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Wings Over Scotland

The banality of lying

Posted on February 15, 2014 by

We’re always amused when we get our weekly email from “Better Together”, begging for money. Because that’s invariably what they are – the standard template is a short preamble about whatever the issue of the day is, followed by “which means you need to SEND US CASH NOW”. (We might be a crowd-funded website, but hey, at least we only ask readers to cough up a couple of times a year, not every few days.)


Sometimes we’re so busy chuckling at the convoluted panhandling of an organisation more used to six-figure cheques from Tory businessmen than soliciting the odd tenner from members of the public (and at the obvious lies like the second paragraph) that we miss a more interesting line. But we were on top of things this week.


The line we’ve highlighted above jarred a little, because we were pretty sure we’d have remembered if the SNP had “ruled out” such an option, and we didn’t. It’s a line the No camp has been pushing ever since George Osborne’s speech – here it is popping up in today’s Daily Record, for example:

“Better Together campaign director Blair McDougall said: “The Nationalists have been in chaos on currency over the last few days. Alex Salmond is a man without a plan.

“First he says we will keep the pound, even though it is now clearly off the table. Now Yes Scotland tell us we can keep the pound without a formal agreement, even though the SNP’s own fiscal commission working group ruled this out.”

Did they do that, though? The Fiscal Commission Working Group’s report is in the Wings repository. You can go and read it for yourself, but its comments on so-called “sterlingisation” are almost entirely limited to this one paragraph:


What it actually says, as you can see (click the pic to make it bigger if not), is that informal use of Sterling IS an option, though not likely to be ideal in the long term.

In “Better Together” language, saying something’s viable but not the best permanent solution translates as “ruling it out”. The possible magically becomes impossible.

It’s a funny world they live in. We can’t imagine how exhausting it must be for your instinctive reaction to any piece of information to be “tell a lie about it”. We hope Mr McDougall doesn’t succumb to some kind of stress-related illness before the end of the campaign, because we’re not sure the Yes camp could manage without him.

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  1. 15 02 14 23:29

    The banality of lying | Peter A Bell

92 to “The banality of lying”

  1. smac says:

    Something must be able to be done about outright Lying!!

  2. HandandShrimp says:

    Alistair was part of Blair’s dodgy dossier Government and backed war in Iraq to the hilt. I don’t think he even pauses for thought if he starts to make stuff up. He just goes for whatever he thinks sets him up for his next attack regardless of whether it is true or not. Why would Salmond or anyone else rule any option other than perhaps returning to the gold standard.

    It is obvious than other options are available, that they are easy to implement and that each has pluses and minuses. FFS voting No and sticking with Sterling has pluses and minuses.

  3. Triangular Ears says:

    Hey, I read the captions! I particularly liked the one about bringing back memories of your old hairstyle on the “British Politics for Dummies” picture! 🙂

    Better Together may be lying on a daily basis but it’s not doing them much good judging from Rob Shorthouse today:

    “We don’t have the foot soldiers yet.”

  4. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “We don’t have the foot soldiers yet.”

    Where did he say that?

  5. Croompenstein says:

    FM was incredulous in his interview(attack) with BBCBT Naughtie..Jim for the THIRD time..the fiscal commision has set out our options..they just want to muddy the waters and frighten the middle class and pensioners. BTW is that BT letter for you Rev? Dear Stuart?

  6. HandandShrimp says:

    Actually, we know they don’t have the foot soldiers because WoS readers went to more of there leaflet stations than they did and took pictures to prove it (although taking pictures of empty train stations is intimidating…apparently).

  7. Les Wilson says:

    This is no more than we have come to expect, fortunately we have a myriad of Unionists who seem to work for us by putting
    their feet in their mouths at every opportunity.

    For me, I am becoming more and more convinced, that an option free of all things Westminster and their debt, is the way to go.

  8. MajorBloodnok says:

    It says in the email that when I go into the polling both I’ll be voting on whether I keep the pound or not. That’s funny, I thought I would be voting on whether Scotland should become an independent country or not, which I don’t think is the same thing at all.

  9. MajorBloodnok says:

    ‘polling booth’ D’oh.

  10. Morag says:

    Well spotted. If Stu signed up for BT emails as a supporter and they still haven’t rumbled him, they’re even stupider than I thought they were.

  11. sneddon says:

    By looking at Blair McDougall he’s looks like a man for whom the lies and negativity is taking a toll. That can’t be healthy for him.

  12. Paula Rose says:

    I think I’ve just had a moment that I’m not going to share. (laundry)

  13. Triangular Ears says:

    I would imagine that he hasn’t signed up as Reverend Stuart Campbell, , Bath,!

  14. Triangular Ears says:

    Hmmm, some text got cut out of that, probably because of angled brackets. Anyway I had “his address” and “his email” in angled brackets above…

  15. Croompenstein says:

    Old Flipper the architect of the Edinburgh Disagreement by Danny OsBalls asking for donations. No foot soldiers, no back up plan no chance of servicing debt so default and collapse of economy. Let the ordinary folks of WOS show these tory lackeys how crowdfunding works when you have a movement you believe in!

  16. heedtracker says:

    Plus the chancers have left out any mention of Gideon in Embro this week, Cameron, Alexander, Westminster or any Conservatives at all. Raw cunning at BT central but just how stoopid do they think people are?

  17. Morag says:

    I’m coming up to retirement, and believe it or not I have savings. (I’d have retired already except the UK which offers all that certainty and stability reneged and increased my pension age by five years, also interest rates are so low that annuities look like a really bad buy right now. So I continue to drag myself to work every day.)

    Anyway, I have these savings. They’re supposed to keep me for the rest of my life in the style to which I wish to become accustomed. If we stay in a formal sterling zone Scotland’s assets continue to underpin sterling, and I don’t think anything too horrible will happen to my savings.

    However, what happens if we only sterlingise? In that case, will sterling lose value? My savings will still be in sterling, and I don’t really fancy that. I’d rather move my money to a new Scottish currency that’s more likely to hold its value.

    I may be wrong about this, but this seems to me to be a disadvantage of using sterling without our assets supporting sterling.

  18. Croompenstein says:

    @sneddon – this picture of big Bliar on bbc Scotlandshire had me in stitches for days

  19. joe kane says:

    Dear Stuart
    – That’s the first time I’ve ever seen the unionists being nice to you Rev. Strange how unionists are nice to people when they want their money.

    In “Better Together” language, saying something’s viable but not the best permanent solution translates as “ruling it out”. The possible magically becomes impossible.

    – Can BT be reported for procuring donations under false pretences? It claims to be a serious political campaign but is, in fact, a national laughing stock run by the Labour Party’s top comedians for the benefit of dodgy Tory money men.

  20. G H Graham says:

    You must have got soft during your night off.

    The line you highlighted was preceded by at least two more lies.

    Here’s an idea: Start a competition to list as many BT lies as is possible to identify from a single document, page or leaflet.

    Winner gets to create the most outrageous fabrication possible (slander/liable excluded of course) about anyone/anything & have it published for fun.

    After all, that’s what BT appears to do almost daily.

  21. john king says:

    “Well spotted. If Stu signed up for BT emails as a supporter and they still haven’t rumbled him, they’re even stupider than I thought they were.”

    He could be a plant! 🙂

  22. Croompenstein says:

    Just wondering out loud how Flipper would have addressed the Rev in a BT correspondence, quite sure it wouldn’t have been Dear Stuart, probably something like Dear Splittist Bastard How Dare You Tell The Truth..

  23. john king says:

    “I think I’ve just had a moment that I’m not going to share. (laundry)”

    I think you just did 🙂

  24. CyberNiall says:

    Again, on the subject of an independent Scotland’s credit score, in what way does the UK have a good credit score? It has a credit history but is it actually paying off any of its £1.4 trillon debt?

  25. Sandra says:

    We might be a crowd-funded website – but the difference is your soooooo worth every penny – you have yet another monthly donor

    And sooooo looking forward to the fundraiser – we need to get this message out

    been treading the streets since I was 14 delivering leaflet for the SNP – back then when we were lucky to get 15% of the vote – year after year

    and look where we are now, all that hard work was worth it and then some

    Also – can you tell me if it’s possible to find broadcasts from the past – I am trying to locate the government broadcast on the WMD – remember watching it – streets layed bare of humans as we had all been wiped out by WMD, tumbleweed being the only thing left, doom and gloom as we were in imminent danger of being wiped out by saddam – pretty much akin to the film wag the dog

    Is there an archive of BBC broadcasts? or any way to locate a copy of that broadcast

  26. Triangular Ears says:

    Morag, sterling collapse is a very real concern for me too. I personally believe the dollar and the pound are very vulnerable regardless of independence happening or not, and more vulnerable that the Euro. This is simply because of the huge levels of debt which I think are now unmanageable for the UK and the US.

    The Euro at least has one of the world’s largest economies with one of the largest positive balances of trade behind it, which also happens to have painful memories of rampant currency collapse and hyperinflation not all that long ago in the grand scheme of things.

    Nobody can give you specific financial advice here, but it would seem to me that some common sense goals for everyone really would be to eliminate or reduce debt, and try to find income bearing assets rather than holding large amounts of cash which provides virtually no return anyway, as well as being vulnerable to currency fluctuations.

    You are right about annuities. In 1990 the average was about 15%. Now it’s about 5%. This means that to get an income of just £10,000 a year, you need a pension pot of 20 times that, i.e. £200,000. In 1990 you would have only needed a £66,666 pot. Or put it another way, your £200,000 pot would get you £30,000 income with 1990’s annuity rates.

  27. Triangular Ears says:


    Is that Threads you’re talking about?

  28. JohnH says:

    Ah that highlighted bit about Panama explains Blair McDougall’s tweets today. I agve him a link to Van Halen’s YouTube video of their song Panama.

    That may have confused him for a wee bit 😉

  29. Triangular Ears says:

    @Sandra, sorry, you’re talking about Saddam I see. Forget it. Threads is good though anyway!

  30. EphemeralDeception says:

    So predictable, so orchestrated, so what?

    The no campaign must be in dire straights if this is their view of Scotlands strength and security in the UK. Vote No and get nothing , nothing more.

    Nothing to offer. Nothing Together.

  31. Croompenstein says:

    @thanks Triangular ears..shat myself first time round so not much sleep tonight either…

  32. Doug Daniel says:

    Ha ha! I was reading that thinking “was Stu not paying attention when I pointed this out to him?” and then I rolled over the caption!

  33. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    As we are in a currency union now, then applying BT’s logic,Scotland must represent an acceptable risk for The Bank Of England.

  34. Clancheif says:

    Isn’t it amazing how they can just make any auld shit up and they know it will get printed and reported as fact

    If/when we win the referendum it wont be for the lack of dirty trick that gets played on us

    But now the threats and bullying have started, the Scots don’t sit or lie down for it. No, we stand up and fight back and we can see this starting to happen now

    The more they try to tell us or push us into doing something we know is wrong then the more they push undecided and NO voters into the yes camp.
    So they actually might be p[laying a blinder for us, if that’s so then long may they continue and the result on the 19th wont be in any dispute and they’ll no can wangle a wee 40% rule or anything to negate the results

  35. kininvie says:


    Can anyone point me to some video capture software for recording TV programmes? Preferably free, but I suppose a small purchase price would be OK…

  36. mato21 says:

    I think they will need to send out frequent begging letters to pay their wage bill I don’t expect Mr McDougal will come from the bargain basement

    Does flipper give his expertise for free or is he paid a retainer?

  37. If Scotland is denied genuine democracy by only a small margin the bitterness it will cause is certain to arise from the knowledge that opposition to a peoples’ rights were deflected by dissembling, blatant falsehoods, black propaganda, and intimidation.

    They never won the argument, they cheated and bullied.

    It’s just as well Scotland is led by a politician both deft in his tactics and ruthless in his intent for her well-being at a critical time in her history.

  38. Donald MacDonald says:

    I rather like this;!Debt/c112t/39C2D4C6-1629-4E14-8EF9-A69EA307F7E0

    In fact all the essays on the site are first rate.

  39. Bill C says:

    Here’s an interesting wee snippet from the revolutionaries over at the Adam Smith Institute:

  40. HandandShrimp says:


  41. Clootie says:

    I had seen that picture of Blair McDougall on Scotlandshire and at the time my first thought was “I thought vertical stripes were slimming!”

    I’m quite happy with the over the top blatant lies of the BT campaign. They are so crude and transparent that even a NO voter would be hard pushed to try selling them. People will be able to judge them on this basis and they will lose trust. Only the sheep will continue to listen to BT/The Daily Mail and the BBC.

    The Herald / Scotsman and Daily Record could save themselves by just being fair and balanced. However I don’t see that happening.

    I think we have now crossed a line in that the UK will never be the same again regardless of the vote outcome.

  42. twenty14 says:


  43. Jim T says:


    the BFI has a large archive of searchable material at I put “nuclear war” in the search box. A lot of the material is simply indexed but there are a few items you cand request/purchase. I haven’t search far enough to see if they have any streamable material.

  44. Croompenstein says:

    @Clootie – I think we have now crossed a line in that the UK will never be the same again regardless of the vote outcome – I think the thing is as long as we keep our dignity whatever the outcome, we will have to live with the Hood’s, Chairchoobs et al the difference is we wouldn’t look to ‘bayonet the wounded’ if we win we will include them in the new Scotland.

  45. scottish_skier says:

    …Once I caught a fish alive

  46. Croompenstein says:

    Plan B

  47. Jim T says:


    I use a free program called get_iplayer to capture any BBC output on any channel, radio or TV.

    It has an arcane set of command line instructions that need to be used in a “DOS Box” because it was originally written for Linux systems. Google get_iplayer and you’ll find a download site quite quickly.

    It is EXTREMELY flexible and configurable but you might have to google instructions if you’re old like me 😉

  48. cynicalHighlander says:

    G H Graham says:
    15 February, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    You must have got soft during your night off.

    The line you highlighted was preceded by at least two more lies.

    Here’s an idea: Start a competition to list as many BT lies as is possible to identify from a single document, page or leaflet.

    Winner gets to create the most outrageous fabrication possible (slander/liable excluded of course) about anyone/anything & have it published for fun.

    After all, that’s what BT appears to do almost daily.

    Is there a number greater than infinity?

  49. Doug Daniel says:

    “Is there a number greater than infinity?”

    Infinity + 1?

    (Don’t worry fellow maths geeks, I know infinity + 1 = infinity.

  50. Robert Kerr says:

    I see the Herald article re Salmond taunting coalition has 477 comments.

    Feathers ruffled?

  51. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Update – still don’t have venue for April 4th, but it certainly won’t be McGinn’s. The upstairs lounge has been converted into a cellar!

    Checked out other nearby pubs, but none suitable – the Quarter Gill has a nice wee upstairs bookable, but it’s too wee.

    No matter – will find somewhere else.

  52. Dennis Smith says:

    On this DDOS thingy, am I the only person who is not having problems? Using Internet Explorer on a PC I can log in and refresh without any difficulty. Comments sometimes seem slightly slower than usual, but not by that much. Is the problem specific to some types of browser?

  53. Robert Kerr says:

    There is an infinity of numbers greater than infinity. “Aleph-numbers” for example

    Mind you Georg Cantor became insane with it all.

    Hope the BT lot can’t cope either.

  54. HandandShrimp says:


    Mind you about half of those comments are just a couple of Unionists giving it laldy.


  55. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Here’s an idea: Start a competition to list as many BT lies as is possible to identify from a single document, page or leaflet.”

    It’s like you’ve been reading my mind for the last hour. Tune in at 10…

  56. scottish_skier says:

    /-refresh comments-/

  57. Jim T says:


  58. Jim T says:

    @Dennis Smith – dammit man, I was sailing along fine without a hitch until you posted that DDoS comment … grrrrr to you!

    Just had to do my first paper/scissors/stone post LOL.

  59. Les Wilson says:

    Bill C says:

    Bill your Adam Smith link is excellent, if people take a complete read of it, it gives a very positive case on how our currency would, could, work. A recommended read.

  60. Another Union Dividend says:

    Highland shrimp

    Ignore online comments as we need to send letters to Herald / Scotsmam letter pages outlining the positive case for independence. Don’t give up if they don’t print your first two or three letters.

    Spoke to four mates over a drink this evening. Two YES and two NO (one Labour and one Tory ) The Yes supporter confirmed my canvassing experience this morning that the UK bullying has driven many undecided to Yes support.

    The Tory admitted that the No campaign has no organisation on the ground and the Labour supporter just shrugged his shoulders when I suggested he was in league with the Tories / UKIP / BNP. I still have hopes for him.

    What we need to do is get out there and join up with your local Yes Scotland group and knock on doors.

    Although it helps to spread pro YES information on Wings etc it is not that effective as we need to get out there on the streets and engage with voters as we have to counteract the BBC bias.

  61. mato21 says:

    Ctrl+ f5 doesn’t do it for me

  62. sandra says:

    Thanks Jim

    I will take a look see if I can find it

  63. Croompenstein says:

    @Another Union Dividend – we are an army of ants against the elephant of the British State, that is the way we do it engage with our colleagues, families and folk doon the pub

  64. Linda's back says:

    Another Union Dividend

    What we need is non political party organisations such as Business for Scotland to promote the Yes arguments on the comments articles in Herald and Scotsman (even paying for the farcical “friends of Scotsman” blackmail).

    OK it doesn’t reach a huge audience but it helps to expose the BBC bias,the NO lies and promotes the reasonable Yes arguments among Scotland’s decision makers.

    But I agree that there is no substitute for door knocking
    and very few people are hostile or rude.

    Many are scared to do this but just get in touch with your local Yes campaign and just do it.

    Don’t relay on others this is your once in a lifetime opportunity.

  65. Edward says:

    Tomorrow’s Sunday Herald front page

  66. Croompenstein says:

    Sumdy needs to tell the Herald we don’t need to dump the pound. FFS have none of our journalists read the white paper or the Fiscal Commissions report for the SG on currency. If this had been the 70’s with no internet we would indeed be fucked but with people like the Rev and his team(do u have a team?) our questions are answered and our eyes are opened and we then spread the word..

  67. kininvie says:

    @Jim T

    Many thanks

  68. TJenny says:

    ‘n roll

  69. Croompenstein says:

    is here to stay.. it will never die..

  70. TJenny says:

    Right on, Croompenstein. 🙂

  71. Jimbo says:

    It looks like some-one from BT (Blair McDougall possibly?) is posting the same misinformation BTL on an Adam Smith Institute blog by Sam Bowman:

    “However, what this article fails to take into account is that the SNP’s own commission explicitly ruled out using Sterling without a currency union.”

  72. Caroline Corfield says:

    @Ianbrotherhood. Have you tried the Griffin down by the Kings Theatre. About 10 years ago ( seems like last week) I hired their function room for a school reunion. Can’t recall the capacity of the room, might not be as big as 100.

  73. tartanarse says:


    Scotland voted for independence in 79 despite there being absolutely no positive media. We only had 3 telly channels and the usual unionist papers. Of course this was in the dark days of NI troubles too when you couldn, t really be seen to be against the union for fear of being labelled a terrorist or ("Tractor" - Ed).

    Not much has changed in that regard but what we have now is information.

    Readily available but only if you look for it or someone shows it to you.

    Some nos will never change. The dks must be enlightened. We can defo do this. BT are actually helping.

    They are so useless that I often wonder if they want rid.

  74. msean says:

    Glad to be of help,hope the links are of some use to you.Should maybe as well,in case you need it as well,here is a good totally free video converter:

  75. Croompenstein says:

    @tartanarse – be assured they don’t want rid, the empirical British state will do anything to keep Scotland, make no mistake they dont give a flying fuck for you or I but only for what our land can give them, oil etc home for WMD. So be alarmed when you read yes may not mean yes!!

  76. Jimbo says:

    @ Tartanarse

    Sorry to be pedantic, Tartanarse; We voted for devolution in ’79. Independence was not an option we were given.

  77. TJenny says:


  78. James says:

    Shorthouse, the No Campaign campaign director getting paid 100K to peddle lies against Scotland every day, had better be remembered by every prospective employer after a Yes vote – remembered as a liar with no morals

  79. Johnny come lately says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but 54 countries (I think) have broken away from the UK. It must have been the same the same situation for them, with old blighty controlling all of the newspapers and radio, but they have still all broken free. The media themselves whilst they hold power are very aware that they can only achieve so much, though matter how much they try to muddy the waters and frighten people.
    How many times have we all seen these kind of coordinated, synchronized, hysterical media attacks over a variety of subjects lasting several days and then fizzling out with a phut!
    The MSM has the big bang immediate communication power, where as the social media have a slow eroding effect on the propaganda in such a way as it slowly eats away at the disinformation and undermines it. I think the slow eroding of the lies and misinformation is more potent as it leaves a more lasting impression on the mind.
    Something has happened or is happening behind the scenes. I would have expected this onslaught on currency, NATO, the EU- take your pick- to have begun 2-3 months before the vote.
    It appears that the Tories are now taking direct control of the no campaign now. This is the last they have wanted to do.

  80. Patrick Roden says:

    signing in

  81. Had a 404 for the repository link

    It should be

    (Couple of pesky spaces before the y in repository, perhaps you have some sort spam filter on the word Tory? 🙂 )

  82. Surely in the time between you voting yes and officially celebrating independence you will be a ‘defacto’ independent state. In which case you will automatically be using Sterling without an agreement with the rUK.

    It will only be during that time when you are preparing for the world’s biggest party when the official usage of Sterling will either be agreed, or not.

  83. Big fibs wee fibs any fibs will do,don’t worry the media wont tell on you.

  84. Morag says:


  85. gordoz says:

    British Together campaign – best summed up by the recurring chorus in this Thomson twins song

    Lies, lies, lies yeah !!!!!!

  86. Molly says:

    It’s a funny world they live in. We can’t imagine how exhausting it must be for your instinctive reaction to any piece of information to be “tell a lie about it”.

    Well, it’s just like Jon Stewart of The Daily Show likes to say: “It must be cold out there on the Bullshit Mountain.. and the avalanche is coming”. No Campaign is Scotland’s Fox News.

  87. Brian hunter says:

    One Scotland , we want the same old same old ! We want a country that doesn’t share political bullying into over priced lifestyles .we want a fair nation one that we can trust !

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