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Wings Over Scotland


An actual letter from America

Posted on May 29, 2014 by

I’m Will McLeod and I’m the Government and World Affairs Correspondent for Netroots Radio in Washington, DC. I’ve been following the Scottish independence referendum for a few years now. Most of the fallacious arguments I’ve seen have been pretty well knocked down, but there’s one in particular that keeps cropping up which is absolutely ridiculous and needs to be dealt with.

letterfrom

I also do policy work for various people, and since no other foreign policy and government policy geeks have knocked down the NATO argument and the defense spending argument, I’ve decided to throw my hat into the ring.

My Scottish ancestors came to the US about 250 years ago, and I’m a supporter of Scottish independence. My main reasons to hoping you go for it have a lot to do with the military issues I’m about to discuss.

Scotland didn’t want to go to war, but your soldiers ended up in the desert with ours anyway. Scotland didn’t want nukes in the Clyde, but because of decisions made in London, ended up with them anyway, which a while ago included the occasional visiting American nuclear sub.

These sorts of events create a lot of distrust, and a lot of friction that just doesn’t need to be there between Scots and Americans. If we had a direct relationship with the Scottish people through Edinburgh instead of a second hand relationship through London, none of that would have happened.

I guarantee you that even though the progressive movement is fighting hard and starting to win in the US right now, there will eventually be another warmongering Republican sitting in the White House. I cannot promise you that we’ll win in 2016, though I’m confident we will at the moment. So if you stay in the UK, I can’t promise you that something like Iraq will never happen again. No matter how hard the left fights, sometimes my country just loses its damned mind.

But enough of that. The main thing I wanted to dispel was this myth that somehow if you don’t want nuclear weapons in the Clyde, NATO and the US will have a sad and then will decide to punish Scotland somehow.

Let me say that this is complete and utter bullshit.

First off, the only NATO program that obligates a country to store nukes is what’s called Nuclear Sharing, which is a fun way of saying America gets to park our nuclear weapons in your country. The current NATO policies that exist in the UK exist ONLY because the UK already has nukes.

Most NATO Members do not participate in nuclear weapons sharing. The ones that do are Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy. The rest of the 28 nations don’t have any American nukes sitting in their territory or their ports. Here’s a Wikipedia article on the situation, which while flawed, is good enough for our purposes.

Our Boomer submarines, the ones that carry nuclear weapons? They do not ever dock in other nations. Ever. Any foreign dock is considered too great of a security risk. Yes, back in the 60s US submarines used to dock in the Clyde. But since the USS Cole incident, American subs carrying nuclear weapons have not been based outside of the US. Security is so tight that they only ever dock at two bases: Kings Bay, Georgia, and Bangor, Washington.

Any US Ohio-classes that appear anywhere else in the world are ONLY ever carrying non-nuclear Tomahawk cruise missiles. And again, because of all the fancy tech on board, they usually only dock at Kings Bay or Bangor EVEN IF they’re carrying only conventional weapons.

So it doesn’t matter to us whether or not Scotland tells nuclear submarines to go, because they aren’t our submarines, and we haven’t been visiting for years. It matters a hell of a lot to London, who don’t want to move their nuclear weapons near people who matter to the outcome of general elections. Watch them try to build the next submarine base in Wales. It’s the same reason that the US puts all of our nuclear silos in what we call the “Flyover States.”

As for NATO membership, Canada kicked all American nukes off their soil and went nuclear-free in 1984. We’re still best friends, and they’re still in NATO. There is absolutely no reason why Scotland couldn’t make the same decision.

nukefree

But lets say that Scotland wants to go one step further, and declare itself an official Nuclear-Free Zone. You’d move beyond de-facto non-nuclear status, to actual, serious, legally mandated, nuclear-free status. You’d be the first nation in Europe to do that. This does give NATO military commanders a sad.

As for actual Americans, that’s no problem. We wouldn’t care.

One of our closest allies, Australia, refuses to host nuclear weapons or even allow nuclear weapons into their waters, because it’s declared itself a Nuclear-Free Zone. If Scotland wants to do the same, you’ll get absolutely no pushback from the USA.

You’ll pretty much automatically be granted what’s known as MNNA status (Major Non-NATO Ally,) and you’ll probably be offered status as a NATO Partner, which means that you get all of the economic benefits of NATO membership and most of the military ones, but you get to decide how much money you spend on defense and when and where you go to war without being treaty obligated to defend anyone else.

At the same time, nobody would be obligated to defend you during a time of attack, but let’s be honest, if Scotland is being attacked by someone, the American cavalry is going to show up whether or not you’re a member of NATO, so it’s a moot point. The UK, too. And France. And probably the rest of western Europe.

Whether Scotland wants to stay in NATO is Scotland’s business. But Scotland will absolutely have the capability to be a NATO member, and like Canada or Norway, refuse to participate in Nuclear Sharing. Again, Of the 28 member nations, only seven participate in Nuclear Sharing who don’t already have nukes. So like I said, it’s got nothing to do with NATO, and everything to do with where the UK parks its own nukes.

But whatever you decide, America is likely to give you whatever the hell you want, because America fricking loves Scotland. You really have no idea.

Our politicians are almost sycophantic in their love of Scotland. We have something called “The Friends of Scotland Caucus”. It was founded by rabid anti-Iraq-war Democrat Jim Webb, and rabid conservative laughing stock Lindsey Graham. Claire McCaskill jumped on board, and between the three of them they brought together 30 senators from both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans both.

That makes it one of the largest bi-partisan caucuses in the Senate, and it’s committed to the simple idea of “Hey, let’s give Scotland whatever the hell it wants.” There’s a similar body in the House.

You know who was a founding member of the Friends of Scotland Caucus? John Kerry. He’s the current US Secretary of State, which means that he’s second-in-command on foreign policy issues to the President himself. He’s our chief diplomat, and he’s your friend.

So all this fearmongering about America somehow wanting to punish Scotland for doing what it decides it needs to do on military policy? All these statements about how if Scotland gets rid of nukes we’ll let the UK flaunt international law? It’s bullshit.

nimitz

SECOND point.

You are fantastically wealthy, and your current military budget has enough extra money left over that you could build yourselves a goddamned supercarrier. And not one of the efficient British models that you’re building now, I’m talking about one of the overwhelmingly expensive star-spangled cock-extenders that my country builds.

The American models cost about $9bn after research (or £5.35bn) over eight years. Your military budget SURPLUS is £10.5bn over eight years.

After the Tory cuts, you spend £3.3bn on defense every year, but only £2bn in Scotland. That leaves you with a surplus of £1.3bn PER YEAR. Over a decade, which is about how long it takes to research and build a new aircraft carrier, that’s £13bn. That’s an absolutely absurd amount of money, and you’ll just have that sitting around under the current budget.

I know that you folks probably don’t want a carrier, and you especially don’t want one of the nuclear-powered international airports at sea that we build. You’re probably going to be fiscally responsible, build yourselves a modest navy for search and rescue in the North Sea, and spend the rest of your money on actually-important things like schools, hospitals, new industry, wind farms and the like.

And who could blame you for that? I just wanted to make the point that you’re fantastically wealthy, even though you’re told you aren’t. Anyone who looks at your budget and says otherwise isn’t being honest with you.

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    188 to “An actual letter from America”

    1. Drew says:

      Deary me. Good article.

    2. heraldnomore says:

      Stu, what a star you are. Still it’s great to hear, from elsewhere, confirmation of what we’ve known all along.

      Thank you Will, for all those kind words. Why do I find myself humming a Proclaimers tune?

    3. Mark Anderson says:

      Wow! Amazing article!

    4. Cindie says:

      Fantastic article!

      Thanks, Will for sharing

    5. Grouse Beater says:

      That’s the second time within days I’ve read that letter, the expression, “gives NATO commanders a sad,” sticks in the mind.

      A fine peice of factual polemic. More please.

    6. galamcennalath says:

      Nice one. FFS, all we need is a Yes win in September and we can get on with being a nation among nations.

    7. taranis says:

      Will,

      Thanks very much for this very interesting and enlightening article. I hope it gets picked up by other media outlets here, but I won’t be holding my breath.

      We should print this out and put it through doors!

    8. Franariod says:

      The only 1s who say we cant defend ourselves are bt. The only 1s who say no-one will be our friends are bt.

    9. jon esquierdo says:

      Tell me the Nato official who said that Scotland would not be a member of Nato post independence and quote me the source

    10. TJenny says:

      Will – Thanks for a great re-affirming article. If, as you say, you’ve been following the indy ‘debate’ so far, you’ll know what utter ordure we have to endure on a daily basis.

      It goes without saying that if you’re ever in bonny Scotland, do let us know here on Wings, we’ll meet up and all have a party. 🙂

    11. Short changed says:

      Will,
      Good points well made

    12. Colin Harvey says:

      Brilliant Will, now if we could get past the media bias and get your info out it might help. but very well said sir. Thank you

    13. Alexandra-M- says:

      Fantastic article Will, thank you for writing!

    14. Croompenstein says:

      Anyone who looks at your budget and says otherwise isn’t being honest with you

      Good article Will, the nuclear abomination is close to home and that is the biggie for the imperialists, they don’t give a bees bawbag about me and my family we will be well rid..

    15. manandboy says:

      Will McLeod USA.

      From all over the world it seems

      everyone is so supportive of Independence.

      Shame about the neighbours down south
      and their relatives up here.

      Still, not long to go.

      I won’t be surprised if we are just overwhelmed with
      congratulations from everywhere come the 19th.

    16. Calum Craig says:

      Whatever you decide, America is likely to give you whatever the hell you want, because America fricking loves Scotland. You really have no idea.

      Love it, when I visited my brother when he lived in the US back in the 90’s I certainly got that impression. As an English friend of mine pointed out, our tourism industry will soar when we can call ourselves an actual, proper country- and the Americans will come over in even bigger droves. Just as long as they don’t complain about driving on the “wrong” side of the road…

    17. heedtracker says:

      Great support from the USA! We dont need Trident or Trident 2 and we don’t need an aircraft carrier either. One 10 million dollar missile and pop, £5 billion’s gone. Above all else, aircraft carriers are attack weapons and I doubt Scotland is going to invade anyone for a whilee. Neighbour Norway has a ferocious navy, without a carrier.

    18. Papadox says:

      Thanks for that wee pick me up will. It can be hard going at times but I ain’t lying down till the jobs done or I’m done. Thank you for taking an interest and aw ra best to you and yours.

    19. galamcennalath says:

      I surprised a Unionist recently by declaring that Scotland would be better as a Department of France, a Länder of Germany or a State of the US rather than governed by Westmister. Shock and awe! In reality, of course, I’d prefer us to make our own way in the world.

    20. Onwards says:

      Refreshing to read such common sense.

      £13 billion defense savings over a decade?
      I can think of a few good uses.

      Including some of these for the winter.

      Tropical Islands Resort

    21. fairiefromtheearth says:

      yea i like this guy be your own people and look after you own, dont worry bud we will but its time your nation took a back seat in the World.

    22. heedtracker says:

      Plus we have to contend with Labour in Scotland project fearing it with 19,000+ jobs in Faslane lost if Trident goes. Last night I watched Jim Murphy MP tell STV that Labour have scrapped nukes and Labour will use Trident to negotiate for world disarmament and if you believe any of that…

      http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-economy/6600-blow-for-no-campaign-as-official-figures-demolish-trident-jobs-claim

    23. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

      What is it about Lamont, Darling, Carmichael, etc. that makes them immune to this kind of information? Are they too stupid? Do they just hate Scotland?

    24. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

      Thanks Will, it’s heartening to read this support and especially about the Friends of Scotland Caucus. As you are probably aware our media is dominated by the British Brainwashing Corporation so positive stories about Scotland and particularly an independent Scotland are largely suppressed.

    25. Bay Rok says:

      Thats really sweet, thank you so much. Actually, we should scrap the military and invest in highly targeted exploding scotch malt whisky, because all around the world, thats the one thing that dictators all seem to drink.

    26. Bonny Bird says:

      Great article thanks to Will we have a chance to really see it from the American point of view.
      Thanks again Will.

    27. Michael Granados says:

      Yes, this is what Americans think… We freakin’ love Scotland! Don’t let us down and let the golden opportunity pass you by. We’ve got your back either way but if you vote no we’ll have a sad.

    28. J. R. Tomlin says:

      As an American, I concur with this letter enthusiastically. My reasons for supporting Scottish independence align almost exactly with his.

      Yes, many Americans love Scotland and believe that you can do better than having unwanted WMD next to Glasgow and following us into our misbegotten foreign adventures.

    29. bjsalba says:

      Kerry hasn’t been to Britain much, has he? But then with the abominable reporting on US affairs by the dear old BBC, I’m not surprised. Not only do they have a penchant for interviewing republicans to comment (usually derogatorily) on what the democratic President Obama is doing or not doing, but often they get their basic facts wrong.

      Remember the last budget crisis in the US? Well for almost 24 hours they kept saying that President Obama had recalled Congress. Well, he didn’t because he can’t! Its this thing you find in any textbook on US politics chapter 1 page 1. Its called Separation of Powers. The three branches of government are independent. That is why they have presidential elections. Unlike here the legislature does not choose the guy at the top of the executive.

    30. K1 says:

      Thank you Will! I’ll be printing this off and laminating A4’s and spreading this far and wide…cyberparking here I come!

    31. Lesley-Anne says:

      Thanks Will for a great piece.

      Everyone I know of has been saying since day 1 that Scotland would be in NATO, if we wanted to become members, and that all this nuclear s***e was a side show that actually has no effect on our membership. WE all know that Scotland will become NATO members and WE all know that these dirty W.M.D.’s will be gone from our waters. WE also know that having nukes has absolutely nothing to do with NATO membership.

      The trouble we all have is getting this message through the thick skulls of those who believe every word of print in the Daily Mail or said on UKIP Channel!

    32. Anne Graham says:

      Excellent letter! Thank you, Will McLeod. Yes, the whole nuclear thing has a lot to do with the UK wanting to be seen as one of the “big boys”, less to do with actual defence or security.

    33. Macart says:

      Cracking post Will.

      Laughed like a drain at the super carrier line. 😀

      Much appreciated contribution.

    34. Stu, Many thanks for your contribution. No wonder The USA is friendly to us Scots, you only have to look at the wording of the “Declaration of Arbroath” to see where the American state based its “Declaration of Independence”, which is not surprising as there were Scottish representatives present in the drawing up of your most precious document. You have summed up the situation in a very correct manner and are to be congratulated for your efforts on our behalf. You may not be an official ambassador for your great country, but nevertheless you have excelled in your assessment of the situation.

    35. bobdog says:

      Just read this article on Newsnet also one about us continuing our membership of Europe by a european panel , no advantage to anyone by keeping us out , however, this sort of thing has to be emblazoned across the media and shouted from the rooftops drowning out those negative goons receiving their instructions from London.
      We can’t afford to read this and feel smug in our new knowledge we know we are going to vote yes , we have to tell the supporters of BT and the doubters.

    36. Croompenstein says:

      @Bay Rok – highly targeted exploding scotch malt whisky, because all around the world, thats the one thing that dictators all seem to drink

      Were you in the CIA 🙂

      wonder if it would make Castro’s beard fall off

    37. EdinScot says:

      What a fresh breath of air, its most welcome amidst all the bullshit and lies from the bt naysayers. Stop the world Scotland wants to get on! Thanks Will.

    38. Peter says:

      The guardian needs to be destroyed. If I ever meet severin fucking carrel he’s not going to be happy. or breathing much!

    39. rab_the_doubter says:

      After reading this I’m about a quarter of the way through emailing all the Friends of Scotland Caucus members suggesting that they may wish to discuss the UK MSM And UK Government interfering with the democratic progress – hope I haven’t triggered a tactical first strike ????

    40. annie says:

      O/T sorry but almost chocked on my nightcap, Margaret Curran “I don’t want family to be foreigners” telling us on Newsnight she is the daughter of an immigrant.

    41. Stoops says:

      Thank you so much for that. It’s good to read the words of our friends in the world.

    42. Muscleguy says:

      I was one of those damned Kiwis who gleefully voted in the Fourth Labour government which made New Zealand a nuclear free zone and incidentally meant it was Auckland harbour France committed an act of war in.

      I can report that we are on the best of terms with Uncle Sam and our navy exercises with their navy and our army does ditto. What passes for our airforce also does its bit too. It helps that Uncle Sam needs us, Operation Deep Freeze operates out of Christchurch Airport, last stop on the trip to the Pole or McMurdo. Sure NZ piggybacks on that (we operate Scott Base these days, just down the road from McMurdo).

      But bilateral relations are always a bit like that, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. I would just hope an SNP government would not turn a blind eye to rendition flights stopping over here. Other forms of mutual back scratching considered.

      Besides, it’s an open secret that much US foreign policy up to and after WWII was ‘destroy the British Empire’. Splitting up the UK is a pretty good way of setting that one in absolute stone.

      Just so we understand that the US does have some interest in this fight. If we vote No, Spit! then they will shrug and carry on in other ways but a Yes will suit US foreign policy aims just fine and dandy.

    43. Defo says:

      “You are fantastically wealthy, and your current military budget has enough extra money left over that you could build yourselves a goddamned supercarrier. And not one of the efficient British models that you’re building now, I’m talking about one of the overwhelmingly expensive star-spangled cock-extenders that my country builds”

      To see ourselves..
      Quality Will.
      Will ye no come back again?

    44. cynicalHighlander says:

      There is nothing for it but

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxNEiZhpinY

    45. Macs adams says:

      Polaris were kept on the clyde until 1992..

    46. geeo says:

      The yanks indeed love Scots.
      My son is recently back from New York and Florida.

      In New York, he went to Bryant Park to see the Kelpies on tour there (15 foot high versions).

      When he was talking to the locals and told them he lived less than a mile from the real Kelpies he was simply swamped by people wanting their photo taken with him and his girlfriend.

      They were treated like celebrities almost, simply because they were Scottish and had a link to the iconic Kelpies.

      I somehow doubt that deep feeling for Scots will go away with a Yes vote.

    47. Davy says:

      Many thanks to both Will and J. R. Tomlin your article and kind words are very much appreciated.

      As you will have noticed we are fighting a very one sided battle with our MSM and state broadcaster, but we definately own the net. But we still could use some backing on both fronts from the likes of yourselves and any like minded support you could drum up.

      This fight between our independence YES campaign and the unionist Westminster NO’s is going to get very ugly, eg they have already tried the racist card against us through the media in the past week.

      A very public support from outside the UK for the re-establishment of Scottish independence would be extremely usedful and gratefully received.

    48. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Jim Sillars has some fantastic ideas about what to do with otherwise useless aircraft carriers.

      He’ll be in Vineburgh Community Centre, Irvine, next Tuesday evening – why not go along and ask him?

    49. John Sellars says:

      Will, our dear friend of Scotland.
      That was exactly the breath of fresh air we need.

      Thank you and always many thanks to Stuart for facilitating this.

    50. Ken Johnston says:

      What a great post. Thanks, Will. Lump in thrapple.

      I bought ex-senator Jim Webb’s book, ‘Born Fighting, How the Scots-Irish shaped America’. And thanks Rev. for putting it up. Incidentally, I think the rev. should get a promotion to ‘the Very Rev’. Although that might not be allowed in New Caledonia.

    51. Jon in Chicago says:

      Will is spot-on in his analysis. We love Scotland and in the wake of a “Yes” vote will welcome its independence, no matter what our screaming id(iots) known as the Republican Party might say about the matter in the coming weeks.

      (By the way, I can’t remember the last time I saw an 8-cent stamp. Nicely dug up from somewhere, Rev.)

    52. What, no cataclysm? So was George Roberston not telling the truth? This is a fantastic article, and demonstrates again the nonsense peddled to Scotland.

    53. Kenny says:

      I’ve been making a somewhat similar argument for ages now. EVEN IF international law is against us, EVEN IF the letter of the EU treaties is against us, EVEN IF one or two countries want to kick up a stink about independence…IT WON’T MATTER.

      People like Scotland. Scotland is a wealthy wee country. We’re in a strategically important location. And we’re a democratic country following a peaceful democratic process towards self-determination. The realpolitik is clear. Everyone will recognise us, everyone will accept us into the important organisations we elect to join and everyone we trade with will just make it work. The last thing anyone wants is strife in prosperous western Europe, disruption to trade or any perceived weakness in Atlantic defence (especially as Russia flexes her muscles.) They might not want it and might even argue against it, but when we vote for it, everything will fall into place because it’s just not worth it for anyone to make a fuss about it.

    54. stan reeves says:

      Aye very good. How in hells name are Yes folk to get this info out? the media is unrelentingly fear mongering lying No propaganda. I saw a new stand tonight. Every paper except the herald had a negative story with Alex Salmond named. They are not interested in the issues, just bad mouthing!
      What are we to do???

    55. Brotyboy says:

      @geeo

      Bryant Park; lovely shade and open air movies screened in the summer. Good memories.

    56. Brotyboy says:

      @ Ian Brotherhood

      Agreed on Jim Sillars’ fascinating suggestions for aircraft carrier use in a socialist iScotland.

      I’ve just finished reading his book, ‘In Place of Fear II’ and after my girlfriend has read it, in about a week, I’ll happily post it on to any other Winger to read, on the condition that he/she does the same subsequently.

    57. Hood says:

      Sorry OT

      But talking of letters, I just had an email from a friend in Glasgow, he has been invited to a meeting on pensions by Maggie (May or Maybe No) Curran.

      See here for the letter
      http://i.cubeupload.com/7UHQiH.jpg

      Thought maybe someone in that neck of the woods may fancy a nice meeting to learn about their pensions 😉

    58. Mary Bruce says:

      Excellent Post, Will, very informative, thank you.

    59. John O says:

      It’s always great to have someone’s opinion, who does not have an axe to grind especially if that person is on the outside looking in thank you will. I am more informed just from reading this.

    60. bookie from hell says:

      aus turning USA down for nukes,new to me

      thx will

    61. Cactus says:

      Hey Will, thanks for your article and welcome to Wings. Ye know it’s reassuring and pleasing to hear it from your (America’s) point of view.. and we (Scotland) fricking love you all too!

      And on that high note, it’s pay-day tomorrow and a wee birdie told me there’s gonna be big get together happening in GLASGOW near George Square tomorrow.. if I get any more tweets, will let you know.

    62. Kev says:

      A very insightful article Will, great stuff, its imperative that more people from outwith Scotland and rUK contribute to this debate as the No camp have poisoned it so much with their lies that few undecideds believe either them or the Yes side now sadly, and the referendum date is closing in fast.

    63. msean says:

      Thanks,on the eve of the campaign proper,a wee shot of sense.Great article by the way.

    64. Doug Daniel says:

      Great article by Will – it’s quite extraordinary that no Scottish journalist has bothered their arse to find this sort of stuff out before spouting nonsense questions,but not surprising either. A very good day for Wings today, I would say.

    65. Dr Ew says:

      Wow. Please cc. this article to:
      Sarah ‘Softball’ Smith, Kirty Wark-what-is-it-good-for?-HUH!-absoloutely-nuthin’, Glenn ‘We’rea’naw Lineman’ Campbell, Jakey ‘Dicky’ Burd, Alan Cock-ranne, Choann ‘Sterrheid’ Lamentable, Alistair ‘Move Over’ Darling, Danny Alexander-the-Great, Dalek Zander, ruth ‘i.d. me’ davidson, Holy Wullie Rennie, Gideon ‘Spank-me’ Osbourne, Dave Cameron-onanonyafeartyshitbaghownodebatewialicsammon? and, of course, editor of the Daily Hate Mail, Sir Christian Fulminating-Shareholder-Smith. It’s sure to get a fair hearing.

    66. Dr Ew says:

      Notes to self:
      1) Don’t post after a bottle of red wine.
      2) Go to bed.

      A terrific article nevertheless. Well sourced, Rev.

    67. Tam Jardine says:

      Great article Will- very refreshing.

      I had an American clock my Yes badge last week, and ask me if I supported ‘secession’? Well, it hasn’t worked out so bad for the States…

      We may need some help from the US Army policing the referendum if the last two years are anything to go by. Honestly chum, if the rest of the world knew how the Scottish democratic process was being destroyed there would be one of them UN resolutions.

      All the best

    68. Cindie says:

      @Doug Daniel

      An excellent day for Wings. So many good articles, I still haven’t caught up from being away on holiday. We are so very lucky to have Wings and if we do win in September I hope that we can somehow show proper appreciation to Stu as a thank you from a brand new nation.

    69. tartanpigsy says:

      I know some folk don’t agree but think we should support this, not at the expense of canvassing but otherwise try and be there

      O/T BREAKING NEWS. THERE WILL BE A STATIC DEMO ON SUNDAY 1ST JUNE AT PACIFIC QUAY!!!

      I think we should support it in as large numbers as we can and should encourage there to be a picketline for staff to cross entering the building for the first GMS of the moderated period on Monday morning!!

      Spread the news far and wide

      Time to let the BBC know we won’t stand for this.

      https://www.facebook.com/events/1425640054368278/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular

    70. Thoughtsofascot says:

      @doug daniel

      Surely the “succulent lamb” episode in the Scottish media a few years ago was a forewarning to this. They can’t be bothered to do actual journalism and prefer to just feed off of whatever they are given

      And I second the idea mentioned somewhere above about contacting the US senators. It could always embarrass the Uk government, which is not a bad thing.

    71. annie says:

      Just watched Carol Malone on Sky Newspaper thingy doing her bit for Scottish tourist industry. Feeling sorry for Kate, Duchess of Cambridge having to tour whisky distillery in Scotland, apparently she has already done it and it was horrible.

    72. Lesley-Anne says:

      I won’t be able to get there tartan but I have tweeted the link to the facebook page so hope some of those who get my tweets might be able to turn up. 😉

    73. Kenny says:

      @Thoughtsofascot – Better Together: Succululent Lamb Tomorrow.

    74. Lesley-Anne says:

      Aye I saw that as well annie, if I wasn’t in the middle of something else SKY were going to get a *ahem* nice wee tweet from me about that. 😛

    75. tartanpigsy says:

      Cheers Lesley, don’t know if I’ll be there either, but the more the better I reckon.

      First day of Purdah, not one of us expecting BBC to change.

      Ideally like this to be followed by The Scottish Governments official letter to the ODIHR on Monday morning for official outside monitoring

    76. X_Sticks says:

      Great article Will, it’s good to get a view of ourselves from ower the watr.

      @Dr Ew
      If that post was the result of drinking a bottle of red wine, then drink on Doc! PMSL.

    77. Thepnr says:

      Will, thanks a great article and I hope it’s much read.

      I don’t know about the rest of you but my emotions are up and down like a yo-yo. Today is an up, tomorrow may be a down.

      Bloody hard work being a supporter of the only vote that makes sense.

    78. Lesley-Anne says:

      Best you do NOT read this article then Thepnr. 😉

      http://tinyurl.com/muoxcqw

      Apparently there is a similar article in the Times but can’t find it yet.

    79. Lanarkist says:

      Are we now in the official Referendum period now it’s after midnight, just so we can be alert for any subtle changes to the quality of the debate and celebrate the new, open, considered, honest, factual respectful reporting!

      Just a thought.

    80. Clootie says:

      The lies of BT continue despite the lack of any evidence or of even being capable of passing the basic test of common sense. I appreciate the time and effort taken to write the article but once again it only highlights the lack of decent journalism in Scotland.

      I remain confident we will win but what do we do with this source of poison in our midst post a YES vote. We cannot permit this type of propaganda in an independent nation to continue.

    81. Les Wilson says:

      Will, a great article, one that helps our case.
      I would also ask you to encourage US friends of Scotland to post here, and support in our quest for Democracy which the British state wishes to deny us, by any means.

    82. Morag says:

      America. We’re told they hate us because we let Abdelbaset al-Megrahi go home. What will happen when we allow a posthumous appeal against his conviction and officially acknowledge he didn’t do it?

      Just wondering.

    83. AJ says:

      Knew there would need to be some key breakthrough moments for yes and this feels like one. Massive thanks Will. Currency Union, Europe, Start up costs and now NATO – all the big questions are falling but we still need that vote come September people. Rev you are a legend.

    84. Defo says:

      BBC World News on the radio just had a vox popper segment where one bint said she would “like to see Alicsammans face on a dartboard”.
      Plus ça change

    85. Taranaich says:

      @Will McLeod: Whatever you decide, America is likely to give you whatever the hell you want, because America fricking loves Scotland. You really have no idea.

      @geeo:When he was talking to the locals and told them he lived less than a mile from the real Kelpies he was simply swamped by people wanting their photo taken with him and his girlfriend.

      They were treated like celebrities almost, simply because they were Scottish and had a link to the iconic Kelpies.

      I somehow doubt that deep feeling for Scots will go away with a Yes vote.

      I’m in America right now, and let me tell you, this is all absolutely positively true. I’m with my two great aunts and my grandmother, and as soon as the locals hear the accent, they SWARM around us! (True, some accidentally think we’re Irish, but they’re just as happy with Scots)

      I haven’t brought up independence a lot, but a common refrain was “I thought you guys were already independent?” and “Dude, duh, go for it!”

      @Kenny: I’ve been making a somewhat similar argument for ages now. EVEN IF international law is against us, EVEN IF the letter of the EU treaties is against us, EVEN IF one or two countries want to kick up a stink about independence…IT WON’T MATTER.

      People like Scotland. Scotland is a wealthy wee country. We’re in a strategically important location. And we’re a democratic country following a peaceful democratic process towards self-determination. The realpolitik is clear. Everyone will recognise us, everyone will accept us into the important organisations we elect to join and everyone we trade with will just make it work. The last thing anyone wants is strife in prosperous western Europe, disruption to trade or any perceived weakness in Atlantic defence (especially as Russia flexes her muscles.) They might not want it and might even argue against it, but when we vote for it, everything will fall into place because it’s just not worth it for anyone to make a fuss about it.

      It strikes me that the people who have the lowest opinion of Scots in the entire world are the Scots themselves, closely followed by

      @Morag: America. We’re told they hate us because we let Abdelbaset al-Megrahi go home. What will happen when we allow a posthumous appeal against his conviction and officially acknowledge he didn’t do it?

      Just wondering.

      Considering all the financial support sympathetic Americans gave the IRA over the years, the Americans are the last people to claim any sort of moral high ground over leniency to terrorists, much less people wrongfully convicted of terrorist atrocities. In addition, I heard the Scottish Government might grant asylum to Edward Snowden: the only people who hate al-Megrahi and Snowden are either blinded by ignorance and misplaced patriotism, or Republicans.

      Still, is the Scottish governments’ stances on al-Megrahi and Snowden enough to sour the Americans enough to cause problems? Yeah, no: if America can be on friendly terms with corrupt, oppressive, fanatical tyrannies like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Honduras, Uganda and the UAE, they can be friends with a wee country that wouldn’t so much as poke another one without provocation.

    86. J. R. Tomlin says:

      “America. We’re told they hate us because we let Abdelbaset al-Megrahi go home.”

      Well, you were lied to. Some Americans were upset (a very few were very upset) and some were confused because Americans really don’t understand the principle of Compassionate Release. The American government said that it was Scotland’s business although they didn’t agree with the action–which BBC and in particular Glenn Campbell lied about. And I don’t know any Americans, NOT ANY, who hate Scots or Scotland. Links to Americans’ Scottish heritage such as Highland Games go on and are heavily attended all over the US.

    87. James Dow A voice from the Diaspora says:

      I along with what are now estimated at up to 50M born and generational Scot’s in the World, Scotland’s finest export
      produce, “her children” carry heartache for our ancient homeland to be FREE. And after the day that the Saltire flys free in the free air of a Sovereign Scotland that will be the day that I and probably millions of other Scot’s from the diaspora will be planning to return HOME. In my case I played as a piper in the Rat’s of Tobruk Memorial Pipes and Drums at the 2005 Tattoo. I want my children to see where I performed in person, and share the city of my birth
      the magestic living city Edinburgh. Look out Scotland be prepared to share a bed for it will be standing room only.
      We have been exported, we are coming HOME get ready.

      I remain dedicated to the land of my birth and it’s air that first gave me life, fortunately for me it was Scottish air. James Dow
      Soulful
      Only in Scotland am I whole
      Reunited with my soul
      For the boy could be taken
      And his soul forsaken
      to patiently await
      His final fate
      Scotland Forever, tattooed on his heart
      From very last breath, right back to the start
      James Dow

    88. jim sked says:

      Hey Will, Thank you for this information. I visited Oregon in 1998 and 2001, and the hospitality and friendliness of the people was incredible. All these years later, I still remember everything, and everyone I met, clear as a bell.
      I wish you and your Nation all the very best in these “troubled” times. Thanks once again for your support.

    89. Brian Keane says:

      I know that you folks probably don’t want a carrier, and you especially don’t want one of the nuclear-powered international airports at sea that we build. You’re probably going to be fiscally responsible, build yourselves a modest navy for search and rescue in the North Sea, and spend the rest of your money on actually-important things like schools, hospitals, new industry, wind farms and the like.

      Brilliant piece thank you

    90. Ellen says:

      Just to set the record straight, there are plenty of Republican Americans who support Scottish independence. I’ve been running a Facebook group full of them for years. This gent has a skewed view and has not been fair to all his fellow Scottish-Americans. I am a Republican…. A proud one. And, I am a proud Scottish-American. Some that is said here does speak for all of us and some doesn’t. I was at the first march in Edinburgh. I have not only given lip service, I’ve pro actively supported YES. How about we Americans support Scotland WITHOUT denigrating each other or being divisive in the process? That serves what purpose? I support independence for a simple reason: I support the will of the people and the right to self governance. I can do that without vilifying ANYONE. There is some good herein, but there’s also some crrrrap. 🙂
      Just say yes on Sept 18 and take your country back, Scotland! One thing this gent got right: we do love Scotland.

    91. Macart says:

      @Thepnr

      “Bloody hard work being a supporter of the only vote that makes sense.”

      I have it on excellent authority we’re on the side of the angels. 🙂

      Hullo to our American visitors. (Waves) 🙂

    92. JLT says:

      Thank you, Will

      Beautifully said.

    93. Alba4Eva says:

      James Dow, I hope all 50 million don’t all decide to come home… We’ll need to sort out the spare room. LOL 🙂

    94. Tamson says:

      Nice article Will, many thanks.

      So, Scotland could afford it’s own supercarrier, eh? How about calling it the SDS Stuart Campbell?

    95. bunter says:

      I wonder if PQ and the Scottish papers will cover the scandal of the Bliar/Bush papers cover up over the illegal Iraq war, as it seems to be getting prominence in the UK media.

      Will they cover it or will they cover the backs of SLab?

    96. john king says:

      Peter says
      ” or breathing much!”

      Dude?

      Defo says
      ” I’m talking about one of the overwhelmingly expensive star-spangled cock-extenders that my country builds””

      Yea Im fine in that department,
      I play with mine in the bath,
      what?
      Im talking about my model supercarrier
      what we’re you talking about?

      Cynicalhighlander says
      “There is nothing for it but”

      If its the last thing we ever do!

      Davy says
      “but we definitely own the net.”

      What do you mean we own the net?
      WE ARE THE NET. 🙂

      Brotyboy says
      “Agreed on Jim Sillars’ fascinating suggestions for aircraft carrier use in a socialist iScotland.”

      Now let me guess, not having seen the comments by Sillers you are talking about,
      he suggests using the Carriers as disaster relief vessels for parking off the shores of places like Haiti for instance to provide help and succour to the people?
      I know because I had the very idea ages ago and discussed it on here with BtP,

      I’m not saying I own the idea but as far as I’m aware it was me who proposed the use of those carriers for disaster relief first.

      Cactus says
      “a wee birdie told me there’s gonna be big get together happening in GLASGOW near George Square tomorrow”

      but only for people with cool hats Cactus, so that leaves you and me out, 🙁
      Xsticks’ll be invited though. 🙂

      James Dow says
      “We have been exported, we are coming HOME get ready.”

      I cant think of what to say or write because I’m having a
      little difficulty seeing my screen, got something in my eye
      All I’ll say is this,
      IT would be a privilege to bunch up James.

      Taranaich says
      “It strikes me that the people who have the lowest opinion of Scots in the entire world are the Scots themselves,”

      I knew how that sentence was going to end before I read it,
      it breaks my heart the downer this country has on itself,

      When I listen to those poor deluded creatures say we cannae dae it oorsels,
      I start to think we’re actually a different species,
      or maybe they’re in a kind of Stepford wives spell that we’ve somehow woken up from, I just hope for all our sakes those people can wake up from the spell before its too late.

    97. Muscleguy says:

      @Jon in Chicago

      The ‘stamp’ is obviously directly printed. My guess would be on one of those airmail forms. Remember those? It’s obviously an airmail stamp. But I agree, postal rates that low were last seen a long time ago.

      I’m sure Stanley Gibbons would have a listing. But that’s my wife’s province more than mine.

    98. Croompenstein says:

      @James Dow – I’ve got a lump in my throat here. Scotland has that effect on us.

      @Taranaich – Could you maybe seek out a medicine man and get him to speak to the Great Spirit to send his vibes to the fearties and undecided’s to be brave and take our country back 🙂

    99. HenBroon says:

      I wonder when this letter will appear in the MSM? I imagine the BBC are doing it as we speak?

      There is a peacefull protest assembly at PQ on Sunday. it would be good to see lots of WOS people there.

      on.fb.me/1oQ6fSO

      Facebook page. Bring a Sunday herald for a quiet protest showing we are aware of bias and wish for fair coverage of Scotland’s independence

    100. james Dow A voice from the diaspora says:

      Caesar!4Eva, Can we stay with you? I will write you poems and play pipes for our supper. How many spare rooms do you have? could you please reply as I am planning our trip anticipating a YES outcome.
      A poem for you FREE
      The modern Scot has little can show us to cheer
      Comatose, tranquilized, with football and beer
      Just joking( I think)
      PS I hope you have a car so you can show us around a bit.

    101. james Dow A voice from the diaspora says:

      Caesar!4Eva I was laughing at myself so much I didn’t check
      my draft I stuffed up my poem and it was for Free. Here I go again.
      Own Goal
      The modern Scot has little to cheer
      Comatose, tranquilized, with football and beer

      Phew I think I deserve a wee dram O malt.

    102. fergie35 says:

      Thanks to Will for the American perspective. Impressed with the Friends of Scotland Caucus.
      Never knew Scotland had so many friends in high places!

    103. caz-m says:

      On the day of the start of the official Referendum campaign, the Labour Party have came out with a reminder that they are no different to the Tories or Lib/Dems.

      Shadow Secretary to the Treasury, Chris Leslie, has warned that they will NOT undo any of the austerity cuts put in place by the coalition.

      Surely this will be the wake up call for Scottish Labour supporters to vote YES and take their Party back from this right wing London weighted Labour Party.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/05/29/future-labour-government-will-not-undo-hugely-unpopular-coalition-cuts_n_5413596.html?utm_hp_ref=uk#comments

    104. scottish_skier says:

      http://archive.today/c0ELN

      How the UK taught Brazil’s dictators interrogation techniques

      As the world focuses on the World Cup, which opens in Brazil in less than a fortnight, many Brazilians are wrestling with painful discoveries about the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985. The BBC has found evidence that the UK actively collaborated with the generals – and trained them in sophisticated interrogation techniques.

      Brazil’s 21-year dictatorship is less well known abroad than that of Argentina or Chile, but it was still brutal. Hundreds died and thousands were imprisoned and tortured…

      …”Luckily I was only there a week, if I had been there for two weeks or a month I would have gone mad,” he says.

      This new kind of interrogation method came to be called the “English System”.

      Lovely. Makes you proud to be British huh.

    105. bunter says:

      Looks like the Unionist media are going for Salmond not answering the start up figures question at FMQ’s yesterday.

      I think its a deliberate tactic set up by him, as it will keep the story of the manipulated UK treasury figures of Prof Dunleavy alive, as every time the BBC mentions start up costs, then pow!

    106. The Rough Bounds says:

      I have sent this article to my contacts in USA. Thank God the comments section was one of the better ones. Sometimes I would like to forward more stuff from Wings but the comments from some is simply embarrassing. Schockinly bad spelling and awful grammar does nothing for us.

      I have said this before but I shall repeat myself.

      If you aren’t sure about your spelling then get a dictionary and refer to it before you post.

      Some of yesterday’s comments from Fairyfromtheearth were frankly ridiculous. The guy’s heart may be in the right place but that can’t surely be an excuse for letting him wander all over the place with swearing and foul language.

    107. The Rough Bounds says:

      Yes. I do know how to spell ‘shocking’.

    108. Ken500 says:

      10% of US voters are of Scottish descent. Enough to swing an election. Friends in high places. That should concentrate minds in the White House. IR has congress members working on Irish behalf (Obama)

      The MSM are a disgrace. White, male, middle class and wealthy. Reactionary. Do not view, read or buy. Selective. Put them out of business.

    109. Ken500 says:

      ‘Rough Bounds’

      Kettle black?

    110. james Dow A voice from the diaspora says:

      Taranaich reply, You can do it, for we are Scot’s and we have done it. The Great Scottish Diaspora instrumental in founding and nurturing great Nation’s all around the World. What small task you have by comparison and you don’t even have to leave home to do it. My own parents leaving home in 1952 with two small children emigrating, to a country we knew nothing off, or nobody in, with limited funds but accompanied with at least two Scottish traits a fierce stoic self belief, and an honest work ethic that eventually saw us prosper. I fear for the modern day Scot that the thought of crossing the Irish sea would fill them with trepidation if they thought it was going to be choppy

    111. chalks says:

      I’d quite like a super carrier, we could park it in the Thames and have a 3 nukes onboard.

    112. Ken500 says:

      Out canvassing.

      Pensioners cottage. Wee wominn in dressing gown, ready for bed? 7 pm watching telly.

      Enthusiastic, ‘YES, YES a million times’. Nae wee fearty.

    113. Grouse Beater says:

      I don’t think the mass of thinking Scots consider the financial cost a paramount decision maker. I believe the question they are asking themselves is, does the Scottish psyche want to govern, or do we prefer an easier life letting London do it, patronising us when it pleases them?

    114. Helena Brown says:

      Thank you so much for confirming what we have thought for many years. We here all know what the UK Government wants with us, and it isn’t us, just oor money and oor land. If they could have transported the whole of the Scottish Nation abroad after 1707 I think they would have done it.

    115. yerkitbreeks says:

      A positive guy – undoubtedly a loss to Scotland when his forebears took off, or in view of the stated timescale they were maybe ejected.

    116. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

      @Grouse Beater

      I read something similar in McQuirter’s piece from Norway: Suggesting we (Scots) might feel it’s easier to let London rule.

      It’s a bizarre notion, as though every Scot needs to turn up at Holyrood every day in an independent Scotland.

    117. Papadox says:

      O/T

      CALL KAY: Very good question? If I called her my true feelings then I would be banned from this sight.

      She is an ignorant self opinionated establishment mouthpiece or just plain nasty.

    118. HoraceSaysYes says:

      Thanks for the article, Will. There’s nothing in there that isn’t just common sense, but it’s always good to have our opinions backed up by folk from outside the debate.

    119. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

      Nice one Will,

      how do you fancy a trip to Scotland this summer?

      No sure you would get on the BBC or STV but worth a try?!

      it would be good to see you on the campaign trail and I am sure you would go down a storm at Yes meetings.

      You would be very welcome and you would have great time.

      Ccome and join us.

    120. Liquid Lenny says:

      o/t just done a yougov poll, about internet and apple etc however they slipped in the nationality question. First choice was are you more Scottish than British, so I guess its a pro-indy organisation that paid for that question!!!

      Heading off shortly, see you all tonight.

    121. Grouse Beater says:

      Yerketbreeks says: It’s a bizarre notion, as though every Scot needs to turn up at Holyrood every day in an independent Scotland.

      I enjoyed that remark. It is bizarre. In all the conversations I’ve had with friends and others just met none begin, “it’s all about the cost!”

      They talk about a nation’s achievements, about pride and dignity, about empowerment.

      The emphasis on money above all else is a unionist argument borne out of a free market “libertarian” mentality.

    122. gordoz says:

      Many thanks for this information and support Will.

      Having traveled through America for several years, I can vouch for the genuine feeling of friendship and solidarity between Scots & the USA, (if not always the Governments eleceted; but then thats the same within the UK)

      As you will be aware we have an extremely hostile; remote control press and media largely influenced by the UK state establishment machine and as such the genuine debate is stifled by propaganda, pure assertion and sadly outright lies.

      If you know of others with similar views get organised and have a say online, (right here). The Scots will need every bit of help they can get to achieve what is just and normal for real countries (by peaceful means remember)

      Thanks again.

    123. heedtracker says:

      You wannae hae this in your America, you lucky sods-

      “Tonight on the news – Kate has a pancake and a nip. Fuck off, Reporting Scotland, fuck off.”

      A WoS retweet but exact same reaction from “this observer” as comical Cockers of the Telegraph has stopped calling himself.

      Scottish media is the world’s worst.

    124. Papadox says:

      Scottish_skier says: 8:14am

      Sent a complaint to EBC last night regarding the sub titles of the Brazilians always referred to ENGLAND or ENGLISH. The reporter consistently changed ENGLISH to British.

      Complaint Summary: Brazil was taught torture techniques in England.

      Full Complaint: Brazil was taught torturing techniques by the English in the sub titles and was voiced as Britain by the reporter. This happened all through the program where the Brazilians always referred to the English or England in the sub titles but was changed by the voice over to Britain. You had two versions of interpretation for the same word. The Brazilians being questioned always said England or English which was changed to British in the voice over or audio by the BBC.

      ———-

    125. gordoz says:

      Are comments going missing again ?

    126. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      Thanks Will and a great post. Do you have personal contact with any of the Caucus?

      @ Ellen – Would you care to share the link to your Facebook Group page?

      @ fergie35 – Its a bit out of date [2009] but this lists about 30 Senators who are in the Caucus. I think its about 45 now.
      http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2009/02/25081324

    127. Interesting article. Thanks Will. Sorry to go O/T but having just read the Newsnet Scotland piece on the C.B.I and the latest reveations on their relationship with the Electoral Commission Scotland, which as I pointed out weeks ago is headed by the former B.B.C Scotland Director, John McCormick, I wouldn’t trust them to be impartial over the next sixteen weeks. They are part of of the British state propoganda machine which will try to destroy, or at least severely damage, our campaign in the run-up to the referendum. The problem is still the same old one, the No lot can, and will, say what they want knowing full well they will never be held to account, and even although they are given a slap on the wrist, it wont be reported by a media almost completed opposed to Scottish independence.

    128. heedtracker says:

      ” I wouldn’t trust them to be impartial over the next sixteen weeks”

      They are not going to be impartial, BBC just alters the attack to appear balanced as in this vote no info bleh

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-20314150

      First job, make Holyrood and Westminster look equal partners and after that, its all just one more fraud on the people of Scotland by the BBC fraudsters in Scotland.

    129. TheBabelFish says:

      Will McLeod – thank you sir! When trying to leave an abusive relationship you really need the support of your family. And that would be you.

    130. cearc says:

      John King,

      I hope that the floating relief/goodwill vessel is the idea that Sillars is promoting. I’ve been bangin on about it to people for ages. It would be an excellent world resource and as the major plank of the overseas aid budget, an excellent way of giving aid acording to need rather than political favour.

      I still rather like the idea of using the Iain Banks style of naming. ie. ‘Your friend across the water’.

    131. Training Day says:

      @Alex Beveridge

      Yes. The Electoral Commission having oversight of this referendum may yet prove to be Cameron’s biggest coup. Any arm of the British state, be it the BBC or the EC (and as you point out, personnel seem to be interchangeable) cannot be trusted to facilitate a fair and free vote.

      I am with others who say that international observers should be requested by the SG (and I know only Westminster can ‘officially’ do that, but it should be done anyway). The world needs to see the British state in action.

    132. cearc says:

      Ken500,

      Probably her carer is scheduled to arrive at 18.30 to help her get ready for bed.

      Care is not necessarily at what most of us would consider a sensible time.

      A friend of mine of was recently complaining that she and her neighbours have had the timetable changed so that ‘getting up’ help arrives at 07.00, which they regard as rather early for non-working people and yes, their bedtime help has always been about that time.

    133. David Smith says:

      @John King. Sillars is indeed touting converting the carrier to ‘SRS Robert Burns’.
      I think it’s one of the most thrilling ideas I’ve ever read. Using a vessel built for warlike purposes as a bringer of help and hope wherever it is needed.
      A kind of nautical version of the Starship Enterprise. ????

    134. Grouse Beater says:

      Alex says: the Electoral Commission Scotland, which as I pointed out weeks ago is headed by the former B.B.C Scotland Director, John McCormick

      He was “controller,” rather than director of programmes, not that it makes much difference. The DoP was an import and another colonial failure.

      I knew John McCormick as a friend until I took my work to the States. After that he was a remote PR boss of BBC Scotland moving around in a rarified atmosphere. That said, under him, staff at Queen Margaret Drive felt more confident about their work.

      He was horrified – or so he claims – to discover a Scottish international news programme planned was scuppered by his senior London colleague, Birt, together with “Scottish” Blair his sidekick Mandelson.

      He considered resigning … but didn’t. That tells me a lot: The institution is bigger than the individual.

      Birt, you will recall, was Maggie’s accountant placeman. He wore £3,000 Armani suits and set up an ethos of department against department in a costing nightmare. If you wanted something from a department, even a pair of scissors or research, you paid for it. The BBC has never recovered from his tenure. Anyhow …

      I think of John McCormick as an honest guy without much political guile – but then had he exhibited any he’d have been out on his arse same as Hetherington and Milne.

      Like every other BBC Scotland executive he had a conscience but no bloody authority or veto.

    135. cearc says:

      Grouse Beater,

      ‘That’s the second time within days I’ve read that letter’

      The link was put up here a few days ago and tweeted to Stu (sorry whoever you are, the WoS threads are just so long to go back and look for names!) I commented on it a few hours later and repeated the link.

      You can see why Stu has torn all his hair out screaming, ‘CLICK ON THE LINK!’

      Thank you Stu, so glad you posted it so that it got read.

    136. onzebill says:

      O/T GMS this morning Naughtie taking about the Westminster government’s paper on what it would cost an independent Scotland to set up various departments, Naughtie stated that the YUK paper had suffered a “little” glitsch because the LSE Prof’ who authored the report had complained that the YUK govt had totally misrepresented his findings.

      What part of totally misrepresenting the report findings translates into a “little” glitsch, the EBC in Scotland really are totally corrupt and irredeemable.

    137. Alba4eva says:

      James Dow, I live in a wee one bedroom flat, so your out of luck with me… but I suspect John King lives in a castle, so at least your Bagpipes would not be a problem for neighbours. LOL 🙂

      If you come over though, I would imagine that something ‘Wings’ related would get organised for the 19th September… Hopefully a party and not a wake.

    138. Grouse Beater says:

      Cearc says: and repeated the link.

      That’s probably where I saw it. Many thanks.

    139. art1001 says:

      Should we not jointly and formally appeal to the us congress caucus chair about British gov shenanigans. They would I am sure be interested.

    140. Barontorc says:

      Oh the panic in Kay(e)’s voice this morning when Morag mentioned Prof Donlevy’s figures being rubbished by the Treasury – she was virtually shouting down the mike ‘we’re not going there – we’re not going there – we’re not going there’ to shout over the point Morag was trying to make.

      The question is – WHY AIN’T WE GOING THERE KAY(E)?

      The program was about the Chilcot refusal to publish Blair and Bush’s material – censorship in other words – yet the very thing she was doing was slamming down any point Morag was trying to make on that very topic.

      There is a very big clunking fist operating within the BBC and it is grossly propagandist, overtly and shamelessly partial and doesn’t even try to hide its suppression of facts.

      It is clearly the whole BBC that is besmirched, but BBC Scotland is way out in front as it mis-reports, lies, mis-informs, hides truths and broadcasts absolute rubbish dressed as fact. It would be oh so good to find that this was criminal.

    141. Dorothy Devine says:

      Thanks Mr McLeod and to all who managed to help spread it.

      Have a great party folks ,absolutely stuffed full of envy but duty calls – as ever.

    142. Alba4eva says:

      @Dave Smith & John King, I have a friend/collegue who is a Marine Engineer, who has discussed some technical aspects with Sillars, for the conversion of a A/C Carrier to hold sufficient quantities of fresh water and goods (weight/ballast) etc.

      He informs me that it is very do-able.

    143. cearc says:

      David Smith,

      Good on Sillars! (I still prefer Banksian names though).

      I wonder if any one will take up an idea that I suggested some time ago that in ‘assets’ negotiations we ask for a long list of items ‘looted by the empire’ from the British Museum and return them to their countries of origin.

    144. seoc says:

      Hmmh. “They are not being honest with us” – and that’s the ‘good guys’ who are in Government.
      Are they ALL totally untrustworthy? Certainly looks that way.

      We will need to make a list of the stuff to be put out for the bin on September 19 2014 and our friend Will has helped enormously.
      Thanks, Pal. A bottle of the finest uisgue beatha awaits you Sir.

    145. Grouse Beater says:

      Smith says: A kind of nautical version of the Starship Enterprise

      I hope not. That series was a fiction copy of USA foreign policy, taking their idea of democracy and imposing it on other planets to civilise them. The creator all but admits it was his guiding template.

    146. Macandroid says:

      “the thought of crossing the Irish sea would fill them with trepidation if they thought it was going to be choppy”

      Park two supercarriers end to end and we could walk to Ireland 🙂

    147. bigGpolmont says:

      thanks Will, Yet more No arguments blown right out the water

    148. james Dow A voice from the diaspora says:

      Touché Macandroid I hadn’t considered that, you canny Scot, dry feet all the way brilliant. And probably a more appropriate use for them.

    149. james Dow A voice from the diaspora says:

      Caesar!4Eva You might have a wee flat, but I know It’s filled with a big Scottish heart.

    150. desimond says:

      Big SMILEY FACE THING
      Great read for a friday lunchtime!

    151. creag an tuirc says:

      @Dave Smith & John King, the hospital ship is a great vision. For a start we would know where our foreign aid money was going, how is was being spent and that is was really helping people, then this monster pulling into a port would be a sight to behold, plus the bonus of setting an example to other nations. Anyway, I’m all for the ‘SRS Robert Burns’.

    152. David Doherty says:

      Will,

      Good article, answers a few questions that I had myself on the NATO issue. This is one of the sticking points in the independence debate, given that Scotland would likely remain part of NATO and has commitments (as part of the UK) to maintain a nuclear base on the Clyde.

      I think it is obscene that in this country, we have over 200 nuclear warheads – weapons of mass destruction – in a time when the cold war is over, and when we should be looking to set an example for the rest of the world to end proliferation and disassemble our nuclear arsenal. It is immoral to threaten to use nuclear weapons, and given the amount of resources it costs to maintain a system of devastating firepower, there is a strong case for not renewing the Trident submarines, which you point out are fabricated in the USA and are primarily used as a US-NATO controlled deterrent. Trident is not an independent deterrent as the Tories/Labour like to make it out as.

    153. GlasgowLocal says:

      You sir, are a fucking idiot.

      I’m a local to the area, about 15 mins from Faslane Naval Base, and to quote you:

      “Scotland didn’t want nukes in the Clyde, but because of decisions made in London, ended up with them anyway, which a while ago included the occasional visiting American nuclear sub”

      I’d prefer if you didn’t purport to represent us, you dumb yank, I can only assume the “Occasional” visiting sub you refer to might be the MANY and FREQUENT Joint Military Operations which sustain the town which I live in. (The JMC’s)

      At no point do you mention that 7000 people work and live in Faslane.

      Nor do you mention the history of the local area. For example, have you ever heard of a place called “Dunoon”? No. I didn’t think so, well- let me fill you in:

      Dunoon was a thriving military base that existed to serve the local Scottish region. It was host to a great many American GI’s, and after the war ended suffered hugely with a large population of locals with no employment, forced to move elsewhere in the country.

      If there are any Scottish Nationals reading this, I’d like to remind them of that absence.

      The absence of the US hit us hard on the Clyde. Reverberations from the massive unemployment of the shipyards closing here can still be felt today, such as the generational issues related to poverty, such as alcholism, drugs and teen pregnancy.

      Now picture the absence, not of a visiting nation, but of a nation rooted like an ancient oak, hundreds of years of reaching into every business, social and personal affairs.

      Does that sound good to you?

    154. Cactus says:

      I’ve just received an ACTUAL letter from America on my doorstep, cheers to y’all out there in Louisville KY, you’re timing is perfect, poetry in motion!

    155. YESGUY says:

      Thanks to Will and Stu for a wee pick me up.

      It IS hard being a yes voter ,frustratingly so but we are not alone and that’s been the highlight of the campaign so far.

      We hear awful story’s and incredible un-truths but whenever we get down there are wonderful people out there to help us pick up and carry on.

      The MSM and Govt are doing their best to beat us down but they are failing. To hear or read the words from others outwith the UK shows that the message of change is getting out to people not only in Scotland but the world. It is a very humbling feeling, after all this is just a wee corner of Northern Europe. It would be easy to overlook us.

      I take heart from the comments too . Good folk with a vision of hope and a wonderful sense of humor. This is the biggest grass roots campaign in our history and i believe that come Sept 19th , we will wake to a Scotland re-born.

      Its gonna be the party of all parties. And i for one will shed a tear and a dram knowing that the hard work is over and we can finally get on with finishing the job and making Scotland a better , fairer and prosperous nation.

    156. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “You sir, are a fucking idiot.”

      I’m going to let the witless abuse slide, because the rest of your post is so much stupider.

      “I’d prefer if you didn’t purport to represent us, you dumb yank”

      He didn’t. He cited the verifiable empirical fact that most Scots don’t want Trident, and never did.

      “At no point do you mention that 7000 people work and live in Faslane.”

      Why would he? Nobody’s proposing to close Faslane, so why would it be relevant?

      “Nor do you mention the history of the local area. For example, have you ever heard of a place called “Dunoon”? No. I didn’t think so, well-“

      I have. My family’s from a wee village just a few miles down the road. I spent a lot of time there in my childhood, and also at Garelochhead where family friends worked in the MoD police at Faslane. I drank many blackcurrant and lemonades in the social club on the base. Do I get to comment?

      “Dunoon was a thriving military base that existed to serve the local Scottish region. It was host to a great many American GI’s, and after the war ended suffered hugely with a large population of locals with no employment, forced to move elsewhere in the country.”

      So your argument is that we should start WW2 up again in order to create jobs in Dunoon? Interesting.

      “The absence of the US hit us hard on the Clyde. Reverberations from the massive unemployment of the shipyards closing here can still be felt today, such as the generational issues related to poverty, such as alcholism, drugs and teen pregnancy.”

      …all of which happened WHILE WE WERE IN THE UNION, YOU FUCKING HALFWIT. The Union has seen shipbuilding absolutely massacred, with 90%+ of jobs lost since the 1970s, all under the watchful and protective eye of Westminster. At the very WORST we could only do one-ninth as badly as that by ourselves, because 10% is all we’ve got left.

      Will didn’t talk about the US pulling out of anything, in as much as there’s still anything to pull out of. He said nothing would change in terms of our relationship with the US and NATO, because US subs don’t dock here now anyway and it would still be in everyone’s interest to maintain current relationships. At least try to understand what’s been said before you go shouting and bawling at people.

      “Now picture the absence, not of a visiting nation, but of a nation rooted like an ancient oak, hundreds of years of reaching into every business, social and personal affairs.

      Does that sound good to you?”

      It sounds like empty meaningless gibberish to me. Now, if you’ve got anything else to say, I’d advise being a lot more polite about it. If on the other hand you’re just going to continue to insult our contributors with abuse and ignorance, you can fuck off now and save me the five seconds’ work of banning you.

    157. Graeme Doig says:

      Nice one Will + Rev

      GlasgowLocal
      Feel free to move with the subs. We’ll not miss you mate.

    158. gordoz says:

      @GlasgowLocal (Jackie Baillie ??)

      Aye but you’re just an ill informed ‘nobody’ unionist embarrassment (very likely proudscot)

      ‘you dumb yank’ – talk like that will get you a doin’ down Dunoon way dickhead. I can assure you.

    159. gordoz says:

      @GlasgowLocal (Jackie Baillie ??)

      Aye but you’re just an ill informed ‘nobody’ unionist embarrassment (very likely proudscot)

      ‘you dumb yank’ – talk like that will get you a doin’ down Dunoon way dickhead. I can assure you.

    160. Mutters says:

      What a great article! Nothing like hard facts and humour to get the points across. Tweet this like crazy!

    161. heedtracker says:

      @ GlasgowLocal, “Reverberations from the massive unemployment of the shipyards closing here can still be felt today, such as the generational issues related to poverty, such as alcholism, drugs and teen pregnancy.”

      Maybe one day, Scotland will be told why none of the giant North Sea and Atlantic oil production platforms and drilling rigs were Clyde built with Scottish steel. Norway did and still do, for UKOK oil.

      http://www.kvaerner.com/

    162. Andy-B says:

      Thanks for that article Will, you’ve cleared up a couple of points there. Your own ancestors would have probably come from Skye or Harris or there abouts.

      As for Westminster’s Astute Class submarines (Nuclear) there have been several leaks and accidents at Scotland’s Faslane Naval Base,which basically aren’t reported, and if SEPA, Scotland’s environmental agency, does find out about the incidents, its powerless to do anything meaningful.

      Another major concern for Scots, is the proximity of these nuclear weapons to Scotland’s largest city (Glasgow), its roughly 30 odds miles, as the crow flies, and any kind of accident or incident or even a terrorist attack would be catastrophic. So forgive us Scots Will, if we seem a little bit frustrated, with regards to nuclear weapons, we’ve lived next door to them for far to long.

    163. moira says:

      I am a Canadian-Scot. I fly the Maple Leaf and the Soltire here in Canada. I am not alone, there are tens of thousands of us, all wishing we had a vote in September. The People of Scotland need to know how much they are loved around the world. Scots everywhere will flock “home” to celebrate with you. Recently, when golfing, my husband played with a young man who declared himself to be Scottish. He proudly informed everyone ‘he’ came to Canada in 1742 ! The love of Scotland and her people is worldwide, you should all know this. To be Scottish is to be proud, proud of ‘our’ history – the world is a better place because of Scottish inventions and literature. I will continue, from here, to shout for a YES VOTE. Good luck, this time you have succeed !

    164. Andy-B says:

      @GlasgowLocal.

      No need for the offensive language, if you have a point fair enough (Which you obviously don’t) but be polite.

    165. scullys gusset sooker says:

      This is my first post on wings. I love the site and any opportunity I get,wether iam out leafleting, canvassing or in work, I point people in this direction. However, this is not the reason that Iam posting.My stomach lining is exiting far too much this weather..and Why?People like Glasgow local. Fearty sickening individuals who are happy to see this country being exploited,and make no mistake, that is what is happening. I enjoyed the article apart from the digs at the republicans (reminded me of the bloody labour party). Just one last wee thing, then I will bugger aff.Ellen, a Scottish American lady who posted on ths thread, has indeed been running a pro indy scots-American site for years now. Thanks to her, I have known about the friends of Scotland caucus for donkeys.She made the group secret because of the abuse its members where getting.Usually from vacous pricks like mr local.

    166. YESGUY says:

      Glasgow local.

      Lets just keep the nukes so a few thousand can keep their jobs. Ha ha you have got to be kidding me . please go to the page mentioned . Its all about Faslane and the folk who live there. There is an open letter from a person who lives there and he tells you how it is. Have a wee read then come back and tell us what you think. I for one am interested as your no- doubt a No voter and will be a perfect example of a blind unionist who spouts nothing but pish. The lad who wrote his letter lives in Faslane and your comments are so fundamentally wrong and who the hell made you an expert. just cos you live near the place means bugger all. You live in Glasgow and cant see the damage uk govts have done to this country , YOUR country.

      Enjoy the read if you dare. If not then i ask you too look elsewhere as you are not welcome here with your lies and propaganda .

      http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/05/28/questions-about-faslane/

    167. Jon in Chicago says:

      @ Morag (12:37 a.m.):

      Nothing will happen. It might get noted by some of our mainstream news media, and the right wing will make that the target of a few hours’ worth of outrage (and try to blame President Obama). But most Americans don’t know who Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was or care that he was released. That’s “ancient” history to most of my countrymen and women.

      @ Muscleguy (7:38 a.m.):

      I’m old enough to remember the special air mail stationary and envelopes, but not 8-cent stamps of any sort. (Then again, I’m old enough to remember typewriters, telephones with cords, and even pay phones; all to the bemusement of my nieces and nephews.) Besides, I was always more of a numismatist than a philatelist. I’m looking forward to the first iScotland proof set…

    168. Croompenstein says:

      @Rev Stuart Campbell @1:45 – Stuart that post is fucking brilliant. No one quite has your knack, superb.

    169. Croompenstein says:

      @scullys gusset sooker – Love the name 🙂 but who is scully?

    170. scullys gusset sooker says:

      @Mr croompenstein..mulders better hauf. the truth is out there. You better believe it is..lol.

    171. Croompenstein says:

      @scullys gusset sooker – Ah, Good call 🙂

    172. Alisdair says:

      Cearc at 1035.

      Elgin Marbles would be a good start 🙂

      After all I’m reliably lead to believe that when the BM got them they wire brushed off any remaining original paint and chiseled the willies off both the male and horse figures (can’t have women having a fit of the vapours) they are now kept out of sight but can be viewed on request.

      And of course the Greeks couldn’t possibly take better care of them?

    173. cearc says:

      Alisdair,

      Elgin Marbles would be nice but they do seem rather set on holding onto them.

      However, it could be a nice let out for them. They have have been under a lot of pressure to return them and of course they would see it as an unacceptable climb down to give them back now, having said no so often. Even so, I doubt that they would want us to have the kudos for giving them back.

      Besides them, there is a lot of stuff from all over the world. Something for every country (those that they have stuff from) would be a nice entrance to the diplomatic world.

    174. “One of our closest allies, Australia, refuses to host nuclear weapons or even allow nuclear weapons into their waters, because it’s declared itself a Nuclear-Free Zone” Huh? Where did this come from? There’s no such policy. Many Australian local governments have nuclear-free zones. A great thing, but far short of what is claimed here. New Zealand has such a policy, and has indeed come under pressure from the US to change that.

      So what actually goes on in Australia? According to an FOI response, the US has no asked Australia to host nuclear weapons. US ships and aircraft visit Australia, and it is US policy to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons, but they say they “normally” don’t carry them. See http://www.defence.gov.au/foi/docs/disclosures/421_1213_Documents.pdf

    175. james mitchell says:

      If I voted YES for one reason only, this would be it!

    176. Lockie says:

      McLeod, there can be only 1 & your it my son, Great article Will & I hope you’ll continue to contribute to the debate till Scotland gets her independence.

      This land is your land, this land is my land, from the Northern Island to the Western Highlands.

      Thanks Again Wll

    177. Brian milligan says:

      USA Scotland relationships, by far outweigh any sentiment for the UK. or England. In the USA where is UK day England Day. in fact is there any country that ce;lebrates the UK on an annual basis. No….. Geez there is not even on
      e in the UK.

    178. Will Podmore says:

      All this cosying up to Uncle Sam is a little worrying. Who brought us the great crash of 2008, hmm? Remember Wall Street anybody? Oh yes, and please remind me, what did the SNP say about the illegal attack on Libya? Oh yes, it was all in favour.

    179. gordoz says:

      @Will Podmore

      I think you know it was New Labour’s finest the blinkered ‘casino bankers’ of Blair / Brown and Darling who causd the crash this side of the Atlantic or are you really that dense ?

    180. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Just stumbled on Glasgow Local’s idiot post.

      I actually live in Dunoon. There is eight times the national incidence of non-Hodgkins lymphoma and throat cancers in this area and I well remember, as I ran a business on the Holy Loch, the year all sea life in the loch suddenly died. There were just over 4000 Americans associated with the Polaris base, about 2000 of which were US civilians. They had their own clubs and their own supermarkets so their effect on the local economy was much more marginal than might be imagined though there was over 300 people in the Cowal area driving taxis.
      Dunoon recovered fairly rapidly from the US departure as all the housing that had been used by Americans were very quickly let out or sold to newcomers. A fairly large number of Americans stayed (many of them married to locals)
      At Faslane 552 people by the MOD’s own statement are involved in the nuclear armed element of its operations. Fewer than 6000 people are employed at Faslane and Coulport, many of them service personnel and many of whom leave every Friday to go home and return Monday mornings. The complex is basically a conventional naval base with the best deep water facilities probably in Western Europe. It will remain as such and will also be the HQ of a Scottish Defence Force which will number about the same as the Republic of Ireland or Denmark’s and will house much of a Scottish naval fleet which should be about the same as Norway’s (Norway has 42 armed vessels in its waters at the moment, mostly built in Norwegian yards). Presently there is no armed British naval vessel in Scottish waters

    181. Will Podmore says:

      Gordoz, it’s widely accepted that Wall Street had some role in causing the great crash, and I quite agree that Labour’s ‘light-touch’ regulation played a large part in unleashing the disaster. What would the ex-banker Salmond do to control finance capital’s ability to cause another crash? Smaller means weaker – a breakaway Scotland would be less able to cope with the fallout from the next crash.

    182. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

      Ex-banker Salmond was in RBS when it was successful.

      Smaller does not mean weaker. Smaller means easier to manage. Many smaller countries managed much better in the financial crash than the UK.

    183. Will Podmore says:

      Alex Salmond backed RBS’s disastrous takeover of Dutch bank ABN-Amro. In May 2007 he wrote to RBS boss Sir Fred Goodwin
      “Dear Fred, It is in Scottish interests for RBS to be successful, and I would like to offer any assistance my office can provide. Good luck with the bid. Yours for Scotland, Alex.”
      John Swinney also backed the takeover, writing that the deal was ‘an enormous achievement for RBS’.
      As late as March 2008, Salmond was still selling Edinburgh’s bankers as proof that Scotland could stand on its own as part of an ‘arc of prosperity’ with Ireland and Iceland. He told an audience at Harvard, “With RBS and HBOS – two of the world’s largest banks – Scotland has global leaders today, tomorrow and for the long-term.”
      Salmond blames ‘English’ light touch regulation for the damage to Scottish banking, but he didn’t criticise it at the time. Salmond wrote in The Times in 2007, “We are pledging a light-touch regulation suitable to a Scottish financial sector with its outstanding reputation for probity.” In February 2008, Salmond said, “the Scottish banks are among the most stable financial institutions in the world.”
      An independent Scottish central bank would be too weak to bail out Scotland’s finance capitalists when they produce the next crash. The liabilities of RBS and HBOS were between 20 and 30 times Scotland’s GDP. There are grave dangers in having banks that have clearly outgrown the size of the economy. Britain’s financial provision for these two Scottish banks was £470 billion, three times Scotland’s GDP.
      The banks’ problems would have overwhelmed Scotland’s finances, just as the insolvency of the Irish banks did in Ireland.

    184. Corm says:

      Oh shush Will please. It is nothing compared to what Brown and Darling, Blair and Brown before and Gideon and Cameron since have done. Also as per usual your misunderstanding who footed the majority of the Bailout. The USA. Now toddle on.

    185. Will Podmore says:

      Dear Corm, when I oppose Salmond’s pro-finance capital policies, I am in no way excusing the consistently pro-finance capital policies pursued by Tory, Labour and Coalition governments.
      I note you don’t dispute my assertion that Britain’s financial provision for these two Scottish banks was £470 billion, three times Scotland’s GDP. Of course other states assisted in the bailout – nobody denied that.



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