Speaking Date Availability 581

I am available again for Yes meetings on 15, 16 and 17 September. Invitations welcome through the contact button above. Happy to go anywhere I can do good. My St Andrews speech a week ago has now had 75,000 views on Youtube.

It is symptomatic of the way this campaign has gone that I can find nothing online from the No camp which has had one fifth as many views, with the solitary exception of the PatronisngBTWoman video, which has massive views from people making fun of it.

Miliband was in Blantyre yesterday where his every bodily function was breathlessly reported by Severin Carrell in the Guardian – but even the Guardian could not pretend his audience in the “Labour stronghold” amounted to more than “dozens”. I am told it was under fifty. Better Together support on the ground has simply evaporated. What they rely on is that the massive output of mainstream media and the authority of the Westminster parties will have sufficient impact on their key demographics – pensioners, and housewives in a 1950’s sense – to shore up a residual no vote of the easily scared. My challenge to people to identify any Better Together gathering of more than 300 has been met with resounding silence.

Television has been wall to wall Miliband lately, and the BBC in Scotland seem to have simply abandoned their obligation to give equal broadcast time and treatment to both sides. Presumably many of the New Labour hacks who control Pacific Quay realise that their behaviour has made a Yes win a career threatening situation for them, so at this stage they see nothing to lose.

If independence is achieved it will be down to a popular movement and not to any politician. Indeed, if one person has to be singled out, I would say the Rev Stuart Campbell has made the most decisive individual contribution in the campaign. If Social media has beaten the mainstream media, the central rock around which millions of flowers have bloomed has been the Wings over Scotland website. This has a significantly larger daily readership than any newspaper in Scotland. The Wee Blue Book I found everywhere, including copies already available in pretty well every pub I entered, as I toured the East Coast. Over 400,000 downloads of the PDF have been made and 250,000 copies centrally printed, as well as a number of private initiatives which had already obtained professional printings from the PDF. Conservatively, there are over half a million hard copies out there, as well as all the reads online. In a population of 5.2 million, that is a major impact.

When we close down BBC Scotland and create a new citizen based, cheaper and more arts-oriented organisation in its place, let’s put Stuart Campbell in charge. Some state-funded drama and arts output seems to me commendable. State funding of pap entertainment is not needed – the private sector can do that perfectly well. State funding of “journalism” which investigates nothing and never challenges the establishment must be stopped.

581 thoughts on “Speaking Date Availability

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  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Thanks Vronsky, well worth a look. Kelly explains how numbers and polls have been used for decades to manipulate the Scottish independence debate. No hystrionics, no unsubstantiated claims, no insults – just a measured analysis.
    Leaving aside the referendum, everybody should be aware of these methods of influencing the outcome of a poll.
    Here’s that link again:

  • JimmyGiro


    I agree with the bulk of your points, but the conclusion for disunion is wrong headed. It is if a couple woke up one day to discover they both have syphilis, and instead of curing the problem, they seek divorce.

  • doug scorgie

    Al Milliner
    5 Sep, 2014 – 1:54 pm

    “I want to know where you got the idea that we killed 15,000 in Sirte from.”
    “You tell us over 70,000 people have absorbed this information. Some of them will vote Yes because of it.”


    Aha! so now we know who you work for Al Milliner; the Better Together campaign.

  • Al Millliner

    Sorry to keep insisting on the point, but it is plain to every disinterested observer that a little shit military run by fudge-packing toffs couldn’t shoot 15,000 fish in a barrel. It is a slur on our little pretend British army and our little toy nuclear submarine to say they kill wogs. All we do is let the rough tough americans bring them in, then when they’re safely tied up we beat them up and and suspend them from vehicles and things and pour fizzy drinks up their nose and so on. Then we retire to barracks drink whisky from one another’s buttcracks along with other traditional homoerotic rituals of our forbears in the inbred officer class.

    We need Scotland to punch above our weight, when we’re punching helpless tied-up captives. And when we’re begging the americans to hide the evidence, a Scottish burr is much more beguiling than RP. So you see, that is why you should vote no.

  • Tim

    One of the few things that you can actually prove about surveys is that people lie. For events that repeat themselves (eg General Elections) the pollsters make educated guesses about how people lied in the past and do thus get it right more often than chance would otherwise predict. But where there is no past experience to go on they are as much in the dark as the rest of us.

  • JimmyGiro

    Craigspierre, if you want to ban my IP it would be total, as I use a Static one; it would be like banning England from all future debates on history and culture… metaphorically speaking.

  • craig Post author


    No interest in banning you at all. We often disagree, sometimes agree, but you are a genuine and valued individual with no uncanny internet powers.

  • craig Post author

    Al Milliner

    What a complete arse you are. Pictures of miles of bombed out civilian residences is not sufficient evidence of deaths. What kind of evidence do you think is available in a bombed out country that we plunged into disruption by perpetual and ongoing civil war? When the hospitals and morgues were closed down and often destroyed themselves, and the shattered bodies were interred with the rubble? You are the moral equivalent of a holocaust denier. Why exactly do you think NATO kept bombing Sirte if they weren’t killing anybody?

  • Kempe

    Craig, maybe if you stopped mentioning the 15,000 dead figure certain posters might stop pressing you for the supporting evidence you clearly don’t have. Pictures of bombed out buildings prove nothing and having to stoop to personal insults only proves you’ve lost the argument.


    Speaking of Holocaust deniers why has Al Milliner has been banned but Republicofscotland remains despite the disgusting Holocaust denial stuff he’s posted and which still remains?


  • Tim

    Futile gestures don’t have to be that fatal eg the (up til then) largest air raid in Europe since WWII:

    A combined force of 50 US (F-15E, F-16C, F/A-18D), French (MIRAGE 2000 NK2, JAGUAR), Dutch (F-16A) and British (JAGUAR, Sea Harrier) combat, surveillance and support aircraft took off from five bases in Italy (Aviano, Istriana, Gioia del Cole, Trapani and Pizza) and the British aircraft carrier Invincible in the Adriatic. The combined force took off at 12:15.

    At 12:30 they were grouped into several formations over Udbina: some bombed the runways while others took out the antiaircraft batteries. Sources on the ground said that UN trucks had been deployed along the runway (UN spokesman in Knin) as a final effort to show good will following Martic’s offer to allow observers in.

    The operation was over at around 13:30. The runway was pockmarked with craters caused by Durandal bombs created to destroy runways.

    Airport commander Colonel Ratko Dopudja later said they had used cargo bombs which sowed hundreds of mines around the airfield. Both sides (UNPROFOR and the RSK) agree that there were two fatalities and several wounded. NATO said it had taken pains to inflict as few casualties as possible and hadn’t targeted planes on the ground. http://www.tol.org/client/article/16155-the-bombing-of-udbine.html

  • Al Miliner

    Craig, be reasonable. The Americans are going to stuff the MDA up Parliament’s arse in little more than three months. If we’re not to have a base for the nuclear rubberducky that the yanks built us, please at least let them give us money for some nice aeroplanes. They’re not meant to kill wogs, except incidentally – they’re for show. When Tony Blair fluttered about Bush like his butler, and we zoomed here and there in Afghanistan, Zoom! Varoom! They let the Royals play, for Christ’s sakes. Do you really think the americans would let us do anything important, like killing thousands of Libyan civilians? Absurd. They like our plummy accents when they’re declaring victory before running pell-mell out of the chaos.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    re Sirte and the 15.000

    “What a complete arse you are. Pictures of miles of bombed out civilian residences is not sufficient evidence of deaths.”

    Indeed not.

    The recent Israeli bombardment of Gaza apparently destroyed a very considerable number of houses and caused significant damage to infrastructure.

    But deaths are generally estimated to have been around 2.100.

    Which shows, I think, that firmer evidence than pictures of (even a large number of) destroyed buildings is needed to back up the 15.000 claim.

  • craig Post author


    There was a period of a week or more during Doune the Rabbit Hole when there were no moderators available. I just did a search on “Holocaust” in comments and nothing from the commenter you mention came out. I haven’t time to read thousands of comments, but if anyone wishes to pinpoint for me any holocaust denying comments they will get deleted.

  • doug scorgie

    Al Milliner
    5 Sep, 2014 – 2:55 pm

    “Craig claimed we killed 15,000 in Sirte at a Scottish independence meeting, expressly for the purpose of undermining faith in the UK…”


    I think you’ll find that Craig said it was NATO bombing of Sirte; not bombing by the UK alone. So if Craig was undermining faith in anything it was NATO.

    As for undermining faith in the UK; our governments; politicians, security services and the Foreign Office are doing a great job of that without any help from Craig.

  • fred

    “When I first twigged what was happening I banned his IPP address, and he reappeared with a new IPP address within twenty seconds – something the vast majority of people are not equipped to do.”

    Everybody is equipped to do that just turn off your router and turn it back on again.

    Only the few who pay extra for a static address it wouldn’t work for but they are the people who would know how to use a proxi.

  • craig Post author


    There is broad sense in the comparison, and I thought of it myself, but if you search the destruction in Sirte was much more extensive even than Gaza. It is one of the things that makes me comfortable about the estimate. The main thing that makes me comfortable is that it was given at the Frontline Club by a speaker to an audience which contained many who had been there, and nobody questioned it. The Frontline Club is a great place to find what experienced correspondents really feel rather than get to broadcast.

  • craig Post author


    Yes – but to work out you had been banned and then do that, all within a minute, is pretty remarkable.

  • Republicofscotland

    Nice article Craig, I think there were more minders and photographer’s at Miliband’s address, than actual punters, a telling sign. Hold onto your hat John (Southpaw)Prescott is on his way up to Scotland next week to convince Scot’s to vote no. Two Jag’s Prescott will box a few ears if we don’t vote no.

  • Mary

    The Al Milliner pseudonym is hilarious. Is there a special department created by Bitter Together for internet trickery?

    Could you tell us about Call Me Cringe Craig. He/she also has multiple IP addresses etc.

  • Mary

    O/T I am sure that this matter is in very safe hands. After all the lady selected is a member of the establishment. Her impartiality cannot be called into question and she is above reproach.

    New sex abuse inquiry chief is named
    Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf replaces Lady Butler-Sloss as head of a government inquiry into historical child abuse.

    Butler-Sloss quits abuse inquiry
    The boy ‘trafficked for paedophiles’
    Child abuse investigations

    For the sake of the abused children let the above be true.

  • nevermind, Scotland will be free

    “Given the truly fundamental importance of this, there is a peculiar lack of polls at the moment.”

    This is extraordinary indeed, because usually by this time, coming to the end of a campaign, and an Independence campaign to boot, you would see a plethora of organisations wanting to find out the ins and outs in polls.

    This could also have more sinister reasons and I urge all the activists to stay the course, ensure that this message gets through to all, monitor all postal votes and spotcheck them. Count them by wards and add to the total at the ballot box, they should not excede overall voters.
    Make sure that the polling stations and ballot boxes are in your sight, preferably sealed by both campaigns after voting finishes.
    Ensure that nobody has a sample of your seal until the last minute.
    If you can’t seal the ballot boxes ask to weigh them with some digital scales, ask were they will be stored or transported to for counting and follow them.
    If they want to count them on the next day, not immediately after the vote, monitor the building were these boxes are kept, make sure you have a good camera and watch everyone who moves in and out, front and back during the night.
    There is no law against asking them as to what they are doing/their role is in the count/election, but ensure you do not impede or obstruct anyone’s way or free movement, reasons they might employ to move you away from the strage/office. If they are public employees they should give you some sort of answer.
    If you encounter a storage unit akin to a hive of bees, with people everywhere when there is no need, record time and film/snap them. Storage is just that, after the initial arrival and unloading there is no need for anybody but security to be present.
    Should counters be allowed?, because it will not look good if they get too hot under the collar. Asthis has nothing to do with political parties one could dispense with counters.

    Finally, only an idea, how long would it take to crowdfund money for a ‘people’s poll’ what would it cost? Can we all initiate it, get the ball rolling? for, lets say, next Wednesday?
    Moreover, who has ever done such a thing?

  • Republicofscotland

    Yesterday on PMQ’s in the House of Commons,the SNP’s Angus Neil asked David Cameron why he ran away from STV’s invitation to debate, with a public cross-examination included in the debate.

    David Cameron said live in the House of Commons that STV had ran away from him and that he would have taken up the offer.

    however STV say David Cameron is lying, no surprise there then.
    Claims by David Cameron that Scottish broadcaster STV had “run away” from his offer to appear in a referendum TV programme, have been called into question after details of communications were released by the broadcaster.

    Tonight STV has hit back after Mr Cameron claimed the it had rejected his offer to face floating voters in a question and answer type referendum special.

    The row follows an interview conducted by STV Political Editor Bernard Ponsonby at the start of the year after Mr Cameron brought his cabinet up to the North East of Scotland in a referendum campaign visit. Asked by the STV man if he would agree to appear in a programme along with floating voters, Mr Cameron said yes, adding that he would be “delighted”.

    What a spineless lying toad you are Cameron.

  • fred

    “There was a period of a week or more during Doune the Rabbit Hole when there were no moderators available. I just did a search on “Holocaust” in comments and nothing from the commenter you mention came out. I haven’t time to read thousands of comments, but if anyone wishes to pinpoint for me any holocaust denying comments they will get deleted.”

    Oh dear, didn’t you know your blog was being used to propagate Neo Nazi propaganda while you were away?

    This post onwards.


  • Republicofscotland

    The brilliant and brave journalist, Felicity Arbuthnot, wrote this about Libya in October 2011.

    The New Libya: Assassination, Ruination, Broken Promises and Body Snatching…
    Good post Mary a very touching and sombre look, at the state of Libya, after the west destroyed it, under the guise of freedom and democracy.

  • Mary

    and Patrick O’Connor on the same subject.
    The destruction of Sirte

    The Libyan city of Sirte is being systematically destroyed by National Transitional Council “rebel” fighters and NATO fighter planes. The operation stands as a monumental war crime, for which primary responsibility rests with the leading forces behind the military intervention in Libya—US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    19 October 2011

    Today the same Smoothieface Cameron stands in the Hollywood set known as Celtic Manor, complete with *cardboard fighter jets, telling us of his plans for some more war, war.

    Nato summit: David Cameron pledges troops to ‘multinational’ force

    PS If only these pea brained but dangerous politicians were dummies too.

    Nato summit: where tanks and fighter planes are par for the course
    Military hardware on display at Newport golf resort hosting summit is intended to showcase UK defence capacity

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