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Wings Over Scotland

Going (on the) underground

Posted on March 25, 2014 by

If you haven’t seen them already, a few shots of our ads on the Glasgow Subway, paid for with a small slice of fundraiser money and pictured by some alert readers.


We can’t be certain, but we think this is the first time a news-and-commentary website like Wings has ever taken out real-world advertising anywhere in the UK.

See ’em while you can, though.


That’s because we’ve been led to believe that Strathclyde Partnership for Transport is currently considering complaints from one or more people that the banners contravene its rules on “political” advertising. We’d like to make clear that we CANNOT confirm that the complainant may have been a Mr B. McDougall of Blythswood Square.


We don’t believe the banners break the rules. They don’t state any political position, merely offer people a source of information, just like an ad for a newspaper would. That information may itself have a certain slant, but then it does in the Daily Record or the Scotsman too, so we don’t feel we’re any different and we have every confidence that SPT will take a fair and reasonable view.


Anyhoo, if you’re in Glasgow there’s one in every carriage on the Subway network, so go and take a look just in case they’re not there by the end of the week.



[EDIT 17.20: We’ve just been informed that SPT have indeed demanded that the ads be pulled, and that they’ll probably be gone by tomorrow, so get out tonight if you want to see. That pesky trusting nature of ours, eh readers?]

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  1. 28 03 14 07:55

    The ad Strathclyde Partnership for Transport don’t want you to see - | TheMarketingblog

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  4. 28 04 14 07:47

    Roll up for the mystery tour | FreeScotland

304 to “Going (on the) underground”

  1. snuffing out debates and information #bettertogether

  2. BigSteveChisholm says:

    The banners look great – I hope your hit counter goes off the scale!

  3. Jimbo says:

    If they decide to pull them I would be looking for, nay, demanding a full rebate.

  4. toshtastic says:

    Awesome! Looks great

  5. gavin lessells says:

    Brilliant idea Rev!

  6. AyeItsStuart says:

    One of ma fav wee websites on my fav wee railway. Lovely.

  7. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Whoever it is that has sent this, allegedly, ridiculous complaint in Stu certainly needs their head examined. I think the ad is brilliant, it states the FACTS about newspapers in Scotland and offers people information about where they can obtain alternative views on topics *ahem* discussed in the newspapers. How on earth can anyone complain about that? Oh wait a minute this is right the street of Better Together isn’t it. They continually demand open and honest debate but as soon as there is the slightest whiff of such a thing happening they run a mile! πŸ™‚

  8. pmcrek says:

    Dear SPT,

    Wings is like totally trolling me IRL on your subway.

    Yours Sincerely
    Blair McDougall

  9. Dan Watt says:

    Whoever complained is clearly jealous there is no equivalent website for Better Together…

    Oh wait, that’s the UK’s entire media industry…

  10. G H Graham says:

    Great result. But I can’t help predict that SPT will have them removed.

    It is largely run by Labour die hards who will soon be discovering what Wings represents; freedom of expression that does not conform to the traditional editorial output of the British unionist leaning media.

    I do hope I am wrong. I really do.

  11. Tam Jardine says:

    They look great Stuart. It would be interesting to know if there is a spike of hits this week as BigSteveChisholm suggests.

    I can imagine the banner would look guid on the side of the battlebus…

  12. Macandroid says:

    Always wanted to be part of an underground movement.

    I’ll get me coat…but first…

    No tongues!

  13. Juteman says:

    Great stuff!

  14. boglestone says:

    Brilliant! Just what’s needed.

  15. Jimsie says:

    Good move Stuart to offer the voters an alternative to the propaganda in the Daily Comics.Think about extending the ad nationwide.Stagecoach buses a possibility?

  16. Gray says:

    When I heard these were in the Glasgow subway I was picturing a sandwich shop with Iain Gray in it!

  17. Smith says:

    Looking GREAT!

    You could easily re-jig if required.

    Now, we need to keep our eye’s open for BT’s ad campaign to see where they place their ads.

  18. Alba4Eva says:

    Absolutely great stuff. πŸ™‚

    On the complaint front. You are correct and any complaints should be challenged fully and legally if necessary. This blog is an independent journalism site just like any of the msm… there is no difference in that. If someone is successful getting them taken down, then the precedent is set for banning all newspaper advertising.

  19. theunicorn says:

    Stu that was an excellent idea and if they do take it down then we really should make a very public issue out of it. This should include a name and shame exercise regarding the key decision makers.

  20. Alba4Eva says:

    Sorry by newspaper advertising, I obviously meant newspapers advertising themselves.

    How long are they booked up for?

  21. Murray McCallum says:

    Inspired stuff. Great to see.

    How are the plans to have Wings flyers circulated by Glasgow City Council? Hope this is no longer on a needs to know basis.

  22. gavin lessells says:


    I think the Rev might find a little sympathy from Stagecoach owner.

  23. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “But I can’t help predict that SPT will have them removed.”

    You’re correct. We’ve just heard that they WILL be pulled.

  24. Juteman says:

    I hope you are getting a refund if they have been pulled!

  25. Les Wilson says:

    Excellent, hope it really gets up their noses!

  26. annie says:

    I can’t believe that some of the Yes people are actually complaining, it’s costing them nothing and surely the more people who get the true picture instead of the lies and half truths printed in the newspapers and reported daily by the TV news programmes the better. Can only assume that the ones complaining have personal contacts with the so called journalists printing the lies.

  27. Spout says:

    Excellent Advert.

  28. Steph says:

    Great stuff! They don’t explicitly state it’s a pro independence site, so I don’t think there’s any basis for taking them down. Not that that’s ever stopped them before, of course. I can’t go into town until Saturday so I won’t see them but if they’re taken down you should ask for a refund!

  29. Arbroath 1320 says:

    That’s disgusting Stu. As others have said I hope some form of legal challenge is now in the offing because I am certain it would be a winner. More over SPT should be challenged to name and shame the alleged complainants. Whoever they are they are denying the people of Scotland a very basic human right, in my view, and that is the right to open and FREE speech!

  30. Red Squirrel says:

    Brilliant – though suspect SPT will cave in to complaints. But maybe that’s even better advertising.

    I think schools were trying to ban Yes badges as well – great, nothing like telling teenagers they can’t do something, that’ll show them!

  31. twenty14 says:

    Can we crowdfund a good lawyer to challenge this -no doubt it would get to court on September 19th.

    Lets go with the air balloon then

  32. Michael says:

    Great work, well done.

  33. Alba4Eva says:

    Ever day, I realise more and more that we are living in an Orwellian nighmare!

    Crowdfund to take SPT to court!

  34. lumilumi says:

    Great banners!

    Stylish, informative, a bit cheeky.

    Political advertising? No.

    Let’s see what happens if there really is a complaint. Will all media (newspaper, TV channel, radio channel etc.) advertising be banned on the subway? :-O

  35. Les Wilson says:

    They are going to be pulled? full explanation required at the least and including an apology! Then Stu can take those apart on site. That will bring a laugh.
    Someone really needs to examine their case legally.

  36. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    but arent yes scotland advertising on billboards soon, will they be pulled?

  37. Murray McCallum says:

    So much for personal freedom in UKOK.

    How on earth can a Scots politics news website be banned from advertising? How can this possibly be justified?

    Hopefully, Wings will get more publicity out of the ban.

  38. annie says:

    “You’re correct. We’ve just heard they WILL be pulled” Lets hope for the Streisand effect.

  39. Les Wilson says:

    Anyone able to send in photo’s of the MSM stuff on trains? To let us all see what they, are up to?

  40. lumilumi says:

    Oh, well, that lasted long… πŸ™

    I’m really worried about free speech and democracy in Scotland.

  41. Arbroath 1320 says:

    twenty14 says:

    Can we crowdfund a good lawyer to challenge this -no doubt it would get to court on September 19th.

    Lets go with the air balloon then

    You mean something like this twenty? πŸ˜›

  42. muttley79 says:

    Not surprised they are being taken down. I mean it is just not democratic to allow the travelling public on the Subway in Glasgow to be told that essentially there is no such thing as the Scottish media.

  43. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

    Edinburgh trams?

  44. SquareHaggis says:

    Do you think this would be allowed on the Subway?

    I know I want to πŸ˜€

  45. M4rkyboy says:
    have at em folks.Absolutely disgraceful.

  46. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

    An underground movement no more!

  47. Bruce Wallace says:

    Stu send me a couple an I’ll put them on my cars back window. I get stuck in rush hour daily with a captive audience behind me πŸ™‚

  48. pictishdrunkyman says:

    Excellent advert. Precisely the kind of information that would appeal to any inquisitive “don’t knows”.

    I can’t wait until the same kind of thing gets going on the national rail network. Will definitely help in getting the word out as I think there may be a risk of preaching to the choir.

  49. Bigbricks says:

    Any predictions about the likelihood of this removal appearing as a story in any newspaper or on the BBC (I’d guess vanishingly close to zero)? I honestly used to believe I lived in a democracy in the UK.

    Of course, if it does make the news, it should make up for the loss of advertising on the subway!

  50. twenty14 says:

    @Arbroath1320 – that’s the very chappy I seen on FB.

  51. Tam Jardine says:

    Thought-police: absolutely pathetic. Kind of makes your point for you but still. I bet some poor guy at SPT is getting dragged over the coals for doing his job instead of acting as an organ of the state.

    It’s just a shame you don’t have some kind of platform to expose this decision and the individuals involved… hang on…

  52. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Glad to be of assistance twenty, that’s where I saw it too. πŸ™‚

  53. Albert Herring says:

    If they’re pulled, can we get several thousand people to go and complain in person at Buchanan Street, St Enoch and Hillhead ticket offices?

    Sometime in the rush hour should do.

  54. Mat says:

    Been lurking for a while, registering quite simply to say if you have the energy to challenge this then, should there be a bananaballs legal fund set up, I’ll be there with my sweaty little PayPal account.

    Whoever gave them legal advice on this is a snivelling coward.

  55. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    every pro indy website will report this hopefully.

  56. SquareHaggis says:

    Aw, booooooo πŸ™

  57. Proud Cybernat says:

    Brilliant Stu. Wee cinema ad next.

  58. Betsy says:

    Very disappointed to learn the adverts are to be taken down, following rather petty complaints from persons unknown.

    If anyone wants to get in touch with SPT management regarding the decision, you can find details of the board below.

    Suspect SPT might just be being a wee bit over cautious in response to the complaint but we’ll see.

  59. colin young says:

    Nightime projection on buildings would be cool, these subway posters will be collectible and valuable (rare, historical)in the future.

    Especially after the 18th..

  60. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    not over cautious, just simply scottish labour corruption.

  61. gordoz says:

    These’ll get pulled by Labour – La Rosa Nostra still prevails in the cooncil & they’ll no put up with this ‘Scottish shit’ fur long.

    Lets see how long it takes.

  62. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

    Sandwich boards?

    Choke on this Big Mac!!

  63. gordoz says:

    Just seen they are – Labour are a disgusting lot of Brits no more or less.

  64. Colin says:

    And all whilst those pr@cks in Aberdeen City Council are sending out letters, using taxpayers money, advocating people to vote no.

  65. albantawe says:

    Hopefully the Streisand effect will come into effect.

  66. kalmar says:

    You’re correct. We’ve just heard that they WILL be pulled.


  67. pictishdrunkyman says:

    They got pulled? That’s just disgusting.

    Why is advertising a website and stating a few facts considered “political advertising”? it’s not advertising any political party whatsoever.

  68. Training Day says:

    Amazed that a body with a track record of Labour jobbery and corruption allowed them to appear in the first place.

    It was probably stupidity on their part that got them through initially.

    BT are becoming ever more bitter and authoritarian. Oh yes, and they’re winning by miles, eh, ‘Scottish’ MSM?

  69. Heather McLean says:

    The adverts look great Stu! Can we have some on the Dundee buses as well? πŸ˜‰

  70. Geoff Huijer says:

    Pulled? Ridiculous.

    How about having the ad projected at night onto Pacific Quay…or Edinburgh Castle, Scottish Parliament, Houses of Parliament, or Hydro?

    Or one night on each venue?

  71. Blair paterson says:

    They are terrified of the truth and will do all they can to stop it .i have been banned from phoning in to radio 5 because I told them so all this proves to me they have lost the argument big time like someone said it is like showing a vampire a crucifix sheer terror of the truth

  72. Kev says:

    If it is Blair McD, whats he so afraid of, afterall we’re just a bile-spouting, crackpot site full of simpletons, why would the smart folk of Glasgow believe what we have to say? πŸ™‚

  73. Heather McLean says:

    Surely if you’ve paid for the advertising space and the adverts are pulled, you will be entitled to a refund?

  74. Bawheid Bragg says:

    I wonder if Al-Jazeera or Russia Today would be interested in this story?…

  75. Aikenheed says:

    Get them back Stu and auction them off to fund building projections

  76. Jim T says:

    Dammit Schiehallion @5.37pm – that was going to be MY idea, but then the phone rang, and the rest is history …

  77. SquareHaggis says:

    Complaint duly sent!

  78. colin young says:


    Don’t forget Labour and Tory headquarters ..

  79. Proud Cybernat says:

    Have sent off a complaint to SPT. Told them this was an attack on our freedom of speech and our very democracy. Told them to reverse their decision or I would be boycotting the subway for some considerable time. Others should do likewise. Money talks.

  80. Andy-B says:

    Great ad Rev.

    Here’s a currency to rival bitcoin, and auroracoin, who knows maybe we will use it in the future.

  81. Jamie Arriere says:

    Was going to post the link but Betsy beat me to it – anyone notice the slight snag with the balance of the political affiliations?

    11 Labour 5 SNP 3 Tories 1 Independent + 8 appointed (by Whom?) members

  82. Robert Louis says:

    Well this censorship of what are pretty tame advertisements for a website, is yet more proof that better together and their deluded unionist lackies, are simply feart of people knowing the truth.

    In reality, almost anything can be construed as ‘political’. In this instance I think a bad decision has been made, and it needs challenged – freedom of speech and all that. Just remember however, that the transport infrastructure in Glasgow is not all run or owned by SPT, so ads can be deployed elsewhere. The story will be more effective than the ads anyway.

    I have to say however, that this decision to remove these ads, is a bit like what might be expected in North Korea – does nobody in the Labour party value free speech anymore?? Are we really at this stage?

  83. Paul Kelly says:

    Can we buy the posters?

  84. twenty14 says:

    What about a plane banner ( plane not plain ) with the Wings logo – flying over major events this summer

  85. mamaclanger says:

    You will be getting a refund of your advertising revenue yes??

  86. Desimond says:


    I was so looking forward to the big full size one with the logo and then simply saying


    First they ignore you,
    then they laugh at you,
    then they remove your Subway adverts,
    and then you win.”
    (Thomas the Tank Engine)

    This silly complaint may just come back to bit the NO campaign in the back side.Did you get a receipt…money back for next grand plan..( PS theres an empty Tie Rack glass box shaped store inside Central Station!)

  87. GrahamB says:

    Is Archie Graham (aka Mr J Lamont) still on the SPT committee? If not he will still be able to have a wee word or else he could set Stairheid on them.

  88. dramfineday says:

    Amazing how the better together crowd claims to have all the air cover, journalists in their pocket etc., but at the sight of a few banners go into a funk and start whining at people. They don’t sound too secure do they?

    Democracy rules okay, but only when it’s their version it appears.

  89. Mary Bruce says:

    Rev, are you able to post a jpeg of the advert so we can put it up on our facebook banners etc? I have loads of sticky labels I could print it on and stick all over the place. (not the Glasgow underground of course…)

  90. Geoff Huijer says:

    @colin young

    Isn’t Pacific Quay Labour Party headquarters?

  91. dmw42 says:

    ‘It’s not as if Scotland is being oppressed”

    Really. Johann? Evidence would suggest otherwise.

  92. steviecosmic says:

    I have no words. I guess things will get really down and dirty after all…

  93. twenty14 says:

    @ Mary Bruce – brilliant idea lets all do it in unison at 9pm tonight in Solidarity with our banner πŸ™‚

  94. dramfineday says:

    Mary, it would be interesting to see how long the stickers would last before the scrapers got to work. Some people are determined to suppress anything to do with Yes.

  95. kalmar says:

    To be fair, if these were seen by BT staff on their way to work then job done by some margin! The story about suppression of free speech is icing on the cake.

    And all for free. Nice one Stu.

  96. Dick Gaughan says:

    If BT is behind the ads being pulled, it needs the widest possible shitstorm to make people aware of it. This could seriously backfire on them.

  97. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Bawheid Bragg says:

    I wonder if Al-Jazeera or Russia Today would be interested in this story?…

    *ahem* I’ve just sent a wee e-mail to both Russia Today and Al Jazeera. Oops. πŸ™‚

  98. scottish_skier says:

    “We’ve just been informed that SPT have indeed demanded that the ads be pulled, and that they’ll probably be gone by tomorrow”

    People should take care about such manoeuvres. They often backfire.

  99. Esther Dallinger says:

    Complain, SPT don’t like controversy.

  100. twenty14 says:

    Blair goes to Hollyrood – Relax

  101. Desimond says:

    Friday April 4th…Counting House meet up…it is right next to the Subway….Flash Mob you say…

  102. Jim Kennedy Cairo says:

    Take them to court and draw it out for as long as possible. More free advertising.

  103. scottish_skier says:

    I trust there will be a full refund?

    It’s not Wings’ fault they were put up even though they were later deemed to breach rules…

  104. joe kane says:

    Guardian journalist Severin Carrell on Twitter describes the WOS Glasgow subway ads as “attacking Scottish press”.

    I’ve always thought that attacking the press would be something similar to what happened to the German news media under the Nazis or the Russian news media under the Soviet Union.

  105. twenty14 says:

    Rev – give us something to headline this and we can all put it on FB – that’s quite a lot of people

  106. Alex Gallacher says:

    Didn’t Alistair Watson used to be chairman of SPT before he had to resign for some strangeness, and is he not the one who regularly wanders around with Johann Lamont, Odd or what. Just asking

  107. Desimond says:

    BTW…if its a quiet week, you never know, Scotland Tonight might just be ready to pick this up…


  108. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    Can you appeal the decision?

    Maybe it can generate a Streisand effect and they may come to regret this action.

    Repost this article widely & often!

  109. colin young says:

    Prob been suggested, why not arrange a large outdoor party simply called .. YES .. as most creative types seem to gravitate to pro indy so a guaranteed big lineup of artists not forgetting a goood DJ collective for the dance ! and nigh time projection, maybe onto blimps.
    Thousands of people, summer is coming, please can anybody arrange an old castle, farmyard barn anything celebrating the new Scotland.

    Now that would be an advert..

    PS wish i had the clout, finance to make it a happen.

  110. Kenny says:

    Get a story out to the mainstream about that. At the very least, the pro-indy media will pick it up and no doubt one or two of the mainstream will notice too. Then consider a legal challenge. You might never actually have to fight such a case. The story getting out would get you more publicity than the ads anyway.

  111. Chris Paton says:

    Just a small gesture of support, but I’ve changed the banner on my Facebook page to show the ad.

  112. Craig P says:

    The next step is to get spt to publish a spoof poster purporting to be from better together and see who picks up on that…

  113. Donald Kerr says:

    Call Mr Anwar.

  114. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

    ‘Subway Takes Fright at Wings’

    Read all about…

  115. CU Tommy says:

    I would suggest that an immediate request for the ‘Metro’ to be removed from all Glasgow transport on the grounds that it constitutes ‘Political Advertising’

  116. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Damn it, I’m really having a bad day today, I’ve just tweeted Scotland Tonight suggesting they find out what folks in Glasgow think about the ads and SPT pulling them. Oops! πŸ™‚

  117. CU Tommy says:

    “”At the very least, the pro-indy media will pick it up

    #Kenny, Maybe you haven’t noticed, but there are no pro-indy media.

  118. Bigdrone says:

    What’s wrong with the wings logo and the words underneath “Wings Over Scotland” Doesn’t state anything political . Just a nice, wee, protective birdie!?

  119. scottish_skier says:

    β€˜Subway Takes Fright at Wings’

    Maybe it was Iain Gray that complained?

  120. Alba4Eva says:

    Wings IS the Scottish Press. πŸ˜€

  121. Lynn MacRae says:

    Brilliant ad Stu, looking forward to seeing more, even if the NoScotland mob pull them all. They will still be seen by many before they are. Also gives us proof of the bias that exists in this campaign.

    I take this as a sign that they really are running scared now, truth and positivity will win on the day.

    That said, I intend to send in a strong complaint to SPT tomorrow, just as soon as I’ve taken a wee trip on the subway (no been on one in years) to see what sh1t is allowed to be advertised πŸ™‚

  122. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

    “Subway Safe for Muppets”

    Read all about…

  123. Edward says:

    Ok I’m going to be mr smelly pants on this and say that placing advertising on SPT transport, though ballsy, is crazy by sheer fact that SPT is politically controlled, and must have been certain to been on a hiding.

    A bit akin to placing communist advert in an American republican broadsheet in the 50’s. You can do it, but once they cotton on to what its for they will remove it.

    BUT Having said that, you can still be ballsy and buy advertising space near to or opposite various locations that are either political or media. Now they cannot say anything as its big, in your face and its not contravening any ASA conditions.

  124. HenBroon says:


  125. HenBroon says:

    Ooop have I done a woopsy?

  126. Andy-B says:


    Labour won’t freeze energy prices or break up banks,if they gain power in 2015, says John Mills one of their biggest donors. Mr Mills says Ed Miliband, will keep pushing party rhetoric, in order to gain power.

  127. Arbroath 1320 says:


    Can someone please the doctor for me, I’ve just had another relapse, I’ve tweeted BBC Scotland news and Newsnight Scotland asking if they agree with these ads being pulled and if so why. Oops! πŸ™‚

  128. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

    @ scottish_skier

    Yes! Ian Gray. Imagine the poor chump’s alarm. Somewhere he thought he’d be safe… Whit trauma.

  129. Jeannie says:


    Thanks for the link. I have e-mailed the press office and asked them to clarify the reasons for their decision to pull the ads, a copy of their guidelines and the name of the person responsible for the decision.

    Anyone else writing to them?

  130. HenBroon says:

    Colin Young, I’ve said it before. Glasgow Green is perfect as is the River Clyde with crowds thronging the banks. They hold a river festival. So lets have a Yes festival on the river. Glasgow is the largest mass of Scotlands population and Labours fiefdom we need to target it big. A blimp from a boat on the river, with bands playing on deck, perfect.

  131. Flower of Scotland says:

    Great idea Rev! Pity about Labour SPT . Stagecoach is a great idea, with lots of buses throughout Scotland . I know that that will cost more, but think about the No Pensioners and the huge amount of Nos who use buses in Fife!

  132. K Mackay says:

    Fancy sharing the PDFs for the ads with us Rev? They might just mysteriously appear all over the place πŸ™‚

  133. heedtracker says:

    Wait what?! Severin Carrell ?@severincarrell 27 mins.@WingsScotland buys ads in every Glasgow subway car attacking Scottish press.

    So vote NO Guardian’s man in Scotland says the WoS ad “attacks” Scottish press for stating UK media is anti Scottish democracy, yet Carrell daily attacks new democracy in Scotland and the Guardian prints this kind of stuff weekly

  134. PRJ says:

    @joe kane says:
    25 March, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Is that not called competition, something the MSM is terrified of. Look at the sales figures.

  135. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Just e-mailed them myself Jeannie. πŸ™‚

  136. CameronB says:

    If this doesn’t produce a Streisand effect, what will?

    Cracking add, but can I make a slightly niggly comment in the hope of guiding future design work? This comes with a word of caution as I was only management and not production. The likes of Macart would be able to correct me or offer tips themselves.

    I would suggest avoiding heavy blocks of dark colours. They might look strong but could prove difficult to achieve good results with on homee printers. They will definitely hammer the ink and your pocket.

    For example, the above add wouldn’t take long to kill your Magenta and Cyan, which are reasonably ‘weak’ colours. You would also be surprised how much yellow, an even ‘weaker’ colour, goes in to that shade of blue. It doesn’t use a lot of black though. πŸ™‚

  137. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    Even Valerie Watt, Chief Executive, Aberdeen City Council has resigned today in protest at Wings subway poster demise. [My thoughts]

    Her real reasons for moving to Irish pastures will eventually come out I guess. Hardly an overnight decision eh?

    Not one mention on BBC Scotland News but STV ran the story with ACC Leader Barney Crockett stating that Ms Watt was good for the city but now the SNP will smear Aberdeen City Council as they do on a daily basis. Yeah right Mr Crockett, ordinary non political Aberdonians have marked your card.

  138. Stuart Black says:

    How very scared these people are.

    I do hope the self-appointed censors have factored in the Streisand Effect, we-ell, you know, they’ve been so successful with everything else they’ve tried, haven’t they? πŸ˜‰

    There will be plans to bring this to the wider attention, of course? πŸ˜€

  139. a2 says:

    Any sort of legal challenge is a loser as far as I can see. Trying to argue that it’s not political advertising when the site is clearly political would be a bit daft. plenty mileage in the ads being pulled though.

    @Kenny … what pro-indi media?

  140. cath says:

    I’m going to ride SPT and complain about any ad I see that I think looks political. Especially unionist media ones.

  141. Andrew Morton says:

    I have emailed them to complain and have copied in the Evening Times news desk.

    “I am concerned about allegations regarding censorship by Strathclyde Passenger Transport of advertising on the subway which have come to my attention. Can you confirm that claims that SPT have suppressed Wings Over Scotland adverts are untrue?

    If these claims are true, can you confirm to me in what way the adverts have contravened your advertising guidelines?

    Yours faithfully

    Andrew G Morton”

  142. Big Al says:

    Are we in Turkey or Kiev !!

    Democracy is at stake hear…

  143. Stuart Black says:

    “Ok I’m going to be mr smelly pants on this and say that placing advertising on SPT transport, though ballsy, is crazy by sheer fact that SPT is politically controlled, and must have been certain to been on a hiding.”

    Um, that is certainly true. Not think the Rev might have thought of this? Shitloads of publicity for the price of a few subway ads.

    What’s the word they use? Priceless? πŸ˜‰

  144. Marcia says:

    Maybe some of your Glasgow readers might want to ride on the Subway with tape over their mouths handing out Wings leaflets to passengers.

  145. G H Graham says:

    Brian Bell
    Director of Subway Operations
    Strathclyde Partnership for Transport
    Consort House
    12 West George Street
    Glasgow G2 1HN

    Telephone: 0141 332 6811

  146. sandra says:

    2 choices spend money fighting them spend money subverting them
    Dead simple pay lawyers or pay to produce small sticker with logo and website and let us stick it to end

  147. tartanfever says:

    Time to get a certain Mr Anwar on the phone..

    Time to write to the Electoral Commission and get an official response to Aberdeen Council’s mis-use of public money for the ‘No’ letters.

    Time for an Aberdonian, who pays their council tax there to do an FOI request to Aberdeen Council to find out how much the No letters cost.

  148. Conan_the_Librarian says:

    I’ll never set foot in the subway again.

    Of course, it helps that I live in Edinburgh.

    One suggestion; the next ad [and I’m sure there will be one], a blue background, a fluttering feather or two and the web address leading directly to this article. No other dialogue.

  149. Robert Louis says:


    If you want to see a man who is a master of his craft, you should watch the video I have linked below. The First Minister was in Irvine today, and gave a political masterclass. I have seen him speak many times, but never seen him so on form as he was today. An absolute joy. No wonder David Cameron is feart to debate with him.

    Watch it and marvel.

  150. Mealer says:

    So SPT are banning the Wings advert.How long before they ban YES supporters from travelling on the trains? I actually think this ban is great news for various reasons.It will galvanise supporters to work even harder.It will engender feelings of “ownership” of this site among its readers.And it shows just how terrified the NO camp is.
    Stu,have a good read of your agreement with SPT.You have a contract with them.It sounds to me like they sold you something and aren’t going to provide it,for no good reason.Their small print in the agreement might not stand up to legal scrutiny.Get stuck into them.

  151. Fireproofjim says:

    Everybody MUST complain to SPT. I have just given them both barrels. – Orwellian thought control, old Soviet Union etc etc. Send your complaint to-

  152. Jill P says:

    Their complaints email box will be somewhat full by tomorrow morning πŸ™‚ I’m sure if we asked them who complained and why, we would be refused an answer.

    Buuutttt… If one set of advertising is being removed my immature self would assume that all advertising is being removed.
    I would want to ask:
    when the board decided to remove all advertising
    how much notice they have given advertisers
    how much revenue is being lost
    how SPT plan to make up that shortfall
    how much ticket prices will rise because of this

    This is too difficult a set of questions for the people at complaints to answer. The thought of ticket prices being raised because of this is very worrying, so I think SPT legal department need to be consulted. That’s what the Freedom of Information service is for, is it not?

    I feel the need to send my email to foi at spt dot co dot uk

    Anyone care to join me?

  153. scottish_skier says:

    Rev You should put on your new / replacement ads something like:

    “This advert was banned from the Glasgow Subway by Labour controlled SPT”

  154. Murray McCallum says:

    I’ve put the banned Wings advert on my facebook whatsit.

  155. CameronB says:

    Film them doing it and get it on utube.

  156. Malc says:

    @robert Louis, I was also there today , he was absolutely excellent. Very impressed with the meeting overall. Good crowd as well.

  157. scottish_skier says:


    fast becoming…


  158. Grouse Beater says:

    The ads have been pulled?


    If it was The Times or Pravda’s ad stating, “Crimea – Russian or European? Read the argument in our national newspaper” the ads would not attract political retribution.

    I hope you will make hay with this development in the press. Another blatant attempt to suppress open debate.

  159. Bill Walters says:

    I can understand SPT’s position on this to be honest. It doesn’t really matter what the issue is, they have to try and avoid being seen as associated with any particular viewpoint. This advert isn’t explicitly saying “vote Yes”, but there’s a clear political implication behind it – i.e. all of the media is anti-independence so come to us and find out the real story.

  160. sandra says:

    Em not end god auto correct

  161. Oui Things says:

    Advertising on private cars is a good idea! I’d be willing to have my car decked out in a wings livery.

  162. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I’ve just e-mailed my M.S.P. Although I do not live in the Glasgow area I have asked that she pass my e-mail on to someone who can ask the relevant questions “in the house.” πŸ˜›

  163. Flower of Scotland says:


    Thanks for that . Just put it up on Facebook with a nice wee story about Glasgow Underground !

  164. Fearchar says:

    Where are the limits to politicisation? I’ve seen anti-European advertising on the London tube from The Economist (a neocon blatt aimed at US corporate employees), and no-one seemed to take umbrage at it.

  165. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Arbroath 1320 says:

    I’ve just e-mailed my M.S.P. Although I do not live in the Glasgow area I have asked that she pass my e-mail on to someone who can ask the relevant questions β€œin the house.” πŸ˜›

    Just received a reply from my M.S.P. who says she has passed this story on to their Press department. πŸ™‚

    As I’ve said to my M.S.P., if SPT thought they could just nonchalantly remove these advertisements without a fight then they have another thing coming. πŸ™‚

  166. bigGpolmont says:

    It used to be my favourite rail network until now!
    surely they must put this in front of the advertising standards people. The ads are not saying vote yes. All they are saying find out the truth. Which again is not a political statement.
    Wasn’t it the Gaurdian who won a court action back in the 70s 80s for encouraging people to buy their paper and read the truth about SPYCATCHER for themselves?

  167. colin mccartney says:

    Complaint sent.
    As an aside. Ski chalets companies here in the Alps have small palm sized stickers/adverts that they use and slap them onto chairlift pylons and turnstiles in ski resorts as they pass by. Cheap advertising and gets the message into high footfall areas.
    Just a thought.
    Id love to see a clockwork Orange plastered in Wings emblems πŸ™‚

  168. HandandShrimp says:

    Great adverts and on the plus side the subway must have about 35,000 passengers a day. A lot of people have seen these adverts so they know what they look like. This means that our complaints of censorship will resonate because so many will have seen a very innocuous and if I may say so quite attractive advert.

    Better Together can’t help themselves, they try to ban everything. If that doesn’t let people know who the bad guys are I don’t know what will. It must rot their guts that Yes Scotland have secured so much billboard space.

  169. K1 says:

    Just emailed complaint…it’ll be interesting to see how they respond to the bombardment of these complaints…here’s my tuppence worth:

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing to complain about the imminent removal of adverts on Glasgow underground subway carriages. I think it’s outrageous that these information ads. from Wings over Scotland are about to be/have been ‘pulled’. These ads. are for a website that provides a service, that service is information. I would like to know why these ads. are being removed, on what grounds did spt decide to the take this unusual decision?

    Spt obviously makes money on advertising on the underground, why having decided to sell this space, has spt suddenly decided to renege on a contract?

    If decisions to remove adverts are based on the complaints of subway users, then decisions to reinstate should also be considered on the basis of complaints from other subway users. I am a subway user, I have no problem with these adverts. They are not in breach of any of spt’s policies and if they are, I would be grateful if you would let me know exactly how they have breached your policies?

    Yours faithfully

  170. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Heedtracker

    I read the Bella Caledonia essay – very good piece of polemic, mostly obvious, but one gratuitous remark irks.

    Alasdair Gray is not our “greatest living artist.” He’s a truly innovative novelist and illustrator, but no painter. There are others of great painterly achievement.

    I admit my pedantry is niggardly in this instance set against the greater accompt, and I hate making it because to my mind he penned the most courageous of essays seen so far on honest independence diverted, his scathing “settlers and colonialists” diatribe that in masterly fashion encapsulates so much of Scotland’s artificial containment and frustrations. I believe it will become standard reading in schools in years to come, and history degrees too. Nevertheless…

    If raising standards in everyday life, not only aesthetic education, is part of regaining autonomy and in so doing, also raising our nation’s confidence, our self-esteem, we should know misleading hyperbole when we see it.

  171. Betty Boop says:

    The banners would be great for Yes tables during street campaigning.

    Try offering them to Yes Scotland for distribution.

  172. CameronB says:

    Albert Herring says:

    If they’re pulled, can we get several thousand people to go and complain in person at Buchanan Street, St Enoch and Hillhead ticket offices?

    Sometime in the rush hour should do.

    That would certainly clog up the works. It might even be considered sabotage. πŸ˜‰

    Claimed explanations include:

    That it derives from the Netherlands in the 15th century when workers would throw their sabots (wooden shoes) into the wooden gears of the textile looms to break the cogs, fearing the automated machines would render the human workers obsolete.[1]

    That it derives from the French sabot (a wooden shoe or clog) via its derivative saboter (to knock with the foot, or work carelessly).[2]

    That it derives from the late 19th-century French slang use of the word sabot to describe an unskilled worker, so called due to their wooden clogs or sabots; sabotage was used to describe the poor quality work of such workers.[3]

    Luddites and radical labor unions such as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) have advocated sabotage as a means of self-defense and direct action against unfair working conditions.

  173. Dcanmore says:

    Okay, a private individual takes out advertisements promoting his website. This individual (The Rev) does not belong to a political party and the website doesn’t advertise any affiliation to any political party. The website is a commentary on the Scottish media’s handling of politics in Scotland whether be it in print, broadcasting or digital. It is a legitimate commercial concern as it promotes the sale of merchandise with affiliates to other commercial businesses.

    The decision by SPT to take down these posters surely contravenes The Rev’s right to free speech considering he is free to advertise his website in newspapers, on the web and television if he so desires. So the decision by SPT is in fact political in itself by refusing the right of said individual the means to advertise the website which carries a commercial as well as written commentary. I think this would warrant further scrutiny by a legal eye. SPT can refuse given legitimate concerns in a political context (following their own rules), but they are wrong in this instance because these posters aren’t political, they simply advertise a critique by commentary on the media in Scotland without political affiliation of any party. If it comes down to political beliefs of the owner of the website, then I think SPT are even on shakier ground.

    That’s wot I fink.

  174. rab_the_doubter says:

    Ive just fired this off to SPT complaints. If everyone here does the same they can’t ignore us

    Dear Sirs

    I write to register my disgust at the removal of Wings Over Scotland adverts. Β These adverts do not breach any advertising standards and do not make any political point. Β They merely point toward an alternative source of information.

    Β If you are not going to reinstate the adverts then I feel duty bound to register a formal complaint about any adverts for the mainstream media which you allow. Β As you are no doubt aware the MSM are taking an openly pro-union stance in the referendum debate therefore if you carry an advert for any of these newspapers you are in breach of your own rules.

    Removing these Wings Over Scotland adverts which make no political point is undemocratic to the point of censorship and you should in the interests of balance reinstate them as a matter of urgency.

    As you are a public body you answer to the public. Β With this in mind we demand to know who made this complaint, who made the decision to uphold it and on what basis the complaint was made. Β I tryst that you are aware that this decision reflects really badly on you.


    A believer in free speech and democracy

    (Name deleted)

  175. msean says:

    At least they will have been noticed,maybe now noticed more because of their sudden absence,well done,keep it up πŸ™‚

  176. Disgraceful pulling that add, wish I had taken one when I was there πŸ™‚

    As for Aberdeen Council sending out no leaflets, as I have said on twitter, what is to stop Glasgow City Council doing the same, I will be at the front of the George Square demo when this happens.

  177. Alex Gallacher says:

    My complaint is in, hope many will follow

  178. Early Ball says:

    The ban and the subsequent row is going to attract a lot of publicity out with the Glasgow area. More people will find out about Wings. Result!

  179. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Reading the posts on this thread I’m thinking there are going to be one or two individuals at SPT tomorrow morning reaching for the paracetamol before 9 a.m. I wonder how many SPT employees are going to wondering their corridors of power repeating the phrase “ma brain hurts!” πŸ™‚

  180. Alfresco Dent says:

    Heads-up everyone!

    The removal of these legitimate ads from a public space is intimidation.

    It is psychological bullying on behalf of the state.

    Don’t be intimidated and don’t be provoked.

    Stay steady. We are winning the argument.

    That they resort to these tactics is proof of that.

    The finish line is in site.

  181. Jenny says:

    @G H Bell
    @Rev Stu

    I really, really think posting details for Brian Bell is a bad idea…. It doesn’t matter if this can be found online anyway through a Google search – didn’t an SNP MSP recently have to make an apology because of something similar?

    We can at least try our best not to become targets of cybernat accusations…. the idea of the frothing nat at his laptop has already seeped into many people’s minds and there’s no need to add fuel to the fire.

  182. Spot on Alfresco Dent and this is nothing when it comes to the British State and their desire for oil, that is what is at the bottom of this IMO, if you don’t believe me people check it out for yourselves, you will be shocked.

    I hope you don’t mind the link Stu.

  183. caz-m says:


    This could be big. I mean really really big.

    Let The People Speak.

  184. Alfresco Dent says:

    @ rab_the_doubter

    Any objections to me putting your draft letter all over Facebook? Thought not.

    Job done!

  185. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Thing is AD no one here is intimidated by the latest actions of the SPT. The Better Together crowd are obviously trying to put pressure onto SPT which resulted in the ads being removed, however as usual, they did not think their actions all the way through because by doing this they have let the genie out of the bottle. We are now most definitely in the driving seat in this referendum in my view. When one side of an argument constantly tries to shut down the arguments of the other side people eventually begin to notice and the opposite effect to what they hope for happens, this case is in my view no exception.

    From what folks have been saying about this removal action of the SPT they are in for one hell of a shock in the coming days and weeks ahead I reckon, and not just them but Better Together as well. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the next round of referendum polls showed an even closer meeting of polling numbers if not in fact YES ahead as a result of these actions. πŸ™‚

  186. Alfresco Dent says:

    @ Jenny

    I resent that. I have never knowingly “frothed”. ????

  187. MJ says:

    Did you say that you would send out copies to anyone who wants them with a sticky back for anyone to put where they want too, for free?

  188. rab_the_doubter says:

    @Alfresco Dent

    Go for it. The more complaints the better. Feel free to edit as you see fit.

  189. Democracy. Free speech. Aye, as long as you are part of a throughly discredited council, and follow the party line. Anything else, forget it. Yes, the complaint has been sent, but I don’t expect any sensible reply, My god, these people could teach dictatorial regimes a few tricks. Why, oh why, do the people of Glasgow keep re-electing them?

  190. Duncan Fraser says:

    I have written to Barbra Streisand’s people, asking if it would be possible to erect the adverts outside her house instead.

  191. Gary says:

    So, this means that Better Together can’t use SPT to advertise on now. Excellent..

  192. bunter says:

    As someone said previously, might be an idea to try Mr Souter, I am sure he would be sympathetic!

  193. CameronB says:

    I must say I have never seen an add that projects a positive message re. the advertised product. Neither have I seen an add that suggest the competition may not be satisfactory.

    Only saying.

  194. heedtracker says:

    @ Grouse Beater, so who is our greatest living artist?

    Its just jaw dropping to see the Guardian’s Severin Carrell, one more UKOK journalist, deeply anti Scottish democracy, even more anti Salmond/SNP, tweeting the WoS advert an “attack on Sottish press.”

    Everyone knows how hard UK media daily attacks possible Scottish democracy Sept, including everything about the why YES voters of Scotland are voting YES. From the Daily Mail to my local rag the P&J, BBC, ITV, the Guardian, all are determined to annihilate a possible democratic future for Scotland. Point this out in a tiny crowd funded public transport ad and for professional hypocrites, its an “attack.”

  195. SquareHaggis says:

    This could catch on

    Juat sayin’ like

  196. Andrew Morton says:

    Why not engage the Govan Law Centre to fight a legal case against SPT over this?

    It would be fun.

  197. Elspeth says:

    That’s my complaint off to SPT as well. Grrr!

  198. M4rkyboy says:

    Seriously,everyone fire off a complaint.Takes 1 minute to write one up.

  199. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I see Stu just mentioned over on twitter that ad company has given him ads elsewhere. Amazing how fast things can turn around these days. Let’s hope one of the ‘new’ locations is right outside SPT’s headquarters. πŸ™‚

  200. Thistle says:

    Absolutely brilliant Rev πŸ™‚

    And if anybody interested we are currently doing an Indy live stream…

  201. kalmar says:

    Severin seemed shocked and personally affronted in his remarks on twitter.

    That the consensus of opinion he represents might be challenged… Eye opening stuff.

  202. Alfresco Dent says:

    @ Arbroath 1320

    I hear what you’re saying but you’re being just a tad naive if you don’t mind me saying. The British State will stop at nothing to prevent us from securing our assets. Make no mistake, as Buster Bloggs points out ^up there^, they couldn’t care less about us! It is about their balance of payments. Take away oil, whisky, tourism & renewables and the Pound is going to sink like a stone. They know it and Alex Salmond knows it.

    I suggest the Krone.

  203. Alfresco Dent says:

    I’m not going to name names but there’s a local bus company around these parts whose buses all feature stickers promoting independence. But then I’m in Dundee, not Glasgow.

  204. Arbroath 1320 says:

    As others will tell you AD, I am the one, the only naive of all naives here on this site. πŸ™‚

    I tend to just spout things out as they pop into my head without worrying too much about what the “other side” might be able to do. I don’t really concentrate on them, just so long as we are getting our message out them I’m happy we are defeating anything the “dark side” can put out.

    At the end of the day it is, in my view, all about belief. I believe that we are winning the arguments and we will win on Sept 18th and I also believe that there is nothing that the “dark side” can come up with that will derail the Independence Express currently running full pelt towards victory on 19th Sept. πŸ˜›

  205. caz-m says:

    Advertising on SPT.

    Interesting SPT advertising info from their own website.

  206. Thepnr says:

    Rev, you really are a wind up merchant. I like it πŸ™‚

  207. iain taylor (not that one) says:

    Sounds like breach of contract by SPT. Damages claim.

  208. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Heedtracker

    I never quote know if its Severin or his sub that drops in the antagonistic verb to each article.

    Newspapers are in the habit of turning the normal into a personal drama; people don’t argue the case, they “attack” the opposition. It’s lazy, and as you point out, often leads to biased interpretation, or as Professor Robertson reports, is part of the thought control keeping the masses compliant.

    Anyhow, good to see you still fighting.

    (There’s half-a-dozen Scots-born world-class painters, each working in different ways. They’re internationally respected, often by non-Scottish painters, but not necessarily promoted by the Scottish press. Vettriano has a better chance of column inches than any of them, even if it’s to say the same thing.)

  209. Jamie Arriere says:


    Re Brian Bell, the details are on the SPT WEBSITE, and it’s HIS JOB!!

  210. andyC says:

    We ARE winning this.
    Printing copies as I write……

  211. Grouse Beater says:

    How in hell did Saachi get its infamous “Labour Isn’t Working” billboard passed?

    A modest factual advert placed in Glasgow’s circular underground and it’s removed? – another example of information suppressed by the self-proclaimed defenders of democracy.

  212. Jenny says:

    @Alfresco Dent

    What!? No Froth!?? πŸ™‚

    @Jamie Arriere

    I know that – that’s why I said even though you can Google it…. I just think posting names and addresses – even work ones – provides a really easy target against us.

  213. Alfresco Dent says:

    @ Arbroath 1320

    We are winning. I believe that much. I also believe there could be a chap at the door any minute and you might never hear from me again. Paranoid? I hope so.

    As Machiavelli said in ‘The Prince’, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”.

  214. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    Complaint winging its way to SPT.

  215. Disco Dave says:

    Well I’ve fired off a complaint to SPT also. I’m sure the Daily Mail will report this coordinated Cybernat attack as only they can…

  216. Terry Ohare says:

    Contacted spt informed them I would expect all newspapers magazines with political stories to be removed .will be going round stations any political story I see on papers adverts etc will complain hold up queue stuff them

  217. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I don’t know about the chap at the door AD. My partner expects the chap at the door most nights, she’s convinced I’m a complete and utter nutter! πŸ™‚

  218. Graeme Reid says:

    So i take it the Spectator magazine, Private Eye, New Statesman, other, and all other newspapers with a political story on the front page in full view of passengers in any train station shop/premises will no longer be advertised to sell in the full view of the public and removed?. Bullshit !

  219. Margaret Gardiner says:

    No. I will not give them the business. So they think these banners wrong. Well let them post a contesting banner claiming that impartial reporting is bad for people, if they have a gripe.

  220. Thats a shame the ads got pulled,looked great by the way!

    Maybe youll have better luck in Edinburgh on LRT buses?

    Im out canvessing for YES musselburgh,in wallyford,weds night.My first time and so looking forward to it,I can feel a change coming….

  221. CameronB says:

    I started to question the democratic status of Britain at the tender age of eleven. That was in 1979, right after the goalposts were moved, after the fact.

    Come on Scotland. Are you ants to be crushed under a Union Jackboot?

    P.S. I missed Dundee, so unless anyone is expressly against my music selections, you might get some more later on. πŸ™‚

  222. Glasgow Steve says:

    No one gets off at Cowcaddens, luckily that ten second stop was put to good use in taking the photos!

  223. Adam Davidson says:

    Rev, What soes the advertising contract signed with Forrest or whoever say? Can you demand they stick to it? If not can you demand they refund the cost of the printing etc?

  224. MJ says:

    Best 20 quid I ever spent!

  225. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    “Going underground” I expect The Jam tomorrow

  226. Valeman (@Valeman_) says:


    If you normally use the tube take the bus for a week and ask your colleagues to do the same, see how quickly the loss of revenue focuses the minds of those behind this idiotic knee jerk reaction to the complaint about WoS’s entirely accurate first foray in to mass advertising.

  227. Conan_the_Librarian says:

    @Thomas William Dunlop

    “Jam tomorrow”. Funny, that’s what the BT lot are promising.

  228. TJenny says:

    Thomas William Dunlop – the jam tomorrow, like the cake, doesn’t exist. πŸ™‚

  229. Big Jock says:

    This is the country we live in where only the British state is allowed airtime.Where you can’t have an advert that is factual because it might encourage self learning.This is the country we want out of so that Scotland can learn to breathe again without a British ventilator.

  230. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Heedtracker

    I think I missed the obvious:

    It was on his Twitter site Severin Carrell asserts that the adverts are an attack on the press?

    If he has, and if he means that, what can you say about such an idiotic, ludicrous statement?

    How can any individual “attack the press”?

    Is the the same press that has an almost unanimous stance against Scotland’s democratic development? Shock, horror.

  231. a2 says:

    What’s with the twisted knickers and complaints?

    If they have a no political advertising rule and you are advertising a website that describes itself straight up saying ‘Wings Over Scotland is a Scottish political website’ and ‘Scotlands largest political party’ then of course they are going to object when they notice.

    I rather suspect that may have been stu’s ploy all along.

    Time for camomile tea and a spot of yoga.

  232. IFG says:

    “We’d like to make clear that we CANNOT confirm that the complainant may have been a Mr …”

    Instead of making a point about bias media, you now sound like a child having a tantrum that your ball has been taken away.

  233. Grouse Beater says:


    Because the ad is almost anodyne.

    It is factual.

    It does not say “Vote SNP, vote Independence.”

  234. Ron buchanan says:

    Surely this has got to stop, wings banned from a simple info advert yet Aberdeen council, at tax payers expense,send letters requesting folk vote NO. Disgraceful behaviour of the people that think they have the right to stop valid information. Why is this not legal on both counts.
    The NO campaign is filled with corruption , control of the people and disgraceful behaviour, nothing to be proud of or support. If we allow this our whole society will be the worse for it.

  235. Gordon Anderson says:

    Could the ads not be posted in the newspapers themselves?

  236. An Gille Ruadh says:

    Ttime for some very sticky labels?

  237. Grouse Beater says:

    @ IFG

    Instead of making a point about bias media, you now sound like a child having a tantrum that your ball has been taken away.

    And you somebody who can’t tell the difference between censorship and an infant wailing.

  238. tartanpigsy says:

    They are really losing the plot..

    SPT Official- “I have a cunning plan.’When is an advert not an advert’, haha”

    but actually much more of an advert πŸ˜‰

    Glad they’re that daft,it doesn’t half help us out.

    At least a few extra folk are going to get here after this.

    Great to see Newsnet posting article about it straight away

    The more we all work together in our grass-roots/ online/ no one in charge kinda way the more frazzled the Better Together mob will become.

    Anyone noticed any frazzled sounding Unionists lately…. πŸ˜‰

  239. Big Jock says:

    Attack on the press? God love them.This is the same press that is going through court for tapping peoples phones,relentlessly pursued Tommy Sheridan,denegrate those who favour independence on a daily basis,character assassinate Salmond every other day!Simply Breathtaking.

  240. Croompenstein says:

    @tartanpigsy – Anyone noticed any frazzled sounding Unionists lately – All of them πŸ™‚

  241. tartanpigsy says:



  242. ronnie anderson says:

    I was thinking about( night time Projection)as others

    have done earlier on in the thread, lets Light up Glasgow,

    Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Stirling, there,s plenty

    Wingers could do it, whats the costs of a Projection machine

    I,m in for a Β£100,CMon Rev we,re no laying doon tae they


  243. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Just been discussing the “banned ad” with my partner…AGAIN! πŸ™‚

    I think we are now getting close to the position where we will be ordering a couple of T-shirts from Vista Print. πŸ˜›

  244. chuck says:

    why not just change it to an online newspaper advert

    Scottish news in Scotland!

    Scotlands newest newspaper!

    Keep it going – make it so I can print and leave on the train

  245. Clancheif says:

    I hope you cancelled the cheques
    You cant pay for a service you haven’t received

  246. john king says:

    “Where are the limits to politicisation? I’ve seen anti-European advertising on the London tube from The Economist (a neocon blatt aimed at US corporate employees), and no-one seemed to take umbrage at it.”

    The tories spent public money with their vile shop an illegal immigrant mobile poster!

  247. chuck says:

    everyone to go on the underground and leave a leaflet

  248. john king says:


    Well well well
    how long did it take you to show up here?
    welcome Valeman!

  249. Neil MacGillivray says:

    SPT have a FOI in place:

    Can SPT be forced to reveal the person/s who lodged a complaint and to tell us why the ad was pulled and on what grounds?

    Or will they adopt the BBC gambit and refuse to answer?

  250. GraemeMcCormick says:

    Time to have a YES day on the Subway

  251. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    While everybody is nicely fired-up, remember you can still contribute to the YES Pollok Campaign Base fundraiser:

    It’s Johann’s constituency, so it is an especially good cause.
    If you contributed Β£10M or Β£100M, it would be all the same to Johann.

    The fundraising is going well, and reaching their target is in sight.


  252. A Darling says:

    Glad to see this filth is being removed as we speak hope you didnt spend all your fundraising money on these reverend crackpot? hahahaaa

  253. Dcanmore says:

    @Neil MacGillivray …

    SPT FOI requests previously published

  254. ayemachrihanish says:

    Rev, in addition

    access to the WoS site – via any Glasgow library ‘public’ computer – is also blocked!

    Champions of free speech… hahaha – dear green Glasgow – the city where democracy was first suffocated!!

  255. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Well that’s it done and dusted. Partner has just ordered two T-shirts from Vista Print. The total cost including postage and VAT was around Β£22.00, think she said postage was around Β£6.00.

    Just a wee thought ayemachrihanish but have you thought about contacting your M.S.P. about this?

  256. Clootie says:


    If you need funds for a legal challenge count me in.

  257. Wendy Ivers says:

    You have a number of options

    1)Pay or ask people to simply hold the posters or attache them to their bags whilst travelling on the subway

    2) Arrange a boycott of the subway network

    3) argue that all advertising is political e.g. advertising for loans that charge interest promotes the politics of capitalism, encouraging women to wear makeup or lose weight promotes the politics of patriarchy

    4) reword them

    5) cite your sources/references so that they can be proven to be simply providing factual information based on research

  258. RichTiger says:

    I hope Rev reads this, you should ask for an opportunity to display a different ad, ask if its the word ‘independent’ that is too ‘political’ or the Wings of Scotland. The former is an easy fix but i cant see you getting the latter as you are a political commentator. Without seeming to be bitter i believe you should be able to ask everyone that contributed money to the ad campaign to complain to SPT or complain about any other ads that could be deemed political

  259. Jinky says:

    Hello, how do you know all 37 dont support indy?

  260. Grouse Beater says:

    Glasgow’s Tammany Hall Labour politicians, what are they going to do in the event of a Yes vote?

    Declare unilateral independence for Glasgow?

  261. Graham S says:

    Just sent this email to SPT customer complaints:

    To whom it may concern,

    I’d like to complain about what looks like a politically motivated advertising decision taken by SPT to remove adverts placed on the tube my the website “Wing Over Scotland”.

    This is a site not affiliated to any particular political party and provides well informed analysis around the Scottish independence debate. It is regularly critical of the mainstream media bias towards a London unionist perspective. The facts on the advert were not political opinion but indisputable facts. It appear from the outside that SPT has been forced for political reasons to take down the adverts. Is this the case?

    I would hate to think that having councillor Archie Graham (Johann Lamont’s husband) on the board would lead to a politically motivated decision to censor advertising on the tube. The advert was obviously agreed to by SPT well ahead of time as it actually made it up on the boards. Did unionist politicians use inappropriate pressure to have them taken down?

    Please could you look into the matter and tell me what the reason was for the removal of the adverts? Has there been a case before where a similar advert has been permitted and then removed for similar reasons?

    Your sincerely,


  262. blindbat says:

    Anent the suggestion that there may be other ads on the subway which could be subject to complaints, surely it would be an easy matter to photograph ALL ads on the subway with your mobile phone every time you travel. If enough people did this, SPT would soon get riled and the media would soon notice….

  263. Derek says:

    “Always wanted to be part of an underground movement”

    An extra 10 points to Macandroid…

  264. Alan McCusker says:

    I have sent a complaint to the ASA, ABOUT THE SPT Board. Let’s hear what this other stalwart of the British establishment will have to say, my comment pasted below. I’ll keep you posted, re their reply. This needs exposing on every platform.

    My complaint concerns not the content of the advert but rather the decision by Strathclyde Passenger Transport Board to remove the adverts from Subway trains in Glasgow, on the grounds that this is a politically motivated attempt to censor the right of free speech by a Scottish news website. The ad itself makes no reference to any political party, but rather encourages potential new reader to seek information from a different source. Therefore the pulling of the adverts constitutes an act of censorship by SPT, and the suppression of information.

  265. Bruce Morton says:

    Go Wings. A very good initiative. Also, re ayemachrihanish’s post: is that true? If so, Jesus fkn Christ – what darkness are we up against here? And will the MSM remark on the subway notices/removal? OK – that latter query is probably rhetorical.. Nevertheless – the word has gone into the minds of thousands of Glasgow travellers. Nice one.

  266. Bruce Morton says:

    Re Graham S’s post. Solid, sound and inspirational stuff. An example, brother. Nice one. I’m gonna send similar – let’s all do so.

  267. Dubai_Scot says:

    Morning Rev.

    I just looked at your advert to see what all the fuss was about. It clearly falls into the description of “Factoid” used to advertise your website. IMHO.

  268. faolie says:

    Great, simple, to the point ads Rev. Brilliant.

    It’s quite hilarious that they were pulled after a day. I have a vision of lots of headless chickens running around yesterday wondering what the f*** to do. This will definitely run and run.

    Just to try to make sure it does, I emailed Russia Today and told them. They’ve run a few stories on Scottish independence before, and well, referendums are high on their agenda right now. Who knows, they might run something.

    Also, why don’t you try advertising on Lothian Buses next? That should be fun too.

  269. Johnney come lately says:

    Does this mean that any newspapers sold on these premises which have a political story or headline on the frontpage are to be stopped from being sold and removed forwith?

  270. turnbull drier says:

    I pop off line for an evening and all hell breaks loose..

    Complaint sent…

    Oh, nice ad’s Rev πŸ™‚

  271. Their auto response is unsurprisingly non-committal

    Thank you for your enquiry. It will now be sent on to the relevant department, who will, in accordance with our Service Standards, hope to respond within 5 working days.

    Many thanks,

    Strathclyde Partnership for Transport

  272. Craig P says:

    In my opinion (just for avoidance of doubt for any BBC presenters reading that’s *my* opinion, not Jose Manuel Barroso’s), Scotland’s greatest living painter is Peter Howson. Though if we are talking ‘artist’ in the broadest sense of ‘creative’, then Momus must be in with a shout.

    Momus: ‘Sex for the Disabled’

  273. Jamie Ferry says:

    If there was a section on the site where we could download a jpeg of this poster, we could all get these printed off and promote this message.

  274. Grendel says:

    While they have banned your ad they have no problem distributing Metro which today has a full page ad on behalf on, signed off as on behalf of “An Ordinary Man”.
    A trip to the website reveals this Ordinary Man to be a chap called Keith Howell.
    Does anyone know just how ordinary a guy who can afford to put full page advertising in the Metro is?

  275. Graham S says:

    This is a link to a photo of the advert in the Metro..which they hand out every day. Maybe you should try and book some advertising space in there Rev?

  276. Mark Harper says:

    Why not post the adds on stagecoach busses? You might even get them posted for free as the owner i an SNP contributor…

  277. gerry parker says:

    That’s a “Capital” idea. We should target any organisation that’s likely to have strings pulled behind the scenes and flush them out into the open when they try to pull the adverts.
    They send the results to RT for good measure.

  278. the jimmyman says:

    What about pitch side adverts at scottish football grounds. There are numerous boards promoting just about every party at grounds around the country

  279. Alan McCusker says:

    I think the Pitch Advertising is an excellent idea. And of course it will be seen in broadcasts. So a prominent centre touchline position would be the place opposite main camera’s position. Also I’d suggest looking into an animated ad for the digital screens and hoardings where available. First Frame with logo, THE ADVERT THEY TRIED TO BAN! Transition to Second Frame THE ADVERT.

    I think the introduction frame message further re-inforces the significance and the wider implications of what the SPT board have attempted to do.

  280. gerry parker says:

    “Then send the results…”

  281. Grouse Beater says:


    I read “Puppeteer” for “Nupateer” from the neo-con hard-Right Republican style fabrication the author(s) wish to call an advert for reason.

    In many instances it’s blatant slander, full of fabrications, half-truths, and attempts at telloinhg readers what to think.

    Should the issue not be a matter for our Parliamentarians to discuss? Or is one of them behind the publication of such obvious black propaganda?

  282. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “If there was a section on the site where we could download a jpeg of this poster, we could all get these printed off and promote this message.”

  283. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Hello, how do you know all 37 dont support indy?”

    Because they haven’t said so.

  284. Grouse Beater says:

    I came across an old Kenny Farquharson article demeaning the existence of the SNP, and what he termed, the myths surrounding them.

    It is a terrible piece of work, full of supposition based on prejudice, and assertion made without direct evidence proffered to support his theories.

    One contention he opines is the Holyrood voting system was contrived to keep out Labour not the SNP. This simply flies in the face of recorded fact. Both Labour and Conservative MPs, and later MSPs, boasted how well that system would work against minority parties, namely the “nationalists” … it didn’t, but that isn’t the point. It didn’t against their best endeavours.

    On Twitter he restates what he sees as a contradiction, that the SNP’s policy of one step at a time to achieve autonomy is silly because it proposes keeping the Queen and retaining union with the pound sterling.

    He cannot make up his mind whether he chastises the SNP for separatism or not cutting the ties completely.

    The SNP’s policy seeks to retain some ties with England, (that can be cut by other administrations later on public demand) consequently the SNP version of independence cannot be categorised as “separatist” in the full sense of the meaning. That that has to be to England’s benefit passes Farquharson’s gaze completely.

    Of course, he omits to mention another policy of goodwill is the retention of no border controls, again making any accusation of separatism look stupid.

    I enjoyed Gwyneth Paltrow’s description of her impending divorce as “conscious uncoupling.” In Scotland’s case it is conscious uncoupling of centuries of domination over its preferred political outlook, aspirations, and ethos by an almost always self-serving, antagonistic Westminster.

    Knowing major decisions are something other people make elsewhere has always been at the heart of Scotland’s frustration and despair. I include Scots making those decisions for they make them on behalf of England’s priorities, Blair and Brown supreme examples of the breed.

    Let’s have that “uncoupling” of all the negative ties we have with another country’s government, the same that was decried on the Act of Union, and down the ages since.

    Let’s have the freedoms and democratic structures denied us by force, by unjust laws and taxation, by deception, being outnumbered in representation, by our own hopes for better dashed, and by our subservience.

  285. Nigel Burkin says:

    As is usual with such attempts to censor free speech, the ‘banned’ material, when seen to be fair and reasonable eventually gets out in other ways. Simply by banning the ad, SPT has successfully ensured that it gets plenty of publicity. So it’s not all bad…

  286. I sent off a Thank You email to SPT rather than a complaint. Thanking them for their action as it would lead to the adverts getting far more coverage. And that I knew that this was their intention all along, that no one could be as daft as to pull it for any other reason than to evoke the streisand effect.

    Since seeing the story now appearing on I sent a follow-up, thanking them again and congratulating them on their covert plan to help the Wings cause bearing fruit so quickly.

    This has been a classic example of a Win-Win situation for the YES team (and Wings in particular. Hats off to Stu)

  287. Chris Paton says:

    BBC’s now running it

    Yes, the BBC.

    I know…!

  288. bigGpolmont says:

    Just sent a we letter of to S.P.T (below)

    Could you please explain why you have withdrawn adverts for the ” wingsoverscotland website?.
    I understand from the press that you will not allow political adverts to be associated with the Subway and if this was true it would be very harsh as it was not expressing a political opinion but advertising a website whereby people who wished to hear an alternative viewpoint could find information.
    However I have picked up a copy of the Metro to find a blatant pro unionist stance expressed within by a website called nupateer.

    I personally have no axe to grind against nupateer or wingsoverscotland but by removing one advert while allowing another to be distributed not only makes the S.P.T. biased but also very very foolish.
    Remember how stupid the British tv services looked on the reporting of Irelands Gerry Adams he could be seen but his voice was not allowed to be heard
    All that did was fan the flames of distrust and eventually the voice of Mr Adams was heard and the rest is history
    SPT is coming a very close second to that. Reverse this ridiculous decision before you look as stupid as the British press did. I look forward to your earliest reply. Failure to reply will leave me no alternative but to ask further questions from your executive,
    Glasgow council, The Scottish Government and the Advertising Standards Watchdog

  289. Andrew Murray says:

    I find it amazing that your advertising gets taken down. yet Aberdeen City Council send out thousands of letters on behalf of BT and yet nothing happens. Maybe you should try a haulage firm to see if they would advertise on the side of there lorries. just a suggestion.

    Keep up the good work Rev

  290. Sunshine on Crieff says:

    As Chris Paton posted the BBC news website now has the story, with an image of the WoS poster. So, assuming you get a refund, and looking on the bright side, the exercise has at least got some free publicity – and the fund lives to fight another day!

  291. soulful dog says:

    Ah well, if it hadn’t have been banned, it wouldn’t have been newsworthy and then I wouldn’t have read about it on the BBC News website and learned about the Wings Over Scotland website…. so not all bad!

  292. Roddy McL says:

    SPT’s position means thay cannot accept advertising from a media organisation that has ANY political opinion. Which, if they are consistent, includes the rest of the UK / Scottish media.

    Lets see if SPT are prepared to ban adverts for other Scottish media.

  293. Jinky says:

    rev none of the 37 havent said so, out of interest how many of the 37 have said they support no?

  294. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Jinky

    I would think UK newspapers nervous about supporting full powers for Scotland openly when so much of their sales depend on the south of England and influencial opinions that reside there. Better to appear neutral than declare you are for an equitable democracy.

  295. bigGpolmont says:

    I have just had a reply from my earlier e to S.P.T
    Stating that it contravened their conditions because it was political so I sent the following:-
    Thank you for your swift reply. However I would point out that the advert made no political statement and was therefore merely a signpost towards a website where further information is available this is the same as an advert for smoking cessation clinics which act purely as a sign post.I take it you would not refuse an advert for a smoking cessation clinic?
    If you disagree perhaps you could advise
    a) What was the political statement? as far as I can see it was only statement of facts
    no political party or viewpoint was mentioned
    b) Who took the decision to remove this ?
    c) Was it removed because of complaints if so how many?
    d) How many complaints have you received because you have removed these adverts?

    If your reasons are to be believed why do you allow the free newspaper to be distributed within the subway ?
    It contains adverts from ” the ordinary man Ltd” which are not only overtly political mentioning political parties by name and express political viewpoints but also act as a signpost towards a political website.
    Your actions can hardly be considered to be fair balanced and reasonable, while the wings over Scotland advert fulfils all the criteria placed on adverts by the advertising standards Fair, honest, decent and truthful.
    as I implied in my earlier email I would like to know the facts behind this and hope that they are forthcoming
    without the need to apply for the information via a Freedom of information request.
    I also hope to see the adverts replaced in the name of impartiality which will save the matter being taken further
    I look forward to your reply
    I do hope that you agree with me that if they were to replace the adverts on each carriage that would be an end to the matter although I do think that they owe you an apology too.

  296. Graham Scott says:

    Also got the same reply. I simply asked which rules were broken and, if so, why the advert was in breach of those rules. The response covered the first point, but not the second, so have asked again.

  297. Jute Man says:

    One doing the rounds on BookFace at the moment is that Johann Lamont’s husband is a bit of a bigwig within SPT? Couldn’t possibly be a connection, could it? Just wondering, that’s all

  298. Alan McCusker says:

    Perhaps some journalist should ask Lamont directly what her views are on censorship, in the light of this outrage, and, draw attention to the wider issue of Labour cronyism and abuse of expense claims within SPT.

  299. Elspeth says:

    Just received a reply from SPT (took them a while!). I found it unsatisfactory so I’ve asked them for further clarification. All very nicely, of course …

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