Nothing to Say

This is a recent example of the kind of correspondence I get and from which I mostly shield you on the blogsite.

Zero comments? More like an Ongoing Monologue than your lofty claim of an “Ongoing Dialogue”, Derek. If only you could respond that you were simply a voice crying in the wilderness. But sadly you are just an embittered fired hack whinging in the West End, The gulf between your own opinion of your intellect and the reality is larger than that of Persia. Please just stop these pointless outpourings and accept your opinion is of no interest to anyone but your own super-inflated ego, which simply masks an abyss of utter inadequacy. Have a happy September 19th. William Lithgow.

So what? Well, I reprint it here because it exemplifies not just the character of the No engagement such as it is with the blog, but I think encapsulates their attitude to the whole debate.

Here is an intelligent voter (he’s heard of Persia, albeit now an archaic term) who has taken the trouble to read the blog – and thus contradicting his own point that nobody is interested. In order to reach the blog post he is referring to – Know Who Your Friends Are from December – he would almost certainly have to have read maybe 30 or 40 previous posts. Despite this intensive immersion in my writing he has nothing – absolutely zero – to say about the subject of independence or anything else I have written about over the last year.

The particular post dealt with the published list of Better Together donors which I excoriated. Sample: ‘Its mixture of Bertie Woosters and rapacious financiers and bankers, dodgy military types and corporate traitors should be available on my Kindle under Humour any day now. You only have to add in the Ian Taylor money linked to Vitol to complete the picture of a miniscule moneyed elite up to all sorts of dubious activities sanctimoniously bleating about the threat to our mighty country. The threat is surely to their money and status and that’s what this ragbag of grotesques are really worried about.’

It would sting anyone who had for example recently given money to Better Together and was an easy target for a Unionist response, I would have thought. But instead William avoids answering any question or justifying any position. The simplest thing is to sneer, deride and run. It is the written equivalent of failing to turn up for debates and is symptomatic of the whole Unionist case, harnessed as it now is to the single mad question of What’s Your Plan B?

This was a question until the government made it clear there was only a Plan A and to constantly demand there must be an alternative is beyond childish. The polls show Scots unconvinced that currency union will be denied and no campaign can beat the same drum endlessly and pick up points. They have made their point and the voters’ instinct will surely be to say – Move on.

It really doesn’t look as if this ploy has done anything to win over voters. It may have hardened No voters around a single point which they can all use as a group mantra – and I have to say, I’ve never seen Labour activists look happier now they’ve got a simplistic slogan to shout and a finger to jab – but it hasn’t stopped the rise of Yes support.

What’s your Plan B? doesn’t tell us about social justice in Unionist Scotland, doesn’t lay out a vision for higher wages and improved lifestyle, says nothing about national health prospects, harnessing the renewables revolution or defend the elderly and the disabled.

It is the vacuum at the heart of what is essentially a Labour offer that is so scary – no story, no mission, no vision. And that failure to generate a creative alternative to the soaring ambition of Yes is more pronounced each day. To me the email above sums it up – stop complaining, stop trying, don’t bother, nothing will change, give up. It is essentially a sad paean to failure.

*And they lace their words instead with the predictable abuse. In fact, far from there being zero responses to the blog piece, there were 39. William just didn’t take the time to find them.

*Retiring I think is not the same as being fired. The BBC wanted me to stay.

*If I am a voice in the wilderness, it’s a crowded wasteland. There are up to 13,000 readers a day and wide sharing. There are nearly 5000 followers on Twitter. I reach thousands more through internet radio. This week I am speaking at an event every day – including the Fringe yesterday, Business for Scotland tonight.

*If any regular reader can point to high-flown claims about my intellect, I’d like to see them. My correspondence says the opposite, that I talk myself down too much is the common reaction.

However I am bitter – about our national wealth being squandered, about the faces of the people in see up Maryhill Road which I have to explain to my children, about Julie Webster’s foodbank doing brisk business, about the failure of our media to find collective intellect and a backbone. Oh and I’m pretty cross about nuclear weapons too.

But what really makes me bitter is the empty cackle of Unionists with nothing but juvenile taunts when a great national question must be answered. We should take heart from their echoing silence on the issues that matter and remember that the platoon of wealthy spivs and landowners that bankroll their case shows where the true heart of Unionism lies – in London and its moneyed elite.

(Still, I don’t suppose anybody will read this or respond)



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116 thoughts on “Nothing to Say

  1. Not responding here Boss! ; )

  2. I think you summed it up nicely Derek.

  3. Derek, have a Happy September 19th, an unlike Mr Lithgow ah really mean whit ah write, ye deserve it! 🙂

  4. I’m interested in your blogs.

  5. Sorry I read the whole article and then blanked it from my memory !! Another 40 would be trickier.

  6. Nice response Derek. Mr Lithgow sounds a tad bitter himself, dont you think, or is it that he is just up himself?

  7. Who on earth is William Lithgow? We’ve all heard of Derek Bateman! The unionist mind appears closed and ruled by fear. Fear of change, fear of the future, fear of the vision of a better Scotland where social justice can develop. They prefer the certainty of Westminster venality and corruption. Sad.

    • You should have said “who is this person using William Lithgow’s name?
      William Lithgow, or at least the most famous one was a Scottish author and reportedly a spy. Have a google at him, he was quite an interesting man.

      • Is William Lithgow not a former shipbuilder? Seem to remember he was on a TV programme about shipbuilding – maybe the one David Hayman did on the great ships.

        • There was a William Lithgow who was a shipbuilder.
          William Lithgow the Scottish author and adventurer died in 1645 (i think) about 200 years before the ship builder.

    • He used to build ships in Port Glasgow.

  8. Sorry Derek

    Only got to the first line then thought why bother. No one writes on this site, there are no comments, your lost in the wilderness……… And then i sipped my tea and read on.

    Brilliant stuff again Derek. No answers or queries with facts just smears and scares and bile.

    We see a few of these type everywhere. Nothing but complaints and an empty argument. Even when you ask for ONE , just ONE reason for the union they stumble and stutter the party line…. Big table, punching above our weight blah blah ……

    Your blog is priceless Derek . Comments from good folk too and the radio broadcasts are highly enjoyable. Friends come round my home with their footy coupons on a Saturday and we all listen to the interviews and everyone says they are WELL worth it too. We’re all YESSERS so we might be a wee bit biased but hey look around and see what we’re up against.

    Thanks for the blogs Derek

    Glad to hear your carrying on after the referendum too. We’d be lost without you

  9. Dem words is too clever words i not unda stand why do u shove ur intelleckt in my face?

  10. Apologies for reading all your “pointless outpourings” since you launched. I’ve very much enjoyed them.

    I wonder what certain vision-less unionist bloggers without a blog and/or readers were doing joining us all in the “wilderness”. Mind you they do seem to be “crying” a lot.

  11. Katherine hamilton

    I’ll leave a comment. He’s feart, very very feart. When you’re feart the flight or fight response kicks in. His response is fight. He canny help it, we’re all hard wired that way. However when the emotional response recedes we think. So he’s also thinking. As on WoS home page, quote from Ghandi – “then they fight you, then you win”. I think that’s where are. Their sad souls however, saddens me.

  12. I’m hearing you Derek – no worries

  13. Charlie Chrystal

    If we’re being honest it’s really all about a blind unquenched hatred for everything that a future Scotland will stand for.
    This negativity is sad and dangerous to us all.

  14. Derek, I have yet to hear a coherent argument from an anti-independence person. Any one with a grain of intelligence – regardless of their stance – is able to appreciate the work and skill your posts demonstrate. It’s a great pity that so many people feel that all they can do to promote their political position is throw personal insults and concoct obvious lies.

    More to the point – where’s my gold plated wine card – or what ever it was called? I don’t drink, but…………!!

  15. I saw and heard noting, well nothing worth mentioning or repeating.
    But then that’s been the case with the No campaign from day one.
    Keep up the good work Mr Bateman.

  16. I wonder if “William Lithgow” is in fact a pseudonym for someone currently within the BBC or closely associated to someone.

    Mind you, “he” should that you are whinging in Maryhill and not the West End.

    Ghandi’s aphorism springs to mind.

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they come to fight you, and then you win.”

    Carry on Derek, and keep on keeping it up.

    – and for the 147th time, there is no Plan B because the plan outlined in the White Paper is the starting point in the negotiations and any deviations from that position will be taken during the same negotiations based progress of the negotiations.

    The nuanced versions of the CU are available in the White Paper, the one Darling had read in 15 minutes, I believe.

    The Nawers are just looking for a bone to chew on, to incite doubt, sow fear and gain some headlines, form their suppliant Press and TV chums. They are on to Plums.

    A Yes vote will start everything off.

    No has made a mistake drawing a line in the sand of no CU under any circumstances. The currency point is a hostage to fate handed to the YES side and they were very stupid to do so.

    The first rule of negotiations is to keep your powder dry and ready to fire when you see the whites of their eyes. The second is to have the basic position laid out with the note of options duly mapped and driving to win positions of golden bridges to be offered back to the other side, when suitable. That the YES side appear to have done.

    It comes back to my point of THE Plan of currency union, the No side must be very stupid to rule it out in such public manner or think we are stupid to believe their empty threats.

    Mind you those two options are not mutually exclusive.

  17. I note that, when this William Lithgow chappie gets close to addressing a point of fact, such as the claim that you were “fired”, he gets it wrong. We have no way of knowing whether he gets it wrong due to ignorance or malicious intent. What we do know is that such falsity renders his comments more than empty. He has less than nothng to say. His “contribution”, as with the bulk of what is offered by unionists, is a black hole which would suck all sense and civilty from the debate were it anywhere in the vicinity.

    • Nicely put Peter.

      How do you answer a rant like that ??

      Automatic response is ” why bother… ”

      They’re getting really angry these days. BT/UKOK/VOTNOBORD/NT – ?? Do they take angry pills before they go out ??

  18. I think we all know and have met the angry unionist.
    It seems to be their way anger ,and abuse, cannot work it out myself.
    I am canvassing most days and it does not matter the area from AB! to C1s they are angry ,ill mannered and abusive.
    They too can sense they have lot the day and fear drives them to ill manners.

    • I thought my sister was just that..a Daily Mail reader, brainwashed into repeating the same sad old mantra…then after a few drinks at a wedding the guard slipped. …she was in debt up to her oxters, she and her husband just one pay cheque from disaster and she was just so scared to do anything to jeopardise the future. She recovered quickly and the next day was back to Al – Eksammin canny be trusted etc etc ad infinitum.
      How many others are like her.scared into paralysis and covering it up by bluster

  19. Derek
    I never read your blog,I never respond.I am one of the thick SCOTS who cant sepll and am too stupid to understand the economic arguments,I read and believe the press ,and understand what a wonderfully impartial broadcasting media we are fortunate to have in the uk,where information is disseminated
    with truth and ethics by our government at the forefron,which is why I dont believe they are covering up huge oil finds.and the Mcrone report was inadvertantly misfiled by a junior minister
    So listen to the Mr Lithgow,who has made excellent points why we are bitter together,
    written without prejudice or malice

  20. The NO camp in a nutshell. Mr Lithgow must be really worried to have taken time to write in response to your “pointless outpourings”.

    They keep telling us we won’t win. The polls say so, so it must be true. Why then all the bile and froth? Why aren’t they relaxing quietly in front of their TVs watching yet another “Great British” whatever programme? Is there something in what you say nagging away at their deep subconscious, rather like those adverts which appeal for help in Africa, which they no doubt use as an opportunity to channel hop until the disturbing images have gone away?

    My own contributions, apart from comments on sites such as this, are very minor in comparison to yours Derek. Consisting of letters to the Courier, I average around two printed for every seven to ten sent, while certain NO contributors are there at least once a week. Even though my contributions are, by editors choice, infrequent, I have had abusive, anonymous letters sent to my home telling me in no uncertain terms to shut up and go away. One made the effort to let me know that he lives very close to me. No effort to argue their case, just childish name calling, such as “one of Salmond’s sheep”. Better that than a Westminster lamb in my estimation.

    Your “pointless outpourings” obviously worry NO supporters Derek, as Mr Lithgow has proved with his intemperate reply. Keep them coming. You are doing a grand job sir.

  21. Apparently Ken MacDonald tonight ( I think on tele ) will show the differences between the brain activities of YES and NO voters.

    The conservative ( small c ) NOs when shown pictures of a verruca or woman’s face with a tarantula on it will cringe, while the YESs will take them in their stride. Not sure what sort of brain imaging they’re using, but it’s certainly intriguing.

    It’s the something new or different they can’t cope with, a bit like your reader William Lithgow above.

    • I live in quite a congested street and frequently have to draw into the side to allow passing vehicles to pass.
      I have now decided that this is now quite enjoyable, like a game, because you can spot the Yes Supporters. They’re the ones who’ll give you a smile and a wave of acknowledgement. The UKOK/Bitter Together Supporter will just stare blankly ahead, hacket- face fixed, refusing to make eye contact with the fool that let them pass

  22. I don’t know why the No hopers need supporters since all they seem to do is repeat verbatim the thoughts of chairman Darling.
    The Yes campaign is diverse which results in a plethora of ideas about our future as a nation.
    All that No have is “What part of No don’t we understand?”
    Thanks for filtering out the rubbish Derek.

  23. From a friend in the US, obviously directed at the US political scene.
    It kind of explains the staunch Nswsayers?

    You start with a cage containing five monkeys. You then hang a banana on a string from the top of the cage, and then place a set of stairs under the banana.

    Before long a monkey will go to the stairs and climb toward the banana. At the moment he touches the stairs, you spray all the monkeys with cold water.
    After a while another monkey makes an attempt with same result — all the monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

    Now you put the cold water away.

    Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and attempts to climb the stairs. To his shock, all of the other monkeys beat the crap out of him. After one or two additional attempts, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs he will be assaulted.

    Next, remove another of the original five monkeys, replacing it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment — with enthusiasm — because he is now part of the “team.”

    Then, replace a third original monkey with a new one, followed by the fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked.

    Now, the monkeys that are beating him up have no idea why they are not permitted to climb the stairs. Neither do they know why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

    Finally, having replaced all of the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys will have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, not one of the monkeys will try to climb the stairway for the banana. Why, you ask? Because in their minds, that is the way it has always been!

  24. Another excellent piece Derek. You articulate the frustration that I feel constantly from the total lack of NO engagement. Sometimes it feels as if the referendum question only went out to the YES supporters. My blog today tries to address the lunacy of criticising Standard Life for having a Contingency Plan? albeit the lunacy of the BBC for not having one?

  25. dennis mclaughlin

    ‘Ahm voting NAW for the Future’, from a shipyard worker has to be THE quote of the Bitter Together campaign.
    This sums up everything we’ve heard from the wasteland of empty ideas and aspirations
    from Project Fear.

  26. Very apt BTP.. The Unionist mindset to a T….

    Mind if I ‘borrow’ this?

    Derek: Please continue with your blogs, they are superb!

  27. Steve Asaneilean

    I have been reading (and occasionally posting) for months and if William is correct and we are nothing more than a wee clique I couldn’t think of a better one to be part of.

  28. William Lithgow of the landowning,ex-shipbuilding dynasty I would hazard a guess.
    I had a run in with someone of that ilk at the Glenfinnan Highland Games at the weekend..
    Local landowner Angus MacDonald who was representing the gentry and also the announcer,told my kids to put away their ‘Yes Saltire’ as it wasn’t a political event.
    I pointed out to him that the monument adjacent to the games field represented the 1745 Jacobite uprising and the many fellows wandering round the event dressed as Jacobites may well be seen as a contradiction to his intervention.
    He went on though to dig himself deeper by announcing on-mic that the ‘Yes’ tug -o-war team would not be allowed to take part unless they removed their ‘Yes’ T-shirts and changed their team name!
    This changed the event from being a gathering of the people to a divisive,toff-dominated assertion of power and ownership,a microcosm,in fact,of the entire independence debate.
    The final field event,incidentally,the mile race,saw one of the toffs’ children completing several laps of the games field with her ‘Proud to be Scottish,delighted to be United’ T-shirt on,unchallenged by the announcer for her attire,but soundly thrashed into 6th place!

  29. You must have struck home for such a response, otherwise why bother commenting in such a fashion….I would hate to be him, sad way to be.

  30. Steve Asaneilean

    Sums it up perfectly really

  31. Steve Asaneilean

    Sorry should have been “BTP – sums it up perfectly really”

  32. I like reading the Derek Bateman blog and look forward to new ones, even if I don’t agree with him all the time or anytime if he is talking about the BBC not being biased.
    I also like reading anything from Peter Bell, although a bit more prolific would be nice Peter.

    I also agree with the five monkey analogy but I have to point out that just like those Scottish MPs on the side of the union the water sprayer is standing ready to spray the monkeys if one of them should step out of line, and the water sprayers boss is there to make sure he does as he doesn’t want to run out of monkey crap.
    The monkeys themselves spout bile and hatred because they know no other way, and think that this way will stop the other monkeys doing something they don’t want them to do.
    It worked in 1979, that and some dirty government tricks, but it won’t work this time, but we do need to be vigilant to the governments dirty tricks.

  33. innerbearsdenurchin

    William Lithgow, mmmmm

    I preferred his brother John. Now he was a real rock star.

    William seems to be of another planet, Presumptuous erchie, maybe?

  34. Bravo Sir

  35. Weren’t the Lithgows wealthy shipbuilders on the Clyde?

  36. Bugger (the Panda)

    William Lithgow has a special style which resembles some other rock star called Cressida, who is rumoured to be a woman and a policewoman.

  37. Spot on, Derek. The whole NO campaign is based around one set of tactics that we know so well now: denigrate, belittle, undermine. We all know Independence can work, and work well, and only shoddy, petty-minded career politicians would consider taking their ball home before you’ve even discussed the rules of the game. I came to Yes well into the campaign when I started to realise that BT were simply tapping into our insecurities and were derailing the possibility of constructive dialogue post-Yes by taking everything off the negotiating table before we’ve even voted.

  38. Aha, well now, you see, people have responded. Yeah. So what’s your plan B?

  39. When asked how the ‘No side’ in Scotland were going to protect Scotland’s NHS from the carnage that is happening in England (GP contract resignations, bankrupt NHS Trusts, NHS dental contract resignations) I was told I was speaking ‘rubbish’.

    I found this strange as I worked on the original NHS England 2000 plan lead by Sir Liam Donaldson when he was CMO for England, which was ditched because the politicians did not want to be directly accountable for the NHS in England. Further I spent between 1996 and 2008 working with HAs and hospitals around the UK working with them to improve patient services and constantly being knocked back because – that was not what the politicians (at Westminster and in the BMA, etcetera) wanted – responsibility was always someone else problem.

    Cornwall will soon have 15,000 patients with out a GP, the HA has admitted there are another five GP practices who have given notice to terminate and more in the pipe line. You can add in the growing number of the second wave of GP Dentists also jacking in their contracts from NHS England. There are also the growing levels of vacancies in GP and DGP inner city practices all about to get worse in England when the imported Asian GPs and the baby boomers start retiring over the next five years.

    This is the reality in England, the Tory’s plans for the NHS are in the process of destroying it.

    This is what a No vote will inevitably bring to Scotland.

    • Thanks for this comment about the English NHS. We haven’t woken up to this issue seriously in the parts of England that haven’t yet been affected. I need to find out more. We’ve also got the spectre of TTIP looming which could allow US companies to force open up the English NHS to the private sector further. As far as I know, NHS Scotland is safe because it’s totally public.

      • Not entirely true, as the budget which the Scottish Government has is in the gift of Westminster (as are all of the powers which the parliament possesses), thus NHS changes might be forced by a diminishing budget or removal of powers. Some health provision in Scotland is also sourced from private companies, but a small proportion compared to NHS England. Having retired from full-time NHS work at the end of last year, I am well aware from contacts with colleagues in England how difficult it now is to provide an adequate service, and how much time (and money) is being wasted in tendering, internal markets, clinical commissioning etc, and just how different the Scottish and English service now is.

        I do agree with you that the public in England has perhaps not yet fully realised the threat to the NHS as we all knew it, however. Sadly, Labour seems to be singing from the same austerity hymnsheet as the Tory party at present. There appears to be no serious left-of-centre politics left at Westminster, and no appetite for pointing out that austerity is the result of choosing to spend lots of money on Trident, bonuses for bankers, armed intervention abroad etc. It doesn’t seem to have dawned on anyone that bombing generally doesn’t lead to either stability or greed for democracy on the part of the victims.

        I don’t know why I’m wasting my time typing this for such an unimportant website run by a sad, bitter egoist, however! :}

        Keep up the (unimportant) good work please Derek!

      • Steve Asaneilean

        TTIP is a bit up in the air at the moment. The worry is that TTIP will let US companies into those health services in which a degree of privatisation already exists and for the purposes of TTIP the various UK versions of the NHS will be counted as one and, because privatisation is already happening in England, NHS Scotland would have to comply and allow private companies in.
        However if Scotland were an independent country then that could not happen unless and until a future Scottish Government decided to privatise parts of the service.
        However it’s somewhat unclear and a lot of lobbying is going on to allow any country to opt their health service out of TTIP but as things stand that allowance is far from certain or guaranteed. So the only way to guarantee Scotland will be protected from TTIP is to vote Yes

    • Meanwhile I rang the dentists my wife uses here in Dundee to register as an NHS patient not sure of my chances. No problem. As a backup there’s a new practice over in Monifieth advertising that it is accepting new NHS registrations. Free consultation too.

      Try finding an NHS dentist in England, let alone getting registered with them. We don’t know either how well served we are up here or how precarious this all is if we vote No and the further Austerity cuts come through. If they scrap the Barnett formula and reduce us to the UK average it will all go along with much else.

  40. First class response Derek and nails Mr Lithgow and BT in general very neatly indeed. I have long since given up waiting for this vision of Better Togetherness we’re all supposed to share. I have seen only misrepresentation, smear, lies, the malicious spreading of social division and fear.

    We can be done with it all with the stroke of a pencil very shortly.

    • We were chatting after the canvassing last night and someone said they intend to take a pen into the polling booth and pressing heavily. Much harder to alter than a light pencil stroke.

      Paranoid? perhaps. But better safe than sorry. Make sure your vote is counted as you intend, don’t use graphite.

  41. Steve Bowers 74% win

    Dear whoever you are, Deek bitmin or something like that, stop writing interesting stuff or I’ll be forced to carry on reading it, Anyone else thought that Westminster won’t call it a “Currency Union” they’ll call it Poundland, or a Sterling Area or anything but a CU, that way they won’t look stupid, personally I think we should tell them to poke it !

    • You are not the only one Steve, and I believe there is a growing movement for our own currency and let the rUK sink under the weight of it’s toxic debt.

  42. west_lothian_questioner

    I did not read this blog.
    This is not a comment.
    I won’t read your next piece.
    I will, however, be voting Yes.

    Only one of the above statements is true but there are no prizes being offered for working out which one

  43. What I don’t understand is the positive part of NO. I really need more information.

    In my much smaller online circle I find NO supporters don’t dish out much abuse but the also really don’t express many opinions either. The world of NO? It’s a boring world where online exchange should be limited to the apolitical such as,

    “Summer’s over and the heating’s on” …. Like , RT

    “Please like my cat, doesn’t he look great scratching the carpet” ….. Like, RT

    “Answer ten questions to discover what kind of cheese you are” …. Danish blue LOL … Like

    Maybe the underlying message is please don’t use social media for YES because it is working and I don’t like it.

    Well you know what, tough shit. If we were waiting on the mainstream, unidirectional media to state our case we’d still be living in 1979.

    • Maybe they’d just sooner talk about things that aren’t politics? Not everybody’s interested in partaking in tedious political debates all the time.

  44. Well, just to show Mr Lithgow, you could put a counter on the bottom of your site. They are available in WP. I’ve always found them a little amateurish but it would dismiss the notion of no-one visiting your site. Although, I have no doubts that they would probably counter that with ‘oh, you’re just visiting your page over and over again’, which could be countered with an unique IP address counter. I do, however, believe you to be above such churlishness to merely prove a point.

  45. So nobody reads your blog, Derek? … I’ll join the rest of the nobodies, just to see what all the fuss is about 😉

    • I used to aspire to being a nobody, when I was just a nothing, now that I am at last a nobody I think I will aspire to being a somebody.
      In a independent Scotland everybody will be a somebody.

  46. I find this kind of abusive and personalised attack is used by reactionaries all the time (you see it a lot on the posts of the Scotsman etc.). They build a strawman of the person they are debating with that they can direct all their hatred at. They make up a derogatory little character who is just plain nasty, sneaky, ineffectual …whatever in every way. This makes it easier for them to deal with. I don’t think their little minds can deal with much else. There must be a goody and a baddy and they will make up the characteristics for the baddy and there is not much we can do about it.
    There is a potentially interesting program on BBC 2 tonight 9pm ‘Mind Games’ about the psychology of conervatives with a small c and the place of fear in the referendum campaign and debate.
    Another thing they tend to do apparently is not listen to the arguments of others even if the evidence is overwhelming. Things like global warming etc. are denied despite massive scientific backing. They will tend to attack the person rather than the argument which they will not be listening to anyway.
    A friend I was just debating this topic with put it thus “Conservatism is being more afraid (and less able to rationalise one’s fears). If one defines intelligence as rationality, people who are less afraid are more rational, and therefore, more likely to be able to see the benefits of sharing. Which one is a more intelligent response to circumstance, though, depends on the circumstance….

    The irony is also that while liberal decision-making is more rational than emotive, its rationality deals with variables so complex that they aren’t amenable to rational explication, whereas conservative decision-making (its mine & I’m fucking keeping it, hands off) is easily explained. As this is the only level of reasoning they can cope with, the synergy that it is ‘right’ seems obvious to them, and liberal reasoning seems emotive. Again, this is why media have a conservative bias (all headlines are of a conservative cognitive level) – but it is also why conservative media (while it may affect what people reason) does not much affect how they vote.

    The problem with the politics of fear is that, while conservatives love it (because they get it, in a complex world they don’t usually understand) and it can sway the majority (who are somewhere in between) inspiring fear and directing it are two different things. The No campaign are doing our work for us, here: by inspiring fear, they make non-conservatives desire the tools to address fearsome things, and focus their minds on why it is important to them (and by extension, to everyone, including conservatives) to have a society not entirely dominated by fear. “

  47. They are rattled and lashing out wildly . More power to you Derek.

    BTP, consider that borrowed!

  48. Thanks for the article Derek. I am in England. I started off “no” and analysed the issues. After soul-searching, I moved to “yes” and am as much of an enthusiast for indy as someone without a vote can be.

    Once you take the time to get informed, anyone reasonable will conclude that there is a very weak intellectual case for the union, especially for Scots. On my blog, I have challenged unionists (Scots and English) to do something positive to build up the union they say they really believe in. This can include giving us English a friendly kick up the back-side for not bothering with Scotland. As “no” voters, this will give them moral authority to do so. I haven’t had many comments from “No” voters but it got one of them thinking. It’s a “put up” or “shut up” argument.

    If anyone is interested, my article is at :

    Thanks for tolerating my plug and good luck to you all on 18 Sep!

  49. I, and I think I am one amongst many, who looks for this site of a morning.

    Perhaps Mr Lithgow does too.

    The difference is one of how we feel afterwards. In my case I have a spring in my step and a smile on my face.


    I seem to recall you mentioning Derek that your readership has grown beyond your wildest dreams. If that is so, then you are doing something right and good and honourable.

    Best wishes.

  50. Alistair Darling on GMS this morning as noted by Stu over on Wings was spluttering with indignation. Why? because mild mannered Gary Robertson had done some journalistic homework (or got a work experience person to do so) and was quoting his words and even his election material from the past at him re the NHS. Also pointing out Labour are saying one thing up here and another thing entirely down in England where Birnam is campaigning on ‘In 5 years the NHS won’t exist and it will be impossible to roll it back’. By ‘impossible’ he means ‘we will not have the political courage to do the necessary, to fight the dirty politics and make powerful moneyed enemies to do what is right’. Labour in power were politically spineless unless it was things like illegal wars. All those kids Gordon lifted out of poverty, not a peep lest a tabloid complain about wasted spending. Politically craven they are.

    I much prefer the SNP who haven’t been corrupted by power yet and are still revelling in their technocratic competence. Wee Eck was not feart to take The Donald’s money and then plonk an offshore wind turbine development field in his field of view for eg. That said nobody is bigger than the national interest. The genuine, beneficial to all, national interest. Not the sort that supposedly took us to war in Iraq.

  51. I suspect that it was the content of that particular item that prompted Mr Lithgow to respond. How did he place himself in the context? Is he a Bertie Wooster or can he identify more easily with the rapacious financier /banker?
    Please keep up the good work and be assured that you are making a difference.
    Support for YES is gaining momentum and recent reception to doorstep canvassing is encouraging. Bella Caledonia carries a report today of RIC polling that suggests that this is on the move.

  52. Well, if no-one reads your excellent blog then you must be kept exceedingly busy, splitting yourself into different personalities and writing all these comments. If William Lithgow is so rabidly No, then why is he spending his time reading a nationalist blog instead of playing with wee boats in his bath? Does he think he’s being brave? Is venturing online to peek at your blog his one brave, outrageous deed for the day?

    The unionists don’t want discussion, discussion is traitorous, spiked with nationalist treachery, and they don’t know how to handle the many Yes blogs that have sprung up to spread ideas and encourage discussion of them. Our vision of another Scotland thrives and grows with discussion, blossoming online and whenever two or more Yes supporters come together. Unionists increasingly can’t handle this. They have tried their best to shut down discussion, refusing to take part in debates and withdrawing from them at the last minute. But their tactics have failed and as our ideas and discussions have taken flight, they have been left stranded in glaur on the ground.

  53. Excellent Derek. Love your blog. Keep up the good work.

  54. Derek,
    Whoever William is, he needs help. I’ve noticed, in the years I’ve been living here, after living abroad for a long time, that some Scots, and I stress ‘some’ seem to suffer from the ‘Green Eye’ quite a bit. It’s the result of not growing up like other folk in other countries, to become an adult that is, an adult that can accept and appreciate other people’s good points and even talents. Some Scots just can’t do that. It’s pathetic. They’ve been having their decisions made for them for the last 300 years and now they can’t do it for themselves. They know there’s something wrong with their lives, but they just can’t figure out what. It turns them in on themselves and they take their bile out on anyone else that can actually function like a human. There, I got all that out! Seriously, this guy shouldn’t be under ‘Humour.’ He should be under ‘Fiction.’
    The ‘Referendum broadcast on behalf on Better Together’ the other night on STV was a re-run of ‘We’re fine the way we are.’ Someone even managed to get in ‘Why change what we’ve got?’ No-one made an argument for keeping the status quo and everyone talked about themselves. It was mince.
    Sorry Derek, I’m expressing anger today!

  55. iwell done derek i have enjoyed ur blogs and videos.and alsothe contributions of ur minions lol.keep up the righteous fight and in the words of mel gibson.freedommmmmmmm

  56. I have been surprised at the scale of the personal attacks (usually aimed at Alex Salmond) that seem to make up the bulk of unionist arguments any time I have debated them online. It’s as if they had no real arguments to make…

  57. Mr. Lithgow also needs the help of a dictionary, since he’s clearly confusing the words ‘dialogue’ and ‘duologue’. What a silly man.

  58. Must resist the urge to reply….. Failed!

  59. Oh they have plenty to say, its just nothing of consequence and as an old wiser man than I once said: “One always speaks badly when one has nothing to say” – They are the product of 300 years of banal unionism. So used to it being there that when challenged as to why it should continue, could literally think of nothing of value. Hence the insults.

    In the end all they have achieved is to make Britishness seem a rather loathsome thing. It’s something they use to hide how wretched they feel at being Scottish. It’s why I consider the notion of British identity as being something quite vile. Its a horrible, garish and cheap little gewgaw. A novelty tea towel one is given by somebody who clearly could think of nothing decent to get you as a gift.

    All you have to do to embrace it, is to be ashamed of being Scottish.

    No sale. Not at that price, not at any price.

  60. clicked on it by accident i never read it wullie do you hear me ? never looked eyes wide shut i guess by the looks of it some buggers set a trap so we click on this blog i bet this guy bateman has got something to do with this skullduggery hes a bit shifty looking and long hair at his age must have been born in the fifties when you could pick up a paper and find a journalist who wasn’t so scared for his job he actually tried to get to the truth of a story not what the corporate bosses and political yes men want to see christ day dreaming again of past times and me a mere 62 oh well onwards and upwards with a bit of hope in my top pocket that the people of my generation waken up from their thirty odd year sleep and have a look around why did we let these bloody clown politicians turn this place into a bloody industrial wasteland they work for us keep reminding them when its a no comment stupid answer to a question ! oh really if you can’t be arsed answering here is yer p45 next liar take the stand this is our fault for being so bloody lazy we took our eye off the ball now lets get a grip and sort this place out starting on the 18th

  61. The Earthshaker

    Another excellent article and as a pretty regular reader from Wales i appreciate your insight into Scottish politics and the momentous event that is the Independence referendum both on the blog and on the podcasts.

    I often see parallels between welsh labour’s antics and attitudes down here in the Better Together campaign tone and tactics and your forensic insight of them and Scottish Labour has opened many welsh folks eyes about what Labour really is and for that alone I salute you and wish more power to you elbow.

    I’m not from the Yes Wales for Scotland group but if you wanna know the impact of your campaign is having watch this poem from welsh author Catrin Dafydd

    Good luck to you all on the 18th!

    • Derek – all nonsense from that chap Lithgow. I know it’s a bit sad but I rely on your views – and the opinions of those who comment on your blog. Amidst the doom following the Salmond/Darling debate, when even Macwhirter was bemoaning Salmond, I only really saw the hypocracy of the BT stance AFTER I read your blog. You have a rare ability, in my opinion, to analyse and un-pick arguements, and put these in context. Just as all the others before me have said – keep going. Your country needs you.

  62. I don’t comment often, but read every article and listen to every broadcast. It’s nice to have some genuine journalism to peruse.

    The pro-Westminster dependency campaign have NOTHING to argue the case against independence with. All they have is vacuous comments on any article the least bit positive towards the YES side. It will get increasingly worse.

    I have notice with disappointment on the Herald where I post fairly often that even the more rational and thoughtful pro-WD fans have become more vitriolic, bile filled, and negative with ad hominems the common currency. they have lost the arguments and can not fight the facts, or the common sense of the pro-Independence support.

    Keep it up, and ignore the muppets

    Tony Little

  63. jamie macdonald

    I always read this blog, and although I don’t often respond, thought it important this time, TO STAND UP AND BE COUNTED! as I will in the referendum.. when I VOTE YES!- you Lithnin’ William!… gow ‘n’ bile yer heid!…

  64. Keep up the good work Derek. Your blog is my first read (along with Wings) in the morning. We definitively need a better media. Finding it more and more difficult to plough through the unionist biased Guardian and BBC. All the best, Stephen

  65. Dr JM Mackintosh

    Good on you Derek.
    Yes has superb bloggers like yourself, Rev Stu, Wee Ginger Dog and lots of websites and YouTube posts. A modern alternative media.

    You have kept up going for years and now we have built up a huge grassroots campaign which will be unstoppable.

    What have the No side got – a few stones lying in a field near Gretna.

  66. Well said. I would normally read and pass on to the next blog without comment. There are so many excellent sources at the moment, of which this blog is definitely in the top 5, it takes some effort to keep up.

  67. I didn’t read this or respond to it. Obviously.

  68. Would this be the William Lithgow of whom Johann Lamont spoke so eloquently ” not genetically programmed to make political decisions” ?

  69. I am yet another non-reader of your blog, which is apparently so ineffectual that no-one (including both me and Thingummy Lithgow) bothers to read it. Seriously, I wonder if this Lithgow troll has ever looked up the definition of “plonker”, as used frequently by the character Del Boy, played so well by the talented David Jason?

    Keep up the good work Derek. Your frequent (unread) blogs are a breath of fresh air and political enlightenment in this world of otherwise pro-union media.

  70. Cag-does-thinking

    For the first time, the independence debate hasn’t been dictated by the Westminster government or by their friends in the BBC or the bought and paid for “journalists” in the newspapers. It has moved it onto ground that is more direct for people. It has been a debate of the people about their priorities. That has shocked the official campaigns at times and BT have never recovered from people pretty much ignoring the plan B argument. A lot of the kudos for that is having had weblogs like yours to turn to which have played a great part in providing the momentum for what I see as a movement now. A much more successful movement than the No campaign.

    It of course angers those who think “The public should have been listening to me”.

    Ahh the sadness of being a spin doctor who has nothing with which to spin. They will invariably end up talking to themselves.

  71. “Nothing to say”? Well, it seems our friends in England have something to say, according to the latest findings about England’s attitude towards Scotland’s referendum. They want us to stay, but should we vote No they want us to pay. At least they are being upfront about it, unlike two-faced unionist politicians.
    Bitter together, better apart.

  72. And I see that the BBC will be devastated by a Yes vote according to Margaret Curran and Lord Birt:

    What’s not to like

  73. “Please just stop these pointless outpourings and accept your opinions are of no interest to anyone except your own super inflated ego” blimey Derek, I thought my letter to Alan Cochrane had been photocopied!
    Mr Lithgow raises an interesting point though.
    The Referendum has been a revelation in so many ways. I know when I click on your site or WGD or WOS they are all coming from a Pro Independence stance but they are much,much,more than that.
    Through whatever topic, I’m able to get facts, humour, gauge how people are thinking, background information , compassion, spirit, principles the list goes on, which fills a vacuum that our press / media have created.

    I’ve never watched Sarah Smith at night ,not because I have anything against the woman, just the same old format , with the same old sound bites just doesn’t appeal. Now there’s a thing, Mr Lithgow writes ‘ no comments’ on a blog you run yourself, yet there’s a programme we all pay for, with no viewers so who exactly are they aiming for?

    Two wee tips for Mr Lithgow. I keep Derek’s broadcasts until I can listen to them at a later date, when I’ve time and peace to do so. I’m not going to comment on something I haven’t heard , maybe others are the same, hence no comments.

    Two, whether it’s 30, 40 or 50% wanting Independence at this moment, that’s a lot of voices in the ‘wilderness’,looking for something that reflects the Scotland they know or the World around them.

    There is a dearth on our TV and in our papers in Scotland and if Mr Lithgow is complaining to you about it, he needs to realise , this is how the other 30,40, 50% feel all the time. Mind you , if he’s so satisfied with the news he’s getting beamed out at him or paying to read , whys he looking for alternative blogs to read?

  74. I think William Lithgow is really a very cunning Derek Bateman, his blog has gone from no readers and no comments to 102 comments and I presume many more readers.
    Admit it Derek, it was all a cunning plan to get nobody to read your blog.

    Isn’t it amazing though and very typical of the Scots, that regardless of how much we fight amongst ourselves, whenever there is a threat, perceived or real, from out with our borders then we all rush to back up those being threatened.
    And it is that spirit of solidarity that will win the Yes vote and see us through the early independence years to a better future.
    I know it sound soppy but it is true.

  75. Derek, Thank you for recently granting my daughter an interview. As now seems probable, Mr Lithgow may have a happier 19 September than you or I. Quite how his comments fit with recent reminders that we all must live together thereafter will no doubt be a question in many minds. You have the support of many. Take sustenance from it. Mr Lithgow on the other hand offers only unsubstantiated opinion. Unless of course he can muster something resembling your courage in your convictions and “come out”

    Allan Thomson LIN Lithgow (no relation)

  76. You’re doing grand Derek – 9/10 (no-one’s perfect!)

  77. Count me in ! Lithgow, there are more of us than your nightmares can imagine! Keep up the great work Derek, we raise a glass to you!

  78. Derek, the man is full of crap, and I am sure there will be a lot more people having a happy September 19th than those who won’t be.

  79. I am also a great believer in the claim, that when you start attacking the man, you know you are losing the argument.

    And I think Mr Lithgow knows he is losing, as do most people.

  80. Derek who cares what anyone else says- this man embarrasses himself with his own uncensored conceit. For all the brightest stars shining radiantly in the referendum firmament your’s shines clearer & steadier than all the others- your greatest virtue is lucidity; & no one does it better than you Derek.

  81. Next time Plan B is mentioned someone should quote Mark Carney. (I paraphrase) It’s ill-advised to say what your contingency plan is, except to say there is one. We have many tools and strategies…

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