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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  • Annie

    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?

  • A Node

    @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.

  • Alan

    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?

  • Bugger (the Panda)

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

    4,000 to 5,000 max.

    Two fingers up to Cameron.

  • A Node

    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.”

  • Anon

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

  • lwtc247

    “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.

  • lwtc247

    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.

  • Rab

    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.


  • craig Post author


    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.

  • Hugh

    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

  • lwtc247

    Oh for a ‘not’

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

  • mark golding

    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.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    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.

  • craig Post author


    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.

  • Anon


    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

  • Peacewisher

    @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!

  • nevermind, viva beautiful football

    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.

  • Mary

    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.

  • mark golding

    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.

  • Herbie

    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.

  • John Edwards

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

  • Clark

    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…

  • Mary

    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.


    “They do occasionally give way’

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

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