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Wings Over Scotland


The cower of Scotland

Posted on October 10, 2013 by

We’ve highlighted some truly gruesome displays of anti-Scottish bigotry on this website over the last couple of years, the large majority of them from right-wing English newspapers. But today sees perhaps the worst case we’ve ever seen, and we’re sad to report that the blame for this one lies squarely at Scotland’s own door.

subservience

We hope you have a strong stomach.

It appears in this morning’s Herald, under the headline “Why the Saltire makes me cringe”, and it’s part of a sudden flurry of media interest in the story Wings Over Scotland broke on Tuesday about Stirling Council’s attempt to fly the Union Jack above the statues of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce at the council’s offices.

You can read the full story at the link above. But it’s worth picking out a few lines.

“Even though I’m a Scot, the Saltire makes me cringe. Every time I see a crowd of people waving it above their heads, I feel embarrassed for them – the crudeness of the gesture offends me”

That’s a pretty extraordinary statement straight off. Every time? At a Scotland match at Hampden or Murrayfield? When Andy Murray came back to Dunblane as Wimbledon champion? You feel embarrassed because your countrymen and women are waving their own nation’s flag in celebration?

“I also have a problem with the flag’s role in the debate on independence. The fact that Yes campaigners have been shamelessly fluttering the Saltire about the place”

Shamelessly? The word implies that there SHOULD be shame. Why on Earth should Scots who want Scotland’s politics decided and controlled by people who live in Scotland, who want Scotland to be a sovereign nation, feel ashamed to illustrate that with the national flag of Scotland?

“if Nationalists are going to be allowed to use the Saltire for political ends, then all of us need to talk about the place of such symbols in our national consciousness”

Allowed? Allowed? In whose gift is it to permit or refuse the right of a people to fly their own country’s flag? Is Mark Smith suggesting that there should be some sort of prohibition? Should Yes supporters (or anyone else) have to apply to the police in advance, like protestors?

“at the moment, there is a one-sidedness to the relative positions of the flags that is disturbing. This is probably because many Scots feel negatively towards the Union flag”

And? What is it that Mr Smith thinks “many Scots” need to cure them of these feelings? Re-education, perhaps in some sort of boot-camp until they love Big Brother? If “many Scots” feel negatively towards the Union flag, there’s presumably a reason.

“if the Union flag has negative historical associations so does the Saltire, which has been flown at the front of many an invader’s army”

It has? When did that happen? How many hundreds of years is it since Scotland invaded any other nation under its own flag? The Union Jack is flying in other lands, against the will of the people of those lands, right this minute. (And indeed, against the will of the people of the UK.)

There’s nothing “historical” about its negative associations, they’re current. Armed intervention in foreign countries remains the policy of the UK’s main political parties.

“That apparently-benign cross of white on blue, and in particular the way it is being used by supporters of independence, represents a narrowing of perspective, a separation, a reduction of identity from a large friendly group of nations to a single small one.

The merged colours of the Union flag, on the other hand, are much more positive; by definition they are about coming together”

Dear God, what manner of unholy pish is this? An ancient blue-and-white flag is about narrowing and separation, but add a bit of red and suddenly it’s cuddly and positive? How do you even begin to critique that level of stupidity? The Nazi swastika had three colours (including lots of red) and represented a “coming together” of European nations into a single great Reich, so presumably Mark Smith has one in his bathroom.

(One might of course argue that was a bad analogy as the Nazis took over the nations of Europe against their will. Because, of course, there was no conflict at all over the territory of the UK. No colonial Empire, no riots against the Union in Scotland or Wales, no violence in Ireland, no war with Argentina, no disputes with Spain, etc etc.)

“On the wall of my bathroom at home, for example, I have the flag of Vietnam, a souvenir of my trip there a few years ago.”

Oh, right. Our mistake.

“Vietnam is a united country and its positive sense of nationalism, symbolised by its beloved king, impressed me when I was there”

Vietnam has a king? Huh? Last we heard it was a socialist republic, and has been one since 1945. Its flag is red with a yellow Communist star. Mark Smith’s picture on the article is small, but we feel safe in saying he didn’t visit Vietnam in 1944.

We’re done with this. But imagine, if you can, any other nation on the face of the planet we all share whose people would be happy to publicly assert such abject, wretched, miserable, cap-wringing, forelock-tugging shame in their own country. Don’t be angry at Mark Smith, readers. Don’t shout at him. Pity him, for he is to be pitied.

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ORIGINAL SOURCES: [1], [2], [3], [4]

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    220 to “The cower of Scotland”

    1. a supporter says:

      There’s only one thing can be said about Mark Smith. He is a dickhead.

    2. GlasVegas says:

      This is the genius in all his glory – http://www.heraldscotland.com/mark-smith
      Looks from his Bio that he can be taken with less than a pinch of salt…moving on!

    3. Seasick Dave says:

      I did comment on his article but it didn’t make it past moderation. A shame really, as it fell in with your last three sentences.
       
      People like Mark are beyond parody and we should acknowledge their viewpoint and move forward with dignity towards the vote next year.
       
      None of this kind of stuff makes me angry any more as I simply see it as a death rattle.

    4. Norrie says:

      He suggests we “wring the poison out of it” that will be a rewrite of history then.

    5. Stuart Black says:

      Mark Smith is more to be pitied than scorned.
       
      No, hold up, that article gave me the dry boak, feel very free indeed to heap scorn on him, folks.
       
      Shameful.

    6. Jiggsbro says:

      Don’t be angry at Mark Smith, readers.

      Sorry, cannot comply.

    7. Juan Bonnets says:

      Please [insert deity of choice] let this be an expertly-crafted piece of satire. Mark Smith is a pseudonym of Derek Bateman, it’s the only sane explanation.

    8. scotty says:

      hmmmm,one might argue that the Better Together mob posing infront of the union jack was a crude  (and false) repesentation of the togetherness of the united Kingdom!

    9. gerry parker says:

      Aye, Mark’s no genius, not like Alex Salmond.
      I hope he wears his gold medal ( won spectacularly on the one show) at FMQ today, that’ll pit their gas at a peep!

    10. Bruce says:

      I have written my own response to the article written by Mark, I hope you don’t mind my pasting it here as I would like to know what people think.
       
      http://grumpyscottishman.wordpress.com/?p=449&preview=true
      Please remove if you feel this is not the place for my moan.

    11. NorthBrit says:

      He’s right you know. It’s impossible to feel embarrassed for anyone waving the union flag, with its universally positive connotations.

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/invicta.jpg

    12. Seán Mac Eochaidh says:

      moron plain and simple

    13. Mark Smith not related to a Stirling Councillor by any chance?

    14. Taranaich says:

      Och, fer Christ’s sake.

    15. Stuart Black says:

      @ Bruce.
       
      Good piece, enjoyed it.

    16. titchyboy85 says:

      “Dear God, what manner of unholy pish is this?”
       
      Think that says it all. Ignorance and self absorbed hypocrisy. Balloon.

    17. Seasick Dave says:

      “Vietnam is a united country and its positive sense of nationalism, symbolised by its beloved king, impressed me when I was there”
       
      Ignoring the bit about the King, how is the positive nationalism of Vietnam and different to the positive nationalism of Scotland?
       
      We are an inclusive bunch and aspire to the ideals of the Common Weal for all who live here, whatever the land of their birth.
       
      He sure is a mixed up laddie.

    18. RodneySofa says:

      I see that a few of them have some sort of toilet paper stuck on their bahookies.

    19. Pilar says:

      Great analysis Rev. Stu.
      Much colonialism and imperialism feeling we will see this year, and the more nervous they are, the more we’ll see their true fascist sentiment. And when Scotland gets independence, be alert on UKIP and similar. They can’t hide their hate for Scotland… that’s their problem.
      Fortunately, we can not hide and we won’t hide our love for Scotland

    20. David McCann says:

      ive done commenting in the Herald, since my posts seemed to take days to appear- if at all. I am now a firm believer that they print articles like this to wind up iindependistas  to provide clik fodder to boost the coffers of the Herald.

    21. Shaun Milne says:

      ‘I’m proud to be Scottish but cringe at The Scottish flag, Scottish music, Scottish film, Scottish accents, Scottish history, Scottish people, Scottish tartan, Scottish bagpipes, Scottish maps of Scotland, selfish Scottish sporting achievements, any mention of the word Scotland, Scotland’s language of Scots and Gaelic, Scottish telly, Scottish literature, Scottish famous people ( who aren’t draped in the loving embrace of the Union Jack.
       I’m really proud to be Scottish’

      Dear Mark Smith (and ilk) ,
      My instructions to you involve Sex and Travel.
      Please follow them accordingly.

    22. Big Drone says:

      Anonymous,  You’ve just insulted dickheads everywhere in your association with Mark Smith!

    23. Luigi says:

      If Mark Smith is upset when he sees a saltire blowing in the wind, perhaps he should stay indoors.  As I travel around Scotland, I see hundreds of saltires flying everywhere – a recent development for sure, but a beautiful sight, nonetheless.
       
      I am certainly not ashamed of the saltire, but I have to say that the attitude and behaviour of fellow scots like Mark Smith does make me cringe.

    24. Iain says:

      A Google search for Mark Smith reveals that we could not expect much better. “I often write about my big passion: Doctor Who”. We are not considering the views of someone with intellectual clout. Also: in 2011 he was apparently thinking of returning to the USA – whence he came; there is thus a certain degree of detachment.

    25. Iain Hamilton says:

      @ Bruce. Great article. @Mark Smith. You are an article!

    26. Luigi says:

      “I AM A PROUD SCOT”
       
      Why do only BritNats use this phrase?  It seems to be a compensatory, defense mechanism, a bold denial of hidden (but real) shame.

    27. heraldnomore says:

      Surely this can’t be the same Mark Smith who penned the deeply moving Treblinka Survivor, the awful tale of family friends in Newton Mearns.  It was beautifully crafted, with a huge appreciation of differing societies, evil spawned on others who thought differently, stood out from the perception of the greater good.
       
      No, it can’t be that Mark Smith.  For, as Stu says, only a prat could come up with this nonsense.  Perhaps The Herald should send him up to Stirling to cover tonight’s meeting.
       
      But it’s really just another item that will serve to sway a few DKs over to Ayes.  For it can’t possibly do the opposite.

    28. Ananurhing says:

      What an ignorant twat!

      Mark Smith has form in airbrushing over unsavoury bits of history. He wrote a piece arguing against westminster’s proposed pardon of the enigma code cracker Alan Turing’s gross indecency conviction in the 1950’s, which led to him commiting suicide.

      Cerebral flatulence.

    29. Training Day says:

      And yet this ill-informed, misbegotten, historically topsy-turvy cringefest still makes more sense than did Alistair Darling on GMS this morning..
       
      Smith is right about one thing though – vote NO and we’ll get rid of the embarrassing saltire.

    30. cath says:

      “On the wall of my bathroom at home, for example, I have the flag of Vietnam, a souvenir of my trip there a few years ago.””
       
      I have a rather nice Canadian flag for a similar reason. I also have a Canada T-shirt (and an Alexander Keith’s beer T-shirt. I really loved Canada, OK?) Maybe I should wave the Canadian flag at the next Scottish independence demo?
       
      Oh, I also have a bag with the red, white and blue RAF symbol on it 😉

    31. Richard Lucas says:

      It’s hard to imagine that a newspaper with pretensions of seriousness let this half-witted piece appear on its pages.  He’d be right at home with the ill-informed and dim politics.co.uk though _ 

      http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2013/10/10/a-deliberate-attempt-to-deceive-the-public-salmond-caught-ou

    32. MajorBloodnok says:

      “Vietnam is a united country and its positive sense of nationalism, symbolised by its beloved king, impressed me when I was there”
       
      Basically, skipping over the fact that the YES campaign is all about having a positive and inclusive sense of nationalism, what he is saying is that Scots shouldn’t be allowed to wave our ancient national flag unless we’ve been subject to a brutal jungle war fuelled by two global superpowers and then thoroughly napalmed.
       
      And I’m surprised he didn’t use Tibet as an example instead because its flag has got red white and blue in it plus a couple of other colours as well.  But maybe he just didn’t get there on year out.

    33. NorthBrit says:

      Come on separatists. Reject your wishy washy sky blue flag and release your unnaturally repressed love for the true flag of your country:
      http://www.proudtobebritish.co.uk/Item_888_Union-Jack-Toilet-Roll
      (Disclaimer, If this product turns out to be an expensive and unnecessary pain in the a*se, that only shows how effective it is in representing the institution it symbolises.)

    34. Castle Rock says:

      Good analysis Stuart.
       
      When I first read it I just thought he was a horrible sad wee laddie and you’ve just reinforced my view that he is indeed a horrible sad wee laddie.

    35. Geoff Huijer says:

      Unholy pish indeed…

    36. Walter Burt says:

      Unfortunately, my comment was ‘moderated’ also. What a total dick. When we get our independence, he should be made to take a walk off the Forth Bridge.

    37. westie7 says:

      This would never be an issue in England 
       
      They are ALLOWED to love their St Georges cross, IF some hack writes this in the Daily Express down the road they are Toast!

    38. Mad Jock McMad says:

      Calm down folks, this is the ultimate in sub-barrel scraping from the pro-Union camp, the ultimate in too wee, too stupid, too poor that we can not demonstrate our Scottishness by the use of our internationally recognised national flag because we do not understand its significance, British Imperialism at its most abject, over weaning and pathetic.
      This is a clear example of Unionists left talking to themselves because no one else is listening. Probably best described as a Forrest Gump moment.

    39. Seasick Dave says:

      Scots shouldn’t be allowed to wave our ancient national flag unless we’ve been subject to a brutal jungle war fuelled by two global superpowers and then thoroughly napalmed.
       
      Sshh Major, keep your voice down…

    40. Jingly Jangly says:

      Well Im glad I gave up my thirty odd year odd habit of buying the Herald. One of my mates has told me today that he will no longer buy it after over 50 years because of this article.

      I think he must be confused what Country he visited, Vietnam’s next door neighbours Cambodia have a well liked Royal Family so maybe its them, Both Countries are well worth a visit, lovely people, Angkor Wat and Halong Bay should be on everybodies bucket list.

      I would pity him more than loath him, he has been brainwashed like so many of our country, only Independence will free their mind,

      I wonder if anybody has done research into such people say ten years after their country has gained its freedom and see if they have changed their opinion

    41. Roseanne says:

      I can’t feel pity for the little worm, I’m so angry!

    42. Luigi says:

      Don’t get angry – get YES!

    43. The Hennesseys says:

      Mark Smith’s piece is such wonderfully crafted stupidity–including a tell all reference to the King of Vietnam–that I am convinced it is either satire, or a Yes Campaigner doing a great sabotage job on Stirling Council and unionists. At any rate the result is the same except for people who know so little about Vietnam that they believe it has a king…..

    44. david says:

      does anyone know time and location of stirling council meeting tonight?

    45. The Rough Bounds says:

      ”The merged colours of the Union flag…are about coming together”.
       
      Merged? Is he talking about the same flag? The one with the great big English cross of St. George stuck squarely right on top of Scotland and Ireland and without even a hint of a Welsh symbol?

    46. callum says:

      *** UPDATE:  The wearing of tartan and consumption of Irn Bru will also be prohibited in Stirling from tomorrow onwards. From now on it’s plus-fours and vimto.

    47. velofello says:

      Well, maybe he is just an attention seeker. I’d reckon the Nazi swastika made many a German citizen cringe but they had little choice in the matter but to comply for survival.A solution is much simpler for this young lad, there’s always England.

      Reference is often made by unionists that Scotland is such a small country,some time back I was being treated by a hospital consultant who for conversation referred to a cricket match England were playing. I simply said that I wasn’t interested in cricket. Fireworks! -“Scotland is a small insignificant country|. etc etc. “Diamonds are small too”, I replied. I had no further appointments with him,funny that.

      If Scotland is wee, and is 1/3rd of the landmass of the UK, that makes England half as wee as Scotland doesn’t it? And both are really really wee in comparison to France.

      And if size comparison is in terms of population, I’d rather have a Panda than a Prince.

    48. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “does anyone know time and location of stirling council meeting tonight?”

      http://minutes.stirling.gov.uk/PDFs/Scouncil/Agendas/CouncilAgenda.pdf

      “AGENDA for the MEETING of the STIRLING COUNCIL to be held in the COUNCIL
      CHAMBERS, OLD VIEWFORTH, STIRLING on THURSDAY 10 OCTOBER 2013
      commencing at 6.30pm.”

      (14-20 Pitt Terrace, Stirling FK8 2ET)

    49. david says:

      thankyou

    50. The Man in the Jar says:

      Thats it! I am away to buy some of that Union Jack toilet roll they sell on Amazon.

    51. thomas says:

      This is a noise up int it mr smith. ???
       
      See last week mark we had a power cut and ma pc, tv and everythin shut doon.
      It wis rainin so i couldnae play golf so a hid tae talk to the wife instead.
      she seems like a nice person.
       
      ………..am tellin ye ma heid is shot tae bits wae some of the lunatics i share this country  wae!

    52. Boorach says:

      @ Luigi
       
      brilliant, I’m so stealing that for the back door of my van!

    53. Brian Powell says:

      seasick dave.
      My comment did get through at the Herald, probably more benign than yours.
      I asked:

      “I wonder how the writer of the article feels about the flags the various nations will be flying at the Commonwealth Games next year?”

    54. David sharp says:

      I have been on the two marches for independence and, do you know, both times I have debated whether I should wear my kilt. I debated this, because I was concerned the wearing of my kilt may be viewed as parochal and narrow minded nationalism, such as this creature is expressing.

      both times I have decided to wear my kilt and ny family colours with pride, because the day a unionist makes me ashamed of who I am, what my history is, what my culture is, is the day I have given up on the concept of Scotland as an in independent sovereign nation. There are many reasons for expressing your identity as a Scot. I wore my kilt those days in acknowledgment that I have dear family members who believe in Scottish independance, but could not be present on the march, or live abroad so can not vote. That day, I represented thier voice.

    55. Martin Donnelly says:

      @Luigi – Good point. I’ve been mulling this point myself recently. I’m not sure I feel particularly proud to be Scottish. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not embarrassed either, and I doubt I would feel any prouder to be anything else, but I don’t wander around with a puffed-out chest revelling in my Scottishness like the PROUD SCOTS in the No camp. It’s just where I’m from and where I live, and I want it to make its own decisions so I’ll be voting Yes next year.

    56. Boorach says:

      @Thomas
       
      Wonderful but you caused my dog extreme anxiety… not often I roar with laughter!

    57. Holebender says:

      Looking on the bright side, my house must be Mark Smith proof as I have flown a Saltire from a flagpole on the gable end for the best part of a decade. It keeps the Unionists away! 😉

    58. Doug Daniel says:

      Wow, some really messed up logic on display there. I presume his point about the Vietnam flag is that Vietnam used to be split in two until they decided they were “better together”.
       
      I’m guessing this guy has similar hatred towards the flags of any former Soviet state, any former Yugoslav state, any former British colony, any former colony of any country… He must REALLY hate the flag of South Sudan.
       
      He talks of having pride seeing the union flag flying at the Olympics and the Proms (jeeeeeeeesus), so it’s not like he’s just one of these people who finds ALL flag waving to be rubbish. I know Yes voters who don’t like flag-waving. Fair enough, that’s a criticism of the concept as a whole. But this guy is specifically slagging off Scotland’s flag.
       
      Well fair enough mate, but you’re going to be crying yourself to sleep every day after September 18th. Saltires GALORE!

    59. Faltdubh says:

      The barrel has well and truly been scraped dry.
      ”Proud Scot” – this needs to be added to the Unionist bingo line.
      We still have a year to go, expect more of this.

    60. BeamMeUpScotty says:

      This person needs to keep taking the medication.
      Unhinged would be a reasonable description.

    61. cath says:

      “Well Im glad I gave up my thirty odd year odd habit of buying the Herald. One of my mates has told me today that he will no longer buy it after over 50 years because of this article.”
       
      Ach, I wouldn’t be too hard on the Herald for it. Magnus Gardham aside it’s the best of a bad bunch. They’ve been fairly balanced in the independence issue, and if this is the “balance” that represents the NO side, we shouldn’t want it any other way.

    62. HandandShrimp says:

      I commented on this on another thread but as I said, Mark gives no evidence that there are negative connotations associated with the Saltire and brushes the many that exist for the Union Jack neatly under the carpet. Such a perverse and wilful approach to history and culture suggests his cringe is an artificial construct and at best profoundly intellectually dishonest. The Scottish cringe is alive and well and possesses the soul of Mark Smith.
       
      He is correct, nevertheless, in that Better Together are terrified of the Union flag. That, however, is their problem. Whereas I have no reservations regarding the Saltire whatsoever. It is an attractive and ancient symbol of ancient nation that has repeatedly had to deal with aggressive invaders rather than a symbol of a country that has ruthlessly invaded and exploited others. There is no contest in terms of history, appeal or popularity.

    63. I just don’t get it, why should any Scot be ashamed of flying, perhaps, the oldest flag in the world?

    64. Green Bean says:

      Has this lad been taken on for work experience?

    65. zedeeyen says:

      I reckon this is abuse-bait.
       
      You watch, next week we’ll see another slew of “I was abused by horrible cybernats for expressing an opinion” articles.

    66. Robin says:

      Haha fit a grade A fud this boy is… Vietnam has a king aye? I’m guessing he really meant Thailand – they really do love their King there (offending the King gets you put in jail for many years) and you can’t fail to be aware of this even if you’re only in Thailand for 5 mins. Oh aye and the Thai flag is- you guessed it – red white and blue, which I’m sure suits Mr Smith better then the red communist flag of Vietnam.

    67. Dcanmore says:

      Why do BritNats say “I’m a proud Scot” then go on to say that everything that symbolises Scotland should be despised or eradicated? … Oh that’s right, they’re liars! Why don’t they give equal comment on a Wembley or a Twickenham full of St George’s Crosses? Or does that not count. What these people support is not Britishness in a sense that we think, it’s the idea of a greater England that they champion. The Union flag is only the mask for it, a rotten symbol for the apologists of Empire and colonialism.

    68. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Satire ? Saltire… there’s an *L* of a difference..
      (Ah’ll get mah duffle coat)

    69. Horacesaysyes says:

      In amongst a lot of the drivel, this line particularly stood out for me –

      “(the saltire) represents a narrowing of perspective, a separation, a reduction of identity from a large friendly group of nations to a single small one”
       
      This, to me, couldn’t be further from the truth. For me, one of the major attractions of independence will be the opportunity to join the community of nations as an equal member, and not a minor part of another entity. To me, independence isn’t about retreating to a single, small nation, but in fact about opening up and showing the world our own face.

    70. handclapping says:

      At last the Herald’s metropolitan view of a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing.
       
      I do hope that Westminster’s switch in outlook between 1938 and 1939, peace to war, is reflected in a turn around of their view between 2013 and 2014 from war to peace

    71. Boorach says:

      Re the Stirling Saltire, seems the staff at Stirling Council are being kept busy today.
       
      So far I’ve had, in addition to the automatically generated acknowledgement to my email, two replies from actual people including an assurance that my email would be distributed to all councillors before tonights meeting.

    72. Ian says:

      The man certainly appears to have serious mental issues.  Just like Putin who is so obviously gay and hates it that he has taken homophobia to extreme levels, maybe Mark Smith secretly masturbates to digital copies of The White Heather Club.  

    73. cath says:

      The big problem Better Together and the UK have is that, like it or not it is a symbol of Scotland’s lack of independence and lack of power.
       
      When people in Scotland raise a Saltire, it’s an expression of our nation, our nationality and our identity. Just as the re-emergence of Scottish culture and Gaelic language is such an expression. As such it’s hugely positive and very inclusive. Many of the people I know heavily involved in re-invigorating Scottish culture are originally from other places, England particularly but also America, Canada, Australia and many others. There is nothing negative in taking pride in the place you live and the culture it’s produced. It’s normal and human. That’s as true of British culture and symbols as it is of Scottish, or English, Welsh, whatever.
       
      The big problem BT have is that their campaign seeks to denigrate and stifle that Scottish culture. The UK as a state has done its damnedest to eliminate all regional and national culture in favour of a bland “Britishness” that actually has no meaning at all beyond political and media Westminster. The NO campaign is London-run and comprises all Westminster parties, the entire Westminster government, the UK civil service and is funded by international corporations. So when those people remove the Saltire in favour of a UJ, or denigrate our culture, or say we don’t have any, it feels and looks like bullying and repression. Even if the UK never felt like that before to you and you have a fondness for some British symbols, the big and powerful ramming their symbols down your throat is never going to feel like the positive expression of self determination and identity the Saltire does.
       
      It’s the opposite of positivity and self-determination. It’s saying, “we control you right now; get used to it”. As such, it’s a hugely powerful motivator for a Yes vote.

    74. sneddon says:

        ‘There’s only one thing can be said about Mark Smith. He is a dickhead.’  This

    75. desimond says:

       what manner of unholy pish is this?

      Irn bru meet keyboard, keyboard, Irn Bru!
      brovo Rev.

    76. Les Wilson says:

      The flag issue has only just started, I think it is going to get much worse as it now appears to be a Westminster tactic to encourage the downgrading of Scottish flags everywhere they can. To raise the Union flag everywhere they can is only just starting.

      Consider,  the 2014 Games will be  AWASH with Union Flags, as is likely Glasgow Council buildings. Then there is the Army parade in Stirling at the start of the Bannockburn celebrations, THEN, just before the referendum  the ludicrous celebration for the START of the First World War.

      What loony does that, a dignified ceremony  for the END of the war,  perhaps.

      Make no mistake ALL of these are designed to shake the will of nationalists and the undecided. Manipulation of the highest degree. This on it’s own should actually be enough to confirm to us, that we must become masters of our own country.

      We will be absolutely sick to the teeth of seeing the Union flag, before this is finished.

    77. sneddon says:

      Kendomacaroonbar – You get your coat, I’ll hold the door , brillant 🙂

    78. cath says:

      ” THEN, just before the referendum  the ludicrous celebration for the START of the First World War.”
       
      I just can’t see any way in which that could do anything but backfire.

    79. HandandShrimp says:

      When Unionists talk about Scotland being a small insignificant country it says more about their inadequacies and lack of vision and ambition than anything about the potential of Scotland.
       
      There is a story of a pub conversation many moons ago where the concept of nationhood was being discussed and what people would like to be Apache? Swiss? etc., and they suddenly asked an old chap from the Highlands, who had perhaps not being paying attention to the conversation as much as he might, “What would you be if you weren’t Scottish?”  Startled, he thought long and  hard and then slowly replied “Ashamed of myself”

    80. Ken Mac says:

      I commented on this story in the Herald, they printed it but modded my comments. I’d rather they hadn’t printed it all rather than mod it and diminsh my ire. It is a truely a puke inducing piece.

    81. Morgwn C Davies says:

      The merged colours of the Union flag, on the other hand, are much more positive; by definition they are about coming together”

      The union flag is merged but as you point there where riots in 1707 with the Act of Union and as for Great Britain’s relationship with Ireland the less said the better. 

      And Wales I’m very sad to say is not represented on the Flag of the UK because  it was conquered by England and technically does not exist as a nation but is an extension of England. It is a testament to the Welsh people that they have preserved their culture, language, nation as well as their flag. But it is not represented on the UK flag. 

    82. HandandShrimp says:

      Apologies if my last was a wee bit home spun and couthy…I can’t be gently acidic all the time…just most of the time 🙂

    83. Gary S says:

      I hope we can look back at articles like these in 5, 10, 20 years time and simply laugh. Currently I’m just worried and embarrassed that fellow ‘Scots’ would even put pen to paper about pish like this.
       
      However, any DK voters who see this piece of garbage will surely again lean to the Yes side. Keep them coming, Unionists!

    84. pmcrek says:

      I really cant believe this utter drivel was actually printed by a newspaper.

    85. fergie35 says:

      Am a proud Scot…..but..
      Sounds like, I am not a racist… but

    86. Patrick Roden says:

      I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that various Unionists and Unionist MSM outlets, have stepped up the ‘insult Scotland and the Scots’ campaign.
       
      They know that they are losing the arguments and that Yes is gaining support.
      They know that the SNP/Yes campaigns measured and reasonable response to all the scaremongering, is winning the referendum, so they desperately need something for the MSM to get their teeth into.
      The Project Fear narrative is now a busted flush and unless they can produce clear evidence of how evil the Natz are then no-one will take their smears seriously.
      They have embarked on a steady drip, drip, drip campaign, of stories that are designed to wind up Yes people as they pour insults on  Scotland.
      They only need to work one or two hotheads into such a frenzy that they react in some way… and bang! they have their story.
      Once they have this story they will give it more arms and legs than a lake full of octopuses and it will run and run.
      So c’mon folks, they have tried smear, they have tried fear, and we haven’t let them get us down, so chin up everyone, don’t get angry, get even… AT THE BALLOT BOX!

    87. David McCann says:

      Meanwhile over on Craig Murray’s blog, Ive started a minor war!
      http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2013/10/the-theatre-of-war/#comment-432688

    88. Ellie says:

      Stu, Stu, Stu…..Mr Smith’s article was the best laugh I’ve had in ages, but I wouldn’t have spent nearly as much time taking his arguments apart (though you did it beautifully) I would just have gone with:
      This is the considered opinion of a man who believes that Vietnam has not only a King, but a beloved King……
      Now I’m away to write a freedom of information request for the Herald….Educational requirements for Feature Writers

    89. Ciaran McRae- YesABZ says:

      Well there goes my lunch…. 
      We had a case of this a few weeks ago on the Yes Aberdeen stall. I got accused of “hijacking the saltire” for political reasons;

      “It wasn’t our flag to use.”  

      Probably the same person who complained about them being placed on the new fleet of fire engines in Aberdeen. Now that I think of it, the union flag has only recently appeared on the flag pole at our council building!!

    90. Training Day says:

      The Union Flag should be nowhere near the Commonwealth Games.  All we should be seeing is the embarrassing saltire and what presumably Mr Smith thinks is the equally embarrassing St George’s cross, given that Scotland and England will be competing as two ‘sheparatishtical’ nations. 
       
      That’s what we should be seeing, but then this is Glasgow under Labour and uber Britnat Matheson..

    91. Midgehunter says:

      I reckon something must be going seriously wrong in the anti-independence campaign, they know it and I’m certain this is really starting to put the s**ts up them.
      It started off with the “No way a referendum”, then the too small, wee and stupid phase, then the non-viable / no money / Nato rejection – defence, forget-it / EU won’t have you bulls**t / oil, what oil? it’s nearly all gone etc, etc, etc. Nothing seems to be working for them, there’s no real traction.
       
      In the meantime the grassroots YES movement is expanding and slowly getting the message out, neatly outfoxing the MSM/Beeb channels because they can’t get them under their control.
       
      The big bad nat thingy won‘t go away. J
       
      The newest round of attack seems to be “Scottishness”, our national identity and I think this originates from the Rally in Edinburgh where the sense of being Scottish and highlighting it with a sea of Saltires was absolute predominant and the census which stated that 62% of Scots first and foremost thought of themselves as Scottish.
       
      Trying to take away the culture and the language and replace it with the UJ and British was what they tried with the Olympics and the Jubilee – didn’t work too well.
       
      Lord Robertson and the Stirling episode fits straight in the same jacket.
       
      Stirling is probably the heart of Scotland, the castle, battles and the rest of its history is central to the culture of Scotland so I don’t think this is a one-off but a coordinated attempt to symbolically push Britishness and reduce Scottishness. This reeks of empire and subjection.
       
      Two local politicians didn’t suddenly decide within view of Wallace and the Bruce to change flags, this comes from higher up. The Saltire cringe story is part of the screenplay being acted.

    92. rabb says:

      I’m too angry to type now. I promised I would refrain from profanities.
       
       
      Cock!!

    93. Macart says:

      Oh fer Gawd’s sake. Is this eejit for real?
      This has to be a click baiting exercise surely by Mark Smith?

    94. HandandShrimp says:

      MH
       
      Absolutely!
       
      When Mundell came away with Scotland no longer existing after 1707 when we became a county of England or somesuch nonsense I just filed it under mad Tory Unionist but the more recent stuff does look a lot like a concerted effort to shelf the whole concept of Scotland and Scottishness. I have to say it seems like a rather bizarre tack to take. Are they really pressing the nuclear button a full year out from the referendum? You kind of wonder what will happen if we vote Yes, Martial Law?

    95. Seasick Dave says:

      Rabb
       
      Consider yourself Cockblocked!

    96. creag an tuirc says:

      I wonder if this guy cringes when he’s supporting a home nation in any sport and they wave their countries flag?  24 carat tadger.

    97. Luigi says:

      A wee suggestion:
       
      The next time someone announces that he/she is a “proud scot”, ask them why?
       
      (don’t hold your breath)!

    98. faolie says:

      I was going to write what a load of tosh etc etc, but actually I think it’s not tosh. It’s a weird way for someone to feel for sure, hell, even proud Scots-buts would think it’s weird, but I think we shouldn’t get too worked up about such things. 
       
      I think it’s an exposition of how some people feel about being British and their love of all things British and wish that in fact there was no Scotland, it’s just the land that forms the northern bit of the island of Great Britain. Don’t want to be Scottish, don’t feel Scottish, just want to be British. End of story. It’s cringing though because they think that the English will welcome them for thinking it, when in fact they sneer at them and laugh at them behind their backs.

    99. HandandShrimp says:

      Creag
       
      Mark is a proud Scot and therefore undoubtedly supports England as the true representative of the Union flag.

    100. Dave sharp says:

      “deprive the people of their national consciousness, treat them as a tribe and not a nation, dilute their national pride, do not teach thier history, propagate their language as inferior, imply they have a cultural void, emphasise their customs as primitive, and dismiss independence as a barbaric anomaly,”
       
      Reinhardt Heydrich on the Nazi germanisation of Czechoslovakia
       
      This Folks, is what we’re up against;

    101. GrutsForTea says:

      It’s the biggest pile of completely wrong I’ve seen in a long while. Utter nonsense.

    102. Luigi says:

      Perhaps old Uncle Tom, if he was alive today, would say:
       
      “I am a proud slave”.

    103. Frances says:

      Wasn’t there an article (or three or four!) somewhere last week where Blair McDougall or Alistair Darling stated that BT had won the economic war it was now down to nationality and identity? 
       
      This piece by Mark Smith seems then to be the first of many that we will see telling us how insignificant we are.
       
      I also think this piece has been written to anger people so much that some will react with force – and that’s just what BT and the media are looking for.

    104. Vee says:

      Just heard on Radio Scotland they’ll be needing baton carriers throughout the council districts of Scotland when it returns from its travels across the globe visiting other Commonwealth countries.  I hope someone cares enough to make sure this Mark Smith doesn’t get near it.  Poor wee soul will collapse with overwhelming mortification at the sight of this symbol of sporting goodwill from Scotland.

    105. molly says:

      Your employees ,lets use the Councils phrase,’ don’t like the tone of the debate’, to the point where they actually had to come out on strike. According to the Daily Record Cllr Mcchord was concerned about 30,000 people arriving for The Clan Gathering , yet is now spending a big fat chunk of ‘the common good fund’ to make arrangements for approximately 50.000 people for Armed forces Day,but a motion by a Tory Councillor ,seconded by a Labour Councillor to take down the Saltire and replace it with the Union Flag is a priority ,for the Council meeting?
      Now a piece of nonsense in the Herald telling us we should be embarrassed by waving the Saltire, actually I’m embarrassed that any of these people seem to think ,they are acting in the people of Stirling /Scotlands interests

    106. fordie says:

      Barf.

    107. muttley79 says:

      I agree Frances.  We should all keep calm, and just carry on giving a positive vision for Scotland’s future.  We cannot change the past, but we can influence the present and future.  There is no point in getting angry, that is exactly what they want us to do.  They have been reduced to trolling, and that is never a good sign for such an important political campaign as this one.  They have no positive vision for Scotland.  This is becoming ever clearer.
       
      By the way Lamont completely lost it at FMQs today.  The myth of 1979 was repeated, the Presiding Officer had to intervene twice, as Lamont was going on an extended rant about Salmond and SG.  Talk about a one trick pony.  GH Graham will hopefully gives his/her interpretation of Lamont’s ‘performance’ at FMQs.  BTW, what ever happened to the Johann Lamont poster on WoS? 

    108. Ananurhing says:

      This kind of fuckwittery reminds me of Guptha from It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, and his “Ve British” mentality.
      Idolising his colonisers while cringing at his compatriots. I wonder if Mark Smith wears a school belt. 

    109. HandandShrimp says:

      If Lamont and Curran can’t remember Dennis Healey how the hell can they remember 79 🙂
       
      I feel a bit sorry for Lamont, her weekly attack Eck event gets ever more random and desperate. Being a bitter, deranged harpie isn’t desperately stateswoman like.  

    110. Training Day says:

      @Muttley
       
      Aye, Lamont’s performance at FMQs today was truly abysmal – and it’s up against some pretty stiff competition in her back catalogue of performances.  By rehashing the 1979 Tartan Tory guff, she set up the FM beautifully for his put-down about the Labservative Better Together campaign.  And she refused to withdraw her accusation of ‘dishonesty’ aimed at the FM.
       
      In fact, so bad was she that Davidson looked half-decent by comparison.

    111. Dinnatouch says:

      Iain says
      A Google search for Mark Smith reveals that we could not expect much better. “I often write about my big passion: Doctor Who”. We are not considering the views of someone with intellectual clout. Also: in 2011 he was apparently thinking of returning to the USA – whence he came; there is thus a certain degree of detachment.
       
      Hey! I’ve been a Doctor Who fan for 40 years. I also recently carried a saltire up Calton Hill and will be voting YES next September

    112. David McCann says:

      If its embarrassment you want and a real dose of the Scottish cringe, just watch today’s FMQs, where Labour and Tory combine to tell us why an oil fund would be a rank bad idea.
       
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/scotland/
       
      Incidentally  if you get a chance watch also Keith Brown demolish Labour over the Haudagain roundabout. About 14 minutes 40 secs in. Watch this boy! He is going places. http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/scotland-24477627.

    113. Marion says:

      I’m so embarrassed for Mark Smith and his lunatic cringe.  He must be a sad individual.  I’m also embarrassed for The Herald who obviously thought the piece was worth printing.  Unfortunately Mark is not alone in his rock bottom self esteem and proud scottery and we have a long way to go in eleven months to bolster enough cringers like Mark to secure a resounding YES.  It’s how to do it that worries me.  Some cringes are so entrenched that when independence is raised in conversation they put their fingers in their ears, shout la-la-la and don’t want to know.  It’s a sair fecht but we have to keep trying.

    114. HandandShrimp says:

      Give Ruth her due, she does try to behave like an opposition leader and ask questions about day to day policy and issues (albeit from the strange world that is a Conservative perspective).
       
      Lamont uses her role as primary opposition leader purely to voice Better Together guff, lies and smears. It is almost as if she is an expendable foot soldier expected to make a futile gesture and SLab have never expected or even hoped she would be FM one day.  

    115. Brian Powell says:

      The folks trying so hard to show how British they are, such as Stirling Council, will likely find they are not British enough, by Westminster and SE of England standards.
      If they deviate from the message the ‘guns’ will turn on them.

    116. Embradon says:

      Are you sure this piece is not actually prety clever satire? I mean it cant’t really be serious. Can it?

    117. HandandShrimp says:

      If Mark returns to the States I wonder if he would write a piece for the Washinton Post about how seeing people wave the stars and stripes make him cringe.

    118. joe kane says:

      I’m still trying to work out what the Vietnamese flag actually represents to this Union Jack worshipper.

      It doesn’t represent the decades of resistance and struggle from WWII onwards against invaders and occupiers such as Imperial Japan and then the French colonialists. Nor does it represent the colossal national sacrifices involved in fighting off a vast American attack and military occupation (which was undertaken in order to prop up the vile and utterly corrupt pro-US South Vietnam dictatorship regime and thus prevent the unification of Vietnam). Because self-defence against such brutal unprovoked outside aggression is actually “aggressive nationalism”. Which is not to be confused with the legitimate struggle for national self-determination which is the right of every people who want to decide for themselves who they are and how they want to be governed.

      So the next time you have to defend yourself against an unprovoked violent assault in your home remember it’s a form of aggression to fight back and try to save yourself and to even try to throw the criminal back outside. If you do manage to survive then the writers at our pro-brit blatts will welcome the result by claiming you’re no better than the criminal who assaulted you. The fact that no king lives in your home won’t stop them warming to him and writing lovely words in their favour.

    119. Jimbo says:

      Even though I’m a Scot, the Saltire being incorporated into the Union flag makes me cringe. Every time I see a crowd of people waving a Union flag above their heads, I feel embarrassed for them – the crudeness of the gesture offends me.
       
      I also have a problem with the flag’s role in the debate on independence. The fact that NO campaigners have been shamelessly fluttering that flag about the place.
       
      If British Nationalists are going to be allowed to abuse the Saltire for political ends, then all of us need to talk about the place of such symbols in our national consciousness
       
      At the moment, there is a one-sidedness to the relative positions of the flag that is disturbing. This is probably because many countries feel negatively towards the Union flag
       
      If the Union flag has negative historical associations it is because it has been flown at the front of many an invader’s army.
       
      That benign cross of white on blue, and in particular the way it is being used by supporters of independence, represents a friendly nation.
       
      The merged colours of the Union flag, on the other hand, are much more negative; by definition they are about an imperialist colonialist coming to asset strip your country.
       
      On the wall of my bathroom at home, I have a toilet roll holder.
       
      Vietnam is a united country and its positive sense of nationalism, symbolised by its beloved king, impressed me when I was there – but having said that, I know hee-haw about history.

    120. creigs1707repeal says:

      They may take our flag but…. it’s not about identity, it’s about democracy. The democratic will of the people of this country will win through on 18th September 2014. And I am fully confident that the Saltire, as the will of the independent Scottish people, will be raised aloft Stirling Council once more.
       
      YES Scotland.

    121. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

      “I feel warmly positive towards it because I feel positive towards the modern United Kingdom.” – Mark Smith

      Really! I think about…

      The London riots
      News Corp and the undermining of democracy
      The dead on both sides in the Falklands war
      The illegal Iraq war
      The race to privatise England’s NHS
      GCHQ and its unwarranted surveillance
      The City of London and its deregulated “casino” banking
      The subservience by Westminster to the USA
      The 1% with their faces in the trough
      Fracking
      The nuclear deterrent
      State broadcaster bias
      Headlines like – Is Cameron a Thatcher or a Macmillan?
      Pensions – Work ’till you drop
      Workfare – Why bother employing young adults if the Government is sending you compulsory free labour?
      Atos Healthcare – How to scapegoat and stigmatise sick and disabled people
      Short-termism and other reasons the UK is a complete and utter mess

      To quote the facebook logo of a Better Together contributer –
      (A union flag with the legend) “if you don’t like the flag feel free to **** off home”

      That is exactly what I intend to do.
       
      Home Scotland Flag Saltire Yes 18 September 2014

    122. Edward says:

      I think my Blood pressure just spiked after reading that bilge by the TV & Film person of the Herald
      I wrote the following in the comments (which will be interesting if it gets past the moderators):

      I would like to take issue with MANY of the ignorant
      statements in this article by the writer, who I honestly think is a sandwich
      short of a picnic!
      1. “Even though I’m a Scot, the Saltire makes me cringe” yet you go on to complain
      that “I also have a problem with the flag’s role in the debate on independence. The
      fact that Yes campaigners have been shamelessly fluttering the Saltire about the
      place”. So make your mind up the flag of your and our country makes you cringe or
      your proud of it but don’t want it used in the debate for Scotland’s independence?
      2. The fact that you clearly opine that the Flag of Scotland makes you cringe, tells
      us all we need to know about you – your clearly anti – Scottish! Oh dear does
      THAT upset you? Clearly if you ‘think’ your Scottish and believe in Scotland, then
      you have to at least believe in the flag of Scotland, after all the Saltire flag IS the
      flag of Scotland and identifies Scotland.
      3. “the Saltire, which has been flown at the front of many an invader’s army” – Exactly from what perspective are you stating that? By the way do you know the last time a Saltire flag was flown at the front of an invading army?? Once again you flout absolute ignorance over a flag and country that you clearly hate.
      4. “Vietnam is a united country and its positive sense of nationalism, symbolised by
      its beloved king” – Good grief your ignorance is really shining through here.
      ‘beloved king’! Are you sure you have the flag of the Socialist Republic of
      Vietnam – I think the clue is in the title of the country, but in case you don’t
      get that, Vietnam does NOT have a King
      There is an unedifying term for people that
      hate their flag and country, but your name is not Tom or Tam and possibly not
      an uncle, but it takes all sorts of morons to have a platform in a national
      paper to spout their ignorance.

      (Apologies Rev. but it made me feel better having the rant)

    123. Training Day says:

      Remember when the Herald had Jimmy Reid, Murray Ritchie and, Lord help us, even Jack McLean writing for it?
       
      Now it has Gardham and this walloper.

    124. Edward says:

      Apologise Rev for the spacing on my above,, not sure how that happened when I copied it over from what I wrote. Did try to correct, but it didn’t allow me

    125. Papadocx says:

      Mark smith, a very sick, sad and deluded individual at least he will be safe under the wing of the coo coos nest he won’t feel out of place at Pq. As for the fmq today slab and Tories appear to be singing off the same song sheet and following the same conductor. Lamonts venum and bile was in full flow, a nippy wee sweetie! As for being economical with the truth, I bow to her superior experience. I think slab and Tories will be jointly contesting seats at the next scottish election, they have so much in common. Survival and a seat at the big trough. Oynk oynk!

    126. G H Graham says:

      I would suggest that Mark Smith hasn’t had a shag or a wank in years.
       
      But revealing that in print would be an admission of sexual failure so he has chosen to focus his disgust at a flag instead of himself.

    127. Arbroath 1320 says:

      That is a cracking page you linked to rockhaggis. Unfortunately I couldn’t help myself and have tweeted Stirling Council with a link to that page. Oops! 😆

    128. jopparocks says:

      Martin Donnelly – good comment.  and how’s this for a coincidence but my name’s Martin Donnelly as well!

    129. msean says:

      I find it hard to believe that someone can hate Scotland so much,and i mean hate. I also just can’t fathom why.Please,if you hate  your country so much,just go away.Other countries have ways of dealing with people such as this,can anyone imagine what would happen to an English person said this about England or an American about the USA?

    130. McNic says:

      That put enough fire in ma belly to actually get the fleg pole erected and get the Saltire flyin in the garden. Last time it was out was Calton Hill

    131. muttley79 says:

      I think we can take it as Saltire blue that the independence rally has not gone down well with the cringers in Scotland.  The sight of so many people in Scotland holding aloft the national flag of eh Scotland at a political rally has clearly rattled more than a few Unionists here.  I think it is now fairly obvious that they have a major problem with people displaying the St Andrew’s flag in just about any context, with the possible exception of Murrayfield and Hampden.  Salmond got pelters from the media in the summer for the heinous and detestable crime of unfurling the Saltire at Wimbledon after Andy Murray’s victory.  Then we had the SOS story about fascism in Scotland, in which the Saltire was used.  We have also had the comments by Robertson recently saying Scotland has no culture or languages, both ludicrous claims from an serial, and longstanding ermine chaser.  The No campaign are clearly targeting Scottish identity and symbols of nationhood, particularly the Saltire.  This is an unbelievably stupid strategy, considering the recent census results and growing self confidence in Scotland. 

    132. HandandShrimp says:

      msean
       
      I think one of the great things about Scotland is that when somebody writes something like that people are more incredulous than angry. It just doesn’t compute. There is no need to lynch anyone or get pitch forks out because it is just such an off the wall position to take and such a distortion of history that it is self evidently pish. It is like making a case for raw liver and custard pasties…it evokes a “Aye very good, you’re on your own with that one” reaction.

    133. Murray McCallum says:

      I honestly never knew the cringe existed to this pitiful level.
       
      It would be interesting to hear Mark Smith’s views on the outcome of a “No” vote – would the Saltire be banned along with any other expression of Scottish identity or culture?
       
      Undecided voters need to judge very carefully what the advocates of the Union are increasingly saying and publishing about Scottish [non] identity.

    134. MajorBloodnok says:

      Insult Old Glory in the US and you’ll never get out alive. 
       
      As for the saltire, it seems the Unionists are fixated on what they consider to be the symbols of Scottish nationalism, be they Alex Salmond, the flag, gaelic or other Scottish cultural representations, and seem to believe that if they can attack or get rid of these symbols then they will have won.  More fool them.

    135. G H Graham says:

      Johann Lamont (Candidate for First Minister of Scotland) says …
       
      “Ah wiz at Hoallywood yesterday an’ ah geed that skinny bastard Eck a right starin’ doon. Thinks he’s speshull noo, comin in here eatin’ seeweed an’ lentils like he sum sort o’ TV celeb fae Bearsden. 

    136. MajorBloodnok says:

      @GH Graham
       
      😀

    137. DougtheDug says:

      The aim of a colonial power is always to get the colonised to police themselves because they can do it much better than any externally imposed solution.
       
      In the case of Scotland this has been a cultural or identity colonisation rather than a physical one. The aim as always being to turn the colonised against their own culture and to identify with the colonising culture instead.
       
      Assuming Mark Smith is Scottish it has apparently has worked extremely well in his case. He now can’t even stand the sight of his own flag.

    138. Arbroath 1320 says:

      I don’t think there is much, if anything I can add to what has already been said about this “article.”
       
      Perhaps the time has come for us, PRO Independence supporters to get hold of the “I’m a proud Scot” phrase so often used by the the union supporting gang and begin using it ourselves. At least we can show a passion for our country when we say we’re a proud Scot!
       
      I’m a proud Scot,
      I fly the Saltire on a flag pole in my garden
      I have a Saltire sticker on my car
      I salute the Saltire every time I see one
      I cheer every time I hear good news about Scotland
      I cheer every time I hear a Scottish team wins (not that often I admit but hey they still do win don’t they? :D:)
      I have pride in my country’s history
      I have pride in my country’s culture
      I have pride in my cvountry’s languages
      I have pride in the country of my birth
      I have pride in my country’s music
      I have pride in my country’s people
      I have pride in my country’s future
       
      Yes folks I am PROUD to be SCOTTISH!
       
      I know this is kind of from everyone’s favourite movie to hate but hey I’m sort of on a roll here. :P:
       
      They can take my country
      They can take my fellow countrymen/women
      They can take my flag
      They can shred my flag
      They can take my country’s resources
      but they will NEVER take my (all together now :D:)……… FREEDOM! 😆

    139. muttley79 says:

      Really good article by Gerry Hassan in the Scottish Review, tips cap to WoS Twitter:
       
      http://www.scottishreview.net/GerryHassan124.shtml
       
      @GH Graham
       
      What has Stairheid Lamont being saying about her ‘performance’ today at FMQs?

    140. msean says:

      Found it hard to find the correct word in my post,but ‘incredulous’ captures my mood i guess.I hope this all gets remembered pre referendum.

    141. blunttrauma says:

      This guy is deeply dippy.

    142. Training Day says:

      We should be glad that the phony war phase – that of BT saying ‘look, we love Scotland’ – is now drawing to an end, and the all-out assault on Scottish institutions, culture, heritage, language, symbols – and the very concept of Scotland itself – has begun. 
       
      We know exactly what we face with a No vote.

    143. Tris says:

      No one in the Herald’s editorial staff aware of the republican status of Vietnam?

    144. muttley79 says:

      O/T  Looks like Fred from Craig Murray’s blog is about to explode.  Here is what he has to say about our very own Juteman:
       
      We have been having a debate here about a BBC documentary to which you have contributed nothing. You just stick your oar in to snipe at anyone who doesn’t share your bigoted views. Like I said a despicable nasty little shit, Salmond’s little Blackshrt. You confirm everything I have said about Nationalists and Nationalism. History has shown them to be thugs and bullies and it doesn’t seem the SNP can claim to be any dfferent.
      Now crawl back into the hole you crawled out of, probably Salmond’s arsehole, you slimy little turd.
       
      Who are the real Cybernats?  Why are the media in Scotland so silent about the bile and abuse of the British nationalists?  Why is a democratic, peaceful campaign for independence for Scotland smeared with the Nazi/fascist tag?

    145. HandandShrimp says:

      I once looked at that Blog before..the Fred character seemed profoundly unstable and he was screaming abuse then too. Some people should take up stamp collecting or something, contact with other people just upsets them too much.  

    146. Seasick Dave says:

      It looks like the nasty nats have forced Stirling council to backtrack…

      Stirling councillors withdraw ‘fly Union flag’ motion

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-24463256

    147. Xander says:

      Hmm, interesting stuff Mr Smith. I would reply by telling you that the first thing that springs to my mind when I see the Union Jack is General Dyer and the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. This is one instance of shameful imperial behaviour, and I have many more instances that I can readily associate with the Butcher’s Apron. The history of the British Empire, and other European empires, reads like a who’s who of today’s trouble spots around the globe. That’s what I associate with the Union Jack and other imperial flags.
      My flag is, and always shall be, the Saltire.

    148. kininvie says:

      @ Seasick Dave:
      Well spotted!
      I think you can count that as a personal victory, Rev. Wings power again.

    149. Shinty says:

      My tenner is safe for another day – had a feeling they wouldn’t go through with it.

    150. Desimond says:

      Maw can ah get wan eh they Saltire flags
      Naw
      But how?
      Yir too daft an too stupit!
      But maw
      Och awright, here!
      Arrghhh
      OCH look, you’ve had yir eye oot wae the pole! Ah told you..stupit wee YES boay!

    151. Macart says:

      @Seasick
       
      That went down well then. 🙂

    152. heraldnomore says:

      In his dedication on Treblinka Survivor Mark Smith quotes the following, from Proverbs:
       
      Just as the water reflects one’s face, so does one’s heart reflect other human hearts.
       
      And in his acknowledgements he is ‘indebted to the Scottish Arts Council, without whose financial support I would not have been able to take time out from the daily grind to sit at my desk each day and write’.
       
      Now you might think that he may have been embarrassed to accept funding from such a shameless body as the SAC, but it seems not.  And of course it was Scotland that welcomed the Sperling family, as indeed it did the Smith family after his great grandmother had fled Riga for New York in the 19thC.  But she indeed saw the light, and got off the ship in Greenock, welcomed by Scotland.  Then his mother, Scots-born, who had emigrated to the States in the 50s, got homesick, and came back, welcomed home.
       
      So where does this loathing of the saltire come from?  Could it be editorial policy?  Possibly not.  Could it be a satirical piece, too deep, too clever for the rest of us?  I think not.  Maybe he just had a column to fill, an instruction as click-bait.
       
      Or maybe it’s all true, and he’s going to give the SAC it’s money back, tainted as it must surely be.  But most of all I’m wondering how his old pal Sam Sperling sees it, after the pain he endured as his late father’s tale was told, and told so very well, by Mark Smith.

      ….. and so does one’s heart reflect other human hearts.

    153. HandandShrimp says:

      I wonder if Better Together were on the phone saying “Are you out of your minds! WTF are you trying to do! We have been hiding that sodding flag not running it ip flagpoles”

    154. Andy-B says:

      Well done Rev.
       
      In destroying this  inane statement, one of the poorest Ive read yet.
       
      Pity though some will actually believe this claptrap, and see the Saltire as an embarrassment, instead of a symbol of national identity.

    155. farrochie says:

      Mark Smith is evidently running cybernat black ops.

    156. MajorBloodnok says:

      From the BBC on the Stirling Saltire debacle:
       
      On Thursday the councillors withdrew the motion, saying they did not want it to be a “distraction” from the “real issues of uncertainty“. [my emphasis]
       
      They’re still idiots then.

    157. farrochie says:

      The saltire symbolises the X-shaped cross which, tradition has it, was used by the Romans to execute St Andrew, patron saint of Scotland and of other countries. Mark Smith ignores this historic symbolism in his blind rush to denigrate the fabric and colours of the saltire.

    158. David MacGille-Mhuire says:

      Vietnam has a king? That’s a cracker.

      Not very well versed in history, is he?

      Will he publish an apology to the good people of Vietnam?

      Given his ilk’s track record – for example, the Gray man on Macedonia – somehow doubt it.

      A poster above mentioned he might be a USA citizen. If so, his vestigial Empire Loyalism – and there still are covert Brits inside the Yankee establishment mewling to this day over their separation from the Hanoverian mother tit whilst their more perspicacious peers legged it to Canada; if so, perhaps he merits a keek at by the USA security services (of which there seems to be a plethora).

      Perchance, also, a wee stint in “Gitmo” – the rhumba-ed Faslane  as an annexed piece of  Scotland: A faux Anglo- haggis style Cuba  “Libre” as per the Brit MoD black ops kite, concrete on Cuban soil  (pace America) and, threatening, coming to Jockland (?)  gin and tonic-ed, Morris Danced in a Butcher’s Apron blindfold rendered rather than in a separatist Stars and Stripes hoodie In the biggest separatist absurdity of all to the re-heated, Unionist arguments?

       Or how about going walk-about in Afghanistan or Iraq, or Bangladesh, et multifarious al in a Brit flag to tober himself up?

      Or, will he still cleave to “Britain” and its “vision” in the face of of local hostility rather than the comforting pish of the bought and paid for British media and faculty in the university “history” departments?

      Curious and sad. I had a dear friend. An alumnus of St Andrews from whom we are, I hope, at temporary odds over our joint, beloved destiny as an inclusive people: Himself for the Union. Myself for all our mutual stab at  liberation of aye and everyone under our panapoly of  kith and kin.
      Suspect this will be a temporary hiatus for all of us.

    159. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Thanks for the link SS
      .
      Power to the people!!!
       
      Who would have thought this would happen over a flag. 
      First they want to replace the Saltire with the butcher’s apron now they don’t!
       
      Well done Stu.
      Yet again WoS strikes one for the good guys and lassies! :D:

    160. Juteman says:

      @Mutley.
      Fred is too easy too wind up. He seems very unstable. I often wonder if he is Cooncilor Kelly. 🙂

    161. Dramfineday says:

      Congratulations Mark, you’ve just won the latest Cringer’s Cringer award. Go to the top of the class but don’t take your books, as I’ve a feeling that you wont be there long.

    162. G H Graham says:

      Johann Lamont (Candidate for First Minister of Scotland) says …
       
      “Ah wiz at Hoallywood today & accordin tae ma script, ah wiz tae gie that skinny bastard Fat Eck a verbal dooin. But ma jaicket & troosers wiznae fittin so well & gave me a right good scratch in ma wedding tackle area if ye know whit ah mean. So ah lost ma concentrayshun a wee bit & got stuck on some o’ those big wurds. Anyway, ah telt him ah did. Ye, see that wiz fae a’ that school trainin ah did at school an’ ‘at. And Eck? Aye, he wiz pish.”

    163. Davy says:

      The first comment of this posting said it all really, “dickhead”.
       
       
      PS. when is the results due of the next poll ?
       
      Hail Caesar!.

    164. Martin Donnelly says:

      @jopparocks – You’re not a formula one racing driver too, by any chance?

    165. muttley79 says:

      @Juteman
       
      He is getting more and more extreme.  If would be more reassuring if Fred was doing an parody of the Unionists, but I am afraid I think it is real.  He must be blowing a blood vessel with each post.  😀 
       
      @GH Graham
       
      What was Stairheid’s private response to the Presiding Officer’s rebuke today? 

    166. Weedeochandorris says:

      I think its all just a wind up.  Unionists having a field day.  Well, lap it up your time for laughing will soon be over.  Can think of a really good place for Mr Smith to put a flag pole and I’m not thinking of his back garden.

    167. Caroline Corfield says:

      for those of you on facebook this is a well written comment on the matter, which succinctly puts across how I feel too.
       
      https://www.facebook.com/EnglishPeopleForScottishIndependence/posts/506122362817097

    168. John grant says:

      If there are scots folk who genuinely think this way then I think the first few years after victory next year are going to be long and troubled 

    169. Stevie says:

      BritNat filth

      “””””””We’re done with this. But imagine, if you can, any other nation on the face of the planet we all share whose people would be happy to publicly assert such abject, wretched, miserable, cap-wringing, forelock-tugging shame in their own country. Don’t be angry at Mark Smith, readers. Don’t shout at him. Pity him, for he is to be pitied.”””””””””””””””

    170. EdinScot says:

      Mark Smith – The Shame of Scotland.
       
      What a sight to behold the jockanese British Nationalist Stirling councillors in full retreat up there in Bannockburn country, the irony will be lost on them LOL!  No balls.

    171. Atypical_Scot says:

      Due to a severe case of unadulterated and compulsory union jack waving at the age of six, my consciousness is permanently scorched bare of the love of any flag. I would summon Eddie Izzard again, but shall defer further criticism on account of my affliction.

    172. Sunshine on Crieff says:

      The Saltire is the flag of the Scottish nation, that is, its people. ALL of the people, regardless of origin or political persuasion. The No campaign have as much right to use it as do any of the unionist parties. It is reactionary British nationalists such as Mark Smith who are trying to politicise it, to demonise it.

    173. Jen says:

      I really want to comment on this pile of crap but I can’t stomach it so some people have a serious dose of the cringe.  Shameful. 

    174. MajorBloodnok says:

      John grant says: If there are scots folk who genuinely think this way then I think the first few years after victory next year are going to be long and troubled.
       
      That’s just it.  I don’t think they do genuinely think this, so I wouldn’t worry.

    175. proudscot says:

      First of all, well done Rev Stu on what I consider to be a victory brought about by your publicising of the disgraceful motion by the two Stirling councillors, one Labour one Tory, to replace the Council Saltire themed flag with the Butcher’s Apron Union Rag.
       
      Secondly, in common with most of those who have posted about the cringing self-claimed “patriotic” unionist Scot Mark Smith, I am disgusted by the self-loathing and shame he shows for Scotland in his primary 5 level article.
       
      Finally, I am struck by the similar poor level of knowledge by both arch-unionists, Mark Smith and George Robertson. Smith obviously confuses the socialist republic of Vietnam with the fiercely royalist kingdom of Thailand, when he describes the far eastern country he visited as “loving” their king. Robertson, on the other hand, I thought would have known the difference between Lord Haw Haw (Irishman and wartime Nazi propagandist William Joyce) and Vidkun Quisling (Norwegian puppet dictator of Nazi occupied Norway in WW2). Smith is a misinformed unionist twit, but Robertson is a supposedly well informed politician and confirmed anti-independence mouthpiece. I think Robertson actually used to be Labour’s Defence spokesman at one time too! Typical of Labour greasy pole climbers promoted well beyond their limited abilities!

    176. jopparocks says:

      Martin – No neither am I a new Zealand cricketer!  Sorry everyone for the derail

    177. G. Campbell says:

      About the king.

      “Near the Hoan Kiem Lake is a shrine dedicated to Vietnam’s beloved king. It is a cultural work in memory of the national hero, later king of Vietnam, Le Loi. He was the leader of the resistance against the invaders to liberate the country in the 15th century. “

      “Le Loi was said to have a magic sword of wondrous power. One story tells that he obtained the sword, inscribed with the words ‘The Will of Heaven’ from a Golden Turtle, a demi-god to the local people. The stories claim Le Loi grew very tall when he used the sword and it gave him the strength of many men.”

      http://www.thetripleex.com/2011/12/in-memory-of-beloved-king.html

      See also: Johann Lamont, radioactive squirrel, magic foghorn

    178. annie says:

      I can see how someone on twitter thought this was a spoof and herald page had been hijacked – I am truly saddened that any Scotsman should express these opinions.

    179. Brian Powell says:

      The BBC report on the Stiring councillors withdrawing their proposal states:
      “The proposal had been condemned by some nationalists.”
      So no Labour/tory Councillors with enough spine to speak up for the Councils own tradition.

    180. Ian Mor says:

      Dear oh dear, I thought everyone knew you should never go full retard! 
      http://tinyurl.com/bhd8mhj

    181. Iain says:

      Dinnatouch:
      OK, sorry: a personal bugbear. I watched the very first Dr Who episodes in the 60s and occasionally half an episode in the following 10 years, but have never been hooked.

      Let me put it in an unsupportable argument: Yes supporters who happen to like Dr Who demonstrate the breadth of the Yes support, amongst whom there is a panoply of views and tastes on all sorts of things; Mark Smith’s passion for Dr Who demonstrates the inadequacy of his political judgement!

    182. Max Solanis says:

      My first comment on the Herald was moderated out! This is my second comment that amazingly never made it either! “Hmm, seems my earlier comment about the history of the Saltire and Union flags has been disallowed. Sad really, as it was to point out that the national flag of Scotland is much older, (843AD, although originally conceived in 832AD, whilst the union flag was created in 1606AD by James VI & I at the union of the crowns.) To “Cringe” at the flag of our Nation is quite frankly ludicrous! Especially given its broad history.”

    183. Maggs says:

      Who ?

    184. G H Graham says:

      Stairheid says …
       
      Hey, you, Prezidin’ Oafficer! Am no geein yoos any mare ammunishun. Am aff tae the social club fur a wee half wi ma man. Efter a wee swallay, we urr aff tae the bingo for a wee flutter. Aboot the only thing me and Eck huv in common noo that he’s drapped aw’ that flub aff his arse.

    185. JLT says:

      What …The …F***!
       
      Excuse my language. I’ve just got home after a brutal day at work. I saw First Minister’s Questions at lunch time, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing Lamont taken to task twice by the Presiding Officer.

      I’ve just had my tea, and heard the great news about Stirling Council ‘reconsidering’ about changing the flag (in other words, the folk of Stirling made it clear to them that they can ‘GTF!’ about changing the flag).

      But, now I’ve just read this first post of the day from the Rev, and if I was in a rage two nights ago about Stirling Council, then I’m quickly turning into the Incredible Hulk! WTF!!

      I had to read Mark’s ‘post’ on the Herald twice just to make sure I read it right. Once again …WTF!!
       
      Well …here’s my take on Mark’s insightful post…
       
      Like Mark Smith, I also like watching the Proms (because I love Classical music, and I love the ‘Last Night of the Proms’…even if I am a staunch Nationalist!) and like Mark, I also like the Flag waving on the ‘Last Night of the Proms’. 

      For me, at the ‘Last Night’, I see not only Union Flags, but all the Flags of the World. That’s what makes it special for me! It’s the world at the Proms even though it is a British affair. I see Stars and Stripes, French Flags, Dutch Flags, Canadian Flags. Christ, I even seen German Flags being waved! I mean seriously …German Flags at the all-British affair of the Proms!!!! Do we hear a peep about that – Answer? – No! 

      But to Mark, wave a Saltire, and this guy gets a major cringe! I’ve seen every flag going at the Proms, I’ve seen all the home countries, from the St George’s Cross, the Satire, the Welsh Dragon, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, etc. So personally speaking …Mark Smith is talking out of the hole in his backside on this one! Bloody Idiot!
       
      And as the Rev pointed out. Vietnam …seriously …once again …W.T.F!!!
       
      Vietnam has a King. Well, that’s news to me! As history is an absolute passion of mine, somewhere in these last few years, I seem to have lapsed in my studies. When did Vietnam bring back a King?

      I think Mark here, is talking about Thailand, and if he is, then he really is clueless! The guy doesn’t even know what country he is actually visiting! and we’re meant to take this guy’s word as gospel.
       
      The Herald …Seriously, and I mean this …you should be utterly ashamed of yourselves for even printing this in your paper. This is an utter disgrace, and your editors should be getting dragged over the coals for this terrible piece of journalism.

      You have allowed someone, who claims to be a journalist, to come up with this shite, and claim it to be an opinion on a view of the Saltire. This piece is nothing more than the view of a narrow minded person, who has taken the cream-puff, because the Unionist Councillors finally saw sense in not removing the Saltire from a Council Building, because it might have incurred the possible wrath of the people of Stirling.
       
      On top of that, Mr Smith, has not done any investigation on the facts, and has in fact, come up with his own made up drivel, that he tries to pass it off as fact. Vietnam …has a king …Seriously Mark! Some bloody journalist! Mark …Vietnam is a COMMUNIST REPUBLIC, you dim-witted clown! That means ‘No King!’ Not even Royalty …At All! …Ever!
       
      He then claims that the Saltire invaded other countries …who? The only country that the Saltire invaded was England (in retaliation of English attacks) or Ireland (the Bruce’s expanding Kingdom).

      Mark …remind me again as to which countries an Scotland invaded before 1707? Please …give me the Country …the Date …the Battle. I’m seriously dying to know!! 
       
      I could go on, but I have to stop. My wife has just come in, and I’ve shown her this. Even she …is pishing herself laughing. I need to vanish for 5 minutes …I need to go and kick something …hard …very, very hard!!

    186. muttley79 says:

      @GH Graham

      Hey, you, Prezidin’ Oafficer! Am no geein yoos any mare ammunishun. Am aff tae the social club fur a wee half wi ma man. Efter a wee swallay, we urr aff tae the bingo for a wee flutter. Aboot the only thing me and Eck huv in common noo that he’s drapped aw’ that flub aff his arse.
       
      😀 😀

    187. JLT says:

      I’ve just printed off Mark’s ‘excellent and insightful’ view of our national flag into several copies.
       
      This …is going to work with me tomorrow. This …is being shown to my good Unionist pals at work.
       
      And so, the ‘Yes’ conversion process for the Scottish masses, ramps up another gear…

    188. The Rough Bounds says:

      It’s a real pity that Tricia Marwick didn’t insist that Lamont apologise to Mr. Salmond.
      Something like ‘apoligise or leave this chamber’ would have been brilliant.

    189. john king says:

      reading post from people who are commenting from an increasingly shrill no camp,
      I’m starting to see an inner peace,
      a  conviction of RIGHT  and see no likelihood for the nae Sayers to win this argument
      AND THEY KNOW IT !
       

    190. msean says:

      how much do you get paid to write this guff anyway lol?

    191. JLT says:

      Just posted on the comments page of the Herald for Mark’s piece!
       
      I’m still burning with a fury!!!

    192. Jingly Jangly says:

      Re my earlier post that it was probably the Cambodian Flag he was talking about it after a quick look on google images it maybe is the flag of Thailand.Both Cambodia and Thailand both have red white and blue in their national flag, the Thai Flag has straight lines so possibly reminds more of his beloved Butchers Apron.

      It is a strange affair this loyalty to what is probably the most hated flag on the planet.

      After the YES march I got talking to an English woman who was at the march, she said that she loved the Union Jack but detested the Georges Cross, I said I was the other way around I like the English people flying their own flag and despised the Union Flag.

      After a lengthly discussion we both understood and respected each others point of view.

      So maybe after a long discussion with Mr Smith I could respect his point of view however I very much doubt it. I will not use the word that Mr Robertson got confused about but it certainly springs to mind.

    193. JLT says:

      Jingly,
       
      Mark has posted in the comments on his ‘post’ that it was Thailand.

    194. Clydebuilt says:

      Quote a surporter 
      There’s only one thing can be said about Mark Smith. He is a dickhead.
      I prefer the terminology of “Richard Cranium”  although some may think it’s wasted
      on Mark Smith.
      bring it on I say, what percentage of readers in their right minds would be taken in by this piece. It would have seemed odd in the Guardian never mind the Herald!

    195. Boorach says:

      @ JLT
       
      I printed the Heffer piece from the mail a couple of days ago.
       
      Gave one to a No voter with whom I have a £10 wager on the outcome… he is now a Yes voter!
       
      Our bet stands but he is now betting against himself and just keeping my money warm for me. 🙂

    196. JLT says:

      Boorach,
       
      That was one thing I did thank Mark for in my lambasting of him! I thanked him for converting a few thousand more folk to the ‘Yes’ campaign.
       
      I mean …seriously …is this the best that Better Together can come up with. We have Lamont getting slapped down twice today in the Parliament because she can’t handle the truth, and then we have this guy posting in the Herald, and he is in the huff because the Council backed down about a flag.
       
      I’m starting to wonder when the tipping point will come? When will ‘Yes’ begin to overtake ‘No’? It can’t be too far away at this rate!

    197. Bill C says:

      Tried to post couple of points on the Herald today, both on this cringe merchant and on the Stirling story, both failed to be published. That is a bit unusual as my posts normally get published. Just wondering if the Herald was being a wee bit choosy on what they were publishing. Mr. OBE’s rants on the First Minister don’t seem to have any problems getting past the mods. Just wondering if anyone else was experience a similar problem?

    198. Dcanmore says:

      @Bill C
      I too used to post measured comments that only used fact to debunk a published myth or lie and asked reasonable questions of Better Together. For over a year I had no problem with the Herald, but since July I haven’t had one post get past moderation. So after a while i just gave up and never went back.

    199. Dcanmore says:

      @JLT …
      One thing I’ve noticed about the Unionist cabal (mostly Labour) on the telly, they look a bit dejected and ashen-faced, as if they’ve realised they’ve been played for fools or something. Just look at Darling, Lamont and D Alexander, there’s no energy in their speeches, just rehashed arguments suffering from copy-fade. Seems to me that the pool of Unionist spokespersons is getting thinner. You just kind of feel something’s happening.

    200. Boorach says:

      @ JLT
       
      It’s coming, never been more confident of anything. As a political tactician our man in Bute House has no equal and knew exactly what he was doing when he set the long run-in to the I Day referendum.
       
      We’ve absorbed everything our foes could throw at us and now in their desperation their rhetoric is becoming more and more panicy. With desperation and panic come mistakes vis. Heffer, Robertson, Stirling council, Lamont and Darling this morning on GMS.
       
      Every mistake they make irritates the DKs just that wee bit more and moves them toward the light at the end of the tunnel. With the White Paper and Joint Statements to come the polls will be favourable by the end of the year. 🙂

    201. Bill C says:

      Thanks Dcanmore, I was doing alright up until today.  I’ll have a few more tries and see what happens.

    202. Edward says:

      Slighty O/T – Just read that HM Queen is to be given a pay rise of …. 22 % over then next 2 years. Apparently she is down to her last million in the bank. Meanwhile nurses in England have been told that the expected 1% pay increases has been canceled

    203. Votadini Jeannie says:

      @JLT
       
      remind me again as to which countries an Scotland invaded before 1707? Please …give me the Country …the Date …the Battle. I’m seriously dying to know!!
       
      It’s my understanding that we once invaded the Isle of Man. I can’t give you the date however as I’ve lost the book where I read it (Cliff Hanley’s “The Scots”). According to the author, following the event it is still legal for a Manx native to kill any Scot found more than a mile inland, although it’s thankfully not enforced.
       
      Does this Smith idiot not realise that the Union Rag is not an official flag of the UK (because it’s not a country, see?) however our Saltire had been an official national flag for well over 1,000 years? Some folks are just a waste of skin.

    204. Quick the suns oot says:

      Well it turns out we were crude and offensive in Glasgow on sunday. We went along to cheer on a runner in the BoS 10km race with the 2 saltires we had from the rally. Oor runner then ran the whole darn 10km with one of them and we were waving the other above our heads at the finish line! Thousands of people were exposed, humble apologies, shame faced thingy…. err no!
       
      I cant believe that level of cringe, thats something else. 

    205. Ellie says:

      Jingly,
       Mark has posted in the comments on his ‘post’ that it was Thailand.

      Well I can see why he wants to try and hide his ignorance, but perhaps someone should point out to him that he clearly states that the country with the beloved King that he is talking about kicked out both the French and Americans.  I’m wracking my brains but I can’t ever recall an American invasion of Thailand……..No I suspect that Mr SMith is that breed of journalist that believes facts should fit the story, not that the story should fit the facts

    206. Jimbo says:

      @VotadiniJeannie
       
      The Isle of Man and the Hebrides were ceded to Scotland by Norway for 4,000 Merks under the terms of the Treaty of Perth in 1266. This treaty brought a final end to the conflict between Scotland and Norway.
       
      After the death of Alexander III (1241 – 1286), Edward I (1239 – 1307) took possession of Man in 1290 as part of his expansion programme. It remained in English hands until King Robert I (1274 – 1329) took it back into Scotland’s possession in 1313. After the Battle of of Neville’s Cross in 1346 the Isle of Man changed hands again, and did so few times more until 1399, when it was claimed as a property of the English Crown.
       
      Possibly the Scottish invasion you have in mind is when James II tried to take Man back into Scotland’s possession in 1456.

    207. Restlessnative says:

      Never read such a blatant display of dumbfuckery. The man’s a plamph.

    208. JLT says:

      Ellie,
       
      Excellent point! Another reason as to why Mark and The Herald should be chastised. He has definitely mixed up the histories of Thailand and Vietnam, plus the flag on his bathroom wall will not be Vietnamese. It will be Thai. (The question that only Mark can answer is …is the flag on the wall red with a yellow star, and if it is, then this will be the Vietnamese flag. If it is a flag with 3 horizontal stripes in the colours of red, white and blue, then it is the Thai flag).

      I too have been to Thailand, and can say it is a great country. The people are friendly, love their royalty, and are extremely proud of their nation (something which Mark likes for all other nations …except Scotland).

      To be honest, the Herald should be posting an apology for such a terrible piece of journalism. It has dig at Scotland throughout the entire piece, and the facts were so wrong, that it is truly staggering. This should never have got beyond the editing desk. So, in my opinion, someone deserves a part of their anatomy booted at the Herald.

    209. Seasick Dave says:

      I have asked Mark to clarify which years that Thailand kicked out the offending Japanese, French and Americans but I don’t expect a reply.
       
      He is just being disingenuous and it has backfired big time.
       
      I see that he still stands by his comments though which shows that he is even more blinkered than I first thought.

    210. Neil Comfort says:

      Let’s not forget this is the lovely North East lad who, the day after Thatcher died, wrote a heartfelt soliloquy on how hard it was to be a Scottish Tory growing up in the 80s (really? why?), and reminisced about his emotional pilgrimage to dear old Maggie’s grocery store. Never got published on the Herald website for some reason…

    211. bookie from hell says:

      bring back david torrance

    212. Cactus says:

      Cheers for your recent comments link in bookie from hell ~

      That’s some article above eh!

      Pity Mark Smith.

    213. cath says:

      I adore the logic of, “I totally hate the Saltire; it makes me cringe. I despise seeing it anywhere and anyone flying it. And those BASTARDS who actually do like it and fly it are claiming it as theirs! How dare they take it from those of us who despise it and don’t want it?”

      The fact the UK media in Scotland is reduced to that level of unionist commentator is a sad pass, for them.

    214. James Brown says:

      Holy horseshite! So this is the cretinous oaf that has replaced Torrance?
      Why does he think the union flag is known the world over as the butcher’s apron then?
      It’s not because of benevolence is it?
      Mind you, if Mr Smith thinks Vietnam has a king, never mind a beloved king, then his judgment not to mention his sanity must be questioned.
      Oh dear. George Outram must be birlin in his grave.

    215. Cactus says:

      Upon independence…

    216. Ken Harvey says:

      Wow, some really messed up logic on display there. I presume his point about the Vietnam flag is that Vietnam used to be split in two until they decided they were “better together

      Despite some history suggesting that Vietnam was always (like the uk) a unitary country, there is a school of thought that things S Vietnam, due to being part of the Khemer empire should never have been subsumed by the north. There is definatly something to that, as there is quite a notable cultural difference between the two Vietnamsides, with parts of the south, particularly outside HCMC being quite similar in their outlook and culture to Cambodia.

      But a Vietnamese king…….

      And I’ve got an Timor Leste flag in my bedroom… what does that say about me!

    217. Dross of the Taexali says:

      I was searching for his use of the word ‘parochial’, to comment upon, as it is the most misused (or misunderstood) word there is these days. But it is actually worse: if anyone in journalism misunderstands the meaning of the word ‘narrow’ (as in Scotland’s aims) it’s more than enough for me. The Herald won’t now even cross my door. By the way, they don’t half love to fly the St Georges Cross on its own, don’t they?

    218. Roddie MacLennan says:

      Which makes criticism of efforts to strengthen Gaelic’s position in Scotland all the more intriguing. In Scottish independence, do we simply seek an “improved” monoglot country, or does the list of wrongs needing righted include the ills visited on our founding culture? Prof. William Ferguson wrote in his, “The Identity of the Scottish Nation”, ” The origin of the Scottish nation is not in any detectable measure Pictish, British, Anglican or Norse, as the Declaration of Arbroath made very clear: Scottish identity evolves from the Gaelic tradition of Ireland as re dived, developed and modified in Scotland”. What’s disappearance of a flag compared to a language? Flags are easy to create; nation languages, impossible.



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