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Wings Over Scotland

The phoney war

Posted on September 26, 2013 by

One of the recurring themes we hear from people about the independence debate (from Yes, No and Don’t Know folks alike) is a bewilderment about the alleged amount of grassroots campaigning undertaken by the No camp. “Better Together” is fond of making extravagant claims on its website about its number of volunteers, events and leaflets, yet almost nobody we speak to has ever seen any of them.

So we were interested to receive an email from a reader this week.

“Last week I noticed on the Event Central page of the Better Together website that on Wednesday 25th September there was going to be a ‘Largs Leafletting (1 year to go activity)’ and people were invited to ‘Join our North Ayrshire Better Together team leafletting in Largs. Please come to the train station from 4.30pm onwards.'”


“The wife and I reasoned that, as there were only three BT events this month, this was going to be a big event to mark 12 months to go. We arrived at 1612, expecting to see volunteers blowing up balloons, perhaps putting up a stand, stewards allocating streets for people to cover etc. Instead, we found nothing.

Perhaps they would turn up en masse at the appointed hour. 1630 came and went. Still nothing. We re-checked the website. Had we got the wrong place? No, it definitely said Largs (Scotland) as opposed to Largs (Missouri), and the postcode checked out. The time was correct.

(In fact it helpfully pointed out the time zone that Largs was in so that if you were, say, a patriotic BT donor jetting in from abroad to assist with disseminating the positive message to the good people of North Ayrshire, you would be in no doubt when to hit the streets.)

By 1650 the windchill outside the train station was getting a bit much, so we repaired to Nardinis for a coffee and a scone. We had a window seat, so we would not miss anybody in a UKOK tee shirt outside and stop them for a blether about the ‘+ve case’ for the Union. By 1715 we had had enough and drove off to Morrison’s to do the messages.”


“So, was it a conspiracy, or a cock-up? Are these ‘events’ placed on the BT website merely to give the appearance of a grassroots campaign? Does North Ayrshire Better Together actually exist? Does anybody at BT know how to spell ‘Leafleting’? We demand answers!”

In an entire week in Scotland, in which we travelled pretty much the length and breadth of the Central Belt including the city centres of both Edinburgh and Glasgow, we saw precisely one “Better Together” representative – a lonely woman at Bathgate train station giving out the “Can you afford to go it alone?” leaflet with the untrue claims about losing the pound, from a wheeled shopping bag.

(We’ve been told many times by different people that ScotRail officially forbids either side from campaigning at their stations, but also been sent pictures of “Better Together” activists flouting the alleged prohibition. We’ll check with ScotRail later.)

We wonder how many of the No camp’s other events have been phantoms. If you happen to live near any of them, and you’ve got a spare few minutes to go and check them out, we’d be very curious to know whether they really happened or not.

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    193 to “The phoney war”

    1. Sheena says:

      On our way to the March last Saturday we came across a Better together table in Morningside, Edinburgh, with about 3 volunteers.  I am told it is there quite regularly.

    2. john king says:

      how do I find out where these “events” are ?
      without giving them the succour of clicking on their website and allowing them the propaganda of claiming so many people are attracted to their site.

    3. Sylvie Capuano Burnett says:

      I don’t know anything about their North Ayrshire events, but I live in the KA15 area and sorry to say that my home has been leafleted by BT twice in 12 months.

    4. Bill B says:

      BT were leafleting at Haymarket Station last week! They’re planning a Kirkcaldy one in November:  I’ll give the Nikon a wee airing again.

    5. Bill B says:

      I’m subscribed to their emails and do check the website, at this statge of cyber warfare I’m not fussy or proud.

    6. patronsaintofcats says:

      Don’t know how to post a photo, but the freshers week at UWS Hamilton campus had a long queue for the YES table and a BT table set up with campaign materials, but no one manning it and not a soul was interested in what they were ‘selling’.  There’s a nice pic on Twitter.

    7. DMyers says:

      I see Yes stickers and placards all over the place, but I’ve never had the misfortune of seeing anything by Bitter Thegither anywhere other than online (I’m excluding media coverage for obvious reasons).  I’m starting to think BT is a mere figment of our collective consciousness.

    8. David Martin says:

      I saw a better together car sticker in Edinburgh last year. Do I collect £5?

    9. Robert McDonald says:

      I implore you all to go and visit the BT webpage look across to their twitterfeed and hover over a twitter. At the bottom you’ll see a wee ‘expand’ click on that and read the tweets commenting. They are absolute magic! You gotta go there and see, priceless comments and not to BT’s benefit.

    10. Ray says:

      Umm, using that search function on their site, there only seems to be two events happening anytime soon – one in Newtonhill on Saturday, and one in Cowal a week on Monday. Or maybe I’m using it wrong.

    11. Disco Dave says:

      They had a few what appeared to be first or second year students by Donald Dewar’s statue a few weeks back. I must have had the look of a Yes voter as I walked passed them a few times and wasn’t stopped or given a leaflet. Stood and observed for a bit and the feeling of indifference from Joe Public was palpable. One old couple signed their life away on a BT clipboard. One guy had a heated discussion with one of the students. Highlight for me was a young worky who no sooner as a leaflet was pushed into his hand dropped it to the ground. The BT boy picked it up off the wet ground and put it back in his pile.

      Also saw Jackie Baillie at Dumbarton Central, sadly she wasn’t flouting Scotrail regulations otherwise I would have had to intervene.

    12. Seasick Dave says:

      Maybe they couldn’t be arsed.

    13. Robert McAlpine says:

      I saw Blair Mcdougall buy a sandwich in pret the other day. He was wearing a UKOK badge.
      Was this one their high profile events?

    14. John Daly says:

      Why would we lose the pound from a wheeled shopping bag?

      We demand answers!!

    15. John Daly says:

      DMyers said “I see Yes stickers and placards all over the place, but I’ve never had the misfortune of seeing anything by Bitter Thegither anywhere other than online”
      Unfortunately, there’s a “UKOK” sticker on my niece’s car.
      Union Jack doormat and cushions and T-shirts.
      She and her fiancee and her father are keen football fans.
      What team did I hear you ask…?

    16. Seasick Dave says:

      John Daly
      Is it the team you play for? 🙂

    17. Ewan Kennedy says:

      I did what you suggested and they offered to find events 100 miles from my postcode (incidentally they required the entire postcode, not just the first part – is this so they can find my address?). The search came up with one event, in Dunoon on 7 October, which sadly I will be unable to attend. I live exactly 101 miles from Glasgow by road, about 40 as the crow flies, so if their computer uses crow-ware as most do there doesn’t seem to be a lot on offer. 

    18. nelliejean says:

      I found a BT leaflet when I was tidying my desk this week. I can only imagine that I was handed it outside Waverley station when I was half asleep one morning. Either that or they’ve snuck in and leafleted my work!

    19. John Daly says:

      Oh, that would be my Irish third cousin thrice removed, “Jon”.
      Mibbees aye, mibbees naw.

    20. Gallowglass says:

      What a great idea.

    21. Doug says:

      Just a thought.  Could we start this as a series?
      Alert readers go out, take photos of invisible BT events and document the spectacular nature of the grassroots NO campaign?  “Better ethereal” or suchlike?

    22. Enness says:

      I googled for BT events pictures – very few and those appeared to be from this website! Some more on their Facebook page, but not so many as you’d expect and none particularly well attended. One thing I did notice, (we are a ‘multi racial’ family whatever that really means, so I tend to notice such things), was the remarkable homogeneity of the BT people (Anas being an exception of course). This contrasts with the YES campaign’s range of colours and creeds in almost every pic. What’s going on? Is it spin on either side, giving false impressions, or is YES really more multicultural than BT?

    23. Doug says:

      I appreciate it is similar to Stu’s idea but would be an amusing expansion.

    24. Dorothy Devine says:

      To add to the phony war we have todays Herald and the wondrous ,impartial reporter M.Gardham with some  Prof spouting ,
      “INDEPENDENCE could lead to clashes between Scotland and the UK over who might be granted citizenship of the two…”
      EDIT BY REVSTU: Come on, people, we know how works by now:

      and – whooo! – “jezerna” is back!

    25. FreddieThreepwood says:

      Slightly O/T maybe – but I’ve recently had cause to join Facebook in my current campaign of shameless self-promotion and couldn’t help notice the occasional BT or UKOK ads down the side, usually with ‘Such and such likes …’ underneath.
      Bollocks! I know for a fact that those FB ‘friends’ of mine mentioned would rather eat their own offspring than ‘like’ BT or UKOK. Is this a sinister plot by unionists or Facebook?

    26. Keef says:

      I’ve seen a few “Yes’ car stickers here in Brisbane, Australia (I have one myself) but never seen hide nor hare of anything remotely resembling the other shower.

    27. GrahamB says:

      Nearest one to my Glasgow post code (filtered to within 50 miles) is the Dunoon one on October 9. I won’t be attending! I’m dying to be approached by a BT leafletter so that I can point out their lies, damned lies and irrelevancies but no luck so far. Not even had anything through the letterbox or under the close door with the pizza flyers.

    28. John Daly says:

      Make the most of it. There’ll be no pizzas after independence.

    29. Doug says:

      Just looked on BT – my nearest ‘local’ event is in Stonehaven (85 miles away) on 28/9.  Nothing else listed.  Do I fancy travelling 2 hours to hear Prof Pennington and a retired general talk nonsense?  Probably not.  I suspect this will happen (but hardly grassroots)
      Whereas, within that same 100 mile ‘local’ radius for Yes, there are 8 – all grassroots, of which 2 are actually local (Elgin/Inverness). 

    30. Màrtainn Mac A Bhàillidh says:

      We should be wary of dismissing our opponents activity.I saw two BT stooges giving out the pound paranoia leaflet at Lenzie station to mark a year to go. I’ve also seen them at queen st ages ago and I also saw evidence of their activity at a Glasgow warriors match, where there were leaflets all over the stand! (versus Ulster last year, we won)  they were at kirky canal festival too, they had Saturday we had Sunday.

    31. Doug says:

      Apologies – no edit.  Turns out that nationally (regionally for all those BT readers) there are 53 upcoming for Yes, 2 for no (the further one being Oct 7th in Cowal).
      Who says BT isn’t a mass grassroots phenomenon?

    32. Ken Mac says:

      Just tried the site. There is only one event within a 50 mile radius of my home between now and the end of November and that is the launch of better together in Dunoon on 7th Oct. Interestingly they are offering ‘Speakers to include members of the three main political parties’. So it appears the SNP are going to be speaking at the event, should be interesting.

    33. Training Day says:

      The BT ‘event’ at Bearsden Cross in May was exactly in the same mould. Billed as a chance to meet other activists, the gathering point attracted not a single soul at and beyond its 1pm start time. It will still have been logged as an ‘event’ though, with some imaginary numbers attached to it.

      I too have encountered just two NUS Labour wannabe types representing BT (in Glasgow). Combined semi-adult life experience could be generously estimated at 5 years.

    34. GrahamB says:

      John Daly
      But after independence can we apply to fUK for permission to get pizza? If only we could get our hands on a BT leaflet I’m sure all would become clear.

    35. Albalha says:

      I’m guessing someone from WoS  will be undercover at the South Aberdeenshire launch on Saturday?
      Wonder who the political bods will be.

    36. T Young says:

      I had the misfortune to pass by a BIG BT gathering of one bloke and a table in North Berwick a few months ago. Didn’t see a massive queue for his attention…nor anyone really, but was just passing. The thing is, they don’t really need to talk to people as the media is campaigning for them. Why stand on the street cold talking to ‘common’ people when you can have your message delivered directly into their homes and cars via telly and radio? For my sins I know a number of NO voters and they wouldn’t bother visiting BT stall or canvassing as they feel they have it all sown up without trying.

    37. I’ve seen one single UKnobber car sticker but a few Yes ones.  Anyway we’re barking up the wrong tree here.  All the “we cannae” campaigning is now being done by Labour’s breakaway organisation.  The name escapes me but I bet they’re teeming with activists.  Nothing through my door yet but I’m sure they’ll get here soon.

    38. JLT says:

      I must admit, Rev, I find this thought-provoking. After reading your post, I had to sit back and wonder. Does ‘BT’ really care when it comes to the heart of the matter.

      Or are they relying on disinformation from the media, and a belief, that most folk will just vote ‘No’ because they think the UK will look after them, or that they fear going it alone.

      If this is the case, then they have very little belief in their own countrymen. They assume that the Scots will just listen to the state, nod, and cross the box that says ‘No’.
      Very foolish if this is what they believe.
      As I said, it certainly made me sit back and wonder…

    39. Alan MacD says:

      There was a couple of old codgers outside WH Smith in Largs this year in May. They very kindly located right next to a big old bin, i duelly accepted there leaflet and disposed of it instantly which kind of cheered me up a bit. Waste of paper but worth it.

    40. Scott says:

      Easily explainable.
      They were at Aberdeen station a few weeks ago and were promptly barred by scotrail from entering, it would only be right to assume that this barring was a nation wide affair.

    41. GrahamB says:

      Looked at your link to find ‘Our campaign is all party’ so we should expect speakers from SNP, Greens, Scottish Socialists and maybe LFI. If they all turn up the party speakers will outnumber the audience.

    42. Màrtainn Mac A Bhàillidh says:

      I just this minute peeled one of their stickers off a lamppost outside Glasgow city chambers. I’ve also had a Tory friends of the union letter through my door. Postie delivered mind.

    43. Bill C says:

      I live on ‘Royal’ Deeside, I have seen one UKOK sticker on a car owned by the Tory toff and ex-councillor who owns the estate across the road from where I live. I have also seen a good number of YES car stickers all over the North East.

    44. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Just a thought. Could we start this as a series?”

      That’s pretty much what I was getting at in the last paragraph, yes.

    45. Eddie says:

      The BitterTogether propaganda machine is alive and well but the U-KOK equivalent of brown shirted (or even black) thugs enforcing a message is nowhere to be seen.  Maybe they are aware the we Scots would not accept such a thing and they are restricted to bluster.

      I’ve also received one solitary leaflet from Labour and took great delight in immediately returning it to their lackey and pointing out all the lies there-in. They had no answer and duly accepted it back and skulked off.

    46. DougMack says:

      Off topic : Rodent infestation of the ginger species (rarely sighted in public) on the flight to Inverness this morning. I would lose the will to live if I talked to him.

    47. Albalha says:

      Interestingly when you get to the secrh results page with a ‘Better Together’ search, it clearly says, 
      ‘Better Together: The patriotic all party and non-party campaign
      Phew, I’m not ‘patriotic’.

    48. Training Day says:

      As others have alluded to above, our problem isn’t BT ‘activism’. It’s the inertia No voter (who may not have any great love for the union) being spoonfed tripe by the BBC, STV and the rest of the MSM. Adding to that inertia is the fact that the debate has been deliberately pitched by the MSM at the level of Loose Women or ‘Who’s better – One Direction or Little Mix?’

      I guess that’s why us on the ground are so important.

    49. John McGuire says:

      I think that the biggest problem that the NO campaign have is that so many of the folk who sign up for their events are YES folk, just for mischief.

    50. Doug Daniel says:

      Yeah, I’ve been hearing for a while now that BT schedule all these events and then don’t bother to turn up for them, but still leave them up on the website. That explains the suspiciously high number of events they claim to have had so far.
      This is the BT campaign all over, really. In Aberdeen, they opened up a shop to have a presence on Union Street, but it’s never actually open. Rumours get made about them planning to be out at the weekend, but then they don’t turn up. Even when they do appear at an event as advertised, it’s usually a case of hanging around for half an hour to take some photos of themselves “campaigning”, then buggering off again – the last time they had a stall in Aberdeen, the Yes stall was still running long after BT had gotten bored and left.
      It’s interesting how much they love leafleting train stations, though, especially at times when everyone is going to be in a hurry to get somewhere. It’s almost like they want to make sure people take a leaflet but don’t have time to stop and question them…

    51. Ericmac says:

      you are correct. Faux Slovakian Jezerna has appeared back with a vengeance, posting suspiciously near perfect colloquial English on the top of most independence articles. 

      She must have been given a new contract… 

      I find it incredible that the Glasgow Herald let her continue, it’s obvious to 90 % of the people that she is a plant.  Equally incredible are the few who give her credence by debating with her. 

    52. Doug Daniel says:

      By the way, if anyone is interested in seeing some of the 200 students who were signed up by the Yes Aberdeen Youth & Students team at yesterday’s Fresher’s Fayre, here’s a link to their Facebook album with a few folk holding Yes signs…

    53. MochaChoca says:

      My youngest son gets swimming lessons at a pool in a house in Alloway. They’ve had a wee pile of Better Together car stickers on the counter on a ‘help yourself’ basis but the pile doesn’t seem to have moved at all in weeks. (of course it’s possible they are going like hotcakes and then replenished just before we get there).

      The Lady of the House looks to be an item with of one of our Conservative MSPs (saw them at the Homecoming Burns Supper in Ayr earlier this year where the First Minister done the Immortal Memory and was on fine form)

    54. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Nothing listed within 50 miles of Bathgate (a radius which probably covers about 80% of the population of Scotland) for the rest of 2013. Extend it to 100 miles and you get the Dunoon and Stonehaven things, nothing else all year.

    55. Rod Mac says:

      She and her fiancee and her father are keen football fans.What team did I hear you ask?
      Celtic of course, Scotland’s biggest Unionists , do I win a prize?

    56. Albert Herring says:

      This is totally unfair, you know. You’re not counting all the Tory fund-raising dinners in Chelsea.

    57. Ericmac says:

      If you order BT pens, badges and leaflets online, they send them freely to you without qualification.  I ordered a few boxes out of curiosity. Needless to say I forgot to distribute them. 
      Point is it cost them £4.40 in postage.
      Pizzahut ordered some the same day allegedly, but I cant confirm if they received theirs. 

    58. Ericmac says:

      Perhaps we should organize a BT March and Rally online…  Advertise it widely and see how many takers? 
      Any suggested routes? 
      Long walk off off a short pier might be a good start. 

    59. benarmine says:

      Better Together Women have an event listed in Dundee, no date, contact number in Glasgow. It’s being held at Deaf Links, the Tayside Deaf Hub. No comment necessary.

    60. James Kay says:

      Ken Mac  Posted at 8.49
      Don’t forget that WoS is Scotland’s largest political party. So the speakers should be from WoS, SNP, SLAB.

    61. Ray says:

      The “Stonehaven” event isn’t even in Stonehaven, it’s a few miles north in Newtonhill, which is much smaller than Stonehaven. You have Stonehaven, Newtonhill, Portlethen then Aberdeen, and the train doesn’t stop at Newtonhill. Not many buses Aberdeen-Stonehaven do either. Someone else might confirm that, I’ve been out the area for a year. But I’ve spent 29 years in that area and went to Newtonhill about four times. And one of those was during a driving lesson.

    62. Murray McCallum says:

      Here’s hoping they do not extend their phantom on-the-ground campaigning when it comes to the actual vote.

    63. Ron Burgundy says:

      I have seen them once or twice with a stall on Falkirk High Street pedestrianized area on a Saturday morning. Manned by an elderly Tory “cooncillor” and a very elderly pal as well as what looked like a young well fed Tory type. Oddly what I took for the two SLAB volunteers stood well away from them.
      They did attract the attention of one or two punters but this “effort” is from what I understand, massively outweighed by the frequency, size and popularity of the Yes Stall at the same location

    64. Eddie says:

      Phantom campaing equals phantom voters.  With so many phantoms, I expect the Daphne, Fred, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Do to show up and unmask the villain pulling the strings.  No doubt it will be that dastardly villain Alex Salmond, wearing a Jackie Baillie mask.  The horror.

    65. Peter Meikle says:

      O/T but quite interesting.  Scottish Census release 2A today, under “National Identity” shows 62 per cent of people felt Scottish only.  Only 18 per cent felt both Scottish and British and two per cent felt they were Scottish in combination with some other identity.

    66. The Man in the Jar says:

      Despite living in deepest darkest Labour La La Land surrounded by Nawsayers I have never been leafleted nor have I seen any evidence whatsoever on the ground (where it should be 🙂 ) that BT actually exists. Perhaps they consider this area “safe” and don’t have to bother. Who knows what goes on in their deluded minds?
      I have only ever seen one UKOK car sticker and that was oddly enough in Bannockburn.

    67. Doug Daniel says:

      Caesar!lha – cheers for flagging that up. Dunno if I can make it along in my unionist disguise myself, but I’ve passed on details to others, so hopefully someone can check up on what pish they spout.
      It’s interesting that they’re holding it from 10:30am to 11:30am, as the Yes Aberdeen stall runs from 11am. Almost like they’re trying to avoid us…

    68. The Man in the Jar says:

      Snigger! 🙂

    69. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ EricMac – Yes, I did the same thing some time ago on the premise that if I keep them it means it cost them a few bob to send them to me. You will find that a light rub with a Brillo pad totally removes the BT branding on the pens. I also took out the inside spring and gave the pen to a friend who is a potential NO voter – Comments were ‘It doesnt work, it’s useless, its broken’……There was my opening for some good debate.

    70. HenBroon says:

      One of my jobs many years ago was working the doors for a large well known company, who have good quality products. However even though the financial rewards were very good, with commissions of over £1,000 per sale now unknown, they find it hard to keep sales staff on the street.

      The reason for this is that 99% of the doors you knock are really not interested, so it is really difficult to stay motivated. Most sales staff work in pairs for that reason. The company hold monthly sales meeting where all sorts of rewards are handed out for good performance. Each week locally a branch meeting is held where staff who are not coming up to scratch are chided chivvied and in some cases verbally abused to get out on the street and sell. I started on the street with an ex SAS man who lasted about 12 hours before throwing his hands up and disappearing.

      My point is this. When you are trying to promote something that you may even feel is crap, that you probably know is a lie when people regularly tell you so and when you are ignored or even ridiculed on the street, it gets to you. I do not care if you are the strongest person on earth. It gets to you. it undermines your confidence, it demotivates you, it eats in to your soul. It does as we have previously discussed eventually make you physically ugly.

      You can see it in Alistair Darlings reaction to questions on TV, when they are put to him. He reacts like a spoilt child, becoming all irritated and bristling with indignation. He comes over all patronising, gets red faced and shouty, and tries to talk over the top of everyone. In fact not only Darling but every one of them. Politicians are a very special breed when it comes to promoting lies. The problem with liars is that they have to become more and more extreme to maintain their illusions. Check Millibands gaff about the NHS. I won’t mention Lamont lest I be accused of misogynistic posting. But ahe is FUGLY. You can also see the same physical distortions and ugliness now affecting Darling and McDougall, who are looking more and more haggard and repulsive. Just look at some of the shots of Gordon Brown during his fall from power. Really scary stuff.
      Someone very close to me who was in Afghanistan when Blair visited told me that after he had been given the grand tour finishing with a visit to the field hospital and some of the wounded, he became very ill and had to go and lie down in a quiet area before he was fit for travel. His flunkies were hysterical thinking he was about to become a CASEVAC him self. It was then he converted his faith to the Catholic church, obviously using his political training thought he would get a better deal there to atone for his evil. You can see evil in that man. He knows what he did was wrong but he will never admit it even under duress or water boarding.

      And then we come to No To Scotland. Even they cannot believe the stuff they produce. It is their dishonesty, and their patronising propaganda that insults people so much. Only the very hard of thinking will parrot their stuff, and most people when the truth is shown to them will admit they are wrong. So that IMHO explains the lack of momentum and the lack of boots on the ground for No To Scotland. It is the fact that those who burst on to the scene all shiny and smiley at the beginning have now become so demoralised, they just pull the quilts over their heads and say, “fuck that I’ve had enough.” And who can blame them.

    71. Murray McCallum says:

      Peter Meikle
      The census results are interesting and totally at odds with the British – Scottish message being trumpeted. I also see it says “Eight per cent of people felt they only had a British national identity only”

    72. Stewarty says:

      Doug Daniel makes true and valid points, I have never ever seen any bitters in Aberdeen thou they are supposed to be out every Sat outside M&S in Aberdeen, The YES stall is there every Sat without fail, I went to the Echt show a few months ago and both YES an No had a stall there and the truth is there was not one local accent on the No stall,

    73. The Man in the Jar says:

      To add to my above comment.
      Unfortunately there is little evidence of Yes in my area. The very occasional car sticker and that is about it! I have yet to see any evidence of a Yes presence anywhere around here. Never seen a Yes leaflet never mind a Yes stand.

    74. cadgers says:

      ‘ the UK allowed too many Scottish residents to remain British nationals.’. Excuse my ignorance but surely there will not be a ‘UK’ after independence?

    75. Angry Weegie says:

       In G72, have had one BT leaflet delivered by what looked like a paid delivery lad. Unfortunately he vanished over the hill before I could ask him. 

    76. Evelyn says:

      Last year myself and Keysersoze attended a couple of their ‘leafleting venues… one of them being Bellshill town centre. The ‘grassroots’ activists were made up of MSP Michael McMahon, his son, and his sons pal. At Motherwell Station the ‘grassroots’ activist was Labour Councillor Michael Ross who was standing within the forecourt of the entrance exit, on Scotrail grounds. Most people at both venues seemed ‘detached’ and many leaflets were thrown in the bin. I also remember they had advertised a leafleting event at Waverley and no ‘activists’ turned up! I’ve yet to see any Tory ‘activists’….whether they be made up of Tory voters or Tory officials. Seems to me that the Torys are providing the cash and the Labour lackeys have agreed to do the ground work….but as we all know, Labour have little support left so it seems to be left to the Labour officials to do the Torys dirty work.
      Here’s Michael McMahon in UKOK action last year

    77. Macart says:

      Apparently they’ve been handing out leaflets at Lockerbie and Dumfries train stations to commuters. They also had a wee street stall in Stranraer recently. Obviously the claim from them being that doon in the borders we know the value of…
      Locale didn’t seem to help them much in Kirsty Wark’s big debate mind you. The folk in the border regions are just as divided on the issue as anyone, anywhere else in Scotland. They’re kidding themselves on to think otherwise.

    78. David McCann says:

      Re earlier comment on BT ads on FB. I am now getting ads on one or two golf sites I get on an almost daily basis. I am aware that Google targets people but exactly how does this work, since I have NEVER clicked on BT site, so why assume I am a supporter? Could my address have been harvested during the recent Yes website hacking? I have sent my observations to the Yes digital team for comment

    79. Dcanmore says:

      The question about BT actually caring for the cause, I don’t think they do. There isn’t a heartbeat in the BT campaign, what they’re all about is the survival of the Labour Party first, maintaining the gravy train second and then BritNat heroes third. Scottish LibDems and Tories  are only a token existence within BT to give the flavour that it is a multiparty entity. If anything the LibDems should be more involved (where’s Charles Kennedy?), but to be fair to Willie Rennie he is making most of his Better Together exposure because without it he’d be more of non-entity in Scottish politics. Better Together is a plastic campaign driven by empty suits to maintain their comfortable existence as it stands.

    80. Gillie says:

      BT-MSM is a media campaign and not a grass-roots campaign. It’s intent is to keep everyone in the dark and feed them shyte.
      If they did hold a march you know it would be dominated by elements from the Orange Lodge, SDL, National Front, UKIPpers, etc. Now that would be bad publicity. 
      So all BT-MSM can do is to indulge in tokenism, hence a series of in reality non-events. 

    81. tartanfever says:

      You’ve got to be careful.

      I observed my first ‘U-KOK’ car sticker the other week on the Edinburgh bypass. I got such a shock I swerved the car a little and then came over with a strange desire to make rude gestures out of the window…

      So, as we pulled alongside in the outside, I had my passenger do the..’ YOUR TYRE”S FLAT’ gesture to them. The fella duly waved his acknowledgement and signalled to pull over to the hard shoulder.

      Childish I know, but oh how we laughed.

    82. ianbrotherhood says:

      Hear hear.
      Blair’s a great example – the Lamonts and Darlings could do worse than view some snaps of that bastard over the past ten years, and ask themselves if they really want to follow suit. Rarely have we seen the physical degeneration of a human being so closely documented – he’s rotting from the inside-out for all to see.
      Darling et al must have friends and family – anyone who really cares about them should urge them to get out while they still can.

    83. Horacesaysyes says:

      I’m wracking my brain, but I can’t recall having received leaflets from either Yes or BT through my door here in Dundee.

      With regards to the paucity of events from BT, however, I’m honestly not too surprised. Its relatively easy to get yourself motivated to go out and promote something that you see as a positive change, but I can understand how much more difficult it must be for the nay-sayers to motivate themselves to go out and say ‘this is as good as it gets’.

    84. Iain says:

      As others have said, the problem is that while the BT campaign looks pathetic as well as negative, they’ve got the media to publicise the fear factor. What we have to do is to keep on being positive, active and visible, to emphasise the difference in outlook and attitude. We show, through relentless campaigning, that we know independence is right: that we’re looking forward to a better Scotland, and that we are the sort of capable, talented, hardworking people who can make it happen.

    85. Angry Weegie says:

      O/T Read Derek Bateman’s latest blog “The day after a NO vote” and “The day after a YES vote”. Says it all really. Copy on NNS.

    86. Morag says:

      I’m technically in the Borders, though on the map I’m quite a long way from the actual border.  I may have had a leaflet ages ago and binned it, I really can’t remember.  Went to Peebles Show to help man the Yes tent, and there wasn’t a BT tent.  What there was, was a Conservative tent, a big one, and their people were wearing UKOK and BT badges.  (We had a separate SNP tent as well as the Yes one.)
      Also, the tent on the other side of us was some sort of promotion to encourage temperance and sensible drinking, and the guy on there had a BT badge.  There was also a lot of Tory traffic up the line of tents to where the Armed Forces charity one was situated.  Lots of smiling and shoulder-patting going on.  Oddly, though I never saw a BT balloon inflated (blew up scores of Yes ones myself), I picked up an unused BT balloon from the grass.  I blew it up on the hill on Saturday and popped it with the pin of my brand new shiny Wings badge.
      I think they’re talking to themselves rather a lot.

    87. Geoff Huijer says:

      I love the fact our intrepid investigator went for ‘the messages’.
      I still go for ‘the messages’.
      I don’t ‘do a weekly shop’ – a shop is where I get my messages.
      I’m also not ‘sat’ here typing; I’m sitting typing.

    88. Doug Daniel says:

      David McCann – the reason you’re getting those messages from BT, despite not liking them or anything like that, is that they have paid to have their adverts appear on the timelines of anyone who is friends with anyone who has “liked” their page. So unless you want to unfriend whichever friend it is that is a unionist – and let’s face it, what better reason is there to sever ties with a former friend? – then you’ll continue to see their adverts.
      It’s exactly the sort of sleekit, privacy-ignoring behaviour that has characterised the No campaign thus far, along with the spam texts and thrusting leaflets into the hands of people who just want to get to work in the morning.

    89. Morag says:

      Leafleting is an interesting topic.  I’m in a very spread out rural area.  It’s a struggle to get leaflets even to most of the houses.  Right now I’m definitely struggling to leaflet one ward for a council by-election.  But at the same time the Tories have put round about four leaflets, one of them a personalised thing actually referring to the individual street leafleted.
      Now it may be they’re concentrating on the town and the single large village and ignoring the hamlets and farms.  I’m trying to get at least one leaflet to everyone.  Even so, they’re keen.  I wonder where they’re getting the manpower, I really do.
      Conversely, when we were doing Yes leafleting, we got the place done in no time flat – because an army of non-SNP volunteers showed up almost spontaneously, people from Labour for Independence and the SSP and the Greens and some not affiliated to any political party.  I wish I could magic them up for the by-election, I really do, but that ain’t gonna happen!
      Don’t get me wrong, there is a big No vote here at the moment, but it’s not accompanied by any enthusiasm for campaigning.

    90. Paula Rose says:

      I think they’re talking to themselves rather a lot.
      I think that is very much the case – people I know who support the union are forever going on about how it’s ‘in the bag’ and AD should stop fretting. I convinced two more dks yesterday and am working on a couple of nos.

    91. Morag says:

      I get these BT adverts online as well, most annoyingly when I visit Scot Goes Pop.  I’m not on Facebook and I have never to my knowledge been near a BT web site.  I think they are actually paying to target people who seem interested in politics, irrespective of their leanings.

    92. pa_broon74 says:

      I’ve seen precisely one BT stall outside John Lewis’ in Edinburgh (by the big burly door.) But must admit I’ve only witnessed one Yes stand in Port Seton. Also seen two cars sporting yes/No stickers (not including my own with its yes sticker.)
      The thing about the No campaign (I feel anyway) is, they have no interest in gaining votes, I think they’ve come to the conclusion that all they need to do is form a holding pattern. As long as they don’t start losing no votes (haha) they’re happy, its either arrogance or optimism but having the press on side and Westminster rumbling away in the background with all its daft reports – I reckon they think it’s enough.
      Also, having a default majority (if they still actually do) I think is a double edged sword. Yes – its a good place to be starting from but, it also means its a lot harder to get people enthused about fighting a campaign they’ve already won (if you see what I mean.) Also, Having spent so much time rubbishing the idea of independence, telling people ‘oh it’ll never happen, its a lunatic fringe idea’, means those no voters don’t feel the need to be out manning stalls.
      Is what I think anyway.
      (Off-topic slightly. No idea if I’m in this boat on my own but – those archive links you provide – my work’s fire wall think its some evil proxy thing so won’t link through. No idea if anyone else is in the same boat. Absolutely don’t expect you to change it anyway, I’m fully aware it’s not all about me. (even although it bloody well should be…))

    93. Marcia says:

      If anyone is going to watch the BT in operation I would suggest you get Yes leaflets and give them away at the same time.

    94. Morag says:

      Peter, I had to go check that web page to make sure you had transcribed it right.  62% of the people in Scotland felt Scottish only?  To do that, they specifically had to reject the possibility of being both Scottish and British.  That is extraordinary.
      Even I, were I answering that question honestly, would have to admit to a degree of British identity.  Maybe it’s because I lived in England so long, but I don’t really think so.  I’ll cheer for British athletes at the Olympics and I always wanted Tim Henman to win Wimbledon.  I would have done that from Scotland too (I cheered on Virginia Wade at a time when I’d scarcely spent a night outside Scotland).  I feel we’re brothers under the skin, and there will always be a closer tie there than to America, for example.
      To choose Scottish only for that census question required a degree of positive rejection of a British identity.  I seem to remember choosing to do that at the time, as did my mother.  Nationalists tend to do that.  But I never imagined as many as 62% of people would have made that choice.

    95. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “No idea if I’m in this boat on my own but – those archive links you provide – my work’s fire wall think its some evil proxy thing so won’t link through.”

      Well, you’re no worse off in many cases, because if they’re from the Herald or some others you’d be blocked by the paywall anyway. Every page tells you what original address it’s archiving, but do you not even get as far as the bit where it shows you that?

    96. Boorach says:

      I note that one of the speakers at their South Aberdeenshire launch is to be Lt Gen Sir Peter Taylor a gentleman who was the Gordon Highlanders’ Adjutant during their 12 month tour in Borneo in the sixties.
      I was a member of the R Signals troop attached to them to provide, primarily, their ‘rear link’ communications. We ended up doing most of their forward link communications also due to VHF voice being p*** poor and regimental signallers not being very clever with a morse key.
      On one occasion I had received an encoded signal from a patrol which was days overdue and needed to get it decoded sort of yesterday. This involved making use of Malay SDS (signal despatch service) and bloody quickly. To stress the importance of the matter and in order to overcome the language difficulties I ,of course, raised my voice and made use of several swear words. 
      Within minutes I found myself standing rigidly to attention in front of the said Captain Graham and being roundly chastised for my profanity in conversing with ‘our allies’. No allowances for the situation I had found myself in I was a very, very bad person!
      The upshot was he ordered me to stand there and swear for five minutes and if I could do so without repeating myself then he would overlook any future incidents. An impossibility of course, there are only so many swear words in anyones vocabulary. However, you wouldnt believe the cathartic effect of the ‘dumb insolence’ involved in directing each and every curse directly into the face the person who had so recently humiliated you!

    97. Dorothy Devine says:

      Sorry Stu ,must have missed that lesson.

    98. Gillie says:

      It looks like that 62% of Scots have caught the ‘virus’.  With only 8% completely ‘virus’ free.
      You can understand why BT don’t hold many public events. They don’t want to be infected by a virus, now known as viral Lamontaitis.

    99. Doug Daniel says:

      The last Scottish Attitudes Survey said only 23% of people felt Scottish only. Bit of a disparity there, huh?
      So which do we believe: a survey amongst just over 1,000 people, or a survey amongst the *entire* population? And which one more closely resembles the people who will be voting in the referendum?
      And if surveys and polls can get that number so badly wrong, why should anyone believe they’re right about the level of support for independence?
      All very interesting stuff!

    100. theycan'tbeserious says:

      So where is their campaign funding going? Is it the production of “think tanks” (jobs for the boys) to produce bogus information and stats and advertising on google. It doesn’t seem to be grass routes leafleting and events?
      Maybe worth having a look at how they are spending their ill-gotten gains/war chest? I wouldn’t suggest for a moment that most would be pocketed by their high profile big hitters!
      Just a thought!

    101. ianbrotherhood says:

      For anyone who wants chapter-and-verse on Labour’s ‘apparent’ volte-face on the Bedroom Tax, the lead article on Richie Venton’s blog may be worth keeping:

    102. Peter Meikle says:

      Yes, it kind of surprised me too.  But there it is.

    103. liz says:

      Archie [not Erchie]- I know it’s probably childish but that comment fair cheered me up. 

    104. Norrie says:

      Great ides must order some springless ones for the local pub.

    105. Kirriereoch says:

      62% of the people in Scotland felt Scottish only?  To do that, they specifically had to reject the possibility of being both Scottish and British.  That is extraordinary.
      And let´s keep in mind 57.7% of people in England also “rejected” the British national identity in the 2011 Census too. 
      “English identity (either on its own or combined with other identities) was the most common identity respondents chose to associate with, at 37.6 million people (67.1 per cent).  English as a sole identity (not combined with other identities), was chosen by 32.4 million people (57.7 per cent).”
      British identity is now a “minority” identity across the UK as a whole. As BT keep on about losing British identity this may not be their most perceptive move.
      (Sorry for being sort of O/T by the way)

    106. Morag says:

      Well off topic, but I’ve so far only watched half of The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil on YouTube.  The sound is clear but the video is poor resolution with a seriously screwed-up aspect ratio.  There is a BBC Caesar! logo in the corner of the screen, so I don’t know why it’s so bad.
      Anyway, the play itself is everything it was cracked up to be, and more.  I never saw it in the 70s, but I remember the news about it touring the country and leaving swathes of incensed and outraged people behind it.  It still has its power today, and certainly the first half can’t ever date, as it’s historical.  It’s a shame the quality of the YouTube upload is so dire.  It’s watchable for the enthusiast, but nobody would want to sit back and watch it for entertainment.  It does seem a shame that such an iconic and historic piece of drama doesn’t have a decent copy that can be recommended to the undecided.

    107. TP says:

      I would of went to the BT meeting at Newtonhill as its in my neck of the woods, but unfortunately I’m not home at the moment. Hopefully someone can go and film it to see what lies they are peddling.

    108. HandandShrimp says:

      Nothing has fluttered through my letterbox but I was given a leaflet in Central Station ages ago in the form of a rail ticket with Destination UK in large letters. Unfortunately I mistook it for a UKIP leaflet and threw it in the nearest bin (I didn’t have my reading glasses on) – someone told me later that they were Better Together leaflets….although what they were about will forever remain a merciful mystery. That really was ages ago though…last year I think.

    109. Baheid says:

      John Beattie has a piece on the cencus report in his lunchtime prog

    110. Morag says:

      And let´s keep in mind 57.7% of people in England also “rejected” the British national identity in the 2011 Census too.
      Oh.  Right.  So they’re so bitter about not wanting to lose Scotland just why, exactly?  (OK, I know that “fuck off and starve” is also a popular position.)
      If we can’t get a majority Yes vote from this raw material, we all probably ought to be taken out and shot.

    111. Murray McCallum says:

      When you look at the latest census results on national identity in Scotland:
      British % Scottish 18%
      British 8%
      English 2%
      Total 28%
      That 28% looks very like the “No” party-faithful voters that were identified in an excellent Panelbase poll undertaken in the recent past.
      “I plan to vote No and the party I supported backs a No vote: 29%”
      So based on the national identity in the latest census, you can see why DKs are swayed to vote Yes – it seems to be the home they want once they have got the info.

    112. desimond says:

      Theres a NO leaflet hander-outer ( shortened to hooter?) at ThornlieBank Train Station.

      You have been warned.

    113. Haggistrap says:

      Yes website has a section for undecided voters to ask a question. I asked a question on gold reserves, would we have any and where would they come from? Obviously a too complicated question as I was completely ignored and got no response.
      I was also thinking of asking about setting up a Scottish central bank as all countries must have one but probably wasting my time.
      Although I am a committed Yes, had I been swithering the Yes resonse is hardly inspiring.

    114. Gillie says:

      Now you can understand why YES campaigners have been saying there is a natural majority. In anyone’s language 62% is a big majority. 

    115. fairliered says:

      For those of you who haven’t seen one, this is what a Better Together leaflet looks like.

    116. tartanfever says:

      Haggistrap –  it’s always horrible when you don’t get replies to questions. However, i would have sent those questions to the SNP rather than the Yes campaign. 
      The Yes campaign is a broad church – there you will find the basics of the arguments, the general affordability of things, like defence and so on.
      The setting up of a central bank would be something for the SNP (or the government of the day) to answer (obviously not going to happen at present according to the SNP) but at a time in the future it could.
      Gold reserves, for what the UK has left, would be a matter for negotiation with the UK government as and when Scotland votes in favour of independence. They would be thrown into the pot of assets and liabilities to be sorted out.
      However, the Yes campaign could have been more helpful and at least sent you an e-mail saying ‘you’ve come to the wrong place, ask the Scottish government’

    117. Lianachan says:

      I’ve seen evidence of nether No Scotland nor Yes Scotland leafleting or door knocking around my corner of the Highlands.  I have a Yes Scotland car sticker, and I’ve seen a few (unofficial looking) pro independence posters up at the side of roads and suchlike, but that’s about it. 

    118. Lianachan says:

      I’ve also had a question not answered by Yes Scotland (presumably because not enough others had asked it).  As I’d vote yes even if it meant I had to immediately go and live in a cave and eat moss, I’m not too concerned about that – but I can’t help but wonder how many potential yes votes are lost in that way.
      I can’t remember the exact phrasing of my question, but it was about the lowering of fuel duty in an independent Scotland.  I think if that’s announced, the vote’s probably in the bag.

    119. muttley79 says:

      Yes, the No campaign is clearly relying on the MSM, and also conditioning to an extent to win the referendum.  The “best of both worlds” rhetoric is clearly designed to attempt to hide the fact that Scotland is unique in being an identifiable small European nation that is not independent.  The MSM either completely ignores or gives good news stories about the Yes campaign very little coverage.  Saturday was a good example.  Both STV and BBC Scotland hardly covered the rally, while RT and Iranian News reported it in much greater depth.  There appears to be almost no grassroots No campaign, it really is just for appearances sake.  The No campaign is clearly relying on the fear factor, and the ‘its always been thus’ attitude to Scottish independence. 

    120. chalks says:

      Feel free to start something…..; )

    121. Doug Daniel says:

      Lianachan – have you been in contact with your local Yes group to ask if there’s activities going on? Maybe you could become the person delivering the leaflets!

    122. desimond says:

      Just thinking of what arguments a Better Together campaigner can go with.
      Given horrible parties philosophies, there is no “We wish this” or ” We aim to achive that…” which they can use as potential vote winners.

      Ultimately it all boils downs to:

      “Scotland isnt for the Scottish”

    123. Gillie says:

      So in reality the ‘Scottish and British’ tag used continually by unionist politicians chimes with only 18% of people living in Scotland.  That means the ‘best of both worlds’ phrase will not have any traction either.

    124. Lianachan says:

      Chalks, Doug Daniel – as much as I would like to, and I fully appreciate that it’s an important task, I really don’t have the time just now.  The referendum build up happens to coincide with a period which finds me extremely busy, both at work and at home.  If this had all happened a few years ago, I’d have been standing at the front of the queue of volunteers.

    125. ronnie cowan says:

      On the 18th September YES Inverclyde were leafleting outside 4 train stations from Gourock to Port Glasgow. BT had a chap at Gourock and one other (local conservative) was going from place to place. I was at Greenock West from 6am onwards and the local conservative turned up at about 7:15 claiming to have been leafleting surrounding streets! He ran out of his leaflets at around 8am and left.
      While we were both handing out leaflets (outside the station) I was given one back by a commuter, he was given back four. I win !  
      Given that Inverclyde is Labour unionist to the core and the council is a labour conservative coalition there have been relatively few sightings of them locally. I put this down to a combination of their ignorance and arrogance.
      A work mate told me that BT were out in Airdrie last Saturday while we were all at the march.     
      It reminds me of all those old cowboy and Indian movies of my youth ”it’s quiet, too quiet”.

    126. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I note the Better Together launch for Cowal is to be held in Dunoon Grammar School. Many may feel this to be inappropriate use of the school. There are a number of decent halls in the area including the Queens Hall and the Dunoon Burgh Hall.
      We have already had a succession of complaints from parents about one highly placed teacher in the school pushing the Better Together line in class

    127. MochaChoca says:

      The census was conducted in March 2011.
      Could it be a combination since then that the actual possibility of independence (SNP majority in Holyrood and the referendum), along with the Jubilee and the Olympics has prompted quite a few Scots to decide they maybe do feel a bit British afterall?
      If so, this could this go in some way towards explaining the disparity between the Census and the attitudes survey as far as identity goes?

    128. HandandShrimp says:

      I think the one thing we can be certain of is that as the 18th of Sept draws near we will see a sudden increase of all sorts of stuff. There will be adverts in the Metro and assorted newspapers, We will see TV broadcasts and there will be far more debates (and scare stories).
      I was amused to see the press blowback on Milliband labelled as scare-mongering. What goes around comes around. 

    129. setondene says:

      I saw a couple of BT people handing out leaflets on Inverness High Street one Saturday morning in 2012.  Occasional glimpses of UKOK stickers on cars, but very few.
      Re the Census, that was a damn good result for Gaelic.  Lots of credit to Bord na Gaidhlig for this, considering the amount of criticism they’ve had to put up with from people who hate government generally.

    130. Albalha says:

      What an interesting tale of Borneo in the 60’s, and to a non military eye a somewhat perverse punishment.
      I can understand why it left an impression.
      Where are you in the Highlands?  There seem to be more active groups then people are aware of.

    131. HandandShrimp says:

      I doubt that a few sporting events a barge floating down the Thames in the tipping rain would  lop 40% off an indentity. The England response to the census may not be as strong as the Scottish one but at 57% I would say it is still in a similar ballpark. I would like to see the attitude survey replicated before I would think the census was fundamentally wrong.  

    132. Albalha says:

      Of course using school premises for BT and a biased teacher won’t be permitted in the official 16 week campaign period, until then folk can pretty much do what they want it seems, however I wonder if there’s a ‘lasting impact’, argument. Of course I’d have thought the Council would have general guidance re using its premises for political ends, covering any time of the year.
      Anyway the EC guidance for the official period.

    133. MochaChoca says:

      I agree with your thoughts on fuel duty, but I wouldn’t expect either YES or SNP to respond to such a big question before they are ready to make an announcement.
      Even a ‘that’s something we are looking into’ type response would be treated as front page news with some kind of negative spin by the MSM, which would take the wind out of the sails ahead of any actual announcement. I suppose it may or may not appear as part of the white paper, if it was me I’d wait ’til a day or two before the purdah period for such major game changers.

    134. Cauld tattie says:

      I saw my first UKOK car sticker in a Perth Tesco car park this week. So things are definitely heating up in this neck of the woods

    135. Nkosi says:

      Well at 50 mile radius not one event from Torlundy. At 100 miles there were 4, Cowal Lanarkshire, angus and Falkirk. Obviously they realise after creating the clearances us highlanders have no time for them

    136. Seasick Dave says:

      Dave McEwan Hill
      With regards to teachers with agendas, how have your parents dealt with it?
      At my childrens’ school, the Modern Studies teacher is punting a very anti Salmond / pro BT line and even the Chemistry teacher is claiming that the oil will run out very soon.
      I was gathering my thoughts for a letter but was not sure of the best way to tackle it.

    137. Nkosi says:

      Meanwhile it seems this is also in the Herald but I found it on the BBC 
      It seems we actually know we are Scottish, not British

    138. Shinty says:

      For those of you who haven’t seen one, this is what a Better Together leaflet looks like.
      Good one 🙂

    139. fitheach says:

      I’m sorry to hear you haven’t seen any Yes activity in your area. I would be interested to know where you are located so we could “plug” the hole.
      You can send me an email via the Yes Highland contact form.

    140. kininvie says:

      O/T (for a change)
      Nasty, snide, comment by Times diarist Melanie Reid in today’s edition (free on the plane, honest):
      “….Last weekend there was a march through Edinburgh for a Yes vote in next year’s independence referendum. While the organisers said 30,000 attended, the police said 8,000. Who should the Scots believe? The cops, the fairies or the nationalists, who also promise them bigger pensions and an earlier retirement age than England?”
      FFS, it’s what…four days since the police corrected their figure, publicly! Yet this lazy, overpaid columnist can’t be arsed to check, and nor, obviously can the Times’ subs, whose job it should be.
      I’ve sent an e-mail asking for correction (feedback [at] thetimes [dot] co [dot] uk – if anyone wishes to do the same) – but it will no doubt go in the bin.
      The moral being (as if we didn’t know) that it’s better to believe the fairies, or even the nationalists, rather than the Times.

    141. Albalha says:

      Don’t suppose you can scan it, maybe someone else can. I think the PCC is worth a try, though columnists always tougher to call to account. Worth trying on the basis of inaccurate reporting when correct statistics were available, unless of course the piece has been sitting on the ‘if we’re short of space’ shelf for a few days! 

    142. Seasick Dave says:

      The moral being (as if we didn’t know) that it’s better to believe the fairies, or even the nationalists, rather than the Times.
      …or the Iranians or Russians.

    143. Ann says:

      I haven’t seen a scoobie from BT through my door.  It would just go in the bin anyway.
      It’s may be down to the fact that I have a YES logo on my front door and a YES A4 that I made stuck on a window so  that everyone in the street can see it.

    144. Jingly Jangly says:

      WE have two vans with big NO’s on the back and a sheep farmer has a water tank
      in a field beside the main road with a big NO painted on it.
      Ive heard that people have already starting boycotting the local baker with the NO sign on his van.
      We had a one year to go AYE (Arran Yes Event) in a village hall last week and the visitors were in the hundreds, Pretty good for mid week at the end of the tourist season in a small village. ie most of those who visited were Arran residents and a lot of them were people who had moved to Arran and Scotland from other parts of the UK
      Around 40 people from Arran attended the March last Saturday, bearing in mind that Arran traditionally has had a big tory vote and notwithstanding having a SNP MSP has a large proportion of “Rangers” (Old and New Co) supporters that turnout and my straw polling results bodes well for the future.
      My best mate who is labour to the core says he is going to cut off his balls with a rusty
      razor blade in the event of a YES vote, I will happily give him the Rusty Blade secure in the
      knowledge that Scotland will still have a NHS that can put him together again.

    145. cath says:

      “even the Chemistry teacher is claiming that the oil will run out very soon.”
      ffs. That’s the kind of person that should be encouraging kids into fields like organic chemistry where they could potentially have very lucrative careers based around oil. Even if oil is running out – and it certainly looks as though it will be over this generation of school kids working lifetimes – the vital role by-products play in plastics, materials, chemicals, medicines etc means that the very fact we have hit peak will provide a huge challenge to scientists from the next generation of workers.
      As this phase of oil decline happens, countries sitting on dwindling oil supplies won’t be getting poorer but richer as supply lessens and such by-products become ever more valuable. Not to mention that oil producing countries are likely to be at the forefront of whatever new developments are needed to plug the vast holes oil will leave in that whole range of other goods. The modern world as we know it relies incredibly heavily on both oil and the by-products of distilling and refining it.
      What kind of a dull minded, zero-ambition, cringing chemistry teacher would you have to be to be using that in a political, unionist way?

    146. cath says:

      “We had a one year to go AYE (Arran Yes Event) in a village hall last week and the visitors were in the hundreds”
      I saw a nice Yes car/van thing when I was cycling in Arran. Is that yours?

    147. Harry Shanks says:

      @ Jingly Jangly
      I’m tempted to suggest that if he intends to vote no, he is clearly already deficient in the balls department to the tune of two!

    148. Adam L says:

      I turned up to Abertay University’s Freshers’ Fayre yesterday and was told by a friend on my way in that there were Better Together and Yes Scotland stalls set back to back upstairs. As a relatively sure Yes voter, I had a wander up to see if I could challenge one and/or support the other.
      Imagine my surprise when I got up there (still with two hours until the end of the Fayre, mind) and the BT stall essentially wasn’t there! True, there was a table, empty save for a number of Irn-Bru cans and sweet wrappers, and about three BT balloons lying on the floor underneath. But not a soul to be found. All out to lunch simultaneously, perhaps. Or had got rid of their merchandise already and were already off, safe in the knowledge of a job well done. But I doubt it, somehow.
      Meanwhile, the Yes Scotland table was well stocked with leaflets, badges, stickers etc, and the chap I spoke to was friendly and approachable, yet not forcing anything onto anybody walking past. I wish I’d taken a picture of the stalls side by side – it was an embarrassing no-show from the No side.

    149. TJenny says:

      HandandShrimp – re the BT ticket you threw away. Last Oct I turned up to help man a YES stall in Princes St, Edinburgh, but unfortunately, as I hadn’t said I would be there, as not sure if commitments wold allow, the YES stall had gone but there was a fellow SNP branch member/fellow Yesser there who had got one of these BT tickets from stall outside John Lewis. When I saw what it said, I determined to go and ask for a doz or so for friends and family. Ubfortunately BT stall had gone by the time we got there, and he vey kindly gave me his.
      This is what was on the ticket:
      Class – STD
      Adult + Children – All
      Terms – Non- Refundable
      Destination – from UK to Independence
      Price – Unknown
      So a one-way ticket to Independence – what’s not to like? I’m keeping it for posterity. (I think though the ticket was used previously by SNP, and nicked by BT – no vision, no ideas of their own;-)

    150. auslander says:

      Just a note on the problem mentioned above, my workplace blocks (It’s classified as proxy avoidance) completely so I don’t know where the archive is taken from.
      It also blocks the daily mail (as potentially dangerous) though.

    151. muttley79 says:

      What kind of a dull minded, zero-ambition, cringing chemistry teacher would you have to be to be using that in a political, unionist way?
      Probably a supporter of SLAB’s main Unionist division.  After all Lamont was a teacher.  Sounds like her kind of a worldview.

    152. Fergus H says:

      Have had one eye on the No event pages and they do seem bogus.

      Next to none, then suddenly dozens appear all looking like a cut/paste script has generated them.
      No events are definitely being generated from HQ, not the communities.

      Anyway YesEdinburgh had a bit of fun when going head2head with a No event, as our Facebook report mentions:

      More info from 1Year2Yes leafleting at Haymarket at 5pm, as the NO campaign seemed lost…

      Sequence of events appeared to be:

      YES Campaign
      – volunteers gather (about 14 of us).
      – leaflets and Yes Newspapers distributed.
      – 1hr successful engagement with the public.

      NO Campaign
      – couple of them gather invisibly on the pavement.
      – one volunteer joins us, and after half putting on a hi-vis-vest realises he is with the wrong group, apologises and scuttles of in search of fellow NOs.
      – about 6 NO people form a circle and stand for 10mins discussing something. (stressed by our success?)
      – circle appeared to consist of 2 school aged kids, 2 retirees, and a couple of people in smart suit’s on phones.
      – at about 5:20pm they vanish having done next to none leafleting, leaving the 2 school kids lurking about doing nothing.
      – at 5:50pm an excitable gentleman in a shirt arrived with some leaflets and handed the 2 kids some.
      – they then stood invisibly on the post rush hour pavement trying to hand them out for 10mins.

      The NO shamble got me thinking…
      were the “suit’s” only there for a staged photo which they abandoned?
      – did they have any intention of doing some work and actually engaging with the public?
      – did they only bring enough leaflets to hold in a photo, and sent for more once they saw us actually leafleting?
      – were the kids brainwashed? (when chatting to one he insisted Scotland was heavily subsidised by Westminster, and could not afford tons of things without this subsidy!)
      – the other when asked “is Scotland subsidised, or does Scotland pay its fair share” refused to answer…

      A very worthwhile outing and a unique insight into what the NO campaign seems to be about!

    153. MajorBloodnok says:

      Regarding the oil running out issue (@Cath, etc.) I was in Paris this week at a meeting with a certain oil company and, discovering that their project manager was originally from West Lothian but had been in France for a few years, I was asked about the ‘situation’ in Scotland.
      I mentioned that the press keeps saying that the oil will run out shortly and it is practically worthless due to price ‘volatility’.  Cue a steely look of incredulity through knitted brows followed by much laughter…

    154. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Just sent this to The Times
      Dear Feedback Team,

      It has been brought to  my attention that Melanie Phillips in an article in today’s Times states,

      “….Last weekend there was a march through Edinburgh for a Yes vote in next year’s independence referendum. While the organisers said 30,000 attended, the police said 8,000. Who should the Scots believe? The cops, the fairies or the nationalists, who also promise them bigger pensions and an earlier retirement age than England?”

      Having flown from my home in France to be on the March and I was actually there, unlike Ms Phillips I can assure her that her figure of 8,000 attendees is totally incorrect. There were at least 20,000 on the March according to a correction by the Police Association. This does not include a fair few thousands who went directly to Calton Hill and those who arrived by the unofficial stair climb, rather than the road to the top.

      The 8,000 figure comes from  The Scottish Police estimate of attendance, made before the March, of between 8,000 and 12,500, and reported as 8,000 actual attendance by the BBC on their web site, before the March took place.

      I am told by secret agents in The Police that they had planned and manned for the estimated attendance, viz 8K to 12.5, and thus were caught with their truncheons at half mast. They were a bit stretched with both the March and a simultaneous football match not far away considering that at the Rally the Police numbers dropped as they, presumably, were redeployed to the other public gathering where their services would be more needed.

      Incidentally, Calton Hill has a capacity limit for such events of about 13,000 so Police have had more than one problem in crowd control. As it happened this was a family event and nobody was arrested so the Police had a nice day out before being redeployed.

      I do wish that your correspondents actually did their own research and not parrot erroneous stuff propagandised by the BBC or other London centric media as the Gospel Truth.

      Melanie must try harder if she is going to make any headway getting under our skin. That canard was way too easy to put down; a bit like most of the guff we are getting from the UKOK and Better Together Naesayers.

      Yours faithfully,

      James McLaren

      A closet truth fairy!

    155. NorthBrit says:

      Just as well Ms Reid’s not a nationalist or she’d have @lgbtnetwork on her case banging on about homophobia following that comment about the fairies.

    156. Albalha says:

      @btp and @kinivie
      Now very confused is it Reid or Phillps or both, Times or Mail?
      I thought I’d give the PCC a go, though need to know who said what, where and don’t plan on buying either paper, so if anyone does know, can scan the piece, that’d be grand.

    157. NorthBrit says:

      Melanie Reid of the Times.  To be fair to the Panda, it’s an easy mistake to make.

    158. pa_broon74 says:

      “Every page tells you what original address it’s archiving, but do you not even get as far as the bit where it shows you that?”
      Nope, it goes straight to our in-house ‘dinnae-go-there’ page. But it probably has little to do with and everything to do with my employer’s IT policy of zero tolerance when it comes to fun or entertainment via the internet.

    159. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I did follow up The Times by apologising for my error, Phillips vrs Reid, and asked that Melanie Reid should do the same for her error.
      Originally posted this on wrong thread. having a bad hair day. need some liquid refreshment, just too hot hear.

    160. NorthBrit says:

      The only site that my firm blocked me from was Ergasiophobe’s comment page – blocked for being an obscene site :-).  
      Kudos to our IT department for developing a blocker with taste.

    161. Arbroath 1320 says:

      For my sins I live under the “cosh” of a certain David Mundell. I’ve no idea who he is or what he does but hey ho there you go!
      I have seen no car stickers showing support for the NO camp where I live but plenty of YES stickers. Oh all right I admit it all the stickers I’ve seen are on my car. :D: Four on the body work, two transparent stickers on the front and back windows (one each) and a bumper sticker for good measure. All these stickers are only on show just to ensure that anyone who asks me how I’ll be voting can get my answer without me saying a word! :P:
      Almost forgot I’ve also got a sticker on our living room window :D: and a Saltire flying from a flagpole in the back garden which can be seen from the main road.
      Could this explain why we’ve never received any Better Together garbage?
      Sorry I meant truthful highly informative Better Together leaflets.
      I’ve also found out that our postie was at the march on Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed his day. I did already know he was a yesser by the way.

    162. Boorach says:

      Thanks Caesar!lha. I’d forgotten all about the incident till I saw the man listed as a speaker at South Aberdeenshire brought it back. To be fair though given that we had only three operators to provide a twenty four hour radio link for a year there was precious little else he could do!
      I’m up in Tain zand there is very little going on in this area

    163. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Boorach and TP – Well as its my birthday on Saturday I decided to give myself a wee treat and tootle off to NewtonHill with my notebook, pen and camera to catch the happy moment of the South Aerdeenshire BT Launch. I dont think I will bother with my flask, Empire biscuits and chocolate raisins that I took to Edinburgh.
      @ Boorach – Here is a quote from Lt Gen Peter Graham in the P & J July 2004 :
      ‘It would seem foolhardy and illogical in the extreme if the Government does intend to cut back on infantry regiments and that Scottish units are in its sights.’
      A senior and respected figure in the military establishment added his voice to the growing concern yesterday
      Lieutenant General Sir Peter Graham, former Commander of the Gordon Highlanders, has said, ‘Enough is enough when it comes to politicians tinkering with the Army’
      Now then if anyone can think of some suitable questions to ask this retired General who has obviously been brainwashed while in Borneo by signalmen like our Boorach please submit soonest. Thanks

    164. Boorach says:

      Gaah! i hate this bloody ipad keyboard.
      … in this area. There seems to be a dearth of leaflets (hat tip ti Alex Taylor for helping out) so we are limited to decorating wayside trees with Saltire boards.

    165. kininvie says:

      Ha! My version is rather more restrained
      Melanie Reid quotes the figure of 8,000 attending the rally for independence last Saturday.  This is three days after the Scottish Police Federation confirmed the figure of 20,000.
      The figures would not matter, if it were not for Melanie’s comment:  “Who should the Scots believe? The cops, the fairies, or the nationalists….?”
      Three days is ample time to check for updated figures. Either Melanie or your subs should have done so.
      In future, I shall believe the fairies rather than the Times.

    166. Boorach says:

      There are a few marked cars out there:

    167. Albalha says:

      If I’m passing through Tain, on my sporadic travels, I’ll give you a shout. Your experience is so removed from my life, it’s fascinating to me, but then I’m sure it works vice versa, doubt you can imagine managing Aljazeera’s English website while the invasion of Iraq was in its early months ( before the TV channel).
      Too much heat always an acceptable excuse for confusion.
      @archie (notErchie)
      Good to hear you’ll be going to the launch in South Aberdeenshire, maybe you can ask him what he thinks about Trident.

    168. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Boorach says:

      There are a few marked cars out there: enjoy!
      Now I wonder where that police van was on Saturday, it wouldn’t have been Waterloo place in Edinburgh by ant chance? 😆

    169. Boorach says:

      @ Archie
      Congrats on your birthday on Sat.
      You could ask him if he remembers the Royal Signals troop sgt hammering at his door, complete with rope and ambitions of being a one man lynch mob on Christmas day 1965!!

    170. jim mitchell says:

      Could someone please help me, i am fairly well know as a nationalist in our community and have been for some time, this means that I receive no Labour party leaflets and when i went on their main party site requesting information regarding their set up in my area and to be kept up to date by e mail, they ignored this as well, can i claim some form of discrimination even if it’s just the positive kind?
      We have had only one No leaflet in a part of our street since the whole thing began, i am beginning to feel left out!
      Ignored of Sauchie!

    171. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Boorach – Not withstanding JSP101 I will [from one R/Op to another] 🙂

    172. Morag says:

      The figures would not matter, if it were not for Melanie’s comment:  “Who should the Scots believe? The cops, the fairies, or the nationalists….?
      Maybe she could believe her own eyes, if she looked at one of the videos of the crowd.

    173. megsmaw06 says:

      Stu, I’m in Bathgate and have had exactly one BT leaflet talking the usual pish about the shipyards. That was at the start of the year a few days after the Yes folk had been round and actually chapped the door and spoke to me. Then they gave me a wee survey to fill in and leave in the outside of my letterbox so they could collect it.

      The SNP usually do survey work in the precinct and had recently set up a leafleting group that meets at Morrisons cafe at 1pm on a Friday afternoon.

    174. CameronB says:

      Further to earlier comments that it the MSM, and BBC in particular, that are conducting the No campaign. Want to help Yes but don’t have the time or such? Then stop paying your ‘propaganda tax’ to the BBC and stop buying/clicking MSM publications. It would soon hurt these ‘agents of the state’, if even only a large proportion of at least a third of Scotland did this.
      Further to previous observations re. rapid aging. The Eye of Sauron has a withering effect. 🙂
      “Now the Elves made many rings; but secretly Sauron made One Ring to rule all the others, and their power was bound up with it, to be subject wholly to it and to last only so long as it too should last. And much of the strength and will of Sauron passed into that One Ring; for the power of the Elven-rings was very great, and that which should govern them must be a thing of surpassing potency; and Sauron forged it in the Mountain of Fire in the Land of Shadow. And while he wore the One Ring he could perceive all the things that were done by means of the lesser rings, and he could see and govern the very thoughts of those that wore them.”
      ? J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

    175. Boorach says:

      You, and indeed anyone passing by, would be very welcome Caesar!lha but you’d find me pretty boring. My life has been pretty mundane.
      managing Aljazeera’s english language web site during the Iraq invasion now that really is aspirational!
      By the way the van featured in 
      is my home sweet home.
      Sorry can’t help with the police van Arbroath, mine certainly wasn’t there. I’m the Yesser who didn’t make the big day.

    176. Boorach says:

      Thought I recognised your dryness Archie!
      INT QRM K

    177. Albalha says:

      At a level we all lead ‘mundane’ lives. After 6 weeks covering the invasion of Iraq in Qatar, daily visits to Central Command in the desert, from within the BBC, I joined Aljazeera in December 2003.
      You know I still find it very difficult to talk to anyone about it without an anger taking over, hey ho.
      But, as I say, if I’m passing by I’ll let you know, I’d be interested to meet you and see your van!

    178. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Boorach – hahaha I always loved to use INT QRM when battering the morse key when comms dropped out between Sharjah and Bahrain. Mind you the Z codes didnt seem to have the same fun. [ACP131]. Do radio ops have a dryness of wit? mm I will think about that. I think we could shoot the craw for many a night Boorach. I was a wee bit later in service than you 1967-1979 [RAF] but being radio and t/printer trained it was good for any posting.

    179. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Caesar!lha – There is nothing mundane about what we are endeavouring at the moment. Does it compare with your experiences in Iraq or Boorach’s experiences in Borneo? Yes and No.
      We have been there and done that – Sand in the nether regions, sweaty rashes and nasty bugs. Would love to listen to your memories.
      @ Boorach – We have common ground, I dont think we are subject to the Official Secrets Act Section 1 or the [shhhhhhhhhh Section 2] anymore – Hope to meet you in the near future.

    180. Albalha says:

      I never made it to Iraq, long BBC story, but we all have interesting tales from different perspectives over different decades.
      As you say the fight for a YES vote isn’t mundane, though day to day it may well be, that’s all I meant, and that’s just how it is whoever we are.

    181. Boorach says:

      Aye Archie, reckon we have. Probably comes from the long hours listening to white noise on HF! I actually sandwiched your time 1962 – 1986… a bloody long time for a pension. However, as you say we were in demand and I managed to spend the majority of my time away from my parent units where no-one had a clue about my job and could do my own thing in a fairly relaxed manner.

    182. Doug R says:

      Is that your Yes 2014 car I see in the Nigg car park sometimes? I’ve seen your Saltire boards in the area too & always wondered who was responsible!
      If you need a hand putting them up I’d be more than happy to help out.

    183. Boorach says:

      @ Doug R
      the car belongs to A.N. Other but if you mail me at bill_urquhart [at] hotmail [dot] com I’ll put you on list

    184. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Boorach – Looked at your white van on FB. Seems like a sturdy steed. Agree with you regarding moving around from one place to the next. No units in the RAF as you know but with a PV of high quality like yours, it was moving from place to place. Berlin was interesting and latterly [as Caesar!lha knows] 3 years of Kinloss Mountain Rescue and 1/4 wave home made dipoles. Grand days and that is when my passion was ignited for this Scotland of mine and here I am now.

    185. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Boorach – I just had a flashback. It must have been the precursor to S & M bondage gear. A green Morse key wrapped onto my thigh. Oh nightmares. 🙂

    186. Doug R says:

      Email sent, cheers.

    187. Boorach says:

      Aye Archie, only time I ever got ZBM2 was trying to handle one of those things going cross-country in the back of of a landrover!
      Thanks Doug, will be in touch very soon

    188. Fatweegee says:

      The ploy I’ve seen them use in Fife is to find out when a Yes stand has been booked for an event and then complain that there is not a NO stand for balance – because they dont wnat that – and pressure organisers to remove the Yes stand on basis of fair representation.

    189. Morag says:

      Have you got evidence for that?  Because it’s something that seems to keep happening, and nobody has quite managed to make the case that this is what they’re doing.  It never quite seems to trace back to No deliberately finding out about the Yes stand and then complaining.
      Some hard evidence might be something that could be used to make a complaint.  Or even for RevStu to do an article on it.

    190. Edward Andrews says:

      Please don’t complain about Bitter Together in the rail stations. In the Highlands we have been leafleting the commuters at stations – and even seeking to change BT together supporting rail staff. So let them rail and we can get on with turning minds

    191. For die says:

      @evelyn. Lovin  it 🙂 BT Falkirk Launch 2nd Nov. I’ll go with my trusty iPad, film and report back.Roughly 1yr after Yes launch.

    192. Patrician says:

      To Ronnie Cowan re: the Airdrie event last weekend, I hope it was better attended than the last one, see  I found that because this article reminded me that No Scotland were having a public meeting in Airdrie Town Hall in May of this year.  This event was advertised in the local paper for a few weeks in advance of the event.  I have just realised that I never saw any reporting of the event actually having occurred, so I went on a google for info about what happened. However, even their facebook page has no pictures of the event. BTW, I have seen the Yes Scotland twice in the last few months in the town centre.

    193. Oneironaut says:

      Hmm, I don’t really know of any local BT events, but I’ll keep my eyes open and do my “spy in the herd” bit…
      (Hoping the large “YES” badge prominently displayed on my jacket doesn’t blow my cover…)

      The only signs of them I’ve seen is a “UKOK” sticker on a road sign halfway through Kilwinning. And a sticker on a house window near Stevenston cross.

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