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One way of putting it

Posted on December 02, 2013 by

If we’re being honest, Irish Times, it’s not the phrase we’d have chosen:


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    52 to “One way of putting it”

    1. Craig says:

      LMFAO! Who in their right mind could refer to the pish coming from BT as a charm offensive? 😀

    2. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Methinks Mr Hedgecoe was smirking when he wrote that – a wee bit of the aul’ Blarney…

    3. Richard Lucas says:

      Often offensive, never charming!

    4. dan huil says:

      Harm offensive

    5. gillie says:

      HOLY FCUK!

    6. Murray McCallum says:

      A charm offensive by Blair McDougall and his angry Darling! Who expected the better together charm offensive?

    7. gerry parker says:

      @ Murray.
      Very Very angry!

    8. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      Multi Party Harm Offensive soon to be called Ham Defensive.

    9. handclapping says:

      Making use of the free subbing service:-
      … an offensive multi-party “Better Together” …
      There, isn’t that better?

    10. gillie says:

      Some background on the writer;

      Guy Hedgecoe
      Guy is a Madrid-based journalist who has lived in Spain since 2003. He is editor of Iberosphere.
      Between 2006 and 2009 he was editor of the English edition of El País newspaper and as a freelance print and broadcast journalist he has covered Spain for The Irish Times, Al Jazeera, Deutsche Welle Radio, the BBC and the Associated Press. Previously he covered the Andean region, where he was founder/editor of the Ecuador Focus weekly report and reported for the Financial Times, The Miami Herald and CNN.
      So it would appear he knows FCUK ALL about Scotland.

    11. Yesitis says:

      I think I went to a multi-party charm offensive once.
      I was terribly drunk.

    12. Clare Gallagher says:

      Whichever charm school they went to, they need to sue them under the trade descriptions act! Charm it isn’t! 

    13. Martin H says:

      They are half right

    14. ewen says:

      The coverage and understanding of the referendum is negligible over here. Most people get their UK news from English papers and the BBC so are woefully ignorant. The wife and I are putting people straight as there is a genuine interest  but it is trying when so many Irish refer to the whole of the British isles as England.

    15. themadmurph says:

      Considering this is the people who described a war as “the troubles”, you can maybe see where he’s coming from!

    16. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      Charm Offensive – Here in downtown Aberdeen my efforts continue apace with reluctant gatherings of blue-rinses and squeaky wheeled walking aids. It used to be the only Yes to be heard was at the Monday night Bingo.
      When I first arrived in this block of 50 flats there used to be a quiz afternoon with a bottle of gin as a prize. There was always one winner, a very smart 90 year old Irish lady and occasionally she would let me win as long as we had a tipple together later.
      In the space of a year the underlying domestic tensions within the block have changed with everyday conversations now talking about Salmond, Sturgeon et al but never about Darling and McWho from Orkney. The previously important issues of diabetic diets, thermal underwear and replacement dentures have now been replaced with ‘get that tosser off the TV’ [Carmichael], ‘Ah love Nicola in that suit’, with all manner of spicy comments that in my life I have never heard before. Its a real education.
      So to encourage the male over 60’s on this site let me tell you that your pecker will work but be very very careful of the ladies. Their brain improves with age.
      Finally the boorish, loudmouthed, walking stick wielding staunch Labour supporter has finally succumbed and has asked me to cut out 3ft high YES letters for his own kitchen windae. So those of you who travel into Aberdeen in a morning will now see 2 windaes proclaiming YES. We all do our wee bit and by the time September 2014 comes around there will be a procession of walkers, wheelchairs and whirling grannies going over the road to the Poll Station. 🙂

    17. HandandShrimp says:

      Charm is not the first word I would have reached for

    18. Brotyboy says:

      Just back from the Five Million Questions event, ‘In Conversation with Nicola Sturgeon’.  Nicola is very, very good; informed, relaxed, witty and prepared to fill us in on her background a little.  
      Most impressively, when talking about Scottish Labour, expressing amazement that they were so prepared to prolong the agony of further Tory or Con/Dem governments.
      But my favourite moment was provided by David Torrance, whom I instinctively think of as Tory Boy.  When Nicola warned of the threat to the Barnett Formula posed by voting No, Tory Boy pipes up with, ‘Of course, under Independence, the Barnett Formula will definitely go.’  Cue much banging of the head on the desk á la John Swinney last week in Holyrood.

    19. crisiscult says:

      Been a busy day so only now had a chance to glance at newspapers and here. Does anyone here read the comments or post comments on the herald? Are there new names appearing? Just been reading some and the language is very similar to regular posters on BT facebook and BT website. Of course this could be ordinary punters who have been around posting for a while, or just punters who have woken up and posting of their own accord. I also wouldn’t want to label anti independence posters as cyber Britnatz … has anyone noticed any changes in the online debate?

    20. Murray McCallum says:

      Archie [not Erchie]
      Great post. You are building a hot bed of nationalist fervor there.

    21. Vronsky says:

      Of course, from an Irish perspective the Unionist behaviour in Scotland is a model of propriety. They haven’t shot anyone in years.

    22. caz-m says:

      Just watched a “Save the Children” ad on the telly. This will become very relevant in Scotland if we vote to be governed by Westminster on 18th Sept 2014.

      What a thought.

    23. gillie says:

      David Torrance is a Thatcherite and a knob, so it is understandable he would put his foot in his mouth at 5MQ.

    24. naebd says:

      The kind of charm offensive that’ll put a Glasgow Smile on your face.

    25. call me dave says:

      Archie [not Erchie]
      That’s a great story.  I can picture it on referendum day.  Why not get the ‘better together’ to transport you to the polling station.
      PS: Watch the postal votes.  You might find some of your flock have already voted according to the voting register.

    26. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Murray – When you hear older generation folk talking about the prospects for a new Scotland bearing in mind they have had years of same old, same old its quite uplifting to hear their opinions. I know that recent polls indicate that the seniors are quite entrenched in their views but in my experiences as a foot-soldier I have to disagree.
      In all honesty with respect to the older folk I tread gently with a word here and there but the response has been very positive. They know, they understand the best way forward and they hope to see its fruition.

    27. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ call me dave – Oh yes the dreaded Postal or Proxy Vote is a very real problem and I cannot go into too much detail, much as I would like to. I would be 3rd cross on the right whistling along.
      In this location the Carers are very YES orientated but I cannot comment on other places. Across the whole of Scotland in Care Homes, Sheltered or semi-sheltered, amenity or whatever name is allocated its possible that the less able will ask a carer or friend to fill in and post the vote. There is no answer to that.

    28. kininvie says:

      @Archie (not Erchie)
      That’s a lovely story. Can you flesh it out a little and send it to the Rev? It needs to go up there as a post and get a proper audience!

    29. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      I have been experimenting in recent days with quietly telling people, if the opportunity arises, that I have a feeling that YES will win next September.
      Four different reactions …

      The Unthinking NO – He seemed to go into a bit of a panic as soon as I offered my opinion. He began repeating the £1200 a head ‘too poor’ mantra. It seemed to me that he had been sleepwalking towards voting NO so that things would stay the same. He runs his own business, which ironically is precisely the sort of business that would see an explosion in demand post-YES. A link to Business for Scotland has been sent to him.

      The Secret YES – He went into high-octane Devil’s Advocate mode as soon as I mentioned my belief that YES would probably win. Despite saying that he hadn’t seen last week’s Nicola versus Comical Ali debate on STV, he seemed to be able to muster and deploy the same limited range of BT scare stories more effectively than our Secretary of State. We had a robust and wide-ranging exchange of views for 15-20 minutes, then shook hands warmly and all headed for the bar exit. As we passed the next table a tourist from the Netherlands who had clearly been listening to the debate called my wife over, and got her to confirm to him the nature of what he had just witnessed. “They were just discussing the future of our Country”, she told him. She met the Secret YES again today, and he told her that he didn’t want to think what 19th September next year would be like if we voted NO.

      The Maybe’s YES, Maybe’s NO – A female work colleague brought up the subject of the Referendum with me today. I said that I thought it would be a YES vote. She seemed a little surprised by my quiet confidence. I explained how few of these types of votes historically had resulted in the rejection of independence. She asked what happens when the oil runs out. I explained that there was currently huge investment in the North Sea, and that Aberdeen (and Scotland) was now a global centre of expertise for offshore oil, with a growing share of the business activity now being outwith the North Sea, and with big developments in tidal power further down the line. She is also in a line of business that would see an upturn in demand post-YES. I got the feeling after our conversation she was on the way out of the undecided zone, in the right direction.

      The Big NO – A conservative-looking businessman in his sixties sat beside me at a conference, as we awaited the arrival of the speakers. He mentioned the Referendum in what seemed to me an apprehensive manner. I told him it looked to me like YES had a good chance of winning, and asked whether he had seen the STV debate. He said that if Scotland voted YES it would be a bad thing, and he felt that way because of ‘his politics’. As he was saying this, he rose to his feet and moved off to sit a couple of rows away from the monster raving nationalist that he had accidentally and uncomfortably encountered. I was left wondering where the balance of benefit lay between perhaps having ensured that he will turn out to vote NO (which I am pretty sure is going to happen anyway) and having put a genuine question in his mind, that he might spread virus-like to like-minded others.

      My wife says I need to get proper YES Ambassador training …

    30. Macart says:

      Not the first description that comes to mind when thinking of better together and Westminster’s fear blitzes.

    31. Morag says:

      My wife says I need to get proper YES Ambassador training …
      I’ve been on one of these training courses.  By the sound of it you’re doing grand.

    32. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ kininvie – Good idea but I am sure the Rev has lots of posts waiting for the weekend interest spot. However on reflection the many seniors on this website might like a tongue in cheek, squeaky walker post but as you know new topics move on at great pace on this website. That is why its very popular and keeps everyone on their toes.

    33. annie says:

      Speaking of charm offensive, just watched David Cameron on ITV news at ten looking more like a car salesman than a PM.  Wondering how many Scottish firms are in his pack of 130 businessmen.

    34. TJenny says:

      O/T – Morag – I’ve posted over on Quarantine re a future WoS meet-up, if you, or anyone else is interested?

    35. Annibale says:

      @ Archie(not Erchie)
      Never mind a post on here – sounds like a good premise for a comic novel!

    36. Mad Jock McMad says:

      A bit of Irish irony there – I suggest

    37. GP Walrus says:

      How did that word “charm” creep in to an otherwise perfectly correct description?

    38. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Annibale – Funny you should say that. The 2 chapters wot I writ many a year ago gather dust. Perhaps its time for a rebirth.

    39. Derick fae Yell says:

      Maybe it’s just me but the combination of the words McDougall and charm actually gave me the grue.  Shivers up the spine and all.  Nasty.  Better than McColm, but still nasty

    40. BuckieBraes says:

      I’ve just Googled ‘charm offensive’ and the first result says:
      ‘A publicity campaign, usually by politicians, that attempts to attract supporters by emphasizing their charisma or trustworthiness.’
      I’m saying nothing.

    41. Wp says:

      To crisiscult
      ive noticed a new set of trolls on the comments in the herald recently.same happened to the scotsman.must be a sign they are worried. Some of you guys need to get on there give a bit of support to the Yes camp. I would but I’m barred.

    42. Xander says:

      If the current BT campaign is styled as a charm offensive, I shudder to think how bad the BT campaign would be if based on scorn. Perhaps I would be unable to tell the difference 🙂

    43. Dara Beggan says:

      As an Irish person and proud nationalist, me thinks the “outraged” above, who are quite missing the point of the comparison with Spain vs Catalunya, will sadly find themselves in a minority come the poll. The parcel of rogues will lap up the charm offensive and sell out again. It was called “Killing Home Rule with Kindness” when they tried it in Ireland. We DID tell them where to shove it. Let’s see if Scotland has the balls now they’ve been given the democratic chance neither Ireland nor Catalunya were afforded…

    44. sionnach says:

      Charm offensive? Oh, yes, I see it now. THAT’s what Alistair Charmichael was doing in the debate, trying to charm Nicola into submission. I like his style. Not. 🙂

    45. Ken500 says:


      More like harm limitation.

      The Record have been having a go at NNS. All publicity is good publicity. Might reveal the Record bias for some folk. The editor becomes the story.

      Lesley Riddch repeated the notion that the ‘letter’ was downloaded from the Internet. NNS actually sent a copy to the BBC at the time it was sent. The BBC and MSM ignored it and did not report on it,until it was mentioned in Holyrood. They then tried to discredit it. Total bias. The letter has now been given publicity.

      The MSM want the right to ‘freedom of speech’ but want censor everyone else.

    46. Ken500 says:

      The Herald/Scotsman sites are a shambles. Best leave them to it. Groundhog day.

    47. Ken500 says:

      Noticed Cameron has started singing Scotland’s praises. ‘Twa faced’. Never trust a Tory/LibDem/Labour/Unionist.

      Cameron thinks all Scottish achievements are English. Cameron once quoted a list of Scottish achievements and added ‘that’s what great about England’.

    48. Barontorc says:

      I know these foreign mission trips take months to plan and prepare, but after Alex Salmond’s success in China – largely unreported by the msm and grudgingly by the BBC Scotland – that ‘all Scotland’ mission may have upstaged this UK Gov trip, although, true to form, it’s questionable whether Scottish based companies will have been asked to participate. Were they?

    49. MochaChoca says:

      I think it’s one of those departments where Scotland has it’s own agency and pays for it out of the generous gift known as the Barnett Formula but also gets accounted our population share of the costs of the wider UK department covered by the secretive ‘Unidentified Public Spending’ banner.
      So because Scotland has it’s own agency we don’t get to partake in the UK trip. I read earlier in the week that all companies represented were based in England except one from NI.
      Best of Both Worlds: we get to pay for our own trip and 10% of the one we’re not invited to.
      BTW in an independent Scotland there will be no ‘unidentified public spending’

    50. liz says:

      I think Dara above has a good point.
      The establishment are masters at manipulation and I can see a lot of ‘we love you’, ‘we can’t do without you’, lots of positive messages about Scotland on the BBC, more Scottish programmes on the media nearer the time, etc, etc.
      It will make no difference to those of us who are positive Yes  but it could sway the DKs.

    51. Beastie says:

      Ah, bless the Irish.

      They do have a grand sense of humour.

      Someone must have been chuckling as they were typing that article.

    52. Derek says:

      Tongue firmly in cheek, I think!

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