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A dangerously radical idea

Posted on August 05, 2013 by

You can call us crazy ideological extremists if you like. But after the Scottish press continued to obsess utterly ridiculously at the weekend over whether some Yes supporters might be working together on the Yes campaign with some other Yes supporters, we’re at least not going to be short of company in that regard.

So rather than engage in a farcical witch-hunt about whether members of Labour For Independence had ever once been photographed buying (wee) sausage rolls from THE EXACT SAME BRANCH OF GREGGS THAT SOMEONE IN THE SNP REGULARLY USES, we had the mad thought that we might, y’know, ask some of its members some questions about Labour and independence and stuff.

yeslab

We’ll never get anywhere in the Scottish media with that sort of approach.

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Polls consistently show around 20% of Labour voters support independence. Does this square with your personal experience? And if those are roughly the numbers, why do you think the party is scared of debating the policy at conference, if it would win a crushing victory?

Kevin Mulholland, LFI member and Labour Party member:

kevmulholland

I’d say 20% was a conservative estimate. There is a small but vocal bullying contingency within the party which is overly eager to shout down any dissent on this issue.

Privately, however, I’ve spoken with Labour activists (some office-bearers) who are agnostic on independence – they are there to be convinced. The hierarchy of the Labour Party may be resolute in their opposition, however I believe that there are many more activists that can be brought on board.

In terms of Labour voters, through canvassing and talking with people I know who vote Labour, the largest constituency is, by some distance, the don’t knows. Siding with Tories tends to turn traditional Labour voters off – aided by the incompetence of the Better Together campaign. I’d say 20% is a solid minimum, but another 20% (at least!) are openly swaying Yes.

The party are afraid to debate as they are simply using the head-in-the-sand approach. Anything less than a crushing endorsement of their policy – a policy imposed without any consultation of the membership – would be an embarrassment. Privately, I believe they know it’s more than 20%. They’d prefer to pretend they led a united front and shout down any modicum of dissent.

——————————————————————————————————

Have you experienced any “official” hostility from the party, other than attacks in the media? Any threats of expulsion or other discipline? If not, are you surprised?

Deborah Waters, LFI member and Labour Party member: 

debbiewaters

There’s been no ‘official’ hostility (Twitter trolls notwithstanding) but as our numbers grow and we continue to impact on the political scene we’ve found ourselves on the receiving end of some scorn and derision and a fair amount of false accusations.

I’m surprised our party hadn’t foreseen that the pact with the Tories was not going to be well received, or, that their continuing slide to the right would not cause a reaction.

The failure to consult party members in Scotland over one of the most important issues we will face for a very long time was a mistake, and though I am aware that many in Scottish Labour want to remain part of the UK there are others who feel differently but have no voice.

This is the purpose of our group and I’ve had lively debates with friends (both party and non) about independence. I am however cynical about the motivations of many career politicians who will ‘toe the line’ for favour and fortune and decry benefit recipients as scroungers. 

Scottish Labour leaders I fear are so blinded by ambition they cannot see the people. So I’m happy to continue as I have done and if there are consequences or censure… it’s for a good cause.

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How long have you been convinced that independence was the way forward for Scotland? What made you arrive at that conviction?

Scott Abel, LFI member and Labour Party member:

scottabel

 My road to independence probably took shape whilst I was working in Holland a few years ago. I remember as a boy my father and grandfather arguing about Margaret Thatcher, my grandfather being staunch Labour and my father tending to fall on the Tory side of things back then.

I mention my grandfather because he was a very honourable man, quick to think and he always had the answers I was looking for. As I grew up and arrived at voting age my mind had already been moulded by my grandfather.

Perhaps like my father with my grandfather in his younger years I would rebel against anything my father supported in order to create friction… a typically teenage trait. I spent the next few general elections voting for Labour, perhaps somewhat blindly as an ingrained inheritance from my grandfather.

It wasn’t until i moved to the Netherlands at 30 that the labour party and more so politics in general captured my imagination, this for me is when I became a leftie, so to speak. However what set me off on this road was the standard of living and quality of life in Holland compared to Scotland.

Out of sheer boredom (living there alone) and being an engineer I started using my evenings to look at numbers, and what I found in comparing Scotland to Holland startled me. After a bit of apprehension I followed on from my first economic venture and compared Scotland to Norway and Denmark, two countries I knew very well from visits to offshore installations over the years, and both countries I knew had a standard of living way above back home.

It was with this that I realised the scale of equality in the UK. Both of these “projects” had left me somewhat shocked and admittedly very angry, I couldn’t quite comprehend the scale of London’s greed and Scotland’s poverty considering our resources.

It was around this time that a friend of mine and fellow oil worker sent me an electronic copy of the McCrone report, this was the endgame for me personally – having been someone who considered themselves a Unionist without actually realising what that meant, I had formed a strong opinion and argument in my mind for an independent Scotland.

I returned to Scotland in September 2012 and immediately got to work, I contacted my local Yes group (Aberdeen) and offered my legs as a means of distributing leaflets.

It didn’t take long for me to be completely immerse myself in the whole campaign, from setting up and attending events to knocking on doors, things that two years previous I wouldn’t have ever imagined myself doing.

In early 2013 Labour For Independence was introduced to me via Facebook, and having previously been a member and voter I was very intrigued as to what LFI may have to say so I emailed Allan Grogan after obtaining his email address though a mutual friend.

All I can really say in regard to our correspondence is that my imagination was captured, his vision for Labour in an independent Scotland reminded me of my grandfather and some of the conversations we either had or I listened to as a youngster, so I decided to join without hesitation.

In all realism as I’ve matured I’ve come to realise that the Labour Party left me when i actually took the time to do some research, although the fundamentals of socialism are still deeply ingrained. I believe the only way for Scotland and its inhabitants to live in a country that has fairness and social justice at its heart is for us to win this referendum.

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Can you see any of Labour’s Scottish MPs or MSPs coming out for independence before the referendum?

Celia Fitzgerald, LFI Treasurer and Labour Party member: 

celiafitz

I have heard rumours that elected Labour officials are afraid to show sympathy with indy, or even discuss it because of threats of de-selection. I’m fully confident that some will take the leap out into the open nearer the time, and some will remain quiet on the issue but vote yes.

I’ve also come across Labour elected officials who stood as independents because they would not have have been elected such is the unpopularity of Labour. These are the people we are also looking to attract as part of our wider Labour recruitment.

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Is there any future for Labour in Scotland without independence, or will the party’s steady decline inevitably accelerate as all its best talent continues to head to London?

Paul Patterson, LFI member and Labour Party member:

paulpatterson

I think there is a future for Labour in Scotland without independence, but it’s the kind of future that Labour is currently heading towards that worries me. Lamont’s eagerness to go along with the UK Labour swing to the right and using phrases that would comfortably be used by Tories such as “something for nothing society” is just a taster of what Labour members can expect in future should Scotland vote against independence.

A “No” vote could accelerate things but I wouldn’t like to speculate. The best Labour candidates will always go to London and I don’t see that ever changing until we become independent. For some Labour politicians, Scotland and working here for the benefit of the Scottish people will never be big enough a prize or stage.

My number one concern is social justice, not independence. Independence is the means to that end. We have to change the conditions under which our politics currently work in order to create a society that is based on values of mutual benefit and justice. Independence offers us the best chance to do that.

The Westminster system thrives on conflict and pitting on side against another. Recent years have only shown that Westminster is set firmly on the path towards the right and will be so for some considerable time to come.

I am 30 years old and I do not believe that I will ever see a left of centre government form in the UK within my lifetime. Any Labour member that believes we have any hope of creating the sort of society we joined the Labour Party for, within the Westminster system, is deluding themselves.

Many will realise this but still argue for the Union. Either through loyalty or peer pressure but mostly through utter hatred for the SNP. The SNP never featured in my thinking when I came around to the idea of independence just over two years ago. It was totally illogical to do so. I may as well have considered the SSP or Greens or any of the other pro-independence parties in Scotland when reaching my decision.

But when I think about politics, I have two major concerns amongst others: the people of Scotland and the future of the Labour Party. In that order.

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Is the “Better Together” campaign as unpopular with grassroots Labour activists as the Scottish media suggests? Do you think it’ll survive until the referendum, or will it split entirely and leave “United With Labour” as the main No grouping?

Paul Leinster, LFI member and Labour Party member:

paulleinster

 There is little doubt about the lack of support for Better Together within the grassroots of Scottish Labour. The cruel and punishing programme of austerity being followed by the Tory-led Westminster government is not easily put aside by Labour activists and the idea of standing side-by-side with Tories at Better Together events rightly makes many deeply uncomfortable.

Better Together lag miles behind Yes Scotland when it comes to holding public meetings and have not even managed to muster enough support to launch Better Together Glasgow (The Yes Glasgow launch had a turnout of over 600). Indeed Facebook and Twitter photos show the same handful of Labour MPs, councillors and party staffers as the sole Glasgow Labour presence in Better Together. It’s not likely to surprise anyone that those already elected to Westminster or those with London bound aspirations are willing to do anything they can to ensure the preservation of the Union.

A separate Labour campaign for the union is likely to mobilise more activists from within the party and the campaign weekend held by United With Labour in July seemed to attract more support than Better Together usually does. So it would seem entirely possible that they could take over as the dominant anti-independence force were it not for the fact that the unionist campaign is so dependent on funding from rich Tory donors.

United With Labour will likely struggle to foot the bill for campaign materials, merchandise and administration costs and although the campaign is fundamentally about boots on the ground, their entire online presence seems to extend to a single page on the Scottish Labour website and a hashtag on Twitter.

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Infiltrators, impostors and plants? Or people with traditional Labour values who believe independence offers the best hope of bringing those values to reality? We will, as ever, leave you to make up your own minds.

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    156 to “A dangerously radical idea”

    1. Mary Lockhart might have something to say in answer to question 2.

    2. An excellent piece, and frankly there’s little I’d disagree with there, even though myself and the folk in the piece are coming from different starting points.
       
      Well done to all who are willing to contribute to the campaign for Scotland’s future, in whatever form. 🙂

    3. MajorBloodnok says:

      Rev, now that is real journalism.  Excellent.

    4. Firestarter says:

      What I REALLY don’t understand (and please forgive my naivety here) is when exactly that Labour in Scotland became such staunch Unionists? Was it ever thus, or is it just part of the Bain principle writ large, conflating Yes with the SNP? To me, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, that the opportunity of creating and moulding a country to more fundamentally fit with its core principles and values (ideologically if not practically) lies within its grasp, yet it chooses to side with the Tories to try to prop up a right wing agenda. I just don’t get it …. really, I don’t!

    5. wee 162 says:

      My parents were both active Labour Party members from the mid 70s to the early 90s. They still have many friends from that time. I caught my dad for a pint recently with a bunch of people who he knows from that period. In other words a hardcore Old Labour lot. Of the 8 of us round the table all bar one supported independence. This group included 3 former Labour councillors, and 2 former branch secretaries.
       
      The one person against (and still a party member unlike all bar one of the others) was genuinely shocked at this. His reason for being against independence was a tribal Labour reaction to the SNP rather than against independence per se. I think that conversation probably changed him from a “No” to a “Don’t Know”.
       
      Labour are giving their mind a treat if they think supporters of their party are solidly behind a No vote.

    6. StevenM says:

      Having canvassed for years for the SNP and had many people saying they were supporting Labour but would vote Yes for independence, the emergence of Labour for Independence doesn’t surprise me at all. The Labour Party central office would be horrified if they could see the figures I have seen over the years for a Labour / independence correlation. 

    7. Morag says:

      I remember, back in the 1990s, when there was that televised debate about a devolution referendum.  At the time there was talk of a three-way choice, with voters being asked to rank independence, devolution and the (then) status quo in order of preference.
       
      Lorraine Mann got up and asked the panellists which option they would put as their second choice.  Salmond answered quite straightforwardly that the status quo was unacceptable and he would plump for devolution as second-best.  The Labour panellist, who I think might have been George Robertson, blustered and fulminated against Mann as being an SNP plant asking a trick question.  (She’s CND, I think, not SNP.)
       
      I was mightily confused at the time.  If indeed Labour’s second preference was the status quo, why not just say so?  He could have made a perfectly reasonable little speech warning of the perils of complete separation, and stating his preference to remain in the union and fight for devolution another day.  He didn’t.
       
      This signalled to me that Labour was aware that independence was far far more preferable to the status quo for many or most Scots.  It made their refusal to put independence on the 1997 ballot paper quite interesting.  It seems this was a unionist party whose spokesman didn’t even dare say so.
       
      Now, they have nowhere to hide.  They’ve had to come out and declare, because things have moved too far for them to be able to go on fudging the issue.

    8. Erchie says:

      Firestarter

      If “Road to Referendum” is still on the STV player than, I think, episode 1 answers that.

      If you have a Kindle type device the book is on Amazon Kindle for £1.99 (and it can be easily converted to other reader forms if you have a non-Kindle reader but I would never condone such behaviour. it’s naughty!)

    9. les wilson says:

      While I have no concern for any of the Unionist parties,which of course include SLAB under the auspices of UKlab, I do have sympathy with the frustrated Slab supporters who have seen their party turn into something alien to their own thinking.
      So it seems that to restore Slab back into the party they had, along with the ideals that used to prevail, to vote yes,is their only option.
      While I do not want a Scotland that is run by Unions nor extreme leftish views, we will need a good opposition in Holyrood,to keep everyone on their toes for the benefit of our country and democracy in a good place. So I give my own support in that aim.
      Labour, a real Scottish Labour,can then think of how to right the wrongs in THIS country, instead of the Westminster proxy we currently have, who have prostituted themselves.
      Then,like everyone else new SLab, can take it’s chances at the polls like everyone else.

    10. John Lyons says:

      Wee 162,
       
      That’s what all the LFI arre really SNP stuff is about, and it’s the Same with Salmond and yes saying Better No is a Tory campaign.
       
      Whilst we can truthfully and honestly say Yes is not just the SNP, it is 90% SNP (in my experience) and whilst we can even say the first Govenrnment of an independent Scotland will be democratically elected and might not be SNP, the reallity is that it’s very likely.
       
      Fortunately in your experience only 12.5% of Labour are blinded by thier hatred so it shouldn’t really matter.

    11. Tattie-boggle says:

      I can see the headline Evil Separatist  Mccolmshops Labour membership card

    12. Vincent McDee says:

      Labour for Independence has a quality about them which reminds me of the famous “Akward Squad” that so much riled Blair from 2002/3.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awkward_Squad_(trade_unions)
      The term was given in 2002-3 to those that opposed what they regarded as the economically liberal policies of the ruling New Labour faction of the Labour Party
      The Awkward Squad is split between those who wish to “reclaim” the Labour Party for socialism, and those who want to break with Labour and try to build a new socialist movement.
       
      I have always found sadly funny that the core of trade unionists which so much opposed the swing to the right of Labour, were, are and still will be at least for a time,  Labour’s main source of income, once the possibility of ermining   skunking capitalist donors was lost.
      The standard labour activists remind me too of that famous assesment given to the El Cid (you may remember Charlton Heston playing the rol)
      “What a good servant he’ll make, if he had a good Lord”
      Shame proud labour activist lions are lead by donkeys and dinosaurs (with a red rossette, O’course) but now is their time too.
       

    13. Macart says:

      You’ll never get anywhere in the media by just going up to folk at source and asking them direct questions. 😀
       
      Nice Rev.

    14. Seasick Dave says:

      Let’s have more articles like this, please.
       
      I liked Scott Abel’s contribution in particular for being well thought through and reasoned.
       
      Come on ye LFI!
       
      PS If there are any Labour types reading this, get over your SNP hatred and campaign for a better Scotland for all who live here.

    15. James Westland says:

      Morag
       
      I remember the “Lorraine Mann” question well. And yes, it was George Robertson. LM was accused of being an SNP plant. 1995 it was, the “Great Debate”
       
      And courtesy of the Wayback Machine here it is:
       
      http://web.archive.org/web/20050211044851/http://www.alba.org.uk/devolution/mann.html
       

    16. Morag says:

      It led me at the time to two conclusions.  One was that Labour was at heart an implacably unionist party.  The other was that they didn’t dare admit that.  I found the latter conclusion quite interesting.

    17. Garve says:

      Excellent article Wings.
       
      I might be being ridiculously naive or stupid with this suggestion, but here goes.
       
      (Nervous gulp)
       
      Could you submit that article to the Scotsman for publication by them?

    18. Peter A Bell says:

      Stu, this may just be the most important thing you have ever posted. Well done!

    19. dee says:

      Iam a member of the SNP/YES campaign and regularly hand out and post leaflets for LFI with great enthusiasm. We have been doing this since they have been formed. I would recommend others to help get the message across that a YES vote is not just a vote for the SNP. There are a huge number of confused Labour Undecided voters out there and its up to people like us to put over the positive case for Independence.

    20. David McCann says:

      It is clear from Ian McWhirter’s programme and book that senior Scottish Labour activists were totally against devolution, and that it was actually the rest of the UK Labour who pushed it through. They preferred the trappings of Westminster and the London  gravy train.So no change there.
      BTW Erchie. McWhirter’s book is only £1.19 from Amazon Kindle- not £1.99. Well worth it.

    21. Iain says:

      Cracking article, and cracking link from@James Westland. The truth is out there if you can be half arsed to find it (unlike our Scottish press).

    22. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Could you submit that article to the Scotsman for publication by them?”

      Frankly I wouldn’t waste the wear and tear on my mouse button.

    23. Shinty says:

      It makes no sense to me that anyone in Scotland with traditional labour values would consider voting No in the referendum.

      Leave that to the careerists and ermine chasers.

    24. Luigi says:

      Before I had even finished reading the first response, I concluded that this is an incredibly important article that requires maximum coverage, and the attention of it’s target readers (Labour voters).  The challenge is how to get it out there, without the help of the MSM.  Social media, or course (start linking, folks)!  Perhaps if it was covered in England or elsewhere, the Scottish MSM would not be able to ignore it.  Any ideas?

    25. Gaavster says:

      @Luigi
       
      What about making them into some Yes Scotland fliers and include the link back to this article?

    26. CameronB says:

      Why not post the article to RT? They might want to do a follow-up interview after the one with AS. Hope you’ve polished your shoes Rev. 🙂

    27. Albert Herring says:

      “senior Scottish Labour activists were totally against devolution”
       
      I expect that’s what’s in the secret devolution papers.

    28. Firestarter says:

      Thanks Erchie
      Watching “Road to Referendum” just now (YouTube). Fascinating! 🙂

    29. Jimbo says:

      “Could you submit that article to the Scotsman for publication by them?”
       
      I’d rather see it in a paper with real circulation that is read by the masses – like the Sun.

    30. Morag says:

      Dave, I have a small bundle of LFI leaflets at home.  I was given them by an SSP member who was part of the team leafleting our village in June.  He in turn had received them from LFI.
       
      I volunteered to deliver them to selected houses, because I have an idea where Labour supporters live.  Now, I’m scared to do that in case someone pounces on the spectacle of a known SNP activist delivering LFI material.
       
      It’s called co-operation, dammit.  LFI and indeed the SSP are our friends and we work together in YS and we support each other and help each other.  It doesn’t make anyone a fraudulent construct.  But that’s how BT are spinning it.

    31. Peter A Bell says:

      Don’t be scared!
       
      A certain well-known SNP figure I spoke to recently was saying that the SNP and the Yes campaign should be wary of being associated with Labour for Independence on account of the fuss being made by the media. I pointed out that this would be precisely the wrong response as it would be tantamount to an admission that there was something untoward about the cooperation and that it would be exactly the response our opponents would be hoping for.
       
      Far from distancing ourselves from Labour for Independence we – SNP and all other Yes groups – should be contriving every opportunity to be seen working with them.
       
      Be defiant!

    32. Captain Caveman says:

      Labour are the very definition of a busted flush. Only this morning, we hear of strong growth returning to the UK Service Sector (following excellent Construction and Industrial Sector performances). Unemployment continues to fall apace; never has the Private Sector employed so many people – REAL, not pretend jobs. The Deficit is falling, business confidence is returning, welfare is getting under control. The much trumpeted, so-called ‘Double Dip’ recession never actually happened, so it turns out (but their own catastrophic economic meltdown, after 10 years of their mismanagement, was considerably worse than they’d claimed – an actual Depression in fact, not recession). The Coalition is holding, and their strategies are clearly working – in huge contrast to much of the hapless Eurozone, Socialist France most especially.
       
      I’ve long resigned myself to the stupidity of the British Electorate, but surely these undeniable, empirical truths must be seeping into the thick skulls of even the most idiotic, dumbass, tribal Labour supporter? From my POV it’s only going to get better now; we’re on a roll.
       
      We’re back.

    33. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Would make a terrific A4 folded leaflet. Can it be laid out that way?

    34. Edulis says:

      The best way to get this read by the target audience is to get Joan McAlpine to weave it into her weekly column in the DR. It would be a bombshell after the Euan McColm inspired goings- on.

    35. Peter A Bell says:

      The material in this article could, with the Rev’s permission, be presented in a number of ways. A Z-fold A4 leaflet would be possible, and I would happily do the design and layout work if that would help.
       
      I was also thinking about doing individual infographic style image files for online distribution.

    36. CameronB says:

      @ Captain Caveman
      You’re a bit quick out of the blocks to proclaim sustainable economic recovery, IMO.

    37. Scaraben says:

      One thing I find interesting, and a little bit puzzling, is the loyalty that the LfI people show towards the Labour party. They mostly seem to support policies (not just about independence) which Labour abandoned when Blair and his cronies took over, and which are being left still further behind as Labour continues its rightwards drift. Would they not find more in common with one or other of the pro-independence parties than with Miliband’s neo-liberal, nuke-loving branch of the UK Establishment? Still, it is their choice to campaign for independence from within Labour, and I wish them well.
       
      While it would be a very good outcome if LfI were to turn Scottish Labour into the party it should be, rather than an imitation of the Tories, I feel that it is unlikely. I suspect that if Lfi begins to make any real impact, its leaders will be kicked out of the party by the UK Labour leadership.

    38. CameronB says:

      Re. Leaflets. Who will handle the distribution, of presumably hundreds of thousands of leaflets? Or is the intel. available to do a targeted drop?

    39. Peter A Bell says:

      Expelling LfI members would be a defining moment for British Labour in Scotland. I suspect it would be the catalyst that sparked a major internal rift. Which may be why British Labour have not followed up on what has, in part at least, been an attempt to prepare the ground for such expulsions.

    40. Captain Caveman says:

      @CameronB
      “You’re a bit quick out of the blocks to proclaim sustainable economic recovery, IMO.”
       
      It’s possible, certainly. An implosion of the Eurozone (which can never be ruled out; it’s very likely to happen at some stage) would certainly scupper things royally. However, I am more optimistic now that I’ve been for 5 years, and I’m not alone. This has important implications for the Scottish independence vote; personally I believe that by then, we’ll be flying along quite nicely in economic terms. From my POV, then, most fortuitous timing. 🙂

    41. Edulis says:

      The contribution that clicked with me came from Paul Leinster. Here, he acknowledges that the Labour MPs are on a career path/gravy train. If that could seep into the proletariat they would be isolated from their voters and we could say cheerio to the Davidsons, Donohoes and Robertsons of this world, not to mention Calamity Brown himself. 

    42. Peter A Bell says:

      Presumably, Yes Scotland and the various groups that come under that umbrella.

    43. Morag says:

      I’m not entirely sure what Captain Caveman is so happy about, or indeed who “we” are.

    44. Jiggsbro says:

      The trouble with asking people questions is that sometimes they fail to give the answers which fit the news agenda. This entire article should be spiked and replaced with reliable, manufactured quotes from unnamed LFI members admitting to being SNP plants. This is Scotland, sir. When the lie becomes fact, print the lie.

    45. David Sharp says:

      Here’s a thought. And it is JUST a thought;
       
      What if Labour party finances and general in fighting disarray are such that it is in fact only. Blair McDougall behind the no campaign feeding nasty little sound bites to Labour friendly journalists?
       
      Think about it. Compare meetings between the campaigns: YES: A variety of speakers, local, national politicians, artists, local folk who want to add their tuppence worth, while no camp: Blair McDougall flown in from London. Alistair Darling occasionally, the odd soul with an axe to grind.  Moreover, and importantly, look at the groundswell of activism. YES: stalls everywhere every weekend, NO: telephone canvassing. I was on the East Lothian better together Facebook page, noactivity  for months and a call for volunteers to man phones.
       
      Meanwhile the attacks from Blair McDougall become more hate filled and frantic as he gets swamped by the voting intentions of the Scottish electorate.

    46. Yesitis says:

      Captain Caveman
       
      “We’re back.”
       
      The sound of Rule Britannia played out the more I read your comment. There were streets paved with union flag waving Brits, and Nicholas Witchell and David Starkey were arguing over who loved their Queen and country more.
       
      By the end of your comment, in my mind, I could see the video for the Sid Vicious version of My way.

    47. Captain Caveman says:

      Heh! 🙂
      Well, I am a Unionist, so “we” are, er, the Union?
       
      I suppose I just find myself laughing most heartily at the ridiculous, increasingly desperate and pitiful position that Labour now find themselves in, in terms of their political (and economic) credibility? Sometime soon, very few apart from their hard core supporters will care what they have to say, pretty much about anything.
       
      In terms of the Scottish independence vote, I think it’s fair to say that good economic recovery and demonstrable performance, most especially in comparison to most of our European peers, will (further) demonstrate the benefits of the Union, on an important level? There’s also the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality also.

    48. Morag says:

      Hmmm.  What if the voters who fell for the “now is not the time for a gamble such as independence” malarkey were reassured by a recovery that now was a perfectly good time, after all?

      If you think Labour is such a busted flush, who ya gonna vote for?

    49. Captain Caveman says:

      Conservative. Life long supporter.

    50. Moujick says:

      In relation to the Lorainne Mann questions above, the question that I would like to see thrown at Pro Union Labour spokesmen is this. “How many terms of Tory governemnt should Scotland live under before you would consider Independence”. As things stand at the moment, Cameron is almost a shoe in for the next UK General election. If the Tories can do that in the face of the ecenomic difficulties that we have faced ..and given the likely upturn in the Economic Cycle combined with Labout looking for another leader, then it’s highly likely that they would win the subsequent one…chuck in DC hounorably retiring and a populist like Boris Johnson replacing him to win a 4th term then you could realistically be looking at circa 5 terms of Tory govt unless they spectacularly f-cked it up (in the eyes of their voters and backers obviously)…so how long does the average Labour Pro Union spekesman think is acceptable for Scotland to be goverened by the Tories…3, 4, 5 terms? Forever?

    51. ianbrotherhood says:

      @CameronB-
       
      It’s astonishing how much distribution of leaflets etc can be done by relatively small numbers of people (as Morag mentioned earlier, but I can’t locate her comment), and as Peter Bell says above, all those under the Yes umbrella would be involved. Such a campaign would also nudge a lot of folk to get off their arses and do something.
       
      We could do it if we really wanted to.

    52. CameronB says:

      @ Captain Caveman
      I didn’t hear the report you refer to and am uncertain of the statistics that are being touted as evidence.
       
      IMO, the construction sector has responded to the property bubble that is required and planned to fund HS2, which itself will only further concentrate the UK’s population in the south and south east. This increased population will include many who are receiving state benefits. Without a Yes vote, Scotland will be consigned to remain a cash cow for the benefits of those living outside Scotland.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/houseprices/10039583/Help-to-Buy-bubble-could-push-house-prices-up-by-30pc.html
      http://moneyweek.com/merryns-blog/hs2-a-disaster-in-the-making-62500/
       
      Many of the ‘real’ jobs are low waged and contractually insecure. There has been no net job creation for three quarters of the UK’s workforce, since 2010. Are you comfortable in supporting a race to the bottom?
      http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/07/the-uks-low-pay-recovery

    53. handclapping says:

      My suspicion is that Labour in Scotland is hollowing out. You go to a Labour United do and its the same faces as the street activity and the only BT they’ve held here. You go to a Yes stall, meeting or street activity and its 50% new faces (I’m in the SNP). If all the members that have stopped their subs to Labour round here are reflected around Scotland then the Scottish Labour Party is just a brittle facade.
       
      The SNP’s Activate system should be able to give a good picture of Labour supporters support for Indy as their questionnaire asks about political leanings as well as Indy whereas the Yes one is Indy only. However I suspect the SNP will play that one close to their chest.

    54. Training Day says:

      @Captain
       
      Proclaiming to Scotland that the Conservatives ‘are back’ may not be the most efficacious strategy for defenders of the Union to adopt.

    55. CameronB says:

      @ ianbrotherhood
      Jimmy Cliff – You Can Get It If You Really Want 🙂
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18EAqHx2lMk

    56. Gordon Bain says:

      There’s one No group on Facebook which I’m not banned from and I linked to this fine article to see if I could start a dialogue. Here is the official response –
       
      “Gordon all that article is doing is trying to show that there is Labour voters who support the LFI movement. No one has doubted that at all, however there is no groundswell of support for it amongst Labour ranks that’s for sure. And I also like how they mentioned that 20% of Labour voters want separation??? Evidence is nowhere to found on that one. Remember the mori poll that found that there are more SNP voters against separation (17%) than Labour voters for it (11%).
       
      So the article from hardened bias nationalists is not going to change anyone’s minds especially those who are undecided”.
       
      The thing these people don’t understand is that we’re somehow going to all have to live together after the Yes vote. I think we’re in for very interesting times.

    57. David Sharp says:

      Apologies for posting twice. Being shoogled about on a bus whilst editing.

    58. Peter A Bell says:

      As British Labour in Scotland mouthpiece, Ian Smart, tweeted on 5 May 2013,
       
      Better 100 years of the Tories than the turn on the Poles and the Pakis that would follow independence failing to deliver.

    59. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “This has important implications for the Scottish independence vote; personally I believe that by then, we’ll be flying along quite nicely in economic terms.”

      Um, are you aware of the poll which indicated that if the Tories looked like winning in 2015 (which they surely would if a full-blown economic recovery was under way), support for independence shot up to 52%, with just 40% against? As a Unionist Tory, you can’t have it both ways – you can EITHER win the election OR the referendum. Both of those things happening is a long shot indeed.

    60. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The material in this article could, with the Rev’s permission, be presented in a number of ways. A Z-fold A4 leaflet would be possible, and I would happily do the design and layout work if that would help.

      I was also thinking about doing individual infographic style image files for online distribution.”

      No need to ask MY permission, and I’m sure there’d be no need to ask LFI’s either.

    61. Macart says:

      A turnaround based on austerity slash and burn. No change in the economic model or system of governance which brought us to the brink in the first place. A societal divide which is growing daily between have and have not.
       
      Let me break out the bunting.

    62. david says:

      is it right that unionist msps scream for remaining under westminister while many of their constituents will want independence ?

    63. Cath says:

      What I REALLY don’t understand (and please forgive my naivety here) is when exactly that Labour in Scotland became such staunch Unionists?
       
      I’ve now come to believe they always were. All the talk of “home rule” may have been true for some of those espousing it (Keir Hardy maybe) but as party policy it was just a sop – a lie to make sure Scots kept voting the right way and didn’t vote for the real party of home rule. Same with the Lib Dems federalism – as soon as they had a chance to get anywhere near actually implementing it, they ran away crying to hide behind Westminster’s skirts.
       
      Labour came behind devolution eventually because they were pushed to it by the EU and managed to convince themselves it would “kill nationalism stone dead”. Now they’ve seen the result they are unionists and nothing more. Tam Dayell was telling it like it is – they, like the tories and the Lib Dem – want devolution rolled back and the Scottish parliament neutered. I doubt they’d abolish it for the same reason they once claimed to support Home Rule: it would be too obvious and not allow them to fudge the issue and lie. They’ll neuter it, remove power and hope the majority don’t notice, care or believe it.
       
      So for Westminster we now have a two way choice of the Conservative and Unionist party or the Labour and Unionist party and their policies on Scotland are identical, as are their policies on most things. Everything else was just a big, fat, lie to gain votes.

    64. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “is it right that unionist msps scream for remaining under westminister while many of their constituents will want independence?”

      To be fair, if their constituents chose to elect a Labour MP they knew what they were getting. Of course, hardly any of them represent a majority of their constituents, but that’s a whole other kettle of pretend democracy.

    65. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “A turnaround based on austerity slash and burn. No change in the economic model or system of governance which brought us to the brink in the first place. A societal divide which is growing daily between have and have not.

      Let me break out the bunting.”

      Mm. It’s barely even worth pointing out the farcical hollowness of claiming a magnificent recovery in employment on the same day that it’s revealed a MILLION people are on zero-hours pseudo-jobs, and millions more are in inadequate part-time work because they can’t find jobs that pay enough to live on. But, y’know, as long as house prices are rising again CC and his ilk think everything’s peachy.

    66. Cath says:

      “And I also like how they mentioned that 20% of Labour voters want separation??? Evidence is nowhere to found on that one.”
       
      The other day a Labour MP down south (Eoin Clark) was linking to a poll that had support at 28% and saying that was bad.
       
      In my area, which is very heavily Labour, the canvas returns show support running vastly higher than that (about 40%)

    67. Captain Caveman says:

      “Um, are you aware of the poll which indicated that if the Tories looked like winning in 2015 (which they surely would if a full-blown economic recovery was under way), support for independence shot up to 52%, with just 40% against? As a Unionist Tory, you can’t have it both ways – you can EITHER win the election OR the referendum. Both of those things happening is a long shot indeed.”
       
      It’s a fair point, but there again, you Scots already have devolution and your own parliament, so I guess these things still further mitigate the supposed horrors of a Tory government – don’t they?
       
      I genuinely believe that the outcome of the next GE will not an outright Tory victory and there will need to be a continuation of the existing Coalition. (Which, as a pretty liberal Tory “wet”, this is an outcome that I’d be more than happy with).
       
      However, suppose your right – the ever-strengthening economic recovery develops into a full-blooded, full on, sustained recovery by end 2014 (which it might well do, in fact I believe this is now the most likely outcome). People will start to see very real, significant benefits from this; the ‘feelgood’ factor will return. Will the Scottish electorate, in all honesty, decide in their droves for a full divorce from the Union, in fear of a government that has demonstrably performed what would by then be an economic miracle in a single parliamentary term? With so many other comparable EU states in complete and total economic disarray, by any fair comparison?
       
      I might be being ridiculously optimistic here, but I just can’t see that happening myself. Time will tell, it’s going to be interesting… 🙂

    68. Macart says:

      @Rev Stu
       
      Just staggering Rev. What is any form of recovery worth if you tear your society apart along economic lines in order to achieve it? Just what are you left with?

    69. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Rev-
       
      Aye, or the belter who got bagged for chirping about her ‘folio doing very nicely’ or somesuch pish. Can’t remember her name now…one of the ‘Gang of Four’.

    70. Captain Caveman says:

      Argh! “Suppose your right”
       
      The shame…

    71. CameronB says:

      @ Captain Caveman
      Dream on. And I meant that in a friendly, you’re having a laugh kind of way. 🙂

    72. Captain Caveman says:

      @CameronB
       
      Hey, no worries at all mate. A man can dream, can’t he? 🙂

    73. david says:

      the house of commons is stuffed with gentleman who are, honourable, distinguished, learned, even right honourable. they are all very keen to promote these virtues to each other. i gotta say its quite laughable when i hear these men refering to each other in these terms.  

    74. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Will the Scottish electorate, in all honesty, decide in their droves for a full divorce from the Union, in fear of a government that has demonstrably performed what would by then be an economic miracle in a single parliamentary term?”

      The mistake you make so often is in assuming that any recovery would in fact reach the people most likely to vote Yes. Things might indeed improve for the Middle England swing-voter belt, given that the poor are being robbed blind to prop them up and bribe them. It won’t get anywhere near Castlemilk or Muirhouse, though.

    75. ianbrotherhood says:

      @CaptainCaveman-
       
      You do seem a decent sort of chap, so, please – curious for your thoughts on Blair McDougall’s behaviour/language re Rev’s invitation to an open debate.

    76. Jamie Arriere says:

      Well, I’m glad to see someone’s happy today about the economic future – I wonder if they’re also happy & grateful at the contribution these workers are making towards it?
       
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23570345

    77. Andrew Parrott says:

      Go on! Give all the Scottish MSM this article and dare them not to use it. I believe Peter Bell is very much on the money on this one.
      Better Together need to be ridiculed at every opportunity for their feeble attempts to portray different groups working for YES as some sort of conspiracy.
      SLAB need to be asked again and again and again why they are not expelling anyone aligning themselves with LfI. After all, they were only too happy to expel those in militant tendency so many years ago.
      The truth often hurts and SLAB know that expelling LfI would damage them badly and possibly terminally. I can quite easily imagine an opinion poll showing LfI Scottish Labour ahead of the red tories in BT SLAB.    
       

    78. CameronB says:

      @ Captain Caveman
      A man can dream, can’t he?
       
      Yes of course, but I find it best not to remain in that state 24/7. 🙂

    79. Captain Caveman says:

      “You do seem a decent sort of chap, so, please – curious for your thoughts on Blair McDougall’s behaviour/language re Rev’s invitation to an open debate.”
       
      Thank you mate. 🙂
      However, I’ve already indicated my total disapproval a number of times – they’re bottling it. It’s all very, very unfortunate IMO.
       
      To my mind, the ‘No’ side has a number of important arguments – just as the ‘Yes’ side does too. I personally believe “the No’s have it” – but not by much. Certainly, however, there is nothing to be afraid of from either side, by having a good, honest, open debate, minus all the scaremongering, misinformation, rudeness and phoney crap.

    80. Peter A Bell says:

      I’ll get to work then.

    81. Jiggsbro says:

      To my mind, the ‘No’ side has a number of important arguments
       
      Any chance you could let us know what they are? Because they don’t seem to want to share.

    82. CameronB says:

      @ ianbrotherhood
      I remember Captain Caveman calling BT out, for their lack of willingness to debate with Yes, only a couple of days back.
       
      @ Captain Caveman
      To my mind, the ‘No’ side has a number of important arguments
       
      Would you mind sharing them with us?

    83. HandandShrimp says:

      Captain C
       
      Why would economic recovery generally (the UK does not operate in isolation as you point out) be good from the Union perspective? BT are making big with the “we are all doomed better stay in a huddle” thing. Slip that leash and double it with a return of Osborne IDS etc., at Westminster and you have a double encouragement to vote Yes.

    84. tartanfever says:

      captain caveman says :
      ‘…sustained recovery by end 2014 (which it might well do, in fact I believe this is now the most likely outcome). People will start to see very real, significant benefits from this; the ‘feelgood’ factor will return.’
      Really ? How do we then go about the repayment of the £1.5T national debt, or £20,000 for every man, woman and child in the land ?
      Think that might put a wee damper on the ‘recovery party’

    85. handclapping says:

      @Jiggsbro CameronB
      But that is the argument for the Union – Sharing

    86. Captain Caveman says:

      Guys, I am hardly an appropriate or sufficiently knowledgeable person to comment substantively on this; I’ve never lived in Scotland and am the first to acknowledge my own limitations here. I’m just an English guy who happens to like Scotland (plus I’ve followed Stu’s writings for the last 10 years).
       
      If you really want me to go through them I will, but you’d be far better off asking someone who knows their stuff here.

    87. Ivan McKee says:

      @ caveman
      With so many other comparable EU states in complete and total economic disarray, by any fair comparison?
      Think you’ve got your UKIP purple tinted glasses on caveman.

      Lets look at comparable (to Scotland) EU states :
      2012 GDP Growth Rates
      Sweden 1.0%
      Austria 0.8%
      Ireland 0.9%
      Iceland 1.6%
      Not to mention (comparable but not EU)
      Norway 3.0%
      Switzerland 1.0
      I will give you Denmark at -0.6%  though.
      Scottish GDP growth was also higher than the UK growth of 0.2% in 2013.
      There are a couple of things that will go a long way to securing this referendum win. One is a likely Tory win at Westminster in 2015, and the other is an increase in Scottish confidence, driven in large part by an improving economy.
      The Tories wont get the credit for that, the brand is still just too toxic.
       

    88. Captain Caveman says:

      Out come the UKIP slurs and personal crap – yawn.
      Well, we’ll see who is right soon enough, won’t we McKee?

    89. Morag says:

      He had some actual figures you don’t seem to have commented on.
       
      You like Scotland?  That’s nice.  You’ll like us a lot better after we’re independent.  We’re not going anywhere, and the M6 will still carry traffic.

    90. Ivan McKee says:

      @caveman
      I didn’t say it was a slur, you did.
      I’m just saying there is a tendency to believe a lot of the Euro disaster nonsense that comes out as if the whole continent was like Greece.
      The bits that are comparable to Scotland are doing not too bad actually (a lot better than the UK).
       

    91. CameronB says:

      @ handclapping
      Edward G. Robison and Peter Lorre demonstrate the British state’s unionist interpretation of sharing @ 2.22 in. Kind of appropriate, I think.

    92. Erchie says:

      It was revealed that not only are Buckingham Palace workers on zero-hour contracts, they are forbidden from working elsewhere.
       
      How they survive is a mystery

    93. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I’ve now come to believe they always were. All the talk of “home rule” may have been true for some of those espousing it (Keir Hardy maybe) but as party policy it was just a sop – a lie to make sure Scots kept voting the right way and didn’t vote for the real party of home rule.”

      “Road To Referendum” very much backs up that analysis.

    94. Captain Caveman says:

      “He had some actual figures you don’t seem to have commented on.”
       
      I don’t tend to comment when people are needlessly rude; I just can’t be arsed. (Besides which, *obviously* the likes of Iceland and Ireland are going to grow, considering their economies – unlike Scotland – pretty much totally collapsed and were thus starting from a ridiculously low base. And the oil-soaked Norway comparison remains as tedious as ever; surprised the growth rates of Saudi Arabia, UAE et al weren’t included in that list…)
       
      “You like Scotland?  That’s nice. ”
       
      Mm, you do rather like to be patronising, don’t you Morag? You complain people won’t debate with you here, and I heartily agree that’s the case, but with the bedside manner of a few here, frankly who can blame them? It all just gets annoying, frustrating and rather stupid – and a waste of everyone’s time. Life’s too short.
       
       

    95. Erchie says:

      Re “home Rule” being a sop. There has to be a reason that one of the founders of the Labour Party then went ont to help found the National Party of Scotland. If Labour were so committed to Home Rule where would have been no need

    96. Morag says:

      I just don’t see the connection between being an Englishman “liking” Scotland, and opposing independence.  If anything’s patronising, it’s that.

      Otherwise, you’re using the homoeopaths’ debating trick. Rational scientists produce screeds of closely-argued refutation of the notion that sugar pills are medicine, then someone gets slightly ratty and says something mildly snippy. That’s the instant cue for the homoeopath to flounce off in the huff complaining that she won’t debate with these nasty rude people who have no arguments other than being nasty and rude.

    97. Captain Caveman says:

      “I just don’t see the connection between being an Englishman “liking” Scotland, and opposing independence”
       
      I never said there was; my fondness for Scotland and her people (in part) explains my interest.
       
      If anything’s patronising, it’s that.”
       
      Glad to have cleared this one up for you, love.

    98. Morag says:

      Wow, I now feel thoroughly patronised.  Do you pat us on the head, too?

    99. Cath says:

      “there is nothing to be afraid of from either side, by having a good, honest, open debate, minus all the scaremongering, misinformation, rudeness and phoney crap.”
       
      I agree and would love to see a really genuine, honest and polite debate. Sadly I don’t think it’ll happen. Better Together just literally do not have the arguments and that is becoming clearer as time goes on.
       
      What’s really sad is that there is no (or extremely little) animosity between yes, no and don’t know voters in Scotland. In many ways we all feel kind of hounded by the politicians and media so there’s some kind of wartime spirit going on about the whole thing. The animosity comes from the politicians, media and extreme or rude or trolling people on the various sides. I do tend to bang on a lot on the internet but try not to do so in real life for that reason.
       
      And there is little or no real animosity between people in Scotland and England either. We could all benefit immensely from a good, honest debate about the constitution, what a modern Britain might look like, and how best we want to work together as we move forward. That might be federalism, which could be as easily achieved with a Yes vote and independence-lite afterwards. England has a lot to gain from that as well.
       
      It’s extremely frustrating that instead of that we’re getting abuse, smears, lies, scaremongering and campaigns that appear from here to be designed to do down Scotland. You may not see that from where you’re sitting, but it’s how it feels here. I suspect from your position, you’re really not seeing things remotely as people up here are. And that is a real problem for the NO camp – not only do they have no positive arguments, but they’re resorting to denigration and tactics that make them look bad instead. And the campaign is Westminster led; it’s about keeping Westminster in control. So in turn that makes Westminster look bad and becomes itself a very strong argument against them.

    100. Captain Caveman says:

      Touché.

    101. Jeannie says:

      @Cath
      So for Westminster we now have a two way choice of the Conservative and Unionist party or the Labour and Unionist party and their policies on Scotland are identical, as are their policies on most things. Everything else was just a big, fat, lie to gain votes.
       
      Spooky or what?  I was just thinking about this very thing this morning, in terms of the proper names for the political parties.
       
        In the 1940s, my grandfather apparantly belonged to the “Conservative and Unionist Party”.  I was thinking that the parties in Scotland should be renamed as Conservative and Unionist Party, Labour and Unionist Party and Lib Dem and Unionist Party.  Because that is what they actually are.  I wonder how many of their members would continue to feel comfortable holding memberships if the parties were accurately named.  You couldn’t be Labour and Unionist if you were pro-independence. 
       
      Alternatively, each of these parties could have different affiliations, e.g.  the Labour Party could have an affiliation for Labour and Unionist and a separate one for Labour and Scottish Independence.  These would be far more honest approaches than the deception that is being practised at present where the party leaderships are able to state that all members, by virtue of their membership alone, are in favour of the Union, despite never having been asked for their opinion in the first place.
       
      I might just start calling them by their proper names anyway.
       

    102. CameronB says:

      @ Captain Caveman
      Would you mind sharing your +ve case. That is a serious question, though I imagine it could be confused for Mickey taking. IMO, BT’s curious selection of web site graphics, was perhaps somewhat disastrous. Probably though it makes them look hip and happening. Doh!

    103. velofello says:

      Labour for Independence is a serious breach in Better Together’s strategy against independence hence the vitriol being directed at a small LFI membership on behalf of Better Together by MSM and the BBC.
      In wildlife the lion kills the male cubs, Better Together attacks their own.

    104. Cath says:

      “Alternatively, each of these parties could have different affiliations, e.g.  the Labour Party could have an affiliation for Labour and Unionist and a separate one for Labour and Scottish Independence. ”
       
      That is such a simple, democratic, mature solution it beggars belief it hasn’t long since been done. In fact, that it hasn’t been done neatly demonstrates just how bizarrely Stalinist and non-democratic the Labour party in Scotland are. Same with the Unions. Why are we on tenterhooks waiting for unions to “take a position” then hearing announcements that UK-wide unions have had a vote to decide the entire UK-wide union will be against Scottish independence and pay into Better Together?
       
      The Labour party and unions should – like other political parties and civic organisations- be speaking for, and representing, their members.
       
      Where there is a split or disagreement, debate should be encouraged and where it will remain, you either decide to split the party in two or agree to differ politely on that one issue and accept that one party can’t represent all members on it so the party as a whole won’t take a position. That would be transparent and open. Trying to stamp out those who disagree with threats, smears and heavy-handed tactics is non-democratic in the extreme.

    105. Helena Brown says:

      I may be a little off message here but should someone not be asking young Mr Sarwar how it feels now that his Dad has become an official Foreigner. It must have been hard for Dad as well spending those 35 years in England.
      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/uks-first-muslim-mp-mohammad-sarwar-becomes-governor-of-pakistans-punjab-province-8746743.html

    106. Onzebill says:

      @Caveman ” If you really want me to go through them I will, but you’d be far better off asking someone who knows their stuff here.”
      Per other requests I am really, really interested in what you can advise about the BT positive campaign, you noted above that you were of the opinion that the No campaign had slightly the stronger case (or some such words), please tell me why you feel this way bacause it would appear no one else can.

    107. Braco says:

      I really like Edulis’s Idea!
      ‘The best way to get this read by the target audience is to get Joan McAlpine to weave it into her weekly column in the DR. It would be a bombshell after the Euan McColm inspired goings- on.’

      It really would make a great backbone for a Daily Record McAlpine special! What are the chances Rev?
       
      By the way Rev, brilliant work and a most important article. Kudos to yourself and all the brave LfI contributors!
       

    108. muttley79 says:

      The question about when Labour in Scotland became Unionist dominated is a tricky one.  From what I have read the Independent Labour Party (ILP) were different from what became SLAB.  I think people like Hardie, Maxton etc did genuinely believe in Scottish Home Rule.  However, the ILP became less and less influential within the Labour Party in Scotland as the century progressed.  I think by the 1940s it has more or less died in the political sense.  An interesting thing about the ILP was that many of the founders of the National Party of Scotland, and then the SNP, were from the ILP.  They had become disillusioned by the clear lack of progress towards the establishment of a Scottish Parliament.  I think people like McCormack, Young etc were from the ILP originally.  Cunnighame Graham was from the ILP as well I think. 
       
      When Winnie Ewing was being abused at Westminster, after being elected in 1967, she went to Emrys Hughes, who was Keir Hardie’s son in law, and he helped to reduce the aggro she was getting from some SLAB MPs.  I read somewhere that Hughes was from the ILP tradition in Scottish politics, which meant he was much more tolerant of Scottish nationalism than SLAB.  Hughes was highly regarded in Scottish politics.         

    109. Gordon Bain says:

      @ Onzebill
       
      i suspect you’ll wait a long time.

    110. Captain Caveman says:

      @Gordon Bain
      Eh? Why is that then?
      I’ve got nothing to hide; if people want to hear my half-arsed theories in spite of my repeated warnings that I basically don’t really know what I’m talking about, I’ll give ’em what they want. I may need a few hours, but no more than that.

    111. Luigi says:

      I always thought that if the SNP held on with a minority government after 2011, then SLAB would eventually implode. Well, there is an SNP majority government and a referendum next year.  The internal strains and friction within SLAB these days must be like a furnace.  No wonder Tam Dayell’s face is melting!

    112. kininvie says:

      @ Captain,
      I’d agree with you there are a few, maybe even several, +ve reasons for the UK remaining as is. The trouble is, we are not hearing any of them – just the constant refrain of doom and gloom combined with considerable condescension (see the HoL debate in January e.g. http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=12186 )
       
      It is highly undesirable, and a bad omen for the future, if Scotland votes Yes partly out of frustration or bitterness or No out of fear or uncertainty. The Yes campaign is doing everything possible to ask people to vote for positive reasons. If only the No campaign were prepared to do the same, there would be a lot less anger – here and elsewhere.
       
      Incidentally, I’ll start to believe in your economic recovery only when house prices cease to be propped up by Westminster. Seems to me that the govt knows full well that if all those mortgage ‘assets’ owned by the banks are turned into liabilities – then the banks are bust all over again.

    113. Braco says:

      Captain Caveman,
      Don’t take any of this stuff too seriously, it’s just that us bunch of argumentative so and so’s get very little chance at (relatively) fresh meat!
       
      Honestly, you are the only Unionist that comes on here and actually tries to communicate and is willing to debate their opinions. That’s why you are more than likely to be run ragged with genuine requests to expand on many points that you may have said and intended as a simple throw away line.
       
      The state of the betterNO campaign at the minute in Scotland means that there is no ‘other person here that knows their stuff on this subject’ to ask, so I am afraid you are the man in the hot seat. It also means that as we know of no betterNO assertions that have been backed up with facts, figures or even a positive vibe, you will soon discover that there is no such thing as ‘a throw away line’ in this environment at the moment.
       
      I look forward to your posts and hope you don’t misunderstand the simple pent up frustration that some times builds amongst desperate to debate and passionate posters, when dealing with an opposition who’s game plan is simply to avoid, at all costs, any such encounters!
       
      This is in no way an apology on behalf of folk on this site, but more in the way of a reminder of the culture you are stepping into (as a fair minded Unionist) every time you are brave enough to post here in an intelligent and constructive manner. (And you an English Tory as well…!!) smilywink 

    114. Captain Caveman says:

      “Don’t take any of this stuff too seriously, it’s just that us bunch of argumentative so and so’s get very little chance at (relatively) fresh meat!”
       
      😀
      No probs mate, thanks for your post (all joking aside, it is appreciated). I guess I’m just incredulous that I’m having to fill the vacuum; talk about scraping the barrel! 🙂
       
      Still, what the hell. Should be a laff.

    115. Erchie says:

      Perhaps Captain Caveman could outline the positive case for the union in the form of an article for Rev Stu to consider publishing on this site, rather than lose it in the comments section

    116. Dan Simmie says:

      I agree it would be interesting to hear as we really haven’t heard a single positive reason for keeping this bizarre set up. And while caveman may feel he his arguments may not be good ones at least we can hear them because at the moment bombing airports and taking pandas away are not really believable. 

    117. Caledonalistic says:

      @Archie
       
      That’s not very fair in my view Erchie.  The man is showing an interest and keeps an open mind.  He’s not claiming to be an expert or a representative of any of the pro-Union groups, nor does he appear to claim to be a journalist or writer.  As others have said, it’s refreshing to have him around.  I’d hate to see him scared away in the face of overwhelming adversity.  Note, I said adversity as opposed to hostility.  Still, WOS is a lonely place for a supporter of the Union. 

    118. Jamie Arriere says:

      I’ll add a welcome to you, Captain, as well. It’s a rarity indeed for a professed unionist to join us here and give us their views. Be sure that they will be challenged, argued and given the Scottish perspective to, but just know that we will play the issues and not the man.
      It won’t be personal (from me certainly). Cheers

    119. Erchie says:

      @Caledonalistic
      As you say in the main bit you mean me, not Archie who is not Erchie.

      I don’t think it’s unfair if the Captain wants to have a bash at it. If he doesn’t we’re not going to think less of him because he is just one guy. Just thinking his personal P.O.V. It would hel;p us understand something that, to some of us, may seem inexplicable.

      And he isn’t a journalist, few of us are. I’m not. I hope that, if he took the brave step to do this, then we wouldn’t be cheap enough to have a go at his syntax.

      We may argue his reasons, but hopefully we’ll respect the guy

    120. CameronB says:

      Erchie
      You’re not asking for much. 🙂

    121. Jim Monaghan says:

      I am openly pro-indy Labour member, and have never noticed any hostility to my viws, in fact the party employed me last year even though my position on the referendum is well known.  To the person who wanted to ask Mary Lockhart about hostility, you should do that, Mary will confirm that she hasnt faced any either.  Would be good to see these comrades at Cfs LRC events and assisting the fight within the party towards change

    122. Gordon Bain says:

      @ CC
       
      No offence meant mate and I doubt you are hiding. It’s just that I firmly believe there is no positive case to be made. Prove me wrong.

    123. Erchie says:
      5 August, 2013 at 10:55 am
      Firestarter
      If “Road to Referendum” is still on the STV player than, I think, episode 1 answers that.
      If you have a Kindle type device the book is on Amazon Kindle for £1.19 (and it can be easily converted to other reader forms if you have a non-Kindle reader but I would never condone such behaviour. it’s naughty!)

      Erchie, you can quite easily convert a kindle book to any mobile format using the free and legal programme, Calibre, (Search on Google for it).
      I got my hardcover copy for nothing from the publisher after I waited 2 months and started a paypal dispute with Cargo publishing. I got the book and another for free.
      Sorry for being off topic.

    124. May I ask? Is the Captain Caveman here the same one who posts on cricket forums? If so I would prefer not to take the bait, he’s a troll.
      Or is that the only original name he/she could come up with? I seem to recall that name appearing on the Guardian site too. Hmm?

    125. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “May I ask? Is the Captain Caveman here the same one who posts on cricket forums?”

      Did you really just ask me about stuff that happens on cricket forums?

      😀

    126. Dal Riata says:

      Good work there, Stu! Well done setting up the discussions and getting people to put a face to their comment.
       
      Now, if a guy who writes a blog -no disrespect intended – can do this, how can organisations with substantial resources of man/womanpower and capital, such as the MSM in Scotland, and UK-wide, not do something …………… [silence]……[white noise]……

    127. sneddon says:

      Whit! someone say something about bombing pandas.  Is there nothing good left in this world anymore 🙂
       
      Good to hear from Caveman.  Just think if any of the BT lot were half as articulate as the captain we could maybe have the semblance of a civilised debate.

    128. Morag says:

      I seem to remember Captain Caveman being pretty damn unpleasant some time ago and apparently cruising for a banning, but then he realised we weren’t knuckle-dragging psychopaths to be baited and changed his attitude.  Now, he’s quite good value for money.  I wish he would explain what he thinks is so good about the union.  Nobody else will.

    129. Rev. Stu,
      Did you 
      really just ask me about stuff that happens on cricket forums?

      Sorry been snooping around this err poster, I’m sure the captain fills time here while trolling other sites posting comments to exasperate other posters, found the captain on many sites. Honest I cannot stand cricket, watching paint dry, or, (from my 60s days), listening to the grass grow would be better fun.

    130. Captain Caveman says:

      “May I ask? Is the Captain Caveman here the same one who posts on cricket forums? If so I would prefer not to take the bait, he’s a troll.
      Or is that the only original name he/she could come up with? I seem to recall that name appearing on the Guardian site too. Hmm?”
       
      …Cricket forums? Good grief! (I’ve never posted anything at the Guardian either, or in fact any newspaper whatsoever)
       
      I’m “Captain Caveman” because that is what my colleagues christened me about 10 years ago; I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions. I’m not a troll though, honest. 🙂 Stu knows me of old.
       
       

    131. Captain Caveman says:

      @Morag
      I really want to do a “proper” job on this one (or at least, the best I can reasonably manage). I know I’m going to leave myself open for scarpering or whatever, but seriously, since NO ONE else has even attempted to bother (which is utterly galling), I will at least try.
       
      I know I’m going to be shot to pieces, quite possibly make a fool of myself in the process, but, dammit, I’m going to have a go.

    132. Captain Caveman says:
      Sorry, must be a common tag/identity. The political view seemed so similar, (except for the captain caveman on Aberdeen FC’s fan page), must be a lot of tory cavemen around.

    133. scottish_skier says:

      I know I’m going to be shot to pieces, quite possibly make a fool of myself in the process, but, dammit, I’m going to have a go.

      G’an yersel man!

    134. ianbrotherhood says:

      @CC-
       
      Good luck. Seriously. You put B McD and all the other BT ratbags to shame.
       
      Respect due!

    135. Morag says:

      I guess the union is good – for England.  Obviously.  They get everything that’s ours, and the ability to call us whining subsidy-junkies.  They get somewhere to park the nukes, far from anywhere that matters.  They get grouse moors.  They get holiday houses.  They get to charge us more for the electricity we generate than what they pay themselves.  They get billions of revenue to call their own from London-based HQs that would be in Scotland if the country was independent.

      They get things they don’t care about to bargain away in Europe for things they want to keep for themselves.  They get somebody to look down on and patronise.  They get a “British” men’s singles champion.

      What’s in it for us, though?

    136. scottish_skier says:

      The problem you are faced with CC is that you can sell a sense of ‘Britishness’ to many Scots. You just can’t sell them Westminster rule.

      The 2014 question concerns the latter, not the former, and the two are not in conflict with each other.

      Keep that in mind if you give it a go.

      <thumbsupsmiley>

    137. Alex Clark says:

      Morag your brilliant! Please stand for election in 2016.

    138. Faltdubh says:

      What a fantastic article, and read!
      Really interesting to hear from the LFI party members.
       
      Oh, but wait a minute!!!!!!! Scott Abel has a Yes Scotland badge on, he cannot be a Labour supporter for Independence 😉 Labour supporters have to wear red at all times, don’t they????
       

    139. AnneDon says:

      An excellent set of interviews. At heart, we can see that only the Labour High Heid YIns support the Union, and they are only doing so for career reasons.
       
      Very impressed with the articulate, well-thought out motivations of the Labour 4 Indy activists – so different from the bluster of the unionists!

    140. cynicalHighlander says:

      cc for info in how well the banks are being continually subsidised by us.

      http://www.maxkeiser.com/2013/08/why-only-bank-fraudsters-have-pet-central-bank/

    141. Braco says:

      Captain Caveman,
      we can wait, considering we gave up on the prospect of anyone even attempting to actually write down a positive case for the Union. The Idea of it, simply unheard of! So take your time and do it right.
       
      I think I can start to sense a general pleasure amongst the patrons in the simple anticipation of your undertaking. Hope this doesn’t add any extra pressure, although I do sense a certain pool shark swagger in your protestations of mediocrity.
       
      Tell me, are you a Westerns man or Science Fiction?

    142. Erchie says:

      @Richard Bruce
       
      Before you try using Calibre you’ll need to strip the DRM. PC Kindle apps and Kobo (if you install Adobe Editions) can save local versions of the books
       

      EPubBee can strip the DRM and you can then transfer them to your reader of choice using Calibre
       
      The above is offered purely as part of an intellectual exercise, and should not be used by anyone

    143. kininvie says:

      @ CC
      If you need any help, I’ve been asked a few tough questions by intelligent Unionists (there are some around – just not in the BT mob) which I’ve found it difficult to counter (and Yes HQ has been useless in providing me any direct answers). Detail rather than principle, inevitably, but ammunition for your cause, perhaps. Ask the Rev to pass on my email to you, (or vice versa) and I can send you some ideas….

    144. jan says:

      I’d love to screen shot one of revs comments.   How do I do that?  Ilove this site. Especially the Revs, Bells and…..and I can’t recall his name
       

    145. Braco says:

      Ho Kininvie!
      Who’s side are you on?
       
      This isn’t ‘The bridge over the river Kwai’ you know! (seriouswink)

    146. kininvie says:

      Braco:
      It’s always good to play the Devil’s advocate. If you don’t stress-test your arguments you don’t know where your weak spots are. I hope CC makes a good, strong case, so that we can look at it  and see where we need to do better…

    147. Braco says:

      Kininvie,
      totally agree. (I was just having a wee bit of fun.)

    148. Gordon Bain says:

      @ Jan
       
      what are you using to view the site?

    149. Ivan McKee says:

      @kininvie
       
      Would be interested to see your list
      Never know when I might get asked them and want to have at least thought about them
      Plus I like a challenge 🙂
      (If you don’t want to post them on here post it as a comment under one of my articles on
      http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk
      and I’ll catch it in moderation).
      Thanks
       

    150. Scarlett says:

      We must keep CaptainCaveman on here if only for the comedy value.
      Tory ‘economic miracle’ – I haven’t laughed as hard for a week. 

    151. Erchie
      Sorry for the misleading info, I have never needed to err strip DRM from my epubs etc. I think it depends whether the DRM is set on a specific book. Mind you I read a lot of techie geek books anyway, and the authors need all the publicity they can get.

    152. scottish_skier says:

      in all honesty, decide in their droves for a full divorce from the Union, in fear of a government that has demonstrably performed what would by then be an economic miracle in a single parliamentary term? With so many other comparable EU states in complete and total economic disarray, by any fair comparison?
      I might be being ridiculously optimistic here, but I just can’t see that happening myself. Time will tell, it’s going to be interesting…

      Missed this post CC.

      I seem to recall an ‘economic miracle’ was brought about by the Tories in the 80’s to 90’s. When I talk to Tories from down south they talk of nothing else. They also can’t understand why Scotland is not thankful for this supposed boom.

      How come that miracle nearly ended the UK with polls showing consistent majority support for Scottish independence at the time of the devolution referendum?
      The problem with the Tories is they promote individualism over society. They took much of the ‘British’ out of Scotland when they removed all the ‘British’ things from it that Scots shared with the rest of the UK, i.e. all the ‘British’ nationalised industries and public services.
       
      When I was young we all got coal from British Coal, whether we lived in London or Aberdeen. We got our Gas from British Gas, our telephone was from BT. We knew folks that worked for British Steel, British Leyland etc. We had a British Society that was real and all around us. Britain was part of our lives.
      Largely all gone now (Royal Mail is one of the last and it’s going to a fire sale too now). Hence the slow demise of ‘British’ in Scotland. 

      I recall Mrs T talking about how her policies were ‘building one nation’. Quite the opposite in fact was happening; they were ending Britain. Tories are back to finish the job; i.e. privatise or remove (welfare state) what is left of British society whereby ending it completely (whilst strangely unaware that is what they are doing?).

      This time however, we have no Labour white knight on a stallion with Devo (Max) to save the union.

    153. kininvie says:

      @scottish_skier
      Take your point, but by God I was happy to see the back of British Telecom! What a dire example….

    154. Morag says:

      Morag your brilliant! Please stand for election in 2016.
       
      Jings are you psychic?  You just got the date wrong.  I’ve just had my arm twisted so hard I may need to visit casualty.
      http://www.scotborders.gov.uk/news/article/547/date_set_for_tweeddale_west_by-election

    155. Braco says:

      On yersell the Morag!



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