Arts & Culture - Opinion - Scotland

2007 - 2022

State of Donation

National Collective Press Conference, Royal Faculty of Procurators, Glasgow

Photo with thanks to Alan Mcredie:

The No campaign’s credibility was left in tatters this morning after the National Collective responded by attempts to bully and intimidate them, saying:

“We stand by our article. We stand by its accuracy. We stand by its sources.”

This leaves Better Together in an extraordinary position lashed to money, an organisation and an individual it will doubtless regret having anything to do with.

As Ross Colquhoun put it, there are three questions Alistair Darling will have to respond to:

1. Do Better Together believe it is good practice to accept a large donation from Ian Taylor in light of concerns raised by National Collective and others over the business practice of Vitol?

2. Do Better Together believe it is acceptable to accept a large donation from an individual who is not eligible to vote in the independence referendum?

3. Do Better Together believe that their principle donor threatening legal action against their political opponents is in the spirit of fair and honest debate?

It’s time to play Make your Mind Up for Scottish Labour and fellow travellers in the No campaign.


I hope and suspect many will be appalled by this episode and how it reflects on the No campaign. Michael Gray (@GrayInGlasgow) has it all when he says:

I may be only a 21 year old student, but I will not back down. I have never been a member of a political party. This is about the freedom of every Scot, from whatever political background, to ask the tough questions of politicians and their funders at a crucial time. We don’t have the money or resources that Vitol has, but we have principle. And that is priceless.

As in much of the independence debate the ideas and campaigning are being driven and shaped by our young people, which is just as it should be.

When is the Campaign of the Year Awards again? I know who gets my vote.

Comments (0)

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  1. Ian Smart says:

    They say they stand by their article but actually they have re-written it. Might have been appropriate to point that out.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      I take it you wholeheartedly approve of the donation Ian?

    2. RobJC says:

      Ian, I’ve re-read the article and it doesn’t seem to have been re-written at all. National Collective have ADDED replies from Ian Taylor and Vitol (which seems exceptionally fair-minded), but they do not appear to have re-written a single word.

      Clearly they are not only standing by their article, they also have enough confidence in their statements to allow full reply alongside.

      I think we can see who is being disingenuous here.

    3. Mr smart the article now begins “Statement: This article now includes a right of reply from Ian Taylor and Vitol, which was not included in the original publication of the 7th of April, 2013. This reply is now incorporated into this article which is republished once more in full on our website.” as RobJC has also pointed out, they have only added reply from Mr Taylor & his company. If you choose to be disingenuous & twist it into some sort of hypocrisy, go ahead, but this is not the MSM & people on this page are more intelligent than to give credit or credence to your pitiful attemp at spin. Away & cahse yersel’!

  2. Another one that doesn’t know that when in a hole it is best to stop digging.

  3. annie says:

    For many years I worked with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and I was always struck by how much they instinctively valued ‘fair play’, even though the odds were often stacked against them in so many ways. I can’t tell you how much it gladdens my heart to see ‘young people’ fighting for the rights of other ‘young people’, using ‘fair play’, even when the odds are so obviously stacked against them.

    Stay true, National Collective. We ‘oldies’ are behind you all the way.

  4. bellacaledonia says:

    Keeping a tally of all the elected politicians (plus Lab activists) in Scotland who defend Taylor’s donation. Tally so far stands at a grand total of ONE: Alistair Darling. Maybe Ian Smart could be the second?


  5. Albalha says:

    Anyone got a link to their press conference today? Have looked at the website, not seeing it, maybe it’s me.

  6. Ken MacColl says:

    It would appear from the above that Johann Lamont, Douglas Alexander and Ken McIntosh are sitting firmly on the fence on this..
    Nobody will be surprised that the Badger would embrace such a funding source.

  7. Rod Mac says:

    I would not hold your breath on a reply from Mr smart .
    Unionists only ever ask questions, they never answer them , or do they feel answerable to anything or anyone

  8. Charles Patrick O'Brien says:

    Go with Rod on his comment,no ifs nor buts.I liked the clear and concise article,it has integrity and honesty,maybe that is what confused the unionist making sort of comment/question?

  9. bellacaledonia says:

    Now that Alex Salmond has asked for No to return Taylor’s cash we’ve got Jackie Baillie and Willie Rennie defending No’s Dirty Money. All getting very interesting as this story finally gets picked up by BBC etc.


  10. scontology says:

    Pedantic point, but that should be “their principal donor”. If only there was some evidence of principle….

  11. Veni says:

    Sadly any money handed back will be returned to them under a different guise.

  12. Barontorc says:

    They say it’s for future generations, that what we do now, is to gain independence for the young and looking at this photograph, I’m certain that what we’re bent on achieving, is right and absolutely just.

  13. Barontorc-

    Kin right.

    NC is living proof that we are not ‘all Thatcherites now’.

    Ian Smart is living proof that some of us remain dickheads.

  14. Perfidy Prober says:

    £500,000 to the Tories, £500,000 to Labour via the NO lobby (with Mr A Darling the broker helped by other Labour oligarchs in Lewis) effectively takes care of the two parties most likely to be in power after the next Westmister elections and ensures favourable treatment for Mr Taylor: knighthoods and peerages? Have no doubt that the single outcome not paid for viz: Scottish Independence will have been discounted by the NO power brokers – a nod and a wink and “we can fix” it will have done the trick – and tricks there will be – and of the less than spakling clean variety!

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