Stirling Shenanigans

by craig on June 28, 2014 9:38 pm in Uncategorized


Disappointing Crowd for Open Air Gilbert and Sullivan

1,600 people attended British Armed Forces Day in Stirling. 20,000 attended Bannockburn Live, 1 mile away. Guess which the BBC covered?

The unionists have long been obsessed by the fear that the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn would remind Scots that their ancestors were prepared to die for their national freedom. I have never seen any Yes campaigner even mention it, as the case for independence is nothing to do with the early medieval period. But the British state was so concerned, that it waited until the dates for the Battle of Bannockburn event had been set and all the permissions given by Stirling Council , and then announced they were holding National Armed Forces Day at the same place and same time.

As a result, due to police fears about the overcrowding, Bannockburn Live was forced to slash capacity from 40,000 to 20,000.

Stirling Council should never have agreed to hold both events on the same day. In fact, it is a secret how they did agree. Stirling Council officials, called before a Scottish Parliament inquiry to explain, stated they could not say who at Stirling Council had given the permission, as because the process was irregular it was subject to an independent inquiry.

Only the Labour Party in Scotland could come up with that one – “because we have done something extremely dodgy, it is therefore secret.” Stirling Council is in fact run by a right wing Labour-Tory-Lib Dem coalition aimed to keep the largest party – the SNP – out of power. Stirling Labour Party is therefore the absolute epitome of just how disgusting Labour are.

So today the BBC News lead item was the Stirling Armed Forces Day commemoration, with David Cameron parading about with his soldiers in front of every Tory in Scotland (1,800 people). The BBBC had three crews at the Armed Forces Day plus two radio crews. Not one of them managed even a mention of the ten times larger Bannockburn commemoration just down the road.

On top of which the BBC coverage was as appalling a bit of state propaganda as you could ever wish to see. A fine old retired soldier, they reported, told David Cameron that he did not wish to see the country he fought for broken up. It really was, straight out, as crass propaganda as that. Evidently the BBC were unable to find a single ex-soldier who supports independence.

But for me the piece de resistance was the BBC’s conclusion. It showed that when the BBC really puts its mind to it, the BBC can try to be completely biased in a more subtle way – by use of body language, inflection and expression. In September, the female presenter opined, Scotland would have to choose between what it has to [spoken lightly, trippingly, frivolously high pitched voice] gain, and what it has to [stentorian, serious, loud, low pitch, serious expression] lose.

To explain Bannockburn, I feel the Declaration of Arbroath coming on. This is an astonishing document which predates Locke and Hobbes by well over three hundred years. It is the first declaration in history that puts forward the idea of the sovereignty of the people. It praised Robert the Bruce for defending Scots from the dreadful atrocities of English armies, but then goes on to say:

Yet if he should give up what he has begun, seeking to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own right and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King; for, as long as a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be subjected to the lordship of the English. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.

The document is signed by named nobles but is in the name of the “freeholders and whole community of the realm of Scotland”. There is no document anywhere near it temporally that describes the idea of a nation state like this. Unionist historians have done everything possible to denigrate this very plain sentiment, making the obvious point that the signatories were nobles and clerics. Well, neither Locke nor Hobbes were refuse collectors. The appeal to the Pope was of course to be expected in the early XIV century. It cannot be denied, except by those who hate the Scots, that these sentiments encapsulate the “social contract” and an idea of the nation that was a major advance in European civilisation.

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  1. “1,600 people attended British Armed Forces Day in Stirling. ”

    The Ministry of Defence put the attendance at between 35,000 and 50,000 people.

    Mr Salmond said: “It’s fantastic that so many people came out to recognise those who serve.

  2. Time to dig the Claymore out of the croft thatch, mix up the blue woad and get myself to the border !!

  3. I hope the Declaration of Arbroath is taken as a starting point for a new constitution.

  4. Fred

    “The Ministry of Defence put the attendance at between 25,000 and 30,000 people”.


  5. Time to ditch the BBC. Time to ditch Cameron and the british state. One that sends men to fight in illegal wars, under equipped, and declares members of the armed forces redundant days before they would have become eligible for enhanced pensions, and then hides behind the Armed Forces day, the red white and blue and “our boys”.

    These soldiers should spit on the incompetent miserable excuses for politicians that do this to them.

    Still after being made to look like a dick in Europe where the best he could do was team up with the right wing nutter from Hungary, I suppose it did his ego good to be feted and called Sir.

    I can’t wait to get rid of these people.

    But I wonder what else they have up their sleeves in the next few weeks.

    They aren’t going to give up on all our wealth easily…

  6. “1,600 people attended British Armed Forces Day in Stirling. ”

    The Ministry of Defence put the attendance at between 35,000 and 50,000 people.

    Mr Salmond said: “It’s fantastic that so many people came out to recognise those who serve.

    Interesting selection of photos that include either no spectators or, in the first one, very few… Were there in fact any spectators at all??

  7. The same police that estimated the Independence march last year at 30,000 put the AFD attendance at 10,000….

    Who cares though… I mean really… will it make a difference to the referendum?


    Not a jot.

  8. Matt

    My estimate of 1,600 is from a military source who was well placed to judge as he was marching past them! All the photos I can find show paltry “crowds” and as for the BBC coverage, I’ve seen bigger crowds at the final of “one man and is dog”..

  9. It was down to around 2000 after the rain… but before 10,000 tops…

    Considering it was free (well except for the money paid by the good people of Stirling in Council Tax to pay for it all) that was an astonishingly low number….

    Bannockburn costs £20 a head and has sold 15,000 tickets…

    I think a YES is in the bag….

  10. Krackerman

    I care purely because the BBC chose falsely to portray it as a large occasion with great popular support. There is a clear agenda behind the BBC coverage.

  11. Well I suppose the BBC must’ve Photoshopped this one:-

    If it was so unimportant why was Wee Eck there and not at the Bannockburn re-enactment?

    As previously explained Armed Forces Day always takes place on the last weekend in June so no conspiracy to deliberately conflict with the Bannockburn event which really should’ve taken place last weekend.

  12. Showing just what the BBC are capable of:

  13. Kempe

    The date of the Bannockburn commemoration had already been set and the event registered with Stirling Council months before the decision to hold Armed Forces Day in the same place. With the entire United Kingdom to choose from for Armed Forces Day, they chose Stirling where the Bannockburn commemoration was on.

    You don’t actually believe that was a coincidence, you are just a serial liar.

  14. Kempe

    Oh and thanks for the very helpful picture. That is indeed about 1600 people. It most definitely is not 20,000.

  15. Kempe – no offence but you can see from the photo that it’s not a large crowd at all…10k tops.

    No idea where Mr Salmond was and don’t care – I’m not voting YES for him anyway. I’m voting YES for my kids so they don’t end up some day trundling down some IED alley in a hot country in an unarmoured land rover because they were sent into war by a government that won’t spend the money to protect their lives but is happy to fault their corpses and memories whenever it suits their tawdry agenda’s…

    As for AFD.. I think Mr Chomsky said it best “”The point of public relations slogans like “Support our troops” is that they don’t mean anything… That’s the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody’s going to be against, and everybody’s going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn’t mean anything. Its crucial value is that it diverts your attention from a question that does mean something: Do you support our policy? That’s the one you’re not allowed to talk about.”

  16. Sorry – should read “flaunt” not fault…

  17. While vauntie cybernats are busy analyzing the photos, counting the numbers with the tips of their ball-point pens and getting all excited about medieval battles against the English, may I be the first to point out that our host is about as Scottish as David Cameron, no matter how much he tries.

  18. Why is race and ethnicity important to you Mr Anon? Are you obsessed by it perchance…??

  19. And now for something completely (well a little bit) different… and much more surreal:

    Yes, media misreporting is of course mentioned!

  20. Anon,

    I shall be entitled to a Scottish passport. David Cameron would not be. So you are completely wrong. People can of course know who I am. You however are an anonymous coward.

    If genuinely interested you can learn about my family here. I think they would be quite surprised if you told them I am not a Scot.

  21. Kempe

    I think Craig is being generous to you. From a rough headcount it looks like there are less than 1000 people in your photo.

  22. Ariel photo, 5000 tops, there is a way of working it out at Xx persons per meter max at its most crowded. And think I am being generous.

    As to BBC Bias, its not just about the referendum, take the 50,000+ protesters in London against austerity.

    And if you do a search on Twitter, there were photos by the wagon load, but not a whisper on the BBC.

    BBC is not just anti Independence, its totalitarian pro establishment.

    Can b***h all you want about it, the evidence is there that the BBC has no interest in being impartial and is, very much so, an excessive well oiled mind numbing propaganda machine.

  23. i was at it today and there were about 10k there before the rain why are we trying to spin numbers , leave that to the bitters i cant wait for bannockburn tomorrow and look forward to similar numbers —–saor alba

  24. 50,000 is the capacity of St James’s Park. That picture is definitely more like Stirling V Arbroath.

  25. And in return, no matter where you find ‘em
    They brag of Scotland, now left safe behind ‘em.

  26. I would like to add that Mr Salmond was in attendance at Bannockburn Live.

    I spotted him around the 4:30pm mark. I even had my photo taken with him, as did many others.

    Others spotted there included Dennis Canavan (arriving on his bike) and John Swinney pushing his wife in her wheelchair, with their child tagging along.

    There were American accents everywhere. A great many English accents heard also. Other nationalities spotted were Spanish (surprisingly many), German (many), Chinese (many). And there were kids of all ages everywhere. Fantastic.

    There was no trouble at all. All good natured fun. I have to say the whole event was run impeccably. There was a bit of queuing here and there, but nothing excessive and the venue, facilities, and food stalls were all excellent. The only downer was the low flying jets from the Armed Forces Day. I don’t think there was any real need to fly so low over our event that you virtually skimmed the Bannockburn flagpole!

    It was so good, I reckon they could easily make it an annual event.

  27. Craig,
    Over the past few weeks/months, I’ve been almost embarrassed to bring up something that happened 700 years ago, because it’s all supposed to be about the future right?
    Yet, I’ve been keen to commemorate the event in my own way, not because of Braveheart, or because of some genetic superiority complex.
    In fact it’s probably out of the fear of being aligned with ethnic nationalism that I have been so reticent in shouting from the rooftops about it.
    So I am pleased to read your comments.
    Doesn’t make me feel so mental!
    Or rather, I am pleased to align myself with such mental folk as yourself!


  28. Yes – Mr Salmond did come along to Bannockburn Live. I saw him enthusiastically being approached by many people, many of them wanting their photos with him — which he let them all have. Then, as at that time we were watching Dougie Maclean, he turned and joined in the chorus of Caledonia with the rest of the audience….

  29. @J Lacon

    I don’t think there’s any spin on the numbers. I too was there today.

    At no time would I suggest there were 20,000 in the venue at the same time, but over the course of the day I am willing to believe there had been 20,000 attendees.

    The evidence? Well, I arrived just before the gates opened and had to stand in a queue about 3-5 wide stretching down the access road for 600 metres (just checked it on google maps). So I entered the site proper at about 10:30am. People were still arriving at 1pm, and probably later as well but I wasn’t anywhere near the gate after that. I should add that there were hundreds queueing at the box office when I entered and that queue was constantly growing.

    Due to the weather taking a turn for the worse, a lot of people left after each reenactment at 12, 2 and 4 pm, creating plenty space for the new arrivals.

    The tea/coffee stall had sold all of their larger cups and were apologising profusely as they could only serve small cups several hours before the day ended. The food stalls all had perpetual 20 minute queues at them, the whole day. They must have raked it in. Also they had loads of the big industrial blue bins. Any time I used one they were well filled.

    I walked past one of the security personnel on his phone saying “We have had a sell out today”. (The capacity was 20,000 as stated by Craig)

    On finally leaving the venue, the box office had notices all over it saying “Event Sold Out”.

    So based on all the above I am satisfied those who attended today were nearer 20,000 than 10,000.

  30. Here is my favourite photo of those massive crowds at armed forces day

    (Giggles so much he falls off chair.)

    Princess Anne just hilarious in that picture – it looks irresistibly like an audition for an amateur Gilbert and Sullivan performance.

  31. I can see why Anon likes carrying a shotgun around with him.

  32. Ahhhh, Dennis Canavan.

    Another good man, too honest and decent for Blair’s New Labour that they threw him out.

    But he beat them then and he’s still beating them today.

    A very persistant spider.

  33. Here are just a few of the supportive messages we’ve had on Twitter since The Radical Case for Scottish Independence event held at the House of Commons on Thurs 26 June:

    Went to @RedPeppermag @openDemocracy independence event at Westminster. Probably one of the most motivating meetings I’ve ever been to – Josh

    Last night’s Red Pepper meeting in the House of Commons on #radicalscotland was a ruddy eye-opener – brilliant speakers & debate – Jack

    Inspiration and emotional meeting for Scottish Indy with Red Pepper mag & openDemocracy – such a thrill to be part of something so important #YES – James

    Just reply to this email to let us know what you thought of the event. We’ll produce a write up soon with a podcast that you can share with those who couldn’t make it. Here’s a couple of things to follow up on:

    1. FREE book offer: if you become a Friend of Red Pepper by signing up for a monthly donation, you will receive a subscription to the magazine as well as a free copy of ‘Yes: The Radical Case for Scottish Independence’ by James Foley and Pete Ramand (who spoke last night). You will also be helping us to host more events like this and strengthen our voice as a radical alternative to the mainstream media.

    2. openDemocracy content series: The OurKingdom section of openDemocracy has produced an excellent series of articles about the Scottish referendum, including 40 reasons to support Scottish independence. Help them to continue the coverage by donating here.

    What next?

    Last night there was talk of organising a bus or train up to Scotland to help with canvassing. Plus the possibility of replicating last night’s event in northern cities was also discussed. If you would like to get involved with, or sponsor either of these initiatives just email We will keep you all informed of future plans.

  34. Remember back in the early days of the Helsinki Accords, Warsaw Pact dissidents took up CSCE Principle VII as a common rallying cry? The Soviets went to General Quarters. People thought, What’s the big deal? Soviet repressive capacity was more than adequate to squash a few eggheads.

    Then Gates’ shop at CIA pointed out that the real threat of the accords was not dissent. The “hidden bombshell” was national autonomy: distinct cultures and peoples resist central control, and Principle VII promotes that with cultural rights.

    The Warsaw Pact went first but now it’s the NATO bloc’s turn. Separatist initiatives are breaking the surface. The corporate media wurlitzer demonized Slovakia and kept Slovenia in the cone of silence, but Palestine’s fight is too gory to hide. Catalunia is the most serious threat to Spain’s economic repression.

    And now Scotland is coming to a head. Of course your spit-and-string Rube Goldberg regime is shitting bricks. It’s not about haggis and bagpipes and kilts – it’s for a right to a home and free education, and no nuclear weapons, and we, the people, will decide to fight or not. The English are hoping no one remembers that self-determination is the law.

  35. The first BBC report on AFD Stirling gave the attendance as 2000, this was later changed to ‘thousands’. A press release by the MOD has since been circulated to the media quoting 35000, this figure is now in all of the Scottish Sunday newspapers. However, there has been no pictures to back this figure up so far. All the photos released have been tightly cropped.

    Bannockburn Live, despite being a ticketed event, was a sell out, and it is expected to do repeat business tomorrow.

  36. “But the British state was so concerned, that it waited until the dates for the Battle of Bannockburn event had been set and all the permissions given by Stirling Council , and then announced they were holding National Armed Forces Day at the same place and same time.”

    To be fair, the last 5 Armed Forces Days have been held the last Saturday in June so the choosing of the date, while convenient/inconvenient depending on which side of the fence you sit, can not really be used that strongly as an argument.

    Deciding to hold Armed Forces Day in the exact same place as Bannockburn live however…

  37. BrianFujisan

    29 Jun, 2014 - 1:46 am


    Priceless Craig.

    Some of My jui jitsu friends were there ( Bannockburn ) Doing some battle enactment shows.

    whilst i was in Largs catching up with these super kool dudes –

    P.s..One Man and his Dog…. Hahaha

    P.Ps…And the world cup’s Finest Goal all in one Day/ night….Bliss.

  38. @Kampe

    “no conspiracy to deliberately conflict with the Bannockburn event”

    Utter rubbish, the Unionist cabal at Stirling deliberately decided to set AFD on the same date as Bannockburn it was confirmed by Holyrood’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee.

    See this link here –

    At 2:54:36 in the council official clearly states “the MOD came in and set the date, and we didn’t have a choice in that”. The official only a few minutes later acknowledges that that Stirling Council were aware of the Bannockburn event when planning for Armed Forces Day. He is also unable to explain who made the decision for Stirling to host AFD.

    The link I provided also shows the following:

    Giving evidence in front of Holyrood’s Economy Energy and Tourism Committee, Peter Irvine said his company had been forced to scale back the Bannockburn festival after Stirling Council inexplicably applied to stage Armed Forces Day in the town on the same weekend.

    Mr Irvine, whose company Unique Events had been brought in to stage the event which will commemorate 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, told MSPs that the decision was taken out of the blue and without consultation.

    Responding to claims that poor ticket sales had forced the Bannockburn event to be scaled back, the professional organiser denied this was the case telling the committee that he knew that a free event being held on the same weekend would affect ticket sales.

    Irvine told MSPs their plans had been “truncated” only after they discovered the overlap. He revealed that he had only learned of the Armed Forces Day plan via reports in the media.

    He added: “It’s obvious I’m sure why that had to be done, given another event landed on this small town in the same weekend.

    “Clearly something had to be done, that’s what we did and that was the sensible thing to do, considering there was a free event in the same small town in Scotland.”

    Asked if there was, “an element of surprise that Armed Forces Day was going to happen on the same day as Bannockburn.”

    Mr Irvine replied: “It was a surprise when it was announced Armed Forces Day was going to be in Stirling.”

    He added later: “We did hear about it from the media.”

    Mr Irvine pointed out that the decision to apply for the Armed Forces event on the same day as the Bannockburn commemorations was odd given that the Bannockburn event, which commemorated a 700 year old battle, “had been in the diary for a very long time”.

  39. I arrived on the back of My Dad’s Matchless 250…My Mum had a Triumph Tigress

    I was nearly 9 years old

    We had come from a Terraced House in Oldham

    We did a tour of Scotland…

    I played tiddlywinks with my Great Great Great 90 year old Aunt..she was just like a kid ..and we got on so well together…They Took us To Some of The Nicest Places I have been to in my life…I thought Wow…and then we discovered some of My Mum’s other relations..cousins…well the lot….and they told me about the Battle of Bannockburn…and how important it was…I was not quite 9. I am English. All These people…Really Lovely and well…They were Scottish….I still haven’t a clue what The Battle of Bannockburn was all about…

    Was it Like Scotland Beating England 5-0??

    Or was it something else?

    I am not just French.


  40. I don’t have a problem with ideas..and people trying to make decisions..affecting the entire planet and the human race…but I look at these people…and None of Them will Tell The Truth about Anything Important and Real…they are Media Propagandists..Presenters at Best …but mainly Gormless Idiots…So accepting we are still here and now…How Come Even Craig Murray and Julian Assange and Edward Snowden..are ALL still trying to Go With The Official Story of 9/11…

    You May Be That STUPID…But We are Not.

    Have a Nice Day xx

    Tell the Truth or Fuck Off.


  41. It was mentioned on bbc breakfast this morning.

  42. Sky News reported Bannockburn. The reporter was under one of those large white Sky umbrellas.

    The BBC did not report it or the anti austerity march. Pinter –

    ‘It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.’


    Locally the AFD was washed out and the worthies including the local Tory MP, who is always there when there’s a press camera around, must have been drowned. The thunderstorm arrived at the exact time proceedings were scheduled to begin, and the torrential rain ended as the parade was stood down.

    The gods above were smiling down.

  43. Craig – you’re applying a whole tin of rose coloured whitewash to history here.

    If anything is true about medieval history its that the noblemen were not noble. Certainly not Robert the Bruce. And he certainly wasn’t after “sovereignty of the people”.

    Bruce was excommunicated for murdering Comyn before the high alter. After which he had no choice to fight for an independent Scotland under him or be a fugitive. The surfs were indeed fighting for freedom, glory, riches and honours – Robert the Bruce’s. They certainly weren’t fighting for their own…

  44. rose coloured paint would have been better put – but you know what I mean…

  45. Awful BBC. Amazing how after so many decades of propaganda and barefaced lies, that people still believe it is fair and does not peddle agendas. Indeed in their eyes it is praiseworthy and a world beater.

    Re: The “Declaration of Arbroath” that you mention. I’m puzzled as to how you believe it “puts forward the idea of the sovereignty of the people” when it simply puts the people of Scotland under the boot of a Scots king instead of an English king.

  46. I was going to put this up last night. There is a spoken version on a You Tube too.

  47. The best turnout was the Lancaster and Spitfire (last pic, Courier site).

  48. Could Craig tell us what the extra B stands for here. :)

    ‘The BBBC had three crews at the Armed Forces Day plus two radio crews…’

    Ms Wyatt, that husky voiced BiBiCee defence lady who is so well in with the top brass at the MoD, also made a contribution to the Better Together campaign in her commentary yesterday.

    ‘Caroline Wyatt
    Defence correspondent, BBC News

    The parade began at Stirling Castle under stormy skies, at a place much fought over by the English and the Scots in the late Middle Ages.

    That echo of battles past and battles still to come hung in the air as Prime Minister David Cameron stood near Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister, as Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal took the salute.

    Mr Salmond is the man hoping to lead the country to independence this September – in a referendum that’s not the only one proving troublesome for Mr Cameron.

    During the march past, an Indian-born veteran of the Parachute Regiment, Sergeant Milton Reilly, took the chance to tell Mr Salmond, the Princess Royal and the Prime Minister in person what he thought of the referendum, and his hopes that the UK would remain united, before he was moved along gently by security.

    But most here wanted to keep politics out of a day that they say is here to remind the UK of the sacrifices of the UK’s armed forces in the past and the present, rather than debate the future.

    This afternoon, the Red Arrows will fly overhead – as well as the Battle of Britain memorial flight display, and the Royal Navy Historic flight.

    All this, an unspoken reminder that the future of defence in Scotland – from its historic regiments to the nuclear deterrent base in Faslane – is also at stake when Scotland votes in September.’

    Armed Forces Day celebrations take place across UK

    This is now on the website.
    Thousands turn out for Bannockburn Live battle event

  49. Thanks Mary. If you read that translation:

    Its all about sucking up to the Pope. I’m not sure whether they are claiming the Scots are some tribe of Israel or that the Scots just came “from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules”!

    At the end they try and bribe the Pope by saying how they would all go and join the Crusades – if only the English would leave them alone.

    You *really* have to be looking for ideas of “the sovereignty of the people” and “social contract” to find it in that document. Its not there. Its an invention of the mind which seeks it.

    Robert the Bruce fought for the sovereignty of Robert the Bruce, not the people. That idea didn’t exist amonst the people or the noblement at that time. And it isn’t in the Declaration of Arbroath. Unless you really want to see it there, even when its not.

  50. Cameron accused of “politicising” Armed Forces Day

    from the thread on Medialens

    Craig Murray – Stirling Shenanigans

  51. Marr has Hague and Balls on (what a pairing) plus the Jordanian Foreign Minister. For light relief Chrissie Hynde and Martin Freeman. So formulaic and you can predict what the agenda is this morning.

    Sir Keir Starmer and Bénédicte Paviot review the papers.


    A propos of nothing, the weatherman has just said that the temperature dropped to 2C in Scotland last night. Hope Agent Cameron had his high tog rating duvet and fur lined sporran in use or perhaps he jetted back home. Like BLiar he is spending much of his life on planes. Most unhealthy and very environmentally unfriendly Dave.

  52. Melanie McKellar

    29 Jun, 2014 - 8:21 am

    Caroline Wyatt
    Defence correspondent, BBC News
    AFD quote:-

    “But most here wanted to keep politics out of a day that they say is here to remind the UK of the sacrifices of the UK’s armed forces in the past and the present, rather than debate the future.

    This afternoon, the Red Arrows will fly overhead – as well as the Battle of Britain memorial flight display, and the Royal Navy Historic flight.

    All this, an unspoken reminder that the future of defence in Scotland – from its historic regiments to the nuclear deterrent base in Faslane – is also at stake when Scotland votes in September.”

    Dear Caroline,

    AFD couldn’t have been more politically motivated and your last paragraph just proved what it was really all about.
    ‘Bannockburn Live’ has been in the planning for years, Stirling AFD since August 2013! Do you seriously believe it would have been awarded to Stirling had the referendum been last week!

    I think the political ploy backfired BIG STYLE…the Scots are not interested in power struggle warfare but we do respect our serving military personnel for the historical sacrifices they make or have made.
    Regarding “the future defence in Scotland” – Scotland’s ‘historic regiments’ are already under threat within the Union through disbanding, amalgamations and cuts. Faslane will remain not as a ‘nuclear deterrent base’ but as the Scottish Naval base with a navy to defend our shores unlike what is on offer from the UK Navy today.
    Here is a written testimony from an Argyle & Sutherland Highlander from today’s events perhaps the BBC should take note:

    Derek Johnstone Macrae
    16 hours ago
    A wee message from my pal…..

    Chani-mal Bennie

    I played at Arm Forces day because i am in the Argyle Sutherland Highlanders pipe band and we were Leading the Argyles veterans .90% of the band are yes voters. 80% of the veterans i was talking to are yes voters. The 20% no voters were the officers David Cameron and Ed Miliband were there.When their names were announced The crowed went silent then grumbled. I was talking to most of the crowd that was there they were not fooled by David Cameron having Arm Forces day on the same day as Robert the Bruce’s 1314 remembrance day , They were their because they had to be. The grass roots yes campaign is winning and the more David Cameron tries to stamp it out the more people are becoming aware of his tactics. Saor Alba

    So you see Caroline it was Political but it was the Unionists who politicised the day and the BBC went along ‘Hook, line and sinker’ shame on you!

    Melanie McKellar

  53. Je

    Right wing unionists like you have been trying to write

    “Yet if he should give up what he has begun, seeking to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own right and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King;”

    out of history for years. That is plainly an assertion of the sovereignty of the people. It states that they choose their king and if he doesn’t do what they – not he – want they can kick him out and get another one. It makes plain the king is not appointed by God but by the people he governs. That was revolutionary. You have to have your head a very long way up your own arse before you can’t see that.

  54. Resident Dissident

    29 Jun, 2014 - 8:42 am

    “It is the first declaration in history that puts forward the idea of the sovereignty of the people.”

    I thing Craig forgets the classics e.g. Ulpian put forward the idea that power came from the people and was transferred to the emperor and then there was all that Athenian democracy that went further and didn’t even want to transfer that power to a supreme leader.

  55. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Numpty Better Together again.

  56. Resident Dissident

    I don’t think Greek oligarchy produced such an inclusive formulation as the Declaration of Arbroath with its “commonwealth and freeholders of Scotland”, but am willing to be corrected if you want to quote any appropriate passages of Greek philosophy.

  57. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Jun, 2014 - 8:50 am

    “And in return, no matter where you find ‘em
    They brag of Scotland, now left safe behind ‘em.”

    So you know that pastiche as well, Anon?

    For the interested reader’s information, those two lines come from a very long pastiche called “Caledonia”, written by the late Anthony Powell.

    I had the privilege of reproducing a few stanzas of this pastiche on here a couple of weeks or so ago. If the Independentists don’t watch their p’s and q’s, I’ll be sorely tempted to reproduce a few more.

    You have been warned! :)

  58. Rob Royston – Thanks!

  59. Antony Powell – Right Wing old Etonian scribbler, wrote for the Spectator and Telegraph, married daughter of a hereditary peer, never did a day’s honest work in his life. Yes please do write publish as much as you want of his bile against better people than himself – it will help the cause enormously.

  60. Is that Powell any relation to the Powell creeps Charles and Jonathan who surrounded Thatcher and BLiar? Powell pronounced Pole of course!


    This good man writes on Medialens:

    Unionists retreat to Fortress BBC as the final battle nears
    Posted by John Hilley on June 29, 2014, 8:46 am

    Newsnet Scotland piece on the BBC’s key role in ‘Saving private Darling':

  61. Anthony Dymoke Powell is a ‘Po-ell’ too. Are all bloody Powells Po-ells?

    There is even an appreciation society FFS. Pretentious? Nous?

  62. John Edwards

    29 Jun, 2014 - 9:16 am


    Are you still sticking to your prediction that the Yes campaign would surge into the lead once UKIP won the Euro elections in England?

  63. Craig –

    They still saw their King as appointed by God acting through them. God didn’t come down and write the name on a stone tablet. The Pope is appointed in the same way – with God acting through men.

    We could argue back and forwards about that – but there’s something you’ve got a whole lot more wrong.

    Reinterpreting an old document to see today’s values in them is one thing. When you go onto say that anyone who doesn’t share your interpretation must “hate the Scots”, assume they are a “Right wing unionist” (when I’m neither of those things), and say they must
    have their head a very long way up your own arse. When you do that – you just show yourself up. And you’ll undermine whatever your argument is. With the unreasonable and (and unlike you I’m not trying to be insulting here) bigotted view that anyone who disagrees with YOU must be blah blah blah…

  64. Resident Dissident

    29 Jun, 2014 - 9:24 am


    About 20% of the population participated in the Athenian democracy – I have my doubts that the “commonwealth and freeholders of Scotland” got anywhere near as being that inclusive – particularly given that the clan system probably meant that most people were tenants.

  65. Je

    There is nothing in the Declaration of Arbroath that indicates that the King is appointed by God. Nothing that can in any way be interpreted to mean that.

    There is the plainest claim that the nation can choose their King and depose him at will. No reference in that process to God or divine guidance.

    As I stated in my article, Unionists have been trying to wish away what the document actually says for generations. Look at the text.

  66. O/T Just hearing of this on Marr.

    Phone hacking exclusive: The News of the World, the army’s IRA mole and more questions for Rupert Murdoch


    Incidentally Marr has just pointed out to Starmer that the defence in the hacking trial had the top lawyers in the business. Almost gloating.

    ‘This disparity of resource was glaring in the hacking trial. Rebekah Brooks’s bills alone topped £5m, affordable only because of Rupert Murdoch and News UK. One of the most expensive and lethal QCs in the country, Jonathan Laidlaw, could muster a team of two supporting barristers, four junior solicitors, four paralegals and a team monitoring the news and social media. Against that, the CPS had Andrew Edis QC, one full-time solicitor and an administrative assistant. Understanding every detail of every dimension of the evidence and delivering rock-solid witness statements are central to courtroom success. In trials such as last week’s, the CPS has simply not got the resources to do what is necessary.’

  67. Resident Dissident

    29 Jun, 2014 - 9:31 am

    There are of course far more eminent Scots whose political virtues that Craig could extol (and has done so in at different times in the past) – but that would of course lead him to the main figures of the Scottish enlightenment, who Craig knows all too well were to a man strong supporters of the Union

  68. Resident Dissident

    Of course XIV Century Scotland was not a democracy. Its governmental insitutions were quite different. But it had a notion of Nation and Commonwealth, and of the nation’s right to appoint or depose its King whose job was to serve the ends the Nation wanted. I think you will find that the Angevins – who were the alternative – had a rather different view. Can you imagine explaining that theory to Edward I or his near successors?

  69. Whoever they made King – it would still be done by birthright. Or murdering someone to clear the way like Bruce did. They’re not going to elect a serf or something. No news there at all. You’re looking for something and finding what you want to be there.

  70. Craig –

    “nothing in the Declaration of Arbroath that indicates that the King is appointed by God” Who are they writing to!

  71. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Jun, 2014 - 9:43 am

    “Is that Powell any relation to the Powell creeps Charles and Jonathan who surrounded Thatcher and BLiar?”

    No relation.


    “There is even an appreciation society FFS. Pretentious? Nous?


    FFS, indeed – there are appreciation societies for lots of major (and even minor) writers. How ignorant (or dishonest) can you get, Mary?


    “Antony Powell – Right Wing old Etonian scribbler, wrote for the Spectator and Telegraph, married daughter of a hereditary peer, never did a day’s honest work in his life. Yes please do write publish as much as you want of his bile against better people than himself”


    Calm down, Craig. You’re playing the man and not the ball and being a lottle silly with it (but yo don’t really mean it, you’re just being polemical).

    If having gone to Eton, written for the Spectator and married the daughter of a peer count as sins in your book, then I’d advise a re)reading of Orwell’s essay “Benefit of Clergy”.

    Re “Caledonia”, I don’t see that as an exercise in bile: it is probably based on a certain irritation at the pretensions of segments of Scottish society but it should be seen primarily as an technical tour de force. I din’t think you could read the whole of it and disagree.

  72. Resident Dissident

    29 Jun, 2014 - 9:45 am


    Ulpian talked about the “imperium” of the Roman emperor having taken its legitimacy from the “imperium populi romani” which is really the same thing as Bernard of Kilwinning was saying in the declaration – I don’t thing he or the others who signed the declaration had any intention of giving power back to the general population. Such ideas came to Scotland much much later.

  73. Je

    It is a logical impossibility to equate “we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy..and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King” with the idea that the King is divinely appointed. The Declaration makes no reference to divine appointment.

    I have never understood the strange psychological need of Unionists to claim that the Declaration of Arbroath is meaningless and does not say what it does say.

    They are writing to the Pope. They are seeking the Pope’s support in a war against a far larger power. They are not asking the Pope to indicate who God has appointed as King. They are declaring that

    “we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own right and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King”.

    No, it does not invent constitutional democracy. No, it does not found the NHS. What it does is state that the Scots as a Commonwealth are not English, have suffered atrocities at the hands of the English, and will choose a king who can resist the English. If they don’t like him they will kick him out and choose another King. That last bit was a sentiment well in advance of medieval European thought.

  74. Resident Dissident

    29 Jun, 2014 - 9:53 am


    I think history shows that the Scottish kings were just as dedicated to the principle of passing the title around the family as were Edward I and his successor – I don’t think either bunch were keen on handing back the “imperium” to the “populi” once they had justified their taking of it in the first place.

  75. ” Guess which the BBC covered?”

    Actually here in the real world the BBC covered both.

  76. Craig –

    “we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy..and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King”

    Its saying. We should get rid of this one and put the next in line in his place. By some other man they don’t mean any other man. They mean the next person with the most title to be King. Whoever that someone would turn out to be, as there would be competing claims. Approval of the Papacy, God’s approval, for their King was absolutely what they all wanted.

  77. How dare tiny, backwards Scotland advance a civic notion comparable to those offered by the mighty ancient Greeks! Surely human aspiration can’t be similar across space and time; we all know those Greeks were superior.

  78. Resident Dissident, The Clan system, which was mostly in the Highlands and the Isles at the time of Bruce, did not have tenants. The Clan held the land under the King, they elected their own Chiefs and worked as a community. The Chiefs would travel to Edinburgh to pay the King and the clans were expected to raise men to defend the realm if required.
    Landlords did not exist north of the Highland line before the union.

  79. Resident Dissident

    29 Jun, 2014 - 10:07 am

    “What it does is state that the Scots as a Commonwealth are not English, have suffered atrocities at the hands of the English, and will choose a king who can resist the English. If they don’t like him they will kick him out and choose another King. That last bit was a sentiment well in advance of medieval European thought.”

    So to what shall we attribute the greater durability of feudalism in Scotland compared with south of the border? Something must have gone pretty badly wrong during the next 400 years of Scottish independence.

  80. Je

    Basically, yes. Four hundred years later the English had managed to reach the same stage of political development. Hence the Act of Succession. Another generation on and George I was appointed despite being 69th in line to the throne. (He really was, that isn’t a polemical figure).

  81. The Greeks must have been superior, or the upper classes wouldn’t dedicate so much of their children’s education to them.

  82. I am going to Bannockburn today and my Saltire is going with me.
    This is going to backfire on the BBC badly in the months and years to come.

  83. ” Kempe – no offence but you can see from the photo that it’s not a large crowd at all…10k tops. ”

    In all fairness I would agree but it’s clearly more than 1,600.

    Clan chiefs elected? On what planet?

  84. Resident Dissident

    29 Jun, 2014 - 10:20 am

    Rob Royston

    I think you will find that you are rewriting your own history – I am afraid Scottish clans were rather far from being the forerunners of modern day worker co-operatives.

  85. Kempe

    It’s a small crowd. The resolution is too low to be easy to estimate, but there are some vehicles, marquees etc which help and I really don’t think it is much over 1600, though I agree it might be a little. But given a big military show and presence of a Princess and Cameron, Miliband etc, it really is a dud.

  86. Resident Dissident

    29 Jun, 2014 - 10:30 am

    “How dare tiny, backwards Scotland advance a civic notion comparable to those offered by the mighty ancient Greeks! Surely human aspiration can’t be similar across space and time; we all know those Greeks were superior.”

    I think you will find that it was Craig suggesting that the Scots got there first – I’ll leave notions of superiority/inferiority to the nationalists.

  87. Unionist historians have done everything possible to denigrate this very plain sentiment, making the obvious point that the signatories were nobles and clerics.

    A point almost never made, though much more applicable, when Unionists start gushing over the Magna Carta.

  88. Also worth recalling they had followed Wallace, who had no Royal pretensions and whose position of “Guardian” in many ways prefigured Cromwell.

  89. Resident Dissident

    29 Jun, 2014 - 10:39 am

    “George III was appointed despite being 69th in line to the throne. (He really was, that isn’t a polemical figure).”

    I think you will need not a little polemics to get at that 69th figure – I suspect different polemical views as to what primogentiture means and when in the past the monarchy diverged from that path could give you all sorts of answers from 1st in line to figures considerably larger than 69th.

  90. Resident Dissident

    Apologies, of course I meant George I. Now corrected.

    No. No trickery, no polemics. Accepting the official versions of legitimacy etc. In going back to Sophie Electress of Hanover and working down again, 68 people with better claims to the throne under the established rules of primogeniture were excluded because of Catholicism. Knowingly and quite openly.

    It’s not that huge a number when you consider Royal families at that period frequently had twelve or more children, of whom a majority commonly survived.

  91. The Swiss Eidgenossen seem to have got there earlier with the Ruetlischwur – but they really were peasants.

  92. Resident Dissident, Why should I not rewrite my own history? Do I have to accept your version?
    I have visited, often by boat, many sites in remote places in Scotland where the clans lived. Even two centuries after some of the areas were cleared of the people, by unionist legalised landlords, I can still see the evidence of the hard work and cooperation that these communities made to survive and breed some of the best people that were ever born.

  93. Tim

    I am very happy to entertain such assertions, but I repeat my request that you provide texts to prove it.

  94. “20,000 attended Bannockburn Live”

    STV, BBC and the papers are saying 10,000.

  95. “STV, BBC and the papers are saying 10,000″. You really are that stupid, aren’t you?

  96. Resident Dissident

    29 Jun, 2014 - 11:07 am

    “Even two centuries after some of the areas were cleared of the people, by unionist legalised landlords,”

    I think you will find they were often the descendants of the same clan leaders that you eulogise. I am sure that working people in Scotland worked hard and got along by co-operating with each other despite the best efforts of their leaders – but that doesn’t make them better or worse than their counterparts elsewhere in the World – and therein lies the nub of problem with much of nationalism.

  97. Oh dear, more YES paranoia. ‘The BBC is oot tae get us’


    ‘1800 people (every Tory voter in Scotland)’ ha ha!

    Apart from the fact that over 200,000 people voted for the Conservatives in the last Scottish elections on a 45% turnout. Wow, what accurate reporting (of course I realise the remark was made tongue in cheek, but still made me giggle)

    And as for attendance, the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn doesn’t come round every year (obviously) and Yes people are a lot more fanatical about stuff like this than No people. Ticket prices had to be SLASHED before people would even consider going to it anyway!

    And why should the BBC about mention Bannockburn celebrations anyway, the coverage was about Armed Service Day? That would be like the commentators of the Brazil v Chile match at the World Cup talking about Wimbledon during the game!

    This sort of post is typical of the YESNP machine, always feeling persecuted and downtrodden… when it suits you, but leading the World at everything else when trying to get votes. Sheesh, don’t you guys get knackered from constantly moving the goalposts around!

  98. Resident Dissident

    29 Jun, 2014 - 11:14 am


    But you mean the rules of primogeniture do not allow you to exclude Catholics – you’ll be saying that they cannot be used to exclude women next!

    BTW – very much liked the family history site – if I could chase my ancestry back to Barga in Italy, a wonderful place with its own fish and chip festival, I’m pretty sure that I would be looking to claim an Italian passport rather than a Scottish one. Doesn’t the Italian lineage mean that you are more English than Scottish!

  99. Except my English side is a bit Dutch. I am pretty mongrel all round :-) Actually I didn’t know about the fish and chip festival in Braga. My family had numerous fish and chip shops in Edinburgh, both the Brattisanis and the Quiliettis. Actually they still do have a few.

  100. ‘Anon,

    I shall be entitled to a Scottish passport. David Cameron would not be. So you are completely wrong.’

    Craig, according to this FAQsheet produced by the ‘Yes’ campaign, Cameron could get a Scottish passport on ancestry grounds, given that his father was born in Huntly, Aberdeenshire-

  101. OldMark,

    Apologies, I didn’t realise his family left that recently. That’s our last three Prime Ministers of the UK then.

  102. Resident Dissident

    29 Jun, 2014 - 11:31 am

    “I am pretty mongrel all round”

    As are nearly all of us within the UK – and long may it continue to be so!

  103. Resident Dissident

    29 Jun, 2014 - 11:34 am

    Lovely place Barga BTW – especially if you want to get away from the Tuscan tourist traps.

  104. Been there once, ancestor hunting. Yes, fantastic food and nice people. Everybody I met decided they were my cousin and I was taken around various old ladies shown photos etc. Some danger of liver damage ensued.

  105. “You really are that stupid, aren’t you?”

    Well they do quote a spokesman from VisitScotland.

    A spokeswoman for VisitScotland said: “We sold out early afternoon and reached the 10,000 capacity today.”

    I think if they weren’t telling the truth VisitScotland would say something.

  106. There were a lot more than 1,600 people at AFD, this video clip shows the crowds streaming towards the events arena just from one direction, there were two entrances to the arena and those taking part in the march, (uniformed service personnel, cadets, the veterans, the musicians et al easily numbered more than your 1,600 figure. I took part in that parade and there are lots of videos going up on You Tube which show the vast numbers supporting the event during the march and at the event.

  107. nevermind, viva beautiful football

    29 Jun, 2014 - 11:53 am

    Sittin’ a wee bit too long on that cactus, hav’ you Jack?
    Those thorny bits finally reach yar tiny nuts?

  108. Robert Wilson

    29 Jun, 2014 - 12:17 pm

    Rather ironic that The Bruce’s direct descendants, HM The Queen her family, and PM David Cameron, all chose to attend the Armed Services day celebrations, than the reenactment of their ancestor’s victory 700 years ago.
    Maybe they thought it was more relevant in this day and age?

  109. Meanwhile, on Scotland’s west coast, we had our own little celebration of unionism, in Helensburgh, the town down the road from our nuclear ‘deterrent':

  110. Alan

    I have looked very carefully at your links. That really is a very small crowd. Aerial view of the car park 34 seconds in to first video – 250 cars. That aerial view is a very good one and shows approx. 2000 people at the whole event.

    Here is a vastly larger crowd which the Metropolitan Police estimated at 20,000.×225.jpg

  111. Not cropped like the the photos I’ve seen elsewhere, these photos were taken from Stirling Castle above the event ground, first shot showing the crowds in the event arena at 1:30pm and then again after the rain and just before the Red Arrows arrived at 5pm.

  112. nevermind, viva beautiful football

    29 Jun, 2014 - 12:32 pm

    Falloch, how did you manage to moor all those irish tourists boats?

  113. nevermind, viva beautiful football

    29 Jun, 2014 - 12:33 pm

    C’mon Mexico you can slay the orange dragons.

  114. I used to live in the tower block on the left hand side of that photo, it is known as Peninsula Tower and is located inside Hyde Park Barracks. I know what large crowds look like having watched various events taking place inside Hyde Park from the comfort of my living room on the twenty fourth floor of that building. You are aware that Park and Ride car parks were employed all over Stirling to transport people to the Arena by bus to keep the traffic away from the event? The perspective of an aerial shot as compared to a shot taken at ground level across the crowd will obviously distort the perception of numbers attending. As a member of the parade who proudly carried a Legion Standard in it, I am aware that the number of veterans who were marching were 1,200 the serving personnel who were marching were over 400. You really are taking the mick if you are claiming that the only people who are in those clips are simply participants and there were no spectators.

  115. Brian S

    Thank you. That is extremely helpful. It gives a a lot of cars, marquees etc to give scale.

    Look at the marquee closest to the top, on the left. It is plain you could get the entire crowd into three of those marquees, four tops. Look at the van parked next to that marquee. It is 60 feet by 40. Capacity about four hundred people packed standing.

  116. Alan

    The number of participants is not in dispute. The crowd watching was less than 2,000.

  117. The sickening of British Armed Forces Day. Falkland War.

    HMS Sheffield had no defense capability against Argentine Navy Super Étendards armed with Exocet missiles flying below radar detection. She was literally a ‘sitting duck’ with outmoded radar (Type 965) and weapons (Sea Dart).

    RIP ‘Eggy’ my best mate.

    Her sister ship HMS Coventry according to her captain, David Hart Dyke in his book, was used as a decoy to draw the enemy away from the British landing point. Coventry was also a ‘sitting duck’ with no effective detection or defense systems against low flying Sky hawks.

    After the ship was struck, her crew, waiting to be rescued, sang

    “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” (Life is good – Be happy).

  118. Where and for just what exactly did Prince Ann get all those dongs. Oh yes, I forgot they must be his Olympic horse riding medals!

    What price the air we breath?
    HEADLINE: Annual cost of environmental externalities 7.3 trillion dollars per year. 500 people from 35 countries gathered in Edinburgh for the inaugural World Forum on Natural Capital in 2013. One of the main aims of the World Forum was to move the debate on natural capital forward …

    Meaning that monetary value will be placed upon all ecosystem services. Incredibly many of the attendees in Edinburgh were so called conversationalists and ecologists who seriously believe that putting a price upon nature is the best way to save it!

    Many of us ordinary citizens might be oblivious to these developments on the horizon but existing absentee land lords are buying up more Highland estates speculating on this very possibility due to peat bog and timber planting with carbon sinking potential to offset against their very own industrial activities. What an irony!!

  119. Don’t put too much faith in who and how many showed up at both events for all kinds of reasons.

    The referendum is still more then 2 months away, and much more important things will happen along the way, so nothing is is in bag now.

    My suspicions are still that the No votes are still too insufficient to prevent some big fireworks occurring to radically change the outcome – what the radical right almost always resorts to in such situations.

    Just look at what they did on February 28, 1986 – engaging in a non-nuclear showdown with the Soviets over concluding the Cold War – what would have resulted in their losing it if Moscow had not peacefully stopped it.

    Am sure both sides now are keeping a very close count about their support and will act accordingly.

  120. Trowbridge

    Nobody is claiming that the attendance at the events has any relationship at all to the referendum result. What a silly straw man.

    The point is that the government deliberately put Armed Forces Day in the same place same time to reduce the impact of the Bannockburn event on the news media. The other point is that the BBC and MOD lied outrageously about the Armed Forces Day attendance.

  121. Couple of comments to make:

    I’m delighted Craig is committed to Scotland and will be be claiming his Scottish Passport. This is not about ethnicity but civic nationalism. Everyone committed to living & working in and for Scotland is entitled.

    Wee Eck, ever the intelligent politician, was at both events. Only he knows which he enjoyed more. The BBC were partisan as always, we’ve given up expecting them to be unbiased. Al Jazeera covers our news better than BBC does!

    I know a number of military types who were upset that the event was in Sitrling. They knew the traffic would be horrendous and decided not to attend this year’s event.

    Finally the politicians who decided to make this a competition with a 700 year commemoration should be forced to spend a month in the desert on combat rations. Both events commemorate the sacrifice of people who died for their country but these people (including the BBC) used it to make politician points. Just how low can this UK Govt stoop?

  122. @Mark Golding

    From the latest episode of ‘Sputnik’, George Galloway’ RT programme:

    “In part two, we’re heading 8,000 miles to the South Atlantic – well, metaphorically at least. Argentina has recently pressed for moves to reopen dialogue about the fate of the Falkland Islands. With Argentina vaulting ahead (and not just in a footballing sense), is now the time for a suitable settlement to be reached over the islands’ future? We speak to her Excellency Alicia Castro, ambassador of Argentina, to get her take on things.”

    She provides an alternative perspective to the one we repeatedly hear in this country. She is charming and surprisingly generous towards the UK. Argentina’s position comes over as far more reasonable than that of the UK.

     Incidentally, part one was an interview with Crispin Blunt MP who has signed the ‘Sack Blair’ petition.

  123. It certainly seems to be no straw man since you have already a second thread about it.

    Seems you have contradicted yourself.

  124. If the number of marching participants is not in dispute and you claim only 2,000 were watching, that would mean that only 400 spectators then joined them in the arena area to watch the displays once the parade was over? The first video clip shows the crowds moving towards the arena BEFORE the first elements of the marching parade came down Dumbarton Road. You will notice that the police direct the crowds towards the entrance on Drip Road at the roundabout. The marching participants when they arrived continued down Dumbarton Road to their own entrance point into the Arena which would be on the left hand side of the first video. The crowds at this point were only allowed to gain access via the Drip Road entrance. Are you seriously claiming that only 400 extra people joined the 1,600 marchers? If you look at the tree line above the Kings Knot where there are clearly more than that number alone taking a short cut, you will see the crowds lining Dumbarton Road ready for the parade to arrive. Certainly more than 400 people just lining that short section. I suppose the crowds all the way from the Castle down the hill and along the route also just went home once the parade had passed them?

  125. Bugger (the Panda)

    29 Jun, 2014 - 1:20 pm

    The British Military don’t have a good record at counting bodies?

    4,000 to 5,000 max.

    Two fingers up to Cameron.

  126. Craig has certainly managed to bring the resident trolls out of the woodwork and also the Unionist brigade on this. Are the latter paid employees like Hasbara/Camera?

    If it wasn’t such a serious subject (blatant and lying propaganda from the state broadcaster), their contributions make for a really funny read as they pipe up in turn.

    For them:

  127. Incidentally, Craig, have you considered signing this petition and making it “Four former British ambassadors”?

    “A group of former British ambassadors have joined a campaign calling for Tony Blair to be removed from his role as Middle East envoy after his recent attempt to “absolve himself” of responsibility for the crisis in Iraq.


    The signatories, led by Blair’s former ambassador to Iran Sir Richard Dalton, describe the former prime minister’s achievements as Middle East envoy as “negligible”.

    Other former diplomats to sign the letter are Oliver Miles, who was ambassador to Libya when diplomatic relations were severed in 1984 after the killing of WPC Yvonne Fletcher, and Christopher Long, ambassador to Egypt between 1992-95.”

  128. Along with his Scottish passport will Mr Murray be moving up to join us in fraternal paradise?

  129. “Yet if he should give up what he has begun, seeking to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own right and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King;”

    That is plainly an assertion of the sovereignty of the King. It states that the supposedly “noblemen” choose their king – but likely birth would. I’m sorry Craig, but I am sure you are interpreting that right.

    Whatever, I so hope the Scots lift their kilt to the war loving English, although reading the BBC’s article about Scottish attempts to colonise parts of Latin America,, made me wonder about my image of the Scots just being unfortunate / entrapped or at worst, greedy tag-alongs in English Imperialism. although given it’s BBC output, the date and the nature of the article, perhaps that was its whole purpose.

  130. A Node, 29 Jun, 2014 – 1:14 pm
    You introduce an interesting point. What will happen to the ‘occupied terroritories’ like the Malvinas, Gibraltar and so forth should the enslavement, I’m sorry, the Union end.

  131. Resident Dissident,
    I care not a jot for flags (Saltires or Union flags) or ancient scrolls. You can keep them, even wrap yourself up in them if it brings you comfort.

    Take your historical interpretations and “Britishness” and shove them up your ar$e.

    While your at it, you can take the rest (conveniently itemised below) with you:

    1. Bedroom Tax.
    2. Trident Nuclear Warheads & Subs sat on my doorstep.
    3. Food Banks.
    4. Acceptable child Poverty.
    5. Your “He who has the biggest balls” economic model.
    6. NHS privatisation.
    7. Vilification of “foreigners”.
    8. UKIP
    9. Illegal wars.
    10. And last but not least……Tories!

    Don’t let the door hit your ar$e on the way out.


  132. Anon,

    If your question is, will I move back to Scotland if Scotland regains its independence? The answer is yes, immediately. I can pass JK Rowling and the woman who makes frilly knickers moving in the opposite direction.

  133. Show me a true patriot, and i will show you a lover not merely of his own country, but of all mankind. Show me a spurious patriot, a bombastic fire-eater, and i will show you a rascal. Show me a man, who loves other countries equally with his own, and i will show you a man entirely deficient in a sense of proportion. But show me a man who respects the rights of all nations, while ready to defend his own against them all, and i will show you a man who is both a nationalist and an internationalist.

    Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun who lived from 1653 to 1716 and who was the leading Scottish opponent of the Treaty of Union 1707

  134. Oh for a ‘not’

    I’m sorry Craig, but I am sure you are NOT interpreting that right.

  135. A Node thanks buddy – Blair as a ‘peace envoy’ is the analogue of ‘Christ was a neocon’ Blair I’m certain will be nailed to the cross with Bandar Bush and ‘Big Time’ Cheney either side; all three thieves in a sense for stealing innocent lives.

    I have real trouble empathizing the Falklands; forgive my reticence.

  136. Now we learn the CIA team sent a team to Britain early this year to check on its Muslims – not trusting MI5 And MI6 to do the job, and claiming that it was concerned about how Sunnis radicals were affecting Shias.

    Of course, this could just be a cover to find out more about British Muslims supporting the Yes vote, what they seem to be doing in increasing numbers.

    Reminds me of when Britain allowed in that Mossad kidon to check on Muslim terrorism against Jews – what resulted apparently in its killing Stephen Hilder and then Dr. David Kelly, among others.

  137. Alan,

    I sympathise with your emotional attachment to the comrades with whom you served. But there are a couple of photos on the next post which show the actual crowds at the event very fairly and plainly.

    Of course as you marched through the streets of Stirling with bagpipes playing a fair number of people stopped and gawped. But the number who turned up to the actual event is entirely caught by the photos from above on the next thread, one at 1,30pm and one at 4.50pm.

  138. Rab

    There is no ‘bedroom tax’.
    Food banks dole out free food and, lo and behold, people take it.
    There is no ‘child poverty’ worthy of the name.
    The economy is one of the fastest growing in the Western world.
    There is no ‘vilification of foreigners’.
    The NHS model is outdated and failing.
    UKIP just got its first Scots MEP.
    The ‘illegal wars’ were prosecuted by Scots as much as English.

    You just a propagandist, Rab, desperate to make the worst of the country’s situation in order to advance socialist alternatives which no one is in the slightest bit interested in.

    You lefties are so desperate to make out we’re all dying of starvation

  139. @Anon: By calling us all “lefties” you are showing your cold war mentality. The pro-Blair propagandists used that a lot in the run up to the Iraq war, and I’m surprised more didn’t twig that Tony Blair was supposed to be a bit of a leftie.

    The world has changed since then and by calling us lefties you are just showing you haven’t kept up with the zeitgeist… Gordon Brown showed a similar, appalling lack of understanding. Either they start telling people the truth (should be simple enough…) or they can expect social unrest because – for whatever reason – the people who read the media are now generally more intelligent than those who produce them!

  140. nevermind, viva beautiful football

    29 Jun, 2014 - 3:03 pm

    Firstly, my commisarations to Mark G for loosing his mate eggy in the Falklands war, indeed Conventry was a sitting duck and a few hand held stingers would have probably changed the equation somewhat on that day. It was another case of underestimating the enemies abilities and it had horrible consequences.
    Was it the MOD’s fault for not putting enough money into basic defences?

    Now to the emminent liar and supporter of privatisation of the NHS to fetter our MP’s and Lords interest, anon, writing this purile response to Rab.

    “There is no ‘bedroom tax’.
    Food banks dole out free food and, lo and behold, people take it.
    There is no ‘child poverty’ worthy of the name.
    The economy is one of the fastest growing in the Western world.
    There is no ‘vilification of foreigners’.
    The NHS model is outdated and failing.
    UKIP just got its first Scots MEP.
    The ‘illegal wars’ were prosecuted by Scots as much as English.”

    There is no child poverty worthy of mentioning? Shows your secluded upbrining in a middle class cellar breating organic air, as well as your remoteness from reality. You need educating, Britains slums are in a grip of increasing poverty and its down to your rightwing ideals being implemented by this wretched minority party oligarchs. Have a lok at Milecross and Larkman here in affluent Norwich and weep.

    The NHS is outdated and failing!
    You meant to say ‘Has been made to fail’, so as to trumpet up the puny tax grabbing efforts by a cabal of vested interest politicians, private companies who want all the profits but none of the long term responsibilities that come with it. The NHS can be reformed without breaking its back and resolve, but not by tossers who have two combined braincells, in their purses!

    Bedroom tax is a fact, just as the disability of housebuilders to produce the single and double bedrooms needed for local authorities? Far worse, disabled people, having been denied their due benefits and those who feared to loose their benefits have committed suicide, due to the policies you so much support.

    These are real people mwho have died and you can’t wish them away, as much as you would like to gloss it over, its down to the wretched Tories agenda.

    These are the consequences you don’t want to talk about, anon.

    Food banks do not dole out food to all and sundry, you get referred to them. Why don’t you try and get some food there before you make these scurrillous assumptions?

    you are a disgrace to humanity never mind this blog.

  141. Johnstone. I think you meant ‘gongs’! :)

    dong: noun
    plural noun: dongs
    1. the deep, resonant sound of a large bell.
    2. Australian/NZ a blow; a punch.

    Her mummy gave her all those gongs.
    Anne, Princess Royal KG KT GCVO GCStJ QSO GCL

    Why does the horsemeat eating, badger killing woman want to look like a man in her RN outfit anyway?

    Her 730 uacre estate (stolen land earlier) was also given to her by Mummy. The kind Mr R A Butler agreed to sell it to Her Maj.

  142. Anon – Stop being an imperious twat. It is conspicuous to me you have never experienced an empty penny jar, an empty cupboard, ‘living’ in, at best a car you cannot afford to drive or on the street (without a toilet) and more.

    I provided shelter for a neighbor, a single women with three kids, evicted from her home, abandoned.

    You ‘missed’ ‘Tories’ in your debunk – the majority of whom will crush ‘welfare’ benefit, health and well being, which, in another system is a right, natal, instinctive and second nature.

    ‘..leftie’ in your sense is trifling and narrow-minded.

  143. The real danger Westminster elites face is their fear that an independent Scotland might provide a much higher standard of living and services to its citizens than these elites are willing to offer their own.

    They intensely dislike the idea that things can be done differently, and better, and real living comparisons on their own land mass would prove intolerable.

    Ultimately of course you’re watching the final decline of the UK, and that process will continue whatever the result of the referendum.

    It won’t be pretty, and Scots would be well advised to take this opportunity for an orderly exit, within their own control.

  144. John Edwards

    29 Jun, 2014 - 3:34 pm

    Was the Bannockburn event not in fact originally scheduled for three days but reduced because of poor ticket sales?

  145. Excellent insightful piece Herbie thank-you.

  146. Brian S, 12:31 pm; thanks for the photo’s. I note that the two shots you link to were taken from exactly the same position; was the camera left unmoved, on a tripod, for instance? The two shots were taken over three hours apart; did the camera remain set up throughout? Were there any more shots? If I was leaving a camera on a tripod with an overview of an event like that, I’d be tempted to make a time-lapse sequence…

  147. Tell Anon not to go to Devon if he or his elderly loved ones need care. The county council have announced the closure of 20 care homes and 17 day centres so now it’s pay up and take your choice or sit in a chair on your own at home slowly fading away. You might be awarded a package to procure your own care.

    In Surrey the local authority care homes were all closed way back. It is all private provision now.

    A friend in her 80s local to me has cared for her husband at home for the last ten years with the aid of carers calling in and with short respite spells for him in a community hospital (now privatised to Branson).

    He died last month in the local general hospital after a short illness. The weekly bill for the carers used to be £40p/w, then £70p/w and then £100p/w up to the present. Because it turns out that her late husband had savings of £3,000 over the £25,000 limit, she has now received retrospective bills for £700 per week for his last few weeks on this earth.

  148. Craig Are you putting in any complaint to the BBC for misreporting events?

    They do occasionally give way. eg


    I see on Medialens that Westminster Abbey is occupied in protest at the cutz on disability benefits. People are definitely rising up.

    ‘We are many, they are few’.

  149. Duh!

    Westminster Abbey occupied in protest against cuts to disability care funding


    29 Jun, 2014 - 5:22 pm

    “They do occasionally give way’

    Heh. Like the little Dutch boy, Mary. They can’t stick their fingers into every hole in the Dike.

  151. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Jun, 2014 - 5:27 pm

    From Mary, helpful as ever:

    “Craig has certainly managed to bring the resident trolls out of the woodwork”

    To which Habbabkuk would reply : “and the usual bitch(es) as well”


    More seriously, there are several people here commenting adversely on Craig’s comments who do not post very often. Is it not typical of Mary to immediately accuse them of being trolls, presumably for having an opinion she does not share?

    Has she looked up Hilde Benjamin yet, I wonder?

  152. As sexist as ever.

    ‘Bitch, literally meaning a female dog, is a common slang term in the English language, especially used as a denigrating term applied to a person, commonly a woman. It often refers to someone who is belligerent, unreasonable, malicious, rudely intrusive, and/or aggressive.

    Its original use as a vulgarism, documented to the fourteenth century, suggested high sexual desire in a woman, comparable to a dog in heat. The range of meanings has expanded in modern usage. In a feminist context, it can indicate a strong or assertive woman, one who might make men feel threatened. When applied to a man, bitch is a derogatory term for a subordinate.’


  153. O/T
    and infuriating

    Former NSA/CIA head: ISIS’s ascent in Iraq poses 9/11-like danger to U.S.

    and the zombies among the American public will eat it right up

  154. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Jun, 2014 - 6:37 pm


    You can choose whichever meaning of “bitch” turns you on, but you can safely assume that I’m using it with the same degree of friendliness and good manners as you show when you’re using the word “troll” to refer to me.

    Actually, I think you quite like the attention you receive from me. Furthermore,our former moderator Jon once begged me to address you less frequently because my comments just seemed to spur you on to even greater displays of verbosity and absurdity – he said something along the lines of you wanting to demonstrate through this increased activity that you weren’t going to be intimidated. I think he was spot on.

    BTW – careful about using “LOL” or you’ll have one of the Useful Idiots writing again to say that you seem a little old to be using that expression :)


    29 Jun, 2014 - 6:43 pm

    Dre; It is rather puzzling that these dunces can revisit past stupidity with no accountability.

  156. Habbakuk. Stop cluttering up this blog. It does not belong to you.

  157. craig 29 Jun, 2014 – 6:05 pm

    “A Node. Indeed. Re that Robben penalty shout, I think his track record as a known diver cost Holland there.”

    Then he hurdles a crazy tackle in the penalty box which would’ve been a sure-fire penalty if he went down.
    Then he gets hacked down twice, either of which should’ve been a penalty, but the ref ignores both.
    Then he takes another dive and is awarded the penalty which wins the game.

    That’s football.

  158. ^^ oops, wrong thread ^^
    I’ve reached the age where one count the crowd thread looks very much like another.

  159. Anon,
    Your understanding of Scots is bizarre and is exactly the reason why you and your companions are now losing the debate. As Plato said “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something”.

    I shall converse with you no further.

    Good night and god bless.

  160. Thanks Mary …Yes, silly me I knew it was something ending in ongs. That’s a very good question why would she?

  161. Resident Dissident

    29 Jun, 2014 - 10:12 pm


    Hope you rant made you feel better – but it is quite possible to be against nearly all the things on your list (as I am) and still consider that keeping the UK is a better way of dealing with them – especially as you avoid the consequences of whipping up nationalism in Scotland and also probably England.

  162. -infuriating indeed Dreoilin. We note according to the Daily Wail the CIA has abandoned Zombie reporting on extremism in the Britain, preferring to sent it’s own ‘wolves’ IMO to establish new lines of communication with ‘terrrra cells’ – ISI(S) has crossed the big pond…

  163. AS an actual re-enactor discussing the history at Bannockburn with the public, it was well attended and the public were great. A fair number wore “Yes” t-shirts and badges, but deliberate attempts to ensure it wasn’t a triumphally anti-English event had been taken and it seemed to have worked.
    AS for armed forces day, the phot of the explosion looks to me like it has, based on events I’ve been to and seeing the 1 to 2 thousand watching each battle in the Bannockburn area, as maybe 10k at most, probably more like 5k; you can pack a surprisingly large number of people in a small area, use the portaloos for scale. It’s definitely more than 1600 though.

    And fortunately the Red arrow who flew over Bannockburn after 5pm did so after the show was over, otherwise there might have been an accident involving spooked horses – one did step on a handlers foot in their own enclosure when startled by the noise of the plane.


    30 Jun, 2014 - 1:15 am

    “Professor Anthony Glees, of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at Buckingham University, said the mission, which took place earlier this year, showed the level of concern in Washington over the issue, which he claimed was rooted in the UK’s ‘lax’ immigration policies.”

    It happened months ago? It would be more likely Obama sent FBI, and the fact that CIA mustered the intrusion, sounds like their roguishly normal behavior. I’m sure Obama and others have been displeased with progress with Assange as well. Then there’s Greenwald’s former paper of record. I wouldn’t be surprised if MI5/6 had the gun on personnel sledge-hammering hard drives, and CIA had guns on MI5/6.


    30 Jun, 2014 - 1:29 am


    30 Jun, 2014 - 1:43 am

  167. Resident Dissident

    “especially as you avoid the consequences of whipping up nationalism in Scotland and also probably England.”

    You can blame the propaganda war being waged by the UK aided by the mainstream press for that. In fact the slurs and insults meted out to Scots on a daily basis is so outrageous as to make you vote Yes regardless. Not that I think there is any other choice mind you. Why suffer the Westminster buffoons any longer?

  168. Cameron looks as though he’d rather be daaaahn sarf snortin ching off Rebekah’s …..

  169. There were 12 versions of the BBC report on the event.
    Stirling leads Armed Forces Day celebrations across UK

    Interesting to see that they put such effort into updating and adding bits as other bits were taken out. I should think those responsible for the editing over two days must have been thoroughly sick of it by the end.

  170. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    30 Jun, 2014 - 7:49 am


    “Habbakuk. Stop cluttering up this blog. It does not belong to you.”

    For Heaven’s sake be original, dear – you’ve pinched my line about Mr Goss being an “Insolent Squatter”.

    Re clutter – in California Ben epigrammatic style : beams and motes?

    Have a great day now!

  171. John Edwards @ 3:34pm – yes, Bannockburn was originally 3 days, but the know nothing scaredy cats reduced it to 2 because oddly enough in Scotland, you simply won’t sell all your tickets months in advance for something that isn’t a music festival or similar because Scots prefer to check the weather on the day before going. This is a well known problem in many events. There are of course other reasons, but ticket sales were as good as I expected, it’s just the committees of bureacrats overseeing it all know nothing about events and thought it would all go wrong. They also thought armed forces day would suck away potential visitors too.

    I’m sure I saw aims of 50k and more attending armed forces day,
    so 35k is a failure by any stretch of the imagination. Note the Hootsmon article is carefully slanted to do bannockburn down as much as possible.

  172. Algeria Won Gaza Cup

    Algerian team presented by (the Islamic Society team) won the final game against Mexico presented by (Rafah Services team) in Gaza World Cup championship, which was held under the slogan “occupation besieges us and the World Cup our access,” organized by the Popular Committee Against the Siege and sponsored by Miles of Smiles Convoys and Partners of Peace and Development for Palestine “PPDP”.

    The match was run in presence of the minister of justice Saleem Alsaqqa, Minister of Public Works Mofeed Alhasaina, MP Jamal Elkhoudry, the chairman of the Popular committee against Siege PCAS, Dr. Essam Yousef the head of Miles of Smiles convoys, the vice president of the Palestinian association of football Ibraheem abuSaleem, and some Legal persons.

    MP Elkhoudary said that Gaza Cup widely spread emphasis on the ability of the Palestinian people to get rid of this unjust siege that has been imposed on them for the eighth year paralyzing all fields of life.

    Yousef, the head of Miles of Smiles convoys, expressed his happiness to be in Gaza, stressing the strength of the relationship between the two peoples, Palestinian and Algerian, who work hard to break the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip. He also said that the convoys will continue coming to the Gaza Strip until breaking the siege. 2014 will be the year of breaking the siege he said.

    They both, Elkhoudary and Youssef, gifted the first winner the cup of the championship with 2,000$ while the second winner was gifted 1000$ and the same amount of money was given for 20 people of the audience as gifts.

    From an e-mail in today from Free Gaza.


    30 Jun, 2014 - 3:07 pm

    For Blackwater, iraq was a ‘golden’ shenanigan.

    “US embassy officials in Baghdad sided with Blackwater rather than the state department investigators as tension escalated between Richter and Blackwater in August 2007, the Times reported on Monday. The officials told the investigators they had disrupted the embassy’s relationship with the security contractor and asked them to leave. Once back in Washington, Richter wrote his 31 August memo to state department officials to warn of lax oversight of the company.”


    30 Jun, 2014 - 3:35 pm

    The Caliphate instructs that the Rulers must be deposed. This is the uniting force behind all the apparent weird alliances. Now it’s official.

    “SHANNON Ireland (Reuters) – Saudi King Abdullah pledged in talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to use his influence to encourage Sunni Muslims to join a new, more inclusive Iraqi government to better combat an Islamist insurgency, a senior U.S. official said on Saturday.”

  175. Further Gilbert and Sullivan.

    Ruritanian general and ex tennis champion revisits outpost of British Empyre.

    Outplayed by the Cliff Richard ensemble!

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