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Wings Over Scotland

Watch closely, students

Posted on May 02, 2014 by

Because this is how a state broadcaster does balanced, impartial reporting.

Now some revision notes to help you.

“A new campaign for Scottish independence appears to be gathering momentum.”

A campaign AGAINST Scottish independence, but let’s not split hairs. Nobody had heard of Vote No Borders until its website went live yesterday. Less than 24 hours later the BBC had managed to arrange and deliver a substantial news package on it. Allowing for planning and organising, the broadcaster must have decided that VNB’s “momentum” was “gathering” within literally minutes of the site’s appearance.

“…with the No campaign being criticised by supporters for a lacklustre performance compared to the fiery campaigning of Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond”

Whoah there. “Fiery”? Nice bit of sneaky editorialising, neutral news presenter. And “campaigning of Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond”? Not, alert readers will note, the wider Yes campaign, not Yes Scotland, not even the SNP, but specifically the First Minister himself alone. It’s almost as if the BBC had a meticulously-documented agenda to personalise the entire independence movement into just one man.

The presenter does half-heartedly cover herself by muttering “and his supporters”, but by then the impression is made: the Yes campaign isn’t a million-strong movement comprising people of all shades of politics and none, but simply Team Alex Salmond, blindly following the leader’s orders. Yes campaigners, we’re led to believe, aren’t rational, thinking advocates of independence, but supporters of Alex Salmond.

We’re now transported to a recording studio in leafy countryside “on the outskirts of Edinburgh” to watch a group of musicians. We assume it’s “Flowers Of The Union”, but they’re not actually named. The voiceover pauses to let us hear two photogenic young women lamenting “Why build another [wall]?” as Gavin Esler – BBC royalty – solemnly explains that their website “goes live today on the anniversary of the Union”.

(Which suggests the piece was actually filmed yesterday, giving the broadcaster even less time to have assessed that Vote No Borders was “gathering momentum”. Oddly, Esler goes on to tell us that the campaign “launches” in two weeks’ time. We’re not sure in what sense it hasn’t “launched” now.)

We’re then taken to VNB’s Malcolm Offord, who tells us:

“The Union is the most successful merger of sovereign nations in the world.”

We’re not told what the criteria are for that judgement, nor which other unions are competing for the title. It’s a phrase often used by the No campaign, and whenever we hear it we always wonder which other “unions of sovereign nations” actually exist.

Then we’re back to Esler, almost swooning in George Square:

“Here in the very heart of Glasgow, in fact almost anywhere you go anywhere in Scotland, you’re never far away from some monument or memorial to our 300 years of shared British history.”

Hang on a minute, what? What does that actually mean? Offhand we can’t think of a single monument to the Union specifically anywhere in Britain, never mind Scotland. There are monuments to history, of course, and many of them naturally commemorate things which happened to take place while Scotland was in the Union, just like others mark Scotland as an independent nation.

But specifically monuments TO the Union? We’re drawing a blank. There may be one or two here and there that we can’t bring to mind, but “you’re never far away from one anywhere you go in Scotland” seems something of a stretch to say the least.

We get another interjection from Malcolm Offord about being proudly Scottish and British, a shot of a fluttering Saltire, then it’s Esler again.

“The idea is that of a grassroots campaign to rival the pro-independence Yes campaign, based on testimonials from those who wish to remain in the UK.”

There’s no mention of the fact that this “grassroots campaign” is being funded and run by a millionaire Tory donor based in London, suggesting that the BBC doesn’t actually understand what “grassroots” means. You might as well say that Manchester City, owned and bankrolled by a billionaire oil tycoon from the United Arab Emirates, are a “grassroots football team” because they play on grass, which has roots.

Curiously, we can’t recall the BBC giving three-and-a-half minute primetime news packages to any ACTUAL grassroots campaigns. There wasn’t so much as a passing mention on the news channel when this site raised £111,000 (£70,000 of it in a single day) in a staggeringly successful pro-independence appeal, while also funding several other grassroots Yes campaigns. Viewers weren’t treated to an in-depth hyping of National Collective’s “Yestival” when it was launched a few days ago.

Why were neither of those things news but a rich Tory putting up a website with a few YouTube videos on it gets a full location report with a big-name correspondent? We’re sure it would be overly cynical to suggest the reason for that might be that all of those real grassroots campaigns have been on the Yes side of the debate.

We’re then taken to one of Vote No Borders’ testimonials, from a retired woman who says “I’m Glaswegian, Scottish and British” – three things which will remain the case whether Scotland votes Yes or No. We’re sure she IS part of the VNB campaign, but it’s not strictly possible to discern that fact from her onscreen words alone.

Finally we get the token balance segment, with Gordon Macintyre-Kemp of Business For Scotland given a few seconds to show off his natty tweed outfit again and point out that campaigns like VNB have come into existence because “Better Together” has been so abysmally rank, and then we’re back to the photogenic young singers in the Edinburgh countryside again for a close-up of their song’s lyrics.


Back in the studio, anchorman Chris Eakin casts his eyes downwards to his desk as he tells us “You’re watching BBC News”. By then, we suspect very few viewers would have been in any doubt about that.

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5 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 02 05 14 13:29

    Devolved and reserved powers | The Science of Independence

  2. 02 05 14 18:11

    A Formal Complaint To The BBC | National Collective

  3. 03 05 14 14:08

    Dear BBC, the world is watching Scotland closely, maybe you should be too. | Scottish Pokemon

  4. 05 05 14 00:33

    Grassroots? Aye Right. | mjaei

  5. 21 08 15 11:30

    Over to you, Nick /

217 to “Watch closely, students”

  1. moujick says:

    This deserves to be the most read piece you ever written.

  2. Ally says:

    Probably the BEST piece you have ever written Rev – well done!

  3. Jason F says:

    Apparently the report also aired yesterday, but is unusual for one BBC report to span two days like this.

    The reporter mentions that the campaign will be launched in two weeks’ time (expect more coverage), despite everyone else saying it launched yesterday.

    The report shows bias from the BBC beyond doubt – the Yes campaign is going to have to do a lot more if this is the direction things are going in.

  4. Juteman says:

    Grassroots? More like in cahoots!

  5. heedtracker says:

    There ought to be a law against this level of tax funded UKOK propaganda bias. The BBC is the law, don’t ever forget it and do as your told. Surprised the news reader doesn’t spit when she says “Alex Salmond and his supporters.” What’s the icon for hocking into a spittoon, a BBC spitoon.

    Why is new democracy in Scotland from19th September a barrier anyway?

  6. Holebender says:

    The Bettertogether Broadcasting Corporation

  7. Mary Bruce says:

    Excellent work again, Stu. Project Fear’s “grassroots” campaign is soon to be tumbleweed.

  8. Cath says:

    Surely something must be able to be done about the glaringly obvious bias of the BBC? It’s well know this is far from “a grassroots campaign” but one run by a millionaire Tory who also runs a think tank for Ian Duncan Smith and there is no way on earth the BBC DOESN’T know that. That’ll be precisely why they’re so easily able to get this kind of coverage from the BBC.

    Is there no one outside the UK who can step in to observe or regulate this kind of behaviour?

    Also, given that this group are said to be raising £500,000 at least, and given their very obvious links to the media, just how does that fit into the £150K spending limit such groups are supposed to be restricted to?

  9. Alex says:

    I have never felt so angry about the BBC bias

  10. Cath says:

    Anyway, that song is an absolute dirge, isn’t it?

  11. Doug Daniel says:

    That is absolutely incredible. Even ignoring the biased language used by Gavin Esler there (he really, really shouldn’t be saying “our” shared history), the idea that you can judge momentum THE DAY A CAMPAIGN HAS LAUNCHED is ridiculous. Not even launched in fact – just turned on a website.

    And it costs hundreds of pounds to record a song in a dingy city centre studio, never mind in a leafy residential country house studio.

    Fucking grassroots…

  12. Training Day says:

    It must be difficult for people such as Derek Bateman, who no doubt sincerely in their hearts believe – and continue to believe in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary – that the BBC stands for something grand, dispassionate, authoritative, good and fair.

    The unravelling of this organisation since May 2011 in particular, leaving it exposed as a crude tool of the basest anti-democratic and anti-Scottish propaganda, and those who work for it as shills and ventriloquist’s dummies, must be painful to witness for those who held it dear.

  13. msean says:

    Have had trouble loading the site as soon as that was uploaded,made me wonder,does money raised during the run up to directly maintain the site against attacks count as campaign money?

  14. I give this new website about 3 weeks before it goes the way of United with Labour. That’s being generous too. An online campaign by cybernats will then be blamed for stifling the debate of course.

  15. magnus barelegs says:

    they are all in it together make no mistake. tories/liebour/cbi/bbc. all the same up to their dirty necks in anti scotland propaganda.

    hell mend em.

  16. scottish_skier says:

    Next week will see the launch of ‘Greenkeepers for the union’.

  17. David Smith says:

    Stay together so we can continue to mug savages.

  18. Ian Mitchell says:

    I was just on the No borders sight and found it astonishing that one of the headlines reads, ” At the present time the belief is women aren’t paying attention to the debate,lets hope it stays that way till September.This is definitely going to help the YES campaign so carry on.

  19. Ian Mitchell says:

    Site DOH

  20. Chic McGregor says:

    And at the same time they have the gall to complain of Russian propaganda in Ukraine.

  21. bigGpolmont says:

    The same old song with NO singing from different hymm sheets.
    What a dirge! I have shooed cats away for more tuneful
    melodies! Everyone will be stuffing ear plugs into their ears
    by the time the two NO campaigns finish this duet.

  22. Free Scotland says:

    Just one day in for the VNB website, and the game’s up. They’ve been well and truly rumbled.

  23. magnus barelegs says:

    “tumbleweeds of the union” is a more appropriate title methinks

  24. fergie35 says:

    Soviet styled and stage managed, exactly what the Russians did in Estonia, oops, am I allowed to mention Russia?

  25. handclapping says:

    I’m starting a new grassroots campaign because there is too much alicsammin in the Yes campaign from what I read in the press. It will be called “No No Not No”.
    How do I get in touch with the BBC to arrange for the publicity?
    Do I have to have an office in Charlotte Square?
    What are the contact details for Rent-A-Burd?

  26. sausage fingered luddite says:

    What’s the best way to stop my tv licence direct debit?

  27. Craig Brown says:

    ..’because they play on grass, which has roots’ made me spit oot my coffee, cheers for that Rev

  28. Glass Girl says:

    Judging by the Union of Flowers lyrics they seem to think you can only ever be friends with people in your own country. Must be UKIP supporters.

  29. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    Was this not the plot of some movie “Wag the Dog”?

    Expect a manufactured international incident, inciting patriotic fervor

  30. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Anyone up for writing to the Electoral Commission and asking if the BBC should be registered with them as a campaigning on the NO side?

    That disgrace above is the clincher.

    The BBC is a organ of the State and this must end.

    More to the point, what is the SNP and the Yes campaign doing about this flagrant hijacking of democratic process in Scotland by London based financial and media interests?

    Even in the days of Stalin, the citizens of the USSR knew they were getting fed propaganda in Pravda, Izvestia and the airwaves media.

    This lot in London have take this media manipulation way beyond Orwell’s warning vision. Goebbels would be in awe of the media manipulation and control.

    We are taxed to pay for it too!

  31. James123 says:

    More evidence, if it were needed, that the BBC and the No Campaign are one and the same. An utterly disgraceful piece of pro-Union propaganda disguised as a news report.

  32. David Cornelius says:

    I don’t want to do their job for them but the only monument I know of which celebrates the Union (and Queen Victoria’s Jubilee) is the Doulton Fountain outside of The Peoples Palace in Glasgow – a fine imperialist piece of craftsmanship.

    O/T: Did anyone else hear David Cameron say in Parliament two days ago re AS and Putin: “I think what Alex Salmond said was a major error of judgement. I think that this House should be supporting the Ukrainian desire to be a sovereign, independent country and to have the respect of the international community and party leaders for that ambition”?

    It was in the Herald so it must be true.

    I must be going la-la!

  33. Training Day says:


    “Anyone up for writing to the Electoral Commission and asking if the BBC should be registered with them as a campaigning on the NO side?”

    I would, but it’s an ex-BBC guy who’ll answer on behalf of the EC!

    We should be deeply worried about the role of the Electoral Commission in this referendum.

  34. The Rough Bounds says:

    Well that song honks!

  35. Drew Broadley says:

    Grim reaper to VNB: “Can we cut your grass?”

  36. heedtracker says:

    Very rich Merchant Banker and Tory party donor in London pays Westend marketing agency a pile of cash to at least try and stop Scotland running Scotland. Or Rich Tory banker says shut up and vote no Scotland etc

  37. Kenny says:

    Would it be possible for a smaller group – say the SSP or the Greens or RIC or whoever – to invite election observers? The SNP and Yes Scotland can’t do it. The spin would be that they’re richer and more powerful than BT already and they’re just trying to shut down the debate. But one would imagine they would be amenable to a request from a minority party who felt the media was systematically excluding them from the debate, ignoring their achievements and giving gigantic week-long puffs to astroturf groups on the other side. It certainly doesn’t look like our press or our judiciary is likely to do anything about the astonishing ways this debate is being corrupted by bad journalism.

    In the meantime, who’s chasing the Electoral Commission about the CBI/BBC issue? Who’s asking them about VNB’s donations? As much as it pains me to think of winning this referendum by flooding someone with paperwork, we need to be doing something to stop the flow of propaganda. I do think Newsnet’s monitoring threat has forced the BBC to up its game slightly in the way they present the arguments (as well as, for example, mentioning Wings in the newspaper round-up) but there is no way a competent BBC journalist should have looked at this group and not thought it relevant to do a little bit of digging. It’s hard to demonstrate bias in editorial decisions, but this one (as well as the entire CBI coverage) is one where something has gone wrong – either bias or alarming levels of incompetence. And I don’t think most BBC journalists are incompetent.

  38. Mat says:

    What’s the best way to stop my tv licence direct debit?

    1. Cancel it at your bank. Easy enough to do online.

    2. Write to telling them that you’ve done it, and why.

    3. Use the BBC complaint form to let them know what you’ve done, and why.

    4. Receive a snide response from (2):

    “Should we visit your address and find you’re able to receive live television, then regardless of your personal views regarding Scottish Independence; you risk being prosecuted and fined.”

    5. Wait for a templated and utterly unsatisfactory response from BBC.

  39. Oor Wullie says:

    Rather more importantly than the bias or otherwise of the BBC, I note that Credit Rating Agency Moody’s said in a report yesterday that an “A” rating, the same as Estonia and Botswana, is the most likely for an Independent Scotland and, at outset, it might even be lower than this.

    It also said however that, over time, greater clarity and confidence about Scotland’s institutional structure could make higher rating levels attainable. Which bodes well for the Independence campaign – but only if it is honest about the initial costs.

    Meanwhile, the report advises the credit impact to the remainder of the UK is likely to be limited, given the small size of Scotland’s economy relative to the UK. But Moody’s said this could change if Scotland refuses to assume a “fair and proportionate share” of its debt obligations.

    A low credit rating means Holyrood would have to pay more to borrow funds from international banks. This could have an impact on company and personal debt in Scotland.

    Moody’s said that if Scotland adopted its own currency, this would be “credit neutral” for the UK. But if Scotland were to share the pound, this would weaken UK’s rating.

    The report concluded: “If Scotland were to retain the pound sterling as its currency and the Bank of England as its central bank, this would be credit negative for the remainder of the UK, regardless of the institutional arrangements that are put in place.

    “This would be particularly true if an independent Scotland were not also subject to binding fiscal co-ordination and banking union with the remaining UK.”

    In February, global ratings firm Standard & Poor’s said that the challenges facing an independent Scotland’s economy would be significant but not insurmountable.

    So what we have here is more expert analysis saying that while an independent Scotland, in the long run may be fine but, in the short term, there will be a cost to the population.

    Can you point me to where that is admitted in the “white paper”?


  40. Papadox says:

    The Privy Council gives direction to HMQ who delegates the management to her prime minister, who delegates to the intelligence services who contracts the work out to one or more of the many tentacles of the establishment who do the local cajoling and control of the muppets that are relied upon to do the dirty work. Willingly they are proud royalists after all.


    The finances: supplied by HMG in various laundered “untraceable?” Payments.

    They would rather not be found out but they will do ANYTHING to protect their “ESTABLISHMENT, POWER & WEALTH”! If they are rumbled then the government just covers it up via use of their muppets and opens another front.


  41. G. Campbell says:

    “a group of musicians”

    No evidence given. Shoddy BBC journalism as usual.

  42. bjsalba says:

    Eleanor Roosevelt said:

    “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

    And the BBC is full of item 3.

  43. Ged says:

    The BBC is shameless in it’s biased reporting and doesn’t even appear to make any real effort to cover it up now. On the bright side though, that song is so depressing it is unlikely to inspire anyone to vote NO.

  44. msean says:

    What Simon Cowell think of that lol? BBC News information channel giving the unbalanced view again. Really,in an independent Scotland,no ex politicians should be(if you can ever be an ex politician)should be at the head of any broadcaster,not even at arms length.

  45. heedtracker says:

    “And I don’t think most BBC journalists are incompetent”
    They do not consider themselves to be mere journalists though. The BBC is as powerful as Westminster and at best they consider Westminster allies in the battle to save the UK. Look at how hard they try to out grovel Westminster over the Royal family.

  46. Rod Robertson says:

    Conceived in No10 ,planned in Vauxhall Bridge ,funded in Whitehall, controlled by MI5 Tory placeman in London projected as the founder.
    Corrupt ,illegal, an affront to democracy and like a banana republic .

  47. Macart says:

    Yeah, not much spin happening there. 😀

    Between that and the Mail piece I’m feeling quite dizzy. Might need to sit doon and have a cuppa.

  48. G. Campbell says:

    So why build another one?
    Why build another one?
    So why build another one?

    Capital investment to boost the economy, you flowery idiots.

  49. Mary Bruce says:

    Craig Murray has just published his latest blog, about all this VNB malarky, including an interesting bit of background on “Grassroots from Glasgow,” Elizabeth Bashir. LOL.

  50. North chiel says:

    Somehow I don’t think that “the proclaimers” will
    Be shaking in their shoes, perhaps “lady alba”
    Would more appropriately “liven things up a

  51. Chris Silver says:

    Pretty sordid I have to say. I wonder how Prof. John Robertson will dissect this, he will be in a dark room until 2020. There is little if any trust in the BBC nearly all the meetings I’ve watched or when I speak to people it has become an increasing issue the media coverage.

    The other frustrating issue is the myth about this being all about Alex Salmond another issue highlighted by the academic in his report. This is galvanising people who move to Yes as there is portrayal that those people have not done so by a reasoned debate on the issues of what is possible by seeking self determination but have been duped by some door to door conman, frankly its insulting. If that narrative was used to denegrate Farage in rUK the media would be all over it.

    Expect the worst and you won’t be disappointed so this will continue to escalate the BBC will expose their raison d etre as state propaganda central.

  52. Red Squirrel says:

    Oh dear God, I’ve just looked at their website. It’s all the same story – we’re voting no because we’re feart.

    Why can’t folk see that the greatest thing to fear is voting No and what will follow – I really do despair, please reassure me that we can help these souls towards a more positive existence.

  53. handclapping says:

    Another advantage of “No No Not No” is that we could nick all the music from “No No Nanette”.
    And despite appearances to the contrary I did not see the original stage play 🙂

  54. liz says:

    @ Cath – I wonder now with such blatant lying – there is no other word for it- that there must be an EU law against the state broadcaster spreading lies to the population.

    How can they be grass roots when they have close links with the cons and a company which ‘re-brands’ countries?

    You couldn’t make this up, if we don’t win this we are truly fucked.

  55. Luigi says:

    Would it be possible for a smaller group – say the SSP or the Greens or RIC or whoever – to invite election observers?

    Ah, but remember Kenny, those groups don’t really exist. They are all really groups of SNP operatives, mindless robots that follow every command of that evil, fiery dictator, Alex Salmond.

    There are no grass roots for Scottish independence, because there couldn’t possibly be! I mean, why would anyone want to break up the greatest union ever? It just makes no sense, no sense at all.

  56. Cath says:

    “here is no way a competent BBC journalist should have looked at this group and not thought it relevant to do a little bit of digging.”

    The wouldn’t have needed to. For a supposed grass roots group to even be able to get this kind of coverage on the BBC, they have to be very well connected at the BBC. The BBC will know exactly who they’re dealing with here.

    They are very much a part of the NO campaign.

  57. magnus barelegs says:

    Craig Murray has some very interesting info on his blog about some of the “characters” in those videos. What a surprise eh, and the BBC giving them free airtime as well, anyone would think “they were all in it together”. Its because they are!

  58. indigo says:

    Genuinely, I feel depressed and disempowered after watching that. 🙁

    We are in the midst of a propaganda war. What can we do to counteract this, because it’s going to get so much worse. I’m genuinely upset by this. It’s insidious and creepy and completely undermines the democratic process.

  59. Papadox says:

    A NO vote is a poison chalice for the BT side, put your money on that! Where do they go from there?

  60. gordoz says:

    Lets face it the media is lost to the YES Campaign and probably lost to Scotland in the future.

    The problem for them is the position after a YES vote.
    I really can’t see a position where we could say treat it as water under the bridge.

    This will fester for years.

    I for one will never trust or forgive the Scottish media EVER again.

  61. Cath says:

    Still though, the videos on their website are so bad that if a lot of people do go and have a look, that’s probably good for us. So maybe we shouldn’t complain too much. I do think the BBC should be registered with the EC though, as a no supporter.

  62. magnus barelegs says:

    meant to add all at the behest of wealthy Tory Banker.

  63. msean says:

    @ jason f 11.49

    Seeing that it has launched two days running already,a two weeks hence relaunch is not out of the question lol.

    Either that or it was all done two weeks ago and this is the relaunch.

  64. creag an tuirc says:

    This is BT trying to get an assroots campaign on the go, so others will follow. It isn’t going to happen. The Duke of Sutherland statue in Golspie is one of those reminders of how good the Union has been for Scotland. 🙂

  65. Gillie says:

    No getting around this for the BBC they are broadcasting a news item that has got FAKE written all over it.

    On Gavin Esler’s Twitter account he announced he arrived in Scotland on the 28th April.

    So we can take it that the BBC and VNB have been in contact prior to that date.

  66. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    I can see another complaint “winging” its way into the BBC very shortly.

    Not sure if that is a complete waste of time but it makes me feel better.

    Here is a question for experts out there ?

    Can we get BBC to state how many complaints of bias they have got on the Independence campaign over the last few months. Are they subject to any FOI regulations so we can get this information ?

    It is just a bit annoying that they have summaries of complaints on trivia on their website but would they ever admit to having 1000s of complaints over bias?

  67. liz says:

    @indigo – it makes you wonder just how many lies we have been fed by the BBC re other countries.

  68. JLT says:

    This is why middle England could get the biggest shock of its life on the 19th of September. Who exactly are the BBC informing? Not the Scots. Nothing makes any sense and most Scots don’t trust (or fully trust) the media anymore. This in fact just insults the Scottish people. Keep it up BBC… you’re handing us the victory on a plate.

  69. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @ Training Day

    I always was, and thought it a bad move from the start.

    I, if forced politically, would have accepted the EC but insisted on a team of external international monitors, drawn from the UN, the EU and Commonwealth countries (not Zimbabwe, as they would only learn from the BBCBI and the MSM how to rig a whole political system)

  70. so what can we do about it? the level of bias has been increasing day by day, and since the CBI debacle, they’re not even trying to hide it now. do we hope that Scots are canny enough to see through it, or are we going to have to continually be pushed onto the back foot and show up the lies, but long after the headlines are imprinted on the publics face from the news-stands. Where are our YES leaders to start making a Big noise against this.

  71. Camilla Kaczinski says:

    Cath says: 2 May, 2014 at 12:00 pm
    It’s well know this is far from “a grassroots campaign” but one run by a millionaire Tory who also runs a think tank for Ian Duncan Smith and there is no way on earth the BBC DOESN’T know that.
    Moffard is on the advisory board, he does not run Centre for Social Injustice. He looks fishy enough without exaggerating.

    Still it is more than just a bit curious that his profile has been removed from CfSJ’s website within the past 12 hours.

    I am very much enjoying the comments here:

  72. faolie says:

    Great piece of uncovering Stu. But hey, that’s what you get from state-owned organs of propaganda. The BBC did all that stuff to great effect during WWII and as far as it and its masters are concerned, the Union’s back is against the wall again and it’ll damn well do anything it needs to do to keep the Union together.

    Goodbye BBC come 2016. See if we care that we’re a big blank on your weather maps, or whether when the main important news ends we miss your patronising intros about your little local news programmes about murders and cats getting stuck up trees. So long and thanks for all the pish (as someone else said recently).

  73. faolie says:


    The Bettertogether Broadcasting Corporation. I like that.

  74. Grassroots?? There are alternative resources online filming & promoting grassroots events… our TwoThumbsFresh TV has had over 140k views, with an estimated 1.5m minutes of footage watched! Support us via our IndieGogo or search TwoThumbsFresh TV on YouTube! Hail Alba!

  75. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    The BBC no longer does Reporting.

    It only does Rediffusion, to those pay them; the British State.

  76. Training Day says:


    Agreed – I regard the involvement of the Electoral Commission in the referendum as Cameron’s biggest coup in the Edinburgh Agreement.

  77. Ged says:

    Here’s a link to Craig Murray’s blog, interesting piece on this BBC bias as previously mentioned by someone.

  78. msean says:

    Funny that Moodys comes out with this after the FM mentioned about the report a couple of months back in a speech in Europe about Scotland having the highest rating available.

    Obviously,some panicky office junior who used to work for another Tory front organisation has got them to rush out a reply rubbishing said report.

  79. heedtracker says:

    I just voted SNP in the EU elections for “Electoral Region of Scotland,” postal vote! Next time its going to be the Nation State of Scotland.

    Weird ballot line up though, very weird- Britain First, BNP, Conservative party, Labour party, Liberals, NO2EU, Scottish Green Party (great stuff last night debate in Glesga , well done keeping up with the YES girls Paddy) and ofcourse the great UKIP. How come Farage is NOT calling Nottingham fascist?

  80. Moreida Lord says:

    What is a ‘Merger’?

    Taken from Investopedia, a Merger happens when two companies become one. This decision is usually mutual between both firms.

    Without going into the historical reasons for the ‘union’; given that Scotland has retained, among other things its own Education and Law systems which are quite distinct from the rUK, at best this union would be more like a conglomerate than a merger.

    In conglomerates, one company (for argument sake let’s say London’s Westminster) owns a controlling stake in a number of smaller companies – again, for this example consider Scotland as a ‘smaller company’. Each company (Sctoland) conduct business separately and each of them runs independently of the other business divisions (as they currently do), but the subsidiaries’ management (in this case the Secretary of State for Scotland) reports to senior management at the parent company (The UK parliament).

    To say this has been a very successful merger is streching the concept a bit. The UK has – in my opinion – never been one country; so try and defend it now as if it was one country is – in my view – unrealistic to say the least.

    Your analysis is excellent as always Stu and really going to the heart of the matter. Thank you for your objective and insightful analysis.

  81. BuckieBraes says:

    Oh, those song lyrics! They are reminiscent of some badly-translated Eurovision effort:

    ‘How can you throw away the life we’ve built together?
    The rhythm of our lives combined, can’t it be forever?’

    It would bring a tear to a glass een!

  82. indigo says:

    Indeed it does. I’m not naive about propaganda in the slightest, but this is breathtakingly blantant.

    How much does it cost to start a weekly national newspaper? We have to find some way of exposing this to people who are not internet savvy

  83. muttley79 says:

    It is pretty obvious that the BBC is an integral part of the No campaign, and indeed the British state. They have realised that their politicians are not up to the task, so they are going for full out propaganda now.

    The BBC have also realised that there is no grassroots campaign for the Union, and so they are promoting this No Borders group to try and con the people of Scotland into thinking that the Union has popular support. It does not. If it did there would have been massive celebrations in Scotland of the 300th anniversary of the Union. We know there was none of the sort, in fact in 2007 the SNP were elected to national office for the first time in its history! Make no mistake, this is the British establishment and state determined to win a No vote by an means. They simply do not care about democracy, this is about protecting their status and positions at both UK and Scottish levels.

  84. Luigi says:

    The BBC are trying desperately to respond to the growing grass roots campaign for Scottish independence, by promoting a dubious equivalent for the NO campaign. They are trying extremely hard to make it happen. The poor sods just don’t get it. Grass roots campaigns cannot just be manufactured, or forced on the people by the establishment. They either grow organically, taking a life of their own, or they just don’t happen. Since the referendum date was announced, cans have been opened, lids have flown off, forces have been unleashed that will change politics in this island forever. The movement for independence is far bigger than Alex Salmond, far bigger than the SNP, and now impossible to frame as an AS/SNP project, although BT and the BBC would obviously love to frame it as such.

    For BT and BBC, I give 10/10 for effort, and 0/10 for concept and understanding. Scotland is about to leave the station. Try to catch up. There’s a good chap.

  85. rabb says:

    I’m going to to tweet this until my tweeting finger quite literally bleeds.

    What a fucking disgrace the BBC are. I’ve been nice about this for long enough.


  86. TYRAN says:

    No Borders campaign. Just one singular World country run from Westminster. Good luck on that one.

  87. Albert Herring says:

    @Oor Wullie

    Moody’s appear to be labouring under the misapprehension that Scotland is subsidised. Just because they’re a ratings agency doesn’t necessarily mean they know their arse from a hole in the ground.

  88. bunter says:

    The British State appears to be on a war footing. Ever since The Herald ran with the same Russian plane story for about three days in a row, even though it was a load of rot, I sensed something had changed.

    I would not be surprised if someone has been delegated to every news organisation to ”assist” with any independence articles, that they portray the ”right” message.

  89. Jon D says:

    A modicum of consolation to be had perhaps from the fact that “Stronger United”, with 19 hours to go have only raised 1% of their target…

    I don’t think so.

  90. Greannach says:

    I’m in Ireland at the moment and clicked on to a video from the BBC when up popped a questionnaire aimed at viewers of BBC World. It was a great opportunity to score BBC News 1 or 2/10 for fairness and impartiality, and to get the chance to comment on bias. Any other Wings readers outside the UK, try logging on the the BBC website and see if the questionnaire pops up for you too.

  91. Juteman says:

    This whole episode is like an upmarket version of the fake video released on the day of the indy march last year. The one that showed the line of stooges accepting leaflets.

  92. Greannach says:

    Funny that Stronger United are using USA dollars. Don’t they think sterling is as sound as a pound? How very unpatriotic of them. Lord Nelson would be appalled.

  93. Kev says:

    Its getting to the point that when a Yes victory is achieved on 18th September, the BBC are gona do a Fox News and say NO thats wrong, the other side won!

  94. David says:

    History all over again. There has been at least one other United Kingdom, the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves.

    That UK reigned supreme from 1815 till 1822. Then Brazil declared independence in September, and helped by its natural resources and successive waves of immigrant workers, has done rather well for itself.

    The only trouble for this new nation has been the increasingly corrupt politicians which run the country. And the media which they have in their pocket. And the lack of infrastructure investment. And the perilous state of the (increasingly privatised) healthcare system. And the house price bubble. Hmm.

    Here are some nice pics of the formerUKoPB&A:

  95. hetty says:

    Oor Wullie 12.24

    The article that you mention also said that the uk credit rating had been reduced to AA status, it did not say when! Many people are not aware that this happened a few months back due to mismanagement of the economy by westminster. It is obvious that Scotland will do better WITHOUT our revenues being siphoned off to pay down to London, it is not rocket science.

  96. muttley79 says:

    The personalisation of Alex Salmond as being the entire Yes campaign is what the chap Robertson reported (I can’t remember his first name). Boothman and co were questioned about this very thing at Holyrood. They and the wider BBC obviously do not give a fuck about it.

  97. heedtracker says:

    Is there a Top of the Vote No pops chart for BBC vote no pressure propaganda like this one, like every Sunday evening Gavin Estler hosts their most aggressive, intelligence insulting top 40 vote No Scotland stuff of the week, Led Zep Whole lotta we hate you Slamond, how’s about that then guys and girls etc

    What a bunch but only £4,000,000,000 a year

  98. Alexandra-M- says:

    @ Oor Wullie…

    The problem with the economic issues and possibility of costs etc is extremely difficult to pin down before the referendum. Due to the fact that negotiations will not take place before a yes vote, we have no true idea how the monies from asset sharing will be supplied, when or how.

    Also, because of the way in which some taxes are collected, it means that revenues which should be on Scotland’s balance sheet are not allocated to Scotland due to being “non regional”. There’s also the fact that an independent Scotland will no longer have it’s tax earnings spent on projects from which we see no benefit, nor will we be funding the Houses of Commons and Lords.

    The reports from the credit ratings agencies won’t be taking this into account, because to be honest we won’t have a complete image of Scotland’s true financial position until the negotiations are complete and we take control of the full powers of income and expenditure.

    I wrote a blog a few weeks back which breaks down the GERS 2012/13 figures and breaks down how Scotland’s money was spent and by who.

  99. KennethC says:

    There is a ‘Donate’ section on the No Borders website.

    Not many takers so far- but there is a recent donation by a ‘James Dawnay’ of Biggar.

    Probably not related in any way to the James Dawnay of Biggar, former director of merchant bank SG Warburg and founder director of Mercury Asset Management.

    Grassroots indeed!

  100. Robert Kerr says:

    Contingency for a minuscule no vote. (probability vanishingly small).

    Complaint of all this bias, well documented and researched, to be submitted to Strasbourg and a rerun referendum requested.

    Keep up the good work Stu and all of the WoSers.

    Document every item and episode. Hope your archiving is well protected Stu. It could just possibly be needed.

    Even when we win the referendum there has to be a cleansing. Too much anger now and it won’t go away.

  101. Sydthesnake says:

    Why are “No Borders” marchers wearing balaclava’s on yesterdays post, are they too scared to be associated with this pile of manure, or is there something more sinister about them?

  102. Albert Herring says:

    Emailed the Electoral Commission to suggest they insist BBC Scotland registers with them as a campaigning group for a No vote.

    Got a reply!

    Dear Mr Herring

    Thank you for your email dated 29 April 2014

    The Electoral Commission is responsible for setting the standards for well-run elections and referendums and for regulating party and election finance. However, we have no remit in relation to the regulation of political balance in broadcasting output.

    Political impartiality in broadcast media is covered by the editorial guidelines relevant to that particular broadcaster. The BBC Trust is responsible for ensuring compliance with the BBC’s editorial guidelines on broadcasting during an election (the BBC is currently developing guidelines for the Scottish referendum). Ofcom is responsible for regulating commercial broadcasters’ compliance with the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.

    Yours sincerely

    Lindsey Hamilton
    Business Support Officer
    The Electoral Commission
    Lothian Chambers
    59-63 George IV Bridge
    Edinburgh EH1 1RN

    Isn’t that a shame.

  103. Ben says:

    Would complaining to OfCOM about the biased reporting do any good or are they in it as well?

  104. Nemo says:

    @BtP – I attempted to get the EC to ask the BBC to register. It seems that the BBC is regulated by OFCOM and the EC has NO powers regarding the BBC or any broadcast or print media.

    I also asked them to consider international monitors. Again, they have no powers over this – which btw also means that they cannot forbid it!

  105. CameronB says:

    Elizabeth Bashir, does appear to be the ‘go-to’ pensioner.
    (pp 2, col.2, para. 5)
    (pp 13 & 14)

  106. a2 says:

    It’s ok, the Oxford English dictionary and Collins have agreed to amend their definitions for”grass-roots”

  107. Tam Jardine says:

    Rev Stu

    Great post. They appear to have a free reign to campaign for BT without fear of being pulled up.

    O/t Ken you are busy – I need to learn how to capture bbc footage because the newsnight interview between Brewer and David Martin labour mep deserves a wider audience. Can you point me in the direction of a previous post explaining to a technological novice like myself how to grab it.

  108. Truth says:

    Can anyone, perhaps with Italian heritage please help me spell the elderly lady’s name on the VNB youtube video?

    Kathleen Piacara or something she says her name is.

    The reason I ask is that if these people all have a vote then they should be on the electoral register. I am struggling to find her.

    I’ve also been scanning the catalogues of online model/actor agencies to see if I can spot any of these people on them.

  109. a2 says:

    videos are great though.Might as well have said ” my golfing partner is well informed but I haven’t bothered to find out anything which is why he’s voting yes and I’m voting no”

  110. Sydthesnake says:

    If enough people complain to OFCOM regarding biased reporting in favour of bittertogether/No Borders then surely this will force them into at least taking the Bittertogether Broadcasting Collaborators to task or at leastget them to think twice before airing the pish they peddle.

  111. Ged says:

    I posted a link previously to a blog investigating the video and it has some interesting info about the retired lady. It would appear she is not as retired as stated and is quite well connected.

  112. Chic McGregor says:

    Same story when I complained to the advertising authority regarding an unsolicited email from BT requesting donations.

    It would have been illegal and within their remit if it were not political.

    It stinks.

    ‘Its political we can’t prevent it’ when it is pro union.

    ‘Its political we can’t allow it’ when it is a pro indy advert.

    Whither democracy?

  113. Doug Daniel says:

    Cath: “Also, given that this group are said to be raising £500,000 at least, and given their very obvious links to the media, just how does that fit into the £150K spending limit such groups are supposed to be restricted to?”

    They’ve got until the 30th May to spend as much as they can. It seems they intend to make a snazzy video (the recording will be costing quite a bit as it is as well) and paying for adverts to be shown in cinemas – so basically, anyone going to the cinema over the next few weeks will be forced to watch anti-independence propaganda.

    Which, actually, could have the opposite effect to what they intend…

  114. Green Bean says:

    It’s true we’re unlikely to be able to get OSCE observers to check on the fairness of the referendum. However, as far as I understand it, we are free to apply to the Electoral Commission to become observers ourselves, on an individual basis. See N.B. this would be under Scheme 2.

  115. Nana Smith says:

    I’m getting increasingly worried over the electoral commission’s stance on all this.Letting the cbi off the hook considering the evidence against them makes me think they are having their strings pulled. Did I read somewhere that the commission chap worked for the bbc.
    Surely Yes Scotland should be confronting the commission.

  116. Dr JM Mackintosh says:


    Yes – it is remarkable how well it is all co-ordinated. Breaking the Putin story days before it was published in GQ magazine, Russian planes and now this VNB piece. They even slipped in a few seconds of Wings and Bella to lull us into thinking they were changing.

    So the BBC must be one of the lead co-ordinators in all this propaganda – all very depressing.

    I have been trying to put complaints into the BBC on a regular basis in the naive belief that as they are a world renowned un-biased reporter of news, eventually they would take notice and change and moderate their behaviour – We are Scotland after all – Not North Korea or Iran.

    Even if we could get them to admit any hint of bias I just would not believe them any more – all trust is gone.

    I just feel completely betrayed by this latest VNB propaganda stunt.

    Derek Bateman – Sorry – I think now that they are just beyond hope.

    The BBC are finished in Scotland – they no longer represent us – time to cancel our licence fees and have a mass no-payment campaign.

  117. Chic McGregor says:

    OT haven’t noted the support for indy from Ken Stott. Don’t suppose it will cause too much in the way of grebus bodily harm (ouch!) to BT but his accompanying message was worth hearing by any wavering Lab supporters.

  118. Juteman says:

    My last post showing Offords connection to Corals the bookie vanished? Can he influence the odds being offered?

  119. Alexandra-M- says:

    I agree with mass non payment. I cancelled my license over a year ago now. Can honestly say I don’t miss it!

  120. Famous15 says:

    Did I hear correctly on BBC Reporting Scotland that powers had been give to Holyrood which effectively ends the bedroom tax? It was said very quickly so not sure of detail.Is this just a case that Holyrood can screw its own budget to end the effect or have they been given powers to rescind the legislation. Any info anyone?

  121. TYRAN says:

    # Why build another waalllll

    What next? Yoga flying? It’s like something out of a Natural Law Party broadcast.

  122. liz says:

    Completely O/T but I think Munguin’s Republic is under some kind of attack as I have twice tried to open their site and it goes mental covering my computer with endless copies.

    I don’t know if the person who runs it is aware of the problem

  123. bookie from hell says:

    grassroots—my @rse (|)

  124. bookie from hell says:

    ( ! )

  125. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @ Liz

    Opens OK for me on Mac OS and Firefox browser.

  126. muttley79 says:

    Apologies for going O/T but I was reading Scottish Review, and saw this article by David Black. Towards the end of the article he says:

    The wooden spoon for doltishness in this hotly contested field of institutional ignorance must go to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, however. I happened to be there to attend a lecture on the National Galleries’ last Scots-born director, Stanley Cursiter (he resigned in 1948) and took a detour to the information desk on the way out. This was simply out of my curiosity to find out if the gallery had a portrait of the late Margo MacDonald on display. Most people would agree, whatever they think of the lady’s political views, that she was about as high as you can get in the name-recognition stakes, so I didn’t really expect the response my simple inquiry elicited.

    Can you tell me what that person is famous for?’ asked the woman behind the desk. Does one laugh, cry, or just emigrate?

    I added the bold for highlighting.

  127. TheItalianJob says:

    @Truth at 1.38

    Try these.




  128. Robert Louis says:

    You know, there has been much hand-wringing lately in some quarters worrying about repairing the damage of such a nasty independence campaign. Some worry, that if there is a NO vote, that YES supporters (some of them) may hold it against those who voted NO – and vice versa.

    I can say right here and now, that is completely unfounded. It is this blatantly biased propagandist, dishonest, manipulative London controlled state mouthpiece called the BBC and its London-worshipping unionista media acolytes who I will hold responsible.

    It will not be the NO voters fault, if they vote NO after mistakenly believing the daily bare faced lies of the blatantly biased BBC, and the English controlled ‘news’papers, masquerading as the ‘scottish’ press.

    Make no mistake, the BBC is finished in Scotland. They should be run out of town. They are an affront and an OBSTRUCTION to democracy in Scotland. Shame on them. Shame on ALL of them.

  129. Kev says:

    Well we’ve had the Wings campaign highlighting the bias of the print media in Scotland, think its time for one along the lines of “We all pay the BBC to be an impartial source of news, but are they?” – then links to all wings articles about the BBC. In the meantime, every person you speak to about independence, must be reminded several times that the BBC are pro-unionist liars.

  130. Juteman says:

    Is the site under attack again?
    Three posts of mine have vanished/not posted.

  131. Roboscot says:

    The answer to this sort of thing is always the same. Share articles on social media. Talk to family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues. Be motivated by their propaganda.

  132. Albert Herring says:

    Ofcom only regulates commercial broadcasters. The BBC is regulated by the BBC Trust, which can only be one of those amazing coincidences.

  133. JimF says:

    Look out Gavin, there’s a big lion beside you!


    Mild peril.

  134. a supporter says:

    Rev, further to your piece above and Craig Murray’s I believe that what we are witnessing is a secret move by the Tories to take over the running of the NO campaign and to sideline Darling and BT because of their ineffectiveness so far. Where is Darling? He seems to have disappeared from public view as the face of BT.

    In my view the MPs et al in London who have been clamouring for a change of NO strategy have set up a front organisation in London with a Scot as the spokesman on the ground in Scotland. A prominent London Tory leading the NO campaign would not be acceptable because of the Tories’ toxicity in Scotland And clearly NoBorders is well in cahoots with the BBC. I wonder who else is on board?

    I think this NoBorders campaign is going to be the “we love you campaign” which BT and Darling could not in all honesty pursue after the earlier Smear, Sneer, Fear Project.

    Beware everyone and tweet and post wherever you can links to both Wings’ and Craig Murray’s articles.

  135. call me dave says:

    Cheer up, be happy! As mentioned yesterday on Prof Curtis site, the Herald has a similar article today see below.
    Can’t archive the Herald any more but it’s not that long.

    The study has found the Yes ­supporters’ determination to cast their ballot is likely to add two percentage points to the independence campaign’s share of the final vote.

    If the findings of the ScotCen social research centre are correct, the two sides appear to be effectively neck and neck, with 138 days to go to the referendum judging by one recent poll.

    An ICM survey last month put support for Yes on 48% compared with 52% for No when don’t-knows were discounted – showing the pro-independence campaign would require a swing of two percentage points to draw level.

    However, a YouGov poll for Channel 4 News last night showed a much wider 16-point gap between the two sides, with support for Yes on 42% and for No on 58% after the undecideds were stripped out.

    Better Together, the cross-party pro-UK campaign, last night said the ScotCen study showed No voters had to fight hard for victory.

    The respected Edinburgh-based ­institute based its analysis on nearly 1500 responses to the most recent Scottish Social Attitudes Survey. Based on recent polls, it predicted an overall turnout of between 70% and 80%.

    It found 90% of clear Yes supporters were more likely than not to cast their ballot on polling day, compared with 86% of clear No supporters, giving the pro-independence side a four-point advantage.

    Looking at undecided voters, the study, conducted over a five-month period last year, found those leaning towards No were 19% less likely to say they would probably cast their vote than those leaning towards Yes.

    Taking all voters into account, the report said the greater likelihood of Yes supporters voting “is enough to add two points to the Yes side’s estimated share of the vote”.

    It described these as “differences that could matter”.

    Dr Jan Eichhorn, research fellow at Edinburgh University, who compiled the data, said: “While the overall turnout in the referendum is expected to be high, around 70% to 80%, there could still be a higher turnout among Yes than No supporters. In a tight race, this could be crucial.”

    Professor John Curtice, of Strathclyde University, the research consultant at ScotCen, said: “The proportion of those who say they are likely to vote has increased as the campaigns have developed.

    “Far from putting people off, the campaigns are resonating with the public. But both campaigns evidently still need to make sure their supporters participate in the referendum come polling day.”

    A Better Together spokesman said: “This analysis shows that everyone who believes that we are stronger and better together as part of the UK has to campaign for it and they have to vote for it. This is the biggest decision that we will ever take as a nation.

    “It is too important to leave to other people.”

    Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins said: “This suggests that more and more people are listening to the real facts and figures instead of ‘Project Fear’ scaremongering. They realise that, of the two futures facing their country, they are more likely to come out and vote for independence.”

    Figures from the National Records of Scotland showed 98,000 of 16 and 17-year-olds have been registered to vote in the referendum, representing about 80% of the total.

    In all 4.12 million people – the country’s biggest ever electorate – are signed up to take part in the historic vote.

    Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It is excellent news that so many of Scotland’s young people have seized the opportunity to choose what type of country they want Scotland to be.

    “Our young people have responsibility for Scotland’s future so it is only right that they are able to have a say in the most important vote to be held in Scotland for three centuries. And this level of interest clearly demonstrates that giving the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds is clearly the right thing to do.”

    SNP business convener Derek Mackay said the Channel 4 News/YouGov poll was “encouraging”, adding that it provided “further proof that more and more people are moving to Yes as the referendum draws closer”.

    “In recent months, support for Yes has grown significantly. A poll of polls published today found average support for Yes rising from 38% in November last year to 45% in April. Meanwhile, support for a No vote is falling steadily.”

  136. Michael says:

    Please can wingers help fund this real grass roost campaign. Thanks.

  137. Mosstrooper says:

    This is a war, plain and simple, and we would be well advised to remember that. Expect much much worse to come. The British state has form here, just think of all those freedom fighters we were taught to hate at school as we worshipped at the big wall map with all these pink bits.

    Speaking for myself the propaganda didn’t take thanks to staunchly Scottish parents but there must have been hundreds of thousands who have swallowed the lies. No more.

    This campaign has electrified the population like never before. Canvassing results around this area, renfrewshire, is showing positive for YES with D/K’s running at two or three to one leaning to YES and it is in the schemes and the newly registered voters we are winning.

    Be of good faith and let’s take this battle “into their very beards”

  138. Mary Bruce says:

    Oops, looks like I’ve been silenced by the No Borders facebook page and have been banned from making any more comments. Anyone else had their posts deleted?

    Oh well, looks like I’ll have to log back in later with one of the other facebook accounts from when I was getting deleted by better together for posting the truth. Next time I will take screen clips.

  139. Mosstrooper says:

    Why am I being moderated ?

  140. seanair says:

    I went to the Annie Lennox exhibition there a few months back. I thought it was produced in Scotland but found references to a Museum in London from which it was on loan. I gradually realised that there was no mention of AL and Dave Stewart being Scottish!
    I spoke to the young girl patrolling the exhibition and asked her why this was the case, but she couldn’t tell me because she was Spanish!

  141. wee e says:

    What are they singing? Why Bliddy Wail? I need a bigger sceen to see those lyrics.

  142. Cath says:

    On the plus side, I just googled no borders to see how to join them and the results coming back are all for the anarchist no borders at all campaign, including a protest at the UKBA in Glasgow against deportation of immigrants.

  143. call me dave says:

    Mary Bruce

    It is inevitable that the ‘vote no borders’ will fold soon after trying to ban and delete tactics fail.

    I just posted on the site normally (don’t face book or tweet)a minute ago.

  144. Brendan says:

    Well done to WOS for highlighting all of this. Can we compare the amount of national news time given to this report to the amount of time given to the CBI debacle?

  145. joe kane says:

    The best democracy money can buy.

    Only the Unionists could think it a great idea to set up a phoney grassroots organisation in order to astroturf their own official campaign.

    The VNB songsters reminded me of the worst that cheesy commercialised Christian evangelism has to offer. Really plastic and phoney. Their god-awful twee-ness was about as far removed from anything spontaneous and grassroots as its possible to get.

  146. CameronB says:

    Following on from call me dave’s post.

    “…determination is the key to success in politics, in the broadest sense of the word. You don’t need many resources to make your voice heard when you are defending a cause you believe to be just…” Padre André Sibomana

    André Sibomana (1954-1998) was a Rwandan priest and journalist and an exemplary figure in the Rwandan genocide. He was also a human rights activist and a founder of the Rwandan Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Person and of Public Liberties, which is there to record information on all human rights violations occurring in Rwanda and publish them in a report.

  147. galamcennalath says:

    Project Smear. We should note it was an ex Labour spin merchant who set up AS in regard to Putin. I’m not saying this and No Borders are unrelated, however, is it possible the Putin smear is a Labour driven scheme ahead of the EU Election? Labour don’t want to see SNP coming out well in that.

    You can detect a difference in the way Putin stuff and No Borders were taken up by the MSM. the Putin story crawled out of the gutter more slowly. The No Borders Project appears to have been better prepared. It flew out of the underworld in a blaze of MSM publicity. I would say a lot more preparation had gone into No Borders launch.

    Putin was an opportunity the MSM ran with. No Borders has been a while in the planning.

  148. liz says:

    @Mosstrooper – I think you’re right about the No campaign take over.

    It just goes to show how many inept folk have made it to the top in Labour, Scottish branch.

    This of course is not surprising as people lacking in intelligence or talent are very useful tools cos they know, deep down, they are not up to the job but want all the rewards.

    If they had carried out their campaign in a completely different way at the start they would have won – I’m not saying Yes has won.

    All they needed to do was to say – we want you to remain in this union, we admire and respect you, we know how much you have contributed etc and even put in writing some reward as eg a small percentage of the oil revenue to be spent by the SG.

    They would have got the rUK on board with this as it could have been spun to make it acceptable.

    So they have done it all wrong, completely totally and utterly f***ed it up.

    However I think they have left it too late cos there is so much info out there now and we know they will lie through their teeth until they get what they want.

    And O/T according to the latest figures the UK has the 2nd worse % of child deaths in Europe – better together my arse – we are now heading back to Dickensian times.

    PS Dave Stewart is from the North of England.

  149. Mat says:

    And here, much earlier than expected, is then contemptuous response from the BBC regarding my complaint about their membership of the CBI and the fact that a part, however small, of my payment to them was passed on to a partisan body:

    Thanks for contacting us.

    We note your unhappiness that the BBC has not resigned from CBI over the business group’s referendum stance.

    In common with Sky, ITV and Channel 4 the BBC is a member of the CBI as part of its role as a major UK and international media business. The BBC’s membership has no bearing on its impartiality or news coverage. The BBC announced that it would suspend its membership of the CBI, during the CBI’s registration period under the terms of the Scottish Referendums Act 2013, from 30th May until 18th September. Following the recent announcement that the CBI would withdraw its registration, the BBC has said it will consider its position in due course.

    We hope this information is helpful in addressing your concerns and please know your comments have been registered on our audience log. The audience logs are important documents that can help shape future decisions and ensures that your points, and all other comments we receive, are made available to BBC staff across the Corporation.

    Kind Regards

    BBC Complaints

    So, that’s alright then. State broadcaster? Impartiality? Nah mate, we’re an international media business.

  150. Brotyboy says:

    The VNB songsters reminded me of the worst that cheesy commercialised Christian evangelism has to offer.

    I am reminded of the failed pop star David Grant starting a ‘Christian Pop Group’ in the Eighties I think. Never to be heard of again.

    Indeed, if he had never met his wife we would still never have heard from him and he would still know SFA about singing.

  151. lizbogue69 says:

    I have been bombarded with requests to like Vote No Borders and it has been difficult to understand what they were about as the picture showed no borders between loads of countries but the message was anti-independence. I finally realised it was simply another element of the Project Fear tactics. I wonder if other readers have been invited to become a friend of “Elliott Steven” on facebook? He is the person who has been asking me to “like” Vote No Borders. Why? He appears to have “friends” who are clearly pro-independence.

  152. Nemo says:

    @Albert Herring, I was told Ofcom for BBC, sounds like the EC not as clued up as they should be. Decided not to waste any more time with them. They have helpful people who answer with the “party line”. I don’t think that we can expect anything from them except obedience to their Lords and Masters in Westminster.

  153. Les Wilson says:

    John King
    Got it right on a late post last night, this IS an ASTROTURF campaign.

  154. Peter Sneddon says:

    Just found this neo- con report compiled by this mob’s sponsor. It’s eye watering stuff!

  155. bunter says:

    I have been getting vote no borders on my timeline too.

  156. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Right that’s it. I’ve been sitting around stewing over this for long enough. I’ve just sent an e-mail, twice, to the BBC. First one was fired off to the BBC direct and the second, for good measure, was fired off to the BBC Trust. 😛

    I am not expecting anything positive to be received from either recipient but hey who knows all those flying pigs I keep seeing may yet have a purpose after all. 🙂

  157. gerry parker says:

    @Alexandra-M- 1:27

    Excellent clear analysis, I’ll spread this link far and wide.

  158. Walter Scott says:

    Is it now time for all licence fee payers to stop paying for this propaganda. No matter what the result of referendum is.
    If there is a no vote, will all the anti independence forces mustered against the democratic voices in this country really claim victory? Will they proclaim victory without a deeply troubled electorate being somewhat concerned at the tactics used to ensure that victory. Pravda is part of the no campaign now. I always thought the Beeb was a benign force for good. If, heaven forbid the yes campaign doesn’t prevail then this wretched organisation has seen the last of my money.

  159. galamcennalath says:

    Derek Bateman analyses the situation rather well ….

  160. Andy-B says:

    Saw this on the news today,it really does prove, that the BBC are completely and utterly biased in favour of the union. it beggars belief that at this late stage BT and Westminster are trying to create a grass roots movement, with Tory money,and corrupt media coverage,no one will fall for it.

  161. gerry parker says:

    @lizbogue69. 3:07
    Don’t know Facebook, don’t use either it or twitter.
    Any mileage in friending it, only to subsequently unfriend it?

  162. galamcennalath says:

    Andy-B says:

    Saw this on the news today,it really does prove, that the BBC are completely and utterly biased in favour of the union. it beggars belief that at this late stage BT and Westminster are trying to create a grass roots movement, with Tory money,and corrupt media coverage,no one will fall for it.

    I find Derek Bateman’s position interesting. Link above.

    He reckons the BBC have lost their basic journalistic skills such that a bunch of London PR spivs can so easily hoodwink them.

    My gut feeling is, like yours Andy, that the BBC are biased. DB suggests it’s incompetence. Thing is, he does understand the BBC.

    Suppose it does really matter whether it’s by design or by stupidly, the BBC have lost all credibility.

  163. Kenny says:

    Astroturf is unique. It can be reported as growing in Scotland while all its roots are in England…

  164. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I think I must congratulate you here Stu. Setting up that No Borders website was a BRILLIANT idea. 🙂 I mean where else can so many YES supporters gather in one place and discuss all the important issues of the day. 😛 I mean it’s not as if there are very many YES supporting types who visit Wings unfortunate;y. 😉

  165. Sheila says:

    I really think its sboit time that the public voted with their feet and stop paying for their tv licence. Why should our money be used to prop up such an anti-Scottish organisation. I’m disgusted

  166. fairiefromtheearth says:

    Cmon who watches this shit? you would have to have an IQ of 25 to belive it,like ive said before i used to hate Alex Salmond, then i stopped reading the sun and everything A.S said after that i agreed with because i started to listen to what he was saying not what the sun said he said 😉

  167. Truth says:


    Thanks very much.

    However, none of those check out.

    I am always suspicious of things like this and whether these are real identities or not.

    What is she doing defending the union if she’s not even registered to vote?

  168. fairiefromtheearth says:

    can anybody name one good thing about this union?

  169. Robert Peffers says:

    @Rev Stuart: ““Here in the very heart of Glasgow, in fact almost anywhere you go anywhere in Scotland, you’re never far away from some monument or memorial to our 300 years of shared British history.”

    Hang on there Rev Stuart! That would refer to all the Scottish WAR MEMORIALS, would it not?

  170. Arbroath 1320 says:

    fairiefromtheearth says:

    can anybody name one good thing about this union?

    It’s broken?

    Oh no wait a minute that’s not positive enough an answer is it wait a minute…David Cameron, no not positive enough I don’ think…NUKES! yes that’s it we have NUKES!

    Erm, on second thoughts maybe nukes isn’t the answer either… we’re Obama’s wee lap dog…no that’s not it… we rule the world… ach that was stupid we did once but no any more, America does that now…

    I think I’m struggling here ffte I think the answer is we should just forget the question and leave the broken union. 🙂

  171. Mat says:

    @Truth – it’s most likely Piecara and indeed there are a fair few results on G.

  172. Mat says:

    Sorry, bolding that didn’t help – p i e c a r a

  173. Kenny says:

    I got a reply to my complaint about the CBI/BBC affair. It’s a pretty dreadful answer and completely ignored my question about controlling for bias in other departments, e.g. Rory the Tory’s show or Tom Morton writing in the Grauniad.

    Thanks for contacting us. We note your unhappiness that the BBC has not resigned from CBI over the business group’s referendum stance. In common with Sky, ITV and Channel 4 the BBC is a member of the CBI as part of its role as a major UK and international media business. The BBC’s membership has no bearing on its impartiality or news coverage. The BBC announced that it would suspend its membership of the CBI, during the CBI’s registration period under the terms of the Scottish Referendums Act 2013, from 30th May until 18th September. Following the recent announcement that the CBI would withdraw its registration, the BBC has said it will consider its position in due course. We hope this information is helpful in addressing your concerns and please know your comments have been registered on our audience log. The audience logs are important documents that can help shape future decisions and ensures that your points, and all other comments we receive, are made available to BBC staff across the Corporation. Kind Regards BBC Complaints This is sent from an outgoing account only which is not monitored. You cannot reply to this email address but if necessary please contact us via our webform quoting any case number we provided.

  174. Mat says:

    Yep, same as mine. Boilerplate. They also ignored my main point. Fingers in ears and tongues somewhere else entirely.

  175. Robert Peffers says:

    I always say I’m Scottish, British, European and I’ve voted SNP for around 60 years.

    I will also be a YES voter in the Scottish Referendum and a no voter in the UK, “Out of Europe”, referendum.

    What’s more I will still be Scottish, British, European and an SNP voter after Scotland is endependent.

  176. fairiefromtheearth says:

    Whats all this shit about Putin,are the MSM not happy that crimea and eastern ukrane where the population are 80% russian,want to chose their own destiny ohhh does that not add up well for the west,nato i wouldent join that if you had a gun stuck in my mouth no to nukes no to an alliance with CUNTS who have nukes oh and no to nuclear power because their is a lot safer and CLEANER fuels fuck coal is cleaner than nuclear a rant 😉

  177. James123 says:

    The worst thing is that the BBC know that websites like this are on to what they’re doing but they really don’t give a shit. They know that no other TV channel, newspaper or any other mainstream media outlet will call them out. They can literally do what they want.

    Doesn’t it just send a shiver down your spine when you realise exactly what kind of country we live in.

  178. Truth says:

    Thanks Mat

    But that too doesn’t yield any results on the electoral register.

    Most of the google results are from the USA.

  179. Ian Clarke says:

    I have this afternoon sent the following formal complaint to the BBC:

    The coverage of the Scotland independence campaign by the BBC has been biassed for many months. This is evidenced in academic research by the University of West Scotland, which MacQuarrie has attacked but failed to rebut.

    The BBC’s coverage of the ‘launch’ of the Vote NO Borders group has been the very antithesis of professional journalism. How can a Scottish ‘grass-roots’ campaign be launched by a London-based millionaire; how can a ‘grass-roots’ campaign raise £400k in days? How does it get to employ a PR agency that works for the UK government? And has its website registered in the name of a senior employee of the Bank of England?

    How does such a campaign be judged to be ‘gathering momentum’ in a piece to camera recorded BEFORE the campaign was launched?

    Why was the background of the campaign’s funders and designers not explored?

    Can the BBC point to any similar puffs, broadcast without analysis, for a single one of the YES campaign groups?

    I believe the BBC to be in serious breach of its charter and that it is doing so consciously, by policy. This amounts to serious misbehaviour in public office, which is a criminal offence by the individuals concerned.

    I am a past chair of the Ofcom Advisory Committee for Wales, but this complaint is made in a personal capacity.

  180. @Mary Bruce

    Ive also noticed some of my posts on VNB Facebook page have been deleted.only a matter of time I guess,but I doubt this site will last more than a month or so any way.

    Off to do some REAL grassroots campaigning tonight,just got 300 YES newspapers to deliver…

  181. magnus barelegs says:

    I notice on the VNB Youtube channel they have disabled the comments section, these people do not like the truth do they?

  182. YESGUY says:

    brilliant piece and now we all know the gloves are off in the dirty tactics dept of the EBC

    Saw it splashed all over facebook and the like . What an own goal. seriously almost every one can see the under-hand tactics for what they are.

    The nazi party were amateurs compared to the beeb.

    Cant think anyone will believe them again. This is what we can expect from now till the 18th

    Yes votes are rising every day , keep the faith everyone .
    Rev after the 18th you’ll have my vote if you stand as a Scots MP

    thank you all for your amazing efforts. Scotland will be independent.

  183. joe kane says:

    Useful wiki entry on the technique being used by the BBC and VNB to attack and undermine democracy in Scotland –

  184. Craig says:

    Posted a couple of comments last night on the votenoborders site. Both comments were very neutral. Noticed today that all comments have been removed from everyone and it is no longer possible to make comments.

    This might be something to do with every single commment bar 2 being pro independence.

  185. Mat says:

    Naughty. But nice.

  186. call me dave says:

    VNB was sending me a new email for every comment made on the site

    Last one was posted by Steve Dickson at 16:34. I was deleting them but got about 15 still in my in tray.

    I have contacted them to query why comments closed. Got a reply at 17:52 thanking me and one of the team will be in touch soon?

    I can hardly contain myself! 🙂

  187. Archie says:

    Born in the West Highlands, spoke Gaelic ’till I was 5. Parents told to speak only English as it was affecting my education. Left home at 15 to join Royal Navy and circumstances prevent me from participating in the referendum as I now live in England and can’t go home without wrecking the family. Wish I could vote, but as I can’t, I hope it is fair.

  188. Grouse Beater says:

    At some BBC executive discussions attended representatives of MI5 also attended.

    I assume in this case the BBC was handed the instruction to promote “No Borders” Day One of its existence, which it duly did without any attempt at objectivity or balanace.

    I keep having to repeat the obvious to people: BBC Scotland is in thrall to BBC London, both servants of the British establishment.

    If the NO vote beats democratic justice the BBC will have been party to it in a significant way.

    That includes the Alex Salmond sketch broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s “The Now Show” today. Amusing but without a Cameron joke.

  189. jon esquierdo says:

    A drowning man will grasp at a straw

  190. Paula Rose says:

    I think VNB are re- considering their chi re assorted ongoing issues related to demographic despondencies that are at odds with national objectives, having not paid due attention to specific cultural variancies.

  191. Paula Rose says:

    You know – I use their words but they get red underlined.

  192. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Paula Rose says:

    I think VNB are re- considering their chi re assorted ongoing issues related to demographic despondencies that are at odds with national objectives, having not paid due attention to specific cultural variancies.

    Whit? 😛

    What on earth are on tonight Paula, right meds WRONG Dose. 🙂

  193. Grouse Beater says:

    “No Borders” website is an obvious phony. However …

    Gavin Esler and his producer need to be challenged to identify their sources – how it was they had a news piece ready to broadcast at the point of the website’s inception, a news item without objectivity or “balance.”

    Do we have a newspaper prepared to do that?

    Will Offered appear on a televsion news ineterview tonight?

  194. Dare Allan says:

    This is like something from The Day Today. It’s comical and sad at the same time, an indictment on our society.

    Why do we have to destroy The Borders? Who are these people who hate rugby playing yokels so much they want them Ethnically Cleansed. Vote Yes, save your friends in Kelso and Peebles, don’t let them be destroyed by this campaign.

  195. clochoderic says:

    No doubt if Gavin Esler were sent on assignment to North Korea he would be struck by the prosperity and happiness of the locals and report all the grass roots devotion to their leader that they show.

  196. jon esquierdo says:

    He who pays the ferryman calls the tune.

  197. Graeme Doig says:

    ‘Roboscot at 2.13pm’

    Spot on. I’ve found folk really interested in, and convinced by, the truth. Well done Wings for challenging all this muck and giving us the ammo to make converts to the cause.

    Keep up the good work people

    Got to be YES

  198. Jamie Smith says:

    Excellent article. Although just to note, I can actually think of two monuments TO the union in Scotland. But only two…

    the Wallace monument in Stirling (believe it or not)
    and the Wallace monument on the Union Bridge in Aberdeen.

    Both were constructed during the 19th century, where people took an antiquarian view of history and actually believed Wallace was pro-Union with England and wanted to preserve our independence until a time when the countries could unite as equals. But yes, those are the only exceptions to that…

  199. Morag Graham Kerr says:

    Keep it up BBC… you’re handing us the victory on a plate.

    No they really aren’t.

    You’re right, it might backfire. But frankly if we lose this it will be down to the BBC. Everybody knows newspapers punt their own editorial line, but many people honestly look to the BBC for the straight dope.

    If the BBC were being honest, we’d be romping home already.

  200. Chic McGregor says:

    Jane Smith

    I believe the Scottish historiographer Charles Rogers was the first to propose the Wallace monument on Abbey Craig in 1852. Indeed he fought off a subsequent proposal to build it instead on Glasgow Green. A cursory reading of his writing regarding Wallace can leave little doubt that he was as convinced that Wallace imbued the spirit of liberty as were the people at large and from whence the bulk of the funding came. Unlike the funding for the Scott Monument.

  201. Chic McGregor says:

    Sorry, Jamie Smith

  202. Niall Maclennan says:

    My favourite monument to the Union in the Highlands is the Duke of Sutherland on Ben Bhraggie. He was an upstanding man and did so much for the local economy and the indigenous people. His agent Patrick Sellar was loved by all. My second favourite is Fort George.

  203. Chic McGregor says:


    The Sutherlands were of exemplary character, as Marx himself made clear in Das Kapital.

  204. Charles Gibb says:

    Thanks Stu, For all your hard work.Much apreciated. From Dyslexics are us.

  205. Craig says:

    Derek Bateman has been widely critisised by his own readers, including our Morag, for yet again being a BBC apologist.

    Does that man have a hidden agenda?

  206. Morag Graham Kerr says:

    Cognitive dissonance, as someone observed. It’s like someone discovering their wife was cheating on them all the time they were married. He doesn’t want to believe it.

  207. Taysideterrier says:

    You’ve got to hand it to the pr company (government dept) i suppose,
    They convinced or more probably colluded with the right people, got air time and left the rest of their advertising to folk like us to help spread the word.
    They need held to account but I’m not holding my breath. I think it will only get worse

  208. Jynxz Charm says:

    Edinburgh itself was created as a memorial to the Union. Guessing that is why it was chosen as the setting for this broadcast.

  209. alex mahon says:

    The BBC is a government propaganda Channel. It’s a shame because otherwise it’s the best around.

  210. Kenny says:

    Craig – I think Derek Bateman gets a hard time despite being someone who knows how the BBC works. As far as I can tell, the problem is in large part down to lack of resources and BT feed them better stories on a consistent basis. Also, they’re framed by a relatively reasonable idea that because they want to change the status quo which everyone understands, so any challenge to the Yes side is a valid story. The problem is that modern news media don’t have the time to do meaningful inveztigative reporting. Bateman’s proposition is that journalists are not the enemy – managers and editors are. I think that’s fair. What are they going to do? Quit? And then what? Go and work for Scotland’s other all-powerful national broadcaster?

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