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Wings Over Scotland

We are redundant

Posted on January 03, 2013 by

The only downside to the success of Wings Over Scotland’s first year was that the site took up so much time it had a damaging effect on our finances. (So extra-special thanks to those who contributed a few quid via the Donate page to help keep us in webhosting and 35p pasta.) Luckily, it looks as though we’ll be able to give up and get back to some proper paid writing work shortly, as there’s someone who’s decided to do our job for us far more effectively than we could ever hope to. (Link added.)

“No campaigners must publicise the fact that this is as good as it gets […] With a No win little is going to change. Right here, right now you can see the kind of country we are going to be living in. No use kidding on that there is going to be some great dramatic change.”

Thanks for that, Michael Kelly of the Scotsman. We couldn’t have put it better.

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44 to “We are redundant”

  1. Bill C says:

    Abandon all hope, all ye who vote no.

  2. Luigi says:

    With the amazing One Nation business and the now inevitable end to universal benefits, it appears that the Labour party is going for broke. Possibly buoyed up by recent opinion polls, they are desperate to avoid being in a position of having to promise the scots something different if they vote no in 2014. At least there is some honesty there – that’s it folks, no jam tomorrow. Now now, not tomorrow, not ever. So don;t get your hopes up, don’t even think about it. if we vote no in 2014, we are one nation, and that is the UK. Of course, it will be very interesting to see how confident Labour are should the (independence) polls swing against them. Remember how adamant they were about no poll tax freeze, only to u-turn in panic just before the 2011 election? Well, if jam tomorrow suddenly reappears a few months before October 2014 (and it may well do), they are going to look as foolish as they did in 2011.

  3. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    I preferred this quote:

    “There are many of us who do not feel that the Better Together campaign has to be positive. If you’re landed with fighting for a No it seems the logical place to start. With a No win little is going to change. Right here, right now you can see the kind of country we are going to be living in.”

  4. scottish_skier says:

    Watch out if you’ve had enough to eat over Christmas, you could lose your benefits:

    Means testing for winter fuel benefits also being pondered: 

    What a lovely, caring society the UK is becoming. If you are old, disabled, ill, overweight, unemployed, homeless… then you are the source of all the UK’s ills. Unionist parties would probably suggest gassing these people if only they could find a way to means test for eligibility.

  5. Luigi says:

    “Poll tax”!!!!!! Ach, me mind’s still scrambled. I’m beginning to sound like a Labour councilor. Apologies.

  6. Turnbull Drier says:

    “Her performances at First Minister’s Questions have destroyed the God-like way Alex Salmond formerly bestrode the chamber”
    errm, really…
    I’m guessing that Mr Kelly is still slightly jaked after the Hogmany excesses…
    Perhaps a little lie down in a darkend room may be required for the reality to kick in, but then again perhaps the reality will never kick in…

  7. scottish_skier says:

    I went to see Michael Kelly at the Fringe last summer. Was absolutely hilarious. Better than the Scottish Labour conference.

  8. Scotswhahea says:

    scottish_skier says:
    “Unionist parties would probably suggest gassing these people ”
    Well right now they are practicing with the LIVERPOOL PATHWAY, so they are getting rid one way or the other.. 

  9. Training Day says:

    I recommend Gogol’s ‘Diary of a Madman’.

    It’s funnier and more insightful than Kelly, although not quite as insane.

  10. JLT says:

    Hi Rev,

    To be honest, Rev, I didn’t even see the ‘Donate’ or ‘Subscribe’ buttons after all this time. I think you have it in the wrong place as it is small and hidden amongst other ‘icons’ and therefore, can be invisible to the eye. You need to have a big ‘DONATE’ icon in the top right hand corner (and I mean …’BIG’). Remove it from the ‘Sponsors’ field, and have it in its own unique place.

    Hope this helps !!   

  11. Willie Zwigerland says:

    “Unionists want to gas the poorest” you really encapsulate the hysterical cybernat stereotype perfectly!

  12. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Well at least he’s honest.

    Darling said as much a couple of months ago. A NO vote would mean only extra trivial powers and all Westminster parties would have to agree to them.

    I think that translates to you aint seen nothin’ yet, with regard to scaremongering from the unionist craters.   

  13. scottish_skier says:

    Och Wullie Z, you’ve no sense of humour, not even a bad one. Must be all that fretting over paying for the feckless joblessness huh.

    You know fine well what’s going on. You are no fool. A wee reminder.

    Even Labour are on this bandwagon now and it will destroy Great Britain. It already is; will cease to exist as a state soon and this rightwards march will be a major factor in its demise.

    Take away the welfare state/universalism and there is nothing to bind the country together. We literally cease to be ‘all in it together’. It’s not rocket science.


  14. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    ““Unionists want to gas the poorest” you really encapsulate the hysterical cybernat stereotype perfectly!”

    I’m genuinely curious, Willie: what is it you imagine you’re achieving for your cause with posts like that? Everyone can see that you’ve deliberately taken something out of context and misrepresented it in order to make a tedious smear about “hysterical cybernats”. I’d honestly like to know who it is you picture reading your comment and being persuaded away from a Yes vote.

  15. Seasick Dave says:


    What is your honest opinion on the Michael Kelly piece?


  16. Willie Zwigerland says:

    Rev Stu, I’m not trying to persuade anyone of anything – just thought you may welcome an occasional provocative dissenting comment to prevent the site becoming too much of an echo-chamber. Like you I live in England so don’t have a side, although I’m yet to be persuaded of the case for Yes, if that’s what the Scottish people vote for then so be it.

    Seasick Dave – i only scanned it briefly, obviously the account of Lamont’s performance in Holyrood is a little one-sided :), interesting that the Devo-max push is now being clearly shelved.

  17. scottish_skier says:

    Just to add to my last post, a bit of a re-hash of past comments, but…

    The last peak of Britishness (coinciding with the lowest support for full Scottish independence) was the post-war era 50’s/60’s. Why? Well we had all just come through two wars together, but far more important was that this was the time of the welfare state, of nationalised industries. It was the time where ‘British’ things bound the peoples of the UK together. The NHS, British Coal, British steel… From Cornwall to Shetland we all picked up the British Telecom phone or jumped on a British rail train.
    In the period 1979-1997, nationalised industries were removed from Scotland. The British was literally taken out of Scotland. And look what happened…. Scotland was ready to leave and only devolution kept it in the UK.
    Now the one thing that still tenuously binds Scotland to the UK, the one thing that we share with our southern neighbours, is being dismantled progressively. Yes, that’s the welfare state and its demise is a major factor in the final demise of Great Britain. Will probably be the main factor.
    After all, you can’t build a nation based on individualism. For nation building, you need to build a society, and a society requires an element of socialism, like it or not.

    The deep irony in Ed’s One Nation right-wing vision is not lost on me. It was the same for Thatcher when she said ‘This [her policies] is what is building one nation‘ when the exact opposite was the case and very obviously so.

  18. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I’m not trying to persuade anyone of anything – just thought you may welcome an occasional provocative dissenting comment to prevent the site becoming too much of an echo-chamber.”

    I’m all for those. I just generally prefer provocative dissenting comments to have some sort of actual point or argument to make, rather than being cheap trolling for the sake of it.

  19. Bill C says:

    “I’m genuinely curious, Willie: what is it you imagine you’re achieving for your cause with posts like that? Everyone can see that you’ve deliberately taken something out of context and misrepresented it in order to make a tedious smear about “hysterical cybernats”. I’d honestly like to know who it is you picture reading your comment and being persuaded away from a Yes vote.”

    Spot on Rev., however as we all know, old folk will die this winter because they cannot afford to heat their homes and that fact alone, in energy rich Scotland is a scandal. There are many reasons why I want self determination for Scotland, saving old folk from dying alone in their unheated homes is one of them.

    The smear from Willie Z is beneath contempt. 

  20. Seasick Dave says:


    Thanks for your reply.

    The whole reason for Independence is to make our country a better place and all the people you see on here are devoted to seeing Scotland become a normal nation.

    People like Michael Kelly don’t appear to have the interests of Scotland at heart and he comes across as provocative and ignorant.

    Hopefully, in time, you will see the merits of Independence and maybe come to live among us!



  21. Willie Zwigerland says:

    Rev Stu, Afraid we can’t all be talented writers. Point taken – I will try to add more value with any future comments – I just find it difficult to not bite when the Unionists are labelled as evil or monstrous or ‘not us’.
    It reminds me of an interview with David Tennant when he said he couldn’t understand why people voted Tory, seemed a very bizarre thing to me for an actor who’s played Hamlet to say.  

  22. Cuphook says:

    You do have to wonder about some of those Labour types. According to Michael Kelly “Other parties are sensibly prepared to fall in behind Labour. The Tories mainly by keeping their toxic mouths shut…” In other words, he would prefer his country to be destroyed by the Tories than for it to be saved by independence.
    Michael Kelly might be happy to work for the Tory sponsored No campaign but there are a lot of Labour Party members who aren’t.
    And when establishment mouthpieces like Kelly mention the ‘status quo’ I get angry. In what way is the deliberate destruction of all the societal advances achieved by previous generations the ‘status quo’?
    There was a time that Glasgow gave us working class heroes and not Tory apologists.

  23. scottish_skier says:

    Willie Z

    I have actually conversed with some Tory voters who advocated the sterilisation of ‘feral’ children. Although of course this is hardly representative of Tories as a whole, and there’s some on all sides that hold some rather unsavoury views too. Such is the nature of the human race. We’re allowed a sense of humour though.

    I find Tories mainly very misguided. They’re generally harmless; it’s only if you are foolish enough to elect them they pose a problem. I’ve asked countless times for them to show me an example country which is strongly neoliberal and at the same time prosperous, with little to no poverty, sovereign debt etc. Bereft of answers, I’m left to conclude they are just basing things on guess work and general selfishness.

    On the topic of Tories, this came to mind…

    When in a political discussion with a Tory voter from South East England, he said he wished that everyone left of him would disappear.

    I told him to be careful what he wished for, for if that actually came to pass, it could well be him next, ‘leftie’.

    Reminds me of this:
    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
    Then they came for the socialists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a catholic.
    Then they came for me,
    and there was no one left to speak for me.
    Martin Niemöller

    While a little extreme, we could supplant ‘jew’ with ‘disabled’ or ‘unemployed’, ‘catholic’ with ‘immigrant’ etc and we’d not be far from the way the UK appears to be heading (communism, socialism and trade unionism have already been battered nearly out of existence in the UK). But then it is one of the most right-wing authoritarian countries in the Western world now, so only to be expected. As noted before, that shall be GB’s demise as is always the case; when things go too far to the right, they finally collapse and revert back to the left. History tells us that. Scotland’s just getting out early and returning to the balanced centre in orderly fashion.

  24. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I have actually conversed with some Tory voters who advocated the sterilisation of ‘feral’ children.”

    In fairness, it was a Labour MSP who openly called for the forced sterilisation of drug addicts:

    The point is that the ideological leap required to get from where many Unionist politicians are now to the Nazi “euthanasia” programmes really isn’t as big as one might like – the Nazis started with sterilisation too. The principle of “life unworthy of life” is essentially the same one as “the undeserving poor”, and of course the welfare reforms pioneered by Labour and extended by the coalition ARE killing hundreds and hundreds of people. Many more will die as housing cuts and disability cuts take effect in the next few years. Just because you’re not actively murdering someone doesn’t mean you’re not causing their death.

    Unfortunately, stupid people’s misunderstanding of Godwin’s Law prevents anyone using the most disastrous mistake in human history from being used to learn any lessons.

  25. mogabee says:

    Rev. with regard to your excellent guide..what happened to “coming soon”?

  26. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    I’m employing a more cosmic definition of “soon”.

  27. molly says:

    I finally had time to catch up with some blogs and spent some time watching the ‘Convention’debate ,(held at Holyrood ) regarding our media. The BBC featured prominently and it struck me ,there is almost like a two speed debate going on.
    Willie Zwigerland,you say you’ve yet to be convinced of the Yes vote,well can I say as a Scot living here, the Yes vote for me is no longer about finance or dare I say it,Trident .
    As was highlighted by Iain Mcwhirter,it is about ‘passively’watching another Country’s news (The Education system in England and Wales )while being unable to discuss the pros and cons of The Curriculum for Excellence,despite having a child at school. 
    It is about standing up and saying ,I am not some homogeneous group ,who must be acknowledged in an ‘except in Scotland’ kind of way and it is also about being capable.
    I am capable of making decisions about what I value in life,about what I find morally acceptable to me (ie,invading other countries for ?),it is about having empathy with others whether that be in Largs, Luton or Libya. 
    The unfortunate thing for people like yourself Willie,you are being presented (like the general public )with information diluted by the media or politicians to suit their own needs at one speed,meantime when you talk to ordinary people there is a conversation reaching far beyond the he said/she said stuff and some of the people are starting to see ,it does’nt have to be like this.
    Finally, had a read of Old Moores Almanac,apparantly Ed Milliband is in for a Leadership challenge, now before you all scoff,as far as I’m concerned,it has as much validity as say a piece written by oh lets just say Michael Kelly or Alan Cochrane or Marcus Gardham and so on 

  28. macdoc says:


    Duncan MacNeil never advocated the sterilisation of drug addicts but reversible contraception. We don’t like being misquoted by unionists so its only fair that we don’t do the same especially in such an emotive topic. Its a complex issue and there are no easy answers. Although we have to be careful in stigmitising drug addicts, its a complex issue and simply saying its against human rights is too simplistic because the human rights of children are often not met by having neglectful and abusive parents. Sexual, physical and mental abuse is a huge issue within this community and much more needs to be done to address this. 

  29. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Duncan MacNeil never advocated the sterilisation of drug addicts but reversible contraception. We don’t like being misquoted by unionists so its only fair that we don’t do the same especially in such an emotive topic.”

    Tell you what, let’s split the difference and call it temporary sterilisation. (Though he did say in that piece, As a first step, we need to explore putting some form of oral contraception in methadone, or using other methods.)

    The comparison point is doing it against people’s will, ostensibly for the greater good of society, which like it or not was the same justification the Nazis used.

  30. scottish_skier says:

    You don’t get any benefits unless you can prove you are looking for work…

    …and you don’t get your methadone unless you take the contraceptive. After all, why should you get something for nothing? You need to do something for us if we’re to do something for you. Oh, and if you are good and follow the programme, we can give you an injection and you won’t need to remember to take the pill every day. That would be easier would it not; no worries about forgetting one pill and losing your methadone then.

    Slippery slopes always start somewhere.

  31. Bill C says:

    Well said Molly. Independence means exactly “it doesn’t have to be like this”.  We as a nation can do so much better.

  32. Yesitis says:

    @Bill C “Well said Molly. Independence means exactly “it doesn’t have to be like this”.  We as a nation can do so much better”.
    I`m sure Willie Z is fully aware of that. We all know there are quite a few unionists who just prefer being British to Scottish, and that`s that.

  33. Vronsky says:

    With a No win little is going to change.”

    This will be the Unionist pitch.  Spookily similar to the SNP pitch: with a Yes win little is going to change.  The Unionists are lying, and I really hope the SNP are too.  When the Unionists say that a great deal will change if Scotland gets independence they think they are lying, but I hope it turns out to be the truth.  Oh dear, this could easily get confusing.

  34. MajorBloodnok says:

    I think that Willie Z is confusing ‘hyperbole’ with ‘hysteria’.  Easily done, I’m sure.

  35. macdoc says:


    Sterilisation implies an irreverisble procedure in preventing an individual unable to reproduce. Contraception refers to the practice of the prevention of pregnancy as a temporary measure, the two terms shouldn’t be confused. Millions of woman regardless of social background are advised to take contraception when not planning a family. This seems even more important for individuals with chaotic and dysfunctional lifestyles and one which I strongly advocate. 

    This is D McNeil’s real quote

    “He later said he was not advocating that contraceptives in methadone should be compulsory but that women should be “strongly advised” to take it”

    I’m not agreeing with the guy but just not accepting your conclusion that this thinking is anyway on a par with the nazi’s and there ideology. I don’t think male methadone users would be too happy getting pumped full of estrogen. He has taken a simplistic solution to and just not done his research properly. 

    Your bolding of “OR OTHER MEASURES” again doesn’t mean he is advocating ripping out someones ovaries or testicles. There are plenty of methods of contraception. One that is commonly used in is a depot injection which can be removed at any time but can last for 3 years, or an intrauterine system that again can be removed but gives lasting contraception for up to 5 years. 

    I take the view that prevention is much better than cure. That to lessen the gap between the rich and the poor, to make sure nobody in this rich country is living in substandard conditions, to regenerate areas of extreme poverty, to make sure there are opportunities available to everyone, to give people hope and pride of there area. To create jobs etc etc is where the real time and effort should be spent, otherwise we just aren’t addressing the primary issues. If we bring greater equality, Scotland’s huge social problems of child poverty, drug and alcohol misuse, low levels of education will all be tackled. That is why i’m a huge advocate of Scottish Independence. As much as I dislike Mr McNeil and i’m sure he is a bit of an idiot and approached the subject clumsily, I don’t think its fair to have vilified him in that way. 

  36. mogabee says:

    Sorry macdoc, but contraception is all about informed choice, not a “take it or leave it” scenario.
      It may only be aimed at drug abusers, but these things invariably migrate. How about we just give this a miss Eh?

  37. macdoc says:


    I completely agree it should be about informed choice. I don’t advocate forced contraception. I do think that contraception should be more readily encouraged in specific groups such as drug misusers, alcoholics etc for a huge varying number of reasons that I shall not go into. Ultimately the final decision would be up to the patient. I don’t know how you could have taken my post to have meant anything otherwise. I was merely pointing out to Rev that he misrepresented what Duncan Mcneil had said. I shall say no more on the matter. 

  38. scottish_skier says:

    Note I wasn’t vilifying anyone, just pointing out how easy it is to end up on a slippery slope. If society is to start pushing for (‘encouraging’?) drug users to take contraception, at which point do we move onto those who like a little too much to drink, disabled people, those with genetic diseases, the long term unemployed? All these scenarios might be considered potentially bad for the child born into such a situation and, of course, to use those right-wing infamous words, thus ‘a burden on the state’.

    And with respect to Rev’s comments on deaths associated with welfare cuts… The welfare state is called that because it is designed to provide for the welfare of citizens, ensuring food and shelter, health, mental well-being etc. If the availability of this support is reduced, an increased number of deaths would be a highly probably outcome, in fact arguably a definite one. You only need to go to the USA to see 10’s of thousands of unnecessary deaths each year due to the lack of universal healthcare. This is not hysteria nor hyperbole, just the way it is.

  39. Willie Zwigerland says:

    State-sponsored sterlisation occured under social democratic governments in Norway and Sweden until the 1970s, such shameful episodes cannot be pinned solely on the far right.

  40. scottish_skier says:


    No, of course not, and the Nazis were national ‘socialists’ in the sense they weren’t actually ‘right-wing’ economically (more centrist), but were strongly authoritarian. Similar to the BNP, but that’s no surprise. It is of course the social spectrum that civil liberties fall under. Although, historically, the economic right is associated with increasing authoritarianism (e.g. UK), but then so is extreme socialism/left (e.g. USSR). In both cases this is done to prevent civil dissent and preserve the status quo for those who are doing well out of it, be that the rich (right-wing) or those ‘more equal than others’ (left wing).

    Note I’m neither a leftie nor a rightie (economically), but certainly a liberal democrat. Which is why I don’t vote Lib Dem and clearly need to vote for Scottish independence; there being no unionist party which even comes close to my socio-economic political stance. Quite a few north of the border though, especially with the freedom of combining the two votes I have with the AMS-PR type system. Voting Yes is simple logic for me ahead of anything else; what is the point of democracy if you don’t vote for parties you want to see in government.

  41. James McLaren says:

    Willie Swigerland,

    When were last in Norway or Sweden?

    Sweden, despite its left wing credentials had and still has a deep and very active right wing establishment which was pro Nazi during the War and did every thing it could do to finance and arm the Germans whilst remaining ostensibly neutral.

    They let the Wermacht drive through Sweden to occupy Norway for the heavy water plant, coal from the Lofoten Islands plant and access to the North Atlantic;

    If you don’t believe Google Ikea founder Nazi

    Norway too had an element of Nazi sympathies, remember Quisling.

    Finally you missed out Switzerland who had the most euthogenic policies to “abnormal and maldeveloped” infants as well as other sub human races like the Romany.

    Sometimes I wonder why you bother, unless you are baffled? 

  42. scottish_skier says:

    Oh, and many countries went down the eugenics root in the past to varying degrees, including the USA, Canada and the UK.

    In the latter case, it was the government led by Tory Winston Churchill (a supporter of eugenics) who Introduced the 1913 Mental Deficiency Act which had a sterilisation clause. This clause was rejected in the end though, but provision made for registration and segregation (from the general population). 

  43. Willie Zwigerland says:

    Scottish_skier – Churchill was in the Liberal Government in 1913 led by Asquith, and the Fabians were notorious for their support of eugenics.

  44. scottish_skier says:

    @WZ You are quite correct – he was home secretary at the time of the bill being prepared; hence fairly influential with regard to it. Sorry, my British history is not the best. Churchill was a right-winger however, hence his eventual move to lead the Tories (he’s quite a popular historical figure among them today).

    It was just I recalled him in the HoC in 1911 (when he was HS I understand) calling for the introduction of ‘Labour camps’ for the mentally defective. He was certainly a big supporter of eugenics; this is well known. And of course the Fabian society – with its close links to the Labour party – was too as you say. Was quite the thing back then.

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