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Wings Over Scotland

Edited highlights

Posted on January 25, 2014 by

So the Daily Mail emailed us earlier in the week, all friendly-like. They wanted to chat on the phone about this whole frightful “cybernat” business or send a reporter and photographer round, but as our head doesn’t button up the back and we didn’t just sail up the Clyde on a digestive biscuit we indicated that we’d rather keep everything nice and on-the-record in case of any unfortunate accidental misquotings.


So instead, we had them send their questions in writing and we sent back some helpful replies, accompanied by a clause that we’ve found effective in dissuading newspaper hacks from using extracts out of context. Below is a list of the Mail’s questions and the answers we sent them. In bold we’ve highlighted the parts that were actually used in the article, purely for the interest of readers who might find themselves in similar situations in the future and would like to know how it works.

“I was interested in what you do for a living – is running Wings a full-time job? I noticed some details in the Guardian yesterday which suggested crowd-funding had enabled to you to turn it into more than a hobby.  Was this piece (and the figures) accurate?”

Running Wings is my full-time job. The crowdfunding pays a modest living wage and covers the costs and expenses of running the site.

“I have also read you’re a video games journalist – are you still doing this?”

No. Wings takes up all of my time.

The article nevertheless appeared with a strapline screaming “A retired oil executive, a jobless man of 41 who lives with his mum and a Bath-based video games writer. Meet just some of the agitators whose online poison is shaming the Nationalists”.

“How do you see your role in the independence debate? Why is the website/crowd-funding so popular?”

I see my role as providing a small counterbalance to a completely Unionist media which prints lies and distortions every day. Not a single newspaper backs a Yes vote, and that’s a dreadful state of affairs in a democracy. So far as I can tell from what people say to me, Wings Over Scotland is popular because people like being told the truth and don’t feel that the press is doing that job.

Our clause specifies that quotes can only be used in full, not in part, except by prior written agreement. The Mail asked if they could use the first sentence alone, but we said no, and that it had to be accompanied by at least the second one. They decided not to use any of it.

“Do you recognise the growing concern in Scotland about ‘cybernats’? Do you consider yourself a cybernat?”

The term “cybernat” is an attempted smear intended to denigrate anyone who supports independence and can operate a computer. It was coined by a Labour peer to create the impression that only Yes voters ever say anything unkind or offensive on the internet, which – as anyone who’s ever been on the internet can tell you – is a laughable fiction.

I’ve been threatened with being raped and murdered, and just about everything else you can think of. Frankie Boyle had his home address printed with people urged to go and assault him because he spoke in favour of independence. Abuse is universal on the internet, but the likes of your newspaper selectively only report it from one side.

The Mail asked to use the last sentence of that paragraph on its own, and we agreed, but it didn’t appear in the published piece.

“Have you ever made any comments online that you regretted? (If so can you give any detail?)”


“Some Twitter users have pointed out that you don’t have a vote in the referendum as you don’t live in Scotland – is this accurate (ie that you won’t be able to vote in September) and do you recognise that as a valid criticism?”

The referendum is still eight months away. But no, it’s not a valid criticism anyway. Countless government ministers and MPs of all parties who don’t live in Scotland seem to feel able to offer their opinions on the subject – including the Prime Minister, even if he’s scared to have a debate about it. Plenty of London-based journalists too.

The Mail ignored both this point and the technical correction, with the published article insisting “he cannot even vote in the independence referendum”.

“Are you registered to vote in UK/council elections down south?”

 [declined to answer, as the Mail’s been going to a lot of trouble to try to get my address in recent weeks and if they’re going to lurk about outside my front door I want them to at least have to work for it.]

“Also some people have pointed to your title ‘reverend’ – are you a reverend and if so for which church?”

I am, and mind your own business, in that order.

“Do you have any association with Yes Scotland? I read that they were keen to distance themselves from Wings – any thoughts on that?”

I represent, take instructions from, and speak for nobody but myself. If Blair Jenkins or Alex Salmond or anyone else tried to tell me what I could write or say, they’d be told what they could shove and where. The notion of a Great Cyber Control HQ where thousands of internet users are marshalled, co-ordinated and deployed in the service of dastardly separatist overlords is a paranoid fantasy worthy of Joe McCarthy.

The Mail of course ignored the first part, because it doesn’t fit with their narrative that “cybernats” are the direct responsibility of the SNP and Alex Salmond, and that their failure to exercise their (non-existent) control over them is a shameful moral failing.

“I noticed you correspond on Twitter with Roseanna Cunningham.  Are there any other SNP figures who have taken an interest in your work or contacted you – again any detail would be good.”

People can see for themselves who I talk to on Twitter, it’s a public medium. I talk to Daily Mail journalists on there too – just like retweets, conversations are not necessarily endorsements, in either direction.

“There are some references online to your Twitter dialogue with the sister of Hillsborough victim Thomas Fox; you told her: ‘If people stop when they get to a wall of human beings instead of ramming it, nobody dies.’ You also accused those you hold responsible for the crushing [ie the fans] of being ‘c***s.’ Just to check, do you have any thoughts to offer in relation to that?”

I stand by everything I’ve said on the subject. The actions of the police – both on the day and in subsequent years – were appalling and criminal and contributed to the death toll, but they weren’t the ones pushing people into the fences. Those who did are ultimately responsible for the tragedy.

Obviously, journalists will never use everything you say to them. But by comparing the above to the finished article which appeared in the Mail (and the context of the quotes that were used), we hope we’ve given readers an instructive lesson in what to expect if you’re ever the subject of a hostile press.

We can’t emphasise enough the importance of conducting any interviews in writing if at all possible. If you get doorstepped or ambushed in the street, try to have the presence of mind to resist the natural temptation to respond there and then. Tell them to contact you in writing – because if they knew where to find you, they know where to contact you by email or Twitter or Facebook, trust us – and walk away.

And however much you might be morally justified, please don’t punch anyone. The police, and all mankind, will completely understand, but they’ll still have to arrest you.

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105 to “Edited highlights”

  1. DougtheDug says:

    “We can’t emphasise enough the importance of conducting any interviews in writing if at all possible.”

    Just as an addendum to that if you ever see a political figure being interviewed and recorded by a TV team they always, always have an aide with a recorder standing to one side recording the interview so that they have a full and complete record of what was asked and said.

  2. JLT says:

    Well, Rev …it certainly gives us an insight into the workings (and shenanigans) of the Mail.

    I tried to find the article on the Mail website …but guess what …hee-haw! …which actually surprises me, because you would think that this would be the perfect moment to have comments from the deranged Nationalistas coming to the Mail website to spout forth all their bile and hatred.

    Even if everyone of us on this site left a comment on the Mail website, you would still get some idiot coming along and saying English this, English that! Perfect ammo for the paper. So, I’m rather surprised that they didn’t publish it online with a comments input.

    I assume, that if the Mail came calling again, it would be case of ‘thanks, but no thanks!’ No point in getting at the stake twice!

  3. yerkitbreeks says:

    Some innocents will get ambushed and get aroused by the idea of 15 minutes of notoriety – there’s nothing you can ever do for them ( and anyway they won’t be reading this good advice )

  4. JLT says:

    ‘burnt at the stake twice’ …arghh!!!

    Bring back the edit feature, Rev!!!

  5. yerkitbreeks says:

    Guess you’ve seen the Scotsman article encouraging a newspaper to ” come out “

  6. Is that Bertie Basset that takin the fotie?

  7. Kendomacaroonbar says:

    You know, I keep thinking of the scene in the Matrix film where Neo is cornered and confronted in a corridor with Agent Smith and his sidekicks. They fire off yet another fusillade of bullets openly for Neo to simply hold up his hand and stop them mid flight.

    I now read and sense a situation where unionist *bullets* directed at the indy cause are now being stopped and redirected towards the unionist feet. Indy supporters can now see there really is nothing to fear from the unionists firepower. They may deploy larger and dirtier firepower as their desperation increases, however they will continue to fire blanks.

    Onwards and upwards guys… fundraising time for Wings is just around the corner, let’s send out a clear message and break all fundraising records.

  8. G H Graham says:

    Or just don’t bother giving any print media your opinion because they will never provide the honesty, accuracy & balance anyway.

    The internet now offers us all an alternative which is why this website is so popular.

  9. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    The ill-advised BT/DM offensive against Cybernat is just another illustration that they know the tide is flowing against them.
    I was speaking to a friend yesterday evening who had met earlier with a group of up-until-now NO people.
    On all of the previous regular meetings the NO-people had mocked her whenever she spoke of voting YES. Yesterday something had changed. When she said she was going later to the Yes Burns Supper at The Hub, they all ducked the subject and made no comment.

    BTW Fiona Hyslop, Alan Bisset, and Elaine C Smith were all in great form at The Hub last night.

  10. I learned many years ago that the only thing to say to a rag like the Daily Hate is “No comment.” Whatever you say / write they will edit and twist to fit their agenda.

  11. yerkitbreeks says:

    Elaine C Smith was fearsome !

  12. Jimsie says:

    You keep the heid Stuart.You and the rest of us are doing just fine. We have the unionists rattled to the extent that they are resorting to desperate measures.

  13. Andy-B says:

    You handled yourself admirably Rev.

    Here’s a man who’s had multiple run in’s with the Daily Mail, he’s exposed them on a multitude of articles, so much so he’s having to move his site to Iceland, due to cyber attacks.

    I’m pretty sure Mr Spivey could inform of the antics of the Daily Mail, which may be helpful to you in the future.

  14. gordoz says:

    Aye – the Great Unionist backing press !

    Is a ‘shower of rogues’ allowed ?

  15. Robert Louis says:


    The article in the laughingly titled ‘Scotsman’, was interesting. It is truly mind boggling, that their is somewhere near 40% of Scots voters crying out for decent referendum coverage, with a pro independence editorial policy, yet despite rapidly falling sales, no newspaper in Scotland seems to have the commercial intuition to see a big gaping opportunity staring them in the face. Instead we get wall to wall copycat pro unionist bull.

    One wonders why.

    The article:

  16. joe kane says:

    It looks like Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre has scrounged 300,000 Euros off Brussels using his Ullapool Langwell Estate as a public begging bowl –

  17. convicted criminal George Foulkes has the nerve to complain about some tweeters. Another negative stick to beat the Yes side with. Its all planned and worse to come folks.

  18. Vincent McDee says:

    Last stop before home has been at a news stand, where I had a peek on the front page of the Scottish Daily Mail, it was all of it dedicated to the Cybernats with emphasis on the possible threat by the Crown Prosecution Office to be really hard on “online bullies” and send them to jail for umptenth years, no parole.

    The incredibly funny part was had by my friend the newsagent who told me when I started laughing at it, he had to start asking for the 90 pence price before allowing anyone to touch a copy…

    …you would not believe the number of customers making a mess out of them and refusing to pay otherwise.

    He’s seriously thinking of having them under the counter and only sell them on demand.

  19. HandandShrimp says:

    The Mail dare not put this on their website because their own wing nuts will give lie to assertion that we are the nasty ones.

  20. Les Wilson says:

    “BTW Fiona Hyslop, Alan Bisset, and Elaine C Smith were all in great form at The Hub last night.”

    Any video links anyone?

  21. creigs1707repeal says:

    Given the proven bias of the MSM in Scotland and now the attack on us Cybernats, time we used our opponents’ weapon against them.

    There is little point in legal action–the outcome (even if, by some miracle, it was won this side of the referendum) will never be heard of. Likewise street protest will go unreported.

    The only option as I see it is a massive crowd-funded advertising campaign covering radio/TV/print. Strategically targetted for maximum impact. We can use their own strength against them–we just need to raise the capital to do it.

  22. Juteman says:

    How about a summer Wings festival on Dacres estate?
    The Ullapool area is beautiful.
    I’m being serious. 🙂

  23. Juteman says:

    A modern ‘landgrsb’, with music and beer. 🙂

  24. Juteman says:


  25. Les Wilson says:

    Robert Louis says:

    I think the Scotsman article is there because they want to test the water, they need something don’t they!

  26. Chic McGregor says:

    Great article by GAP over on Newsnet

    Time for a demo,methinks. Whether pre-organised or smart mobbed.

  27. Vincent McDee says:

    The Rev. could have the pages non published on their website scanned and show them here, they are really worth a good guffaw.

    I still not sure if my friend was serious or just taking the micky, but its beggar belief morons are paying to read it.

  28. velofello says:

    @ HandandShrimp; Bulls Eye!

  29. Steve Bowers says:

    Hi rev, have sent a wee donation, can’t do a monthly one cos I already do one for YES ( shhh, don’t tell my missus ) Keep up the good work and hopefully the DM has managed to boost your funds by a considerable amount. don’t let the bastards grind you down !

  30. TheGreatBaldo says:


    Regarding the old Mail thing…..

    I see the highly successful campaign manager John McTernan has waded into the old Cybernat thing…..

    John McTernan ?@johnmcternan 5 hrs
    @PeteWishart @AlanRoden Great to hear it. Now get your party to stop it happening in the first place.

    John McTernan ?@johnmcternan 5 hrs
    @AllieRenison @alanroden @petewishart If the SNP condemn abuse they should stop their supporters doing it in the first place

    John McTernan ?@johnmcternan 5 hrs
    @PeteWishart @AlanRoden Ah, you don’t actually want the abuse to stop then. Just a posture.

    Surely that can’t be the same John McTernan mentioned in this article from Oz can it….

    Perhaps someone on ye olde Twitter could get Mr McTernan to explain how the activities his “Twitter Army” in Austrailia differed from The Cybernats.

    I mean surely a man who reportedly ran on online smear network wouldn’t be hypocritical or dumb enough to accuse someone else of the same thing.

  31. Doug Daniel says:

    Wouldn’t it be awful if someone found out Graham Grant or Alan Rodent’s home address, took photos and tweeted the photos at them? Bit like when Alex Thomson from Channel 4 doorstepped Kelvin MacKenzie to see how he liked it.

  32. Doug Daniel says:

    Oh dear, my phone auto-corrected “Roden” to “Rodent”. How terribly unfortunate and completely accidental.

  33. Andy-B says:

    @Chic McGregor.

    Great article by GAP over on Newsnet.

    Professor John Robertson, appeared on BBC Radio Scotland this morning,and did a bit of backtracking, regarding his bias poll, he blurted out “I’m no nationalist”, and in my opinion kowtowed a bit to the BBC.

  34. Krackerman says:

    Prof John Robertson is a academic suddenly thrown into the public limelight – a degree of “rabbit and headlights” is only natural… He didn’t deny his results or the methods used to gather the data and that’s what matters.

  35. Bill says:


    I think the thrust of that article is a bit over the top. The report it’s based on is fairly unobjectionable and puts forward the idea that three of the four mainstream parties being anti-independence probably explains most of the results. The argument should be more about pushing for panels to be split up by their take on the issue, rather than by their party. That’s how Question Time, for instance, dealt with the subject a few months back (3 anti-independence participants, 3 pro).

    We’re going into pretty left-field territory when we start talking about the whole of the BBC being anti-independence, rather than simply individual people/reports being skewed. I know some people genuinely believe that, but it will be regarded as a conspiracy theory by most of those in the centre.

  36. Hetty says:

    Reading the interrogation by the mail here, is it not we who should be asking the questions of these immoral and offensive publications? They are misleading people, telling massive lies and really keeping as much of the information and the actual facts about what the referendum actually means away from the voter, they are wilfully deceiving the Scottish public and getting away with it, which is the most disturbing part.

    If any doorstepping uninvited interrogator came to my door, I would just go get my phone and call the police, same in the street. Anyone has a right to be free from harassment, it is actually a human right, not that the mail would care. It is called, The Right to Privacy.

  37. Hetty says:

    Oh and happy Burns night all! We will be reading lots of poems and having a few drams, and I am a Geordie (I guess even an English lass, though we never felt English at all in the N E) who loves Scotland! YES to Independence, it gotta be freedom from the tyranny!

  38. Richard says:

    I wonder if the no campaign aren’t hiding something behind this smokescreen? Any announcements that we have missed?

    I note the publicity about biggest oil exploration licensing round just announced but I wonder if any of the missing poll evidence from before Xmas has been slipped out? It would need to be something really bad for no to warrant this level of diversion.

  39. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I wonder if the no campaign aren’t hiding something behind this smokescreen? Any announcements that we have missed?”

    I was wondering the exact same thing, but I haven’t spotted anything. I can only assume the extended nature of it has been an attempt to cover up all the UK government’s recent U-turns over their fearmongering fibs.

  40. TheGreatBaldo says:

    “I wonder if the no campaign aren’t hiding something behind this smokescreen? Any announcements that we have missed?”

    My money is on the report which showed that YES is winning on social media…..

    Smear the medium and those who use it that sorta thing

  41. Marcia says:

    Within our crowd meeting for lunch today was a retired police officer. When I mentioned the article in the Mail, his reply was that the ‘Establishment must be getting rather worried’. Quite. No doubt trying to demonise this site and all who post here so the view count goes down. However it might do the opposite of what they tried to achieve and bring the ‘Streisand Effect’ into play.

  42. Andy-B says:


    Good for you, a wee bit O’ Burns.

    Address to a Haggis.

    Fair fa’ your honest sonsie face,
    Great chieftain o’the puddin-race,
    Aboon a’ ye tak your place,
    Painch, tripe or thairm,
    Weel are ye wordy o’a grace,
    As lang’s my arm.






    There’s about ten chapters Hetty. Enjoy a wee dram on Burns night.

  43. Richard Lucas says:

    That nice Unionist David Aaronovitch replied to one of my recent pro-Indy Tweets with a reference to the Nazi song from Cabaret – ‘Tomorrow Belongs To Me’. Wasn’t that kind and inclusive of him?

  44. HandandShrimp says:


    Somewhat ironic as he has taken up the chair on Index on Censorship. Perhaps it is some sort of Orwellian named post.

  45. Dal Riata says:

    It shows you how snide and sneaky the Daily Mail’s modus operandi is. The questions are asked in a fair and reasonably friendly manner. An enducement to open up and perhaps say more than you intended… which would then be used against you if their agenda is to ‘get’ you. Scum.

    Thanks for the good advice, Stu. Anyone who has the interests of the people of Scotland at heart by wishing for Scotland’s independence and finds themselves in a position of being accosted by the UK’s MSM is well-heeded to take note.

  46. Richard Lucas says:

    It seems that the gentleman has form for uncongeniality. I know several folk who met him some years back when he made a boat trip through the English Midlands in connection with his writing. None who met him found the experience at all rewarding.

  47. HandandShrimp says:


    I don’t know him from Adam to be honest but he appears to be completely irrelevant to Scottish politics and he won’t be voting. I guess file under bad experience.

  48. All this Cybernat talk fairly brings the traffic in. Last post at Cybernats has now had an incredible number of shares. One lady was kind enough to contact me to say that it transformed her from a wavering DK to a committed Yes. Not in the same league as Wings but it made me feel good. 🙂

  49. Indy_Scot says:

    They are clearly in awe of you and are looking for a chink in your armour which I belive they would use against you for their gain.

  50. Dick Gaughan says:

    Richard Lucas says:
    The reviews on this page are telling

    The customer review section is the best bit.

    Aaronovitch is the typical pseudo-intellectual who was a “socialist” while it was fashionable. After the election of Blair, he started to coin it in by being a media darling. Known toad and tedious self-adoring bore.

  51. scottish_skier says:

    “I wonder if the no campaign aren’t hiding something behind this smokescreen? Any announcements that we have missed?”

    Joint Scottish-UK Government statement. Delayed due to pre-referendum negotiations (which, ahem, are not happening of course) taking a little longer than envisaged presumably. We’re being drip fed the results of these quietly ahead of the final statement (UK taking responsibility for the debt, joint citizenship etc).

    Going to go down like a lead balloon for No when folks find out BT have been lying all the time on EU, currency etc. Darling / Labour are the fall guys.

    Tories can say ‘but we’ve never said these things would not be the case. In fact we’ve made many of them clear before’…

  52. CyberNat Anon Sailor says:

    You’ve certainly got them rattled. Do you want my address to register to vote next year, I’ve a spare room.

  53. Dramfineday says:

    Laughter is the best medicine so, all together now:

    Oh, I’m a cybernat* and I’m okay, I tweet all night and I work all day etc.

    * insert cabernet if you so desire

    Laugh at the baskets – it confuses them.

    PS if we’re having a gather up for some legal mischief count me in for a few quid.

  54. G. Campbell says:

    “I Hate Richard Littlejohn”

    “this week we shared mutual disgust at the behaviour of Richard Littlejohn, the Daily Mail columnist.”

  55. G. Campbell says:

    “Isn’t Nigel Farage just a walking caricature of everything that’s wrong with the Daily Mail?”

  56. G. Campbell says:

    “I’ve been thinking about the gang warfare of party politics. Why is it we make instant judgements about people based on their party colours? The very fact that we’re all political engaged, passionate about the role that politics can play in making progress and all daft enough to go leafleting on a Saturday morning suggests we have a lot in common…but yet the playground patriarchy overwhelms.

    “So in summary, I’m going to try and be a bit less tribal.”

  57. G. Campbell says:

    Kezia Dugdale @kdugdalemsp
    Interesting feature in Daily Mail on cybernats

  58. Rev, have you had more hits because of this shit?

  59. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Dick Gaughan –

    re Aaronovitch. Hear hear.

    He’s what Socrates might’ve called ‘a wind egg’.

    I’m as sure as sure can be that he first appeared on TV presenting a kids programme on CBeebies, approx 13, 14 years ago, but no-one else seems to remember that. Next thing, he was appearing on Newsnight having head to head rammies with ‘intellectual’ heavyweights. Go figure…

  60. Ken500 says:

    LOL Fifi get of my telly!!

    Estate owning, tax evading, UKIP loving, Paul rips off the EU subsidiaries.

    Hypocrites – everyone.

  61. Cath says:

    Having looked at the Twitter feeds of a few people in the article today I’d suggest not engaging with a few people – McTernan and McColm especially.

    But I also feel like a penny dropped for me today. I had a bizarre run in with Tom Harris last year. I was following him because he was my MP when I started on Twitter and replied to some tweet of his with something a wee bit sarcastic but far from abusive. And nothing to do with the independence referendum. It was the first and only time I ever tweeted him to my knowledge. He laid into me and posted several things that were directly abusive, despite me not sending any more than that one tweet – I was too shocked by it. After all, he’s the bloody elected representative. Even if someone is being abusive, you kind of expect that and should be big enough to ignore it.

    A friend of mine who’s Labour and a definite no voter actually stepped in to defend me against what became a kind of tirade and suggested she thought he’d gone mad. It did feel that way but I thought it was also funny. The only reason I could think of for it then was that I had a Yes twibbon and he was maybe drunk and it enraged him or something.

    Having seen Kieza Dougdale tweet the DM article and say she’d blocked all of those people, I now think it was more than that though. George Galloway routinely blocks anyone who disagrees with him, as do many other unionists. But when they can say, and post to their followers, “I’ve blocked all of them” it adds to the feeling people have done something wrong.

    So I reckon independence supporters should stop interacting in any way with politicians and journalists on the no side. We won’t change their minds, but will just provide ammo, even if it’s the most innocuous post ever – just by them being able to say, “oh I blocked that person”. And let’s face it, if their click bait and attempts to provoke people are ignore, that will irritate them beyond belief.

  62. Garve says:

    Despite its unionist sounding name, this is actually a website supporting the UK’s membership of the EU. The article is about a complaint against the Daily Mail to the (sadly toothless) Press Complaints Commission over the abhorrent and racist reporting of Romanian and Bulgarian immigration recently. It’s worth a read.

  63. Croompenstein says:

    @ oh kezia dugdale as they say in stranraer the tide widnae tuk her oot

  64. Cath says:

    Darling / Labour are the fall guys. Tories can say ‘but we’ve never said these things would not be the case. In fact we’ve made many of them clear before’…

    It’s funny how Labour have got themselves into such a stupidly precarious position. They are entirely reliant on the Tory government not stabbing them in the back. Even for something as seemingly important to tories as the union I wouldn’t put myself in that position.

    Now they’re having to climb into bed with the Daily Mail…

    Thing is, unless they’ve done some deal with the DM at the crossroads, they’ll slaughter Labour after September, and what’s the odds they’ll recycle the same propaganda – ie dangerous, rabid lefties being horribly abusive on the internet? Hell if it works in 2014, why not 2015?

  65. Dick Gaughan says:

    @Ian Brotherhood

    Re Aaronovitch:

    Can’t think what that programme might have been but I’d love to believe it!

    Aaronovitch is like Milliband, brought up in a Communist family background, became a disciple of Eric Hobsbawm, then of Blair, supported the Iraq War and has continued to drift rightward ever since. Although to be honest I think he’s really just a member of the “I Love Aaronovitch” party.

  66. Effie Deans says:

    I’m not an independence supporter, but on the few occasions I’ve come into contact with Wings I’ve found him to be courteous and reasonable. There are rude and obnoxious people who support either sides of the debate. Who knows whether more of them support Yes or No. Either way there are too many. I read Wings over Scotland from time to time and have always been impressed by the quality of the articles and comments.

  67. John MacLean says:

    when asked about Hillsborough, maybe you should have asked them how your comments compared to that of their former editor, Kelvin McKenzie. if your comments were deemed offensive to some, his were worthy of a jail sentence.

  68. alexicon says:

    Rev, send them a list of questions and see if they answer them?
    You could ask why they allow comments on their online site like: ‘we should drop a nuclear bomb on Scotland’. I’m sure that was one of many comments I have seen there.
    You could ask them why they let so many arrogant, condescending, ignorant and denigrating comments about Scotland go unhindered in their comments section.
    Of course you could ask them where their newspaper is published? England perchance? Or why is a London based newspaper like the mail so interested in Scottish affairs?

    It’s about time we organised and had leaflets made up (some one smarter than me) to show the list of biased media outlets that are failing to tell the real truth in Scotland.
    Of course just showing where the press are headquartered would give the game away
    We can post them throughout the length and breadth of Scotland.

  69. ronnie anderson says:

    ‘GORDOZ 3.55,NAW you canny use the word shower of Rogues

    it hiz tae be a Parcel o Rouges,

    n dont sent that Parcel wie royal mail

    ah Shower of greedy Batard,s.

  70. Mary Bruce says:

    Sorry to be repeating this on various threads, but the daily mail story is now online, comments seem to be open but none there yet. I know we don’t like increasing traffic to these sites but this story really does need a bit of rational, intelligent feedback.

  71. Wp says:

    Guys,this is only the start. The alleged journalists gladly do it for their unionist bosses,but the British Empire is not going to sit back and let Scotland be the country who finally killed it. Think about it. They can’t use force (yet), but they will use every dirty trick,smear,lies and all their powers to stop our right to be free. They haven’t even started yet.

  72. heedtracker says:

    Walk away is good advice but Scotland must be the only “country” in the West where voters are singled out and denigrated by newspaper’s like the Daily Mail, voice of middle England. I can’t think of anywhere else where this kind of newsmedia political attack on ordinary people happens.

  73. muttley79 says:

    @Effie Deans

    Thoughtful comment.

  74. Croompenstein says:

    @Mary Bruce – I would love to comment on their page but it means having to set up an account with them.

  75. Papadocx says:


    Spot on, they are exploiting a division between yes & no and are using MSM & broadcaster to inflame and expand the differences. The thing that terrifies them is if SLAB foot soldiers move to LABOUR FOR INDEPENDENCE then the games up for the unionists. So that has to be prevented at all costs, so Milliband, Darling and Lamont will have heard the riot act read to them. If the Tories have to stick their heads above the parapet and show themselves then anything will be on the cards, could get very nasty.

    Just like to record my admiration to all the yes beavers. To Alex Salmond you are some man Alex you get a kicking every day, because they can’t find a weakness in our plan, so they are playing the man. WELL DONE ECK.

  76. Croompenstein says:

    @Mary Bruce – I just had to comment, it’s under moderation so dunno if it will pass the goebbels scrutiny

  77. Albert Herring says:

    This Mail article simply proves that there is no real abuse coming from the pro-indy side. If they had found any they would have published it.

  78. Mary Bruce says:

    @Croompenstein – I had to comment too, couldn’t help myself. That was over an hour ago and it is still in moderation, so it looks like it is closed for comments after all. Typical.

    Unfortunately it looks like all we have achieved is increasing traffic to the site, sorry folks. Everyone: don’t visit it! There is nothing new we haven’t seen already and you canny comment.

  79. beachthistle says:

    As one of the Daily Mail’s ‘Cybernat7? I’d like to thank everybody on here for all the great messages of support, encouragement, solidarity, etc.

    Most reaction I’ve had from non-Wings friends and ‘strangers’ has been positive: all of of DKs said it made them more Yes right away, and even the taunts from members of the NO brigade have mostly been on the light, almost humorous side.

    As I said first-off this morning, I am more amused/bemused – and more determined! – than anything else. But as well as fielding all the twitter traffic (and lots of new followers!) I decided to look through my old tweets to see how ‘bad’ they were, and lo and behold, I couldn’t find any remotely near the scale of personal attack and profanity I’ve seen on from the No side. I think the nearest I came to them was calling Alan Roden ‘a shit of the lowest order” (for filling my mother’s head with lies and propaganda) and I’d maintain, especially after today, that that is more in the domain of ‘fair comment’ than toxic abuse!

    I also looked to see if I had engaged in what I understand to be trolling – again a blank. So that has got me thinking about taking legal action. I will get in touch fellow Cybernat7ers that are considering the same and then see what our options are.

    I know there is case for laughing/ignoring and walking away – but as there is no evidence nor justification for some of the activities and words they have associated me with/effectively accused me of doing and/or saying, I am thinking of the option of both laughing AND calling their legal bluff.

    In the event that I do, I’ll want as much evidence re what people have been saying online – both on social media and in the press today – and both about the whole Cybernat7 posse and about me individually – and I’d really appreciate any potentially useful screen-grabs etc. etc. from fellow Wings-ers…

    So, an interesting day – one I have a feeling we will look back on as one of the turning points…and, I’m convinced, one of the first clear signs that the UK establishment/NO brigade are really rattled…

  80. Taranaich says:

    We can’t emphasise enough the importance of conducting any interviews in writing if at all possible. If you get doorstepped or ambushed in the street, try to have the presence of mind to resist the natural temptation to respond there and then. Tell them to contact you in writing – because if they knew where to find you, they know where to contact you by email or Twitter or Facebook, trust us – and walk away.

    And however much you might be morally justified, please don’t punch anyone. The police, and all mankind, will completely understand, but they’ll still have to arrest you.

    You know Rev, I used to take great pride in the fact that the most Yes figureheads had to warn their readers to avoid was the use of “q” and “t” words, or puns on Sarwar’s given name. But given the very real danger of invasion of privacy and extreme provocation, it sickens me that we have now been dragged into the gutter where we have to consciously remind ourselves not to stoop to their level.

    After all, it wasn’t Cybernats who threatened Frankie Boyle and his family by posting his home address with suggestions to “pay him a visit.” It wasn’t Cybernats who pushed an 80-year-old man to the street, causing injury. It wasn’t Cybernats who constantly wished death on political figures with whom they disagree. We need to ensure it stays that way.

    Up until now, we haven’t needed to remind Yes-voters that abuse or assault is unacceptable, because I’d like to think most pro-indy folk are by their very nature not naturally abusive or violent (and most anti-indy folk, to be sure). But we’re going to be sorely tested, and we must not fall to their level.

    My experiences at the Referendum debate at Greenock told me a lot about myself, and one of the most important is that I know that I am at a stage where I feel confident enough of my position, and well-enough informed, that *nothing* they could muster would cause me to get upset or frustrated, save in a reactive “do you realise how stupid that sounds” way. I did not feel any “fight or flight” response, I did not feel surrounded or panicked. All the guns they’re shooting are blanks, because our cause is RIGHT.

    Even if the worst happens and some idiot tries to rough me up (though given that’s never happened since I grew a beard & long hair, I doubt anyone would dare), I know that I’m in the right, and I know that I wouldn’t let myself get into that situation. It’s amazing, the transformation this has had on my psyche.

    Kendomacaroonbar: I now read and sense a situation where unionist *bullets* directed at the indy cause are now being stopped and redirected towards the unionist feet. Indy supporters can now see there really is nothing to fear from the unionists firepower. They may deploy larger and dirtier firepower as their desperation increases, however they will continue to fire blanks.

    That’s exactly it. We don’t have to fear anything which would compromise our beliefs, because we believe we’re right. Two plus two is four, the world is round, Scotland will be better off independent. The unionists can keep saying two plus two might not necessarily be four, or that the world might be a pear shape, but putting the evidence for and against together, there’s little real doubt in my mind. That’s genuinely how it feels to me.

    @Cath: Having looked at the Twitter feeds of a few people in the article today I’d suggest not engaging with a few people – McTernan and McColm especially.

    I blocked both of them ages ago, so I agree.

  81. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Taranaich –

    You are the man.

    More power to ye mister, bearded or otherwise.

    Well, if that was our last Burns Nicht under the Union, we’ve had it, eh?

    Roll on Jan 25th 2015.

  82. liz says:

    @Taranaich – well said. Brilliant post.

  83. Morag says:

    Taranaich is sounding remarkably together even compared to last September. Well done that man.

  84. kininvie says:

    @effie deans

    +1 for putting your head into this den of vileness. +1 also for sticking up for Stu when most of the No camp are relishing the chance to do the opposite.
    Why not come and join the lonely Captain Caveman and debate your side of the matter? We don’t bite – well, not habitually.

  85. joe kane says:

    Thanks to one of the ordinary members of the public, who were targeted for anti-democratic attack today in the Daily Mail, for posting this link on Twitter.

    I only pass this on because, unlike many prominent supporters of Scottish independence who publicly expressed their sympathy and support for Ed Miliband after his war hero dad was recently attacked by the DM, I have yet to come across any high ranking Labour people who have shown the slightest solidarity with those people who have suffered the same fate today at the hands of the same vile newspaper. In fact, they seem to be eagerly and supportively circulating the DM’s far-right tripe. It was they who invented “cybernat” as a perjorative label anyway in order to demonse and dehumanise those who dare to publicly criticise them.

    Leaked John McTernan emails: Julia Gillard’s media adviser used Twitter army to attack Coalition
    17 Dec 2013

    Thousands of emails leaked to the ABC show Julia Gillard’s chief media adviser John McTernan used a “Twitter army” to attack Coalition figures, promoting the Labor-generated attacks to journalists as evidence of broader public opinion. The correspondence shows the “Twitter army” was used with the aim to dominate Twitter with trends, memes and tweets favourable to Labor.

  86. Douglas Guy says:

    Meanwhile, over on

    SUNDAY, JANUARY 26, 2014

    This is the bit where everything changes – sensational ICM poll shows pro-independence campaign just 7% behind
    At moments like this you’re supposed to punch the air in delight, but I’m so dumbfounded that I think I’ve only managed to do it in my head so far. ICM, regarded by many as the ‘gold standard’ of UK pollsters, have released the first referendum poll of 2014, and it shows that the pro-independence campaign have slashed the No lead from 17% to 7%.

    Should Scotland be an independent country?

    Yes 37% (+5)
    No 44% (-5)

    I’ll update this post shortly…

  87. Marker Post says:

    Just getting to grips with the utter depravity of the Daily Mail stories, and the complicity of Labour in all of this. Where are the statements of the unionist politicians condemning this sort of behaviour? And they urge Salmond to rein in cybernats? How ironic, not to mention crassly stupid.

    To any of those impacted, would be happy to donate to a legal fund if that is the route you intend to go. At the very least, please get in contact with the Press Complaints Commission, and with your local MP.

  88. john king says:

    Ah Im back again,
    at last, all day yesterday the comments box was getting “duplicate comment you appear to have said this already”

    Has anyone else got that?
    because it would appear it was affecting more than Wings, Tris from Munguins republic and I could’nt post on Derek Batements blog and Tris tried to post on Grumpy old man and could’nt get on there either.

  89. john king says:

    “How about a summer Wings festival on Dacres estate?
    The Ullapool area is beautiful.
    I’m being serious. :-)”

    And before the day is out we would be getting portrayed as Mugabe type thugs taking land from innocent white landowners.

  90. john king says:

    Oh dear looks like sky news needs its dummy,
    so what do to calm themselves?
    they have thmesleves a little “unscientific” poll
    “first stop Maitland bowling club in Edinburgh to a Burns night supper
    then onto
    West Linton Golf club,in the borders
    again a Burns supper
    both clearly hotbeds of nationalism and asked the people to put a chip in to three jars marked Y, N and ? the average age of the respondents looked to be about 65

    the result was screamingly obvious 16 Y 19 ? and 92 N
    now they can toddle off back doon sooth to reassure themselves those chippy Scots are going nowhere.

    sook sook sook sook

  91. john king says:

    Your going on the yes march this year Taranaich if we have to drag you there kicking and screaming

  92. Patrick Roden says:

    OH MY GOODNESS!!! (Hope this didn’t break too many rules…
    great leader)

    A 10% turnaround!!!

    Now that’s what’s been eating them over the past few weeks.

    Now can everyone please put their faith in the SNP/Yes campaigns ‘positive message’ and stop fretting about how weak we are or how the MSM are going to ensure we lose this vote.

  93. Marker Post says:


    A lot of email providers give you ability to set up temporary email accounts linked to your personal email address. Simply set up a temporary email address, use it to post to the Daily Mail, and then delete it if you don’t want any reply or marketing emails later.

  94. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    I see that is cheesed-off that the Daily Mail didn’t choose them in their list of blogging sites getting attacked.
    That’s because the DM were so dumb, useless, and behind the times that they never thought to see what happens when you Google “Cybernat” before bashing ahead with their own-goal offensive against Indy bloggers.
    Hopefully by now a shedload of the curious and undecided have found their way to the facts via (and thereby onwards to Wings, Bella, Newsnet etc.).

  95. CameronB says:

    I certainly have new respect for those that manage to post pro-independence comments on the Herald. I thought the Sunday edition was supposed to be balanced. I made what I thought was a perfectly reasonable comment on their Scottish Office Devo unit story, it went straight in to pre-moderation (my first post to the Herald), and then simply disappeared. Is this normal?

    My comment read;

    Yet more evidence that Britain does not enjoy a functioning democracy. Does the London establishment really think Scotland seeks more misappropriation of her funds?

    Patrick Roden
    I never claimed to be an expert and nothing is in the bag yet. 😉

  96. CameronB says:

    Foreign Office Devo unit story

  97. Alec K says:

    I found the following quote in the DM comments quite amusing. I would have replied but I ain’t signing up for anything to do with that rag.

    “What hypocrites some of these people are, they choose to live in England whilst campaigning for the break-up of the UK. And what has it got to do with that American woman?”

    Couldn’t make it up 😀

  98. Jim says:

    Brilliant stuff Rev. Keep up the great work!

  99. Taranaich says:

    Thanks for the support Ian, liz, Morag & John King! Rest assured, wild kelpies couldnae keep me frae the next march!

    This new poll shows what I’ve definitely perceived over the past few months: a slow, barely discernable change. The fact that old Labour stronghold Greenock mustered more than enough Yes voters to harangue Sarwar shows how much things have changed. I was initially worried they’d bus people in from Glasgow and not let the locals get a shot, but I needn’t have worried.

  100. Jimbo says:

    @ Joe Kane

    McTernan’s Twitter Army?

    Maybe that explains the multiple Twitter attacks on Alex Salmond at the time of the Clutha tragedy?

  101. Peter Macbeastie says:

    Off topic… Sorry. With respect to the march this year; does anyone here know what’s going on? I’m in the Facebook group for it which has just been changed from open, to closed, to secret, and requests for as to why this is are met with ‘please be patient, more information will be forthcoming.’

    I’ve now noted amongst the posts on there that people are saying the march has been cancelled; now, I find this difficult to believe but appreciate there could be circumstances I do not know about which could cause that to happen, but if anyone here has anything to do with the march… could you at least find out if it is happening or not? There’s no confirmation or denial coming from the Facebook page.

    One thing I am not is patient. And if it has been called off, regardless of reason, I want to know it’s been called off; explanations can wait.

  102. Peter Macbeastie says:

    Ignore my last… appears this year’s rally has indeed been cancelled. There isn’t a hell of a lot of information as to why.

  103. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “One thing I am not is patient. And if it has been called off, regardless of reason, I want to know it’s been called off; explanations can wait.”

    It seems to be pretty clear from the email sent by the organisers that it’s been called off.

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