The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Motes and beams

Posted on September 02, 2017 by

The Times today carries an article sparking the annual revival of one of the evergreen mysteries of Scottish politics: just how many (or more accurately, how few) people are in the Scottish Labour Party?

The piece sees leadership contest avoider Alex Rowley crowing about a fall in the SNP’s membership income, based on this year’s party accounts as just released by the Electoral Commission.

So we thought we’d take a look at some numbers.

A few paragraphs later on, the piece reveals that the decrease in the SNP’s revenues from membership fees in 2016 was £156,500 – a fall of 5.7% on 2015’s figure of £2.74m, down to £2.59m.

The amount of the SNP’s loss alone, however, far outstripped Scottish Labour’s entire membership income for 2016, which was just £108,024.

That’s a drop of 10.3% on the 2015 total of £120,479. In other words, proportionately Scottish Labour’s membership income has gone down by almost twice as much as the SNP’s in the last year, despite endless talk of surges of new members.

(For comparison, the Scottish Lib Dems posted 2016 membership income of £182,757 – almost 70% more than Scottish Labour. The Tories only release UK and regional figures, no all-Scotland ones, but an 8.4% share of their UK membership revenues would be around £123,000. The reality is probably lower. The SSP managed to collect an impressive £38,397 from its members, which must be about nine grand each.)

And as readers will know from past experience, these sorts of figures always arouse our curiosity. Because it’s extremely difficult to square Scottish Labour’s membership income with the number of members it routinely claims to have.

If we assumed generously for the sake of argument that EVERY member of Scottish Labour qualified for the “Reduced” rate of £24 a year, the party’s 2016 membership income would translate to just 4,501 members.

(It’s not a wildly unreasonable assumption – it’s fairly credible to posit that most Labour members are either young, retired, unemployed, part-time or union members.)

Even if you took the extraordinary leap of proposing that 50% of its members were teenagers, students or members of the armed forces and the other 50% qualified for the Reduced rate, you’d still only get to 8,002 paid-up Scottish Labourites.

(In 2016 there was no £3 special deal for “supporters” voting in the UK leadership election – the rate was controversially hiked to £25, which is more than a year’s full membership at the Reduced rate – so there’s no get-out there.)

UK Labour’s declared membership income for 2016 was £14,393,000 from around half a million claimed members. That equates to an average income per member of about £29, which would more or less fit with our suggestion above that most members get the Reduced rate.

But it means that Scottish Labour’s membership income represents just 0.75% of that of the UK party, despite Scotland being 8.4% of the UK population. And if we applied that proportion to the membership numbers (because you’d think that UK and Scottish member profiles would be pretty similar), again we’d end up with a figure for Scottish Labour of just 3,750 paying members.

(The SNP, incidentally, averages around £22 per member per year. If Scottish Labour really has 30K members, they’re kicking in just £3.60 a year each and being massively subsidised by rUK members, which would explain a lot about the respective parties’ attitudes towards independence.)

As ever, we expect this huge discrepancy to go unexplained and largely unchallenged by the Scottish media. Political journalists will continue to blithely throw around figures of 30,000 Scottish Labour members without questioning why the party’s membership income suggests barely a tenth as many.

But perhaps we could frame it in a more tempting way to attract the attention of the nation’s scandal-hungry political hacks: if Scottish Labour’s membership figures are what it says they are, it should be earning around £870,000 annually from them. Instead, over £760,000 a year seems to be going missing from the party’s coffers. You’d think there might be a story worth a little investigation in that.

All this has, of course, been the case for as long as anyone can remember. All we’re saying is, if we were Alex Rowley, we maybe wouldn’t draw so much attention to it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 02 09 17 12:57

    Motes and beams | speymouth

147 to “Motes and beams”

  1. Alan says:

    Ah, yes… now I remember at Dugdale’s leadership election, they only gave results in percentages. No numbers of votes were ever released.,_2015

    I’m not holding my breath, but perhaps there should be pressure on journalists to get the actual numbers this time.

  2. Croompenstein says:

    The Scottish media be like.. Look.. a squirrel

  3. Bradford Millar says:

    SNP have lost some members due to the inconsistency of it’s message since the Brexit vote it has left some confused and disappointed and probably members that supported Brexit

  4. George S Gordon says:

    Also worth noting perhaps that those accounts are for the year to 31 Dec 2016 and the big drop in total income is not from members, but from donors.

    That’s been rectified somewhat since the accounts end date of 31 Dec 2016, with about £500K more than the year reported on – from the Weirs, who also boosted the year to 31 Dec 2015 by a similar amount.

  5. Proud Cybernat says:

    Posted this in last thread but seems more appropriate here.

    Re Plunging SNP revenue.

    My better half is a member of the SNP (I’m not – prefer to be a man o’ independent mind and all that).

    Anyways – she received her membership renewal. A5-sized envelope with a curious wee Royal Mail sticky on it: “Could not deliver due to controlled entry”. Obviously this was the second (or third) attempt to deliver and they managed to get it delivered.

    This has happened before – once or twice in the 10 or so years we’ve lived at this address. What’s odd is that they always manage to get the junk mail, leccy & gas bills, factors and council tax bills delivered no problem.

    Then I realised the envelope had a big SNP logo printed on it. “Hmmm…” I thought.

    SNP take note – perhaps time to stop branding your envelopes as you might then find they are delivered much more promptly by HM’s Royal Mail and that your revenue will not be affected as much.

    Okay – tin foil hat now placed back in cupboard.

  6. drawdeaddave says:

    Mibbies the NL council treasurer doubles as SLab branch treasurer, certainly would explain a lot…

  7. Andy Anderson says:

    Thanks Stu.

    I seem to recall other stories of a similar nature in the past.

  8. Auld Rock says:

    Let’s wait and see attendance at respective Scottish Conferences. Labour, Fib/Dems and Tories small numbers crammed into small Halls, to look busy – SNP in an A380 Hanger and still not enough room.

    Maybe, ‘FAKE NEWS’ covers this.

    Auld Rock

  9. Capella says:

    How many “peak SNP” peaks has the SNP passed now?
    (It’s a tongue twister)
    I’ve lost count.

  10. Croompenstein says:

    It’s a sorry state for a once proud party and movement founded on principles such as Home Rule for Scotland and the abolition of the House of Lords and.. Look… a squirrel.. 🙂

  11. Dramfineday says:

    Anent your tin foil hat Proud Cybernat: I too have had a similar experence. In this case my SNP badged mail was routed (and delayed somewhat) to Belfast. It eventualy got to me complete with routing stickers and notes about wrong addresses etc splattered all over it. I complained to the PO who alledgedly investigated and subsequently apologised for the delay.

    I put it down to political action by employee’s in the sorting office. And I though interfering with mail was illegal too. Just jolly japes no doubt.

    Apologies for the slighly off topic reply…

  12. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Bloody Hell….

    You mean the ‘SNP Honeymoon’ really is ‘finally over’!!!


  13. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    As for BLiS, less than 10k members sounds about right.

    Don’t know if it works like this but how many are ‘automatically enrolled members’ via Trades Union Membership?

    Some of those BLiS Members may also be members by default??

    Labour Surge?

    Nae chance!

  14. Valerie says:

    Ok, that’s just pushed me into renewing my SNP Membership.

    Get it right roon ye, Slab.

  15. Dr Jim says:

    The Scottish National Party’s LONDON branch contributes more in membership fees than the whole of Scottish Labours members in Scotland

    Has Alex Rowley finished talking yet or is he still on the same sentence

    Oh and since he’s mentioned it I’ve just donated a wee fiver
    I do like it when their Arses tighten with bitterness, just like their faces

  16. Capella says:

    This, and the cartoon, reminds me of a quote in the biography of Robert McIntyre, first SNP MP in Motherwell 1945. His father wrote:

    “The political life is apt to attract the worst and the best – the worst, because fame and money can be most cheaply obtained in it – the best, because all must know that he who would do good in that life must be prepared for muisrepresentation, malice, envy, hatred, for strife and continuous conflict, for temptations more powerful, more seductive, and less obvious than those of any other life and with no promise of success.

    There will be for the most successful, years of unrequited toil and not the most sanguine can have any firm hope that he will live to see the result of his toil.”

  17. wull2 says:

    Could we not crowdfund an internet radio to tell the world the truth, and for us to use while we are online. The radio station could be based abroad so our media cant get their hands on it .

  18. Samnogamnus says:

    Further distorting SNP numbers, I didn’t renew my membership so that I could continue to be critical of SLab without anyone being able to claim that was “because” I was tribalistically SNP. In reality of course, SLab can make me ask “What are you DOING?” in exasperation in a virtual vacuum.

    In solidarity, I did join Plaid and Mebyon Kernow to make up for it. Now one is likely to suggest I deem Kezia incompetent oh, how quickly arhuments are outdated – because I’m “one of them CyberCornishmen”…

  19. Andy-B says:

    Good article.

    If the crowds attending Jeremy Corbyn’s five day misplaced jaunt north of the border, are anything to go by. Then SLAB, are in danger of having even less members than we predict.

  20. Mrs Grimble says:

    Proud Cybernat – before you don your tinfoil hat, try asking your postie about your delayed mail items. He or she will probably tell you that they can’t always get through your door entry system. That’s what that sticker means.
    I don’t know what your posties are like, but mine would be highly indignant at being accused of delaying the mail.

  21. heedtracker says:

    That’s a great read. Fact that Murdoch’s goons are boosting SLabour so much aside, SLabour are a tiny party today. If it wasnt for just beeb Scotland gimps alone…

    Did you know Kezia Dugdale’s a lesbian? The Guardian’s done a huge thing about Kezia Dugdale’s a lesbian everyday this week. Why? who really knows with britnat propaganda, in Scotland.

  22. Muscleguy says:

    Be careful there, you could not get many members plus their zimmer frames in a bus, let alone shufty along to ‘listen’ to St. Jeremy then cheer before a quick rush for the bus.

    I’m sure a lot of SLAB’s membership is still very elderly. I remember late last Indyref we chapped the door of a very nice old gent who was a bit confused. He was an old Union man and very, very Labour so was sorry but for worker solidarity and old memories but we could tell he was torn too. A bit heartbreaking.

    I have little doubt his SLAB membership was filed on time every year still though. Be lots like him, best not take him on a day out, he might wander off.

  23. Proud Cybernat says:

    The problem for the British Nationalists is that they have this folly of equating SNP membership with support for independence.

    Well that’s just one great pile of steaming keech since there are a considerable number of indy supporters (like me) who are not members of the SNP and who are likely never to be members of the SNP.

    The SNP is merely the political arm of the broad church that is the YES movement and also just happens to be the party presently governing Scotland (and very well it has to be said).

    In short, SNP membership ‘may’ equate to peak SNP. It does not, however, equate to peak YES.

  24. yesindyref2 says:

    Ach for goodness sake, we all saw this in the Indy Ref, it’s nothing new – Unionists just aren’t good at maths. Their maths goes like this: 1 + 1 = £15 billion.

  25. Ann Rayner says:

    “The Tories only release UK and regional figures, no all
    -Scotland ones”!! I wonder what region Scotland is included in. If that’s what they are saying, no wonder we are marginalised.

  26. David McCann says:

    Someone ought to explain the bleeding obvious, that due to the fact that the SNP had a huge surge in membership last year, then the pot for those who might be considered as potential targets for membership gets smaller each time a surge occurs. Theoretically, there comes a time when there are no more people left to join!

  27. Proud Cybernat says:

    @ Mrs Grimble

    You’ll be telling me next that Union Jackie Burd would be sorely affronted that some of us think she spouts BritNat propaganda pish mornin’, noon and night.

    A mistake I’ll never make is underestimating the perfidious reach of the British Nationalist Establishment in its attempt to hold onto Scotland and its resources.

  28. Dr Jim says:

    @Ann Rayner

    I think SLAB is officially known as Region 9

  29. Robert Graham says:

    in yer dreams alex , wishing does not make it happen .

  30. Roger Mexico says:

    It’s a bit difficult to judge from financial accounts because there might be pre-allocation of some part of membership dues before they even get to Scottish Labour, but we do have some membership figures from last year’s Labour Leadership election:,_2016#Scotland

    which gives 12,898 full members in Scotland as having voted (4.5% of the UK total).

    The previous detailed figures we have date back to 2010 and Miliband’s election where we had a constituency breakdown of how members voted:

    I reckon this gave 8,790 members in Scotland voting (6.9% of the UK total) out of a total of 13,135 (7.4% of UK). Assuming the same 67% turnout, this would give a membership of around 19,250 in January 2016.

    It’s January because, as you may remember, that the Labour Establishment attempted to fix the election by excluding members who had joined in the previous six months. So there will have been some members excluded from that and more may have joined in the year since – most political parties pick up new members in election campaigns. So I wouldn’t be suprised to see SLab membership at 25,000 or so.

    However what’s interesting is just how low it was compared to the rest of the UK. Scotland has over 8% of the UK population and as a traditional stronghold of Labour, membership should have been higher than average. Instead it’s below average and falling as a percentage, benefiting less from the Corbyn boost than elsewhere.

  31. North chiel says:

    ” Ann Rayner” @ 1335, probably the same region that Scottish oil revenues are assigned to.

  32. heedtracker says:

    A mistake I’ll never make is underestimating the perfidious reach of the British Nationalist Establishment in its attempt to hold onto Scotland and its resources.

    How does it all pan out for SLabour though?

    Can SLab claw back anything much at all say in the next decade, are the at the turning out and now on the ascendency?

    With the whole of the tory press and the SNP bad BBC behind SLabour, you have to assume that the last snap GE was not a dead cat bounce, or it probably was:D

  33. Andy-B says:


    According to Mhairi Black in the National, Corbyn on his jaunt to visit us colonials in Scotlandshire, didn’t even know that we have our own legal system.

    Black also states that Corbyn was shouting loudly towards anyone who’d listen to him, he berated the SNP government for not trying to mitigate Tory cuts quickly enough. Even though the SNP government has spent over £100 milion so far doing that very thing.

    Corbyn is no British messiah, or saviour, rushing to the aid of the down trodden masses. In my opinion he’s just another, say anything, Westminster politician who covets the PM position.

  34. frogesque says:

    The Labour Party debt in 2015 was an eyewatering £24.5M!

    Brown also bankrupted the UK.

    If I were Rowley I wouldn’t be crowing.

  35. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “which gives 12,898 full members in Scotland as having voted (4.5% of the UK total).”

    Remember that in Labour leadership elections, votes != members. One member can have as many as five or six votes for various reasons. That’s why that link says the figures are for “VOTES FROM full party members”.

  36. Lenny Hartley says:

    Ah well suppose I better join the SNP again.

  37. Fred says:

    Deliberately delaying the mail is not only a sacking offence but on conviction it can be a jailing offence! 🙂

  38. Norman Stewart says:

    wull2 Internet radio, setup money is not the issue. We would need content.

  39. Andy-B says:

    Meanwhile Labour in Wales are backing massive wage hikes for NHS managers, erm… mention of nurses etc getting a rise.

  40. Roger Mexico says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    Remember that in Labour leadership elections, votes != members. One member can have as many as five or six votes for various reasons.

    No longer true (though it was back in 2010). According to Wiki:,_2016#Procedure

    As it was during the 2015 leadership election, the election was to be conducted under a pure “one member, one vote” (OMOV) system. Candidates would be elected by members and registered and affiliated supporters, who all receive a maximum of one vote and all votes will be weighted equally.

    In any case the figures and percentages I quoted were for full members only.

    It’s possible that some who were full members voted in the other sections instead, which would mean membership numbers were higher, but I suspect the vast majority voted as CLP members even if they were qualified otherwise. And certainly in 2015 there were checks on duplicate voting between the different sections.

    The low figures for membership income may be because most members are paying subs to London electronically and they are withholding the percentage they use for running the UK party and only giving SLab the part they would retain for their own use (yes it doesn’t say much for SLab ‘autonomy’).

  41. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Norman Stewart says at 2:38 pm

    “wull2 Internet radio, setup money is not the issue. We would need content.”

    Wings and Yes ShopcStalwart Dave McEwan Hill is already at it (Radio Broadcasting Dave McEwan Hill presents “Roundabout” every Friday on Argyll Independent Radio from 7pm).

  42. Peter Craig says:

    The level of arrogance displayed by Slab in disseminating this drivel is eye-watering.

    If their membership numbers were anywhere near the levels claimed there would be rafts of spokesmen on TV/Radio presenting verifiable data to prove their assertions.

    As there is no such drive to prove their claims, the only conclusion must be


  43. Not Convinced says:

    My understanding was that the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party (to give its full name) was legally a separate party from the Tories? Albeit one that operates to a much closer degree than the CDU & CSU do in Germany. In which case, shouldn’t there be a set of Scotland-specific figures somewhere?

    As for SLab’s members/membership income figures. Like Roger Mexico above, I suspect there’s financial massaging going on somewhere. To be exact, I reckon that SLab’s membership income they declare isn’t the income they get from their members some of which may be passed up to a national level. Instead I’m guessing that the figure they quote is their block grant (if you will) of membership income that they get from the national party – i.e. all membership income goes to the national party which then decides how much any regional bodies get.

  44. ScottieDog says:

    Aye what is it with ‘socialists’ appearing in the times anyway

  45. starlaw says:

    We saw Slab membership on Leith Links a week ago.

  46. Proud Cybernat says:

    “We saw Slab membership on Leith Links a week ago.”

    Apparently boosted though by a coach load of activists bussed up from doon sooth. Slab membership only about HALF of the numbers there on the Links.

  47. Capella says:

    O/T More support for Scotland staying in the EU from Philippe Lamberts in The National.

    Theresa May is ‘clueless’ and Scotland must be involved in EU talks, says key Brexit MEP

    THERESA May is “clueless” over the UK’s negotiating stance and should include Nicola Sturgeon in the talks, a member of the European Parliament’s Brexit team has said.
    Philippe Lamberts also warned that Britain would be more vulnerable to terror attacks and “irrelevant” on the global stage if it crashed out of the EU without deals on security and trade.
    The Belgian MEP, a member of the parliament’s Brexit Steering Group, urged the UK to hold a referendum on any exit terms agreed with the bloc to allow its citizens a final say.

  48. Foonurt says:

    Weel sid. Scoattish Labour/Tories/Liberal Democrats, cannae dae nummurrs.

    Fower thoosin teachers loast, fae twaw thoosin-in-seevin. [SNP’s fauwt] Bit noo, wurr six hunnurr-in-ninety teachers shoart. Thoan’s seevin hunnurr, tae yoan rid, musturt in blue tories.

    Whaur huv, yoan ithurr three thoosin three-hunnurr-in-ten disappeart tae?

  49. Chick McGregor says:

    Regarding geographical metaphors, I would have thought SLAB would be more qualified to belch forth on the nature of troughs rather than peaks.

  50. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Roger Mexico @ 14:40,

    If what you say is true (and you sound like you know whereof you speak), it seems that Labourites in Scotland suffer from the same kind of thing in the small as Scotland suffers from in the large, namely that Scottish income gets directly sucked off to London then a fraction is “generously” donated back, and the miserable forelock-tugging recipients foolishly believe that they are being graciously subsidised by England.

    Which might indeed explain their deeply-ingrained “broad shoulder” fantasy.

    Now, how bitterly ironic is that?

  51. Robert Louis says:

    Tsk, Tsk, REV. How dare you question the moral integrity or even ‘ability’ of our beloved, hard working, ever diligent, political unbiased ‘Scottish’ ‘Journalists’. 🙂

    Journalists believe they should be free to run biased, unfounded political commentary as they personally see fit, free of any kind of reasoned criticism. Actual facts are right out of the question.

    Seems like the only ‘snowflakes’ in the UK right now, are Scottish journalists.

  52. Jim says:

    mumble mutter “Imperial services” mumble mumble…

  53. Effijy says:

    Due to a sever lack of talent in the North Labour Accounting Unit, when the overwhelming favourite in their leadership race gathered just over 7,000 votes.

    It doesn’t seem that from a Scottish population of over 5,000,000, they can’t find 10,000 members to vote.

    Good old Labour Transparency at a time when Jim Murphy lied about having 20,000 members.

    How can anyone trust a party who refuse to reveal how many members they have.

  54. Gary45% says:

    This is way tooo complicated for a simpleton like me( Saturday, sun shining, few sherbets etc)as its some plamph from the Labour spouting nonsense,
    it must be SHITE.

  55. donald anderson says:

    Don’t forget the phantom Union members in mass card votes at Lumpen Pairty CONferences.

    Then there is the cash machine from the Political levy from unconscious donors. If you somehow manage the impossible, to stop your political levy to HM Labour Party it, allegedly, goes into their “political fund”. Guess where the political fund is spent?

  56. frogesque says:


  57. frogesque says:

    Test ok but lost my autofill

  58. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    See below for meaning of “member”.

    I’d say BLiS Member = Euphemistic No. 3 😉




    noun: member; plural noun: members

    1.a person, animal, or plant belonging to a particular group.
    “interest from members of the public”

    a person, country, or organization that has joined a group, society, or team. “she’s an active member of Greenpeace”

    synonyms: subscriber, associate, representative, attender, insider, fellow, comrade, adherent, life member, founder member, card-carrying member; More supporter, follower, upholder, advocate, disciple, sectary “a member of the club”

    a person formally elected to certain legislative bodies. noun: Member; plural noun: Members “Member of Parliament for Stretford” used in the title awarded to a person admitted to certain honours. “Member of the Order of the British Empire”

    synonyms: constituent, element, component, part, portion, piece, unit, factor, feature, attribute
    “a member of a mathematical set”

    2.a constituent piece of a complex structure, especially a component of a load-bearing structure.
    “the main member that joins the front and rear axles”

    a part of a sentence, equation, mathematical set, etc.


    a part of the body, especially a limb.

    used euphemistically to refer to the penis.

    noun: male member; plural noun: male members


    Middle English: via Old French from Latin membrum ‘limb’.

  59. wull2 says:

    Thanks Jockanese Wind Talker, I did not mention any station, I want the yes people to distribute the word of what to listen to.
    But as you have—

  60. wull2 says:

    The last few tracts take me back.

  61. Rock says:

    Labour desperately needs money and Anas’s “foreigner” dad has a lot of money.

  62. Fireproofjim says:

    What’s gone wrong with the BBC? A coup-d’etat perhaps?
    Tonight’s reporting Scotland was positively glowing in its praise of the new bridge with a nice interview with Nicola. Then another good report on the Braemar Gathering and finally an uncritical report on a “Germans for Scottish Independence” rally from Berlin. Complete with lots of Saltires.

  63. starlaw says:

    BBC reports on Scotland today were astonishing, I don’t believe the worm has turned but the last few days have been so far over the top that the BBC must now try to make itself believable again.

  64. Desimond says:

    Im sure “Regards reviving membership..can you clarify current membership?” Will be loud and front of centre at Hustings and the dreadful STV televised debate which Anas will hope for

  65. wull2 says:

    It could be that someone from down south is here and they don’t want it to be known that we only get bad news.

  66. Robert Graham says:

    Aye strange goings on at pacific heights, reporting on the Berlin march who would have guessed.

    It’s a bloody ambush this won’t last, normal service will be resumed shortly.

    Like him or not good to see Tommy back in business, quick on his feet and sharp as a tack .

  67. Roger Mexico says:

    Robert J. Sutherland says:
    […] it seems that Labourites in Scotland suffer from the same kind of thing in the small as Scotland suffers from in the large, namely that Scottish income gets directly sucked off to London then a fraction is “generously” donated back

    That’s the only explanation I can think for the financial figures that Stu has dug up. Even SLab membership can’t be that low (or its members that poor). Looking at the accounts:

    The drop from 2015 to 2016 may be explained by footnote that says this category includes “contribution from the affiliated and party organisations in Scotland” which might mean that there was more given by these bodies in the 2015 election year.

    I actually suspect that all membership income may come via the national party as there doesn’t seem to be any contributions going the other way. Certainly the staff seem to be paid from London with Scotland only making a ‘contribution’.

    Incidentally the latest update from Richard Keen to the HoC Party Membership Report was published yesterday:

    Showing Labour’s UK membership at 552,000 as at June 2017. Now SLab membership is probably nearer 20,000 than 30,000 (I suspect they’re counting ‘supporters’ to get to that if at all), but even if it was the latter figure, it would only be 5.4% of the UK total, pretty pathetic for one of its heartlands. SNP membership in contrast was 118,000 – as Keen points out this is 3% of the Scottish electorate compared to 1.7% of the UK electorate for Con/Lab/LD combined.

  68. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    British Nationalists don’t need members to fund them I am sure SLab have a very large anonymous donor.

    HM Government.

  69. galamcennalath says:

    Jason Smoothpiece says:

    British Nationalists don’t need members to fund them

    They are given vast and valuable ‘donations’ from the msm and BBC as services in kind. Those won’t show up in the accounts. Worth £millions probably.

  70. Golfnut says:

    @ Fireproofing.

    I wonder if there are visiting dignitaries from the UN, or maybe whoever’s in charge of the Czechoslovakianisation of Scotland is on holiday and didn’t leave any notes.

  71. heedtracker says:

    Aye what is it with ‘socialists’ appearing in the times anyway

    “Uncle Rupert, do you not think that raging at the Scots to vote SLabour and then ranting at the English to never vote Labour, is making us all look completely ridiculous?”

    Questions never asked of Murdoch, by any of his very assorted goon show, from Ligger Neil to whathisface Kenfarq.

  72. Tinto Chiel says:

    Never trust VichyVision, vile seps.

    It may have been stung by criticism of its reporting of the QC and adjusted it slightly, but the report of the Berlin march was nicely tainted by mentioning Tommy Sheridan (sure to terrify right-thinking No Voters) and all the Royal Braemar shit is straight out of Brigadoon.

    So, all in all, no change there, really.

  73. Graeme Doig says:

    I’m with Tinto. All very nice and easy for them but where are the stories about Ruth’s latest lies.

    If its a balanced approach to crucifying politicians you won’t find that on auntie.

    I don’t think some nice pictures of saltires makes up for their complicity.

    The British establishment eh … They’re experts at this.

  74. HandandShrimp says:

    One thing we are not past is peak SLab leadership battles. I wonder how long the next one will last?

  75. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @HandandShrimp –

    Way things are going with SLab, it won’t be long before they can settle leadership contests with a game of Musical Fucking Chairs.

  76. Tinto Chiel says:

    I didn’t get the saltires, Graeme, ‘cos I only listen to the State Propagandist now but I presume the sound track was the same as the TV version.

    You know, apart from the hard-core Britnat 30%, the rest would vote yes if they had an MSM that was just a bit more balanced. Even 60/40 OrgasmoBrit would give us victory, and by a good margin.

    Praying for Anas, me.

    As Bugs would say, “What a maroon!”

  77. Artyhetty says:


    Agree, they are incredibly manipulative. The beeb would never support independence. They are playing games, toying with independence supporters, who call them out for their daily, in fact hourly dose of Scotland is pathetic and nats run the country, not nice messages. Look, we can show you Scotnats on telly, in Germany! As for the new bridge, do not trust them, one iota.

    Let’s just see what they have up their dirty, nasty, britnat, sense of entitlement sleeves shall we.

    It will be business as usual come Monday morning, we can be sure of that, if nothing else when it comes to yoonnats at Pacific Quay, their headquarters in Glasgow. How much rent do they pay to Glasgow anyway?

    O/T I often wonder how the ‘private’ schools got their land, because they seem to have lots of it in Edinburgh. Do they pay rent? Whose land is it? How do these britnats get to be ensconced and inhabit huge swathes of land? Hm.

  78. frogesque says:

    Re Been and reporting of QC. Don’t ever forget, Madje Betty will raid her mending box for a pair of scissors to cut the ribbon on Monday accompanied by Phil the Greek.

    MSM/EBC will be positively salivating at the arrival of our announced masters.

    Later in the week it will be back to Hollyrood and SNP very very bad for something or other that Rape Clause Ruth will be sure to point out.

  79. StewartKellett1 says:

    Glad SLab will have a new leader maybe he/she can talk about the real issues in stead of a constant stream of negativity about the SNP.

  80. Tinto Chiel says:

    Artyhetty: they’re will be plenty on here who can explain the Embra land thing, but it’s their charitable status which really floats their boat.

    Time to pull the plug, imo.

    I’m vile, unspeakably vile…..

  81. Croompenstein says:

    GTF Brit Establishment…

  82. Tinto Chiel says:

    “There will”!

    Got a bit ventilated there.

    Think Fettes, think Blair…

    Vent at will.

    Lost my internet connection when I submitted this a few minutes ago.

    Not paranoid at all.

  83. Liz g says:

    Artyhettey @ 9.29
    I have never thought about how private schools got their land before.
    For me it was always Bowling Club’s and local Golf Club’s.
    They have prime land in almost every City,town and village all over the central belt.
    (I don’t know about the rest of Scotland)

    I am mindful of an American Business thing I read while killing time in Borders book shop,ages ago.

    Apparently…If you ask “what business are McDonald’s in” most answer food/catering/burger’s.
    This is, the book alleged, not where the “value” of McDonald’s can be measured, but rather it’s the Real Estate that the company hold that is it’s Real value.
    McDonald’s own prime sites in almost every city in the world,and,often more than one!
    Ergo… McDonald’s is really “in real estate”!

    Now I don’t know enough about Business to know if that’s a valid interpretation of the company.
    But it’s certainly an interesting concept when looking at who owns the land in this Country!

  84. Capella says:

    @ Artyhetty – some of them are quite interesting e.g. George Heriot’s. He was a goldsmith, nickname “Jinglin Geordie” and he financed James VI.

    There used to be a pub in Edinburgh behind the old Scotsman builing in a vennel called Jinglin Geordies – maybe it’s still there – where the journalists used to drink.
    A lot of the private schools in Edinburgh were Merchants’ Schools:

    On his death in 1624, George Heriot left around 25,000 Pound Scots – equivalent to several tens of millions today – to found a “hospital” (then the name for this kind of charitable school) to care for the “puir, faitherless bairns” (Scots: poor, fatherless children) of Edinburgh.

  85. Ray Visino says:

    The Scottish Labour Party is miles behind the English one, too right wing and old fashioned. If it could reform itself and offer a left wing platform backed by Corbyn they could do much better, but will they be able to do that with so much dead wood?. Although the SNP are leading the way they could be vulnerable on social policies, services, poverty etc.

  86. Capella says:

    Link to George Heriot bio in Wiki with picture of “Jinglin Geordies” pub

  87. Robert Peffers says:

    I just cannot believe this one, Wingers. I got a tip off that Solidarity leader Tommy Sheridan was speaking at a Scottish Independence march & rally – IN BERLIN.

    My informant just sent a brief text message and I scanned my usual sources and found – nothing. She’s a great one for kidding me on so I thought this was one of her wee jokes, (she calls them her wee jocks).

    Then I did my usual search of the BBC text service and there it was:-

    This must be a World first – The BBC being the only one to show a pro-Scotland exclusive story.

  88. David McDowell says:

    wull2 said @ 1:02pm: “Could we not crowdfund an internet radio to tell the world the truth”

    Wull, I believe you have hit the nail on the head!
    A live internet radio show with guests who can refute that day’s pish from Reporting Scotland. Weeknights 8pm. Even half an hour per night to start would be great. It must be unequivocally “pro independence”. Nothing “balanced”. In today’s Scotland politics there is no paying market for “politically balanced”.
    A crowd funder should be used initially – but only to raise start up capital. The crowd funding money should be spent only on setting up the radio station.
    A strict pledge must be made that no one will be asked to put their hands in their pockets to keep the thing afloat after the crowd funding money is spent.
    Working capital could be generated using the successful “freemium” model. That is, anyone can listen to the live AUDIO shows for free but only paying customers get access to “premium” content:
    1. The ability to “watch” the radio show as online video as it goes out.
    2. Live “behind the scenes” streams.
    3. Access to the complete archived database of past audio and video shows on demand.
    4. Branded merchandise offers for members only.
    5. Event ticket promotions and “premium” content for members only.
    Monthly subscription should be something like £5.00 per month or £50 per year, per member. Of course, one-off donations would still be welcome but would not buy access to “premium” content.
    Paying customers get to experience all the “behind the scenes” adventures. They are “along for the ride”. They feel like “part of the team”. They get to know the radio producers, they get to care about them, they get to worry about whether tonight’s show will actually make it onto the air. Just like a soap opera. Real fans want to see the next episode, and the next…
    This results in a base of loyal supporters who get something of value beyond just “forking out for the cause”. This sort of “fan based” model is much more likely to be financially sustainable in the long term.

  89. Croompenstein says:


    If it could reform itself and offer a left wing platform backed by Corbyn they could do much better

  90. Capella says:

    Other “Merchants” schools were financed in the same way e.g. William Fettes, Daniel Stewart and James Gillespie.
    Originally charities for orphaned children but Fettes now entirely fee paying. Gillespies taken over by the Council.
    Details in Wikipedia.
    Daniel Stewart’s merged with Melville College, now called Stewart’s Melville.

  91. dakk says:

    Ray Visino says:
    2 September, 2017 at 10:22 pm
    The Scottish Labour Party is miles behind the English one,

    There is no English Labour Party.

    All British Nationalist,just like the other two British Nationalist Parties.

    Like you didn’t know.

  92. Legerwood says:

    Liz g @ 10.12

    All big businesses such as M&S, Tesco, Sainsbury’s etc, – own the property on which their shops stand or lease it. If the land is owned by them then it goes on the credit side of their accounts and often they will have a separate department in the business dealing with the real estate side of things. Similarly with the buildings.

    The land itself may have been bought in several individual parcels from the various owners to give a large enough piece of land on which to build their store.

    It is not an unusual way for large companies to operate.

    Sometimes they will buy parcels of land but not develop them immediately- so called ‘land banks’.

  93. Croompenstein says:

    Sometimes wish that Florence would just hit and fuck the lot of us..

    Cactus – positivity required 🙂

  94. Liz g says:

    Ledgerwood @ 11.32
    Sooo… Do ye think that the claim in the book was “mibbi” correct then?
    I always wondered!
    Although even if it was,.
    I don’t know what that means for us!

    Still deeply suspicious of Golf and Bowling Club’s though!

    Did they (current Golf & Bowling Club’s) even exist before …WW2,WW1,Trade Union’s, The 1707 Treaty of the Union, The Decoration of Arbroath?

    When and how do they, and did they, get all that land?

    Now I know that the current members of these club’s pay…and pay well.. to use those club’s.
    But that’s no what I am questioning!!!
    I am askin… demonstrate when and how ..This Land- Came in to the ownership of-This Club?

  95. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Croompenstein –

    😉 🙂 🙂

    Ye canny whack a wee bit ay Midnight Grim Scots humour!

    (wi a wee added kernel ay truth…)

  96. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Robert Peffers (10.39) et al previously –


    Isn’t it sweet that this ‘apparent’ shift in behaviour by BBC Scotland is probably being most closely monitored and critically (and positively!) reflected-upon via this place?

    Well, we can hardly expect any Yoon outfits to draw attention to it, can we?

    Mark my Douglas Hurds! They’ll rue the day they mislaid yon trusty TWTPTS script!

  97. Lenny Hartley says:

    Liz G re land for Golf Clubs etc , here on Arran the Fuedal Superious lease or sell the land to the golf clubs. Presume it was the same elsewhere, golf courses were originally constructed on links ground that was unproductive for farming. The bowling clubs land is mainly owned by the local council and staffed by volunteers,

  98. Still Positive says:

    Please read Andy Wightmans’ excellent book, ” The poor have no lawyers” about land reform.

    The early part of the book describes how the land was distributed in the Middle Ages. The middle part is pretty boring but the latter part is quite enlightening, especially the graphs near the end of the book.

  99. Liz g says:

    Lenny Hartley @ 12.19
    I can see whit yer sayin Lenny.
    But …. I am trying to look at the history of how,why,where and when these club’s got the right/permission to be on the land that they are on?

    And I might be wrong but I thought that the… Feudal Superior thing….was done away with a few year’s back…
    It was portrayed as giving the ex council house owner’s the freedom from the obligation to hold building insurance.
    But that’s only what home owner’s… THOUGHT….it was.
    And that’s a whole other debate!!!!

    But don’t ye find it funny that Golf & Bowling Club’s are never all of a sudden…. block’s of luxury flats….
    Despite their prime position?

  100. Molly says:

    Don’t know if they belonged originally or just coincidence but there are a few bowling clubs near or on what used to be land for the railways. Maybe they had they held the land originally then sold it on ? Caledonia Railways and all that

  101. Capella says:

    To complete my series on Edinburgh merchant schools. Merchiston Castle, the posh boarding school modelled on English public schools is for boys only. So it probably isn’t a charity. Rugby Union players.

    Muriel Spark went to James Gillespies as did Alistair Sim, headmistress of St Trinians. There actually was a St Trinians. I knew a former pupil and it was very progressive. Richard Searle, author, visited when it was moved to the Borders temporarily during the war.

    Of course, nowadays there is no need for merchant schools and they should be incorporated into the state system with equal access for local children.

  102. Capella says:

    The BBC have whinged on about public sector education in Scotland all week. The good news we had about good pass rates and access for poorer pupils must have been more than the colonial service could bear.

    Here’s one example of many. You have to scroll well down before finding that the “expert” thinks it’s too left wing.

    New curriculum disastrous for pupils, says education expert –

    Plenty more where that came from – the BBC website, Scotland, education. Teacher shortages, graduates inderemployed etc etc.
    We’re aw doomed.

  103. naina tal says:

    Re:bowling clubs. As I understand it, some were private members clubs often owned by the members by subscription. Sometimes the land owner would be a member and either donate the land or give a long lease. These clubs were dominated by the well to do and membership by ” common 5/8ths” was discouraged.
    In the Central belt some of the clubs were started by employees of companies (often miners). Presumably the company gave land they had no use for.
    Some clubs may also have been “municipal” where the cooncil were the owners of the land.

  104. Fred says:

    My bit of Glasow was formerly two estates, one was paid for by cotton from America, the other by sugar from Jamaica, so slavery bought the lot. These lairds are long gone but the original owner of these lands was the church, which lost the lot at the Reformation when the nobility stole the whole kit n caboodle in the great Scottish Land Grab!

  105. Capella says:

    Ditto the merchant schools. Cotton, tobacco and tea paid for them. There’s still slave labour in the tea plantations today. The workers are on strike. Darjeeling may disappear from supermarket shelves soon.

    BTW It was Ronald Searle, not Richard.

  106. Stuart McTavish says:

    Capella @ 10.26 & Liz g above:
    Thanks for the catalyst that had me wondering whether, in addition to any spurious claims on McKinney Moller Maersk:

    If George Heriot was Anne of Denmarks banker,
    and the Norman love of their feud lord requires that death cannot extinguish debt,
    and Anne’s granddaughter Sophia was the founder of the Hanoverian, which begat the Sax Coburg, line,
    and his estate was bequeathed to the bastards of Edinburgh ..

    the Rev. Stu might petition his liege lord, clan chief and usurper of the title Duke of Lorne and Kintyre, to change his ludicrous christian name.

  107. Ken500 says:

    The mystery is why people keep on voting for these ignorant incompetents. .

    The unionists councils are cutting education spending. They are building grotesque monstrosities,no one wants and ruining City centres. Wasting £200Million. Conference centres wasting £300Million. No recruiting enough teachers or building schools as the money was intended. Rearranging council meeting for two job Tories to kerp themselves in power.

    A lot of companies have sold off land (real estate) and leased it back. (M & S). They now rent what they formally owned. Tesco financial directors were fiddling the books. Tesco paid a fine and they got away with it.

    Land buy backs in Scotland has restored land to common ownership.

  108. wull2 says:

    Most of the internet traffic is brought to our homes by a handful of company’s, if any of them try to block or put obstacles in place to try and stop the truth getting out, lets expose them, we can always change providers, who knows the news might even go viral.

  109. BJ says:

    Kaen500 @8:53

    “”Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results””

  110. Ken500 says:

    Get rid of SKy. Fake news. Hit Murdoch in the pocket.

    Good for Tommy Sheridan. Organised Rally. Merkel deputy is a McAllister. Scotland has friends in Europe. The Auld Alliance etc.

    £Pound at parity with the €Euro. Any imports become more expensive. Prices go up. The rest of the UK has a large balance of payments deficit. The EU Payment/contribution also goes up.

    The Tory incompetents are negotiating for the EU rights they already have. They get a rebate. They will end up with less rights costing more. It is already costing £Billions. Just as predicted. From a migration crisis Westminster has caused. The European countries have to pick up the pieces. The Tories fiddling the figures. They are a laughing stock.

  111. sassenach says:

    So it looks as though the Nationalist BBC have decided that Scottish Education is to be the first ‘theme’ of the new Parliament – AGAIN!!

    Wee Wullie will be pleased (followed by the Police the next week, I suppose?).

    The Britnats are worried, don’t interrupt them.

  112. Tinto Chiel says:

    More delights from Pravdasound4 this morning, parping out its perennial right-wing message.

    Step forward Roger “The Man with Two Brains” Scruton again to deliver his secular sermon “The Religion of Rights”.

    Your rights are actually bad for you, plebs. Look what happened at the French Revolution, after all: stands to reason, dunnit?

    Human rights really, really bad: I mean, gay people can actually adopt children.

    It was all so simple when we could send the tinies up chimneys, pines Roger, I’m sure.

  113. Ken500 says:

    There are websites supporting Independence. Including Wings. Going mainstream? The National etc. Countering the lies and misreporting. Just don’t watch the BBC news outlets etc. No viewers no programmes. BBC Scotland is the Labour Party Press Office. Boothman insulting Margo’s daughter. He was side stepped. The BBC spends £3.7Billion. Most on overpaid prima donnas and nonsense.

    The Times, Guardian etc has a very low readership, especially in Scotland. Most of the Press is struggling. Scotsman JP has reconstructed debt. In a right financial mess. MSM owned by non Dom tax evaders. Not UK residents. Non residents are not allowed to own shares but foreigners can illegally control the Press. The ones who complain about migration to ruin the British economy. Taking the UK out of the EU. Support illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion.

  114. Highland Wifie says:

    @Capella 7.22
    It most definitely suits the BBC’s agenda to promote this line of thinking without any proper analysis of context. Prof Paterson harks back to a bygone age when schools were regimented institutions that instilled knowledge without encouragement to question, analyse or debate such knowledge. Pupils were processed and turned out as good “British” citizens. Hence my knowledge of Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Dickens etc and my ignorance of Hugh Macdiarmid etc. (Burns notwithstanding)

    “The old academic knowledge – the best that has been thought and said by human beings – will still be given to the children of the well-educated middle class by their parents.”

    I know what Paterson is implying in his argument and I have a certain sympathy with it for the reason that whilst we have a society based on class rather than merit, success will always be there for those who play by the rules. These rules include knowledge of ancient history, the arts, the classics etc which distinguish the social classes from each other. Knowledge is power. I suspect Paterson is arguing from a position of having benefited from the old style rigorous education that allowed him to join the elite and is arguing that our young people today have had this door closed off unless their parents can pay.
    Looking at it from this perspective only he is right. Wee Ryan and Natalie from the local estate will find it hard to compete with wee Jack and Emily to aim for the top jobs as they’re not playing on a level field.
    Society has changed beyond recognition since Paterson’s “golden age” and the requirements for living in a high tech society which is accelerating beyond what we can easily predict is providing an enormous challenge to our schools. Add in the need to provide many poorer children with basic nutrition, social skills and a myriad of other knowledge needed to function in this modern society, much of which has been devolved by parents to schools and this is where we are.

    The SG is doing its best to level up this playing field and providing an education that will enable all children in Scotland to face the challenges they will find growing up in Scotland today. They are encouraged not to accept facts at face value, to question, to analyse, to find out for themselves (as we do on Wings) to debate, to be able to defend an argument with knowledge. The goal is to turn out well rounded Scottish citizens who understand how the world works and don’t just spout facts.
    While the British state and its history continue to dominate, the private school elite will always have an educational advantage.

  115. John W says:

    Just listened to the paper review on BBC Scotland with their “experts ” , not a word about Nicola Sturgeon/John McKay removing the pay cap on public sector workers , I would have thought that should have been their big story of the day !

  116. Ken500 says:

    Has there ever been a bigger slavering incompetent than David Davis? They will negotiate less rights for more money. Just despicable. Tanking the world economy.

  117. Ken500 says:

    Scotland has one of the best education system in the world. More people go to university than any other country in the world. 55%. Paterson is part of the problem. A Tory? Teachers get no training in additional needs because of people like Paterson stuck in the past. Responsible for putting the training in place. 20% of pupils have additional needs. Unionist councils are cutting education and cutting additional needs teacher and provision. Spending public money on groteque monstrosities hotels and confererence centres no one wanted. Wasting £Millions Ruining City centres.

  118. heedtracker says:

    Graun’s worth watching because its so virulently anti Scottish democracy. A UK wide media outfit, probably the most aggressive pro SLabour crew, total blackout of any actual Scottish news.

    You’ll be like Greece so Vote NO.

  119. colin alexander says:

    Motes and beams.

    It angers the people on here that the BBC and MSM can spout lie after lie, distort facts and defend injustices and turn a blind eye to wrongs.

    Yet, when it’s the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, set up by and funded by the Scottish Govt that does that, to defend and whitewash wrongs done by Scottish Councils and Scottish Health Boards, then that’s not a problem.

    And the Justice Department of the Scottish Govt, say: “nothing to do with us” and MSPs say: “nothing to do with us”, then that’s okay to many WoS commenters.

    Aye, people can see the motes in the Unionist’s eyes but are deaf and blind to the beams in Scotland’s eye, when it’s the Scottish Govt that’s involved in a system that gives no redress for the public against negligence and abuses by Scottish public bodies, such as councils and health boards.

  120. Capella says:

    @ John W – well their “experts” were Margaret Curran and David Pratt – again – no surprise.

    @ Highland Wifie – yes Mr Paterson harked back to the good old days when “English” was the great subject above all else and you learned the “canon”. None of this lefty egalitarian rubbish. What we need is a middle class elite!

    Finland has done away with all that, and homework, and still manages to be at the top of the the education leagues. Prof Paterson must be fuming.

    @ Stuart McTavish – do you mean “Archibald”?
    Wiki doesn’t say where George Heriot got his gold. Could have been Scottish, or maybe traded from the Dutch colonies through Amsterdam. His father, also a goldsmith, also a banker to the king and member of Parliament, formulated currency policy.

  121. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Capella at 6:59 am.

    You typed,
    “So it probably isn’t a charity.”

    The web site for the school is at:-

    Right at the bottom of the front page, in a tiny font, you’ll find,

    © 2013 Merchiston. Charity Number SC016580

  122. Capella says:

    @ Brian Doonthetoon – oh dear. I thought OSCR had tightened up the rules governing charities in Scotland – there was a very public stooshie about it at one time but I forget the details. Oh well – back to Google! Thx

  123. Tinto Chiel says:

    “Finland has done away with all that, and homework, and still manages to be at the top of the education leagues. Prof Paterson must be fuming.”

    And their Inspectorate, in the 70s, I believe, Capella. Most of the problems in CfE have been exacerbated by HMI and SQA.

    Honest John Swinney needs more scepticism when listening to these bods, particularly about internal and external assessment.

    Despite all that, our system is much better than the Balkanised free-for-all down south, with state schools, private schools, public schools, Church schools and Blairite academies all jostling for resources. Not all teachers there are graduates, either.

  124. Robert Peffers says:

    @Molly says: 3 September, 2017 at 5:51 am:

    “Don’t know if they belonged originally or just coincidence but there are a few bowling clubs near or on what used to be land for the railways. Maybe they had they held the land originally then sold it on ? Caledonia Railways and all that.”

    Not only Caledonia Railways but LNER and LMS. Back then the railways, and that includes the railway hotels, were among the biggest employers in Scotland.

    Many things like public baths/swimming pools, tennis courts, bowling Greens and amateur/Junior football clubs and even the Gothenburg Society pubs, clubs, libraries, theatres and picture houses were started up by employees or trade unions and the employers gave them bits of land to set-up such things.

    If you examine local history you will still find signs of such activities.

    In the village of Kelty, a former Mining community, there is the Moray Institute and there was a Gothenburg Picture house, three Gothenburg pubs and there is a street named, “Bath Street”.

    Old people can still remember that before Bath street, (as so called), there were tennis courts there. Then the Miners unions built public baths. and the Moray Institute occupies the corner of Bath Street & Main Street. Not only that but Kelty Public Park is there and that was a former disused quarry. Alongside the public park is Kelty Hearts FC football ground and it was once the site of Kelty Rangers FC also.

    Most people in Kelty are totally unaware that much of these things came from the old war between the Coal Companies and the Trade Unions. Even Kelty Public School and what was the Kelty Co-Op stores resulted from that war.

    The Coal companies were virtually slave masters. They paid a very scant wage but then got it all back again as they owned the Miners Row houses and charged rent for them. They also owned the company store and the company pubs and so on.

    So the miners wage packet came minus the rent money and the total outstanding cash on the company store, “Slate”, account. Then what little cash was left also found it’s way back to the Coal Company vie the Company pubs.

    That was the reason the trade unions and co-ops were born. They were the workers’ answer to the company claw-back of the wages cash. Then there was also the co-op bank and the co-op funeral service.

    These facts, though, like the rest of real history, have been brain-washed away or re-written by the Establishment.

    I have mentioned several times how, especially in the West of Scotland, the large employers used sectarianism to keep wages down.

    With the influx of Irish people, due to the potato Famine, (it also badly affected the Scottish Highlands and southern uplands), the mines, mills and iron & steel industries exploited the situation.

    This is why, especially in the West of Scotland, you can often find two neighbouring towns or villages – one traditionally Protestant/Orange and the other traditionally Roman Catholic.

    The RC villages sprang up on the opposite side of some former large employer and they began basically as shanty towns of Irish and Highland refugees from the clearances and potato famine. The employers used the refugees to drive down the protestant workers wages.

    This aggravated the sectarianism and engendered the workers to form trade unions, (note that these were originally made illegal by the Westminster Establishment and led to such things as, “The Tolpuddle Martyrs:-

    It also led to Trade Unions, The Red Clydesiders, The Co-Op movement, The Scottish Rent Riots and armoured tanks on the streets of Glasgow, The Battle of Braes, of Kier Hardie and the birth of the Labour Party.

    Much of such real history is brainwashed away, or simply historically re-written, by the Westminster Establishment.

    Things haven’t really changed all that much as seen by the present fake Austerity Measures imposed by the Tory right wing and backed up fully by Labour and LibDems alike.

    There is no real austerity when the wealthiest strata of society has more than doubled its personal wealth while the poor are factually being starved or driven to killing themselves out of sheer despair.

    We, sure as Hell. are NOT all in this together, as Westminster, Tory. Labour and LibDems united all tell us we are.

  125. heedtracker says:

    Not all teachers there are graduates, either.

    Pulling back, should we be starting to ask why it is that privately educated people more or less dominate all aspects of UKOK life. Everyone at the top of all UK gov civil services, army, law, medicine, uni’s, beeb gimps, all are private school educated.

    Ofcourse I dont actually know if that’s really true. But every name that pops up across the top jobs in public sector Scotland and England, right click google…private school, in England its off to Oxbridge.

    Even comrade Corbyn’s ex private school boy.


    170 grand a year of SNP bad and they left out the private school that produces this level of beeb gimpery. Of course I dont know if Donalda is an ex private school girl, but its extremely likely she is, if the beeb gimp biographer has left it out.

  126. Lenny Hartley says:

    Liz g yeah your right about some of rye feudal superiors so called rights been reduced however when the golf and bowling clubs were founded they still held sway.
    On Arran our feudal overlord still gets tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands from the general public who travel to Arran by ferry. Back in the old days when I was a lad, you had to pay 3d Pier dues when getting off the boat at Brodick this has not gone away it’s been adjusted for inflation and added to the ticket price. The Ardrossan Brodick run had over 800,00 passengers last year, and as pier dues is only paid on arrival ,( just did a quick calculation and I could only find something that worked out what money is worth now upto 2005 ,) but based on inflation up to 2005 and 400,000 passengers arriving that’s over £ 160,000 per year. Think I will need to root about the cal-Mac accounts or put a FOI request in. No wonder he gave me a “look” the last time I saw him on the boat, I had publically suggested that instead of closing the public toilets all round the Island that the Pier dues should be reallocated to a toilet fund. It has to be said that Arran is unusual as the Crown Estates do not operate here, but I would think that elsewhere in Scotland the Crown Estates will be hitting the public with a similar charge.

  127. Legerwood says:

    Liz g @ 11.56pm

    I have no idea what book you are referring to or why it should mean anything for us.

    As to bowling clubs and golf clubs, they have been in existence for centuries and, as with golf, it was the Scots who codified the rules of lawn bowls

    Clubs do not necessarily own the land on which the club operates. They may lease it on a long lease, it may be council owned, it may have been gifted to the club by an employer for their workforce or landowner as a gift to the town or by an individual and is held in a deed of trust or the club may have bought it in order to set up the club.

    To suggest that all the land theses clubs own is prime land and raise questions as to how they got it as if skullduggery was involved is very wide of the mark. For the vast majority of clubs the land was not prime land when they bought it, leased it or whatever. If it is seen as a prime site now it is due to development over the years around the location of the club and not to the club buying or acquiring a prime site by nefarious means.

  128. Graf Midgehunter says:

    Frankfurt is having its own bit of “fun” today.

    A week ago an unexploded bomb was found during construction work near the city centre. These get found regularly here, greetings from the RAF.

    This one is particularly big and deadly. It’s a 1.8 ton, HC 4000 landmine “Blockbuster” which is about the size of a large Mercedes. It has three seperate detonators which need to be removed, one at a time.
    The bomb disposel squad and the authorities have been preparing everything for the last week and today is the day when they (hopefully) defuse the thing.

    Otherwise …..

    70.000 people have been removed from a 2km radius round the site including two complete hospitals, the Bundesbank, the police headquarters, the university, Hessen TV and, and, and…

    Halls, hotels, sport facilities etc. are being used to accommodate and feed people for a couple of days.

    They’ve even got daylong (remote..!) live TV coverage..!

  129. Scott says:

    They just cant help themselves today’s Express.

    Queensferry Crossing: Old bridge could have last 70 years, say engineers

    QUESTIONS have been raised over the SNP’s £1.5billion Queensferry Crossing after engineers revealed the old bridge could have lasted another 70 years.

    Queensferry Crossing: Old bridge could have last 70 years, say engineers

    QUESTIONS have been raised over the SNP’s £1.5billion Queensferry Crossing after engineers revealed the old bridge could have lasted another 70 years.

    Queensferry Crossing: Old bridge could have last 70 years, say engineers

    QUESTIONS have been raised over the SNP’s £1.5billion Queensferry Crossing after engineers revealed the old bridge could have lasted another 70 years.

    By Ben Borland – EXCLUSIVE

    All this money spent on Alex Salmond’s vanity project I wonder what Borland would say if it had not been built and the old bridge had to be closed for on going repairs.

    Cross rail HS2 are they vanity projects oh forgot that is for London.

  130. Legerwood says:

    heedtracker says:
    3 September, 2017 at 10:56 am
    “”Not all teachers there are graduates, either.””

    I am not sure if this is something that you have said or you are quoting a statement from someone else but, as usual, omitting the quotes but all teachers in Scotland have to be graduates. They cannot be registered with the HTC if they do not have a recognised degree – subject specific for secondary school teachers and BEd for primary.

    You could get round this by setting up your own school. Good luck with that. Don’t think you would get many pupils.

    Worth pointing out that when the Church of Scotland set out its plans at the time of the Reformation for a school in every parish the teachers in the schools had to be university graduates.

    By 1697 the CofS had more or less achieved that aim and the education Act passed by the Scots Parliament that year made it compulsory for all parishes to have a school thus bringing the few remaining parishes without a school into the fold. Not the act made it compulsory for the parishes to have a school but did not make attendance compulsory. That did not come in until the Education Act (Scotland) 1873.

    As the population increased during the 18th century adventure schools sprang up to help cope with increased demand but the teacher in such a school did not have to have a degree.
    I think Robert Burns was educated in an adventure school.

  131. Jack Murphy says:

    Fireproofjim said at 6:43 pm yesterday:

    “What’s gone wrong with the BBC? A coup-d’etat perhaps?

    Tonight’s reporting Scotland was positively glowing in its praise of the new bridge with a nice interview with Nicola.
    Then another good report on the Braemar Gathering and finally an uncritical report on a “Germans for Scottish Independence” rally from Berlin. Complete with lots of Saltires.


    It’s the week-end. Normal service will be resumed Monday. 🙁

  132. heedtracker says:

    They just cant help themselves today’s Express.

    Queensferry Crossing: Old bridge could have last 70 years, say engineers

    Toryboy’s like it both ways too. Think this dude’s a Daily Heil ligger.

    Stephen Daisley?Verified account @JournoStephen Aug 30

    Replying to @JournoStephen
    It was designed & constructed by people from across the UK & Europe using steel from China. It’s a feat of engineering, not national glory.

    Stephen Daisley?Verified account @JournoStephen Aug 30

    Replying to @JournoStephen
    It’s a bridge. It has no bearing on the national character. Indeed, the pedigree of such thinking isn’t terribly, um, anständig.

  133. Meg merrilees says:


    Absolutely right – they can’t help themselves.

    Heard the Colonial Broadcasting Company on the radio last night AGAIN mention that people had been asked to stay away from Skye because there were too many tourists.
    Now this morning the Sunday Post has used the font page to highlight the tragedy of an Australian hitch hiker killed on Skye —- because there are too many tourists and the roads are not good enough – her mother apparently blamed a failure to invest in tourism.

    Maybe there is a wider problem caused by Westminster hogging all the ‘improvement’ budget for itself.

    Many roads across Scotland/Wales/West Country could be upgraded for the benefit of the people living there… not just as an investment in tourism.
    Don’t put someone’s tragedy on the front page and blame tourism.

  134. Tinto Chiel says:

    Legerwood: heed was quoting me @10.44 and I was talking about English education.

  135. heedtracker says:

    Google translate says anständig means decent in German. Not sure why this bloated Heil ligger picked German for his Freedom Bridge bad stuff.

    Replying to @JournoStephen
    It’s a bridge. It has no bearing on the national character. Indeed, the pedigree of such thinking isn’t terribly, um, anständig.

  136. Scott says:

    I must have pressed a few wrong buttons but the story is still the same SNPBAD.

  137. heedtracker says:

    Don’t put someone’s tragedy on the front page and blame tourism.

    BBC r4 gimps are doing a thing on world wide mass protests against tourists and tourism. Their ads for this show go, “protests in Italy and Spain against tourist are growing and on the island of Skye, tourists are being told to stay away,” kind of toryboy beeb creep out.

  138. Brian Powell says:


    For it’s Jock this, an’ Jock that, an’ ” Jock, wait outside “;
    But it’s ” Special train for Tamson ” when the trooper’s on the tide
    The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
    O it’s ” Special train for Tamson ” when the trooper’s on the tide.

  139. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    heedtracker @ 11:33,
    Meg merrilees @ 11:35,

    I would have thought that it wasn’t terribly anständig to try to make political capital out of the death of a young visitor and a parent’s very natural grief.

    But that’s BritNattery for you. There isn’t any low to which they won’t go, and they’re getting more desperate by the day.

  140. Capella says:

    TES article sheds some light on private schools in Scotland. OSCR did investigate but decided they all passed the charity test.

    The regulator looked at the schools one by one to ensure they were doing enough to justify their status, and ultimately they all passed the charity test.
    However, OSCR has said independent schools will have to continue to prove their worth to keep claiming charitable status.

    Which raises another anomoly. They do not pay business rates although state schools do.

    The schools’ comments come after last week’s publication of the Barclay Review of Non-Domestic Rates by former RBS chairman Ken Barclay, which suggested that independent schools should pay business rates in full because state schools were subject to the charges and it was “unfair” that, as charities, independent schools benefitted from “reduced or zero-rates bills”. It estimated that removing the rate relief could save £5 million.

    Vindictive and counterproductive says private school headteacher.

  141. heedtracker says:

    Cant mind the actual anti tourist protests in Spain, Italy, Skye BBC r4 documentary but google, BBC Scotland gimps, Skye, tourism bad, SNP bad, and there they are, beeb Scotland gimpery at its UKOK finest, which ofcourse the nice beeb r4 man didnt mention, as the one and only source of, Skye bans tourists now,

    About 495,000 BBC Scotland says SNP bad results (0.51 seconds)

    Is Skye reaching the limit for tourists? – BBC News
    9 Aug 2017 – Skye is bursting at the seams. So much so that Police Scotland has advised visitors to use “common sense” before travelling to the island for an …

    Does the Isle of Skye have too many tourists? – BBC News

    9 Aug 2017 – Skye is popular for its beauty but this is causing some problems. … the Scottish government to provide funding to help Skye cope with all of its …
    Skye needs 30-year tourism strategy, say islanders – BBC News
    26 Jun 2017 – He told BBC Scotland: “We don’t want to turn Skye into Disneyland, but I think there has to be an overall tourism strategy that looks 10, 20 even …
    Top stories

    BBC Sport · 17 hours ago
    More for bbc scotland skye
    Tourist tax suggested for Isle of Skye – BBC News
    31 Jul 2017 – A Skye businessman says a small charge would help pay for improved facilities for the thousands who visit the isle. … visitors to Skye says a tourist tax would help pay for more facilities. … From the section Scotland business.

    No idea why BBC Scotland sport gimps also pile on to the current Scottish tourism bad meme pouring out of Pacific Quay. All for one, and one for all SNP bad, no doubt.

  142. heedtracker says:

    Capella says:
    3 September, 2017 at 11:54 am
    TES article sheds some light on private schools in Scotland. OSCR did investigate but decided they all passed the charity test.

    Of the grads I know that went into teaching, only those with firsts were hired by private schools. No PGCE required.

  143. Liz g says:

    Ledgerwood 11.07
    I have no idea what book I am taking about either.
    It was just something that I remember reading.
    That, I thought,as I said, was an interesting way to look at the companies business activities!
    Also I did tell ye that I don’t know enough to know if it’s an accurate portrayal.

    As to “Why it should mean anything for us”… well..
    I would have said that the Who,When and How of acquiring land in Scotland has a great deal to do with us…all of us!

    And as for…..
    Your saying that I am suggesting,that ALL this land is prime land, or,as you put it “Skullduggery” was involved in getting ownership of it!
    Was wide of the mark!!

    Well firstly,I did -Not-say All the club’s and All McDonald’s were on prime land.
    But I do think that sayin quite a lot of them are would be a fair statement, don’t you?

    And for the avoidance of doubt.
    I am saying that I wondered how all these nice and valuable bits of land around me ended up belonging to whomever they belong to.
    As an example… it’s no very difficult to find out how and when football clubs got hold of their ground’s, now is it?

    And if you are correct and some of these club’s have been around for centuries…then aye ….back in the day there was a lot of “skulduggery” going on around land acquisition.
    The 1706 Treaty of Union being a prime example don’t ye think?
    You have pointed out various ways these Club’s could have gotten their land.
    And I canny say that they are not all possible and or likely,but that’s no what I am askin!!!

    I am asking no for a description of the many,many,many different ways that they Might have gotten their land,but how they Actually did?
    Given that land ownership in Scotland is no very transparent at the best of time’s, I think it’s a fair question.
    And all being above board no a problematic one either.
    What say you Ledgerwood? Are ye no even a wee bit curious?

  144. HandandShrimp says:

    Listened to the long interview on the radio this morning. I missed the first couple of minutes and listened to a chap reminisce and sound slightly sad for the passing of deference to the Minister, Dominie and Doctor. As the interview went on he made some salient points about education and that ones parents were as influential as schools in shaping and determining outcomes. He himself a product of an English Teacher and Maths Teacher studied English and Maths at Aberdeen. The son of the Shaman becomes the Shaman. However, he then bemoaned the left of centre consensus in Scotland the refusal to consider fracking and GM and the lack of deference in modern life. He particularly dislikes Curriculum for Excellence which “could” disadvantage the poor because it is too general and dumbed down.

    I was listening at the end to see who was speaking but I was none the wiser with the name Lindsay Paterson. An academic it would seem who has given the BBC their SNPbaaad story for the day with the “could” disadvantage piece. I am not sure that the BBC focus wholly reflects everything the man was trying to say but hey, its only the BBC.

    I thought the whole point of the CfE was that teachers had flexibility to teach from a wide range of sources and could be used to push standards up not down. Paterson’s worry was more that teachers would play safe because they were scared of the school inspectors not that the curriculum choices were not there or that Holyrood would interfere but that part seems to have escaped the edit.

    On the whole I think Paterson is looking at the past with rose tinted glasses. He grew up in Tain not Possil. However, I do agree that home environment is just as important as school and that parents that value education and take in interest the political, philosophical, social and scientific matters of the day open doors for their children that those parents with no such interests do not. I am not sure there are easy ways around this. It is a social issue as much as an educational one.

  145. Phil says:

    wull2 said:
    2 September, 2017 at 1:02 pm
    Could we not crowdfund an internet radio to tell the world . . .

    Well, why not? What’s lacking? Time to create content, talent to organise schedules, money? I don’t know.

    One starting point might be with an aggregator like Tunein :-

  146. Stuart McTavish says:

    Capella @ 10.21

    Lol, On reflection my prejudice against scandinavian names is misplaced and certainly hypocritical. Besides, his being an elephant polo world champion pretty much trumps whatever else he wants, or is entitled, to call himself.

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