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Wings Over Scotland


Through the looking glass

Posted on April 13, 2013 by

We’ve been documenting of late how the No campaign has grown increasingly negative and smear-based since the turn of the year, as opinion polls show a trend of small but consistent movement towards independence. One of the core characteristics of negative political campaigning is to accuse your opponents of doing the thing you’re actually doing, and the last couple of days have thrown up some striking examples.

mccolmsmear

That’s our old pal Euan McColm of the Scotsman, of course. And he’s not alone.

Here’s another keen Wings Over Scotland reader, Labour’s admirably tireless one-man misinformation machine Duncan Hothersall, singing from an oddly similar script:

hothersallsmear

The co-ordinated smear topic of the moment appears to be a graphic this site created yesterday and posted on Facebook and Twitter, about campaign donations:

scottishmoney

There aren’t too many words on it, and the few there are are pretty unambiguous. The only people attempting to draw a distinction between “real” Scots and any other type of Scots, it notes, are the No campaign.

To the best of our knowledge, Yes Scotland has never used the phrase. And while we have no connection with Yes Scotland – or to the SNP, despite Mr McColm’s dogged insistence to the contrary – nor would we. (Given that I currently live in England, after all, I’m hardly in a position to play “Scottisher than thou” with anyone.)

The image above could hardly be any more clear or explicit – “We don’t call people ‘real Scots’ or ‘fake Scots'”, it says. The notion of ethnic nationalism is expressly, unequivocally rejected, and even Euan McColm isn’t so stupid as to not to be able to understand that from those words. If he’s pretending to be, he’s doing so for a purpose.

So just out of interest, who does go on and on about who’s a “real Scot”?

btrealscots2

“Alistair Darling says Better Together campaign will be led by real Scots

Real Scots backing BritainForty Scots from different walks of life spoke up for the UK at the Better Together launch.”

“In contrast to the separatist campaign, our materials don’t attack the other side of the argument. We simply offer facts, and the perspective of real Scots who offer their reasons for sticking together in the UK.”

“The Better Together launch event on Monday was a great success and we couldn’t have wished for a better start or better reaction from the media. It was all a marked contrast to the celebrity soaked SNP event of a few weeks earlier and recognised as such because what we had were real Scots proclaiming their belief in the value of the Union to them as Scots and saying so unashamedly and directly.”

“Better Together was launched in June this year by Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats and since its formation it has been aiming to reach out to and be focussed on real Scots from all walks of life.”

“Where the SNP had a few foreign-based luvvies telling us how much they loved Scotland, the better campaign had real Scots who actually live here telling us why they believed it was better for Scotland to remain within the UK.”

Well, you get the idea.

This is of course just a single thread of the complex tapestry of lies and smears currently being woven by the Unionist side. This site alone has been the target of an avalanche of unfounded abuse, increasing dramatically in intensity as our readership figures have rocketed. There will be much, much more of it to come, because it appears that the No camp has completely exhausted its arguments about independence – all it’s got left is to try to take out the messengers. And with 17 months still to go, the tackles are only going to get wilder.

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    118 to “Through the looking glass”

    1. benarmine says:

      There’s no shortage of rocks in the hills but one wonders if there are going to be enough for them to hide under when this is over.

    2. Peter Mirtitsch says:

      Oh wouldn’t it be sooooo nice if they could address the point made that most of the “No” campaign money comes from those not actually entitled to vote in the first place, as opposed to those in the “Yes” campaign, where the vast majority is from those, such as myself who are “real” Scots, (I live, work, and am registered to vote in Scotland, and yes, “Mirtitsch” is a very old Scottish clan), who ARE able to vote.
       

    3. Paul Martin says:

      Did the risible Hothersall and McColm even READ the text of that graphic in their rush to knee-jerk ? “Real Scots” was the tagline that was introduced by Better Together right at the very inception of their campaign.

      As many of us commented at the time, the implication was clear about those Scots who Better Together somehow didn’t regard as “real”.

      Christ they really do need to raise their game.

    4. G. Campbell says:

      Foreign-based luvvie. ATTACK. ATTACK. ATTACK.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=sCJ5WZ7n_DE#t=889s

    5. Yesitis says:

      Sadly, it was always going to be this way…
       
      Ode to an impartial media 🙁
       
       

    6. Richard Lucas says:

       
       
      I’m English born, English raised, and no, Euan, no Duncan, there is nothing ethnic about the Yes Scotland movement,. I’m sure Anas Sarwar amongst many, many others would agree if you ask. It’s such a tired and lazy slur, disproved so many time, yet still the first resort for those seeking a cheap shot, a low blow, or a high tackle.  Combined with the desperate recent attempts to camouflage the highly dubious source on the ‘No’ campaign’s funding, the probity and morality of the ‘Better Together’ set up are looking very frail.

      Why Better Together fundamentalists persist in this self-harming behaviour is beyond my power to explain. I wouldn’t want to delve too deeply into the murky thought processes of people who think preventing Scotland taking its place amongst the nation of the world  justifies taking money from the cronies of a Serbian warlord. I find that even more inexplicable than the casual throwing around of slurs of a type that would have No campaigners squealing loudly if made in the opposite direction.
       
       
       

    7. Alex Grant says:

      What saddens me about McColm and Hothersall is their absolute lack of honesty and integrity!

    8. G. Campbell says:

      Bollocks. That didn’t work. Search forward to 15:00 for ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK.

    9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      GC: You can’t embed YouTube links at a specified point. You have to just post the link if it’s to a particular time. For some reason the trick is to take out the http:// part. Have fixed it.

    10. Allan Jackson says:

      The important thing we who are for independence needs to remember and NOT to fall into the same negative campaigning as the No Camp are continuing with. As long as we stay positive in our messages and keep turning out the real facts, we will win.
       
      Hail Alba gu brath, Vote YES 18/09/14. Remember a vote of YES is NOT a vote for Alex Salmond and the SNP, but a vote for a chance to build a better, caring brighter future for Scotland.

    11. seoc says:

      Has anyone spotted a coherent reply to the oft-asked, oft-dodged simple question: Why is it right for England to have political self determination, but not Scotland?
      I’ve asked and looked in vain, but only an haunting echoing silence prevails.
      Is there no reply?

    12. muttley79 says:

      Yes, Euan McColm and Duncan Hothersall are both attemting to conceal the ethnic nature of British Nationalism by smearing the Yes campaign.  The Brit Nats are infamous for their casual xenophobia against what they term ‘foreigners.’  The smearing of the SNP as equivalent to the BNP, in the SoS article last week, was typical of this tactic of transference.  The Brit Nats are shameless.

    13. Richard Lucas says:

      Yes, Paul Martin, of course they read it. They had to read before they could distort it and lie about it.

    14. Juteman says:

      I’m more convinced than ever, that some of these NO bloggers must have a personality disorder.
      Or they are simply dishonest people.

    15. Macart says:

      What utter hypocrisy from these characters. Haven’t they paid attention to their own campaign’s rhetoric? They must surely be aware of just how easily sourced these releases are? 

    16. Adrian B says:

      I think it highlights the devisions within ‘Better Together’ more than anything. The constant “Look! a squirrel” assertions made by Duncan and his beloved Labour Party, serve to alleviate any debate and show Its all those nasty SNP Cybernats fault.
       
      They really do need to up their game, but are they genuinely able to? I think the SNP resentment runs far too deep in the minds of some. 
       
      Euan McColm is a professional journalist who seems to have the same intrenched issues as many in the Labour Party, perhaps he is a member or sympathiser – frankly I don’t care, I can chose not to buy his product, just as I chose not to vote for the likes of Duncan’s Labour Party.
       
      The rest of the general public of Scotland could however be better served if the Labour Party could get on having a polite ‘No’ campaign based on their reasoning of why Scotland might in future be ‘Better Together’. Present evidence suggests they lost that some time ago and are in significant internal turmoil with regards to any chance of winning over the hearts and minds of Scotland regarding its future within the Union.
       
       

    17. Quinie frae Angus says:

      Spare a thought for these poor excuses for “journos”. It must be painful for them to have to adjust  to being more accountable in this day and age. How they must long for the good old days, when they could publish their poisonous output with impunity, in the full and confident knowledge that the only opprobrium or opposition they risked might be – and I stress the “might” – a solitary letter or two published in the “reader’s section” of a subsequent edition of their paper, long after the article’s original punch had been superseded by the next day’s news. Hence weakening the weight of the letter’writer’s contrasting view, and thus preventing readers from being able to weigh up the two views and make up their own minds based on an informed choice.  
      Let’s have a little sympathy for these poor hacks, folks. It must really smart that now thanks to the internet we can directly and instantly challenge their nonsense, and expose the paucity of their intellect and integrity. 
      I reckon Paul Martin (commenter above) is probably right. Looks like they took one look at the headline on that graphic “Real Scots” and, without even bothering to read further, started Twittering away like demons, congratulating themselves on “sticking one” on the Rev. They missed the message and the irony entirely, and in a further, sweet twist, have elicited a counter display of all the “Real Scots” references uttered by their own side. Another “own goal” for the No’s, then. 
      If this is what passes for their ability to understand, research and analyse, no wonder their “journalistic” output is so piss poor.
      Egg on face, or what?!
      Bless. 
       
       
       

    18. DougtheDug says:

      I think a lot of this comes from the heart. Labour genuinely believe that the SNP is an ethnic nationalist, fascist organisation even though it flies in the face of all evidence.
       
      It’s nuts, but it underpins a lot of their thinking.
       
      From Kenny Farquharson’s tweet which implies SNP support for Serbia and and Serbian war criminals in the Bosnian war.
       
      Kenny Farquharson @KennyFarq 12 Apr
      I trust the irony of the SNP complaining about Arkan is not lost on anyone? #unpardonablefolly
       
      On to this retweet by George Foulkes.
       
      VoteForTheUnion @VoteForTheUnion 2h
      @AngusMacNeilMP @georgefoulkes Arkan was one of Salmonds pals during the Bosnia war I think. Nationalists stick together I suppose.
      Retweeted by George Foulkes
       
      Ending with ex-Labour candidate David Ross and the SNP as fascists
       
      David Ross @RossFootball 11 Apr
      @MhairiHunter @jamesmaxwell86 @IainMcGill Couldn’t be more right. SNP – friend of Fascism since 1939.
       
      All these quotes are knee-jerk stuff.
       
      Kenny Farquharson as a journalist and George Foulkes as an ex-MP, ex-MSP and “Lord” can’t even match Alex Salmond’s “Unpardonable Folly” quote with the right war, it was Kosovo not Bosnia.
       
      While David Ross traduces all those who fought in the second world war as members or as future members of the SNP.
       
      Then again if Labour and their Tory partners with their Lib-Dem little helpers are fighting an imaginary war against a fascist SNP and ethnic nationalist Yes campaign I think we should just let them get on with it.

    19. Jiggsbro says:

      If they’re reduced to lying to themselves, they’ve already lost.

    20. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Euan McColm is a professional journalist who seems to have the same intrenched issues as many in the Labour Party, perhaps he is a member or sympathiser”

      McColm’s definitely a Tory.

    21. G. Campbell says:

      Godfather Part 4 plot leak.

      Brian Wilson: “Ian Taylor is the main investor in Harris Tweed Hebrides, which confirms him as a man of infinitely sound judgment. We first met over dinner with Fidel Castro, but that’s another story.”

      http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-314239903/busting-nine-oil-market.html

    22. Seasick Dave says:

      Does this mean that my English missus can’t vote YES?
       
      Or something.

    23. Adrian B says:

      “Euan McColm is a professional journalist who seems to have the same intrenched issues as many in the Labour Party, perhaps he is a member or sympathiser”
      McColm’s definitely a Tory.
       
      There you go then, just a different shade of rosette.

    24. Susan says:

      Rev
      As a journalist could you not find out if the No camp have any evidence regarding all their allegations in their article “Smear and Fear”?

    25. G H Graham says:

      Individuals who accuse or smear others of behaviour they themselves are characterised by, can often be described as persons who suffer from a deeply narcisssistic personality disorder, especially when other specific behaviours are observed.

      I once reported to the CEO of a company who profoundly & explicitly exhibited all the symptons of someone with such a flawed character. The finger pointing is done both consciously & subconciously to undermine the accused & convey a sense of authority & power over the accused by making them appear to be flawed & weak. It is a personality disorder that is inevitably destructive because it ruins what initially appears to be warm, close relations.
      The Better Together team are collectively expressing such a personality disorder by claiming to be part of and amongst real Scots, ambitiously aligning themselves with whom they consider to be a patriotic audience. That is understandable because they wish to appear to be hugely popular & aligned with the general population; another typical trait of narcissism.

      Narcissistic behaviour also moves the sufferer to want to be amongst powerfull & wealthy types because they wish to be seen in circles of influence. BT take no hesitation then in soaking up funds from rich industrialists & political heavyweights, even though they dont even live in Scotland. To narcissist group thinkers, that geographical anomaly doesn’t matter.

      And narcissists never let facts get in the way of ‘dreamtime’. The economic evidence has revealed to be startling to many; Scotland could be a wealthy country once given access to all its financial levers in both taxation & spending by reprioritising what bankrupt Britian currently spends its money on.

      But none of this matters to the BT team. Unable to demonstrate a single shred of empathy for even the remotest possibility of Scots being better off in an independent country, they rely instead on meaningless propaganda that references The Queen, WW2, British culture, global military security, sovereign debt etc, all helpfully brodcast for free by the corrupt BBC & the fast disappearing Unionist print media.

      The most famous person in modern history who showed such character flaws was in my opinion, Mr. A Hitler; a man whose deep troubles started in childhood. His departure from reality made permanent by putting a bullit in his own head is well documented.

      One might ask then, what exactly are flipper Darling & the rest of his narcisisstic group thinkers & supporters going to do if Scotland chooses to return to full sovereign independence? 
      Might I suggest that many of them have no idea and it is this uncertaintly about their own wellbeing & financial future which drives them to express such narcissim & hatred towards those who seek independence more than anything else.

      In summary then, BT’s fight is driven by political & financial survival for that small core of Unionists who migrate weekly between London & Edinburgh. It really is all about the individual. But since they can never openly admit that motive, they resort to vindictive finger pointing, propaganda & lies.
       

    26. Juteman says:

      I don’t include the ‘ordinary’ No voter who probably votes as his family did, but most career Unionists are troughers. Either the fabled ermine trougher, middle MP/MSP trougher, or wannabee troughers.
      There can be no other excuse for working against the interests of ordinary folk living in Scotland.

    27. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-314239903/busting-nine-oil-market.html

      Nice find. What in buggery does “instanced” used as a verb mean?

    28. Tamson says:

      The latent “ethnophobia” of the No campaign is made obvious, every time they use the following trope:
       
      From Alistair Darling:

      “SNP want to turn family into foreigners”
       
      http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/scotland/article3687601.ece
       
      From Ian Taylor just last week defending his donation:
       
      “facing the same prospect of becoming foreigners in our own land”
       
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/scottish-independence-blog/2013/apr/08/scottish-independence-campaign-funding
       
      Simple question: why is being a foreigner a bad thing?
       
       

    29. Quinie frae Angus says:

      Think you’ve nailed it, G H Graham.

    30. creag an tuirc says:

      @G H Graham
      I think you’ve just psychoanalysed Duncan Hothersall 🙂

    31. Macart says:

      Klan Alba rides again. They peddle this poisonous lie about independence support and scream about separation and division. Who is the real separatist? Who is causing real social division? Who supports an entity hell bent on waging war on the poor and disabled? They’re making it easier by the day to say farewell to a union politics and media which supports these tactics. Politics is a dirty game and they should know. 

    32. Jiggsbro says:

      Nice find. What in buggery does “instanced” used as a verb mean?
       
      ‘Created an instance of’. I don’t like this trend for verbing nouns. It nonsensifies language.

    33. annie says:

      Agreed – well said  G H Graham.

    34. Iain says:

      @Jiggsbro
      ‘‘Created an instance of’. I don’t like this trend for verbing nouns. It nonsensifies language.’
       
      Sorry, I’ll need you to evidence that for me.

    35. Jiggsbro says:

      Might I suggest that many of them have no idea and it is this uncertaintly about their own wellbeing & financial future which drives them to express such narcissim & hatred towards those who seek independence more than anything else.
       
      The hatred certainly seems to come from fear, but the narcissism is more likely part of the sociopathy common in politicians and civic/business leaders (and those who aspire to be such). It’s sociopathy that allows people to tell outrageous, easily disprovable lies and to believe those lies absolutely. It’s sociopathy that means they feel no shame when their lies are exposed; they just move on to new lies. It’s sociopathy that enables them to believe that attacking the messenger is as good as attacking the message. It’s sociopathy that drives them to defend their lies even when they’ve been disproved, flitting from one doomed argument, from one lie, from one outrageous smear to another. It’s sociopathy that means they will never apologise and never admit they were wrong. And there’s no way to get through to them; you cannot reason with a sociopath, because they have no use for reason. But you can get through to the people they’re lying to.

    36. Ben Hukins, Aberdeen says:

      Hi folks, just thought I would add my tuppence worth to the chat.  I have been reading for a while now.  Getting thoroughly fed up of the Better Together camp and their hysteria.  Especially pissed off about National Collective.  
       
      I am English: born and bred in Manchester, educated at Imperial College London.  Moved to Aberdeen permanently after graduating in 2000 (moved up in 1996 but uni years in London meant I was away during term).
       
      I was able to vote on the referendum for Scottish devolution and voted Yes and have voted for a myriad of parties in subsequent Holyrood and Westminster elections.  My natural leaning is towards leftist parties and have given the Lib Dems, SSP, Greens and SNP votes and also to the occasional independent candidate.  I never gave independence much thought as to be honest, I didn’t think it would ever get to this point.  Despite voting for the SNP in 2011, I did not  think they would win an outright majority – I thought the outcome would be similar to the 2007 vote.  I was impressed by the SNP in minority govt.  I have since given a lot of thought to independence and have delivered leaflets for the SNP and did some doorstop campaigning, although I am not a member of any political party. 
       
      I am sick to the back teeth of Better Together distorting Yes voters as anti-English, fascists, Tartan Tories, etc.  I am sick of the hypocirsy, in particular, of the Labour party. Thing is,  I may be a Yes supporter and I may have lived in Scotland a long time but I still consider myself English and support England at football and rugby (even against Scotland).  I just want what is best for where I live and I cannot see Westminster doing what is best for where I live (tax on ill health, top up fees for university education, £100bn for WMD’s  – no thanks !). 
       
      If I was still living in England, I don’t know who I would vote for, probably the Greens.  I think it says a lot about the differences between the two countries though when the main alternatives to the big three are the SNP and UKIP.  Although I know a lot of my friends living down south, particularly in Manchester,would be very happy if the border were pushed a bit further south!
       
      Glad there are sites like Wings and I direct as many people to look beyond the main media outlets.  Cannot believe the BBC is not reporting anything on their web newspages about Vitol.  I did a bit of my own digging via the resources my company has regarding Ian Taylor, but it would be repeating what has already been covered by yourselves. 

    37. Galen10 says:

      @jiggsbro
      Hear, hear! I think that needs to be engraved on a plate and screwed to the front doors of a number of the usual suspects; Duncan Hotherstal, McColm …you know the ones!

    38. scottish_skier says:

      The question of why BT appear to be doing fairly well in polls so why the panic is an interesting one. I’ve talked before about why polls can be both telling the truth (they do reflect people’s actual responses) and lying (they are not correctly predicting what will happen) at the same time. Late 2010/early 2011 vs the final result in May 2011 is a perfect case.

      I suspect that while out on the streets with a BT table or knocking doors, BT are finding that rather than half the population patting them on the back and more coming up to politely ask if their worries over that nasty Salmond are correct, something quite different is.

      I’d venture to suggest that those that do come to pat them on the back and talk about the nasty Salmond are rather few. Possibly quite unpleasant too. You might even wonder if they’ve ever bothered voting; at least 4 in 10 Scots don’t on a regular basis.

      Many refuse to take a leaflet or speak to them. Those that do come with questions are asking rather awkward ones about why they are working with the Tories and why is there no plan for further devolution. They’re also rather annoyingly well informed on uncomfortable BT matters which now includes funding.

      Not only that, but a surprisingly large number of people are saying ‘No thanks son, I’m voting Yes’. 

    39. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I am English: born and bred in Manchester, educated at Imperial College London…”

      Welcome, Ben. Very much appreciate that view – as a current resident of England I have no idea who to vote for in 2015 either. Politically I’m closest to the Greens, but if they make this city any MORE car-hostile I fear I and other low-intensity drivers (2000 miles a year) might get actually taken out and shot, so I’m reluctant to put them in power. The main three are out of the question, and that doesn’t leave much around these parts.

    40. Gordon Smith says:

      just goes to show, we should not give them a chink, language polititc all the times
      REgards
       
       

    41. Juteman says:

      @Ben Hukins.
      I look forward to the day we can have a pint in an independent Scotland together.
      As an Englishman, i would expect you to support the country of your birth at sport. As a Scottish citizen, i’m glad you can see the difference between nationality and good governance.

    42. mato21 says:

      From the article highlighted by G.Campbell above re Ian Taylor I liked this little nugget
      Making economic predictions based on assumed energy trends has proved to be a totally unreliable occupation — which is maybe part of why Ian’s speech finished with a plea: ‘If you are a Scot, as I am, please make sure you vote to keep Scotland in the UK in 2014’
       

    43. Bill C says:

      Ben Hukins, Aberdeen – As a fellow Aberdonian, well actually the Shire in my case, well said.

    44. Paul Martin says:

      Ben Hukin hits the nail on the head. And Ruth Wishart defines “a Scot” best of all when she says:
       
      A Scot is someone born here, and anyone who has paid us the compliment of settling here.
       
      Simples.

    45. Castle Rock says:

      So Duncan and Euan are having a pop at you because you’ve highlighted something the Bitter Together mob have said and turned it back on them?
       
      They can’t even smear people properly.
       
      Anyways, what news of Sue, Gabbitt and Runne?  Have you apologised yet?!

    46. Bill C says:

       
      @scotchwoman – I received the same reply from SoS.  I will be replying to say that my original complaint was not in connection with WW11, (although I see the tenuous link) but the desecration of our national flag and the attempt to link the noble cause of Scottish self determination with the Nazis. SoS has still some explaining to do.

    47. Castle Rock says:

      @Ben
       
      Excellent comment. 
       
      Independence is not about where you are from its where Scotland is going in the future.

    48. YesYesYes says:

      There are so many soft targets in the No Campaign that, most days, it’s difficult to know where to start.
       
      I see that on Ian Smart’s blog, in his April Fools’ day post (dated March 31st), ‘Why I am joining Yes Scotland’, there is one solitary comment. It comes from Lib Dem acolyte, Caron Lindsay, who writes in response to Ian’s latest masterpiece, “Ha ha ha ha ha!” (probably the most coherent thing Lindsay has ever said online).
       
      Ian Smart receiving plaudits from Caron Lindsay for the absurd claims that he makes in his posts is a bit like a skin care company receiving plaudits from the Elephant Man for the absurd claims that it makes for its anti-ageing cream.

    49. Bill C says:

      @S_S “Late 2010/early 2011 vs the final result in May 2011 is a perfect case.”  I hear what you are saying, but can we really compare a Scottish General Election with a referendum on independence? I remain concerned that we are not making the advances I would have hoped for.

    50. scottish_skier says:

      I live an an ‘Auld Alliance’ household and work in an office where half the staff are from Europe or the Middle East (oil & gas so quelle surprise). Suffice to say Darling et al.’s dislike of ‘foreigners’ has not been received well both ‘domestically’ and ‘internationally’.

    51. Erchie says:

      As soneone whose descent is mainly of foreign, including nonEU extraction, I am petrified that I will not survive the BetterTogether ethnic cleansing should they win

    52. Macart says:

      Welcome Ben
       
      Good post and well said. Its not about where anyone is born, its about where you choose to live and contribute. A statement of personal independence you might say. 🙂

    53. scottish_skier says:

      Bill C. I hear what you are saying, but can we really compare a Scottish General Election with a referendum on independence?

      I was not comparing them in terms of what they were (although I suspect the swing voters in this case will be the ones to swing it in 2014), just how the polls can be apparently showing a romping victory for one side when that’s not what’s going to happen at all.

      The SNP were set for a big win in 2011 as far back as 2008/9. Then events confused things (the Tories returned).

      Prof C should have known better. Instead, he chose to see what he wanted to see; a stunning Labour victory. Labour were polling up to 45%. However, if he had looked at all the data going back years though, he might have thought to himself ‘This doesn’t look right, why are people saying Labour when they said SNP before? This Labour spike has come out of nowhere. Why is it here? The SNP haven’t done anything wrong to suddenly be so far behind again. AS and Co are polling high in competency yet low in VI – very odd. Hmmm. Surely this must mean the Labour vote is possibly weak, even very weak. It must be a reaction to something, but what? Ahh, the return of the Tories! But that could mean…and if combined with defecting libs…..oh shit.’

      There are lots of people who were saying ‘Yes’ in late 2011 who then said ‘No’ in 2012. They are now starting to say what is in their hearts – and increasingly their heads – again; Yes. This time, they won’t switch back for they have come to their final decision.

      My thoughts anyway.

    54. muttley79 says:

      Good post Ben.  Welcome to WoS.
       
      @DougtheDug
       
      I think a lot of this comes from the heart. Labour genuinely believe that the SNP is an ethnic nationalist, fascist organisation even though it flies in the face of all evidence.
       
      It’s nuts, but it underpins a lot of their thinking.

      Yes, I agree.   On the one hand, I do think there is a fairly significant section of Scottish Labour’s support who do not view the SNP in the way that you describe.  These people either support independence, or are at least sympathetic to it.  This group are not Scottish Nationalists, but view themselves as internationalists (Dennis Canavan etc).  They are left-wing or progressive.  There is still a strong rivalry with the SNP. 
       
      However, there is no doubt that there is also a significant element who do view the SNP in the ‘fascist’ mode.  It is the usually hard-core Unionists who believe this.  They are usually found among former, or current, elected representatives of Scottish Labour (a very small number are from British Labour).  They include Iain Davidson, Anne Moffat, Brian Wilson etc.  This mindset undoubtedly has found support among sections of the MSM.       

    55. My office contains two people born in Scotland, one born in England and one in Bangladesh – and all of us are planning to vote yes.

      As the saying goes, ‘Its not where you’re from, its where you’re at!’

    56. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Anyways, what news of Sue, Gabbitt and Runne?  Have you apologised yet?!”

      It’s on my Things-To-Do list. It’s just not in the top billion.

    57. HenBroon says:

       creag an tuirc says:
      13 April, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      @G H Graham
      I think you’ve just psychoanalysed Duncan Hothersall 🙂

      ____________________________________________________________________________

      I remember Hothersall as Duncan in Edinburgh in his early blogging days on the Scotsman around 2007 when the odious AM2 appeared and began his campaign to associated the SNP with eugenics and fascism. His favourite sneer was “eugenics anyone.” AM later went on to become many many other monikers including Yeah1 and he is now starring as Norsewarrior who appears during office hours only Monday to Friday, on the Telegraph and here. He has now morphed in to a pseudo Scottish independence supporter, whilst managing to get in sly sneers and digs at Alex Salmond and the SNP and causing discord and division on any forum he appears on. So when he appears ignore him this drives him in to a fury that always ends in abuse. A true attention seekng narcisist. My own opinion is that it is Lord Foulkes who it is rumoured spends his days posting lies and smears on the forums and trying to wind up SNP supporters who he has famously named as Natz and Cybernatz. Lets face it he has no other meaningfull function in life.

      As to Hothersall he is another from the same stable as Foulkes, most likely employed by the state, probably the Scottish Office and who devotes his entire life to spreading lies, innuendos and smears about the SNP, on the forums and Twitter. Labours black arts section is alive and well. He spent weeks and weeks on the Scotsman forum howling abuse at Brian Souter, regarding section 28 and his campaign to keep the clause.  Apparently if you are concerned for the education and welfare of your children you are homophobic. Duncan aalso described his sexual prefences and how the very thought of performing oral sex on a woman made him feel sick, and how he was baffled by men who preferred woman.

      Then we had the weeks long campaign from him lashing the SNP for removng bridge tolls on the Forth and how the destruction of West Lothian and Fife was now imminent as they became buried in cars. On and on he went day after day, week after week. When the tolls were removed and everything went perfectly smoothly with not one single problem he moved seamlessly to his next campaign of vitriol and hate festing, as if he had never mentioned the Tolls. I think it was the Aviemore complex planning blight that turned out to have been Labours FUBAR, and so Macdoanld hotels were roasted for taking the SNPs side. Of course all this was assisted by the Scotsman political editor Maddox who deleted comments from any one who regularly beat these cretins in argument, such as myself, and banned me more times than I have had hot dinners. The Scotsman is now reaping what these nutters have sowed. Maddox was the one who claimed to have had the windows of his house broken 7 times by SNP supporters, yet not one report was ever made  to Police or heard of in the press. What a bunch of festering morons.

    58. Caroline Corfield says:

      I agree with Ben, it’s only natural to want the best for where you live, even though I think in the short term where I live in the North East of England will suffer as a result of Scottish independence, I firmly believe that only Scottish independence can break the stranglehold that London and the South East of England has on the rest of the UK population. I’d like to see a federation of equals in the very long term but it will take a long time for the English regional areas to come to that kind of conclusion and it will be a painful process for them. When they see Scotland being in control of her own affairs and reflecting the kind of ‘British’ values we all remember from the ‘good’ old days of fairness and care for the vulnerable members of our society they will have no choice but to acknowledge that it can be done despite what they’ve been told by the boys in the City. As I have pointed out to friends who are wary as a result of scaremongering by Better Together – you can call a German or a Frenchman, a European and not negate their own nationality, so why would independence stop a Scot from being British? British means living in the British Isles, it’s the Manx, the Irish, the Channel Islanders as well as the Scots, the Welsh and the English.

    59. ewen says:

      Am i less Scottish for living abroad? Are my kids less Scottish for being half lithuanian even though they’ve been brought up as Scots? Is my mother, who was born in England and has been a Nationalist since the sixties suddenly going to be disenfranchised?
      What a bunch of tossers the better together lot are. I’m almost provoked to Godwinism. It is about the independence of a Nation, not the independence of a nationality and come independence, all those who are associated with the nation of Scotland will benefit regardless of birth, ethnicity or even political belief.

    60. Dal Riata says:

      What I don’t get is this: Many (all?) journalists who work in the MSM use Twitter, or the like, and use the cover of “My views and statements are all my own.” or whatever it is, to come out with biased and, quite often, ‘economical with the truth’ pro-Union statements. Then, for their place of employment, these very same journalists write-up articles (or discuss issues) which are ‘supposed to be’ fair and balanced.
       
      I don’t know. How do these journalists feel about covering their arses with “My views…blah, blah” when they say what they really feel about Scottish independence, and then write (or talk about) stuff in the MSM which they allege is impartial? It’s just so damn hypocritical and fake!  

    61. Gfaetheblock says:

      it is depressing that the debate has descended to negative and tit for tat digs about each others campaigns, but have a look down the home page of ‘Wings’. 10 negative stories in a row (then I stopped counting), is there nothing positive to say?

    62. Bill C says:

      @S_S – What I am finding strange is the fact that the SNP are riding at record levels in the polls, yet the YES campaign is still struggling to hit mid thirties. I honestly think the fear factor is the main problem. Convince folk that we can build a better, more prosperous and more socially just Scotland and we win.

    63. Macart says:

      @scottish_skier
       
      There’s also an untapped wealth of potential votes in those who for years haven’t voted. The disenfranchised, the politically apathetic or cynical. Those who always wished there had been a box in the ballot which said ‘none of the above’. People so turned off or brainwashed by current politics they’d rather cut their arm off than put an X in the box. Reaching out to these people is a must. They have to be engaged and encouraged. Convinced that for the first time in perhaps generations their votes actually count. That they and their opinion matters and can make a difference.
       
      I speak from many years of personal experience here. 😀

    64. Macart says:

      @Rev Stu
       
      “It’s on my Things-To-Do list. It’s just not in the top billion.”
       
      I was more expecting ‘DOWN WITH THAT SORT OF THING’. 🙂

    65. Yesitis says:

      @Gfaetheblock
      “it is depressing that the debate has descended to negative and tit for tat digs about each others campaigns, but have a look down the home page of ‘Wings’. 10 negative stories in a row (then I stopped counting), is there nothing positive to say?”

      The debate has not descended into negativity; it is the No campaign desperately attempting to bring negativity into every aspect of the debate. It is all they have left.
      The most positive thing you can say is… Yes!  🙂

    66. Dal Riata says:

      @Gfaetheblock (8.05 pm)
      Eehhh…..Whit?

    67. Cath says:

      Welcome Ben! I’m half English and one of the positive things about the independence debate is that it’s made me really value that half as well. The idea we’ll be “foreigners” after a Yes vote is offensive on many levels. Also the idea we won’t all still be British, if that’s how we choose to identify is a bit daft too.

      Scottish Skier – Good post about what Better Together might be finding on the streets

      Their facebook page is also interesting. The have these sponsored posts that pop up in people’s timelines unsolicited. The threads that follow those then obviously attract a lot of comments. A large number are along the lines of “what a load of bollocks. Vote Yes” or whatever.  Which is fair enough, if a post randomly forces itself on you, you’re free to comment, surely? But rather than respond in any positive way, the regulars get very huffy about “all the cybernats being out tonight”, implying its coordinated, and demand they’re all banned for being trolls!
       
      I also notice they have the odd campaign weekend, but these seem to involve bringing MPs up from Westminster to man stalls alongside MSPs and councillors. There doesn’t seem to be much genuine grassroots activity.
       
      I actually think the way the campaign is panning out is very disappointing in a whole lot of ways so far. The fact that the media are so biased, and the NO camp just assume they’ll win it on that means none of us get a decent debate. That’s bad for the Yes camp but it’s also bad for those normal people who are on the no side and who might want to get involved and debate and man stalls. I know a few people who are unionists because they genuinely believe it’s best for Scotland, and I enjoy debating with them. I doubt we’ll change each others minds, but the debate in itself is good and useful. Those people are being badly let down by BT, and the style of campaign they’re running as well.
       
      I think that’s one thing we should be very mindful of on the Yes side as well. Don’t let them pull both sides into the mud, or allow them to set the agenda to negativity and smears. That’s what they want. Just keep pumping out the positives, the arguments and the truth. Debate with those willing to debate sensibly and try to ignore the rest.

    68. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Dal Riata (8.02) –
       
      Aye, you’re right to highlight this, and it’s a bugbear for me too – some of the analysis NNS has done on specific media-related stushies have ‘A Newsnet Reporter’ as the by-line, and it doesn’t make an iota of difference to the quality of the content. Nor should it.
       
      I think it was Orwell who wrote ‘good prose should be like a window-pane’, or words to that effect. Since when was journalism any different? Okay, if a piece ends up being a real ‘scoop’ then the identity of the scribe may become a matter of interest, but we now have screeds of bumph being written by well-kent faces who have, inadvertently or otherwise, become identified with particular viewpoints – they are, like it or not, compromised when it comes to the job of providing objective analysis and/or straight reportage. But they expect to have it both ways, and frequently do – Ruth Davidson is just one recent example of the rotten symbiosis between politics and media in Scotland. It’s an incestuous and profoundly unhealthy relationship.
       
      Today’s incident in George Square with whatsherface may be apt – perhaps she really was trying to be objective, may have genuinely believed that she was in the presence of ‘hundreds’ rather than ‘thousands ‘of other humans, but her elders have predisposed ordinary punters to question every word that emerges from MSM, so folk like her, on the ground, are the ones who end up getting it in the neck. It would help her, us, and the quality of journalism generally, if major players didn’t encourage and reward those professional bletherers who hold far too much sway in this debate.
       

    69. Cath says:

      btw someone has linked to Wings on the Better Together facebook page and the response from a regular is:
       
      “NOTE TO EVERYONE: DO NOT click an links to “Wings over Scotland” the site contains a hgarmfull exploit. If you se ethe site linked anywhere on FB, report it as Spam, and let the FB Mods deal with it.”
       
      Not sure what “a hgarmfull exploit” means. The truth, perhaps?

    70. Marcia says:

      Cath
      Maybe it was written by the solicitor for Taylor. The spelling is just as bad as mine.

    71. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “AM later went on to become many many other monikers including Yeah1 and he is now starring as Norsewarrior”

      Am I going to have to start banning people? Is it going to have to come to that?

      Hen, I’m calling that an official warning. I’m now bored beyond my tolerance of saying “Do not say that Poster X is in fact Poster Y from somewhere else unless you’re going to back it up with some evidence”. Please don’t do it again.

    72. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “it is depressing that the debate has descended to negative and tit for tat digs about each others campaigns, but have a look down the home page of ‘Wings’. 10 negative stories in a row (then I stopped counting), is there nothing positive to say?”

      I’m afraid it’s just been one of those weeks. Sometimes events dictate the tone.

    73. Cath says:

      “Sometimes events dictate the tone.”
       
      This is true. But remember who’s setting the agenda and why. Only one side benefits from dragging the debate into the mud. And it’s the one that doesn’t have positive reasons, hope or much truth on its side. The Yes side can happily leave them to drag themselves down and focus on more positives.
       
      Like this for instance 🙂
      http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news/in-brief/7175-east-dunbartonshire-yes-scotland-group-seeks-identity-of-phantom-banner-brigade

    74. Handandshrimp says:

      LOL They are like insects wriggling on a pin and that pin is called Taylor and it isn’t going to go away.
       
      The more the pout and bluster the more they draw attention to the fact that BT relies on ex-pats, Tory ex-pats, Tory ex-pats that Labour have already lambasted as dirty money.
       
      These are good days to build.

    75. Bugger (the Panda) says:

       
      Gfaetheblock says:
       
      13 April, 2013 at 8:05 pm
       

      it is depressing that the debate has descended to negative and tit for tat digs about each others campaigns, but have a look down the home page of ‘Wings’. 10 negative stories in a row (then I stopped counting), is there nothing positive to say?

       
       
      Are you lot on shifts?
       
      One kamikaze down, send in another set of clowns.

    76. Handandshrimp says:

      Gfaetheblock
       
      It is negative day every day for the Yes campaign in the Herald, Scotsman, BBC etc. etc. The funding thing is a car crash for Better Together and their remedy is to accuse the Yes Campaign of a smear. It was Labour MPs and the Guardian and others that called Taylor’s support of the Tories “dirty money” not the Yes camp.
      Why is his money deemed unsuitable for Westminster but OK for McDougall to run with?
       
      That said there is nothing negative about standing up and running your own house. So once McDougall winds his neck in and stops trying to blame the Yes campaign for stories that were generated by others regarding Taylor’s gifts and dinners with the Tories the sooner we can all talk about how best to run Scotland.

    77. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Gfaetheblock-
       
      Don’t get depressed.
       
      Watch this:
       
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_Dz-aRbhUg

    78. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “LOL They are like insects wriggling on a pin and that pin is called Taylor and it isn’t going to go away.”

      Sunday Herald just tweeted:

      “Exclusive: new findings put more pressure on No Campaign over controversial £500,000 Ian Taylor donation”

    79. The Man in the Jar says:

      Dirty money. The gift that keeps on giving!

    80. scottish_skier says:

      I might buy the Sunday Herald the morn.
      Something I’ve not done in a long, long time.

    81. thejourneyman says:

      Yes it’s sad to watch the smear campaigns get worse from BT but after attending the Scrap Trident Rally today I was struck by the diversity of people who attended, there were thousands by the way and only someone with an agenda and no shame could even try to estimate it in the hundreds.
      To get back on topic, what was most inspiring was the passion and determination displayed by the speakers all real people incidentally. People who spoke on disability, education and students, trades unions and from different political parties. I just happened to march around behind the guys from Labour for Idependence but I spoke to people from the communist party, YES Scotland, CND and many others. I saw well kent faces from Jimmy Reid Foundation, Scottish Socialist Party and Tommy Sheridan. I’m also pretty sure the TU speaker hailed from south of the border. But the bottom line was, that you could actually sense the common bond that had brought so many from such diverse backgrounds together.
      Then to cap it all the BBC, who did at least cover this march, still try and develop a very pro unionist report around events by making it about SNP Nato policy and down playing the numbers.
      Finally I’d just like to add that the BT stuff about “luvvies who live abroad” and Michael Forsyth’s comments to Alan Cumming on Question Time, I find these to be very offensive attacks on what are some of our most brilliant exports and people who have become great ambassadors for Scotland. Not only that, through their success in top American shows they are inspiring our younger generations who can see the potential to do great things in life.
      We are winning this debate, if you could actually call it a debate which usually requires two alternative views worthy of consideration. Clearly that’s not the case.
      If more people will get out to these marches, demonstrations and let the voice of the people be heard then all will become self evident and Scotland will again become a beacon in the world for peace, equality and social justice in the world.
      Let’s do it!

    82. Manic Monday says:

      Praise be to the Sunday Herald I just wish the rest of the supine Scottish press had the same guts and they and the BBC have refused to deal with this major scandal.
      Please correct me if I am wrong but I seem to recall that the BBC TV main news  ran for three days on some auction where the prize was a dinner with Alex Salmond worth say £100 max, but I have not seen any TV news coverage far less investigation into Vitol’s £500,000 “dirty money” donation to the No campaign.
      Douglas Alexander criticised Ian Taylor’s private dinner with David Cameron (cash for access) which it was alleged led to preferential treatment to win secret multi million deal to supply to Libyan rebels with oil.
      So you would think BBC Radio Scotland on Friday morning when they interviewed Douglas Alexander would ask him about Ian Taylor’s donation to the No campaign but no they did not have the guts to do so despite Glasgow Herald running a big story on the subject mentioning Douglas Alexander that very morning.
      Double standards to say the least about BBC Scotland as I can only imagine their outrage if Ian Taylor had given £500,000 to the Yes campaign. 

    83. HenBroon says:

      Thanks Rev warning received and understood, I am however baffled by your support for someone whose agenda is crystal clear. If every piece of information / opinion is now to be backed by evidence then we will all be in soapy bubble. I expressed an opinion based on my experience with the said poster. I get bored with a lot of things. In particular people pretending to be some thing they are clearly not. And according to what I have read on here I am not the only one.

    84. Castle Rock says:

      @thejourneyman
       
      http://www.youtube.com/…/
       
      Catriona Renton at her Labour Party (oops, sorry, BBC) best

    85. Lurker in the Wings says:

      I have just seen my landlord. A non news junkie, he’s at the anti politics end of the spectrum.
        I’d hardly had a chance to say hi when his rant began – “have you heard about this Taylor guy who gave money to BT?” He then gave me donations, Serbia, Iran, Iraq, the Congo etc. I didn’t get a word in.  

       His last words “that’s it for me now. Independence or nothing”
        Somebody is spreading the news.
          P.S.    ianbrotherhood , you have a sick mind. I applaud you. 😀

    86. muttley79 says:

      I have come to believe that it is increasingly likely that there is a highly placed figure(s) in the No campaign that is sabotaging/undermining it.  There has been far too many strange goings on for it just to be incompetence (I do think there has been a lot of incompetence as well).  I reckon there is a high profile figure in the British Conservative Party that has decided to undermine the BT campaign.  I am not sure if they are actively working for a Yes victory, or have just decided that our referendum is a win-win situation for them?  If there is a Yes vote there will be no more Scottish Labour MPs at Westminster, and if there is a No vote they would get the credit for preventing the end of the Union, just as the GE approaches.
       
      The reason I say this is because it eerily echoes what Petter Cruddas said about the British Tories’ alleged real attitude to the referendum (we have to be seen to be fighting for the Union when in fact we are not really that bothered-or words to that effect).  If any Yes supporter was approached by someone from the British Tories who wanted to undermine the No campaign, and was asked by them what would be the best way to do so, the advice would be the find a Tory donor with some vague link to Scotland, and who would be as ‘dubious’ as possible to help fund the campaign.  It would also help if a British/ Scottish Labour figure(s) had recently condemned him.  On the other hand, this theory would be blown to smithereens if the British Tories were not in charge of who the donors to the No campaign were!!  It would be invalidated if Darling really is running the entire show… 

    87. Castle Rock says:

      Sorry, hopefully this link will do it:
       
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq0SV4fuRIM&feature=youtu.be

    88. Quinie frae Angus says:

      I have learned a few eye-popping things today about Euan McColm.
       
      Forgive me, I am not a Tweeter so can’t do the @ and # things, but he has tweeted something along the lines of “Well done, all you who crowd-funded that racist cybernat. F****** idiots.” (He is, of course, referring to Rev Stu, and these are my asterisks. He wrote the word out in full).
       
      Firstly, what an extraordinary thing for a professional journalist to come out with. How is any reasonable person now supposed to take anything he says or writes seriously? This is quite astonishing stupidity and a stratospheric display of “toys-out-of-the-pram” petulance. This is a spoiled brat having a tantrum in a sweetshop. It would be pathetic if it wasn’t so laughable. There was a very enlightening post above from someone who outlined the general character traits and behaviours of “sociopaths”. I am no mental health expert but I’d say this poor sowell definitely has “issues”. Of course, people with ailments such as these are perfectly entitled to have jobs and to add their tuppenceworth to the commonweal. But surely even Kenny Farquharson must have concerns about his scribe’s potential to be a liability? People are watching, for goodness’ sake, and this man seems to be getting increasingly aggressive, as well as offensive, in his displays of uncontrolled rage. (It still makes me laugh though, is that mean of me??!) 
       
      Secondly, I don’t imagine for a moment that Stu will take any offence at the term “cybernat” – I certainly don’t. But “racist”?? There isn’t a single shred of evidence for that, not a single scintilla, so this is pure madness and completely defamatory. But I am sure Rev Stu has got better things to do than pursue this – keeping this fabulous site going, for one thing, which is one mean feat he is pulling off.
       
      Thirdly: I daresay I must be included in that number of “f****** idiots, for I have  helped to crowd-fund this site – as have many of us – and I don’t regret a penny of it. In fact, I was already on the point of adding another wee bung Stu’s way. But this Euan McColm pantomime has stirred a wee fire in my belly, and for some strange reason I now feel wont to add another wee bung to the bung. So in all fairness, Mr McColm, I owe you a small debt of gratitude – my weekend pocket money was burning a hole in my pocket after I decided not to bother going out this weekend. Thanks to you I will now be able to spend it on a nobler cause then mere merriment.   
       
      Fourthly, I see that Kenny F is promoting Scotland on Sunday and among other biased offerings it looks like we are to be treated to an article from the aforementioned Toy-Thrower on “IndyRef Donors”, or some such thing.
       
      Now after last week’s Swastika fiasco, there is no way I will be linking to it. Like a lot of people I am finished with even the online version of that rag now, and won’t give it a hit. (As an aside, it will be interesting to see whether there is a further dip in sales this week). 
       
      I’m sure Wings will keep us informed as to its general content, however….. 😉
       
       
       
       

    89. Dal Riata says:

      Sorry, this is kind of O/T, but not really if we are talking about the No campaign and the MSM.
       
      Okay, this one’s a cracker! A wee bit surprised no-one’s mentioned it yet, but since it’s related to the Scottish Daily Mail, it’s unlikely many here have wanted to dirty their fingers on such a right-wing and hate-filled rag! So anyway…
       
      Yesterday, Friday, April 12 the Scottish Daily Mail had a two-page (!) spread entitled, “Laughing Left-winger who danced at Mrs Thatcher death party is voice of SNP youth”, with a sub-heading of, “Radical activist has close links with Sturgeon”.
       
      On the page on the right side, there is a picture of a girl with red hair dancing at George Square. At the bottom-left of the picture in white within red is, “April 8” and on the right of the picture is written, “Shocking: Miss Boyd at the Glasgow ‘death party’.”
       
      On the left-side page, there is a large picture, which has at its bottom-left in white within red, “February 18”, and under the whole length of the picture is written, “Top table: Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Left-winger Cat Boyd at a student debate on Independence at Glasgow University”.
       
      The first four paragraphs state:
       
      “A left-wing activist at the forefront of a Margaret Thatcher ‘death party’ is an independence campaigner with close links to Nicola Sturgeon.
      Cat Boyd shared a platform with the Deputy First Minister at the launch of the Yes Glasgow campaign three months ago.
      But this week she was at the centre of a sickening ‘celebration’ following the death of Margaret Thatcher.
      The 28-year-old joined a conga-line in Glasgow’s George Square and danced with notorious union firebrand Bryan Simpson, a young man found guilty of affray during the violent tuition fee riots of 2011.”
       
      Here’s paragraph six:
       
      “The Scottish Daily Mail has discovered that Miss Boyd is a prominent member of the pro-independence movement paraded by the Nationalists as the ‘youth’ voice for change. Miss Boyd’s Twitter page boasts of her involvement as a speaker at the Yes Glasgow launch event in January during which she branded England as ‘oppressor’.”
       
      Here’re paragraphs ten and eleven:
       
      Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said: ‘More and more of these lowlifes appear to be crawling out the shadows and onto the Yes Scotland platform.
      Is this the sort of character the Deputy First Minister wants to share a stage with? If not, she should openly distance herself from Miss Boyd and other Yes campaign types who disgracefully revelled in the death of Baroness Thatcher.’
       
      There are other attempted smears and innuendo thrown at Cat Boyd throughout the piece: her friendship with Bryan Simpson (repeating his affray charges); having “dyed her hair bright red and a ‘bull-ring’ piercing through the cartilage of her left nose”; being “an ‘organiser'”; her tweets on Twitter; and this paragraph:
       
      “She is, however, a supporter of Communism and a member of the Internationalist Socialist Group and of Radical Independence, a hard-Left group opposed to the Queen, the pound and Nato membership in an independent Scotland.”
       
      So…Smears? Innuendo? Character assassination? …All true?…Deserved?… Well, this is a prominent member of the UK’s MSM, part of the UK’s MSM who believes in truth, balance and impartiality, is it not? It must be true!…
       
      … Wait a minute, what’s this?….
       
      Today, Saturday, April 13 the Scottish Daily Mail, on the bottom of page 2, under the easily missable “Clarifications & corrections” we find the following:
       
      “In yesterday’s paper, we described Cat Boyd, who took part in a demonstration to ‘celebrate’ the death of Margaret Thatcher, as a voice of SNP youth. Although Miss Boyd shared a platform with Nicola Sturgeon at the regional launch of the Yes Glasgow campaign for independence, and was photographed with her, we have been asked to point out that she is not a party member.”
       
      Words fail at this time.

    90. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I am however baffled by your support for someone whose agenda is crystal clear.”

      It’s not “support”. For all I know the allegations are true. But I’ll be the judge. Until such times, any new visitor deserves the basic courtesy of being judged on what they say rather than a kneejerk assumption that there are in fact only two Unionist commenters anywhere in Scotland, with a thousand names.

      I’ve said it a hundred times – how do you think it looks to an undecided voter who reads a reasoned, factually-supported article, thinks “Hey, maybe these nats might have a point after all”, and then blunders straight into a howling lynchmob in the comments? We WILL NOT win the referendum by running a cosy support group for the already-converted, we need to get other people on our side, and if we come across like a bunch of shrieking Duncan Hothersalls then sane people will run a mile and never read any more.

      If you think someone’s a troll, do the one thing that everyone in the universe agrees kill trolls – IGNORE THEM. If they make a valid point, debate it. But if you can’t do the latter, PLEASE do the former.

      Vitriol is the other side’s weapon. It’s not ours. Ours is the truth. If we get that across to people, we’ll win. Anything that frightens people away from the truth is a shot fired into our own feet.

    91. Handandshrimp says:

      I read Dal Riata’s piece and it suddenly struck me I have no idea who Jackson Carlaw is. I suppose logically Ruth must have a deputy but I can’t recall ever hearing him or seeing him. What is he, some sort of Nicky Fairbairn clone?
       
      I am not interested in Mrs T,. I celebrated when the Tories stabbed her in the back back in 1990…that was sweet. I can’t be arsed with her funeral and I have left them to get on with it but I certainly have no sympathy with the frothy mouthed indignant of Milton Keynes types who think anyone who speaks ill of her commits treason. She wasn’t well liked….what do they expect?

    92. Cath says:

      Cat Boyd is a trade unionist for indy. She spoke at the Glasgow launch and was fantastic as a speaker. Someone anyone would be proud to have on their side. If she’s winding up the Daily Mail, even more respect to her.

    93. southernscot says:

      @scottish_skier
      About polling, I heard on some programme about the polling in the last american presidential election and Israeli electional where most of the polls were calling a very close race in the US electional but Obama eventually won quite easily and Benjamin Netanyahu was expected to win easily but in fact was very close.
       One of the main reason they gave was that most polling companies were using phone landlines for polling info but with the rise of mobile phones certain young demographics were ditching there landlines and only have mobile phones and this was skewing the polls.
       Being that Republicans were more inclined to have landlines and Lakud supporters also were more inclined to have them also. I’ve noticed lots of people especially the younger generation in this country ditching landlines do you think that might have a bearing of low polling of Yes campaign where the supposed more connected people are (i believe) more likely to vote Yes. Be interested to know what you think. Thanks in advance.

    94. muttley79 says:

      @Dal Riata
       
      Miss Boyd’s Twitter page boasts of her involvement as a speaker at the Yes Glasgow launch event in January during which she branded England as ‘oppressor’.”
       
      Is that true what she said about England?  Also, if you were involved in the Yes campaign why would you be seen publicly celebrating Thatcher’s death?  I know it is the Daily Mail, but really is it wise to be doing these things? 
       

    95. rabb says:

      Southernscot,
      I too heard that article on Radio Scotland.
       
      The “expert” they had said that telephone poles are now woefully inacurate in this day and age. He was miffed that political parties in the UK still put so much faith in them.

      One of the reasons he offered to backup his conclusion was that most telephone polls are carried out during the day. The only people usually at home with a landline during the day are the elderly who he described as “creatures of habbit”.

      Youngsters and the busy professionals were also less likely to stop in the street to answer polls.
       
      Social media and grass roots “feet on the street” wins elections & referendums in the modern world.

      Stu’s comments are well founded. We must keep the tone positive, push out the facts and ignore the trolls.

      If we stick to the positives we will win.

      And please go along and join your local Yes group if you haven’t already 🙂

    96. Albert Herring says:

      @Dal Riata
      I witnessed her speech at the Yes Glasgow launch as well as at RIC and certainly do not recall any such statements.

    97. Cath says:

      I don’t remember exactly, but her speech is here if you want to judge for yourself
       

    98. rabb says:

      Just to add to my post above.

      Some reckon the recent Better Together mobile phone poll was to harvest mobile numbers.

      My view is that this was a genuine poll. I suspect the results did not make for favourable reading for them.

      Had it shown a clear majority for No it would have been plasstered all over their website and MSM.

       
      Just my humble opinion 🙂

    99. Cath says:

      Nope. Just watched that again and not a word about English oppression. I don’t think either word was mentioned. So just another blatant lie from the Daily Mail. This is becoming all too common – simply smearing people with absolute out and out lies.

    100. thejourneyman says:

      I was at that event and could only recall how impressive this young lady was in the delivery of her perspective for a better future. A young Scottish woman I thought we should be proud of. Just watched it again and think it was even more impressive second time around and once again bears no resemblance to the claimed reports I read of in earlier posts.
      The thatcher debate is significant again today as I read earlier about the BBC trying to tell us what’s acceptable for us to make the number one selling record of the week.  I am sure they believe they can also tell us which way is acceptable to vote and I’m fast moving to a view that I should have a say in whether my license fee any longer represents what it’s meant to. Only the experience of another excellent rally yesterday gives me the belief that we can and will win our referendum and make this country great again! VOTE YES! 

    101. Dal Riata says:

      @muttley79
      I don’t know what Cat Boyd said in her tweets, but remember, this is the Mail ‘reporting’ here. They didn’t print the rest of Boyd’s tweet so giving us one word from it could well be the Mail opting for one ‘shock-horror’ word to ‘prove’ their smear. Without the rest of the tweet for context it means jack-shit.
      I’m well happy for Cat Boyd to be seen ‘celebrating’ Thatcher’s death. This is Scotland we’re talking about here. I don’t know anyone who is unhappy at Thatcher’s passing. If I could’ve been at George’s Square that day I would’ve been celebrating too! Didn’t you live through any of the years when she was afflicting her horrors on this country? Aren’t you aware of the disassociation we’re going through right now, where the UK’s right-wing government and the BBC are praising Thatcher as a heroine, while the vast majority of the population are castigating her as an evil witch! Don’t fall for the trap set by the likes of the Mail, where relief that Thatcher is gone and bringing people onto the streets is twisted by them as shocking for disrespecting an old frail lady with dementia. Yes, ‘celebrating’ the death of anyone isn’t great, but throughout history exceptions have rightly been made for certain individuals – and now is one of these times.
      Let any of the Bitter Together Nae Sayers squeal as much as they want – fuck’em, who cares, we’re taking our country back. Take a look at that video above where Cat Boyd speaks at Yes Scotland Glasgow (thanks cath!). She speaks well, with passion, commitment and hope in her voice. Listen to the response she got. That is the kind of person I’m happy to be associated with Yes Scotland. That is the kind of person that will help us win a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum.
       

    102. K Mackay says:

      well said Dal Riata. I know we have to be careful not to scare people off but at the same time I think being ourselves is possibly more important and powerful. 
       
      Personally I feel I’m most likely to be convinced of an argument by someone who sees the world in a similar way to me. So our diversity is our strength. If you’re calm and calculated then be that way, if you’re angry be angry, if your loud be loud etc etc
       
       As I see it calm people can persuade calm people, angry people can persaude angry people and so on.
       
      Obviously this is a massive oversimplification but I think there’s some truth in it. The No campaign have massive power in terms of how much propaganda they can put out but it’s all in a very narrow bandwidth of tone (generally patronising or scaremongering). We’ve all got our own reasons for supporting independence and our own ways of getting our point across. The wider diversity of approaches the better as far as I’m concerned.
       
      Sorry for the long ramble, just something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

    103. Craig P says:

      Handandshrimp, Jackson Carlaw is regional MSP for west Scotland, and it is reasonable for anyone who has met him to assume he has a picture of Margaret Thatcher on his bedroom wall and a drawer full of union jack underpants. He also has, in my opinion, the best name of any MSP 🙂
       
      Rabb – the demographic most sought after by opinion poll companies are young men. Older people tend to be at home more and like to chat, whereas young men are often uncommunicative and suspicious, even if you can get hold of them. 

    104. JLT says:

      Seriously! …What colour is the sky in the world that Euan, Alistair and Duncan are currently living in (bet it’s not Saltire Blue). Do they just not see it, let alone get it ????
       
      No one on this site has questioned the depth or faith of nationality for every Scot who lives in Scotland or abroad. I wouldn’t dare do such a thing.
      In my mind, all ‘…True Scots’ are both on the Indy side, as well as the Unionist side. For one, I would get a serious smack in the mouth if I told my Unionists friends that they are not ‘Real Scots’ as they may not vote for an Independent Scotland. I might not like it, but I wouldn’t call them Un-Scottish’. I would never think to suggest such a thing!
      So, the question is …how ‘racist’ do the Unionists want to get? If I was to change the word ‘Scot’ to ‘Black’, ‘Asian’, or ‘any religious order’ …there would screaming from the rafters.
       
      This is racists terminology, and for a ‘lawyer’ like Mr Darling and Co. to even be using the term ‘real Scots’ is an absolute disgrace, and shows that they really need to start having a quiet word with themselves.

    105. JLT says:

      Hello Ben,
      Although I know a lot of my friends living down south, particularly in Manchester,would be very happy if the border were pushed a bit further south!
       
      ————–
       
      Ben, my work colleague is a Geordie, and make no bones about it …he would be very happy for Yorkshire to become part of Scotland. He’s lived here for 15 years, and he is horrified at what the English Electorate have been given as political parties. He sees no end to it, for those south of the Border.
      The way I see it, is the more the right wing try to tighten their grip, the more the country is cracking and fragmenting. Even in England, the lines are being drawn. Yorkshire and Lancashire can’t stick London. London wants to become a City-State. Devon and Cornwall have National parties now. Seriously …what’s next. The re-birth of the Kingdoms of Wessex and Northumbria ???
      It makes you wonder what Britain will look like in 50 years time…will it be one nation, or will it be a 4,5,6 nation island ????

    106. HenBroon says:

      Once more Rev thanks for the advice. However you will see if you look that the one thing I consistently do is urge people, to stop engaging with said troll. A few minutes on Google researching said troll will show you that his track record is quite blatantly hostile to the SNP and Alex Salmond who it appears to be obsessed with. My experience over the years on these forums has formed my opinion on exactly what and who it is. But hey it’s your ball. Keep it going you have my full support.

    107. Ben Hukins says:

      Thanks for the welcome folks.  I enjoy reading all the contributions as well as the articles.  I just thought I would chip in with a slightly different (although not unique) perspective. 
       
      As to what will happen to England post-independence – I think it will open up a lot of problems.  Especially when the general population realise they have been fed rubbish about Scotland’s financial situation and if Scotland were to build up an oil fund reserve like Norway.  I think you will see places like Northumberland and Cornwall lead the way in the pursuit of their own parliaments.  Who knows for sure though.  The Tories seem to think England would be theirs. 

    108. scottish_skier says:

      @southernscot 

      RE telephone polling.

      MORI uses telephone polling and TNS use face to face, presumably arranged by telephone. I’m not sure of these have adjusted for the ‘mobile’ factor which you describe. They do however show the typically highest ‘No’ and lowest ‘Yes’.

      The big guns such as ICM and Angus Reid use online surveys. Panelbase too. These would be unaffected by the ‘mobile’ phenomenon. One might argue however that doing things over the internet could itself skew results, although this is something these pollsters account for in weighting and ICM are considered one of the most accurate there is.

      Panelbase – who do regular Y/N polls in Scotland – are a good match for ICM and AR when these two have done a poll in Scotland so I consider the former probably closer to the mark.

      In any event, all polls show falling no and rising yes since October last year (Edinburgh Agreement time) and trends are not typically affected by methodology, just absolute values.

    109. southernscot says:

      Thanks S_s , thought it might be of interest as I struggle to understand the polls.

    110. Handandshrimp says:

      I was phoned by one of the polling lot last Sunday Ipsos I think but they didn’t want to speak to me because I was just past their cut off age of 54. I was a bit peeved to be honest.

    111. SCED300 says:

      One thing that should be made clear to the Scottish voters is:
      There is a large deficit in the democratic value of a No vote. It transfers power to Westminster without delivering on the promises that led to that vote.
      The No campaign have lost the sense of the historical importance of the Referendum, and are treating it as if it were another general Election. Run by tacky frontmen with Party hack mentality. This shows no grasp of what might be achieved for Scotland.
      What compounds the deficit? None of the Parties in the No group can be sure of who is going to be in Government in Westminster or if they will uphold decisions made in Scotland. All is at the behest of the Westminster Government.
      Labour voters supporting are in one of the worst positions. 50years, with a huge majority of MPs for Scotland, but they have no real affect on what is decided or the colour of the Government.
      Johann Lamont wants revenues from (unspecified) further tax raising powers to bypass Holyrood nd go straight to Councils. This would produce a weakened dismembered Scotland, as would the LbDem policies.
      Ruth Davidson talks about further devolution but couches it in terms of the money Scotland gets and how it should be made responsible for spending. ‘Gets’ and ‘made responsible’ shows the way the Conservatives see Scotland. The money is already ours.
      The Democratic value of the Yes vote is clear.
      It is clear who we have as a Scottish Government.
      The values they have are clearly stated.
      The forum for debate is here in Scotland. The debates are not based on a population with totally different priorities. The MPs for those areas need to satisfy those priorities.
       
       

    112. muttley79 says:

      I am glad that Cat Boyd did not say that we were oppressed by England.  Seems like it is the Daily Mail just being the Daily Mail…

    113. Scaraben says:

      @Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I’ve said it a hundred times – how do you think it looks to an undecided voter who reads a reasoned, factually-supported article, thinks “Hey, maybe these nats might have a point after all”, and then blunders straight into a howling lynchmob in the comments? We WILL NOT win the referendum by running a cosy support group for the already-converted, we need to get other people on our side, and if we come across like a bunch of shrieking Duncan Hothersalls then sane people will run a mile and never read any more.”
       
      I agree 100% with the Rev Stu on this and the rest of his comment. I do not know whether Norsewarrior is a troll; I am still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt – innocent until proved guilty. If he is a troll, then arguably the way he has been attacked has done more harm to this site than his original comments ever would have if they had been either ignored or replied to in a more civilised way. At least his comments have never been abusive.
       
      People who come onto WoS, and who are not already committed supporters of independence, should feel free to raise questions and even doubts about it, which with luck will be answered in a way which will encourage them to vote Yes, without risking being snarled at as unionist trolls.
       
      Also, in the interests of having a good debate, there might even be a case for having a resident troll to act as a kind of devil’s advocate, as long as they are of higher standard than, for example, Hermione.

    114. Rod Mac says:

      Handandshrimp says:
      14 April, 2013 at 10:49 am

      I was phoned by one of the polling lot last Sunday Ipsos I think but they didn’t want to speak to me because I was just past their cut off age of 54. I was a bit peeved to be honest
       
      I got a call from same people it was on behalf of the Cabinet Office at no 10.
      I am over 60 and did the poll ,perhaps they had their set number of  over 55s when they got to you.

    115. Quinie frae Angus says:

      The hypocrisy of Duncan Hothersall is encapsulated quite succinctly by James Kelly:
       
      http://scotgoespop.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/the-international-socialist-movement.html
       
       
       

    116. Richie says:

      I like the flower Duncan wears in his hair. He looks very pretty!

    117. Douglas Crawford says:

      Living in North London for over thirty years it was very clear to me that the educated English have a romantic soft spot for Scotties and would generally give them the benefit of the doubt, a crack of the whip, and happily tolerate the narcissistic tendencies. I cannot think of a friend, aquaintance or lunchtime barfly who wouldn’t  be quite happy to help Scotland to be independent, if that’s what it wants. Whether the Scottish inhabitants of London, Milton Keynes, Swindon, Norwich, Portsmouth and Plymouth would agree with them is something else…they all have granny’s address and vote in Scotland.



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