Stirling Shenanigans 175


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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175 thoughts on “Stirling Shenanigans

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  • frazer

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

  • Iain Farrell

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

  • craig Post author


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


  • Tris

    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…

  • Matt

    “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??

  • Krackerman

    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.

  • craig Post author


    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”..

  • Krackerman

    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….

  • craig Post author


    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.

  • craig Post author


    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.

  • craig Post author


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

  • Krackerman

    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.”

  • Anon

    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.

  • Krackerman

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

  • craig Post author


    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.

  • j coleman


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

  • Tony

    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.

  • j lacon

    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

  • MJ

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

  • Anon

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

  • Truth

    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.

  • Neil McAdam

    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!


  • David

    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….

  • Truth

    @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.

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