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The reverse apology

Posted on December 26, 2013 by

We weren’t going to post today, but we couldn’t let this one just sneak past under the cover of Christmas, because the way the story has evolved this week says so much about how the pro-Union media operates and what we’re up against.


That’s the delightful Fraser Nelson, unfathomably-accented editor of right-wing commentary magazine The Spectator and the living embodiment of our own Sir Jock Finlay-Urquhart-Duncan in his youth. A couple of days ago Mr Nelson wrote the most extraordinary leader column for the magazine, and then things unfolded.

Below is an extract from the article in question.

The SNP haven’t yet said who would qualify for their passport, and for a reason. They want to make out that they’d give it to pretty much anyone who’d passed through Scotland, even those (like me) under suspicion of conservatism. But to admit so now would mean having to explain why people who’d qualify for Scottish citizenship later are not given a vote now.

The current test – residency only – works in the SNP’s favour as it disenfranchises the hundreds of thousands of Scots who live in another part of the family of the United Kingdom. They tend to be in favour of the union, and the opportunities it affords.”

Currently living in “another part of the family of the United Kingdom” (can you live in part of a family? Eeww) ourselves, we’d take some issue with that last part – for which no supporting evidence of any kind is offered – but the real problem is of course with the first bit, which we’ve emphasised in bold.

As an alert reader wasted no time in explaining to Mr Nelson in the first comment on the archived page, that assertion is simply a flat-out lie. In fact the SNP, across several pages of its independence “white paper”, explained in some considerable detail precisely who would qualify for a Scottish passport.

Now, you might imagine that someone as senior as a publication’s editor, when writing in such stark factual terms about a document which has been available to the public for several weeks and is easily searchable by both journalists and normal people, would perhaps have taken 30 seconds to check for the words “passport” or “citizenship”, both of which would have instantly delivered Mr Nelson to the information he sought and absolved him of the need to make quite such a public tit of himself.

But that’s not even the interesting bit. Faced with such clear and unarguable proof of his complete and empirical wrongness, the hapless hack had no option but to remove the offending line in its entirety (thereby destroying the whole premise of the article and its headline) and publish a correction. This was it:


Did you catch that? “It now has”. Fraser Nelson wasn’t mistaken or lying, we’re being told there – the implication of that “apology” is that the information was revealed AFTER the column was published, even though it goes on to note that the event in question happened last month. Why would anyone use the chronologically-wonky phrase “it now has” there, if not to mislead the casual reader?

Sure enough, the correction itself was subsequently corrected:


As we write this post that’s the current version, swapping out the sneaky misdirection for another attack on the SNP. But even aside from that, it’s still misinformation, because we’re at a loss as to how Mr Nelson could possibly claim to remain unsure about his own standing after reading the relevant part of White Paper.

As far as we can establish Fraser Nelson was born in Nairn, Scotland, and as such the document is absolutely and unambiguously clear that he would qualify for Scottish citizenship automatically. Page 54 of our electronic version states:

“Scottish-born British citizens currently living outside of Scotland will also automatically be considered Scottish citizens. All Scottish citizens will have the right to acquire a Scottish passport.

Pretty hard to misunderstand, no? If Mr Nelson is still uncertain, we invite him to contact us and we’ll see if we can dumb the above lines down a bit further for him.

So what have we learned? A magazine editor has written a ridiculously, laughably inaccurate article based on a completely false statement of an easily-obtainable fact. When exposed, he writes a fake “apology” that implies he was right all the time, and then when that in turn is exposed he rewrites it in such a way that it still both attacks the victim of his initial dishonesty and also continues to be dishonest.

That, readers, is what the general public is up against when trying to come to an informed decision in the independence referendum. The Scottish/British media (and we use that term very deliberately) has a default position of lying, printing the truth only when forced to – when most readers will have already digested the lie and moved on – and even then still misrepresenting the reality.

It’s why this site exists, and why we’ll be redoubling our efforts in 2014 in order to give Scottish people the facts. It’s a big job, for the vested interests who would lie to Scots are many and rich and powerful – the Spectator has served the British establishment for 185 years – and we are few and poor and need to sleep occasionally. But we’ll stick at it until we drop, because the alternative cannot be allowed to prevail.


ADDENDUM: Even more embarrassingly for Mr Nelson, the magazine of which he’s the editor had in fact already answered his question a month earlier.

2. Scottish citizenship

It had been assumed that only those living in Scotland at the time of independence would become citizens of the new Scotland. It has now emerged that Scottish citizenship will be an awful lot wider than that.The White Paper reveals that anybody who was born in Scotland can become a Scottish citizen and have a Scottish passport.

Not only that, but all those with a Scottish parent or grandparent could become citizens of the new Scotland too.”

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    1. 26 12 13 15:41

      Spectacular fail | Leithal Yak

    187 to “The reverse apology”

    1. As the product of a Scottish boys’ boarding school, I sometimes wonder, had they been at my school, which would have had the longest queue of boys waiting to punch their lights out: Michael Gove or Fraser Nelson? I think Nelson wins by a nose.

    2. Andy says:

      It really is quite entertaining reading all the spittle flecked low-voltage UKIP’ers and sundry unionist useful idiots commenting below the line on this article; I’ve spent the past few days trying to show them the error of their ways obviously! 

      Amazing how many feel qualified to comment when they know SFA about the indyref generally, still less the actual subject of the article itself.

      The positive case for the union has never seemed any more distant than when reading the bile, anti-scottish bigotry and disinformation in those comments!

    3. Ericmac says:

      Well done Stu. Truly ‘Wings over Scotland with eagle eyes’.. even on boxing day.  
      I was one of the commentators on this article.  What was incredible was the fear and ignorance that it managed to stir up…  followed by the deliberate vehemence and sh1t stirring by people who obviously knew better. 

      Sickening state of affairs.

    4. HandandShrimp says:

      I think that it requires pretty much 98.7% of Fraser’s cerebral capabilities to talk like that and consequently reading and understanding the white paper is asking a bit much.
      That or was trying to sneak out a Bitter Together lie in the hope to confuse and dismay. They don’t have a hell of a lot else in their armoury.

    5. To be fair to Nelson, he had an appointment with his accent therapist so we agreed to ghost the article for him.

    6. Graeme Purves says:

      Citizen Nelson – he’s a real Family Guy!  But perhaps more comfortable being a subject?

    7. wullie says:

      naebdy fae Nairn sounds like him, he must have the biggest chip in the world on his shoulder attached to which must be the largest cringe in the known Universe.

    8. Angry Weegie says:

      Nelson is an @rse and his magazine is indescribable. Maybe after independence, it won’t be sold in Scotland any more. That gives us another reason to vote YES.

    9. Ken500 says:

      It’s incredible.

      Along with the claim of ‘Sweden’s right wing policies’. It couldn’t be more Scocialist.

      The UK has EU passports. EU citizens can travel freely. Yet Thatcherites argue against EU membership.

      Scotland Independent in Europe. Cut out the middleman’s 20%

    10. Craig Stewart says:

      Thanks Stu, and merry Xmas to all wings readers! 🙂
      We should start up some sort of catalogue of the sheer barefaced lies so anyone who doesn’t believe it  can be pointed in that direction. 🙂

    11. proudscot says:

      Tell you what Roddy, by the time you and your school mates had punched your way through the lengthy list of Gove and Nelson and their fellow anti-Scottish ("Quizmaster" - Ed)s, such as Darling, McDoughball, the Alexanders (Dougie and Danny), North British Broon, Ian “Bayonet” Davidson, and the equally lengthy list of journo hacks and BBC presenters, your knuckles would be red raw! Wishing a Happy New Year to you and yours!

    12. ronnie anderson says:

      Sky news ,Scotland left out of the UK economy report, ach we must be gone doon the stank , n they dont want tae spoil oor C/mas wie bad news

    13. tony o'neill says:

      Well done rev,wings is a beacon of light to shine in dark places,and know this we are on the way to freedom and thats the truth.

    14. Mark Coburn says:

      That last paragraph is the reason why I’m prepared to do everything I can as well.

    15. HulloHulot says:

      Also in the Spectator, of which Nelson’s purportedly the editor:

      From the 26th of November:
      The White Paper reveals that anybody who was born in Scotland can become a Scottish citizen and have a Scottish passport.

      To be frank, I can’t blame Nelson for not reading his publication’s shit-witterings, but even if he avoids his own magazine’s output there’s handy-dandy discussion of this topic only a google away. In January, for example, the Herald covered Salmond’s proposals for “Irish-Style citizenship after Independence.”
      Of course, a’ this happened outside the Westminster bubble – so the inclusive world-view of Nelson, who isn’t burdened by our ‘small-minded sense of nationalism’ when he advocates leaving the EU or “wean[ing] the country off the drug of  immigration” probably missed it.

    16. Marcia says:

      Ah Fraser Nelson.
      That man has a problem for every solution.

    17. Barry Blust says:

      I know the value of honesty, the harm of lies.  Clear thinking people will not give this character even the time of day.  Integrity and credibility have been binned.  Sad that!

    18. Rev, the way you tear these people up fir arse paper, is a sight to behold!

    19. benarmine says:

      c’mon now, surely a’body in Nairn speaks like yon? You have indeed taught us well Rev, we can read a lot of that stuff now and decipher it in seconds, it’s quite the game. Frase isnae very good at it.

    20. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      One gets the feeling that, having been to boarding school, Mr Nelson may be suffering from the condition identified in Nigel Farage’s case by Ms Soubry of FUTB which presents as a peculiar speech pattern

    21. ronnie anderson says:

      REV, & Any other TECHNO NATS could we no have a online Petition to the Scottish Parliament to WITHDRAW the BBC FRANCHISE AS THE PUBLIC BROADCASTER , Sooner rather than later.

    22. Barontorc says:

      Let’s make his day and tell him officially that his overtly rank cynical stupidity removes his right to be issued with a Scottish passport.
      It takes you down the road of a libel legal action against these creeps. Who has been libeled? Who’s got deep pockets? Would the libel action be under Scots or English law? Would one successful test case put up a precedent to other such minded creeps?
      Oh, why bother – these guys are finished come 19 September 2014 anyway and good bloody riddance! I’d still black-ball him for a Scottish passport.

    23. Robert Kerr says:

      I wish a Happy Christmas and New Year to all.
      Was forbidden to use computer on Christmas Day.
      I shall continue to be charitable till next year. Then….

    24. Monty Carlow says:

      The scheme proposed for citizenship is entirely sensible and logical.  Even before the White Paper was published, it was predictable what a reasonable citizenship scheme would comprise in broad terms. 
      Firstly, the criteria currently applying for UK citizenship would apply likewise to Scotland .  Secondly, any UK citizens resident in Scotland at independence would qualify.   This is what has been done.   
      The UK government may not have publicly addressed the issue for future rUK citizenship, but I would anticipate that equivalent rules for rUK will apply.   Some people will qualify for both citizenships (Fraser Nelson, for example), and there will have to be some rules to pick up the odd stray case (although it is difficult to concoct an example), to make sure every UK citizen ends up with one or other of the new citizenships. 
      The argument that all those who will qualify for Scottish citizenship, including Fraser Nelson, should have a vote in the referendum is a bogus one.   Voting franchise is not the same as citizenship.   Not every UK adult citizen is entitled to vote in a UK election.  Many UK citizens who do not live in the UK do not qualify for votes.  It used to be that none of them had the vote, until Thatcher’s government decided to extend the Westminster parliamentary franchise to voters who had left the UK within the last 15 years, believing it would boost the Conservative vote.  This remains a questionable policy. 
      Fraser Nelson cannot vote in any Scottish election.  There is no reason why he should have a referendum vote, just because he may qualify as a Scottish citizen, resident in another country.

    25. gordoz says:

      Another excellent piece to set straight the record Rev –
      (I think he did something similar about Irelands opinion of the ‘Scottish’ referendum recently)
      Many have noticed this ‘Nelson like’ trend for years, of the externally controlled media in Scotland getting their lies in first on the front pages (headers) with the miniscule ‘sarcastic’ retractions to follow in later editions. Which tend to suggest in terms of Brtiains interest they were morally still right all along.
      Other than sites like Wos, I still dont know what can be done to sort this out other than voting YES. I dont see any consistent decent media coverage emerging at all (its getting worse – look at Sunday herald recently).
      Sad to say I can’t see any papers coming over to YES in any meaningful way before Sept 2014 so I think we will have to fight on against such loaded odds as we still experience today.
      The Scottish press / media & TV / Radio remain a shameful lot of sell outs, on the whole, (with only a handful of exceptions), working against the best interests of their homeland out at every opportunity, in support of pure personal gain.

    26. a supporter says:

      I also commented on the Spectator article. And I found Fraser’s meanderings were savaged by most of the other commenters and he was left in no doubt about how stupid he was/is. Hence the corrections.

      He like a number of prominent others on the BritNat side is a product of Glasgow University and I now thank God that I chose Strathclyde for my graduate education. But it still  distresses me to find that that seat of learning is now turning out as many intellectually challenged political duds as Oxbridge.

    27. Thistle says:

      One of the reasons that Scottish Independence Live Events exists is to get the Yes message out to as many people as possible by live streaming events. The other is to encourage other yes groups to look at live streaming their events. As the Rev said lets double our efforts For 2014.

      Next event! Jan 22, 2014 @ The Glad Cafe, Shawlands Glasgow

      Economic Facts and A Vision for Scotland by Ivan McKee, MD Michelle Thomson from Business for Scotland and the wonderful Alan Bissett confirmed.

      Will be posting more details soon via our Facebook page and twitter.

      See our youtube channel for videos from our last event.

    28. Iain says:

      Naughty Fraser!    He should- and does – know better. Too much festive cheer?
      No matter what these guys say, the real message is crystal clear – I have done very well OT of the Union, and I want it to stay that way.

    29. Yesitis says:

      When people say “We all have to live with each other after the referendum whether it`s a Yes or a No”.
      The No campaign is all about persuading Scots to reject their sovereignty and their nation`s independence at all costs. At all costs.

      If they achieve their purpose, how on earth are we all supposed to live with each other knowing our media is stabbing us in the back at every opportunity, and that half our population do not care because there`s a job to be done?

      If there`s a No vote are we all supposed to just hold our hands up and say “Oh well, fair enough. All`s fair in love and war”?

    30. a supporter says:

      “But it still  distresses me to find that that seat of learning is now turning out as many intellectually challenged political duds as Oxbridge.”

      I was referring to Glasgow University there.

      And much congrats to Rev Stu for producing ALL of his articles and this one over Xmas. You are dedicated and are doing an excellent job. Your critiques are spot on. And your readership must now easily surpass that of the Spectator and the other BritNat supporting rags.

    31. a supporter says:

      “if there`s a No vote are we all supposed to just hold our hands up and say “Oh well, fair enough. All`s fair in love and war”?”
      Well for a couple of years anyway. But then, “WE’LL BE BACK!”

    32. Edward says:

      Slightly O/T, but worth getting your teeth into

      A story has just popped up under the radar and being flaunted for all its worth on BBC News bulletin’s . The story is that the UK will be ‘Europe’s largest economy by 2030’

      This has appeared online on the BBC website

      and the Telegraph also has the story, but heads it with a very affirmative tone by stating ‘Will have’ as compared with the BBC’s ‘could be’

    33. Fab001 says:

      Yesterday I had the misfortune of catching Norman Smith’s political review of the year on the BBC News Channel. He mentioned Scottish independence and stated that the economy would be the key issue in the debate, well done Norman.
      So what examples do you think Norm gave of the Scottish economy? Do you think he mentioned the record foreign investment, our enormous energy resources or the fact that Scotland exports more per capita than the rest of the UK? Of course he didn’t.
      He gave two examples:
      #1 Shipbuilding in Govan:
      Smith claimed that the UK government wouldn’t grant any future contracts to an independent Scotland.
      Subtext: Scotland is reliant on the UK government for jobs.
      #2 Grangemouth: Smith pointed out that the plant was only saved at the last minute.
      Subtext: Scotland’s economy is extremely fragile.
      I guess this is the kind of thing we are going to have to put up with for the next 9 months, good luck everyone.

    34. call me dave says:

       Nelson  (not that Nelson) “I see no citizenships” Aye right!
      I see another pantomime here. (No not Malcolm Bruce’s income tax scare!)

    35. Macart says:

      No, he appears to be both hugely inaccurate and lazy. Not only does he have an epic lack of understanding on the subject of Scottish politics, he didn’t even have the courage to apologise with any grace when caught in his misrepresentation. But that’s what you expect from union centric media (shrugs). So no change there then.
      They’ll be no loss in an independent Scotland.

    36. Ken500 says:

      UK will have the EU biggest debt. After five years nothing has been paid off. Scotland balances its books and would be in surplus, without paying off UK debts, higher pro rata.

      The calculations are based on the Euro falling in value, against the pound, there is no sign of that. More propaganda.

    37. BeamMeUpScotty says:

      A lot of assumptions being made here again by another thoughtless tank.Without free access to Scottish resources their huge debt repayments are going to cost even more.A work of fiction.

    38. Jingly Jangly says:

      Fab001 Agree with you on most of your post apart from Grangemouth. It was reported in the article you refer too that the plant was saved by the intervention by Alex Salmond.
      It was a last minute thing, so therefore I have no problem with it being reported that way.
      Don’t know how the bit about the FM being the one who saved the plant got by the beeb censors!!!!

    39. Willie Zwigerland says:

      Monty Carlow>
      An American living in London can vote in US elections.
      A Frenchman living in London can vote in French elections.
      An irishman living in London can vote in Irish elections.
      However a Scotsman living in London cannot vote in Scottish elections.

    40. Craig M says:

      Nairn is well rid of Fraser Nelson. A typical arse climber, he’s so far up the Establishment back passage he can see George Foulkes’ legs.  

    41. Dal Riata says:

      @Willie Zwigerlad
      And your point is, caller?

    42. Tearlach says:

      @Willie Z – you missed out one important word in your post “currently”, as is “a Scotsman currently living in London cannot vote in Scottish elections”.
      Simple solution, independence, then our London domiciled Scot becomes just the same as your American, Frenchman and Irishman. 
      I take it your a Yes man then? 

    43. Iain says:

      Dal Riata says:

      @Willie Zwigerlad And your point is, caller?
      His point is that the Americans, French and Irish all have independent countries that they can vote in. Only the Scots are not independent so don’t have voting rights.

    44. Paul MacAry says:

      Reminds me of an article he wrote about the last SNP conference that clearly implies that he was in attendence.   It turns out he wasn’t and wrote it based on the news snippets he saw on the BBC.
      What a clown.

    45. Patrician says:

      The life of a “journalist” must be hard now.  Even 10 years ago this badly written piece by Mr Nelson would have passed with no reply.  There would have been replies by snail mail but no one else would have seen them apart from the staff at The Spectator, so they could be safely ignored.  
      With the advent of the internet, stupid articles like this are exposed to public ridicule almost as soon as they are published.  You would expect a better level of fact checking to avoid the public ridicule but all we get is a snarky retraction.  He is like a big kid caught doing something they shouldn’t be doing, he throws a huff and gives a half-arsed apology.

    46. scottish_skier says:

      However a Scotsman living in London cannot vote in Scottish elections.
      Unless registered to vote in Scotland. Be rather unfair if they could vote in e.g. UKGE’s in London (for their local constituency), mayoral elections, council elections, and vote back in Scotland for UKGE’s (for their ‘Scottish’ constituency), Holyrood elections, council elections…
      UK government rules on voting in the end and fair enough.
      Of course if Scotland was independent, then a Scottish passport holder could vote in Scottish elections if they were e.g. living in London or New York.

    47. Jingly Jangly says:

      Willie Zwigerlad
      Yup and a English person living in Scotland cannot vote in English elections,
      We don’t have Presidential elections in the UK, we have a non elected head of state.
      So exactly what are you going on about?

    48. AnneDon says:

      I noticed Fraser’s article contains the usual prevarication/procrastination crossover so prevalent in the “posher” papers.
      procrastination defn: to put off until a later date
      prevarication defn: to lie
      Fortunately for Fraser, the misuse and ambiguity serve him well in this case. Although my Latin teacher would have thrown a dictionary at him.

    49. sneddon says:

      Marcia-‘That man has a problem for every solution.’ that’s a great saying, he’s a the same club as others like Euan at the Scotsman et al.  Brillant description.

    50. Juteman says:

      I don’t know how folk can comment BTL on these Unionist rags. My blood pressure wouldn’t let me, so well done to those that can stay calm enough.

    51. Susan says:

      Excellent article Rev, I am so glad you are on our side!

    52. BuckieBraes says:

      The readiness of the Scots to display the ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ has been lamented in the past, and often rightly so.
      But you know, I see a piece like this and realise that the ‘tall poppies’ like Mr Nelson are just standing there inviting us to chop them down one by one.
      I look forward to the Rev’s harvest over the next nine months.

    53. Brian Powell says:

      Out and out lying is all the Union have left, and whatever one part of the camp is lying about the rest collude with that.

      It amazes me when I hear ordinary people come out with the same ill informed stories. The Unionists often don’t need to make stories up, folks are ready to make up their own.

      It could be, Scotland doesn’t get the Government it votes for, but it will get the one it deserves. Unfortunately we will get it too.

      Still the CEBR report tells us the UK will have the strongest economy in Europe by 2030, so the Tories will be pleased, and the LibDems saying  their raising of the tax threshhold has given us hundreds of pounds extra in our pockets.

      Sad Labour, see that dark thing in your sky? it is not a cloud on the horizon, it is a tsunami wave.

      But as long as they can say they are beating the SNP in the council elections they are happy in their ignorance.

    54. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “But as long as they can say they are beating the SNP in the council elections”

      Which they can’t, of course, having lost in terms of both seats and the popular vote last year.


    55. Andy-B says:

      It comes as no surprise that Nelson rubbishes the whitepaper, afterall Darling rubbished it 20 minutes after its release.
      What really sickens me is so called Scots holding Scotland and Scots back, from developing a better Scotland, for our children and their children.
      As for Scottish based journalists opposed to independence, and therefore the future of Scotland as a whole, and its denizens, I have nothing but contempt for them.

    56. Papadocx says:

      Why do these “proud Scots” insist on denigrating Scotland and the Scottish people, stealing our taxes, and think creating wealth and jobs in London is the answer to Scotland’s problems? 
      What’s even more worrying a lot of Scots listen to these treacherous moronic liars (with a nice suite and posh accent) SLABS natural alias, NOW MAYBE THERE IS A CLUE? 
      What at is avoided like the plague is what is on offer in the event of a no vote, CAUSE IT AINT GOING TO STAY THE SAME. A lot of people think we are just going to amble on as before. Keep them in the dark feed them on shit, and go through their pockets! Then they will blame the Scottish government/snp for the damage inflicted by HMG. Then the Scottish parliament wil be emasculated. THICK JOCKS!

    57. gerry parker says:

      Sorry – O/T but I see the “Angel of the Nauld” on the A80 is now sporting a Yes poster – well done whoever put it there.

    58. Muscleguy says:

      @WillieZ As a naturalised New Zealand citizen living in Scotland I can only vote in the next NZ general election because I set foot on NZ soil at the end of last year. If I do not go back between the next election and the one after then I will have no vote.
      Also having lived in NW London doesn’t mean I get to vote for the London Mayor or for Barnett Council (thankfully we left before they went all ‘Easy Council’).

    59. Adrian B says:

      The first that I was aware of the original story by Fraser Nelson was seeing a Glasgow Tory councillor tweet Fraser about the details in the white paper. The Glasgow Tory is a Yes campaigner it should be noted 😉

    60. Norrie says:

      Wings inspired toon.
      Spectacular Fail

    61. Brian Mark says:

      Oh dear a me, Posh boy tells, lies now there’s a major surprise!

    62. Papadocx says:

      They just keep spinning and lying about the yes campaign. A war of attrition, lies, misinformation, Deceit and fear!
      They avoid what is on offer in their promised land, there is NOTHING POSITIVE on offer therefore let the clowns believe the NO crew are their friends and protectors. Keep the spotlight away from the no corner, Cause it is the toilet, and not a clean one!
      GRAND BRITANNIA – in yer worst nightmare. YES YES YES. SCOTLAND UNITED! 

    63. Angry Weegie says:

      @a supporter 1:33
      I’d be grateful if you could stop slagging off my old uni because you don’t like some of the people who came out of it. We’re not all unionists. 

    64. James Kelly says:

      In respect of the Spectator answering Nelson’s own question a month ago – 

      “It had been assumed that only those living in Scotland at the time of independence would become citizens” 

      Assumed by who?  I can recall it being made clear well before the WP that would not be the case.  It seems like Brit Nat “2 + 2 = 22″ logic – this is the franchise for the referendum, so it must automatically apply to absolutely everything else as well.

    65. TYRAN says:

      Bloody Scotchman

    66. Militant Ninja Sympathiser says:

      Regarding the off topic “aria” – the YES mermaid of Cumbernauld – I believe this was a Christmas eve attack by the Scottish Militant Ninja Turtles.

      There has been reports and pictures on facebook of the M8 horse receiving a festive makeover too and the flyover in the southside of Glasgow getting some saltire and YES bling! No doubt been viewed by 1000s this last couple of days. Brilliant stuff! 

      Come on the subversives! Happy days 🙂 

    67. caz-m says:

      The “Project Fear Carousel” keeps on going round and round and…

      EU, Currency, Borders, Defence, Currency, Borders, Defence, EU, etc.. etc..

      Because of Wings and like minded sites, the rebuttals are getting returned faster than an Andy Murray forehand smash.

    68. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      So, Fraser Nelson, Stair Heid  Curran, and Johann Lamentable all went to G U?
      Oh Bugger, poor Bugger!

    69. gerry parker says:

      Ninja attacks – any photo’s?  – I was going a bit fast when I passed and didn’t have time.
      Any Ninja’s (or sympathisers) among us?

    70. Les Wilson says:

      Just wish we could sue the barstewerds !

    71. gordoz says:

      The problem with the likes of Mr Nelson is that they have succumbed, (probably through their schooling), to the ‘Englishing’ of all things Scottish. An ongoing specific trait inherent to the likes of ‘The Herald / Scotchman’ & BBC. The idea that nothing of value ever comes from Scotland itself and the world turns on a pivot further south. The gravity of England as our large neighbour or apparent senior partner seems to affect these brit/scots disproportionally to those siding with YES.
      They cannot see beyond Scotland as a reminisence or notion in support role within Great Britain.
      They strive against the idea of Scotland the Nation. See no value or currency in our aspirations towards a transformation, if it threatens their personal posisiton as cheerleaders for ‘Blighty’. Thus the obvious errors in actual research of the WP and refusal to investigate another perspective. They do not want to understand or envision a New Scotland on any terms.
      Perhaps no one really likes to be proved wrong and thus the need for this repetetive trait of misrepresentation, disingenuous  statement and ingorance of facts.

    72. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      I went to G U in the good old days.
      When Jimmy Reid was making the “no bevvying” speech …
      When Tariq Ail came to address us students …
      When it was the job of any self-respecting student to bring down the government …

    73. JLT says:

      Merry Christmas, Folks. Hope you all had a good one!
      As to Fraser Nelson, this is just mischief making. I am not bothered about his unapologetic apology. We will get a lot of that from Unionists next year.
      What does bother me …is that the Spectator published an article, that is so nonsensical, and written by a Scot to boot, makes me wonder about the level of stupidity that sometimes can be found in these so-called ‘established’ newspapers and magazines’!
      Some journalist! He was born in Nairn, and he is struggling to know if he would qualify for a Scottish Passport if Scotland went independent. Sorry, Fraser time for a career change.
      A quick glance at him in Wikipedia, mentions the following …
      ‘Educated at Nairn Academy  and Dollar Academy, Nelson went on to study History and politics at the the University of Glasgow and gained a Diploma in journalism at City of London University. He once worked as a barman at Cleos in Rosyth.’
      So, I’m guessing that poor Nelson, who by the looks of things, was born here, raised here, studied here for about the first 20 years of his life before wandering off to London, suddenly, can’t quite work out if he will be allowed a Scottish Passport! Seriously!?!
      Remember son …this is your own countrymen that you are trying to make a fool of …and we don’t like to be made fools of, especially when it is by one of our own, for the audience of strangers who know nothing about our country. Just ask Darling and Carmichael…

    74. callum says:

      it’s funny how life works out.  I sat next to Fraser Nelson at some classes at school (he’s always had a funny accent btw).  Whilst I was also a london-based Scot, I came back after 13 years a decade ago happy to work for less money and more life.
      Our school (Dollar Academy) did breed a type of conservatism that I see in Fraser Nelson’s writing, but a part of me believes that there is a soft-no aspect to this political class (related to Scoittish Skier Theory) that will turn to yes if:
      (1) they return home to scotland – even as a Scot living in London, I missed the 97 refrendum and lookingback, hardly knew it was happening.  I was so out of touch,
      (2) realise that the BT spin is actually quite wrong factually and academically.  maybe “Wealthy Nation” might hoover up folks in this camp.

    75. a supporter says:

      Angry weegie
      Sorry don’t want to offend, but a Uni is ranked by the quality of its grauates in the public eye. And what can one say when one thinks of Johann, Duggie, Jim, Maggie, Fraser, Andrew et al. The intellects just don’t seem to be there. I know you are not all like them and that is a saving grace.

    76. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      O/T- On a positive note, we had old friend and musician “Gilly” in the house this afternoon for a wee festive drink.
      He is a great YES man, and was wearing the YES t-shirt we gave him for Christmas.

      He gave us a preview of a YES song that he has written.

      It’s called “Let Alba Shine”, and sounded really brilliant, with great lyrics. It’s going to be performed at a YES/SNP event in the Spey Valley in late January, but might be available to hear before then.

      Keep an eye of Gilly’s Facebook page:
      If you are in the Spey Valley on January 1st, Gilly and his brother Fergie will be doing their legendary New Year’s day session at 3pm in the Rowanlea Bar at the Cairn Hotel in Carrbridge. Me and Mrs Calgacus will be in attendance, and I don’t think the afternoon will pass without “Let Alba Shine” getting performed.

    77. Boorach says:

      @ Gerry Parker
      I’ve received a couple of pics by email will put them on photobucket and put up link

    78. Ken500 says:

      Why doesn’t he want an English passport, that’s where he lives.

    79. caz-m says:

      Is there anyone on Twitter that could let the reprobate know that he is getting slaughtered on Wings.

      I think he should try to arrange an interview with Nicola Sturgeon. I’m sure she will dispel any fears he has regarding a YES vote.

      O/T Speaking of these YES banners that are starting to appear on landmark monuments, I saw an All-Tartan
      VW Beetle on the motorway near Glasgow Airport.

      It’s a must have as we approach the referendum year.

    80. bannock hussler says:

      I think we can safely say that the Spectator doesn’t answer any of the questions we had before it was published.

    81. Dal Riata says:

      Zwiggie Baby, I live in Taiwan and China and I DO get a vote in Scottish elections, and WILL BE voting in the 2014 referendum. How do I do it, Zwiggie, just how? You’ve got time to sleep on it tonight, but I’ll be expecting an answer here tomorrow at 8:00 am pronto. And good luck!  

    82. Ken500 says:

      Postal vote fraud

    83. Boorach says:

      @ Gerry Parker
      If I haven’t cocked up the Angel and Horse pics should be here 🙂

    84. scottish_skier says:

      Calgacus MacAndrews says:
      ….If you are in the Spey Valley on January 1st, Gilly and his brother Fergie will be doing their legendary New Year’s day session at 3pm in the Rowanlea Bar at the Cairn Hotel in Carrbridge. Me and Mrs Calgacus will be in attendance, and I don’t think the afternoon will pass without “Let Alba Shine” getting performed.
      Say hi from me & clan SS. Looking forward to hearing his new song. Nothing beats a Carrbridge Hogmanay.

    85. Thistle says:

      Can you help?

      Looking for a bit of IT support to help with the streaming of live indi events. If you have sometime and stay around the Shawlands area in Glasgow please get in touch.

      Also, for event in February we are looking at creating a livestream event from The GladCafe in Shawlands based around the NHS. If you are a doctor or involved in this area and would like to be on panel please let us know.

      See our youtube channel for videos from our last event.

      liveindependence [at] gmail [dot] com

    86. a supporter says:

      I worked at the Director level for a number of companies in England durng my salad days and I met many Scots down there at all levels. I used to classify them as follows:

      1.The real poshies ‘old Scottish family’, Eton or other top public school with full blown establishment English accents. No problems with these. Usually no side whatsoever.

      2. The climbers, university educated, some from minor public schools, some from the Comps, top to middle management, middle class Scottish accents tarted up, particularly by the English ‘eow’ sound which they think makes them sound posh. (Fraser is such an example as are many in the Scottish media). I used to wonder why they didn’t go and have proper elocution lessons so they spoke Received Pronunciation.

      3. The bright, again university educated, some from minor public schools, some from the Comps at Director and all other grades with educated middle class Scots accents without any titivation and quite happy to speak with that accent. Alex Salmond, Andrew Neil, Fred Goodwin and Gordon Brown come to mind.

      4. The even brighter and even more courageous. Scots at all levels of society, although mainly medical and veterinary people, with broad Scots accents who didn’t try to change it. And funnily enough the English seemed to understand them better than some in 2 and 3.

      5, Me? I think I speak like Gordon Brown et al and I would never dream of changing. although my wife keeps chiding me about sounding English on the phone.

    87. Militant Ninja Special Branch says:

      Spot on with the pics Boorach.
      Ninja branding operatives popping up all over the country.
      Curious about the email you received and from whom but its preferable and safer not to know.
      Pat those underground shells from me 🙂

    88. gerry parker says:

      Many thanks sir.

    89. BuckieBraes says:

      Folks, just remember that the proper Scottish meaning of the term ‘public school’ is just that – a public school, usually a primary school in an urban setting. The likes of Gordonstoun, Fettes, Strathallan and the like are independent, private, fee-paying, boarding schools or whatever; but not ‘public schools’.

    90. Thepnr says:

      @ a supporter
      There is another class of Scot in and around London though. The working class kind who have their own language. Brother and his brother in law just taking over a job in Potters Bar North of London.
      While the brother spoke with the two guys he asks brother in law to go buy a couple of cups of tea from the van. Twenty minutes later comes back, no tea? The brother says “where’s the tea?” “she would’na serve me” says him.
      “What? right come on” big queue but the brother marches straight to the front. “why’d you no serve him?” ” I couldn’t understand him love and didn’t know what he was asking for” Turns to brother in law, “what did you say?” ” I only asked for twa pehs and twa cups a tea!” 

    91. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      Problem solved. Fraser Nelson can buy a Scottish Passport in the tourist/gift shop across the road from the Tesco in Aviemore.

    92. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      a supporter says at 8.14
      I think most Scots are at least bilingual and can adopt different accents and different vocabulary to suit different situations. How I speak in Ladbrokes and how I spoke when in class teaching were different and the change was effortless. When you go overseas this talent is honed up very considerably but you will find a group of Scots together anywhere in the world immediately revert to an appropriate accent and dialect.

      On the other hand some execrable mixed accents are entirely unintentional. It’s a funny thing about accents . Some people succumb to some almost invisible force when they are away from home and start to speak differently without any intention whatsover. Others never waver.
      Let’s give Fraser Nelson the benefit of the doubt.  There is obviously something wrong with his ears. 

    93. orpheuslyre says:

      The independent retreads the EU issue, this time as an ‘exclusive’ that, it claims, exposes a deception:

    94. caz-m says:


      I know those two landmarks and thousands of drivers pass by them every day.


      It’s a great way to get the message out, I liked the one that was on the “Squinty Bridge” right at BBC Scotland Pacific Quay and would have been seen by the inhabitants of that building and the thousands of cars that used the bridge.

      I’ve got a couple of ideas myself for 2014.

    95. Ken500 says:

      Will it cost more in Aviemore?

    96. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      It always costs ‘more’ in Aviemore ….

    97. Ken500 says:

      There is obviously something wrong, between his ears

    98. Brian Powell says:

      “But as long as they can say they are beating the SNP in the council elections”
      “Which they can’t, of course, having lost in terms of both seats and the popular vote last year.”
      Absolutely right, I should have made the irony in my last sentence much clearer!

    99. Ken500 says:

      Inverness folk speak well, usually with a highland lilt. People can live abroad for years and never lose their Scottish accents.

      Forces chikdren go to private boarding school, funded by the taxpayers.

    100. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      Question is, will Fraser Nelson be behind Mohamed Al-Fayed in the queue for a Scottish Passport?

    101. Boorach says:

      @ caz-m
      All credit belongs to the Scottish Independent Ninja Turtles. Believe there may also be some decorations on the M77. 
      They’re a hard working bunch and reclaimed ‘Freedom Rock’ on the A9 S of Inverness recently after it had been defaced by some of the dependence brigade!

    102. Bill C says:

      o/t but connected to the YES signs on landmarks etc. I have 3 YES stickers and a Saltire on my car, however I appreciate that some folk in certain parts of the country might fear that their cars might be vandalised if they did the same. I was therefore thinking of an alternative solution. So how about this? If those supporting YES flew the Saltire from a side window of their car on the motorway, using one of those Saltires on a bracket type devices that you can pick up in a shop that sells Scottish tack, it might be a good way of spreading the word. They are easily removed after you stop driving. I think they are sold as car window flags. Just a thought.

    103. jake says:

      a supporter said: ” I used to classify them as follows:…..”

      Might I ask what purpose this classification system of yours served?

    104. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      More O/T re the YES signs, car flags etc …
      Santa left me a YES umbrella under the Xmas tree.
      I think he got it from the YES Scotland shop.
      When unopened it looks like a plain blue umbrella.
      But we live in a rainy country, and I am out and about a lot …

    105. jake says:

      a supporter said: ” I used to classify them as follows:…..”

      Might I ask what purpose this classification system of yours served?

    106. Bertie K says:

      Looks like somebody’s tryna tell us “some are mair equal than ithers”

    107. bannock hussler says:

      On the Twitter chat between FN and AMacN, Fraser says “like you I’m a Highlander, Scot and a Brit. And what I love about my country is the lack of tension between these three.” This is what he loves about his country, and good for him: “the lack of tension between these three”. My dear late neighbour Wanda used to say what she loved about the Soviet Union was that she could be Silesian, Polish and Soviet all at the same time, and there was no tension between them. Latterly she was Silesian, Polish, European, Scottish and, therefore, I suppose, Brit. “No tension,” she would say, “I love this world.”

    108. Bertie K says:

      Question is; Can such a writer as Nelson be allowed to maintain a hold of his column?

    109. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      @ Bertie K
      He can type one handed. Obviously.

    110. caz-m says:

      @Bill C

      I also have a couple of those flying YES saltires on the back window of my car.

      But I don’t think the general public will start the saltire waving till after spring time. Then the major events planned for the summer will start to get more air time.

      Until that time, we will continue to get the foundations laid for the final push through the summer, which will be really exciting times, watching the YES Campaign really taking off.

    111. jake says:

      That’s very very rude and while funny it has left me to deal with a distateful mental image which I’m sure I’ll forever associate with Fraser Nelson.

    112. Marcia says:

      Re the Independent  Ninga turtles, they produced a Merry Xmas from the Yes campaign;

    113. Bill C says:

      @coz-m – yeah you are probably right, things will probably take off, but I hope sooner rather than later. Can’t see it doing any harm to promote the YES cause as soon after the New Year as possible. Hundreds of cars sporting Saltire window flags buzzing up and down Scotland’s roads can only be a good thing.

    114. Militant Ninja Sympathiser says:

      As a member of SMNT, I gift to you their 2012 ninja log – and I have it on good authority that the 2013 edition will be released tomorrow. Cowabunga 🙂

    115. Bertie K says:

      There’s a BT cable box (a sizeable rectangle) along my street on which some enterprising soul painted the St Andrews flag. It’s been there for years but just recently there’s been a spat between the culprit and BT (not THAT BT, British Telecom) who have been affa busy runnin’ back an forth and painting it off.
      Quite amusing yet…
      quite revealing.
      As an aside, there’s a farmhouse just up the road with a saltire painted over it’s gable wall – can be seen for miles, its huge! l
      Looks almost majestic when the sun’s oot and the heilan coos stand in front O it 😉

    116. msean says:

      more o b e’s being earned on  the paper reviews again lol.Who picks who  does these  reviews?

    117. Ian Brotherhood says:

      When, oh when, is sumbdy gonny organise wee sticky paper ‘badges’ that can go anywhere – lamp-posts, the back of bus seats, windaes, anywhere…the wee badges we saw everywhere in the run-up to ’79?
      If I can remember seeing these wee toty things, three decades later? Come on! That stuff works…someone, please, just do it.
      I can’t fund it, but give me a roll of the things? I’ll certainly stick them everywhere.

    118. Bertie K says:

      Nimble Finger Nelson eh?
      Betchae he spends maist o his day spankin the monkey

    119. msean says:

      That sounds like something everyone could use,the wee stickers that is.

    120. Bertie K says:

      We’ve all got them on our cars, the ones you get in the newsagents, just plain saltires but they do the job.

    121. Sewer Insurgency says:

      More pics on the militant ninja “public” page. The language there suggestive of secret mobilisation elsewhere but their facebook page is very amusing. Fans of stickers too. Probably up your street Ian! Ha. Sorry for jumping on the off topic bandwagon. I’m in Kilsyth so will be driving to see the Yes mermaid tomorrow. Hope it is still there. 
      Page here…..

    122. kininvie says:

      @ Ian
      I’ll bring you a couple of rolls in April, if I remember….

    123. Bill C says:

      I think Saltires flapping in the wind from the side of cars will have a huge impact. I attach mine to the window even if I am going to the shops. AYE that’s plus the window stickers!!

    124. kininvie says:

      There’s quite a bit of crap in this thread, to be honest… If I were undecided, I’d think twice – on the evidence so far.
      Let’s get this accent thing out of the way first. I speak with pukka RP, but I’m out on the streets every opportunity I get. Judging a person by their accent is just silly, and, if you think about it, it as much part of the cringe as the more obvious things. Alienate people with accents that don’t belong to the groupthink – and we lose the vote, simple as that….
      Let’s turn to our Fraser: The Spectator is (at best) a very minor player on the stage, and what Fraser says or thinks is utterly irrelevant compared, say, to the rantings of the Daily Mail. His article was ignorant and he is no doubt regretting not having done his homework, but it’s frankly not worth turning our bile on him. How many votes do Spectator readers muster??
      But if you read this thread, what Nelson has done, through his wooden-headedness, is to provoke on this thread a reaction that is exclusive rather than inclusive. And that’s not good, folks. Remember who may be reading…

    125. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Judging a person by their accent is just silly”

      I haven’t noticed anyone saying “He’s a bad person because of his accent”. The observation is merely that his accent is incredibly weird, and not like any anyone’s heard anywhere in Scotland before.

    126. caz-m says:

      Frazer Nelson talks as if he still has Andrew Neil’s plumbs in his mooth.

    127. scottish_skier says:

      I haven’t noticed anyone saying “He’s a bad person because of his accent”. The observation is merely that his accent is incredibly weird,
      To be honest, I don’t recall ever hearing him speak before. So went looking on youtube and, yes, that’s weird. 
      He must have practised, but what exactly?

    128. The Man in the Jar says:

      On the subject of flags and stickers. I live just a short distance from one of, if not the busiest road intersections in Scotland. Just sayin like. 🙂

    129. Bill C says:

      Appreciate what you are saying kininvie, I have to say, I couldn’t give a toss what accent a YES voter has. There are many pukka, pukka types here on ‘Royal’ Deeside who will be voting YES.  However a YES vote will be won in the housing schemes and working class areas of Scotland, a fact which I am proud of as a born and bred Glaswegian and with an accent forged on the Clyde; the river which produced two of the greats of the movement for Scottish self determination, John MacLean and Jimmy Reid.

    130. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      And when are we going to have a John McLean demonstration in Glasgow?

    131. cjmasta says:

      Got a Saltire up in my bedroom window just now (blinds fell down!). It will be staying there for a while. I have two A4 YES posters also. Will put them in the windows at new year I think. Saw a flat from the fly over in Partick with the same YES posters in the window, would be good if all supporters could do the same. Would make an impression I think. Would love to put a big banner between two of my windows but think the housing association would maybe have a problem with that.

    132. redcliffe62 says:

      Sadly they made sure Bannockburn would be minimised with armed forces day in Stirling, dark forces indeed, and we know which event the Will and Kate and Georgie show will attend…
      Strange that people in the House of Lords are not visiting from their farms in Surrey and Wiltshire and Somerset saying vote NO and keep us in a job, I suspect they are an Achilles heel that needs to be ruthlessly attacked.

    133. john king says:

      “However a Scotsman living in London cannot vote in Scottish elections.”
      No because he gets to vote in the election where he lives you idiot , how many votes do YOU think he should have?

    134. david martin says:

      I was at Glasgow university when our deputy first meenister and Wendy “bring it on” Alexander were studying there. I can assure wings readers not all Glasgow grads are unionists. Certainly not me.

    135. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Conan the Librarian and Bertie K
      Self pollinator

    136. Macart says:

      Must admit to being hacked off at this point with the old ‘why can’t I have a vote’ meme. Its not effing rocket science and fairly straight forward even for a hack such as Mr Nelson.
      Pure and simple. If you have residence and are on the electoral role IN Scotland at the time of the referendum then you are entitled to a vote, regardless of race, religion or point of origin. There is NO discrimination. The significant other in our current partnership does not get to vote for an obvious bloody reason. It kind of takes us right back to where we are just now and of course the very heart of the matter at hand. That having a numerically superior partner’s votes deciding everything for us is a somewhat undemocratic concept. You are either a country or a region of a greater state. As one side of this partnership it is perfectly within our rights to look at the current state of this union and decide whether it is fit for purpose and whether we wish it to continue.
      Seems a clear enough concept so far.
      You can only conclude one of two things at this point Mr Nelson is either disingenuous and deliberately misleading or he’s a halfwit.

    137. Mealer says:

      I had a chat with a friend who was always of the opinion that an independent Scotland was a very silly idea.It simply couldn’t work.He is now asking questions.Its almost like he is WILLING me to persuade him.I dont have to bring up the subject of independence now.He does it.My point is,this guy is more likely to believe a trusted friend than a newspaper.So keep up the good work.We know the majority want to be converted.

    138. DougieD says:

      If I currently board a plane at Wick to fly to say Southampton, I am required to produce a passport.  Does Fraser Nelson not have to do the same when flying from London to Glasgow.  I don’t understand his problem with passports.  I don’t have a problem.  I don’t have a passport.  So I don’t fly.  Don’t want to go to England anyway

    139. Dorothy Devine says:

      It’s not having a posh accent or any particular accent that makes a YES voter but Mr Nelson’s strangulated vowel sounds are quite remarkable – almost like some parody of ” poshness” (for your information I have been mistaken for English because I speak RP ,no-one has abused me because of it!)

      However ,his inability to learn that non attendance at a conference or read a white paper and then to report on both doth not make a journalist of credibility – quite  astounding.

      Hope you all had a wonderful ,warm Christmas and Santa was good to all – I’m sure my recovery will happen soon.

      My one disappointment is that the  ferry is’nt running and I can’t visit my daughter ,son in law and my gorgeous wee granddaughter

    140. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      You have to be careful where you put posters or stickers. If you are caught doing it, or it can be traced to you there’s a fixed penalty notice. On street furniture like coms boxes or lamp posts cleaned by the council for example.
      Shop fronts with permission from the owner are OK, but not empty ones.
      A concerted campaign of illegal fly-posting would be good ammunition for BT…

    141. ronnie anderson says:

      Macart, Ah kin faw oot wi people very quikly, given ma mental state ( a halfwit ) still waitin on that operation , but till such times as I fully regain my wits, dont be putting Mr Nelson in ma club, on behalf of all the mental cases I object most vermentaly, awerabest.

    142. Murray McCallum says:

      I don’t find Fraser’s accent weird or posh. It sounds to me like a classic accent from the Royal Brigadoon Grammar School. That’s simply the way many real Scots speak.

    143. Macart says:

      @ronnie anderson
      Ah didnae even consider the second choice plausible ronnie. Its givin’ him too much credit. 😀
      Ah’d plump fer disingenuous and misleading. 🙂

    144. Dorothy Devine says:

      Herald article about Bremner and humour in the indy debate.I no longer post there could someone who does nip along and disabuse them of the notion that Ms Calman ” suffered” much abuse thanks to her ” humour” .Remind the writer that no evidence of abuse was ever shown and she shut her wee face about the whole thing.

    145. Dorothy Devine says:

      P.S No evidence of humour was found either!

    146. bannock hussler says:

      Re Mealer (about an hour ago)
      I agree. My view is that Wings is a trusted friend in this debate, a rare enough resource. I look here daily for the information, argument and perspective that Scotland’s near-flaccid print and other media seem incapable of generating. I’m not sure whether those organs ever give any flicker of response to the discussion that goes on here, or to the impetus that sustains it. It’s pathetic, of course, if they do not. The Rev certainly gives their writers and editors enough reason to look at his arguments, and they must individually have a point of view.

      As for Fraser Nelson and the Spectator, as far as I can see the only value in such rubbish is that it helps define the contrary arguments for anyone tuning in to hear the real story. It cannot be a great British attribute to just ignore facts, can it? Or is that one of those qualities in the Union that he loves? That his kilted naivety is protected – and validated – by a vast institutional self-interest?

      Anyway, a further contribution to the Wings will be on its way in the next couple of days, with many thanks for all you’re doing.

    147. gordoz says:

      David Torrance writing for NNS ?
      Anyone see this as a good move ?

    148. ronnie anderson says:

      Macart, Ahd plumb fur a BIG PLUNGER, he,d be the first person to try oot the new London sewage system

    149. gordoz says:

      Ahhh ….  the positive case for NO Scotland emerges
      Very clever aren’t they !

    150. Krackerman says:

      @Gordoz – yep – there are previous posts where jackboots, rallies and mein kampf figure quite highly.. in others we’re called communists and socialists, dictators and demagogues  …. can be confusing 😀   Either way though – these loonies hate our guts….

    151. gordoz says:

      I think they just hate the fact that the YES side are so positive and foresee real change.
      What do Labour and the Tories of the NO Scotland side offer ? More of the same (ie more cuts and austerity)
      They are a miserable lot with only a vision for their beloved Britain which will ‘anglify’ Scotland down to a Northern county such as Yorkshire.. 

    152. chalks says:

      Could be, some unionists like him…..if its broadens the appeal of newsnet then it’s a win.
      Let’s be honest though, he is a tosser.

    153. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “David Torrance writing for NNS ?”

      I think he’s done occasional pieces for them for quite a while.

    154. Onzebill says:

      Torygraph running a series of articles about Britons of the Year, Darling was nominated as one of  these “Britons” in yesterdays paper based on his “great management of the BT campaign and his destruction of the White Paper” (the Torygraphs take on the issue). Have I missed something or was this comment based on his comments minutes after the issue of the WP or is this just the usual smokescreen to try and convince certain people of the useless, lying sponger’s worth.

    155. chalks says:

      There is quite the amount of opportunistic dramatics at play in this vote….people coming from a hardcore No to an almost ‘my god what was I thinking’ Yes…..Torrance is one of them, so is McLeish, god only knows who else, all are biding their time though, waiting for the moment where they can grab some sort of authority on the matter, trying to seem like they are in swing with the public…

    156. gordoz says:

      I saw one piece, but now think they are taking Torrance on to do a series of features.
      Thought that’s what the Herald and Hootsman were for ?

    157. chalks says:

      Mind these soft No’s that everyone goes on about?
      It can’t hurt to have one of them write things….

    158. gordoz says:

      Would love to eavesdrop a ‘coffee break’ between G A Ponsonby & Torrance
      Think it would be a riot with a few swearies ? 

    159. chalks says:

      Not newsnet’s biggest fan, but then I can understand their approach to things.  Some things they go to town about are silly, the likes of the BBC stuff, they are playing to the crowd with that stuff,  they could also change their font and general layout of articles, make it more user friendly and people might actually share things….it’s like war and peace sometimes.
      As for ponsonby and torrance, probably never met…

    160. Brian Powell says:

      On the Telegraph nominating Alistair Darling as a Briton of the Year; come the 2015 GE they will be remembering all the real info about him!

    161. a supporter says:

      bannock hussler
      I’m not sure whether those organs ever give any flicker of response to the discussion that goes on here, or to the impetus that sustains it. It’s pathetic, of course, if they do not. “

      Be unafraid. The organs of which you write and the writers therein are very well aware of what is going on here at Wings. That is why they are constantly trying to denigrate Wings and its supporters on Twitter; without much success I may add, because we are always better informed than they are.

      And it would not surprise me if THEIR first port of call in the morning was to Wings as well to find out if they are the target of criticism. But of course they would never admit that.

    162. a supporter says:

      Some things they go to town about are silly, the likes of the BBC stuff, they are playing to the crowd with that stuff.”
      That is one of the less enlightened remarks I have read on here. Newsnet is doing an excellent job criticising the BBC and forcing it to face up to its responsibilities. It has just forced the BBC to admit after almost a year of perseverance that it was wrong over an item re Indy the EU and the Irish EU Minister. It is a long slow job and it needs constant repetition to have any effect, and all credit to Newsnet for doing it.

      Some YES people need to put aside whatever prejudices it is they have about Newsnet and remember it is part of the online YES campaign. I never have any problem getting posts published there and Ponsonby et al produce good copy.

    163. bald eagle says:

      the man in the jar
      where exactly

    164. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      A few days ago I was able to point one of the undecideds at the latest BBC piece on Newsnet to demonstrate to him that his belief in an unbiased BBC was misplaced.

      So well done Newsnet for sticking to that one for so long.

    165. chalks says:

      @a supporter
      So after the referendum we’ll hold the BBC to account then?  As by it’s own timeline for punishment then we can hold them to account for things one year after they have been published?
      I think people need to realise that the BBC is the BBC and leave it at that.  Their reputation is shot and engaging in a war with them is futile and a waste of time.
      Where was it reported that they were found in breach of their own rules?  Newsnet Scotland? 
      The way the referendum will be won is by people talking, not people going on the BBC website and expecting a neutral approach.  I understand that some people feel the need to highlight the flaws of the BBC, but come on, independence will be achieved by people wanting to decide things for themselves, not by the BBC telling them we can’t harvest our own potatoes.
      Leave the BBC to it, TRY and hold them to account and the referendum will be long gone.  By all means highlight the holes in their argument, but a war and peace effort about how they have been shown up….it’s a waste of time….like I say, pandering to the crowd.
      But whatever floats your boat, I think it’s a waste of time, its the undecideds we need to convince, if they aren’t voting No after the avalance of negativity that the BBC have published, then I would say, they never will.  Most people are very sceptical about anything published these days.  Harking on about how the BBC are shite won’t convince them to vote yes.

    166. Bill McLean says:

      I agree that Newsnet is an excellent source of real news but I’m not happy about Torrance. Can you imagine a unionist blog letting the Rev write articles for them? – maybe I’ve missed something! I do not see Torrance as “soft NO” – like I don’t see the Herald, Sunday or otherwise, as sympathetic!

    167. caz-m says:

      Northumberland Tory MP Guy Opperman quotes Fraser Nelson on his blog about the Independence debate.

      Fraser at his extreme right-wing best.

    168. a supporter says:

      I’m glad you don’t have any say in running the YES campaign.
      Where was it reported that they were found in breach of their own rules?  Newsnet Scotland?
      And what’s wrong with that? Newsnet now has as many readers as much of the MSM.
      The result of the Governers’ decision will be published by the BBC in early January.

    169. Training Day says:

      Torrance has been punting his insidious ‘Yes aren’t doing too well, are they’ mince on Newsnet for some time.  When I posted querying why his articles were appearing there when you can read bog standard unionism in every other MSM outlet, my comment was quickly removed.

    170. caz-m says:


      BBC Scotland have been proven to be bias liars, so surely this must be highlighted to any undecided voter.

      Explain to them that what they hear on Reporting Scotland, Newsnight Scotland or GMS is not always the truth.

      BBC Scotland are a televised format of the Daily Mail.

    171. gordoz says:

      Training Day
      As were 3 of mine asking about Torrance selection for articles;
      that is the big problem at NNS

    172. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “And what’s wrong with that? Newsnet now has as many readers as much of the MSM.”

      Heck, it has nearly as many as Wings now 😉

    173. Kano says:

      1. Liar once – misguided, maybe. Twice is deceitful. Hence the response that has ensued. Well done stu. 

      2. Accents. Interesting chatter. Neither her nor there on making judgements about them though, even if in some cases there is a correlation between an accent and perceived behaviour. Content of what someone says is the most important thing. The man in question (forgotten his name already) purports crass self-loathing nonsense dressed up as something else. Charlatan and typical Scottish apologist – add him to the list.
      3. Re stickers: would not worry about where you put them necessarily. Common sense rules apply. However, to base the decision on where to place a sticker on the basis that we might give BT ammunition,I believe, is folly. They write what like anyway. They are pathalogical liars.

      The public are ever more inured to their nonsense. Plus, the people who might be annoyed are probably hard NO people. I say, just get in about them. So, a story makes the paper about packs of separatists running wild, stickering with reckless abandon, then so be it. They have bugger all else to write about and maybe just maybe it will awaken those apathetic souls among us that there is a referendum on the table, generate conversations etc. As for the bitters. Screw them. Focus on our own game. 2014 – nae nonsense!

      4. SMNT (mentioned in thread) are putting in an order for some 1000s of stickers due to be dispatched all over the country. We gathered funds from like minded clandestine sticker fans so expect to see a lot all over the country this coming year. On the note of YES Scotland stickers: good value for money but they are not big enough. I suspect they don’t want the stickers used for nefarious purposes and – arguably (being official and all), rightly so. The style and size probably precludes this as they can’t be seen on road signs and the likes, where they would get the most visuals. Too subtle. Make the donation to YES Scotland by all means but get your stickers elsewhere and there are better designs doing the rounds too – more eye catching – more penetrating slogans. In short, buy a roll on the cheap – aye – but if you are serious about stickering, get a group together, chip in, negotiate with a cheap printer and bob is you self-adhesive uncle.

    174. Ken500 says:

      NNS will lose funding, if Torrance is there. Folk will not want to fund Torrance.

    175. Kano says:

      fyi John:
      The John Maclean march is held is Pollokshaws each year – organised by the SRSM. I was there two years ago but something got in the way this year. I think it is normally in November. 

    176. Barbara Gribbon says:

      bit late but 1) my six year old has a pretty weird accent as a result of living the first three years of her life in a pretty rough bit of Bristol (typical youth accent West country/Sarf Landan/Jafaican) before moving to West Lothian. Should I take preventative action now to prevent her being pilloried later in life? And b;) 2 glasgow Uni nats in this house

    177. bannock hussler says:

      @ a supporter
      Thanks, that’s surely true. Rather than Twitter, however, what I wondered was whether any of them wrote and published articles, etc, describing and/or evaluating the discussion that goes on here. (Or indeed whether any of the media outwith the UK does.) There must be a journalist somewhere with at least some notion of the value of breaking a story (about media silence and distortion, at least), if not actual professional integrity. It’s a pity Wings doesn’t have a rock and roll dimension or Rolling Stone might do a feature…

      And yes, they probably do look here first thing and pretty often. I expect it’s a welcome chance for a break from their own fetid bubble for a moment. I hope they subscribe!

    178. a supporter says:

      “Heck, it has nearly as many as Wings now “

      And all power to Wings’ elbow. Your output never ceases to amaze me. And you and the other YES blogs are now a very powerful force in the Indy campaign.

    179. bald eagle says:

      ot stu sorry
      but i`ve had the best crimbo present ever

      if you`s remember i told you about the guy that nearly had a heart attack

      yesterday i got a phone call from his wife and she asked me to come round for dinner (first time ever being asked) anyhow when we got there all they wanted to talk about was the white paper (i loaned him mine) i told him again about wings and after about an hour the guy nearly exploded

      he was murdering a bottle of whiskey and he was getting angrier every passing question i had to explain everything to him i could see he was really spooked and he asked if he could talk to me without it going any further than his four walls

      no problem i said what really spooked him was the contracts he had with english customers and would he have to pay compensation when we go independent.

      an hour i spent telling him his contracts are legally sound and to get his lawyers to go over them just to ease his peace of mind
      then he said that he was going to talk with his staff and try to convince them to try and get a copy of the wp without thinking i told him all his staff had copys and anytime they are not sure about anything they phone me and i answer the problems

      f$£k the guy erupted talk about face red with anger never ever seen that colour of anger before wished i had a camera.

      i told him never trust the msm any news programmes or anything the bbc says about the scottish gov he wouldnt belive me until i showed him wings and other sites debunking all the lies and the smears 

      anyway he said he was going to write a very strong worded letter to the labour party telling them how angry he was and he will be cutting all ties with them and the money he gives to them is stopping 

      i explained he might get threatening letters but to just ignore them as they are empty threats he now wants me to talk him through what independence means as he is brain washed by bt an what it means for his company

      after seeing him nearly explode im going to enjoy the next couple of weeks just hope the guy doesnt die on me talk about easy bloody days after this i will write a book A THOUSAND SHADES OF ANGER

      sorry about the long post rev

    180. K1 says:

      @bald eagle
      Perhaps you have seen this, but for your friend to maybe understand the depths of deception involved in the smear against the SNP and home rule movement in general, this is a very good documentary exploring the history and involvement of british state against Independence.

    181. cirsium says:

      @bald eagle, 2.04pm
      Don’t forget the site Business For Scotland (see the WoS link under Scottish Politics).  

    182. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “sorry about the long post rev”

      Don’t apologise for the long post, long posts are fine. Apologise for the LACK OF BLOODY PARAGRAPH BREAKS IN IT.

      Seriously, though, folks – next year any comments that I have to spend more than 30 seconds dicking around with to edit them into some sort of readable shape is just getting deleted instead. Next year’s kind of important and I’m going to have a lot of stuff to do that’s a more important use of my time than endlessly reminding people to HIT RETURN TWICE AT THE END OF A FRICKING PARAGRAPH.

    183. bald eagle says:

      thanks for that mr angry will hoover this up the guys mind was closed to this kind of stuff regarding scotlands indep

      it was just a throw away comment that opened the door and now he cant get enough hes reading my wp and  going through it chapter one at a time and asking questions before moving on to the next

      if he gets stuck he has begun to search these sites or phones me once he calms down i will guide him to stories about the black arts and the going on at gcc the guy has got a lot to learn

      again thanks for the link above

      tell you what when you open someones mind it makes you that wee bit more determined to keep on doing it again i feel like walking on air this  guy was really hardcore labour supporter

    184. bald eagle says:

      cirsium @4.15
      i will put it onto the list cant just toss the guy in at the deepend 
      trying to get him to post on here is just not going to happen anytime soon hes to proud to ask questions and thinks he knows everything i know the site your talking about i would pay anything to be a fly in his office when he starts delving into all these sites
      if anything happens to him heart wise bet i get the blame his wife says she has never seen him so angry i`ve known him over 30 years never seen him like this either 

    185. Morag says:

      Point of information #1.  You don’t need a passport to fly to England by BA.  Last time I went (a fortnight ago) I printed my boarding pass at home before I left and I only had to show that (and nothing else) twice and I was on the plane.  Once to get into the security screen queue and once at the boarding gate.
      Point of information #2.  I graduated from Glasgow Uni three times.  I studied there for ten years.  Nobody tried to indoctrinate me with unionism.  People’s opinions are their own, not the university’s.

    186. Militant Ninja Sympathiser says:

      Quality video (o/t) – SMNT video log – 2013 – a year in the life of the militant ninja…. 🙂 

    187. Alastair Naughton says:

      A bit O/T but on the subject of the media in general, I’ve actually had said to me in all seriousness: “The Daily Mail wouldn’t lie! They’d never get away with it. It’s why they’re the best selling newspaper, and why they win all the awards!” What can you say to that??????????

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