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The ground war

Posted on November 04, 2013 by

I make videos. The written word is not my weapon of choice. But “Better Together” have left me with no alternative. Let me explain.

I’m a recently-retired video producer. Another recently-retired video producer (aka ‘the wife’) and I decided to make a series of films about how the grassroots of the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns were bringing their respective messages to the people of Scotland.

spotdiff

We kicked off by covering Yes Garnock Valley and West Kilbride’s public meeting in Kilbirnie. We contacted the local organisers who were very happy to have us come along, even providing us with a private side room where we could get ‘sound bites’ from the speakers, Dennis Canavan, Shona McAlpine and Alex Bell. Everybody was most welcoming, and frankly they couldn’t have been more helpful.

We’ve released the speeches and the Q&A in their entirety, warts and all, so that anybody interested can listen to the arguments and make up their own mind.

Our next foray into citizen video journalism was to have been the Better Together East Ayrshire launch event on November 1st at the Burns Monument Centre in Kilmarnock. That was where things started to go pear-shaped.

Unlike ‘Yes’ where local groups have a deal of autonomy, everything BT does seems to be controlled from head office in Blythswood Square. We had to apply to David Ross, their press officer, who told us that we couldn’t film the meeting because many in the audience wouldn’t want to be seen supporting No, and that Alistair Darling’s limited time for media interviews had already been allocated for the evening. Also it was too short notice.

“What about the meeting next week in Stevenston, then?”

He said he’d let us know. Now, I’ve been in my former line of business long enough to have a pretty well-developed BS detector and I reckon I know when I’m being given the runaround. So we decided to go along anyway and, if we couldn’t film, take notes.

When we arrived, we were invited to sign in “just so we know how many are here”. Closer inspection of the clipboard revealed it was actually a declaration agreeing that “Scotland is better in the UK”. We pointed this out to the lady on the door, and refused to sign. She looked somewhat taken aback.

For the record, using the ‘count the heads’ method of estimating attendance, we reckon that there were about 90 people there, of whom at least four were Yes supporters. While there were a few there younger than me (I’m 62), the impression I got was that the overwhelming majority of the audience were bus-pass holders.

The platform party duly arrived. Much time was spent having their pictures taken in front of Better Together banners and the meeting was a quarter of an hour late starting. (Funnily enough, the photographers weren’t prevented from snapping the audience. At the time of writing no images from the evening have appeared on the Better Together East Ayrshire Facebook page.)

Eventually the chair called the meeting to order. She didn’t say who she was, so we asked at the end – former Tory Provost of East Ayrshire Stephanie Young MBE. (She was very insistent we included the MBE.) She thanked us all for coming.

First up was a video, a seven-minute version of the clip on the BT website – you know the one. Lots of people saying “We’re all proud patriotic Scots but we’re voting No because we’re better together” interspersed with scenic stock shots of pretty scenery and saltires waving in the breeze.

A perfect land full of happy patriotic white people, warning against the dire consequences of breaking up the UK. No food banks, no ATOS assessment centres, and certainly no shots of Kilmarnock town centre in this video. Life is good in “Better Together” land. And patriotic. And proud. And did we mention patriotic?

First speaker was Cathy Jamieson, the local MP, complete with the regulation pink jaikit. A reiteration of the “I’m a proud Scot, like to see Scotland winning at football, always say I’m Scottish when I’m abroad” theme. Proud of our culture but anti-independence. Worried about economic risks, concerned about jobs, currency, pensions, passports and isolation. We’ll lose our seat at the top table. We’re stronger together. If you agree, get involved.

(Of course, what she didn’t get round to mentioning was that there is one resident of Kilmarnock guaranteed to lose her job if we vote Yes – herself.)

Next up was Jim Hume, Lib Dem list MSP. I felt sorry for the guy. A very unimpressive speaker who read, a bit hesitantly, from a script:

Proud to be Scottish. We put the Great into Great Britain. Pride in the Olympics. SNP have big questions to answer – currency, debt, declining oil revenues, Barroso says we won’t be in the EU, but if we did eventually get in Alec Salmond would only have the number of votes Croatia has, rather than those of the UK.

An un-named food company in my constituency employing 200+ has said that after independence it would have to move south to continue to be able to put Union Jack stickers on its food. What Scottish soldier would prefer to be standing at Edinburgh Castle in a kilt being photographed by tourists, instead of being a proud British soldier in the British Army? Time to stop Salmond’s fantasy politics.

He finished on a rather cryptic comment: “We (which I think meant the politicians) are winning the air war, but we need folk on the ground to win the ground war.”

Then we got Annabel Goldie. (A wee confession here. I quite like Annabel. Although I rarely agree with her, she always argues her case well and cogently – she seems to be able to debate without personal vitriol. If you believe that post-indy Scotland should have a right-of-centre party, it could have worse people than Annabel leading it.).

Bullet points: it was a pleasure to share the platform with the others here tonight. A lot divides us, but we all believe in Scotland’s place in the UK. The UK is a unique partnership which defeated the Nazis and terrorism. It is greater than the sum of its parts. We are prominent in the EU, on the Security Council.

We have nuclear weapons, giving us power, authority and influence. If Scotland gets rid of nuclear weapons, why would it have its principal naval base at Faslane? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the Scots navy headquarters on the the East coast to better protect the oil installations?’ 

She continued with a selection of Project Fear golden oldies: SNP policy is ‘It’ll be alright on the night’. Oil is a finite resource. Independence will bring currency chaos. We won’t be in the G7, G8 or G20 or on the Security Council. I love my country. That’s why I’m voting No.

Finally the star. The Big Beast. Alistair Darling. In truth, nothing we hadn’t heard before, though some of the emphasis was strange: Biggest decision of our lives. Nats only need to win by one vote, but BT needs to win well. Don’t want to put up barriers.

We were told about the surprise phone call from the RBS chairman saying that if HMG didn’t bail out RBS, they’d be bust in 2 or 3 hours. His “blood ran cold”.

Scary stuff. All this showed that Scotland would have been (and of course I paraphrase here) too wee too poor and too stupid to cope ourselves: Scotland’s population is ageing, so we can share the cost of providing for them among 60 million, rather than 5 million. As part of the UK we have influence in the EU, because the big countries call the shots. This is not like an election where you can concentrate your resources on marginal constituencies. Here every vote counts. Word of mouth is very powerful. People, not politicians will decide it.

There was a strange look in his eyes while he said this last bit. I think it was a look of fear. My wife, independently, wrote “sounds scared” in her notebook.

Finally came the Q&A. Often this is the more interesting part of a meeting, because, particularly when politicians feel they are among friends and the mask slips. The questions ranged from the bizarre (“The polls show that the public are reverting to the status quo. Women are rejecting Salmond 2 to 1. What will BT do with this information?”) to the perverse (“I am a nationalist, but I am voting no because Alex Salmond isn’t offering true independence”).

There were a couple of gems. A tall, rather posh-sounding gentleman stood up.

“I served in the Royal Navy for many years. Could I please ask a question on defence?”

The panel relaxed visibly. “Please go ahead”.

“You say that the MOD will not build ships on the Clyde in an independent Scotland. Why then have they just placed a £520 million order for fleet support vessels with Mitsubishi?”

The silence was suddenly deafening.

“Who’d like to answer that? Alistair? Cathy? Er, I think Jim will speak on that. Yes, Jim is our defence spokesman tonight.”

With that, the hapless Jim Hume was handed the poisoned chalice. “Rosyth would not get jobs if we were not in the UK”, he stuttered. “The home country would be favoured.”

From the floor came “But Korea isn’t in the UK!” At this point poor Jim reminded me of a call-centre operator whose computer has crashed. He re-read his script out loud till the chair took pity on him and took another question.

Then came the point in the evening which both horrified and encouraged me. A man said “It’s all very well for the SNP to go on about Norway and their sovereign wealth fund. I’ve been to Norway. Beer costs £6 a pint there. Can Better Together tell everybody that we do NOT want to be like Norway?”

At this point almost the entire audience broke out in the loudest and most sustained applause of the whole evening. So there we have it. The “Better Together” activists in Kilmarnock, allegedly the least desirable place in Scotland to live, do not want to be like one of the richest, fairest, happiest and healthiest countries on the planet, because that country’s democratically-elected government taxes beer heavily.

(Never mind that with the average Norwegian salary over twice that in the UK, the real-terms difference in the price of a pint is actually minimal.)

At least we know how their minds work. When the applause died away, Darling said “Yes, I know. Some time ago, I bought a round of drinks in Copenhagen (sic). I’ve just about paid off the loan!” More laughter.

As I watched him leave the building afterwards I was struck again by the strange look in his eyes. Perhaps he was reflecting that if Gordon Brown and the wunch of bankers in the city hadn’t right royally screwed everything up, he’d still be striding the world stage, instead of being driven in a Renault Clio through a dark depressing Kilmarnock on a wet Friday evening.

Or perhaps, just perhaps, Project Fear isn’t going to plan.

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125 to “The ground war”

  1. farrochie
    Ignored
    says:

    Anyone going to the BT Academics Launch in Glasgow?
    http://www.bettertogether.net/page/event/detail/academicstogetherevent/wsf
    If so, a short report would be appreciated.
     

  2. Lindsey Smith
    Ignored
    says:

    The “beer” question was daft, a pint in Aberdeen is £5+ my husband reliably informs me.  is £1/pint really going to make people vote NO?

  3. Arabs for Independence
    Ignored
    says:

    I stay much of my time in Norway and I have been to Kilmarnock which is why I spend much of my time in Norway.
    Good article and I agree perhaps, just perhaps Project Fear isna as effective as we are led to believe.

  4. KillieBoab
    Ignored
    says:

    I think you’re giving hubby too much pocket money, Lindsey!

  5. Seasick Dave
    Ignored
    says:

    Can Better Together tell everybody that we do NOT want to be like Norway?”
     
    If I could afford it, I would fly every one of the Better Together people across to Bergen for the day.

  6. Frazer Allan Whyte
    Ignored
    says:

    Perhaps he is becoming fearful that he will be up on complicity in war crimes (Iraq) and ethnic cleansing (Chagos Islanders) charges when the British establishment no longer reigns in the North. Staring failure in the face he is right to be fearful – establishments are not kind to their own who fail in maintaining their priveleges. As a citizen of Scotland he will no longer even qualify for being parked in the House of Lords and he will be of no earthly use to anyone down south. It looks like he has seen the future and it does not include him. Could it be he is already being set up as the scapegoat for the looming “NO” failure and as finally come to realize that?

  7. Craig P
    Ignored
    says:

    “we’re winning the air war,” i.e., the media are in our pocket.

  8. Illy
    Ignored
    says:

    “but we’re losing the ground war” i.e.: no-one’s believing it.

  9. Macart
    Ignored
    says:

    Or perhaps, just perhaps, Project Fear isn’t going to plan.
     
    No, no its not going to plan at all.
     
    We’re still here despite their best efforts to date and they haven’t answered our questions yet.

  10. Albalha
    Ignored
    says:

    Alistair,
    Very interesting read thanks. From your description of BT HQ it sounds lke the New Labour approach to open debate, just don’t do it, control, control, control.
     
    It seems that what AD said is pretty much word for word the script from the Mitchell Library Glasgow BT meeting. I suppose that’s the nature of the thing but day in day out spouting the same script, makes you wonder. You’d think, maybe, a bit of local research and referencing to brighten things up at the very least.
     
    Ah, well. By the way is it possible to view your videos to date?

  11. scotchwoman
    Ignored
    says:

    Presumably you’ll complete your series of films anyway – showing the contrasting approach between no and YES?
     
    I suspect you won’t be filming at Stevenston next week…… 

  12. AllyPally
    Ignored
    says:

    As far as the ground war is concerned, this ‘Wings on the March’ video http://youtu.be/iCzca6BPeLY must be the stuff of nightmares for Alistair Darling. Camera operator Quinie frae Angus. Edit by Clan Destiny Films.

  13. sneddon
    Ignored
    says:

    Thanks for this article.  I really enjoy reading material like this, ‘dispatches from the front’ as it were.  What I don’t undertsand is how BT supprters don’t like their photos on the net? Is it because deep down they know it’s like admitting to still voting tory?  If there is a NO vote next year I will never be shy in letting them know that every eviction caused by the bedroom tax, every death caused by ATOS decisions, every death due to cuts in Children’s Services and NHS funding lies at their door.

  14. Illy
    Ignored
    says:

    I just noticed: When asked about shipbuilding on the *Clyde*, he answers about *Rosyth*.
    Last I checked, Rosyth is on the Forth.

  15. Luigi
    Ignored
    says:

    Project Fear?

    More like Project Farce!

  16. Spout
    Ignored
    says:

    Alistair Darling did not want to be leading Better Together.
     
    He tried to duck out of that role.
     
    I bet with the passing days, he is wishing he had managed to avoid it….

    history will judge him harshly for his roles as complicit Westminster Chancellor and No Campaign leader.

  17. Ian Brotherhood
    Ignored
    says:

    Anyone know whereabouts in Stevenston the BT gig is?

  18. Craig P
    Ignored
    says:

    Yes, Illy 🙂
     
    Alistair Darling’s discomfort may come from the realisation he is on the wrong side of history, I think he is smart enough to have an inkling of that as he tours the country giving presentations to an ever-dwindling blue-rinse audience. The fact BT have been allowed to do most of the running in the last year, because the Yes campaign have planned to not yet get into top gear must worry Better Together as to what is coming.

  19. KillieBoab
    Ignored
    says:

    The Orange Hall would be my guess, Ian.

  20. Alistair Wilson
    Ignored
    says:

    Albalha
    All our indyref vids are on our cunningly named Clan Destiny Films channel on YouTube at tinyurl.com/clandestiny . We will be producing more videos over the coming months, so why not subscribe and you will be advised automatically when we post something new. 

  21. Chani
    Ignored
    says:

    Interestingly, I came across this very same argument lately. Someone said to me they were going to vote No because they did not want to have to pay £9 for a pint of beer. Another was a Scout leader and was voting No because it would cost them more in the future to run the local Scout movement.

    Unfortunately, there is is a huge part of the public who are unwilling (or unable) to find out for themselves the truth from independent sources. This is the challenge. There are a lot of people voting No who can easily be persuaded to change their mind but there are a lot more people who are disinterested in politics and that is how they see the referendum next year. More boring politics that someone else can/should deal with.

  22. sneddon
    Ignored
    says:

    Illy that’s the kind of negative campaigning BT expect from the nationalists, pointing out the facts 🙁  that  will get you nowhere with the BT team. 🙂

  23. AllyPally
    Ignored
    says:

    Ian B, it’s at Ardeer Neighbourhood Centre.

  24. Gillie
    Ignored
    says:

    Top 5 most expensive European beer prices;
     
    1. Norway £6.00
    2. France £5.00
    3. Sweden £5.00
    4. Denmark £4.70
    5. Switzerland £4.26
     
    Top 5 cheapest European beer prices;
     
    1. Ukraine 0.49p
    2. Czech Rep 0.71p
    3. Belarus 0.75p
    4. Bulgaria 0.78p
    5. Slovakia 0.79p
     
    Comparison;
    England £3.00
    N Ireland £3.00
    Scotland £2.70
    Wales £2.50
     
    It would appear Scotland needs to form a political union with Ukraine to get the cheapest beer, “nasdrovie”. 

  25. Thomas William Dunlop
    Ignored
    says:

    Very inetresting & confirms a few things about BT.

    It is right wing nationalist organisation, sneering at foriegn countries (including the one they are fighting against the establishment of).

    Fear by name, fear by nature. You can see from the report above that THEY ARE SCARED of the prospect of an indepdendent Scotland. This project fear is just a projection of it on to the Scottish electorate. However the Scots are wiser than that and it will not wash with them. That is why opening up the debate is most important thing we can do. Start the questioning , examination, inquisition of the staus quo. Every public debate so far has seen a massive swing to the YES camp

    BT is a top down organisation. Everything controlled from the central bunker. Just likes its parent the SLAB. Everything, even the attendees to meetings are vetted. This organisation is too ridged, it is stiff and will snap sooner or later. On the con tray, YES Scotland is grass roots, bottom up organisation, that will swamp the ground before the Unionists know what hit them ( I guess thats the reason for Darlings funny look -saying one thing and feeling different about it).

  26. Illy
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m starting to wonder, some of these career politicians are the sort who like to run in front of the crowd to claim they’re leading it.  What would happen if someone like Alistair Darling decides that he’d rather be on the right side of history.
    It wouldn’t even be that hard for him to spin his flip: He can talk abot the wool being lifted from his eyes, all the facts being against the Union once you start really looking into them, etc…
    I know, I know, I can only hope.  But can you imagine the headlines?  Head of Better Together says Scotland should vote for Independance!
     
    Side question, slightly off topic: How many regions have held a referendum to become independent from a larger country, and then voted “No”?  Any at all?

  27. Iain
    Ignored
    says:

    @Seasick Dave
    Can Better Together tell everybody that we do NOT want to be like Norway?’
     
    BT are absolutely right about this.
    We can be even better than Norway!
     
    http://tinyurl.com/qcgep7x

  28. Iain
    Ignored
    says:

    @Illy
    ‘How many regions have held a referendum to become independent from a larger country, and then voted “No”?  Any at all?’
     
    Quebec, twice.

  29. Stevie Mach
    Ignored
    says:

    Very interesting piece, shows the chalk and cheese difference in the two campaigns well. I think the ‘Fear’ in Project Fear is beginning to rub off on their participants. I’ve never been to a BT meeting, and never will, but I have attended a few YES meetings and they have all been positive uplifting affairs, open and honest, and I’m sure convert a number of undecided voters that come along each time.

    Bit sneaky of BT surreptitiously having people sign in and sign a declaration at the same time, a bit dumb also, how can they ever know they have an accurate figure in regard to their support?

  30. sneddon
    Ignored
    says:

    Beer at 3 pound a pint in Scotland! where do you drink? In the park!  I remember the outrage (in my local) when it reached and breached 3 pounds a pint.    I know its average price and BT supporters are still getting used to decimal coinage but seriously using prices in another country as an excuse for one’s own baw heidiness. Not the sharpest tools in the box those people.

  31. MajorBloodnok
    Ignored
    says:

    AllyPally said: As far as the ground war is concerned, this ‘Wings on the March’ video http://youtu.be/iCzca6BPeLY must be the stuff of nightmares for Alistair Darling. Camera operator Quinie frae Angus. Edit by Clan Destiny Films.
     
    Thanks for that.  Excellent video and great spotting various Wingers there, particularly JLT saying the Rev should get a medal and (ahem) the Major rambling on vox-pop stylee.

  32. liz
    Ignored
    says:

    That’s the first I’ve heard from Cathy Jamieson since she took the low road to Westminster.
    It woud be interesting to hear what good she has done for her constituency since then.
     
    Slightly O/T – Dougie Alexander seems to have gone very quiet lately – fence sitting?

  33. Andrew Morton
    Ignored
    says:

    I recognise the stupid food manfacturer/processor story from the Musselburgh BT meeting, only there he claimed it was 250 jobs which would be lost. The story doesn’t stand up under the slightest examination

  34. Andrew Morton
    Ignored
    says:

    Great report by the way, let’s keep them coming!

  35. Dcanmore
    Ignored
    says:

    I think what Darling sees is the audience itself. Those are not the people that needs to supply and maintain a grassroots army. His boots on the ground needs to be 18-50 year olds, what he has got are the over 60s and a few activists while keeping the door shut on the BritNat loons. He knows his campaign is not reaching the doorsteps and part of this problem is the way the BT campaign conducts itself, it tries to control the debate by controlling the audience. So who do you get to turn up, people who are already firm NO voters. So anyone with any shred of independent thought are natural movers from the NO camp to the DKs, and Darling can’t do anything to stop that trend. Better Together has become a monster of Darling and McDougalls making, and people naturally run away from monsters.

  36. Embradon
    Ignored
    says:

    “As far as the ground war is concerned, this ‘Wings on the March’ video http://youtu.be/iCzca6BPeLY must be the stuff of nightmares for Alistair Darling. Camera operator Quinie frae Angus. Edit by Clan Destiny Films.”
    More that a bit better than the BBC coverage, eh?

  37. Scaraben
    Ignored
    says:

    @Frazer Allan Whyte about Darling
     
    As a citizen of Scotland he will no longer even qualify for being parked in the House of Lords.
     
    According to Wikipedia, Alistair Darling was born in London. I suspect that, in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote, he will decide that this makes him English.
     
     
     

  38. creigs17707repeal
    Ignored
    says:

    BT headquarters in Blythswood Square, that once notorious red-light district of Glasgow.
     
    YES headquarters in Hope Street, Glasgow.
     
    Says it all really.
     
    YES Scotland.

  39. Albalha
    Ignored
    says:

    @AlistairWilson
    Can I contact you directly if I subscribe? Enjoyed the YES march film.

  40. Bill C
    Ignored
    says:

    O/t Sir Charles Gray Labour ex-leader of Strathclyde Regional Council has come out for YES.

  41. desimond
    Ignored
    says:

    Its OFFICIAL….its Project Beer!

  42. Doug Daniel
    Ignored
    says:

    farrochie: “Anyone going to the BT Academics Launch in Glasgow?”
     
    I’m not going (I’m 150 miles away), but I’m signed up to it, because I wanted to see what the signing-up process involved. So far, it has gone thus:
    1. Give my email address to BetterTogether, stating I would be going and how many I would be taking with me
     
    2. Receive reply from BT asking for my name, address and contact number, so they could confirm my attendance (“If you could reply to this email ASAP with your name, address and contact number that would enable me to add you to the attendance list for the launch and to our Academics group database.”)
     
    3. I reply saying I don’t see why I should have to give my address and number, and that I am careful who I give these to, “to try and reduce the number of foreigners I get phoning me up during the day, telling me my Linux computer is full of Windows-based viruses” (I thought the “foreigners” line would be a good way of reassuring them I was a fellow Britnat)
     
    4. Receive this reply: “As this is the launch of our group it intends to bring together supporters who are looking to become involved in this way.  
     
    To explain — your details are requested primarily so that I know your name for our attendance list on the day, and so that we can keep in touch going forward.  The campaign takes data security very seriously and would never use your details for reasons other than for matters relating to the Better Together campaign.
     
    When you signed up on our online form you did not provide your name so I was unable to add you to the list, hence my email to you.  I’m pleased the event is of interest to you, you would be very welcome to join us.”
     
    5. I later received an email from the Events Administrator confirming my attendance at the event.
     
    6. I will presumably have to prove I am who I say I am at the door, and sign up to something as mentioned in this article.
     
    Now let’s look at the steps required to attend the recent Blair Jenkins event at Aberdeen Uni:
     
    1. Turn up on the night and try to find an empty seat.
     
    Bit of a contrast, huh?

  43. Seasick Dave
    Ignored
    says:

    Perth, Australia was michty expensive last time I was there about three years ago; about 8 quid a pint in the Central Business District going as high as 18 quid for posh imported beers.
     
    You wouldn’t want to live there either. 🙂
     
    http://www.pintprice.com/city.php?/Perth/Australia/aud.htm

  44. Alasdair
    Ignored
    says:

    Brilliant article!

  45. Gillie
    Ignored
    says:

     
    I have heard the cost of beer in Edinburgh pubs can be over £5. So what is the cheapest and most expensive pint in Scotland?
     
    PS Seemingly the beer in the Houses of Parliament is half the price you would pay in London pubs. 

  46. Jingly Jangly
    Ignored
    says:

    £2.70 a pint in Scotland!!!
    its about £3.60 here but I hardly drink anymore apart from an occasional whisky (Arran Malt) as most of the cost goes to the treasury in taxes.
    Post YES vote my liver is in for a bit of shock!!!!
     

  47. Doug Daniel
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh, forgot to add – it wasn’t until step 4 there that I actually found out where and when the event was – Jeffrey Room, Mitchell Library, Glasgow at 6:30pm for a 7pm start. Ending at 8pm, presumably to limit the number of raging loonies who can ask questions.

  48. Jingly Jangly
    Ignored
    says:

    Seasick Dave
    When I was last in Perth WA in 2001 the exchange rate was  about 2.70 oz dollars to the pound now thanks mainly  to the utter incompetence of Brown and Darling you get about 1.6 Oz dollars to the pound. So price now in real terms  is comparable to boom cities in the UK like Aberdeen….
    Its called the Union Dividend
     
     

  49. alexicon
    Ignored
    says:

    I would really like to see YES campaigners handing out leaflets outside the premises after a BT event.
    I’m sure we all know which scare stories they have just used. i.e. AD, banking.
    These leaflets could counter the lies that the audience have just been told.
    I would also like to see a statement on the fact that we (the over 50s) have had our chance by voting for a unionist party for decades and where has it got us? Nowhere.
    It’s time we gave the youth of this country a chance.

  50. macdoc
    Ignored
    says:

    someone should ask these clowns if the evidence supported Scotland being socially ,economically better off as an independent nation would they join the YES campaign. It would be hilarious watching them squirm to confirm NO that there love of Britain far outweighs their feelings for Scotland.

  51. Clarinda
    Ignored
    says:

    Dcanmore – “Better Together has become a monster of Darling and McDougalls making”
    Indeed, the Project Frankenfear twosome have cobbled together an ugly mismatch of political alchemy which certainly frightens the life out me. The monster in Mary Shelley’s novel disappeared in despair – unloved and abandoned, perhaps explaining the strange look in the eyes of one of its creators pleading on the Kilmarnock stage and noted by Mr and Mrs Wilson.

  52. Jon D
    Ignored
    says:

    Slightly off topic, but hey, another Better Together benefit
    “80,000 children to spend Christmas homeless, Shelter warns”
     
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/11/03/80000-children-to-spend-c_n_4208853.html?ncid=webmail1
    and the BTL comments are worth a shifty.
     
     

  53. Ian Brotherhood
    Ignored
    says:

    Okay, then. Anyone fancy helping me hand out the ‘Aye Right!’ leaflets at Ardeer Neighbourhood Centre, Stevenston, on Friday?

  54. JasonF
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s important to remember that plenty of No voters can be persuaded to think again; a recent automatic “I’m not voting for independence!” and normally calm and thoughtful person is now giving the debate much more serious consideration, and having been very negative about Scottish politicians is now talking more about how those at Holyrood are more likely to have Scotland’s interests at heart.
     
    It doesn’t take much; in this instance just knowing that someone they know is pro-Yes, followed by a bit of reading, was enough to start them thinking. 

  55. Kev
    Ignored
    says:

    I bought a round of drinks in Copenhagen”
     
    And thatl be in Norway will it Alistair?, funny I always thought Copenhagen was the CAPITAL of DENMARK…but what the hell, all those Scando countries are all the same aren’t they…and its not as if your audience will know any better…

  56. castle hills chavie
    Ignored
    says:

    The liver is evil and must be punished.

  57. Doug Daniel
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh yeah, if Alistair Darling took out a loan to pay for a round of drinks, then no wonder he fucked the UK economy…

  58. Gary Nisbett
    Ignored
    says:

    I think they all should get some Geography lessons, the last time I looked Rosyth was on the Forth and I’m pretty sure Copenhagen is in Denmark..

  59. Craig P
    Ignored
    says:

    Edinburgh bumps along between £4 and £5 for a pint, I suppose some of the swankier places on George St or hotel bars might be more expensive. Eight years ago there was a place on Lothian Road called Ulhuru that did a pint for £1.50. Don’t know what the cheapest place would be these days, though was in a bar in Coatbridge the other day and got two pints plus change for £5. 
     
    I expect the cheapest pint in Scotland will be in a Labour club, masonic lodge, student union, or similar type of invite-only members bar.

  60. Seasick Dave
    Ignored
    says:

    Uh, oh, more doom and gloom…
     
    Scottish independence: Pennington warns of risk to new scientific ideas
     
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-24803678

  61. pmcrek
    Ignored
    says:

    Well Darling’s come a long way from being a supporter of of the 4th Internationalist Trotsky wing.

  62. Doug Daniel
    Ignored
    says:

    Seasick Dave – Hugh Pennington spoke at the BetterTogether Aberdeen “Launch” event. Everything he says about independence can be ignored, because he’s not a neutral.

  63. Brian Powell
    Ignored
    says:

    Tory idiot, Lord Frothingmouth of Dunlearning, writes in the Telegraph,  ‘Tory MPs secretly want Scotland Independence for Westminster Majority’. Tory majority, of course.  Ignoring all evidence that the Scotish Labour vote has only once influenced the the UK Government makeup in 50 years.
     
    Fortunately for Lord Forsythe, there are Labour supporters who believe Tory Lords rather than any evidence.
     
    Worse still there are Labour politicians and pundits who know this is not true, but will sacrifice the future of their constituents by saying that it is true, simply to keep what little political power they have left. And their salaries etc.
     

  64. Matt
    Ignored
    says:

    Doug Daniel Said:
    “Oh yeah, if Alistair Darling took out a loan to pay for a round of drinks, then no wonder he fucked the UK economy…”

    Well, knowing New Labour’s track record for finance initiatives, he probably paid for his £20 round using Wonga, and has now claimed £1200 in expenses to pay it back.

  65. call me dave
    Ignored
    says:

    Blether with B:  says
    Despite securing the leadership of the Scottish party with union backing, she has shown an inclination to consider the interests of the grassroots.
    Ms Lamont is in a notably awkward position. She has the status of leading the Scottish Labour Party as a whole – rather than just the Holyrood group, as in the past.
    Yet that status does not bring full power. For example, she lacks supervisory control over the selection of Westminster candidates in Scotland. It was Ed Miliband who ordered the Falkirk inquiry, not her. It is Ed Miliband, no doubt in consultation with Ms Lamont, who must now decide whether that inquiry should be published, set aside or reopened.
     
    Brutus kisses Caesar:      Beware the picture  
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-24801675

  66. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “I think what Darling sees is the audience itself. Those are not the people that needs to supply and maintain a grassroots army.”
     
    Do not underestimate how uncomfortable it must be as a Labour politician preaching to what looks and sounds like a Tory audience…Although he has clearly previous on this so will be somewhat used to it

  67. Alistair Wilson
    Ignored
    says:

    @albalha
    I think you can send messages on YouTube, but not sure if they are private. OTOH you could send your email address to Wings  on the contact form and ask Stu to forward it to me. 
    @ian Brotherhood
    If that is a serious suggestion, are you and your potential colleagues camera shy?  Wanna be in a video?

  68. Dan Huil
    Ignored
    says:

    Interesting article about the thought process [!] of BT members.
    BTW: I was in Aberdeen last weekend and decided to look into its Aberdeen office at the top end [Holburn] of Union street.A young lady sat behind a desk reading a book.I don’t know whether the look she gave me was one of surprise or disappointment – at being disturbed – but she turned out to be a very pleasant person.So pleasant and quiet of voice that I couldn’t ask her any difficult questions for fear of upsetting her.However I did ask about the okuk tee-shirts displayed in a cabinet.She couldn’t remember selling any to people “off the street” as it was mainly “activists” who bought them.A ten pound donation would secure one for myself,she said.I declined of course and made to leave before she asked me to “sign the pledge” on one of two thick form pads.I noticed both pads had three names listed,all in black ink,no dates attached to any of the names.I looked back through the window as I went outside; she was returning to her book behind the desk.
    I passed the office a few times later: no visitors,no window shoppers.
    I felt ashamed at even entering the place.

  69. Seasick Dave
    Ignored
    says:

    Doug
     
    I knew that he was a Labour and BBC luvvie so no surprises there!
     
    It just surprises me, though, that people like the good Prof, can’t see Independence as a marvellous opportunity for the sector.
     
    He’s obviously a glass half full and leaking sort of person.

  70. Albalha
    Ignored
    says:

    @alistairwilson
    I’ll put my e mail in quarantine and then you can send me your details, if that works. It’s in there already but not sure where.

  71. Marker Post
    Ignored
    says:

    Seriously, does anyone believe that Alistair Darling bought a round of drinks in Copenhagen?
     
    And if he did, wouldn’t he just have put it on his expenses?
     
     

  72. HandandShrimp
    Ignored
    says:

    If Better Together’s Facebook page is anything to go by driving 6 inch nails into your feet would be a more entertaining way to spend an evening than attending a Better Together rally.
     
    Prof Pennington is just covering the “too wee, too stupid, too poor” to keep our university research going if independent angle. It is remarkable any of us can get out of bed in the morning without a Westminster funded programme to assist us.

  73. Sue
    Ignored
    says:

    Some very interesting points in your report Alistair, thanks. The one I found most telling was AD’s statement that Yes need to win by one vote, whereas BT need to win “well”. Are they now admitting that they can’t hold us in the union in the unlikely event that they manage to get a very slim No? 
     
    In that (nightmare) scenario, when the promised benefits don’t emerge, and the punishment of Scotland starts to happen, what is AD forseeing as the next event in the drama? Certainly doesn’t sound like “game over”. 
    How about “insert coin to play again”.

    They know fine they can’t win in the end. Let not bother with round two, guys.

  74. Albert Herring
    Ignored
    says:

    Do not underestimate how uncomfortable it must be as a Labour politician preaching to what looks and sounds like a Tory audience…
     
    Or indeed one that looks and sounds like a Labour Movement audience.

  75. scottish_skier
    Ignored
    says:

    http://archive.is/yihzm
    ‘Tory MPs secretly want Scotland Independence for Westminster Majority’.
     
    Aye. Not quite as simple as that though. It’s more ‘given up on Scotland’ / ‘time for the tail to stop wagging the dog’.
     
    Scotland = electorally useless to the Tories
    Scotland = electorally useless to the Lib Dems
    Scotland = electorally useless to Ed Miliband’s labour at Holyrood level and, if polls are to be believed, Westminster level too.
     
    Now, which of the above are going to offer the only thing that can save the union – Devo Max – in return for being stuffed at the ballot box by the SNP?*
     
    There comes a point when it’s just not worth it any more. These people only care about themselves, not Britain. 
     
    Scottish Labour MPs are on their own.
     

  76. JLT
    Ignored
    says:

    And a nice WHITE Renault Clio it is too (saw him drive off in it from The Scotsman building last week)
     
    There you go guys. Look for a White Renault Clio driving about Edinburgh!

  77. handclapping
    Ignored
    says:

    re Brutus kissing Caesar: make sure you have your opponents arms firmly pinned before getting to close quarters

  78. Doug Daniel
    Ignored
    says:

    Seasick Dave – nah, he’s a pompous old git. The stuff he was saying at that “launch” about why the BBC was so fantastic and broadcasters of smaller nations are rubbish was exactly the sort of pish you expect to hear from a “Britannia rules the waves” type. Went on about how fantastic the Met office was as well, as if Scotland is suddenly not going to be able to predict the weather after independence.

  79. HandandShrimp
    Ignored
    says:

    Sue
     
    If it is a verry narrow No win then the issue, just as is the case in Quebec, will not go away and the pressure to offer substantial Devo Max type proposals will be considerable. The No camp want to kill self determination as a concept and thus free themselves from any commitment to offer anything post Sept 2014. In fact some will press to cut Barnett and trim Holyrood’s sails, the native revolt having been crushed.
     
    It won’t just be the Yes camp despondent if No wins, many of those who vote No will regret it too. 

  80. Ian Brotherhood
    Ignored
    says:

    @Alistair Watson (12.26) –
     
    That would be great – I was actually trying to get someone to do just that. It would be good to meet too. You up for it?

  81. Papadocx
    Ignored
    says:

    Daily politics. Ann Begg re Falkirk mess. shameful apologist , nough said! 

  82. Edward
    Ignored
    says:

    Gillie
    You should also do a compare chart for average incomes and you will find that Norwegian average is 3 x the UK Average (just google it, its there)

    So when some BT clown comes out with the ‘do we want to be like Norway where beer is £ 8 a pint (I think its a litre but will not split hairs)’ the answer back has to be Yes I want to be like Norway as I would also be earning 3 x what I’m earning now! so what’s your point mr/mrs BT person

  83. HandandShrimp
    Ignored
    says:

    Doug
     
    Ironically, I quite often use the Norwegian long range weather forecast for Scotland as I have found it more accurate than most.
     
    http://www.yr.no/place/United_Kingdom/Scotland/Glasgow/

  84. Paul Martin
    Ignored
    says:

    Talking of public meetings… 🙂 …can I put in a quick word about the meeting being held tonight by our great friends Yes Edinburgh West ! Its targeting undecided voters and is being held at The Rosebery Hall, South Queensferry from 7:30PM till 9:30PM.
     
    Speakers: Christine Grahame MSP, SNP – Colin Fox Convener, SSP – Michelle Thomson, Business for Scotland
     
    http://yesscotland.nationbuilder.com/maryk/yes_edinburgh_west_public_meeting_aimed_at_those_still_to_decide

  85. Alba4Eva
    Ignored
    says:

    This is Stravanger v Glasgow… (Greenock is available too)
    http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=Norway&country2=United+Kingdom&city1=Stavanger&city2=Glasgow
     
    Local Purchasing Power in Glasgow is 14.85% lower than in Stavanger

    Average Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax)
    29,535.00 kr
        14,239.71 kr
         -51.79 %

  86. Albert Herring
    Ignored
    says:

    “as if Scotland is suddenly not going to be able to predict the weather after independence.”
     
    The Norwegians have a fantastic Meteorology website.
    http://www.yr.no/place/United_Kingdom/Scotland/Govan/

  87. Ian Brotherhood
    Ignored
    says:

    Check this out, and apologies if already posted elsewhere – having trouble keeping up…
    http://reportingthereferendum.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/creation-myth.html#comment-form

  88. Training Day
    Ignored
    says:

    @HandandShrimp
     
    “The No camp want to kill self determination as a concept and thus free themselves from any commitment to offer anything post Sept 2014.”
     
    In a nutshell.  A big No win will allow Westminster to say that everyone is content with the status quo.  Westminster will then not only laugh at the notion of further devolved powers, but will commence its plan to neuter Holyrood. 

  89. Gillie
    Ignored
    says:

    Here is question for everyone.
     
    Who introduced the Beer Duty Escalator in 2008, whereby the cost of a pint in a pub would increase by two per cent every year above the rate of inflation? (A measure that saw a 50% increase in duty on beer until it was scrapped in 2013.)
     
    Go on guess?

  90. Alba4Eva
    Ignored
    says:

    Gillie says:
    4 November, 2013 at 1:00 pm 

    “Here is question for everyone. Who introduced the Beer Duty Escalator in 2008, whereby the cost of a pint in a pub would increase by two per cent every year above the rate of inflation? (A measure that saw a 50% increase in duty on beer until it was scrapped in 2013.) Go on guess?”

    I have no idea Darling?   LOL

  91. Gillie
    Ignored
    says:

    The Top 5 excise duty rates for beer in Europe;
     
    1. Norway, 271.20
    2. Finland, 143.52
    3. Turkey, 128.74
    4. UK, 117.31
    5. Sweden, 94.04

  92. Alba4Eva
    Ignored
    says:

    Wow.  A positive story on the BBC…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-24804018

  93. truescot
    Ignored
    says:

    O/T
    I have noticed recently that the BBC in Scotland are talking less and less about the SNP,YES campaign or even the Scottish Government. (Dumbing Down?)

    Now Alex Salmond (The First Minister of Scotland) is visiting China on a “trade visit”, trying to drum up employment, trade and tourism for Scotland. So why is there not one mention of this visit on BBC Scotland.

    Why did the Mayor of a large English city (Boris Johnston), get more air time when he visited China a couple of months ago than the First Minister of Scotland?.

    I have already got my complaint in to them.

    What do they fear from reporting on such an important visit.

    No mention on BBC Scotland website.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/

  94. Seanair
    Ignored
    says:

    Gillie,
    In Edinburgh the bars in the Wetherspoon Group sell Deuchars IPA at £1.90 a pint.

    Huge company which will get massive discounts fromthe brewers no doubt and acts against single owner pubs, many of which have closed.

    £3.50 roughly in many pubs but more expensive “uptown”.

  95. Calum Craig
    Ignored
    says:

    Better Together East Ayrshire Facebook page- 4 likes!?

  96. Spout
    Ignored
    says:

    Hugh, Professor of Microbiology, Aberdeen, Better Together:
     

  97. Albalha
    Ignored
    says:

    @truescot
    There’s this …
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-24787204
     
    And they spoke to A Salmond this morning on GMS via phone re the UKBA nonsense over Chinese visa renewals.

  98. sneddon
    Ignored
    says:

    I recognise those eyebrows…:)

  99. scaredy cat
    Ignored
    says:

    @ Seasick Dave and Doug Daniel
    Much of what Hugh Pennington says about anything can be ignored because he isn’t as smart as he (or the BBC) think he is!

  100. Jamie Arriere
    Ignored
    says:

    “As this is the launch of our group it intends to bring together supporters who are looking to become involved in this way. “

    Whit? By telling folk their computers are full of viruses? Just tell them they’re too late, I’m well infected! YES Positive, gaun fuck yersels
     
    Ironic that the international suffix for Norway websites is .NO!  🙂

  101. Papadocx
    Ignored
    says:

    Thanks for your input Dr Pennington. Noo away and play wi yon viresus (keep away frae they stupid scottish wans in case ye catch somethin!) 
     

  102. Morag
    Ignored
    says:

    He’s a bacteriologist, not a virologist.  And on the basis of an encounter with him in a professional capacity some years ago, I can say that he’s an absolute chancer.

  103. Morag
    Ignored
    says:

    As far as the ground war is concerned, this ‘Wings on the March’ video http://youtu.be/iCzca6BPeLY must be the stuff of nightmares for Alistair Darling. Camera operator Quinie frae Angus. Edit by Clan Destiny Films.
     
    That is FANTASTIC!!!  What’s the background music?  Sounds a bit like Wolfstone to me.

  104. Illy
    Ignored
    says:

    Morag: “That is FANTASTIC!!!  What’s the background music?  Sounds a bit like Wolfstone to me.”
    I didn’t think Wolfstone had a keyboard.  Maybe I’m just out-of-date.  Might be the Battlefield Band?  They’re a bit less rocky.

  105. Morag
    Ignored
    says:

    Dunno.  It’s not my usual type of music so I’m not that well up on the details.  I seriously like it though.

  106. Illy
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m probably a good 15 years out of date on the local scene myself.

  107. Andy-B
    Ignored
    says:

    Thanks Alistair for posting.
     
    The insight into the BT meeting, is very interesting, even more interesting was the question the old soldier posed to the top table, but Im not at all surprised it went unanswered.
     
    As for the 90 or so people at the event I can only hope, some will see through the BT charade, for what it really is, Im sure the old soldier has by now.

  108. ronnie anderson
    Ignored
    says:

    Doug Dan, C Mon credit where credits due he did CJD / MRSA virus control BUT he,s no goat a scubby about oor VIRUS YEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  109. iain taylor (not that one)
    Ignored
    says:

    I was relieved of £6 for a pint by the “Grand” Central in Glasgow at a recent wedding function. An Italian brand, tasting mostly of San Pellegrino, just to add insult to injury.

  110. Morag
    Ignored
    says:

    Neither CJD (prion) nor MRSA (bacterium) is a virus.
     
    This is an informational post brought to you by a microbiological pedant.

  111. ronnie anderson
    Ignored
    says:

    Truescot you should hiv sent the BBC yer licence back tae, dinna pay somebody tae tell ye lies

  112. Jimbo
    Ignored
    says:

    “When we arrived, we were invited to sign in “just so we know how many are here”.Closer inspection of the clipboard revealed it was actually a declaration agreeing that “Scotland is better in the UK”.”
     
    When attending any meetings pertinent to the referendum, especially on TV/radio, this deception should be pointed out by all Yessers at every opportunity.

  113. ronnie anderson
    Ignored
    says:

    Morag, af goat all kinds of oligysts But ah canna git the wan a need NEO oligyst da you think Pro pennington wants tae expand his CV own me lol drain the fluid but leave MA VIRUS

  114. ronnie anderson
    Ignored
    says:

    Morag, stop using the big words ah kin jist aboot speel micro ah need tae look at the soap powder tae speel the ither Bio bitty lol

  115. ronnie anderson
    Ignored
    says:

    SOS , Folks please dont send me invitations tae FOLLOW posts it fills up ma E Mail am causes me problems I can read the posts for your comments Thanks

  116. Ronnie
    Ignored
    says:

    @ Stevie Mach 11.02
    ‘I think the ‘Fear’ in Project Fear is beginning to rub off on their participants.’
     
    I think the ‘Fear’ in Project Fear is beginning to rub off on their underpants!

  117. EphemeralDeception
    Ignored
    says:

    This same statement was cited by BT Blair (the Warlock) in Dundee recently:
    Scotland’s population is ageing, so we can share the cost of providing for them among 60 million, rather than 5 million.
     
    What a pathetic point to make:
    England/Wales population is also ageing.
    It is not 5/60 million it is 60/60 million.
    Scotland already pays more per capita which is not contested.
    Scots have a shorter lifespan, in some places dramatically so, which means ‘providing’ is lower duration than UK average.
     
     

  118. X_Sticks
    Ignored
    says:

    AllyPally
     

    Thanks for the video link – I think it’s the best I’ve seen so far.
    Great job by Quinie frae Angus. Clan Destiny Films obviously have a big future ahead in an independent Scotland. Exactly the sort of talent we want to encourage.
     
    We don’t need to worry about Prof Pennington, he won’t recognise any of us as we are a virus.
     
    Ian Brotherhood says:
    “having trouble keeping up…”
    You and me both man! 🙂 Only just got to the end of this thread. Two more to go!

  119. Caledonalistic
    Ignored
    says:

    “Defeated Nazis and terrorism”.  It’s one of those that, a few months from now, I’ll be struggling to remember whether I heard it in “Team America” or from [the] Truth Team.

  120. Illy
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m starting to wonder if some of those lines were first stated by sarcastic Yes supporters, and the No camp has picked up on them and taken them seriously.

    They’ve been doing Godwin for ages already, why not add Poe?

  121. Stevie
    Ignored
    says:

    I’ve never been to a ‘bettertogether’ BritNat self-congratulatory happening but this description of what happened exactly corresponds to what I would expect to experience if I went to one… except for the surprise posh chap, that was a question I would have wished to pose.  One can imagine the dumbfounded shock when a posh fellow stabbed them between the eyes with a very reasonable question.

    I don’t see them converting anybody to NO except those already converted to NO.

    If it comes down to the arguments then we’ve won – unfortunately, it comes down to getting those arguments across the BritNat media who incidentally are far more PRAVDA and hostile in Scotland than in England.  Though, I do tire of seeing the English guests on SkyNews and elsewhere saying how awfully silly the Jocks are with all this referendum nonsense and don’t those nasty nats and that nasty Salmond just take the biscuit, and if they try anything they’ll get it.  The nasty nats most definietly exist BUT they are most definitely the BritNats – they just can’t abide their views being challenged of both fantasy empire dreaming of days past and small (yet nuclear lethal) grip on post empire power today.  That is true for the BritNats in Scotland and England – but even among non-BritNats, it is a rare thing on TV that I see English people objecting to the horrors of nuclear weapons ownership.  They may say, it’s a terrible thing but we do need them and some go on to mention that is makes the rest of the world take Great Britain seriously… maybe not BritNats but rather britNats.

    Then among the various groups of British nationalism, we do get the rubbish double talk from the likes of BritNat Anas Sarwar saying he’s for nuclear disarmament but only if everybody disarms – not happening, so never. 

    Door steps – the media is 100% against indy – door steps.

  122. Aidan
    Ignored
    says:

    Great article!  
     
    I was there on the night and was also asked to ‘sign in’.  I picked up the pen and looked at what it was that I was meant to be adding my name to: only a PETITION to keep Scotland in the Union! I said: “No, no, I’m only here for the information.” The ladies at the table did seem taken aback at this, and looked a little flustered; it was obvious their ploy had been rumbled and that I was more than likely one of THE OTHER SIDE. 
     
    I posted a comment about my exchange with Mr Darling on the thread following the Rev’s article about the latest WoS stats called ‘That Time Of The Month’.  I just couldn’t wait for your article to come up, I was so angry, I had to get it out of my system.  I ended up wiped out over the weekend and was ill in bed all day yesterday.  I suspect interacting with Alastair Darling made me physically sick!
     
    Was hoping to be there for the B.T North Ayrshire launch in Stevenston on Friday.  Would be happy to hand out leaflets afterwards but was also hoping to ask another question of whoever is on the panel. (I should say that my wife is against me doing this as she believes that interacting with people of bad faith – treating them as though they were serious and honest – has a negative effect on me. This weekend certainly appeared to prove her right!)
     
    Anyway, you guys are great.  Three cheers for Clan Destiny!

  123. Muscleguy
    Ignored
    says:

    @ Illy
     
    Niue recently voted in a referendum under the UN Decolonisation program NOT to become independent from New Zealand, despite much urging, sweeteners etc from NZ. They fear they really are too wee (and there are more Niueans in NZ than in Niue anyway).
     
    I know Niue is technically a colonial possession (inherited from UK) but the point still stands. Not everyone wants to be independent. Sadly.



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