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Set the dials to Maximum Cringe

Posted on May 17, 2014 by

This one, from today’s Scottish Daily Mail, might actually be beyond comment.


by Allan Brown

In a hilarious and irreverent new book, a leading Scottish author has set out to identify the 50 People Who Screwed Up Scotland. In this uproarious essay, he explains who made the shortlist… and why

“Those who cannot remember the past,” wrote the philosopher George Santanyana, “are condemned to repeat it.” And few groups have so effectively borne the claim out as have the Scots. The typical Scot knows his or her nation’s history like the typical three-year- old knows the contents of their toy box: unless an item is brightly coloured or makes a screechy noise they just don’t want to know.

The truth of this covers so many: from Bonnie Prince Charlie, lisping midget mercenary, to RD Laing, inventor of anti-psychiatry and shrink-in-chief to the beautiful people of Swinging London.

Scottish history, then, is a consulate of bad ambassadors, a gathering of mendacious and fugitive dissemblers, secreting the cutlery up their sleeves. Scotland has long elected to overlook or obscure this fact, to succumb to a historical amnesia as convenient as it is specious.

Scotland chooses not to remember its past, by conspiring to forget the bits that fail to flatter its conceit of itself as the Greatest Small Island on Earth. And this is why Scotland’s past keeps repeating itself.

The history of Scotland is a 2,000-year-long Keystone Cops reel, a recurring loop of slapstick in which all things always go inexorably from bad to worse. Malcolm Tucker, the terrifying enforcer in BBC2’s The Thick Of It, summoned a fitting image: “God,” he sighed “It’s like watching a clown run across a minefield…”

For example, what, truly, differentiates the Scottish advocates of Pontius Pilate, the man who authorised the Crucifixion, from Ally MacLeod, manager of the Scottish football squad between 1977-78?

Folk myth has long maintained Pilate spent time in Aberdeenshire, the son of a Roman soldier stationed there. The claim is demonstrably, and hilariously, baseless, as were the grounds on which MacLeod argued Scotland would win the World Cup in Argentina in 1978, a psychological nightmare from which the nation has yet to wake. Yet in each example we sense an identical strain of deranged comic hubris.

Scotland’s predilection for self-deception spans the millennia. “Insanity,” said Einstein, “is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” How many of us do not yield to this thought each time we gaze upon the Tartan Army, that wretched crew of wife-avoiding football gonks, every time they set out for some godless region to be humiliated by yet another team of Slavic part-timers?

Acknowledging all of this was the starting point for my book 50 People Who Screwed Up Scotland, because what Scotland practises isn’t merely the boosterism to which most nations are, quite naturally, prey: the historical half-truths and boasts, the national pride that has ensured we’ve been hearing about the 1966 World Cup for generations now.

Scotland pursues something more sinister, incalculably so; a systematic programme of deception, a wilful reluctance to admit historic truth and a consequent habit of conjuring new versions it finds preferable.

Take, for instance, Robert Burns. We know him as the poster boy of fellow feeling, a heroic emblem of Scottish rectitude.

We can put to one side for a moment the surreal fact that Burns must be the sole national poet whose writing cannot now be deciphered by the readership who venerate him. “Ae market night, Tam had got planted unco right, Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely, Wi’ reaming swats that drank divinely.”

Now, without wishing to sound like a Romford cabbie, what is that supposed to mean?

Instead, let’s focus on moral degeneracy of Burns as a man. All that prevented Burns taking up a career as a slave trader was early death, aged 37, from Kussmaul’s disease, systemic lupus, erythematosus, hepatitis and carcinamatosis; not to mention the detrimental effects of ‘ philo-pro-genitivesness’, which was late- Hanoverian slang for the inability to keep it in one’s trousers.

Or consider Alexander Graham Bell. By no stretch of the imagination could it be claimed truly that Bell came up with the telephone, perhaps the most consequential invention since the wheel, though so misunderstood by Bell he was moved to claim that: “One day every major city in America will have a telephone.”

The honour falls instead to Antonio Meucci, an Italian-American; a technical visionary, though not so competent with paperwork. Meucci’s failure to disclose to the Patents Office that his device was electro-magnetic in nature, rather than merely acoustic, meant Bell could register the telephone as his own and thus claim history’s garlands.

He had dabbled in the field, of course, but his methods had been bizarre and bemusing, connected less with communication and more with Bell’s background in elocution.

He devised, for instance, an experiment involving the family West Highland terrier in which the dog was taught to growl continuously while Bell reached into its mouth to manipulate its lips and vocal cords, achieving eventually an approximation of the phrase “How are you, mama?” Think of this mutt next time you’re on the blower.

And consider also that in 2002 the US Patents Office conceded that, had proper procedure been followed in the 1870s, the patent for the electromagnetic transmission of vocal sound by undulatory electric current would have gone, not to Bell, but to Meucci.

Yet noting historical trivia like this isn’t wholly the point of 50 People Who Screwed Up Scotland. Ideally, the book is more than simply a QI-style set of reminders that Everything You Know Is Wrong, a bumper book of McPedantry, gratifying as it might have been to discuss several particular examples.

John Logie Baird for one, who ploughed the profits from inventing television into a rather less auspicious enterprise, a safety razor made of glass; or the poet Hugh MacDiarmid, who founded the Scottish National Party after writing the essay Plea For A Scottish Fascism.

The intention of the book isn’t simply to note the horrible things and persons for which Scotland must be held responsible, or culpable. The intention is to highlight those Scots whose malignancy has proven consequential, who coined new kinds of awfulness, ones that really caught on and rendered the world a noticeably nastier place.

This is why, say, The Krankies barely feature in the book. Certainly they are deeply weird and horrible, and they bring the sinister, grimy spirit of the Victorian music hall to children’s television. But The Krankies were essentially a one-off, sui generis, a cul-de-sac.

Far more concerning are those whose efforts have, now and forever, driven a motorway of shlock through the green swathes of Caledonia stern and wild, who have smallholdings in their head, who’ve sidled up to infamy and asked would it mind sharing its craic.

Eminent here is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. We know the Edinburgh-born author as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, the greatest fictional character in history. Yet this credit is qualified by one of the biggest debits imaginable – Doyle’s advocacy of the howling nonsense of spiritualism.

Had Doyle not intervened, by publishing in 1918 his book The New Revelation, spiritualism might have withered on the vine and stayed a village hall curiosity, an entertainment for the credulous and feeble-minded. Instead, spiritualism is now everywhere.

Edwardian feeling held that if the rich and famous Doyle, creator of the fearsomely rational Holmes, reckoned there was something to spiritualism he must have been correct.

Almost a century later, an NOP poll has found that 42 per cent of Britons believe in the empirical existence of ghosts, phantoms and apparitions; 48 per cent of Americans believe ESP is real.

Nearly half of those we encounter each day, then, people with responsible jobs, with children, people left in charge of heavy machinery and fast-moving automobiles, hold opinions that fly happily in the face of all logic. So, whenever some madhaired old bag strides round an auditorium and asks if the name John means anything to those assembled, be assured; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is there in spirit.

True malignancy, however, is not indexed merely by fame. Some of the most culpable Scots in history are people of whom you’ve probably never heard.

A case in point is Colin Gilbert. For nearly 30 years, until 2011, Gilbert was senior creative director of The Comedy Unit, the BBC Scotland department that became an independent production company, patronised mainly by, well, by BBC Scotland.

The persistence of this cosy arrangement meant The Comedy Unit was pushing at an open door when selling its product, which was handy because few other serious broadcasters would consider screening them.

Decades of dreck followed: Rab C Nesbitt, The Karen Dunbar Show, Atletico Partick, The Baldy Man – programmes that depicted Scots as drunken, sentimental, football-addled proles, screaming abuse at fish suppers.

Gilbert, then, was the spiritual progenitor of By Ra Way, Big Man TV. In the process was underlined the great unspoken – though commonly acknowledged by those who manufacture it – truth of television here: that BBC Scotland should be named more properly BBC Lanarkshire.

The preceding, though, barely scratches the surface of Scottish self-delusion. The nation’s history is littered, nay raddled, by figures who are fibbed about, for political and ideological convenience.

Bonnie Prince Charlie, for instance, whose folkloric romance obscures the truth that he gave us possibly the most dismal and bloody episode in Scottish history, the battle of Culloden, while all the while wondering if the ribbons on his shoes complemented his eyes, and whose supposed ambitions for Scotland were merely, we know now, a French-sponsored ruse, a diversionary cover designed to tie up English ships and soldiers, thus rendering les rosbifs vulnerable to attack.

Time and again we see the same pattern, as we’re invited to worship in this cathedral of plaster saints.

Every nation, of course, has its share of rogues and black sheep but in Scotland the lies carry the imprimatur of popular approval and, more recently, of state sanction.

Take Mel Gibson and Braveheart: “Nobody thought Mel Gibson could play a Scot,” goes the Frankie Boyle quip, “But look at him now – an alcoholic racist…”

Even yet, it is astonishing to think that credibility was lent by an elected administration to a film of such profound and shameless historical ignorance.

Astonishing, yes, but, in essence, scarcely unprecedented. It’s been occurring for centuries: the Ossian poems were exposed as fakes in the late 1800s (asked whether he believed men could pen such Gaelic doggerel the critic Dr Johnson replied: “Yes. Many men. Many women. And many children.”)

In essence, then, 50 People Who Screwed Up Scotland is designed to be a corrective, a revision of the record, and a snapshot of ripples created by the boulders Scotland has long so carelessly lobbed.

Uniquely amongst civilised nations, the Scots have learnt their national history not from a song or an epic poem but from a souvenir tea towel. You might recall the towel in question. It was always on sale in the gift shops and keepsake caves we encountered on childhood holidays to Mull and Millport.

It depicted a tableau vivant in which frock-coated, full-bearded gents went about devising the objects that would commend them to history.

Here, for instance, Baird was refining television as James Chalmers created the postage stamp. Over there, Charles Macintosh was fashioning the raincoat and, later, Alexander Fleming was synthesising penicillin.

This tea towel was like a GCSE in 75 per cent Terylene. By stealth, sneakily as we dried the crockery, was inculcated a suspicion that Scots were Special Ones, a golden race, one which created, invented, forged and wiped the mud off absolutely everything there had ever been, with the possible exception of Morris dancing, to which the English were welcome.

The tea towel fibbed to us, however. Admittedly 50 People Who Screwed Up Scotland is less effective at drying crockery; but hopefully it should clear up several other matters.

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    205 to “Set the dials to Maximum Cringe”

    1. Donald says:

      Coming to a bargain bin or charity shop near you.

    2. Angus MacDonald says:

      Sheesh, where to start with this claptrap?

      “Instead, let’s focus on moral degeneracy of Burns as a man. All that prevented Burns taking up a career as a slave trader was early death, aged 37, from Kussmaul’s disease, systemic lupus, erythematosus, hepatitis and carcinamatosis; not to mention the detrimental effects of ‘ philo-pro-genitivesness’, which was late- Hanoverian slang for the inability to keep it in one’s trousers.”

      The thing that stopped Burns taking up a career running a plantation in Jamaica, which did rely on the slave trade, wasn’t his death. It was him publishing his poems that he became famous for. It was abject poverty and several deaths including his father and one of his, at the time, loves.

      Still, nowt like not telling the truth huh?

    3. JLT says:

      Excuse my français here …but who the F*** is Allan Brown??? And does this fool realise what he is actually doing!

      If this had been an article taking the mickey out of any other race, religious group or minority, then there would not only be a severe uproar, but a serious investigation by the law, as well as the body that controls the media.

      Honestly …are the media really this stupid? How long is it going to take that the scare stories and the slating of Scottish culture is not working? I wonder how many DK’s read that today, and went ‘f*** it. I’m voting Yes to spite these b*******’?

      Seriously …who is this clown, Allan Brown?

    4. Angus MacDonald says:

      Ack. To follow up on my comment… the abject poverty and deaths were the only reason he thought of taking up running a plantation.

      Need an edit button Stu. 😀

    5. Tattie-bogle says:

      Jesus wept

    6. Robert Knight says:

      Just google the book title and look at the cover.

    7. Graeme Purves says:

      Well, I’m sure that title is going to fly off the shelves! But whether to list under “Scotland” or “Psychopathology”, there’s the dilemma.

    8. Wee Copey says:

      Don’t think I’ve been so incensed in f*%#ing years what a prat! how very dare he!!!!!

    9. Croompenstein says:

      You know Stuart the sad thing is that since our history is buried and our achievements belittled most of us can’t counter this utter pish. Since coming to WoS I have found out so much that I didn’t know, the 1820 Radical War, the Scottish Covenant of the forties, McCrone etc. If we don’t know our past we are condemned to repeat it.

      For the love of Christ we have to free our nation from this subtle and not so subtle subjugation. Thanks Rev

    10. Helpmaboab says:

      Well! This is where the gloves come off. So many insults to myself, my fellow Scots and to my whole nation in a single piece of gutter-press keech. Come what may, Daily Mail, you’ve made a very angry enemy today.

    11. Stuart Fraser says:

      I was going to have a rant but happy thoughts, calm blue oceans….
      Allan Brown you have a shock coming!

    12. AnneDon says:

      The reason so few of us know about history is because we weren’t taught Scottish history at school. That “hilarious” fact doesn’t seem to be mentioned anywhere.

      And the belief Pontius Pilate spent time as the son of a Roman official in Aberdeenshire pales somewhat beside the idea that Jesus came to England. A widespread belief there, and the subject of the hymn “Jerusalem”.

      The fact that the Daily Mail is willing to publicise this book, by letting the guy write a two page advert, tells us all we need to know about its value.

    13. Grouse Beater says:

      This is an example where reproduction of the author’s naked bigotry and his loathsome name ought never to have happened.

      The outrageous attack on a nation’s humanity continues unabated…

    14. Dan Watt says:

      “We never did anything, we’re worth nothing, nobody likes us. The kilt was invented by the English actually and, by the way, it has only been around since about the Victorian era”

    15. Bay Rok says:

      It’s humour. Sort of. Not really worth getting heated about. And nation that prizes a sheep’s stomach stuffed with various entrails as its’ national dish and eats black pudding for breakfast has to have a sense of humour, surely? Ignore it.

    16. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Just google the book title and look at the cover.”

      I recommend actually clicking on the preview and reading the foreword by AA Gill…

    17. Craig P says:

      50 people who screwed up Scotland? I assume Margaret Thatcher features prominently in this book.

      That article is less a cringe, more a full-on implosion to singularity.

    18. Anne Graham says:

      “Scotland chooses not to remember its past, by conspiring to forget the bits that fail to flatter its conceit of itself as the Greatest Small Island on Earth”

      When did Scotland claim to be an island? Is this writer a bit silly? And ought we to pity, rather than laugh?

      Ach, no, laughing is the best and only thing to do.

    19. kininvie says:

      Blatantly riding on the back of Quentin Lett’s ’50 people who buggered up Britain.

      – which was actually quite funny in places. I don’t think Mr Brown will match it somehow

      The depth of research is immediately exposed by the Pontius Pilate reference. PP is associated with Fortingall in Perthshire, not with Aberdeenshire

    20. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Ignore it.”

      If anyone was looking for a really, really good way to irritate me, pro tip: tell me to ignore something I’ve already decided to put up a post about.

      Yes, of course it’s supposed to be “humour”. What people find funny tells you more about them than just about anything else.

      If you’re not sure what political message it’s trying to convey, take a look at the cover depicting Alex Salmond and Sean Connery pushing Scotland away from England with bargepoles while Bonnie Prince Charlie and Mel Gibson snarl in the background:

    21. Arel says:

      An absolute early Christmas present for the self-loathing Scots which this campaign has unearthed. I would love to tell this fanny where to ram this piece of trash.

    22. ayemachrihanish says:

      So Mr Brown – when Arthur Herman charted his fascinating journey across centuries of Scottish history. 

      And asked…

      Who formed the first modern nation?
      Who created the first literate society?
      Who invented our modern ideas of democracy and free market capitalism?

      The answer was not ‘The Scots’ but an unwashed Millport tea towel!

      Aye right!! 

    23. joe kane says:

      We can put to one side for a moment the surreal fact that Burns must be the sole national poet whose writing cannot now be deciphered by the readership who venerate him.
      – Unlike the equally brilliant Bard of England, William Shakespeare, who writes in everyday contemporary plain English.

    24. Grouse Beater says:

      Anyone keen to read the antidote, rather than puke over their keyboard, log onto: “Braveheart Shmaveheart” at grousebeater.wordpress

    25. iclare says:

      I’m cringing for them and at them but not with them

    26. Craig P says:

      Also – every country has its cherished myths. I’ve no problem with these being explored (The Emperor’s New Kilt is a good example) but if we accept that Scotland is not inherently better than any other country, then the author is wrong in stating Scotland’s myths, history, and cultural assumptions are worse than any other countries.

    27. heedtracker says:

      This is all just nasty provocation by creepy journalists before they get the boot and they know it. Don’t bite.

    28. Stoops says:

      What hateful pish! Two reviews on Amazon for this crap; one star.

    29. bookie from hell says:

      That’s BT bible—pmsl

    30. John G says:

      Having had the displeasure of seeing a vote no Borders electric ad today, I was already in a bad mood. But thought that things could get no worse. Then I read this piece of garbage. If I am now forced to take strong drink, I will of course lay the blame on you. As if an excuse were needed!!

    31. Adam Reid says:

      Every one is entitled to an opinion but how many people has Allan brown now insulted and/or descriminated in that one article?

    32. MolliBlum says:


    33. Tamson says:

      Is this the same Allan Brown who writes articles/reviews for The List and did a decent book about The Blue Nile? If so, shame on him for producing the kind of tat which inevitably ends up remaindered at Bargain Books. Thought he was better than that.

    34. HandandShrimp says:


      It isn’t a new idea. Critic wants to top up his bank balance so writes a hatchet job that he knows will incense people and sell copy. Unionist rags like the Mail will go “Oh what a nice Uncle Tom, let’s go and pat its head” and he will milk them for money too.

      I doubt he believes a word of the shite he has written. I only glanced over it but just from the snippet I saw it is historically inaccurate. However a “witty” hatchet job doesn’t need to be accurate – that isn’t the point.

    35. Rustybadge says:

      Well done to Allen Brown! This incredible article should convince every undecided voter in Scotland to vote YES for independence. Why? This constant Jock-bashing is unnecessary, demeaning and more than a little pathetic.

      Oh, and Mr Brown, you’re not a real journalist.


    36. BuckieBraes says:

      Maybe we ought to read this book first. At first glance it looks like another exercise in teaching the Scots to hate themselves; but, then again, perhaps it’s a timely, searing indictment of our national amnesia formed by 300 years of union…Nah – don’t think I’ll bother.

      So far as the Daily Mail’s presentation is concerned, however, I look at this and think to myself, ‘Just keep it coming guys. Keep it coming.’

    37. daddyo says:

      I’m sorry but “allen Brown” is it? You will never, ever be forgiven for this. I don’t care what the Church says there is no redemption for you. Holy crap – does your Mother know that you write this stuff. Shame on you son.

    38. heedtracker says: Daily Mail thinks the Holy Grail’s in Glastonbury “Christian legend dictates that Jesus’s great uncle, Joseph of Arimathea (pictured below) came to Britain after the crucifixion 2,000 years ago bearing the Holy Grail – the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper.
      He visited Glastonbury and thrust his staff into Wearyall Hill, just below the Tor, planting a seed for the original thorn tree.” etc

      It must all be true, its in the Daily Mail.

    39. Paco_McSheepie says:

      One man’s irreverent is an entire nation’s irrelevant

    40. Geoff Huijer says:

      Absolute cringeworthy pish.

      And as someone already mentioned when it comes to:

      ‘Uniquely amongst civilised nations, the Scots have learnt their national history not from a song or an epic poem but from a souvenir tea towel’

      Perhaps this is because English history is thinly disguised as British history in our schools.

      Indeed, I challenge anyone in England to pop along to their local Waterstones and find a book on Scottish history..or a Scottish history section amongst the history sections of China, USA, England (Britain) etc.

    41. Helpmaboab says:

      After reading A.A. Gill’s foreward to the book I’m still not sympathetic. This is Xenophopobia in the worst British tradition: An attempt to depict another nation as inferior and immoral.

      The authors might claim to be attempting comedy. They might make the same claim while depicting the French as pompous and lascivious, the Germans as humourless and militaristic and the Irish as rural idiots.

      We’re ‘The Enemy’ now.

    42. DougtheDug says:

      The book is on

      Rather than reading the foreword by AA Gill I look at the index and click on the Alex Salmond chapter.

      The wit and political insight of Allan Brown is is only constrained by the sad fact that if his brains were dynamite they wouldn’t take his ears off.

    43. Peter Macbeastie says:

      So does anyone know who this genius Brown is, or is he just another over opinionated self important spunkbubble like he’s managing to come across?

    44. Ron Burgundy says:

      This is an entirely new low. From a “newspaper” with a Scottish circulation of around 70,000 offering here, the promotion of self loathing in the form of “news”.

      It is hard to imagine a piece of writing such as this being acceptable to people anywhere in the world as a viable commentary on their past were it to be produced for that population’s specific consumption by a newspaper which claims to write for that audience.

      Certainly no nation’s past is without blemishes and no-one claims any special status for Scotland in that respect. But this is not an effort rooted in “humour” or “irony” but denigration and hate. Of course too, it is designed to destroy the growing Scottish self confidence which has emerged during the referendum debate.

      I wonder if even the leadership of BT might be sickened by this – would be interesting to see what they think because even they might want to agree this is just a step too far. The think itself needs to blacked before as many undecided voters as possible.

    45. JLT says:

      ayemachrihanish says:

      So Mr Brown – when Arthur Herman charted his fascinating journey across centuries of Scottish history.

      Well said, sir! Seriously …Arthur Herman’s book ‘The Scottish Enlightenment’ is a great book to have on your bookshelf. One of the first books that hooked me on Scottish History. It gets a tad heavy in the middle when it studies our philosophers, but overall, a bloody good book charting our history from Knox to the present.

      Another is Magnus Magnusson’s ‘Scotland’. Charts our entire history and seriously fills in the gaps from between the wars of independence to 1707. Certainly maybe something Sally should read after her light touch with Cameron but heavy handedness with Salmond.

      I really hope our history is taught properly if we gain independence. I really, really do…

    46. YESGUY says:

      Bay Rok has got it spot on folks, No need to bite. He has done a FANTASTIC job for the YES vote.

      Come on everyone, The Yes campaign waited for an Englishman to spout off some diatribe and we all know what that does for ALL of us. Give the guy a huge thank you and a nice bottle of whisky for the great work he has done.

      After a yes vote on the 18th Sept. We can bring in our secret agent from the cold and award him “The hero of Scots Award”


      Honestly ., We have no need to look back . We are looking forward . We’re going somewhere and the rUK haven;t go an invite.

      Thank God for “The Arrogant Englishmen”

    47. daddyo says:

      Dinosaur stuff here. How do you change the picture thingy. I have a great picture of my grand-daughter Molly that I want to use coz it’s her that I am fighting for, and all The “Broons” to come. Sorry for being low tech I’m from Glenrothes and only just discovered inside cooking.

    48. HandandShrimp says:

      I should say that I really don’t mind people having a pop at heroes. As I pointed out, it has been done before. The timing, however, is either deliberate or unfortunate. If deliberate then I guess he is up for a bit of banter. If unfortunate then that is unfortunate.

    49. As this amadan revels in his illiteracy in Scots, one should be able to get away with saying “Set cringers tae malkie”.

      Given AA Gill’s foreword, I’m surprised anyone with such a cultural cringe could survive as long as he has.

    50. msean says:

      Oh dear,cringe overdrive.What drives folk to talk down their country like this? Any idea how many people have jobs relating to the history of Rabbie Burns for instance?

    51. Murray McCallum says:

      Hopefully the author of this will seek psychiatric help and/or a refund on the cost of his humour writing classes.

      Struggling to see the humour of describing the occupants of a country as a “malignancy” (twice).

    52. Diane says:

      Donald – Better not come to my charity shop or I’ll burn it!

    53. Calum Craig says:

      I was debating with a no voter the other night on Facebook who kept referring to “Jockland”. I only just managed to not tell him to “stop fucking daeing that!”.

    54. joe kane says:

      I hear there’s a hilarious new book due out soon called “50 Daily Mail Nazi Sympathisers“.

      Unlike the litany of Scottish examples above, many of which have been deliberately taken out of their own historical and cultural context to make them seem sinister or absurd in the light of later events and history, there is no excuses for the Daily Mosley’s vile politics at any time during its utterly sordid history which continues to this day as the above example shows.

      50 Daily Mail Nazi Sympathisers, Chapter 23 –
      George Ward Price

    55. Grouse Beater says:

      After reading A.A. Gill’s foreward to the book

      Gill was born in Edinburgh but is always referred to as a “British” writer.

      A. A. Milne – author of Winnie the Pooh – was another who fell shy of his Scottish ancestry reducing his name to the minimum to camouflage his origins: Alan Alexander.

      He wore plus fours all the time, swung a gold watch from a chain in his waistcoat pocket, perfected a cut glass English accent, and smoked a pipe, ceramic jars filled with best quality shag on his mantlepiece.

    56. scottish_skier says:

      I was debating with a no voter the other night on Facebook who kept referring to “Jockland”. I only just managed to not tell him to “stop fucking daeing that!”.

      Excellent that you didn’t. This generates Yes votes just as ‘Vote NOB’ does.

    57. Dick Gaughan says:

      Just another nobody who couldn’t find a job and managed to con some eejit into giving him a publishing advance.

      Cringe masquerading as humour, about as funny as a haemorrhoids flare-up after a night on Guiness and Vindaloo.

    58. DougtheDug says:

      @Rev. Stuart Campbell

      …take a look at the cover depicting Alex Salmond and Sean Connery pushing Scotland away from England with bargepoles

      The cover also shows George Galloway trying to push England away. An image which matches the political knowledge and insight of the book contents.

    59. Macsenex says:

      I can’t wait till he writes is next book on other countries. The one on England should be a similar in length to War and Peace.

    60. LizM says:

      I went school in England and believe me all the history taught is definitely biased towards Britain=England.

    61. tony Jensen says:

      I bought this tosh because of the free lego toy for my son (honest). There were no fewer than four anti Scotland articles in a paper called Scottish Daily Mail. Who buys this crap on a regular basis ?

    62. hetty says:

      Very defensive by the look of it, which is indicative of insecurity and an inferiority complex. This guy needs to stick to whatever else he is best at but this offensive guff is deserving of nowt but the bin, not even recycling.
      Next negative c**p aimed at the Scottish people? You have to let it ride over you as they say!

    63. Croompenstein says:

      This article shows that we have it, the only thing that will hold us back are the fearties, I can understand the fearties better than the naysayers but I would never forgive them all the same.

    64. Brian says:

      I wonder if Billy Connoly knows he is on the cover, given his recent comments?

    65. imvotingyes says:

      Tut, tut Daily Mail. I thought the accepted gramatical practice was to use “an” before h in words with an unaccented syllable as in “an hilarious book” – but then you get everything else f*****g wrong.

    66. Alfresco Dent says:

      I can’t be alone in wishing I could just sleep from now ’til Freedom Day.

    67. Donald Cattanach says:

      A foreword by A.A.Gill?? Well that’s me sold.

    68. Cheryl says:

      “…baseless, as were the grounds on which MacLeod argued Scotland would win the World Cup in Argentina in 1978”.

      I wasn’t even born at that point but even I know those hopes in 1978 were far from ‘baseless’. Just because it DID go wrong doesn’t change that.

    69. heedtracker says:

      Just read the list of his 50 on amazon and he’s got Andy Murray and Lulu in there. How on earth he think’s Murray and Lulu screwed up Scotland is really really nasty.

    70. fairiefromtheearth says:

      The thing is this cu-t is banging on about history and judging it by his standards. He is wasting his 15min of fame and history will prove him to be a fool.

    71. Cheryl says:

      Actually, that’s just a long list of self-loathing.

    72. Flooplepoop says:

      Was this book commissioned by Vote Nob Orders?
      Is this their way of killing off independence with a 1000 tiny cuts?
      Reinforcing the too small,too stupid and too poor attitude.

    73. Croompenstein says:

      @Cheryl – We had a really good team at the time and Ally was just reflecting the hopes of the nation, he was unfairly made the fall guy for Argentina 78. We still hammered the best team in the world at the time and wee Archie scored the best goal ever scored in a World Cup Finals.

    74. Grouse Beater says:

      Allan Brown – “leading” Scottish author?

      For that claim to be true all others must be dead.

    75. Susie (aka Shroedingers Cat) says:


      beyond comment is so apt. I have been a nationalist for decades, thought id seen and heard it all. My jaw was on the floor reading this… Im speechless and trying hard not to feel desperate. In what other nation on planet Earth could someone be so deprecating about their own people?? God help Scotland if she votes no – and I dont believe in God in any way shape or form whatsoever..

    76. John grant says:

      My fucking god

    77. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Daddyo – Go to and all will be revealed. Any problems then get back to me and I will help

    78. heedtracker says:

      His intro on amazon contrast’s ABBA, Slade, Gilbert O Sulivan with the Bay City Rollers’ personal lives. The former are lovely, the Rollers monstrous and by association, so is Scotland.

      Maybe the author will tell his readers a bit about just one Top of the Pops bloke from the seventies like say Jimmy Saville, child rapist, necrophiliac, close friend to the the royals, ofcourse a BBC superstar and from Yorkshire apparently.

    79. Robert Bryce says:

      All kinds of pish. Don’t know where to start so I won’t.

    80. Graeme Doig says:

      Helpmaboab 9.08
      ‘we’re ‘the enemy’ now’

      They’re making one of me !

    81. mogabee says:

      Worry not, once we are Independent and too poor to afford fuel for the fires…

      Guess what I’ll be using?

      On second thoughts. Does sh*te burn?

    82. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      100% pure clickbait/trollbook for Daily Mail level intellects.

      Quite a few authors in the U.S. make their cash by releasing ‘books’ like this before U.S. elections painting their opponents as degenerate monsters while not giving a fuck about the facts. It’s Fox News entire modus operandi as well.

    83. HandandShrimp says:

      I’m guessing the book is tongue in cheek (it isn’t my sort of read so I will never know) but I doubt that is the Mail’s intent. They are set fair to drive home their recurring theme of how sub-human and incapable of running a current the Scots are. This is just grist to their mill under the guise of humour (that from the most humourless paper on the newsagents’ shelves).

    84. Brotyboy says:

      I have no respect for any writer who doesn’t realise that systemic lupus, erythematosus is just one disease.

    85. HandandShrimp says:

      a current?

      I meant “a country”….watching Monsters on TV which seems to be more a love story than an alien creature feature. Multi tasking not my strong point

    86. Democracy Reborn says:

      On the subject of football and the 78 World Cup, would a better headline to the article not have been “You’re Shit and You Know You Are”? In fact , maybe for Brown’s next piece the Mail will give away free razor blades so we can all slit our wrists after reading it?

    87. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Is this article also in the English hard copy ?

    88. joe kane says:

      A.A. Gill’s foreword description of Scots as human apes, living in huts at the edge of civilisation, who are an anachronism and are dying out, is old-school genocidal British imperialism. Even down to praising them for their local colour and exotic tourist interest – get along and see them before their own entertaining collective stupidity and the modern world finally put them out of their misery.

    89. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      I wonder just how much scrutiny Lord Rothermere would like on his own family “horrible history”? The Mail never seem all that pleased whenever anyone points out all the Nazi ‘unpleasantness’ they were involved in.

      I doubt Rothermere or Dacre would enjoy a book exploring that and everything else the Mail has been up to of late.

    90. Tam Jardine says:

      I was expecting false flag black ops as we head towards the finishing line but I never thought it would by a plant on the YES side!

      Just remember, whenever you see one of the BT mob insulting the Scots or making an absolute baws of it, turning on Yes lights all over the country, they might be one of ours.

      Maybe AD himself is a sleeper, buried deep years ago working his way to a position where he is activated and self destructs the No campaign, sacrificing himself for his country’s freedom.

      Seriously though, I never usually concur with fairie from the earth’s hardline views involving capital punishment but on this one I think we would both agree

    91. Betsy says:

      Oh dear! Well as our history is so bloody awful and so much of it under the union, I suppose we all ought to vote yes and have a more impressive future.

    92. Marcia says:

      Sunday Herald

      Wing over Scotland to register with the Electoral Commission.

    93. Bit of a stushie says:

      Words fail me. AnneDon is spot on. If Scots don’t know much about their history it’s because of the school curriculum which, until recently, didn’t include anything very much on it about Scotland.

    94. Joanie says:

      He’s not seriously blaming Arthur Conan Doyle for belief in ghosts and mediums? Belief in those things has been around for as long as human beings have been around. Superstition is hard wired into us, Doyle just fell for the same scam as everybody else at the time.

      Incidentally, another crime author who believed in spiritualism was Agatha Christie. Nobody ever bashes her for it, do they?

    95. Jim Mitchell says:

      And if the complaints get to loud, he and the mail will just retreat into the it’s only a joke standby position!

      actually the funniest things are the mistakes this ‘expert’ makes himself.

    96. galamcennalath says:

      They are preparing the ground so Scotland can be considered foreign. Step one is to ensure we are seen as inferior. Every true Brit knows all foreigners are inferior.

      Which is good news! Shows they expect a Yes win followed by Independence. Personally I can’t wait to be foreign.

    97. HandandShrimp says:

      Sunday Herald

      Wing over Scotland to register with the Electoral Commission.

      I’m bored with Allan Bruce now. This is interesting though. Does this limit us in anyway? Presumably our existing fund raising is OK

    98. haud on the noo says:

      I need to stop reading this, I tried to stop after a few lines but just could barely believe what I was reading. How the hell you people stay so calm is beyond me, seriously.

      The thought of more of this till 18th…there is going to be so much bitterness regardless of the vote. I know they are trying for a reaction and unfortunately not all folks are as “balanced” as those on here. It makes me angry but also very sad.

    99. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

      A A Gill seems to be a horrorshow on his own account, to judge by Wikipedia. Allan Brown’s publisher’s single distinction may have been in selecting an ideal advocate for their chump’s subliterate guff.

    100. M4rkyboy says:

      When AA Gill wrote ‘we’ i nearly threw up

    101. daddyo says:

      Archie [not Erchie] says
      @ Daddyo – Go to and all will be revealed.

      You can roll your eyes and sigh like my children do. So I went on the sight and registered and pasted the pic of Molly. So How do I get that to translate to my avatar.

      Sorry to the rest of you guys to interrupt the flagalletion of the author of this piece of wombat droppings but I am in need.

    102. Dr Ew says:

      Ach, it’s just as well. I’d forgotten how crap we are at… well, everything.

      We’ve been getting above ourselves lately, but thank goodness the Daily Mail has shown us the error of our ways.

      Vote UKIP. Or BNP. Or Britain First. Or English Nationalist. Yeh… that’s the ticket.

    103. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Brotyboy –

      I’m no Burns scholar, and I have no medical knowledge at all but I wasn’t aware that his cause of death has ever been identified so precisely (albeit erroneously, as in this case).

      What I do know is that Glasgow University possesses a perfect cast of Robert Burns’s skull, and it is on exhibition in the Anatomy Museum. (Part of ‘The Hunterian’, but in a separate building – viewing is by appointment only.)

      If that cast is genuine, obvious questions arise – was he buried intact? Or was he later disinterred so that the procedure could happen? That in itself raises serious questions as to how our national ‘heroes’, however flawed, have been treated by the establishment.

    104. Joanie says:

      Wombat droppings, ha ha. Very good, daddyo – you’re much funnier than Allan Brown.

    105. daddyo says:

      Joanie says:
      Wombat droppings

      Who ever the hell he is.
      Who is this guy?

    106. Proud Cybernat says:

      What a complete, effin elmer.

    107. Greannach says:

      Oh dearie me. Another attention seeker in the mould of Amanda Holden or the outspoken Katie Something or other. Maybe he’ll be famous some day.

    108. David Agnew says:

      Another steaming turd. Another by-product of Bettertogether’s endless traducing of Scotland, The Union and Scotland’s place in it.

      Stand up and take a bow Bettertogether, so we can collectively kick you up the arse.

    109. Joanie says:

      Daddyo – nobody knows who he is. He’s a nonentity who hates himself and his country, and has been paid by some English racists to say out loud what they secretly think but don’t dare say.

      A ("Quizmaster" - Ed) really.

    110. Cactus says:

      Yeah, Scotland’s newspapers are increasingly allowing and printing these distasteful articles about Scotland’s past, present and future to an obsessional degree. Either-way, regards Allan Browns eventual intentions.. what’s that all about!?

      On a lighter note, when I watch and listen to the following speech I think about Scotland and beyond:

      Rude Awakening ~ Fred Wook

      Peace X & V

    111. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ daddyo – In the words of the prophet ‘May your next poop be wombat droppings’ 🙂

      Go back, log in to Gravatar or WordPress using the email and password you provided. I do hope you checked your email inbox and activated account? So log in and click top right on your avatar and go to Public Profile. Make changes from there and do not forget to put chosen photo below the line to activate.

      Indoor cooking in Glenrothes? Upmarket eh?

    112. mato21 says:

      On the subject of printed tea towels I remember one many years ago praising the beauty of Scotlands landscape and listing the achievements of the people. At the end God was asked why he had been so generous to the Scots and the answer was “it’s to make up for the neighbours I have given them”

      Mr Brown, the Mail, and the NOBs are an example of those neighbours

    113. Adam Jeal says:

      This moron can get to f**k!

      RD Laing was a much maligned and misunderstood. He was against the excessive pathologizing of the so-called ‘mentally ill’ and did much to advance compassion and understanding towards people that society and the medical establishment of the time didn’t give a damn about. He actually treated his patients with kindness and respect and was deeply interested to know how they perceived the world. He was an absolute credit to Scotland!

      We cannot know who we really are unless we truly engage with folk who are different to ourselves. Laing knew this all too well.

      There is such a culture of guilt and shame in the UK. People talk about the ‘Scottish Cringe’ but I feel that the ‘English Cringe’ is maybe far greater (I’m English, btw and no, I don’t have a cringe).

      What always amazed me when I was growing up was why would anyone in their right mind choose to identify with such a downtrodden, apathetic, miserablist and sneering culture?

      Imagine how depressing and hostile this must look like to immigrants?

      The ‘stories’ that we have been sold for years on end about ‘how the world is’ are just that – stories.

      The spread of electronic information around the globe is exposing the lies of elites like never before, the trouble is that when people who have been trained to think in a linear, sequential fashion have their entire worldview flattened by a tsunami of information, these people tend to get very frightened, and they lash out, desperately trying to hold on to ‘who they think they are’ or rather, a false consciousness that has been imprinted into them by the British state and media.

      All this is playing out in real time as we see the rest of the UK lurching ever further to the far-right. The political climate and level of discourse down there is absolutely terrifying and a great many btl comments on, say the Guardian’s online site for instance, display a shocking amount of fear, ignorance and hostility.

      These commenters, consciously or not, seem to feel that Scottish Independence is a threat to their identity. They have so internalized in themselves the biases of the establishment, and yet they can’t see this.

      I really hope that independence will be a catalyst for the rest of these islands to find a progressive, compassionate and hopeful way out of the depressing collective ‘story’ that they have currently bought into.

      The BBC, the class system and the establishment are a POX on our collective imagination. Time to get off our knees and send all this ‘Know your place’ bollocks to the dustbin of history.

      What is really heartening to see is the level of engagement and optimism in Scotland at the moment. It is truly moving and it’s a privilege to be here right now.

      Scotland seems to be wide-awake, despite the best efforts of a venal Westminster elite.

    114. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Adam Jeal – Well said and a good post.

    115. Thepnr says:

      This article leaves me speechless. I now know we have won.

    116. Ninja Penguin says:

      This idiot makes Simon Schama look like a historian!

    117. M4rkyboy says:

      It must come as a relief to AA Gill that we have disowned him then.

    118. Elizabeth says:

      I can already feel the glee from ‘No’ as they salivate over the Scotland on Sunday headline

      “Poll: Yes Support slips as vote for UKOK recovers”

    119. Votadini Jeannie says:

      I couldn’t get past the Book Description, starting with “To be Scottish is to have a lot to live down…”

      Clearly also written by the author who goes on to describe his own work as superb and humourous. Well, I suppose he my as well, since no honest person will.

      It is entirely possible to write about the Scots without falling into wha’s-like-us territory, yet still maintain level-headed affection for the subject. I’ts been done before by better writers than this, and with realy humour, and never do they make you feel you’re being slapped back and forth across the face like this one does.

      Such a nasty book can surely only come from a nasty mind.

    120. joe kane says:

      I love the Amazon review by regular WOS commenteer, the excellent J.R. Tomlin –
      It doesn’t deserve even a single star. One of the most cringe-filled, dishonest pieces of tripe I have ever seen.

      I expect David Aaronivitch is writing an article at this moment about this book “othering” Scottish people, in which it suggests they are fundamentally and malignantly different from English people.

    121. Croompenstein says:

      @Marcia – Nice one, also good to see a map of Scotland which includes Shetland

    122. Andy says:

      “It’s like watching a clown run across a minefield…”

      Four reviews on amazon so far, one star each. One reviewer is upset about having to give a star.
      A literary triumph!

    123. Marcia says:

      To see what articles listed so far for tomorrow’s Sunday Herald:

    124. Thepnr says:

      Hey Marcia

      Want a seat on the bus for CH2? Please come.

    125. boglestone says:

      @Adam Jeal

      Well said. And I’m particularly grateful for your defense of RD Laing. Much misunderstood and all too easily dismissed because of the stereotypes and myths that surround him. He was indeed an extraordinarily compassionate and insightful human being. Its no accident that a country so “schizophrenic” as Scotland would produce such a radical thinker as Laing. His seminal work of course being “The Divided Self”. Some of his ideas of interpersonal psychology could easily be applied to the “dual state” of Scottish and British identity. There are parallels between the “double bind” of family denial of mental problems and the strategies and arguments deployed by Better Together.

      I realise I am probably the only person interested in this. 🙂

    126. daddyo says:

      I hope Frankie Boyle reads this. His take on Mel Gibson was an “in” joke for us. We all got it, those that don’t do not understand the Scots. We are adult enough to laugh at ourselves.

      Have you seen the “Eleven – voice controlled lift” skit on you tube? It’s truly wonderful.

    127. liz says:

      Arthur Conan Doyle’s son died towards the end of WW1 and I think like a lot of people from that time were trying to make sense of the horror of that war.

      Spiritualism was a way of trying to cope with almost unbearable loss.

    128. Well said, Joe Kane

    129. Hugh Wallace says:

      I couldn’t even bring myself to read it. Yawn…

    130. Mad Jock McMad says:

      “Ignorant” ……. that’s all.

    131. Marcia says:


      Polls will up and down from No to polling day. It will be like a roller coaster ride. Interesting their headline was ‘slipping’ and not slumping or falling. The proper campaign starts soon.

    132. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      Everybody remember to buy a copy of the Sunday Herald tomorrow.

      Buy early and buy often …

    133. Marcia says:

      No – should read as now.

    134. Edward says:

      Just read the Scotland on Sunday article ‘Independence would trigger ‘EU-wide secession’’

      Tory MEP Struan Stevenson has completely lost his mind
      in fact I would go as far as saying is nothing but a f**king ("Tractor" - Ed) and scum

      He will state during a speech in Barcelona “Spain “played a historic role in the Act of Union” between Scotland and England when “Spanish soldiers finally drove a starving and exhausted band of Scottish colonists from Panama in 1699” ending the ill-fated Darien Scheme”

    135. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @galamcennalath says:
      Personally I can’t wait to be foreign.

      In iScotland we will all be on a never-ending ‘foreign’ holiday.

    136. haud on the noo says:

      Struan: another ###£ who hates his own country. No place for these people if its yes. None.

    137. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      This has to be a joke right?

    138. Adam Jeal says:

      Thanks @ Archie! 🙂

      @boglestone – Cheers! Scotland should be proud of it’s original thinkers. Laing saw that our society was sick and that many a time it’s the so-called ‘well adjusted’ people who are in fact the mentally ill ones as they have bought into a worldview that is psychotic. Laing saw his patients behaviours as their struggle to fit in with a pathologically twisted society that just couldn’t/wouldn’t accept their divergent thought. Funnily enough, Martin Luther King had the same kind of thoughts.

      I think that you are far from the only one interested in Laing and you are also spot on regarding Laing’s thought and the parallels with project fear/NOB orders! 🙂

    139. Fairliered says:

      If Lord Haw Haw was still alive he would be the editor of the “Scottish” Daily Mail.

    140. bunter says:

      The ”proud Scots” will like it!

    141. Jimbo says:

      Scotland has a long, sad history of sons and daughters who have over the years been only too keen to denigrate their fellow countrymen and native land in their sycophantic rush to ingratiate themselves with the London Set. They have truly earned themselves the sobriquet they really aspire to – London’s Jocks.

      So, how many here will be rushing out to buy this literary equivalent of stale mince?

    142. Weedeochandorris says:

      That made me come over all nauseous. Allan Brown? Goest f**kest thyself.

    143. Oneironaut says:

      Nice to see the Daily Hate-Mail is still doing its part for the Yes campaign, by ticking-off as many DKs as possible, thus making them all into Yes voters.

      Someone should really send them a message of thanks for doing so much to make the idea of a No vote so unattractive for everyone who reads this trash! 😀

    144. tartanarse says:

      Even yet, it is astonishing to think that credibility was lent by an elected administration to a film of such profound and shameless historical ignorance.

      Does anyone know what this means?

      Which elected administration in 1995 stated that this film was an accurate description of Scottish history?


      I thought all of Scotland took it for granted that Bheart was absolutely factual. Thats what we’ve been told we beleive(especially pro indy peeps) since the film was made/

      If only we’d all been taught Scottish history at school instead of Harold and Henry. perhaps we’d have better understanding of ourselves/

      If only the Scots could see that Braveheart bears no significance to todays reality of early deaths poor representation and foodbanks.

    145. Faltdubh says:

      Nae chance I’m reading more than the first lines of that.

      Some Scots are real lowly. The last bits of our ain culture are going slowly into the night without a hoot. The Welsh “they have language and culture” we may be able to make a few dozens rules here and there that other Regions, yes, Regions of Europe can make and our own law system to boot with an Education system, but how can people seriously be content with the way things are dwindling.

      Those No Borders ads are thoroughly depressing. Not so for the acting and cheap lines on show, we laugh and pity at that. The depressing aspect is that people and a sizeable minority of Scots actually believe and/or/EVEN promote those ads or the speel in that piece.

    146. Grouse Beater says:

      Have you seen the “Eleven voice controlled lift” skit

      Ah think you mean “u-liven.”

    147. David McCann says:

      Where can I buy bulk supplies so that I can hand copies to DKs when Im out canvassing?

      Every home should have one!

      Brown (k)nosing has taken on a brand new meaning!

    148. Taranaich says:

      See, here’s the thing: normally with this sort of book, there’s at least some sense of love or fondness for the subject matter (in this case, the Scottish People): some acknowledgement that despite the setbacks, it still manages to be a great wee country full of great wee people.

      I get none of that from this article, from the forward, or anything I can discern. The Scots are treated with the same scorn and disgust normally reserved for universally maligned groups like bigots, cults and Twilight fans. The Scots are treated as a maligned group who dare to have delusions of adequacy even within this apparent Great Britain, this supposed Most Successful Political Union in History.

      Thing is, I’m entirely sure a book that details Scots who ACTUALLY messed up Scotland could be made in an scathing and biting manner. Certainly there are plenty of Scots who genuinely had an adverse affect on its history – William Paterson, the Squadron Volante, Glasgow’s tobacco lords like William Cunningham, the architects of iconoclasm by the Kirk, John Dalrymple, Deacon William Brodie, Burke & Hare, Máel Coluim mac Donnchad (i.e. the “rightful king” of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”), and you could make arguments for the darker deeds of James VI, William the Lion, David and Alexander II.

      But listing Arthur Conan Doyle, based on his spiritualism? Hugh McDiarmid, based on his support of Mussolini before the 1930s and the leap to the right? Burns, because 200 years of marginalisation and suppression of the Scots language as “slang” or “uncouth” to the anglicised 20th & 21st Centuries? That’s just idiotic and embarrassing.

      And that forward… good God.

      “Were you to compile a list of the fifty people who made Scotland great you’d end up with some historian going: ‘Erm, was he a Viking? I can’t remember. Oh, and there was this other guy, but he was English, I think…”

      It’s… it’s not even funny. It’s embarrassing. I’m embarrassed for him. Embarrassed.

    149. Ken Johnston says:

      Alan Brown used to write for the Sunday Times. I remember, perhaps 10 years ago, he did a real hatchet job on the Gaelic.

      I can’t remember if I wrote to the Times, but I was so disgusted, that a Scot would write that shit, that I kept the section for years. And I have no Gaelic.

      AA Gill, Andrew might be his first name, is another with Scottish ancestry who appears to hate the fact. Comes up here for the shooting every year, don’cha know.

      What is it with these people. I’m at a loss.

    150. Thepnr says:

      I’ll tell you what I’m a Scot and an original thinker. These daft bastards believe they have a monopoly on original thinking. Or that’s just what they are telling us.

      What does original thinking actually mean, ever asked yourself that? I’ve not but I’ve given it a go NOW.

      It is simply imagining something different from the norm, we reading Wings are all original thinkers because we question the status quo. We imagine it may be possible to try a different way of government, a better way.

      We imagine a government that respects the electorate and governs on their behalf.

      YES I’m an original thinker and wouldn’t have it any other way.

    151. Bruce B says:

      His take is very, very West – Endy introspective. He complains about BBC Lanarkshire whilst his criticism is entirely Athole Gardens.

    152. Ken500 says:

      Who will buy it? Who will read it. Readership going down. Just like No voters.

      Even more votes for YES.

    153. Papadox says:

      The fact that anyone could sell their freedom and country for a few pounds is quite despicable and depressing. The fact that they would give away their children and grand children’s childhood and future for money is beneath contempt. Selfishness in the extreme. What is it they are proud to be Scottish about, treachery and selfishness and their attitude towards their kith and kin?

    154. Bigdrone says:

      Just read the above and will have to defer until later this morning but first impressions suggest shite!

      Maybe, when it sinks in, St Johnstne won the cup, there were fairies at the bottom of my garden tonight and Santa had come early and offered me a reindeer burger, I’ll come close to understanding Mr Brownstuff!

    155. Ken Johnston says:

      Just did a little of what the Weirs did. A wee donation to try and fuck Mr. Brown up.

    156. Training Day says:

      It’s late, but a serious question. Is there anyone with self-respect who could contemplate living in Scotland after a No vote?

    157. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Cheers to Marcia, as ever, for the SH front page, and details on general contents.

      Am I the only one who’s a bit hacked-off that there seems to be no mention of the bogus VNB ‘grassroots’ campaign? How long does it take for something to become ‘newsworthy’?

    158. Arel says:

      All the usual multi-monikered rockets having a field day on the Hootsmon after this latest “poll”. James Kelly does his usual rapid analysis of the figures which suggests the headline on SOS is a bit exaggerated but clearly still a lot of work to do for Yes.
      For the life of me I still fail to understand the mentality of some Scots wanting to continue with this discredited form of Government.

    159. stewartb says:

      Its very late – just in and now wishing I hadn’t logged in until tomorrow morning. The magnetic force of Wings!

      This is appalling – but also just so very sad that this kind of stuff gets written and published by people with any connection to Scotland.

      But don’t despair, there is a way out of this. Perhaps a representative of the Church of Scotland will read this book and this newspaper article, and whilst not coming to a value judgment and not expressing any views in public on what is being said, the Church will helpfully arrange a special event at a later date to help us become reconciled with the author and with AA Gill.

    160. StevieMcB says:

      OT Yes activists featured on Judge Dredd comic strip.
      Saffron Dickson is huge :} on twitter.

    161. Mary Bruce says:

      The Judge Dredd writer, Alan Grant, who lives in Dumfriesshire, declared himself as a yes voter on his Facebook page.

    162. Airdrieonian says:

      If this rocket Brown said these things in a Glasgow pub instead of hiding behind his word processor, I’m sure that he’d end up with a sore face.
      Self-hating tosser.

    163. Airdrieonian says:

      If this rocket Brown said these things in a Glasgow pub instead of hiding behind his word processor, I’m sure that he’d end up with a sore face.

    164. Thoughtsofascot says:

      50 pages of racist pap, promoted by the daily mail, who’d of thought it!

      Heres something to think about though, and the author should be grateful for this. He can say this stuff and get away with it because Scots are easy going people. If he made a similar book about other peoples, Chinese, Russians, Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese, Bulgarians, Iranians or any other groups that are actually intensely proud of the history of their people(like he claims scots are), then he’d likely find himself in deep trouble. It kinda debunks his whole idea when you think about it like that.

    165. Doug Daniel says:

      Funny that the Daily Mail should accuse Scotland of conveniently ignoring its past. They’ll be putting “we supported Hitler” on their front page every day then? Maybe also “Churchill was a racist who believed in the same eugenics that informed Nazism, and was in favour of using mustard gas on Kurds”? Maybe they could remind us every day that the British state introduced concentration camps to the world, and the various human rights abuses committed by them, where even halfway through the last century they were still happy to butcher people indiscriminately in Africa and Asia?

      Fuck Allan Brown, A.A. Gill, the Daily Mail and every racist right-wing cunt that works for it. We’re going to destroy your little unionist world in September. We’re going to vote Yes, and you’ll be helpless to stop it, because when you try you only make things worse, because Scotland hates everything you narrow-minded bigoted little fucks stand for.

    166. HenBroon says:

      This carnival barking racist shite needs to be spread as widely as possible. It should be made in to 1cm font cards and posted in every library, supermarket, filling station, doctors, dentists, A&E, where ever the public read stuff. it is manna from heaven for the Yes vote, get busy, link it on Twitter make it trend, this guy has to be an SNP sleeper.

      “they were still happy to butcher people indiscriminately in Africa and Asia?”

      Doug they are doing it today. They sanctioned death squads in Ireland for fucks sake. They sanctioned people including pregnant women being rendered to foreign countries who would willingly torture them, including such delights as genital mutilation and water boarding.

      Can you imagine lying in your bed at 0400, sound asleep to be wakened by the sound of your front door being kicked of it’s hinges, boots clumping up your stairs and your family being dragged from their beds and handcuffed together.

      Or lying in your bed when a hell fire midssile from a drone blows your neighbours to kingdom come, with no trace of them left.

      This is being done now in your name.

    167. Tattie-bogle says:

      Doug don’t forget Cyprus

    168. Ali says:

      Why is George Galloway shown on the cover pushing Scotland away from England? Have I missed something 😀

    169. Alba4Eva says:

      We need to think Tai Chi…

      [i]”The Correct application of Tai Chi Chuan techniques in combat will result in the situation where a slight application of force is sufficient to deflect, divert, or otherwise render harmless a force which is many times greater in magnitude. Thus the soft overcomes the hard and the weak need not fear to do battle with the strong. For the purposes of Tai Chi Chuan in combat, softness is the child of wisdom, and is not merely a weak force which can somehow magically defeat a stronger one.”/[i]

    170. john king says:

      This comedian forgot another (ahem) comedian Sanjeev Kohli,
      I had the misfortune to put the tv on BBC this morning at 05.00 and was unhappily watching the news(Its the start of my week, what do you want Mel Brooks?), when out of the blue comes a programme so bad I (having already eaten my porridge) promptly threw it back up again,

      This idiot took us through a half a hour of pure Scottish cringe from child like pound notes drawn on paper napkins with John Smeaton or Andy Murray on them depending on denomination 9.99 or 99.99 (saves on carrying change)says our man.

      He the decided to divide up the family silver after the divorce and proceeds to make the Acquisition of all the organs of state (by the time he a prof bell had added all these organ such as dvla hmrc and so on you couldn’t see the map of Scotland, think of the jobs I say, dear god wont anyone think of the jobs) look like an unachievable mountain to climb although to his credit professor Ian bell managed to point out to the idiot that Scotland does own a percentage of those organs such as the bank of (cough) England,

      Then a visit to the hairdresser to find out what the “Barnett formula”(it would seem by the idiots own assertion that before he became a comedian, eh? when did that happen? he was a mathematician but he’s never heard of the Barnett formula , my 8 y/o granddaughters heard of the Barnett formula) is all about since it sounded like a hair tonic, and who do we have next to him getting his flowing locks washed but Prof John Curtice,
      who proceeds to explain why the Scottish currency (whatever that might be as it clearly wont be the Scottish pound cos Gideon wont let us print any more)will be tied to the value of oil making it inherently unstable, and answering his original question points out that Scotland gets more than it deserves from the Barnett formula (wow,no bias there then) and post a yes vote it will disappear, (no shit Sherlock) but should we vote no it will remain in place, so after negotiating his was around Curtice’s enormously extended proboscis, he mercifully releases us (three viewers no prizes for guessing why the BBC showed this pish at half five on a Sunday morning) from this painfully unfunny experience,
      this clown is a liability, his brother needs to take him aside and have a word.

    171. J. R. Tomlin says:

      I gave it the most scathing review I could manage on Amazon US. I can tell by looking he’s never sold a book there and hopefully a one-star review will help keep it that way.

    172. ian foulds says:

      At least a Herald article by Ronnie Scott in their web issue 2993 on 16/12/07 has an interesting slant on the Scots’ contribution to the modern world.

      Apologies, my lack of computer skills preclude me from attaching the scanned article.

      It even has a list of those who contribited and quote from Winston Churchill which might bring a bit of balance to the issue – ‘Of all the small nations of this earth, perhaps only the ancient Greeks surpass the Scots in their contribution to mankind.’

      Slightly off-topic but shows nothing has changed with those in power:


      1. We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. – Aesop

      2. If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed. – Mark Twain

      3. Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself. – Mark Twain

      4. I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. – Winston Churchill

      5. A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. – George Bernard Shaw

      6. A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man,which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. – G. Gordon Liddy

      7. Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. – James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)

      8. Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries. – Douglas Casey,
      Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University

      9. Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. – P.J. O’Rourke, Civil Libertarian

      10. Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. – Frederic Bastiat, French economist(1801-1850)

      11. Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. – Ronald Reagan (1986)

      12. I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. – Will Rogers

      13. If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free! – P.J. O’Rourke

      14. In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. – Voltaire (1764)

      15. Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t meanpolitics won’t take an interest in you! – Pericles (430 B.C.)

      16. No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session. – Mark Twain (1866)

      17. Talk is cheap…except when Congress does it. – Anonymous

      18. The government is like a baby’s alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. – Ronald Reagan

      19. The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. – Winston Churchill

      20. The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. -Mark Twain

      21. The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. – Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

      22. There is no distinctly Native American criminal class…save Congress. – Mark Twain

      23. What this country needs are more unemployed politicians. – Edward Langley, Artist (1928-1995)

      24. A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. – Thomas Jefferson


      1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealth out of prosperity.

      2. What one person receives without working for…another person must work for without receiving.

      3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

      4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

      5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work, because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is
      going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation!

    173. John Sm. says:

      There’s a more positive and forward looking story published this morning on the BBC Scotland site regarding the Jimmy Reid Foundation’s “Atlas of Productivity”, it’s somewhat more interesting and worthwhile than the above Scottish Mail story.

      Link here;

    174. john king says:

      Dear oh dear whats happening on this site, I posted a comment @ about 6.10 this morning and it appeared with the awaiting moderation thing, get to work and lo and behold its gone,
      whats up Stu?

    175. cynicalHighlander says:

      @john king

      Spam attack re twitter.

    176. Seasick Dave says:

      I take it we are Better Together in this fellow’s eyes?

      They love us really.

      No, really.

    177. goldenayr says:

      I feel sick.

      And for once it’s not a hangover.

    178. The Rough Bounds says:

      Remove the word Scot, and replace it with Jew. See what would happen then.

      That bastard Brown would be hung out to dry. And rightly so.

    179. Carnyx says:

      Folk myth has long maintained Pilate spent time in Aberdeenshire, the son of a Roman soldier stationed there.

      This guy can’t even get his myths correct, the legend is that Pilate was born to a Roman ambassador who was negotiating with a Caledonian tribe in Fortingall in Perthshire before any Roman occupation of Scotland. The Romans didn’t occupy anywhere on the British Isles until 43AD, after Christ’s alleged death, so it would have to be an ambassador. Maybe Allan Brown thinks everywhere north of the central belt is “Aberdeenshire” and the Roman’s were stationed there for all prehistory .

      There are villages in Spain and Germany who make the same claims, but it’s okay for them apparently.

    180. The Rough Bounds says:

      ”…It’s like watching a clown run across a minefield.”

      Would those ‘clowns’ be the same ones that ran across minefields in two world wars, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan?

      Please come to my door Mr. Brown: please, please, please come. I will have a surprise waiting for you.

    181. Fireproofjim says:

      Don’t ‘ worry about this. Annoying though it is.
      By the time September comes round it will be long forgotten. As Harold Wilson said , “A week is a long time in politics”
      Just keep up the good fight.

    182. Blair paterson says:

      I never fail to be amazed by the way some of you react to their false poll results the fact that Cameron refuses to publish the poll he held proves beyond doubt that they are losing it big time so they keep only publishing the polls that suit them .do not be taken in by them the only ones who they are fooling is themselves .as for a. Brown just treat him with the contempt he deserves ignore him . Vote yes

    183. meme (@memeandthemany) says:

      Crediting Arthur Conan Doyle with the establishment of spiritualism in the free world? This guy is obviously detached from his environment.

      Let’s hope it serves as a tool to set some folk out on the journey to find the truth in the history for themselves instead of relying on media whores for their information.

    184. Whiplash says:

      Yeees! Atletico Partick gets a mention. I was on that show. It was truly pish. Not a funny line in it. I did however get to say my first line as an actor on the telly so it will forever hold a warm place in my heart.

    185. Clydebuilt says:

      Quote Rev. Stu. “This one, from today’s Scottish Daily Mail, might actually be beyond comment”

      I’m struggling, geeze your right Rev. It’s not easy commenting on this article. AH here it comes. It’s a load of C#@P

    186. Clydebuilt says:

      on the cover of the book. Is one men doing the pushing supposed to be George Galloway.?

    187. crisiscult says:

      Having lived in 5 countries, for anything from a year to 4 years, (and also having a job where I mix with people of many nationalities, I can say two things:

      1. There is nothing unique about nations/states/whatever you wanna call them airbrushing their own history. The writer just needs to get out more.

      2. He may be write that Scotland may be unique in not learning about its history at school (not sure so many schools do GCSE’s here though)

    188. crisiscult says:

      oops, can I just change that to may be RIGHT. (foggy head after drowning my sorrows yesterday after the football)

    189. Davie says:

      I’ve got family in West Yorks. 25 years [or so] ago, I was visiting and we saw that the Rab C Nesbitt show was doing a live tour & playing Sheffield on a Wednesday night. Thinking it would be sparsely attended, 6 of us headed out for dinner & a show.

      We couldny believe it. It was MOBBED. Just managed to get our tickets. Full house.

      At the bar, we were treated like royalty, cos we were from Glasgow. They loved Rab & what he had to say. Thank God for subtitles was the cry!
      They are also love Still Game etc.

      I moved here 2 years ago to ‘give it a go’.

      I have still to meet 1 Yorkshireman/Lass that thinks we should vote NO. Maybe they’re just trying to humour me. But they tell me this before I have even voiced my opinion.

    190. Duncan King says:

      We can put to one side for a moment the surreal fact that Burns must be the sole national poet whose writing cannot now be deciphered by the readership who venerate him.

      Whereas Geoffrey Chaucer, “the father of English literature”, remains as intelligible now as he was in the 14th century.

    191. WashingtonFierce says:

      I don’t know if this has been said yet but there’s a facebook page for this dross. All of 41 likes on it. Go mad on there team

    192. katsoft says:

      God how right that man is. for 300 years we kept repeating the same bloody mistake over and over again. We sent MP’s to Westminster for no apparent logical reason, we ran an empire for a bunch of racist oligarths, much to our shame, we look as if we might decide to stay with a system which takes as much out of Scotland as possible while returning as little as it can get away with. Yes we do speak differently up here in Scotshire but has he ever watched Eastenders guarantee most people outside London stick on subtitles and they are all so happy? there.
      I say that
      Voting Yes on Sept 18 will be a step into the dark.
      Voting No will be a step back into the Dark Ages
      Let’s all take the forward step.

    193. The Flamster says:

      This on BBC website today:

    194. Public Opinion says:

      That was good. Enjoyed that. Who said our southern neighbours have no humour?

    195. Viking Girl says:

      I’m afraid the Scots are being stigmatised yet again, and guess what? They’ll just put up with it as usual. I read about half of the above and most of what I read is rubbish. However, he is right about one thing. The Scots have been deprived of learning about their history. That is why they put up with the Union.
      Did you say the foreword is by A A Gill? I could be wrong but, is that that nice man that abused Mary Beard so expertly? Isn’t she an expert on Roman History? It didn’t stop him, if it was him I mean.

    196. Jeanette McCrimmon says:

      Taxi for Brown!

      That’s Brown by name, and also by nature, since this adjective describes his scribblings well – execrable as well as being also factually just s**t. This self-regarding effort at a unique point of view results instead in a confused collection of half-thoughts whose fully-hateful tone ( as well as the many factual gaffs noted in other comments) are standard in his output.

      His Blue Nile biog (deemed by many as a hagiography of singer/writer Paul Buchanan, somewhat at the expense of the others in the band ) is in stark contrast to his more recent review of the singer’s solo effort.

      A sample quote – “A Grade 4 player learning Chopsticks” – holds no logic at all (surely such a well trained musician would play Chopsticks just GREAT!) and perhaps smacks of some grudge against his former idol, described in the book’s blurb as “a friend” (Oh dear, some tiff perhaps?). How else to square such a non-sensical barb with his book’s assertion that the other Blue Nile members (both of 25 years standing) were mere ‘”set dressing”? Inconsistent, bordering on psychostic, surely, especially when he doesn’t even twig ( Q: “What’s brown and sticky?”.. A: “This guy)” that this own review raises questions about his earlier slights towards the non-singing Nilers.

      This latest extract from tomorrow’s bog roll (except I wouldn’t wipe etc…) seems to have the same lack of decent perspective, viewing the universe from somewhere so far up his own fundament that he mistakes the restricted vista for a wide view.

      On this past form, we can however expect to hear diametrically opposed mumblings from him next year ( after another change of heart/mind/psychosis) and hopefully these will be filed from somewhere other than Scotland. Let him flourish (or otherwise) elsewhere rather than hanging around here like a bad smell.

      Maybe he can become a Romford cabbie (if they’ll have him) and share his worldview with those unlucky enough to need his services. We sure don’t.

    197. Churm Rincewind says:

      The Mail article is truly weird. But we can live with that, can we not?

      I’m more disturbed by several commenters saying that they weren’t taught Scottish history. I can only speak from personal experience, but Scottish history was a major subject at my school. Was that really so unusual? I’d be interested to hear from others on this point.

    198. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      I was only taught a little bit of mediaeval Scottish history at primary school. “Stirring tales of Bruce and Wallace” sort of stuff. Nothing in secondary school. I literally hadn’t a clue. In particular the period leading up to and including the union of 1707 was avoided like the plague.

      Weirdly, in secondary school, it was the English department which filled in some of the gaps. Burns, Walter Scott, “Macbeth” and a book called “Great Scots”.

    199. John McCallum says:

      Surely this is the sort of thing that will win the yes vote. It just needs spreading beyond it’s declining 95,000 readership.

      And on the teaching of Scottish history, I received none, which may have contributed to my disinterest in the subject at school. I seem to remember being taught about the second world war and the Norman invasion of England, but nothing at all that related specifically to Scotland. That said, things seem to have improved a bit since the 70s.

    200. dkcm99 says:

      What’s the actual readership of the Scottish Daily “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” Mail? I’m astounded that there are still a sufficient number of dimwits in Scotland who actually buy and read this stuff to make it viable.

      If I lived with a relative or someone who brought that filth into the house they’d be told – no matter who they were – to get rid of it pronto.

    201. Les Wilson says:

      Do we really need this kind of negativity?

    202. Chic McGregor says:

      I think self-haters are going to suffer from a very cathartic experience once Scotland becomes a normal country.

      PCSD? Post Cringe Stress Disorder?


    203. Suzanne says:

      Dear god. It’s Alf Garnett on helium.

      What a nasty little book.

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