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In Bruges

Posted on April 28, 2014 by

If you were by any chance wondering what all the hysterical media coverage today of some innocuous comments by Alex Salmond about Vladimir Putin in GQ magazine was trying to distract attention from, it was this.

bruges2

First Minister Alex Salmond
College of Europe, Bruges
Monday April 28, 2014

It’s a great pleasure to speak here today – to this audience in Brugge, and to those of you watching from the College’s campus in Natolin in Poland.

The College of Europe was the first university to offer postgraduate studies and training in European affairs. It continues to be one of the best places anywhere in the world to study the subject – which is why the Scottish Government funds three scholarships every year for outstanding students from Scotland.

Brugge is a city which has had close links with Scotland for centuries. As one of the great commercial centres of Europe in the Middle Ages, Brugge was at times the staple or entry port for wool being exported from Scotland to the rest of Europe. A community of Scottish merchants settled here more than 700 years ago.

It’s just one indication of the way in which Scotland’s prosperity over centuries has been bound up with the ability to trade, travel and work in Europe. And just as Scots have always worked and lived in Europe, so there are now 160,000 people from other EU states who have chosen to live and work in Scotland. They make a massive contribution to Scotland’s economy and culture.

These European connections are an essential part of who we are. Scotland has always been a nation that looks outwards – to Wales, England, Ireland and Northern Ireland; to the other nations of Europe; and right across the globe.

And we’re comfortable with the idea of overlapping identities – we know that you can be Scottish and British, Scottish and European, Scottish and Polish or Scottish and Pakistani.

Tartan is the distinctive national cloth of Scotland. It’s made up of patterned threads of different colours. I like to think that Scottish identity is like the tartan. There are many colours, many threads, many strands to the Scottish tartan of identity.

I’m emphasising this point for two reasons. It’s fundamental to the main message of my speech today – that an independent Scotland would be an enthusiastic, engaged and committed contributor to European progress.

But it’s also fundamental to understanding the nature of the campaign for Scottish independence. Ours is a peaceful, inclusive, civic – and above all a democratic and constitutional independence movement. It has been cited as such internationally, and is in sharp contrast to the profoundly anti-democratic processes we too often see elsewhere.

And our vision for our nation includes and welcomes all those who want to call Scotland their home. Of course, this inclusiveness extends to our elections. Scotland is one of the few places in the EU to allow other EU nationals to vote in our national Parliament’s elections. They will also have a vote in the referendum on Scottish independence on 18 September. All 160,000 of them.

That tradition is long-standing in our politics. Before the European Union was founded, citizens of the Irish republic were allowed to vote, as indeed they and citizens of other Commonwealth countries still are.

Our civic nationalism promotes internationalism; our independence movement embraces interdependence. We seek sovereignty, knowing that we will then choose to share that sovereignty.

In many ways, in fact, Scottish independence is a cause which has been profoundly influenced and strengthened by the European Union – an institution which enables countries of all sizes to contribute as equal partners, and which is an enduring rebuke to any notion that independence might mean isolation.

And our referendum process is founded on consensus. It was agreed with the UK Government and confirmed by the Edinburgh Agreement I signed with David Cameron 18 months ago. One of the many reasons why the outgoing President of the European Commission prompted surprise, even ridicule, from so many people across Europe when he recently compared Scotland to Kosovo, is that he erroneously confused our consented constitutional process with what was a contested unilateral declaration of independence. The background circumstances are also of course totally different.

The case for independence rests on a simple but overwhelming truth – that the best people to take decisions about the future of Scotland are the people who live and work in Scotland. That applies to domestic policy – how we create a fairer and more prosperous country. And it applies to international policy, how useful Scotland can be to the world– including decisions about when we pool sovereignty with others.

But at present, our ability to take those decisions is constrained by our constitutional position, as part of a state where Scottish members make up less than 10% of the total in the Westminster Parliament. The leading party in the UK Government has but one seat out of the 59 Scottish constituencies at Westminster. In fact, for more than half of my life, Scotland has been governed by parties from Westminster which could not command a majority in Scotland.

That’s a profound democratic deficit. It affects all areas of Scottish life. And because of the rising influence of a virulent strain – not just of Euroscepticism, but of Europhobia – at Westminster, it now poses a real threat to Scotland’s place in Europe.

The College of Europe invited Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, in October 1988, to speak about the United Kingdom’s place in Europe. Her speech is known in Britain as the Bruges speech. At that time, it was seen as a deliberate rebuke to proposals being put forward by the European Commission on social policy.

It is a mark of how much the debate has moved that Margaret Thatcher’s Brugge speech seems almost commonplace now and not the radical departure it seemed at the time. But there is no doubt that it helped to inspire and empower a strain of Euroscepticism which has had an enduring and damaging influence over UK government policy ever since.

The consequences of these developments are becoming clear. Every single one of the four prime ministers since Margaret Thatcher has pledged to put Britain “at the heart of Europe”. Yet the reality has been quite different. Today Britain sits at the margins of European influence, and if Scotland remains governed from London, we face the prospect of an in-out referendum on whether to be part of the European Union at all.

Interestingly, it is unlikely that Margaret Thatcher, as Prime Minister, would ever have endorsed such a course of action. She questioned how Europe worked – not whether to be in Europe. But David Cameron’s proposal is to hold just such a referendum in 2017. It is a position which no politician in Scotland would ever have considered to be reasonable. There is virtually no support for this step in the Scottish Parliament.

In these circumstances, people in Scotland would almost certainly vote to stay in the EU – but the result for the UK as a whole is much more doubtful. A YouGov poll last week found that in Scotland, voters support staying in the EU by 2 to 1; elsewhere in the UK, there is almost a 50-50 split.

And so because Scotland makes up just over 8% of the UK population, it is conceivable that unless we choose to change our circumstances this September, we could be dragged out of the European Union against our will.

Therefore the real risk to Scotland’s place in the EU is not the independence referendum in September. It’s the in-out referendum of 2017.

That decision on Europe isn’t the primary reason for seeking independence – the main reason for seeking independence is a desire to gain the powers any normal nation has; the powers we need to build a fairer and more prosperous country.

But the contrast we now see – between playing a full and equal role in Europe as an independent state, or potentially leaving it against our will – is an important additional factor in the Scottish constitutional debate. It highlights a fundamental truth: that the best way to make a positive contribution, is as an independent and equal partner to other nations.

The Scottish Government recognises that continued membership of the EU will require negotiations on the specific terms. That is only right and proper. But these negotiations will be completed within the 18 month period between a Yes vote in September and achieving independence in March 2016.

You don’t have to depend on the Scottish Government for that opinion. I can cite Professor James Crawford, the UK Government’s own chosen legal expert on such matters. The Professor told the BBC’s Today programme that an 18 month timetable is “realistic” – that was on the same day that his report for the UK Government was published.

Sir David Edward, of course, is the former judge of the European Court of Justice; one of the true architects of the European Union. It is Sir David who has said that during the 18 months between the Scottish Yes vote and independence “there will be an obligation to negotiate a solution that does not lead to the absurd result that is being suggested” of Scotland being required to leave the EU only to immediately re-apply for membership.

And there’s another reason why James Crawford is right in saying that the 18 month timetable is realistic. Scotland will ask for continued membership on the basis of “continuity of effect”, and at no detriment to other members.

So there need be no reopening of the EU budget agreed last year to 2020. Scotland would take responsibility for its share of UK contributions and receipts – which means that we would still be a net contributor to the EU. We would remain within the Common Travel Area of the British Isles, as we are at present. And as a senior UK Government minister acknowledged to the Guardian newspaper last month, “of course” we will continue to share a currency with the rest of the UK.

We propose a practical, common sense approach to membership, which means that there is no detriment – none whatsoever – to any other member of the European Union as a result of Scotland’s continuing membership.

And the alternative – the fishing fleets of 12 countries being denied any access to Scottish waters and as a consequence, their access to Norwegian waters, which is also dependent on Scottish access; 160,000 EU workers and students, and of course voters, in Scotland suddenly uncertain about their status; five and a quarter million people ceasing to be EU citizens against their will – this alternative, as Sir David Edward points out, is clearly absurd.

But it is more than absurd. There is simply no legal basis in the EU treaties for any such proposition. And it is against the founding principles of the European Union.

The outgoing President of the Commission has defined “European values” as being “freedom, democracy, rule of law and…solidarity”

There is no concept of solidarity which could cause Scotland to be refused inclusion in the EU, for following a free, democratic and lawful process of self-determination.

It is why the European Movement, the oldest pro-European campaigning group in the UK, last week described it as “inconceivable that the EU collectively would wish unilaterally to withdraw citizenship from 5.3 million of its citizens who have participated in the European project for 40 years.”

So let’s take it as read that every one of us in this hall in Brugge is a committed European. Nobody will gainsay the agreed outcome of a peaceful and consensual referendum on independence.

Let’s focus on the real issues; what Scotland can contribute how useful we would be to the rest of the European Union. An independent Scotland would take its seat at the top table in the EU alongside 28 other Member States – 12 of which are the same size as Scotland or smaller.

In 1946 Winston Churchill made a famous speech in Zurich, which helped to inspire early enthusiasm for European co-operation following the Second World War. He said that a stronger European partnership would “make the material strength of a single state less important. Small nations will count as much as large ones and gain their honour by their contribution to the common cause.”

Recent years have done much to bear out this claim. The EU has become an organisation where negotiation trumps ultimatum; where the strength of your ideas can matter more than the size of your population.

Ireland’s presidency of the Council of the EU last year was a major success – concluding negotiations on the EU’s finances until 2020. Two years ago, Denmark used its presidency of the Council to lead major reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy.

Scotland worked closely with Denmark on that – on issues such as discard-free fisheries, the recovery of cod stocks and more regional-level decision making. But we had no capacity to lead the development of reforms in the same way that Denmark could. Nor to broker the final deal as Ireland did.

Scotland has one of the largest national shares of Europe’s total fishing grounds. 12 national fleets fish in our waters. Yet we have less formal say in fisheries policy than landlocked countries such as Austria and Slovakia!

Independence will change that. It allows Scotland to develop and pursue clear priorities – such as energy and climate change, the environment, agriculture, fisheries, research, digital technology and the creative industries. When we share the same objectives as the rest of the UK, we will work with them, but where we don’t, we will no longer be bound to a position which harms our interests. We will set our own priorities, build our own alliances, and put forward our own positive vision of Europe.

We’re already contributing. For example the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil, is in Brussels on Wednesday. The reason he’s there is because of the role of our health and care services on the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. We are leading the specific work on ICT-enabled integrated care.

That work addresses a fundamental question: how do we use technology to help to provide care for older people at home and in the community – protecting their independence and quality of life, reducing public healthcare costs, and providing the best possible treatment when and where it is needed? As the proportion of older people in the population grows, it’s a vital challenge across Europe and around the world.

Or to take a second example, let’s look at youth employment. Scotland was blighted by mass unemployment in the 1980s. So we have taken urgent action over the last six years to prevent that same criminal waste of human potential. We have the only youth employment minister in Europe – we have recently made her position a Cabinet post, but, in common with other European countries, there is much more to be done.

Our Opportunities For All guarantee means that all people between the age of 16 and 19 have a chance of employment, training or education. We would welcome adding our voice, our weight, to the other countries which have endorsed the European Youth Guarantee. But we can’t – because the UK Government disapproves of the idea of fully endorsing such an ambitious vision for our young citizens.

Or let’s look at the greatest challenge of all facing the planet – global warming. We have a key role to play in providing energy security for Europe, and in developing the low carbon technologies the world will need for the future.

Glasgow is Europe’s leading centre for offshore wind energy research, and the world’s leading centre for marine energy research is based in Orkney – at the European Marine Energy Centre. We have more than 60% of the EU’s oil reserves, a quarter of its offshore wind and tidal power potential, and 10% of its wave power potential. Not bad for a country with 1% of the EU population.

In a Europe of energy insecurity, Scottish resources are both extraordinary and vital. Last year, as a result of Scotland’s lobbying alongside other European partners, ocean energy was recognised as a priority area within the European Union’s Strategic Energy Technology Plan.

At the moment, the European Union is discussing renewable energy generation targets for 2030. I am meeting Commissioner Potocnik to discuss them later today. In Scotland, renewables will produce 100% of our net electricity demand by 2020. We know that it’s not practical for all countries to achieve that – or, in some cases, to even come close – but we believe that it is important for the EU to be ambitious.

However the UK has only recently come round to supporting any targets for renewable energy and its aims are still less ambitious than those of the European Parliament. As an independent country, Scotland could be doing much more to build coalitions and set the terms of the debate – as a devolved nation, we’re still trying to persuade even the UK Government.

With the new Commission taking office in November, there has to be the impetus for greater action on renewable energy. We need to support low carbon technologies so that they can produce energy cost-effectively at scale. And we need to establish grid networks that span Europe – to transport solar energy from the south and hydro, marine and offshore wind renewables from the north, to meet the continent’s need for secure and sustainable energy.

This is no time for timidity in tackling climate change. Scotland will be an ambitious and constructive voice for progress; and a sustainable and secure powerhouse of clean energy.

In summary, Scotland’s vast natural resources and human talent make it one of the lynchpins of the European Union. We have a key role to play in providing energy security for Europe. As one of the wealthiest countries, Scotland is a net financial contributor to the EU and will remain so as an independent member. We have more top universities, per head, than any other member of the EU and our academics collaborate with partners across Europe. We have one of the largest national shares of Europe’s total fishing grounds. The EU’s fisheries policy would unravel without Scotland.

Earlier this year the Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission, described two great Scottish judges, Lord Mackenzie-Stuart, and Sir David Edward, as true architects of this Europe.

Perhaps more than any of this, Scotland shares and promotes the values of solidarity, freedom and democracy that are the heart of the European ideal. As such, an independent Scotland, as an equal member state, will bring a positive, cooperative voice to the EU, in contrast to the often sullen, disengaged voices that have spoken on our behalf since Margaret Thatcher’s speech in this city more than a quarter of a century ago.

Not being at the top table in Europe has harmed Scotland’s interests for four decades. Within the UK, we are occasionally consulted. With independence, we would contribute as equals. And in contributing as equals, we would make proposals to address the democratic challenges that Europe faces today.

The financial and economic crisis in which the EU has been trapped over the past 6 years has allowed radical Euroscepticism to secure a significant political foothold in many EU Member States. We see this reflected in opinion polls in some parts of Europe, and may see it in the forthcoming elections for the European Parliament.

If we are to restore public trust in the European Union’s governance, and its ability to materially improve people’s lives, I believe we have to succeed on two fronts.

First we must prioritise economic policies that stimulate sustainable growth, while having in place social policies that ensure that everyone can benefit from that growth. In the UK we have seen how widening disparities in wealth have corroded the fabric of our society – causing deeply damaging inequalities in life expectancy, educational outcomes and employment prospects.

In some areas of policy, the EU makes addressing these disparities more difficult than it needs to be. For example, the Scottish Government is committed to tackling low pay. We currently have no control over the UK’s minimum wage, but we have pledged that in an independent Scotland it would increase at least in line with inflation every year– the UK minimum wage, currently £6.31 an hour, has declined in value in real terms over the last six years.

The Scottish Government has introduced a living wage – £7.65 an hour – in the public sector across our country. A living wage gives individuals and families enough income to meaningfully participate in society, rather than merely afford the basic necessities. But EU law prevents both us and Scottish local authorities from making that living wage a requirement in public sector contracts.

What made Margaret Thatcher’s speech of 25 years ago look so out of kilter is that back then Europe commanded strong popular support in its moves towards a social Europe, in contrast to the free market ideologies of the 1980s. In Scotland, for example, Europe’s approach was far more in tune with the prevailing social democratic ethos, than the policies imposed by Margaret Thatcher’s government of the day.

And so people across the continent, who want to see Europe rebalancing the economy and addressing inequality, will ask themselves why we are in a position where EU law prevents us from increasing the living standards of EU workers. I will be asking the Commission that question later today. Perhaps they will have an explanation – certainly they should have a rethink.

Secondly, we have to restore public confidence in the democratic credentials of the legislative and policy-making process in Brussels. I take the view that this can be achieved by improving the quality and sensitivity of EU governance rather than through yet another round of Treaty reform. The levers of subsidiarity and proportionality were included in the Treaties to protect EU citizens against over-burdensome and unnecessary rules and regulations. We have to make these levers work more successfully.

Thirdly we need a practical but compelling and visionary European project such as the marine renewables supergrid, which will give Europe a justification with transcends the commonplace and the transient.

These issues are of lasting significance. Scotland will play a constructive role in helping to address them. But there’s a key difference between our approach to reform and that of the UK Government. Scotland will make proposals about the type of Europe we want to be part of; the UK Government is considering whether it wants to be part of Europe at all.

Ladies and gentlemen, a 19th century UK Foreign Secretary, George Canning, said once that “I called the New World into existence to redress the balance of the Old”. He was talking about how events in South and Central America were helping to change the balance of power in Europe.

Now, there is a new world developing in Europe. It is a world where people want to be independent and interdependent: to address global and social challenges; to build a fairer and more prosperous society; to assess people and nations by their contribution – the positive difference they make – rather than by their status or their power.

But unfortunately, too much of the debate on this new Europe at Westminster, is being distorted by the dreams of an old empire. Those dreams have little allure now for Scotland. Europe enriches our culture, our economy and our society. We cherish the freedom it gives us to share, to travel and to exchange.

But we also seek the freedom to contribute. To contribute our voice as an equal partner on the world stage. To contribute to the future success of the European project from which we gain so much. To contribute our talents and innovation to the challenges that Europe, and the world, face in the future.

So when our small nation asks for the freedom to contribute, we will meet a welcome from around Europe. And we will gladly make those contributions – and more – when an independent Scotland, takes its full place in the European family of nations.

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    320 to “In Bruges”

    1. handclapping says:

      “But I don’t like that Alex Salmond” Why, just why?

      Can you imagine Willian Punching above our weight Hague our, yours and mine, Foreign Secretary making that speech? Which is closer to how you see Scotland, that or the one you just imagined Hague making?

    2. Jim T says:

      Who were his audience? Was it just students and staff or were there invited politicians from around the EU?

    3. Greannach says:

      Quite clearly a total amateur and small-town shyster of Mugabe proportions. Give me a real statesperson any time, like Willie Rennie, Ruth Davidson, Johann Lamont, Frank Roy or Jimmy Hood. They wouldn’t need to kowtow to foreigners or try and reason with them. No need to, because they’re foreigners and WE tell THEM what to do. And by Nelson’s eyepatch, they do.

    4. Nick says:

      Inspiring Speech by the First Minister. Truly the kind of topics that I am passionate about! Scotland being in control of its own affairs, 100% Renewables /Clean energy by 2020 and control of our own fisheries.

      Oh look a squirrel! . . ..

    5. lochside says:

      And yet the scabrous lying BBC lead with loathsome Jim Murphy demanding an apology from AS over some fabricated story about comments he made weeks ago about Putin!

      On the same day, a further Union dividend: Workfare for the unemployed introduced…no job for two years? well f*ck you, go and pick shite off the nearest beach. Criminals don’t get treated as bad as this, they just get big bonuses.

    6. handclapping says:

      Of course it should be William but it wasn’t worth changing as it gives a proper impression of somebody who would be severly discombobulated if he didn’t have a Trident to wave instead

    7. Truth says:

      Yes, but where was this greedy, self-serving, smarmy, fat oaf staying?

      Enquiring minds want to know. If a eurohostel is good enough for us it’s good enough for him etc etc.

      I’m no very good at this frothing-at-the-mouth-rabid-wanker act.

    8. Clootie says:

      Great speech.

      A great pity many people will never see it due to a bias MSM.
      The good news is that a few hundred thousand will thanks to Wings.

    9. Clootie says:

      Truth

      You had me worried for a moment. I thought you had been turned!

    10. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Aye, best they can do is summon the cadaverous Jim ‘You Called?’ Murphy to moan about something or other…yawn.

      Just wait until Wednesday – Danny ‘Ahmgonnybootyerbaws’ Alexander will show us how it should be done.

    11. Alba4Eva says:

      I hope a video of this will become available.

    12. kalmar says:

      Love the screen grab, great film. At first glance, because of the headline, you think it’s Alex Salmond and Vladimir Putin!

    13. Dcanmore says:

      Obviously the words of a ranting bullying dictator wanting to make himself King of Scotchland and make burning sacrifices of English babies to the evil EUSSR he grovels to.

      On another note and one based in reality. Would Jim Murphy like to apologies on behalf of the Labour Party for sanctioning the killing of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan civilian men, women and children, because that did happen.

    14. Andy-B says:

      I kind of like Alex Salmond’s speech on the admiration of certain aspects of Putin,s tenure as Russian president. I particularly like the fact its got the national unionist press, in an uproar, and I find it most enjoyable, that Mr Salmond isn’t toeing the Westminster line with regards to,”those evil Russians” attitude emanating from Whitehall, though I don’t approve of Putin’s, intervention in the Ukraine.

    15. David says:

      A good forceful speech, reminding those in power in Europe, that if they choose to be difficult regarding our continuing EU membership, the Scottish government has the power to shut off all access to our fishing grounds.

      And as a Brucie Bonus, our government also would be able to impede EU access to Norway’s waters.

      “The EU’s fisheries policy would unravel without Scotland.” – ooh yes.

      I read that as win-win-win!

      P.S. We currently have 6 MEPs, after independence how many will he have, 12?

    16. Mosstrooper says:

      Damn damn damn, the curse of the vanishing comment strikes again. Hrumph! start again.

      How anyone could read this speech and not want Scottish independence is beyond my comprehension. We are truly fortunate in the person of our First Minister.

    17. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Well what do you know, another day, another country, another awe inspiring speech! 😉

      Every time I listen to the First Minister, as I had the great pleasure of doing last Wednesday night in Carlisle, or read his speeches like this one today in Bruges I am convinced that I have indeed made the right decision to vote YES in September. 🙂

      Only the First Minister is capable of making such inspiring speeches sound like he is talking to you alone despite being in a whole room full of people.

      Only the First Minister will spend as much time as possible after his speech and Q&A session talking to those in the audience.

      The First Minister does a fantastic job, in my view, in promoting Scotland not just in Europe but around the world. No one else in any of the opposition parties, RED,YELLOW or BLUE Tories, is capable of achieving as much as what he has achieved.

      When I hear or read speeches like this I KNOW we will win in September, of that I am in no doubt! 😛

    18. Brian Powell says:

      Could anyone imagine the second/third tier politicians in the opposition at Holyrood, or most of ‘ours’ at Westminster, making this speech?

      They should feel ashamed, and I have a deep feeling of embarrassment even thinking about them.

    19. Grouse Beater says:

      Excellent speech.

      I’ll do my best to disseminate it to all I can.

    20. heedtracker says:

      “But unfortunately, too much of the debate on this new Europe at Westminster, is being distorted by the dreams of an old empire. Those dreams have little allure now for Scotland. Europe enriches our culture, our economy and our society. We cherish the freedom it gives us to share, to travel and to exchange”
      But Margret Curran sez we wont get Eastenders.

      Great speech. Hello world, Scotland’s back!

    21. EdinScot says:

      What a fantastic international statesman and first class ambassador for Scotland Alex Salmond is.

      Read it and weep Hague, Lamont, Murphy, Carmichael, Cameron et al!

    22. Dcanmore says:

      Yeah, imagine sending ‘FM’ Johann Lamont over to Brugge (or anywhere else) to make a speech on Scotland’s behalf “See yous … ” might as well send a cartoon of Daphne Broon for all the good JoLa would be.

    23. lochside says:

      More shite: ‘Prof’Curtice on about ‘uncertainty’ on BBC Radio Scotland. ‘Europe is something over there’ i.e. not really important. This from a grinning baldilocks who got the 2011 election result so wrong that he should have been sent back to elementary psephology school to write one hundred times ‘I am a lying Unionist c’nt’.

      Meanwhile, AS ‘speech’ is truncated down to how Scotland would engage and contribute to Europe, followed by a non sequitur response by wee Ruth trolling out crap about how we’d have to wait a thousand years to get into Europe.

      Yet these bastards can spew out this distorted narrative without any legal challenge…’No Campaign”s very own Broadcasters.

    24. kendomacaroonbar says:

      my posts keep disappearing ?

    25. dadsarmy says:

      This is a petty-minded article which seeks to portray the speech itself rather than the widely accepted Unionist take on it, and of Putin being an out and out bad guy who is admired by Salmond.

      Oh, I forgot this isn’t the Herald forum and postings which criticise articles get left up, rather than arbitrarily deleted.

    26. heedtracker says:

      Check out UKOK propaganda machine in action

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-27180301

      Mr Salmond sent a reply to the foreign secretary stating that “the UK government has repeatedly refused to jointly approach the Commission with the precise legal scenario on Scottish independence”.

      He told Mr Hague the purpose of his visit was “to articulate the constructive role an independent Scotland could play in the Europe Union”.

      “This contrasts of course with the renegotiation and in-out referendum favoured by your party, leading to the inevitable conclusion that the real threat to Scotland’s position comes from the anti-European streak which now dominates your approach to politics,” he said.

      http://archive.today/DHKB8 Severin Carrell is unwell

    27. Truth says:

      @Clootie

      Even if I did believe all the drivel about Mr Salmond, that some people seem to, I’d still be voting Yes.

      I’ve re-read that sentence and people could read between the lines. So I’ll spell out the following, I struggle to think of a more principled, honest, statesmanlike politician than Alex Salmond. We’re lucky to have him on our side.

    28. Peter Mechan says:

      I appreciate that this speech is much more relevant and important than Salmond’s comments on Putin, but still, Salmond does have a tendency to do this sort of thing, to say something controversial apparently just for the sake of it. He well knew that that was going to get picked up and broadcast for days and days on end. Our enemies will always twist our words so it was ill-advised for him to give them such an easy quote to beat the entire YES campaign with. Alex is the best politician of his generation in the UK but he does like to court controversy at times when it is not necessary.

    29. John says:

      Stu

      Thank you so much for publishing this. Reading the speech made my day.

    30. dadsarmy says:

      According to an Independent online poll about the favourite world leader, Cameron has 1%, Obama 2%, Merkel 3%, Sinzo Abe (??) is second with 32% and … Putin top with 61%.

      It must be the KGB / FSB busy with the keyboards/

    31. Arbroath 1320 says:

      I love that wee nyaff Hague, he comes out with some real beauties sometimes.

      He added: “Scotland benefits from the UK’s strong voice in Europe and the UK has a proven track record in delivering for Scottish interests in the EU.”

      In fact we benefit so much from the UK’s *ahem* strong voice that this happened.

      http://tinyurl.com/nm3c4x2

      Oh and does anyone remember how *ahem* our farming subsidy from Brussels is?

      http://tinyurl.com/qz2qozg

      Protected is it, Aye right!

    32. Grouse Beater says:

      @Heedtracker

      Great speech. Hello world, Scotland’s back!

      Chuckle – good point!

    33. Adrian B says:

      One of the many problems that happen at present within the Union is that Westminster do not actually follow through with agreed Scottish viewpoints on many topics in Brussels.
      Take this story in Newsnet Scotland as a recent example.

      http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news/9108-uk-minister-admits-breaking-gm-crops-agreement-with-scottish-government

      The Conservative MP for North Shropshire said it was “unfortunate” that he hadn’t said what had been agreed, and added, “I talked to Paul beforehand, we agreed the speaking note and I have to confess I think I read the preceding one,”

      This is a typical example of what Wesminster offers us. Do what is good for the London corner of the Isles and forget everywhere else.

      I do not consider his stated reasons as good enough, nor do I want to keep this attitude to my fellow country members as irrelevant. I want those employed by us to do their job. Westminster continuously fail Scotland in this regard and get away with it. Its not going to happen again.

    34. Arbroath 1320 says:

      I love the it was “unfortunate” that he hadn’t said what had been agreed, bit. Like we are going to believe you Bubba, pull the other one it’s got bells on!

      Unfortunate indeed, HUH! He did it deliberately cause that what his over lord Cameron told him to say more like!

    35. Bittie Glakit says:

      I believe the comments he made about Putin were in an interview after the winter olympics, before the Ukraine situation.

    36. Les Wilson says:

      Thought it was a classy speech, A.S is brilliant at this kind of thing, I am very pleased that we have him just where he is.

    37. Nana Smith says:

      As I don’t ever watch bbc I tuned in to STV to see how they would cover the FM’s speech. I would say they are just as biased as the bbc,spouting off on something AS said months ago and giving Ming & Murphy[comedy double act]time to spew forth.
      I just hate the msm and their so called journalists

    38. joe kane says:

      Just seen the Herald front page splash associating Scotland’s First Minister with President Putin and Russian human rights abuses. I see even Amnesty International in Scotland are responding to the media’s anti-independence, anti-SNP propaganda.

      You just need to compare the coverage given to the Russian Government’s human rights abuses and the fact it is held directly responsible for any harms caused to Russian LGBT folk – with that of our own mainstream news media regarding our own government’s human rights abuses against disabled people. It’s like night and day.

      The Russian Government’s LGBT human rights abuses during the Sochi Olympics, for instance, were given extensive coverage by the UK media. Yet there was complete silence during the Atos-sponsored London Olympic and Paralympic Games despite the fact the British Coalition Government has sent tens of thousands of British sick and disabled people to an early grave since it came to power.

      And just imagine the reaction of our beloved mainstream British journalists if any Russian Government official started spouting Nazi slogans and ideology the same way IDS does ie work makes people free, people who can’t work add nothing to the greatness of the nation etc etc? The worst of the British tabloids even spout such old-style, far-right rhetoric themselves describing sick and disabled people as “workshy”.

      Instead, it’s British disabled activists who get smeared as the extremists for daring to publicly criticise government policy and government actions and for trying to save the lives of sick and disabled patients. Just like the state news media used to do with dissidents in the old Soviet Union in fact. And just like they do today in North Korea.

    39. Murray McCallum says:

      How good will it be if our First Minister (of *any* political party) gets to regularly speak out for Scotland on our own priorities?

    40. bjsalba says:

      I have to say that I have caught the BBC perpetrating all sorts of lies and distortions in Scottish news. I lived in the USA for many years and their reporting from there is full of atrociously sloppy journalism and distortions.

      I have to say that I view what they are reporting from the Ukraine with great scepticism.

      I am not surprised that they headline a distorted version of a speech over six weeks instead of current event which is favourable to SNP.

    41. Grouse Beater says:

      If Salmond had not made a brief reply to a question about Putin you can be sure the British establishment would have found something he said in the past to use as a spoiler for his Bruges speech.

      Haig got in before the speech and now they book end it with a slur.

      If we think they play dirty now you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    42. G H Graham says:

      The Herald’s front page (found on archive so not to improve click rate) is a disgrace.

      The deliberate placement of pics & headlines was done to give the impression the FM is a wholehearted supporter of Putin & all the negative connotations that are described or implied.

      Save 2 or 3 decent journalists there, the paper is otherwise a disgrace to journalism. Once, Scottish print media was admired for its fact based, no nonsense style, with a solid foundation of determined investigative journalism.

      Apart from a few embers of hope at the Sunday Herald for example, admirable Scottish print media is otherwise finished.

      Perhaps independence can bring a revival of titles or even better, the emergence of new titles that adhere to the spirit of democracy, fair play & reasoned opinion.

    43. fairiefromtheearth says:

      Peter Mechan we are supposed to live in a Country that allows FREE speach, cmon the Russians beat the shit out of the New World Order.

    44. Grouse Beater says:

      I have to say that I have caught the BBC perpetrating all sorts of lies and distortions in Scottish news.

      BBC be Damned: grousebeater.wordpress.

      How many remember how BBC Scotland “entertained” programme ideas from independent Scottish producers with the inhouse memorandum, “Reject all proposals, but refer good ones to your head of department for BBC only consideration.”

      Today the BBC attains (but not quite) their mandatory annual quota of indie made programmes by importing productions from darn sarf.

      Neat, eh?

    45. Papadox says:

      Well done ECK am so proud o yi! Alistair Campbell turd!

    46. haud on the noo says:

      The FM was wrong to get involved in discussing Putin – he must have know that no matter what he said it would be twisted against him, and today of course.

      BBC news utter disgrace as always. Herald stopped as of tomorrow, need to be Racing Post and I don’t even bet…

    47. rab_the_doubter says:

      Guess who:

      His political career revealed no firm political principles or ideology. He shifted in his party affiliations from the Conservatives to the Liberals and back to the Conservatives. He praised Mussolini and Hitler lavishly after their totalitarian programs had been fully established and their operations were well known. He said that if he had been an Italian he would have been a Fascist, and as late as 1938 he stated that if England were ever in the same straits that Germany had been in 1933, he hoped that England would find “her Hitler.”

      That was Winston Churchill that was. Kind of puts the innocuous remarks made by Alex Salmond into context.

    48. Grouse Beater says:

      The shallow David Torrance finally (finally?) comes out of the cupboard to admit he’s not for a democratic Scotland – see today’s Herald.

      Why anybody commissions work from him is a mystery.

      He has nil political insight. It’s one tautology after another.

    49. Ian Mackay says:

      Wow! That was some speech. Not only a firm reminder of EU law that prevents Scotland’s exclusion from the EU, but a reminder of just how much the rest of the EU would lose if Scotland was excluded!

      The section outlining the future of the EU was genius! It completely reinforces Scotland’s position as an enthusiastic EU member that wants to lead change and progress in the European ideal.

      I imagine other EU citizens must be looking in awe and wonder at Scotland’s First Minister and wishing their leaders were half as good!

      This speech will go a long way in securing EU goodwill to Scotland’s pro-Independence campaign.

    50. Croompenstein says:

      Brilliant speech from FM..Are you listening Mr Marr

      One of the many reasons why the outgoing President of the European Commission prompted surprise, even ridicule, from so many people across Europe when he recently compared Scotland to Kosovo, is that he erroneously confused our consented constitutional process with what was a contested unilateral declaration of independence.

      I also thought STV news was garbage, didn’t show these types of highlights from the speech and wheeled out Ming and Skull to talk pish

    51. HandandShrimp says:

      The Bitter Ones are desperate indeed that they spin and turn and desperately fling mud when there is none too hand. I can’t see a problem with anything Salmond said in GQ. Putin has restored a sense of pride in Russia, Farage has cornered the “I’m just a man with a pint in my hand” market, Merkel is an incredibly competent and robust leader and I think we all hoped that Obama would achieve more.

      Murphy on the other hand is a man with little to say that will ever be remembered.

      It matters not, the speech in Bruges will by weight of its very existence come out on top. So the deflector shields winnae hold Cap’n.

    52. msean says:

      Just curious here after watching a piece there on a non Scottish news channel,but how does the rules on the media affect those broadcasting from outside Scotland in the run up to the referendum?

    53. dramfineday says:

      Headtracker @5.25

      “Europe enriches our culture, our economy and our society. We cherish the freedom it gives us to share, to travel and to exchange”.

      “But Margret Curran sez we wont get Eastenders.”

      That comment brought a much enjoyed hoot, thank you!

    54. HandandShrimp says:

      msean

      Media outside Scotland will likely not be bound unless it is directly transmitted to Scotland i.e. the Six O’Clock News. Stuff that isn’t transmitted to Scotland isn’t likely to get much visibility.

    55. joe kane says:

      Unlike the democratic fraudsters of Putin and Mugabe, the Tories and Lib Dems don’t engage in massive, nationwide corrupt electoral practices by printing obviously fraudulent manifestos whose promises and policies they have absolutely no intention of carrying out after the gullible electorate vote them into power. Oh, hold on!

    56. Ken500 says:

      RT

    57. Andy-B says:

      @Arbroath 1320

      Re Owen Paterson,good spot, this really does highlight the need for independence, for Mr Paterson to conveniently overlook not only the interests of Scots but the Welsh as well, whilst in the EU negotiating, shows that we’re definitely not better together, no doubt they’ll be absolutely no coverage of that article,in any paper or tv channel, the hypocrisy makes me sick to my stomach.

    58. Ken500 says:

      Putin backed up Scotland against the Westminster despicables. Main nodding along with Hague.

      26million Russians died in 11WW. (1 in 4?)

      The Oil revenues have been spent on London S/E and illegal wars.

    59. Murray McCallum says:

      I don’t really get the concept that Alex Salmond should not have talked about Putin / Russia.

      Is having a brain and the ability to give a straight answer a reserved matter?

    60. Croompenstein says:

      Thank f*ck he never said Jehovah…

    61. Arbroath 1320 says:

      I haven’t heard of any coverage of it on the *ahem* BBC or SKY news so I guess this is yet another fantastic example of “nothing to see here…oh look a squirrel!” Andy. 🙁

    62. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Peter Mechan at 5.42

      You do understand,don’t you, that that interview was recorded many weeks ago and has nothing to do with Russia’s recent coming to the aid of a huge and majority Russian community in the Crimeaa that was being abused by the fascist Ukraine Government.

      Alex Salmond was accurate in his judgement of Putin who has just run rings round US/UK.
      You do understand also surely that Putin’s intervention knocked on the head plans US/UK had to invade Syria.

      Well done Alex Salmond.

      I just heard Jim Murphy telling a huge *lie live on BBC evening news. Surely we have to step up to the mark here. Posters and leaflets should be distributed around his constituency stating bluntly “Jim Murphy is a liar.”
      * he said that “the member states of the EU had plainly stated that if Scotland left the UK it also left the EU.”
      No European state has said such a stupid thing

    63. msean says:

      Thanks,it means I suppose that a channel not directed at say,Scotland, but who covers Scotland as part of it’s world coverage indirectly,can slip in a biased piece and not be pulled up.

      I look forward to having our own mouthpiece, sorry,channel.

    64. TheItalianJob says:

      @Arbroath 1320 at 5.19pm

      Your comments today have been exceptional. Makes me proud to be a Scotsman with people like you contributing to the call of Independence.

      I read this speech and it was inspiring to all of us. How he represents us to all, including the Europeans is excellent.

      Very clever how Mr Salmond manages to hit the Cameron call for an/in out referendum on Europe and quite cunningly states Scotland’s case for wanting to be part of it. Genius. No wonder Cameron et el daren’t try to debate with him, a true political leader you would follow. He would have them for breakfast.

      Onwards and upwards.

    65. Ivan McKee says:

      O/T ..but still on the European theme.

      @indycyclist Mark Coburn, in Tuscany tonight, 2nd stage of Rome to Home fundraiser now complete.

      https://twitter.com/indycyclist/status/460691749313056768

      https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rome-to-home-1421-miles-on-a-bike-for-yes/x/2717166#home

      Tomorrow Pisa.

      (Looks like there’s going to be a fair bit of cash at the end of this fundraiser that isn’t allocated to any specific local Yes Group – need some good ideas from people on which Yes projects are most deserving for the surplus).

    66. Arbroath 1320 says:

      O.K. folks who’s up for a wee tattoo then?

      http://tinyurl.com/ojuhhz5

      OUCH! 😛

    67. Les Wilson says:

      This is what I think happened with the Putin thing.
      A.S gives an interview with ALISTER Campbell( Tony Blair’s spin doctor ) Campbell while probably being extremly friendly, casually asks A.S. what he thinks of PUTIN.

      A.S.answers and explained that in his view the Western press do not give Putin the respect he deserves, while pointing out that yes he had done things wrong. However he had a huge following in Russia and essentially said he had restored self respect in Russia. Which, by all accounts was true.

      Campell reports back to his Unionist masters and says gleefully, that they could spin this to their advantage.
      So they did, but more they organised it to be released at the time the First Minister was in Bruge. Of course the complicit MSM in BBC are roped in to further spin the issue.I am sure that is what happened.

      However, this was said long before even the Crimea episode, something they were not so keen to recognize.
      So they have been hoarding this for max impact. The usual thing we can expect from them.

      How long ago was Cameron/ Marr, trying to elicit Putin’s help AGAINST Scottish Independence?

    68. Grouse Beater says:

      The First Minister does a fantastic job

      Aye, Arboath, he does that, he certainly does.

      But we’re aiming for a nation state that has a First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth minister giving speeches around the world …

    69. Dorothy Devine says:

      Great speech though I would prefer to hear the FM give it than read it. Is that possible ?

      Completely OT and I apologise in advance BUT I just noticed the logo for Police Scotland on a car this morning and it has a wee tweety birdie as part of it. In discussion with my other half we thought it could be a canary but decided not even a humorous designer would get away with that.

      Any boys in blue out there who can shed some light on it?

    70. Andy-B says:

      An interesting article on independence,by the New York Times, after a play in the Edinburgh Lyceum, called Union, a vote was taken by the public for yes & No, according to the NYT more people voted yes than no.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/world/europe/scots-ponder-should-they-stay-or-should-they-go.html?ref=europe&_r=0

    71. Arbroath 1320 says:

      I agree Grouse, but as the old saying goes “everything comes to those who wait.” 😉

    72. No No No...Yes says:

      FM’s speech- Inspirational, positive and statesmanlike.

      Re Putin comments- The BBC news website reports the interview given by the FM is to be published in GQ magazine ON 1 May:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-27180301

      So, the article was NOT in the public domain this morning, therefore it follows the article was leaked to coincide with the speech. Whodunnit?

    73. RogueCoder says:

      Inspired speech and another canny political move by Alec. In one fell swoop he has reminded everybody in Europe just how valuable a part Scotland has to play (energy, technology, fisheries), how out of touch and exasperating the UK is as an EU member, and brought the referendum fight straight to Cameron’s front door.

      Although the EU cannot comment on a possible application from Scotland to join the EU as an independent state without the UK’s consent, by courting Europe in this way Alec has created a “feel good factor” towards Scotland and I’d be very surprised if we didn’t see at least some low-level positive comments come out in the european media about this speech.

      This further weakens one of Better Together’s central campaign planks; the “uncertainty” over Scotland’s EU membership. Alec has just pretty much ensured that Scotland’s accession to the EU will be trouble-free and swift after a Yes vote. There will still be negotiation of course, but it’s in everyone’s interests to conclude the paperwork as quickly as possible and have independent Scotland bringing her resources and goodwill to the European top table.

      With Cameron having to sop UKIP votes and offer up that in/out EU referendum in order to stay in power, the EU will jump at the chance to have a constructive relationship with resource-rich europhile Scotland. It will also give the EU an opportunity to normalise the relationship with rUK and withdraw some of those much hyped concessions we keep hearing about from Better Together.

      Hats off to Alec, he truly does have a once-in-a-generation political mind. Better Together are simply floundering in his wake. One almost feels sorry for them; it’s like putting Dad’s Army up against Erwin Rommel.

    74. colin young says:

      Well done AS.
      Putin upsets the NWO which is good enough for me. roll on the 19th sep.

    75. Big Jock says:

      The interview was in March why wait nearly two months!This is the start of the next phase in the no campaign that’s why.Its now digging the dirt and character assassination.Its going to get really nasty.When your argument is weak and negative.Your only defense is offense.Prepare for yes supporters to be persecuted and pilloried by the msm.It deflects from the actual debate.Its what the unionists have tried from the start by turning it into a Salmond vs UK debate instead of Scotland vs London rule which is what the vote is about!

    76. HandandShrimp says:

      Les

      The interview was over six weeks ago and they discussed several leaders (and Farage). Salmond was polite and positive about people. This obviously confused the hell out of his opponents who can only think in terms of petty abuse and puerile ad hominem. I think there can be little doubt that they are trotting this nonsense out on the day he is abroad talking to the furriners to deflect from the EU speech.

      They have long lost the arguments and now just play the man at every opportunity, failing to see that Yes has long past the need for a single individual and is running on its own momentum. In fact the more time they waste attacking Salmond the more ground they leave free for us to do our thing 🙂

      It is a remarkable thing how obsessed the Salmond detractors are. It is borderline creepy.

    77. Hardin says:

      Just watched Bob “Great Britain is Great” Dudley (BP boss) giving a warm welcome to Igor Sechin, head of Rosneft and latest kleptocrat to be sanctioned over Ukraine, on channel 4 news.

    78. MajorBloodnok says:

      Alex best friends with Murdoch, Trump, the guy that didn’t blow up the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie and now Putin. Where will it end? Jimmy Saville? Max Clifford? Adolf Hitler? Tony Blair?

    79. Big Jock says:

      Herald now has picture of Salmond saying he has respect for Putin.Directly below guess what Putin with a gun in another article about genocide and Homophobia.Just how much are the state paying our media?

    80. Livimo says:

      I’ve been on this planet for a while, and I’ve heard a lot of politicians make speeches, but this has to go down in history as one of the finest. Any doubt about EU membership now Alastair 1 and Alastair 2?

    81. fairiefromtheearth says:

      5 years ago i hated Alex Salmond then i gave up the MSM now if A.S told me to go to the Quarter Masters and draw two weeks rations because we were going to march to the moon and invade it,i would be sprinting to the QMs. 😉

    82. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Hardin says:

      Just watched Bob “Great Britain is Great” Dudley (BP boss) giving a warm welcome to Igor Sechin, head of Rosneft and latest kleptocrat to be sanctioned over Ukraine, on channel 4 news.

      Hmm, so what we have is the First Minister saying somthing almost TWO months ago and he is dragged through hot coals backwards by a bunch of inept non entities yet on the same day as the hot coal thing is going on the boss of BP welcomes the head of Russian oil and gas company to Britain and… NOTHING. So what can we learn from this wee exercise?

      Well ANYTHING that is said by the First Minister at ANY time will be twisted and turned into an attack against his person at some point in the future.

      Meanwhile anyone from a BT organisation can do anything with anyone, say anything about anyone and…NOTHING! Nothing to see here…oh look a squirrel!

    83. CameronB says:

      Putin may not be a democrat at heart, but at least he had the stones to tell the Americans that ‘all options would be on the table’, if they invaded Syria. I think WW3 would be over and done with by now, if he hadn’t.

    84. Robert Kerr says:

      I am now getting very very annoyed with this “spoiler” approach by the British State.

      This is now really very personal and bodes ill for us all.

      Our rulers are very evil people and as I have posted before whatever the result of the referendum may be things shall never be the same again.

      Motivation. We shall win!

    85. Big Jock says:

      Its a subliminal way of trying to get people to associate Salmond and indie Scotland with a dictatorship.Put Salmon’s in with a picture of the devil and he becomes the devil.The sad thing is the amount of people I hear saying they hate Salmon’s.They have created the hatred in their heads by subliminally associating him with invented stories in the msm.Cameron and the Tories should be the enemy but the no side have fallen for the trick of hating someone sticking up for their nation.Its hard to get your head around.But its a bit like Celtic fans who hate the Union flag and Irish partitioning.Then go and vote to maintain the British state.I know many who do this and its twisted logic.I know many other Celtic fans who realise the real Scots are not the bitter Brit brigade types,but almost a separate nationality.Together we must unite Catholic,Protestant,black white Christian, Muslim.To give the Brits the elbow and reclaim our nation.

    86. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Just in case anyone here had any illusions about the stance of the SNP and UKIP I can confirm that they are both in fact one and the same…apparently! 😛

      http://tinyurl.com/m568saj

    87. Piemonteis says:

      O/T, but regarding MSM and anti-independence stories nonetheless.

      I’ve just been listening to the Scottish Independence Podcast from last week, this time with Joan McAlpine. Among other issues, they were talking about the post-30th May restrictions on impartiality on broadcasting media, and again the issue of the BBC/STV “headlines sections” came up, in which they can flash up a number of post-indy front pages from the main establishment newspapers.

      Rev. Stu, are there any plans to publish – online – a daily newspaper-style front page with the key WoS story/viewpoint/critique of the day?

      Despite the bias, the BBC and ITV will be obliged to make some effort at impartiality, and if a pro-indy front page is available to counter the anti-indy front pages of the Scotsman, Herald, Daily Mail, etc., they might be impelled to broadcast it.

      I know the social media has made some inroads in terms of discussion on the Saturday edition of GMS, where there’s enough time to discuss stories in detail, but something more impacting might be useful for TV media.

    88. JLT says:

      I think Mr Salmond’s speech today is one that was beautifully layered. Peel back the layers, and you find a new argument all the time

      1. He is telling Europe that Scotland wants to be part of the bigger European Community. That it is willing to work and share in their vision. That Scotland will not place obstacles or make demands as Westminster has.

      2. That Scotland is not the problem. That London is the problem. It is a xenophobic city; it is a greedy city; it is a corrupt city …and Scotland now …wants nothing to do with it any longer.

      3. He is telling Westminster and that wee toe-rag, William Hague, that they can bugger off now. If Westminster won’t speak on Scotland’s behalf, then ‘f*** it, we’ll do it openly, and do it ourselves!’ It’s two fingers at wee Willie Hague, and two fingers at Westminster! You had umpteen chances to get this sorted. Enough is enough. Sometimes, you just have to grab the bull by the horns yourself.

      4. Point 3 is also telling the EU that Scotland is ‘no longer’ under Westminster’s control. That the will of the Scottish people will no longer be held back; that it is transcending British Politics, and now has a freedom; the will and the belief that it can do better in the greater world. Simply …Westminster no longer speaks for Scotland.

      5. His dialogue is one of friendliness and co-operation. Compare that with Cameron, Thatcher, Major and Blair who provoked, annoyed and negated, then to European eyes, it becomes very apparent that Scotland and England are two very different countries with very different attitudes.

      What the papers did today was truly negative, disgusting, untruthful and cowardly. They should be ashamed of themselves. The one good thing I noticed throughout the day was that no one bought the lie! No one condemned Salmond. Everyone knows that this is just media bullshit now. They’ve told that many now that it’s got to the stage that its ‘the boy who cried wolf’. Simply no-one believes it.

      For Westminster, this is another day where their grip on Scotland became even more fragile. They really must be wondering how they can put this ever growing elusive Genie back in its bottle.

    89. G H Graham says:

      Even if Alex Salmond’s interview with GQ was yesterday, it would make no difference to his point or position or anlaysis.

      His exclamation of Putin is quite correct. And of course he doesn’t applaud his annexation of Crimea. He made that quite clear but it matters not to the jingoistic British/English media which treats the electorate as if they are still in primary school.

      Only in January was the British Foreign Office identified by the Russians as being the department that contacted people close to Putin in an attempt to rally to Britain’s cause & help prevent Scotland achieving independence.

      British governments are notorious for behaving like two faced schizophrenics while holding a big gun.

    90. Doug Daniel says:

      “But EU law prevents both us and Scottish local authorities from making that living wage a requirement in public sector contracts.”

      Well that’s interesting. I’m sure that’s precisely what some folk on the left use as an example of something the Scottish Government could do now but doesn’t. I had no idea EU law prevented it.

      I’m a Europhile, but the EU doesn’t half make it difficult sometimes…

    91. Rod MacKay says:

      BBC journo’s vote agin CBI and Business for Scotland letter to Patten up on the B f S site.

    92. Marcia says:

      The MSM obviously annoyed that Putin did not jump to brief against the Yes side when Wee Willie Haig asked him to a wee while ago. Weren’t they close pals then?

    93. wingman 2020 says:

      O/T But connected.

      The US / UK send in agents to agitate and destabilise a government… That’s in aid of Global peace.

      The US/UK criticise other large governments and introduce sanctions, thats foreign policy.

      The US/UK send in their Ambassadors to support their preferred Dictator.. that’s diplomacy.

      The US/UK send in troops to foreign countries, thats counter terrorism.

      Putin makes moves to protect Russian interests.. that’s aggression and a danger to world peace.

    94. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @Rod MacKay says:
      BBC journo’s vote agin CBI and Business for Scotland letter to Patten up on the B f S site.

      The BBC have definitely been Auntie-Democratic.

      🙂

    95. wingman 2020 says:

      There are always two sides to a story, unless you see news and twitter feeds from both countries. Fact: You don’t get 100% truth from BBC or Pravda. Best way to find out what is happening is online.

      Consider this, Russia’s gas pipeline runs through Ukraine. It is strategically and economically important to them.

      The US and UK promised Putin that the countries that left Russia when the USSR broke up, would not be allowed to join NATO and EU. They broke that promise. They have agitated and interfered in the Ukraine politics.

      Is it any wonder Putin is reacting?

      What do the UK or US do when they have to protect their own strategic interests? Yes, we justify anything we do.

      Hypocrisy abounds.

      Funny how there are a different set of principles, terms and rules for Scottish Independence versus Ukraine? Surely, the people in Ukraine who wish to be part of Mother Russia are Unionists, not separatists?

      And shouldn’t Russia and Ukraine be Better Together? You know, part of a bigger state, stronger, more secure, shared history… etc

      Nah… not when its suits UK internal propaganda.

    96. Brian Nicholson says:

      And let us not forget that on the date of that interview, Putin and Russia were still charter members of the G-8, the international cartel of economic powers that include the UK, the USA, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Japan. Even more damning is that after the Crimean adventure, Russia was not expelled from the G-8 merely suspended. I guess the leaders of those seven countries must still have some admiration for a part of what Putin brings to their table.

      Lastly, is it not passing strange that the Russian oligarchs still funding the UK London economy are continuing unabated.

      check please.

    97. bookie from hell says:

      unionist fishy tales about Alex EU

    98. seanair says:

      Arbroath 1320
      At least the Speccie’s writer Sebastian Payne (who he?) is getting panned in the comments for rubbish journalism.

    99. caz-m says:

      I hope all you Sunday Herald readers bin that piece of shit.

      I put the headlines in today’s Herald on a par with the Swastika Saltire that Scotland on Sunday insultingly put on their front page.

      There is not one newspaper in Scotland that is worth buying. For all I care the lot of them can go down the drain.

    100. Arbroath 1320 says:

      seanair says:

      Arbroath 1320
      At least the Speccie’s writer Sebastian Payne (who he?) is getting panned in the comments for rubbish journalism.

      So he should for writing that garbage. 😛

      I see that whilst the First Minister is getting panned by the Better Together mouthpieces a.k.a. the press they seem to have over looked a wee ditty that I thought might have been worthy of a wee mention, if for no other reason than to prove that the warmonger Blair is still free and alive and well!

      http://tinyurl.com/m53jj7n

      So the First Minister says something almost TWO months ago and it is taken and split and turned upside down, back to front and spat back in his face. Meanwhile the war criminal Blair says anything he likes about Putin and ….oh look SQUIRRELS!

    101. RogueCoder says:

      @caz-m
      Don’t be too hard on them – they gave us this excellent rebuttal that Angus MacNeil just plastered all over Twitter 😀

      https://twitter.com/AngusMacNeilMP/status/460870395374342144/photo/1

    102. seanair says:

      Brilliant letter to Lord King, DG of BBC in London by Business for Independence, asking all the right questions about the CBI affair, but will they get any answers?

    103. caz-m says:

      RogueCoder

      Do you think Alex Salmond maybe playing a wee game with Cameron and Putin.

      Play the two of them against each other, them they cant be seen again as being on the same side.

      Maybe, just maybe, Alex knows exactly what he is doing.

    104. scottish_skier says:

      I hope all you Sunday Herald readers bin that piece of shit.

      Aye. I was coming close to getting a subscription after having given up on it many years ago.

      Nae chance. That ridiculous Putin headline actually screams ‘We think you are thick as pig shit people of Scotland. That is our honest opinion of you. Seriously. Now buy this paper.

      Will continue with the Sunday Herald if it looks like it has decent balance but, as usual, in paper form so the wee dug and new puppy can make use of it too at night.

    105. john king says:

      Ivan McKee says
      “Yes projects are most deserving for the surplus).”

      What about Yes in the glen? they tried and failed to raise enough to hold a yes rally in Dunfermline Glen.

    106. turnbul drier says:

      @Arbroath

      “xenophobic? Check” WHIT! I’ve read some bat shit mental stuff in my time, but that takes the borbon.

      oh, excellent speech, very clever, just the right balance of carrot and stick.

    107. Chic McGregor says:

      Ivan,

      Currently in Kirriemuir we are using money from a small fundraiser for our local Yes shop.

      So far we have set up a computer which displays a loop of indy Yes material in the shop window 24/7. With this we are able to display a lot of excellent pro-yes material from the likes of indyposterboy and lots of other sources. It also displays ads for on line resources, local Yes public meetings and events. e.g. recently we had memorium loop run for a few days for Margot.

      The concept seems to be working well.

      I am hoping we will be able to make a youtube video soon and ‘sell’ the idea to the approx 200 other Yes shops in Scotland.

      We could have a situation where throughout Scotland many thousands of people would have casual access to a kind of ‘indy TV’. That is my dream at the moment.

      We managed to do a lot of it with spare unused equipment local members had. I expect that might often be the case at other locales. But some might need a bit of dosh to help set it up.

      We also have an indoor monitor (running from the same computer) with headphones and a comfy seat where folk who come in can listen to an AV of their choice like a Tommy Sheridan or Ivan McKee presentation. We are also hoping to provide most of the better AV as well as a pdf with hyperlinks to all the best on line sites on a DVD the visitors can take away.

      Currently the window loop is about 25mins long but growing. and we have several hours of selected A-V.

      I think this could do a great job for the indy campaign simply by providing a medium which folk would be more inclined to stop and read but it could also grow into something more coordinated and get ‘instant respponses’ out there the MSM are likely to ignore.

      To give you some idea here are a couple of gifs I recently uploaded to my dropbox. They are very much shrunk versions of what is actually displayed (1025 X 1680).

      The first is our local Kirrie Aye TV splash/Frontpage the second is a couple of typical indyposterboy posters.

      Not sure if gifs need the http:// removing or not so might need to repost.

      This first is the main Kirrie Aye TV splash page and it is very particular to Kirriemuir.

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/99y5kdrqydyxazp/AyeTV_Ad_400.gif

      This second is indyposterboy stuff and is more generically applicable and 90% of the loop on display is similarly of that ilk.

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/5r5gxkccif7jdw6/Boo_Doormat_400.gif

      So what do you think of the idea? (Feel like I’m pitching to a dragon here).

    108. Ann says:

      Brillaint speech.

      Alex Salmond reminds me of JFK and Martin Luther King.

      Masters of the spoken word where if broadcast I think people would have been listening with absolute belief in what he was saying.

    109. Correct, wingman 2020. The overthrow of a democratically elected Government in Ukraine was engineered by the U.S because their aim was to surround Russia with a ring of missile bases, and this country was one of the last links in that chain. In this case, Putin is merely protecting Russian interests, although the violence that has resulted is dreadful.

    110. caz-m says:

      Let’s see just how tough the UK Government are regarding Russia.

      The London bankers have already warned Hague that, under NO circumstances will you do anything to upset Russia, they have too much money invested in our banks.

      You’re move Hague. Ya big mouthed wee arse.

    111. Andy smith says:

      O/t surely the real story today was the one where Bernie Ecclestone has done a secret deal with HMRC,seemingly avoiding potential tax bill of 1.2bn, instead just paying 10m. That sum wouldn’t even cover costs considering they’ve spent 9 years investigating him.Apologies if someone has already posted on this.

    112. ronnie anderson says:

      A protest demonstration is long over due at Pacific Quay

      Bbc/Stv/DailyRecord.

    113. Arel says:

      “I hope all you Sunday Herald readers bin that piece of shit.”

      A big big let down with that piece today on Salmond/Putin. I was beginning to warm to “The Herald” for its more balanced reporting in recent weeks. Not after today. Dumped the “Daily Record” about 8 months ago so now fighting with the other half for a read of her “Woman’s Own”.

    114. Chic McGregor says:

      @Ivan

      Sorry, these links don’t work, drop box doesn’t run gifs apparently. I’ve uploaded them to photobucket

      Kirrie Aye TV:

      http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f390/chicmac/AyeTV_Ad_400.gif

      Indyposterboy:

      http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f390/chicmac/Boo_Doormat_400.gif

      Hope I haven’t fucked it up this time.

    115. Ian Brotherhood says:

      A wee personal milestone – took my Mum on her usual Tesco shop earlier this evening. We often discuss the referendum etc, but she’s a DM reader and as staunch a No as you’d find anywhere.

      Unprompted, she raised the AS/Putin story. I was prepared for the usual ‘I can’t stand that man’ routine. Instead, she said, ‘You know, it’s always the same. When they can’t beat someone they try to smear them.’

      I nearly drove off the road.

      If my Mum is becoming a DK, let alone a Yes then we’re looking at a 75%+ victory.

      Seriously. I gave her an Aye Right business card – she smiled, said thanks, and stuck it in her purse.

    116. Ivan McKee says:

      @John King; @ Chic McGregor

      I like both ideas, but not up to me.

      Lets get some dialogue going on here then maybe we can organise a poll later on to pick between the best ideas.

      In the meantime publicise Mark’s ride as widely as possible so we can get the total fund built up (the guy is really putting himself out there for this and deserves the support).

      https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rome-to-home-1421-miles-on-a-bike-for-yes/x/2717166#home

      ps Yes Clydesdale won the 1st ‘Yellow Jersey’ for most cash contributed in their name over the last stage.

    117. caz-m says:

      Arel

      I actually tried reading a Daily Record last week.

      It was lying on a table, so I decided to have a look inside and see why everybody keeps buying it.

      It was the biggest piece of nonsense I have ever attempted to read. It took about 20 seconds to get from one end to the other.

      It was a cross between the Dandy and Women’s Own.

      Never again.

    118. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Over the 700 mark – thanks to all. Have seen a good few familiar names in the comments.

      https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/lord-patten-chairman-bbc-trust-cancel-bbc-membership-of-the-cbi

    119. Midgehunter says:

      Over the years I’ve really come to admire how A S has evolved into the able statesman that he is.

      With that very subtle speech in Bruges I think he not only presented the case for an independent Scotland in Europe, but also left his calling card that he is going to be one of the great future statesmen of Europe.

    120. Croompenstein says:

      @Ivan – I went to contribute to Mark’s ride but paypal isn’t an option, can it be added as an option?

    121. caz-m says:

      Hello there Ivan

      You and your team are doing a grand job.

      Keep up the great work, we are all right there with you.

    122. joe kane says:

      I wonder how many Russian children the state bureaucrats of the evil Putin government have the power to starve to death?

      Single parents of pre-school children face new sanctions threat
      Gingerbread
      28 Apr 2014
      http://gingerbread.org.uk/news/251/income-support-sanctions-risk

    123. Ivan McKee says:

      @Croompenstein.

      Didn’t put Paypal on as an option as they take a %, but we can add it. I’ll look into that tomorrow.

    124. caz-m says:

      Ian Brotherhood

      Is that the same petition as a couple of days ago???

    125. EphemeralDeception says:

      Oh my God! Where can I start.

      It seems to me that this referendum has achieved a critical mass and has a life of its own beyond the control of any entity. This is probably, overall, a good thing.

      Salmond is for sure a great asset but he is just one voice nevertheless, and does have his detractors. But what a voice!

      Discussing with some Catalan colleagues, they are waiting with baited breath: The Scottish question – YES or NO.

      Make no mistake a YES result is going to have huge consequences world wide and it is no surprise that various interests would prefer a NO, just to keep the lid on things.
      This is a major test of European values and democracy versus vested interests.

      So come on Scotland, light the torch!

    126. Nana Smith says:

      @Ian Brotherhood

      Re your mum possibly turning onto YES,what changed my friends mind was the national conscription bill going through parliament. She is now reading everything she can get her hands on to do with the referendum. It might help your mum decide especially if she has grandkids.

      http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2013-14/nationalservice.html

    127. call me dave says:

      Ian Brotherhood

      Good for you mum!. Hope you gave her a wee kiss too.

      PS.

      Nice to hear AS talking Scotland up. It’s years since I have heard Scotland saying something good about itself and what it stood for. 🙂

    128. bunter says:

      I note Gavin Hewitts summary on Salmonds speech says that an indy Scotlands path to EU membership will not be straight forward.

      Seems he is giving an opinion a la Mr Marr and the BBC no?

    129. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @caz-m –

      Yep. Well, Thursday evening.

    130. Chic McGregor says:

      @Ivan

      OK. Just checking you got the animated gis in my second post. I screwed up by using dropbox the first time.

    131. bobdog collie says:

      Now can you imagine JoLa making a speech like that or even getting permission to do so, I shudder to think what might befall us if she or her kind win the 2016 election and actually negotiate on our behalf anything to do with running our country
      Be a good girl ,run along now and make the tea

    132. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Nana Smith –

      !!!

      National conscription?! First I’ve heard of it.

      Yeah, I think I will let the old dear know about this.

    133. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @bobdog collie –

      I can imagine JoLa reading any of the great speeches of all time, but I can’t imagine her doing so without making each and every one sound like a punishment exercise.

    134. Ivan McKee says:

      @ Chic

      Got them, look good.

    135. Nana Smith says:

      @Ian Brotherhood

      There is also a change.org petition against it with a lot of signatures.

      http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/david-cameron-pm-stop-the-national-service-bill-2013-14

    136. john king says:

      Ann says @9.21pm
      You took the words right out of my mouth ,Alex Salmond is growing in stature and the speech in Bruges may well go down in history as the day Scotland spoke to the world and the world liked what it heard!

      Alex is quickly becoming OUR Martin Luther King
      and so they come to fight us, next stage? WE WIN.

    137. Robert Peffers says:

      That is perhaps the most statesman like speech I have witnessed in my entire life, (and I’ve been around a fair while).

    138. call me dave says:

      Aye conscription…here is a bit of background.

      http://thebackbencher.co.uk/national-service-bill-is-a-violation-of-freedom/

    139. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Nana Smith –

      Signed, gladly. Cheers.

    140. Croompenstein says:

      Have a wee vote on this. The survey is halfway down the page, past the video link. There are 4 questions and then hit see previous responses and just wow..

      http://www.channel4.com/news/scotland-independence-alex-salmond-sterling-pound-europe

    141. fergie35 says:

      Pity none of Eck’s words will get thru the Brit media.
      Could you imagine Johann doing an international speech?!?

    142. Chic McGregor says:

      @Ivan

      Good. But bear in mind these are very low res compared to what we actually use on the 24″ monitor. There is no ‘pixelation’ on the shop display.

      BTW the monitor is used in portrait rotation rather than landscape, since that is the format of most of the appropriate material (posters, leaflets etc.)

    143. The Rough Bounds says:

      At Margo’s memorial service her husband Jim Sillars said words to the effect that her dying wish was that at one minute past 10pm on 18th September, no matter the outcome of the referendum, we must all put our differences to one side and work together for the good of the nation.

      I’ve thought about these words and the noble sentiments expressed but I’m sorry Jim, for after today, no matter how the referendum goes I will never, ever, forgive the unionist campaigners and the MSM for the disgraceful way in which they have conducted themselves throughout this whole episode in our country’s history.

      I will of course work with my neighbours etc. because they have been lied to and misinformed since the independence referendum campaign started so it isn’t really their fault, but I wouldn’t bat an eyelid if the Press, the BBC and STV went up in smoke and every one of the unionist politicans and other rogues who had lied about Scotland was thrown out of a job and ended up sprawling in the gutter.

    144. call me dave says:

      Croompenstein

      Hope that survey reflects the voting pattern on 18th September.

    145. HandandShrimp says:

      The Brit media, aka Severin, is trying to spin it that Salmond has held a gun to the heads of loveable kittens.

      I think we can take it that this means the speech was good and a rearguard action is required to put out the flames.

    146. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Like you said Croompenstein WOW!

      12968 (87%) eligible to vote in referendum
      1913 (13%) not eligible to vote in referendum

      12422 (83%) in favour of independence
      2459 (17%) not in favour of independence

      12342 (83%) in favour of keeping sterling as currency
      2539 (17%) not in favour of keeping sterling as currency

      13419 (90%) in favour of Scotland being allowed to join EU
      1462 (10%) not in favour of Scotland being allowed to join EU

      Erm I’m thinking this NOT what the programme wanted to see when they set up their poll. Looks like it’s back to the drawing board folks we need a more fixed set of questions please. 😛

    147. Weedeochandorris says:

      @john king Aye, agreed Alex is like our M L King. I hope he is watching his back tho, we know what happened to those two greats MLK and JFK. I would put nothing past the dark forces who know they are on a slippery slope. However, they know the whole world is watching and waiting. I think it’ll be one big party when we win and there will be celebrations far beyond our own borders 🙂

    148. Chic McGregor says:

      @HandandShrimp

      “The Brit media, aka Severin”

      Excuse me, but agent Severin Snape only appears to be working for the dark side. Secretly, he is working for the light side and may even ultimately sacrifice himself for the cause.

    149. john king says:

      the rough bounds says
      “I will of course work with my neighbours etc. because they have been lied to and misinformed since the independence referendum campaign started so it isn’t really their fault, but I wouldn’t bat an eyelid if the Press, the BBC and STV went up in smoke and every one of the unionist politicians and other rogues who had lied about Scotland was thrown out of a job and ended up sprawling in the gutter.”

      I’m struggling to find something to disagree with in that statement,
      Beyond the Pale is the phrase that comes to mind!

    150. Jim Bo says:

      Fantastic bold speech. Good on you Mr Salmond!

      @Ian great story about yer mum. Funnily enough, today for the first time my dad told me that he’s now pretty much made his mind up to vote Yes!

      Can’t wait for the next polling figures.

    151. Tam Jardine says:

      I have bought the Herald on and off for about a decade with a haitus after they filleted the staff and paper a few years ago. Switch to the Independent until it turned out to be editorially against Independence.

      I have put up with Torrance and that clown Gardham because of Ian Bell and Iain Macwhirter. They’ve lost a reader today forever, and I will not be the only one.

      I am getting sick in my stomach of this shite day in day out. Are we living in Airstrip One? The elected leader of my country has his character besmirched by a grand cabal of the ruling class and their lapdog In the media. On the day he makes a speech that not a single other politician in the UK can make. We are blessed to have him.

      I agree with much that has been said above. 2 points:

      1. When are we going to get some high level support from Europe? Our friends need to start making some more positive noises and realise that the order is rapidly fading and we are an ally worth their support. Alex’ speech invites respect and a response from his fellow European leaders.

      2. I don’t want to continue bleating about the same rotten machiavellian intrigue, smear, lies, abuse and innuendo from Westminster and the stunted zeros in the press and television. The good Rev is taking it to the enemy and we need to all do the same. Talking round colleagues, friends and family is essential but the message deserves a wider audience.

      We need big ideas to take the machine on. I don’t want to sit through a the last 5 months of this 2 year hatchet job sitting on my hands. Sorry for ranting been fucking furious about the herald all day.

    152. Robert Peffers says:

      Amazing!
      STV featuring that FM speech right now.

    153. “I think Mr Salmond’s speech today is one that was beautifully layered. Peel back the layers, and you find a new argument all the time.”

      Definitely agree. He was neither begging nor laying down the law, and no threats or bullying ultimatums.

      Salmond, I believe, has embarked on the next step of the independence campaign, signalling to Europe and the wider world that a modern, responsible Scotland, intent on playing a co-operative part in world affairs, is about to hit the scene.

      This can’t be done by basically slagging off the leaders of other countries. There has to be some pro as well as anti commentary, positive suggestions as well as ideas for improvement, if Scotland is to be accepted as an independent nation, standing apart, but co-operating with rUK. Compare AS’s speech today in Bruges to any European speech of Cameron’s. The differences are clear to see.

      AS will have made an impact today and his statesmanlike appearance on the European scene will have been noted where it matters.

    154. haud on the noo says:

      Rough b, I’m with you . Those media and politicians who have systematically denigrated Scotland and lied daily can rot.

    155. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Well what do you know the Better Together mob seem to have a bit of a battle on their hands. On the one hand they are fighting and failing to win any battle they start against Scottish independence. Now it appears Better Together’s big bosses are allegedly to gang up on UKIP. 😛

      http://tinyurl.com/orbcpla

      Hmm, I wonder if Blair McDougall is about to get an imminent promotion here? 😉

    156. Papadox says:

      I felt proud watching and listening to Alex Salmond in Bruges today. The First Minister of my country and for the first time in 67 years my country was in its proper place in the world, and it felt really good.

      Then I got to see wee willie Haig performing in the cesspool that is Westminster a poisonous viper. I want nothing to do with them.

      @rough bounds
      Unfortunately i agree with your sentiment and feelings. However Westminster/Establishment are bringing in on themselves. So let it be!

    157. Les Wilson says:

      Tam Jardine says:

      Tam, I agree with your sentiments, somehow we need to put a spoke in their wheel.

      I must also say, again, this was a great speech, from a superior statesman. No one can touch him here in the Uk,he is leagues above the Westminster trash.We are very lucky he is working for us. Well done Alex!

    158. msean says:

      Kept asking questions,then interrupting there,let’s see if Mr Campbell gets same treatment lol.Has it been made clear yet when the interview was given,I only heard yet to be published?

    159. msean says:

      No interruptions yet here.

    160. caz-m says:

      Ming Campbell on STV Tonight giving it, UK good, Scotland bad.

      Instead of trying to run down Alex Salmond, he should have been answering questions about what him and David Steel knew about the Cyril Smith child abuse allegations.

    161. natfisher says:

      I’m noticing BBC Scotland TV News Presenters starting to look stressed. Jackie Bird seems to be loosing weight and haggard, and tonight even Sally Magnusson was looking tired!

      The daily deception must be wearing and ultimately unhealthy.
      Hopefully the conspiracy is starting to unravel.

      ps. Only sociopaths and psychopaths can lie daily without health consequences from stress hormone.

      pps. I’ve spotted at least a dozen psychopaths in the previous BlairBrown Labour and Thatcher Tory governments. They’re very very very dangerous individuals.

    162. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Q: What’s the difference between Ming Campbell and a Coelacanth?

      A: The Coelacanth was useful, and helped answer some difficult questions, despite being a fish.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coelacanth

    163. Camz says:

      @heedtracker

      Note the correnspodent’s words:

      “So Alex Salmond arrives as an enthusiastic European, which no doubt will be well-received, but the path to EU membership for an independent Scotland will not be straightforward.”

      Translation:

      So a politician is positive, but we don’t like him, so we’ll end on a negative stances.

    164. jacksloan2013 says:

      Gordon Brewer on extended Newsnight ‘debate’ with panel of ‘experts’ who he introduced as unbiased. They are far from that and apart from being as dull as dishwater just seem to be intent on rubbishing White Paper. They have also clearly never heard of Radical Scotland or Commonweal proposals. Utterly pathetic as ever from BBC.

    165. Flower of Scotland says:

      Signed against National Service and did the channel 4 survey . Good results from that.

      Great speech by Alex Salmond! Getting more and more frustrated with all Scottish news on TV and in the papers! Ming is my MP. He comes on TV and I turn it off. Turn over and Gordon Brewer is on. The state of my blood pressure is important to me , so if anything important has been said it will end up on this site and I can read it here amongst friends without losing it!!

    166. Clootie says:

      Ming Campbell the man whose lack of political competence was laid bare when he tried to run a 2nd rate party.

      This is a man I would never trust. The self interest is blatant. At least Charles Kennedy had my respect if not my vote but it has been a party in rapid decline since then.

    167. Chic McGregor says:

      The LibDem slogan for the euros is ‘IN’.

      So does that make Menzies Campbell, Ming IN.

      I’d vote yes.

      In fact I am voting Yes.

    168. Arbroath 1320 says:

      WOW Clootie, I didn’t know they were rated that high! 😛

    169. ronnie anderson says:

      Have Igot news for you Bbc1,who joined the BT campain this

      week, Gordon Brown panel he,s very popular in Scotland

      with some people, Martin Clunes yes the Midgies.

    170. Ian Mackay says:

      That the Alex Salmond Putin remark is being media played at all shows the utter desperation of the Better Together campaign.

      A remark made weeks ago – before the Crimea referendum and the Russian invasion of Ukraine – and a fairly innocuous one at that; stating that Putin has given Russia some pride, suddenly surfaces the day the First Minister speaks to the EU?

      The media is either idiotic or complicit to seriously run this story.

      If it wasn’t a story weeks ago, why is it suddenly a story now? Answer: its a distraction.

      Its so old, even fish & chip shops would be embarrassed to use it!

      If that’s all that Better Together has left in their arsenal then they are truly f**ked! By this action they have effectively admitted defeat.

      I’m wondering if this was the brainwave of their new recruit Frank Roy to try and gee up what few campaigners Better Together have left? You would have thought they would have at least tried to look professional even if they knew they had no grass-root activists! Such an amateur effort.

      They already know no-one believes them. I’m struggling to wonder what they think is the gain in the story other than distraction.

      Better Together: truly the worst magicians ever! Now everyone knows what bullshit is up their sleeves!

    171. Mosstrooper says:

      100% agree Rough Bounds. May they rot in Hell. Give me my country BACK!

    172. heedtracker says:

      O/t Very weird experience on telly, an actual indy debate on bbc 2 via Brewer and its interesting and I don’t want to throw telly out of the window and even Brewer looks like he may even be a human being.

    173. jacksloan2013 says:

      Gordon Brewer ended up saying to the’experts’ on Newsnight that while the referendum debate ‘might’ be important it is not addressing the issues!

    174. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Being ‘the fastest white man on the planet’ in 1967 is, admittedly, a big deal, but that’s not why Ming ‘Yes, It’s Me Yet Again’ Campbell keeps cropping up.

      FFS – go check Wikipedia about him. What has he ever said or done that merits the status and deference he so clearly feels entitled to?

      In the context of the referendum he is a total irrelevance, and I’m not being ‘ageist’ here – we all know ‘young’ folk who are every bit as decrepit and devoid of ideas e.g. Blair McDougall.

    175. jacksloan2013 says:

      “Brewer looks like he may even be a human being”.
      Sorry, like many interviewers on TV if not actors they are certainly ‘programmed’.

    176. heedtracker says:

      @ jacksloan2013, true but most of his work is a load shit basically. He sat and let that business bloke get away with all kinds of rubbish too but that’s the BBC in Scotland. How about this for business innovation, Scotland pumps Scottish money into Scottish infrastructure in exact same way Westminster do in the super heating teamGB south east economic powerhouse? Vote YES.

    177. Democracy Reborn says:

      Johann’s Bruge speech:-

      “Are yeese aw listenin at the back there? Can ye hear me awrite?

      Right, ah’ll get started then. Ah cannae be too long, Archie’s lookin efter the weans & ah’ve got tae get back tae gie them their tea. Because, do yeese aw know that unlike that SALMOND chancer, ah’m a mither & ah’ve GOT weans??… But w’ur no here tae talk aboot that. Wu’r here tae talk aboot Scotland in Europe.

      Noo, the first thing tae say is that Scotland’s awready IN Europe. Ye see, w’ur part of the UK. W’ur better the gither. We [looks down at script] ‘pool oor resources & share the risks’. We punch above oor weight – honest, we dae – oor Mags & big Jim telt me. Ye see, whit yeese don’t understond is that we’re a big country, & whit’s good fur the UK is always good fur Scotland. And we’ve got loadsa votes by the way. We can outvote you wee numpty countries – aye, ah’m looking at you Denmark – any time. And Austria, ah don’t know whit you’re laughing at, why did yoose no jist join up wi the Germans & let them represent ye? It’s pure dead brilliant!

      Salmond was spouting that pish aboot ‘renewables’ and aw that. Whit?? Listen, that disnae matter tae the mithers & faithers in Pollok. Whit matters is if they’ve got ENOUGH money tae pay thur leckie & gas bills, & if the local foodbank’s stocked up (by the way, have yeese got foodbanks here? Thur dain a roarin trade back hame).

      So really whit ah’m saying is, all this aboot Scotland being ‘independent’ in Europe is pure kak. Ah don’t need tae dress masel in tartan tae know whit’s good fur the working class. It’s no gonnie happen. And if it did happen, yeese wouldnae even let Scotland intae Europe, would yeese? Scotland would huv tae go tae the back o’ the queue. It’d take donks. Thur would be RISKS! Are yeese forgetting Kosovo?

      Anway, that’s aboot aw ah wanted tae say. But jist before ah go, whit did yeese think aboot whit Salmond said aboot Putin? Shockerooni! Ah’m telling ye, he’s gonnie get pelters in the press…..” [Council of Europe member interrupts : “Ladies & gentleman, I think that’s lunch”…]

    178. CameronB says:

      Ian Mackay
      I’m not disagreeing with your general point, but what Russian invasion of Ukraine?

    179. Ian Brotherhood says:

      * Special Appeal to Alan Mackintosh *

      If you happen to see this, could you please re-send that link to Danny Alexander’s gig last week? Can’t find it…

      I don’t know how many views it’s had by now, but it doesn’t appear to have had any coverage.

      The Q&A session was awesome – folk deserve to see how that man behaves in front of his own constituents before taking any lectures from him later this week.

    180. Chic McGregor says:

      @ian
      “Being ‘the fastest white man on the planet’ in 1967”

      I thought that was Cyril Smith? Oh sorry, did you say ‘fastest’?

    181. Kenny says:

      What the actual fuck is this on Newsnicht? Susan Deacon is quite clearly not an unbiased expert. The woman who actually understood the childcare issue gave her spiel (the most coherent argument of the segment) and without comment, Brewer went to the economist, saying “you say the case is unproven though?” No-one else sent back to her argument at all. At least they didn’t have the gall to put a CBI bod kn as the Voice Of Business.

    182. Famous15 says:

      Brewer’s Panel on newsnight :

      Prof Jo Armstrong,Glasgow U (as “ahem” neutral as…)

      Phil Hanlon,Glasgow Public Health,very interesting

      Prof Rummery Stirling U (she says she is an incomer but I guess supports YES)

      Prof Susan Deacon,ex Labour MSP and in cabinet.

      Prof Pauline Banks

      Dave Moxham STUC

      David Watts,Institute of Directors

      The only one I distrusted,as opposed to agreeing to differ was Jo Armstrong,the others I could have a worthwhile discussion with,including Susan Deacon!

    183. CameronB says:

      O/T

      Nicola Walker, CBI Director for Business Environment, said:

      “It’s good to have cross-party support for HS2, and political consensus is crucial to the successful delivery of all large-scale, long-term infrastructure projects.

      “Research carried out on behalf of the CBI shows the public wants to hear the benefits of national infrastructure clearly explained in terms of local concerns, rather than national economic arguments.

      “It’s therefore important that we continue to make the public case for HS2, a project that will deliver new rail capacity, better connections between our largest cities and regenerate local economies.”

      http://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2014/04/cbi-comments-ahead-of-hs2-vote/

    184. CameronB says:

      O/T

      John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said:

      “We cannot sit on our hands when the West Coast Main Line is set to reach full capacity by the 2020s and freight will be squeezed.

      “Extending HS2 to the North is the project’s big prize. It will boost the economic potential of some of our biggest cities, driving growth and creating jobs across the country. This is the same bold, long-term thinking that helped the Victorians build our original network.

      “HS2 cannot be built in isolation so we need sustained, additional capital investment in existing road and rail networks to meet increased demand. Ministers must work hard to secure real consensus on the route, to avoid the project being hit by years of delays.”

      http://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2013/01/extending-hs2-to-manchester-and-leeds-is-the-big-prize-cbi/

    185. caz-m says:

      Sky News reports Billy Connolly comes out as a NO in the Referendum debate.

      The Guests on Sky think Better Together are on a winner, with the Big Yin telling us UK good, Scotland bad. (A bit like Ming)

      I wonder if this is connected to the Frank Roy story,
      playing the sectarian card.

      C’mon all you Celtic fans, their all against us, Vote No.

      We already knew Billy Connolly was a No man, so what’s the big deal.

    186. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I’m getting a bit tired of explaining that the Sunday Herald and the daily Herald are completely different papers with different editors and a completely different editorial line on independence.
      The Herald is anti independence
      The Sunday Herald is pro independence

      Perhaps I can make it simpler. The Herald is one of those big papers like the serious ones always used to be.
      The Sunday Herald is not.

    187. RogueCoder says:

      @ Democracy Reborn
      ROFL! That was ace – I could actually see Johann saying the words!

    188. Chic McGregor says:

      @Democracy Reborn

      Nailed it.

    189. TJenny says:

      Kenny – not only can Susan Deacon NOT be described as an UNBIASED commentator, she’s the partner of John Boothman, BBC Scotland Head of News and Current Affairs. Blatantly biased doesn’t even come close!

    190. rab_the_doubter says:

      Seems Billy Connolly did the interview with the Radio Time which only recently stopped being owned by BBC.
      He sold out years ago with his courting of the Royals, becoming an establishment apologist.

    191. Ian Mackay says:

      Cameron B:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Russian_military_intervention_in_Ukraine

      I suppose it depends if you originally classed Crimea as Ukrainian or Russian.

    192. Arbroath 1320 says:

      rab_the_doubter says:

      Seems Billy Connolly did the interview with the Radio Time which only recently stopped being owned by BBC.
      He sold out years ago with his courting of the Royals, becoming an establishment apologist.

      As far as I’m aware rab this is OLD news. I seem to recall this being reported quite some time ago. I guess there was nothing else to report on and they had a wee corner of the front page to fill in. Oh wait a minute didn’t the First Minister go on a wee jaunt somewhere exotic yesterday. Ach never mind I’m sure Johann will be all over that what ever it was on Thursday. 😛

    193. Steve B says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill It’s just a bit confusing because the two Heralds share the same website and there’s no distinction between articles of the two different papers on that site.

    194. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Steve
      Indeed
      But it’s not a bit confusing if you actually buy the newspapers

    195. jacksloan2013 says:

      Susan Deacon and John Boothman partnership explains a lot. There are just too many of these close woven ties in the Scottish ‘elite’.
      Oh, what a tangled web they weave when first they practice to deceive.

    196. bookie from hell says:

      billy 1999

      Billy Connolly accused SNP of being responsible for a growth in anti-English racism and dismissed the new Scottish Parliament as ”a joke”.

      fair to say he’s a naw

    197. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @SteveB –

      They have completely different editorial teams.

      Someone inside either paper should be able to confirm as much, and – if I may be frank? – it’s a fucking disgrace that no ‘Deep Throat’ has emerged from the SH camp.

      (To Sunday Herald – we ‘know’ you’re pro-Yes, but a wee titbit, tad of encouragement now and then, via here or Twitter, would be a mighty tonic. Not even one of ye’s up for it?)

    198. Way too many conspiracy theorists on here, with regards to Ukraine. Please, for the love of god take your tinfoil-hattery somewhere else.

      Putin is an asshole. A grade-A asshole the likes of the world hasn’t seen since the days of Disraeli. He’s a master of manipulation and he plays his contemporaries like fiddles. A horribe, inhumane man who treats people as nothing more than means to an end, but just as was the case with Disraeli, It’s really difficult to not be able to respect his abilities. I think that’s what Alex Salmond was getting at in the interview (which was conducted months ago, before he took Crimea – By the way, if you support this, you support taking territory away from the native people there, the Tartars, who have always faced insane discrimination in Russia. This is tantamount to a hypothetical where the British government decides to use the English population in Shetland as an excuse to make a land grab after independence.

      Remember, you don’t have to like someone to respect him or her. That’s often lost on the British gutter press though.

      I myself am not a fan of Alex Salmond, however I can respect him for his ability to keep his word on the issues that are important to him. A rare trait in a politician. I can also respect his immense skill and fully acknowledge that there is probably no one else in Scotland who could take the fight to Westminster like he can. Others have tried, but always failed.

      Back to the topic at hand, this is a really great speech. One only has to contrast that with the speeches made in Europe by members of the Westminster clique. Couldn’t have a more different tone if it tried.

    199. TJenny says:

      thoughtsofascot – praise indeed from someone who states they are not a fan of Alex Salmond. Can you say what it is that you dislike? This would be most helpful as that is a common response from those who oppose independence and your answer could prove a useful insight.

      For me, he’s obviously my hero, along with the Rev , natch. 🙂

    200. geeo says:

      1st up, the speech by AS was a masterpiece, a real statesmanlike address reaching out to future close friends and allaying fears driven by those who Alex’s audience well know are unfriendly to them in general.

      Throw us out ?
      Not a hope.

      A Yes majority in september delivers at least around 3 million EU friendly members wishing to continue to be part of it.

      The good thing for me also is Scotland would have a strong deputy FM just as capable as AS. Good god, look at the other main parties, our deputy is more capable than the leaders of those parties.

      “Help me rhona” will possibly go down as THE best moment in this entire referendum campaign apart from a YES vote obviously !!

      Or am i just a sick twisted person ?

    201. Arbroath 1320 says:

      I’m sorry but I’ve just seen this and, well see for yourselves. 😛

      Currently I will not be voting yes.why should I? What will happen to current UK reg numbers if we are no longer part of uk or eu?

    202. geeo says:

      Forgot to say, it has been said by many western leaders that russian rule in crimea will NEVER be recognised by them due to the fact it was an illegal “land grab” against international law.

      *cough*…israeli settlements…*cough*….west bank….*hypocrites*..*cough*

    203. TJenny says:

      geeo – no you’re not a sick twisted person. I actually can’t wait for the after indy movie on the lead up to the referendum, showing real-life clips of Lord Robertson’s ‘Devolution will kill independence stone dead’ through to the ‘risk of Alien Invasion’ (and how prescient was the Rev to include a ‘threat from space monsters’ in the first WOS commissioned poll?).

      Such larks to be had peeps. 🙂

    204. geeo says:

      Guess i must try harder then to be that bad person then !

      “Help me Jenny”..!!!! Tee hee

    205. @TJenny
      praise indeed from someone who states they are not a fan of Alex Salmond. Can you say what it is that you dislike? This would be most helpful as that is a common response from those who oppose independence and your answer could prove a useful insight.

      I wouldn’t say dislike. That’s too strong of a word, I’m decidedly neutral on him. I have a certain level of skepticism towards politicians in general. There have been a few eyebrow raising moments, such as his dalliances with Murdoch and Trump(before that turned sour!) a number of years ago, but everyone makes mistakes and I don’t hold that against him. Admittedly, I have been out of country since the SNP achieved a majority government, so I haven’t been able to see the effects of that, good or bad. I feel that if he is worthy of trust, it will show after independence, and if he is worthy of disdain, that will also show after independence.

      I have a feeling that answer may not be adequate for understanding why the No’s have a vehement dislike of Alex Salmond, So I’ll try and theorize why.

      My guess(and this is only a guess) is that politics is a dirty game and you don’t break into a game like that unless you are willing to get your hands dirty. Especially after the Blair years, this have never been more true in the minds of the public. Not only do people see a politician, they see an ambitious politician, in a land where the average politician merely just wants to do enough to get a bit of ermine. We are all from a land where ambition is unfortunately looked down upon, so right away you have two inbuilt reasons for the distrust of Someone like Salmond.

      He’s also an intriguing and very complex fellow. He’s incredibly difficult to read, and relishes that fact. I see flashes of Machiavellian mischief in his actions, as he certainly knows how to land his opponents in the thick of it(much to his benefit. Others in the political sphere are much more one dimensional. People can read them and have a fair idea of how they will act, for better or worse and feel comfortable with that(even if its to their detriment, the devil you know yadda yadda).

      Nonetheless, that shouldn’t matter as the independence debate is about far more than Alex Salmond.

    206. bookie from hell says:

      Every paper roasting Salmond about Putins comment

      Must of been on buckfast agreeing to be interviewed by AC

    207. john king says:

      geeo says
      “Or am i just a sick twisted person ?”

      sick and twisted? check
      correct? check 🙂

    208. bunter says:

      Looks like The Herald is following the Guardian in twisting Salmonds speech yesterday into being a threat to EU fishing fleets.

      There is something seriously wrong with our media and it looks like we need to start treating The Herald and its Sunday edition like the vile North Britain.

      For those who are still fans of the Sunday edition, I feel that as it has the same owner, and therefore gets your money, it is tarnished by association.

      Just my opinion.

    209. john king says:

      I have a question,
      Why is Jim Murphy buying those guns?
      Is there something we should know?

    210. Ken500 says:

      Salmond and Putin were elected.

      Alex & Co by a landslide. Alex Salmond is an honourable, honest man.

      The US/UK banking sector caused the crisis in Europe, and the rest of the world. Illegal wars etc destabilising the world. The EU refused the Ukraine a loan. The Crimea voted to stay with Russia.

      The majority in the UK agree with Alex Salmond. . The YES vote will increase.

    211. caz-m says:

      For those of you who still stand by the Herald, here is Magnus Gardham’s summary of what was an excellent EU speech by Alex Salmond.

      http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/salmond-under-fire-over-ban-threat-to-eu-fleets.24085596

    212. David Smith says:

      I hope every stinking excuse for a journalist in Scotland complicit in this systematic hate campaign loses their job and never gets anywhere near a keyboard again post indy. I hope they are forever blacklisted in the country and democracy they have so crassly betrayed.
      Scottish mainstream journalistic integrity = Stalinist humanitarianism.

    213. caz-m says:

      I wonder if Magnus Gardham of the Herald is one of those Englishman that has threatened to go “back home” when Scotland becomes an Independent Nation.

      I f**k*n hope so.

      And remember when you are buying your Sunday Herald, you are actually helping to pay the wages of Magnus Gardham.

      It’s a bit like the BBC paying the CBI with your license fee money.

    214. CameronB says:

      caz-m
      David Mundell really is a topper. He was suggesting the other day, that the First Minister is employing ‘divide and conquer techniques’, to split the Union.

      In addition to perhaps being woefully misguided, Gardham didn’t actually contribute much to that article, which is mostly quotes from unionists. These may be quoted correctly, but how valid are they and are they impartial. I doubt it somehow.

      A smear is still a smear, no matter how you present it or whether you contribute mush to the detail.

    215. Ken500 says:

      Ill research ‘journalists’ talking themselves out of a job. A right wing dominated,Westminster controlled Press. A Democracy is supposed to have a balanced Press,

    216. David Smith says:

      I’d sooner trust Jimmy Saville with the babysitting than trust the word of any of these despicable charlatans.
      I hope some of you are reading this, you crass, self serving hacks; so you can see the boundless contempt you have generated for yourselves.
      Perhaps Putin’s approach to ‘problem’ journalists has some merit after all. 😉

    217. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Ian Brotherhood, Your wish is my command…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5KIWz4w0lQ&feature=youtu.be

      Danny boy in Kirkhill, near Inverness. Mon 21st April

    218. scottish_skier says:

      The ramp up on attacks on the FM/SNP is simply down to the Y/N polls closing and SNP share rising / looking good ahead of next month’s EU elections.

      They should increase support for both independence and the SNP. I mean people do remember the run in to the 2007 and 2011 elections?

      Ideally, the Sun will ‘won’ it for the SNP next month with a ‘head in noose’ type front page as per the very successful 2007 one. Fingers crossed here.

      Meantime, give thanks to Gardham for his excellent work in pushing for the SNP to take at least 50% of Scottish MEPs.

    219. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Marcus gardham writes dog whistle copy.

      If he were paid to write an article of Cruft’s and include something about dog abuse with 25 bmentions of Alec Salmond, he would type it on on his wee notebook in double plus shite time.

      Scribbling whores.

    220. Alba4Eva says:

      I see the CWU are putting more pressure on the BBC in a letter last night (story on NNS).
      Went onto the BBC to see what was there and (apart from the ‘CBI Chief to step down’ story), could only find this…

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-27179377

      There can be no more pretence of impartiality from the BBC.

    221. scottish_skier says:

      I’ll add that a not entirely dissimilar situation is occurring in England. The more the British establishment attack UKIP, the larger the vote share the latter will get next month south of the border (which will indirectly boost Yes in Scotland as a bonus).

      The electorate are not stupid. The British establishment treat them like they are. In return, the electorate stick two fingers up.

    222. Alba4Eva says:

      Sorry, still waking up. That should have been NUJ, not CWU… but doesn’t really change my point.

    223. iain taylor (not that one) says:

      Saw an acquaintance label the FM as a megalomaniac (on facebook) about his “threat” to kick the EU out of Scottish fishing grounds.

      Prompted me to read what he actually said.

      His speech is top notch. Balanced and pitched just right for the audience.

      That acquaintance is a Romanian who lives & works in Edinburgh. Very intelligent & well educated. I know she’s a hard line SNP hater, but can’t figure out why.

      Her extreme FB views were backed up by a Hungarian in Edinburgh. Also well educated. Also an SNP hater.

      Do they fancy their chances better in a UK outside the EU, with Farage in a coalition government?

    224. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Caesar!4Eva

      I understand your predicament.

    225. ian foulds says:

      I placed this in’off-topic’ the other day but, as Mr. Salmond’s eloquent talk is highlighted here, I wondered if anybody out there could give me some guidance on off-topic 1 particularly.

      Off-topic 2 is really a point for discussion/consideration.

      ‘Following references on another site, I wondered if the undernoted have been addressed elsewhere?

      Off topic 1 – EU

      I note a number of people are concerned that when we vote Yes, we are lumbered with the EU.

      I can to an extent understand this concern but I thought the EU situation might still be open on 18 September and could still be discussed before the election in 2015 or the one thereafter.

      Further information would be appreciated and if there is still time for it to be discussed after September, this might encourage more to vote YES.’

      Off topic 2 – Protection of the People

      I also note concerns that there is no Common Weal( I don;t mean like the British House of Lords) as a Second Chamber type ‘committee’, which could ensure that the Scottish people are not ‘taken to the cleaners’ by a future Scottish Government.
      Could such a body be appointed from the People in the manner of juries (and thus help minimise both government and such a committee becoming too ‘pally’; with ‘expert’ advisers being available to assist.
      Obviously ths point has to be thought through by people more knowledgeable than I.

    226. Macart says:

      An excellent speech by the FM, highlighting the polar differences in approach to the EU between Holyrood and Westminster. I may yet have to make up my mind between EFTA and EU (an issue for another day), but I am a very hands across the water type of chap and like the idea of an outward looking Scotland.

      The contrast between reading the text and reading what’s been reported of the speech though, that’s a different animal altogether. What the press did yesterday was nothing short of appalling. The Guardian stood out for me last night as a particular villain of the piece. The deliberate attempts to mislead, distort and incite were awful. A number of us BTL posted links to this page literally begging people to come read, look at text and context, to compare and contrast between what had been implied and what was actually said.

      The usual deaf ears.

      I won’t forget anytime soon the part the media has played in this campaign.

    227. Alba4Eva says:

      Democracy Reborn… I hope you can do JLo’s voice, cos you will need to do that speech at the next Wings do.

      X-D

    228. Alba4Eva says:

      You just waking up too? Good morning Panda 🙂

    229. Abystander says:

      The Herald used to have a correspondent in Brussels.

      Withdrew him long ago. I cannot remember the guy’s name.

      It just shows how insular and parochial they are. Kinda morning edition of the Evening Times.

    230. Tam Jardine says:

      Caz-m

      It is a real dilemma. To stop buying the 1 paper that consistently pushes a pro-independence editorial slant because of it’s sister paper doesn’t sit with me. Your point is valid but even though I would rather burn my money than hand it to Gardham after his campaigning bullshit, this, it seems is the price I have to pay.

      having said that it is a shadow of its former self since the ‘change of format’. But I am hopeful that they will come out editorially for Yes before the end -and I also expect Murdoch will smell which way the wind is blowing and when the polls suggest a Yes majority he will back the winning horse is his habit. If only out of revenge on the cabal who have turned on him.

      For the Scotsman to close, herald circulation to drop off a cliff and Sunday Herald to increase readership is the ideal for me after yesterday’s intervention – that is the ideal scenario. The Herald is owned by same company News quest. If this scenario plays out as above, the herald editorial team would be sacked old replaced and its bias would go.

    231. caz-m says:

      Thank goodness for the calming words of scottish_skier.

      S_S, are you a top ranking Buddhist who is highly qualified in the art of meditation by any chance. lol.

      I would say that the majority of Scots did not expect this type of journalism from national broadcasters and newspapers, but we really are entering the world of North Korean state propaganda.

      No wonder some of us “loss it” now and again.

    232. bunter says:

      Might be time for a mass protest rally against the propaganda machine masquerading as a free press. I am sure there are enough angry people out there to suggest the turnout could surpass last years rally.

      Will soon be too late as only under 5 months to go.

    233. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Keeked oot, saw the rain and went back into ma pit.

    234. Alba4Eva says:

      Eats, Shoots and Sleeps. 🙂

    235. Alba4Eva says:

      Oops, didn’t need the comma there! LOL

    236. scottish_skier says:

      are you a top ranking Buddhist

      Ha ha. Nope. We’ve just been here so many times before. It’s human nature to get all frustrated and worried when you watch a full on smear attack like the current one.

      However, these don’t work as we have seen time and time again. If anything, they boost / solidify those being subject to them.

      If someone you don’t know very well / are a bit suspicious of (e.g. MSM) tells you that someone you trust reasonably well (e.g. Scottish government) has done something highly questionable / bad that might impact you negatively, you don’t immediately believe the smear, but attempt to find out if it’s really true. When you discover that there’s no substance to it, how do you react?

      Aye.

      It’s like the currencygate thing. When that happened, there was worry from many on the Yes side. People really stressed that it would hit Yes in polls. What happened? Yes started climbing and No falling quickly as cooler heads predicted.

      People don’t like being lied to and they don’t like being bullied.

    237. Grouse Beater says:

      @ Thoughtsofascot

      He’s also an intriguing and very complex fellow. He’s incredibly difficult to read, and relishes that fact

      I think you should stick to factual books for your insight is way off beam. Salmond is assailed on all sides by the British establishment, the generals and admirals, all political parties, almost every newspaper and tabloid in the land, big business with links to the City and offshore bank accounts, and so on, and so forth.

      They are all determined to keep truth locked up and Scotland under control.

      We need a fighter at this time in Scotland’s history.

      What you are seeing is a politician who has had direct experience of how Westminster works and how it doesn’t for Scotland, who discovered its weakest points, and is determined to get Scotland a better deal. But guess what, he asks us, the people, to make that decision.

      Your opinion issues from a bourgeois dislike of argument and dispute, and an education that the world is full of coimmies.

      Scotland’s future has nothing to do with any so-called evidence of devious behaviour on the part of Scotland’s First Minister. His administration is far too new, open and approachable to be tarred as Machiavellian.

      In this age of instant celebrity it might be difficult to do but I still advise you avoid personalities and stick to policies to be fair and safe.

    238. Grouse Beater says:

      I see Mr Carrell of the Guardian has managed to highlight one small passage from Salmond’s speech and use it as a weapon to tarnish the power of Salmond’s message.

      Hell, if Salmond opined today is a good day some half-boozed hack would write that Salmond was predicting the last of sunshine for Scotland.

    239. Training Day says:

      I hear Skier’s calming words but sometimes the barrage of misinformation is difficult to take.

      This morning on the programme known as Good Morning Scotland – increasingly focused on English news/English football to attempt to promote Ed’s One Nation agenda – Ian Murray MP, the man who is terrified of stickers, was allowed to state without challenge that the FM ‘given his admiration for Putin, may attempt to appropriate the resources of another country’ (to fund Royal Mail renationalisation).

      This was just after he’d said that Labour were committed to the Royal Mail being in public ownership, but couldn’t commit to renationalising it. An absurdity which was half-heartedly challenged by the deplorable and useless Hayley Millar, then glossed over.

      Our Labour/MSM cabal has to go on independence. There can be no reconciliation with these charlatans.

    240. HandandShrimp says:

      The lack of honesty in the reporting of both the GQ interview which was weeks ago but the press fall upon on the day the Bruges speech is delivered and the remarkable concentration on a tiny aspect of the consequences of Scotland not being in the EU shows that the Onionist eye is indeed weepy and the hand forced to smear and attack at every turn.

      As someone else has said, the electorate distrust politics and journalists. Few are fooled by their games any more which is why more people disbelieve Osborne over a currency union than believe them. Judging by the reaction of the Bitter Types they were genuinely shocked to the core when that metric came out. I think it sank in that they can’t just say shit and expect to be believed.

      The speech is a very good one, far better than the gloomy lacklustre affair Ed subjected us to. Has anyone seen a European reaction to it as opposed to the warblings of our tired hacks?

      O/T I was handed a leaflet at Central today for Undecideds for an indy debate at the Radisson Blu on Argyle Street at 7pm this Thursday.

    241. scottish_skier says:

      Of course there’s this potential unintended consequence too:

      Good tae see that Salmon sticking twa fingers up at that feckin EU. I’ll be geein him ma vote.

      Yours,

      Emma Eurosceptic, Dundee.

      😉

    242. heedtracker says:

      Morning Grouse Beater, Thoughtsofascot’s classic concern trolling:-(

    243. Chic McGregor says:

      I think Alex Salmond is very intelligent and a very nice person. I believe he always makes decisions only on the basis of whether he thinks it will help the Scottish people, especially, of course, in regard to the matter of them gaining normal levels of self government.

      He is certainly not a dictator or someone who lusts for power.

      Remember, he resigned leadership of the party and had to be forcibly dragged back into that position following 2003.

      Alex will be 65 in 2016 and I would be astonished if he stayed on as Prime Minister, assuming the SNP win, for more than two years.

      And no one could grudge him his retirement if that were to happen.

    244. caz-m says:

      Why no mention on the state broadcaster BBC Scotland, of the RAF fighter jets getting sent into Poland because of the escalating tensions in Ukraine.

      http://rt.com/news/155504-uk-france-baltic-jets/

      Anything to do with Russia having Nuclear Missiles pointing right at the Clyde, and if things do get out of control, Faslane is the first to get hit.

      I think the UK Government need to start giving all Scots Nuclear Missile Attack training. We need to know where is the nearest shelters, do we all get protective suits.

      The MOD should be starting to advise the population of what procedures are in place in the event of a Nuclear Missile attack.

      Cameron, Hague and Hammond, we need answers. Now!

    245. Chic McGregor says:

      I think the Scottish Government should announce, that as a contingency, exploratory talks with EFTA members will commence and run in parallel with EU negotiations.

      That will probably happen anyway in quiet mode, but in this instance I think there is more to be gained than lost in doing it openly.

    246. CameronB says:

      Training Day

      Katorga 🙂

    247. Robert Kerr says:

      @heedtracker.

      Exactly!

      The referendum is for Scotland and her people.

      Not Alex Salmond!

    248. Grouse Beater says:

      Morning Grouse Beater, Thoughtsofascot’s classic concern trolling.

      Morning, Heedtracker. Ah, I wondered. Hoary old tactic 26b: “Scotland would attain rightful independence if only Salmond wasn’t leading it astray.”

      Am having my first coffee so will see straight anytime soon.

    249. Bill McLean says:

      Skier – been out of touch for a while. Do you still see the YES vote in the low 60% range. Thanks, Bill McLean

    250. seanair says:

      Feel better. Walked down to newsagent and cancelled my order for The Herald (but not the Sunday Herald). Saving about £7.50 a week with lower blood pressure thrown in.
      Will miss Ian Bell and Iain MacWhirter and will have to resort to their blogs. Also sorry I won’t be reading the other pro-indy contributors. Will not miss Gardham, Torrance, Mcleod (why don’t you admit you worked for Darling?). Also the bizarre McKie who seems to have risen from the dead.
      By an amazing coincidence I am going to a talk by Iain Macwhirter tomorrow night, sponsored by the Saltire Society, entitled The Decline of the Scottish Press.
      Plenty to talk about there!

    251. Arel says:

      @Chick McGregor

      Alex Salmond and myself both arrived in this world in the same week of December 1954 so he’ll only be 62 in 2016. You gave me one helluva scare there Chick when I read that. This referendum is ageing me as it is.

    252. Molly says:

      Alex Salmond makes a not particularly effusive comment about President Putin , called diplomacy or

      The NUJ calls for the BBC to resign with immediate effect from the CBI?

      Did I miss the discussion on the BBC or in the papers about this? Forget the Gardhams, Carroll’s and Brewers, if we want a better standard of media( so we can make our own minds up about Putin or any other World event) we need transparency here at home from our own broadcaster first.

      Has anyone seen a response from the BBC Trust or is it just the three placemen batting down the hatches at Pacific Quay until it all blows over? Are we really such a backwater and prepared to be treated as such that we are happy to let the management of Pacific Quay not answer any questions regarding their membership of the CBI?

      The NUJ met yesterday and called for the BBC to resign with immediate effect from the CBI , let’s all sign IanBrotherhoods petition and keep the pressure on , after all , we are stakeholders in the BBC ( not necessarily by choice) and if nothing else are entitled to a statement from BBC Scotland, explaining why they are still a member of the CBI – when other institutions have clearly stated in order to be neutral on the Referendum, they have withdrawn .

    253. caz-m says:

      Yesterday was definitely the Herald’s

      “Swastika Saltire Moment”.

      We will not forget what you are doing to our country.

    254. call me dave says:

      Did the FM actually say this?

      “boats would not be allowed to fish in Scottish waters – or even pass through en route to Norwegian grounds – unless an independent Scotland joined the EU on favourable terms”

      How very dare he, wee Scotland… Hmmp!

      Seriously though it’s stating the obvious ‘quid pro quo’ something for something is a fine way forward.

      We better start building these Scottish protection vessels asap. 🙂

      Here’s a Telegraph piece from Jan 2014 when the CBI were neutral… Aye right!

      http://archive.today/KLlZL

    255. ronnie anderson says:

      @caz-m, for the Herald link, left a wee comment for Gardham.
      On & on the Media circus tumbles
      if they held their wesht they would
      hear the thunder rumbles
      it,ll no be water fawin doon
      but a Proud Union, wie awe its
      Lakys.

    256. I think you should stick to factual books for your insight is way off beam. Salmond is assailed on all sides by the British establishment, the generals and admirals, all political parties, almost every newspaper and tabloid in the land, big business with links to the City and offshore bank accounts, and so on, and so forth.

      They are all determined to keep truth locked up and Scotland under control.

      We need a fighter at this time in Scotland’s history.

      What you are seeing is a politician who has had direct experience of how Westminster works and how it doesn’t for Scotland, who discovered its weakest points, and is determined to get Scotland a better deal. But guess what, he asks us, the people, to make that decision.

      Your opinion issues from a bourgeois dislike of argument and dispute, and an education that the world is full of coimmies.

      Scotland’s future has nothing to do with any so-called evidence of devious behaviour on the part of Scotland’s First Minister. His administration is far too new, open and approachable to be tarred as Machiavellian.

      In this age of instant celebrity it might be difficult to do but I still advise you avoid personalities and stick to policies to be fair and safe.

      I think you’ve most definitely misunderstood me. I was giving a suggestion as to why people have a knee jerk “I don’t like Salmond.” If you read my post fully, instead of skimming over it, you’ll have noticed that I clearly marked that I was theorizing at that point.

      And who says there is anything wrong with being Machiavellian? It’s only a bad phrase(see, devious) to those who knowledge of it stretches no further than a few misquotes from a chapter or two of the Prince, the lesser of his works! I see that as a virtue when taking the fight to Westminster.

    257. Grouse Beater says:

      Here is what salmond actualy said:

      And the alternative – the fishing fleets of 12 countries being denied any access to Scottish waters and as a consequence, their access to Norwegian waters, which is also dependent on Scottish access; 160,000 EU workers and students, and of course voters, in Scotland suddenly uncertain about their status; five and a quarter million people ceasing to be EU citizens against their will – this alternative, as Sir David Edward points out, is clearly absurd.

      What he was saying is obvious: Scotland excluded from the EU automatically excludes the EU from Scottish waters, a situation he feels unthinkable and absurd, and said so.

      I have no doubt Salmond knew what he was saying – in a long speech praising Europe this brief passage reminded leaders of other nations Scotland also has rights.

      We are not arriving at independence cap in hand.

      Scotland needs no handouts.

    258. Grouse Beater says:

      I clearly marked that I was theorizing at that point.

      Bit of a waste of time, posturing.

    259. ronnie anderson says:

      @Thoughtsofascot, Oh mock ye not our Tinfoil Hattery

      unless like us you,ve been the Target of a Mortar Battery.

    260. magicpants says:

      I remember once talking to a real dyed in the wool Essex Man type in a bar in Holland a while back, the conversation somehow got on to AS and the guy said that he wished that there were more English politicians like him.

      Re Putin, an ex KGB spook so I’m not under any illusions about him nevertheless on the other hand he’s not a warmonger and he won’t play the western bankers’ neofeudalist fiat ponzi games which is why they hate and fear him so much.

      I love it when he outplays and outsmarts the arrogant fools and neocon psychos in US and their poodles in UK/EU.

      For now AS should make nice with O’Bummer and his crew, reassure them he has the bankers’ interests at heart etc, then after Independence a new Scottish government should start making tentative and discreet moves toward Russia and China (the future) and away from the UK City of London Corporation and the US and Wall St (the past).

    261. indigo says:

      Looks like there was a 45min Q&A session yesterday? Hope we get to hear it or read a transcript of it at some point.

    262. tartanpigsy says:

      Instead of there constantly being someone suggesting a march or rally against BBC bias/media bias…..

      Why doesn’t one of you actually organize one?

      It is a really necessary part of the jigsaw to keep pressure up and expose our vile weasel press.

      I’d suggest a static rally/ vigil at Pacific Quay.

      Easy to organize. no permission required.

      This Yes movement has become what it is by people right throughout it just getting on and doing things that needed done.

      If your not going to organize yourself who are you suggesting do it?

      This is not directed at any one person, numerous have stated the same thing. If someone offered me a decent wage for next 5 months I’d lay seige to the place, but otherwise I just don’t have the time, living to make.

      Come on somebody grab this and DO IT.

    263. scottish_skier says:

      “I don’t like Salmond.”

      The Scottish Government have satisfaction ratings in the 50-60% satisfied vs ~1/3 dissatisfied since 2011. AS and NS get similar levels.

      If satisfaction with AS was the main factor for September, Yes would be home and dry with >60%. If people rant about how much they don’t like AS, it’s generally because they are British and not open to independence. It’s an emotional, irrational response for most.

      The only person that can harm AS is AS. No amount of smearing from the opposition will make any difference. In fact the main outcome, if any, is to firm up support for him.

      Now, if say AS / the SNP went into a formal coalition with the Tories as a junior partner lib-style, then that would bring the SNP down. If they say introduced tuition fees or started privatising the NHS, then that would damage them badly. In the absence of such things, you can expect them to retain high levels of popularity and no amount of smearing from the MSM / unionist parties will make a blind bit of difference. That’s just how these things work.

      Labour dropped to ~30% of the vote in 2003 due to the New Labour effect. The scene was set then for 2011 and Labour have never recovered. How can you recover if all you put forward is ‘SNP bad’?

      All that was needed from 2003- to accelerate the inevitable was a return of the Tories, which was guaranteed to happen at some point. The Lib betrayal was extra fuel on the fire.

      The more smears against AS as we head into the Euro elections the better. Will only serve to boost their support and encourage their voters to turn out.

    264. ronnie anderson says:

      Next time Alex Salmond goes tae the Horse racing, he better no stand next to any Jockies,or he,ll be accused of
      bullying the wee man with his height & girth,any hack reporter would find that ( clearly absurd ).

    265. heedtracker says:

      “And who says there is anything wrong with being Machiavellian?”

      Me and probably everyone else that wants Scotland to be a new independent PR democracy, probably. Look at just today’s enraged English buffoonery via progressive/liberal Guardian’s Severin Carrell or Steve Bell. They’re just a couple of the Rule Britannia anti Scots democracy Machiavellians we’re trying to get away from and they know it too.

    266. gordoz says:

      @ronnie anderson

      Wonder what intruging angle we can expect today in terms of a ‘co-ordinated’ British media UK Govt / Labour pact, ‘onsluaght’ against independence, FM, Scot Gov & Scotland in general.

      The mighty Herald (NO Central for skewed journalism), again joins the fray ‘conincidentally’ at the same time that W Haig (Tory) selectively quotes A Campbell (Labour); FM fully ‘caveated’ interview info from month ago (Before Ukraine invasion).

      STV & BBC scrambling to jump on board the assault to muddy FM message in Brussels. (Did you see John MacKay fawning over ‘Sir’ Ming ?).

      What a proud lot the media in Scotland are.

      I thought the FM did really well in the circumstances and came across as a determined statesman.

      Can the media remind me what ‘Vote Britain’s’ plan B is for a YES vote ? Other than suggestions from the Scottish Sec that we do not envisage a YES vote ?

      Oh and what’s going to be ‘Better’ in the case of a No vote ? What exactly are the new powers planned -could we have even one?

    267. Kev says:

      I have nothing but admiration for Alex Salmond – refusing to follow the Westminster/Washington narrative on Russia, and Putin specifically.

      I watched online a couple of weeks ago as the so-called “strongman” and “Mafia-don” Putin sat on his own for nearly 5 hours answering as many as he could of the 1.2 million questions posed to him from people all over the world via twitter/skype/facebook as well as many from the seated audience.

      One of the skype callers was Edward Snowden who asked a straight question and got a straight answer on whether the Russian state eavesdropped on its citizens.

      Is this the behaviour of a totalitarian dictator? Compare this with a Washington press conference – where the President doesn’t even show up and instead sends in a media-trained spokesperson who hand-picks journalists he/she is prepared to answer a question from. Any journalists asking awkward questions are given short-shrift and even insulted or their questions completely ignored.

      A major reason for voting Yes in September is to enable our country to shape its own foreign policy and work constructively with nations in a mature way and distance ourselves from the bullying, disrespectful and hugely irresponsible stance adopted by the US and, (as David Cameron himself put it a few years back), its “junior partner”.

      The more that countries like ours chart their own path internationally, the more the UK and US will become more isolated ( but in a far different manner to the way they seek to isolate Russia and China), and that can only be a good thing for the future of peace in the world.

    268. Grouse Beater says:

      @Seanair

      Will miss Ian Bell and Iain MacWhirter and will have to resort to their blogs.

      Try: grousebeater.wordpress.

      I’ll do my best to inform and amuse! Bella Caledonia is a constant fillip too.

    269. Grouse Beater says:

      @ Magicpants

      I remember once talking to a real dyed in the wool Essex Man type in a bar in Holland a while back, the conversation somehow got on to AS and the guy said that he wished that there were more English politicians like him.

      Isn’t that just like it?

      We have to go abroad to be properly appreciated for back in our own land everybody “kent oor faither”!

    270. @Grouse Beater
      Bit of a waste of time, posturing.

      Except its not, really. Paranoid, much? If it makes you feel any better, go read my damned blog. We are on the same side here.

    271. Doug Daniel says:

      What do people think a protest or rally against the media would achieve, just out of interest? Whenever I see people suggesting them, I always get the feeling folk think the BBC etc are going to go “damn it, they’ve found us out, so we’d better start being balanced from now on.” If that is what people think, then they’re kidding themselves on, to be blunt.

      An academic study showing concrete evidence of bias is far more damaging to the BBC, yet as we all know, they’ve just gone “pfft, you’re wrong, we know best.” So they’re certainly not going to give a toss about some people standing outside Pacific Quay with placards saying “down with BBC bias”.

      There is a far more effective way to deal with the BBC, and that is to make it irrelevant. We do that by giving people the information they need, so that they can compare it to what they hear on the BBC and think “well something’s not right here…”

      Chapping doors is a far better use of people’s time than back-slapping rallies and protests. We now have just over four and a half months until the referendum – protests and rallies are utterly pointless.

    272. Grouse Beater says:

      @ Thoughtsofascot

      Except its not, really.

      You’ve made your point. Your opinion of Salmond’s character is spurious. Stick to policies.

    273. Oh mock ye not our Tinfoil Hattery

      unless like us you,ve been the Target of a Mortar Battery.

      Haha…As much as I wish it were not true, the are around 700 aimed at the city I live in 😛

    274. frances says:

      Re the BBC and the CBI.

      I’m not sure petitioning the BBC to leave the CBI is the right route to take. Should we not be petitioning the Electoral Commission to take the BBC out of the equation altogether?

      If the BBC stay in the CBI and the CBI have stated they wish to be part of the No Campaign ergo the BBC are part of the No Campaign.

      As official state broadcaster they are completely compromised and should be neutered by the EC – and that’s what we should be aiming for.

      And you know, I like Machiavelli – he made a lot of sense. Those journalists that we are talking about – they’re not Machiavellian, they’re just not very intelligent but they are extremely cunning. They got where they are through their connections, not through merit. They’re just like the labour party.

    275. ronnie anderson says:

      @gordz, Alex Salmond has ever letter of the Alphabet on his

      peeanola and some left over, and every notes in tune.

      Its all in his wrist action Rythem & Timing, he,s a adept

      at pulling awe their chains.

    276. frances says:

      Actually, they’e just like the whole of Westminster!

    277. Grouse Beater says:

      @Doug

      An academic study showing concrete evidence of bias is far more damaging to the BBC, yet as we all know, they’ve just gone “pfft, you’re wrong, we know best.”

      Interesting comment.

      It’s as if the Referendum debate is weighed in viewer percentages: “We got 10 saying they liked the programme and only 3 complaining. The majority liked it. Next!

      How important BBC Scotland thinks the debate was demonstrated when they sent a news reader – others write their scripts, they just read from autocue – to interview women about the debate.

      Jackie Bird gave us a perfect demonstration in how to reduce a profound question of liberty and democracy to vacuous walk-about banter. The women interviewed were insulted, or would have been had they not been flattered to have a microphone stuck under their nose.

    278. seanair says:

      Grouse Beater
      Sorry if I offended you! Will click on your link now. Thanks.

    279. Grouse Beater says:

      @Seanair

      Sorry if I offended you!

      You didn’t! Grandfather comes from Wellport, County Mayo – how can a broth of a boy named Sean O’Air offend?

    280. cearc says:

      magicpants,

      We have already looked to China. SG negotiated the licence to send salmon to China and the ‘protected status’ for Scotch. As well as the collabration with their University of the Ocean to help design and develop an offshore testing facility, like the only one in the world in Orkney, for the China seas.

      No recession in the whiskey and salmon industries with China as an export market.

      Those are three things that wee Scotland has which China wants to buy. Not many countries have so much to sell into their huge market.

    281. liz says:

      @Call Me Dave – I think the mention of not being allowed into Norwegian waters is perhaps dubious.

      I’m really pissed off at the ‘Scottish media’ because everything said by Alex Salmond is criticised but I think he may have overstated his case re Norway.

      I would imagine he would have taken legal advice before mentioning that part.

    282. Me and probably everyone else that wants Scotland to be a new independent PR democracy, probably. Look at just today’s enraged English buffoonery via progressive/liberal Guardian’s Severin Carrell or Steve Bell. They’re just a couple of the Rule Britannia anti Scots democracy Machiavellians we’re trying to get away from and they know it too.

      I disagree. I don’t think there are enough brains between the two of them to come up with anything Machiavellian. Besides, Machiavellianism isn’t really about deceiving your people and then going all tyrannical on them through that deceit. That’s pretty thoroughly routed within the Discourses where the republic and its virtues are paramount. Its more along the lines of perceptions. You make your enemy think that they have the upper hand, then pull the rug from under them. He and his team have done this so many times to the British state that one ought to play Yakity sax music in the background every time a Coalition minister speaks about Scotland.

    283. Les Wilson says:

      frances says:

      Frances, I have already contacted the Commission, er no reply!

    284. Les Wilson says:

      Chic McGregor says:

      Chic, I agree with that, EFTA does also have a lot going for it eg our seaboard will go further than in the EU AND we can choose what to do and how we do it with our fishing grounds.It would be a good tactic that would get noticed, not least by rUK.
      I kinda lean that way anyway, as the EU do introduce some stupid laws.

    285. Grouse Beater says:

      @ Liz

      I think he may have overstated his case re Norway.

      It isn’t a threat. It was an observation that to exclude Scotland from the EU after 40 years selfless service leaves the EU in an absurd position. They then have to apply to Norway for fishing licences.

      When Britain (read “England”) dumped New Zealand it put New Zealand in a spin. For decades we had imported New Zealand butter and wool. Overnight we altered a long standing relationship to other nations leaving New Zealand without its main export country. It survived, adapted, and prospered.

      Salmond makes plain we can prosper with the EU but prefer to remain within the EU, adoption of the Euro not mandatory, but probably agreed at a later date.

    286. Grouse Beater says:

      Erratum: Salmond makes plain we can prosper without the EU

    287. gordoz says:

      O/T Sorry Rev but Derek Bateman put this brilliantly

      “And who is it who has been asking Putin to back his campaign against Scotland’s independence, despite promising it was an internal affair? David Cameron. Yes, the Prime Minister can make secret overtures to Putin against Scotland because they’re best buddies but if Salmond just gives a wee nod in Putin’s direction for achieving something that is manifestly true, he is denigrated as some kind of supporter of what?…illegal occupations…surely that’s Britain’s forte.

      There are many things to criticise Salmond for but abuse of human rights, manipulating the constitution, invading other countries and gay suppression are not among them. If Britain was standing up to Putin with more than limp words and limited sanctions, it might provide a counterpoint but the truth is that Britain is in no position to do so. The London property market would collapse overnight if Cameron took strong action, some private schools would be in financial trouble and think of all those oligarchs’ pounds in the banking system.

      One day the clowns in the media will have to learn to treat a Scottish leader with the respect they do one from Ireland, Iceland or Denmark. It’s because we remain a region that the metropolitan elite treat us and our First Minister as upstart regional types who should know their place”

      Well I think we are learning, just not the lesson they think…

      Derek Bateman via NNS

    288. ronnie anderson says:

      @Doug Daniel,Doug I,m one of the people who has said this a
      long time ago ( Bbc protest/ Msm ). I,m not one for back slapping ( credit where credits due, nae cheifs n indians wie me ) but there is no way Bbc can fail to acknoledge somthing on their own doorstep.
      The journalists cannot ignore the depth of feeling, unless they see the veiwing public.

      This campain is hardly started ( with the muppets being put forward for interviews ) we havent seen the real UK
      dirty tricks dept in action,so anything that helps combat there next moves, is a positive for the Scottish people being more aware of the Biased Media,i would crawl there just to Burn my TV licence + 5 letters.

    289. Brotyboy says:

      If it makes you feel any better, go read my damned blog. We are on the same side here.

      Long time no article.

    290. liz says:

      @Grouse Beater – I wasn’t sure about that as someone on the Herald BLC said it was illegal to prevent ships passing through Scottish waters to get to Norway.

      So I looked up UCLOS but it seemed confusing as there is are different types of zones eg, internal, territorial etc and if he was talking about internal waters then he is correct but I’m sure he is astute enough to have taken advice and would have been very careful about his choice of words.

    291. Grouse Beater says:

      @Brotyboy

      Long time, no article.

      Chuckle …

    292. Grouse Beater says:

      Hi Liz

      I wasn’t sure about that as someone … said it was illegal to prevent ships passing through Scottish waters to get to Norway.

      Probably, bit of a pain chasing them hither and thither, but we can stop them fishing! They need a license. In any event, we will need to conserve stocks, some species fluxtuate in numbers and require time to mass numbers again, that sort of thing; so, quotas will always be in place.

    293. Brotyboy says:

      Chuckle …

      I wasn’t having a go at him, I’d genuinely like to see more of his thoughts.

    294. ian foulds says:

      Chic McGregor says:

      29 April, 2014 at 9:24 am

      ‘I think the Scottish Government should announce, that as a contingency, exploratory talks with EFTA members will commence and run in parallel with EU negotiations.

      That will probably happen anyway in quiet mode, but in this instance I think there is more to be gained than lost in doing it openly.’

      Agreed Chris

    295. heedtracker says:

      “You make your enemy think that they have the upper hand, then pull the rug from under them.” No you don’t, not for the future of Scotland. With so much teamGB media vote no pressure going on, all the YES vote and SNP Scots.gov can do is simply explain what voting YES for Scottish democracy means. Big swinging Guardian/BBC dudes like Carrell,Brewer,Bell etc take a huge dump on all of it day after day but their problem’s getting Scotland to actually believe their crapola of no.

    296. ronnie anderson says:

      @Chic mc Gregor, quite rite Chic EFTA, why hinge aboot twiddlin our thumbs, that would consentrate minds in the 18month period,I,m Eu sceptic EFTA sounds a better option, we can trade with the wider World,at the moment rUk/Eu myopic view on Trade,there,s a big World out there for us to join.

    297. @Brotyboy

      Busy month at work, things are in hightail again until the end of term.
      That and EU4. Damn that game is Civ on steriods.
      With any luck, there *should* be something up in May. Hopefully flipper comes out from under his rock before then too. That’d be glorious.

      @heedtracker

      I was referring more specifically to the masterpiece tactic of supporting Devo-max on the ballot paper, and then having the UK government snatch that away, thinking they just scored a major victory, when in actual fact they took away their only hope of saving the Union once the YES side mobilized, and now because they took it away, they can’t credibly turn back to it as a recourse as no one will believe them.

    298. ronnie anderson says:

      @Grouse Beater, re your New Zealand being dumped by UK gov

      destroyed their Lamb/Butter industry, they did,nt matter then as we dont matter now, re Scots emegrated to New Zealand. did,nt take long for them to find new markets for their produse, remind me what does Scotland produse, that are saleable in any part of the World. Spoiled for choice they,d be.

    299. Molly says:

      DougDaniel I agree rally’s can backfire but I seriously wonder if the BBC are a bit like the CBI as in the left hand (London) doesn’t realise what the right hand( Pacific Quay )how much trouble they’re in regarding the public. That’s why I think a petition landing on someone’s laptop down South is more effective.

      It’s sad after kind of losing the plot with a couple of colleagues yesterday and explaining all the potential of Independence, my parting shot was such a negative and if you do nothing else, ‘don’t believe a word from the BBC’

    300. colin young says:

      thoughtsofascot.
      *We are on the same side here*. Tinfoil hat suits you.

    301. Chic McGregor says:

      “@Chick McGregor

      Alex Salmond and myself both arrived in this world in the same week of December 1954 so he’ll only be 62 in 2016. You gave me one helluva scare there Chick when I read that. This referendum is ageing me as it is.

      Oops. He might see oot the first term then. But same basic message.

    302. K1 says:

      You’re correct SS with respect to the “I don’t like Alex Salmond” shtick from the No-sters. When pushed on this refrain my mum always cites the ’79’ siding with the Tories narrative. It’s actually a non debatable issue, the truth is her mind is made up and I’m pretty sure it’s similarly the case with anyone pretending to have anything against either Alex or SNP policies.

      I decided on our last conversation re anything referendum on Sunday, to try a different approach with her. I was about to leave as the conversation was taking it’s usual frustrating turn, she had issued the million immigrants opinion, formed, I knew, from last week’s msm ‘news’. I asked her to tell me what the yearly figures would be over the 40 years or so it would take to get to the million, she duly quoted the 24,000/year. Then I asked was she aware of what the figures where over the last ten years for Scotland’s immigration? Of course not. So I broke it down (thank god for Stu), also backed up with the information from the contradictory reports from UK Gov. figures stating we needed close to this amount in terms of generating the pensions for future etc etc.

      I could see her taking in the information, I could swear that she’s an intelligent woman, I know she knew the point I was making with respect to consuming whatever information she read backing up her own steadfast beliefs, and venturing
      no further to understand the bias in these ‘news’ reports. She said at this point, yes well we all know ‘they’ skew the headlines and redirected into health stories that change from one week to the next. At this point instead of steering the conversation back to my point, I changed my approach, to take the ‘heat’ out of the exchange.

      I’d previously said to her prior to breaking down the immigration story, that there was little point of us discussing anything regarding the referendum, because her mind was already made up. She objected to this strongly, and has done before as she feels she’s open minded (I won’t bore you with the cognitive dissonance at the heart of that peculiar form of open mindedness that only follows when you’re preconceptions are in line with the conventions of your own conditioned preferences).

      Anyway…I went on to explain that I was not suggesting she was closed minded, I was pointing out that as her stated position was one of certainty it could be fairly stated that her mind was made up! So in light of that fact, there was no debate to be had between us. For example, I proffered, if I provided you with information that contradicted some of the assertions that form the basis of your decision to vote No, would you alter your position? She replied…no.

      She went on to say that she ‘felt’ Scotland was an Independent country but as part of a bigger union we were better placed to deal with our problems within that configuration. I said you may well perceive us as independent mum, but in real terms we are regarded as a region when it comes to our problems, and as such our problems have not been ameliorated by any policies formed from any governments over the last 30/40 years. I reminded her that this is a political union that we are at odds with regarding this choice, nothing to do with party politics per se.

      I asked her at this point, was it fear, was she frightened of us becoming some sort of communist state, she laughed and said no, that it was hard to explain, it was a ‘visceral’ feeling. I asked did she think it was a generational thing, her being 70, that she’d grown up within this construct and was used to how things were and was perhaps scared of the future and instability? She conceded a maybe on this, I said for me it was maybe that, that was a difference between her and I. That my outlook was forged within an era that saw my generation start off our adult lives in the unemployment queues of the eighties, no doubt informs my decision in voting Yes.

      For me personally, instability is not a concept to be frightened of…it is
      the main ingredient within the mix of scare stories from our opposition that they unilaterally use, the word ‘uncertainty’ is the means of deployment of conveying this sense of fear. Strangely paradoxical that instability was actually a reality for my generation, not a concept. The logic of an uncertain future relies completely on a belief that there is such a thing as a certain future. My mum and maybe others who feel similarly may be have experienced a sense of certainty in the way things are, that they survived difficult times and that it’s ‘just life’, a case of t’was ever thus.

      Given the unique opportunity that the referendum presents, it may well be that from that long lived position, it is indeed immensely threatening. As has been said on wings by others, for some/many their whole sense of self identity is being challenged in this process.

      For me this is partly why I want to see us win conclusively, I actually think it could be as high as 70%. I hope it’s higher. That in itself would have a normalising effect. The backlash aspect in the negative sense will emanate from the No side, this is clearly already the case, no matter what the pundits suggest that it’s from ‘both side’s’. It’s not the Yes side that feels that their identity is under attack in this process. Because quite simply when identity is under threat, the back against the wall survival instinct kicks in, then there is no discernment, this describes exactly what’s taking place from top down. The msm in some quarters are encouraging this.

      People like my mum don’t ‘see’ this, but they are by consuming the msm’s view which feeds into their own insecurities being used in this way to fuel the agenda of those whose aims are not in their and their future generations best interests.

      What was important for me to understand is that her mind is in fact made up, and to leave her to it, and to be gentle with her from here on in. There is no persuadable case that can be presented to alter this fact. At the end of our chat…this is what she stated, passionately…if there’s a No vote, make no mistake we’ll (her husband and her) be voting SNP! To protect ourselves from what’s coming down the road afterwords!

      There is a great deal of confusion being sewn, deliberately. We mustn’t lose sight of our compassion with our friends and families who can’t conceive of a good difference that we can make by choosing a different future.

    303. Chic McGregor says:

      My main thinking on EFTA is that the EU would have kittens at the very possibility.

      If Scotland joined EFTA I think there would be a good chance of others considering it e.g. Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Ireland or of the EU bigwigs thinking those countries might consider it.

      I think the prospect would cause a very large alarm button to be pressed in Brussels.

      It also would do no harm in countering the more hysterical ‘Scotland will be isolated’ fear bombs from the Us.

      And it won’t do our EU negotiating position any harm either, quite the opposite.

      Time to call some bluffs.

    304. Phil Robertson says:

      Not the most diplomatic of speeches!. We have already had the the Putinesque threats from Yes supporters to the rUK – agree to currency union or we’ll switch off the oil. Now we are going to bar access to Norwegian waters if we don’t get our way in talks with the EU.

      And why did he have to mention the WAR!!!!

    305. seanair says:

      Grouse Beater

      Sadly no longer a boy, and not even an O’air. Seanair is Scottish Gaelic, for among other things, “grandfather”. Keep up the good work.

    306. Grouse Beater says:

      @ Seanair

      A “grandfather”.

      Well, I’d never have known from the exhuberance of your posts! Slante!

    307. Grouse Beater says:

      @ Phil Robertson

      Not the most diplomatic of speeches!

      Did you think his first major speech to the EU would go by without anyone throwing mud to defeat its tenor of generosity before its content was common knowledge?

    308. Tam Jardine says:

      Doug Daniel

      A blockade or demo outside Pacific Quay is probably not the way to go, agreed. I would like to see a simple slogan or phrase to the effect of “don’t believe the hype/msm/lying press cretins” (but catchy) reproduced on to shirts, Facebook “walls” or whatever. Something funny that can drip into the national psyche … so every time we get a smear or lied to you have a goto phrase to explain: these guys are lying to us.

      At the moment it all feels a bit fuzzy. What do you think?

    309. Wingermac123 says:

      Is there any video footage of the full speech from this?
      Just curious as to what was said instead of the usual wall of text.
      Will still be voting yes no matter what.

    310. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Is there any video footage of the full speech from this?”

      I could either video or live tweet. I went for the latter.

    311. Wingermac123 says:

      Err you got any linkage to the video?

    312. faolie says:

      Brilliant speech. Expect it would have most European leaders feeling rather relaxed about Scotland and actually quite looking forward to a new enthusiastic full member.

      Whatever you might think of the EU, wouldn’t it be so good to have our wee country as a full member, contributing and negotiating and taking our turn as president? Closer and closer…

    313. mr thms says:

      Newsnight Scotland tonight…

      Not only did they take and a look at tomorrow’s front pages..

      They that took a look at Bella Caledonia and Wings a Over Scotland!

    314. Simon Chadwick says:

      Still haven’t found audio or video of this speech anywhere – anyone got a link?

    315. Paula Rose says:

      What’s wrong with reading it, dear?



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