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Heads for figures

Posted on June 24, 2014 by

Last week the Press & Journal carried a story about a debate held at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, attended by just over 150 company directors, senior managers and other “business leaders”. The debate was between John Swinney and Danny Alexander (with contributions from Professor David Bell and businesswoman Christine O’Neill), followed by a poll carried out among the audience.


The No-friendly headline figures – which will come of no surprise to anyone who has ever read the Press & Journal – said 68% of the audience would be voting No at the end of the debate, with 16% Yes and 15% still unsure (1 person said they wouldn’t be voting. Maybe they walked into the wrong room at the start or something.)

That sounds like a pretty comprehensive win for No, so we should probably all just pack up our stuff and concede defeat.

Or perhaps not, because the rather less-trumpeted figures show that, before the debate, 72% said they would be voting No, with 12% voting Yes. So the “resounding verdict against Scottish independence” actually turned out to be an eight-point move towards Yes once people had heard the arguments.

We can only imagine why the Press & Journal chose not to lead with that particular fact. However, debates with audiences already largely hostile to independence showing a swing towards Yes are nothing new, as anyone who has been at any of the debates heralded by the No campaign can testify to. What made this debate more interesting were a couple of the other figures from the audience poll.

One of the reasons – perhaps the main reason – business figures are held in such high regard by the media and politicians is the idea that to be a success in business, you have to have an innate ability to put your feelings to one side and make decisions based on cold, hard logic. Your average voter can be swayed by appealing to their emotions, but to win a “business leader” over, you must make the most robust case based on facts and reason.

This is why we are told we have to put so much faith in the judgements of the business world – their superior decision-making skills show the way for the rest of us great unwashed, who otherwise let our judgement be clouded by silly things like democracy and social justice.

It’s certainly an idea business people subscribe to themselves. Asked how they would be making their decision, 77% said they would use their “head”, with just 23% saying they would use their “heart”. As far as they’re concerned, a showing of Braveheart on TV the evening before the referendum certainly won’t be swaying these hard-headed number-crunchers.

But when asked who made the best case on the night, 26% said John Swinney, with just 45% saying Danny Alexander (29% said they were equally good/bad). As to who had made the best case in the overall debate to date, 22% said the Yes campaign, with just 27% saying the No campaign (51% saying neither).

Hold on a second – 45% and 27% are some way from 68%. If business people really are capable of switching off the emotion switch like some sort of decision-making automatons, then more people should be voting Yes and fewer should be voting No.

Even if we assume that the 23% who admit they’ll be voting from the heart are all No voters, (and 45% + 23% does indeed make 68%), there are still between 6 – 10% of these business folk reluctant to pledge themselves towards a Yes vote, despite thinking they have made the best case so far, and on the night itself.

(Of course, the reality is No voters have a habit of being adamant that theirs is the path of reason, insisting that Scots are too canny to vote to leave the UK, that we know we’re on to a good thing really and the “majority of right-thinking Scots” will vote No, leaving just the tiny minority of people who are obsessed with The Scottish Film. That means you, dear reader.)

A 150+ sample is obviously far too small to be statistically significant in the grand scheme of things, and with bosses greatly outnumbered by workers, it’s far more important that the majority of oil workers are reckoned to be in favour of independence. But it’s certainly something to consider the next time someone tries to claim their success in business gives their opinion some sort of gravitas.

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  1. 24 06 14 19:00

    Heads for figures | Scottish Independence News

124 to “Heads for figures”

  1. Chris Darroch says:

    Good post.

  2. macdoc says:

    The arguments from the no side have been rebutted so many times that anyone with a modicum of political and economic knowledge relevant to the debate knows Scotland almost certainly would be better off under independence.

    Unfortunately these businessmen may not be voting for what’s in Scotland interest but their own. There lies the dishonesty of the no campaign, voting only with there head due to selfishness or inherent ignorance. At least be honest voting no with your heart is at least somewhat credible.

  3. Alex Smith says:

    Companies Don’t get to vote – people do. These so-called business leaders only have one vote each, same as the rest of us.

  4. iain taylor (not that one) says:

    Some businesses will have genuine business reasons for opposing Yes. For example the Fife oatcake manufacturer told last week by an English customer that it would stop buying if we vote Yes. If you have a lot of English customers who might take that position, you’d have to think of the consequences.

    Too many business “leaders” will just swallow whatever guff is spouted by the Torygraph or the CBI, without question.

    The good news is that Business for Scotland is growing all the time (I think 1,000+ members now) and converting Nos & Undecideds all the time.

  5. Alan McHarg says:

    So more people hearing the truth of the argument and moving towards Yes. Therefore more businessmen/women cascading that information to colleges, family and friends…more Yes votes! Well done John Swinney!

  6. Breeks says:

    But don’t you need an audience with a 75% Unionist persuasion just to get a Better Together spokesperson to turn up?

  7. Clootie says:

    We all know what motivates a great many of these business men and it is not always the general interest of the public.

    If they did use their heads then they would apply real logic.
    Take Weirs Pumps as an example. They can work in over 50 countries but for some reason one more would wreck their company? A group of directors exercising self interest is more likely.

    In other cases direct and indirect pressure from Westminster achieves the appropriate compliance.

    The MSM always selects the hard NO’s but take a look at the business for Scotland site. The many examples on that site demonstrate calm methodical assessment with a detailed arguement.

    I know who I trust for a better future.

    p.s. any group who consider Danny Alexander to have won a financial debate have made my point for me. That proves a closed mind.

  8. Neil Craig says:

    This sort of swing is common when there is an actual debate about the “catastrophic global warming” the LabNatConDems are using to scare us into obedience. Well it used to be but you can’t find audiences who start with that bias now.

  9. Iain says:

    British business is largely cautious and not noted for thinking ‘outside the box’. Can anyone tell me of any political decision about which most British business people have been enthusiastic, excepting those which have offered a guaranteed and immediate increase in profits without a concommitant increase in planning and effort?

  10. Haggis Hunter says:

    The likes of Shell and BP mostly recruite from down south, I think that would be a major factor on the outcome, I remember an oil boss visiting a rig and going on about ‘we Anglo Saxons’. I reminded him that there are also Celts in the room, and nearly got my head ripped off. Knob.

  11. Famous15 says:

    7.30 tonight in Royal High School Club House. Business for Scotland independence meeting.Parking in school and club house and street.

  12. heedtracker says:

    Its a newspaper that may aswell be written by Bliar MacDougal and demented old Cockers of the telegraph. But the owners seem to be spending money on the P&J, with new very glossy/ crappy magazine on Saturday and a lot more local news.

    They used to just cut n paste stuff from the nationals and simply not report Holyrood, whereas now they do the bettertogetherBBC double act of routinely monstering it and ignoring it. One sneeky trick is having lots of readers letters piled high and all rabidly agreeing with everything bettertogether the P&J farts out. And boy do these guys hate AlicSamins “monster windmills.” The locals are revolting though.

  13. JimnArlene says:

    I simply cannot believe anyone was convinced by Danny Alexander. Nothing more to add.

  14. Grouse Beater says:

    Waiting for my car’s MOT inspection I read the Scotsman’s Weir Group interview three times today. Three times in an effort to make sense of it.

    It was waffle, start to finish.

    No alarm bells, no major panic, to imminent tsunami, just ‘fears.’

    Either the journalist writing up the story is illiterate or the Weir executive has a bad case of mercurial concentration- squirrel! – for he hardly uttered one opinion when he dashed off in a different direction chasing another.

    This left the question, at whom was the article aimed – or was the alarmist headline all that was important?

  15. Colin says:

    Does anyone remember a story in the past few months about a diplomat that was briefed by the Scottish government on what to ask in a meeting but never did, his excuse for not doing so was he used the wrong notes.
    I think it might have had something to do with fishing.

    If anyone does remember could you point me in the right direction please?

  16. Craig P says:

    Whilst business leaders are an important part of society, if we left political decisions solely to the boss class I suspect we would still be sending our children up chimneys.

  17. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Neil Craig says:

    This sort of swing is common when there is an actual debate about the “catastrophic global warming”

    Hang on, do Kippers not believe in global warming at all, or do you just think the gays and Muslamics are responsible for it?

  18. Grouse Beater says:

    “Well, England is out of the cup but at least we’ve got Murray at Wimbledon to look forward to. He’s English.”

    “No – he’s British.”

    Sky television newscaster ‘correcting’ tv pundit. For more loads of cobblers and howlers see:

    “Oops!- I meant British.” grousebeater:wordpress

  19. gordoz says:

    O/T Rev came across this – you seen it yet ?

    Just came acroos it by accident.

  20. John says:

    I would dearly like to see a summary on this site, rendered through the pen of WoS, of the excellent piece titled ‘The Real State Of Scotland’s Oil And Gas Reserves’, available on Bella Caledonia’s site (June 11th 2014). The piece on there is truly exhaustive, to the point of being of no use to the average reader. What I took from it is that if we can get rid of Trident, we can turn the Clyde into another Aberdeen because, frankly, there’s mountains of resources off the west coast we can’t get to because the subs need their peace (oh the irony).

  21. MD says:

    I meet business people regularly. The vast majority are no smarter than their employed peers.

  22. No no no...Yes says:

    @ Colin 6:14pm

    It was Owen Paterson UK Environment Secretary. Here is a link

  23. John says:

    Just to add: I make the above plea on ‘The Real State Of Scotland’s Oil And Gas Reserves’, because the No campaign bring so many more readers here than to Bella, and that report NEEDs translated for the layman.

  24. G H Graham says:

    Have the sales of Russian vodka collapsed in the UK after Putin’s apparent belligerence towards Ukraine? No, of course not. As long as people can get what they want, they will carry on regardless.

    All businesses in the manufacture of something burden the same costs; labour, materials, energy, transport, overhead & taxes.

    Unpredictable rises in any or all of these costs is never desirable. But to suggest that any or all of them will suddenly jump as a consequence of Scotland achieving independence is just nonsense.

  25. arthur thomson says:

    Voting with your head isn’t always the best policy if your head is stuck up your own self interested backside.

  26. Colin says:

    @No no no…Yes says:

    Thank you, you are not the best person in the world but you’re not far off it 😉


  27. cal says:

    68% is a very depressing figure even though there was a swing to Yes. They must be selfish or cowardly. We cannot accuse them of ignorance.Such a lack of vision is disheartening.

    But there are many among us who can see. Check out this straight talking young woman from Paisley who’s really got her head screwed on. What an asset to Yes Paisley!


  28. AnneDon says:

    The Thatcherite fantasy that “business people” could be better trusted to make decisions than the rest of us has been the destruction of this country.

    We now have a boss class who get golden hellos, golden handcuffs and golden farewells, with reward for mediocrity and failure just as likely as reward for success.

    Not to mention their appearance in Quangos, with formerly public bodies that are no longer under democratic control, being run by managerialists who only listen to their own Yes men.

    The sooner the bosses become accountable for their decisions, and answerable for the outcomes, the better off we’ll all be.

  29. Andy-B says:

    O/T Rev,sorry, another nice chap having a go at you and Wings, there’s no accounting for taste.

  30. cal says:

    I’ll try that again

  31. Cyc says:

    I have to say I get irritated by this heart and head divide thing, perhaps because as a Yes voting woman I get the ‘oh voting with your heart’ nonsense a lot. The fact is, like so many other people regardless of gender, I was instinctively inclined to vote Yes, but it was the utter desperate drivel spouted by the No side that really made me a firm Yes.

  32. alexicon says:

    O/T Rev came across this – you seen it yet ?

    Just came acroos it by accident.

    Good fair article Gordoz.
    The only issue I’d have is that he says the media has to be fair-they’re not and he forgot to include STV in the media bias cyber rant.
    I know you’re reading this Stephen Daisley 🙂

  33. Robert Kerr says:

    O/T Sorry Rev.

    I note that removing cookies no longer gives access to the Herald articles.

    You can still read the comments.

    Oh well less clicks for the Herald. Death wish?

  34. Grouse Beater says:

    Cyc said: “I have to say I get irritated by this heart and head divide thing,”

    Nice remark. I agree. It’s a pain to hear it repeated.

    Promoted by the Inane for Domination to trip up the unwary it soon became a tactic to divide the will. “Look, it’s your emotion winging you along to a Yes. Your intellect tells you to vote No.”

  35. faolie says:

    @John, …‘The Real State Of Scotland’s Oil And Gas Reserves’, available on Bella Caledonia’s site…

    It is a bit impenetrable, but it’s got some great stuff about west coast oil. I took the (very) basic points out for my answers website, Referendum Answers – more oil

  36. Jim Marshall says:

    Robert Kerr 6.54

    Robertif you have a private window or private browsing option on your browser this usually gets you past the Herald gate.

  37. caz-m says:

    My most favourite team ever, (as DelBoy would say),Costa Rica, never got into second gear, a stroll in the park and still finish up group winners. Too easy.

    Their opponents tried their hardest to come home with at least one win, but failed. They finished bottom of the group, with one point and two goals, from three games. Too bad.

    It’s a funny old game!

  38. David McCann says:

    One thing I would like to know is how was the vote collected?
    Was it a secret ballot or was it a show of hands?

  39. Derek M says:

    @Andy-B i see our old troll bay rok posted on it must be feeling bitter since he got torn to pieces on here lol

  40. SquareHaggis says:

    P&J ought to tread carefully considering their publication is more or less paid for by oil companies buying up their ad space. All they have to do is piss off the wrong guys and they’d only need to do it the once.

    Not fit for print since Trump bought the editor.

  41. Conan_the_Librarian says:

    OT, but very relevant, could we start a tally of how many of us sent back the UK governments propaganda booklet to Blythswood Square?

    Me, for ONE.

  42. caz-m says:


    Conan, I think my postie has missed me out, due to the large number of YES stickers and posters that are on my front door, windows and on my car.

  43. Simone says:

    Still not had our UK booklet yet (unless the other half has burnt it without telling me)

  44. Muscleguy says:


    Haven’t had ours yet. Saw the postman today he was in too much of a hurry to ask about it. They must really drive them hard.

  45. Muscleguy says:

    Mind you this ward generally votes Tory. Wouldn’t put them past it to target them instead of actually sending one per household.

  46. Jim Marshall says:


    I received mine today, and will post it back in the morning.I am TWO.

  47. cynicalHighlander says:

    None in sight here maybe they think Scotland ends at the central belt.

  48. msean says:

    Thought the spectre of a corporation tax cut would scare business into voting yes lol.

  49. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Rev,sorry, another nice chap having a go at you and Wings, there’s no accounting for taste.”

    That’s not a chap, and it’s from last year…

  50. Greg MacLean says:

    The referendum won’t be won or lost by a bunch of TORY loving wannabe millionaires but in the working class housing schemes,factories and mills,these people are parasitical Drones and should be treated as such.

  51. JimnArlene says:

    Re: hm gov leaflet, send it back, one page at a time.

  52. Kirsty says:

    I’m glad there are so many people who have not received the UK? No thanks, Scotland leaflet/booklet. I was starting to sweat that I’d missed it and wouldn’t get a chance to send it back.

  53. Kirsty says:


    That’s a smashing idea! I was thinking that I should mark up corrections in red pen before sending it back but then figured it’d be a wasted effort.

  54. MJack says:

    I think this kind of turn towards yes after hearing the debate is actually very common. Here in the small town of Moffat we had a Public Meeting and took a poll at the beginning and the end of the meeting, the seats were full and some standing but with around 130 people, we logged:

    Entry poll: 88 people: No 9 (10%) Un 21 (23%) Yes 58 (65%)
    Exit poll: 93 people: No 9 (10%) Un 7 ( 8%) Yes 77 (83%)

    Change: No 0 Undecided -14 (-15%) Yes +19 (+18%)

    Our message is, organise a meeting, it does win YES votes and every vote counts!

  55. heedtracker says:

    BetterTogetherBBC report P&J owners DC Thomson huge drop in profits last year and the years before. Could explain their new dreary but glossy mag and the far right UKOK ranting, try to capture that wealthy 88 to 92 Tory market. Not that 88 isn’t a grand old age, a grand old conservative age.

  56. raineach says:

    I have just received the UK government pamphlet on why we should vote No. It plainly was delivered by a company as it was inside a B & Q brochure and I almost threw it out by accident not even noticing it was there. We [Yes] once used a delivery company but won’t do so again as they can only deliver to main doors, can’t be bothered to buzz the entry phones to get in to tenements and don’t bother their chuff to put the material through the letter boxes preferring instead to dump it all in a heap on the ground floor. Most people who live in a tenement – and that’s a lot of people – are not going to receive their copy. And that’s an encouraging thought!

  57. Alison MacLeod says:

    Was at a meeting hosted by Business for Scotland a few weeks ago…. there was a good range of speakers from Highland and Grampian whose businesses employ lots of folk up here (Construction and Whisky amongst others) was very positive.

  58. Conan_the_Librarian says:

    @ JimnArlene

    Bugger, I wish I had thought of that.

  59. msean says:

    I got one,it recycled it already.

  60. stonefree says:

    @ Robert Kerr says:
    24 June, 2014 at 6:54 pm
    “I note that removing cookies no longer gives access to the Herald articles”
    Solution Google Chrome and the incognito option when selecting page You get about 6 pages then start browser again

  61. heedtracker says:

    I’m looking forward to the Fox block buster remake of prison thriller Barlinnie Redemption, starring Andy Coulson

    Andy Couslon: What about you? What are you in here for?
    Red: Phone hacking, perjury, same as you.
    Andy Coulson: Innocent?
    Red: [shakes his head] Only guilty man in Barlinnie.

  62. Alison MacLeod says:

    I haven’t received one, nor has anyone I know… many things that simply don’t get delivered to the Highlands……perhaps they will overcharge us for it 😉

  63. Clootie says:

    Not received a copy of my UK propaganda booklet yet. However I’m so glad because I can use JimnArlene’s technique – now that was smart thinking!

  64. Nana Smith says:

    @Alison MacLeod

    Same here.

    Company down south wanted £16 delivery charge for 200 business cards, when I queried it due to shock I was told it might cost even more!

    You would think I lived in Outer Mongolia…

  65. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    People re the Herald

    I don’t live in the UK and so the idea of subscribing via their website and having to pay for the 7 days’ editions and not just the Sunday Herald sticks in ma craw.

    I discovered that Press Reader has an app for Tablets and smart phones (not recommended because of screen size)

    Set up and account with the Adroid or Applet store and download the reader.

    On Sundays I can buy a copy of the Sunday Herald for about €0.89 or £0.65 and read it at my leisure on my iPad mini.
    No access to the web comments though.

    Cheaper than buying the inky fingered version though.

  66. Anne Lawrie says:

    Heads of large companies like to give freely to political parties. After all, when you’ve got everything you could possibly need, having politicians in your pocket is a useful accessory. Then a nice comfy seat in the HoL to snooze away your retirement while making the laws for the plebs, to ensure all goes well for yourself and your cronies for the future. Why upset the apple cart by voting for an independent Scotland, who will only make things easier for the scrounging class and might even make it difficult to move profits off-shore.

  67. Paula Rose says:

    Listen dears, keep those horrible leaflet thingys and read them in public places like pubs, titter loudly and explain to folk why – this is a useful campaigning tool, the Rev has given us the alternative script.

  68. Doug Daniel says:

    David McCann: the vote was done via electronic keypads.

  69. Conan_the_Librarian says:

    @ Paula Rose

    53p a pop.

    That they can’t spend on more propaganda.

  70. Doug Daniel says:

    “68% is a very depressing figure even though there was a swing to Yes.”

    Nah, considering the kind of jumped-up wankers that will have gone along to this thing (it was far from being free entrance, incidentally), 68% is not far off what I’d have expected.

  71. laukat says:


    On Twitter both Rob Shorthouse and Blair McDougall have made posts to say the STV debate between Darling and Salmond is in doubt.

    I think they are trying to spin a get out for Darling by saying they were ready to debate on 16th July but the STV story from earlier in the week reports Salmond as saying he will debate after the Commonwealth games.

    Shorthouse and McDougall also tweeting darling is happy to debate on the BBC with Salmond on the 12th August.

    Doesn’t take a genius to figure out why they are keener on a debate on the BBC rather than STV

  72. crisiscult says:

    “who otherwise let our judgement be clouded by silly things like democracy and social justice”

    it’s interesting to speculate on whether social justice, and a less selfish capitalist outlook i.e. what most people in favour of independence seem to be interested in, is actually the less or more rational choice. Evolutionary psychology, as far as I can understand it, seems to make the case for evolutionary advantage for team work and social cohesion. When I meet right wing ‘individualist’ type people who mock socialist leanings, I do wonder how they’d get on if more people were like them and less like us. Read Interactions with non-kin / reciprocity on wikipedia entry for evolutionary psychology for example.

  73. galamcennalath says:

    Daily Record….

    A spokesman for the First Minister Alex Salmond said:
    “Our position is clear and has been throughout – we will pursue the Prime Minister for a head to head debate on STV’s proposed date of July 16″

    … from a newspaper not noted for accuracy, but it is a quote. Wonder what’s really going on !?

  74. Stoops says:

    I got my UK taxpayer sponsored propaganda. I believe the post office are delivering them, I worked for the PO when I left school, it was common to deliver them to every door on the posties walk, for which he would get a tiny payment for each leaflet, that was back in the 80’s mind, so things might be different now, but my postie delivered mine; she’s a cracking looking girl so I always make a point of greeting her at the door.

    I posting it back to BT using their freepost address after writing ‘No Thanks’ over the front in black marker.

  75. Paula Rose says:

    Stoop to conquer?

  76. Jim McIntosh says:

    @Stoops – “I posting it back to BT using their freepost address after writing ‘No Thanks’ over the front in black marker.”

    Brilliant idea, they can’t use it again. 🙂

  77. caz-m says:

    Just catching up with the trial of Rebekah Brooks regarding phone-hacking.

    How the hell did she get found not guilty?

    Could it have anything to do with being a mate of David Cameron?

    Did she know to many secrets about the Establishment?

    They should have jailed the whole stinking lot of them.

  78. Mike Dailly apologises – kind of to our FM.

    Not to Wings and not to us. Do you think we are off his list now?

  79. Stoops says:

    Paula Rose says:
    24 June, 2014 at 8:40 pm
    Stoop to conquer?

    No cleverness here Paula, ‘Stoops’ is a nickname I picked up at work.

    Please excuse my bad grammar in the previous post; bloody autocorrect!

  80. SquareHaggis says:

    Electronic keypad vote fraud?

  81. M4rkyboy says:

    Sorry OT,but did Chris Deerin just call someone an irrelevant wee prick?

  82. Alison MacLeod says:

    @ Nana Smith

    Watched an advert on telly last night showing the best new hoover on the market?! Anyhoo right at the end emblazened across the screen it said the deal was Not for the Highlands & Islands, busy day at work so haven’t yet looked into the legality of it – must do that now! Sorry for going off the point of this post but with privatisation of Royal Mail getting pushed through quickly……

  83. Neil Craig says:

    Rusty UKIP do not believe we are experiencing catastrophic warming.

    The only alternative is that we have been lied to by wholly corrupt totalitarian LabNatConDem Scum and their media whores. Does any intelligent and honest person see another alternative.

  84. handclapping says:

    British managers are the pits. Coal mines, steel mills, ship building, passenger jets all defunct thanks to the skill and hard work of the British Manager. But kudos to the “foreigner” who attended to find out what it was all about, its a pity he got “facts” from Danny Alexander.

    What a triumph for the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the skilled work force of HM Treasury with all those degrees in economics versus the Finance man for a devolved parish council and a bunch of native civil servants. What do you mean they moved to Yes? You’ve got the figures wrong; just not possible old chap.
    But it was TeamTreasuryGB -4, Johnboy +4.
    Don’t confuse me with facts, I manage the realities of problems … and I’m your boss

  85. caz-m says:

    Slamond should go nowhere near the BBC with Darling, tell them,

    No Thanks.

  86. caz-m says:

    Even Salmond, lol.

  87. Paula Rose says:

    Stoops darling – I’ve been putting leaflets through letterboxes of various heights, respect to you dear xx

  88. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Elaine Colliar

    He is on mine, just one time, one day.

  89. Robert Peffers says:

    @Conan_the_Librarian says: “Could we start a tally of how many of us sent back the UK governments propaganda booklet to Blythswood Square?

    Yeah! That’ll be after I actually get it delivered. I demand my copy so I can return it unopened. ;-))

  90. galamcennalath says:

    I must confess to being a bit surprised when I first heard Salmond would debate with Darling. Why? They are not opposite numbers in this debate.

    Salmond versus Cameron is the right debate, and the main one almost everyone wants to see.

  91. Nana Smith says:

    The daily record is busy changing the comment votes on the FM vDarling debate story. Disgusting unionist rag…

  92. caz-m says:

    If BBC Scotland got the debate, it would be chaired by some impartial presenter like, say, Glen Campbell.(spit)

    And did David Cameron not tell STV that he would come up and debate with the youth of Scotland, anywhere, anytime.

  93. GrabTheThistle says:

    I’ve just booked my BannockBurnLive ticket for this Saturday, of the 2 day event. At £25 is fair price for all day experience.

    I checked the weather. Saturday is going to be dry with a gentle breeze, and Sunday is going to be sunnier day.

    Today BBC Scotland again putting a negative spin on the event, saying it was controversial! BBC being negative about anything Scottish, as usual.

    BannockBurnLive is competing with Stirling’s free MOD funded ArmedForcesDay, for those who like machines that kill and maim.

    BannockBurnLive has only sold 10,000 tickets, but needs 15,000 to be breakeven, and 20,000 to be a success.

    Come on Wingers. Come on YESers. Come on Scotland. We cant let BannockBurnLive fail, in this year of Scotland’s Independence.

    Get online, buy the tickets. Its going to be a great celebration.

    I plan travelling from the frozen North by train, so went on Stirling council website looking for BannockBurn travel advice.

    Very little information and was difficult to find. As thought Stirling council doesn’t like anything BannockBurn! Very strange indeed.

    ps. BannockBurnLive is a once in a lifetime event, commemorating the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. We won’t see the like again.

  94. Bugger (the Panda) says:


    I remember being told in an economics or accountanv=cy class that HM Treasury did not do double entry book keeping and earlier that they did not have an economist on the books.

    Mind you, my Brother in law worked for them and he was a lawyer.

    What is they say about the difference between a lawyer and a thief?

    The lawyer knows which line not to cross.

    Mind you HM Treasury, in fact all of Whitehall act within the law at all times because Westminster defines what the law says and is.

  95. kininvie says:


    I took a look at that oil reserves piece. Encouraging though it may be, there’s a hell of a lot of wishful thinking in it. Talk of major oil fields off Lewis & off Arran is just talk – until such time as someone actually drills some expensive holes and finds out what’s there.

    You can look at geological structures until you are blue in the face, but until you have found the extent of your reservoir, whether it flows properly, and whether it is commercial – given the cost of field development etc, you might as well believe in the tooth fairy.

    I’m not saying there isn’t oil. There may well be. But this site deals in hard facts, and there ain’t too many of them in that paper imo

    That said, the Mariner field, which was discovered in 1981, but which is only now ‘commercial’ – thanks largely to technology advances and the price of oil – does show that even fields which are not commercial now, may become so.

    You might like to look at the cutting edge stuff being done by Hurricane energy on the fractured basement granite west of Shetland. It’s real wing-and-a-prayer exploration, but it’s real, as opposed to a good deal of speculation.

  96. Bugger (the Panda) says:


    Put Cameron up against Saffron.

    That would be an even debate?

  97. Paula Rose says:

    Gosh – LabNatConDem Scum rule the planet wowee! All those scientists from lots of different countries are controlled by a conspiracy off the west coast of Europe!! Gosh.

  98. EddieMunster says:

    Postie delivered my taxpayers propaganda today in Dumbarton. Would taping it to a brick or slab be too much for the recently privatised royal mail to deliver?, even if its freepost?

  99. David McCann says:

    Still not got mine yet in central Scotland, but awaiting with baited breath to send it back via Freepost address, which is WHAT BTW?

  100. Rock says:

    ‘Business Leaders’ = Selfish vested interests

    They don’t run their businesses for the best interests of their workers do they?

    Exactly the same sort of people as Labour MPs.

    If the Boss is voting No, every single of his/her lower level workers should realise that it is in THEIR best interests to vote YES.

  101. HandandShrimp says:

    Sorry OT,but did Chris Deerin just call someone an irrelevant wee prick?

    Chris, it would seem, likes to get sweary, it makes his Boo Hoo, they said mean things about me weepathon in the Mail look a tad hypocritical. No real surprise, I have seen no shortage of short tempered Unionists. I think it prefer it to twee, cloying shite he wrote in the Guardian

  102. Jeannie says:

    @grab the thistle

    Ordered my tickets on Sunday and hoping they arrive before Saturday. Really lookig forward to it.

    I was just thinking about how our ancestors must have felt on this evening 700 years ago when they realised they had won the battle and survived to tell the tale. Wonder if that’s how we’ll feel in September? How amazing would that be!

  103. Kirsty says:

    David McCann:

    It’s Better Together, FREEPOST, RTAU-ZCRB-TELS, 5 Blythswood Square, Glasgow, G2 4AD.

  104. Croompenstein says:

    @Stu – That’s not a chap, and it’s from last year

    Mibbee last year but sumdy’s commented on it 3 days ago mmmm..

  105. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Re: the greater knowledge of ‘the bosses’.

    Due to my experiences of working at Timex in the last few years of its existence in Dundee, when I saw this on t’interweb’ a few years ago, I saved it. Says it all…

    The Plan.
    In the beginning, there was a plan, ?And then came the assumptions,?
    And the assumptions were without form, ?And the plan without substance,
    And the darkness was upon the face of the workers, ?And they spoke among themselves saying, ?”It is a crock of shit and it stinks.”
    And the workers went unto their Supervisors and said, ?”It is a pile of dung, and we cannot live with the smell.”
    And the Supervisors went unto their Managers saying, ?”It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, ?Such that none may abide by it.”
    And the Managers went unto their Directors saying, ?”It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide by its strength.”
    And the Directors spoke among themselves saying to one another, ?”It contains that which aids plants growth, and it is very strong.”
    And the Directors went to the Vice Presidents saying unto them, ?”It promotes growth, and it is very powerful.”
    And the Vice Presidents went to the President, saying unto him, ?”This new plan will actively promote the growth and vigor ?Of the company With very powerful effects.”
    And the President looked upon the Plan ?And saw that it was good, ?And the Plan became Policy.
    And this, my friend, is how shit happens.

    BTW 1: those of you who want to read Herald articles about the referendum without dipping into the pocket…
    If you’re on Facebook, the ‘EU Citizens For Scottish Independence’ Facebook page pastes complete stories from The Herald every day, including ‘opinions’, like Bell and McWhirter.

    BTW 2: I got my propaganda booklet in ‘doon the toon’ Dundee, today. That idea of carrying it around and poo-pooing the contents appeals to me.

  106. AyeAlba says:

    Havney got mine yet (Invergordon).
    Too far North?
    I want ma No Ta booklet!!
    Cannae wait to send it back.

  107. Patrick Roden says:

    Will be sending all eight individual pages to freepost better together, tomorrow.

  108. kininvie says:

    Got my wee Wings badge today…

    I shall wear it with pride, and not care if anyone calls me evil or deluded or acting against the interests of the ‘wider’ campaign. This is our site. This is where we are.

  109. GrabTheThistle says:

    Bruce was a great General, heard this first time ever in my 65 Scottish years. It was on BBC Radio Scotland 1:30pm today, Bannockburn Begins was commissioned by BBC Radio3.

    I’m collecting my booked tickets at the venue, on the day.
    I’m looking forward to the abundance of activities.

    Bannockburn Live a 2days packed full of history, live battle action, music, food & drink and more:-

    Music Arena on Saturday:
    Dougie Maclean
    King Creosote
    Washington Irving
    Siobhan Wilson
    Hail Patrol
    The Deadly Winters
    Jack Rowberry

    Music Arena on Sunday:
    Julie Fowlis
    Treacherous Orchestra
    Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire
    Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson
    Cask Strength Ceilidh Band
    Hail Patrol
    No More Cages

    Scotland’s Food & Drink.
    38 Clans onsite.
    3 Battle Re-Enactments each day.
    Children’s StoryVille.

    Whats not to like.
    Its all good.

  110. Thepnr says:

    Well said kininvie, demolishing this site is on the agenda. Wearing your badge with pride like I will wear mine fights against their propaganda.

  111. Jeannie says:

    @Grab the Thistle

    Thanks for the link – I’ll listen to it tomorrow. Was at a seminar at Strathclyde Uni this morning – two historians debating the evidence for and against the presence or assistance of the Knights Templar at Bannockburn – fascinating stuff.

    I’m so glad I’m going this weekend – it won’t happen again like this for another 100 years, so won’t get the chance again. I know it’s a bit expensive but I would say, if you can afford it, try and go – 700 years ago, they didn’t have the choice. I feel I owe them a huge debt.

  112. Jeannie says:

    @Grab the Thistle

    Oops.. didn’t mean you personally should go – I know you’re going. Just meant people generally 🙂

  113. The Morgatron says:

    Who would believe anything Fanny Alexander says?
    obviously these business leaders only care for their businesses , share holders and profits & not our country our people or our resources , its all me, me ,me. They should be ashamed and on the 19th Sept they shall be shamed. It makes me sick.

  114. manandboy says:

    The deregulation of the Financial Services Industry, in particular the banks, was wholeheartedly supported by the hard headed business leaders of UK Plc.

    The resulting crash has crippled the UK economy for at least a generation and done more economic damage than Al Quaeda could have accomplished in a hundred years.

    And we who are paying the price for the business communities’ catastrophic error, are now supposed to doff our collective cap to the self same business community when they tell us to vote No because they know better!

    I tell you, JK Rowling couldn’t make this stuff up – and she specialises in pure fantasy!

    I’ve got a dog that’s smarter.

    Vote Yes

    And avoid the next crash .

  115. GrabTheThistle says:

    Didn’t know “Knights Templar was at Bannockburn”.
    So much we don’t know.
    We don’t know our own history.
    Has it been kept from us!

  116. Andrew says:

    Hi folks,

    I’m not trying to hijack this thread so apologies in advance if anyone is offended. But – any chance some of you kind people could repost this link on your Facebook or Twitter accounts to try and raise a wee bit of cash for the Yes Stirling campaign office?

    We’re still a wee bit short and your extraordinary generosity will make a difference as it has in the past for so many other similar worthy causes on this site.

  117. Brian Mchugh says:

    Morgatron; “obviously these business leaders only care for their businesses , share holders and profits & not our country our people or our resources , its all me, me ,me.”

    You are right about the ‘me, me, me’ bit, but the majority of these business leaders will simply be subordinate/junior managers scared to upset their direct superiors.

    The chances that any significant amount of them have any real clout will be slim.

  118. Jeannie says:

    @Grab the Thistle

    Previous reply to you doesn’t seem to have gone through, so trying again. The long and the short of it seems to be that there is no hard evidence of Templar presence at Bannockburn, only circumstantial. And one of the presenters argued strongly against the idea of the Templars being there. Both presenters agreed though that absence of evidence was not evidence of absence, so it seems the answer was mibbes aye, mibbes naw.

  119. norrie says:

    The only diffrence between us and “business leaders”. When we cock up it costs us our house, when they cock up it also costs us our house.

  120. Jim Galt says:

    Win just one scheme in Kilmarnock over to YES and you’ve cancelled out the “Business Leader” Bloc!

  121. gerry parker says:

    Got my wee booklet today, posting it off to:-
    Better Together
    5 Blythswood Square,
    G2 4AD.

    Will be at BBC protest on Sunday so can’t make Bannockburn.
    Look for the banner.

  122. Jim says:

    It is sadly the case that some employers prefer zero-hour contracts and at best the absolute minimum wage, and preferably below it.

    Thankfully most local companies are decent and care for their workers and their workers’weans. If employers dont, then we dont need them! Others will fill their departure!

    They will be no great loss.

  123. Iain More says:

    The Trump Brit Nat Journal no longer comes into the house and hasn’t done so for years since it ditched its Scottish readership in favour of conducting a hate campaign against them. I think they conduct their anti Scottish editorial policy on the swing and in the bunkers at the Mennie Estate or is it the Trump Turnberry now?

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