The Wit and Wisdom of No

Bella is responding to the brand new Scottish Secretary’s call for more “passion and wit” to win over voters. Which of the following are your favourite campaign gaffs by the collective wisdom that is our beloved NO bodies?

1. The Red Baron’s Deliberate Improvement

2. Ermine George’s “You Have No Culture”


3. 500 Reasons


Sadly the No campaigns VERY SERIOUS PDF was slammed with an onslaught of ridicule by people failing to see the dire seriousness of the situation…

@GarryStitchell: Will an independent Scotland still be allowed to use the 3 prong plug? This could sway my vote

@kylechristison: Will the Famous Tartan Army be our front line of defence?

@PaulMcG92: Will Susan Boyle become our Queen?

@AndrewxAllan: Will my milkshake still bring all the boys to the yard in an independent Scotland

@garydunion: In an independent Scotland, will English mustard be banned or simply renamed Yellow Treachery?

@GKnollington: Will Barbie have beefier calves in an independent Scotland?

@Ross_Greer: Will Scotch eggs be renamed freedom balls?

@AngusCMillar: Question 534: Who will be the Scottish Minister for Fisheries in 2092?

@DohertyRA: In an independent Scotland will Primal Scream be representatives of Glaswegian music, or dismissed as vile collaborators?

@BigDen14: Who gets custody of Oor Wullie in an independent Scotland?

4. Trying to Silence National Collective whilst Describing Salmond as Mugabe/Milosevic/Hitler, Kim Jong-Il etc etc (more here)

National Collective Press Conference, Royal Faculty of Procurators, Glasgow

5. Prominent Scottish Labour supporter Goes Weird


6. Your ‘National’ newspaper writing:

“Today, the ruling party of Scotland has nationalism as its creed and is suspiciously coy about its own history. Elsewhere in the nationalist family, the BNP, before it plunged into fratricidal warfare, trounced the Far Left in recent Scottish elections and, in 2010, received a respectable 1,000 votes in Alex Salmond’s stamping ground of Banff and Buchan. To this should be added growing sympathy for the agenda of Ukip. The Scottish electorate now appears more receptive to radical nationalism than Mosley’s blackshirts could ever dream of.”

… before publishing this image …


7. The Truth is Out There – Labour’s wonderful – if rarely spotted ‘Truth Team’ (spot them if you can)


8. There Will Always be a Part of Scotland that is, er, Forever England


More on this belter here.

9. You are a Virus


Raising the debate to new levels, Johann Lamont brands anyone who wants to run their own country as a ‘virus’.


10. The Use of Soft Savoury Pastry Goods as a Tool in Constitutional Propaganda

11. Head for the Shelters – the English are Coming!

Of all the real doozeys – surely up there with the best is the idea that Scottish airports would be bombed by England?

Lord Fraser of Carmyllie (a former Solicitor General for Scotland no less) said if Scotland was left undefended, the enemies of England could use it as a base from which to launch air raids over the border.

“If that were to happen what alternative would England have but to come and bomb the hell out of Glasgow airport and Edinburgh airport,” he said in 2012.

More at Newsnet here.

12. Nae Dr Who!??

Just as Whovonian 50th anniversary frenzy kicks-in – as the desolate nature of Tory high command barrel-scraping cuts through the barrel into the earth beneath … Ruth Davidson suggests that we’d be stripped of such sci-fi marvels. From the Committee of 100 to worrying about access to Peter Davidson repeats …

Chief Executive Blair Jenkins, one of Scotland’s foremost broadcasting experts, said: ‘Even by Project Fear’s own standards, this scare story is in the stratosphere for sheer daftness.’

BZlIN8pIIAA_Twn.jpg large

13. Independence Would Threaten the Post Office

You don’t hear so much from the No campaign about this ideas since they flogged it off dirt cheap. But in July they were claiming we’d toil to deliver parcels because we were too ‘rural’.

In fact, recognising the damaging legacies the Westminster system has left for the postal industry,
the Scotland No. 2 Branch of the Communication Workers Union endorsed the Yes Scotland campaign
in March 2013, stating “we believe that the only way forward for workers in Scotland is to ensure a YES vote in the referendum and we agree to do all in our power to secure such an outcome.”

14. Roaming in the Gloaming


Without a postal service we’ll never be off the old dog and bone will we? UK Consumer Minister Jo Swinson said: “If Scotland left the UK, posting a letter or making a call could cost more – and there could be less choice for customers” according to the Daily Mail. – with the Scotsman’s Eddie Barnes chipping in with the same embarrassing nonsense.

The scare unraveled within hours after it emerged the EU voted to end the charging system two weeks before to phase out the charges by July 2014.  Europe’s 27 commissioners followed a recommendation from vice president Neelie Kroes, and voted to abolish roaming charges in Europe.

It also emerged that the move by the EC to end roaming charges was welcomed in a motion to the Scottish Parliament on 14th June which was supported by members of all three Unionist parties at Holyrood.

theresa_may15. ‘Intelligence Sharing’

You might think that after revelations of extraordinary rendition through Scotland, mass surveillance of ordinary people in unprecedented abuse of civil liberties and countless catastrophes of GCHQ and the Brit security services, that the No sayers might like to keep schtum on this one.

But Theresa May couldn’t resist attempting to spread fear on her last visit, arguing:

If Scotland were a separate state, I would expect there to be co-operation between the UK and Scotland, but that would be different from the arrangements we have today. Those arrangements, crucially, is that natural working together, that automatic access to capabilities [which] would not necessary be there in the future were it a separate state.

Even rightward-leaning Alex Massie in The Spectator found this level of propagandising pitiful arguing:

What is the point of this stuff? Who does Theresa May think she is persuading? Vote No to remain beneath the GCHQ umbrella! It’s pitiful stuff, frankly. How does anyone manage to live without the protections afforded by the British security services? I mean, even the Belgians. Come on.

And, of course, lurking in the background is the implication that if, heaven forbid, bombs were to start going off then, hey ho Jocko, it would be your own fault for voting for independence. What’s more, don’t you know, independence might make it more likely Scotland would be targeted. Another example of soft-touch Scotia, I suppose.

This is drivel. Worse than that it is exasperating drivel. Who, I ask again, is it supposed to persuade?

the_mod_is_failing16. No  Soldiers!

A new independent Scottish army would not be able to recruit a sufficient “calibre” of solider – we were told by Phillip Hammond while he was speaking at defence technology company Selex-ES event in Edinburgh.

Imagine a sort of schochling, knock-kneed bunch of Dad’s Army types or waifs barely able to raise a rifle above their pock-marked heads and you get the picture.

Of course you need to quietly set aside some of the more unsavoury the recent revelations about our boys – and of course ignore the Church’s concerns about our recruitment age – for any of this to make any sense  and if you want to think that we should just replicate the British Army.

You also have to ignore the massive swingeing cuts that Westminster has made to the armed forces (see pictured) and – presumably – assume that we should ignore hundreds of years of sacrifice and bravery – vastly disproportionate to our numbers – and reckon that is solely due to fealty to Britain.


north_sea_rig_470x32417. No Oil!

Our poor friend Sharlene Spiteri has shared the fears of, er, nobody reasoning:

“We don’t have the resources – like oil and gas – we’d need to keep Scotland afloat. And to me, if you can’t survive, then what’s the point of breaking away?”

Almost since its discovery, Scotland has been ‘warned’ that North Sea oil and gas will imminently run out. On 19 January 1982, Tory MPs Peter Rost and Timothy Eggar suggested in Parliament that North Sea oil would run out by the end of the 1980s. These claims were echoed by Labour MP Jeff Rooker in 1984. In 2008, there were claims that North Sea oil could run out by 2018.Now, despite continued claims that oil could soon disappear, even the UK Government’s Energy Minister, John Hayes, admits that “North Sea oil and gas have a long and bright future”.
* There’s a variant of this story which says that we have TOO MUCH oil rather than NOT ENOUGH. Confusingly sometimes this story is told simultaneously.

18. Forced to Speak French and Eat Smelly Cheese

Like a version of geopolitical hokey-cokey, Scotland’s membership of – or indeed instant expulsion from the EU – is brought up regularly. But a lovely variation of this mandatory exclusion and banishment is it’s companion piece – that we would actually be dragged screaming and crying to JOIN the Euro. George Eaton at the New Statesman championed it here. Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has claimed that Scotland “could be forced to join the Euro” if we vote to become an independent state. Other senior No campaign figures have frequently repeated such claims.

It is of course merde.

Articles 139 and 140 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union make it clear that member states have the prerogative to make the decision if and when to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERMII), a step which must be taken before accession to the euro area can be considered.
19. You can Take our Freedom But You’ll Never take Our Pandas!


A personal favourite and now often lost amongst the deluge of propaganda. Unionists claimed custody of the giant pandas could be in question under independence because the pair – Tian Tian and Yang Guang – were a gift from China to the UK government.

This was quickly exposed as nonsense. The pair are a gift between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA).

20. Crossing Borders


This is such a great story – it pops up again and again. Unionists must think its some kind of trump card, though I’ve never really been bothered by the idea, in fact I’d be quite in favour of a border control.

The ubiquitous Eddie Barnes love this one – as of course did Michael Moore, though his comments were later rubbished, even by the Tories.

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  1. Peter A Bell says:

    I reckon George Foulkes and Blair McDougall would make a great double-act.

    1. Aye, Dumb and Dumber.

    2. jdmank says:

      I dunno about that Peter,
      Greg Moodies pairing of Mcdougal with Darling in the guise of the eagle from the Muppets in a balloon over calton hill was absolutely hysterical, I thought I was going to pass out laughing

  2. JR Tomlin says:

    Damn, it’s hard to choose a favorite with the “quality” of that selection.

  3. Just when I think I would choose Foulkes’ howler, I realise I can’t slight the always amusingly furious how-dare-you-interfere-with-the-Labour-Party’s Ian S Smart and Devolution-will-kill-Nationalism-stone-dead George Robertson. How to choose.. how to choose…

    1. jdman says:

      This, Jeannie is the problem every man faces when shopping with his wife,
      ok lets make it easy for you,
      there now on a three for one offer so pick dammit 🙂

      1. jdmank says:

        or they’re even, doh

  4. 210812a says:

    Fantastically, George Robertson currently has an exhibition of his photographs, being shown in the garden lobby of the Scottish Parliament. While all of the beautiful landscapes captured in his pictures are, I’m quite sure, geographically Scottish by dint of being photos of bits of Scotland – obviously, they can’t be culturally Scottish in any way.

    1. G. P. Walrus says:

      He has confidently predicted that photography will kill painting stone dead

  5. frankieboy says:

    wee dugs and sausage rolls will stay with me forever. It would make a great name for a film.

  6. So hard to choose… Dod Bobson’s culture one was a classic, but when it comes to real clangers, I don’t think anything can top deciding to annex Faslane. So bad, they’d U-turned on it by lunchtime.

  7. NorthBrit says:

    The advert popping up on my screen beneath this lot is for an outfit called “Toolstation”.

    For a moment I thought it was another name for Better Together.

    Perhaps the ad directing algorithm thinks it is…

  8. For me Ian not-so-Smart’s comment is up there in the ‘Big Lie’ league: saying better a 100 years of the Tories than getting out of a system that allows those same Tories to turn on ‘immigrants’ right now. But worse than that, because images are much more powerful than words, is the SoS doctored photo, right up there in Daily Mail Dacre/ Rothermere/ “Support the fascists and then Accuse those who fight for their country against the fascists of treachery” territory.

    For the sheer joy of it Lord Foulkes has to be the winner, but Robertson beats all of these with his Abertay debate with Stewart Hosie where Hosie turned a 59% No vote (21% Yes) at the start into a 51% Yes vote (38% No) by the end! This seems to be becoming a pattern!

  9. For me Lord Foulkes has it, but wee dugs and sausage rolls is an honourable second for its surreal bravado.

  10. HulloHulot says:

    The expression of the wee dugs and sausage roll man as he says, “I’m proud to be Scottish, it’s where I was born, been my whole life” looks less like pride and more like a wearied and bleak depression.

    (if, incidentally, you’d like a higher resolution of the George Foulkes image, give me a shout.)

  11. jdmank says:

    For sheer odiousness? is that a word?
    it has to be Ian notso Smart
    but in the comedy category it would be Foulkes,
    in the stupid category well that would clearly be Lord Robertson of Port Ellen,
    Bella maybe you could do that and have separate categories like the the Oscars,
    give us a chance to name out favs

  12. Wow, just saw this now. When you see them altogether like this it is surprising how bad it has been, and it is by no means an exhaustive list.

    1. Braco says:

      Yeah Michael, what about one of my favourites, the bombing of Scotland’s airports by the RAF in the inevitable event of our invasion (by Russia?).

  13. gordoz says:

    Aw Christ come on it has tae be the ‘Stairheid Rammy’ that is Mags Curran yons a laugh a minute.
    From Glasgow Irish,(Not Scottish you see; but we prefer British Mags); to ‘my son would be a foreigner’
    Aw come on its a laugh a minute.

    I’d prefer a top ten run down for the ‘Pop Pickers’ just like good old Aunti Beeb would do … go on you know you want to !!!!!!!!!!

  14. Macart says:

    Its got to be dugs and sausage rolls for the sheer weird tangent of argument.

    For comedy relief it has to be Lord Foulkes and for sheer crassness its a toss up between Messrs Smart and Robertson.

    The rest receive honourable mentions. 😉

  15. Ken MacColl says:

    Some of the nominees are classics- Labour peers are always reliable sources of deep irony and there are so many of them – but the well has not yet run dry.

    On the recent announcement that “Ming” Campbell is to retire a LibDem spokesman stated that he had been, ” A towering presence on the Scottish political scene for three decades.”
    No doubt he is bound for the red benches but, when we vote Yes, what will become of our Lords and Ladies?

  16. spewin bile says:

    The maist sickening wan is obviously the saltire swastika,which shows there is nae depth of iniquity they will not sink tae, the maist amusing is foukes’s they are daen it deliberately, which is as obvious as it is true,and the maist ignorant and ill- informed is that bawbag Robertsons nae language , nae culture, speak fur yersel Georgie boy, ye don’t speak fur me ! In his case, it’s really ironic that so much shite kin come oot such a tiny wee mooth.

  17. Anne Hilditch says:

    Decisions, decisions, decisions!
    Was quite surprised to learn that I had a virus, but I am happy to contaminate as many people as possible.
    However, for my money George Foulkes can’t be beaten – you just COULD NOT MAKE IT UP!!!

  18. Hmmm, How to choose? how to choose…..

  19. Tris says:

    It’s got to be Smart by name, dickhead by nature.

    He just must have been drunk. He couldn’t possibly be that stupid.

  20. Makes the the £20M Queen and the Ten Poond Giro almost believable:

  21. Pingback: Word Up «

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