Is There A War On?

Let’s lay this nazi thing while the apologists squirm their way this way and that. When a politician is asked if the SNP is a civic nationalist movement, there is only one answer. It is this. ‘Of course they are. They couldn’t have garnered 45 per cent of the popular vote in a mature democracy like Scotland and been elected to government if they were anything else. We’re actually quite proud in Scotland that our debate is not ethnically based and has been conducted in civilised terms. Our nationalists only want political independence. I disagree with them.’

That kind of answer is (a true and (b magnanimous. It portrays the speaker as fair and open-minded. It also helps the tone of the wider debate and prevents the kind of antipathy we are seeing today.


It is easy to do but requires a calm and measured person to deliver it. That’s what went wrong here. As ever, Alastair Darling was falling over his own words, hurrying along and missing his cue to be intelligent. Instead he perpetrated the kind of mistake you get in student politics when an overheated mind loses track of the target and falls into a trap. Darling will be remembered after this, win or lose, for his gabbling delivery and synthetic hysteria.

There is about him a desperation to blacken an opponent’s name, to miss no chance to denigrate as if his opponent was unworthy of his attention. I remember watching him quite early on in the campaign on STV when he gave a solid performance and I was just chalking him down for an 8 when John Mackay asked a Briefly…’when will we get the referendum date?’ Darling said to the effect ‘We know we can’t trust the SNP. Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile etc….’ It was frankly juvenile and he lost three points for petulance. (I like the idea that we can’t trust Salmond coming from a man who cheated on his expenses four times).


Because he couldn’t bring himself to concede a millimetre to Salmond, whom I think he personally hates for overturning the Labour applecart, he ended up in blood and soil and, whether he knew or not, made one of the landmark statements of the debate. As soon as he realised its historical implication – assuming he didn’t at the time – he should have said so and apologised. ‘Of course I don’t think there are similarities. What do you think I am? It was a mistake. Mr Salmond makes them too, you know.’

But no, instead we have dodgy days of doubt as the magazine scans recordings and notes and we’re to believe his mumble was meaningless – until you hear it. Either it’s withdrawn or it stands. Looks to me that it stands.

Of course, we can’t forget that Alistair maybe does believe this tripe as others do – Ian Smart is running an SNP equals nazi theme just now and I’m sure one of the quotes I read from Tom Morton before throwing down the Daily Mail in disgust said our nationalism was ethnic. So it is one of their strands of argument and without denial must be presumed to be an accurate reflection of Better Together opinion. For a proper insight into the issue try this at Left Review.

Always worth remembering when you encounter Darling next that Mosely was a Labour MP!

This row also focuses on a strange aspect – that the vile epithets from Yes (very broadly) are from the unregulated internet while the vicious insults from No are in the mainstream and from their own representatives. There was a perfectly fair discussion on Radio Scotland today when social media abuse was discussed yet nobody mentioned that the most hideous attack of all came from the leader of Better Together and published in the New Statesman.

Honestly, Gordon Brown offered more intellectual insight into what is going on than the whole of Better Together since launch. It’s laughably late and ironic but to talk of Britain being changed for ever, crown-in-parliament sovereignty ended and hinting at federalism totally knocks Alastair’s bleatings into a cocked hat. This at least hints that we could have had proper debate on a much higher plane if only they hadn’t opted for Shock and Awe instead.

The trick with BT is to remember they aren’t after the cognoscenti – they are aiming everything at soft voters in Labour heartlands where they have no fear of independence but no love of the SNP. If you put in their mind at every turn that Alex Salmond struts like Mussolini and has Hitler tendencies, they might believe you. Vilify and vanquish. To hell with reason. Who cares about ‘quality of debate?’ Just win at any cost. And turn up at St Giles the Sunday after and smile for the cameras.



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50 thoughts on “Is There A War On?

  1. We’re entering a phase of ‘maintain the union at any cost’, and this only occurs if they know their campaign has faltered. Probably the exposure of VoteNoBorders as a London-based astroturf PR project that I think was the No campaign’s secret weapon to victory (two years in the making remember). The Obama pitch was too orchestrated to be taken seriously, but the problem they really have is once a voter has went to YES they don’t turn back and I think they’ve only realised this. Stop the flow and shore up what pitiful lead they may have as 50% + 1 is all they need, and it’s all we need too.

    Demonisation is all they have now… oh and fraud.

  2. If the BBC stuck to journalistic standards and, in spite of personal leanings, rigorously examined both sides of the debate……we would not be here. They are giving Darling the oxygen to do it – and they should be careful what they wish for. As has been said before, they may win the referendum but have already lost Scotland. Even weirder that GB seems to agree!!

  3. smiling vulture

    . Who cares about ‘quality of debate?’ Just win at any cost. And turn up at St Giles the Sunday after and smile for the cameras

    SV–brilliant,sums up BT —campain,NO or YES,these remarks are part of history

  4. Check link to Gerry Hassan … typo at end. “Review”

  5. Thanks for that Derek. As you say, there is only one answer.

    In any other political race, Darling would be croaked after this offensive comment and deliberate evasion with the ‘inaudible mumble’ when he realised the implications of what was said. But he’ll stagger on like a wounded wild animal.

    If hate to be so crass as to plug my own opinion, but please see the blog I published today on the very same topic:


    Could not agree more with you piece. It’s ok to waken on the 19/9 and be 100% happy they have retained the union. Then again what pile of ashes are they left with? The union is evaporating faster than they realise and what the hell do you do with a pile of ashes? It’s just a matter of time. PUT YOUR MONEY ON THAT!

    They have undermined Westminster.
    They have undermined HOL
    They have destroyed trust in the BBC.
    They have revitalised politics in Scotland.
    They have damaged democracy.

  7. Hassan’s link not available now!!

  8. Good stuff again. I always thought Darling was overrated, and his USP of cool, calm and collected has been completely trashed.

    Of course Moseley was also a Tory mp before becoming a Labour one, so you could say the blood and soil is pretty evenly splattered.

  9. Yeah, I’m getting sick and tired of the biased coverage by MSM of reportage of Indies abusing NO campaigners. Mrs Lally is certainly at it, given she has no intentions of accepting the apologies which any reasonable person would accept.

    • Just read Gerry Hassan and I have for once read something which has impressed me. As to Mrs Lally, she was planted and she knows it. This is a load of trouble being generated by the BT gang to take the heat off their lack lustre campaign.

  10. But of course it’s us that are in the wrong for getting a bit peeved at Better Together rolling out a known activist who then tried to make out she was just an ordinary voter.

    Sometimes I think I’ll be glad when this is over. Days like today can be very depressing. I just hope the likes of Smart realise that there’ll be no forgiving afterwards. The politicians may be used to fighting like ferrets in a sack only to be best of buddies off-camera, but for us normal plebs, we take this stuff personally. This isn’t “part of the job”. All those who are currently embarking on the most disgusting political campaign that I can remember can forget about getting a handshake at the end.

  11. Just listened to the New Statesman broadcast with Darling and astonished to hear Darling tripping over his words to denigrade Salmond and the SNP government. What a sad man Darling is.

  12. innerbearsdenurchin


    What struck me most of all about AD’s interview, the recording that is, was his faltering, stumbling almost mindless livery. He really is a very poor spokesperson and needs all the support he can get from the interviewer.

    Any could interviewer / journalist could fillet him like a kipper (a kippered Flipper!) but the MSM are quite simply bought and sold with English Gold.

  13. innerbearsdenurchin

    couple of typos above

    livery = delivery

    could = good

    me = bad

  14. There is a War on Derek.
    BT v’s Salmond and his army of cybernats.
    Could’ve sworn it was ‘Should Scotland be an Independent country?’

  15. Thomas William Dunlop

    “Is There A War On?”

    No, but I get the feeling that they still read their Commando comics literally in the Brit Nat side.

    Anyway All this Blood, soil and Nazis leads me to believe BT are playing out an existential Godwin’s Law end game- The first side to lose the rag and start trading insults, association fallacies, is the one that has lost. I noticed this gem whenever I argued with my father (when I was younger) and he shut down the debate by going into insult mode, or refusing to argue further-sound familiar?

  16. BT are using the very same tactics as the great propagandist himself – tell the big lie often enough and call the opposition the vilest epithets you can think of. There is nothing so vile in Europe as Nazi.

  17. Good days work by MSM and Labour as I have donated £35 to the YES campaign. So ANGRY am I.

  18. Hassan’s piece is the first article of his that I’ve enjoyed reading. It had to happen eventually.

  19. “I like the idea that we can’t trust Salmond coming from a man who cheated on his expenses four times”.

    That you can write that in the secure knowledge of no consequence to you is one of the reasons I’m a steadfast Yes voter and campaigner. We must rid ourselves of Westminster. Of course money matters but so too does the belief and feeling that you live in a clean wholesome society.

  20. Im still angry at Lamont’s ”virus” accusation and then comes along flipper and his ”blood & soil”. Whatever happens, I will make it my mission to make sure no one in my family vote for the party of these two ever again.

  21. It’s one a day now. The tactics are clear. Let’s bide our time. We know the time is ripe for change. We have learned from the parcel of rogues………..haven’t we!!?

  22. I used to call my wife cynical because of her jaundiced view of most politicians.
    Now,the boot is on the other foot.
    The “debate” on our self determination has brought me to an all time low in terms of my view of British nationalists
    If I am charitable, I would say that their behaviour is driven by self preservation but at what cost and do they care anyway?
    There is no question that if they succeed in denying Scots democracy,there will be longer term consequences but do they care?
    Democracy is only valid for these people so long as Westminster is in charge.
    We Scots are such a bunch of no hopers that only London rule can save us from ourselves.
    Thanks Derek

  23. Yes, there’s more than a faint whiff of don’t look over here, look over there Derek.

    Important to look in the opposite direction from where the illusionist is pulling your attention. 😉

    • That is my take on this matter. I am sure that the BT gang had this well and truly concocted for just such an emergency. Disgusting people who with nothing concrete to argue go down this road. I just wonder how much damage they do to themselves.

      • The damage they do themselves is nothing compared to the damage they are doing to society in Scotland and throughout the UK. We wish to separate our political institutions, they wish separate families and communities. All three parties are attempting to pull the same stunt Thatcher did during the miner’s disputes, divide, demonise and conquer. In pursuit of their careers they’ll pull any stunt and to hell with the societal cost.

        Its grim stuff, but not unexpected. Now, more than ever, is the time to keep calm and not respond in kind. Give a fire no oxygen and it goes out. Keep people focussed on the real issues of governance, responsibility, constitution, engagement and possibilities.

        This other stuff? It really is smoke and mirrors.

      • Daily Record has a monthly poll.
        Daily Record knows in advance it shows a surge for yes.
        Daily Record contacts Better Together No Thanks who pull out JK Rowling (Mrs Lally was just lucky timing).
        Cybernats a go go.
        Poll is kept off front page.

  24. I just received this email –

    Dear Anne
    After a week when we have been boosted by Obama and an amazing 100 days rally, you will have seen today JK Rowling has given Better Together another lift with a generous donation. While this is brilliant, I wanted to stress that we still need to raise significant funds.
    Just as important as her gift, Jo has written powerfully about her personal reasons for saying No Thanks to separation. Like everything JK Rowling writes, her article is worth a read.
    All too predictably JK Rowling has come under totally unacceptable attacks from nationalist extremists (sorry in advance for the strong language). What has been really disturbing over the past 24hours is that it has been discovered that personalised attacks against No voters are being directed from inside the First Ministers office. It is a reminder that we are up against people who will do anything to get what they want in the referendum.
    Will you stand with JK Rowling and help us stand up against the nationalists? Whatever you can give, big or small will help us to speak up for the majority of us who want to remain in the UK.
    Best wishes
    Blair McDougall
    Campaign Director
    Better Together

    My reply –

    Dear Blair,

    I am puzzled over your connection of Campbell Gunn’s email about Clare Lally, for which he has apologised fully, and the extremist views against J K Rowling. Even more startling is that you somehow think these vile extremist views are orchestrated from the First Minister’s office. Also you are ignoring the fact that both sides have been guilty of these extremist views.

    I had seriously been thinking of voting NO but unfortunately due to this latest email I have changed my mind. I will be voting YES, and, of course I will let my many friends, family and acquaintances read your email and I am sure they will come to the same conclusion as myself.

    Anne Galloway

    OK I’ve been a bit naughty with the last para, hey, but they deserve it.

  25. Mr B
    Alastair Darling should take his wee book oot of his pocket and give a few quotes. ‘Your guide to Dilectic Materialism’ or ‘Mao’s view on the five year plan.’ It would make more sense than some of what I’m hearing this week.
    I am thoroughly disgusted with the folk who continue to compare the modern situation in Scotland to Nazism, chiefly because both of my parents were deprived of their respective youths by the said Nazis, who almost drowned my father in the North Atlantic, and bombed my mother when she was working night shift building Lancaster Bombers. Both of them were in their teens. I would be interested to know what all the fathers of these folk who are throwing the stigma of Nazism at folk today, did to defeat the Nazis. That would be interesting.
    Incidentally, both of my parents wanted Scotland’s freedom.

  26. I am struggling with the onslaught of lies and abuse from the Unionist side.

    I have a simple request.

    Can anyone on here point me to anyone in the No camp

    who is known by all to be a really nice person ?

    I should like to contact such an individual.

    • Manandboy, if you actually find someone let me know so I can shake their hand. I have never seen so many rude, not merely rude, disgusting comments in my life which have all been No voters. The hatred and bile emanating from them is palpable. Then it is ONLY the Cybernats who are abusive. Aye right.

  27. Is there method in BT’s madness ?: It’s September 19th 2014; Scotland’s people have voted for Independence by a landslide; quickly, there are claims all over the national mainstream media that the vote has been rigged!; The First Minister’s beaming smile is greet by the mainstream media with howls of indignation – “Look how sleekit he is – he KNOWS he’s just pulled the wool over our eyes!”; there is a call across the rUK – or at least, Westminster – for some sort of intervention to halt the Independence negotiation process while these allegations are investigated; all the usual suspects are wheeled out – again, by the mainstream media – and asked if they may have known more than they let on when they “mistakenly” compared the First Minister to some dictator or other; the general public across the rest of the “free world” are fed a daily diet of “Alex Salmond – is he a threat to World Peace?”; unknown to the general public, MI6, the CIA and Mossad are all sowing the seeds of revolution; violence eventually breaks out, with supporters of Independence vilified as the perpetrators; the rUK asks for military intervention by it’s own forces – ably backed by some “Allies” (the US); the United Nations Security Council vetoes any military intervention; the rUK and US forces are ordered into Scotland by their respective governments; those forces “liberate” the Scottish people and offer us a huge loan from the IMF to help rebuild the infrastructure of our country … at a cost; extreme austerity measures are imposed and – as we’re struggling to cope with the repayment of the loan – our countries assets are sold to the highest bidders … just to help us out, you understand.
    Relax, I’m joking!

  28. Derek, you may want to check this out. It may have some bearing on Obama’s recent ‘intervention’.

  29. We must not forget the wise warnings from those who were closely involved in the Canadian referendum and be well aware that “no” supporters will stop at nothing in their determination to retain the status quo.
    BT with support from the MSM and the BBC have followed the Canadian example. These voters however didn’t have the “net”. Fortunately the people in Scotland can discover the truth for themselves via blogs such as Derek’s and subsequently vote YES.


  31. smiling vulture

    john Mcternan

    daily politics–iraq

    drones fine
    troops back in

    labour members must be crying watching this

  32. @manandboy 3:36. Can sympathise with your dilemma. Think if you want a really nice person from the NO CAMP, then think you might have to dig them up, literally.

  33. I feel sad at times when I see such a wonderful future within grasp AND THEN the professional class appear.
    Why can the potential of this nation not be of a fair society. Why do people like Darling get to decide this is your destiny!

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