The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Scraping the barrel

Posted on April 12, 2013 by

It seems odd to talk of the anti-independence campaign being “desperate” when most polls still give them a significant lead. But to any rational observer the tone of the debate has changed noticeably since the turn of 2013, culminating in the extraordinary and hysterical outburst on the “Better Together” website this week [local copy] when challenged on what we’ll call the “colourful past” of its chief donor Ian Taylor, lest we get any more badly-spelled letters from his lawyers.

(This humble wee website has seen a quite dramatic increase in malicious targeting of various kinds in recent weeks, from legal threats to disgusting personal smearing from No activists and various forms of “cyber warfare”.)


And when you see what the Scotsman’s been reduced to making one of its lead stories this morning, the weight of evidence for the growing state of panic in the No camp becomes hard to ignore.

“Independence: North Sea workers ‘sceptical,”, runs the headline on the paper’s second-top website story – although the source of the quoted “sceptical” is shrouded in some doubt, as the word doesn’t appear anywhere in the article text. It carries news of a survey carried out by industry recruitment firm Oil And Gas People which found that “six out of ten North Sea workers do not believe their industry would be better run if Scotland became an independent country”.

Those of us by now well accustomed to reading between the lines in the Scottish media will already be hearing the alarm bells going off. That single line – the first sentence in the article – contains two pieces of information which cast immediate doubt on the Scotsman’s spin.

Firstly, it’s hard to see why anyone would ever have thought independence WOULD make the oil industry “better run”. It is, after all, NOT run by the government, but by commercial multinational companies. If Scotland votes Yes in 2014, there will be absolutely no changes in the boardrooms of BP, Shell or Exxon as a result, so quite why such a straw-man question was ever raised in the first place is hard to fathom.

Secondly, “I don’t think the industry will be better run” is NOT the same thing as “I think the industry will be worse run”. The proposition agreed to by 62% of the poll’s participants is agnostic, not oppositional. Now, you might say that the Scotsman’s headline is reasonable in that regard, and it more or less is. But the article then goes on to say that “Respondents gave a variety of reasons for opposing independence”, making the paper’s spin transparent.

The piece then goes on to note the No campaign’s reaction. “Pro-UK parties seized on the findings last night”, it says, quoting Labour’s Tom Greatrex as claiming that “the oil and gas industry is clear in its rejection of separation from the UK. Oil and gas is an important part of Scotland’s economy, but as a declining and volatile resource it would be foolish to bet the future of our country on it.”

Even leaving aside the fact that “the oil and gas industry” has most certainly NOT been “clear in its rejection of separation from the UK” (as we’ve noted, the responses actually make no direct judgement about independence, and the article also reveals that the poll’s methodology was totally unscientific – 5000 subscribers to Oil And Gas People’s website were contacted, with 2500 self-selected replies and no weighting or other balancing measures applied), Greatrex’s assertion of a “declining and volatile resource” seems somewhat at odds with the poll’s findings about how respondents regarded the future of oil:

“The pessimism towards independence [sic] contrasted with the growing belief overall in the industry, however, with 74 per cent declaring they had confidence in the future of the North Sea.

Umbrella group Oil and Gas UK said that reflected the fact that firms were now investing billions extra into extraction in the North Sea. Managing director of Oil and Gas People, Kevin Forbes, said: “Such a high level of confidence in the industry from those working on the inside is welcome news.””

If this is the sort of thing the Scotsman is reduced to grasping at and giving such prominent coverage, you know the well is running dry for the anti-independence media. Over at Johnston Press, the “declining and volatile resource” is readers, and it’s not hard to see why. The oil and gas industry will still be going strong 40 years from now. We’re not sure the Scotsman will live to see the referendum.

Print Friendly

    89 to “Scraping the barrel”

    1. Linda's Back says:

      The Scotsman is emulating the BBC’s wall of silence over the Taylor donation and Vitol ‘s controversial history.
      No letters printed only one very short article which was later removed from online viewing.
      However well done to Herald’s Robbie Dinwoodie

    2. Tom Hogg says:

      The Scotsman will not survive until September 2014. Whether its demise is blamed (as its should be) on its idiotic swing right under Andrew Neill or on “economic circumstances” remains to be seen.  Those economic circumstances are of course compounded by the Barclays selling and leasing back the Scotsman building after having sold the old place on North Bridge.  Cash trousered, a credible Scottish institution corrupted and asset stripped, but we the Scottish people will no doubt get the blame.
      Unfortunately, there is unlikely to be anything to fill the void that would be left, which I reckon is a win for those of a No persuasion.
      Anyone got a spare few million to start a newspaper?

    3. BrianMc says:

      ‘Greatrex’ ? Name rings a bell. Anything to do with Royal Paths leak fiasco perchance!

    4. westie7 says:

      Get-A-Trick… havent heard from that muppet in a while

    5. MajorBloodnok says:

      “Over at Johnston Press, the “declining and volatile resource” is readers.”
      I suspect that it will stumble on until the referendum and try to take Scotland down with it.  And they’ll blame cybernats/YES campaign/SNP/King Salmond/Sturgeon’s hairdresser when it does go.. But by then it will not be a case of gone but not forgotten, but rather forgotten but not gone.

    6. Grendel says:

      Can I draw your attention to last nights BBC Reporting Scotland, where the clip about non tenant crofters being evicted to make way for new crofters who will live there and work the land contained (if I recall correctly) a rant by a guy called Jeremy Gow that we were in a new “Highland clearance” and was this what it would be like in an independent Scotland.
      Choice stuff from the BBC.

    7. Arbroath1320 says:

      Nice to see the Scotsman is running with a balanced neutral piece about the oil and gas sector…………..
      Oh hi there! just for a moment It appears I drifted off into a parallel universe, at least I think it was a parallel universe still I’m back and normal service is resumed!
      Would LOVE to be a fly on the wall of Johnson Press when they TRY and discuss FALLING Scotsman sales! 😆

    8. ianbrotherhood says:

      Are certain journalists hand-picked to attend courses on ‘spin’ etc?
      It is a crafty business altogether, parsing sentences, juggling clauses, and all with half an eye on legal implications, psychological effects of this-or-that phrase/image etc.
      Where do they go for these courses, and who are the teachers? 
      Who trains the trolls?

    9. Seasick Dave says:

      Is that six out of ten North Sea workers or six out of ten North Sea workers entitled to vote in the Referendum?
      Just asking.

    10. Graham Ennis says:

      So when Spinmeister Andrew Neill finally sits in his office, (if he still has one, and the debt collectors have not seized the North Bridge offices) The day after a YES vote, and regards the collapsed circulation figures, (26,000!) the Public hostility to Unionists like him, etc, and the certain demise of the paper, can we trust him to do the traditional thing required of senior army officers who fail, with the bottle of whisky and the revolver?………or will he be on the last Unionist refugee train out of Waverly Station, bound non stop for London?…….I think we should be told

    11. Les Wilson says:

      I have to point out Salmond’s postie as sure as the sun is shining they will blame them too! LOL

    12. Doug Daniel says:

      I expect to retire with the oil industry still happily pumping out millions of barrels per day. The only thing that will stop it is a conscious decision to stop pumping oil, rather than because it’s run out. Any school leavers wondering what to study at university would be well advised to consider specialising in an engineering degree that would allow them to get into the oil sector. Better yet, try and get in with one of the big engineering companies and into their training programmes.
      The oil and gas sector needs a steady flow of new recruits with the skills needed to do the work. With the media constantly telling us how dangerously volatile the oil is, it doesn’t surprise me that the sector is finding it hard to get these folk – after all, why would anyone go to uni to study a degree in something they’re constantly told is a dying industry?

    13. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Seems blatantly obvious…..
      But a fair proportion of Oil & Gas Workers will not have a vote in 2014……many coming from the rest of the UK…and especially in the Catering and other support services from Eastern Europe and Spain & Portugal.
      Indeed even many of the British Oil and Gas Workers actually reside outwith the UK….Spain, Portugal and France being the most popular choices

    14. Dcanmore says:

      It feels like The Scotsman and SLAB are saying: “We’re rejoicing in Scotland’s decline because it hurts the SNP”. The stench of desperation is something! You know they’ve failed because they are reduced to preaching to the converted
      Johnston Press have been given till the end of 2014 to reduce their £320m debt by £240m before the Lloyds bank will consider renegotiating financial needs and restructure. The Guardian reported that this will be highly unlikely as they’re still posting losses according to their latest end-of-year financial results. To quote their CEO “We continue to be in a challenging environment”. Of course that means they are failing despite shedding 1300 jobs last year. In the summer of 2014 Johnston Press will either be taken over or broken up and sold off in chunks with The Scotsman title, if it survives until then, probably going to right-wing newspaper publisher (and Maggie T’s friend) Ray Tindle who is a creeping major shareholder.

    15. alexicon says:

      Seasick Dave says:
      12 April, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Is that six out of ten North Sea workers or six out of ten North Sea workers entitled to vote in the Referendum?
      Just asking.
      Exactly! I work offshore and at least 1/3 of the workers don’t stay in Scotland.
      The platform I am working on at the moment there is about 8 out of 10, eligible to vote, going to vote yes, we are working on the rest.
      Of course the industry has seen a big influx of youngsters who incidentally haven’t heard of the McCrone report or the theft of our maritime waters. Of course it is my duty to inform and that seems to do the trick with the yes voters who maybe not vote at all.
      Looks like Labour’s black ops is also scrapping the barrel with an alleged hand written note sent to the ‘no’ campaign HQ.
      Anyone could have written this note, even a Labour activist.

    16. Seasick Dave says:

      Where are they now?
      No.1 – Jim Murphy.

    17. Doug says:

      Just a thought.  Maybe they mean that it is physically volatile?  A fact well known to anyone who has misused petrol and matches…

    18. Sorry to drop something in again off topic but I read an interesting article about why Switzerland is doing so well despite the European recession (my online reading takes me increasingly away from the banality of the uk online msm). The article talks about the system of governance and why it is something to copy. I think it is important to understand not just why central government from London has been so destructive, but also to think about what kind of governance would be best for Scotland post Independence. Comments on the article are also good and address some errors. 

    19. Seasick Dave says:

      I work on survey boats and probably only about a tenth of the workers would be Scots; say six out of 60.
      Survey and ROV tend to be British, catering Philippino, bridge crew Norwegian and deck crew Eastern European/Philippino.
      I despise how the media talk Scotland down instead of up and revel in it as well.

    20. John Lyons says:

      “as a declining and volatile resource it would be foolish to bet the future of our country on it.”
      If this is truely the case and oil and gas is such a threat to a countries stability why are Westminster not trying to get rid of the stuff?

    21. scotchwoman says:

      Does this kind of story annoys people in the oil and gas sector to the extent that they become more likely to vote YES? The same principle has been suggested in relation to Jackie Baillie’s constant criticism of NHS Scotland.
      I think the more negative reporting people hear, the more likely they are to seek change. Planting shades of doubt may be a useful tactic for the NO side but blantantly obvious scare stories and propaganda will prove counter-productive.
      It will be interesting see how the GERS and oil industry figures are looking early next year. Assuming the bottom hasn’t fallen out of Scotland’s performance over the year, the scaremongers are going to look a bit daft. This is a strength of having a long lead in to the vote date – the truth will sustain itself, whilst scams and scares will be shown in their true light.

    22. scaredy cat. says:

      I also notice the Scotsman have an article highlighting a so-called SNP split over American bases post-independence. I saw the video footage of the Q&A session with Alec Salmond (it was circulating on  Facebook) and he was crystal clear about no nukes in Scotland. They are spinning so fast they are going to fall over very soon!

    23. roboscot says:

      I’m sure the Scotsman will be kept going till at least after the referendum. However, a national press media that runs down its own nation creates a cognitive dissonance for its readers. The nearer we get to the referendum, and the more intensive the campaign becomes, the harder it will be to thole such dissonance. 

    24. Seasick Dave says:

      Was the use of a barrel from pickle merchants deliberate? 🙂

    25. Donald Kerr says:

      Well taken apart Rev. Good work.

    26. Albalha says:

      @seasick Dave
      Interesting breakdown of off shore staff. Why do you think survey/ROV folks are mainly British unlike, as you say, the bridge crew?

    27. TheGreatBaldo says:

      On the ‘threats’ at BetterTogether HQ….if they were serious I assume that the Police would have called in which case it would be on the log….
      Pity there’s not a Journalist out there to find out how many times (if any) the Police have attended incidents at BT HQ since it opened…..similarily whether the Police have been notified of any Cyber Attacks on BT….
      Obviously I am assuming that BT in the face of such overwhelming hostility and have contacted the Polis as most folk would do in such circumstances rather than running to friendly hacks.
      Not a ‘ninja’ what ever they be……but perhaps those who are should start ‘love bombing’ BT HQ…..send them flowers and chocolates with a wee note saying ‘Remember to Vote Yes on 18/9/14’…..Intimidation with carnations and Milk Tray…’s the future !!

    28. the rough bounds says:

      I would love to find those idiotic 26,000 plonkers that still purchase that ‘Scotsman’ rag and phyically ram it down the bloody throats.

    29. BeamMeUpScotty says:

      The Westminster establishment likes to claim that it has “invested” in the North Sea industries.At a government level,as far as I can tell,the only “investment” has been in issuing exploration licenses and collecting taxes once oil is produced.Of course,I am sure that many of the ministers concerned will have investments in individual companies but that has nothing to do with state support for the industry.All you can say about the UK treasury’s involvement with the oil and gas revenues they have collected is that they have been incompetent and spendtrift.There is nothing to show for it except a massive pile of debt.We couldn’t do worse even if we tried very hard.

    30. The Man in the Jar says:

      @John Lyons
      I know that I am miss-quoting Alex Salmond here but the point is the same.
      “Only in the minds of Bitter Together would this wonderful natural resource be somehow seen as a millstone around Scotland’s neck”
      I mean what other oil producing country on earth sees it as a problem?
      And what happens to its value when a vital resource starts to run out?

    31. Seasick Dave says:

      It depends on the vessel of course, but I seem to find myself on a lot of vessels where the vessel is Norwegian and they like to crew the bridge with Norwegians.
      Survey traditionally has a strong British background, while catering posts tends to be filled by the cheapest available.
      Deck crews generally require muscle thus the Eastern Europeans who are brawny and cheap! Quite a few riggers are British though because of their knowledge and experience.
      The thing about the Norwegians is that they have confidence in the oil industry and built a lot of boats.
      Hopefully, this is something that can be taken up by Scottish shipyards using a proactive approach although I realise that sometimes even the Norwegians use the Far East for cheap construction.
      Wherever you find Scots though, they tend to be the ones that get the job done, particularly at superintendent level. There can hardly be an offshore project anywhere in the world that doesn’t have Scots at its leading edge!

    32. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Was the use of a barrel from pickle merchants deliberate?”

      Let’s just say it didn’t make the choice of image any harder 😉

    33. Vambomarbeleye says:

      With independence the oil sector would no longer be used as a cash cow by Westminster. This would only be good for the industry as regard to investment and stability.
      Firms are crying out for personnel both skilled and unskilled and no you don’t need to be abel to swim as some people think.

    34. Albalha says:

      @seasick Dave
      Very informative, thanks!

    35. ianbeag says:

      Vambomarbeleye says: “With independence the oil sector would no longer be used as a cash cow by Westminster.”   
      Interesting TV presentation from ‘Russia Today’ on how Mrs Thatcher’s legacy was founded on her big grab of Scottish oil. This is not something we are likely to hear from our MSM is the coming days.  Some useful tit-bits and well worth a look.

    36. MajorBloodnok says:

      Seasick Dave says: There can hardly be an offshore project anywhere in the world that doesn’t have Scots at its leading edge!
      Interesting you should say that – I’m working for an exploration project in the Black Sea at this very minute…. I get aboot.

    37. Seasick Dave says:

      I worked on the Bluestream project in the Black Sea a few years ago.
      We were inspecting a 235-mile section connecting Dzhugba to Samsun on the Turkish coast.

    38. mato21 says:

      Interesting read supporting wings and national collective

    39. scottish_skier says:

      interesting you should say that – I’m working for an exploration project in the Black Sea at this very minute

      Just finished a project for the Norwegian sector. In the midst of a large one for the Saudis. Next up is a Scottish sector one…

      Colleague just back from Turkmenistan. Lovely this time of year apparently.

      Flow assurance/gas hydrates.

    40. pmcrek says:

      Next they will be whining that the Scotsman is going out of business because there is an underhanded and devious attempt by cybernats, to not buy it anymore.

    41. MajorBloodnok says:

      @Seasick Dave
      Interesting.  I’m just involved in a bit of seismic at the moment.  We had a sniff at South Stream a little while ago though, but it’s gone quiet on that (for us anyway).
      Still, it’s fun goimg to Turkey on a regular basis spending warm evenings drinking raki and gazing at the Bosphorus (or vice versa).

    42. Seasick Dave says:

      Heading out to China next month for a few trips.
      Not been before so hoping North Korea doesn’t through a radioactive spanner in the works 🙂

    43. LeeMacD says:

      An article in the Herald about the dodgy donation to the No campaign. It’s worth sharing the link as widely as you can so people can see it’s not just us asking questions.

    44. Seasick Dave says:

      Throw, not through.

    45. Silverytay says:

      If the oil & gas industry is in such a decline ‘ why is the u.k government getting ready to sell 2500 licenses for exploration work off the west coast of Scotland ?
      Newsnet had a very interesting article on that subject a few weeks back .
      I am sure some of our friends who work in the industry will be able to confirm if the 2500 figure is true ‘ the other thing I read somewhere is that when we get rid of trident it will open up another huge area to oil exploration’ again i hope that some of our friends who work in the industry can confirm this .
      O/T Going by the panic in the better together ranks this week ‘ I get the feeling that the tide has turned in our direction .
      It would be interesting to find out what their private polls are telling them .
      As others have already stated there are a couple of very good articles in the Herald this morning and even the Sun on its Sun says page is basically telling better together to grow up and even hinting that as conspiracy theories go ‘ is better together doing it to themselves to try and discredit the YES campaign . 

    46. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Major Bloodnok, Seasick Dave @ scottish_skier-
      Wow. You fellas have interesting lives. If you hear of any vacancies for Writers in Residence on oil platforms, please keep me in mind.
      PS I can swim…a wee bit.

    47. MajorBloodnok says:

      Look at that – there are at least three of us involved in the oil and gas business (and I’m sure there are a lot more here), we can clearly see that there is a very long future for oil, gas and energy in Scotland and generally, we have exportable skills, and we support independence.  Just shows you, eh?

    48. scottish_skier says:

      If the oil & gas industry is in such a decline

      In decline? I had no idea. Will e-mail the boss to cancel those expansion plans and shall start working on my CV.

      I’ve some towel refolding experience which I heard goes a long way.

    49. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Excellent analysis of the economy by A Anderson on NewsNet

    50. EmbraBoffin says:

      @Rough Bounds
      My Dad still buys the Scotsman but he is pro-Indy and signed the Yes Declaration with my mum at the Indy march last year. I suspect it is more habit than anything else and I am sure many folks are the same. I’ll need to work on him 

    51. Iain says:

      ‘an underhanded and devious attempt by cybernats, to not buy it anymore.’
      And we’re doing it deliberately!

    52. Doug Daniel says:

      I see one of the things BetterTogether mentioned in the Sun article is this:
      “Businesses that do not toe the party line have boycotts organised against them”

      Which is exactly what a few of us said would happen when there was talk of boycotting companies a week or so ago! Remember folks, let’s leave the dirty tricks to them (or at least leave the discussion of them in the Daily Cybernat BlackOps Information Briefing that Alex Salmond personally sends to each of us.)

    53. scottish_skier says:

      or at least leave the discussion of them in the Daily Cybernat BlackOps Information Briefing that Alex Salmond personally sends to each of us.

      I’ve not been getting these. Must check my spam filter. Could be he’s mentioned the keywords ‘better together’ which is an immediate red flag.

    54. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      What Doug said.


    55. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Doug Daniel
      Sorry but I don’t consider boycotting as dirty tricks. It is one of the few legitimate tools at our disposal.

    56. MajorBloodnok says:

      Pace myself earlier – if you don’t know the difference between the Bosphorus and raki, one is basically a cloudy and heavily contaminated solution of evil-smelling organic compounds, and the other’s the Bosphorus.
      I’m here all week.

    57. Dcanmore says:

      @the rough bounds …
      Of those 26,000 Scotsman sales only around half that is sold outside of Edinburgh, mostly to small affluent rural communities. The Scotsman really is only preaching to a core right-wing Scottish Conservative so their penetration into the hearts and minds of the Scottish electorate is virtually non-existent. The real battle will be in the pages of The Record and The Sun, together reach about 600,000 people on a daily basis. But then it is dubious if they can sway a vote in the first place. The BBC is the real enemy, it is there to support the Union and that won’t change.

    58. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Rev. Stu
      @Doug Daniel
      I am talking about at a personal level. I haven’t bought a certain brand of ice cream and crisps for a long time. And have just recently stopped buying teacakes even although it will harm my local economy a wee bit!

    59. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I am talking about at a personal level. I haven’t bought a certain brand of ice cream and crisps for a long time. And have just recently stopped buying teacakes even although it will harm my local economy a wee bit!”

      Nothing wrong with making personal decisions. I’m going to miss Baxter’s “Rosebud” beetroot, but continue to enjoy Mackie’s ice cream. (At least until such times as they make a large donation to the No campaign.) But an organised boycott is an ugly and counter-productive thing.

    60. James Morton says:

      In the end its all just variations of a theme, that ranges from bewilderment to outrage (with apologies to Edmond Rostan)

      Aggressive: If Scotland becomes independent we would have to bomb their airports and ports!

      Descriptive: It really is North Britain you know, Scotland is just a state of mind

      Curious: But what does Independence mean? What could you possibly do with it?

      Gracious: Oh but of course Scotland could survive if it was independent

      Hostile: Scotland could not survive if it was Independent and would become a colony of England

      Considerate: We understand that the people of Scotland desire change

      Pedantic: We see no reason for the status quo to change

      Simple: We are better together

      Rustic: But without the rest of the UK you would end up being brigadoon and no one would take you seriously

      Military: You couldn’t afford one, ok you could but you’d have to get a norwegian to run it for you

      Practical: But it would be so complicated – and don’t forget the forms oh there are so many forms!

      Hurt: If you go, don’t you dare think of coming back

      Cautious: You cannot base such an important decision on policies being enacted in westminster.

      Alarmed: But what about British culture you won’t be able to watch strictly come dancing anymore, or enjoy the lyrical talents of jedward!

      And so it goes. Each one more swivel eyed than the last.

    61. John Lyons says:

      Sheesh, I just read that sun article. It’s terrible.
      “An spokesman said : “We’ve no idea what they’re talking about. They sound rattled.”
      For which side? Who is rattled? The Yes campaign? Ian Taylor? real crap this.
      As for Boycotts, isn’t that the Rangers way of doing things?

    62. Malcolm says:

      Anyone who has been to Aberdeen recently and seen how much of the harbour & surrounds they are digging up, dredging & building will know this is a booming industry. Even 10 years ago there was never as much going on.

    63. scottish_skier says:

      Incidentally, whilst Dave is doing his whole tour of Europe thing to gauge feelings ahead of possible re-negotiation of the UK’s position pre in/out referendum, I assume the Scottish question will be on the table too.

      I imagine Better Together aren’t party to such discussions.

    64. Holebender says:

      Another rig pig here. I make bent holes in the ground (directional drilling if you want to be posh). Mostly African locations.

    65. pmcrek says:

      People boycott companies all of the time due to their political stance, usually its when they dont pay tax or are actively killing people abroad or opposing equality at home. Its not a dirty trick, its my money and I’ll decide who I am willing to spend it on.
      In a barely democratic capitalist economy its the one true political power we have, take ethical consumer for example:
      Presumably BT consider them a terrorist organization smearing business?

    66. John H says:

      The Man in the Jar-
      On the other hand, you must have a great figure by now.

    67. Silverytay says:

      Scottish_Skier  Try a cruise line ‘ they go into towel folding in a big way .L.O.L
      I should have clarified my previous comment by stating ‘ If the oil & gas industry is in such a decline as the unionists would have us believe .

    68. Laura says:

       I’m going to miss Baxter’s “Rosebud” beetroot,

      The only choice I had the other day was Baxter’s or the shop brand plastered with a Union Flag! – decided to make my own in future!
      Thrawn or what?

    69. ecossenkosi says:

      Sadly I too will miss Baxter’s soups, but I refuse to buy from anyone who believes the Union is the best thing for us, when clearly it is not.

    70. The Man in the Jar says:

      @John H
      All I need is for Benson & Hedges to come out for the union and I’m sorted!

    71. the rough bounds says:

      @dcanmore. 11.52am.
      I agree that those other unionist papers have a much larger readership, but the ‘Scotsman’s’ jaicket is on a very shoogly peg. if we can get it to collapse through poor sales then the other unionist rags will have to take notice that they may be next in our sights.
      By all accounts it ought to have collapsed already and I suspect, though I have no proof, that it is being heavily subsidised in order to keep their banner headlines of attention grabbing nonsense like that published today on the newspaper shelves.
      People read these headlines, and though they may not actually buy the paper the headline message goes into the brain and sits a a very deep level in our minds.
      The enemy knows this. It’s a very old trick. It’s subliminal.

    72. The Man in the Jar says:

      I don’t assume for one moment that Tesco is pro Indy. However they are good at drawing attention to Scottish produce. If it is a couple of pence more for Scottish carrots than ones with a union jack on then what the heck. Better for the environment. Food miles and all that! Anyway It must work for Tesco otherwise they would not bother.

    73. Robert Kerr says:

      I make all the soup in this house, healthy stuff and I know whats in it. I am amased that Dinwoodie in the Herald is so forthright in his piece and more so that my comment was approved. viz.
      “You are too kind Malcolm. The whistle-blowers first threatened by the “Lawyers” was a group of artists and creative people. Press freedom is one thing but this is beyond all that a free society can tolerate…. suppression of thought and speech. No debate…. nothing !”
      A tipping point is close. The situation is now meta-stable only for BT

    74. Laura says:

      Man in the Jar
      All I need is for Benson & Hedges to come out for the union and I’m sorted!
      What if all the distillers come out pro union?
      Doesn’t bear thinking about.

    75. The Man in the Jar says:

      I dinnae drink! 🙂

    76. Morag says:

      Robert, bear in mind that Murray Ritchie, in his book relating to the 1997 referendum campaign, describes Robbie Dinwoodie as pretty much yomping round the place with his face painted tartan yelling “Freeeeeedommmmmm!!!!!”
      I have been a big Audrey Baxter fan.  I have frequently described her as public benefactor no. 1.  I have taken a personal decision not to buy any more of her delicious products until after the referendum.  And maybe not even then, depending.  We’ll see.

    77. The Man in the Jar says:

      In the interest of clarity and in case I get a lawyer’s letter. I will very occasionally partake in a glass of claret. (Scotlands real traditional drink)

    78. Silverytay says:

      The hardest thing that I have sacrifice for Scottish Independence is my daily fix off Tunnock’s Tea Cakes & Caramel Wafers .  I always used to have a couple of packets lying about my office ‘ the only consolation is that it has helped my figure .

    79. John H says:

      I don’t smoke or drink these days. They tell me I could live to be a hundred. It will probably just feel like it.

    80. Amanayeman says:

      Laura says ” what if all the distillers come out pro union”
      The horror, the horror!
      I’m away for a large dram

    81. annie says:

      Are we sure Audrey Baxter supports better together – thought it was her father  and I think its Audrey who runs the company these days. Anyway I have always made my own – my husband has been known to refer to some of my more adventurous ones as “punishment soup”.

    82. ianbrotherhood says:

      Pea & ham are better together.

    83. Amanayeman says:

      Confucious he say;
      Person who cooks ham and peas in same pot is not hygenic

    84. dmw42 says:

      ianbrotherhood says:”Pea & ham are better together”
      Fae a chicken? yer arse.
      Oh, takes me back Ian, thanks.

    85. Cath says:

      All this about businesses feeling threatened is, once again, projection from the BT team. Who’s going to make you feel more threatened if you’re a business operating in the UK, and perhaps operating out of somewhere like Glasgow that’s Labour controlled?
      Blair Jenkins and the SNP devolved administration? Or the Labour, media, UK, Westminster machine?
      Even as an individual, speaking out about being pro-indy has always been risky. In places like Glasgow, being openly pro-indy would exclude you from certain public sector jobs. Can you imagine the risk for a Scottish business operating UK-wide if if came out pro-indy and there was a no? Or even after a Yes? There is a lot at stake for business.
      That said, the arguments implicit in what firms like Macies, Baxters and Tunnocks are saying are perhaps the most anti-English and racist in the debate. Essentially it seems to be “our products rely on a very Scottish branding. If Scotland goes independent, people in England will be so bitter and resentful they will stop buying products that are obviously Scottish and we’ll lose sales.” You have to wonder who or what has put that in their mind and why they think that. Or perhaps they believe Westminster will stick heavy duties on Scottish products in retaliation. If anything, I suspect independence will make Scotland that bit more exciting and exotic for folk down south, hence helping such products. If there’s any bitterness, it’ll last until the next big news story.

    86. Indion says:

      Morag @ 2:26pm
      Murray Ritchie!  Now there’s a Herald man I met at a Burns celebration off Byres Road who could transform the oldest newspaper in Scotland  – Scots & Independent – to fit it for all sorts of folk and generations for our Referendum.
      BTW I’ve put a note at ‘Binoculars on Backwards’ for you ….. correction two notes, the second being best read!

    87. Erchie says:

      I see the Sunday Hootsmon is having a second bite at the cherry with the  Gavin Bowd “Facist Sotland” book.
      Last week the review that turned out not to be a review but written by the author
      Sunday an actual review.

    88. Kevin Forsyth says:

      Confused Oil and Gas People is a jobs board they specialise in Oil and Gas Jobs not politics?? The Managing Director Kevin Forbes going by his profile online used to work offshore. It is actually a very good site for us tigers looking for work but I don’t get why they have waded into the Independence debate??

    89. Graham Ennis says:

      “If the oil & gas industry is in such a decline ‘ why is the u.k government getting ready to sell 2500 licenses for exploration work off the west coast of Scotland ?”
      Seems they are asset stripping. The huge amount of cash for the licences will be spirited  away from Scotland and lodged in the treasury, and kept there. Not a penny of this cash will be returned to Scotland in any shape or form.The SNP has to take a stand on this. They have to announce that any new leases must be negotiated after a YES vote, and paid to a Scottish Government, and that they will not recognise  any leases paid to London. Such leases will have to be renegotiated with the Scottish Government. That would be critical. Its only 18 months to go, so these are paper leases, not actual drill ready projects. Nothing would happen, offshore, for several years, re drilling. The oil companies have only themselves to blame. 
      This is a last act of thievery and larceny  by the London Government. Some billions of pounds are at stake. 

    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