The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Laughter, the best medicine

Posted on April 21, 2014 by

From today’s Herald:

“Both sides of the independence debate will attempt to win over undecided voters this week with poster campaigns as senior Coalition sources admitted they have to have a more ‘explicitly’ positive pro-Union message.

The Tory-LibDem Government rejected accusations that its campaign is on the wrong track or scaremongering but a government source said: ‘We need to be more explicit about the fact that we are being positive in our message. 

Most of what we say is very positive, but it is the negative parts that are currently attracting attention. We need to be more overt about how positive we are actually being.'”

Meanwhile, on the streets of Glasgow, the actual posters:



You have to laugh, readers, or else you’d cry.

Interestingly, the Herald also carried a second story on the new poster campaign, this time an opinion piece by columnist David Torrance which started like this:

“Today Better Together launches a new “positive” advertising campaign. 

‘Scotland can have the Best of Both Worlds,’ billboards will proclaim, ‘a Scottish Parliament with more powers guaranteed – and more opportunities as part of the UK.’

Importantly, it doesn’t contain a single morsel of negativity.”

Our emphasis, there. When we queried that comment, Torrance replied:


We’re sure he’s telling the truth, which therefore leads to the inescapable conclusion that “Better Together” briefed journalists on a new, all-positive poster campaign while deliberately concealing the reality from them.

We can’t speak for David Torrance, but we’d be a bit miffed if someone took us for mugs in such a crude and cack-handed manner. Perhaps more to the point, it speaks volumes that the No camp apparently believes that not only Scotland’s journalists but its people will be so easily made fools of, by being told one thing while the evidence of their own eyes plainly tells them the opposite.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 21 04 14 17:17

    Laughter, the best medicine | FreeScotland

  2. 21 04 14 17:18

    The razor’s edge | FreeScotland

  3. 24 04 14 14:07

    Bring me sunshine | FreeScotland

124 to “Laughter, the best medicine”

  1. Bigdrone says:

    Didn’t somebody a while ago ‘abuse’ the pension set up?

    Ah, YES!

  2. Nick Heller says:

    Negativity can be addictive and delusional. After a while you begin to see your negativity as a positive quality in itself. “We’re not being dismal We’re just being honest” is the mantra that the UKOKers will be repeating as the huddle round the embers of their failing campaign. I can’t wait to hear the apple pie optimism of Gordon Brown and the Lordly old guard when they are wheeled out over the next few weeks.

    Perhaps if they are going out into the chill winds of debate they might need one of these to keep their ire warm;

  3. Richard Taylor says:

    If you have to make a special effort to tell people how positive you are, you’re not being positive.

  4. Anne Lawrie says:

    And George Brown, of ALL people is going to lecture the people of Scotland tomorrow about how much Independence will risk their pensions. You couldn’t make it up!

  5. Grendel says:

    Project Fear in all it’s glory!

  6. Lynn MacRae says:

    Is this them telling us that WM won’t honour commitment to pay pensions to those entitled, having paid into UK treasury all their working lives?

  7. john allan says:

    pensioners should be thankful for their £5876 per year.
    Wait a sec most Glasgow people will die before then aways.
    Lets get rid of these idiots and vote YES

  8. Macart says:

    Do you reckon they’ll ever catch on?

    I mean its Westminster government in action. Say one thing and do completely the opposite. The very thing which causes such distrust of politicians on a day to day basis and they helpfully provide larger than life examples throughout the campaign.

    ‘Astounding’. 😀

  9. drygrangebull says:

    And don’t forget, all that gold at knock down prices.

  10. Fiona says:

    They have already stolen everybody’s pension. They decided to do that a very very long time ago and, to their credit, they announced it: remember Michael Portillo? He taught me the meaning of the word “nugatory” when he used it to tell us their intentions for the state pension. I usually remember where I come across a completely new word and this was one of those.

    To suggest that our pensions are safe in their hands is indeed laughable.

  11. Holebender says:

    George Brown, the Labour man, has been deid for decades. He would probably still make more sense than Gordon, right enough.

  12. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    I think it sums up Westminster / No campaign in its entirety.

    They have driven people by fear for so long, they do not know how to make a positive message anymore (that is if you agree there is one in the first place)

  13. Catherine says:

    They look so happy!

  14. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Their positive message as of now appears to consist entirely of “guarantees” of more Devo if we vote NO.
    There is of course no visible guarantee of anything whatsoever other than a dogged belief that the Scottish electorate is made up mainly of half-wits.

    There is a very persistent attempt to promote the Devo Max which they (foolishly, oh how I laughed) blocked because they thought fly old Alex Salmond wanted it.
    The Herald has printed a letter today from an Alan Taylor of Troon (predicably)which states that the SNP blocked Devo Max. This is either editorial incompetence, mischief or a deliberate attempt,as part of the unionist belated Devo Max diversion, to change public perception into blaming the SNP for there being no devo option.
    They must indeed be in deepest panic.

  15. Baheid says:

    So David Torrance and co. never thought to ask if they could see some of the posters/literature that is to be used!?

  16. gordoz says:

    I’m sure Torrance will set the record straight in future.

    Oh yeah – positive.

    Trust Brown or Darling with pensions / finances ?

    Aye here we go !

  17. gordoz says:

    Torrance is a mug – its official !

  18. farrochie says:

    The “both worlds” story is such a crummy cliché. We want to have control of our world via our government in Scotland. Westminster is a layer of government that Scotland does not need.

  19. sionnach says:

    It’s the “more powers guaranteed” bit that keeps getting me. Who’s guaranteeing this? Maybe I’ve missed something, but it seems the only people being vocal about these “extra powers” is SLAB. And they’re in no position, either in Holyrood or in Westminster, to guarantee anything.

  20. bookie from hell says:

    which paper does Torrance write for?


  21. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Torrance’s article has a ‘hook’. Blimey – that must journo-jargon, therefore he is a real journalist, we should all take him seriously, and NNS shouldn’t feel the slightest embarrassment at paying him their readers’ dosh.

  22. RogueCoder says:

    The Rev is having a field day on Twitter with this. I haven’t laughed this much in decades!

    Seriously, Brown’s speech is a busted flush a day before he even gives it. The message is out loud and clear; there is no positive case for the Union. Labour’s big beasties are going to get laughed out of the country.

  23. MajorBloodnok says:

    Labour mantra “Don’t believe your own eyes and ears. Believe only what we want you to believe.” George Orwell will be spinning in his grave muttering “I told you so” on each revolution.

    (Good grief Stu, a Readers’ Digest reference!)

  24. Broon lecturing us on pensions? What next? JoLa giving out lessons on how to use the powers of deductive reasoning?

  25. Capella says:

    Hey, maybe Gordon will say “OK folks I got it wrong. I know the true state of the finances, I was in the treasury for 10 years after all, I’ve seen the figures. So, you’re right, you, I mean we, would be better off Independent.”
    And if he doesn’t say that, maybe the MSM will challenge him?

  26. taysideterrier says:

    Potentially someone could have some stickers made up that can be put on there and replace those poor souls faces with gordon brown and nigel farage or maggie thatcher, then cover up the “NO” and the “We are” letters.

    Just a thought like, wouldn’t condone such behaviour!

  27. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    HorseBoy: please familiarise yourself with the commenting rules, particularly the bit about paragraph breaks.

  28. Geoff Huijer says:

    The whole ‘pensions safer in UK’ nonsense makes
    me sick.

    And what journalist gets half a story and runs with it?

    David Torrance suckered? My erse.

  29. Oneironaut says:

    You really shouldn’t have added that caption. I keep catching myself checking the prices of cans of white spray paint now! 😉

  30. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “(Good grief Stu, a Readers’ Digest reference!)”

    Something for everyone here, my friend.

  31. Grouse Beater says:

    Opposition to self-determination is based wholly on serving Westminster’s agenda. Altering it is numerically and culturally impossible. It also undesirable from an English point of view. Therefore billboard posters are same ol’, same ol’ scaremongering and falsehoods.

    The only currency they have are lies.

    We don’t want a currency union based on lies.

  32. caz-m says:

    Are the shadow cabinet going to sit down on Friday and have a grown up debate and take random questions from the Scottish public.

    Or is it going to be a quick rant by Ed, a couple of planted questions by a few Labour Councillors and then off, back home in London for teatime.

    And no doubt Ed will get the usual pat in the back from the BBC “and he made that whole speech without notes…”.

    Big wow, it might have been without notes, but it was still a pile of meaningless shite.

  33. taysideterrier says:

    @ sionnach said

    “It’s the “more powers guaranteed” bit that keeps getting me. Who’s guaranteeing this? Maybe I’ve missed something, but it seems the only people being vocal about these “extra powers” is SLAB. And they’re in no position, either in Holyrood or in Westminster, to guarantee anything.”

    Its a deception and in truth they are not actually “lying”, more piddly powers are on there way through the Scotland act anyway so them saying that is a deception designed to make folk think they are serious when in actual fact the only reason for those extra “powers” is to do as little as possible for the people of Scotland but make them think they are doing everything they can.

  34. Gillie says:

    Q. When is positive a negative?

    A. When it is a double positive!

    Ex. “Yeah, right”

  35. heedtracker says:

    So, dopes/dupes like Torrance say vote no, Scotland is too stupid to run Scotland. Yup one more Project Fear tub thumper shows us how clever they all are. What will they say next and here comes Crash “I saved the world” Gordon. Where on earth is the Flipper anyway, and the great Severin Carrell when they need them?

  36. Betsy says:

    Chuckles Brown will be bringing us the all positive BT news on pensions at the Sir Charles Wilson Building, University of Glasgow at 5pm tomorrow. It’s ticket only but I’m sure the ever friendly folk at BT will be happy to help you out with a ticket.

  37. taysideterrier says:

    Sorry, my post at 12.08 was meant to end with
    cover up the “NO” and replace the “We are” with “not”.

  38. Jimsie says:

    Positively negative or negatively positive ?. I”ve lost the plot here.

  39. Capella says:

    That billboard is in an unfortunate location. The advert for dog cages, rabbit hutches and kennels rather brings the tone down.

  40. North Chiel says:

    Ref. the “better together” pensions poster, is this the same “better together” Westminster admistration that cheated women in mid fifties out of their entitlement to a state pension at aged 60 raising the qualifying age to 63 and then to 65/66.s Is this the same “better together” that then raised the Qualifying threshold as regards NI contributions from 30 years to 35 years and is this the same “better together” that are continuing to raise the state pension qualifying age to 68 years and thereafter if they continue to rule no doubt to 70 and thereafter probably 75 years.Finally the end game wil be a ” means tested” state pension.
    “Aye right” pensions are so safe with “better together” and Westminster rule

  41. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

    Pensions at risk eh?

    Britain’s pension shame: UK state pensions are the LOWEST in Europe – and even Slovenia and Slovakia give their old people more

    UK has second-worst state pensions in the developed world at just a THIRD of work income – and only Mexico’s are worse

    ‘…an increase in the retirement age, pensions being privatized, … a lower life expectancy, record numbers of food banks, governments it didn’t vote for, are the best thing for Scotland.

    “Die before you retire” would be an apt slogan for the no campaign.’

  42. Tommy says:

    Just saw a great suggestion ask your bank if they are CBI members clearly more than ‘Industry’ are members. If we all did it that would possibly stir it up.

  43. fergie35 says:

    Better together leaders Brown and Darling, 2 of the biggest clowns in economical and political history about to present their positive case!
    This will be good

  44. Betsy says:


    ‘That billboard is in an unfortunate location. The advert for dog cages, rabbit hutches and kennels rather brings the tone down.’

    Oh that’s an advert. I just assumed it was Tories post-bedroom tax housing policy for the poor and disadvantaged.

  45. gordoz says:


    Luv it – finally we have an affectionate name fur yesterdays working class hero Broon

    ‘Crash Gordon’ > must become a poster.. Greg Moodie are you on it yet ?

  46. schrodingers cat says:

    what is the best comment that can be…..ahem……..appended/inserted to the above bt poster?

  47. Jamie Arriere says:

    They’re still trying to paint Westminster and Holyrood as the ‘best of both worlds’ – what a tired nebulous phrase that is already.

    Don’t they understand it’s the worst detritus of the other world we are voting to get rid of – fiscal incompetence, corruption, nepotism, governments we don’t vote for, bedroom tax, welfare austerity, income inequality, Trident etc

  48. Grouse Beater says:

    Is Torrance so naive he believed vicous opposition’s claim they would dump a brutally insulting, negative campaign in favour of sun and light?

    Did he have evidence they would do as they said?

    Is he fooling us or himself?

  49. schrodingers cat says:

    BROWN put our HARD WON

    pensions at risk

    no thanks TO WESTMINSTER


  50. schrodingers cat says:

    WESTMINSTER put our

    pensions at risk

    THANKS BUT no thanks


  51. Helena Brown says:

    Sorry we are still laughing in our house, I had just said to the OH that they would be positive they were going to be negative before I turned the page ( well you know what I mean). I am fortunate I have both my local government pension(Lothian) and my OAP. Husband has his private pension and is wondering if we stay in the UK, heaven forfend, that he will ever see his OAP, you know the one he also paid for for forty years.
    Gordon Brown will be very welcome at my door, the dog needs a work out.

  52. Murray McCallum says:

    It must be very upsetting for David Torrance having his personal integrity and professional judgement damaged by the better together campaign apparently misleading him in that way.

  53. bjsalba says:

    @schrodingers cat

    Competition entry?

    “You’re expecting a pension from Westminster? Ha Ha Ha”

  54. RogueCoder says:

    @ heedtracker

    “Crash Gordon” – That is pure comic genius, and I’m stealing it. 😀

  55. galamcennalath says:

    The Union has to be judged on its record, past and present. It fails every test and is well past it’s sell by. Nothing makes that clearer than Gordon Brown, past and present. BT are trying to sell us a clapped out car which will never pass another mot. Scrap it, and move on.

  56. alexicon says:

    “‘…an increase in the retirement age, pensions being privatized, … a lower life expectancy, record numbers of food banks, governments it didn’t vote for, are the best thing for Scotland.”

    Is that not an admission that the unionists’ have already risked our pensions and lost?
    The fact that future pensioners have to work an extra 1,2 or 3 years to qualify for state pension is evidence they’ve already phucked up our pensions. In fact I read somewhere there was an £800 billion black hole in public/private pensions in the uk right now.

    Now if I was the mischievous type I would be tempted to colour out the ‘no’ on their scaremongering poster. 😉

  57. Adrian B says:

    I see that the no campaign are trying to sell the weak points of Westminster as their best arguments for the union. In business terms turning a negative into a positive is seen as a good strategy.

    However – people need to fall for the message/marketing being punted for this to work/gain traction.

    I don’t think that the Tories are likely to come up with a better version of Devo Jam tomorrow.

    Labour are well and truly connected at the hip with the Tory mantra of looking after those that are well able to look after themselves while not offering anything of real substance to the rest of the population at large.

  58. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    These are days of miracles and wonders:-

    David Torrance thinks he has spotted an appearance of The Posituve Case for The Union.

    The Loch Ness monster is spotted from space.

  59. HandandShrimp says:

    I’m beginning to think that Better Together can’t actually see the negativity in their campaign and are therefore powerless to do anything about it. The poster above is just grim, joyless and depressing. Vote for us and trap your hand in a drawer at the same time.

  60. caz-m says:

    Spot on with this proactive tactic.

    I had been hoping that the YES campaign would pick up on it.

    Shoot down their scaremongering shit the day BEFORE it happens and you are on a winner.

    If we can keep this proactive tactic up all the way to Sept 18th then we have them beat.

    It is far better being on the front foot rather than on the back foot.

    Being proactive rather than reactive leaves the opposition Project Fear stories useless.

    It also gives the undecided voter the confidence to say “I’m not listening to that bullshit anymore, I’m voting YES”.

  61. Allan28 says:

    I find that most people are unaware just how bad the UK state pension is by international standards. The straightforward OECD 2013 statistics are that on average earnings the percentage of salary the state pension replaces is the worst amongst OECD nations other than Mexico.

    Prior to New Labour in 1997, the private sector pensions for employees were the best funded in Europe. The rest of the EU, knowing at that time that pension funding would be a problem in future years, looked on with envy.

    As has been said above Gordon Brown intervened against advice in 1997 to devasting effect. His economic adviser at the time was Ed Balls and his special adviser Ed Miliband.

  62. Helena Brown says:

    @ Calgacus MacAndrews, I am sure that someone said they had seen a whale like object in the water of Loch Ness from Space in the Independent yesterday. Did not read it but thought they had put this in on the wrong day.

  63. Robert Kerr says:

    I couldn’t be bothered to delete my cookies and thence read the David Torrance piece.

    However the Herald does permit reading the comments. Almost all castigating that author.

    He seems to have taken over from the execrable Gardham.

    I don’t read the items authored by these people and don’t even look at the paper edition.

    Thank’s Rev for the extracts.

  64. Taranaich says:

    The Tory-LibDem Government rejected accusations that its campaign is on the wrong track or scaremongering but a government source said: ‘We need to be more explicit about the fact that we are being positive in our message.

    Oh so NOW the Coalition are in charge of the “campaign”! Well since the media’s so obsessed with the idea of Alex Salmond being leader of Yes Scotland, perhaps now they’ll start pushing for his opposite number to debate?

    I mean, the media immediately stepped in line with the “Salmond should debate with Darling” line based entirely on the idea that the FM is in charge of the Yes campaign while DARLING was “in charge” of BT, but since they’re now saying it’s the Coalition’s “campaign,” surely they’ll call for the PM – as Alex Salmond’s opposite number – to debate?

    I await with bated breath, I do.

    Broon lecturing us on pensions? What next? JoLa giving out lessons on how to use the powers of deductive reasoning?

    Then we’ll have Margaret Curran, Anas Sarwar and Jim Murphy lecturing us on social justice after voting in favour of the benefits cap, Douglas Alexander lecturing us on internationalism, or Alistair Darling lecturing us on financial crises.


    @MajorBloodnok: (Good grief Stu, a Readers’ Digest reference!)

    I love that magazine, my favorite section is ‘How To Increase Your Word Power’. That thing is really, really, really… good. (Reader’s Digest & Simpsons reference for the win!)

  65. galamcennalath says:

    ….as for Torrance …. Once upon a time, journalists investigated, sought the truth, got to the bottom of a story, spoke to members of the public, broke news, kept us informed, published a scoop ….. Just like Stu, in fact.

    However now in the MSM they more often than not behave like Torrance, they just write a quick column based on a biased briefing or regurgitate someone else’s words. No checking, no collaboration, no research, no value added. Literally worthless.

  66. Adrian B says:

    @ Robert Kerr,

    You do not need to delete cookies to view the Herald – just switch on Private Browsing and reload the page.

  67. Harry says:

    The Daily Record comment piece today is a cracker. After another girly gush about Gordon Brown’s imminent involvement, they state

    “if Labour is to win the referendum…”

    Yes, trying to emphasise to their readers, some of whom lets face it are pretty dim, that if you are a Labour voter you should be voting No. I wonder how many of their readers are aware of the growing number of Labour top players, past and present, who have declared for Yes?

  68. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @Helena Brown

    The photos of what looks like the wake from something large moving under the water in Lock Ness have been spotted on the Apple equivalent of Google Earth.

    The photos look very impressive, but I’m not going to believe them until I have checked them out with David Torrance.
    Maybe I will also have a word with Uri Geller.

    It might, for example, turn out to be just a rare recent sighting of Flipper.

  69. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    Is the advert at the side for sheds and rabbit hutches, a bleed through from the future?

    Perhaps social housing for the poor in Sealand?

  70. Kev says:

    I spotted BT’s “Put Our Jobs at Risk?” variant of their poster campaign yesterday (had I been on the ball I would’ve taken a pic and sent it in). But this particular poster was on the side of a building in Possil – yup an area – which, under the “Union” has an unemployment rate of 60% and as a result some of the highest rates of poverty, crime and drug use in Glasgow.

    They have no bloody jobs to lose, yet BT find it appropriate to display a message defending the very political system that has delivered this joblessness!!. I am quite sure the good people of Possil will treat this with the disgust it deserves and vote for a far brighter, more prosperous future on the 18th of September…

  71. call me dave says:

    I know, I know… I read tedious Torrance just because..

    The comments column restored my faith in the human condition and that I was not alone in my contempt for what he dishes up a journalism.

    Nessie pics here, I thought everyone would have seen them by this time. Maybe back to register for a referendum vote.

  72. Arel says:

    O/T saw a snippet on the front page of the Scottish Daily Hate Mail about a Tory bid to oust Darling from BT. Didn’t stop to read it as I wasn’t wearing a disguise but wasn’t there something before about the Tories and Darling?

    Anyway all we need is for Darling to be dumped and replaced by someone like Michael Gove or even better Lordy Michael Forsyth. The bookies would stop taking bets if that happened.

  73. joe kane says:

    Ask Johann came up with some new slogans for the Benefitcappers Together campaign a wee while back –

    Dear Johann,
    I’m concerned about the No campaign’s chosen moniker, ‘Better Together.’ It’s pleasant enough sounding but surely the word ‘better’ is a relative term which begs the question ‘better than what?’ Certainly the status quo is better than having your scrotum twisted in a vice or having to swing weights from your nipples but is that a strong enough vision for the future?
    A. Darling

    Johann says:
    Ah agree son, the campaign slogan is mince. Ah’ve gave this some considerable thought and Ah’ve came up wi’ a few ideas…

    ‘Gauny no go’

    ‘Say Naw tae Aye’

    ‘Dinna puush SLAB aff the gravy-train’

    Ma ane favourite is:

    ‘Weer better aff no apart so we ur’

    Remember, Darlin’… if the NATS hiv their way, ye’ll hiv tae walk tae the border tae get yer train back tae London… FACT! Ah hope this helps.

  74. JLT says:

    Is that it? Is that the level of positivity from Better Together in one simple statement within that billboard.

    Oh my! How badly they are going to lose this referendum.

    My father (the Unionist) had seen the BT poster before I did, and he mentioned it to me yesterday when he condemned the UK and Better Together mob by saying that Pensions were NOT in the safe hands of Westminster. As he quietly said, ‘they must think we’re clueless and have no memory. Brown stole from the Pensions, and then both he and Darling were at the helm of the economy when the markets finally crashed, which ruined the Pensions even further!’

    My father might not be that eager for independence, but he doesn’t think the Pensions system could be abused any worse by a Scottish Government. Now, if my Unionist Father can see through that nonsense on the billboard, then Better Together are seriously deluding themselves! Even their own supporters are critical of what is being displayed and don’t believe in it.

    Seriously …UKOK …aye …UKOK’s the correct word all right…

  75. Training Day says:

    Let’s be kind to Torrance. So eager was he to believe that Better Together’s posters did not contain a morsel of negativity that he didn’t ask what was in them.

    Is there anyone apart from the Newsnet editorial team who doesn’t believe Torrance is a ventriloquist’s dummy with Westminter/BT working him from the back?

  76. Catherine says:

    In other words, David Torrance’s job consists in publishing Better Together press releases without doing any journalistic work first. Quelle surprise…

  77. Clootie says:

    …Torrance has the defence that he was lied to?

  78. Grouse Beater says:

    I took time to read Torrance’s article in the Herald and it is very poor intellectually, mostly posturing opinion.

    He appears to have arisen without trace.

  79. Grouse Beater says:

    By the way, there is the odour of a phony.

    Torrance takes the two-sides equally critiqued approach yet somehow manages to demolish the Yes side while suggesting the No’s worthy if only they did better.

    His attempts at language deconstruction are seriously amateur.

    The “I am neutral, on the fence” is a hackneyed tactic of the internet troll working for one side or for a personal agenda.

  80. TJenny says:

    Grouse Beater – on the topic of ‘I’m neutral’, the Rev’s giving pelters to RGU who are stiil insisting they are neutral whilst remaining registered with CBI. Here’s a taster of one of his tweets:

    @RobertGordonUni @davidsharp27 @grandatweet “I’m in the BNP, but I’m not a racist, they just have a good raffle on Saturdays.” : D

  81. North Chiel says:

    Is a tactical change in the offing, with the polls continuing to move towards YES , commencing with “Broon”s forthcoming “speech”.Has Cameron decided on a partial withdrawl of his Tory ministers and the neverending scare tactics.Are we now going to he to listen to the unionist Labour Westminster “Scots hierarchy” “day-tripping” back home to inform us as regards “the (positive) benefits” of the “union”( Murphy, Alexander, Davidson, etc),ie.If so,then perhaps this should be countered immediately by Angus Robertson, Stewart Hosie, Dr. Whiteford etc our ” front line” Westminster.
    If this is a new tactic and it fails to halt the move to YES , i would then expect a last ditch “appeal”/major concession from Cameron le in the day to try to “steal” the vote and thus save the union.

  82. alexicon says:


    The daily heil is talking about replacing Darling with Dr Death John Reid.

  83. Grouse Beater says:

    Dr Death John Reid.

    Forget the misleading “doctor.”

    He’s a Labour thug.

    Without any charisma let alone intellectual qualifications.
    All he will do is what has been done, centre everything on Salmond as Public Enemy Number One.

    Life for him is easy since he left politics, and better paid. He will think twice before leaving his comfy seat.

  84. Grouse Beater says:

    @T Jenny

    “I’m in the BNP, but I’m not a racist, they just have a good raffle on Saturdays.”

    Still chuckling …

  85. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    If you extract the undecided about one third of English people in Scotland polled say they will vote YES.

    Most of the others will be seriously uninformed as on my on observation (and I have started asking)the majority of them read the Mail or the Express.

    We can get these people if we can establish that the Mail and the Express are taking them for fools.

  86. Dorothy Devine says:

    Have to say that Mr Torrances article didn’t make me so much as snigger – I’ve read the last article of his I will ever read.

    As for the “they didn’y tell/show me ” excuse ,there surely can’t be any competent journalist who would use that?

    So glad the Rev has an enquiring mind – a prerequisite for a journalist.

  87. call me dave says:

    Hootsman on EU. Independence day may be delayed! Aye right!

  88. call me dave says:

    Gordon’s leaking his speak in the Herald. It’s a monster scare, timed nicely with the bill poster campaign.

    He says: extract.

    Scotland faces a £100 billion public sector pensions bill with an additional £1 billion of administration costs through duplicating UK services, Mr Brown is expected to say in a speech tomorrow.

    And it faces a “pensioner time bomb” as the number of elderly people is growing faster than the working age population, an internal Department of Work and Pensions memo procured by Mr Brown said.

    The former prime minister and chancellor will say: “The whole point of sharing risks and resources across the UK is that it is right and proper that the British welfare state bears the rising cost of Scottish pensions as the number of old people will rise from one million to 1.3 million.

  89. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    My money is on Alex Ferguson replacing Darling

  90. mato21 says:

    That £100 billion figure seems familiar

    Wasn’t that the amount Gordy cost the pension funds when he put on his Dick Turpin mask?

  91. frankieboy says:

    I always though that Mr Torrance was a smart guy on the make… not so smart, but still.

  92. Andy-B says:

    It seems clear, that Better Together can put whatever they like on their billboard posters,and proclaim any amount of lies,as the gospel truth, and still get away with it, because the media is on their side, ergo it won’t be thoroughly questioned, by them.

    In this dirty tactics campaign, the onus falls squarely on the shoulders of the Scottish public to find out the truth, for themselves, and when they do most inevitably decide to vote YES.

  93. Vambomarbeleye says:

    There is a bit in the mail about flipper. Tory’s are no very happy with him. I quote he’s a middlingly competent accountant with zero charisma.
    I say he’s the best man for the job.

  94. Davy says:

    I just love the NO campaigns attempt to be positive, it is so convincing, their has to be a real big opportinuity this week for the NO’s to bollox themselves, (again).

    With Gordon Brown & Ed Miliband the old master and his apprentice, and their gang galloping to the rescue of “bitter together” it should be some week for saving the middle england vote.

    Hi Ho dobbin, away.

  95. Phil Robertson says:

    Of course one of the ways that the Yes campaigns avoids negativity is to avoid difficult questions. The question in the poster is an example. There are known difficulties, as a consequence of European regulations, for pensions from funds not based in Scotland in the event of independence.

    The response, so far, from John Swinney et al. is that it’ll be alright on the night. Presumably yet another thing to paid for from oil revenues.

  96. handclapping says:

    @Phil Robertson

    There are problems with underfunded pension schemes in the UK now. All that happens is that they become more visible with an iScotland.

    A second point is that as the BT lot insist that iScotland will have higher interest rates then the “deficits” on Scottish pension funds will be reduced by the application of these higher rates to the “cost” of future pensions and so the problem disappears

  97. SquareHaggis says:

    Wouldn’t mind seeing the DWP figures on the numbers of pensioners in rUK and the projected costs, far less than in Scotland I’ll wager.

    Can we find a total and then send the bill to Broon & Flipper?

    Has to be a way to counter this propaganda somehow.

  98. Michael says:

    Talk about laughter?
    Check this out from a once quite widely known journalist, Bill McMurdo – hilarious!!
    An Easter Message For Scotland

    There is an increasing sense of dissatisfaction with the Better Together campaign in the Scottish referendum.

    I have been aware for some time that many activists in the wider No Campaign have had serious misgivings about the so-called unionist parties’ willingness to fight to maintain the Union. There is a very real suspicion that the main parties have “chucked” the fight i.e. they are going through the motions but are not trying too hard.

    All of the main parties could make a case for going along with independence. There are arguments politically and expedient reasons for all of them to embrace independence. I include UKIP in that. Arguably UKIP supporters would be more British-minded than those of any other party but UKIP’s support in Scotland is negligible and the grand prize of being the New Tories in England carries the same enticements for UKIP as the old Tories – total domination of a rUK parliament.

    Grassroots Unionists are convinced that deals have been done to facilitate independence and that the big parties have collaborated in a mock joust.

    This means that Better Together is running a ghost campaign.

    I find it hard to argue with this line of thinking but it may be a bit much to say that the referendum has been “fixed” in that the outcome is guaranteed.

    Which leaves room and space for real Unionists to fight for the Union – outwith the murky waters of politics and economics. The Union transcends these and has its roots in deeper realms – including national identity and spirituality.

    This Easter we have heard examples again of the erosion of Christian witness and values in our nation. This comes as no surprise when you consider that the Union is rooted in the Christian message and the Holy Book itself.

    Of course, to secularists this is outmoded and irrelevant but just because we have compressed more data into our brains than our forebears, it doesn’t make us wiser than them.

    Secularism is the real enemy of Protestantism in the 21st century. It is an enemy shared by Roman Catholics. Historically, RCs feared the SNP because they thought independence would lead to a Presbyterian state in Scotland. Roman Catholics are still right to fear independence but not because it will lead to a Protestant utopia – it will instead, be the portal to an aggressively secular state. Bye-bye Catholic schools in an SNP-run independent Scotland.

    The SNP is virulently anti-Christian, No-one knows this better than John Mason and it surprises me he stays in the party. Having said that, Christian values are scarce in any political party these days, although lip-service is sometimes paid by our Prime Minister.

    Regulars on my blog lament the decline in Protestant values and culture in our land but these come as a direct consequence of Protestant faith. You can’t have Protestantism without the faith that gives it its name. It is not the effects of Protestantism that people have shunned but Protestantism itself in Christ and the Bible as God’s Word to mankind.

    Britain’s greatness – and unity – came from a love for this Book. This love was common throughout the British isles and it dissipated all nationalist and tribal enmities, forging a glorious oneness and unity that led to the greatest empire the world has ever seen.

    Scots voting Yes are throwing this away for false ideals of freedom and belief in myths of oppression by the English. If they get their wish, they will reap a bitter harvest but the hellhole that Scotland would become has a ready-made enemy to seethe against and blame. To those well-versed in the manipulation of nations, it is already job done. They know the ancient truth that an enemy divided is an enemy destroyed.

    Scotland, be warned.

    Those who seek to divide us seek to destroy us.

  99. Barney Thomson says:

    call me dave at 4.04 –

    Brown will tell us “the number of old people will rise from one million to 1.3 million.”

    True. I wonder if he’ll also tell us the whole truth which is that the population of pensionable age is forecast to reach 1.3 million in 2032! So we’ll have a wee while to plan for it.

    Source – National Records of Scotland publication of 6/11/2013, Section 3 Table 3.

  100. HorseBoy says:

    Read this and you’ll Vote YES:-

    The Poverty Site:- UK site for statistics on Poverty:

    SCOTLAND Excess Winter Deaths:

    Each year around 2,000 MORE people aged 65 and over DIE in WINTER months than in other months.

    Using the definition of FUEL POVERTY adopted by the Scottish Government in 2002, around a 1/4 of pensioner households are classified as being in FUEL POVERTY.

    SCOTLAND Infant Deaths:

    Children born to parents with manual backgrounds are around twice(x2) as likely to DIE in their 1st.year of life as those born to parents from non-manual backgrounds.
    This has been the case throughout the last decade.

    The rate of infant deaths in Scotland is somewhat lower than that in most of the Other REGIONS of the UK.

    (Note: They’re classifying Scotland as a REGION). Whit a cheek!

  101. Vambomarbeleye says:

    What happens to the pension money that is never claimed through death. I have had a number of friends in that position. Paid in and never saw a penny. What are the numbers involved. Does it effect Scotland more than the rest.

  102. Tam Jardine says:

    What I find interesting about David Torrance’s “opinion” in today’s Herald, aside from it being proved wrong within the first sentence is his love affair with the quotation marks. He cannot get enough of them.

    David obviously believes rightly that the use of quotation marks can be deployed to “question” what is being quoted, to “cast doubt” over statements made and often can be used to convey “sarcasm”. What some would call their “overuse” could be construed as “poor journalism” and maybe even just “journalism”.

    Of course, that poor journalism is as nothing compared with the blatant attempt to portray himself as an undecided weighing up 2 pieces of work subjectively with the only desire to do a hatchet job on one of them to support your own agenda.

    What about a bit of honesty? What about forming the conclusion around the evidence rather than the other way round.

    Must start an analysis of the number of quotation marks to see if the trend is towards more or less as the referendum gets closer.

  103. Croompenstein says:

    @Michael – Bill McTurdo!

  104. Croompenstein says:

    Britain’s greatness – and unity – came from a love for this Book. This love was common throughout the British isles and it dissipated all nationalist and tribal enmities, forging a glorious oneness and unity that led to the greatest empire the world has ever seen

  105. Tam Jardine says:

    When I say less, it of course should read fewer(!) before Rev Stu points it out…. whatever happened to that “positive” billboard campaign anyway?

  106. Blair paterson says:

    I have said before the yes vote is now and always has been well ahead of the no vote bt and their pals in the bbc and the press just refuse to report it thinking that will keep a lid on it but they are only fooling themselves as the saying goes none are so blind as those who refuse to see o.t. Some one should ask g. Brown about dalgetty bay and how being better together feels to the folk who live there or the leaks at douneray they kept seceret I just hope the people who live in these places live long enough to get their pensions better together aye right. Vote yes

  107. call me dave says:

    These bill boards are reflective of the better together mentality. Gloomy, depressing negative.

    There should be counter bill boards for YES with a caption words YES PLEASE! on it.

    Want rid of Trident YES PLEASE!

    Want the government in Scotland you voted for YES PLEASE!

    Want a fairer society in Scotland YES PLEASE!

    Want a better pension in Scotland YES PLEASE!

  108. Ann says:

    I really despair when religion is brought into an argument.

    Was it not an English Protestant Queen who ordered the execution of our Catholic Queen?

    There is more than Catholicism and Protestantism to Scotland.

    We live in a modern and multicultural country of many religions and none, where all should be respected whether we agree with their beliefs or not and people like Mr McMurdo should go back under the stone whence he crawled from.

  109. Ann says:

    ………. and as for those billboards? Couldn’t they at least get the people posing to look more “positive” to put a case forward for the Union.

    It’s all dark, dreary and negative.

  110. I worked in the railway and my workmate retired and was moving back to the south of Ireland and was taking his pensions from the UK and was going to receive one from the Irish Republic as well so I can’t see why we should have any problems after the Yes vote

  111. Alfresco Dent says:

    They didn’t block Devo Max because “they thought Alex Salmond wanted it”. They blocked it at that time because if it were an official option they’d be duty-bound to produce a prospectus. By keeping it off the official table they’ve given themselves time to propose something (anything) much nearer the referendum date in the certain knowledge that the media would be on-side and not diligent.

    Our enemy is not stupid. It’s a lot of things but the British State is not stupid.

  112. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Alfresco Dent
    Don’t agree. It is looking increasingly stupid – as it did in Ireland and many other places.

    It wouldn’t do to confuse seriously uninformed conspiracies against YES, no matter how determined or complicated, with anything remotely inspired.
    Only a completely compliant media is keeping them in the game at all. This is having the signal effect of damaging not only the NO campaign but the media itself. Doubles all round.

    But they may still come up with something very telling!

  113. geeo says:


    Apparently if you are single the state pension dies with you…

  114. Alfresco Dent says:

    @ Dave McEwan Hill

    We shall see.

  115. Appleby says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if they have some sort of problem or disability that prevents them from recognising what is positive and what is negative.

  116. Big Jock says:

    Torrance is actually very dim.I gave him the benefit of the doubt.However the critique of Bisset then the shambles of an explanation and now being duped by better together!The guy is gormless!

  117. Craig says:

    “Our enemy is not stupid. It’s a lot of things but the British State is not stupid.”

    Totally agree with you.

    Do not under estimate the British establishment.

    It has caused massive trouble all over the world.

    Not for a moment should we be off guard until 19th September.

    Or we will be cheated out of victory.

  118. Ken500 says:

    Westminster gets the Oil revenues.

    It is claimed Scotland has a £9Billion deficit. £3Billion surplus payment to Westminster. £4Billion on debt interest payments on monies, it doesn’t borrow or spend. £1.5Billion could be saved on Trident and redundant weaponry. £1.5Billion could be saved on a tax on ‘loss leading’ cheap alcohol. = £10Billion. That would pay for higher pensions.

    The debt of the illegal wars and bank crash all under Westminster governance, is what caused the £1.2Trillion UK debt.

  119. Alexandra-M- says:

    My picture’s on Wings! Does this make me kinda famous?! 😉

  120. gerry parker says:

    @Big Jock on Torrance.

    “The guy is gormless!”

    Nail on the head. Weasle words and always a sideways dig despite giving the impression of being a “don’t know”

  121. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    UK has a huge deficit. Every country in Europe bar Norway has a deficit. Scotland has a deficit that is proportionately considerably lower than the UK deficit.

    The deficit is money owed, not money UK pays for us so there is no point in engaging in what is an arguement based on a false premise.

    The only sensible point to be made is that the UK deficit is larger than any Scottish deficit (which exists only because of the UK’s economic policies)

  122. bald eagle says:


    thats the same picture thats on crimewatch uk

  123. Alexandra-M- says:

    *dons ski mask*

    No it’s not!

    *looks shifty*

Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top