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Wings Over Scotland

Father knows best

Posted on February 08, 2014 by

Commentator and writer Lesley Riddoch (whose acclaimed recent book Blossom is a comically absurd bargain at £1.09 on Kindle this month) asked earlier this afternoon for her appearance on today’s Good Morning Scotland along with English journalist David Aaronovitch to be put online, and we’re happy to oblige.


Readers unusually sensitive to condescending, patronising metropolitan hacks talking down to far better-informed debating opponents, and who have any easily-breakable items nearby, are advised not to listen. We were chewing our knuckles all the way through recording it, and it wasn’t even us he was doing it to.

It was a remarkable piece of disingenuous cherry-picking of evidence from Aaronovitch. It takes an experienced practitioner of cognitive dissonance to look at Scotland (which has voted Labour at every single general election since 1955) and England (which, er, not so much) and still try to pretend that the two countries aren’t politically different.

It takes quite some degree of wilful blindness to ignore the fact that UKIP might well win the forthcoming EU elections in England – or at worst come second – while having never saved a deposit in Scotland, and conclude that the furiously anti-immigration party is merely the English equivalent of the pro-immigration SNP.

(Or indeed to dismiss the differences in EU polling figures as a mere statistical triviality when they say the Scots want to stay in while the English want to leave, which is just about as fundamental as differences can get.)

But we’ll leave you to hear the rest for yourself. Mind the crockery.

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    240 to “Father knows best”

    1. Peter A Bell says:

      I am occasionally critical of some things that Lesley Riddoch says (, but nobody can deny her effectiveness as a writer and debater in support of a Yes vote.

    2. farrochie says:

      Scotland has no “middle England”.

    3. G H Graham says:

      I listened to the radio broadcast this morning which gave David Aaronovitch an opportunity to claim that fundamentally there wasn’t any difference whatsoever between Scottish & English people. And he wasn’t talking about the paleness of our skin.

      As evidence, he said that students find it so easy to assimilate in each country’s schools because there was effectively nothing different between them. Thus, Lesley’s assertion that there was any difference at all was a fabrication.

      Thankfully, Lesley used her deep understanding of schools & institutions to defend her case, with which I happen to concur & in a wider context too.

      But leaving aside the argument itself, it’s interesting though that the BBC & other media are desperately seeking to make the case that Scotland & England are so fundamentally the same that it is inexplicable & abhorrent that a large minority of the UK population would wish to alter the status quo.

      It feels like they don’t like where England is headed but are unable to complain since it was the good folks in England who chose the current government to begin with.

      But faced with the increasing possibility that Scots wish to reject the British franchise, the British media is scrambling to come up with a narrative to defend what we currently have.

      It’s as if they are championing David Cameron’s “we’re all in this together” motto without actually realising it. How ironic is that?

    4. Endless_psych says:

      “Scottish schools are just the same as English schools” was never going to be a particularly killer argument.

    5. Paul Kirkwood says:

      Lesley Riddoch clearly knows what she’s talking about and Aaronovitch clearly doesn’t.A clear exposition of the difference between the Scottish approach to education on a broad knowledge basis as opposed to the English approach of competition and testing children to destruction.

    6. call me dave says:

      Heard the discussion and was raging at the radio. She has an article up on NNS at the moment.

      I think she had the better of it tussle. Not going to listen again once was enough.

    7. Neil McAdam says:

      It is the tone of Aaronovitch that is disturbing. You get the impression that no matter what cogent arguments are put to him, he would have dismissed them out of hand.

      Mouth open, ears shut. His is not a unique attitude though.

    8. fairiefromtheearth says:

      I eat with my right hand you eat with your left hand theirs no diffrence in that we both eat with our hands.

    9. Sneddon says:

      Aaronovitch talks mince yet agian, the war mongering wee piece of blairite snot that he is. He needs some sort of help with his blind refusal to recognise and accept the reality that he esstentially lives in a tory world. England is nothing but three shades of toryism. I’d like to add that he appears not to like being out smarted by Lesley.

    10. G H Graham says:

      May I add that I read Peter Bells criticism of Ms. Riddoch in here I have to agree with him.

      The pro independence movement is hardly anodyne. I refer everyone to consider again, the tumultuous debate regarding Trident & Nato at the SNP conference in Perth.

      Many accusations were made & there were also some serious consequences regarding support but you could hardly describe this as an event attending by a group of sleepwalking zealots, unable to protest out of fear or strength of argument.

      It was one of the most refreshing party conference debates I have ever witnessed. Oh, that the British political parties were animated thus.

    11. Neil McAdam says:

      ..and did I hear that right: The right-wing votes SNP in Scotland, and because the English don’t have an SNP, they vote for UKIP?


    12. wur a' doomed says:

      Typically content-free contribution from Aaranovitch, with a characteristic unwillingness to accept facts which contradict his baseless opinions. Well done Lesley for keeping your cool and focusing on facts, examples and evidence in the face of ignorant assertion.

    13. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

      Whatever the many historical & cultural differences and similarities, the two countries are clearly heading in different directions. David Aaronovitch evidently doesn’t have a clue about what that means (do all roads point to London, as far as he is concerned?), nor about the fact that this referendum is all about allowing those characteristics proper expression – for us as well as “others” who happen not to live in Metroland.

    14. pmcrek says:

      Obvious troll is obvious.

    15. gman says:

      O/t just had ipsos murray on phone doing a indyref survey on behalf of UK gov.

    16. David says:

      David Aaronovitch’s argument seems to be that England and Scotland are different because schools are schools and hospitals are hospitals.

      He has a point in that schools and hospitals in England and Scotland operate similarly for example a teacher teachers and class of kids or a medical professional treats a patient. However, this is also the case for every single country in the world.

      There are many, many underlying difference which David Aaronovitch doesn’t seem to have a clue about.

    17. Findlay Farquaharson says:

      and in my opinyun, scotish ejucayshun is much bettur.

    18. heedtracker says:

      Like she says, UKIP have lost their deposit in every single election of any kind in Scotland. So as a Scot, stop telling me who I am, BBC vote NO Scotland, Aaronovitch, massed ranks of liggers/UKOK propagandists etc

    19. Mealer says:

      If we felt the same and were the same as English folk we would have all become Greater English long ago.

    20. Tinyzeitgeist says:

      Take note of the sub-text of what Aaranovitch was saying in the context of a no vote. It is, I think that Scotland would be subsumed by the larger, and by his metric, better English/UK system because in his view there is no difference currently between Scotland and the rUK. This of course chimes with Labour’s One Nation mantra and Andy Burnham’s views on a UK NHS. The right wing neoliberal consensus mindset at westminster that there is no alternative!

    21. uilleam_beag says:

      That was astounding at the finish, as Lesley Riddoch listed a series of specific, tangible reasons that demonstrated how fundamentally different the Scottish and English educational systems are from their core defining priciples upwards, and David Aaronovitch attempted to pass this off dismissively: “It’s a caricature.”

      There’s nane sae daft as winna be tellt.

    22. Andy McIntyre says:

      Oh where to begin with this one, the crockery remains safe more because sorrow outweighed the anger. Mr Aaronovitch may be a clever man but he shows all the typical ignorance and arrogance of someone who sees and can only see all through the Westminster prism.

      I could rant about subtle differences in mindset leading to profound differences in outlook, Scotland being more Communitarian if not actively socialist then our southern neighbours and I will move swiftly past the clumsy attempt to equate the SNP with the English far-right and the range of other Britnat tropes, but I won’t as that would be to credit this sort of patronising institutional idiocy with far more than it deserves.

      If this is the best that Unionism can come up with, then the only thing we have to do is rid our fellow Scots, whatever their origins, of the infamous cringe and a brighter future is ours for the making.

    23. Horacesaysyes says:

      When I was a young student, I used to actually enjoy David Aaronovitch’s columns in The Independentn but over the years he seems to have gotten more and more right wing and reactionary. I’ve downloaded Lesley’s book, but haven’t started reading it yet.

      I agree with tinyzeitgeist above though, it’s just further evidence that a no vote will give support to those who want conformity across the whole of the UK, and put our unique legal, educational and health systems under threat.

    24. heedtracker says:

      Education is the investment and foundation of our country yet in the blink of an eye, England has completely trashed the whole concept of eduction based on ability to learn. The right in England and Labour in Scotland are desperate to destroy centuries of Scottish access to education which is fine if your wealthy I suppose. I got brochure from Strathallan public school this week, so I phoned them to see the deals on offer. Very nice lady explained boarding fees of over £35,000 per year but if that’s not an issue, why would you bother about £9,000 per year University fees? “It’s very much an investment in your children future” Also Strathallan only do GCE’s and A levels, wonder why?

    25. boglestone says:

      I listened to a few minutes, but I want to enjoy the rest of my weekend.

      Now that England and rUK are getting involved things are hotting up. I see Billy Bragg has been getting pelters on twitter from some English fans for supporting Scottish indy. They accuse him of deserting internationalism, but it’s quite extraordinary to see anti-Scottish bigotry come gushing forth from people who describe themselves as socialist.

    26. Seasick Dave says:

      Who cares if we are different or not?

      Westminster can’t keep it hands out our back pockets.

      Westminster imposes hideous nuclear weapons upon us.

      Westminster is warmongering.

      Westminster is right wing and nasty.

      Westminster mocks our aspirations.

      September 18th offers us a way out.

    27. Calum Craig says:

      Don’t think I can bring myself to listen to the thing- it’s Saturday, I have the weekend off and am hanging out with my daughter so don’t want to spoil my good mood.

      But, if this Aaranovitch is trying to argue that the school systems are the same in England and Scotland, he is talking complete bollocks. Down here there is an unhealthy obsession with testing children, SATs, 11+, grammar entrance etc. In fact Gove last week mooted plans to formally test kids at 4 when they start school!

      My daughter was born in March which means she is due to start school this September- at the age of 4! If she was in Scotland she would be starting August 2015 at 5. Still too young IMO but a bit better.

      So, another reason- if I needed any more- for the move back hame!

    28. jake says:

      The more the ill-informed parochial chatter of types like this get involved in the debate, offering their sagely advice, the more they emphasise that we are not only different in the here and now but that we have different aspirations for our future direction. David Camerons urging that they communicate with us is welcome. It helps our cause.

    29. AnneDon says:

      @boglestone – Billy Bragg is also getting pelters from Scots Labour supporters. Something he is aware of as well!

      If Scotland and England have similar political outlooks, then Westminster is as unrepresentative of English voters as it is of Scottish voters. There is no party offering to change this, therefore it is not a reason to vote No.

      I’ve started to add this to comments on newspaper threads:
      Scotland has voted Labour for 50 years – this is as good as it gets for us. And it’s not good enough!

    30. Seasick Dave says:

      Just listened to Mr A and I thought that he was great; patronising, ignorant and bolshy.

      More please!

      Keep up the good work, Lesley.

    31. Papadocx says:

      Why do these self appointed ignorant, arrogant, FOREIGNERS want to keep ignorant, poor, stupid Scots under their heels. I thought they would be pleased to be rid of us. Is it some kind of weird perversion they have, do they require somebody to look down upon. What’s more disturbing is why any person with any self worth would want to allow these clowns to treat them like morons and second class citizens.

      The bully is just reprehensible and beneath contempt! What kind of national broadcaster sets this clown up to spread his vile anti Scottish diatribe and probably payed him for the privilege against a section of the audience it claims to represent. Aye perverse.

      As for the second class citizens, they deserve all they get, or don’t get following a blind donkey.

    32. Peter A Bell says:

      David Aaronovitch completely fails to grasp the concept of emergent properties. He sees polls as definitive and simply cannot comprehend that small differences at one level can have huge implications at another.

      And, of course, he is deploying a straw man argument. Nobody is claiming that people are significantly different just because they happen to live one side of the border rather than the other. The very idea is ludicrous. Neither is anybody suggesting that, at the level of the individual, there are marked differences in attitudes. Donald Brown’s Human Universals apply to residents of Scotland as much as they do to the rest of humanity.

      What David Aaronovitch so abysmally fails to appreciate is that, as these attitudes are mediated by the social structures, institutions and processes of the culture within which all these individuals are embedded, a distinctive political culture can readily emerge.

      The whole is more than the some of its parts.

      Take the matter of the EU, for example. Quite apart from the foolishness of dismissing a 15% (or thereabouts) gap in the polls, Aaronovitch makes no allowance for the fact that different people may profess very similar attitudes to the EU – suspicion, mistrust, dissatisfaction etc. – but have totally different ideas as to what to do about it.

      One individual’s formative experience may lead them to conclude that quitting the EU is the solution. Another might start from the same general attitudes but conclude that involvement and participation are the way to address the perceived problems.

      The aggregate effect of relatively small differences in the societal context can produce very substantially different political cultures.

      The British nationalist argument is that none of this matters because it all sort of averages out across the synthetic nation of Britain. But because Scotland is a nation and not merely a vague region, this distinctive political culture has a geographical locus.

      Aaronovitch mentioned that England does not have its own version of the SNP. I was a bit unclear about what he regarded as the significance of this. My contention would be that, because Scotland’s distinctive political culture has a geographical locus, it was all but inevitable that it would find expression in a national (NOT a nationalist) political party – as well as manifesting in an independence movement.

      It may well be that there exists in England a political culture (or sub-culture) that is very similar to that in Scotland. But because it is diffuse it must forlornly seek its locus in the existing party political structures – as well as manifesting in futile protest votes for fringe parties such as UKIP and the BNP.

      I wonder if David Aaronovitch would understand any of this.

    33. Elizabeth says:

      O/t. If you were wondering about David Cameron’s lectern, here’s the answer.

      “A Scottish University leader has waded into controversy by declaring her university’s support for the Union. The Prime Minister David Cameron was accompanied on his Olympic Village sortie when he appealed to the rest of Britain to save the Union, by Professor Pamela Gillies, the Vice Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University. Many viewers were puzzled why the lectern used by Cameron bore the name of the university. It was provided by a mini campus the university uses in Brick Lane in London….”

      From Derek Bateman’s latest blog.

    34. joe kane says:

      Speaking of his days at Oxford Uni, I remember when George Galloway, who was still in the Labour Party at that point, fired off a squib at Aaronovitch in a Channel 4 studio debate about something or other. George pointed the finger of scorn at Aaronovitch and said (and I paraphrase),
      I remember you. You used to be a card carrying communist with a Karl Marx beard and everything. But you had to shave it off because Tony [Blair] was complaining it was tickling his backside too much.

    35. Dick Gaughan says:

      [posted by error in another thread]

      The key to understanding people like Aaronovitch is to remember that we live on the north side of a one-way mirror.

      We look south and see a distinct and different society, and understand that “different” is not synonymous with “better”.

      They look north and see their own reflection and can’t see why there is any problem.

    36. G H Graham says:

      Mr. Bell, I also thought it odd that Aaronovitch mentioned that England doesn’t have its own version of the SNP.

      Why would it? When in London, you will find all the hallmarks, symbols & emblems of a crown sovereign state called England. Yes, it’s officially Great Britain but once Scotland leaves, can you really imagine the place looking & feeling any different? What if NI or Wales leaves too? Still think you will see any changes in London?

      The Union flag, the symbol of the Crown & the Commonwealth will not alter & none of the building representing the Crown will disappear either.

      In essence, Britain always has been England with some small integrated neighbours & previously, a large, international empire.

      Right wing parties like UKIP might gain traction, but can you really see them tearing apart the very British institutions they claim to protect from “immigrants” & “foreigners”?

      The SNP exists partly as a result of some of its core membership rejecting the very essence of Royalty, patronage & the idea that some get to rule over others because their ancestors acquired a large shooting estate in Assynt.

    37. X_Sticks says:

      Just hears John Inverdale state that the Calcutta Cup is “The oldest international fixture in the world” but that would surely mean that Scotland IS a country!

    38. heedtracker says:

      The fact that Scotland voted for our own parliament in Holyrood is a pretty stark difference or “Devolution referendums in Northern England were proposed under provisions of the Regional Assemblies … John Prescott” and England rejected all of it completely. Look at the stats and the difference between Scotland and England over devo is breathtaking, with 77.9% NO. BetterTogetherer and under London rule because we, the majority in England like it, or at least 10 years ago they liked it.,_2004

    39. ayemachrihanish says:

      Well done Lesley – as there was a degree of the ‘too stupid’ element in the Aaronovitch premise.

      Meaning – I’ll tell you when your different, it’s not for you to decide.

      The comment from Dick above is well made. They do look north and see their own reflection and in that delusion of British Nationalism not only can’t see why there is any problem – they also can’t see a vision beyond a defunct rule Britannia. Sad really.

    40. Proadge says:


      In case you might have missed this…

      Tommy Sheridan on awesome form on independence:

    41. Doug Daniel says:

      If the ease with which Scots can settle in England and vice versa proves we’re all the same really, then presumably it is difficult for Scots to settle in other countries? Otherwise his point is completely spurious. Which it is. Irish folk can settle in England easily – so that means the Irish and English are the same, yes David?

    42. JnrTick says:

      Rev, could you point me in the direction of a recent poll that says Scotland wishes to be members of the EU.
      I am hearing more and more people whilst trying to convert to a YES advising me they want an independent Scotland therefor they will be voting NO as Alex Salmond plans to railroad us into EU membership without a referendum.

      Btw, I am fairly neutral regarding EU membership.

    43. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Aaronovitch was spawned by neo-liberal mass-media, and would have great difficulty surviving if he wasn’t capable of lending a patina of intellectualism to the brutal reality of the British State’s behaviour e.g. Iraq.

      He’s a safe pair of hands when it comes to live discussion of any kind because he has proven, time and again, that he will not, under any circumstances, admit that he is wrong. If that requires the windy release of a one hundred word sentence which proves, under analysis, to have no actual subject, then David’s yer man, nae borra. Obfuscate. Distract. Make abstract shapes with long thin balloons, and present them as cutting-edge art.

      If there’s anything worse than a sophist, it’s a sophist with an agenda. The guy is a Category Five bell-end.

    44. squarego says:

      I’ve recently heard quotes from two different people high up in the English higher education and nhs who visited Scotland and couldn’t believe the difference. They both said remarkably similar things – In Scotland’s universities and hospitals we’re using words like ‘partnership’, ‘collaboration’, ‘co-working’. In England they use only one: ‘competition’.
      Completely different mindset.

    45. Flower of Scotland says:

      I heard some of that broadcast this morning and I think Lesley Riddoch handled it very well . Aaronovitch,s mind set is not just English , we have this here in N.E. Fife . Was Tory ,then Lib Dem completely blind to any other point of view . Then labour in South and west Fife , completely blinkered In their own way . They won’t read the White paper because ” it’s Alex Salmonds ” ! However i,ll soldier on and try to talk to anyone who will listen !
      O/t Neil McAdam
      When I was young the SNP were called the Tartan Tories by Labour . It was the worst name they could think of , but the SNP are full of people of all persuasions but always left of centre and it’s just a vehicle to Indepedence and a better life !

    46. gordoz says:


      Out of concealment
      Blank and stark eyed
      Why so uncertain
      This culture deceives
      Prophesised, brainwashed
      Tomorrow’s demise.

      Every town has these type of muppets – seriously suspect that’s not the reason their not voting YES.
      More of an excuse to fudge issues and attempt to get you to switch to NO.

      This is a typical systematic attempt to inculcate a distractive agenda on others. Its mince probably orchetrated by BT activists.

      “I’m for independence but not Salmonds vanity project”

      The use of Salmond is the give away.

    47. Peter A Bell says:

      This is symptomatic of the confusion caused by unionist propaganda and the mainstream media. We actually have people believing, to some extent at least, quite contradictory things.

      Apparently, Scotland is going to be expelled/excluded from the EU AND “railroaded” into membership by Alex Salmond. Presumably overcoming the opposition of the whole EU in the process!

      Not only that but Salmond is forcing Scotland into the EU despite the fact that Scotland is already part of the EU.

      None of it makes any sense.

      The only thing that does make sense is the position taken by the Scottish Government. That is to say, Scotland will continue as an EU member, subject to negotiation of a few relatively minor matters, in a two successor state solution that causes the least disruption.

      If people want a referendum on EU membership after independence than they are free to campaign for one in the same way that many of us campaigned for the independence referendum. They do not get a free ride. they do not get to tack an EU referendum onto the independence referendum.

    48. Ken500 says:

      Students in England pay £9000 Uni fees and want Scottish taxpayers to pay for their education.
      Personal care for the elderly
      Prescription charges
      ‘Bedroom tax’ abolished in Scotland

      These are big differences between Holyrood and Westminster. If people want these policies in the rest of the UK. Why are Westmnster ConDems not endorsing them. If the rest of the UK want rid of Trident, why is Westminster nit endorsing that policy. Westminster is taking £7Billion+ from Scotland+ £3Billion+ which could be saved in Scotland by getting rid of Trident, and a tax on ‘loss leading’ alcohol.

      There are total differences in Holyrood/Westminster policies. Westminster cutting taxes and not paying off the deficit. Westminster elected to protect NHS/Education do the opposite, cut funding.

      The 1707 Union guaranteed a separate Legal system, shared ‘Protestant’ Crown, separate Church (education), and equality for ever. More taxes are raised in Scotland, and less is borrowed and spent. (Pro rata) Scotland out voted 10 to 1 in Westminster.

      The North of England rejected the Assembly because it had no real power. They perceived it as just another tier of government. Scotland fought for Devolution and wants more powers.

      There are many differences.

    49. joe kane says:

      In case you missed it, here is Ian McWhirter’s recent excellent demolition of British state windbag Aaronivitch’s pseudo-intellectual rubbish about “othering” –
      Scots aren’t better than the English … or worse. We’re the same … but our political cultures are worlds apart

    50. G H Graham says:

      The Unionist case is the definitive catalogue of contradiction…

      You’ll be forced into Euro currency union/you’re barred from Pound currency union cos it won’t work

      Uncertainty affecting inward investment/inward investment at record levels

      Scotland needs UK financial stability/UK loses AAA rating

      Mail costs will be higher after independence/shipping to highlands of Scotland currently requires a surcharge

      Scots cant afford to fund renewable energy/National Grid currently imposes high connector fees in Scotland

      etc …

    51. Ken500 says:

      Max Keiser’s family (Maxwell) were driven out of Scotland?

    52. Marker Post says:

      Finally got around to reading the Scotsman on Cameron’s speech yesterday, it’s hilarious.

      “Blah blah blah… such cultural icons as Sherlock Holmes, Emeli Sande and Scotch whisky. We come as a brand – a powerful brand. Separating Scotland out of that brand would be like separating the waters of the River Tweed and the North Sea”.

      What does that even mean? And he does realise, doesn’t he, that Sherlock Holmes was written by a Scotsman, and based on a real Scottish character?

      “The Prime Minister also warned that those who want more devolution “should vote No because a vote for separation is the end of devolution”. As Dr Watson might say, no shit, Sherlock!

      Citing the inspiration British values gave to such fighters for freedom as Nelson Mandela, Mr Cameron said: “blah blah blah…” Seriously, using Nelson Mandela’s struggle against oppression to make an argument for Scotland to continue being oppressed? [Don’t know if that was Cameron or the Scotsman, can’t be bothered to check].

      More of the same please, Davie, you’re doing our job for us.

    53. Ken500 says:

      Rock on Tommy – Fought against the Poll Tax and stopped warrant sales in Scotland. Stitched up by Westminster criminals. Blair.

    54. heedtracker says:

      “Scots aren’t better than the English … or worse. We’re the same …” so there is no way Scotland will be allowed self government sayeth Aaronovitch.

      His Guardian colleague and just one more faux progressive London liberal says “The loss for Britain’s progressives would be great indeed. Gone would be that tug leftward, that counterbalance to the politics of the overheated English south-east.”

      So what’s the vote no Guardian message this week? 50 Labour in Scotland MP’s are England’s “tug leftward” now, after 3 New Labour terms in power and all that jazz. So why don’t they just say it out loud, we want Scottish oil and we want Scottish territory and above all we are elitists that will say anything we like stop any change on our island.

    55. gordoz says:


      Excellent stuff from Tommy (the rehabilitation continues!)

      Def worth a watch folks powerful stuff !

    56. Croompenstein says:

      meant to say we are working on numbers 7 and eight!

    57. Zen Broon says:

      Reminded me of Alex makkin utter mince o heid C4 news anchor Matt Frei yesterday. Both Frei and Aaronovitch here so far off the intellectual pace you can feel their confusion and humilitaion.

    58. call me dave says:

      Moving HQ South, says donator to pro-union ‘better together’ …but I’ll still live in Scotland.

      Wonder what he will do when the SG introduce tax incentives for businesses.

    59. Croompenstein says:

      @call me dave – Savage has come out with this shite before, let him move when the saxon ukipers take him and his company out of the EU he will come running back with his tail between his fucking legs..knob

    60. gordoz says:

      LOVE IT – Over on Revs twitter thread / Real Spatt !

      Billy Bragg defending ‘Scottish Independence’ against Labour Stalwarts and dishing it out.

      Kevin Schofeild
      Torcuil Crichton
      and Mary Galbraith (Argyll & Bute prospective Labour candidate.

      Absolute magic !!! Cheers Billy !

    61. mamaclanger says:

      I went to school for a while in England. It was not a 100% straight forward merge. I had NO idea what feet & inches were and the level of maths was considerably lower. I was 10 at the time and remember thinking that.
      Maybe they have upped their standards since I left but I doubt it!

    62. jingly jangly says:

      Tell these people who are voting No because they don’t want to be in Europe, that they are already in Europe and we wont be leaving anytime soon. Even if it was the position of the Scottish Government to leave it would take several years to do so. However in an Independent Scotland they can vote for the Government they want and if enough people vote for an Anti-European parliament then we can start the negotiation process to leave….

      To me the most important thing is to get independence, I personally would prefer to be a member of EFTA, however it is not something I lose sleep over.

    63. gordoz says:

      O/T Derek Bateman on point –

      As predicted stooshie begins as Glasgow Caledonian Uni support for Cameron and No campaign London Olympics charade, is seriously questioned.

    64. Chic McGregor says:

      The on line publishing of BNP membership, which, like me, some here may have got a good swatch at before it was removed, yielded a far more striking example of political polarization between Scotland and England.

      Not only was the overall support many times less in Scotland this difference was step functioned at the Border itself.

    65. creigs1707repeal says:

      @ Proadge

      Thank you Proadge for posting that independence speech by Tommy Sheridan. Goose pimples, tears to the eyes, inspiring stuff. This has to go viral. Thanks again.

    66. CameronB says:

      Ach away. Leslie is too focused on the ‘little things’. These are too small and insignificant for David to see, especially from London. They don’t matter, get over it.

      Patrick Geddes was the dude though. 😉

    67. annie says:

      Just checked out Savage and his company Orion Group he is offering labouring jobs at Heathrow £8.03 an hour. Bearing in mind this is London and they traditionally earn more as cost of living is perceived to be higher he isn’t exactly offering decent wages. Hopefully when he goes some of his bright employees in Inverness will step into his shoes.

    68. Ron Burgundy says:

      what a star Lesley is. Post independence she needs a role in government. imagine the powerhouse of her and Nicola

    69. Andy-B says:

      I heard part of this, this morning David Aaronovitch, has history when it come to stirring it,I remember one time when he and George Galloway were on question time, both argued with each other, as to who had the most communistic tendencies, I have no love for either Aaronvitch or Galloway.

    70. Jimsie says:

      What Lesley Riddoch says matters in the independence debate. What David Aaronovitch says in the independence debate is totally irrelevent.No-one in Scotland cares what he thinks.

    71. rabb says:

      The irony for me is that he uses the differences to argue that we’re not different?

      The man is a fucking idiot.

    72. Andy-B says:

      O/T here’s a piece by the Walter Mitty of journalism, Torcuil Crichton. Crichton actually says that David Cameron has RULED OUT, a currency union with an independent Scotland, talk about jingoistic journalism.

    73. G. Campbell says:

      Aaro wrote a book once.

      “Voodoo Histories entertainingly demolishes the absurd and sinister conspiracy theories of the last 100 years. Aaronovitch reveals not only why people are so ready to believe in these stories but also the dangers of this credulity.”

      He also wrote this in The Times.

      “But another thought nags, given that he could have gone the other way and that it was perfectly within his gift to keep al-Megrahi in Scotland. The thought is that there is a section of opinion that is, perversely, rather keener on being friends with the likes of Colonel Gaddafi, than it is on nurturing our relations with our main and most important ally.”

      Salmond wanted to be mates with Gadaffi, says Aaro the conspiracy theorist.

    74. Chic McGregor says:

      Lesley did really well here.

      First just to keep her cool when faced with such equally copious amounts of arrogance and ignorance (new word coinage alert ‘ignarrogance’).

      Second, in putting his flawed analysis to the sword.

      Particularly liked the comparison made between the difference in education systems in Scotland and England with the differences one generally finds between any two countries. i.e. it being just as much or more.

    75. Roboscot says:

      BBC keeping up their balanced coverage, this time with the Scotland v England rugby. Three English commentators and one Scot.

    76. Croompenstein says:

      That fucking chinless wonder Crichton states – ‘The Prime Minister ruled out, for the first time, a currency union with an independent Scotland but he promised again that a No vote in the referendum would lead to more devolution’ – ws this numbskull lovebombed in a personal phone call from oor Davie or is just talking shite..i’ll go for talking shite the sanctimonious little fucker

    77. Andy-B says:

      The Telegraph sticks the boot into people who support independence calling them “Childish Nats” for attacking the David Cameron’s speech. Alan Cochrane then goes on to add how Sky’s Adam Boulton, all but skewered Alex Salmond in an interview, did I miss that one?.

    78. Jimsie says:


      Every time someone mentions Gadaffi the image of Tory Bliar cuddling him in the desert flashes into my brain.

    79. Andy-B says:

      Here’s 50 funny tweets, many of them in support for Scottish independence, others show anger towards David Cameron.

      One of my favourites “If the weather doesn’t calm down,Cornwall will cease to be part of the UK before Scotland does”.

    80. Chic McGregor says:

      Wee but less impressed with her article over on NNS.

      An understandable, but annoying, tendency on the part of many pro journos, to blame the duped rather than the dupers for any wrong or confused thinking they have.

      Understandable, in that no member of a profession likes to accept that they themselves are part of the problem.

      e.g.s Politicians blaming electorate, Doctors blaming patients life style etc.

      But whether the patently obvious compliant nature of the SMSM is for reasons of career coercion or, even better from the U-POV, because the journos are themselves dupes, it is, in very large part, responsible for the misinformed, obfuscated and informationally challenged nature of the electorate.

    81. Juteman says:

      Did my eyes just deceive me there?
      The BBC build up to the rugby just had a mock up of the Sex Pistols album cover with ‘Bollocks’ changed to ‘Scottish’?
      Surely not.

    82. Andy-B says:


      Here you go if you wish to leave a comment for the “Chinless Wonder” AKA Torchuil Crichton, but don’t expect a reply, you’ve more chance of receiving a reply from Lord Lucan.

    83. Andy-B says:

      Is this George Osborne and the (NIESR’s) biggest lie to date, it must be pretty close in my opinion, to some of the whoppers we’ve heard.

    84. turnip_ghost says:

      Someone on my FB just put a post about the rugby saying “regarding the rugby all I can say is….come on GB! #bettertogether”

      I mean…seriously?! I also note there are quite a few tweets about the rugby with that hashtag….can’t see any with yesscotland though…

      Is there going to be a count with this on twitter..?

    85. handclapping says:

      This rugby, would it be next year’s 5 Nations and a region?

    86. Mosstrooper says:

      Is there going to be a count with this on twitter. Don’t you have a vowel too many in count?

    87. turnip_ghost says:

      tut tut. Be nice!

      It also took me a minute to get what you meant

    88. msean says:

      The SNP in no way resembles UKIP.If it did I would not vote for them,and I do.

    89. msean says:

      No,it would be 5 nations and a seperate 🙂

    90. CameronB says:

      Are we back to putting the horse before Descartes, again? 😉

    91. Andy-B says:

      Well well well, according to the New York Times, excerpt of David Cameron’s love bombing speech of Scotland, were release, to the press before he made the speech. The reason for this claims the NY Times, was to give the speech and David Cameron’s love bombing plea, maximum coverage.

      Those sneaky Tories.

    92. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @Dick Gaughan says:
      The key to understanding people like Aaronovitch is to remember that we live on the north side of a one-way mirror.
      They look north and see their own reflection and can’t see why there is any problem.

      Dick has put his finger on it.

      Aaronovitch is wittering on about “Othering”, but something which is important and relevant is the concept of people being able to understand “the Other”.

      In the non-England part of the UK most people’s brains are wired (by experience) to have a highly-developed understanding of “the Other” (i.e. of England).

      By that I mean that people in Scotland, Wales, and NI are “bi-lingual” in a way that most (but not all) people in England aren’t. I suspect that for most people in England there is no “Other” in these islands that they have been aware of up until now (Dick’s one-way mirror at Hadrian’s Wall).

      In Scotland we have always had little option but to understand what England was about (from what is presented to us by the majority of output from ‘national’ media), while at the same time living and working in the significantly different social and political environment that exists here.

      So in general people in Scotland don’t do “Othering”, but we surely nearly all have Post-Graduate Degrees in understanding what is meant by “the Other”.

      I’m sure this level of understanding will come in handy when we get into the voting booths in September …

    93. Simon says:

      Re. Billy Bragg, can someone explain how INTERnational Socialists are opposed to there being more than one nation?

    94. msean says:

      Othering. Is that a real word?

    95. CameronB says:

      Is this concept of ‘othering’ not at the core of British racism and xenophobia? God is an English gentleman and being English is the assumed norm, and so moral. Anything different is not moral and so of less value. If any. So why bother about ‘little things’ like human rights?

    96. Richard Lucas says:

      ‘Mr Aaronovitch may be a clever man…’ He isn’t. He is a malign metropolitan idiot who simply ignores facts that do not suit his previously-determined conclusions.. Once you grasp that key fact you can begin to understand where his jive comes from. To boost his reputation for grace and charm, he throws casual references to Nazi-ism at his antagonists.

    97. Alba4Eva says:

      If this has been posted, then sorry, I missed it… but great speech from Tommy Sheridan…

    98. scottish_skier says:

      “The troubles of Scotland arise partly from the rooted English conviction that Scotsmen are trying to be Englishmen and are not doing it very well. The English by their sheer numbers are in a position to put this right, and this they are only too willing to do.”

    99. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @msean says:
      Othering. Is that a real word?

      The concept of “the Other” has been around for a while.
      e.g. when we all lived in small tribes in the forest, anybody else who appeared through the trees was a scary “Other”.

      For “Othering”, see:-
      … and have a laugh at the Imperialism section.

      Aaronovitch is trying to re-fashion “Othering” as yet another handy pejorative label to be pinned on us chippy Northern types who are in danger of grabbing a bit of full-fat democratic rule for ourselves.

    100. Big Jock says:

      Scotland is no different to England? Here is a list for that arrogant ignoramus. The obvious one is the Tories who are in government in England yet have one mp in Scotland.How is that not an important tangible difference.However back to the list.No tuition fees,free personal care for the elderly,free prescriptions,free bus travel for over 60s,Highers not A levels,4 year Honours degree at uni,SNP stopping effects of bedroom tax,anti nuclear both in power supply and weapons,Heavy not Bitter,Whisky not Pimms or Gin,Kilts not Morris dancers,bagpipes,Irn Bru,Tablet,Burns not Shakespeare,The highlands not the lakes,Socialism not right wing anti foreign anti immigrant,pro Europe,Tartan army not Football hooligans,Curling not cricket,Aye not Yes,Billy Connolly Scottish humour,under populated not overcrowded,tenements not terraced houses,Stone built not brick built,National Health service not part privatised,private School not public School,Oil industry not Nae industry,Lochs not lakes,Celtic not Saxon,Gaelic,Square sausage,Haggis,mince an tatties, Oor Willie,the Broons, Tattie Scones,Rolling R,s,Jessica not Jessicar,provost not mayor,Glen not valley….there’s more but hey the Scots are not very distinct eh?

    101. CameronB says:

      Aristotle was also another ‘other-er’. Indeed, when considering whether slavery is natural or conventional, he thought the former;

      “But is there any one thus intended by nature to be a slave, and for whom such a condition is expedient and right, or rather is not all slavery a violation of nature?

      There is no difficulty in answering this question, on grounds both of reason and of fact. For that some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.”

      – Aristole: Book I, Chapters iii through vii of the Politics. and in Book VII of the Nicomachean Ethics

      Does this philosophy not underpin both racism and sexism? Do you reckon that is LR?

    102. scottish_skier says:

      If you look at all the evidence, there’s no difference between the English and the Germans. Like two peas in a pod really. Should really be one country with Berlin as the capital; that being more central for the European markets.

    103. Mary Bruce says:

      Has anyone else read Jon Ronson’s book, The Psychopath Test? It explores a kind of questionnaire test devised by a psychiatrist called Bob Hare which can apparently work out if people have psychopathic tendencies or not.

      Apparently, according to the book, there is a higher percentage of psychopaths in powerful jobs and politics than you would find in the general population. These people usually lack compassion and sympathy and are unable to empathise with others. They often crave excitement and can be very manipulative yet incredibly charming.

      Apparently there are fewer psychopaths per head of population in Scotland than there are in London, this is evident by studying prison populations. An interesting hypothesis that Ronson puts forward is that this isn’t because we don’t produce them, it is because many of our power- crazy, excitement-craving sociopaths find it too boring here so head off to London to satisfy their urges.

      So maybe Scotland does end up being a nicer country after all because we don’t have the same proportion of power- hungry, compassionless nutters running the show. Problem is, when we get independence will they all want to come back again for a piece of the action..?

    104. joe kane says:

      Aaronovitch’s claims that Scots are “othering” English people reminds me slightly of Daily Mail attempts to get wealthy, white, middle class people to imagine they are being demonised and treated as inferiors by powerless minorities who allegedly pose a threat to their traditional way of life.

      A minority of 5 million Scots are hardly in any position to “other” or present a threat, existential or otherwise, to the c.55 million people of England except the usual one posed by the Scottish electorate, the threat of a good example in how a social democracy and liberal democratic government ought to work.

    105. CameronB says:

      Molly Bruce
      I suggest some time back, that prospective candidates for Holyrood should undergo pre-selection analysis using the same Psychopath Test. I’m less certain now though. Does a healthy society not need psychopaths and well as saints?

      Can we have an inclusive society which does not tolerate psychopathy? 🙂

    106. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      The French word for foreigner is étranger. It is of the same linguistic root as “stranger,” I would think. So in French anybody not “local” is un étranger.

      Others, is just a group, according to my interpretation of Aaronovich, meaning anybody except me and people think like I do?

      Narcissist twat.

    107. Mary Bruce says:


      I don’t know enough about it. I’d need to see lots of evidence that psychopaths do indeed make more positive contributions to society than negative ones to be able to agree with that. Somehow I doubt it. I don’t like the idea of being governed by people who have no compassion for the plight of others.

    108. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @Mary Bruce says:
      there is a higher percentage of psychopaths in powerful jobs and politics than you would find in the general population. These people usually lack compassion and sympathy and are unable to empathise with others. They often crave excitement and can be very manipulative yet incredibly charming.

      Very true. People at the Psychopath end of the spectrum are a significant proportion of the population. Fortunately the type of society we will have in the new Scotland will probably not be very appealing to those so lacking in compassion, so I wouldn’t worry too much.

      Please nobody mention Cyberpaths …

    109. Famous15 says:

      According to C4 News team GB failed to get a medal in the snowboarding event because there are no mountains in the UK.

    110. Indy_Scot says:

      Tommy Sheridan, I am only five minutes in, what a public speaker.

    111. CameronB says:

      Mary Bruce
      Is that not the beauty of a written constitution though? There will be a set of RULES protecting human rights.

      I am no expert either, simply uneasy about the social engineering I reckon would be required to eradicate psychopathy.

    112. msean says:

      @Calgacus McAndrews

      Thanks for the link,I wasn’t aware of that words’ imperial connotations.

    113. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Tommy Sheridan

      Tommy is very impressive as a public speaker. But we always knew that. He can be a huge asset in these final few months. But first…

      I watched the new little star of the SSP come on the Scottish scene and grow into power and prayed as it started to powerfully articulate the vision of a fair and just and honest society and then watched in horror as it was crippled by a self indulgent pantomime that destroyed it as a viable political force. The destruction of the SSP over Tommy Sheridan’s personal behaviour allowed to continue the incremental dissipation of the Labour Party in Scotland into a shameless, vacuous pond of talentless self seekers and a brainless Westminster proxy against Scottish independence.

      Now I don’t give toss about the shagging. That is a personal matter between Tommy and those close to him. But the error of judgement that led to the folly of contesting a story in a grubby tabloid that would have died in a couple of weeks which led not only to a public humiliation and even worse the destruction of the SSP and attacks on many fine people in it is almost inexcusable.
      Almost. Tommy may never be able to make his peace with many fine people he damaged. He should try. But he should hold his hands up and say that he had been a very bad boy. And a very stupid one. And he would regain an ocean of respect if he did so.
      Because we need him right now.

      I will be passing this moving performance on to as many people as I can and I hope they do the same.

    114. Kev says:

      Just watched Tommy there, what a speaker and what an asset to the cause, if he managed to repeat that in every town in the country we’d win the referendum hands down…

    115. jingly jangly says:

      Dave McEwan Hill

      Regarding Tommy Sheridan, have you considered he may have been framed by the establishment, one of the main witness who testified against Tommy is Andy Coulson who himself is facing perjury charges in relation to that trial. Mr Coulson is also on trial at this moment at the Old Bailey for alleged corruption and phone hacking.
      As one old wummin put it on the Telly why go out for mince when he had steak at hame!!!
      Given Tommy Sheridan’s skills as orator and his popularity before the events, I would not discount UK Black ops were in operation.

      To me the jury is still out, I await the conclusion of the
      Coulson perjury trial with interest.

      Having said all that, I agree that the Tommy was in grand form and the clip of the speech should be shared with as many people as possible.

    116. handclapping says:

      Tommy Sheridan was in Kirkcaldy in the church where Gordon’s father was minister. Rovers beat Hibs, there’d be dancing in the streets of Raith, if it wasn’t raining.

    117. Piemonteis says:

      Re: Tommy, I firmly believe that if it hadn’t been for his court case, indy polling would be on about 60% right now. Everyone’s going on about how important the Labour vote is in the referendum, and most of us are aware that a large swathe of this vote is unwilling to vote for it because of their partisan dislike of Salmond and the SNP.

      Now, if Sheridan were sharing a stage with Salmond, I think he’d be recognised as the voice of traditional labour values, and he’d win a lot of people round, in addition to the Labour voters (alongside SNP voters, of course) he’d have won round to the SSP over the last 7/8 years.

      Unfortunately (and perhaps understandably), due to his public perception, the YES Campaign won’t let him anywhere near the main stage, and a large percentage of Labour votes may well remain unreachable.

    118. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Sheridan had it all in the palm of his hand, and threw it away. There are many who will never forgive him unless, as Dave McEwan Hill suggests above, he does what’s right and apologises to those he wronged and hurt so much.

      This Amazon review of Alan McCombes’ book, ‘Downfall’, gives a wee glimpse of how deep a schism this man caused among Scottish socialists. He’s the only one who can even attempt to repair the damage, but has shown not the slightest interest in doing so.

    119. CameronB says:

      I forgot to mention that Aristotle defined others as those who were not being Athenian born males of a certain level of wealth, and so entitled to vote. These others were natural slaves.

      Remind anyone of a historical event back in the day? It doesn’t matter if it was 1707 or 1066, Scots are generally still ‘others’. Even if they are proud.

    120. CameronB says:

      I know its a rugby weekend, but am I going to have to put more disks on? 🙂

    121. Luigi says:

      I’ not judging anyone, but I also felt very disappointed and let down by the way the whole Tommy Sheridan affair exploded in the MSM, and the damage it caused to the SSP, an emerging party I admired and that I had started supporting back in the day.

      However, Tommy’s recent speech in Kircaldy was truly awesome and inspirational. Copies should be spread far and wide – the more people that see this the better. For all his faults, TS is still a potential huge asset to the campaign for independence. With the dark forces of the British establishment ranged against us, we need people like Tommy Sheridan speaking out.

      I thank those you posted it on WoS. Keep spreading the word!

    122. jingly jangly says:


      It alway’s amuses me that King Arthur is thought to be an English King, when in fact if he existed at all he was a Celtic Leader fighting against the Saxon (German) invasion of what is now called England.

      I know its racial stereotypes, but all the imperialistic peoples of Northern Europe are of Germanic extraction. The Germans, The Franks, The Angle(o)-Saxons.(Not counting the various Vikings) and the USA which had so many German immigrants that German was very nearly the Language.
      Now I don’t know the DNA makeup of the French and how many Gauls survived Julius Caesar attempted genocide, but over many years of reading “British History” I have come to the conclusion that the so called British Class system, consists mainly of an Establishment Anglo-Saxon/Norman (Germanic Vikings) ethnic clique and the rest (Working, Middle Classes) who are mainly of Celtic extraction. The DNA evidence that has recently illuminated the history of these Isles tends to give credence to my theory.

      Our political ideology in today’s Scotland is not that far away from that practised by our ancestors thousands of years ago.

    123. Taranaich says:

      @Dick Gaughan: The key to understanding people like Aaronovitch is to remember that we live on the north side of a one-way mirror.

      We look south and see a distinct and different society, and understand that “different” is not synonymous with “better”.

      They look north and see their own reflection and can’t see why there is any problem.

      That’s it right there. You wonder why certain Establishment commentators are so concerned about anti-English sentiment among the Scots? Because they’re terrified of being treated by Scots the way they treat the French, Germans, Spanish etc. The same reason for homosexual bigotry: men are afraid of being treated the way they treat women.

      The English people are a different matter, but the ruling class are different. Reginald D. Hunter once said one of the reasons he loved the Irish people was because they’re “white, but without the sense of entitlement.” And I think that’s somewhat the case with Scots: we’re British, but without the imperialism.

      If any working-class English folk think that, it’s because the ruling class have persuaded them to think that they share in this Manifest Destiny as Englishmen, when it’s pretty obvious that the poor from Dover to Newcastle are just as much a tool of the imperialists as we are. God may be an Englishman, but don’t you believe he has a Mancunian or Scouse accent.

    124. lochside says:

      Watched Tommy Sheridan’s master-class in passionate oratory! It’s time for Tommy to be welcomed back into the YES fold and galvanise the public debate for our freedom. We need passion like this for the ongoing fight against the British State’s propaganda.

    125. Indy_Scot says:

      No matter what people’s opinion of Tommy are, I would be amazed if anyone who saw that video did not vote Yes

    126. Calum Craig says:

      Tommy Sheridan. Wow, what a speaker.

    127. Elizabeth says:

      Tommy Sheridan – what an orator!

    128. Re- Tommy what really surprises me is how the BBC got hold of the interrogation of his wife by the police as well as them broadcasting it, very strange that that has never been commented on.

    129. CameronB says:

      I should try to be a little less general in my descriptions. I perhaps should also have said, “…off a certain caliber”. There, that’s better. 🙂

    130. Ken500 says:

      If a perjurer had not committed perury at a perjury trial, Tommy Sheridan would not have been convicted. A £5million political show trial. Westminster criminals, including Bliar, were out to get Tommy Sheridan and they succeeded. Along with the Judas who took the pieces of silver.

      The only apology to the one’s who were hurt, should be to Tommy Sheridan and his family, along with compensation.

    131. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      jingly jangly at 8.04

      Yes. Many people have wondered about that and the establishment certainly wished him ill. But he gave them all they wanted.

      I make no judgement about Tommy’s sexual dalliances whatsover (except that they are pretty universal weaknesses and who among us could honestly say, hand on heart, that we would always defeat temptation no matter how beguiling. Not many hands up there) but his judgement was found badly wanting. I have lived in societies in which sexual activity is recognised as peripheral to other more important matters and those societies function just as well as our’s does.

      Nevertheless this speech is one of the most compelling performances I have seen so far

    132. TJenny says:

      O/T – Apparently there will be no march and rally for indy this year but there is to be a ‘Grass Roots on the Green’ national rally at Glasgow Green, if they can raise the funds. Looking to initially raise £10k of a 2 part fundraiser. See link

    133. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Ken500 –

      And how do we ‘compensate’ all those who worked their arses off to progress Socialism in this country, just to have the rug pulled from under them by someone they trusted?

      I don’t want to fall out with you or anyone else here about Tommy Sheridan. It’s one thing to applaud good oratory, but it’s quite another to revise history in an effort to re-present the speaker as some kind of Moses.

      We’re going to win this referendum with or without Tommy Sheridan.

      Below is a link to Kevin Williamson’s letter of resignation from the SSP. Kevin, as you may know, established BellaCaledonia with Mike Small. The letter was written in the wake of the trial, and it is, in some ways, as critical of the SSP as it is of Sheridan.

    134. twenty14 says:

      @TJenny- sorry – are you saying there will be no Independence March this year ( as on the march at Carlton Hill ) or just no march for ” Indy ” ??

    135. HandandShrimp says:

      I started listening to Aaonvitch this morning but he committed the cardinal sin of boring me with the inanity of his argument so I switched it off.

    136. TJenny says:

      twenty14 – if you go into the link it states that there wont be a YES funded march and rally this year and this rally, no march, will be held instead.

      I remember someone posting on another thread, a few weeks ago, that the date of this year’s march and rally was to be in April, then August and then that it wasn’t going ahead at all. This rally seems to be the alternative.

    137. Famous15 says:

      The decision not to have a march and rally this year was mostly based on the view that leafleting ,doorstepping and street stalls would have more effect and some of us cannot spend too much on travel.

    138. muttley79 says:

      I think Tommy Sheridan is too divisive a political figure. He is in the same mould as George Galloway. Sheridan’s downfall was his own fault, and he still has not apologised for the demise of the SSP. The formation of Solidarity was an episode straight from the Life of Brian. The guy just had too much arrogance and ego. It got totally out of control. I have to disagree with people on here when they say we need him to get a Yes vote. The Sunday Herald a week or two confirmed that support for independence is highest among the less affluent areas in Scotland. Too win we need to get the support of more middle class voters here. Sheridan would not help in this regard.

    139. Linda's back says:

      @ muttley79 says:

      Colin Fox, whom I have had many dealings with, is a far more genuine socialist than Tommy Sun Tan Sheridan.

    140. twenty14 says:

      O/T – it seems a Mr Alan Savage – Chairman of the Orion Group ( recruitment company ) with offices in Scotland and the rest of the UK has threatened to move his Headquarters elsewhere if Scotland votes for Independence – Here’s the reply I sent to his company’s contact page on their website –

      ” Dear Mr savage – I have just read that you will move your company out of Scotland if its people vote for Independence – I find it almost inconceivable that you website shows you operate all over the World but would be unable to carry out your business in an independent Scotland. – are the major Oil companies aware of your plite and should they be looking elsewhere for a company similar to your own in Scotland to fill your vacant position. I’m sure your rival companies will be most heartened at your decision. I would pencil in removals for around September 19th this year – All the best – A Sovereign Scot

    141. twenty14 says:

      @ Tjenny – I can’t understand, after last years rally being such a success that we wont have one defining, similar march before the vote- If its a matter of money the REV can crowdfund it

    142. CameronB says:

      Mr. Aaronovitch may be the epitome of walking cognitive dissonance, or considered an astute metropolitan commentator.Does it mean anything though, when 13 year old books don’t have customer reviews on Amazon?

      Paddling to Jerusalem: An Aquatic Tour of Our Small Country Paperback – Import, January 1, 2001
      by DAVID AARONOVITCH (Author)
      Be the first to review this item

    143. Greannach says:

      Girded my loins and listened. Labour Olympians like this guy really have morphed into Tories. And they get the cannon fodder like Jim Hood (recently accused of being an MP) and Johann Lamont (alleged leader of the Labour Party in this country) to do the footslogging. Of course, they obey. They recognise their inferiority. Aaronovich, Mandelson, Blair, Balls = upstairs. Lamont, Curran, Sarwar, Hood = downstairs. Welcome to Labour Downtown.

    144. Iain says:

      I started listening to Aaonvitch this morning but he committed the cardinal sin of boring me with the inanity of his argument so I switched it off.

      Ironically, I sense you may have had much in common with many of our English brothers & sisters in that regard.

    145. TJenny says:

      twenty14 – the link in my post is to the crowd funding page.

      Also see Comment from Famous15 at 9.18pm for reasons for the decision not to have the march and rally.

    146. muttley79 says:

      @Linda’s Back

      I think there are far more credible figures on the Left in Scotland than Tommy Sheridan. I am thinking about Patrick Harvie, Robin McAlpine (know he is not an elected politician at the moment), Aamer Anwar, Lesley Riddoch, Jean Urquhart, etc. There are younger political activists emerging on the Left as well at the moment, such as Cat Boyd. People like Sheridan and Galloway simply cannot build and sustain parties because they are so arrogant, controlling etc.

    147. Linda's back says:

      Regarding the Orion Group, just like the referenda n 1979 and 1999 no one including the Banks and Michelle Mone moved out of Scotland as we have a higher educated workforce used to working for a lower hourly rate than in England and when you add the relocation expenses it doesn’t make any seance.

      And I will support any team who plays against Inverness Caley’s team of imported cloggers.

      I wait to see the MSM / BBC challenge to the Glasgow Caledonian University’s support for the Union despite fact that in Scotland Universities get a better deal.

      Our students should making their voices heard.

    148. Marcia says:

      from Kevin McKenna

      Scottish independence: opponents are like rabbits in SNP’s headlights With seven months to go, the momentum is with the Yes campaign

    149. TheGreatBaldo says:


      Ok Sundays and the incoming headlines…..

      The Observer editorial is strange…

      The Guardian editorial today was along similar lines and both appear to acknowledge the Unionist blunder in removing the 3rd Devo Max option.

      Reading between the lines, both also seem to imply the only way to save face may be in finding terms.

      And also from the Observer, Kevin McKenna gives a reasonable assessment on how and why YES have managed to turn the tables since the New Year.

    150. twenty14 says:

      Thanks TJenny – got the jist

    151. TJenny says:

      twenty14 🙂

    152. Niall mck says:

      The English left want to move to Scotland after Yes vote. The English right want a Yes victory to achieve electoral domination.


    153. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      Here’s an archive version of Kevin McKenna’s excellent Observer piece:-

      Squeaky bum time for BT …

    154. SquareHaggis says:

      Aberdeen Press & Journal running the totally misleading headline today “Cameron leads tour of Scotland” with a close-up pic of him at the lectern with it’s GCU featuring prominently.
      Guy in the paper shop remarked “didna ken Cameron wis in Scotland”
      Nothing on their political pages, just tumbleweed.
      I wonder how many other dailys are doing the same thing today?

    155. ronnie anderson says:

      How ready are we to be beguiled,by one speach of another

      Armani socialist, he used the people on the poll tax, I

      spoke to him at that time, re going to law, because it was

      illegal to impose it on one part of the Uk solely, he was

      out to make a name for himself at that time,he used people

      then & he will do so again, this Yes campain doesnt need

      the embarassment of Sheridan.

    156. kininvie says:

      For my sins, I went to Murrayfield and watched Scotland being gubbed while surrounded by people bellowing about chariots. And for a while I did wonder if we really are too poor wee and stupid to do anything but serve up crap and pretend it is pure dead brilliant.

      But then I reflected that Scottish rugby players have a tendency to come out for Better Together, and I felt a bit happier.

      And then I read Kevin McKenna and felt almost back to normal.

    157. Hetty says:

      The T Sheridan speech is well worth a watch, he tells it like it is. I like his loudness and angry tone, we need that, its what a lot of people will sit up and listen to. All hands on deck for a very stormy few months ahead, we have to win this.

    158. kininvie says:

      @ Ronnie

      I’ll tell you something: I haven’t worn out my shoes and worn away my days persuading people to vote Yes just to see the same self-serving bunch – of whichever colour – thinking they can continue lording it over us in an independent Scotland.

      Along with independence we need a change in the political culture. Life is not always going to be easy. We need to let it be known that only those who put the interests of Scotland before their own interest have any right to our respect. And those who fail that test require to be told they have failed in no uncertain terms

    159. Hetty says:

      Spending some time reading the McCrone report, well some of it at least, its 18 pages, very interesting indeed, having just skimmed through it up until now, to be recommended:

    160. MochaChoca says:

      Apologies if anyone has highlighted this already but a report has been produced by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research that says that new Gross National Income figures may suggest that “Scots are richer than had heretofore been recognised”.

      Unfortunately you need an account to access the report, but by the sounds of it it could make very interesting reading:

      The report says that all of this suggests that “Scotland would have a very large current account surplus, which would in turn mean that its economic prospects would be much brighter than the rest of the UK’s”.

    161. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @kininvie –

      I’m not familiar with McKenna’s work, his general outlook etc, but if that piece even partially reflects what the chatterers are chattering about in the Metropolis, then BT have good reason to worry.

      This morning, waking up, I had one of those strange moments when you’re not quite out of the dream-state – I was a spectator inside the Olympic Park, but away up in the Gods, the huddle around Cameron/stage was just a blob. I was half-laughing when I did wake up, then remembered that the event had actually happened.

      It actually happened…

      Have been walking around with an inane grin all day.

    162. Effie Deans says:

      There’s a very good reason why Labour supporters and people on the left in general should vote no. It can be summed up in the following way:

      I doubt you will agree dear friends, but perhaps you will welcome an alternative point of view. Good luck in the coming months and whichever of side wins let us be compassionate winners and whichever side loses let us have the strength to lose with grace and dignity.


    163. Croompenstein says:

      I am fucking seek of this, been oot watchin excuse for rugby and have heard the pish of we cannot afford it as RBS is fucked and we have to pay for it or we arn’t enough of us to support a seperate nation, I am in fucking tears honestly WTF is Scotland, do we actually know or FFS do they actually care

    164. Linda's back says:

      @ hetty says

      Would you believe that on BBC Call Kaye on Friday Tory Jackson Carlaw and Unionist BBC Kaye claimed tha had never heard of the McCrone Report.

      No wonder undecided voters clam they have not enough information if they are relying on BBC and UK right press or even SO CALLED SCOTTISH NEWSPAPERS.

    165. Marcia says:

      Sunday Herald front page;

    166. TheGreatBaldo says:

      I’m not familiar with McKenna’s work, his general outlook etc, but if that piece even partially reflects what the chatterers are chattering about in the Metropolis, then BT have good reason to worry.

      Put it this way Ian, he started off on the ‘zany comedy relief’ along side Cockers and is now listed on the official blog roll.

      Came out as a YES-leaning at the sdame time as his friend Joyce McMillan.

      Joyce has since announced she’s a confirmed YES, Kev hasn’t taken that final step…..yet

    167. twenty14 says:

      Rev _ Can you research this one _ That Jackson Carlaw and Kaye Adams have never heard of the McCrone Report. A ” so calle ” renowed journslist/Scottish talkshow host and a Scottish politician have never heard of this – can we doo them for lying ?

    168. twenty14 says:

      sorry – a few typos there

    169. Ericmac says:

      @EffieDeans I thought I’d give you the benefit of the doubt…. First and last time I will visit your blog. It’s simply rubbish. Just thought I’d let you know. Couldn’t be bothered listing all the reasons why. It’s simply bollocks. 🙂

    170. Linda's back says:

      For info

      Registered Office:

      Mmmm seems he already gone!

      If not dear mr savage please explain!!

    171. Jon D says:

      @Effie Deans

      How long do you think it took for me to realise that this is a spoof article.

      Nice try.

    172. Seasick Dave says:

      Effie Deans

      That is simply woeful.


    173. Flower of Scotland says:

      Met a crowd of lovely folk , where shooting is their hobby . Mostly clay pigeons and pheasants . Talking about Independence every one said they were voting no . I was horrified and asked why . The answer was that Kenny Macaskill was going to pass a law in an Independent Scotland reducing the number of guns that one person can have , even though they have cabinets and there are very few incidents with guns as a hobby . In fact I’m told that Scotland won medals in the Olympics for shooting !
      It just shows why some people want to vote no whereas me I don’t understand them basing it on one thing . There’s nowt so funny as folk !!

    174. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Sorry Effie

      I tried, I really did (and I read your piece on the NHS)…..

      But how can I put this in the nicest and friendliest possible terms…..

      “You’re no Alan Cochrane”.



    175. Croompenstein says:

      @oh effie you miss the whole point, it aint to do with fucking left wing right wing any fucking wing it aint fuck all to do with Lab/Lib,Tory,UKIP,SNP or any fucking party its all about government of the people by the people for the people and FFS is that not a great thing to aspire to FFS vote YES

    176. ronnie anderson says:

      My Grandaughter went to Ninewells Hospital with stomach pain,s, & left with a 8lbs BabyGirl.

      Rev. you better get that crowdfunding going soon while I have a couple of bob left.

    177. CameronB says:

      Effie Deans
      I don’t want to gang up on you, but I’m afraid I have to agree with Ericmac, though I must admit giving up when you tried to paint the anti-slavery Republican party as the bastions of Confederate values.

    178. cearc says:

      Thanks for the link to Kevin’s resignation letter. I read it around the time but it is well worth re-reading with the perspective of time.

      Sheridan may deliver a stonking speech and it is of value but I think many people will still be put off by it being him. That said, we need everyone.

      It isn’t just great orators that we need, although Jimmy Reid could probably have taken the country with him single handed) the heartfelt feelings of everyone out campaigning, delivering leaflets etc. are just as powerful. Just us, Scottish residents from all origins and all walks of life talking to the same.

      Of course we need people like Ivan and Gordan at BfS to sock it to the media and present the facts with some authority but the referendum will be won in the streets, villages and workplaces.

      Personally, I think that Ian’s sincere piece to camera a couple of months ago (stop blushing there)is worth more than Sheridan’s grand performance.

    179. Mary Bruce says:


      I read Effie Dean’s blog too and agree with you entirely, ’tis pure guff.

      Take this one sentence: “The devolved powers of the Scottish parliament control most aspects of our everyday life and these powers will remain in the hands of the left for the foreseeable future so long as we remain in the UK.”

      How are we supposed to take someone seriously who a) believes that the SP controls most aspects of everyday life (eh, naw it disnae, Effie, it doesn’t control welfare, taxation, pensions, VAT etc etc) and b) someone who doesn’t seem to realise that the Labour Party aren’t left wing any more.

    180. creigs1707repeal says:

      @ Effie Deans

      “Power is given only to those who dare to lower themselves and pick it up. Only one thing matters, one thing; to be able to dare!” – Dostoevsky

      Scotland dares.

    181. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @TheGreatBaldo –

      Cheers friend – I must’ve read some of the guy’s stuff over the course, but I suppose we all have blind spots when it comes to particular characters (you know, if they haven’t been on Big Brother or whatever) and they slip under one’s radar.

      I’m happy to hear that the man seems to be on a journey of conversion, albeit less than Damascene.

      Perhaps we should now make it a mission to get Cochrane onside? (‘Who Dares Wins’ an aw that…we could try appealing to his better nature.)

      You can imagine a startling column appearing in the Telegraph, with this opening:

      ‘Last night I ended up wandering into a bar I’d never noticed before. It was quiet, apart from a solitary character seated on a high bar-stool, reading a battered paperback, the title of which I couldn’t discern without being rude.

      The barman appeared, dishevelled and sweating, from a hatch, and angrily demanded to know what the fuck I wanted. I said, sternly, ‘A large Glenfiddich’.

      The character on the stool closed his book, slipped it inside his grey trench-coat, and said:

      ‘Make that two Josie. On my tab.’

      I turned to the man. He was in his late fifties, with a shock of white hair, a neatly-trimmed greyish beard, and solidly black sideburns.

      ‘Do I know you?’ I asked.

      ‘No’, he replied, ‘Not yet. My name is TheGreatBaldo’

      And now, loyal readers, I must declare that I have tendered my resignation to the Telegraph, with immediate effect. In the brief remaining paragraphs allowed to me, I will try to explain why…’

    182. ronnie anderson says:

      @croompenstein 11.44, deep breath,s whoo sa, whoo sa,whoo sa, dont let the batard,s get to you.laugh we re winning.

    183. cearc says:

      Congratulations Ronnie.

    184. Hetty says:

      Linda’s back

      yep saw that Kaye wotshername said she hadn’t heard of the McCrone report, another planet would be putting it mildly for sure. What a waste of space she is.

      Here is a cheery little film all, about Plato’s ‘Cave’. It’s an animation, perhaps this message could up the game, it’s interesting on many levels. Encourage the dk’s and no’s to watch it?

    185. Mary Bruce says:

      Regarding Effie-

      Who else is utterly sick to death of hearing labour supporters refer to the Labour Party as left wing? This must be one of the greatest deceptions of our times. How deceitful of the labourites to keep peddling this drivel.

    186. Marcia says:

      Congrats Great-Grandad Ronnie

    187. Papadocx says:


      The short answer is yes or they are not up to their jobs , or both.

      The mcCrone report I think was released about 2005 The two of them hopefully werei interested in politics by that time. Then again maybe not. BEFORE THAT NONE OF US NEW ABOUT IT BECAUSE THEY (labour & Tory) government deemed itt TOP SECRET. “Bury for 30 years”

      DONT TELL THE DAFT JOCKS! That’s why they both still treat us as daft, we are gullible!

    188. Croompenstein says:

      @ronnie @11:57 – thanks Ronnie – I know emotions take us over but the prize is so great it’s easy to go too far with language, sorry for cursing but it is just so frustrating

    189. Mary Bruce says:

      Congratulations, ronnie!

    190. ronnie anderson says:

      @Kinvie 10.40, I agree with that sentiment,it will be harder for people as you describe getting on in a Indy Scotland, when the people are soverein.

    191. TJenny says:

      Ronnie – many congratulations to you and your family 🙂

      Croompenstein – give yourself a virtual WoS group hug…..and don’t let the negatives get you down. 🙂

    192. Look forward to Effie’s critic of this and others of course.

    193. ronnie anderson says:

      @T Jenny ,Thanks any baby clothe,s you can spare, yhe wain hisna a stitch tae wear,unexspected arrival. lol

    194. Croompenstein says:

      @thanks Tjenny I must share my journey as this time 4 months ago I was undecided but I chose to educate myself on the debate and thankfully came across WOS, NNS and Bella but especially Wings and it just seemed like a fair ground duck shoot as the Rev just shot down all the better together pish I live in hope that others will follow my journey and thanks for letting me know I am appreciated..

    195. Vincent McDee says:

      This is what most here have been suspecting of late:

      “Today’s visit follows an exclusive poll for Scotland on Sunday suggesting 46 per cent of people may back independence in the referendum on 18 September”

      O’course the reaction was the standard:

      “A Better Together spokesman said: “What a hysterical over-reaction to one single poll. If the next poll doesn’t back up this errant nonsense, can we look forward to a grovelling admittance from Salmond that his campaign is on the rocks

    196. ronnie anderson says:

      Thank all an thinking of starting a crowdfunding fur baby clothes lol, naw every thing sorted,keep working hard lad,s n lasses, awe oor bairns depend on us, born & unborn.

    197. TJenny says:

      Ronnie – don’t have any baby clothes but would cheerfully give a wee donation towards baby clothes for our newest wee Scot, via a WoS crowdfund, possibly?

    198. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Poll News…

      Panelbase reports….

      Looks like last week scare offensive had some impact then (based on one poll admittedly), the good news is they cannae keep it up for 7 months without really pissing folk off

    199. Croompenstein says:

      @Vincent -A Better Together spokesman said: “What a hysterical over-reaction to one single poll. If the next poll doesn’t back up this errant nonsense, can we look forward to a grovelling admittance from Salmond that his campaign is on the rocks – You Better Together fuckwit don’t you get it yet, this aint about Alex or the SNP, Lab/Lib, Tories it’s about the Scottish people having a democratic say in the way their lives are governed, FFS what is it you fuckers can’t get!!

    200. scottish_skier says:

      doubt you will agree dear friends, but perhaps you will welcome an alternative point of view.



    201. ronnie anderson says:

      Whit oor fearless leader n FM, hystericil, he,s partial tae a wee dram, but he,s no a swally merchant, FFS when are they gonna run oota story,s, BT brickin it.

    202. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @cearc –

      I am properly flattered, and taking a beamer.

      The point is serious though. I watched the Sheridan ‘Kirkcaldy’ speech, and it aroused many emotions:

      Disgust – that the chair/host introduced the man without so much as a fleeing peep that he was in any way controversial.

      Shock – that the man has aged so dramatically, in such a short time. Isn’t he teetotal? He still looks healthy, and there’s nothing wrong with his stance, or voice, but he seems, quite suddenly, to be much older than most folk imagine him to be.

      Recognition – the voice, the rhythm, the anger, the punctuation of ‘brothersansisters’…deja-vu, aye, all over again, and again, and again…

      Anger – remembering a good friend who was SSP active, so active that his health was already suffering…and after the revelation, but well before the court-case? Reverted to the bevvy after more than a decade on the wagon – spirit broken. Remains unaccounted for.

      Grief – we will never know what the SSP/Sheridan could’ve achieved. It was a phenomenon while it lasted, and he, single-handedly, wrecked it. It was not his property to dispose of, but that is, in effect, what he did.

      Hope – that Sheridan’s fine words will be heard, but that Scots will have sense and memory enough to realise that those words aren’t his ‘property’ either.

      The future for Socialism in Scotland is represented by people like Colin Fox and Richie Venton.

      Please, read Venton’s latest here:

    203. caz-m says:

      This guy Cameron doesn’t seem to be the sharpest tool in the box.

      The rising flood waters in South West England can be compared to the rising vote for Independence in Scotland.

      When he finally decides to do something about them, he will be so overwhelmed by them, that it will be too late.

    204. ronnie anderson says:

      @T Jenny, every things sorted,all the amily going up to Invergowrie next weekend, minus me, no doupt they will bring the baby down in a week or two.

    205. Cindie aka CR says:

      Congratulations Ronnie xx

      Meanwhile, over on Rev’s Twitter feed, David Aaronovich has just tweeted

      @shamer11 @LesleyRiddoch That website is quite extraordinary. Real evidence of how groupthink makes for madness.

      Any guesses as to who he might mean 😉

    206. ronnie anderson says:

      Immigration minister quit,s over illegal cleaner at his home.

    207. ronnie anderson says:

      @Cindi, thanks xxx

    208. Marcia says:

      Scot Goes Pop – James Kelly’s article on the Panelbase Poll

    209. ronnie anderson says:

      @ IanBrotherhood, you have a crumb of comfort that the SSP,now have a chance, to rise again in a Independant Scotland,Sheridan will not have that avenue to use people again.

    210. Creag an Tuirc says:

      Twenty14 and Papadaox, I hope someone phones up Kaye next week and asks her if she’s read the McCrone report yet. You know, do a bit of research so she can inform her listeners and debate the subject on her political items. She can’t say she’s never heard of it now, can she? 🙂

    211. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @ronnie –

      Great granda?

      I take it you’re quite an auld cunt then, eh? (Let me think, Airdrie?…you must be at least 45?!)

      Many congratulations!

    212. ronnie anderson says:

      @Ianbrotherhood,Aye an a aulder cunard that that 3 time,s GG GG GG lol.

    213. jingly jangly says:

      Congratulations Ronnie, when the wean is old enough to ask, what did you do to help win the great patriotic referendum? You can proudly say that you were a Winger.
      (As well as the street work and leafleting)

    214. Edward says:

      I see Better together regurgitating an old scare story of one of their backers. Alan Savage of Orion Group is threatening to leave Scotland (Again) in the event of a yes vote
      2012 story

      and story repeated this weekend in the Scotland on Sunday

      Are Better Together running our of scare(stupid) stories?

    215. HandandShrimp says:

      The Times poll seems to have geared towards the currency debate and business. The impact seems to be that it has had very little impact. Things have pushed on since then and the mood seems to have notched up a bit more. The poll seems to indicate that keeping Sterling is popular.

    216. HandandShrimp says:


      Better Together are recycling all their scare stories. There was nothing new in the pensions one either last week. I think we have seen them all now so they are just on constant re-run.

    217. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Ronnie –

      Ha! Briiliant.

      Here’s a wee Van song, for you and yours, the new wee one, and all the rest of us.

      May all the known gods get us through these weeks and months ahead – not far to go.

      These are the days Ronnie man – these are the days:

    218. ronnie anderson says:

      @jinglyjangly ah wish ah could get oot tae dey door knocking, I only hope I get better before its over.still we live in hope.

    219. CameronB says:

      Ian Brotherhood
      It is the true shame of Britain, that you are actually describing the reality for many. I simply can’t understand those who, despite have all the necessary information, still insist on clinging to the past.

    220. CameronB says:

      Sorry, congrats Ronnie and family.

    221. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      I know you always have a look at Wings before bedtime.
      Another bad day at the office I fear.
      Bye bye to the Peerage.
      Night night.

    222. ronnie anderson says:

      @CameronB Thanks Cameron.

    223. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Ianbrotherhood,You know how tae pull heart string,s,tear,s faw doon, thank,s Ian brilliant made ma night.

    224. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Ronnie –

      You are very welcome mister. Always fills me up too.

      We’re aw pure saps!!

      Nicht-nicht mister.

    225. cearc says:


      In all fairness to the intro, I assume that it was billed as a ‘tommy speaks’ meeting so the audience knew. As such if he can win a few votes that’s fine but I am sure that if he turned up to speak without a pre-warning a lot of people would be pretty upset.

      Unlike yourself I don’t know any of the people caught up in his mess but it was shocking to see the way he treated them. Quite shameless. Your anger and dissapointment are more than justified.

      I must confess that I didn’t listen to all of it, his ‘brothersansisters’ stuff makes me squirm. It sniffs of the eastern bloc perversion of socialism, enforced by a ruling elite on the proles.

    226. Morag says:

      This thread has grown faster than I could read it. (Spending time tabulating the 1,000 households our little village activist team will “own” for newspapers and leafleting, with maps showing where the houses are on the farm tracks.) I haven’t listened to Lesley or Tommy – it’s past my bedtime.

      Just one thing to say, congratulations to Ronnie, the new mum, and the brand new baby. You’re not going to call her Kirsty, are you? Welcome to Scotland darling, and we’ll try to give it the potential to be a better place for you.

    227. Morag says:

      Tommy? There’s something about the way he purses his lips that I just can’t abide. Had to switch off.

      He has all the tactical nous of whoever it was ordered the charge of the Light Brigade. Can’t put his own desires and his own ego aside for the greater good. I know someone who can, and it’s working out.

    228. CameronB says:

      Re. the Aaronovitch Twitter duel. Is that as good as he has got? An unsubstantiated challenge of our competence to think and function as individuals. I don’t think I like that.

      Hey, Mr. Aaronovitch. Would you like to provide an explanation to your thinking, and an apology to Rev. Stu and all readers, if in error. Go on, I dare you.

      P.S. Have you read the blog, apart from today’s article about yourself, of course?

    229. Boorach says:

      Congratulations Ronnie, I’m sure you’ll be a great, great grand-dad

    230. Jock says:

      Aaronovitch is, sadly, typical of many of the people from the SE who opine about Scotland. They think they know the county but don’t actually have any real experience the place and know far less than they think. They may bold pronouncements. However, when challenged about them they swiftly resort to insults and ad hominem attacks instead of arguing over the facts.

    231. Seasick Dave says:

      Flower of Scotland

      The answer was that Kenny Macaskill was going to pass a law in an Independent Scotland reducing the number of guns that one person can have.

      That’s nowt to do with Independence.

      That’s to do with an SNP Government, regardless of a Yes or No vote.

    232. Alfresco Dent says:

      If Tommy’s on the podium we win. Simples.

    233. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      If you do Aaronovitch’s “Othering”, do you turn “others” into those scary foreigners?

    234. lochside says:

      Why don’t the Sheridan haters chuck it? He was stitched up by the British State/Sun and by his own hubris, so what?
      The fact is that most of the Don’t knows are too young or detached from Far Left navel gazing and internecine hatred to care about the past.

      Tainted and flawed he may be, but oratory like that could move mountains and engage those who need other than mainstream Yes politcos earnest and non-confrontational style to make them see that this is a battle for our Country’s existence.

    235. Mary Bruce says:

      If Mr Aaronovitch reads this thread again closely he will notice that there are many different opinions of Tommy Sheridan and no-one is afraid to disagree with anyone else. Not exactly group think is it? Aaronovitch will need to come up with another reason as to why none of us agree with what he has to say.

    236. Alfresco Dent says:

      @ lochside

      Well said.

    237. Ann says:

      That part of the speech by Tommy Sheridan with regards to benefits being stopped or cut is very similar to what I have just gone through this week with my brother.

      The Westminster Government and their co-horts only care about fixing the jobless figures and pay total disregard to the effect on not only the person involved, but their families as well.

    238. Ann says:

      Tommy needs to get out on the street ala the Poll Tax and get the message out.

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