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Wings Over Scotland

Fingers jammed in ears

Posted on September 10, 2013 by

Sometimes even a site like this, dedicated to spending a large percentage of its time exposing the barely-concealed bias of the Scottish press, is almost lost for words.


We’ll see if we can dredge up a few for the latest plume of billowing black smoke and flame to spurt out during the death-dive of the Scotsman, though.

Yesterday much of the online media, and eventually even the print press, shone an unforgiving light on the bizarrely flawed methodology of this week’s Lord Ashcroft polling, and also on the reporting of it. The Tory peer himself admitted and apologised for errors in the presentation of his results, most notably in the way that some figures about respondents’ opinions of the Scottish Government’s priorities were grossly distorted by excluding the large percentage of voters who thought its current priorities were just fine.

So it’s mindboggling that the Scotsman’s deputy editor is this morning inviting readers to read a piece in today’s paper which repeats the same enormous, serious mistake.

“One [question asked by Lord Ashcroft was] what people thought the Scottish Government’s priority should be. Only 3 per cent said it should be independence, while fully 41 per cent said it should be concentrating on the economy and jobs.”

This, as we noted yesterday, is seventeen kinds of rubbish. The poll sample was NEVER asked “what the Scottish Government’s priority should be”. That question was only asked of the people who thought it had the wrong priority, and even then the Scotsman has taken its figures not from the actual poll data, but from the bewilderingly fabricated graphic depiction of it “Better Together” released and appear still not to have taken down despite every single statement on it (except the one about the NHS) being a demonstrable lie.

Even the distorted, inaccurate figures apologised for and corrected by Lord Ashcroft didn’t show figures of 3% and 41% in the categories claimed. We’re still not sure where those actually came from. But then, that’s probably because we’re trying to look at it in some sort of evidence-based way founded in reality, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that neither the No camp nor the Scottish media have any interest in such trifles any more.

We must admit, if these are the depths they’re descending to now, even while asserting that all the polls are with them by massive margins, it makes a little shiver run up our spine to imagine how far they’ll have sunk, and how nasty the Unionist campaign will have become, by next summer.

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    105 to “Fingers jammed in ears”

    1. MajorBloodnok says:

      Bring it on!

    2. WallaceBruce says:

      Nasty erodes and crumbles. Positivity builds!

    3. Morag says:

      …. some figures about respondents’ opinions of the Scottish Government’s priorities were grossly distorted by including the large percentage of voters who thought its current priorities were just fine.
      Weren’t the figures distorted by EXcluding these respondents?

    4. Murray McCallum says:

      You can’t really blame the Scottish press – the thought of any country running their own affairs for their own interests is frankly ridiculous. Has anyone found an example, outside of the amazing “UK”, of where that actually works?

    5. Robin Ross says:

      History repeating itself.  The Union was founded on a tissue of lies and corruption so why should it not be defended in the same way?

    6. Albert Herring says:

      Nastier the better.

    7. Doug Daniel says:

      Murray – well indeed. I mean, just look at Norway. Left to their own devices, they’ve gone and elected a centre-right government. Now if they allowed Sweden to elect their government, this would never have happened.
      *Crosses fingers that no one knows that Sweden is already governed by a centre-right government*

    8. Indy_Scot says:

      There is nothing the unionists media will not do or say to prevent their demise. I would not be surprised if the unionist TV outlets are not already interlacing subliminal messages in their broadcast outputs.

    9. faolie says:

      @Robin Ross, good one!
      The article in question currently has 8 comments, all trashing it and Ashcroft’s poll:

    10. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Well it appears that all the lies, deceit and misinformation that has been spouted by Better Together and their chums in the media over the past year or so have not been working and the message has finally begun to winkle its way down into the nether regions of Better Together and chums. This means they have only one method of attack left and that is to take all opinion polls, of questionable data and otherwise, and distort the data used to present the ‘truth’ in their eyes of what the real world thinks about Scottish independence. Unfortunately for them there are some very nice people like Rev Stu who are always on hand to do what should be done, dissect the poll data, and wring the real truth out of the polling data thereby debunking everything Better Together and ‘friends’ say about well anything really. 😆

    11. seanair says:

      Hope someone will politely write to the Scotsman pointing out their unconscious error.

    12. Brian Powell says:

      Herald now with article on Irish republicans saying they won’t be onlookers in the Referendum debate.

    13. If the BT mob (MSM Included ) thought there were actually in the lead in the polls they would not be trying to destroy the credibility of them, that’s actually what they are trying to do now, to me it’s proof positive YES are in front,  I think the Wings crowd funded  poll was the game changer,  the BT mob went into overdrive after it was published, the writing is on the wall, the game’s a bogey, BT are running scared, they are on their way out and they know it.

    14. Tris says:

      The evidence suggests that they (the written press, Better Together and the BBC) are liars and they are cheats (not forgetting bigots: I don’t want my son to be a foreigner).
      As the year goes on, I being to worry about the depths they will sink to, the effect that that will have on our society, and the legacy it will leave, no matter what the result, but more particularly if the result is a narrow win for no, based, perhaps, on the lies that they have told.
      I had an appetite for a fight for Scotland’s independence, but this wickedness is sickening me. It begins to feel intimidating.
      The only consolation in cases like this, is that if the English nobility can convince the No voters that they have already won and that Scotland is safely in the hands of the unionists, a large number of them may decide that polling day would be better spent doing something else.
      Far fewer Yes voters are likely to feel that way.

    15. The Man in the Jar says:

      “I had an appetite for a fight for Scotland’s independence, but this wickedness is sickening me. It begins to feel intimidating.”
      That is exactly why they (project scunner) are doing it. Keep the faith!

    16. Gillie says:

      The fact that the papers like the Herald and the Scotsman, and broadcasters like the BBC are more than willing to promote a lie doesn’t say much for their readers and viewers. 

    17. Murray McCallum says:

      I see the BBC have slipped a little comment: “The survey also showed a fall in support for Scottish independence, from 30% in 2006 to 23% in 2012”, under the headline of “British Social Attitudes Report finds softening attitudes to benefits”.
      Another bit of timely data.

    18. faolie says:

      @Vincent McDee your link to thinkscotland

      The Hootsmon and the Herald are betting their houses on a No vote and therefore, by being on the winning side, they keep (slightly) more readers. Deluded. Pity really, cos there’s still time to change sides and be proper Scottish papers.

    19. Morag says:

      I’ll say this for the Scotsman.  They seem to be allowing comments pointing out that their article ATL is pants.  Fat chance of the Herald doing that.

    20. Doug Daniel says:

      Vincent McDee – ahh, a right-wing commentator bemoaning the inevitable results of the free market. Where have I seen that one before?
      Oh wait, it’s all because of the BBC apparently. Nothing to do with the newspaper industry itself. Nope. No way.

    21. chalks says:

      Nail on head.

    22. @Murray McCallum These are the questions asked!
      Which of these statements comes closest to your view?

      Scotland should become independent, separate from the UK and the
      European Union
      Scotland should become independent, separate from the UK but part of
      the European Union
      Scotland should remain part of the UK, with its own elected parliament
      which has some taxation powers
      Scotland should remain part of the UK, with its own elected parliament
      which has no taxation powers
      Scotland should remain part of the UK without an elected parliament

    23. balgayboy says:

      Hey guy’s, the fight is only beginning, these reprobates will try and do anything to save their gravy train. They are cowards hiding behind the front pages and broadcast of the compliant MSM and BBC. Out in the open and facing the Scottish public they are a cringeworthy bunch who would run away from a real challenge of man to man discussion. It would be interesting to see these cowards and their followers try to offer violence to the YES campaigners in Dundee as they did to the 80 year old gentleman in Edinburgh.

    24. Dorothy Devine says:

      I no longer feel depressed by the media ,I just feel a raging anger that they can make such a mockery of democracy and laud the petty and the piffling of the NO Scotland campaign.
      What have the people of Scotland done to deserve such spite and shite from the media of their country?
      Surely among all the overpaid ,talent challenged ,self serving journalists of the MSM there are some who have principles and who are now sickened by the drivel and dishonesty ?
      If there are ,could they speak a bit louder because my hearing is not what it used to be and the odd whisper just doesn’t do it for me.

    25. As for how nasty BT will get in the next year,  next up Project  PAN (Provoke a Nationalist)  and if they don’t get the rise they are after then Project Imposter kicks in,
      A Unionist pretending to be a Nat and getting nasty, nothing would surprise me with this lot.

    26. CameronB says:

      It would be sad and frankly embarrassing if Project Fear’s underhanded sell-outs of Scotland, is enough to maintain one of the world’s oldest, most corrupt and socially unequal states alive.
      Vote Yes and make Scottish history.

    27. Paul Martin says:

      The Dying Scotsman doesn’t have time or money to spend on silly stuff like fact checking, veracity, insight or any of those other things that it might have done a couple of decades ago when it was still clinging on to being a newspaper.
      Accept it for what it is, an institution that’s unlikely to exist by the end of this decade (and probably gone much much sooner than that)

    28. gordoz says:

      balgayboy says:
      10 September, 2013 at 11:25 am

      Balgay boy : Odds on the Calton Hill March being disrupted by BM, NF, Blue Brigade ?
      BT won’t need to get involved, it will all be done for them.

      They wouldn’t nurture this sentiment would they ?? The Polis wouldn’t trun a blind eye, surely not ?? 

      Well I think they will just say it was appalling and nothing to do with them; ‘extremists’  like nationalist side cybernat campaign. Press will lap it up …
      I can sees the MSM / State Broadcaster headlines now …. here is your independent future for Scotland riots and extermism. (Thats the only reason they would cover it).
      If the event isn’t disrupted by Loyalist tendancy then I’ll be gobsmacked. I hope our people stay calm and don’t soil ourselves by rising to this vile scum. Best to ignore if you can.

    29. creigs17707repeal says:

      Surely the Scotsman must realise that the people of Scotland are not as dumb as they are trying to make us out? Why do they insult our intelligence like this? Do they not realise that all they are doing by publishing this contemptible drivel that they just push themselves and their publication deeper into the gutter? They may fool a few people (those staunch BritNats who don’t actually care about the truth) with this rubbish but the vast majority will treat it with the contempt it deserves.
      YES Scotland.

    30. Vronsky says:

      ” grossly distrorted by including”
      You mean ‘excluding’.

    31. Desimond says:

      OT, last nights YES meet in Irvine, a friend writes :

      Favourite moments

      1. Some bloke in the audience giving a rambling Freedom speech only to be told by the chair to get to his question. No happy.

      2. A wee schoolboy explaining well how his school refused to allow him to stage a debate. Sturgeon:  “North Ayrshire council are here tonight, I’m looking at them now and they’ll sort that out” [death ray stare]

    32. david says:

      lord this and lord that, evrytime i hear the words sir or lord etc it puts me off right away, always reminds me of the get off your horse and i will fight u for it story. these titles dont impress ordinary people

    33. Albalha says:

      O/T I’ve just had an interesting experience at the bank. It’s now TSB, no longer Lloyds/TSB.

      All the flashy videos, signage gone and in its place lots of simple blue and white TSB material, basic bunting and clutter free leaflets.

      They have posters saying …..’Welcome back to local bankng’ ……’Welcome to your new bank, 200 years old’
      I hope the apparent ease with which this has been achieved will not be lost on its customers. Not exactly a metaphor for independence, I realise, but ….

    34. Doug Daniel says:

      Desimond – love the sound of both of those. I would love to have seen the Nicola death stare, and anyone who starts going on about “freeeeduuum” should be told to shut the fuck up – it’s hard enough trying to convince people independence is not about Braveheart pish without folk like that contradicting you with rambling nonsense.
      Which reminds me, I hope the Indy March & Rally isn’t going to have a speaker from some Wallace society again like last year. He was godawful.

    35. Doug Daniel says:

      Caesar!lha – aye, I logged into my internet banking the other day, and it’s suddenly been shifted to Absolutely seemless.
      I dunno about you, but I’m very happy to be back with “The bank that likes to say YES” 😉

    36. scottish_skier says:

      British Social Attitudes Survey
      A Scottish sub sample of 286 people not weighted to the Scottish demographic but as part of a UK wide demographic makes it just about worse than useless.
      Why is Scotland included anyway? We have the SSAS.

    37. Morag says:

      Gordoz, two or three thugs turned up last time with a couple of union flags and spread them on the grass at the top of the amphitheatre.  I kind of hoped everyone would just ignore them, but one guy snapped at the constant two-fingered taunting and made a run at the flags.  It’s all confusion after that, but the end of it (which came very quickly) was all concerned being frog-marched off with the flags bundled up under a policeman’s arm.  They did not reappear.

      Those who were close enough to the incident all indicated the police were sympathetic to the legitimate marchers and not to the union jack thugs.  Indeed, I myself chatted to a policewoman on duty while we were being marshalled into groups to descend the steps safely.  She said she would have liked to be marching herself, but here she was anyway and she was allowed to chat and be nice to people.

      So don’t assume anything about the police.  They’re Scottish people too.

    38. CameronB says:

      I don’t think it helps hypothesizing extremist disruption of the march. Last year’s was a very civilised and family friendly event. I am sure every effort will be made to ensure the same for this year.
      Anyway, you would need to be extreme in the extreme, to consider noising up thousands of hopeful Yes supporters, who I am sure will pack the Royal Mile if not the hill itself.

    39. Ron Burgundy says:

      Stuart –
      Time now for the most recent Wings polling results to kick into the news cycle. This  will hopefully swat away all the propaganda of the Ashcroft poll and offer us a genuine insight into Scottish opinion now.
      But keep in mind all the attack lines the opposition will take before constructing the poll because we all know how they will fumble elbow deep into their poison bag of tricks to discredit any results which are positive. 

    40. david says:

      hope loyalist (loyal to what ?) protesters dont turn up. lots of angry yes people due to the lies and media insults. that frustration could be released against offensive loyalists and that would not look good

    41. balgayboy says:

      gordoz says:@11.25.
      All fine and well as you state. So the peaceful people attending the gathering maybe be subject to the onslaught of these extremists societies harassing/haranguing them for peacefully demonstrating their democratic choice without no visible security.

      Obviously depending on the local police does not cover it as they have had previous for lack of intervention.

      The MSM and BBC will never be covering the true meaning of the gathering anyway.

      Sometimes a show of strength will stop the bully and protect the real meaning of the march and allow it to go on peacefully with it’s real message.

    42. david says:

      hope its a braw day, im excited bout attending

    43. Morag says:

      As Cameron says, last year was a very family-friendly event.  The nutters were removed before the rally itself began, while the marchers were still coming into the gardens.  And there were only three of them, and even while they were being offensive they remained on the periphary of the event.
      I suspect the police will be pro-active this year, and actively preventing counter-demonstrations.  And anyway, how many actual bodies could Bitter Together rustle up?  Some Orangemen, maybe.  Not a lot.  I think we might have as many as 30,000 independence supporters there.

    44. david says:

      i think lots more than 30000

    45. gordoz says:

      Morag says:
      CameronB says:

      balgayboy says:
      Folks I was at last years even too and was proud of the response from our people who took part, a great mix of people. Its a year on and we see what ‘they’ are already capable of – I sincerely hope you are all right and that I am wrong but I have my doubts and suggest we all be vigilant anyway.
      Look forward to bumping into fellow WoS supporters immensely, proud of this ‘outlet’ for what I feel are the real voices of Scotland.

    46. gordoz says:

      Rev : Please check this it out,  it might be of interest to you regarding Panelbase poll smear campaign. (If you’ve not seen it already)

    47. Desimond says:

      There used to be the Hitler factor regards losing arguments, we seem to have the Goebbels Factor* with Scottish Media

      If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.
      * May just be misattributed to him
      Well thats the train tickets booked, 10am train Queen St, open ended return. £25.20 for two. Do we make a W with our 2 hands for Identifcation 🙂

    48. Albalha says:

      Well quite, maybe as customers we can write and ask them to bring bank that much loved phrase. There almost there with the colour choices.

    49. HandandShrimp says:

      To be fair to the Scotsman do they have any staff left that actually understand anything at all about any subject? Has it not become just another Sunday Sport (sans baps) with a couple of guys making stuff up to fill the pages and pander to the prejudices of the owners and remaining readership?
      It is a shockingly shabby excuse for a newspaper. It has the same name as its illustrious forebearers but it is not really the Scotsman and hasn’t been for years.

    50. Bill C says:

      “it makes a little shiver run up our spine to imagine how far they’ll have sunk, and how nasty the Unionist campaign will have become, by next summer.”

      As regulars on here will know, I have opined on this subject before.  I have been the victim of unionist intimidation, both from individuals and from what appeared to be a much more organised, professional source.  It caused me concern and created real fear for my wife and family.  I am in no doubt that the unionist campaign is already in real trouble, a fact that is illustrated by the decreasing number of scare stories (they are out of ammunition) and the increasingly bizarre unionist polls.  The more they know they are losing the argument, the more desperate, they will become. Black flag operations are already happening, black ops. will follow. I fully expect the unexpected sooner rather than later.

    51. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Rev : Please check this it out, it might be of interest to you regarding Panelbase poll smear campaign. (If you’ve not seen it already)”

      Yes, already knew that. Saw the “incriminating” image a few days ago. It was too weak to even bother mocking.

    52. dmw42 says:

      Anent ‘Nicola death stare’ – her mother’s the Provost of NAC (and a very nice lady she is too).

    53. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Morag says:
      CameronB says:
      balgayboy says:”

      I swear, gordoz, ONE MORE [cite] tag and I’m going to come up there and batter you.


    54. balgayboy says:

      Bill C says: 12.46
      Sorry to hear about your intimidation from the unionist bully boys, terrible stuff from these cowards. Why not call these bully’s out and see where they guess is they will be “no show”  If they do decide to turn up, please have video camera on recording it and meanwhile call the local constabulary to arrest these intimidators for at least breach of the peace. A wee attendance  in court usually sorts these monkeys out.

    55. I am only heartened and trust in the bullshit filter of most of my fellow Scots, to see through all this jingoistic filibuster and pray the YES campaign are there to provide the FACTS on which a judgement can be made. 

    56. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      ““ grossly distrorted by including”
      You mean ‘excluding’.”



    57. Morag says:

      Cheap shot.  I got there first by a fair bit, and I can spell.  (Or at least I can copy.paste….)

    58. Morag says:

      Now this WordPress thing is weird.  I noticed I’d typed “copy.paste” when I meant to type “copy/paste”, as I hit Submit.  I immediately tried to fix it, to be told that I couldn’t edit a comment once another reply had been posted.  Still no other reply.  Be interesting to see if one appears.  I get this quite a lot.

    59. balgayboy says:

      Now we are beginning  to talk cockney in Scotland according to our BBC Scotland…FFS what do these obsessed cretons take the people of this country for.

    60. CameronB says:

      I hope so too. 😉

    61. Bill C says:

      @balgayboy – Thanks for your support.  Perhaps I should have said that the incidents I refer to, happened in the eighties and nineties when Scottish independence was not nearly as probable as it is now. I did take my concerns to the local police who, to put it bluntly, had “more important matters to deal with, we’re investigating a murder at the moment”. I thought fair enough!  I also approached the leadership of the SNP on what I thought was an attempt to seriously smear the party.  I was told to refer the matter to Jim Sillars who was in charge of the SNP’s anti-‘dirty tricks’ department at  the time. To be honest, by that time, my wife had had enough, she saw one particular incident as a threat to our children and that was it.  I decided to call it a day and become anonymous. Now that, my children are grown up and I no longer have the responsibility of looking out for them I am active again.  I only relate this story to warn that Perfidious Albion knows no bounds. 

    62. Tris says:

      The Man in the Jar says:@Tris
      I had an appetite for a fight for Scotland’s independence, but this wickedness is sickening me. It begins to feel intimidating.”That is exactly why they (project scunner) are doing it. Keep the faith!
      Have no fear The Man. I shall, but I do worry for the future. The nation is divided.

    63. balgayboy says:

      Bill C says:1.29
      Hi Bill, understand your predicament. Can I ask what Jim Sillars response was? If you have conclusive evidence of intimidation it still stands in Scottish Law regardless of the date. Do not let these villians walk away. Good luck in your quest.

    64. kininvie says:

      I was up in and around Lochinver and Stoer over the w/e, and was struck by the number of locals with English accents, and the obvious effort and energy that they are putting into running shops, restaurants, craft stalls, or whatever, and how the area felt (highly subjective, I know) much more alive than it was when I was last there, about fifteen years ago. I’ve been around long enough to have seen something of the ‘white settler’ mentality – indeed, I was once caught up in a shotgun feud (of a sort) on Raasay, but I sense that those days are largely gone. I’m not a Highlander, and I stand to be corrected, but I felt I was looking at something very constructive happening in our remote rural areas. I hope and expect that many people who have moved to rural Scotland from down south will be voting Yes. Why would they not?

    65. Bill C says:

      @balgayboy – I never took it to Sillars.  The organised and professional source that I referred to were not nice people.  I did a bit of digging on my own (no internet in those days) and found out that although they were claiming to be socialists, they were in fact a fascist organisation, who had fallen foul of a foreign secret service organisation.  At that point, I decided to bale out altogether, it was all getting too heavy.  Suffice to say, that the more the YES camp look like winning, the more dirty things will become.  We should not underestimate the fact that in some people’s eyes’, we are trying to destroy the UK.  That does not go down well in some quarters.

    66. dmw42 says:

      I’ve being going to the Assynt area for a few years now (back up again in a couple of weeks). To me, everyone (and I do mean, everyone) has been ‘pulling together’ since the community land buy-out a few years ago (2005ish?).
      It’s now very much a ‘by the community, for the community’ culture where everyone takes ownership and responsibility for what’s going on around them. I’ve particularly noticed that over the last few years the Assynt Crofters Trust and the Assynt Foundation have created many new local enterprises leading to sustainable employment and affordable housing.
      Kind of like what an independent Scotland could/should be.

    67. Inbhir Anainn says:

      Least we forget from BBC Scotland February 2013 “We are not in an official referendum campaign and therefore do not have to balance it out between yes and no.”

    68. Andy-B says:

      BT’s ideology.
      One of the saddest lessons, of history is this, if we’ve been bamboozled, long enough we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle.
      We’re no longer interested in finding the truth,the bamboozle has captured us
      its simply to painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves,that we’ve been taken.
      Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.
      Carl Sagan.

    69. Tearlach says:

      Its not just in the Lochinver area. I live in the far North, with lots of “new Highlanders” for neighbours. They are the ones with Yes Posters in the window’s, on their cars, and posting on Facebook in all the “correct” forums.
      A real change from 20 years ago, and very very heartening.

    70. John Smith says:

      I spent quite some time trying to do the math on this poll and simply failed to get to the figure used. Possibly being stupid though.

      The poll used the blatantly biased opinion of those who did not agree with the current Scottish government. But how did the poll reach the figure represented in this? 

      The ‘Total’ used was 727. Does anyone know how this figure was calculated?

    71. Morag says:

      I don’t think anyone knows.  Stu covered the problems with the poll in more detail in an earlier post, and he noted that most of the numbers seemed to have been made up on the hoof.

    72. The Rough Bounds says:

      @Doug Daniel (12.05 pm)
      If we are not fighting for our independence or ”Freeeeduuum,” as you so ridiculously put it, then what the fuck is this battle all about? Tuppence off a can of beans? Your particular brand of arty farty socialism?
      I happen to know Mr. Fenton of THE Wallace Society, not some, as you disparagingly wrote. He is a man who is intensely proud of his country and its culture. I have never once heard him say anything that could be construed as either left wing or right wing politics. He just wants his country ie ours, to have its liberty.
      And as for his speech at last year’s Rally there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. You Doug Daniel, are displaying the worst of the Scottish Cringe by writing that post.
      Frankly, Douglas Fenton is worth a hundred of you trendy lefty ‘civic nationalism’ types. He and the Wallace Society men and women will be there fighting till the bitter end of this struggle for our country’s independence, and they will be there standing proud when the rest of the world will be rising up and cheering Scotland’s newly regained FREEDOM.
      And where will you be? my guess is in a room somewhere sitting at a computer bemoaning the fact that the F word has been used.

    73. Hetty says:

      It’s great that there is going to be a rally, I missed last years god knows how…
      The wrangling about speakers is subjective. A rally is really a gathering, a sharing of ideas and common objectives, and really all of the folk there go along to share a common goal. The speakers (who mostly can’t be heard by most people, via the megafones!) are talking to the converted, so lets all have a good time and rally together so to speak. Things have changed, we have phones, cameras and the internet, and hopefully won’t need to use them other than taking pics of our peaceful friends at this event.
      The ‘no’ campaign can organise their own event if they feel the need to rally together and let it be known that they share a common objective…

    74. Hetty says:

      Oh and the term ‘arty farty’, usually is used as an insult by those who do not understand and are not willing to enter into any meaningful discourse with a person that they dislike, because they do not agree with that person’s values. We share common goals but values are relative. Let’s not get into that sort of speak anyway it just fuels the biased, of which there are many.
      Stick together, support each other and maybe then we will have a positive outcome in 2014.

    75. Morag says:

      The ‘no’ campaign can organise their own event if they feel the need to rally together and let it be known that they share a common objective…

      Ha, ha.  They couldn’t get into triple figures, or not of ordinary normal people that is, excluding the OO and various other groups of organised hooligans and bigots.

      Last year it was quite easy to hear the speakers because that’s what the Ross open-air theatre is designed for.  But we were way over-capacity in there last year and it’s a no-no for this year.  I’m not sure it will be so easy to hear at the top of Calton Hill, and maybe three times as many people, but we’ll have a good time anyway.

    76. Cath says:

      “but this wickedness is sickening me. It begins to feel intimidating.”

      I agree. I came into this last year quite excited by the prospect of a debate and referendum and am now just sick and extremely angry at the response from the other side. But that’s what they’re aiming for – turning people off by boredom or intimidation.

      And at the same time I’ve gained a huge respect for those who’ve been campaigning for independence for decades, and for the SNP – especially the guys at Westminster. I’d never sat and watched a Scottish questions at Westminster before last year, and frankly I don’t know how they take it withot going postal!

      It’s actually brilliant being away from the debate for a while (bar the odd night in a motel with wifi!) It’s lovely to be able to swithc off from it because it’s not fun at all. But whatever happens, the anger rising now (and I’m quite worried too about just how far the other side will sink, hence that anger will rise over the next year) will not go away. I’m not sure the No side/Westminster or whatever you want to call them really understand what they’re doing or know what they want to achieve with all this. It seems kind of lose/lose for them right now.

    77. Robert Kerr says:

      Be brave. The fight shall get dirty and personal if we let it. That’s why this rally is important. There are many good people. Evil triumphs if good men (and women) do nothing. We shall do plenty. Hold heads high and smile. 
      A question the unionists need asked is ” what will they do with the defeated YES people if No triumphs this time?”
      Scotland shall be different after the referendum. Whatever the result is. There can be no “status quo ante !” Not ever again.
      Hail Caesar!

    78. Jeannie says:

      Hope you’re having a nice holiday, Cath.  And you’re right.  We all need to take a step back from this once in a while for the good of our health.  At the rally last year, we were planning for the longer term, but with one year to go, the heat will be on and we all need to make sure our health can take the strain.  We don’t want to wind up ill next summer when our presence will be so much needed.
      Like you, I’m disappointed at the way the unionists have tried to derail an honest debate for their own ends, rather than for the good of ordinary people and sometimes I get really angry about it.  The anger is a two-edged sword though – on the one hand, it propels me to take action, but on the other hand, it comes at a personal cost, health-wise.  Taking a break, periodically, helps restore the balance. 
      I would like to say it’s a marathon, not a sprint, but I don’t think that’s true, exactly.  What we have is a marathon all right, but we need to remember, there will also be a sprint to follow it next summer and we need to be fit enough for the entire race if we want to win it.
      Hope you come back nice and refreshed, Cath.

    79. Morag says:

      Some people say, “Salmond has gone for the referendum too soon”.  I think that’s grossly misguided.  Firstly, there may never be another opportunity, if the 2011-16 parliamentary session were to expire without holding the referendum.  The SNP may get another overall majority, but who would bet on it?  And even if they did, that only gives Westminster more time to figure out how to block a referendum.  Cameron was kind of railroaded, and that had to be done.
      The other point is that there are times when excessive caution is counter-productive, and this is one of them.  This is the time to seize the moment and go for it.  It’s a complete no-brainer.  Is this our time?  I think it is, but even if it’s not, it’s an opportunity that can’t be allowed to slip away.
      There is a tide in the affairs of men
      Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
      Omitted, all the voyage of their life
      Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
      On such a full sea are we now afloat,
      And we must take the current when it serves,
      Or lose our ventures.
      I think it is our time.  Over the past 30 years or so, the SNP has made gains and slipped back from them, but one thing has always been clear.  Every wave has broken higher up the beach than the one before it.  We have been on a rising tide all these years.  Eventually, there comes the wave that overtops the sea-wall, and that one doesn’t slip back.  I think we’re riding that wave now.  It’s a hellish bumpy ride, but we need to hang in there.
      Who remembers “Free by ’93!”?  I do.  I was living in England at the time, and it was extremely interesting.  Common sense and a quick look at the electoral arithmetic told me there wasn’t a hope in hell of getting 36 Westminster seats or whatever the target was.  It was cloud-cuckoo-land.  However, the commentators didn’t seem to have figured this out.  Salmond was all over the TV, interviewed by Brian Walden and so on.  The Money Programme did a special on the economics of independence.  Spain threatened to veto our membership of the EU because of Catalonia, and we said, so long, and we’re taking the fish.
      Scottish independence was normalised then, to a very large extent.  It was taken seriously.  At the time, many people thought the strategy was a very bad one and doomed to disaster.  Salmond for one, I believe.  Sure enough, the disaster happened.  (I joined the SNP the following month, having sized up the task ahead and decided I wanted to lend a hand.)  But I always thought that 1992 would pay dividends in the future, because it signalled a change in attitudes to Scottish independence being accepted as something that actually might happen.
      If nothing else, 2011-14 will herald the same sort of attitude-change as 1992, but vastly magnified.  Independence isn’t just something that might happen, it’s something that’s genuinely within our grasp.  I still think this is the wave that’s going to top the sea-wall.  However, even if it isn’t, it’s a wave that’s absolutely essential to keep the momentum going.  Keep your nerve and keep your balance.

    80. Jeannie says:

      The Communist Manifesto begins, “ein Gespenst geht um in Europa” – a ghost/spirit is going round Europe.  Marx was referring to the spirit of communism.  It was an idea that’s time had come.  The concept was permeating the population, influencing their thinking about what could be and generating a movement towards its birth.
      Geht ein Gespenst um in Schottland?  Is the spirit of Independence taking hold here and now?  Is it an idea that’s time has come?  Not only in Scotland but in other parts of the world?
      Like Morag, I believe the spirit of independence is now well and truly in the air in Scotland.  It’s time has come. Ein Gespenst geht um in Schottland.  But I also think that the spirit of independence is  growing world-wide.  I think we’re seeing the beginning of a movement towards smaller nations and national autonomy across the globe as people are increasingly questioning the old order of large nation-states.
      And so, I’d be so proud if Scotland was to lead the way in this by achieving independence through the power of argument and persuasion, through the ballot box and providing a model for self-determination through democratic means.
      I think it’s time.

    81. Morag says:

      I think there’s a big wave building.  And when a big wave builds, it doesn’t flow in smoothly, it gathers itself, and may even seem to retreat.  It’s a metaphor, but it’s like what Scottish Skier was saying about the psychological stages.  Talking about tsunamis is probably taking it too far, but remember when the sea retreated just before the Indonesian tsunami broke.
      I think something is gathering itself right now.  People who have always vaguely thought that independence would be nice, in the abstract, but then were hit by the “we cannae dae it, Cap’n” propaganda, are ready to realise that just as Scotty always gets that warp drive on-line and the Klingons are defeated, we CAN do it.

    82. Mosstrooper says:

      never mind Scotland free by ’93 I remember Provost Jimmy Braid saying Scotland free by ’73! Well that never happened but you are quite right about the successive waves of support carrying the cause further and further up the beach toward freedom.
      Yes I use the freedom word, I have used it for over 60 years and will use it ’til my dying day. I have not fought for all these years for any political creed other than the freedom of my native land and the right of her people to determine their own future. I have no interest in creating some peely wally copy of a mini England
      I fight only and alone for Scotland , As it was, as it is and as it always will be. 

    83. Doug Daniel says:

      @ Rough Bounds
      “If we are not fighting for our independence or ”Freeeeduuum,” as you so ridiculously put it, then what the fuck is this battle all about? Tuppence off a can of beans? Your particular brand of arty farty socialism?”
      Where did I say it’s not about independence? I just can’t be arsed with Braveheart types. The accusation that independence is just about an obsession with ancient history is one of the main weapons used against us, so it’s a bit annoying when attempts to convince folk that it’s not are then pissed on by folk making the kind of rambling speeches Desimond was referring to.
      “I happen to know Mr. Fenton of THE Wallace Society, not some, as you disparagingly wrote. He is a man who is intensely proud of his country and its culture. I have never once heard him say anything that could be construed as either left wing or right wing politics. He just wants his country ie ours, to have its liberty.”
      That’s nice, although I never accused him of not being proud of his country – it’s fairly obvious he is – I just found his speech off-putting, because it was the sort of backwards-looking stuff that puts people off independence. And where did I say anything about left- or right-wing politics?
      “And as for his speech at last year’s Rally there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. You Doug Daniel, are displaying the worst of the Scottish Cringe by writing that post.”
      Or I have a different idea of what a good speech is? After a day of folk making speeches about how independence can give us a better future and so on, on comes someone to bang on about the past. That’s not The Cringe, it’s just being bored of people turning independence into a caricature.
      “Frankly, Douglas Fenton is worth a hundred of you trendy lefty ‘civic nationalism’ types. He and the Wallace Society men and women will be there fighting till the bitter end of this struggle for our country’s independence, and they will be there standing proud when the rest of the world will be rising up and cheering Scotland’s newly regained FREEDOM.”
      Okay then, we’ll try and win the referendum without “trendy lefty civic nationalism types” and see how far it gets us, shall we? There’s a reason why unionists try to make out that the “civic nationalism” you seem so dissatisfied with is a total sham and that really we’re all just beardy-weirdy English-hating Braveheart obsessives. (And before you start, I’m not accusing Mr Fenton of being that.)
      “And where will you be? my guess is in a room somewhere sitting at a computer bemoaning the fact that the F word has been used.”
      Don’t be a prick. I don’t care if you disagree with me on this, but don’t accuse me of not being committed to the cause. I have plenty of other F-words for you in my vocabulary if you’re going to do that.

      (Oh, and I’ll be at the Aberdeen Exhibition Centre waiting for the result of the Aberdeen count, incidentally.)

    84. Morag says:

      It’s a funny thing, nationality.  We welcome New Scots, who come here and decide to make Scotland their home.  And it seems the most natural thing in the world to us, because who wouldn’t want to do that?
      Except, I wouldn’t, not the other way.  I’ve been jealous of Ireland, and of Norway, and of other small independent nations, but I wouldn’t want to emigrate there.  It’s not just the religious thing (Ireland), or the language (Norway), it’s the simple fact that I’m not Irish, or Norwegian.  I want my home, and I’ll take it whatever way it comes, for better or for worse.
      I lived in England for nearly 25 years, but I was never anywhere close to becoming English.  I was camping out.  Nice comfortable camp site with a three-bedroom house with garden and garage, hobbies and friends and colleagues, but it wasn’t really home.  I tried to integrate in the village where I was living, and people might even have thought I had succeeded, but it was never anything more than a temporary arrangement.
      When I came home, it was absolutely cathartic.  I moved into a village I’d never even visited before, so it wasn’t that sort of familiarity.  But the people I started to get to know were my people and spoke my language and had my background, and the roots just went boring down.  And it was only 30 miles from the village where I had been brought up, so the entire landscape spoke to me.  Sometimes (on nice days) I just lie on the lawn in my garden here, and try to hug the ground.
      I don’t blame Mohammed Sarwar for going back to Pakistan.  I hope he’s happy, back home.  I don’t quite know how the New Scots do it, because it doesn’t seem to be in my psyche.  We’ve had a bad 500 years, as a nation.  There have been less bad parts, but overall we haven’t had many breaks.  But we’ve never given up, and we’ve never been assimilated.  Carpe diem.

    85. ` says:

      Let us find some good uplifting slogans/ for posters and start getting them up, the more that are seen, the more people will think about them.
      Why not an internal poll here to choose the most stirring Slogans that Scots willingly or unwillingly would have to agree on. Not many, maybe half a dozen or less.
      Ones that will appeal, to Our Pride,Our love of Scotland, etc things to stir the blood,our feelings of injustice, and anything else that will get the feelings of Scots to rise to a YES vote.
      Mine – MAKE HISTORY – VOTE YES !

    86. Morag says:

      There have been some suggestions that we might try to crowd-fund some billboard advertisements, but I’m not sure how expensive these are.  The sites that would be seen by a lot of people are probably very pricy.  If we are going to do it, then it needs to be much closer to the referendum than this.
      Yes Scotland isn’t completely strapped for cash.  It might be something they’re intending to do , nearer the time.  In fact, I hope it is.

    87. john king says:

      morag says
      “It’s a funny thing, nationality.”
      that spoke to my soul.
      a very moving comment

    88. Paula Rose says:

      @ Morag
      I understand what you’re saying in some respects – my ancestry (on one side) back 4 or 5 generations were from Ireland and they in turn from Scotland. When I first visited Scotland it felt like home, I moved here as soon as I could. So maybe kinship with a country can run very deep indeed. A handful of years back I found out I had a gene that is only found in the original inhabitants of Scotland, they came by sea up the west of Europe, rather than via turkey and Europe.
      In other respects I would love to live in a modern forward thinking democracy (where I don’t have to learn another language!) and independence offers that.

    89. Morag says:

      I sometimes wonder, if I’d had Irish roots (and been a Catholic), would I have considered getting independence the easy way and just moving to Ireland?  But I have no Irish connections at all and I’m Church of Scotland.  So it didn’t arise.

      Nice place for a holiday though.

    90. Paula Rose says:

      Just for the record the recent ancestors I refer to were protestant and moved to England from Ireland. Oh it is a tangled web at times!

    91. fordie says:

      @Morag. I’ve Irish roots and was raised as a Catholic. I’ve never considered ‘getting independence the easy way’ by just moving to Ireland.  Because I’m Scottish. Born, raised, educated, taken care of, contributing to – Scotland.

    92. Morag says:

      Mmmm, it was just something I wondered about.  I really can’t imagine anywhere else being “home”, but obviously some people can – look at all the “New Scots”.

    93. fordie says:

      @ Paula Rose
      Uh? ‘ …………..I found out I had a gene that is only found in the original inhabitants of Scotland………’ Duh? Ain’t no such gene. We’re ALL a mix.  That’s why ethnicity means nowt  – it’s about identity.

    94. Paula Rose says:

      Oh fordie, I’m not talking about ethnicity – just the way one can feel an emotional attachment to a landscape. You’re totally right about identity, I thought I was making that clear.

    95. fordie says:

      @Morag. It’s unfortunate (understatement) that some ‘Irish-Scots’ of either persuasion, or ‘xxx-Scots’ of any other tradition, don’t recognise that their allegiance should be to the country that succoured them. If they want to align themselves primarily to a.n. other country, fine. But they should not seek to thwart the democratic right to self-determination of those people whose allegiance is to Scotland. New Scots all welcome – they have their own reasons to make home here.

    96. fordie says:

      @Paula Rose That’s cool. Just pointing out we are genetics and environment – with a large  dosh of ‘that’s just who I define I am’. Who you define you are, being the most important. Like some folk telling you that you are ‘British’ – in the political sense. No, I’m not.

    97. Morag says:

      That wasn’t really what I was talking about though.  I was talking about the ability to switch nationalities.  Norway would be just as good an example, with the sticking point being the inability to speak Norwegian.  I wondered if it would be easier if you already had a connection.
      I once heard an active SNP member say that if there was a conflict and the Pope called on him to fight against Scotland he would have to be loyal to the Pope.  Pretty hypothetical but I thought it was completely bizarre.  Still, I don’t do “fight” and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is unlikely to call on me to do anything at all, and if she did I’d probably tell her to take a running jump.

    98. Paula Rose says:

      Wherever I hang my skirt that’s my home xx

    99. Morag says:

      I hung a lot of skirts in Hertfordshire and Sussex, but it didn’t work.

    100. Paula Rose says:

      Well, that wasn’t home – I love living in Scotland, apart from one thing – Westminster, which is no longer fit for purpose re the UK, now is the time to form a new future.

    101. Paula Rose says:

      How do I get round this 10 minute thingy?

    102. Morag says:

      You can’t.  And you don’t even get the 10 minutes if another post comes in.  Sometimes the window closes immediately with no post appearing, I’m guessing maybe because something came in that went straight to spam.  Check your typing before posting and live with it, I guess.

    103. Paula Rose says:

      I see, maybe we should stay on topic / thread rather than having a nice natter!!

    104. Cath says:

      “It’s a metaphor, but it’s like what Scottish Skier was saying about the psychological stages.”
      There’s a whole branch of psychology on change and stages of change. It’s interesting. There’s a part before someone is ready to change, and at that instant, trying to ask them to change is fruitless, counter-productive even. They’re more likley to dig in and get angry. They are entirely focussed on the negatives and cons of change and can’t see the pros. Some unionists seem to be at that stage. 
      Then there’s a pre-change stage when someone is open minded and starting to question themselves and their preconceptions, and genuinely weigh up the pros and cons – a lot of people seem to be at that stage.
      Then there are other stages beyond that of action, re-grounding your beliefs and behavoiurs. I’d say a lot of us who haven’t been pro-independence or actively that interested for most of our lives are beginning to hit those stages now.
      As to nationality, it’s an interesting one. For a while, the only place I’d ever felt really at home, that I really wanted to be a citizen of was Canada. I almost emigrated there. But I realised most of what I loved there was actually Scottish culture – I just hadn’t found it at home. I have now, and Glasgow is quite a Canadian city in some ways too in its nature. So now Scotland is home and I miss it something terrible when I’m away. But it’s not a proper country yet and that makes me really sad in a way that’s still quite new to me. I’d definitely consider a move to Ireland if there’s a No next year, at least for a while.

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