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Speking there branez 175

Posted on October 19, 2013 by

Experienced readers will know that it’s a rare and special day when the BBC deigns to open up a Scottish story on its website to reader comments.


The results are invariably to be cherished, as our friends elsewhere in the UK share their considered, informed and thoughtful views on why we’re all better together.

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Journey to the Yes side 189

Posted on September 28, 2013 by

As far back as I can recall, I haven’t believed in anything.

I’ve had no over-riding passion for change, I’ve felt jaded and disconnected from the establishment, from the institutions. Westminster and the political scene of the UK was framed by a “they’re all the same” mentality. All I saw was greed and corruption in people who didn’t represent my view of the world, but that’s just how it is, right? It’ll always be the same, we can’t change it.


But maybe we can.

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Fear and self-loathing 128

Posted on September 01, 2013 by

We’ve been hearing tales today of people who signed up for the top secret “public meeting” of No Glasgow yesterday and received written confirmation that their application had been successful, but were then mysteriously refused admission when they arrived – a curious occurrence when by most accounts there were 70-80 seats going begging in the 400-seater auditorium.


We, naturally, had about 50 spies in the room, one of whom audio-recorded the entire thing. We’re still plugging our way through it – it’s hard to maintain focus when the tired old platitudes you’ve heard a hundred times already drone on and on from the stage, and we keep finding we’ve forgotten we’re listening and have wandered off to do the hoovering or something.

By far the most compelling argument we’ve heard so far, though, came from a gentleman in the audience. It’s transcribed below. Take a moment to read it.

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What women don’t want 169

Posted on August 19, 2013 by

Forgive us another rummage around in our poll data, but we didn’t do a lot of study into gender differences in our first wave of analysis, and we were struck by something this morning as we idly browsed through the question about what Scots were scared of.


Along with the fact that women were almost twice as likely – 38% to 22% – to be undecided about their referendum vote* as men (and indeed about most other votes), it was one of the areas where the differences between the sexes were most stark.

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Dispatches from foreign lands 77

Posted on May 18, 2013 by

As our Twitter followers will know, we’ve experimentally decided to reserve Saturdays for light-hearted comic banter, as a bit of relief from the serious business of politics.

Of course, this week politics has been so absurd – from “Better Together” deciding it was Better Apart to Gordon Brown promising Scots that if they vote No he’d increase their taxes and send the money to England, and the still-ongoing Faragemageddon – that it hardly seems necessary, but we’ll stick with the plan.


With that in mind, then, it’s time for… British Loony Of The Week!

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The deconstructed Lamont 78

Posted on April 21, 2013 by

A few days ago, our mole in Scottish Labour HQ sent us the first draft of Johann Lamont’s speech to the Scottish Labour conference. Oddly, a few lines seem to have gone missing from the version delivered to the hall yesterday afternoon.


Here’s the full original text, so you can see what Johann was really trying to say.

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One happy family 86

Posted on April 06, 2013 by

The Telegraph deserves some credit today. It runs a heartbreaking story about the reality of life on benefits, of the sort both the Conservative and Labour parties want to be “tough” on. It’s a piece of gripping, truthful and hard-hitting journalism, highly and properly critical of the party the paper steadfastly supports. Hats off to the author.


Then you read the comments.

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Information request #4 58

Posted on February 26, 2013 by

We’ve already asked this question on Twitter (no answers yet), but we should open it up here too. In the light of today’s piece by Stewart Bremner, we’ve been racking our brains trying to think if anyone has moved, in public, from being a Yes vote to a No – or even a Don’t Know – since, let’s say, the SNP’s victory in 2007, the point at which a referendum started to become a real possibility rather than just an abstract concept.

That’s almost six years ago now. Surely SOMEONE must have been won over by the Unionists’ arguments or by the slick, positive, coherent “Better Together” campaign? There’s no shortage of testimonies from people moving, or at least edging, the other way. Even the Sunday Mail is starting to waver a little, for Heaven’s sake.

But we haven’t heard of a single, solitary human in all those six years of intensified constitutional debate who’d previously supported independence having announced to the world that it’s a bad idea and we’re better off in the bosom of Mother UK after all.

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You’ll read it here first 39

Posted on October 10, 2012 by

Gates Of The West (and East) 15

Posted on May 10, 2012 by

Since we’ve already been nice to a journalist today, it seems only fair to also send out a little bit of love to the press corps’ less-celebrated and much-maligned brothers in arms – the photographers. (We don’t know why we’re being so pleasant to everyone all of a sudden. We think someone may have slipped something in our tea.)

Rangers FC has been in administration since Valentine’s Day. That’s three long months in which the story has featured in the news pretty much every single day, and it’s not a situation that lends itself particularly well to illustration. One picture of a Duff & Phelps press conference looks much like another, and once you’ve knocked out the traditional broken-club-crest it starts to get tricky to find a fresh visual angle.

The nation’s photo-journalists have risen heroically to the challenge, though, and we feel irresistibly compelled to take a moment out from our day to offer them a heartfelt and genuine salute, before whatever this stuff is wears off.

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