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Shot by one side

Posted on October 12, 2012 by

BBC Radio Scotland’s phone-in show “Call Kaye” was interesting this morning, which isn’t a sentence you can use every day. The main topic of discussion was David Cameron’s planned 2014 “commemoration” of the start of World War 1, and as host Kaye Adams noted repeatedly during the programme, the overwhelming opinion among listeners was that it was a disgraceful and cynical piece of political opportunism.

You can listen to the entirety of the show on the BBC iPlayer until such times as it expires, but if you’re pushed for time or if it’s no longer available by the time you read this, we’ve made our own edited version (32 minutes rather than 100) containing only the bits about Cameron’s plan. Nothing else has been removed or altered.

You can listen to it here.

There are a few notable things going on. One is that Adams appears shocked by the weight of opinion against the plans, citing an overwhelmingly positive response on a Five Live show the previous evening, yet apparently having failed to grasp the fairly basic point that people outside Scotland would be much less concerned with the political implications. Another is the fact that Margo McDonald is introduced as an “independent” MSP, while Colonel Bob Stewart is identified merely as an “MP”, with no mention of the fact that he’s a Conservative.

The third is the subtle bias displayed in Adams’ interactions with callers. When those objecting to the proposals ring in, she puts the other side of the argument to them, which is perfectly right and proper. However, when the show finally manages to rustle up some people in favour of the “commemoration”, she repeatedly fails to challenge them in the same way.

(She also doesn’t ask why, when English schools are apparently being given extra funding to send their pupils to French battlefields, there are seemingly no Barnett consequentials enabling Scotland’s educational establishments to do the same.)

The debate was presented, essentially, as being between remembrance and forgetfulness. Col. Stewart and a couple of nat-bashers who rang in were allowed to persistently argue that it was fine to hold this commemoration because it was necessary to remember the sacrifice of the dead. But nobody’s arguing against that. The point is, we already remember the sacrifice of the dead every single year. In fact, we have a special day dedicated to remembrance of it. It’s hard to miss, because we call it Remembrance Day. The clue’s in the name.

Nobody has suggested that we don’t bother marking the Armistice in 2014. Nor has anyone said we shouldn’t mention the fact that it’s the 100th anniversary of the war starting. The issue is why, having paid tribute to the dead and the wounded on the same day for 96 years, we suddenly need to change it for one year only. (And blow £50m on it to boot.) If November 11 is good enough for every other year, why not 2014?

The only plausible answer is that that day will fall after the independence referendum. That, not remembrance of the dead, is the bone of contention here, and the BBC implying that nationalists don’t care about those who gave their lives in the Flanders mud is just one more example of what’s becoming an increasingly sordid business.

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  1. 13 10 12 21:04

    WW1 “celebrations” in 2014 « smallwhitebear

81 to “Shot by one side”

  1. I think the Scottish Government should quickly publish their plans for the great 2018 events celebrating the end of WWI, so that everybody understands that people here are not against commemorating WWI, just against using it as ammunition in the independence referendum campaign.

  2. ayemachrihanish says:

    Many people are obviously concerned and dismayed by the British triumphalism at the core of the British elitist WW1 commemorative campaign. 

    The United Nations should be the institution leading any commemorative campaign – with the financial support of the UK
    The only  flags and promotional material presented throughout the campaign should be the United Nations Peace Keeping Flag -thereby bringing together in harmony all the nations invonlved in the conflict under a common unifying ‘ United Nations” flag of peace.
    Also, this could help reinvigorate and explain the UN in the eyes of many young people and also help demonstrate the peaceful progress made by many nations since the end of WW1 

    A Tory lead Rule Britannia Commemoration – ultimately offensive to many of our allied partners and current EU friends    

    Our FM Mr Salmond should take the opportunity to confirm Scotland’s “unique” inclusive UN approach to this event, ban in Scotland the idea of single nation remembrance of the start of a war –  and call on all our UN friends to join together and mark this as a sombre well informed international year of peace as a mark of respect for those lost and, equally important, to better inform and educate our young people of cost and true tragedy of war.  
    Remembrance day 2014 can then play its proper place as a non political national period of reflection

  3. Juteman says:

    I have the radio tuned to Radio Scotland at work.
     Call Kaye, with an ‘e’, has led to the radio being replaced regularly.

  4. muttley79 says:

    I don’t have a problem with the media, academics etc covering the start of the First World War, but it is when the British Prime Minister starts getting involved, compares it to the Jubilee, which was basically a flag and bunting propaganda show for the Windsors, that I have a major problem with.  The millions who died, from all over the world, should not be used in this kind of a crude, politically motivated fashion.  The British establishment know full well what they are doing and that it will cause resentment and it is divisive. 

  5. Alex Grant says:

    Just heard on the news that The Nobel prize for peace has been awarded to the EEC for maintaining peace in Europe since !945. However discredited the prize might be (cf Kissinger!) surely this is much more appropriate ‘celebration’? But just wait for the xenophobic reaction.
    Farage is already squealing!!!

  6. Juteman says:

    Being serious here.
    I’m in my 50’s, and thought i had seen everything when it comes to politics.
    When this first ‘broke’ yesterday, i was shocked. This is the most disgusting piece of ‘politicking’ that i’ve ever seen. Even 24 hours later, i’m still raging. Using the dead as a political tool is reprehensible!
    I think i’ll go and lie down in a darkened room for the weekend!

  7. Jen says:

    I think Scotland should get £50m to blow on the “celebrations” and send children in style to Europe to “commemorate”.

    I will not take part in any of these activities as its out right disgraceful and a mockery to all those who lost lives. 

    Not suprised at the BBC, it happens with most things, lots of things go unchallenged, for example saville, they play to the power which is westminister which holds the purse strings.  

  8. scottish_skier says:

    I put on Call Kaye on radio Scotland for the morning drive to work just to see what the topic is and how they handle it. Unless it is particularly interesting, I’ll switch to Forth One.

    I have to say that the impression I got this morning was that the producers/team had thought this was a great story to get all sentimentally British and stuff whereby subtly nat bashing. Kaye really seemed taken aback at how wrong they’d been in the predicted reaction from listeners. Clearly has gone down like a lead balloon in Scotland.

    Note I’m seeing some early signs of the past couple of weeks shenanigans starting to bite polls wise. These things take a good few weeks to really show but looks to me we’re at the start of a Labour slide.  Looks also like Bettertogether – who are well behind anyway – suffering as a result of recent developments too now.

  9. smallwhitebear says:

    IN 1914 we were at war with Germany and her allies. Since then a lot of water has flowed under the bridge.
    We have had WW2 of course, but now in 2012 we are friends with ALL of Europe, Germany and the Germans are no longer “the enemy”. People from all over the EU are welcome to work and reside here.
    The Nobel Peace prize in 2012 has been given to a “peaceful” Europe, with each constituent country respecting its neighbours.

    IN 2014 David Cameron wants to rock that boat, he wants the UK’s citizens to “celebrate” with flag waving and street parties, the dreadful conflict of WW1 that started in 1914.
    He wants to indoctrinate in our youngsters the old “superiority” of the UK, when we beat back the “Hun” with dogged obedience and self-sacrifice from our men in the battlefields of France… onwards to glory… or was that just a muddy, agonising, tragic end. 

    Are we then all to indulge in some sort of August Bank holiday jingoistic nonsense to “respect” those who suffered and died in their millions, merely to shore up Cameron’s and his party’s political aspirations? Could this be called mutual respect for Germany and all those countries who took part in WW1 on the “losing” side?
    Or is this just using the public to take a side swipe at the EU and Angela Merkel? Or is his main target the Independence referendum in Scotland and he forgot about the wider EU implications.
    Or is this a “master stroke”dreamed up in party headquarters to offend and upset as many “enemies” as possible under the unassailable banner of “respecting the war dead” with the added bonus of attempting to energise the flagging UK identity and evoke the spirit of “Britishness”.

    I do not live in North Korea, I wouldn’t want to, but more and more I see the same political tactics being deployed here. Using the masses, media propaganda and flag waving to cover up deep wrongs in the country.
    Before we know it David Cameron will routinely be shooting 3-4 holes-in-one per round of golf and we will all believe it too.
    He is such a fantastic golfer…

  10. Juteman says:

    I’ve recently finished ‘And the land lay still’ by James Robertson, and it is still affecting me.

    Like one of the main characters in the book, my mothers uncle came back from the war damaged. He went away a ‘normal’ chap, and came back a wreck. He turned into a tramp, and simply walked all over Scotland. He would turn up every few years, and my gran would feed him, and wash his clothes. Then he would be off again. He is probably dead by now, but nobody really knows.

    My grandad was a CPO in Submarines during the war. He was ‘old school’, and wouldn’t be seen dead without a suit, shirt and tie. Even if he was only going to the shops. Like most folk who served in a war, he rarely spoke about it. One time, he told me about ‘dead mens footsteps’. This was when his submarine went through a mine-field, and the steel hawser of the mine ‘skipped’ along the hull of the submarine. The whole ship went quiet as they waited for the BANG!
      After the war, he spent 6 months in a ‘hospital’. for his nerves. Although he was never seen drunk, when i cleared his house after his death, it was full of hundreds of empty whisky bottles.

    My other grandad joined the army in 1937 due to poverty. In total, he was away from home for 9 years. He used to cry every so often. As a child, i wondered why.

     Celebrate the start of war?

    Excuse my language, but FUCK OFF! 

  11. James Morton says:

    I read that David Torrance was to appear on the show to give his pennies worth – He thinks it a grand idea – to the point were he actually hash-tagged olympicsMK2 – I mean really, thats all you need to know right there. He is relishing another jingoistic flag waving jamboree fest – I remember reading about the almost party atmosphere that existed as the men went to war – it’d all be over by Xmas – the hoary old bromide of the warmongers, the desperate hope of the men and their families. The retreat from Mons would soon knock that notion out of their heads. When trench warfare came with all its horrors, that “party” atmosphere would have seemed childishly naive. Torrance talks about children going to see a battlefield – they should also see war cemetaries like the one at Verdun. Maybe have this read to them as they gaze upon a forest of white marble as far as the eye can see

    The bloody bandages are dropped on the floor, we have no time to dispose of them. They form a carpet which is ankle high.

    An artilleryman is brought in, he is in terrible condition. His wounds are horrible, he has bled a lot, his face like white marble. Both his legs are smashed, attached with just a few strands of meat and sinew, he is still bleeding heavily. While he is being given a morphine injection a doctor examines him. The splintered bones stick in all directions, the wound is full of strands of flesh along with remains of his trousers and underwear. Carefully we try and bandage the wounds. This means moving the leg, causing a fountain of blood to shoot out, soaking the doctor. The poor man lets out a low moan and dies, it happens so fast we are not prepared for it, we almost don’t notice.  

    New screaming at the entrance, this time a wounded man with a chest full of bullet holes, all bleeding badly. He is quickly bandaged and gets a morphine injection. he is sent into a deep sleep with ether…then he is then carried out…

    Big black patches on the ground mark the places where the stretchers stand before the wounded are carried into the surgery. Leaning against the wall are the empty stretchers, their canvas covers are stained black with crusts of blood.  

    The bearers stand around with haggard faces, tortured looks, as if sentenced to death.  

    Behind the barn the sight is terrible. Wounded who had died on the way or during bandaging have been pushed aside to make way for those who are still living.  

    There they lay, piled up one upon each other, open torsos, missing limbs, it is terrible to see. The faces carry grimaces of anger, pain or desperation and the bodies lay in grotesque positions.  

    On a ground lay the remains of a captain, just three ribs and half a face wrapped in a tunic.  

    Next to it lays a similar package with a paper name tag.  

    The pile of bloody corpses is the stuff nightmares are made of. At night the rats add to the horror, eating away the faces and eyes, leaving bloody skulls staring out of empty sockets.  

    Bury them? There are simply too many!  We have to live amongst them, eat amongst them and sleep amongst them….”

    Oh yeah – Party time indeed! lets get out the bunting again shall we?

  12. Jeannie says:

    I suppose that’s the problem – for the politicians, war is a public affair and they seem incapable of understanding that for you and I, it’s highly personal and they have no right to assume ownership of our private grief.

  13. Morag says:

    I read that David Torrance was to appear on the show to give his pennies worth – He thinks it a grand idea – to the point were he actually hash-tagged olympicsMK2 – I mean really, thats all you need to know right there. He is relishing another jingoistic flag waving jamboree fest –
    Surely not.  Surely nobody could be so crass and insensitive.  For a Tory, I thought he was an OK chap.
    That’s just appalling, if it’s true.

  14. scottish_skier says:

    That’s the referendum deal done.

    Was easy; but then maybe that’s only to be expected. 

  15. molly says:

     My youngest daughter actually went to ‘The Battlefields’ earlier this year with the school.
    You have to be taking history,the places are limited and it cost each pupil approx £350.
     I understand your point about ‘indoctrination’ ,but fortunately the teachers and guides there do not appear to share Mr Camerons vision. The pupils visited both the ‘allies’ and German cemeteries ,the trenches,discussed the hellish conditions for all.
      Teenagers, (despite what The Daily Mail says) are smart,they call it as they see it. Yes, my daughter was shocked at the numbers and ages of the fallen (,on both sides) but her biggest question was ,”what was the point of all these people dying ? “,so Mr Cameron should actually be careful what he wishes for,it may not be the response he wants.

  16. Adrian B says:

    Morag says:
    October 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    “I read that David Torrance was to appear on the show to give his pennies worth – He thinks it a grand idea – to the point were he actually hash-tagged olympicsMK2 – I mean really, thats all you need to know right there. He is relishing another jingoistic flag waving jamboree fest –”

    Just checked this on his Twitter feed. Sorry to say he bloody did:


  17. patronsaintofcats says:

    Cameron cynical?  This PR hack dredged up in his party conference speech his dead disabled child for political capital.  There are apparently no depths that he will not plumb, let alone insulting the families of the war dead, let alone current allies in the EU.  He thinks this is a keen idea!  Why oh why can’t they use the £50 million towards a peace institute and a proper programme of care for living war veterans?

    The sooner we are rid of the dead weight of Westminster the better… 

  18. Fiona says:

    I have lurked here for a few weeks and feel compelled to comment on this story.
    This attempt to turn a solemn event into some sort of affirmation of Britishness is destined to backfire- in many official histories and documentaries Britain is rarely if ever referred to, it was England who were fighting the war and the English who were sacrificing so much. Even WW2 histories struggle to tell the difference between Britain/England- the lyrics for the “Dads Army”  theme tune always make me angry.
    A new generation will be exposed to the fact that the sacrifices of all the other nationalities are so easily subsumed as part of a greater England. I look forward to the Better Together team trying to explain this to a new generation who will have their eyes opened to the arrogance of the English(and to their eternal shame some of the Scottish) establishment.

  19. patronsaintofcats says:

    Is this the same Bob Stewart?  Why is he even asked to comment on BBC Radio Scotland?

    Colonel Robert Alexander “Bob” StewartDSO (born 7 July 1949) is a former British Army officer, former United Nations commander inBosnia,[2] commentatorauthorpublic speaker[3] and Conservative Partypolitician. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Beckenham constituency in South-East London since the 2010 general election

  20. Nellie Scot says:

    David Cameron ,the uk Prime Minister who wants to spend 50 million the country doesn’t have to celebrate the start of one of the greatest tradgedies of human history ! Is he for real!!!! 

  21. muttley79 says:

    In regards to David Torrance, it just shows how biased the media are, how they don’t even feel the need to hide their lack of objectivity, nor the affect it has on democracy in Scotland.  Is there something I have missed about Scottish political journalists, is there is a funny handshake thing going on?

  22. Dal Riata says:

    “Celebrating”, “commemorating”, or whatever they want to call it, the start – not the end – of a war is utterly despicable beyond any manner of reasoning. Serious question here: has any other country/nation/entity ever done this before, or has any plans to do so in the future? And to spend 50 million pounds to do so whilst in the depth of a major recession … is just beyond reproach.

    It is becoming more and more obvious by the day that nothing is ‘off the table’ as far as the ‘establishment’ is concerned in their attempts at ‘influencing’ the independence referendum. With two years still to go, their hate/scaremongering stories and lies will undoubtedly reach levels unprecedented in any so-called democracy in history.

    May their misdeeds be recorded by historians as the last unsuccessful attempt by a dying empire to impose itself on a soon to be free Scotland.

  23. pandapaws says:

    My grandfather who died before I was born was gassed in WW1. This sickens me. If they’ve £50 million to spare then they can use it to help injured servicemen today who have to rely on charities for help.  I second Thomas Widemann’s excellent suggestion.

  24. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I have an apology to make here.
    I posted on another article yesterday that WWI was between two of Queen Victoria’s nephews, I was wrong, it was in fact between two of her grandsons. Wilhelm II of Germany and George V of Britain. Nice to know that we, Britain and her allies AND Germany and her allies sent MILLIONS of young men to France, Belgium, Turkey etc to die so that two “royals” could resolve a family squabble!
    p.s, Juteman “The Darkened Room” is always open and you’ always welcome! 😀

  25. Morag says:

    And they had the gall to jump up and down braying that using the Bannockburn anniversary would be tacky and underhand?

  26. Christian Wright says:

    While promoting this remembererence the Unionists, particularly the likes of Lord Wallace,  are at pains to ensure we should forget Bannockburn on its 700th anniversary – it’s seven hundred years since Wallace will tell you – no one cares – it’s not relevant – it’s clownish Braveheartism, braveheart, BRAVEHEART!!! We are told to grow up and get real.

    There is method to their madness, and I think those of Nationalist persuasion – most of us –  have fallen for it. We are sheepishly apologetic and readily agree to demean and dismiss Bravehearts and Braveheatism. We are denying “Ourselves” in doing so.

    The Unionist “Braveheart gambit” – seeks to denigrate  Scotland’s historical fight for freedom against an aggressive neighbour whilst vigorously promoting Britain’s colonialist wars and continental wars. 

     They would have us forget Bannockburn and how the bravery and guile of brave men helped forge this nation and temper our national character. 

    I call it the Braveheart Gambit because usually the focus of their derision is not really the film about the life of Wallace, but rather Wallace himself, and the attack on Wallace remains the template upon which all other such attacks are made.

    Mythologies are an essential ingredient of the glue than binds a people and creates a national identity. That is why icons of Union and empire were paraded endlessly by press and other media in London’s recent sporting pageant.

    Yet simultaneously there has been a concerted effort by the chattering class and the jocktocracy in the Lords, to delegitimize that phenomenon where Scotland is concerned (while promoting the notion shamelessly where Britain is concerned – WW-I is just one more example).

    None speaks to the heart of our people like the deeds and the persona of Wallace and events like Bannockburn, and no Scot should feel embarrassed to embrace that narrative, so shamefully demeaned and ridiculed by Westminster’s pet jocks and their counterparts in Holyrood.

    Whatever you self-identify as, carries with it an  encyclopaedia’s-worth of historical and cultural defining referential events.

    Of course, this does not mean that anyone will make a decision in 2014 solely on the basis of ancient history and mythology, but that we SHOULD look to the past for an understanding of how we came to be who we are today, in order that we may more fully contextualize the alternatives that confront us in this referendum, and choose the direction of our tomorrows.


  27. Christian Wright says:

    Article: “The debate was presented, essentially, as being between remembrance and forgetfulness. ”

    And when did they air a similar debate about the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn – a seminal even in Scottish history? Did I miss it? 700 years or 100 years, are the fallen any less worthy of remembrance? 

    Why should we commemorate the beginning of carnage of a century-old unnecessary and accidental war, yet forget the day and the deeds that heralded Scottish independence? That seems to me asre-backwards.

    THAT would be my response to the BBC, Col. Stewart, and the “nat-bashers”.   

  28. Dal Riata says:

    Sorry, O/T.

    Another exponent of anti-Scottish independence, Yahoo UK, has reprinted an article from the  Telegraph titled, “Why would Scotland turn itself  into Greece?”. It’s the usual FUD article of course,  as is now de  rigueur in the undemocratic MSM. The comments BTL  just complete the package; the usual uninformed, ignorant and raciest bile.

    The present scum MSM will never be forgiven for deliberately spreading lies about Scotland’s right to self-determination and promoting ignorance and  anti-Scottishness – and rightly so. They are the true enemies of democracy.

  29. patronsaintofcats says:

    Christian Wright said:

    None speaks to the heart of our people like the deeds and the persona of Wallace and events like Bannockburn, and no Scot should feel embarrassed to embrace that narrative, so shamefully demeaned and ridiculed by Westminster’s pet jocks and their counterparts in Holyrood. 

    Hear Hear! 

  30. Ronald Henderson. says:

    It didn’t take too long from the start of WW1 when thousands of young men volunteered for military service (to be home for Christmas) till the stories of what was actually happening out there in the battlefields began to drift back home. The volunteers dried up and the Government had to resort to ‘National’ Service. ie using conscripts. The woman in the flat upstairs from my Grannie’s tenement lost her three sons in that war and the poor woman lost her mind. Is this the type of thing we will be celebrating?

  31. Juteman says:

    Don’t think my previous rant makes me a pacifist. I agree with most of what Christian says, but i think more of the ’45 uprising. Not because i’m a Jacobite, but because of the Genocide that followed. It is never discussed, but it happened. Under a British flag.

  32. Andrew says:

    @Christian Wright
    Excellent post.
    I hadn’t really thought about the constant belittling of ‘Braveheart’, but you’re absolutely correct – it is really the belittling of Scottish history and Scottish nationhood.
    Thanks for that insight.

  33. R Louis says:


    Your posting regarding your relatives above, says everything that is truly obscene with this disgraceful idea to glorify the first world war.

    I now really start to think this will backfire on Cameron and his red and yellow tory pals in Scotland.  No matter what you think of Scottish independence, it is clear that this is an offensive, cynical move, by a political leader truly bereft of ideas.

  34. velofello says:

    If I may correct you R Louis,  a leader bereft of morals.

  35. Clachangowk says:

    Just back home and repeat my post from another wings thread – no apologies for the repetition:

    “My Grandfather and great uncle were killed in the great war.
    My mother never knew her father

    I shall not be commemorating/celebrating the cause of their death.

    This is unbelievably bad taste. I am not a protester by nature but my gut feeling now is that if this commemoration happens I should get out and protest at people celebrating/commemorating the cause of their death”

     On the previous thread Alex Grant referred to his grandparent killed in the great war and described the proposed commemoration as an f— obscenity. I know how he feels

    This is personal and I take this commemoration idea as a personal insult. Where do these people proposing this come from? What sort of an ivory tower do they live in to come up with this.

    My grandmother was killed in the Blitz in the second world war – will we be celebrating the start of this in 2019.

    I have forgiven the past -one of my very best friends is a German whom I visit regularly and who has to come to terms with his country’s past but agrees with me that it is the future that matters. The EU was originally conceived – warts and all – to make sure that there was no repetition of the past.

    These people in Westminster, wanting out of the EU and  commemorating/celebrating the commencement of a war, it is as if they want it to happen again.

    God save us from them

  36. pmcrek says:

    I really am lost for words about his whole affair, everything I have tried to type could not do my feelings any justice.

  37. Alan says:

    WWI was a disgrace to humanity. A war organised by the SAME ‘royal’ family.

  38. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Kaye Adams’ show was trailed before the ‘start’ at 8.55 this morning. It then broke for the news, sport, weather etc, and didn’t get going again until 9.06. From then until 23 minutes past, (the ‘main’ focus on the topic that I heard), she interviewed or quoted 14 contributors – that includes Col Bob (who wasn’t available to begin with) and Margo McD – the rest were callers or e-mails/texts, and only two (the aforementioned D Torrance and ‘an ex-history teacher’ called ‘Eddie Harrison’?) were not openly hostile to Cameron’s plan. Even then, neither actually endorsed it.

    The section I heard wasn’t a discussion. It wasn’t a debate. It was Kaye Adams’ call-in show, and the majority of callers/texters/e-mailers made it very plain that they were of the same mind as Margo McD.

  39. Craig P says:

    It has occurred to me that to commemorate the anniversary of 1914 the royal family could in 2014 revert back to their original, German, name they had at the outbreak of hostilities. 
    As for Nobel peace prize for EU. I am not convinced the EEC had nearly as much influence over preventing Euro war as NATO did. 

  40. charlie says:

    A gift to Alex Salmond, I think. He just needs to say “Scottish and Brittish soldiers went to fight for the right of Belgium to be a sovereign nation  [which is a truth – tho a small truth]’
    Then be pro European (nae wars any more), fuck trident and end with a tribute to every single family in Scotland who lost family members in WW1

    I agree with the ‘Tories want to lose the referendum’ theory, as of now.


  41. douglas clark says:

    Craig P:
    I always get annoyed at this sort of sophistry:

    “As for Nobel peace prize for EU. I am not convinced the EEC had nearly as much influence over preventing Euro war as NATO did.”

    The First and Second World Wars fall into the footprint, or geographical area of the current EU.

    There has not been a war between member states since it was set up.

    It is a good thing.

    Both World Wars were started inside that footprint. Now, we love each other.

    Absent the English racists and their ilk.

    It is worth paying a contribution to the EU to keep war away from our doorstep?

    Or do you really want another ‘War of Jenkins Ear’? With bigger and badder weapons?

    I am actually quite astonished at the young forgetting recent European History and denying the work that has been undertaken over sixty odd years to try to ensure it will never happen again.
    The proof of the pudding is in the eating. No EU state has declared war on any other EU state, and, absent the lunatics in London, that is a well understood benefit.

    Just saying you could get a bit more realpolitik and a bit less certain.


  42. Barney Thomson says:

    I posted on Thursday’s article that I had informed the Royal British Legion of my intention to resign my membership as a result of their support for this politically inspired “commemoration” of the start of the slaughter.

    The RBL sent me a brusque reply informing me that they had edited the original article. Sure enough, they now slip in a few words about it all being about “Remembrance”. I do not want my taxes and donations spent on remembering/commemorating the beginning of the obscenity that was the Great War so I shall still be resigning. Especially as the article incudes this –

    “We saw the UK come together in the unforgettable summer of 2012 through the joyous national celebrations of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games,” he added. “We believe that the Centenary will bring the nation together once again, perhaps to a more solemn purpose, but one no less unifying”   

    It’s a shame that even a charitable organisation like the RBL can be so politically compromised.  




  43. douglas clark says:

    I suspect we will all find that organisations that we trusted will be, well, untrustworthy, this is becoming a war.
    My subscription to Amensty International is unaffected meantime, but a bad word from them about independence and they are mince!

  44. Angus McLellan says:

    Today’s Times is running a story on Ming Campbell’s eagerly awaited report to the Lib Dems. It’s very thin on details – the journo admits to only having seen parts of the report – but it seems that Ming is stealing a trick from Ruth Davidson. He is apparenly going to come out in favour of devolving power from Holyrood to councils.
    The only concrete details seem to be as follows.

    1. Holyrood would apparently no longer have the power to make the block grant conditional on rates of council tax. So, no more “imposed” council tax freezes.
    2. Revenue from business rates would no longer be pooled and each council would keep what it raised. I’m not sure if this makes a great deal of difference or not. For Glasgow, which I’d guess is at the extreme end of things, business rates raised nearly £300 million in 2011, but after pooling the council got around 80% of that back, or put another way the difference came to about 3% of the council’s total budget.
    3. Councils would be expected to raise around 50% of their budgets from their own resources. Taking Glasgow again, that implies that the council would have to raise something like £250 million extra, half as much again as it does today. The national average would be similar, making a total of around £2 billion by my reckoning. The Times says that these missing billions may be raised from unspecified new taxes. We might expect that this implied a corresponding reduction in Westminster taxes, but the story notably doesn’t mention that. (The dog that didn’t bark?)

    Now it is possible that the secret sauce is in the bit of Ming’s report that Lindsay Macintosh didn’t see. If not, I don’t see how this is supposed to wow the devoplusers and devomaxers. To a large degree it is simply rearranging the deckchairs, moving them from the Holyrood section to the council section. Sure, it might make Lib Dems happy, and Johann Lamont too, but I suspect that most folks will, at best, be completely underwhelmed by this sort of stuff. And if it turns out that the underlying message can be reduced to Vote No and we’ll double business rates or council tax, that might start to move those unconvinced ABC1 voters over to the Yes side.

  45. molly says:

    Angus,saw a link (redpaper) regarding the first SLAB devolution commision,basically stating something similar. Cue a concerted effort from all sides to have power/money etc ‘devolved’ to the cooncils.Now while there is a strong case for more local Govt,we can all hazard an educated guess how this will pan out.

  46. Frank Wilson says:

    Anyone who wants to commemorate the start of a war is sick in the head. Really, its that simple.
     If you want to see or comprehend the horror of war and their effect on Scotland, simply stop by any war memorial in any village or town and have a look at the names. Entire families and villages wiped up out in ‘buddy regiments’, not designed for cameraderie but to try and reduce the rate of desertion. We celebrate the end of war. We deplore war. This is 2012, we are different now. Its inappropriate to be singing as we march off to death, shouting ‘smoke me a kipper for breakfast’. Nobody ‘won’ in WW1. Its not something to be proud of hence the sombre and dignified way 11/11 is marked every year. I’m sure every family has a horror story to tell about grandparents and beyond. I don’t think we need a Labourite West-end trendy and her groovy chums to sell us an idea, even though its probably been her brief from headquarters. Soft, subtle state propaganda is what works best and nobody does it better than the BBC.

  47. Melanie McKellar says:

    2014 is not just the 100 anniversary of the start of the WW1 iI is also the 75 anniversary of the start of WWII!
    @ Juteman : thank you for sharing your story, a story that many could relate to if only for a little research and a little knowledge.  Personal knowledge of family members who fought in either or both wars is not easy to behold. One of the biggest tragedies of both wars was the ‘stiff upper lip ‘ mentality we Brits have to conform to.  Families losing loved ones could not personally grieve because they were surrounded by so many others in the same position, men returning after the wars could not complain about their nightmares because it was seen as a weakness and disrespectful to those who never returned, they suffered in silence.

    One thing for sure is that we don’t forget.  Every year on the 11 November (or the sunday closest to) we stop and remember, (Armistice day is a public holiday in some countries and everything is closed!).  Inspired by a Canadian soldier John McCrae’s poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ the poppy has not only become the emblem of rememberence but also a fund to help service personnel, ex-servicemen and their families, people wear their poppy with pride.  In addition the CWGC do a remarkable job and anyone who has visited the grave of a family member cannot be anything more than overwhelmed not only by the achievements of the organisation but that it has continued for almost 100 years to respectively maintain the millions of graves of Commonwealth soldiers throughout the world. Both civilians and military personnel are remembered on war memorials, in churches, public buildings, factories, railway stations, collieries, schools and so on……

    …while we respectively remember and reflect this does nothing to put an end to war.  They said WW1 was the war to end all wars, well it wasn’t and to ‘celebrate’ the start of it is shameful, no more shameful than it would be to celebrate the 10th anniversary in 2013 of the start of Iraq war!

  48. Craig P says:

    Douglas Clark, I appreciate your intervention, but suggest you are confusing cause and effect. Internal peace was guaranteed by an external Soviet threat plus hundreds of thousands of American troops on European soil. The EU has yet to face any real tests (apart from the end of Yugoslavia, where they were helpless bystanders to the carnage).

  49. Jeannie says:

    Just read that piece by Sean McPartlin in NNS.  Very moving.  Also just watched one of my sons going out the door to go to karate. He looks so young and innocent – but at his age he would have been one of those young men in the trenches, fighting for his life, just like his great-grandfather.  Dear God.

  50. Caadfael says:

    This is truly the sickest thing I’ve ever heard of!
    Where does the kleptocracy intend to get the £50m from when we’re broke?
    I’ll tell you, from the sick, the elderly, the poor, the former soldiers with shattered bodies and minds of the recent conflicts in Korea, the Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan, that’s who!!
    Camoron is truly as nutty as squirrelshit!

  51. Cuphook says:

    If they’re going to celebrate WW1 we should celebrate the life of John MacLean – a man we who sought peace and fought the Tory landlords who raised the rents of the men who were on the frontline. Teach Scotland the real history of that era.

    JMcL at one of his sedition trials – “I wish no harm to any human being, but I, as one man, am going to exercise my freedom of speech. No human being on the face of the earth, no government is going to take from me my right to speak, my right to protest against wrong, my right to do everything that is for the benefit of mankind. I am not here, then, as the accused; I am here as the accuser of capitalism dripping with blood from head to foot.!”

  52. Clarinda says:

    I note that a large pertentage of the alleged £50 million will go towards the refurbishment of the IMPERIAL War Museum, less to WW1 history school education and some to UK-wide events.  But it should be all right as Mr Cameron has set up a committee of experts to organise his witless, insensitive and crass self-seeking propaganda.  Just the very thing all the dead, bereaved and wounded would want – and this ridiculous man claims to hold War Poetry as his creedo – has he actually understood any of it?

  53. Jeannie says:

    Great quote, Cuphook. 

  54. Holebender says:

    Cuphook, John MacLean also said the bayonet is a weapon with a working man at either end.

  55. muttley79 says:

    O/T, Has anyody read the comments by CJ Sansom in today’s herald?  This is a taste of what he thinks.  “A party which is often refered to by its members, as the SNP is, as the National Movement should send a chill down the spine of anyone who remembers what those words have often meant in Europe.”  SNP as NSDAP tick.  “I find it heartbreaking – literally heartbreaking – that my own country, Britain, which was less prone to domestic nationalist extremism  between the wars than most, is increasingly falling victim to the ideologies of nationalist parties.”  British Nationalist in lack of awareness at his own Nationalism shocker.  Notice reference to Britain as a country, it is not, it is a STATE.  Another quote: “Their attempts to gerrymander the referendum in their favour by lowering the voting age and holding it around the anniversary of Bannockburn should make any Scot wonder what sort of party they will be putting in power in their newly indepedent state, perhaps forever.”   There you go, a permanent one-party dictatorship to last forever!  Notice the obligatory references to Bannockburn, a strong implication that the SNP are Nazis and a total lack of awareness of British Nationalsim.  There is more quotes as well of a similar nature.  What a nerve these people have!

  56. Wallace Bruce says:

    Edward the 1st was a brutal, land grabbing dictator given a positive makeover by history (I wonder who wrote it?).  His son followed in his footsteps attempting to carry out the same policies and in our case thankfully failing.  Who made things better, Wallace and Bruce or the Edwards.  I leave it for you to decide whose life and deeds we should celebrate, especially in 2014.

  57. balgayboy says:

    Anybody got any history of the present UK cabinet’s forefathers/mothers participation in WW1? just a thought.

  58. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I note that a large pertentage of the alleged £50 million will go towards the refurbishment of the IMPERIAL War Museum,”

    The piece I read said that the £5m for the IWM was separate to the £50m for the “commemoration”.

  59. scottish_skier says:

    Just remember folks, the war was won by ‘one nation’. Just one. No kilted people nor Poles, French, Americans, Indians etc. Just one, presumably super/special nation single handedly.

  60. balgayboy says:

    Sums it up for me, a weak useless soundbite tosser who has not done one days real hard work in his life to earn a living…and hard working people still want to vote for this excuse as a leader, the mind boggles. 

  61. Juteman says:

    @Scottish Skier.
     With his family background, how can he sleep at nights?

  62. Jeannie says:

    @scottish skier
    That’ll be a NO from him, then?

  63. Erchie says:

    If that bit reported from Ming Campbell is accurate then that is merely what the Tories are proposing for England, which means that the poorer areas get shafted

  64. Alasdair says:

    I listened to the programme and found it note-worthy that at the end she made a statement to the effect that opinion was fairly evenly split on the issue despite earlier having stated that opinion was heavily one-sided at the end.

    Given that about 3/4 of the programme discussed ‘other’ issues I was surprised by the apparent shift in opinion from heavily one-sided to evenly split . . .

  65. scottish_skier says:


    Further year-on-year sales drops for Scots daily and Sunday newspapers

    Double figure % losses for many. Well, if you keep printing crap, then…. 

    WoS must be out-doing some of the UK daily papers now Rev surely. 

  66. Cranachan says:

    Scottish_skier. Rev posted the following on 29th September:

    ‘The last seven days have been the biggest week in the history of Wings Over Scotland, eclipsing even any of the ones at the height of the Rangers fiasco. The site saw a total of 86,522 page views over the period – 15% up on the previous best – in a historic week which also saw us break the 500-posts and 10,000-comments barriers.’

  67. cynicalHighlander says:

    The people here will sign this hopefully

  68. Melanie McKellar says:

    good one! signed 133 so far be interesting to see it grow cheers

  69. Aucheorn says:

    Petition up to 142 at 23:15

  70. Cranachan says:

    Petition 160 at 23.40

  71. Angus McLellan says:

    Well, originally this was about the petition. But I was too slow. So, today’s Sunday Times has a story – I’m sure I’ve seen it before – saying that “a Westminster source” is claiming that it will cost £25 billion to relocate Trident and that Westminster would expect Scotland to pay for it. A likely story.

  72. Morag says:

    How come that gets to stay open for a year?  Holyrood petitions are strictly time-limited.

  73. Arbroath 1320 says:

    181 signatures at 00:30 folks.
    Keep up the good work! 😀

  74. Doug Daniel says:

    Just listening to this now. I’m utterly amazed at how she’s trying to shape the debate at the start – trying to make it sound as if anyone opposed is just a miser, reducing the argument to being about money and not morals.

    A wee point on the mini-debate about whether NATO or the EU is the reason for the past 70 years of transnational peace in Europe. The explicit aim of the European Coal & Steel Community (the pre-cursor to the pre-cursor of the EU) was to make war in Europe not just morally unthinkable but materially impossible, by locking France and Germany’s economies together.

    NATO, if anything, served only to split Europe. The West in NATO, and the East in the Warsaw Pact. There’s no peace there. It was about aiding the US’s obsession with eliminating communism, nothing more.

  75. Siôn Eurfyl Jones says:

    I’d like to see the EU call a solemn day of reflection for the start of the war, making any jingoism in any  country quite out of the question.

  76. Galen10 says:

    @ Doug Daniel

  77. crann tara says:

    I think we should remember that the first war was caused at base by three cousins who could not reconcile their differences.The Czar,the Kaiser and the King Emperor.Because of those creatures 20,000,000 had to die.Also, Scotland with approx. 10% of the population suffered approx 30% of the U.K.casualties. One last thing.Have you noticed that when uberbrit Kaye doesn,t have things going her own way that particular item gets cut short. 

  78. Arbroath 1320 says:

    O/T but sort of related to Cameron’s £50 Million “celebration” of the START of WWI.

  79. Appleby says:

    Sometimes I feel like pinching myself when I think of what we’ve got coming on the cards. It’s like hearing you’ve got a big lottery win cheque in the post. Let’s hope that it isn’t squandered.
    Kaye is another example of the near Soviet state level propaganda machine that is the BBC. They are like siblings. Disgusting behaviour from her. Sadly this swine will be allowed to continue with her blatant propaganda machine unchallanged and unrebuked. There’s no question about the bias in her programme. Dirty tricks galore in this BritNat campaign and there’s no question that the MSM (and BBC in particular) are the keystone of that campaign.

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