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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  • Tim

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

  • Rob Royston

    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.

  • craig Post author


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

  • fred

    “20,000 attended Bannockburn Live”

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

  • Resident Dissident

    “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.

  • Cactus Jack

    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!

  • Resident Dissident


    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!

  • craig Post author

    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.

  • craig Post author


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

  • Resident Dissident

    “I am pretty mongrel all round”

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

  • Resident Dissident

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

  • craig Post author

    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.

  • Alan

    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.

  • nevermind, viva beautiful football

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

  • Robert Wilson

    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?

  • nevermind, viva beautiful football

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

  • Alan

    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.

  • craig Post author

    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.

  • mark golding

    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).

  • Johnstone

    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!!

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    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.

  • craig Post author


    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.

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