Yes Together

keyboardactivists.jpgWho will stand up for this campaign? Who will speak out for us? Who will kick back against the slurs and smears and lies that are told about us? Who will actually take our side? Who will lift our morale by facing the bullies of the Scottish press corps? Who will speak out and say what the No campaign really is? I’d trade you all your spreadsheets, polling analysis, infographics and business-friendly media releases for just one robust defence of our people. Just one.

I was pretty disappointed at the SNP leadership’s response to last week’s Better Together-organised smear campaign surrounding Claire Lally and Campbell Gunn. Labour was caught out passing off a member of its Shadow Cabinet as an ordinary member of the public. The Scottish Government’s special advisor for media was absolutely right to publicly correct this untruth and was wrong only in misidentifying Lally’s father in law. I expected Alex Salmond to come in to First Minister’s Questions and demand an apology from Johann Lamont for deception. At the very least I expected a strong defence of the high moral nature of the campaign and a clear statement that if the Yes campaign has to answer for the actions of every supporter then good luck to the No campaign responding to the bile poured out by the Scottish Defence League and others.

Instead he apologised profusely and fairly abjectly while repeating variations of ‘a few bad apples’ over and over again. I am sure that I’m not the only person who has been out working for this campaign night after night who just felt deflated.

But that is a minor disappointment in comparison to the level of disappointment I feel today at the actions of Yes Scotland in turning its back very publicly on Wings Over Scotland. I don’t write in support of Wings anything like enough. Wings has served two of the most important purposes in this campaign so far. First, it has diligently monitored and dissected the propaganda being run by the ‘diehard cult of unionist media’ (to paraphrase the never-knowlingly even-handed Magnus Gardham). And second, it has lifted our spirits throughout the campaign. When we wake up in the morning and Yes Scotland isn’t in the papers (why?) and the SNP is being timid and talking like an accountant, it is often Wings that is the primary source of commentary that doesn’t seem always to accept the premise set by the mainstream media as the only possible frame for discussing independence. It makes it OK to be both angry and excited while becoming informed at the same time.

I never use the word ‘scum’ in politics. It is dehumanising and is a lazy, backwards-looking trope in left politics. I wouldn’t have used it in a tweet if I was Rev Campbell. Then again, if I had been Alex Johnstone I wouldn’t have made the appalling attack on the Weirs that provoked it. I wouldn’t rely on the lazy, routine name-calling which is the fridge magnets from which an Alan Cochrane column is composed. And nor would I use much of the spiteful, hate-filled invective of various Labour types – for example, Johann Lamont calling nationalism a virus, Iain Davidson claiming all that was left was for unionists to ‘bayonet the wounded’ or virtually anything written by Brian Wilson. But I can be perfectly robust in my criticisms and this is part of public debate these days. I can live with it all.

What I cannot abide is simpering cowardice. Which brings be back to Yes Scotland. It’s actions today in ‘demanding’ that one of ‘its’ local groups stop distributing a leaflet that names Wings breaks new ground in spinelessness. Wings is a great site with lots of good material and is a good read. It is widely loved in the campaign because it is clear and unashamed in making our case. I have been following Wings for quite a while and have yet to come across any reason to quarantine it. I cannot understand what judgement the Yes Scotland bureaucrats were making when this decision was arrived at. Was the Advisory Board consulted? Or did the kids in the office just get carried away?

I do not for one second fail to understand the context in which the campaign is operating. I’ve heard all the strategists with their ‘Salmond can’t be seen to be strident because it plays badly with women’ stuff and ‘Yes Scotland must maintain the constant tone of a Youth Fellowship rally or the fairy dust won’t work’. Strategists are often people who have developed the skill of persuading politicians that everyone else is as afraid of their shadows as are the strategists themselves. No, I’m not advocating an aggressive or angry campaign – I was first in the door making the case for a wholly positive and up-beat campaign. But up-beat does not mean weak.

As everyone knows, we’re the campaign, not Hope Street. We’re winning this, not Hope Street. I have a little more sympathy for the leadership of the SNP contracting Stockholm Syndrome given the relentless position they are in. But someone in Yes Scotland went out of the way to produced a press statement bashing Wings. They presumably went out of their way to do it because they calculated that it would make Yes Scotland look good. To hell with Wings. To hell with the rest of the campaign. To hell with the morale among campaigners. As long as Yes Scotland looks good for three minutes.

I have already written more than I should. For two years I have tried to avoid writing anything that would damage the campaign or any of the groups that make it up. When my frustration got too much I go out to the garden and do some weeding and I keep my mouth shut. But this is too much.

Who will stand up for this campaign? Who will speak out on behalf of the thousands of wonderful people I have met everywhere I’ve gone? We’ve stood in the rain, in the sleet, in gales. We’ve been insulted, attacked, belittled, humiliated and patronised. We’ve been ignored. We’ve been lied about. We’ve suffered the most vicious attacks. We’ve been defamed by the most biased media in any parliamentary democracy in the developed world. And we’ve stood tall, been brave, been honest, been principled and above all we’ve been open and positive and joyous (and funny – you make me smile). I will go anywhere and tell anyone this truth. I point blank refuse to apologise for this wonderful campaign and its wonderful people. And I will not turn my back on, betray or let down any of the many, many people with whom I’ve been lucky enough to share this amazing time.

To everyone in this campaign – I have been most incredibly proud to be part of it with you and I’ve been moved over and over again by the commitment you have shown, the passion and kindness you’ve shared. To Wings – I’m sure you’re bearing up but thank you so much for everything you’ve done and pay no attention to them. We need you. To the local campaign whose leaflet is to be burned – I’ve seen it, I thought it was a lovely leaflet which I know you paid for yourselves from your own pockets. Don’t feel down, we’re all on your side. To the small-minded, small-hearted lynch mob that seek to persecute us – we are not afraid of you, we are going to win and history will remember you for how you behaved. And to the Yes Scotland Board – get this ridiculous decision overturned immediately.

Comments (136)

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  1. John McLeod says:

    I completely agree with what Robin has written. Hopefully, people will access the Wings site, which places this incident in context. Wings has heart. It represents the kind of questioning, rational passion and values that I, for one, would wish to see in the new Scotland.

    1. Iain Hill says:

      The recent financial appeal by Wings demonstrates what is really happening. The huge and astonishing response speaks volumes. That should restore our morale. Does one detect a little jealousy in the Yes response? Its time would be better spent improving its own mealy-mouthed performance.

      Yes= freedom. No = Tory/Labour government!

    2. Illy says:

      Geez people, if The Rev thought this deserved anyone’s attention, don’t you think he’d have said something about it on Wings about it?

      Nope, I don’t see anything there, which mean’s *HE* isn’t bothered by it, which means it’s likely the MSM making mountains out of molehills again.

      Seriously, they’re playing you like an old fiddle.

      I’m going to go look up this constitutional consultation now.

  2. David McCann says:

    This is the first I have heard of this decision and I am appalled and saddened.
    Following this comment, I will be emailing Yes campaign office with my strongest condemnation.
    It MUST be reversed.

    1. David McCann says:

      Please find below my email to the Yes campaign in response.

      “I have just seen on Bella that the Yes campaign have issued an instruction to Yes campaigners like me to disassociate ourselves from the Wings website.
      As someone who has followed Wings since its inception, and helped to fund it, I strongly resent and am appalled at this decision.
      Had I known this the other day, when making my donation to the Yes campaign, I would have had to re-consider, in light of this completely ridiculous decision.
      I am absolutely committed to the Yes campaign, but this decision is wrong on every count, and MUST be rescinded.”

      1. Andy Nimmo says:

        When I wrote my first blog ….Mrs Scotland – A Victim of Domestic Abuse? I sent it to YES SCOTLAND for consideration…Their response ” We don’t feel it is appropriate to compare Scotland to a victim of Domestic Abuse..”
        Please go to

        and draw your own conclusion

      2. Robert Graham says:

        ha ha great post surprised it was rejected its well thought out and more to the point true keep it up andy

  3. Wings is what keeps many of us sane. The Yes campaign is what causes many if us to grit our teeth. Whoever made this decision should be thoroughly ashamed.

    1. Iain Hill says:

      Well said, and we need a public explanation (and an apology?) from Jenkins.

    2. yerkitbreeks says:

      Think about it – the MSM trawled this up about a little local leaflet.

  4. Douglas says:

    Ignore it all and carry on, Robin. This is what Better Together want. The MSM is full of headlines about “abuse”. That we cannot control.

    What we can control, ie, the free press, should be oblivious to the MSM as they are to us. We should concentrate on our own agenda: the issues and the reasons for Scottish independence. Many people are still unfamiliar with them.

    I understand the frustration totally, we all have these days, but onwards and upwards. It’s only when you have your head up that you can see the bigger picture.

    We, that is everybody for YES right across the political spectrum, have 90 days to go, 90 days to make history, 90 days to change history, 90 days to go down in history…

  5. tuathanameilan says:

    I am pleased that you feel this way too. My over riding impression when visiting the Wings over Scotland Site is that it is a beacon for truth over simpering acquiescence. I will stand with you and with Rev. Stuart Campbell.

    On the other side of this, we ought to remember that true grass roots campaigns are made up of hundreds or thousands of people that have the same ultimate goal, not necessarily hundreds or thousands of LIKE MINDED PEOPLE. We all have the same goal, nothing has changed from last week to this. We are all acting in different ways with a view to achieving independence.

    One Blogger, albeit an enormously popular one responded to an attack on the Weirs by attacking Alex Johnstone (the ma) and not playing the ball.

    The facts remain, and the longer this stays in the news the more chance there is that people will hear the truth, namely that Alex Johnstone attacked upstanding ORDINARY folk for their political stance and got away with it. Mr Gunn does far less and the howls of indignation are deafening.

    The Rev is pushing for ONE minute in front of the cameras or a few lines in a paper and he will get the truth out. I trust him to do this.

    1. Douglas says:

      I disagree I’m afraid.

      Better Together have the entire mainstream media on their side, they can spin a story for days on end. It’s like a team time wasting when they have scored a lucky goal in the cup final. The more they spin their stories about abuse, the less people hear about the issues. That is their tactic and they want to tie us up in it.

      The whole Lally affair was a non event which clouded the agenda last week, that is the agenda they set, which far too many gave too much importance to in the Free Press.

      This week the Scottish Government just launched the draft of the first ever written Scottish Constitution, the first written Constitution ever drafted in the history of Britain, and opened a Consultation period in which ordinary citizens can make their voices heard for the first time ever in their lives, a once in a lifetime opportunity.

      The MSM are talking about online abuse and have buried the Constitution deep in the inside pages.

      We should be talking this week about the new Scottish Constitution and the opportunity it offers for Scottish people to make their voices heard in the new Scotland.

      We should be fighting for our agenda in my humble opinion.

      1. John McLeod says:

        This is a very relevant point. What has happened to public discussion of the draft constitution? There is an excellent new post on Gerry Hassan’s website, which outlines 50 specific and concrete possibilities opened up by the constitution.

      2. James Coleman says:

        In my view the Constitution is an irrelevance at this point in time. The YES campaign would be far better engaged in thinking up proper responses to the bullshit presented by the MSM.

      3. dennis mclaughlin says:

        Calm Down people!.

        Bitter Together or whatever they call themselves today are playing you all against each other……

        Maggie did it better than all these BIGBEASTS and their cabaal.

        W.O.S. is one of the shining lights of this campaign.

        the REV called somebody a bad name …so what!, he (Alex Johnstone- MSP);deserved it for the tirade of abuse he meted out to the WEIR family.

        keep your eyes on the prize peeps!.

  6. David Martin says:

    Great article. Wings has informed, educated and entertained. And the Johnstone comment was quite justified, like the article entitled “Anas Sarwar is a liar”.

    Hard hitting stuff, but not wrong.

  7. yerkitbreeks says:

    Something doesn’t quite square. Stu Campbell in comments on the article :

    “If you look closely, all Yes Scotland actually says is that the leaflet has been discontinued, which as far as I know is something that happened ages ago and not as a result of this story. It’s a pretty old leaflet.”

    Robin has previously been angry on this site ( Team Scotland, April 16th ) about the SNP and as before, I’d retort that AFTER Independence we can then set about inputting toward evolution rather than being too disputatious and fractious at this stage.

    1. macart763 says:

      Yeah, read Stu’s post. I’d be surprised if he was mistaken about that.

      Either way Wings is still one of the best sources of referendum coverage around and always worth the daily visit. I need to find some good quality journalism, the last place I’d look is a daily title these days. 😀

      1. Adam Neilson says:

        Hi Macart (Dorice here). I suspect many of the smears originate at a shockingly offensive unionist site called ‘AhDinnaeKen’.
        I suggest everyone relaxes, gets comfy, and has a look at that site. You’ll find everything Wings, the SNP, and Yes Scotland has been accused of – but on steroids.
        According to the site, we’re ALL ‘Nazis’.
        It’s Ismaphobic – Tasmina Ahmed-Sheik is renamed ‘Tasmina Ahmed Shake Rattle’n’Roll’.
        It’s mysoginist, and it smears and defames Joan McAlpine on a weekly basis, calling her ‘Moan McVulpine’.
        It has a go at people like Mike Small.

        Take a note of some of the more shocking slurs, lies, and smears, and the next time someone even mentions ‘cybernats’ refer them to that site, and tell them that the correct term is ‘cyberneds’, because that’s what they are !

  8. Gordon E says:

    Robin, I think that it might have to be you.

  9. Douglas says:

    Last comment: the football analogy is a not a bad one.

    Better Together the MSM and the Establishment are like a team of hackers who try to kick a team of tanner ball players off the park.

    They want to upset you and unsettle you and rattle you. They want you to lose the rag and your concentration and change the way you play your game.

    The smear campaign is moving up a gear. Hold onto your hat, because it’s going to get worse.

    This is not an issue we can ever make any political capital on. Nobody is ever going to vote YES or NO because of the question of who said what about who and when and in what way and so so said so and so about so and so. The only value that has as a way of blocking out the political issues of the campaign: obscuring the debate.

    Nobody said it was going to be easy, but we need to get back to the issues, not get tied up in this, much less begin to fall out. The YES board have made a call, it’s history now, we can’t afford to linger over this like the Lally farce last week which was given far too much oxygen by people on the side of YES.

  10. stx (@stx) says:

    Heartily agree, there’s a confusing timidness coming out of the official campaign just now when they should be standing back up to the attacks and smears. The people driven constitution suggestion should have front page news, not hidden behind a posturing Conservative MSP.

  11. YESGUY says:

    I’m with Robin and just as angry.

    Yes Scotland have scored an own goal. First Jim Sillers and his “attack” on the SNP and now this from a group who all of a sudden want to look squeeky clean. I am utterly sickened by Yes Scotlands stance and would remind them that Wings have an army of loyal supporters.They will not stay silent.

    Better Together have been given a gift . Thank you Yes Scotland.

    No more donations or even visits until this decision is reversed. Even then i want Yes Scotland to publicly state why they are distancing themselves from Wings. (Wait for the old CBI bit…. A junior did it sorry)

    Who need enemies when you have friends like them

    1. Douglas says:

      Will you or Robin’s anger help us win the referendum do you think?

      I have no doubt this will be a very long thread like the one last week, full of angry people enjoying being angry, nothing quite like getting something off you chest, being angry and right is an intoxicating combination, and soon becomes self- righteous anger.

      It’s a distraction from the issues and won’t win us a single YES vote.

      1. Scotto_Voce says:

        Wholeheartedly agree, Douglas. I’ll also be interested in the gender balance of this stream of comments. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize, time enough for post mortems after 18/9. I, more than most, have reasons to be critical of hope at, but I won’t give the no campaign. The ammunition. Wish robin had thought similarly before posting this. In my humble opinion, wings does not convince undecideds and probably puts many, especially women, off voting yes. He’s also made some pretty offensive comments in the past re hillsborough, gay people, trans folks etc. but, regardless, let’s stick to our own agenda not get diverted by no stunts and friendly fire from our own side!

      2. CMac11 says:

        @Scotto_Voce ‘wings does not convince undecideds’

        That’s the thing – He really does. And is probably the best, most concise source to do so. He certainly helps arm Yes supporters with the tools to win debates as well which is potentially even more valuable.

        Totally agree that comments like this put some potential readers off though and I think he should show some restraint. It’s more a frustration because he could really be at the forefront of the Yes campaign if he didn’t allow these sideshows to emerge.

      3. James Coleman says:

        You are not helping the campaign much by writing post after post condemning people who are rightly fed up with the lack of backbone being shown by YES Scotland, not only over the Wings incident but the Lally fiasco and many others beforehand. They need to show some balls. And Wets like you need to shut up and start supporting ALL the YES campaigners no matter who they are.

    2. jivetoaster says:

      Please, read up on the detail. Yes Scotland said the leaflet had been discontinued, not called for its removal. I’m afraid we’re seeing here something the No campaign have been trying to create for a very long time: sow internal dissent. Divide and conquer: the oldest, and most deadly effective, tactic in the British Establishment’s book.

      Please, everyone, move on.

      1. Gordie Argyll says:

        Totally agree. Our newspapers and leaflets are sorted and are going through the letterboxes as I type. Extraction of any offending leaflet with reference to Wing won’t happen , sorry, its too late. In any case the people locally decide, let’s not forget what this is about. The dirty tricks are about to start big time from the establishment so let’s not get our under dungers in a twist about this. Concentrate on Independence and keep smiling because it will be worth it.

  12. edulis says:

    There are a few bright lights among the independist media that I follow. Wings is one and Robin is another. Both are at the top of their game and bring new thinking into this wonderful period of Scottish re-awakening.

    History shows that division has been a plague visited on Scottish society for hundreds of years. Please don’t let this be repeated amongst the ‘Yes’ campaign. We have more important fish to fry.

    Having said that, there is absolutely nothing wrong with robust responses to the lies and distortions of Blair McDougall and his unionists friends.

  13. Donald says:

    Wow, that needed to be said. Thank you, Robin.

  14. Andy-B says:

    Had a wee lump in my throat reading that, it struck a chord, which is we must support each other, right the end if we’re to win the referendum, Wings, we must show solidarity to, we must embrace, whoever is willing to embrace our cause, as long as its respectful. Well said Robin.

  15. Big Jock says:

    Yes,SNP,Wings,Newsnet,Bella. We have to remain united. Despite what Yes Scotland have done and the SNP’s weakness sometimes. We are all fighting the media and the British establishment. We musn’t leave injured soldiers to die in the trenches alone. If they can take one of us down then the next will not be far away. Whatever support Wings need we must provide it. As for Yes Scotland it should know better than to play to the media bating mob. If Stu needs to take these papers to court then so be it we must dip our hands in or pockets as we are doing this for our nation. Lets not fall for the divide and conquer routine its the oldest trick in the book and we are smarter than that. If anyone from Yes is reading this remember that it is only united that we can win this. Give Stu a call and make sure the media know that we will be standing by our man. We can win this if we show solidarity!

    1. Lepin says:

      I couldn’t agree more with your views especially the SNP’s weakness

  16. douglas clark says:

    Yes Scotland are allowing the No Thanks campaign to set an agenda here. I regularily read Wings and have no particular problem with the language it uses. The site is an excellent resource for rebuttal of Unionist lies and half truths.

    It is widely read with many are repeat visitors.

    I agree with Robin.

  17. Robert Peffers says:

    Sanity at last. Great article and right on the mark.

  18. majormacbloodnok says:

    Don’t get mad, get even…

  19. Muscleguy says:

    I have just resigned my membership of Yes in disgust and told them why. I’m off to offer my services, such as they are, to RIC instead.

  20. Robert Louis says:

    I actually agree with much of the sentiment in this piece, all the while mindful, that most of this kind of ‘abuse’ tosh in the media is just a distraction.

    However, there is an important point here regarding the way in which both the SNP/Scottish Government and YES leadership immediately and voluntarily accept culpability whenever the topic is raised. Typically it goes like this; an interviewer says to SNP/SG/YES person, ‘look there has been abuse of x unionist on twitter by somebody, what will you do to control the ‘cybernats’, and immediately the SNP/SG/YES person responds along the lines of ‘well we condemn any abuse from either side’. What the SNP/SG person should actually do right at the start is CHALLENGE the basic assertion that this abuse actually came from an SNP/SG/YES person. If not (invariably the case), then they should state it has nothing to do with them, although they would condemn ANY kind of internet abuse regardless of subject, from anybody. They need to demand specific details first before responding, what are the facts, names, times, etc.. Invariably, there are none. They should be rock solid and firm on this. Drill down, fact, facts, facts and detail, who made the comment, when, etc..

    The problem, as I see it, and as Robin above suggests, is the SNP/SG ALWAYS just take it on the chin, almost willingly declaring it is their fault, as somehow, quite bizarrely, a random unidentified rogue internet comment is their responsibility. This gives the complaint a credibility it actually DID NOT HAVE, and thereafter allows the MSM to pin it as the fault of the SNP/SG/YES – cue the headlines ‘Salmond/SG condemns cybernats/abuse’, or whatever.

    As John Paul Getty reportedly said, ‘The meek shall inherit the earth, but they won’t inherit its mineral rights’. Acquiescence just doesn’t always cut it.

    1. Douglas says:

      I disagree again.

      Any tolerance by YES or the SNP of any kind of abuse will be all over the front pages for weeks on end, it will suck all of the oxygen out of the debate, which is what BT want. And the sole value in it for BT is so that nobody gets to hear about the issues.

      You have to fight the battle on the terrain that suits you best, and for YES that means concentrating on the issues which are overwhelmingly in our favour, even if it means gritting your teeth and holding back when you know you are right.

      Why so many people feel the need to defend the Rev Campbell and Campbell Gunn beats me. They are both very eloquent men, both can handle themselves as the Rev’s post today on Wings shows all too well, and are both wholehearted YES campaigners, well versed in the reasons why Scotland needs to be independent.

      I am sure that they would both feel that the campaign is the most important thing and concentrating on these petty, minor details which nobody will remember in a couple of weeks let alone months is counterproductive.

      1. Robert Louis says:

        I do mostly agree with your view. I just do wish that in some instances, it could be pointed out, that the internet is chock full of nutters, and that doesn’t automatically mean they are in the YES campaign.

        Overall, I do agree, that most of it is a distraction, and I know enough history to know that it is a common tactic used to win a referendum, in the absence of coherent arguments. A good example being the outrageous smears and scare stories used in the AV referendum campaign, just a few years ago, right here in the UK.



        I also agree that we need to stay united. I just wanted to have a say on this.

      2. YESGUY says:

        Douglas you say all the right things and i cannot argue …..BUT we come to these blogs to read and vent our anger. Everyone has a different view on the subject but we are almost all agreed that Wings and Stu are getting shafted. Bella maybe next . They’re a tricky lot and if we get angry GOOD.

        We have every right . We are being lied to and bullied every day. Wings.Bella Wee ginger dug are not just blogs. It’s far more personal . We are a motley collection with one common aim , Not everyone can “turn the other cheek” when they see their “friends” under attack. If we had been angry sooner we might not have food banks and allowed our disabled to be abused.

        Ok over the top i know but the reason we have these blogs is to shout out loud. I know we should concentrate on the YES vote but allowing our friends to be abused is hardly a sign of solidarity . Stuart Campbell is human, no doubt has many faults but he’s one of our best bloggers. His site has changed more voters to yes than anyone else. Unlike Bella he does most of the blogs himself and that makes it more personal.

        I hope there are hundreds of folk commenting on this. The more the merrier and any passer by will see we support Stu and Wings.
        Robin struck a chord with many, But don’t be too quick to brush off the abuse and get onto another topic . Start a new one if you want but this place for today will be a place where we can voice our anger at the treatment of a fellow blogger.

        This is why we come here.

      3. Lepin says:

        The problem is that these petty, minor details which you think nobody will remember in a couple of weeks time have been happening all through the campaign, and the SNP and the Yes campaign have done nothing about it, they have just accepted the verdict without trial. And who knows who these supposedly cybernats are! they could even be some britnats posing as Yes campaigners, and without evidence the SNP excepts responsibility and therefore appears to be weak.

    2. Gordon says:

      I agree, Robert Louis. Unless the poster has used his own name and it can be proved that he/she was the author of the abuse, there is no case to answer. After all, it could be a NO campaigner passing ammunition to the BT lot to initiate a false stink to denigrate any of the YES groups. Let’s not all roll over at the first accusations of abuse. Let’s demand proof that it was a known member of the YES movement.

  21. Rod Robertson says:

    Hear Hear!

  22. skooshbag says:

    In my opinion Wings says the things that the officials of Yes are afraid to say in fear of repercussions. Nothing wrong with being honest. This disassociation with differing arms of the independence campaign is showing us as weak. A few days ago it was disassociation from Tommy Sheridan due to something that happened donkeys ago, now Wings.
    Unionists will see these cracks and seek to exploit them over the coming months. Divisions have been forming within the union parties and we have been laughing at them. Its their turn to laugh at us.
    Eyes on the prize people, we are all working towards the same goal.

  23. MBC says:

    I was also saddened and perplexed to hear Alex Salmond say that Gunn had made a mistake. He needed to explain the context. It was a mistake only in the sense that it was making a valid criticism against hysterically deranged opponents. I.e., it might not show much emotional intelligence to wave a red rag at a bull. But then, that would be tantamount to acknowledging that they are in fact, deranged, so surely it is more appropriate to point that out?

    As for Wings referring to Alex Johnstone as ‘scum’ in a tweet…. I feel uncomfortable about that. ‘Scoundrel’ I would be happy with, it describes accurately a certain condition that pertains to Johnstone. But ‘scum’ is derogatory, it is saying that the scoundrel is a pile of dung, it de-humanises the scoundrel. As far as I’m aware, even the most evil criminal is to be acknowledged as human, and to have human dignity.

    Whilst the standard defence against libel is veritas, and Johnstone is certainly scum-like in what he has done, I don’t feel it is right to dehumanise him by saying he is actually scum, as opposed to having done something scummy.

    1. Douglas says:

      No, Gunn did make a mistake, a very clear, a very minor mistake, a political mistake, a case of mistaken identity in fact.

      It’s not a big mistake he apologized for it and it’s over.

      The Rev has also made a mistake, as many of us have on line.

      The point is that we shouldn’t be dwelling on our minor mistakes, even if it is only to defend the people involved.

      That is what is known as being on the defensive…

      1. MBC says:

        But the Rev won’t admit he’s made a mistake. Therefore he can be got at. And will be. That’s a bit of an own goal, surely.

    2. Fergus says:

      But the Rev has stated that if Alex Johnstone withdraws his disgraceful comments about the Weirs, he will withdraw his scum comment.

  24. Robert Graham says:

    yep if it wasn’t for wings we wouldn’t hear half the stories we need to help him not hinder him hands off stu campbell a small contribution on its way as well lets all stick up for all those guys we need them more than ever now

  25. EdinburghEye says:

    I don’t write in support of Wings anything like enough.

    Because in your idea of an independent Scotland, women, LGBT people, and especially trans people, should feel hated and rejected?

    The Invisible Wings, FWIW.

    1. mogabee says:

      Edin Eye…enough enough. Heartily sick of listening to misinformation. Isn’t the MSM bad enough without you adding to it?

      1. EdinburghEye says:

        What misinformation?

      2. RevStu says:

        I imagine she’s referring to the long list of lies in that pile of drivel you wrote. But as a No voter, attacking me is with false smears is what this article’s about and what we expect from you anyway, so what’s your point?

    2. Iain says:

      Wonderful, except there is not a single thing on Wings Over Scotland that suggests “hatred” of women, LGBT people, or trans people. You must know that. Frankly those who smear him – some from the yes side – often display what appears to be hatred, far more than he ever does.

      1. EdinburghEye says:

        except there is not a single thing on Wings Over Scotland that suggests “hatred” of women, LGBT people, or trans people.

        On my blogpost, linked to above, I provided screenshots: I was tired of people claiming there wasn’t any evidence. There is.

    3. majormacbloodnok says:

      You’ve just spouted the usual smears against WoS that Unionists trot out when they can’t counter the facts of what WoS is actually saying. We’ve heard these accusations many times before and we’ve seen them debunked before. Get with the programme EE.

      1. EdinburghEye says:

        In the blogpost I linked to, I countered both the “facts” of the claims RevStu made, and pointed out that he is a misogynist, homophobic, transphobic bigot – with screenshots of RevStu saying misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic things.

        Is it a smear if it’s provably true?

      2. Sovereign Scotty says:

        Seems like a reasonable take on the matter to me.

      3. Colin Dunn says:

        EE – But as is usual for an axe grinder, you ignore the context and do so intentionally. Ego over mission. Enough, already.

      4. gyratory says:

        To be fair to Stu he’s an equal opportunities wanker, awful to whole swathes of society

    4. Morag says:

      Who are you? I’m just one of the many women who love reading Wings, post there and support the blog. There are gay people and at least one trans person there too, all discussing independence together with nobody feeling hated or rejected. I have not seen one word on Wings to substantiate what you claim, and you have to twist other things Stuart has said (some of them many years ago) out of all recognition even to pretend you have a case.

      1. EdinburghEye says:

        I’m just one of the many women who love reading Wings, post there and support the blog

        That’s nice. And what do you feel about Stuart Campbell monstering Clare Lally for describing herself as an “ordinary housewife”? You’re good with him picking on her and his followers giving her a good kicking around in the comments?

        There are gay people and at least one trans person there too, all discussing independence together with nobody feeling hated or rejected.

        There are gay people and trans people who support the Tories, and even UKIP. Does this in your view “prove” that the Tories and UKIP aren’t homophobic / transphobic parties? That would seem to be your argument.

        I didn’t twist anything Stuart said, either about others, or about me. (I did disemvowel some of his abuse, on the general principle of “if I wouldn’t allow someone to come on to my blog and hurl abuse at others, I won’t allow them to do that to me”.

        One question no one seems interested in answering: While Wings Over Scotland clearly gives his followers a great deal of pleasure, enjoying the abuse and the kickings dished out to others, how on earth is this actually supposed to convince any of the targets – or anyone who doesn’t get pleasure out of an attack blog – to vote for an independent Scotland?

        Stuart Campbell never answered this question, nor did any of his supporters:

        Who’s going to change their mind and vote Yes because Stuart Campbell took offence at Clare Lally describing herself as an “ordinary housewife”?

        1. Andy Nimmo says:

          Sorry EdinburghEye. What you saw as the badgering and abuse as an innocent ordinary housewife, more savvy mortals were sickened at the spittle flecked manufactured mock indignation of the Unionist Politicians.aimed at someone who quite legitimately raised an objection to Better Together falsely depicting your victim as an innocent abroad instead of an active member of the Labour Shadow Cabinet.
          Would you raise any objection if Stewart addressed as a meeting as an ordinary Scot living in England and omitted he was an active campaigner for the Yes Movement.
          I know it’s difficult for people with entrenched views but try and be fairminded

          1. EdinburghEye says:

            instead of an active member of the Labour Shadow Cabinet.

            Clare Lally is not a member of the Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet: I checked, which is more than Stuart Campbell did. (Seriously. If you can find an official listing of the Scottish Labour Party Cabinet which includes Clare Lally, let me know and I’ll update my blog accordingly.)

            Because I looked on the ScotParl website and various other Scottish Labour sites, and I found no evidence, anywhere, in any first-hand source that the claim was true. Stuart Campbell seems to have assumed that if Jackie Ballie and Johann Lamont said two years ago that Clare Lally was a member of the Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet, he didn’t need to do any more factchecking.

            “Would you raise any objection if Stewart addressed as a meeting as an ordinary Scot living in England”

            Not at all. As far as I know, Stuart Campbell is just an ordinary Scot living in England – he’s not an elected politician or a member of the political elite, he’s just a blogger.

            If Stuart Campbell were invited (for example) to address the launch of a Yes campaign event, it would go without saying that he must be at least an active campaigner for the Yes movement – but he’s still just an ordinary Scot living in England, as Clare Lally is just an ordinary Scot living in Dunbarton.

      2. If Clare Lally had been a man would you still be this upset about it?

        The fundamental point of the original article on Wings has been completely lost in the ensuing furore, which was that Clare, a woman deeply involved in political campaigning and the Labour party (I don’t care whether or not she is a member of cabinet), was up speaking as an “ordinary mother” with a disabled daughter, telling bare-faced lies about the Scottish NHS.


  26. If any of you shoud actually feel the urge to donate money at the moment, a local compaign called Yes Edinburgh North and Leith has a need for new leafletds and has an IndieGoGo crowd-funder on the go at

    1. EdinburghEye says:

      Have they formally distanced themselves from Wings? They’re my local Yes campaign, so I certainly hope so…

  27. Capella says:

    Time for the Yes Campaign to clarify what it actually said?
    Great post about Wings and the amazing groundswell of support it and other similar contributors have generated. Only 3 months to go. Let’s not be distracted by efforts of the MSM to divide and rule. Their continual smearing of the SNP (not a member), Alec Salmond and co, YES supporters and anyone who has the nerve to challenge the Unionist myths will not diminish until Independence Day arrives. We’re all focused on the same goal – a YES vote on Sept 18th.

  28. I completely agree with Robin here. In fact, when we win the referendum I believe that Wings will have played a crucial role. I understand why Yes Scotland has been playing it safe, but that doesn’t mean they have to turn on other parts of the wider Yes movement. With little more than 90 days to go it is all hands to the pump.

  29. JGedd says:

    When I read people counsel that it’s better to keep quiet and not answer back, I hope they simply mean not to answer back to every unimportant point, which i think was what derailed the situation regarding the Lally case; it wasn’t really an important story, but given sustenance by the many comments on the Wings page, partly encouraged by the presence of what appeared to be a troll, but wasn’t. However, spin merchants of BT were alerted to this and the rest was history. The MSM lapped it up and has tried to keep the furore going, leading on to J K Rowling etc., thus the story has become the web-sites.

    However, there is a middle ground in debate and so I agree with Robin. I am reminded of the famous scene in Julius Caesar where Brutus talks first to the crowd explaining the motives of the conspirators and departs the stage leaving Mark Antony to speak to the gathered crowd who have been persuaded by Brutus that their actions were a necessary evil to remove a tyrant. We all know what happens then. Antony is a supreme politician and manipulator who uses every unscrupulous trick in the book to appeal to the crowd, using their baser instincts against them and turns them into a mob baying for the blood of the conspirators.

    I hope that Douglas is, in the end, saying what Robin is, too. We are in danger of becoming happy-clappy evangelists, nice but ineffectual, or the honourable Brutus out-manouevred by the cynical Mark Antony. There is, as Iain MacWhirter has said, a time for righteous anger. Choosing our ground is obviously right but it is sometimes forgotten that turning away too many times is interpreted by bystanders as having no argument at all.

    ( By the way, all this talk about what puts women off is beginning to annoy me. Being one myself, I certainly wouldn’t put myself forward as speaking for women in general. It mystifies me why so many people claim to know what alienates or engages women because I certainly don’t. Since I can only guess at what motivates other women I tend just to think of them as human beings.)

    1. Douglas says:

      I have total respect for Robin and for WoS, obviously, and always read both of them.

      I just don’t think this is the time for hanging out our dirty washing in public, getting angry, following the he said I said they said I meant he meant no but it wisnae me, “cybernat abuse” agenda that the MSM are laying down.

      It’s boring, very, very boring, and it’s petty and narrow, and the voters out there who will decide the referendum don’t care, probably don’t even know who the Rev is and who Campbell Gunn is. Why would they? We’re getting too bogged down in this whole “quality of the debate” crap, frankly.

      We’re trying to get people to vote for an independent Scotland, which doesn’t come easy to most people probably, we need to be positive, upbeat, breezy even. We need to make the case for a new country.

      We have 1000 foodbanks in the country, 150,000 homeless people, there is a civil war breaking out in the Middle East thanks to New Labour / British State foreign policy and the country is 1.5 trillion in debt, there are too many more important things we should be talking about in my view than a minor tiff in the YES camp.

      Anyway, I’ve said enough on this thread….

    2. YESGUY says:

      That was well said.


  30. An Duine Gruamach says:

    This is all bubble stuff, guys and gals. Nobody outside the bubble cares about these things.

  31. Robbie Allan says:

    Fantastic peice.

  32. James Coleman says:

    I fully agree with the article. YES Scotland is being far too weak in its responses to the smear attacks and that in turn has led to BT becoming more confident in intensifying its attacks. I sometimes wonder if the leaders of the YES camp actually know what is going on at the grass roots on the ground and on social media. They seem to actually believe that it is the YES campaigners who are the worst abusers when there is plenty of evidence which shows that the BritNats are worse and by a large degree.

    Enthusiasm is a fragile thing and can be lost very easily if the troops think the Generals are weak. And there is no doubt YES Scotland is weak. I WAS considering a contribution to it but not after today. It will go somewhere more useful to the campaign.

    And as a parting shot I would like to know why YES Scotland needs more money bearing in mind the large donations from the Weirs et al. I don’t see much sign of campaigning on the ground from that.

  33. Hear, hear JGedd!

    Great to see so many people posting on here who don’t fall for the despairing narrative which too often leads to Yes supporters pulling their punches for fear of scaring the horses, and gives aid and comfort to unionists and unreasoning Wings haters like Edinburgh Eye.

    Remember, there are no depths to which the No camp will not sink to try and discredit the Yes campaign. So lacking in grass-roots and street credibility is it, that the propagation of fear and hate are the only weapons it really has. It is dead wrong to write these things off as being in the political bubble, and things that nobody cares about. Who do the trimmers and apologists within the Yes camp for such britnat monstering think provides the “on the ground” resources to push a Yes vote, to convince friends, family and neighbours to change their minds? It is JUST the kind of people expressing their outrage here. The danger of turning those people off is much more of a threat to delivering a Yes vote than offending a few Morningside matrons with sweaty words.

    I’ve debated with Scotto Voce and others like Pat Kane about this before, and feel like we’re just going round in circles. There is indeed a time for righteous anger, and this is it. The happy flappy relentless positivity will not win the referendum on its own; it can and must be twinned where necessary with trenchant and even negative campaigning and rebuttal. It has been widely reported that the more factual information people have, the more likely they are to change to Yes voters; that isn’t going to happen solely by being nice, avoiding confrontation, and failing to confront smearing and monstering.

    Some people may not like Stu Campbell’s tone, but his site has converted many times more people than it has ever turned off. I also don’t buy the line that women are “more” put off by supposed negative campaigning; show me the REAL evidence in a decent sized survey and I might, but 5 will get you 10 that (again) even if this effect is real it is more than offset by the fact that men are generally more likely to vote, and (pace the comment above) the fact that many women have probably been converted to Yes by such tactics too.

    The multi-faceted diverse grass-roots civic nationalism behind the Yes movement doesn’t belong to Yes Scotland, still less to the SNP. We don’t want or need their validation or focus group induced triangulation telling us to turn the other cheek no matter how vile and unbalanced the opposition smears.

    Let’s be positive in response to positive argument and campaigning by all means, but not so positive that we wake up on the 19th September to find playing nice in the face of a negative attack campaign from the opposition which dominates virtually all of the MSM has delivered a no vote.

    1. YESGUY says:

      Brilliant JGedd

      And about time Andy .

      I am sick of the monstering and lack of re buttle from the SNP or YES Scotland.

      The deflection from the issues are a common tactic but we must have a voice. turning the other cheek only means they can carry on regardless. We should be attacking their claims and throwing some of the negativity back.

      We badly need a voice . YES Scotland or the SNP should be making more noise.

      You don’t ignore a bully – you confront him.

  34. Big Jock says:

    There will be 5th columists on this very blog.Sillars was right about 79.They had m15 and others monitoring people.The thing is its much easier now as you just need to log in as an anonymous so called cyber nat and create division.I would say the main thing to watch out for are when contributors do a job on the author and send links to alleged past activities.Be very wary of these people when replying.Yes they will be reading this right now.Do I care not really.I can sleep at night as I don’t spend my life trying to debase people and divide my nation.But ask yourself this whoever you are.Are you proud of your job.Do you give a fig about Scotland? We will overcome you at the ballot box in September and you can’t stop democracy.

  35. Catherine says:

    I would love to know what Yes Scotland have done since their launch. Are they value for money? I doubt it. Swanky offices don’t do anything for a yes vote. I would have thought they ought to stick up for the foot soldiers. Disappointing for sure.

    1. dennis mclaughlin says:

      Keep On Trolling 🙁

      1. Catherine says:

        Sorry, what?

    2. yerkitbreeks says:

      He said keep on trolling

      1. Catherine says:

        No, I get that, thanks. I just wasn’t sure why I deserved that comment. Others have expressed similar thoughts on this comment page and didn’t get accused of that.

  36. Sooz says:

    Having spoken to Yes Scotland there appears to be no foundation to the story that they are distancing themselves from Wings, and the facts are completely different to those reported in the media. Does anyone have a link to this story quoting Yes Scotland as having said such a thing? I can’t find one.

  37. Sooz says:

    Me again. The only one appears to be in the Herald. It is DISINFORMATION. Check the sources before coming to conclusions, folks! Yes Scotland have denied they have distanced themselves and have also denied telling a group to stop distributing a leaflet carrying the Wings website URL.

  38. Blizzard says:

    I think that there is a great need to clarify the difference between running a positive campaign and a negative one. To see what is involved in a negative campaign, we only need to open a paper, watch BBC news or listen to the radio to hear the spin put on every subject – smears, lies, distortions of opinion polls, demonising of key figures, promotion of “expert” opinion with no analysis, easy ride for NO supporters, hostile interviewing for independence advocates.

    The problem is that many people seem to think that running a positive campaign means only presenting the positives of the YES vote, with minimal (if any) rebuttal of particular lies and smears. In fact, it is negative to leave some of the most damaging NO falsehoods and distortions unanswered, because it results in the undecided voter thinking “it must be true, otherwise it would have been rebutted”. I can speak from personal experience campaigning, that even YES leaning voters have been influenced negatively by the timid and over-cautious responses of both politicians and YES supporters, with certain notable exceptions such as Business for Scotland.

    What matters is that any rebuttal has to be absolutely crystal clear and evidence based, with references to unimpeachable sources, such as the Financial Times, or even published UK Government statistics. (Unlike NO, it is not sufficient to quote unpublished research, or reports commissioned to support your own viewpoint). That is why Wings over Scotland is such a valuable resource, for Stu forensically dissects the non sequiturs, lies, misdirections and smokescreens of the “Better Together, No Thanks” apparatchiks and their willing collaborators in the compliant MSM. Apart from directing people to Wings, particularly the new reader section, the site provides campaigners with an education on the key issues in independence for Scotland.

    In our local YES group we have also had “suggestions” from YES Scotland that they would prefer it if Aye Right leaflets were not handed out since some of the sites referred to were not “on message”. Needless to say, we ignored this as Aye Right is one of the most useful leaflets that anyone can have in helping to open up the mind of an undecided or soft no voter. I would respectfully suggest that the meaning of “grassroots campaign” may have been forgotten by some in YES Scotland.

    So Robin, keep up your excellent writing. Everyone else, remember not to be intimidated. Stand up for Scotland in an assertive, non-aggressive manner, using the facts and arguments supplied by sites such as Wings over Scotland.

    1. Douglas says:

      Blizzard, the problem is that all we are going to get from the other side is lies and smears, a diet of liars and smears from now until the end, nothing else, literally nothing else.

      So if we spend our time refuting all of the lies and smears we are following the BT agenda, which is what they want.

      The last ten days, for me, the content of the campaign, from where I’m sitting, has been drowned out by the rebuttal of the lies and smears. I guess it’s about getting the proportion right. Darling and the North Korea allegation? That definitely needed to be challenged.

      But a blogger using colourful language to describe a Tory SMP, a blogger who is very influential but is not playing an official role in the campaign and YES do a body swerve (if in fact they did) is hardly the end of the world… so what? The Rev can handle himself.

      Or the Lally non story; what was so important about that again? I’ve forgotten already.

      I mean refute them by all means on the day they happen, but why make the story any bigger than the papers have made it already?

      See for me, the Free Press is the only shot we have in print of actually articulating the new Scotland to sceptical voters.

      1. Blizzard says:

        I agree, but we must refute the “too wee, too poor” lies with evidence, not assertions. I have no interest in being diverted by the smears, but you do need to reassure people when they ask you point blank about things they have read/heard in the media.

        My point was to use facts and the UK’s own statistics and publications to keep on reaffirming the case for yes. For example on pensions, quoting the DWP letter stating that pensions would continue to be paid whatever the result of the referendum, and the statement from Stephen Webb, UK Pensions Minister in Westminster making the same point. I have printed out copies of these statements to show to people who have been worried by the pensions scares.

        The debate often comes down to a couple of key issues such as pensions. (See above). Of course then often people repeat the demographic scare, which itself devolves to “too poor”, at which point I show them the FT article from Monday 4 February 2014.

        Keep polite, but assertive, and you will find that the undecided quickly realise that there is another Scotland possible, it is just that they have not heard of it on MSM.

  39. Big Jock says:

    So there is no real substance to the Yes fall out with Wings.Its a trap designed to enrage and split us into pro yes or pro SNP Or anti Yes and pro Wings…whatever way they call it ..divide and rule.Some of the angry responses about yes on here are invented remember that folks.First make up a story,then create mock outrage and turn brother against brother.Some of the knee jerk ytycsfhcyysclc on here are real.Remember folks do you trust the source of a story.If the answer in no the take a deep breath and let the lie destroy itself as they usually do.Yes are good people we are all together with them and Wings.There is someone out to unpick every pro indie body.They started with wings look how quickly they have turned to Yes.Its fantasy and a trap.Stay strong.

  40. Robert Campbell says:

    I’m also getting extremely depressed and angry over the official Yes Scotland lack of enthusiasm lately. A prime example is their Instagram account: NOTHING posted in the past 13 weeks!

    Instagram is one of the main social network sites for everyone, but especially to the under 25 age group which the Yes side must secure in order to achieve victory in September.

    There’s only 3 months till the Indy Ref yet Yes Scotland has decided to take a nap for the rest of the Summer it seems. It’s up to us then as individuals to keep fighting the good fight until 18/9!

  41. Scrum5 says:

    Wings challenges the ridiculous smears of Bitter Together and asks the questions that MSM will not ask. They are clearly rattled, hence the orchestrated straw man campaign. Wings is the digital equivalent of Karen Dunbar’s character in Chewin’ The Fat (sniff sniff) “I smell shite”!

    What has been achieved though is that Wings has had widespread coverage on MSM, and should get even more “hits” as a result. New visitors expecting to see the sort of vicious bile portrayed in some of the wilder stories will be disappointed, but better informed, and perhaps will start to see through the nonsense that the NO side keep repeating.

    Keep it up, Rev, eyes on the prize.

  42. Michael says:

    Couldn’t agree more.

  43. YESGUY says:

    Your right BIG JOCK

    and noted.

    (to self) calm doon

  44. Dougie says:

    Its time to fight when BT have used if you vote Yes your kids will die of cancer as no borders did . That Darling was alowed to repeat over and over again that Salmond was complaining about English Television being beamed in, he never said English but it reinforces BT message that yes is anti English its not.
    Bt know from there unpublished poll woman and English people who have chosen here can swing it
    Claire lally was a set up and labour got away with it
    See also ‘ordinary nurse’ on there twitter feed she is a union activist
    Its the Grassroots who are going to win this and any one who has been to public meetings Alex as popular as he is there are still folk voting naw because of him ignorance or a possible Yes if it was Nicola
    Infighting is exactly what they want
    But official Yes have to up there game
    And pick wisely just who they use labour voters the key
    Keep the faith and above all keep the head
    Dougie Mccann

  45. russellbruce says:

    There are two significant things that have struck me about the grass roots campaign. People across the political spectrum have come together to campaign for Independence and lay aside their political differences. The second is that core aim of achieving a modern democracy. Democracy works best when it is driven from the bottom. A top down approach simply will not work.

    Stuart Campbell knew exactly what he was doing and has been rewarded with an increased readership. They come out of curiosity and stay because they like what they read. That is the role of media in a free society. To find a place in the media spectrum and grow your readership. A lesson most of our daily papers, with their declining circulations, have forgotten.

    The leaflets directing people to sites to obtain information work. No organisation can say that every word published on these sites has their 100% approval. For Yes Scotland to think that should be the case comes perilously close to a kind of censorship that is contrary to everything we are campaigning for.

    Yes Scotland needs to communicate more with groups and supporters and be more accountable than it has found the time to be so far.

    It is a timely lesson for we will need each other more and more in the remaining weeks. The energy is at the grass roots and the machinery of modern political campaigning at the centre with the political parties and Yes Scotland. We need both working in harmony to ensure success on 18th September

  46. thoughtsofascot says:

    As others have said, Calm down mate. Yes its not cool if its true, but infighting is the absolute last thing we need. Stay united and take the stupid remarks from the official Yes Campaign in your stride. There will be time to tear them to pieces for it after September 18th, but for now forgive.

  47. thoughtsofascot says:

    And Big Jock is exactly right here. Divide et impera.

  48. Adam Neilson says:

    Andy Ellis mentions ‘scaring the horses’. Robin McAlpine tells us he’s never used the word ‘scum’ in this debate (he’s right), but those two references – along with several pages in our local newspaper, ‘baton’ photos in the Herald and elsewhere, and extensive TV coverage, reminds me of the shocking, unreported events that took place on our High St on 10th May.
    That morning a dozen Yes campaigners – 9 women (one in a wheelchair) – 3 men (one 76 and another disabled) were confronted by a Union Jack-waving horseman who repeatedly shouted ‘….nationalist scum’ at the shocked group.
    He also shouted ‘ … you aren’t even local (they were. All of them). Get back up north with the rest of the nationalist scum !’
    That day we had 60 Yes campaigners out canvassing, delivering newspapers, and interacting with the public on the High St.
    Of the 60, only 7 were SNP, and none had ever been a part of ANY campaign before.

    The horseman shouted abuse on 3 separate occasions – once from his 4×4 and twice from one of his horses.
    We later discovered he’s not only a local businessman, but is also the town ‘Standard Bearer’ for this years Riding of the Marches.
    The RoM Committee promised ‘an enquiry’ into his conduct, but no witnesses have been spoken to, and although photos of the ‘events’ are available, they have not been asked for.

    This wasn’t anonymous ‘cyberneddery’ – it was ‘in your face’ and deeply offensive abuse – on THREE occasions.

    It’s been ignored by the media and the RoM Committee, and when we saw the offender driving the carriage carrying Ashley Jensen and the baton at Gretna Green yesterday, and saw the photos all over the papers and net, we knew why.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Why? Who was he?

      1. Hardy Bamboo says:

        A quick Google search suggests that this, (laughable), article may provide some answers;

  49. Graham Harris Graham says:

    I posted this a few days ago on Wings … now edited.

    YES won’t win this referendum on their own. Nor will the SNP. And neither can savage the media because they would probably never get their opinions aired at all. Therefore, it would be counterproductive.

    And even if they behaved like Mother Theresa, the unionist media would still manufacture outrage & smear the campaign for independence anyway. The objective of the Establishment is maintain the status quo. Thus any tactic is fair game.

    YES & the SNP are limited to one joint fundamental role; presenting a fairly simple but positive, rational, campaign message, constantly erring on the side of caution while arguing a case which highlights change for good as much as that, which won’t change at all.

    Perhaps by accident rather than design though & whether they like it or not, they rely heavily on Wings, Bella Caledonia, National Collective, Wee Ginger Dug, Business for Scotland, Wee Sovereign Scot, Craig Murray, Gerry Hassan, Scottish Review etc., to pick apart the pro Unionist propaganda, lies & deceit. These individuals & groups can use whatever language they deem fit for purpose because none of them appear to making a case for getting themselves elected.

    And when you are not promoting yourself for public office, you have much more leeway about how you campaign, where you campaign & what language, strategy & tactics you use. Governments regularly employ spin doctors to do their dirty work for them. After all, they ain’t getting elected & most of the time work behind the scenes anyway.

    People who demand that Wings etc adheres to the same strategy, language & tone as YES or indeed the SNP are naive & mistaken. The effect would be too anodyne, narrow & repetitive. It would be more likely to fail than succeed. So in order to widen the scope of the campaign, we actually need sites like this to use coarser language with much more blunt instruments than YES or the SNP are willing to use.

    YES is put into a very difficult position because of the one sided Unionist supporting media. Their appearance of trying to distance themselves from Wings is an attempt to remain uncontroversial because they believe that to be the best strategy. And they may be right but they still can’t win this campaign on their own or on the assumption that an entirely soft approach will win over all the doubters & undecideds.

    We should also recognise that Stuart Campbell at Wings probably doesn’t care for YES’s response, one way or the other. The two groups may well be arguing for the same thing; a referendum win, but it’s like comparing two athletes from two entirely different sports. Each has to train in their own unique way & employ wholly dissimilar tactics to beat the competition. But they still retain the same, common goal.

    The best response to the Unionist cabal is to carry on doing what we are all doing because it is clearly working as the convergence of the polls prove. Any deviation from tactics now would likely jeopardise the campaign for Scottish sovereign independence.

    1. Andy Nimmo says:

      Excellent post and especially relevant with ‘yir man’ McBride, in todays Huffington Post saying that Milliband and New New Labour are much too nice to win elections. should be more brutal a la New Labour under Blair, Brown and Campbell.

  50. johnny come lately says:

    A spineless move by Yes Scotland. Don’t Yes Scotland realize that these media frenzies are forgotten in a day and are only to the detriment of Better together no thanks runr. What on earth were they thinking of. Yes Scotland has gifted this to the unionists. The grassroots cannot do this alone and the SNP are besieged by the state apparatus, therefore the online media is the only hope we have of defending ourselves. The local campaign group should have told Yes Scotland to stuff it! Talk about out of touch!!!!

  51. Hugh Wallace says:

    Reblogged this on Are We Really Better Together? and commented:
    Here, here.

  52. Hugh Wallace says:

    At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, I wrote similar sentiments here

    I like the fact that the official Yes campaign groups are being overwhelmingly nice in their efforts to persuade Scots to vote Yes but the trouble is that it now appears that the group think is now ‘anyone who is not being nice like us is a liability and we need to tell them to shut up, because we know best’ and I think that is very wrong. This is the political class believing its own hype. Yes Scotland and the SNP don’t have to be nasty to offer firm counters to the lies that No are telling nor do they need to be nasty to show some leadership in this campaign

    1. Lepin says:

      Here Here

  53. epicyclo says:

    The SNP just like the beasts of Westminster should wake up to the fact that this is not a fight between political parties, but a movement of the people for democracy and independence.

    The SNP have made it possible, but they don’t own this campaign. We do.

    That’s real democracy in action, not the top down stuff that has destroyed the credibility of the Labour Party in Scotland.

  54. Well said. Without Stu we would not have known a lot of what is going on.
    Stu is a hero and deserves praise and thanks for his outstanding efforts in enlightening us.
    Stu Campbell for President after Independence

  55. chicmac says:

    Well said Robin. Thankfully, this broke literally hours before I was going to send a donation to the YES campaign. Needless to say, that will be going elsewhere now.

    I am thoroughly fed up with the lack of impact of the official YES campaign, it is appalling, especially with the resources they have.

    How many of you out there’s top recommend to undecideds is that they should go to the YES website? Anyone? Or do you, most likely, recommend Newsnet Scotland, Wings, Bella, National Collective, Business for Scotland, and several others before recommending the YES site? Why is that? (rhetorical).

    We do not care why they are so inept and toothless and we have no time to waste in trying to find out how to fix it.

    But we all know what works in persuading people, it is the facts with evidence and sources as presented by the unofficial on line Yes community. And facts which go unreported in the media and sadly, often by the official Yes campaign as well.

    The Yes campaign would be floundering if it relied only on the official campaign with a totally unfettered unionist media and the official campaign doing nothing but applying fresh coats of paint to the floor trapping them into PC corner.

    I’m sure we would all much rather that were not the case, that the official campaign were true champions of the cause. I’m saying no more, other than that I too have had enough, and will do what I can to support getting the truth to as many undecideds as possible.

  56. Clootie says:

    Everybody just keep doing the work you have been doing.

    It is OUR campaign and there is a place for everyone.
    Wings is the most effective and debunking the media lies.
    NewsNet has a cal Newspaper format ( how a newspaper should be)
    Bella Caledonia has an uplifting positive, accurate magazine feel.
    Business for Scotland – hard financial data – well written
    YES is the umbrella or collective name for us all.

    Keep doing what you are doing. The unionists are looking for a leader / head to attack. They cannot understand thousands of people working in such an organised manner without a central control.

    Stalls / talking to friends / chats with neighbours / reading and informing.

    Smile because it’s working don’t start over analysing it!

  57. TheBabelFish says:

    Reblogged this on The Babel Fish and commented:
    Had to be said. Thank you to Robin for being the one to say it.

  58. TheBabelFish says:

    Thanks for this article Robin. I am in complete agreement when you say that positive must not mean weak. Sometimes we must defend ourselves, and some myths should not be allowed to be perpetuated. Which is why, prior to the events described above, I wrote this, which I commend to your attention:

  59. Bidge says:

    Wings offers a heart and soul to this campaign that is missing from the official campaign. If I only had one “trusted” source in this campaign to reference it would Wings and not the official Yes Scotland group.

    Robin as I have had said to you personally I am not campaigning for the SNP vision of Scotland, well it looks like I’m not campaigning for the official Yes vision anymore either. So be it, we all want the same result we can all still work together and fall out afterwards. Solidarity is still needed and we can “civilly” work out our differences later.

  60. Don’t know why so many Yes people spend so much time & effort attacking Wings Over Scotland. It achieves nothing.

    Rev Stu is to be applauded for his steadfast determination. Yes desperately needs someone like him on its side. He’s not infallible – he can be a tad aggressive and overzealous, I don’t agree with all of his opinions, but when he’s doing what actually matters, i.e. taking apart the No side, he is ruthless, never backs down and is rarely wrong.

    Anything else is an irrelevance in my opinion. It’s very telling that people keep attacking him for stuff that has absolutely heehaw to do with Independence. It’s been blown ridiculously out of proportion. There are probably other figures in this debate with far worse skeletons, but nobody’s trawling for them – why?

  61. Bidge says:

    Suzanne Bosworth They did not distance themselves from Wings. It was a Herald lie! I spoke to Yes Scotland and it was a pack of lies in the Herald. Here’s what I wrote on YesDunblane:

    “The Herald is disseminating disinformation. Yes Scotland have NOT distanced themselves from the Rev or from Wings. Neither have they asked any group to stop distributing any leaflets that carry the Wings URL.

    The facts are that the media asked Yes Scotland if they had produced a leaflet that listed the Wings website, and Yes Scotland told them that it was a Yes group, the name of which was on the bottom of the leaflet. The media then said that Yes Scotland had asked the group to stop distributing the leaflet but the group had finished distributing that leaflet some weeks before and were working on a new one.

    Beware stories that put anyone in the Yes campaign in a bad light. Go to the sources. Ask them. And check with Yes Scotland, which is what I did.

    These stories are intended as spanners to be thrown into the works, to set Yessers against each other. Don’t fall for it.”

  62. Thrope says:

    I just love this – totally expresses my feelings on this subject – Robin once again on the ball.

  63. Marian says:

    Marian says:
    21 June, 2014 at 7:07 am
    Scotland has always been bedevilled with people with holier than thou beliefs that have undermined Scotland at every opportunity.

    Recent events have shown this to be alive and kicking.

    A classic example of this and what might have been happened at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650 when a larger and well equipped and fed Scottish Army was defeated by a small weekened and starving Cromwell led Army because of the catastrophic actions of Presbyterian Ministers weeding out and sending home all of the very best fighting soldiers and leaders because they didn’t fit the profile of piety the Ministers wanted in their Army.

    The following passage from an account of the battle speaks volumes about what happened:-

    “It appears that General Leslie’s tried and true guerrilla strategy had been summarily overruled earlier in the day by the impatient Covenanter ministers’ committee from Edinburgh. The men of the cloth accompanied the Scottish commander to the top of Doon Hill, only to bury their heads in the religious sand. In mid-August, the Covenanters pressed Charles II to issue a public statement attacking his mother’s popery and his late father’s bad counsel. Charles refused and watered down his declaration considerably before making it public. The Covenanters went berserk and took their revenge by shooting themselves in the foot. They launched a purge of the Scottish army, starkly reminiscent of Josef Stalin’s ideological purges of the Soviet Union’s Red Army during the 1930s. More than 3,000 of General Leslie’s best professional soldiers including many of his officers were peremptorily dismissed from the army and sent home for such unforgivable sins as loose morals and swearing in public. One angry Scottish colonel said the Covenanters left Leslie with an army of “nothing but useless clerks and ministers’ sons, who have never seen a sword, much the less used one.”

    Leslie’s army had already taken the high ground when the English straggled onto the golf course below late on the last day of August. He went to the Covenanters for permission to attack the English on September 1, a Sunday, before Cromwell could get his forces organised into a workable defence. They recoiled in horror from the idea of spilling blood on the Sabbath — even English blood. As he resignedly watched the English regiments set up their defences on Sunday morning, Leslie went over to Plan “B.” He would stay atop Doon Hill and let the English army wither and die to the point of surrender or try to charge uphill against him. But at a morning meeting on Monday, Sept. 2, the Covenanters would have none of it. The preachers now saw themselves as military strategists far more brilliant than the man who had had used his favourite allies “Hunger and Disease” to bring the English army to its knees with a minimum of Scottish losses. God, they piously decided, was on the side of the Covenanters. They were in charge, and they ordered Leslie to lead his army down Doon Hill that afternoon to prepare for an all-out attack on Cromwell the following morning. After an hour of acrimonious debate, the exasperated general reluctantly obeyed, his tactical genius tied in knots of religious red tape.”

    Cromwell realised that the Scots were now in disarray and instead of retreating and withdrawing from the battlefield and Scotland as he had originally planned, succeeded in exploiting his opponents self created weakness to win the battle that the Scots should have easily won were it not for the actions of the Ministers.

  64. jacqueline glen says:

    Well I may not agree with everything on the wings site but then again I don’t agree with everything on the Scotsman, guardian, scottish daily express, Daily Mail, BBC – and shudder at the Telegraph.
    As a rational human being I should be allowed to hold my view without being told I am ” stupid, a virus, nazi, that I deserve to be bayoneted” .That a list will be made with my name on it because I don’t want the poor to go hungry or the talented live without hope.
    All for the heinous crime of believing my country can do better if it controls its own destiny and makes it’s own decisions.
    If they want to hold Wings to account- fine- but hold a mirror up to yourself first. And feel free to add my name to your list because I will be keeping one of my own- one of evrry broken promise and step you take to trample on the powerlessness in order to help the greedy.

    1. Lepin says:

      Well said Jacqueline

      1. douglas clark says:

        Two things.

        Firstly I agree completely with jacqueline glen.

        However, I have some issues with our hero Rev Stu Cambell, whose site I commented on regularily.

        And still advise people to read, despite the rest of this post….

        However, he took truck with my honest opinion that the referendum would be fair, as no-one who works in counting votes is a liar.

        I know. I did that. And I am not a liar.

        I recognised that something had gone sadly awry at Cowdenbeath. That caveat was not enough for yer Reverend. I was banned, or at least told I wasn’t wanted.

        He is a man whose writing I still read, still admire, but he is a tad, err, sensitive.

        On the back of that correspondence, he wrote to confirm I was banned. In these terms:

        You are barred, yes.

        Wings Over Scotland is not a democracy. It has a very open comments policy compared to anywhere else, but it is not without rules, and the one absolutely cast-iron one is that my word goes – if I explicitly tell you not to do something again and you tell me to fuck off and do it again several times, you’re out.

        You were warned repeatedly when you were already testing my patience (and had been unambiguously told as much), and you chose to continue acting like an arsehole. As such, you’re no longer welcome in the comments section. I hope that’s clear and unambiguous.

        It was clear and unambiguous. It was his ego that was hurt too. I do not recall telling him to fuck off, but it is a while ago, so, who, knows?

        Do not try to josh with Stu, or you too will be banned.

  65. Coming to this a bit late, but it is pretty clear to me that Wings, for all that it might do a good job of debunking myths etc., is run by a man who is a misogynist (see, for example, his defence of Bill Walker).
    Choosing to ignore that, in my view, says that the place of women doesn’t really matter. That’s a variation of the old Marxist line: ‘we’ll get class/worker liberation from the bourgeoisie sorted out first, THEN we’ll deal with women’s liberation from patriarchy’ – it does matter. Well, to me, at least. (And that’s before we get to Campbell’s transphobia etc.)
    Would everyone defending Campbell so vigorously do so if he had clearly come out with racist comments: ‘yes, he’s a racist, but he’s very good at debunking No, so we’ll overlook that for now’? I hope not, and that is why I don’t understand why it’s ok to take this attitude with women.

    1. EndofDaze says:

      They fear him so they try to take him out, one way or another. OK he can be a loose canon but that is better than a dud one.
      This is a revolution. A one time chance to change the unfair society that many of us live outside of. I am sick of the lack of spine shown by the official campaign in rebutting and taking on the media over it’s blatant bias and self interest. Maybe it’s because too many of them worked in that business for too long.

      1. Thanks, but you don’t actually address my concern. Instead, your comment seems to me to fall into exactly the pattern I described.

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