Behind the Green Door

There’s no escaping the irony. The people who accuse nationalists of abuse have turned to vilification in place of argument. There’s always going to be a background of jibe and accusation and it’s a key part of what we call debate, although it is dismissed as contemptible by the pious who nevertheless find space in their condemnation for the odd dismissive barb themselves.

Personally, I enjoy it. My rule of thumb is not to write anything I wouldn’t say to someone’s face and that mostly gets me by, allowing tart, sour and borderline hurtful comments while making sure I could justify them if challenged. I also believe the internet allows a more expressive form of writing than the mainstream and is closer to a conversation reflecting what real people actually say to each other away from microphones. You have to be there when the camera lights go off and the microphones are removed to hear what politicians really think. The rest is mostly an act.

murraydouble

I reconsidered my Twitter opinions in the light of Alistair Darling’s remarks that some of us had shamed Scotland (over Bill Munro of Barrhead Travel’s staff warning) at a time when the eyes of the world were upon us, a businessman was entitled to speak out and everyone had to have a say. “Frankly, the sort of behaviour, the sort of things that have been said in the last 24 hours have no place in a modern Scotland of the 21st century.”

Here are my tweets. ‘Jim Murphy backs Barrhead boss scaring staff into voting No with a lie-laden document. The No campaign in miniature. Labour in microcosm.’

‘How will Barrhead Travel fly me to Europe if we’re outside the EU? We won’t get landing clearance. It’ll be Millport again. Vote No’

‘Barrhead Travel offers Better Together holidays in sunny Ruritania. Use the Pound. Meet the Royals. Boss the locals. Watch the Proms. Bingo!’

I daresay others were more forthright but do these statements amount to abuse?

Possibly they do, if you’re in awe of employers…if you believe that a boss has the right to influence the votes of staff – in “modern, 21st century Scotland” – and if you accept at face value any inaccurate, biased information presented as fact and over-written with hyperbole. And if you are the kind of stuffed shirt conservative who reveres management, corporate pork barrels, the markets and the right to rule.

Companies have a duty to consider the implications for their business and their staff, although it’s interesting that Standard Life made much of the threat to the profits and virtually nothing of the threat to jobs. The problem Bill Munro has is that he didn’t get an objective assessment, something that could be offered as balanced and fair on the facts of the case, caveats and all, to which he could reasonably offer a personal indication of his preference. No workers would be surprised that a millionaire businessman wanted everything to stay exactly as it is.

Instead, he complied his own data based on his prejudice and issued dire warnings of the consequences including the inability to trade for three years, displaying a depth of ignorance for which he should be disbarred as a director. He presumed the right to let his ill-informed and bigoted opinions influence his staff in a democratic vote about the future of our country. Was he justified? Of course not. We know that from the desperate rescue operation mounted by the company to claim corporate neutrality and the promise that these were personal views, which, if true, is exactly why they should never have seen the light of day in a company document. From their own mouth, they are guilty as charged.

This was a little disaster for the company just as we head into holiday-booking time and Scots, already wound up by the debate are in a febrile mood and unforgiving of business bullies, as we see from the minimal effect of financial sector scaremongering. Many Yes people will refuse to give them their business and they. Will now be associated in customers’ minds as a pro-Union firm. That is divisive and I suggest Barrhead will, as we speak, be upping their marketing budget to counter the ill effects.

Is this all the result of cybernat threats? Surely what we are seeing is democracy in action. People are voting with their keyboard and telling the business big shots who assume so much moral authority that they have a single vote like everybody else and if they choose to misuse their position, there are consequences. It’s what Brian Wilson calls sinister – people making up their own minds and instead of saying silent and accepting what their elected betters tell them, pushing back and being heard.

Darling was speaking at another company when he objected to people using their rights in a free country. It is White House Products in Renfrewshire which makes hydraulic machinery. Its boss, Alastair McMillan, sounds horrified at the idea of his country being independent as it would be ‘shooting ourselves in the foot’ and would ‘create trade barriers’. If you look at his website you’ll see it is translated into Spanish, French and Portuguese because of course Alastair exports across Europe. It’s just that he won’t be able to export from Scotland…that’ll be because were uniquely un-European or cut off or nobody will want us, or something… so his master plan is to relocate to Northumberland.

He has 22 employees who are loyal and they shouldn’t have to suffer because of the ‘vanity of politician’. Are you getting a picture of what we’re dealing with here? First he thinks Scotland won’t have access to the Single Market so he’ll move to England where, whether Scotland is in the UK or not, they plan an in-out referendum on the EU in 2017. Does he know the result in advance? Or will he find himself stranded outside his export market?

Second, how loyal is it to your workforce to relocate 90 miles away from their homes?

But it’s his last point that tells it all. Independence is the vanity project of Alex Salmond…that is everything No stands for boiled down into one vicious little lie. It’s the same lie Labour tells at Holyrood and the one John Robertson uncovered in his research into BBC and Scottish coverage of the referendum…personalise and deride. You know what that is? It’s political abuse, not from online amateurs but from one of those pillars of the British state, the businessman.

Out of touch may be overused as a phrase but reading what Bill Munro and Alastair McMillan think confirms that parochialism and deep-rooted anti-Scottish sentiment is alive and kicking throughout our country and a clever company would ensure a measured response – either way – instead of letting supercilious executives spoil their image.

The other irony today of course is that just as Alistair Darling was pretending to be appalled at the threatening behavior of cybernats, his Edinburgh Labour colleague Ian Murray was being exposed by Wings as a charlatan ready to use a political motive to whip up division. His laughable and pathetic efforts at blaming local ned vandalism on the Yes campaign exposed him as an exponent of what Alistair calls Scotland’s shame. We’ll await Darling’s condemnation of Murray’s behaviour as unacceptable…and we’ll wait. Remember, these are Labour MPs, committed to, as the party states: social justice, strong community and strong values,reward for hard work, decency, rights matched by responsibilities. Well done, Ian. Well done, Alistair.

What the MPs and the bosses are really complaining about, as one of my posters says on the right, is that through the internet citizens have found a voice and use it to expose the lies and hypocrisy of the machine politicians who rarely face scrutiny in the conventional media and use their elected position as a cow catcher to force their passage through the inconvenient blockages like accountability and telling the truth. It isn’t cybernats they hate, it’s the internet and its ability to find them out and hold them up to ridicule on an hourly basis, not just once a week at PMQs. This has shifted the power away from them and loosened their control and in this debate, where they are singularly outnumbered and weak, they can only moan and object as they take a beating.

Incidentally, if Alistair’s worried about shaming Scotland maybe he’ll tell us if, as an advocate, he asked to see the legal advice on invading Iraq before voting for the war. If not, I suggest that is a cause for real shame.

 

 

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69 thoughts on “Behind the Green Door

  1. More desperate deflection tactics. Still no news on their vision for Scotland’s Future. Of course all opinions and input are welcome in the debate. Business owners have the freedom to move their business but to use AS as an excuse does not show great business acumen. Neither does trying to bully 500 staff.

  2. Another excellent skewering of the better together gang. Neatly done Mr Bateman.

  3. Excellent analysis. The mucky green door banged to rights.

  4. Still waiting for the “positive case for the Union” either from the NO Campaign, British Nationalist Parties or anyone really. You would have thought that they would have told us by now. Perhaps they are holding back their Big Bertha Positivity for the run in to the Referendum.

    Keep on campaigning folks, and well done Derek for another great blog.

  5. Deflection is all the No campaign have now that they completely ballsed up their Currency Union tactic.

    Talk of vile cybernats and businessmen threatening to leave an independent Scotland will not win this referendum.

    What the UK political and business elite really fear is a genuine grassroot movement that directly threatens their power, privilege and wealth. As we have seen elsewhere the internet makes that credible.

  6. The politicians have become used to talking down to their electorate from their exalted position that we put them in. The MSM & EBC who were supposed to hold these public Servants to account not join their skulduggery and help spread their lies and propaganda.

    The internet has allowed the poor ignored masses to have their voices herd and these self opinionated politicians, and others can now have their duplicity exposed.

    The people have been given a voice by the internet which circumvents the bias of the MSM. They do not like it, personally I think it is wonderful.

  7. Maybe Mr Munro should be minded of his statutory duties as a director under the 2006 Companies Act section 173 duty to “exercise independent judgement” before sending out such e-mails

  8. Surely John McIntyre, OBE of Woking has sole rights to the term ‘Vanity Project’?

    • This is turning out to be the first plebiscite in which a Country stands to gain Independence not through guns , tanks ,or insurrection but through grass roots activists combined with the use of the www .

      Traditional Media & Broadcasting can do little more than set the headlines . Thereafter the debate instantly rages through internet blogs, Twitter & social media backed up by grass roots activities and old fashioned ” town hall” meetings .

      So we have Barrhead Travel’s nonsensical internal staff memo instantly exposed .
      The internet takes over and the damage to the Company and it’s reputation could well be a heavy price to pay for a poor error of judgement by Bill Munro .

      Munro has proved himself a canny businessman at the sharp end of the travel industry. I know the industry well and the minuscule profit margins which , in an instant , can disappear like snow off a dyke .It is beyond my comprehension that he has attempted to influence his staff in the Independence debate where retention of staff and customer loyalty depends to a great degree on mutual trust . This bond has now been broken . Only time will tell whether or not this proves to be a Ratner moment for Barrhead Travel .

      White House Productions is owned and run by the brothers Alistair and David MacMillan . Their staffing levels at around 20 do not compare to the claimed 500 at Barrhead Travel .However it is not the level of staffing which matters ; it is the principal surrounding the management of yet another privately owned Scottish company abusing their position in attempting to influence their staff . As a company trading on an international basis it beggars belief that an Indy Scotland would be anything other than a benefit to their operation .

      Bill Munro in an interview with the Daily Record confessed to being a proud conservative with a capital C . Alistair MacMillan was educated at Eton .

      Political history indicates it is no coincidence that the Chumocracy , which is Eton and Tory , form a major part of the British Establishment . In the context of the Referendum it is the Establishment which is the driving force behind Better Together
      and therefor has the most to lose from a Yes Vote .

      A No Vote means the Establishment wins yet again .

      • Your last sentence sums it all up very nicely. Why should the very few have it all?

      • Surely the Czechs and Slovaks get to claim the plaudits for separating amicably and by plebiscite before us? Let’s not get all Scottish Exceptionalist based on manifest ignorance, please.

        • Czechs & Slovaks was not a plebiscite as it was not open to a vote by the people . It was a parliamentary agreement between political parties . The www with its generation of social media did not come into play until well after the Velvet Divorce . I rest my case .

  9. Would it surprise you to know that Mr Alastair MacMillan of White House Products was Eton educated, I wonder who he knows in Westminster? No prizes for guessing correctly.

    http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/alastair-macmillan/1b/420/6a2

    More scaremongering, lies and deceit, the no campaign is really getting desperate now.
    Knowing that the government and the no campaign will stoop this low how can anyone be thinking of voting no?
    If this is all they have to offer us now imagine what will happen to us after a no vote.

  10. Andrew Dalgleish

    Alastair McMillan was he not at Eton at the same time as David Cameron

  11. Nooooo – no John McIntyre, OBE, of Woking here – I vote YES for an OBE free zone!

  12. smiling vulture

    Green Door is looking a bit Shakin Stevens

  13. Tom McNaughtan

    ‘Port Glasgow businessman’ Alastair MacMillan attended Eton alongside David Cameron and Boris Johnson. Surely that coincidence was worth mentioning?

  14. This is a powerful piece and we see fear in the eyes of politicians as individuals are empowered. This can easily be seen in Turkey where the attempts to shut down Twitter and the like confirms what individuals already thought.
    The internet will not go away and so we need a new kind of politics and a new brand of politician. Open and honest – the thing democracies have always believed they were voting for.
    The times have changed – our time has come.

  15. Know what gets me? It’s the fact they are lying, they know they are lying, we know they are lying, so please tell me why we are “Better Together” with people who constantly lie to you?

  16. So, what’s behind the Green Door? (Sir Frankie Vaughn of Chateau Lait)

    Nothing, nada, zip, not a living brain cell, nevermind a policy.

  17. @ Schoedinger’s Moggie

    John McIntyre, OBE

    That alone would be worth voting YES, oh and Sir Mark Thatcher as well.

  18. people making up their own minds and instead of saying silent and accepting what their elected betters tell them, pushing back and being heard
    Yep — and unelected “betters”.

    I wonder if any employee of Barrhead travel dared to hit “reply-all” and debunk the more blatant untruths? Or even just comment? I wouldn’t dare, if I wanted to keep my job.

    • Remember wee e, the ballot box is a private confessional between the voter and their conscience.

      The employees need to know and be assured that their jobs would be at least as safe after a Yes vote than a No.

      The man is a deluded bully.

  19. I’m more interested in whether Bill Munro will take up the offer made by Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp of pro-independence group Business for Scotland. “Business for Scotland would be happy to outline the overwhelming case for independence to Bill Munro and let him see why we believe it is the business opportunity of a lifetime”

  20. Alistair darling is a poor unloved figure who can see his knighthood dissapearing by the day
    He reminds me of the ancient mariner who wandered the earth , rambling to anyone and no one

    • Darling would have been assured of his ermine before he accepted the job; whichever way the vote goes.

      Lord Darling of Flipper, in the Province of Innumeracy; for service to The City of London and the people of Scotland.

  21. A cow catcher – like it. The Ian Murray graffiti mystery has been good fun. Internet sleuths checking out Google maps and dating the painting and markings on Mr Murray’s doors. My money’s on Mr Murray response – Ha Ha April Fool! What else can he say?

  22. This piece by DB articlates a lot of frustrations I have about the BT campaign.

    Firstly, their deeply hypocritical umbrage at people posting opinions on the internet. Let’s get something straight: the main Westminister parties had it their own way for decades, controlling their message to the voters via their respective partisan newspapers.

    Now we have the internet, which has given millions the opportunity to get THEIR message across as individuals. The Westminister cabal cannot control this and it drives them insane. Tough.

    Secondly, the abuse directed at Alex Salmond infuriates me. The other night I started to watch Scotland Tonight, and was wondering why Max Clifford was on talking about the referendum. Then he was introduced as some Labour party spin doctor, and what does he do? Offers an insulting impression of Salmond. I couldn’t believe it. If all things were equal that impression wouldn’t have bothered me one iota, but these are very people who scream blue murder every time a pro-Scotland person offers a robust opinion about something or someone online. Labour are the most hypocritical of them all (having never recovered yet from the Scottish people turning their back on them in Holyrood elections).

    Thirdly, what was the guy who owns Barrhead Travel thinking about?? If that’s his opinion, fine and well, he’s entitled to it, but to force that message onto his staff? Incredible, just incredible. The folly of it. We have bought a number of holidays from Barrhead over the years, we will buy no more.

    The stinking hypocrist of BT, especially the Labour Party people, turns the stomach.

  23. Excellent Derek. Straight at the heart again.

    The unionists are using the same tired old propaganda they used in 1979. The perverse thing is, they lost the vote back then, but declared themselves winners with a piece of political chicanery this internet age would not allow.

    You are perfectly correct. The internet terrifies the Westminster establishment because they can’t control it.

    In the meantime, let’s not give them any excuse to shut down the only forum Scots have to facilitate even the semblance of a balanced debate. I am certain they would leap on any excuse which wouldn’t leave them open to charges of censorship.

    • KenC,
      1979! That’s a point always, always worth repeating and remembering! No wonder they are starting to ‘inexplicably’ panic as the sovereign voice of the Scots electorate is finally about to be voiced (for once) unmediated.
      It’s just a matter of time now and the faith to voice voice what we know to be true. The truth is, It’s the message that the scared witless always really wanted to believe is true anyway. Not a difficult sell, Scottish voter to Scottish voter (wherever they originate from).

  24. “Frankly, the sort of behaviour, the sort of things that have been said in the last 24 hours have no place in a modern Scotland of the 21st century.”

    Telling the arrogant and ignorant what we think of them is very much going to be 21st century Scotland. Our apologies to Mr Darling if it bears little resemblance to Dickensian England (tugs forelock).

  25. They are already trying to control the internet folks!

    Just take a look at the gagging bill (Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014). A super-light touch for lobbying and a great clunking fist for the other two.

    The political parties with membership in the thousands can legally spend more than an internet organization with 1.7 million members? What is democratic about that? And how did the media support our rights? Not at all in the tabloids and slight mention in more serious papers.

  26. I agree wholeheartedly with Alistair Darling’s comment that “the sort of behaviour, the sort of things that have been said in the last 24 hours have no place in a modern Scotland of the 21st century” (a bit of tautology there though, Alistair – I would hope for more precise use of language from a lawyer and ex-cabinet minister). However, I believe that the vast majority of shameful comments have come from NO supporters, and supporters of the establishment, or status quo.

    Mr Darling’s real problem is with the existence of free speech, and the fact that the internet offers the possibility of devolved democracy of a type which he and his wealthy mates abhor (although to be fair they probably have a nose-wrinkling distaste for democracy and freedom of speech in any shape or form). An informed electorate is an electorate which will ask questions of its politicians, demand that they work for their salaries (I’m not sure how Mr Darling manages to fit representation of his constituents in with his other two full time jobs) and seek to shape the sort of communities they want to live in. The only sort of community in which Mr Darling is interested is one in which he and his wealthy friends remain wealthy and not answerable to either the electorate, or their employees. He doesn’t see the electorate as composed of individuals with hopes and fears. He just sees a mob.

    As long as the internet is freely available, the chances of his sort of society seem, thankfully, to be diminishing. In September,we voters in Scotland have the chance to take the first step on a road which may truly transform our society into a more representative one, and it is the availability of truthful and analytical information via the internet which is likely to help achieve that vision. The paucity of vision and lack of ambition of Mr Darling and Better Together is amply illustrated by their repeated description of the referendum as a “vanity project”. They describe it thus because that’s honestly the only way their minds can work. They simply don’t get it.

  27. “Frankly, the sort of behaviour, the sort of things that have been said in the last 24 hours have no place in a modern Scotland of the 21st century.”

    So, by Darling’s standards, Bill Munro attempting to bully his staff is OK – People giving their opinion on it is not. Freedom of speech, if from the masses, is not to be tolerated.

    Darling is making a poor attempt at deflection because he has nothing to offer us other than obfuscation and deception.

    Irreverence, especially towards politicians, is an old and deep-seated Scottish trait. Had Darling lived 300 or so years ago, the likes of him expected to stoned in the street by angry constituents. Nowadays the worst they can expect is a few internet comments – and they think they’re hard done by.

  28. @bjsalba

    Yes. They’re trying to dress it up as a campaign against paedophilia and pornography, but they couldn’t care less about those. I think they’re aiming for a situation where you need to publicly declare yourself a kiddy-fiddling perv if you want on the internet – and if you do, they’ll lock you up.

    It’s Zamyatin’s We

    “The dystopian society depicted in We is presided over by the Benefactor and is surrounded by a giant Green Wall to separate the citizens from primitive untamed nature.” (Wiki)

  29. James Coleman

    Very good article Derek. I fully agree with your sentiments.

    And here is my message to Darling et al….Don’t expect those insulted by No campaign to sit back passively and be insulted, or to respond in a Christ-like spirit of charity, reconciliation, understanding, and self-sacrifice. If you insult others, expect to be insulted in turn. And if you can’t handle this either don’t insult people or find another job.

  30. All these threats, smears and scare stories won for the No campaign in 1995. BT are just following that script and had not taken account of what effect social media and blogging could have had in defusing and exposing the constant lies.

    Derek, you wrote about the Quebec referendum shortly after, 1996 in “Scottish Affairs” can you give us some thoughts about then and now?

  31. I believe Bill Munro sent this out without consulting anyone and many within Barrhead Travel are devastated by his remarks. If Mr Munro were big enough to retract his remarks and state that there are also opposite compelling view I believe nobody on the Yes side would wish for the ordinary workers at Barrhead Travel to suffer because of this man’s views.

  32. Given the attitudes displayed by Alistair Darling, Bill Munro, Alistair McMillan, Brian Wilson and Ian Murray the No campaign’s official name should be adjusted to Know Your Betters Together.

  33. A bit O/T, but remember the early days of cybernattery, when a couple of anonymous pro-independence bloggers were outed, losing their jobs as a result? Think one was an aide to Mike Russell and probably should have known better, but the other a faily innocent victim of a media witch hunt. (Can’t remember the name or circumstances – can anybody help?)

    Bet Alastair Darling wishes he could bring those days back…

    • I remember him and corresponded with him at that time. He was an architect and part-time lecturer in Aberdeen.

      Rather than be sacked he offered to resign but it was refused I think.]

      As far as I know he no longer does political blogging, as I said as far as I know. He was based in Glasgow and worked a lot in the community sector and his office is, I think on the High Street, going up the hill.

      There was another blogger who was doorstepped and had menacing e-mails about publicising her identity. She called in the Police who, I think, knew wo the person was and for whom he worked. He us a program called “Hide my Ass,” which could be a sosbriquet for the entire BT team and there relationship with the MSM. This person was connected with The News of The Screws, laid to rest by Murdoch and now works around in another high class publication, perhaps.

    • Bruce Newlands, now of Kraft Architecture

    • cynicalHighlander

      Mark MacLachlan

  34. Lindsay Scott

    Alistair Darling has just been awarded an honorary degree, and MBA. It stands for Master of the Bald Assertion.

  35. A friend of mine used Barrhead Travel last year. Paid £1,000 for a 5 night holiday in Dubai at a 4 star hotel. He received an email within days of paying the deposit asking him to pay the full amount, even though the documentation said the full amount wasn’t due for another 6 weeks. He eventually got an apology, however, said he would never book another holiday with them again. And neither will I.

    I was stunned by the email from Munro, just wonder which employee leaked it to the internet. Good for them.

    Lastly, excellent blog Derek. Would love to know what politicians say off air!!

  36. Cag-does-thinking

    There does seem to be a strand of political thinking (lets call it the liars section….) that really resent that not only can ordinary non-godlike politicians can now make coherant counter arguments but that they can do so a heartbeat after they put their size nine in the mud. They really hate that but there is no going back to the days where people did what they were told because a big man said so, on his way to collect his ermine or medal for keeping the minions in order.

    Thank goodness that most employers at the very least keep out of the way their employees vote and luckily we have a private vote no matter what the few would be Barons think.

    Our greatest moment will be as a result of one person one vote and not because of the dirty deals done behind closed doors.

  37. May I ask what was wrong with my comment for it not to appear, when many others have appeared since. Was it coz I said ‘crap’?

  38. I really want you to continue doing this Derek,but i cant commit to a subscription.Please,please please run a crowdfunder so i can donate what little i can.

  39. Another excellent piece.

  40. While the article is top notch, I’ve also been genuinely impressed by the level of intelligence of the comments to this article. With this kind of quality, I’m still perplexed as to why it still appears to be such a close call regarding the referendum.

  41. Colin Morrison

    Leaving the issue of independence aside for a moment, people are more and more considering the ethics of organisations or companies when making decisions about where they spend their money. How staff are treated with regard to fair terms and conditions, who companies make donations to, how pension fund money is invested, how suppliers are treated etc. etc. etc. The internet is a wonderful sales tool but is also an invaluable aid to help us make our ethical choices. Munro, McMillan, Standard Life et al should remember this before making rash statements, the buying public and employees generally react badly to threats, bullying and outright lying.

  42. What comes out of Green Door Gate.Is how absolutely childish amateur and downright thick Mr Murray MP is.He has been caught lying to the press! Are the press going to publish an apology to all yes voters for defamation of character? Darling is still at it in the press today with the cyberknat stuff.It seems whenever someone challenges or defend themselves.Bitter together cry foul and play the victim rather than the domineering bully which we know they are. I have to put up with a daily diatribe of utter nonsense in my work because they know I support yes.I could go to hr and complain but I don’t because I am a big boy and just ignore it.Seems to me there is far more bullying from the no side.I don’t solicit opinion nor badger or bully anyone in my work.I accept their view and I have mine.However it seems to really offend no people and they have to keep at me.I have been in the SNP for 20 years.They don’t realise how ridiculous their behaviour is but that’s the no bigots for you.

  43. Ian Murray has answered Wings and put a ‘rebuttal’ on his own blog. Stickers. Yes stickers on his windows. That is what he described in his original tweet as vandalism. “My constituency office was vandalised by Yes supporters last night. I can take personal abuse but it’s getting out of control.” Stickers on ma windaes! Oh it’s getting out of control!! His blog post is truly laughable, especially the bit about the defective paint job on his doors. Not to mention the almost painful irony of the post’s headline, “Let’s have a reasoned debate based on fact”. Dear oh dear.
    http://ianmurraymp.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/lets-have-a-reasoned-debate-based-on-fact/

    • Except, all the evidence he’s produced is of one little saltire, apparently on a window. One. Looks to have been neatly placed, too.

      The office is a disgrace. The front doors have been sporting old graffiti since 2010. They’re broken and don’t close properly, so an ugly hasp has been fitted across the front. The unfrosted window is filthy, and the inside covered in the tag ends and stickum from posters than have been taken down. You can see into the office from there and it’s tired and uninspiring and tatty.

      A cheery wee blue saltire probably improved the appearance a lot.

    • Yup, I read that too, Fraser. Ludicrous. This from a person who had the second largest expenses claim at Westminster, and took home almost £250,000 last year and he can’t afford to have his office door painted properly. I know it was just a sticker on the window, but the orginal assumption was that it was the office door that had been “vandalised”. Lies. Better Together. Bedfellows all.

  44. I couldn’t possibly have a reasoned debate with a Scotsman who wears a union jack sports jacket.

  45. I read the entire Barrhead Travel memo and it was everything wrong with the No campaign summed in a couple of sheets of paper. Wildly inaccurate conjecture mixed with ignorance and outright lies, a little hallucinatory fantasy and a generous helping of bovine excrement. It was so childishly stupid, both in prose and content, that it looked like it was written by a seven year-old raised in a right-wing American survivalist commune. I feel nothing but pity for the poor people who have to work under such a dreadful advertisement for the education system. On the plus side, he is a brilliant advert for the YES campaign, as he is the first and only person to commit the full NO campaign manifesto to paper.

  46. Derek, you have beamed a spotlight on the crux. The internet “has shifted the power away from them and loosened their control.” No wonder they’re fighting like cats. They simply can’t visualize their place within a fair community. However they’re going to have to adjust so they’d be wise to save their energy and help, after September, to build a better Scotland.

  47. Is this The Tartan Spring.

    There is no doubt about one thing – the internet with it’s social media is a game changer.

    Let’s just hope we do a little better than the Arab version.

  48. Derek, the blog clock appears to be an hour behind.

    Have you forgotten something ?

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