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Wings Over Scotland

So this is weird

Posted on February 12, 2014 by

The Guardian, 27 January 2014:

Yes Scotland sheds more senior staff as funding doubts reemerge.

The five executive directors hired to run the official independence campaign have all now gone, adding to questions about its direction and spending power”

The Herald, 26 January 2014:

“Yes Scotland last night denied it was in meltdown after losing the last two members of its self-styled “top team” of directors. The pro-Union Better Together movement claimed Yes Scotland was ‘in crisis’. The changes come amid persistent rumours – always denied – that Yes Scotland is suffering from financial problems.”

Sounds like Yes Scotland is pretty strapped for cash, right?

But then there was this on media and marketing site The Drum this morning:

“Pro-independence campaigners are set to unleash up to £2.5m on an outdoor advertising campaign as a precursor to an all-out £7m push to convince sceptical Scots that they should vote yes in the referendum.

The cash has been used to reserve thousands of billboards, posters and phone booths across the country for the Yes message, each of which will swing into action from early March through to the big day on 18 September.

Four waves of activity are planned during March, April, July and early September with separate contracts for digital, cinema and newspaper advertising also being negotiated. It would be one of the largest outdoor advertising campaigns ever seen in the country, provoking anger from those who to see the UK stay united.”

And this in the Telegraph:

“Senior figures in the advertising industry have told The Daily Telegraph that Yes Scotland has reserved outdoor media space worth an estimated £1 to £2.5 million. In total they are said to have built up a £7 million war chest to finance the campaign.

One industry insider said a £1 million campaign would bring ‘very high visibility’, while a £2.5 million drive would amount to ‘one of the biggest Scottish outdoor advertising campaigns ever’.

So, y’know, hmm.

We were also intrigued by the “Better Together” comment in both stories:

“Nobody should be surprised by this, but they have every right to be angry. The SNP have already spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on billboards and advertising agencies. They have shown that no budget is too big when it comes to using our money to pay for propaganda for their independence campaign.”

Um, what? Who mentioned the SNP in this story? Yes Scotland is funded solely by donations, and frankly the SNP is in no position to donate £7 million quid to it. It would of course also be totally illegal for the Scottish Government to use taxpayers’ money for such a purpose, so there’s no cause for anyone to be angry about anything.

We can therefore only conclude that the “Better Together” teaboy intern spokesman is either an imbecile or deliberately lying. And if we had a pound for every time we’d had to conclude that, readers, we could probably have funded the ad campaign ourselves.

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    83 to “So this is weird”

    1. Gaavster says:

      Brilliant new Yes video just been released too, directed by Jack Foster

    2. Dan Vevers says:

      Lie, smear, hope no one will notice, the usual.

    3. Dcanmore says:

      If YES have a few £million to throw around then why the recent £15,000 crowdfunding exercise for outlying YES groups just before Christmas? Seems like a drop in the ocean compared to amounts being mentioned above.

    4. Linda's Back says:

      Westminster trougher Ian Murray on Currency Union debate at Westminster on democracy live.

    5. Wayne says:

      I enjoyed the short film, but when is their full feature coming out, the one they crowdsourced all the money for? Can’t wait to see it!

    6. auslander says:

      Sounds like a sleeper is awakening.

    7. muttley79 says:


      The summer I think.

    8. Paul Kelly says:

      Imbecile, i like that word, we could also credit it to George Osbourne with his new “no currency union” campaign who is about to almost immediately make my dreams come true of making sterling go 1:1 with the Euro. Also Johann Lammont with her “Wee things catchphrase. They’re good at catch phrases the No Campaign “operation fear was a belter. Ruth Davidson with her Doctor Who claims, Alistair Darling on Reporting Scotland with his 3 1/2 years worth of oil left. David Camerons speech from the Olympic arena London. And Blair McDougal well you just need to look at him. Is there anyone in the No camp we couldn’t tag with the word imbecile?

    9. A2 says:

      Let’s not also forget those fundraising emails from BT that say things like

      “We know that the nationalists have an enormous war chest of money. They have huge donations swelling their coffers. Over the next year and a half they will spend big to try and divide us from our friends and families.” – Alistair Darling

      “We know that the nationalists have a huge war chest at their disposal and that the Scottish Government are more than prepared to spend millions of pounds of public money on propaganda campaigns. We need to do all we can to match this.” – Blair McDougall

      So which is it? They are prepared to say whatever fits the agenda on any day. Surely at least some of the keenest no voters who are reading these quotes are also getting the emails? will any of them put 2 and 2 togeather? mind you if they use Alistairs calculator it won’t sink in.

    10. horacesaysyes says:

      Now, there is the possibility that Yes Scotland is short of cash BECAUSE it has just spent £7m.

    11. A2 says:

      Cough, I meant those quotes in the papers about yes being skint.

    12. Andy-B says:

      BT are probably trying to draw attention away from their multi million donations, from Serbian war lord backers.

    13. Andy-B says:

      O/T Rev sorry about this, but this was re-run by the BBC on Monday night, in my opinion its still offensive to Scots, so why would the BBC rerun it.

      Ray Winstone calling Scots tramps and the audience telling Scots to b*gger off, and our currency, will be mars bars instead of the pound.

    14. “they have shown that no budget is too big when it comes to using our money to pay for propaganda for their independence campaign”

      “We can therefore only conclude that the “Better Together” spokesman is either an imbecile or deliberately lying”

      Or of course the 3rd option, that Better Together have donated money to the Yes Scotland campaign “using our money to pay for propaganda”

    15. Alba4eva says:

      I wanna be part of the huge Advertising drive. I have been holding off making my big (big for me) donation to YES… But this will now be coming to them soon.

    16. Pin says:

      I thought there were spending limits imposed on the campaigns?

    17. ronnie anderson says:

      Rev, Who,s fekin side are Yes Scotland on and You for repeating that story, both of You,s have destroyed our Wordwide reputation for being MEAN,that,s been cultivated for century,s, forby being to Poor , ma grandwain,s will be wanting mair pocket money,shame on You,s, ah wiz getting used tae sleeping 2ft fae the ceiling.

      Ach weil there,s allway,s a silver lineing, ah dont need tae use that ladder tae get intae bed ,I,ll give a bit more.

      Hurry up wie that crowdfunding.

    18. john king says:

      If Alex Salmond had spent a quid on a packet of Jaffa cakes wee Jimmie Crankie would have been right in there demanding an investigation into misappropriation,
      lets ask her opinion? 😉

    19. Clootie says:

      It will be worth every penny.

      We need more flagpoles too (but wait to that wind dies down)

    20. colin says:

      It`s lies that hold the union together, nothing more. except maybe the BBC and media who are the deliverers of those lies

    21. Marian says:

      Project Fear still don’t get it that the five staff were there initially to get the YES organisation fully operational and that it was always planned that they would be giving way to others in due course who would manage the actual running of the YES campaign.

    22. Kev says:

      Would be good to get a breakdown of that £7m – I know the Weirs gave £1m, but if the rest comprises micro payments well it shows Yes support is far more widespread than the polls suggest…

    23. Desimong says:

      £7m…thats a lot of Cybernat badges!

      YES campaign take over billboards while Better Together just stick with Bored.

      Wont be long before those Newspaper folk start thinking “How much can we make from full page YES adverts…maybe we best start playing fair”

    24. gerry parker says:

      Aye, I was watching it. What’s going to be good is when they slowly start to realise what a sh*t storm they’re facing.
      Revenge is a dish best served cold.

    25. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Well, to be completely honest, I have heard rumours of financial problems from a source which I trust implicitly unrelated to Better Together or any other standard unionist mouthpiece paper; without identifying the guy, because he really wouldn’t appreciate it, he’s a keen independence activist and not prone to spreading bullshit about his own side. He’s worried.

      I would dearly like to believe that there are no fiscal difficulties at Yes Scotland, and that he is completely wrong, but it does concern me.

      If anyone knows anything solid about this, I would love to see these concerns dismissed as unfounded but to be honest I have been hearing them for so long now I’m starting to wonder myself if there’s anything to back them up. I’m amazed it’s not appeared in the press with anything more than a little ripple.

      On a lighter note, Better Together, still as prone to conflating Yes Scotland with the SNP as ever. They are, if nothing else, completely and utterly reliable in that regard.

    26. James123 says:

      I remember when HIGNFY was funny, it was a long long time ago.

    27. Brian Powell says:

      The love fest between Labour and the Conservatives MPs in the discussion at Westminster goes on unabated!

    28. MajorBloodnok says:

      Pin says: I thought there were spending limits imposed on the campaigns?

      Only during the closing three-month “campaigning” season. You know, that period when the BBC finaly discovers impartiality.

    29. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      The £7 million is bollox.

      A smear tactic.

    30. Andy-B says:

      Ruth Davidson to accuse nationalists of myths and prejudices tomorrow night, at the David Hume Institute in Edinburgh.

    31. Ted says:

      Sorry for being off topic but Ian Davidson has blamed Holyrood for the Bedroom Tax!. In the Evening Times he says Holyrood should repay all tenants who are out of pocket due to the Bedroom Tax! From someone who could have voted against the bill in the Commons and did SFA! There are really serious problems in Scotland with the MSM, they are downright lying and nobody does anything about it!!

    32. MajorBloodnok says:

      O/T RBS chief contradicts Vince Cable about ‘inevitable’ move of RBS HQ to London after a YES vote.

      That’s Barclays and RBS now. Any more for any more?

    33. Marcia says:

      Re the Directors hired – those hired for a specific purpose left when their task finished.

      Pin – the spending limits refer to the official final 16 week campaign.

    34. chris says:

      Maybe Yes are not divulging their accounts at present so not to show how healthy they are (glass half full). Why show your hand too early?

    35. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Becoming difficult to keep up with comments, so this may have been answered already –

      Anyone know where and when Osbourne is giving this statement tomorrow? Edinburgh, yeah, but more details, anyone?

    36. Andy-B says:

      Scotland to lose £100 million a year, due to reforms in the UK health service, Westminster to reduce Scottish NHS funding, says Alex Neil.

    37. fairiefromtheearth says:

      YES you BEAUTY they dont want a currenct union LOL shoot yourself in the foot England LOL you fekking STUPID twats Independance in the bag now,they must think the redrawing of the seaboarder is legal.

    38. Marcia says:

      I would expect the SNP to be spending about £1.5m during the official campaign period in addition to the Official Yes Campaign group. I expect this will have spooked BT.

    39. G H Graham says:

      If YES wanted to get a sense of what it was like to be broke achieved by acting recklessly; spending money they didn’t have on stuff they didn’t need, they could have gone straight to Alistair Darling for advice.

      After watching Gordon Brown double the annual fiscal deficit, he then tripled the deficit within just two years.

      And we’ll be paying for their incompetence for at least another decade if we stay in the union.

      Flipper Darling really is a hopeless, forgetful, old duffer. Fortunately though, there’s a warm ermine robe & a nice leather seat on a back bench in the Lords where he can weary his useless days away until he finds a bed in a retirement home.

    40. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Man from Del Monte he says NO!

      Sorry I meant of course Men from Treasury they says NO!

      In the game of “see who blinks first” it’s great to see, yet again *YAWN* that Westminster is the side who blinked first! 🙂

      Surely after this, alleged, speech tomorrow it can only be a matter of time before we witness open in fighting from within Better Together.

      Can Better Together really continue on its current path to utter destruction without some serious change in direction?

      Well from what we have all witnessed from them up till now I regret to inform everyone that there is an imminent shipwreck on the horizon and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it.

      Oh, by the way, the shipwreck in question has nothing to do with the weather currently affecting SW England.

    41. faolie says:

      And so it unfolds. Powder kept dry, don’t say much, build a grass roots network in every village and town in Scotland, release White Paper, watch and respond, ignore Plan B and then release a shitstorm of an advertising campaign.

      When you compare the cool and measured strategy of the Yes campaign with the hysterical, bleating, lying shambles that is the non-strategy of Captain Darling’s not-very-effective fear squad, it’s no wonder WM is panicking, given the lead that was squandered.

    42. tony o'neill says:

      Sorry to be o/t,but i am absolutely raging that yes scotland have cancelled the final arch and rally Talk about shooting yerself in both feet,what a present of fire they have given our opponents to use against us,in this year too.RAGING!!!!

    43. JPFife says:

      Fuck me. If they’ve got seven millions quidies why don’t they take out a channel on Sky or Terrestrial and just broadcast the messages with contributions from Wings, Newsnet, National Collective et al?

    44. MajorBloodnok says:

      @tony oneill

      The independence march and rallies weren’t organised by YES Scotland. They were organised by a number of private individuals, giving of their own time (and money), who want to direct energies more usefully this year.

      Overall the softly softly approach is proving more effective, particularly as the press largely ignore the marches and treat them as though they never happened and no-one was there anyway…

    45. Helpmaboab says:

      Well, I feel a little deceived: The donation I made to the ‘Yes’ crowdfunding now appears to have been part of an elaborate ruse.

      But, if Yes Scotland actually has several million pounds lying around, who cares!

    46. heedtracker says:

      @ Gaavster Thanks for the great video! Bet they hired that wetfart John McintyreOBE/Riderooo for the star.

    47. Misteralz says:

      More DDOS attacks? Half an hour between comments is unusual for here…

    48. Ananurhing says:

      Usually, if someone gives advance warning that they’ve written a suicide note, it’s really just a cry for help.

      Perhaps Gideon just needs a cuddle. Go on. Hug a Henry!

    49. heedtracker says:

      The Guardian is a great English paper but they no likeee Scottish democracy one bit or as one recent editorial called Sept 2014, “the romance of Scottish Independence”

      They don’t call YES voters separatists yet but have a look at their Scottish correspondent Severin Carrell twitter photo timeline and embrace that grand old progressive liberal English loathing of Holyrood.

    50. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @Gaavster says:
      Brilliant new Yes video just been released too, directed by Jack Foster

      That bloke in the video is after Blair McDougall’s job …

    51. Marcia says:


      I don’t you were being deceived as the monies being raised were for a specific purpose.

      Derek Bateman has a good article;

    52. Marcia says:

      don’t = doubt

    53. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      I’ve mentioned this on Cochrane’s latest frothing rant in the Telegraph, since comments aren’t allowed for some reason.

    54. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @Misteralz says:
      More DDOS attacks? Half an hour between comments is unusual for here…

      George Foulkes is a slow reader. He’s at GCHQ today on anti-Cybernat vetting duty …

    55. Andy-B says:

      Here’s the latest YES video.

    56. caz-m says:

      Ruth Davidson is spot on. I am accusing her and all her mates at BBC Scotland of being ("Tractor" - Ed)s towards their country. She is forever running down Scots for having the cheek to want to govern themselves.

      You are what is known in America is a “Half breed” Ruthie.

    57. msean says:

      They probably don’t have £7m,maybe they have paid upfront plus running costs for stuff over the last year or so and that what amounts to £7m.

      I’m guessing they should be skint if they have done what they have to do to book advertising space in advance,I’m sure companies do this as well.They may need more in order to fight the good fight.

    58. lochside says:

      Watching that video reminds me what a fraud Ray Winstone really is. He can’t act for toffee, witness him in Scorcese’s ‘The Departed’ with an accent more Basingstoke than Boston and about as menacing as Julian Clary on steroids. He’s just another cockney mug.

      But Ian Hislop obviously has no pride in his Scots blood as he plays up to this hyped up cardboard gangster.

    59. Alastair Ewen says:

      Reply from Ross McEwan in today’s Guardian:

      “We’ve been in Scotland for nearly 300 years. So I need to take this independence issue very seriously. We’ve also been operating in the rest of the UK for nearly hundreds of years and have a royal charter. It’s really important that the Scottish people get the opportunity to vote, and then if I need to adapt my business to serve England, Scotland, Wales and both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, then I will.
      Mr Cable and I have not talked about moving our head office.”


      Anyone surprised? Will the BBC ask Cable to explain himself? Not holding my breath…..

    60. Dal Riata says:

      “… while a £2.5 million drive would amount to ‘one of the biggest Scottish outdoor advertising campaigns ever’.”

      Let it be so. If it comes to pass then it’s terrific news!

      Costs? Whatever it takes.

      What price Scottish independence? Priceless.

    61. alexicon says:

      Sorry for the O/T Rev,

      My home computer seems to be taking an age to load up wings, not any other sites. If I use another computer apart from my home one I can load wings okay, sometimes with a little glitch.
      With you recent ongoing problems could this have something to do with that?
      I’d appreciate some advice on this.

    62. Helpmaboab says:

      That’s a good point. But, at the risk of repeating myself, the Yes campaign is very well-placed for the next few months. I have no regrets about my contributions to Yes Scotland over the last two years and I’ll continue to contribute. This new development simply confirms that I was correct to trust their judgement and abilities.

      We’re winning, I suspect.

    63. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @alexicon says:
      My home computer seems to be taking an age to load up wings, not any other sites.

      Same was happening to me this afternoon.

      A call to Ed Snowden has confirmed it’s because Barack Obama is reading all the posts before they appear. He’s calling BT and tipping them off any time he sees what looks like an inconvenient TRUTH, before we all get to see it 20 mins later.

    64. john king says:

      Gaun oot the night Bugger?

      Lovin the bowtie 🙂

    65. Desimond says:

      Now…if RBS shares happened to fall 2p per share on the day Vince Cable made this statement, could a shareholder hold him accountable or is his statement of lies deemed ‘under privilege’ if said to a House Committee?

    66. Luigi says:

      My home computer seems to be taking an age to load up wings, not any other sites.

      It could simply be additional security measures installed since the recent DDoS attack. A slower download speed may be the cost ensuring the site stays open and active. Worth it IMHO.

    67. alexicon says:

      Sorry I’m not into conspiracy theories.

      Maybe so. Just looking for some clarification. Cheers.

    68. Rough Bounds says:

      Seven million bucks? If only!

    69. yorkies for yes says:

      Hi Wings,
      Nice article. Noticed that you hadn’t linked the comment from better together spokesperson. Since I hadn’t checked what constitutes their website recently I checked it out.
      Interesting to look at their photo diary ‘make history, a photo a day’. Lucky if it has a months worth of uploads since its first post 23.6.2012 and nothing at all yet this year after dying a slow death in 2013.
      You’ve probably already seen it and I’m not sure you can make any sound observations from it but it is a self promoted example of their downturn.

    70. TYRAN says:

      @frankieboyle Your Ma’s legs would be #BetterTogether

      Is that not the funniest line of the campaign?

    71. Kate says:

      I have faith in YES,,that is why I set up a monthly debit to them, & I am sure many many more have done the same. And with fund raisers, items bought, then maybe they do have 7million to play with. I so hope so.

    72. ayemachrihanish says:

      Peter Macbeastie @ 3.47 says: ” Well, to be completely honest, I have heard rumours of financial problems from a source which I trust implicitly unrelated to Better Together or any other standard unionist mouthpiece paper;  REALLY!

      “If anyone knows anything solid about this, I would love to see – these concerns dismissed -REALLY!!


      Supposing, Supposing, Supposing…

      Three British Nationalists are moving their HQ’s out of Scotland…
      But one stays.

      How many go? 


      No, None! 

      As I was only supposing, supposing!! 

      Peter – you come across like the usual dim witted Project Fear troll – yes – really! 

    73. Les Wilson says:

      Out of all the Westminster parties ( inc Slab )is there one you would trust an inch?

      No, I thought not, me neither. I do trust YES, and so far I think the SG have played a blinder. They have stuck like glue to their objectives, the polls are improving AND they have not started the fight yet.

      We are on our way to one hell of a party!

    74. Marc says:

      lochside says:
      12 February, 2014 at 5:49 pm
      Watching that video reminds me what a fraud Ray Winstone really is. He can’t act for toffee, witness him in Scorcese’s ‘The Departed’ with an accent more Basingstoke than Boston and about as menacing as Julian Clary on steroids. He’s just another cockney mug.

      Ever since Winstone took the betting industry shilling for those adverts he’s become nothing more than a severed head shouting “‘ave it” every half time on the sports channels. Tried watching The Proposition but he ruined it, as every time his character appears you expect him to start shouting “IN PLAY, NOOOOWWWW!”

    75. Taranaich says:


      “A person needs new experiences… Without change something sleeps inside us and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.”
      – Frank Herbert, Dune

    76. naebd says:

      Seven million pounds is only 7000 people giving £1K each.

      Only, he says. But still – I imagine plenty of dedicated people will have done that.

      Sell your children’s toys/clothes etc. This is important.

    77. peter macbeastie says:


      I’ll ignore the deeply patronising insulting tone, at least a little. The first thought that went through my head on seeing your post will not be seen here.

      Britnat fear mongering troll. Right. Go find my name across these pages; it won’t be hard, I comment on a lot of things. Anything with macbeastie in the name is me. There’s no intent to deceive about that, before you get smart about it. My posts are routinely pro independence. I could give you my SNP member number as well, but somehow I feel a little disinclined to justify my status to someone who is simply attacking me because they’ve misconstrued my concerns as trolling.

      So once you’ve had a look for my posts, come back here and apologise. I am not a britnat, I am not a troll, I have heard CONCERNS from someone I trust completely who is none of your business. I am putting them on here because this site is well utilised by people within the independence movement and SOMEONE might have a better idea what’s going. I don’t suggest these rumours are true, I didn’t say they were based on what the Rev has posted because they’re not, I didn’t actually know anyone had left the board.

      I frankly think if I had been a troll the Rev would have cleared me out ages ago. Justifiably. I personally see nothing wrong with asking QUESTIONS when something worries me. I do not think it justified to be dismissed as a scary story merchant for doing it. Someone once told me that there is no such thing as a stupid question; that clearly does not extend to stupid answers.

      If there are problems with an aspect of the campaign, do you not think those who support independence should know about it so, just as a wee thought, we could actually try to HELP?

      Troll? Hah. That’s going to amuse me for most of the day, thanks.

    78. @McBeastie

      “Rumours” related to unnamed persons carry no credence as facts or evidence.

      (Psst – pass it on: Rumours are Chinese whispers.)

    79. @AndyB

      Have I Got Crap News For You discourse is their usual peurile Scottish joke. They have made it many times. It is a close to political satire as Osborne is to sound economic management.

    80. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Grouse Beater; I know this person very well and I have no reason to distrust him. He is well known amongst independence campaigners as I have said and I am not saying who he is because I don’t want to pull his name into it. This is not about him, anyway. He didn’t want me to ask about it precisely because of the kneejerk reaction HE got from Yes Scotland when he asked them directly if there was any truth in it. And they know who he is just as well as I do. Seems some folk are just as willing to issue the kneejerks here.

      This is me asking if ANYONE knows if there is ANY basis to what he has heard, and what he has heard is as vague as financial issues within Yes Scotland. I would really prefer to believe that he’s been misinformed; I have no interest in seeing Yes Scotland having problems. What is so unbelievable about my asking this question that merits accusations of trolling? If there are any problems, I want to know what I can help to do about it. If someone tells me there isn’t, fine. I expect the Rev is one of the best people to know if there’s any credence anyway; that’s why I’m here and not anywhere else.

      It does not make me a Britnat, as someone has already said, to be concerned with possible problems at our lead campaign group.

      I frankly find that I’m getting attacked and dismissed here as more than a little surprising.

      Psst; it’s not an unreasonable question.

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