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For your licence fee today

Posted on October 07, 2013 by

Here’s the BBC’s chief political correspondent Norman Smith on the surprise sacking of Michael Moore as Secretary of State for Scotland, having clearly been extensively and expertly briefed on the Scottish political situation by researchers beforehand.


(Click the image for the full audio.)

“Alistair Carmichael, the man who is replacing him, the chief whip, I think he will adopt more of an abrasive, in-your-face approach to Alex Salmond. There’s going to be less of the sort of sotto-voce criticism, much more right-in-your-face. Clearly they feel maybe they need to step it up a level.

Interesting, because that would run against what has been the whole thrust of the ‘Better Together’ campaign – they have deliberately not sought to ramp it up, deliberately not sought to make it easy for Alex Salmond to portray them as, you know, Sassenachs etc etc etc.”

That’s what we pay the big bucks for, readers.

Here, incidentally, is part of an interview from last year with Mr Moore’s replacement:

“And the Orkney resident and Scotsman has a strong, personal bond to Scotland remaining in the United Kingdom; he has two sons with his English wife Kathryn, and doesn’t want their ancestors to be consigned to a foreign country by Scottish independence.”

You’ve got it by yourselves from here, right?

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98 to “For your licence fee today”

  1. Jingly Jangly says:

    Did I hear the Too Wee Too Poor nonsense in the audio clip!!!
    One thing is for sure you never change a winning team, therefore they must think they are losing!!!!!
    And forgive me as I accidently cancelled my direct debit for the licence fee…

  2. Mosstrooper says:

    So Blether have been adopting a softly softly approach thus far.
    What can we expect now then? Scare stories,  lies, exaggerations?—Ehh! Wait a minute

  3. Jammach says:

    Ok, Moore may not have been the brightest penny in the purse, but he was, generally, personable enough even if he parroted the party line porkies.
    The powers-that-be seem, however, to have decided he wasn’t nasty, argumentative and confrontational enough, so are replacing him with someone more abrasive?

    WTF? Have they learned nothing about how ineffective scare tactics are? Nothing about people being turned off by confrontation and fear?

    They truly have nothing to offer and plain from this is how included the BBC have been on this briefing and how carefully the BBC have been included to deliver the message. Impartial my sweet, Lilly White ass. 

  4. panda paws says:

    “There’s going to be less of the sort of sotto-vocce criticism, much more right-in-your-face.”
    More in your face than unelected dictator  copyright A Sarwar?
    “adopt more of an abrasive, in-your-face approach to Alex Salmond”
    Because Blair McD, Ian Davidson, Johann Lamont et al need more help in the abrasive dept?

    “Doesn’t want their ancestors consigned to a foreign country”
    I think he means descendents. And is Better Together another name Xenophobes Anonymous?

  5. Horacesaysyes says:

    not sought to make it easy for Alex Salmond to portray them as, you know, Sassenachs“?????
    *Shakes head slowly, then begins to weep*

  6. scottish_skier says:

    and doesn’t want their ancestors to be consigned to a foreign country by Scottish independence.
    There’s that dislike of ‘foreigners’ again. Really creepy.

  7. naebd says:

    “That’s what we pay the big bucks for, readers.”
    As of this October (license renewal time) you can speak for yourself, kimosabe.

  8. Albalha says:

    And to think Norman Smith’s partner/wife is from Dundee. Seems Scotland is already foreign to him regardless of our jolly current union.
    I wish it were easy just to walk away and not listen but not really a luxury any of us on the YES side can afford.

  9. Susan says:

    My 3 children are only half Scottish and are still voting Yes, in fact they are proud of having a foreign mum!

  10. cath says:

    There’s going to be less of the sort of sotto-voce criticism, much more right-in-your-face. Clearly they feel maybe they need to step it up a level.”
    Oh so one up from being called dictators, fascists, Nazis, Natz and all the rest that’s been chucked about for the past couple of years. Great – just what we need.

  11. Stevie...Edinburgh says:

    Different sock-puppet…same hand up it.  Maybe Ally’s just better at reading the script than Mickey.

  12. naebd says:

    This is why you shouldn’t marry a Foreigner – all your descendants will have foreign ancestors. The ignominy.

  13. MajorBloodnok says:

    However in the final analysis, this Carstairs person will still be a discredited LibDem, so will anyone actually pay any attention to what he says?   And to be honest ramping up the abuse will not help the NO campaign, rather the opposite I would imagine.  They should have replaced Moore with a Tory, just to show that the UK Government really means business!

  14. Albalha says:

    Re the use of ‘foreigner’, it is rather insidious.
    I have to say Margo McDonald talking about the social union, most recently, in Leith, is worth distributing to anyone who buys into it.  The being seen as other, foreign will clearly become an ever greater part of the NO ‘argument’ as the months roll on.

  15. The Water Beastie says:

    Not ‘descendants’, then, Norm?

  16. cath says:

    I’m also half English Susan. Bizarrely the past couple of years have made me more aware of the English half and much more willing to identify as “half English”. I love  England, especially Liverpool, Manchester etc but also London, and one thing the independence debate has made me realise is there  is a vast amount of regional English culture as well, which are as well hidden and suppressed by the UK establishment as Scottish and Welsh are.
    My English-born mother is a very definite Yes, and would also tend to identify herself as Scottish now I think.

  17. Embradon says:

    Is it still Lib Dem policy to discontinue the post of Secretary of State for Scotland? We should be told.

  18. Famous15 says:

    This is a great opportunity for Willie Rennie to keep Mr Carmichael honest and to keep his coalition  government to account.

  19. Dave sharp says:

    The Secretary of state for Scotland should be Scotland’s voice in Westminster
    NOT another bully sent north to teach rebellious Scots a lesson on gratitude to thier English masters

  20. Mosstrooper says:

    @ Jammach
    A Lily White ass? You have an albino donkey?

  21. sneddon says:

    Now we know where the LIbDems get their talent from- the BBC researchers!  If I had a licence I’d cancel it 🙂

  22. Dennis Smith says:

    I hope I’m hallucinating.  I was half-listening to Radio Scotland news at 10.00 which had a different clip from Norman Smith.  He was comparing Alistair Carmichael’s approach to the hard line taken by Philip Hammond who, among other things, wants to retain the Faslane base “as part of England”.
    Somebody please tell me this was all a dream.

  23. ianbrotherhood says:

    Chief political correspondent? About as incisive as a week-old blancmange.

  24. MochaChoca says:

    I wonder if Moore is ‘on the turn’, he sometimes did come across as less ‘erse-like’ than many on the other side.
    I bet he has alot of information that would ‘inform the debate’, hope he does wait ’til it’s all over before he thinks about revealing.

  25. aldo_macb says:

    Alistair Carmichael was heavily involved in the Lib Dems 2011 Scottish Parliament election campaign where they got trounced and lost all of the mainland “first past the post” seats. Why? Because people have seen the Lib Dems introduce tuition fees in England (thought they promised they wouldn’t), the bedroom tax on the UK, cuts in income tax for the wealthy, continued bankers bonuses. Alistair Carmichael may be marginally better at public speaking than his predecessor Michael Moore, but he’s going to struggle to justify these UK Government policies which his party has endorsed.

  26. John grant says:

    At work just now sorely tempted to jump into my machine and end it all ,no ire how much more of this pish I can this truelly what they think is informed reporting 

  27. Murray McCallum says:

    As a coalition government senior whip, Alistair Carmichael is completely tainted with ConDem policies. He has zero wriggle room with regard to all the policies being forced on Scotland.
    Surely attempts by Carmichael to be “much more right-in-your face” of the First Minister will be current day evidence of an unelected, Tory-led Westminster government’s complete disdain for Scottish democracy.

  28. cath says:

    “I wonder if Moore is ‘on the turn’, he sometimes did come across as less ‘erse-like’ than many on the other side.”
    He always seemed a little uncomfortable with the Better Together script. He seems like a decent enough guy in some ways, for a politician. I don’t think any basically honest person could take being part of Better Together for long. Arguing for Scotland to stay part of the UK because it’s a genuinely held belief, fair enough. But not the endless lies, scares, smears and nonsense spewed by that campaign.

  29. Mad Jock McMad says:

    The Tangerine Blob says on Micheal Moore’s dismisal:

    “For example, George Robertson dealt effectively with the huge trials of devolution policy while Labour was in opposition. Donald Dewar resumed command of Scottish affairs in government. (Mind you, George was very substantially compensated by being appointed Defence Secretary. He later, of course, headed NATO while taking a seat in the Lords.)

    It is felt, frankly, that a harder, tougher approach will be needed in the run-up to the September 18 poll than that potentially on offer from Michael Moore…..

    I think there is a further element here. As the referendum combat develops, the UK government will be keen to take a palpably leading role in the campaign, while acknowledging that Better Together is headed by Labour’s Alistair Darling.

    Such a role for the UKG could, of course, be played by the Prime Minister. But Team Cameron are only too aware that a Tory MP from an English constituency, representing a party with very limited support north of the Border, may not be best placed to attract Scottish endorsement.”
    Apparently Alistair Who? is a harder, more combative performer with a dry wit … which is what is needed.

    Anyone else see the tactical fail in this – so far the hard line, shouty, combative performance (aka Project Fear) has hardly been a ‘hit’ with the Scottish public at large and yet the tactic would appear to have someone shout the same message even louder for the next ten months as we clearly did not hear it first time around.

  30. Brian Powell says:

    “consigned to a foreign country”.
    Didn’t the Orkney and Shetland MPs want to join with Norway? Or was it become a seperate country? Or was it join with England, then that would make his Scottish children born, where did he say, foreigners living in Orkney (according to his reasoning).

  31. Jeannie says:

    Poor wee David Mundell – always the bridesmaid, never the bride – how sad 🙂

  32. frankieboy says:

    ‘Chief Political correspondent’…BBC, London,2013, creme de la crème, finger on the pulse, punching above their weight in the world, the envy of the world. Are they serious? If they are, then they are living in a parallel universe from the rest of us. I am so glad I don’t watch TV or pay for a licence for this fiction.

  33. The Rough Bounds says:

    Carmichael may not have realised it yet, but he has just been handed the poisoned chalice. Mr. Salmond will enjoy every minute of debate with that dope and will spit him out in bits. I look forward to seeing that Liberal tosser getting well and truly shafted.

  34. Brian Powell says:

    Norman Smith, speaking from Downing Street; that tells us all we need to know.

  35. Richard Lucas says:

    I’d never heard of Carmichael before today.  I can only comment that he looked like an unmade bed walking along Downing St.

  36. David Martin says:

    I too am hoping MM is on his way to join the Yes camp. Tending towards that view would see him ousted from the London government.

  37. Horacesaysyes says:

    The BBC’s live update on the reshuffle quotes Willie Rennie – “The Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie has praised outgoing Scotland Secretary Michael Moore. He says he’s “leaving on a high” after “repeatedly outwitting Alex Salmond”.
    Two points – 1) Can anyone point out any evidence of Moore ‘repeatedly outwitting’ Eck?
    2) Is that actually the role of Secretary of State for Scotland? To oppose the leader of the Scottish Parliament?

  38. Salt Ire says:

    This has prompted me to write to my MP (Douglas Alexander) and ask him to raise questions on the impartiality of the BBC regarding the referendum.  Have basically advised I’m not willing to contribute to such output via my license fee until this is addressed.  I’m not holding my breath or expecting anything other than the brush off but am quite interested as to what they say.  The more the BBC become the story the less comfortable they’ll be, so such little niggles may help the cause…

  39. Arabs for Independence says:

    I am so glad I have chosen not to renew my licence. I lasted 2 years last time without paying until I gave in at the Capita threat to kill my first born. 

  40. Davy says:

    So we ha a new libdem arse coming to Scotland to tell us how we are not capable of doing anything for ourselves, bring him on, lets hiv a look at this so called Secretary of Scotland.
    Where is he an MP at ? 
    Vote YES, Vote Scotland.

  41. JLT says:

    I can only see one approach, and that is he is going to take a leaf from Anas Sarwar’s book, and just foam at the mouth, act hysterical and scream complete lies at the opposition.
    By screaming, shouting, shaking his head a lot, and just basically, acting an @rse, I think they are really hoping that this new tact will turn folk off, or drive them away from the referendum.
    The Unionists are losing completely at the grassroots level, and they know it! So, how do they stop it? I guess by just sickening people with bad behaviour …just as Anas has been doing. 
    Well, there are only two ways it can end. Either folk will just switch off, and refuse to engage in the referendum, or it will blow up in the Unionist’s faces once folk complain like hell that their MP’s are acting worse than children, and that if this is the face of the Union, then they are voting ‘Yes’ to end it!

  42. Craig P says:

    From the point of view of a British nationalist, Michael Moore was far too comfortable with his Scottishness. I wonder if that is the real reason for his sacking. Presumably Alistair Carmichael demonstrates more appropriate levels of self-loathing – what are the odds on his first speech mentioning that he is a ‘proud and patriotic Scot’?
    PS some of my ancestors were foreigners, and that will also be the case for my children, whatever the result of the referendum. I am scratching my head right now puzzling over what that has to do with the best way to govern Scotland.

  43. naebd says:

    “I too am hoping MM is on his way to join the Yes camp”
    I think this is most unlikely. Let’s not have too much nostalgic affection for nice old Michael Moore here!

  44. naebd says:

    PS some of my ancestors were foreigners
    Indeed. Some of mine were amphibian!

  45. Robert Louis says:

    It would truly seem, that the plonkers in Westminster never learn.  Michael Moore knew very well, that an abrasive stance would merely be seen as bullying of Scots by London.  Now, the new colonial governor of Scotland, Alistair Carmichael, is to do just that very thing.
    I can just imagine the Tory Bullingdon boys all sitting, saying, ‘we need someone to put Salmond in his place, once and for all, and well, none of us will sacrifice our careers to do it – let’s get a Libdem’.
    Honestly, the First Minister must be laughing his socks off.   How many SOS has he seen come and go?  This will make all our work oh so much easier, as London’s man ‘bully Carmichael’ sets to work unintentionally increasing the YES vote.
    Aside from the truly awful biased mis-information and propaganda from Norman Smith of the blatantly biased BBC, this is very good news for a Monday morning.

  46. MochaChoca says:

    Yup, he sure outwitted Salmond:
    Legality of referendum (remember that?) not an issue.
    Referendum question pretty much what the Scottish Gov wanted.
    Timescale exactly what the SG wanted.
    Franchise exactly as the SG wanted.
    Second question removed, maybe not 100% what the SG wanted, but made 100% to look like Westminster denying the electorate what they wanted.

  47. Robert Louis says:

    Craig P,
    You are correct, the opening line from ANY unionist, is always, ‘I’m a proud patriotic Scot’, only to be followed quickly by something starting ‘but we cannae…etc…etc.’

  48. msean says:

    What does the scottish secretary actually do these days? Also,foreigner family?
    I think most Scots have foreign family,most people who live in border areas in many foreign countries  have family on the other side of said borders.Indeed many Scots have family in Australia,Canada,USA and New Zealand in particular.By the way,Scottish culture is not unknown in those places.

  49. david says:

    i felt moore was the more dignified and not as poison mouthed as the likes of lamont, curran etc. my mum is english(scouser) and is voting yes. had to pay my tv license this year after 5 years non payment as i was threatened with court, i wont be paying it again regardless.
    p.s. cracking pic of baillie on scotlandshire

  50. Robert Louis says:

    The second question was never a demand of Salmond, the Scottish Government or the SNP.  It was only ever mentioned by the media and unionists, who tried to make people think that the Scottish Government wanted a second question.  It was however, a magnificent distraction, when it came to negotiating the Edinburgh agreement, as London led themselves to believe that Salmond cared about it.

  51. Luigi says:

    Perhaps he was just too nice and polite for the coming battle.  Remember the STV debate with NS?  He actually allowed Nichola her time and space to speak!  Fair play makes a poor unionist.

  52. joe kane says:

    There’s going to be less of the sort of sotto-voce criticism, much more right-in-your-face. Clearly they feel maybe they need to step it up a level.”

    – The next level up in the ladder of escalation from treating foreigners as lesser versions of human beings might involve extolling the ancestors in some kind of uber-nationalist chthonic death cult as part of a latter day “blood and soil” ideology I would guess. It might even involve celebrating war in a big organised anniversary to be held in a city in Scotland, in 2014 such as Glasgow, to coincide with the referendum on independence for instance.

  53. Alex will have Carmichael alive for breakfast. 
    Bring it on! 

  54. Gordon SMith says:

    “They should have replaced Moore with a Tory, just to show that the UK Government really means business!”
    They only have 1 Tory Scottish MP, hardly fitting to have a non Scotish Tory. – And as for a Tory MSP , they woud not qualify?

  55. call me dave says:

    Good summary and spot on.  Michael Moore gave the DK’s the impression of the velvet glove but that’s truly gone now to be revealed by the iron fist.  It will not phase the YES campaign one little bit.  Like sand, the harder they try to grip hold of Scotland the more it just trickles away.

  56. Heather McLean says:

     Onthe subject of Mr Nasties  in the No campaign, Ive just secured my ticket to the Blair vs Blair debate on 30th October at Dundee University’s Five Million Questions event.

    Should be interesting and would love to meet some fellow Wings readers there!! 

    Its free and you can register for a ticket with this link

    Not great at posting stuff from this iPhone so I hope it works!! 

  57. HandandShrimp says:

    God Liberals hate foreigners who would have thunk it

  58. MochaChoca says:

    My understanding is that the SG were always of the mind that THEY didn’t want a second question, but in the interests of democracy had the left the door open if someone else were to take up the issue.

    The option of the second question then being removed (effectively as dictated by Westminster) leaves SG being the champions of democracy and the debate being polarised to a definite YES/NO so it’s *almost a WIN/WIN.

    *had a second question been on the ballot it would pretty certainly result in a resounding YES and give the SG a mandate for real additional power should there be a NO to question 1.

    I may sound like I’m an advocate for Devomax, I’m certainly not, but it’s better than the zero (or minus) powers we might end up with if the worst happens.

  59. muttley79 says:

    Here, incidentally, is part of an interview from last year with Mr Moore’s replacement:

    “And the Orkney resident and Scotsman has a strong, personal bond to Scotland remaining in the United Kingdom; he has two sons with his English wife Kathryn, and doesn’t want their ancestors to be consigned to a foreign country by Scottish independence.”
    I do not understand this line about ancestors?  All our ancestors are deid anyway…

  60. MajorBloodnok says:

    @Gordon SMith
    I was thinking some sort of home counties Tory would do the trick; failing that one of the pandas would do.
    Regarding foreigners – they really do have this absolute presuppostion that to be classed a foreigner is to be inferior, benighted, pitiable, unfortunate, inherently untrustworthy, potentially sub-human and basically just other.
    The only way they can deal with the other nations of the UK is to consider us some sort of slightly eccentric British, but basically English underneath to all intents and purposes, just gone a bit funny perhaps because we on the periphery (relatively speaking).  Comes as a shock to them when they find out we actually are a bit different….

  61. ianbeag says:

    The new S.o.S previously argued for the post to be abolished and merged with the Welsh and Northern Ireland offices.  I look forward to his first public debate with A.S. and listening to his defence of that proposal and to justifying his new role!  See the story here

  62. Taranaich says:

    “deliberately not sought to make it easy for Alex Salmond to portray them as, you know, Sassenachs etc etc etc.”
    I’m getting really angry about this attempt to paint the word Sassenach as a pejorative on the same level as, say, Jock or Mick. Jock and Mick are pejorative terms based on stereotypes (“Jock” is a popular Scottish name, so let’s call all Scottish people Jock; A lot of Irish people have “Mac” or “Mc” in their name, so let’s call all Irish people Mick). Sassenach is a legitimate Gaelic word used as a term for an English person, just as Albanach is used as a term for a Scottish person. It is NOT inherently offensive or pejorative, and it really rubs me up the wrong way when people treat it as if it is. And that goes for people who actually use the term as a form of abuse towards English people: the more people who use it as an offensive term, the more weight that connotation has at the expense of its legitimate usage in the Gaelic language.
    Scottish Gaelic is experiencing some promising growth in recent years, helped tremendously by a lot of funding and assistance. But just as the Scots language – that’s right, language – has been marginalised as “slang” or “improper,” Gaelic has been unfairly relegated to the bin of archaic language not worth spending money on. It’s worth preserving and celebrating more than chanting “Hail Alba” at the fitba or mumbling “Slainte” as you down a dram. And relegating the neutral term Sassenach to an ethnic slur is doing an injustice to our own culture.

  63. muttley79 says:

    Are all Unionist politicians a bit Basil Fawlty?  British nationalism sure has a massive hang up on foreigners.  I presume it is a legacy of colonialism.

  64. Gray says:

    It’s hardly fair to criticise Alistair Carmichael for confusing ancestors and descendants. I’m sure he’ll be as equally confused as to why Scotland will be better to remain as part of the UK.

  65. MochaChoca says:

    Forgive me if I’m wrong but I’ve been told that the literal translation of Sassenach is a lowlander, not necessary anything to do with being English. So being from Ayrshire, I’m probably one.

  66. Bob Howie says:

    I received my notification that the license fee will not be requested from me for 2 years as I declared I do not have receiving equipment so the BBC can do WTF they like they aint getting a penny from me.

    So they sacked him and now will engage Alex Salmond up to the referendum, they do know this is not a political referendum it is the people of Scotland being stamped on by Westminster and if they are going head on does that not shout TV DEBATE, Cameron/Salmond otherwise they should butt out.

    Cameron denying it has anything to do with him is just his cowardice in the face of battle showing through. He is ok sending troops in to any country to defend Britains honourbut doesn’t have the balls to face Salmond… where did I put those white feathers.

  67. David Smith says:

    They look down on anyone outside the ‘Home Counties’ as ‘Üntermensch’ which as far as they are concerned is just another way of saying ‘foreign’.

    Well, we’ll see how successful this Norman apologist is in advancing the cause of Scotland’s continued servility but by my estimation it’s not looking great for them!

  68. Vincent McDee says:

    Shame! I loved the “Mr.Moron, you are a moore”

    Apropos of information, I was just on the BBC news website when the sacking broke the news, about a minute later I did a wiki on Carmichael and it’d already been updated.

    Funnily enough, among his personal life was his top achievement of losing 4 stones in 2009, this has been updated removed too, as it contradicted his victory parade down Downing Street.
    Salve Ally, independenti te salutamus!

  69. Seanair says:

    Love these comforting letters between Clegg and Moore!

    Much prefer Clement Attlee’s approach when asked for a reason by a sacked Minister—-“Not good enough”.

    Alistair Carmichael was Lib/Dem Chief Whip. Guido Fawkes blog suggests his promotion is his reward for not following up on the sexual allegations about Lord Rennard.

  70. naebd says:

    I thought it was used to refer to English-speakers, so was used for English-speaking Scots as well as English.

    Kinda like how the Amish refer to “English” people (Americans who speak English).

  71. molly says:

    As I said to my husband last night ,as he passed the sassenach across the table to have with my chips and cheese,” Alex Salmond did’nt need to run in that marathon in Glasgow because he runs about all day waving Saltires “.

    In fact I heard thats’s why he works at Holyrood, cos he has a part time job on the Royal Mile promoting one of those tourist shops, he does that on his lunch break. It might have been the BBC, so it must be true.

    As a said, The Better Together folk have been the voice of reasonableisness,they’ve tried  to tell us how much time ,effort and money we’ll save on lawn mowers with no having to look after all that land and they Irish folk that got all upset and went to their Parliament about all that cutlery they were throwing into the sea doon at the borders. They were talking about job losses at that depleted Uranium Company.What were they Irish folk thinking?

    Jings whit next, the haggis has had a poor breeding season and Glen Campbell was supposed to report on it but with all this upset, the BBC in London is sending one of their big guns to keep us calm. Mary Berry is going to show us how to cook it and keep it ,so the bairns will still be able to eat it on a piece and play Land of Hope and Glory on the bagpipes,like they been practising, for when that Prince Harry announces he’s getting married, I mean what if that Referendum lands the week before? 

    No , when that Nick Clegg boy and our Prime Minister come up to Scotland and tell us ,its for the people of Scotland to decide, it does nae mean they don’t know anything about it, it just means they’re checking out their next Groupon week – end break.

    I mean that BBC man ,he knows Scotland ,the finger on the pulse, he knows today we have lost our mean, clean fighting machine, Roger Moore. I mean ,if  it was nae for Roger whose fought tooth and nail to keep all that stationary in the Scotland Office, what kind of country would we be? The BBC would need to treat us differently , they could even lose respect for us then where would we be?

  72. Martyman says:

    I tweeted earlier that I wasn’t really surprised by this, as I  have always thought that Moore’s heart was never really in it.

    Be interesting if he ever comes out of the Indy closet….

  73. Ron Burgundy says:

    I try to avoid the BBC output when I can – it just makes my blood boil because it looks and sounds like a foreign broadcaster talking down to me.

    The BBC must be straining at the leash to go the whole hog against Scottish nationalism in the same way the Nazis did with the Jews.

    Salmond is already a hate figure among them and the hate speech is beginning to appear. Things could get very frenzied in the London BBC in the New Year. 

    I would love to not pay their license fee

  74. Albalha says:

    Isn’t sassenach Gaelic for Saxon?

  75. proudscot says:

    I agree Carmichael is (another) mistake by Cameron and his Bullingdon buddy Osborne (the REAL leader and orchestrator of the anti-independence campaign).  However, let’s not get too nostalgic about Michael Moore. Decent and non-abrasive he may have been, but with regard to his anti-independence and pro-union credentials, he was right on message – regularly denigrating and talking down an independent Scotland’s prospects on defence, currency, trade, employment, inward investment, diminishing oil, credit rating, balance of payments, etc.
    Michael Moore’s natural courtesy and less confrontational style doesn’t hide the fact he is a committed unionist. It made him a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Carmichael on the other hand, is a blustering windbag wolf with no redeeming qualities to disguise his contempt for the concept and aspirations of an independent Scotland. But what he will soon be faced with are our very capable pack of wolfhounds, the likes of Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon, Stewart Hosie,  Angus Robertson, Denis Canavan, Patrick Harvie and several others. As one failed Labour leader infamously put it, “Bring it on!”

  76. Jimbo says:

    deliberately not sought to make it easy for Alex Salmond to portray them as, you know, Sassenachs etc etc etc.”
    Here we go again with the ‘Salmond is an anti English xenophobe’ nonsense.
    Here we go again with the Unionist obsession with foreigners. The word ‘foreign’ seems to be constantly at the back of their minds.  The only people who keep raising what they seem to see as the spectre of foreigners are our Unionist chums. 
    Carmichael doesn’t want his son’s ancestors consigned to a foreign country. I have cousins, nephews and nieces born in England, Canada, N Zealand etc. It has never occurred to me to think of them as anything other than family. Surely only some-one with  a brain totally detached from familial ties would ever think of their own as foreigners?

  77. cath says:

    “Be interesting if he ever comes out of the Indy closet….”
    Doubt it. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s one of those not willing to get too down and dirty because he wants to keep his options open in case of a Yes vote.

  78. Jimbo says:

    “Forgive me if I’m wrong but I’ve been told that the literal translation of Sassenach is a lowlander, not necessary anything to do with being English. So being from Ayrshire, I’m probably one.”
    Sassenach is the Scottish Gaelic word for Saxon. The ancient Celts didn’t differentiate between Angles, Saxons, Jutes etc. To them they were all Saxons. 
    Same derivation but different sounding and spelling for the regional Celtic cultures. Sassenach in Scottish Gaelic. Saeson in Brythonic/Welsh. Sasanach in Irish. Sawsnek in Cornish. Saozon in Breton.
    If your ancient ancestors hailed from Ayrshire they’d have been considered Britons of Strathclyde. The Saeson would have referred to you as the Walh.

  79. naebd says:

    “If you don’t watch or record television programmes as they are being shown on TV, on any device, you don’t need a TV Licence.”

    It’s nothing to do with owning equipment that is able to receive TV signals.

    Without a TV license you may:
    Own a TV.
    Watch programmes on iPlayer (but NOT live TV via iPlayer).
    (Same goes for other channels and their online offerings).

    I find this quite easy these days, especially since most telly is mince anyway.

  80. MajorBloodnok says:

    Is Norman Smith actually Andrew Marr’s evil twin?  I think I see a resemblance.

  81. Albalha says:

    What were Angus folks known as?

  82. MajorBloodnok says:

    There’s quite a few carved stones in Angus so I’d guess you guys were Picts.

  83. muttley79 says:

    I am not sure about Michael Moore.  When I watched the debate between him and Nicola Sturgeon his heart did not seem to be in it at all.  I would not surprised at all if some Unionist MPs/MSPs voted Yes.  I do not think at lot will, but I think at least a few might be wavering in private.

  84. Albert Herring says:

    If you examine the issues you will vote yes. MPs/MSPs do examine the issues so I expect a lot of them to vote yes, unless of course they have too much gravy in their eyes.
    Do they have the balls though?

  85. Jimbo says:

    @ Albalha
    The Saxons used the same word to denote Scots, Picts, Britons – Walh = foreigner.
    i read that it’s the source for Wales, Wallace, Walsh, Welsh and Waugh.
    Just as an aside: The Picts were thought to have spoken the P Celtic Brythonic. Their King lists have Brythonic names.

  86. Xaracen says:

    I’ve often thought, given the typical damp weather we usually get up here, a more appropriate term for us Scots, and especially the more well informed ones on this site, is Anorach 😀

  87. Taranaich says:

    @MochaChoca“Forgive me if I’m wrong but I’ve been told that the literal translation of Sassenach is a lowlander, not necessary anything to do with being English. So being from Ayrshire, I’m probably one.”
    Jimbo’s got you covered. The lowlander definition is probably another unfortunate use of the term in a prejudicial sense (the Highland/Lowland divide rearing its ugly heid), but when you get right down to it, it’s used for Saxons, and later, the English in general.
    Sassenach – English
    Albannach – Scottish
    Eireannach – Irish
    Can’t recall if there’s an equivalent for Welsh (I’ve a feeling it’d be something like “Person from Little Britain”) but there you go.

  88. deerokus says:

    Hmm, someone has clearly briefed them using tbe phrase ‘sotto voce’,  as BBC Scotland’s man in Westminster used that term too. 

  89. Gallowglass says:

    The entirety of the Yes campaign, erroneously described as Alex Salmond, amounts to nothing but getting the opportunity to call people names.
    Surely they have to see the pitfalls in this given the political makeup of Scotland?
    This is depressing.  Not in a ‘omg we’re going to lose’ or ‘I need to cry’; it’s just a bloody depressing state to see your “country” in.
    Stopped paying the BBC a year ago.  Should have done it ten years ago.

  90. @Heather – Onthe subject of Mr Nasties  in the No campaign, Ive just secured my ticket to the Blair vs Blair debate on 30th October at Dundee University’s Five Million Questions event.
    Should be interesting and would love to meet some fellow Wings readers there!!
    Cheers for the link – my wife and I have just booked our tickets.

  91. The Rough Bounds says:

    Just to clear this up, hopefully for ever.
    The word for Englishman is Sasannach (previously Sasunnach).
    The word for a Lowlander, or Scot that can’t speak Gaelic, is Gall.
    The word for the English language is Beurla.

  92. Jen says:

    I think Moore was passionless in defence of the Union of Equals.  Another Libdem, telling Scotland what to do?  I think most will switch off. 
    Alex’s debating skills are top class and will see off the SoS and others to come.
    Hail Alba

  93. James Morton says:

    So they get rid of Moore because he was so useless in the defence of the union. His replacement is a man who will play the man not the ball and seems from the get go to be as obnoxious as possible. In short, they picked a man whose qualification for the job is that he is a total dick head.

  94. Colin Duffy says:

    Another BritNat Scot more than willing to take a post he said should be scrapped so he could tell us the Tories in London are as good as it well ever get for us ungrateful Scots . They really should be asked that question, is this as good as we will ever get?
    F*^k that, change is not to be feared. It should be embraced as an opportunity to reshape things as you would like them to be. The status quo is not an option

  95. For die says:

    @Heather @HoraceSaysYes

    I’ll be there. Third 5MQ debate I’ve attended. Interesting that a more formal registration for this one. Possibly because 2 big beasts involved.

  96. Barney Thomson says:

    Taranaich –
    “Can’t recall if there’s an equivalent for Welsh (I’ve a feeling it’d be something like “Person from Little Britain”) but there you go.”

    It’s Cuimreach.

    Brittany is Little Britain (Bhreatann Bheag).

  97. wee jamie says:

    Is it some sort of unwritten rule that no conservative can lead the better together/no campaign ? All i can see are a succession of failed  labour and lib dem politicians from the unionist side, is this the tories getting the scapegoats ready  for when we vote yes , or have they realised that to put one of their own in the front window will virtually guarantee we do so ?

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