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On National Collective

Posted on April 10, 2013 by

The short version is, we don’t know either.

As of around half an hour ago, the National Collective website looks like this:

nationalc

The site had recently attracted a great deal of traffic for a post entitled “Dirty Money: The Tory Millionaire Bankrolling Better Together”, which compiled together links to a number of newspaper articles about Ian Taylor, a businessman who donated £500,000 to the anti-independence “Better Together” campaign.

The story was picked up today by the Herald and Daily Record, with the latter’s piece including the line “Vitol said allegations made about them this week were inaccurate and they were taking legal advice”. [EDIT 4.15pm: The Guardian now reports that “the Herald has now had a lawyer’s letter and so too has National Collective”.]

(Possibly coincidentally, the site’s Wikipedia entry has been nominated for deletion.)

As far as we can establish, the stories linked in “Dirty Money” – in, among others, the Guardian, Mirror and Telegraph – are still online. There’s an absurd, huffy, pious whinge on the “Better Together” website complaining with no apparent irony about the article being part of “a co-ordinated dirty-tricks campaign by the nationalists”.

Other than that, we’re as much in the dark as everyone else.

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    105 to “On National Collective”

    1. David Petrie says:

      I registered with the site at 13.04 today.
       
      Was it my fault?

    2. southernscot says:

      They’ve got a mirror up
      http://digitalraven.dreamwidth.org/608248.html

    3. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I registered with the site at 13.04 today.
      Was it my fault?”

      All current evidence says yes.

    4. alasdair says:

      cyber attack?

    5. southernscot says:

      Rev hope you’ve got plans in place. For sure you have not gone unnoticed and the damaged done to the No campaign.

    6. Cath says:

      I’m still hoping for art stunt or clever marketing technique. The alternative is too depressing to contemplate.

    7. alasdair says:

      scratch that.  Cover up.

    8. Robert louis says:

      I recall that Newsnet Scotland ensured their web hosting was overseas, in order to reduce the possibility of this kind of thing happening.  I assume RevStu has taken precautions with hosting.

    9. Quite simply, a masterclass in paranoia. 🙂 (Clothes peg over the nose, and enjoy!)
      http://www.bettertogether.net/blog/entry/smear-and-fear

    10. David McCann says:

      Interesting. I posted a comment (unpublished) on the Herald story about Better Together donations, using data from National Collective- including all the links. I asked why the Herald, with all its resources could not do basic research, and why we have to get our info from blogs such as Wings and NC. I followed it up with a further comment, suggesting (correctly) that I had been modded out, which in turn was- modded out!

    11. On one hand, Yes Scotland have produced a list of major donors affiliated to a greater or lesser extent with the SNP.  On the other, they haven’t included anyone who was linked to a company paying off a war criminal.

      Swings and roundabouts, I guess.

    12. Adrian B says:

      Check out this from Better Together:
       
      http://www.bettertogether.net/blog/entry/smear-and-fear
       
      All links from the original piece still working – Reuters, The Mirror, the Guardian etc going back to 2001.
       
      All old stuff – But Labour are squealing like mad, to protect Tory doners.
      You have to read all the links in the original story – the level of scandal here is unprecedented for a political donor.

    13. Graham Anderson says:

      In the comments section of the nationalcollective.com exposé a couple of people wondered what exactly was in it for Vitol and Ian Taylor. On the surface an oil rich independent Scotland doesn’t seem too much of problem for an energy trader; until it emerges that Vitol has a stake in Scottish mainland gas extraction.
      Dart energy, which has extensive[1], and problematic[2] gas extraction concerns in Scotland stands to make a lot of money selling low quality gas with poor calorific value to energy distributors.
      The most controversial gas extraction technique is high pressure fracking, where a toxic mixture of carcinogenic chemicals is pumped under very high pressure into the ground to fracture shale and rock deposits releasing pockets of gas for extraction. As you can imagine, pumping toxic chemicals into the water table is *never* a good idea.
      Dart energy claims it has no plans for toxic fracking in Scotland but lists it’s Scottish shale gas assets in it’s submissions to the Australian stock exchange[3], and has acquired rights from BG Group[3] for shale gas development in Scotland.
      In late 2012, Dart energy acquired Greenpark Energy[4] with a mixture of cash and transfer of shares to Greenpark (approx 16% of Dart’s shares). Vitol, and two UK private equity firms are the majority shareholders of Greenpark.
      [1] http://frack-off.org.uk/frack-attack-application-for-britains-first-unconventional-gas-development/
      [2] http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/burning-issue-poor-gas-quality-could-end-scots-drilling-plan.20723754
      [3] http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/burning-issue-poor-gas-quality-could-end-scots-drilling-plan.20723754
      [4] http://www.noodls.com/viewNoodl/16144463/dart-energy-limited/greenpark-acquisition—payment-of-final-instalment
       

    14. EdinScot says:

      Are the Unionists bringing forward plans to shut down Scottish cyber space early and take their cue from the blether with Brian  blog  thus ensuring we have across the board political censorship….Oh dear…

    15. DougtheDug says:

      Robert louis
      National Collective was hosted on the IP 205.186.179.178 which belongs to Media Temple Inc., a hosting company in the States so being overseas was no protection.
       
      Whoever it was who closed the site down may have gone for the hosting company rather than National Collective itself.

    16. Robert louis says:

      I have just read the ‘bitter together’ smear and fear story.  They are almost hysterical in their faux outrage. 
       
      Manufactured????  Oh, yes.
       
      Frankly laughable.  
       
      Pay attention independence supporters, do not for one second assume that unionists will not resort to very dirty tricks, including agents provocateur (as has been previously definitively documented in Scotland).
       
      They are getting feart and very, very desperate.

    17. Cath says:

      Bloody hell, that really is a Through the Looking Glass blog from Better Together.

    18. Robyn - Quine fae Torry says:

      And then they come to fight you…….

    19. Ron says:

      From Severin Carell’s latest article:
       
      Vitol has retaliated, asserting that many of the claims against it are untrue and libellous; the Herald has now had a lawyer’s letter and so too has National Collective. The pro- independence site has now taken its article offline: the page now reads “not for publication”.
       
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/scottish-independence-blog/2013/apr/10/yesscotland-euromillions-donations

    20. Swello says:

      If this is a genuine take-down, then this will have an even greater Streisand Effect than the “myths debunked” video and will attract a lot of attention onto the donations themselves and BT have a lot more to be worried about there than the yes side who seem clean.
       

    21. Cath says:

      “The pro- independence site has now taken its article offline: the page now reads “not for publication”.”
       
      Not just the article. As far as I can tell the whole site has been shut down.

    22. The Man in the Jar says:

      Old saying. The Truth Hurts!

    23. Robert louis says:

      Wonder if RT.com will take an interest?

    24. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I recall that Newsnet Scotland ensured their web hosting was overseas, in order to reduce the possibility of this kind of thing happening.  I assume RevStu has taken precautions with hosting.”

      Our current hosts were chosen very much with this sort of situation in mind.

    25. Doug Daniel says:

      Without wanting to look like I’m defending the legal action, I expect there’s something in the NC article which takes an allegation from one of the linked articles and makes it sound like a proven fact, or at least can be argued to be doing that.
       
      Alternatively, it’s simply because newspapers are more savvy when it comes to being threatened with legal action – those who don’t have much to do with the law are generally easier to scare than those who know their rights like the back of their hand. It wouldn’t be the first time a blogger caved in at the first mention of legal action, where a seasoned journo would tell them to go swivel.

    26. I’d be interested to see an actual rebuttal – if there’s a genuine case to be made for inaccuracy in the article, I’ll happily remove it from my list of references.  I’ll even make sure everyone I sent it to is aware that there is an alternate argument to be made.  But screaming LEGAL ACTION just makes me all the more determined to boost the signal of the article.  

    27. Adrian B says:

      This story is huge – it brings in cash for questions – and David Cameron.
      From Vitol website:
       
      At Vitol we are committed to being a responsible corporate citizen. For us, this means respecting our customers, suppliers and partners and all the communities in which we operate.
      And it is also about good governance – how we run our business, the standards that we apply across all our operations, how we manage financial and business risk, as well as how we manage our impact on the environment.
       
       
      Treat this story as being banned and get links out by e-mail, twitter, word of mouth etc.
       
       
       

      The company, run by Ian Taylor, admitted it had allowed its Bahraini subsidiary to buy a cargo of fuel oil of Iranian origin in July – after the EU had imposed sanctions on Iranian oil trades.

      Neither Vitol, as a Swiss company, nor its Bahraini arm were bound by the sanctions, so both were legally entitled to buy the cargo. However,Swiss-based peers such as Glencore voluntarily stopped all Iranian purchases by July.

      Vitol said: “At the time of purchase it did not contravene any applicable sanctions.” The company ceased all purchases from Iran at the end of July when the US introduced further sanctions that could have applied to its trades.

      Vitol chief Mr Taylor is a significant Tory donor, who has dined with David Cameron at Downing Street. On Wednesday night a Tory spokesman said all donations complied with Electoral Commission rules.

      But Vitol was accused of “immoral” trade and “backing corrupt regimes” by John Mann MP, a Labour member of the Treasury Select Committee, who demanded that the Tory party hand back the “dirty money” it had received from Mr Taylor.
       
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/9569231/Vitol-faces-questions-on-trade-with-Iran.html

    28. EdinScot says:

      Just read the bitter together site.  Delusional doesnt even cover them lol!  Where is this big majority they keep speaking about.  Maybe its time Lamont came out that bunker!  I really did have to hold my nose as i read their pathetic dribblings.  My God, Scotland really will be having its comical ali moments courtesy of the Unionists.  This is what democracy in Scotland looks like under Unionist control.  I think we’re winning.

    29. JuanBonnets says:

      “Vitol has retaliated, asserting that many of the claims against it are untrue and libellous”
       
      They would say that, wouldn’t they. If that’s true then why have the articles cited in the National Collective piece not suffered the same fate? Is it only “libellous” when someone connects the dots?
       
      Presumably National Collective know the rules and wouldn’t have published without due diligence.
       
      As Swello says (3.49pm), can’t wait to see the Streisand effect from this, either way!

    30. Robert louis says:

      It has been know, although I must stress, so far as I know, NOT in this case, for large global corprorations to use financial clout and legal threats to ensure press coverage meets their needs.  One might assume that newspapers such as the guardian or Torygraph are all too familiar with this kind of thing and have good lawyers at the end of the phone.
       
      Of course if you go after the little guy……….
       
       

    31. auslander says:

      All of the pages from the site return the same HTML which does still have a National Collective header tag in it. If whoever wanted it taken down had gone directly to the provider I wouldn’t have expected this header would have remained so would assume it’s been carried out by someone with access to the server. Whether it’s been as a statement or as a response to a demand is another matter though.

    32. Gayle says:

      Now it makes me want to go and see what else Mr Taylor is hiding and dig into each of the claims made. Well done Better Together, you have just made a lot of people even more curious about this guy. 

    33. Russell Bruce says:

      The following is taken from Vitol’s website
      “At Vitol we are committed to being a responsible corporate citizen. For us, this means respecting our customers, suppliers and partners and all the communities in which we operate.
      And it is also about good governance – how we run our business, the standards that we apply across all our operations, how we manage financial and business risk, as well as how we manage our impact on the environment.”
      If this story, run by Reuters, is accurate then the suggestion is ‘being responsible’ and doing ‘nothing wrong’ was achieved by moving oil trading deals to other jurisdictions ahead of embargoes or international political pressure.
      http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/09/26/uk-iran-oil-sanctions-vitol-idUKBRE88P06920120926?utm_source=Collective&utm_campaign=ce00a388d5-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email

    34. muttley79 says:

      I think if National Collective gets the all clear and returns their fund raising should rocket.  After all, this is not the first time BT have tried to censor them.  FAO MSM:  When the fuck are you going to start asking questions of Darling and co?  Talk about the kid glove approach.

    35. Lanarkian says:

      THe cached version of the National Collective article is also gone.. I managed to create a copy at: http://tinyurl.com/ctfojos
       

    36. Macart says:

      “This is what democracy in Scotland looks like under Unionist control.  I think we’re winning.”
       
      Yes, yes we are. Not content with having 100% of the UK media in its pocket, the opposition are determined to clamp down on the internet. Why? Because its proving too effective. Despite their best efforts over the past two years their poll support has dropped to a 10% lead with only a 5.1% swing required to secure a YES vote this far out from the polling day. They are bricking it and now the really dirty fight starts.

    37. Robert louis says:

      Meanwhile the vacuous nonsense regarding some dead old lady is still continuing in the house of commons.  I just wonder when one of the Tories will start singing Rule `britannia.  Hoenstly, it’s enough to make you vomit.

    38. Robyn - Quine fae Torry says:

      The fourth filter of a propaganda model: flak.

    39. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Without wanting to look like I’m defending the legal action, I expect there’s something in the NC article which takes an allegation from one of the linked articles and makes it sound like a proven fact, or at least can be argued to be doing that.”

      I’ve read through it carefully and there’s nothing that would stand up in court for five minutes. The Herald hasn’t pulled its story – despite the Guardian reporting that it’s had a letter too – and all of the originals are still online. It smells of empty bluff to me, picking on what they’ll hope will be an easily-intimidated wee blogger or a nervous webhost (which is most webhosts).

    40. Frances says:

      Well let’s face it National Collective will not have any fighting fund with which to defend themselves.  They are an easy target for a billion dollar corporation.  
       
      Any solicitors out there – start offering your services. 
       
      Everyone else – get ready to start emptying your piggie banks, National Collective might need some help.

    41. Training Day says:

      We had the Nazi smear at the weekend, now we’ve moved on already to the militant/violent nationalists smear with the Scotsman spray painting story.  The No campaign is becoming so truncated that we should expect the last resort of the MSM – the vile individual smear of prominent nationalists – anytime next week..

    42. Dal Riata says:

      As I mentioned on the ‘George Square party’ thread, yesterday I left a direct link to that ‘Dirty Money’ article from National Collective in a BTL comment in response to an article from Severin Carrell in the Guardian… from whence it was promptly removed by a moderator!! 

      I thought it was a bit weird that it had gone so quickly, and especially how links to other articles from pro-independence sites such as this one here are, more often than not, left up.

      Then I reckoned it was just a Guardian moderator with a particularly itchy trigger-finger. 

      Now today, after seeing what’s going on with the National Collective website…well, the way things stand at the moment and until we find out more, who knows?! Maybe, after all, attempts at internet censorship do not happen in countries such as China, Burma and North Korea only! 

    43. scottish_skier says:

      Saw someone had recently written ‘Free Scotland’ on a telephone line connection box thing by the road at the top of Robertson avenue, Edinburgh the morn.
      Gripped me with fear. They’re everywhere, everywhere! Aaaaaaaaaaargh! 
      🙂
       

    44. Robert louis says:

      Dal Riata,
       
      You make a good point.  Only today, the BBC and SKY news were proudly telling us that the Metorpolitan will probably launch a series of dawn arrest raids of those people they THINK might protest at Thatcher’s funeral.  Not one questioned the morality of such a move by a police force in a supposed democracy.
       
      What Orwell called ‘Thought crime’.

    45. Macart says:

      @Robert Louis
       
      Nice, McSpartacus. 🙂

    46. Doug Daniel says:

      Stu – “I’ve read through it carefully and there’s nothing that would stand up in court for five minutes. The Herald hasn’t pulled its story – despite the Guardian reporting that it’s had a letter too – and all of the originals are still online. It smells of empty bluff to me, picking on what they’ll hope will be an easily-intimidated wee blogger or a nervous webhost (which is most webhosts).”
       
      That’s how I’m reading it. Although it may just be a case of the canny striker making the most of a bad tackle from the clumsy, lumbering defender!

    47. Aplinal says:

      OK, I’m going to look stupid but … what is the Streisand effect?

    48. David Smith says:

      After that they probably only have recourse to physical threats and attacks.
      I sincerely hope it doesn’t go down that road but it will come as no surprise if they do.
       

    49. scottish_skier says:

      I wonder what the sabotage at the Better Together offices is?
      Blair McDougal’s biscuits going missing?
      The tea and coffee being mysteriously used without people putting 20p in the pot?
      Toilet seats being left up in the ladies?

    50. southernscot says:

      on Bitter together today “What we are happy to say is that Ian Taylor is a respected figure internationally, in the UK and in Scotland”
      Labour in Sept 2012.
      Vitol was accused of “immoral” trade and “backing corrupt regimes” by John Mann MP, a Labour member of the Treasury Select Committee, who demanded that the Tory party hand back the “dirty money” it had received from Mr Taylor.
      Two faced or what?
       

    51. Seasick Dave says:

      Its obvious that the word ‘Traitors’ could only have been written by a Nationalist as a Unionist would never stoop to dirty tricks.
       
      Definitely not.

    52. JuanBonnets says:

      @Aplinal (4.25pm)
       
      “…the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely…” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

      Most recently observed in a Scottish politics context with the “Top Ten Unionist Myths Debunked” video and Better Together’s frantic chase to ban people from seeing it!

    53. Robert louis says:

      Funny how the unionists noticed the graffiti so quickly………

    54. G. Campbell says:

      This week Blair McDougall is mostly imagining he’s the woman in the kitchen from the 1984 horror comedy Gremlins.

    55. Robert louis says:

      JuanBonnets
       
       
      And never forget Ryan with his wee dugs and roll and sausage.

    56. muttley79 says:

      @Macart
       
      Despite their best efforts over the past two years their poll support has dropped to a 10% lead with only a 5.1% swing required to secure a YES vote this far out from the polling day. They are bricking it and now the really dirty fight starts.
       
      Macart, should it not be over the past 300 years instead of over the past two?  :D:

    57. Aucheorn says:

      Someone has proposed that National Collective be deleted from Wikipedia because “it lacks notability”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/National_Collective
      Get over there and make your comment.

    58. Marcia says:

      You can donate to the National Collective:
      http://t.co/CI8CRCcAW8

    59. Aplinal says:

      Juan
       
      Thank you.  I feel slightly less stupid now.  Of course I could easily have ‘googled’ it myself.  My excuse is, that by getting a response, anyone else who did not know has now found out
       
      😉

    60. John says:

      Given that the user who nominated the article for deletion is the same who created the wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impact_of_illegal_downloading_on_the_film_industry
      I think it is safe to assume it was a lawyer with experience on new technologies, maybe one who worked previously for a lobby 🙂

    61. muttley79 says:

      I think Craig Murray had a very good point about asking international media observers to monitor the referendum campaign.  Looks to me like the No campaign are trying to intimidate, suppress criticism, dissent etc.

    62. Albert Herring says:

      @scottish_skier
      Somebody’s taken the meat substitute out of their sausage rolls.

    63. Adrian B says:

      The google webcache is no longer working although the original article is still up on other blogs – all be it without links to the original press stories from The Mirror, Guardian, Telegraph, Reuters etc.
       
      Original National Collective e-mail on the story has eveything complete.
       
      This is a massive clampdown on a free press and blogs. I have the original story saved, with all links, thousands have the original e-mail and text – they will not keep this under wraps – what could they possibly be scared of if all this is in the public domain. Google searches still working for news stories from the press.
       
      Freedom of speech Better Together style – I can see the spin on this from the BBC and ITV as well as the press.
      The Tory backed, Labour fronted “dirty cash” that they do not want the public to know  about. 

    64. Cath says:

      “It smells of empty bluff to me, picking on what they’ll hope will be an easily-intimidated wee blogger”
       
      Individuals and the wee person are, naturally, more easily intimidated. They know that, and it’s what the whole cybernat, Nazis, anti-English rhetoric is about – scaring the average person away from even engaging in the debate. For example, I re-tweeted the article earlier, then after BerthanPete disappeared from Twitter unretweeteed it just in case.
       
      Thing is, whether self-silencing due to fears or legal threats is over-cautious or not, it’s still censorship. And that’s what come across from the NC page.

    65. Dal Riata says:

       
      @Robert louis
      Yes, you’re right.
       
      Orwellian indeed: Talks of monitoring internet communications. Talks of pre-emptive arrests.
       
      Can’t be? Read all about it!
      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/disunited-in-mourning-police-fear-thatcher-funeral-may-turn-into-security-nightmare-8566452.html

    66. Aplinal says:

      Severin’s blog beginning to get ‘traffic’.  Already comments are echoing the apparent threat to clamp down on discussion.
       
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/scottish-independence-blog/2013/apr/10/yesscotland-euromillions-donations?commentpage=1

    67. Macart says:

      @muttley 79
       
      They didn’t feel so threatened for the first 304. 🙂

    68. muttley79 says:

      They had quite a scare in 1745-46 though Macart….  😀 😀

    69. National Collective have posted this on the their Facebook page –

      https://www.facebook.com/nationalcollective/posts/639503279410174

    70. David McCann says:

      Thanks for the NC donation site. Just made my donation and posted to FB.

    71. Robert louis says:

      Just a wee point, if every eligible peer turned up in Westminster today, and claimed their 300 quid (for doing nothing), then it would total 228,000 pounds sterling – OR 77 years of jobseekers allowance for a 24 year old.
       
      We’re all in it together.

    72. EdinScot says:

      @ Macart & Mutley 79
       
      Nothing like the shock theyre gonna get on our date with destiny on 18/9/2014.  Its one to put in the calendar for sure.  In fact i think we’ve all got front row seats for that one!!

    73. Robert louis says:

      re: National Collective have posted this on the their Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/nationalcollective/posts/639503279410174
       
       
      This is very, very interesting indeed.  One of Scotland’s top solicitors, no less.

    74. Macart says:

      And bigger ones in 2007 and 2011. 😀
       
      Its all down to sites like WoS, NNS, Bella and many others. The buggers are terrified and deservedly so. NC must have really hit a serious nerve. They’re not just beginning to look nervous, they’re beginning to break rank. The first one to turn will start a panic. The net is getting to them as are the many, many independence supporters who devote time and effort to make their voices heard online.
       
      Who blinks first.

    75. Macart says:

      @EdinScot
       
      That bottle of 10yr Old McCallan is on standby. 🙂

    76. muttley79 says:

      Tell all the Unionists you know,
      Arkan’s a war criminal and we’re no!!…
       
      NC have a top lawyer representing them.  This will get massive publicity.

      @Macart

      Its the cybernatz wot done it… 😀 😀

    77. Macart says:

      @muttley
       
      We’re all McSpartacus. 😀

    78. muttley79 says:

      @Macart
       
       
      We are all National Collective.  😀  This is all making me get well up for the anti-Trident rally on Saturday.  Bring it on!!!

    79. John says:

      An there we go:
      http://www.collyerbristow.com/
      with wide experience in these topics.

    80. Robert louis says:

      Very glad to see National collective are not falling over like the unionists may have wanted.
       
       
       

    81. muttley79 says:

      NC’s fund-raising is rising significantly.  Thank you BT!  😀 😀

    82. Bill Oliphant says:

      The lead story on NNS in which the SNP ask for the return of the donation has just gone “PRIVATE”. Logging in to the site does not give access.

    83. Adrian B says:

      The lead story on NNS in which the SNP ask for the return of the donation has just gone “PRIVATE”. Logging in to the site does not give access.
       
      I have been having the same problem, however some people do seem to be able to get the full story without problem – it may be the site is too busy at present?

    84. benarmine says:

      It looks like No have made a massive mistake here. Hopefully with proper disclosure, and exposure, no choice but a return of the donation and dreadful PR for the unionists. The truth will out, or it would if the MSM would tell it.

    85. Boorach says:

      With Aamer Anwar on-side NC will be certain of getting the story out to a hugely wider audience.
       
      The MSM love him for his wee guy versus vested interests battles. 🙂

    86. Alex mci says:

      This is the same lawyer mob who were all over the Rangers liquidation. If I’m not mistaken
       

    87. Midgehunter says:

       
      Macart says:
      10 April, 2013 at 5:06 pm
       

      “@EdinScot
      That bottle of 10yr Old McCallan is on standby. ”
       
      My bottle of Glenfiddich was bought when I was a teenager and is just waiting for the great day in 2016….
      It’s at least 55 years old 😉
       
       
       

       

    88. Linda's back says:

      Lawyers letters are just what bully’s like Robert Maxwell used to stop the truth getting out.
      Bitter together now say that they took the money in good faith but a quick Google search would have revealed Vitol’s dodgy dealings.  So why don’t they just hand the dirty money back.  Ethics?
      But then due diligence is not Alistair Darling’s strong point. It was the UK regulatory authorities headed by Alistair Darling that had the powers to investigate the RBS / AMBRO take over  but ignored fact that no  due diligence was done by RBS on a deal worth £49 billion before they gave its approval for world’s biggest bank take over  deal that brought about the collapse of the Royal Bank.
       
       So why bother investigating a piffling £500,000?
      Again will BBC report this and conduct a investigation and will the supine Scottish press stand up against Taylor’s bullying?

    89. Patrick Roden says:

      This story looks like it will turn into a masive own goal for Better together. It may even change the attitude of the MSM to the independance debate.
      Was the Herald the only MSM outlet to get the ‘letter’ ?
      Could it be that we are seeing ‘Wings’ Gandhi quote coming true before our very eyes!

    90. Daisy says:

      Donated to NC
      Loving my WoS – A hundred of us remain alive – Paisley, Stirling & Helensburgh got to view it today – plenty of looks, get the same with my NNS top.
      Think we need McSpartacus next to get NC message out.

    91. Roll_On_2014 says:

      It also appears that NewsNetScotland has taken down an article on a very similar subject

      I don’t know the full article title but it started ‘Better Together facing claims…’

    92. Eva says:

      @Midgehunter
      @Macart
       
      17 years old Bowmore Manager’s Choice here :-), though would prefer the 1964 version.

    93. Quinie frae Angus says:

      I am only just in from work and getting to this news….so just skimming through all your comments. Don’t have time to study it all but will do later….

      But already the hairs are pricking up on the back of my neck. Feels like this really could be it, folks. The turning point for the cybernats in this bizarre, exhausting and extraordinary slog.

      And yes, it all thanks to the dogged, determined, and laborious voluntary efforts of NNS, Wings, Lallands – not forgetting the wonderful Universality of Cheese, of course, way back before May 2011 – who was also shafted in a way not dissimilar to what we are seeing now – and many others. And now National Collective. 

      This is indeed a massive own goal for the Bitters. They will hopefully be well and truly hoisted by their own petard this time, when history looks back.

      This feels like it could turn out to be a gamechanger. All of us who’ve despaired and worried about whether the power of the internet would ever be enough to reach a critical mass of people out there before the deadline…..but this sort of thing gives me hope. The fund for Rev Stu; the Scotland’s Destiny Petition about the Scotsman Swastika with 4.000 signatures in 4 days – Mrs Thatcher’s very timely demise upping the ante big time – and now this!!! Feels a bit like a “perfect storm”. More and more people are clocking on now to what’s going on – and these people are by no means what we might call “the original cybernats” – and once the genie is out of the bottle, as they say, there’s no turning back.

      We have still such a long way to go, and much to do, we’re not out of the woods yet, I know that. We may not have all the tools to defeat the Black Arts.

      But we sure as heck have the tools, the intellect, and the determination to EXPOSE the Black Arts, with or without any handouts from the MSM. 

      All of us who are fortunate enough to have ANY disposable income need to pull out the stops and ramp up our donations to help crowd-fund our best sites – particularly the investigative ones.

      I will be upping my donations to NNS and Wings at the weekend, and will also start  putting a penny or two towards National Collective now too.

      I’ve been saving up for a cheap campervan for ages. But heck, the campervan can wait. This is far too important. I’ll have a campervan one day, I hope. And I shall enjoy my peaceful Highland evenings in it all the more knowing that I did my wee bit for Scottish Independence.

    94. Quinie frae Angus says:

      Oh, and by the way, I also think we should ask Rev Stu to get a few more pieces from the talented artist (sorry, I forget his name, temporarily) who does the “Wee Lion”.

      We mustn’t forget the comedic element in the midst of all this intrigue and high stakes – especially for later, when we look back and write the “official memoirs” of the Scottish Spring.

      The Wee Lion is just hilarious. It’s his wee, quiet, unassuming, observant, and totally canny wee face that says so much about true Scottish grit winning the day in the face of the control freakery of the big, bloated, corrupt, greedy, warmongering leviathan that is the Whitehall/Westminster/Millbank/City of London caucus.

      Bring it on, Wee Lion. We are ALL represented in the Wee Lion.

    95. Morag says:

      Did I mention my Dad’s Christian names were James Lyon, and being a highlander, he was always known as Hamish?

      I have a special soft spot for our wee lyon because of that.

    96. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Quinie frae Angus-
       
      ‘Mrs Thatcher’s very timely demise upping the ante big time – and now this!!! Feels a bit like a “perfect storm”’
      Kin right Quinie.
      All hands to the proverbials…

    97. Adrian B says:

      @ Quinie frrae Angus
       
      What exactly happened to Universality of cheese. He used to post here and Newsnet, especially when there was a new article on the site.
       
      Often wondered what the story was?

    98. Quinie frae Angus says:

      Not entirely sure why the Cheesey Man’s not been so prolific recently, but his posts were superb. In a very “Wings”-type way. he succinctly and wittily documented the ludicrous excesses of the anti SNP venom of the Labour hacks of the day – and paid heavily for it. This, by way of explanation to new converts to our little “collective” thing that we’ve got going on here, was LONG before where we are now.

      I.e. a good year and a half or so BEFORE May 2011, if I remember rightly. The Scottish pro-indy political blogosphere was still pretty much in its infancy then, and nobody ever imagined for a second we would end up in the situation of an outright majority SNP government……and all that that would unleash……

      So Universality of Cheese was very much out there in the vanguard – a pioneer, I often think. And it was around that same time that Newsnet started up in earnest, and they have been fantastic too, slogging away and doggedly getting the stuff out there. Take my hat off to them.

      I know for a fact that Newsnet Scotland has been a thorn in the MSM’s side for a long time now. NNS is fo course doing a slightly different, but equally important job to what WoS is doing,  and it’s all the more powerful for that. We’re all needed! Hands to the proverbials, as you say, Ian Brotherhood! 

      But Wings and his superbly understated, forensically-researched satire is providing a unique new “treatment”, as they say in the media trade. And be in no doubt, some of the more biased control freak elements in the MSM will be watching everything here, and reading every comment.
       
      And spitting feathers.
      🙂
       
       

    99. Adrian B says:

       …some of the more biased control freak elements in the MSM will be watching everything here, and reading every comment. And spitting feathers.
       
      Amen to that. This is about what the population at large want, its not about what the MSM want for themselves.

    100. Quinie frae Angus says:

      Oh, I seem to have come up as “Undefined” in that last comment. Does that mean anything significant? Or just that I forgot to put my moniker in the name box at the top?
       
      (techie detail not my thing I’m afraid)

    101. Quinie frae Angus says:

      Off to bed. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s exciting installment.



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