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Wings Over Scotland

Madman Of The Year

Posted on August 31, 2012 by

We’ve mentioned previously that one of the core tactics the No camp appears to be utilising in the referendum debate is that of attrition through extremism. It’s a strategy borrowed from the terrifying American right wing, and has two main goals.

One is to recalibrate the perceived centre-ground by abandoning any kind of moderate position and instead arguing positions so self-evidently ludicrous and dishonest that the listener is nudged towards assuming that they must be true purely on the grounds that nobody would dare to present such an audacious lie with a straight face. The other is to simply exhaust your opponents by forcing them to constantly battle over even the most basic and obvious facts, long before you get to the real debating points.

It’s a nihilistic but clever ploy, particularly effective in broadcast media where time is often very limited and such obfuscatory stalling can completely prevent the serious issues from being addressed at all. So far it seems to be pretty much the only weapon in Scottish Labour’s armoury, not just in respect of the referendum but also politics generally – a good example being the party’s absurd claims about the cost of knife crime during the 2011 election campaign.

It applies at the macro level as well as at the top end of the scale. When we started this blog we subscribed to the Twitter accounts of lots of prominent Labour activists in a naive attempt at engaging in genuine constructive debate, but were gradually forced to the realisation that the primary (or only) point of their dialogue was to deliberately waste our time and exasperate us into submission, and unfollowed them all.

So rather than be drawn into attempting to intelligently and forensically deconstruct three of the most recent outpourings of (calculated) lunacy from some of the No camp’s leading mad old men, we’re going to treat them with the amount of respect they deserve. Read the three articles below, then use your skill and judgement to decide (via the poll over in the central column) who’s the most barking-mad mental.

Michael Kelly in the Scotsman, insisting that an independent Scotland having its own defence forces is a hilarious joke

Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, burbling about Alex Salmond sacrificing the referendum in return for more powers

Ian Smart in his shed, banging his worn-out drum of how Salmond doesn’t want to have a referendum in the first place

Vote now!

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    59 to “Madman Of The Year”

    1. Ray says:

      Just taking those three articles alone and not looking at previous works, I’m plumping for Michael Kelly. Cochrane actually seems restrained in that piece compared to normal, and the Smart piece is just the same old stuff. Kelly saying Scotland would get nothing but a patronising pat on the head from outsiders, at the same time as purposely missing out fairly well-known facts which ruin his argument, is an absolute disgrace.

    2. balgayboy says:

      Good blog, but sorry, to busy cutting my toenails to read these pieces of shit written by as you correctly state “madmen”. I will nevertheless will eagerly read any announcement by the majority elected government of Scotland regarding the way forward to an Independent Scottish Nation whose people will have the democratic ability to decide what our Nation will aspire to in the future.

    3. Embradon says:

      1 Kelly, 2 Cochrane, 3 Smart (assuming an STV vote).
      Smart is relegated to third place on the grounds that occasionally he says something sensible – though I grant you it’s been a while.
      I have to admit it’s a close call between the other two but Cochers is at least consistently of the loony right. Kelly, I think, just has the edge on past form of managing to run Celtic into the ground (Where DID all the money go, Michael?) and the inconsistency of supporting Irish independence while abhorring the same for Scotland.

    4. Dave says:

      Need another button for “It’s a draw.”

    5. Peter A Bell says:

      Not necessarily on the basis of the article referred to but in recognition of his entire ouvre Alan “Poor Old Cockers” Cochrane must surely stand as the exemplar of British nationalist nutterdom.

    6. DougtheDug says:

      Sorry Rev Stu. but I can’t vote because I don’t think any of them are mad.

      I think you mistake the combination of wishful thinking, a failure to address the facts, fixed opinions, simple mental mediocrity and being too lazy to do even minimal research on the subject in question with genuine madness.

    7. Angus McLellan says:

      Kelly by a mile. Cochrane is just doing his job. Smart can write good stuff if he avoids that one subject. (And anyway his best/worst no-referendum pieces were the analysis of Salmond’s conference speech and the Gramscian hegemony one. The latest effort was mild by comparison.)
      But for the full Kelly effect just reading won’t do – you need to find the TV interview of him on Newsnicht last year (in front of a sailing ship) as the inanity, the cackling laugh and the eye-rolling combine to produce something very special indeed.

    8. Peter A Bell says:

      Ian Smart should be disqualified on the grounds that he is just trying too hard to portray himself as an endearing oddball. The others are genuinely disturbing loonies in a separate category, not only from the Great Referendum Denier, but from most of humanity. Blessings may be counted.

    9. Doug Daniel says:

      While Michael Kelly is indeed absolutely batshit crazy, the central thesis of all his arguments is essentially the much-subscribed-to-yet-much-denied Unionist idea that Scotland is too wee, too poor and too stupid.

      The ironically-named-one, on the other hand, seems to be going completely loopy trying to find ever-more convoluted and bizarre “evidence” to prove the theory to which he has become an almost admirable disciple, an idea so daft that it requires a complete denial of reality in order to maintain belief in it. He’s not just trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted, he’s pointing inside the stable and saying “look, the horse is still there!” while everybody looks on at him with pity.

      I can see us all waiting for the returning officers to tell us what the results are, and Ian Smart rocking back and forth in a corner, saying “there’s not going to be a referendum, there’s not going to be a referendum, there’s not going to be a referendum” to himself over and over again. In fact, post-YES, he’ll still be denying there’s going to be a referendum.

      Either that, or we’re going to see one of the funniest climbdowns in the history of Scottish politics when the referendum is officially launched. Either way, the idea that the referendum can be stopped now, after both “official” YES and NO campaigns have launched as well as the various side-campaigns, is utterly preposterous. While a NO vote might put independence back a generation and see an implosion in the SNP, to now not have the referendum at all would be far more damaging to both. The referendum bill may not have launched yet, but as far as every man, woman and child in Scotland is concerned, the referendum will happen. To cancel it now would completely destroy the credibility of the SNP, and future referendums would be tainted with the ghost of the Referendum That Never Was.

      How people such as Ian Smart can seriously suggest that cancelling the referendum would do less damage to Salmond’s political career/legacy is completely beyond me. He’d be as well handing Johann Lamont a gun, as he’d become an even bigger joke than wee Willie Rennie.

    10. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Either that, or we’re going to see one of the funniest climbdowns in the history of Scottish politics when the referendum is officially launched.”

      Actually, I’d hazard that he’ll present it as a great tactical triumph for the No camp – “CLEVER UNIONISTS FOIL SALMOND’S DASTARDLY PLAN TO NOT HAVE A REFERENDUM”.

    11. I note that The (ahem) Scotsman has been adding even more of these types over the last 2-3 months … Mike Elrick, Susan Dalgety, Euan McColm … all getting more and more opinion-piece/comment columns, and all from the same “absolutely fecking hate the SNP” stable.

    12. Iain says:

      I voted Kelly too. The other two at least have some cognitive abilities which they happily discard on behalf of the Union, Kelly is just a silly wee man who needs the impetus of hysterical Unionism and SNP hatred to enable him to say anything.
      The madness metaphor is actually a pretty good one, when echt Unionism chooses to express itself it does seem to rise up in the blood of its apostles, bubbling hot – even Darling the grey man goes a bit pop-eyed when he gets onto the subject. Ironic really since the mad, bad and dangerous template is the one Unionism wants to force upon Nats, the attrition through extremism meme in action I guess.

    13. James Morton says:

      I’d have to agree with Dougthedug – I don’t think they’re insane. I think they are bad journalists. Not just bad in that their writing is awful, but bad in the sense that they are deeply dishonest and ignorant of many of the things they write about.
      They are arrogant, disingenuous and thoroughly unpleasant. The bloviate without any regard to the actual facts as they stand, they indulge in pettiness and pointless attempts at point scoring that seem childish.
      But…like the better together campaign – they have boxed themselves in with really no place to go. Not one of them is capable of expressing their Unionisim in positive terms. Not one them can state why Scotland is needed, it’s culture, its vibrancy. Not one of them can bring themselves to state what Scotland has done for the Union and why they want this continue.
      They can only define it in terms of what they think the Union has done for us and infer how badly it will go for us if we do leave. Ian Smart thinks that Salmond is a bit like his lot and will bottle out of the referendum – He needs to beleive that because there is very little else to prop up the Union when the Tories are done with it. Kelly…isn’t a journalist, he’s just a hack and a bad politician. Cochrane is as LPW describes him “a black hearted unionist” – His banal unionism of acceptance has been rocked to it’s core and he lashes out…the actions of a frustated, bitter and angry man.

      The trap that I mentioned earlier is that the only way for them to go forward now is to draw up ever more negative arguments. These will become ever more absurd and surreal and more easier to knock down. (little not to rev-stu: Did you see Brian Wilsons latest about the BBC? this is the sort of thing I am talking about)
      when the SNP begins to campaign in earnest – the Unionist camp will have dug a hole so deep for itself, that they simply won’t be able to raise their game. They also won’t be able to offer anything else but the status quo. But as Cameron slashes & burns his way through the country rather than admit that Plan A is bollocks – the status quo is going to seem oddly self defeating.
      So – I don’t think they are insane or nuts – they’re just two faced lying bastards

    14. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Insanity would be a convenient excuse for them. They are all sane individuals who constantly make statements that are conservative with the truth. Just thought of a new phrase-Labour with the truth.  Mind you it’s the same thing. 

    15. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Sorry but I very rarely read anything from all three bampots! However, in the interest of Rev Stu’s poll I did try and read the three links, TRY being the operative word here.
      My decision was based purely on how long I was able to stay on the article or how far into the article I got before frustration/boredom set in. Based on this “highly scientific” set of principles I came to the conclusion that Kelly was the outright winner by a mile. :LOL:

    16. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Off topic. Regarding the piece in The Guardian concerning the Coalitions plan to cut benefits by £10bn.

      I roughly calculate that if the UK changed the way tax relief is obtained on pensions, it could save circa  £10bn a year. Approx. £1bn a year in Scotland. Remove tax relief entirely on pension contributions and introduce relief on pension payments. e.g  £15k pa pension is tax free. The latest Treasury figures confirmed that if higher rate tax relief on contributions were removed(retaining basic rate relief) that would save 1/2bn pa in Scotland alone. 

      This is the type of change that can win us the referendum. i.e. promoting substantial differences to Westminster. Social fairness against neo-liberal policies designed to benefit only the wealthy at the expense of the majority.  


    17. pa_broon says:

      I tried to read the links, unfortunately (or not as the may be the case) my work computer can no longer find the memory or processing power to actually load The Scotsman’s web site, might be something to do with the spam filter or a more general sense of IT formed ennui

      Other than that, they’re all three of them quite mad, fruit cakes in fact. I’m extrapolating for Kelly but lets be honest, its a safe bet.

      I really don’t know how they get away with it, to form such firm opinions based on unverifiable information then to build such a confident and sure argument around it is just deeply odd.

      Mind you, I have a family member who does this, if things aren’t going the way they think things should, they just stop believing in reality and instead put their fingers in their ears and make lalala noises.

      For my aunty this is probably ok (although not ideal,) but not for people who are supposed to be purveyors of fact driven news in the main stream press.

    18. Tris says:

      It must be hard for unionist journalists writing for what might be described as the “more cerebral” journals.

      By that I mean that, it’s got to be easy to write this kind of stuff for the Scottish Daily Mail, waving flags and telling people how wonderful the union is, and how,were it not for the union Scotland wouldn’t have a voice on the security council. Readers simply accept these facts with no explanation. They want to read something that reinforces what they already know, believe, love.  No explanation is needed; no intellectual justification demanded. 

      It’s a little more difficult if you have to provide some sort of rational explanation for your rabid dislike of independence for readers who may well be lawyers, doctors, university lecturers, or indeed ministers of religion!

      They may wish to look behind stories like, for example, the tale of Andy Murray or Chris Hoy draping union flags, rather than Saltires  round their shoulders. It might occur to these readers that one possible explanation for that is that they were handed the wrap by the GB team coaches, or that in fact, even had they wanted a Saltire, it was against the rules to have one within the Olympics complex in London.

      They may wish to have justifications and verifications of facts, or “asserted facts” which readers of lesser papers will simply take for granted.

      No, it can’t be easy writing this crap for educated readers. No wonder the writers in question have become  erm… strange.

      I can’t chose either. I’d have to say that I have a sneaking admiration for Kelly risking his neck by ridiculing  a Scottish Armed Force.  It’s difficult to predict how readers, cerebral or otherwise, will react to the put down of “our boys”, even if these our boys would only be Scottish!

    19. TamD says:

      Not Mad, just bad.

    20. TamD says:

      ………and sad as well

    21. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Hi Rev. I posted a link on another of your great articles earlier today covering the article in the Hootsmon written by Gavin McCrone, he of the infamous McCrone report of the 1970’s. Well I’ve also found this article in the Telegraph that, I think, puts an even STRONGER light on the Norway story and why Scotland COULD and SHOULD be more like Norway in the way we behave, financially speaking.
      I don’t know about anyone else but I always get absolutely fuming when I read stories like Gavin’s in the Hootsmon. His article today just reinforces how much Scotland, her people and her resources have used and abused by numerous Westminster governments over the past decades.
      The time is still not too late. We can STILL achieve something like the Norwegian model, but we MUST act NOW. This means we MUST achieve an outright YES victory in 2014. NOTHING else will do.

    22. Juteman says:

      They aren’t mad. They are the enemy. Simple as that. Their motives might be genuine belief, or more likely self interest.
      Nothing more than Unionist Laird Haw Haws.

    23. Norman says:

      It’s like trying to judge buckets of sick.
      1. Kelly.

      2. Cochrane.

      3. Smart.

    24. Peter A Bell says:

      Ian Smart gets the prize for the most ironic name.

    25. CW says:

      That the information in the McCrone Report was kept secret from the Scottish people is one the greatest tragedies in modern Scottish history and possibly the strongest condemnation of Westminster government of Scotland that there is. Its contents should be common knowledge to anyone in this country with a modicum of intelligence. The Scotsman, thankfully, is dying, no matter what way the referendum goes. Whether this kind of objectionable journalism will follow is, sadly, another matter altogether. These people need to take a long, hard look at themselves.

    26. Jeannie says:

      I tend to just not read anything written by any of them any more.  To me, their writings are the product of immature egos, middle-aged attention seeking and attempts at overcompensation for an underlying sense of inadequacy.  Or, I suppose, they could just be arses.

    27. Dave says:

      Arbroath1320 and/or CW:

      I have the domain name If you want to do something with it then please get in touch. (Note to the editor – I am absolutely NOT selling something here. I got booted off NNS for making a similar genuine offer once. 🙁 )

      I have my own ideas but it’s a case of getting time to implement them. I already have a hosting service so there’s nothing for anyone to pay, ever. You just get your own private space on the web for some venting.

    28. scottish_skier says:

      Given the circulation figures for the Scotsman, DT etc, they are essentially talking out loud to themselves. Some consider that a sign of madness if done in public.

    29. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Great news, thanks Dave.
      I must admit to not being the best at writing articles as is evident by numerous posts both on here and elsewhere, but I have been known to have the occasional rant. 😆
      I know how you feel about NNS by the way. I too have been sent to the “naughty step.” All I did was speak my mind about Moore. I called it as I saw it, he is a ("Tractor" - Ed). Apparently some one at NNS took offence at that. I really wish they hadn’t, taking the gate would have been enough surely! A fence takes such a long time to replace! 😀

    30. Dave says:

      “A fence takes such a long time to replace!”

    31. Dave says:

      Can’t edit. Meant to give a “GROAN!” for that one.

    32. Juteman says:

      I’m taking the view that being blocked from NNS is a badge of honour! 🙂
      It is funny when i read comments on NNS moaning about censorship in the MSM.

    33. Dave says:

      Well in my case they thought I was advertising when nothing could’ve been further from the truth. I had a few domain names that I wanted to give to readers to set up blogs, etc. They would even have got backlinks to their site out of them. Oh well… their loss.

      The domains are still available too. 🙂

    34. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Quite right Juteman. That’s why I relocated the “Darkened Room!” over here from NNS. At least over here I knew it’s presence would be appreciated. I know the people who post over on NNS appreciated the “Darkened Room” but I don’t think thew mods did. 😆

      I do seem to remember some time ago there were a number of posts over on NNS who were accusing the mods of getting dangerously close to BBCesque style moderating. I don’t think that would have went down too well with the mods.

    35. Juteman says:

      @ Arbroath.
      I appreciate Stu letting the conversation flow here. It seems more ‘real’.
      NNS is a good resource, but there seems to be only a small nucleus of folk that are allowed to comment. Fair enough, it’s their site, and my views can often be ‘robust’.

      As the referendum gets closer, i feel we (independentistas) will have to take the gloves off.

    36. Silverytay says:

      Rev  I think you missed one out ? While he is not a journalist , he certainly comes in to the fruitcase category .
      I am talking about the esteemed boris johnson .
      Anyone who thinks that the olympics have cost A.S his dream of an Independent Scotland has to be a few cans short of a six pack .
      First point is that it is not just A.S dream , It is Scotland,s dream .
      Alex is just the person we have elected to lead us down the road to Independence . 
      Second point is that come the end of January when people are worried about paying the bills and the true cost of the olympics come home to roost then the feel good factor of the olympics will be a distant memory . 
      I would put boris at No4 in Embradon,s list of 1st 2nd 3rd 4th etc  

    37. Juteman says:

      Good points Silverytay. (We must be neighbours)
      The Unionists have deliberately targeted AS though.
       To target ‘Scotlands dream’ would be suicide for them, so they have set out to play the man, not the ball.

    38. Silverytay says:

      Thanks .
      I just hope that A.S health can stand the strain of all the stress he is being put under by the unionists playing the man and not the ball .
      By playing the man the unionists are making one big mistake .
      While they concentrate on the man it allows the YES campaign to slip up the wings and hopefully score the goal that takes us to Independence . 

    39. G H Graham says:

      A good argument should follow 7 rules.
      1: Only make claims that are relevantly to the argument
      2: Support claims with good reasons
      3: Openly address disagreement
      4: Rely only on claims that the audience could believe
      5: Use a variety of supporting evidence
      6: Don’t mix different arguments
      7: Keep it simple, clear & focused
      Kelly does badly on all points. His article is a confused, rambling oratory written with irritation & bluster. Consequently, he fails to make his argument reasonable or credible because it is does not use incontrovertible facts. Instead, he makes spurious claims believing them to be true when they are obviously not. His lousy writing could be due to a medical condition, poor research or just a bitter hatred of the people whom he once relied upon for his moral authority that has since deserted him. To compensate, he shouts for attention. It’s very sad because he may be afflicted by all the above.

      Alternatively, it could be that he is barking mad.

      Woof, woof.

    40. Arbroath 1320 says:

      I agree with you Juteman. Like you I’m very appreciative of the Rev Stu allowing us to have our wee side chats in amongst the main talk of the day. I think he has realised that even those of us who have our wee chats on the side can still contribute to the main topic of conversation, even though  our posts may wander from time to time. 😀
      With regards to your second point re targeting the man not the ball, I think we all know what happens to the players who continually do this…..they get sent off. This is, in my opinion, what will happen to the Bitter team in 2014. They will all be sent off with no one to blame but themselves! 😆

    41. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      The moderation policy here hasn’t changed and won’t be changing. I only ask one thing: talk as if an undecided voter was reading. Remember, as it stands we need more people on our side. Put them off and we lose.

    42. John Donaldson says:

      A wee bit off topic, and perhaps this has been raised before (although I haven’t noticed if it has)…
      Couldn’t it be argued that the two most popular options should be on the ballot paper, which is apparently independence and devo-max, therefore the question should be a choice between those, rather than a choice between independence and the status quo? A yes-yes (independence or devo-max), rather than a yes-no (independence, and if not then the status quo). The requirement that a certain number of the electorate would have to vote for either option to be passed could be included (say 50%), meaning that those that want neither independence or devo-max only have to stay at home (or spoil their ballot paper if that pleased them). Everyone gets a say, all options are considered, and yet it is still a single question and ftp, so no worries about transferable vote issues or such like.
      If Holyrood are gonna go ahead with the referendum without trying to get Westminster’s seal of approval anyway, then it would seem to make sense to go all in on black and red…

    43. Tearlach says:

      Guys (in a non gender specific way) – there is crazy, there is Michael Kelly, and then there is this lunacy:-

      Barking Americans pontificating on some Arcadian vision on Great Britain, and why there is no reason at all, yes no reason whatsoever, except some damn cussedness from those pesky Scots, on why the Great in Great Britain should be torn asunder.    

    44. Arbroath 1320 says:

      So far I’ve only got as far as this from the “Open Unionism” site Tearlach.
      ”  However, I’m afraid the UK is currently plagued with those who would prefer to disown their heritage and go in search of a manufactured alternative.”

      She obviously has a quaint wee idea that Scotland’s heritage STARTS with the union. Apparently OUR heritage did NOT exist before the union.

      I don’t know about any one else but my heritage, my SCOTTISH heritagegoes back, well  back BEFORE the union! I don’t know where she THINKS our heritage starts but I’m damned sure it starts WELL before 1707!
      we then get this incredible statement.
      It is the wail of spoiled children in search of a new toy, and the cry of adolescent rebels in search of a worthwhile cause.

      I guess she has NEVER heard of the American wars of Independence then! I’m quite sure this statement fits equally well describing the brave souls who fought for AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE from 1775 until 1783!

    45. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Just a wee reminder as to why we’re Better Together folks.
      How long AFTER they close the Forth and Clyde Coastguard Stations will it be before the first live(s) are lost I wonder!
      I wonder how “GREAT” she’ll think the U.K. is when she reads about the first lives lost at sea because of the closures of the Forth and Clyde Coastguard Stations!
      Better Together, Better my ***************************

    46. Barney Thomson says:

      I shall not be voting in your survey as it reminds me too much of the tripartite option I have when voting in my South British constituency. The choice is the same – which mendacious, spiteful nutter deserves my vote?

      Having said that, I agree with the posters above who point out that these three are not “mad”. Like the excellent Vincent Price who illustrates your article, they play roles that are sinister, disturbing, often frightening and generally represent the forces of darkness. As he did, they do it for money. They may actually believe the rubbish they spout but they only have the opportunity to do so because of the establishment that employs them at the expense of more gifted and enlightened commentators.

      On the O/T stuff about NNS – RevStu’s comment is the most incisive criticism of the road they seem to have chosen, i.e.
      “I only ask one thing: talk as if an undecided voter was reading. Remember, as it stands we need more people on our side. Put them off and we lose.”

      AB1320 – I am so happy to have found that the “Darkened Room” is still available for those special moments.

    47. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Never fear Barney, the “Darkened Room” is ALWAYS open! 😆

    48. sneddon says:

      Ok guys which one of you is pretending to be a flute playing catholic from Maryland?

      In the name of the gods it’s either a wind up or a statement on the American education system.  Mind you there’s enough people educated in the UK with an even shakier grasp of reality. 

    49. douglas clark says:

      I have, briefly, replied to the lady on her own site. It will be interesting to find out if she publishes it and replies to it.

    50. MajorBloodnok says:

      I had the same problem with an Australian (of Croatian extraction) last year.  I pointed out to him (in Bennett’s Bar, Edinburgh) that just because their country didn’t ‘exist’ before the 18th century it didn’t mean that everyone else’s history and sense of identity was the same. (I wish I’d known about this site and NNS before then or I might have had some cogent arguments to back myself up, rather than just going pop-eyed with impotent indignation).
      I must have got through to him because a few months later I overheard him in the Oxford Bar this time explaining to a long term English resident (whom I vaguely know) that the SNP weren’t actually insane nationalist fascists but were social democrats and were trying to do their best for Scotland, unlike some other parties we could mention.

    51. McHaggis says:

      I have replied to this batshit crazy American piece as follows –

      “I assume the author of this piece has simply forgotten to add how she tirelessly campaigns for the restoration of Great British rule over America?

      Surely that must be her default position, given if it is not and she champions the independence of the US, then we can simply file her diatribe under “H” for Hypocrisy.”

      I’m quite happy for rubbish like she has written to be up there with the best the No campaign can bring to the table. 

    52. douglas clark says:

      Well, she has replied on her own site. Quite simply, distance seems to lend enchantment. We are all tarred as liberals which I think is as close to a swear word as the good lady is likely to use. She seems to me to be a harmless romantic……

    53. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Just posted a wee ditty, too long to put up here. 😆
      Methinks the open unionism site might be taken a wee bit aback by the amount of comments and information thrown back at them/her over this numskull article. 😀

    54. Juteman says:

      I’m feeling a bit guilty at posting the link to Peter at his Scoop-it site. 🙂

    55. Holebender says:

      Those whom the Gods wish to destroy they first make mad…

    56. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Why feel guilty Juteman?
      Sometimes the IGNORANT just need to be telt the truth, the REAL truth, not some wishy washy nonsense made up by a group of Muppets!

    57. MajorBloodnok says:


      Don’t feel guilty – I thought that the responses it generated were measured, informed, intellligent and persuasive, in stark contrast to the article itself.

    58. Ken Mac says:

      Thanks for the chance to vote for your favourite madman. If I had been asked to vote on past form and not reading the articles I would have voted Kelly. So I read the articles and voted Kelly anyway. The guy is totally barking and a good example of how the media is more interested in promoting nutters, as they think they are good copy, rather than seeking contributions from those who might actually have something intelligent to bring to the debate.

    59. Hen Broon says:

      Arbroath 1320

      I have just read a great book about that independence struggle in America and it’s other wars, called Born Fighting, by James Webb.  It tells the story of how the British were defeated in the southern states by the ancestors of the Scots – Irish, who had been ethnically cleansed from the Highlands and Ireland in the greater interest of the UK, and who stood their ground having decided that what happened to their fathers was not going to happen again. It was predominantly this group who were pushed to the bad lands of the Appalachian mountains as they had the desire and the ability to form a resistance to the first nation American Indians, right or wrong as that may have been. They fought for and forged the homesteads they had been denied in the UK.

      They are a little written of ethnic group outside of America and in particular in Britian for obvious reasons, they were also said to have formed 40% of the rebel army in the following civil war. The rebel flag was based on the Saltire, as indeed the American constitution owes much of it’s sentiment to The Declaration of Arbroath. Don’t expect to read that in the UK any time soon.

      They went on to create many of the great names in American history. Country music and Bluegrass have their roots in the Scots-Irish culture.
      A recommended read.

      PS I would like to nominate George Galloway for a madman slot.

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