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This, that and the other

Posted on April 26, 2014 by

We don’t exactly have high expectations when it comes to the Daily Mail.


But a piece in today’s edition is despicable even for them.

The Lucky Dip lottery ticket that could wreck the Union

It was not exactly typical of the begging letters Colin and Chris Weir received when they scooped their £161 million lottery jackpot. This one did not come straight out with it and plead for a leg-up. Nor did it tell a hard luck tale – not even hint that the sender was eyeing their fortune covetously.

But Mr Weir would have guessed what was on Alex Salmond’s mind when he wrote offering his congratulations on his “great good fortune” in the EuroMillions draw in July 2011.

“It is wonderful to have this opportunity to make contact again,” purred the First Minister in his letter. “And in such happy circumstances.”

It helped, of course, that Mr Salmond and the former TV cameraman had crossed paths many moons ago, back when the politician was the SNP’s publicity vice-convener and the two used to work on party political broadcasts together. That allowed Mr Salmond to treat Mr Weir as if they were old mates.

Within a few weeks, the Weirs, of Largs, Ayrshire, arrived for “talks” in Bute House, the First Minister’s official residence.

Four days later, on September 13, they donated their first half million each to the SNP for its referendum campaign.

Three years on, the Weirs are, by a mile, the two biggest financial contributors to the campaign for an independent Scotland. Indeed, they are easily the biggest political donors in Britain.

To date, they are reckoned to have donated £3 million to the Nationalist cause – and they are free to contribute more before the end of May, when a spending limit of £1.5 million kicks in for both the Yes and No campaigns.

It may seem scarcely credible – and downright alarming – that something as random as a lottery win could change the course of a nation’s history. It is, after all, in the faint hope of personal rather than political gain that millions of players across Europe buy tickets.

Yet seven numbers have turned the Weirs into one of Scotland’s most powerful couples. In a heartbeat, the Lucky Dip card from their local RS McColl newsagent changed everything. From a podgy, rather poorly couple shuffling quietly into their retirement years, they were transformed into towering financial titans, willing to plough enormous sums of money into advancing their favoured political agenda.

Incredibly, it is the Better Together campaign – with the combined wealth of the Tory Party, Labour and the Lib Dems – that now appears the more financially embarrassed. And it is the SNP – once a tiny, practically irrelevant sideshow in the great scheme of British politics – which is flush.

And, staggeringly, it is all because the numbers 17, 19, 38, 42 and 45 and Lucky Stars 9 and 10 came up.

To be sure, no one could accuse the couple of becoming politicised purely as a result of their new-found wealth. Both were committed Nationalists long before their EuroMillions jackpot arrived.

Back in 1987, the year Mr Salmond first became an MP, Mr Weir even stood as an SNP candidate in the General Election, coming fourth in the Ayr constituency with 6.68 per cent of the vote.

But the couple’s extraordinarily deep pockets and their determination to channel money into a political cause has left many feeling distinctly queasy.

It is hardly surprising that the queasiest are Unionists. Better Together’s biggest donor, after all, is Ian Taylor, chief executive of oil trader Vitol, whose contribution stands at £634,770.

Tory MSP Alex Johnstone says of the Weirs’ benevolence towards the SNP:

“The easiest way to describe it is it simply leaves me a bit uneasy.

The thing that has always concerned me about the Weirs is the process behind these donations. Is it entirely their idea?

Is it entirely because they are deeply committed to the political principle – or were they approached for donations?

Were they courted for donations, as many large donors often are? The bottom line is, were they targeted?”

There is a certain irony in any mainstream party politician appearing to cast aspersions on donors to another party – and Mr Johnstone accepts this. 

“When it comes to the funding of political parties, we’re all in it to some extent”, he says. But in the Weirs’ case, he believes the circumstances are “absolutely unique”.

He adds:

“It’s not entirely how they came by their money, but the fact that they came into money and were immediately targeted.

If it was someone who was managing large amounts of money on a daily basis who made the decision, based on long-term commitments and experience, to donate to a political cause, that would be one thing. It’s the fact that a couple came into a very large amount of money overnight and were, it appears, very quickly targeted by a political organisation.”

Asked to comment on claims the party targeted the Weirs, an SNP spokesman says only: “Colin and Chris Weir are lifelong SNP supporters and we’re grateful to have their backing.”

Notwithstanding the enormous scale of their donations, the Weirs also choose to remain silent on such uncomfortable questions. Since their win, they have never made any public pronouncements on politics.

A spokesman for the PR firm they engage to handle media inquiries about the benevolent fund they have set up, The Weir Charitable Trust, says the Weirs “don’t do” interviews.

It was during their period of adjustment, before the dust had truly settled on the massive windfall that rocketed them into the Rich List, that the Weirs last spoke publicly about their intentions.

Mrs Weir said: “I believe that things do happen for a reason – and we also believe that with great wealth comes great responsibilities.”

By this time they had already begun to flex their financial muscle, donating around £100,000 to help save the Waverley paddle steamer, a common sight in the waters off Largs and under threat due to increased running costs.

Many, many more philanthropic acts would follow – hand-outs which would accord the Weirs near saintly status in their home town.

But the political dimension to their generosity was much more divisive.

Suddenly, the First Minister and his party were courting the pair. The couple’s views on independence swiftly became a matter of national importance. And all that pivoted on one thing – their money.

It was in the mid-1980s that Mr Salmond and Mr Weir first worked together on party political broadcasts. At the time, he was a cameraman at STV, a job he gave up in the 1990s to care for his second wife Chris, a psychiatric nurse who had been forced to stop working due to neurological problems.

When she eventually returned to work in the NHS, he was increasingly incapacitated by rheumatoid arthritis. In the three years before their win in 2011, neither Mr nor Mrs Weir worked – and, aged 64 and 55 respectively, it was doubtful whether either of them would again.

But as Mr Weir put it several weeks after their lottery numbers came up: “We’ve come out of retirement into full-time jobs.”

Certainly, there is no question that along with their £161 million came a raft of considerations which do not cross the radar of the less well-off.

Mrs Weir explained in 2011: “It takes a long time to set up a charitable foundation. We have to do it slowly because, in order to help charities and local organisations, we have to look at the tax implications for them. If we throw money at them just now, they could be landed with a tax bill.”

Of course, there were also family and friends to provide for. During year one, the couple gave their daughter Carly and son Jamie money for new properties; while Mrs Weir, the second of six children, is understood to have bought new homes for each of her siblings.

The modern, box-shaped house the new multimillionaires were living in was given as a gift to a neighbour, a teenage mother; while the Weirs bought several new homes for friends on a freshly built development in Largs.

They found time to treat themselves too, snapping up the detached, four-bedroom Knock House, which sits on 23 acres of ground on the outskirts of Largs, for £850,000.

Two things quickly became very clear about the Weirs’ lottery win. First, they absolutely would let the money change their lives. Second, they would strive to ensure it changed the lives of others too.

But, of course, in this endeavour their efforts extend not just to charitable causes but also a political one that could change the lives of Scotland’s entire population, whether they like it or not.

The frightening thing is that these massive political donations are actually small beer to them.

In that first year of superwealth, their £1 million donation to the SNP was the biggest single outlay of an estimated £5 million spend. Yet, with interest generated from their win thought to amount to £5.6million a year, their total expenditure would not have dented their capital sum at all.

It would be perfectly feasible for the Weirs to bankroll the SNP for years to come simply from the income from interest payments.

Last year brought a £1 million donation from the couple to Yes Scotland and this year a further seven-figure sum is believed to have been contributed.

A Yes Scotland spokesman said last year: “Chris and Colin’s lifelong commitment to independence is well known. Their donations to this cause are in line with their financial means and reflect their desire to see a level playing field for this important issue to be debated fully and fairly.”

This week, Yes Scotland refused to reveal how much money the Weirs had donated, insisting an announcement would be made at a time of its own choosing.

The campaign’s talk of a level playing field is a moot point. The public does not know how level the playing field is because Yes Scotland has not updated its public records in more than a year.

But Better Together chairman Alistair Darling has raised fears of an uneven contest, claiming: “We are going to get outspent on this.”

The bitterness between the two sides over money is becoming palpable. And the Weirs – who will not utter a word publicly on the issue – are right in the middle of it.

Three years on from the day which turned their lives upside down, it is fair to say the two have become more comfortable with spending money. All around Largs, and beyond, beneficiaries sing their praises.

Thanks to the £70,000 the Weirs donated, Routenburn Golf Club in Largs was able to buy its clubhouse.

he local football team was given cash for a new pitch; while a series of upgrades was carried out in the town’s care home, Haylie House, courtesy of the Weirs.

Sweet shop worker Lee Craigmile received sponsorship to the tune of £50,000 to take a four-year course at Florence Academy of Art. Teenage tennis hopeful Ross Wilson was given £50,000 to study at the Barcelona academy where Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal both cut their teeth.

Thanks to the Weir Charitable Trust, the list of deserving causes grows well beyond their own corner of Scotland.

Clearly, they have come to enjoy treating themselves too. Having decided they could do better than Knock House, their latest major acquisition is a magnificent, £3.5 million house, near Troon, bought after a ten-minute viewing. It is believed to be the fifth biggest house sale ever in Scotland.

The residence, built in 1909 for a wealthy tea planter, was purchased from chef and hotelier Bill Costley who said he almost “walked out of the property with four pairs of underpants” after the Weirs bought the house and practically everything in it almost on the spot.

Mr Costley said: “We did take a few things, though, that were personal to us. They were in about ten minutes and bought it and all the contents. I say it myself, but it is a very special house in a unique location.”

It certainly is. Highlights include a 36,000-piece chandelier, a billiard room and a vast bathroom with his and hers wash-hand basins and a bath that would have made Cleopatra blush.

At public appearances, the former cameraman is dapper in his well-cut suits, while the ex-nurse looks considerably healthier after an apparently successful diet.

The changes those seven numbers have brought to the lives of the Weirs and others are manifest. But the most far-reaching consequence will not be clear until after the referendum. Those who care about the future of Britain can only hope the Weirs’ money does not pay for its destruction.

We’d like to hope that experienced readers are wise by now to the tricks the Mail is employing in the piece. There are the token figleaves of balance, pointing out the Weirs’ good charitable works and making the odd vaguely pleasantish comment about well-cut suits, in order to make the rest of of the article seem less vicious.

But those 2100 words aren’t an innocent character portrait. They’re a sinister attempt at intimidation, not only of Chris and Colin Weir but the entire independence movement, and indeed the people of Scotland.

The word which most accurately describes the two-page spread is “othering”. The objective is to make the Yes campaign seem alien and creepy and suspicious, and in doing so cause Scots to shy away from it. The use of words like “queasy” and “targeted” are intended to reinforce that impression.

Alex Johnstone, who in a better world would be tarred and feathered and shunned by all decent human beings for taking part in such a despicable piece of smearing, apparently isn’t the least bit “uneasy” about taking hundreds of thousands of pounds from Ian Taylor – a man with links to genocide, war crimes and murderous dictators – yet apparently he finds himself unsettled by the idea of lifelong SNP members donating money to the cause of independence.

(Of course, this slur is cloaked in the language of concern, insulting the Weirs by suggesting they’ve been duped by the “covetous”, “purring” Alex Salmond into contributing a tiny part of their fortune to a cause they’ve believed in for decades.)

Alistair Darling, a man who swindled UK taxpayers out of thousands of pounds by “flipping” his many homes to maximise his expenses claims and who pockets an MP’s full-time salary despite rarely appearing in Parliament (he’s spoken only once in 2014) and dividing most of his effort between leading “Better Together” and jetting around the world enriching himself giving speeches to gullible businessmen, also chips in with a comment implying that the Weirs are creating unfair play in the referendum campaign.

(Despite the No camp having the full weight of Britain’s rich and powerful behind it.)

The article highlights the Weirs’ shunning of the public eye so comprehensively that to have them splashed across two pages of a major national newspaper, naming their friends and family along with numerous details that could let people easily find their home, can only be interpreted as an attempt to frighten them into avoiding any more attention – a goal most easily achieved, of course, by not making any more large donations to the independence campaign.

Throughout the piece hyperbolic words – “incredibly”, “staggeringly”, “extraordinarily” – are used to emphasise that something is not normal. Pejorative terms like “divisive”, “alarming”, “frightening”, “uncomfortable” and “destruction” are also thrown around liberally to leave the reader in no doubt that this unusual thing is a bad one.

Perhaps worst of all, though, is the phrase “that could change the lives of Scotland’s entire population, whether they like it or not”.

In conjunction with the rest of the article, that line is all but an incitement to violence. “These rich people are going to wreck your life against your will just because they fluked into money” is the message to the paper’s readers, barely even cloaked.

(Never mind that it’s basically a description of the entire UK cabinet.)

The article is a tour de force of old-school tabloid monstering, a deliberate and knowing attempt not only to smear and bully Chris and Colin Weir but to “de-normalise” the entire concept of independence and portray it as a disturbing and deviant cult masterminded by callous, grasping, manipulative ogres.

It can only be combated by Yes supporters tackling it head-on. Wearing badges, putting posters in windows and stickers on cars, and speaking out. Because after countless years of independence being the political goal that dare not speak its name, what two years of campaigning have done is make the idea reasonable and respectable – and that, above all else, is the key to winning over the undecided.

Such a prospect, dawning late, terrifies the Daily Mail and all that it represents. Since the start of the year in particular the Unionist media has really turned up the heat on independence-supporting individuals in classic establishment style. We have little doubt that there will be worse to come in the next few months.

Today’s piece is an attempt to drive independence supporters back into the shadows. Only they can determine whether or not it will be a successful one.

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3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 08 05 14 12:56

    The Weirs and the smears | IndyBlog

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    Harry Potter To The Rescue! | An Sionnach Fionn

  3. 12 06 14 20:58

    The goblet of ire | Aye 2014

326 to “This, that and the other”

  1. Tommy says:

    The Weirs are brilliant we got our play park repainted with their help and they have helped loads of folk great they can support independence which I imagine has been their lifelong dream.

  2. M4rkyboy says:

    I read this this morning and was left feeling a little uncomfortable.
    The subtle use of language is rather insidious and the thinly-veiled aspersions book-ended with praise does nothing to diminish the intended impact you eloquently point out was it’s intention.

  3. Salt Ire says:

    I wonder if the Weir’s have enough stashed away to bring some action against the DM for this fetid piece of plop?

    Any media lawyers out there know of grounds? As much as I agree there needs to be a grassroots/public response to this shite, it would be good if the Rothermere’s took a swift boot to their wallet-balls.

  4. HandandShrimp says:

    Alex Johnstone seems to imply that the Weirs are stupid or that they have been manipulated. There is considerable snobbery attached to the whole attitude towards the Weirs amongst the Bitter ones full stop. The Weirs are educated, comfortably off, retired, middle class people who were very active in the SNP. Mr Weir was a selected candidate for the SNP which should give Alex Johnstone a step for a hint that Mr Weir is actually interested in politics.

    The thing about the lottery though is that the clue is in the name. The fates have smiled kindly on the Weirs and in turn the causes they support, that includes the Yes campaign. People need to learn to live wit that. A lot of history turns on a single moment of fate.

  5. Ann says:

    That is an absolute abomination.

    I hope that Colin and Chris get themselves a top class lawyer and take both paper and its journalist to court and sue them what every they can get.

  6. Helpmaboab says:

    Dear Daily Mail,

    I, like many of my fellow Scots, have spent the last three years making small but regular contributions to ‘Yes Scotland’. This obliged me to make some sacrifices but I believe that those sacrifices will be worthwhile if it means that my country is able to secure its independence.

    Mr and Mrs Weir have also contributed to the same cause on a larger scale. I can’t find any reason to doubt their sincerity or honesty.

    ‘Better Together’ is notoriously funded by wealthy people, mostly Tory, mostly from outwith Scotland. I can see many reasons to doubt THEIR sincerity and honesty.

  7. Paula Rose says:

    I don’t want to give the fail any ideas but I suspect they will run a series of ‘undeserving cases’ winning money they can’t handle stories, giving them every opportunity to repeat sections of their scurrilous article. (otoh – if they do, you read it here first)

  8. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I hope that Colin and Chris get themselves a top class lawyer and take both paper and its journalist to court and sue them what every they can get.”

    You’d be very hard pushed to make any sort of legal case over it. The Daily Mail are scum but they’re not total idiots, and I can’t see anything defamatory or illegal in there. It’s just insinuation and neuro-linguistic programming.

  9. haartime says:

    Well said, Stu. The Mail is a vile tabloid and its anti-independence articles should be analysed and deconstructed as often as possible. It’s attacks on individuals are disgraceful and aren’t just reserved for the Yes campaign.

    The most queasy thing about the paper is that Better Together participants like Johnstone and Dugdale show their support for its gutter journalism.

    McTernan, of course, is quite at home in it.

  10. scottish_skier says:

    And, after having read the article, the Weirs went online and transferred a further million to YesScotland…

    It is, after all, in the faint hope of personal rather than political gain that millions of players across Europe buy tickets.

    Oh no – someone with money who’s not a Tory! This just isn’t very sporting now is it.

  11. indigo says:

    If Chris and Colin read Wings I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart for levelling the playing field.

    What a difference they are making to communities and to individual people through their charitable trust. What a difference they are making to Scotland.

  12. velofello says:

    The Weirs,nice gentle people denigrated by by downright nasty people. Great article Rev.

  13. M4rkyboy says:

    Their is nothing actionable but that doesn’t mean the piece isn’t a load of suggestive shite.

  14. MajorBloodnok says:

    The things is that each of us have donated and contributed each within our means. £10 towards YES from someone on £100 a week could be said to be an even greater contribution and sign of commitment to an independent Scotland than even the Weirs have been capable of, not to under-estimate or belittle the colossal importance of their generous support to the SNP and YES.

    And yet we are the very many people who contribute without allegedly having Alex Salmond purring into our ear. The fact that so many have contributed, and so visibly, is surely sign that support for independence is actually the new normal and it is the bitter Unionist and their lackeys in the press who are the ones that are out of step.

  15. mogabee says:

    Gross, grosser and despicable. No words can truly reflect my feelings towards that paper.

  16. Corm says:

    Their politics aside and so to their donations if I was religious I would say that pair deserved beatification for the good causes they have set up, saved or helped. If I was a Royalist id say give them a title or a Brit Nat id say give them at least an OBE each. But I’m not so ill just say good on them both and how they have shared their wealth.

  17. Ali says:

    Being part of the Yes campaign is something I’m really proud of and I agree we should all wear badges to show our support for independence.

    What is increasingly obvious is that Bitter Together are extremely nervous about the Yes war chest and desperate to know what’s in it. They are constantly harping on “when are the accounts going to be published”.

    We are very fortunate to have the generous Weirs as donors but I think its also important that there as many people as possible on the list of Yes campaign donors. It’s another way of demonstrating we are a grassroots campaign. To that end a year ago I set up a direct debit to the Yes campaign for £5 a month. Its an insignificant amount but if we all do this it will make it much more difficult for BT to misrepresent Yes.

  18. Brian Powell says:

    The rotten foundations of the UK Establishment continues to crumble.

  19. Seasick Dave says:

    Jonathan Brocklebank should be ashamed of himself.

    But I’ll wager that he isn’t.

    Perhaps he could let us know.

  20. Salt Ire says:

    Could they not argue that the implication of coercion and the assertion of being “courted” has done damage to their credibility/reputation?

    At the very least it makes them look gullible and “played”.

    If I had a spare hundred million tucked away I’d be tempted to speak to a lawyer about solatium etc.

  21. M4rkyboy says:

    You make an excellent point Major.
    But at the end of the day,we all get one vote only.

  22. Ken500 says:

    Paul the tax evading, EU milking UKIP supporter, absentee Landlowner has a blooming cheek.

    Ill researched ‘journalists’ talking themselves out of a job.

    Good luck to the Weirs.

  23. Faltdubh says:

    Haha ScottishSkier, I completelty agree.

    Wonder if it’s a subtle sign that somehow the 150 million EUromillions jackpot was won by supporters of Indy.

  24. gordoz says:

    The best we can do is rise above the swamp slime of the British gutter press and their Tory / Labour hangers on.

    This piece by Rev Stuart Campbell is a most excellent retort.

    Remember guys what Ghandi had to put up with, the might and wealth of the British state system, (that has its ‘sleepers’ no doubt even on these pages sadly).

    Theae are decent honuorable people of some ‘good fortune’ with a passion for their homelands emancipation and its citizens.

    What the mail lacks is any remnant of honour or a sense of ‘fair play’ largely extinct in the British press.

    This DM piece and Johntones pathetic insinuation are to be expected and smacks of pure jealousy and infantile petty trouble making with clearly no evidence.

    Trouble is though, Scotlands inexplicable grey DM reading league will swallow this bullshit hook line and sinker.

    Shame on you Alex Johnstone Tory MSP.

    Apologies for such hassle Chris & Colin from all ordinary Scottish residents.

  25. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Jonathan Brocklebank should be ashamed of himself.
    But I’ll wager that he isn’t.
    Perhaps he could let us know.”

    His previous items on Scottish politics were muck-raking attacks on Joan McAlpine, used chiefly to smear the First Minister by association. He has, as far as I can see, no Twitter account.

  26. Les Wilson says:

    The Weirs spent money on what is dear to their hearts, if I was in their position I certainly would have done the same.
    There is no need for any doubts, they did what their hearts wanted them to do.
    They have not forgot others either, they have spread their money as they desired, as we all would.

    This IS gutter press, and desperately so.
    They do not think that Westminster, having done all these “papers” against Scottish democracy is ok? and it is in part funded by OUR taxes, that my friends, is obscene.

    Have we a list of their donor’s? I do not think BT have listed theirs, but no mention of that either.

  27. Croompenstein says:

    In short a poor pair of thickos duped into parting with their jammy gotten cash by that evil seperatist bastirt Salmond to fulfil his dream. Aren’t these separitist’s a bunch of conniving bastirts who are placing the Glorious Union in jeopardy…F*ck off Brocklebank..

  28. David McCann says:

    The Mail, a paper which I never read has plumbed the depths of character assassination in this vile article.

    No decent journalist with any sense of worth would pen such a piece, and no decent politician would be associated with it.

    One is led to the conclusion that these people are happy in the gutter, where they belong.

  29. Chic McGregor says:

    I suppose there is a difference between the appearance of money through pure good fortune going to a political cause the winner supports and the money used to bribe a few individuals into agreeing to the formation of the Union.

    One is an act of chance, therefore morally neutral, the other, was a deliberately calculated act and therefore is not morally neutral.

  30. Geoff Huijer says:

    I can’t think of a nicer couple to have won it.

    The money they put into helping others is something
    that has given me a glimmer of faith that there are
    people who care in the world.

    Self-serving, lying, deceitful politicians they are not;
    they have DONE something. How many areas of Scotland have
    people starving because of the policies and INACTION of
    politicians? Especially Labour ones.

    Some people can’t afford a lottery ticket; we shouldn’t
    live in a society where the only hope of escaping poverty
    is left in the luck of picking the right numbers.

    Newspapers make me sick.

  31. Peter A Bell says:

    Who can fail to agree with Stu’s assessment of this despicable piece of propaganda? But there is another insidious, pernicious message apart from the thinly-veiled attack on the Weirs. There is the suggestion that their donations to the campaign bring into question the legitimacy of a vote for independence.

    The Daily Mail is quite brazenly advancing the idea that a Yes vote will not be a genuine expression of the democratic will of Scotland’s people.

    This is dangerous rhetoric. Independence campaigners condemned Better Together for accepting “dodgy donations”. But the criticism was on the grounds that the money was tainted because it came from a source with a highly dubious record for probity.

    By contrast, the Mail’s carping about contributions from the Weir’s is based on nothing more than the fact that they are supporting the “wrong side”.

  32. joe kane says:

    “It’s the fact that a couple came into a very large amount of money overnight and were, it appears, very quickly targeted by a political organisation.
    – Makes a change from the political organisation Johnson belongs to, which falls over itself to target people who become too sick and disabled to work in order to take money off them. Along with the Daily Mail, his fellow tory IDS even claims such disabled people are also ruining the country for the rest of us.

    Reference –
    Amputee asked to prove he is unable to work
    A disabled man who lost both legs and four fingers to diabetes has been asked to prove he is unable to work by the Department of Work and Pensions.

  33. gordoz says:

    Oh forgot to say >

    Alex Johnstone Tory MSP – Vitol / Vitol / Vitol contributions to Better Together; no strings ? no problems ? not a tiny bit queasy ? not interested ?

    Just take the money eh ? No questions asked, nothing queasy

  34. Cyc says:

    Yes, you see there are two types of rich people:

    a) those who deserve to be rich because they have inherited it/made it from the backs of others

    b) those who don’t deserve to be rich because they are just ordinary people who got lucky

    How dare those ‘undeserving’ rich people spend their money on causes they believe in! What do they know?

  35. liz says:

    I’m only commenting to add my support both for this article and the Weirs.

    The mail is a despicable rag and a lot of people in Scotland know that the Weirs have helped folk out and even if some of them hold a different political view, they will recognise this for the disgraceful smear it is.

  36. Jamie Arriere says:

    It’s worth pointing out that the SNP had already won the election with an overall majority with a mandate for the referendum before the Weirs even bought their ticket.

    It’s dripping out of every sentence in this nasty piece of work that the Establishment can’t countenance that they are being outspent in this campaign, completely against their narrative of too wee too poor.

    It also betrays a lack of confidence in their belief of the strength of the case for the union, that it can be defeated by the finances of the opposition….which is nice to see!

  37. Muscleguy says:

    Perhaps worst of all, though, is the phrase “that could change the lives of Scotland’s entire population, whether they like it or not”.

    I think it is also an insult to the intelligence of a Scottish resident in the referendum. It implies that my vote can be turned by a poster or a single Yes newspaper. I have a science PhD and will vote Yes in the full and present knowledge of all the pertinent facts, arguments and unknowns (both those withheld, Westminster, and due to the vagaries of time and circumstance.

  38. Mealer says:

    I hope the Weirs don’t have money invested in companies belonging to CBI.If they do,they should be asking these companies why they belong to such a shambolic organisation,which has nailed its colours to the anti independence mast.The Weirs might also ask themselves if its wise to invest in companies foolish enough to belong to such a shambolic outfit as CBI.All of us should be asking questions of ourselves and our banks.It takes two minutes to send them an email.As for the Daily Mail……No printable comment!

  39. Jean says:

    The Weirs are living their dream and long may they continue to do so. They have helped their families, friends, deserving causes and many individuals in need and I dare say we will never know half of the good deeds they have undertaken.
    For them to be monstered by this dirtrag is reprehensible in the extreme. They are of course the secondary target, Alex Salmond and the SNP being the main.
    Their reasons for donating are their own and if I was them I would triple the donation overnight just to stick it to the sicko journalist and politician.
    Our side at least is not tainted by blood money.

  40. Grouse Beater says:

    I hope I get the chance to meet the Weirs one day to thank them. We owe them our gratitude.

  41. Harry says:


    I need a bit of help here and it would seem quite a few votes depend on it.

    I had an independence discussion today with my policeman pal. Known him since secondary school, he’s been in the force since 1992. The last time we spoke about it, last September, he seemed to be heavily leaning towards Yes. Today he was very unhappy that, according to him, the SNP will not give assurances that his police pension (worth about £500,000 to him) will be secure after a Yes. He says the Police Federation have written to the Scottish Government and have so far not received any answers. This confuses me, having just double checked the White Paper, I can see that there are assurances about Public Service Pensions in there.

    He has many colleagues seemingly all worried and unsure about voting Yes. Can anyone advise? Have the police got grounds to be concerned about their pensions? I’m baffled but I’d like to get back to him with some positive information.

  42. kininvie says:

    It’s worth remembering in the middle of a Mail hate-fest, that it is one of the few newspaper groups to make a substantial profit, and that Mail online is the second most-read site in the world.

    Ask yourselves why that should be? In Amazon’s immortal words, ‘start from the customer and work backwards’ – and that is just what the Mail does.

    We all have prejudices and fears – and the Mail is expert on playing on both – and rakes in the cash in consequence, because lots and lots of people read it to have their prejudices confirmed and their fears substantiated.

    If we are to have a free press, we have to live with the consequences, however unpleasant we may find them.

  43. scottish_skier says:

    @muscleguy: “I think it is also an insult to the intelligence of a Scottish resident”

    This whole independence thing only popped up on the radar after the Weirs won the lottery you know. I mean Scotland didn’t even exist until those numbers came up.


  44. Adrian B says:

    The Weirs have contributed to many a good cause/personal story up and down the length of these islands. Their contribution is certainly noteworthy in the amount pledged to the SNP/YES Scotland campaigns for an Independent Scotland, but why are all the good stories that they have contributed to like life saving treatment not given quality billing? The reason is that the NO Scotland campaign are in a real mess. Smearing gives them some sad satisfaction.

    How many millions of pounds stirling do Westminster spend each month on the cost of all these reports and day trip ministers with 2 cars of entourages travelling north to spread their Westminster fear?

    The self serving british establishment sickens me – they are not a force for good with a passion to make things better for the population at large, they do not care about healing the broken parts of our society nor do they want to make things better for these people. Westminster only cares for the mega rich, those with money to spend. Cash for questions – Dinner with the PM? Food banks for those struggling at the bottom, bedroom tax on unused rooms classed as bedrooms. Do these idiots in WM think that we are really going to keep paying their expenses bill?

  45. Murray McCallum says:

    Maybe we can expect a Daily Mail campaign to ban northern Britons winning any lottery.

    Alternatively, they could demonstrate balance by placing a reasonable cap on any northern winnings – say £100 – more than enough for simple Scots.

  46. Croompenstein says:

    @Harry – Today he was very unhappy that, according to him, the SNP will not give assurances that his police pension

    Where has he got this information from? the white paper is quite explicit as you pointed out, I just wonder where this has come from.

  47. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @kininvie says:
    We all have prejudices and fears – and the Mail is expert on playing on both – and rakes in the cash in consequence, because lots and lots of people read it to have their prejudices confirmed and their fears substantiated.

    Your post is spot-on re the DM.

    I suppose one additional button that might be being pressed here is the getting-the-excuses-ready one.

    “It’s the Weirs wot won it!”

  48. Ted says:

    Yep, win the Lottery and help to bring more democracy to Scotland, what’s not to like about that?

  49. Morag says:

    OT, but before I catch up with the day’s posts.

    Had a lovely day today. The Early Music Forum of Scotland was holding its AGM and playing day in Dollar, home of a fantastic New Scot musician. Instrumentalists and singers gathered for a day of reading our way through some great renaissance music, with a wee bit of business in the middle. The cherry trees were in bloom, and Castle Campbell (any relation, Stu?) loomed magnificently through a light and romantic mist.

    I’d barely got in the door of the hall when someone said to me brightly, “where did you get that Yes badge?” But shortly after that there was a strange experience. I was putting my recorders together when my subconscious told me I should be listening to a conversation just beside me.

    An elderly lady, who from her accent was 100% Scottish, was saying, “I just can’t believe the sheer insanity of it!” I pricked up my ears. She could have been talking about shifting concert pitch from 440 to 442 at that point. But she went on.

    “It’s getting really close though. The cost of it all! It’s all going to [indistinct]! All the bureaucracy we’ll have to set up! I’m really going to have to move somewhere else. I just don’t know where I’m going to go!” Frank, who had just let me have a go on his baroque flute, just listened noncommittally. I don’t honestly know why she started talking to Frank like that, or if she had seen my Yes badge.

    My first thought was a pang of guilt, that my hopes and dreams were causing this nice, inoffensive elderly lady such distress. But then I got a bit angry. Why does she feel like this? This isn’t someone with roots in England thinking about moving back. This is someone wholly Scottish, saying “I don’t know where I’m going to go,” in response to the possibility of the best thing that’s happened to her country since at least 1945.

    This is the sort of fear that Project Fear is stirring up. Innocent people who are exposed to the unremitting diet of doom and gloom and scare and disaster coming from the MSM. And who don’t know why many if not most of her countrymen are turning to the option she’s so scared of.

    Hell mend Alistair Darling ad Blair MacDougall and all their works.

    On the way home though, just coming off the M8, I drew up behind a car with a Yes sticker and I flashed my lights at him and he gave me a wave.

  50. JLT says:

    I was at Uni for most of today doing Cultural History (Arts and Humanities). Later on in the afternoon, we got around to Plato, and his character of Socrates’ and his arguments. The tutor (who was great by the way) decided to discuss one word …independence. She asked us to define it, and what does it mean.

    In groups of 4 and 5, we discussed the word, and as we can all guess, most groups dragged it down the independence route.

    To be honest, I didn’t say too much to begin with; I was curious as to how folk viewed it. There was a bit of hesitancy, shall we say. Eventually, I said that ‘independence’ to me meant autonomy; self-choices which would lead to self-direction whether it was from an individual point of view, or from the view of a nation. The others agreed with that assessment with a couple of other definitions thrown in.

    As we began to discus the Referendum in greater detail, I came out, and said I was in the ‘Yes’ camp. Two others out of the five also said they were ‘Yes’, while one said they were undecided, while the last person was undecided leaning towards ‘Yes’. The argument being, the ‘No’ camp’s negativity was angering the undecided. One also said, she was pretty pissed off that Miliband was wandering about Scotland telling us to vote ‘No’ while the Scottish MSP’s as well a range of celebrities from the Scottish entertainment world celebrated the life of Margo. As one said, ‘Miliband was totally disrespectful. While Scotland celebrated Margo’s life, he was canvassing a ‘No’ vote. This is a Labour Westminster MSP totally out of touch with Scotland. That is why I am leaning towards ‘Yes”. I thought that was a pretty good description of Miliband and his actions yesterday.

    Eventually, the room (about 20 of us) regrouped and discussed the argument from the view of Socrates as to the word ‘independence’. Now …the room was a mixture of age groups (late 20’s to people in their 60’s).

    The group discussed the referendum lightly, but not once did anyone say they were a ‘No’. From what I could tell, a few undecided; a few ‘Yes’ folk …but NOT one person hee-hawed, decried ‘independence’ or shouted ‘No’.

    I may have spent a Saturday at Uni, but I left the class at 4.30pm pretty upbeat. As folk said, it will come down to what they believe, and many hinted that their hearts may even rule their heads.


    Because simply …it’s Scotland.

  51. penfold says:

    We have a litter of puppies at the moment. You tend to go through an awful lot of newspapers with puppies. MIL very kindly passes all her old papers to us for this purpose. She is a DM reader.

    It gives me great satisfaction every time one of the pups does a great big poo. Only thing that pile of rubbish is good for!

  52. a supporter says:

    A disgusting hack. And two disgusting people involved, Alex Johnstone and Jonathon Brocklebank. I am no longer surprised at how low these ("Tractor" - Ed)ous bastards will sink.

  53. Chris says:

    The no campaign obviously do not believe in Karma!

  54. Arel says:

    After independence we should appoint Mr and Mrs Weir as Scotland’s good will ambassadors in recognition of their generosity toward the Yes campaign and the other causes they have supported.

    As for that bogroll of a newspaper, I wouldn’t line the bottom of my budgie’s cage with it.

  55. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    Let’s turn the proposition on its head.

    Surely there must have been unionists that won the Lotto jackpot. Why are they not lavishing the NO campaign with funds and why they have to rely on dodgy businessmen and Colonel Blimp characters for funding.

    Strange is it not?

  56. MajorBloodnok says:

    Thanks JLT – after meeting you on the march last September I can just imagine you in your breakout group. Great story.

    And Morag, they’re no changing the ‘A’ from 440 to 442 are they? I’ll have to stick a bit of blu-tack on me tuning fork and get my oboe re-bored.

  57. MajorBloodnok says:

    Or file a bit off, either way, painful.

  58. Marcia says:

    Daily Hate Mail saying, ‘How dare 2 working class Scots win the Lottery and give a small fraction of their win to the Yes campaign’.

    The Weirs have done far more good to good causes than anyone attached to BT.

    They are not the only lottery winners to give money to the Yes campaign. I won £25 recently and that went to the Yes campaign.

  59. john king says:

    I wonder if the weirs fancy buying a newspaper?

  60. Grouse Beater says:

    “The Lucky Dip lottery ticket that could wreck the Union.”

    Are we bothered?

  61. seanair says:

    Isn’t it ironic that just because the Weirs are pro-SNP/independence they are criticised by this fish-wrapper, which is normally on the side of the rich (like their owners).

    In the same vein, the voting system for the new Scottish Parliament was meant to crush the SNP, and their wins in 2007 and 2011 were seen as being “not right”.

    The dinosaurs have to realise that the old days are over, the SNP are here to stay, and the tectonic plates of British politics are on the move.
    Well done to the Weirs for all the charitable work the’ve done.

  62. Jamie Arriere says:

    Brocklebank? Any relation to Ted Brocklebank, who was a respected TV producer and head of news at Grampian TV…and a Tory MSP?

  63. frankieboy says:

    The thing is nobody has to explain or justify anything to the Daily Mail. The whole article smacks of pure envy. I think the best advice to this hack would be to GIRFUY.

  64. Croompenstein says:

    O/T – Pure genius from the Yew Choob guys

  65. heedtracker says:

    Have to say though, if I had won over £100 million on the lotto, I would donate YES the same way and those reprobates at the Daily Mail could call me anything they like. Dacre’s one the of most disgusting teamGB establishment creeps around anyway.

  66. liz says:

    O/T – just read BLC on the Guardian re ‘Cornish identity: why Cornwall has always been a separate place’ and they sound exactly the same as the comments re Scottish independence – go you are so poor ‘we’ wont have to subsidise you any more.

    Some of the Cornish commenters are surprised at the negative comments.

    Re the police pensions – this is something that needs to get cleared up. I am surprised that they did not get a reply.
    I would be getting in touch with my MSP at their surgery and ask for clarification as the WP is definite.

    Also I’m sure someone recently on here posted an email that they got from the UK pensions department stating that the pensions were safe.

  67. Marcia says:


    I don’t think he is getting the correct info. I am away at the moment and don’t have access to the archive site favour on my home computer. Here is the Hootsman where it is very clear that all pensions will be protected.

  68. Fiona says:

    Shameful article

    It is just not right that ordinary people should get their hands on that kind of money: they might ape their betters and fund a political party, ffs!

    What is the world coming to when people who win the lottery don’t take the money and run, secure in the knowledge that this is the best of all possible worlds, as shown by the fact they got rich? What is wrong with them?

  69. scottish_skier says:

    TWD: Surely there must have been unionists that won the Lotto jackpot.

    Erm, aye. Given support for the union is highest in the wealthy, Tory leaning / voting demographic, you’d have thought BT would be rolling in it.

    Oh wait though. These people only part reluctantly with their cash if they think the return for them personally will be much greater than their outlay.

    I wonder if e.g. Alistair Darling has made a donation to BT. Surely if he really believes deeply in the union he’d have been putting all he can spare into the campaign. Quietly of course, in the wee small hours with no fanfare…

  70. Famous15 says:

    Rev Stu

    I always thought that Mr Alex Salmond was just a big warm pussy cat so they got that correct, Purrrrrr!

    Police pensions for existing officers are absolutely secure but the UK Government is trying to alter the pension arrangements for new Fire And Police officers. I have faith in the Fire Brigade Union having the will to resist,The Scottish Police Federation have less powers to do so but have nothing to fear in an Independent Scotland.

  71. Kenlike says:

    I often wonder post-September what all these Unionist hacks, bagmen and timeservers are going to do?

    Surely, some of them should be reading the runes. I can’t imagine a post-split rUK being exactly welcoming…

  72. HandandShrimp says:

    I suppose on the plus side papers like the Mail are beginning to winge “no fair” because it is starting to look like we could do this. They are scrabbling around for scapegoats. Darling will be next on their list.

  73. Paula Rose says:

    @ thomas william dunlop – darling all those lovely unionists have oodles of cash, why indeed are they not supporting their convictions? Whereas us wee widows are handing over our mites on a daily basis.

  74. Iain Lawson says:

    What the Mail has printed will result in a lot more votes for YES. The Weir’s have used there good fortune for a great many good causes throughout Scotland but particularly around the area where they live. A great many people there will be very annoyed by this article.

    I knew Colin well when he was heavily involved in the SNP and there was no doubting, at any time , his wholehearted commitment to Scottish Independence. I think if anyone who is a committed nationalist had won this enormous amount of money would have donated a large sum of their money, at this crucial time, to help win their nation’s freedom.

    I cannot think of a better way to use their fortune than to help the entire nation move forward.

    A huge thank you to the Weir’s on behalf of my entire family.

  75. Capella says:

    £160 million is small beer to the people who run the UK and they are not short of cash for the NO campaign. This can only be a smear campaign against Independence, targetting the Weirs as symbols of Scots with capacity and attitude. How dare we choose our own future! Thank heavens for the Weirs and their generosity. They deserve our good will and thanks. The DM is a vile rag.

  76. Betsy says:

    Well I can think of only one one response to that article- a wee donation to Yes Scotland

  77. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    It strikes me it might be a good idea for YES to organise meetings for Better Together people to address!

    Derek Bateman is on fire in his latest blog

  78. Jimbo says:

    This is a new low, politics from the sewer. This article demonstrates the utter desperation from westminster and I would say to the Weirs THANK YOU your support is helping us realise a dream of an Independent Scotland stay strong and keep believing.


  79. Albalha says:

    Talking of spare cash a new fundraiser. Postie Mark Coburn is cycling 1421 miles from Rome to Glasgow, on his bike tomorrow.

    All cash goes to local Yes groups so if you donate make sure and specify which group you want your cash to go to.

  80. TJenny says:

    Croompenstein (+ obvs Yew Choob) – that Yew Choob was just amazing – was singing my heart out along with the lyrics. Having them onscreen is a huge help with ‘joining in’.

    Jock Scot – look forward to meeting you at the Ferry night out, and deffo up for singing backing vocals or whatever. (And if you decide to ask me to sing over the hills and far away, I wont be cross. :-))

  81. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    There is no doubt that the contributions made by the Weirs are 100% clean. Can we say the same for donations made to Better Together?

    If all multi millionaires helped others to the same extent as the Weirs, I suspect the world would be a better place.

  82. JLT says:


    I have to admit, that there are still people around me who see me a delusional fool dragging the country down into oblivion. However, as I said in a comment yesterday, there are times when even I am surprised (a person who has been shouting ‘No’ for a year, asked me serious questions yesterday when it was quiet at the end of the day).

    From what I’ve seen of these advocates of the ‘No’ camp, I have found that they belong to 3 groups.

    1. The ‘Diehards’. ‘No’ means ‘No’. They refuse to listen to your argument. They will always be ‘NO!’
    However, like all of us here, and we all know 2 or 3 folk like this, they are our friends, and we have agreed to respect each other opinions at the end of the day – no matter that we are poles apart – we remain friends no matter the outcome.

    2. The ‘Tuned-into the media’ lot. They believe everything they hear or read from the media. When asked why they believe in ‘No’ …the usual nonsense …we’re too wee …we can’t afford it …or the belter …’just because’ (at that point, they get slaughtered from me as that is no argument. I get that answer from my 15 year old stepdaughter when asked a serious question that they want to avoid answering!

    3. The ‘just leave me alone’ lot. In other words, they just WILL not engage. They just get on with their lives and hope that the referendum is something that will eventually just fade away. They like their life as it is; in the sense that the state will always take care of them, and that these ‘nationalists’ are causing ripples that are ‘just damn annoying!’

    I would guess that the lady in question in your piece was probably in Camp 2 which is a real shame as your say. The poor elderly woman through misinformation, is now living in fear …just as Better Together intended.

    I still believe that once we cross that magical 50%, that the effect will ripple onto other people. Once most of the nation realise that their own countrymen are not shirking, blinking, or shaking in fear, then I hope that for those like that elderly woman, that they will realise that they are not being abandoned, nor will the countrymen stand for such fear mongering tactics. I have a feeling that if Project Fear try to turn up the volume in August, that most Scots will actually get angry; that one month out, that they realise that this is all the UK state has …fear mongering and no positivity.
    And if that is the case, then I see many folk voting ‘Yes’ in anger; no matter if they do believe in the idea of Unionism as they will perceive it to be that Westminster is attacking the Scottish nationhood. Scots may argue with each other constantly …but nothing unites the people more that when they feel that Scotland is being attacked.

  83. Clootie says:

    Firstly a thank you to the Weirs and every other person who has made donations to the Independence cause.

    As well as the straight forward contributions many,many people are buying equipment, paying campaign bills or running errands such as transporting material around the country at their own cost.
    Who knows just how much paper and ink we have gone through this year alone.

    Fron the Weirs to the person buying a badge at a YES stall the reason is the same. The amount is unrelated to the intent.

    Well done all. (The Weirs have at least balanced the dirty money and deserve a special thanks for that)

    What would have been the Mail headlines had a lottery winner contributed to the BT campaign?

  84. Croompenstein says:

    this is Flipper I wonder if he has read Brocklebanks shite

  85. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    The Mail, the Express and the P&J are the biggest obstacles we now face(and the BBC).

    It is very noticeable that the Sun and the Record are now providing some balance and it looks to me that Gardham in the Herald is being reined in somewhat. The Herald’s letter page is a good measure of the opinion of much of its readership. The Scotsman’s derisory circulation is less significant than the fact that it is still widely quoted as an authoritative news source.

    Canvassing again for the third time this week in Dunoon today and having difficulty finding many No voters

    Don’t forget to get your Sunday Herald tomorrow

  86. Susan says:

    It is not just through the media that the No camp is trying its best to damage our cause. I heard today that the Chairchoob was in Stornoway meeting in secret with Independent (Labour Party) Councillors and some crofting representitive.

    Now, as far as I know, Chairchoob has no connections to our islands and has nothing to do with crofting either, he cannot be up to anything good up here.

  87. Gaavster says:

    Let’s not forget that the Weirs are asking for nothing in return from all of their good deeds, no billboards for them proclaiming how wonderful that they are, no regular TV appearances saying ‘we’ve done this, that or the next thing’…. they simply wish to be left alone, in privacy, to get on with their lives and to things in their own time and in their own way…

    Do you think they ask political allegiances before making donations to aid the just causes at community and individual levels that they support?

    To the Weirs, a huge thank you on behalf of all the just causes you choose to support….

    Ignore the shite, bile and aspersions that the Darlings, Johnstones and Daily Mail ‘journalists’ of this world cast in your direction…

    they will soon be yesterday’s men whereas your actions will benefit many, many worthy and worthwhile causes long into the future…

    Once again, on behalf of myself, and I’m sure I speak for many others here, please accept our sincere thanks for all that you have done to help our cause

  88. Maid_in_Scotland says:

    “I often wonder post-September what all these Unionist hacks, bagmen and timeservers are going to do.”

    Sadly, Kenlike, they will continue in the same vein, bad-mouthing and ridiculing us and generally spitting venom. They will carry on doing this ad nauseam. It’s what they are. And even if, in the end, we were to emerge a truly great wee nation they would never admit they were wrong. I think it’s ingrained in the psyche.

  89. HorseBoy says:

    Colin and Chris Weir are GREAT SCOTS.

  90. TJenny says:

    Croompenstein + Yew Choob – should also have said that I lurved the unicorn in the middle of the Saltire. 🙂

  91. Paula Rose says:

    @ JLT – never mind the squirrels, I think you’ve cornered the nut-shells.

  92. Democracy Reborn says:

    Folks, the Weirs story is disgusting on every level but, really…..should we be surprised?
    The British state & its cohorts in the Establishment will play every dirty trick in the book. Experience from any country that has de-colonised tells us so & it ain’t going to relent before September. They are not known as Perfidious Albion for nothing.
    Keep the faith, keep arguing, keep educating, keep propagating, we have the truth & facts on our side. And let the BT campaign implode as it has been doing
    Incidentally, I’m using a straightforward technique if discussing with those undecided or no, paricularly of the ‘too wee, too poor, too stupid’ mindset. I ask them simply “why then is Westminster so desperate to hold onto us?” It’s amazing how most just look at you & are unable to reply. It does get them thinking though…

  93. Bigdrone says:

    When the no’s come away with similar pish I try to be inventive, creative and concise in my critism of their comments on this and other sites.

    I thought Lord George’s Armageddon mince was pretty bad, the grovelling, nervous and completely insincere apology from the CBI blaming the tea boy was vomit-worth but this is beyond comprehension and description.

    With all their millions at their disposal, the backing of Westminster and the BBC and other pro union funding it so wrong in so many ways!

    If I were to compare the above to any apendage, orifice or by product of human or animal origin it would be insulting to the aforementioned detritus.

    Maybe in the future their will be the ultimate insult of ‘you’re nothing but a Daily Mail reporter!’

  94. tinchick says:

    My Mum reads the DM, she’s on a subscription …when she decried it’s negative uselessness I suggested she chuck it over, she cried ‘but I’ve paid for it’ I’ve never felt so smug as when I said ‘exactly’!

    The sad thing is, that despite the rubbish tat’s printed in it, she can’t bring herself NOT to have a newspaper….she’s of that age that the tangible printed paper thumping on her doormat daily is a reassuring occurrence, never mind what tripe is printed therein. I like to think that I’m winning her over…with the aid of here and other like minded individuals, she’s at least reading between the lines and making up her own mind from facts and figures available to the public in other ways.

    I wish it was Sept 18th already though, I wonder if this outpouring and one bumbling calamity after another isn’t just a tool to turn the electorate to apathy and decrease the polls …here’s hoping they won’t succeed.

  95. Harry says:

    Thanks for the responses so far re police pensions. I’ll let my pal know.

    In the meantime, can I say to everyone, re-iterating what Rev has said, please get your Yes badges on. I decided to replace my small pin badge today with the much bigger, more visible lapel badge and I admit I did feel a bit self-conscious but now that that hurdle is over, I’ll wear it whenever I can.

  96. Paula Rose says:

    Sorry – but,do they really let poor people run off with fortunes? Don’t be silly – another BT myth

  97. BuckieBraes says:

    ‘It can only be combated by Yes supporters tackling it head-on. Wearing badges, putting posters in windows and stickers on cars, and speaking out.’

    I remained dismayed by the lack of Yes visibility in everyday life. I scan crowds of shoppers for any sign of badges, but invariably come away disappointed. I drive around Perthshire and Dundee; and think myself lucky to see a Yes sticker on even one in 100 cars. The only consolation is that BT/UKOK is no more visible.

  98. galamcennalath says:

    Do All Better Together people really want to be tarred with this brush?

    Unionists with any decency should speak out against this despicable behaviour from the gutter press. Whether the result in September is Yes or No, do they really want to be associated for ever more with these scum? And tactics such as this?

    Of course Yes supporters find it outrageous. If everyone on the No side stays quiet and goes along with this, then the campaign has just taken a nasty turn. Anyone who doesn’t distance themselves from this can have no part in Scotland’s future.

  99. Grouse Beater says:

    The opposition, especially the big guns, keep digging themselves into a bigger hole.

    With every newspaper article, every day-trip ticket to lecture the natives, and every threat of death by plague following a Yes vote, the electorate’s eyes are open to the stupifying crassness of attacks on their lives and country.

    No one with an ounce of justice will do as the No’s demand.

  100. Macart says:

    Utterly vile and completely beneath contempt.

    Its peachy to accept donations from those who have contributed to the bank balances of genocidal maniacs and despotic regimes, but fortunate individuals and personal contributions are to be given the Mail treatment? Hypocrites.

    They’ve just managed to limbo under a snake’s arse with room to spare.

  101. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Buckie Braes

    I remained dismayed by the lack of Yes visibility in everyday life. I scan crowds of shoppers for any sign of badges

    I wear mine, but I have a strong feeling wearing one will become important much nearer the time of the Referendum.

    With a fortnight to go people will display theirs or their car sticker as a badge of honour which in turn will make others feel comfortable enough to do the same.

    Five months before the plebiscite is rather too early to sustain intensity.

  102. Ian Brotherhood says:

    If anyone has a bright idea on how to give this petition a kick up the arse, please have a go.

  103. daddyo says:

    Been reading Wings now for a while. Boy, do we have some clever, funny and astute people on our side.
    This article has driven me to my first post. Its ok to attack Alex and Nicola, they are grown up politicians and can well defend their corner. But attack the ordinary folk like the Weirs ( their good fortune and help for good causes is only a matter of degree and I thank them for it)
    and that is crossing the line.
    BT and your hand maidens – what goes around comes around.

  104. Dan Watt says:

    Are they trying to say that two folk who happened to win a lottery in the 21st century are the greatest threat to the union and top reason for independence?

    Sort of ignores everything that happened in and to Scotland for the last 800 years or so.

  105. Betsy says:

    @Buckie Braes,
    I’m starting to see more Yes badges and posters but overall there aren’t as many as I’d like, I think as we get nearer the referendum we’ll start to see more. Meanwhile keep an eye on the #windaeref via this brilliant Twitter account

  106. Papadox says:

    Thanks Chris & Collin!

  107. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Harry

    I decided to replace my small pin badge today with the much bigger, more visible lapel badge and I admit I did feel a bit self-conscious

    I think you proove my point. (See my last post)

    It’s too soon – it’s not the USA presidential election when all herd together over a few intense weeks. When time grows short, that’s the cue to whip up open enthusiasm.

  108. Silverytay says:

    I do the the return journey from Airdrie to Perth at least every second Saturday to visit the in laws and I am lucky if I see one other YES car on the entire journey .
    On my car I have 2 YES stickers 1 wings and 1 newsnet and I drive about the Airdrie , Coatbridge and Motherwell area everyday without any trouble .

    As we get closer to the referendum it is imperative that we all show YES badges , stickers and posters at every opportunity .

  109. ronnie anderson says:

    You pays your money an takes your chance.

    I dont think the lottery were to concerned when they had taken Mr Mrs Weirs money each week, they were lucky in that they won,Congratulations ( ma beggin letter wizna in their post box )they had their priorities in order, family/friends/community.

    Its their money no one has any right to question how they wish to spend it,least of all a Rag newspaper.

    As someone said previously, they should sue the Newspaper
    I would surmise they wont,& that shows strenght of Character.

    Something that the Author of that story will never have.

    Care to buy a Raffle ticket Mr Brockelbank.

  110. Paula Rose says:

    Ronnie – there will be a line of wingers licking a cone on the 9th make mine a ripple.

  111. EdinScot says:

    It sticks in the Daily hate mails’craw that the Weirs are donating a part of their good fortune to the independence cause and not their side. Theyre beginning to find out that positivity wins over negativity any day of the week. Seems like theyre sore losers five months out. Can only say a huge thanks to the Weirs. Their class out shines the gutter journos who cant lay a finger on them.

  112. Stevie says:

    The Hate Mail, The Daily Heil and whatever other suitable name fits these grimey slimey filth merchants, are a miraclr in that people still buy the excrement filled editions – it has the distinction of being the only newspaper that would leave one’s a*** dirtier after one wiped with it than before it was used to wipe.

    What a scum filled ship they sail.

  113. Kenlike says:

    It is what is implicit in the article that is interesting and revealing of those who write and consume it.

    The deference to elites, the suspicion of motives, the obsession with money, property and status give evidence of a harsh, barren, psychological landscape.

    Anyway, enough. I need fresh air…

  114. Tattie-bogle says:

    Did anyone see this one too…/exclusive-interview-ive-always-known-this-i…?
    2 Apr 2014 – The race to the top for the East Kilbride youngster goes on, even accelerates. The Scot, who completed a successful rookie season in the Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS … Weir, the Ayrshire couple who won £161m in the Euro lottery in 2011. … The boy racer is quiet, almost to the point of shyness but there is no ..

  115. HenBroon says:


    link is 403 forbidden

  116. Marcia says:

    Sunday Herald front page:

  117. Ian Brotherhood says:

    On stand-by for Marcia’s posting of SH front page…will the CBI make it two weeks in a row? (This feels like listening to the radio on Sunday evening, waiting for Tony Blackburn to tell us who’s Number One…)

  118. Ian Brotherhood says:


  119. Boorach says:

    Talking about badges Yes Easter Ross had a wee bit of a cavalcade today, taking in Invergordon, Alness, Evanton, and Dingwall where we showed the flag. Maybe we’re fortunate having so many well dressed vehicles… they certainly attract the eye when in convoy!

    Mr and Mrs Reid we are all grateful to you for your support and given a Yes vote our country will owe you a debt of honour, thank you.

  120. Arbroath 1320 says:

    This whole Daily S***e article stinks to high heaven of the green eyed monster to me.

    To date, they are reckoned to have donated £3 million to the Nationalist cause – and they are free to contribute more before the end of May, when a spending limit of £1.5 million kicks in for both the Yes and No campaigns.

    Of course the Daily S***e will within the next few days be printing all their evidence to confirm that their *ahem* “reckoning” of £3 million being donated to the cause is accurate otherwise this is nothing more than green eyed jealousy. Oops I forgot it’s the Daily S***e we’re talking about here so I won’t hold my breath waiting around for this evidence to appear.

    The thing that has always concerned me about the Weirs is the process behind these donations. Is it entirely their idea?

    Is it entirely because they are deeply committed to the political principle – or were they approached for donations?

    Were they courted for donations, as many large donors often are? The bottom line is, were they targeted?”

    If Johnstone has ANY proof for these remarks then I suggest he gets off his earse and provide them otherwise he’d best shut the hell up. Green eyed jealousy does not suit him either. I would also seriously suggest that if he can NOT provide the necessary proof then he MUST provide a letter of apology to the Weirs immediately. Of course when Johnstone provides his letter of apology he will without a doubt also be making a request to the Daily S***e that they do the same. Oops I forgot the Daily S***e don’t do apologies.

  121. Ian Brotherhood says:

    …and now I’ve seen it!


    Get it RIGHT round ye McMillan.

    Cridland’s next.

    Then all eyes will be on the BBC.

    Interesting times friends.

  122. ronnie anderson says:

    @paularose, straberry, rasberry, or do you wont to go

    native Tayberry.

    An your in charge of Ian Brotherhood, keep him away fae

    the Ice Cream. Guinness n Ice Cream a dangerious mix throw

    in a packet of Nuts Jolly’s will hiv Pebbledash interior.

    ok Ian yer fixed up.

  123. My wife and I wish the Weirs every happiness in their good fortune. If we were in their shoes we would do the same. None the less we give two or three thousand pounds per year to causes which WE regard as important. This year they include, scouting, education, school trips, animal rescue and comunity theatre. We are also donating a four figure amount to Yes. We should be happy to give interviews, for a fee of course. The money will go to our usual causes.

  124. Ian Brotherhood says:

    This probably won’t open, but it’s that famous photie of the guy holding up a newspaper with the huge headline ‘WE WIN’, surrounded by all his buddies with raised glasses.

  125. Grouse Beater says:

    A day ago I asked how long the CBI twins had left … mind you, though television reporters were peevish in their attitude to Cridland’s obduracy – irritated by his reluctance to indentify how many companies in Scotland were CBI members, and how few agreed with his announcement – it’s impossible to claim tv journalists did enough homework. In reality, they were tame.

    Most of the bricks in the CBI’s downfall happened after the initial interview when others questioned Cridland with greater vigour and companies began to withdraw membership.

  126. Boorach says:

    Easter Ross can’t lay claim to all ‘well dressed’ vehicles though, there are plenty of them about:

  127. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Does it work if I copy the link like this?

  128. TJenny says:

    Marcia + Ian – happy as I am to see this headline, I see it states that ‘CBI Scotland Director set to stand down’. ‘Set to stand down’? Hmm – will that be after he’s arranged a nice wee pay-off being made by the contributions of our TV licence fees? After all, what has Mr McMillan done other than come clean on the CBI’s stance in the referendum, for which we all thank him hugely. However, if by his standing down they think that this somehow gives any credence of impartiality to CBI members, they can all go back and think again. ‘Cause it wont.

  129. Democracy Reborn says:

    As a lawyer (although not a defamation specialist), I agree with Stu : unfortunately, the article is unlikely to be defamatory.

  130. TJenny says:

    Ian – Yes. 🙂

  131. a2 says:

    ‘Where has he got this information from? the white paper is quite explicit as you pointed out, I just wonder where this has come from.’

    the police federation I would assume, well there’s a surprise.

  132. Marcia says:

    Business for Scotland members up and down the land deserve credit for their involvement in the CBI farce. They certainly wrong footed the CBI leadership. Well done.

  133. caz-m says:


    We should all be wearing our Yes badges, but instead of wearing one YES wristband, wear two.

    What a difference it makes. I found that one wristband was a bit thin, so I now wear two wristbands and it definitely gets noticed by a lot more people.

  134. Clootie says:


    Just wristbands?

    That would get you noticed!

  135. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Dear oh dear, it appears that Blair McDougall might be wetting himself over some independence stuff.

    Big #indyref story later tonight.

  136. Molly says:

    Buckie Braes
    Driving up to join the M8 yesterday ( Falkirk side) what is in front of me but a beautiful big pick up lorry. A huge Saltire with Yes on its tail gate and across the top ‘ Scotland be brave’. Then while stopping for a coffee,two young girls at the next table. One explaining her Mum , so and so and so and so are all Yes, she’s undecided because she’s not really sure , we produce enough … Was unfortunately dragged out of the place before and I quote “you start”.
    I ‘m definitely starting to see more Yes car stickers and in fairness, I’ve covered a lot of Scotland in the last two years and the only ‘reaction ‘ if you can call it that was an elderly gent who tutted, shortly before his wife told him to get in his car and behave.

  137. Doug Mcg says:

    just don’t buy it , or anything it advertises.

  138. caz-m says:


    You are awful.

    OK Two wristbands and two YES nipple badges.

  139. caz-m says:


    And the two YES wristbands should be worn on one wrist.

    There you have it.

  140. Anonymous says:

    It should not be forgotten how the Tory and Lib Dem parties grabbed half a million £ bequeathed by Mrs Joan LB Edwards for their own party coffers.

  141. caz-m says:

    Great news about CBI Scottish chief.

    Now, how do we bring down the bastards inside the Beeb?

  142. iain taylor (not that one) says:

    @ marcia

    I joined BfS about a year ago, and no regrets. No self styled Captains of Industry, but lots of ordinary business folk with differing political allegiances (or none), who just want a focus for their energies in campaigning for independence.

    I got some Twitter abuse this week about my membership. Chuffed about that. Its working.

  143. HandandShrimp says:

    Big #indyref story later tonight.


    There is one of those in one of the Sunday papers every week. I think he is clutching at straws again. Let’s face it the Labour relaunch was completely overshadowed by the CBI fiasco so they have to engineer something for the press. Perhaps it is the rising of Cthulhu after all.

  144. fairiefromtheearth says:

    Another one for the rope Rev 🙂 HANG EM HIGH

  145. Onwards says:

    It’s a nasty article, but all that can be expected from the mail.
    All over the country people donate to causes they believe in – often to the point of making big personal sacrifices.

    The Weirs have been extremely generous to many good causes, but I hope they invest their money well so they can continue to help people.

    They can do far better than just living off the interest alone if they make some sound investments.

  146. geeo says:

    Easy solution for the Weirs, request the DM match £ for £ that they have given to good and deserving causes.
    The boy who they paid for a “bionic” hand for example.
    Incredible people imo.
    What has the DM done for the needy recently ?

  147. CameronB says:

    So AS managed to deftly unbutton the Weirs and all the cash just fell out? Must have been when he was purring in their ears. Alternatively, the Weirs are guilty of thought crime. Imagine having a similar intuition to that idiot Chomsky.

    I have been told off for using the ‘f’ word before, but it is becoming clearer by the day that the indyref is part of the global struggle against a rising tide of Fascism. I know which side of the barricades I’m on.

  148. Les Wilson says:

    Greg Moodie will need to add something now, to this about the CBI. Scroll down.

  149. a supporter says:

    Dave McEwan Hill
    “The Mail, the Express and the P&J are the biggest obstacles we now face(and the BBC)”

    Stop worrying about those newspapers. They may make a loud noise with their biased and disgusting articles but in truth they are irrelevant. Between them they only have a circulation of 200,000 and most of those will be to passing through English, committed NO people, or freebies. The Daily Record and Scottish Sun each have circulations of 250,000. And Wings is approaching those figures too.

  150. bookie from hell says:

    There are many rich people that give fcuk all to charity

    w/d weirs on your good fortune

  151. Paula Rose says:

    I just love reading about the stacks of spondulicks that the owners of the MSM spread about.

  152. Patrician says:

    I have definitely noticed a fair few more YES badges and stickers in Glasgow, not lots but a definite increase in the last couple of weeks.

    I moved to a new team of about of about 8 people a few weeks ago and we had our first informal meeting this week. During the get-together one of the team asked rather timidly whether any one was thinking of voting Yes in the referendum, I said I was a definite yes. Oh good, came the reply, I am going to vote Yes but I haven’t met anyone else who was also a Yes. So, I think there is still a lot to be done to show the undecided, the unsure, the timid Yes voters that they aren’t alone.

    BTW, my last team are all now Yes voters, and I now have a new project to convert this new lot.

  153. Big Jock says:

    Exactly!I used to be uncomfortable showing my beliefs about Scotland in public.Not now I have as much right as the eejits we see flaunting union jack wing mirrors,bags,t shirts …etc.To display the symbol of my nation Scotland.My car has an SNP sticker,euro flag,saltire and yes Scotland badge.If people have a problem with the flag of the nation they reside in then they are the problem.

  154. Big Jock says:

    Patrician well done I cant get passed the angry allegations over the desk stage with my work.They are 10 years behind with their assertions.But that is due to closed and narrow minds.Thick is an understatement.They just reflect the general ignorance of my fellow Scots on the no side.

  155. CameronB says:

    Has Robert Peston just outline the Better Together attack plan?

  156. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Yhink I’ve just sussed out what his *ahem* great news will be…he’s found a new source of straws to start plucking from …da ta! 😛

  157. Robert Peffers says:

    @Harry: Pensions are legal contracts between the pensioners and the pension providers. I’ll give you examples. All my siblings, together with both my parents went to Australia in 1962.

    My father had a private company pension, a British Rail pension, a Scottish Gas Board Pension and his UK State pension paid in Australia until he died.

    My mother had her NHS nurses pension and her UK state Pension paid till she died and my only surviving sibling, a sister has her state and nurses pension paid still in Australia. Also private pensions are not confined by national borders.

  158. Ronnie says:

    @ Patrician

    Please update us on your progress, I’ve just taken on an entire bowling club, with maybe two or three identifiable Yessers out of maybe two hundred members.

    Wish me luck!

  159. Marcia says:

    McMillan of CBI to take ‘early retirement according to a Sunday Newspaper based in Edinburgh.

  160. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Sounds like you’ve got your work cut out there Ronnie but we all are sure you will persevere and win them over. Best of Scottish to you in your endeavours. ;P

  161. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @CameronB –

    Thanks for the Peston link.

    Sloppy seconds.

    He seems to be indulging in some mild scaremongering whilst simultaneously burnishing his ‘reputation’ as some kind of financial/economic seer. Unfortunately, he does neither very well and appears to be out of touch and foolish.

  162. Chris Paton says:

    Here in Largs Colin and Chris Weir are a class above royalty (but then, that’s not difficult!) for all they have done for the community here. The Daily Fail fails again.

  163. HandandShrimp says:

    I see that Brian Wilson is in the Scotsman writing about the CBI. The bizarre thing is in his urgency to defend the CBI he reads like a fully paid up swivel eyed Tax Payers Alliance drongo. He sprays the word quango around as if it is the ultimate in insults and does not seem to think that Universities and indeed the media add value to the UK economy. (It goes without saying that a renewable energy company is the spawn of Satan).

    I’m not sure why Brian doesn’t take the final step and become a Tory peer…perhaps he will.

  164. rab_the_doubter says:

    Every time I read dross like the Weir Article in the DM, I’m reminded of who the DM actively supported in the 1930s.
    It really is a hate filled racist rag.

  165. Flower of Scotland says:

    This makes me very angry! I can’t think that there,s anything better than trying to help your country!

  166. Stephen McKenzie says:

    I still wear my Daily Mail “Cybernat” badge with pride..

  167. Wee Copey says:

    Was totally disgusted when I read this article, how dare they! What gives them the right to invade this couples privacy when they have done nothing but good since they won their money. Rat bags the lot of them.

  168. DaveDee says:

    I see Lord Reid has finally made his much vaunted appearance in The Scotland on Sunday


  169. Training Day says:

    Hurrah for the Blackshirts!

    That infamous Daily Mail editorial from the 30’s still sums up the ethos of its proprietors – and the hacks who do their bidding.

  170. Tam Jardine says:


  171. Jim Bo says:

    From this article it would seem that Alex Johnstone is nothing other than a “professional ” troll. No offence to trolls.

  172. Tam Jardine says:

    Ok – just lost 2 long comments and can’t bear reproducing.

    Summary: Colin and Chris: champions – let’s buy them gold wings badges?

    Brocklebank: wife: divorce husband. Children: leave home. Parents: disown your son. For he is failing in his role as a human being

    Darling: There is stationary I have more respect for

    Edinburgh wingers: night out soon

    Rev Stu: wrong thread but your piece on corporation tax today is thebest the piece of journalism I have read on this site. MSM journalists will read this and be ashamed of themselves. Thank you.

  173. call me dave says:

    Isn’t that Edwina Currie a disgrace. She is on her hobby horse ‘food banks’on Radio 5 live at the moment.

    Claiming that people are ripping the charities off by turning up for food parcels. She wants to question everyone about their budgeting, why no money at the end of the week and why they can’t get rid of their car, tv etc etc. 🙁

    Roll on 19th September in a Scotland where we can start to make a difference.

  174. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @DaveDee –

    Thanks for the heads-up about John Reid, sorry Doctor John Reid.

    Is this the attack of the Big Beasts we were warned about?

    Reminds me of that scene in ‘The Wicker Man’ where the cop (Edward Woodward) clocks a big jar of dried foreskins amongst the sweeties.

    John Reid ain’t no ‘sweetie’.

  175. Doug Daniel says:

    Alex Johnstone is probably the most Tory of Tory MSPs. A backwards, selfish and just downright nasty turd of a guy.

    “If it was someone who was managing large amounts of money on a daily basis who made the decision, based on long-term commitments and experience, to donate to a political cause, that would be one thing. It’s the fact that a couple came into a very large amount of money overnight and were, it appears, very quickly targeted by a political organisation.”

    Translation: “only businessmen should be allowed to give money to political parties.”

    What Brocklebank, Johnstone and others like them don’t understand is that you don’t need to dupe an independence supporter into backing the cause. The Weirs are fulfilling a lifelong dream, for fuck’s sake. I’m sure if someone told Johnstone that for under 1% of his wealth he could destroy the welfare system, he’d go “here’s 10%”.

    It’s chicken feed to them, so to imply they’ve been tricked somehow is downright insulting. I’ve probably given away a bigger proportion of my money to the Yes campaign than the Weirs have. In fact, I’ve probably given a bigger proportion of my money to this website alone than the Weirs have given to Yes Scotland so far. If I’d won £161 million, I’d be giving 10% of that to the Yes campaign minimum. I can only assume, as mentioned in regards to charities, that they’ve not given too much to ensure the tax manny doesn’t come a-calling.

    The Weirs are legends. It’s ace how much it annoys unionists that the biggest lottery winners in Europe just happen to be independence supporters. That wasn’t supposed to happen, eh? That wasn’t in the script. We weren’t supposed to be able to match the mighty financial muscle of the glorious British establishment.

    After the Yes vote, they should buy the building across from the Daily Mail’s office, knock it down, and replace it with a huge sculpture of a middle finger, and a sign saying “HA HA! GET IT RIGHT FUCKING UP YE, LOVE FROM SCOTLAND XXX”.

  176. call me dave says:

    Big Beast alert.
    Here is archived version for convenience.

  177. dpict says:

    No wonder it’s known as the hate mail by so many people. I hope to god we win this but if we don’t it will mainly be down to the auld yins and their risk aversion. Many of them seem hell bent on leaving their kid’s as a nation of supplicants when they pass on. I well remember the day my old man called me un-Scottish because I didn’t like Jimmy Shand yet he fully intends to vote NO. I cant get through to him at all and when I try he just says we should have gone independent in the 70’s but it’s too late now, anyway I don’t want to see my country broken up etc etc. over 70 years of the cringe and brit-nat media led mental conditioning has taken it’s toll. I don’t even want to think about the consequences of a NO majority. That will be the last day of my Scottish identity if it happens because I refuse to be associated with a race of the most pathetic losers in all of human history. Vote YES!

  178. HorseBoy says:

    Wearing YES cap YES wristband YES badge and YES lanyard all last week delivering YES newspapers in Aberdeen South.

    I have a cunning plan to handout YES wristbands and badges.

    Just received my YES windcheater.

    I’m carrying 200 YES newspapers daily(10kg) for 2hours(1500 YES newspapers in total to be delivered), gets heavy. I’ve order Compact Luggage Trolley from Amazon at £10.
    Sorted, I’m good to go.

  179. jimnarlene says:

    Shame on the daily hate. ‘Mon the Weirs and their ilk. It is up to the private citizen what they do with their wealth, or lack of. F##k those petty minded,apocalyptic Unionist scum. The day of reckoning is upon them.

  180. Training Day says:

    Incidentally, Alex Johnstone is a fully paid up member of The Lord (sic) Robertson club which observes that Scotland has no culture, no arts, no literature etc.

    For proof look to the record of his witless contribution to the Holyrood debate in October 2011 on the proposed introduction of ‘Scottish Studies’ to the school curriculum.

    And then remember that this man earns upwards of 60k.

  181. rab_the_doubter says:

    Looks like they’ve got a massive blind spot when it comes to spending in support of the union. I can’t imagine there’s going to be anything balanced and even handed about this forthcoming propoganda exercise. Looking forward to Stu’s expert dissection.

    Clash over costs of independence

  182. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @call me dave –

    re Reid.

    It’s difficult not to imagine that the intervention of these people isn’t deliberately antagonistic.

    Does he, or anyone in BT, or the State more generally, imagine that John Reid has anything positive to add to the debate?

    He’s being used (willingly, no doubt) to stir up bile and anger. Many of us despised that man long before he became a cheerleader for Blair’s Iraq adventure, and he’s done nothing in the years since to indicate remorse.

    The guy is a well-dressed, well-educated and articulate ned who had the right connections, got lucky, and is now clinging to the vestiges of transient ‘power’ which he abused unconscionably.

    He may have deigned to have his ‘name’ lobbed into this debate as part of some greater strategy, but he won’t ever dare show his face in any public venue in Scotland to espouse his opinions. If he does, many Scots will take the opportunity to let him know precisely what they think of him.

    Hopefully, Reid will live long enough to accompany his friends Blair, Brown, Hoon, Straw etc, into a very long, custom-built ‘dock’ at the Hague, where he will have to sit through voluminous evidence condemning them as war criminals.

  183. Morag says:

    I said on Twitter the other day that this referendum was a perfect storm. Everything is coming together. We got the overall majority, we got the extra year’s parliamentary term, we got the Tories in Westminster, we got an utterly useless Labour party, we got the Edinburgh Agreement and no devo-max question. We’ve now got the Tories dismantling the welfare state and targeting and demonising the worst-off in society, and UKIP starting to look as if they might get a result in the Euro elections in England.

    I completely forgot about the Weirs in the middle of all that, though they featured on similar good-fortune lists I recited earlier. I remember soon after the 2011 election, and everyone was thinking the whole thing would probably have to be run on Edwin Morgan’s legacy, more or less, and being thankful even for that (which was indeed riches, almost £1 million). Then the Weirs won the Euromillions. It was obvious the first million was just “on account” as it were, and the Yes campaign would now not be outspent.

    There really is a feeling of destiny coming over this. As if this is our time. Even Stuart is part of it. Where did he come from anyway? Obscure freelance entertainment writer suddenly turns up with a positively supernatural gift for fisking unionist rubbish, writing articles that have the world beating a path to read them, and has the chutzpah to construct a blog that can withstand DDoS and legal threats and all without a word of advertising.

    Oh and he can do spelling and grammar too.

    And he THINKS of things like the opinion polls and the subway adverts.

    If we can’t win this now, we never can, maybe. We have to get out there and make sure every penny of the Weirs’ money, and Edwin Morgan’s, and Doug Daniel’s and mine and everyone else who gave whatever they could afford, doesn’t go to waste.

  184. Morag says:

    Oh and by the way, when I said last night that I’d be away all day today and wouldn’t get to find out about the numbers of complaints regarding the Wings subway adverts, Stu told me.

    And then he swore me to secrecy.

    Nyah nyah.

  185. Morag says:

    And JLT, every “concert pitch” wind instrument you buy from Germany these days is tuned to 442. You’d hardly notice, but a clarinet player friend of mine tells me she has to work really hard to keep the pitch up throughout a concert in Germany, playing a 440 clarinet. She spoke of finding herself “biting down” on the instrument with the effort.

    I have no idea why they are doing this. At first I thought it was just to give a teensy bit of wiggle-room to sharpen if need be, in the same way you can flatten by pulling out the head joint. But they apparently really play at that pitch.

  186. Thoughtsofascot says:

    If a lotto ticket can break a Union then its not a very strong union, is it?

  187. call me dave says:

    I agree that the portents look favourable. Throw in the grass roots network that has become the YES campaign which according to older, seasoned politicians and observers,has not been see for decades and the momentum is for independence.

    It’s all about trust and even supporters of any other party is likely to admit the current SG have, in the main, been doing a good, competent job.

    Will the big beasts detract from the YES campaign’s upward progress? I can only see them at best causing some doubt in the voters heads, but only in labour hot spots and where older voters still remember them.

    However they have a track record of fumbling the ball and Dr Reid will probably follow suit.

  188. sandy says:

    Thank you Mr Mrs Weir your doing a wonderful job, promoting Scottish people at their best! 🙂

  189. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Morag (1.14) –

    Great post.

    You’re bang-on. It’s now, or it’s never.

    Couldn’t be starker.

  190. Morag says:

    Ian, I don’t really know. We could regret a No so badly that a second push would be unstoppable. But that could take many years, and it would be indescribably nasty. It would make this year look like milk and cookies. And as we’ll never get another Edinburgh Agreement it would have to end with a majority SNP vote for Westminster and UDI. Hard to achieve and a very difficult exit route even if it was.

    This is our summer, and we have to do it.

  191. Democracy Reborn says:

    Was wondering if anyone had any updated info on how voting had been in the university debates? I seem to recall Strathclyde Uni had a debate recently where the ‘Yes’ side won. I just had the misfortune tho of scrolling through Councillor Willie Young’s Twitter page (I’m not from the Aberdeen area, but is that guy for real?), & it looks as though there have other uni debates where the No’s were successful. Anyone know if that’s right?

  192. Morag says:

    There were earlier votes that went to No. One at Glasgow uni about two years ago was all over the news. They don’t publicise the ones that go to Yes. Angus MacNeill knows, I think.

  193. jahoca says:

    I have to say I avoid newspapers of any persuasion never mind this grubby rag. I cannae understand why anyone would want to let a paper do their thinking for them but there you go. Reading Stu’s extract from the article, I was starting to feel bogging. It was such a relief to get to the deconstruction. I had time (for a change) to read all the comments and I’m glad I did. There’s an outpouring of decency on this page which for me confirms that I’m on the right side (Yes!) and that I’ll be contributing my wee amount to Wings beyond September.
    The only thing I would add to the article analysis is that ‘othering’ is a new one to me but I’m more familiar with ‘projection’. By which I mean that all the sleekit words and insinuations made by the DM journalist originate from his own poor wee soul and that’s where they belong – that the words you use to describe your target are the very words that best describe your own self.

  194. Democracy Reborn says:

    Thanks Morag

  195. Morag says:

    I know this is irrational, but at this time of night I feel the weight of history behind us. Everything that’s happened, and how hard it’s been to catch a break. Looking back across the centuries to everything that’s happened and enviously in the present across the North Sea to countries that managed to catch the breaks.

    All those who fought against the union, from Fletcher of Saltoun to Margo MacDonald, ranged behind us like the visions in Macbeth, looking to us to finish it for them. And it all focusses down to this year, to that one day in September. That one chance to get back on the right road again. Is destiny a real thing, or is it just the way our brains are wired to see patterns even in random chance? This certainly feels like destiny.

    Some years ago, mid-1990s, when I had been living in England for a while and my visits home had just been weeks and weekends in Lanarkshire, I took a holiday in Oban. I did all the usual sightseeing stuff, and to me the whole landscape seemed to be oozing history. So full of it that it just couldn’t take any more and it was all just lying around. And what the deeply portentous landscape was saying to me was, “the British centuries are coming to an end.”

    I saw it then, these 300-odd years, all neatly wrapped up and finished with. A period of Scotland’s history that was over and consigned to the past, the good and the bad together, as we set off on a new chapter.

    It was the weirdest feeling. Of course it was all my imagination, but I’ve never forgotten it. And I’m feeling it again now. History is coming to a sharp needle-point for us, as it did for Eastern Europe in the summer of 1989.

    I can feel it, I tell you, but I dare not believe it.

  196. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Sorry if this has already been posted.

    It would appear that a certain advertisement paid for by supporters of a certain website and placed on certain mass transportation vehicles in a certain city of the U.K. were removed from said vehicles because a member of the public, apparenlty, complained that they were *ahem* “xenophobic” and “racist.” Well I suppose that’s one way of looking at them…if you happen to be pissed or high on drugs perhaps! 😛

  197. Doug Daniel says:

    Democracy Reborn – the University of Aberdeen debate which the No side were crowing about was a proper Debating Society style debate, and had an audience stuffed full of Tories. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the AUSA (Aberdeen University Student’s Association) President for Education confirmed that about 80% of them weren’t even students.

    There was no count taken before or after – from what I’ve gathered, their claim of victory is based solely on a sort of “stand behind the side you think won the debate” thing, which is obviously completely meaningless if your audience is already heavily pro-union and you’ve not got a pre-debate count to look for changes in support.

    For a glimpse into how seriously Better Together are taking university mock referendums (they know they can win them since young middle class idiots are their main demographic after the blue-rinse brigade), here’s who debated for the two sides:


    Michelle Thomson – Business for Business for Scotland
    Jonathan Shafi – Radical Independence Campaign
    Cllr Callum McCaig – Aberdeen Council leader of the Scottish National Party


    Richard Baker MSP – Scottish Labour Party
    Sir Malcolm Bruce MP – Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats
    Ruth Davidson MSP – Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party

    The leader of the Tories in Scotland and the deputy leader of the UK Lib Dems on one side, with two non-politicians on the other side. Quite a contrast, huh?

  198. Alba4Eva says:

    Its only a handful of Tory’s read that rag in Scotland anyway… more people in Scotland will have read the article here on Wings.

  199. bjsalba says:

    Didn’t Liverpool turn against the Sun after the Hillingsborough articles?

    Perhaps we Scots should consider doing the same to the Mail.

    I’ll mention it in my local shop and I’ll be checking out their advertisers and contacting them to find out why they place ads in this paper.

  200. Alba4Eva says:

    Loved that last post of yours Morag. 🙂

  201. Donnie smith says:

    @harry. When your friend joined the Police in 1992 he was under the impression that he would work for 30 years paying 11% pension contributions and receive a certain pension at the end of his service. The WM government changed the rules as from 01/04/12. Basically, as I understand it, because it appears very complicated, if he had less than 20 years service or was under 40 years of age on that date his pension will be very much less than he was promised and he will have to work longer to qualify for it, as well as his pension contributions increasing to about 15%. I believe that this was forced on the Scottish Government by Westminster and don’t think there is anything they can do about it. Because of your friends start date he may be affected by this legislation. The white paper was introduced after this came into force so it is right that current pension arrangements would be unaffected. Your friend may be concerned about something else I know nothing about so this post may be worthless to him. I do know that the Scottish government has refused to introduce some of WM recommendations that have made conditions for officers in England and Wales even worse.

  202. ian foulds says:

    dpict says:

    27 April, 2014 at 12:50 am

    ‘…it will mainly be down to the auld yins and their risk aversion. Many of them seem hell bent on leaving their kid’s as a nation of supplicants when they pass on. says we should have gone independent in the 70?s but it’s too late now… I don’t even want to think about the consequences of a NO majority. That will be the last day of my Scottish identity if it happens because I refuse to be associated with a race of the most pathetic losers in all of human history. Vote YES!’

    As one of the young ‘auld yins’, your old man is being very selfish.
    He is right that it should have happended sooner. It is NOT too late even for him.
    You are quite right to consider the future generations (that’s why I agree to an extent on the 16/17 year old vote thing – as the future is theirs).

    I have also contemplated changing nationality if there is a NO vote, for the same reasons.


  203. iheartscotland says:

    @Ian Foulds,
    You can immigrate anywhere you want, but you’ll always be Scots.In the event of a No vote,people will have changed anyway.The Union is burst, it’s only a matter of time to an independent Scotland.

  204. john king says:

    Great quote from James commenting on Ross Matthews blog

    “I consider voting no to be like smoking. It Doesn’t take a lot of effort to find out the facts that it’s bad for you but for some reason they chose to ignore it for the tiniest amount satisfaction they get from it. Unfortunately like passive smoking their decision could finish the rest of us of as well.”

  205. RandomSwitch says:

    If the fortunate Weirs make the Mail, Daily or Sunday!, queasy then they can come after me too!.
    I’ve just made a small donation to Yesscotland out of my Giro, impelled by my anger at their thinly veiled threats and attempt to intimidate Independence supporters.

  206. iheartscotland says:

    @Ian Foulds,
    You have to remember what we’re up against, 307 years of denigrating our culture,language and identity.But, we’re still here and standing up for ourselves.Hardly ‘pathetic losers’……

  207. john king says:

    Morag@ 1.14am


    it must be,
    only Taranaich can make the hair stand up on my arms like that!

  208. Feil Gype says:

    ‘But Better Together chairman Alistair Darling has raised fears of an uneven contest, claiming: “We are going to get outspent on this.”’ …only last week the Mail had a list of the donors to each cause and it worked oot that the Tory/No campaign had received £1.9 million mair so Darlings claim o being overspent is a lie.

  209. ronnie anderson says:

    dont forget folks tune into Andrew Marr Bbc1 9am,

    he must be shittin kittens by now.

  210. Albalha says:

    #indycyclist on his first of 23 stages, Rome to Montalto Di Castro. All cash raised goes to local groups, if you donate please indicate the group you want your dosh to go to.

  211. ronnie anderson says:

    @Albalha, had to look at your post from the other day to get the link £20 donated for Yes Stirling shop/ + £20 direct to Yes Stirling Shop.

    Every little means a lot.

    That daily heil reporter missed the Badger cull by adding

    lebank to his name,he,s in everybodies sights now, an there,s no missing him.

  212. Lewy Tee Bee says:

    Re: Uni debates, Abertay and Dundee were Yes majorities after No leads before the debates. Dundee and Angus college also had a debate which the Yes vote spanked the No’s down in no small part to my friend Gord Matheson’s speech!

  213. Albalha says:

    Cheers Ronnie, I’ll make sure your £20 wings it’s way to the Yes Stirling shop, indeed everything helps.

    Only need 945 @ £20 to reach the target, for example! Not so many folks so hopefully people will dig deep for Mark’s 1421 mile cycle.

  214. tartanfever says:

    I see the BBC are now giving three day warning scare stories to Better together.

    Running a major story just now about a speech Danny Alexander is to give on Wednesday.


  215. ronnie anderson says:

    @Albalha, just keep posting it up, I dont think the Rev will mind, it takes a lot of courage for Mark to put himself out there, the least we can do is get behind the Man & spur him on.

  216. Famous15 says:

    Newsnet are running story on Wings advert in the Underground and the complaint that had it pulled. Comment on discussion of that stupid lift discussion and comments like Fairyfromtheearth adds every day is seen as manna to the NO campaign and gave the justification for the cancellation!

    We cannot afford a strange sense of humour (if that is what is being posted) that gives ammunition to the other side.

  217. Albalha says:

    Cheers Ronnie, also folks can help by tweeting/sharing the link if they can’t donate.

  218. Helena Brown says:

    I have noticed that the newspapers just love kicking lottery winners, used to be those folk that won the pools. They tar every one with the same brush, hey look these folk are so stupid they ran through the money in no time. Good luck to the Weirs, not so stupid, they took advice once they realised what they got into.

  219. CameronB says:

    I hope you don’t mind me asking but you ever lived in Dawson Road? You may have been in the same economics class as my brother, if you did. Sorry if this is a bit of a freakout.

  220. Albalha says:

    Indeed I did, until I was about 9! Who’s your brother?

  221. CameronB says:

    Keith Brodie.

  222. a supporter says:

    Morag (1.14)


  223. Albalha says:

    Sorry not ringing bells, I’m hopeless at remembering schooldays I’m afraid!

  224. CameronB says:

    No problem. If your first name is Alison, you probably did. Again, sorry if that is a freakout. 🙂

  225. Flower of Scotland says:

    Donated to the Yes Stirling shop yesterday! Looking forward to getting my YES saltire in May!

    O/t did anyone watch the Scottish Parliament yesterday evening? The committee was discussing the Bannockburn / WW1 clash in June. The SNP and the Greens were pointing out that Bannockburn live had been arranged for a long time. However Representatives from Stirling Council (labour)seemed to be gleefully optimistic that it will be a great day. How can a huge free event compare to a paid event on the same day? We have to just get on with it now. I’ve got my tickets for Saturday!

  226. Albalha says:

    It is indeed Alison.

  227. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Any news on Andrew Marr today, or has it all been sanitised?

  228. ronnie anderson says:

    @Aye Andrew Marr waffling with the Reverend ( the actor )

    sos Rev re my post of yesterday media beating a path to

    Your door, close but nae coconut.

  229. heedtracker says:

    @ Morag, the old woman you overheard watches, reads, listens too, thinks about vote no stuff like this everyday

    Last week they went after Scottish pensions, this weeks its no Scots oil.

  230. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @bjsalba says:
    Perhaps we Scots should consider doing the same to the Mail.
    I’ll mention it in my local shop and I’ll be checking out their advertisers and contacting them to find out why they place ads in this paper.

    Complaining to their advertisers is probably the best way to tell newspapers to modify their behaviour.

  231. Alba4Eva says:

    Fanous15. There is another side to argue from what you have said. People need to have somewhere to communicate in pretty much real time. To share ideas etc. But everyone is human and joke from time to time… heck, I have been in serious business meetings, where a joke was cracked and it takes everyone off the topic for a few moments. It is nothing more than human nature.

    The BBC closed down comment on the political blogs, which was where everyone used to go. Newsnet Scotland took over the mantle and provided that service for a while… until Wings came along. If Wings were to shut down comment (not saying that would happen, but would be the only way to eradicate human nature without considerable sensorship), everyone would just find somewhere else to go. Because of the disgraceful media in Scotland, there is a demand for both good journalism and the right to reply.

    In any event, Wings has a good natured fun side (because people are like that)… and in stark comparison to some of the utter racist uneducated sick bile that passes for user comment on the MSM sites, the comment on here is positively academic …and Wings seems to thrive through it.

  232. Sadly riches do not always produce happiness. I am old enough to remember Vivien Nicholson. Spend spend spend. But not so old that I have stopped buying lottery tickets. First million for us. After that a trust fund for Scotland.

  233. Surely this couple is showing the sort of redistribution of wealth that the Mail and British Empire detests so much.

  234. Jock Scot says:

    thanks for the share and the kind words, much appreciated
    @T Jenny
    look forward to meeting you and many others at the Ferry. Also brilliant to hear you are up for singing..will let Ninja Penguin know and we can work something/discuss at the ferry..might even have lyrics and a song for you to consider.
    Thanks to everyone who has watched one of our vids

  235. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @call me dave says:
    Big Beast alert.
    Here is archived version for convenience.

    Headline: Reid accuses SNP of ‘cruel deceit’ over referendum

    Baron Reid of Cardowan should know all about ‘cruel deceit’, with his 2006 Helmand weasel words:

    “We would be perfectly happy to leave in three years and without firing one shot because our job is to protect the reconstruction.”

    By 2008, 4 million bullets had been fired by the British armed forces.,_Baron_Reid_of_Cardowan

  236. Jean says:

    Just read the john reid ‘article’…cruel deceit!!

    This from the man who said “not a bullet would be fired in Afghanistan and we’d be out by Christmas”.

    No sense of irony then and certainly no morals or principles. They really are scraping the bottom of the barrel dragging out this cretin.

  237. roberto says:

    The day after the Edinburgh agreement THE DAILY MAIL stated that they would do everything in their power to stop independence for the SCOTTISH people.Nothing surprises me from this paper.That was the reason I stopped buying this sick paper.

  238. Alba4Eva says:

    The contradictions in John Reid are quite something… It is hard to see what he actually stands for other than his own personal gain.

  239. caz-m says:

    Jock Scot

    Good to hear from the man himself. Your videos are hilarious but also have a serious message within them.

    Jock, keep them comin and be gentle with my fellow Wingers when you all meet up in Dundee.

  240. heedtracker says:

    @ Calgacus MacAndrews, thanks for the link and Reid says

    “the SNP wants to “gamble” with people’s livelihoods on the “pretences” that “separation from the UK” will be “all reward and no risk”.
    He writes: “There are huge risks involved – in terms of our economy, finance, investment, employment, pensions, defence, security and in many other areas.”

    But Reid cant actually tell us what the huge risks are. Maybe its risks such sucker tax payers like me wont actually have to go to work tomorrow to pay for the £50 billion HS2 London to Birmingham spend for England.
    Stuff like that. That’s what’s really scary about no voters, they are more than happy to live in a state where their hard earned taxes are used to make life better in England.

  241. HandandShrimp says:

    I thought Reid retired to the House of Expenses. I haven’t heard him say anything in years – he isn’t really a big beast or an attack sheep or whatever he was any more. I haven’t felt moved to even bother reading his piece.

    I noticed that the lady on Headlines this morning (not Kate..didn’t catch her name) pretty much copied Wilson’s piece verbatim on the CBI…even down to the “good sandwiches/lunch” thing. No one is ever going to accuse Better Together of original thinking.

  242. ronnie anderson says:

    @Jock Scot, River of no Return looks rite for a re-wording

    nae copy rite issue,s 1954.

  243. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Just been over on the Observer / Guardian site reading Severin Carrol’s latest, and the comments thereafter.

    is it just me or does anyone else agree that the Referendum has moved on from;

    “dispelling the deliberate misperception in the London Press”
    “just let us get this done and dusted.”

    Debating with closed-minded types, there is just a waste of time and effort.

    We have bigger fish to fry!

  244. ronnie anderson says:

    @Jock Scot, loved the No Part of the Union,sounds familiar
    tae me LOL,yer dain a grand job.

  245. ronnie anderson says:

    @Jock Scot, Puff the Madic Dragon Blew away the Fears& Blew Away the Mist on the stone of Destiny I laid my first kiss, workit Jock in your own magic style.

  246. alex mahon says:

    A heartwarming story. Thos slagging them off are just envious and can’t understand that being rich doesn’t mean being greedy

  247. wingman 2020 says:

    Out of everything that has happened to date… this has outraged me the most.

    This IS the sickness of the Union. It is a disease that wants to control everything and keep the old order.

    The Daily Mail represents everything free and honest people should detest about the UK generally.

    I am thoroughly scunnered.

  248. Jock Scot says:

    thanks for that and previous comments..glad you like them. I take it you ain’t going to the Ferry, if so ..shame but if there is a live stream will say hello in case you see it. Am working on a way of mobilising Yew Choob so fingers crossed we may be coming to a town near you!…

  249. ronnie anderson says:

    @Jock Scot, our own Lonny Doniggan,There pileing on the agony dain it without style over on the Wingers site their beating the by a mile, blaw some of yer stardust on them Jock.

  250. wingman 2020 says:

    O/T Has anyone else noticed the increasing Royalty PR and Propaganda?

    Aside from preparing for succession… They are on at the moment to add to the Union cause ‘…every little helps…’ and part of the overall Westminster war strategy against independence. (Just like the CBI)

    All doing their bit for this sick establishment.

  251. Jock Scot says:

    @ronnie anderson
    how ya doin’?
    am peein’ maself laughing here…Ninja Penguin’s oor best lyricist so will pass these on and see what we can do

    And finally don’t ever imply that you have no style…you’ve buckets o’ it

  252. caz-m says:

    Tony Blair also made the news this week, with his new ideas on how to wipe out Radical Islamic beliefs in the Middle east.

    It was like going back to the good old days when Tony Blair and John Reid were never off the front pages.

    It nearly brought a wee tear to my eyes.

  253. ronnie anderson says:

    @Jock Scot BTs nae style over on the Wingers site their beating them by a mile,Weil rid oorselves of agony in a wee while.

  254. caz-m says:

    Jock Scot

    Never say never.

    I am going to try my hardest to be there in Bonnie Dundee.

  255. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @HandandShrimp says:
    I thought Reid retired to the House of Expenses. I haven’t heard him say anything in years

    Having successfully added to the numbers of the vermin-in-ermine* I suspect he has wisely kept a low profile ever since in the hope of avoiding being roped-in with the Tony Blair gang, when the War Crimes trials finally get going.

  256. Jock Scot says:

    @ronnie anderson
    too feckin’ right, was wondering how many feet the beastie has cos it cannae have many left that it hasn’t shot itself in
    know you will and look forward to meeting you wherever it happens to be

  257. caz-m says:

    Jock Scot

    Ronnie Anderson is the resident Bard on Wings.

    I think you two should have a wee get together and come up with a “Wings Anthem”, and am no jokin.

    We need a good marchin song to take us right up to Sept 18th with pride in our hearts.

    So C’mon you two, get thinkin.

    The Jock and Ronnie duet.

  258. Paula Rose says:

    Ronnie Jock sounds better.

  259. Iain says:

    Don’t think this has been mentioned…..but the Weirs will be funding the Union generously as well, through HMRC.

  260. ronnie anderson says:

    @Caz-M, you mean like, In the Arms of A Angel Wings/Wingers

    Flying High, something like that lol.

    ah wished ah could play a gittor, that ah instrument like

    a Sittar but play by a git like

  261. caz-m says:

    All the best Jock Scot.

  262. Jock Scot says:

    only until March 2016 and then they will continue to support ALL of the suggestions of earlier about us all giving them a national status as a way of saying thanks

    @caz-m/Paula Rose

    ‘I predict a riot’

    Hi,Yew Choob is not just me as if it weren’t for Ninja Penguin and Janet Scot writing the ‘best/most’ of the lyrics we wouldn’t be having this ‘ere conversation. I’m just the nutter who murders the singing and steals images for the vids so credit where credit is due.Will be meeting up with Ronnie at the ferry and after that ..well, let’s see what happens!!!!…The vids idea took off after the last March and Rally up Calton Hill when Janet said that she thought there wasn’t enough singing and our friend Liz came up with ‘We are a Nation’ this space, as I will, cos it’s been a brilliant trip so far and it will really start after we vote Yes..Now that I AM VERY much looking forward to

  263. geeo says:

    Watching westminster in review at the moment, interesting to see Lord Forsyth tearing into Lord Astor regarding faslane/trident.


    “Isn’t the truth of the matter, if AS achieves his nuclear free Scotland, the practical consequences of the manner will mean the end of a nuclear deterrent at a time of great economical and geo-political uncertainty, does the government have a PlanB” ?

    Lord Astor, defence minister replied..

    “My lord, we do not want Scotland to leave the united kingdom, we have achieved so much together and are very proud of the contributions Scotland makes to united kingdom defence”

    This was followed by Lord Wigley (plaid cymru) accusing Astor of being arrogant to Welsh NI and Scottish people.

    Then Lord West of Spithead (labour) had a good pop at him about huge ruk defence costs and the effects on relationship with america and NATO.

    Lord Astors response was that ”
    The UK government is NOT planning for Scotland leaving the UK as it simply cannot be seen to pre negotiate the details of a potential Yes vote as it would unpick the fabric of the union”

    Who said the house of lords were out of touch !!

  264. Davy says:

    The “Daily Mail” is nae fit to wipe an erse with.

    Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Weir, for showing the world how people with wealth thrust upon them, still can hold to their principles and common decency.Your high standards are an example to us all.

    Unlike the “Daily Mail” to whom the word standards is an unknown.

  265. John Lind says:

    “But, of course, in this endeavour their efforts extend not just to charitable causes but also a political one that could change the lives of Scotland’s entire population, whether they like it or not.”

    Whether they like it or not? Is that not the purpose of the referendum – for the people to choose, or are the anti-independence campaign trying to get their excuses in early?

  266. Jock Scot says:

    if Forsyth really does need nukes to make him feel safe then maybe he could ask the Queen if he can store them at Buck Palace and he could rent a room..I mean most of the kids have moved out and it would provide a use for all those spare bedrooms and potential bedroom tax avoidance..

    @John Lind
    I think excuses are all they have ever had from the start

  267. TheBabelFish says:

    The reason for this is that the lottery, along with the football pools which were far more popular before the lottery came along, are one of the three pillars of deception which support privilege in the UK, namely:
    1. Pie in the sky when you die,
    2. Jam tomorrow, and
    3. You might get lucky.

    All are lies of course, and reflect the utter contempt in which the ruling class hold the rest of us. Because,
    1. There’s no god.
    2. The idea of the Labour party as mass party of the working class is a myth, and has been for rather a long time really, and
    3. The chances of you, as an individual, ever winning a lottery are significantly less than your chances of finding buried treasure, or being struck by lightning.

    All these are necessary because the UK never had a proper revolution. The transition from feudalism to capitalism was ‘managed’ in such a way as to retain the power and privilege of the aristocracy, with the result that there is less social mobility in the UK than just about any place on Earth. Because it doesn’t matter how much money you make, you can never join that ruling class. You can send your kids to Eton if you can afford it, but they’ll just be pilloried as oiks, noovs and barrow boys by their fellows. It takes three generations, at least, to change your social class. In most capitalist societies it’s all about the money, but not this one.

    So, the role of a lottery winner in this society is to convince naive people that it really is possible, they might be winners one day, so don’t agitate against things the way they are, you might get lucky! Their other function is to provide entertainment for the masses by demonstrating that “the poor don’t know how to handle money” by screwing up, blowing it all on booze and drugs and ending up in rehab. For those my age, remember that woman who won the pools back in the late 60s, and infamously said, “I’m going to spend, spend, spend?” She did, and provided week after week of ‘News of the World’ fodder, they even made a movie about her ffs, before she ended up penniless again a couple of years later. Don’t know what happened to her in the end. The media lost interest in her after it had used her to paint it’s sordid little morality play, in which you can’t give poor people money, because they can’t handle it, it will destroy them! THAT is how lottery winners are supposed to behave in this society.

    What is NOT supposed to happen, and let’s face it, given the astronomical odds against winning the lottery in the first place (it’s so improbable that your odds are only very marginally improved by actually buying a ticket), it is pretty unlikely, is for it to be won by someone with a modicum of common sense and a political agenda. But it’s an interesting contrast, because I’d probably have done something similar. Wouldn’t you? But the unionist ranks include pretty much all of the super rich of this island, many of them far richer than the Weirs, yet none of them have been prepared to put their money where their mouths are and put their hands in their own pockets to support this institution they supposedly care so much about. In fact BT’s biggest private donor is a nouveau riche oligarch with ties to Australia’s favourite war criminal. No doubt his pay off would be admission to the inner circle of that establishment. The only other way for some of those doors to be opened to you, if you’re working class, is to be a Labour peer (or rock/sport/movie star or knight/dame of the theatre).

    So, yet again, the familiar media mass-manipulation techniques are employed, to paint the Weirs as, at the same time, Innocent rubes, duped by salesman Salmond and Machiavellian manipulators, shunning the limelight. So which is it? Is that a deliberate mistake, do you think? A trick question? We’re meant to spot that and focus on it as a piece of misdirection and miss the truth, which is of course that it’s neither. They are just a couple of ordinary people who, against all the odds, got lucky. They didn’t blow the money, they did something sensible with it, took care of their immediate needs, got themselves somewhere a bit nicer to live, helped out family, friends, community and then chipped in to support a cause they have evidently believed in for a long time. In doing so they have merely gone a little way towards redressing the systemic imbalance that leads, for instance, to almost all of the conventional media in Scotland being on the opposite side of the debate. So, I invite you again to consider, what would you have done?

  268. handclapping says:

    If one complaint can bring an advertising campaign to a halt, what will happen if we all write to LIDL to complain of their association with the scurrilous attack on the Weirs in the Nazi supporting Mail?

  269. dramfineday says:

    A bit late to this but nonetheless I give my support to the many positive comments above about the Colin and Chris Weir and the kindnesses and consideration they have shown to strangers who need help. Kind, decent behaviour indeed.

    Anent the YES badges, I was out with YES Pentlands yesterday leafleting and was asked for some badges – I hadn’t any on me (spare) so I gave the couple the ones I was wearing. When I got back to our stall and was chatting about it, a number of the other guys had had the same experience. So from now on, we are carrying spares in the satchels!

  270. Morag says:

    Where are you getting them from? I’ve been begging for badges and posters to give away but no joy. There don’t seem to be any posters beyond what you can download from the internet, nothing official, and the only badges that seem to be available are these huge brightly-coloured tin ones. Not everyone wants to wear a tin badge, and even those who do want the blue ones, leaving all the pink and purple and green ones begging.

    People want the enamelled lapel badges, and properly-designed window posters on slightly heavier than normal paper and the colour going all the way to the margins. And I just can’t get hold of them.

  271. liz says:

    @Morag, – just catching up with posts and I have to say I feel the same about events coinciding to this point.

    However, being Scottish, I’m afraid to let myself believe it.

    No matter what problems we encounter in the event of a Yes, I believe there will be a feeling of a weight being lifted from all our shoulders including the naysayers because we will at long last be in charge of our own destiny.

  272. Richard Taylor says:

    Surely there’s been plenty of Unionist lottery winners, either in Scotland or in the rest of the UK? Surely they are entitled to donate money to the NO campaign or indeed any political party of their choosing.

    And as for having donations solicited? So what? My father still gets begging letters from St Andrews University 50 years after graduating. If he endowed (with the millions that he, erm, doesn’t have) the ‘St Andrews Chair of stating his opinion loudly and brooking no argument’, after receiving a begging letter, would that make our Tory friend feel queasy?

  273. magicpants says:

    @Doug Daniel said :

    “After the Yes vote, they should buy the building across from the Daily Mail’s office, knock it down, and replace it with a huge sculpture of a middle finger, and a sign saying “HA HA! GET IT RIGHT FUCKING UP YE, LOVE FROM SCOTLAND XXX”.”


  274. dramfineday says:

    Hi Morag

    anent the badges, our organisers seem to be able to get a range of them (tin versions – big and small, various colours) including the little enamel ones (£2 per item – currently out of stock). I’ll ask about them and the posters and get back to you.

  275. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “the little enamel ones (£2 per item – currently out of stock)”

    Oh FFS.

  276. Helena Brown says:

    They used to print the Daily Mail in the same buildings as my Printing and Book Binding employer was at Tanfield, Edinburgh. I wish I knew then what I know now, would have spat on them.

  277. orri says:

    To be honest the subtext here is highly ambivalent. I’ve got a regular ticket in the National Lottery and I’ll admit that I wouldn’t mind wining a packet. Trouble is that the very people who are large donators to the NO campaign have a very similar air of being it in for personal gain. In fact if we follow the logic then we have to reach the same conclusion that the author of this piece has and that personal gain is all they’re in it for. The attempt here is to somehow question the altruism of the Weirs.
    I’ve no doubt that those claiming a certain unease in their good fortune is due to the fact that as gaining vast quantities of cash isn’t their motivation in life then they are outclassed. It’s like a game of poker, my least favorite game, where you know you can be outbid.
    End of the day, I can believe that there’s a far higher proportion of businessmen motivated by personal gain on either side than those willing to spend money for ideals. I also find it easy to believe that the Weirs are motivated by their concerns for their fellow man. Not knowing their religious beliefs I can’t tell if they also feel they have to give something back for their great fortune. Which is the other reason you might not want to play poker, if your opponent has demonstrated great luck then you want to find someone else to play with.

  278. Jock Scot says:

    @Croompenstein and any one else who is interested

    Just off the press so to speak..The factsheet for “We Didn’t Start the Union” can be downloaded from

  279. rab_the_doubter says:

    It takes a rare amount of journalistic sleaze baggery to take an article about Margo Mac Donald and make it into an attack on The SNP and Alex Salmon, but true to form the Sunday Heil seems to manage that in a sidebar attached to the story. Ba****d’s.

  280. Harry says:

    Spotted my third Yes car sticker in Hamilton today, a big blue one just like mine. Also spotted my fourth Yes windae, just along from Hamilton Grammar plus I often see a chap coming out of Sainsburys early on a Sunday morning wearing his big blue Yes badge. Didn’t see him this morning, I’d prepared my opening gambit too – Snap!

  281. dramfineday says:

    Oh FFS

    out of stock – only in our local plastic box of badges Rev! No doubt plenty in yes HQ

  282. Adam Jeal says:

    Once we gain our independence we should have another referendum to kick the fascist Daily Mail and Express out of Scotland. Democracy in action!

  283. Helpmaboab says:

    If there are any Yessers who’d like to emulate the Weirs on a smaller scale please consider the ‘Yes Fife Leaflet Fund’ on Indiegogo.

    They’re working in towns which are the paradigm of old-fashioned, Labour-voting Fife. There’s no shortage of Fifers ready to vote yes but they could use a wee boost!

  284. Morag says:

    anent the badges, our organisers seem to be able to get a range of them (tin versions – big and small, various colours) including the little enamel ones (£2 per item – currently out of stock). I’ll ask about them and the posters and get back to you.

    FFS. NOBODY OVER THE AGE OF TEN WANTS THESE TIN BADGES. OK I exaggerate but not much. In particular there are almost no takers for the non-blue ones. The blue ones are cherry-picked and then the magenta and emerald and crimson and so on are left begging.

    We should not be charging £2 for the decent ones. We should be begging people to wear them. I could probably have given away the one I was wearing yesterday but it’s the only one I have. I’ve got to the point I’d buy a load myself so I have some to give, but THEY’RE NOT EVEN ON THE WEB SITE.

    Look, I’ve had a monthly standing order to Yes Scotland for years now. I thought this was the sort of stuff I was paying for. And then there’s what the Weirs have given. OK, somehow it isn’t and I need to pay again for badges to give away. But I’ve been on the Yes site numerous times and I can’t even see the item.

    I also got a couple of wee gold and silver badges from a Yes stall at Bonnyrigg. Just like the one the FM had on when he gave his conference speech. They’re a wee bit subtle compared to the enamel ones but they’re just what a lot of people want for business suits, Sunday best and so on. I can wear one like that to work. I can’t wear a big tin purple one. I’d like a handful of those too. THEY’RE NOT ON THE SITE EITHER.

    Do something, FFS. People want discreet, tasteful items they can wear subtly, without being in-your-face about it. And there’s nothing but a gold version for about £300 or £600 or something like that. (Maybe that’s what the FM was wearing come to think of it but there are cheap gilt ones cos I have one. ONE!) This isn’t good enough.

    (OK, looked again, and the enamel ones have reappeared. I will buy some for myself for distribution but this is really ridiculous. We’re all giving so much it’s ludicrous to expect us to pay all over again for trivia like this.)

  285. Paula Rose says:

    @ Jock Scot – that’s a great pice of writing you posted at 2:51, have just finished reading it and recommend it to you all. My thanks to the two authors, Janet and the Ninja Penguin.

  286. stonefaction says:

    With regards to the visibility of YES, I recently decided to buy 100 badges and have been giving small batches to folk who I know are YES supporters – 1 for themselves to wear and the rest to give out to folk they know. Once that 100 are gone, I will buy another batch and do the same. I’ve even managed to give some to a few undecideds (which suggests they are more YES than NO).

    So, if you want YES to be more visible, why not buy a batch of badges (5, 10, 50, 100), whatever you can afford and distribute them. Tell folk where they can get more and raise the visibility.


  287. dramfineday says:


    Re badges / posters

    I’ve left you a message over in quarantine.

  288. Morag says:

    So, if you want YES to be more visible, why not buy a batch of badges (5, 10, 50, 100), whatever you can afford and distribute them. Tell folk where they can get more and raise the visibility.

    Because, as I said above, once I’ve got over having to dip into my own pocket to pay for promotional material to give away, despite the amount of money I and others give regularly to Yes Scotland, I run up against the problem that YOU CAN’T GET DECENT BADGES.

    I’ve watched time and time again as people pick up these big brightly-coloured tin things and put them down again. They’re OK for wearing at actual Yes events, but really for nothing else. You look like a lemon in them.

    The enamel ones have just reappeared on the web site, for £2 a pop plus P&P, after having vanished as an item for ages. How many of these are people going to buy out of their own pockets? Where are the wee silver and gold (I suppose chrome and gilt) versions that are even more discreet and may be all that some people will wear? They’re essentially unobtainable.

    Yes Ambassadors should be sent out with pockets of the things, ready to give to anyone who asks for one. Not left to buy them themselves online, for a significant sum of money. Can Yes really not find anything out of all that donation money to fund this sort of thing? It’s very short-sighted.

  289. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Yes Ambassadors should be sent out with pockets of the things, ready to give to anyone who asks for one. Not left to buy them themselves online, for a significant sum of money. Can Yes really not find anything out of all that donation money to fund this sort of thing? It’s very short-sighted.”

    A massive +1 to that entire post.

  290. stonefaction says:

    Morag, my post was being typed up while you were posting yours. I didn’t see yours until after I had posted mine. Mine was a general comment rather than aimed at anyone in particular.

    I also agree with the part of your post that Stu has quoted and agreed with above, but until such time as that happens what are the alternatives? To do nothing and hope that things change? Do we have the time to wait?

  291. Thepnr says:


    Totally agree. A million badge wearing Scots are better than thousands of billboard adverts.

  292. Grouse Beater says:

    But Reid cant actually tell us what the huge risks are.

    One of the risks of staying in the Union is being governed by thugs such as him.

  293. Morag says:

    but until such time as that happens what are the alternatives? To do nothing and hope that things change? Do we have the time to wait?

    Well, if you can get willing takers for the big brightly-coloured tin badges then good luck to you. I can’t, and I don’t know anyone else who can either. As I said, they’re good to wear when actively campaigning or to a campaign meeting, but they’re useless for everyday purposes.

    There are also posters that can be printed off on your own printer, but again these look a lot less professional than ones from an actual print firm – partly due to the grade of paper used in printers and the way inkjet ink corrugates it, and partly due to the inevitable white borders unless you trim these off.

    It’s not a question of “just do something”, it’s a question of having access to professional materials, whether it be the sort of badges people are prepared to wear with business suits or other work clothes, or professionally-produced posters.

    It’s also a question of whether Yes Scotland should be expecting people who already donate a lot of money and time to the campaign to put their hands in their pockets and pay all over again for promotional items they want to give away.

    I can get over my annoyance at the latter, but that doesn’t solve the former. The range of products on the Yes Scotland site is poor. Drinking cups and laptop covers are no substitute for decent grown-up lapel badges and window posters.

  294. Paula Rose says:

    I’ve turned my big tin badges into earrings – fabby.

  295. Hugh Wallace says:

    O/T @Harry at 7:42

    This is what is in the White Paper on the subject of police pensions:

  296. stonefaction says:

    Morag, I get what you’re saying about the quality etc, and the rather poor choice of products available and your frustration at both. I do kinda agree on both points, but as things stand that’s what we have to work with.

    I’ve been wearing the tin badges, as well as the cap (or beanie hat, depending on the weather), and sometimes carrying the bag, since Christmas – though I do try to limit it to 2 out of the 3 to avoid overkill, and if by doing so I bring attention to the YES message then as far as I’m concerned it’s job done. That I may look a bit dafter than normal in the process is a small price to pay. As a birder and a photographer, I’m well used to ignoring people staring at me in public places, and am well past caring what they think, so wearing a blue hat or bag, and a wee red/green/blue/purple badge makes not the slightest bit of difference to me in the grand scheme of things.

    If I had to wear a suit or something more professional day to day then I possibly would feel a bit more self-conscious, and just make do with carrying the bag. I can understand why others might be reluctant to wear a wee coloured badge but there are folk wearing onesies in public and shell suits were once de rigeur. Personally I wouldn’t wear either of those, but I’m gonna keep doing what I’m doing. If it catches on, fine. If not, well, I tried.

  297. Morag says:

    Stonefaction, I don’t think you’re reading what I’m typing. I said the big tin badges were fine for wearing while actually campaigning. I have also been able to source a blue enamel lapel badge for myself (to be honest John Finnie gave it to me from his own lapel when I admired it at a book launch party) and a couple of the silver/gold ones because Yes Midlothian had some to give away.


    I’m complaining because ordinary punters who support Yes and might be prepared to show it won’t take the big coloured tin badges, and I don’t blame them, and I don’t have anything better to offer them.

    It’s not going to work to say to people who want a discreet and tasteful Yes badge that this is all we have to work with and they shouldn’t mind looking daft. They’re not going to do it. Nor should they have to.

  298. Harry says:

    Morag, I have to agree with you. After some thought, I think “lemon” is maybe accurate as to how I felt yesterday! I’m going to ditch the big badges, tin, enamel, whatever the hell they’re called and go back to the classier wee pin badge. I agree also a small percentage of the Weir’s millions could maybe go towards making these badges more affordable, say, for buying in bulk – 10 for £10 for example.

    Hugh – I have included a link to that page in my e-mail to him and also sent him Donnie Smith’s very detailed response from late last night. No word back as yet.

  299. Paula Rose says:

    I’ve discovered that you can adorn your sandals with the wee tinny badges – and yes the boys take notice.

  300. Croompenstein says:

    @Jock Scot – I’ve read the fact sheet, a big well done to Ninja Penguin and Janet

  301. handclapping says:

    Taken from NinjaPenguin and Janet
    we can understand why the Scots might want to reject a church that was filthy rich while most of them lived in poverty, whose holy book was in a language they didn’t
    understand and which told them that only members of its hierarchy could impart information about spirituality. The new reformed church offered them education, scriptures in their native tongue and the opportunity to have ministers elected by the congregation and a say in running their church.

    church to Parliament
    holy book to BBC
    spirituality to what you must do
    and does it remind you of anything?

  302. Tam Jardine says:


    I agree 100%. I couldn’t wear the tin badges to work so I wear the wee enamel yes badge. It looks great – I bought 2 of them and gave the other away to a mate within a few days. The big badges are more visible better for the closing weeks or leafleting.

    My feeling is the SNP SSP and greens should be buying in bulk and sending out to their entire membership for starters. It would increase presence and normalisation for Yes at a stroke because I am sure the take up would be high, particularly if the cool wee badges were accompanied by a letter stating the reasons why it helps the campaign to be visible.

    Yes should be giving these out if possible but I will email someone at the SNP to ask them to send out a badge to their full membership.

    Anyone know a rough cost price of badges like that?
    If SNP need to chuck £10K at this it would pay for itself many times over (in votes). Surely this is a guid use of my monthly offering?

    Only problem may be supply but we’ve got months to go. If you agree with me and are a member of the Greens or SSP then you could ask the same question. Please let me know your thoughts. Or if you are reading this and have the power do speak up.

    Walking through Edinburgh today and I failed to see another single soul with a badge on (and I was looking). It needs sorted.

  303. handclapping says:

    Yes Kirkcaldy gave away 1000 of the despised tin badges at the Links Market. That will benefit Yes all over Fife as the Market is a major draw for the whole kingdom and there is the wristbands as well which go down well with the younger folk.

  304. Tam Jardine says:


    I don’t despise them – I bought a bag of them. See the guys I work with – ordinary working guys who will never be members of a political party but are Yes leaning – they won’t wear them. Might be able to get them to wear the enamel badges.

    If I see half a dozen folk in the street tomorrow wearing yes badges tomorrow I’ll know I’m wrong and all is well. Just emailed Nicola (she’s forever emailing me so why not!). Will try and drop by the office this week to pursue.

    Keep up the good work Handclapping I am NOT having a go.

  305. stonefaction says:


    I know! You’re not reading what I’m saying either. I’m saying that I personally am wearing the tin badge to raise awareness, as it is what I have available. You’ve got your wee tasteful one and would like some like those to give out. I’ve got that! Maybe I could’ve worded my posts better, but I am actually broadly in agreement with you.

    Tam’s idea is a very good one. If it comes off, I’ll probably swap my coloured badge for one of those. Fingers crossed.

  306. Morag says:

    You know, I just picked up the envelope that was dropped off for me with the roll of red paper stickers and the single rather crumpled red-on-white Yes poster (the response to my plea for some decent badges and posters), and it clanked a bit. I thought, hey, are there some useable badges in there as well?

    I looked into the bottom of the envelope. Three more of the big tin ones. One red and two pink.

    I don’t despise them. Horses for courses. They are good for raising awareness while you’re actually out campaigning. But I simply can’t give them away, especially the ones that aren’t blue! They’re not what a lot of people want, and if they’re all we have, then we’re not fulfilling a demand and we’re losing out on potential Yes visibility.

  307. Croompenstein says:

    WTF! there’s a fitba team called Chimney Corner!

    If I win millions I am gonnae plough it into the CCFC to get them in to the Champions League, can you imagine the scene at the Bernabau – Real Madrid vs Chimney Corner.

    I would, of course, give the rest to our independence movement

  308. Tam Jardine says:

    Further to my last post, incase Yes Scotland are out of the cool yes lapel badges, I checked the SNP shop.

    They have stock of the ‘gold’ YES lapel badges which I haven’t seen on YES Scotland shop site (at £1.95 plus p&p). They also have a wide range of other high quality merchandise and as you would expect it is a bit more established than the Yes site.

    Of course we ain’t all SNP members I checked the green website – no badges. Labour for Indy – no shop, SSP – no shop, RIC – some tin badges but all RIC rather than generic Yes.

    Hope this helps – I think it is important.

  309. Morag says:

    That’s definitely handy. Also Yes have re-stocked with the blue enamel ones.

  310. Tam Jardine says:

    Sorry to keep on about this. Just checked the BT site and the tories, Scottish labour and lib dems -Nada. If we think we have problems in this area, BT are essentially trying to win this without a campaign outside of the MSM so even if they tried to start a grassroots campaign now they would be playing an impossible game of catchup.

    For this reason, if we can find a way of putting many thousands of Yes supporters out there with badges (and car stickers and posters of course) it is like a 6 pointer. Ok – I’ll shut up now.

  311. Jock Scot says:

    On behalf of Janet and Ninja Penguin…thanks for all the cool comments. Janet is on twitter @JanetScot1

  312. Morag says:

    Tam, I think the thinking in Yes is that the time for a mass badges-and-posters push is later in the summer, and they’re probably right about that. The problem now is that we have early adopters spontaneously asking for material, and we can’t get it.

    There’s no reason at all that people who come forward now shouldn’t have badges and posters if they want them. But my pleas are being met with the brush-off, and bloody RED STICKERS.

  313. mai parks says:

    Myself and my husband gave up reading newspapers year’s ago due to the crass reportage . We found the best way to find out anything is a mixture of Al Jazeera , France24 , Euro news and occasionally terrestrial tv.
    The treatment of this couple is really what old school would call “below the belt”.
    I hope this doesn’t affect them in anyway. I feel life can be difficult and sometimes fate just smiles and says ” you know what? It’s you!”
    Mr and Mrs Weir , spend what you have , how you wish because let’s face it , there are no pockets in shrouds !
    Enjoy it , I blinking would!

  314. Tam Jardine says:


    If you know that is the case then great but I would have thought a spend like this could be invoiced before the campaign ‘proper’ begins therefore not eating into the limit.

    You are spot on though – with the SNP the shop has always been about fundraising and of course Yes need money but with products like badges, car stickers and posters it’s almost free advertising. It goes way beyond fundraising in a way that punting £300 silver or gold plated pins is not, useful as that undoubtedly is.

    It’s a failing of the campaign to date and I suspect they have problems meeting demand on some items. I’ll let you know if I get anywhere with this. I had been thinking about the issue for a while and I see that I am not alone. Fortunately we have time to get this fixed.

  315. Morag says:

    I think Yes is spending a lot before the campaign begins, on billboards and the newspaper and so on. Badges and posters may be small beer.

    I also think they probably intend to let rip with more stuff nearer the time, but I can’t understand why they don’t make it easier for people who want to be identified as Yes to get something suitable NOW.

  316. Gary says:

    My dear old dad (a retired factory worker and one time Labour voter) is a Daily Mail/Express reader. He had swallowed this story about the Weirs hook line and sinker. He’s also bought the line about MOD related job losses etc and is now doubtful about independence and the SNP. He’s never voted Tory and admits that Labour are rubbish now too.

    It saddens me to see my old man taken in by such cobblers. Like a lot of old folk, he’s not likely to be scouring the internet to get a more balanced view either.

  317. Morag says:

    But what IS “this story about the Weirs”? What is it that’s actually been “revealed”?

    That a couple in late middle age came into an absolute fortune. That as well as improving their own lives and the lives of people close to them, and setting up a chartiable trust to benefit many many people in need of help, they gave a small percentage of the win – no wait, just a proportion of the interest on the win – to the political party they had supported for many years.

    They haven’t sought or received any favours in return for this. Yes they had a cup of tea with the FM – for God’s sake that is mere courtesy when dealing with such large donors. They quite clearly have not been coerced in any way. Their level-headed approach to dealing with their fortune overall is testimony to that. This isn’t some passing fad, as Mr. Weir even stood as a candidate for the party 20 years ago.

    I don’t know whether they’re supposed to be poor exploited innocents, or manipulative chancers bent on using their ill-gotten gains to subvert democracy. I don’t know why it’s OK for a captain of industry to decide to give a large political donation (often with an eye on a gong or a political favour) but not OK for ordinary people who have come into money to do the same with no expectation of personal reward.

    So Gary, what is actually the “story” your old man thinks he’s “bought”?

  318. Juan P says:

    Does your dad think the UK as it stands is as good as it gets? At least with a Yes vote we have the opportunity to make things better.

    Maybe invite him to watch this speech, and in particular the last 5 minutes, which covers the sometimes infuriating willingness of Scotland and the people of Scotland to “accept their lot”:

    We must be able to do better if we vote Yes.

  319. Gary says:

    To Morag:

    I’m in complete agreement with yourself and Rev Stu regarding the Weirs and their donation. I’ve followed the referendum debate closely for several months and am 100% behind the Yes campaign.

    My story that my dad seems to have bought is that the donation of the Weirs (made possible entirely by luck) may be a deciding factor in the result of the referendum.

    I suspect that he has also been unwittingly influenced by the tone of the article and the crafty way that the mail contrived to paint the SNP in a bad light. He’s been reading these crappy papers for a while now and I fear that their message (scare stories, lies, fear) has been imprinted on his brain.

    To Juan P:

    I agree with you too. I’m not sure if my Dad has even tried to imagine a better, independent future. He seems to have just heard the scary monster stories. I did try to make him see sense, but I had the clear feeling that I’d have to battle away for ages to make any progress.

    The odd thing is that I’m fairly sure that he has voted SNP in previous general elections.

    Sadly, I think he’s a lost cause now. I doubt if I could make him sit through your speech and don’t think he has any appetite for challenging ideas. He’s set in his passive-consumer-of-MSM ways. I’d guess he’d probably be a sucker for UKIP style populist nonsense. Oh dear.

    I’ve already fallen out with another family member (a rabid Britnat) after being treated to some nasty remarks via facebook, so I’m wary of getting into a heated discourse with the old geezer too.

  320. Touchwood says:

    I wonder how much that would have cost BT if it had to pay for it? Yes may have the Weirs but BT can count on the massed ranks of virtually all the major media outlets and that must be worth a pretty penny, I’ll be bound.

  321. Gary says:

    To Morag and Juan P, I agree with you both. I am behind the Yes campaign 100% and I think that we could not fail to do better than the status quo.

    As for my Dad’s unquestioning digestion of drivel, he believes the Mail’s assertion that, incredibly, the outcome of the referendum may hinge on the Weirs’ lucky win. He also seems to have been a sucker for the Mail’s crafty negative portrayal of the SNP in relation to their donations.

    I doubt if my Dad would sit through any speech I showed him . He’s happy to repeat the garbage in the papers/TV, but doesn’t want to look much deeper.

    Having been subject to some nasty comments via facebook from my dad’s brother-in-law (a rabid, and evidently very stupid Britnat), I’m loathe to get into a squabble with my dad too.

  322. Tam Jardine says:


    Re the badges.
    No response from SNP so dragged the bairns up to the office this morning. The response to my great idea of sending a lapel yes badge to every member was just defensive. They are giving out an awful lot of badges apparently and are set to send out a vast number of car stickers etc. He said what you said: just wait till the campaign proper kicks off.

    The guy went into some depth about what they were doing and I was grateful for his insight. I suppose I must come across like a complete maniac to these professional party workers.

    So I will try Peter Murrell and see if I can get somewhere. I just can’t get my head round why, in the middle of the biggest grassroots campaign in our nation’s history the visible presence and numerical superiority of Yes supporters can’t be harnessed.

    I was able to wear the big tin badge today – saw 1 young lady with a beautiful handmade tapestry Yes badge on the Royal Mile but apart from that, not a single badge from either side. I’ve no had this interest in badges since the scouts. Will let you know if I get anywhere. The blue tin one is pretty cool though, and about as subtle as the bat signal

  323. United forever says:

    116,531,800 to 1….. £161m won… Charity aid across Scotland,not one pence to any of the other country’s in the union other than the tax they have to Pay…typical of the Scottish mentality towards England,Wales and Northern Ireland

  324. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “116,531,800 to 1….. £161m won… Charity aid across Scotland,not one pence to any of the other country’s in the union other than the tax they have to Pay…typical of the Scottish mentality towards England,Wales and Northern Ireland”

    You don’t have a clue who they have or haven’t donated money to, fuckwit. They don’t make a song and dance about it.

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