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Wings Over Scotland

It’s Opposite Week!

Posted on January 27, 2013 by

Readers may recall that a few days ago we highlighted a rather bizarre confusion on the part of the anti-independence movement, which is more commonly known as “Better Whenever” or something like that. Faced with a poll in which 11% of respondents wished to completely abolish the Scottish Parliament and end the devolution experiment, the No campaign decided that such people were in fact “supporters of devolution” and tailored their promotional materials accordingly.

We think we may have solved this baffling puzzle, however, and the key was in a Twitter message posted earlier today by the campaign’s director Blair McDougall.

Unaccountably, Mr McDougall appeared to be under the impression than the SNP had “opposed” devolution in the 1990s. (And presumbly most pertinently around the time of the 1997 referendum on the subject.) That didn’t quite seem to square with our, in fairness, increasingly-fallible memory of the period, so we did a little research.

Hmm. Well, we can see how it’s an ambiguous statement, we suppose. What ARE they trying to tell us? But once you drill down through all the political flim-flam, conditional qualifiers and vague, meaningless platitudes, it seems fair to say that on balance the SNP referendum leaflet recovered from the Scottish Political Archive does distinctly appear to lean, to the untrained interpreter, in a broadly Yes-ward direction.

So given that Mr McDougall has in the space of seven days claimed that wanting devolution abolished is “support” for devolution, and that campaigning for a double Yes vote in the last devolution referendum is “opposing” devolution, the explanation seems clear. Yes, it’s Opposite Week at Better Together HQ!

Admittedly, they seem to be using a much longer definition of “week” than we’re used to, but as it’s Sunday today we’re going to optimistically assume that as of tomorrow, they’ll be trying a new approach and telling Scotland the truth.

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    25 to “It’s Opposite Week!”

    1. Holebender says:

      Steady on Stu! There’s opposites and there’s opposites, but hoping for the naysayers to start telling the truth is just pure fantasy.

    2. scottish_skier says:

      Based on Mr McDougall’s ‘interesting’ article in the Guardian other day, I’m quite content he’s the man for the job. Better Together really couldn’t have done better. No really, they actually, physically couldn’t.

    3. TheGreatBaldo says:

      I suppose he means the SNP historic opposition to the Constitutional Convention in the 80’s and 90’s……..

      Of course if we’re going back 30 odd years I guess that means Ali Darling opposed devolution too……not to mention every Tory in Scotland and a fair few Liberals from back in the day as well,,,,

      I take it this has been pointed out to Mr McDougall on ye olde Twitter ?

      Given he’s bizarre attack on the ‘negativity’ of the YES campaign in the Grun this week…..I think we can assume Blair thinks the Scottish electorate has the memory and intellectual capacity of retarded goldfish

      Be gentle with him he probably still thinks Little & Large are the kings of Saturday night telly

    4. Yesitis says:

      Blair McDougall – he`s so 20th century 🙂

    5. M4rkyboy says:

      I am 23% certain that when he spun that tweet he was thinking that there was only a 23% chance that maybe only 6000 would read it possibly rising to 11000 maybe 19000 at best 25000.

    6. TamD says:

      Doubleshite- the BT version of Newspeak. Lol 

    7. Iain says:

      I think we can assume Blair thinks the Scottish electorate has the memory and intellectual capacity of retarded goldfish.’
      That’s what’s worrying him, he knows he’ll have to raise his game.
      O/t, another great piece from Kevin McKenna, click on link in ‘Scottish Politics’.
      ‘This is the Labour group of Glasgow City Council, we are talking about: a body of people who, historically transform random fuck-ups into almighty ones.’

    8. scottish_skier says:


      As I imagine you know, the SNP did not oppose the constitutional convention per se, rather they opposed the fact that Labour and the Libs refused to include independence as an option in it, i.e. blocked the democratic right of the people of Scotland to decide Scotland’s constitution. The latter two refused putting independence as an option in the 1997 referendum as it would likely have meant Scotland leaving the union based on polls at the time.

      And anyway Labour didn’t deliver devolution, the Scottish electorate did. 

    9. muttley79 says:

      Confirmation, if confirmation was ever needed, that the No campaign’s director is a fool.  His article on the Guardian website was taken apart by the evil Cyber-Nats.  This tweet is obviously just McDougall carrying on his stupidity and lying.  The fact is that the SNP supported devolution in both referendums, in 1979 and 1997.  They withdraw from the Constitutional Convention in the late 1980s.  The reason they gave for this, that Labour would not consider independence as an option for discussion, seems legitimate, given we are now having a referendum on independence…Of course the No campaign’s leader, Alastair Darling, was against devolution in 1979.

      I think what this tweet best illustrates is that the unionist core of Scottish Labour remain frozen in the constitutional debates of the 1970s, the 1980s and the 1990s.  They are using the same arguments against independence that were used against devolution.  The poachers have become the gamekeepers, and they are stuck in a time warp.     

    10. Marcia says:

      In the 1979 Referendum campaign, Labour in Dundee were so inactive that some of the SNP leafleters were delivering some Official Vote Yes  leaflets (which I think was the Labour -run outfit) as they were struggling to deliver their material around the doors.

    11. Boorach says:

      @ Marcia

      That was certainly the case in the N Aberdeenshire/Banff & Buchan area…. Labour activists were about as thick on the ground as snow in the sahara!

    12. Boorach says:

      @ Marcia That was certainly the case in the N Aberdeenshire/Banff & Buchan area…. Labour activists were about as thick on the ground as snow in the sahara!

    13. Dcanmore says:

      Blair McDougall realises he’s in a dead-end job, on the slow days (in which there are many for him) he tries to rewrite history to be clever and interesting … it’s neither and it’s not working!

    14. We were initially taken aback by Blair’s article, thinking the Guardian had inadvertently published one of our stories. However, we recovered just enough to comment on the little ‘poll’ to which he refers:

      ” Blow for Salmond as poll shows “literally no support” for independence”

    15. Cameron says:

      “Admittedly, they seem to be using a much longer definition of “week” than we’re used to”
      As Tony the Tiger might say, Calendars are “Gr-r-reat”. Their histories shed light how our society has evolved, and their calculation often exposes the political intent of their designers. Wasn’t the French Republican Calendar decimal, and didn’t it come in to force along with the Reign of Terror?

    16. Angus McLellan says:

      @Cameron: Well, an independent Scotland won’t have a Revolutionary Calendar. There are a limited number of synonyms – even if you do use Latin and Greek too, like the French did – for “wet and windy”. Won’t work, sorry. And we’d surely have more to worry about from ombrophobias (terrors of rain) than Reigns of Terror.

    17. Cameron says:


    18. Lyn says:

      Marcia & Boorach, Yes I’m not sure but I seem to remember that there were no Labour activist around in Pentland area in either 1979 or 1997, maybe someone can verify this for me. The SNP in the area did all the work.

    19. Macart says:

      Well its one of two possibilities

      a. Mr McDougall is perhaps the worst researcher and campaign manager in current politics, with a dodgy long term memory problem and a habit of releasing poorly researched information.


      b. He may be being economical with the truth 

      You decide. 🙂 

    20. M4rkyboy says:

      F-in hell man,what a bookend to opposite week.
      The Nats are ferociously attacking the press.Apparently.

    21. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      I can’t decide who’s gone more completely demented out of Cochrane and Gerald Warner in SoS, with an astonishing attack on Barack Obama.

    22. Stevie Cosmic says:

      ‘loathe though I am to cede any power from the sovereign city state and republic of Glasgow to the bastard legislative of Holyrood.’
      not altogether a damascene conversion…..
      still….a little goes a long way sometimes….

    23. M4rkyboy says:

      I will go with Warner for stark raving bonkers in general but Cochers when it comes to Scottish independence,the SNP,Cybernats and,in particular,Alex Salmond.

    24. Macart says:

      Just had a look at that Telegraph article M4kyboy.

      Spooky how aggressively thon wee cocherspaniel has come out in defence of the meeja on this. I mean, its not as if Fiona Hyslop pulled a foaming mouthed style Davidson attack on the Beeb. I believe her most descriptive words were ‘unfortunate’ and ‘misconstrued’.

      See a report here on NNS

      Cochers somehow translates this to be an all out attack on media. Naw, it was just a public slap on the wrist, but I do have a feeling that this wee stushie may have consequences.

      Between Warner and Cochers……. a fag paper. Both clearly require therapy. 

    25. Albalha says:

      @BBC Scotlandshire

      Thanks for the above link, truly weepingly funny, my favourite line

      Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson was unable to comment as her head was spinning too fast to engage with the microphone.

      Instead of the awful Bob Servant, Brian Cox doesn’t do an authentic Dundee accent, perhaps you can bid for your own radio speech slot.

      NB Is the only way to comment directly by Facebook or the like?    

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