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Wings Over Scotland

Before they’re hatched

Posted on January 25, 2013 by

We love when people send us amusing things. Here’s a beauty, featuring fun-loving “Better Together” campaign chief (and former “director of David Miliband’s shadow activist base”, which sounds very exciting) Blair McDougall, speaking way back on the 24th of March 2011 – just six action-packed weeks before the Holyrood election:

“Deprived of government power after our longest period in office, there is something almost therapeutic about finding new ways to make change happen. Unless you are lucky enough to be a Welsh minister, Labour council leader or (after May’s elections) a Scottish Labour minister, you are unlikely to wield executive power any time soon.”

This week, Mr McDougall’s been making similar proclamations about the result of the independence referendum, except rather further out from the event. We hope he’s as good at predicting (and as baselessly complacent) now as he was two years ago, and every bit as successful in achieving his aims.

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19 to “Before they’re hatched”

  1. Rev. Stuart Campbell

    A big tip o’the topper to our very own Doug Daniel for that one, btw.

  2. Angus McLellan

    SpAD for James Purnell. Ran David Miliband’s leadership campaign. Sure, two data points don’t make a trend, but you do have to wonder.

  3. Christian Wright

    Blair McDougall has an article in the Gruniad wherein he bemoans SNP/Nationalist (we all look alike to him) negativity. The boy has a chip on his shoulder. He certainly seems to in touch with his inner child. Threw his rattle clear out the pram.

    He did not, offer a definitive prediction on indyref.

  4. Doug Daniel

    His article in the Grauniad today is simply insulting.

    Can anyone imagine Blair Jenkins writing that sort of offensive crap about the No campaign, or the Grauniad printing it?

    Edit: damn you for getting there first Christian!

  5. muttley79

    I have just been commenting on that piece.  They really have got political heavyweights involved in the No campaign.

  6. Scott Minto (Aka) Sneekyboy

    Been on and left a few choice words. Its a really bad article!

  7. Dave McEwan Hill

    As it was snowing today and our YES centre was quiet I got round to thinking about opinion polls and how easy it is to manipulate them. They will be a dangerous weapon used against us to form opnion rather than to find it.

    So I got thinking about doing my own . I asked 16 people a couple of questions on a matter of general interest
    Here they are.

    1) Would you like to eat your own excrement
    2) Would you prefer  to have a red hot poker thrust up your back passage (in the field I used the word “arse” but “back passage” sounds more professional for the purposes of reporting the results)

    In the final analysis ten respondents opted for the first option, four thrilled to option 2 and two didn’t know or didn’t care.

    So I have established that 63% of Scots would like to eat their own excrement .
    No doubt the Scotsman will headline this tomorrow.

  8. Matt

    OT, just saw a friend post this on facebook and thought it was class

    Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
    Scots, wham Bruce has often led,
    Now canna afford a loaf ae bread
    Since Cameron’s had his day.

    Happy Burns Night folks!

  9. cynicalHighlander

    Dave McEwan Hill

    “The unique musculature of the cecum allows the intestinal tract of the rabbit to separate fibrous material from more digestible material; the fibrous material is passed as feces, while the more nutritious material is encased in a mucous lining as a cecotrope. Cecotropes, sometimes called “night feces”, are high in minerals, vitamins and proteins that are necessary to the rabbit’s health. Rabbits eat these to meet their nutritional requirements;”
    Direct those 63% to their nearest vet! Prescriptions aren’t free though.

  10. Tattie-boggle

    any unionist propaganda should recieve one comment “ISS”

  11. redcliffe62

    If we have 35% wanting indy and about 30% wanting the status quo then the issue is all about the devomaxers.
    Targetting them is the key to success, many are now in the don’t know camp.

    They need to be asked; if you vote NO will you have more money in your pocket under another 5 years of Tory government cuts, or will you have more if Scots look after all their own financial decisions and money goes toward helping Scotland as a priority? 
    That is the choice. 5 years of Scottish growth or 5 years of Tory cuts and money heading south to pay for London sewers London rail links, London sporting grounds…. you get the picture! 

    We know for the 3 weeks before the vote the media will be toxic; it would not surprise me if MG has written the Herald headers already in advance.

  12. Dave McEwan Hill

    I am of the opinion that we will have to hit organs of the media very hard to destroy their credibility.They have certainly given us plenty of demonstable lies recently.
    It costs very little to produce a four page tabloid.
    You could get about 200,000 of these for about £5000

  13. peter

    I had my own poll, Yes 66.66666 %,Unsure 33.3333  Ok I only asked myself, my neighbour angd his wife but it’s a poll.  Will the BBC report it?

  14. dadsarmy

    Blair McDougall’s article.

    If that convinces one single voter in Scotland to vote “NO” I’ll eat my hat.

  15. Keef

    Re: Blair McDougall’s disreputable dribble in the Gruniad. I had to stop for well over twenty minutes and reflect how one man could write an article full of lies, smears and misinformation, whilst simultaneously proclaiming the Yes campaign to be an SNP front for negativity.
    After much thought, the only conclusion I came up with is that this ‘propaganda’ piece was co-written by several authors.
    I mean, could one man be so nefarious?

  16. macdoc

    Its really nonsense that we should only target the the devo-maxers or the unsures. Many people are a default definite No because of friends, family and the biased media etc. In fact many are NO because they are following the majority and have no real opinion on the matter. The vast majority of people have very low political IQ and we are falling into the trap that just because we are 10-0 up in the blogosphere battle that we are winning the real war. Don’t underestimate the general ignorance of the average punter on the street who has never even entertained the idea of going on online political blogs and trying to find out information other than what is spoonfed my the MSM.

    The Unionist arguments are very poor, its really summed up by saying we shouldn’t fix potholes in the ground because it will cause temporary traffic disruption. Voting No can only really be justified by the rich who may feel they will be unable to tax avoid to the same extent(is this a moral choice) or genuine British Nationalist feelings.

    I think the YES campaign and the SNP have been very poor so far, to be fair there voice isn’t being expressed by the media. Its time to up the ante.

  17. Dal Riata

    If ever future historians in a prosperous and independent Scotland compile a list of articles by those that sought to undermine Scotland and unduly influence the result of the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, but in fact worked the opposite way in which their authors intended by showing them up as being totally untrustworthy, that Blair McDougall article in the Guardian really should be high up there. 

    That the leader of the Better Together campaign could create such an incompetent article laden with smears, misinformation and lies and claim credit for it in a national media outlet’s online presence is staggering. To not assert one positive reason for staying in the Union merely added to its nefariousness.

    Christ almighty, if that’s all Better Together’s got….

    Then again, it’s so bad that it’s pure comedy gold! 

  18. Training Day


    “In fact many are NO because they are following the majority and have no real opinion on the matter”

    Spot on.  Which is why the media think their ludicrous spin on ‘polls’ like the one during the week can keep those who have no opinion with the putative ‘majority’ of No.  It takes courage to break ranks with what ‘everyone’ – of course it is far from everyone –  around you seems to be telling you.  When I have told some people I am voting Yes, their initial reaction is of surprise, but then with only one exception so far they have asked why..which is what we want..

    The certain truth of the default ‘I’ll go with the majority’ position of course, is that once momentum steams in the other way, as in 2011, it becomes unstoppable..

  19. Dave McEwan Hill

    Exactly, Training Day.

    For this to happen we have only to establish two things.

    1. That Scotland is comfortably self-supporting


    2. The unionists have been lying to frighten the timid and the stupid  When we establish these things -and at the right timing, which is important – unstoppable momentum starts running the other way.

    But we will have to do this by hand using our volunteer army direct into communities

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