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Wings Over Scotland

Getting closer

Posted on July 29, 2013 by

The latest development in our prospective debate:


Bit snippy, but we’ll take it.

While we’ve already had an acceptance from Yes Scotland, we’re not quite there yet. Mr McDougall seems to have misunderstood the invitation slightly:

“The meaning appears to be clear enough: if both sides get to choose their own participants rather than the opposition’s, Alistair Darling will publicly debate with whoever the Yes camp chooses to represent it.

Logically, that would include Darling’s direct counterpart, the Yes Scotland chairman Dennis Canavan. The gauntlet would seem to have been thrown down. We’re pretty sure that Dennis Canavan will be up for it.”

We replied this morning clarifying that we were specifically attempting to arrange a debate between Alistair Darling and Dennis Canavan (as the respective campaign chairmen), rather than between Mr McDougall and his counterpart as Yes campaign director Blair Jenkins.

(But we’re glad Mr McDougall seems to have accepted the correctness of the premise that those in equivalent posts in the two campaigns should debate each other.)

We’ve had no further answer yet, but we’ll keep you posted.

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    76 to “Getting closer”

    1. MajorBloodnok says:

      What a charmer!

    2. Beastie says:

      Is it just me, or does he really orbit another planet? Around a different star? Possibly even in a distant galaxy, far, far away?

      He’s accepting it to you; want to bet he’ll sharp change his mind if it becomes a likely event?

    3. domhnall dods says:

      Truly, he is a great loss to the Diplomatic service. 

    4. Juteman says:

      All he said was ‘happy to debate’.
      The invisible woman has been saying that for over a year.

    5. Murray McCallum says:

      A better together person answering a direct question?  That will be the day – but well worth the chase and the wait!

    6. Captain Caveman says:

      “Bit snippy”…? Looks like a flat refusal to me.

    7. Bobby Mckail says:

      “If so big mistake”? Is that a threat to run to the newspapers and claim that Blair Jenkins is legitimising the nasty vile “cybernats”? Don’t you just hate the internet Blair McDougal. Probably wishes he can go back to the 70’s when there were only 3 TV stations which would spout the absolute bile and lies from his organisation without rebuttal. Can you feel his pain, all together now awwwwwwwwwww. 🙂

    8. jim mitchell says:

      I think he may trying to be cute hear and that he will later say he thought it was between himself and Blair Jenkins and that a she cannot speak for others, it’s off.
      Mind you I don’t think he will be happy if Blair Jenkins takes up his ‘offer’

    9. The Man in the Jar says:

      I will believe it when I see, hear or read about it. I would not trust one word that comes out of Mr. Lickspittle McDougall’s mouth.
      Like the Major said. “What a charmer!”
      @dohmhnall dods 🙂

    10. AnneDon says:

      Sorry – I read that as a refusal, but perhaps I’m just not enough tuned into the Bitters’ distortion of the language!

    11. CameronB says:

      @ Captain Caveman
      I don’t understand any of this Twitter stuff either. 😉

    12. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Seeing how the anti independence brigade otherwise known as Better *cough* *cough* Together have a great revulsion of everything or anyone related to the independence campaign then I’m surprised that he even found time in his heavy schedule of cybernat bashing to actually respond to you Stu.
      We all know about the incompetence of the BT squad and utter contempt they hold for the SNP with their constant attempts to turn every debate *cough* into their own personal attack on the SNP. As has often been said before, the proof is in the pudding. Everyone on the independence side of the debate knows who should be debating with whom, Dennis Canavan with Alistair Darling, Blair Jenkins with Blair McDougall etc it is just a pretty pathetic example of grown men crying over spilt milk when the BT squad cry foul every time a “correct” match up is proposed. We need look no further than the numerous “call of’fs” by Darling because he would have been facing Blair Jenkins rather than Alex Salmond as HE wanted. It is just a pity that Darling is incapable of realising the basic TRUTH. Alex Salmond is the FIRST MINISTER of Scotland Alistair Darling is a nobody. He is NOT the First Minister nor is he the Prime Minister. He obviously has NO concept of what like versus like means.

    13. Angus McPhee says:

      oh it’s all a bit too “back gates – 4.00” for me .
      two Blairs  at one time, how confusing. ( can you get Tony in as well?)

    14. pa_broon74 says:

      Although if you disagree or choose to correct his and Better Together’s more enthusiastic bouts of fantasy, you are a bile-mongerer.
      Because when it comes to bile, unionists are complete strangers to the substance… Indeed, stories of their having extra bile-ducts fitted for the purposes of producing more scare stories, doom and negativity are entirely false.

    15. Captain Caveman says:

      “I don’t understand any of this Twitter stuff either. ”
      You’re quite right – I don’t.
      The message seems clear enough however, at least to my eyes. (Shame btw; personally I want to see a formal, structured, adult debate – the electorate is crying out for it, as far as I can tell).

    16. CM says:

      “If so, big mistake?”
      This is the kind of thing I probably said in Primary 5 about 30 years ago!!

    17. CameronB says:

      @ Angus McPhee
      There is no way we could afford Phony Tony, and I for one would not be prepared to contribute one bent penny to that particular war criminal. Then again, he could be good for the cause.

    18. CameronB says:

      @ Captain Caveman
      personally I want to see a formal, structured, adult debate – the electorate is crying out for it, as far as I can tell
      Well said.
      Do you hear that BT, its not just us vile cybernats calling you out.

    19. ianbrotherhood says:

      Here’s a picture of a bag of bile:
      Perhaps that would do instead of a tub of lard?

    20. Erchie says:

      Mr McDougall seems a rather graceless individual

    21. ianbrotherhood says:

      …and if BMcD’s going to get himself in top shape for the debate he could do worse than take some of these as part of his regime…

    22. Geoff Huijer says:

      ‘legitimising your bile’ WTF?
      Trying to get BT to debate on ‘equal’ terms has been
      a nightmare.
      Mind you, the No-sayers on the Question Time panel even though
      stacked against YES got ripped apart anyway.

    23. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ AnneDon – I suffer the same with tuning into Twitter language but in this instance BIG MISTAKE seems to be a covert warning. Its the kind of stuff you would say with a wagging finger to a potential enemy or errant child. I can hear it now…YOU ARE MAKING A BIG MISTAKE!. So this beggars the question, what is BlairMcD actually meaning with his purile rant? Is he attacking BlairJ for acceptance of a genuine invitation or in his opinion the bile that he reads on WOS [and other sites] each day?
      There is no doubt in my mind that BlairMcD is losing the plot and before long he will disappear into a morass of his own making. How his bitter diatribe against free speech can be acceptable is beyond me and I just find it insulting. I am sure the rest of the world looks on in disbelief at such crazy outpourings of a man who purports to be Scottish.
      Sorry AnneDon but I used your post to vent my spleen. I am sure you will understand why. Sophie is on RT.Com again at 1930hrs.

    24. john king says:

      huuuwwwaaaaa, oohh feelling a little bilious 😉

    25. Hetty says:

      Perhaps one description of his reply, would be unprofessional in his delivery of language when he holds such a public position. It wouldn’t be tolerated in many professions these days, it shows a lack of intelligence and  intolerance and not being up to the job. It’s puerile basically and actually very defensive, which is indicative of a certain level of insecurity. Wonder why. 

    26. The Man in the Jar says:

      I would put Alex Salmond and /or Nicola Sturgeon up against a panel of unionists. Cameron, Miliband, Lammont, Davidson x2, Sarwar Curran the whole dam lot and still be confident of wining the debate. The independence politicians have conviction something totally absent from UK politics. This is not some pipe-dream, the SNP have thought long and hard about this I am positive that they could answer any answerable question. Lastly they are motivated by progress while sadly Better Together are motivated by hate and arrogance.

    27. scotty says:

      all im reading in to it is hypocracy!im guessing he is agreeing to a debate,its hard to tell with the language being used…double plus ungood!!

    28. Juteman says:

      OT, but no surprise.
      No mention on Reporting Jockland of the Lanarkshire Labour scandal.

    29. Alba4Eva says:

      Can we have Duncan Hamilton v Alistair Darling please?  :o)

    30. Training Day says:

      McDougall or Darling will happily agree to a ‘debate’ in the controlled and contrived circumstances which e.g. the BBC will provide.  A patsy ‘journalist’, ‘analysis’ from Prof Curtice and a very heavily vetted audience.
      However, facing real people with a truly impartial chair is anathema to them. 

    31. DMW42 says:

      Like several others, I really don’t get this Twitter speak thingy. I’ll have a go though:

    32. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Man in the Jar – The independence politicians have conviction something totally absent from UK politics.
      Yes I and many others have watched the hurly-burly of FM Questions and I oft wonder whether its really necessary. It can brighten up a droll weekend. However you are quite right in your assertion that the convictions expressed by FM and others is totally without conceit or smugness. [Others may disagree] At tines I try to be dispassionate and disconnected from political posturing but when I hear the words ‘Every fibre of my being believes that Scotland will be Independent’ I am like a toasted marshmallow. Is that bad?

    33. The “tweet” has me confused,still there is hope for me as I ask when I don’t know,so that I will not always be daft.Better hurry up and get smart 61 now and still waiting for some things to dawn on me,like algebra! and the i before e except after c,although there as many exceptions as there are not.

    34. Juteman says:

      No mention on the ‘national’ news though, TMITJ.

    35. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Charles Patrick O’Brein – Go to channel 85 on Freeview now then come back and let us know what you think. You will always be welcome and good spelling is not a requirement here.

    36. Tony Little says:

      OK, not going to defend the numptie, but twitter is not a useful medium for ‘subtlety’ so maybe it comes over stronger than it means to be.
      OK Hahahaha joke over!!!
      No, Blair is just a vile little man.  “Big Mistake” = “You’ll be sorry!”  Oh, yeah?  What an unprofessional tosser.  And that’sd being polite.  

    37. pmcrek says:

      Yeah he’s basically saying I’ll debate anyone anywhere.. except I wont and its all your fault. I think its called “Projection” in psychological circles.

    38. Tony Little says:

      Sorry to be slightly more serious.  He seems to be saying, OK I’ll debate.  Isn’t he?  That additional twattish, big mistake, is nothing.  Like any bully he likes to play big, but get them “mano-y-mano” and they are nothing.  
      BUT … Blair Jenkins is NO debater I’m afraid.  Maybe a good organiser but not ruthless in exploiting the other person’s slips, and too deferential to interviewers/moderators.  Get a ‘street fighter’ like Canavan and he’ll eat MacDougall and spit out the pieces. 

    39. Juteman says:

      I’ve got a mental picture of Jack Nicholson.

    40. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Yes. Duncan Hamilton. Your time has come

    41. Robin Ross says:

      Probably completely OT but just watched an interview with Alex Salmond on RT where the interviewer asked very direct questions and then sat quietly while AS gave full replies.  If BT asked serious questions and listened to the answers it would lift the debate on to a whole new level.  I have little confidence that Al Darling et al are now able to engage in this analytical, measured fashion because soundbite sabotage is the norm.  Nonetheless, hats off to you Stu for the progress so far – I look forward to whatever you manage to achieve and as others have already said, count me in if you need to hire a venue.

    42. Linda's back says:

      Friend walking her dog at Edinburgh’s Arthur Seat this afternoon came across graffiti scrawled on car park  Salmond is a Traitor.   To whom I wonder?
      Couldn’t possible those law abiding paragons of virtue the NO Scotland campaigners.

    43. So, have we decided if that’s actually a yes to the Rev’s debate idea in particular, even though its not quite what was being suggested in the first place, or is that just a general ‘we’ll debate anytime’ platitude?

    44. The Rough Bounds says:

      @Tony Little.
      Dennis Canavan hasn’t been a ”street fighter” for forty years.
      Puffed up guys like Blair McDougall (Ian Davidson, John Reid etc) play to the public gallery; it needs someone who can deflate them whenever they start that sort of stuff.
      They are bullies and windbags and they absolutely love an audience. The best way to sink them is with humour and rapier wit. Laughter is the surest way to beat those guys.
      It’s one of the strongest forces there is; they know it, and they live in dread of us finding out about it.

    45. Gordon Bain says:

      Duncan Hamilton’s the man for me too. 
      @ Charles Patrick O’Brien
      Forget about algebra mate. I’m 48 and I can’t remember it ever being relevant in my modest wee world.

    46. Tony Little says:

      More than 40 years or not, he would still have them for breakfast.  But whomever it is, needs to be a sharp debater, and for all his other qualities Blair Jenkins isn’t it. 

    47. Atypical_Scot says:

      Is it fair to say that Blair M. and probably many others at Thrown Together actually believe that a site with such a vast array of readership which so very recently proved itself donation worthy far beyond expectation, should be derided in such away to assume that it’s readership is by association corrupted in some way?
      Because that’s how I take it, a slight on a very large chunk of Scottish society that arrived at this site through a desire to be informed about politics. No one will say in a non biased manner, however, if you give someone enough rope…,

    48. Braco says:

      The Rough Bounds,
      Canavan can be very funny.
      His anecdote about the current leadership generation of SLab at Holyrood and Westminster (Lamont, Curran and Davidson etc..) while Glasgow Uni Student Labour leaders, when he was a young MP is both hilarious and seriously damaging to ‘SLab says NO’ as it put’s these people and their hypocricies in a context that the non political can easily understand.
      I don’t know about his debating skills, but I would make a guess at formidable. Not an easy man to get away with ridiculing, which in turn forces the issues he raises to be addressed seriously (only in my opinion, of course).

    49. Jeannie says:

      Was just comparing the two answers from the two Blairs.  Blair Jenkins sounded upbeat and positive in his reply.  Blair McDougall sounded heavy and threatening.  Their contrasting replies seem to illustrate beautifully the completely different approaches of the two campaigns.

    50. Macart says:

      What bile?
      Did I miss the invitation with swerry wurds and name calling?
      Oh well, we’ll see how far along the road to this debate they’re willing to go and just who resorts to ad hominem attacks. On the strength of that particularly graceless reply to the invitation I won’t be asking for any odds. 🙂

    51. muttley79 says:

      Canavan can be very funny.
      His anecdote about the current leadership generation of SLab at Holyrood and Westminster (Lamont, Curran and Davidson etc..) while Glasgow Uni Student Labour leaders, when he was a young MP is both hilarious and seriously damaging to ‘SLab says NO’ as it put’s these people and their hypocricies in a context that the non political can easily understand.
      What is it like?

    52. ianbrotherhood says:

      A modest proposal –
      Could we invite a ‘big beast’ (from either side, alternately?) once a week, and keep whatever response we get on a dedicated page similar to Quarantine? I’ve a feeling that B McD’s offensive and ambiguous retort could be the first of many and it shouldn’t take many before the BT strategy for dealing with us becomes obvious.
      The world-renowned Glasgow Media Unit was once described (by some senior Tory, forget his name) as ‘a shady guerilla outfit operating on the fringes of the media’.
      Let’s see just how scared they are, one at a time. I suggest Margaret Curran for starters…and John Reid, George Robertson…Brian Wilson (oooh, wouldn’t it be great to get his undivided attention for just a couple of hours?!) etc etc. Plenty of belters to choose from…everyone’s got their own favourite!

    53. Chic McGregor says:

      OT  A comment to Iain McWhirter’s latest Herald article where he lays the blame for Scotland’s apathy to independence at the feet of the Scottish people themselves and the education system.  Herald did not print it.
      “There is an elephant in the the room. To mix metaphors atrociously, this particular elephant in the room is one of which we dare not speak its name. I allude, of course, to a very large and petulant pachyderm in the form of the Scottish press and media.

      A once political editor of the Herald in retirement has said that those journalists who start treating independence fairly suddenly find life has become “unusually complicated”.  And that was in reference to the good old days (read ‘not so bad, old days’).

      This should always be born in mind, whenever one is tempted to criticize an intelligent and generally fair-minded journalist.  

      However, blaming the Scots themselves for being uninformed and apathetic cannot be allowed to pass without drawing parallels with similar the knee-jerk accusations levied by tory politicians e.g.s  ‘illness is due to life style’, ‘unemployment is the fault of the unemployed’.  

      Yes, we know everyone should be aware that Thatcher squandered Scotland’s oil and sold off the family silver to support a crazy globalist monetarist experiment (Austrian/Chicago hybrid) which has brought the world to its economic knees, but they do not.  And the reason they do not, is not the education system, but a compliant media which has failed utterly in its responsibility to make sure the population it serves is fully informed of the facts with intelligent and balanced analysis.

      In short, the Scottish media is failing in its duty of care towards the democratic process.”

    54. muttley79 says:

      @Linda’s back
      Friend walking her dog at Edinburgh’s Arthur Seat this afternoon came across graffiti scrawled on car park  Salmond is a Traitor.   To whom I wonder?
      Couldn’t possible those law abiding paragons of virtue the NO Scotland campaigners.
      Don’t know, but whoever wrote it is a thicko.  Salmond has been First Minister for more than six years, and yet they are calling him a ("Tractor" - Ed) now…Talk about slow and dim-witted.  More to the point, how the fuck is Salmond a ("Tractor" - Ed) anyway?  He is FM of Scotland, and is holding a referendum on Scottish independence.  Who the fuck is he being a ("Tractor" - Ed) to?

    55. Braco says:

      Muttley 79,
      He was speaking at the launch of YES Glasgow, I think. I saw it on the internet at the time. Sorry I don’t have a link but maybe someone else does? It was really quite good though.

    56. Bill C says:

      @mutley79 – 100% agreement, but don’t the morons get to your blood pressure, I suspect we are going to see a lot worse before this is over and we need everybody hale and hearty for the struggle ahead.
      As far as the NO Scotland’s Blair McDougall is concerned, I think his use of the word “bile” to describe the content of this site, says a lot not only about his mind set  but the organisation he represents. Bile is an extraordinarily strong and provocative word to use in this context.  He obviously has a very serious dislike for the Rev., the site itself and most who contribute to it. I think for a man in his position to use such a word to effectively describe his opponents, is not healthy, smacks of desperation and sets a very nasty tone. As we approach the referendum, emotions are bound to run high, language like that used by Mr. McDougall is inflammatory, dangerous and irresponsible.  He should remember and  respect the position he holds.

    57. Betsy says:

      Hmmm… that looks to me like he’s gearing up for the big ‘Oh of course I was ready to debate but then that awful Wings site posted something so vile and extremist that I couldn’t possibly be involved’ Of course he’ll be unable to come up what it is that’s so objectionable. It’ll either be that or death threats from crazed Wings readers that somehow we or the police will never see any evidence of.   

    58. Betsy says:

      @Bill C
      ‘He obviously has a very serious dislike for the Rev., the site itself and most who contribute to it.’
      Of course he does. A popular pro-indy site. It must drive him mental. 

    59. Braco says:

      Chic McGregor,
      spot on! No wonder they didn’t print it. That’s just the kind of ‘bile’ that’s going to scupper any chance of a Wings debate ensnaring a leading Unionist. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    60. Braco says:

      muttley 79,
      not so good quality but here you go,

    61. Alastair Naughton says:

      Caesar!4Eva says:
      29 July, 2013 at 7:05 pm

      Can we have Duncan Hamilton v Alistair Darling please?  :o)
      Fabulous suggestion! An absolute must! Yes Scotland should be in touch with him sharpish!!

    62. Tris says:

      A short course in manners wouldn’t do him any harm,.
      If he were working for me and replied to a communication in that way, he wouldn’t be working for me this time next month.

    63. Barontorc says:

      Chic McGregor@9.39 pm – you’re referring to Murray Ritchie I believe and it’s no surprise he presumably told them (the Herald spinners) to stick their bias where the sun don’t shine.
      Scotland is blessed with many able people just watch us flourish.

    64. john king says:

      blair McDougal 
      “but cant believe he legitimized your bile by accepting”
      what? what? was it something I said? 
      john king says:

      jiggsboro, I finally worked out the difference between Blair McDougal and Blair Drummond one smells vaguely of manure and brays a lot and the other is a safari park oh and Blair Jenkins has and O.B.E.anyone told John McIntyre Obe.Wan.Kinobe?


    65. john king says:

      Tris says:
      30 July, 2013 at 12:29 am

      “A short course in manners wouldn’t do him any harm,. ”

      I think he’s checked out Munguins Republic Tris and he’s keechin it 🙂

    66. Macart says:

      Actually the nature of the reply is not unexpected given the man’s track record in communication. Arrogance, tactlessness, complete disregard and lack of respect for another’s pov is part of his job description. I’m kind of hoping that should he take up this challenge on behalf of BT that all of these traits are on full public display. This individual shows neither empathy nor regard for his political opponents. Which of course is why he would lose in any open forum. He simply cannot keep his hatred of either the SG or the wider independence movement in check.
      Most of us whilst disagreeing with unionists can and will live with our friends and neighbours regardless of outcome. They are our friends and neighbours its not rocket science. People like our tactless friend above will hound and deride in victory and snipe and bait in defeat. Its his nature and the nature of the strategy which marks BTs tactics. The campaigns reflect the campaign managers.

    67. john king says:

      Macart says:
      30 July, 2013 at 7:19 am

      hear hear 

    68. Patrick Roden says:

      If Blair McD says that Blair J is legitimising our ‘bile’ by excepting, surely he would also be legitimising our bile by excepting.
      I seems to me that he is saying he is happy to debate, but will not legitimise the bile on wings, by excepting the offer from us.
      Or in laymans terms, ‘I wont except an invitation to debate, from any organisation who will not watch my back for me and make sure the debate is skewered in my favour’
      (sorry for that Bile mr McD, I can’t help myself)
      It all started when I began to practice blood sacrifice, but Alex says we mustn’t speak about that. buzz buzz! oh that’s headquarters calling, must dash)
      But before I go…
      I think a follow up txt might be required.

    69. Shinty says:

      Can we have Duncan Hamilton v Alistair Darling please?  :o)

      Wouldn’t that be grand.

    70. Davy says:

      Reading that tweet, you get the feeling that Blair McDougall is pretenting to accept the debate part of the invite, but at the same time is manufacturing an excuse not to do it by saying it is a set-up by the cybernat family. It seems to be open for unionist twisting ? perhaps we need to get the “labour truth team” on the job.
      PS. has the labour truth team published anything ???

    71. Sneddon says:

      Whether it’s Blair Jenkins or Denis Canavan either of them are great debaters and could wipe the floor with anyone from BT.  Apart from their own skills the strength of the argument for indy is too strong.

    72. faolie says:

      Can we have Duncan Hamilton v Alistair Darling please?
      Used to read his excellent column in SoS but never till now seen him debating. Jings, him and AD, that I’d pay to watch!

    73. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Worth a look
      Duncan Hamilton at the GUU

    74. Baheid says:

      Dave McEwan
      Duncan Hamilton at the GUU
      I put this out to facebook & twitter every few weeks, absolutely brilliant

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