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Wings Over Scotland

A try and a conversion

Posted on October 02, 2013 by

This was ex-Scotland rugby star Gavin Hastings in June:

“Former Scotland captain Gavin Hastings says it ‘beggars belief’ some Scots believe they would be better off being separate from the UK.

Speaking to The Scots Magazine he went on to warn about the dangers of complacency in the forthcoming referendum, as polls indicate the ‘No’ vote is currently ahead.

‘The danger comes with people being complacent that independence will never succeed… and people not voting or taking it for granted that we will remain part of the United Kingdom.

If we were independent would we not be doing everything in our power to find the benefits of joining up with England, Wales and Northern Ireland? Why, if we have that, would we be looking to divide it?'”

Heavens. Possibly the only man ever to sound angrier than Alistair Darling at the idea of the Scots having the sheer temerity to want to run their own affairs.

So who’s this daring have-a-go optimist in today’s Herald, then?


“Scotland must dispense with its mentality as a ‘small nation’ if it is to thrive on a global stage, according to Gavin Hastings.

‘I hate this thing that we are a small nation who punch above our weight. ‘That to me is a negative. We are a fantastically proud nation – what’s wrong with saying that? When we get things right, we do them better than any other country in the world. Let’s not hide under the umbrella of ‘we’re a small nation’. That really gets my goat.

What we have to try and pass on is that it’s natural to feel, for want of a better word, s**t scared. The more times you are put out of your comfort zone, the more comfortable you become.'”

We’d love to imagine that this apparent change of heart was an epiphany rather than the result of a lot of bone-juddering impacts. Sadly, we suspect that a heady blend of cognitive dissonance and hypocrisy (and a lot of bone-juddering impacts) is a more likely explanation. But, y’know, we could be wrong. There’s always hope.

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134 to “A try and a conversion”

  1. Chic McGregor says:

    The Bottle of Hastings 10/66

  2. Doug Daniel says:

    How the hell do these two completely contradictory viewpoints exist within the same brain?

  3. Luigi says:

    Good one, Chic.
    It’s amazing that so many unionist “proud scots” seem to be a little mixed up in the head.

    Do they want a country or not?

  4. Craig Stewart says:

    I wonder, is there any way to engage with celebrities on the facts surrounding the independence debate? I have heard a few people say they wouldn’t vote yes as Alex Ferguson (or their celeb du jour) won’t be voting yes.
    As much as I hate the recent infatuation with “celebs”, they do hold a sway with the public and having some more high-profile Yes voters would certainly help the cause.
    Even better if we could get some of them endorsing Wings etc! 🙂

  5. chalks says:

    Perhaps someone should point out that in the Union, Scotland does not exist, only the UK. 

  6. desimond says:

    Bravo Chic!
    Rev : Surely you could have cropped that picture above those slacks!

    is Hastings actually advocating Scotland standing tall as a small nation on the big stage on its own or just saying “Man up!” to a member of the Union?

  7. Luigi says:

    No wonder the proud unionist scots are furious about the coming referendum.  Next year they will have to come off the fence (and live with their vote decision for the rest of their lives).

  8. Luigi says:

    “It’s not fair, I wants my unionist scot cake and eats it!”

  9. Jiggsbro says:

    At least we’ve found out who has the bottom half of the uniform.

  10. Luigi says:

    “It’s not fair, I’m a proud scot and I want to live with myself, I want to be able to sleep at night after September 2014.”

  11. scotchwoman says:

    Yeah, it’s that colour in the trews again.
    Hastings as a rugby player – brick shithouse.
    As a political commentator – thick shithouse

  12. Feil Gype says:

    I suspect there are many Celebs out there that will vote YES but are keeping it to themselves. You only have to find out for yourself that Darling is talking shit half the time (ok more than half) and you realize your being taken for a mug. Nobody likes that .

  13. naebd says:

    Those trousers were made from a de-commissioned Anabel Goldie ‘better together puce’ jaiket.

  14. Michael says:

    Goodness all the big celebs are on our side, stop panicking. But Hastings, anyone ever had a conversation with him? I have – it was a challenge, that’s all I’m saying.

  15. HandandShrimp says:

    Dear God! Gavin has had “the jacket” turned into slacks.
    Apart from that I’m baffled by Gavin’s former reticence on independence and not in the least surprised by his latter comments…which reflect how he played rugby for Scotland. I doubt it will be the last contradictory or confusing comment from a celebrity over the coming year.

  16. muttley79 says:

    I would see this as being the result of mainly cognitive dissonance.  I think what this article shows is that many Scottish Unionists have not grasped fully the consequences of their opposition to Scottish independence.  It is their opposition to independence which mainly produces the Scottish cringe, and the mentality Gavin Hastings mentions in his second quote.  I genuinely get the impression that for people like Gavin Hastings, their support for the Union has produced a painful division between their conservatism and fear of change, and their subconscious awareness of the effects of Scotland not being in control of all of its affairs.  This means that the Yes campaign is probably right to be cautious, and not to be confrontational.  I get the distinct impression that Hastings is genuinely struggling to reconcile his thoughts and feelings. 

  17. cath says:

    “It’s amazing that so many unionist “proud scots” seem to be a little mixed up in the head.”
    It’s interesting. I’ve was watching Scotland Tonight last week. I only came in half way through so had no idea who any of the people speaking were, except Pat Kane who I recognised. There was one clearly Better Together podgy young student type; one girl who looked drunk and was incoherent, and one guy who sounded English and seemed to be on video from a political conference or somewhere.
    Listening to them I thought it was bizarre as it sounded to me like 2 pro-indy (Kane and the other bloke) one undecided but incoherent and one Better Together. The whole argument sounded like one for independence with the BT bloke looking out his depth and miserable. When I went to Twitter all the usual Yes folk were enraged about the “unbalanced panel” which was apparently the usual 3 No to 1 Yes.
    I suspect some of us who are close to it get far too worried by the “unbalance” simply because the unionist position is so contradictory and confusing that often, especially if you’re only half listening or come in half way through, their arguments could be taken as pro-indy.

  18. Training Day says:

    The incoherent ‘undecided’ was called Jane Graham.  She was introduced as ‘undecided’ but later blurted out that she ‘would probably vote No, because she liked being a wee mischievous neighbour to a bigger country.’
    As eloquent a testimony as that of Mr Hastings to the utter confusion, illogicality and absurdity of the Unionist mindset.

  19. Tom Hogg says:

    Lovely man. Daft as a brush.

  20. muttley79 says:

    @Doug Daniel
    How the hell do these two completely contradictory viewpoints exist within the same brain?
    I think it is a timely reminder for us Yes supporters to acknowledge the difference between Unionist politicians and voters.  The former are clearly attempting to preserve their status, careers, and privileges (they have failed over decades to come up with a positive case for the Union), while the latter have generally came to believe what they have been told over the years.  If you are naturally conservative, or just fear change (which can be universal) in political terms then this would suit your thinking anyway.  I think the two contradictory views exist Doug because they have not been recognised in a conscious way.  I suspect Hastings has not identified them yet because it is a painful process. 

  21. CameronB says:

    Who told him the belt was a good idea? 🙂

  22. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Gavin was a great rugby player. However, nobody can accuse him of being a deep thinker.  

  23. cath says:

    she ‘would probably vote No, because she liked being a wee mischievous neighbour to a bigger country.’
    Eh? We can be that much more effectively when we’re independent 😉

  24. cath says:

    “I think it is a timely reminder for us Yes supporters to acknowledge the difference between Unionist politicians and voters. “
    Exactly. People will vote no for a huge variety of reasons. If their reasons are purely emotional, or not logical, or British nationalism, or whatever, that’s their business. You have to accept people’s genuine beliefs and mindsets.
    All we can do on the yes side is try to ensure as few people as possibly will vote no out of ignorance or fear or false promises.

  25. Macart says:

    So pink, so, soooo pink.
    Wrong on many levels. We should be politically independent simply because its our natural right and state as a nation. What’s to think about Gavin?

  26. Craig M says:

    It could of course be that Gavin is simply comfortable with the appalling levels of child poverty in Scotland and that this is the price worth paying to be part of the UK. In my view, pulling on the dark blue jersey is simply not enough. Tame Jocks are toothless and we need teeth to solve our problems Gav.

  27. Another London Dividend says:

    Like President Gerald Ford who played American Football, Gavin Hasting is not the brightest Rugby player on the planet.
    On Sporting matters why do the BBC Scotland pronounce David Murdoch captain of the Curling Team as “Murdock” ?
    This is further creeping anglicisation of our language and just because ED Miliband can’t pronounce Rupert Murdoch’s name properly it is no reason for his acolytes at the BBC to  copy him.

  28. edulis says:

    Did anybody notice John Michie being given a high profile at the Labour party conference. I don’t know why. Perhaps he is thinking of a career change. He has form of course in seeming to plot a course in favour of the Union. 

  29. “If we were independent would we not be doing everything in our power to find the benefits of joining up with England, Wales and Northern Ireland?”
    Well if we were looking for the benefits we’d be having a hell of a struggle to find them.

  30. Murray McCallum says:

    Stick, ball, stick, ball, ball …… concentrate Gavin!

  31. Keef says:

    Folks might recall Gavin captaining Scotland to the 1990 Grand Slam and ‘belting’ out Flower of Scotland before every game.
    Please tell me that was not all show Gavin.

  32. Susan S says:

    Gavin, sweetheart.  We ARE a small nation.  You never seen the BBC weather map?  
    We are so small, we are regularly overlooked, ignored and presumed to be so inept, we can’t cross the road without the warm glow of the Union’s encouragement.  
    Oh, and yellow belt with pink trews?  No.  Just no.  Twat.   

  33. MajorBloodnok says:

    If I was caught wearing those trousers I’d feel shit scared too.

  34. Norrie says:

    Easy to solve get Jim Telfer to tell him to vote yes.

  35. MochaChoca says:

    I recall when reading his original stance that it was above and beyond the normal celeb ‘endorsment’. Pretty much saying anyone who votes in a particular way is a loon, rather than just pointing out the reasons (often misguided) why they themselves will vote a particular way.
    I also reckon a previously outspoken NO celeb turning into a YES (or vice versa) would carry alot more weight than a ‘newby’.
    Cath, your comment struck me as similar to a couple of recent moments: at a YES/NO debate in our town hall, the Conservative cllr on the NO side of the panel ended up sounding really quite unsure of being a NO (possibly just hedging his bets but I found it quite striking) and the YES/NO Arts debate  on TV the other night, the older NO guy (who didn’t say too much all the way through) sounded a bit unsure too, at one point even sounded like, ‘yes, but just not yet’?
    In these instances you have to wonder, are these the most commited NO types they can find for these debates?

  36. Salt Ire says:


  37. Bill C says:

    Hastings is a product of the system he was brought up in, similar to the teachers and journalists I was talking about on the last thread.  He is a Union Jock who sees the union as a comfort blanket, it allows him to wrap himself in a tartan rug. For all his proud Scot bluster, he is actually a coward; but to be fair his cowardice stems from 300 years of unionist indoctrination.  His kind helped build the British Empire for England but are slowly becoming a relic of a very imperial past.  

  38. Ian says:

    We have to consider that these “celebrities” really are as thick as dogshit and really do believe that the new political set up will “separate” them from their fans and supporters in other parts of these islands. Except that the number of celebrities from the ROI who are known and respected here totally disprove that notion.  By the way, it’s Gavin Hastings’ troosers that actually beggar belief. 

  39. HandandShrimp says:

    Bit disappointed that the BBC have not  enabled comments on Ruth’s contribution to the independence debate. I was itching to have a go 🙂

  40. DMyers says:

    When have we ever used the phrase, “We punch above our weight”?  It’s not language I would associate with Scotland.  I would associate it with somewhere near here though…

  41. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    Watch for loads of formerly pro-Union Scottish public figures starting to hedge their bets over the coming months. The process has been underway for a while.
    As The Bruce’s Dad said to him in Braveheart:
    “What does it profit us to be on the losing side?”

  42. Kenny Campbell says:

    Must be a rugby thing Kenny Logan made a similar dodgy comment on some shit quiz on TV last week.

    Maybe its the easy choice if you have a few bob tucked away….

  43. MochaChoca says:

    BTW the ‘small nation’ label may be either something to be proud of, or worried about, depending on your point of view, but (going by wiki) we’d be 117th out of around 200 countries so really ‘mid-table’ would be a more accurate description.
    (interestingly, that is 117th both in terms of population and land mass, so perhaps we also have the optimum population density)

  44. CameronB says:

    I have now re-read both comments a number of times and don’t actually see any contradiction.
    His first comment is an alarm call to Unionist to ensure complacence doesn’t result in Scotland slipping from the Union. This would be a disaster for Gavin, as he sees the status quo as being the best it can get. Not surprising perhaps, as the Union has been good to him.
    In his second comment, Gavin reminds us that we are a SMALL country, assures us that size shouldn’t be a source of embarrassment, then just in case we have forgotten, he reminds us again that we are a SMALL country.
    Not impressed.

  45. Kev says:

    O/T but following on from what another poster revealed a couple of days ago, HMRC have just this morning released their breakdown of tax receipts per country in the UK.
    Document can be found here:
    It pretty much confirms what the Scottish Government has continually said for years – that Scotland, with a geographical share of North Sea oil, has over the last 14 years, contributed more than its population share of UK tax receipts. And even will oil revenue calculated on a per person basis, Scotland still generates more tax receipts per head than England or Wales…..

  46. Macart says:

    Small is beautiful, nimble and adaptive.
    Or so I keep telling…. never mind ah’ll get ma coat.

  47. pa_broon74 says:

    Not really surprising really taking his background into consideration. As Bill C said, private school (Watsons) then Paisley Uni (bit of a bump there) finishing at Cambridge.
    Pure establishment, nothing more. Mildly irritated by these I’m-alright-jack type people who’ve done well out of the status quo but ignore what’s going down nearer the bottom of their ivory towers.
    Other than that – Hastings strike me as a bit of a ‘Jim Nice But Dim’ character. 

  48. Seasick Dave says:

    Just wear them round the house then, when Mrs Bloodnok is out.

  49. Roboscot says:

    Maybe middle-class, fee paying school, establishment, rugby types are worried an independent Scotland might be a more meritocratic society than  it is in the Union and what that means for their job prospects.

  50. Brian says:

    Keef says:
    2 October, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Folks might recall Gavin captaining Scotland to the 1990 Grand Slam and ‘belting’ out Flower of Scotland before every game.
    Please tell me that was not all show Gavin.
    Playing for scotland. thats his Yes Hat
    Playing for the Lions thats what inspires his No hat.
    Would the real Gavin Hastings Stand up and be counted, there are no, 2 rewards in this. There must be Only One.

  51. Jock says:

    But he’s not ENTIRELY wrong!

    I think it would be folly to remove ourselves from the UK… however, that’s not what will happen if there’s a Yes vote.

    Sure, the UK will cease to be a sovereign state, but it will remain a realm under HM rule.  Scotland and England will thus be sovereign states WITHIN the UK.

    Hasting’s words address the folly of republicanism, not parliamentary independence.

  52. Eddie says:

    Mr Jekyll Hastings disagreeing with Mr Hyde Hastings.

  53. Paula Rose says:

    “Sure, the UK will cease to be a sovereign state, but it will remain a realm under HM rule.  Scotland and England will thus be sovereign states WITHIN the UK.”
    Is this correct?

  54. pedant's corner says:

    Point of order, Keef, David Sole was captain that day I believe?
    But yes, I take your point.

  55. fergie35 says:

    The media of greater Britain is always going to promote a STAR, who wants dependency, the BBC phones up various organisations to promote no, and when they find one, once in a blue moon, he is a star again.

  56. Mosstrooper says:

    Paula Rose,
    Nope! Scotland goes so does the UK. England, Wales and that wee dod o Ireland can form the Former United Kingdom which would make them FUKers. So no difference there then.

  57. Albalha says:

    Just watched the Newsnight Daily Mail, Ralph Miliband discussion. Just thought that  Paul Dacre will probably have a vote in the referendum, if he’s registered at his estate near Ullapool, funny old world.

  58. Tasmanian says:

    @Paula – no, not correct. Scotland and the rUK would be separate sovereign states which have the same head of state, currently HM Queen Elizabeth Windsor the First/Second/Undefined. The relationship would be the same as the relationship between the current UK and Australia, New Zealand, Canada – closer ties between the nations due to currency union and a physical border, but fundamentally separate states.

    How much authority the head of state can influence depends on the constitution (or, in less developed nations, tradition) of that state. Normally the country is actually run by the head of government, ie prime minister.

  59. Albalha says:

    Just received this via e mail, a free RIC event in Wigtown tomorrow night with Lesley Riddoch and Andy Wightman

  60. Jock says:

    Tazmanian is incorrect.

    There are two unions effective upon the countries of the UK… thed union of Crowns and the Union of Parliaments.

    With Mr Salmond’s repeatedly reasserting the intention to retain the monarchy post-independence, he ensures the referendum is effective upon the Union of parliaments alone… NOT the Union of crowns.  Thus, the Union of Crowns shall remain as it is at present, the Union of Parliaments will be nullified, effectively restoring soveriegn statehood to Scotland and England respectively and reducing Great Britain from statehood to it’s pre-1707 situation as a realm only (ie. not a sovereign state).

    Both Scotland and England will become independent sovereign nation states within HM realm of the UK of Great Britain.

    Consider… our monarch would not be so foolish as to ratify a referendum which effectively loses her a kingdom!

  61. ianbrotherhood says:

    Mr Cameron invoked the spirit of his predecessor Margaret Thatcher, the winner of three general elections, who died earlier this year, saying she had “made our country stand tall again, at home and abroad”.
    (From BBC News online)
    Good on ye Dave. Invoke her all ye like pal…we’ll no’ stop ye.

  62. david says:

    cant dislike all who disagree with independence. gavin hastings is an all time scottish sporting hero in the toughest sport of all, recognised all over the world and he also cut it in new zealand. he deserves lots of respect

  63. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ Jock 3:34pm – …the Union of Parliaments will be nullified, effectively restoring soveriegn statehood to Scotland and England respectively
    So Jock, in the event of a YES majority and the nullification of the Union of Parliaments, how do you see that actually happening? I am just thinking ahead to a golden moment when this happens. Will it be a bill at Westminster? Will there be a countdown on Princess Street to the moment? Aye have a dream 🙂

  64. Luigi says:

    Of course, we should respect people who are currently sceptical about independence.  Many of us were in that place not so long ago.  The journey to the light is a personal experience – some take longer than others.  The referendum will still be a difficult choice for some, even after months of consideration, but choose they must – there’s no getting away from it now.  Still, 40% yes and still one year to go is a very good place to be, IMHO.

  65. Seanair says:

    New Zealand. That’s the INDEPENDENT former colony with many Scottish connections.
    The NZ fraternity would praise GH for his rugby, but would be bewildered that he wanted to be part of England.

  66. CameronB says:

    Respect his sporting achievement perhaps but I can’t respect his social commentary. It beggars Gavin’s belief we do not all believe this is as good as it gets.

  67. Simon says:

    “the constitution (or, in less developed nations, tradition) of that state”

    I like it!

  68. david says:

    that is true seanair, im bewildered too but respect the man

  69. AnneDon says:

    This is the cognitive dissonance unionists live with. Once you sit down and think about it, and debate it, and actually look around you at the misery Westminster is inflicting on ordinary people, you question it. If you have any conscience. However, Hastings is a rugby player from an earlier generation of middle-class privilege.
    Weren’t all rugby players just rich, thick guys?

  70. GrutsForTea says:

    What I’d like to see is some prominent Unionists come out in support of independence. Crazy as it sounds I know of two separate people who are dyed-in-the-wool, Queen and Country, Ibrox loyalists who support independence. They are both old school Labour voters too.

    It’s the idea of civic nationalism and political independence that swung them I think. When Salmond talked about retaining the crown, that was enough for them.

    Labour and West Coast Unionists are not always the hardened bunch of NOs that we assume they are.

  71. Dcanmore says:

    There will be a lot of Scots who will openly trash the idea of independence because of the company they keep but will vote for it in private, that’s what happened with the YES YES vote in ’97. I remember back then most of the my works tea room was against the idea of a Scottish parliament (a mix bag of Conservative, Lib Dems and Labour supporters, I may have been the only SNP one), yet two weeks after the vote 90% admitted they voted for it. The only vocal NOs after the fact were Conservative voters.
    Gavin Hastings could well have had a change of heart, he certainly doesn’t like the SNP or Alex Salmond and probably had equated the Independence movement as solely their business. The blinkers may have been taken off, who knows, but he sounds angry about Scotland’s current position. Still a great sporting hero of mine.

  72. Bill C says:

    Interesting that david wants us to respect a guy who wants to see our nation remain shackled to Westminster, robbed of its resources and house weapons of mass destruction, all because he was good at throwing a funny looking ball about. Seems bonkers to me.

  73. Jock says:

    @ Archie:

    Perhaps the Scottish public need only bend over, take one leaf of Andrex and wipe Westminster from our collective arses.

    It started with the Edinburgh Agreement, which will be ratified with a Yes vote, followed by an act of parliament.  


  74. Jamie Arriere says:

    Feeling shit scared? Out of his comfort zone? Does he have in mind how he felt when he first went down to Cambridge University? So the hidden message is ‘leave Scotland and improve yourself’?
    Doesn’t strike me as an epiphany

  75. MajorBloodnok says:

    @ Jamie Arriere
    Cambridge isn’t so bad – plenty of Scots there (at least, there were).  That said, he would have been doing a postgraduate course in Rugby, er I mean ‘Land Economy’ or similiar, so would have been placed with ‘like-minded’ individuals.  Also Magdalene College (pr. maudlin) in those days was full of thick upper-middleclass twits (perhaps it still is) so he may well have fitted in fine.  No offence to any thick upper-middleclass twits who might be reading this by the way.

  76. FreddieThreepwood says:

    ‘Scuse if this has already been said (haven’t had the time for a read through) but is it not about time the Yes Campaign called these eejits out on this pride shite?

    “We are a fantastically proud nation …” Since when was pride a virtue? What IS it with all this “As a proud Scot ..” the No mob start each and every argument with?

    Well, to answer my own question, it is this – yet another straw man argument to oppose. Unionists WANT this debate to be about national pride because it’s only a short walk from there to prejudice, chauvinism and the kind aggressive nationalism of  dark clothing and dodgy salutes they really, really wish SNP espoused.

    Please could each and every spokesperson for the Yes Campaign from now on in make a point of not letting this deliberate perversion of the independence debate pass without challenge. It may be too late to nip in the bud but we can still pour plenty of weed killer on it.
    See me. See metaphors …

  77. Jock says:

    RIGHT… said Fred!

  78. orkers says:

    ‘Hubris’ rather than ‘pride’.
    I’m averse to both words.

  79. Clancheif says:

    This guy has had too many blows to the brain playin rugby
    He’s soundin punchier than ALI

  80. MajorBloodnok says:

    @Freddie Threepwood
    Agreed. Pride isn’t a virtue, it’s one of the seven deadly sins.  Unionists need to switch it around for a bit of variation so let’s hear once in a while “as an envious Scot” (all SLAB politicians) or “as a gluttonous Scot” (Jackie Baillie), just to break the bleedin’ monotony.

  81. gordoz says:

    Nation v Notion
    Gavin falls into the ‘Proud Scot’ category Im afraid (usually a give away for a fearty).
    Sees Scotland as a nice wee notion or idea of the heart,  a nice wee brigadoon region of Great britain so don’t rock the boat & ruin things for us Brit Scots.. kind of idea.
    The YES campaign is all about Scotland the Nation State cut loose from Gavin and the British notion.
    Agreed; too many bumps to the head !

  82. Albert Herring says:

    Pride comes before a fall (in support for the union).

  83. john king says:

    freddie threepwood says

    “it’s only a short walk from there to prejudice, chauvinism and the kind aggressive nationalism of  dark clothing and dodgy salutes they really, really wish SNP espoused.”

    Bang on,
    even that twat Farage tried (and failed) to paint the SNP as racist,
    oh the irony 🙂

  84. jim mitchell says:

    Maybe it’s just me, But i think i am correct in saying that I have never heard any of those I’m proud to be Scottish and proud to be British types actually say what it is about Scotland that they are proud about.

    O/T I see over on the Scotsman site that Derek Bateman is taking a bit of a pounding for having a go at that James Naughtie, oh dear!

    The comments from the unionist types are so unintentionally funny, but then as I have always said unionists don’t do humour!

  85. Iain says:

    Like many ‘proud Scot’ unionists – I mean the sincere ones, not those who claim it rhetorically while having prior allegiance to the UK – he doesn’t have an analytical knowledge of Scotland’s position within the UK. We have the flag, our kilts and songs, the national institutions, a bit of international representation at a non-political level – surely everything’s fine? It’s what’s behind that window dressing which should threaten that pride: that within the UK the English majority thinks of our nationhood as an anachronism, barely more significant than allegiance to Yorkshire; that our society suffers a democratic deficit; that our country has been and is still exploited and run down whenever economic rewards can be siphoned off to the advantage of the south of England; and that for centuries our people have had to emigrate to find prosperity. How could any thinking, well-informed Scot be proud of all that?

  86. Andrew Morton says:

    Two things. Firstly, the Scottish Rugby Union is the Scottish Conservative Party at prayer and it should be no surprise if a middle class Watsonian international rugby player should echo down the line Unionist views.

    The second and more interesting thing is that he sold his business in 2006 and spends a lot of his time looking after his wife Diane who has Parkinson’s disease. Such a life changing event tends to make one re-examine one’s beliefs about what is important. Perhaps he may be trying to rethink things.

    I had an interesting encounter today (no, that that sort of encounter). After my regular Wednesday golf match I was at the pub owned by one of my golf partners along with the third of our group. In the bar was a guy who was a stranger to me but the pub owner knew him. We got chatting and he mentioned that he didn’t believe a word that the Scottish papers printed. I said that he sounded like a Yes voter. “Absolutely!” he said. Then, much to my surprise, both my golf partners said that they’d be voting Yes. We’d never discussed Scottish politics at all before. I tend not to raise the issue as some people can react quite badly.

    They’d never heard of Wings, Newsnet, etc. so I showed them this site on my phone and they were all very interested. More readers for you Rev.!

  87. gordoz says:

    O/T : UK Worst deficit in West by 2015 might be of some use – depressing economic news for UK though

  88. Craig P says:

    Do people think that Canada and New Zealand are in the UK just because we share a monarch? There will be no United Kingdom come independence ( unless that is what E.W.a.N.I decides to call itself). However, it will have nothing to do with Scotland. 

  89. gordoz says:

    O/T sorry Rev:
    To clear up the Bateman thing of yesterday; please all read his latest blog ‘Just another body out the door ‘- more revealing; all is a bit clearer now.

  90. Jen says:

    O/T Tories to deny housing benefit and dole money to unders 25’s in 2015!  Not nice, usual tories. 

  91. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Remember the ‘Walking a mile is the same as running a mile’ ad? I was told by someone at the time that Gavin took a surprising number of takes to get his (only) line right.
    Think he should stick to the rugby.

  92. MajorBloodnok says:

    I happen to like Gavin.  He always says hello to me when I bump into him (that’s twice in the last 25 years).  I think he recognises me.

  93. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    We’d like to do something about it but it requires parents prepared to identify with the complaints and they are not all that very enthusiatic about doing so (bar one whose child had now left the aschool).

  94. ayemachrihanish says:

    Fear Not (pun intended) it’s just more hypocrisy.
    Last week we have the UK PM saying – the debate is for Scots to have with Scots – so therefore no role for me!
    Sorry – it is the duty of David Cameron as PM of the UK to debate with Alex Salmond and tell us why we are “better together” in his UK.
    So, today we have the beginning of the positive case for the Union – as Ruth Davidson says – everyone in the UK – is effected and has a role to play – everyone except the PM of course – it’s debate is for Scots to have with Scots!!
    Anyway, the positive case for the Union arrives…… and it’s…
    What about all that Ian Davidson – bitter together project fear stuff for the last 18months??
    That was a mistake
    How do I know that?
    Ask Gavin Hastings – HE WANTS YOU TO STAY TOO!
    In fact, Gavin Hastings is feed up with all that – too wee, too stupid Scottish stuff – HE WANTS YOU TO STAY and to think BIG!

  95. ayemachrihanish says:

    that would be.. fed up!

  96. Norrie says:

    Yep Land Economy it was.Went to get his Blue.
    Not all rugby players went to public school try that line in Hawick, Selkirk, Melrose, Jed, Kelso or Gala and see where it gets you.

  97. pro-loco says:

    Yeah, I wonder about that line, “I’m a proud Scot but…”. Why are they never called out on that? What makes them proud? Why are they then prepared to talk down the country of which that thing that makes them proud, is part of
    It’s interesting that Gavin in the second quote realises that ‘too wee’ is not a realistic argument when Scotland get gubbed regularly by Wales and have never beaten New Zealand.
    If you can realise your potential you can be a winner – might be a paraphrase for Gavin’s second quote. What’s holding us back?

  98. Norrie says:

    Nope some of us were poor thick guys.
    (Drools over keyboard).

  99. tartanfever says:

    O/T, sorry – but getting pissed off reading about ‘oil volatility’ and a lack of response from Swinney, the Yes campaign and a  whole bunch of indy supporters.
    simple responses.
    Scotland’s GDP is 99% that of the UK’s without oil.
    With oil it is between 110-115%. (ie, more than the UK)
    Oil is a bonus, not a necessity.
    10% of UK GDP relies on banking, and just how volatile has that proved thanks to Darling ?

  100. Murray McCallum says:

    The whole oil volatility winds me up too.
    The way I think of it is to imagine if the world’s largest gold reserves were found under Glasgow Green. Gold has been a volatile commodity of late. Would Glaswegians be dismissing the gold?
    A lot of Scots seem stuck in a negative , can’t do rut. We should be thankful of our resources not frightened by them.

  101. msean says:

    Disappointed that a player, that captained Scotland, doesn’t believe in Scotland.

  102. Jock says:

    None of the Commonwealth countries outwith the UK were ever part of the KINGDOM.

    Scotland was one of the two KINGDOMS that combined in 1603 to create the United KINGDOM of Great Britain.

    After the Yes vote, Scotland will remain a part of that KINGDOM, a country whose monarch jointly rules another kingdom AS WELL AS a number of commonwealth countries which are DOMINIONS.

  103. gordoz says:

    Dave McEwan Hill
    My daughter is a past head girl (constantly fought the regime at DGS), I will now write to the new Head Teacher as a member of the community and also to the local authority.

    As you will also know the bad smell that is the Baron George Robotson is back on the scene at the local School presenting the prize for Modern Studies (politics) absolutely no link there.

    I’ll be on file; never away from the place. Made a previous complaint about S Clark ( Labour office holder) got nowhere before but will try again. 

  104. Jock says:

    There will be no sovereign STATE called UK post-independence, but there most certainly will remain the REALM of Great Britain in the guise of the UNITED KINGDOMs of Scotland and England.

    So the UK -WILL REMAIN- albeit in a different constitutional standing.

  105. call me dave says:

    Swinney was on an edited clip on BBC Scotland TV tea time and here he is on Herald.

    but not getting the nationwide coverage.
    This older info posted on NNS short time ago.

  106. Name (required) says:

    john king says:
    2 October, 2013 at 5:20 pm
    freddie threepwood says
    “it’s only a short walk from there to prejudice, chauvinism and the kind aggressive nationalism of  dark clothing and dodgy salutes they really, really wish SNP espoused.”
    Bang on,
    even that twat Farage tried (and failed) to paint the SNP as racist,
    oh the irony
    people can only think in the range of there experiences
    and then (seem to) believe all others only see it that way
    when faragé says you are racsist
    Lamont says you are run by a dictatorship / are leader less / directionless
    brave dave (et all) says your too wee , poor , stupid
    it is there own fears they are espousing
    as in that is the thing that they would least like to defend
    oh and for all Churchill is held in high regard i wouldn’t play him in the national XV, XI
    so why on earth would you listen to a sportsman, on politics? regardless of his national success

  107. Inbhir Anainn says:

    Jock 1603 was the union of the crowns the united Kingdom of Great Britain was born on 1 May 1707.

  108. EphemeralDeception says:

    Poor Gavin seems very confused.
    He doesn’t understand the Union as it is. He thinks that membeship gives us a whole lot of benefits that we would subsequently lose and come running back for, while  at the same time seeming to believe  there are no or few drawbacks within the UK. 
    The phrases ‘bilateral agreement’ and ‘mutual interest’ are probably unknown to him.
    He is put off by cringe and is not comfortable with this as a successful individual who reached the top of his profession within Scotland and recognised internationally.  Despite this, he completely misses the connexion between wanting to run after another nations supposed benefits and lack of self belief in those that think this.

  109. a supporter says:

    “Not really surprising really taking his background into consideration. As Bill C said, private school (Watsons) then Paisley Uni (bit of a bump there) finishing at Cambridge.”

    It might surprise you to know the numbers of privately educated people who are Indy Supporters. And Gav was ‘invited’ to attend Cambridge in order to play Rugby and receive a Blue. He read (as they so quaintly put it) for the ‘Estate Agent’s’ degree.

    And when a Sleb of any type opens its mouth you can only expect bullshit to pour out.

  110. ScotFree1320 says:

    Two points:

    First:  The Tories have been on TV and all over Radio Scotland Region’s Drive Time today, saying, “Please stay! We really are better together.”  Which is true, the Tories ARE Better Together.  🙂

    What will the populace think of that?  Do you think it’ll be, “Hey man, the Tories want us to vote No and they know best, so let’s do just that.”  Or, “Hey man, the Tories want us to vote No, they can get it right up ’em!”.

    Second: There’s an interesting story today in the New York Times concerning the US Government shut-down, and how a similar situation was resolved in Australia by virtue of British Imperial rule, when the Governor General called in the Oz PM and summarily dismissed him.

    Somehow I can’t see Obama going grovelling to the Queen, begging her to please take the USA back under her wise Imperial wing, in order to resolve his impasse with the Republicans!

  111. Douglas Young says:

    It’s going to be a long 12 months for him, can you only post what he says quarterly please?

  112. a supporter says:

    Oh, and a special congratulations to Wings over Scotland after the online site also broke through the 100,000 total for unique visitors.”
    A comment from Newsnet Scotland today.
    And congratulations to both sites for spreading the word.

  113. fittie says:

    o/t –on Scotland tonight ,monday  I think, a discussion on independence two from each side [the bias message maybe getting through] .
    one of the panelists stood out for giving the silliest reason for a no vote .
    she was a young journalist ,who stated that she rather like being in the uk because she could  pose as the sassy trendy anti thatcher young Scot to English people –[-leave aside the  patronising of  english people] —an even sillier unionist than Gavin

  114. fittie says:

    correction apparently it was two undecideds and one each of the others

  115. Richard Lucas says:

    Never trust a man in pink breeks.

  116. Erchie says:

    I see those two statements as not contradictory at all.
    Effectively “Why be a small nation punching above your weight when you can be part of the Lardy punch drunk Union”

  117. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Sorry Tartan  Fever (at 6.49)
    The YES and the SNP teams and John Swinney have repeated that message time and time again for the last six months.
    The fact is that the media don’t carry YES and SNP press relaeases. I thought we all had realised that by now

  118. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Gordoz (at 7.15)
    Good. Copy stuff to Cllr Mike Breslin and our MSP. I’m sure this sort of stuff is going on at various schools across the country. When I was teaching in Scotland  I understood very well that the EIS was the Labour Party in schools

  119. dee says:

    @ Rev….Can I just say it’s good to see so many new names on wings. Very encouraging. The word is definitely spreading.
    Well done everyone.

  120. Clydebuilt says:

    Some years back there was a competition in Scotland for a new national anthem. As I remember things Gavin Hastings was the lead on promoting  “Flower of Scotland”…..hardly the act of a “Naw man”

  121. Chic McGregor says:

    Maybe he has since found out where Hastings is?  Just speculating.
    BTW nice to see you at the march.

  122. Chic McGregor says:

    TBF, we must recognise that certain careers are more ‘influenced’ by support for independence than others.
    For me, the reverse pecking order is:
    Politicians of Unionist parties.
    Broadcast and Press Journalists
    UK sponsor dependent show business people
    UK sponsor dependent sports people (varies on sport).
    UK Government sinecured academic positions
    UK Government sinecured cultural position
    UK Government sinecured historical section position.
    Just count yourself lucky if you are in a career that is free from such influences.

  123. The Flamster says:

    O/T – There was an article by Tom Peterkins in the Scotsman with the heading –  “Eddi Reader reveals great uncle’s life as IRA Chief”. She has responded to this on her own blog saying that no interview took place.
    I would link her blog article but my wee box for writing in doesn’t allow me to link anything.

  124. The Flamster says:

    Thanks Baheid 🙂 – I can’t link anything

  125. Macsenex says:

    Please stop calling Scotland small. It’s not. Half the countries in the world are smaller than Scotland.

    Many non politicos are scared of our ‘smallness’. We must counteract this impression

  126. clochoderic says:

    Ruth Davidson kick-boxing political hara-kiri on both channels tonight.
     What a riddie for the daft wee Toryburd.

  127. BobW says:

    Scotland isn’t that small compared to England, it’s ~46% of the length of the British Mainland (excluding the Northern Isles)

  128. RodneySofa says:

    Dearie me. Paxman referred to the Scottish Nationalist Party on Newsnight last night (around the 12 minute mark). I’d write to the BBC to correct them but I think banging my head against that particular wall is pointless when there’s better things to do. Ruth Davidson managed to confuse both me and herself on Newsnicht, as well as refusing to answer a *hypothetical* question about what she’d do if the YES vote won the referendum. As it is also a hypothesis that the NO vote will win does that mean that at last she will stop telling lies about jam tomorrow? I’m not holding my breath… 

  129. PickledOnionSupper says:

    June to October- that’s a good three months at least. Maybe over the summer Gavin has become one of the many new WoS readers and has begun a journey from ‘No’ to ‘Yes’…

  130. Albert Herring says:

    Scotland isn’t that small compared to England
    Scotland is actually larger than England if you include the sea areas.

  131. proudscot says:

    Gavin Hastings, I knew it was a mistake when you attempted to tackle Jonah Lomu head on. The resultant severe trampling and mild concussion seem to have had permanent lasting effects on your subsequent brain condition. I’m afraid you’ve just gone from Sporting Hero to Unionist Zero, thanks to your cringing adherence to Westminster domination of Scotland.

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