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The invisible army

Posted on May 15, 2014 by

We’ve been wiping tears of laughter from our eyes most of this morning, after reading one of the most magnificently bare-faced and audacious pieces of black-is-white lying we think we might ever have seen printed with a straight face in a British newspaper.

It appears in the Telegraph, which seems to have positioned itself latterly as the Daily Sport for people with a reading age above seven, and makes the mindboggling claim that “Contrary to its media image, the campaign to save the United Kingdom says it has more boots on the ground than its nationalist opponents”.

boots

In fairness, it doesn’t actually say whether these boots have any feet in them.

“Rob Murray, Better Together’s grassroots organiser, boasts he has 30,000 activists on the ground across Scotland – more than the opposing Yes Scotland campaign.

They are organised into 250 groups overseen by eight local campaign organisers and are charged with winning over the 34 per cent of the population – most of whom are in Glasgow and Fife – who are yet to definitively make up their minds. “

Well, this shouldn’t be too hard to check up on. 30,000 activists divided into 250 groups is 120 people per group. So we should be able to find some sort of evidence of those numbers in pictures of major “Better Together” campaigning events, right? Especially in the Greater Glasgow area, where simple arithmetic dictates that there must be at least 6,000 “activists on the ground”.

Our famously alert readers may recall BT’s last big co-ordinated campaign push. It took place just three short months ago, at the end of January, and targeted railway stations across the length and breadth of Scotland.

anniesland

Above, for example, is a shot of the 120-strong “Better Together Glasgow Anniesland” group. Obviously, most of them are concealed by the poor lighting conditions.

duke

In an unfortunate accident, the 120 No campaigners at Glasgow Duke Street the same morning tried to take a photograph, but clumsily used the rear-facing camera on their iPhone instead of the front-facing one. We’ve all done it.

queenst

Tragically, our photographer arrived at Glasgow Queen Street at the exact moment when 119 of the No grassroots team had popped into Burger King to use the toilets.

barrhead1

In an unfortunate diary clash, everyone in Barrhead was off getting their photographs taken for “Vote No Borders” on the day of the big event, and couldn’t make it out.

bishopbriggs

In Bishopbriggs, all 120 activists were sheltering in the trees from a strong wind.

When we monitored the events of the big day, we found that around 40% of them hadn’t managed to muster even a single campaigner to stand on a railway platform for an hour and give out a few leaflets. Our spotters didn’t actually see 120 “Better Together” activists in the whole of Scotland that day, let alone in any one group.

Now, you can’t properly judge an entire campaign from a single day in chilly January. Luckily, alert and shadowy agents have been keeping a keen eye on BT “events” ever since, and recording documentary footage. You can watch some of it below.

AIRDRIE:

GLASGOW DENNISTOUN:

WISHAW (starring new big grassroots signing Frank Roy MP):

AIRDRIE (different location/day):

Well, you get the idea.

Of course, we’re being unfair. When you’re campaigning in an area, you don’t send all your activists out at once mob-handed. That’d be crazy overkill. You only really need one person to hand out some pamphlets.

yesedinburgh1

yesclydesdale

radindy

women4indyed

yesenl1mar

Oh.

We can only speculate as to which particular part of his Walter Mitty imagination Rob Murray has plucked the “30,000 activists” figure from. We suspect that he might be including every member of every constituency Labour Party in the country, past and present, and their families, along with all 12 of Scotland’s young Conservatives and a couple of surviving Lib Dems (Orkney and Shetland only) and probably the entire membership of the Union Bears as well.

unionbears

Or maybe there’s a simpler explanation.

“But actually, he thought as he re-adjusted the Ministry of Plenty’s figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connection with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connection that is contained in a direct lie.

Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version. A great deal of the time you were expected to make them up out of your head. For example, the Ministry of Plenty’s forecast had estimated the output of boots for the quarter at 145 million pairs.

The actual output was given as sixty-two millions. Winston, however, in rewriting the forecast, marked the figure down to fifty-seven millions, so as to allow for the usual claim that the quota had been overfulfilled.

In any case, sixty-two millions was no nearer the truth than fifty-seven millions, or than 145 millions. Very likely no boots had been produced at all. Likelier still, nobody knew how many had been produced, much less cared. All one knew was that every quarter astronomical numbers of boots were produced on paper, while perhaps half the population of Oceania went barefoot.”

In “1984” the newspaper of (falsified) record is the Times rather than the Telegraph. But in every other respect, we’re finding it hard to tell the difference.

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    1. 20 05 14 23:30

      The manicured lawn | Are We Really Better Together?

    153 to “The invisible army”

    1. Ian Brotherhood says:

      And here’s another belter, from the same article:

      ‘…he admits Better Together had missed a trick in creating an online “buzz”. Its activists have now been instructed to emulate their nationalist peers by taking “selfie” pictures on the doorstep and posting them on websites such as Twitter.’

      Fantastic! So we should expect to see them popping up on Twitter any moment, right?

    2. MekQuarrie says:

      LOL. Pure genius… 😀

    3. Thistle says:

      Love it Rev 🙂

      Oh yeah we are doing a live stream later with Jim Sillars and Tommy Sheridan around 7pm so check it out.

      Also there are now 3 live stream rigs in Glasgow so expect more live stream events coming your way.

      We are currently in process of building a new website:
      http://www.independencelive.net

      Live stream event for later can be found here:
      http://new.livestream.com/IndependenceLive/events/2980688

    4. AnneDon says:

      “Boots on the ground”. Wasn’t that the UK government’s phrase of choice for describing troops stationed in the Middle East?

      Apart from the ridiculous claim, why is it always military metaphors these folk use? Are they all watching “Wag The Dog”?

    5. Andrew Morton says:

      But of course Telegrap readers, who are overwhelmingly south of the border, will believe it.

    6. Jon D says:

      For the sake of absolute accuracy, and just to keep our troops happy, Rev, the top group pic is Yes Pentlands; with lots of friends from YENL,and beyond. 🙂

    7. Ian Brotherhood says:

      If McDougall and Murray’s imaginary friends are going to start taking ‘selfies’ (a la indy-supporters with Sunday Herald covers), what are they going to hold up for the camera?

      Has BT/UKOK produced any publication – even one? – which hasn’t been comprehensively filleted and shown to be mendacious guff?

    8. Dr Ew says:

      There are 9 million bicycles in Bearsden – and that’s a fact.

    9. galamcennalath says:

      You’ve got it in a oner, Stu. Better Together are using 1984 as their blueprint for successful population control.

      Sadly, 1984 doesn’t end well!

    10. Bob W says:

      I have a photograph of the ‘massive’ boots on the ground No event, which took place in Glenrothes town centre on Saturday, if you’re interested.

    11. heedtracker says:

      Its weird that the Church in Scotland wants to reconcile everyone after 18th Sept but how would that go, “sure the BBC etc lied about Projectfear and slandered YES voters over and over, day in day out but it was for your own good Scotlandshire.”

    12. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Have they ever had 120 bodies in a NO (closed to the public) hall presentation?

      They are not even bothering to try to lie convincingly.

    13. Helena Brown says:

      Well I have seen YES on the streets, I have yet to see a NO one. As for seeing them on my doorstep, oh I SO wish.

    14. bunter says:

      We really need to record and catalogue this mince, preserved for future generations to see what despicable lies and smears that were perpetuated on a country by the so called free press and their Unionist spokesliars.

      I know this particular article is amusing, but what the media is doing overall to OUR debate while not illegal, maybe, surely damns them all after the referendum.

    15. Bigbricks says:

      Are there 30000 members of the Labour, Tory and Lib Dems combined in Scotland? I would doubt it. Perhaps there’s an Army warehouse somewhere in Scotland used for storing boots, and they’re being counted because BT know they’re “NO” boots. “More boots on the ground” is also very specific. It presumably allows BT to deduct any YES supporter wearing shoes, trainers, high heels, sandals, clogs and willies. Simple really!

    16. a2 says:

      “Its activists have now been instructed”

      Says it all.

    17. Bigbricks says:

      No, not “willies” for God’s sake. WELLIES! Doh – porky fingers. Glows pink as he types………….

    18. M4rkyboy says:

      Aww,that was a good opportunity to dust off the ‘lone campaigner’ photoshops from before.

    19. Peter Macbeastie says:

      There are two of those union bears stickers on a lamp post at the end of my street.

      They’re not going to be there by Monday, because I’m going to get a paint scraper on Saturday. And that’s only because I don’t have any Yes stickers to slap right in the middle of them. Must get some; there is much scope to put them to good use around Partick.

      Cracking line there, Rev; clearly you’re correct, they didn’t mention if the boots had any feet in them.

      I would contend that Better Together have found the secret of invisibility when anyone points a camera at them. The few you manage to get a picture of simply failed to activate the mysterious Cloak of Invisibility in time.

    20. Bob W says:

      Bigbricks-I take it that you meant to type ‘wellies’ 🙂

    21. Alex Smith says:

      If you have to “instruct” your “grassroots activists”, then surely they cease to be “grassroots activists” and revert to being mere party drones, following WM instructions?

    22. montfleury says:

      ..and the fourth picture down is only a third of the people that turned up that day – ladies only for some reason.

    23. Tamson says:

      I have seen only one No campaigner in the past 2 years. An Old guy handing out leaflets outside the Leuchars airsgo

    24. Bob W says:

      Bigbricks-Apologies, must stop posting from my tv, too damn slow.

    25. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “the top group pic is Yes Pentlands”

      EXACTLY AS IT SAYS IN THE CAPTION.

    26. Doug Daniel says:

      Ian – of course, even if they have publications to hold up, the problem with taking selfies etc is that it provides evidence of their lack of numbers. If there are no pictures, you can say “oh we had loads of folk” and nobody can deny it. But when your picture shows just three “activists”, all of whom are employed by political parties…

    27. Macart says:

      @Bigbricks

      Screen wipes required. 😀

    28. fairiefromtheearth says:

      i wonder if all these invisable people will have a postal vote?

    29. Tamson says:

      Airshow, obviously.

    30. Bigbricks says:

      “Bob W says:

      15 May, 2014 at 11:36 am

      Bigbricks-I take it that you meant to type ‘wellies’ :-)”

      You’ve gone and made me glow pink AGAIN!! Just shuffling off outside to calm myself, and reflect that on the internet, no-one can see my embarrassment……

    31. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “They did get quite a lot of people to this event”

      We’re talking about leafleting/door-knocking, not meetings. If we start counting those, Yes events are regularly pulling hundreds at a time.

    32. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      Smiling at Big*ricks glowing in the dark. 🙂

    33. G H Graham says:

      The best extract from the article is this classic example of narcissistic projection …

      “Yes Scotland looks like an Astroturf campaign rather than real grassroots. The donations thing is a reflection of what’s happening on the ground,” says Jim Murphy, the former Scottish Secretary, who has recently been drafted into the team.

      If anyone is wondering where Murphy got the “astroturf” label from, you can see one for yourself at …

      http://www.votenoborders.co.uk/

    34. Murray McCallum says:

      Maybe they are referring to a certain British marching parade of 15,000 participants and an additional 15,000 police escort and bemused spectators?

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/scottish-independence-sectarianism-fears-as-orange-order-to-march-in-edinburgh-against-yes-vote-9352562.html

    35. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I have a photograph of the ‘massive’ boots on the ground No event, which took place in Glenrothes town centre on Saturday, if you’re interested.”

      I most certainly am.

    36. Training Day says:

      He’ll be counting supporters of self-determination who’ve signed up to receive BT’s tosh to keep an eye on the enemy.

      Removing them will take the actual figure down to about the same level as the Scottish Youth Tories.

    37. Bigdrone says:

      Bigbricks, it reads better with ‘willies!’

    38. starlaw says:

      Saw the army manoeuvring a field gun into Asda Livingston an hour ago, could this be boots on the ground ?

    39. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Incidentally, the videos with the catchy tune are courtesy of someone I’m very pleased to call a friend, even if I’ve only met the guy a few times.

      His efforts to document where Better Together activists around his general area actually appear go a healthy distance towards debunking their claims of a big (I almost said huge, but that’s totally ridiculous) activist support.

      You see people in Yes kit all over the place, especially evenings and weekends, in groups and in ones and twos. All ages, all inclusive. We have the support of a huge number of individuals, and unlike Better Together huge is not a ridiculous word to use.

    40. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Are there 30000 members of the Labour, Tory and Lib Dems combined in Scotland?”

      Nowhere near. Barely half that, as far as anyone can tell.

    41. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Saw the army manoeuvring a field gun into Asda Livingston an hour ago”

      To be fair, it can get a bit lively in there on pension day.

    42. Ravelin says:

      “charged with winning over the 34 per cent of the population – most of whom are in Glasgow and Fife – who are yet to definitively make up their minds.”

      I didn’t know that Glaswegians and Fifers were so indecisive, or at least much more indecisive than the rest of the population of Scotland appears to be if the above statement is true.

      Now I’m confused. I spent the first 20yrs of my life in Airdrie and lived in Fife for over 10yrs. I’m in Aberdeenshire now but does my past mean I shouldn’t have made my mind up yet? One of you is going to have to tell me what I should do since I’m obviously genetically / geographically incapable of doing so?

      Alternatively, it’s an admission that, since Glasgow & Fife are traditional Labour voting areas, then it’s the Labour voters who have yet to be won over to their “own side’s” arguments. With the Tories overtaking Labour in the GE2015 polls, game on!

    43. Bill Fraser says:

      Surely BT are not telling fibs? I would be shocked and amazed!

    44. Grouse Beater says:

      “Osborne: Rather like a hectoring factor on a Highland estate for an absentee landlord.”

      An insightful description.

    45. Mosstrooper says:

      Had a delivery of the Bitter Together paper.

      Same sh one t different day. You remember, cross border twins, “the UK NHS saved my life (but not your brain) Fergie wants us to stay United, SUBO. Not a positive thing to say just reconstituted ordure.

      Oh aye, and mortgages will be £1,750 higher in the first year

      Off to deliver more YES newspapers now.

    46. Public Opinion says:

      I think Rob Murray’s talking about the Orange Order who have been confirmed as being part of the Better Together activist dept. Though they have nowhere near 30,000 members in Scotland. Closer to 12,000, but a lot of them are elderly, some can’t be bothered with the referendum and some are even voting Yes.

      Don’t really know where his 30,000 are coming from ? Maybe if they add the Orange Order with the quasi paramilitary political activists sworn defenders of UKIP, also known as “Britain First”. That might get them to 15,000. MIGHT get them to that number. But it’s highly dubious.

      Infact it’s downright daft and Ron Murray comes across as another overgrown infant telling tall tales about the “big gang” they’ve got.

    47. a supporter says:

      Stu. Check out Vote kNobs ‘grass roots’ member.
      “Tom Black @TomBlackCenter who has a long track record of success as a business leader in the banking industry.”

      https://www.digitalbarriers.com/investors/investorsgovernance/

      “Tom is the Executive Chairman of Digital Barriers plc. Prior to joining Digital Barriers, Tom spent over 20 years with Detica Group plc, following studies at the Universities of Strathclyde and Oxford. He worked with clients in the national and homeland security arena and the commercial sector and held a broad range of senior management positions, culminating in his appointment as Chief Executive in 1995. Tom led the £12m management buyout of Detica in 1997 and the Group’s flotation on the London Stock Exchange in April 2002. He then oversaw the acquisition of Detica by BAE Systems in 2008 for £538m, at which time Detica was a business with revenues of over £200m and around 1,600 staff. He is currently a Non-Executive director of Pinnacle Technology Group plc and Herald Investment Trust plc, a director of Grantdean Ltd and Vantage Racing Ltd and a trustee of the Black Family Charitable Trust.”

    48. Davy says:

      Its the No campaigns new strategy, even bigger lies and pray someone is stupid enough to believe them.

    49. TYRAN says:

      They really have no one. This stuff is like Iraqi saying they were pounding them at Saddam airport. We know it’s rubbish. People will look back at this stuff from the UK and laugh for decades to come.

    50. Defo says:

      Caption reads…
      ‘If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.’

      George Orwell

    51. HandandShrimp says:

      I actually feel a bit sorry for Better Together.

      What are the point of these lies? What possible value is this ghost army of 30,000 if no one ever sees them?

      As we demonstrated back in January, Wings, a small adjunct to the Yes campaign, was able to get more people to these railway stations than Better Together were. We were accused of intimidation by posting pictures of all the empty stations. If we had not taken the photos there is little doubt that BT would have lied yet again and said their 30,000 strong ghost army handed out eleventy million leaflets. I think Stu described it at the time as keeping them honest but I think that is an impossible task. They are fundamentally dishonest. They are dishonest about why they want to retain Scotland in the Union, they are dishonest about their facts and figures and they are dishonest about their campaign…be it Better Together or Tory fronts like VNB.

    52. Colin says:

      Dr Ew says:
      There are 9 million bicycles in Bearsden – and that’s a fact.

      For some reason I got that straight away and nearly spat my tea over my keyboard, hilarious.

      But then I remembered another bit of that song says:
      “So don’t call me a liar,
      Just believe everything that I say”

      And that reminded me of the naysayer campaign and made me laugh again 😉

    53. Lanarkist says:

      Absolutely hilarious!

      The Famously popular and widely read in Scotland Telegraph is really showing us the way… In fictional journalism and Imaginitive writing, so the course fees weren’t a waste of money after all!

      What is the purpose of an article like this, ridiculed in Scotland where few read it and consumed amongst the Southern cosmopolitan middle classes, finance, law, media and academia from the Private Educational system.

      It seems to be camouflage created as literature, designed to quell the rising panic amongst the establishment and their subservient population. News articles as opium for the people, specifically to reassure the Southern populace that something meaningful is being carried out in their name and to debunk the obvious online tsunami of Independence support and creativity.

      This really is just nanny singing a soothing nursery song to reassure and sooth the troubled brow.

      A finger in the dam of doubt that is beginning to crack as RUK begin to awaken to the real situation and it’s ramifications and how the picture they have been painted of subsidy jock land is really an illusion.

      Do you think that the Establishment have a plan for coping with the anger from the RUK populace when they realise the depth of the deception that they have been subjected to?

      Scotland wakening up is already difficult enough for them to configure any kind of coping strategy for, but an awakening populace over the entire land mass of the UK is not something they will either have envisaged nor want to cope with or plan for.

      It is going to be a long hot summer in one very real way and if the temperatures rise then at least they have invested in their mobile shower units for cooling down the hot and bothered!

      Popcorn and cool drinks at the ready as the pennies begin to drop!

    54. Kearnsy says:

      Brickbriggs. Thanks a bloody lot. I just spat coffee over my computer! I’m talking about the ehem wellies comments

    55. Dcanmore says:

      Well they’ve obviously drafted in the Army, RN and RAF as feet on the ground ‘activists’. After the Strategic Defence Review cuts I would say 30,000 was about right. Nightmare busing them all into Scotland though.

    56. HandandShrimp says:

      Bill

      Shocked and amazed? or “astonished”

      🙂

    57. Dcanmore says:

      Caption should read: People who have died of starvation in the UK since the Conservatives wrecked the welfare system 2010-20??

    58. bunter says:

      As someone said, very similar to comical Ali and his press conference where he said of the U.S. army ” we are surrounding and pounding them, using new and innovative approach”, just as Baghdad was falling.

      Still makes me laugh, but over on Batemans blog there is an angry man and a stonking read!

    59. Democracy Reborn says:

      If you look closely at the photos of the BT ‘events’, you can see Lord Lucan…

    60. Grouse Beater says:

      Individuals who exhort the “spirit of John Smith” are claiming they see dead people.

    61. bunter says:

      Earlier SKY interviewed a choir practising away in Edinburgh and the chap asked for their views on Cameron and his visit.

      You could feel the luuurve, NOT, and when asked what they were voting it was 3 YES 3DK and one chap who didn’t qualify for a vote.

      Nice!

    62. Grouse Beater says:

      Individuals who exhort the “spirit of John Smith” are claiming they see dead people.

      And from that we can adduce commemorating millions dead in the Great War are not enough to defend British patriotism.

    63. Luigi says:

      There is bound to be another great Downfall bunker sketch here, somewhere.

      I’m imagining the mad leader of BT, sweating profusely as he moves his imaginary divisions of volunteers (thousands of them) across the map, to counter the approaching YES armies.

    64. Cath says:

      Perhaps the “boots on the ground” to which they refer are the ones stomping faces into the ground forever.

    65. bunter says:

      And just as I typed that last comment, they now are interviewing a lady who’s first words were ”as a proud Scot” followed by you know what lol.

      The other lady was sensible and thoughtful, shes a YES!

    66. galamcennalath says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      “They did get quite a lot of people to this event”

      We’re talking about leafleting/door-knocking, not meetings. If we start counting those, Yes events are regularly pulling hundreds at a time.

      Perhaps I didn’t make the type of event clear. It wasn’t a meeting for undecided to come and hear what the Union has to offer (in the style of Yes meetings, but reversed). This was a call to faithful Unionists to come along and find out how they can actively help the BT campaign on the ground. I even got an invite through my door. As the Guardian puts it the “launch of this local chapter”. This was rallying the troops.

      Areas like rural Perthshire do have a high Tory vote and there are large numbers genuine Unionists who don’t want independence willing to get out leafleting. So it is beginning.

      What does very much surprise me is BT are so far behind the curve. It seems like an afterthought! Let’s hope it’s all too little too late.

    67. Proud Cybernat says:

      Obviously these 30,000 have been bussed into Scotland from down south–probably from Eddie Izzard and David Bowie gigs.

    68. iheartscotland says:

      Rev,
      Do pets count?….ok, still zero.

    69. Grouse Beater says:

      One has to suppose the invisible grass roots movement of Nos is the modern version of the “silent majority.”

    70. Bruce Wallace says:

      Ah good old Frankie Roy, I wonder if he offered they fellas a cooncil high rise flat in his Muirhouse heartland, or he gave them a bung seeing as he is well known as the ‘bung me 40 quid an ill see what cooncil hoose i can get you’ king.

      They chaps have been given or offered something for their endeavors, BE ASSURED, he is very well known in Motherwell for recieving back handers, kinda common knowledge eh! Frankie boy and you know it.

    71. Alex Creel says:

      I’m guessing he included me in the 30,000 because I called BT up, ordered the maximum number of campaign tools then binned the lot. I hope he’s not relying on my support? 🙂

    72. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      They’ll nbe threatening us with The Mother of All Campaigns soon.

      You know who invented that line and where he is now.

    73. Mealer says:

      Off topic…Derek Bateman has an absolute belter.Take a look.

    74. Helena Brown says:

      @Mealer, Derek Bateman has two belters, for those who have not been over for a bit.

    75. Peter says:

      The word is stamp. Stamping on a human face. Stomp isn’t even proper onomatopoeia and should be removed to the colonies where it belongs.

    76. willie says:

      Ian Brotherhood says:
      When I saw the BT/UKOK. I thought BUTTOCKS, my eyes are not as they used to be, my initial thought is probably correct.

    77. Grouse Beater says:

      If all the appeals of loving Scotland were true, and were it to shake loose from dear old Blighty and fall headlong into an abyss, Scots would be given the Freedom of London by now, and Westminster would drop Red Cross parcels to every croft and street in the land.

    78. john king says:

      Maybe they’re doing what Labour did in 1979 and counting all the gravestones?
      certainly about as much life in the no campaign as you’ll find in a graveyard.

    79. john king says:

      BtP
      “You know who invented that line and where he is now.”

      Yes but is wee pal Ali was a great stand-up comedian, I always found him quite comical anyway. 🙂

    80. Chic McGregor says:

      I notice, second bottom, left hand corner, Elvis has, indeed, left the bulding.

      There will be even less blue swayed voters in Scotland after the latest Tory tour.

    81. fergie35 says:

      BT/UKOK are a shambles, are they imploding?
      Is Darling or Cap’n Beeky in charge?
      London based image companies at our expense, a corrupt media propping the whole rotten show up, dodgy donations, campaign rules broken, shiny negative messages. What a mess

    82. Douglas Young says:

      I must take issue to the Shetland and Orkney reference.

      There is no evidence to suggest there are ANY surviving Lib-Dems up here.

      Indeed when Better Together mounted the same campaign up here they had the airport meeting 43 miles away from the airport and both bus stations in Lerwick were included. We only have one bus station.

      No-one turned up. Not one.

      I know it may seem as gloating but there are 1853 followers on Yes Shetland and 244 on Naw Shetland.

      But then we have Buster- Shetland’s Cat Rampant and they do not.

      Douglas Young

      Yes Shetland

      https://www.facebook.com/YesShetland?focus_composer=true

    83. rab_the_doubter says:

      somebody told me that a friend of theirs said that their brothers girlfriend was talking to someone who saw a Better Together Supporter. I dont believe them.

    84. Nana Smith says:

      Wow Derek Bateman’s article today is Stirring stuff. A must read for everyone.

    85. fergie35 says:

      Maybe the 30,000 No activists are scared of the vile cyber Nats?

    86. john king says:

      My wife and I got invites by email to join in the no camapains door chapping effort?
      and she responded and asked if they need any help ,
      silence,
      I don’t think there was anyone there to pick up on her response,
      she was taking a rise out of them though,

      We live in the heart of Fife,and even here they cant get anyone to go round the door,
      otoh the yes campaign is now active in ALL the Labour stronghold towns and villages in this area. 🙂

    87. Joe M says:

      To date, I have received exactly one leaflet from the NO side (from the Tories in regard to the Euro elections) and that was delivered by Royal Mail. Don’t think the postie is an activist though, just doing her job.

    88. Kerr says:

      I once saw one in Helensburgh..

    89. Grouse Beater says:

      I read Cameron’s pals keep asking him to forego official and posh venues when in Scotland and instead meet ordinary people in the street.

      Can you imagine the shouts of derision as he does a, “meet the “bigot” tour” of Glasgow streets?

    90. Shedgirl says:

      Perhaps he means the 30,000 postal workers who will be involved in delivering their leaflets?

      They are, presumably, grassroots postal workers?

    91. Doug Daniel says:

      galamcennalath – the thing is, there’s a big difference between folk going to a launch event to see how they can help, and people actually being activists. If the folk who went to BetterTogether Aberdeen’s launch meeting actually had any intention of going on to knock on doors etc, then they’d be fairly active in the city; but the reality is on the rare occasions they put up a stall in Aberdeen, they’re lucky if they have anyone more than Lewis MacDonald, one of his daughters, and one of Anne Begg’s parliamentary assistants turning up.

      Folk love going to meetings to make themselves feel like they’re part of a campaign, but when it comes to doing the hard graft, people are less keen to volunteer. That’s true of folk on the Yes side as well, but luckily there are enough folk who do want to get stuck in.

      You’re lucky if 90% of the folk who go to a “how can I get involved?” meeting end up actually bothering their arse.

    92. heedtracker says:

      Just caught Andrew Neil politics show interview ex BNP candidate with Neil using his “people like you” stuff, then they go up to Nicola Sturgeon in Holyrood. How low can vote NO BBC liggers get, next up Gordon Sweaty Brewer. Is bittertogether Brewer the next Paxo, could be why that dude is going completely hell for leather at anything YES.

    93. Megsmaw says:

      I think I know why the BT activists are missing in the photos and videos of their “events”. They’re all vampires, which of course means their image cannot be captured by film. Think about it; my theory explains everything. ;P

    94. Pentland Firth says:

      I think today’s nonsense should be read as a follow up to Alan Cochrane’s article in yesterday’s Torygraph assuring his readers that there was nothing to worry about, Better Together are in tip top shape, and winning the war against the evil alicsammin and his deluded followers.

      They know that their troops have become demoralised and need their backbones stiffened for the campaign ahead. Will it work? I think it might re-energise some Tory folks in rural communities who don’t visit the big town often, but it’s hard to see UKOKers in our towns and cities buying the message. They know the truth on the ground, and will find it hard, very hard, to get out campaigning.

    95. Mary Bruce says:

      O/T, Sorry. Is anyone else experiencing posts going missing?

    96. seanair says:

      Nana Smith
      I’ve “lost” Derek’s blog in the last few days, to my dismay (click on but nothing appears). Could you give me a link to try please? Thanks.

    97. Bob W says:

      Rev Stu – Location of Glenrothes Photograph posted via contact form.

    98. TheGreatBaldo says:

      You’d think being home to Simon Johnston, Rear Admiral Cockers and the drooling Tom Gallagher some might worry the Telegraph had maxed out on delusional Unionist hacks inhabiting an alternate universe right ?

      Well fear ye not fans of loopy Unionists for Iain Martin is at hand…..

      http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/iainmartin1/100271611/why-are-alex-salmonds-scottish-nationalists-being-so-nasty-and-negative/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

      Turns out Ian Smarts prophesy about Alan Bisset now being ‘fair game’ was stunningly accurate.

    99. Schrodingers Cat says:

      o/t
      the weirs just gave the snp another million

      best reply to johnstone ever i would have thought

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/15/lottery-winners-scottish-national-party-1m-gift-independence

    100. AllyBally says:

      30,000? I think he is counting the Orange Lodge. And that’ll be during the marching season.

    101. Ronnie says:

      @ Seanair,

      Try here…

      http://derekbateman.co.uk

    102. Juteman says:

      Well done Stuart Cosgrove just now on the John Beattie show. Straight talking about the media trying to blame AS for the ticket problems.

    103. tartanpigsy says:

      I just posted this on NNS

      ‘I suggested last night on twitter that we should all follow @osce_odihr so we could tweet them realtime updates of what the UK state are up to regarding this referendum.

      I think last week of May would be perfect time to call them in. BBC and all the other state propagandists would have to temper how they responded to this.

      We can now be certain that if we don’t, and No feel there is a chance of losing they will use every dirty trick in the book to subvert Scottish democracy.

      Indeed we can only lose this referendum due to the underhand tactics of the state.

      There is no chance of a No vote being accepted as democratic in the current circumstances.’

      Wondered what people on here thought?

      I know we as individuals can’t request monitoring but we can make ODIHR aware of how this campaign is being fought.

    104. heedtracker says:

      @ Mary Bruce, every email we send is collected and amnalysed by British spooks so they’re no doubt doing the same here. Google “prism” and they even want us to know about it

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23051248

    105. Jeannie says:

      @Douglas Young

      Just had a wee look at the Yes Shetland Facebook page – it’s really good. Love the cat and noticed the Anthem for the first time – excellent video – have shared.

    106. Kenny says:

      Tartanpigsy – I quite agree. The Yes campaign is in a bind. It can’t request monitoring as it would be painted as them whinging about the hard questions and facts from HMG, not to mention thinking foreigners could stroll in and tell US what to do. I think a popular campaign, would be hard to ignore. How could international bodies stand by while a large number of citizens cry out for justice? If all parts of the establishment are corrupt, how can any of them be the ones asking to be observed?

      For the record, BT have been in Savoy House for the best part of a year at least, and added a new room on another floor a few months ago. It’s hardly a “new HQ.”

    107. Tamson says:

      @Bruce Wallace, 12:29

      not doubting you, but if Roy is well-known for it, surely a sting operation could be easily carried out to catch him in the act?

      Obviously such a sting wouldn’t have happened before, because Labour have the MSM in their pocket (especially in Lanarkshire). However with online alternative media growing apace, maybe it’s time to smoke out the Frank Roys of the world?

    108. X_Sticks says:

      Juteman says:
      “Well done Stuart Cosgrove just now on the John Beattie show. Straight talking about the media trying to blame AS for the ticket problems.”

      Aye, indeed, just posted the same thing over on Bateman (ducks as the boss goes past at work 😉 )!

    109. Grouse Beater says:

      Well done Stuart Cosgrove just now on the John Beattie show. Straight talking about the media trying to blame AS for the ticket problems.

      It was discovered the website collapse for Obama’s health care system had been disrupted by “outside sources.”

      I wondered how long it would be before we got a disruption to the Commonwealth Games ticket sales – all goes well for weeks and then chaos?

    110. Johnney come lately says:

      The claims now eminating from BT and assorted unionists are becoming more and more bizarre by the day. I don’t know if it some kind of denial syptom or just plain old ineptitude.

    111. Defo says:

      Shedgirl says:
      15 May, 2014 at 1:04 pm
      “Perhaps he means the 30,000 postal workers who will be involved in delivering their leaflets?

      They are, presumably, grassroots postal workers?”

      Maybe Yes leaning posties could object on grounds of conscience to delivering propaganda and outright lies, similar to us licence refusenicks.

    112. heraldnomore says:

      and after that passion from Derek Bateman, here’s the practical bit, from BfS:

      http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/5-reasons-why-an-independent-scotland-will-be-one-of-the-worlds-wealthiest-nations/

    113. Tom Steele says:

      In the last 2 years I have not had a single BT leaflet, nor have I seen one single BT campaigner or even a local BT event! Aren’t I the lucky one!

      On the other hand, I see plenty of Yes Campaigners locally and on my travels around Scotland. BT are running a masterclass in self delusion methinks.

    114. Ken Johnston says:

      Hi Guys, just a short note to say I’m off.

      I’ve been conned by you lot. Yesterday, out papering and I was given the scoop by a wee guy in a cooncil van when I threatened to give him a paper.

      If there is a yes vote, thon Sammin is going to, can I say this, bugger off, to da da Switzerland. presumably after raiding the exchequer for these worthless Jock pounds. The fool. Dos’nt he know the Swiss won’t take them. Don’t know if he thought of this himself, or maybe a coucil ploy.

      Right, put on serious face. Can somebody tell me the point of Snaggletooth, thats Jola, you never see her upper teeth do you, spieling off as she does at FM’s questions. Today was a cracker. Who, what is she trying to impress, or impact on. Do they think it comes over well on the box.

      I’d really like to know.

    115. Kyle Mackay says:

      My girlfriend’s in one of those Yes super-saturday photos, so proud 🙂

      Douglas Young, that is a very fine Buster-rampant 🙂

      If bettertogether want to see what grass roots look like they should’ve seen the last 10 minutes through my eyes, I just popped out of my flat to collect a bundle of Yes newspapers to deliver from an activist in a car with multiple Yes stickers. Having only walked about 40 yards from my door I passed at least 4 or 5 Yes related stickers and on my way back stopped to say hello to a taxi driver with a Yes sticker on his back window! 🙂

    116. Alibi says:

      “In an unfortunate diary clash, everyone in Barrhead was off getting their photographs taken for “Vote No Borders” on the day of the big event, and couldn’t make it out.”

      Spluttered my tea at that sentence – we had noticed the exact same thing about the preponderance of Barrhead residents (all living near Cambridge)in these faked NOB adverts.

    117. Kyle Mackay says:

      Sorry, I use too many wee smiley things

    118. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Re Commonwealth Games tickets; I also greatly doubt that it was anything to do with the Scottish Government.

      Why? Because the company running the ticket process are the excreable Ticketmaster, who once sold me tickets to a concert, cancelled them three weeks before the gig without explanation, and refused to refund the payment. Credit card company was more sympathetic, refunded the payment, and I bet Ticketmaster wasn’t quite so bloody smug with them.

      I suspect the problems start and finish with Ticketmaster. Although having seen this site experience constant DDOS attacks I could easily believe their site was similarly attacked for some reason. Discrediting the Scottish Goverment, though, when it’s not them responsible for the ticketing… bit of a stretch for most non tinfoil hat folk.

    119. Paul Martin says:

      One thing you can be absolutely certain of, there’ll be *massive* bussing-in of Labour activists (principally) from all over the North of England (and beyond) over the summer months. This will be astroturfing on an industrial scale. Expect it.

    120. heedtracker says:

      If teamKGB are trying to damage everything about Scotland from the Commonwealth Games to Wings over Scotland what to do? I use baco foil for my online YES stuff hats but then you think why bother. When you read teamGB newspapers like the vote No hard core Press and Journal here in Aberdeen the pressure to vote no is massive and/or mad.

      This weeks P&J coverage of the Church in Scotland’ s new anti independence intervention began by quoting a senior churchman asking “can you vote in the referendum with a clear conscience?”

      What is it with teamGB establishment and democracy, the P&J never asks.

    121. Meindevon says:

      @Mary Bruce 1.14pm

      Yes I had one go ‘missing’ yesterday…or was it the day before?

    122. Mary Bruce says:

      OK, I’ve tried to post the same post 3 times, no sign of it, but my one asking if anyone else is having problems has appeared no problem. Am I doing something wrong?

    123. Mary Bruce says:

      That one worked… Am I using words that are sending me to moderation, Rev?

    124. Capella says:

      The Ministry of Truth have more “news” for us on GMS today. They were puffing a new “grassroots” Business Together movement springing up. More bulletins will certainly be forthcoming. Time to get googling again?

    125. Taranaich says:

      Holy Mother of Grud, this is… this is amazing.

      “Yes Scotland looks like an Astroturf campaign rather than real grassroots”

      See, when you talk about “black is white” as a phrase, you rarely think that somebody could actively take something and claim the exact opposite given the evidence in front of their very eyes. “Freedom is Slavery.” “There is no presence of American infidels in the city of Baghdad.” “As you can see, this ant is clearly larger than the elephant standing beside it.” That’s how insane this statement is. That is how stupid he thinks people are.

      @Alex Smith: If you have to “instruct” your “grassroots activists”, then surely they cease to be “grassroots activists” and revert to being mere party drones, following WM instructions?

      It blows my mind that any journalist could write about a “grassroots organiser” with 30,000 activists in one sentence, then in the very next sentence say those same “grassroots activists” were organised into 250 groups overseen local campaign organisers. Is that not the very antithesis of grassroots being described in two sentences RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER!?!

    126. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Heedtracker; when you say senior churchman, I think you might have been affected by the constant muppetry from the P n J.

      Senior he is, age wise, senior he was within his church, but since that church is the Free Church of Scotland and he is the ex moderator, not the current, he speaks for damn few people.

      In any case, I suspect he has forgotten the radical roots of his own church, when they stood against the Clearances and split from the Church of Scotland because of their lack of action against evictions.

    127. faolie says:

      @paul martin: there’ll be *massive* bussing-in of Labour activists (principally) from all over the North of England (and beyond)

      Think they’ve really got that kind of money? 😉

    128. Thomas Valentine says:

      I recently tried to find a copy of “The Man Without Qualities* to reread after many years. But it seems I’m living it along with 1984-lite.

      If government manipulation is happening on this issue, what other things are they lying about or hiding?

    129. heedtracker says:

      Hi Peter, that P&J vote no thing about the Church OF Scotland, not in, stuck because they were quoting a churchman kicking off events with should you vote at all or suffer eternal damnation no doubt. Being told to not vote by the church is a new one but it was a long half page report and I didn’t bother.

      Mega rich elite of teamGB hate scottish democracy but If those that believe there’s a man up in the sky looking out for them are worried about democracy too, we must be doing something right.
      Amen.

    130. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Thomas Valentine –

      Would you recommend that book? I’ve had it for years but never got around to reading it – looks a bit daunting.

    131. bigGpolmont says:

      They Lie about everything else. Why should anyone be surprised that they lie about the numbers.
      I have been told that there have been several hotels in both Edinburgh & Glasgow pretty well booked up in a few weeks time when labour will bring some of their ne’er do wells by the busload from Liverpool & Manchester to do a massive leaflet drop. It will only happen after the euro election they also have instructions are not to engage with the public and let the “NATIVES” do the talking so that we cannot accuse them of bringing in hired guns.
      So if you see any of them around try and get them to talk Find out who the “native” is and ask if this is what they mean as the “best of both worlds” that they can call on the help of our southern neighbours when their Scottish collegues either abandon them for the yes campaign or simply refuse to work for the tories.

    132. YESGUY says:

      I read the article earlier and had a laugh instead of getting angry. Even the comments page gave me a chuckle.

      THIS IS THE TELEGRAPH ……. Do people read that here in Scotland ?

      It has been my mis-fortune to be on their page, (honest mistake folks) a couple of times now and I think it’s brilliant . If everyone in Scotland was forced to read that rag for 1 week , independence would be a certainty . And the comments page full of nitty gritty comments, mostly from everywhere but Scotland.

      Which leads me to think Word is getting out and its all about TURD POLISHING. Same old scares. incredible inaccuracies, And even worse when they blame cybernats as nasty but see nothing in Mr and Mrs Weir Scots who live here and choose to support independece , being labeled as deluded idiots. You canny make this up.

      Boy are they in for a surprise .

      I would say to all “get on to the telegraph and have a read”
      Sept 18th -JOB DONE SIMPLES.

    133. seanair says:

      Nana Smith and Ronnie
      Thanks for the links which I clicked onto—but weird! I managed to read the “Tough Love” blog, but not the comments, then it all disappeared again.
      There comes up at the bottom of the screen the word “Follow”. Perhaps I will try this.
      So annoying, I never had any trouble before and even did a few posts.
      Derek if you read this–help!

    134. X_Sticks says:

      faolie says:

      “Think they’ve really got that kind of money?”

      Money wil be no object to them. This is the british state we are up against. They’d draft in the army if they thought it would do any good. I kid you not.

    135. Marcia says:

      You can all relax, BT’s grassroots workers have been found:

      https://twitter.com/MiguelMarSan/status/437258643273023488/photo/1

    136. Desimond says:

      That Union Bears picture

      “We Are the Mads!”

    137. JLT says:

      In the last two years …I have still to see

      – A Better Together stall
      – A Better Together canvasser
      – A Better Together Newsletter

      In fact, the only thing I have seen is the ‘Best of Both Worlds’ billboard poster …and even that was just a panic response to the ‘Yes’ campaign’s poster of ‘Can’

      These 30,000 …are they members of spooks, MI5, MI6, the OO, EDL, SDL, BFP, BNP, UKIP, etc, etc, etc

    138. Morag says:

      Mary Bruce said:

      OK, I’ve tried to post the same post 3 times, no sign of it, but my one asking if anyone else is having problems has appeared no problem. Am I doing something wrong?

      That one worked… Am I using words that are sending me to moderation, Rev?

      Mary, I had the same problem with a post a couple of days ago. Repeated attempts to post the same post failed, even when I redacted words I thought might be triggering a problem. Other posts both before and after posted normally.

      Stu found the posts in the spam filter and could see no reason at all why they had been caught. No particular form of words that could have done it.

      Looks as if Akismet occasionally takes the hump at particular posts for no reason known to modern science.

    139. joe kane says:

      The dodgy, furtive hand-over in the Frank Roy MP video took place in the car park directly behind his constituency office on Wishaw Main Street (which he shares with MSP John Pentland, a doting grandad who wants to see his grand-daughter do well on the stage and in film and is prepared to get the taxpayers to see her professional career starts on the right foot).

      Seriously, why didn’t Mr Roy just hand-over all the NO referendum material in his own nearby office, just a short minute’s walk in those buildings behind him? Why all the seeming surreptitiousness and lurking about in car-parks?

      Reference –
      Fury as council pick up £27k taxi bill to take MSP’s granddaughter to dance classes
      http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/fury-as-council-pick-up-27k-1080289

    140. Thomas Valentine says:

      If this figure was true,
      there would be more than 1000 “NO” campaigners in Falkirk District. No I’ve been around quite a bit and not seen a one. Seen YES campaigners ever Saturday, got leaflets through the door, public meetings ect. But haven’t noticed any NO campaign stuff. Maybe they’re just saving their strength?

    141. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      The other night I was out delivering the Yes newspapers. I made sure everyone I spoke to knew I was local, and a volunteer. One guy asked, is this your wee “Saturday” job? I said no, I was your genuine local volunteer. I said Yes Scotland has real grass roots and I’m one of them. The opposition has astroturf.

      Always worth chatting to people and making sure they know we’re not hired hands.

    142. Robert Peffers says:

      Could the figure quoted be the combined, “Loyal”, Glasgow Rangers Supporters Club membership of Scotland & Northern Ireland?

    143. Thomas Valentine says:

      My wife says the Postman was putting Tory election pamphlets throught the door with the rest of the junk mail a few days back. No volunteers to do it so they’re paying to have it posted like a take away menu.

      Hey! You don’t think BT would hire people do you? I’d do it for a laugh. Put YES stuff through the doors at the same time. Maybe punt the NO stuff in the bins and get paid to go around with the YES material. Hmm.. how would they catch me?

    144. Jim says:

      Bravo Rev. Brilliant.

      I’m just in from leafletting my local area with my party’s pro-independence leaflets with only 100 left to do before I take delivery of the latest Yes newspaper for delivery to the same households again. Its like painting the Forth Rail Bridge. Neverending.

      The Yes campaign were out in another part of the town.

      What a movement! We’re omnipresent.

    145. Patrician says:

      This story as written is not for consumption in Scotland, it is written for the Better Together donors in the South East. They are probably starting to ask awkward questions about where all the money has gone. So Scottish Labour are having to come up with ever more fantastical stories about all the helpers they have and how they are using up all the campaign materials and money.

      Oh well, a fool and his money are easily parted especially where Scottish Labour are involved. SLAB are one of the most corrupt political groups in Europe and there is no way they could turn down all that money.

    146. Liquidlenny says:

      Im currently in hospital i had a visit from a bluenose 2nd cousin tonight who last time i spoke was a def no

      I asked him tonight how he thought his campaign was going and he sai he was now an undecided

      Another pro yes mate who was visiting spent the next two hours explaining things to him

      In the words of jola he is astonshed he is away with an aye right card and will be on wings checking us out

      He said that there is a growing number of Rangers supporters moving to yes and it would be a lot more butcthey have doubts about the future o the monarchy

      If that group are coming over in numbers no wonder bt is panicking

    147. North chiel says:

      Be assured there are many pro independence
      Gers fans

    148. Defo says:

      Tomorrows lined up story for PF to spin.

      http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/saving/article-2629673/CITY-FOCUS-Lloyds-banking-No-vote-Scottish-independence-trouble-ahead.htm

      This bit’s interesting, “Responding to concerns raised by a shareholder about the potential impact on the bank’s share price, finance chief George Culmer said: ‘It could have material costs for us on compliance, tax and the cost of funds. But the vast majority of our business is based outside of Scotland.”

      It’ll be smeared over the headline on the DM probs.

    149. Davy says:

      At a secret public meeting in Nob’s country, the weekly gathering of NO activists starts with a march past.

      left right left right HALT, about turn at eas – where the fuck is everybody.

    150. fergie35 says:

      A friend from Laurencekirk in Kincardineshire texted to say Better Together are paying Latvians sweetie money to hand out leaflets, he talked to one of them last night.
      So much for 30,000 boots on the ground then, do they have 30,000 Latvians, maybe some Bulgarians aswell (oops… forgot, they dont like the Bulgarians, for some reason)



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