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A case for Columbo

Posted on June 30, 2014 by

One of the features of the independence debate as covered by the Scottish and UK media has been the casual lie. We’re not talking about screaming banner front-page headlines here, but the passing, offhand untruths slipped into articles that are primarily about something else, or tiny little corner-of-a-page pieces so trivial that readers absorb the falsehood in seconds and move on.


We covered a good example of the latter last week, and it’s repeated in this morning’s Times, in a piece which makes the flatly and diametrically untrue assertion that “experts” have “produced figures suggesting that the final cost [of setting up an independent Scotland] could be £1.5 billion”, when the reality is that the only expert who has produced figures has explicitly rubbished that number.

But it’s another article in the same paper that made us smile wryly.

It’s an account of the weekend’s Bannockburn Live event and the political jousting around it, and in itself it’s pretty unobjectionable. But there’s a priceless paragraph near the start, referring to the fact that the commemoration found itself competing with Armed Forces Day in the same city:

“Quite who managed to engineer the clash of the two events is not clear but the symbolism was hard to ignore.”

“Not clear”? Let’s see if we can solve that mystery, eh?

It’s an undisputed fact that the Battle Of Bannockburn took place on the 23rd and 24th of June 1314, and the first weekend date after that was last weekend’s. Official plans have been in place to mark the 700th anniversary since at least 2011, and the location is obviously not a matter of choice.

Last weekend was in fact the first real opportunity to mark a centennial anniversary of the battle. In 1914 the British Empire was still at the height of its pomp and unlikely to want to recall such internal strife (also, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on the Sunday would have put a bit of a dampener on things).

In June 1814 Britain was still at war with the USA in the mis-named “War Of 1812” over issues still arising from the American War Of Independence, so clearly it would have been a rather sensitive issue. And of course in 1714 the Union would only have been seven years old, and a Bannockburn shindig perhaps not the wisest of calls.

Armed Forces Day, on the other hand, can be held anywhere at any time. The festival was only in its sixth year on Saturday and Sunday, and while it’s always been held on the last Saturday in June there was no particular reason to choose Stirling out of all the cities in the UK. It’s only been three years since Scotland had a turn (Edinburgh in 2011), and Northern Ireland still hasn’t had one.

So when the Labour-Tory coalition running Stirling Council decided to apply, knowing full well that the date would clash with Bannockburn Live, and the UK government decided to award them the event rather than any of the other four bids, it doesn’t seem too hard to ascertain who caused the conflict or why – indeed, UK defence secretary Phillip Hammond explicitly said that it would “help underline the strength of the union”, and “remind us in a very graphic way that we are stronger together”.

(We love the Scotsman’s deadpan last line in its article on the decision: The event will also coincide with the opening of the new Battle of Bannockburn visitor centre”.)

The other cities competing for the event weren’t in much doubt either:

“Portsmouth City Council leader Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson believes the government picked Stirling in a political move, as Scotland is due to have its independence referendum next year.

He said: ‘It is a purely political decision. I’m sorry politics has taken the title away from us.'”

We’re not sure why the Times didn’t manage to notice any of that stuff. But we’re glad, as always, to help them solve the mystery.

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    1. 30 06 14 11:16

      A case for Columbo | Scottish Independence News

    122 to “A case for Columbo”

    1. JLT says:

      God …it makes you wonder what nonsense is going to arise during the Commie Games. Seriously …it makes you wonder what Glasgow council are planning right now in a bid to derail the debate. Something will crop up. Have no doubts…

    2. Jim Duthie says:

      Rev, it would be interesting to get the Portsmouth Mayor’s reaction to the pathetic turnout in Stirling. Any chance of asking them?

    3. Barontorc says:

      The more they show crass contempt for Scotland, the more solid the YES vote becomes.

      A set-in-stone No voter yesterday declared for YES because the Orange Order was stepping up pressure for a NO vote – he being a lapsed catholic with generational Irish connections, then said he had been compelled to check out why Ireland had become a part of the UK body anyway and found it based on anti-catholic / pro-protestant issues in the 1800s and this resolved him even more for YES.

      Chickens coming home to roost!

    4. Gray says:

      I think you can add “not clear” to the referendum vocabulary along with “could” and “will”.

      Could = won’t
      Will = could but probably won’t
      Not clear = it’s inanely obvious the unionists did it so we’ll obfuscate

    5. Dr Ew says:

      Eh… just one more thing. My wife’s a very big fan of yours.

    6. Mary Bruce says:

      All this nonsense just highlights the absurdity of the union, and the false divisions and loyalties that it creates. The only solution is independence.

      In an independent Scotland we can all celebrate our history together and we can all support out Scottish armed forces together. Without anyone having to think they are taking sides. Just like any other normal country.

    7. Macart says:

      The journo must have missed the class on basic research then. They don’t train them like they used to. 😉

    8. Robert Whyte says:

      80000 people turned out for the dons when they paraded the cup, I was there and I can tell you armed forced day looks like a scottish tory conference get together.

    9. galamcennalath says:

      Case convincingly solved, next.

      @JLT. I do wonder, given what’s happened over the weekend, what nasties they’ll try at the Commonwealth Games. And, as at Stirling they need the collusion of local anti-democracy politicians.

      I do feel sorry for Portsmouth. Given it history and status it must have been the best candidate. It might even have attracted large crowds there!

    10. Iain says:

      Slightly off-topic but am I the only one how finds the concept of Armed Forces Day odd? We already have an event called Remembrance Sunday to remember all those who gave their their lives. To me that is best way to acknowledge the sacrifices of the many and show how ghastly war is. To me Armed Forces Day reminds me of all those parades that the Soviet Union used to do and North Korea still does.

    11. Chris Darroch says:

      Folk might find the commentary in this Herald article enlightening.

      Commentary explains that there was no formal request mechanism for AFD in Stirling. Instead the Provost took it upon himself alone; without consulations; to ask for AFD to be held at Stirling. Many more details in Commentary. Such as this comment excerpt below:


      James Scobbie, Stirling Craig Patrick, Auchterarder • 2 days ago
      In the correspondence from the other 4 applicants the local MP, the leader/mayor and other members of the council signed the application along with some local military contacts. In the case of Stirling – only the Provost signed. In the case of Stirling there was an outline of events – that presupposes the agreement of the military in terms of resources available – that was not in any of the other applications. All the paperwork is available from the MoD under FOI.


    12. Lesley-Anne says:

      Robert Whyte says:

      80000 people turned out for the dons when they paraded the cup, I was there and I can tell you armed forced day looks like a scottish tory conference get together.

      Good grief Robert, you reckon THAT many are for the Tories I’d have put it more like a Scottish Lib DEm conference get together myself. 😛

    13. MajorBloodnok says:

      Dr Ew says: Eh… just one more thing. My wife’s a very big fan of yours.

      Aha, beat me to it.

    14. Les Wilson says:

      The BBC were still touting 35,000 at the army event and 10,000 at Bannockburn.

      Well WE all know that is absolute shite!

    15. Robert Whyte says:

      Hey Lesley-Anne now come on there are more then 2 people, this is why it doesnt look like a Scottish lib Dem get together!

    16. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      This is not bad or naive journalism.

      They know damn well what they are doing and it is quite simply lying by direct means or creative untruth.

      That they are all doing it tells us more than their lies do.

    17. Niall says:

      Roughly 100 people in the picture below the main road. Picture must contain 3000 people in total. Maybe 5000 if we are being generous. Perhaps they are all in the tents?

    18. Matt Seattle says:

      With relevance to the question raised by Iain at 30 June, 2014 at 11:12 am, Noam Chomsky had this to say:

      “The point of public relations slogans like “Support our troops” is that they don’t mean anything… That’s the whole point of good propaganda.You want to create a slogan that nobody’s going to be against, and everybody’s going to be for.Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn’t mean anything.Its crucial value is that it diverts your attention from a question that does mean something: Do you support our policy? That’s the one you’re not allowed to talk about.”

    19. bookie from hell says:

      Stirling Council wanted the battle of belittle @t bannockburn

      feart to say out loud,shaming Robert The Bruce,Scotland


      history channel

      battle of kings–bannockburn

      well worth a watch

    20. Sad to see so few there when the red arrows showed. Sad they’re chosing not to show at Ayr this year from the Scottish Government’s airport.

    21. Lesley-Anne says:

      Robert Whyte says:

      Hey Lesley-Anne now come on there are more then 2 people, this is why it doesnt look like a Scottish lib Dem get together!

      Dammit I knew there was a reason it could not of been a LibDem conference get together thanks for putting me straight there Robert. 😛

    22. Tom Platt says:

      ..So when the Labour-Tory coalition running Stirling Council decided to apply, knowing full well that the date would clash with Bannockburn Live, and the UK government decided to award them the event rather than any of the other four bids

      So the Labour-Tory coalition running Stirling applied to the Tory/LibDem Coalition running Westminster! We should not be surprised that the best outcome for Stirling and Central Scotland did not materialise. It is good though that the Bannockburn event was a success anyway.

      I met up with one of the Royal Marines escorting his wife and children to the party/meeting/gathering at BBC Pacific Quay to protest about BBC Bias in the referendum. Abut 2000 were there. It was a very happy, festive occasion. There was much poetry and singing amongst the speeches..some of it by children. A recording is available through Livestream.


    23. Brian Powell says:

      They are in full say anything mode, cos who is going to challenge us in the establishment media!

      The Times was asked by politicians and a nobel prize winning economist from Catalonia to request that one of its journalists stop briefing against Independence there. By that they meant stop telling lies.

    24. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Roughly 100 people in the picture below the main road. Picture must contain 3000 people in total.”

      There’s nothing LIKE 3000 people in that particular shot. It’s not the busiest part of the day, but that pic is struggling to have 700 in it.

    25. Dan Huil says:

      Is there anyone left in Scotland who believes such unionist crap?
      However, it’s ironic that the unionist media’s activities are actually resulting in more and more people wanting to vote Yes.

    26. Robert Whyte says:

      Interesting that SPL matches have more people going to them then turn up to that event.

    27. Thomas Valentine says:

      I’ve a suspicion that the 35,000 figure may have come from the police. It would include everybody from tourists, attendees at Bannockburn, alot of the weekend shoppers and those at the Forces Day. A general load figure the police were dealing with at the time. Of course the BBC have leap on that figure and claimed it only represents Armed Forces Day. Now I personally don’t have anything against that event. But clearly from the pictures and from people I know in Stirling who passed by the field there by no stretch of the imagination could there have been 35k even in the vicinity. Everybody in power I am darned sure knows that and the true figure. One person I know says it looked about the same as an event in Callendar a couple of years ago which had around 3500. But if you take away all those required for the event and their family members whats left?

      I feel sorry for the veterans who know full well that there wasn’t 35k there. They must feel humiliated and isulted by the claim. What has the British Legion said? has anyone asked them?

    28. BrianW says:

      It’s elementary my dear Stu.. Elementary.. (I knew the Violin lessons would come in handy)

      You can always count on the Media to skew things to that of a story with a hint of Shite..

      The choice of wording is both deliberate and slight. E.G the BBC Bias Demo in Glasgow. The report on the telly used the phrase “Hunderds of People.” There were approx. 2000 folk there I reckon, if not more. So on that basis surley the phrase used should have been “Thousands of People.”

      By using the word “Hundreds” gives the viewer/listener the impression that it was a wee prentendy demo by a few hangers about (which I’m sure some folk will think it was).

      Oh and god help us if the Police can’t count – BBC News online Reports the Police saying there was a maximum of 350 people. Not sure about you, but I want Police on the Streets that can actually count. That would be a basic requirement..

    29. Clootie says:

      😀 it’s all been said

    30. Adrian B says:

      One thing that Cameron should of done while he was in Stirling was to travel the short distance between the AFD event to the Bannockburn event. It might have placated a number of Scots if he had bothered to do so.

      Did Cameron have time for an impromptu Referendum debate while up in Scotland – if not why not? He is after all our Prime Minister whether he likes it or not. Not a great deal of respect given to Scots by him this weekend. Indeed many of those in the armed forces in Scotland are SNP voters yet he managed to make a song and dance about the armed forces supporting the Union.

      Things in the no camp seem to lurch from bad to worse despite a high level of positive news coverage for DC and the no campaign.

    31. No no no...Yes says:

      Slightly O/T but related to journalism:
      After a busy Sunday, including Bannockburn Live, which was excellent, I am now catching up reading the Sunday Herald and it supplement, Life magazine.

      On page 42 of the magazine there is an adversing piece from the Herald sales team. It says:

      “7 out of 10 Sunday Herald readers do not pick up a copy of The Herald during the week. Book an ad in next week’s Sunday Herald and connect with an additional 56,000 affluent readers. call the sales team on 0141 302 600”

      Was there a post on Wings some time ago about falling sales of all papers including,the Sunday Herald? Does this piece suggest that the papers’ backing for a YES vote has resulted in a huge increase in circulation?

    32. Grouse Beater says:

      The British power elite prove how easily they manipulate events and statistics to ensure we are told what to think, and to undermine the democratic process.

      I have always believed the best type of teacher to be, not those who manipulate a life-long need of them, a reliance on their advice, but rather those who would teach us of life and then set us free to make our own choices.

    33. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      Lt. Columbo: I know I’ve been a pest. I’m just trying to do my job. I won’t bother you anymore.
      The BBC: Oh, I hope you mean that, Lieutenant. For your sake and for ours.
      Lt. Columbo: Oh, oh, one more thing, before I forget…

    34. Jack Murphy says:

      Tom Platt 11:23am Here’s the link to several videos from yesterday’s Livestream at BBC Scotland.
      A lotta lotta folk!

    35. bookie from hell says:

      want a laugh–The Scotsman

      A DEAL on more powers for ?Holyrood over income tax, job centres and housing benefit should be struck soon after the referendum, former Scottish secretary Michael Moore has said.

      The Liberal Democrat MP has called for a new Scotland Act to be passed quickly after a No vote to meet “raised expectations” among voters.

      All three pro-union parties propose more devolution and signed a joint pledge to make this a reality. But Mr Moore said a “basic consensus” already exists in key areas.

      “A package based on devolving more income tax, housing benefit and job centres is immediately achievable,” he said.

      Mr Moore helped pave the way for the referendum to be staged as he led the talks for the coalition which resulted in the historic Edinburgh Agreement being signed by Alex Salmond and David Cameron.

    36. Norma says:

      I think more people turned up for the Pacific Quay Against BBC Bias demonstration than did for Armed Forces Day, judging by the photos!

    37. MochaChoca says:

      unrelated, but similar BBCism:

      BBC News Scotland Headline (today):

      ‘Scotland ‘has modest reserves’ of shale gas and oil’

      BBC News UK Headline (23rd May 2014) (though the headline has now changed):

      ‘UK report reveals large oil deposits’

      6.0 billion barrels in Scotland equates to ‘modest reserves’.

      4.4 billion barrels in Southern England equates to ‘large oil deposits’.

    38. Gillie says:

      So if you discount all the participants, the VIPs and their lackies, the media including the BBC, the organisers, the security staff, the caterers, toilet attendants, the police, first-aiders, the passerbys, the curious onlookers, the people who put up the marquees and the man with his dog how many actual visitors were they at Armed Forces Day at Stirling on Saturday?

      By my reckoning 1, and he was probably asking for directions to Bannockburn.

    39. Chris Cairns says:

      I’d like to echo the thoughts of those who’ve said this whole Bannockburn/Armed Forces Day clash thing is just another example of Better Together shooting themselves in the foot.
      Bannockburn in 2014 was always going to be a tricky one. I remember at the start of the year looking at it on the calendar and thinking: ‘I hope we don’t screw that one up – lots of Braveheart pish potential for the unionists.’ But look what happened …
      The eejits put up Armed Forces Day in direction competition with it and thereby easily outdid the celebrations for militarism and martial chauvinism (see a certain cartoon), Cameron got stick for politicising AFD, Salmond makes the smart move (again) of being interviewed at that, not the Bannockburn event which, at the end of the day, draws in sell-out crowds despite the dire warnings. Meanwhile, it’s not as if Bannockburn itself isn’t getting any publicity – the Neil Oliver prog (whatever you think of him) is pretty good, I’d say.
      Predictable spin and flat out lies by the MSM aside, I see it as a win, win, win weekend. We are indeed fortunate in our enemies.

    40. heedtracker says:

      Is there any job going other than ukok journalist that involves lying to people day in day out? Must take unique characters to say the least but charming Steve Bell of the Guardian telling John Robertson at the West of Scotland uni to fuck off, sums them all up really.

    41. heraldnomore says:

      On Sunday Herald circulation I’m assuming that the 56,000 is an estimate of readership, assuming each paper sold is read by, say, two people, rather than a hike in sales.

      But The Times, spot on Stu, and that’s a prime reason why, despite what the official campaign bodies may say, I’ll always put Wings and Aye Right cards forward when given the opportunity.

    42. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      ““7 out of 10 Sunday Herald readers do not pick up a copy of The Herald during the week. Book an ad in next week’s Sunday Herald and connect with an additional 56,000 affluent readers. call the sales team on 0141 302 600?

      Was there a post on Wings some time ago about falling sales of all papers including,the Sunday Herald? Does this piece suggest that the papers’ backing for a YES vote has resulted in a huge increase in circulation?”

      I suspect that that’s the usual newspaper trick of counting “readers” rather than purchasers. If you buy one copy of a paper, it tends to be regarded as being read by everyone in the household, so readership figures are far higher (typically around 3x) than sales figures.

    43. Breeks says:

      The Daily Record reckons the AFD was going to generate £1million for the local economy. Not unless they were charging £3,000 for an ice cream.

    44. Gray says:

      O/T Weekly dose of Stephen Paton now available

    45. bookie from hell says:

      Breeks says:
      30 June, 2014 at 12:04 pm
      The Daily Record reckons the AFD was going to generate £1million for the local economy. Not unless they were charging £3,000 for an ice cream

      and 1k for the flake

    46. Stu1314 says:

      Some quick figures cost of AFD 524,000 pounds lets be very generous and say 4000 turned up that’s cost 131 pounds each and then you read the story of a woman eating beans out a tin in a food bank makes you proud to be British. Sorry no pound sign american key board.

    47. Adrian B says:

      An excellent video from the Saturday BBC bias event in Glasgow:

    48. The Scotswoman says:

      It’s the Fifth Column you’ve always got to keep your eye on. We might forgive those on Stirling Cooncil but we are not likely to forget.! Elections coming up- hope the voters just think on what the elected representatives have done.

    49. Gillie says:

      The one BIG thing we learned over the weekend is that Bannockburn which defined our nation 700 years ago still powerfully resonates with people today.

      Lest anyone forgets.

      On June 24th June, 1314, the Scots defeated an invading English army at Bannockburn.

    50. Kev says:

      So, in reality, there were nearly as many folk at Pacific Quay yesterday than at Armed Forces day, but the BBC still think the crowds were 350 and 35,000 respectively, priceless…

    51. Dcanmore says:

      It’s quite easy to gauge the figures, the government multiplies figures by a factor of 12 for their advantage, so do the reverse arithmetic and you have the true figure:

      iScotland set up costs = £2.7bn (actual £225m)
      AFD Stirling att = 35,000 (actual 2900 at its peak)

      … and bear in mind the 35,000 came from an MOD press release.

      I’m not bothered about the actual figures itself, it’s the dishonesty in reporting false figures in the first instance and the dishonesty in the decision making that allowed it to be held in Stirling in the hope it would take away from the other event that irks me. If 35,000 had turned up then fine, for me the veterans deserve it and I would have liked to have seen the pictures showing the spectacle of 35,000 people. But it backfired and those who tried to make it happen under dishonest pretences at Stirling Council and the Home Office should be ashamed of themselves.

    52. macs says:

      how to save the union terror attack coming your way at a commonwealth games near you… watch this space…hehe

    53. Lesley-Anne says:

      Aye you’re right Adrian that is an excellent video.

      I thought that gentleman called Ian who is a contributor to something called Wings Over Scotland, whatever the hell that is 😉 . Apparently this site has an X factor to it and is addictive! NAW you don’t say Ian 😛

    54. tartanpigsy says:

      C&P’d from last thread

      @Dave I think it’s in hand, Clydesdale members with family in Dunoon. Otherwise someone will be in touch. Like I said earlier, I’m away next fortnight so Lesley-Annes drop will be my last contribution to getting flags out. Yes Clydesdale taking care of the rest.

      There are already flags with Yes Aberdeen( some on route to Yes Highland) Yes Dunfermline for all fife needs. Yes Edinburgh North and Leith for all Lothians.

      And yesterday at the BBC (LOL) we got Arran, Airdrie, Clydebank, Stirling and a few others sorted out.

      Those of you who contributed will still get your allocation via post. The ones at the area hubs are for further distribution to the local groups.

      We’ll get a FB page up for photos to be posted, should be fun.

      And stuart if you want one sent down to Bath drop me an email and we’ll get it sorted.

      Also for what it’s worth me and the missus who’ve worked at events for years both think there could be up to 4K in original busier pic of AFD.

    55. Bob Sinclair says:

      Judging by the police presence in the pic above it would seem that attendees of AFD are a lot more unruly than those who attended PQ2.

    56. Lesley-Anne says:

      Bob Sinclair says:

      Judging by the police presence in the pic above it would seem that attendees of AFD are a lot more unruly than those who attended PQ2.

      Do you think that might be because those at AFD were walking about with guns and stuff and had tanky sort of things there as well? 😛

    57. heedtracker says:

      “If you buy one copy of a paper, it tends to be regarded as being read by everyone in the household”

      Plus companies buy some for staff coffee shops etc like what mine does with the Press and Journal. So that’s probably adding 2000 readership figures for the crooks. You want to see today’s P&J, wholly shit and holy shit, last week was hideous bias but they’ve actually got worse.

    58. chalks says:

      Nae trying to piss on the parade, but why do we care? Why are we bringing this to peoples attention?

      Why not something on the top academic saying the NHS in England is already gone and warning about the Barnett Formula?

      Or Heseltine?

      Or Cameron and WM asking for soldiers support and feeding them propaganda?

      Love the site etc, but personally I couldn’t give a toss about them fudging the numbers, when do they not?

    59. Morag says:

      Thomas Valentine, the source of the £35,000 figure was the Ministry of Defence. Fancy that. Some have suggested that it was a combined figure covering a number of AFD events held across the UK on Saturday.

      The one in Stirling was supposed to be the biggie though. It was obviously a terrible flop, but don’t hold your breath expecting anyone to admit it.

    60. CameronB Brodie says:

      I can’t see that myself. Too obvious, IMO.

    61. Robert Peffers says:

      @Stu1314 says: 30 June, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      “Sorry no pound sign american key board.

      If you go to, ‘programs’, select, ‘Accessories’, then,’ System Tools’ and click on, ‘Character Map’, a wee program pops up.

      It will show the whole Character set of the font you are presently using. There are built in, ‘select’, & copy buttons on the pop-up program.

      Just paste the, for example,’£’, character where you want it. s’easy.

    62. john king says:

      “There were approx. 2000 folk there I reckon, if not more. So on that basis surley the phrase used should have been “Thousands of People.”

      Has no one counted the names on the Wings Banner?
      I know not everyone would have signed it but it gives you a benckmark and an idea of the minimum attendance.

    63. G H Graham says:

      The Unionists conspired & attempted to wreck the Bannockburn festival over the weekend.

      This remember, is the Unionist crowd that frequently accuses the SNP/YES etc of creating divisions –

      Example here …

      But their attempt to distract crowds from attending & instead line the streets of Stirling to clap a 2nd rate, shrinking military didn’t work.

    64. Cindie says:

      Thanks @AdrianB, great vid, have shared on Twitter. Ian, you were great!

    65. Mary Bruce says:

      I was at Bannockburn and the BBC demo at the weekend as well as passing by the AFD. There were easily 10-12,000 at Bannockburn, no disputes here.

      However, despite claims, there’s no way that the crowds at AFD and BBC were the same, there was definitely not 2000 at both, it is absurd, can people stop claiming this, it makes us look as ridiculous as the BBC.

      My personal estimates were about 5000 at AFD and 1000 at BBC. I would believe it if someone expert confirmed either, or even, say 7000 or 4000 at AFD. 35,000 is just drivel. If they said 2000 at BBC I would be doubtful, but 350 is utter nonsense too.

      I’m not trying to undermine any claims from the yes side, but statements that there were the same number of people at BBC and AFD is nonsense and just gives the no campaign amunition against us.

    66. Morag says:

      Having looked at a lot of pictures and read a number of eyewitness accounts, my impression is that Mary is right.

      Both 35,000 for AFD and 350 for PQ were ludicrous. There were nevertheless significantly more at AFD than at PQ. (Though as the Dug points out, a fair number at AFD would be families of the participants and casual passers-by, and indeed people who had come to Stirling for BBL but found it sold out. Whereas everybody at PQ the following afternoon can be reasonably inferred to be pretty pissed off at the BBC.)

    67. YESGUY says:

      The people of Scotland are being lied to on a daily basis.We know this.
      The BBC and all MSM have contributed to break up debate and peddle unionist information in the hope we are “scared off ” voting YES.

      Bannockburn day , one of the most historic days in the history of Scotland has been ignored by the MSM to promote the union by using our service men and women. The same men and women who will lose their jobs thanks to cuts.

      As a former soldier i can say don’t worry too much folks , our service personnel are a lot wider than that and recognise bull when they see it. Any many will vote YES.

      Great video of the BBC protests and wish i was there . Next time i hope.

      keep the faith folks we ARE winning and their attempts to undermined Scots are sign of this. It will get worse. But we are prepared and the YES bandwagon will roll on to victory on the 18th.

      Now that will be some party.

    68. HandandShrimp says:

      Event numbers are hard to pin down and the BBC is notorious for fiddling the figures to suit whatever their line is.

      I can’t say I am surprised or all that other bothered by the BBC spin. The fact that they reported the PQ event is enough to tell one that there was a good turnout and they will not be relishing a PQ3

      Regarding Bannockburn much was made of a poor turnout only for the damned thing to be a sell out for both days. Clearly the organisers could have had a bigger event after all. What do the BBC run with? Well with a sell out they can’t fiddle the figures so they major on gripes that they queues were too long….What can you say?

      As to AFD, there is obviously a fantastic vantage to photograph that event from and the two I have seen do not come close to 35,000. Peak viewing looks well sub of 10,000. Surely if someone is making a claim for 35,000 they must have a photo to back it up?

    69. geeo says:

      At the end of the day,the bannockburn event was sold out, i dont care what spin is put on the AFD numbers as those who were being honoured at the event know the truth and may be a tad unhappy to be used as pawns in a political game.

    70. Morag says:

      Someone mentioned Bannockburn next year. I’ve never been, but post a Yes vote I hope we can have the sort of event that had to be downgraded this year due to the AFD diversion, and I’ll definitely go! Even if it pours all day.

    71. Stevie says:

      I suspect Armed forces Day has been a damp squid that shows how little people give Atos about British nationalism in Scotland.

      They have in effect seen first hand how weak their position as British nationalists actually is. Shame the Labourite BriNats had to do their best to kill the 700th anniversary of Scotland’s most famous battle – a chance to learn something about the history of Scotland.

    72. Capella says:

      The public money going into the AFD propaganda exercise was a disgrace. Besides £250,000 from Stirling Council tax payers, they had £80,000 from UK govt and £80,000 from Scottish Govt taxpayers and £25,000 from the MOD. Private money came from “BAE Systems, Boeing, Finemeccanica, Poppyscotland / Royal British Legion, Royal Bank of Scotland and the Weir Group will contribute a combined total of more than £65,000.”
      They still claim that 35,000 attended, no doubt to justify the claim that £1m will be be generated.
      The Provost claims that their attendance targets were met. See this hilarious stv report. An army officer is interviewed in front of the ice cream queue to make it look like there’s a crowd. An ordinary member of the public (careful Stu) stands beside him with some kind of insignia on his jacket. Then there’s a charming interview with the provost.

    73. Luigi says:

      Maybe we should send 35,000 white feathers to debate-dodger David Cameron and the BBC director. Just to show them what 35,000 really looks like!

    74. Andy says:

      This site is getting like the Daily Mail. What was wrong with using this image? Oh, of course….

    75. Andy says:


      The “modest amount” is a quote from the British Geological Survey.

      The other comparison made in the BBC report is to 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in northern England versus 80 trillion in central Scotland.

      Additionally, Green MSP Patrick Harvie said the results proved fracking “has no place in Scotland’s energy future.”

      But yeah, clearly a conspiracy of mis-reporting.

    76. HandandShrimp says:

      I took a gander a the Hootsmon. First time I have been over there in an age. My God it really is the last refuge of the Thankless ones isn’t it 🙂

      The only surprise is that they aren’t hoping everyone that attended the Bannockburn event comes down with Ebola…OK I only read the first page of comments so I am in fact guessing that this is not the case. However, reading that paper is like undergoing a do it yourself lobotomy, not something I am up for.

    77. galamcennalath says:

      Alec Salmond managed to get to both Stirling events. I wonder why Cameron did not pop along to Bannockburn? I’m sure he’d have been made welcome. All he had to do was turn up in a Yes badge as a mark of respect 😉

    78. MochaChoca says:


      The BBC report stated ‘modest’ reserves of both shale gas and oil.

      Nowhere in the report is there an actual quote describing the reserves as ‘modest’, nor indeed does the BGS press release describe the reserves as ‘modest’. (I checked before making my original post)

      Sounds though like you do not see any contradiction in BBC reporting that 6.0 billion barrels would be considered ‘modest reserves’ in Scotland, whereas 4.4 billion barrels is ‘large reserves’ in the south.


    79. MochaChoca says:

      And Andy,

      The Patrick Harvie quote was added in later.

      Refer to Newssniffer, this eight and a half hour old report is currently on it’s 6th version.

    80. Gus Coutts says:

      To clarify attendance numbers at future events and deny The MSM the chance to misreport numbers why not acquire one of those little remote control helicopters that can carry a hi-res camera which could take pictures along with a time signature.

      The actual numbers could then be counted accurately with no chance of lying contradiction by the bad guys.

      Such choppers are not particuloarly expensive.

    81. SquareHaggis says:


      According to a relative working for a well known supermarket, members of the public have been busy for some months now going about the business of “flipping” newspapers face-down if they display negative indy headlines.

      Sales must be headed for the floor because to counter this it appears someone is prepared to spend wads of cash on advertising units, probably more than the papers are worth, just to make sure you get see those headers.

      Of course anyone with a decent set of eye-balls and half a brain can’t have failed to notice the recent in-store re-shuffles going on, where they have either moved their news-stands into more prominent positions, or installed those snazzy new display units which show each publication popped up behind a perspex panel.

      These can still be flipped though, doh!

      Said relative also explains how she had her duties on the fag counter upgraded to “keeping an eye on the papers” from around the turn of the year.

      One observation was she found it was mostly men who did this usually under the guise of “lookin at the fitba”.

      a few were approached but all had valid excuses and in the end the store manager found it impossible to police and gave up.

    82. Liquid Lenny says:

      There were other Armed Forces days last Saturday In the UK, Stirling was not an unique event, they had one in Scarborough , that I know as I was there at the bike racing the week before and seen the posters, they had one in the isle of Man on the Sunday, so presumably they had others as well on either Saturday or Sunday, so it was not a choice between Portsmouth and Stirling.
      It certainly was a choice to compete with Bannockburn live.

    83. Liquid Lenny says:

      Square Haggis

      lookin at the fitba

      In our local co-op which we have to use as there is nothing else, some wag put up a sign saying “Quiet Library”
      Presume it was staff, obviously a poke at least one person as I know who reads a weekly paper cover to cover and places it back on the shelf.

    84. Taranaich says:

      “Quite who managed to engineer the clash of the two events is not clear but the symbolism was hard to ignore.”

      Playing Devil’s Advocate, perhaps they can weasel out of it by referring to the fact we don’t know which exact Councillors were responsible for the decision and the circumstances which led to it?

    85. squarego says:

      Rev Stu’s got a part-time job in the Red Arrows. Shout out at 4:59.

    86. Ken500 says:

      The usual suspects were called to account at a Holyrood committee. There is now an inquiry into the circumstances. They have to report back.

      Scotland is on the march.

    87. Liquid Lenny says:

      Gus Coutts
      im planning to buy one of those drones, it will take hd video and has fly time of around 20 minutes, unfortunately If I buy it will not be until August and I will miss pq3 due to being in Europe.

      I will also be away 2nd two weeks in August however anybody got any events planned for September and want it filmed from the air give us a shout. Im not 100% getting a drone, I have to figure out if I can fit a decent camera first, but if this is the case them I will probably be getting hold of one early august.

    88. gordoz says:

      Why was STV not interested in covering the BBC PQ protest ?? Surely an opportunity.

    89. Lesley-Anne says:

      Talking about drones, I seem to remember that there was a drone at Carlton Hill last year, unfortunately I don’t know who was controlling it. Perhaps one of the more *cough* knowledgeable *ahem* experts on here might be able to throw some light on this. 😉

    90. dennis mclaughlin says:

      How about a wee ‘Live’ demolition of Glasgow City Chambers , to commence the start of the CG…..that would surely impress the worldwide audience.

    91. a2 says:

      re the red arrows thing, apparently coming from Peebles makes you a local boy in Stirling , we really are just a wee region, oh well.

    92. David McDonald says:

      Has anyone approached the National Trust for a comment? They’ve been planning this for years and they are also opening a multi-million pound visitor centre packed with state-of-the-art attractions. The Bannockburn Centre will bring plenty of tourists to Stirling so the rational person would assume the local council would be delighted and would be doing everything in it’s power to help ensure this event and visitor centre are a success. Instead they get a Labour Party who will sacrifice the town’s needs to try and score points for the No campaign. (And they say we’re obsessed with the Referendum!) They’ve really let their own community down here by politicising this. The National Trust must be furious (I’m glad the event was such a success), although relying largely on public funding, they’ll need to look apolitical. More no campaign collateral damage. Although being on a list of wronged organisations which include Great Ormond Street Hospital and the London School of Economics, they’re in better company than No voters.

    93. Lesley-Anne says:

      a2 says:

      re the red arrows thing, apparently coming from Peebles makes you a local boy in Stirling , we really are just a wee region, oh well.


      I guess that must surely make me a wee local as well then a2, living, as I do, in Eastriggs! 😛

    94. Thepnr says:

      @Liquid Lenny

      Are you going along to the Wings night out on Friday? I have a gift to deliver.

    95. SquareHaggis says:

      Filming from the air.

      Any Yes Farmers out there thinking about leaving crop circles this year, how about some field sized YESes?

      Would look very nice from above, especially later flowering varieties, bonnie blue heather even.

    96. Iain says:

      I took part in AFD last Saturday and also in Edinburgh 3 years ago, I can assure you there were a lot less at Stirling than in Edinburgh. There were also a sizeable number of us veterans wearing YES badges too!

    97. Thepnr says:

      Well done Iain, I’m confident a good many Scottish veterans will, like you be supporting Yes. I think the fact that Westminster and the MOD chose Stirling for AFD on the same weekend as Bannockburn was stupid and a bit crass.

      I’ve had enough of the my crowd was bigger than your crowd point scoring too now. So the establishment lie to suit their own agenda, tell me something I don’t know.

    98. Lesley-Anne says:

      Great news Iain. We actually have three ex servicemen in our local YES group and our postie is an ex serviceman as well. 😛

    99. Thepnr says:


      I have asked Mark to pass on my email address to you, please reply if you get it.

    100. Lesley-Anne says:

      Thanks Thepnr, I’ll send you a wee ditty when I get it. He hasn’t arrived yet, probably got lost in the outback of Dumfries and Galloway somewhere. 😛

    101. Paula Rose says:

      My lovely (now deceased) father-in-law was a valiant hero in the fight against european fascism – he talked about the honour and gallantry of the men he commanded, he lived in the hope that such sacrifice would never occur again. AFD’s should be practical demonstrations of how to turn swords into ploughshares.

    102. Rock says:


      “Sorry no pound sign american key board.”

      Copy the pound sign (from this page for example) and any other symbols you need to a Notepad, Wordpad or Word document and keep that document on your desktop.

      Whenrver you need a symbol, just open that document and copy it from there.

    103. Rock says:

      Good to see the (once) mighty Times of London put to shame by an ‘ordinary’ blogger based in Bath.

    104. Andy says:

      @MochaChoca chap from BGS has just been on the news saying that reserves are modest – 80 trillion cubic feet versus 1,300 trillion in N England. It is quoted within the text you have quoted from the BBC. Who do you think they are quoting if not the BGS?

    105. Weedeochandorris says:

      Wee bit OT. Just watching the tennis, have been since it started. Anybody else notice on centre court every time there is a players break the camera centres on a guy with a union jack jacket? He’s very strategically placed and the cameras linger on his back view when he stands up right in front of them every time. Subliminal messages even from Wimbledon.

    106. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Weedeeochandorris –

      To be fair, they did also show several shots of the four Murray fans who all had saltires on both cheeks. (Of their faces, obviously.)

    107. Weedeochandorris says:

      Your right Ian but this particular guy has been there all week. Maybe I’m getting paranoid and he’s just a big tennis fan but it’s not something I’ve seen before. Same person, same place, same jacket all the time. I just wouldn’t put anything past them 🙂

    108. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Weedeochandorris –

      You’re probably right. I hope they’re giving him regular changes of shirt, elsewise there will be a doughnut of empty seats around him.

    109. Paula Rose says:

      Ian honey – have you applied your woad?

    110. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Paula Rose –

      I have indeed. And, by peculiar coincidence, I completed application just before seeing your comment.

    111. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Paula Rose –

      Just did a selfie of me, with neighbour (Fred) about to go out for some late-evening lamp-post stickering in Kilmarnock. If the cops stop us I’m sure we can charm our way out of any charges.

    112. Paula Rose says:

      How lovely we are – see you again on Friday honey.

    113. X_Sticks says:

      @Adrian B

      Thanks for that great wee video of the bbc demo.

      Great interview with Ian B about Wings and the Yes movement at the end. Cracker Ian. Not sure about those dodgy characters in hats just behind you though, look like they’re up to no good 😉

    114. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @X-Sticks –

      I was mindful of their presence – hence my shifty demeanour.

    115. Paula Rose says:

      @ X Sticks – another waste of a cup of tea xx

    116. Liquid Lenny says:

      Re the Drone at the Sept Edinburgh Demo last year, If I remember correctly we had a bit of discussion on here about it and it appears that it was a good guy that was flying it.

      Sorry wont be at the Edinburgh gig, Busy weekend on Arran
      helping out with a Classic Motorbike rally/exhibition.

    117. Bob Sinclair says:

      Great job on the video. And thank god the shady characters in the background were out of focus ?

    118. Appleby says:

      You know it’s bad when the Portsmouth City Council leader knows what is really going on. Yet somehow Scottish media and BBC fail to report properly on these things, pretending it’s got nothing to do with it and Bannockburn event hardly existed!

    119. Oneironaut says:

      @Liquid Lenny
      As a “knowledgeable expert” (haha) who saw the drone in question (and attempted to get a picture of it, though it was a bit too fast for me), I can say it was a quadcopter-based “flying camera”, that I later heard was piloted by someone from National Collective apparently trying to get a better view from high up of how many were attending.

      Not sure if the footage from that will have found its way onto Youtube or not.

      I’ve been doing some research into remote flying drones lately in fact, thought I’d like to try building my own if I ever got the funds together 🙂 Just for fun.

    120. Barry Blust says:

      Always the same question: Do they write such tripe with ignorance, disability or purpose?

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