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The law is for other people

Posted on October 22, 2013 by

We had a fascinating discussion on Twitter yesterday on the subject of lotteries. It was sparked by the latest cunning money-raising scheme by “Better Together”, in which they enlisted unsuccessful “Great British Bake-Off” contestant James Morton to solicit donations, with the lure of a free signed copy of his book (cover price £20) for five lucky draw winners who’d donated more than £10.

mortonchat

The only slight problem with the plan is that it’s against the law.

The appeal constitutes a “lottery” under UK gaming legislation, because it fulfils all three criteria for such a designation listed on the Gambling Commission website:

What exactly is a lottery? 

A lottery is a kind of gambling which has three essential ingredients:

– You have to pay to enter the game
– There is always at least one prize
– Prizes are awarded purely on chance”

There are very strict rules governing who’s allowed to conduct a lottery, and for what purposes. With a few exemptions, none of which apply to “Better Together” (which is registered as a limited company, not a charity), you need a licence to hold one in the UK. And when we searched the Gambling Commission’s operating-licence register, we found that “Better Together” don’t appear to have one.

lottolience

gclicence2

gclicence3

For extra clarity, we rang the Commission up directly this morning and spoke to someone called Sonia, who confirmed that a political campaign organisation WOULD need a licence to solicit donations while offering randomly-drawn prizes in this way. We’ll be alerting them formally to the apparent breach once we’ve published this post.

Of course, it’s not the first time “Better Together” has ridden roughshod over the law. Last month they sent out another desperate plea for cash which managed to break one of the incredibly few rules governing political parties lying to the electorate.

As veteran readers will know from our article on the subject last August, politicians – unlike commercial companies – are almost completely free to say any old rubbish they want to voters, however untrue, with no fear of prosecution. The only exception to that rule is if “the specific statement in question is part of a direct solicitation for money”. Which of course a fundraising appeal plainly is.

(We also note that the “free t-shirt” aspect was another lottery.)

When alerted, however, the Advertising Standards Authority declined to act.

In April this year, the No campaign also attracted controversy when it sent out 300,000 spam texts to mobile phones – a criminal offence which can attract fines of hundreds of thousands of pounds, although BT put out a hasty press release denying having obtained the numbers illegally.

It’s not clear, however, whether any or all of the phone numbers involved may have been gathered during a period when the campaign was already in breach of data protection law, during which time it illegally collected the personal information of thousands of voters.

(“Better Together” doesn’t even follow the rules when it makes them up itself. Having said in 2012 that it wouldn’t accept any foreign donations of any amount, and would restrict itself to donations of no more than £500 from UK citizens, it then swiftly trousered £500,000 from Ian Taylor, an American-born businessman resident in England who’s the president of a Swiss-based, Dutch-owned oil company.)

Perhaps being part of the United Kingdom, while seemingly not being required to comply with its laws, is what the government-backed anti-independence campaign really means by “the best of both worlds”.

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    234 to “The law is for other people”

    1. Doug Daniel says:

      So THIS is what you meant when you told us we were getting a full-time journalist during the crowdfunding earlier in the year!
       
      Will the MSM pick it up, I wonder?*
       
      (*I don’t really wonder.)

    2. Jimbo says:

      Just another minor infringement that will be ignored on the grounds of ‘No deliberate wrongdoing’ – something else to be swept under the British state’s carpet.
       
      Is it just me being overly suspicious of the BBC, or has anyone else noticed the increase in use of the word British, and the Union flag in our TV programmes lately?

    3. Jingly Jangly says:

      Brilliant piece of journalism, why cant the newspapers pickup on this ?
      If a crime has been committed, should it not be reported to the police?

    4. mealer says:

      I take it you will add this to a growing dossier of Better Together skulduggery,to be handed to those organisations appointed to monitor the referendum.

    5. Murray McCallum says:

      What a great spot Rev Stu and well done for following it up. I guess the people running better together feel above the law (or maybe they think they are the law).
       
      I also think it good to clarify this on behalf of all the well intentioned folks participating in this lottery.  They appear to have been dragged into some involvement in illegal activity.

    6. BM says:

      The weird thing about using James is that he that he didn’t even win.  If it Scotland were independent at the time, however, he would have won.  It’s all a big metaphor for how within the Union, Scotland will always be in second place.

    7. Doug says:

      For another book by another James Morton, more directly appropriate to Better Together:
       
      http://tinyurl.com/ot2888l

    8. Davie says:

      Does the term ‘farting against thunder’ spring to mind?
      It is clear the BT will break the rules during this campaign. And it will only serve to show what desparate lengths they will go to, to keep the gravy train on track.

    9. Bobby Mckail says:

      Great piece of investigative Journalism. 

    10. cath says:

      “Will the MSM pick it up, I wonder?*”
       
      I know…how about we all submit a guess for £5 a pop and the Rev can randomly pick a winner from correct guesses to win a special prize. Like a cookbook maybe?

    11. cath says:

      btw, on the subject of illegality, someone said the Better Together leaflet sent round Govan last week broke election laws, since Better Together aren’t standing. Is anyone following that up?

    12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “What a great spot Rev Stu and well done for following it up.”

      I can only claim credit for the follow-up. The original spot, I think, was by Twitter user @endless_psych. (I lost track of who the first person to mention it was during the discussion.)

    13. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “If a crime has been committed, should it not be reported to the police?”

      It’s been reported to the Gambling Commission, which I believe is the proper first step.

    14. Les Wilson says:

      Surely the law to break a law ,surely has consequences, if none are applied then there is no law!

      Would it not be that there is an ombudsman, who at the very least can give a guideline that the particular  issue is unlawful. Maybe I am being naive, but  I cannot believe that the law can be willfully broken, and so many times without redress.

      I also cannot imagine that the law, can be selectively applied. If the law is broken then the offenders must be held responsible, or the law itself must be open to scrutiny.

      Q, Does the public have a route to complain ie civil rights  or something like that, if there is no other route to hold the offenders culpable? 

    15. Doug says:

      “I know…how about we all submit a guess for £5 a pop and the Rev can randomly pick a winner from correct guesses to win a special prize. Like a cookbook maybe?”
       
      Technically, that wouldn’t be a lottery, as not pure chance.  Although the answer is as obvious as the traditional loaded phonein competition. 

      “What is “2+2?  (a) 4 (b) yer maw (c) a banana”

    16. Tinyzeitgeist says:

      Kind of sums up the corrupted edifice that the UK now is.

    17. balgayboy says:

      Why not do a crowd fund to take these criminals to civil court if only to expose their corruption?

    18. Dcanmore says:

      If anyone wants to know how the opposition is faring, then you can get a good feeling by taking a look at their actions. In this case its funding and what they need to do to attract cash to pay for salaries grassroots campaigning. United with Labour is set up to fleece the Labour support for the benefit of Better Together; deals with dodgy businessmen; evening dinners hosted by A.Darling in London; celebrity endorsements to try and hoodwink the public because they like a particular show and next it will be a hotline to answer your questions and concerns (at a premium rate of course). It’s a typical Labour run organisation where they throw buckets of money away in the short-term and having nothing left for the long game.
       
      How much are those BT salaries again?

    19. M4rkyboy says:

      I remember the Gutshot gaming case a few years ago when the courts ruled that Poker was a gambling game and that anyone running a game commercially would need a Gambling license.If i remember correctly the club was forced to close in the absence of the license.
      Would this count as remote gambling?

    20. M4rkyboy says:

      Whats happening in the Email hacking case btw?

    21. GrutsForTea says:

      Good old VitolTogether at it again. If they have such a strong case for the Union, why do they have to break the law to get it across? It’s VitolTogether that will do and say anything in order to win.

      VitolTogether logo…

      http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Txct7mSISbE/UlwNylf5nZI/AAAAAAAAACQ/A4WltFk5jpI/s1600/VitoltogetherLOGO.png

    22. Dcanmore says:

      *salaries* was meant to be a strike-thru in my post… ugh doesn’t work!

    23. Geoff Huijer says:

      When newspapers & politicians lie en masse to ‘protect the Union’
      they are above the law. This, they know which is why they continue
      to lie, cheat and misinform with impunity.
       
       

    24. Craig P says:

      For the purposes of law breaking, does anyone know the difference between a lottery, a raffle, and a prize draw?
       
      I know that prize draws are often used by political parties of all stripes to raise money. (Also, raffles can be used to get around licensing laws, e.g. if you are running a bar for a one-off event and charging people money for it, you can avoid having to pay a for a liquor license by running a raffle with a drink as a prize. Every ticket wins a prize.)
       
      Also. You can buy a ticket on the national lottery, yet if nobody’s numbers match there is a rollover. As the definition of a lottery is that there is always at least one prize… does this mean that the national lottery is not, technically, a lottery??
       
      Not trying to muddy the waters, am genuinely curious as to the differences between these things.

    25. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “*salaries* was meant to be a strike-thru in my post… ugh doesn’t work!”

      IT’S CLEARLY FINE. PAY MORE ATTENTION.

    26. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Does the public have a route to complain ie civil rights  or something like that, if there is no other route to hold the offenders culpable?”

      There IS a route. I’ve reported it through the proper channels.

    27. Helpmaboab says:

      Better Together could circumvent the Gambling Commission’s rules by adding a token quiz question to their lottery.
       
      This is standard practice on TV and radio after all. The presence of a staggeringly-easy question turns a lottery into a competition in which the prizes are not “awarded purely on chance”.
       
      My suggestion for a blindingly-obvious question is “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

    28. HandandShrimp says:

      O/T
       
      A wee poll that has been quietly going on. I only noticed it today. It is in the balance at around 47% Yes 52% No. Obviously we could easily tip this with the readers we have but I am interested that it is so close without actually attracting any mainstream attention in what is still a wee Tory stronghold.
       
      It closes tonight.
       
      http://www.largsandmillportnews.com/#poll

    29. HandandShrimp says:

      Whats happening in the Email hacking case btw?
       
      M4
       
      There was a hole in the Yes security..the police are looking into it
       
      apologies to the Two Ronnies

    30. chalks says:

      Been told this might be ‘treating’ as well?  Offering rewards for votes……

    31. muttley79 says:

      Yes, the win at all costs mentality from the No campaign has been made crystal clear.  This, along with the texts, and the Taylor episode, show clearly that the No campaign do not care how they achieve a No vote.  No thought or vision for the future of Scotland, regardless of how the vote goes.  If there is a No vote they will have achieved it by at best extremely negative campaigning, and at worst by some very dubious activities and actions.

    32. scaredy cat says:

      Huh. Amazon are selling the book for tenner. 

    33. pmcrek says:

      Craig P,
      You forgot mate, even if nobody wins the jackpot the national lottery always gives out thousands of smaller prizes every draw.

    34. Bill C says:

      First class journalism Rev.

    35. cadgers says:

      @Jimbo Not just you. If it’s not british being mentioned you don’t have to look too far to see a wee union flag appear. Do they think they are being subtle?

    36. kininvie says:

      @ Craig P
       
      http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/gambling_sectors/lotteries/getting_a_licence-what_you__n/do_i_need_a_licence/circumstances_in_which_you_do.aspx
       
      What I find a bit odd is that anyone who has organised a raffle – charity, workplace, whatever, has usually had to check the rules. Many charities and some local authorities have clear explanations of what is required on websites. Are we to believe that no one in BT bothered to ask themselves whether they needed a license? Piss-up and brewery spring to mind.

    37. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Rev – O/T : Did you get the Metro front page scan from ‘gordoz’? If not I have, plus 2 other relevant articles same paper, same date.

    38. Luigi says:

      If there is a No vote they will have achieved it by at best extremely negative campaigning, and at worst by some very dubious activities and actions.
       
      The Great British Rip Off

    39. HandandShrimp says:

      The Great British Lie more like

    40. muttley79 says:

      Well if this follows the same pattern as the Taylor episode, then pro independence blogs will be talking about it for around a week, until the MSM here simply cannot ignore it any longer.

    41. Training Day says:

      Excellent piece of journalism which will doubtless be picked up by those newshounds on Scotland Tonight and Newsnight Scotland.
       
      Unless there’s movement in the Rangers boardroom or Prof Curtice feels the need to sport a new haircut.

    42. desimond says:

      Can just see the Finance Head of Better Together “I would have got away with it too! If it hadnt been for that meddling, not quite a, kid!

    43. Erchie says:

      James was so cringeworthy last year that I was actually glad when his Union cake turned out to be a failure. I wouldn’t have bothered normally, but it was obvious he was making a point.

      What was his old faither, BBC and DC Thompson employee thinking, to bring him up so. Oh. Answered my own question there

    44. Nkosi says:

      HardardShrimp
       
      The poll is now Do you believe Scotland should be independent
      You have already voted in this poll.
      Yes (48.67%).
      No (50.63%).
      Undecided (0.70%)
      – See more at: http://www.largsandmillportnews.com/#poll

    45. HandandShrimp says:

      LOL interesting tussle going on in that poll I posted. I think some of the Better Together people have also clocked it and are peeved that the Yes vote has climbed. There has been 60 odd votes in the last 20 minutes. Now 48.6% Yes to 50.7% No

    46. HandandShrimp says:

      Nkosi
       
      LOL snap – 

    47. muttley79 says:

      @Training Day

      Excellent piece of journalism which will doubtless be picked up by those newshounds on Scotland Tonight and Newsnight Scotland.
       
      😀 😀  I wonder if the bold Paul Hutcheon will be on to this story?  This was the guy who thought the fact that the First Minister was staying in a 5 star hotel last week was apparently a shocking revelation…
       
      Unless there’s movement in the Rangers boardroom or Prof Curtice feels the need to sport a new haircut. 

    48. MochaChoca says:

      Doesn’t there have to be a ‘no purchase necessary’ option if they turn it into a competition?
      I presume a donation counts as a purchase (you give them a tenner and in return you get a longlasting empty feeling inside).

    49. Seasick Dave says:

      That James Bryceland on the Largs poll needs a good talking to.
       
      He gave it all away by mentioning the ‘Sal*ond’ word.

    50. Doug Daniel says:

      Oh look, Yes are suddenly in front in that poll 😉

    51. kininvie says:

      @Handand shrimp
      Yes now in lead…

    52. Morag says:

      Obviously when the SNP sell printed raffle tickets with a car as the prize, it’s all properly licensed.  Wee long numbers on the tickets kind of give that game away.  On the other hand when a local branch has a Burns Supper and sell cloakroom tickets as raffle tickets to win a bottle of whisky or something, it’s not.
       
      Somewhere there has to be a ruling on where the wee raffle with the cloakroom tickets gets big enough to require being registered and licensed and legal.  I personally don’t know where the line goes.  Is it possible this wee affair slips under that radar?
       
      More likely, I think they’re trying to hide behind the conceit that the money isn’t “buying” the raffle ticket.  The money is a donation, and then the names of all those who have given a big enough donation are entered into a “free prize draw”.  I don’t know how strict the rules are but I wouldn’t die of shock if they actually got away with it on that basis.
       
      There was a genuine “free prize draw” on Saturday evening at the SNP conference.  People who had donated to the party in the past year were sent personal invitations to a nice wee reception with free food provided by Asda.  As we arrived, our invitations were collected at the door and tossed into a big bag.  Later, Alex Salmond revealed that one invitation would be drawn from the bag and the person would win dinner for two at Andrew Fairlie’s restaurant.  Some lucky blighter who wasn’t me won it.
       
      There was money involved, as everyone who was invited had donated.  And there was a prize, and it was awarded on chance.  However, nobody donated in order to enter that draw – nobody even knew they were in it until it suddenly happened.  I think telling people about the draw in advance and soliciting donations in order to get them to hand over money (which is what BT have been doing) should be in breach of the rules, but who the hell knows.

    53. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Somewhere there has to be a ruling on where the wee raffle with the cloakroom tickets gets big enough to require being registered and licensed and legal. I personally don’t know where the line goes.”

      It’s all in the Gambling Commission website links I posted. Basically, the wee raffle in a single physical location during a specific event is fine. What BT are doing isn’t.

    54. Morag says:

      I thought it might be something like that.  When they always draw the raffle before the end of the event and you go off with your bottle or whatever, and if you have to leave early you get someone else to check your tickets for you.
       
      What about calling the money a donation, but then the donation leads to you being entered into a “free” prize draw?  That would redefine sophistry, surely.  And anyway, what about “no purchase necessary” as someone else pointed out.

    55. call me dave says:

      That poll
      Yes now 4%  ahead!

    56. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Did you get the Metro front page scan from ‘gordoz’?”

      Not yet. Have emailed you.

    57. Doug Daniel says:

      I notice that nowhere in the email or website does it refer to the draw as a “free prize draw”, or anything like that. It is simply called “a draw”, and the only way to enter is to donate at least £10.
       
      I would suspect the fact they used mass communication to promote it would not help their case either.

    58. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “My suggestion for a blindingly-obvious question is “Should Scotland be an independent country?””

      Stolen 😀

    59. HandandShrimp says:

      Doug
       
      Yes so I see 😉 although BT are having a good shot at it too they have added 70 or 80 votes in the last 30 minutes too.
       
      All a bit naughty but I think really the most interesting thing was that it was relatively close before this. On the day I wouldn’t be surprised if a town that still returns Conservative councillors did vote No even if it is a Yes vote overall. I would have thought that the No vote pre Yes/BT additions would have been a lot more strongly in the No’s favour.

    60. Edward says:

      Largs & Millport pool currently at
      Yes (52.78%).No (46.60%)

    61. Doug Daniel says:

      From http://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/guidance/about-fundraising/raffles-and-lotteries/
       
      Prize competitions and free draws are not regulated in terms of gambling and therefore you do not need a licence to organise these activities.
      Prize competitions are those which are not based wholly on chance. To qualify as a prize competition there needs to be a sufficient level of skill involved that will:

      prevent a proportion of people from entering; or
      prevent a proportion of people who have entered from winning.

      The outcome of a prize competition is determined by the application of skill, knowledge or judgment; not chance.
      A free prize draw is a competition where all entries are free or entries can be made by paying or for free. In this case, free can mean any method of communication charged at a normal rate such as a first or second class stamp.
      If organising a prize competition or free prize draw it is important to make sure that they qualify as these and you do not inadvertently organise an illegal lottery.
       
      This was based wholly on chance and there was no element of skill, so it’s not a competition. There was no way of entering without paying at least £10, so it’s not a free prize draw.
       
      (Interesting to note that these guys can’t spell “judgement”…)

    62. MochaChoca says:

      Rev FFS How many readers do you have on here at any one time??
       
      H&S posted the poll link an hour ago and it’s went from 47% YES / 52% NO to 54% YES / 45% NO.

    63. kininvie says:

      Since you can buy Brilliant Bread on Amazon for £10 anyway, I don’t suppose many people will be donating in the hope of winning a prize!
       
      Doesn’t Mr Taylor have a spare yacht or something that BT could have offered instead?
       
      Stingy Together, I reckon

    64. The Flamster says:

      Very good article Stuart and it would have been funny if you had photoshopped the cup 🙂

    65. Even without the dodgy BT competition, it  is laughable that James Morton was ever allowed to compete in that BBC baking competition considering who his dad is. Normally friends and family of folk running a competition are not allowed to enter but of course at the BBC, fairness is not often displayed it seems.

    66. eddie says:

      Well, no surprises that I hopped onto their site and voted ‘YES’.  It’s only fair seeing as the newspaper is sold in my local shop and I only live 6 miles away. 
       
      That aside, here’s hoping that the BT mob get their backsides well and truly handed to them over this debacle.  I’ve no doubt that if the ‘YES’ camp had done anything similar, it would have been all over the news that laws had been broken.  Funnily enough, not a peep from the media over this.

    67. david says:

      if anyone would like to send me a tenner i will send you my new paper on the best way to cut your toenails.

    68. HandandShrimp says:

      Big cries of foul from a No supporter. He is not a happy bunny although it is obvious that the No side is also voting in numbers so he is now saying that the poll is broken and should be scrapped.

    69. Dcanmore says:

      @Doug Daniel…
      Interesting to note that these guys can’t spell “judgement”…

      Yup, they’ve used an Americanism, something I see more and more everyday as American spelling supersedes the original. British people using ‘ass’ instead of arse is my pet hate.

    70. muttley79 says:

      O/T  Just a heads up for the Independent and Radical Book Fair in Edinburgh from October 23rd to October 27th (Wednesday to Sunday).  Held at the Blue Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny Street (off Leith Walk).  No tickets needed.
       
      Looks very decent.  Folk like James Kelman, Alasdair Gray, Lesley Riddoch, Richard Holloway, Iain McWhirter, Gerry Hassan are giving talks.

    71. HandandShrimp says:

      Dcanmore
       
      I just assume people with asses are keen on larger pets.

    72. Bill McLean says:

      13% lead now – oh goody wonder how they feel about some negativity!

    73. bunter says:

      Largs poll YES is about 14% ahead at moment,  hehehe

    74. Hewitt83 says:

      “he is now saying that the poll is broken and should be scrapped.”
       
      😀 😀

    75. FWIW, the Collins English Dictionary (made in Bishopbriggs) has ‘judgment’ as the headword and ‘judgement’ as an alternative form.

    76. Oneironaut says:

      I’d say the chances of anything coming of this are less than zero, considering Westminster laws don’t apply to themselves and their assorted minions and puppets.
       
      What happened with that UN inspector who claimed that the Bedroom Tax is officially a violation of Human Rights laws?  Seems like they’re even ignoring authorities from outside of the UK now too with no action being taken against them for it (or did they pay someone to “accidentally lose” the report?)
       
      UK has always been nothing more than a thinly-veiled dictatorship, and it’s only now when it’s threatened that it’s starting to show its true colours.
      The sooner we break loose from them, the better!

    77. chalks says:

      WE ARE THE CYBERNAT’S!

    78. HandandShrimp says:

      I think that poll may have found its way on to the National Collective site too…oh dear…how sad…never mind.

    79. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      Luddite? Nae me now! I thought I would try that wee Reetweety button thingy on the Largs & Millport poll and bugger me I gets a response from Yes Bearsden who retweeted to its 350 followers. Apologies to Rev Stu for ignoring his previous Luddite comments. Aye it works!

    80. Craig P says:

      Thanks Dcanmore and good point pmcrek… have looked at the links and been educated that a raffle is a type of lottery. Every day’s a school day.
       
      As a matter of interest I don’t see the SNP on the list of registered licensees.

    81. The Water Beastie says:

      60.1% plays 39.3%……

    82. Helpmaboab says:

      I’ve always liked Largs. North Ayrshire is an exceptionally beautiful part of the country with awesome views across the Clyde.
       
      I did once have an unpleasant family holiday in Millport circa 1980 but I refuse to hold that fact against the Cumbraes. I even forgive the landlady’s fruit pudding at breakfast. (The dastardly weegie that she was!)

    83. Edward says:

      Just an update from the Largs & Millport poll
      Apparently there has been a big swing to Independence, with Yes ahead 60.12% to No’s 39.37%

    84. MochaChoca says:

      That’s heading towards informed voter voting intension territory.

    85. The Man in the Jar says:

      Largs and millport Weekly regarding their poll tweeting “a big swing to indi in the last half hour”
       
      Naughty cybernats at it again 🙂

    86. Andy-B says:

      Well spotted Rev, and as you say BT are riding rough shod all over the rules, makes you wonder whats still to come.
       
      It reminds me of David Camerons wangling of EU laws by firing depleted uranium shells, into Scottish waters, when they couldnt be dumped, for enviromental reasons, all thirty tons of them.
       
      http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/mod-dodge-ban-dump-nuclear-1759193

    87. TJenny says:

      TMitJ – ‘Naughty Cybernats at it again’
      Aye – naughty but nice;-)

    88. Alba4Eva says:

      Oops… I sent Stu an E-mail, cos I was all worried about the SNP annual car raffle.  Thanks for setting my mind at ease Morag.
      My own feeling on this, is that there will be plenty of Celebs coming out on both sides and I actually think that the Yes side are traditionally the better organisers and fund raisers.  (If we exclude money from big business/corporations and the relentless ‘Free Advertising’ via the Main Stream Media, coming primarily from London in support of No.)  
      I think this raises the whole issue of fairness in democracy, but I think the source of the damage to our democracy is currently; and will continue to be from much more sinister and opressive interests… with much larger sums of money involved.

    89. Murray McCallum says:

      If this possibly unlicensed lottery scheme goes to court, will Alistair Darling turn up to debate with the Judge?

    90. desimond says:

      I look at the picture and for some reason im thinking Rick Moranis, least i think its Rick.

    91. balgayboy says:

      Yes 54% against No 40% is my forecast for 18/09/14

    92. cath says:

      “Well spotted Rev, and as you say BT are riding rough shod all over the rules, makes you wonder whats still to come.”
       
      Yes, makes you wonder if in some ways it’s actually very good for us that Yes is behind in the polls. If they’re complacent and certain we’ll vote no they may not bother with the real nasty stuff. If I’m polled again I might go back to being a no 😉

    93. Boorach says:

      Is it too late for me to get a postal vote in that Largs and Millport poll? 🙂

    94. Ian Brotherhood says:

      It’ll be interesting to see if the Largs newspaper publishes the results later in the week – not sure what day it appears but will keep a look out.

    95. Bill McLean says:

      24% lead now!! Yippee!

    96. jake says:

      Morag,
      “On the other hand when a local branch has a Burns Supper and sell cloakroom tickets as raffle tickets to win a bottle of whisky or something, it’s not.”

      I can’t recall any occassion at such events when the “winner” ever took the bottle home ( with the exception of a particular bottle of Midori which featured again and again at successive fund raising events over a number of years)

    97. Illy says:

      “I think this raises the whole issue of fairness in democracy”
      Ya think?
      No has been pulling in a big set of advantages with media, money and government support.  On top of being the status quo.
      It does make you wonder though, because even *with* all that help, *they* are still saying that Yes is still running about even with them.
      Now just imagine if we had a fair playing field.
       
      I still don’t see the following argument being used enough though:
      If everything that No says is right: that Scotland is a drain on the British economy, that we can’t stand on our own, that we rely on them for support.  Why aren’t they letting us go and pocketing the extra money?  Why are they so desperate to hold onto a territory that they claim only costs them?

    98. Inbhir Anainn says:

      Aye Bill I’ve just voted and it is showing Yes (61.82%), No (37.70) and Undecided (0.47%).

    99. chalks says:

      Yes (62.12%).
      No (37.41%).
      Undecided (0.47%)
      I love the internet.

    100. seoc says:

      @ Craig P
      It is some time since I had anything to do with such matters, but it was the case that a ‘raffle’ had to be started and completed at the time of the event.
      Earlier sale of tickets put it into a different category.

    101. Hewitt83 says:

      Has the Poll been deleted off the Largs site now? Can’t see it any more.

    102. Thepnr says:

      Unfortunately we have had to pull the Scots independence vote as there is a flaw in the computer programming… LOL

    103. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “WE ARE THE CYBERNAT’S!”

      The cybernat’s what?

    104. Illy says:

      Scots independence poll hacked to give false result
       
      I’d expect that to be a headline coming up somewhere soon.

    105. Papadocx says:

      The full state apperatous is “available” to influence and direct the NO campaign, make no mistake about that. The same mob are influencial in the anti yes campaign via their suriptious influence over BBC other media sources and press. In their eyes there is a threat to the nation. Therefor all the powers of the west minster state are available and will be used if neaded. all the powers!  who would want to leave such a democratic  free  open land?  

    106. HandandShrimp says:

      They have pulled the poll, said there was a flaw and it allowed you to vote more than once. It said you have already voted after I had voted so I am not sure what that was about. I think the severe malky being applied to the No vote was perhaps more an issue and had people on to the Advertiser to pull it. If they re-launch it with a fix to the problem I can’t see the numbers being any different. I don’t think there was multiple voting.
       
      As I said earlier, what was encouraging was that the Yes vote had a strong showing in a Conservative strong hold and was polling well over 40%. This is good.

    107. Seasick Dave says:

      Yep, the poll has gone.
       
      Clearly, not the result they were looking for.

    108. chalks says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      22 October, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      “WE ARE THE CYBERNAT’S!”
      The cybernat’s what?
       
      Hey, it stood out better alright, damn the grammar

    109. James Morton says:

      I would like to state for the record that I am a completely different James Morton and not at all connected to Better Together, baked goods, nor do I have a book rrp £20.

    110. TJenny says:

      I voted in the poll and when I checked again later it said ‘you have already voted in this poll.’ Ergo their reason for pulling it doesn’t seem valid.

    111. MochaChoca says:

      Interesting that the ‘flaw’ wasn’t an issue when BT were ahead earlier? hhmmmm?

      An yes, i got the wee message about already having voted too, not that I’d have tried to vote twice anyway.

    112. Hewitt83 says:

      They’ll have been a few angry e-mails from the Bitter side = poll pulled

    113. Evelyn says:

      The Great British **ck off! 🙂

    114. Memphisto says:

      The poll comments from Largs & Millport news are misleading.  As a programmer I know for sure that these polls cannot guarantee 1 person to 1 vote unless even if there is a very sophisticated system behind it which they do not have.  So effectively they shouldnt be running any polls as they would be all subject to the same flaws.

    115. Appleby says:

      The poll seems to have vanished. I can’t find it when I follow that link. I hope that this isn’t the plan to rig the vote for ‘No’ – hide the voting booths when they see a potential ‘Yes’ voter come near!

    116. call me dave says:

      That poll anyone get a screen shot?

    117. mogabee says:

      Well that was fun while it lasted!  I love online polls…

    118. Morag says:

      I agree with HandandShrimp.  I think it was just overwhelmed by individuals voting Yes, as a result of the poll’s existence being flagged up to the cybernat community.

      It’s possible there was a flaw, if it worked similarly to that ludicrous Herald system that’s supposed to stop you reading more than three articles (right-click page – click “remove cookies for site” – click “refresh”).  I’d take a moderate bet, however, that that wasn’t what was actually going on.  And their IT people should know that.

      It keeps happening.  Every bloody time a newspaper or web site puts up a poll like that.  Yes it’s a gazillion cybernats with mischief in their hearts, but it’s not cheating.  BT are just as free as we are to tweet all their supporters or post on their equivalent of Wings (oh, wait) and flood the voting in exactly the same way.

      Except that never happens.  The online community is massively biassed to Yes.  Which is why I really can’t understand these opinion polls, many of which are also online.  Perhaps it’s just the “informed voter” effect.  Which is why BT is trying to keep as many people as possible in ignorance, of course.

    119. a supporter says:

      Yup, they’ve used an Americanism, something I see more and more everyday as American spelling supersedes the original. British people using ‘ass’ instead of arse is my pet hate. 
      I like ass for arse. Arse seems so yesterday and downmarket!
       
       

    120. HandandShrimp says:

      If anything I think it was the No side that had flagged the poll up first after the paper advertised the poll on Facebook this morning and they were trundling along with a sharp uptick in votes for the first 30 minutes when they added about 80 votes. Then they ran out of steam. Then they got annoyed.

    121. Jamie Arriere says:

      “Together for Short Lives”
       
      Might that be them?

    122. Morag says:

      They probably can’t believe there are quite that many cybernats around.  It’s likely the staff at the Wee Paper can’t believe it either.  But it should be quite easy for them to check that all or most of the votes came from different IP addresses.

    123. Triangular Ears says:

      *gulp*  I’m kinda glad I missed out on the Wings badge lottery at the march now!  (Entry fee – turn up and march for your country.)  😉

    124. desimond says:

      @HandandShrimp

      Then they ran out of steam. Then they got annoyed.

      Sounds like an excerpt from NO version of The Gandhi Quote!

      First you treat them with disdain
      Then you run out of steam
      Then you get annoyed
      Then you lose.

    125. Memphisto says:

      One IP address can be used by thousands of people btw, a whole organisation can use a single IP address using NAT

    126. Luigi says:

      As the dense clouds of cybernats and britnats quickly descended on” that poll”, the poor folk at the Largs and Millport News never knew what hit them.  “DON’T PANIC!”

    127. Morag says:

      One IP address can be used by thousands of people btw, a whole organisation can use a single IP address using NAT

      True, but this would have been random people from all over the place.  That’s why I said “most of”.  I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in my organisation who voted, for example.  (I have known polls in the past where if one person in the office voted, everyone else then got the “you have already voted” message.)

    128. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      I took a screen dump of Largs and Millport News earlier and prior to this one everyone was happy and smiley about the poll response. Then it changed……lead on Mr Sutherland.
      http://tinyurl.com/qawbw9c
      I wonder what influence he has on the wee newspaper?

    129. Memphisto says:

      @morag
      After investigating I know for a fact that the 1 vote to 1 IP address was not in place in Largs site.  They are using cookies, disable cookies and you can vote multiple times, it is the same on all Clyde and Forth sites. 
      The 1 IP 1 vote system is regarded as well outdated now btw

    130. Morag says:

      I sort of thought that might be the case, as with the Herald’s laughable attempt to restrict people to reading only three articles.  However, would it not be possible for their IT gurus to SEE that the votes were coming from multiple IPs?
       
      That rush of Yes votes was exactly as we would expect after a poll had just been publicised to the cybernat community.  While it may well have been possible to vote multiple times (indeed it obviously was possible if what you say is true), I strongly doubt that was actually happening, at least on a scale that influence the landslide.  A look at the IPs the votes were coming from would confirm that, no?

    131. MochaChoca says:

      I think I’d trust our lot not to multiple vote more than I’d trust their lot.

    132. Morag says:

      I don’t really trust anyone not to multiple vote.  I just don’t think our lot were doing it, or at least not in sufficient numbers to make a significant difference.
       
      The point I was making was that as far as I know it should be possible for the people in charge of the web site to tell whether the votes were coming from a lot of different places, or all from one place.

    133. kininvie says:

      @Morag,
      IT gurus???  That’s probably just a workie whose job is to bring coffee, keep computer alive, & compose the odd headline.

    134. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Memphisto – Sorry to go off main topic of this thread but can you explain why particularly Clyde and Forth are susceptible to multiple votes one person? I may have to eat humble pie with Largs & Millport news.

    135. Marcia says:

      My single vote was made before they pulled it.
       
      Re Dunfermline: An SNP leaflet that has being going out recently:
      https://twitter.com/PeterMurrell/status/392387866808307712/photo/1
      I think the electorate might be getting fed up with multiple leaflets going through their letter boxes and don’t read many that  go through their letter box and just bin them. The Labour leaflet should have been sent out two weeks ago and not now as it is too late. Any BT leaflet would be a waste of money but I do hope they waste their money.

    136. cath says:

      “BT are just as free as we are to tweet all their supporters or post on their equivalent of Wings (oh, wait) and flood the voting in exactly the same way. Except that never happens.  The online community is massively biassed to Yes.”
       
      Not just the online community though. Despite the polls being far ahead for no, the same is true of public meetings. Yes hold open meetings to which entire communities are leafleted and invited. A few No people always turn up to ask difficult questions or shout a bit, which is fair enough. Many sceptics and undecided also turn up.
       
      The No campaign seem to have real problems holding meetings that are open and public. If yes people turn up they claim the meeting is “sabotaged” and they tend to assume anyone asking legitimate questions is sabotaging them as well. The Glasgow meeting had to be restricted to vetted attendees only.
       
      So I suspect the “online” thing is a bit of a red herring really. What we’re actually seeing, both online and in real life is that the yes vote is far more informed, engaged and committed while the larger no vote is made up mostly of those who’re not engaged, committed and in many cases undecided in reality.

    137. Memphisto says:

      @morag
      Most likely the IPs would be accessible, either visible within the site control panel if its been programmed or definitely within the server logs or possibly within Google Analytics as I see they also use that.

      Dependent upon the volume of votes per IP address (and the number of those who were multiple voting) I would say it definitely an indicator, but doesnt make it a certainty by any means. 

    138. Morag says:

      Fairy Nuff.  I just thought the increase in the Yes score was exactly as would be anticipated when the cybernat community became aware of the poll – irrespective of what the BT mob were doing.  So I’d hazard a guess multiple voting wasn’t really the issue.

    139. Memphisto says:

      @archie
      when someone votes on the Largs site a cookie is placed on the PC of the person who voted to indicate that this person voted.  When you try to vote again the site checks to see if the cookie exists and that you have voted, if it is there and it says you have voted it denies you a second vote.   There are fairly simple ways to disable cookies on the PC which means when the site checks for the cookie, the cookie is effectively not seen and the site thinks you are voting for the very first time and so allows you to vote again…and again…and again…

    140. gedboy says:

      about the clyde and forth poll 
      think about it you are sitting there for hours clicking  away every few hours every time a vote comes in and then
      bang 10 mins and hundreds come in all at once poor geeke passes out 

    141. Cal says:

      Hi all, Never posted before (although I’ve been a stalker for best part of a year) but just wanted to say I think you’re doing an amazing job. You’re analysis and data collection are a fantastic resource.
       
      My Chinese wife has been doing her bit for indy this morning posting a link to the AberTay Uni debate (which she got from Wings) and cutting and pasting chunks of the FM’s inspirational conference speech onto her Chinese community facebook thing. She got the usual Scotland=Skintland stuff so then she hit them with the HMRC tax return figures (also from Wings). WOW they’re interested – 186 hits in 2mins!!
       
      Looks like the virus is spreading. You might say it’s going “viral”

    142. Alba4Eva says:

      I voted only once on the poll.  I also dont delete cookies very often, cos they help my surfing and automatic App passwords etc.

    143. alexicon says:

      Regarding the SNP raffle for the car.
      Can anyone tell me where I can get the result?
      I’ve sold a few at work and I need to know, or I’ll be accused of all sorts.

    144. jake says:

      Batter Together to be grilled as attempt to raise dough crumbles.

    145. muttley79 says:

      I only voted once.  Do not really see the point in cheating as you want to get an accurate a result as possible.  To know where you stand kind of a thing.  Whether that is just incredibly naive, and everyone else was cheating who knows.

    146. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

      The no campaign short of cash, I don’t think so, unless that is why Blair MacDougall is looking like death, they are trying to give the impression that they are a grassroots campaign. BT is like these plastic yogurt pots with a cardboard wrapper that you can recycle to make you feel more eco – a scam!

    147. gordoz says:

      Sweet James & Tom Morton – both proud Scots (Aye right)
       
      Waste of space  

    148. Edward says:

      Slightly O/T – This week sees the start of the CWU consultation with its members, discussing the independence referendum
      First meeting was last night in Dundee, tonight’s meeting is in Edinburgh. Anyone heard how last nights shaped up?
      http://www.cwu.org/news/archive/consultation-on-scottish-independence-kicks-off.html

    149. Edward says:

      I know this might be a stupid question, but here goes…Are there ANY blogs websites etc like WOS, or National colletive etc that support the union?
      Don’t worry I’m not defecting just try to see what kind of balance there is between those for and those against independence. So far I could only find a FB page that was supposed to be against independence, but its dominated by those for independence. To the extent that the guy that set up the page is fed up and wondered off into the FB equivalent of the desert

    150. gordoz says:

      B/T must have got to Largs paper  – the poll has been pulled.
      no surprise there then !

    151. kininvie says:

      @Edward,
      I think the answer is no, not a single one.
      There used to be the meanderings of Effie Deans http://effiedeans.blogspot.co.uk/2013_05_01_archive.html  – but she seems to have given up.

    152. A2 says:

      “My suggestion for a blindingly-obvious question is “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
      Hows that going to work ? Obviously anyone donating to BT will get the answer wrong, they’ll have to take a big stack of baking books round to Oxfam.

    153. Gallowglass says:

      BT’s RO is in Edinburgh?
       
      Hahaha, ******* sweet.  I know which street I’m going to target with posters flyers and soap box speeches.  😉

    154. HandandShrimp says:

      Edward
       
      There is the North Britain chap (Glasgow Uni chap) and the oddball that stalks Stu.. Longshanks or something. Those are he only two I know of. Neither are desperately interesting or widely followed as far as I am aware. I doubt most BTers know they exist.

    155. ronnie anderson says:

      I got that BT e mail yesterday ah buy ma loafs oot o morrinsons 2 granery loafs £1 but it did promt me tae put the £10 on Shirly Anne Sommerville tae win Dunfermline by election. Thanks Rev anither prompt e mail winging its way tae the Gambling Commision noo thats uaesin the loaf ha ha

    156. A2 says:

      That reminds me . I see the poor  XBNP dear over at no scotland still has his poll up, always makes me smile. http://noscotland.net/
       

    157. Atypical_Scot says:

      You look away for a second and miss all the fun. Blair M is entirely responsible for this illegality. Get ‘im.

    158. Gary says:

      There were so few votes (a matter of hundreds) this afternoon, that it’d be simple to skew the vote one way or the other. There are a few scenarios to consider here.
      I, as a supporter of X, could place multiple votes supporting X, making it appear that X has more support than it actually does.
       
      I, as a supporter of X, could place multiple votes supporting Y. If you place enough (and it’s not hard to get a list of hundreds or thousands of open proxies to make each vote appear to be from a completely different internet connection) you can make it rather obvious that there’s either a concerted, organised effort to inflate the numbers of side Y, or that someone from either side’s intentionally wrecked the poll.
      There are only really three ways used to stop multiple votes.
      Cookies.
      One vote per IP address.
      One vote per verified email address, requiring a sign-up and a login.
       
      Out of those three, cookies is the easiest to circumvent. Using a different browser (switching from, say, Firefox to Chrome), a different PC or laptop, or even easier deleting the site’s cookie(s)/blocking them altogether.
      One vote per IP is easy to circumvent too, using proxies, VPNs, etc. As I said, there are thousands of sites out there listing free proxies.
      The account/login method’s the most hassle for the users, which is why a lot of sites don’t bother with it. I just want to vote in a poll on a diddy newspaper’s website! I don’t want to hand out my email address to yet another site.
      Of course, a miscreant could just create themselves multiple email addresses, and multiple accounts on the newspaper’s website, but this is more bother than it’s worth usually…
       

    159. uilleam_beag says:

      @Cal
      Welcome to the party!
      I’m very interested in your Chinese wife’s (I have one too!) experience, and very encouraged to hear she’s getting an enthusiastic response to her Facebook posts.

    160. Andrew Morton says:

      OT I see John Major has told a Lobby Lunch that the Tories would be better off withoutScotland.

    161. Oneironaut says:

       

      “IT gurus???  That’s probably just a workie whose job is to bring coffee, keep computer alive, & compose the odd headline.”
       
      Pretty much.  Most supposedly competent website staff just slap together a load of patchwork scripting from Google APIs and then ignore E-mails from people saying it doesn’t work properly on any non-Chrome browser!
       
      While we’re on the topic of dodgy campaigning tactics and bending the laws here, has anyone heard of this “Gagging Law” thing that 38 Degrees are campaigning against?
      http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2013/09/09/what-is-the-gagging-law/
      http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2013/10/10/gagging-law-next-stop-the-house-of-lords/
       
      Supposedly an attempt to prevent non-political-party groups from campaigning the year before a general election.
      The way it’s being frantically rushed through despite all opposition to it makes me wonder if it’ll be used as a weapon of last resort to try to prevent people actively campaigning for the Yes side.
      (Obviously BT will somehow be exempt from this!)

    162. Stuart Black says:

      Happy first post Cal, the more the merrier, welcome…

    163. Morag says:

      Jeremy Purvis (who he?) has just taken his seat in the House of Lords.  I’ve quite gone off my feed.  Was it for this I leafleted upper Tweeddale obsessively and got him thrown out of Holyrood?

    164. HandandShrimp says:

      Jeremy Purvis? who he?
       
      As Donald Rumsfeld might say, just when you think you know all the politicians you don’t know, you find that there are politicians you didn’t know you didn’t know.

    165. Jim Mitchell says:

      Surely this lottery thing should be sent to Labours truth commission, remember that?

    166. Murray McCallum says:

      Oneironaut
      this “Gagging Law” thing 
       
      It’s David Cameron’s attempt to legislate to control lobbyists. From what I have read it will not control professional lobbyists but will have consequences for campaigning groups across the board, including charities.
       
      Given the career backgrounds of PM David Cameron and the leader of the House of Lords it’s maybe little wonder that professional lobbying firms seem unscathed.

    167. muttley79 says:

      @Andrew Morton
      OT I see John Major has told a Lobby Lunch that the Tories would be better off without Scotland.
       
      What did he say?  Makes a change from the 1990s anyway!  Where is Scottish Skier (he will be chuffed with these comments)?

    168. Caroline Corfield says:

      love this: 
      First you treat them with disdainThen you run out of steamThen you get annoyedThen you lose.
      —-PROJECT FEAR——–
      It needs a graphic…
      Embdy got a time series of Blair McD photies, maybe from the heady days of the start of the campaign to his recent ravaged  (I believe the term in the fashion world was at one point heroin-chic) look?
       

    169. Caroline Corfield says:

      just to cheer us up, I don’t believe in playing the man of course

    170. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

      @ Oneironaut RE Gagging Law

      So much for pluralism, another NeoConDem step to the fascist right, gradually grinding down what democratic process remains and disenfranchising those who rely on campaign groups. This is of course also aimed at the unions which is a possible reason why Labour are opposing it.

      In the Commons, Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith argued that large businesses, employing their own lobbyists, would have a “disproportionate relationship” with ministers and officials, with smaller concerns losing out.

      The majority of the bill would apply to the whole of the UK, although the provisions on trade unions’ membership lists would not affect Northern Ireland. ???

      We don’t need a weatherman to see which way the UK wind blows…

    171. Bubbles says:

      Re people talking about the swamping of TV programmes with Union flags and British this and that. It’s not meant for us in Scotland but for the UK in general as a way to prepare people for the inevitable crash. That’s what I think anyway.

    172. ronnie anderson says:

      Correction to my last post ma son phoned ah canny get a bet on the Dunfermline by election ahrgggggggggg

    173. Andrew Morton says:

      Sean Lafferty (@LaffertySean) tweeted at 4:43pm – 22 Oct 13: John Major tells a press gallery lunch at Westminster that Tories would be better off without Scotland. Think its other way around. #indyref (https://twitter.com/LaffertySean/status/392695554037522432

    174. ronnie anderson says:

      Cal ah hope your keeping your wife supplied way tea bisquits tell her she,s dayin a grand job keep on postin

    175. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      @Edward at 5.35
       
      Are there any unionist bloggers equivalent to Stu.
      You can always try this guy.
      http://glasgowunihumanrights.blogspot.co.uk/
       

    176. david says:

      you can get a bet on the referendum
       

    177. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      Ah.
       
      I just realised I missed out ‘snigger’ at the end of my last post.
       
      Sorry Stu.

    178. scotty says:

      @ conan the librarian
      good god almighty i actually just read that hate speech.what an evil minded little swine this guy seems!

    179. Boorach says:

      Re Major and Torys being better off without Scotland he also repeated Cameron’s ‘The UK would be worse off without Scotland’.

      You can bet your bottom dollar they both mean financially!

      What price monetary union?

    180. Andrew Morton says:

      Just read George Laird’s ‘Blog’. Still wiping the slime off.
      Here’s one of the comments:
       
      ” Anonymous said…
      Well done George in standing up to those bullies. 
      Have you noticed in every TV debate they want to scream and shout loudest? In the local pubs they are the ones with the loud overbearing attitudes? The know it alls that every one avoids? as they get more inebriated they demand to know if you are a TRUE SCOT? 
      Keep asking the questions and pointing out the lies, assertions and fantasy.”
       
      My reply to this comment was, “You’re not a true Scot, you’re a proud Scot.”
       
      All comments are moderated by George Laird. I wonder if he’ll detect the sarcasm?
       

    181. Doug says:

      Interesting article on Scot Goes Pop about civil service ‘neutrality’. Which showed up this article. So much cognitive dissonance…
       
      http://archive.is/9dA6k

    182. Marcia says:

      S_S
       
      The comments by the right wing Tories/UKIP posters on that blog are a hoot.

    183. HandandShrimp says:

      I just realised I missed out ‘snigger’ at the end of my last post.
       
      That was harsh Conan…I stumbled on that one by accident a while back. He isn’t a happy bunny that chap. Bitter Together was made for him. I hope he is better at human rights legislation than he is political blogging.

    184. Morag says:

      I remember him on the old Herald comments threads six years ago and more.  He has some personal grievance with Glasgow University which I forget the details of.  He is however quite monomaniacal about it.  Or he was – he seems to have moved on to Salmond and the SNP.
       
      I would have distrusted my own convictions if I’d found out that obnoxious little man was pro-independence.

    185. Alba4Eva says:

      Conan The Librarian… your cruel, I was looking forward to a bit of banter until I realised that it’s just a couple of his mates who know about it.  Wonder if he ever feels like he is just wasting his time?  LOL

    186. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      @Handandshrimp and Morag
       
      He was an early cybernat, perhaps because they were not the government in power at time.
      I even put him on my blogroll…

    187. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      @Caesar!4Eva 
       
      As much as I’d like to have George have friends…
       

    188. handclapping says:

      @Conan
      Well you know Cochers don’t you? 🙂

    189. Alba4Eva says:

      Newsnet have just put this up.  I havn’t seen it yet, so will watch later. 

    190. john king says:

      Cal says
      “Looks like the virus is spreading. You might say it’s going “viral”
       gaun yersel Cal  and Cals wife 
      dont be strangers 🙂

    191. john king says:

      chalks says
      “WE ARE THE CYBERNAT’S!”
      Dont Chalks, that makes me think of the cybermen and I was scared of them 🙁
      still am 

    192. Andrew Morton says:

      This should be printed off and put through every door in Scotland.
       
      http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/prominent-businessman-challenges-darling-on-the-economy/

    193. lumilumi says:

      HandandShrimp commenting on the Lairgs and Millhouse online poll
      Then they ran out of steam. Then they got annoyed.
      Desimond @ 4.04pm
      Sounds like an excerpt from NO version of The Gandhi Quote!
      First you treat them with disdain
      Then you run out of steam
      Then you get annoyed
      Then you lose.
       
      Love it, Desimond! 😀
       
      As to the topic of this thread, don’t hold your breath. Such slight oversights ot the law will be overlooked – if they’re by the No Scotland side. If Yes Scotland had done same/similar, it’d be wall to wall coverage for days…
       
      I’m really despairing for Scottish and wider UK MSM here. When I was younger and more naïve, I used to look up to the UK media as the shining example of the fourth estate at its best, much better than the Finnish media.
       
      Not anymore. Two things have changed. Or maybe three. I’m not as naïve anymore, and the UK media has also got worse. A lot worse. Because now, when I’m older and more cynical, I think the Finnish media is better. Or maybe I’m just getting parochial… Or you know, separatist-minded because I’ve left the glorious UK and live back in my own small, poor, stupid independent country.
       
      Finland will of course be much better off than indy Scotland would because we’re going to discover that elusive Baltic Sea oil and start an oil fund just like Norway but Scotland’s oil will run out in 2016. So there!

    194. Inbhir Anainn says:

      @A2
       
      Thanks for pointing out the poll on  http://noscotland.net/ just cast my vote and results currently stand at No 23.36% (votes 2,314) and Yes 76.64% (votes 7,590).
       
       

    195. Macart says:

      @Cal
       
      We’re all carriers here. 🙂
       
      A big howdy doody.

    196. Gray says:

      O/T Can anyone supply a link to either a video or a report from the KILTR Referendum Debate held in Glasgow last night?
       
      I’ve had a hunt and can’t find anything.

    197. clochoderic says:

      OT
        Poking around on Google tonight after something I saw on Peter Bell’s excellent Scoop.it website
       
      http://www.scoop.it/t/referendum-2014
       
      I found this interesting resource for archived material from the press and media in Scotland.
       
      http://www.fb06.uni-mainz.de/anglistik/Dateien/SSN_42.pdf
       
        There is a lot more as well and links to other universities doing similar work. It might be worth approaching some of them for a guest article.

    198. lumilumi says:

      Caesar!4Eva@8.53pm
      Conan The Librarian… your cruel, I was looking forward to a bit of banter until I realised that it’s just a couple of his mates who know about it.  Wonder if he ever feels like he is just wasting his time?  LOL
      Self-important people never feel like they’re wasting their time! As long as they can spout their own opinion in public, especially online (safer and easier). No matter about the response or lack of thereof. It still makes them feel important.
       
      But what is it with this lack of diverse, at least semi-intelligent, grass-roots, not officially sanctioned and run online precence on the No Scotland side? Maybe their message just doesn’t inspire people? Whereas pro-indy blogosphere is so busy I cannot follow it all.
       
      Thats why No Scotland is getting so rattled. They have the machine of the UK state and all of the MSM on their side but still they’re losing support.

    199. Kenny says:

      @Gray
      O/T Can anyone supply a link to either a video or a report from the KILTR Referendum Debate held in Glasgow last night?

      There was this in the Hootsmon:
      http://archive.is/Aulzn

    200. Jim Mitchell says:

      O/T for which sorry but i see the Labour party have come out with a cracker of a reply
      yo the criticism of their By election leaflet.
      http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/wider-political-news/labour-in-by-election-cuts-row.22487113
      It’s always good to end the day on a laugh! 

    201. Inbhir Anainn says:

      Rather interesting article by Matt Qvortrup (now where have I heard his name from before) on Alex Salmond at:
       
      http://www.scotsman.com/news/matt-qvortrup-alex-salmond-reveals-true-heart-1-3149740
       
      Dr Matt Qvortrup teaches politics at Cranfield University.
       

    202. Alba4Eva says:

      Just watched the Dunfermline TV debate… Wow, that Cara started off by saying that she wouldn’t be distracted by the Independence Referendum… then carried on with; “Best for Britain.. yak yak jabber… UK.. jabber… Britain… blah… UK… yak”, for the rest of the prog.
      Wow!
       

    203. fairliered says:

      2012 local election results for “tory” largs

      Candidate
       

      Party

      Elected at Stage

      Alex Gallagher

      Scottish Labour Party

      4

      Alan Hill

      Scottish National Party (SNP)

      1

      Tom Marshall

      Scottish Conservative and Unionist

      6

      Alex McLean

      Scottish National Party (SNP)

      2

    204. Morag says:

      That’s kind of what I thought.  And my half-English unionist cousin who lives in Millport has always been very complimentary about Kenny Gibson.

    205. The Rough Bounds says:

      @a supporter. 3.51 pm.
       
      You prefer ‘ass’ to ‘arse’ as ”arse seems so downmarket and yesterday.”
       
      Well, I’m not sure whether that makes you an arse of an ass, or an ass of an arse.

    206. Mad Jock McMad says:

      Chat used to be a term for lice in the trenches of the first war, delousing was known as ‘having a chat or chatting’, someone with a lot of lice was ‘chatty’ …. interesting language, English …

    207. Cal says:

      Been out. Just back. Thanks for the welcome everyone. It’s all gone quiet on the Chinese facebook Uillium. Hopefully they’re watching the debate we directed them to. What about your wife, is she interested? Could she do some persuading in the Chinese community too – two pronged attack and all that?
       
      Changing the subject. I’m sure most of you have done it already but just in case someone reading hasn’t yet, can you be sure to sign the declaration over at the YesScotland website. It’s free and all you need to give is your e-mail and postcode. They’re looking for 1,000,000 signatures. It would be a great boost if they got it!

    208. Linda's back says:

      Brian Wilson having a go at SNP anti nuclear stance.
      http://archive.is/LXCG0

    209. Pedro says:

      OT sorry
       
      There was a very interesting meeting tonight in the Overseas Club in Edinburgh, hosted by the CWU, where Neil Findlay (from United with Labour) and Colin Fox (for Yes Scotland) debated the referendum (specifically) and other related issues.
       
      Colin Fox spoke about Scotland becoming wealthier upon regaining its independence. Wealthier both financially and politically. Among the many topics he touched on he spoke about the tax raised in an independent Scotland being used to benefit the whole of Scotland as the people of Scotland saw fit. He highlighted the fact (HMRC figures apparently) that Scotland raises £51bn and is given back just £30bn of that money to spend on it’s priorities.  He spoke about an independent Scotland being able to repeal the Bedroom Tax, to remove Trident and to vote for a government that has Scotland as its priority. He stated his belief that the working class people of Scotland will vote Yes in the referendum and encouraged the CWU members to do likewise.  
       
      Neil Findlay, imo, used his time primarily to put the boot into the Alex Salmond, the SNP and Scotland’s proposed independence. He brought up such issues as Scotland would have no representation on how the Bank of England would operate it’s monetary policy. He gave an example of where he had drawn some diagrams for a Catalan colleague of his to explain Salmonds policy on his proposed ‘Currency Union’ and that the reaction to this had been “that’s crazy!”. He derided Alex Salmonds policy of cutting Corporation Tax, stating that it would lead to a race to the bottom with no-one emerging as winners in that race. He did mention once that there is a positive case for the union but that it was contained within a book he’s just written (cost £7.99) and that more info on his book was in the leaflet he had distributed prior to the meeting. He finished by saying that he fully backed ‘No for Change’ and hoped that the attendees would read more into the claims made on the hoof by Alex Salmond to re-nationalise the Royal Mail and he urged CWU members to vote No to Scottish independence.
       
      There were various questions from the floor and my impression was that most, if not all, in attendance were either leaning very strongly towards, or actually outright in the Yes camp.
       
      I’m obviously a clear Yes but if anyone there tonight was an undecided it’s my belief that Neil Findlay couldn’t at all have persuaded them that his arguments provided the way forward for Scotland in the UK. In the main he just focused on Alex Salmond, constantly putting him, his policies and political history under the cosh. 
       
      Despite being asked from the floor, Union honcho Andy Kerr curtly rebuffed requests for a show of hands towards the tail end of the meeting, saying instead that information from the meeting would be fed back to head office as the union looks to formalise it official position ahead of the referendum. Quite how they could do that without at least a cursory count I’m not sure.
       
      I had hoped to film the meeting and contacted Yes Scotland who had no issues with their spokesperson being filmed. Unfortunately I was refused permission by the union HQ in London so as not to intimidate members who may have been so if filming had taken place. 
       
      I don’t think anyone would have but there you go.

    210. gordoz says:

      Inbhir Anainn – Cheers for Hootsman piece
       
      That was a v/ good article by Dr Matt Qvortrup who teaches politics at Cranfield University. The Regionalist  fans on the blogg detested it !

    211. Marcia says:

      Re the Hootsman article – this segment from the piece was interesting:

       
      ‘Referendums have historically been won by those who take bold decisions; by those who had the courage to stand up for what they believe in, and, above all, by those who could inspire hope and dreams. It is no accident that some of the most accomplished political leaders such as French President Charles de Gaulle and the Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson earned their greatest triumphs when the risked their political futures on referendums that they could easily have lost.
      But successful political rhetoric is not only about pathos, it is also about connecting to the people and about winning the swing votes.
      One of the most effective strategies for winning a referendum is to associate the other side with an unpopular individual who happens to support this cause.
      For example, those opposing the introduction of the Alternative Vote in 2011 cleverly turned the referendum into a vote of confidence in Nick Clegg. Given the Liberal Democrat leader’s catalogue of broken promises this was an effective strategy.
      By identifying the ‘Better Together’ campaign with David Cameron and George Osborne and by challenging the former to a debate that he does not dare to engage in, Salmond has prudently followed the same strategy. It will be difficult for Cameron to respond. If he refuses to debate he will be branded a chicken, or as someone who doesn’t care about Scotland. But risking a debate with Salmond – an acknowledged political pugilist – is likely to inflict considerable political damage on the Prime Minister that he can ill afford. Either way, Salmond is the likely winner.
      But referendums are also about winning the centre-ground and about showing that your position coincides with that of the swing-voters. Back in the 1970s Harold Wilson – one of Salmond’s political idols – successfully followed this strategy in the referendum on EEC (now the EU) membership. By making the referendum a vote on the welfare state and other policies that resonated with the mass of the electorate, Wilson famously turned a threatening 20 per cent polling deficit into spectacular 30 per cent victory.
      Nicola Sturgeon’s (left) promise to lower fuel prices, and Salmond’s promise that an independent Scotland would be a “country where we make work pay not by humiliating those with disabilities but by strengthening the minimum wage . . . a country where key public services remain in public hands”, are attempts to reach out to Labour and Liberal Democrat voters by basically equating independence with the social liberal utopia. It is not unlike what Wilson did in 1975. Seen in a historical perspective, Salmond may have chosen exactly the right strategy – if only a bit too late.
      Gone are the days of the lukewarm and uninspired reassurances that Scotland can still keep the Pound, have the Queen as Head of State and be a member of Nato.
      The Salmond who spoke to his supporters on Saturday is a man who wants to make changes and who invites his compatriots to come with him.
      One does not – to use another quote from Salmond – need focus groups to conclude that the vast majority of Scots “seek a country which judges its contribution on how useful it can be to the rest of humanity not on how many warheads in can balance on a Trident submarine”.
      By painting himself and the Yes Scotland as the standard bearers of the aspirations and hopes of the Scottish people, and by contrasting his position with English politicians who want to keep Trident, the Bedroom-Tax and higher gas prices, the SNP have set the agenda for a battle. It will be difficult for David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg to respond to these challenges.
      The polls still show that it will be an uphill struggle. Not everybody will be enamoured by the First Minister’s polished and poetic words.
      When listening to Salmond’s speech I was reminded of a definition of the statesman drawn up by the Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who said: “The task of the statesman is to take the people from where they are to where they have never been. This requires vision, as well as courage. Vision, because every leader is grounded in the present moment and courage because no-one knows the consequences of new ideas.”
      The Salmond who – a few months ago – spoke about the Pound, the Queen and Nato did not show the vision and the courage. The man who stepped down from the lectern to rapturous applause on Saturday evening showed vision and courage rarely seen in these isles. His speech was one that has the potential to “to take the people from where they are to where they have never been”.
      • Dr Matt Qvortrup teaches politics at Cranfield University

    212. HandandShrimp says:

      Fairliered
       
      To be fair Largs returned the only Tory in the whole of North Ayrshire, until pretty recently they used elect two out of the four and Labour’s Alex Gallagher is…well prolific if a tad eccentric on the anti-SNP front.
       

    213. gordoz says:

      Light relief for YES Troops –

      VIEWS are being sought on the BBC’s reporting of the upcoming referendum on Scotland’s constitutional future.
      More info here (12 week consultation starts today)
      http://www.allmediascotland.com/broadcasting/55272/views-being-sought-on-bbc-reporting-of-referendum-vote/

    214. mogabee says:

      Pedro
      When people have the desire for change, they are usually passionate in speaking their case.
      Colin Fox is a passionate speaker.

    215. Morag says:

      Marcia, I don’t know why the professor thinks Salmond has adopted this strategy “too late”.  It’s eleven months for goodness sake.  And we know the whole strategy progression was planned out in advance.  Most of the electorate haven’t engaged yet.  Why would now be too late for the inspiring speechifying?

    216. Oneironaut says:

      Talking of Colin Fox, this seems like an opportune time to mention that he’ll be speaking at a public meeting on the socialist case for independence on Tuesday the 29th Oct, at 7:30pm at the Turf Bar in Irvine’s High Street.
      All are welcome to come along, whether you plan to vote Yes or No or are still undecided. 🙂
       
      And now to try and help things back on-topic…
       
      “He did mention once that there is a positive case for the union but that it was contained within a book he’s just written (cost £7.99) and that more info on his book was in the leaflet he had distributed prior to the meeting.”
       
      At least he didn’t suggest having a lucky draw for it! 😉

    217. Marcia says:

      Morag,
      I don’t think it is too late either. The voters are now starting to asking questions where a couple of months ago they were not doing. It is a slow boil for this electoral kettle. I have been surprised to find a few that I had put as definite No voters are moving quite nicely towards Yes.

    218. Barontorc says:

      @Pedro – many thanks for the summary and your feelings at the end that NO failed the test, yet again. I just watched the playback of the BBC Dunfermline debate and could see no way ahead from any candidate, even including the gormeless Ukip chap,.other than YES. The battle is now left to the UK black arts division and the now totally devalued msm machine.
       
      What’s coming up next?

    219. kininvie says:

      O/T That John Major thing:  If you want to watch it as it happened, #pressgallery on Twitter is the tag to have a look at. Talk about getting his revenge…..!

    220. MB16 says:

      What desperate nitpicking this is! Are the Yes people now actively trying to find ways to smear the unity campaign?

    221. Edward says:

      Pedro – That disturbing that Andy Kerr of CWU refused a show of hands and saying that  information from the meeting would be fed back to head office , smacks of the union riding rough shod over its members
      At the moment CWU Scotland Number 2 branch is openly supporting independence, since they did vote on the matter in March. If other branches feel the same way, then there could be trouble ahead for Andy Kerr if he advises that the union should either stay out of the debate or back the No campaign Andy Kerr apparently has form in that he has been pushing Better Together propaganda onto members and ignored Yes Scotland literature

    222. Ken500 says:

      Tommy Sheridan would have helped delivered the votes, needed for Independence, in the Venteal Belt. Plus the fight against the corrupt ‘Room Tax’. When is the journalist corruption trial going to take place.It has already delayed and over date. Are they trying to time libe it. Along with the Chilcot finding, now overdue.

      Tommy Sheridan conviction should be quoshed an his family compensated for the corruot action of the Press, Police and judiciary. A false trial to bring Sheridan down. A perjury trial where the main witness committed perjury.

    223. Ken500 says:

      The Grangemouth debacle is an attempt by interested Unionists, to bring down the Scottish economy, affecting the Referendum. In the interests of the Unionism not the wider Scottish economy/community. .

      Lions led by Donkeys

      Never have so many been promoted beyond their capabilities.

    224. Ken500 says:

      There is a limit/cap on spending in the Referendum campaign.

      The BT are obviously running out of money. No one is donationing except corrupt foreigners, willing to lose £1/2million, obviously for a price. Been promised some favour. Unionism corruption at it’s best. Colluding with a system from which they have most to gain.

      That is the reason for the corrupt over prize ‘ book?’ feast. The book isn’t selling, so the overrated
      food writer, wants some publicity to shift the back log/ stock of unwanted copies.

      The SNP/YES Campaing are obviously holding back the ‘Capped’ freely donated treasure chest,to blitz the Campaign, (with information) in the months closer/ leading up to the date of the Referendum. To achieve the YES vote.

      The ‘prize book?’. (No one wants to buy it) illegal draw is just an indication that the NO campaign is running out of steam and money. No one is daft enough to lose money on the NO Campaign, except a few criminals, who have money to throw away from their ill gotten gains. Or a few ill advised bookie punters, willing to throw their money away.

      A bad omen for the future of the NO campaign.

    225. wee jamie says:

      What has this daft wee boy achieved in life that warrants a book ? Failed to win a second rate T.V cooking show ? must be a real page turner, booker prize material ! Seems tae me like the typical proud scot/ brit nat loser so he should fit right in wi B.T.
       

    226. chalks says:

      Yes Scotland aren’t holding anything back, they certainly aren’t rolling in it.  They need money.
      Better Together will always have more money, are we all forgetting the fund-raisers put on in the South of England? 
      Do not be taken in by the myth that Better Together is struggling for money, they have a shop in Aberdeen, which isn’t the cheapest to lease…..not sure if it is open yet like….just don’t think they have no money, they do.
      As for the Scotsman column, I’d argue that seeking to end a political union that has existed for 300 years is quite a radical step, getting Nukes off our shores and holding ourselves accountable for our own actions is radical, like it or not, the currency union is necessary for a few years post indy.  Once Scotland has shown to the markets that it would be a safe ‘bet’ then we can get our own currency, going for our own currency just now opens up too many complex questions to answer to the undecided voters.
       
       

    227. Keef says:

      Make no mistake what we are witnessing is the death throes of the Great British empire. U.K. plc. Is bankrupt both morally and financially. This is evidenced by the recent downgrading of their triple A rating which greatly increased the already burgeoning balance of payments deficit and the cap in hand jaunt to China by Gideon to beg for financial support to keep the lights on at No. 10.
       
      The only reason Westminster is determined to keep Scotland down at heel is it needs the revenue generated by North Sea oil. Without it, they have nothing to stave off the inevitable foreclosure.
       
      The most protracted recession since the 1930’s has no end in sight. Indeed, many economic commentators are forecasting bigger austerity measures are still to come. Ironically, the ‘Scottish issue’ is what is saving people further misery as  many of these measures are being held off until after the referendum. The MSM has effectively been gagged from highlighting this to the general public as this would heavily influence many of Scotland’s undecided voters in the coming referendum.
       
      The overwhelming groundswell for a YES vote has well and truly begun. One need only look at attendances of Yes meetings, activity on social media and the paucity of the No numbers in the same terms to realise that the polls are struggling (at times deliberately) to reflect what is actually going on.
       
      The Yes vote may not yet be assured; it is however, in a far stronger position than this time last year.  More importantly the noticeable trend of the no voter leaving to join the ranks of the undecided, has began to grow as fat as a London banker. It only takes another few months of them seeing their country being trashed by the cabal of con-men, for them to make the inevitable step into the YES camp.

    228. Ray says:

      Any update on a clarification or statement from Better Together on this?

    229. Pauls says:

      A most amusing albeit deluded forum. I strongly suspect I shall laugh my head off when you publish the results of your 2nd opinion poll.
       
      I will stick my neck out and predict it will ‘correct the unionist lie’ that over 60% of scottish voters currently do not support independence.
       
      However my current amusement will pale into insignificance after the results
      of the referendum next year and I get my opportunity to read about your reactions.
       
      You are living in a dreamworld!!!

      You are so full of spite you are incapable of the rational discussion required to persuade the majority of Scots to vote Yes.

      They aren’t stupid and just don’t believe the assertions independence won’t hit their pocket and no services will be cut. Consider the issue of currency.
       
      The English WILL forbid the Sterling Zone and WILL veto scotland’s EU membership to force them into the Euro.
      England will not bankroll Scotland’s Tax and Spend policies, willnot act as Lender of Last Resort and have their currency devalued on the international markets by unnecessary currency speculation.
      And it is a purely english decision – none of the self serving nonsense on this forum can alter that.
      It will be impossible to hide that fact from the scottish electorate – though you might be able to disguise its implications.
      Dream on, my deluded scottish friends

    230. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      That’s nice, dear.

    231. Alastair Naughton says:

      @ Pauls: See if you see Major Thom round your way any time, tell him Ground Control were wondering how he is doing!

    232. Jeannie says:

      @Pauls
      The English WILL forbid the Sterling Zone and WILL veto scotland’s EU membership to force them into the Euro.
      Eh????  How does that work?



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