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Wings Over Scotland

The crushing of a people

Posted on February 02, 2014 by

The following paragraph closes an article in today’s Observer.

“Kelly Gibson, 36, a homeless Big Issue seller on busy Sauchiehall Street, perhaps summed it up best: ‘I think that maybe we’ve got too much to lose. If they can’t explain to me how Scotland will be richer, how do I know that I will be better off?'”

We’re almost lost for words. But not quite.


For decades and centuries within the Union, the Scottish people have been belittled as too wee, too poor and too stupid to run their own affairs. The idea has been mocked and ridiculed relentlessly, by governments and oppositions and TV shows and newspapers, with barely a voice to defend it. Only an election victory on a shocking, unimagined scale – designed to be impossible to achieve – for the SNP in 2011 has suddenly made the prospect a reality and forced a stunned UK into lashing out in its surprise and indignation at our temerity.

Even the No campaign no longer tries – as policy, at least – to claim that Scotland would be an economic basket case. It’s agreed by Yes and No alike that the country COULD be perfectly viable and successful. But generations of being told the opposite have taken their toll. Almost 40% of the people refuse to accept what ALL sides tell them about their country’s ability to do what every other country on Earth manages. Some are infuriated by the mere suggestion of it.

And now so ingrained into Scottish DNA is this cancer of cringing inferiority that even a homeless Big Issue seller, with no detectable sense of irony, will allow himself be quoted saying he has “too much to lose”. A man without even a roof over his head is still so browbeaten and afraid that he imagines his nation will – if put in the hands of its own clever, inventive and resourceful people, respected and admired the world over for their ingenuity and determination – somehow contrive a situation where he’ll be worse off than sleeping in the street.

(Like what? An economy so ruined we won’t even have shop doorways any more?)


We could weep, readers. But we daren’t, in case it puts out the fires of our rage.

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    201 to “The crushing of a people”

    1. annie says:

      It is truly unbelievable – please let some yes campaigner come across him and put him right.

    2. Dan Huil says:

      I’m sure Cameron, Osborne, Darling and Carmichael had a smug smile on their faces after reading the Observer’s article.

    3. bunter says:

      Shocking, and well put Rev.

    4. Perhaps it would be advisable for you to approach the big issue and write a piece for them. One that wouldn’t be available anywhere else, not even on WoS.

      That way anyone who wants to read your article has to buy the big issue and anyone who buys the big issue will have a copy of your article. I’d call that a win-win.

    5. Ian Brotherhood says:

      As perplexing as it is tragic.

      (And to make it worse, Prof John Curtice managed to get into the article. Are we sure there’s only one of him?)

    6. Jimmy The Pict says:

      For the life of me I can’t think of how we would be worse off.

    7. scotty says:

      ive got a 12lbs sledgehammer if you want a loan of it.

    8. Thepnr says:

      Unfortunately this just shows how successful the propaganda has been over generations. What’s next? Scotland will lose its foodbanks if we vote for Independence, sorry but that appears to be how many people currently think. It is our job to make then think otherwise.

    9. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      At last … a thoughtful well-crafted PPB from Better Together …

    10. Seasick Dave says:

      They won’t crush me.

    11. PRJ says:

      But some people believe what they read. Newspapers being there only source of readable material.

      It’ about time the Scots Independant rematerialises or an equivilent.

    12. Clootie says:

      If I was homeless and poor I may be tempted to say anything for a few bob.

      If he did say it of course ( do I trust our MSM – NO )

    13. gillie says:

      Has been deliberately been misquoted?

      Would you trust a journalist?

    14. Alan MacD says:

      “We could weep, readers. But we daren’t, in case it puts out the fires of our rage.”

      Im having a very large whisky to that sentiment good sir.

    15. HandandShrimp says:

      I have nothing but I am frightened to lose it. Now that is Project Fear in action. It was the same mentality that kept the serf tied to the feudal Lord.

    16. Desimond says:

      Its hard to see clearly when you havent been allowed any vision for years

    17. megsmaw06 says:

      This is our anthem on days like these:

    18. Graeme R says:

      That is truly tragic

    19. Jim Arnott says:

      This is really so sad. Westminster and their propagandists are absolutely despicable. The BBC, as the state broadcaster, is the worst. No attempt at balance and so arrogant that they believe they have no case to answer.

      The only way forward is to support sites like Wings and others that hold the media to account and for activists to get out there and sell the positive vision of an independent Scotland.

      Yesterday’s fabulous turnout for Edinburgh’s Super Saturday has to be replicated all over the country. It is inspiring to compare that with the horlicks that was Better Together’s attempt at distributing 500,000 leaflets on Friday when best estimates by observers was nearer 25,000.

      There will be a Yes vote on 18th Sept. 2014 – I like that.

    20. Roboscot says:

      How do we know this Big Issue seller actually said that?

    21. Faltdubh says:

      This is why, we must keep up the debate and discusion through social media and out pounding the streets.

      We WIN the hustings/debates when drawn against BT.

      Keep on keeping on.

    22. Finnz says:

      They say the only way you can disappoint someone who has nothing is to give them something broken.
      That sounds eerily like the BT promise of more powers if there is a no vote.

    23. lumilumi says:

      For the homeless – haven’t the Scottish Government been in the process of introducing legislation that everybody ought to have a roof over their heids as a basic human right? (Something the UK government considers “scrounging”)

      Turkeys, Christmas, comes to mind if homeless people vote NO.

      Independence won’t solve all the social problems bequathed by the UK at a stroke, but it’ll give the government of the day leeway and real opportunities of addressing deprivation. Independent of the neo-lib Westmister, who just don’t give a shit.

    24. twenty14 says:

      Wonder how the interview went – ” how do you intend to vote in September in the Referendum ”

      As if this Guy has been pondering this over his latte.

      This boils the blood

    25. Murray McCallum says:

      I take it the man in question will be on national TV now and make a speech at the next New OneNation Scottish Labour party conference.

      Their message of Scottish hopelessness has worked very well.

      Very depressing.

    26. Remembering that ‘not good enough’ feeling I had when I lived for six years in the ‘deep south’ Feel very sad, but much more ANGRY, that somebody in this situation could STILL feel that their life could not get better at the hands of their own folk!

    27. HandandShrimp says:


      A very good point. It seems a finely honed political point to have been randomly been generated from a chance encounter on the street. Is it all Kelly said? Is it in context? Does he feel fairly represented?

      I must confess I wasn’t much enamoured by Portsmouth Secretary’s point of view last night (and said so) and feel probable less impressed by it today.

    28. Horacesaysyes says:

      I literally cannot believe that quote can be true!

      I’ve (fortunately) never been homeless, and I understand how it could sap your will and colour your views on politics, and I could understand if he said ‘I don’t think it’ll make things any better for me’. But to say ‘we’ve got too much to lose’ is unfathomable to me.

    29. Tony Little says:


      That video has to be a spoof? Surely!

    30. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @PRJ says:
      But some people believe what they read. Newspapers being there only source of readable material.
      It’ about time the Scots Independant rematerialises or an equivilent.

      Pretty well all the Scottish and UK national newspapers are dead men walking. Their influence (on any front, not just Scottish independence) shrinks by the day.
      The Scottish independence referendum is being won online, and at a local level with meetings and door-chapping and leafleting.

      The MSM are unwittingly doing the YES campaign a massive service. In the absence of a (positive) NO campaign, all the MSM can do is to try to spread fear by telling lies. This tactic might have worked in days of old, but is counter-productive now. With the truth available online, the MSM’s ongoing antics are providing a steady stream of additional lies to be recorded, disproved, and discussed by sites like Wings.

      It is a typical death-spiral. The more the MSM sense that they are not succeeding with the lie-propagation, the more they hit out (e.g. at Cybernats) without thinking, thereby unintentionally sending more of their readers to the online sources. A proportion of those readers will then stop buying newspapers forever, because they will find that news online is easy to access, and is more accurate and truthful.

    31. CUtommy says:

      Thepnr says:

      Even Foodbanks aren’t safe under Westminster. Tory, Edwina Currie has called for them to be banned. Apparently they are doing Tesco’s out of business. I thought the Tories encouraged competition.

    32. halftracknat says:

      As I said on an earlier thread, Thatcher built more houses per annum than Labour in the UK built under Blair/Brown. From 2003 to 2007 Labour in Scotland built 6 houses.

    33. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @Tony Little says:
      That video has to be a spoof? Surely!

      Yes, it’s a spoof.
      It’s a delightfully well-crafted and on-target spoof …

    34. Alba4Eva says:

      1. Is this another media misquote?

      2. If not, then is the Big Issue seller not very bright? …maybe the reason he is selling the Big Issue?

      3. If he is bright, but homeless from some other reason… then just wow!

    35. sneddon says:

      Newspaper interviews Scotland’s most stupid Big Issue seller. If it’s for real I imagine ‘Kelly” is getting the wind ripped out of them by their colleagues (unless they were being ironic?)

    36. Hope this isn’t too early to post this but another ‘Welsh’ Labour AM is doing the Tories dirty work for them.

    37. Graeme McCormick says:

      Re Tesco: the UK supermarkets in some shape or form are the paymasters of the UK political establishment.

    38. Rolf says:

      I helped with canvassing in one of the poorest parts of Edinburgh yesterday and there were more people voting yes than no out of those I spoke to. The truth is getting out.

    39. Papa docs says:

      Yes we’ve been brow Beaten and pummelled into believing we are to wee, stupid, poor. Maybe our big issue seller might ponder maybe we are in this state because that is where the rich ESTABLISHMENT want us in the pecking order. while they rifle our pockets and steel even our self respect and confidence and treat us like beggars and wasters in our own country, while they lord it over us with their ill begotten gains. PARASITES, when they have been found out they belittle us and heaven above punish and bad mouth us for complaining about their inhumanity towards us.

    40. crisiscult says:

      I was reading some comments yesterday on a Russians in Scotland page of facebook and noticed something akin to the Scottish cringe or, for sake of a better word, psyche. I mentioned this word way back on this site – it’s known in Russian as avos. It’s hard to explain but it’s a kind of feeling of shrugging your shoulders at your powerlessness and accepting fate. Sorry if that’s not a perfect translation. Anyway, this guy was criticising another Russian in Scotland who had ‘liked’ an article in the independent about Scotland’s positive economic possibilities after independence (I’m amazed the lady had found a positive article in a newspaper, but moving on …). The sense of his post was ‘Why? Why bother with this silly independence thing. Nothing changes. The Scots have it not so bad. They’re basically the same people as the others in the UK. The economic arguments aren’t so strong’

      I felt quite annoyed by it because we hate most in others what we dislike in ourselves. It summed up a lot of Scots for me. I lived away for 15 years so maybe I got cured.

    41. mato21 says:

      It is safe to say the Big Issue seller will not be spending his hard earned money on the Observer so I’m sure they could write whatever they pleased without fear of contradiction

      It would be useful if someone from Glasgow could keep an eye out for Kelly and ask him if that’s what he actually thinks He is in need of some hope for the future

      Just a thought has the London press moved home?
      Yesterday it was the London Times today the Observer we’re becoming the place to be

    42. Bill Lees says:

      Never mind that the Big Issue seller was offering his personal opinion on a specific political issue concerning the country that he happens to live in, and not necessarily on any putative link between a possible future independent Scotland and an improvement in his own immediate personal circumstances, eh? His point of view is a valid one, shared by many others who may or may not be fellow Big Issue sellers. I find it somewhat distasteful that he should be mocked for expressing his views on that basis.

      Or perhaps in brave new independent Scotland Big Issue sellers aren’t allowed to have political opinions unless they are related specifically to being homeless?

    43. gordoz says:

      Who was it said ..’Dont let the Bstards grind you down’

      All the newspapers are foreign to Scotland anyway; and that goes for the collusive journalist club as well.

      YES will win despite them !

    44. Kevin Brown says:

      Rev. I know you will never, ever be at a loss for words – ever. I dip into your site now daily. Well said (this article) and well done – both this article and the site. Keep up the good work!

    45. gillie says:

      I doubt whoever Kelly Gibson is actually said what has been reported. The Guardian have over egged this particular pudding.

    46. Croompenstein says:

      FFS Nowt queer as folk eh! people don’t like change even scared of it but FFS how can things get worse for oor Kelly! Flipper and big Bliar will be huntin him doon as we speak

    47. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I find it somewhat distasteful that he should be mocked for expressing his views on that basis.”

      I find it mindboggling that you could read the article above and conclude that he was being mocked in it.

    48. Croompenstein says:

      Was there a photie of Kelly with suitable Kezia sniff sniff bawl thae evil cybernats Dugdale pose as per Daily Heil ?

    49. cynicalHighlander says:

      It just shows how our corrupt media has worked.

    50. Susan says:

      This is the Death of Hope.

    51. Dramfineday says:

      It is beyond sad that Kelly finds himself in the position he is in. It is infuriating that he has been so beaten down as to believe this is as good as it gets. Grrr.

    52. Thepnr says:


      I worked for an Oil company in Turkmenistan almost 20 year ago. I had a Moscow educated interpreter with me at all times. He told me a typical Russian Joke which describes just what you are getting at.

      Three archers gathered for a competition to shoot an apple from a boys head.

      First up was Switzerlands greatest archer William Tell, he drew back his bow, shot the arrow and split the apple in two.

      Next was Englands greatest archer Robin Hood, he drew back his bow, shot the arrow and split the apple in two.

      Finally it was Igors turn, he took aim, drew back his bow and fired the arrow right between the boys eyes!

      The crowd gasped, Igor turned to them shrugged his shoulders and said Oops!

      I told him “that’s not very funny” “Yes it is” he said it’s the Russian way. Fecked if I could understand it.

    53. Alabaman says:

      Has anyone checked to see if there is a Kelly Gibson with the Big Issue organisation ?.

    54. Bill Lees says:

      Rev. Stuart. You were deriding the man’s honestly expressed and totally valid point of view expressing doubts on a possible independent Scotland entirely on the basis of his personal circumstances as a Big Issue seller : “Like what? An economy so ruined we won’t even have shop doorways any more?” Seems you aren’t prepared to consider the possibility that this man is perfectly entitled to his view.

      Looked a heck of a lot like mockery to me.

    55. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Years of continual brainwashing I’m afraid.

      If heard some very sad things, but that takes the biscuit. As far as BT are concerned using a poor homeless chap to attack Independence will backfire on them. I assume they didn’t ask him what he thought the benefits of the Union are?

    56. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Looked a heck of a lot like mockery to me.”

      Then sorry, Bill, but you’re a fucking imbecile, if the tone you came away with from this piece was “amusement”.

    57. Bill Lees says:

      I see, so that’s the standard of debate here, is it? An instant resort to virulent personal abuse for the mildest questioning of your views?

      In that case, I’ll leave you to it. Try not to become too consumed by hatred.

      kindest regards.

    58. Jon D says:

      But Westminster will always find work for us to do…

    59. We have reported on the racist cybernat comments sent to Anus Sarwar, and have proof that these activities are coordinated, not by the controller, but by Dictator Eck himself!

    60. TJenny says:

      John Bird founder of The Big Issue is, according to Wikipedia, a self confessed working class Tory, who is also against soup-kitchens, doesn’t say what his views are on foodbanks. I’m sure I’ve seen him being interviewed where he has said he’s against Scottish Independence (can’t remmeber where).

      Perhaps Kelly was just employing a wee bit of self preservation in light of his bosses stance.

    61. crisiscult says:


      Supposedly you have to have a Russian soul to get their jokes. My wife is half Russian. She just told me that avos is not taking responsibility. Maybe that explains the joke better!

      I’ll just wade into the debate about whether it seemed this article was taking the piss out of Kelly, the homeless man. I really didn’t take that from the article. I understood the point that so many people, no matter their position, think things could be worse, rather than people thinking, no matter their position, that things could be better, and actively wanting to make them better. Hence, the avos comment about Russians.

    62. mato21 says:

      Bill Lees

      I most certainly was not mocking Kelly

      If he is selling the Big Issue I would imagine he will be in receipt of benefits. Is he aware how these are in line for further cuts?

      I feel everyone needs hope that the future has something better to offer Kelly does not appear to have this

      Regardless of how well off you feel today tomorrow any one of us could be selling the Big Issue

    63. HandandShrimp says:

      I would be interested in seeing a longer interview, perhaps in the Big Issue itself, which I get regularly, in fact one of the very few newspaper/magazines I actually buy.

      It would particularly interesting to hear the views of Big Issues sellers generally as perhaps a regular feature as we run up to the vote.

    64. Alba4Eva says:

      Bill, no one is ‘mocking’ the Big Issue seller. Just the idea that someone who is homeless can have ‘too much to lose’!

      Of course we also only have the journalists word for this at the moment.

    65. Dinnatouch says:

      Domestic abusers belittle their victims constantly. If they do it long enough the victim comes to believe they’re worthless. This is domestic abuse on a national scale.

    66. Papa docs says:

      O we are being mocked ok. Because some of us have had the audacity to wake up and see how our country and people have been ground into the dust so that London could become the playground of the rich at our expense. Where has most of the money come from to build London’s impressive skyline, underground, airports, new sewers, hs2 to Birmingham. WELL WHERE HAS IT COME FROM? …. Out of Kelly’s pockets along with all the rest of us STUPID JOCKS.

      For centuries we were looked down upon as we seemed to stupid to realise we were being robbed blind in pounds, and were eternally thankful and grateful when the PARASITES gave us back a few shillings to show how good they are to us peasants. Thanks master & a tug at the forelock.

      These people who have done this to Scotland now have the scruff to try and browbeat us into accepting their control by use and abuse over us. And THE PROUD SCOTS WHO WANT TO HOLD ONTO THE ESTABLISHMENTS COAT TAILS AND SELL OUT THEIR OWN COUNTRY AND PEOPLE, ARE THE SCUM OF THE EARTH, THE PSUDO MIDDLE CLASS PROUD SCOTS WHO WANT TO BE ANYTHING BUT SCOTS!


    67. heedtracker says:

      Even the CIF on this report is pretty tame too but that’s only because the progressive and liberal Guardian either simply disappears comments or blocks you permanently. The main thing is that this one and only “liberal” UK paper is just as determined to keep Scotland under British ownership and ruled by Westminster as everyone else attacking new democracy for Scotland.

    68. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I see, so that’s the standard of debate here, is it? An instant resort to virulent personal abuse for the mildest questioning of your views?”

      The sort of grown man who reacts to a rude word every one of us hears a hundred times a day with a big huffy strop is the kind of debater I’ll happily live without. Mind the door doesn’t bruise your backside.

    69. Alba4Eva says:

      Papa Docs. I feel you, but stay cool… eyes on the prize. 😉

    70. Spansco says:

      Their is only one thing worse than poverty of substance, and that is poverty of aspirations.
      It would appear many in Scotland suffer from that malady, and that is very sad for us. But a gift to those who will exploit our people and our country’s resources because of it.

    71. Ken500 says:

      ‘Poverty of Despair’.

      What would a homeless person in London say. ‘They support the Tories’?

    72. Bill Lees says:

      To Caesar!4eva: the point is that a Big Issue seller can express doubts about the worth or viability of the concept of Scottish independence on a general level without necessarily relating it to his current personal circumstances, and it’s not fair for others to deride those doubts purely on the basis of the man’s personal circumstances. There is such a thing as a considered view. My objection was to the way that Kelly’s legitimate view appeared to be being dismissed on the basis that as a mere Big Issue seller, of course he shouldn’t be expressing doubts about the independent Scotland proposition. Perhaps he will be personally better off in an independent Scotland, but he’s legitimately entitled to his doubts.

    73. Croompenstein says:

      @BBC Scotlandshire – Dicator Eck’s tea is oot..Baron Foulkesake of Cumminit..genius 🙂

    74. Croompenstein says:

      I think the point is not about Kelly’s personal views but that the fact that someone who is homeless selling the big issue on a freezing day in Glasgow could think that they have more to lose should Scots decide to vote for independence. He can be against it all he wants but for FFS how has he got much more to lose!!

    75. HandandShrimp says:


      His second (of only two sentences reported) was

      “If they can’t explain to me how Scotland will be richer, how do I know that I will be better off?”

      So he was talking about his own situation rather than a more philosophical political position. However with only two sentences I don’t even know if Kelly is male or female never mind what their political perspective is.

      That said, it is incumbent upon the Scottish Government and the Yes campaign to have an inclusive message that offers hope to everybody.

    76. kalmar says:

      Sad, but, y’know, there just might be other reasons he holds a seemingly illogical view on this particular subject, if indeed he did say anything of the sort. Without making too much of a generalisation, I don’t feel that bothered about it either.

    77. crisiscult says:

      Bill Lees

      Fair enough point, but if you’ve read quite a few of the posts by the gentleman who runs the blog, you’ll get the impression he’s not the kind of guy who runs down the unemployed, for example, or thinks their views aren’t worthwhile. I think the comment of Kelly’s fitted the theme of aspiration, in a similar way to the journalist using his comments in the Observer to fit whatever his theme was (haven’t read the article so don’t know what it was, but there presumably is one)

    78. Flower of Scotland says:

      O/t My Daughter lives in California and told me tonight that she had read in some local paper that the Scots could not afford to become Independent because the oil was running out !!

    79. scottish_skier says:

      The point at least one person seems to miss – in the midst of his righteous indignation – is why we are in the situation where we have homeless people trying to feed themselves by selling a magazine (for homeless people to sell) on the streets first place?

      Is the UK a well-governed, wealthy modern democracy or one where food banks and big issue sales are the best many can hope for?

    80. Clydebuilt says:

      Rev. Stu back to your best. Brilliant!

    81. Bill Lees says:

      Rev. Stuart: Not a big huffy strop at all. I hear (and deploy the word myself) “fucking” every day, and I’m unworried by it. To dismiss someone you disagree with as an “imbecile” on first engagement, however, is of a different order and suggests an unwillingness to engage, to say nothing of a serious deficiency of basic respect.

      On that basis, I hope you’ll forgive me if I do decline to engage with you, even if I did initially hold out a hope that it might be interesting.

      You’ll perhaps be comforted to know that I’ve thus far managed to swing my ageing arse out of the path of the swinging exit door.

      Good luck to you.

    82. BuckieBraes says:

      ‘How do I know that I will be better off?’

      That seems to relate the opinion pretty well to personal circumstances, the way I read it.

      Whether the quote is accurate is, of course, another matter. It probably isn’t.

    83. Theunicorn says:

      If Kelly does exist and is indeed not some figment of some journalist’s imagination then I agree that his or her voice should be heard. The question for me is why someone should feel that way. We owe it to all of Scotland’s brothers and sister to acknowledge their concerns and aspirations and to help free them from the psychological chains that have had thrust upon
      them. Kelly, we need you to help us to help you.

    84. Andy-B says:

      Have a look at these very seldom used but fascinating words.

      Jackie Bailie, would hate a groak, and Johan Lamont is a quockerwodger, for sure.

    85. SquareHaggis says:


      Good analogy.

    86. GP Walrus says:

      If we didn’t know it by now, the MSM distort our view of ourselves. One Big Issue seller, seen darkly through the glass of a London newspaper, should not be a cause for too much soul searching.

      You only need to compare the grassroots campaigns to see the true attitude of the Scots to the prospect of independence.

    87. John Walsh says:

      HI Rev I came late to twitter and have now found a voice to reply to and question or comment on what I find important to me.
      So you keep wings going strong.

      I keep my blood pressure down and have saved many a TV since reading your blog.I wonder how many more people would be enraged and enlightened if they could access a more truthful media.

    88. twenty14 says:

      Bill Lees – You do seem to be looking for something that isn’t there.

      The point regarding the Big Issue seller is the despair in all of us, that he reckons he could be worse off than he already is, under a Union that helped put him where he is and is depriving him of any hope for the future

    89. Clydebuilt says:

      Quote: PRJ says:
      2 February, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      “It’s about time the Scots Independant rematerialises or an equivilent.”

      Scots independent is published monthly. BUT available only on subscription. Maybe volunteers could distribute it to shops.

      Noticed that the Morning Star has become available in Co-op’s recently.

    90. muttley79 says:

      @Bill Lees

      I have read your posts and have no idea what your point is. The whole point of the article was to show the irony of a homeless magazine seller saying that he personally had too much to lose from independence. I think the aim of the article was to argue that many people in Scotland have effectively had the “too wee, too poor, too stupid” myth drummed into them; to the point where they think they have no choice but to accept and tolerate been ruled by right wing government’s from Westminster we never even voted for. Nobody was having a go at him for saying he was against independence.

    91. Oneironaut says:

      @Bill Lees
      Agreeing with you that he’s entitled to his view.

      But his view sounds sadly misinformed to me. Claiming that his question of how Scotland could be richer if independent couldn’t be answered suggests he’s been asking all the wrong people or been given the wrong information.

      I’d definitely be curious to find out if this is a real person or simply a misquote or a “made up” interview for propaganda purposes.

      As for his personal circumstances… In a situation where you’ve lost almost everything in an unfair two-tiered society that doesn’t give a damn about anyone (and has been conditioned to hate anyone on any form of social security!), I’d suppose it would be difficult to believe the idea that there is a possibility of a future worth living.

      That’s the same mentality that Westminster wants us to have: “This is the way things are. Nothing will ever change. Just keep quiet, work for us, and pay your way. This is all there is…”
      When you think about it that way, it seems almost more disturbing than the open brutality of the dystopian “police states” of fictional stories!

      In this case there IS a possibility though, and I think this guy and others in his situation could draw some comfort from that possibility.

      We have much more to lose from a No vote than we risk with a Yes vote.

    92. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      Not sure if anyone has posted this before, but here’s the Daily Record’s shoot-themselves-in-the-foot (they foolishly mentioned Wings by name) effort from Saturday, bashing Friday’s Cybernat Black Opps:-

      Great photo of the Rev Stu at the top.

      “What on earth they hoped to achieve by this is anyone’s guess.”
      … err … THE TRUTH …

    93. JLT says:

      We are going to win.

      Make no bones about it …We will win.

      The percentages are going up.

      Salmond, Sturgeon, and all the old Dreamhearts and diehards knew this from the start. A quick referendum would have killed the dream. They knew that. That was why it would take as much as 5 to 10 years (say from 2007) to slowly remove this deep, deep fear from the Scottish soul.

      But it is happening. The fear IS dissipating. The percentages continue to go up.

      And when those that continually say ‘No’, well …for a good many of them, and I mean …a good many of them …that moment will be tested, when it is just them, a piece of paper in front of them with just one question, and a pen in one hand.

      Many WILL be haunted at that moment. ‘What do they do?’ Many WILL ripple with fear. Not out of the Scottish cringe, but knowing that if they do vote ‘No’, then they will have failed Scotland, and they will have failed not only themselves, but also their family and friends. They will know that NEVER again, will a chance like this, come for them again. That this IS it! A one off question! A one off chance! ‘A moment of pure sovereignty’ as Jim Sillars put it. One defining moment! THEIR one moment.

      We will win. I have no doubt of that. We are going to win.

    94. SquareHaggis says:

      Being homeless it’s doubtful Mr kelly will even be registered to vote.


    95. muttley79 says:


      That’s the same mentality that Westminster wants us to have: “This is the way things are. Nothing will ever change. Just keep quiet, work for us, and pay your way. This is all there is…”

      Correct, it is TINA (There is no alternative). The British establishment wants you to think that there is no other way, no alternative, that all politicians are the same so that they do not have to change things.

      “We have much more to lose from a No vote than we risk with a Yes vote.”

      Yes, this is true. The MSM/Unionists wants people to think that all the uncertainty is in a Yes vote. It is actually the complete opposite. We will leave ourselves unprotected from Westminster, and completely powerless into the bargain if we vote No.

    96. Kev says:

      For those of you doubting whether the journalist who wrote the article is genuine in his reporting or not, well I met the guy on Thurs night. He and a photographer joined a group of us delivering Yes papers in Dennistoun. He was very thorough in taking all of our names, age, occupations and our views on Independence.

      I can only conclude he did the same with the Big Issue guy (and probably took a few pics too if he allowed it as plenty were taken of us) So I would definitely say it was all genuine.

      What I would say though is that, despite being out with a group of us for over an hour and taking plenty of notes, including comments from homeowners, not a single bit of it ended up in the article, just a pic of myself and girlfriend (which doesn’t even appear in the online version).

      Given that it was freezing and the guy had no gloves or hat on, but still persisted for over an hour, he obviously thought it was worth it. Why then he didn’t decide to report any of it I can only conclude was because he was looking for something that he never ended up finding. I assume that the overwhelmingly positive reaction we received at the doorsteps, buzzers and from passers-by on the streets wasn’t quite what he had in mind…

    97. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “To dismiss someone you disagree with as an “imbecile” on first engagement, however, is of a different order”

      Actually, it’s the only rational response to the ridiculous and stupendously offensive assertion that you announced your entry with. I mean, how fucking DARE you suggest that I’d mock a homeless guy? I’m not in the Bullingdon Club. That’s the country I want my country out of.

    98. fairliered says:

      Kelly’s fear that, however bad things are now, change could make them worse, is what has kept Labour in power in places like Glasgow since time immemorial. That fact that Scotland now has a majority SNP government, and runs councils in places like North Ayrshire, shows that Kellys throughout Scotland are seeing the light. Our task between now and September is to convince Kelly, and many like Kelly, that an independent Scotland will give them the future they need and deserve. That is our task, and the unionists nightmare. The Lamonts and Sarwars of this world would rather give Kelly a £1 than a future. That is why we have to win.

    99. msean says:

      How can you possibly be any worse off than being on the street already?

    100. annie says:

      This man, presuming he is real, probably dosen’t have access to social media so he wont have a clue about the stooshie gong on in his name all I can say is God love him.

    101. Paul says:

      As sad as it is for someone to be homeless where did he access all that unionist propaganda and he won’t get a vote as he won’t be on the electoral register so I take the story with a pinch of salt.

    102. Heather McLean says:

      A wee bit off topic but I have to share!
      You’ve got another mention on BBCScotlandshire Stu. Brilliantly funny and please click on the Yew Choob link at the bottom – hilarious!

    103. A2 says:

      “A poll, seemingly going against the grain of popular opinion,”

      how is it exactly they decide what popular opinion is again?

    104. Croompenstein says:

      JoLa widnae give the guy a pound she would lecture him on the something for nothing culture and describe a nation’s aspirations as a list of wee things

    105. Bill Lees says:

      @ Oneironaut: thanks for engaging on a respectful basis. Kelly is indeed quoted as saying “How do I know that I will be better off ?” which suggests that he is concerned with whether his personal circumstances will improve with independence. However, his first assertion was that “I think maybe we have too much to lose.”, which to me suggests that he has considered the issue more geberally, on the basis of whether independence would genuinely be good for Scotland – which is, in my view, admirable. That word, “we” is also rather revealing, suggestive as it is that Kelly has a sense of collective or community identity about which he is concerned.

      But however dire his circumstances are, and by most estmations they aren’t great, he is STILL absolutely entitled to doubt that an independent Scotland would improve them. And that is really the whole point of my reservations.

    106. Doug Daniel says:

      I dunno what’s worse – the Cringe being so deeply ingrained into the national psyche that even someone with nothing – literally nothing – thinks independence would make their situation worse; or that people like Bill feel the need to go looking for grievances in an article about a serious problem.

    107. Doug Daniel says:

      Also, Kelly is obviously entitled to his opinion. But equally, we’re entitled to think that opinion is completely at odds with reality.

      Just like Bill is allowed to disagree with Stu’s opinion that he is an imbecile.

    108. gillie says:

      Well Kev you have blown this Guardian piece out of the water. Obviously this journalist had an agenda and simply reported what supported this or simply made it up.

      There is a Big Issue Big Sell-Off in Glasgow next week where celebs are pairing up with Big Issue sellers. Will this Kelly Gibson be there in person?

    109. Findlay Farquaharson says:

      i wouldnt be surprised with the guys response but i wouldnt be surprised if its a lot of pish either.

    110. annie says:

      Gillie – who makes the money out of that?

    111. Bill Lees says:

      Rev Stuart. You derided a man’s legitimately held views on the sole basis of his reduced personal circumstances. Froth as much as you like, but you can’t escape that truth. How about admitting you made something of a misjudgement? Would do you credit.

      By the way, this really is the final time I will engage with you. Vexatious individuals truly are a shocking waste of time.

      Best wishes….

    112. TheGreatBaldo says:


      Err you know how like the Spanish were like gonna TOTALLY VETO !!! our EU Membership…..

      Well turns out after all that …..they winna and will accept it….

      And yet another spoke falls from BT ferris wheel of lies and misinformation…. 🙂

    113. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Have just caught up with this, and don’t want to rattle anyone’s cage, but is it possible that Bill was referring to some of the comments rather than the lead article? It’s not clear that he’s accused Rev of mockery, but a (very) few comments prior to his first one could be interpreted that way.

      Maybe crossed wires here? Just saying…

    114. HandandShrimp says:


      It is likely correct, what you don’t know is how many responses he didn’t use from other sellers. 😉

    115. Ian Brotherhood says:

      PS Scratch that last one from me then – just saw Bill’s 9.56 comment.

      Oh dear…

    116. twenty14 says:

      @ Bill Lees – Where do you think he got his views/take on the merits of Independence versus the status quo ?

      While he was having lunch and perusing The Herald, discussing in the bar over a few pints with the mates or was it his belief in the 40 year presence of the labour party in Glasgow that told him they’d sort it

    117. lumilumi says:

      @ Bill Lees

      I found no mockery of the homeless person in Stu’s article. I found compassion and disbelief. And some pity for his uninformedness – which, fair enough, can sound patronising – but if this piece was mocking anything, it was the British state, which discards homeless people and probably hopes the’ll freeze to death during the winter.

      The BT campaign are happy enough to exploit a homeless person for a political scandal story but their political parties won’t do anything to allivate the problem of homelessness.

      They’re totally cynical, and exploit this, or any other vulnerable person for their own political agenda, to be seen to be doing something and putting the boot into the SNP.

      The only thing the Scottish opposition care about is their media image and cheap, transitory soundbite politics.

      The SNP actually has a long-term vision for Scotland, without having to doff the cap and tuck the forelock to any London masters. That’s something the Labs, Libs and Tories cannot countenance. A party that isn’t subservient to Westminster?!

      Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson tried to distance herself and her Scottish Tories from Lord Lang’s despicable words, and she got rapped across the knuckles by another Tory lord.

      That’s the kind of British “democracy” they revel in? More unelected lawmakers than elected. And they call the proportional representation Scottish Parliament “undemocratic”?

      They must be very rattled. Bordering on desperate.

    118. Findlay Farquaharson says:

      bill seems a nice guy but has misinterpreted this article a little, stay on board bill.

    119. msean says:

      One of the first things that should happen in an independent Scotland is that a Scottish based broadcaster answerable to the Scottish Parliament,and to make sure it is fair,should be established. Also,it should not have a chairman who has ever been a member of ANY political party.

      Balance is invaluable,as we have all come to realise of late. It is no good agreeing to be fair in the last 3 months before before an election,when it will be too late to question imbalance.This way the balanced reporting that is required will be available.

      It beggars belief that not one national newspaper or broadcaster is on the yes side,but still,almost 4 in 10 support independence. (I think it is more than that)

    120. Robert Kerr says:

      I have found Mr Bill Lees posts somewhat disturbing and less than fruitful. Surely we should be more concerned that there are homeless people sleeping in doorways rather than considering their rights to hold opinions.

      Further that they are effectively disenfranchised from any voting.

      I suspect the original newspaper article was crafted as a spoiler to the positive independence meme.

      “Hope has a name. it is “YES””

    121. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      I don’t know about Glasgow, but in Edinburgh there doesn’t seem to be all that many Scots Big Issue sellers.


      Very good point.

      Any possibility of doing an article for the Big Issue Rev?

    122. Derek says:

      As an aside; I got onto a bus this afternoon in Edinburgh; driver wearing a Yes badge.

      Of course, I only went for the bus because I’d missed the tram….

    123. Findlay Farquaharson says:

      andy murray has just won england a place in davis cup 1/4 finals, ya beauty.

    124. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @lumilumi says:
      Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson tried to distance herself and her Scottish Tories from Lord Lang’s despicable words, and she got rapped across the knuckles by another Tory lord.

      See the Dinosaurs, see the knuckle-rapping here …

    125. twenty14 says:

      @ Bill Lees _ Bill A polite and reasonable suggestion. Go over to The Herald and look up a Mr J Mcintyre, OBE and ask him how to deal with people who disagree with him – he’s had about 5 years experience, on a daily basis

    126. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Where has the Stories of the Week thread gone?

    127. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      Bill Lees


      mcbill, of Telegraph infamy.

    128. twenty14 says:

      @ Ian Brotherhood – Bill took them with him when he left 🙂

    129. Alba4Eva says:

      Bill, quite honestly if you were homeless, I would suspect that your first concern would be your own situation. I would imagine that concerning yourself with the wellbeing of the working and middle classes would come pretty low on the agenda.

    130. Rough Bounds says:

      I doubt if this ‘Kelly Gibson’ actually exists. I also doubt that Bill Lees actually exists, and if he does his presence here is to cause confusion. I have lived long enough to know that nothing is what it seems when it comes to propaganda emanating from the British Press.

      It seems to me that if Mr. Gibson (is it Mr? Kelly could be a female’s name. It isn’t made clear as far as I can see.) had read any of the Big Issue magazines he/she is selling then he/she would by this time have become well enough informed to realise that indeed Scotland and presumably by extension he/she would indeed be better off.

      I reckon it is all baloney.

    131. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Where has the Stories of the Week thread gone?”

      It’ll be back up at 11.

    132. Bob W says:


      “What’s next? Scotland will lose its foodbanks if we vote for Independence”

      I would hope that would be one of the consequences of a Yes vote!

    133. lumilumi says:

      Thanks, KOF. It seems our new BTL contributor Bill Lees is a staunch Labour supporter in the English Midlands (that counts as northern England for the London media bubble people).

      Good on you, Bill, to try to get the old Labour message out there – but you know nothing about Scottish politics, so don’t be surprised or outraged if people in the know rib you a bit. It’s kindly meant.

    134. Thepnr says:

      The following article from 1987 is why I’m voting Yes, at one time I believed only Tories thought like this, how wrong I was.

      The Big Issue seller Mr Kelly is being used by the London media to try and make a point. This website is correct to highlight how cynical this establishment can be.

      Yes it is ironic that one of the poorest in our society fears Independence because of what he may lose if a Yes vote is successful.

      I fear for what he may lose if No prove to be the victors.

      Epitaph for the eighties?
      “There is no such thing as society”

      Prime minister Margaret Thatcher, talking to
      Women’s Own magazine, October 31 1987

      “I think we’ve been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it’s the government’s job to cope with it. ‘I have a problem, I’ll get a grant.’ ‘I’m homeless, the government must house me.’

      They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society.

      There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour.

      People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There’s no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.”

    135. Conan_the_Librarian says:


      Should have went a page further :¬)

    136. Marcia says:

      If you can, you should have a chat to Big Issue sellers and not ignore them. Friends at a local Church here is Dundee have a weekly soup kitchen for them and a shoulder for them to cry on if needed. They may be down on their luck but hopefully they will get back on their feet with a little help. If they live in a hostel they will be on the electoral register.

    137. Alba4Eva says:

      Thepnr… yeah, Thatcher ensured her entitlements right enough. Fell down on the obligation bit mind.

    138. Dorothy Devine says:

      You should stay away from that ridiculous site Conan – I have been utterly disgusted by both articles and comments.

      Leave the unionists to crow and carp amongst themselves on that particularly odious site.

    139. Boorach says:

      @ SquareHaggis
      @ Paul

      Being homeless does not prevent your being on the electoral roll.

      I live in my van, have no fixed abode but I am on the electoral roll and, should I still be drawing breath on 18th September, I will cast a vote for an independent Scotland.

    140. Croompenstein says:

      Just listened tae that Lord(really!) Forsyth what a little spawn of Thatcher sook ma erse peddling his unionist pish. On March 24th 2016 sir please take the House of Lords and shove it as far up ur hairy arse as possible!

    141. JnrTick says:

      I see the Guardian are in on this ‘Big Issue’ too. (Last paragraph)

      This non-story says more about the journalists who write and newspapers who publish it than the individual’s opinion. Sounds as though its a typical parroted response from someone who hasn’t bothered to do any homework on his/her future and take the default lemming position.

      Looks like this referendum will most certainly be won taking the message, giving the answers exposing the lies right on the electorate’s doorstep. This reinforced by an all guns blazing, holding no punches, gloves well and truly off performance by our Scottish Government in televised debates.

      Those who we continually hear say ‘I’ve no got enough information yet, there’s just no answers’ are just not interested enough, apathetic, disengaged. We have seen and will continue to see more and more YES & NO info nights in our towns villages and city halls/centres as the time nears but these events tend to attract the converted mainly.

      If we are confident in our beliefs then an independent Scotland can be sold to those yet to commit with the punchy facts, those that they are not exposed to.
      What an incredibly sad day that Scottish independence HAS to be sold to the people of Scotland, just incredible.

    142. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      @Dorothy Devine

      I like an argument DD.

      You just can’t get one on here, if you agree with almost everything everyone says…

    143. Oneironaut says:

      @Bill Lees
      Yeah, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Couldn’t agree more with you on that.

      With all the media bias, the gagging law, and the attacks on online debate these days, I think we’re all getting an idea of what suppressed personal opinions feel like.

      In the case of something as potentially life-changing as the referendum, I believe there’s a definite need to place personal opinions under much greater scrutiny. As you say, he’s not just thinking of himself, which is a good thing.

      Everyone ticking that Yes or No box will be making that decision on behalf of everyone else in Scotland too. When personal opinions affect so many others on a scale like that, being misinformed can be a very dangerous damaging situation.

      As for the content of the article, not sure I’m the right person to comment on that. If something isn’t spelled out clearly, I have an odd tendency to misunderstand sometimes.
      I’ve had people use thinly-veiled insults to me before and not even realised until hours later.

      Don’t be too hard on the Rev though, I think the stress of co-ordinating the “Sinister Cybernat Network” is getting to him a little 😉

    144. Murray McCallum says:

      “There’s no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.”

      Surely Maggie must have been talking about our hereditary monarchy there as well then eh?

      Unless one includes being born as meeting an obligation.

    145. HandandShrimp says:


      Michael Forsyth looks ever more like a cartoon character. I was never a fan.

      The Lords really is little more than a depositary for political retirees

    146. twenty14 says:

      @ Boorach. – You’ll always get a piece at ma door

    147. Croompenstein says:

      @JnrTick – What an incredibly sad day that Scottish independence HAS to be sold to the people of Scotland, just incredible – this in essence is what I just cannot comprehend and what Rev Stu means by the crushing of a people

    148. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @Caesar!4Eva says:
      Thepnr… yeah, Thatcher ensured her entitlements right enough. Fell down on the obligation bit mind.

      Died in the Ritz.

    149. Findlay Farquaharson says:

      same here for boorach, cant be easy.

    150. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Calgacus –

      Thanks for posting that Scotland Tonight piece. Good stuff.

      Nice to see Helen Lidl still going. I served her once, when I was a wine waiter, at the big New Labour fundraising dinner in a Glasgow hotel before they took power. She only drank water, and had the most inflammable hairdo I’ve ever seen. I’m happy to say that I got to look down on her, and could see her blue-white scalp through the elaborately constructed bird’s nest. She was wearing more make-up than Marcel Marceau, and wore a shiny violet dress with a high-collar which made her look like a hairball keeking out of a Quality-Street Big Purple One wrapper.

      Good to see George Robertson as well, albeit very briefly, sporting his new choppers – he didn’t get those mothers off the shelf! He now looks like Burt Lancaster, or, at any rate, as close as he’s ever likely to.

      And Keith Brown? First time I’ve ever seen the guy in action:

      ‘We are well able to look after ourselves in Scotland.’

      Nice one.

    151. Paul says:

      Boorach sorry didn’t realise thought you had to have a fixed abode.

    152. Boorach says:

      @ twenty14

      Thank you kindly but my lifestyle is from choice not need. Anyway I have too much fun baiting our local tory up here in Tain to stray too far!!

      Just love the expression on his ginger rodent mug when he spots my Yes decorated van cruising ‘his’ High St

    153. Thepnr says:

      @Murray McCallum
      “Surely Maggie must have been talking about our hereditary monarchy there as well then eh?”

      I’m sure she was including the monarchy at least until she became Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven.

    154. Croompenstein says:

      @Ian – LOL She was wearing more make-up than Marcel Marceau Ha Ha shamed to be a Scot but din up like a Frenchman Ha

    155. twenty14 says:

      @Boorach – Luv ye even more mate

    156. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @HandandShrimp says:
      Michael Forsyth looks ever more like a cartoon character. I was never a fan.
      The Lords really is little more than a depositary for political retirees

      It’s a BT horror video. Highlights :-
      – The Day of the Dinosaurs
      – Scotch is on the Rocks, but look at the empty benches
      – Forsyth destroys Ruth’s (short) political career
      – Lord Lang blows the 2014 WW1 ‘cunning plan’
      – Helen Liddell (Lab) supports Lang (Tory)
      – Happy Jack says less better
      – Keith Brown tells it like it is
      If you haven’t watched it, get the popcorn, scroll back up and … enjoy …

    157. Boorach says:

      It is important that everyone possible is registered to vote. An address is not required, all that is required is an indication of a location where a person spends most of their time.

      @ Marcia

      Perhaps a notice to this effect could be displayed in your soup kitchen.

    158. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

      He could be selling the Big Issue on the streets of his own country and he wonders what he’s got to lose? What on earth’s in that magazine? If it’s as negative as that, for heavens sake, who’d want a copy?

    159. Thepnr says:

      O/T but believe me well worth reading, is the establishment softening it’s stance?

    160. bjsalba says:

      I think the article must be aimed at their English readership as their Scottish figures are so paltry.

      Last June’s figures for the The Observer were: down 12.4% from 15,837 to 13,875

      I do not imagine they came with an open mind. They needed the “right” kind of story and when they had some good quotes they left.

    161. Clootie says:

      Margaret Cooper – I’m with you!

    162. Indy_Scot says:

      “Spain promises non-interference on Scotland” just caught the end of this on Sky.

      Is this a new story?

    163. Macart says:

      I don’t feel like giving up today.

    164. crisiscult says:


      I’ve just caught up and see that the article appears to be from the same ‘investigation’ of Thursday night. Regardless of the reporter’s professional aims, editorial decisions may have made those the best quotes of the trip. Perhaps the others who spoke to him had a positive message, with no one saying anything nationalistic or anti English, despite leading questions such as ‘when did you become a nationalist and why?’

    165. msean says:

      No,the Spanish Foreign Minister mentioned the Edinburgh Agreement previously. (I think)

    166. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Croompenstein –

      Aye, Lidl’s got a coupon like the back end of an old bulldog, so she wears gear so hideous that folk can’t but help stare at that instead. From that clip it seems she’s stuck with the same strategy.

      On that night, Ruth Wishart was at the same table. She only drank water as well. They must’ve been hyper-aware that it was a big night, a real chance to get close to the movers and shakers (the bookies had stopped taking money on a Labour win, still months away) and it’s some indication of how many high-heid yins were there that the Lidls and Wisharts were nowhere near the top table. The ‘top table’ seats, (with Blair himself dead-centre) must’ve cost thousands, but I doubt that many of the folk there realised, before they arrived, that the ‘top table’ was at least sixty feet long, on a stage. (The main after-dinner ‘entertainment’ was Archie McPherson. Seriously.)

      The guy in charge of ordering drinks at ‘my’ table was (I discovered, well after the event) a prominent Scottish Trade Union leader. As you may know, wine waiters depend on tips from these gigs (this was pre minimum wage – if memory serves, we were on £3.50 an hour) and those are broadly calculated at 10% of whatever is spent on drink by the whole table. The guy (who was quite spectacularly bladdered by the end of the night) took a while to rumble why I was shadowing him so closely, then grumpily handed me the contents of his pocket – approx four quid, all shrapnel.

      I should, in all fairness, point out that this was no ordinary shift: Security Services folk were in and about the kitchens and back-corridors all day, eyeballing everything, going in and out of cellars, store-rooms; we’d been called in to start very early (9 am) and didn’t finish until approx three the following morning; an hour off, mid-afternoon; one lass fainted as we passed midnight, and three of the guys had to be sent home because they got horribly pished drinking leftover wine on empty stomachs; all of us had to steal pieces of food from plates as we were returning them to the washers, elsewise we’d have been passing out as well. Think Orwell in Paris and London, and you’re close.

      Don’t take no Freud to work out why I’ve ended up in the SSP, eh?

    167. call me dave says:

      This is good for the blood pressure. 🙂 Brilliant!

    168. X_Sticks says:

      I’m thinking that Kelly might actually be Alasdair Carmichael incognito, practising for September 19th.

      JLT says:

      “We will win. I have no doubt of that. We are going to win.”

      Damn right JLT!

    169. crisiscult says:

      just watched the ‘better together’ video. I’ll be smiling in my sleep. Hilarious.

    170. halftracknat says:

      @Ian Brotherhood-that is a belter of a tale!

    171. Oneironaut says:

      @Ian Brotherhood
      With all that, I’d have been ticked-off enough to consider adding a few extra bodily-fluid-based “organic” ingredients to everything they ordered!

    172. Frankie goes to Holyrood says:

      I notice that the Big Issue website has 6 articles on Scottish Independence. I presume that these articles appeared in the printed copy:

      One article “Yes or no, vote Big Issue” (23sep13) comments “Whichever way the wind blows, there will still be establishment pomposity that The Big Issue will prick for our readers and vendors. We will remain a voice for the disenfranchised, the dispossessed and those infuriated by the mainstream”).

      The other articles are dated 14jan14 (quoting Alex Salmond), 08jan14 (saying campaign poor), 08nov13 (minor comment about pop group thinking of voting YES), 06aug13 (Robbie Coltrane saying Brave movie being hijacked by YES), 22may12 (SNP plans for BBC).

      Note that there have been 2 articles in January.

      As suggested by others on WoS, there appears to be scope for an article with a somewhat more pertinent view on the potential impact of independence on the poor in Scotland.

      There is also an online forum on the Big Issue website.

    173. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Oneironaut –


      I never did add my own ‘ingredients’ to any of the food or drink I delivered to tables, but I know plenty of folk (male and female) who did.

      And none of those lucky recipients will ever know…

      ‘You sure you need salt in that dahling? Mine has quite enough I’m sure…’

    174. call me dave says:

      Spain says YES article in full. FT

    175. Training Day says:

      Had I any faith left in the British media I would have been rendered speechless at this. I don’t, so I’m not.

      The behaviour of the ‘liberal’ media, the Observer, Guardian et al, towards the legitimate aspirations of a people to self-determination will one day make the subject of a PhD thesis on arrant hypocrisy.

      As for the poster known as Bill Lees.. Get a life.

    176. Edward says:

      call me dave
      Yeah probably someone has shown Rajoy the map of Scottish territorial waters which stretch out into the Atlantic and realised a Scotland outside the EU would be a problem for Spanish fishermen

    177. Thepnr says:

      @call me dave
      “Spain says YES”

      Two very positive articles for Yes in the FT Hmmm. Either the Tories have decided that Yes will win or the FT realise that Yes will win.

      I’ll take either.

    178. Hetty says:

      I attended an event yesterday at the Scottish arts club in Edinburgh as an invited guest.
      The event was called, ‘future Scotland, future perfect?’. The ‘debate’ and what was termed, ‘question time’, was made up of a panel of 4 people, including;

      IAIN MACWHIRTER(Feature writer, Sunday Herald

      PAUL McNAMEE(Editor, The Big Issue)

      MANDY RHODES(Editor, Holyrood Magazine)

      ALAN TAYLOR(Journalist and columnist, The Herald)

      This ‘debate’ was meant to be about the future of the arts in an Indepenpendent Scotland.

      I could, and will go into more depth about the whole affair, should anyone want to know more, but one important observation, (which may or may not relate to this article by WOS, and which did make me cry), the deputy editor of the BIG ISSUE, Paul McNamee, to my huge surprise, was the only contributor on the panel, who said at the start, that he has big reservations regards Scottish Independence, the others erred on the side of caution, but their stance seemed more toward the yes side, at least at the beginning.

      Having said that, at the start. Alan Taylor quoted some someone, who had said that the ‘white paper is better than the satanic verses’. It did, thankfully, get better after that, by and large. My feeling was that the ‘panel’ and audience, were mostly keeping an open mind. I think that Paul McNamee quickly became aware that he was on a ground of quicksand when he questioned why on earth would the Scottish people wish to have their own history and culture, ie via education or the bbc, rammed down their throats at school etc…hmmm. Anyway his take on things seemed to be, why rock the boat, I mean we are all in this ‘together’. Though this was a mostly convivial and slightly more positive chat than I had expected, the general gist was to me, to be that we really are not capable, and most definitely not rich enough to manage our own affairs.

      The summing up was equally as depressing, ie it will be a no vote and in fact could even be a good thing as in the Scottish people (artists?) might find a new narrative (my words) and fashion a new framework in which to express themselves. Ian Macwhirter, did say that the creatives might in actual fact leave Scotland if it is a no vote, and, as an artist, I most certainly will be considering that as a very realistic option if Scotland decides to continue to be used and abused, taken for a ride and even accepting the so called status quo, with more of Scotland’s population being plunged into horrendous poverty at the behest of westminster.

      It is actually incredibly important that people working with, and who are employed in supporting the most vulnerable in our society, have the utmost regard for the people that they represent and indeed, make certain that they are armed with all, and I mean all, of the facts, whether they be historical or of the present, so that they do not mislead or misguide people for their own gain.

    179. Tommy McClellan says:

      I’m pretty much in awe of wingsoverscotland for the fantastic contribution it makes in informing us all and encouraging us to fight the good fight. I’ve been following for nearly a year now and sharing a lot on fb, but this is my first comment.

      I found the story very disheartening, not least because the Rev. himself seemed in such despair. Reverend: I’m disappointed that you lost your cool with Bill Lees in that way. Bill was making a valid point, namely that “Kelly” had every right to make his. Of course Kelly’s words were disappointing – and almost unbelievable, and I don’t think for one moment that you were “mocking” him as a person or as a Big Issue seller. I think Bill Lees read that wrong, but I agree with him in a way that this, the saddest article I’ve seen you write, was a little bit off and could indeed be read as suggesting that a homeless person does not have as much right as anyone to be right or wrong in his opinions.

      One thing put a smile on my face: the image of Scotland’s Homeless World Champions 2011 jersey at the top of the article. Some people may be unaware that it was a Scotsman and an Austrian who dreamt up this joyful annual worldwide football tournament in 2001. The international headquarters of the movement are in Edinburgh, and Scotland are twice world champions. Whether Yes or No I hope Scotland continue lead the world in inspiring and charitable initiatives of all kinds, and that homelessness itself may soon be eradicated in the New Scotland.

    180. James Rodden says:

      I’m beginning to think that Scotland is suffering from a collective case of Stockholm syndrome, how else can you explain why any one of us can believe we are better together.

    181. SquareHaggis says:

      Thanks Boorach, I didnae realise. I thought if you were homeless under the DWP you had to register as NFA. I was out on my erse a few year back and couldnae provide an address, the DWP wifie advised I’d lose my vote 🙁

    182. ronnie anderson says:

      Bill Lees, Maybe you should have read the Header ,at the start of this page, The Crushing of A People, I would take that as Inclusive of all people in Scotland,you have come at this story from,a arogant & ignorant position.

      The REV,has many follower,s,not stupid ,not daft,& with intelect,you comeing late in the day to critque,is someone looking for a arguement,weil ye found nothing to argue about, we,ll await your story via Sun /Daily Mail,an am no as polite as the REV, am kickin the door oon yer arse,an am a auld yin tae, jist in case yer wunnerin.

    183. archie mcneill says:

      I enjoyed 15 years in our armed forces but found that we were tolerated I made friends of all colours and opinions and hope I can still do so and I made my mark I left the forces not well at all and like most veterans had to fight for my rights now we are under the thumb of a crowd of millionaires who tell us we aren t doing enough where is enough, no matter what people hear from the no s we are solid we are and we are more than capable so stop listening to a government who tell you that you are unable Scotland has the chance to make a statement for our sakes we are more than able and my unfortunate friend who is worried about surviving, the mob that runs you haven’t done their job for you give Scotland that chance you never know you might get employed and have a normal life god bless

    184. Oscar Dilettante says:

      We have been in this campaign for a year or so and we know how many facts have been revealed about the terrible deal Scotland gets in the UK.

      It is easy to forget that many people are still having their opinions formed by BT and outdated information. When we are faced by people who cannot see the benefit if independence, no matter how hostile, we need to be patient and answer their concerns as fully and directly as we can.

      If we rise to the hostility, we risk antagonising the very people we need to persuade!

      Who knows how much damage was done by last week’s “big debate”?…

    185. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Hetty –

      Sounds like an important meeting. Hopefully we’ll get to hear more about it.

      Don’t know about you, but I’m finding it harder and harder to keep across all this stuff, there’s just so much going on. But, in general terms, it all seems to be positive for us, so, hey-ho, long may it get more complicated and busy!

      I don’t watch the telly, and rarely listen to radio, because I know the meaty chunks will always end up highlighted here.

      I can’t be the only one – the MSM is dying, and we all know they know we know it. If there was no shame there would be no blame, but there is shame, and the red-faced ones know who they are.

    186. ronnie anderson says:

      Sunday politics on Bbc Parly just now, dont get your hopes up their showing London not Scotland, they must have seen that post where John Swinney,s reply had Speach edited, so much for Regional programmes.

    187. creigs1707repeal says:

      Spain is simply saying that, if the Scottish referendum is allowed under UK law, then it is fine with the outcome whatever that may be. It is still, however, taking the view (wrongly imo) that we would have to negotiate our membership from the outside which would take a number of years.

      Personally the whole EU in/out thing is a big red herring, imo. Even if Scotland were ejected on our independence day (highly unlikely as it would cause untold chaos across Europe), the Scotland can apply to join the EEA/EFTA. This option might actually suit Scotland better and can, from what I have read, be negotiated in a matter of weeks.

      We shouldn’t focus too much on the EU–we have other options and perhaps it might be in our interests telling the EU that we have and are considering other options. I wonder how they would react to the possibility that Scotland might not wish to (fully) join them?

    188. Morag says:

      It’s just like the currency thing. If Westminster thought that Scotland was going to take its assets away and cease propping up Sterling, they’re be wetting themselves and grovelling at our feet to get us to sign up.

      If we said to the EU, well really we’re not all that fussed and we don’t mind if the Spanish fishing fleet never comes into our waters again, they’re be fainting in coils at the very idea.

      I think we’re going to see a big big change in Yes tactics from maybe June or July on, and I’m going to be fascinated to see what they have planned. Floating the above ideas is maybe a thought. So is becoming a lot more emotionally positive.

      From about August on I expect something that’s going to blow No out of the water. I don’t think they’ve been sitting on their hands all this time, but there is a time to plan and a time to act, there is a time to plant and a time to reap what was planted.

      And they weren’t setting up the Yes army of activists to do nothing but trail round the doors in a snowstorm shoving newspapers through letterboxes either. I think we’re going to be in for quite a summer, fellow troops.

    189. Hetty says:

      Ian Brotherhood,
      yes I was told that the audio, ( or poss video though I saw no cameras) may be available at some point, I took notes and as I was sat front row, this seemed to slightly unnerve some folk, always best to keep people on their toes! Taking notes is a good idea if for no other reason than to be able to refer to later on…

      I can check my notes and memory should you wish to have a bit more info on the proceedings.

    190. Scott Douglas says:

      Bill Lees, the man who lost a council election after describing his future constituents as ‘mingers’ or some such name. I reckon he fancies himself as a modern day George Cunningham.

    191. Ted says:

      Some younger people I mentioned independence to, replied that Scotland only had Irn Bru and whiskey to sell and that the result would be a resounding “No”. Disappointing to say the least.

    192. Patrick Roden says:

      @ Bill Lees,

      A Big Issue seller asking if he would be better off in an independent Scotland? A homeless man wonders if he would be financialy better off?

      And you see the point of this article is to mock the poor guy?

      Perhaps you need to consider that if you yourself are so down-beaten that the legitimate point for this article is lost on you, how deeply ingrained must the propaganda coming from outside Scotland be?

      It’s been telling people like you that you are too wee, too poor and too stupid…

      Do you believe them Bill?

    193. Patrick Roden says:

      Ah just saw that Bill is a Labour man from the West Midlands who jumped at the chance to criticise the article and it’s author.

      Same old Labour, always lying.

    194. JOHN KING says:

      There are no words

      I cant online in the house (routers had it) only opportunity to get online is at work, suffering from withdrawal symptoms. 🙁

    195. ian foulds says:

      ” too wee, too poor and too stupid ”

      AYE, RIGHT

    196. James Westland says:

      That Michael Forsyth just gets worse. His patronising words about Ruth Davidson says it all. Pure unadulterated th*tcherist talking down. Whatever you think of her at least she was democratically ELECTED.

      Keith Browns comment about the unelected nature of the “Lords” was spot on.

      Vote Yes and get shot of the “Hoose o’ Coofs”

    197. theycan'tbeserious says:

      If the producers of the big issue are happy with the status quo or worse, they are not representing the homeless and those they say they represent, but only representing themselves and their political view to the detriment of the homeless and Scotland.

      I, when I come across a vendor, buy the big issue however having now heard the views of its editor I will probably now not.

    198. tony o'neill says:

      Why has no one asked the alledged homeless person what the number of his cardboard box is?,so we know where to send his voters roll card,Oh wait a minute the last i heard the homeless werent allowed to vote if they didnt have an address,Mmm?.

    199. Paul Kelly says:

      It is perfectly possible that in an Independent Scotland this guy could be worse off than living on the street. We’d have to follow Boris Johnston policies of course.

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