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Wings Over Scotland

Savaged by a poodle

Posted on June 27, 2012 by

So we’d probably better comment on Willie Rennie’s personal attack yesterday. It was hardly surprising, and indeed a little flattering that the leader of a formerly-major political party would take time out of his day to send out a press release excoriating little old us and our insignificant wee blog, but it’s still a tad disappointing to see a senior politician happy to tell so many lies in a few short sentences.

We’ll skip through it quickly, then move on with our lives.

“Using the death British servicemen, who aren’t able to answer for themselves, to further political ends, is a deplorable act.”

Clearly typing in a bit of a hurry, there, Willie. But the political end we’re trying to serve is to stop any more Scottish soldiers being killed in an utterly pointless military engagement in a country where we have absolutely no legitimate business, and we don’t consider that “deplorable” in the least. What we consider deplorable is being part of a party who voted to send our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends, fathers and mothers over there to die for nothing in the first place.

We were not invited into Afghanistan. However much we might despise whoever was running the country, it’s not up to us to go charging in there and changing their government for them at the end of a gun.  Indeed, invading a sovereign nation for the purpose of regime change – which is precisely what we did in both Afghanistan and Iraq, despite unprecedented protests from millions who took to the streets to voice their objections – is expressly forbidden by international law.

When we leave Afghanistan the Taliban will return, largely undamaged. We will have wasted hundreds of British lives, thousands of Afghan lives, and billions of pounds, and all we’ll have to show for it is the pile of dead bodies.

“These narrow nationalists are trying to portray the English as warmongers who don’t care about lives lost in battle.”

This is a despicable comment, which is not justified by anything on the image. It made no mention of “the English” whatsoever, and none was implied – Westminster MPs of all four British nationalities voted for the Afghanistan invasion. But if those MPs cared about our soldiers’ lives they wouldn’t send them into harm’s way for nothing, and then weep crocodile tears for them afterwards.

“These brave servicemen died for their country, not for narrow nationalists trying to serve their political end.”

That rather depends on your definition of “narrow”. They certainly died for nationalists – British nationalists, obsessed with “punching above our weight” on the world stage and acting as the world’s policemen. The Empire is long over, and everyone knows it except the inhabitants of the Palace Of Westminster, who waste hundreds of billions of pounds desperately clinging on to our seat on the UN Security Council by brandishing nuclear missiles at – well, at who? Nobody knows.

“They were not dragooned into serving their country.”

Nobody said they were. British soldiers are volunteers. But they are entitled to volunteer in the expectation that they won’t be sent off to die for no good reason. Afghanistan had neither invaded nor been invaded by anyone. We had no right to be there, and there was never any prospect of anything being achieved by our presence. It was an exercise in futility, paid for in blood.

“The armed forces defend the United Kingdom with pride and to belittle the role that they play”

Not one word or pixel of the image in question “belittled” British soldiers. They are brave men and women in often dreadful conditions with often dismally-inadequate equipment. Who’s to blame for that? Who sends them out with defective rifles, dodgy radios and insufficient armour? Is it some insignificant blogger, or is it our Honourable and Right-Honourable Members Of Parliament, when they’re not too busy flipping their second homes, enacting policies they stood for election on a solemn pledge not to enact, complying with and then covering up the rendition and torture of innocent detainees, or cutting taxes for their billionaire pals?

“in defending our country”

Defending? Afghanistan represents no threat whatsoever to the United Kingdom, and never did. No Afghani has ever mounted any sort of attack on British soil so far as we’re aware. Neither the 9/11 or 7/7 attackers came from Afghanistan. The deaths of our soldiers didn’t save a single British life – indeed the head of Britain’s own secret services believes our actions put us at greater risk.

(It’s not all downside, of course – they also provided our governments with an excuse to destroy many of the centuries-old civil liberties on which this country was founded and for which it once proudly stood.)

“in some warped attempt to score political points is an action that should be denounced on all sides of the debate.”

Activists for all three opposition parties made a concerted and sustained attempt to whip up a frenzy of hatred over the poster yesterday afternoon, but nobody took the bait. They particularly tried to make a party-political issue out of it, repeatedly and pointedly calling us “cybernats” and demanding the SNP condemn us, even though we’re not members of the SNP and never have been.

(They haven’t done so, yet, although we wouldn’t be surprised if it happened, because otherwise the No parties or one of their tame journalist friends may loudly proclaim the scandal that the SNP haven’t condemned this disgraceful slur – in order to score party-political points, conveniently ignoring the crass irony.)

We’re touched by the support we received, which made up the overwhelming majority of communications we got yesterday. Some of the most moving can be found in the image’s comment thread. We are not sorry for creating and posting the image, though we’re sorry for any offence it may have caused to those who have lost friends or relatives in the military (rather than those who haven’t and are manufacturing outrage for cynical political gain). That’s not why we made it, and we believe with all our hearts in the position it sets out – that Scottish soldiers, our people, should not be sent to die in foreign lands for nothing by the venal, verminous scum inhabiting Westminster.

As it happens, we don’t think English, Welsh or Northern Irish soldiers should either, but with all three London-based parties united in their pious and hypocritical support for the “war”, there are no democratic means by which to extract those troops from the Afghan desert. But in 2014, we can at least save the Scottish ones, by choosing to be a country which cares more for the lives of its young men and women than for the sickening, vainglorious, imperial posturing of its politicians.

Go fuck yourself, Willie Rennie. And that you CAN do in our name.

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  1. 27 06 12 08:48

    Today’s lesson | laidbackviews

  2. 27 06 12 09:52

    Scotland’s Independence Referendum: Media Round-Up 27/06/2012 « Still Raining, Still Dreaming

  3. 05 01 15 14:46

    The 12 most-read LDV posts of 2014 (Day 12)

39 to “Savaged by a poodle”

  1. Gaavster says:

    Well said Stu, very eloquently, and succinctly, put

    Can’t disagree with a single word of your response to that political nonentity

  2. Nothing to say, other than your position was – and is – entirely honourable and morally defensible.
    You were deliberately misrepresented by some of the most pious Janus-faced c***ts in the Scottish political twittersphere. The chance to “shoot down a cybernat” was the only motivation in their exchanges.
    And yes. “Go fuck yourself, Willie Rennie”
    Carry on WoS.

  3. Appleby says:

    Nice one, Rev Stu. Well put and better than Willie deserved after his hurried cheap shots and false outrage and tears.

  4. Doug Daniel says:

    Which of these is more insulting to the people in those coffins: someone using a picture that shows the tragic outcomes of war, in order to highlight the need to ensure we empower ourselves to stop such tragedies happening in the future, all of which happen in the name of trying to look like one of the big boys on the world stage…

    …Or some moral crusader cynically ambushing that someone, dripping with mock outrage, using it as an excuse to score some cheap political points?

    We all know the answer, it’s the second one. 

  5. Arbroath1320 says:

    Congratulations Rev Stu. A very good article in response to the utterances of a non entity.
    I guess the launching I mean sinking of the Bitter Together campaign didn’t go too well for the Tory lap dogs then!
    Perhaps if the Tory lap dogs had had a spine they might have been a bit more vocal in decrying the Afghan war as illegal and unnecessary before they realised they had followed Labour and Tory parties blindly into backing this disgraceful war.
    Every single person grieves for every soldier who is repatriated to Britain. We all feel the hurt of the families concerned. The difference is our hurt, our grief is REAL. You will not find any crocodile tears on us.  Our tears are real!
    Rennie can spout on with his pathetic bile, but let’s face is anyone really listening to him?
    Does any one really pay any attention to what he says? (I know A.S. does occasionally but let’s face it he does that out of courtesy.)
    Perhaps Rennie should get out more and talk to some real people. Oops sorry that’s already been done by the Bitter Together campaign. Just thinking about that. Perhaps the Bitter Together video was as bad as it is because the interviewees were actually talking to Rennie!

  6. David says:

    Hear, hear – well said: Rennie faux pious cipher spewing the poisonous unreason of a toad. An Orwellian caricature deserving of being conscripted and sent to fight in the illegal British wars he sanctimoniously sanctifies with others’ blood. “Get to fuck”, indeed.

  7. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Mesopotamia a poem by Rudyard Kipling (1917)
    Rudyard Kipling
    THEY shall not return to us, the resolute, the young
    The eager and whole-hearted whom we gave:
    But the men who left them thriftily to die in their own dung,
    Shall they come with years and honour to the grave?
    They shall not return to us, the strong men coldly slain
    In sight of help denied from day to day:
    But the men who edged their agonies and chid them in their pain,
    Are they too strong and wise to put away?
    Our dead shall not return to us while Day and Night divideÑ
    Never while the bars of sunset hold.
    But the idle-minded overlings who quibbled while they died,
    Shall they thrust for high employments as of old?
    Shall we only threaten and be angry for an hour?
    When the storm is ended shall we find
    How softly but how swiftly they have sidled back to power
    By the favour and contrivance of their kind?
    Even while they soothe us, while they promise large amends,
    Even while they make a show of fear,
    Do they call upon their debtors, and take council with their friends,
    To confirm and re-establish each career?
    Their lives cannot repay us,their death could not undone
    The shame that they have laid upon our race.
    But the slothfulness that wasted and the arrogance that slew,
    Shall we leave it unabated in its place?

    Some Hyenas never change their spots.

  8. Stuart M says:

    If Rennie’s comment have led to a few more people finding this page, we should thank him.
    It also gives us the chance to remind people, that Rennie’s own contributions to politics on the internet are amongst the most vile, ill-informed and racist ever presented by a British politician. Remember that poster on his facebook page?

  9. R Louis says:


    I applaud you.  

    This cynical fake ‘outrage’ by the likes of Willie Rennie and his British Nationalist chums, makes me boak.  This nauseating, stomach churning cynicism, by a pretendy political leader, Willie Rennie,  takes cynicism to a whole new low.

    In my mind, you have said what many, many people in Scotland think, but are afraid to say, such is the hubris surrounding the unwarranted war in Afghanistan.  The Westminster ‘spin doctors’ and their MSM media lapdogs, have successfully manufactured a political discourse across the UK, whereby to criticise the unwanted and unnecessary war in Afghanistan, is immediately portrayed as somehow insulting those brave souls who have been killed.  

    I think the point you have made is a very important one, which the unionist Scottish politicians would like to avoid discussing.  They weep crocodile tears, to mask their own guilt in the sending of Scottish soldiers to die in a wholly illegal, imperialist war on foreign soil.

    Just how are we “better together”, whilst sending Scots off to die in an unnecessary colonial war, at the whim of a government in London which nobody in Scotland voted for.  If there is one good reason for Scottish self rule, then surely saving our brave Scottish soldiers from fighting in such odious unwarranted imperialist wars on foreign soil, is one of the best.

    Vote YES in 2014, to end the carnage from London’s imperialist mindset. 

  10. Aplinal says:

    My added agreement to the comments here.  I see all the “posters” for what they are.  they highlight the real issues that we face now and will face even more prominently should Scotland say NO in 2014.
    More power to your elbow, Rev Stu!

  11. Jim Campbell says:

    Really good article.
    Rennie sometimes comes across as a completei idiot.
    I don’t think that he thinks before opening his mouth.

  12. Doonfooter says:

    Rev. Stu.
    Just wanted to add my agreement to the sentiments expressed in your robust response to Rennie’s ridiculous statements.
    Please keep posting you clearly have them rattled and your insightful postings on both Independence and the Rangers debacle highlight the MSM for the sham that they are.
    More power to your Mouse Sir!

  13. Seasick Dave says:

    Mr Rennie is one of the most despicable, point scoring politicians that Scotland has ever had the misfortune to endure.

    His political end can’t come soon enough as far as I am concerned.

    Remember that this ‘war’ is all about the control of oil and the American lust for power at any cost.

    That Mr Rennie can’t, or won’t, see this is a disgrace.

    Here is a link whereby the moron can start his education:

  14. douglas clark says:

    I was particularily taken by the last paragraph. It is time that real outrage was expressed at these idiots. Your series of posters are a wake up call about what is at stake here.

  15. MajorBloodnok says:

    Brilliant and true series of posters, brilliant that the unionist numpties and that runt Rennie noticed and felt it necessary to swing into faux-outrage and attack mode, brilliant that your reputation and exposure of your site will increase and finally to expose and explain it all in your brilliant, measured and eloquent refutation above.  Did I remember to say it was all brilliant?  Brilliant!

  16. An Duine Gruamach says:

    I’ve nothing eloquent to say, so I’m just here to add my support to that you’ve already received.  The poster made a good point, and this piece is brilliant.

  17. Janos says:

    Hey, just wanted to add my name to the people who think that you make a really good point and that I completely and whole-heartedly agree with your final statement. 

  18. Anon says:

    This feeble bloviating from a wretched nabob put me in mind of these comments from Rory stewart:

    “nobody talks about troops having “died in vain”.  Instead our predecessors believed that a soldier’s life and sacrifice was not diminished by the mistakes of politicians.  Today, many people are afraid to admit that a war is not working, because they are afraid someone will accuse them of disrespecting soldiers, and of implying that the soldiers have died in vain.  Thus guilt traps us, and deaths lead to more deaths.
    But you cannot honor the fallen by heaping more dead boys upon their graves in the vague hope that this can justify the sacrifice”

    When I hear the great slogans of ‘sustainability’, ‘participation’, ‘transparency’, ‘democracy’, look at the feasibility studies and strategic plans, I worry that like the thousands of schemes I saw in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of our projects at home are also incoherent, unwanted and impracticable.  It has left me with a deep suspicion of jargon and of theories.  And worse, a sense of the potential for madness – I do not think that is too strong a word – in all governments.

  19. Morag says:

    Willie Rennie.  One of the nastiest, most intellectually bankrupt little oiks in Scottish politics.  And almost the only one of them who has said anything remotely sensible or thoughtful about the Lockerbie affair this year.

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  20. Alex Grant says:

    Well done Stu. Apparently this tosser was the star of the Bitter Together launch!
    God help them if he is the best they can produce. He reminds me of Burns’ Holy Wullie!!!

  21. Crazytonic says:

    Politicians love to point score (on all sides). They will take advantage of anything. Personally I don’t find anything wrong with what you did, but I do find something wrong with a lot of the propaganda put about by the No campaign so maybe I’m biased (especially as the war(s) was(ere) an atrocity.

    I know how much it hurts to receive painful online attention and abuse, but keep going! I read your blog now before any other political source on the internet. So please don’t stop!

  22. balgayboy says:

    Great response but have to admit the last sentence did it for me. I’ve been gagging to post a response  like this to these placemen and women and their hypocrisy so many times in the past. Like your style and forthrightness, please continue.

  23. Dunc says:

    “Using the death British servicemen, who aren’t able to answer for themselves, to further political ends, is a deplorable act.”
    Really? What exactly is it that you’re engaged in right now then, Mr Rennie?

  24. Peninsula says:

    Good job WoS.   All anyone needs to do is look at the poster, then read Rennie’s comments to realise he’s talking shite.  

    Did anyone else notice Rennie, Lamont & Davidson frantically grinning like a trio of gormless loons through the launch of the Bitter Together campaign?  I nearly cringed out of my seat.  Even Ali Darling looked embarrassed.

    Go fuck yourself indeed, Rennie. 

  25. Arbroath1320 says:

    If you ever had any doubts about whether you were right or wrong to do your series of posters then I think by reading all the posts this article has received you will be assured that you did indeed do the right thing.
    Congratulations Rev. Stu. you have shaken the tree of hypocrisy to its roots with your posters.  They have finally realised that all their lies, all their deceit and all their hypocrisy has been for nothing! Now the D.B. are beginning to ever so slowly waken up to this idea, they are all at sixes and sevens wondering how to get out of the tizzy they have got themselves into.
    None of them can think for themselves, they need to receive instructions from London Centric on everything they say and everything thy do. Unfortunately L.C. is not too concerned with them at the moment so we are left with a bunch of Muppets floundering around and the sharks, a.k.a. the truth, are circling in ever decreasing circles. Who, I wonder, is going to be the first Muppet to disappear?

  26. Bill C says:

    I have to admit that I was a wee bit taken aback by the starkness of the “Scotland’s Soldiers, Britain’s Wars” poster. However, on reflection, I would argue that the poster highlights  the reality of young men dying for nothing more than the egoes of Westminster politicians. Like most people I suspect, nothing saddens me more than the death of a young person, especially when that death could have been avoided: In that, British soldiers should not be fighting imperialist wars. It has been widely acknowledged for many years that wars in Afganistan are unwinnable, the British failed in the 19th century and the might of the Soviet Union failed in the 20th century. Senior army commanders have admitted that the war is unwinnable and an exit strategy is underway yet young men continue to lose their lives.
    The truth is that Scottish lives would not be lost on foreign soil if Scotland was independent, Mr. Rennie is ignoring the the reality and truth of Scottish servicemen fighting abroad and chooses instead, to throw muck from the political gutter in the hope that  he will damage the nationalist cause. His actions are shameful and disrespectful to those who have fallen and those who are fighting a war which is already lost.

  27. NorthBrit says:

    I note for comparison that it’s ok to use images of dead Scottish soldiers if you’re arguing for the Union (a painting admittedly).  

    Nothing wrong with the use of this image either, but the lack of any reaction suggests a certain hypocrisy.

  28. It’s absolutely appropriate – if it does shock a few people, I think that’s healthy.  Sometimes that is what’s needed to shock people out of their complacency.  Provocative – yes.  Disrespectful – absolutely not.   

    The real cynicism here is someone leveraging manufactured outrage to slander a movement.   The real outrage is that people like Rennie are standing shoulder to shoulder with people who still have blood on their hands from Iraq.

    Shame on you, Rennie. 

  29. EricF says:

    I’ve come late to this thread, but I just want to add my unqualified support to your response to Rennie’s deeply unpleasant, cynical and self-serving outburst of faux-outrage.  This was as predictable as it was offensive.  This is the button the warmongers constantly push – if you don’t support the (illegal and outrageous) war you’re “not supporting our fine, brave soldiers”.  Not wanting them to die is apparently not at all in their interest.  A re-read of Wilfred Owen or Siegfried Sassoon might be recommended, but it would be wasted on them.

  30. Dál Riata says:

    Sorry, O/T, but the Guardian has just put up an article by Alistair Darling (Yes, that one!) entitled, “Why Scotland should stay a partner in the United Kingdom” For those with a Guardian CiF account please go there ASAP and rip that article to shreds! It is, of course, like shooting fish in a barrel, the only problem is knowing where to start!!

  31. MekQuarrie says:

    I commented yesterday that the picture was not my taste, but I was more than happy to challenge the few LibDem faux’ragers about any factual innaccuracy (none at all). An independent Scotland *will* have to send its own lads and lasses out to be killed, but it’ll be for the good of our country, so help us.

  32. Embradon says:

    “Activists for all three opposition parties made a concerted and sustained attempt to whip up a frenzy of hatred over the poster yesterday afternoon”
    Good show! They have moved on to stage 3 already

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they come to fight you, and then you win.”
    Good quote that – can’t think where I read it….

  33. Adam Davidson says:

    Spectacular summary of the 3 main UK party position on the so called war on terror. I was pro war at the start as I fell for the mainstream media propaganda at the time. It is only since Ii started reading NNS and this site that I realised just how much UK newspaper have so much more than an ‘editorial position’.

  34. Arbroath1320 says:

    I think that is the the problem Adam, or rather that WAS the problem.
    Most of us were brought up with the idea that the BBC were impartial and we all assumed that the MSM were, politics apart, impartial. However, over the years we all have become more aware of the REAL truth and this is why the BBC and MSM are so anti Independence. They don’t do NON unionist stories very well.

  35. jimmyarab says:

    The private mainstream media can be as biased as they like in my opinion. They have no contract with me to say what I want them to say. Their owners are free to say what they like as they pay the wages. If I don’t like it then I can easily start my own newsletter or blog and say what I like. I don’t give them any money so why should they give a monkey’s what I think ?
    But it’s the BBC that really winds me up. I have to pay them £146 on threat of prison and they think they can be as biased as they like and pay themselves enormous salaries for being so incompetent and out of touch.  Everything they touch turns to shit and they insult our intelligence with crap news programmes. It’s like a 24hr non stop edition of ‘The One Show’ at Radio Scotland.
    The only exception would be Jim Spence. The rest are a disgrace who should be sent back to newLabour where they all came from.

  36. Appleby says:

    The media are the greatest enemies to the public across the UK, second only to the public themselves – the two help each other out in spreading ignorance and distractions and often outright lies about the world and its events.

  37. Munguin says:

    Should that not be: “savaged by a dead poodle”?

    Last time I looked failed Fife MP Willie Rennie got his job by being the last Turkey standing at the recent Scottish election Lib Dem Turkey shoot that left him failed ex leder Tavish the one we never hear of from Orkney and their Poo Bah, Alison McInnes (who got all the jobs left over) all that was left to pick over the dead body of Scottish liberalism!

    All that vociferous campaigning Willie did with the Lib Dem members in Fife to propel himself up the regional list paid off big time. Such a pity that all his dream of being a big wheel down in London came to nothing after the people of Fife (like you) told him to F off! Especially after he thought he had done such a bang up job as their MP. But not so bang up that he felt he could face the electorate again come MSP voting time and he needed another gravy train to climb on board, much easier to get to the top of a list. Now every unionist band wagon that starts off with one wheel is a shoo in for Rennie to get on board, no need to pack the brain!!

  38. Arbroath1320 says:

    Munguin, I heard that they got all the Lib/Dem M.S.P.’s, all five of them to stand in a row. They were then told to take a step forward if they wanted to be considered for the “top” job. Unfortunately for Rennie, as he was still trying to figure out what to do the rest of the Lib/Dems took one step backward! 😆

  39. Macart says:

    Willie Rennie, a legend in his own mind.

    Well said Rev!

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