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The words of weasels

Posted on November 10, 2013 by

It’s always nice when the Scottish media takes the time to illustrate one of our points for us. Earlier this week we attempted to distil this site’s core work of the last two years into two simple rules, elegantly pictured below.


Imagine our unrestricted delight, then, when this weekend’s Scotland On Sunday chose to generously provide us with some prima facie evidence of the phenomenon.

Today’s edition of the struggling paper appears to be a “GET STURGEON!” special. The knives are well and truly out for the popular and trusted Deputy First Minister, and the SoS’s line of attack is right through Sturgeon’s heartland of Govan.

A front-page story blares “Sturgeon urged to say she was wrong about warships”, based not on any intrepid journalistic revelation of new information about the likelihood of the UK government commissioning Type 26 frigates from the Clyde after Scottish independence, but merely on the Scottish Secretary saying she is:

“‘Nicola Sturgeon is looking pretty isolated on this. The best thing she could do is admit that she is wrong,’ Carmichael said.

Is she really saying that everyone else is wrong and she is right? Is she telling us that the people who build the warships and the people who place the contracts know less about this than she does?'”

What Alistair Carmichael means by “the people who build the warships” isn’t made very clear in the article, beyond vague mentions of “trade union leaders”. To find out more we have to look elsewhere in the paper.

Specifically we must look to a column by its most skilled black propagandist (though we should note that when the competition is Brian Wilson and Michael Kelly that’s not as big a compliment as it sounds) – our old fact-adjusting pal Euan McColm.

McColm’s piece (“Sturgeon in a storm over warships”) accuses the Deputy FM’s performance at First Minister’s Questions of comprising “rubbish” and “arrant rot”, skillfully delivered in the chamber but covering up “assertions that she had no way of knowing to be true”. To back up his view, McColm calls in reinforcements:

“John Dolan, the GMB’s convener at the Scotstoun yard, flatly contradicted Sturgeon’s assertion that British warships would continue to be built on the Clyde after a Yes vote. Dolan fatally undermined Sturgeon’s – and, therefore, the Scottish Government’s – position.

Not only were there yards in England ready to take on MoD contracts, he said, but he had been told personally by the UK government the contract for the Type 26 frigates would not go to yards in an independent Scotland.”

Alert readers might at this point be recognising several of the parties in that quote. Mr Dolan, for example, is the same chap found just days ago in an anti-SNP “Better Together” leaflet distributed in Govan just prior to the recent council byelection there, in which he was identified merely as a humble “Clydeside shipyard worker”:


The GMB, meanwhile, is a trade union which was revealed in today’s Sunday Herald to have chosen to back the Unionist side in the referendum before the controversial and largely-phantom “consultations” it held with its members on the subject, as previously documented by the Herald on Tuesday:

“Jim Moody, senior shop steward at Scottish Borders Council, said the move by Scotland’s third biggest trade union organisation had been a ‘betrayal and a disgraceful stitch-up.’

Mr Moody, a member for more than 20 years who represents more than 200 members locally, said: ‘I have spoken to other shop stewards and GMB members and we are incandescent. The union leadership has absolutely no right to take this action.

To say we have been consulted is a falsehood, pure and simple. There has certainly been no consultation in this part of the world. The first I heard about this was when I saw it on Facebook.’

There was widespread complaint on social media yesterday from some GMB activists claiming that they had not been consulted as part of the exercise which then led to the union’s decision to put its weight behind a No vote.”

It doesn’t seem excessively partisan, then, to question John Dolan’s neutrality and reliability as a witness on the issue. And it’s certainly curious that a government minister would have told him categorically and personally that the orders would not come to an independent Clyde when the Secretary of State for Defence has been so meticulous in avoiding any such statement.

It’s hard to select a logical explanation from the possibilities:

1. Did Philip Hammond (or one of his juniors) tell John Dolan that in confidence, only to have his confidence immediately betrayed?

2. Did Hammond tell Dolan knowing full well that he’d “leak” it? If so, why wouldn’t Hammond just say it himself in the first place if he wanted it to be known? Surely it would have had infinitely more weight coming from an official source, rather than being quoted third-hand in a little-read column in a dying newspaper?

3. Has Dolan (or indeed McColm) made the whole thing up, or perhaps simply misinterpreted something in a case of Chinese Whispers that’s also infected Johann Lamont, Ruth Davidson and much of the media?

We have no idea, so we’ll move onto what we DO know. McColm’s column claims that at FMQs Sturgeon “insisted that if Scotland voted in favour of indep­endence then the Type 26 ships would still be Clyde-built”.

Luckily, that’s something we can check with the Scottish Parliament’s written archive of everything that’s said in the Holyrood chamber, the Official Report.

Here’s what the Report records from Thursday’s debate:

NICOLA STURGEON: On the issue whether the type 26 frigates would be built on the Clyde in an independent Scotland, let me deal with that directly by saying two things. First, what we heard yesterday from BAE Systems and from the Secretary of State for Defence is that the Clyde is the best place to build those ships – end of story. Secondly, the UK Government would have nowhere else to build those ships.

As the constituency MSP for Govan shipyards, Johann Lamont should be getting behind the shipyard to say that it is the best place to build the type 26 frigates regardless of the outcome of next year’s vote.”

That doesn’t sound to us like the sort of unequivocal guarantee alleged by Euan McColm. It’s a statement that by the ships SHOULD – not WOULD – be built on the Clyde regardless of Scotland’s constitutional status, because by BAE’s own public account it’s the best place for the job. She reiterates the same point later:

“I understand that Johann Lamont does not support independence – I have got that message. She will campaign hard against independence. I accept that – I even respect it – but this is a question about what happens after Scotland has democratically voted for independence.

Surely she will not threaten, bully and seek to blackmail Scottish shipyards. Instead, she should be saying that, in that scenario, the MOD should do the only thing, the right thing and the best thing.”

(Our emphasis.) Undaunted by fact, McColm’s angry rant continues:

“There would be huge obstacles to Scotland winning the Type 26 contract in the event of a Yes vote. First and foremost is the UK Government’s policy that it only orders warships from UK yards.”

This, as we’ve noted before, is NOT a “policy” at all, and as far as we can tell never has been. Various UK ministers have made the factual statement that warships have always (excepting wartime) been built in UK yards in the past, but have very studiously avoided describing that fact as a policy determining future contracts.

There is, of course, a blindingly-obvious reason for that, and one Sturgeon explicitly outlined. With Portsmouth to be closed and its shipbuilders urgently searching for new employment as of this week, the UK simply won’t have any options. Whether on the Clyde or elsewhere, the Type 26 ships will HAVE to be built outside the UK if Scotland is independent, because there won’t be anywhere else.

McColm bodyswerves this point feebly:

“We can also easily imagine the howls from workers in Portsmouth (from across England, in fact) should work worth several billion pounds be given to an independent Scotland.”

Well, no we can’t, because by the time that happens there won’t BE any shipbuilding workers in England, because there’ll be nowhere in England (or Wales or Northern Ireland) where ships are still built.

These facts are plain to even the dullest-witted of observers. You can’t build ships where there are no shipyards, and therefore if you want ships you’ll have to get them elsewhere. Yet they seem beyond the comprehension of Euan McColm, Tom Peterkin, and indeed most of Scotland’s political commentators.

Inexplicably, despite being in possession of of fully-working eyes and ears, they consistently somehow hear “will” where “might” was said, and vice versa.

In such circumstances, it’s hard to bemoan the loss of eight pages a day from the Scotsman. On this evidence, that’s just eight fewer pages of crude, transparent lies with which the intelligence of its few remaining readers will be insulted.

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92 to “The words of weasels”

  1. Indy says:

    Some journalists get it.
    David Leask tweeted “Political commentators today assuming Portsmouth could make frigates without monster reskilling and retooling. Guys, ask a shipbuilder.”

  2. Andrew Morton says:

    In my other guise of andygm I’ve been battling away on the comments under this story with the usual Scotsman trolls. They’re just reduced to name calling now.

  3. Peter A Bell says:

    Those who follow coverage of Scotland’s independence referendum campaign in the mainstream media will know by now to take talk of difficulties for the SNP and/or Yes Scotland with a generous shovelful of salt. Were we to take the average political pundit seriously then we would have to believe that there is hardly any occurrence or circumstance which doesn’t constitute a “devastating blow” for the independence campaign or Salmond or, as in this case, Sturgeon.

    Were we given to the kind of thoughtful reflection that junk journalists eschew we might wonder how it is that the SNP, Salmond, Sturgeon etc. survive at all given the regularity with which they are pronounced to have been dealt a fatal strike. We would surely find it highly remarkable that they not only survive but thrive, with approval ratings that are the stuff of fantasy for lesser politicians.

    We might well conclude that the hack in question was talking “arrant rot”. We might come to this conclusion even if that hack wasn’t Euan McColm.

  4. Baxter Parp says:

    I thought I should point out that there are places in England where ships are built, just that they’re not owned by BAE and they don’t build surface warships.

  5. John grant says:

    They won’t be built anywhere on these Islands no matter what the vote is next , 13 frigates your having a giraffe IMHO 

  6. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    People like McColm and certain trade union officials doing the tories dirty work for them. How lovely!
    Sooner or later they will answer to the Scottish people. I firmly believe they’re too stupid to realise it. 

  7. Mark Coburn says:

    Out of curiosity, (and I do agree with most of what’s written above), and please, pardon my ignorance, but is it true to say that there won’t be any shipbuilding in England? Aren’t there are other shipyards/shipbuilders such as Cammell Laird in Liverpool? Or have I got that wrong. Please tell me as I need to get clued up on this.

  8. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I think the real story is the ability of an independent Scotland to support diversification of our shipbuilding industry. The recently launched part diesel/part electric ferries from Ferguson’s at Port Glasgow fit into this.

    Interesting facts coming to light. Norway has in fact 72 yards and 40 of them big and built over 100 ships last year with 25,000 men working in shipbuilding. Little Norway builds twice as many ships as the UK. Under the union landlocked Austria has more shipbuilding than Scotland. Up to 48,000 Finns are employed in the Finnish maritime industries which includes shipbuilding, particularly of huge cruise liners.

    Any notion tha the union is good for shipbuilding in Scotland, which at its height employed directly 70,000 men and produced 20% od the world’s total shipping and over a third of the UK (and Empire)tonnage is bollocks 

  9. Krackerman says:

    If a UK contract to build the T26 survives the 2015 defence review I’ll eat my feckin hat.

  10. Douglas Young says:

    Not allowed to build MoD boats?
    Allowed to store, maintain and keep secure the most expensive, lethal, top-secret nuclear missiles in the UK. In Scotland.
    Missiles built and designed by a foreign power who also gained Independence in 1776

  11. Andy says:

    I have to say that I suspect that even if we vote NO the ships will not be built on the Clyde – “due to ongoing concerns about the nationalists” and “uncertainty” and in any case the Indian government will give BAE a contract which they will build in India. The UK will then place an additional order in India for hulls and get the weapons systems fitted in what is left of Portsmouth

    Game set and match to Westminster and the chaps on the Clyde will be abandoned with the word uncertainty ringing in their ears, despite falling in line and voting NO

    They should start planning for different work ASAP – their union will deliver them into the hands of their Westminster masters

    Old Arab saying
    better to be the Englishman’s enemy than a friend
    If your a friend he will sell you – if your an enemy he will try and buy you

  12. Papadocx says:

    They are trying to hang Nicola for the crimes of others Tory, slab & wee willy aided and abetted by the despicable media Led by the BBC. what I think should be on the torture wrack just now is where the hell the UK RN is going to park (long stay) it’s two super aircraft carriers that it has NO money to commission them, NO UKOk built  planes to move about the deck and kid on their doing something useful and absolutely NO enemy to use them on if we could use Them. Unless were the target they certainly have thrown a lot of shit at us. So may be the SN will get them and we could them rent out to ukok for special occasions. This shit is a smoke screen!

  13. Red squirrel says:

    BAE will decide where T26 frigates are built on the basis of returns for their shareholders – but good to see all the bullies crawling out from under a convenient rock to remind us of our place and by the way, if yous vote yes we’re taking our contracts with us.
    The only way to protect and develop our shipbuilding industry is to invest & diversify – the great rUK empire is in deserved decline, we need to look elsewhere and quick. The only way this will happen is an iScottish govt with the will & the means to work in our interests. 

  14. gordoz says:

    If anyone has seen the similar piece in the Smail –
    I think the continuing collusion between impartial experts (Alf Young?), UK politicians and union officials (Dolan), to do down this Scottish industry is both telling and appalling but not at all surprising.
    Dolan is beneath contempt, as he will only take up a position that is negative towards independence as Labour  party and BT campaign links will demands this.
    This kind of union steward representative, is a disgusting dogmatic corruption of office which will always work against those they claim to represent.
    On the other hand someone like Jamie Webster can benefit from respect for a considered pragmatic approach to this issue.

  15. JLT says:

    I’ll roughly say the same thing that I posted earlier today on another post.
    I wouldn’t underestimate the workers of the shipyards, or the people of Govan. I think the working classes of Scotland are slowly having their eyes opened as to what has happened; not only at the shipyards, but also at Grangemouth.

    In both cases (which have happened literally in days of one another), the BT mob, the Westminster mob and the Unions have come off staggeringly badly in both affairs. I feel that at somepoint, the Unions are heading for a major showdown with their own members, and they won’t like what they are about to be told.

    If anything, the Yes campaign hasn’t been damaged in the slightest, and the Scottish Government has come out of this very well. Extremely well in fact!

    If this is the beginning of companies ‘taking the p1$$’, then it is going to be very hard to defend the stance of ‘we are only stronger, and better off, when we are in a United Kingdom’.

    The people of Scotland are becoming aware; even many of those who do not follow politics, that something isn’t right with the UK anymore. They are hearing others talk of media manipulation, or basically, blatant lies being told.

    A few more episodes like what happened at the Shipyards, as well as Grangemouth, and I believe many people will turn their backs, not only on Labour, but on the UK also. People are beginning to realise that maybe Independence DOES offer stability after all!

  16. Dcanmore says:

    @Mark Coburn…
    Cammell Laird (Birkenhead) last built a ship in 1993, it’s a refit yard now.
    BAE Portsmouth (former Vosper Thorneycroft), as we now know, will also be a refitting yard.
    BAE Barrow is a submarine only yard and last built a surface ship in 2003.
    Hebburn (A&P Tyne and Wear) is a repair and conversion yard.
    Swan Hunter (Wallsend) closed in 2006.
    Appledore Devon (Babcock Marine) is a small yard which contructs patrol ships, yachts and parts for larger ships to be assembled elsewhere.

  17. Papadocx says:

    We could park them beside the unusable useless and dangerous trident scrap we look after for them (ukok). There are so many elephants in the room that we are spoiled for choice which to question first. Then watch the incoming. We are that busy watching clowns like Davidson (sure he’s got his lordship by now) we nead to sharpen up and attack, with compassion and feeling. Let’s stop reacting to their shit. Hope we change the game after the white paper. YES, YES, YES

  18. Grant_M says:

    Lord John Reid of Cardowan wades in too…
    (writing exclusively for the Scottish [sic] Sunday Express)

  19. Dcanmore says:

    Along with the job losses and yard closure at Portsmouth there was also an announcement of £100m to widen and deepen the dock to accommodate the two carriers.

  20. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

    Who wants to spend £2 on a paper to read the slavering deranged fantasies of fossils like McColm, when we can go to the web and find out what is actually happening. Darwin Award Scotsman!

  21. Andy-B says:

    Pretty sure I heard on the Ken MacDougal BBC Radio Scotland show this morning,that GMB workers, were being told to take a stance, against independence, but to democratically make ther minds up if they wish to vote yes or no, cant remember which paper this comment was read from, on the show.
    Can we not just, tell BAE, Scotland will build her naval ships in their Scottish yards after independence, and be done with the Westminster warship fiasco.
    This way we will take the doubt out of losing jobs, from the shipyards, and put Westminster and the BT camp on the backfoot.
    In the long term we could even support BAE diversification into the private sector, thus actually increasing the workforce, the Scottish Government, must come up with a plan, which doesn’t involve Westminsters warships being the only meal ticket in town, for our shipyards.

  22. Davy says:

    Its the usual scare stories/ tripe, if the MOD decide to place the order for building T26’s with BAE then BAE will build them on the clyde, and when after we have voted YES for independence the Westminister government then attempts to remove the contracts, then Trident will have to go with them.
    Trident will be the deal breaker not independence. The ignorance that the unionist politicians and unionist newspapers are trying to peddle regarding ship-building in Scotland, just shows them in the true light of negativity towards Scotland and the Scottish people.
    We will do so much more as a country without Westminister and its home grown craven MPs.

  23. jim mitchell says:

    From the horses mouth (and the SNP site);
    Defence chief says Clyde best for shipbuilding

    Sun, 10/11/2013 – 14:02

    The Chief of Defence Staff has said the Westminster government will “get our ships in the place it makes the most sense” – blasting a hole in suggestions that if Scotland votes Yes then Glasgow would lose out on work to build the Type 26 ships.
    Speaking on the BBC Andrew Marr programme today, General Sir Nicholas Houghton said:
    “(The decision) was very much a matter of a business rationalisation. In terms of raw business sense it makes sense the place where they have the greatest capacity and the best depth of skills – which is on the Clyde – so it is driven by a business decision.
    “We live in a world now where it is not for the purposes of the defence budget to underwrite elements of industry. We will go and get our ships in the place where it makes the most sense for the British taxpayer in terms of getting the right capability for the armed forces.”
    The UK government and BAE Systems made clear its decision earlier this week was based on the fact Glasgow is “the most effective location for the manufacture of the future Type 26 ships”.

  24. call me dave says:

    I agree with what you say but 5 Scottish T26 ships don’t make 13 T26’s. However the other 8  might just come along anyway.  If they don’t the 5 T26 Ships + the 3 smaller ships which have been ordered will be enough to keep the yards going for a year or two until some diversification gets into gear.

  25. Murray McCallum says:

    The BAE Systems decision to concentrate military shipbuilding and focus on developing a “world class” environment on the Clyde has been handled very poorly by the unionists.
    For junior Westminster politicians like Davidson, and even Carmichael, to blackmail a skilled workforce, maybe even an entire community in Scotland’s largest city, was a PR disaster.
    It also stuck me how small the Royal Navy now is. At the time of the 1977 silver jubilee the RN had 69 destroyers and frigates. Today it has 19. It seems to me that the drive to “big up” the mighty RN has backfired.
    Events show us that we really need to think beyond the status quo because we will be screwed if we don’t.

  26. proudscot says:

    Never mind the assertions of the pygmies like McColm, Dolan, Young, etc. What about the opinion of the great Talking Skull himself (no, not Murphy) the Panjandrum of Political Pronouncements, Professor John Curtice (ALL KOWTOW!!!)? Two minutes of his rapid fire statistical gobbledegook, and we’ll all be lulled into zombie-like torpor, nodding glazed-eyed at our TV screens, while muttering “Salmond bad, Labour good,” over and over, 1984-style.

  27. Seanair says:

    Feeling smug that I have not bought or accessed online the despicable JP papers for a long time.

    Migrated to the Herald stable, but might review this if they continue to print letters from that idiot AMcK who presumably is still fouling the JP letters page.

    Today’s effort in the Herald (among other insults) claims that AS was “conveniently absent from the Clyde shipbuilding crisis debate”. This would mean AS knowing in advance that BAE were going to announce job cuts and persuaded the Chinese and Hong Kong governments to hold talks and sign agreements on the very day that this was happening. Aye right..

    To any journalist from the Herald reading this I say this is not balance, it’s pure shit.

  28. Famous15 says:

    Off course the rUK T26 frigates will be built on the Clyde but it will not be13 .The rUK could not afford 13 just as the UK could not afford them .Five at the most and perhaps Scotland would order five. I’ll whisper a wee secret ,the plans and boffins and some key workers will then be leased to Australia and a larger number will be built in Adelaide for itself and other Pacific (Ocean) countries. As Ms Sturgeon said sensibly,diversification is the key to the Clyde.

  29. Dcanmore says:

    Shipyards and ship building companies Scotland has lost since the 1960s under successive Labour and Conservative governments. A union dividend? Better Together? … my arse!
    A. & J. Inglis (Clyde) closed 1962
    Ailsa Shipbuilding (Troon and Ayr) 2000
    Alexander Stephen and Sons (Clyde) 1982
    Barclay Curle (Clyde) 1968
    Caledon Shipbuilding Company (Dundee) 1981
    Charles Connell and Company (Clyde) 1980
    Fleming and Ferguson (Clyde) 1969
    Govan Shipbuilders (Clyde) 1988
    Grangemouth Dockyard Company (Grangemouth) 1987
    Greenock Dockyard Company (Greenock) 1979
    Hall, Russell and Company (Aberdeen) 1992
    Henry Robb (Leith) 1983
    J. W. Miller and Sons (St Monans Fife) 1979
    John Brown and Company (Clyde) 1986
    Lithgows (Clyde and Buckie) 1987/2013
    Lobnitz (Clyde) 1964
    McCrindle (Ardrossan) 1990
    Scotstoun Marine (Clyde) 1980
    Scott Lithgow (Clyde) 1993
    Scotts Shipbuilding (Greenock) 1993
    UCS (Clyde) 1972
    William Beardmore (Clyde) 1975
    William Denny (Clyde) 1963
    I didn’t include Fairfield or Yarrow as they are still operating yards under BAE Systems although in a greatly reduced capacities from their heyday.

  30. Andy-B says:

    @Call me Dave .
    I see what you mean, but there’s no guarantee, that the Type 26 Frigates will be built at Govan/Scotstoun, in the first place.
    Remember when an independence vote is achieved it still wont be till 2016 that Scotland truly cuts the strings with Westminster, this leaves plenty of time for a bit of backstabbing regarding as to where the Type 26 Frigates would be built.
    No I think if the Scottish Government,and BAE could procure,other contracts, outwith the Type 26 Frigates that (might, maybe, could be, possibly) built at Govan/Scptstoun, this would go along way to safe guarding Scottish shipbuilding jobs, and even possibly cement a yes vote, in the long term.

  31. Gillie says:

    Just goes to show good Sturgeon has been this week. She has stymied the unionists at every turn. 

  32. frankieboy says:

    Why are Scottish people arguing over who gets to build industrial killing machines? Really, are we so blinded by barbarism of the union that we have lost all sensibilities? These yards in Scotland can compete in the world for all sorts of ships once independent. They only reason we have been left with making war ships is because that is about as far as the imagination of the Westminster war machine can see. I don’t want Scotland to be a mini-me of the UK. We can and we will do better.

  33. Jamie Arriere says:

    An island nation, which claims they used to rule the waves (and some still do) with only 19 warships and only one viable shipyard to build more in – who the hell are they calling “strong and successful”?
    Some people badly need a reality check.

  34. muttley79 says:

    Euan McColm is a disgrace.  That is the sum of it.

  35. Sandy Milne says:

    It is interesting that Cammell Laird has been mentioned in all this. A quick check of their website reveals that they have just completed 2 off new build ferries for Western Ferries (Clyde) Ltd. A further quick check of Western Ferries (Clyde) Ltd reveals that one of the directors of the company is a certain Baron, “Devolution will kill Nationalism stone dead” Robertson of Port Ellen former UK defence secretary and official of the GMB.
    Yet another example of anti Scottish Scots at work.

  36. Gillie says:

    The attacks on Sturgeon highlight how worried the unionists are over this matter.  Sturgeon’ s performances at FMQs and on air have knocked a large hole in unionist arguments on defence procurement. The Clyde is the BEST and now the ONLY place where complex warships can be built in these isles. It is very hard to argue those facts hence the attacks on Sturgeon.

  37. Gillie says:

    Cammell Laird is half way through a 5 year MOD contract. It is unlikely that will be repeated after the 2015 defence review.

  38. The Man in the Jar says:

    I have written about a former colleague and associate who is a GMB shop steward several times on this site. I have complained in the past that this person was a set in concrete No voter.
    After a series of text messages on Saturday informing me that he was now a confirmed Yes voter and after picking myself up off the floor and checking that there was definitely not a blue moon in the sky I was eager to hear the reasons for his conversion. He came to visit me today and it turns out that the reason for this change of heart was the GMB non existent “consultation” with its members. I wont repeat what my friend had to say regarding this as the language would most likely and quite rightly have me sent to quarantine. The GMB statement was the rather large stick that broke the camels back!
    Anyway he went away with a nice shiny Yes badge and a Yes sticker for his car which as he has a disabled parking space will be in full view of Nicola Sturgeon when she attends the official opening of Scottish Waters new offices in Stepps tomorrow.

  39. Jim Watson says:

    There are other major employers associated with shipbuilding that have also gone to the wall – John G Kincaid who built engines for the boats and Hasties Steering are but two that I can think of off the top of my head that were lost in Greenock…there must be many more companies that have suffered a similar fate…

  40. rabb says:

    I heard a cracking saying from an Irishman talking about the whole Scottish media hysterics over Independence and BAE / T26.
    He said “When your dead you don’t know your dead but everyone else can see it. The same goes for stupidity!”
    Sums up the MSM in Scotland nicely 🙂

  41. orkers says:

    I’ve two ‘Yes’ stickers for my Mondeo ‘The Man in the Jar’
    They’re on it tomorrow.
    Feck it!

  42. call me dave says:

    Speaking on BBC Scotland’s Sunday Politics Show, Glasgow Labour MP Ian Davidson  who proposed the controversial move said he had consulted the trade unions on his proposal before going public.
    Mr Davidson, whose constituency includes the shipyards, said the unions had agreed with his calls for a break-clause.

  43. gordoz says:

    According to MSM & TV, seems the Unions, Scottish Tories & Labour + Westminster Govt have decided – No naval shipyards for the upper Clyde if we vote no.

    Now theres a gun to the head decision to all the workers – do you trust them to deliver on behalf of you or Scotland – seriously a few ships think about it ?

    They can just as easily send the contracts  south even after a No vote in that case – its your choice.

    Funny I always resnted bullying also !

    We’ll See

  44. Kenny Campbell says:

    No one knows what ships will be built, all we know is that only the Clyde has the capability today and based on current projections they can only be built there.
    At this point if you believe the pundits and papers, the biggest threat to the success of Scottish independence is English charity. it may not be as nice and gentlemanly as we think. There are many dangers.
    While today we speak in democratic terms , it may not survive the vote

  45. Mark Coburn says:


    Thanks for that. I really needed that cleared up. Cheers!

  46. Lochside says:

    Davidson is a loathsome individual who nevertheless, I believe ,signed the Claim of Right along with all the other Labour MPS. The basis of this document was that Sovereignty lies with the Scottish people first and foremost. Therefore, if the Scottish people exercise that democratic right to endorse the dissolution of the United Kingdom, is this individual seriously suggesting that this decision should be threatened by economic bullying through cancelling a legitimate contract to build these ships? Also, who would he be representing in the event of a Yes vote?

    Why oh why are there no journalists fit for purpose left in our print press? When all the ordure has cleared, do these people know how history will see them? No amount of revision will hide the sorry and pathetic collaboration by these useless tenth rate scribblers with their Unionist paymasters. When the history of these times comes to be recorded, will it  have been worth it  for this unseemly rabble to be revealed  in their true colours as lying propagandists? 

  47. John MacIntyre OBE says:

    The fact is that a Member State may only use its discretion under Article 346 of the Treaty where it is “necessary for the protection of the essential interests of its security.” It would never be feasible for the UK Government to make use of the Article 346 exemption and to argue either in response to infraction proceedings initiated by the European Commission, or before the Court of Justice of the European Union, that it was “necessary for the protection of the essential interests of its security” to build warships in another EU Member State (e.g. a separate Scotland). The only way that the Type 26 warships could be built in a separate Scotland would be under a contract that was awarded by the UK Government under the internal market provisions of the EU Treaty – which include competitive tendering.
    The Defence Committee’s reported of 18 September 2013: “The Secretary of State confirmed that he had sought legal advice on this point from the MoD’s internal legal services, who had, in turn, taken advice from external procurement lawyers.
    134. The UK Government states that defence suppliers in an independent Scotland would no longer benefit from the application of an exemption from EU procurement law for UK MoD orders. If the Scottish Government has legal advice to the contrary it should consider making it public.”
    So – “If the Scottish Government has legal advice to the contrary it should consider making it public” And that means it’s time for Ms Sturgeon, the SNP Government and apologists for both to put up or butt out.

  48. aldo_mac says:

    Well I am one of those GMB members that wasn’t consulted about their decision to campaign for a no-vote next year. My conscience won’t allow me to be a member of a group that is going to campaign directly against something I believe strongly in – independence. So I handed in my resignation to the GMB last week.

  49. Les Wilson says:

    Rev, I guess that how you break down the arguments of liars is always good. It is the main, reason I visit Wings” so much. I suspect many others feel the same.
    You leave nowhere for the rats to hide ! Well done.

  50. ronnie anderson says:

    ReV , Noo cant be serious JOHN MC INTYRE OBE  he graces over wide range of the write media Guardian /Telegraph / Yes scotland site / various other sites  PLEASE HAVE PITY ON ME MY BRAIN STRUGGLES TO COPE AT THE BEST OF TIMES  ( MY ONLY MEANS OF KEEPING ABREAST OF THE YES CAMPAIN IS THRU MY LAP TOP WHITCH IF THAT CLOWN IS ON  HERE MY LAP TOP , s OOT THE WINDY

  51. tearlach says:

    OBE. BAE systems are a UK co, which following independence, will still be a UK co, just one with a shipbuilding facility in Glasgow. So nothing that goes against the procurement lawyer advice at all. Glad to clear that up for you without inurring any expensive legal fee.

  52. Bill McLean says:

    I feel that a particular rat who normally infests the Herald is going to be taken to the cleaners in short time! However let us spare him some sympathy – it must be awful to recognize what you are but not to have the  courage to change!

  53. CR says:

    @Bill McLean, I was just thinking that.  Am off to make popcorn.

  54. Ron Burgundy says:

    I have said it before and I say it again The Scotsman is a dying husk of a “newspaper” seemingly happy to self immolate  commercially on the alter of British Nationalism. Their commercial collapse in 2014 will be my second New Year wish.


    Only use Archive is

  55. Bill McLean says:

    CR -popcorn! Now there’s a thought. I gave up on the man in question when he referred to 16 and 17 year olds in “Kelty and Cowdenbeath” as “numpties”. Some time later his attitude became clear when he claimed to have been a member of “prestigious” Scout Group in Dunfermline. Wonder if that’s how he got his OBE – that’s about prestige isn’t it – or is it a childish bauble given to the sycophant?

  56. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Bill McLean
    Cant be arsed! 😉

  57. Albert Herring says:

    Not much point wasting time handing Mr OBE his arse on a plate – he’s got an inexhaustible supply.

  58. CR says:

    @Bill McLean
    There are so many reasons to support your opinion
    Dunfermline, eh?  You don’t think he had a hand in writing leaflets for Cara’s friends by any chance?
    @Man in the Jar.
    Oh go on, there’s nothing on telly x

  59. Ron Burgundy says:

    Bill McLean
    Just had a peek at the local newspaper calledThe Woking News and Maillots in there for the local resident to get concerned with – such as
    # David Attenborough opening up the new WWF HQ in the town, which is nice
    # The local fireworks display – abandoned for HEALTH and SAFETY reasons, oh my
    # Will Woking taxis be able to meet new EU pollution and safety standards, Christ.
    Leave the Referendum to the people who have a stake in this country because they live here and more importantly because they have a vote. BUTT OUT

  60. The Man in the Jar says:

    @CR / Bill McLean
    Im not that bored!
    Appropriate that it turns up on an article titled “The Words of Weasels” 😆

  61. Bill McLean says:

    CR – Cara is rapidly becoming known as “Pinocchio” HIlton locally. I wonder if OBE writes to his local Woking paper or is local too common for him. He claims to visit Dunfermline from time to time – i’d have thought we were much too common for him!

  62. Murray McCallum says:

    BAE Systems:
    “Following detailed discussions about how best to sustain the long-term capability to deliver complex warships, BAE Systems has agreed with the UK Ministry of Defence that Glasgow would be the most effective location for the manufacture of the future Type 26 ships. Consequently, and subject to consultation with trade union representatives, the Company proposes to consolidate its shipbuilding operations in Glasgow with investments in facilities to create a world-class capability, positioning it to deliver an affordable Type 26 programme for the Royal Navy.”
    It’s a pity that so many “proud Scot buts” have zero commitment to this “world-class” capability on the Clyde. You can almost feel their glee at the thought of the Clyde shipyards losing an MoD contract to India, or some other country in a competitive bid. No belief in the Scottish workforce.
    Whatever the outcome of the referendum, I do hope the Clyde shipyards cease to be dependent on Westminster MoD contracts.

  63. CR says:

    @Bill McLean @Ron Burgundy @The Man In The Jar 

  64. gordoz says:

    Christ thats it MI4 1/2  have arrived  – John MacIntyre OBE is here nobody move !
    OBE Wan Knobi no dount has all the facts to crush us Scots – can anyone be bothered ? 
    Honestly like anyone on here is going to be impressed by tainted pish handouts & baubles.

  65. rabb says:

    John MacIntyre OBE says:
    The fact is that a Member State may only use its discretion under Article 346 of the Treaty where it is “necessary for the protection of the essential interests of its security.
    The fact is that your a knobend hell bent on looking for something that doesn’t exist.
    Here’s the truth.
    IF the type 26 goes ahead at all then it will be built on the Clyde by BAE regardless of the result next year. The contract will be awarded to BAE in the period between a yes vote and independence day. No amount of EU articles will apply. Most likely with a deal to postpone the removal of Trident for a couple of years.
    Where else in the rUK can these ships be built?

    Or alternatively, what treasury worth it’s salt would happily take a hit of a few billion on it’s balance of payments paying Poland or Germany to build ships when there was absolutely no need to do so?

  66. Scaraben says:

    If it is true (and I am not convinced that it is) that, following Scottish independence, the rUK would be required to build warships within the rUK or put the contract for their construction out to competitive tender, perhaps there is another possibility if the rUK is willing to co-operate with Scotland. The Scottish government could order more ships than Scotland needs, and sell most of them to the rUK once they have been built.
    If it is the case that the yard at Portsmouth could be upgraded to allow construction of the Type 26 frigates, then I am not convinced that they will be built on the Clyde even if there is a ‘No’ vote. As soon as the referendum is over, the Tories’ thoughts will turn to making sure that they win the 2015 general election. They will feel no need to worry about alienating Scottish voters, if they are sure that independence is out of the question for a decade or two; they only have one seat to lose in Scotland. On the other hand, Scot-bashing will go down well with the kind of voter in the south who is wondering whether to vote Tory or UKIP, and I am sure that they will be tempted to make it worthwhile for BAE to re-open the Portsmouth yard and upgrade it. Remember how Thatcher made sure that Devonport rather than Rosyth got the refitting work for the Trident submarines, regardless of the extra expense caused by the unsuitability of the site at Devonport. No doubt that got the Tories quite a few more votes in the south of England.

  67. Macsenex says:

    OBE, what if. Scotland and the rUK agree a joint. Build programme?

  68. Murray McCallum says:

    BAE Systems have already identified the Clyde as the place to deliver an “affordable” type 26 for the RN.
    It would be very strange indeed to view a country you are negotiating with to continue to hold your nuclear armaments as a threat to your own security!
    In terms of the MoD spitefully seeking to increase costs, I suggest they use the money to ensure their troops are supplied with life saving kit rather than them feeling compelled to buy their own – from very basic GPS devices to sophisticated satellite tracker systems.

    BTW Portsmouth has a capacity constraint. The Clyde does not.

  69. Taranaich says:

    @frankieboy: Why are Scottish people arguing over who gets to build industrial killing machines? Really, are we so blinded by barbarism of the union that we have lost all sensibilities? These yards in Scotland can compete in the world for all sorts of ships once independent. They only reason we have been left with making war ships is because that is about as far as the imagination of the Westminster war machine can see. I don’t want Scotland to be a mini-me of the UK. We can and we will do better.

    Totally. This could be the beginning of an entirely new kind of navy: one based not on conquest or “peacekeeping,” but on something even greater than that. We could build ships for exploration, research, humanitarian aid, rescue, relief, trade, leisure, transport. You can’t tell me the very phrase “Built in Scotland” wouldn’t be a selling point in itself, with our history and expertise? “Clyde-Built” already is, with 22,000 ships on the database.

    Clyde shipyards alone built the QE2, the Queen Mary, the Cutty Sark, the Britannia, the Lusitania, the Mighty Hood, the Charlotte Dundas (the world’s first practical steamboat), the Waverly (the last seagoing paddlesteamer). We even have our own ship types, the beloved Clyde Puffers and Clyde Steamers. Even after the decimation of the shipyards, if we built them once, we can build them again.

    @Jamie Arriere: An island nation, which claims they used to rule the waves (and some still do) with only 19 warships and only one viable shipyard to build more in – who the hell are they calling “strong and successful”?

    Agreed. We’re an ISLAND NATION, with one of the largest coastlines in Europe, and we only have one operational shipyard!?! Idiocy. Sheer idiocy.

  70. lumilumi says:

    Brilliant, Rev Stu.
    I was trying to explain this thing about the Scottish and wider UK press/MSM/BBC to my parents here in Finland this weekend and they just could not believe it.

  71. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Post-independence, won’t we also need a lot more new ferries to accommodate increased tourism and island-life?
    Who’ll build them?

  72. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The fact is that a Member State may only use its discretion under Article 346 of the Treaty where it is “necessary for the protection of the essential interests of its security.””

    Oh John. Your pish doesn’t fly here, because there are no nice friendly Herald moderators censoring off anyone who corrects your bullshit.

    “any Member State may take such measures as it considers necessary for the protection of the essential interests of its security which are connected with the production of or trade in arms, munitions and war material; such measures shall not adversely affect the conditions of competition in the common market regarding products which are not intended for specifically military purposes.”

    There’s your chapter and verse right there. My emphasis. The determining agent in the decision is the government itself. As long as it’s military, the EU doesn’t get to say diddly about it. (And as someone’s already pointed out, the defence supplier, ie BAE Systems, won’t be going anywhere. It’ll still be a UK supplier.) The end.

    If you’re going to post here, lies are not acceptable. We have higher standards.

  73. Murray McCallum says:

    Ian B
    I have inside information – sneak peek at future Indy Scotland ferry fleet. Rumours also that it will form key design for MoD.

  74. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Murray McCallum-
    Ya bandit!
    Ye got me there man. I thought I was clicking on some Top-Secret paper.

  75. Robert Kerr says:

    Nevertheless MOD would like the ultra-low “stealth” radar signature. 

  76. Morag says:

    If you’re going to post here, lies are not acceptable. We have higher standards.
    That’ll be his jaiket on a shoogly peg then.

  77. joe kane says:

    Newsnet Scotland –
    ‘Funny how Carmichael and his colleagues in Better Together haven’t threatened to remove nuclear weapons in the event of a Yes vote.’ 

  78. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I was just wondering ,what with all this “I’m a proud Scotsman ,but…” we shouldn’t just call them “the buts” or, better still, the “the butts” as in American usage

  79. ronnie anderson says:

    REV, GET UP AND BAR THE DOOR. on OBE . MORAG, thers nae shoogly pegs fur that yin HE,S NO GITTIN IN 

  80. edulis says:

    I buy one hard copy paper per week – The Sunday Herald, which is not only giving more balance to the Independence Debate than the rag in Edinburgh but in its editorial is increasingly supportive of the ‘Yes’ position. 
    I nearly fell off my chair today when I read another gem from idiot Ian Davidson. Not only have we got what he considers to be his vast negotiating skills with the break clause, but he is now blaming the SG for the fact that the cranes at Govan are being demolished.
    “The shipyards are essential to Govan and to Glasgow and I am surprised that the Scottish Government is allowing the five cranes to be demolished.
    “If they were Titans then a preservation order would have been slapped on them right way”.
    This was preceded by his observation that despite the 835 jobs being lost this was predominantly good for Govan.
    Whit? The man is mad I tell ye. Somebody should smack a preservation order on the bold Ian as Govan’s answer to  Chic Murray.
    On the other hand, with his negotiating skills maybe he is far seeing in preparation for the museum which will come if we vote ‘No’.

  81. joe kane says:

    It’s classic behaviour of imperial powers that when they withdraw from their former colonies they often leave an industrial wasteland behind them whilst trying to maintain a military presence on their former colonies soil. 

  82. Andy says:

    If they don’t deliver the contract to the clyde in the event of a yes vote we could keep their submarines
    or put their rates on their base up— big style

  83. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

    Not saying whether I agree or not but this is how it is done…

  84. Patrick Roden says:

    If you’re going to post here, lies are not acceptable. We have higher standards.”
    I know you probably didn’t mean it this way Rev, but that one sentence puts the Scottish MSM to shame.
    They allow this ("Quizmaster" - Ed) to spout bile and lies on a daily basis, but if anyone should question people like OBE/Jeserna/or MM they are banned for questioning other posters!!!
    Any MSM mods from the Scotsman/Herald reading this, you should be ashamed of yourself.
    You are as bad as the three named above and since you allow it through your moderation standards, everything they write is your responsibility.

  85. john king says:

    Rabb says
    “The fact is that your a knobend hell bent on looking for something that doesn’t exist.”
    Sorry if rthis a little facetious but its got to be said, that, Rabb ,reminded me of the scene in an Indiana Jones movie( forget which one) when the attacker brandishing a large sword swings it expertly over his head and gives the clear impression Indiana is about to become sushi, then Indiana pulls out a gun a shoots him, 
    Ha ha ha priceless 
    btw thanks gordoz for using the moniker I gave McIntyre 
    OBE wan kinobe  

  86. john king says:

    Happy also to see Bill McLean use the moniker I gave Cara Hilton (Pinocchio) rather apt don’t you think

  87. john king says:

    ronnie says
    Let him speak Ronnie, they only dig themselves a deeper hole if you give them a shovel,
    we dont want to end up like the Better together lot, that would only make us as bad as them

  88. john king says:

    Scaraben says
    “Remember how Thatcher made sure that Devonport rather than Rosyth got the refitting work for the Trident submarines, regardless of the extra expense caused by the unsuitability ”
    It was John Majors government who stole the Trident refit from Rosyth.

  89. Bill McLean says:

    Sorry John -didn’t know it was you called her that. I heard it in town over the weekend. But how smashingly appropriate. Bill

  90. Scaraben says:

    @john king
    It was John Majors government who stole the Trident refit from Rosyth.
    Apologies for my error, I was relying on my memory – not a good idea. But it could be said that it shows that the Tories did not get any less bad when they ditched the witch.

  91. Morag says:

    the scene in an Indiana Jones movie( forget which one) when the attacker brandishing a large sword swings it expertly over his head and gives the clear impression Indiana is about to become sushi, then Indiana pulls out a gun a shoots him, 
    Ha ha ha priceless 
    Apparently not originally scripted.  Harrison Ford was supposed to get into a knife or sword fight with the guy but the choreography kept going wrong.  Then in frustration he pulled the gun out and pretended to shoot him.  The cast and crew fell about laughing and the director kept it in.

  92. frankmcnulty says:

    vote yes, then sit down with our fellow brits and sort out a fair system r all.

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