scottish independence referendum

Journey To Yes – 7

The seventh in the new series by the excellent Phantom Power.


Indyref Countdown – 35 To Go

An image a day on Indyref Countdown here, from today until the referendum.


The Scottish Independence Podcast Episode 7 – James Maxwell

In episode 7 I speak with James Maxwell, with whom I also spoke with briefly in episode 4, who is a Scottish political journalist whose work occasionally appears in the New Statesman and on Bella Caledonia.

We spoke about his father Stephen Maxwell’s book, some of the strategic issues surrounding the referendum and much more.

Apologies for the occasional echo. The problems that led to that have been fixed (by moving to another room and changing the settings a bit!).

Hope you enjoy.

This is the download link (right click and save as).

You can listen online here.

The More Things Change…

This article was in the Press & Journal a couple of years ago.

Notwithstanding the fact that we must all move away from the oil-based economy as quickly as possible for environmental reasons and that I am not an SNP member, given what I put in the previous post and any other number of examples, does anyone actually doubt that something similar is going on now?

Labour government feared ‘it’s scotland’s oil’ slogan

Secret plot to undermine SNP claims revealed

By David Perry

Published: 30/12/2010

Evidence has emerged in secret Cabinet papers of a Foreign Office-inspired plot to undermine SNP claims in the 1970s that “It’s Scotland’s Oil”.

A memorandum from Labour Foreign Secretary Anthony Crosland advised colleagues that the slogan was raising uncertainty in international financial circles, and could undermine the UK’s credit worthiness and ability to support the pound in foreign exchanges.

At the time, North Sea oil was regarded as the UK’s “collateral”, supporting huge foreign currency borrowing.

Mr Crosland also warned an overt attempt to challenge the claim by drawing up official maps showing a boundary between “English” and “Scottish” waters would be taken as a hint that the UK Government regarded Scottish independence as a possibility, further damaging the pound.

Instead he suggested “confidential briefings of selected public opinion informers” and articles in the press with no acknowledgement of official involvement.

Read the full article here.

The BBC Video Story

I saw the BBC vids story on Mark MacClachlan’s site on Friday and I saved it but I put off watching them until this morning as I generally find listening to Andrew Marr and Nick Robinson quite offensive.

Unsurprisingly, the tone of the speakers is unremittingly hostile to the idea of independence. This is no more than what one expects from the BBC. I don’t really know where the shock comes from here.

Again unsurprisingly, the BBC has come out and defended itself by talking about the editorial guidelines that have always ensured its (ahem) total impartiality in all matters relating to the British state.

It’s the job of the BBC to defend the British state, despite what they try to tell you.

A couple of years ago I did an interview with Professor and author David Miller (you can watch him handing Paxman his arse on Newsnight over the BBC furore about Iraq here) about the history and origins of the BBC.

I put it on vimeo and have included the first part here and the other two on the read more continuation page below.

If you want an mp3 download then it is here.


Vote Britain – Alan Bissett

In case you missed Alan Bissett’s fantastic Vote Britain, here it is (text below)…

People of Scotland, vote with your heart.

Vote with your love for the Queen who nurtured you, cradle to grave,

Who protects you and cares, her most darling subjects, to whom you gave

the glens she adores to roam freely through, the stags her children so dearly enjoy killing.

First into battle, loyal and true.  The enemy’s scared of you.

That’s why we send you over the top with your och-aye-the-noo Mactivish there’s been a murrrderrr jings! crivvens! Deepfriedfuckinmarsbar wee wee dram of whisky hoots mon there’s a moose loose aboot this smackaddict

Vote, Jock.  Vote, Sweaty Sock.  Talk properly.

Vote with those notes we scrutinise  in our shops.

(might be legal tender but looks dodgy to me)

Vote for the Highland Clearances. Baaaaaaaaaa.

Vote for nuclear submarines in your water.

Vote for the Olympic Games you didn’t vote for

(but you’ll pay for it, you’ll pay for it).

Vote Conservative. Vote Lib Dem. Vote Libservative. Vote Condabour.

Vote with the chip on your shoulder.

Vote Labour.  New Labour. Old Labour. Scottish Labour.

(Get back in line, Scottish Labour, HQ in Solihull will issue their commands shortly,

Just keep the vote coming in from up there thanks goodbye,

Subsidy junkie).

Vote for any argument you construct in your defence being ‘anti-English’.

Vote for Scots who make their career in Scotland being ‘unambitious’.

Vote for enjoying your own culture being soooooooo parochial.

Vote God Save the Queen and that bit about us crushing you all.

Hush.  There there.

Vote for Scotland being refered to as a ‘region’, like, say, Yorkshire? Or East Anglia?

Vote for our voices dominating your media, but in no way telling you what to think.

Take a drink.  Go on, son, take a drink.

Vote for oil revenue, which we ensure flows directly from us into you.

Vote for being told you’re the only country in the world that could not possibly survive and that without us you’d fall to pieces like children abandoned in the wild, caked in faeces.

Vote Daily Mail and Rupert Murdoch and

illegalimmigrantskilledPrincessDiana and

London London London most exciting city in the world darling

(Glasgow is a very violent place, is it not. Do you have art?)

Vote wth your heart.  Vote Empire. Vote tradition.

Vote for our proud shared history of


Bringing Wealth and Prosperity to the World!

being on the right side just once and that’s only because it was against yer actual fucking Hitler

Vote for the #ScottishConspiracy at Westminster

(who really runs the show here eh – Blair, Brown – got your own in that time, we aren’t allowed to vote in Holyrood but there’s Archie McPhee pulling wee strings in our parliament when we wouldn’t even think about interfering in how you run your own affairs but while we’re at it, this referendum eh? A so-called referendum, is it?  Have it now, make sure it looks like this)

Vote for very, very, very rich people patronising you.

Vote for Glasgow having the highest knife-crime rate and lowest life expectancy in Europe

due to our generosity.  You may thank us at your leisure.

Vote for the absence of your history in our schools.

All Brits together.

Vote for our shock at your ingratitude!

Vote for us saying ‘Eh? Eh?’ when you open up your porridge mooth.

Vote for bafflement about why you want the England football team to lose.

We always want the Scots to win (except in referenda).

Vote for psychopathic villains with your accent in a soap opera.

Vote for tuition fees and student loans, ensuring that the brightest of your working-class

(since you still insist upon the term, although Our Leaders had it banned)

will one day rise and take their place in this great land.

Vote for us deploying strategic references to Braveheart to dismiss you all.

Vote for Robert Burns being called by Paxman ‘sentimental doggerel’.

Vote for The Iron Lady.  Such a strong leader, gave this country backbone

(you didn’t really want the unions, industries or council homes, just made the place look tatty)

Vote for a deregulated banking class, lionising of the hardworkingwealthgeneratingjobcreatingentrepreneurs

who you will in no way refer to as ‘greedy, selfish bastards’.  Give them your taxes.

Vote for foreign wars.

Yes, sadly, some of you will die.  But you will return to a hero’s welcome


the Union Jack, proud symbol of integrity and honour, draped across your coffin

while your mother, dabbing at her eyes, recalls the words she learned in school

in Kircudbright

‘There is some corner of a foreign field that is forever England.’

Vote with your heart.


Unusual Angles

I usually expect that whatever the Telegraph prints will be hostile to the idea of Scottish Independence and that goes for most of the media.

The recent story about Shetland and Orkney is illustrative in that it shows clearly enough the positions of each paper.

True to form, the Telegraph didn’t have an exactly neutral tone. Observe….

SNP attacks Shetland and Orkney ‘troublemakers’

The SNP has accused MSPs representing the Northern Isles of being “troublemakers” after they warned their constituents might not join a separate Scotland.

So, the nasty SNP attacks. This was posted at 6am yesterday, however by 5.20pm the title of the next story on the subject had changed but the tone hadn’t…

SNP admits Shetland and Orkney could opt out of independent Scotland

The SNP’s economic case for independence has been significantly undermined after the party admitted that the oil-rich Northern Isles would be allowed to opt out of joining a separate Scotland.

“SNP admits” is placed next to “economic case yadi yadi ya undermined”. All fair and above board. The SNP response to all of this is placed way down in the article.

The BBC decided to couch it in a conditional with “Could Orkney and Shetland be independent of Scotland?” and follow that up with a less than neutral video on the subject.

Newsnet Scotland decided to stress the democratic rights of the people of the islands quoting the ex-leader of the Scottish libdems and local MSP… Tavish Scott: Orkney and Shetland could secede from Scotland

The one that really came out of left field however was this…

Orkney and Shetland put up brave stand against Independence

The Orkney and Shetland islands, just North of Scotland, have put up a brave front against the SNP, claiming that they will decide whether or not to join an independent Scotland.

Where might this have been? In the uber-unionist Daily Record? In the Mail, the Express?

Nope, all wrong. Strangely, this was in Digital Journal which I had previously heard of but never actually read and didn’t expect it to be hostile in this overt manner.