The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland


Our man at the scene

Posted on October 31, 2013 by

Hello, I’m Andrew. Rather than follow my desires and mingle with the true believers at the Yes Scotland meeting in Penicuik last night, I decided to expand my horizons and instead attended the launch of Better Together Musselburgh at the Brunton Hall.

btmussel

My first surprise was to discover that the meeting was being chaired by a neighbour of mine. I sloped off to the back of the hall to keep a low profile.

There were 100 seats available of which 70 were occupied (one of them by me so it doesn’t count) and some of those, from comments made, were undoubtedly Better Together activists, so it’s reasonable to assume that there were about 60 real attendees. Given that the local Labour Party had asked its members to attend and bring friends and family (I know this because my son is a member and, um, I read his mail), it could be that there were as few as 50 ‘real’ audience members.

The organisers were trying to sign up volunteers and as I was one of the last to arrive, I could see that they had about 15 names. The audience were mostly older folk, with a lot of grey hair in evidence (see picture), although there were a few younger people.

The meeting began with speeches from the platform and I took some furtive notes. Sarah Boyack MSP gave a straight-down-the-middle speech which didn’t give too many hostages to fortune, although she couldn’t seem to decide if she was talking about separation or independence. Then we got on to the Tory – Gavin Brown MSP – and things got funnier.

“What Scottish soldier, proudly serving in the British army, would want to join the Scottish forces and spend their time parading up and down in a kilt in front of Edinburgh castle waiting for tourists to take their picture?”

trooping

There was a lot of proud-Scottery going on and this filtered through to the audience who when it came to questions and answers decided that they too were proud Scots, although perhaps not that proud.

We then got a ramble through the usual subjects with usual profound mendacity on display: RBS, the EU, volatile oil prices, Scotland heavily subsidised, etc. What was most remarkable was that the audience seemed to be buying this stuff, which was confirmed when it came to the questions.

The Lib Dem – Jim Hume MSP – then did his stuff in much the same manner with the delicious addition that if we voted No then federalism could be ours. More of this later. He gave a warning to the listeners:

“What you must realise is that the enemy we’re up against is really, really good! In fact, don’t tell anyone this, but I think that the SNP did a really good job in their first term of government. It’s a shame that when they got a majority in 2011 power went to their heads and they started doings things without consulting the opposition!”

Then there was a bit of a ramble about the Darien expedition which apparently was Scotland’s attempt to build a British Empire of its own but which bankrupted the country. Another misleading trek through the RBS affair (the endlessly-debunked assertion that Scotland would have been responsible for the entire £700bn bill). He then ran through half-a-dozen more standard-issue canards, any of which the average Wings reader could have shot down with a leaky water pistol.

We then proceeded to “questions”. Most weren’t questions at all but statements of support expressed in fluent proud-Scottery. Some quotes:

“I suppose this isn’t a question but more of a rant.”

“There’s nae point in voting for something which is just gonnae collapse!”

“The Scots pound was worth almost nothing at the Union so it’ll just be the same all over again if we have our own currency.”

Then, amazingly, we had a real question, from an apparently-committed Unionist:

“What will you do to destroy Alex Salmond’s reputation for good government?”

Well, they got into a real fankle over that one, and no answer was forthcoming.

One thing which was apparent throughout was how jittery the atmosphere was. The speakers were constantly urging the audience not to be complacent and that there was a real risk that “we could lose this if we’re not careful!”

There was an appeal from the chair for a letter-writing campaign to the newspapers. Sarah Boyack said that Yes were committed and active and that wherever No set up a stall, Yes were always there and always there before them. The only saving grace was that these Yes stands always featured the same faces. So that’s all right then.

By this time I thought I’d risk a question. I didn’t want to blow my cover, so I didn’t attack any of their “facts”, and instead picked up on Jim Hume’s statement about federalism. I managed to get hold of the mic and said that my personal preference was for a federal solution and that I had been pleased by his obvious commitment to the cause, then dropped the bomb:

“Can you tell me, if we vote No, how you will bring about a federal solution and is it likely to occur in my lifetime?”

I can’t tell you how cruel the grins on the faces of Ms. Boyack and Mr Brown were as poor Jim stuttered and stumbled through his response, which could most fairly be summarised as “Er, as soon as we can convince the English and it’s really rather difficult, but not to worry. Next question please”.

To sum up, it seemed that few if any of the audience had a clue what was going on. Nobody challenged any of the glaring errors of fact and my impression was that they were in a state of profound ignorance as to the real state of play.

As I was leaving the meeting a gentleman stopped me and asked me why I’d asked my question. When I told him he laughed and told me that although his start position was that he was a unionist, he was open-minded. I took him round to the pub and left him a little bit better-informed. We left on a handshake and a promise by him to look at Wings Over Scotland. Margo, I may have got my one other person!

Print Friendly

    190 to “Our man at the scene”

    1. Macart says:

      Big smiley thingy. 🙂
       
      Well done Andrew and capped by possible reader.
       
      If you’re out there today, welcome.

    2. muttley79 says:

      “What Scottish soldier, proudly serving in the British army, would want to join the Scottish forces and spend their time parading up and down in a kilt in front of Edinburgh castle waiting for tourists to take their picture?”
       
      Scottish cringe alert.
       
       

    3. Jingly Jangly says:

      The sorry thing is that these Unionists actually believe that they are right and that Scotland is twtpts to be a normal country.
      Im sure post independence a PHD student will use their collective “Stockholm Syndrome” as their dissertation.
       

    4. Macart says:

      @muttley 79
       
      Aye, just think how they’ll miss those parades up the Mall or having other tourists stare at them ootside Buck Hoose wi a bear’s bum on thir heid. 😀

    5. David says:

      Superb. I wish I could do an undercover mission like that, but I know for certain I’d blow my cover by either laughing or throwing up. Good job.

    6. crisiscult says:

      A very good read (I mean well written, rather than that I agree with the sentiments of those at the meeting, that, for example, Scotland would be an international embarrassment).
       
      It does remind me of the theme that is apparently running through the anti-independence, or better together promoters. It is basically that Britain is their country and should not be threatened or weakened. I have no particular issue with this, any more than I would challenge someone on their religious beliefs, though in both cases I like to know more about rationale. The conclusion that I’m led to, though, is that based on identity and emotion, Yes will win if we are to believe the  2011 census showing that Brits, and Brit/Scots are very much in the minority, and if, for the sake of simplicity, we put those figures at 8% and 18%, that’s not just a minority, but raises the question as to how passionate those 26% are about it and what are they going to do to preserve that identity. One of my friends – very much one of the 18% – is very much against independence, but openly admits that I know much more about it cos he’s not that interested and that I can keep all my clever facts. You may not admire that mentality, but I’ll guarantee you he won’t be swaying many undecideds. I wonder why support for independence tends to increase nearer the referendum date!?!

    7. Bill C says:

      Thoroughly enjoyed that Andrew, as the man said “never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”. The mistake in the unionist cause being that their argument is vacuous and the good news is they still don’t realise it.
      P.S. After independence, I think you should get a gong for working behind enemy lines. Well done.

    8. Doug Daniel says:

      Great report, Andrew. The plea for a letter-writing campaign is an interesting one, because we all know which demographic tends to write letters to newspapers (apart from young moaners like me). A Yes event would ask people to knock on doors, man Yes stalls, or at least go on the internet to spread the word. It would appear the No campaign privately acknowledge how deeply committed their supporters are after all…
       
      “Sarah Boyack said that Yes were committed and active and that wherever No set up a stall, Yes were always there and always there before them. The only saving grace was that these Yes stands always featured the same faces. So that’s all right then.”
       
      Always there before, and always there long after as well. That’s the case in Aberdeen, anyway. As for featuring the same faces, the first time I went to a stand, half of us were there for the first time. And last weekend, there were 12 of us throughout the day, only three of whom I’d been at the stall with before. I’d like to see the No campaign manage to get 12 folk to campaign on the same day, without having to resort to politicians and parliamentary assistants!

    9. macdoc says:

      They really are an embarrassment to Scotland. their Mantra seems to be 
       
      I’m very proud to be Scottish but i’m going to rant and rave about how shit Scotland is and how no person in their right mind believes Scotland could a successful independent nation.  (List huge loads of inaccurate information interspersed with downright lies to put down a nation they are so proud of)
       
      Why even admit your proud. They sure don’t sound like it. I wouldn’t be proud to be associated with a nation that was too stupid and poor to look govern itself, I would be embarrassed.
       
      Why not admit the truth that you are a British Nationalist through and through and Scotland just happens to be one of the regions of the UK that you were born in. At least then I wouldn’t have such contempt for individuals that maintained a it of honesty. 

    10. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      Well done Andrew.
       
      I dont think I could sit quiet through that stuff.

    11. southernscot says:

      Nice one Andrew, taking one for the Yes campaign. A good hot shower should wash all those negative vibes.

    12. @scotsvote says:

      Very, very much pro Independence. My concerns is with the media coverage. “They” claim to want an open and honest debate but this simply does not stack up in reality.  The Main Stream Media (MSM) is simply incapable of framing a fair and concise argument on the issue. “They” avoid any confrontation (Salmond/Cameron) and turn their cheek when their bluff is called.  How can we realistically expect to achieve the 4% swing.  Ultimately, it’s about timing and I sincerely hope “someone” has a well conceived plan on how to effect the swing at precisely the correct time.

    13. Doug says:

      Apologies, too many links in my post 🙁

    14. desimond says:

      Brilliant walk on the wild side ( RIP Lou) there Andrew.

      Lovely mental image at the thought of them smiling and nodding as you give praise and then the “WOAHHHHHHHH” screaming in their head as you deliver the killer blow.

      Bravo.

    15. alexicon says:

      “I know this because my son is a member and, um, I read his mail”
       
      Very naughty Andrew.
       
      It seems that the better together mob have no cohesion in their argument and are flopping from scare story to scare story to frighten the vulnerable.
       
      Heads up on another bitter together gathering.
       
      Saturday at 12 am on the 2nd of November at the old parish church in falkirk.
      I can’t make it to answer a few simple questions, so I hope some mebers here can go along.

    16. Doug says:

      My last post is awaiting moderation (too many links, I suspect) but I would agree with the Tory.  What self respecting country would have its soldiers performing ceremonial duties in kilts? Canada.
       
      http://media.dma.mil/2010/Aug/11/172585/600/400/0/100819-M-1394J-008.jpg

    17. Enjoyable read, I hope to see more of these reports in future.

    18. Scarlett says:

      Enyoyable read Andrew. I was very interested that they seemed ‘jittery’ and not at all complacent. Perhaps this should be a new strategy for Yes campaigners – turn up to NO events and ask some pertinent questions? Maybe mop up a few ‘open minded’s’! 
      I’m in charge of the volunteer rota for a weekly YES stall in my local town, I have so many volunteers I had to tell some not to come. I do try to make sure its a different team alternate weeks, wouldnt want to bore the punters with the same old faces 😉

    19. Jingly Jangly says:

      o/t Lamont loses the plot…
      http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-politics/8265-lamont-accuses-first-minister-of-taking-two-weeks-off-during-grangemouth-crisis
       
      What planet is she living on, even her other boss MCcluskey praised Mr Salmond on Channel Four news last night

    20. Seasick Dave says:

      Wasn’t there any Kool-Aid on offer?

    21. Jeannie says:

      See this, “I’m a proud Scot” stuff?  It seems to me if you say this, then you proceed to lie or distort facts in order to mislead your listeners and manipulate them to do your will, then the problem is that you have no pride whatsoever.  These people are not proud Scots.  They are just liars.
       
      Well done, Andrew and thanks for sitting through that.

    22. Craig P says:

      “What Scottish soldier, proudly serving in the British army, would want to join the Scottish forces and spend their time parading up and down in a kilt in front of Edinburgh castle waiting for tourists to take their picture?”
       
      Looks like there are a couple of those very souls in this link:
       
      http://www.camvista.com/scotland/edinburgh/tattoo.php
       
      Anyone passing the castle today want to ask them? 😉

    23. crisiscult says:

      I’m still waiting for a better together meeting in East end of Glasgow. I attended a yes one several months ago. I’d go, not as a spy, but because I’m genuinely interested in knowing more from their perspective. The lecture I went to on Monday at Glasgow University was disappointing due to several key facts being inaccurate e.g. about the economy, and about the number of people identifying themselves as British. I really wanted to find out what they think I should be reading in order to know more, but the only suggested reading was about federalism and constitutional change, which we know is not likely to happen in our lifetimes, if ever.
       
      Better together – PLEASE give me some compelling, or at least half reliable, evidence that Scotland will be better off with a no vote. PLEASE DO NOT tell me that there is uncertainty with a yes vote because it just looks like you’re stacking the deck.

    24. Taranaich says:

      I’d often considered attending one of these Better Together shindigs just to see for myself what they’re like. If I do, though, I’d probably assert my Yes leanings from the start: I’m a terrible liar, and simply being present among people who are definitely leaning away from me on the key issue seems a bit like infiltration.
       
      The question is, what would happen if I did that? What would the reaction be that the “other side” was in their midst? Would they act differently, believing that the only reason a Yes voter would attend these meetings would be some sort of skullduggery – in which case, shouldn’t they be more worried about Yes voters who don’t state their intentions?
       
      On that note, does anyone know of any occasions when a BT voter came along to a Yes event? It’d be interesting to see what their perspective would be on these events. I know that if a friend of mine announced themselves as a No voter, I would absolutely NOT clam up and stop talking about it unless they stated they didn’t want to talk. I’d honestly ask them their opinions, and listen – not jumping in with facts or refutations, just listening to why they think that way. Then, after they’re done, I’d state why I’m for Indy. After both our positions were clear, then the discussion would start. Maybe someone would reconsider their position, maybe not: the important thing is engaging.
       
      Obviously it’s important to respect people’s feelings, but I think encouraging discussion in a friendly manner can do wonders.

    25. rabb says:

      Come on Scotland! The world is our oyster!
       
      If you’re scared then vote yes anyway and let the rest of us get cracking with building a better country for everyone!

    26. Gillie says:

      Excellent. It proves the point we all should make a point in ourselves attending BT meetings and diplomatically challenge the assertions and assumptions being made at such meetings.  For it seems to me that there are people there who can be convinced by the facts and not unionist fiction.
       
      Well done Andrew Morton, you and your (Labour) son should be proud.  

    27. annie says:

      Nice one Andrew it’s always interesting to know what the opposition is up to.

    28. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Doug at 13:44
      Like Canada?

    29. Training Day says:

      To the open-minded gent encountered by Andrew (who may be reading this), ask yourself if you really want to be associated with this pernicious self-loathing and the weary recapitulations of ‘we cannae’. Strip away all the flummery and that is all BT have to offer – a dispiriting, unimaginative acceptance that things can never – ironically enough – get ‘better’.
       
      We’re worth more than that, surely?

    30. Craig M says:

      Re Alexicon.
      “Members” being the word for attendees at these Bitter Together events.
      I’ll get ma coat….

    31. Holebender says:

      The Falkirk meeting should be “interesting”. Grangemouth, best of both worlds?

    32. Murray McCallum says:

      Good inside work Andrew.
       
      My feelings for the misguided people believing this guff is a mixture of anger and pity. Your federalist question was a great tactic – demonstrate a false promise by the stumbling reply and maybe a plant such a thought within some of the audience.

    33. crisiscult says:

      Taranaich – the meeting I mentioned in East end of Glasgow had one or two questions from members of the audience that were clearly Better together supporters. The one I remember was from a woman of about 50 who reminded me of the lady in a video I saw of Margo McDonald in the 70s promoting independence and being drowned out by a woman saying ‘we couldnae dae it’. This was similar. She was asking about costs, which was fair enough, but as I also said earlier, there’s an element of stacking the deck when people aren’t willing to ask the same questions of the future of the Union.
       
      Anyway, this lady wasn’t shouted down, despite some clearly frustrated mutterings and one or two gasps in the audience. Speakers Canavan and Elaine Smith were very patient with all questioners. The only guy that got a hard time from the audience was a young lad who I think was an anarchist. Some felt he was advertising his own agenda, though I thought he was not particularly out of order.

    34. Macart says:

      Oh and if you’re still reading, here’s what the CEBR had to say about Scotland being subsidised.
       
      http://www.cebr.com/reports/how-money-in-some-regions-subsidises-others/

    35. Dcanmore says:

      Thank you Andrew. This is quite an excellent report as it tells us a lot about the current state of Better Together (at least at grassroots level). Okay so they had three MSPs attending at a launch event in a town of 22,000 population… and they got maybe 60 ‘neutrals’ to attend with rants (not questions) probably coming from activists. Their rhetoric was the same old same old and there was a plea for volunteers while admitting their opposition was formidable. Hmmm… 🙂

    36. Seasick Dave says:

      Strip away all the flummery and that is all BT have to offer – a dispiriting, unimaginative acceptance that things can never – ironically enough – get ‘better’.
       
      Its worse than that; they are prepared to destroy what is accepted as good.
       
      “What will you do to destroy Alex Salmond’s reputation for good government?”
       
      Its quite shocking really and its an attitude thats nurtured by the MSM.

    37. HandandShrimp says:

      Jingly Jangly
       
      Alas poor Johann has become a joke. Has anyone mentioned that Grangemouth stayed open btw or does she still think it is shut? Not that shee seems to care. She was most likely like the Better Together crew, enraged that Salmond was getting good press for his efforts and wishing that another part of Scotland’s economic life blood had shut to spite him.
       
      I am sure there have been worse opposition leaders but none spring immediately to mind. Willie Rennie is just a complete chancer.

    38. Pure Random says:

      Really enjoyable read Mr Morton, kudos for converting a unionist after his team pep talk! 

    39. The Man in the Jar says:

      As a former soldier of sixteen years experience. I would much rather march up and down outside Edinburgh Castle in a kilt than be unable to march anywhere because both my legs had been blown off in Afghanistan / Iraq.

    40. Andrew Morton says:

      @Training Day
       
      “To the open-minded gent encountered by Andrew (who may be reading this), ask yourself if you really want to be associated with this pernicious self-loathing and the weary recapitulations of ‘we cannae’.  Strip away all the flummery and that is all BT have to offer – a dispiriting, unimaginative acceptance that things can never – ironically enough – get ‘better’.
      We’re worth more than that, surely?”

      The gentleman in question was from Dalgety Bay (it was a real pleasure to meet you George if you’re reading this) and had come, not as a committed Better Together type, but as a unionist minded member of the public to hear what they had to say. He was also intending to attend any Yes Scotland meetings he could get to.
       
      He was most interested to hear how you can’t believe the polls because you can ‘tune’ the leading questions to get the answer you want. I referred him to this clip which says it all:
       
      http://youtu.be/G0ZZJXw4MTA

    41. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      to MIJ
      respect for that post
      BtP

    42. Illy says:

      So, for those of us who are less polite (or less able to think in circles), can people think of any other “nice” questions to ask at this sort of thing?

      I’m sure we’re all able to reel off facts that show that they’re lying, but there’s an art to getting people to put their own feet in their mouth that not everyone can pull off.

      Or just some advice on how to phrase things, even.  I can’t be the only person here who’s far too blunt about the truth to be able to pull that sort of thing off.

    43. Iain says:

      O/t, Yougov Indy poll (survey done in Sep for some reason)
       
      Yes 38 No 62 (no mention of DKs)

      Edit: Yes 32 No 52 DK 13

    44. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Illy-
       
      re possible ‘polite’ questions:
       
      How about, ‘What would you say to those people out there – and there are some – who view Better Together as a bunch of big fearties?’

    45. Andrew Morton says:

      @illy
       
      I think the trick is to trip them up on the detail. So for example, last night they made much play on the fact that Scotland receives £1,200 more per head than the rest of the UK. Now there are many questions you could ask, like how much does Northern Ireland get? But far better to say something along the lines of (for you are acting the part of a potential Better Together supporter and thus wouldn’t know these figures), “Do we know how much Scotland contributes per head in taxes?”
       
      Whatever answer they give, it will make people think, “Maybe there’s more to this than we realised”.

    46. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Illy-
       
      Or this…
       
      ‘It’s unthinkable, of course, but if we lose this referendum, will Better Together stay together? Will we be called Better Back Together? or what?’

    47. muttley79 says:

      @Jeannie
       
      See this, “I’m a proud Scot” stuff?  It seems to me if you say this, then you proceed to lie or distort facts in order to mislead your listeners and manipulate them to do your will, then the problem is that you have no pride whatsoever.  These people are not proud Scots.  They are just liars.
       
      Whenever a Scottish Unionist comes away with the line “I am a proud Scot” you just know that there is a but coming immediately afterwards.  The but is of course that they start running down Scotland’s ability to govern itself.  It is a completely self serving form of British nationalism.  It is one that puts their careers and privileges ahead of Scotland and its well being.  It has become more and more obvious as the campaign has gone on.  There is no positive case for the Union: they know that and offer only denigration of their opponents.      

    48. MajorBloodnok says:

      @Andrew Morton
       
      Great article Andrew and you’re a lot braver than I am.
       
      @The Man in the Jar
       
      Too bloody right man.

    49. M4rkyboy says:

      I am from Falkirk and the Old parish church is the burial place of Sir John De Graeme and several others from the Battle of Falkirk.This is hallowed ground and the last place Better Together should be pushing their message.

    50. Richard Lucas says:

      As a former soldier of sixteen years experience. I would much rather march up and down outside Edinburgh Castle in a kilt than be unable to march anywhere because both my legs had been blown off in Afghanistan / Iraq.

      My son-in-law is serving in the Falklands just now.  I’m pleased he’s there and not Afghan even though he’s missed more than half of my grandson, his son’s, 7 months of life; he will get back during November.  I’d like him in one piece in Scotland supporting useful tasks like Search and Rescue, Scotland’s air defence or long range patrols rather than being a dead  hero leaving a wife and son, or maimed and needing a lifetime of care and support.

      It’s easy to be pompous and brave when your are talking about someone else’s sons and daughters.

    51. Chic McGregor says:

      Jingly Jangly
      Glad CH4 reported McCluskey’s praise for Salmond.  As commented on the last post, the BBC were also aware of that in a live interview with LM, despite seeming attempts to interrupt.  But was edited out on subsequent broadcasts.

    52. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Illy-
       
      Or this:
       
      ‘We all know that it is unwise, nay cruel, to judge a book by the cover, but it’s a sad truism that most of those people who intend to vote Yes, or don’t know, are a bit dim, and can’t help themselves doing so. With that in mind, can we get some people to front the Better Together campaign who look even vaguely trustworthy? I’m not suggesting that they aren’t – we know they are – but to the uneducated eye, unfortunate and unfair as it may be, they do look a bit shifty.’

    53. seoc says:

      a. “There’s nae point in voting for something which is just gonnae collapse!”
      b. “The Scots pound was worth almost nothing at the Union so it’ll just be the same all over again if we have our own currency.”

      Then, amazingly, we had a real question, from an apparently-committed Unionist:

      c. “What will you do to destroy Alex Salmond’s reputation for good government?”
       a. Why then vote for something that has long since collapsed?
      b. The ‘English pound’ is worth……what, exactly?
      c. Why on earth would anyone want to destroy a well-earned reputation for good government? Are they daft?

    54. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Illy-
       
      ‘When does the raffle start?’

    55. Brian Powell says:

      The question, “What will you do to destroy Alex Salmond’s reputation for good government?” could well be a concerted policy effort by Labour, judging by Lamont’s attempt to catalogue Alex Salmond’s ‘record’ in Government, at FMs Question Time today.

       
      She threw herself into a very, very deep hole, for example, when she mentioned Fred Goodwin giving an easy reply that it was Labour who gave Goodwin his knighthood, and he was acting as an advisor to Alistair Darling!
       
      Did her speech writer not know that??

    56. Bill C says:

      I have already thanked Andrew for his work and I do not wish to spoil a really good discussion speaking about Lamont. However, Rev what about a post to discuss what can be done about the lies and defamation spewing from a truly despicable excuse for a ‘politician’?

    57. Papadocx says:

      Seasick dave 2:19
      Is it Alex Salmond they want destroyed? Is it his reputation? Or is it good government they can’t handle. truly better together. The positive message for the union.

    58. Ian Brotherhood says:

      “How much will a first-class stamp be if we stay together?”

    59. Ian Brotherhood says:

      This is nicked from a trailer for some BBC comedy show:
       
      “How many animals are living in Scotland illegally, and what is Alex Salmond doing about it?”

    60. HandandShrimp says:

      Papadocx
       
      You have to admit the good Government thing is a bit of a departure from standard practice. You can see why it unsettles them. They don’t want the public getting used to that sort of thing.

    61. MajorBloodnok says:

      @HandandShrimp
       
      Yes, and they might even be doing it deliberately.

    62. Macart says:

      Good point on that question about the FM.
       
      Destroy a reputation for good government… Did nobody in the audience other than yourself Andrew, say anything like ‘wait whut?’ I mean surely that wins the prize for the stupidest statement/question of the evening. If someone is forming effective government… nah, I just can’t be bothered stating the obvious.
       
      Ah’ll get ma coat.

    63. Papadocx says:

      The Scottish pound was worth almost nothing in 1707! Is that titbit from personal recollection? Michty me.

    64. Albalha says:

      Andrew thanks for the report. It makes you wonder just how the Tories in the audience reconcile their man being on the platform with Labour and vice versa, maybe that leads to the ‘not a clueness’.
       
      And bringing up the Darien scheme, breathtaking.
       
      Today I decided, what with it being All Hallows Eve AND the spooky horror of FMQ’s, I’d put my bet on for a YES vote at William Hills, 6-1 odds today. And think I got the young guy serving me to commit to seriously consider the issues, he’s an undecided but he knows he wants to say YES.

    65. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Richard Lucas says:
      What I said to the MIJ goes without reservation to you too.
      End of.

    66. Ian Brotherhood says:

      And do we know what happened in Penicuik? Anyone go?

    67. desimond says:

      A question for Better Together…”Given the economy and having to deal with the terrible deficit, how much do the Better Together parties hope can be saved if they go ahead and privatise Scottish Water?”

    68. HandandShrimp says:

      Yes, and they might even be doing it deliberately
       
      Major! The absolute blackguards – is there no end to their unscrupulous behaviour?

    69. The Man in the Jar says:

      Thanks to Jingly Jangly for bringing this to out attention. Please if you follow the link watch the longer of the two clips in the article. Lamont is seriously deluded what planet has she been on. She even accuses Alex Salmond of taking a fortnight off during the crises. Alex Salmond fair puts her back in her box though!
       
      People have been mentioning her silence during Grangemouth events. The thing is she was not silent, she did speak out, only to call Ineos “Dickensian” at a time when delicate negotiations were taking place. She is an outright disgrace. 
       
      http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-politics/8265-lamont-accuses-first-minister-of-taking-two-weeks-off-during-grangemouth-crisis#comment-205067

    70. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Caesar!lha says: @ aboot 3pm
       
      6/1?
      I have £100 at 4/1 on a yes and if the odds are lengthening to 6/1, somebody is fiddling the odds and we need to get advantage of their stupidity?
       
      Tell me please who are the big online bookies, are they perchance spin-offs from some hedge funds and other spiv money.
       
      I am thinking of domiciling myself in Gibraltar to find out, that is unless I am hunted down and deactivated there???

    71. Morag says:

      And do we know what happened in Penicuik? Anyone go?
       
      Sorry, was going to but had to stay in and proof-read the book.  I’ll ask around.

    72. Jimsie says:

      Off topic but time to lighten up, it is Halloween after all. Nominations are invited for Witch of the Year. Not easy, there are quite a few candidates!

    73. Albalha says:

      @Btf
      Yes indeed 6-1, even the guy who served me was surprised. He had to call up HQ as it wasn’t on the computer system in the shop, anyway before he phoned he told me he knew that NO was about 1-7 so expected the odds to be 4 or 5 – 1, but the man on the phone told him 6-1, so there you are.
       
      That’s why I mention it in case anyone else fancies a wee fluttter.

    74. david says:

      “What Scottish soldier, proudly serving in the British army, would want to join the Scottish forces and spend their time parading up and down in a kilt in front of Edinburgh castle waiting for tourists to take their picture?”
       
      what a smug sneering prick, would anyone doubt that this man was bullied at school?  i hope he is asked what he would rather our soldiers should be doing, go to war maybe?

      re bookies : i got 9/2 at william hills a fortnight ago.

    75. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      What should be asked whenever the banking bailout is brought up is to ask if they think Scotland should pay to bail out NatWest. When they say “don’t be silly” you can then point out that that is just what they have been saying as NatWest is in fact RBS in England and Wales and an interesting conversation can then be had about the protocols that govern bank rescues (and the geographical position of Halifax)

    76. Albalha says:

      Re Penicuik here’s their twitter feed, some images and they seem to think it went well.
       
      https://twitter.com/YesPenicuik

    77. crisiscult says:

      off topic, sorry. Looks quite interesting though (next week at Glasgow University)
       
      http://allevents.in/glasgow/scotland-and-the-eu-why-should-we-care-debate-1/129516007234684

    78. dan huil says:

      I plan to be in Aberdeen this weekend.I think better together has an office on union street.Following Andrew’s example I might pop in and ask a question or two.

    79. Taranaich says:

      Anyway, this lady wasn’t shouted down, despite some clearly frustrated mutterings and one or two gasps in the audience. Speakers Canavan and Elaine Smith were very patient with all questioners. The only guy that got a hard time from the audience was a young lad who I think was an anarchist. Some felt he was advertising his own agenda, though I thought he was not particularly out of order.
       
      Thanks very much! It’s good to know.

    80. Tris says:

      “What Scottish soldier, proudly serving in the British army, would want to join the Scottish forces and spend their time parading up and down in a kilt in front of Edinburgh castle waiting for tourists to take their picture?”
       
      Maybe, Mr Brown, you revolting little man, the same kind as the British ones that do the Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace  changing guards thing in a funny hat … or that like or riding alongside one of the royals in a coach on the way to parliament, so that HM can pretend that it wasn’t Cameron who wrote the appalling speech she’s just about to read.

      Or maybe the kind that are happy enough to be there if they are needed to protect their country and their countrymen, but don’t much fancy invading to a Muslim country illegally and killing and maiming tens of thousands of their totally innocent population.
       
      Next question…

    81. Sylvie Capuano Burnett says:

      Just got an email asking me if I would like to attend the launch of Better Together East Ayrshire tomorrow ( 01/11/13 )to hear Alistair Darling at 6pm Burns Monument Centre Craig Park Kilmarnock, maybe someone should go there 🙂

    82. alexicon says:

      “M4rkyboy says:
      31 October, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      I am from Falkirk and the Old parish church is the burial place of Sir John De Graeme and several others from the Battle of Falkirk.This is hallowed ground and the last place Better Together should be pushing their message.”
       
      No doubt according to the bitter together mob Sir John De Graeme was really a unoinist fighting for the union.
      I wouldn’t put it past them to say this.

    83. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I was talking to someone who works for a street bookie about about odds, over a pint or two and he said wuit simply that the odds were ofter fixed.
      I then talked to a pal, who is a professional gambler (honestly) who confirmed that.
      The odds against a YES vote have been been fixed from D day -1 and will continue to be manipulated to that end.
      Get the farm on a YES, AS THE CLOSER A YES GETS THE LONGER THE ODDS ARE, such are these idiots manipulative mind set.
      PsyOps have lost the plot.

    84. Andy-B says:

      Well done Andrew .
       
      Interesting to see an insight into a BT meeting, it sounded a nervy anxious affair.
       
      It also sounded as though most still seem to be convinced, of the benefits of the union, of which their arent any.
       
      Pity no one stood up and posed  a bobby dazzler of question (Present company excluded of course).
       
      Im pretty sure the atmosphere would have changed if the BT promoters couldnt have answered a good point.

    85. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Q for BT meetings:
       
      ‘Why aren’t they scared of us?’

    86. Andrew Morton says:

      It’s difficult to peer inside the minds of strangers, particularly when all you can see is the backs of their heads. There seemed to be a number of self identifying Tories in the audience. A couple of middle aged Englishmen who were definite Nos and from the accents and a couple of comments, a significant number of ex civil servant types. At the front were some younger people who didn’t seem to have much appreciation of the facts and figures and were probably from the local Labour Party. I can’t over emphasise the staggering levels of ignorance of detailed or indeed any information about the referendum debate. Because we all know about Barnett and the GDP figures etc., don’t assume that many of these people do.
       
      All in all Better Together’s tactic vis a vis their followers is to keep them in the dark and give them something to cheer and if we can’t get through that omerta then we have a real struggle. It’s easy to laugh and say something along the lines of ‘poor deluded fools’, but that’s exactly what BT want them to be.

    87. tartanfever says:

      Sylvie – 
       
      If someone goes to the BT meeting headed by Darling, maybe they could bring up the bank bail outs.
       
      Why has Darling never mentioned the bail out UK banks received from the US government (Federal Reserve ) ? 
       
      The answer of course is that it would blast his pet theory of ‘Scotland couldn’t bail out the banks because there would be no cross border support’ out of the water.
       
      Remember this from the New Statesman :
      http://archive.is/RsqMd

    88. lumilumi says:

      Jimsie @ 3.30pm
      Off topic but time to lighten up, it is Halloween after all. Nominations are invited for Witch of the Year. Not easy, there are quite a few candidates!
       
      Indeed. Some of them pictured here.
      http://wingsoverscotland.com/one-nation-under-a-jaikit/

    89. Matt says:

      Re the betting: William Hill have odds of 9/2 on us to win the referendum but 6/1 (that’s higher than 9/2, suggesting they think it is less likely) on Scotland to become “fully independent” by January 1st 2020. I’d be interested to know how they define “fully independent”.

      Discuss.

    90. Albert Herring says:

      How about:
       
      “I’m getting increasingly worried that we will lose this, as voters will be put off by our leaders’ continually doing Scotland down, and by our miserable litany of lies, misinformation and negativity.
       
      When O when will we see the positive case for the Union?”

    91. Gray says:

      Maybe we need a Bet Yes Vote Yes campaign

    92. Robert Louis says:

      Man in the jar,
       
      You are correct regarding Lamont the liar.  I watched FMQ’s today, and could not believe my ears when she accused the FM of being on holiday for the last two weeks, when in reality he has been working night and day to save Grangemouth from closure due to the unite union (of which lamont the liar is a member) and Labour.
       
      It has got to the point now where almost everything Lamont says is just a simple straightforward bare faced incontrovertible lie.
       
      I had been accustomed to Labour talking utter nonsense, but this latest period is a further descent into oblivion for the Labour party.  Lamont knows she was lying on national TV on Sunday, and she knew she was lying at FMQ’s today.  Unionists, it would seem, no longer know the difference between lying and the truth.
       
      I’m a socialist at heart, and find the way Labour are behaving as just frankly depressing.  They have no credibility left.

    93. Albalha says:

      @Matt
      Re odds, looking at my slip from my bet today I’ve been given 6-1 for a YES vote in the ‘Scottish Independence Referendum 2014’, maybe they made a mistake, surely not? Does that happen?

    94. Doug Daniel says:

      dan huil – “I plan to be in Aberdeen this weekend.I think better together has an office on union street.Following Andrew’s example I might pop in and ask a question or two.”
       
      Lots of luck with that plan – it’s not actually open to the public!
       
      Would be interesting to have someone confirm it 100%, mind…

    95. Kev says:

      Caesar!lha,
      Ive been contemplating sticking some of my savings on a Yes vote next year but still haven’t worked up the bottle!  According to Willie Hill they have 2 bets on Indy, the 6/1 odds are for “Scotland achieving full independence from the UK by 2020” (whatever that means) while the odds are 9/2 for a Yes vote next year:
       
      http://sports.williamhill.com/bet/en-gb/betting/g/1479658/Scottish-Independence-Markets.html
       
      Its either that or I buy some bitcoins, anythins better than it depreciating away in a bank account or ISA, it worked out well for that Norwegian boy anyway:
       
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24737671

    96. call me dave says:

      “The trouble with the labour party is they say something in public and then say something else in public” 
       
      A. Salmond  2013.   🙂

    97. Matt says:

      Aye, bookies make mistakes. And if it says “Yes vote” or something along those lines, then it’s definitely the referendum market you’ve got, since “Yes vote” doesn’t make sense as an outcome to the question “Will Scotland be fully independent by 2020?”

      However the point I am making is that by definition, Scotland becoming independent by 2020 is at least as likely as a Yes vote in the referendum, since a Yes vote in the referendum means we will become independent in 2016. So William Hill assigning higher odds to the latter option suggests either skulduggery by them (they’ll say “naw you’re no independent, you’ve still got the Queen”) or that they expect skulduggery by the British state in refusing to honour the Edinburgh agreement.

    98. Doug Daniel says:

      How about simply “could someone tell me what the positive case for the union is? I keep getting asked by my friends at the pub, but so far I’ve been unable to give them an answer.”

    99. Albalha says:

      @Kev
      Well looks like I’ve been given the wrong odds, and in my favour too. Jolly good.

    100. desimond says:

      Sylvie Capuano Burnett says:
      31 October, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      Better Together at 6pm Burns Monument Centre Kilmarnock, 

      A Parcel O’ Rogues anyone or is this centre actually named after Hugh Burns former model and Kilmarnock full back?

    101. Edward says:

      “What Scottish soldier, proudly serving in the British army, would want to join the Scottish forces and spend their time parading up and down in a kilt in front of Edinburgh castle waiting for tourists to take their picture”

      I maybe wrong here, but don’t the current Scottish Regiments, such as the Black Watch wear Kilts on ceremonial duties, march and are the awe of all, including tourists

      Its obvious from what Gavin Brown stated, he doesn’t like our soldiers wearing Kilts and having their pictures taken, possibly preferring to see the scarlet tunics and black busby’s of the guards marching up and down outside Buckingham Palace having their pictures taken by tourists.

      Actually the more I think about this , it makes me angry that this creep of a tory is full of cringe a Scottish tradition

    102. Albalha says:

      @Matt
      As I say I’ve clearly been gifted better odds by the bookies, knew that young guy was really a YES voter. Anyway, on the other point surely you would need to clarify what they meant by ‘fully independent’ before placing a bet? Could this be an opening offer and little or no cash has been placed on it? As it does sound rather confusing. 
       
      I speak from a position of complete bookies and their world ignorance of course, so who knows.

    103. Cath says:

      ” I can’t over emphasise the staggering levels of ignorance of detailed or indeed any information about the referendum debate.”
       
      It’s not actually Better Together followers we need to worry about with that though – it’s everyone who isn’t engaged in the debate and is just getting their information (or lack of it) from the mainstream media.

    104. desimond says:

      @Caesar!lha 
      Sadly in the cases of human error, a bookie is under no obligation to meet the odds given. Sad but true. You can tell them…or you can take the gamble and hope they relent and pay up or you can pray the odds dont tumble on a YES win and they tell you they can only settle at the last small odds that were available before the election.

      Question for Better Together – If a 1 pound Scottish Swallow flies south carrying a 5 pound coconut, Is it a dead duck?

    105. Albalha says:

      @desimond
      Really? Isn’t it like a written contract? Oh you’ve fair burst my bubble, aaah.

    106. Mark says:

      Just curious to know/wonder if they were taking signatures as I presume that they’ll have a database of their own?

      For what it’s worth, if I went in undercover, I’d be taking the names of folk I knew and spend my time later on converting them to Yes.

    107. desimond says:

      @Caesar!lha 
      Nope…they wiggle out of such problems all the time but hopefully for a few hundred scottish pounds they will let it go. A nervous year awaits you 😉

      Stick a saver £5 on JoLa being out a job by Easter…in fact…..can Ed Miliband replace Johann or is that purely an ecumenical matter?

    108. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Q-
       
      ‘Do any of you remember Aztec bars?’

    109. Big Drone says:

      “What Scottish soldier, proudly serving in the British army, would want to join the Scottish forces and spend their time parading up and down in a kilt in front of Edinburgh castle waiting for tourists to take their picture?”
       
      What(!?)   Trouping the colour,  changing the guards and keys at Buck House, Windsor and the Tower the 4 o’clock parade  Horse Guards – please pass the boak bucket!

    110. Andy-B says:

      O/T       I see Willie Haughey, is now Lord Haughey, after swearing his allegiance to the queen.
       
      It cost Lord Haughey one million,three hundred and twenty one thousand, six hundred and twenty six pounds in donations to the Labour Party, to achieve his goal.

    111. Matt says:

      I think there are some interesting things to look at actually when it comes to the bookies. I saw someone a couple of weeks ago arguing that Yes had no chance of winning, and the evidence was in the bookies’ odds. He pointed out that if it really was that close then there is no chance they would be risking their profit by offering such high odds.
      But I just remembered, was there not a story a few months back about a guy trying to bet £500 on Yes, and being told the maximum stake was £20, when they had already taken a bet for thousands on No? If it is true that the maximum stake on a Yes is much lower than on a No, then there are a couple of important points to note:

      One – if the bookies were inflating the odds on a Yes vote in order to influence public opinion, then the one thing they definitely would do is put a very low maximum stake on Yes, in order to minimise their exposure.

      Two – if the maximum stake on Yes is indeed much lower than on No, then more money is likely to be staked on No than on Yes, just because a lot of people will end up putting less on Yes than they wanted to. And due to the way that bookies change their odds to respond to action, this would lead to artificially inflated odds on Yes.

    112. MajorBloodnok says:

      Edward said: I maybe wrong here, but don’t the current Scottish Regiments, such as the Black Watch wear Kilts on ceremonial duties.
       
      Just a point of order but Scotland now only has one infantry Regiment, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, albeit with five regular and two TA battalions (the Black Watch being the rather prosaic 3 SCOTS).  And all thanks to the UK’s defence cuts.  In fact we’re lucky to have any Scottish soldiers left at all…

    113. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Q-
       
      ‘Which one is Ant?’

    114. desimond says:

      @Ian Brotherhood 

      Was gonna suggest asking them “Name the twins in The Broons.” then looked up wikipedia… one is called

      ECK!

    115. wee jamie says:

      If I was a Scottish soldier ,proudly serving in the British army , I would rather walk up and down in a kilt in front of Edinburgh castle, waiting on a tourist taking ma picture , than walk aboot some foreign country waiting tae get shot or blown up by an I.E.D.

    116. schrodingers cat says:

      The Man in the Jar says:
      31 October, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      As a former soldier of sixteen years experience. I would much rather march up and down outside Edinburgh Castle in a kilt than be unable to march anywhere because both my legs had been blown off in Afghanistan / Iraq.

        respect MIJThe Man in the Jar

    117. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Q-
       
      ‘I actually have three questions, if I may. First of all, who ate all the pies? Secondly, who let the dogs out?  And finally, are these developments somehow connected?’

    118. desimond says:

      @Andy-B
      But how much did it cost Councillors to buy a piece of his Shawfield land to help site access to a motorway extension and then as well as cash, help replace with some prime estate in the south side..Answers on a Labour Party postcard too…

    119. Papadocx says:

      Lib/Lab/Tory BIGGEST con over the last 40 years has been the half truth, much more dangerous than an out rite lie. They all bemoan the disengagement of the populous from politics and how they can rekindle their interest and re-engage them for the benefit of democracy, good government and society.

      The truth is they like it just the way it is, they run things to suite  themselves and their paymasters, piss people off with their greed and selfishness and talk a lot of shit, where if there is any truth involved then it’s an accident. The gravy train just keeps rumbling on and they just keep lifting the windfall and trousering it. Disappear in between elections, probably on freebees provided by the paymasters. The press/bbc/ executives feed off the next step down the reward waterfall and so on down to the bottom feeders.

      Honesty, effort and truth? They are just like a mafia family and I mean that in all sincerity. The  normal people keep out their road until they get turned out to vote for their preferred politician, who they have probably never heard of. Any danger or threat to the good order is crushed.

    120. Wullie B says:

      Ex Army Piper , loved laying to Scots crowds , at the depot (Glencorse and Milton Bridge outside Pennicuik ) we got our first taste of ceremonial duties playing at passing off the square ie end of basic training ,we had open days for the public  and loved it , played all over Scotland and we were always well recieved and more so abroad , although first and formost a soldier , no one joins to go to war ,although prepaired to do so , I and many others although at the time didnt love the bulling of brogues whitening spats and upkeep of Dress 1’s,you felt proud out and about ,and developed a swagger to be proud of , and if it meant being at the castle at fringe or tattoo time getting your picture taken by a tourist ,you felt proud ,,and this will still be the case in the future Scottish Defence Force

    121. Albalha says:

      @Matt
      I, clearly, don’t know much about bookies BUT going on your theory I received 5-1 odds, again from William Hill, that the Tories would win in 1992, not that far out from polling day. I just had a hunch Kinnock was not electable. All the polls were saying otherwise, maybe that’s what they’re up to again, as you say.

    122. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Q-
       
      ‘How does Alex Salmond get away with refusing to have a televised debate with David Cameron? Okay, he’s scared, we know that, but what gives him the right to show such contempt for our long-established tradition of live televised slanging matches? Who the hell does he think he is?’ 

    123. Peter Stark says:

      “What Scottish soldier, proudly serving in the British army, would want to join the Scottish forces and spend their time parading up and down in a kilt in front of Edinburgh castle waiting for tourists to take their picture?”
      Had to laugh at that bit, wind the clock back some 30 odd years and I was one of those pictured. Though I was of course a real soldier, no kilt, but I had a furry hat instead & spent most of my time marching up and down the mall,,,,,having my photie taken. 🙂

    124. EdinScot says:

      Thanks Andrew for giving us a glimpse at the mindset of a Bittertoghether meeting.  Still dont know what event wouldve been worse to attend last night, that BT cringe fest or Easter Road as a Hibbie.
       it is Halloween after all. Nominations are invited for Witch of the Year. Not easy, there are quite a few candidates!
       
      Halloween indeed Jimsie!  Looks like Lamont has been drinking her own special concocted poison again.  She shouldve donned the Scream mask and have done with it.  Scary stuff from the Britnats.

    125. call me dave says:

      ATOS : Glasgow council meeting disrupted after the SNP motion to bar them as sponsors for the games is defeated.   BBC Radio Scotland.

    126. alexicon says:

      “Holebender says:
      31 October, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      The Falkirk meeting should be “interesting”. Grangemouth, best of both worlds?”
       
      I think there is a YES meeting in Grangemouth either tonight or next Thursday (?) and one of the speakers is Allan Grogan.
      That should be more interesting.

    127. He he.
      Michael Greenwell ?@mgreenwell21m
      Better Together out campaigning tonight. In line with their campaign so far they are doing “trick or threat” on the doorsteps.

    128. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Peter Stark
       
      I was REME and oh the relief I felt regarding the uniform when I was attached to 1st. Btn. The Royal Scots. No kilt (lowland regt) not even a pair of trews for attached troops but I did get to bin the “twat hat” and wear a Glengary. 🙂
       
      We did get to march along Princess St. behind the pipe band, Bayonets fixed and Colours flying very much despite the Labour council objections. 1. RS. have the freedom of Edinburgh! (WIRUY) It was the regiments 350th anniversary.

    129. Brian Mark says:

      Wee Crankie has lost the plot!, but seriously the woman does not look at all well and needs to lie doon in a darkened room after her performance at FMQ’s today

    130. tartanfever says:

      Sorry, going O/T.
       
      Do we have anyone ‘on the scene’ in Newsnet ?
       
      Seems to me over the past few days any article about the Grangemouth situation refuses to criticise in any respect whatsoever Stevie Deans. I’m frankly stunned at their portrayal of him as an ‘unfortunate patsy’ and refusal to even question any of his actions, nor take into account that he resigned when faced with the evidence presented by Ineos.
       
      Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of Ineos, but when so much has gone wrong and Mr Deans remains at the heart of this entire labour-union debacle, would it not be good journalism to at least fire some questions in his direction ?

    131. Bubbles says:

      Better Together Dundee launches tomorrow evening at Discovery Point. I’m tempted but also known to them. I don’t fancy going on my own though. What to do?

    132. Bubbles says:
       

      Better Together Dundee launches tomorrow evening at Discovery Point. I’m tempted but also known to them. I don’t fancy going on my own though. What to do?
       
      Go in your Halloween fancy dress.

    133. orkers says:

      ‘Trick or threat’
       
      LOL

    134. Andrew Morton says:

      @Bubbles
       
      Go anyway. Sit at the front. Don’t say a word. It’ll unsettle them. They’ll be frightened to spout their usual rubbish in front of you. They can’t manhandle you from the room As it’s an open meeting.

    135. Andrew Morton says:

      Or wear a false moustache.

    136. Jingly Jangly says:

      Tartanfever
      As I understand it Unite are claiming that Mr Deans work for the Labour party was “accepted practice” If for example he was conducting this work in his lunchtime and Ineos and perhaps BP before them knew about it, and turned a blind eye then the work becomes accepted practice and  there is no case for Mr Deans to answer.

      The statistic of 1000 emails is a bit of a red herring, he could have sent one email to all the unite members at Grangemouth and each recipient would count as an email.

      To me the issue is that Unite have so much influence in Labour and that Deans was trying to get his pal’s girlfriend into a cushie job paid for by us!!!!

    137. Oh MacOo says:

      Great reading this Andrew, I am always on the lookout to convert anyone who is open to discussion.
      Good that you attended a No meeting and managed to keep the cool

    138. Edward says:

      Slightly O/T – Just had a look at the Joan McAlpine column in the Daily Record. The picture is quite iconic, which is of Alex Salmond  in discussion with Pat Rafferty and Len McClusky of Unite. It is discussion, calm negotiation . Its about getting the job done and getting people around the table and making it happen. Who is missing – oh yes Lamont, Unite member and leader of the Labour party in Scotland. Speaks volumes
      http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/joan-mcalpine-how-alex-salmond-2650993

    139. Albert Herring says:

      A while ago I tried to put £50 at 9/2 on YES with Stan James. No dice. They would accept £3.45 though.
       
      ‘Do any of you remember Aztec bars?’
       
      Ahhh Aztec bars, mmmm. Never understood why they discontinued them.

    140. ScottishThinker says:

      When an argument is based on pure emotion and nothing else, people will believe anything to convince themselves they’ve come to the logical conclusion. 

      Unionists don’t foam at the mouth about how shit Scotland is because they’re uninformed.

    141. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Matt
      Does anyone actually know where William Haughey is domiciled?
      Is it Glesca or the Cayman’s?
      Anyone help me out there please?

    142. Jimmuckmc says:

      Better together meeting in Kilmarnock tomorrow 1 st nov
      at burns monument featuring alistair darling  I don’t have
      the stomach for into doubt it will be reported

    143. Midgehunter says:

      “‘Do any of you remember Aztec bars?’
       
      Ahhh Aztec bars, mmmm. Never understood why they discontinued them.”
       
      The Aztecs died out  😉

    144. Dan Huil says:

      According to Labrokes own website the percentage breakdown on all bets placed with them on Scottish referendum is  Yes 58.42%    No 41.58%  
       
      BTW  Doug Daniel  If you’re reading this I’ll let you know about Aberdeen bt office

    145. Andy-B says:

      @Desimond..Thats correct
       
      Not to mention five of the top ten higest paid councillors,in the UK, reside or resided within Glasgow City Council, no prizes for guessing which party they belong/belonged too.
       
      http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/council-5-on-rich-list-of-public-servants-123964n.21041802

    146. gordoz says:

      First class operation and information well done Andrew
      Dont know if I could have stood that much rubbish without laughing
      Well done to you for passing such an endurance test !

    147. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      to Bubbles

      Take yer bloody specs aff?
      Smiley thingy
       

    148. Yesitis says:

      “Proud Scottery” 🙂
       
      A fine glimpse of Better Togethery thinking there, Andrew.

    149. Albert Herring says:

      The Aztecs died out
       
      No, they were wiped out by the Spanish. Is that what happened to the bars too?

    150. MajorBloodnok says:

      @Albert Herring
       
      Surely that was Aztec Camera?

    151. Andrew Morton says:

      @Scottish Thinker
       

      “When an argument is based on pure emotion and nothing else, people will believe anything to convince themselves they’ve come to the logical conclusion. 
      Unionists don’t foam at the mouth about how shit Scotland is because they’re uninformed.”
       
      ‘Faith tramples underfoot all reason and understanding’
       
      – Martin Luther

    152. Albert Herring says:

      Too Camera Obscura for me, Major.

    153. proudscot says:

      Sarah Boyack’s risible admission about the YES stalls always already being at venues when the NO lot turn up, reminds me of a quote of the celebrated author Terry Pratchett: “Light thinks it is the fastest thing in the universe. But no matter how fast it travels, whenever it reaches its destination, it finds the Darkness has got there first and is waiting for it!”
       
      Maybe this is quite apt, as our NO opponents are quite convinced that the entire Independence campaign are definitely “the dark side” – with the Dark Lord Sauron being oor Eck of course!
       
      Slightly O/T, Lamont’s performance at today’s FMQs plumbed a new depth, even for her. To denigrate the FM’s success in defusing the Grangemouth dispute and achieving what had appeared increasingly unlikely in the preceding days, in getting the plant re-opened and all the associated jobs saved, only served to demonstrate what a sour and hate-filled person she is. Even the obligatory desk-thumpers behind her were noticably less supportive than usual. Salmond’s trashing of her, and the other two Unionist Stooges, was superb even by his usual high standard.

    154. Albalha says:

      O/T
      Reminder to anyone who doesn’t know Jack Foster who’s behind the Fear Factor videos is currently running a fundraiser for a film. Each and every pound counts.
       
      http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/scotland-yet-feature-length-documentary-on-scottish-independence

    155. Midgehunter says:

      A Herring says:
      “The Aztecs died out
       
      No, they were wiped out by the Spanish. Is that what happened to the bars too?”
       
      No the tapas bars are alive and kicking …!

    156. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

      O/T Lamont! Her role now is solely to deliver sound-bites that the BBC can run at prime-time. There is also of course UNITE protesting outside homes of INEOS bosses, every little bit of shit stirring helps eh! Defensive move by Johan (Paul Sinclair) Lamont.

    157. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

      O/T Fairly interesting interview with Irvine Welsh. Q. Are you for Scottish Independence?
      http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/irvine-welsh-doesnt-regret-choosing-life

    158. Robert Louis says:

      Andy-B,
       
      The shocking high levels of pay at Glasgow city council, run by the Labour party, is just a wee part of the stinking corruption at the heart of Labour in Scotland.
       
      Glasgow city chambers is Scotland’s very own Tammany hall.

    159. Papadocx says:

      How many of England’s old colonies have  requested to get back under England’s Control again? Or even considered it. This question is only for the NO BRIGADE! Mmm
       

    160. Ronnie says:

      @ Andrew Morton
      @ Bubbles
       
      Even better, take notes, real or otherwise, at appropriate points.
       
      It’ll have them all wondering, and the speaker will be expecting questions later….

    161. Ian Brotherhood says:

      This is not how I remember it, but then again, I don’t actually remember anything but wanting the thing…the wrapper didny matter.
      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_TGisiI_dI2E/TFKeByUNl2I/AAAAAAAAC7Q/6bP2HEvh7u8/s200/1.Aztec.jpg

    162. Paula Rose says:

      Actually I thought this referendum was about ending the union of the parliaments because it is no longer fit for purpose. England seems to want to retreat into a feudalist past, whereas we want to continue with being a modern democracy.

    163. Ian Brotherhood says:

      After hearing about FMQ’s today, it seems that AS is starting to ease the gloves off a tad…
       
      In the spirit of openness and healthy rivalry etc, I propose that we have, perhaps via Quarantine, a wee bit of ‘flyting’.
       
      The MSM in this country cannot accommodate it, but it’s been a major means of ‘debate’ for many centuries before anything like ‘parliament’ existed. Aye, the papers and telly wouldn’t/couldn’t touch it, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
       
      Only problem is – you need at least two folk with the ‘balls’ to do it: the whole Cameron/Salmond stand-off then arises…or doesn’t.
       
      If you don’t know what ‘flyting’ is, check it here:
       
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flyting

    164. gordoz says:

      God  just look at that stage. how can people sit their a nd look at that red white & blue monstrosity sitting next to that that syrene blue symbol of our nation.
      What is wrong with people? Surely Scotland should come first and foremost if you love where you live – no sharing of soveriegnty, no watering down of nationality. 

    165. Derick fae Yell says:

      Looking at that audience bring to mind, being honest, a smell of pee and peppermints.  I, needing cash as always but having little interest or ability to accumulate it, should become an agent for the current incarnation of ‘Innovations’ magazine.  Such fertile ground: Various incontinence products including things that your auld grand aunt would fail to successfully pee in on long car journeys; Gnomes that emit pheremones to attract bats to eat local midgies, gnomes that glow in the dark and repel neighbours (probably forin Polish persons) – cats; The Big Slipper; mugs wi Charles n Di on [alarm. alarm. reboot] correction mugs wi Will and whatsherface the attractive leggy fertile one (again) on. A business opportunity  

    166. Derick fae Yell says:

      Aye try to walk a mile in another man’s shoes.
      But, dearie me, the ‘Proud Scots’ are just embarrassing.  Jeanie says ‘liars’.  I’m no sure they hae that amount o self-awareness. Sad

    167. Richie says:

      Well done for sitting through it. I went to the Better Together Banff launch last Saturday and it was horrible!
      I took an audio recording but none of the speakers were using a microphone so it’s pretty hard to hear them. It was just as hard to hear them at the event. All the hearing aids must have been turned up to max.
      The speakers were;
      5:07
      Maitland Mackie. North East businessman and former Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire.

      37:15
      Alison McInnes MSP, North East Scotland. Liberal Democrat.

      44:47
      Alex Johnstone MSP, North East Scotland. Conservative.

      56:22
      Barney Crocket. Aberdeen council leader. Labour.

      You can hear Alex Johnstone OK but the rest are pretty poor. Maitland Mackie just mumbled to himself.

      https://soundcloud.com/drunkenduncan-1/bt_banff-mp3

    168. Seepy says:

      “What Scottish soldier, proudly serving in the British army, would want to join the Scottish forces and spend their time parading up and down in a kilt in front of Edinburgh castle waiting for tourists to take their picture?”
      If Gavin Brown MSP is so concerned about this, shouldn’t he be directing his question to his fellow Tory, Philip Hammond, who, earlier this year, reduced the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 5 Scots to a Public Duties Company?

    169. Andrew Morton says:

      @Richie
      I listened to a little bit of the Alex Johnstone part – incredible when he talks about SNP success in the elections of 1974 and says that as a schoolboy he thought – not that he could do something to help his country achieve independence and stand on its own two feet- but that he had to stand up and work to ensure that independence didn’t happen! He then goes on to boast that prior to oil the best thing the North East could do for its children was to educate them well and send them abroad.
       
      Imagine an Estonian or a Pole saying that!

    170. Andrew Morton says:

      @Gordoz at 10:55
       
      God  just look at that stage. how can people sit their a nd look at that red white & blue monstrosity sitting next to that that syrene blue symbol of our nation.
      What is wrong with people? Surely Scotland should come first and foremost if you love where you live – no sharing of soveriegnty, no watering down of nationality. 
       

      When you’ve lived your whole life on your knees it can be difficult for some people to stand up. These people need to be helped as they’ve been brainwashed for so long now that they can’t even tell it’s happened to them. We do them and our cause no help by just laughing at them.
       
      Talk to them, every one we convert or cause to doubt is one less for Blair McDougall.

    171. DonDeefLugs says:

      Musselburgh is known as “The Honest Toun”. Make of that what you will 🙂

    172. crisiscult says:

      Ian Brotherhood   is flyting a bit like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6H0i1RAdHk

    173. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Friday Teaser:
       
      Who said this (yesterday) and what was he talking about?
       
      ‘…no one has a right to intimidate, nobody has a right to bully. Nobody has a right to threaten people’s families, no one has a right to threaten people in their homes.’

    174. DonDeefLugs says:

      @Ian
       
      ‘Call me dave’ Cameron. I liked this response in the herald:
       

      “ nobody has a right to bully, nobody has a right to threaten people’s families,no one has a right to threaten people in their homes “ except Jim Radcliffe who threatened the workers and their families, to put them on the dole , to lose their homes, to deprive their families of food. Why is he allowed to do it? Because he worships the same god, maximum profit no matter who is cast aside, as David Cameron. Even for David Cameron his hypocritical comments have reached a new low, he has not criticised Radcliffe once but would rather score political points instead of trying to do something positive to resolve the issue like the SNP did.. This incident was the unacceptable face of capitalism versus the unacceptable face of trade unionism.”

    175. crisiscult says:

      Ian Brotherhood – that’s great. I didn’t know anything about it, well, apart from the one or two things your momma told me last time I was over 😛 
       
       
      Better together can add that to their list of things that make them proud to be Scottish, while we Separatists bang on about boring stuff like inequality, privatisation, illegal wars, and eh, braveheart (not). I see in the article that slave owners helped to pass this tradition on. Another thing Scots have achieved through being part of the Union.

    176. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @DonDeefLugs-
       
      Correct.
       
      And this is the dude whose party is driving people from their homes if they happen to have an ‘extra’ bedroom. Is it irony? Or is it just the Mother of All Sick Jokes ?
       
      ‘A MAN driven to despair by the bedroom tax attempted suicide in a council housing office yesterday.

      Staff looked on in horror as tormented Lawrence Keane slit his wrists in a reception area after asking for help with rent arrears he had run up as a result of the hated tax.

      The vulnerable 58-year-old said: “I stood up and asked them if they wanted my blood because that’s all I had left to give. I started hacking at both my arms.”’
      Daily Record, August 30th 2013.

    177. DonDeefLugs says:

      And the only way to end such horror is to vote Yes. Why can’t people see that?

    178. Craig says:

      I live in Musselburgh and saw no mention of this event anywhere. The Yes launch, also at the Brunton Theatre, but held in the large hall upstairs, was attended by over 200 people – a result of our leafleting and banner displays across the town (despite local Labour councillor trying to get these removed on dubious “Health and Safety” concerns).

      As it was widely advertised, and open to all, the audience was a complete mix. The people behind me were quite clearly undecided. The only unionist willing to pipe up was an old guy who accused the panel of all being millionaires and blamed them for the fact he could barely afford to feed himself, he ended his wee rant with the words “we’ll go doon together”. Hardly inspiring, but at least we let him speak.

      On Twitter last night, someone who was at the BT launch said Yes people only go to these events to disrupt them. Is that surprising when they’re spouting such a load of ill-informed rubbish? I think they expect us to let them get on with spreading their dismal message of “too wee, too poor and too stupid” –  because that’s ALL they’ve got.

      The Cringefest Tour, coming soon to a scout hut near you.

    179. Papadocx says:

      Better together or else!  
      The natives can either continue to have their pockets picked by voting no and the rules of the game will be changed so there will be no more chances.
       
      If we vote yes then we will just be mugged and the boot will go in. England has form on this.

    180. Andrew Morton says:

      @Craig
       
      I already knew about the launch due to a letter to members from the local Labour party. There was also a leaflet drop in our street (Tory type area) presumably from one of their activists who lives nearby. There were a few people from Inveresk which is very Tory, so I guess they were really just speaking to their own. I believe it was advertised on the Better Together Facebook page.

    181. lumilumi says:

      @ Andew
       
      So just preaching to the converted? Like the YES speakers were to the 20,000+ on Calton Hill? 😀
       
      No Scotland has no real effort to reach out to the community. Because – shock, horror – someone who wasn’t totally in agreement might turn up? Even ask awkward questions! (The height of this ridiculousness was of course that No Scotland “public” event in Glasgow a few weeks back: secret location that was only revealed to carefully vetted No supporters :-D)
       
      From what I’ve heard, YES events are advertised as publicly and widely as budget allows and everybody’s welcome. The NOs, the undecideds and of course the Yes folk. Some of the NOs and undecideds even come out thinking about things and might begin their constitutional journey, if not outright converted to YES.
       
      Remember Abertay a few weeks back. After the debate (Stewart Hosie for YES/SNP and I forget who the No person was), something like 66% were YES. Or the “Union Bridge” BBC debate with an audience of undecideds. The voting at the end was 60+ percent for independence.
       
      No wonder the British establishment and MSM want to shut down debate. They’re keeching in their breeks!

    182. Craig says:

      @Andrew – our street is VERY pro-union – lots of pensioners, and quite conservative but we didn’t get an invite. It looks like they’re simply struggling to get volunteers to do the leg-work. I did get a BT leaflet through the door later that night – so they must have headed out afterwards, bolstered in their belief that we’re all rubbish. Bless.
      Are you on Twitter? Give me a shout (@smicht) if you get any more invites, I’d love to go along!

    183. Andrew Morton says:

      Hi Craig,
       
      I don’t think I’d be allowed through the door, they’d probably lynch me . . .
       
      I’m in Haddington tomorrow helping out on the Yes stall in the High Street.

    184. Richard Hunter says:

      This is a hilarious article.
      It also shows the right way to attend opposition events. Politely listen – then report.

    185. Mike says:

      What you discovered is further confirmation that some people will seek not enlightenment or information but only reiteration of a point of view they want to believe in. Some people want nothing more than to be continually reassured that what they want to believe is what they should believe.
      You wont find this practice more sustained in proportional terms anywhere outside of constitutional politics.
      Sadly many people don’t subliminally regard politics as a means of gaining and exercising control they regard politics as a means of avoiding making informed choices by happily allowing themselves to be “Reassured” that things will be dealt with to their satisfaction without them having to make any effort to understand how.
      Paying hard earned money just to get their hand petted while listening to a cooing voice reinforcing their tainted view of reality without the demand of understanding or participating in the process of creating it.

    186. Big Jock says:

      The Scottish cringe is the reason for Scots always comparing their country of 5 million with their neighbour of 58 million. They see small as a problem rather than a potential strength.

      It is because of Scotland’s small population that our resources are such an asset. North sea oil split amongst 70 million or split amongst 5 million, you don’t need to be a mathemition!

      Small countries can actually do something with their resources. Even if the oil had been divided up evenly which we know it wasn’t! For every £1000 worth of oil revenue only £100.00 ever goes to Scotland. Imagine we had all of that. Imagine we had all the whisky revenues rather than filtered via Whitehall.

      But why a Scottish soldier would not be proud guarding the ramparts of Edinburgh castle in an independent Scotland is beyond me. I suppose these old buggers would prefer our young people to get sent to political wars and get chemically gassed. Most servicemen men and women are victims not heroes. Victims of the nasty politics that sent them to futile conflicts.

      The sight of another Scotsman coming home in a box draped in a butchers apron makes me sick.



    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