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The Green Ink Gang

Posted on December 27, 2017 by

Readers, have you ever noticed how the letters pages of Scottish newspapers are full every day of the same names, a clutch of a couple of dozen super-hardcore frothing ultra-Yoons tirelessly and reflexively raging against independence, the SNP and pretty much anything without a Union Jack on it?

Have you ever found yourself thinking it must be some sort of co-ordinated group that gets together, plans topics in advance then writes in backing each other up, to create an illusion of speaking for a wide cross-section of society, before dismissing that idea as a daft paranoid conspiracy and getting on with your day?

Because we thought that too, until an alert reader infiltrated it.

Our very favourite bit is “we must not advertise the existence of the group. It can be mentioned verbally, in safe environment, that some people share letters/encourage each other, but anything more risks editors discriminating, nationalists reacting, and this diverse group being portrayed as a monolithic campaign”.

Probably don’t put it in an email, then. But your secret’s safe with us, lads.

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    228 to “The Green Ink Gang”

    1. Croompenstein says:

      It’s like a veritable A to Z of yoon fuckwittery

    2. Black Joan says:

      What larks! More astroturfing exposed.

      Well done Rev. Well done Alert Wings infiltrator.

      There’ll be a similar group on speed dial to UKaye with an E, nae doot.

    3. Croompenstein says:

      You will find most of them at an Edinburgh dinner party on Hogmanay where the after dinner talk will be about ghastly baby boxes and vile Sturgeon

    4. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Missing Hamish Leishman who has a letter about every second day in the Record but apart from that spot on.

    5. dakk says:

      Great inside work from the alert reader.

      The fly bastards.

      They were right about their exposure risking nationalists reaction.

      They make me want to puke.

    6. Rock says:

      Brilliant detective work.

      Expose the bastards.

    7. Scott Beatie says:

      I see Councilor Scott Arthur is involved. Is there no end to what these councilors get up to.

    8. Arabs for Independence says:

      A few names I recognise there – Pennington, Arthur, Nash, Stephenson.

    9. G H Graham says:

      Your secret is safe with me Rev; you see, I can keep a secret, it’s the people I tell who can’t.

    10. uno mas says:

      “Alert Reader”

      Have we got our very own Deep Froat?

      Love it!

    11. Ian McCubbin says:

      Even better than yesterday. Keep the work going massive coverage on twitter and please please copy to @theSNP

    12. Scott Cameron says:

      The Courier letters page carpet bomber Alan Thomson is also missing and he and Batshit Jill are definitely in cahoots

    13. shiregirl says:

      Ooh…a few familiar names there…

      The depths they will sink to knows no bounds. They are running scared and their tactics show it.

    14. Ian Mackay says:

      That’s absolutely hilarious!

      “The First Rule of Shite Club is no-one talks about Shite Club.”

      This means that the lunatic hardcore Unionists are now such a small group that they’ve actually had to organise themselves to write letters to Unionist supporting newspapers to try and appear as if they speak for the masses!

      I wonder if the Unionist papers know of this deceit or not? Or do they not now care? Bang goes any semblance of impartiality there. Whoops!

    15. jfngw says:

      Yes noticed the same person has a letter almost every week in Scotland on Sunday. You would think they would at least change the names to make it at least plausible that it is a cross section.

      How could they be influencing the journalists in Scotland, grief they are nearly all died in the wool unionist to start with. It is more like that these papers are keen to publish these letter as it affirms their own beliefs and the views of the publishers. And they are quite happy to misinform the public as to the source and accuracy of the correspondence.

      Note, it is actually my wife who gets SoS, I give it a quick scan but it is truly a waste of £2.

    16. Sloppy network security on their part.
      First rule of conspiracies – Assume Breach. Your group has been infiltrated. Act accordingly.

      If it won’t work if you’re found it, it has already failed.

      This said. I wonder how many editors will now filter out letters from folk on that list…

    17. colin alexander says:

      Oh dear, the paranoid on here will be so disappointed that my name is not amongst the Unionists.

      However, it goes to show that the unionists are continually organising and campaigning for the Union, whilst the independists argue amongst themselves on here, as they’ve nothing better to do, as the SNP are only interested in administering devolution for the Tory Govt at Westminster.

    18. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I wonder how many editors will now filter out letters from folk on that list…”

      I’m going to guess at zero.

    19. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “as the SNP are only interested in administering devolution for the Tory Govt at Westminster”

      Give it a rest, eh Col? It’s fucking Christmas.

    20. Elaine Chapman says:

      Keith Howell – I knew it!

    21. Conan the Librarian says:

      They are entitled to do what they believe in. Just as the press are entitled to publish it with the same equivalence of Royal princes shagging.

      Isn’t fun, living in the UK?

    22. Reluctant Nationalist says:

      Names.

      Good.

    23. jfngw says:

      I can see the headline tomorrow, maybe in the Express or Mail, Underground group working in cahoots with newspaper publishers to undermine and bring down elected government, bit wordy possibly shortened to Secret Unionist Plot Exposed.

    24. Dave C says:

      Great article. And here was me thinking the editors penned the bilge, not “real” people.

    25. Smallaxe says:

      Hello Mr Pearson.
      🙂

      “Oh, Pamela, Pamela
      You started to grow
      Answers to questions you wanted to know.”

      SIU: “If we continue to grow our networks, have confidence in our arguments and not be put off by the aggression on the other side”
      https://sway.com/FLv5kyxTkVcavKHc?ref=Link
      Own up! which one of you bullies gave them a dirty look?

    26. heedtracker says:

      Why is not a surprise to see Dr Scott Thinks right in the thick of it all too.

      SLabour dudes, BetterTogether again, with very hard core tories roasters.

      Its like 2014 all over again.

      He’s a very busy lad, is Dr Scott Thinks, sorry, Councilor Dr Scott Thinks:D

    27. Arbroath1320 says:

      Thanks for the info there Stu.

      *Filed for posterity or in a future indy ref whichever comes first!*

    28. yesindyref2 says:

      I did try signing up to the SiU forum with a first post which I thought wasn’t too over the top, but they must have twigged, it never appeared. I was going to get a bit more extreme bit by bit …

    29. colin alexander says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Give it a rest, eh Col? It’s fucking Christmas.”

      Okay, Stu. Can you do me a favour and end the argument about whether I contributed to:

      https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-punch-ali-didnt-throw/

      Merry Christmas.

    30. George Drever says:

      Hugh Pennington… is that the food hygiene professor?

    31. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Hmmm, I see that one of those is even a regular in The National. (I suppose that there’s someone on here who will be pleased.)

      But maybe that’s at least one assiduous letterwriter who will be persona non grata from now on. Even if he was always a joke anyway.

    32. yesindyref2 says:

      Or maybe “John Bull” or some moniker like that, gave the game away?

    33. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Will Archibald Macpherson have anything to say about all this?

      Woooft!

      😉

    34. Jason Smoothpiece says:

      This will be all over the papers and TV news tomorrow…..No?

      Maybe not…..it may be pushed off the front page by the loss of paedophile papers… or other ahem lost papers…

      anyway royal wedding next year that’s nice.

    35. yesindyref2 says:

      Can you do me a favour and end the argument about whether I contributed to:

      There IS no argument about whether you “contributed” to any particular article in any way, nobody cares, it’s the plain outight lie that you posted here in 2015 and 2016 – that’s below the line as “colin Robertson with or wothout capital letters. You didn’t, and refuse to own up to a porkie, or that you don’t know the difference between posting on a forum and alleged tweets on twitter.

      Instead you try to bluster your way out of having been found out.

    36. galamcennalath says:

      “nationalists reacting” … eh?

      If this isn’t the biggest exposé of [British] nationalists reacting, then I don’t know what would be!

      Also begs the question, are they also running an online comments ‘gang’ as well? Probably!

    37. heedtracker says:

      They are an odd lot. Why would any yoon in Scotland today possibly think that UKOK hackdom actually needs any encouragement, in Scotland or England. Its a miracle anyone votes SNP at all, just by watching BBC Scotland for a few minutes, let alone stays a YES vote.

      “Keep it up folks, I’m sure your giving journalists the confidence to write anti SNP and pro union articles,”

      will really make the whole of the beeb Scotland gimp network, let alone stinky olde The Graun tories like Severin Carrell lol very much.

    38. Taranaich says:

      This quote in particular is very interesting:

      “As well as influencing voters, I am sure you are giving journalists confidence to write pro-union/anti-SNP articles.”

      It suggests to me that among friends, away from the public, these SIU types really do believe that journalists are somehow not confident in writing “pro-union/anti-SNP” articles, despite the clear & voluminous evidence to the contrary. This is a pretty obvious case of confirmation bias – they automatically tune out the pro-union/anti-SNP articles because that’s the way the world should be to them, & any anti-union/pro-SNP article is disproportionately glaring to them. Hence how a single pro-indy newspaper is so offensive to them, when there are dozens of pro-union newspapers – they simply don’t see them as pro-union at all, merely “normal” or “unbiased.”

      It also suggests that they cannot bring themselves to be honest to themselves, & just say “anti-independence,” which is obviously what they mean. Much easier to say they’re against a political party than against the idea of independence.

    39. frogesque says:

      I thought us Indy supporters are the ones living in an echo chamber?

    40. yesindyref2 says:

      @galamcennalath
      I’d say they do. You get comments from one of them that gets no upvotes, then “he” or “she” does another one that gets 50 in a few minutes, my guess is a tweet goes out, “upvote this” and the gang weigh in with upvotes. Or the perp just refreshes and upvotes 50 times!

    41. ScottieDog says:

      Msm journalists will give any union slant publicity no matter who it is from.

      I just can’t bring myself to be arsed writing into these shit rags

    42. ronnie anderson says:

      Big Tammy Doft tae the Wings Infiltrator ur we Yessers starting tae play dirty LoL , no before fecking time

    43. Dr Jim says:

      Mibbees the “contributer” would like to turn up at a rally so’s he can receive a “prize”

    44. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      colin alexander at 9.09

      Colin dearie – give it a rest. We all know your name is not Colin

    45. Fred says:

      I’m picturing a be-kilted coterie of loyal Scots with pinkie-rings here!

    46. Macart says:

      Well Jings!

      Again, who’d have thought supporters of the union capable of such conspiracy?

      I’m shocked. Shocked I say. 😮

    47. heedtracker says:

      Hugh Pennington… is that the food hygiene professor?

      Probably, Aberdeen uni, who gave BBC Scotland’s NHS monsterer in chief their head of PR job, maybe because its nice and handy for her holiday home biz. Can’t mind her name, Victoria Sheffieldshire, Derbyshire?

      Ian Lakin is probably Aberdeen’s most yoon yoon in the world, aging badly, angry, rich, very very tory, very very vote NO or else, in the Press and Journal letters page a lot, a very very lot.

      Lakin’s main target was Alex Salmond, whom he really had a bee in his tory bunnet for or about. He’s only interesting in that he’s a bit creepy about the military in Scotland, but you need to read his letters to really get the wish gist at that level of tory unionist creep out.

    48. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Could I point out that there are 99 local newspapers in Scotland all with very accessible letters pages and all very much likelier to publish our letters than the national papers do.

      And the letters page in these local publications are read more comprehensively than letters in national titles. It is very difficult for local paper editors NOT to print letters on any themes if there are a lot of them

    49. jfngw says:

      To be honest this group is irrelevant, they will only really appeal to the already converted. It is the subtle propaganda that you should be more concerned with. BBC News with its half hour of how good the UK is with positive stories (even the bad news is good), followed by 30 min of how hopeless Scotland is.

      Total chaos on roads down south but no doorstepping of Transport Minister or calls for resignation on BBC. Followed by how bad the SNHS is during an even worse cold snap a few weeks go, followed by camera chasing up Scottish Health Minister.

    50. heedtracker says:

      And the letters page in these local publications are read more comprehensively than letters in national titles. It is very difficult for local paper editors NOT to print letters on any themes if there are a lot of them”

      A lot of Scots, well me, probably would write a green ink letter to the local paper, if not for the fact that I cant bear the tory media in Scotland, not one bit, let alone the fact that they do seem to only publish endless SNP bad, Scotland’s got no chance as a nation stuff only.

      Even just walking past a bile dripping newsstand today is an extremely unpleasant thing to have to do, let alone actually write to any of the tory creeps.

      Why should any YES vote make their ghastly rags in any way remotely interesting, in their letters pages?

      A good example is the free Metro, who’s letter pages always have prominent SNP bad letters, highlighted, almost everyday, from rubbish Scottish cops and the even more rubbish Scots NHS. And never pro.

    51. crazycat says:

      @ heedtracker

      Eleanor Bradford (counties was close – she’s a city instead).

      https://www.abdn.ac.uk/staffnet/eleanor-bradford-6317.php
      “[EB] tells us about her role as Head of Communications, as well as life outside work with her partner, children, chickens and ticklish pigs!”

    52. Jason Smoothpiece says:

      I see my old friend Graeme Pearson on the list always thought he was a creepy wee prick.

      SIU boss former Police boss around Arse.

      Sorry about the language some people just bring it out.

    53. jfngw says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill

      Stop buying my local Rutherglen Reformer as even when the MP, MSP, and councillor was SNP, there was still as many Labour columns as before. And to be honest paying to read James Kelly waffle was a price I was no longer willing to pay. The letters section always had an anti-SNP contribution, same person regularly.

    54. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      jfngw @ 22:04,

      I agree there.

      Waiting for the weather forecast this evening, caught the end of the main (ie. English cricketing) news followed by the doom-laden moanathon to which you refer, and had to turn the sound off, it was so obvious. And so insulting.

      (First time in ages, and I won’t be tuning in again in ages either.)

      The contrast in treatment is staggering. If the PQ shower were ever required to do the main news they would be sacked after a week for being “off message”. Whereas up here they are very much “on message”, it would seem.

    55. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      jfngw @ 22:04,

      I agree there.

      Waiting for the weather forecast this evening, caught the end of the main (ie. English cricketing) news followed by the doom-laden moanathon to which you refer, and had to turn the sound off, it was so obvious. And so insulting.

      (First time in ages, and I won’t be tuning in again in ages either.)

      The contrast in treatment is staggering. If the PQ shower were ever required to do the main news they would be sacked after a week for being “off message”. Whereas up here they are very much “on message”, it would seem.

    56. Capella says:

      Amateurs – no match for Scoop Campbell. His spies are everywhere.

    57. Marcia says:

      I won’t tell a sole either.

    58. North chiel says:

      “ Heedracker@ 0952 pm” , the “ health” correspondent was “ Eleanor Bradford” former
      “ side kick “ of “ Union Jackie” at Pathetic Quay.
      NB P&J usually have 1 or 2 SNP bad letters every day from the usual suspects resident in “ leafy suburbs” of Milltimber area or thereabouts .

    59. yesindyref2 says:

      Yes, I wouldn’t dream of letting my keyboard run away with itself and clipe to the Herald. IT’S NOT MY FAULT!

    60. Hamish100 says:

      Hugh Pennington is the not so impartial bug man. During the indy campaign he appeared on tv on many occasions with some sidekicks sitting nice and central in the audience so he could be asked a nice wee leading question. What is the chance of that happening?
      on bbc scotchland odds on. The establishment looks after their own. Univ of Aberdeen press lead ex-bbc. ex chancellor leading unionist supporter and friend of NTS, patron – wifey of Prince Charlie– what chance this?

      I’ve no doubt there are other more formal secret lists to manipulate the “free unionist press”.

    61. Kes Smith says:

      Is that the same Hugh Pennington as at Aberdeen Uni.
      Is that an Aberdeen Uni email address?

    62. Malcolm McCandless says:

      It is naive to think that such blatant astroturfing is not done without a nod and a wink from editors.

    63. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      While the STV news (with an insert from our Health Minister praising the huge effort of our health workers)reported the huge problems of A&E departments over the weekend in the context of Scotland and its streets and pavements covered in ice and thousands of injuries as a result of this the BBC managed to avoid any mention of the particularly difficult conditions whatsoever in its Scottish news.

    64. ClanDonald says:

      Oops, oh dear, secret club not secret any more. If any of the Scotland in Union letter writing numpties are reading this I have only this to say to you:

      Ha ha ha ha ha haha ha hahaha aha ha ha

    65. Marcia says:

      heedtracker

      The Metro is owned by the Daily Hate Mail Group.

    66. t42 says:

      Dave McEwan Hill says:
      “Could I point out that there are 99 local newspapers in Scotland..”

      No campaign already on that front with their *cough* “democracy reporters”

      https://www.carlukegazette.co.uk/news/business/local-papers-tie-up-bbc-link-for-democracy-reporters-1-4633386

    67. heedtracker says:

      North chiel says:
      27 December, 2017 at 10:23 pm
      “ Heedracker@ 0952 pm” , the “ health” correspondent was “ Eleanor Bradford” former

      crazycat says:
      27 December, 2017 at 10:09 pm
      @ heedtracker

      Eleanor Bradford (counties was close – she’s a city instead).

      Thank you! She was an awful attack propagandist for the beeb gimp network, or a great one, if your a Dr Scott Thinks level yoon roaster.

      There are a couple of very hard core tory but aging yoons in leafy burb Aberdeen, Lakin’s vestie Dr Fooin or something like that, really stuck out in the P&J letters pages, 2014, up there with local Prof Pennington.

      Dr Fuuin’s outstanding yoon rage seemed to always centre around a charm free rage at well, Scots and “who the bloody hell do these Scots think are anyway, Scotland is a pissy little region of a far greater and magnificent power and…wait for it, Scotland will never have the world beating CLOUT of our glorious UK.”

      Takes you back huh, WoS readers of Aberdeen, that awful UK CLOUT again.

    68. Doug Daniel says:

      “Diverse Group”. Ha ha ha!

      That Keith Shortreed guy has been in the P & J every few days recently, now I see why.

      Serious point here though folks – they’re organised. They’re total whack jobs, but they’re organised. How many of our lot are regularly writing into papers? Not many, because I know for a fact the reason the P & J for one publishes so many unionist letters compared to pro-indy letters is because they can’t publish what they don’t have. I’ve tried to encourage folk to write letters to newspapers, but with limited success. Folk just assume anything pro-indy won’t get published, sometimes after just trying once.

      We all moan about how we can’t get through to old folk who still read papers, but generally don’t do the most obvious and simple thing to try and change that. So let’s start doing it!

    69. TheWasp says:

      O/T
      Ive been doing my family tree for over a year and had hit a brick wall until I tried an unlikely link today. This led me eventually back to a Covenanter executed in Edinburgh for killing the bishop of Orkney. It was only then I realised I knew nothing about the Covenanters, as at school I was taught the battle of Trafalgar to the great exhibition, the Russian And the first world war.
      It really is true that our history has been erased by the evil empire.

    70. Robert Graham says:

      The 24-7 Shite shifters , in the background eating away at people’s souls, in wartime these people would be removed from society permanently , the spreading of downright lies undermining our communities and spreading like a disease for what ? ,

      Are these people so f/n scared of an independent Scotland they will do anything to stop it happening , If and when we gain independence, to f/ k with a truth and reconciliation commission like they had in South Africa, I want bloody revenge I want these b/rds removed from whatever position they hold, and marched to the border, let them join their chums .

    71. Fireproofjim says:

      Brilliant undercover work. M and Miss Moneypenny are proud of secret agent 1320.
      I emailed Alastair Cameron congratulating him on his receipt of thirty pieces of silver from the Tories.
      Also informed the Scotsman and Evening News of the coordinated campaign. Not that that will make much difference.t

    72. colin alexander says:

      Dave McEwan Hill said: “Colin dearie – give it a rest. We all know your name is not Colin.”

      You can call me, Mr Alexander.

      DMH, is Lorenzo’s shut? Last time I was there in the Summer I couldnae find a decent chippy and the big building at the front that used to do nice pub lunches years ago, up the stair, was being demolished.

      No so much Dunoon, as knocked doon.

      Nice ludge though. Shame it’s near Mike Russell’s office.

    73. Km says:

      Good shout by whoever happened upon this. It’s aleays better to show people stuff like this rather than just assume or suggest it. Proof that can be demonstrated is vital.

      One thing though, might want to edit out the couple of email addresses that are shown and missed in the redaction process. Don’t want these Yoons using their emails being up there to slant the story away from what it’s really about.

    74. heedtracker says:

      Marcia says:
      27 December, 2017 at 10:44 pm
      heedtracker

      The Metro is owned by the Daily Hate Mail Group.

      Which is not that surprising really. Its amazing how they can give it away in a lot of what are public spaces, like on all buses in Glasgow at least.

      Not content with BBC Scotland, STV, all radio, all Scottish newsstands, UK neo fascism has to also be literally handed out free.

      Metro is interesting in that they do moderate or modulate the SNP bad stuff. Its not relentless, everyday, maybe just three day bursts of SNP bad, the rest Sturgeon bad.

      Right now, they really hate the EU and Brussels, EU must be hated Scotland, really really hated, because in the blink of an eye, Scots are going to have the most ferocious vote NO, EU bad, SNP worse, BBC Scotland led media propaganda blitz, of our entire lives.

    75. HandandShrimp says:

      Arthur, Skinner et al…It is reassuring to see that the Yoon astro turfing circle remains the same small clique of the rabidly Unionist. I recall Skinner’s Facebook page which was a refuge for military fetishists and right ultra right wing xenophobes.

      Not really a surprise that they work together to try and flood the media. Not really surprised that the media are complicit.

    76. Lenny Hartley says:

      The Wasp best book by far on the convenanters is about imho Scotlands greatest ever Soldier, Alistair McColla or McDonald by David Stephenson, I have bought it three times, lent it out and never got it back.. think I will have to buy it again 🙂 the book is called depending on if it’s original or reprint Alistair McColla and the Highland problem or Highland Warrior Alistair McColla and the Civil Wars.

    77. S.Perspective says:

      Meanwhile, I see the BBC are bleating about the catastrophic degree by which A&E targets were missed.

      Tories of both colours were quoted, but nothing from the SG. There were noises made in the article about the increased demand on A&E, but no statistics were presented. I suspect that the rise in demand, if quantified, would exonerate the SNHS.

    78. Mike d says:

      Robert Graham 10.52pm. With you on that. I’d never forgive these backstabbing barstewards.

    79. Bob sinclair says:

      Whit a cunch o’ bunts.

    80. David P says:

      With this and the several other posts over the last few days,
      I can truly say Wings over Scotland has made my Christmas…
      And I’m confident that there will be many others who feel the
      same way.

      Brilliant journalism, in every sense of both of these words.

    81. TheWasp says:

      O/T
      Ive been doing my family tree for over a year and had hit a brick wall until I tried an unlikely link today. This led me eventually back to a Covenanter executed in Edinburgh for killing the bishop of Orkney. It was only then I realised I knew nothing about the Covenanters, as at school I was taught the battle of Trafalgar to the great exhibition, the Russian revolution, and the first world war.
      It really is true that our history has been erased by the evil empire.

    82. Sunniva says:

      Wasp. Bishops were appointed by the King and were the King’s creatures. That’s why the Covenanters opposed them.

    83. TheWasp says:

      Thanks Sunniva, I kind of gathered that from the short article I read, but will have to investigate a lot further, as I felt very bad about the gap in my knowledge earlier on today

    84. Clapper57 says:

      Some folk reading this mob’s onslaught of letters in certain ‘news’ papers and seeing same names over and over and over and over again all with same SNPBAD rhetoric might just utter the same words as Brenda from Bristol “Not another one !”.

    85. Fireproofjim says:

      Wasp
      Something changed re the teaching of Scottish history around 1960 because from primary though to Hiighers in that year we were taught lots of Scottish history.
      I know because I did an exam piece on Covenanters in my Highers, and as a school trip we were taken to Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh where the National Covenant was signed. (In blood by some.)

    86. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Sunniva @ 23:26,

      It was a wee bit deeper than that. The Covenanters were Presbyterians, the majority religious persuasion in Scotland at the time, whereas the bishops were the backbone of Episcopalianism (Anglicanism), the establishment church in England.

      The King’s attempt to enforce the latter upon Scotland by brutal means met with real popular resistance. Hence eg. Jenny Geddes’ throwing of her stool at the “shoo-in” preacher in St. Giles in Edinburgh.

      People took their indigenous culture very seriously in those days. None of this “must buy whatever Meghan Markle is buying” bollocks we have now.

    87. Sunniva says:

      Wasp. There were two Covenanting periods. The National Covenant was signed in Greyfriars churchyard in 1638. Copies of it circulated round Scotland. It was in opposition to Charles I’s plans for the church in Scotland. The Covenanters formed an army in opposition to Charles I’s plans. This was known as the Bishops Wars. It ended in stalemate. Charles was unable to dislodge them and they occupied northern England. To dislodge them he needed to call a Parliament in England to raise money for an army. The Crown did not have much money of its own. He had hitherto suppressed Parliament, thinking he could rule without one. When he recalled Parliament they refused to give him money unless he met their demands. Basically it triggered a constitutional crisis and led eventually to Cromwell taking over on behalf of the Parliamentarians and to civil war and the execution of Charles I in 1649. However after Cromwell died in 1659 and there was dissatisfaction that his son was going to take over as Lord Protector (another king, basically) it was decided to invite the real king Charles II back from exile to be king, and monarchy was restored in 1660. Charles II was a bit more careful to not offend his subjects but bishops were restored both in England and in Scotland. In England bishops were less hated than in Scotland mainly because they were more independent of the king than in Scotland. There was more of a tradition of bishops occasionally speaking out. In Scotland the second Covenanting period was after the Restoration in 1660. These Covenanters were on the whole lesser folk and more radical than the first Covenanters. They refused to pray for the King or say God Save the King. They were hunted as outlaws but remained steadfast in their refusal to accept bishops.

    88. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      me @ 23:50,

      Though some were more willing than others to accept the new order when their privileges were at stake. Which is why quite a few of the descendents of the landed gentry in Scotland are Episcopalians to this day. The Burnetts of Leys being just one example.

      As the headline article reveals, every generation has its self-serving creeps willing to sell out their homeland for a few scraps from another’s table.

    89. David McDowell says:

      They’re all patting themselves on the back for getting letters published in newspapers that bending over backwards to publish their “pro-union/anti SNP” propaganda.
      And as usual, it’s those who most loudly accuse others of orchestrating propaganda that are the ones flooding newspapers with fakes news – and what’s more they’re actually PROUD of it! Really, you can only shake your head. Truly, truly, sad people.

    90. Highland Wifie says:

      Just googled Regina Erich. A German lady who, according to a letter she wrote to the Guardian In January, has lived here sixteen years and says “The people around me never make me feel “foreign” or unwelcome…”

      Well this is how you repay these kind local people. Now that the alert reader who infiltrated this group has helped Stu out you perhaps you may find them not quite so welcoming.

    91. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      I must lead a sheltered life – never heard of this “UAS” (United Against Separation) before. UAS1707 (sic!) on Facebook. As batshit mental as SiU, it would seem. They have to warn potential posters that “comments that are deemed to be overtly bigoted in nature” will be removed. (Just if they are “overtly”, mind you.)

      Do furriners like Regina Erich have a clue what kind of “Britain First” fruitloops she is dealing with here? Or is she one of those historical throwbacks to the thirties who has now found a happy home in SiU? I shudder to think…

    92. Clootie says:

      ….what a surprise…the Scotsman came top in the “Unionist Club” support printers.

      Scottish Press…makes you proud (If you are a unionist)

    93. Anonnymoose says:

      Some of them are so bar-shit crazy that they get copied twice in the email

    94. Still Positive says:

      Dire. Can’t actually understand their mindset as have supported Scottish independence since Winnie Ewing won Hamilton when I was 17.

      For the second time this month I am going to leave the heating on all night.

    95. CameronB Brodie says:

      No doubt this lot support Rajoy and are amenable to fascism. Go figure.

    96. Mik Johnstone says:

      Do many of us independence supporters actually read the Yoon rags? They’ve done nothing but print yoonion lies and complete and utter tory Twatery for God knows how long, we need an organised leaflet campaign and get every lie the Yoons have been shouting and dispel every last one of them

    97. David Caledonia says:

      I read the star because my brother buys it, the star is rubbish unless Liam or Noel are saying something stupid about something, yes sometimes stupid can be funny lol

    98. Ken says:

      I’m shocked! No Derek Farmer?

      His last letter to the Courier, crowing about Dundee losing it’s City of Culture bid, was a stoater.

      Great find, one to treasure.

    99. D. Macdonald says:

      I see Allan Sutherland is on the list. He is from Stonehaven and frequently writes contentious letters to The National. He has been missing from its pages for some time, most probably due to him being away with Martin as mentioned in the e-mail. However, he has reappeared recently. In my experience, his missives have been robustly countered by various respondents to The National letters’ pages.

    100. Still Positive says:

      Watched a video earlier on FB Over 60s for Independence. It seems SIU thinks it is perfectly fine for a country to have all its wealth taken from it and also be ruled by a much larger neighbour.

      Can’t get my head round why that would be a good idea.

    101. Cactus says:

      This is a MASSIVE scoop, excellent Wings!

      If ye’ve yet tae draft yer Friday issue @TheNational…

      …see above, the newspaper that supports an independent Scotland.

      Aussi, see if ye squint yer eyes and look at the blocked out email addresses in black on the ‘to-list’ at the top, it appears to look like…

      F A N N Y

      To every single one of them.

      “The GIG ~ Exposed”.

      Yo-Ho-Ho-Ho!

    102. Tracker says:

      Think you’ll find Regina Erich is the wife of Allan Sutherland. So the answer to your first question is assuredly yes.
      As to your second question – I couldn’t positively comment

    103. Dr Jim says:

      Anti SNP in Yoonion

      Watched a documentary on the building of the Severn bridge and how the people of England were so proud of it and how the Nation grew in pride at it’s construction, and all that’s fine and dandy and good for them, the people of England were so proud that the BBC commissioned a classical piece of music specifically in honour of that bridge

      Scotland just recently built one of those bridge things if I remember and a pretty big one too, reported all over the world as well, except funnily enough barely reported in Scotland at all much less the BBC commissioning dods of music to honour our miserable attempt at a world beating project

      What happened to the Queensferry Crossing music BBC? are we not proud, is it not a great achievement, do we not pay Telly Tax

      The BBC in Yoonion I guess

    104. Richard says:

      Be interesting if any of those emails are their employers. Wouldn’t it be funny if their employers found out that they were using their work email for political subterfuge and personal purposes.

    105. Andrew Wilson says:

      Interesting to see Scott Arthur in there, the raving rabid ultra BBC Labour plant during the last indy ref. Currently a Labour councillor AND a Professor teaching people Engineering.

    106. Al Dossary says:

      To say that I am beeline at this revelation is an understatement.

      Here we have a group of people, bankrolled by God knows who (although I do suspect 100% that there is support at some level from the UK government / secret services – especially given that their CEO is a former intelligence officer in Norhern Ireland, and the bent cop Pearson).

      And then we have the resurgence of th Tory party during the GE. This was a military style operation – all of he new MP’s and MSP’S all are interlinked on facebook – thru Meghan Gallacher and her boyfriend for one example – many had common election officers etc. This was a military style operation, managed on a national basis all across Scotland.

      TBH the GE called by May was too perfect a storm from a Scottish point of view. On the back of record polling for the Tories Truthless probably guarenteed (and later won) 10-15 seats in Scotland. A resurgent Tory party, buoyed by support of the Orange Order and their ilk. That enough of the English voters saw through her at the death was unexpected to say the least.

    107. Ghillie says:

      Lenny Hartly @ 11.13 pm =)

      Will try to source that book myself on the Covenanter Alastair McColla by David Stevenson.

      I learned a great deal of my Scottish history from my father, folk music and reading Nigel Tranter’s novels in my teens.

      Sad that our school education was so truncated.

      Why the fear to let Scottish school children know and understand their history?

      Aye well, we all the answer to that!

    108. Ghillie says:

      SIU exposed =)

      The great and the good of that jolly wee band must be chewing their right arms off trying to work out who their infil("Tractor" - Ed) is…

      Thing is, they’ve never been at all successful in keeping themselves secret.

      These folk who have also enjoyed free uni education for their kids, free prescriptions, bus passes at 60, the best health service in the whole of the UK, excellent care for their elderly family, fantasicaly beautiful cities and countryside, internationaly renowned culture on their doorstep, and a wonderful quality of life (on their generous incomes!)…

      But are happy to see that disappear in their bid to keep their imperialistic hold on the last of their dead empire.

      Shame on you SIU.

    109. heedtracker says:

      Dr Scott Thinks goes to meet his handlers in London quite a lot and he always tweets lots of photos of Buck Palace, his fantasy UK loyalty reflected back at him by UKOK journalists at the Graun here. Royal grovellers are weird.

      http://archive.is/EYVfF

      Today programme’s royal coup was smart move for BBC and Prince Harry

    110. Les Wilson says:

      Well Well, personally I felt that there must be an organising force working against us, so this article blows that idea into the open. A big expose’ should have a two page article in the National showing the letter with names included.

      Yet, it must go even deeper than this, how many times do the newspapers all spout the same drivel on the same day? They to must have their orders. Again, someone somewhere is organising the press.

      Add to that, the new reporter issue from the BBC is without doubt a concentrated effort against the SNP, under the cloak of local democracy, what a sick joke.
      This will be used as a broad brush to pin anything, and I mean anything, against the SNP and the YES movement. Whatever it is on any given day will also go to the tv news teams across the board.

      These are sure signs they are shitting themselves, directed at the end of the day by odious departments attached to Westminster. When you really look at the press, the radio, the TV. It can only be this way.
      Exposure is a big part of the answer,the more the better, at least a good start today has just been made.

    111. ScottieDog says:

      It is far easier to spend time writing these letters when you KNOW they will be published by the establishment media. In my days of nativity I would email the BBC asking them to do a piece on the actual function of banks and the fact that banks don’t lend money – they create it, mostly to pump up house prices.

      As a naive person I would have thought that in light of the financial crisis this would be at least worthy of a dispatches/panorama type show, but no reply. Of course if I had known then what i know now I wouldn’t have wasted my time.

      I think it’s a far more effective strategy to expose the origins of the media and who is behind it.

    112. yesindyref2 says:

      @Al Dossary
      Considering how easily their “security” was breached, I sincerely hope nobody in the UK security services is involved, and that none of them are considered for any sort of role in Independent Scotland’s security services. Such incompetence would be our undoing – as it is likely to be theirs after this article.

    113. Street Andrew says:

      Presumably they think it’s important enough to make the continuing effort – because effort it must be.

      Clearly they are pushing at an open door with much of the media (even though as somebody points out they apparently discount the unionist bias as just neutral coverage).

      How many pro-independence supporters are making the same amount of on-going effort to make the case?

      Could be the answer is not enough. The independence case is not yet solid for a lot of folk. They need some facts and figures, they need some emotional prodding and they need a narrative to get behind.

      They need what Stu is doing presented on a regular basis. Drip Drip Drip. In little bite sized morsels. Millions of Scots are not reading this blog.

    114. call me dave says:

      UK Digital Minister Matt Handcock on radio shortbread there promising 1GB WiFi on the Glasgow to Edinburgh mainline by 2025.

      On the matter of broadband generally, radio shortbread throws him a wee keppie to trash our WiFi system.

      He gave £21M to Nicola Sturgeon 3 years ago and she’s been sitting on it only now getting round to organise contracts and that’s why Scotland is still lagging behind he says!
      England ahead of the game… 🙂 Aye right.

      Jings! Cheap at the price FGS! £21M

      PS other things on radio shortbread agenda

      Best green energy year ever for UK production figures but Scotland has played it’s part we are told

      A&E target times are really bad in Scotland (but England & Wales not mentioned)

      Getting the picture yet folks?

      Merry Christmas 🙂

    115. Bob Mack says:

      These letters to these papers are not necessarily to create bias against the SNP. They are more to maintain the bias of probably the Unionist element who already buy the paper. The whole thing rather smacks of the days of empire when one would write a letter to the Times

      It is noticeable that circulations are falling in any event, and more and more people get their information via social media, which I believe is a much more important vehicle for dispersing the indy message.

    116. Muscleguy says:

      @George Dever
      The very same and according to the MSM the ONLY one in the whole of Scotland. That Arpad Pusztai who put toxin on potatoes fed them to rats and GM Bad was in his group. All you need to know.

    117. Richard Hunter says:

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and this is not said in any sort of unkind way, but these people are not sane. It’s probably a good thing that their energies are redirected into someone as relatively harmless as a letter writing campaign.

    118. RAY says:

      Surprised that Clark Cross from Linlithgow is not on the list. A regular in the Mail, Express etc (my in-laws buy those rags, to be clear!)

    119. Dr Jim says:

      Scottish government are responsible for clearing, gritting roads
      Local councils are responsible for clearing, gritting pavements

      Just in case there are any no very political folks who look in to Wings and don’t realise in effect what that means is your elderly folks and kids who are slipping on the ice and fracturing their bones and turning up at A&E for treatment is the fault of your Local council and there are NO cuts to grit or salt, there’s tons of the stuff been made available

      Then ask yourself why they’re NOT doing their job, couldnae be they’d rather you broke yer bones so’s you’d blame it on the SNP could it, or to make A&E figures look bad

      Just because the SNPs the largest party doesn’t mean they run the council you might be under

    120. Marcia says:

      The Mad Professor’s dinner parties should be fun wondering who the informer is.

    121. wull2 says:

      Spy’s or should I say eyes can operate for any side.
      The problem is the YES movement is on the increase.
      Keep up the good work, everyone.
      Every little helps, drip, drip

    122. Capella says:

      @ Dr Jim AFAIK Local Authorities treat roads as well as pavements. Or not treat them, to save money.
      Maybe the Scottish govt does motorways.

    123. Les Wilson says:

      I will suggest yet again (no one previously interested) that all the YES blogs and Yes support across all the social media groups
      should lay any differences aside and react in unison to debunk unionist lies. A system needs put in place to make this happen.
      Bombard facebook/twitter and unionist blogs wherever they are.

      We are in a big fight now against the organised Unionist groups, being splintered is the worst thing for us, we all need to unite to face the emerging challenges we face now and in the near future. Do we have no one capable of putting something effective together, if we are to win, we need hero’s that can do!

    124. Dennis Webster says:

      Perhaps their tactic is working. Yes voters still trail the No’s.This is incredible considering the state of the UK Government and Parties. Their continuous propaganda seems to be working. Yessers should start doing he same thing but don’t tell anyone you are doing it.

    125. Oor Steve says:

      Excellent work. Certainly puts today’s lazy unionist journalism in perspective. Organised campaign to influence but doing so with failing newspapers, which are frequented only by those who are already signed up to that view. Still, it needed to be exposed. Now that is what we now know. We should assume that in all media streams, similar activity is going on.

    126. colin alexander says:

      Can someone explain to me why the SNP continue to focus so much on trying to secure a “soft Brexit”, remaining in EFTA and Customs Union.

      So many comments on here remark that the UK Govt is making a disaster of Brexit and that will make indy more appealing. If that’s the case then:

      If the SNP want indy be the most appealing choice, why are they trying to get ( what they perceive to be) the best deal for the UK?

      It seems to me that the SNP are planning / preparing for Scotland to remain part of the UK for a long time to come so want the best deal for the UK, as Scotland will be part of the UK but, if you can see an alternative explanation, I would welcome reading it, cheers.

    127. Disco Dave says:

      Excellent work Rev.

      Wonder if the SIU will be looking at each other more shiftily at their next gathering, wondering who is the Nasty Nat in their midst. A purge of “Saturday Night Massacre” proportions must surely follow.

      One thing I would say, though the horse may have already long bolted, Redfern’s e-mail address is blanked out at the top but is there for all to see at the bottom of the e-mail trail. Unless they are separate but similar e-mail addresses with the bottom one being in the public domain already?

    128. Marcia says:

      Groundhog day. I keep reading the same posts by one individual.

    129. Arabs for Independence says:

      call me dave @ 08:21

      You forgot to mention that ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is “at risk” although the presenter didn’t specify what it was at risk of. I had to turn that shite off especially after with OUR obsession with A&E times; I mean our obsession from the BBC that never stops banging on about it.

      Serves me right for tuning in

    130. Capella says:

      I see from Stu’s twitter SIU have kindly provided a list of email addresses to the letters page of all the main newspapers. Get typing everyone!

      https://tinyurl.com/y7fytflf

    131. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      All they needed tom do was bcc the list and nobody will see the names except their own, if they are in the Warmington Home Guard

    132. Dr Jim says:

      This mornings Call Kaye replacement is a joy, a fair and balanced approach not letting the usual Yoonion gripers away with their usual rubbish

    133. jfngw says:

      It would be difficult to believe that these techniques are limited to writing letters, I would expect they also target radio phone in and TV discussion programmes (not many of these in Scotland). Of course they may see no need as the BBC seem to lead with their opinion anyway and when I last watched a STV programme (some time ago) a Mr Torrance always seemed to be on.

    134. sassenach says:

      “Marcia says:
      28 December, 2017 at 9:26 am
      Groundhog day. I keep reading the same posts by one individual”

      That’s where you make your mistake – when you see the name always scroll past!!

      Great expose, Rev, would that we had a proper Scottish media that would highlight this matter, as well! But we can only hope word will spread anyway.

    135. galamcennalath says:

      Scotland in Union? Why? What for? To what end?

      Their Union offers nothing which couldn’t be achieved in an independent Scotland. And there is much we can achieve with independence which couldn’t ever be accomplished within a UK construct.

      They don’t see it that way. That’s all too rational. What they do feel, I can only assume, is rose tinted nostalgia and a threatened identity. They really need to get out more and look at the real Scotland of the 21st century. Rejoice in what has been achieved and rise to the challenge of what needs done.

    136. Breeks says:

      I’m struggling to see the difference between an AstroTurf campaign of BritNat letter writing, and both the red and blue Tories kept centre stage in Scottish politics for decades by the BBC and UK media.

      It’s the same sham, with the same intent, and requires no shred of integrity to sustain itself because it is not answerable to democracy, profitability, accuracy, or integrity. It is propaganda which answers to the UK Establishment, and is designed to manipulate public option in Scotland and dilute Scotland’s aspirations to become healthy and independent in mind and spirit.

      It is the same Anglicisation and grooming to be “British”, and “loyal”, as the Highlanders being banned from wearing the kilt or speaking Gaelic, and for Scottish history not being taught in our schools.

      The UK does not want Scotland left free to think and talk amongst ourselves for fear we choose Scotland interests over UK interests, so the UK must interfere, manipulate the narrative, and disrupt Scotland’s constructive enlightenment.

      The entire “action” of the 1707 Union was a Constitutional slight of hand which has relied upon the manipulation of public opinion in Scotland from the outset. Scotland’s aspiration to be a free and independent is the logical and legal “norm”, which renews itself with every new generation of Scots that are born, just like the green shoots of Spring, but the UK state must poison and subvert this renewal or lose the subservience of the Scots and sovereign governmental control of Scotland.

    137. galamcennalath says:

      sassenach says:

      would that we had a proper Scottish media that would highlight this matter

      We would have been independent decades ago, if we had!

      But what we have is a Unionist media targeting legacy Unionists in a desperate attempt to keep them on side.

      There is little pro Indy campaigning and there is non stop pro Unions/anti Indy campaigning, yet the nation sits 50:50. They have most of the traditional media on their side and what has it achieved?

      What will happen when YES2 kicks off with a vengeance? And given the events and aftermath of 2014, vengeance is part of the equation. The Unionists know the answer and it terrifies them.

    138. frogesque says:

      Green ink gang.

      All part of the vile institutional ‘grooming’ to keep us quiet and subservient.

      Like a battered wife or abused child the way to stop it is to leave and speak out.

    139. This thread is about the Green Ink Gang yet colin alexander still slags the SNP off. I wonder what his rank is or if he is one of the civilian phsychologists they recruited?

    140. Ken500 says:

      5,000 out of 5.2Million. What a bunch of losers. Support for Independence going up and up. What a bunch of useless losers. Pycho bastards. A waste of time and space. MSM ruining their own industry and jobs. Thank goodness for the Internet.

      The Tory Royals the highest, greedy consumers on earth. Telling other people to do their bit. The bloody cheek of it. Ilegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. Wasting £Billions and sanction and starving people to death. Westminster lunatic causing the worst migration crisis in Europe since the 11WW. Brexit another disaster. A total mess. Shambles. These losers are causing it.

      Goodness knows the state of Scotland without the SNP Gov.

    141. Peter A Bell says:

      It is not at all surprising to find British Nationalists organised enough to mount an ongoing coordinated letter-writing campaign. But it may be worth exploring why the Yes movement has, arguably, been less effective in using the letters pages of national and local newspapers to convey its message.

      In the immediate aftermath of the 2014 referendum, after I had recovered sufficiently from the disappointment of the result – but while still fired by anger at the methods used to secure the No vote – I sat down to reflect on that result and how it had come about. At that time – and to this day – much of the Yes movement’s ‘post mortem’ on the first independence referendum campaign involved endless circling around the question of what we did wrong. There was – and still is – a lot of finger-pointing. And lots of woefully simplistic analysis.

      It was Alex Salmond’s fault. It was the SNP’s fault. We didn’t have enough answers. We didn’t have the right answers. We gave totally the wrong answers. Much of the criticism amounted to no more than a rehashing of the all-too-familiar refrain heard from certain individuals in the Yes movement throughout the campaign. The incessant background whine telling us that we were talking to the wrong people about the wrong things at the wrong time in the wrong places and in the wrong way. It didn’t matter who we were talking to or what we were talking to them about or when or where we were doing it or what ‘tone’ we adopted it was, these carping voices assured us, all wrong.

      It was a truly facile critique. Not least because it was such a scatter-gun attack it was bound to hit a valid target, even if only incidentally. The Yes movement was then, and still remains, so large and diverse that there were always lots of different campaigners talking to lots of different people about lots of different things at every opportunity and in diverse locations and with myriad different voices. It was pretty much inevitable that, at any given time, some part of this might reasonably have been labelled ‘wrong’ in some sense.

      I very quickly concluded that this kind of analysis was less than helpful. It was superficial and too concerned with recrimination and blame-shifting to be of any great use as a guide to where – or even whether – the Yes campaign had failed. It soon occurred to me that, if we wanted guidance on how to win a future independence referendum, we should be looking at the winners of such a campaign, rather than the losers.

      Doing this, while also stripping out emotion and prejudice as far as possible by the simple expedient of treating the whole exercise like a review of a marketing campaign, several things soon became apparent. Not the least of these was the advantage that British Nationalists gained from the stark simplicity of their message. Not only is a very basic message easy to understand, it is also easy to promulgate. The No message was/is clear, comprehensible and, most importantly, consistent. That was its strength.

      The Yes message hit none of these marks. But that’s not something I want to deal with here. What concerns us here is the implications for a coordinated letter-writing campaign of having a core message that is as simple and pointed as possible.

      One of the most significant advantages relates to propaganda cues. Basically, what happened during the first referendum campaign was that Better Together/Project Fear would choose a topic – say, defence. They would latch onto some ‘independent report’ or comments elicited from some retired senior military figure, distil this down to a one line message and push it through the media. This is the propaganda cue that is picked up by those writing letters and posting below-the-line comments and engaging in social media ‘debate’. They are never off-message, because the message is too tight to leave any scope for going off-message. That message may be nonsense or lies or both, but it has power and gains traction because of its endless and unvarying repetition.

      A coordinated letter-writing campaign is easy for British Nationalists. It would have to be. Generally speaking, these are not clever people. But it’s not necessary that they be clever. The propaganda cues are so obvious and the message so simple that they need only be able to read a headline and parrot a phrase fed to them by the media in order to make an effective contribution to the anti-independence effort.

      The Yes campaign needs to learn some lessons from this.

    142. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      colin alexander at 9.24 (or whatever your name is)

      Obviously the SNP’s cleverness is beyond your understanding.
      What the SNP had done is neuter the UK’s ability to attack the SNP on the brexit issue.

      You must have missed Nicola remarking that “The case for independence grows by the day” and other very obvious signs about where we are going.

    143. Joemcg says:

      The same names appear time and again on social media newspaper btl threads too. A different bunch with a smattering of the above. I’ve always thought this since indyref was announced. Seemed like it was co ordinated years ago. The Scotsman possibly being the pioneers. BTW Mr Pearson has some dark secrets if any journalist wants to get in touch. 😉

    144. Derick fae Yell says:

      Those interested in the Covenanting times might care to consider the aftermath of the Battle of Dunbar.

      Cromwell took 5,000 Scottish prisoners. On the 100 mile death march to Durham 4-11 September 2,000 perished. The 3,000 survivors of the march were imprisoned in the ruins of the cathedral – a concentration camp basically. 1,400 survived to be transported as indentured labourers.

    145. ScottieDog says:

      Aye peter but they were always given the best possible platform. IMHO the yes campaign could have had the simplest killer message and it would have been brushed aside by the MSM.

      All that said, a simple message is what’s needed. Part of me feels like we need our own project fear campaign about brexit and a slogan such as SAVE SCOTLAND!

    146. I always thought it was an organised letter writing campaign.
      When I began to see letters from K. Howell and M. Redfern
      being published in my local newspapers.

      Maybe its about time all of us who support independence began to expose them and their organisation and call them out in our in local newspapers.

    147. Glamaig says:

      Some of the contributors here are great writers. What does it cost to email that great writing in to the letters page of a newspaper?

      We need all the coverage we can get. Some people do carefully read all the letters. Even if you feel it’s futile, it’s not.

      I’m not a great writer and I don’t know much, but I do my wee bit on HYS which is full of nutters but its still important someone drops in sometimes to shoot down some of the nutters with some facts and good sense. The way I look at it, I’m not responding to them, I’m speaking to the thousands of lurkers who might quickly scan through some comments.

      Don’t spend too long doing it though, and don’t let it get in the way of real-life campaigning.

    148. Glamaig says:

      The funniest thing about this article is imagining the Yoons turning on each other trying to work out who the infiltrator is 😀

    149. colin alexander says:

      The majority in Scotland voted remain part part of the EU Union and the UK Union.

      But, they are incompatible.

      Those who support Scottish Independence, in my opinion, should be 100% focused on working and promoting the alternative options for Scotland as an independent country.

      Then the people should choose between what the UK offers Scotland

      v

      Scottish independence, so that that gives Scotland’s people the freedom to make alternative choices to the UK Govt.

      Unfortunately, we do not have any organisation that fulfils that role. (YES was disbanded).

      ALL the current political parties work to the UK political system, they do not exist as an alternative to it.

    150. colin alexander says:

      Dave McEwan Hill.

      Thanks for presenting your understanding of the situation.

      You explain: “What the SNP had done is neuter the UK’s ability to attack the SNP on the brexit issue”.

      Please can you or anyone explain that further? You are right, I don’t understand this.

    151. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      For once I only partly agree with Peter Bell.

      He’s dead right about the BT Brigade being able to spot the theme du jour and rally behind it. You never saw much (public) dissension from within their ranks.

      However we in the yes movement have never achieved anything like the same coherence. If there’s anything we could possibly argue about, someone surely will. (Like the ever-reliable unreliable Colin.) The EURef was just the last (and maybe worst) of many. So you still get letters printed in The National like one yesterday FGS harping back on about it, even after the decisive result in Scotland.

      This kind always begin the same way “I have voted SNP since I was knee-high to a grasshopper and voted yes last time…” then carry on “…but I’m never going to vote yes again because it’s not gonnae be the verry particlar flavour o’ independence that I want so I’m no gonnae…”, and one might add in parenthesis “…even though I bloody well ken that it’s no wanted by the vast majority o’ Scots”.

      And this just a day or two after Stu’s poll that showed that Scots are on the very threshold of the tipping point to yes.

      I don’t know if such people are simply terminally stupid and self-defeating or if there’s another BritNat disruption campaign under way that hasn’t been uncovered yet.

      Whatever. Peter is right about this at least: we do need to get a darn sight more focussed and a darn sight more cohesive going forward.

    152. Robert Peffers says:

      @colin alexander says: 27 December, 2017 at 9:09 pm:

      “Oh dear, the paranoid on here will be so disappointed that my name is not amongst the Unionists.”

      Hilarious, Colin. Do you actually imagine we are all as stupid as yourself?

      Anyone, anywhere can post on the internet under any assumed title they can dream up. As they can in letters to the media or on phones to broadcasters.

      I have come across posters in the past on the old Newsnet newsgroup system who actually had arguments with their own assumed alter egos. I assume they thought by choosing which of themselves lost the argument would influence other readers/commenters.

      “However, it goes to show that the unionists are continually organising and campaigning for the Union, whilst the independists argue amongst themselves on here, as they’ve nothing better to do, as the SNP are only interested in administering devolution for the Tory Govt at Westminster.”

      In the first place you seem unaware that as a, “Devolved Administration of The Westminster Parliament the SNP SG have no other choice than to work within the Westminster Parliament’s laid down rules of what is, and what is not, within their remit.

      In the second place I would opine that most Wingers are actually fairly active in the independence movement in one way or another. So just what was your idiocy about them supposedly, only arguing among themselves and with having nothing better to do?

      Many of them have their own blogs and others have never stopped campaigning. Above all else most Wingers communicate with other members of the public on a daily basis both on and off-line, “Every little helps”, as the monkey said when it piddled in the Ocean.

      Claim whatever you like, Colin but the stark truth is that anyone who is actively anti-SNP is actively anti-Scottish independence and will be perceived by Wingers as being so.

      Aye! Colin, just like you, Rock, sensibledave and the other numpties who imagine they go unrecognised as being anti-SNP/anti-independence activists.

      The plain fact is there is no other organisation with a hope in hell of ever gaining independence for Scotland than the SNP and thus your anti-SNP rhetoric is totally wasted here on Wings. We recognise you for what you are.

      No matter if Wingers are, or are not, SNP members, as long as in the final analysis they recognise that fact, they will work totally for Scottish independence in the wider YES movement but unlike you and the other SNP haters on Wings they will not, as you do, harp on constantly against the SNP and thus denigrate the only reasonable path to independence.

      Whether you recognise it or not your constant drip, drip, drip against the SNP is a definite action against the march to Scottish independence.

      Just who is it you imagine will lead Scotland to independence if not the SNP, Colin?

      Or perhaps you fondly imagine that you are a far more intelligent and legally trained person than such as Nicola Sturgeon, Alex Salmond and the many other brilliant persons that the rank and file SNP membership have chosen as their leaders. Have you forgotten that the SNP is a bottom up true democratic party?

      These people who are elected are not there by any other means than the rank & file chose them and the Scottish electorate elected them, (and that is what puts the fear of death into the whole Unionist boorach.

    153. Richard MacKinnon says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell,
      27 December, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      “Give it a rest, eh Col? It’s fucking Christmas”.
      Whats up Rev? You getting pissed when someone points out reality?
      Colin’s right and you know it. The SNP are now part of the British establishment. Running it in Scotland. Fighting for a soft Brexit.
      The games up. You need to find your self another cause.

    154. Free Scotland says:

      @Glamaig at 11:29

      “The funniest thing about this article is imagining the Yoons turning on each other trying to work out who the infiltrator is.”

      We could always start a wicked rumour: how about Wee Erchie MacPherson?

    155. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Uh oh. Troll alert. Ignore them all. Colin the Midge included, RP. (You ought to know better by now. The very last thing we need is column-filler over the likes of him.)

    156. Danny says:

      While recognising some of those names in particular D Grattan who is a regular in the Evening Express I would have to congratulate them on how organised they have been.
      I know that in one newspaper the letters page is one of the most popular pages in the paper. We have not utilised that enough. I do write letters to the paper when I have the mind to do it and they do get published but probably around 5 a year.It’s something we should use more often.

    157. galamcennalath says:

      Peter A Bell says:

      The propaganda cues are so obvious and the message so simple

      I agree with your analysis. When presenting an idea, as soon as you start to add caveats, too much detail, figures even, the impact gets diminished. The more complex the case being made, they less likely people are to accept it. As you say, simple is easier to propagate.

      My favourite example of this is to say we are nationalists … BUT we are no nasty, we are civic nationalists who believe blah blah … too cumbersome, too detailed. Best avoided.

      Another advantage the Unionist have/had is they never make a case for anything. They usually just say no, wrong, bad.

      They continue their minimalist approach when making promises. No details. “Let’s call it DevoMax”.

      Perhaps our guiding slogan should be Keep It Simple Scotland.

    158. Jack Murphy says:

      Capella said at 9:46 am:
      “I see from Stu’s twitter SIU have kindly provided a list of email addresses to the letters page of all the main newspapers. Get typing everyone!”

      I see The Courier and the P&J are on that list.
      No surprise there. 🙁

      https://tinyurl.com/y7fytflf

    159. Proud Cybernat says:

      “Big Tammy Doft tae the Wings Infiltrator ur we Yessers starting tae play dirty LoL , no before fecking time”

      It wisnae me, LOL!!! 🙂

    160. jfngw says:

      It would seem that David Leask doesn’t want Wings supporters to have any association with his paper going by his twitter posts. Happy to oblige, never by the Herald anyway but did buy the Sunday version, I’ll stop at his request. Hope the owners know what he is up to.

    161. Richard MacKinnon says:

      colin alexander
      28 December, 2017 at 9:24 am
      You ask, ‘Can someone explain to me why the SNP continue to focus so much on trying to secure a “soft Brexit”, remaining in EFTA and Customs Union’.

      Colin, I can help you. I know what the SNP logic is.
      Work back from the starting point, ‘The Unspeakable Truth’. SNP MPs and MSPs have accepted there will never be an independent Scotland. The chance is gone. They decided to scupper the last opportunity, which was this years general election. They knew a general election was imminent (every one did). After last years UK/EU referendum result they knew they could fight the next GE on a one statement SNP manifesto ‘Scotland has voted to Remain in the EU so vote for the SNP and if a majority of SNP MPs are returned the SNP will take that mandate to negotiate independence from the UK’.
      They chose instead to avoid that fight and the mechanism they used, the commitment of Scotland’s parliament to a second Scottish independence referendum. This was not a tactical error. It was planned. The idea of creating a UK constiutional crisis on top of Brexit was just too big a animal for the SNP to take on.
      The SNP are now The Scottish Devolution Party. They think they can position themselves as the only ‘true’ Scottish party that will defend Scotland’s interests in the UK and at the same time bring a socially democtartic voice of reason to Westminster. Thats what their doing with this soft Brexit appeal. It sounds principled and at the same time will embarrass Corbyn. Its all part of The Westminster Game.
      And it might work, for a time. It is of course dishonest and in the long run will lead to nowhere.
      Colin, You are going to get abuse on Wings for asking questions like you do. Keep it up.

    162. Highland Wifie says:

      Richard MacKinnon
      Please stop. I’m laughing so much you’re making my sides sore.

    163. Robert Peffers says:

      Smallaxe says: 27 December, 2017 at 9:19 pm:

      “Own up! which one of you bullies gave them a dirty look?”

      No one gave them a dirty look, Smallaxe. It is, as the saying goes, “All in their heads”.

      A bit like something my Old Granny used to say as we all sat down for a WWII wartime meal :- “Here ye go, try this new recipe – Ah made it up oot o ma ain head.”

      Their website seems to imagine that because the SNP lost seats in the GE that we would all shrivel up and die off. It just will never happen and that truth has been around for a very, very long time, and I quote:-

      ” … for, as long as a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be subjected to the lordship of the English. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.”

      Thirs mair nor a wee puckle o iz whit remains alive, Smallaxe.

      Mind you, at least in my own case, only barely so.

    164. Gfaetheblock says:

      Peter a. Bell

      You stats that British nationalists are not clever people. What is this based on? Link to data please, or is this is just insulting folk that you don’t like?

    165. Richard MacKinnon says:

      Highland Wifie
      28 December, 2017 at 12:58 pm
      Why do you find me so funny?

    166. Dal Riata says:

      Superb sleuthing, and a gold star to that alert reader and his infiltration techniques.

      So, there’s Martin Redfern there. If you come from Argyll & Bute and peruse the local ‘newspapers’ that are found throughout the region, in the Reader’s Letters sections you cannot but fail to find a letter from Martin Redfern harrumphing and frothing his SNPBadness each and every time. It is a rare occasion when there isn’t one of his Britnutter scribbles bothering the Letters sections.

      This has been going on for years. It just seemed like the tirades of a bitter loser, as he came in a very distant third while representing the Conservative and Unionist Party in the 2015 General Election for the region of Argyll & Bute, won overwhelmingly by Brendan O’Hara of the SNP.

      But his involvement in this secret-no-more group of BritNat nutters makes sense of it all.
      And the thing is, Martin Redfern isn’t just slevering from the sidelines, oh no, as he was elected in this year’s local council’s election as a representative of the Scottish Conservative and Unionists as a councillor in Ward 2, of Argyll & Bute Council, Kintyre and the Islands.

      That he has been outed as part of this group fills me with immense pleasure.

    167. CameronB Brodie says:

      @Alastair Campbell & SiU
      Yooz guys are creepy as. I suggest you try to develop a sense of psycological connectedness that is based in Scotland, not your One Nation ideology. You are aware that Bentham was quite mad and that utilitarianism is morally inadequate as the ethos of a “just” society?

      “we must not advertise the existence of the group. It can be mentioned verbally, in safe environment, that some people share letters/encourage each other, but anything more risks editors discriminating, nationalists reacting, and this diverse group being portrayed as a monolithic campaign”.

      Why Do People Join Cults?
      Why do people join — and even appear to thrive in — cult-like groups?

      ….Applying misunderstood psychiatric labels to those who join extremist groups offers little or no explanation for their behavior. It often represents little more than a moralistic condemnation. Rather than immediately trying to blame extremists for being different, it is equally important to try to understand the psychological appeal of cults, extremist groups, and political cells, as well as some business organizations.

      Any analysis of the makeup of individuals in cult groups shows surprising large diversity in terms of age, career, education, ideology, and talents. They can attract the post-graduate and the illiterate; the teenager and the “senior citizen”; the solidly middle class and those on the fringes of society. It is not so much their demography that is important as their psychological needs….

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sideways-view/201402/why-do-people-join-cults

    168. gus1940 says:

      The Guys In The Black Hats have been out of the blocks like rockets after the Christmas Break.

      Misreporting Scotland and the rest of the MSM going at full blast against The Scottish NHS.

      One of the clearest example of Misreporting verging on Fake News is a co-ordinated story in the Herald, Scotsman, and Record (I haven’t looked at the rest yet)which is worded to, suggest to those who are sufficiently gullible that Facebook and its management worked hand in glove with The SNP during the 2015 GE and as a result we got 56 out of 59 MPs.

      The story is manufactured based on a report from Facebook that Independence Supporters made great and successful use of Facebook (and the rest of the on-line media for that matter) during the campaign.

      Nowhere is there any suggestion in truth that Facebook were actively involved in supporting The SNP Campaign. They were 100% passive and all they are saying is that some people (SNP supporters) knew how best to use the facilities available on Facebook and did so while the Colonialist Rabble didn’t.

      It’s really sickening to see these bastards twisting the facts round into an unjustified attack on The SNP.

      The next thing, I suppose, is to make similar suggestions that The SNP and their supporters were hand in glove with the Russians.

    169. CameronB Brodie says:

      @Alastair Campbell & SiU
      Yooz guys are creepy as. Do you not appreciate that you are acting in a way that is likely to be harmfull to Scotland’s public health. Possessing individual agency and a sense of controlling one’s destiny, is a basic human need for psychological health. The Yoonion acts against the psychological well-being of all Scots, apart from yoons. The Yoonion creates the “cringe”. Or are Scots not being stripped of their EU citizenship on London’s dictate?

      Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

      The original hierarchy of needs five-stage model includes:

      1. Biological and physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.

      2. Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.

      3. Love and belongingness needs – friendship, intimacy, trust and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).

      4. Esteem needs – which Maslow classified into two categories: (i) esteem for oneself (dignity, achievement, mastery, independence) and (ii) the desire for reputation or respect from others (e.g., status, prestige). Maslow indicated that the need for respect or reputation is most important for children and adolescents and precedes real self-esteem or dignity.

      5. Self-actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences. A desire “to become everything one is capable of becoming” (Maslow, 1987, p. 64).

      Maslow posited that human needs are arranged in a hierarchy:

      “It is quite true that man lives by bread alone — when there is no bread. But what happens to man’s desires when there is plenty of bread and when his belly is chronically filled?

      At once other (and “higher”) needs emerge and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate the organism. And when these in turn are satisfied, again new (and still “higher”) needs emerge and so on. This is what we mean by saying that the basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency” (Maslow, 1943, p. 375).

      https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

    170. Robert Peffers says:

      @heedtracker says:27 December, 2017 at 9:34 pm:

      “Keep it up folks, I’m sure your giving journalists the confidence to write anti SNP and pro union articles,’
      will really make the whole of the beeb Scotland gimp network, let alone stinky olde The Graun tories like Severin Carrell lol very much.”

      We must not be over hasty to criticise these gimps, heedtracker, for perhaps their constant denigration of all things non-unionist Scots and Scotland is having more effect upon the slow but steady swing of support for independence than our own, and the SG/SNP even handed running of Scotland, has achieved at the present time.

      Spoke to an elderly lady in my GP’s waiting room who commented about the large YES badge pinned on my Wings woolly hat. The lady said she had recently changed her mind and was now going to be voting SNP but had been Labour all her life.

      I asked if she would mind explaining for me what had changed her mind. Her reply went something like this:- Well I was never very interested in politics and all my family had always voted Labour as Labour were the working class people’s party. I’m widowed now and retired, on the pension, and I’m not in very good health these days.

      Yet I’m getting the very best of treatment from Doctor *&£&8 and the hospital yet I’m reading, viewing and listening to the papers, TV and wireless that the NHS in Scotland, the Polis and the SNP are rubbish but my sister in law in England tells me it is bad in the north of England and that Scotland is lucky to have free prescriptions and a better NHS than England.

      So I’ve been taking a better interest in politics for a while now and my late husband’s sister is right – I didn’t even know that Scotland had its ain NHS never mind aa the ither stuff.

      I wrote down the Wings website address for her. So, if she reads this, perhaps she might decide to post a comment or three?

      My feelings, and they may be wrong, is that the Yoons have become so desperate that they are over-egging their complaints and increasing numbers of previously non-interested in politics people in Scotland are having little choice but to notice. These people previously just mentally switched off when anything political was mentioned but the media’s constant complaints go counter to what voters experience in their everyday lives.

    171. CameronB Brodie says:

      @Alastair Campbell & SiU
      Yooz guys are creepy as. Problems in you childhood?

      Maslow’s Self Actualization Theory
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNVrng2FtcU

    172. Robert Peffers says:

      @Gfaetheblock says: 28 December, 2017 at 1:12 pm:

      “Peter a. Bell
      You stats that British nationalists are not clever people. What is this based on? Link to data please, or is this is just insulting folk that you don’t like?”

      Would that be the same notionally clever people, Gfaetheblock, that voted for what they fondly imagine is a British exit from the EU but which, first of all, can never be, “Britain”, leaving anything because Westminster does not govern all of, “Britain”. It can only ever, at best, be a UKEXIT.

      However, as the term UK stands for “United Kingdom”, that means it is not a united country but is factually a bipartite United Kingdom and one of the two kingdoms voted not to leave.

      Was it that kind of clever unionists you meant?

    173. slackshoe says:

      I somewhat feel they are preaching to the converted. The vast majority of people reading these papers will be unionist pensioners.

    174. CameronB Brodie says:

      @Alastair Campbell & SiU
      Yooz guys are creepy as and probably pose a threat to civil liberties and human rights in Scotland. I hope Police Scotland are watching you.

      Social Dominance Orientation: A Personality Variable Predicting Social
      and Political Attitudes

      Social dominance orientation (SDO), one’s degree of preference for inequality among social groups, is introduced. On the basis of social dominance theory, it is shown that (a) men are more social dominance-oriented than women, (b) high-SDO people seek hierarchy-enhancing professional roles and low-SDO people seek hierarchy-attenuating roles, [c]) SDO was related to beliefs in a large number of social and political ideologies that support group-based hierarchy (e.g., meritocracy and racism) and to support for policies that have implications for intergroup relations (e.g., war, civil rights, and social programs),
      including new policies. SDO was distinguished from interpersonal dominance, conservatism, and authoritarianism. SDO was negatively correlated with empathy, tolerance, communality, and altruism. The ramifications of SDO in social context are discussed.

      https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3207711/sidanius_socialdominanceorientation.pdf?sequence=1

      An Introduction to Social Dominance Orientation

      ….More recently, researchers have found that SDO and political group identities can be used to predict attitudes toward a variety of different groups. In his 1999 study, Heaven found that SDO was a strong predictor of negative attitudes towards women’s rights (even stronger than political group identities) (Heaven, 1999). Bassett found in his 2010 study that higher SDO was associated with stronger negative attitudes towards illegal immigrants (Bassett, 2010), and in their 2000 study Whitley and Ægisd?ttir found that SDO could be used to predict attitudes towards gays and lesbians (Whitley & Ægisd?ttir, 2000). In regards to social position, Sanders and Mahalingam found a Class x Race interaction with upper-class, non-whites having the highest levels of SDO (Sanders & Mahalingam, 2012). But how does understanding SDO help us?

      http://sites.psu.edu/movingpsychology/2012/09/06/an-introduction-to-social-dominance-orientation/

      Impact of social dominance orientation on health: Daniel Martin at TEDxHayward
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs7h0ihwUuI

    175. Gfaetheblock says:

      Mr Peffers,

      Not really getting your point, as yes and no supporters voted for brexit, but thanks for not insulting me this time.

    176. galamcennalath says:

      I’ve read quite a lot recently about why and how people make up their mind politically. What I’ve found does fit in with my own observations. I’m not really proposing anything original, just summarising what I now believe to be true.

      People make decisions based on their own experience, or that of family and close friends. They are influenced most by what family and close friends say.

      People switch off at politicians just presenting two opposing arguments. They don’t like statistics and figures because that doesn’t relate to what they personally experience.

      So, if anyone who hasn’t made their mind up about something reads a letter from an über Yoon will it influence their decision? Not in the way the writer expects if it is counter to the readers own experiences – it would more likely harden the voter’s view towards their experiences and away from the Yoon’s point.

      Some people can be disinterested and some can be gullible, but it appears that telling people something which doesn’t fit in with what they and those close to them see with their own eyes, is a risky tactic.

    177. Derick fae Yell says:

      The SNP are focused on soft Brexit for the UK because

      a) that avoids the potential catastrophic damage to Scotland from a hard Brexit,

      b) being ultra ultra reasonable demonstrates to the yet undecided that the SNP, and by extension the Independence movement are the adults in the room.

      And c) the step from Scotland in the UK in, or effectively in, the single market to Independent Scotland in the single market is then very small and entirely de-risked.

    178. schrodingers cat says:

      while yes still dominates social media, perhaps we have neglected newspaper letters pages and radio call ins (ie the old media)

      we should all make an effort to rectify this

    179. crazycat says:

      @ Cameron B Brodie – pedant alert but possibly useful :

      Not to be confused (as Natalie McGarry found out to her cost) :

      Alastair Campbell = Blair’s spin-dcotor
      Alastair Cameron = SIU
      Alistair McConnachie = A Force for Good

      I can see why you might not wish to share anything with the second Alastair, but you do have a handy way of remembering his name 🙂 .

    180. Robert Peffers says:

      @Richard MacKinnon says: 28 December, 2017 at 12:40 pm:

      “Colin, I can help you. I know what the SNP logic is.
      Work back from the starting point, ‘The Unspeakable Truth’.”

      Sheesh! another right Dick speaks up – with a right load of utter pish.

      Or is this just another of Colin’s manifestations?, (or should that read infestations)?

      As I already pointed out the absolute true legal facts that blows both manifestation claims right out of the water.

      1) – The Holyrood Parliament is legally, (at least under The English Rule of Law), a devolved unit of the Westminster Parliament of the legally, under any Rule of Law, bipartite by Treaty of Union, United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland Parliament.

      As such it is, in fact, a legal part of the United Kingdom Parliament at Westminster. (You do Know, Mr MacKinnon, what the term, “Devolve”, means – or do you?

      I’ll just quote the definition for you:-

      (devolve – verb: devolve; 3rd person present: devolves; past tense: devolved; past participle: devolved; gerund or present participle: devolving).

      1. transfer or delegate (power) to a lower level, especially from central government to local or regional administration.

      Example 1 – “measures to devolve power to a Scottish assembly”

      synonyms: delegate, pass (down/on), hand down/over/on, depute, transfer, transmit, commit, assign, consign, convey, entrust, turn over, make over, sign over, give, part with, let go of, leave, cede, surrender, relinquish, deliver; More
      bestow, grant; offload, dump, get rid of, palm off, foist, fob off

      Example 2 – “the move would devolve responsibility to local units”.

      antonyms: centralize, retain

      2. formal: pass into (a different state, especially a worse one); degenerate.

      Example 1 -“the Empire devolved into separate warring states”.

      So there you go. Whether you, Colin Alexander, John Bull or Uncle Tom Cobleigh an all, an all, like it the Holyrood Government is actually, and legally so, a devolved part of the Westminster Parliament.

      They, if they are to continue to cleverly circumvent the worst excesses of the de facto parliament of England that propagates the lie that it is The United Kingdom Government but uses EVEL to prove it actually is the, not elected as such, only known de facto Parliament of the COUNTRY of England.

      Thus whatever further argument either you or Colin cares to offer are proven total and completely balderdash.

      The SNP, whether they or you, like it actually are legally part of the Westminster Parliament – until proven otherwise in a proper court of law.

      The Scottish Rule of Law has several legal concept not found under the English Rule of Law and vice versa.(Vice versa originates as Latin, with the literal translation being ‘the other way round’ or ‘the position being reversed’, but is now fully absorbed into English.)

      Anyway, This was evident in the wording of the Treaty of Union of 1706/7 where it is clearly stated there are only two signatory kingdoms as equally sovereign Kingdoms and countries are mentioned nowhere in that document.

      Under the treaty both the Scottish & English Rule of Law are sacrosanct in perpetuity for the very good reason that the treaty cannot reconcile the two legal systems and there cannot be a treaty that encompasses both unless as separate legal systems.

      However, there are several precedent in the Scottish High Courts that state certain English Law tenets are not known, and cannot be known, under the laws of Scotland but whenever did such tenets of law ever stop Perfidious Albion doing exactly as Perfidious Albion has always done. Just as Perfidious Albion now is about to attempt to do with what they call Brexit against the other 27 European Member States.

      With any luck Perfidious Albion is about to meet it’s final exit from what it perceives to be One Nation Britain that it never legally has been and become once more the three country Kingdom of England as it was on last day of April 1707.

      SNP MPs and MSPs have accepted there will never be an independent Scotland. The chance is gone. They decided to scupper the last opportunity, which was this years general election. They knew a general election was imminent (every one did). After last years UK/EU referendum result they knew they could fight the next GE on a one statement SNP manifesto ‘Scotland has voted to Remain in the EU so vote for the SNP and if a majority of SNP MPs are returned the SNP will take that mandate to negotiate independence from the UK’.
      They chose instead to avoid that fight and the mechanism they used, the commitment of Scotland’s parliament to a second Scottish independence referendum. This was not a tactical error. It was planned. The idea of creating a UK constiutional crisis on top of Brexit was just too big a animal for the SNP to take on.
      The SNP are now The Scottish Devolution Party. They think they can position themselves as the only ‘true’ Scottish party that will defend Scotland’s interests in the UK and at the same time bring a socially democtartic voice of reason to Westminster. Thats what their doing with this soft Brexit appeal. It sounds principled and at the same time will embarrass Corbyn. Its all part of The Westminster Game.
      And it might work, for a time. It is of course dishonest and in the long run will lead to nowhere.
      Colin, You are going to get abuse on Wings for asking questions like you do. Keep it up.

    181. crazycat says:

      @ glamcennalath

      I went to a really interesting talk recently, about Framing and Re-framing, which covered what you are talking about at 2.31 – we need to reframe the topics, not contradict a person’s existing frame, which merely entrenches their views.

      The conclusion in the hand-out we received was :

      You cannot win by presenting the truth if you continue to use a conservative (establishment) frame. Reframe and fit the facts into your frame. At all costs, avoid using the establishment frame; remember every time that you use their frame, you are reinforcing it and doing the establishment’s work for them!

      Guidelines included:

      Respond by incorporating facts into the new frame. Never attempt to show that the other person’s facts are wrong, this merely reinforces their frame and makes it harder to change in the future.

      Think and talk at the level of values. Find common ground on values, such as healthy air, protecting your family, and build your frame to show how these values are achieved in your frame.

      I haven’t tried these suggestions out, and as is probably obvious from my contributions here, I’m going to find it very, very difficult to resist “correcting” people about “facts”.

      But it was very useful to hear about this approach, and I think it has some imporatnt points.

    182. HandandShrimp says:

      That tweet from Ian Smart is a belter. In fishing for left over cooking sherry under the sink one can only assume he hit the drain cleaner by mistake.

    183. PhilM says:

      Have to laugh at the sad attempts by professional arseholes Alexander and McKinnon to depict the SNP’s oh so secret political strategy.
      The clear absence of political imagination, the fact that they lack such self-awareness that they put it on parade here, and their personal bitterness is cheering me right up today.
      Think about politics as the art of the possible, that such a quickly shifting environment requires a light touch, and then perhaps they may have some insight into SNP strategy.
      But insight on their part…perhaps that’s asking too much.

    184. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      crazycat @ 15:05,

      This point about framing is an important one, I feel. I seem to recall that stewartb has made similar mention before.

      I have very much the lingering impression that during IR1 the framing was all Unionist, within which the SNP and Yes were continually forced to react.

      To what extent that was down to innate media bias or connivance, and to what extent it was BT setting an agenda that the media were only too happy to pick up on, I haven’t ever been able to decide.

      But next time there really has to be an effort to get the right framing put in place from the very start, for what is likely to be a short and sharp campaign.

      In the meantime, might we not be better employed using aliases to write lots of outright bats**t mental pro-Union letters to the eager papers, just to help them all thoroughly discredit themselves before the serious stuff starts in earnest…?

    185. yesindyref2 says:

      @David Leask – or about David Leask and letters pages

      Yes, during Indy Ref YES letters did outnumber NO, and quite likely by 2 to 1. And one or two or more YESsers appeared quite often, for instance Alasdair G, who also posts btl. I doubt very much if he was part of an organised cabal, he’s an individual.

      One thing you omitted to say is that campaign groups as such usually sign off their letters as “X Y, Campaign for Real Food”. That’s particularly important in local titles where readers can reasonably expect to have letters from local people they might know, with just the occasional one from some national campaign group. I used to get regularly accepted for my local paper’s letter pages.

      There are “rules” and letters get omitted for a variery of reasons. Badly written, over-aggressive, incomprehensible, and too critical perhaps of the local paper. So for instance a letter saying:

      “This rag discriminates against Santa Claus and is a disgrace I’ll never buy it again” is likely to be binned, whereas a letter:

      “I’d really like to see an article about Santa Claus and his helpers, and some information about his reindeer” might well get published.

      This Wings article exposes an organised group, but from the email it appears they post multiply in local papers, and let’s face it, I doubt very much if X Y actually lives in Edinburgh, Dundee, Fort William, Dumfries, Stornoway, all at the same time.

    186. Robert Peffers says:

      @slackshoe says: 28 December, 2017 at 2:17 pm:

      “slackshoe says:
      28 December, 2017 at 2:17 pm
      I somewhat feel they are preaching to the converted. The vast majority of people reading these papers will be unionist pensioners.”

      Of course they will, slackshoe.

      However, will not be the unconverted unionists because they are NOW pensioners but will be because they are, and always were, unionists. These people are your long term actual Tory, Labour and LibDem party members and their long term camp followers.

      That is, while they have always been Tory, Labour and LibDem unionist voters and supporters. They have not suddenly morphed into unionist voters upon reaching pension age. To imagine that when a person becomes a pensioner overnight suddenly predisposes them to vote for a unionist party is rather disingenuous and illogical.

      They are simply all that still remains of the three Westminster Unionist parties who, only under their now perceived common threat from independence are banding together under the heading of Unionist. Previously these unionists would have been almost constantly at each other’s throats with the lines in the sand drawn according to the beliefs of left, right and centre.

      Such lines in the sand were wiped out when Tony Blair & Gordon Brown created, “NuLabour”. That dragged the then already right-wing moving Labour party onto the part of the political spectrum occupied by the Tories. This forced the Tories to move further rightwards and briefly left a gap that the failing Liberals were only too happy to occupy, ready to jump on either of the two passing bandwagons on either side.

      In essence what we had was three unionist parties who were each opposed to whatever the other two did while all were attempting to attract the same voters and all wanting to be to the right of centre where lay, “Middle Little England”.

      In Scotland the SNP had also fought out an internal battle. Here, though, the losers were the most right facing SNP faction and a real left of centre party emerged. These were, though, still labelled as the, “Tartan Tories”, by the long established Westminster unionist Labour Party who professed to be called, “Scottish Labour”. Thing was that no such party has ever been registered as a UK political party. So called Scottish Labour are/were through and through London Labour, right of centre, unionist and conservative.

      So as the Scottish voter base was predominantly socialist leaning the SNP began winning seats while the, decimated by Thatcherism, Tories were almost extinct and the LibDems and Labour now hard on their unionist Tory heels.

      So now we have in Scotland what most certainly has become The unified London Unionist and multi-coloured Tory party. They co-operate together at Holyrood and claim the SNP do not have a majority.

      Quite obviously the SNP do indeed have a large majority over every other individual party but do not have an overall majority over the combined amalgamated, multi-coloured, London Unionist and Tory parties.

      We also have in Scotland an independence supporting Green Party who can often make the difference between win or lose.

      So do not let the question of age convince you, wrongly, that when you personally arrive at pension age you will suddenly become a Unionist – all you will become is of pension age – whatever the London unionist parties have agreed to be the pension age by then.

      That is if Westminster is still in charge of Scotland at that point in history.

      The good news is that all three London Unionist parties, of necessity in Scotland, have an older but dropping, membership demographic and will thus find their membership numbers in ever increasing decline.

    187. Robert Peffers says:

      @Gfaetheblock says: 28 December, 2017 at 1:12 pm:

      “Peter a. Bell
      You stats that British nationalists are not clever people. What is this based on? Link to data please, or is this is just insulting folk that you don’t like?”

      Very often what a person perceives to be insulting is based upon their own expressed views, actions or behaviours that have already been perceived as insulting to the person they accuse of having insulted them.

      Seems rather as if you have a thing about being insulted. Might not there be a good reason for your perceived insults from others? I could, of course, be wrong. I do not claim to be an expert on most things but reserve my right to state my opinion. However, I never accept it as an insult if others do not agree with me on anything for that is their right.

      Wings is an open forum and its prime function is to elicit the views of anyone and everyone that Rev Stu Campbell, and only Rev Stu Campbell, finds acceptable. Which is why there really is no case to ban people for simply not agreeing with the views of others. Like the old saying puts it – if you cannot stand the heat – stay out of the kitchen.

    188. Colin Alexander says:

      Stu asked me to avoid my usual criticism of the SNP as a Christmas gesture of goodwill, so respecting I’m a guest in his website, I am doing just that.

      I’m trying to have a genuine discussion. So, thanks to all who are discussing it.

      So, the points of view I’m getting is that by trying for a soft Brexit the SNP present themselves as the sensible people doing the best for not only Scotland but the UK too.

      Compared, to Mr Mackinnon’s view that the SNP are now a tartan Labour, if you like and fakes.

      Nicola Sturgeon is head of devolved WM government, Mr Peffers explains, so he explains they aren’t fake. They are part of UK Govt. That’s what devolution is.

      Taking all those on board: The indyref was won by NO, they opted for UK Govt. The UK Govt are going for hard Brexit( whether that’s what they achieve remains to be seen). So, I don’t see why that should be a matter for the FM. Those issues are not devolved to Holyrood.

      That appears to be the view of the UK Govt too. They rebuffed any offers of guidance or help from the FM.

      The SNP MPs now say they want a sort of “rebel alliance” of pro-EFTA / Customs Union MPs to force a soft Brexit. But that’s opposing the UK Govt policy.

      But, being ruled by the UK Govt is what the majority of people of Scotland chose in 2014. So, I don’t see how the SNP have a mandate to interfere in UK policy, especially when a UK-wide referendum backed the UK Govt policy of Brexit.

      Yes, the SNP have always been clear on their pro-EU policy and that was their manifesto pledge, if Scotland’s dragged out the EU, indyref.

      I can’t see anywhere that gave the SNP a political mandate in Scotland or a legal authority from UK Govt organisation that gives them authority to work for a soft Brexit: EFTA / Customs Union for the UK. (Even though, at this stage in time I would probably choose that over full EU membership or full Brexit independence).

      I don’t see how the FM has more say on it than you or I do. It’s simply not her job as FM or an MSP. She’s leader of the SNP but, the SNP did not seek or obtain a mandate for a soft Brexit.

      As, I said before, the SNP mandate was EU membership or that triggered another indyref.

      Okay, the FM has said the SNP Scottish Govt remain committed to an indyref when the Brexit terms are known.

      Taking onboard Derick fae Yell’s points:

      a) that avoids the potential catastrophic damage to Scotland from a hard Brexit,

      b) being ultra ultra reasonable demonstrates to the yet undecided that the SNP, and by extension the Independence movement are the adults in the room.

      And c) the step from Scotland in the UK in, or effectively in, the single market to Independent Scotland in the single market is then very small and entirely de-risked.

      schrodingers cat says:
      28 December, 2017 at 2:39 pm
      while yes still dominates social media, perhaps we have neglected newspaper letters pages and radio call ins (ie the old media)

      we should all make an effort to rectify this

      crazycat says:
      28 December, 2017 at 2:41 pm
      @ Cameron B Brodie – pedant alert but possibly useful :

      Not to be confused (as Natalie McGarry found out to her cost) :

      Alastair Campbell = Blair’s spin-dcotor
      Alastair Cameron = SIU
      Alistair McConnachie = A Force for Good

      I can see why you might not wish to share anything with the second Alastair, but you do have a handy way of remembering his name ? .

      Robert Peffers says:
      28 December, 2017 at 3:04 pm
      @Richard MacKinnon says: 28 December, 2017 at 12:40 pm:

      “Colin, I can help you. I know what the SNP logic is.
      Work back from the starting point, ‘The Unspeakable Truth’.”

      Sheesh! another right Dick speaks up – with a right load of utter pish.

      Or is this just another of Colin’s manifestations?, (or should that read infestations)?

      As I already pointed out the absolute true legal facts that blows both manifestation claims right out of the water.

      1) – The Holyrood Parliament is legally, (at least under The English Rule of Law), a devolved unit of the Westminster Parliament of the legally, under any Rule of Law, bipartite by Treaty of Union, United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland Parliament.

      As such it is, in fact, a legal part of the United Kingdom Parliament at Westminster. (You do Know, Mr MacKinnon, what the term, “Devolve”, means – or do you?

      I’ll just quote the definition for you:-

      (devolve – verb: devolve; 3rd person present: devolves; past tense: devolved; past participle: devolved; gerund or present participle: devolving).

      1. transfer or delegate (power) to a lower level, especially from central government to local or regional administration.

      Example 1 – “measures to devolve power to a Scottish assembly”

      synonyms: delegate, pass (down/on), hand down/over/on, depute, transfer, transmit, commit, assign, consign, convey, entrust, turn over, make over, sign over, give, part with, let go of, leave, cede, surrender, relinquish, deliver; More
      bestow, grant; offload, dump, get rid of, palm off, foist, fob off

      Example 2 – “the move would devolve responsibility to local units”.

      antonyms: centralize, retain

      2. formal: pass into (a different state, especially a worse one); degenerate.

      Example 1 -“the Empire devolved into separate warring states”.

      So there you go. Whether you, Colin Alexander, John Bull or Uncle Tom Cobleigh an all, an all, like it the Holyrood Government is actually, and legally so, a devolved part of the Westminster Parliament.

      They, if they are to continue to cleverly circumvent the worst excesses of the de facto parliament of England that propagates the lie that it is The United Kingdom Government but uses EVEL to prove it actually is the, not elected as such, only known de facto Parliament of the COUNTRY of England.

      Thus whatever further argument either you or Colin cares to offer are proven total and completely balderdash.

      The SNP, whether they or you, like it actually are legally part of the Westminster Parliament – until proven otherwise in a proper court of law.

      The Scottish Rule of Law has several legal concept not found under the English Rule of Law and vice versa.(Vice versa originates as Latin, with the literal translation being ‘the other way round’ or ‘the position being reversed’, but is now fully absorbed into English.)

      Anyway, This was evident in the wording of the Treaty of Union of 1706/7 where it is clearly stated there are only two signatory kingdoms as equally sovereign Kingdoms and countries are mentioned nowhere in that document.

      Under the treaty both the Scottish & English Rule of Law are sacrosanct in perpetuity for the very good reason that the treaty cannot reconcile the two legal systems and there cannot be a treaty that encompasses both unless as separate legal systems.

      However, there are several precedent in the Scottish High Courts that state certain English Law tenets are not known, and cannot be known, under the laws of Scotland but whenever did such tenets of law ever stop Perfidious Albion doing exactly as Perfidious Albion has always done. Just as Perfidious Albion now is about to attempt to do with what they call Brexit against the other 27 European Member States.

      With any luck Perfidious Albion is about to meet it’s final exit from what it perceives to be One Nation Britain that it never legally has been and become once more the three country Kingdom of England as it was on last day of April 1707.

      SNP MPs and MSPs have accepted there will never be an independent Scotland. The chance is gone. They decided to scupper the last opportunity, which was this years general election. They knew a general election was imminent (every one did). After last years UK/EU referendum result they knew they could fight the next GE on a one statement SNP manifesto ‘Scotland has voted to Remain in the EU so vote for the SNP and if a majority of SNP MPs are returned the SNP will take that mandate to negotiate independence from the UK’.
      They chose instead to avoid that fight and the mechanism they used, the commitment of Scotland’s parliament to a second Scottish independence referendum. This was not a tactical error. It was planned. The idea of creating a UK constiutional crisis on top of Brexit was just too big a animal for the SNP to take on.
      The SNP are now The Scottish Devolution Party. They think they can position themselves as the only ‘true’ Scottish party that will defend Scotland’s interests in the UK and at the same time bring a socially democtartic voice of reason to Westminster. Thats what their doing with this soft Brexit appeal. It sounds principled and at the same time will embarrass Corbyn. Its all part of The Westminster Game.
      And it might work, for a time. It is of course dishonest and in the long run will lead to nowhere.
      Colin, You are going to get abuse on Wings for asking questions like you do. Keep it up.

      crazycat says:
      28 December, 2017 at 3:05 pm
      @ glamcennalath

      I went to a really interesting talk recently, about Framing and Re-framing, which covered what you are talking about at 2.31 – we need to reframe the topics, not contradict a person’s existing frame, which merely entrenches their views.

      The conclusion in the hand-out we received was :

      You cannot win by presenting the truth if you continue to use a conservative (establishment) frame. Reframe and fit the facts into your frame. At all costs, avoid using the establishment frame; remember every time that you use their frame, you are reinforcing it and doing the establishment’s work for them!

      Guidelines included:

      Respond by incorporating facts into the new frame. Never attempt to show that the other person’s facts are wrong, this merely reinforces their frame and makes it harder to change in the future.

      Think and talk at the level of values. Find common ground on values, such as healthy air, protecting your family, and build your frame to show how these values are achieved in your frame.

      I haven’t tried these suggestions out, and as is probably obvious from my contributions here, I’m going to find it very, very difficult to resist “correcting” people about “facts”.

      But it was very useful to hear about this approach, and I think it has some imporatnt points.

      HandandShrimp says:
      28 December, 2017 at 3:06 pm
      That tweet from Ian Smart is a belter. In fishing for left over cooking sherry under the sink one can only assume he hit the drain cleaner by mistake.

      PhilM says:
      28 December, 2017 at 3:16 pm
      Have to laugh at the sad attempts by professional arseholes Alexander and McKinnon to depict the SNP’s oh so secret political strategy.
      The clear absence of political imagination, the fact that they lack such self-awareness that they put it on parade here, and their personal bitterness is cheering me right up today.
      Think about politics as the art of the possible, that such a quickly shifting environment requires a light touch, and then perhaps they may have some insight into SNP strategy.
      But insight on their part…perhaps that’s asking too much.

      Robert J. Sutherland says:
      28 December, 2017 at 3:51 pm
      crazycat @ 15:05,

      This point about framing is an important one, I feel. I seem to recall that stewartb has made similar mention before.

      I have very much the lingering impression that during IR1 the framing was all Unionist, within which the SNP and Yes were continually forced to react.

      To what extent that was down to innate media bias or connivance, and to what extent it was BT setting an agenda that the media were only too happy to pick up on, I haven’t ever been able to decide.

      But next time there really has to be an effort to get the right framing put in place from the very start, for what is likely to be a short and sharp campaign.

      In the meantime, might we not be better employed using aliases to write lots of outright bats**t mental pro-Union letters to the eager papers, just to help them all thoroughly discredit themselves before the serious stuff starts in earnest…?

      yesindyref2 says:
      28 December, 2017 at 3:51 pm
      @David Leask – or about David Leask and letters pages

      Yes, during Indy Ref YES letters did outnumber NO, and quite likely by 2 to 1. And one or two or more YESsers appeared quite often, for instance Alasdair G, who also posts btl. I doubt very much if he was part of an organised cabal, he’s an individual.

      One thing you omitted to say is that campaign groups as such usually sign off their letters as “X Y, Campaign for Real Food”. That’s particularly important in local titles where readers can reasonably expect to have letters from local people they might know, with just the occasional one from some national campaign group. I used to get regularly accepted for my local paper’s letter pages.

      There are “rules” and letters get omitted for a variery of reasons. Badly written, over-aggressive, incomprehensible, and too critical perhaps of the local paper. So for instance a letter saying:

      “This rag discriminates against Santa Claus and is a disgrace I’ll never buy it again” is likely to be binned, whereas a letter:

      “I’d really like to see an article about Santa Claus and his helpers, and some information about his reindeer” might well get published.

      This Wings article exposes an organised group, but from the email it appears they post multiply in local papers, and let’s face it, I doubt very much if X Y actually lives in Edinburgh, Dundee, Fort William, Dumfries, Stornoway, all at the same time.

      Comment – please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like and are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

      Colin Alexander
      Name (required)

      yes_independence [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk
      Mail (will not be published) (required)

      Website

      Stu asked me to avoid my usual criticism of the SNP as a Christmas gesture of goodwill, so respecting I’m a guest in his website, I am doing just that.

      I’m trying to have a genuine discussion. So, thanks to all who are discussing it.

      So, the points of view I’m getting is that by trying for a soft Brexit the SNP present themselves as the sensible people doing the best for not only Scotland but the UK too.

      Compared, to Mr Mackinnon’s view that the SNP are now a tartan Labour, if you like and fakes.

      Nicola Sturgeon is head of devolved WM government, Mr Peffers explains, so he explains they aren’t fake. They are part of UK Govt. That’s what devolution is.

      Taking all those on board: The indyref was won by NO, they opted for UK Govt. The UK Govt are going for hard Brexit( whether that’s what they achieve remains to be seen). So, I don’t see why that should be a matter for the FM. Those issues are not devolved to Holyrood.

      That appears to be the view of the UK Govt too. They rebuffed any offers of guidance or help from the FM.

      The SNP MPs now say they want a sort of “rebel alliance” of pro-EFTA / Customs Union MPs to force a soft Brexit. But that’s opposing the UK Govt policy.

      But, being ruled by the UK Govt is what the majority of people of Scotland chose in 2014. So, I don’t see how the SNP have a mandate to interfere in UK policy, especially when a UK-wide referendum backed the UK Govt policy of Brexit.

      Yes, the SNP have always been clear on their pro-EU policy and that was their manifesto pledge, if Scotland’s dragged out the EU, indyref.

      I can’t see anywhere that gave the SNP a political mandate in Scotland or a legal authority from UK Govt organisation that gives them authority to work for a soft Brexit: EFTA / Customs Union for the UK. (Even though, at this stage in time I would probably choose that over full EU membership or full Brexit independence).

      I don’t see how the FM has more say on it than you or I do. It’s simply not her job as FM or an MSP. She’s leader of the SNP but, the SNP did not seek or obtain a mandate for a soft Brexit.

      As, I said before, the SNP mandate was EU membership or that triggered another indyref.

      Okay, the FM has said the SNP Scottish Govt remain committed to an indyref when the Brexit terms are known.

      Taking onboard Derick fae Yell’s points:

      Submit Comment
      Colin Alexander Says:
      Stu asked me to avoid my usual criticism of the SNP as a Christmas gesture of goodwill, so respecting I’m a guest in his website, I am doing just that.

      I’m trying to have a genuine discussion. So, thanks to all who are discussing it.

      So, the points of view I’m getting is that by trying for a soft Brexit the SNP present themselves as the sensible people doing the best for not only Scotland but the UK too.

      Compared, to Mr Mackinnon’s view that the SNP are now a tartan Labour, if you like and fakes.

      Nicola Sturgeon is head of devolved WM government, Mr Peffers explains, so he explains they aren’t fake. They are part of UK Govt. That’s what devolution is.

      Taking all those on board: The indyref was won by NO, they opted for UK Govt. The UK Govt are going for hard Brexit( whether that’s what they achieve remains to be seen). So, I don’t see why that should be a matter for the FM. Those issues are not devolved to Holyrood.

      That appears to be the view of the UK Govt too. They rebuffed any offers of guidance or help from the FM.

      The SNP MPs now say they want a sort of “rebel alliance” of pro-EFTA / Customs Union MPs to force a soft Brexit. But that’s opposing the UK Govt policy.

      But, being ruled by the UK Govt is what the majority of people of Scotland chose in 2014. So, I don’t see how the SNP have a mandate to interfere in UK policy, especially when a UK-wide referendum backed the UK Govt policy of Brexit.

      Yes, the SNP have always been clear on their pro-EU policy and that was their manifesto pledge, if Scotland’s dragged out the EU, indyref.

      I can’t see anywhere that gave the SNP a political mandate in Scotland or a legal authority from UK Govt organisation that gives them authority to work for a soft Brexit: EFTA / Customs Union for the UK. (Even though, at this stage in time I would probably choose that over full EU membership or full Brexit independence).

      I don’t see how the FM has more say on it than you or I do. It’s simply not her job as FM or an MSP. She’s leader of the SNP but, the SNP did not seek or obtain a mandate for a soft Brexit.

      As, I said before, the SNP mandate was EU membership or another indyref.

      Okay, the FM has said the SNP Scottish Govt remain committed to an indyref when the Brexit terms are known.

      Taking onboard Derick fae Yell’s points as to why the SNP are campaigning for a soft Brexit:

      a) that avoids the potential catastrophic damage to Scotland from a hard Brexit,

      b) being ultra ultra reasonable demonstrates to the yet undecided that the SNP, and by extension the Independence movement are the adults in the room.

      And c) the step from Scotland in the UK in, or effectively in, the single market to Independent Scotland in the single market is then very small and entirely de-risked.

      a) that avoids the potential catastrophic damage to Scotland from a hard Brexit. And B) it’s the most sensible decision ( adult thing to do)

      It remains to be seen what sort of Brexit the SNP can influence and what will be achieved. Whether it would be catastrophic is a prediction/ estimate, not yet a fact.

      A fair chunk of SNP supporters and Unionists want a hard Brexit, it seems. So whether a soft Brexit SNP makes the SNP more appealing to Remainers or less appealing to Leavers and how that equates in gained or lost support for indy or the Union or for the SNP remains to be seen.

      It could be argued, the sensible thing would be for the SNP to say have made it clear we favour the EU -and Scotland voted Remain- but they’ll let the UK get on with Brexit. Making it clear, Brexit is the UK decision. The SNP don’t agree.

      If hard Brexit is disastrous, would that not be a good reason to let the UK Govt get on with achieving hard Brexit, with SNP MPs abstaining on Brexit legislation, as it’s England that on decided Brexit.

      Then the SNP can say: it’s hard Brexit disaster for Scotland as part of the UK or indy Scotland. Your choice, Scotland.

      Point C: staying in the single market / EFTA would make a simple risk free transition to indy Scotland being in the single market.

      Would it? We don’t know if UK/ Scotland will stay in the single market. EFTA membership requires unanimous agreement from its members and Norway have made it clear they arern’t happy about the UK joining. Even assuming it’s single market / EFTA Brexit, does that make it simple risk free?

      rUK would already be an EFTA member, Scotland would need to apply to join. rUK could then veto indy Scotland’s membership. Effectively forcing Scotland to choose full indy v efta membership by remaining part of the UK – a virtual repeat of Project Fear ( replacing EU with EFTA).

      So, what seems to be answers, don’t seem to answer the situation. So, I remain confused. But it has made me think deeper, so thanks.

    189. Mick Clark says:

      Well guys, there’s an easy answer. Get posting. How many
      post on here every day? Play them at their own game and
      rip through every one of them in the Herald and Scotsman
      with the figures that will destroy everything they spew.
      If nothing else it will be fun.

    190. Fireproofjim says:

      You certainly can get letters published in even the most Union slanted papers. I have had many letters published in the Scotsman and Evening News, almost always replying to the anti-SNP rubbish of the above Green Ink Gang.
      Even got one in today’s Evening News.
      There is a wee puzzle for some folks. No prize involved.

    191. Andy-B says:

      I often wondered why so many anti-independence yoon comments appear in yoon rags, now I know.

      What a desperate act of yoonery.

    192. Colin Alexander says:

      Oops!

      Something has gone wrong. Apologies Stu, I’ve messed up the btl comment. Serves me right for trying to have a sensible discussion.

    193. velofello says:

      Had a haircut today, whilst waiting scanned the Sun freebie, and noted the letters by Messrs Redfern and Howell. Topic? SNP Baad.

      Trending and tactics. Seems me that the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon have embarked upon a Nordic model of social provision, and it seems to be popular with the general public. The unelected MSP Murdo Fraser complaining about baby box costs whilst he has trousered approaching a £million does come across as crass.

      Perhaps the one-line mantra for the Yes campaign – a strategy used partially successfully by Unionists – should be USE IT OR LOSE. Use your vote Yes for independence, or vote No and lose the social provisions put in place by the SNP.

    194. Robert Peffers says:

      @Gfaetheblock says: 28 December, 2017 at 2:20 pm:

      “Mr Peffers,
      Not really getting your point, as yes and no supporters voted for brexit, but thanks for not insulting me this time.”

      Actually the point is very clear. Not only have you accused me of insulting you but you now imply that Peter, a person I find to be a very clear and logical commenter, has based his opinions upon his, (Peter’s), dislike of their views.

      I find many commenters on Wings to be very much illogical in their arguments, often basing their views upon anything but the matter under debate.

      Debate should be based upon facts and reasoning, like politics should also be based upon facts and reasoning but frequently isn’t. This is why the most unsuitable people are elected to office but shouldn’t even have been selected as candidates.

      Everyone makes mistakes and everyone makes wrong decisions but if the elected representatives base their decisions upon facts and logic, and forget about their personal party loyalties, not only would there be far fewer mistakes made but whatever country, kingdom or state they represented would be more prosperous, less unequal for their populations and there would be far fewer conflicts between nations.

    195. yesindyref2 says:

      @Mick Clark: Well guys, there’s an easy answer. Get posting.

      Indeed you’re right Mick. What seems to have happened is a boycott of “Unionist supporting MSM”, and the result of that is that below the line postings have been taken over by NO activists and anti-SNP activists (not always the same thing).

      I see many posters disappeared from the Herald, and if you look at The National there’s few postings even on top articles. Letters pages which used to be largely YES are now largely anti-indy and anti-SNP.

      The circulation of newspapers is dropping, but even a 100% boycott of them by Indy supporters will do little to hasten their end. Whereas Indy Ref 2 is likely to be in March 2019, not much more than a year away.

      The boycott MSM campaign is definitely counter-productive.

    196. Shug says:

      Can a similar review of callers to call Kaye be done
      Interesting to see if the same unionists voices are being presented
      All sections s of the unionist media will be up to their neck in this

    197. Gfaetheblock says:

      Mr Peffers

      Victim blaming is a new line from you. Nice.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victim_blaming

      Anyway, my original question was how are no voters of lower intelligence, you have given a bit of whataboutery re brexit, still not had an answer.

    198. SOG says:

      I post rarely but read often.

      Would the Rev Stu please consider some sort of word count limit? Thanks

      I spend a lot of time scrolling down, particularly on this thread.

    199. Gfaetheblock says:

      Mr Peffers,

      So arguments should be based on facts, but Peter a bell can assert his opinion and that can be ok? I am getting more confused. By your logic, yes voters that have similar views as you are clever, no voters that has be a different view are of lower intelligence. That is just bigotry

    200. Hamish100 says:

      oh dear the yoonies are out in tune!

      Never mind. The battle for the hearts and minds for the people of Scotland will continue despite secret groups emailing papers with diminishing sales. Dave McEwan Hill made a good point over local papers however the Johnstone press are not pro independence.

      Local papers in Irvine Ardrossan and Largs areas are normally the fiefdom of right wing labour and the tories and will certainly promote one side. Guess which!!

      Never mind when Eck takes charge we will hear complaints of a press partiality. So unfair on the Brexiter unionists.

    201. Ken500 says:

      D. Grattan is obviously a Labour troll. Obvious to all for years. A persistent annoyance.The white noise. Anyone daft enough to buy the Thomson unionist Press. Deserved all they get. P & J – EE unionist Press helps to destroy the NE economy. Promoting the imbeciles in the Council. £1.2Billion in debt. Building groteque projects. No one wants. Wasting £200Million. £300Million for a Conference centre with no business case. £30Million to ‘renovate’ destroying an Art Gallery shut for years. Refusing a £80Million gift to pedestrianise the City. Cutting spending on essential services. What a shower. They get voted out and come back to haunt. Two jobs Tories ruining the local economy. Shutting essential road causing traffic chaos. A LibDem becomes an Independent to keep them in power. Appalling.

      Dundee has been totally renovated successfully by an SNP administration. Thomson Press use the profits to subsidise a bankrupt Dundee football team.

    202. Ken500 says:

      The Johnston Press is practically bankrupt. £Millions in debt that need restructured. Like some sporting clubs. Taking a lend of the punters. No wonder the terraces are empty. A matter of time before they go under.

    203. Ken500 says:

      The unionist trolls are fairly out the day. Why waste their time here, trying to annoy the converted. They could be sending useless letters to the papers. No one reads. Or their posts on here. A skip past them, as they copy and paste.

    204. Rock says:

      Robert Peffers,

      “Aye! Colin, just like you, Rock, sensibledave and the other numpties who imagine they go unrecognised as being anti-SNP/anti-independence activists.”

      You are an aggressive verbal bully here and almost certainly a nasty person in real life.

      And like all bullies, you are a coward who runs away the moment he is challenged.

      If you are as clever as you think, why don’t you have your own site to flog your “knowledge”?

      Instead of contaminating every article on someone else’s website with your verbal diarrhoea.

      Why haven’t you ever written a book on the history of the union?

    205. yesindyref2 says:

      @Ken500
      You don’t have to buy the paper to comment btl, you don’t even need to have an online subscription, just a login. It’s clear many unionists don’t subscribe as they comment on the headline, not the article which thry presumably can’t read.

      And yeah, particularly local papers, people do read the letters. Often it’s some Labour bod and some SNP bod ding to dong, with the odd Tory interruption. It’s funny, though I don’t find the time to read these days.

    206. Marian says:

      Pity we cannot also get evidence of who or what is centrally orchestrating the media “SNP baad” campaign!

    207. Highland Wifie says:

      Richard MacKinnon 1.23pm
      “Why do you find me so funny?”

      Well it could be the hilarious assertion that the SNP realised that Independence was a lost cause.

      Or it could be the strange idea that the SNP think that they will “bring a social democratic voice of reason to Westminster” thus becoming the Scottish Devolution party. And to what end? There is already sufficient evidence to show that even if every Scottish MP at Westminster was SNP Scotland can still be largely ignored. And for Scotland nothing changes.

      So, sorry if I find it difficult to contain my amusement but I assumed you must have had your tongue firmly inserted in your cheek when writing that nonsense.

    208. @cybernaticus says:

      Aye, and here he is your, Scotland In Union Vice Chair, Will Ramsey, sporting a Pink silk/wool two-button suit, (£600) by Timothy Everest; blue cotton shirt, (£195) by Ozwald Boateng; “Classique” enamel watch in yellow gold, (£12,400) by Breguet. https://www.1843magazine.com/content/lifestyle/lucy-farmer/man-a-suit-will-ramsay . He sells ‘affordable’ art apparently. But has no plans to sell any in Scotland. ‘Affordable’ means something entirely different North of the Border. But I’m sure his heart bleeds for the children being brought up in poverty here as he jets back down to London after a few days in his ancestral pile in the Scottish Borders.

    209. rob says:

      Just a thought if any of your MSPs are signed up to this Charter of SIU,get in touch with them immediately and ask them why they support a 5 point Holyrood Charter that is in essence a lie. Ask them to make it public knowledge that they are withdrawing their name and Jenny Marra, you for one I am speaking too…………….now.
      here the rest of the sorry bunch who believe in honesty…………
      Adam Tomkins
      Conservative
      Glasgow Anniesland and list candidate for Glasgow region
      Alex Cole-Hamilton
      Liberal Democrat
      Edinburgh Western and list candidate for Lothian region
      Alex Johnstone
      Conservative
      List candidate for North East Scotland
      Alexander Burnett
      Conservative
      Aberdeenshire West
      Alison Evison
      Labour
      Aberdeen South and North Kincardine
      Alison McInnes
      Liberal Democrat
      List candidate for North East Scotland
      Altany Craik
      Labour
      Mid Scotland and Fife
      Anas Sarwar
      Labour
      List candidate for Glasgow
      Andrew Morrison
      Conservative
      Uddingston & Bellshill
      Angela MacLean
      Liberal Democrat
      Skye, Lochaber & Badenoch
      Annie Wells
      Conservative
      List candidate for Glasgow
      Barrie Cunning
      Labour
      Midlothian South, Tweedale & Lauderdale
      Ben Proctor
      Labour
      List candidate for West Scotland
      Bill Butler
      Labour
      Glasgow Anniesland
      Blair Heary
      Labour
      Edinburgh Pentlands
      Brian Whittle
      Conservative
      Kilmarnock & Irvine, and list candidate for South Scotland region
      Carolyn Caddick
      Liberal Democrat
      List candidate for Highlands & Islands
      Charles Kennedy
      Conservative
      Linlithgow
      Clive Sneddon
      Liberal Democrat
      Angus South
      Cllr Ross Thomson
      Conservative
      Aberdeen South & North Kincardine
      Craig Martin
      Labour
      Falkirk East
      David Evans
      Liberal Democrat
      Banfshire & Buchan Coast and list candidate for North East region
      Dean Lockhart
      Conservative
      Stirling
      Donald Cameron
      Conservative
      Argyll & Bute
      Edward Mountain
      Conservative
      Inverness & Nairn
      Eileen McCartin
      Liberal Democrat
      Paisley & Renfewshire South
      Elaine Smith
      Labour
      Coatbridge and Chryston
      Euan Davidson
      Liberal Democrat
      Angus North & Mearns and list candidate for North East region
      Gerry McGarvey
      Labour
      Orkney
      Graeme Brooks
      Conservative
      Greenock & Inverclyde
      Graham Hutchison
      Conservative
      Glasgow Southside
      Hannah Bettsworth
      Liberal Democrat
      Lothian
      Huw Bell
      Conservative
      North East Fife
      Iain McGill
      Conservative
      Edinburgh Northern & Leith
      Jackie Baillie
      Labour
      Dumbarton
      Jackson Carlaw
      Conservative
      Eastwood
      Jacquie Bell
      Liberal Democrat
      Midlothian North & Musselburgh & list candidate for Lothian
      James Calder
      Liberal Democrat
      Dunfermline
      James Harrison
      Liberal Democrat
      Glasgow Maryhill & Springburn
      Jamie Halcro Johnston
      Conservative
      Orkney
      Jane-Ann Liston
      Liberal Democrat
      Mid Fife & Glenrothes, list candidate for Mid Scotland & Fife
      Jenny Marra
      Labour
      Dundee West and list candidate for North East Scotland
      Joanne McFadden
      Labour
      Angus South
      John Lamont
      Conservative
      Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire
      John Ruddy
      Labour
      Angus North & Mearns
      John Scott
      Conservative
      Ayr
      Ken McIntosh
      Labour
      Eastwood
      Kyle Thornton
      Conservative
      Glasgow Cathcart
      Leah Franchetti
      Labour
      Caithness, Sutherland and Ross
      Lee Lyons
      Conservative
      Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley
      Leslie Hinds
      Labour
      Edinburgh Northern & Leith
      Liam McArthur
      Liberal Democrat
      Orkney
      LizAnne Handibode
      Labour
      East Kilbride
      Margaret McCarthy
      Labour
      Strathkelvin & Bearsden
      Margaret Mitchell
      Conservative
      Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse
      Martin Laidlaw
      Conservative
      Kirkcaldy
      Mary Fee
      Labour
      Renfrewshire North & West
      Megan Gallacher
      Conservative
      Motherwell and Wishaw
      Mick Rice
      Labour
      Argyll & Bute
      Mike Rumbles
      Liberal Democrat
      Aberdeenshire West and list candidate for the North East
      Miles Briggs
      Conservative
      Edinburgh Southern
      Murdo Fraser
      Conservative
      Perthshire North, List Candidate for Mid Scotland and Fife
      Neil Bibby
      Labour
      Paisley
      Paul Martin
      Labour
      Glasgow Provan
      Paul Masterton
      Conservative
      Paisley
      Paul Sweeney
      Labour
      List candidate for the West Scotland region
      Pramod Subaraman
      Liberal Democrat
      Edinburgh Southern
      Robert Brown
      Liberal Democrat
      Rutherglen and list candidate for Glasgow
      Ruth Davidson
      Conservative
      Edinburgh Central
      Sarah Atkin
      Labour
      List candidate for Highlands & Islands
      Struan Mackie
      Conservative
      Caithness, Sutherland and Ross
      Tavish Scott
      Liberal Democrat
      Shetland
      Taylor Muir
      Conservative
      Rutherglen
      Thomas Rannachan
      Labour
      Glasgow Shettleston
      Willie Rennie
      Liberal Democrat
      List candidate for Mid Scotland and Fife

    210. yesindyref2 says:

      OT – oh sorry, it’s ON topic!
      One of the secret society has been outed on the Herald letter page “Letters: The only option is to leave an EU that will never be reformed”.

      All they have to do is be open and transparent and put “Scotland in Union” after their name on their letter.

    211. JB Hogg says:

      When I first stumbled across this email leak last night, I was shocked at the tactics discussed within it. However, when I noticed the name Pamela Nash, I thought no, can’t possibly be the same Pamela Nash, Labour MP for Airdrie & Shotts 2010-15. Using information within the email about a speech she was due to give on the Wednesday (15/11/2017), I found myself confronted with a webpage entitled “Our Chief Executive Pamela Nash’s London Speech”. After reading through her speech of the night, the content and the wording truly shocked me, as it will a lot of other people in Airdrie. But then it does go on to say “We are currently establishing our first Scotland in Union student group in St Andrew’s University, with your help”, (that’s the people who attended the London gig), so not really for her average constituent, or as my mum said “she’s clearly forgot her old arse”.

    212. Footsoldier says:

      Perhaps the Rev could set up a section on Wings where we can record the number of letters and the correspondents names coming from this group. Some of the names on the list appear simultaneously in several newspapers the same day.

      No matter how supportive the media are of these SIU correspondents, they will definitely not like it as the letters pages will no longer be from individuals but from organisations.

    213. CameronB Brodie says:

      @David Leask
      You have the appearance of supporting a Yoon cult. Not a good look, frankly.

      The Narrative Construction of Reality

      ….It is with just this domain that I want now to concern myself. Like the domains of logical-scientific reality construction, it is well buttressed by principles and procedures. It has an available cultural toolkit or tradition on which its procedures are modelled, and its distributional reach is as wide and as active as gossip itself. Its form is so familiar and ubiquitous that it is likely to be overlooked, in much the same way as we suppose that the fish will be the last to discover water. As I have argued extensively elsewhere, we organize our experience and our memory of human happenings mainly in the form of narrative—stories, excuses, myths, reasons for doing and not doing, and so on.

      Narrative is a conventional form, transmitted culturally and constrained by each individual’s level of mastery and by his conglomerate of prosthetic devices, colleagues, and mentors. Unlike the constructions generated by logical and scientific procedures that can be weeded out by falsification, narrative constructions can only achieve “verisimilitude.” Narratives, then, are a version of reality whose acceptability is governed by convention and “narrative necessity” rather than by empirical verification and logical requiredness, although ironically we have no compunction about calling stories true or false.7

      I propose now to sketch out ten features of narrative, rather in the spirit of constructing an armature on which a more systematic account might be constructed. As with all accounts of forms of representation of the world, I shall have a great difficulty in distinguishing what may be called the narrative mode of thought from the forms of narrative discourse. As with all prosthetic devices, each enables and gives form to the other, just as the structure of language and the structure of thought eventually become inextricable. Eventually it becomes a vain enterprise to say which is the more basic — the mental process or the discourse form that expresses it — for, just as our experience of the natural world tends to imitate the categories of familiar science, so our experience of human affairs comes to take the form of the narratives we use in telling about them….

      http://www.semiootika.ee/sygiskool/tekstid/bruner.pdf

    214. Fred says:

      @ The Wasp, try Dr Mark Jardine’s website for comprehensive Covenanting info’ great stuff & U can ask to be put on his mailing list!

      https://drmarkjardine.wordpress.com/

    215. CameronB Brodie says:

      @David Leask
      This surely wasn’t a mistake on your part?

      Analyzing Narratives and Story-Telling

      Concern with the production, distribution, and circulation of stories in society requires that we step outside of narrative material and consider questions such as who produces particular kinds of stories, where are they likely to be encountered, what are their consequences, under what circumstances are particular narratives more or less accountable, what interests publicize them, how do they gain popularity, and how are they challenged? (Ibid., 19)

      http://www.uta.fi/yky/yhteystiedot/henkilokunta/mattikhyvarinen/index/Chapter%2026.pdf

    216. Richard MacKinnon says:

      Highland Wifie
      28 December, 2017 at 7:17 pm
      You avoid the main point in my proposition, based on the 2017 general election and the SNPs manifesto.
      After our referendum in 2014 the SNP might have been riding a wave of popular support they were tactically beaten (The Party was strong but the vision was gone). There was one chance left to them. It was a long odds bet but if the result of the 2016 UK/EU referendum was Leave and Scotland voted Remain then there was a reasonable and legitimate case for the SNP to challenge Brexit on behalf of the Scottish people.
      Nobody predicted a Leave result, but it happened and Scotland voted Remain. The stars were perfectly aligned to make that challenge, and the general election was the opportunity. The result, a majority of Scottish MPs returned being SNP and a SNP single manifesto pledge (see my comment 1240 yesterday) would have caused a justified and legal constitutional crisis. Brexit negotiations would have been the side show.
      That is what should have happened.
      You need to ask yourself why this chance was missed. As I say, I think was was deliberately avoided.

    217. TheWasp says:

      Thanks to all for the Covenanter information and links, very much appreciated.

    218. Alastair says:

      “Readers, have you ever noticed how the letters pages of Scottish newspapers are full every day of the same names, a clutch of a couple of dozen super-hardcore frothing ultra-Yoons tirelessly and reflexively raging against independence, the SNP and pretty much anything without a Union Jack on it?”

      Yes. Thanks in spades to the leaker for providing confirmation of the suspects on my radar. Also thanks as always to the fearless Rev Stu, Happy New Year brother.

    219. jfngw says:

      The Howell’ers would seem an appropriate name for this group.

    220. I would be interesting to look at the callers to GMS I bet there the same people calling raging about SNP stroke Scotland

    221. yesindyref2 says:

      @jfngw
      Or Hydra?

      https://forrestimel.deviantart.com/art/Hydra-462759148

      Many heads, one arse.

    222. Petra says:

      Why on earth are Colin Alexander and Rock still being allowed to post on here? I just don’t get it.

      Maybe I’m missing something. Anyone on here tell me why?

    223. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Why on earth are Colin Alexander and Rock still being allowed to post on here? I just don’t get it.

      Maybe I’m missing something. Anyone on here tell me why?”

      Because it’s not up to you.

      If you don’t like what people post, don’t engage with it.

    224. Danny says:

      See one of the names on that list is a Denis Grattan. He is a regular in the letters pages of the Aberdeen Evening Express with his bile.He has an interesting past.This is from the Aberdeen city council results in 2003.

      SUMMERHILL
      Leonard Ironside Lab 589
      Dennis Grattan SNP 506
      John Cruickshank LD 344
      Alison Harper C 209

    225. farrochie says:

      Keith Howell in today’s Sunday Herald. Scotland in EU or UK? “support for independence will surely suffer”. Well done Sunday Herald.

    226. farrochie says:

      Colin Alexander says:

      28 December, 2017 at 5:25 pm
      ____________________________

      Just a couple of points.

      “Those issues are not devolved to Holyrood.”

      1. Scottish Parliament has already decided it can debate and vote on reserved matters. Hence the debate on Iraq for instance. The Labour FM at the time supported the Labour PM and SNP was the opposition. So we didn’t get to see the consequences had the vote gone otherwise. Had it done so, at least a political stance of a Parliament would have been noted by outside observers. How else does Scotland (its people) have a say? By our WM MPs? By the Secy of State for Scotland? How do they know what Scotland thinks?

      2. I often return to Prof Walkers paper on The Union and the Law, linked below. He notes with good justification that the Treaty “is part of international law affecting Britain and the whole world, and not merely part of domestic law.”

      “it is part of international law affecting Britain and the whole world, and not merely part of domestic law”

      How could an appeal to international law take place?

      http://www.journalonline.co.uk/Magazine/52-6/1004238.aspx

      3. The processes of devolution and “reserved matters”, and associated budget, are not well understood, either by the people, or, sad to say by some MSPs, who often drift into devolved matters with off the cuff remarks like “stop implementing Tory austerity”.

      Again, this is the reality of politics, and politics responds to pressures (media, commentators) until someone says “there’s a possible political solution; but we need to bend some principles or rules, prepare subsidiary legislation, etc.

      4. Occasionally, Westminster is judged by courts to have acted illegally (past cases). There is an element of doing what you can get away with unless challenged.

      Overall, the absence of a written UK Constitution, allows much more leeway than the formal processes would suggest.

      Hope this isn’t off-topic.

    227. Stravaiger says:

      I wonder if Richard Marsh is the same one who lives in a prominent house in Strathdon, with connections to the Lonach Gathering?

    228. Richard MacKinnon says:

      Readers, have you ever noticed how the comments on Wings Over Scotland are full every day of the same names, a clutch of a couple of dozen super-hardcore frothing ultra-nats tirelessly and reflexively raging against the union,……………



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