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Wings Over Scotland

The power of six

Posted on September 29, 2013 by

Below is the text of a letter sent by Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland, to the UK Prime Minister David Cameron today, setting out six reasons why the PM should take part in a live debate with the FM on the subject of Scottish independence.

Dear David,

I write in response to your letter of 26 September in which you say that you are unwilling to debate the future of Scotland with me.

With respect, your arguments for not debating Scotland’s future are undermined by the highly political nature of your letter. You are attempting to place yourself in the position of trying to dictate the terms of the debate on Scotland’s future without being willing to publicly defend your arguments in debate. You seek power without responsibility and that is unacceptable.

In addition to that clear democratic point, there are five other reasons you should reconsider and overcome your reluctance to debate Scotland’s future:

Firstly, you quite rightly acknowledge the significance of the PSA’s Democratic Innovation Award for the joint work of our two administrations in holding the Scottish independence referendum under the terms of the Edinburgh Agreement. As the principal signatories of the Edinburgh Agreement, the natural progression in these circumstances is a televised, head-to-head debate.

Secondly the Government which you lead is central to the entire referendum debate from the perspective of the No campaign. The reality is your Government continues to make decisions affecting Scotland, such as the implementation of the Bedroom Tax and the deeply unpopular privatisation of the Royal Mail, despite the fact an overwhelming majority of people in Scotland didn’t vote for the Conservative Party.  The fundamental argument at the heart of the case for independence is that decisions affecting Scotland should be taken by those who choose to work and live here. Your argument is that many should be taken at Westminster.

Thirdly, there is worrying evidence that under the current constitutional arrangements your Government intends to cut spending in Scotland. Senior Tory figures, including Scottish Tory Leader, Ruth Davidson, have called for the current Barnett Formula to be abolished. Many Tory MPs wish Scotland’s funding to be slashed above and beyond the huge austerity squeeze already taking place. This is deeply concerning and I believe that a debate on such a crucial issue should take place so you can spell out your Government’s plans to cut public spending in Scotland in the event there is a No vote.

Fourthly you suggested in Scotland last year that you had an alternative constitutional position to independence. People have the right to know what it is – if indeed it is anything at all – BEFORE the referendum takes place. 

Finally, you suggest I should debate with the Chairman of the No Campaign Alistair Darling. I’m sure that other debates will take place in due course but for the reasons I have made clear the key debate has to be between the head of the Scottish Government – the First Minister of Scotland – and the head of the Westminster Government – the Prime Minister.

There’s a whole range of things that Alistair Darling couldn’t answer. For example, the people of Scotland will want to know why your Government won’t sit down and negotiate with the Scottish Government over issues such as sterling or defence arrangements, even when Westminster parliamentary committees have called for such discussions. 

In any case Mr Darling’s direct opposite number in the Yes Campaign is Chairman, Dennis Canavan, the former Labour MP who has become increasingly dismayed at an out of touch Westminster system. 

Following the SNP’s majority victory in the last Scottish Parliament election, you made the following comment: “I will campaign to keep our United Kingdom together with every single fibre that I have.” (Daily Telegraph May 7, 2011) You continue to direct your Government, and its taxpayer-funded resources, to make the case against an independent Scotland.

That is entirely consistent with your stated intention in the quote above. However your attempt to duck a television debate on the subject is not. Either you stand up and debate or butt out of the debate for good.

The case for a head-to-head debate between us is unanswerable. You should reconsider.

Yours for Scotland


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303 to “The power of six”

  1. ochyes says:


  2. Bugger (the Panda) says:


  3. JPJ2 says:

    Now if only the unionist media would publicise this in a prominent way a major advance for “Yes” would occur.

    Hopefully it is just too good a story for it to be blanked completely.

  4. Conan_the_Librarian says:

    “Butt out?”
    Nice indeed.

  5. Murray McCallum says:

    Reel him in Alex.

  6. handclapping says:

    Enough of the mealy mouth, spit it out. Hypocracy that his Westminster government is churning out No propaganda but “the argument must be made in Scotland”. Man up Brave Dave.

  7. Brilliant!
    Darling’s dismal performance a few minutes ago on BBC Sunday Politics, and the total failure of the BBC’s Andrew Kerr to ask him why he wont debate with his opposite number Dennis Canavan was very telling in many ways.
    I get the feeling that this will run and run. 🙂

  8. Donald MacDonald says:

    Facts and Logic don’t work, unfortunately, on Tories. Or Unionists.
    I hear some of our fine Forces were dancing to ‘Derry’s Walls’ yesterday. It makes me sick. Hatred from Heroes.

  9. Put up or shut up.

    Pity he won’t do either.

  10. DanTDog says:

    It’s a no-brainer…Bring it on…!!

  11. Kimberley says:

    Saw Cameron on the Andrew Marr programme this morning, making his usual claim that the debate should be between Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond, blah, blah,blah. He rounded it off by saying, “he’s a canny guy, but I saw this one coming”, while chuckling in a self-congratulatory way. Oh, how we laughed.

  12. Juteman says:

    Get in there Alex!

  13. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Brilliant AS. He has stated why David Cameron will never debate. A catch 22 situation for The Prime Minister of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    Will you refute The First Minister’s statements by participating in a televised debate with him? Or will you accept his points as fact and continue to refuse his invitation? 

  14. Adrian B says:

    C’mon Dave,
    Scotland wants answers. You have until the launch of the white paper to comply, or you are in breach of the Electoral Commissions desire for Scots to be provided with the information that they require.
    Time is ticking Dave, you have had plenty of time to comply. Question is, what sort of a fight will you give us for your union?

  15. Tasmanian says:

    Great letter! But how did you source it?

  16. cadgers says:

    ‘Butt out’. I agree. Americanisms we can do without. Especially from the First Minister.

  17. Wofsbane says:

    Salmond is showing weakness.  it is a Scottish decision and so the debate should be between those in Scotland who wish to remain part of the UK and those who wish for an independent Scotland.  What he’s trying to is make it an ‘us and them’ Scottish v English thing, which is NOT what it should be about!

  18. twenty14 says:

    “the audacity of the man …  damn his cheek, how dare he ” – just loving this, Our First Minister calling the shots and more than likely reeling him in

  19. call me dave says:

    Dave will fight the good fight with a megaphone from across the border , occasionally parachuting in a few government ministers into safe areas at staged events to rally the unionist support.
    Apart from appealing to sentiment and a book of  fairy scary stories he has not much to offer, or frighten Scottish people.
    He is, unfortunately for him, reliant on the labour party for boots on the ground and the political skills of Darling, Lamont, Curran to retrieve the union chestnuts from the fire.
    Things may appear to be a shoe in for Davy and better together but in reality it’s squeaky bum time with not long to go he is between a jock and a hard place.  
    The ‘First Eck’ has a list of all the scary stuff and some time soon I expect him with the aid of the YES team, and that means all of us, to defeat  better together and claim our nation.
      Here’s a bit of fun with two socks,  

  20. fordie says:

    Watched Darling’s latest car crash interview on Politics Scotland. With the slightest hint of pressure – and I mean the slightest – he starts to rant. Notice the latest on the NHS across the UK ie now described as ‘different administrations’.

  21. Bill C says:

    It seems to me that Cameron’s actions and words necessitate that he debate with Alex Salmond.
    1.For almost a year Cameron’s UK Government have been issuing anti-independence papers on a monthly basis.
    2.Cameron said he would fight for the union with “every fibre of his being”.
    He claims that the debate should be for people who live and vote in Scotland, yet his government issues anti-independence propaganda and he pledges to save the union.
    The man is a coward and a hypocrite.

  22. Doug says:

    Just driving into Inverness (from Beauly back road) and saw a large banner. Put a smile on my face.

  23. Craig M says:

    This also takes the wind out of Darling’s sails. Darling has been effectively painted out of the picture by this. His boss, Cameron, the Tory Prime Minister, will not, cannot speak up for the United Kingdom. Unbelievable. So much for “our beloved Union” by Cameron. So Darling, your boss is running scared, he can’t dictate the ground for making the case for the UK, so what are you to do? The clock is running out on Darling’s peerage. Here’s betting that he reinvents himself in a years time as a lecture tour on “10 reasons not to pick up a poisoned chalice (or how I lost the argument for the UK when my boss deserted me).”

  24. Marker Post says:

    Loved the part, “so you can spell out your Government’s plans to cut public spending in Scotland in the event there is a No vote”.
    Would love to see Dave squirming when he reads that.

  25. Davy says:

    Someone, please pass the tissues to PM David Cameron he has just been kicked in the stones and may be in some distress.
    Yours in Scotland.
    PS. Folks please do not call the PM “Davy”, thats my bloody name and I dont like it.

  26. EdinScot says:

    “I will campaign to keep our United Kingdom together with every single fibre that I have.” (Daily Telegraph May 7, 2011)
    So said Cameron above.  There is no higher authority in the land than the Prime Minister of the UK (outwith her maj of course) who has policies that impact on our lives on a daily basis yet wants to be unaccountable to the public.  Typical Tory expecting to have free reign over us, a kind of Westminster style entitlement of carte blanche to do what and when he likes to Scotland with impunity.  The Britnats inbuilt imperialism is as antiquated as the hills.  The only thing we can deduct from his failure to debate publicly is that he knows his argument wont stand up to public scrutiny despite the vast ranks of the msm being on his side…and he is indeed feart.

  27. Henry Hooper says:

    This is the type of fight the Yes campaign need and need published in the mainstream media.
    We are all heartily sick of bias, but surely the MSM cannot ignore such correspondence and ramifications of such correspondence, can they?

  28. rabb says:

    I’ll be honest folks. I was entirely comfortable with Salmond debating Darling as we all knew what the outcome would be. Cameron was always a pipe dream for me.
    Now that I’ve read Salmond’s letter to Cameron I have changed my mind. Cameron MUST agree to debate our 1st Minister.
    He is indeed sitting in London pulling the strings without the responsibility of defending his governments current position and future intentions for Scotland.
    Alistair Darling is nothing more than a back bench Labour MP in no position of power or influence and cannot answer any constitutional questions.
    I think the public have a right to these answers.
    Come on Brave sir Dave! Put your money where your mouth is. Let’s hear your governments plan for Scotland laid out warts & all!

  29. Albalha says:

    As others have said the DC position is ludicrous, if they want to stick to it then no funding for the referendum, during the official 16 weeks, should come from anywhere other then Scotland. (And of course that includes any material used in that period, regardless of when it was produced).
    After all outside the UK isn’t allowed, already.

  30. Elizabeth says:

    Well done Mr Salmond! No nonsense talk from the first Eck.
    O/T here’s a great interview from the March and rally (highlighted by Newsnet on Twitter).

  31. Macart says:

    I like that fella.
    Nice one Alex.

  32. Vincent McDee says:

    For Cameron this is like if in Downton Abbey the Chief Ghillie was trying to discuss with His Excellency The Lord of the Realm, the arrangements for the managing of the Estate.
    You tell the help what to do or what you wish, you just don’t descend to their level except on Ghillie’s Ball day.
    Is the TORIES we are talking about lads.

  33. HandandShrimp says:

    Cameron is probably going to read that and think definitely no way am I tackling those issues. 🙂

  34. scottish_skier says:

    Either you stand up and debate or butt out of the debate for good.
    I think this might have been better here:
    Either you stand up and debate or away an bile yer heid.

  35. fordie says:

    @Elizabeth.  Thanks for the link to the postie. Glad to say I gave him a donation.

  36. seoc says:

    Of course, Dave has the on-going additional problem of selling London’s UDI – or how to divi the swag-bag.

  37. DougtheDug says:

    I suspect that the “butt out” phrase was deliberate and placed there after a bit of thought.
    It’s tailor made for tabloid headlines in Scotland:
    Salmond tells Cameron to “butt out”
    Salmond to Cameron: “butt out”
    Cameron told to “butt out”

  38. MajorBloodnok says:

    Brilliant.  I wonder if Cameron saw that one coming too.

  39. Boorach says:

    Not a lot of wriggle room there… more power to your elbow Alex.
    Man City must really be in the ascendancy for the air around the tory conference hall to be so blue!

  40. call me dave says:

    Ok: I shall in future refer to Cameron as David (That’s my name too!)

  41. Wofsbane says:

    Interesting how my comment made over an hour ago is still ‘awaiting moderation’ – it is also interesting that none of you seem to recall that it wasn’t so long ago that Salmond told Cameron to ‘butt out’ as this was a Scottish decision – he can’t have it both ways!

  42. Yesitis says:

    Every time Cameron comes out with an opinion on Scottish independence which is aired in the UK media, he should be questioned as to why the logical conclusion is being avoided?

  43. ayemachrihanish says:

    Rev, said elsewhere. In summary.

    1. The No Campaign rallies the Scots to the cause of:- Better Together.
    2. Meaning, Scotland is better if it is part of what?
    3. Better if it is part of the UK
    4. Who is the current Prime Minister of the UK? David Cameron. 
    5. If David Cameron as the current custodian of the Union and head of the UK – an authoritative and powerful  man who can recall the whole UK parliament at will – and ALL obey. If he, this leader, believes that Scotland is better together with the rest of the UK then he has “a duty” to stand toe to toe with that vagabond Alex Salmond and speak up for all the people of the UK.
    It is the Prime Ministers Duty.
    It is David Cameron’s Duty. 

  44. Richard Lucas says:

    Brave Sir Robin Cameron encounters the Knights Who Say Yes


  45. Paul says:

    Off topic, but something I feel like I have to share with those who have a better opportunity than I for publicising something widely.

    I just came across this delightful little short story:

    Now, there comes a point where political writing crosses the line from political commentary and becomes simple propaganda.

    Somewhere beyond that, there is another line where propaganda becomes shrieking inane insanity directed towards a perceived enemy group, with no real purpose but to smear and insult.

    This particular piece of writing goes somewhat further.  All I can say is that, as a piece of creative writing, it certainly fulfils its purpose to create a reaction in the reader, although that reaction might not be entirely what the author intended.

    Godwin’s law is inevitable here, not least because of the events depicted within the story itself.

    Please read and tell me I’m not alone in being very depressed at the sort of sincerely-held beliefs that continue to flourish among certain strata of self-loathing Scottish society.

  46. Clarinda says:

    Brilliantly constructed letter – it does not just set out the primary six debating points but cunningly integrates the negative Westminster response that Mr Cameron cannot avoid. As well as throwing down the gauntlet Mr Salmond  has outsmarted and stymied the combined No squad all at once.  Can’t wait for the reply.
    …………… more please.

  47. Iain Hamilton says:

    @ Chic.
    What a great pic. Is it ok if I throw it onto my FB page?

  48. Keith Brodie says:

    @ Chic
    I had always thought that had been taken immediately after DC had just explained his full bladder technique to AS. After seeing the look of bemused incredulity on AS’s face he finally realised what a pillock he, in fact, is.

  49. Juteman says:

    Cameron should be used to butts. Toffs like shooting their grouse from behind them.

  50. Keef says:

    Bet all Eck gets as a reply is……The PM has read your letter. However, he has asked me to convey this will not be happening as “you’re bigger than him”.
    Pure and utter shitebag.

  51. Mah auld bunnet says:

    Wee Eck is a master at this. Roast him Eck! Flashmans face will be burning with shame!

  52. jim mitchell says:

    Butt out is just fine by me!

    What is also interesting is the fact that you can’t help but think that there is still a Westminster is superior feeling involved in all of this, as in I don’t discuss things with the local natives, I leave that to someone like the Governor-General.

    In other words it isn’t just about who would be the cleverest, but in those Westminster types thinking it would be demeaning to debate with anyone from Holyrood level. 

  53. John Daly says:

    Is this genuine? Getting questions on the familiarity of language e.g. didn’t

  54. Chic McGregor says:

    Sure Iain, it’s been ‘out there’ a while mind.
    While I have my photobucket open, if I may I’ll take the opportunity of linking a cartoon I spent some hours on on Friday in anticipation of a media furore regarding Wee Dougie’s revelation on QT that a group of MPs had asked Broon to sack McBride and where he also refused to defend Broon when questioned by Dimbo.  That anticipation was sadly erronious as there has hardly been a peep.  Thereby largely negating my efforts.  But if I may inflict it on WOS fans:

  55. The Man in the Jar says:

    Go Alex Go! 
    This is what we want from our politicians some balls!
    @call me Dave- Love the “Between a Jock and a hard place” 😆

  56. oblongdot says:

    Surely we could lure Cameron here under some pretence? Tell him that the Scottish Tories want to honour him at a dinner. He arrives to total darkness, whereupon the lights are switched on and Salmond, in a black leather chair and stroking Nicola Sturgeon, swivels round to face him with the words, “We’ve been expecting you Mr. Cameron.”
    Okay, forget that scenario but he could be lured here somehow and, once the cameras were running on a live programme, it would look seriously bad if he ran away. 

  57. Indy_Scot says:

    Ouch, that’s going to leave a mark.

  58. john king says:

    way to go Alex say it how it is

  59. john king says:

    I have a question,

  60. John H. says:

    I’ve replied to you on the previous thread tartanfever.

  61. Scaraben says:

    Cameron said “I will campaign to keep our United Kingdom together with every single fibre that I have.”
    Cameron said he will not have a debate with Alex Salmond, after having written only a paragraph or two of platitudes in support of the union in a newspaper, while AS submitted a proper article.
    These are consistent only if Cameron does not have any fibre at all.
    The other alternative is that the first statement was a lie. Perhaps scottish_skier is right about Cameron wanting Scotland (or at least all those Scottish Labour MPs) out of Westminster?

  62. Atypical_Scot says:

    If Cameron doesn’t debate, he’ll go down as the PM that handed Scotland independence. Good.

  63. Jamie Arriere says:

    He will campaign with every fibre, will he? He’s a politician, and one of the few things a politician should be able to do is debate – this pathetic lightweight hollow man is not up to the job and it says volumes about his commitment to ‘his country’ that he is unwilling to do it. He has given up on Scotland!
    The SNP MPs should don Salmond masks in the Commons and just mutter “Debate Me!” every second he shows his face there.
    They will make a film of this coward’s life – It will be called “Daveheart” and will be one lingering shot of a man in a suit running twenty miles into the distance…..any suggestions for a soundtrack?

  64. The Man in the Jar says:

    Just in time for the Tory party conference. Great letter great timing!

  65. Luigi says:

    I can understand Cameron’s excuses for not debating with Salmond (weak as they are).  “Every fibre of my body, indeed”!  However, Darling has no excuse whatsoever to refuse a debate with his counterpart in YES Scotland.  Has Darling been formally invited to debate with Canavan?  If not, it’s about time his bluff was called.

  66. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Jamie Arriere
    Chariots of (pants on) fire!

  67. Elizabeth Sutherland says:

    Game on. Go get em, Alex

  68. Chic McGregor says:

    “any suggestions for a soundtrack?”
    Slade’s Runrig spoof, their only bid Stateside hit:

  69. Chic McGregor says:

    Oops!  Sorry rev, seem to have screwed up the link

  70. Andy-B says:

    The fact that David Cameron refused to debate with Alex Salmond is a huge statement in itself, and he was well within his rights as our first minister to ask David Cameron why he wont debate, and pose those significant questions.
    As for Ruth Davidson and her chums at the Scottish Tory party who wish to strip the already poor and struggling in Scotland, of what little they have, and I emphasis the word little, I find it deplorable and unacceptable to say the least.
    Miss Davidson, Willie Rennie and Johann Lamont, after independence is gained, Scottish History wont look favourably upon them.
    I cannot find one good reason for any sane and rational person who once informed of all the facts of independence, as opposed too the drawbacks of the union, contemplate why on earth theyd vote no.

  71. starlaw says:

    watched the John Bishop show from Manchester  the other night , said he had refused to go to a reception at Ten Downing street , he then described David Cameron as a ‘prick’ and launched a verbal attack on him , The Manchester audience were on there feet applauding him , it was brilliant . No Knighthood for Mr Bishop

  72. Chic McGregor says:

    “I cannot find one good reason for any sane and rational person who once informed of all the facts of independence, as opposed too the drawbacks of the union, contemplate why on earth theyd vote no.”
    Very simple, most of the people, most of the time, only have time to digest the  corporate designed junk from the Fast-Food-for-thought outlets.

  73. Chic McGregor says:

    “No Knighthood for Mr Bishop”
    And no Bishopric for Mr Cameron either I suspect.  Seems fair.

  74. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Just done my wee bit for cross party cooperation…..I’ve tweeted a link to this article to David Cameron! 😆
    I wonder if I’ll receive a response!!!!
    Don’t think I’ll hold my breath on this one! :D:

  75. Onwards says:

    Cameron is saying it the argument isn’t between Scotland and England.
    Forgetting he represents not just England, but the entire UK.
    The choice is between a sovereign Scottish government or UK government, and it is a poor show if the head of the current UK government is backing out of public debate.

    And pretty disrespectful to voters in Scotland.

  76. Harry Shanks says:

    BBC news online have picked the AS response up. It’s on the Scotland News page
    For some reason I can not paste a link in the reply box – in fact I can’t paste anything!

  77. DanTDog says:

    Sorry, Rev (in the interest of pedantry, and to alleviate my scratchy heid)…I only count 5 reasons…Alex goes from Fourthly….to…Finally…? Am ah jist to wee, too poor an’ too stupid tae see the 6th yin…? Apologies in advance if ah need tae gan tae Specsavers (again)…

  78. arealscot says:

    well done Alex, cant wait for the reply

  79. Malegria says:

    “Oooft” as wee Ruthie said the other night.

  80. Jiggsbro says:

    Sorry, Rev (in the interest of pedantry, and to alleviate my scratchy heid)…I only count 5 reasons
    Five reasons “In addition to that clear democratic point”, making six altogether.

  81. Grant_M says:

    @Harry Shanks
    Aye, just been reading that…

  82. Ronnie says:

    @Jamie Arriere,
    Big ‘O’s ‘Running Scared’?

  83. blunttrauma says:

    Can’t wait for this debate although I doubt it will ever happen.

  84. Andy-B says:

    Margaret Curran, in Sunday Mail today accusing the BBC of bias against the Labour Party.
    Margaret Curran who hasnt heard of Denis Healy, Margaret Curran who when she speaks sounds like she’s got a mouth full of wine gums, has a cheek to accuse anyone even the BBC and thats pushing it.

  85. twenty14 says:

    If this debate ever takes place it will be the most stage managed event in the history of the    b b c  – Spielberg should expect a call

  86. Heather McLean says:

    “Either you stand up and debate or butt out of the debate for good.”

    GOD, I LOVE ALEX SALMOND!!! Thats telling it to him straight! David Cameron wouldn’t last five minutes in a debate with Alex, and well he knows it!

    Alex Salmond is a true champion for the people of Scotland, if only some of them  could look  beyond their irrational prejudice against the man and see that!

  87. cath says:

    That’s a lovely letter. Can’t help feeling it looks like it’s been being thought through (and possibly drafted) since long before 26th September too. Cameron thought he saw something coming but missed exactly what it was I think 🙂 If this were a game of chess you’d say the yes campaign is thinking ahead by many, many moves while No is just responding.

  88. DanTDog says:

    Thanks Jiggsbro…must renew my subscription to Speedreaders Weekly… so much to digest, so little time… ?

  89. Chic McGregor says:

    Grant M, Harry Shanks
    The beeb’s highlighted ‘killer soundbite’ from Cameron:
    “Alex Salmond wants the question to be about anything other than the question”
    They forget that in a debate you can ask any question you like of your opponent.

  90. Chic McGregor says:

    “Margaret Curran, in Sunday Mail today accusing the BBC of bias against the Labour Party.”
    Most pro-indy supporters would have paid good money to have had Curran in the debate.  
    Especially given the short notification with limited time for script writing (by-lined or not 😉 ) and rehearsals.

  91. velofello says:

    I would not like to be the recipient of that letter.And how to respond?
    Reconsider and agree to a debate, and so appear less than steadfast and resolute, treasured Tory features, or decline and face a year of Alex Salmon’s derisive witticisms, or send a lofty Lord Snooty regal reply that will annoy the Scots?

  92. The Man in the Jar says:

    Will the MSM be able to ignore this? I doubt it if the BBC has it on the news. I can imagine that the BTL comments will be energetic. 

  93. Haggistrap says:

    BBC politics Scotland only has a couple of paragraphs of Alex Salmond’s letter but they previously published all of Cameron’s letter.
    What I find particularly irksome is that there is no way to get in touch with BBC Scotland except through the long winded complaints process which is not fit for purpose. I would like to ask Andrew Kerr why he did not ask Alastair Darling if he should be debating with Dennis Canavan. They have completely pulled the comments section.

  94. cath says:

    Daily Telegraph and Mail columnists won’t be able to cover it without needing emergency medical attention. Imagine it…an uppity Jock practically demanding the head of the UK deigns to speak to him. Don’t these sweaty-sock, haggis-munching, barely-English-speaking savages know the ettiquette if you wish to speak to a member of the ruling classes (the real ones, not some devolved assembly) is to grovel on one knee, cap in hand and beg? And when you’re told no, you apologise most humbly for the trouble you’ve put your better to.
    And their BTL bits would explode.

  95. john king says:

    cadger says
    “‘Butt out’. I agree. Americanisms we can do without. Especially from the First Minister.”
    maybe yould care to ask Dominic Greive why he thinks its not in the public interest that after a FOI  request that cabinet papers surrounding the issue of self determination for Scotland in 1997 were deemed “NOT IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST”
      maybe too earthy for our delicate shell like ears,
     lets not get TOO  precious here cadger, Alex has said it how it is,

  96. annie says:

    On nightshift so just caught up with Politics Scotland – thought Andy Kerr was pretty even handed and asked Alistair Darling some good questions and didn’t allow him to grandstand about pensions and the banks, also Kate Higgins didn’t do too bad either.  I think it is counter productive to complain about soft interviewing and bias all the time, there are plenty of occasions when it is blatent and we have good cause for complaint.  Then again maybe i’m just not fully awake yet. Can’t wait for Dave’s reply to Alex’s letter.

  97. Gfaetheblock says:

    It is clear that Yes are desperate the make the referendum (a constitution debate) become a party political debate.  Scotland versus the tories is a false premise, and potentially harmful to No, so I cannot see this debate happening.  The above letter is a nice stunt, little more.
    Cameron doesn’t even have a vote I the referendum.

  98. Linda's back says:

    The soft  BBC interview with the House Flipper failed to ask him if he would debate with Dennis Canavan who is the chairman of the YES campaign.

  99. Harry Shanks says:

    Gfaetheblock – you’re a hoot!
    “Cameron doesn’t even have a vote” – true, yet he tried to dictate whether we had the Referendum at all, then the timing, then the question, then the franchise.
    Now he wants to be able to participate vociferously in the debate, yet his pro-Union  pronouncements (made using his position of UK PM) are not to be allowed to be challenged in debate?

    He has put himself (as the democrat he professes to be) in an untenable position.

  100. Edward says:

    Ive been having a thought about possible line up for a series of debates in the run up to the referendum and came up with the following combo’s :
    Debate 1              A Darling v D Canavan
    Debate 2              B Jenkins v B MacDougall
    Debate 3              N Sturgeon v M Curran
    Debate 4              P Harvie v R Davidson
    Debate 5              Ivan McKee v someone from Better Together
    Debate 6              A Salmond v D Cameron
    Debate 7              Safron Dickson v someone from Better Together youth side
    Ive not included Lamont as frankly I cant see Labour minders allowing her to debate without a set script.
    Format would be the same sort as they have in the US, and be properly moderated, by someone from the US (guarantee to be more or less more neutral I think)
    I’ve separated into specific debates, but your could have 2 back to back (30 min each), with the exception of the Salmond v Cameron, Each debate take a topic such as business, welfare, foreign affairs, youth etc
    Perhaps this is more of a wish list and as mentioned just my thoughts

  101. cath says:

    ” Scotland versus the tories is a false premise, and potentially harmful to No, so I cannot see this debate happening.”
    Darling versus Canavan would be absolutley not a Tory v SNP debate – it would be new Labour versus old Labour. So why is Darling so unwilling to do that one?
    After all, you get to pick your own team but not the opposing one, right?

  102. cath says:

    And if Cameron’s really worried by it being Scottish v English as he often says (despite his being Scottish PM right now and wanting us to vote for that to continue next year) he could always debate one of the many Yes supporters or SNP MSPs born in England.

  103. Oneironaut says:

    “They will make a film of this coward’s life – It will be called “Daveheart” and will be one lingering shot of a man in a suit running twenty miles into the distance…..any suggestions for a soundtrack?”
    First thing I thought of there was “Yakity Sax”, the theme music from the Benny Hill show, hehe.

  104. Edward says:

    Linda’s back
    Just watched the interview on iPlayer. Frankly Kerr really isn’t up to the task (perhaps that’s deliberate) Kerr allowed Darling to mouth of on pensions more times than he has flipped houses! Kerr tried to get answers from darling but Darling simply just trotted out the Better together mantra

  105. handclapping says:

    I doubt Yes wants this political. One of the strong points in their campaign is their inclusion of the Socialists and the Greens giving a much wider and more inspiring view of what Scotland could become away from the dead hand of Westminster. The SNP have enough on their hands keeping the Scottish Government on the road without too many cock-ups to be much use at painting the vision thing, especially as any far out suggestion would immediately be labelled as official policy and attacked as such by our ever loving MSM

  106. john king says:

    jamie arrier says
    “…..any suggestions for a soundtrack?”
    what about the benny hill theme?

  107. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Interesting how my comment made over an hour ago is still ‘awaiting moderation’”

    It’s not THAT interesting. First-time commenters have to be approved manually (once only), and I’ve been out, because it’s Sunday afternoon and everyone’s allowed a few hours off at the weekend.

  108. Chic McGregor says:

    Only Cameron and to a (much) lesser extent Clegg can speak with any authority on what the UK government’s intentions are for any number of retained matters, including what will happen to the Scottish Parliament in terms of powers and electoral reform should Scotland vote to remain in the UK.
    You cannot have a debate which only allows questions regarding post referendum intentions to be levied at one side.  Darling cannot possibly answer these questions with any authority whatsoever.
    As for the wildly incorrect party politicizing jibe, you would be far better putting your own house in order first re comments uttered by leading No capaigners like “Scotland versus the SNP” and “Scotland versus Salmond”.

  109. Vronsky says:

    Agree with Conan. Sincerely hope that this is not a letter from Alex Salmond – the language is deplorable. 

  110. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “O/T here’s a great interview from the March and rally (highlighted by Newsnet on Twitter).

    It might be great, but it’s now showing as private so it’s pretty hard to tell.

  111. handclapping says:

    What if this is the bowdlerised version for publication?
    You could put in a FOI for a copy of the original 🙂

  112. call me dave says:

    EDIT BY REVSTU: Um, Dave, why have you just reposted the entire content of the ATL article?

  113. CameronB says:

    Re. the BBC article linked to by Grant_M. Did anyone else notice how the BBC ‘skillfully’ framed the ‘story’ within the PM’s perspective?
    Some quotes I thought appropriate;

    “Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.” – James Bovard

    “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” – George W. Bush

    “The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.” – Jean Giraudoux

    “The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best – and therefore never scrutinize or question.” – Stephen Jay Gould

    “Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.” – Sidney J. Harris

    “What luck for rulers that men do not think.” – Adolf Hitler

    “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln

    “The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.” – A. A. Milne

    “Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles.” – George Jean Nathan

    “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” – George Orwell

    “A timid person is frightened before a danger, a coward during the time, and a courageous person afterward.” – Jean Paul Richter

    “There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man’s lawful prey.” – John Ruskin

    “The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.” – Tacitus

    “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.” – Mother Theresa

    “Who is the happier man: he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?” – Hunter S. Thompson

  114. scottish_skier says:

    This is all part of a charade; just a bit of teasing from Salmond.
    Dave is playing his part well.
    Negotiations for the aftermath of the referendum, be that Yes or No, must be nearly complete by now. These will need to be passed through Westminster before the referendum after all. I can already predict one thing; Scots will not be voting in the 2015 UKGE if it’s a Yes. Ed knows this fine well too; hence the One Nation =  England thing.
    The six month period before the next GE is crucial here. If the negotiations just kicked off after a Yes, then what had been started could all be undone if the UK government changed in spring 2015. What a mess that would be.
    Nope, all will be signed, sealed and delivered in advance. That way if there’s a yes, it’s just putting everything into practice. That would also make it to all intents and purposes impossible for major backtracking to occur should who is in charge at Westminster post 2015 GE change. Would be in breach of international treaty.
    People have said ‘But Westminster won’t give up Scotland without a fight!’. Yes, but that fight is coming on for 70 years now in case anyone hadn’t noticed. They finally lost. The only ones really still fighting this are Scottish Labour and they are on their own. They’re about to be screwed big time too.
    As I stroll round the offices of TOTAL, Shell, BP etc in Aberdeen nobody seems remotely worried about suddenly Scotland being out of the EU and currency-less. Because these companies know that such things are being sorted out (the UK and Scottish Governments will be constantly updating them) and will not be an issue.
    The refusal of Cameron to debate with Salmond is just for show; to portray Cameron as being nasty with his ‘scary’ (yet simultaneously intentionally lame) white papers on indy yet at the same time unwilling to back them up with a debate.
    Try doing a wee search for pics of Salmond and Dave together and tell me these are two people at each other’s throats. Aye right. Dave has lost Scotland forever; he’s sentimental but pragmatic. Gideon want’s it done and dusted quick as. 
    The union is coming to its final end one way or another. Dave is just trying to make sure it’s as tidy as possible.

  115. teechur says:

    Given The Coward David Cameron believes it is only a matter for Scotland, I would be tempted to expect no mention of Scotland at all during the Conservative Conference. I take it as a given, that David Cameron himself will now make absolutely no mentions of Scotland in his speech…
    because, if he does, he will nullify any arguments he may be clinging to that it is only a matter for us.

    Keep watching him… he has effectively ruled himself out from making ANY further comments on the Indy Ref… if he so much as answers a question on the Indy Ref with anything other than a “That’s a matter for the Scots” he HAS to acknowledge what we all know… He is the Prime Minister of the UK and as such has the most important role to play in defending the Union.

    In layman’s terms, the Coward David Cameron is fooked. 🙂

  116. Simon says:

    On the BBC article Cameron is quoted as saying

    “What it should be is between Alistair Darling, leader of the No campaign, and Alex Salmond, leader of the Yes campaign.”

    Interesting that this is the official perception down south.

  117. cath says:

    “People have said ‘But Westminster won’t give up Scotland without a fight!’. Yes, but that fight is coming on for 70 years now in case anyone hadn’t noticed. They finally lost.”
    Way back at the beginning of all this actual referendum stuff, back in 2011, I remember reading an article in one of the nationals. It was about a meeting held between various big-wigs with regard to how to handle the Scottish problem that was clearly about to crash in on them.
    The question, it was suggested, was basically: given the situation, that devolution clearly hasn’t delivered enough and is broken after just over 10 years, do  we really want a massive fight to try and keep Scotland in the union for another generation or is it best to accept the inevitable now? 
    The article never said what the answer to that question was.

  118. Colin Dunn says:

    I this being published in any of the papers? If not, then, as usual, most people will never hear about it.

  119. Another London Dividend says:

    BBC TV news economical with the truth as usual when they fail to mention that former Labour MP  Denis Canavan is Chairman of the Yes Scotland campaign whereas  Alex Salmond is the First Minister of Scotland
    But that doesn’t suit the Unionist agenda.   Labour back bencher  Alistair Darling  as Chairman of the NO campaign should be debating with Canavan. T
    They even failed to put that question to Darling at lunchtime.

  120. gerry parker says:

    @Colin, lots of people are now questioning what is (or is not) in the papers.  It’s my q to pass them onto Wings, Newsnet, Bella etc.  Likewise people who comment on my Yes badge and yes car sticker.  Spread the word slowly, and at grassroots.
    All – does the word “Frit” spring to mind.
    I’m no expert, but I bet it’ll sting David Cameron pretty soon.

  121. Taranaich says:

    To be frank, I’m getting a bit sick of this Scooby-Doo chasing around in regards to debate. Cameron refuses to debate Salmond, Salmond refuses to debate Darling, Darling refuses to debate Canavan… I understand and agree with the reasoning (PM vs FM, chairman vs chairman, director vs director), but it’s getting ridiculous when nobody’s agreeing to debate with each other.

  122. Elizabeth says:

    Rev @6:23
    I don’t know what happened there. It was definitely available to view at 1:30 today:(
    It was an upbeat interview with postman Mark Cockburn speaking about campaigning for a Yes vote..  

  123. gerry parker says:

    Taranaich, Johan Lamont wants a debate.
    (we winking smiley thing)

  124. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I assume that this Cameron position,if taken to its logical conclusion, means that no English money will be utilised in the Better Together campaign. 
    Only Scottish funding for each side – or, if that is not the case, the YES campign should be free to raise money from anywhere in the world

  125. Ian Mor says:

    Hmmm. I will be surprised if this is genuine. I just feel the grammar, punctuation and bizarre quoting of a random newspaper (many papers ran the article) feels wrong. Didn’t this pass through any basic proofreading? Hmmm again, this just doesn’t feel right.  

  126. Albalha says:

    I watched it, very good. John Strachan?, I think he said, postman and part of YES Kelvin. Going to cycle from Rome to Glasgow, raising funds for YES campaign, around 2500kms, wonder how long that’ll take.
    BTW I’ve now uploaded my other Independence March photos

  127. muttley79 says:

    It is clear that Yes are desperate the make the referendum (a constitution debate) become a party political debate.  
    So why do the No campaign never mention the Yes campaign, instead always calling it the SNP, or “the nationalists?” 
     Scotland versus the tories is a false premise, and potentially harmful to No, so I cannot see this debate happening.  How many Tories governments has Scotland actually voted for? 
    The above letter is a nice stunt, little more.
    How is it a stunt?  Salmond was writting as FM of Scotland.  He and Cameron signed the  Edinburgh Agreement.  Why should they not debate with each other over the political future of Scotland?

    Cameron doesn’t even have a vote I the referendum.
    Neither does the Tory businessmen who are funding the No campaign though.  Also, as long as Westminister claims power over Scotland, the British PM should debate with the FM of Scotland.

  128. Arbroath 1320 says:

    gerry parker says:

    Taranaich, Johan Lamont wants a debate.

    (we winking smiley thing)
    She may WANT a debate but will she ever turn up for one? 
    Excuse me if I don’t hold my breath for that one! 😆

  129. Albalha says:

    How I heard Mark Cockburn as John Strachan, who knows! Missed the name in your post, most remiss.

  130. david says:

    lamont could debate satan as to who is the most evil vile of the 2

  131. Murray McCallum says:

    If Johann Lamont was to debate they would need to have a very large studio to house the mainframe holding the database of every single answer to every single question on the planet.
    It wouldn’t make for very good TV as Johann would have to retrieve the answer from the computer and read it out. It would be like waiting for the Euro Vision scores without any entertainment, suspense, or nice views.

  132. scottish_skier says:

    The question, it was suggested, was basically: given the situation, that devolution clearly hasn’t delivered enough and is broken after just over 10 years, do  we really want a massive fight to try and keep Scotland in the union for another generation or is it best to accept the inevitable now? 
    Yes. The goal has always been to prevent a referendum as if there was a vote for one (through an SNP majority for Westminster and/or subsequently Holyrood), it couldn’t legally be stopped and so negotiations would need to happen beforehand. That would make a Yes highly probable, and, today, almost guaranteed.

    The referendum was prevented first by ignoring calls for devolution, then under pressure (rise of the SNP), concede one but overrule it on a technicality; something made possible by it being a narrow result. Then put it off the table again until the pressure was too intense with polls showing a Yes to independence guaranteed (ahead of 1997) so offer devolution but with a PR-system designed to prevent an SNP majority. More time bought.
    The Tories were the ones who said ahead of 1997 that devolution would end the union. What they didn’t say was that would happen when they returned to power, or at least that would accelerate things towards conclusion. Which is pretty much exactly what happened. The libs just added the cherry to the icing.
    Devo max is impossible. Not unless we go down a federal route. That’s never going to happen. Westminster is England’s parliament. Scotland, N. Ireland and Wales were just given a few seats in the corner to give the impression they weren’t colonies.
    More devolution would just lead to Scotland becoming ‘more’ independent, so the journey would continue on. No more devolution would just result in a new, major push for independence. It can’t be stopped.
    Anyway, time to stop the tail wagging the dog. Britain is no longer a world imperial power. The collapse of the empire reached Britain’s shores in 1997 as the sun finally set on the empire over Hong Kong. It’s shrinking back to start point. They’ve bought time – mainly in an attempt to hold onto the oil – but the end is finally coming. Best make it tidy.  
    London the capitalist city state is the goal, with the shires the weekend retreat for the rich. If that means taking it out of Europe, so be it.

  133. Ian Mor says:

    Well, I suppose this is on the BBC website, redacted anyway,, so it must be genuine then? Still, an oddly, poorly constructed letter in my opinion. 

  134. Elizabeth says:

    I think I got his name from the original caption on the vid. What a pity it’s now deemed to be private – it was a really positive, uplifting wee film from a very ordinary guy talking about what he was finding as he campaigned for a Yes vote.   
    Love your pics  btw!

  135. Albalha says:

    It certainly was a good, inspiring video, shame it’s now private, to be fair maybe at his request, who knows, anyway glad I watched it at the time. Wonder when he’s doing his marathon cycle, should be able to find out via Kelvin YES.
    Glad you like the pics, cheers.

  136. gillie says:

    If you take Feartie Cameron’s argument to its logical conclusion then any non-Scottish or British involvement in the independence campaign is not permissible. 
    That in effect excludes donors outside Scotland, Westminster committees, Whitehall departments, UK ministers, opposition British political leaders, the London media and commentators, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5, Sky, British professional and trade bodies, UK research bodies, etc, etc, etc.
    Let’s turn the argument against the NO campaign and their supporters by applying Feartie’ s Rule by simply saying to those who are not Scottish or not Scottish based that they any attempts to express a view is not allowed. 

  137. Gerry Luby. says:

    Just been on Camerons official fb page to ask for a response . We should all do it.

  138. mealer says:

    Aye.Butt out Cameron and stick your head in mustard.

  139. scottish_skier says:

    Well, I suppose this is on the BBC website, redacted anyway,, so it must be genuine then
    It’s part of a game. Simply drafted to continue an agreed narrative. There’s no need for it to be a work of literary excellence suitable for consideration for the booker prize.
    David Cameron is not Scotland’s enemy. The Tories lost that war long ago. That’s why we’ve more pandas than Tory MPs. The Libs have lost too now. Only Labour think they might still have a chance, but it’s a desperate, headless chicken type situation.
    Google search images of Alex Salmond and David Cameron together. Have a look at body language. Tells you all you need to know.

  140. JLT says:

    Well said, Mr Salmond.

    From some of the journalistic opinions that I’ve read from the newspapers, David Cameron is coming out of this badly. Everyone is expecting ‘Call me Dave’ to take his place at the podium, and answer some serious questions as to why Scotland should remain in the union.

    For most of us here, we have a suspicion that Cameron would be quite willing to accept either result in the referendum, as it is practically a win-win situation for him. We vote Yes, Labour lose 50 seats. We vote No, he gets to keep the oil, Faslane, as well as being the Prime Minister who saved the Union.

    Question is …do we need to create a petition ….here on this site, we all print it off, and get everyone we know to sign it, hand it in at an address (Bute House) and DEMAND that Cameron turns up to a debate. This would not go down well with Scotland or the Unionists if he still refused even if a petition is handed in at No. 10.

  141. Diane Reid says:

    You tell him Alex! The Tory coward doesn’t have the bottle because he knows you would wipe the floor with him!!

  142. Murray McCallum says:

    “Butt out Cameron and stick your head in mustard”
    Sounds like an Old Etonian dorm game?

  143. Marcia says:

    I cannot see this letter on the SNP website nor is there the usual links so well done Rev for writing his letter. 🙂

  144. Linda's back says:

    Elsewhere unions warn that a NO vote will remove £2 billion from Scottish government budget

  145. kininvie says:

    @scottish skier
    I’m afraid I just don’t believe you on this sub-surface negotiation between UK & Scottish govts. I’d like to, but I don’t.
    Every scrap of gossip suggests that the UK govt is sticking its fingers in its ears and is refusing to believe that this will happen. In addition, Whitehall is getting no useful intelligence as to what is happening here – hence getting the tone wrong in almost everything they produce.  Inevitably, this is reflected in the southern media – the tone is wrong, the coverage is wrong; they are driving people to Yes….

  146. JLT says:

    ‘the debate should be between Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond,’
    There are two simple reasons why Darling cannot debate with Salmond.
    1. Darling is not in the Tory party, nor a member of the current cabinet
    2. This means that he does not have a say in Tory policies, nor what is being decided by the Tories, nor can he promise to deliver anything …as he is not a part of the cabinet.
    This means that he can’t promise us anything if we vote ‘No’. If we vote ‘No’, Cameron will batter us with whatever policies he wants. When we protest, he just needs to say, ‘I didn’t make you any promises. That was Darling. You need to take it up with him. Sorry!’
    In other words …Darling is utterly useless in this debate! The man can’t offer us anything, let alone, promise us anything.

  147. cath says:

    “Cameron doesn’t even have a vote I the referendum. ”
    Irrelevant. He is the prime minister of the UK, which currently includes Scotland. The vote is whether things stay that way, and Westminster retains sovereignty over us, the Westminster Cameron is head of; or Holyrood beomes sovereign (or gives it back the the Scottish people via a constitution). Salmond is current head of that and Scottish FM.
    “The goal has always been to prevent a referendum”
    One other thing I read recently which was very interesting, but fiction, was “And the Land Lay Still” by James Robertson. In that, he had a guy who was basically working for London as a sort of spy, though quite half hearted. He said his role was essentially to report back on whether the time was right, and we were ready (or some similar phrasing).  Then, in the ’70s it it was deemed to be just talk and going nowhere, no real threat.
    Although it’s a fiction book, it’s very heavy on Scots history and I did wonder if there wasn’t a slight truth to that as well. That perhaps there’s always been an understanding the British state will fight tooth and nail, and fight dirty, but there’s a point beyond which they won’t go. When they think we’ve reached that point, they’ll put up a democratic fight on the NO side, but perhaps accept their own interests are best served making an agreement and letting events take their course democratically.
    I’d like to think that’s true and we’ve reached that point now, and that’s kind of what’s happening. But then I see some of the shit on the NO side and I’m not sure I believe it. I suspect next year might quash any fond hopes that that’s really the case!

  148. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “So why do the No campaign never mention the Yes campaign, instead always calling it the SNP, or “the nationalists?” “

    Don’t forget the classic “YeSNP”…

  149. JLT says:

    Posted by Derek Bateman two days ago about our Glorious Prime Minister’s courage…

  150. Sneddon says:

    Paul that article you link to is a work of fiction not propaganda.  If I was his old tutor I would be embarrassed
    What’s wrong with a bit of language such as ‘butt out ‘ AS isn’t the fecking queen.  Think on who the audience is and the reaction AS wants to provoke from the unionists.

  151. call me dave says:

    Hi : Rev
    I posted the letter from NNS site to confirm it was a real Salmond letter as some folk on here still have doubts.
    Never gave the source so sorry about that.  Anyhoo! if any doubters want see that it’s the same as on WoS.    Back to the Yankee footie now – get to stay up late as day off tomorrow..

  152. handclapping says:

    Don’t forget the classic “YeSNP”… Ah, but …
    We’ve got the UKannae, which probably means the rUK is pronounced “Ach u cannae” …

  153. JLT says:

    That last photograph …it’s true. A picture speaks a 1000 words.

  154. scottish_skier says:

    I’m afraid I just don’t believe you on this sub-surface negotiation between UK & Scottish govts. I’d like to, but I don’t.
    I can understand this, but logic dictates otherwise.
    You only negotiate afterwards if you have fought your way out, be that with massive demonstrations (Catalonia for now) or guns and bombs (Ireland as an example).
    If Scotland votes Yes, it is independent from that instant. Any doubt over that was made certain by the Edinburgh Agreement. I have Russia as one of the first to welcome Scotland to the world shortly after the result is declared. Short of the rUK sending in the army, from the moment a Yes is declared, Scotland is Scotland and that’s it; Westminster ceases to be in control.
    Ask yourself, would TOTAL, BP, Shell etc be investing billions in Scottish oil if next September they could find the largest oil reserves in the EU which they have huge stakes in outside the EU with no currency to sell the stuff in?
    What about the ‘glorious’ banks; you don’t think they might be slightly concerned at having 5.2 million customers in a currency-less country? What about all the French citizens in Scotland? Why aren’t the French government demanding to know Scotland’s EU status post independence? Same for the every other country whose citizens are here. They are not because they know things will be agreed and they already have reassurances things will be fine.
    Then we have Britain’s US WMD’s in a ‘rouge’ state outside of NATO? A huge hole in the NATO shield? That’s why the Scottish and UK governments have been meeting with NATO.

    The idea of Scotland suddenly being independent with nothing in place is absolutely fucking nuts. Just look what Ed’s hair-brained impossible ideas on a price cap for energy did to the big power company share prices.
    This isn’t a war with the rUK. It’s getting dirty, but that dirt is mainly from our own.

  155. kininvie says:

    @scottish skier
    Alas, logic and politics don’t often mix.
    Remember, there’s a timetable, with Independence actually arriving in 2016, not immediately after the vote. If everything’s already fixed, there’s no need for the gap.
    I fully imagine that both Scottish and UK govts will be working on position papers as a preliminary to negotiation, but the actual negotiation won’t take place until after the result. What would be the point while the UK govt thinks it will be No? Why give your hand away until you have to?
    The reason why business is not (in general) fussed, is because it has confidence that negotiations will be concluded in a reasonable manner – as prefigured by the Edinburgh agreement.

  156. CameronB says:

    Possibly why the Unionists are not entering debate?
    “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
    – Sun Tzu, The Art of War

  157. scottish_skier says:

    Any doubt over that was made certain by the Edinburgh Agreement.
    That should have obviously been all doubts removed and a Yes definitely equalling an independent Scotland. 🙂
    I can understand people’s doubts, but politicians play on the masses not looking at the bigger picture. 
    The referendum has not had an impact on investment/business in Scotland for a good reason. Big business in particular is not duly concerned because it has been reassured by those at the top that there is no reason for concern. A Yes will not result in chaos for years as fights over who owns what and Scotland’s position in international organisations is debated.  That’s because it will have been agreed beforehand.
    I just can’t see it any other way, particularly working in oil and gas where life just continues as normal without the slightest wiff of any worries about the prospect of potential Scottish independence. In fact, amongst those working in the industry I’d say support for Yes was higher than average, so company bosses might be expected to be paying a lot of attention.

  158. MajorBloodnok says:

    That last photo of Miliband looking like he was contemplating gobbing all over the back of Cameron’s jacket made my evening.

  159. JLT says:

    Scottish Skier,
    I have Russia as one of the first to welcome Scotland
    To be honest, mate, my money was on the French. With France and Scotland always having remained close, I think the French would quietly love to rub Westminsters face in it. Especially after all the nonsense that Westminster has pulled in Europe over the last 4 or 5 years.
    My second one, and more of a sadistic one this, is actually Iran. I’m sure the regime there would take tremendous delight (in a subtle and provocative way) in welcoming Scotland to the world. Would certainly add fuel to the fire of a very disgruntled Westminster, and a rather concerned America as it looks upon it’s No.2 and wondering, ‘How the f*** did you guys screw that one up? Gee, we need to talk England’
    Thirdly …yep …I can see the Russians being in the top 3, followed closely by Western Europe, the Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders. After that …the rest of the world.
    Not holding my breath that it will be the rUK that will be the first to post the ‘congratulations’ to us!

  160. scottish_skier says:

    Remember, there’s a timetable, with Independence actually arriving in 2016, not immediately after the vote.
    That’s the ‘official’ date when e.g. Scots MEPs, increased in number as agreed with the EU, would take their seats representing an independent Scotland. When the Scots UN ambassador would first take their seat etc.
    The defacto date is the day a Yes is returned.
    There may be finer points to iron out, but Scotland will be independent from the moment a Yes is declared and the basics of that will have been agreed beforehand to ensure that the transition is smooth. 
    TOTAL staff won’t find themselves forced home to France as Scotland is not in the EU. Nor will the bank stop giving you out £’s at the cash machine.
    There is nothing to fear. When Scots vote next year, they’ll vote knowing this. The only question will be who’s best in charge, a Scottish government or a London one.
    In a couple of months, all should become a lot clearer. White paper and joint UK-Scottish Government statement.
    Ok, enough on this from me for tonight. I know I bring it up, but things are never what they might seem. Take a look and think deeply of the implications of what’s very well about to happen and logic says…
    </tory working with scottish government theory>

  161. CameronB says:

    Another quote I thought quite appropriate.
    “If the leader is filled with high ambition and if he pursues his aims with audacity and strength of will, he will reach them in spite of all obstacles.”
    – Carl von Clausewitz

  162. scottish_skier says:

    To be honest, mate, my money was on the French.
    I did say ‘one of the first’. 😉

  163. kininvie says:

    I’m all for increasing the defence budget sufficiently to allow for a ceremonial company to be offered to the French head of state as a personal bodyguard. It used to be the case after all:
    Can you think of anything that would annoy WM more? I’m sure the French would be up for it.

  164. kendomacaroonbar says:

    Upon independence, the psychological boost to the countrys confidence will be exhilarating.
    When Bannister disproved his nay sayers and broke the 4 minute mile other runners broke that barrier because it was proved to be possible. Imagine what a brave new Scotland can achieve ! 🙂

  165. JLT says:

    Scottish Skier,
    Ha Ha Ha …then in that case …touché! You got me!

  166. kininvie says:

    @ scottish skier
    We shall see what we shall see. A pint says you are wrong. (At a place of your choosing however distant if you are right)

  167. Bill C says:

    I have to concur with Scottish Skier’s analysis here. He is absolutely right about the oil and gas industry.  As I have said before, I have two sons who work in the industry and they have both been told by their respective companies that the North Sea has decades of life left and West of Shetland even longer. They also detect no hint of fear from their companies over a YES vote.  A fact confirmed by the massive building programme going on in and around Aberdeen. Oil companies do not invest  tens billions of dollars into ageing fields, new fields and infrastructure, if the oil and gas is running out or if they are uncertain about future political stability.  It is in everybody’s interest to ensure that the move to independence is seamless.

  168. JLT says:

    kininvie says:     
    I’m all for increasing the defence budget sufficiently to allow for a ceremonial company to be offered to the French head of state as a personal bodyguard. It used to be the case after all:
    Can you think of anything that would annoy WM more? I’m sure the French would be up for it.
    Mate …who knows what may happen, should the day come to pass. I think we will remain in the world’s eye for quite a while if Scotland does become independent. I can see a lot of companies, as well as countries, wanting to take advantage of setting up business here, and thus won’t need to negotiate with Westminster. Certainly, the EU along with the Chinese will be clamouring to create business here. Scotland would collapse financially if it broke away from the union …I bloody well doubt it!!!
    Certainly, I like the romantic notion of the elite Scots Guard for the French President!

  169. JLT says:

    I fully imagine that both Scottish and UK govts will be working on position papers as a preliminary to negotiation, but the actual negotiation won’t take place until after the result.
    Got to admit it, mate. I’m with Scottish Skier on this one. I think come the middle of next year, and if it is in the balance, then the UK government will begin talking quietly (actually …total bloody secrecy) to the Scottish government so that a smooth transitional period can begin the day after a Yes vote.

    Cameron and co would get roasted by the media, as well the rUK if they found themselves in a $hitstorm of ‘we have prepared nothing’.
    I also remember, Darling, Lamont and Co were all practically hysterical (and they still are) because they were not in the Room for the signing of the Edinburgh Agreement. It was Labour’s worst nightmare, and it could be again!

    Therefore, they will be on the outside again, if negotiations do begin prior to next summer. If this does happen, then expect screams of terror and much wailing and weeping from Lamont and co, should the Scottish media hint that negotiations have begun privately. It means (great delight to us) that Westminster expects the result either to be close, or in the bag for the Yes team.

  170. Jock McDonnell says:

    Skier you are either a prophet or a British agent, either way we will know by December I guess.
    I’m hoping prophet BTW.

  171. Training Day says:

    Reality check time.

    There is no evidence of any negotiation going on.

    And why would there be? Talking to folk in the pub this afternoon there’s no need to bother with negotiation. Ignorance is rife. The response to my mate’s Yes badge was ‘is that that Alex Salmond thing? I’m totally against it’.

    This, folks, is where we’re at.

  172. scottish_skier says:

    Skier you are either a prophet or a British agent
    I can quite assure you I’m neither. Instead, an oil and gas production chemist who spends way to much time on polling data / politics, who’s also had a beer or so tonight as he has the day off the morn.

  173. Indy_Scot says:

    I have just come to the conclusion that Alistair Darling is an absolute idiot. I have just heard him say The Alex Salmond wants to make this into a Scotland versus England thing, or words to that effect.
    In what conceivable way is a Salmond versus Cameron in any way Scotland versus England, surely he means Scotland versus Britain or Holyrood versus Westminster.
    Does anyone know if he is allowed out on his own.

  174. Paula Rose says:

    The young folk round my way are feart frae the lies they are told, times are changing – they are now getting access to info, change.

  175. Bill C says:

    @Training Day – I would suggest that the Edinburgh Agreement was the start of negotiations.  It is simply inconceivable that the two governments would not be making contingency plans in the event of a YES vote.  Business as usual will have to be the order of the day.  Anything less results in chaos which harms all parties.
    As to the comments from your drinking buddy, I think we can all recount disappointing stories, however there is little doubt that more and more folk are putting some thought in to how they will vote and that the more information they get the more they are moving to YES.

  176. Training Day says:

    Bill, with less than a year to go to the referendum punters in a Glasgow pub are styling the vote for self-determination as ‘that Alex Salmond thing’. I agree with your notion that if information gets to people then we win, but the evidence is that so far it isn’t. We badly need to get the consequences of a No vote out there, because the only thing that got this punter’s attention was exactly that.

  177. Bill C says:

    @Training Day – I agree there is a lot of work to be done, but I seriously think we are going to win and my family think I am a ‘Private Fraser’! Keep the faith.

  178. mogabee says:

    Was there not a meeting with EU members some time back?  Negotiating perhaps?

  179. AlexMci says:

    Oh boom, take that Cameron you cock, or should that Be UKOK.

  180. gerry parker says:

    @Training day.
    Response should have been – No it’s that Blair Jenkings thing, then go in with the diverse groups that support the Yes campaign from Labour for independence, through to Business for independence.
    Was also amazed to hear Cameron on the news get off with.”Alistair Darling is the head of the Better together campaign, and Alex Salmond is the leader of the Yes campaign.”

  181. Training Day says:


    Faith intact Bill, but we need to hit people at a gut level and stop bandying percentages and statistics as the Yes campaign are doing. This is about identity and self-respect and we should be proud to say so.


    I would have said it’s the Blair Jenkins thing but naebody in the boozer would have had the slightest clue who he was!

  182. Paula Rose says:

    Everyone in England thinks Scotland is an irrelevance.

  183. Bill C says:

    @Training Day – Total agreement on both points.

  184. Bill C says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill – Totally gobsmacked, lost for words.  I was born in Govan and brought up and worked  in Glasgow. I thought I had seen it all. One of the saddest. most depressing videos of an aspect of ‘Scottish’ culture I have ever seen.  How utterly, utterly depressing.

  185. Blackford Wheeler says:

    Dave McEwen Hill

    Good grief, soldiers could be killed over this in Ulster. And much of the good work in rebuilding civil society undone.

    Whoever authorised this disgraceful display needs to be publicly called to account.

  186. CameronB says:

    Re. Rangers v Stenhousemuir. Were these serviceman (who are essentially civil servants), on of off duty? What do their commanding officers have to say? Have the Armed Forces now joined with Project Fear?
    P.S. If I was the Stenhousemuir manager, I would be lodging an official complaint with the SFA. Playing at Ibrox must be intimidating enough without this sort of circus.

    P.P.S. I wonder what Police Scotland have to say?

  187. CameronB says:

    I have just contacted Police Scotland to report witnessing a possible hate crime. Here is the link if you wish to do so yourself.

  188. Karamu says:

    Apologies if this has been addressed earlier in the thread but I just read this:

    Ostensibly the BBC report Alex’s reply to Dave’s snub but the article closes on the same false assertion that Alex as “leader of the Yes campaign” should debate Darling. FFS, I am seriously losing the will to live with the Beeb….

  189. David Smith says:

    I’ve always respected our armed forces. Sadly that respect is somewhat diminished by this unacceptable conduct. 

  190. Alastair Naughton says:

    Cameron’s position is WHOLLY unsustainable. Firstly, he is the head of UK Government, and his opposite number is therefore without any shadow of a doubt the head of the Scottish Government, i.e. Alex Salmond. As Salmond points out in his letter, Darling’s opposite number is Dennis Canavan. (Blair McDougall’s opposite number would of course be Blair Jenkins). It is in the gift of the head of the UK government to outline what the consequences of a NO vote might be. Darling has NO authority to speak on this matter. 
    As well as this, Cameron and several government ministers, as well as several members of the Shadow Cabinet have all felt quite free to offer their tuppence worth to a compliant media. They cannot therefore say that it is “just a matter for the Scots”, as to date they have had no hesitation in making it their business by spreading lies and half-truths. Although the vote is only for those living in Scotland, this does not preclude input from sources outwith Scotland. The only difference with Salmond is that here is someone who is equal to them and can expose Cameron and his clique for who they are. That is the ONLY reason why Cameron will not debate with Salmond. 

  191. Patrician says:

    Sorry about this scottish_skier but I think you have got this one wrong.  I would be happy to be proved wrong and you have called this correctly but only time will tell.  My earlier thoughts on this are set out here:  
    o/t, is it just me or is the search facility in wordpress absolutely dire.

  192. scottish_skier says:

    Sorry about this scottish_skier but I think you have got this one wrong.
    No bother, I am speculating, but not without some basis for it.
    Obviously for the Scotland / Calaman Bill and the Edinburgh Agreement negotiations did occur and amicably. We didn’t really know much about these negotiations, only the result them. That is normal; nothing is announced until everything is agreed.
    The Scottish and UK Governments have been negotiating jointly with NATO (all sitting round the same table); that we know from the BBC et al. Is it entirely coincidental that the SNP persuaded its members to have a re-think on NATO stance at the same time?
    The UK government will have been talking to the EU and UN; after all, the UKoGB will be no more if Scotland votes Yes so MEPs, rebates, UNSC seat etc need discussing. Likewise governments of European countries will wish to know where their citizens and businesses operating in Scotland / the rUK stand. So I think we can presume the Scottish government has been talking to both these organisations too, just like it joined the UK gov at the NATO discussion table. I mean why would the UK government sit down with NATO and the Scottish Government but not do the same for other key organisations?
    Certainly, if I am wrong, we have one weird/crazy UK government; happily agree to a referendum leading to Scottish independence, agree to respect the result, sort out some of the key details but not other crucial ones potentially leading to massive economic and social instability with scary implications for their WMDs. If I am wrong, Scots desperately need to vote Yes as the UK government would be dangerously incompetent. 
    Anyway, I’m going to leave this now. In November we’ll have the white paper and, as announced by respective governments, the joint statement on what happens after a Yes or a No. We can then see where we stand.

  193. Doug says:

    Re: the soldiers – clearly from 6 Scots – TA lowland infantry.  You can tell by the hackles.  Serving soldiers aren’t supposed to make political statements/talk to the press etc without approval of the unit’s Press Officer.  If you are curious and wish to enquire as to whether their chain of command approves of this message?  Contact details as below. 
    “6 SCOTS can be contacted by telephone on 0141 224 5453 or by post at TA Centre, Walcheren Barracks, 122 Hotspur Street, GLASGOW G20 8LQ”

  194. Albalha says:

    On GMS G Robertson tagged on a question about the debate and the letter, anyway R Davidson just ranted. However I hope the YES Campaign put in a detailed complaint on her claims re their leadership and funding. Clearly inaccurate and wholly unchallenged.

  195. Jeannie says:

    O/T  Our Finnish friend, Lumi, has a lovely wee piece on Munguin’s Republic – just shared it on Facebook.  It’s quite uplifting.

  196. Linda's Back says:

    The BBC never contradicts Unionists re their claims about SNP / Nationalist campaign when it is the Yes Scotland campaign,
     Or mention that No campaign gets most of its money from Tories living south of border.
    BBC never points out that the Chairman of the Yes campaign is former Labour MP Denis Canavan when a mere opposition back bencher the Tories’ Darling is promoted to debate with Scotland’s First Minister. 

  197. Doug Daniel says:

    Scottish_Skier – Whether your theory is correct or not, it’s certainly plausible, and it’s great fun to think of the UK government negotiating Scotland’s exit from the UK before we’ve even voted on it! I certainly reckon the “we won’t pre-negotiate separation” stuff is nothing more than macho bullshit – we know from the daft idea about annexing Faslane that the UK civil service is most definitely on overtime making contingency plans – so it’s hardly a massive jump to suggest that such plans are being made in conjunction with Scottish civil servants.
    The pretend hardball tactics are probably as much about placating knuckle-dragging unionists as anything else.

  198. Albalha says:

    Re Scottish Skier and his points, we know the UK and Scottish Governments are talking and we know the EC has asked them to publish a basic what next, I reckon that’ll be December. It will, I imagine, detail, if in the case of YES, issues about the 2015 election, then 2016 etc, and an explanation of how the detailed negotiations will take place, timetables etc.
    It will, I imagine, have to wait until the bill gets the post stage 3 Royal Assent, scheduled for December.

  199. Haggistrap says:

    The Yes Scotland campaign is being given unparalleled advertising by David Cameron and on the national media.The furore regarding this debate is a golden opportunity for the Yes Scotland campaign to muscle in but the truth is, their zero response (as far as I am aware) shows up absolutely everything that is wrong with the Yes campaign.

    There is nothing at all on their home page about this, and why are they not shouting from the rooftops that Dennis Canavan is Alastair Darling’s opposite number? Why are they not shouting at David Cameron telling him Alex Salmond is not the leader of the Yes’ campaign? Why is Dennis Canavan not challenging Alastair Darling to a debate? I despair of this lot and I can see independence going down the pan for want of a thrusting and popular campaign which reaches right into the minds of the people.

    It’s the usual Scottish thing, divided and thrashing about. A co-ordinator of all pro- independence groups is urgently required.

  200. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I have always said, some say ad nauseum, that a deal has been done.

    Not a deal to get a result but a deal in case a YES happens. Cameron stays out of the debate and lets Labour and Darling lose.

    Too many coincidental cock-ups from the Tories all at quite timeous periods in the non debate so far for me.

    The deal is that with a YES the big ones, Sterling, EU, UN, G8 and rides in Airforce 1 are all laid to rest to allow Westminster to keep their Pretendy Parliament as the Mother of all Parliaments and home of democracy etc etc an Rule Britannia.

    How AS squares the Trident circle I am not sure. One is that they don’t buy the replacement and blame the Scots, they can not afford it anyway, and then make a massive commitment to spend more on conventional military. They existing Trident fleet will be squeezed out for another few years. The subs will be relocated to Portsmouth and the missiles will be relocated to somewhere designated as UK Sovereign Territory in the US?
    Anyway I am a conspiracy nut.

  201. The Man in the Jar says:

    at 8;26am
    Well spotted that the soldiers in the photo are TA. you are obviously more up to speed on insignia than I am. the question is do we want idiots like this representing Scotland?
    Speaking as a former soldier with plenty of experience of the TA in the field it is my opinion that they are about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike.
    After independence lets have a proper professional armed forces not a cheap substitute. When it comes to defence I much prefer quality over quantity any day!

  202. HandandShrimp says:

    Enjoyed listening to Ruth on the radio this morning talking about Osborne’s latest on coming down hard on the jobless. “Something for Nothing?” .. “not language I would use” says Ruth. If Lamont heard that I hope she blushed.

  203. Robert Louis says:

    This response from our First Minister of Scotland in this letter is excellent.  Each point raised is completely relevant, and dismisses the nonsense response he received from Feartie Cameron previously.  If coward Cameron wishes to convince anybody to vote NO in Scotland, then now is his chance.  I long to hear David Cameron expound the many virtues he see in Scotland’s affairs and economy being run by a parliament in England.  Equally, I await his exposition on the fabled ‘POSITIVE CASE’ for the union.
    The First minister of Scotland is right, feartie Cameron, the cowardly UK prime mininster, now has his chance to tell us why a parliament in England running Scotland is so jolly good for Scots.  Coward Cameron needs to put up or shut up.

  204. Macart says:

    Yeah, sometimes getting loud and in the face of the opposition is good and necessary, but not in this case IMO. The opposition wants this to be about the FM, the SNP, party policy and personality. The YES campaign wants it to be about talking to people on their doorstep. What good is any televised debate in a rigged media? Alex Salmond has just called their bluff and slapped them publicly in the kisser whilst promoting Dennis Canavan’s role at the same time. All this without the YES campaign having to step down into the gutter of televised slanging matches. The FMs playing interference for the YES campaign and doing a bang up job of it.
    The time for the YES campaign to get loud is not yet IMO. Soon but not yet. They had a wee taste last Saturday and didn’t like what they saw. YES is growing and from next summer onward, right through till polling day, THAT should be time enough to get loud about it. In the meantime let them keep digging away the FM, that’s what he set himself up for and he’s big enough for the job to take them all on. He’s giving Blair and Dennis the time they need.
    ‘Course I could be wrong. 🙂

  205. Boorach says:

    Completely o/t but going back to the ‘Aye, Right’ leaflet for a moment. As a user of a mono laser printer I find that using a coloured paper seems to lift the document and make it slightly more interesting in comparison to the usual shades of grey on white paper. 
    Lidl are today offering a variety pack of 250 sheets for £2.99… a worthwhime investment IMO.

  206. Robert Louis says:

    I think you are correct.

  207. Robert Louis says:

    As an aside,
    I see Tory George Osborne, is to re-adopt the Tory phrase ‘something for nothing’, from that famed ‘socialist’ Johan Lamont, the Labour ‘leader’ in Scotland today.   I assume Lamont will be cheering him on, given they now hold the same views on welfare. 

  208. gillie says:

    Utterly disgraceful scenes at Ibrox. 
    Did we pay for this organised display of sectarianism? Those who went to the Rangers fans should identified and disciplined. Their officers should relieved of command. The MOD officials suspended. Their should be an inquiry because these people do not represent Scotland nor the different communities in Scotland.
    Clearly the British armed forces have a problem and there is no way they can command respect if they fail to deal with it. 

  209. Fiona Gibney says:

    Very much looking forward to Cameron’s reply to this!

  210. gillie says:

    Army chiefs had already branded a similar event to commemorate Remembrance Day in 2012 at Ibrox as innappropiate, and said it would not be repeated.

    So you have to ask yourself what in God’s name persuaded them to allow the participation of British troops at Ibrox on Saturday. Major General Nick Eeles, General Officer Commanding Scotland, has a lot of explaining to do.
    Saturday was a black day for British forces in Scotland. Can we trust these people?

  211. The Man in the Jar says:

    Don’t know if it is okay to link to the BBC so I wont but is easily found on their news section. A lot of analysis on the English, Welsh and Scottish census. Some interesting reading regarding “Britishness” (With comments!) 

  212. gordoz says:

    haggistrap : Know what you mean ….

    Wondering myself if all is well at YES campaign, where is the impetus, where are the young radicals? Hacking isssue has fallen well flat.
    New YES website, all very smiley and happy … where is the anger at the depravation in the East end of Glasgow …. where is the stab a the heart of the NO Campaign. Everything is rebuffed 3 days late, it certainly isn’t up to speed on live issues.
    Where is the peoples outlet to air the issues, but to find websites such as WoS
    Lets remember this is the ‘Lead Campaign for Independence’
    Its very stayed and uninspiring. anyone else thinks they need to shift gear fast ?

  213. Jeannie says:

    I can’t believe the sheer insanity of that footage of the soldiers at Ibrox singing sectarian songs.  What happened to all the “band of brothers” stuff that the army projects?  If I found myself going into battle with one of these guys at my sides and I wasn’t a protestant, would I now have a wee bit doubt in my mind as to whether he’d cover my back?
    And what message does it give out in terms of recruitment?  You’re only welcome if you think like us?
    This illustrates for me the madness inherent in Westminster’s policy of making experienced, trained, disciplined sergeants and servicemen redundant – look what you’re left with once they’ve gone – an ill-disciplined rabble.  I wouldn’t want to tar all TA members with the same brush – far from it – but something’s gone wrong somewhere.

  214. cath says:

    I’m torn on the Scottish Skier theory. I want to believe it, hope it’s true and it makes a lot of sense. The Express published something way back on democratic referendum and how they’re almost always won by Yes (Quebec was the only exception in a long list).

    The UK government must know this and if there is a Yes it makes sense that they’ve negotiated something akin to independence light. That would make the transition is a smooth as possible, with agreements on things like NATO, Trident, currency etc. For the Scottish government, the White paper depends on this kind of agreement as well. They would have to be speaking to the BoE and Westminster regarding currency to find out exactly what their position is because they can’t have a white paper that says “yeah, this’ll be fine” if Westminster is genuinely saying “no chance”. If they’re genuinely saying “no chance” the white paper would need to be a lot more upfront about other options in the event their favoured option can’t be negotiated. But would Westminster really want a White paper that said, “Westminster is saying no to a Sterling union so our favoured option is a Scots pound”?  Probably not. There’s brinksmanship then there’s cutting your nose off…

    OTOH I’m not totally convinced that all the apparent laid back calm we see from companies, other nations and the UK government isn’t because they’re all so convinced it will be a no. I have a nagging fear that they’re convinced it will be a no because they know something we don’t about what’s going to happen next year. In my good moments I like to think the UK government is basically OK and, while far from a perfect democracy, we’re not so far removed from it people will have no real choice next year. But I can’t shake off the fear what you’re seeing in your oil companies and other corporations is complacency, and they have their own reasons for it. Things like seeing soldiers with sectarian and political banners adds to that fear.  People and commentators in England are utterly convinced we won’t vote for independence next year. If the SS theory is right, we should be seeing a bit of a shift in reporting down south to start preparing people there for the inevitable. We’re not seeing that at all, far from it. We’re seeing “they definitely won’t and a variety of smear campaigns”. That seems more in line with preparing people to expect a no vote, hence not question it and not allow anyone else to question it without being  deemed a “conspiracy theorist” or nut.

    I really hope SS is right and it’s the former. I guess the next year will tell.

  215. scottish_skier says:

    Some nice graphics on national identity from the BBC / the census.

    Interestingly, in England, it is the older age groups that are the least ‘British’ and more ‘English’. In Scotland, it’s generally the other way around. We don’t have breakdown’s in the census, but I think there has been some discussion of this in the SSAS. Anyway, if BT meetings are anything to go by…
    Well, seems Scotland is rather Scottish, England Increasingly English, Welsh pretty Welsh etc. British seems to be very much a London thing.

  216. The Man in the Jar says:

    Don’t know if you read my comment at 9;57 but it appears that these guys are TA. I can only speak for my own experience as an former soldier, admittedly it was a considerable time ago but in the regular army at least the charge of “Bringing the Regiment into Disrepute” was taken very seriously indeed. If these guys were regulars they would have been punished severely. Can you imagine one of these clowns commanding a patrol in say N. Ireland? The Army learned a hard lesson on Bloody Sunday. 

  217. Macart says:

    @Robert Louis
    Doug and Skier are also on the right track IMO. Of course there are behind the scenes discussions and the tories aren’t exactly falling over themselves, as in times past, to defend the union. They know the game’s a bogey (though they’d rather it wasn’t) and are playing to the crowd preparing their excuses in advance whilst pragmatically looking at contingencies. Labour are terrified at the prospect of losing forty odd seats and worse having to look at actually coming up with vote winning policies in England to obtain parliamentary mandate. The dissolution of the union for them is not and never has been about nation, history, common weal for a UK electorate, an overhaul of politics for the common good. Its all about the fracturing of a party, a vote and a failed exercise in campaign strategy over a forty year period. They gave up everything that made them Labour to win power in the 90s and are now feeling the effects of those awful choices biting deep. Either way, in the event of a no vote the experience will have given them such a shock they’ll do everything in their power to cripple Scottish democracy in order to prevent a re-run of this referendum.
    Happily I’d say we’re on course to deny them the chance. The recent speech by Osborne should be a warning to anyone paying attention. Vote no and watch as Scotland is stripped bare.

  218. molly says:

    Ironic, in a week end spent here discussing defence in an Independent Scotland, the scenes at Ibrox. We know journalists read this site and assume someone from BBC would have reported the game  so the question is why has this had no coverage ?

    If this was any other group display , questions would have been asked and for those in charge to oversee it raises two points.

    1. If those in Command attending Ibrox see no issue , is this our establishment playing the sectarian card ?

    2.If our media is unable to report our Army displaying political/sectarian gestures aren’t  they complicit ?

  219. scottish_skier says:

    And I note Shetland is no less Scottish than anywhere else.

  220. Haggistrap says:

    Whilst I do not wholly disagree with the responses to the comments I made on YES campaign, the vast majority of my friends and people I meet are No or swithering. I can assure you there is nothing the YES campaign is currently doing that will change that.

    I stand by my comments that YES needs to take advantage of every opportunity especially when it costs nothing.

    I also think the establishment think NO is in the bag and all we have seen so far from the No side are some shots across the bows. When the UK gets serious, as it will next year, we will be under an attack which will make the current exchanges minor in the extreme.

    One thing the Rev could do, taking a leaf from the BBC, is to number comments on WoS as it is so much easier to refer back and cross reference.

  221. gillie says:

    Reports suggest that Major General Nick Eeles, General Officer Commanding the Army in Scotland would like to organise more “Band of Bigots” days at Ibrox.
    Really? Sounds like the guy is out his depth in Scotland. 

  222. scottish_skier says:

    BBC wrong again in its attempts to promote Britishness.

    While these conclusions  may apply in England and to an extent in Wales:
    In England and Wales, the generation least likely to have ticked the box marked “British” to describe their national identity are those who lived through the war and watched the sun set on the British Empire…
    What emerges from the census results is that, while a majority of people in England, Scotland and Wales pick English (60%), Scottish (62%) or Welsh (58%) as their sole identity, younger and more diverse communities show higher proportions selecting a British identity.
    Britishness, it would appear, is an identity quite at home in the 21st Century.
    That’s just not the case north of the Cheviots.

    The age gap seems to be primarily a question of identity. Older people [in Scotland] are much more likely to have a strong sense of British identity; over half of those aged over 65 give themselves a score of six or seven on our Britishness scale, compared with just 14% of those aged 18-24. They do indeed seem to be still to be carrying the outlook and sympathies of a more unionist age. True, they are in also a little more pessimistic about the economic consequences of independence, but in this case the difference is nothing like so stark.
    Very interesting.

  223. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “One thing the Rev could do, taking a leaf from the BBC, is to number comments on WoS as it is so much easier to refer back and cross reference.”

    You point me at a comment-numbering plugin and I’m all over it.

  224. Jeannie says:

    I’m not sure how things work in the TA exactly, but I’m guessing whoever agreed to the troops appearing at Ibrox had a much more cynical strategy in mind than promoting the UK.  If I wanted to find, for the purpose of recruitment,  impressionable, possibly poor and/or unemployed young men who believe passionately in Queen and Country and defending it to the bitter end, wouldn’t Ibrox be the best place to look?  It’s beginning to look to me more like a recruitment drive gone wrong than a promotion of the armed forces within the union.
    I can even, to some extent, understand that impressionable young men could get carried away in the heat of the moment, but if they’re so badly trained that they can’t even hold ranks at a football park, then I seriously fear for them if they’re sent to Afghanistan.
    And lastly, although the media isn’t reporting this, you can be sure that the footage and photograph of the young soldiers holding up the scarf will be doing the rounds of remaining IRA supporters in Northern Island.  Beware the law of unintended consequences.  We should always remember that what causes us annoyance and disbelief over here, where we sit relatively safe on a daily basis, could still cause some innocent person in Norther Ireland to lose their life.
    By the way, I assume the TA/British Army is an equal-opportunities organisation in terms of recruitment, so can we expect them to appear at Celtic Park next year?

  225. David Smith says:

    Unless there is a very public apology from a senior member of the armed forces for the Ibrox incident, I will be very reluctantly withdrawing my support for Help for Heroes.
    What next? The Armed Forces Day parade in Stirling led off by the Black Skull flute band?

  226. Morag says:

    You point me at a comment-numbering plugin and I’m all over it.
    Just the other day when a page was loading slowly, I thought I saw comment numbers appear while the page display was formating. It seemed that they vanished when the final layout was achieved in the browser window.  I thought at the time, these comments seem to be numbered but the numbers don’t display.
    I could be wrong though, it was something that appeared fairly momentarily.

  227. Doug Daniel says:

    Cath – “OTOH I’m not totally convinced that all the apparent laid back calm we see from companies, other nations and the UK government isn’t because they’re all so convinced it will be a no. I have a nagging fear that they’re convinced it will be a no because they know something we don’t about what’s going to happen next year.”
    I think it’s more than likely simply a case of companies being a bit more grown-up and realistic than unionist politicians would have us believe. And perhaps just a touch of realisation that, whether Scotland becomes independent or not, it’s still by far the best part of Great Britain to be doing business in.

  228. naebd says:

    It’s part of a game. Simply drafted to continue an agreed narrative.
    Wake up sheeple!
    Scottish_skier, you should change your comment handle to Oliver_stone, or maybe even Alex_jones. #cuibono #buildingseven #lizards

  229. pa_broon74 says:

    My oar in the water…
    I agree with S_S. Politicians posture – it’s their job while civil servant have meetings – because that is their job.
    Working as I do in this area, middle management love a meeting, they also love a good old audit. Normally, in government civil service (or NHS etc,) its not really about being organised – its about covering your back.
    If some busy body looked at the records after Sept 2014 – regardless of the vote – if civil servants weren’t planning, heads will roll. Nothing strikes fear and horror into a civil servant’s mind than a rolling civil servant’s head.
    For that reason, I’d put a tenner on Scottish _Skier’s notion.
    Guid letter from Salmond too. They say these things in public but behind the scenes, while they may not be best pals, I imagine they get along. With the possible (meaning definite) exception of Anas Sarwar – they’re not toddlers.

  230. MajorBloodnok says:

    I do wish people would stop criticising the YES campaign about what it is or isn’t doing.  The fact is that each one of us is the YES campaign, so if you want something done organise it yourself.

  231. Jeannie says:

    Could it be that the whole carry-on at Ibrox came about because some marketing/PR guy at Ibrox was trying to think of a way to boost the numbers at the game with Stenhousemuir and thought asking the armed forces along would do the trick.  Then the armed forces, for their part, thought it was a great opportunity to sign up new recruits.  Total cynicism on the part of both of them. But neither of them expected it to go so horribly wrong?

  232. gillie says:

    Major General Eeles said: “ I was delighted when Rangers came forward with the idea. I very much hope this inaugural AFD day at Rangers will be repeated annually for many years to come, and that it will you an appropriate opportunity to show your support for today’s generation of selfless, committed and courageous Armed Forces personnel, all of whom are enormously proud to serve their Queen and their country.”

  233. Brian Powell says:

    Looking at the photo in Bella Caledonia of the soldiers holding the banner, and imagine the response from the press and BBC if that had said, ‘keep….. white” or if soldiers or anyone had carried a banner around Leicester or Bradford with ‘keep…..Protestant’.
    Our press and the BBC is in a state of paralysing stupidity. Maybe indulging in dangerous stupidity is closer to the truth.

  234. Sneddon says:

    Well said Major- if yer not part of the solution etc  We are all YES 🙂

  235. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ Morag – You are quite correct as the other day I had some HTML script popping up just below this very box I am writing in now but it disappeared.

    A few posts ago DonDeefLugs posted a Quarantine link to another poster to assist them with changing their Avatar to Gravatar. It had the link to Quarantine and comment number on the end of the link.

    Today I noted if you run your mouse over the grey date and time of any post and depending on your browswer your will see a link plus the comment number : eg #comment-xxxxx

    Not sure if this helps and how it could be used as a Search facility.

  236. Bawheid Bragg says:

    Paul says:
    29 September, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Off topic, but something I feel like I have to share with those who have a better opportunity than I for publicising something widely.
    Amateur-level dystopian science fiction; y’know, a ‘what if’ story. Don’t worry mate. 🙂 judging by the author’s replies to comments on this blog he just enjoys antagonising. Wouldn’t waste my energy TBO.

  237. Restlessnative says:

    The whole Ibrox shame is just what I’ve came to expect from the Brits down at the bigotdome,disgusting fans,disgusting history and disgusting traditions,and before a certain gentleman gets on his high horse,don’t.The whole country is sick to the back teeth of the followers of Scotland’s most bigoted institution and their bullying,intimidation and threats.I alluded to “decent Rangers fans” in past posts,well where are you all?, shitting it from the majority I expect.Take a look on Follow Follow or Rangers media and you will see the true nature of the !”peepul” your dealing with,odious bigots and racists.Saturdays farce wasn’t about honouring the armed forces,it was a show of triumphalism,overt sectarianism and unionist jingoism.The servicemen who besmirched the memory of every Catholic serviceman who has given his life for this country should hang their heads in shame.As the late Ian Archer once said ““This has to be said about Rangers, as a Scottish Football club they are a permanent embarrassment and an occasional disgrace. This country would be a better place if Rangers did not exist”.

  238. Albalha says:

    A even more disturbing video from Ibrox, posted by someone on Bella. Shows very clearly what’s going on.

  239. Brian Powell says:

    Major General Eeles should resign.

  240. Morag says:

    I do wish people would stop criticising the YES campaign about what it is or isn’t doing.  The fact is that each one of us is the YES campaign, so if you want something done organise it yourself.
    I’m not sure that’s entirely fair.  I contribute regularly to Yes Scotland precisely so that we can have a co-ordinated, strategic, properly funded campaign.  As opposed to futile little individual efforts with no national penetration and no strategy.  I don’t think it’s reasonable for the people who are giving that money, to expect the people who are receiving it to DO SOMETHING.  I mean, you don’t pay your gardening company for them to turn round and say, if you want your lawn cut don’t whine at us, cut it yourself.
    Another point is, who has at least the possibility of getting the ear of the press.  Not individual private citizens who may have some personal comment on current events.  It’s Yes Scotland who have to speak up, because if they don’t nobody else is going to be taken seriously.
    I don’t know whether the criticisms of Yes Scotland are justified or not.  Looking back at the campaign after a Yes vote next year we may be marvelling at their grasp of strategy and timing.  However, if their intention is to take my money and then sit back and expect me to run my own wee personal Yes campaign among my own friends and neighbours with no co-ordination, no strategy and no funding, then I wouldn’t be too happy.

  241. Morag says:

    Today I noted if you run your mouse over the grey date and time of any post and depending on your browswer your will see a link plus the comment number : eg #comment-xxxxx
    That seems to be a unique number for the post within the blog as a whole.  What I thought I saw was a number designating the position in the thread.  I might have been mistaken though.

  242. muttley79 says:

    Wondering myself if all is well at YES campaign, where is the impetus, where are the young radicals? Hacking isssue has fallen well flat.
    New YES website, all very smiley and happy … where is the anger at the depravation in the East end of Glasgow …. where is the stab a the heart of the NO Campaign.
    There are young radical activists involved in the Yes campaign.  I have to agree with you about the lack of anger at the living conditions in many areas of Scotland from the official Yes Scotland campaign.  It has been glaringly absent so far.  
    I do wish people would stop criticising the YES campaign about what it is or isn’t doing.  The fact is that each one of us is the YES campaign, so if you want something done organise it yourself. 
    I understand what you are saying about the grassroots campaign.  However, that only works up to a point.  It is all very well having a strong grassroots campaign, but surely the Yes campaign needs to find other ways of getting the message across to the voters?  You say that each of us is the Yes campaign.  However, individuals can only reach a certain amount of the electorate.  It surely is up to those elected representatives and those who are employed by Yes Scotland to come up with ways of achieving a higher, and more effective, media presence.  Are they holding press conferences regularly, or are they just releasing press statements?  Also, the grassroots independence supporters turned up at the rally, but they did not deliver speeches.  There is a hierarchy in the Yes campaign, and there has to be.  Otherwise some random Yes supporter would be chosen to debate with Darling.  It is natural for independence supporters to look to the likes of Salmond, Sturgeon, Canavan etc to seize the agenda.  I don’t think it is happening enough.  Finally, you say that if we want something done we should organise it ourselves.  What if some people have health problems which makes it difficult for them to take the initiative?  Also, how do we know how effective it would be? 

  243. Chic McGregor says:

    “She may WANT a debate but will she ever turn up for one? 
    Excuse me if I don’t hold my breath for that one! “

    I think in JoLa’s mind ‘debate’ and ‘delay’ are cognates.

  244. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:


    Well, I’ve installed it and it seems to have done sod-all. Maybe it’ll only work with new posts.

  245. Murray McCallum says:

    That’s a good article by Alex Thomson on C4. I have watched all this getting angrier and avoided getting into the usual tit for tat debate.
    If voting Yes means the people involved in all this are those members of the UK armed forces that wish to remain part of the British Army and see no adequate role for themselves in the SDF, then job done.

  246. callum says:

    with reference to the “companies are being briefed behind the scenes comments” – I do not believe this to be true.  I’m a strategist for a v. large financial and these discussions are not happening (excluding round the coffee point in Scottish office locations).  The reason?  well, there are bigger fish to fry at the moment with other areas of regulation and it is expected that (rightly or wrongly) that post referendum there will be a long period of transition where nothing much will change in the short to medium term.

  247. The Man in the Jar says:

    I watched that video and have never been so ashamed to have been part of the british army I am so utterly disgusted. 

    Imagine for a moment that the N. Ireland “troubles” were still being attended to by the army what a propaganda tool this would have been for the IRA. And I would not blame the IRA for one moment. Pity that there are not any tours of duty in N.I. anymore that would force these morons to think twice. What next, the armed forces taking part in anti-islamist demos prior to flying out to Afghanistan?

    I am going to contact some veterans associations to see what their take is on this.

  248. cath says:

    today’s generation of selfless, committed and courageous Armed Forces personnel,

    That was my opinion of them up until this weekend. If they want people to respect and think well of them, they have a very odd way of showing it.

    “I contribute regularly to Yes Scotland precisely so that we can have a co-ordinated, strategic, properly funded campaign.”

    I fund them regularly too but, for the moment at least, I’m happy to trust there is a plan and if they want to hold fire until next year and do whatever they’re doing now, I’m OK with that. I don’t expect to know their strategy because if I did, our opponents also would.

    “It’s Yes Scotland who have to speak up, because if they don’t nobody else is going to be taken seriously.”

    Again, not sure I agree with this. If Yes Scotland the organisation says something, it’ll be taken as propaganda – after all, it’s Yes Scotland. Supporting the organic growth of grassroots organisations means there are a lot more voices to speak for Yes and they’re a lot more diverse and non-partisan. Yes has an important role, but supporting and facilitating grass-roots movements, including helping them develop the confidence and ability for non-professional people to play a part (for example speaking publicly) has to be a pretty major one right now.

  249. Albalha says:

    Well quite. That clearer video shows a Navy person? (I’m only going by old films and the buttons) walking around with a Red Hand of Ulster flag, words fail. It’s obvious he’s rebuked, but then he throws it into the crowd. From the first one I’d, naively, assumed it was the flag of England.

    Also in the Alex Thomson piece he talks about a previous time at Ibrox where there was abseiling and that it wasn’t to be repeated. But the BBC short ‘highlights’ shows more abseiling at the weekend.

    Scotland, its politicians and MSM need to address this. Where else in Europe does this happen? Does it happen elsewhere at football grounds? And if it does do they start joining in with the fans…

  250. Brian Powell says:

    Again it took a reporter from media outside Scotland to comment. Alex Thomson C4.

    Derek Bateman in his blog, appealed to journalists to tell the truth relating to the Salmond/Cameron debate, it didn’t happen then and nothing happening on this.

    ‘Oyr’ media seem to digging a bigger and bigger hole for themselves.

    Many, many months ago I and many others, said that the BBC needed to be careful for its ‘brand’ of unbiased reporting, and the affect on their reputation, domestic and international. Losing it can come from the smallest, weakest link, and that is BBC Scotland.

    (Someone commenting on Alex Thomson’s blog, tried to blame the police not the MOD!)

  251. Morag says:

    Cath, as regards your comment above, if the “hold fire” strategy is deliberate and actually works I will not be complaining, as I said.  I just don’t think it’s a solution to disquiet in the ranks to tell people to run their own private campaigns.
    I agree with you about the grassroots organisations, however when we’re talking about who will debate for Yes, or whether the email hacking was a political attack and so on, it has to be the Yes campaign which takes the lead.  The grassroots campaigns are there to help Yes Scotland, not as a substitute for it.

  252. desimond says:

    Surely ( cue Leslie Neilsen gags)…if you want to refer to someones specific comments, you would just right click on the datestamp for comment and choose ‘Copy Link Address’ and then use that as a link, preferably along with the ‘Open in a new window’ option that sadly doesnt seem to work for me.
    ie what a comment

  253. Inbhir Anainn says:

    In total agreement with The Man In The Jar absolutely disgraceful behaviour from members of our Armed Forces.  Like TMITJ I served in the Army many moons ago.  It was obvious to me that the men from the Army contingent were clearly members of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.  Looks like so many men from each battalion were there.  I noticed some red hackles and black hackles being worn on the side of their TOS (Tam O’Shanters) head dress.
    As a general guide in establishing the difference between the battalions:
    While in PCS combat dress, each battalion wears its own unique coloured hackle on the Tam O’Shanter:

    1st Battalion – Black
    2nd Battalion – White
    3rd Battalion – Red
    4th Battalion – Blue
    5th Battalion – Green
    6th Battalion – Grey
    7th Battalion – Purple

  254. cath says:

    “I just don’t think it’s a solution to disquiet in the ranks to tell people to run their own private campaigns.”
    No one has to do that though. There are local yes groups in pretty much every locality (and if there isn’t one near you, I’m pretty sure you could get in touch with Yes and they’ll advise on how to set one up). We have people in ours who have health problems and can’t get out but have offered help telephone canvassing, sticking things in envelopes, or whatever else they’re able to do.
    If that doesn’t appeal because you think the Yes campaign looks a bit dull or bland, there are many other organisations operating at various levels including local ones as well – Radical Independence, National Collective, the Jimmy Reid foundation, Women for Indy, Business for Scotland. I’d defy anyone in Scotland to not be able to find a way to get involved if they want to, without having to set up their own private campaign.

  255. Morag says:

    Oh for goodness sake, Cath, I’m an active member of my local Yes group.  My porch is currently harbouring a bale of these newspapers that have to be folded before being distributed, and no doubt it will be me that is walking round distributing them.
    I was addressing Major Bloodnock, whose answer to other posters expressing disquiet about the lack of a public profile for Yes Scotland, and a perceived lack of response to key issues in the news, was to declare that we should be the campaign ourselves and not complain about Yes Scotland not doing anything.
    I’ve said several times that if this “silence of the lambs” approach by Yes Scotland is all part of a well-considered strategy I’m perfectly OK with that.  I’ll take round leaflets and newspapers, and I’ll try to talk to friends and neighbours, and all that.  However, I recognise that some people are getting jittery, and wonder just what it is that Yes Scotland is actually doing as regards all the scare stories and scandals and so on.  It’s a legitimate question, and telling these people they shouldn’t rely on Yes Scotland but they should do it all themselves isn’t any sort of solution.

  256. cath says:

    “My porch is currently harbouring a bale of these newspapers that have to be folded before being distributed, and no doubt it will be me that is walking round distributing them.”
    Then it’s clearly not you the comment about “us being yes” is aimed at, but those complaining that they haven’t heard anything form or had materials “from the yes campaign” who could perhaps be out helping you deliver them.
    We’re on the same side here!

  257. gillie says:

    Royal Regiment of Scotland has now been tagged as the ‘Band of Bigots’.  I don’t see how the MoD are going to retrieve this situation when the Top Brass were all there to witness this debacle at Ibrox and apparently did nothing but enjoy Rangers hospitality. What a fxxxing farce.

  258. Brian Powell says:

    The comments on Alex Thomson’s blog gathered a lot of ignorant comments with no point, seeing it as an attack on Rangers. Deliberately, it seems, missing the point he was making about lack of coverage in the Scottish media and the responsibility of the Command.

  259. muttley79 says:

    Of course we are all on the same side.  However, there will be differences from time to time, mostly over tactics I suspect.  My problem is that Yes have never really had the No campaign on the back foot.  When No bring up the uncertainty of independence, people like Blair Jenkins need to get themselves on TV and challenge BT about what a No vote means.  The MSM have shown that they are not going to do it for us.  It is all very well saying we are all part of the Yes campaign.  However, random independence supporters cannot shape and influence the national debate.  In other words we do not have the access to the TV stations that someone like Blair Jenkins does.  I believe that, in the time left until the referendum, we really need to be challenging them about the uncertainty over a No vote, and their complete lack of vision for the future of Scotland.  I don’t think it is being done in as nearly a robust manner as it should be.  It does not need to be aggressive, but we really need to be challenging them in TV debates in particular.  I think it is a concern if we are always on the back foot.   

  260. cath says:

    “It does not need to be aggressive, but we really need to be challenging them in TV debates in particular.  I think it is a concern if we are always on the back foot.”
    Agree entirely. I just think part of the strategy this year has been giving the No camp a lot of rope to hang itself, while working on building up a network at grassroots and within other organisations that will be able to more effectively hang them with it next year. I hope anyway. I totally understand people’s concern as well though. At the moment it does look very back foot. But at the same time, it’s also giving those already looking in a very good demonstration of just how biased the media really are, and how bad the no campaign are. Others will see that next year when (hopefully when not if…) the refutations which are all there already blast onto the screens of everyone who isn’t yet looking.

  261. Morag says:

    Then it’s clearly not you the comment about “us being yes” is aimed at, but those complaining that they haven’t heard anything form or had materials “from the yes campaign” who could perhaps be out helping you deliver them.
    I wasn’t actually addressing a complaint that people hadn’t heard from or had materials from the Yes campaign.  The complaint, it seemed to me, was that Yes were silent in public about issues they should have been laying into No about.  We can deliver leaflets and newspapers and hold Yes meetings and so on, but one thing we can’t do is be the public face of Yes Scotland for the Scottish media.

    Actually we’re doing OK here for volunteers.  I’m currently trying to leaflet the area for the SNP for a by-election, and I’m absolutely whacked and short of help.  However, when it comes to Yes Scotland, a posse of Greens and SSP people (as well as the politically unaffiliated) will join the SNP volunteers and the village will be polished off in an hour or two.

  262. Albalha says:

    Alex Thomson updated blog

    UPDATE: Following a number of questions to the Ministry of Defence regarding the scenes at Ibrox on Saturday, Channel 4 News has received the following response;

    An MoD spokesperson said: “We are aware that Police Scotland are investigating an allegation relating to the behaviour of some fans at Saturday’s game at Ibrox. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.

    “Any personnel found to have fallen short of the Armed Forces’ values and standards will be dealt with by the chain of command and, if necessary, by the police.”

    Because of the complaint to Police Scotland and the possibility of military disciplinary action being taken against some of the service personnel involved, the MoD was unable to comment further upon what happened.

    However the ministry did add that there are no plans at present to stop any future celebrations of Armed Forces Day happening during the autumn at Ibrox.

    So the up-sum of all this is that action may or my not be taken against those in uniform deemed to have crossed the line and whilst there are no plans to stop the parade and it’s hard to see why anyone could reasonably object to the parade part of it, the interest will be about whether in future those in uniform on the pitch are left to their own devices to go over and join in with the fans in the way so many did on Saturday.

    – See more at:

  263. molly says:

    Did BBC not have someone reporting the game , so they would be a witness to the events at Ibrox ? Who took the photograph of the 3 squaddies ?
    Never mind , tomorrow the completely discredited newspapers and our 2 esteemed TV channels are discussing a subject similar to this, one that really reflects how the establishment in Scotland operates- Alex Salmonds choice of socks. 

    Tom Gordon will be tweeting his opinion live , while the BBC Sportsound team in an effort to remove their blinkers have arranged a special visit to Specsavers , a director of events is also to be on hand ,to teach the remaining press pundits how to collectively look the other way in a co-ordinated fashion. 

  264. cath says:

    “However the ministry did add that there are no plans at present to stop any future celebrations of Armed Forces Day happening during the autumn at Ibrox.”
    Since when did “day” morph into right through the autumn? Following straight on from a summer fo sodding orange parades taking over the streets? To be followed by celebrations of the carnage of WWI….it’s bloody well going to be constant, isn’t it?

  265. Jon D says:

    With respect and as I have said here before, repeating that of others, YesScotland (YS) is a grassroots community based campaign. If attention is paid to this link and the section marked Movement, it will be clear that YS carries out all these functions in abundance; look at YS events pages. YS HQ exists to facilitate these events in an organised fashion with strategy and structure. There is support by way of resource as it can be justified. As such it has a modicum of hierarchy in order that it is recognisable and identifiable to the public. 

    IT does NOT exist to play Big Boys politics the likes of which is going on with Salmond/Cameron’s letter. And to grandstand on any issues before the white paper arrives would just be ridiculous. All strategies win out by having a degree of flexibility and through clever timing. The Yes campaign has all these things and is doing just fine. Be patient, supportive and just do whatever YOU can.

  266. Jenny says:

    I have sent the BBC some feedback on their article regarding this:
    “Dear BBC,

    Thank you for the above article. Could you please make a correction on behalf of David Cameron in the second last paragraph of this article. Alex Salmond is NOT the head of the Yes campaign.

    I’m sure you are aware of this and have merely forgotten to point out Mr Cameron’s error.

    Best Wishes.”
    A satisfying but futile gesture.

  267. Haggistrap says:

    If YES does not exist to play big boy politics (as well as community based), I am very disheartened. At a minimum, YES should have immediately said that Canavan is the equivalent person to Darling and also asked why this is not being reported correctly. If there is a strategy for later, fine but no need to be so feeble right now. Absolutely no point in making things difficult for ourselves. YES needs to respond much more vigourously to situations as they arise.
    If we want the public to believe YES is more than Salmond or the SNP, they need to act now.

  268. Robert Louis says:

    Jon D, MajorBloodnok and Cath,
    I could not have put it better myself.  Thank you very much for expressing yourselves so eloquently.  
    Personally, I am sick and tired of people posting on here, whinging about how they haven’t seen any YES activity, or questioning the YES campaign tactics.  If such people REALLY want to help, instead of just liking the sound of their own over inflated voices, then maybe they should get involved.  If such people are already involved, then maybe they need to stop and think of the harm they are doing.  Issues (if they are REAL) need addressed directly with YES Scotland, not by posting willy nilly on message boards about how you ‘think YES really must try harder’, and similar ridiculous comments.
    We all want independence, it really makes little sense on any level to raise such concerns (real or in most cases imaginary) here.  I mean seriously folks, let’s not make things harder for ourselves.
    Volunteer to help us win independence here;

    As it says on the YES Scotland website;
    “Yes Scotland is a grassroots campaign. Our strength comes from the involvement of thousands of Scots like you. We need you to take part if we are going to win the referendum of an independent Scotland on 18 September, 2014.”

  269. Robert Louis says:

    You are just repeating yourself now.

  270. Jon D says:

    @Robert Louis
    Cheers for your support on the campaign aims…. I don’t post much ‘cos I’m out doing stuff and organising troops.
    I catch up here when I can, but sites like this are as much part of the Yes campaign as anything else. I am not as blessed with the powers of argument as the other keyboard warriors here but the way in which they demystify and debunk all the lies and obfuscation is what gives me the motivation to get on with what I think I do best for Yes. Given the opposition, we’re doing a bloody good job; none of us should forget that.  All suggestions as to how to further the Yes cause are appreciated by everyone so long as we all keep singing from the same hymn sheet

  271. Grant_M says:

    It’s not so much that I have a problem there with the BBC reporting what David Cameron said – because that is a direct quote from him – but what is important is that no balance is provided by British Broadcasting Corruption – neither giving the Yes side the opportunity to correct this ‘mistake’ or the interviewer (for example; Andrew Marr on his Sunday programme, yesterday) simply pointing it out at the time.
    However… in a lunchtime edition of Reporting Scotland last week, Westminster political correspondent David Porter repeated that same falsehood in a live report on the subject of David Cameron’s refusal to a live debate with Alex Salmond, not when directly quoting DC, but in his own personal response to questions put to him by the presenter at Pacific Quay.

  272. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “My problem is that Yes have never really had the No campaign on the back foot.”

    Sadly that isn’t really within Yes Scotland’s gift. You can only put someone “on the back foot” with the assistance of the media, and as we know, the media’s on the other lot’s team.

  273. Haggistrap says:

    @ Robert Louis
    Guilty as charged for repeating myself but from a slightly different angle and I make no apology. A considerable number share my view at SNP branch meetings.
    We shall have to agree to disagree and hey, we’re on the same side.

  274. Grant_M says:

    Cameron again says “no” to Alex Salmond.
    Plus… “he would be “very open” to giving the Scottish Government further powers [to only be discussed after the referendum] – a position held by Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Brown, (?) according to the STV report.

    “If Scotland wants to stay, I think there then is an opportunity for all parties – Labour, Conservative, SNP, Liberal Democrat – to look at right across the United Kingdom — how do we make our UK work better?”

    “I don’t stand against sensible discussions about how to arrange the powers properly”

  275. Bugger [the Panda] says:

    Will someone please tell me why I wrong and Cameron is NOT trying to help the Yes vote?
    Either that or he really hasn’t an F’n clue nor does his Spads and C Service Sir Humphries.
    C’mon tell me please.

  276. muttley79 says:

    @Rev Stu
    Sadly that isn’t really within Yes Scotland’s gift. You can only put someone “on the back foot” with the assistance of the media, and as we know, the media’s on the other lot’s team.
    How are we going to win then?  By overwhelming grassroots support?

  277. Dramfineday says:

    Albalha says:     

     BTW I’ve now uploaded my other Independence March photos
    And at last I see a shred of evidence that the Drams were there (apart from the few pics I took of us at the start) Your pic, NorthBridge1, shows a rear view of my grand daughter (3) waving her flag (while sitting on dad’s shoulders (not seen). I was nearly greetin (soft old fool)!
    Thank you

  278. handclapping says:

    Of course you’re wrong. Haven’t his civil servants already pointed out that we’ll be worse off if independent, £1pa or £2000 over 30 years, take your pick and he has already told us that he doesn’t want to be the PM that breaks up Britain.
    The fact that he has already arranged a diplomatic illness and will have to be in hospital 17, 18, 19 Sept next year has nothing to do with your ridiculous conspiracy theory 🙂 It just means it’ll be Clegg’s fault.

  279. Albalha says:

    Always nice to know an image cheers someone, I’d be happy to send you a copy if you’d like. My e mail is sitting in Quarantine if you want to contact me.

  280. Jenny says:


  281. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “How are we going to win then? By overwhelming grassroots support?”

    By winning the arguments. People aren’t really looking for the facts yet. In the next 12 months they will, and if we can get them across we’ll win. The public doesn’t really give a toss about politicians scoring points off each other in the papers.

  282. Brian Powell says:

    From the STV News; Cameron open to further Devolution after the vote, it can’t be clearer that it will be a ‘discussion’ by all parties. That will with certainty be on the behalf of the Westminster Parties.If changes happened it could be a complete rearrangement of even existing powers in Scotland. In fact from the various speeches from Labour and Conservative politicians it will go that way.

    There is a kind of smugness from some of the No voters, a so what attitude, without looking at what will happen. Cameron has made it clear with a No vote the next discussion will not be on Scotland’s terms.

  283. Brian Powell says:

    Following my last post: any future discussion on devolution will be on a Party basis, and which is best for each party rather than an overall plan of what would be right for Scotland.

  284. Brian Powell says:

    And being as short sighted and dim as some in these Parties are, they will all lose out, played against each other.

  285. Jon D says:

    The public doesn’t really give a toss about politicians scoring points off each other in the papers.

    Rev Stu is totally correct on this. For Yes to be seen to standing on the same platform as any politician will only switch the voting public off more.

    But who cant fail, in comparison, to be engaged by a passionate and informed volunteer, ie an ordinary Joe, someone like them, indulging in inspired one to one debate.

    With the power of the Internet and volunteers, this is the only way the vote will be won.

    People are also weary of a sterile media but are prepared to listen to me when I tell them that there is a strong likelihood of them voting against their own interests for reasons a,b,c. etc . Most people want and know this country needs a new politics. It’s unlikely to come from above but, my God Yes are trying to make sure it comes from those on the ground. It can only be a peoples campaign because the alternative has failed. It is that simple and that is how it will be won. 

    For those unable to be a footsoldier I would recommend getting what is known as a Yesmo account.( via a short call to Yes HQ) Whilst I use this tool to canvass on the doorstep it can be equally and effectively used for telephone canvassing; the idea being to establish a database that identifies areas of support, to be tapped into nearer voting day to further influence opinion and maximise turnout.

    It all works if you work it!

  286. Jon D says:

    So work it: you’re all worth it!

  287. rabb says:

    FFS people, have none of you caught on to this yet? You’re all educated people!
    If Blair Jenkins found Lord Lucan riding Shergar he wouldn’t get a sniff at a paper or a slot on the BBC.

    Yes Scotland don’t exist unless there’s something to stick the boot in with. SNP politicians are only tolerated out of necessity and even then they can’t get a word in edge ways.
    The best method is to get the head down and crack on building an army of foot soldiers who’ll circumvent the whole rotten lot of them.
    From what I’ve seen so far (last week for instance) that plan is beginning to build a nice wee head of steam 🙂
    Keep the faith!

  288. Restlessnative says:
    Worth a read.Sure he shares the views of many of us.

  289. The Man in the Jar says:

    at 7;06pm
    Toothache surly! Thats the traditional ailment on these occasions.

  290. Aidan says:

    A very short while ago, I started looking for good information on the issues around Independence and found Wings Over Scotland. Not only did I discover the case for Independence to be far more substantial than I had hitherto dared hope, I was alerted to the fact that a big march and rally were about to happen in Edinburgh.

    The immense positivity of the march and rally inspired me to become a foot soldier for the YES campaign. I think it’s this combination of substance and positivity that will win it, if it is to be won.  

    The NO campaign have nothing to offer and a lot of unpalatable truths to hide.  Given their position, they are only doing what they must – their range of options is exceedingly narrow.
    The media landscape may well be tilted against us but I don’t think we should waste too much energy fighting that fact. Railing against it will only get us mired in THEIR negativity – then we will all be Bitter Together.  This tactic of drawing us in is almost certainly an element of UKOK strategy, so why should we fall for it? Why should a naturally powerful army waste time and energy trying to occupy ground that will undoubtedly remain treacherous to it?  Not only will we not win that fight, we stand to lose one of the key ingredients which most distinguishes the YES campaign from Better Together.  Too much complaining on our part and it will be all people will hear; the vision will be eclipsed.  

    Would the average interested-but-as-yet-undecided person benefit from hearing about the unfairness of the coverage or would they be better off knowing the amazingly positive truth about their country?  

    Let’s take the blatant one-sidedness of the British establishment as a given.  The MSM is not the only terrain upon which the campaign must be fought.  If we focus on playing directly to our strengths, it puts the other side on the losing-ground.  If we keep campaigning on the streets, door-to-door, face-to-face and online, the people in the MSM will wake up one day to discover that they are surrounded.

    I want to say thanks to everyone who comments on this site, and especially Reverend Stu, for all the hope and heart you have given me.

  291. Jon D says:

    Great post, succinctly put; in a nutshell.  🙂

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