the referendum is about. Big smile heather and think of the ones who didn’t give you a snub. Big cuddle, chin up

  112. rab_the_doubter says:

    Just read this on the BBC partial news site. The Barrhead travel boss sounds laki a real piece of work. This bit cracked me up.

    “The opinions expressed are my own and not those of the company. Just as I have the right to express my own opinion, I respect that is true of everyone in Scotland, including the 800 employees of Barrhead Travel who will make their own views clear throughout the democratic process.”

    I wonder if he’s ok with employees using company email on company time to ‘express their personal opinions’. Is there anyone out there who works for Barrhead Travel who is brave enough to test this?

    Just noticed the initials of the aforementioned company – BT – explains the fearmail then.

  113. Fiona says:

    “The opinions expressed are my own and not those of the company. Just as I have the right to express my own opinion, I respect that is true of everyone in Scotland, including the 800 employees of Barrhead Travel who will make their own views clear throughout the democratic process.”

    But some are more equal than others….

  114. Taranaich says:

    But the underlying point will still be one that causes Yes Scotland serious concern. When presented with information, from their own side of the debate, which completely blew apart their reasoning, neither Bill Munro nor Robert Lyddon actually re-evaluated their position. Instead, they pretended that that information simply didn’t exist, and set out to scare and bully 500 people into voting No on the basis of complete falsehood.

    I came across this fascinating article investigating this phenomenon: it seems people refusing to acknowledge that they’re wrong has a whole scientific study dedicated to them:

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney?page=3

    And since Festinger’s day, an array of new discoveries in psychology and neuroscience has further demonstrated how our preexisting beliefs, far more than any new facts, can skew our thoughts and even color what we consider our most dispassionate and logical conclusions. This tendency toward so-called “motivated reasoning” helps explain why we find groups so polarized over matters where the evidence is so unequivocal: climate change, vaccines, “death panels,” the birthplace and religion of the president, and much else. It would seem that expecting people to be convinced by the facts flies in the face of, you know, the facts.

    The theory of motivated reasoning builds on a key insight of modern neuroscience: Reasoning is actually suffused with emotion (or what researchers often call “affect”). Not only are the two inseparable, but our positive or negative feelings about people, things, and ideas arise much more rapidly than our conscious thoughts, in a matter of milliseconds—fast enough to detect with an EEG device, but long before we’re aware of it. That shouldn’t be surprising: Evolution required us to react very quickly to stimuli in our environment. It’s a “basic human survival skill,” explains political scientist Arthur Lupia of the University of Michigan. We push threatening information away; we pull friendly information close. We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself.

    We’re not driven only by emotions, of course—we also reason, deliberate. But reasoning comes later, works slower—and even then, it doesn’t take place in an emotional vacuum. Rather, our quick-fire emotions can set us on a course of thinking that’s highly biased, especially on topics we care a great deal about.

    Consider a person who has heard about a scientific discovery that deeply challenges her belief in divine creation—a new hominid, say, that confirms our evolutionary origins. What happens next, explains political scientist Charles Taber of Stony Brook University, is a subconscious negative response to the new information—and that response, in turn, guides the type of memories and associations formed in the conscious mind. “They retrieve thoughts that are consistent with their previous beliefs,” says Taber, “and that will lead them to build an argument and challenge what they’re hearing.”

    How many times have you had an argument with a Unionist who simply will not acknowledge when a scare story has been debunked? How many times have you heard someone say “I still won’t vote Yes because Alex Salmond/I’m British as well as Scottish/I’m a Labour voter” even though voting Yes has nothing to do with any of those things? Well, this is what we’re up against – nothing short of the modern evolution of Fight or Flight.

    We already know the likes of UK party members are fighting a Yes vote to preserve their jobs and lifestyle, but it’s interesting to think that some people are reacting to the idea of a Yes vote with the same sense of dread and terror as if a panther just stepped out of the jungle in front of them – even though it could not possibly be as bad as that. Food for thought.

  115. heedtracker says:

    “If you work for me you vote how I tell you” but at least the brainwashing team here agree with the Master http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26818227 or they’re merely taking the piss out of everything to do with their much vaunted BBC unbiased charter, Scottish democracy and UKOK propaganda, which is quite a feat really.

  116. M4rkyboy says:

    Cheers beachthistle,i was trying to remember where i had seen him recently.

  117. wingman 2020 says:

    Don’t worry. Voting is anonymous. I don’t care what my employer says. They will never know how I voted. 🙂

    By the way…. I am still dumbfounded by the numbers of people I meet. (Some of whom are YES already)

    Who don’t know of

    YES Scotland
    Wings
    National Collective
    Business for Scotland.

    I met two today. I put them right.

    I met a Yes Scotland / SNP canvasser a few nights ago who didn’t know Wings. I wasn’t worried about him.

    There will be a clamour for the Reference material as we get closer. I know keep the link handy at all times.

    Wings – Scotland’s own network of guardian angels, spreading the truth. 🙂 (hahaha I am sure this will get picked up as evidence of cultish tendencies)

  118. Grouse Beater says:

    We can bet he colluded or took instruction from the No campaign in some way or manner, timed to coincide with another Vote No announcement for small businesses.

  119. galamcennalath says:

    Another company to add to the boycott list!

  120. Helpmaboab says:

    What a bizarre, confused, inarticulate pile of havers. All that Munro will secure is the loss of his employees’ confidence in him. Imagine the gossip in the canteen:

    Has auld Bill lost his marbles? What was he thinking? Is the company safe in his hands? Time to look for a new job…

    Barrhead Travel has just been added to my list of embargoed companies alongside BP, Lloyds, Standard Life, and Tunnocks. Not one teacake will pass my lips until September the 19th. Don’t let it be said that I’m not making sacrifices for the cause!

  121. Blair paterson says:

    If Munro is saying that the snp are telling lies then take him to court and sue him for slander do This to all these people who are saying this about the snp claim damages and expenses .i am sure you would only have to do this once and the rest of them would get the message and think before they accuse people of lying. Vote yes

  122. Craig says:

    Folks, whilst you may be annoyed with Mr Munro, please do not contemplate any boycott or sending emails. This is a good Scottish company who have good people who work for it. Let’s send a positive message to those in Barrhead Travel and not a spiteful one

  123. Heather McLean says:

    Taranaich – that explains a lot! Thanks for the article you posted! Just shows what we are up against and how fortunate that we still have 6 months to change people’s minds!

  124. alexicon says:

    Sorry Craig, given that Munro has played politics with his employees jobs, I think we have every right to boycott and complain.
    It’s people like Munro who have sent 100s of thousands, if not millions, of Scots overseas to find better prospects because he and his ilk have steadfastly refused to see Westminster raping Scotland of its resources, jobs and industries.
    Sorry, but Munro has declared it is a good British company-not a Scottish company.
    Best thing that Barrhead could do is turf him out and apologise for his stupid actions.

  125. Barontorc says:

    Has anyone kept a list of these anti-independence companies who still think we will happily buy their products. We’ve already banned all Baxter’s of Speyside stuff always on our weekly shopping list, Tunnocks products and Mackie’s Crisps and Ice Cream, but it would be good to see a full compilation.

    And don’t forget,’lest we forget’ should be a remembered phrase.

  126. vulpes says:

    5/63rds eh? That sounds difficult & confusing & scary. Best vote no then.
    It’s less than 8%. How much of the UK national debt will we have to pay back if we stay, or are they trying to suggest that the English will pick up the whole tab?

  127. Jim McIntosh says:

    Just talking about this on morning call.

  128. John Russell says:

    Excuse me if this has been said before that the Scot Gov has said it would phase out APD and the interest that Scotland would get following a yes vote. In addition I am sure at least a few national carriers, that we don’t have at present would set up routes to scotland vis giving the scottish holiday maker more choice and possibly avoiding an english airport. More business for Mr Munro So how woould it be a bad thing?

  129. Chris says:

    Didn’t standard and poors already say we would be entitled to their highest rating?



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