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Closing down debate

Posted on April 10, 2013 by

A few days ago we bemoaned the state of the Royal Mail under its partial privatisation by successive Labour and Tory governments, and noted that often the post didn’t arrive until well into the afternoon. And sure enough, it was only a few minutes ago that we picked this up from the doormat.

collyerbristow

You can’t impose conditions on something you’ve sent to someone unsolicited, so we’ll publish it if we damn well like. We have no intention of removing the article in question, as we believe it to be accurate and written in good faith, based on legitimate news sources. However, we are prepared to amend any parts of it which Mr Taylor can clearly demonstrate are untrue. Otherwise we invite Mr Taylor to instruct his lawyers.

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    1. 11 04 13 18:32

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    286 to “Closing down debate”

    1. southernscot says:

      …And then they come for YOU

    2. LeeMacD says:

      What’s a Reverand?

    3. Tattie-boggle says:

      YES love it .

    4. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      The wording of the letter is interesting. Note this part:

      “Our client is advised that he is entitled to commence legal proceedings in libel against you”

      Well, of course he is. Anyone can commence libel proceedings against anyone if they want to. It doesn’t mean they have a case.

      “with a view to complete vindication of his reputation”

      It’s hard to see how suing Wings Over Scotland could achieve that, since he didn’t sue any of the sources of the allegations/facts, all of which published and continue to publish the allegations/facts to a far greater audience than we have.

      Let’s see what happens next.

    5. Jiggsbro says:

      Good to know, on the day the the Commons praises Maggie, that there’s still dirty work for Collyers.

    6. EdinScot says:

      Ouch!  I can see that this is hurting the Unionists big time.

    7. Michael says:

      No link to article in question?

    8. Wur A' Doomed says:

      I applaud your stance.  However, I’m not a lawyer and don’t know enough about the laws of defamation (or perhaps I should say libel as they refer to an alleged libelous article which implies they intend to take you through the English courts), so perhaps someone more learned could enlighten me: Is the onus on you, the defender, to demonstrate your alleged allegations are true, or on the pursuer to demonstrate they are false?  

      Indeed, does the pursuer first have to demonstrate that you did indeed make the allegations in question?

    9. Craig M says:

      Rev,

      Just be careful in future regarding the publication of articles. In this case, you have quoted material in the public domain. However we all understand that the matter of Scotland is of great importance to various vested interests. If it takes just a few minutes reflection to check, double check or even triple check an article prior to publication, that’s ok by us! Keep the faith!

    10. annie says:

      Just been on NNS and although the article about dodgy donations is still up when I clicked on it access was denied although other articles were freely available hope they havent caved in.

    11. Peter A Bell says:

      It seems they’ve shut down my Twitter account as well.

    12. Cath says:

      Ach Rev, you were “hurtful” to the guy. He’s probably been crying into his coffee since reading it. You could at least apologise for hurting his feelings.

    13. DMyers says:

      What are “false and offensive lies”?  Are they different from normal lies in some way?

    14. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “No link to article in question?”

      It’s still on the front page, but here it is:

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/time-for-reflection/

    15. Adrian B says:

      The Stifling of debate Bully Boy tactics of a Better Together Donor.
       
      Callyer and Bristow also has links to Rangers, The Rangers or what ever they were/are called:
       
      http://www.thelawyer.com/collyer-bristow/414940.supplier

    16. Bill_T says:

      Oh Collyer & Bristow, very reputable I hear. They had dealings with a Glasgow football Club if I remember.

    17. If it comes down to it, and I suspect it won’t because this is classic bullying behaviour, I’d certainly contribute to a legal defence fundraiser.
      In fact, perhaps it’s worth having one of those anyway if this is the kind of thing we can expect over the next year and a bit.

    18. Cathy Mcrorie says:

      Well we did know the fight for Indy would become dirty & the Unionist would not play fair.Now     the  fight begins. I just wish We had a media source who would give the Yes camp airtime in the UK. The upside is they are very worried, if they weren’t they would not have started this early. Just need to keep fighting the good fight. 

    19. muttley79 says:

      Peter it is good to have you on this site.  Fuck Twitter.

    20. Rod Mac says:

      my my , it seems like the unionists are getting tetchy.
      In the words of Cpl Fraser it seems they don’t like it up em.
      More of concern is their desire to stop any debate, while throwing smears , and lies about Scotland , the First Minister , The Deputy FM.
      They do not like any scrutiny of their policies , donors or actions.
      You might need a fighting fund Rev.

    21. Seasick Dave says:

      Imagine getting nasty with a poor meenister.
       
       

    22. Good luck with this. I am interested to see whether accounts are being taken down by Twitter and/or website hosting companies or whether it is by the authors. Keep us informed if you can!

    23. Cath says:

      Rev, one thing that might be worth considering is going through the comments on the thread relating to that article very carefully too.
       
      Not sure what the legal situation is regarding them, but it would be terrible if the article was legally watertight, but a daft comment from one of us got the site in trouble!

    24. Yesitis says:

      Just had to log in to NewsNetScotland, and getting (you are not authorised to view this resource)403 errors when I click on their Ian Taylor story?
       

    25. Adrian B says:

      And you thought Thatcher dying was a big Story.
       
      LOL

    26. velofello says:

      Well if it takes another funding campaign I’m in.
      Mt Taylor describes himself as proudly Scottish in the Sunday Herald article so I’m sure he wouldn’t want to do anything that spoils a fair democratic referendum campaign and harms the democratic process in Scotland.
      Best for Scotland’s wellbeing that he withdraws his funding and so the article that causes  him concern wouldn’t any longer be apposite.

    27. barbara streisand says:

      OMG!

    28. Eva Comrie says:

      you will have the defence of “veritas” i.e. truth if proceedings are raised in Scotland; am certain that I am not alone in looking forward to hearing the truth if Mr Taylor’s solicitors would like to explain what that is.

    29. Paul says:

      From the Herald today:

      “Vitol were not available for comment last night but, responding to wider allegations, a spokeswoman today said: “The company has taken legal advice and will take whatever steps are deemed necessary to have these inaccuracies corrected, and to prevent their further publication.”

      No kidding.

    30. Robert louis says:

      So, there is no case for the union, and those who dare to highlight the TRUTH, are targeted.
       
      The proof is very, very clear for all to see.  The unionists are getting feart.  Their scare stories have not increased support for the union, despite wall to wall coverage by the propagandist BBC over the last two years, so now we see how dirty this will become.
       
      Watch comments by unionists very closely.  Very closely indeed. 
       

    31. annie says:

      Looks like National Collective have got Aamer Anwar on the case.

    32. The Man in the Jar says:

      DOWN WITH THIS KIND OF THING!
      Seriously Rev. with you all the way.

    33. Dauvit says:

      I see that Collyer Bristow practice in London and Geneva. Wonder if Mr Taylor banks in both locations…
       
      If you are not a “Reverand” you could legitimately return the letter to the sender – “Reverand Campbell not known at this address”, etc.

    34. Marcia says:

      A statement from the National Collective:
      On the 9th April 2013, Lawyers-Collyer & Bristow acting on behalf of Vitol and multimillionaire and principal donor to ‘Better Together’ – Ian Taylor threatened legal action against the ‘National Collective’ claiming that it was grossly defamatory.

      Aamer Anwar, Solicitor acting on our behalf stated:

      “National Collective have instructed my firm to act on their behalf, they state that they will not be bullied or silenced and state that their website is offline only as a temporary measure for a few days. A detailed and robust response will be issued early next week along with further questions for the ‘Better Together Campaign’ .”

      There will be no further comment until early next week.
       
      If you wish to be advised of any further updates please contact our solicitors Aamer Anwar & Co., on 0141 429 7090 or at office [at] aameranwar [dot] com  http://www.glasgow-lawyer.co.uk

    35. Spout says:

      As stated above, contributions to a legal defence fund gladly donated.

    36. Norsewarrior says:

      “Not sure what the legal situation is regarding them, but it would be terrible if the article was legally watertight, but a daft comment from one of us got the site in trouble”

      There was a case to do with that recently:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/feb/14/google-libel-blogger-posts

    37. Dcanmore says:

      Nicely timed with Better Together/Scotsman’s false flag ‘Traitors’ fear and smear rant. Do they have any evidence that it was ‘nationalist’ that sprayed the offending legend? Do they?

    38. Gizzit says:

      …might it not be prudent to redraft the article throwing in a few “allegedly” & “reportedly”?  I’d just hate to see WoS become embroiled in a lot of expensive nonsense.
       
      Sure, I’ll pitch in for a fighting fund, but some swivel-eyed gits have deep, deep pockets, allegedly.

    39. Dauvit says:

      “The Rangers or what ever they were/are called:”
       
      Sevco FC ?

    40. Tattie-boggle says:

      National Collective get solicitors Aamer Anwar & Co. on their case
      https://www.facebook.com/HailCaesar!Gusnooker loopy!

    41. dmw42 says:

      With you all the way Stu and happy to contribute to a fighting fund.
       
      As an aside, I’m aware that there are very strict due diligence and client acceptance procedures for professional firms.
       
      Just saying like.

    42. Robert louis says:

      All of this merely makes me work harder to ensure independence is achieved in 2014.
       
      Vote YES in 2014.

    43. The Man in the Jar says:

      Oh the irony!
      And from the BBC:
      “Scottish independence: Lords committee calls for debate clarity”
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-22084551

    44. Macart says:

      Well, well?!? It appears they really are after the net. NC, REV, who else posted work on this and are letters flying thick and fast?

    45. Eva Comrie says:

      Reuters have lots of very interesting articles about Vitol’s growing influence and market share in the oil trade, funnily enough.

    46. Dcanmore says:

      Okay, I see what they might be doing here, separating the man from the company. Ian Taylor as far as I know wasn’t charged with anything however Vitol was, so there could be personal deniability there. In other words he wasn’t personally to blame but the company was, or something like that.

    47. Adrian B says:

      Just refreshed my browser on several tabs – the story is still running online, although as I stated earlier without the links to the original news stories.
       
      Legal threat is only seems to be aimed at Indy supporting internet blogs and Twitter accounts so far.
       
      Westminster proposals over Levinson didn’t cover Internet. This is indeed interesting.
       
      Wonder how much compensation will be offered to Indy blogs once the news blackout is lifted.

    48. Triskelion says:

      Rev, you truly are a hero!

    49. Seasick Dave says:

      Norsewarrior
       
      “Not sure what the legal situation is regarding them, but it would be terrible if the article was legally watertight, but a daft comment from one of us got the site in trouble”
       
      I’m sure that you will be fine 🙂

    50. BillDunblane says:

      Go get ’em Stu – they can’t shut all of us up!

    51. Johnnypict says:

      So basically he’s coming to get you but if you sht the f*** up he wont but if you don’t he will …come and get you that is.
       
      That letter looks more like a threat than a ‘proper letter’ from someone who would be genuinely aggrieved. Never had a liable letter so don’t exactly know what to expect I suppose.
       
      I don’t want to get ideas above my station but is it not a bit amateurish. Or is this common.
       
      Keep up the good work Rev.
       

    52. Erchie says:

      Why do I get the feeling we’re heading into “Serenity” territory.
      This is getting bizarre

    53. Famous15 says:

      Morse warrior is a dissemblers. Icky when he pretends to share our concerns and all the time wishing our downfall.

    54. David McCann says:

      Ive donated to the NC site and will donate again to Wings if necessary. This is a fight we must win

    55. muttley79 says:

      @Erchie
       
      Feels like the twilight zone…

    56. Silverytay says:

      I was going to post this on the previous thread but I will post it here instead .
      Months ago I posted that when the No campaign start trying to shut down Pro Independence sites like W.O.S and NEWSNET then we will know that we were winning .
      When I posted that I was thinking that that scenario would not come into play until some time next year ‘ how wrong could I be .
      After reading comments on various websites ‘ I am now beginning to think that Ian Taylor & Votol have scored a massive own goal against the better together campaign by their actions .

    57. Cath says:

      “That letter looks more like a threat than a ‘proper letter’ from someone who would be genuinely aggrieved.”
       
      That’s what I thought. If someone had smeared me with an outright lie of such magnitude I wanted to sue to restore my damaged reputation, I wouldn’t be content letting that lie go if the guy took the article down. Not if it had already been tweeted, shared, and hit the mainstream media.
       
      I would want to actually restore my reputationby proving it was a lie and getting the person to retract and apologise.

    58. Robert louis says:

      Over on Rueters, I found this article.  I can only assume it is false, and written by a cybernat.
       
      http://uk.reuters.com/article/2007/11/20/un-food-vitol-idUKN2058211120071120

    59. MajorBloodnok says:

      My, it’s getting warm in here.

    60. Malcolm says:

      Fuck you Taylor. Fuck you.

    61. FreddieThreepwood says:

      I-an Taylor, yerra wanka, yerra wanka!
      I-an Taylor, yerra wanka, yerra wanka!
      Note to Collyer Bristow – 
      Freddie Threepwood
      Blandings Castle,
      Market Blandings,
      Shropshire,
      England.

    62. Rod Mac says:

      We know the unionists hate internet blogs as they cannot control the message.
      So they will do anything they can to stop the truth.
      It is truly disgusting that they would try to throttle free speech in this manner.
      It will be interesting ,but not surprising to see the reaction of the MSM to this attempt to stop freedom of speech.
      What do we reckon???
      Me I vote for complete silence from everyone of them
      They should remember that saying from the 1930s
      When they came for the gypsies I said nothing
      When they came for the intellectuals and communists I said nothing
      When they came for the  Freemasons  and Jews I said nothing.
      When they came for me there was noone else to say anything.
      Something like that anyway

    63. Malcolm says:

      Also if you all (NC, yourself, anyone else he tries to down) club together to start a fund to defend this I’ll send £100.

    64. Robert louis says:

      Oh, and also this;
       
      http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=anR93C668GWI
       
      Again, ‘probably’ written by one of those cybernats, or something…..

    65. LeeMacD says:

      Surely they’ve stuffed up in sending a letter to the Herald. It’s not just those nasty cybernatz that they’re trying to close down but also the mainstream media.
       

    66. bunter says:

      The last comment on the Heralds article today is now 4hrs old which is surprising given what has been going on the last few hours.
      Will any of the MSM take this on tomorrow, or will they kill it!!
      What price do they put on freedom of speech and democratic debate.

    67. Castle Rock says:

      “Your apology for its publication”
       
      At least they’ve got a sense of humour!

    68. James Morton says:

      First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. They clearly haven’t heard of teh striesand effect either.

    69. Gayle says:

      I’m reading that letter and thinking who actually wrote it? It doesn’t even read like a proper solicitors letter. “These allegations are without foundation.” Isn’t that for Mr Taylor to prove? “False and offensive lies” so would that double negative make it a truth? Hmm curious.
       

    70. Spout says:

      “Although psychopaths demonstrate emotional abnormalities such as shallow affect, lack of empathy, incapacity for love, lack of guilt or remorse, lack of fear, and emotional processing and response deficiencies they may show normal emotional responses or emotional hypersensitive in other areas.”
       
      Willem H. J. Martens, MD, PhD
       
      Director of the “W. Kahn Institute of Theoretical Psychiatry and Neuroscience.”

    71. YesYesYes says:

      Jeez, these guys can’t even spell the word ‘reverend’ properly and,
       
      “he will not allow his reputation to be trashed by false and offensive lies”?
       
      ‘Trashed’? What a vulgar term for a professional solicitor to use. The threats are par for the course, unfortunately. Oh, and the word ‘of’ is missing between the words ‘removal’ and ‘the’ in the first of their three ‘conditions’. I suspect that the person who wrote this is still an undergraduate.

    72. Robert louis says:

      It is clear by its co-ordinated nature, that today’s events were perhaps intended to shut the subject AND the relevant sites down.  If, every site had complied, nobody would know what was going on, and the wikipedia article on national collective would just cease to exist.
       
      I have to commend both Wings and especially National collective.  It will be interesting to see how matters develop now Aamer Anwar is on the case.
       
      Interesting times, for Scotland.  Will democracy and freedom of speech survive??

    73. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Put us down for £100 for the provisional fighting fund…..
       
      Looks like 3/4 of Gandhi’s wisdom has now come to pass….
       
      ‘First they ignore you…..CHECK
       
      ‘Then they laugh at you’…..CHECK
       
      ‘Then they fight you’…..CHECK
       
      ‘Then you win’……PENDING

    74. Robert louis says:

      Memo to Scottish ‘journalists’;
       
      you know what is happening regarding this matter, so perhaps now is your chance to put up, or forever shut up.  Even I could find the relevant facts from reputable news feeds around the world.

    75. cynicalHighlander says:

      Another cybernat site!
       
      http://www.cnbc.com/id/100436339
       
      <i>Vitol declined further comment on the case.

      The trial is scheduled to run until Feb. 20.</i>
       
      Wonder what the verdict was.

    76. BillyBigbaws says:

      It’s ironic that only a week or two ago Better Together were trying to paint Alex Salmond as a lover of censorship and a stifler of free speech over the Scottish press regulation recommendations.

    77. Celyn says:

      Libel?  Do we even have “libel” in Scotland?  I think they might mean “defamation”.
      (I’m not lawyer, could be wrong, and often am.)
       

    78. Robert louis says:

      celyn,
       
      I think it might relate to Rev Stu living in England.  Otherwise I think you are correct regarding Scots law.
       
       

    79. pabroon74 says:

      I wonder if BBC Scotland news online have received a missive, they’re talking about it too in an article they have up about Yes Scotland funding.
       
      I would say, the main brunt of Yes Scotland funding has come from Chris and Colin Weir, two lucky and demonstrably decent down to earth people. I think that speaks volumes about debate when the pro-union side resort to Tory funding. The report on the BBC website will be gone soon though, because as you know they say you-know-who gave a £1 million to Arkan the tiger (who ever he is) and an oil company which cannot be named may or may not be being investigated by an organisation which may or may not be HMRC.
       
      As I say, its all supposition at this stage. 😉

    80. There is I think only libel in Scotland, covers both speech and the written word. You have my full support and I will contribute to any fighting fund. Can they sue for cartoons tomorrow we may find out.

    81. Robert louis says:

      Re : the case highlighted by cynical highlander above,
       
      Here is a quote from the CNBC article from 4th February 2013;
       
      “Two weeks ago, a judge overruled a constitutional challenge brought by Vitol’s attorney, who had argued the company could not be judged in France as it had already been convicted of oil-for-food offences in a New York court.”
       
      Source:   http://www.cnbc.com/id/100436339
       
       

    82. Marcia says:

      NC have received well in excess of £1,000 in donations since the story broke via Wings .

    83. Robert Kerr says:

      I am having difficulties in commenting on NC post.
      What is going on?

    84. Rod Mac says:

      I have to share this I am truly gobsmacked.
      I have just taken part in poll from ipso mori on behalf of the cabinet office in Downing Street re the Referendum.
      no need to ask what I said my intentions were, some of the questions were quite illuminating.
      Did I trust the information I was receiving from the MSM…again I am sure you know my reply
      Did I trust the information I was receiving from British government……no brainer
      Where did I get my information on  Referendum matters, WOS, NNS, National Collective
      Did I buy any Newspapers.what do you think?
      I have always wondered if these polls were genuine now at least i know, then again will they include my views or will I be deleted

    85. Adrian B says:

      Interesting that The Cabinet Office are doing polls! Very interesting – can I ask where you were polled? At home or in the street, face to face or by telephone?
       
      Thanks

    86. Malcolm says:

      Peter Bell’s twitter has just been suspended.

    87. G H Graham says:

      I have first hand experience of dealing with wealthy corporate types against whom I eventually testified on Capitol Hill in Washington DC in front of a group of US Senators.
      So I hired the most expensive attorney in Houston, TX and we countersued.
      Which worked, because the companies allegations were rubbish and it was they who had committed egregious wilfull behaviour.
      I eventually settled with them and moved on but it wasn’t an easy transition, checking the car every morning just to make sure it hadnt a surprise waiting.
      So expect more of this bluff; if there was a cast iron case against you, the papers would already be filed in a court. They’re not so I wouldnt be concerned.
      I would be more concerned about the future suits fiuled against you because of the quality & volume of truth you seek to publish.
      We who support independence are up against malevolent, state sponsored forces with the full wight of the British establishment behind them. This is just the beginning of an ugly process.
      If anyone thought we might reach full soevreign independence without any tears is just wrong. Expect bloody noses, bun fights, graffiti, lawsuits, beatings, name calling, smears, and quite possible a few folk in hospital or even dead.
      Not a single country I can recall in such circumstances reached its zenith of independence without a proper fight.
      And if you need some money to put up a legal challenge then get the process started now; Im waiting to make a donation.

    88. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I am having difficulties in commenting on NC post.
      What is going on?”

      What sort of difficulties?

    89. Arbroath1320 says:

      Well well well some solicitor firm or other is getting rather shirty with you Rev because you had the courage to stand up and allege certain facts about Vitol and Ian Taylor. I’m shocked, no truly I am. Their “client” is getting rather upset about the possibility of being found out about certain things that he may or may not have done.
      This whole threat approach by the “solicitors” stinks of the usual bully boy tactics. As others have said “they don’t like it up ’em” as Corporal Jones used to say!
      I have every confidence that you will walk away from this as the victor.
      This just shows, in my view, the final stages of the great speech you have on your site from Mahatma Ghandi:
      “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they come to fight you, and then you win.”
      I believe we are firmly in the third section now and it will be a very short period of time before we move out of section three into the fourth and last section!
      I wish you every success in the ensuing “battle” and look forward to seeing you walk away from this “threat” victorious.

    90. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Hey Rev
       
      Have you contacted Private Eye….? Channel 4 news……?
       
      This is the sort of stuff they love….

    91. cynicalHighlander says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      10 April, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      What sort of difficulties?
       
      Presumably the same as me that the pages never finish loading even though I can post a coment.   Site traffic going into orbit!

    92. Castle Rock says:

      The more I think about it the more I’m convinced they’ve scored a spectacular own goal.
       
      This will just galvanise people against the Labour Party for being in cahoots with a pretty dubious Tory fundraiser and for trying to shut down free speech and debate.
       
      When they start attacking the artists, creatives and free thinking news sites in the country then they must know they’ve lost the heart and soul of the nation.
       
      This is a seminal moment and I think Bitter Together have just blown it.
       

    93. Wur A' Doomed says:

      NNS have removed their story referencing the NC article as “a precaution”.  You guys (WoS, NNS, NC) need to stand together to fight this, and I’m sure plenty here would be right behind you.  
       
      I’d also see if Private Eye is interested – they love this kind of thing.

    94. ianbrotherhood says:

      The MSM are going to be retching up Thatcherballs for another ten days or so – could the Bletherthegitherers be using it as cover?

    95. Aplinal says:

      I have to say that I can not wait until next week when NC are advising on their FB account that there is more to come.  What have they got up their sleeves?  
       
      A juicy Wikileak would be rather nice at this time 🙂

    96. LeeMacD says:

      The truth is out on Twitter. Those pesky natz are closing down their own websites and blaming it on the cuddly and lovely No campaign. 
       
      https://twitter.com/Bobbybungalow/status/322015412734799874

    97. Rod Mac says:

       
      Adrian B says:
      10 April, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      Interesting that The Cabinet Office are doing polls! Very interesting – can I ask where you were polled? At home or in the street, face to face or by telephone?
       
      By telephone

    98. Rod Mac says:

      Adrian , it was a telephone pollAdrian B says:
      10 April, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      Interesting that The Cabinet Office are doing polls! Very interesting – can I ask where you were polled? At home or in the street, face to face or by telephone?
       
      By telephone Adrian

    99. Richard Lucas says:

      Well, I was saving up to upgrade my guitar amplifier, but if you need the cash, it’s yours.  As the Posh Boys bury their dominatrix, their fan club rushes to silence the opposition by fair means or foul. I hope this all blows up in their faces.

    100. Rev….goes without saying,we’re all behind you.
      Fighting fund ? nae probs !
       

    101. alexicon says:

      I knew it was you they were after when I heard about Taylor seeking legal advice on today’s news on our unionist friendly radio.
      No doubt Taylor has been instructed/informed by their new buddies the Labour party.
      Where is Tom Harris btw?

    102. Derick says:

      I have not contributed to the original funding appeal.  Skint. Never got round to it. Spent the money on Syrah.  If you need cash for this one, I’m in.

    103. YesYesYes says:

      @TheGreatBaldo,
       
      Private Eye is aware of developments.

    104. Russell Bruce says:

      Jack Straw called for an investigation into the cash for access controversy involving donors to the Tory party. Ian Taylor was one of those who who attended a private dinner in Downing Street in controversial circumstances.
       
      ‘Mr Straw, speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, said: “The law is in principle very clear, which is that only donations that come from individuals who are on the UK electoral roll or from companies that are registered in the UK are allowed.’

      ‘• Donor Ian Taylor, whose oil firm was given Government help to set up a controversial supply deal in Libya, was a private dinner guest of Mr Cameron at Downing Street in November.’
       
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/9168688/Cash-for-access-Jack-Straw-calls-for-investigation-into-overseas-donations.html

    105. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Mr Taylor is certainly drawing attention to himself and Bitter Together’s hypocrisy bearing in mind certain Labour MPs’ comments.   

    106. Dcanmore says:

      Hi Rev Stu … I’ve been having problems posting today. First was between 4.30-5pm and the second time was just now in the last five minutes. It concerns the commentary box not having a cursor and you can’t click into it to type a message (as if it’s frozen). To rectify I have to close down Safari or Firefox (it has happened to both) and restart, refreshing or page back and forth doesn’t work. Its maybe nothing but it’s the first time I’ve had difficulty posting on Wings.
       
      Regarding the letter I was wondering if this is a tactic to drain the finances of indy sites, tie them down and make them penniless if they can’t be shut down forever. Meh just guessing.

    107. Cath says:

      I’ve never been able to post on NC site. It recognises my Twitter account, gives a cursor and looks like it’s working, but when you try to type it just doesn’t work. Also can never post here (WoS) from my phone – the keyboard just never comes up.
       
      Always just assumed both are glitches that can’t be explained – plenty of them with computers.

    108. Adrian B says:

      I have got to say the ramifications of todays events have much to do with Westminster Governments regulations of the press. I would be surprised if someone in Cameron’s Government didn’t tell this guy to back off. He has created something which runs outside of Scotland / Scottish Law and the weight of effect I think will last for quite some time.
       
      Today Ian Taylor has made a fool of himself, his company, the law in England and Scotland, The press and freedom of reporting. He has instructed others to act on his behalf and has ridden roughshod through democracy. He frequently courts trouble, controversy and unethical business decisions.
       
      All this is easily accessible on the web by doing a simple internet search.
       
      Better Together are now well and truly linked to the donation of ‘blood money’ from this man.
       
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Taylor_(British_businessman)
       
      Ian Taylor has opened a can of worms involving his own past, some of which is already documented, however what he has failed to realise is the breadth, width and depth of stories in the press that are now being found.
       
      The press will be following this up, Indy blogs will follow this up, English blogs will follow this up and many at home will be delving into his murky past too. Ian Taylor – This is going to run and run. You will rue the day that you messed with the Independence debate and found out to your cost just how bad you are at being a decision maker.
       
       
       

    109. Andy Anderson says:

      I have been happy to donate in the past to WoS I will certainly be happy to support any legal battle of this nature.

    110. Robert Kerr says:

       
      @Dcanmore  same here and then I lost my internet connection completely. Had to reboot the router.  NC thread Now Ok but no posts between 6.21 and 7.28 on that thread.
      Is this cyberwar?
       

    111. Adrian B says:

      @ Dcanmore,
       
      I had similar issues. Restarted computer and then everything fine. I think it has been the scale of traffic heading for ‘Wings’ today, combined with the amount of spam that the site has had to deal with.
       
      Someone is trying very hard to make something go away. I don’t think they can win however. Ian Taylor clearly doesn’t play by the book as many newspaper articles allude to. 

    112. BeamMeUpScotty says:

      Since all of the information published is in the public domain,his English lawyers must think that it was the manner in which the information was presented that represents a libel action.Or…is it just an attempt to suppress bad news about their client out of public view.I also would be prepared to contribute to legal costs if required.

    113. EdinScot says:

       
      Rod Mac says:
      10 April, 2013 at 6:20 pm
      I have to share this I am truly gobsmacked.
      I have just taken part in poll from ipso mori on behalf of the cabinet office in Downing Street re the Referendum.
       
      Funny enough i was talking to someone i know who works for ipsos mori today and her being a supporter of independence she was a bit crestfallen to say the least as she said apparantly, that so far, the poll, although not complete was running just under 30%  to vote yes with 60% intending to vote no to independence.  Now i realise, thanks to you, that its the cabinet office aka UK Government sponsered, make of that what you will…
       
      Today has been incredible with this Ian Taylor/Vitol article and the ensuing drama.  I think NC hit a bulls eye right at the heart of the NO campaign.  The snowball effect is happening as everywhere is seeing more and more comments.  This will collapse them and no mistake.  Feel like donations are due here and to NC.  Right at your side Rev and NC.

    114. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Is this cyberwar?”

      Akismet catches the vast majority of spam comments, but usually 1 or 2 a day (at most) make it through as far as the moderation queue. This morning I woke up to 79 on this site, and a few dozen more on the old site and my personal blog, both of which are on a different domain with a different webhost. It’s quite a coincidence.

    115. Dramfineday says:

      Ho, Ho Ho, not long discovered (and begun posting) on this site and already I’m prepairing for a fight to defend it – wallet doors open, standby to release notes. Stuff to give it!

    116. Archdeaconess Hermione says:

       
      It was always a matter of time before the cybernats collided with someone with the cojones and wallet to take them on.
       
      Now we get to see what happens.
       
      Feet up, beer and hotdogs to hand, waiting.

    117. muttley79 says:

      @Dramfineday
       
      This easily tops Rev Stu’s clashes with Willie Rennie and Euan McColm last year.  Its top quality entertainment folks here at WoS.  Popcorn at the ready! 😀

    118. a supporter says:

      Gizzit says:10 April, 2013 at 5:15 pm
       

      …might it not be prudent to redraft the article throwing in a few “allegedly” & “reportedly”?  
       
      Don’t be such a wimp. If you want something badly enough you have to FIGHT.

       

    119. Standing by you and please let us know if we can do anything else.  NNS would do well to stand by you, Pete & National Collective too given their corporate financial accounts are due to be published soon by Companies House.  Can’t see the unionists not wanting to go over them with a fine tooth comb!

    120. muttley79 says:

      @Hermione
       
      Snigger, snigger.  Not at all embarrassed by the likes of Ian Taylor.

    121. Aplinal says:

      Rev.  I think you will have to get used to this level of spam traffic from now on.  It’s a sure sign of the BT campaign losing the plot big time.  Regard the issue at hand – what price democracy?  It seems that £500k (or if you want £1.1 mill since 2006) will get you a lot of clout with the Westminster political establishment.
       
      It is indeed Davids and Goliath.   Interesting to see what stand NC makes next week,  It should be a stooshie! 

    122. pmcrek says:

      Given the shite thats spray painted all over Glasgow I fail to see whats supposed to make Better Together sacrosanct from graffiti?

    123. Betsy says:

      This is just ludicrous! If it comes to further action I’ll be more than happy to chip in a few quid for the fighting fund. In the meantime I’ve emailed everyone I know a copy of the original National Collective article and asked them to forward it on to their contacts. And now I think I might take myself off to Twitter to share some harmless Ian Taylor tweets I’d hate to think of his legal team being bored and am sure they’ll enjoy searching through fascinating tweets such as ‘Ian Taylor is a man’, ‘Ian Taylor lives in England’ or ‘Wonder what Ian Taylor had for tea’.

    124. Cath says:

      “Or…is it just an attempt to suppress bad news about their client out of public view.”
       
      I suspect it’s more about an attempt to shut down certain sites and stifle debate generally around the referendum, rather than to keep information about Taylor out the public domain. It’s already there.
       

    125. MajorBloodnok says:

      The thing is, the cojones that la Herminone refers to so knowingly are merely the ones that Arkan cut off some hapless Bosnian and gifted to Vitol in thanks for ‘services rendered’.  Allegedly.

    126. Castle Rock says:

      Feet up, beer and hotdogs to hand, waiting
       
      You know, just for a fleeting minute, I had a flashback to a sad and bitter wee man called AM2 who used to sell second hand motors.
       
      Bless.

    127. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “It was always a matter of time before the cybernats collided with someone with the cojones and wallet to take them on.”

      Crikey. I had no idea it took bravery for a man with £150 million in the bank and the ear of the Prime Minister to fearlessly throw a few hundred quid at Craig Whyte’s lawyer for a speculative letter aimed at intimidating a couple of bloggers into silence. Though he obviously cheaped out when it came to affording ones who could spell.

    128. Morag says:

      And now I think I might take myself off to Twitter to share some harmless Ian Taylor tweets I’d hate to think of his legal team being bored and am sure they’ll enjoy searching through fascinating tweets such as ‘Ian Taylor is a man’, ‘Ian Taylor lives in England’ or ‘Wonder what Ian Taylor had for tea’.
       
      Betsy, you have a truly evil and twisted mind.  I like you!  😀

    129. Cath says:

      “It was always a matter of time before the cybernats collided with someone with the cojones and wallet to take them on.”
       
      More of a case of, it was always only a matter of time before Better Together and those who thought they could simply lie, smear and bully their way to keeping their own snouts in the trough realised the “cybernats” they’re trying to silence are actually writers, artists, lawyers, researchers, teachers, and are everywhere in Scotland. And many of them have the cojones to take them on, even if we don’t have wallets anywhere close to those British state and the corrupt backers of it, Tory, Labour etc.

    130. tartanfever says:

      Couldn’t be better, the more stuff like this happens, the more word gets out, the more people visit the website/ twitter and other sites and now Better Together in conjunction with Taylor are just about to put our websites onto a national stage.
      They really are that stupid. And the National Collective have now got Anwar on side as their brief.
       

    131. MajorBloodnok says:

      By the way, will Collyer Bristow even be around to collect?  Apparently they’re being sued themselves by Duff & Phelps.  Something to do with some third rate/division football team I gather:

      http://local.stv.tv/glasgow/303798-rangers-administrators-sue-craig-whytes-lawyers-for-25m-damages/

    132. Don’t suppose it’s always fair to judge a lawyer by their clients, but…
       
      Seems Collyer Bristow represented the British Chiropractic Association in their libel action against Simon Singh.
       
      http://www.thelawyer.com/1002905.article
       
      They lost of course.

    133. Rod Mac says:

      AM2 I had forgotten about hat vile creature

    134. Marcia says:

      Sue, Grabbit & Runn is a good Solicitors name.
      BT have stirred up a hornets nest and will be stung themselves.  

    135. scottish_skier says:

      Come 2014, Mr Taylor is about to discover there are some things money just can’t buy.

      All that cash yet completely powerless; a weakling, a failure in his inability to stop events. Will be eating him up inside.

    136. Juteman says:

      Stick in there Stu. This is only the start.

    137. Morag says:

      Don’t suppose it’s always fair to judge a lawyer by their clients, but…
       
      Seems Collyer Bristow represented the British Chiropractic Association in their libel action against Simon Singh.
       
      http://www.thelawyer.com/1002905.article
       
      They lost of course.

       
      You don’t say!  I was just about to link to that case for general interest.  I followed it very carefully and although he won and he could stand the financial hit he took, it obviously stressed him enormously.  It took over his life for about two years and prevented him earning a living by his usual means.

      So it’s the same scumbag legal firm, is it?  I wonder what the real game is here.

    138. Vincent McDee says:

      ” Better Together events are disrupted by militant nationalists. And our campaign HQ comes under attack with almost daily attempts of sabotage from SNP activists”.
      Found here http://bettertogether.net/blog/entry/smear-and-fear
      Pardon me asking but why haven’t they reported it to ?

    139. callum says:

      Its time to have a mirror site in the US where it will be protected by local freedom of speech laws

    140. Indion says:

      Archdeaconess Hermione @ 8:0pm said:

      ” It was always a matter of time before the cybernats collided with someone with the cojones and wallet to take them on.

      Now we get to see what happens. Feet up, beer and hotdogs to hand, waiting. ”

      That someone with figurative or real balls and no money to put where their mouth is can’t be you then Hermione. Go easy on the grub whilst waiting to get up and go again.

    141. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “That someone with figurative or real balls and no money to put where their mouth is can’t be you then Hermione.”

      “Hermione” won’t even put their name where their mouth is, so I wouldn’t hold your breath for money.

    142. Baheid says:

      Personally I wouldn’t give a monkeys f*** about their letter, pure bluster.
      Haven’t managed to catch up on all the posts yet, been working late,
      I knew as soon as I logged on and saw the amount of posts that something was going on, brilliant stuff.
      Don’t know if this link has been posted by anyone else.
       
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/9569231/Vitol-faces-questions-on-trade-with-Iran.html 

    143. Tamson says:

      Actually, Vitol’s dodginess appears to run right up to last month. They were banned from an open naphtha trading market a couple of weeks ago.
      http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/03/13/naphtha-europe-idUKL6N0C5FU420130313
       

    144. Castle Rock says:

      @Cath

      “they’re trying to silence are actually writers, artists, lawyers, researchers, teachers”

      And that’s the crux of it. You take away voices and you take away the heart and soul of a nation.

      I actually don’t blame Ian Taylor for all of this, he is what he is, I blame Alistair Darling and the Labour Party for jumping into bed with him to keep Scotland down.

    145. Adrian B says:

      Come 2014, Mr Taylor is about to discover there are some things money just can’t buy.
       
      I would go as far as to say that having all that money can be a big liability.Throwing money around can prove financially very expensive – and it is never a given that you will get value for money.
       
      Certainly the legal bill will be big, but heis also going to have to provide compensation. I wonder if things will quieten down until next week?
       
      The Herald and Guardian don’t seem worried about the legal letters that they have received, they have been allowing plenty of links to the story from their own sites today. 

    146. Morag says:

      The letter seems like a very obvious bluff, certainly for now.  I wonder if the National Collective are diving very very cleverly?

    147. handclapping says:

      Anyone hoping BT will hand back the money is crying at the moon. Remember the LibDems are part of BT and they, the LibDems, have previous in dealing with dirty money.
      @Vincent McDee
      Howcome its nationalists and the SNP? It could be Greens, SSP, Solidarity, Labour for Indy or even somebody who doesn’t like Harris Tweed. Scratchy, isn’t it. 🙂

    148. Archdeaconess Hermione says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      10 April, 2013 at 8:21 pm
      Though he obviously cheaped out when it came to affording ones who could spell.
       
       
      That is true, and mildly amusing.
       
      Alhough, when someone has adopted the title “Rev.” despite not actually having been given it by anyone, it’s a bit much expecting people to know how to spell the expansion properly.
       
      That’s why I’ve been spelling out “Archdeaconess” in full.

    149. Bill says:

      Rev.Stu. with you all the way fighting funds no probs.
       
      keep up the good work.
       
      best regards
      BILL

    150. Juteman says:

      I see ‘Enemy of the state’ is just starting on BBC 3. 🙂

    151. Indion says:

      Can all the other Ian Taylors sue Ian Taylor for bringing the name of Ian Taylor into disrepute?

      Can we have an Ian Taylors for indy group?

    152. muttley79 says:

      Anyone now what time the two Blairs (Jenkins and the other ane) are on tonight?

    153. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Alhough, when someone has adopted the title “Rev.” despite not actually having been given it by anyone, it’s a bit much expecting people to know how to spell the expansion properly.”

      And you’re basing that (inaccurate) assertion on what, exactly?

    154. DMW42 says:

      Major
       
      Collyer Bristow case will be heard at High Court later this year. I’m also hearing that a number of ‘addresses’ associated with Whyte’s takeover of Rangers are being raided by the police!
       
      Not that there’s any association you understand.
       
      Nor would there be any association with known professional practices to ensure that a firm has  undertaken proper due diligence and money laundering reviews of any prospective client under  its client acceptance procedures. I’m sure highly respected legal firms will be acutely aware that a failure to report knowledge or suspicion of money laundering offences of a client are implicit on the firm itself.
       
      Only saying, like, no inference whatsoever, obviously. Sorry, I need to go and have a drink of water, I seem to have developed a bit of a cough.

    155. Dcanmore says:

      Okay, I’ve made Channel Four News and Private Eye aware of donationgate and what has been going on with NC, Darling, Taylor and the donation and supplied the relevant links including Wings. So we’ll see if there’s any reaction. NNS has rewritten the NC story and approached it from a new news angle.
      http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news/7151-darling-must-hand-back-controversial-donation-say-snp
       
       
       

    156. Marcia says:

      Muttley79
       
      10.30

    157. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “NNS has rewritten the NC story and approached it from a new news angle.”

      Weird that we’ve been airbrushed out of it, as the first people to actually go public with a threat from Taylor.

    158. annie says:

      Considering Ian Taylor’s wealth are Collyer Bristow the type of legal firm he would use?

    159. Archdeaconess Hermione says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
       
      10 April, 2013 at 9:09 pm
       

      “Alhough, when someone has adopted the title “Rev.” despite not actually having been given it by anyone, it’s a bit much expecting people to know how to spell the expansion properly.”
      And you’re basing that (inaccurate) assertion on what, exactly?
       
      OK then. Tell “us” which church you’re a “Rev.” of.
       
      Just so “we” can go and check up.

       

    160. Robert louis says:

      As I pointed out earlier today, ‘Bitter together’ ‘found out’ about the Scotsman graffiti very quickly.  So quickly, in fact, that it makes one wonder……….

    161. Adrian B says:

      This is a MUST READ ARTICLE
      This looks like a very important story from Newsnet Scotland – if I am right it looks like the SNP have put out a press release in which Angus Robertson is quoted. This forces legal action to be directed at Angus Robertson and the SNP.
      http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news/7151-darling-must-hand-back-controversial-donation-say-snp

    162. Boorach says:

      annie says:
      10 April, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Considering Ian Taylor’s wealth are Collyer Bristow the type of legal firm he would use?
      Perhaps Collyer Bristow are the only type of legal firm which would deal with Ian Taylor! 🙂

    163. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Considering Ian Taylor’s wealth are Collyer Bristow the type of legal firm he would use?”

      I know. I was hoping for Carter Ruck at least.

    164. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “OK then. Tell “us” which church you’re a “Rev.” of.”

      No.

    165. Castle Rock says:

      Weird that we’ve been airbrushed out of it, as the first people to actually go public with a threat from Taylor.
       
      That’s a bit uncalled for. 
       
      Different sites do things their own way but we’ve all got the same goal.  
       
      Bizarre that I even have to post this.

    166. Archdeaconess Hermione says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      10 April, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      “OK then. Tell “us” which church you’re a “Rev.” of.”
      No.
       
      Really? Oh well. I guess you might expect that any action brought against you might make reference to your use of a religious title to increase your credibililty.
       
      If your title is bogus, or derives from a controversial institution, then your problems may be exacerbated.
       

    167. Bill C says:

      @G H Graham – I agree with every word including being ready to make a donation.

    168. Adrian B says:

      http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2013/apr/darling-must-hand-back-donation
      Darling must hand back donation

      Wed, 10/04/2013 – 10:30
       

      The Scottish National Party has today called on the No campaign to hand back the donation of £500,000 from president and chief executive of Vitol Ian Taylor, pending full answers to serious questions surrounding how much they knew about his involvement with Serbian warlord Arkan, UK tax avoidance, and a string of other other issues.
      Responding to revelations in today’s Herald, the SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson MP also said the onus was now on No campaign chairman Alistair Darling to launch an internal investigation into this donation. 
      Mr Robertson said:
      “This information is extremely serious, and raises urgent questions which Alistair Darling must answer. The No campaign must return this money immediately pending full answers to these questions.
      “Material fully in the public domain states that during his tenure as chief executive Mr Taylor’s company paid $1 million to the Serbian war criminal Arkan, who was indicted at The Hague for crimes against humanity.  Arkan’s appalling crimes of ethnic cleansing were well documented as far back as 2001, and included the cold-blooded massacre of 250 patients and staff in a hospital.  Among other issues, also during Mr Taylor’s tenure it is reported that ‘Vitol pled guilty in a New York court to paying surcharges to Iraq’s national oil company during Saddam Hussein’s regime, undermining the UN oil-for-food programme in Iraq’; and was involved in a tax avoidance scheme in the UK for over a decade.  Mr Taylor’s donations to the Tory Party were questioned and criticised by Labour’s Douglas Alexander in relation to a conflict of interest about oil contracts in Libya, so the No campaign must have been aware of these matters.
      “And it was a Labour MP and member of the Treasury Select Committee John Mann who described Mr Taylor’s donations to the Tory Party as ‘dirty money’.
      “We know that Alistair Darling met Mr Taylor to discuss his donation, and we need to know if he asked him about any of these issues.  In the interests of transparency and a fair referendum campaign, the No campaign must hand this money back to Mr Taylor until Mr Darling has been able to answer:

      “Will the No campaign launch an internal investigation into this matter and make its conclusions public?
      What Mr Darling and Mr Taylor discussed, and did it include these issues?
      What Mr Darling and No campaign knew about these issues, and what their opinion is of them?”

      Notes:
      Alistair Darling  meets Ian Taylor: see attachment.
      The Herald 10/04/13http://www.heraldscotland.com/mobile/politics/referendum-news/controversial-background-of-no-campaign-donor.20752120?_=db667d12a4034fedb3d483274955503ca4a361e2
       
      The Ball is well and truly in Alistair Darlings court.
       
       

    169. To Hermione: The “Barry”* School of Journalism?
       
      Not very sincere apologies to the “Rev” Ian Paisley.
       
      *Edinburgh slang.

    170. Bill C says:

      Referendum donations being discussed on Scotland Tonight this evening on STV at 10.30.

    171. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “If your title is bogus, or derives from a controversial institution, then your problems may be exacerbated.”

      Your concern is noted.

    172. @Adrian B   The SNP press release on the donation has been there all day.  It is a not new development.  No doubt the SNP would love to hear from the lawyers too as this ridiculous legal action is doing nothing for good the no camp 🙂

    173. Dan Simmie says:

      I hope Father Jack was a real priest.
       
       

    174. scaredy cat. says:

      @Hermione
      Since when did a religious title increase credibility? Personally, I visit this site despite the title. Not because of it. 
      No offence Rev.

    175. muttley79 says:

      Blair McDougall is talking about Taylor being smeared, but all the information is in the media domain?

    176. Norsewarrior says:

      “I suspect that the person who wrote this is still an undergraduate.”

      It was probably written by a trainee, they’re usually assigned this sort of basic task and some of them aren’t the best at punctuation and spelling, in my experience.

    177. Morag says:

      Blair M just said the SNP has been attacking the BBC and mounted a concerted attack on the Scotsman at the weekend and spray-painted “("Tractor" - Ed)” somewhere.  He agreed it might not have been Yes Scotland, but it was the SNP and it was co-ordinated.

      Then after that he went back to insisting it was emanating from Alex Salmond and the Yes campaign.

      Lower than a snake’s belly.

    178. Norsewarrior says:

      “Blair McDougall is talking about Taylor being smeared, but all the information is in the media domain”
      I think the point, and the potential problem for the Rev, is that the other media articles discuss what the company is alleged to have done, whereas this site and perhaps National Collective, made allegations against the individual himself. 

      Indeed the article suggests they’re facts rather than allegations, which is the problem I’d suggest.

    179. muttley79 says:

      Blair McDougall is a horrible piece of work.  Discuss.

    180. Adrian B says:

      @ Tattie Scones,
       
      The SNP piece was 10.30 am this morning. The Newsnet piece quotes from it directly. This gives NNS protection, while quoting Angus Robertson. The Newsnet piece I saw up at about 8pm – I didn’t link to it until after 9pm tonight (by which time Dcanmore had already linked to it).
       
      Given that this actually all started yesterday, and national Collective went down today, I think there is more going on behind the scenes than we realise.
       
      Why would the SNP put out this info in the way they did this morning?
       
      I read your blog earlier today – nasty story, shows the types we are up against even working in councils.

    181. bunter says:

      Good debate on STV with the YES and NO guys. MacDougall was clearly out his comfort zone, no BBC to hold his hand and it showed!!

    182. annie says:

      Thought Blair McDougall looked a bit alarmed when he heard that the Yes campaign had received another influx of donatons since better together made their donars public.

    183. Seasick Dave says:

      Scaredy Cat
       
      Don’t you diss the Rev, now.
       
      My other favourite Rev is Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolf III.
       
      To quote the good Rev…
       
      “Give me your scum, your pimps, your hustlers, huxters, hookers and harlots. Give me the dope smokers, the pill poppers, the nose fiends, the uptown dragon chasers and the backstreet freebasers. I want the rockers and the rollers, I want the clubbers, the skaters, the homos, the hetros, the bi’s, the she males, the undecided, the deviants and the deviated. Anybody who’s anybody and the somebody who’s nobody. Hear the call its holy rollin’ Jesus time; arise you gods!”
       

    184. crisiscult says:

      with all this ‘shutting down of debate’ I thought I’d throw in that I have internet hosting contacts in certain countries that might be difficult to have shut down, should it ever come to that. I’m writing this thinking it’s totally paranoid but then again…

    185. Linda's back says:

      Lawyers letters are just what bully’s like Robert Maxwell used to stop the truth getting out.Bitter together now say that they took the money in good faith but a quick Google search would have revealed Vitol’s dodgy dealings.  So why don’t they just hand the dirty money back.  Ethics?But then due diligence is not Alistair Darling’s strong point. It was the UK regulatory authorities headed by Alistair Darling that had the powers to investigate the RBS / AMBRO take over  but ignored fact that no  due diligence was done by RBS on a deal worth £49 billion before they gave its approval for world’s biggest bank take over  deal that brought about the collapse of the Royal Bank.
       So why bother investigating a piffling £500,000?
      Let’s hope MPs will raise this in Parliament (not sure if Scottish Parliament gives adequate immunity against Lawyers on a mission on behalf of wealthy dubious characters)
       

    186. Morag says:

      Severin on Newsnicht.  I am losing the will to live.

    187. The Man in the Jar says:

      NC mentioned on Newsnight!

    188. Rod Mac says:

      FFS, BBC Newsnight doing a fair report on it , incredible

    189. muttley79 says:

      @Morag
       
      I thought Severin Carroll was very balanced.

    190. Morag says:

      You’re right, and I thought his parting shot was interesting.  I typed that post the minute I saw his ugly mug on the screen.

    191. LeeMacD says:

      Lovely people those Better Together types. Check out the tweet from a Glasgow law student publicising Frankie Boyle’s address and suggesting that  someone should pay him a visit
      https://twitter.com/UK_Together/status/322034217548668929

    192. annie says:

      Yes me too – he must hae remembered he is supposed to e a journalist.

    193. Bill C says:

      @Morag – Noticed that, more to come methinks!

    194. Yesitis says:

      @Muttley
      “Blair McDougall is a horrible piece of work.  Discuss.”
      I`m a wee bit too angry to say much more than… I agree. I`ll leave it at that.

    195. annie says:

      Yes me too – he must have remembered he is supposed to be a journalist

    196. Jeannie says:

      Saw Newsnight.  It seemed ok.  To be honest, I was amazed they dealt with it at all.  But I was disappointed in a way that neither Gordon Brewer nor Severin Carroll actually mentioned either Wings or Newsnet by name – it would have increased visitors to the site.  Maybe that’s why they just made vague references.

    197. Manic Monday says:

      Will the Daily Mail get a lawyers letter?
      Scroll down for Taylor’s background
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2120793/David-Cameron-forced-disclose-23million-donors-wined-dined.html

    198. muttley79 says:

      To be fair to Severin I have noticed that on Cif he does sometimes reply to people’s comments.  The story today is an example.  Not many MSM journalists do that. 

    199. Baheid says:

      Just put £10 into YES campaign, be interesting to see what happens to their donation figures following the carry on today.

    200. The Man in the Jar says:

      Just had a quick look at the front page of Scotsman. What a hoot! Lamont caling to end the hatred and fight the bedroom tax! FFS

    201. ianbrotherhood says:

      @LeeMacD-

       

      ‘Lovely people those Better Together types. Check out the tweet from a Glasgow law student publicising Frankie Boyle’s address and suggesting that  someone should pay him a visit’https://twitter.com/UK_Together/status/322034217548668929
       
      That is just astonishing – this character is a ‘law student’?! 
      I suppose mater & pater will be getting a rather panicky call sometime in the next few days, when Strathclyde’s finest turn up at the imbecile’s door with a print-out of that threat. In any event, I hope, for his sake, that the cops show up at his door before Frankie Boyle does.
      BT are not, it seems fair to say, having a very good day.

    202. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Seasick Dave
      After Rev. Stu mine is The Reverend De Wayne Love of the first Presbyterian Church of Elvis the Divine

    203. Bill C says:

      @Jeannie -“But I was disappointed in a way that neither Gordon Brewer nor Severin Carroll actually mentioned either Wings or Newsnet by name – it would have increased visitors to the site.  Maybe that’s why they just made vague references.”  First rule in politics, no oxygen to be supplied to the enemy.

    204. Manic Monday says:

      Having a compliant media on their side, Bitter Together know that they have to silence Wings, National Collective, Newsnet etc.
      Re threats on Frankie Boyle by Bitter Together supporter we will see if the press report this as they run banner headlines when any nationalist is stupid.
      Remember this threat of bullets from No campaigner 
      http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/scottishnews/4677296/Fury-over-SNP-web-kill-threat.html
      With Unionist friends like BNP, UKIP, Scottish Defence League  etc it will only get nastier as the months go by.

    205. Hetty says:

      wow amazing amount of comments! I went onto the bbc scotlandshire site and it directs you to the donations for NC. Prob already been said but I don’t have time to read all comments tonight. I donated a tiny bit, but it should all help.
       

    206. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Thor Skullsucker- oops, sorry, ‘Norsewarrior’ –
       
      ‘Indeed the article suggests they’re facts rather than allegations, which is the problem I’d suggest.’
       
      I’m sure we’re all grateful for that insight.
       
      As penetrating as we’ve come to expect.
       
      Perhaps you’d care to address the substance of the ‘allegations’? 
       

    207. old mikey says:

      Stu, your title is apt as you really are ‘revered’.

    208. Jingly Jangly says:

      Put me down for  £100 for the fighting fund.
       

    209. Hetty says:

      ALERT, article about the whole shenanigans ( ie the SNP calling on A Darling to return the donation from I taylor) on NEWSNET site is absolutely not loading at all, their articles don’t usually not come up when I click on them. Anyone else tried?
      OMG, I went onto the ‘better together’ site as an experiment to see whether it was my internet connection, and it came up straight away with full access to all propaganda articles, urgh I now feel sick.

    210. The Man in the Jar says:

      On Scotland tonight Blair Mcdougal just fell short of accusing all these nasty cybernats as being directly controlled by Alex Salmond personally.
      No we are not. We are like highland midges. There are tens of thousands of us all doing our own thing. If you have ever been silly enough to stand at the side of a Highland loch to watch the sun go down, You will know that it is pointless to swat a midge. Or waving your arms about or spraying pesticide or applying whatever miracle cure someone told you about. Or even send a lawyers letter. The only solution is to run like your life depended on it and take immediate cover indoors. Preferably with all windows and doors sealed and a good peat fire burning.
      Or in Lamonts case retreat to the bunker.

    211. ianbrotherhood says:

      @TMITJ-
      Brilliant.
      Reminds me of Orwell’s observation about the wee lad leading the enormous cart-horse.

    212. LeeMacD says:

      @ianbrotherhood
       
      I also like a previous tweet where he gives what he thinks is Frankie’s address and then adds ‘or thereabouts’. It might not even be Frankie who gets assaulted. And then he says  ‘Do your people a service and visit him’. Which people is he on about – Unionist?
       
      A law student  issuing incitement like that should be investigated by his university, let alone the police.

    213. Adrian B says:

      @LeeMacD,
       
      There was this one as well at the end of March – something not right in some peoples heads.
       
      https://twitter.com/WeakerApart/status/318841601680093184/photo/1

    214. ianbrotherhood says:

      @LeeMacD-
       
      I’m sure Mr Boyle has already been alerted. 
       
      More worryingly, you really have to scratch the napper when it comes to the BT brigade and what they’re doing – is this the type of thing they endorse? If not, they’d best be sharpish about dissociating themselves from it.
       
      The obvious Catch-22 arises – they can’t dissociate themselves from it without acknowledging that it’s happened, and that’s the last thing they want to do.
       
      No escape though – a line has been crossed here.

    215. LeeMacD says:

      The day Blair McDougall attempts to smear the Yes campaign by suggesting that they threaten BT campaigners a proud Unionist incites violence against a Yes supporting celebrity. There’s a story there. I’m sure the media will be all over it.  

    216. Keef says:

      Is Newsnet down?
       

    217. Yesitis says:

      @Keef
      I don`t think it`s down, it`s just a bit slow. I was having problems earlier on, and it comes and goes, but at the moment, I think it`s okay.

    218. Barontorc says:

      The BT mob must think there’s a voodoo working on them. There could very well be! Nuff said!

    219. Cath says:

      “He agreed it might not have been Yes Scotland, but it was the SNP and it was co-ordinated.”
       
      Surely that is slander, unless he can prove it. And in any case, how do you “co-ordinate” a spray painting? It’s a one person offense.
       
      ” You will know that it is pointless to swat a midge. Or waving your arms about or spraying pesticide”
       
      Yes, and that is because they are all controlled by Alex Salmond and he is out to get you!!!!

    220. Triangular Ears says:

      Small donation sent Stu.  Keep up the good work.  As others have said, this is the first page I check nowadays (well, after my email!).

    221. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      I want to know what the daily “sabotage” that dastardly SNP types attempt to perpetrate on the No-camp HQ consists of.

    222. Cath says:

      Yes. Especially as my understanding is that their office isn’t open to the public, or even at street level. Which suggests you’d have to get past a building’s security or reception desk to even reach their offices.

    223. The Man in the Jar says:

      Folk often panic when being attacked by a swarm of midges!

    224. Dal Riata says:

      I went to check the Guardian to see if that article by Severin Carrell (from which I had a post linking to the article at National Collective quickly removed) was still available – and it is!

      In his article, Carroll makes mention of Taylor and Vitriol’s questionable dealings and possible criminal activity (I’m pretty sure Carroll had taken that information from the National Collective article). And BTL there are more explicit descriptions from posters of Taylor and Vitriol’s dealings. 

      So no nasty threatening letters to the Guardian then? Or are there, and we just haven’t heard about them yet? The Guardian Group are skint of course, so I doubt they’d willing or ready to loose a substantial sum in a court case.

      I don’t know, maybe Taylor and his crew think they can scare or even close down blogs as the easier option first. Well it only reconfirms what horrible, unscrupulous and complete bastards Better Together and their associates are. May they drown in their own cesspit of threats, smears and lies.

    225. Adrian B says:

      I want to know what the daily “sabotage” that dastardly SNP types attempt to perpetrate on the No-camp HQ consists of.
       
      I found this statement rather odd, almost as if it was being used as a deflection away from something else. Does trouble me that they claimed it, but lets be honest 99% of better together statements are complete bollox.
       
      I think that Scottish_skier’s earlier comment was about right – loo seat left up in ladies, no money put aside in tea jar etc.

    226. pmcrek says:

      @Rev
      “I want to know what the daily “sabotage” that dastardly SNP types attempt to perpetrate on the No-camp HQ consists of.”
       
      Their internet connection probably drops a couple of times a day, assuming its BT…

    227. silver19 says:

      I can imagine that some of those people who donated to the Bonkers Together might be a bit angry that there money is associated with this questionable donation. And it is really great that they did get this questionable donation as it tarnishes the BT campaign and if they have to give the money back it makes it look even worse 🙂 No wonder BT lot want to sweep this under the carpet and try to deflect this story elsewhere.

    228. uilleam_beag says:

      From comments above, I think it’s worth making a few notes on the nature of libel/defamation law (from my limited understanding of it). It’s a fairly complex issue, and something which few people are aware of unless they have had reason to come into contact with it; mine comes from having worked as a journalist in Hong Kong, which has a common  law system based on the English one, and although there are differences with Scots law I believe the basic principles are largely comparable. 

      Some posts have suggested that as the National Collective, WoS, NNS and Herald articles were based on media reports already in the public domain, they are safe as Ian Taylor has not taken the original media outlets (Guardian, Reuters, etc) to task. Unfortunately, libel doesn’t work like that: it doesn’t distinguish between the original defamatory statement and anyone repeating the content. The defamed party is under no obligation to direct their action at the source of the perceived lies, and can raise an action against anyone along the trail – or all of them.

      For example: person A says person Z smells of cheese and bathes in baked beans, and this is reported by journalist B magazine C and then the same article is reprinted in newspapers D and E. Z is within his/her rights to bring a suit against any of A, B, C, D, or E, either individually or collectively. The fact that E got the information from D, who got it from C, which was written by B, who was only quoting A is entirely immaterial. Z is free to target only F if he/she feels there is a greater chance of  winning or will result in a bigger payout. Equally, Z has the option to target the individual journalist, the newspaper itself or the paper’s publishers.

      The interesting thing about a defamation/libel action is that it is one of the few times where “innocent until proven guilty” does not apply. The onus is on the accused to prove their innocence, and if there is any doubt the court tends to be generally minded to find with the accuser from the outset.

      There are, however, some basic defences (in roughly descending order of certainty).

      Veritas. If you can demonstrate that your allegedly defamatory statements are uncontrovertibly true, then you’re safe. Photos of Z bathing in baked beans and a demonstration that he/she does indeed have the aroma of gorgonzola would suffice.

      Privilege. If the statements were made in certain privileged forums, then you are safe. These include statements given in court and various houses of parliament (I’m pretty sure Holyrood counts, but not 100% certain). In the above example, if A had been mouthing off about cheesy whiffs and beany baths in front of a Commons select committee, Z would have no recourse against any party, from A to E – assuming they had quoted A accurately.

      Public interest. This works in cases where the information is not proven to be a fact beyond doubt, but there are reasonable grounds to believe it to be correct and that the public have an overwhelming right to be aware of the accusations. Obviously, this would have no bearing on someone pointing out that there have been serious questions raised about the business background and practices of a major backer of a high-profile public political campaign.

      Fair comment. Statements made in good faith, projecting from known facts or things the author has reasonable grounds to be considered the truth. 

      It’s pretty clear from all that why the lawyers focussed on the two partial quotations that they did: they intend to suggest the phrases “extensive connections” and “closely linked” are an over-egging of the facts, and presumably will argue that his connections to criminal activity are “passing” at best and his links to Saddam Hussein are perhaps “indirect”.  😉

      However, it’s also worth noting that any libel/defamation suit will need to take the impact of the article as a whole, and cannot simply focus on any individual part thereof. 

    229. Craig P says:

      Good to see you’re keeping the heid rev. If and when there is a WoS or joint legal fund I stand by to contribute, and more than the last time. 
       
      A shame Paul McBride QC is no longer available as he was the best. 

    230. Callum says:

      Interesting tactical error from BT though, while any legal action is on the go they’ll be pressured to hold back the donation until the case is complete.  A case of tbis size and importance could easily take until after the referendum to reach a verdict leaving the BT campaign short on cashflow.

    231. Jiggsbro says:

      The defamed party is under no obligation to direct their action at the source of the perceived lies, and can raise an action against anyone along the trail – or all of them.
       
      While this is technically correct, it can be difficult to argue that your reputation has been irretrievably trashed by a small blog aimed at people who are pre-disposed to dislike you when the same stories have already appeared in national newspapers. It’s an argument that is normally employed when source F has a wider reach than source C.

    232. Morag says:

      Wasn’t Paul McBride a firmly convinced unionist?  Or am I getting mixed up?

    233. Archdeaconess Hermione says:

       
      Archdeaconess Hermione says:
       
      10 April, 2013 at 9:45 pm
       
      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      10 April, 2013 at 9:34 pm
      “OK then. Tell “us” which church you’re a “Rev.” of.”
      No.
       
      Hmmm.
       
      1) You claim a religious title – with connotations of integrity – but refuse to give any authentication.
       
      2) You have used this title to solicit significant monies from the public.
       
      3) This site is currently under scrutiny by lawyers acting for a hostile party.
       
      4) As an officer of the court, any lawyer is duty bound to inform the police if they encounter evidence that a crime may have been committed.
       
      That’s a big “Hellooo!” to the boys and girls from Collyer Bristow who are reading this.

    234. Morag says:

      I hear all you’re saying (no not you Hermy), but in my opinion Taylor has no intention of taking this to court.  He couldn’t stand the publicity even if he was technically in the right.
       
      This is about scaring the midges away, and if that doesn’t work, emasculating then by tying them up in costly lawyers letters and so on for the next 18 months.  Read what Simon Singh said happened to his life during the BCA action.

    235. muttley79 says:

      @Hermione
       
      2) You have used this title to solicit significant monies from the public.
       
      No, he has not.  I did not donate because of Rev Stu’s name.  I donated because I like this site.  I suspect others did likewise.  The name was irrelevant to me. 
       

    236. Keef says:

      I never donated any money to Rev. Stu.
      I donated it to the cause he was promoting. Namely, the free an independent choice to choose who runs your country.
      I never thought he was a real Rev.
      However, are we to take it your drivel is coming from a genuine ‘Archdeaconess’?

    237. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “1) You claim a religious title – with connotations of integrity – but refuse to give any authentication.”

      “What school did you go to/what foot do you kick with?” is a question from an ugly, sectarian Scotland that belongs in the past. I won’t take part in your bigot games.

      “2) You have used this title to solicit significant monies from the public.”

      No I haven’t. I’ve used the work done by this site to solicit monies from the public. The Indiegogo page identified me only as “Stuart Campbell” and I don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned religion (with regard to myself) in the entire history of the site.

      http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/one-pound-for-wingsland/x/2346389

      “3) This site is currently under scrutiny by lawyers acting for a hostile party.

      4) As an officer of the court, any lawyer is duty bound to inform the police if they encounter evidence that a crime may have been committed.”

      Such as what?

      “That’s a big “Hellooo!” to the boys and girls from Collyer Bristow who are reading this.”

      I’ve let you have a lot of rope on this site because very occasionally in amongst the snide trolling you raise a legitimate question. However, an open admission that you’re trying to help have the site closed down is more than enough to cost you your last life. You’ve had multiple warnings. Goodbye.

    238. Tom Hogg says:

      I’m backing you all the way with this.  And so are all of my other online personas.

    239. Silverytay says:

      Hermione   I have a sneaky feeling that the boys & girls from Collyer Bristow maybe a bit busy to call the boys in blue in to investigate the Rev .
      Like others I contributed to this site ‘ not because Stu calls himself Rev but because it was the right thing to do for my country .
      If N.C or W.O.S need it ‘ I will happily contribute more funds to help cover legal costs but I suspect that this is what the NO SCOTLAND Campaign wants ‘ they want us so busy contributing to legal funds that we dont have the funds to put where they are needed most.

    240. muttley79 says:

      Oh well Hermione back to that portfolio for you, you rampant capitalist you… 😀 😀

    241. douglas clark says:

      Rev Stu,
       
      If you set up a fighting fund, and I hope it is done on a cross-platform basis, then count me in.

    242. Adrian B says:

      @ Silverytay,
       
       ….they want us so busy contributing to legal funds that we dont have the funds to put where they are needed most.
       
      Actually, there will be many who think this will be a great wheez, however the problem for ‘Better Together’ is the stink that is emanating around this donation and its reporting – people already are getting an idea that something isn’t quite right, coupled with the bungled legal action against a wee scottish blog – people are starting to feel that something is brewing – it doesn’t help perception with comments on the BBC in the vein of ‘we can’t comment for legal reasons’, ‘closed down blog’ and the like.
       
      The paper media is circling as they feel this impinges on a free press. Many of the press don’t like ‘wings’ in particular, but they will defend a free press.
       
      Again, I will stress public perception is everything. This is likely to roll for some time before it dies down, even then’ ‘Better Together’ may be tainted beyond redemption and the people directly seen as being the figure heads for that organisation.
       
       

    243. Adrian B says:

      Warning
       
      The following link contains upsetting and uncomfortable to view images 
       
      Arkins forces kill civilians. Why would anyone have dealings with a war criminal?
       
       
      http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/02/photography-in-the-docket-as-evidence/?hp#/1/
       
      Link Attributed to Angus Robertson: https://twitter.com/MorayMP

    244. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Adrian B
      At 11:08 am
      Good comment! Let’s hope so.

    245. MajorBloodnok says:

      @DMW42
       
      Interesting!  Hope your cough gets better….

    246. Adrian B says:

      @ TMItJ
       
      Good comment! Let’s hope so.
       
      It is very much the case, you only have to remember that this story in one form or another is actually in the press. Where comments are allowed – on line, the Herald and Guardian have allowed the type of links that they would not normally. The press are quietly encouraging this story – doesn’t matter what they would say publicly or in court of law – the press are allowing this story to gain momentum.
       
      Perception is key and its hurting ‘Better Together’ by association, there is a dark murkiness surrounding the donor and his business interests which is attracting questions. Not being able to delve into reporting of this by the press for fear of court action is the interesting key component to the story that prevents the donors legal firm (or the man himself) from clearing the air around said donation.
       
      We well know, that the difference between the viewers that a blog / paper has and the number of comments below the line is huge. It doesn’t follow that a rather high percentage only read the story and not the comments. 
       
      People are starting to wonder what is in this story – I have noted new posters on news paper articles and here. I know from people that I know, more are talking about it now and looking for more information – the interesting thing is they are looking for info themselves – thats a marked difference on any story before.
       
       
       

    247. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “From comments above, I think it’s worth making a few notes on the nature of libel/defamation law (from my limited understanding of it). It’s a fairly complex issue,”

      With regard to the WingsLand piece, veritas and fair comment cover everything we said. The majority, indeed as far as I know 100%, of what’s been raised is empirical fact – guilty pleas in court and open admissions. Vitol do not deny paying $1m to Arkan, merely that they did anything illegal in doing so, and I haven’t accused them of illegality in that regard.

      On close examination of the post, at a pinch I might concede the word “closely” in “closely linked”. It’s a matter of opinion and interpretation, and written in good faith, but could at least be legitimately challenged. I might take it out purely in the interests of scrupulous fairness. The rest, as far as I can see, is watertight. (The fact that the piece only deals passingly with Taylor and is actually about something else – media bias – is probably also quite significant.)

      [EDIT 14/04: For the reasons noted above, I have indeed decided to take out the “closely” in the interests of clarity and scrupulous fairness, as there’s no reason to believe Mr Taylor actually personally met Arkan or Saddam Hussein and it might be taken by some readers as suggesting he had. I remain of the opinion that it’s a fair description, but don’t wish it to be misinterpreted.]

    248. Cath says:

      “it can be difficult to argue that your reputation has been irretrievably trashed by a small blog aimed at people who are pre-disposed to dislike you when the same stories have already appeared in national newspapers.”
       
      Yes, and it also looks extremely bad if you won’t go after the big boys but will try and close down small, citizen run blogs. It looks especially bad for Better Together who are clearly keen to stifle debate on the independence referendum, as it looks far more like an attempt to shut down debate and quash freedom of speech. So the idea will naturally form in people’s mind that those two – ie which small sites Taylor will go after and which sites Better Together want to see disappear – might be somehow linked.

    249. Jimbo says:

      uilleam_beag,
       
      re your post on Libel/Defamation: If they claim that it was the man not the company who made the donation, does it make a difference if the man declares himself the public face of that company and plays an important role in the company’s development and client relationships?
       
      Quote: Taylor is described as “the ‘President’ of Vitol.” Taylor says this is “an outward facing title that, of itself, confers no special status? It does, however, mean that I am the public face of Vitol and play an important role in business development and client relationships for the group.” 
      http://caselaw.findlaw.com/tx-court-of-appeals/1279874.html
       
       
      Hermione
       
      I am an atheist. Religious titles are of no interest to me. I have donated to WOS, NNS and NC because they support the same cause as I do – Not because some-one has Rev in front of his name. 
       
       

    250. David McCann says:

      Latest development is that Angus Robertson has written to darling Alistair, demanding that he return the donation
      He has pointed out that one of Darling’s Labour colleagues at Westminster, John Mann MP, a member of the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee, was reported last September calling on the Tories to return donations from Mr Taylor. Said Angus Robertson,
      “Presumably Alistair Darling agrees with his Labour Westminster colleague, John Mann MP, who as recently as last September called on the Tories to hand back donations from Mr Taylor”.
      It just gets better and better!

    251. Morag says:

      Since it is my own opinion that RevStu’s “Rev” part is more than slightly analogous to Ben Goldacre’s (dead) cat Hettie’s diploma in naturopathic medicine, then it should be pretty clear that I didn’t donate under any false illusions.  (Or maybe I did, if it turns out he’s really the Bishop of Bath and Wells or something.)

      And my own dad and a significant proportion of my relations are actual Revs.

    252. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “if it turns out he’s really the Bishop of Bath and Wells or something”

      [shuffles awkwardly]

    253. dmw42 says:

      Although this doesn’t directly relate to Mr Taylor, he is the prsident of the company, is he not? And if I can find this by a quick search of Hansard (which only goes back to 2003 in the online version), wouldn’t Mr Darling be aware of it?
       
      The following link references a Treasury Select Committee ‘case study’, of 25 March 2009, on various transparency issues in relation to the role, and active complicity by a UK international oil trader in an offshore marketing scheme facilitating mismanagement and diversion of Congo’s oil revenues (see para 64 en seq.) http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmtreasy/355/355we27.htm
       
      Hmmm…
       
      The cough’s much better now thanks Major, I’m spluttering a lot though 🙂

    254. Cath says:

      Darn, so am I the only fool who donated to this site thinking I was in fact donating to a religious order?

    255. Adrian B says:

      From Blackadder :
       

    256. Morag says:

      The Man in the Jar said:
      On Scotland tonight Blair Mcdougal just fell short of accusing all these nasty cybernats as being directly controlled by Alex Salmond personally.
       
      Have to disagree with you there old boy.  I don’t think he fell short at all, I think that is exactly and explicitly what he actually said.

    257. Jiggsbro says:

      [shuffles awkwardly]
       
      You can’t be Bath and Wells. He’s doing frozen peas for Nigel.

    258. muttley79 says:

      I was just thinking about that Adrian B! 
       
      On Blair McDougall, it did sound like he was accusing Salmond of being involved (i.e. ordering it) in the vandalism at the Scotsman building.  I think they are definitely running with the “SNP are fascists/Nazis line”.  They are attempting to smear the SNP as extremists.  It is a very strange argument to make when almost 50% voted for the SNP less than two years ago.  Of course still no hint of the positive case for the Union from the No campaign.         

    259. Norsewarrior says:

      “I think they are definitely running with the “SNP are fascists/Nazis line”.  They are attempting to smear the SNP as extremists”

      That appears to be their strategy – attacking the SNP and Salmond in the hope that doing so will damage independence, whilst, as you say, offering no positive case for the union. 

      That’s why we need to keep promoting the fact that independence isn’t all about the SNP and Salmond, and their independence policies, but that it has support from across the political spectrum and that many diverse parties and organisations support it and have different ideas and views and policies for an independent Scotland. 

      Not only will that counter the unionists’ attempts to damage independence by attacking the SNP alone, it may also force them to address the issues of independence v the union and actually come up with some reasons why they think we’re ‘better together’, if there are any.

    260. Cath says:

      “They are attempting to smear the SNP as extremists.  It is a very strange argument to make when almost 50% voted for the SNP less than two years ago.”
       
      Not to mention when they’ve been running Scotland for the past 6 years. And running it well, professionally, and with not a hint of anything remotely extreme or fascistic.
       
      All attempts to silence people, or scare them out the debate, have come from the other side. I have no doubt at all they will sink to any level attempt to try and make the Yes side look bad, including false flags.

    261. Adrian B says:

      @  muttley79
       
      As a follow up on what Blair McDougall was asserting as fact – you might want to read the letter sent to better together on that very subject:
       
      http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/referendum/7155-calls-for-better-together-to-withdraw-highly-irresponsible-smear-claims-
       
      It is linked in to the televised interview on Scotland Tonight on ITV which aired last night (Wednesday 10th April 2013)

    262. Ananurhing says:

      @Cath 1.05am
      I also thought Blair McD had crossed the slanderous line on Scotland Tonight last night. The conversation was immediately shut down by Rhona Dougall, no doubt with producers, lawyers and spinstrels screaming in her lugpiece.
      Rev Stu. Count me in should you need a warchest to take on Arkan’s former employers. I’d sleep with one eye open if I was you. They may send Smeato roon tae set aboot ye! It would seem they’re quite familiar with such means of persuasion.
       

    263. Adrian B says:

      @ Norsewarrior,
       
      “That appears to be their strategy – attacking the SNP and Salmond in the hope that doing so will damage independence…”
       
      That was undoubtably the plan – however we appear to have passed the point at which that tactic has any discernible affect. Those that fall into that category appear to be die hard unionists.
       
      The Polling data backs this up the SNP vote share is on the rise. Alex Salmond’s  popularity is also extremely high.
       
      People are viewing the SNP as shielding them from the worst of the cuts. The figures for other party leaders are no where near as good. The Greens, Labour for Indy and the SSP will do their bit when they are ready. Plenty of ground work being done here with the SSP particularly active in some areas.
       
      The SNP are at present the Governing party and the biggest target – the figures stand that they are gaining rather than losing support.
       
      On the Referendum, the momentum is also moving – Scottish Skiers figures and analysis bears this out here to. The tipping point appears to be around now, with a number of points starting to change the balance. These are interesting times for sure.
       
       

    264. Jiggsbro says:

      Not to mention when they’ve been running Scotland for the past 6 years. And running it well, professionally, and with not a hint of anything remotely extreme or fascistic.
       
      That just proves how devious these fanatics are. They’re just waiting for independence before they, um, fanatacize. Or extremate, or something.

    265. MajorBloodnok says:

      Plus, I think they’re doing it on purpose.

    266. uilleam_beag says:

      @ Rev. Stuart Campbell
      “veritas and fair comment cover everything we said”
      Aye, I think you’re pretty much safe in that regard, and meant to state as much in my already long post. That was the reason I highlighted the content of the partial quotes the lawyers cited in their letter, as these strike me as being the closest you get to anything resembling actionable language. Again, I think you would stand a good chance of passing those statements as fair comment – but please note I’m not a lawyer!
       
      @ Jiggsbro & Cath
      Those issues would come up in a court case, though would most likely impinge more on the size of the damages liable rather than the verdict itself. I simply wanted to point out that “Somebody else said it first!” isn’t a defence in a libel/defamation action.
       
      While it’s hard to argue “a small blog aimed at people who are pre-disposed to dislike you” has reduced your general standing in the community at large, the important point is the blog is less likely than the national press to be able to afford a slick legal defence – and hence is easier to defeat in court or (preferably) threaten/bully into shutting the hell up without ever needing to get a judge involved. The fear of legal costs has prompted many an unwarranted retraction from small publications.
       
      Equally, in this case, it could perhaps be argued that the NC article and various pro-independence blog posts that followed are the first time all the various negative Vitol-related issues have been collated and used to raise questions over Taylor’s personal character and suitability as a donor to a political campaign. Whatever you may think of Taylor’s integrity, it can’t really be denied the motivation behind these articles was to call it into question; whether that is defamatory or not depends on there being any truth to the content and the way the facts have been interpreted with regard to Ian Taylor himself. 
       
      @ Jimbo
      That’s a good find. What Ian Taylor’s lawyers will most likely focus on is where the articles have used the conduct of Vitol the company to attack/call into question Taylor’s integrity as an individual. They would probably seek to argue this is an unfair conflation, and that the actions of his company should not undermine his suitability as a political donor. The quote you found shows how closely connected his personal status is to that of the company; he may have thrown a load of cash into the tweed industry but outside of Harris, Ian Taylor is effectively known only as the public face of Vitol. As CEO and president of Vitol, his own character/standing is virtually indistinguishable from that of the company — if he was concerned about the company’s actions in relation to the Serbian, Iraqi and Iranian deals or the tax avoidance issues (even assuming he was unaware of them before they became public knowledge), he has had ample opportunity to demonstrate that by resigning when they were exposed. 
       
      Damn, that was only supposed to be a quick note. I’ve gone and written a book again!

    267. Frazer Allan Whyte says:

      Wouldn’t a “false lie” be a truth?

    268. john king says:

      “I have not contributed to the original funding appeal.  Skint. Never got round to it. Spent the money on Syrah.  If you need cash for this one, I’m in.”
       
      would that be syria the country or syrah the rather delicious grape variety?

    269. Shirley says:

      Kevin Williamson seemed to start a comment on this thread, but not finish it. Any way of getting him to repost? I’d be interested  to hear what he has to say..

    270. mutterings says:

      Comment by Longshanker about RevStu publishing this letter

    271. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Meh. He’s not even worth bothering with.

    272. Eva says:

      Hi Rev – had any more letters or even a Summons to Court yet?

    273. MadjockMcmad says:

      Rev – a number of things puzzle me about this letter ….

      1. There is no such legal action as ‘Libel’: in Scots Law it is ‘defamation’
      2. The plaintif’s petition has to lodged with the Court of Sessions, including a sizable fiscal bond, before an action for defamation can be commenced before the Lord President
      3. The plaintif has to raise an action in his country of residence with regards to the submissions made in the petition against any co-defendents first, e.g. The Daily Telegraph, Reuters, Hansard,  Danny Alexander, et al as originators of the information the plaintif claims is defamatory. Unless the original sources are pursued in this way no defamation can surely have taken place because you can not defame / libel Mr Taylor simply by repeating what has already been written about him and not already found defamatory or libelous under Scots Law or a different legal jurisdiction.

      4. It would appear Mr Taylor’s silly attempt to stop the tracking of the parent company VITOL and its various subsidiaries has in fact raised a bigger dust storm of people who are after VITOL (and subsidiaries) of which he is CEO and under UK company law has legal responsibilities and accountability for illegal actions undertaken by himself or his employees.
      5. If anyone has been defamed it is you and National Collective in an attempt to impose censorship.

    274. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “1. There is no such legal action as ‘Libel’: in Scots Law it is ‘defamation’”

      I live in England.

    275. Chris Law says:

      Today Sunday 14th of April both the big Scottish newspapers are running articles on this donation and its source.  Both The Scotsman and The herald are asking questions of the BT campaign and of course Alistair Darling.   Not surprisingly the BBC is in hiding. If there is ever to be a defamation court case count me in for £500 towards it as without free speech in this country then there is little point to have a debate at all about the future of Scotland and its constitutional question.



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