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Bad news for binmen

Posted on January 30, 2014 by

The Guardian tonight reports, by way of covering Johann Lamont’s debacle at First Minister’s Questions today, an interesting snippet related to our post of earlier today:

“The pro-UK Better Together campaign announced that it was to distribute half a million leaflets at railway stations, homes and high streets in Scotland this weekend with the single word “goodbye” on its front page, the O letters replaced by pound coins.”

Half a million? This weekend? Are we sure about that?

Alert readers will have noticed that the No camp’s Grand Leafleting At Train Stations Day tomorrow takes in exactly 100 “events”, at rather fewer than 100 stations. The “Better Together” events page lists precisely five other exercises over this Friday, Saturday and Sunday – some door-knocking in Springburn tomorrow, plus these four:


They’re part of a total of only 98 listed events, so several of the train-station gigs must presumably have been cancelled, though we’re buggered if we’re going through the list to work out which ones. But to keep things simple let’s pretend it’s still 100.

To offload half a million pamphlets, our alert and numerate readers will already have discerned, therefore means an average of 5,000 leaflets per happening. Now, we don’t know about you, folks, but we reckon it’s going to take quite some doing to give away 5000 leaflets in one hour somewhere near Milngavie railway station.

According to there are only half-a-dozen trains leaving that station between 7am and 8am tomorrow – BT’s campaigning window – which means they’re expecting 833 people on each one (and a 100% hit rate). We like Helensburgh as much as the next politics website, but that seems a wee touch hopeful.

Of course, the Fear Squads will do a bit better at Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Queen Street, but since they’re forbidden from campaigning anywhere in the stations themselves, even there it’s going to be a task to get 5000 folk hurrying to catch their train to accept a leaflet about how useless their country is.

We suspect the “half a million” figure is another piece of classic “Better Together” arithmetic, only this time ramped up a notch from the usual 100%-200% exaggeration to something more like 1500%. To be honest, we’d be hella impressed if they shifted 1000 leaflets anywhere, and 50 at Largs would be pretty good going, never mind 5000.

Perhaps we should get our spotters to do some counting too, just for chuckles. But in any event, we’d suggest that city councils all over Scotland might want to lay on a hefty chunk of overtime for the guys who empty rubbish bins, and it might not be a bad idea to arrange some extra dredging capacity on the Clyde.

But as fun as it is, there’s a serious point to our cheap mockery too, of course. The Scottish media simply takes all this stuff at face value without stopping to even consider pulling Blair McDougall and chums up on it, the usual excuse being that they’re simply reporting the claim rather than endorsing it.

But if we just wanted to hear whatever comical mistruth Mr McDougall was spouting at any given moment, we could go to his website or his Twitter feed and laugh at it there. If our newspapers don’t serve any better purpose than that, it’s time they shut up shop.

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    76 to “Bad news for binmen”

    1. Seasick Dave says:

      Imagine printing 500,000 leaflets based on a downright lie with the sole purpose of denigrating your country?

      Truly shameful.

    2. A2 says:

      Technically though you only have to take the leaflets to a couple of different places to “distribute them” you don’t have to hand them out in fact spreading them out on a big table would count.

    3. gordoz says:

      Reading this is like observing that fancy Japanese fish filleting with the special knives; sorry the name escapes me.

    4. Cath says:

      Unless they’re planning to use their Tory money on sending them, or having them delivered, to homes maybe?

    5. Croompenstein says:

      JoLa needs to read the article no-one actually dies by Julie McDowall and then describe our aspirations as wee things.

    6. A2 says:

      Wait tho, They are moving on to Aldi in Pollock has the Co-op taken the huff?

    7. Better Together St Kilda says:

      That’s it we give up – what’s the point of taking the mickey out of these people, we are going to devote our time to charity, reflection and paper re-cycling.

    8. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      “Goodbye.” Is that JoLa going back to her bunker?

    9. Teechur says:

      That’s surely got to be an expensive print run… or horrendous exaggeration (aka lie)…

      We should be told. 🙂

    10. Donna says:

      I believe Yes Airdrie got 5000 out today…!

    11. castle hills chavie says:

      Oooh they are in Springburn tomorrow, hope they knock on my door, but I will keep a look out as I can’t do the train station thing.

    12. alexicon says:

      500,000 leaflets? That’s slightly less than I deliver in one week.

      We’ll if they can exaggerate, so can I.

      Another YES voter emerges from my work today.

    13. naebd says:

      If you do see an genuine UKOKker, please lend a hand. They’ve got a hell of a lot of leafletting to do.

    14. naebd says:

      (they’ll probably break down in tears and convert so bring tissues)

    15. HandandShrimp says:

      Will they not just dump them into Royal Mail for the junk mail feed – all which goes straight into my blue bin like most other people’s?

    16. EphemeralDeception says:

      Todays FMQs were such a major fail for Lamont that I think it is the beginning of the end of her (p)leadership, no matter the referendum result. It could be Lamonts “Subway” moment.

      That statement is going to be repeated from now till September. It is all the worse for her that she is supposed to be against Trident. Now the reason for her refusal to clarify her position is quite clear: its just a wee thing.

    17. Jon in Chicago says:

      On the other hand, stacks of paper do have their uses.

    18. Grant_M says:

      The Guardian is just reprinting part of Project Fear’s earlier wee press release.

    19. HandandShrimp says:

      Alas, Johann wee’d on her leadership.

    20. KeefYes2014 says:

      We must also take into consideration the amount of people who will not accept their leaflets. I was approached by Better Together a few years back at Union Square Station in Aberdeen and not one of the five people who were approached took a leaflet. The chance of them getting rid of 500,000 is getting worse by the minute.

    21. Angus McLellan says:

      Aren’t they targetting bus stops as well? And maybe they’re bringing in activists from furth of Scotland for the lurvebombing? It’s been done before. So what possibly could go wrong with that?

      [Don’t think about any subliminal message that leaflets with GOODBYE on them, which most people will just glance at anyway, might send. Just don’t!]

    22. Krackerman says:

      Alloa town hall eh on Sat at 10am…. I’ll be there to see what goes on…

    23. Macart says:

      Just got in and feel dirty. Bad day at work and I’ve had to handle some print material that frankly turns my stomach. Somebody give me some good news while I crack a dram.

    24. Clootie says:

      The claim does go to prove that they have never actually done any groundwork.
      I am pleased if I can deliver 300 newspapers or leaflets in a half shift.
      At a major show or event I would be pleased if I moved 100 leaflets personally.

      Good news is we now have a lot more YES workers. Several who do not belong to any party.

    25. Ian Brotherhood says:

      We may never know how many are distributed tomorrow, but someone, somewhere, knows for sure exactly how many of these things were printed – we’ll find out sooner or later.

    26. Ken MacColl says:

      If they are expecting to offload 5,000 leaflets at Oban rail station between 4.00pm and 6.00pm tomorrow the trains will be looking like they are on the Mumbai Circle.

    27. “they’re simply reporting the claim rather than endorsing it”
      Now I’m sure I’m correct in thinking the indy march and rally organisers said there was 20000 to 30000 people there, the press reported it, (I heard it on the BBC first) as 9000.
      I’m so glad we have social networking and media, it will be the death of these dinosaurs.

    28. ianbeag says:

      Two new articles on the economy in an independent Scotland from the Independent and from the FT These deserve the widest distribution, especially following the coverage of Carney’s visit. Apologies if these links have been posted earlier.

    29. david says:

      i fully expect better together to have been totally exposed by this time tomorow.

    30. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Goodbye to the £ ? Quantative Teasing surely ? 🙂

    31. The Man in the Jar says:

      As I read this my phone alerts me to a “severe weather warning” for the Glasgow area tomorrow from 9am till 9pm. It warns of snow and freezing conditions with the snow turning to rain later in the day.

      Now to be honest some of these “severe weather warnings” tend to be a bit of a damp squib. But all you watchers for the lies out there. Remember and wrap up warm now. You will be freezing standing around a railway station in weather like that. 😉

    32. gillie says:

      So where and when did BT print 500,000 leaflets, and how long it take to deliver and share out to the various BT groups?

      It would appear that must have been days ago before Mark Carney took to travel to Edinburgh.

    33. Croompenstein says:

      They must move like something oot the fuckin matrix if they’re gonnae shift aw thae shitey leaflets

    34. Croompenstein says:

      Blahblah McDougall has a cheek asking the good Blair aboot funding FFS how much have these fuckin drain filling leaflets cost..paid for by the tories pedalled by the ignorant..

    35. david says:

      They must move like something oot the fuckin matrix if they’re gonnae shift aw thae shitey leaflets

      that gave me a good chuckle.

    36. Macart says:

      Oh jeez, just caught up on Lamont’s gaffe. What on earth was she thinking? Oh wait…

      Wow what a response to honesty patrol. Brilliant.

      Sadly no ‘events’ near my neck of the woods. Feeling better now. Its amazing the difference 10 mins catch up on Wings and a stiff dram makes. 🙂

    37. Robert McDonald says:

      Do printers not usually have their name in the bottom corner?

    38. msean says:

      I think most people will take the leaflet,not wanting a scene,especially when they are on their way to work or college. I also think that a few minutes later, just around the corner,you will find several handbills billowing around in the dust among the usual sweetie wrappers and crisp pokes.

    39. twenty14 says:

      Apparently there will be a large group of BT leaflet giver outers at Carnmore where most of the 500,000 leaflets will be given out

    40. Andy-B says:

      More than likely the BT mass leaflet drop tomorrow will turn out to a Johan Lamont “Wee thing.”

    41. Michael says:

      Goodness, though, what about the non-railway station ‘events’. I mean, whit, surely they can’t be putting those kinds of everyday activities on their site? Isn’t leafletting and door-knocking something you just do every day. Certainly is if you’re on our side. Event – leafletting, where – all over the town, when – today, tomorrow and every day after until we win this campaign. That’s how our side works.

    42. John McKay says:

      Those of us who actually do regular leafleting know what’s possible in a couple of hours. 3 of the team I was with in Condorrat a couple of weeks ago, posted 400 Yes newspapers in 2.5 hours. Now I make it about 120 days for us to deliver 500,000. That’s not stopping to eat, drink or sleep. Dearie me, these ‘No’ boys must be good. I am truly feart o’ them.

    43. ronnie anderson says:

      @Donna 9.17, aye rite donna,av done Airdrie the last time with paper,s an ther,s no way, this side of the great devide (heaven n hell)that they put 5ooo leaflet,s out & thats both Airdrie & Drumgelloch.

      O/T Airdrie Yes public meeting FULL standing room only,
      Jim Sillers /Alex Neil/Pat Kane/David Hayes,great speach,s
      Jim,S book sold well,Indy lab,girl spoke well, Pat giving up his seat after he spoke, to let her sit on the platform,
      so,s its onward n upward.

    44. Big Jock says:

      So the governer of the bank of England says we will make it work.Darling says its a dead duck…mmm wonder who to with Laing calling all nationalists traiters.Does that include all the war veterans who will vote Yes?Then Lament calling Iraq and Trident wee things.I am expecting another 3% swing to Yes.

    45. Tattie-bogle says:

      I await the knock on my door tomorrow in the Springburn area, we had two lads from the yes campaign round just after the march and rally I told them I was at the march and Iam voting yes. took a paper and told them you’re doing a great job, I know your busy so I will say goodbye for now.
      Well now if BT knock on my door tomorrow they will be invited in for a very long cup of tea and a very very long Q&A ending hours later with me saying I’mvoting yes goodbye and good luck. cant wait

    46. ronnie anderson says:

      Ah think I,ll go sea fishin this weekend, REV you,ll need

      tae increase the size of this post box,ma gold fish wuldna fit in it,so there,s nae chance of that Whale am gonna catch fittin in, noo who kin tell the biggest Whoppers.

    47. gerry parker says:

      @ Ronnie,
      Aye – it was a great evening and wi Pat Kane there I wusnae the only Coatbridge lad there either.
      Great event – all praise to the organisers.

    48. Thepnr says:

      Wee brain talks about

      wee things, wee people, wee country, wee (pretendy) government.

      Fails to mention

      wee wages, wee foodbanks, wee jobs and wee future.

    49. Big Jock says:

      News night has devoted their whole programme to trees.They are beyond the pale.Scotland tonight spent 20 minutes on the Laing gaff/insult.Its so obvious bad news day for no side BBC talk about nonsense.They are a disgrace and fooling no one.

    50. Jim says:

      Well. I just got a batch of Yes newspapers delivered today which will be going through every door in my local community.

      I also managed to muster another 350 Yes leaflets which I will probably hand out at my local railway station tomorrow (Better Lazy Together aren’t doing it).

      Of course, I will still have some left even at a busy station.

      That’s why the No campaign will lose of course. They are constantly claiming to be doing things that they aren’t in fact doing.

      It is a culture shock to actually see one of them!

    51. tartanarse says:

      Did anyone hear Iain Gray on R4 yesterday? Class.

      Also R4 again this morning, can, t remember the drones name but he was frantically trying to get Diago boss to say that indy would affect the Whisky industry and was nearly in tears when he didn, t get the answers that he is contractually obliged to get for state telly.

      Its all cranking up and they simply cant help themselves. It must be turning a great deal of dont knows on a daily basis in the right direction.

    52. Big Jock says:

      I have a large saltire in my cupboard.If they do come round I will say can you hang on a minute….comes back waiving saltire singing Scots Wahay..immature but Cannae wait to see their answer to that one.

    53. ronnie anderson says:

      @Ianbeag9.56, that FT article mention,s pre Indy negotiation,s & how to split the Oil/Gas revenue, this is about the fourth time I,ve heard this,deos Westminster think they are entitled to more of our Oil/Gas no chance,

      they,ve had 40 odd yrs worth of our Oil/Gas its Scotland,s
      turn now.

    54. Hetty says:

      Well I was talking to a friend i see only once in a while, she says when she mentions Scotland’s revenues they still say they think Scotland just ‘doesn’t have any money’.

      The message is not getting through to everyone clearly, yet.

    55. Ah think this may be the turnin point, but let’s keep workin in case it’s naw. Yir country needs you! Finger pointing thing.

    56. Paul says:

      The councils should be taking an interest in what the better lot are doing as binning the leaflets contravenes the recycling policy of them all. They would soon come down on a ordinary member of the public if they caught them doing that especially Edinburgh council.

    57. Train Fares says:


      “According to ”

      Good god man what’s wrong with using me.

    58. AnneDon says:

      For the love of God, recycle.

      Will nobody think of the children??!!!

    59. Tom says:

      Five leafleters at Waverley this morning although I didn’t check at Market Street. Spare leaflets in a Morrisons bag so not much stock. I can’t see them hitting their target…

    60. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Two at Lenzie, with a similar supermarket related carrier bag. I don’t expect they’d need much; probably a lot of Glasgow bound people in the morning but not much else.

      I didn’t get a chance to stop or collect a sample of propaganda but I just kind of wistfully wonder… hope railway doesn’t mind the bins getting filled with A5 pieces of paper.

    61. Ali says:

      Only one person handing out leaflets at Clarkston. None other than Ken McIntosh MSP, erstwhile SLAB leadership candidate.

      There was a steady stream of people depositing their leaflets in the bin inside the station. Some before reading it, some after. Tidy lot in Clarkston

    62. Tom says:

      I see Their Blair is now moaning on twitter that his activists are being trolled this morning. Well, that’s what happens when you print and distribute lies. Incidentally I was buttonholed by one of his guys who recognised me from a meeting that we’d both been at. I had politely declined his offer of a leaflet, but he was determined to engage me. So the troller became the trollee. Where does that fit in to Their Blair’s narrative?

    63. Robert Roddick says:

      Waited the full hour this morning at Cumbernauld station. Not a sign of any leaflets as advertised.

    64. raineach says:

      5000 leaflets is a lot. Last night I delivered 200 in tenements. Most of the entryphones were broken and I really made quick progress. But it still took me 90 minutes – and I’m an experienced leafletter. Sounds fishy to me

    65. John McKay says:

      You probably didn’t see a train either!?

    66. Chickenhawk 2 says:

      Two late 50’s guys at Bearsden Hillfoot 7.00, one at either entrance till 7.50. One told me just to read it, not to do anything else with it. As if I would. I remember cut-up newspaper.

      One lady at Westerton @ 8.00 to 8.45 when I left. Mid 60’s, I’d say. Lots of, in fact the majority, not taking the leaflets, unlike me. But that seems to be normal. I’ve had just the same response. Maybe no time to think, just get to the train.

    67. Chickenhawk 2 says:

      An aside, heard in the car, BBC quoting Herald’s Tom whatsname lambasting Jola for her performance at FM’s questions.

    68. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Ah, yes, Chickenhawk 2, I heard that driving to work this morning. My it was funny. Funnier than Noughtie trying to do a Paxman and not being very good at it which was the other thing I heard.

      I can only assume Lamont is only their ‘leader’ because no one else wants the job, or no one else is capable of doing any better. Either way, she’s got the poisoned chalice and she campaigned for the role to get it, so any pelters are pretty much her own fault.

    69. Dcanmore says:

      What’s important to Better Together is the reporting of their press release. People read the newspaper, they are told 500,000 leaflets are being distributed, cue picture sample of the leaflet. The casual reader then thinks half-a-million leaflets are/were distributed. The curious will get a couple of pre-arranged photo shoots where leafletting took place, posted on the BT website and sent to the newspapers as a follow-up story and/or reported on the BBC/STV with a quote. The casual reader now believes the event took place in its entirety.

      The actual distribution has already been made, the press release circulated in the newspapers. The rest is an implant into people’s minds that BT have thousands of volunteers throughout the land doing the ground work.

    70. G H Graham says:

      Pitlochry 7am – 9am = No Show !

      Took time stamped photo as evidence of beautiful Victorian train station that was almost completely deserted except for 4 passengers.

    71. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Dcanmore; but, of course, the more astute type, and there are probably more than those than you think, will wonder why they’ve never seen either one of these leaflets or one of those ‘thousands’ of BT activists.

      We do have thousands of activists, which is why we don’t need to rely on dubious reports issued through the media to make it look like we do. They are there where you can see them in many, many places across the country week in, week out. Better Together really haven’t got a clue when it comes to ground work. They appear to be relying primarily on their media dominance, and that’s a huge mistake.

      Of course, never interrupt your enemies while they’re making mistakes, eh?

    72. Grumpomcchief says:

      Perhaps its just me, but I feel that this site has changed focus in the last few days. What I liked about Wings when I first found it was the way that you forensically analysed a lot of material from the BT camp and media and then put the positive version of the material for people to digest. Recently you seem to be spending a lot of time pointing fingers at the press without any positive messages to counter them. Is this deliberate or just a phase ? I would prefer a return to the old Wings ASAP to give positive messages to Scotland. I attach links to two positives that seem to have been missed.

    73. Dcanmore says:

      @Peter McBeastie …

      Hi Peter, yes I totally agree, I was just pointing out the probable lack of honesty BT use for any event they try to muster with media manipulation. They truly believe that Scots are uneducated sheep that should be treated like children, and ultimately, need the MSM to carry their message. We know different! The independence movement has the grassroots and the motivation and that is the movement that is growing.

      Apologies for the confusion in my post, long standing readers know my style and knowledge of the matter.


    74. Onzebill says:

      I trust he doesn’t mind but I’ve copied part of Derek Bateman’s article ripping up JoLO and Ian Lang and which reads:

      Quote: The Labour party should be known as the poor Wee Things from now on.

      Ian Lang, millionaire landowner and Lloyd’s name now Lord Monkton, defender of the poll tax and responsible for gerrymandering local government, joins the ranks of the true Britnats with his silly and hurtful suggestion that a free people choosing their own democracy sullied the name of the war dead. He demonstrated that it is the British state he loves, not Scotland. Unquote

    75. stuart G says:

      To clear up a few things about YES in Airdrie, We received 45,000 Edition 2 Yes Newspapers and so far just under 20,000 have been delivered through doors – not train stations or town centre hand outs – THROUGH DOORS. These Yes papers have included inserts for Labour For Indi and The Jim Sillars Night, We have been working in schemes and villages throughout Airdrie and won’t stop until ever street name is marked as done, If you live in Airdrie and haven’t had one yet, let us know and we can drop you off a bag full because rather than moaning you can get aff yer arse and help.

    76. Brian Mark says:

      Who is Lang to lecture me on the first world war?, it was his class who made massive profits from that war and one has to also question the profit made by Vickers Armstrong the arms manufacturer. My great great uncle lost his life at 21 years of age in 1917 being an economic conscript into the army in 1913 thanks to Lang’s big buisness buddies who owned Leith docks at the time.

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