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'You had to be there...'

Do you remember what it felt like a decade ago?

Wednesday, April 17, 2024
33 mins

'You had to be there...'

by Frances Watt

It's hard to describe what it felt like in the run-up to the 2014 referendum.

This time a decade ago?

In some ways it feels like another lifetime, someone else's experience. But in other ways it feels very recent. If we strip out the 'covid' years (which now, in retrospect, seem unreal) that helps account for what feels like lost time. And that just reinforces the sense that things are moving so quickly that the original aim of the Yes movement can become obscured.

We went into the archives of Wings Over Scotland to get a flavour of what was being discussed back in the day. What emerges is an overarching 'busy-ness'. There was a lot going on. In the April of 2014 alone, Wings published 101 blogposts. Some of them were Chris Cairns cartoons but most were original pieces by Stuart Campbell. That is an astonishing amount of material, all the more impressive when you consider that the period includes a period when Campbell was supposed to be 'taking a few days off'.

Readers may wish to visit the Wings archive for themselves. April 2014 is here: Wings Over Scotland | 2014 | April

We've gone back to the two posts published on this day ten years ago and selected some comments to try and resurrect what it felt like.

Wings Over Scotland | The flexibility of words

'While semantic sophistry enables “Better Together” to mislead with the “more powers” line without actually saying anything that’s technically untrue, there’s no conceivable spin or interpretation that can be put on the “more job opportunities” claim that can make it anything other than a flat-out lie.' Stuart Campbell.


17 April, 2014 at 1:50 pm

The time has come and gone long ago for Better Together to even try and pretend to be positive. They are a running joke who people are hopefully finally starting to see through.


17 April, 2014 at 2:03 pm

What did you do to shut down Scottish democracy in 2014 Daddy MacDougall? I bullshitted them they actually have democracy of their very own, works every time.


17 April, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Wings is leaking into the real world, folks: I was in Largs this lunchtime, and found a lovely wee car flying a saltire on a stick on the roof, festooned with Wings bumper stickers! Aricht, fess up, wha wis it?

Possibly related: since when did they make stainless steel EYELASHES for cars? Madness.

Doug Daniel

17 April, 2014 at 2:17 pm

I saw a tweet from some unionist that said it was true because independence would lead to lots of job losses in the defence industry. Bollocks obviously, but even if it were true, it would still be sophistry – they’re really meaning “no loss of jobs” rather than “lots of fabulous new jobs!” Also, that would then imply that “more powers” means “Scotland will have more powers as a part of the UK than it would as an independent country”, which is clearly absolute horse-shit.


17 April, 2014 at 2:18 pm

I agree that the “More Job Opportunities” is the lie, thought that the first time I saw the ad.

As someone who had to leave Scotland in the mid-1980s after graduating in order to find a job/get off the dole, it is one of my main reasons for voting Yes – so my daughter doesn’t have to do the same (although of course fine if she wants to, it’s just the ‘have to’ I am against).

One employment benefit of a Yes vote that isn’t mentioned much is the jobs that will be created with the establishment of new Embassies and Delegations. As an indicator of how many there might be, Dublin hosts 53.

Obviously the top jobs will generally be taken by nationals of the countries whose Embassies they are, but there will be many opportunities for locals re support and back-room jobs. (As well as employment benefits there will be office and housing market impacts, more trade for local restaurants and shops, and lots of ad hoc work for Scottish lawyers and other professional services).

Mary Bruce

17 April, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Better Together’s previous tagline, “the only way to keep the pound is to vote no” was a total and utter lie too, yet it remained as a banner on their website and facebook page for months and was on 500,000 of their leaflets according to themselves.

Who in their right mind would want to remain tied to a nation that lies to its own people with such ease?

Robert Louis

17 April, 2014 at 2:23 pm

So, to be clear, better together fully know that what most people think of as ‘more powers’ in return for a NO vote, is powers in addition to those silly powers which have already been agreed in the utterly useless Scotland act of 2 years ago.

So, what we have then is better together effectively lying. Although on a technicality they may say the Scotland act of 2012 gives ‘more powers’, THEY, and everybody else knows they are being disingenuous.

What a corrupt bunch better together have become. Now they resort to lying on advertising posters, such is their collective inability to produce a good rational case for the union with England. First they threatened Scots, then they tried to scare Scots, then they tried to bully Scots, and now they just lie.

Seriously, in any other country of the world, such lying and deception to the detriment of a nation’s population, would have the protagonists run out of town, or worse.


17 April, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Hi Molly, P&J gets more Project Fear by the day but have any of the “journalists” from The P and J ever asked the far right freak show that currently owns Scotland anything at all? Usually they’re merely savaging Scottish green energy, monstering Holyrood, the SNP and Alex Salmond all the while prostrating themselves at the feet of the royals, the ConDems and Alistair the Flipper Darling.

This is the same newspaper that provided pseuds such as Sir Michael Gove and Lord Jim Naughty with a spring board big enough to ejaculate themselves over humanity.


17 April, 2014 at 4:15 pm


I am sure that the British army will accept any Scots that want to join it, as they always have. Or will Scots be excluded in preference to Samoans or Irish?

And as Scotland will be in the EU and presumably the rUK will be too, Scots can’t legally be denied access to rUK jobs in future.

Further, there will be lots of jobs created in an independent Scotland – replacing those that are currently done on our behalf in the rUK and for which we are already paying. The money will just be spent here, rather than in London, which is s

Peter A Bell

17 April, 2014 at 5:29 pm

The “more powers – guaranteed” statement is a lie in that its purpose is to deceive.


17 April, 2014 at 7:03 pm


I don’t now if you all saw this but this is the STUC’s verdict on Johann Lamont’s answers to their questions at their recent conference.


I particularly liked this bit, which was also quoted in the BBC report:

“However, it was notable that her answers to referendum questions on reserved Westminster policy such as Trident, employment rights, public spending cuts and Labour’s support for the Coalition’s Benefit Cap, appeared insufficient to convinced our delegates that the current policies of the UK Labour Party will be sufficient to achieve our social justice ambitions for Scotland should there be a no vote in the referendum.

“Johann’s expressed preference for a separate Scottish currency under independence was interesting. While a separate currency may offer considerable economic freedom longer term it would inevitably mean a period of austerity at least as severe as that currently being pursued by the Coalition.”

Taxi for Johann!

Andrew Morton

17 April, 2014 at 8:00 pm

surprisingly objective and well informed foreign piece.



17 April, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Excellent article and a good find, Andrew. How refreshing to read a news piece NOT full of doom and gloom or threats, but a balanced and generally positive piece about Scotland taking its place among the world’s nations.

I’ve long thought that if Scotland voted for independence we would see a massive hike in tourism, especially from America. Scotland has rediscovered its potential and pride as a nation, and I think we’ll see a huge resurgence of confidence not just among Scots, but other nationalities living in Scotland, and Scots descendants abroad. I now think that – and hope – it will extend even further and we’ll see a lot of Scots returning home wanting to take part in building a new vibrant, positive and progressive nation.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that an independent Scotland will have a lot of goodwill from the continent and overseas. The relationship with America is an important one historically, culturally and economically, and whilst we don’t always see eye to eye – mostly when the Republicans get their hands on power – it’s clear that in a post-Yes world we’ll have the support of a US administration.

Here’s to “Scottish mania” sweeping the globe!!


17 April, 2014 at 9:06 pm


That is what I was looking for. But if the Scottish Government know of this potential oil boom off the Clyde coast, then why aren’t they telling us.

The Ayrshire coast is an unemployment black spot, so surely this is a win win situation for the SNP/YES Campaign when it comes to votes FOR Independence.

It still puzzles me, why are the Scottish Government not playing this right up for all it’s worth.


17 April, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Have you looked closely recently at you friends, neighbours or colleagues? Do you really bring up the Independence debate with them or like me, say very little unless you feel your in the right comfort zone?

I wonder too, because it is not always noticeable, other than loud mouths the majority have a tendency to “keep themselves to themselves”.

I know I do, in fact I’m a little ashamed that I don’t make wearing my heart of my sleeve so much more obvious, that I might leave no one in any doubt as to my intentions come the referendum vote.

I wonder why this may be and have to admit it is fear of either ridicule, abuse or something worse that prevents you from openly stating your beliefs.

Don’t get me wrong, if an opportunity arises then I am in there with the arguments and positive reasons why we should vote Yes. The issue is, I can wait a long time for that opportunity and they are few and far between.

I have a Yes car sticker and a LFI one yet have not affixed them to the windscreen, I have badges that have yet to be worn in public. I keep telling myself “I’ll do it when the time is right”.

I’ve decided for me at least that time is now.

I no longer care about ridicule, which I don’t think will be coming, I no longer care about abuse, which I don’t think will be coming.

I only care about getting a result that will benefit our country and our people. I intend to wear my heart on my sleeve from this moment, I hope many of you will too.


17 April, 2014 at 9:39 pm

@harry @caz-m
I recall a similar conversation over Christmas dinner with the family. I think it boils down to picking your battles. If Alec has shouted more about McCrone, I suspect Westminster would have accused him of “living in the past” and probably found a way to discredit the original report – trotting out some new “expert analysis” or some such. Or possibly is was just about keeping the campaign positive.

I confess to knowing very little about NS oil and considerably less about Clyde oil, except that there’s been talk of it for years. Maybe Alec didn’t think he was on strong ground because he felt there hadn’t been sufficient research – who knows? Only the man himself. He was an oil economist for years, so certainly he must know more than he’s letting on. Maybe he’s keeping his power dry for later in the campaign.

Cymru Rydd

17 April, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Watching the Referendum unfold from here in Wales is absolutely fascinating.

I had always thought that a long campaign( over two years in essence) was the YES campaign’s best chance since that would provide an opportunity to fully air the relevant issues amongst the voters of Scotland. Engineering a situation where such a long campaign has been accepted by the electorate- with no real disaffection about this fact- has been a masterstroke in itself from the SNP. But a quite separate masterstroke has also evidenced itself over the course of the referendum,( and this was also surely anticipated by the SNP) i.e that the NO campaign would almost unthinkingly illuminate some of the main themes of YES.

What strikes me forcefully is that the NO campaign seems quite unable to disentangle themselves from the mentality of empire in setting out their narrative, and I would hazard a guess that this is something that just cannot be changed now. It’s all about the loss of clout, the loss of standing, the loss of prestige on the world stage for Britain( England). Scotland itself appears a mere afterthought to this existential threat to the British state.

All this plays terribly badly in Scotland, since it just reeks of arrogance and imperial delusion. Such a worldview grates here in Wales, so I can only imagine how Scots are feeling about it. But NO just can’t help themselves. It’s who they are and what they stand for in essence.

In theory, a nuanced NO position, drawing its main inspiration from a Scottish perspective could have been imagined. Scotland’s amazing history and contribution in so many fields on a wider level both within the UK and further afield could have been highlighted and celebrated. A NO campaign could have been fashioned with Scottish sensibilities in mind. But, in practice, this was never going to happen. It was just beyond the imagination of the British State.

To have both the YES campaign and NO campaign reinforcing the SNP’s core message about the reality of Scotland’s position within this “union” has to be a first in the history of independence referendums! Is there really any doubt about the final result with such a convergence?


17 April, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Rogue coder at 9.39

” McCrone, I suspect Westminster would have accused him of “living in the past” and probably found a way to discredit the original report – trotting out some new “expert analysis” or some such”

Rogue, they went one better than that and actually got Mcrone to say that he did in fact write a load of pish.

So pish they hid it for 30 years.

They didn’t anticipate the internet,

Tam Jardine

17 April, 2014 at 11:01 pm


Good on you – I get where you are coming from. I come from a presbyterian background where money, politics and such like are not really discussed in public never mind displaying political affiliation.

Although it does feel a little like I am displaying my genitals in public I have stuck my cool wee Yes badge on my coat and anyone who don’t like it can go bile their heid.

Was thinking today in terms of Texas Hold’em… the No side have been bluffing from the start with their refusal to have devo-max on the ballot paper and it’s been bluff, bullshit and play acting ever since through the currency union, all the time with the stakes and threats ramping up.

All that shite is coming to an end and we’re going ALL-IN. Everything is piled up on the table for ourselves and future generations: prosperity, eradicating poverty, improvements in infrastructure, inward investment, improved exports, renewable, oil, gas, water, land redistribution, an end to discrimination in all forms, an end to unelected governments, and a vast reservoir of goodwill from all around the world.

We just have to hold our nerve. Westminster have gone all-in as well and both sides have much to loose.

Stick with the badge mate (and the great posts). I’m with you.

Ian Brotherhood

17 April, 2014 at 11:57 pm

@Thepnr –

Spot on yet again mister.

You’ve articulated your position many times here, and done it consistently. For me, it’s one of the most powerful messages we can get out there – it’s just too easy for BT apparatchiks and their faithful MSM blowhards to dismiss LFI/Grogan. But they cannot dismiss you.

The very fact that there is a growing LFI movement probably scares them more than anything else, and the root of that fear is people like yourself telling them the truth. So please, keep at it man – if you could distill the essence of all the posts you’ve made here then it would make one of the most powerful statements seen so far.

High-five to you and all the other decent folk who refuse to accept the sham now masquerading as Scotland’s ‘Labour Party’ – if this whole debate achieves nothing else, it has forced Blairite gobshites to break cover, and the post-referendum landscape will be free of them once and for all. The very idea of it is just sublime – no more Dougie Alexander, Brian Wilson, Porgie Foulkes, Jackie Baillie, Lamont, Gray, Curran, Sarwar, and their mighty MSM buddies…the list goes on and on and on…but come Sep 19th, we’ll be able to stick a big fat full-stop at the end of it.

‘Scottish Labour’ = ‘Living Fossils’.

ronnie anderson

18 April, 2014 at 12:17 am

@Archie not Erchie, ma shed earmarked fur the new border post at Gretna Welcoming Ambassidors rotate on a daily
basis, wee urn n Scottish blend provided.


18 April, 2014 at 12:43 am

Found this huge and impressive YES supporters list:

A host of famous and prominent Scots have already pledged their support for independence. They include:–

Sir Sean Connery, iconic actor (pictured); Blair Jenkins, former BBC Scot. & STV head of news; Sir George Mathewson, businessman & banker; Sarah-Jane Walls, businesswoman; Ruth Wishart, journalist; Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh; lawyer & businesswoman; Dan Macdonald; property developer; Liz Lochhead, poet; Elaine C. Smith, actress & comedienne; Dennis Canavan, former Labour MP & MSP; John McAllion, former Labour MP; Paul H. Scott, author & former diplomat; Jim McColl, businessman; Tommy Brennan, former shop steward; Dougie MacLean, singer; George Kerevan, economist & journalist; The Proclaimers, singers; Cameron McNeish, hill-walker & author; Pat Kane, musician; Lou Hickey, singer; Hardeep Singh Kohli, comedian & writer; Brian Cox, actor; Alan Cumming, actor; A.L. Kennedy, writer; James Cosmo, actor; John Byrne, writer; Martin Compston, actor; Stewart Kirkpatrick, website editor; Andrew Fairlie, restaurateur; Colin Fox, Scot. Socialist Party; Alex Boyd, photographer; Alasdair Gray, writer; David Hayman, actor; James Kelman, writer; Cat Boyd, trade unionist; Alan Bissett, novelist; Sheena Wellington, singer: Irvine Welsh, writer; Alasdair Stephen, architect; Annie Lennox, singer; David Greig, playwright; Alastair McDonald, singer; Frankie Boyle, comedian; Jack Vettriano, artist; Iain Anderson, radio presenter; Gerard Butler, actor; Janice Galloway, writer; Jim Delahunt, radio sports presenter; John Wallace, Principal of RSAMD; Ted Christopher, singer; Gerry Hassan, writer; Peter Mullan, actor, Dick Gaughan, singer; Mark Millar, comic book writer; Kyle Falkoner, singer: Aamer Anwar, lawyer; Clare Galloway, artist; James Aitken, lawyer; Peter De Vink, financier; Malcolm Fraser, architect; Angus Tulloch, investment manager; Tim Barrow, actor; Prof. Joe Goldblatt, academic; Greg Hemphill, actor & comedian; Ricky Ross, singer & radio presenter; Jeane Freeman, public affairs consultant; Lari Don, children’s story writer; James Robertson, author; Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, composer; Malky McCormick, cartoonist; Karen Matheson, singer; Karine Polwart, singer & songwriter; Sir Tom Hunter, businessman; Eddi Reader, singer; Michael Fry, historian & author; Craig Murray, author & former ambassador; Kevin McKidd, actor; Sandy Adam, businessman; Mary Lockhart, Scot. Co-operative Party; Tony Banks, businessman; Mark Shaw, property developer; Calum Colvin, artist & photographer; Lesley Riddoch, writer & journalist; Simon Howie, businessman; Aly Bain, musician; Harvey Aberdein, lawyer; Dolina Maclennan, actress & singer; Dr. Richard Dixon, environmental campaigner; Jai McDowall, singer; Sir Charles Gray, former Labour Strathclyde Council leader; Louise Batchelor, former BBC news presenter; Alex Mosson, former Labour Lord Provost of Glasgow; Nick Johnston, former Scottish Tory MSP; John Mulvey, former Labour Lothian Council leader; Derek Bateman, retired BBC radio presenter; Carmen Pieraccini, actress; Mary Ann Kennedy, singer & broadcaster; William McIlvanney, author; Alex Arthur, former championship boxer; Bob Thomson, former chairman of Scottish Labour Party; Libby McArthur, actress; David Taylor, former chief executive of SFA; James Scott, former executive director of Scottish Financial Enterprise; Freya Mavor, actress; Andy Myles, former chief executive of Scottish Liberal Democrats; Joan Burnie, journalist; Duchess of Hamilton (Kay Carmichael).


Wings Over Scotland | An embarrassment to journalism

'The Scottish media displays such a remarkable uniformity of thought when it comes to the independence debate that you’d think it’d be the easiest thing in the world for them to at least all get their story straight when they launch a smear campaign against a prominent Yes figure.' Stuart Campbell


17 April, 2014 at 10:06 am

I’m struggling to cope with the multiple layers of irony.

In Bissett’s poem, Vote Britain – which Ian Smart linked to as anti-English – the only line that mentions the English is, “Vote for any argument you construct in your defence being ‘anti-English’.”

Now Peterkin is coming over all aggrieved at it being pointed out what the No camp and media doing. They really, really don’t like having a mirror held up to themselves, do they?

Bugger (the Panda)

17 April, 2014 at 10:18 am

then they come to fight you

and you know you have won.

I wonder if we are seeing the death rattles of the No campaign?

They seem to have lost the plot, big time.


17 April, 2014 at 10:18 am

Looks like total panic in the nasty camp.

Slowly but surely they are losing and as their precious union sinks their cries become ever more shrill and deranged.

Kettle, Riley-Smith, Peterkin et al are desperate to find a reason other than their broken unionist society for Scotland wanting out. Therefore it must be anti Englishness. It simply can’t be that they are just plain wrong. Can it?

Grouse Beater

17 April, 2014 at 10:33 am

“A democratic Caledonian Hitler” – since when was Hitler a democrat? Maybe the hack was referring to the way Hitler treated dogs well. A man who likes dogs can’t be all bad.

No one should be shocked.

We knew the opposition would fabricate, smear and libel. That’s always been their way. For decades the SNP was depicted as a small, eccentric rabble.

Any movement for genuine democracy is bound to be put down by force or by defamation. But first you must manufacture consent in order to move in, seen doing the right thing on behalf of the will of the “majority.”

Stuart –

Have you caught Lord Major Tom Robertson’s wailings at being criticised for his ludicrous ravings? I love the way the newspaper use portraits at least 20 years out of date.


17 April, 2014 at 10:40 am

“Plucked out of thin air, and then ridiculed, was the idea that No campaigners believe independence supporters are anti-English.“”

I… I just….

Thought it couldn’t get stupider than Robertson’s “Forces of Darkness.” Then I thought it couldn’t get more deranged than Hammond’s “threats from space.” Now we get people claiming that by far the single most common strawman thrown at the Scottish independence campaign since the beginning of the movement was plucked from thin air!?!

There’s urinating on your shoes and telling you it’s raining. This is urinating on your shoes and telling you your feet aren’t even wet.

And you’re not even wearing any shoes.






17 April, 2014 at 10:54 am

My partner works in mental health services and she tells me about the behaviour of the poor souls she has to work with. They swear that black is white, they obsess, they do not (will not) see what is obvious to everybody else, there is no question of persuasion or reasoned discussion and if you confront them with the truth the response is often an outburst of vitriol, sometimes violence.

I see parallels with the No campaign and the media (I see them as one). I’m not suggesting that they are all mentally ill, but there are parallels. People with mental health problems are often so fixed in their view of the world that they really cannot see it in any other way and it can take years of empathic support to change their behaviour (if it ever changes).

Although the No campaign and the media are no more likely to be mentally ill (so far as I am aware) than any other group, the behaviours are similar and have a similar genesis i.e. an entrenched way of thinking and a refusal to entertain any other perspective, no matter how persuasive the arguments.

It’s not illness that causes them to have these entrenched perspectives – it is the result of a lifetime of brain-washing, indoctrination and reluctance to admit that they might have been wrong all these years.

The attacks on Alan Bissett are just the latest example of this and as the momentum builds for the Yes campaign expect to see more hysteria from the No side (which includes the media).


17 April, 2014 at 11:06 am

That Torrance piece is atrocious. I usually quite like the guy (he was a vague acquaintance at uni) even when I sharply disagree with his political leanings, but that article is just rotten. Are we not meant to be proud of Burns and Scott? Presumably Britain should be appalled at the crude, insular British nationalism of Geri Halliwell’s Union flag dress!

Also ridiculous: Alex Salmond IS the “man who led Scotland to this moment” – that doesn’t mean independence is about him; to wit, it is, in part, about the party that HAS fought for it for 80 years and, having finally got to that point, it’s fair to use the party conference to celebrate it; and just because the Better Together campaign is awful and Salmond gave it a slagging doesn’t mean that it’s about Yes Scotland either. Three non sequiturs in one sentence must be some sort of record.


17 April, 2014 at 11:17 am

Alan defends himself very well in Bella. I’ve heard him on a number of occasions and have always been more than impressed!

As for the BT tribe – whatever is coming next? I thought Lord George had found a new barrel to scrape with his catalysmic pish but new depths are being gouge out. The attack on Alan, the Aliens, the Clyde shipbuilding (is this now the 3rd attempt at this scary
angle) how the rest of the planet will crumble into Armageddon with Scottish independence etc.

How I wish that this will stop – it’s nae funny ony mair!

It is painful and sad that there is so much hatred, YES, that’s the word I want to use, not coming from the Scots towards the English or any part of rUK, as purported by some of the above comments, this is hatred coming from those who are pro-union towards the Scots because we deign to show up the futile, negative, childish non-arguments that they bray at us.

Sadly, we have 6 more months of this to put up with. Will it get any worse – Oh dear God YES!


17 April, 2014 at 11:19 am

Happened to be staying in the Hotel next door and picked up a flyer for the book launch for George Kerevan/Alan Cochrane . Now I know David Torrance was there (on his laptop) but it also looked liked James Cook, Severin Carroll( although I could be wrong) and a man who looked awfully like J Naughtie. I must admit I’m not sure if it was him because I thought he’d be taller.

I didn’t stay long because , despite reading George Kerevan, it would be too much to hand over any money to Alan Cochrane.

What did occur to me though is two things, while the Referendum has been a staple for the ‘journalists’ over the last two years(without the Referendum , what would they have been writing about, particularly Mr Torrance) and secondly, leaving out George Kerevan who I’ve mainly seen writing about economics, the Referendum hasn’t half been good in raising the rests profiles. For someone like me to be able to recognise journalists is no mean feat.

In fact as you ask Rev, with such regular get Togethers, you wonder why they are not getting their stories straight?

I wonder Ego or wine? Whatever, they should lay off Alan Bissett .

Jim Mitchell

17 April, 2014 at 11:32 am

When exactly is the NO campaign’s positive campaign actually going to start, I mean times getting short!

Patrick Roden

17 April, 2014 at 11:48 am

I made a comment on Twitter earlier today, in response to a piece about the reputation of Scottish Journalism.

‘the reputation of journalism in Scotland is somewhere between ‘being hated and thought of as ("Tractor" - Ed)ous scum’

One of the things I hope sites like Wings does after Independence, is to be a focal point for a campaign to have a genuinely Scottish media, that is free from the scum that have been part of the disgraceful campaign of fear, smear and misinformation, during this referendum campaign.

These people must simply never be allowed to forget how they betrayed their own people.


17 April, 2014 at 11:48 am

There is no doubt the media thought they were behind enemy lines at the SNP conference. They don’t hide their hostility and some of that anger is not generated by their loathing of the SNP (although most of it is), it’s also because politics in the rUk has become so anaemic with, effectively, leaderless political parties containing no conviction politicians whatsoever. They’ve spent years writing about porridge pretending it to be a banquet while the country slips down the plug hole of corruption and dubious morality, and like the politicians they seem to laud over, these so-called journalists have no principles nor pride in what they do.

What a filthy bunch and the company they keep.

G H Graham

17 April, 2014 at 12:25 pm

The tide has been turning against the print media for some time. Initially it was due to technical innovation; the internet which gave the plebiscite a means to publish almost for free.

The consequence of that development was a free fall in print sales & a correlated drop in display & line ad revenue; a double whammy.

But now, we are entering an extension of this phase where individuals have coalesced into teams, groups & associations which gives them a much more powerful voice.

It also now gives them access to the government & its agencies, once the exclusive domain of print media editors & journalists.

No longer does print media get to unilaterally decide news themes nor does it dominate the power that comes with access to the apparatus of state.

They got a frightening peek first hand at the SNP conference when it was they, the traditional media itself who became the news & they didn’t like how they were being portrayed.

So they did what they do best. They found a victim & rounded on him like a pack of adolescent teenagers for a virtual doing.

But the old days of print media bullies getting away with their narcissistic behaviour are coming to an end. The online response in support of Mr Bisset has been widespread, yet measured.

I really do look forward to these print titles like The Scotsman & The Herald disappearing for good because they are no longer fit for purpose.

And I am now more confident that the online community will replace them & who knows, one day start to produce paper copy if that is still considered a cost effective way of collection & dispersing news.


17 April, 2014 at 12:50 pm

On 19th September no need for tumbrels for the venal and venomous.Our rejoicing will be enough to show them the error of their ways.

Time was I thought I would volunteer for consular duties in somewhere warm,now I would be content to volunteer for any mundane task and just enjoy the ambience of hope.

Just finished delivering a few hundred leaflets including “Further info ” which includes Wings and others website address. I cannot get used to the warm smiles I am getting. Kept checking my apparel but no,genuine warmth to YES. Ther


17 April, 2014 at 12:53 pm

From reading the posts above, I know my own anger over the media and putting that together with discussions I have had with folk at work & in private life, I will confidently predict that whatever happens in September… Scotland will remember the media more than anything in this whole process… and not for the right reasons.


17 April, 2014 at 1:19 pm

caz-m says:

“A YES rally could be arranged to start in George Square in Glasgow and finishing in Glasgow Green.”

There seems to be STRONG resistance to any kind of march from the Yes & SNP camps. I wonder if they fear either trouble or the Kinnock effect? Neither would do us any good.

Craig P

17 April, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Training Day:
Genuine but ultimately rhetorical question – is there anyone in the metropolitan bubble – including London Jocks – who understands anything about Scotland or the referendum?

I had a reunion trip to London recently with old Scottish uni friends (several live there or thereabouts). The ones based in London showed genuine curiosity and feelings of goodwill towards the old country. They wanted information and were aware the media in their neck of the woods wasn’t providing it. It might be that those who moved south after devo do not hold the same negative view of Scotland as those who moved during the Thatcher years.

Or it could just be that I choose my friends well

Peter Brunskill

17 April, 2014 at 1:58 pm

I first met Alex Salmond in 1973. Throughout the last 40 years I have never experienced anti-Englishness from him – as probably his closest friend at University, and English, I think I would have noticed.

Incidentally being English doesn’t prevent you seeing the sense of Independence and a Yes vote, even if it does lumber us with Tory governments for the foreseeable future. This anti-English scaremongering is just nonsense.


17 April, 2014 at 2:14 pm


What kept Elizabeth I awake at nights, as I’m sure you know, was Mary Q of S right to the throne in catholic eyes (since catholics regarded Henry VIII’s divorce as illegal – and hence Elizabeth as illegitimate. Elizabeth was far more concerned with her own domestic plotters than with Scotland (which had plenty of religious troubles of its own).

I’ve always regarded it as one of the more shameful episodes in Scottish history (of which there are many) that James – Mary’s son, did absolutely nothing to protest about his mother’s long years of imprisonment in England, and even less about her execution. Didn’t want to jeopardise his chance of getting his hands on the English crown…

It’s not just our times that have witnessed Scottish troughers putting their own interests first!

Arbroath 1320

17 April, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Just done my bit for the 10,000 flags project.


I’ve been thinking about what a few folks have said about having a protest march against the media and am wondering if we could somehow bring the Boston Tea Party of December 16th 1773 up to date and hold a Scottish version in 2014. Could we perhaps hold a Pacific Quay Party perhaps with newspapers instead of tea being *ahem* dumped into the Clyde as well as the odious BBC T.V. licences.


17 April, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Craig at 9.08

Lets remember that Scotland did vote Yes in 1979 despite there being absolute Unionism. State telly consisted of only three channels and as is the case today, there were only London newspapers.

Political parties were all based in Westminster and there was no source of any information which would tell the real situation of Scotland.

Anyone willing to share the good news of Scotlands’ potential could only be described as a fringe loony, SNP mp or a mixture of the two.

Amazing then that enough people still voted yes.

This time we have all of the above but crucially we have access to the truth and a platform for a voice.

And the SNP aren’t fringe loonies.

We’ve also had over 3 decades to watch the UK (and Scotland especially) turn into a shithole.

In this time we have also had the opportunity to decide for ourselves just how much we trust the big three political parties and the MSM. The last decade being the “high” point.

We have watched with interest as the MSM and big three expressed delight at wee countries gain independence.

We see how they help the Yanks to “liberate” poor countries from oppressive leaders.

We can provide countless examples of archived headlines, video and audio in relation to anti French, German, Argentinian(insert your own here…) sentiment from the Unionists.

Can they really provide ANY of the same in relation to England as they seem to be claiming?

Given the lack of Scottish media as already highlighted, no they cant.

In order to do this they would have to quote directly from actual pro independence people. Fortunately pro independence people in the main are a. informed, b. not anti English c. not retarded and d. not sycophantic, horrible forelock tugging non humans.

Well I could go, and I will. But not now.


17 April, 2014 at 11:37 pm

One of the things I’ve only recently become aware of is this phenomenon of journalistic entitlement. From Magnus Linklater to Euan McColm, these guys really believe they’re somebody. Somebody whose opinions are far far more legitimate than the opinions of the ordinary punter.

But – they’re not. Journalists are trained to assimilate and present, to report and to comment. They have no business pontificating on their own account. They’re not experts in these subjects they write about, and they have no special insights. And yet they believe implicitly that their personal prejudices are uniquely valuable and authoritative.

Indeed some commentators like Ian Bell are so insightful that they carve a place for themselves, and gain respect by writing articles worthy of respect. But way too many of them simply believe that if they can get a newspaper to print it, they’re infallible, and anyone who disagrees is a jumped-up yahoo.

And some people go along with it. I mentioned Linklater, who is busy penning some stunningly biassed and ill-informed tosh about Lockerbie. But because the Times prints his stuff this rubbish is accorded a ridiculous level of respect while the rebuttals of genuine experts like John Ashton are discounted.

But what on earth gives Linklater or Torrance or McColm any more right to have their opinion respected, than anyone else? Nothing. Their opinions will be judged on their merits, by readers who not only have a wide range of opinion-formers to read and aren’t restricted just to the published press, they have the ability to put their own opinions out there.

No wonder some of these irredeemable oiks hate the internet. The days of writing up their poisonous prejudices without challenge are gone. They’re still doing it of course, but they’re being pulled up on it. Their days are numbered though. Social Darwinism will take care of them.

Robert Peffers

18 April, 2014 at 8:45 am

Way back in the days when,“The Scotsman”, was a World Class Broadsheet, (Aye! Ah’m quite auld), we knew that the, “Editorial”, would be the views of a publication. That un-named articles were strictly true news reports and that named, “Columnists” gave their own perspective. Woe betide any owner or editor that interfered with the integrity of a member of the NUJ. Then the regulation of the press passed away from the NUJ and everything has been downhill ever since.

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