The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

The honesty patrol

Posted on January 30, 2014 by

Earlier this week we had a little fun at the expense of the anaemic “grassroots” No campaign, revealing that almost all of its planned activity between now and the referendum was a single day’s leafleting of some railway stations. Yesterday we found out the reason – they’ve got a new leaflet, all about yesterday’s unspectacular comments on currency by Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank Of England.


We have to assume that the leaflet was printed before the speech, and that any assertions it might make about Mr Carney’s view might not necessarily be entirely true. So let’s see if we can make sure everything stays on the straight and narrow.

Because we know from before that “Better Together” is often simply flat-out lying about the campaigning activities it undertakes. Supposed “events” simply don’t happen at all. Others are hit-and-run affairs staged solely for the benefit of conveniently-located TV cameras. And of course, the leaflets themselves are frequently tissues of lies.

It seems sensible, then, to put tomorrow’s proceedings under some scrutiny, to ensure that the people of Scotland are being told the truth both on the streets and on the internet. And to do that, we need your help.

Below is a list taken from the BT website of times and places that No campaigners will supposedly be handing out the new leaflet. We need people to go there and (a) confirm the event actually took place, ideally with pics; (b) get hold of the leaflet so we can see if it bears even a passing resemblance to the truth; and (c) find out exactly what the public is being told (campaigners will all have been fed a line from BT HQ).

(You may also wish to observe whether anyone is campaigning actually on ScotRail property, because the company has stipulated that any such activity is forbidden.)

Now let’s be absolutely crystal-clear about this, as if it needed saying: we DON’T want anyone harassed. Any photographs sent in will have the faces of the leafleters blurred out. We don’t want anyone insulted or harangued (though of course, if you’re told any lies while picking up the leaflet, feel free to discuss the matter politely). But this is Scotland’s future that’s at stake, and we can’t allow falsehoods to go unchallenged.

(It would obviously have been an ideal job for Labour’s “2014 Truth Team”, but for some reason they seem to have gone rather quiet, so we’ll have to do it ourselves.)

If you can help us with just a few minutes of your time and you live near any of the following stations, post a comment below saying which “event” you’re planning to cover and we’ll mark it on the chart. (If it’s already crossed out, feel free to go along anyway as back-up, or just to meet up with a fellow Wings reader.) Let’s see how many boots the No campaign can really put on the ground, and let’s keep them honest.


7AM – 8AM

Paisley Gilmour Street
Patterton (Eastwood)

7AM – 9AM

Bridge Of Allan (Stirling)
Brunstane (Edinburgh)
Burnside (Rutherglen)
Clarkston (Glasgow)
Drem (East Lothian)
Dumbarton Central
Edinburgh Haymarket
Edinburgh Waverley
Fort Matilda Station (Renfrewshire)
Glasgow Central Station
Glasgow Duke Street
Glasgow Queen Street
Glengarnock (North Ayrshire)
Hamilton Central
Helensburgh Central
Hillfoot Station (East Dunbartonshire)
Kirkhill (Rutherglen)

Lenzie (East Dunbartonshire)
Newton (Lanark)


Falkirk Grahamston
Whitesands (BUS station)


North Berwick
Westerton (Glasgow)

4PM – 5PM

Glasgow Alexandra Parade
Insch (Aberdeenshire)

4PM – 6PM

Edinburgh Haymarket
Edinburgh Waverley
Fort Matilda
Glasgow Central
Glasgow Queen Street
Hamilton West
North Berwick

5PM – 6PM

Dalry (North Ayrshire)

5PM – 7PM


Print Friendly

    584 to “The honesty patrol”

    1. DocMacAlba says:

      Burnside has two as well, although much friendlier (one middle aged chap, one mid-twenties I would say). Not only openly saying they were from No! Naughty Scotland!, the older chap was very willing to engage. Sadly though it was all scare stories about Ireland and Iceland. Intelligent chap but ill-informed and decidedly vague. Still I wish him well, as he seemed sincere, just a pity that he is on the wrong side and so poorly served by his cause.

    2. desimond says:

      No one at Glasgow Central Hope Street entrance\exit….which seemms apt

    3. Keith Smith says:

      One particularly sad Ukok fellow at Linlithgow this morning. Stood for about 20 minutes watching most people ignore him, some take the leaflet and quite a few rip it up. Never a mention from our friend that it was a BT leaflet until one man asked and he quietly advised it was the BT campaign. At that point the man just snorted and said NO thanks vote yes in a loud voice. Priceless.

    4. dmw42 says:

      2 BraTs and 1 BinT at Stirling around 7:30, seemed more interested in shifting quantity than entering into any conversation.

      Only seen 2 passengers with leaflets boarding at Larbert, 1 at Lenzie (I had a quiet word).

      The young fella at Queen Street looked utterly fed up as, by and large, he was being ignored.

    5. So much for the 9:00 finish! – Went back over to Dunblane station at 8:45 to give them a copy of your ‘Goodbye’ flier, but they were gone – didn’t even wait for the 9:03.


    6. Nebula says:

      Confirming what Brotyboy said; saw the same four at 8:15~ on my way down. Also definitely confirming the last part. Spoke with one of them, and if he’s a Dundee local, I’ll eat my fedora.

      Also seemed decidedly uninterested in discussing anything that was in the leaflet, which was surprising. The most he’d say on the subject of Mr. Swinney criticizing Mr. Salmond was that it was a matter of opinion, he’d leave it up to ‘the powers that be’ (yes, I was confused too) and to direct further inquiries to the BT website.

      Oh, and he was sick of being out in the cold. Poor guy, having to stand there and have a laugh with two of the other campaigners while what appeared to be the oldest of the lot of them vigorously handed out the leaflets. At least one of them has the work ethic to reach that 5k mark.

    7. Ken Mac says:

      Went to Lenzie station this morning. No one at the main entrance to the station. Went on to the platform, no one there, no one reading a leaflet. Look across the tracks and there is a chap at the less used entrance. Walk round to see him and get a cheery good morning and a comment on the weather. He hands me a leaflet and I ask him if he believes these lies. Yes he does, why I ask. Because he believes the experts (never a wise policy). So you believe that Mark Carney criticised ‘ Alex Salmonds claim that we would keep the pound’. Yes quoth he. I suggest he reads the Governors speech as he said no such thing. So you believe after we are independent Scotland won’t be able to keep the pound. Yes says he. Why not? It is not ours to keep he says there would have to be negotiations. For a currency union yes but not to keep the pound. In either case he says. Why do you believe this I ask. ‘Because I am the no vote’ he says. I have no idea what he meant by that unless he believes he is the only no voter. I left him with a less than cheery ‘It’s total nonsense son’ and crossed over the rail bridge. Several leaflets were dumped on the bridge, more in the bin at the other side. I walked up and down the platform which must have had about 80 people on it at the time. Not a single one was reading the leaflet, there was no evidence of anyone even carrying one. Still the guy was there so in Better Togethers eyes this was a successful ‘event’.

    8. Malc says:

      At least three leafleteers outside Edinburgh Haymarket this morning.

      Also another one (possibly two) at Edinburgh Brunstane!

    9. John McGuire says:

      At Ayr Station at 8.00am this morning ( Friday) just two wee old middle class ladies. Pathetic. But quite pleasing too, in a kinda perverted way…

    10. Insch74 says:

      One UKOK lass at Queen Street at 8:45 between the station entrance and Buchanan Underground. No one taking leaflets and none lying around.

    11. rabb says:

      I took a swing past Lenzie this morning too on the way to work (Couldn’t stop in the car park) and saw no one handing out leaflets. Granted it was going on nearer 9 so the hoardes of UKOKERS may have left by then leaving their hardcore noman out of view up the back passage!

    12. martyn says:

      Went to Carluke, not a single campaigner there. have video to prove it.

      Got to Waverley and there were 2 at the top of the stairs. I challenged them on the “loose the pound” issue and after one of them got himself tied in knots he shouted the other one over. After about 5 minutes of me disproving every “fact” he told me by using my 3G connection (including statements that Mark Cairney DID NOT make) he told me that he was too busy to chat any longer…

    13. andy says:

      Nobody at Motherwell at 8 and nobody at Haymarket at 9

    14. Sutherland says:

      Cambuslang. One guy showed up at 7:40 another joined him at 8:00(ish) they stayed until around 9, I watched as very few leaflets handed out, some returned, most placed in pockets without reading. At the end they disposed of their leaflets in the bin which was promptly collected by the Council bin man

    15. Brotyboy says:

      Strikes me that there will be more than a few rather more demotivated BT campaigners around after this morning.

      Some will have been challenged and perhaps made to think a little, some will be cold and tired and unable to take the negativity.

      And the leaflet itself won’t help their cause. I’m sure it was printed before Carney spoke as it bears no relation to what he said. It could rebound on them spectacularly.

    16. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Dearie dear me…poor old BT.

      If they can’t even get someone to man the Hope Street exit of Glasgow Central then their goose is cooked.

      Looking forward to McDougall/Murray’s assessment of today.

    17. Macandroid says:

      @Calgacus MacAndrews
      Macandroid (by the turn of phrase) is unmasked as the secret Cybernat CO-ORDINATOR

      Damn – exposed so early in the campaign.
      I’ll have to go back to hide in the House of Lords (and collect my £300)!

    18. Richard, I got down to Helensburgh Central shortly after 8, and they were still outside the front entrance to the booking office. After dragging an admission out of them that Carney had not actually ruled out keeping the pound, their next straw-clutching exercise was to go for the “he didn’t put a firm currency union decision down either” – well, duh, that wasn’t his job! 😆 They’re certainly good at being evasive when challenged…

      Still, at least I relieved them of one leaflet, now winging its way to our backyard recycling bin…

    19. Richard says:

      I took train to Dumbarton Central. 1 guy there. Jackie Baillie just tweeted that she was just back from there. Wasn’t at the venue at 7.30 as back door had nobody

    20. Richard says:

      O/T Keir

      Some events coming up in Helensburgh are if you have the time. Meeting at Ardencaple on Wednesday 5th see yes Helensburgh and lomond

    21. velofello says:

      The two old ladies at Ayr station had gone by 8.15.

    22. Mealer says:

      None at Montrose at 8.30 am.Unless they were hiding in the toilets,too ashamed to show their faces after the disgraceful debacle in the House of Lords.

    23. desimond says:

      @John McGuire

      Youre painting such pretty mental images there of the 2 ladies at Ayr Station..were they dishing out more than leaflets?

      Im now picturing Helen Mirren and Celia Imrie in a new hit movie ‘Leaflet Girls’

    24. Mark says:

      Report from Aberdeen, two BT folk handing out there pathetic leaflet of lies but before you got to them two YES folk handing out latest YES newspaper. Yes folk were positioned before you crossed the road and the BT after, seemed to me a lot of folk took the YES paper and declined the BT leaflet once they had crossed the road.

      BT folk just couldn’t answer the question of when Mark Carney said we couldn’t keep the pound. They just trot out the usual line of “Why do you want to mess with something that has been working well for hundreds of years” – laughed, I almost pi££ed myself!

    25. Marcia says:

      How many of the sites added yesterday on the BT site were fake venues? One thing this exercise has shown is that the Yes side are more active. Just saw a picture on twitter of last night’s Yes Airdrie meeting – packed.

    26. faolie says:

      Passed through Waverley back of 8. 1 at Calton Rd, 4 top of the Waverley Steps, 2 at the north ramp, 2 at the south ramp and 2 at Market St. Watched one at the top of the steps for about 10 minutes and I reckon he got rid of about 12.

      I refused to take a leaflet from one, and complained to another about his spoiling my morning with a leaflet telling me my country was too useless to run its own affairs.

      At the ramp I told one lady she seemed much too nice to believe this rubbish and she waffled something about Carney and negotiations (to which I agreed) and told the other that she looked way too young (20s) to be peddling this stuff. Had a wee discussion with her about the pound and ownership of the BoE.

      It was a reasonable turn out I suppose (not as many though as the last Yes leafletting I attended at Waverley).

    27. Taranaich says:

      Speaking of McDougall, I’ve noticed he’s condemned today’s wee gathering:

      “Organised photography filming & confrontation of ordinary volunteers is intimidating & creepy. Any YES people willing to condemn?”


      “Seriously will not one single SNP activist, yes campaigner or official recognise that what happened this morning is unacceptable? ”

      Do you want to know what’s intimidating, Mr. McDougall? Being physically assaulted for holding a Yes card is intimidating.

      Demanding Yes campaigners leave an event for fear of violent reprisal is intimidating.

      Being photographed without your permission by PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS who then published your face, name and home address in one of Scotland’s biggest-selling newspapers – again, without permission – when they were not actively campaigning, and subsequently accusing them of being abusive nutters, is intimidating.

      Sorry, Blair, you and Better Together lost the moral high ground on this a LONG time ago.

    28. ShredderIsAlive says:

      Report from Kirkcaldy.

      There was one solitary senior U-KOK campaigner at the station from about 6:50 to 9:10.

      He never said anything other than “This is from Better Together” when handing out leaflets, but didn’t like being questioned about any of the contents of the leaflet, and seemed to draw a complete blank when asked about anything else regarding Bitter Together.

      He’ll be the same person leafleting tonight, so if anyone going tonight wants few tips for signs or arguments, here’s what I managed to get out of him.

      First, he’s a supporter of the Conservative party and went to great lengths to try and explain how the Conservatives have every right to govern Scotland with only one MP.

      Second, he’s not a fan of immigrants, the working class or the poor. He went on a nice little rant about how the Bedroom Tax was a good thing, Cameron was doing a very good job as Prime Minister, and was glad next to nobody opposed Teresa May’s disgusting immigration bill. Grill him enough and he’ll tell this to you, but not the people he’s leafleting.

      Third, when I asked him for a positive case for the Union, all he could give me was a really weak argument about how in his day when you left school with a certificate you could go straight into a job with the British civil service, and doesn’t want that option lost through independence.

      Fourth, he is openly in favour of Trident. First street campaigner I have ever heard come out and say they’re in favour of renewing the nukes.

      Fifth, he has not heard or read the speech his leaflets are about.

      Finally, if you want a cheap laugh at Bitter Together’s expense, hide a recording device on yourself. I told him I was surprised that anyone turned up, and mentioned BT’s poor track record and lack of grassroots activism. He agreed and openly slammed the incompetence of BT. The phrase “Couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery.” escaped his mouth several times.

      I’ll get my photo up as soon as possible. Meantime, I look forward to reading how things progress.

    29. Lissa says:

      I went through Waverley this morning as well. At about 5 to 8, the two chaps at Market Street had a big stack of leaflets; at 5 to 9 the still seemed to have around the same number, and most of the people I saw walk past refused to take one. I stopped to speak to the younger chap for a couple of minutes (nearly missed my bus!) and told him the leaflet was very misleading. He agreed that the GOODBYE was ‘a bit scaremongery’ but that he was campaigning generally for a stronger country. I explained how the leaflet was lying, and asked him what he meant by stronger. He talked about economic and international power, and I said, ‘like invading other countries illegally and having nuclear weapons?’ and he said he hated war, but thought we were better as a strong union. He admitted that things aren’t great just now, but they’re more likely to get better together. I asked him, if we’re better off together, why does Scotland have some of the most deprived areas in Western Europe, with the worst life spans and unemployment? I reminded him that Labour had 13 years in power and inequality just grew, so it didn’t seem to matter who was in power in Westminster, Scotland still was worse off. He was very flustered, couldn’t really answer, and I got the feeling he hadn’t actually heard anyone put across those points before, but at that point I had to run for my bus. He thanked me for talking to him and raising interesting points, and the exchange was completely polite. An interesting side note is that I’m pretty sure neither of us are native Scots; I’m native Brasilian and formerly American naturalised UK citizen, with an obviously not-Scottish accent, and he sounded like a very posh English lad, almost certainly Home Counties, and I would guess a university student.

    30. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Just to add; it was about ten past eight when I swung through Lenzie station carpark and they were definitely handing out leaflets at the point. However, numbers of travellers by that time are starting to die down, most commuters to Glasgow have already gone by that point and so far as I know it’s only trains every fifteen minutes; limited potential, in other words.

      Hard to believe they’ve shifted more than a few leaflets except from their bag to the bin via a punter who wasn’t interested in their guff.

    31. Mr Shiver says:

      Is this honestly what you guys spend your time doing? Instead of trying to answer the legitimate questions being asked about independence you seem to be more interested in intimidating and misrepresenting the pro-union campaign. As an interested bystander in all this I have to say I really hope you lose the referendum, not least as your tactics have been bizar if not borderline psychotic.

    32. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Incidentally, I had a pre-prepared line if I’d had a chance to take a picture and they asked me what I was doing. It ran thus;

      ‘Cheers, you’ve just made me a tenner. I had a bet with a yes voting colleague; he said you probably wouldn’t be here, so the picture is evidence to show him.’

      At no point stating that I am not a no voter, but dangling the unspoken implication that I might be….

    33. laukat says:

      I went along to Westerton station. I was there from 9.15 to 9.30 and there was no-one putting out leaflets and no sign of any leaflets either in bins or anywhere else

      There was only a handful of people at the station which is unsurprising given there is only a train every 20 minutes or so. Also had a scout about the local streets in my car and couldn’t see any sign of any activity

    34. MochaChoca says:

      It would be interesting to know if they worded the leaflet before or after Mr Carney’s input.

      I suppose someone could ask ‘Treehouse Print’ how quickly they can print 500,000 A5 double sided full colour leaflets after final wording is proofed/agreed.

      The price would also be interesting to know.

      Just in case we wish to publish something too you understand.

    35. ShredderIsAlive says:

      I nearly forgot. The U-KOK Kirkcaldy leafleter also found the flooding in England hilarious, and said it was completely justifiable for the Tories to slash the UK flood defense budget, because “well cuts have to be made somewhere”.

    36. Tony Little says:

      I have had an exchange with JohnOBE over on the Herald who responded to my remark about the leaflet being printed before the speech by saying that “obviously” there were embargoed copies of the speech available to journalists and others. Now this may well be correct as pre-release is not unusual, but these would have to have been at least 5+ days in order to get a leaflet prepared and then printed.

      Does anyone know if this is true, and if so, how long in advance such an “embargoed” versions would be sent out? Also, can anyone find out if the original pre-release versions was delivers “as is” if if Mark Carney made any changes?

      Where is our “mole” in BT these days 😉

    37. Lanarkian says:

      Lanark station 7:15 – two men handing out leaflets at a point between the adjacent bus station and the train platform.

      My wife was given a leaflet (the Goodbye Pound one) which she read, then returned to the two men and told them that the statements on the leaflet “are not exactly true are they?”. When she explained why – the response she got did not defend the leaflet – it was an attack. The YES campaign was just a front for the SNP; they are just anti-English etc.

      She successfully kept them occupied in conversation for the next 45 minutes during which time they didn’t hand out a single leaflet. Turns out they were members of the Labour party. They were rescued by a local Labour councillor who called them away to “go for a cup of tea”. I bet they were grateful.

    38. crisiscult says:

      I’ve got a cracking photo of the activities at Glasgow Duke Street from this morning at 8:15am. Where do I send that?

    39. Richard says:


      Use contact to request email

    40. crisiscult says:


    41. david says:

      what sad little losers you are can i remind you @ yesterdays first ministers questions mr salmond actually said the white paper had nothing to do with yesscotland it was and i quote “the s snp’s dream of an independent scotland. unless it was an admission that yesscotland is a cover for the s snp

    42. Steve Mc says:

      Reminded by staff at Johnstone that such activity is not permitted on railway property and land.

    43. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I’ve got a cracking photo of the activities at Glasgow Duke Street from this morning at 8:15am. Where do I send that?”

      Drop me a line at the Contact page and I’ll give you the email address.

    44. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I have had an exchange with JohnOBE over on the Herald who responded to my remark about the leaflet being printed before the speech by saying that “obviously” there were embargoed copies of the speech available to journalists and others.”

      Even less excuse for totally misrepresenting it, then.

    45. Tony Little says:

      Rev that was my remark to OBE as well. I just wondered how true it might have been.

      By the way can I express my admiration for all the YES-citizen journalists seeking out the truth. An inspiration, even for me currently 200 miles away.

    46. Taranaich says:

      OK, here’s my report.

      My mother called me up today to say she was going to the station to check out train times, so I decided to come along for support, and to see if anyone did turn up (which we didn’t expect). Lo and behold at 7:10, at the very Gateway to the Highlands, stood a gentleman, well-dressed for the weather, a little longer-in-the-tooth than we expected. He had at least 300 leaflets organised into three small plastic bags. Well, so impressed I was to see him out early on such a bitterly cold, dark morning, I thought it would be good to say hello.

      Mum got a leaflet and engaged in conversation with him, generally about the referendum. He seemed to be of the general opinion that the UK was his country, and that England and Scotland should not be separate (no mention of Wales or Northern Ireland). He did look somewhat saddened to hear that he might be giving up free travel and free prescriptions with his No campaign. Overall, our conversation was genial, good-natured, and we all agreed that what was important was that everybody got involved, and everybody votes, no matter which side we were on. We all want the People of Scotland to decide for themselves.

      However, we’re (Mum & me) sad that the people are not being given the truth, or even the facts, by the opposing campaign, while the Yes campaign use statistics, consultations, and have the clout of the overwhelmingly elected government here in Scotland. We also worry about people who are not going to live to see the fantastic changes independence will bring. This man was clearly elderly, and mum even feels (at just over middle-age) that the youth of today are the ones who will benefit from all our campaigning.

      After mum got the information she needed from the station, we left for rolls & scones. Just before 9, Mum drove by the station to see how he was getting on: just as we thought, he was still there, but getting into his car at approximately 8:52. Regardless of how I feel about the No campaign, I did appreciate this man’s dedication to stay out in the dark, cold morning all alone for almost two hours. I just wish the campaign he followed was straight with him and others like him about the facts: he seemed to really believe that the UK = OK.

      But I am heartened by the thought that when Scotland votes yes, then ALL the people of Scotland will benefit, just as we are with the devolved government, and our outstanding MSPs. Nobody will be punished with bedroom taxes, or have money taken from schools to fund nuclear weapons, or forced into workfare. It may be hard, but it will be just. The most important thing in an independent Scotland: instead of campaigning for independence, or to remove Trident, or for a fairer society, ALL these people will be united just simply using their creativity, ingenuity, and enthusiastic values towards making Scotland the best wee country in the world.

    47. MajorBloodnok says:

      Was thinking this was just like a round of Mornington Crescent (Northern Line extension, Rushton’s Excuse-me variant), but without any rules. Edgy.

    48. JGedd says:

      Report back from family member who passed Whitesands this morning between 8am and 9am: no one passing out leaflets and Whitesands even more deserted than usual. Has to be said though that relative was passing in a hurry to get to work. However, to those who don’t know the area, Whitesands Bus Station is not an enclosed building but is really an open area with bus stances so could be scanned easily in passing as it is situated beside the road known as the Whitesands.

      Has to be said though that this viewing in passing was about 8.30 and doesn’t mean that someone from BT wasn’t present at all between 8am and 9am. Sorry, not very conclusive.

    49. Jim Roche says:

      No-one from the Yes camp at Stirling Station this morning (6.45 to 8.35).
      There were five of us handing-out the ‘Goodbye’ leaflets. All but five of the ones I handed-out were well received.

      I’d wonder about the claims that each of the crossed-out stations were covered. There wasn’t any Yes presence in Dunblane or Bridge of Allan either.

      Check your facts, maybe?

    50. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I’d wonder about the claims that each of the crossed-out stations were covered. There wasn’t any Yes presence in Dunblane or Bridge of Allan either.”

      It wasn’t Yes Scotland’s big campaign day, dear. Just a few folk going out on their own initiative.

      PS 8.35? Weren’t you meant to be there until at least 9am?

    51. Jim Roche says:

      Rev Campbell
      Happy St John Bosco’s Day to you

      Since we haven’t met, I’m not your dear.

      And as I observed, three of the Stations claimed by “a few folk going out on their own initiative” weren’t covered.

      How many other claims by “a few folk going out on their own initiative” were untrue?

    52. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “And as I observed, three of the Stations claimed by “a few folk going out on their own initiative” weren’t covered.”

      Our readers weren’t leafleting. They were merely observing YOURS. A few decided to leaflet as well, but it wasn’t the purpose of the operation.

    53. schrodingerscat says:

      Just a point about Langs outburst

      “these men died for a time and a place that is past, they did not die for that which we seem to have inherited, today was undreamt of when they were alive”

      Sunset song, Lewis grassic gibbon,

    54. schrodingers cat says:


      In the sunset of an age and an epoch we may write that for epitaph of the men who were of it. They went quiet and brave from the lands they loved, though seldom of that love might they speak, it was not in them to tell in words of the earth that moved and lived and abided, their life and enduring love. And who knows at the last what memories of it were with them, the springs and the winters of this land and all the sounds and scents of it that had once been theirs, deep, and a passion of their blood and spirit, those four who died in France? With them we may say there died a thing older than themselves, these were the Last of the Peasants, the last of the Old Scots folk. A new generation comes up that will know them not, except as a memory in a song, they passed with the things that seemed good to them with loves and desires that grow dim and alien in the days to be. It was the old Scotland that perished then, and we may believe that never again will the old speech and the old songs, the old curses and the old benedictions, rise but with alien effort to our lips.

      The last of the peasants, those four that you knew, took that with them to the darkness and the quietness of the places where they sleep. And the land changes, their parks and their steadings are a desolation where the sheep are pastured, we are told that great machines come soon to till the land, and the great herds come to feed on it, the crofter has gone, the man with the house and the steading of his own and the land closer to his heart than the flesh of his body. Nothing, it has been said, is true but change, nothing abides, and here in Kinraddie where we watch the building of those little prides and those little fortunes on the ruins of the little farms we must give heed that these also do not abide, that a new spirit shall come to the land with the greater herd and the great machines. For greed of place and possession and great estate those four had little head, the kindness of friends and the warmth of toil and the peace of rest–they asked no more from God or man, and no less would they endure.

      So, lest we shame them, let us believe that the new oppressions and foolish greeds are no more than mists that pass. They died for a world that is past, these men, but they did not die for this that we seem to inherit. Beyond it and us there shines a greater hope and a newer world, undreamt when these four died. But need we doubt which side the battle they would range themselves did they live to-day, need we doubt the answer they cry to us even now, the four of them, from the places of the sunset?

      LGG, sunset song

    55. Andy A says:

      Isn’t it great that we’re now getting reports in from the NO leafleteers too ! Perhaps this captive market might benefit from some WoS home truths if they stick around…

    56. peter mechan says:

      Was at Edinburgh Haymarket soon after 4pm. Two BTs leafletting.

      Took leaflet, asked if it was about ‘that banking story on tv last night’. He said it was, that we couldn’t have any control of the pound if vote yes. I said that I thought the banking guy basically said that they would implement whatever the two governments agreed and the euro is shared so what was the problem? Problem is, he said, the British govt have said they will refuse so nothing can be agreed.

      “Wait a minute” I said, “so you are saying that if Scotland democratically votes yes then the British govt will simply tell us to f*co off, we ain’t gettingvto keep the pound?”.

      “Yes that’s right” he said, a big smile on his face.

      “Doesn’t sound very democratic or respectful”, I said, “don’t think I want a govt like that in charge of Scotland. Thanks, you just convinced me to vote YES”

      Cheap shot at the end but I was hoping to demoralise him and maybe make him less strident to later people.vwhere will I email photo of encounter?

    57. Shady Lady says:

      Walked through Linlithgow Station at 4.30pm, in the top entrance, down the stairs and through the tunnel to exit at the High Street side. Pleased to report that there’s nothing to report. Didn’t see any activity on either platform, and no leaflets scattered on the ground.
      As you’d expect at a station there were a couple of folk standing around waiting, but none of them were handing anything out.

    58. Paul says:

      Was at Queen Street at the back of 4. Came across a few ukok leafletters at the George Square entrance (well off the station property.) Tried to engage one in discussion but all she could do was mouth slogans and assertions – including the ridiculous line that if people want rid of Trident they can vote Labour in 2015. No ability shown to engage in a discussion of ideas. On the plus side, I have to say she was polite – more than I can say for some die-hard unionist Labour members I’ve come across. still, our side has nothing to fear when there’s a frank discussion based on ideas and facts.

    59. Caroline says:

      Cupar – didn’t expect to see anyone after the morning report of a no-show but was there from 4 to 4.30… nada

    60. Jim Roche says:

      Rev Campbell
      They ‘were merely observing YOURS’ were they? That’s reassuring.

      Can’t wait for the debrief about their Bridge of Allan observations.

      An interesting fact was that those arriving in Stirling later in our session already had leaflets and showed them to us.
      They had obviously been leafleted at other Stations where, presumably, they would have been observed by your Secret Information Club who would be able to report that they receieved leaflets and put them in their pockets, so as to be able to show us later.

    61. Pedro says:

      No Union Jocks/Brit Nats distributing anything that I could see at Bathgate Train Station between 4pm to approx 4.40pm.

      I did however chat with a nice chap with a big blue ‘Yes’ umbrella who was going to be staying on the lookout until 6pm.

    62. big_al says:

      @Jim Roche

      I don’t think you’ve quite grasped what this was about.

    63. Jim Roche says:

      I’m sure that you’re correct. I hadn’t grasped what your chums were doing.

      I thought that your group was claiming to have observers at each Station who would put today’s “proceedings under some scrutiny, to ensure that the people of Scotland are being told the truth both on the streets and on the internet”.

      As I noted above, there was no visible Yes person at Stirling.

      Unless you had some Brave member of your Secret Information Club skulking around and afraid to speak to any of the five of us.

      And at the other two Stations where we saw nobody from your Secret Information Club.

      As I wrote
      “Can’t wait for the debrief about their Bridge of Allan observations.”

    64. Dick Gaughan says:

      Jim Roche says
      Secret Information Club

      Yawn. That’s 3 times you’ve used that and it wasn’t all that amusing the first time. Find a new scriptwriter, your current one’s bowf.

      There is no SIC. I should know, I’m the Secretary. And so’s my wife.

    65. Jim Roche says:

      You are the Secretary of the Club!

      Well done on your election, Mr Gaughan.

      I am gratified that someone from Management has become involved. Would you care to address the earlier question about untruths?
      -How many other claims by “a few folk going out on their own initiative” were untrue?

      “Can’t wait for the debrief about their Bridge of Allan observations.”

      Which isn’t a question. Rather a challenge.

      Even if you are not amused, I see great comedy in the facty that you all see yourselves as a group who go about ‘observing’ and ‘scrutinising’ other people.

      All a bit Enid Blyton or Richmal Crompton, don’t you think? Kind of like A Secret Information Club.

    66. big_al says:

      big_al said

      @Jim Roche

      I don’t think you’ve quite grasped what this was about.

      Jim Roche said
      I’m sure that you’re correct……

      I was right first time around.

    67. Dick Gaughan says:

      Jim Roche says:
      Would you care to address the earlier question about untruths?

      I could tell you, but only if you roll up your trouserlegs and slaughter a goat on Portbello Beach below the high water mark when the tide’s out while keeping your left foot in a bucket of cold water and walking counterclockwise whistling “God Save the Queen” and post a video on YaChoob.

      Kind of like A Secret Information Club.

      You really must do something about that scriptwriter.

    68. Jim Roche says:

      So, that’s a NO then.

      As an aside, may I congratulate you on your version of “51st Highland Division’s Farwell to Sicily”. You make your guitar sound like the bagpipes Hamish Henderson heard in Lingualossa. Well done.

    69. Dick Gaughan says:

      Jim Roche says:
      You make your guitar sound like the bagpipes Hamish Henderson heard in Lingualossa. Well done.

      Thank you, Jim. If you’d prefer, you can substitute “Bandiera Rossa” for GSTQ per my last post 🙂

    70. Jim Roche says:

      I have sung each with great Gusto!
      Not sure about the bucket of cold water though…

      And both hymns have words and lines that I’m not too sure about, when you start to think too deeply about them.

      Still…Avanti popolo!

    71. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @schrodinger’s cat –

      Cheers for that. A wonderful piece of writing.

      It’s hard to imagine that a highly educated man like Ian Lang isn’t familiar with LGG’s greatest work.

      And that makes his remarks all the more repulsive.

    72. Taranaich says:

      Schrodinger’s Cat, thanks for the Sunset Song quotes, one of my favourite Scottish novels.

      Jim, for what it’s worth, my mother and I wear our Yes badges all the time, and when we met the BT campaigner, we announced our voting intentions immediately. After all, we have nothing to hide and nothing to gain by pretending to be undecideds or Nos, and since there’s a frequent refrain about the “lack of honest debate,” we thought our BT man would welcome such a discussion.

      As for “Secret Information Club,” well, I think if that was what Rev was planning, posting it on a publicly-accessible website is a bit of a fumble in regards to such espionage…

    73. Dick Gaughan says:

      @Jim Roche:

      Re: joking comments about “Avanti Popolo” and “God Save the Queen”.

      “The peoples on the march
      The road we’re treading
      It leads to Freedom”


      “And like a torrent rush
      Rebellious Scots to crush”

      I never could figure out exactly why I should be praying to a Deity I don’t believe in to give strength to a Monarch I don’t recognise to beat the crap out of my own people.

      I’m glad that although we’re on opposite sides of the barricades, we can at least agree that “Avanti Popolo” should be sung with gusto!

    74. Jim Roche says:

      Dick Gaughan

      Bandiera Rosa
      Don’t know that verse of “Bandiera Rossa” Is it a new song?
      My problem is the promotion of Communism, which has killed both freedom and millions:

      Red flag will be triumphant
      Red flag will be triumphant
      Red flag will be triumphant
      Long live communism and freedom!

      God Save the Queen
      Your thoughts on beating the crap out of my own people are misguided. ‘The Scots’ in the rushed-up 1745 verse are the Highland Jacobites rather than the Irish Gaughans.

      The Lowland Scots in 1745 were hostile to the Papist Highlanders – so the verse doesn’t mean them either.
      The anti-Jacobite Scots fought with great enthusiasm against the Jacobites.

      I have never heard that vers sung, have you?
      I’d guess that it went out of use 200 years ago.

      I am a Christian so have no problem with the Deity aspect of our National Anthem.
      Rather I regret the absence of the verse asking God to save us all:
      O Lord our God arise
      Scatter her enemies
      And make them fall
      Confound their politics
      Frustrate their knavish tricks
      On Thee our hopes we fix
      God save us all

      And I don’t think that she has defended our laws/constitution very well.

      ps You may be amused that I played your version of the 51st Farewell in the main square at Lingualossa last year (in my earphones) and later in the car with the windows down, but not too loud, and not for very long….

    75. Dick Gaughan says:

      Jim Roche says:
      Your thoughts on beating the crap out of my own people are misguided. ‘The Scots’ in the rushed-up 1745 verse are the Highland Jacobites rather than the Irish Gaughans.

      Revealing. By “my own people” I was refering to the Lochaber MacDonald half of my family. As Scottish as haggis’n’neeps.

    76. Jim Roche says:

      Good point. And well made about your Lochaber roots.

      But remember that Neeps came to Scotland via the Royal Gardens in England.
      An early benefit of Union ;o)

    77. Ian Brotherhood says:

      I don’t really like popcorn, but…

    78. Jim Roche says:

      Ah Popcorn!
      An import from the Americas via our Southern neighbours.
      Much like the potatoes for our Champit Tatties.

    79. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Jim Roche –

      Aye. Okay. What-evs.

      I’m only hanging about until Dick Gaughan gets back to you.

      Anyway, if you’re still there – what are ‘Champit Tatties’?

      I could ‘google’ it, of course, but you seem to assume that ‘we’ know what it means. As a matter of fact, I don’t, so – if you’re so-inclined, could you explain, in your own terms, what a ‘Champit Tattie’ is?

    80. Jim Roche says:

      A Tattie is a potato.
      A Champer is the hand-held kitchen tool used for mashing.

      When one uses a Champer on boiled potatoes, thay become Mashed Potatoes. Or Mashed Tatties. Or Champit Tatties.

      This is the description of Mashed Potatoes I have seen on Burns Supper menus and elsewhere.

      Turnips are similarly described as Champit Neeps.

    81. Jim Roche says:

      What do you call a Champer in your house?

    82. Jim Roche says:


    83. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Jim Roche –

      I call the tool you described a ‘tattie-masher’. I have never, in my fifty years on this planet (48 of them spent here, in Scotland) heard that implement described as a ‘champer’.

      Mind you, I’m a ‘Weegie’, so perhaps I was sheltered in some way. I bow to your superior awareness of Burns – like most ‘ordinary’ Scots, I have never attended a Burns Supper, and wouldn’t know how a typical modern menu describes ‘mashed-tatties’ or any of the other foodstuff involved.

      Thanks for taking the time to respond to my interjection, (and educating me into the bargain!) and I do apologise if my response wasn’t as timely as you’d have preferred.

      Hopefully, you won’t feel the need to address my ignorance again, and I look forward to seeing how your correspondence with Mr Gaughan unfolds.

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

    ↑ Top