Tuesday 15 July 2014


Dear Scottish Labour (or actually Dear Labour Scottish branch),

The referendum is not, as you indicate in your tweet, Scotland versus Alex Salmond.

If it were you really wouldn't need to be funded by the English Tories, Dukes, Earls and Marquises. They could keep their rotten gold that you've been bought and sold for.

You wouldn't need to get people from West Derby to be bussed in, with the previously mentioned Tories, Lords and such like paying for their travel and all their food for a jolly day out either.

If it were Alex Salmond against Scotland, I suspect that even you lot could work out that only Alex and maybe Moira too would be voting YES, and the rest of us...ie the Scotland that you say Alex is against, would be voting No.

And... even if there were a few more people...you know Nicola, John, Kenny, Shona, Humza, Stewart and their likes who would vote for independence, do you not think that if it was, as you suggest, Alex (and a few mates) versus Scotland, you might be able to save a bit of your English Tory dosh, by rounding up this potentially massive support for NO in Scotland and getting it to collectively knock on the doors of the Cabinet and their best mates. it's probably a 2 hour job max!

I completely fail to understand why, if Scotland is on one side and Alex Salmond is on the other, you need to bus people in from the next door country? 

You enthusiastically defend your beloved prime minister, saying that he shouldn't have to debate on behalf of your country, because he is English and he doesn't have a vote. 

So why then do you feel obliged to pay English people to come and campaign on something which is nothing to do with them and upon which they do not have a vote? Is their opinion more important than that of the British prime minister? Is Mr Cameron the only Englishman barred from taking a part?

As  a parting thought, you may wish to remember that the British government has said that all Scottish people alive and their offspring will be able to chose their citizenship, British, Scottish or joint.

This means that you and your ilk will still be able to take a title from Britain and presumably collect your £300+ a day for sleeping on a red bench. Lady Lamont, Baroness Curran... have a ring. (Not sure about Baillie though, although lying through your teeth seems to be no barrier to ennoblement.)

This may save you some of the effort, and expense, not to mention the environmental damage of transporting these people to Scotland and continuing with your campaign.

Yours sincerely 

Important Media Mogul.

Just for a laugh... 

Better Together opened a shop in Kirkcaldy, and plastered No stickers all over it.
Meanwhile the people who own the upstairs part of the building decided to put YES stickers on their windows.

I suppose it could have happened to anyone...
Not the first time they've bussed people up


  1. The West Derby CLP (Conservative Labour Party) spared no expense on the mini bus and six sandwiches.

    1. What a day out... Even when millionaires are paying, the poor get a second rate deal.

  2. Ahh, don't worry about them, Labour still believe that they represent Scotland.

    I wonder, do they still believe in Santa?

    1. The tooth fairy is going to be their next leader!

    2. Is that the small island off the coast of Japan, that they named Scotland so they could make fake whisky there?

    3. Cunning!!!

  3. These kids, if allowed to come face to face with real clued up Yes voters will be reduced to melted jelly.

    They must be recruited for folding stuff so other people can post them through letter boxes.

    An A P should infiltrate this group and spill the beans. Great fun.

    1. My personal experiences and those I've read, of anyone who is confronted with a yes voter who asks questions is that they either run away or become abusive.

      Munguin was thinking of sending an undercover agent into their midst, but he found out he'd have to pay them... End of project!

    2. I had a women stick a leaflet (the facts you need) in my face outside M&S in Aberdeen with the offer to answer any questions I had. I asked her why I would pay more interest in an independent Scotland, she replied "I don't know and I'm not speaking to you anymore".
      I tried to leave and was accosted by a man this time who asked me if everything was alright, I explained what had just taken place and he said to me "you know too much so you are obviously a Yes voter, I'm not speaking to you either".

      I just wanted to go in to the shopping centre for a coffee.

    3. "you know too much so you are obviously a Yes voter"

      That just sums up the campaign, doesn't it?

    4. Yres, it does sum it up.

      People who know anything about it are likely to be yes voters.

      Some stupid woman on Twitter, who is apparently a professor of history says that only uneducated people vote yes. She was greeted by a past student who pointed out that he was a committed YES voter, and he had a first class honours from her university...

      She seemed unable to explain that one.

      I've never got a straight answer from anyone about any of the questions I've asked.

  4. Hats off to that person in Kirkcaldy!

    I hope I meet some of these bussed-in folk, should be fun. But more likely to have Jim Murphy...

    Meanwhile Priti Patel, a rather nasty piece of work, has been promoted to the Treasury. Priti who thinks the Barnett formula should be cut and Scotland get even less back of the taxes it pours into the UK Treasury.

    1. Jim Murphy is pretty pathetic when it comes to reasons to stay in the union. I reckon any of us could deal with his arguments and leave him foundering. As for the kids ... I should imagine they are giving them some of the Tory money besides the sandwiches to make the day an attractive prospect for them.

      Patel is just what we needed. Yet more evidence that Scotla mnd is in for a harder time under the next Tory government. This new team was chosen to please English voters.

    2. Thanks Illy. Always a good choice.

    3. Reply for Tris

      Are we not going to be allowed to keep the name Scotland or have you merely been missing your unpaid proof reader :-) Who is actually dyslexic btw!

    4. Munguin reckons it's because you didn't get to come to the Dublin conference that you haven't been checking the proofs.

      He says you can come to the next one.

      It's in Bhutan!

  5. Brilliant piece .

    They just cannot help tripping over themselves to tar Mr Salmond with all the blame for the mess of the country. Thing is the more they abuse him the more i like him. At least with wee Eck , we have someone who speaks and interacts with the people of Scotland. I think he's the best out there and am greatful he is on our side.

    As for the video.... Cheezy sentimental rubbish..that's being nice mind.

    great stuff. thanks again.

    1. Yeah, attacking Salmond isn't the best plan. Not this late into things.

      No-one likes Westminster, so it might even provoke an "the enemy of my enemy is at least a potential ally" reaction, and stir a few more people to look into things.

    2. Salmond is a like him or love him character.

      The thing is that by having a go at him they are only preaching to the choir.

      They don't win any now people over. Most people would agree that the SNP governance of Scotland has been relatively efficient, in comparison to the complete chaos of the governance of England by the Tories (and Tory lite).

      I know people who HATE Salmond... smug and self satisfied, with his own personal agenda...they say, but they were always going to vote NO.

      People who are swithering need real facts. The fact that a person swithers at all indicates that (s)he is clever enough to weigh up the pros and cons. Clever enough not to be taken in by the constant hate against one man who will be out of politics in 10 years at the most.

      When Lamont tries to bring him into every single answer she gives, even the BBC have got round to challenging her, but you can see the raw hatred in her face.


  6. Oh and well done the person who put the YES posters up in Kirkcaldy

    I f we ever meet i owe you a drink.

    Great way to start the day. Thinking those in the shop must feel a wee bit silly.

    got a copy of that for sending ...

    1. Well, imagine you had property just above a NO shop...

      (I thought they didn't want to use the world NO as is sounded negative....what happened there?)

      I think it is brilliant... But as I said, it could happen to anyone. I don't imagine that you check the political leanings of your neighbours when you rent a shop for two months with Tory money.

  7. I would laugh if 1 week out,Salmond announces he won't stand for PM in 1st Scottish elections

    1. Hi Water. (Oh that's good...High Water!) Nice to see you here...

      Well, we are expecting a bombshell from the NO side, one week out when there is no time for the lie to be countered.

      But that would make for an interesting piece of news for Lamont to deal with.

      It's all about Alex Salmond would fall flat on its napper ...

      And there are many competent people to take over from him if he decided to go.

      But overall I'd like to see him there to help establish a new/old country. He is a competent bloke.

    2. He could easily do both (Be there to still be helpful with set-up, and declare that he won't run for first PM of Scotland)

      He could step down from party leadership but still run as an MSP. If he's feeling cheeky he could even run as Nicola Sturgeon's deputy and still be sticking to the letter of his word.

    3. There's a plan... Have you ever thought about being a politician? :)

    4. I'm not sure if I should be flattered or insulted by that ;-)

      Unfortunately, yes, I have thought about being a politician. Family are telling me not to, cos it'd destroy me, but I keep looking at the world and going: "If not me, then who?" There's no way I have the money/time needed to get started as an independent (I doubt I'd make it very far in either the SSP or the Greens, I disagree with them too much on details).

      Gets me really depressed sometimes.

    5. Ah well, it was said as a joke.

      But politics is a nasty business. I'd never make it. I'm far too thin skinned.

      And like you, I could never settle to a party.

  8. May I say that I have now got Munguin on my Kindle so managed to read this whilst cleaning teeth this morning. Once I work out all my passwords I may even manage to comment.
    A very good article Tris, loved the idea of Labour having all the voters on their side. Fairy stories again I see. So they are importing workers from England. Certainly looked like it when we had the By Election here in Dunfermline, the accent was certainly not pure Dunfermline or anywhere in Scotland, but I will concede we do have English Folk living here, but some how I got the idea that this young man in a nice red Jaiket hailed from further South.
    I will commend the folk n Kirkcaldy who put up the YES stickers, funnily enough Kirkcaldy must have about the only No shop I have heard of, must be the Broon effect. I have just scratched a NAW sticker of a street sign when I was out with the Dog. It sits badly with me that they use Scots words but decry their country.

    1. Munguin is flattered to be on your Kindle. He's bragging to all his little mates!!

      Yep... Eck vs Scotland. Bloody hilarious. That's why they need English Tory money and English foot soldiers, because all us ScotBrits are too lazy to go out and campaign... and in any case, as only Eck and his cabinet will be voting for the YES side, there seems little point unless you happen to knock on the door of Nicola Sturgeon...

    2. Well Tris, tell Munguin I am more than happy to have him too. also tell him Hektor wanted him to know he would be quite safe with him. As a mere pup he saved all his stuffies from the Crocs on the telly.
      I am certainly too old and too deaf to campaign other wise I would be oot there. I have found I lose my temper with the stupid so I tend to leave it to the patient amongst us. On the subject of the possible bolt hole if this all goes a NIKO, we were looking a narrow boats, South of France, instead of a house, what you think?

    3. I'm not the campaigning sort either Helena.

      I don't mind delivering stuff or folding it up and putting it in envelopes. I'll make tea and take people to the polls and do all sorts but I'm not a doorstepper. To each his own.

      Munguin says that Hektor sounds like his kind of dog!

  9. That picture gave me a good laugh on a dreich day outside. The West Derby thing must be a wind-up, surely?

    1. NO John, I don't think so. While you were sunning yourself in Rome, on the outside of a couple bottles of decent Italian Soave, it was quite a story that the NO campaign was bussing people up from England to campaign for them.

      Having come into vast sums of money from Lords and the like, they were throwing cash around on buses and days out for teens.

      I can't get a picture in here, but I'll add it to the text.

      OT... Does Scots Gaelic have capital letters in the middle of words... I noticed that some of the signs in Dublin did and wondered why.

    2. No, we don't, as far as I'm aware. SlainTe!!

  10. In terms of busing folk up, I would have thought that would work in Yes's favour. Being asked by some gobby English youth to vote no isn't going to sit well with some gnarly old Scots-person. (I say gobby not because youths are per se, any activist age-to-one-side has got to be gobby - its part of the job description.)

    We were talking about this on twitter, apparently Robin McAlpine was offered help from activists from doon sooth, not sure if he said yes though. BT/Labour/etc are on a sticky wicket soliciting for that kind of help, but like I said, I don't think it'll play well on Scottish doorsteps and high streets.

    (Love the Kirkcaldy flat too. Bit of banter there, bet the No crowd were furious. ;-)

    1. Completely agreed Pa.

      I always think it is great to see teens involved with politics. Politicians have made such a mess of things that many young people don;t want to get involved in any way. And on a UK level "they are all the same" is now not just an excuse for not voting; it's the absolute truth.

      But I wonder how, on either side, an elderly person with pretty fixed views is going to take to even a local lecturing them, much less someone brought in by another country.

      This works for both sides.

      I got a complaint form some of my neighbours that the YES campaigner who doorstepped them was rude and offputting.

      A neighbour that I had convinced to vote YES was back to swithering.

      Doorstep work in not something for amateurs. You need to know how to deal with people, and you need vast array of facts at your fingertips. Otherwise you can be seen to be rude (which is bad) or ill informed (which is worse).

      If people allow you to intrude on their doorstep, they seriously don't want someone who hasn't a clue what they are talking about wasting their time when they could be watching to footie!

  11. It seems to me that, if it's Salmond V's Scotland, he's doing rather well; being the leader of the party in Government and a popular one too.
    Loved the Kirkcaldy NAE sayer picture, mon' the YES!

    1. They don't think these things through, do they JnA?

      Like so many other things!

  12. I've just sent an e-mail to Better Together to volunteer for a few days campaiging in Edinburgh with all expenses paid. I pointed out that I am not from England but Scotland and actually do have a vote and await their reply with interest.. Incidentally, according to their blog they represent ALL parties. Is that really true? I see that Jim Murphy is having 'fun' on his exprenses paid tour of Scotland and wonder who is actually doing the paying. The independence movement, acording to him, are "all mouth" which must go down well in the pubs he visits.

    1. Let me know if you get an free trip to Edinburgh, John. I wonder what hotel they use, and if drink is included...

      If it works for you, why not me. I'd like to volutee for a week's worth in Oslo. or Reykjavik. Given the level of intelligence and political prerception that has been apparent from the BT campaign, I don't they's notice that these towns aren't actually voting.

      All parties you say?

      The Greens, the Scottish Socialists?

      They represent the Tories, who are paying for them.

      Maybe if you wangle it carefully they will put you on the same tour as Jim. That way you could get to know him better. I'm sure he's a nice dude really...

      Why is he not in Westminster, what with all these bills going through about them being able to intercept all our mail? He should be there fighting for the rights of the ordinary man... oh, wait, I forgot...

      Thanks for the info on the Gaelic.

  13. Why does the No shop in the picture have a sign above it saying "toilet". Is it because they are always talking pish?

    1. LOL Weegie!!!!

      Probably... Or maybe it's because they are always talking....

      No, let's keep it polite!!

  14. Funny how you have the "busing" up from Derby as your first article Tris. My partner was out canvassing in Annan last night and came back home for her purse to go buy the canvassers some water. Anyway on her way home she came across the BetterThanks/No Together, or whatever they call themselves this week, crowd. Well I say crowd it was actually one M.S.P. and three councillors. All four of them are Labour.

    She stopped and decided to have a wee bit of banter with them especially around this idea that they are busing folks from Derby up to Scotland to do the canvassing for them. What a dour lot they were. She was light hearted and fun and tried to get a laugh or even, god forbid, a smile out of them, any of them but she got nothing. Well I say nothing that's not strictly true she DID get abused by one of the Labour councillors!

    Needless to say after recounting the events to me, picking up her purse and returning to Annan she never saw them. Which can only mean one thing. After she went screaming in reverse in the Jeep back up to the M.S.P. to complain to her about the abuse they must have decided to knock it on the head. :P

    If we learnt anything about last night's events it is that when pushed for questions the NO Together/ Better Thanks crowd have no answers and will always revert to personal abuse!

    1. Yes, no answers at all.

      And personal attacks rather than anything concrete about how brilliant the UK is with its food banks and Red Cross parcels for the likes of us, while the nobs get stuck into the foie gras...

  15. Oops I forgot to ask how Munguin enjoyed his wee daunter over to Ireland at the weekend. Was it a good information gathering trip?

    More importantly how did the employees enjoy their *ahem* information gathering trip, was the Guiness good? :-)

    Can I possibly make a wee suggestion to Munguin, with the greatest respect of course. He is not an Important Media Mogul. He is a Very Important Media Mogul. :P

    1. Munguin says that when he is King of Scotland (strange ambition for a republican) he will be pleased to honour you Arbroath. He also gave me a good slapping for forgetting the VERY!!

      Dublin was very interesting, and I hope to write a little about it soon.

      It really was an eye opener and I'm so very very glad we went.

      ...Even if I had to stay in a doss house while Munguin resided in the guest suite at the presidential residence in Phoenix Park.

    2. Hope Munguin didn't slap you too hard cause without you who would write a;ll these great articles. grovel! grovel! grovel!

      Glad to here both Munguin and his staff enjoyed their fact finding mission in Dublin. It does everyone good to get away for a while now and again and get some fact finding done. :)

    3. I'll tell you something Arbroath...

      Fact No 1. Guinness really does taste better in Ireland.

      Thanks for the kind comments!!! :) He doesn't slap hard. He only has little paws.

  16. You know I kind of feel sorry for the good Labour supporters who've slugged their guts out for the party and its original goals, poverty, justice equality you know the kind of thing. Only for them to see the upper echelons sell out for power, and wealth. Now Labour has gone one step further and now openly tells lies, about just about everything to do with Scottish independence, such as Junckers and the EU entry.

    I can only hope the good people of Labour and I'm sure they're many of them, get together and decide to take back Labour and its founding goals by voting yes in the referendum. In my opinion its the only way Labour can get its respect back in Scotland, along with this they need to have a cull at the top tier of Labour, as no one believes a word that they say anymore.

    People like Lamont and Sarwar, just don't have any credibility anymore, go on honest Labour supporters vote yes and take your party back, a no vote will only blacken its name even more.

    1. Anon, I had a talk with a neighbour this afternoon. He's a retired Englishman of about 66, who worked all his life until the last 6 or 7, when he was unemployed.

      He's a Labour man, and has been all his life.

      I asked him if he liked Blair. He said no.

      I asked about Brown... No.

      Miliband... no.

      Lamont... he laughed.

      I asked about social justice, bedroom tax, Atos, benefits cap, snooping, and nuclear weapons. He disapproved of it all.

      But he still will vote Labour.

      No idea why.

      Amazingly he would like a revolution in Britain and an overthrow of the monarchy, the Lords and the Commons.

      It was pointed out to him that without any bloodshed that could be achieved by voting for independence.

      He said No.

      I thought... move on, don't waste your time. He is never going to change, even if labour pushed a red hot poker where the sun doesn't shine.

    2. He's gotten himself comfortable in wanting something that's never going to happen, and he's comfortable with it never happening.

      It lets him sleep at night while the world crumbles.

      I've been there, sometimes it's the only way to get through the day.

  17. tris

    The problem with Alex Salmond he has something of the Gove about him
    To many many Scots in Scotland.

    1. Do you think so, Niko?

      I know he can certainly be divisive. Someone I used to work with said that he is the reason that she won't vote for independence. She actually thinks independence is a good idea, but she hates Alex Salmond so much that she just can't vote with him for it. I think that makes her mad, but there is no changing her mind.

      I've met the bloke, and he seemed ok to me. I watched him working with people and listened to him work a room, and I'm impressed. He is head and shoulders above Lamont, Davidson and Patrick Harvey and the Liberal blokey. He reminds me in some ways of Tommy Sheridan, or Tony Benn in the way he reaches people.

      I certainly think he fights for Scotland at every opportunity. I don't see what people don't like, but I know that there are many who hate him. I think Lamont uses that at every possibly opportunity.

      I wonder if she thinks she is popular. Frankly I've never heard a good word about her from anyone.

      But I admit to being biased.

      I'd never see him as a Gove. Gove was and I suppose still is, a stupid little fool of a man who got everything wrong and was so unpopular with parents, teachers and pupils alike that he became an electoral liability

    2. Interesting article, full of hope... but as Niko says... ignoring all the polls is, erm... well rather brave to put it mildly.

      That said I think we will win.

      I think Darling never thought he would be called upon to debate with Salmond, and I think that a lot of people will be swayed by the paucity of his arguments and the positivity of Salmond's.

      I also think that we will be reminded that the head of the Uk government didn't want to debate with the head of the Scottish government.

      Maybe because if Darling loses, which he will, it's only Darling and he's a patsy that can be thrown to the dogs. He's finished anyway and they'll put him in the house of the Living Dead. But Cameron means to be prime minister again, not one of these failures that only gets one term. He can't afford to be humiliated by a mere Celtic first minister. Plus of course he knows that as 90% pof the Scottish population consider him to be poison, he would lose even if Salmond failed to show.

      The last thing he wants is a beating, and he almost certainly would have got one.

      We'll also be reminded that, as the Chef sent the pot washer to the debating table, nothing Darling says is worth the time he took to say it.

      But I don't see an 80% win.

      And we still have to have their almost undoubted coup de grace, which will come in the last few days when we won't have time to refute the headlines (as we have today over Juncker's statement, which fools like Baillie and Davidson interpreted for the man without bothering to find out if there was any truth in them... and the papers printed without doing any journalism.

    3. Couple of things here:

      Salmond certainly does what he thinks is best for Scotland, and he sticks to his guns, which gets him quite a bit of trust for a politician. (There's a reason he's the most trusted politician in the UK, and that reason is the last two SNP stints in Holyrood)

      Hopefully, by the time the tories throw their 11th hour attack, people will have become used to the scare stories being refuted after a few days, and will be saying: "yeah, we'll hear the refutation of that on the 19th"

      They've driven themselves into a lose-lose situation, either they drop the scare stories until the last week, or they get people used to newspaper headlines being a pack of lies.

  18. tris

    He is a Gove in that some support him regardless and on the opposing side
    many do not support him no matter what he does aside from resigning and
    going to a far of land of which we know little and care less.

    ch ( although i dont know why i bother straighting you out )

    There are two tipping points of importance to the Yes campaign.

    In our opinion, the first of those was passed at the end of last year, when Yes gained 50% support. You're going to have to ignore polls and media to accept this statement.

    Or in normal speak you are going to have ignore any fact based evidence
    and trust in your wild imaginings......only dont try parachuting out of a high flying plane on that basis.....it could end very badly .

    1. Well in that case, all relatively prominent politician is in the same position, Niko.

      There were people who supported Mr Fox and Mr Werritty, regardless of the situation which they were in. I expect that even Cyril Smith had his supporters.

  19. I am always amazed by this apparent hatred of Salmond which would result in individuals voting No. I should imagine that most of those who make this claim have not met him and can only, like me, judge him by his public appearances and speeches but in these appearances he never seems to be unpleasant and never anything but reasonable and persuasive.

    I should imagine that those who profess to hate him are from opposition supporters but the fact is that if Salmond was in either Labour or Tory he would, almost certainly be in a very senior position if not the most senior.

    When I'm told that someone hates him I always ask who they would prefer as an alternative but most people are unable to come up with an improved alternative.

    1. The only realistic alternative is the Labour leader...Johann Lamont.

      I've never met anyone who thought she was a credible FM of a devolved, never mind an independent government.

      Clearly neither are Patrick Harvie or Ruth Davidson... or that wee Liberal blokey, because their party will never form a government.

      In the SNP there are a few potential leaders; obviously Nicola stands out a mile, but I think there are some other ministers who are leadership material.

      It's not a one man band, and many, whilst not being potential leaders, are extremely competent at the job. John Swinney is an obvious example. He lacked the communication skills to lead, but he's one clever cookie when it comes to money.