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Swimming against the tide

Posted on August 21, 2013 by

As we were forced to consider Labour’s “One Nation” policy again today, we couldn’t help thinking back to something that happened in London just a week ago.


To be honest, it feels to us like this genie is much too far out of the bottle to ever get back in. In 1966, England fans innocently waved Union Jacks at the World Cup final to represent their nation. Last week (and for the last 20+ years), there was no mistaking the English national identity, which started late but caught up with a vengeance on that of the other peoples of the British Isles, and then kept right on going.

The constituent parts of the United Kingdom are drifting ever further apart, and we don’t seem to be alone in thinking that it would take someone a lot stronger than Ed Miliband to turn that process around now.

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118 to “Swimming against the tide”

  1. Thepnr says:

    Scotland and England will be more comfortable and better off when they stop wearing each others clothes. Both countries are ready to accept their own identity.

  2. scottish_skier says:

    I’ve posted the very same images on many occasions elsewhere as an example of how the UK has evolved and how important that is when trying to understand what will happen.
    Symbolism such as this is a reflection of how a nation sees itself in terms of who it is.
    If you want the referendum result, you could count Scottish vs British symbols on the way to work and compare.
    Bit of a rough estimate, but shouldn’t be far away.

  3. Morag says:

    I could fair do a Wendy Wood on Neidpath Castle right now….

  4. Kendomacaroonbar says:

    World Cup Willie was not an STD !

  5. Oldnat says:

    Radio 4 tonight – Ken Livingstone (on Teenage Diaries) saying he was “a proud Englishman” (nothing wrong with that!) but denying that “British” made any sense.

  6. GP Walrus says:

    It is obvious that England is the one nation that Ed is talking about.

  7. muttley79 says:

    I first noticed the St George flag getting flown more at the European Championships in 1996.  Since then it has increased significantly.  England fans seemed to have replaced the Union flag with the St George cross.

  8. Linda's back says:

    BBC Newsnight Scotland going big on Anti Englishness

  9. IainGraysSubwayLament says:

    Shameful hit piece now on on Newsnicht Scotland quoting the BritNat rag the scotsman at every turn.
    Disgusting and blatant bias.

  10. Morag says:

    They said nearly everyone denied that the barracking of Farage was anti-English, but then they featured Farage declaring that it was, as if he was the credible witness.  No mention that the guy arrested was English.  Then Alasdair Gray.
    Mike Small on now.

  11. Morag says:

    Very sensible English man talking now.

  12. Kendomacaroonbar says:

    OK, got the message… displays of Scottishness are anti English…. Milliband getting heckled and egged in London wasn’t anti English

  13. scottish_skier says:

    but then they featured Farage declaring that it was, as if he was the credible witness
    Oh cool. That’s brilliant.

  14. Morag says:

    To be fair, all three participants in this discussion now are very good indeed.  It’s left to the presenter to keep suggesting this is an issue, and the panel are refuting the idea.

  15. gordoz says:

    Good stuff from contributors rebuffing ‘racism towards english people’ on Newsnight Scotland just now. Worth a watch: largely supporting AGrays views on culture GIRUY BBC. Despite the digging getting nowhere.
    English Professor form Abertay very straightforward & fair (its not an issue – danger is could be used by fake complainers looking for a story)

  16. The Man in the Jar says:

    Like the other night one of their lickspittle presenters nearly having a fit trying so desperately to get the Chairman of the Commonwealth Committee (if I remember correctly) to do a Baroso.

  17. Morag says:

    Presenter keeps saying, but IF this sentiment exists, COULD it become a problem.  And the panel consistently slapped him down.

  18. FreddieThreepwood says:

    Thanks guys. I saw the trailer and my heart sank. Couldn’t bear to watch it. Glad to hear it wasn’t a complete BBC North Britain stitch up.
    I will man up one of these days …

  19. IainGraysSubwayLament says:

    Is this idiot presenter on Newsnicht trying to make Brewer look good?
    He’s laughably inept.

  20. GP Walrus says:

    I’ve observed a new “sport” on BBC Scotland is to pick a famous athlete and wonder aloud whether they will come to the Glasgow Games. We’ve had speculation about Bolt, Farrah and Ennis in the last week.

  21. James Kay says:

    I like to think that I had a small part in bringing about the difference between the two photos.
    In 1970, I was teaching at a school in Bogotá, Colombia. As the England team made their way to the World cup finals in Mexico, they took part in a warm-up tour of South America. One of their games was in Colombia and Lord Somebody, President or Chairman of the English FA, was brought out to our school. The Headmaster, an Englishman, introduced me as “Our resident Scottish Nationalist.”
    I asked the Lord why his team played under false colours. I told him that the Union Jack did not represent England, that it contained the Saltire, and that it was improper to fly it as a symbol of England.
    He said that he did not understand what I was on about, even when I pointed out that the St. George’s cross was perfectly acceptable.
    Of course, England did not qualify for the next two finals, but Scotland did – playing both contests under the Saltire. (Previously, they had also used the UJ). By the time England were back in the competition, 1982,  they had dropped the Union Jack as their official flag.

  22. Thepnr says:

    Independence campaign ‘fatally undermined’ by admission it paid an academic to write newspaper article.
    From the Telegraph, love the ‘fatally undermined”

    Apparently the guy received £100, Osbourne spends as much on a burger at our expense!

  23. Chic McGregor says:

    I do hope EBC Scotland are behind the Yes phone hacking.

  24. Dcanmore says:

    To the people of Britain … “They think it’s all over, well it is now!”
    You know when something is coming to an end when it’s only the loons that are left supporting it.  

  25. Linda's back says:

    Wonder what the Scotsman willl make about the Bulmer payment as numerous NO campaigners have become “Friends of the Scotsman” and paid to have articles published.  Don’t know how Euan McColm can square his faux outrage.

  26. Murray McCallum says:

    I don’t mind Buchanan on Newsnight – at least he lets people speak.  He doesn’t seem to feel the need to become the show himself.
    Farage’s eye witness comment was a classic. Anti-English sentiment – they burned a Union Jack!  Wrong flag Nigel and a bit of a give away as to how you see the UK.

  27. The Man in the Jar says:

    Even back in the early seventies Scottish Regiments in the British army displayed a Saltire on their AFVs (Armoured Fighting Vehicles)
    I look forward to seeing our newly independent Scottish regiments parading without a butchers apron in sight.

  28. Iain says:

    According to Newsnicht, the ‘£100 payment that fatally undermines the Yes campaign’ is the front page story on the Telegraph (I assume they don’t have a specific Scottish edition). The DT is increasingly showing all the symptoms of rabies – I think Cochers is the carrier.

  29. gordoz says:

    I’m beginning to feel, like others have said, the presenters are definitely following an editorial line rather than their natural styles of investigation. Their is a pattern that they all follow and look uncomfortable with, (well some at least, except Brewer he relishes going for the YES throat).  Hoping someone will crack & break ranks someday. We can but hope, or are they really all ‘stepford wive’  style automatons for the union ?

  30. Edulis says:

    #Thepnr. I think that will come back to bite BT on the bum. Between the Police the ISP and BT they will be able to find out who exactly did the hacking. Don’t be surprised if it leads all the way back to Blair McDougall’s office. This will be another example of them having to eat their own words. If I were BMcD I would be punch drunk by this time.

  31. Ronnie says:

    I recall, about 20 years ago, an English flag manufacturer saying that they sold many more Saltires than St George’s flags.
    Then, as Muttley79 above says, it began to dawn on some of them that the ‘UJ’ wasn’t actually the English flag.
    Although I wonder how far this has penetrated, particularly after last year.
    O/T One of the most interesting Newsnicht programmes I’ve seen! I wonder how Gordon ‘Gel-Boy’ Brewer would have played it.

  32. The Man in the Jar says:

    Going O/T a wee bit. Regarding the Wings polls perhaps not this time but the time after possibly say around the end of November? Can we have a right good look at the MSM / BBC in Scotland and give them a right showing up. Call it “The Saint Andrews Day Massacre” I am getting so sick of these “professionals” blatantly running Scotland down and for who’s benefit?

  33. Doug Daniel says:

    Kenny FAR-Q is in his element tonight because of this payment thingy. His joy is up there with McColm’s. It’s absolutely laughable that both of them try to claim they’ve not already nailed their colours to the mast.
    Another daft wee story giving the unionist media an excuse to play their favourite game of “Play The Man Not The Ball”. They don’t care about the hacking, they’ve found some mud (or what passes for it) to chuck at Yes Scotland.
    The hacking, incidentally, apparently originated outside of Scotland.So says David CLegg of the Daily Record, anyway.

  34. Gaavster says:

    Does anyone honestly believe we’ll ever find out who did the hacking?
    If this is the work of the establishment, or one of their minions, I include friends in cheltenham, pacific quay and john Smith house in that, then why will the information ever be allowed to surface?
    Can we honestly expect a thorough enquiry to be undertaken? 
    We’ve got to remember what’s at stake here folks and what they have to lose…. 
    This will be used by the media as a big stick to beat the Yes campaign with and when it’s effectiveness has waned, it’ll be brushed under the nearest carpet and replaced by their next scare or scandal…
    Well done Mike Small tonight on Newsnicht too for calling it like it is…

  35. The Man in the Jar says:

    Then we should use the stick against them and constantly demand a thorough enquiry. Refusal could be presumed as admission of guilt. 

  36. gordoz says:

    Here, Here, to Mike Small; thanks for an honest assessment. 
    (the truth from experience holds more sway than a thousand lies without)

  37. Murray McCallum says:

    Listening to A.Darling on HardTalk the other day I thought his logic, and use of language, around Scotland being an independent country quite odd.  A.Darling said that of course Scotland could be independent – any country could be – the question is should we be?
    Maybe it’s just me, but surely that is applying a moral approach to a non moral issue.  Isn’t it a bit like thinking – the Office for National Statistics says we can expect to live to be at least 84, the question is should we?  Isn’t this a very odd way of thinking about practical issues?  It automatically makes you hesitant and negative in outlook.
    I know I could apply for the costs of my rented flat while living in No.11 Downing Street, the question is should I?  Now that is where Darling should have adopted his moralistic approach.  Strange how things turn out.

  38. Gaavster says:

    @TMITJ unfortunately, when they control the messengers, they control the message…
    We can take heart from ‘our’ latest poll (sounds good saying that) that their message may still be getting through, but not in the same numbers and more importantly it’s no longer being understood loud n clear… instead it’s getting challenged and questioned…. 

  39. Ron Burgundy says:

    News-night was, others have mentioned was a disgrace. Basically a non story when all three contributors agreed that anti-English racism in Scotland is not the big issue alluded to by the Pacific Quay editorial line. The two pillars of the BBC puff piece – the arts jobs and the comments from Marr were demolished quickly.
    The item descended into farce with Buchanan scrambling to resuscitate the item with “do you think its still a problem then”  and I think Mike Small was on the point of calling Buchanan out but backed off.
    They must get better more independent T.V. journalism in Zimbabwe under Mugabe

  40. scotchwoman says:

    The relevance of the YES debate as an agent for change in politics and culture in England was a theme of the Common Weal discussion at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe today.
    It was a truly inspirational event. Stripped of party politics and daft scaremongering, the arguments stand up so clearly that you wonder how anyone with any sesne can possibly fail to vote YES.
    Lesley Riddoch was on fire! She may well turn out to be a key individual in the campaign (along with Rev and others), especially in bringing women on board. There’s a good chance you’ll be abe to find a recording of the event on line at some point soon.

  41. fordie says:

    I noticed on BBC News 24 – two days ago I think – in their minimal piece re. the ticket launch for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014, comments to the effect ‘Will these Games have the kudos of the Olympics’ and ‘Will anyone of world class status bother to turn up’. Isn’t the BBC’s job to sell all of Britain? Hee-haw. Delighted however Michael Jamieson (down your way Rev) who stated how wonderful it was to wear the Saltire, as it was one of the rare chances to do so. That made me want to greet. And who stated that the Glasgow Games were as important, nay more important – from his perspective – than the Olympics. See MJ at

  42. John Dickson says:

    I see the article in the Telegraph was “written” by Auslan Cramb who is so convinced his articles are bullet proof he never allows comment on them, he is a worse weasel the Cochrane and Johnson put together. Oops excuse me that was derogatory to weasels, so sorry.

  43. rabb says:

    The hacking, incidentally, apparently originated outside of Scotland.So says David CLegg of the Daily Record, anyway.
    I’m sorry but who the fuck outside the UK is remotely interested in hacking a Yes Scotland email account to pass on to Scottish churnalists?
    It’s been done inside the UK (England GCHQ) behind a proxy.
    If it did originate from outside the UK then it’s quite obvious that someone or some agency has been paid to do it by some arm of the union (MSM, GCHQ, A fucking idiot).

    Whoever is responsible should be very afraid because even a proxy can be traced back to an original IP. If the police and ISP haven’t been knobbled by the state then the hacker will most likely be traced.

    With a bit of luck Cameron has manufactured a shitbomb for Better Together to take the blame 🙂

  44. Ken Johnston says:

    Re Newsnight, when the question of who controls the arts in Scotland came up, Mike Small made the point that NO Scot had run the Edinburgh Festival since 1967.
    And Buchanan has the temerity to sign of with oidhche mhath.

  45. Jiggsbro says:

    How can we be independent when a man has been paid a token amount for writing an article for a newspaper? We may as well call off the referendum now and save ourselves the embarrassment. I’ve already had people who were undecided say to me “Eh? What? Why is this a scandal, exactly?”. I think it’s safe to interpret that as a definite No vote. And to think, no one would have known about this if email hacking wasn’t a legal and ethical way to source ‘news’ stories, so think on Lord Leveson.

  46. Doug Daniel says:

    Rabb – that’s why I said “originated outside Scotland” rather than “originated outside the UK” 😉

  47. David McCann says:

    RE the Niwsnicht programme on anti Englishness. Not at all the way Buchannan and the BBC thought (hoped) it would go!. Well done the participants, especially Mike Small. That will teach them!

  48. Macart says:

    Yep, I’ve said as much elsewhere already. I’m not really getting where the scandal or the ‘deceit’ lies. An expert academic was paid for his time…
    … nope still not getting it. In the print game I’ve worked on design and print for many political parties, charities, councils, groups over the years. Does this make either them or me deceitful for the exchange of monies for expertise? I’m definitely smelling a case of ‘don’t look over here’ in this. I think they weren’t expecting the ‘alleged’ hack to be discovered so soon and have been forced into becoming more offensive than usual. I agree with H&S, somebody is really sweating over in the opposition. If this is all proven it could bring what remains of their shoogly campaign to its knees.

  49. john king says:

    It’s a slack news day today Katie so your going to have to wing it, I want you to get the words, fatally undermines the yes campaign into the news today, 
    Catriona Shearer
    but how can I do that with the story I have to read?
    your a pro Katie your the best of the best, one day you’ll be the anchor on the 6.30 news I know youll come up with something,
    3-2-1 ON AIR
    biggest shit eating grin
    Yes Scotland confirmed it paid an academic to write an article for the Herald newspaper, (how very dare they).

    The pro independence campaign group said a media inquiry raised suspicion an email account had been hacked, Police Scotland is investigating.
     A spokesman for the pro union Better Together Campaign said “the allegation, if true,
    fatally undermines trust in the independence campaign”
    more news bla bla bla, 
    321 off air
    how was that?
    Katie your a star your already on the shortlist. 

    Does that girl even read the keech they give her to read before she goes on air? they are making a laughing stock of themselves and this country that we are prepared to let them get away with this childish nonsense its time we said ENOUGH
    NO MORE  

  50. john king says:

      Thepnr says:
    21 August, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    “Scotland and England will be more comfortable and better off when they stop wearing each others clothes. Both countries are ready to accept their own identity.”
    Know whatcha mean there Thepnr
    I once wore mrs Braithwaite from Middlesboroughs foundation garments,
    I didnt like it 🙁
     but I have to say she did look rather fetching in my cheesecloth shirt and bellbottom levis 🙂


  51. Davy says:

    They cannot allow the hacking scandel to be dropped, it must be followed right to the end, and yes questioning the paying for an article to be written is nothing more than a deception. Someone is trying to hide and some people may be helping them, it all needs to be taken out into the open.
    And labours “one nation” policy is totaly based on winning the middle england vote, that is the only nation they are concerned about. How these dumb asses of the labour party in Scotland dont see that is beyond me.
    Vote Yes, Vote Scotland.
    Alba Gu snooker loopy!      

  52. GP Walrus says:

    The aim of the Newsnight piece became clear to me at the end of the filmed package played before the panel discussion. It was to suggest to English voters living in Scotland that they should reconsider their support for independence because of the claimed anglophobia. Pathetic really.

  53. The Man in the Jar says:

    Vote No for England’s sake.
    Vote Yes for Fuck sake.

  54. Macart says:

    Mind you we are talking about a campaign that was quite happy to accept funds from people who bought the services of war criminals so I suppose this comes as no surprise. Their campaign is in so much poo if they hid in a byre they’d be damn near invisible. The fact they are also prepared to call into question the professional ethics of both the Yes campaign and an academic with no thought to the personal carnage they will cause and for no better reason than political gain is really quite par for their course. I mean, whose ethics are on show for all to see here?

    Looking forward to hearing if there’s a culprit in this hacking scandal. Dependent on who the culprit is, the fallout could be interesting.

  55. scottish_skier says:

    Oh man the hacking has the pro-union campaign sweating.
    One hell of a lot of squirrels around the morn.
    Anyway, I wis all for indy, for a fairer, just Scotland and aw that. Then a read a guy had been paid a small fee tae write an article for a pro-union paper which wis more indy leaning in nature and a decided I was givin up on indy / a more socialist Scotland, voting no and Tory instead.
    Yes, I can see that happening.

  56. Macart says:

    but I have to say she did look rather fetching in my cheesecloth shirt and bellbottom levis
    A man of taste I see. I was more bell bottom Levis and cowboy boots masel’. 😀

  57. Macart says:

    Like I said skier, dependent on the culprit, the fallout should be interesting.
    In fact regardless of who the culprit is, those who received and tried to profit from any information obtained in this fashion are tainted by the stink of dirty tricks.

  58. john king says:

    “A man of taste I see. I was more bell bottom Levis and cowboy boots masel’. ”
    mines were Chelsea boots, my wife used to call me the nine stone cowboy 🙂

  59. Macart says:

    mines were Chelsea boots, my wife used to call me the nine stone cowboy 
    😀 LOL Toast everywhere. The thing is, our kids must never know what fashion icons we used to be. Mine think I was grafted within a semmit, polo shirt and baggy chinos at birth. 🙂

  60. Famous15 says:

    Oh there’s a squirrel!
    The primary crime is the hacking and the secondary crime is paying the BBC a licence fee to distort the truth.
    BTW is a darling working for free?

  61. Tasmanian says:

    Completely baffled by a) football fans holding the Royal Navy ensign b) football fans/anyone who are proud to fly their nation’s flag, but deface it by putting words or symbols on it.

    Worst examples are the St George flags which have the word ‘ENGLAND’ written over them. It’s the St George flag! It already means ‘England’!

  62. scottish_skier says:

    Like I said skier, dependent on the culprit, the fallout should be interesting.
    Definitely. Imagine taking the huge risk of illegally hacking into an e-mail account and the most ‘juicy’ thing you find is ‘indy-supporting academic paid nominal fee for time spent writing more indy leaning article subsequently published in unionist paper’.
    What a complete fuck-up for the pro-union campaign.

  63. Taranaich says:

    @GP Walrus: The aim of the Newsnight piece became clear to me at the end of the filmed package played before the panel discussion. It was to suggest to English voters living in Scotland that they should reconsider their support for independence because of the claimed anglophobia. Pathetic really.
    And in the process, making the Jocks look like anglophobic bigots, and making Scotland look like a much more unwelcoming place to move to, even though Scotland is still experiencing significant population haemorrhaging and could really use more people.
    You’d think with all the hubbub the South has about those awful foreigners, they’d start some “Home Country Clearances” and send them all up to Scotland. After all, if England’s got an immigrant problem, and Scotland’s got a population problem, you’d think that’d be viewed as common sense, if just as ethically monstrous as their social cleansing schemes and the Hate Van.

  64. Jimmy the pict says:

    It is also the flag of Genoa
    i am sure I read some there that pirates avoided the ships from Genoa and the English adopted the same flag as ensign for protection, though this could be a myth

  65. Macart says:

    Couldn’t agree more. That was the only tidbit the hacker could steal and even that doesn’t amount to anything like shifty never mind scandal. What our clumsy friend has done is open the way to their front door and their motives. Even anyone who has touched or benefitted from information obtained in this fashion is tainted by the original crime.
    The idiots can’t help themselves. They’ve operated in this twisted fashion for so long they can’t imagine that their opposition doesn’t. Campaign manager pays expert for days work. 😀 Nope sorry I’m just not feeling the scandal.

  66. Training Day says:

    The hacker will be the Brit establishment/GCHQ. Therefore no prosecutions will result. But who was the MSM type in receipt of the illegally acquired information which enabled he/she to ask questions about Bulmer? Now that could be really interesting..

  67. Cruachan says:

    Almost O/T, but still on the theme of One Nation/Two Nations.

    Interesting piece on Severin Carrell’s Guardian blog on early positive talks of a “Borderlands Alliance” between Scottish Government and Northern English local authorities to develop tourism, transport and economic development links both sides of the Tweed. Makes a lot of sense and I think our neighbours can see the writing on the (Hadrian’s) (sorry) wall.

  68. HandandShrimp says:

    Listened to the roundup of the headlines this morning on GMS, big bit on a Labour council (and they emphasised it was a Labour council about three times) evicting a disabled women over the bedroom tax. Passing mention on the £100 to an academic to write a piece for the Herald with the sniping coming from their rival the Scotsman. Someone (McColm, McDougall? who cares? ) has called for Jenkins to resign but then I’ve no doubt someone has called for the Labour council to resign. The key element of that story is that the hackers are going to get their collars felt and if it goes all the way to Better Together then it will be Darling and McDougall that will be resigning or possibly even facing court action like Coulson and Brookes.   

  69. Red squirrel says:

    BT foaming at the mouth over a pitiful £100 – guy prob didn’t even make minimum wage with the time the article would have taken.  If getting academics to write articles is so cheap – as BT have so helpfully advertised – can we use some of the funds for articles in the union rags?

  70. gordoz says:

    O/T Dr Bulmer who is a constitutional expert, comments on Project Fear smear saying:
    “I was asked to write a piece based on my constitutional expertise.  I accepted fair payment for my work – as I, as a freelance academic and contributor, have every right to do.  I would do the same if anyone else asked for a working day of my time.  I had full editorial control and was not given any direction on what to say, neither by Yes Scotland nor by my Constitutional Commission colleagues.” NNS
    Wheres the story here ? BBC collusion with Bitter Together ? Something shit coming our way; get this out to deflect attention !
    STV did not even report it this morning ??

  71. HandandShrimp says:

    I think the only people even running with the £100 fee for the article is the Scotsman, I wonder if they are implicated in the hacking? They seem to be lobbing bucketfulls of dead squirrels into the air. If it was a Scotsman-Better Together nexus that would be so sweet 🙂
    Whoever did it are a shower of absolute muppets. Once they are traced, and they will be traced, they will be the story and it will be a story with brass knobs on.  

  72. Tony Little says:

    There is an article in the Herald as well.

  73. Macart says:

    I’ve already got the chocolate raisins and merlot on order. As soon as the name/names are in the open, its sit back and watch the shit storm time.

  74. Tony Little says:

    Just a question.  Do you not think that a more likely explanation is that someone inside YES gave the information out, either deliberately or accidentally?  I have no doubt that the No-Better mob will have tried (and possibly succeeded) to get someone inside from day one.
    Much easier I would have thought than risk the mess that a hacking disclosure would bring.  Even the blinkered MSM/BBC couldn’t ignore that.

  75. Swello says:

    Depending on how switched on the person that accessed the email was – I wouldn’t bank on them being traced easily. For instance, if they were using TOR (see to mask their real point of origin, it would be non-trivial to identify them. There may be other information that would help – but I guess that won’t be in the public domain at the moment..

    @Tony Little – yes, I would guess it was someone who already had the password – hence the use of “unauthorised access”. If an email account was genuinely hacked – then that would be a very big deal for the ISP in question (BT?)

    In general it’s a great example of the utter desperation that the Scottish hacks have to pin anything on the yes side – they lose all sense of perspective. It’s a *crap* scandal that would only become vaguely interesting if the guy was paid to write something contrary to his beliefs. I actually think that the Yes campaign could do more to commission the very type of article that this relates to.

  76. Geoff Huijer says:

    I remember the media stirring up a whole anit-English thing
    during a World Cup when Scots were ‘supporting’ anyone who
    played England.
    Questions were asked of immigrants e.g Poles ‘will you be supporting
    England?’ Yes was the answer usually, although for greater comparison
    they would’ve been better asking a Pole ‘Will you be supporting Germany?’
    Then it came to David Beckham (who else?); ‘And would you support
    Scotland if England weren’t in it?’
    ‘No,’ says Beckham, ‘Because I’m English and support England’ (paraphrasing).
    Well said that man! Doesn’t mean he’s anti-Scottish – just means he’s
    proud of his own country.
    I don’t know many people who would ‘support’ their nearest rivals at football
    if their own team are out. Might be churlish but it’s not a crime.

  77. Macart says:

    @Tony Little
    According to this piece on NNS, BT (British Telecom) have already had a look see to confirm.

  78. David Smith says:

    Very interesting article that and it’s good to see the FM showing support for the rejuvenated Waverley Route and it’s development potential. I wonder if anybody told him about my group’s humble wee section of the line at Whitrope?

  79. Tony Little says:


  80. P G McLaughlin says:

    On Sunday 31/1/2010 on The Politics Show hosted by J Sopel I distinctly rememember an MP/prospective MP (Liberal I think) telling the audience that immigrants would be sent to Scotland.
    Lots of heads nodding from those present.

  81. HandandShrimp says:

    Possibly, but it is the fact that British Telecom have been involved and they think it was a hack and advised Yes Scotland to speak to Police Scotland that leads me to think someone has been really stupid. Even if it is a mole inside that is jst as bad and if the links can be made to Better Together then they are still going to look like the very worst aspects of the British establishment. The sort of thing that is worth getting away from.
    The way Better Together censor comments on their sites and the rather bizarre threats some of the Silenced by BT people have had from people on the BT Facebook page regarding accessing their computers and releasing personal details if they don’t desist suggests that there are at least a couple of rotten apples in the Better Together basket. The question is how far up the tree does the rot extend. If it can be demonstrated that they are rotten then Better Together as an organisation is dead.
    Of course it could be Gordon’s lot trying to scupper Alastair 😉

  82. gordoz says:

    Think back to how ‘Watergate’ started ?
    A non story. They’ve no need to follow the YES money that been established as a fair days payment.
    But what abut the hackers reason, whats the basic human failing could be greed and the big stroy ?

  83. Triangular Ears says:

    Why would anyone need to ‘hack’ anything when we’ve got the likes of Prism, and loads of stuff we don’t know about?
    ‘Security’ service interfering is one thing I’ve been expecting to happen.  Another, is some sort of false sex smear or accusation against someone high up in the Yes side (The FM would probably be too obvious a target).
    High profile Yes campaigners need to make sure they never go anywhere alone, for several reasons.  And I would avoid the helicopter trips too, until the job is done.

  84. HandandShrimp says:

    If Better Together feel they need to hack Yes Scotland’s emails then they are both desperate and corrupt.

  85. Dcanmore says:

    So, the scandal is that an academic was paid to write a piece on Scottish Independence. Like what people have said, the real story is the hacking, this non-story is a distraction from that. It is well-known that to get around certain laws the Americans spy on the British people, on behalf of the British government, and vice-versa. It’s called the Special Relationship. Not saying that is what happened here but journalists have been given information from a hacked email account, that doesn’t smell very nice.

  86. Taranaich says:

    @P G McLaughlin: On Sunday 31/1/2010 on The Politics Show hosted by J Sopel I distinctly rememember an MP/prospective MP (Liberal I think) telling the audience that immigrants would be sent to Scotland.
    Lots of heads nodding from those present.
    Thanks, PG. Sounds about right. Of course, the real reason they don’t move so many immigrants up north is because who in their right mind would vote to remain in a union that engages in their own forced relocation, when they could vote for a country that not only welcomes but actively NEEDS more people, has no UKIP or Hate Van, and won’t be involved in illegal wars?

  87. Gillie says:

    If it turns out that Better Together were part of a conspiracy with a well known newspaper to smear the Yes campaign that resulted in the hacking of Yes campaign emails then we have a scandal of huge proportions. 
    As with Watergate it was not the crime that did for Nixon, it was the attempts at covering it up and to deflect the public’s attention that did for Tricky Dicky.

    When seen in that context Blair McDougall’s comments last night about a “bung” to deflect attention from the hacking can be seen as being very ill-advised.

  88. mato21 says:

    Does anyone else find the use of the word bung which seems to be growing legs not a bit weird? I have no doubt this legitimate payment for work done will have been properly accounted for
    Mr McD, Angus Macleod and of course our friend BBC have all used it How many bungs do the BBC pay each day for their studio guests to trash all and everything that would benefit Scotland or do they all give their time for free We would like to know

  89. Vambomarbeleye says:

    Still wearing the cowboy boots but gave up on the flares long ago.
    Still chipping away at our breathern from eastern europe that I work with and reside in Scotland. Getting very positive results there.
    Work also with a good number of English. Some are seriously considering moving to Scotland. This is down to the situation in Englad going from bad to worse.

  90. Macart says:

    Word to the wise. We don’t know who has perpetrated this act or whether it for cash or the interests of others. The only certainty is that it would clearly have been to act against the interests of the YES campaign. Before anyone gets carried away with speculation I’d suggest breaking out a cold one and just sitting back to watch the show. However this turns out, hacking is an offence and that bod will be up against serious charges. At the very least those who have sought to benefit from illegally obtained information will be tainted with its handling or use.
    I’ve got my first bag of munchies at the ready. 🙂

  91. HandandShrimp says:

    If Blair McDougall called a £100 fee to write an article which the academic had full editorial control over as a bung it is little wonder that Labour supported the Tories and retrspectively changed the law so that it wasn’t illegal to make people work for nothing. Is McDougall and the Better Together staff providing their services free of charge or are they getting a bung?
    Dear God! No wonder David Milliband’s campaign bit the dust.

  92. ianbrotherhood says:

    Angus Macleod and others using the ‘bung’ word will have checked their dictionaries – no doubt they’ll claim to be using it to mean ‘tip’ or ‘gratuity’ rather than ‘bribe’.
    Doesn’t mean their intention is any less putrid, but what else should we expect? We should be more concerned about the extraordinary Twittervention from Kate Higgins.

  93. Macart says:

    Good work. The more the merrier. 🙂

  94. Morag says:

    It would be easier if the exact sequence of events was understood.  We know Elliot Bulmer is an out-of-the-closet independence supporter, so it’s not as if he was writing stuff he didn’t believe in.
    So who “commissioned” the article?  The Herald say they were approached about publishing it and accepted it, but when they were asked to pay for it they declined.  It doesn’t sound as if they commissioned it.  It sounds as if Yes Scotland commissioned it.
    It also sounds as if the idea, probably originating from Yes Scotland, was that Elliot would offer the thing to the Herald and, if it was accepted, be paid in the usual way by the publisher.  The cheapskates took the article but wouldn’t pay.  So Yes Scotland said they would cover his fee.
    Then after it was published, Yes Scotland said look, what a fine article by the learned Dr. Bulmer.
    It’s the sort of thing that goes on all the time, in business, in industry, and in pressure groups.  I’d suggest BT do the same thing except I’m not sure that they need to because their tame media publish favourable pieces all the time without being asked as far as I can see.

  95. Norrie says:

    From the Herald
    ‘We declined a request for payment and the author’s background was made clear to our readers.’
    Does that sound a little pissed off? Perhaps the Herald does not much like the idea that this not starter has called their integrity into question.

  96. Gillie says:

    The BBC pays fees to panellists on political programs such as Any Questions?, This Week, etc; £200 a panellist I believe. 
    Since Alistair Darling was appointed chair of the Better Together campaign he has been paid over £3000 by newspapers for published articles. His average fee is about £500. 
    Also since his appointment Alistair Darling has been paid tens of thousands of pounds for making speeches.
    This referendum has been a big earner for Alistair Darling.
    Perhaps Mr Darling and Dr Bulmer would like to compare bank books since June 2012. 

  97. Morag says:

    I think the point is that it was Yes Scotland who paid Dr. Bulmer, rather than the Herald.  Then after the article was published, Yes Scotland praised its content.
    Extremely small beer, but not quite the same as the BBC paying panellists or newspapers paying Alistair Darling.

  98. Gillie says:

    I wonder what the Scotsman pays for its politicised articles. 
    Remember the outrage about the depiction of the Saltire as a Nazi Swastika, how much did Gavin Bowd get paid for that hit piece?

  99. colin mccartney says:

    Who the f*** writes an article thats appearing in a “national” paper for free ??????
    The guy wrote the piece because Ian Bell was away and they needed to fill a space which is usually reasonably pro indy is the interests of “balance”
    Almost every article in every paper is written by someone who gets paid to do it – whats the scandal ??

  100. Training Day says:

    When I worked at a Scottish University, we paid an honorarium to a Professor from another institution (an English institution, as it happens) for a piece of work.  Did we then promote her work and praise its content?  Of course.  It is common practice.
    This is desperate deflection from No Scotland and its media acolytes. 

  101. mato21 says:

    I have no doubt you are correct but I would suggest the man in the street who has come out without his dictionary will look on the word bung in a completely different light which I have no doubt is the intention It is one of those words that stick in the mind

  102. Gillie says:

    BBC Scotland has reported the “bung” comments by Blair McDougall, but STV News haven’t.
    That is a major difference in reporting and seems to confirm that there is an attempt by sections of the Scottish media to deflect public interest away from the hacking of Yes campaign emails. 

  103. HandandShrimp says:

    So the scandal is that Yes Scotland liked a piece they had had paid a nominal fee for. So what? The Herald published it in full knowledge of where it had come from and who the author was. If Yes Scotland had secretly paid an avowedly anti-independence writer a bribe to write a hatchet job on No Scotland then I could see that being bad practice and a scandal. To commissiona a pro-independence piece from a pro-independence writer who is a respected authority in that particular field and it is offered and accepted for publication in full knowledge of who the auther is…a scandal? Only if you are desperately trying to hide where you got the fee details from I think. Trace the hackers and let’s get the real story out in the open.   

  104. Morag says:

    If Elliot Bulmer was indeed filling in for Ian Bell who was on holiday, did the Herald then commission the piece itself?  Then refuse to pay him a fee?  That’s bizarre.

  105. ianbrotherhood says:

    Indeed. I’m agreeing with you. They’ve chosen the word carefully – if they came right out and called it a ‘bribe’ then both Bulmer and Yes Scotland would surely have grounds for legal action.

  106. colin mccartney says:

    We dont know Morag, but its usual for newspapers to fill the space left by regular columnists on holiday etc, with people of their choice to keep up the standard.
    On the payment/ fee question, try submitting a piece to a newspaper – they will do anything to avoid paying a fee, they are broke, (morally and financially). They will go on about the kudos you will get by your name appearing in their rag whether it be about politics, cooking, travel or whatever. NO MONEY THO.
    so the chance to get an respected academic with a well written piece for nothing – A no brainer.

  107. HandandShrimp says:

    I think the implication of the word “bung” is that an improper payment was made and they should take legal advice anyway.

  108. Jamie Arriere says:

    In my eyes, that’s the real scandal – someone writes a piece for a newspaper to fill in for an absent columnist and they refuse to pay him!!
    Maybe they should just have a blank space in future!

  109. Morag says:

    I really, really want to know who asked Elliot Bulmer to write the piece.  It seems quite important to the understanding of the story.

  110. Boorach says:

    Numerous court cases involve the use of ‘expert’ witnesses on either side of the arguement. The testament of these witnesses is then lauded by the side which called them and, in turn, derided by their opponents.
    All of these witnesses then receive payment for the time they spent preparing their evidence and giving and defending it in court.
    Unless it can be proved that the testament given was false or in any way contradictory to what the witness believed to be true it is accepted and due weight is given to it.
    The professor simply provided expert testimony, when asked, and received payment for the work he produced. Case closed!

  111. colin mccartney says:

    Remember that many written articles are commissioned with no particular publishing date in mind. They are held until an event or occurrence happens that can trigger their appearance in the press. This gives the impression that people are on the ball and thinking of everything.
    Elliot Bulmers piece is one of those which could appear at any time, his book on the subject was published in 2011.
    Perhaps the date on the hacked email will reveal more ???

  112. ianbrotherhood says:

    Brian Taylor on Beattie’s show right now about this stuff…

  113. jake says:

    All the press fuss about the £100 for the article is just them getting their “public interest” defence prepared in advance because somebody somewhere is keechin’ themselves about the hacking being traced back.

  114. Vambomarbeleye says:

    Speaking to a Polish girl working out of Aberdeen. She asked how a YES vote would effect her. I pointed out that Scotland fully intended to stay in the EU. Whereas England may well vote to leave. She is now a YES voter.

  115. Bubbles says:

    Taranaich says:
    22 August, 2013 at 10:27 am

    @P G McLaughlin: On Sunday 31/1/2010 on The Politics Show hosted by J Sopel I distinctly rememember an MP/prospective MP (Liberal I think) telling the audience that immigrants would be sent to Scotland.
    Lots of heads nodding from those present.
    Thanks, PG. Sounds about right. Of course, the real reason they don’t move so many immigrants up north is because who in their right mind would vote to remain in a union that engages in their own forced relocation, when they could vote for a country that not only welcomes but actively NEEDS more people, has no UKIP or Hate Van, and won’t be involved in illegal wars?
    This is an excellent point and an angle I hadn’t thought of. Kudos.

  116. lumilumi says:

    Morag @10.59
    I think the point is that it was Yes Scotland who paid Dr. Bulmer, rather than the Herald.
    This is what I think, too. There’s no problem in media outlets paying experts/panellists etc., the only thing here that can be twisted into being slightly dodgy is that Herald didn’t pay Prof. Bulmer, it was the YES campaign. Apparently the princely sum of £100.
    That said, I wonder, how often/how much the NO campaign have paid to “their experts” for similar contributions? And what about the Scotsman’s “Friends” scheme = editorial control for a fee?
    Anyway, the alleged hacking ought to be the real story but this is Scotland and the unionist MSM in Scotland…

  117. ewen says:

    Was browsing my profile on amazon and noticed they were recommending me an onion joke deck chair……………..WTF. amazon made a big slip up there.

  118. Taranaich says:

    @Bubbles: This is an excellent point and an angle I hadn’t thought of. Kudos.
    Thanks, Bubbles. I know from personal experience that not a single of my friends who was not born in Scotland are voting No: that should tell us something.

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