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The unwelcoming committee

Posted on October 22, 2018 by

The indyref sometimes caused feelings to run rather high, and people on both sides made themselves very unpopular with those on the other side. But four years of water has flowed under the bridge since then, and not everyone is still in the same trenches.

Some high-profile names have switched to from No to Yes (often but not exclusively as a result of Brexit), and the reception afforded to floor-crossers like Murray Foote, Eric JoyceJackie Kemp, Mike Dailly, Tom Morton and Simon Pia hasn’t always been an entirely warm one, with some unable to keep a lid on their old grudges.

And in a similar vein, some of the remarks in recent days on the reported switch to Yes of Billy Connolly – a few from people I thought better of – are deeply offensive and potentially deeply damaging.

I was born and brought up in Glasgow in the same community as  Billy Connolly , am the same age as Billy Connolly  and had I gone to St Gerard’s as I should have, I’d quite likely have been in the same class as Billy Connolly.

I understand the complicated politics of west central Scotland from my years in the SNP since I left school in 1959. I contested five elections in Lanarkshire for the SNP, all of them against Labour incumbents from a party already rotten to the core.

Labour actually approached me to stand for them at one point. That was nothing to do with my political commitment or socialist beliefs but because I was a Catholic teacher in a Catholic school. Many people on this site will understand what I’m about to expand on but many from wider Scotland will not.

From the end of WW1 and right through to sometime after WW2, the Catholic population of Irish descent in central Scotland was subjected to sectarian bias and discrimination that some people today would find hard to believe. In the 1920s the Church of Scotland’s National Assembly actually debated the repatriation of the Irish.

The Depression saw the height of it, as work became very scarce, but don’t imagine that it’s completely gone away even today. We have a generation growing up now, however, that knows little of it.

The Labour Party, or major figures in it, came to the rescue of Scotland’s Catholic community in the 1920s and by the following decade the Catholic community and the Labour Party in many parts of central Scotland became one and the same thing.

And as the Labour Party gained power in these areas it redressed the balance (I should say over-redressed it, but that’s another story). Suffice to say that a major reason for me taking up an education post in Nigeria was a head teacher (and  Labour councillor) explaining that the reason I wasn’t getting on to shortlists for promotion was my SNP membership, and that joining Labour would see me home.

In the 60s, as the SNP started to take votes in areas in which Labour thought they would be in power effortlessly forever, Labour fought back by pulling in the debt it believed the Catholic community owed it.

So it went round the doors in all the schemes at every election with one major mantra for any family with a “Catholic“ name: the SNP was an Orange, Masonic organisation and if it got into the councils it would be back to the bad old days when Catholics couldn’t get a job (or a promotion if they did).

And of course they were said to hate the English as well as the Irish, in areas where that might have useful effect. It was insistent and incessant. And the Catholic community in large part believed it for years. I remember at my adoption meeting in Hamilton the audience (made up significantly of ex-colleagues from the school in Hamilton I’d taught in) crowding round after the speeches to ask questions like “Did the SNP know you were a Catholic when they chose you?”

The reason that this could have such an effect was really very simple. That generation of Catholics remembered the very real and vicious sectarian discrimination they and their parents had faced. It happened in Scotland. And there had been some evident anti-Irishism in the SNP despite the continuous efforts of the wiser element in the party to remove it.

This is where Billy Connolly came from. When he left Scotland this was what the Labour Party was up to (with the Tories pandering to the anti-Irish/anti-Catholic Orange vote at the same time). He was merely reflecting what many of his contemporaries also believed. That he’s taken rather longer to shake off the worry many of his generation felt about their place in an independent Scotland is probably due to the fact he’s been away for such a long time.

But he’s now tentatively treading a path that many thousands have already walked, and that’s why – if we don’t blow it now – Scotland will be independent sooner rather than later. The major impediment to independence has never been the Tories. It has always been the Labour Party. Labour relied on the Irish vote for its dominance in Scottish politics, until the modern SNP came along and kicked over its applecart.

Its reaction was to stupidly adopt a position contrary to the principles of its founders in a crude attempt to see off the SNP. In doing so it sowed the seeds of its own destruction, as a community not at all enamoured of Union Jacks saw the light and joined the right side while Labour increasingly went the other way.

So what we don’t need now is idiots on the independence side bellowing insults at converts and potential converts like Billy Connolly, unless we want to drive away a community that’s been steadily walking towards us and with us for years.

But also in the broader sense, what on Earth is the point of slogging away for years and years to persuade people round to our point of view if we’re just going to scream pent-up bitterness at them when they do? As this site pointed out years ago, nothing should bring us greater joy than once-bitter enemies coming over to our team.

The people of both parts of Ireland put far greater crimes behind them in the name of peace and progress than a few snarky interview comments. If we rage at those who would join us just when victory is within our reach, we’ll be the minority forever.

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333 to “The unwelcoming committee”

  1. Roland Smith says:

    Good thoughtful article that if you are old enough to remember widespread discrimination in Scotland is absolutely correct.
    Must say I will be one if the first to welcome Kez and JK when they realise that remaining shackled to a failed union is not in anyone’s interest.

  2. Macbeda says:

    I agree with these sentiments completely.

    I’m also on record as saying I would welcome Kezia Dugdale into the Indy Camp despite the past. If her change of heart is genuine I have no problem with it.

    We need people on board no matter their previous positions on 2014 and beyond.

    Welcome them back into the fold, please.

  3. aldo_macb says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

  4. David McCann says:

    Absolutely spot on David.

  5. wee sandy says:

    Absolutely agree. Well said.

  6. Proud Cybernat says:

    Most eloquently said, Dave. Bravo!

    And a very warm welcome, Mr Connolly.

  7. Hairy angus says:

    Excellently done that man, right on the money.

  8. Thepnr says:

    I’m absolutely all for embracing every convert from No to Yes, high profile converts will get plenty of abuse and tut tutting from the staunch No voter as it is. We really need to take the exact opposite approach and be as welcoming as possible.

  9. Simon Curran says:

    Excellent article. Some folk say they want independence but then slag off converts to Yes, bizarre! Better late than never.

  10. Colin says:

    Well said! We should welcome with open arms all of whom come to the conclusion that independence is best for Scotland.

  11. Hamish100 says:

    I can see your upset over this. Billy Connelly let you down all these years,socialists in the shipyards , the daily record etcetera. Billy Connelly is selling a book. He says things allegedly supporting the EU but not Scotland. When you convert another Celtic supporter like John Reid, Brian Wilson or Michael Kelly let me know. Republican Socialism only stretches to Ireland wi these guys

  12. panda paws says:

    Excellent post Dave. Whilst I didn’t care when Billy was a no and am not much bothered now he is veering towards yes – after all he doesn’t have a vote being non resident- I never understood his reasons for being anti indy and found them wanting in logic and reason.

    I knew some of what Labour had been saying against the SNP but didn’t know enough apparently.

    But let’s welcome everyone to yes without rancour and take them on face value unless they prove false.

  13. Normski says:

    Excellent article – now if Stu could just quit with his Sevco pish…

  14. liz says:

    I grew up in pretty much exactly the same arena as you.
    I was not in anyway abusive towards BC but I am entitled to my opinion which is IMO he is too closely embedded in the British establishment to fully support indy.

    Because of his background, he has always had a bit of a negative attitude to Glasgow despite having to touch base every so often.

    Also he said may & might.
    We can disagree about loads of stuff even if we all want indy.

  15. Rab Dickson says:

    I have absolutely no problem with any of those mentioned joining in the desire to see Scotland independent.
    But it’s difficult to shake off some of the rhetoric and insults folk like Billy Connelly has used through the years.

    Just as I am expected to laud certain wobbling journalists who have been….shall we call it….forthright….about yessers, as long lost brothers and sisters, I am apparently expected not to ‘mention the war’ when it comes to accusations and comments made in the past?
    I draw the line at being accused of the sort of nationalism that Mr Connolly has alluded to in the past and that certain of the aforementioned wobbling journos illustrated with swastika flags.
    I welcome all of their votes and will buy each and every one of them a pint, given the opportunity.
    But forgive me first before you expect me to forgive basically being called a fascist or being as thick as a good shit.

    I hold grudges…..I won’t act on them in any detrimental way as I’m not an “idiot”…but don’t expect me to forget them entirely.

  16. Hamish100 says:

    Ps Are calling independence supporters idiots a term of endearment? Must miss out Dunoon forward shop.

  17. INDEPENDENT says:

    Well said and wholeheartedly concurred with.
    Leave the bigots and self destructionists out on their own.

  18. Undeadshuan says:

    To carry on like that, is to be like the labour party are with SNP, with bitterness and hate which has lost them support and caused more to support snp.

    We need to be bigger than that and admit that people are allowed to change their minds.

    They should be welcomed to the cause with open arms, not have it thrown back at them.
    We ideally could get well over 60% yes in next referendum, if we carry on getting no to yes converts.
    Being critical and bearing grudges will make people think we are the same as the hardcore unionists and drive them away.

    We are so near to the prize now and the torys and labour are doing all the heavy lifting for us with brexit.

    Next september should see the prize in clear sight.
    So please be nice to any new converts.

  19. Peter A Bell says:

    So long as Connolly continues to peddle the calumny that the independence cause is motivated by hatred of the English he can be no friend to a Yes movement that is embraced by so many English people.

  20. Ruglonian says:

    Very nicely put Dave 🙂

    I hope the relevant folk will seriously consider the point you’ve made – everyone comes to this debate with their own experiences, and independent thought is surely to be welcomed!

  21. orri says:

    Either you believe that you can outlast those who voted No and every single new voter will vote Yes or, short of physically removing No voters, you accept that in order to win you need former No voters to come to Yes.

    It’s that simple. Other than a chicken and egg scenario where you have enough power to rig the referendum so enough of those who would otherwise vote against you are prevented from voting or outright running them out of town, killing them or intimidating them you need to hope that either you or circumstances persuade them to switch.

    At the same time there may very well be a bit of self promotion in this change of heart but it’s not the first time BC has voiced disquiet about the choice he advocated in indyref1. Hopefully he wont be the last. It takes a big man to admit he’s wrong.

  22. Former vegan god says:

    My late father’s worked with Mr Hill in Hamilton in the 60s and beyond I think. He was very highly regarded by my family as a level headed man of deep integrity. He has given more to the independence cause than many can imagine. His pragmatism partly comes front decades of battle and the realisation that we are playing the long game. I suspect the vocal minority are mostly relatively recent converts. They need to calm down.

  23. Robert Louis says:

    Very well said Dave Mc H.

    I often see people speculating on people who may move over to indy, usually rapidly followed by the clowns in their clown shoes, slagging such people off.

    Billy Connolly is absolutely welcome to decide indy is right. Indeed he should be applauded. Like many of his generation, he no doubt grew up with the wall to wall propaganda, that Scotland is too wee and too stupid to be independent. He came from the generation who were told (the proven lies by Labour and Tory governments) that Scottish oil was rubbish, poor quality and would run out in a few years. I was told all that. I believed it too. To my generation, Scottish oil was junk – and that was a ‘proven FACT’ – or so we were told (and believed) at the time. In reality, the exact opposite was the truth, and still is. England needed our oil, so they lied and lied and lied. They are still lying to us.

    What many do not realise is that back then their was no internet, no google, no wikipedia, and no ‘alternative’ news websites. In fact, websites hadn’t even been invented.

    So, what we ‘knew’ about Scotland was what the pro London ‘news’ papers told us, or the blatantly propagandist BBC paid liars told us. Their was no way to check. Even if you wanted to know what happened during a Westminster debate, you either trusted the paid liars in the pro London media, or literally paid (a lot of cash) for a printed copy of Hansard.

    So, people like Billy should be welcomed with open arms. They have had a lifetime of deception by both Labour and Tories that has formed their views. It is to his credit that he has given matters proper thought. He knows his own mind. It is absolutely to his credit that he has had the honesty to speak up.

    I don’t care who it is, if they vote YES to the restoration of Scottish independence and an end to London colonial rule of Scotland, I will applaud them, no matter who they are. Including JK (who I am sure now privately regrets campaigning for the NO side).

  24. Dorothy Devine says:

    Most excellent and the more the merrier.

    I know it is hard to accept those who so raged against Scottish independence but as my granny used to say ” if you can’t say anything nice , say nothing’. That way nobody can misquote you in years to come.

    OT I think I need help I suspect I am morphing in to Mary Whitehouse and all because of a Christmas sweater I saw in the Studio catalogue of santa mooning and some vulgar cards in a shop window. Christmas for kids in my opinion and adults should not interfere with the magic.

  25. I am old enough to remember the stock question at the dancing: “Eh, whit school did ye go tae?” Many a potential romance withered at the answer. Also being told to ‘…vote according to your Catholic conscience.’ To which my family answered with a collective Aye Right and voted SNP where possible or, sometimes communist or socialist if there was no SNP.

    I dream of a sectarian free Scotland. Likewise, I will welcome anyone who sees the sense of the Independence argument and is open minded enough to change publicly.

  26. Valerie says:

    Well said, Dave.

    We know folk will have their own view of motivation of converts, or past statements about the indyref movement, but why do they have to throw their poison into the picture?

    People just can’t hold their tongue for the greater good, the main objective.

    Why can some not grasp that discretion is sometimes what’s required?

  27. McDonagh says:

    I too, experienced and have sympathy with what you have written. Even to teaching in Catholic schools in Coatbridge and Cumbernauld along with a sojourn in North West Nigeria (Sokoto) in between. Stood as an SNP candidate in Coatbridge and called all sorts of Orange this and Masonic that. Ironically, I have the honour of being awarded the Papal Order of Saint Gregory The Great (KSG) so I doubt the OO would exactly welcome me into their organisation. Anyway, my journey to Scottish Independence was in part fueled by the cause of Irish independence for which members of my family fought early last century, my mother being a Limerick woman and my father’s folk from Longford. Having come from a Labour supporting family, the old man being a member but resigning when Blair came in , it actually was very easy to come into the SNP after the debacle of the 1979 Devolution. referendum. It is understandable that many in our ranks are suspicious of some high profile former critics of the independence cause but we should always welcome a convert. It is my opinion that converts to a cause, religion or whatever often prove to be greater advocates of that they have made the journey than those born to it.

  28. gordie says:

    Excellent article.

    As an aside I am damned if I know how some folk can’t keep their feelings in check. We need the numbers.

    I suppose the answer is that we are human beings. If someone has flung sh*te at you, your inclined to toss some back. The Vow for example wasn’t just a bit of banter was it?

    That said I would imagine the vast majority of people can see the seriousness of the situation and keep their feelings to themselves for the greater good. The problem is that the things said by someone having a bitch on the YES side tends to get amplified for effect. We can make the argument that people need to be more disciplined. The reaction of individuals is not something easily controlled.

  29. Another Union Dividend says:

    Many people are changing there minds but the Great British Union Jack propaganda is increasing as Brexit gets closer.

    O/T Passed Klondyke Garden Centre at Mortonhall Edinburgh to find a new large flagpole with Union Jack.

    No more shopping there for me.

    Of course it could be the the Scotland In Union donors
    Meadowhead Ltd who run caravan and camping parks in Edinburgh, East Lothian and Northumberland.
    Two of the directors, Alexander and Henry Trotter, have previously between them donated over £1 Million to Better Together.

    Advert in Sunday Herald helpfully pointed out that their caravan parks are at Mortonhall Edinburgh, Tantallon North Berwick, Belhaven Bay Dunbar and Warren Park Bamburgh in Northumberland.
    I am writing to Klondyke to request a Saltire flag as well and you should also complain.
    If it is Meadowhead Ltd then Klondyke should point out that it is harming their business.

  30. Alex says:

    Agreed, Dave.

    We MUST welcome every convert, for as we know, the forces of repression – i.e. the English government and its state apparatus in the form of ‘Britain’ – will do, and is doing, its utmost to sow dissent to stop what is now a fast-flowing tide of change.

    That Billy Connolly has realised, however belatedly, that Scottish independence is the only answer is a good thing. And you are correct – Labour had decades to sort Scotland out, and did nothing apart from foster fear and discontent.

    I think his views will have made a few converts too and, again, that’s a good thing. All we want is the norm. Our country – not another – to rule her own affairs. And The Big Yin’s conversion to actively espousing Scottish independence is a major step forward to that goal, which is coming, you can be sure of that.

  31. CapnAndy says:

    I quite simply have never understood the sectarian divide and ‘complicated politics’ of Central Scotland. At times I want to weep, and do have sympathy with those who believe it’s a deliberate divide and conquer policy.
    I saw some of the comments regarding Mr Connolly’s conversion from folk trying to kid on that they are Independence supporters and they were/are appalling.
    I for one welcome Mr Connolly’s statement. Good On You Big Yin.

  32. yesindyref2 says:

    I welcome anyone who will vote YES.

  33. Macart says:

    Well said Dave.

  34. geeo says:

    It is not really about Billy Connolly moving from No to Yes, it is more about the identifiable reasons why, and how many others his endorsement may bring with him.

    Welcome to the Yes tent, ALL welcome.

  35. Bob Mack says:

    Needed saying Dave. Mr Connolly has much to lose by even mentioning tentative support for independence.

    He is close friends with members of Royalty and also bears a knighthood from the same.

    I welcome anybody to YES regardless of any factor, but especially those who have something personal to lose. Mr Connolly is such.

    This is a broad church with pews for everybody.

  36. Winifred Mccartney says:

    Totally agree just think of Mandela the great example he gives us and none of us have suffered as he has. No voters turning to yes have to be accepted and welcomed with open arms. They are the ones who will win indy for us all.

  37. WellReadNed says:

    People like Peter A. Bell with his indy fundamentalist guff and over-cooked conspiracist waffle are actively harmful to the indy movement.

    When a soft No edging towards Yes chances upon his sub-Alex Jones wingnuttery they will begin edging right back to No whilst being pursued all the way by Bell calling them a brainwashed lackey of the British State or some other such example of his pompous demogoguery.

    A genuine bombscare to the movement who does more harm than good.

  38. Vestas says:

    Everyone makes mistakes and should have the chance to change their mind.

    How others view that is another matter but can I suggest its a matter pro-indy peeps are going to have to deal with PDQ?

    The Brexit shambles are going to bring a lot of people we don’t much like on past behaviour towards indy views.

    Hold your nose/tongue at times might be best advice 😉

  39. vlad (not that one) says:

    In the last few years I had been quite disappointed – felt almost let down – by a few of my erstwhile favourite public people, whom I expected to be naturally supportive of independence. Billy Connoly and Malcolm Chisholm amongst them.
    So, now, three cheers for Billy.
    How about joining in, Malcolm?

  40. Dr Jim says:

    That would be all fine and dandy but Billy Connolly didn’t say he supported independence, he said “It may be the way to go* and that’s entirely a different thing whether he changes his mind or not

    As I said before the celebrity culture of paying attention to such peoples political beliefs or otherwise is in short Nuts and any person who would give more credence to those beliefs or people is even worse

    The media desperately drag comments from such people so as to use them for the political motivation and to further the agenda of that media whether it’s political or just downright troublemaking, if Kim Kardashian says something political is it important, it shouldn’t be, but to many it is

    Celebrities know perfectly well what they’re doing when they open their mouths on public interest issues and politics therefore to cry foul when any member of the public expresses that same right to opinion is to say the celebrity is more important than an *ordinary* person and if you do that you diminish the *ordinary* person and automatically elevate the celebrity, now is that not something we should be getting rid of after years of having *our betters* shoved down our throats when we know they’re not better nor are they more important

    And they certainly aren’t more clever or insightful which in the case of Mr Connolly proves that emphatically
    Celebrities have influence bestowed upon them just because they are celbrities and they use it, are we going to say thanks a lot to JK Rowling for spending a great deal of her money and using her considerable influence to prevent Independence if she now changes her mind on the subject, is that it slate wiped clean for behaving badly, no apology to anyone she may have wronged by her nasty comments just as Mr Connolly did when he called us all MORONS just sshht they’re on our side now don’t lift your head and say anything in case they change their minds again, well I’m certainly not in that kind of camp I much prefer to look folk straight in the eye when I talk to them and treat people the same Prince or Pauper and speak honestly without fear or favour or indeed reverence to their supposed status

    One more thing, when you call people who express an opinion (exactly as Mr Connolly did) based on what they know or understand “idiots on the Independence side” you become just as complicit in media propaganda as the current media who created that culture

    There are idiots on all sides not just on the Independence side but some are picking and choosing which ones to tug the forelock and bend the knee to

    Not me! until I get an apology and then I’ll say about time thanks for that

  41. David Searil says:

    Bang on Dave

  42. Sinky says:

    STV failing to mention that Labour council spent millions trying to stop equal pay in Glasgow City Council

  43. Robert Pillans says:

    IMHO, I believe that those loudly ranting against Billy’s change of view are supporters of the union. They know they are loosing now and any high profile figure that moves from no to yes is another nail in their coffin. True independence supporters must now loudly proclaim their welcome support and start making room in our ranks for the many more who will surely follow.
    This union is coming to its end.

  44. stewartb says:

    Alex @ 5:51 pm

    I too agree with the sentiment in the article.

    But to your point: “The Big Yin’s conversion to actively espousing Scottish independence is a major step forward to that goal …”: does Mr Connelly, if he has indeed been ‘converted’, not have some responsibility, given his prior public position, to use his high profile to do more to ACTIVELY ESPOUSE the cause of Scotland’s self-determination than we have seen from him to date? An interview with Phantom Power for its Journey to Yes series would be a start if he is serious – and has, as you suggest, experienced a ‘conversion’.

    We have seen our opponents trot out BritNat celebs, minor and major, for years. To all those with a high public profile who support our independence, now is the time to make this known (if they can legally) if they have not already done so – if not now, when?

  45. Astonished says:

    You are right Mr Hill, we MUST welcome every convert with open arms and without rancour.

    We better get used to it because more and more are coming away from the dark side.

    I think a whole lot of mileage could be gained by revisiting those folk who publicly said “NO” in 2014. And asking how they feel about Rees Mogg as prime minister. Any day now the BBC and STV will be on to it………oh wait.

  46. Joemcg says:

    Well said Dave. Although I’ve never fathomed or understood the likes of Galloway, Kelly, Wilson, Connolly etc wanting Scotland to remain British but deep down I’d imagine they would never ever espouse the idea of Eire coming back into the fold. It’s downright weird.

  47. galamcennalath says:

    As far as I am concerned, every NO voter (or expat supporter) who shifts allegiance to our cause must be made welcome. It is positive. It is how we will win.

    I have little doubt, with certain people, the views of celebs are influential.

    Another thing … which type of convert is going to have greater influence … a soft NO or a previously very vociferous one? While I very much doubt they would jump – imagine the impart if any one of Darling, Brown, Dugdale, Rowling, etc. would have if the came out for Indy!

    The greater their previous BritNattery, the greater the impact of their change of mind.

  48. Luigi says:

    Great piece, Dave – much appreciated.

    However sore we feel about 2014, however frustrated we feel about the slowness of progress, however offended we may have been by what someone may have said several years ago:

    We have to rise above it. If we have no basic humanity, and can show our former enemies no grace, then we are no better than the BritNats. Think how bitter and twisted the BritNats appear – do we want to be the same? Nothing would delight them more. Take it down to their level.

    One thing that amazes former NO voters is the fact that they are accepted right away by the independence movement (well most of it). This has a really strong impact, and if we want to convert more, we better keep it up and stand up for former NOs. Most converts from Labour or Britnattery have had personal struggles to come to terms with world views shattered and belief systems turned over, so what right do we have to rub their noses in it?

    And for those of us that “cannot understand NO voters” why fret? You don’t have to understand them. It’s not your call. What you DO have to do (and this is vital) is welcome the converts home to Caledonia. It ain’t that hard if you try, and it is absolutely vital that you do. Nuff said. 🙂

  49. Alasdair MacGregor says:

    Peter A. Bell. If ever someone deserved to be ‘no platformed’ by the Yes movement… If I was a conspiracy theorist like him I’d be claiming he’s an MI5 plant trying to undermine independence. I’m not. He’s just an arrogant know-all with no self-awareness.

  50. Sharny Dubs says:

    I have no, or very little, experience of the sectarian troubles of the past having spent a very large part of my life abroad only popping back home for a few years at a time sporadically. Everyone has to earn a buck. But I was sadly disappointed when I first learned that Bill was no, however I respected his choice out of deference to the man.

    Very, very, happy he’s on the team now for whatever reason. And for the rest of you goukes who canny forget the past, we need to move forward, not back.

    Let it go! We need to shape a Scotland free from all the bitterness that has been nurtured by forign powers for their own ends.

    The dream will never die.

  51. call me dave says:


    Aye but that’s STV for you and the first 4 items tonight were all about the SG must do something…. say campaigners. GFS!

    Nicola has got pots of money down the back o the settee!

  52. Muscleguy says:

    I was born in Kilmarnock and we lived up the road in Stewarton. We lived in the ‘proper’ protestant part of it and my English parents opted for the Kirk being a then liberal persuasion. The Catholics, by and large, lived in the Cooncil hooses over the water or in the West. But my parents well away from relatives needed a babysitter and a Catholic single mother (imagine in the ’60s) from the West came to care for us when our parents were out and we came to call her Aunty and treat her daughter like a cousin. Because not brought up in Sectarian Scotland our parents new ‘no better’.

    My parents both being sports atheists and needing a fitba team to fit in and so it was through Aunty that I became a Protestant Celtic fan. I had a top and an enamelled badge (I still have it) and my Action Man had a Celtic strip. Because my parents knew no better, thank goodness.

    Knowing no better my father befriended a Nigerian fellow engineer who spoke English like a native Weegie. He was so touched by our hospitality he gave us a matched pair of carved wooden giraffes which stood on our various mantlepieces for decades. That was how unknowing my parents were, thank goodness.

    We emigrated to NZ in ’72 and so I have always looked at Sectarianism in Scotland as a strange sort of affliction. Dunedin, NZ had an Orange Lodge but I never saw it open or used. It sat there, shuttered and abandoned looking. An alien sort of thing in a new land which never really took root.

    NZ suited us in that respect. No Established religion since it was made up of dissenters as much as good rigid Anglicans. Dunedin was actually a Free Church settlement originally but you wouldn’t know it as such distinctions lost all meaning in NZ as well. So that’s another aspect of Scottish life I’m in the dark about, other than historically.

    So I don’t care what nominal religion you are or come from. What am I?

  53. Bill Purves says:

    Anyone is welcome who changes their minds.

  54. Maren says:

    Thank you for this insightful piece. I truly appreciated this insight into Scottish political history – it explains a lot of the attitudes I’ve come across but couldn’t quite understand.

    And I completely agree that it is counterproductive to treat converts with hostility or disdain when they change their minds. On any issue that is still being fought over.

    After decades of holding particular beliefs, I recently changed my mind on two issues as emotive and hotly contested as independence. The people who have long held those positions appreciate those who come over to their side and welcome them as another voice to fight alongside them.

    I can’t help but feel that this should be mirrored by us independence supporters, too. I did not find it easy to give up those longheld beliefs, I found it an uncomfortable experience and if I’d been greeted with vitriol I wouldn’t have changed back to my old views but I would have wanted nothing to do with those campaigning on the issue. I’d have simply withdrawn altogether. And if that happens on indy we will be losing valuable voices that could be speaking up for us and convincing more No-voters that independence is the choice for them.

  55. Scotspatriot says:

    We’re all Jock Thompson’s Nairn’s !
    We all hang together, or hang apart !

  56. galamcennalath says:

    Another thing to consider is that in the past when Scots voted the huge numbers for ‘conservatives’ it wasn’t the upper crust Etonian led Conservative Party of England, it was the Scottish Unionist Party. It was the party of choice for working class Scottish Protestants. Driven by bigotry and sectarianism, yes, but not so much left versus right. Much of Scotland had a different divide from the rest of the UK.

    My father’s folks all voted Unionist, and they didn’t have two ha’pennies to rub together.

  57. ScottieDog says:

    Good article Dave. Thanks.

    I’m wondering (hoping) if there might be a hidden group in SLAB who will come out for Indy over the coming months. We need an open door for them. It’s easy to take pot shots at Henry McLeish over his ‘on the fence’ position but it’s better than him being over the fence on the other side.

    My money is on Malcolm Chisholm for starters. I’m sure he might influence a few others…

  58. Socrates MacSporran says:

    What a strange, mixed-up place this Scotland is. We see Dave McEwan Hill facing those in the Catholic community insisting the SNP were “Orange” and “Masonic.” There were the insinuations, the SNP were “Tartan Tories.”

    I grew-up on the other side of the divide. My father was a dyed-in-the-wool Scottish Unionist, and he always maintained: “Home Rule means Rome Rule.” Apparently the SNP was a Roman Catholic-dominated organisation.

    Maybe more a case of an organisation which threatened their precious little two-party stitch-up: promise them the earth and deliver nothing, by the simple expedient of promising, then delivering.

  59. Peter Macbeastie says:

    Facebook. I have been calling people I previously regarded as relatively level headed, if very passionate, independence supporters all sorts of idiots for referring to Billy as though he’d just said the SNP were a bunch of bastards all over again. It was the same vitriolic response as when he did it a few years back.

    Now he’s ‘not to be trusted.’ Now he’s ‘still a fucking ("Tractor" - Ed).’ Now he’s ‘just getting publicity for his book.’

    I have been doing this online political stuff since 2012; I’m on the autism spectrum and doing it face to face is difficult for me, so this is perfect. So I’ve seen people behaving in every way from angelic to demonic, sometimes all the same people, sometimes even the same people on the same days.

    But rarely have I seen Yessers indulging in some of the single most stupid behaviour I’ve seen in six years just because Billy Connolly has dared to say ‘I understand what you were all doing, and now I’m sympathetic to calls for independence’ or words to that effect.

    If he’d shat in your fireplace he wouldn’t have got a worse reaction from some.

    Sometimes, and this’ll be no surprise to anyone, I just want to get a few Yessers and smack their heads together. It’s like six years of doing this shit has gone past and some people have learned the precise sum of sod all about how the unionists on social media and in the press just LOVE this kind of pish from the independence side.

    And because Billy Connolly is who he is, he is a hugely interesting to both sides of the debate, and the unionists will be watchful for any hint of independence supporters attacking him.

    Never mind now unionists will be all over social media calling him everything under the sun for turning his back on them. Nah, the press won’t pay any of that a blind bit of attention.

    But if you want to be famous for all the wrong reasons, just put your name to some vitriol about him.

    If he has moved to supporting independence, great. Or even if he’s no longer willing to speak against it, great. So let’s have everyone just shut up about your personal opinions about Billy Connolly.

    He represents a massive loss to the Unionists. He is no longer their pawn.

    So, in my own rather pointless way, since he’ll never likely see this, I’d like to extend a big welcome to Mr Connolly. He’s got a fine, distinguished surname, and now he’s realising he’s been wrong about a few things for a good few years.

    That’s not an easy thing to come to. It’s not an easy thing to admit. And there are few things in the world that hurt you more inside, than understanding a lot of your firmly held beliefs are wrong. I can only imagine that gets harder the longer you hold them for.

    Excellent, informative article, by the way. I’m a Highlander who views all this sectarian shite as nonsense that belongs firmly in the history books as a warning of what happens when bigotry gets a foot in the door. I know it’s still a thing, I even knew a little of why the Catholic population of Scotland felt so threatened, but not much beyond a little.

  60. Robert Peffers says:

    @Proud Cybernat says: 22 October, 2018 at 5:23 pm:

    ” … Most eloquently said, Dave. Bravo!
    And a very warm welcome, Mr Connolly.”</i?

    eloquent Dave may be but, excuse me if I do not jump prematurely to welcome Mr Connolly. I am by nature rather prone to by canny in the Scots sense of, "being careful".

    So while I am not yet opening my arms to Mr Connolly, neither am I closing them against him. I find he is about to publish yet another book, and that may indeed be pure coincidence, and that is where my canny side cuts in.

    Now it may seem cynical but the man has not, as yet, crossed to the yes side. Until I see signs otherwise I'll neither welcome or find him unwelcome. I'll wait to see if the gesture he made is just his public relations company suggesting to him his gesture might sell a few more books or his conversion to the indy movement.

    In other words I think one swallow does not a Summer make.

    So, come oan Big yin – ir ye in or ir ye oot?

  61. Robert Peffers says:

    Sorry to go off topic so soon but Gordon Ross has a real good one up on YouTube and it needs us all:-

  62. Hamish100 says:

    former vegan — some of us have also supported independence in our own way just like Mr Hill. From 1973 to be exact. Is that long enough?

    Can I take it that Henry McLeish has joined the indy movement yet? At least he has a vote in Scotland unlike Connelly.

    When Connelly comes out with a specific statement that he supports Independence for Scotland (not a throw away line for a book sale) well and good. Hopefully we will not wait too long.

  63. Petra says:

    An excellent, well written and really informative article Dave. Thanks for that. As I’ve stated already I’m delighted when someone moves from No to Yes, however his comments in the Times inferring that Scots hate the English (or words to that effect) leaves me concerned. Then again did he actually say that or did some journalist just decide to slip it (a past comment) in? Who knows? Time, and more than anything our reactions, will tell if he actually decides to join us at all.


    @ Sinky says at 6:10 pm … ”STV failing to mention that Labour council spent millions trying to stop equal pay in Glasgow City Council.”

    I saw it too Sinky and it would sicken your chops. STV is practically on a par with the biased BBC now. One of the biggest strikes (the biggest?) ever to take place in Scotland with GCC stating that there’s no need for it as the issue is practically resolved (Susan Aitken’s statement cut short of course). These English / Labour controlled Unions won’t be happy until they see Glasgow on it’s knees financially and the SNP councillors kicked out.

    I wonder why they didn’t call for strike action when Labour was in power ruling over Equal Pay cases for at least 30 years? In fact I wonder why they (Unison previously NALGO) didn’t support some poorly paid workers, Union members, at all such as those who had fork out thousands to pay for their case to be heard from Glasgow Tribunal to the House of Lords: With the Law Lords calling the Union’s actions (lack of) an absolute disgrace.

    Then we had ANOTHER rerun of the Scottish Tories protecting Scottish fisheries. It would wear you out.

  64. Arthur thomson says:

    I am one of those for whom Scottish independence is a philosophical belief. My position is absolute. That does not give me any ownership of the independence movement. It is open to all to decide to support it if they choose. No-one who genuinely supports Scotland’s independence would reject those who have belatedly come to understand why it is the right thing.

    I am glad that Billy has chosen to make his apparent change of view public. I would expect it to be influential in moving more people to Yes. At the same time I am aware that he could choose to have another change of heart at any time so I am assuming nothing.

    I must say that I found the post above to be excellent. I still remember being told, when I worked in Ayrshire, that I would have to join the Labour mafia if I wanted to ‘get on’. I understood that it was precisely the Labour Party that was keeping Scotland at Eastern European levels of shite, for their own ends, so I was not tempted.
    Labour is, even today, hell bent on turning the clock back to the days of class war and bigotry.

    Maybe those who are attacking Billy Connolly are some of Sillar’s Brexiteers? Seems likely to me.

  65. BM says:


  66. IZZIE says:

    Connelly is like Robert Burns the establishments pet Scot. When he starts to verbally undo the damage he caused I will belive this remarkable conversion

  67. euan0709 says:

    Excellent article. I went to Govan High and lived on the Govan Rd across from St Gerard’s. Some of ma pals went there . It was an very good school, sadly while the building is still there the school has long gone..

  68. X_Sticks says:

    A round of applause for that from me Dave.

    I simply cannot understand anyone stupid enough to denigrate Connolly for this.

    Even if you don’t like him, and I tend to be in that camp these days, and even although he has not *actually* come out for independence and may be using this as click bait to promote his book it *will* influence many more folk.

    He has said that he is considering independence to possibly be the best way forward for Scotland will make many on those undecided voters pause and question their own beliefs. In short it will gain votes for indy. That’s what this is all about. Isn’t it?

  69. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Have Phantom Power approached The Big Yin for a cheeky wee “From no to YES” yet?

    Now that would be a good tool to convert Soft NOs.

  70. Tinto Chiel says:

    Frankly, I’m quite mystified as to why religion has been brought into the debate on Billy Connolly’s recent remarks.

    Since I have no religious faith and have always loathed sectarianism in all its forms, my reservations are simply based on his past well-documented and very high-profile comments about the independence movement.

    Perhaps if he removes the “if” and “may” from his reported statements and could begin to talk positively about an independent Scotland (as opposed to its being a last resort for him to keep a link with the EU) I would be wholly convinced.

    It would be nice to be proved wrong in this case.

  71. Cactus says:

    Iceberg ahead Billy.

    Film 4.

  72. Dek says:

    Well said Dave . We need cool heads to win our independence. Welcome all converts to the cause.

  73. Bob Mack says:

    St Paul had a conversion on the road to Damascus, but God wouldn’t have him, because he had been a tax collector.

    Funny how one event can turn history.

    I hear Paul did rather well though in spite of this.

  74. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Also good article DMH.

    We should all remember that sectarianism is a British Nationalist divide and conquer tool.

    Used in The Empire in Africa and India as well as Scotland to keep the natives at each other’s throats rather than realising that the common enemy were the BritNats and their Local Placemen and Placewomen while they robbed them blind of their natural resources.

  75. Parable of the Prodigal Son,

    “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

    “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

    “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found'”

  76. R4 says:

    Billy Connelly is by far the greatest and most loved ambassador for Scotland ever. He is loved universally and should be welcomed aboard with open arms.

  77. stewartb says:

    Socrates MacSporran @6:43 pm

    You wrote: “What a strange, mixed-up place this Scotland is. We see Dave McEwan Hill facing those in the Catholic community insisting the SNP were “Orange” and “Masonic.” There were the insinuations, the SNP were “Tartan Tories.” and ” My father was a dyed-in-the-wool Scottish Unionist, and he always maintained: ‘Home Rule means Rome Rule.’ Apparently the SNP was a Roman Catholic-dominated organisation.”

    You’re so right about this strange mixed up place! I was taken completely aback in early September 2014 when a close family member said to me: “Of course I’m voting ‘no’, I’m a proddy!’ This from a middle class, west end of Glasgow resident!

  78. DerekM says:

    Yep give the big yin a break he made a mistake something a lot of my generation did and if he can turn then the task ahead does not seem so hard now.

    We must enlightening our pensioners this task is vital for the indy movement they must learn about the UK low pensions or failing that we need a tasty bribe like saying we will bring them in line with other EU nations when independent and appeal to their pocket.

    Time to play some real politics if you cant turn the baby boomers history shows you can buy them.

  79. Rock says:

    I do not mind anyone voting Yes if they want to.

    But I do not want the likes of Dugdale or any of the other tractors to have anything to do with the next Yes campaign, when it happens in 622 years’ time.

    Or do the clueless pompous armchair pundits posting here want Dugdale and the Rev. Stuart Campbell standing “shoulder to shoulder”?

    I do not for one moment believe that any of the opportunist bastards you mention are really going to vote Yes.

    As always, they are trying to make personal gain out of the situation.

    They have no credibility and no shame.

    How easy it is for them to dupe gullible independence supporters whenever they need to.

    No wonder Scotland remains a colony of England after 311 years.

    And it is the ultimate in stupidity to give English settlers the right to vote in a referendum on Scottish independence from England.

  80. Tatu3 says:

    Doesn’t really matter if Billy Connolly is really for or against independence, doesn’t really matter whether he even has a vote or not. What matters is that as long as he says in interviews on tv or whatever that he is Yes, then Billy fans just might become yes too.
    And ALL No to Yes should be welcome. We need each and every one.

  81. Gordon Bickerton says:

    Billy would get my respect of he apologised for his ‘pretendy wee’ comments.
    To be fair, apart from a very difficult upbringing, in his early celebrity years he had a very hard time from the Daily Record, perhaps leading to the dislike he seemed to show for his country and people. However he made up for that by his charity work for the victims of flooding in Glasgows East end
    IMHO UK celebrities have one eye on the ‘Establishment’ when considering political statements.

  82. Hamish100 says:

    Source Wikipedia
    Political views[edit]
    Scottish independence[edit]
    Connolly previously stated that he disapproves of Scottish independence. In 1974 he made a party political television broadcast on behalf of the Labour Party, which criticised the Scottish National Party. In 1999 he blamed the SNP for a perceived increase in anti-English racism in Scotland, called the new Scottish Parliament a joke, and declined to attend the opening.[44]
    He said that 2012 had been “a very interesting time for Scotland”. He questioned the expense of independence, and whether average Scots would benefit from another level of government, though added “But Scots are very capable of making up their mind without my tuppence worth.”[45]
    In April 2014, despite previously vowing not to step into the ‘morass’ of the debate over the breakup of the Union, Connolly gave the clearest indication yet of his opposition to Scottish independence. In an interview with the Radio Times, he stated, “I think it’s time for people to get together, not split apart. The more people stay together, the happier they’ll be.” He also referred to the Darien scheme, a failed effort to establish a Scottish colony in the Isthmus of Panama, which destroyed Scotland’s economy and led to the Acts of Union 1707. Connolly wrote, “You must remember that the Union saved Scotland. Scotland was bankrupt and the English opened us up to their American and Canadian markets, from which we just flowered.”[46]
    In October 2018, several media outlets stated Connolly voiced his support for Scottish independence. The Times reported Connolly as saying that independence ‘may be the way to go’, leading to some speculating that he could be questioning his unionist beliefs, after decades of vehemently opposing independence. [47][48]

    me as interpreter

    ” maybees aye, maybees naw- “. If we remain in the EU then indy is a naw if we do Brexit its a maybe.

  83. Craig P says:

    Has Billy Connolly actually come out for Yes yet? Anyway, he will be welcome by me if he does.

    But the day I really celebrate is when any of my family see sense. My dad explained to me in 2014 that they had to vote No because unionism was their ‘Christian duty’.

    I told him I wasn’t aware that God was a British nationalist, and nobody’s mind was changed as a result.

  84. Douglas says:

    Very well put Dave.

    It is VERY important to welcome former No voters in a positive way.

    Taking Jimmy Reid’s1971 Clyde Shipbuilders speech as a starting point:
    ‘There will be no hooliganism. There will be no vandalism. There will be no bevvying, because the world is watching us’

    Adapt to:

    ‘There will be no smugness. There will be no bitterness. There might be a bit of friendly bevvying, because the world and those considering changing their minds are watching us’

    The way I see it, many of the No voters last time are better and more forgiving people than me. They were prepared to give the U.K. one last chance because they were promised that ‘this time it will be different, the U.K. can change and respect Scotland’. They were not stupid but they were cautious and wistfully wanted to believe that British fair play is a real thing rather than an Oxymoron.

    Their eyes are being opened but we must not make it harder for them to change.

    There are some who will never surrender their core British view but they are a small minority.

    A hearty welcome to all who have changed their minds.

  85. Cubby says:


    Yes you are right. Why is he not a saint? Why is he not in the House of Lords. Why are there not more murals of Billy all over buildings in Scotland? Why are the collected works of Billy not a Higher course in Scottish schools. Why is there not a statue of Billy in George Square wearing his modern art banana wellies. King Billy you are a god.

    Only kidding. Get a grip R4. He’s a Scottish comedian who liked to slag off Scotland and Scots. Wasn’t the first won’t be the last. Hasn’t lived in Scotland for decades apart from the odd trip to a mansion in the highlands.

    The cringe was strong in him and may now be weakening. Good for him. I see no reason to idolise him or demonise him.


  86. tartanfever says:

    If you think Billy Connolly is going to support an independent Scotland with his decades of died in the wool royal support giving antics then I’ve got a magic bag of beans for sale.

    And I’m so bored with this West of Scotland -Clydeside-Religious Divide bullshit being dragged up as either an excuse or explainer for decades of some pretty horrendous behaviour and social attitudes.

    He’s trying to flog a book and remain relevant.

    All articles like this do is hand unionists a free ticket to set up false social media accounts to attack ‘celebrities’ or politicians which can then be reported by the BBC or STV or The Herald as the horrible independence supporters. Stop doing this.

  87. gordoz says:

    Top of the class with this piece Dave .. couldn’t express it better & thank you for articulating the difficulties fully.
    Totally concur with Irish dimension & Yes folk really need to get a grip. Connolly and others were not professionals in the politics spectrum and came from complicated backrounds where quips & asides are picked up by press & used for advantage. Why shouldn’t we celebrate a change of heart & use to ours ?
    Now where I would find an issue is where the likes of Brian Wilson (Former British Labour MP), were to seek absolution, a clearer ‘socialist’ agent for the Union, who accrued personal wealth through Media columns, dubious directorship opportunities & thwarting the interests of Scotland at at every turn. I’d find that one hard.(But maybe that’s just me)
    Lets keep our eyes on the prize & welcome this epiphany from Billy & congratulate his honesty (Better late than never ?)
    Again thanks Dave & Rev

  88. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Hamish100 at 7.29

    Yes. We know all that. We know that he said all that. That was then. This is now and he is perhaps about to convert – like thousands of others. Or perhaps it is better that he remains an articulate enemy?
    Surely not

  89. Golfnut says:

    What a great article by David McEwan Hill. It highlights superbly the divisive nature of british politics. Billy Connelly is as much a victim of political and cultural mind control as just about everyone else. Few have ever managed to remain immune to its pervasiveness. Nor has it changed. Today, there is little difference in the methodology used from 50 years ago, dividing, isolating, scapegoating. Misinformation and lies, fear and poverty the establishment’s prefered weapons of choice.

    Even after Independence it will be many years before people, neighbours and communities come to terms with Westminsters legacy in Scotland.

    We have to make sure that people are made aware of just how badly they were used and abused, misled and lied to by those facilitating the theft of their countries wealth.
    Only then will it be possible for the 2 sides to come together.

  90. Silverytay says:

    Well said Dave
    Even if the Big Yin has not actually said that he now supports independence the fact that he has said that it might be the way to go due to brexit will make others think about their no vote .

    I can remember watching a documentary where Teddy Taylor former tory mp for Cathcart openly admitted that both the tories and the labour party stoked sectarianism in the west of Scotland .
    Labour went after the Catholic vote while the Tories went after the O.O vote .
    Of course by the time he admitted that he had moved to a safe seat in England

  91. Ian McCubbin says:

    Could write a similar story with an Ayrshire base about Labour and its corruption. I moved east and Tayside region was under its grip with similar corruption.

    I hope the Labour party never rises again.

  92. Big Jock says:

    I Have no problem with people changing their mind. However I get the feeling with Billy that it’s not about Scotland. It’s about the EU. I don’t like people who claim that independence is only legitimate on their personal terms. It has always been legitimate regardless of Brexit. That is my only point of a annoyance here.

  93. ahundredthidiot says:

    Open arms for every one of them

    you listening Kezia?

    United We Conquer

  94. Hamish100 says:

    facts as some would ignore-

    Billy Connelly has not joined the SNP!
    Has not said he supports Independence for Scotland!
    He does not believe in Brexit!
    He believes in the EU

    With the bbc all over this lets hope some here have not been set up for a fall.

  95. yesindyref2 says:

    I’d go a step further really, why on earth do people want others to apologise for having had a different opinion of the best way forward for Scotland?

    It’s not that they made a mistake and are now getting it right, it’s that they have changed their minds on which way is best for Scotland – staying with the Union, or being Independent.

    As for “insults”, look at the insults Indy supporters come out with.

  96. John Thomson says:

    A very warm welcome to all who see the light

  97. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Petra at 6.58

    Connolly suggested that about SNP supporters a long time ago and it is being referenced again. What he said currently is that being an independence supporters doesn’t mean you hate the English and he now understands that. It is quite a different sentiment he is expressing.

  98. Alba 46 says:

    Connolly has NOT said he supports independence.
    He is sitting on the fence – he has a book to sell.
    If he comes over to independence fine, another yesser even though he has no vote. Even better if he brings over other no voters.

    Hamish 100 @7:29 says a lot that I agree with. Connolly brings a lot of negative baggage and used his music hall act to denigrate a lot of hard working people in the Yes movement and the Scottish parliament. If he could vote and he did vote Yes that would be one more vote and that is to be welcomed. But I wont be doing cartwheels over it.

    I am not from the central belt and could never understand this sectarian bullshit as a previous poster so eloquently put it. I eventually did get the message when I did a number of tours in NI in the early 70’s whilst in the army. My experiences their probably means that I know a bloody site more about sectarianism that a lot of so called experts on this site. Its like a cancer which eats you from the inside out and distorts and warps their judgement. Worse still is when they try and impose their views on others. There is no subtlety its pure brainwashing.

    McEwan Hill has a way with words but he has a bad habit of denigrating anyone who has a view which differs from him. Wings is a broad church and there is room for ALL opinions

  99. ahundredthidiot says:


    a tour of NI and you know about sectarianism?

    Gimme a break.

    Good to know that if the people of Scotland hand her her independence we can always rely on people like you to come along and pish on our shoes come independence day

  100. starlaw says:

    Should be welcomed as the lost sheep returning to the fold.

  101. ahundredthidiot says:

    Not sure why Alba46 turned into Caesar!46

    but there you go

  102. ahundredthidiot says:


    Jeez, gremlins are busy tonight

  103. Alasdair Stephen says:

    As a 14 yr-old I was taken aside by a Scout leader and told to have nothing to do with the SNP. ‘They are run by middle-class Catholics’ he said. ‘They will destroy Protestant Scotland’.

    The next year I joined the SNP. It was a local CoS minister who signed me up.

    One of my first by election campaigns was Glasgow Central in 1990. ‘Vote SNP for an Orange Scotland’ was shouted out tannoys in the Gorbals by Mike Watson’s goons.

    Labour really do deserve everything that’s happened to them in Scotland.

  104. Moonlight says:

    All that´s needed on the day is 50% + 1.
    Maybe Connolly will be that + 1.

  105. Luigi says:

    When the little cracks appear in the BritNat wall, do we all have to rush in anger and humiliate them, for all the grief they caused us? How do you think that would play? Doh!

    Or do we show them grace, even if we don’t fully believe them (and I remain unconvinced)?, and we give them the benefit of the doubt

    I shouldn’t have to repat this – it’s not rocket science, but it is very important. Think about it – why would the trolls suddenly enter the fray tonight?. We must be on the right track. 🙂

  106. Cactus says:

    “Is there anyone alive out there Scotland!”

    “Can anyone hear me?”

    Said the Sailor.

    Vote Yes.

  107. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    We have similar problem with some of our support whose intransigence towards the English living permanently among us and sometimes outright hostility to them will ensure that they will never vote with us.

    Completely stupid.

    If we need to take a lesson take one from our leader Nicola Sturgeon who withstands the most appalling demonisation and incivility from our increasingly inadequate opponents and smiles and interacts with them with charity and warmth – thus completely undermining them and their efforts.

    There are two figures I know well who have featured hugely in the independence campaign over the years who were quite the most vociferous and articulate opponents to independence that I ever saw before they suddenly, in their own words, saw the light.

    That’s the way it goes, folks. One of them said to me “At meetings I was digging deeper and deeper in support of the union and I went home one night and very suddenly realised I was completely wrong. But it had taken huge application and cleverness to be so persuasively completely wrong.”

    And thanks,Stu, for putting this up. In particular I enjoyed reading again “The Dirty Game ” which you put up from me FIVE YEARS ago. Has it been that long?

  108. Gary says:

    The self appointed “big yin”? Moving to yes?…a cynical side of me thinks he has a legacy he wants to be loved by all of Scotland. Only half do so now, and not for the correct reasons.
    He has no vote, when was the book written as he may have changed his mind again? He knows , or knew damn well that the pro independence side of Scotland had had enough of his anti scottish shite and we’re very willing to let him know this publicly if he spewed any more bile out! That’s why he kept his mouth shut during the indy ref!
    A calculated gamble to half heartedly appeal to all of Scotland me thinks. I’m sceptical of this possible conversion as he hasn’t committed to it fully. However, if he openly endorses the YES campaign, then welcome!!
    Great article as well.

  109. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Alba 46 at 8.15

    Excuse me. Please produce any example of me denigrating anybody who doesn’t agree with me.

  110. Alba 46 says:

    Dave McEwan Hill@8.44

    I posted that the Mac in Glasgow should never be rebuilt and the money used for other purposes.

    You told me i was talking rubbish (or words to that effect) and you were putting me on your “list”

  111. Phil says:

    Sinky says: 22 October, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    “STV failing to mention that Labour council spent millions trying to stop equal pay in Glasgow City ”

    As did Radio Shortbread this morning GMS. Put Susan Aitken under fire – almost, almost, blamed her for the decades of Labour Deceit. And of course two Trade Union spokes to make the anti-City Council case.

  112. galamcennalath says:

    Dave McEwan Hill says:

    We have similar problem with some of our support whose intransigence towards the English living permanently among us

    Indeed. Around 100,000 English folks living in Scotland voted YES.

    If some chose YES, then potential any and all could.

    I suspect the UK of 2014 was seen differently from that now. It was the safe option for many. I also suspect English people aren’t natural Unionists, that is the preserve of Scottish and NI BritNats. If they are made to feel welcome and enjoy the benefits of living here, then they are potential Yes recruits.

  113. Clootie says:

    Phantom Power videos show heartfelt No to Yes journeys that convince me of the speakers revelation.
    The “names” always appear to have the excuse of a recent change – “Brexit” / “Universal Credit” etc etc

    In my view those who are most sheltered from the impact of Unionists (I include myself) have a greater duty than most to support Independence for those who it will benefit most.

    I return to the No to Yes videos. I’m looking for that sincerity and unfortunately it is missing with a number of the celeb converts. In fact when I analyse the statements I’m not that convinced they have travelled to Yes!

    We should always remember that people suffered by either their actions or their inaction.
    Forgive? Perhaps but not until I see a firm statement towards Yes or even a retraction of previous slurs ( if you want an example ….. Wee pretendy parliament.)

  114. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Alba 46 at 8.50

    No idea what “list” you are talking about and telling somebody who is talking what one believes to be rubbish that they are talking rubbish is an opinion not denigration.

  115. robert alexander harrison says:

    I’m still not OK with how he slandered Glasgow during indyref1 he was bang out of order then if he’s truly yes then that’s one less mouthpiece for the britnats I’d take that anyday as it helps us in the long run.

  116. Thepnr says:

    This article for me has very little to do with Billy Connely but everything to do with how we view those that for whatever reason have changed their mind from whta the believed in and voted for in 2014.

    There are now on OUR side, every single one of them and without that new support the support for Yes must at best remain static which is totally useless if we want Scotland to become an Independent country.

    I really don’t care how people may have voted back then, it’s in the past and I only care about how they will vote in the future as I want Scotland to be Independent and it’s absolutely essential than former No voters change their mind.

    There are links to to 6 other prominent No voters in the article, 4 of them are links to The brilliant Phantom Power No to Yes videos that I’ve watched before. To be honest I#s forgotten most of them but have just watched them all again.

    They are excellent and all four have two very important things in common, they were ALL Labour supporters and ALL have changed their mind because of Brexit.

    Everyone of them is an intelligent and articulate supporter of Independence now and I see them as an huge asset in any future campaign.

    They really are worth a second look, all of these short stories of their personal journeys. I wish more could see them as it is people just like these four that will help bring others with them and get us our Independence.

    Tom Morton

    Mike Dailly

    Jackie Kemp

    Simon Pia

    It wasn’t easy for any of these people to change their mind, we aught to be grateful that they did and to all who will in the future. That’s how we will win this, no other way.

  117. Robert Peffers says:

    @Dek says: 22 October, 2018 at 7:08 pm:

    ” … Well said Dave . We need cool heads to win our independence. Welcome all converts to the cause.”

    Aye! We do need cool heads and not hotheads clutching at straws. To date Billy has NOT said he has become a convert to independence. The throwaway line he used is rather like several other former high profile unionists like Henry McLeish who must have badly aggravated his piles due to sitting on the fence so very long.

    In both instances I’ll believe it when they decide to come off the fence and tell the World outright they are for independence. Until then the welcome remains open to them and the ball is in their court.

    This politics lark is a dirty game and there are more than enough sleepers and spooks in the indy movement and always has been. Mind you I believe the SNP will have their own sleepers planted in strategic places.

    Whatever else it is always a big mistake to drop your guard and be far to ready to welcome converts with such a long established anti-independence history as Billy Connolly without a little more to go on than that single throwaway line and that accompanied with the telling remark that he was never into hate of the English.

    As amply shown here on Wings neither have the vast majority of Indy supporters for most indy folks simple do not hate Englanders – they hate Westminster Establishment rule of Scotland by the de facto parliament of the country of England parliament. Yet that is what Connelly imagines independence is all about. Furthermore, his stated reason for his supposed conversion is that if it means Brexit, and indy is the only other option, just maybe independence could be the answer.

    So I’m not against his conversion, if he actually converts, but he has not, as yet, convinced me he is a convert to YES.

    As he might say himself, “The ba is still in ma court”, and it is for him to take it and run with it.

  118. yesindyref2 says:

    We’re always at our best when we look at what unites us, rather than what divides us.

  119. Mike says:

    It can be a struggle to understand how it takes intelligent people so long to see whats right in front of their faces.
    Why is Brexit the Indy ref catalyst for some Scots? All Brexit does is highlight the fact that Scotland does what England says it should do since when has that been news?

  120. Dr Jim says:

    Theresa May replied to Ian Blackford today that the British people voted for Brexit and that’s what’s in the best interests of Scotland

    Out of her own mouth she’s telling us Scotlands votes don’t count and the *British* people get to decide what’s in Scotlands interests, in this case the English and Welsh people are *British* but the Scots and the Northern Irish are not

    So sucks to be you Jockys and Paddies

  121. Breeks says:

    For my tuppence worth, Billy Connolly strikes me more as a disillusioned Unionist rather than a born again Independentist. I make no judgement on that, come the day, it’s the YES vote that will matter, and if an adequate percentage of disillusioned Unionists aren’t won over, then we lose.

    What worries me is that we all seemed to understand that back in 2014. The positivity back then was infectious and crystal clear. This time around, positivity doesn’t seem to exist, patience is stretched to breaking point, tempers are short, and frustrations are immense.

    But hey, who am I to criticise the winning formula?

  122. H Scott says:

    People talk about the ‘proud-Scot-BUT’ types, but it seems the Yes Movement has its ‘you’re-welcome-to-Yes-BUT’ types.

  123. Thepnr says:

    It’s possible that the people changing their mind like those in the videos actually did believe that Scottish Nationalism was insular, inward looking and based on anti-English sentiment.

    Brexit has exploded that myth and these converts have had to have a rethink, they lived with this myth for so long and now they’ve had there eyes opened. They were lied too, it is Westminster and the British Nationalist who are insular and inward looking.

    Sure Independence won’t be a walk in the park but it’s absolutely certain that Scotland will prosper as an Independent country once we escape the clutches of the deranged politicians who currently make all our decisions for us.

  124. Jock McDonnell says:

    I’m aware of the subtlety of Billy’s position. We should pick our fights, there is nothing to be gained by attacking a frail man who says ‘mibbe’ & who is loved by many.

    Eyes on the prize, team.

  125. Angus MacAlister says:

    Excellent article. I have no problem with Billy Connolly supporting Independence after some reflection or anyone else who voted No. Three guys I go to the Scotland games with have now changed to Yes because of Brexit so welcome all changes of mind.

  126. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Thepnr at 9pm

    Good post. Exactly right

  127. yesindyref2 says:


    I guess that was the most successful, positive and appealing argument that parts of Better Together had in 2014. The broad shoulders, pooling and sharing, and a frequent one mentioned was as Connolly puts it, the welder in Liverpool being the same as the welder on the Clyde.

    But is it true any longer? Perhaps that’s something we should look at.

    First is, for instance, the 13 Type 26 frigates promised to the Clyde, 5 of which were planned even then to be General Purpose frigates. That became 5 Type 31 frigates to be put out for tender, and a strong contender is Cammell Laird as the lead on the bid with BaE, to build in – Liverpool. Not the Clyde. To give jobs to welders in Liverpool, not the Clyde (unless they uproot home and family and move to Liverpool). So Solidarity means it seems that the Clyde loses jobs, whereas Liverpool gains them. Where does solidarity end? At home?

    Second is where does Solidarity stop? Does it stop in the UK, or does it include Gdansk, Bremen, South Korea or Navantia HQ’d in Madrid and state-supported. Does Solidarity mean welders on the Clyde should be delighted that they lose their jobs and their jobs move to Spain for instance – after all, they make and design great frigates Norway got hers built there, (and LPDs – see the HMAS Canberra class in Australia).

    Connolly mentioned those welders in Liverpool, but what if even those 5 frigates ended up being built in Spain for some reason like cost? Would Solidarity still be important then?

    The UK leaving the EU will remove one layer of Solidarity, while at the same time removing one layer of politicians.

    There’s much to think of for previous NO voters, whose foundations are being well and truly shaken.

  128. carjamtic says:

    Very Good Post Dave.

    Thank You.

    Many people have regrets on their death bed,if only……

    I am not a religious person and certainly not my brothers keeper,but as I understand it,confession is said to be good for the soul ?.

    Peace Love and Much Happiness Brother.


  129. Janet says:

    Excellent article, thank you.

  130. Macart says:

    Thepnr at 9pm


  131. Robert Peffers says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill says: 22 October, 2018 at 7:52 pm:

    ” … Yes. We know all that. We know that he said all that. That was then. This is now and he is perhaps about to convert.”

    And there is the truth from Dave, ” … he is perhaps, about to convert.

    So Dave, why are you welcoming a perhaps convert before there is a shred of evidence he actually is a convert?

    Now don’t even try to twist things in your usual manner for it won’t wash. At no point have I said he would be unwelcome. Unlike you I do not attempt to encourage others to jump too soon. I neither welcome nor reject Billy’s comments but I do question his linking the matter to, “the Scots hate of the English”.

    He obviously has no real understanding of what indy is all about and thus lacks the capacity to understand it. My first wife, (deceased, not divorced), and one son were/are English. I do not hate English people. I hate being treated as a colony by Westminster, the de facto parliament of England.

    So why such a welcome as an indy supporter for someone who cannot even understand what the indy movement is?

  132. Petra says:

    @ Dave at 8:11pm …..

    Thanks for replying with an explanation Dave and who knows what’s been going on with Billy Connelly over the last couple of years or so, especially in light of his health issues. The threat of being at deaths door or contemplating your mortality often leads to a change of heart. Reflecting on your life and in doing so delving into the unconscious mind can result in long held beliefs dissipating.

    I sincerely hope that he has had a change of heart, for whatever reason, and that he goes on to publicly support our cause. Every vote counts and in his case he has thousands of fans, and followers on Twitter (may not use Twitter now?) some of whom may, due to him, reconsider their prior point of view.

    We’ve also got to consider that other individuals may back off altogether if they see him getting a hard time. The last thing that we need right now. So yes thanks for taking the time to construct and post your article, Dave.

  133. Now I am 10years younger than Billy Connolly, but I have been refused an interview because I was one of those? aye a Catholic.I knew there was a job there but just to satisfy my curiosity (1976) I used a different name and called up I was asked to bring my uniform and knives (I was a chef)as somebody was needed right away.I just told the guy to get stuffed and I was the person who had called earlier. Now when I was 15 I walked from East Kilbride to Hamilton (1967) to see if I could help out there were a few of us,anyhow we asked an elderly man if we could help he gave us some leaflets and asked us to go down a street and put them in the letterboxes and when we got back he had gone,aye I worked it out when I got to be a certain age.Well to get back to Billy he has only said might be the way,not committed yet, but I’m not sure of him and that is from a long time ago and its personally not sure of him.

  134. Capella says:

    Thanks for that very enlightening article. Coming from the NE sectarian bullying passed me by.
    Let’s hope BC becomes an enthusiastic campaigner for Independence, that would certainly be a game changer.

  135. Bob Mack says:

    “Scots voted to stay in Europe, and if the only way to do that is to be independent from England, that may be the only way to go. I never thought I would say that”

    I don’t understand why people think that is non committal, especially given how the Tories are aiming for a hard Brexit.

    He has clearly and unequivocally had a major change of position from “we would be better together” No ?

  136. Frank Gillougley says:

    The Yes Movement is far far bigger than any one individual. I believe that the overall voice of the Yes Movement, as partly manifested here, really has no choice but to welcome to their cause irrespective of past politics, any one who has changed, or is in a process of changing their mind.
    Yes, I can understand all that back story regarding Billy Connolly and peoples’ past allegiances. Difficult as it is for some, The Movement has to understand and yes, ‘forgive’ in order to proceed and move on. Of course, that can be a tall but necessary order. The Yes movement has to be seen to rise above the usual and past politics. For me, it will gain ‘converts’ mainly by attraction. By speaking with a different voice.
    Incidentally, if the biblical metaphor is to be pursued, it is worth pointing out that in The Prodigal Son, repentance was never a pre-requisite for the wayward son’s being welcomed back, in fact any stuttering explanation by him for his behaviour (and it had been truly insulting) was waved away dismissively by the father!
    Oh and spare us the indignation of the self-righteous brother(s)!
    These opportunities when they arise, should be taken and used positively.

  137. Giving Goose says:

    For Billy – more evidence that Brexit is a crock of shit; May’s latest wheeze rejected by the EU.

  138. My dislike, and distrust, of Connolly has nothing to do with religion or, of his previously held views on Scottish Independence.
    It’s because of the remarks he made to an audience at the Carling Apollo, Hammersmith, on the 5th, October, 2004,regarding the hostage, Ken Bigley. He was booed by the audience, and his response was a string of expletives. This from a person who had just urged the captors of the subsequently murdered hostage to hurry up and get on with it.
    As far as I am aware Connolly has never shown any remorse for his remarks, nor has he apologised to Ken Bigley’s family.
    The YES movement doesn’t need such a person, and if we allow ourselves to be duped by every self publicist who thinks he,or she, can jump on our ever increasing bandwagon, we will be the worse for allowing, and more so for believing it.

  139. George Ramsay says:

    Just keep it simple anyone who wants independence is welcome and anyone who thinks different is welcome as well , anyone who wants a fairer world we are building a country and we are all different. Alba Gu snooker loopy!e

  140. Petra says:

    BBC news: Hunt just saying that if the journalist was murdered, “it’s incompatable with our values.” You couldnae make this stuff up. If it wasn’t for Wings I reckon I could quite easily go doolally.

  141. Terry Markwick says:

    Excellent article Dave. You and have discussed these issues given our similar experiences in the West of Scotland. All my family were Labour supporters, but the majority of them like me also detest the way Labour used people to keep them in power in the area. In traveling around Scotland though, I found that anti Irish Catholic views were often just a scratch below the surface, and it wasn’t just a West of Scotland disease. Times are changing and it’s heartening to think that we’re moving towards an Independent country where those attitudes will be a dim memory.

    One thing I disagree with you on though is you saying you are the same age as Billy! I thought you were the same age as me— lol

  142. Graf Midgehunter says:

    There are many, many Wingers and indy followers who were hardened Labour voters in the past.

    For various reasons and a much improved wealth of truthful information spread via social media, many have “seen” the light and become Yessers.

    It’s not always easy for some to wash off decades of Britnat brainwashing.

    The last few years have certainly brought into perspective just how much Scotland has been used and plundered but also how a new Scotland is raising and moving towards independence.

    If B.C. is making a few tentative steps towards Indy then we should take some towards him.

    It could be that he’s trying to gauge the reaction by popping a few chosen words into a book. Will it be “ye ("Tractor" - Ed)ous cnut” or welcome..?

    Repent and join us methinks.

  143. Graf Midgehunter says:

    rising not raising ya clot…!

  144. Jim says:

    Nope, sorry, can’t go for it.
    The guy is hedging his bets, he has not got a vote and would he use it in support of an Independent Scotland, I doubt it.

    Sorry but fuck em all.

  145. Fillofficer says:

    The last 4 years have been traumatic for us yessers.
    Lately there has been a noticeable (anecdotal) shift towards indie, due to the imminent sunami of Brexit.
    Private polling may indeed back this up
    My pessimism is dissipating at last

  146. Clydebuilt says:

    Good article Dave.

    Really hope Billy makes the move complete.

    Won’t do our cause any good if after some “serious thought” he comes out against Indy.

  147. Terence callachan says:

    Good article.
    I was once a Labour voter, I once thought about voting for the SDP and the communist party ,we all get wiser as we grow older and speak to more people about matters such as are discussed here and we read and educate ourselves more so yes we also change our mind and our opinions.
    Well done to all those who have changed from NO to YES for whatever reason , it shows that they are thinkers and can change their point of view as new information comes to light.
    People who criticise other people when those other people join their cause are clearly NOT great thinkers finding it difficult to dissolve their prejudices.
    It’s fantastic that we have websites like wingsoverscotland to remind us all that we are not perfect that we can make poor decisions ,thank goodness there are always clever people that show us how to forgive and embrace those who were previously our adversaries .
    Onwards and upwards.
    My surname is callachan ,Irish descent ,lived in England went to school in England several towns in different parts of England and one thing that struck me was how little English people knew about Scotland and how little they cared about Scotland ,I say this with all honesty that most of the English people I knew thought Scotland was very very very unimportant .
    I also lived in Northern Ireland during the troubles late 1960,s houses shops where I lived were bombed every week and cars were blown up too ,everywhere you went there were bomb alarms shops schools hospitals emptied because someone had phoned in to say they had planted a bomb, sometimes they had.
    We lived with it .
    It became normal.
    As a Scot with an English accent living in Northern Ireland I was almost an undercover agent.
    I listened watched asked questions.
    I have a good understanding of the mix of English Irish Scots people and their views of each other .
    The weirdest bunch of all are the northern Irish British nationalists who basically hate everyone except themselves !!
    I don’t feel Irish even though my family were from Southern Ireland until my grandfather came here to Scotland .
    I don’t feel English even though all my schooling was there and I spent most money f my early life there.
    I am Scottish.
    I was born in Dundee but left as a baby returning many years later having travelled around the world for years.
    I don’t hate England or English people that would be silly but I do detest Westminster and the House of Lords and British nationalists. and UK
    I say loudly that England have no respect for Scotland whatsoever they think Scotlands needs are laughable they totally discount Scotlands opinion and do not think there should be any equal treatment at all, to England Scotland is dispensable they will dispose of Scotland without the blink of an eye if it suits England .
    English people living in Scotland know this , they won’t say it whilst they live here because they know it might make life living in Scotland more uncomfortable for them .They support their country quite right too but that means all this English Scots for yes is just nonsense ,they are a tiny group in the 800,000 English people living in Scotland or should I say English people who say they live in Scotland because many many of them do not live here they just own a house here but live elsewhere.

  148. Astonished says:

    o/t I’ve just read on twitter that there are prizes for commenting on here. I’d like the holiday in the Caribbean, Ta muchly.*

    Well done stu on the number of comments. Over 800,000 according to Stu. According to the BBC the number is much nearer 3.

    * Prizes may be a figment of my imagination – Sorry for getting your hopes up.

  149. K1 says:

    Aye, his past comments/insults are not the issue imv. He’s still has influence in this country whether people believe that or not. His doubts will reverberate and reach a section of the population that mibbe huvnae thought much about indy. Credit where it’s due, the fact he’s even voiced this doubt, yes in a ‘book’ which will sell to a lot of punters in Scotland, is movement in our direction, we’ve to be grateful, as truly awful as it is, for UKexit in this regard.

    It’s going to turn the tide. Good article and articulates an ‘understanding’ from where the likes of Billy Connolly’s views of begun, for aw his recent woes, he’s taken the time to reflect and look anew at the situation and given he’s no been in the heat of it as we all have been as resident citizens of Scotland, he’s to be commended for putting it out there.

    And has anyone considered the pelters he’s gonnae get from the Unionist side? We don’t have to resort to that shitfest do we? Yes we’re tired, we’re anxious and we’re impatient but let’s not take it out on new voices with influence coming forward from the dark side eh? The very fact this article has been published shows the ‘influence’ that Billy still has, a lot of strong feeling expresses disappointment at his former views, which usually indicates that we do in fact care what ‘he’ thinks.

    We wish he hudnae said whit he said, but now he’s a least reconsidering his views in light of new information…that’s more than a yer dugdales, yer davidsaons and the entire Scottish msm huv ever done and they ‘know’ exactly what UKexit will do to us.

  150. @Dorothy Devine

    i think your comment at 5.41 was the 800,000 comment on Wings, (something about christmas sweaters 🙂

    my rough calculation so could be wrong.

  151. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Terence callachan at 10.21

    Nice article

    Can I just point out (again) that there is an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 English people in Scotland,not 800,000 and a significant majority of them are retired persons.
    A significant majority of our own Scottish retired persons vote NO and I wouldn’t think the English ones are any different.
    Latest polls show about 30% of English in Scotland are YES supporters. I would think the young working ones with families are not a lot different from our own folk

  152. Essexexile says:

    Genuinely delighted to read this article after (ahem) certain personal experiences over the weekend.
    My eyes have been opened though. On the hopeful assumption that we’re heading towards an indy Scotland fairly soon, we must be very wary of die hard nats, in the euphoria of victory, setting about purging the political scene according to an individual’s duration of support for indy.
    The strength of feeling some have on this issue is alarming to say the least. Mistrust, suspicion and paranoia must be kicked into touch.

  153. Ken500 says:

    Labour will lose even more support. Imagine causing this strike in Glasgow. What a bunch of low lives. What a bunch of wreckers. Just unbelievable. The trade union leader is taking the workers for a bunch of fannies. It will rebound on them. What a bunch of liars.

    The winter of discontent. The three day week, No electricity. Candles. Piles of rubbish on the street. The dead not getting buried. Dirty stinking Labour. At it again,

  154. Golfnut says:

    Valid comments from both sides on this, but to be honest, I don’t really remember much in the way of detrimental comments being directed at ordinary No to Yes voters. Those who were high profile No activists such as the Politicians and media who have since decided to switch to Yes are few and far between. Frankly some have serious question marks against them, but others have shown what I would call real commitment to the movement by their actions and involvement.

    But I go back to my earlier comment, the division and mistrust runs deep and I see no easy solution this side of binning the union. I treat this very much like any other Westminster aggravated division or problem, the EU/EFTA, the monarchy, fishing agriculture, oil and gas, pensions, POVERTY. We can’t change or solve or heal any of these problems and divisions within the union, so binning this union is the priority. Educating and informing the people of Scotland, showing how they have been used and abused, and that we all suffered the same abuse, all of us. That the abuse, lies and misinformation had but one purpose, and that we are all the poorer because of that, will I believe begin the process of healing the divisions and hurt inflicted on our country.

    My government, my Parliament is Holyrood, I do not recognise Westminsters illegal claim to sovereignty. My journey began at 16, over 50 years ago now, I accept that others find this journey difficult to make, but more and more people are making it and to be honest some that I never thought would or could.

    I think my point is, if you will forgive the ramble, that we need to accept at face value those who choose or appear to choose Holyrood instead of Westminster. We’ll know soon enough if they are genuine.

  155. Thepnr says:


    “we must be very wary of die hard nats”

    LOL What are they?

    “Mistrust, suspicion and paranoia must be kicked into touch.”

    LOL Stop spreading it then.

  156. Phronesis says:

    Brexit from Scotland’s perspective changes everything for many who were sceptical or undecided about Scotland’s capability as an independent country. All who can look at Scotland’s independence with refreshed vision should be welcomed.

    The economic injustice, environmental damage, abrogation of human rights that will all result from Brexit are nothing to do with Scotland. Scotland has a government that has been busy protecting citizens from the worst excesses of damaging WM policies. Poor people have been exploited in England specifically and they will suffer for their vote. Farage et al will have no compassion or answers as jobs leech away, foodbank queues increase and the precariat class grows.

    ‘The rise of popular support for the UK Independence Party(UKIP), as the single most important correlate of the subsequent Leave vote in the 2016 European Union(EU) referendum, along with broader measures of political dissatisfaction, are strongly and causally associated with an individual’s or an area’s exposure to austerity since 2010…

    The fiscal contraction brought about by the Conservative led coalition government starting 2010 was sizable: aggregate real government spending on welfare and social protection decreased by around 16% per capita…
    While UKIP gains among those exposed to cuts, support for the Conservative party, which lead the coalition government responsible for the welfare cuts, goes down. This suggests that there are political cost to fiscal contractions’

  157. Capella says:

    Also, as the poet said, “To err is human, to forgive divine”. That’s Alexander Pope, the poet, NOT Pope Alexander.

  158. wull says:

    Thank you, Dave. I liked your article very much – many a home truth therein. Even if Billy Connolly is a waverer rather than a convert to ‘Yes’, his very wavering is to be welcomed, and respected. No one is going to change from ‘No’ to ‘Yes’ without thinking seriously about the issues.

    Billy is not short of admirers, especially among an older generation of Scots, quite a few of whom voted ‘No’ in 2014 for the same kind of reasons as he then expressed. Just the fact that he is ready to re-think the matter will encourage quite a number of them to do likewise.

    Although I think his stance in 2014 was mistaken, I don’t think it was insincere. He may have been seriously misinformed about the true nature of the Yes movement, and did not realise how modern and civic and up-to-date, and indeed pro-European, contemporary nationalism in Scotland had become. It is up to us who support independence to prove that such is indeed the case.

    We may not have done enough yet to fully convince Billy Connolly, and others like him, that such is the case. If he is only wavering, is that because there is still an obstacle that does genuinely come from within ourselves? Is there not still, perhaps, a sometimes vociferous minority within the pro-indy movement who are deeply and emotionally committed to the cause, but who are not yet as modern and civic and up-to-date and – dare I say it? as pro-European and open to others, including English people – as they ought to be.

    Maybe we all need to do a bit of soul-searching, myself included.

    My own view is that Billy Connolly has sincere convictions. He may not be a saint but he is not just a chancer, and never has been. He is also, let it be remembered, a dying man – and when that’s your situation, it concentrates the mind. You are less likely to go around blithely telling lies, or deceiving people.

    If Billy is not yet fully convinced that independence is, definitively, the way to go, I expect that is our fault … And even if it’s not, we would still do well to presume that it is, so that we can take whatever measures are required to change previous ‘No’ voters’ perception of us and of the cause we promote.

    I think the main force that is beginning to drive him, however cautiously, from ‘No’ to ‘Yes’ in regard to independence is probably what he sees happening among the hard-line pro-Brexiteers, especially in England. The narrow- and small-mindednes, bigotry and intolerance, the self-satisfied, anti-European, foreigner-hating, inward-looking attitudes which he used to identify with Scottish nationalism are on full display there. The barrier-erecting, xenophobic divisiveness which he once thought was the main motor of Scottish nationalism is now self-evidently the unholy glue that holds Brit-Nat Brexit-mania together.

    My guess is that Billy Connolly is not just horrified but genuinely surprised by the horrific outpourings that come out daily from the various pro-Brexit factions. He never expected such things from that source. And he finds himself truly opposed to the direction in which these people are taking the UK. He is fundamentally a decent and principled man: he hates racism, xenophobia and all the excesses of the worst kind of nationalism that Brexit so obviously builds on, appeals to and stands for.

    I think there is an important message for us who support independence in all of this. What is happening, or beginning to happen, inside the fundamentally honest, ordinary and decent Glaswegian who Billy Connolly always was, and at bottom has always remained, gives us the clue we need. It tells us how we are going to win over former, genuinely thoughtful and convinced ‘No’ voters to ‘Yes’. It is not the economic arguments that will convince them. These did not win them over the first time, and they won’t make the difference the next time. What will make the difference is the moral argument.

    Indeed, the many many moral arguments, all of which so clearly favour our taking back our full independence, as the Scottish nation within the concert of European nations, at this particular juncture in history. And it will not be enough simply to state these moral arguments. We will have to exemplify them in the very manner in which we put them forward, and argue them through. That might call all of us to up our game.

    I am not a personal fan of Nicola Sturgeon, or of any other ‘professional politician’, for that matter. But I do think this is something of which she is personally well aware. Even in those areas where you might disagree with her (as I sometimes do, even quite strongly), she does give admirable example in this respect.

    This is not a question of taking the moral high ground on anything. Nor is it – horror or horrors – anything to do with smug self-righteousness, that ‘holier than thou’ ‘Wha’s like us?’ self-delusion. Nothing like that.

    Rather, it is simply a matter of respecting other people, no matter how much you have disagreed with them in the past, or how profoundly you still disagree with them now. The new Scotland we seek will have to exemplify and deepen that kind of mutual respect, otherwise it will not be ‘new’ at all. As with the things that I believe are beginning to dawn on Billy Connolly, the Scotland we seek to build will not be an imitation of the Britain we seek to leave behind us.

    The independent Scotland we are working for, genuinely free, will require a mighty load of hard work on the part of all of us. And not just for a moment: the effort will have to be ongoing. It will not be achieved overnight, on the day we become independent. It will have to be worked at incessantly from then onwards, creating a new political culture and a new Scottish culture, more generally, in the process.

    We can’t afford to wait for independence to start that work … We need to start to work on it – indeed we need to keep working on it – even now …

    Dave McEwan Hill, thank you again for a great post. And Billy C, no matter what conclusion you finally reach, a big thank you to you too for thinking the matter through again, and pondering it afresh. May many more who previously voted ‘No’ do likewise.

  159. Jim says:

    Has Billbo got a book to hawk, oh Shit, I have just alienated nearly 50% of the population of Scotland.

    Billy Connolly can go get fucked.

  160. McDuff says:

    Hamish 100

    Totally agree.

  161. Jim says:

    Brexit will be bad, Oh shit, I’ve just remembered I live in L.A so it wont affect me but, I have a book to sell.

  162. Cactus says:

    Fuck No.

    Love Yes.

  163. Thepnr says:

    Panic setting in hahahaha

  164. Jim says:

    This is no Damascene conversion, rather an, “Oh Shit, I have a book to sell and if I don’t pretend to support independence then I will lose sales.”

  165. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Jim at 11.19


    So Billy Connolly at the very worst interpretation of his stance recognises that independence is the way to go and he’d better get on board?
    And that’s bad thing?

  166. manandboy says:

    I expect there will be many who will become ‘Yes’ – but not till after Independence.

  167. Jim says:

    Not something I would have a problem with Mr Hill but I will not go all gaga at someone realising he has alienated more people than he thought and is now shitting it.

  168. Ken500 says:

    The Churches are losing members faster than a sieve loses water. It will end up an elderly ladies community club, Women out live men.

    Support for Independence and the SNP is going up.

    The Churches have privileges above the Law. The equal employment Laws, and the equal opportunities Laws. The masonics are bigots, racists and misogynists. Brainwashed since the day they were born. A secret society of corruption, They should not be allowed to stand as representatives. They are so biased, There heads are a tax evading, migrant family as unequal as they come and greedy, Not very Christian, They are constantly trying to take over the streets to annoy others and waste public money. They should not be allowed to by the authorities.

    Scotland is secular. Marx said that marriage was prostitution.

    The DUP are so ignorant and ill informed. Stuck in the past. Medieval. They have no right to have any influence on other people’s lives. Their believes are totally out of sync and they are in a minority. Given far too much cloat as an pressure group in the present circumstances.

  169. Jim says:

    Beware of Greeks bearing gifts Mr Hill!

  170. Andy says:

    I lived my first few years in a council house in Argyll. Even at that very tender age it was drummed into me by the scheme bullies that, as a Kafflik, I was worse than the dogs that roamed the streets. To these non-thinkers, pushing somebody around made them look good.

    At the age of 6, I was dragged off to Yorkshire. There, I was given a hard time because I was Scottish, even by teachers in my school. Being of a young age, my accent soon changed and I could eventually be accepted as a local. Not for long.

    After a few years, my parents moved back to Scotland and with a broad Yorkshire accent, I stood out a mile. Cue more knuckle-dragging brain-dead smart arses crawling out of the woodwork to assert their rights to bully whoever they thought didn’t fit in. The funny thing was that some of them were the same ones who gave me a hard time before I moved south.

    The one thing I learned young is that there will always be some who will look to use “difference” for their own personal gain. Whether that gain is political, financial, social standing or whatever, they will use it to “other” those who would stand in their way. For a politician to use it is abhorrent. They should be standing up for all those they represent and in their case it is not just ignorance which causes them to be so callous in their outlook towards others, it is deliberate and calculated. They actively encourage division and care not a bit for the hurt they cause.

    We have seen in recent years many examples. Benefit scroungers, immigrants, remainers, the EU, and anybody they can blame for the country’s woes. Just as Hitler blamed the Jews for all that was wrong with Germany in the Thirties, so any scapegoat will do to ensure the politicians of today can continue to bumble along as before.

    The other thing I learned young through all my trials was tolerance. It doesn’t matter what colour you are, what god or prophet you adhere to, what your sexuality is or any other difference you perceive between you and me. We’re all stuck on this planet together and most of us are trying to do our best to leave it in better condition for our children. Our only enemies are those who would destroy it for their own benefit.

  171. Jim says:

    Don’t panic, people like Connolly realise the country of their birth is taking a different path from where they would like it to be and they want a part of that, shallow fuckers all.

  172. Jim says:

    Yes will win and it wil take the help of opportunists fucks like Connolly but I will take that!

  173. Thepnr says:


    You sound a bit shallow yourself which is unfortunate considering what you appear to be arguing for. Haters gotta hate eh.

  174. Jim says:

    At least Connolly will hang his shirt on the pegs of the winning side unlike Jim Sillars who will continue to be a Judas to the yes movement.

  175. Jim says:

    Shallow, How so?

  176. Jim says:


    Another sound bite with no meaning eh?

  177. Jim says:

    Ye loving those big banana feet, Thepnr.

  178. Jim says:

    I wish Connolly all the best but his PR team, not so much.

  179. auld highlander says:

    Who cares if you are black white yellow or any other variation, whether you are wee free, a non believer or a Rastafarian, peel the skin off and we are all the same,

    as long as you vote YES when the time comes.

  180. Hamish100 says:

    Dave McEwan Hill says:
    22 October, 2018 at 7:52 pm
    Hamish100 at 7.29
    Yes. We know all that. We know that he said all that. That was then. This is now and he is perhaps about to convert – like thousands of others. Or perhaps it is better that he remains an articulate enemy?
    Surely not

    If I may be so bold as an “idiot” – your words not mine, it seems you think Connelly is an “articulate enemy”. This is not my rosy eyed view of him. I just ignored him even if so called Red Clydesiders put him on a pedestal. Some other folk do view him as a loud mouth, vulgar and not funny. Each to their own.

    My response has been cautious and I see that even now you suggest that “..he may convert”. May, not “Is”. As for this is now, not then, his derogatory comments about the Independence movement is not even once in a generation ago.

    If I turn up in Dunoon I’ll wear banana shoes so I can get a free cup of coffee and we can agree to disagree.

    Maybe by then the following will have “converted”, Dugdale, McLeish, John Reid, Gordon Brown, Margaret Curran, Wendy and Douglas Alexander, McConnell, Sarwar, Jackie Baillie, Willie Rennie………
    At least they are not idiots on the independence side. Maybe you will reflect on your intemperate words. Maybe.

    Independence Not Brexit

  181. Thepnr says:

    I get it you don’t like the guy, that’s your business but it seems to be a personal thing rather than something that will help Scotland become Independent.

    Wouldn’t you agree that no matter our personal opinions on a particular personality ALL are welcome if they support the same cause that we do, despite what their views may have been in the past.

    I don’t see that Conelly has actually said that he does support Independence but that matters little if others that supported No first time around have a rethink.

    You’ve made 5 posts so far on this, quotes of yours from three of them.

    “Billy Connolly can go get fucked.”

    “shallow fuckers all”

    “opportunists fucks like Connolly”

    Whatever your view on him, this is shallow beyond doubt.

  182. mike cassidy says:

    The fact BC has no vote in the game is irrelevant.

    The maths are simple.

    Every ‘no to yes’ voter represents a switch of 2 in the numbers game.

    One less to them.

    One more to us.

    Vitriol directed at ‘high-profile’ switchers and potential switchers will just discourage the potential switching of the ‘ordinary’ voter.

    We have to be welcoming to all who are making this political journey.

  183. Thepnr says:


    “I wish Connolly all the best”

    After your previous posts, deary me.

  184. Still Positive says:

    man and boy @ 11.24

    Agree, pretty much . Most Americans claimed they voted for JFK after he was assassinated than actually did vote for him.

  185. Jim says:

    If I believed he was genuine, which I don’t, then I would not have a problem with him Mr Thepnr and to be a personal criticism I would have to know the guy personally , which I do not.

  186. Cactus says:

    It is a very Scottish midnight.

    It is Tuesday.


    Yes 2 Yes.

  187. Hamish100 says:

    the pnr– It take it your referring to Jim. Any poster who reverts to cursing and swearing has lost their argument.

    Its like a comedian who curses and swears and thinks its funny. It aint.

  188. Jim says:

    Deary you Mr Thepnr, I am of the opinion that his PR team have suggested this change of view so fuck them and fuck Connolly and his opportunism.

    I did not realise I could not wish him well on his career as a Comedian, all the best.

  189. Jim says:


    Ah, the offended are in the building.

  190. Jim says:

    Its like a comedian who curses and swears and thinks its funny. It aint.
    Like Connolly

  191. sandy says:

    R4 @ 7.13pm

    Your falling into the same trap as some of the posters. That is, making sweeping statements, in many cases with no evidence to back it up.

    To some, Connolly is the greatest, to others, a pain in the backside.

    One thing that annoys me is that political parties bring on so-called celebrities supporting their cause hoping that that will encourage voters to be like sheep. Apologies to sheep.

  192. Artyhetty says:

    Great to see this being discussed it needs to be. Not had time to read mnay comments yet, but for my tuppence worth, I have a slight problem with celebrities who outwardly used their status and popularity to try to influence the independence referendum result.

    I can see why some people might feel agrieved at people like Connelly, because their animosity was so public in 2014. Perhaps reconciliation is a way forward now.

    We have seen the ‘no to yes’ films, and all are great to see, received very positively as well.

    Definitely important to keep any negative reaction under wraps, though it’s not easy when so much was and is at stake for Scotland, Scotland’s people and very likley Scotland’s very survival as a nation.

    Connelly could of course put his money where his mouth is now, and try helping some independence campaigns do what they struggle to do to counter the 100% anti independence media, which is a massive obstacle.

  193. Thepnr says:


    Make your mind up, you just wished him all the best again and in the same breath say “fuck them and fuck Connolly”

    Yes indeed a deary me.

  194. velofello says:

    Billy Connelly is neither academic, historian nor politician. Therefore his opinion carries no more weight for me than any of you making your comments here concerning politics.

    Some time back i responded to a comment – cannot recall if it was on Wings – that Billy Connelly was a great banjo player. My response was no he isn’t, go and seek out Bella Fleck for Virtuoso playing.And so I suggest, go and seek out the opinions of experts on independence, not the opinions of “celebrities”.
    And so I don’t place much importance on his ‘mebbes Aye mebbes Naw” statement on independence, I really don’t understand why he bothered to express his view.

    With regard to sectarianism, it has taken no more than a generation for the clever talented of the Irish immigrants to move into the professional work classes of Scotland.Meantime the political influence of the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Scotland has diminished. I do recognise the beneficial supportive role of clergy to support and help people in distress, but political influence should not be their motives.

  195. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I take it most of the reasonable folk have gone to bed.

  196. Cactus says:

    A wee jobby.


  197. Hamish100 says:


    itv has to apologise over misleading statements. One of the presenters Garroway is apparently married to an aide to Labours former Cabinet member Peter Mandelson. Who would have thought it

  198. Connolly was never a fence sitter or a soft No,

    he was an out and out British Nationalist and Unionist,

    for someone who thought a free Scotland was anathema to even contemplate a benefit to Scotland being Independent will resonate throughout the No voters,

    and maybe/hopefully nudge just a few more towards the light and Yes.

  199. Connor McEwen says:


  200. Cubby says:


    Personally I think the diehard Britnats are more the problem. Know any?

  201. yesindyref2 says:

    There’s going to be more and more of this, high profile and activist NOes turning to YES, and some in the Indy movement need tomaketheir ownchoice.

    Is it to be a bitter lifetime of holding grudges, or is it Independence you want?

  202. Cactus says:

    Westminster is naked.

    Scotland can see.

    It is 1:17hrs.




  203. Cactus says:

    Theresa May says a deal is almost 95% complete…

    Ahhhhh ha ha ha ha ha!

    One of 4 freedoms.

    No backstop.

    No deal.

    Go fly.


  204. Cactus says:

    BBC News, you are SO fucked-up right now…

    “Reach a ‘Br’exit furra sake of science.”

    Send in the clowns like.

    ‘British science’.

    2 much fun.


  205. Cactus says:

    Time furra ciggy ootside…

    Howsabout yous smokers yesindyref2 et Dr Jim.

    Come and join me. 😉


  206. Craig Murray says:

    If somebody is now on our side, a veil should be drawn over their past, no matter how recent. We are in a titanic struggle for national freedom and everyone is welcome to join us.

    I have no difficulty in despising Britnats but loving any individual the moment they have made the conversion.

  207. Cactus says:

    I second your Craig, cheers.

  208. Some very thoughtful contributions on a lucid article – I live in Melbourne but have been thinking about returning to Scotland. I am for independence and wish those who work at the coalface a peaceful self determination.

  209. Cactus says:

    Come and join us, again, Donald at 2:17am.

    Best wishes to ye all in Melbourne. 🙂

    Love Melbourne x.

  210. Cactus says:


    The United Kingdom is NOT a united kingdom.

    Scotland knows.


  211. Robert Peffers says:

    @Thepnr says: 22 October, 2018 at 10:56 pm:

    ” … we must be very wary of die hard nats”
    LOL What are they?
    “Mistrust, suspicion and paranoia must be kicked into touch.”
    LOL Stop spreading it then.”

    Very well said, Thepnr, very well indeed.

    With the exception of a few racists, who are not necessarily die hard nuts and not too prolific commenters. No one has said they don’t welcome Connolly. There is very good reason they have not.

    Nothing the guy said indicates he has indeed changed his views in any great way. In fact when looking ay the entire things he did say indicates he fears Brexit, and rightly so.

    He doesn’t say he will support indy just that PERHAPS it is the way to go, “if it would prevent Brexit”. So ne real hard commitment to indy.

    Next up he totally destroys his case by inferring that Indy supporters are indy supporters because they hate the English. Just have a wee scan through past Wings topics and there are plenty of instances where those who have expressed hate of the English as a people have suffered pelters for doing so.

    Now let’s just look carefully at the past couple of days comments. Immediately Connolly made his throwaway remark there were those rushing to claim he had converted to supporting Indy. On what actual evidence? A conflicting remark that first of all claims that Connolly thinks that if the only way to prevent Brexit is to be independence for Scotland then it might be the way to go.

    But hang on and think what he is saying and not what you hope he is saying. His concern is to save England/Britain from Brexit then it is worth it for remainers in England to see Scotland be independent. His concern is not for Scotland but for England/Britain.

    Not only that but he then goes on to claim that the reason for the yes movement is because Scots hate the English. Now don’t get me wrong, if Connolly really was a genuine convert to YES I’d welcome him – as it is I neither welcome him or not welcome him and he has the capacity to settle the matter in a very few words.

    All he needs do is state – I now support Scottish Independence. It wouldn’t hurt to then state honestly why – but it sure as hell isn’t because the YES movement hates the people of England.

  212. Cactus says:

    Mornin’ Robert ~

    Is that a full moon aye see before thee in the east coast of Anstruther, KY21 like 😉

    Salvation lies within.

  213. Cactus says:

    The People of Scotland do not hate the people of England.

    It’s just the britnat politicians that suck.

    All over and around this here uk.

    Take me HOME Scotland.

    It’s three.

    Be free.

  214. Cactus says:

    Hey Wingers, ahm on ma holidays, havin a good time, postcard a comin.

    Big cheers to ye all.

    Your thread…

  215. Cactus says:

    But not b4 aye realise and announce that Wings Over Scotland has now hit over 800,000+ Winger comments!

    Aye raise my glass to ye internationally all rsc…

    How you doin’ 1 million.


  216. Cactus says:

    Praise the Lord!

    But not b4 aye realise and announce that Wings Over Scotland has now hit over 800,000+ Winger comments!

    Aye raise my glass to ye internationally all rsc…

    How you doin’ 1 million.


  217. majestic12 says:

    Well said, sir, Mr.Hill, bruv!

    Took me back to the good old days of the Boys Brigade marching right past our house playing “The Sash” and my Protestant grandfather teasing my Catholic grandmother by whistling along and telling her the devil always has the best tunes. It was relatively harmless, not so the OO marches that planned their routes to pass as many Catholic Churches as possible so they could smash the stained glass and use the grounds as toilets.

    Myself, I ran the gauntlet at least once a week on my way home from school sporting a very distinctive school uniform. The local children would trip me up, steal my school bag, jump on my hat ( it was horrible anyway), call me a Papist and spit at me. I was damned if I was going to take the long way round and indeed would take my hat out of my bag and put it on when I reached the particular street. And we lived in a “nice” part of Glasgow too.

    A close friend of my cousin’s teenage son, walking home alone from Parkhead not so long ago, sporting his Celtic scarf, was set upon by guys from a pub and was murdered, his throat slit from ear to ear, just because of his football team affiliation and by extension his religion.

    As soon as I was 18 I voted SNP. The Labour Party never figured in my Catholic universe, nor in my parents’ either. My teacher father was repeatedly denied well-deserved promotion because he refused to kow-tow to the Labour high heid yins running the education department in Glasgow City Council, and become a member or supporter of the party.

    The bigotry and sectarianism still exists in Scotland, but hopefully on a lesser scale nowadays. I’ve been away from Glasgow for a long time, but I retain a deep and abiding disgust for Scottish Labour who lied to and exploited Scottish Catholics on a massive scale.

  218. Cactus says:

    On topic, the unwelcoming committee…

    Aye say aye… and ALL aboard.

    To making it count!

    Here here.

  219. Cactus says:

    @Billy, Billy, Billy…

    In what a place thy finds theeself.

    An ahm frae Glasgow 2.

    “Come back”


  220. Ian Brotherhood says:

    That Evening Times indy poll is now closed.
    It got 5779 votes, 84% were Yes, 16% No (there was no ‘undecided’ option).

    The only way this can be explained is ‘SNP baaaad, organised cybernat outrage’ etc etc…obviously.


  221. Shagpile says:

    Once upon a time, I was also a dyed-in-the-wool Brit. Back in the late 80s I had a change of heart. So I do not believe I was ever a Britnat, so it would seem Billy is also coming around, and, it seems he was sincere in his earlier view. People change, so even though he was also dyed-in-the-wool, he kept an open mind. Tectonic changes are afoot, he is certainly not alone in his change of view. Those converts ought to be welcomed.

  222. jockmcx says:

    A brilliant comedian,thats all!

  223. Nana says:


    Parliamentary Groundhog day continues. Yet another statement but still no plan. . A statement that once again contained nothing but jargon and rhetoric from this dangerously inept Government.

    Scotland’s economy could be hit by a post-Brexit shock as firms ‘stockpile’ supplies to deal with an increasingly uncertain future outside the EU

  224. Dorothy Devine says:

    Scott Finlayson , you made me laugh , which is no mean feat at this time in the morning!

  225. Nana says:

    ITV censured over inaccuracies in interview with Nicola Sturgeon

    Protect Scottish jobs? Protect Scotland’s economy? Aye right, yet more ‘get back in your box Scotland’ from the Tories. #Brexit #Scotland

  226. Nana says:

    No sovereign state would allow part of its territory to belong to the customs territory of another state”. That (in the context of #Brexit and NI) sounds rather reasonable and might be cause of a red line. But is it true? (Thread)

    Everyone enjoys a good joke…

    Sigmar Gabriel, former Vice-Chancellor of Germany, on German TV Show Anne Will on ARD – the German equivalent of the BBC – talking about Brexit on Sunday night.

  227. Nana says:

    The Guardian view on the Tories and Brexit: rage against the facts

    MPs accuse government of complacency over ‘fake news’ on Facebook

    Whitehall prepares to issue direct orders on no-deal Brexit

  228. Nana says:

    ‘The kids aren’t alt-right’

    David Davis’s chief of staff calls hospitalised child a “pathetic cretin” for… some reason

  229. Petra says:

    The BBC is at it again. Interviewing someone from Unision who outlines that over 12,000 workers in Glasgow are pursuing Equal Pay cases. Goes on about the levels of poverty in the city, the thousands of pounds that workers have lost over the last ten years or so and that they no longer trust the Council because as he says, “Councillor Aitken leads a Council that was involved in a cover up in 2010.” What cover up would that be? One of many?

    And how sneaky is that? Very carefully worded indeed. Propaganda driven through “omission.”

    No mention of the fact that the Labour Party controlled GCC up until last year and have left the SNP to clean up their £1 billion plus mess.

    Councillor Aitken DIDN’T lead Glasgow City Council in 2010. The Council was led by Steven Purcell LABOUR from 2005 to March 2010 (stood down due to stress) followed by Gordon Matheson LABOUR from 2010 to 2015 and Frank McAveety LABOUR from 2015 to 2017.

    Any Labour Councillor or MSP prepared to set the record straight? Tell the bl**dy truth for once? What about Henry McLeish, Gordon Brown or Kezia Dugdale who constantly makes a meal of commiserating about the plight of poverty stricken children in Scotland, poor wee souls, with Glasgow being at the top of the poverty league? Why did her Party not pay these people a decent living wage to ensure that their children weren’t living below the breadline? And why did the Unions, such as Unison, not call for strike action over the last 30 years or so, but in particular after, as they say, the Labour Party “cover up” in 2010?

    And when is the BBC going to stop trying to pull the wool over the Scot’s eyes? Unbiased, impartial, transparent and honest my backside. BBC the corrupt States mouthpiece. It’s no wonder they want rid of sites like Wings.

  230. INDEPENDENT says:

    Excuse my ignorance but has anybody seen the interview where Billy Connelly actually makes the statement or was it a soundbite quote from his Bookselling Agent / PR team???

    Because what I have read and heard recently was that Billy SADLY with his present condition can no longer remember his stage lines.

    So for him, to be now able to say, that he is considering his overall position re Independence.
    I am finding it hard to reconcile this and doubt it would be high on his agenda in the cicumstances.

  231. INDEPENDENT says:

    By the way all converts from No to YES very welcome in my book.

    Lets win.

  232. Essexexile says:

    @yesindyref2 at 12.52
    Spot on.
    I do believe there are many people so conditioned to sniping from the touchline that it completely defines their existence. It may well be as hard to drag them out of their comfort zone and accept converts as it is to bring people from no to yes.
    As good as Nicola Sturgeon is, it’s clear she’s got a hell of a job holding this all together.

  233. The Isolator says:

    In all honesty I’ve never been a Billy Connelly “fan”but if he’s treading slowly towards yes then thank you and welcome but ffs Dave’s article makes depressing reading.
    I also grew up in the sixties and followed football in the 70’s and I can tell you that Scottishness was not to be celebrated at either Celtic Park or Ibrox.Two sets of supporters mired in Irish politics,Ironically a good proportion of either side voted Labour to a man.Bizarre approach to Scotland.Thankfully it’s changing.

  234. Giving Goose says:


    Switched on TV and caught that BBC interview then realised what it was about and switched channel.
    And that’s the point BBC. I’m not watching and listening any more.
    It’s all lies and propaganda.

  235. Breeks says:

    The one great hope for Billy Connolly is that he has broken his own personal ice on Independence. He has opened his mind to the possibility.

    He has opened his mind, DESPITE believing the myth that Scottish Nationalism is prejudiced against the English. I reckon as the fuller truth dawns on him, Mr Connolly is going to feel pretty sheepish about some of the things he has said.

    Billy Connolly is now on a journey to discover that Independence is neither Anti-English xenophobia, nor merely the angst of disgruntled Braveheart wannabes. Billy Connolly has gone to school for the first time, and given us the opportunity to correct his misconceptions, delusions and debunk all the lies and distortions which afflict his perspective. He may be about to see things he has never seen before.

    Give him time. Give him space. The process has begun.

  236. Achnababan says:

    While I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment expressed in this article I think there is a lot more to Billy Connolly and to the anti Irish discrimination in Scotland.

    Billy Connolly has gone out of his way to portray Independence supporters in a very negative light and has gratuitously insulted many of us over the years and not in jest! His apparent conversion therefore needs to be treated with caution and I would advise against trumpeting him as a convert.

    Regarding Irish / catholic discrimination. It still exists of course – especially and ironically in the Labour party – ask Andy Kerr. However I feel the article failed to make the point that much of the anti-Irish movement in Scotland was grounded in ‘Britishness’ – indeed the same people who covet the Union now were in former times also Irish haters (e.g. the OO and Tories). Also it is a mistake to conflate some Scottish insitutions with ‘Scottishness’. The Church of Scotland for example has always been a bastion of the British Establishment in Scotland.

    Finally as DMH mentions there has been incredible bias against SNP supporters over the last 50 years in terms of employment and advancement. For professional reasons I, and other folk I have worked with, have had to keep our allegiance to independence a secret and I know of several occasions when people were not appointed to senior roles for this reason.

    One of the downsides to this is, of course, that most if not all of the senior appointments in Scottish public life are Unionists/British Nationalists. (e.g. Historic Scotland provides a good current example of this). If anyone knows of a study that demonstrates this I would like to read it, but I fear this bias is still very much still under the radar.

  237. Fred says:

    Meanwhile, getting away from the fantasy world of comic singers who don’t live in Glasgow, there are hundreds of Glaswegians who won’t be running to the SNP in Glasgow with open arms! The most disadvantaged people in this city find themselves with no carers today as the administration find themselves unable to resolve what was Labours determination not to pay the women a fair wage. If there were local elections coming up this issue could lose us the city. Somebody needs to crack a few skulls together at the City Chambers & get this Gordian Knot cut & long-overdue money on the table.

    The city-centre is closed off to make a movie for Gods-sake while people are lying in their owm excrement!!!!

  238. Tatu3 says:

    Very sad to read some very nasty and blinkered views on this thread.
    I thought we wanted an Independent Scotland to be an all inclusive country, with everyone welcome?
    So BC shouldn’t be allowed to be Indy because of what he’s said in the past? Some posters just don’t get it!

  239. Sinky says:

    Note the hostility from BBC towards Sudan Aitken compared to soft balls delivered to Steven Cross and politically motivated Labour Trade Union leader

  240. Ken500 says:

    Gary Smith GMB setting women against other women to make wonen’s lives harder. What an abuser. To increase his already exorbitant wages and privileges. How low can they go. Reached rock bottom yet. It will just decrease any support for Labour unionists. The workers should take back control from the leaders selling everyone down the swanney. What a greedy bunch of opportunists, working against their own members and other women. Bullying.

    They must think folk came up the Clyde in a banana boat. Slip, sliding on the skin. Another own goal. Despicable creatures. Trying to make people’s lives harder. They will just lose support. As for any political ambitions forget it. The GMB union let women wiorkers down for years supporting unequal pay for women. They are just total hypocrites. Now trying use women for their own political objectives. What a shower. Just blatant political opportunists,

  241. Hamish100 says:

    Years ago as a NALGO Senior steward. Dispute settled by Labour councillors and UNION behind the scenes to the detriment of the members. The full time official paid in kind. Became a MP.Socialism labour style

  242. Naina Tal says:

    Contrast coverage of Women’s equal pay strike (8000 people) by the so called BBC Scotland with the same organisation’s coverage of Edinburgh AUOB march. “What coverage?” I hear you ask.
    BBC political agenda? Surely naw!

  243. Ken500 says:

    The Labour unionists caused the poverty in Scotland. Gordon Brown and others was the arthitect. Blantabt scummy liars if a multiple of sins, never out of the Church, May they rot in hell for where they are going, They destroyed the whole world because if the arrogance, ignorance of greed of a few. Some union leaders financed the illegal wars. They used £Millions of their members funds to destroy the world. They supported lies and deceive to sanction mass destruction. They are despicable beyond redemption. They have knowingly caused death, destruction and poverty in the world. The Westminster unionists are still at it every day. They are complicit in all aspects to line their own pockets.

    Scotland could have eradicated poverty years ago and help build a better world if it was not because of the illegal, lies and behaviour of the unionist Parties.There can be no excuse for their deviant illegal behaviour. Well documented in every way. Iraq, Lockerbie, Dunblane kept secret for 100 years under the Official Secrets Act.

    People join unionists Parties for what they can get. People join the SNP for what they can give and they do give generously of their time and money. To create a better place while the unionists parties try to destroy it. Enough is enough. People have had enough of being treated liked like fools by fools. IndyRef is coming soon. Thank goodness. Democracy is finally coming to Scotland.

  244. Ken500 says:

    Gordon Brown the architect of poverty in the world. Along with the other unionist Party liars, Every word they utter is a lie. Lie, after lie, after lie. A constant deluge of despicable complete and utter lies. There is no compromise.

  245. winifred mccartney says:

    Situation in Glasgow being used by unions and labour to dis the snp – no other reason. When GCC was run by labour for 10 years they refused equal pay to women and took them through every court in the land to avoid it. In come the snp and they are determined to give equal pay, it will cost millions and will take a lot of working out but the unions decide to cost their members more money by striking just to spite the snp. Labour/unions are the most shameful people imaginable – could not care less about members only about political snp baaaad.

  246. stu mac says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill says:
    22 October, 2018 at 10:33 pm
    Terence callachan at 10.21

    Can I just point out (again) that there is an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 English people in Scotland,not 800,000 and a significant majority of them are retired persons.
    A significant majority of our own Scottish retired persons vote NO and I wouldn’t think the English ones are any different.
    Latest polls show about 30% of English in Scotland are YES supporters.

    How many times does this have to be pointed out to this guy (TC)?? Yet he keeps repeating the misinformation. Does he have an agenda?

  247. Socrates MacSporran says:

    Anyone who has been involved in the Independence fight for any length of time kens fine well, there is no trick too-dirty, no blow that can be struck too-low, that the Unionists will not deploy it, to keep Scotland in thrall to Westminster.

    In this battle, they have the complete support of our media, but, just maybe, with this latest strategem, the strike for equal pay, called by the Unions against Glasgow City Council, they have gone too-far.

    Can there be anyone still who doesn’t know how the Labour-controlled Council, with the conivance of these same Unions, wasted millions, over many years, in fighting the women’s equal pay demands.

    Surely everyone knows, the now SNP-led Council is willing to sort-out the mess they were left and pay the women their due.

    So why, other than in an attempt to make the SNP look bad, call a strike now, when moves are afoot to end the impasse? The Unions and Labour, doing what they do best – making things difficult for the Scots they are supposed to be supporting.

    The sooner we are out of this blasted Union, the better. But, they will fight us every inch of the way.

  248. Sinky says:

    Saw this tweet from Woman for Indy.

    Women deserve their equal pay asap. Are the unions planning any strikes for Labour run North Ayrshire Council where 95% of equal pay claims are still live – the highest in Scotland. (Accounts Commission report.

    Also what did Richard Leonard do when he was head honcho in the Union?

    Will the media even ask him?

  249. Fred says:

    I was wakened by a cacophony of car-horns from passing motorists backing the pickets opposite. This is a very busy road & support sounds like 100%. No use blaming Labour now, the present administration have had more than a year to resolve this issue & the Unions can’t force the lassies out on the street.

    What should have been a vote-winner is a vote-loser!

  250. INDEPENDENT says:

    Where are the official SNP rebuttals on National TV and Radio calling out the Labour GCC and the Unions.
    Are they all asleep at the wheel?
    Wall to wall SNP BAAAAAD all over today, don’t tell me they didn’t see this coming, cos if they didn’t they are incompetent.

    Get someone who can actually debate and put the point of view / facts before the masses. (Like Mike Russell)
    Talking on here is only to the mainly converted but this is seriously harming the SNP today.

  251. Bob Mack says:

    Unions are no friend of the SNP. I know from personal experience that they continually try to frustrate any new initiatives introduced by the SNP government.

    They are mostly affiliated to Labour, and indeed it’s well known that advancing in the Union is a career path to Labour candidacy at elections.

    My own cousin took such a route to being an MP.

    I support unions, but I abhor their leadership which is primarily Unionist in inclination. Scottish branches of Unions are just like Scottish branches of Labour and Tory.
    They all have masters down South who call the shots,and they obey.

  252. Robert Peffers says:

    @Cactus says: 23 October, 2018 at 2:51 am:

    ” … Mornin’ Robert ~
    Is that a full moon aye see before thee in the east coast of Anstruther, KY21 like ?
    Salvation lies within.”

    I wouldn’t know, Cactus, it is a long drive from here to Anstruther. I did note a bright moon away to the east over Cowdenbeath but did not note if it was full or empty.

  253. galamcennalath says:

    May has dug her stiletto heals in.

    She won’t accept the indefinite Irish border backstop (which the EU says she has already agreed to).

    She wants a lime limited UK wide backstop (which isn’t a Backstop at all).

    Since this means no deal with the EU will be achieved, someone needs to be thinking about Plan B.

  254. Cubby says:

    BBC = British State Propaganda Broadcaster.

    It is the BBCs job in Scotland to rubbish Scotland, Scots, SNP, Scottish Government and in particular Scottish independence. All the other paper media and broadcasters follow in line with the BBC.

    Tiny Gilbraltar has its own TV Broadcaster. Scotland only has English tv telling Scots they are rubbish. Too wee too poor too stupid to be an independent country.

    The Kingdom of Saudi is a repressive regime. The Kingdom of the UK is a repressive regime. Both are lacking a written constitution. Over 300 years of Union and no one can write a constitution.

  255. Robert Peffers says:
    23 October, 2018 at 9:47 am
    @Cactus says: 23 October, 2018 at 2:51 am:

    ” … Mornin’ Robert ~
    Is that a full moon aye see before thee in the east coast of Anstruther, KY21 like ?
    Salvation lies within.”


    Anstruther’s postcode is KY10

  256. Socrates MacSporran says:

    INDEPENDENT @ 9.25am

    Old saying: “You can lead a horse to water, but, you cannot make him drink.”

    Modern day example: you can send a repudiation, or an accurate summary of a position to the press, but, if they don’t want to print it, or if it doesn’t suit their narrative – it will never make the papers.

    Or, in the case of an SNP rebuttal to a bit of Unionist media mischief-making, in the highly-unlikely case of any of your piece making the paper or the website, it will be either so selectively edited as to make your points meaningless, or it will be buried somewhere only the newspaper obsessives read.

    We are fighting a cunning and devious enemy here – who holds most of the aces.

  257. Ottomanboi says:

    Anti-Catholicism predates the Irish immigration, Protestants as well as Catholics, of the previous centuries. It was and is the founding principle of Unionism. Indeed it was the political Union with England that institutionalised the phenomenon according to the historian Linda Colley. Prior to the Union Scotland was less anti-Catholic than England. The Knoxian revolution was wearing off. Repression was patchy. Reversions to the old religion were not uncommon. One noted state appointed Catholic hunter died in the Catholic faith. James VI was approached by English Catholics considering him rather more tolerant than the current English régime. His stay in England altered that. He was to be a Protestant King for a Protestant people. The Kirk took full advantage. The seeds were sown then.
    Btw the world wide Irish diaspora is roughly 50/50, in terms of Catholic/Protestant cultural affiliation.
    With a slight bias to the latter.

  258. jfngw says:

    It’s been clear for some time now, since the unionist parties can’t win by campaigning on facts they have co-ordinated with the MSM (especially the TV channels) to paint a picture of SNP incompetence. The Glasgow strike is just the latest incarnation of this. It has been fairly relentless since the SNP won 56 seats in 2015, the objective is to remove the SNP from government by any means. The BBC has been so transparent in its support of this narrative, it’s almost embarrassing watching their output.

    You could now label BBC output as The Ministry of Misinformation. They will attack any SNP representative, hide the background of those they use for the opposite view. Any pro indy voices will be from their select group, the type that after an interview you are not they are actually independence supporters because they will use their time to attack the SNP.

    If you are an independence supporter I would seriously consider my membership of any union, they are not interested in you but using you to further Labour’s objective. I left my union in the early 90’s, just got fed up with the arses that ended up as the representatives, too interested in political manouvering and their own mini egos than representing the members.

  259. Giving Goose says:

    Got a question.
    Is it possible to form another new Union within GCC that represents the employees but is not affiliated to Labour?
    It strikes me that this is now required as a counter to this strike and the anti-Scottish intentions of the BritNat unions.
    Surely there are politically motivated people within GCC (and not necessarily the Councillors) who can start the ball rolling on this.
    What does it take to do this? Funding? Happy to contribute.

  260. Nana says:

    From the Evening times

    Susan Aitken: Let me clear up deliberate misinformation about the People’s Palace

    AT the time of writing the Equal Pay strike remains scheduled to go ahead. The Council believed we had an agreement with the unions on providing life and limb cover for our most vulnerable citizens – indeed, the unions told the public that cover would be in place.

  261. Valerie says:

    Well said Socrates and Bob Mack

    Been involved in Unions and Local Gov’t all my life. So much of their integrity depends on who holds office in the Union, and how much brain power they have, and whether they have any ability to see when they are being used.

    This Glasgow strike is utterly disgusting, because you know the sewer scum that is Slab, will swoop in and declare the Council only settled, thanks to Slab supporting Union action.

    Slab know their days are numbered, and will stop at nothing.

    I say as a SNP member – stop playing at fucking tea party rules, and start calling these liars out for exactly what they are!

    Take out a full page Ad, and set out the filth of Labour in Scottish life.

    I am utterly sick of the pussy footint.

  262. Ken500 says:

    Gary Smith GMB abuses and bullies women, and the vulnerable, for his own gratification. Telling lies. Lie after lie after lie. Unfair and unequal male domination.

  263. Tinto Chiel says:

    @Socrates 10.14: yes and the other side of the problem is the relentless MSM anti-SG propaganda beyond Radio Shortbread and Misreporting Scotland.

    Yesterday, even Women’s Hour (it normally makes ironing bearable) managed to get in two SNP Bad stories: the GC carers’ strike and a report that cider drinking has increased despite SG minimum price legislation.

    Also, sneakily and beyond our shores, on a Pravdasound 4 Michael Rosen programme on the term “Sovereignty” (irony alert) they quoted a usage by Alt Right maniac Steve Bannon as if he were a respectable politician/thinker.

    Well, this process of normalisation certainly worked for Nigel Farage and now race hate-crimes have soared in E&W and we’re staring at Brexitmageddon.

    Thanks, BBC.

  264. Andy-B says:

    Thank you Dave for that, you are correct, lets not hold any grudges, let us welcome one and all to the cause of Scottish independence, afterall we all need to live together in a future independent Scotland.

  265. Valerie says:

    @ Nana 10.37

    Thanks for that link.

    I have never known a Union dispute not honour emergency cover. I hope that shows the kind of Slab shitshow this, that they are willing to risk lives. No doubt seeing a death as a real coup.

    Good for Susan Aitken having her say, but not hard hitting,and not apportioning the blame where it should be.

    What is wrong with the truth?

  266. Graf Midgehunter says:

    From Nana’s links:
    Sigmar Gabriel, former Vice-Chancellor of Germany, on German TV Show Anne Will on ARD – the German equivalent of the BBC – talking about Brexit on Sunday night.

    It’s not just WM-London being the laughing stock of Europe/World, anyone can make embarassing mistakes, the respect that they had from abroad as a serious Nation on the world’s stage has been utterly destroyed by the sheer incompetence and self-serving arrogance over the last couple of years.

    Most Germans have now begun to understand WHY Scotland wants to terminate the Treaty of Union. They think the Scots are the only sane people on the island..!

    I think they like me 😉

  267. Nana says:


    “I have never known a Union dispute not honour emergency cover”

    Me neither Valerie. These people need to be shamed, but as we know they are slabbers with necks of brass.

    If I was near I’d be getting my loud hailer out!

  268. Cactus says:

    Morning Robert and James ~

    Aye twas full indeed, Anstruther is indeed KY10…

    It’s the Wings Over Scotland boat at harbour there that is KY21. 🙂

  269. gus1940 says:

    National BBC going over the top on Glasgow strike.

    The union, of course waited until the schools were back from half term break.

    Good old BBC fail to mention that this has been going on for years under the previous Labour Council which spent millions fighting against the claims.

    Just like last week’s BSE case which was all over the media when it was never mentioned that there had been about 10 case in E & W over the last few years which of course were kept quiet.

  270. Robert Peffers says:

    @Essexexile says: 23 October, 2018 at 7:34 am:

    ” … It may well be as hard to drag them out of their comfort zone and accept converts as it is to bring people from no to yes.”

    You do talk a great deal of very obnoxious claptrap, Essexexile.

    I’m an octogenarian who began to support Scottish nationalism way back in the late 1940 as a schoolboy. As such I have actively spent a lifetime attempting to convert others to that belief. That means I have welcomed rather a lot of converts as we in the SNP were regarded as dangerous militant terrorist back then.

    What is this, comfort zone, you speak of. It never has existed. Furthermore, what is your evidence that Connolly has actually converted to support independence? Mind you if he has he will be welcomed to the cause. Thing is Connolly has done no such thing and that brings into question your own apparently inability to comprehend the English Language.

    Connolly is reported to have said, ‘If Scottish independence is the only way to prevent Brexit then perhaps Scottish independence is the way to go’.

    His fear is obviously about Brexit taking, ‘Britain/England’. out of the EU and if Scottish Independence is the only way to prevent it he, ‘MAY’, be ready to support independence for Scotland.

    Then he continues with the claim that what drives the Scottish YES to Indy Movement is their hate of the English and he has never been into that.

    This is a totally wrong concept and a scan through previous Wings topics will reveal that anyone who has commented in such terms has immediately been told in no uncertain terms that they are not only wrong but been accused of being racist. Scottish Independence has always been an inclusive movement.

    So there is the truth. There is no real evidence that Connolly is a convert to independence from the reports in the media.

    Again I say – he says If Scottish Independence is the only way to prevent Brexit then perhaps Scottish Independence is the way to go. Would you claim that the UK remainers who would willingly sacrifice N.I. by uniting with the Republic in order to save their claimed rUK from Brexiting supporters of the Irish Republic?


    Well that same thing applies for those who would sacrifice Scotland to save their Kingdom of England.

    So there’s the truth – YES people would be only too glad to Welcome Billy to the fold if Billy was actually converted to supporting independence for Scottish independence and not just to save the Kingdom of England from Brexiting.

    Now that’s me reading the lines while you are only reading between the lines. I’ll say it again for your benefit – Billy is reported to have said, “If Scottish independence is the only way to prevent a Brixit then perhaps Scottish independence is the way to go”.

    He is thus stating he would sacrifice Scotland if it would prevent a , (British/English), Brexit.

  271. Dr Jim says:

    It’s always been the Labour party’s job to bring down governments using the power of *the workers* in order to replace that government with NOTHING and more often than not worse, I watched Rhea Wolffson a union organiser and Labour party member struggle being interviewed on Scotland tonight by John McKay who is not what you’d describe as an in depth interviewer and she completely failed to make her case that the strike wasn’t politically motivated even under his gentle questioning, had it been Colin McKay she would have buckled completely

    This whole strike is a political set up orchestrated by the Labour party in an attempt to generate SNP Baad publicity and most of the strikers probably are well aware of that but they don’t care as long as they get their money so they’ll do it anyway but what these people might not think about is what if they managed to bring down the SNP over this they’d be replaced by the Labour party who were the ones who didn’t pay them and took them to court in the first place so they wouldn’t have to pay them

    There you have the Labour party in Scotland, think of any adjective you like for them

    When this pay deal is done and accepted the Labour party will make announcements as to the FACT that uniting the *workers* against the SNP under Labour got them the result

    Terrible terrible Baad SNP they’re Tories y’know screams Neil Findlay, and if you don’t believe him he’ll punch your face in, or cut you out of doctored photographs

  272. Greannach says:

    I don’t like Billy Connolly. I never found him funny, and little more than a latter-day Harry Lauder, the pet court jester. I found what he had to say about independence to be pathetic and illustrative of a man who needed validation from people other than those he came from. I haven’t heard that he has unequivocally supported independence, so I’ll hold judgement. But if he does come out in support of independence, I would urge welcoming him warmly and openly, because he still might have some influence with older people and because his volte-face would indicate crumbling in British nationalist sentiment.
    Besides which, if we are trying to convert people from No to Yes, why would we start ranting and raving at them after they have made the difficult leap over? If you invite people to a party you don’t start snarling at them for turning up.

  273. Bob Mack says:

    @Robert Peffers,

    Facts Robert, facts.

    Mr Connelly did not express an opinion about his own vote. He was referring to the people of Scotland in that voting indy “may be the way to go”. “Something I never thought I would say”. Recognition of change

    Seems minor but is actually important.

  274. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Greannach at 11.16


    I have found it interesting that there are lots of agitated posts on this piece I put which have nothing whatever to do with anything I actually said on the issue I was addressing.
    Thanks to the vast majority that actually got the point.

  275. Scott says:

    We should shout about this a lot more it will not be reported on BBC.

    SCOTLAND’S largest local authority spent more than £2.5 million fighting equal pay claims by female council workers over the last 10 years.

    Figures released following a Freedom of Information request show that between 2007 and 2017 – when the Labour Party controlled Glasgow City Council – £1.8m was spent on legal fees and a further £700,000 on “internal staff costs” to contest claims by women who were victims of wage discrimination.

    I agree the women should be treated better but the only time Labour is mentioned in the BBC article is this.

    May 2017 Court of Session rules that women were wrongly excluded from a bonus protection scheme. In the same month the SNP becomes the biggest party on Glasgow City Council after years of Labour control, and forms a minority administration.

    BBC is crap.

  276. Petra says:

    @ Giving Goose says at 7:51 am – ”Petra – Switched on TV and caught that BBC interview then realised what it was about and switched channel. And that’s the point BBC. I’m not watching and listening any more. It’s all lies and propaganda.”

    Yeah I often feel like switching off too GG. In fact I often feel like throwing something at the TV screen, however if I don’t watch I don’t know what’s going on and can’t pass the information (propaganda) on (here and elsewhere), such as the Unison rep saying that, ”there was a cover up by GCC in 2010” and in the process trying to blame Susan Aitken for said ”cover up”, whichever one that may be because there have been countless cover ups by the Labour Party.


    @ Hamish100 says at 8:28 am …. ”Years ago as a NALGO Senior steward. Dispute settled by Labour councillors and UNION behind the scenes to the detriment of the members. The full time official paid in kind. Became a MP. Socialism labour style.”

    Hamish I used to be a Shop Steward and then a Unison Convenor for employees right across Scotland and like you know full well what they’ve all been up to (well as much as you can ever know): Labour controlled Councils hand in glove with the Unions. That includes Unison making out that a particular group of Union members hadn’t complained to them at all about Equal Pay issues when there were minutes of meetings, over a number of years, to that effect. When the case went to Court, to Unison’s horror, they stated that they couldn’t remember holding any meetings and couldn’t find copies of any meeting minutes. How bad is that? Just as well I had held onto copies; buried in my loft. Following that, and due to some other issues, I left Labour behind and went on to support the SNP.

    I would also like to add that it wasn’t uncommon for the Council, such as GCC, to attempt to change the remit of workers to ruin their cases, make them legally null and void, such as Directors / Depute Directors of Education in talks with legal Counsel, local Councillors and Union reps, including the EIS, discussing exactly how they could do so. Right down to the nitty gritty. Then the Director of Education in turn would get into ”talks” with Heads of Schools telling them how to make ”changes.” If a particular Head of School wasn’t to be turned they would (be threatened) find someone else, such as a Depute within a school to do their dirty work.

    In one case I was involved in Donald Dewar was a partner with the legal company that represented the claimants. He did a runner when the case kicked off. It went all the way to the top, imo.


    @ Nana says at 10:37 am …. ”From the Evening times.”..

    Thanks for that Nana. In full:


    ”At the time of writing the Equal Pay strike remains scheduled to go ahead. The Council believed we had an agreement with the unions on providing life and limb cover for our most vulnerable citizens – indeed, the unions told the public that cover would be in place.

    We are disappointed that the unions have not honoured that agreement.

    I and the SNP City Government remain committed to settling the discrimination put in place by previous Labour administrations and which these women have faced in their working life and support the right of claimants to withdraw their labour.

    I am disappointed that union leaders have not been able to assure their members that a resolution, after more than decade, is within sight and that massive strides have been made in recent months to ending this ingrained discrimination, including Cordia coming back in to the Council and the pay and grading scheme being scrapped.

    Whilst settlement negotiations have paused until the threat of strike action is withdrawn, constructive discussions are taking place between unions and council officers regarding how we can collectively move forwards we get back around the table.

    I’m hopeful the Council can provide enough surety to the claimant representatives on the areas of disagreement we have and the progress they want to see. As and when strike action is withdrawn, the Council is ready to enter into much more frequent and extensive meetings. If we can reach that point, an offer based on agreed principles should be just weeks away.”

  277. Giving Goose says:

    It might be an idea to read Eric Joyce’s blog.
    He is an ex Labour MP who has moved to a Yes position.
    If Eric can move to Yes and be accepted, then there should be no problem for accepting the comments from Billy.
    Just saying…..

  278. starlaw says:

    I remember Billy Connolly being asked for is opinion on Indy 1. He replied that he was sitting this one out, as he had been so wrong on the devolution vote, he said I didn’t think it would work and it has I come back here to find loads of happy smiling people. I don’t live here now so Im sitting this one out.

  279. jfngw says:

    In the unlikely event of a ‘peoplesvote’, if there is no option for Scotland to escape from the UK if the result ends up similar to last time then I will just spoil my voting paper. Just ignoring the vote doesn’t count, they don’t care about turnout, but over a million spoiled papers in Scotland will be noticed.

  280. Ken500 says:

    The Tories (Hammond) right now are increasing funding to NHS England by £Billions which will not have Barnett consequentials for Scotland.

    The usual double whammy for Scotland. No Barnet consequentials for Scotland but Scotland has to pay of loan repayments on debt not borrowed or spent in Scotland.

    Scotland’s budget cut 10% a year since 2010. Now cut £3Billion. Tax evasion costs Scotland £3Billion. HMRC not fit for purpose. Does not enforce UK tax Laws. Scotland has to pay for Trident. £1/2Billion more a year spent on Defence.

    Scotland can only borrow and spent very little. Westminster Treasury can borrow and spend whatever they like in the rest of the UK. Wasting £Billions. Scotland has to make loan repayments on the borrowing. It costs Scotland £Billions which could be better spent. Tory high taxes has ruined the Oil & Gas sector in Scotland. 40% since Jan 2016. Like a furnace once shut down it takes years to build it up.

    Fracked Gas in the rest of the UK is tax free. US fracked Gas is being imported into Grangemouth under Westminster Gov fuel and energy policies. The Tories have banned land turbines in the rest of the UK. They have cut investment in solar. The Tories are wasting £Billions on Hinkley Point.

    They have cut a Tidal scheme in Swansea Bay. (£1Billion+). The Tories unionist refused permission and cut funding for CCS project at Longannet in Fife. Refused permission and funding for CCS at Peterhead although companies have tried to get it up and running again. Cut a Tidal project in the Humber. £9Billion. A cheaper, more reliable form of energy.

    Scotland is self sufficient in fuel and energy but pays more than the rest of the UK.because Scotland is colder. (pro rata). Despite being nearer the source. A total unfair tax on Scotland’s economy, The unit price in Scotland should be 10% lower for parity. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion sanctioned by Westminster costs Scotland dear. £Billions.

    There was absolutely no need for austerity. Cutting funding for essential services. It cost more. The tax revenues have increased. They gave tax cuts to the wealthy. . Austerity was a dreadful, cruel mistake by the Unionists Parties, Psycho bastards. They are given £Billions of expert advice but chose to ignore it.

  281. Re the Council Strike in Glasgow

    I heard news reports on BBC R4 and then turned to BBC GMS this morning.

    Lots of mention of the strike- very serious, care homes shut, most vulnerable people affected.

    On the very earliest – Sarah Smith eventually mentioned it went back decades when Labour were in control ut the SNP was mentioned a few times after that.

    On almost ALL later broadcasts, Labour is NEVER mentioned – deft bit of editing there BBC.

    On GMS it was pretty negative but they did mention Labour a few times – why – because it’s closer to home here and we know that Labour were in charge for a long time…. but overall it’s a definite SNP baad story.

  282. remo says:

    Re Billy Connolly. It has been said gazillions of time on this site that folk hardly ever read past the headlines of any news outlet. The headlines read as though Billy Connolly has come over to independence from the dark side. Some voters will be swayed by his opinion. It can’t do any harm to the Yes side. P.S. Gazillions might be a slight exaggeration.

  283. jfngw

    my understanding is that Nicola is only backing the ‘people’s vote’ so long as there is an option to Remain.

  284. HandandShrimp says:

    It is self evident that if people have doubts about Brexit and that leads to support for Scottish independence then the movement towards Yes will be sufficient to win the day.

    Are SiU cheering because Billy has doubts about the direction the UK is heading in? I don’t think so.

    Purists do my head in. A long haired hippy once said there is more joy in heaven etc., If Billy expresses doubts then others will feel enabled to voice theirs. This is only good. I too was taken aback by some of the curmudgeonly responses.

  285. Bob Mack says:

    I voted Labour for most of my life. I too was influenced by the old Tartan Tory badge pinned on the SNP. I would never even consider the possibility I could vote for them.

    Here we are today, and I vote SNP at every election, and I support indy.

    I too could look at my life and state unreservedly.

    “I never thought I could say that”.

    Cut the guy some slack.

  286. Breeks says:

    Haven’t watched the BBC, but it is surely hypocrisy on stilts for the BBC to go large on a strike about equal pay and the gender gap.

  287. jfngw says:

    @Meg merrilees

    I understand that but there is a possibility if Labour change tact the peoplesvote could pass at Westminster without SNP support. There is always the possibility of being stitched up again.

    Changing topic again. Is the Labour party going to destroy union membership in Scotland the same way it destroyed itself. I certainly would never again join a union, a bit of a moot point though as I’m retired now.

  288. gus1940 says:

    Re Glasgow strike – BBC give long interview to Rhea Wolfson in her capacity as GMB official but fail to mention that she is a Labour apparatchik and prospective Labour candidate for Livingston.

    It would appear that apart from the Saudi murder the Glasgow strike is more important than Brexit and the Royal Australia nonsense.

    I think that today is the worst and most blatant example ever of BBC SNPbad biased misreporting

  289. Clapper57 says:

    Re Glasgow CC women’s equal pay ( long outstanding but politically perfectly timed ) strike.

    Definitely not political we are told….then I see placards with picture of Susan Aitken with words ‘Desperately seeking Susan’…hmm Rhea Wolfson we have a problem.

  290. call me dave says:

    In a radio interview early this morning (GMS) Susan Aitken Head GCC, her last sentence in an interview was…..

    “The woman won their case the day the SNP took control of Glasgow”

    Later I heard that interview in the car a wee while ago and ..Aye!

    That last sentence was not played! Funny old world init! 🙁

    Good old Auntie with a kilt.

  291. Connolly said “might support independence”

    I said: “Does have a book out”

    I remain to be convinced, sorry and all that.

  292. Effijy says:

    Billy Connolly- “It is better to repent a sin than regret the loss of a pleasure.”

    Its Not how you start its how you finish!

    Lets be happy Billy has worked it out and he may influence others to revisit the absurdity of Scotland being an English Colony.

    With the strike today, I feel the workers have been fueled up by the GMB Union in particular.
    They are lead by Labour Unionists who will attack SNP on anything
    fact or fiction.
    They realise that SNP are threatening their natural route of progress from Union Rep to Labour MP and some very nice life long perks in their trough.

    Why no sound from the Unions over the many years that Labour Controlled Glasgow City Council refused these workers equal pay and why no outrage at the legal fees Labour paid fighting these people?

    It is impossible for the City Council to operate if they had to make all the back payments built up over the Labour years.
    SNP want to pay out on this, unlike Labour but vast sums like this are impossible to pay out of 1 or 2 years budgets.

    If further cuts are made can’t you just hear Labour calling it a shame?

    Red Tories as immoral and corrupt as their Blue Tory Partners!

  293. Breeks says:

    Can anyone explain to me why we concern ourselves with a UK’s people’s vote on Brexit when by all accounts, and equal to any and all eventuality, the Constitutional Courts will be coming to our rescue in due course anyway?

    Scotland already has its “Get out of Brexit Free” card, merely in establishing our Sovereign legitimacy, and disputing Westminster’s flawed assertion of UK Parliamentary Sovereignty. Westminster cannot remove us from Europe against our will and without sovereignty to overrule us.

    The EU and Ireland in particular will not allow Westminster to weasel out of its backstop agreement regarding an Irish Border, and we Scots should be equally dogged that Westminster cannot weasel out of its own formal and undisputed recognition of Scotland’s Claim of Right and Sovereignty of the people.

    For God’s sake get this to the Court in time…

  294. Bob Mack says:

    @Steve Elwood,

    Connelly said no such thing. Read the article.

  295. cearc says:

    We might as well all give up now.

    No point in campaigning for yes if you’re going to be selective about who can express a yes opinion.

  296. frogesque says:

    @ SocratesMacSporan: 10.14

    Actually I think we hold all the aces. YES is winning and the Unionists are bricking it despite the full onslaught of Scotland is shite and SNP badness.

  297. Nana says:

    Breaking news

    The EU will offer British Prime Theresa May a UK-wide customs union as a way around the Irish backstop issue, but it will have to be negotiated beyond the Withdrawal Agreement as a separate treaty, RTÉ News understands.

  298. stewart fae stoney says:

    Yes Connolly doesnt say he is a yes but is considering it so please welcome him and dont chase him and other big names away, we need every potential vote we can get, the more high profile names we can get the better

  299. Az says:

    Oh my I’m so late to the party. I’ve read every comment here, obviously it’s gone a bit OT with the unnecessary and mischievous strike propaganda.

    I just want to say this is a very thoughtful and well written article which I personally found extremely enlightning, and I think you DMH have some great insight.

    Most of the comments are really good, a few of you should perhaps comsider that your votriol directed at old Billy just comes across as he himself did with his comments in the past about the SNP and independence. That’s not a good look, even if I can understand why.

    Rock, you have an appropriate handle because you frequently come across as dumb as one.

  300. jfngw says:

    What is clear from this strike and the number of Labour activists involved is that Labour are willing to put the most vulnerable people in the community at risk to further their political ambitions.

  301. Az says:

    Damn typos, three of them.

  302. galamcennalath says:

    frogesque says:

    YES is winning and the Unionists are bricking it despite the full onslaught of Scotland is shite and SNP badness.


    The deluge of NO propaganda has been relentless while pro Indy campaigning is simmering slowly in the back burner. Given that situation, I consider it a very good sign that YES support is creeping up. NO campaigning certainly hasn’t turned things around, at most, it has simply slowed town the YES advance.

    There’s another aspect to all this. The NO campaigning might be managing to keep some of the more gullible and less politically engaged soft NOs in check. However, it has a counterproductive effect on YES supporters who have seen the light and it reinforces their view that the UK is far from OK.

    Once you see it’s all lies and deception, more of the same just acts to strengthen our position.

    IMO When YES2 takes off in full force, the kernel of hard BritNats won’t know what’s hit them as many soft NOs make the switch and Indy support grows. Then it becomes a case of folks wanting to be seen to be on the winning side – Scotland’s side.

  303. Andy-B says:

    I think its clear to all that Labour is the real enemy to a independent and progressive Scotland.

  304. Colin Alexander says:

    Also time to stop the stupidity of attacking those that are independence supporters because they don’t support the SNP.

  305. galamcennalath says:

    Nana says:

    The EU will offer British Prime Theresa May a UK-wide customs union

    Interesting article. The backstop has to stay, that’s almost certainly an EU red line. However, customs union like Turkey as part of a future trade agreement would mean the backstop never kicks in.

    The hard Brexiteers will hate it because of compliance issues.

    Labour might back it.

    It would be too hard a Brexit for the SNP.

  306. geeo says:

    Sent to tricky dicky leonard in response to a labour motion being defeated re:universal credit, where he rages at the treatment of those on UC in particular.

    Here is an idea for You.

    Support Scottish Independence, and all these issues with the poor, the disabled, the vulnerable, all currently being screwed into oblivion (literally in the case of recorded welfare reform related suicides) are solved.

    A labour Party in an indy Scotland could stand on a ticket of protecting the poor, disabled and vulnerable, and they would not be banging heads with the SNP, since that would have an indy Scotland’s 2 likeliest governments, on the same page on that subject.

    Yet they insist that Scotland ruled by Tories at WM, and tens of thousands of welfare reform related deaths, is a better option for Scots.

    The conclusion is clear, Labour in Scotland have ZERO ambition for Scotland, and even LESS ambition to rule in Scotland as Scottish Labour.

    If Labour in Scotland announced for Indy today, it becomes a certainty.

    They could repair a huge chunk of their tattered reputation here by being able to claim “labour tipped the balance for Indy”.

    Yet they stand there, frozen at the moment of proof, being labour.

    They will never get a better chance to reinvent themselves, or survive, in Scotland.

    Remember, as constituted, all 3 unionist parties cannot operate in an indy Scotland, any more than Scottish MP’s will be able to stand for Election to WM.

    Indyref2 is life and death for labour in Scotland.

    At the moment, you are choosing extinction.

    WHY ?

  307. Robert Peffers says:

    @ Bob Mack says: 23 October, 2018 at 11:26 am:

    ” … Facts Robert, facts.
    Mr Connelly did not express an opinion about his own vote. He was referring to the people of Scotland in that voting indy “may be the way to go”. “Something I never thought I would say”. Recognition of change
    Seems minor but is actually important.”

    Ah! Facts is it?
    Well! Bob Mack, think on this. Connolly had a big estate in Scotland but sold it. However, here is quote from the daily record and we all know the Record doesn’t lie:-

    “Billy Connolly sells his tartan-clad mansion for £3m but keeps cottage in the 14-acre estate as holiday home … “


    So Billy could, or might, legally claim a vote in Scotland from that cottage address. The law only states that you can only claim a vote from one address in any particular ballot. It doesn’t even say it must be your main address. He and his wife could even claim a postal vote from that address and post it in from anywhere.

    Secondly, what recognition of change would that be? Billy specifically said if it would stop a Brexit then Scottish independence might be the way to go. In other words it was a Brexit he wanted to stop. Not the United Kingdom per se.

    Look, Bob, if Billy were to claim he was now a supporter of Scottish independence I’d be in the queue to welcome him and shake his hand, I might even buy his book, and actually read it.

    Mind you that would be conditional upon him apologising to Indy Scots for repeatedly accusing them of being motivated by hate of the people of England which he repeated in the same press release.

  308. jfngw says:

    Final thought on the strike, probably already mentioned somewhere. Labour and the GMB know full well the negotiations will be complete by the defined date (Dec I think). They will then claim that the combined efforts of Labour and the union have forced GCC (more importantly the SNP) to reach a settlement. So vote for Labour to protect you, they are really that cynical, surely the workers are not that dim to believe something like this.

  309. Jack Murphy says:

    R4 said at 7:13 pm last night:

    “Billy Connelly is by far the greatest and most loved ambassador for Scotland ever. He is loved universally and should be welcomed aboard with open arms.”

    I heartily agree R4,and a big thankyou Mr. Dave McEwan Hill for the Main Article.

  310. Bob Mack says:

    @Robert Peffers,

    Connolly quote. “The one thing I have never had any interest in ,is hating England and the English” He does not mention anybody else hating them or not. He alludes only to himself.

  311. galamcennalath says:

    Just a wee reminder, if I may, that Scottish Independence Convention needs our backing. I think it’s important and have contributed.

    Their pot has reach £45k

  312. frogesque says:

    @ Colin Alexander 1.32


    Normally I just scroll on by, however…

    As well you know, YES and independence is much larger than the SNP membership. Post Indy anyone is welcome to support right, left, centre or the wee green faeries at the bottom of the garden.

    The SNP just happens to be the largest pro Indy political grouping at the moment and the SG are the ones who will trigger I Ref2 when they judge the time is right.

    Unionist are also welcome to post here, but they better have justification for their views and be prepared to offer a better reason for the Union than the crap that’s currently on offer. Merley sniping will get the reception it deserves.

  313. Alba Laddie says:

    I kind of went off Connolly after he started cosying up to nonentities like Sarah Ferguson, and when he bent the knee I kind of lost any remaining vestige of respect for him; compounded by his series of TV programmes where he celebrated other countries’ cultures while actively cringing about his own…

    That said, I’m not sure there should be this level of vitriol aimed at a guy who’s failing a wee bit, but here’s hoping he speaks a bit more positively about Indy, because like it or not (and I’m normally extremely cynical about “celebrities” pontificating about all things Scottish) his viewpoint will carry some weight with soft NO’s, and we’re going to need every spare vote going.

  314. Robert Peffers says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill says: 23 October, 2018 at 11:30 am:

    ” … I have found it interesting that there are lots of agitated posts on this piece”

    Hilarious! And right out of the Dave McEwan book of flimflam.

    Care to evidence those poor agitated Wingers claims, Dave?

    That is rule one of your methods. Claim anything but evidence nothing.

    That was quite evident in your article that welcomed Connolly as an indy convert when there is no evidence the man has actually began to support independence – either of Scotland from the United KINGDOM or The United Kingdom/Britain/England from the EU.

    His take, as reported, was that, ‘if it would prevent a Brexit then perhaps Scottish Independence was the way to go’. Where then is your evidence that Connolly is an actual indy supporter?

    Not only does he state his motive is to prevent the Tory Brexit but then claims that the indy support is because of hate for the English.

    Now you are claiming, without offered evidence, that those who see through your propaganda are agitated. Who is it you finger as agitated, Dave.

    No one, except perhaps yourself, is agitated. You are the one making outrageous claims. Those you claim to be agitated are offering logical argument and facts.

    Facts mainly based upon what Connolly is reported to have actually said and not what we all would have wanted him to have said.

  315. Corrado Mella says:

    Always forgive, never forget.

  316. Robert Peffers says:

    Gordon Ross IndyCar on YouTube:-

  317. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Robert Peffers at 2.03

    You should have realised by now that I don’t read anything from you. Better things to do with my time. Just the first line caught the eye.

  318. Harry MacK says:

    I read with some interest , that Billy Connolly had lost his thoughts on religion , because of travel and living in different countries throughout his career . In my own case , this is very true . In the 1960s I left Glasgow to live in Wales . What an eyeopener that was ! During my long stay there , I never , at any time encountered any religious or sectarian problems . It seems that we Scots bear this grudge for no real reason , and common sense should prevail . I now live in a community that has multiple religions , and again all you find is complete harmony .
    They say travel broadens the mind , and I for one can guarantee that .. It is time for Scotland to discard this kind of utter discrimination against his fellow man .For God’s sake go out and see how the other half lives .
    Your political party , the SNP , is not a religious party , but is one who looks after its own people … Religion is a fallacy , and is not there to obstruct the culture of a country !! Live for trhe present , fellow Scots !!

  319. Dorothy Devine says:

    Actually Mr Hill , he is right . There are few condemning most are supportive , maybe not over effusively but supportive non the less.

  320. Bobp says:

    I agree with alba laddie, if connolly swings a few thousand soft no’s to yes. Job done.

  321. Bobp says:

    Bob mack 1.54pm. Absolutely bob, my wifes english my daughters english, so no english haters in our snp supporting family. My english nephew is actually buying a flat and moving to Scotland shortly. But he’s a committed yes suporter(takes after his dad and uncle). So i dont know who billy c was speaking for?

  322. yesindyref2 says:

    I totally agree, Labour did whatever they did over 11 years, but the SNP have had 17 months to sort it out, and haven’t. That’s what I’d see if I was one of the women or married or parent to one – Labour BAD and SNP BAD. In fact, all politicians bad, more interested in party bickering than in real people trying to put food on the table, roof over the head, cloethes on the back, and fuel on the fire or money in a meter.

  323. yesindyref2 says:

    NAC was SNP run in and around 2014, forget for how long but some years until they lost a by-electiion. So it’s the same thing, the SNP could have sorted it when they were the administration but didn’t either.

    Two basic problems, first is that any settlement would cut the money usable in a current budget so schools, cleaning, or whatever would have to suffer, so nobody wanted to tackle it. Second is for NAC that they made an offer through solicitors and quite a lot accepted it on the basis that they needed the money then as do many, and £1,000 in the hand was worth £20,000 in the bushes and the long grass.

    What should have happened is a cross-council effort all over Scotland, solicitors such as maybe Thomsons or dedicated tribunal experts, top QC, and taken one as a sample, or all councils to court, and almost certainly have won the case – over a decade ago. It didn’t happen, so ordinary people (women in this case) desperately short of money, got shafted as usual.

    Meanwhile party politicking abounds. As usual 🙁

  324. yesindyref2 says:

    Basically speaking, from some of the comments, all Indy supporters who weren’t born with an Indy spoon in the mouth, but came over to it at some time in their lives through conviction no matter how young, should apologise for not being Indy supporters before that.

    Well [frolics] that for a game of soldiers.

  325. Stupidactingsmart says:

    Excellent, measured writing from Mr Hill.

    (Athiest from a steeped Catholic background here, for what it’s worth).

  326. Donald Mackenzie says:

    So, we are to forgive Billy Connolly his ignorance because he is part of the Irish Catholic community that suffered from prejudice in the past? I can see your point here. However, I am a little confused that you use Wings Over Scotland as a platform to tell us this. The Rev himself has displayed shocking prejudice against the entire culture of Scottish Gaelic. Claiming that the Gaelic language is nothing more than a way of annoying people like him and making him feel less Scottish. Or, even that the Gaelic language is more about extreme blood and soil nationalism. He claimed there was a Gaelic lobby but couldn’t describe who this shadowy organisation was meant to be. Just groundless prejudice.

    Of course Gaelic is neither there just too annoy others or some blood and soil nationalist organisation and just a culture in its own right (Gaels have a range of political beliefs just like any group of people). Gaels have endured centuries of state (both Scottish and UK) persecution through negative propaganda, racism (the very same as the Irish endured because they were seen as ‘inferior Celts’ [with most non Highland Scots claiming a Teutonic descent at that time] and even called Irish, and Scottish Gaelic began to be called Erse [Irish] instead of Scots as it was originally named) and various legislation aimed at eradicating it. This is all part of the historical record.The Rev did not bother educating himself of any of this before spouting his bigoted view though. How often have the Scottish Catholics with Irish descent had to deal with being wrongly accused of being blood and soil nationalists? The truth is the Scottish Gaels as well as the Irish, Welsh, Cornish, Manx etc. were the first to feel the British/Anglo ethnic nationalism that set up the British state. It aimed to do this by killing of all other identities and making everyone the same. That is English speaking. It kept the other ‘Celtic’ languages out of all officialdom on purpose. People were not allowed to speak the language in court for instance (I read the other day that someone in Ireland was hung because they didn’t know how to say not guilty in English properly). It then went on to try and do this all over the world. ‘The White man’s burden’.b It is supremacism plain and simple and the Rev ignorantly reproduced it with the most arrogant attitude.
    If you are trying to make a point about bigotry this is the wrong place to be doing it from.

  327. Hey Bob Mack, how’s your reading doing?
    Better than your spelling, I hope…

    Connolly’s quote is: “Scots voted to stay in Europe and if the only way for us to do that is to become independent from England, that may just be the way to go”


    Not, “I will support independence”

    I remain to be convinced, but if he DOES support independence, I’ll applaud him.

    Meanwhile, I’m just another one of the English SNP members he seems to think don’t exist, as we have an “interest in is hating England and the English”

  328. Liam says:

    Well said. I don’t care how long it takes someone to get there or how they get there. Because on the day ANY vote for Yes is a vote for Yes.

  329. PeterKidd says:

    The only way I would forgive Connolly is when he goes on his knees and begs Scotland and its people for forgiveness for all the derogatory remarks he’s ever said about our self determination and our fight against tyranny among the English elites. He has a lot to answer for. FUCK HIM>

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