The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

The Eton Rifling

Posted on March 02, 2014 by

Heavens above. We thought that being reduced to sending out chain letters might have been some sort of rogue effort, but it seems “Better Together” really is as desperate for cash  as it’s appeared to be in recent months, with barely a week going by that we don’t get an email from Alistair Darling, chatting about some aspect of the debate before suddenly going “SO WE NEED MONEY! MONEY! SEND MONEY NOW!”


But the piece above appearing in this week’s Sunday Times (where we initially missed it because it was in the “UK News” rather than the “Scottish News” section) was backed up by another piece of extraordinary panhandlery.


The author of the magnificent letter above is no less a personage than the former General Officer Commanding in Scotland. A high-falutin’ fellow indeed, his august career nevertheless evidently didn’t pay enough to help the struggling No campaign out himself, and Sir Norman appears instead to have embarked on a programme of sticking a pin in the posh person’s phone book and asking strangers to spare a bit of change for the Union, guv’nor.

We’re not too sure about the bit about Scotland becoming a “foreign country” when the writer lives in Dalbeattie (isn’t it conventionally the people outside one’s country who are foreign?), and we’re also not entirely certain that reminding Scots of how freely their blood has flowed in Britain’s many wars is the best selling point.

But we suppose that when you’re this frightened of your nation running its own affairs, you don’t think as clearly as one might hope of a military man.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 15 11 16 08:03

    Cresting The Rising Tide | A Wilderness of Peace

176 to “The Eton Rifling”

  1. David says:

    Does “Eton Rifling” = Jam tomorrow 🙂

  2. the Penman says:

    Well, being a military man I suppose the flowing of blood is seen as a good thing. Dulce et decorum, even.

    There really aren’t enough words to dissect that letter though.

  3. jinglyjangly says:

    Not only am I proud to be a Cypernat Im also a Seperation Seeker, sounds a good name for a pro-indy beat combo!!!

  4. Morgwn Davies says:

    Helpful for the Yes campaign it was on the front page of the Sunday Times in Scotland. No one seems to want to give any money to Better Together. I can’t think why that might be.

  5. ronnie anderson says:

    Anybody know a good ABBA song to comfort BTer,s.

    I like I have a Dream a Reality.

  6. Andrew Morton says:

    “The No campaign receives nothing from political parties or taxpayers”.

    But it does get free advertising worth millions from the BBC and the rest of the mainstream media. Oh, and it gratefully receives more expensive research support from the British civil service thanks to Dave “I’m not getting involved” Cameron.

  7. Juteman says:

    Being a natural cynic, I reckon this pleading of poverty from BT is a precursor to a huge donation from someone, or something, dodgy. They will try to say that they had no choice but to accept.

  8. Andrew Morton says:

    @Ronnie Anderson 7.08 pm

    How about ‘The Wnner Takes It All’?

  9. heraldnomore says:

    Eton sodding mess more like

  10. Nick Heller says:

    Perhapsthe Better Together fundraisers need to order a copy of this new book;

  11. Dan Huil says:

    “…given so greatly to the world.” Like the wonderfully benevolent British empire?

  12. heedtracker says:

    “I write to those listed in Who’s Who 2013” Come on you need a heart of stone not to lol. Anyway how come the old buffer is called

  13. SquareHaggis says:

    Ronnie 😉 U meant this?

  14. gerry parker says:

    “Money Money Money”?

  15. gerry parker says:

    Rats, beaten to it!

  16. BuckieBraes says:

    I hope this poverty claim isn’t really a Better Together bluff, because that letter is one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

    ‘Separation seekers’…now I have an image of Nicola Sturgeon singing ‘Morningtown Ride’.

  17. handclapping says:

    Well done that man! Shows initiative, not always needed in a military career, vide WW1 “British” generals, no that’s unfair, leave out the British. Shows that BT has a grass roots campaign and at my £100k pa by God we need him, how do you erase on this thing, it, damm it it.
    the “lesser” of two evil Blairs

  18. Cindie says:

    And yet still no mention of the massive fundraiser that Wings has just pulled off…funny that!

  19. Dan Huil says:

    From Abba’s Arrival album: “Dum Dum Diddle”

  20. HandandShrimp says:

    Will I, a Scot, have to take myself by the scruff of the neck and throw myself out of Scotland for being a foreigner?

    Weird letter

    Thankfully I don’t seem to get any of the Better Together stuff.

  21. SquareHaggis says:

    Sorry ;-P

  22. Thepnr says:

    I remember well 1978 while Scotland were playing in the World cup in Argentina that I as a very young man and proud member of the Territorial Army regiment 1st/51st Highlanders Blackwatch.

    We as new recruits were “passing out” during our two week visit to Penally in South Wales. There was a surprise announcement and we were to be inspected by the “General Officer Commanding Scotland”. This as you can imagine was deemed to be quite a big deal.

    Just before the General got to me on the parade ground a Seagull shat on my Tam O Shanter (bonnet) and it was dripping off the peak, I was horrified but couldn’t move.

    After reading that begging letter though, it looks like a seagull has shat on the General, can’t say I’m particularly upset LOL.

  23. handclapping says:


    Hey there Georgie Boy?
    Puff the Magic Dragon. Someday.

  24. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

    We are, in tradition and effect, one nation.

    He really doesn’t get out much, does he?

  25. gillie says:

    Maybe RBS and Standard Life can chip in with a few bob.
    u u
    g c
    g k
    r o
    o f

  26. TJenny says:

    gerry parker – Thank heavens you didn’t say ‘separats’. 🙂

  27. ronnie anderson says:

    @Andrew Morton 7.14, ah said ah song tae cheer Bter,s up

    we,re winning,hows that gonna cheer them up. lol

  28. mogabee says:

    Man, it’s awfy hard to restrain myself from gloating!

    But can you not smell the fear? The horror of being governed by your own?

    These people are going to lose control. That’s really the issue!

  29. Albaman says:

    It took me about a hour or so to get past ABBA, thanks for that!.

  30. Murray McCallum says:

    The letter from the military bloke is rather sad and depressing. Written by a man who was General Officer Commanding Scotland yet appears to have no belief in this country whatsoever.

    A lot of the status quo union stuff now seems to be about being austere, poor, miserable, and dying in wars together.

  31. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I’m wondering if the dear General is doing his bit to “celebrate” the start of WWI with his how freely it has flowed, as one, in war bit. Hasn’t it been the case that in most, if not all, wars created by, or entered into by, Westminster the percentage of Scottish military lost is at least DOUBLE that of the rest of the U.K.? Surely this fact alone should be enough for anyone to vote YES, protect our young military.

  32. halftracknat says:

    Separation Seekers? The Carnival Is Over.

  33. Croompenstein says:

    No Sir Norman you will never send us over the top again..the sun is setting on your empire where the sun never set

  34. This is all nonsense. The NO campaign outstrips YES by at least a £100 million. No seriously.

    How much has the BBC broadcast advertising on behalf of the NO camp been worth to date? How much has the print press gifted NO in daily one, two, three, or more full page advertisments masquerading as articles – in each newspaper?

    How much have taxpayers paid to fund British Embassies sending their touts around Europe to brief foreign governments and newspapers against the Scottish Government and to spread the meme of Scots inability to make their own way in the world without the oversight of London?

    By the time this is over, I think 100 million may be an underestimate.

    The threat to a successful outcome on September 18 comes not from the empty suits of the NO campaign but from the Fourth Estate, and in particular the BBC.

    The only thing propping up this moribund NO campaign is a compliant and complicit press. The BBC are in the homes of each and every difficult to reach, low-information voter – that critical cohort which will determine the outcome of the plebiscite.

    These good folk yet trust the BBC as the bringer of truth and considered analyses in matters politic. That is its strength and unrivaled advantage. The BBC has power because it is believed.

    And these folks are unaware they are being lied to. That acts as a force multiplier in terms of the effectiveness of the BBC’s narratives. The most effective propaganda is that not recognised as propaganda by its victims.

    So forget the whining of the NO camp over a measly few mil. There coffers are filled daily by every traditional media outlet, every UK embassy, all bound together in a conspiracy to undermine the electoral process and any and all costs.

  35. orkers says:

    Wasn’t it only a few short months ago Fat man was boasting they had so much money they didn’t know what to do with it?

    Now they are skint after saying the ‘Yes campaign was in a similar boat only a couple of weeks ago?

    They sound like the Labour Party policy nerds. Well perhaps they are. Two or three different policies emanating from various orifices on any given day.

    All vastly entertaining.

  36. Erratum: “There coffers are filled …” “Their coffers are filled …”

  37. heedtracker says:

    Wonder why another Tory like Ian Taylor has actually not given BetterTogether any more cash though. You’d think that same big business men that can pay Serb war criminal Arkan a million dollars to fix something would have no qualms about giving another half a million quid UKOK Blair McDougall.

  38. Craig says:

    “The No Campaign receives nothing from political parties or taxpayers”

    I gather that doesn’t include the significant number of Whitehall civil servants working on and releasing all the Pro Union papers which are published each month ( for the past 10 months).

    I gather that doesn’t include all the Embassies and Foreign Commissioners Office staff spreading anti independence to foreign governments and foreign press.

    I gather that doesn’t include all the expenses for Westminster MPs when they come to Scotland and make speeches. Last time it was the whole cabinet coming to Aberdeen. ( pretty sure they didn’t pay for that).

  39. ronnie anderson says:

    @gerry Parker,you win,bottle of gold top delivered the

    morra, watch oot fur the milkman.similes. how,s Coatbridge

    in getting the Yes papers out,Stuart & Betty Gamble tell me

    their covering Harthill & Villages this week, Airdrie itself

    nearly done. 1798 papers uplifted on Sat another 1500 to

    be folded,ah take ma tammy aff tae the delivery team.

  40. Bruce Morton says:

    All hail and bow down to the The Sunday Times, referencing Vitol not expected to make more donations “after criticism…controversy over some of the company’s business dealings”. Chris Morris would struggle to satirise that shit.

  41. Iaon says:

    Two things came to mind when I read the paper, foreign country, not if you live in Scotland (this is before I read Stuart’s piece. “small minority”, if a minority, why are they so worried?

  42. X_Sticks says:

    @Christian Wright

    “There coffers are filled daily by every traditional media outlet, every UK embassy, all bound together in a conspiracy to undermine the electoral process and any and all costs.”

    This, absolutely. But they are still losing (it) 😀

  43. John Walsh says:

    He thinks £1trillion of future oil revenue is but a paltry sum of no consequence . What an old Etonian arse

  44. haud on the noo says:

    The letter actually makes me feel sick.

  45. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    Having been discussing online polls over on the other “the case as it is” thread, some of which show around 90% for YES, I think I have figured out where BT are going horribly wrong.

    If their only campaign tactic is to continue to spread fear on multiple fronts for every minute of every hour of every day, it is very likely to result in a zero turnout of NO voters on 18th September.

    By September any remaining NO-ers will be too terrified even to get out of bed in the mornings, never mind remember how to tie their shoelaces, or find their way to a polling station and cast a vote.

  46. SquareHaggis says:

    Nostalgia Alba Style ;-D

    Courtesy o my big sister BigSisterHaggis

    Feel the cringe, but she loved ’em

  47. Training Day says:

    ‘Sir’ Norman Arthur is a liar. He claims the SNP use civill servants for their purposes as opposed to Westminster who are bereft of official support.

    A manifest and demonstrable falsehood, as the citing of ‘Sir’ Nicholas MacPherson by Osborne in the latter”s tirade over the pound proves.

    So yet another BT liar exposed.

  48. ronnie anderson says:

    @Squarehaggis,Gerry parker, sos SH wiz scrolling up saw

    GPs 1st,Gerry yer oota luck, pint of gold top goes to Sh

    & his vid,Dancing Feet. lol ( ah need tae get some o they

    smiley things.

  49. Flower of Scotland says:

    I’m with you . Awfae suspicious ! We,ll see ! I think they are up to their dirty tricks !

  50. Dave Ward says:

    Seen this on FB and , call me a cynic but, it just seems fishy. Grammar and language are slightly odd and who heads a letter with a centrally justified address block? Especially a high faluting Lt Gen who has no doubt seen and written many official letters.

    Just seems odd. 🙂

  51. muttley79 says:

    Yet another reference to “foreign” in a negative sense I see.

  52. squarego says:

    @ Craig 7.51pm

    The No campaign receives… Nothing from… Taxpayers.

    Correct, but plenty of dosh from wealthy tax-dodgers.

  53. Bruce Morton says:

    May we refer to Sir Norman’s missive as “The Dalbeattie Letter”?
    BTW, Rev Stu, “Sir Norman appears instead to have embarked on a programme of sticking a pin in the posh person’s phone book and asking strangers to spare a bit of change” is a line I and other comics woulda killed to have generated. Respect. B.

  54. Wee_monsieur says:

    Wow, Rev. You made ‘Who’s Who?’

  55. ronnie anderson says:

    Ah wiz only kid din ah don,t want them cheered up,

    And Now The End Is Near They,ll See The Final Drubbing

    an big Blair blubbering, over to you,s now to complete the


  56. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    all this referendum stuff is gonna be put in the shade with the incredible news coming out of washington dc concerning the clinton, lewinsky scandal. seems miss lewinsky has a mild case of dyslexia and the note clinton left actually said, hold my calls and sack the cook. f.b.i are looking into it.

  57. SquareHaggis says:

    You don’t need wee smiley things Ronnie, you seem to give them out automatically.
    Cheers for the gold top tho, appreciated.

  58. gerry parker says:

    Deliveries going well, got wet a couple o times last week and my right shoe’s leekin’ – just like ma shed!

  59. jingly jangly says:

    O/T Top Gear having a go at Scots, Clarkson on about its not only what Scotland would lose but England, we would lose the Oil, Faslane and All the tramps!

    Having a real go about our Motoring heritage!

  60. ronnie anderson says:

    @Flower of Scotland, And the wrang use of comma,s, if ah

    ah didn’t know better ah would have thought I had written

  61. Rich OB says:

    I have to agree with Christian Wright. The NO campaign invites all kinds of tubthumping, jingoistic eejits like the author of this ridiculous letter, which should have been written in middle English because it’s sentiment and ideology is so medieval. However whilst it’s easy to poke fun at this kind of nonsense, it might also be easy to become complacent because the BT campaign seems bereft of logical or reasonable argument. The mainstream media however always was and remains the biggest threat as Christian points out. I think at this stage it’s important for the YES campaign to distance itself from any political affiliation to the SNP or any other organisation in order to reach the undecided couch potato who reads and believes their favourite tabloid, as therein lies victory for the YES vote..

  62. Albalha says:

    “separation seekers” ….indeed the Carnival is Over, time to move on and get with it.

  63. Taranaich says:

    “The No Campaign receives nothing from political parties or taxpayers”

    So am I to take it that Better Together only receives money from sources that don’t pay tax?

  64. Footsoldier says:

    Sir Norman Arthur should know that “Yours sincerely” goes better together with a small s at sincerely and not a capital S as he has written it.

    I guess he must have been reading Rudyard Kipling again before he composed that letter, what!

  65. alexicon says:

    I don’t believe for 1 minute they’re skint and I also don’t believe that the YES campaign has that amount of money.
    It’s all a ruse by the no side to frighten unionists’ into giving money.
    You could say it is obtaining money by deception?

  66. alexicon says:

    @jingly jangly.

    Love it! Keep it up Mr Ignorant Clarkson.

  67. Hotrod Cadets says:

    Juteman: Being a natural cynic, I reckon this pleading of poverty from BT is a precursor to a huge donation from someone, or something, dodgy. They will try to say that they had no choice but to accept.

    I fear you may be right. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few days.

  68. ronnie anderson says:

    @gerry parker, If your feet ur size 9, ah hiv a good pair of

    leather boots I never wear, as to your leaking shed, hiv you

    seen ma shed roof, they high winds ripped the felt aff, but

    getting sorted fur the Wings billboard to go up,prep,s done

    jist the lettering & logo to do.if you need any papers I

    have plenty folded.

  69. SquareHaggis says:

    The poor bugger is fighting a losing cause there, sending out letters like this wouldna be so bad if the target did’nt know the recipient was ultimately AD slippery fingers.

    Most folk will see the credibility void and simply bin it.

  70. Roboscot says:

    ‘If the vote is lost, Scotland becomes a foreign country’.

    Not if you really are a Scot.

  71. alexicon says:

    G.A.Ponsonby demolishes the BBC’s biased view on SL over on newsnetscotland.

    Well worth the read.

  72. Thepnr says:

    When I worked on the milk many moons ago we delivered to the poorer areas and a richer area too. Collecting the money on a Friday night all your tips came from those least able to afford it.

    The General is onto hee haw if he got the names from Who The Fuck is That.

  73. The Hennesseys says:

    I know it’s off topic but here is a wee YES funding campaign down to it’s last 11 hours, and only about a third of the to it’s £5000 funding goal

  74. ronnie anderson says:

    O/T, watching the Ukrainian situation develop, what part of

    the British MSM jumps in with why we,re better thegither

    whits the betting.

  75. reginald says:

    O/T I think the reviewers on the 9am to 10am BBC Scotland Sunday morning radio news programme have stopped including Wings,Newsnet and Bella Caledonia in their survey of the websites,prefering to include minor sites.This is a retrograde step reversing a policy of widening access to the best of pro-Independence opinion.

  76. edulis says:

    O/T I am sitting listening to the Scottish ‘Separation’ Committee take evidence from Iain MacNeil of Glasgow University and Owen Kelly of the Scottish Financial Enterprise. Apart from the extremely leading questions from Lindsay (Glenrothes)? and McGovern of Dundee – people of Fife and Dundee hang your heads in shame at electing these guys – they aren’t quite getting the easy answers that they long for!

    I don’t how Eilidh Whiteford could have survived on that Committee. It was good to come off it and leave it exposed as a non-objective farago.

  77. Thepnr says:


    Still laughing, your a brave man. Woof Woof 🙂

  78. X_Sticks says:

    ronnie anderson says:

    “whits the betting.”

    Just been tweeting exactly the same thing. Bet there are conversations happening in west minster about how to use the Ukrainian situation against Scottish independence.

    Will they try and draw in the US. We MUST keep Faslane, must have our nuclear deterrent as we can’t trust Russia. New ‘hot’ cold war?

    Will they go as far as to try and cancel the referendum – against the national security in a time of crisis?

    Wouldn’t put anything past them.

  79. cynicalHighlander says:

    Project Fear know they are losing the argument and this is just a ploy to blame lack of funds as being the reason why, self preservation of those at the top.

  80. mato21 says:


    That is the name of the auld duffers 2nd wife He married her in 2012

    David Ward

    He will be 83 in March so maybe needs a little help with his correspondence which may explain many of the things you find odd

    Then again they may have fallen on hard times and think this is a wheeze of an idea to replenish the coffers

  81. James Westland says:

    That letter is strange stuff. Colonel Blimp asking for people to donate to BT, but he doesnt give any idea as to how this should be done. No web site addresses, no PayPal, nothing. SO are his chums supposed to write back and say “spiffing lark, old bean, where do I send the dosh?”

    That 01962 phone number is interesting as well. Winchester, not Castle Douglas.

    And no definite article before “SNP” in the letter. Doesnt read properly. Was he pished when he wrote it?

  82. Thepnr says:

    X_Sticks and ronnie.

    This Ukraine business is a REAL scare story and something we should all be concerned about. Far too big to use in the in/out argument in my opinion.

    I hope I’m right.

  83. gerry parker says:

    @Ronnie, Thanks for that offer, but I’m just a size 6, got ma old hillwalking boots in the Garage somewhere so I’ll dig them out and gie them a clean.
    Where’s yer shed so as I can do a drive by and tie ye a couple o toots on the horn?

  84. velofello says:

    Never once have I heard or read a pro- Yes reference to rUK as a foreign country following independence. Such talk to me is silly simplistic nonsense. However:-

    Oxford dictionary:
    Foreign – of or from or situated in, or characteristic of a country or a language other than one’s own.
    Country – a. the territory of a nation with its own government.
    b. a territory possessing its own language, people, culture etc.

    So it does seem that we already are a foreign country presently signed into a union that we are destined to vote on whether to continue or not with that union on 18th September 2014.

    Whilst retired(?) Gordon Brown may not agree, since he describes himself as North British, he is but one person seemingly able to disregard Scotland’s history. So too George Robertson who, in declaring that there is no Scottish culture perhaps is tone deaf and so is unable to distinguish between Greensleeves and Scottish traditional music. Poor him.

  85. X_Sticks says:

    Thepnr says:

    “Far too big to use in the in/out argument in my opinion.”

    SovereignSadie tweeted me back saying the Independent already had an article on this last week, but I haven’t tracked it down.

  86. Thepnr says:

    Budapest Memorandum

    1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;

  87. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Well I guess THAT particular memorandum has been well and truly torn up then, going by what is currently going on in Crimea and Ukraine Thepnr.

  88. X_Sticks says:

    The artist Taxi driver has done a depressing piece on the situation:

    It is a very serious situation, and in no way would I sseek to diminish it, but I fully expect WM to be trying to find a spin against indy out of it.

  89. Arbroath 1320 says:

    That would not surprise me in the slightest X_Sticks. They’ll do anything, say anything and use anything to put down the Scots and our fight for independence.

  90. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I have been amusing myself making up a poll in light of the present dishonest canvas of Devo Max By our enemies
    Any thoughts

    Labour, Tory and the LibDems combined to block further devolution (“Devo Max”) being a choice in the referendum, despite Alex Salmond suggesting it should be.
    In your opinion was this because
    (a) they knew they could not agree on what extra powers Scotland should get?
    (b) they knew there would be strong opposition from England to extra powers for Scotland?
    (c) they thought “No” would win easily?
    (d) they wanted to block anything Alex Salmond suggested even if it was sensible?

    They are now hinting to us there might be greater powers for Scotland (“Devo Max”) if Scotland votes “No” in the referendum.
    In your opinion is this because
    (a) They are worried that “No” is not going to win?
    (b) They are trying to trick people into voting “No” by pretending there is some guaranteed extra power they will give Scotland if Scotland rejects independence?
    (c) They are finding many of their members now supporting a YES vote?

    Do you trust them to give Scotland any useful extra powers that will be unpopular in England?
    Do you believe “Devo Max” will give Scotland control of its taxes?
    Do you believe “Devo Max” will give Scotland control of its oil revenues?
    Do you believe “Devo Max” will allow Scotland to get rid of Trident?
    Do you believe “Devo Max” will give Scotland control of its welfare programme?
    Do you believe that the UK, which has massive debt, is hanging onto Scotland to subsidise it?
    The unionists say we are better together and the union is good for us. Yet they imply that we now need subsidy to survive. Does this make sense to you?
    Can you think of anything that complicated “Devo Max” could do for us that Independence wouldn’t do quicker and better?
    Do you believe that Scotland will be independent in the future?

  91. annie says:

    Saw that earlier being tweeted by strathearnrose, loved how it looked as if it had been screwed up and thrown in the bin before someone had second thoughts, smoothed it out and posted it on twitter.

  92. annie says:

    Just reading the Generals begging letter again and I hate to be pedantic but surely it’s England that would become the foreign country, someone needs to break this gently to him.

  93. Thepnr says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill

    c, a, 8 No’s then a Yes.

    Yes of course is the final result.

  94. Muscleguy says:

    It’s Dundee West who elect McGovern. Here in Dundee East we are SNP. Well apart from my neighbours here in the Ferry who still insist on sending Tories to the council. We do our bit but the tide it is too blue.

  95. mato21 says:

    James Westland

    The details on the begging letter are genuine

    The phone number for Dalbeattie, name, address and postcode are certainly correct

    The Winchester phone number may be their second home if they have one

  96. Thepnr says:

    @Arbroath 1320 says:
    “Well I guess THAT particular memorandum has been well and truly torn up then”

    Exactly, the treaty has been broken, hence my concern. Does this treaty or memorandum as it’s called say that the UK and USA will support Ukraine in the event of it being breeched? That is debatable, but I just can’t trust our politicians and especially not American ones.

  97. Haggis says:

    This could easily be an attempt to appear the underdog again. It could also be a way to fudge funds and accounts, claim that they had some magical donation drive like our side is having but without the grassroots to justify it! In reality it’ll be fat bungs from the usual suspects.

  98. Dcanmore says:

    O/T … Top Gear tonight (watching on iplayer) jumps into the independence debate with what England will miss if Scotland leaves the UK: oil and tramps, and a look at Scotland’s pitiful car industry history.

    UK-OK apparently.

  99. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Thepnr, I’m just waiting for the US to announce, any day now, that “we” are going into Crimea to protect the “innocent” and reinstate the Budapest memorandum. I am of course using the ROYAL we here a.k.a. US and its wee puppy dog the U.K.!

  100. CameronB says:

    Am I the only one to find it a little unsettling that the rattle can is being passed around the British military’s former top-brass, in order to prevent Scotland’s self-determination?

    Re. the former General Officer Commanding in Scotland. Not only does he appear to be delusional about the level of public finance that has been propping up Better Together, it also appears he is not to be the brightest tool in the box, bless his as yet un-garter-ed socks. Like many unionists, he insists Britain is one nation, yet he seeks to save the union, presumably between the two nations of Scotland and England.

    I suppose critical thought isn’t an essential life skills when you can jump a horse over some sticks.

  101. the Penman says:

    McDougall & co kicking up a bit of a stramash on Twitter about whether it’s legally and ethically dubious to circulate the guy’s address and phone no online. I sort of agree – perhaps it’s wise to blank some details out on the photo?

  102. Iain says:

    Blair McD. going radio rental at publishing of letter on Twitter.

    Blair McDougall ?@blairmcdougall 5 mins
    .@YesArgyll legally & ethically dubious to publish someone’s personal details without permission. Please delete his telephone, address, etc.

    Is ‘legally dubious’ in the statute book?

  103. Iain says:

    @the Penman


    I’d of thought unless the Lieut.Gen. had only sent the letter in a private capacity to those personally known to him, it’s a bit rich calling foul about his personal details being broadcast.

  104. Boorach says:

    The letter is obviously a spoof… no (whoops almost typed ‘self respecting’) BTer could produce a whole page of A4 without mentioning being a ‘proud’ Scot?

  105. Bob W says:

    @ edulis

    ‘Apart from the extremely leading questions from Lindsay (Glenrothes)? and McGovern of Dundee – people of Fife and Dundee hang your heads in shame at electing these guys’

    That would be Lindsay Roy, funny that after the election, the ballot papers were ‘lost’. I did not vote for the man, so don’t expect me or anyone else who did not, to hang anything in shame.

  106. rab_the_doubter says:

    Apparently the Bannockburn commemoration clashes with armed forces day. Bloody typical of ‘Yes’ to plan 700 years ahead like that.

  107. liz says:

    ReTop Gear – it’s a theme amongst ingnorant M25 bubblers that Scotland exports tramps.

    Steven Fry, Jeremy Clarkston and Ray Winstone have all made that reference.

    On a much more serious note about 10% of all homeless folk are ex servicmen and since the Scots usually make up a larger number of army personal there could be a good reason for their impressions.

    They are just arrogant out of touch media folk – I bet Jeremy Clarkson at least is one who would be ‘proud of our boys’, that is of course until they need help.

  108. Michael says:

    Sorry but he put his name, address, phone number and e-mail address out into the public domain of his own volition in begging letters sent at random to people he didn’t even know. No-one forced him to reveal this information. I can’t see any reason for him to take the moral high ground in the circumstances.

  109. Michael says:

    It’s been banned on facebook, btw.

  110. Thepnr says:

    I’m sure this has been a pretty expensive week for everyone, I’m donated out but made one last effort for the Yes in the Glen Campaign. As far as I know it’s the only one that supports Yes yet to meet it’s target.

    I know how generous people can be so please don’t give anything if it’ll leave you short. Those with deeper pockets however consider bunging a few quid their way.

  111. Thepnr says:

    It’s getting there but only 9 hours left.

  112. Colin young says:

    Would the UK go to war to garner support for the union ?

    It seems crazy but this problem in Ukraine is an opportunity for Hague, Cameron, etc to wreck the indy vote by going to war as they always do if america is drawn in.

    I think they would go that far to boost support for the Union.

  113. SquareHaggis says:

    Quick Rev. Scrunch it into a ball, re-photograph it so we can’t see any of the details worth seeing, which would be all of it 😀

  114. yerkitbreeks says:

    Did you see Niall Ferguson’s The Pity of War on Friday. The death rate in Scottish Regiments was over TWICE that of the English and Welsh ones. The generals did a good job on the Jocks, then.

  115. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Who’ll be ‘Eton’ humble pie on Sep 19th, eh?

    Had a few jars with a good friend earlier this evening in a quietish pub – we kept ourselves to ourselves, played pool, but much of the conversation drifting across from the crowd of regulars on the other side was all about the referendum. Six months ago, there’s no way such talk would’ve been heard in the place. (Can’t honestly say if they were Yes/No or otherwise as the telly was blaring a thrilling episode of ‘Family Fortunes’.)

  116. Macart says:

    Officer class…

    … Don’t get me started. 😛

  117. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @rab_the_doubter says:
    Apparently the Bannockburn commemoration clashes with armed forces day. Bloody typical of ‘Yes’ to plan 700 years ahead like that.

    The good Labour+Tory Council folks at Stirling deliberately arranged for Armed Forces Day to clash with the Bannockburn commemoration, as their contribution to Better Together.

    It’s great when your Council sets about trashing a money-spinning event for businesses in the town.

  118. Brian Powell says:

    Mr Darling hinted! And the unknown person strikes again. Sometimes it is a spokesman from Westminster or the BTs.

    Mr Darling should either show some evidence or he is a barefaced liar.

  119. Calum Craig says:

    Completely O/T but I had a thought earlier which leads me to a question…

    Chez Craig recently entered the HD world which is rather nice. The BBC 1 HD channel that I can receive is the English one. In Scotland, can you get BBC Scotland in HD? I can get BBC Scotland as a regional channel on Sky but it is the bog standard version.

    The reason I ask is the difference between watching MOTD in glorious HD and Sportscene in standardovision is pretty marked!

  120. SquareHaggis says:

    Since the article is mostly about BT how come they use a picture of AS to illustrate a BT plight? Mind you, could be worse AD could be staring back at me in which case I would have given it a wide, wide berth.

  121. Mary Bruce says:

    Norman Arthur’s address and home phone number are already in the public domain and are freely available to anyone with a fundamental understanding of google or a copy of Who’s Who.

  122. Blackford Wheeler says:

    OT: 9hrs left to get over the line.

    Particularly important we support our Fife neebors after recent adverse by-election results.

  123. Bob W says:

    @ Calum Craig


    I don’t do Sky, but I recollect my SIL using a menu available in the Sky box software to tune in a specific channel. BBC1 Scotland HD is available free to air, I have all the BBC HD variants tuned in on my TV’s satellite tuner.

  124. CameronB says:

    Calum Craig
    I don’t think that the ball is moving faster because the matches down south are broadcast in HD. 🙂

  125. Clootie says:

    What really upsets them is that the toffs and sycophants have only one vote each and one separatist in Greenock or Falkirk can cancel their vote – damned bad form what!

  126. rab_the_doubter says:

    Separatist – now theres a word I expect to hear being used more and more by the MSM due to its negative connotations.

  127. G. P. Walrus says:

    I’ll brace myself for a letter when he starts working his way through Who’s That.

  128. Jiggsbro says:

    Scotland is already foreign to every country in the world except the UK (and they’re increasingly foreign to us).

  129. bookie from hell says:

    Ukraine ELEPHANT in the room

    personally I feel more vulnerable having trident as it makes you a target

  130. Calum Craig says:

    @Bob W

    OK, thanks, need to look into it then- I know how to add specific channels so will need to find out what the details are for BBC Scotland HD.


    I need to see the HD glorious details of the greener grass up north!

  131. Greannach says:

    After reading General Jillian’s letter, I got this image of some Captain Waggett figure blitzed after too many sherries having a Eureka moment and sending off his letter to a bunch of random nobs. Next morning after a couple of painkillers, he remembers what he’s done. “Gadzooks,” he cries, but if someone’s daft enough to bung him a few quid, he and his lady wife can always replenish the drinks cabinet. It’s like a letter from John Mills or Anthony Steele in a 1956 British war film.

  132. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Thanks Greannach, reading that Captain Waggett name has just brought memories flooding back. Is it not time yet for THAT movie to be shown again? 🙂

    I know, let’s have it written into the new Scottish constitution that THAT movie MUST be aired every Saturday night without exception! 🙂

  133. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Jiggsbro –

    If we could magically collate all feedback from our kin across the ‘UK’, you have to wonder whether there’s anywhere outside the ‘City of London’ that truly identifies itself as ‘UK’ first and foremost.

    If identifying with the ‘UK’ means being in the Boris/Dave/Gideon fan-club, there can’t be many takers, even in the ‘Home Counties’, which makes it all the more astonishing that these c-c-characters are in positions of power.

  134. Jim says:

    I’m actually in a state of shock today. A member of my family told me that he had actually met a BT supporter last week!

    Absolutely gutted I am.

    There’s a Yes fund raising musical event happening in the Lucky Break Snooker hall in Clydebank later this month. A great place for bands. It will be rocking. “Diamond Dugs” are playing the following week.

  135. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “McDougall & co kicking up a bit of a stramash on Twitter about whether it’s legally and ethically dubious to circulate the guy’s address and phone no online. I sort of agree – perhaps it’s wise to blank some details out on the photo?”

    Having sent said details out unsolicited into the public domain, he has no legal comeback whatsoever. Not a shred of it (unless they’re published with a direct incitement to attack him in some way).

    However, I’ve redacted them anyway as they serve no purpose to the story and God, anything that makes Blair McDougall bleat even a fraction less like the laughable, whining, absurdly hypocritical oaf that he is is a service to humanity.

  136. rab_the_doubter says:

    Interesting thing about the fundraising tactic proposed by that letter – mone of the money raised would be traceable. Hmmmm

  137. James Kay says:

    The following page contains the address and telephone number of a Sir Norman Arthur.

  138. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I wonder if Blair McDougall will be jumping up and down demanding Dumfries and Galloway council remove these details as well. Excuse me if I don’t hold my breath. 😉

  139. Jim says:


    We didn’t of course hear BT complain about the personal details of quite civil pro-independence tweeters being published in the DM while Jim Murphy and Kezia Dugdale ran to the same Tory publication to further stick in the boot on the fantasy.

    On hearing that Yes had organised a major advertising campaign starting this month Alistair darling could only come up with the wacky response that “people will be angered by this.”

    They have cried wolf that much that what they now say has become meaningless to most people. Even their own supporters in the MSM are telling them so.

  140. Doug says:

    It seems crazy but this problem in Ukraine is an opportunity for Hague, Cameron, etc to wreck the indy vote by going to war as they always do if america is drawn in.

    It would seem they are already involved according to this report

  141. heedtracker says:

    @ Rev. Stuart Campbell, I put his Hotmail address on a comment up there just above the ABBA vid which probably shouldn’t be there as you covered it over in the photo. Sorry.

  142. Famous15 says:

    Ukraine only serves to remind people in Glasgow and the West of Scottland of the lunacy of being a target aimed at the Trident base.
    I do hope that in commemorating WW1 our UK Government will remember that lesson from history

  143. Dcanmore says:

    People saying how the Ukraine situation will be spun into an anti-independence issue … well, how about a couple Russian warships suddenly appearing in the Moray Firth?

    Far fetched I know … oh wait! :/

  144. Kalmar says:

    Man alive, that letter is priceless!

  145. ToaS says:

    I actually do know of a few people who are Better Together supporters. One is a school friend who works for a large London based company and believes that Scotland should vote no because “there are too many benefit scroungers in Scotland”. One is a university friend who comes from a staunchly labour family and area. They’d walk off a cliff if Labour said so. The other is an English friend who will vote no because he buys into to SNP hate English people stuff.

  146. ronnie anderson says:

    @gerry parker9.03, Shed on Gartleahill, Gartlea Ml6 9PT,drop by fur a coffee,not on Tues tho Hosp app.

  147. Seasick Dave says:

    Here’s a pleasantly balanced article by Laura Bicker on the BBC about being out on the trail with the Yes campaign.

    Maybe a bit on the short side but no snide comments or pejorative terms.

    Thank you, Laura 🙂

  148. Illy says:

    Well, at least it’s par for the course, pulling money out of the people who can’t afford it, to pay for the lifestyles of those who already have far more than they need.

    I guess they don’t realise that people don’t do that willingly.

  149. faolie says:

    I was taken by the number of independence stories in today’s Sunday Times, a lot of them positive.

    Cash crisis hits campaign against Scots independence
    The Rev’s story above

    Katie Morag and the Independence Vote
    Popular children’s writer, Mairi Hedderwick, backs independence on Desert Island Disks

    Ex-UEFA Chief backs goal of separation
    David Taylor, ex-SFA chief backing independence

    Bias study upsets BBC
    AS getting stuck into the BBC re UWS report

    Writer Self backs Yes vote as ‘no-brainer’
    Will Self on independence (already referenced earlier on Wings)

    Alex Salmond Risking Business
    Typical scare piece by Gillian Bowditch, but ending on two positive quotes by Willie Walsh and Jim McColl (Clyde Blowers)

    It’s 2017, and they are mounting Project Fear…against Britain
    Vaguely amusing (I thought) piece by Dominic Lawson suggesting that the Project Fear tactics used by BT will be used on a UK or rUK level in the 2017 referendum campaign for those ‘seeking liberation’ from the institutions of the EU’. It ends with this sentence: ‘First they came for the Scots…’

    We should vote Yes or suffer an own goal
    Opinion piece by David Taylor (see above)

    Most of the letters page taken up by ‘separation’

    And in the Business section
    Scotland’s wily puppet master, still pulling all the right strings
    Interview with Sir Angus Grossart, who says he’s not worried at all by independence and doesn’t believe the threats of the big financial institutions to pull out, saying ‘..I find this speaking to people of all views – there are substantial areas of movement and consensus’ and that ‘pragmatism will emerge’.

    All in all, quite a change I thought from even a few months ago.

  150. Graeme Purves says:

    Sir Norman Arthur’s pitch seeks to appeal to blood and uncertainty, and how can Scotland become “foreign” to someone who writes as “a Scot”?

  151. Bugger (the Panda) says:


    It seems that Professor Alan Trench of the Independence Matters blog has gone native.

    and the truth which Prof Trench somehow missed in his researches

    All he needed to do was to pick up the telephone to the YES HQ, or the Scottish Government but, hey what is objectivity and the truth when the BBC have redefined that already.

  152. Geoff Huijer says:

    Sorry…still laughing at ‘Rt Hon Alistair Darling’.

    There is nothing ‘right’ or ‘honourable’ about that

  153. Grahame says:

    I think the better together campaign are in dire trouble, but there are still staunch unionists out there leafletting and engaging with the public.

    Please don’t lose sight of the goal and get out there, talk to folk, engage people at your workplace and most of all, wear YES Clothing and badges with pride !

    we can all pat ourselves on the back on the 19th of September when our hard work has paid off..


  154. Iain says:

    @Geoff Huijer
    There is nothing ‘right’ or ‘honourable’ about that


  155. G H Graham says:

    Now listen up old chaps. Those frightful separatist types are seemingly quite determined to cause rather a bit of a stir.

    All that talk of democracy, equality & self determination is getting quite above their station, if you know what I mean.

    So if you would be so kind as to stump up a bit of cash. I agree, that there’s nothing quite as grubby as when it comes to talking about money but the old girl as we all know is a bit skint at the moment.

    Things have got rather out of hand lately what with all those foreigners coming in & those blasted Germans pinching our business. I’m afraid the Chinese have been at it too.

    Quite why the natives in the Middle East put up quite the fight they did lately really is quite the mystery. After all, we even introduced halal fish & chips & made sure the locals would win the cricket.

    But back here in Scotchland, it’s all looking a bit grim. With the prospect of border patrols, new passports & extra costs, I may have to curtail my visits to the club in London.

    Have a rummage around, there’s a good old chap & let’s see if we can rally round, Dunkirk spirit and all that. The old country might be a bit threadbare here & there but as we all know, Blighty knows best.

    Bah !

  156. ronnie anderson says:

    Rev, Its going to be a lean week for Scottish issues on TV

    Paper,s. What with Ukraine / Nth Korea / La La Land prize

    giving ceremony / Postorius.

    Might be a good time to take a couple of day,s of.

    Any Wingers suffering withdrawal symptoms, are welcome to

    a sniff of my Talcum powder you don’t get a buzz, but

    it dries up the bogies.

    And remember Wingers, when flying solo always keep your

    eyes on the wing mirrors, jist in case the BT mob get

    their hands on a aiyplane, the B’tard bogies come oot

    of the sun.

    Anither week at ta mill,grind the b’tards doon.

    Morning all

  157. gerry parker says:

    @Ronnie,Thanks Ronnie, will do.

  158. Dave says:

    Maybe BT have had to compensate newspapers for the lost sales they have suffered in Scotland by printing their guff?
    Can you imagine the profits a pro-Hope paper would generate?

  159. caz-m says:

    Our Foreign Secretary William Hague has his Superman outfit on again. He flies into countries like some kind of super hero to save them from their overpowering Russian neighbours.

    If only he could look after the defence of Scotland the way he looks after the defence of other countries around the world.

    When Russian ships sailed into the Moray Firth last year they had to bring up a Royal Navy ship from Portsmouth, some 600 miles away, because that was the closest ship they had in the area.

    There are NO Royal Navy surface ships based in Scotland anymore.

    They are all based in Portsmouth and Plymouth.

    Better Together my ass.

  160. ronnie anderson says:

    @ gerry parker, your welcome gerry.

  161. Grouse Beater says:

    The letter you publish is a perfect example of the mindset that sees English priorities and values automatically shared by all of the United Kingdom. The author cannot get his understanding around any other attitude.

    When he says, it’s “Not a good reason for the break up…” he means, Scotland is not and never has been a separate country that needs to demand full democratic powers when England already has them.

  162. Jim Mitchell says:

    Yes, it’s always someone else s fault!

    i wonder if they will be directing the same kind of letters to ex other ranks?

  163. caz-m says:

    Bella Caledonia highlighted last week how Scotland is shrinking on the BBC weather maps. The underlying message being that England is big and important and Scotland is small and insignificant.

    Well I think Sky News weather is also in on this tactic. Scotland is also shrinking on their weather maps.

    If they keep this shrinking up, then we will soon be reduced to a small bump north of Carlisle and Newcastle, with a permanent rain cloud over us no doubt.

    Bella BBC map :-

    Sky News map :-

  164. Ken500 says:

    The unpopular negative NO campaingn to prevent democracy in Britain continues, to support the minority of undemocratic people, who gain financially.

  165. Tom says:

    This is the Better Together grassroots campaign. A Lieutenant General who is so behind the times that he doesn’t have his own e mail address, writing on real paper to a a scattering of what he hopes are supporters, quoting Who’s Who.


  166. Alt Clut says:

    Follow up to “Yerkit Beeks” on the Niall Ferguson programme:

    It’s certainly true that Scots suffered proportionately much higher casualties in WW1.Seems to me that’s a fact that makes talk of our history of ‘disloyalty’ particularly ignorant and contemptible.

    Perhaps the main point of the Niall Ferguson programme was how isolated he was in suggesting that Britain’s intervention might not have been ‘for the best’.

    As little as twenty years ago this would not have been the case in a debate of (mainly) English historians and history ‘buffs’. The revisionism that has enabled this shift is another little piece of the inexorable rightward shift of popular ideology in England. It illustrates,yet again, the growing differences in political,social and historical (to name but a few aspects) culture between Scotland and England.

    I’m not a nationalist by any accepted definition that I know; but I feel more and more alienated, by more and more aspects, of the post Thatherite thinking that dominates all main political parties, media outlets, financial institutions, historians etc etc etc south of about Manchester.

    We must be friendly, co-operative and democratic in our dealings with our neighbours to the south, and more so to the people of northern England, Wales etc but we MUST be independent from them as they drift into jingoist xenophobia.

    Nearly time for the next door to door session – keep up the fight everyone – we’re going to win !

  167. David says:

    Apologies if answered earlier however was wondering what company was threatened by the Scot Gov as highlighted by the head of Better Together, I seem to have missed it.

  168. Grouse Beater says:



  169. Grouse Beater says:


    Less shrinking on TV weather maps, after independence regained more like Ireland, totally devoid of any weather, what so ever.

  170. Grouse Beater says:

    … or cities and towns.

  171. Alan Mackintosh says:

    David, as far as anybody knows, AD just alluded to it without any names or references given. Perhaps they are shy, or heaven forbid, mebbe Flipper made it up…

  172. KOF says:

    @ Arbroath1320, Yerkit Beeks and Alt Clut

    Re The myth about Scottish casualties in WW1 being disproportionately high.

    Here’s a very good analysis of the subject.

    As it says in the link, “The real numbers are tragic enough, without any need to exaggerate the enormous sacrifice made by the Scottish people”.

Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top