Belated Self-Congratulation 49

In January, in the lengthy period when I was not posting this blog received its 5 millionth unique visitor.  That really is quite a lot of people.  Despite having been dark for most of the last twelve months, remarkably after just three weeks comeback it is back in the top 30 UK political blogs, and well on the way back to its former position of being the second most influential UK blog of any kind.

Interestingly this page has been seen by over four hundred thousand people.  Glancing through the locations of the last 100 to look at it, 90% of them were in Scotland.  I might therefore humbly claim to have a small impact on the referendum campaign.  I would stress I am extremely willing to speak at campaign meetings at any time, and will absolutely prioritise any such invites over the next six months.

I should express my enormous gratitude to all those who have helped keep this site going, designers, hosts, technicians and moderators, who have not only put in a huge amount of unpaid time but in some cases contributed from their own pockets to the costs over many years. I am not naming names as some specifically wish to be anonymous, but I am very well aware of who each one is – even though, in an extraordinary number of cases, we have never met in the non-virtual world!

49 thoughts on “Belated Self-Congratulation

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  • fred


    Nothing has been moved. The original boundary deciding legal jurisdiction is still in force. If you take a look at the oil fields in question you will find that most of them, being the first in service, are now abandoned and the others make very little difference at all.

    Personally I believe that the boundary, delimiting fishery protection areas, would be the natural boundary being equidistant to both countries. However if the time comes both parties would be able to negotiate and if agreement is not reached then it can be decided by international court.

    I think there is more than enough hatred of the English among certain sectors of Scottish society already without trying to incite more by leading them to believe England has stolen part of Scotland.

  • craig Post author


    That is the actual legislation. It is patently untrue that it moved nothing. I ask you again – what do you think was the purpose of this legislation? There is a lot of work involved here – why do you think Blair did it if it is meaningless?

    I am afraid you very probably don’t know much about the Law of the Sea. The provisions of the Convention specifically allow the drawing of straight baselines across heavily indented coastlines to prevent such fluke results as this being produced by very local coastline angles. There is a very striking difference between the UK’s attitude to baselines it has drawn on the East and West coasts. Scotland could close off its coastline with a straight baseline because of the effect of the Forth and Tay estuaries. That would change this line completely. It is done on the West where it doesn’t affect England (only Ireland).

  • Jives

    I don’t have a view particularly on Scottish independence…however..

    Just watching the London controlled media drip drip tactics i’d imagine it’d be almost impossible for any small country to vote for independence when so many vested and concerted interests pull out the propaganda artillery.

    A genuine shame that proper debate has been squashed by the Goebbelsian machinery.

    Seems like Scottish independence never stood a chance against such synchronised agit-prop/utter bullshit.

  • Neutral

    We will find out if 300 years of colonisation have turned the bravehearts into bravefarts, its tough to even contemplate breathing in a different atmosphere, let alone making the actual leap into the unknown. Salmond should reduce the price of alcohol towards the referendum date, it might help some make the leap.

  • Marlin

    Special thanks to Craig and capable moderators for having kept the “not forgetting the al hillis” blog open for comments for as long as it has. Few are the blogs that can be said to fulfill a public service purpose, but that one does, as do many other posts by Craig (saying so although I don’t agree with every one!). Some day, somehow, we’ll know what happened to the Al Hilli family, mowed down mercilessly in the prime of lives and leaving two orphans behind. Commenters weave tales and theories, go over every bit of information scrap released, and diverge into many a conspiracy theory that may be tangential, but still informative. Some fiercely disagreeing but still united around one theme – it is wrong and heartbreaking to see justice denied, whoever the perpetrators were.

    In gratitude, I have wherever I could, spread the word about this blog far across the ocean, where Craig’s name is not [yet] household name (yes, i admit, the posts I agree with, but that’s life). Not knowing much about Scotland issues with England, on a gut level, I think they should go their own way. I always loved the stories and legends about Robert de Bruce, and what scots i got to know, I liked. So there, I am all for independence of them who want to be independent and let the chips fall where they may.


  • Mary

    This is being heavily trailed on BBC Radio 4. Tomorrow at 13.30

    The revelations from Edward Snowden that British and American spies have been working to break encryption have generated fierce debate. Privacy advocates argue that the NSA and GCHQ have undermined the internet by weakening the security on which we rely to keep our communications and transactions secure. At issue is whether people should be able to encrypt their messages so that they are entirely private – which would mean that governments wouldn’t be able to read them. But this latest fight is just the latest chapter in a battle going back decades.

    In the 1970s, a group of academics and scientists in America came up with a means of providing encryption for the masses. The NSA, the US spy agency, went into battle with them – doing its best to suppress and control the emerging technology of public encryption. It even tried to prosecute some of the proponents. At its heart is a culture clash between two sides: libertarian techies on the West Coast and East Coast government spies. BBC Security Correspondent Gordon Corera meets the engaging characters from both sides of the divide and finds out what it means for us today.
    Producer: Mark Savage

  • Clarence et al

    Congratulations, Craig. A magnificent achievement. And thoroughly well deserved.

  • Macky

    Indeed congrats & thanks to all involved; I think it goes to show, even after all the problems that have affected this Blog in the past year, that there is a general thirst to access opinions & viewpoints excluded by the santised MSM.

  • fred


    That act covers fishery limits not national boundaries as anyone who follows the link and reads it will see. It was done because the EU wanted to know exactly which area of fishing was governed by which country and there was no existing legislation, I expect before devolution none were needed.

    Your jiggery pokery with the line would have no affect whatsoever on the oil fields you claim were stolen, they would still be closer to England than to Scotland. Anyone can take a map and a ruler and measure them. The closest points are nowhere near the Tay as are none of the other points once you get a short way out. There is a map at the end of the link you posted, take a ruler and measure it. Anyone who doubts I am right can take a ruler and measure it.

    But this is all irrelevant because the line is not a national boundary.

    Fact: At present all the waters around both Scotland and England are UK territorial waters.

    Fact: Should Scotland become independent then which waters became Scottish territory and which remained UK territory would be decided at that time.

    Those are the facts that matter, those facts are irrefutable.

  • Clark

    Mary, 7:50 am: thanks for the BBC link; I’ll have to watch that programme so I can assess its degree of propaganda content. I wonder if they dare to explain that “hacker” originally meant “self-motivated programmer” before the corporate media corrupted the term:

    There is a community, a shared culture, of expert programmers and networking wizards that traces its history back through decades to the first time-sharing minicomputers and the earliest ARPAnet experiments. The members of this culture originated the term ‘hacker’. Hackers built the Internet. Hackers made the Unix operating system what it is today. Hackers make the World Wide Web work. If you are part of this culture, if you have contributed to it and other people in it know who you are and call you a hacker, you’re a hacker.

    Can they report honestly that the “free” in “free software” refers to freedom rather than price? Can they honestly report Phil Zimmermann’s story of how he had to fight the US government in court to assert his right under the US Constitution to set his encryption algorithm free for all people to use?

    This is what is at stake; nothing less than our Right to Read:

  • Clark

    Fred, 11:00 am:

    “That act covers fishery limits not national boundaries…”

    The act is concerned with “Boundaries – internal waters and territorial sea” and “Boundaries – sea within British fishery limits”. Both matters are referred to twice; in each case, territorial sea is referred to before fishery limits.

  • Jemand

    Craig, I don’t think that your web server logs indicate 5M individual people, rather 5M individual IP addresses. My visits must account for a couple of hundred of those; then you have all of those messianic followers changing ISPs and with that, the range of dynamic IP addresses … Ok, you get what i mean.

    Congratulations on the 5000th visitor!

    PS – I don’t think any reasonable person would begrudge you a *little* advertising revenue.

  • Clark

    Jemmand, I believe the statistics are compiled from data based upon cookies, not IP addresses. That would still lead to an over-count due to visitors who periodically clear cookies; it is possible that a correction may be factored in to adjust for this, but I don’t know whether it is or not. But such an over-count would be a proportion of the total, not a factor of hundreds as you suggested.

  • fred

    “The act is concerned with “Boundaries – internal waters and territorial sea” and “Boundaries – sea within British fishery limits”. Both matters are referred to twice; in each case, territorial sea is referred to before fishery limits.”

    Yes, the territory referred to is UK territory, neither Scotland nor England have a territorial sea it is all UK territory.

  • fred

    “more congratulations from me, Craig……….you call a spade a spade…..”

    So what do other people call spades then?

    I’ve always called spades spades, I’ve never known anybody call them anything else. Didn’t know there was another name for them.

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