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Cracking under the strain

Posted on October 20, 2013 by

We’ve noted a few times recently that the increasingly bitter, angry and even violent tone of the “Better Together” campaign isn’t the sort of thing you’d normally expect from a movement confident and relaxed about its chances of victory.


But over the space of just the last few days – perhaps enraged by the positivity of the SNP conference – the defenders of the Union have been descending into madness even more precipitously than usual.

We’ve been unable to help noticing the almost comically furious tone of some of the quotes issued by the No camp in response to the most innocuous of stories, which would normally be bland, boilerplate affairs. Check out, for example, the extraordinary petted-lip teenage sulk summoned up by the unnamed “Better Together” spokesman in the Scotsman this week at the news that a high number of international diplomats were to attend the SNP conference as observers.

“This is typical of the Nationalists. They get themselves all worked up into a frenzy because people from other parts of the world are interested in the referendum. 

Their problem is not interesting diplomats from overseas, it is convincing the people of Scotland that going it alone would be better for our jobs, our pensions and our taxes. This is something that cannot and will not be able to do. The truth is that we are better and stronger together with our friends, families and workmates from across the UK.”

The “frenzy” in question, incidentally, was this:

“We are delighted to be welcoming representatives from so many countries to our annual conference this week. 

The number of diplomats attending this year is a clear reflection of the interest around the world in Scotland’s referendum and the decision that people living here will make next year.”

But we can do a bit better than that.


This is solicitor Mike Dailly of the Govan Law Centre, a man Labour are fond of presenting as a neutral champion of human rights when they’re demanding that the SNP adopt his tactics for fighting the bedroom tax. In reality his Nat-bashing track record is as long as your arm, but yesterday’s outburst was a remarkable escalation even by Mr Dailly’s standards.

Scotland currently has the most democratic and proportionally-representative Parliament in the UK, and one vastly more reflective of the electorate’s votes than the one in Westminster, let alone that of Soviet Russia. Mike Dailly’s only objection to it is that the electorate in question chose to give the SNP a majority.

His complaint about the Presiding Officer is an interesting one, though. By convention (though not by any rules) the current Parliament would most likely have had a Labour PO, but the SNP were more or less forced to nominate one of their own for the position in 2011, after a prominent Labour strategist suggested that if his party held the office, the PO would single-handedly block any referendum bill.

The strategist in question was John McTernan, who also piped up this weekend.


Bewilderingly, it seems to have escaped Mr McTernan’s notice that every single Olympic Games in history has been identified by the host city, rather than the host nation. Nobody talks of Jesse Owens’ heroics at the 1936 “German Olympics”, or Allan Wells’ 100-metre gold in the US-boycotted 1980 “Russian Olympics”, or Chris Hoy’s triumph at the 2008 “Chinese Olympics”, or the appalling massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 “German Olympics”.

There’s a bit of a clue in that last one, of course, because the 1936 Olympics were in Berlin and the 1972 event was in Munich, but apparently to John McTernan they were both just German. We’re not sure if he can tell them apart.

In the YouTube clip linked above, McTernan famously insisted that even with the SNP’s majority there would be no independence referendum (indeed, that the notion was, and we quote, “bollocks”) – a view shared until recently by his fellow legal eagle and this site’s dear old pal, poor bonkers Ian Smart, who today offered this demonstration of his impeccable socialist credentials:


We’re not quite sure who all these “lefty liberals” Smart knows are who are so left-wing and liberal that they’d honestly prefer Margaret Thatcher to a leader who wants to return the Royal Mail to public hands, expel nuclear weapons, ensure the minimum wage keeps pace with inflation and protect free tuition and universal public services.

We might even go so far as to say that if you’re opposed to a leader who advocates those things and would rather see your country ruled by Margaret Thatcher or David Cameron, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your interpretation of “lefty liberal” entirely. We’re certainly far from sure that the bulk of Labour voters in Smart’s home patch of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth (currently represented by an SNP MSP) would agree that they’d rather have the Tories. Perhaps Mr Smart should stand as one in 2016.

While we’re on the subject of inhabitants of our Zany Comedy Relief section, it’d be remiss not to passingly mention poor Alan Cochrane of the Telegraph. The blustering Tory columnist has been issuing some feeble, tired pieces recently, but even in that context we were a little dismayed at the insipid effort he offered readers on Friday:

“Ludicrous hyperbole aside, [Nicola Sturgeon’s] was a first-class conference speech aimed directly at the constituency she’s known best: Scotland’s Labour vote.


This conference is very much Nat talking to Nat; there’s not a lot of reaching out to the voters beyond the hall.”

Which is it, Alan?

Back with Labour, on this site we’ve recently documented several examples of Labour parliamentarians telling lies so obvious, transparent and crass that only a media as partisan and compliant as Scotland’s could ever have let them get away with it.

Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran made a desperate attempt this week at denying her own comments from last month on the subject of the Barnett Formula, which she agreed should be abolished in September but which was miraculously “serving Scotland well” just four weeks later.


(In absolute fairness, those two statements don’t actually contradict themselves. Curran appears to be saying that Scotland DOES do well out of Barnett, but it should be scrapped because it’s unfair to the rest of the UK. Which is an arguable case, but a weird thing for a would-be Scottish Secretary to be saying. And in either event, saying that Alex Salmond is the only person threatening it is clearly flatly untrue.)

The same day, Curran’s Glasgow MP colleague and notional “deputy” leader Anas Sarwar – who was recently caught red-handed lying about a charity’s views on constitutional powers – affected a massive huff about a comment from SNP MP Pete Wishart about the Westminster Parliament being “enemy lines” for the Nats:


Which might seem defensible, were Sarwar not the man who disgracefully and unrepentantly called Holyrood “undemocratic” and a “one-man dictatorship”, of course. It seems a little hypocritical, to say the least, for the inhabitant of one parliamentary chamber to refer to refer to another in such pejorative, contemptuous and false terms and then pretend to be hurt when he’s not regarded as a friend to that polity.

It’s not just Labour who constantly attack the Scottish Parliament’s legitimacy, of course. Lib Dem activist Caron Lindsay this week trotted out the timeless drivel that the SNP had no right to govern because they didn’t secure 50% of the vote, a feat no party has achieved in the UK for decades.


But like its sister argument which quotes percentages of the entire potential electorate rather than just those who vote (a favourite of Labour’s), Lindsay’s complaint misses the point. The SNP Government is effectively backed by something like 74% of the Scottish population, because everyone who didn’t vote in 2011 basically said that they were happy with whatever government everyone else chose.

(And the SNP’s 2011 vote share, in a four-party contest, was higher even than Labour’s massive 1997 landslide in a three-party UK one, which gave Tony Blair a crushing Westminster majority of 179 compared to the 2011 SNP’s modest 8.)

The especially amusing aspect here is that Lib Dems only ever get into government on small minorities of the vote. They came 3rd of the three main parties in the 2010 UK election, and 4th out of the four main Scottish parties at the Holyrood elections of 1999 and 2003 – the latter two on pitiful shares of around 13% – yet were happy to take power in coalitions just the same.

We could, frankly, do this sort of stuff all day. Heavens, we haven’t even mentioned Blair McDougall. In the interests of brevity (though that horse may have long bolted) we direct you to today’s Scot Goes Pop! for a few more case studies. But to finish, we must return to Mad Mental Mike Dailly, for surely the most spectacular example of “Proud Scot Syndrome” you’ll ever rub your eyes in disbelief at:


Wow. That’s just… wow. We’ve got nothing. Except, we suppose, that if you believe William Wallace fought and died for his love of the Union, it does at least make this month’s events in Stirling easier to explain.

We’re off for a lie down.



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151 to “Cracking under the strain”

  1. liz says:

    Yay, I’m first with a comment.
    I know I’ve just been over on Kevin McKennas column in the Guardian and the BritNat ravers are out in full force.
    Funnily enough even though some of the comments are outrageous  felt strangely calm and elated.
    The problem on the horizon is Grangemouth – a set-up?

  2. McHaggis says:

    Surely room for a few John MacIntyre OCD quotes if we are talking batshit crazy?

  3. The Man in the Jar says:

    I need a lie down after reading that. I notice that you saved the best till last. William Wallace was a unionist. Who knew?
    I will forward this article to The Society of William Wallace and see if they know that they have been duped all along.

  4. Sneddon says:

    It is a kind of madness from the unionists.  Never heard a rational argument for being in the UK.  It must be like selling cigarettes at a doctors conference.

  5. Marcia says:

    How many times did Mr Salmond mention his opposite opponents (Lamont Davidson etc) during his speech? – not once. How many times did they mention AS during their speeches? Lots.

  6. Stuart Black says:

    O/T, sorry. Rough Justice, the people behind the Project Fear videos, Top Ten Unionist Myths debunked and others, need money. They are planning a feature length documentary, and a series of shorter films all focussing on Scottish Indy, if you are interested the plans are outlined at the below link.
    High quality video of the calibre of the Fear videos, you know it makes sense.

    Aw fuck, the world’s only poll expert’s just come on telly again, i’ll need to go for a lie down…

  7. Beastie says:

    And these are the intellectual giants we’re up against?

    That’s it, I quit, I’m voting no because we’ve obviously got no chance against that kind of opponent. Aye, that’ll be right.

    Hypocrisy, ignorance and stupidity, all in a few highly noisy packages.

    If we lose, it won’t be down to the strength of their arguments. It’ll be down to the strength of the media who are near four square behind the unionists.

    I particularly like that while the unionist leadership in Scotland are utterly obsessed with Alex Salmond the amount of mentions he gives them in HIS speech is nil. I can only assume this is because he’s looking forwards… and they’re just history in waiting already well behind his vision.

  8. Franariod says:

    Just more pro union opening their mouths without thought. 

  9. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Does Prof Curtice live in BBC Scotland’s HQ?
    He looks so ‘at home’, totally relaxed (‘Hi Gary…’) – one of these days he’ll turn-up in his pyjamas, or his ‘pie-chart’ onesie.

  10. Theunicorn says:

    Mike Dailly re Proud Scot – Funny that.
    I attended the Bannockburn and Stirling bridge commemorations this year and apart from one exception there wasn’t a “jack” to be seen anywhere, just a sea of Saltires, William Wallace, Andrew De Moray and The Bruce banners.
    The only Union Jack to be seen was painted on a mini coffin. Perhaps it should have been delivered to the Council’administration to weep over.

  11. DougtheDug says:

    The reality behind all these tweets and comments is that the SNP is not regarded as a legitimate political party by the unionists and as a non-legitimate party it cannot therefore form a legitimate government.
    Why is it not legitimate? Because it’s outside the establishment and Scottish.
    That’s where the cringe comes in. In the unionist world Scotland is fine for shortbread, haggis, tartan and pipers but in to be a legitimate political party you’ve got to be based in London and have the stamp of approval from the establishment. To operate in a Scottish context not a British context invalidates you from the start.
    It’s cringe all round from the crew above because to be Scottish only and reject Britishness is to be incomplete in terms of politics, nationality, identity and legitimacy and that’s the philosophy they apply to all things Scottish, including themselves.

  12. Stuart Black says:

    Back on topic, it astonishes me that the Smarts, Daillys, and McDougalls of this world still purport to be lefties, the tuba player actually touting the Bevan line about socialism being the language of priorities, do they really believe that they are the owners of the socialist approach to Scottish politics?

    It’s not a socialism that I recognise anyway, this socialism that worships Trident and rejects universality, as the Rev observes, maybe it’s time for them to re-evaluate their position on the political spectrum.
    What really enrages me though is that they can go on national television and blatantly lie, and never get pulled up on it, our media is absolutely complicit in the actions of these – tries to think of word to describe them that won’t trigger Newsnight special reports about vile, abusive, cybernattery, and fails – ahem, people.
    Remember, just because you say it on TV doesn’t make it true, yes, I’m looking at you, McDougall.

  13. Theunicorn says:

    PS : Lest we forget Robert Burns “The story of Wallace poured a Scottish prejudice in my veins which will boil along there till the flood gates of life shut in eternal rest”. …I’m Sparticus

  14. Iain says:

    Was it Margaret Curran that was on Blether with Brian (? Or whatever the name is for Friday lunchtime show)?

    There was a curious point when being questioned about Westminster running UK and therefore Scotland, where she said something like being a supporter of it, but currently it’s not a Westminster government but a Tory/LibDem coalition and that is different.

    i was driving while being shouted at by 3 grandchildren wanting to go to the park so might have heard it wrong but it sounded at the time to be a weird mixed up argument that Westminster only counts if Labour are in power.

  15. Les Wilson says:

    The Unionists are unhappy over the success of the SNP conference, the speeches of Salmond and Sturgeon, in particular have unsettled them.

    An “oh shit, this really could happen” moment for them.

    So out comes the petted lip and the bile, they have no substantial arguments that cannot be destroyed easily from the Yes side. That is their utter frustration.

  16. Dcanmore says:

    Such small bitter people totally consumed (ie creepily obsessed) by Alex Salmond’s personality. What these ‘proud Scots’ prove time and time again is they offer nothing to Scotland, not one thing, which reflects of course the Better Together campaign. Talking about how pressured and desperate they seem to be despite convincing themselves they are constantly 20-30 points ahead of the YES campaign, I suspect Better Together have little funds and rely ever-so-often on a rather small pool of people in the media to do a job for them.
    SLAB can’t fund them because they don’t have any money with an ever-shrinking subscription, London Labour can’t fund them because they’re £9m in debt and their bank (Co-Op) is in trouble. United with Labour haven’t managed to get the grass-roots to fund them, or do anything else outwith Govan apparently. So that leaves the Tories to bear the brunt of financially backing a Labour-run campaign with a hated former-chancellor at the helm and his apparatchiks who seem to burn through money very quickly. The dodgy oil money donation has been exposed (and possibly delivered a fatal blow to the BT campaign) so that leaves desperate measures to try and persuade other tories to give up their cash hence Darling’s Tory conference appearance.
    There are many aspects of the Better Together campaign that’s in trouble and that is why they needed (and try to demand) more than anything else, a quick campaign. They don’t have legs for the long game and they know it. But then if they offer nothing in the first place how long will it be before people stop listening, I think we’re past that already.

  17. Iain says:

    Of course the McTerninator was the chap that recently tweeted that Scottish Independence would taste like ‘deep-fried sick’.

    If Bettertogether started accusing the SNP of child murder and Satanism, his reply would be ‘not negative enough’.

  18. Macart says:

    Holy moley. If this is the best support the opposition can muster this week they’re in bother.
    Tick tock BT, tick tock. 🙂

  19. joe kane says:

    Twitter seems to be about the only place where unionists have any kind of grassroots presence, most of which is intellectually bankrupt or just bile.

    The SNP-induced slow-motion collective unionist implosion reminds me of the old saying wrongly attributed to Euripides –

    Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.

  20. Edward says:

    I’m wondering that the shrillness from the unionist is to do with polling figures that though not widely shown on the UK media (who constantly spout a figure of 25% for Yes) are , for the unionists and Better Together particularly are not falling in with their ‘game plan’

    I came across an article in ‘Berliner Zeitung’ online. Under the headline ‘Schottische Nationalpartei: Plädoyer für Unabhängigkeit’ Scottish National Party : A plea for Independence. The end paragraph is interesting it states ‘The polls the independence opponents currently at about 63 to 38 percent in front

    Or if you want Yes at worse are 27% and at best 62%, the latter would really be screwing with the Better Together mind set!
    Of course the translation may not be accurate and it could mean that no is 63% and Yes is 38% There is no mention of ‘dont’t know’ as this could be treated as a negative context in German, so perhaps they have lumped 33% No and 30% don’ know together

    Either way (perhaps someone with a better knowledge of German can understand) you shake it. What ever way the Better Together group get the compliant media to put out, the reality is very much different hence the increased bitterness from the No camp. Perhaps logic is not within the gift f the no camp–plaedoyer-fuer-unabhaengigkeit,10808018,24662218.html

  21. MajorBloodnok says:

    Ian Brotherhood says: Does Prof Curtice live in BBC Scotland’s HQ?  … one of these days he’ll turn-up in his pyjamas, or his ‘pie-chart’ onesie.
    He should avoid the ‘swingometer’ onesie though – people might think he just hasn’t buttoned it up properly.

  22. Ken Johnston says:

    Is it all right, I mean i don’t want a slander, or somfink, suit against me, to copy and print A5’s with Mr. Dailly’s last twitter utterance included for distribution.

    As the Rev. says, just WOW. I mean, what world do these people inhabit. Do they read anything not of their own generating. Do they ever talk to anyone outside their own little clique.   Lawyers, university and all that. Where do they inhabit.

  23. Keef says:

    After all that work Rev. After combing through all that batshit crazy waffle, you never mentioned what any of them had to say about the positive case for the union. I’m not that impressed with your investigative journalism.
    What’s that…you say…none of them mentioned anything about a positive case.
    Shoorly shome mishtake.
    That last picture of BM you posted suggests the poor guy has been up many a long night in the search of one, and all to no avail.

  24. Murray McCallum says:

    I saw the Mike Dailly comments on twitter. The guy seems to have a well developed God complex and is actually now proceeding to out-and-out “Tony Blair Syndrome”.
    Ian Brotherhood
    Does Prof Curtice live in BBC Scotland’s HQ?
    I wonder if he gets his milk and papers delivered there?

  25. Clarinda says:

    Constantly hacked off with the continual flow of specious and repetitive negativity from the NO case I’ve just looked up the definition of Groundhog Day – only to find a sidebar ‘advert’ for Better Together – irony?

    “a situation in which a series of unwelcome  and tedious events appear to be recurring in exactly the same way”

  26. Edward says:

    Slightly O/T – I see Andrew Gilligan, ‘London Correspondent’ with the Sunday Telegraph has a disgraceful piece I today’s Sunday Telegraph (at least I think its today’s as its been dated 29th October 2013 – really must get my Tardis fixed!) I digress. The funniest, ok idiotic claim (one of many) is that and independent Scotland would want to keep the Union jack! . Quote “It [the SNP] is promising to keep the pound (assuming London will let them), the BBC, the Queen, and the Union flag”

    What IS it that Scot’s, or Scotland or even the SNP have done to Gilligan, to warrant such vitriol? Perhaps we should buy him his own island, which could be renamed as ‘Gilligans Island’ where all sorts of castaways could live

  27. Keef says:

    Edward. The Berliner does say that anti- independence vote is currently  about 63% to 38% per cent for pro-independence. Total is 101% so not like the Germans to get their maths wrong.
    No mention either of where they got their figures from.

  28. Tattie-Boggle says:

    Yeah something has disturbed the nest of scheming bastards . I posted on twitter that no one will admit to voting no come 2015 either way and got a two pronged bombardment which I ended up ignoring and it proceeded without me

  29. Edward says:

    Keef – I’m inclined to think that what is said is that the parties against independence have a lead difference between 63% and 38% over Yes (I agree its very unlike the Germans to get their maths wrong) But clearly there is no mention of the don’t knows, which makes it a sloppy article (again so unlike the Germans)

  30. wee jamie says:

    The desperation is beginning to show now, members of the NO campaign have resorted to the better to say anything than say nothing mode, safe in the knowledge that no matter how outlandish ,outrageous, or untrue their statements become, their pals in the media will not challenge or refute them, pity for them that the Scottish public are not so blinkered or compliant as the lapdogs in pacific quay.

  31. Angry Weegie says:

    As my Mum was fond of saying, “Empty vessels make the most noise”.
    Seems to cover all of the Unionist claptrap.

  32. orkers says:

    @Joe Kane
    Saw this in the Washington Post comments ……….
    Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make Republican.

  33. scottish_skier says:

    The poll gap is at best 10 points, down from over 20 in late 2012.
    The SNP, after losing a little of their support during 2012, have returned to at least what they got in 2011. Westminster intention not far behind.
    The recent MORI poll which has a methodology problem which makes it clearly biased towards No / unionist party support (Moreno identity to skewed to British) even gave the SNP government 57% satisfied to 34% not just last month.
    Add this to the white paper next month to be followed by a joint Scottish-UK government statement on what will happen in the immediate aftermath of a Yes or a No, and the increasing panic from the unionist side is only what is to be expected.

  34. The Water Beastie says:

    Yes – I have to admit that I had some misgivings about Grangemouth for just the same reason, especially after a Labour representative seemed to have grounds of believing collusion between Westminster Government and INEOS….surely not about the union (small ‘u’).  But to provoke a replay of the ‘winter of discontent’, going into Referendum year, and try and paint it as Holyrood’s fault?  And subsequent Westminster intervention ‘saves the day’?  

    I’m not one for conspiracy theories (honest)….but this situation just smells a little weird.

  35. orkers says:

    @ Edward
    If you pay a journalist enough they will say anything their paper’s owners tell them to.
    They have very few scruples.

  36. Keef says:

    Agree with you Edward but they should have said either ‘zwischen” 63% und 38% or ‘von 63% bis 38%’. And in both cases you would expect to start from 38% and go upward.
    So it is fairly sloppy.
    I checked the author and found it was Prof. Johan Kurtiz. 🙂

  37. twenty14 says:

    Shit Mel Gibson sure got that quote wrong – should have been ” you can take our lives, but you’ll never take ….our Union ” ( said out loud in a really screamy voice )

  38. Murray McCallum says:

    Mike Dailly in a recent twitter conversation:

    “Some of us want to help Scots as opposed to use and abuse them for a referendum”
    “What have you done to help Scots?”
    “I won my legal case for Scots re bedroom tax”

    He seems to see himself as both an arbiter of what Scottish people really need and the person to deliver the remedy (even single handed). He seems to suggest that Scots are unable to find their way to social justice by taking powers into their own hands.
    While he may be a good legal person I would be very wary of him if he were a medic.

  39. scottish_skier says:

    This is really something.

    (note they’ve made a typo and the right hand graph is ‘net satisfaction’ not %Yes)
    Think what that means. It’s something you’ll just about never see, i.e. supporters of one party happy being led by another. That’s because the SNP are seen as much as a movement, as they are a party. No everyone votes for them, but it doesn’t mean in principle they don’t agree with what they are doing.
    It also tells you why the constant attacks on the SNP are doomed to failure. If Labour can’t convince a majority of their own voters the SNP in government is bad news, then they’re really in trouble.

  40. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Mike Dailly in a recent twitter conversation:

    “Some of us want to help Scots as opposed to use and abuse them for a referendum””

    I saw that, and couldn’t help wondering how giving people a voice over their future counted as “abuse”.

  41. molly says:

    There is a debate to be had linked to but not directly related to the Referendum.

    The so called left or those who support Labour need to decide one way or the other. They can’t have it both ways. The rhetoric of I’m a socialist but , is wearing a bit thin ,you cannot say I’m a socialist then agree continue to support a party whose policies mimic the Tories.
    If we had an honest press who listed 3 columns with each parties policies and views towards the Referendum , the facts , then gave the people the choice, how many Labour supporters would choose Labours policies?

    You then have to ask yourself, if the Ian Smart and Mcternons plus the press had their way and the ‘natural order’ of things was returned , (as they see it ) and Labour was in charge again , is Johann Lamont and her policies really what you want for Scotland? Hand on heart do you really think the current leadership in Scotland would serve the people well given Johann Lamont’s complete absence in the whole Ineos debacle? Who is she more dependent on , you the Labour voter, the people of Scotland or the union who backed her? So where would her priority lie , you , the people, the party, the union or herself?

    if you felt strongly enough about the World about you and politics and felt strongly enough about Labours ideals to join the Party, you surely did not sign up because you hate the SNP, you surely did not sign up to enhance the careers of Labours leadership , you surely did not sign up to become indistinguishable from the other 2 main Parties, you signed up to try to make things better. So you decide, time to stand up and be counted or continue to let your views be misrepresented ? Your choice.

  42. CameronB says:

    Re. the Berliner Zeitung;
    “The Berliner Zeitung is the first German newspaper to fall under the control of foreign investors.[3] Andrew Marr, former editor of The Independent, which like the Berliner Zeitung was taken over by David Montgomery, said of the Berliner Zeitung that “[a]nyone who was working at The Independent in the mid to late Nineties will find all this wearisomely familiar. David’s obsession at that time was removing as much traditional reporting as possible from the paper and turning it into a tabloid-style scandal sheet for yuppies.”[4]

  43. John grant says:

    These people are thrashing about wildly because they know the games a bogey. The abuse is getting more hysterical and personal , as someone said steady as she goes , yes 2014 

  44. Vincent McDee says:
    Health Warning! You click on the link at your absolutely own risk.

  45. Taranaich says:

    terrible use of language Pete. Who exactly is the enemy? What about the fellow Scots MPs – are they also the enemy?
    This is the one that broke me. Mr Sarwar is so desperate to foster some faux-outrage that he refused to acknowledge the metaphorical context of “behind enemy lines” which you’d think he, as a politician, would understand. Wouldn’t you happily call attending a Tory conference going “behind enemy lines”? Putting aside the Wrong Lizards thing, this is the most snivelling, worthless, idiotic attempt to find offense I’ve ever read.
    Enemy is a synonym for opposition. The Westminster government is the opposition for the Yes campaign. Therefore “behind enemy lines” is a perfectly apt way of putting it and only capable of causing offense if you believe that equating your political opponents with enemies in a war is beyond the pale – and given that Sarwar and others certainly don’t shy away from such terms (didn’t Ian Smart just say something about “bayonetting the wounded” not too long ago?) they are nothing but the most craven of hypocrites.
    GOD they irritate me.

  46. joe kane says:

    orkers, Better Together and the unionists really are beginning to resemble the Republican Tea Party but without its grassroots activism and support obviously.

  47. Bugger [the Panda] says:

    Edward @ 13:00 ish
    I think Gruinyard (spelling might a kilter) is looking for settlers?

  48. Green Bean says:

    Google translation of Berliner Zeitung article (

    London / Perth – Eleven months before the referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom, the Scottish Prime Minister Alex Salmond has held a plea for leaving the Union.
    At the start of the congress of his Scottish National Party (SNP) in Perth Salmond said that no one could deny Scotland the ability to independence. The opponents on the English side were trying to stir up fears.

    The citizens of Scotland to decide on 18 September 2014 about whether they want to be part of Great Britain. The British government in London is strictly against secession. The polls have the Independence opponents currently with about 63 to 38 percent ahead.
    Please note, it says independence OPPONENTS are ahead

  49. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Aye, Pacific Quay’s resident Project Fear department, bedding down for the night…just change the names:

    ‘Good night Gary.’
    ‘Goodnight Professor.’
    ‘Goodnight John.’
    ‘Goodnight Sally’
    ‘Goodnight Brian’
    ‘Goodnight Raymond.’
    ‘Goodnight Raymond…’
    ‘Raymond? Raymond?’

  50. Morag says:

    I think they’re in a tizz because they see it all running away from them. They really thought there would be no referendum – it couldn’t happen. They were so used to being in power they didn’t believe they could lose.
    Now it’s all happening right in front of their eyes. Their only hope is a No vote and they’re not confident about that despite the rhetoric. If they were in Perth this morning they would have been terrified. All attendees were given bright yellow and black Yes bags for the campaign, full of leaflets, and it seemed as if everyone in town was carrying one or more.
    I think they’re watching it all go horribly wrong for them even as the polls still put them in front.

  51. Les Wilson says:

    Ref your Gilligans Island comment, there is I am sure, a small Island in  the outer Hebrides where “Anthrax ” was tested by the British Government , seems fitting to me !
    It would do just fine,in fact there are quite a few others we could maroon with him Hmmmmm !

  52. jim mitchell says:

    Could someone help me out here please, is it true that Ian Davidson actually said, when trying to persuade everyone that the referendum was already won for the NO side, ‘that there is nothing left to do but bayonet the wounded’ ?

  53. Yesitis says:

    Yesterday, the unionist Twitter clique were driven by an amphetamine (in Mike Dailly`s case, magic mushroom) like overdrive. I think the 57% Scots approval rating of Scottish government Ipsos Mori poll and, of course, Alex Salmond`s speech in Perth had them frothing at the mouth like rancid red, white and blue cappuccinos.
    It must be difficult for Labour voters to watch on as their party snuggle up to the Tories, as they wipe each other`s bottoms and laugh at each other`s Skintland jokes. The unionist`s collective chorus increasingly (and rather alarmingly) reminds me of a certain football clubs supporter`s chant, “No-one likes us we don`t care!”
    It is now painfully obvious their concern is for the UK. The irksome Scots can go to hell. Oh well. I imagine the 18%* of ‘Scottish and British’ people in Scotland (do they all work for the BBC?) are happy with the way things are going so far?
    The confidence just oozes from their every word and statement. At least, I think it`s confidence?
    (* from 2011 UK census)

  54. Alan@the_millcroft says:

    BM’s deconstruction is unravelling… Meanwhile Prof. John Curtice has a nice wee bunch of friends…

  55. Craig M says:

    I was in London on Saturday, walking across Westminster Bridge and you couldn’t move for East Europeans playing cup games on the pavement. Lots of money was being exchanged.
    If I was looking for a parable of what the Westminster Government has become then this was it. The Westminster Parliament, all gilt (guilt?) and majesty, standing proudly, while just across the road, right in it’s shadow, cheap unrestricted gambling was going on. I thought it was quite a sad sight. Up in Covent Garden a small group of Pearly Kings and Queens were collecting money for charity. I wish I was a poet or really good at prose because there was a story to be told playing out on the streets of London yesterday.
    Westminster just looks like a vast snow globe, shake it and the snow would fall but just in the globe. The vast majority of it’s denizens are so completely detached from the reality of life but there are those, like Curran, Sarwar, Foulkes etc, who see their mantlepiece lifestyle being threatened. Hence the bitter language.
    For me, looking at the grandeur and opulence of the Houses of Parliament, where expense claims are like confetti, while beggars and sleight of hand merchants roam the pavement across the street made me shake my head. Do I want my country to be a part of this charade? No way. Vote Yes for sanity.

  56. handclapping says:

    Firstly I’m going by the list in the Scotsman linked to and secondly my current affairs is not that good but I noticed that the following of the countries attending the SNP conference have “independence” problems
    Canada, China, Germany, Nigeria, Spain
    and the following independence / border problems
    Austria – Italy. Cyprus – Turkey, France – Belgium – Netherlands, Finland – Norway – Russia.
    Which leaves only 8 without a special interest in the referendum,
    Australia, Cuba, Japan, Malawi, Poland, Qatar, Slovenia (Rosa?), USA.

  57. Red Squirrel says:

    I do expect this to get nastier but I also wonder if there will come a point where the NO parties have to give up on Project Fear to save themselves.  Republicans/Tea Party have just had their backsides kicked and seen approval ratings plummet – Labour/Tory/Lib Dems may have to throw in the towel and focus on saving their own skins at the next UK GE.
    Amazing isn’t it, how there isn’t a cheep from Westminster over Grangemouth, seeing as how we’re better together and all. Obviously they’re not interested in the 30% of UK/80% Scottish supply since it probably won’t affect the important people.

  58. pro-loco says:

    @ Jim Mitchell
    Yes I saw a story in the Courier which reported this. A quick search of the Courier today showed up nothing but I’m not an expert on papers past history files. From memory it was wounded Yes voters who were to be awarded Mr Davidson’s tender mercies.

  59. John H. says:

    O/T Sorry Rev. These YES badges really work. I was out at a pet suppliers about an hour ago getting some stuff for my dog. I had completely forgotten that I was wearing my YES badge. The young guy serving me asked me if it was about the referendum next year. He said he was inclined towards independence, but he didn’t know anything about it. He did seem to be very interested.

    He hasn’t yet received his free newspaper which surprised me for this area. I gave him a crash course on why we should vote YES, and tomorrow I’m going back out with more information, a copy of the YES newspaper, the Aye Right! leaflet, and some badges. By the time I’m finished with him he’ll have been well and truly “infected.”

    There are about a dozen young folk working in this shop, no doubt all or mostly in the same state of ignorance. He will I’m sure spread the word. I would like to buy some more Aye Right! leaflets, but don’t know how to order them up. Can anyone help me? I would appreciate it.

  60. Oneironaut says:

    “If Bettertogether started accusing the SNP of child murder and Satanism, his reply would be ‘not negative enough’.”
    Someone should anonymously suggest that particular angle to them.  I’m sure it’s one of the few they haven’t tried yet.
    You know what they say about giving someone enough rope to hang themselves with… 😉

  61. Oneironaut says:

    @Red Squirrel
    About the Grangemouth thing…  I suspect they’re actually trying not to draw too much attention to that right now since it could easily blow up in the face of the attempt at positive “The Union will stand up for workers” and all that cr… err, rubbish!

  62. gordoz says:

    Oh dear God –
    Dailly, MacDougall, McTiernan & Smart dont’ half love themselves, blairite lefties and nothing more.
    Who in their right mind are these guys attracting support from in the wider population – we know they believe this pish but does the bloke on the street not see through the mince ?
    Quoting Wallace  for Christ sake – now that is sacrilege?

  63. JasonF says:

    @jim mitchell and @pro-loco
    Ian Davidson:
    “the referendum… is now settled”
    “the decision effectively has been made by the majority of Scots”
    “the youngsters of Aberdeen, not to mention the bookmakers, have indicted which way the result is going to go”
    “of course the debate will go on in the sense there’s a large number of wounded still to be bayoneted [and] the BBC will continue its campaign”
    On Islands 2014 (audio, from around 16:10 in).

  64. jim mitchell says:

    JasonF, thank you for that, i wonder if Mr Sarwar knows about it yet?

  65. Papadocx says:

    Re Grangemouth, is there any linkage between Vitol & Ineos?  

  66. The Man in the Jar says:

    Seeing how Crusty sorry Prof Curtice is in our thoughts I had a wee look at my recording of the SNP conference and about a half hour in just after the Andrew Wilson interview I found the Prof talking about post independence Holyrood. He said in words to the effect that there would not be room for two social democratic parties meaning Labour and the SNP. “Or will we in fact find that they come together”
    What? Labour and SNP merge. Jeez what an astute and incisive view from the Prof. there.

  67. Murray McCallum says:

    “However, Downing Street’s strategy may become harder to defend over the next 11 months, since it is clear that the SNP intends relentlessly to criticise him for not turning up.”
    Quote from an article in the Irish Times by Mark Hennessy. A brief article but written, I think, without the UK bias, e.g. hill to climb balanced with quote from AS “energy is building”. No mention of only 25% support.
    Six of the seventeen paragraphs highlight Cameron’s refusal to debate. This is clearly a simple theme that any democratic person can identify with.

  68. Alex taylor says:

    @ John H.
    Hi John
    I’m in the throes of ordering up some Aye Right leaflets in the form of a credit card. You can whip out a card and present it to those expressing an interest in finding out more about the Indy debate.
    I’m teaking it a wee bit for legibility, but I’ll have them for the end of next week and would be happy to post off a few to you. And that goes for anyone else who thinks they could use them.

  69. gordoz says:

    Mr Ian Davidson MP is no longer a son of Scotland by any means; and since all these comments eminate from an eleceted member (?) please, please, please  remember to remind him of this fact if unlucky enough to be in his company on the morning of September 19th 2014.

    What a pathetic disgusting specimen (how does anybody vote for sucha creep)
    A Scot  – really ?

  70. kininvie says:

    @John H
    When we out yesterday, Albalha suddenly turned up out of nowhere, dumped an armload of Aye Right leaflets on our stall, and then disappeared before I had the wit to ask her where we could get more, and indeed what we owed her for them…
    So, if she’s reading, maybe she could answer both questions?

  71. John H. says:

    Alex Taylor 3.13pm.
    Thanks Alex, What’s the best way to contact you?

  72. Alex taylor says:

    Albalha met me this morning, driving all the way over to Hamilton, to give me a bundle of Aye Right leaflets, and she would not take any money from me for them. She, and people like her, is the reason we’ll win this thing next year.

  73. Erchie says:

    The island was Gruinard
    I think Mr Sarwar should look forst to Ian Davidson who talked of bayonetting people in the event of a NO vote in the IndyRef

  74. Alex taylor says:

    John H.
    I’m not sure what the best advice on leaving personal details is. Can anyone else help with this? I’ve seen people being warned to remove email addresses when they put them up.

  75. Marcia says:

    Alex Taylor
    Email the contact details to the Rev – the good young man will pass them on.

  76. Alex taylor says:

    Thanks Marcia. I’ll do that now.

  77. Alex taylor says:

    @John H.
    Sent the Rev an email and hopefully we can sort things out once he has a minute (though I don’t know how he manages it if he does).
    If your following the threads around next Friday, I’ll fire in an Off Topic comment (when it’s not too rude to do so, Rev) to let you know I’ve got the cards and we’ll go from there.

  78. Brian Powell says:

    I hadn’t realised the the BBC commentator speaking over the beginning of Nicola Sturgeon’s key speech was covering what she was saying about the cuts from the Westminster Government are going to get much worse.
    Is that true? Anyone confirm that, who was there?

  79. cath says:

    “The Unionists are unhappy over the success of the SNP conference, the speeches of Salmond and Sturgeon, in particular have unsettled them.”
    I have that distinct impression too. The problem I think the no campiagn have is that those in the Westminster-media-political echo chamber genuinely believe their own propaganda. So in 2011 they didn’t think a referendum would happen, last year they honestly thought Salmond really wanted devo-max and would run away terrified if denied that option.
    And now, they believe the myth they’ve created of a Yes campaign and SNP in disarray and under huge pressure because “the polls aren’t moving” and the media is solidly attacking them continually, and with no real arguments for independence. So in their visions, this SNP conference should have been a miserable affair where activists commiserated with each other and recriminations flew about, and people attacked each other. And, of course, the SNP being a kind of coaltion policy for post yes (or indeed post no) would cause bitter rankles and in-fighting and manouvering for position. Then Salmond and Sturgeon would make poor speeches, especially Salmond – is it too much to hope me might mention Braveheart as well? – which could be ridiculed for having no arguments at all.
    Instead it was upbeat, a party still totally united, a complete dedication to winning next year, and many very fine speeches, often including fundamental arguments for independence that really don’t have any counter. I suspect the mood of the party and activists there, and the focus of the leaders speeches will have them confused and worried. Bear in mind no Westminster party can imagine either what conviction politics means, or imagine a scenario where there isn’t more focus on personalities attacking each other and political manouvering. This is the kind of party conference they won’t have seen before. It shouldn’t have happened in their books. They’ll be asking themselves why the hell are these people looking so happy an confident?

  80. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Alex Taylor
    Me to, Me to! I notice that you are in Hamilton. I am in Bothwell. Willing to help if I can. How about a distribution point say Strathclyde park you could announce when openly on the forum. I am happy to deliver to those that cant make it.

  81. The Man in the Jar says:

    I noticed the spontaneous energy and enthusiasm at the SNP conference. Compare that to the stage managed efforts of the Conservative and Labour party conferences which seemed more than a bit flat by comparison.

  82. Andrew Morton says:

    Just reading the Irish Times account of AS’s speech. Nothing new in the article and no commments beneath, but there were two adverts alongside each other, Better Together and Pre Paid Funeral Plans. Is there a connection?

  83. Alex taylor says:

    @The Man in the Jar
    Nae bother that man in the jar. We can meet up as soon as I get them.

  84. gillie says:

    Ian’ t it obvious by all these remarks from mad unionists that the SNP have had a very successful conference. Even the BBC were forced to feature Bliar McDougall in what turned out to be a botched attempt at grabbing the limelight from Salmond and Sturgeon.
    William Wallace a unionist?????? It shows the idiocy at the heart of the NO campaign.

  85. gillie says:

    Only 400 Unite members, family members and political reps turned up for the Grangemouth demo. Since there are over 1400 workers at the Ineos plant the management will be pleased that the majority of workers have stayed away. The union has played this all wrong.

  86. Ian Smart’s comment about some Labour supporters preference for Thatcher ahead of Alex Salmond is reminiscent of a comment that was once made by Brian Wilson during a general election campaign back in the early 1980’s at a hustings meeting in Balivanich. Wilson said at that meeting that if he had the choice of a Thatcher government in London or an independent SNP led Scottish government in Ediburgh, he would prefer Thatcher! So much for socialism and the Labour Party.
    Regarding John McTernan, I noticed that he seems to have returned to the UK after being involved in the Australian Labour Party’s disaster. Mr McTernan’s political credibility is nil and I am amazed that there are still edia outlets in this country that are prepared to give him money!

  87. John H. says:

    Alex Taylor
    Thanks again Alex. I’m in Bishopbriggs, and I can meet up if you like, just let me know.

  88. Boorach says:

    @ Les Wilson
    The anthrax island is Gruinard and lies in a bay just off the West coast of Rosshire North of Pullewe. Was supposedly deconaminated a while back but I don’t fancy habing a picnic there anytime soon!

  89. muttley79 says:

    @Rev Stu
    We’re not quite sure who all these “lefty liberals” Smart knows are who are so left-wing and liberal that they’d honestly prefer Margaret Thatcher to a leader who wants to return the Royal Mail to public hands, expel nuclear weapons, ensure the minimum wage keeps pace with inflation and protect free tuition and universal public service.
    I think it is getting increasingly clear that the No campaign is losing the plot. 
    @Jim Finlayson
    Ian Smart’s comment about some Labour supporters preference for Thatcher ahead of Alex Salmond is reminiscent of a comment that was once made by Brian Wilson during a general election campaign back in the early 1980?s at a hustings meeting in Balivanich. Wilson said at that meeting that if he had the choice of a Thatcher government in London or an independent SNP led Scottish government in Ediburgh, he would prefer Thatcher!
    Do you think there is any chance that this comment was recorded?
    The problem I think the no campiagn have is that those in the Westminster-media-political echo chamber genuinely believe their own propaganda.
    Good.  :D:

  90. muttley79 says:

    Add this to the white paper next month to be followed by a joint Scottish-UK government statement on what will happen in the immediate aftermath of a Yes or a No, and the increasing panic from the unionist side is only what is to be expected.
    Could this joint Scottish-UK government statement be important?  The MSM only really talk about the White Paper.

  91. scottish_skier says:

    Could this joint Scottish-UK government statement be important?  The MSM only really talk about the White Paper.
    The fact they don’t mention it (I only recall seeing it in the Herald and one other place) suggests it is very important. 
    You can say ‘SNP, white paper rubbish, making it up as they go along, blah blah, dreamers, blah blah’ but what do you say to ‘This is what we’ve agreed’?

  92. cath says:

    The Grangemouth situation is bizarre and there’s clearly politics going on there.
    I can’t help wondering if it isn’t another case of Labour and the Tories working hand in glove together to screw Scotland. Anything at all to bash the SNP. This whole union action started over London Labour’s factional warring over who’d get the safe Falkirk seat. The whole thing was currupt and looked colonial. Then this strike was timed neatly for the weekend of the SNP conference. Now we have a local Labour MSP whinging that they think the UK government might be colluding with the employer.
    If that’s not Labour and Tory working together deliberately to mess up a massive part of the Scottish economy, then they’re doing a bloody good job of doing it together accidentally.

  93. muttley79 says:

    The fact they don’t mention it (I only recall seeing it in the Herald and one other place) suggests it is very important. 
    Mmm, might be something to look out for then.  Do you know if it on the same day as the release of the White Paper, or is a couple of days after it?

  94. scottish_skier says:

    Labour are also panicking because they had a 10.7 point lead in February and now have a 3.6 one for Westminster. That’s looking dangerous and there are already some knives being sharpened for Ed.

  95. Adrian B says:

    Labour are also panicking because they had a 10.7 point lead in February and now have a 3.6 one for Westminster. That’s looking dangerous and there are already some knives being sharpened for Ed.
    Thats before taking into consideration the loss of 40 Labour MPs due to a ‘YES’ referendum result in 2014.

  96. cath says:

    “I hadn’t realised the the BBC commentator speaking over the beginning of Nicola Sturgeon’s key speech was covering what she was saying about the cuts from the Westminster Government are going to get much worse.”
    I can’t confirm, Brian as I didn’t see either! But that would be interesting. It was that part of the speech Brewer on Newsnight was banging on and on about to poor old Fiona Hyslop who obviously hadn’t seen the speech, the night before it. The idea of anyone in Yes going into that kind of negative territory obviously had the unionists terrified, so if the BBC talked over that part that would really be interesting. As well as giving a good idea of what arguments need to be aired more often 🙂

  97. Yesitis says:

    Labour in Dunfermline – doing what Labour do. I wonder if Johann Lamont can find the words to describe this?

  98. Yesitis says:

    Oops! Great to see Labour buffoon Michael McMahon get owned by Alan Cummings

  99. MJB says:

    I have just returned home from my first ever SNP conference,an excellent and uplifting experience with speeches ramming home what we`re trying to achieve,giving Scotland a better future. The unionists don`t want that.they really hate us don`t they!

  100. gavin lessells says:

    Aye right Leaflets available via Robert Allan or self on The updated print run includes

  101. cath says:

    I’m a bit gutted I couldn’t stay long at conference but did at least catch Alex’s speech. Definitely a bit of a party atmosphere there, and loads of different accents from the various speakers and attendees, including a lot of English and American accents. It’s only my second year of SNP membership but last year (my first conference) what really surprised me was how outward looking, internationalist and non-parochial it was – far less than the usual “one nation” Britishness, anti-immigrant guff you get from all the main parties. You get the fantastic sense of a new country emerging that will finally be speaking for itself on the world stage, as it should be and always should have been.
    This year was very much the same feeling but with much more of a buzz and more upbeat and focussed.

  102. Morag says:

    I’m very impressed by the way John Swinney is handling the wider implications of Grangemouth.  I remember a small glitch in petrol supplies while I was living in England caused massive chaos because one of the politicians actually suggested panic buying.  In fact if everyone had behaved normally there would have been no problem but in the event there were huge queues and petrol stations running out.
    Living in the country ten miles from the nearest petrol station, I have to plan my fill-ups.  I had a reasonable amount, enough to get to Perth and back.  I was considering filling up before setting off,  just in case.  However, I heard Swinney on TV say to Brewer that Ineos had a contractual obligation to supply the filling stations and they WOULD do it, one way or another.  Brewer said, surprised, “and do you really expect them to hold to that?”  Swinney looked him straight in the eye and said, “oh yes.”  In THAT sort of voice.  So I didn’t.
    I’ve had an eye on the petrol stations all weekend and there has been no sign of any queues and absolutely no sign of any shortages.  I need to fill up tomorrow, but I’m confident of being able to do so.  That’s how to handle it.  Respect.

  103. Morag says:

    Cath, you really missed a treat not being there for this afternoon.  A real independence rally with great speeches interspersed by music.  Blair Jenkins and the bod from Business for Scotland were especially impressive.  They showed Kirsty again.  That is one hell of a slick film.
    Independence is such a no-brainer.  It only needs to be communicated, and these people know how to communicate it.  It was a wonderful experience.

  104. jim mitchell says:

    o/t but while there’s mention of leaflets, YES leaflets and newspapers have been going through doors here in clackmannanshire, the papers are self explanatory, the  leaflets are to advertise the YES meeting being held in Alloa Town Hall on Tuesday night at 7 .30pm, speakers, Denis Canavan, Blair Jenkins, Jeane Freeman (Women for Independence) & Keith Brown MSP.

    A large advertisement has also been placed in the local paper, both it and the leaflets clearly state ALL WELCOME! See we aint scared and folks have also been told to bring along their questions!

    We will continue to put out the newspapers  on work nights after the meeting, until the word is spread once again, there’s over 1,000 sitting in my hallway for a start.

    Oh and did I mention there will be canvassing as well.

    To paraphrase John Paul Jones , We have not yet begun to fight!

  105. ronnie anderson says:

    Ineos say they have been losing £10mil per month ( for how long ) we will never know as their HQ s in Switzerland does ent look good for Petrochina investments in the UK or in a Independent Scotland or any other Chinese investments in our country            INEOS Scotland & its people will not be held to ransom

  106. ronnie anderson says:

    BBC could show mair episods of I love my country ma brain needs some mair pureile stimulis ah dont get enough sleep watching that piss keeps me awake lol

  107. kendomacaroonbar says:

    Please share… this is a promo teaser for Wings website

  108. Alex taylor says:

    Hi Ken
    I don’t do facebook (should I?) but my wife does and I’ll ask her to post it on to her ‘friends’.

  109. kendomacaroonbar says:

    Thanks Alex ! much appreciated.

  110. muttley79 says:

    They showed Kirsty again.  That is one hell of a slick film.
    What is that?

  111. Morag says:

    It’s a PPB for the referendum.  Kirsty is (at the start) a foetus seen on an ultrasound scan who is due to be born on 18th September next year.  The film follows her from baby to young adult, asking what sort of a country she’ll grow up in, as she asks viewers to vote Yes for her future.

  112. John H. says:

    Thanks Gavin and kininvie and everyone who helped me re. the leaflets.

  113. Heather McLean says:

    Brian Powell says: “I hadn’t realised the the BBC commentator speaking over the beginning of Nicola Sturgeon’s key speech was covering what she was saying about the cuts from the Westminster Government are going to get much worse.
    Is that true? Anyone confirm that, who was there?”
    Brian, a transcript of Nicola’s speech is available on Bella Caledonia’s website. Not sure if this is it in its entirety but here’s the link :

  114. Bill C says:

    Re the Davidson quote. “there’s a large number of wounded still to be bayoneted” this was the language used in reference to the butchery which took place after the Battle of Culloden. Butcher Cumberland instructed his troops to bayonet the Highland wounded after the battle. The man is beneath contempt.

  115. Amanda Burgauer says:

    Edward, here’s a translation of the article you linked (with comments)…

    Schottische Nationalpartei: Plädoyer für Unabhängigkeit
    Scottish National Party: Plea for Independence 

    Alex Salmond: Niemand kann Schottland die Fähigkeit zur Unabhängigkeit absprechen. 
    Alex Salmond: Nobody can deny Scotland’s ability to be independent. 

    Foto: Derek Ironside/Archiv
    London/Perth – Elf Monate vor dem Referendum über die Unabhängigkeit Schottlands von Großbritannien hat der schottische Ministerpräsident Alex Salmond ein Plädoyer für das Verlassen der Union gehalten.
    Eleven months before the Referendum about the independence of Scotland from Great Britain [in German, the equivalent to United Kingdom, das Vereinte Königreich, is not really used commonly and Great Britain is used interchangeably as the geographic region and the political country], the Scottish First Minister [although the German word used here is the equivalent of Ministerial President, i.e. head of state of a republic] Alex Salmond made a plea for leaving the union.

    Zum Start des Parteitags seiner Schottischen Nationalpartei (SNP) in Perth sagte Salmond, niemand könne Schottland die Fähigkeit zur Unabhängigkeit absprechen. Die Gegner auf englischer Seite versuchten Ängste zu schüren.
    To begin the party convention day of his Scottish National Party (SNP) in Perth, Salmond said that nobody could deny Scotland’s ability to be independent. The opponents on the English side were attempting to nurture fears. 

    Die Bürger Schottlands entscheiden am 18. September 2014 darüber, ob sie weiter Teil Großbritanniens sein wollen. Die britische Regierung in London ist strikt gegen eine Abspaltung. Die Umfragen sehen die Unabhängigkeitsgegner derzeit mit etwa 63 zu 38 Prozent vorne.
    The citizens of Scotland will decide on 18. September 2014 whether they want to remain part of Great Britain. The British Government [and yes, having “britische” in lower case is incorrect in German grammar too] in London strictly opposes the separation. The polls currently see the opponents of independence ahead with 63 against 38 percent. [Weird maths;)]

  116. X_Sticks says:

    Also re the Davidson quote, but other bits of it:
    “The referendum , in my view, is now settled. The decision has been made by the majority of Scots. The youngsters of Aberdeen, not to mention the bookmakers, have quite clearly indicated the way in which the result is going to go.”
    – blah, blah, blah –
    “Those who are going to win the referendum know, by and large, that they are going to win the referendum and do not need to make concessions”
    So that’s that then. We might as well give up. Probably no point in even voting.
    But seriously, I don’t think Davidson is the only unionist from the westminster camp that has said something similar. As I recall, Danny Alexander, Michael Moore and possibly Douglas Alexander have all said they know they will win the referendum.
    Maybe it’s just my paranoia, but I am beginning to think there may be moves afoot to try and damage the referendum or it’s result. Can they all be that disconnected that they believe they will win?

  117. Morag says:

    If Davidson had inside knowledge that the referendum was going to be rigged, would he really come out with lines like that?

    Oh wait, yes he would. He IS that stupid.

    Actually, I think it would be extremely difficult to rig the referendum to a meaningful extent, despite what we know about Labour councillors in Bradford.  I think it would be naive to assume it’s impossible someone might attempt it, though.

    Paper, blunt pencils and a small army of moonlighting bank clerks with campaign activists looking over their shoulders.  And close scrutiny of postal votes.  That’s what we need.

  118. Oneironaut says:

    “Actually, I think it would be extremely difficult to rig the referendum to a meaningful extent, despite what we know about Labour councillors in Bradford.  I think it would be naive to assume it’s impossible someone might attempt it, though.”
    There’s big money at stake here.  And we know that governments have been prepared to do anything to keep their money, from secretive assassinations to illegal wars.  Simply rigging a vote is likely something they wouldn’t have any qualms about doing, and it would be well within their means with enough cash in the right hands.

    I’d be very very surprised if someone in Westminster hadn’t at least mentioned the idea behind closed doors.  After all it can’t have escaped everyone’s notice that their campaign was falling apart from the very beginning.

    Even if the Yes campaign looks like it’s won the day, this could still be a danger that could undo everything at the last minute.
    Might sound paranoid, but it’s better to consider all the possibilities…

    Hope for the best while planning for the worst!

  119. HandandShrimp says:

    The conference and the generally positive image it has generated in even the normally hostile areas of the media does seem to have been a step too far for some and eyes have swivelled and brains exploded all over the shop. For a campaign that says it is winning comfortably they are awfully ratty.

  120. Morag says:

    That’s the thing, if they think they’re winning comfortably they won’t be thinking about rigging the vote.  Maybe it’s good if they keep on thinking they’re winning comfortably.
    Conference was amazing, and in particular the last afternoon.  (Which I missed the first five minutes of due to lingering in a nearby restaurant that actually had a WiFi signal, unlike the Concert Hall which had neither WiFi nor phone signals.)  Seductive mix of serious speeches and upbeat music (if you like that sort of music anyway).  Positive vision for independence, serious warnings about what a No vote might mean without getting personal against the No campaign, and clear evidence that this is winnable.
    I wish some undecideds could have sat through that lot.  But then, every attempt will be made to ensure they get the information.  As Nicola said on Friday, we have one huge advantage – we’re right.  And this is a formidable campaigning team.
    I think the No campaign may realise this.  And I don’t necessarily assume they’re honest.  I just don’t see how it’s possible to rig a manual, paper-and-pencil, manually-counted vote sufficiently to swing something like this where there are millions of voters.  Who are they going to bribe, and how, and how are they going to do it without someone squealing?

  121. John Loftus says:

    INEOS are claiming a loss at Grangemouth of £10million a week.But have not produced any figures to back this up.
    Does this not reek of the Thatcher figures,about everything that they proceeded to privatise or threaten to close?? While using the revenue from North Sea oil,to destroy the unions within these industries. 
    What are Labour & the Unions actually saying about this? Apart from those directly involved in this shameful dispute. 
    Petro-chemical refinery losing money?? You’ve got to laugh!!

  122. Keef says:

    Wow Ken.
    Your teaser looks simply awesome.
    Can’t wait to see the finished article. If it’s as polished as the teaser it will be a huge asset for the YES campaign.
    More power to you.

  123. HandandShrimp says:

    Given Holyrood is running this show and the Electoral Commission is answerable to Holyrood I’m guessing that if it is a Yes vote we should stand by for fevered accusations that we rigged the vote.

  124. Jimbo says:

    Wow – William Wallace fought for England and English control of Scotland – This guy, Mick Dilly, must read his history books backwards.

  125. Morag says:

    It just goes to show that these guys habitually say the first thing that comes into their heads, in the sure and certain knowledge that nobody in the mainstream media is going to call them on it.

    That the first thing that comes into their heads is ludicrous nonsense doesn’t seem to matter in the slightest.

  126. Kendomacaroonbar says:

    thank you Keef 

  127. Jimbo says:

    @ Morag
    “That the first thing that comes into their heads is ludicrous nonsense doesn’t seem to matter in the slightest.”
    You must be a mind reader, Morag. I was thinking exactly the same thing. We all, sometimes, have ludicrous thoughts, but we’re not stupid enough to put them into print for all the world to see. I bet the clown thought that that was a very clever thing to come out with.  
    I think that some of these Brit Nats think that Scots have a Braveheart fixation, when in fact it is they themselves who are fixated by it.

  128. Oneironaut says:

    “Who are they going to bribe, and how, and how are they going to do it without someone squealing?”
    Well I don’t really know the whole process of how the votes are collected and counted and the results passed on to whoever makes the official announcements, so couldn’t comment on any weak points that could be exploited there.
    As for someone squealing, well considering that the No campaign essentially owns the media, it’s fairly certain they’d just fall back on the old tried and tested “conspiracy theorist” line.  With Westminster accusing the Yes campaign of being bad losers or something similar.
    My dad mentioned something about the previous vote for independence being overturned by Westminster simply moving the goalposts, metaphorically speaking.  Claiming that it required a certain percentage of the population to have voted in it and that it actually fell short of that.
    No idea how they managed to get away with that one if it’s true.
    These people can get away with anything it seems…

  129. Adrian B says:

    My dad mentioned something about the previous vote for independence being overturned by Westminster simply moving the goalposts, metaphorically speaking.  Claiming that it required a certain percentage of the population to have voted in it and that it actually fell short of that.
    1979 was not actually for Independence, it was actually a Referendum for Devolution. The 40% rule was devised by a Scottish Labour MP sitting in an English Labour seat. Even then much of Labour was not in favour of giving the Scots Devolution – some things never change ehh? Johann  Lamont didn’t want Devolution then, strange now that we have Devolution, she is fighting for Scotland not to become Independent.

  130. Morag says:

    Your Dad is right about that, but it won’t happen again.  It was an extra requirement inserted into the 1979 referendum bill at Westminster by a Labour MP, as a wrecking amendment.  We have the Edinburgh agreement, and it has no such provision.  Any attempt to insert something like that would cause an outcry of deafening proportions, and in fact it’s too late to do it now anyway.
    Counting of votes is extremely transparent.  If it’s done the traditional way with lots of bank clerks and similar people employed to count them manually, it’s essentially impossible to subvert at that stage.  Not only does one person only count a tiny proportion of the total number, they have counting agents breathing down their necks while they do it – these are people from the various parties, or campaigns as it will be in this case.
    Unclear or spoiled ballots are scrutinised individually in the presence of the candidates and agents, who are free to object.  Sometimes mistakes are made, and a recount will reveal this.  The way the votes are bundled up after counting makes this fairly quick and easy to do.  The Yes campaign will have people swarming all over this.  So will the No campaign, but the sheer number of pairs of eyes keeps it honest.
    Ballot boxes are individually checked against the marked-off voters roll to make sire that the number of papers in the box is correct for the number of people who actually put votes into the box.  So nobody can stuff the boxes.  Or find new ones.  Same  for postal votes.
    The one way postal vote fraud can work is for parties to get hold of legitimately-issued postal voting papers sent to individual voters, by influencing the voter or by registering non-existent voters at addresses in the constituency.  Some Labour councillors tried it a few years ago and were caught.  The scale of the fraud was breathtaking, but it was amateur and cack-handed.  It seemed to be based on Asian family influence in an inner-city Bradford ward, and imagining that nobody would be suspicious of multiple papers with alterations or even Tippex on them.
    There are always stories of dirty tricks, and they mostly involve Labour, but it’s a lot harder to do than it was.  It’s possible some small-scale fraud might happen, but the process is very transparent and there are a lot of checks.  And the returning officers really do pride themselves on being scrupulous.  If it’s done as it was in 1997, there will be many returning officers.  They can’t bribe them all.
    The piecemeal nature of the exercise means there’s nowhere a single act could influence the vote by more than a small margin.  Making a significant difference would need an operation so widespread I don’t see how it could be done without being detected.
    I’m not saying we don’t have to watch out.  But elections have been going on for a long time and there are well-established processes to ensure nobody pulls any fast ones.  (Caveat, I don’t know what happened in Glenrothes, if anything, but even that was only one constituency.)

  131. Morag says:

    1979 was not actually for Independence, it was actually a Referendum for Devolution.
    Good point.  I missed that.  I’ve been very surprised by the number of people on various comments pages who claim that was an independence referendum!  It was for less devolution than we got in 1997.  (It could still have given us the leverage to go for independence instead of putting up with Thatcher, mind you.)
    I’ve also been surprised by the number of people who claim the Yes vote lose on that occasion.  Yes got 51.4% or something like that.  That’ll do fine, next year, though indeed I hope for more.
    This is the first independence referendum Scotland has had.  We voted Yes on both previous devolution referendums, let’s  go for the hat trick.

  132. Adrian B says:

    Good point.  I missed that. 
    It is often referred to incorrectly, the simple fact is it was the first time that we had a Referendum to radically change who makes decisions in Scotland.
    1979 was a big event. It almost happened – we were robbed by the 40% rule. The Devolution on offer at the time was a fraction of the devolved powers that we enjoy today – that said at the time it was massive. That should not be understated.

  133. Morag says:

    Absolutely true.  I didn’t get all that het up about it at the time, myself, but I was young.  I was also in the middle of my PhD.  I sort of surfaced from my lab work, voted Yes, got mad about the 40% rule (not necessarily in that order) and went back to the test-tubes.  A couple of weeks later my 18-year-old cousin died very suddenly, and the family had a lot more to think about.
    Looking back, I think I never quite believed it would happen.  Certainly not after the 40% rule.  It was our destiny to be sold down the river,  why expect anything different?  So I wasn’t involved other than actually voting.  Talking to those who were, it seems I missed a world of pain.

  134. Big AL says:

    Sorry for being late to the party again.

    papadocx asked if there was a link between Vitol and Ineos. I believe I found one. A very high level one.:

  135. john king says:

    oneironaut says
    “My dad mentioned something about the previous vote for independence being overturned by Westminster simply moving the goalposts, metaphorically speaking.”
    There was nothing metaphorical about the person by the name of George Cunningham’s actions,
    educated in Dunfermline and a name that with ever live in infamy,
    I  hope the devil has a special place in hell for him and the people who put him up to it,
    its noticeable that not all who serve the establishment go on to claim their ermine robe  as he resigned from the labour party to join the newly founded social democratic party where he contested a seat with the Labour candidate to lose and he never stood for parliament again 
    check oot jon snow

  136. john king says:

    I was removing the cite tags rev and as you can see I,m the next poster but the ajax edit says you cannot edit,

  137. Keef says:

    Hey Big AL
    I believe you are today’s winner of best ‘just saying’ post.
    Well done for bringing, what could be a very interesting piece of information to light.

  138. Ken500 says:

    London calls the ‘Olympics’ the ‘London Olympics’. Boris Johnston stood in front of a Banner declaring ‘The London Olympics’ broadcast by the London based BBC, all around the world.

    Scotland was one of the highest Olympics medal winners (pro rata) in the world.

    Scotland is still waiting for Scottish Charities funding back, (£millions) disproportionately taken for the Olympics. Scotland paid (pro rata) for the Olympics. It was taken off the Block Grant. The Scottish taxpayers are funding the Commonwealth Games.

  139. Ken500 says:

    Anyone delivering YES newspapers. Write ‘’, at the top.

  140. Ken500 says:

    ‘Rough Justice’ should have a Box No. Or an address, so people can send cheques. Sometimes the ‘payment’ links do not work. Sometimes folk would rather not leave details etc.

  141. Ken500 says:

    Scotland does not do well under the Barnet Fornmula. Voters in Scotland have no control over their own finances. Scottish voters are out voted ten to one in the rest of the Union, Scottish votes (and the Feeble Fifty ie MP’s sent to Westminster from Scotland ) don’t count in Westminster. They can always be outvoted. The West Lothian question us a myth. Decisions on Scotland are always taken by a majority of MP’s from thevrest of the UK.

    Scotland is not served well by Barnett Formula/Westminster London centric economic, social and foreign policies. Scotland becomes responsible for the rest of the UK debt. Monies borrowed and spent disproportionately in the rest of the UK. Westminster’s illegal wars and non regulating banking policies are taking £Billions out of Scotland to pay debt incurred by Westminster’s decision. Westminster Politicans tell lies to the electorate and then carry out policies totally against the electorate wishes. Scotland would be better financially and have better government if fiscal, social and foreign policy decisions were taken in Holyrood. Westminster decisions are a disaster for the UK and especially for Scotland. It tajes revenues dusproportionately out of Scotland. Scotland pays in more revenues (pro rata) and puts less money back (pro rata). Westminster makes expensive mistakes. Costing Scotland dear, with no fiscal control over the Scottish economy.

  142. Ken500 says:

    * Barnett Formula

  143. Scarlett says:

    Re: Andrew Gilligan from the Telegraph, I spoke to him at the conference as I was maning a stand. The first thing he said was ‘I’m up from London’. Lucky you! The second was ‘But surely the Scottish economy will collapse in the event of independence’ I’ll admit I did lose patience and was wee bit rude, then thought better of it and asked not to be quoted, offering my boss for a quote instead. Having read his article, no way my comments would have made it in, too positive about Scotland’s future!

  144. Keef says:

    Ken . Can I ask why not

  145. Morag says:

    At the risk of sounding like a scold, I don’t think that’s a good idea at all.  We’re supposed to be delivering these papers, not personalising them or adding our own wee messages.  If the publishers had wanted to point people to a particular web site they’d have printed it there themselves.  Some people could even be put off by extra things scribbled on the paper.  And as we know, NNS isn’t to everybody’s taste.
    If anything, these cards that were being talked about earlier, with a number of different web adresses printed on them, might be something that could be popped through the letter-box at the same time as the papers.  But writing the NNS url on every paper?  Apart from the sheer amount of work and the writer’s cramp, I’d advise against it, personally.

  146. The Man in the Jar says:

    I am a bit slow on this. Yesterday was a busy day!
    Regarding the tweet “Scots who vote No are the sons and daughters of William Wallace” I forwarded this article to the convenor of The Society of William Wallace” who sends his thanks.
    Last time I saw Duncan (the convenor) and the rest of the SoWW they were marching beside at least 20,000 other Scots up Carlton Hill under their society banner. Strange that. 😉

  147. Ken500 says:

    Why – name easily recognised/remembered? Various contributions.

    Posters give links to Wings etc.

    Wings OK as well. Excellent

  148. Morag says:

    Well, I don’t think writing anything on these newspapers is OK.  If you’re determined, get a bundle of these cards with the web addresses on them and deliver them at the same time.  Don’t write anything on that very carefully designed and prepared newspaper.
    I think I’d be a lot more inclined to throw something like that in the bin if someone had scribbled a web site address on it.  It would seem unprofessional to me.

  149. Juteman says:

    I think Morag is correct. We are trying to convince the undecided that voting Yes is a sensible, grown-up choice. The No campaign try their best to portray Indy folk as a minority of weirdos.
    Much better to add a professional looking card, than scribbling on the paper itself, in my opinion. 

  150. Robert Louis says:

    Personally, I don’t think writing a relevant web address on the YES papers is bad or good – it’s not that important.  I honestly cannot see however, why it might make somebody not read it, if there is a web address written on it, so in my mind it doesn’t matter either way. 

    If somebody wants to spend time doing it, then they must be very keen, but it would be hard work.  I genuinely admire the enthusiasm though – it’s what the YES campaign needs.
    Perhaps an easier solution, and something to consider would be printing out some of the many A5 flyers or A6 postcards by indy poster boy, and delivering at the same time.


  151. muttley79 says:

    For a campaign that says it is winning comfortably they are awfully ratty.
    Salmond’s quote in Holyrood magazine:
    “Nobody believed that joining the SNP all these years ago or even becoming an SNP candidate was a good career move and it certainly didn’t look like very promising circumstances at the time and so I take the establishment raining down on me and the SNP as a compliment but for people that claim extreme confidence about victory, they seem very anxious, do they not?”

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