sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul

Wings Over Scotland


Raising the level of debate

Posted on January 16, 2013 by

Ten days ago, Scottish Labour “deputy” leader Anas Sarwar issued a press release in his capacity as head of Labour’s referendum campaign, noting that “[Nicola Sturgeon] is right to say there has been a lot of negative campaigning. We will be raising the level of debate and ensuring that Scotland gets the level of debate it deserves.”

Here are some extracts from Sarwar and his independence-fearing colleagues’ contributions to yesterday’s epic House of Commons “debate” (in which one side got a little over 10 times as long to put its case as the other) on the motion giving the Scottish Parliament the power to conduct the independence referendum.

Make your own judgement as to how they did, and the level of debate they apparently consider Scotland deserves.

————————————————————————————————

Mr Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West) (Lab/Co-op):

“We see no reason for delaying the referendum until the end of 2014, except for perceived partisan advantage. The referendum will be timed to take place after the anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn, which is celebrated mainly because Scots slew large numbers of English people, and after the Commonwealth games in Glasgow. The fact that those events will take place before the referendum gives people the opportunity to celebrate the politics of identity and ethnicity.

We thought that Scotland in the 21st and 22nd century would be looking forward, and would be progressive and positive. Celebrating the murder of hundreds or thousands of English people does not necessarily provide the best base on which to move forward.”

Jim McGovern (Dundee West) (Lab):

“Does [Mr Davidson] find it somewhat odd that the former England football captain, Terry Butcher, will be entitled to vote in the referendum, but Sir Alex Ferguson will not?”

Jim Sheridan (Paisley and Renfrewshire North) (Lab):

“Does my hon. Friend agree that one of the nauseating things about some of the people who donate money to the SNP from abroad is that they live abroad to avoid paying tax, and yet they want to tell us in Scotland, who pay our taxes over here, how to live? That includes Sean Connery.”

Mr Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West) (Lab/Co-op):

“It is true that not only will Terry Butcher be able to vote and Alex Ferguson will not, but according to the Team GB information that we have, of the 11 Scottish Olympic medallists, only one is reported to be resident in Scotland. If people are good enough to represent Scotland at the Olympics and win medals on Scotland’s behalf, one would have thought that the rules would be sufficiently flexible to allow them to participate in the referendum.”

[Absolutely nobody, of course, “represented Scotland” or “won medals on Scotland’s behalf” at the Olympics. Scotland is not a participating nation at the Olympics – at least not yet, anyway. The athletes in question represented “Great Britain”.

But let’s see if we can get this straight: It’s disgusting that the referendum should be about ethnicity, but ethnic Scots who don’t live in Scotland (like Alex Ferguson) should get the vote, in preference to non-ethnic Scots who do live in Scotland (like Terry Butcher), but other ethnic Scots who don’t live in Scotland (like Sean Connery) shouldn’t have any kind of say at all? Have we got that right?

Basically, the referendum franchise according to Labour whould be “ethnically-Scottish people, regardless of where they live, unless they might vote Yes”.]

Mrs Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest) (Con):

“I remember Donald Dewar, to whom I pay great tribute for the work he did on behalf of Scotland and the United Kingdom, standing at the Dispatch Box when we debated what is now section 29 of the Act, and saying that it was not his intention for there ever to be a situation in which a Government of Scotland, or Scottish Parliament, would wish to conduct a referendum on the independence of Scotland.”

Ian Murray (Edinburgh South) (Lab):

“My hon. Friend has just mentioned the late, great Donald Dewar, who said that the decade from 1998 should not be a decade of stifling the Scottish Parliament, but since the SNP got a majority in that Parliament, has not its whole ethos indeed been stifled?

What we have seen since 2007—although more so since 2011—is a party that has taken the wonderful institution that is the Scottish Parliament and turned it into little more than a talking shop for the ruling party.”

Mr Alistair Darling (Edinburgh South West) (Lab):

“We are passing all responsibility and authority from this House to the Scottish Parliament. There is absolutely nothing wrong in that; I support that. In practice, the transfer is not just to the Scottish Parliament but to the SNP, which runs the thing as a pretty tight ship – opposition is not usually tolerated – and not just to the SNP, because, as we know, the SNP is very much run by one individual. We need to be aware that that is what we are doing.”

Anas Sarwar (Glasgow Central) (Lab):

“We have a majority SNP Government in the Scottish Parliament, but that is not a democratic place in the conventional sense; it is a dictatorship of one man sitting in Bute House, who will do not what is in Scotland’s interests, but what is in his own or his party’s interests.”

[The only rational interpretation we can possibly put on these comments is that the “ethos” intended for the Scottish Parliament by the late Mr Dewar was that it should never under any circumstances be run by the SNP.

Apparently majority government is “strong” and a desirable thing if it’s Tony Blair or Gordon Brown having absolute control of a Westminster parliament on 35% of the vote and running it from their sofa, but a “dictatorship” if it’s an SNP leader commanding a majority at Holyrood on 45% of the vote.]

Mr Michael McCann (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow) (Lab):

“We all share some trepidation about the motivation of the people who will receive the power if the order is passed. Some people once mused that devolution would see off Scottish nationalism for ever. Others thought that the voting system in Scotland was so cleverly devised that no single party would ever seize control, and certainly not the Scottish National Party. How wrong can you get?”

[…and should the people of Scotland be so foolish as to grant that “dictator” power over the running of the entire country, he’ll probably start another World War or ethnically-clease Glasgow and send all the Labour voters to a slaughterhouse as sausage-meat or something. Because we can’t be sure of his “motivations”, the slippery wee bastard who “seized control” by somehow unaccountably winning two democratic elections.]

Mr Michael McCann (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow) (Lab):

“Questions have been asked about the permanent secretary and how he behaves towards the SNP Government. We have to be assured that the people at the top of the civil service in Scotland can give truth to power, and we must know that, if questions are raised about the legality or fairness of certain decisions, the civil service will stand up to its political masters.

There are 30,000 UK public servants in Scotland working for a range of different Government Departments. They have to have the ability to express their views in this debate and be free to speak. I would therefore welcome an assurance from the Secretary of State that those individuals will have that freedom and that it will not impinge on their contracts of employment, under which they have to be impartial in their duties as civil servants.”

Mr Alistair Darling (Edinburgh South West) (Lab):

“I am afraid that I do not have confidence that the permanent secretary at the Scotland Office will have any control over the SNP. I suspect that, even if he gets round to raising the odd word of concern, he will be told in no uncertain terms where to go.”

Cathy Jamieson (Kilmarnock and Loudoun) (Lab/Co-op):

“Anyone who is seen to disagree with independence finds themselves subjected to cyber-warfare through the Twitter feeds; or, if they work in the voluntary or charitable sector, finds that they receive a phone call; or, if they are a business, finds that they do not get invited to the same circle of events.”

[Under the Evil Nationalist Reich, civil servants will be mere slaves of the dictatorship. Charity workers will be threatened. Businessmen will be ostracised. Heretics may be sent to "re-education" camps, never to be heard of again. Neighbour will inform on neighbour, all the while in terror that they will be the next to be denounced as an enemy of the state. The McStasi will crush all dissent. Etc etc.]

Mr Alan Reid (Argyll and Bute) (LD):

“The evidence that the Committee took from opinion poll experts was that the question is not just biased, but ridiculously biased, and that no self-respecting polling organisation would ever ask such a question.”

Mrs Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest) (Con):

“It is such a biased question that even I would answer yes—of course, Scotland should be, is and always has been an independent country. It is a non-question. There is no point going through the rigmarole of a referendum, spending hundreds of millions of pounds, to ask a meaningless question. If even I would answer yes, the facts speak for themselves: the question is enormously biased.”

[Is the referendum actually going to cost “hundreds of millions of pounds”? Do we have a source for that? It seems rather a lot. And is it even possible for a question to be “ridiculously, enormously biased” and “meaningless” at the same time?]

Mr Alistair Darling (Edinburgh South West) (Lab):

“Any impartial observer would say that the question proposed by the Scottish Government is slanted. People on both sides have mentioned the problem that the SNP is the player and the referee at one and the same time, which does not strike me as fair.”

Mr Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West) (Lab/Co-op):

“We have already produced, as Members present will be aware, a report asking, “Do you agree this is a biased question?” It was undoubtedly the case that every professional and expert with whom we discussed the issue and from whom we took evidence said that the question posed by the SNP was biased.”

Graeme Morrice (Livingston) (Lab):

“The SNP has already attempted to use its majority in the Scottish Parliament to propose questions it believes will deliver its desired outcome. Those questions have been deemed biased by the cross-party Scottish Affairs Committee.”

[The same “impartial”, “cross-party” committee which is entirely populated by Unionist members, the only SNP representative having been intimidated out of attending by threats of violence from the chairman, and which displays its neutrality by performing its work under the title “The Referendum On Separation For Scotland”.]

Margaret Curran (Glasgow East) (Lab):

“For many years I have argued with the SNP, which wants to say that the problem facing Scotland is the English.”

Rory Stewart (Penrith and The Border) (Con):

“Independence will not cause the war between England and Scotland to start again. Those days of savagery, murder, pillage and rape – what we saw in Cumbria for 400 years – will not return, because the world has changed.”

[Only for that reason? Despite the fact that the SNP hate the English so very much? Especially those damned Cumbrians.]

————————————————————————————————

We make the jokes. But astonishingly, not a single Scottish or UK newspaper reported on any of the insanity above. The Herald led with stories about horsemeat being found in cheap Tesco burgers and a helicopter crash in London, despite officially deeming itself a “regional” newspaper concerned with Scotland. The Scotsman’s top headlines were the horsemeat story and American cyclist Lance Armstrong appearing on an American TV show, not elected Scottish MPs calling the Scottish Government a corrupt, anti-democratic, anti-English dictatorship.

Cathy Jamieson was not called upon to provide examples of voluntary-sector workers receiving mysterious and presumably menacing “phone calls”. Michael McCann and Alistair Darling were not challenged on the assertion that the head of the Scottish civil service was in gross dereliction of his duty by “going native”.

Margaret Curran was allowed to get away with the appalling lie that the SNP blame the English for everything. Anas Sarwar was not pulled up on calling the Scottish Parliament with its 63 non-SNP MSPs out of 129 a “one-man dictatorship”, nor indeed on whether his comments represented a “raising of the level of debate“.

The absurd inconsistencies in Labour’s muddled pronouncements on eligibility criteria were not addressed. Ian Davidson was not questioned over the claim that the timing of the referendum was decided in order to make it about “celebrating the murder of hundreds or thousands of English people”, even though the only reason the referendum didn’t take place in 2010 was that Labour spent years blocking a minority Scottish Government from holding it.

(And just by the by, is killing an invading force in the defence of your homeland really “murder”? That’s going to have some pretty serious implications for international war-crimes law, we’d have thought.)

The debate was over by early evening, with many of the comments having been made by lunchtime, so there’s no excuse for newspapers not reporting it. Readers can draw their own conclusions about their total silence. But whatever those may be, we feel safe in asserting that neither the disgraceful things said in the Palace of Westminster yesterday, nor the complete lack of mention of them in Scotland’s free press, represents “the level of debate Scotland deserves”.

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  1. 16 01 13 12:50

    Grounded | laidbackviews

70 to “Raising the level of debate”

  1. Norrie says:

    Thought MP Rory Stewart made an intelligent and thoughtful contribution although mostly off subject. But helpful in that it made the other, mostly Scottish Unionist, look like the raving, straw grasping, desperate, biased bampots they are.

      

  2. Broon says:

    As usual a great analysis and an informative view.  However you fail to mention any significant (or otherwise) contribution by SNP MPs during the debate.

    In the interest of balance of course 

      

  3. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    I hope someone was recording that guff so it can be put into viral ads closer to the referendum so as to remind the public exactly how little our elected representatives think of us!!!

    On the other hand, maybe we wont see those ads as we’ll all be out in the streets celebrating the murder of hundreds of thousands of English… (How big was the English Army?)

      

  4. Taighnamona says:

    I listened to part of the ‘debate’…as much as I could without being sick. I read the transcripts of these ‘honourable members’. I waited this morning to read and hear the spin from our media…perhaps it was too sickening for them too. You have a way with word rev Stu and I thank you for the honesty that is this blog.

      

  5. Doug Daniel says:

    But whatever those may be, we feel safe in asserting that neither the disgraceful things said in the Palace of Westminster yesterday, nor the complete lack of mention of them in Scotland’s free press, represents “the level of debate Scotland deserves”.

    Unless, of course, you feel Scotland deserves nothing but total contempt.

    I could not believe some of the comments being made yesterday. If the SNP had made a fraction of similar comments about England, it would be front page news. The fact that the BBC felt free to show Sarwar’s “dictatorship” clip without passing judgement on it speaks volumes for the mindset of the media. As far as they’re concerned, nothing out of the ordinary was said yesterday.

    “A bunch of self-loathing Scots slagging off Scotland? Ach, that’s par for course. Besides, every word of it was true.”

    Well done MPs – you’ve just given us a whole litany of examples to show people as to why we need independence. Even the most feart undecided voter would surely have trouble watching this nonsense without feeling deeply, deeply insulted. 

      

  6. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “However you fail to mention any significant (or otherwise) contribution by SNP MPs during the debate.”

    I blinked and missed the two brief and truncated time slots they were given in the six hours.

      

  7. Swello says:

    I’m actually more surprised that The Herald or Scotsman haven’t picked up on the absence of SNP MPs at one stage (“SNP Walkout!”), given the moaning that went on about it afterwards by the Lab MPs. 

    Given the volume of questions on the Electoral Commission, that would seem to have been an easy angle for them too… 

      

  8. cath says:

    “It is such a biased question that even I would answer yes—of course, Scotland should be, is and always has been an independent country. It is a non-question. There is no point going through the rigmarole of a referendum, spending hundreds of millions of pounds, to ask a meaningless question. If even I would answer yes, the facts speak for themselves: the question is enormously biased”
    Raises the obvious question: what is the no camp arguing against in that case?
    The facts do indeed speak for themselves, as she agrees, in that Scotland should be independent. We’re being asked the question because we’re currently…oh ffs what is the point?

      

  9. Ian Grant says:

    I watched most of the “debate” and became more and more amazed then angry as Labour MP after Labour MP ( with the honourable exception of Mark Lazarowicz) lied and abused Scotland, its people, its parliament and its Government. Thanks for documenting the whole sorry event. What nauseates me more,however, is the total deliberate non coverage of this in the so-called quality press. I thought press bias could get no worse but I am wrong. While the Yes campaign should stay positive, there surely must be a route to exposing this bias.

    All I can say is thank God for you, Bella, Newsnet etc who at least just about keep me sane; we just have to get your writings out to more folk before they are totally brainwashed. 

      

  10. Rolf says:

    The BBC Radio Scotland didn’t fail to pick up on these comments. Indeed, yesterday evening they were headlining with clips of Sarwar’s dictatorship comments, playing them without any reply or commentary as if they were the greatest words of truth and wisdom.
    Today we have a positive indy ref story (Salmond’s speech re a Scots constitution) surely BBC Scotland and Call Kaye will be going to town on it as they would a negative story? No, they prefer horsemeat.

      

  11. Ray says:

    I get more and more infuriated with these fupping baxtards as each day passes. These comments made by regular Joe, fair enough. But Members of Parliament, live on television, and they can simply get away with it without being challenged on it? Douglas Daniel above has it spot on, methinks.

      

  12. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    “we just have to get your writings out to more folk before they are totally brainwashed.”
     
    Tweet, Like on Facebook and e-mail others, thats how to spread the word!

    But remember these articles and when the topic pops up in the MSM again (as it always does – 3 month regurgitation of scares) then post a link on news sites, facebook etc…

    The more people we can spread these articles to the better and everyone needs to help!

      

  13. Albalha says:

    Re media coverage interestingly Rep Scot played the clip of Sarwar but not much more, an editorial decision is made, and I’d reckon B Taylor has a fair influence, which is not always the case for reporters/presenters.

    And of course the irrelevant Newnight Scottish Land led with the Forsyth guff, oh well maybe we can look forward to the BBC Scotland chaps being given a forensic, incisive grilling soon in front of the committee, we’ll see. 

     

      

  14. Finlay says:

    I’m intrigued, how it is argued by the unionists especially the Epping Forest Tory MP that the question proposed is ‘unbelievably biased’.

    By what measure? I was under the impression the SNP’s proposed question was given a thumbs up of being neutral by an independent someone/somebody (can’t remember who – can anyone remember?) and even Ruth Davidson saying the question was ok.

    If it was up to the unionists, at least going by this debate in the section 30 order, ‘Do you want to be abandoned in the world, economically and socially broken also being ruled by a dictatorship lead by Alex Salmond?’, and they would argue that this was ‘fair’, fair to who!?

    This is 2012 people!

    The shocking thing is looking on twitter along #bettertogether hashtag – some people are actually buying this vile poisonous nonsense and some will no doubt cast their vote off the back of it. This is why it is important to stand up and voice out that comments made in HoC yesterday were just wholly unacceptable and we need to be seen challenging this standard of debate. Its just a shameful the media hasn’t discussed it allowing these discussions to come into public consciousness.

    Unionist argument: its only fair if we get our way. 

      

  15. cath says:

    “These comments made by regular Joe, fair enough. But Members of Parliament, live on television,”
     
    That’s what amazes me. These are the kind of comments you see on British Unity’s Facebook page, and I always tend to just ignore them as the kind of random trolls you get on the internet. To hear this kind of stuff from the mouths of our own MPs, in Westminster, live on TV, in a recorded debate going into Hansard for prosperity?? It beggars belief.
     
     

      

  16. Pa Broon says:

    It goes without saying, the things being said yesterday were entirely out of order and I have no doubt, none of it will find its way into any newspapers or onto any TV. If a comparable debate took place in Holyrood, we’d never hear the end of it.

    Behind that though, is the the thought process that led to them (the MP’s quoted above) thinking that saying those things would somehow forward their cause. Obviously I am biased, but who do they hope to win over with that kind of oratory exactly?

    I suppose fervent unionists (the usual suspects) might feel a faint stirring in their pants, but surely people in the middle, who just haven’t decided wouldn’t be swayed by that kind of rhetoric.

    More and more, I think they’re all just trying to convince themselves, like sticking their fingers in their ears and singing lalalalalalala hoping it’ll go away.

    Davidson really is a daft harpy, Sarwar on the other hand is a gift.

      

  17. cath says:

    “I’m intrigued, how it is argued by the unionists especially the Epping Forest Tory MP that the question proposed is ‘unbelievably biased’.”
     
    I suspect this, to an extent, sums up the major problem the unionists now have, which is entirely of their own making. And that is they forced a one question referendum. A straight, “shouldScotlandbe independent” yes or no? They are perhaps only now waking up to the reality that such a one question referendum makes it blindingly obvious that yes, of course Scotland should be independent. Arguing otherwise is not a good side of the debate to be on. Which means all they have left is abuse.

      

  18. Albalha says:

    @finlay

    Yes R Davidson said

    What the first minister posited today is a fair and decisive legal question, which I welcome, and we now need to ensure that it is asked in a legal referendum.     

    And are you thinking of Professor Matt Qvortrup?   

      

  19. Doug Daniel says:

    Finlay – let’s face it, the question is “unbelievably biased” because it dares to have the word “independence” in it. I seem to recall Eleanor Laing’s rambling nonsense about Scotland already being independent being nothing more than a long-winded precursor to saying “it should be separate, because Scotland will separate”, at which point I envisaged Scotland been cut in half along the M8 or something.

      

  20. Clarinda says:

    After many wars – particularly WW11 – those who spurned their own and plotted against them were termed collaborators and dealt with in a severe manner. I’m not suggesting for a second this is war but I’m genuinely horrified that so many of our own can muster so much bitter vitriol against their own nation’s best interests and democratic leaders. It appears to be such a viseral response that there is perhaps an infectious psycho-pathology driving these ignorant, arrogant and incoherent outbursts. Mythomania?
    As the leader of the majority of these contemptible ‘parliamentarians’ does Mr E Miliband agree with or sanction this behaviour. I suggest, as this is the best they have to offer as no  form of debate appears to be within their cognitive grasp – we must try to ignore it as best we can and rely upon the electorate (who defied the last election bias) to once again disprove the despicable insult to our intelligence that manifests itself in prejudiced MSM and it’s political apparatchiks.

    Will Mr Darling be reporting on what he heard on his ‘listening’ tour - unfortunately I could not catch his attention as I certainly would have wanted him to listen to me.  

     

      

  21. Bill Fraser says:

    For those of you who know how to copy this for posterity the whole debate is here
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_commons/newsid_9785000/9785454.stm

      

  22. james morton says:

    At the risk of pushing hyperbole to its limits, I will say this about the debate.
    It was a self indulgent little temper tantrum by an array of cartoonishly inept bunglers, nabobs, natterjacks and bloviating fools. For nearly 3 hours they say and carped, moaned, whinged, sniped, sneered their way through this “debate” and do you know what I got out of it, apart from indigestion?

    These utterly worthless cretins STILL haven’t realised that they lost in 2011. They STILL haven’t twigged that the timing of the referendum, the question and indeed the right to hold it, was never for one second in their gift to hand out. It was David Cameron’s Government and do you know what, he signed the agreement and passed it to Salmond. Salmond got everything he wanted, absolutely everything. And this went down about as well as a cup of cold vomit with Davidson and his chums. I also saw an awareness that they have just realised that probably should have insisted on two question referendum, but even that opportunity has passed them by. There chance to do so, was in 2007 when the SNP was a minority administration…but noooo, they blocked that one and slapped themselves on the back because they were so clever.

    Now post 2011, they are realising how limited their influence is. Their hatred is simply making them mad, and Scotland is watching. It may not be in the MSM but its here on the web…the one area they don’t understand.

    I also learned one other thing.

    Labour – libdems – conservatives – are Arseholes.

      

  23. muttley79 says:

    “It is true that not only will Terry Butcher be able to vote and Alex Ferguson will not”…

    “Does [Mr Davidson] find it somewhat odd that the former England football captain, Terry Butcher, will be entitled to vote in the referendum, but Sir Alex Ferguson will not?”

     According to Scottish Labour MPs people who are English living in Scotland should not have the vote in the referendum (in other words voters who are presently on the electoral register of Scotland), while Scots who are living in England should have the right to vote.

    “The referendum will be timed to take place after the anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn, which is celebrated mainly because Scots slew large numbers of English people”

    “For many years I have argued with the SNP, which wants to say that the problem facing Scotland is the English.”


    However, according to the same group of Scottish Labour MPs, it is the SNP who are anti-English.

      

  24. iain taylor says:

    BBC Radio “Scotland”‘s 7pm news last night ran the story, in the sense that they re-broadcast a sound clip of Sarwar’s dictatorship claim. Not in the context of challenging the claim, but in the context of reinforcing it as fact. 

      

  25. Barontorc says:

    Cath says – ‘…To hear this kind of stuff from the mouths of our own MPs, in Westminster, live on TV, in a recorded debate going into Hansard for prosperity?? It beggars belief.’ And to totally agree with what she says – I have to ask – just what is the regulatory procedure within HoC to make formal complaints of utterances that would be slanderous if repeated outside its protected status?

    When comments are committed into written form by Hansard that are thereafter accessible by the public, or indeed transmitted into the public domain by live broadcast, the recorded transmission of these utterances themselves are then libelous.

    I cannot believe that this is left open-ended to carry such slanderous statements without the right of reply also on the record. 

      

  26. Erchie says:

    re Civil Servants

    If Civil Servants are allowed to publically discuss their views on Indy then some might speak in favour, you never know. Not all will be against.

     As it is whatever their views they are expected to be silent. I don’t even think they’d be allowed to sign the declaration if they were so minded.

     The Unionists are insulting Civil Servants amongst all the others they are having a go at here, whatever their viewpoints they have to uphold higher standards than MPs it seems 

      

  27. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “For those of you who know how to copy this for posterity the whole debate is here http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_commons/newsid_9785000/9785454.stm

    That’s actually only the first two hours. The other four are here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_commons/newsid_9784000/9784877.stm

      

  28. muttley79 says:

    @Scott/Sneekyboy
     
    On the other hand, maybe we wont see those ads as we’ll all be out in the streets celebrating the murder of hundreds of thousands of English… (How big was the English Army?)


    I think the English army at Bannockburn was around 40,000, with the Scots army at around 8,000.  Therefore, perhaps unsurprisingly Davidson is wrong with his “murder of hundreds of thousands of English” comment…
    Given that plenty of English soldiers fled the battle, including King Edward II, Davidson’s claim is all the dafter.  Also, it was a medieval battle, and so the notion that both Scottish and English soldiers were murdered is ridiculous in the extreme.

     

      

  29. Dal Riata says:

    I watched most of the ‘debate’, tired to force myself to keep watching, but I had to give up. To see and hear those people basically rubbish my country, my country’s aspirations for betterment, my people, and by association, me, was shocking, enraging and damn distressful…Distressful? Yes. That those mostly Scottish MPs could stand up and say these things without rebuttal or refutation was, to me, unconscionable.  I had to switch it off, it was really, really spoiling my day! (and my health!)

    Thanks Stu for the transcribes above. As I’ve mentioned before, there should be something like a National Collective of Shame, for historical purposes, of all the things said and done, and all the things NOT said and NOT done, by all those with vested interests colluding to deprive Scotland of her independence so that further generations in an independent Scotland will be aware of the deviousness of ‘power’ in these times.  

      

  30. Barontorc says:

    Erchie – re Civil Servants.

    It was reported some time ago that the top Scottish civil servant was indeed tactically kept out of the loop by his UK peers, so much so that items, presumable important to Scotland were being discussed at their level and behind the back of Scottish interests.

    The whole UK system is riven with bias and exclusion, which without any doubt has ill-served the Scottish people for centuries.

    The dumb acceptance of that fact is a deplorable condemnation of erstwhile Labour and Tory guardians who acquiesced with their UK masters to ‘govern and protect’ Scotland’s interests but did no more than sell the jerseys, is only now being shown up since we got a government dedicated and capable of properly protecting these interests. The UK honchos just  don’t like that.

    The worm’s turning big time! 

      

  31. Morag says:

    Muttley, I just read a post from a retired teacher over on NNS, who said that the English army was thought to be about 2,000 mounted knights and 12,500 infantry, some of whom were of course Welsh (particularly the archers).

    I don’t know what the casualty levels were, but I’d have thought 10% would have been bad.  So, fewer than than 2,000 English and Welsh soldiers killed in action, becomes “hundreds of thousands of English people murdered.”

    I’m sitting here this morning with my jaw on the floor, scarcely able to credit that these guys actually said these things.

      

  32. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    In fairness, he said “hundreds OR thousands”.

      

  33. Barontorc says:

    Morag – Davidson et al are Goebells’ big-lie dunderheids and disgraces to Scotland.

      

  34. tattieboggle says:

    do you agree that the labour party is full of slobbering self loathing scots ?

      

  35. Ysabelle says:

    These Labour MPs had a career path plotted out for themselves, which involved being cabinet ministers, and maybe in their secret wee heart of hearts prime minister one day, and striding the world stage as Important People getting their photo taken with Presidents and celebrities and royalty. And eventually they’d get a great pension, a title, an ermine cloak and another bench to park their arses. And the Scottish National Party, the Scottish government, Scotland’s First Minister, and the Scottish people might just spoil it all for them. Their rage knows no bounds.  

      

  36. muttley79 says:

    @Morag
     
    I did not realise the English army at Bannockburn was as small as that.  I thought it was 40,000 for some reason.

      

  37. Albalha says:

    @barontorc

    I’ve just e mailed the House of Commons information centre (take queries re Speaker’s duties) posing a few thoughts on why I think unparliamentary language was allowed to pass without challenge, not holding my breath though.

       

         

      

  38. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I did not realise the English army at Bannockburn was as small as that. I thought it was 40,000 for some reason.”

    Wiki says: “Even so, the force that left Berwick-upon-Tweed on 17 June 1314 was impressive: it comprised between 2,000–3,000 horse (probably closer to 2,000) and 16,000 foot.”

      

  39. Doug Daniel says:

    tattieboggle: “do you agree that the labour party is full of slobbering self loathing scots?”

    That must be a biased question, because I find myself instinctively agreeing with it.

      

  40. Macart says:

    That was a debate?????????? :o

    Didn’t look like much debating was going on. I saw the collective ill will of Westminster aimed at the democratically elected (and most popular) Scottish government. Which isn’t even shorthand for saying that the mad, bad and dangerous to know Scottish electorate screwed up by voting them into power. How very dare we not re-elect the same numpties who have dropped the whole of the UK in the shitter time after time.

    Vote YES and help rid us of these poisonous careerists. 

      

  41. Albalha says:

    And of course didn’t the Scottish lowland nobility fight on the English side at Bannockburn?

      

  42. Oldnat says:

    muttley 79 @Morag

    All figures for Bannockburn are estimates, but Edward II demanded his nobles provide 22,140 infantry from England & Wales plus 4,000 from Ireland. Normally, only about half of these demands were met by the nobility. A contemporary chronicle gives the cavalry numbers at 2,000.

    We retired history teachers know a thing or two (though clearly a number of our colleagues were pig ignorant! :-(  ) 

      

  43. Erchie says:

    Albaha

    no 

      

  44. David McCann says:

    Does anyone out there seriously believe that our national broadcaster is capable of presenting a proper debate on independence?
    The BBC, for 50 years not only allowed Savile to present their programmes, whilst  knowing that he was abusing young victims and hospital patients,  they actually covered it up, when told about it. They also maligned an innocent man in the process. They only publish news as they define it.
    Our ‘national broadcaster’ is a national disgrace.

      

  45. Stevie Cosmic says:

    They’re probably kicking themselves that they didn’t think earlier to make this 6 hour  hate-fest an endurance event at the olympics; I reckon Scotland would have achieved a record number of gold medals, surpassing even the likes of Phelps, based on the astonishing performances of Scottish members of that house yesterday.
     
    I reckon it’s all been said in this thread already. They can’t be allowed to get away with this though. There is definitely a case for a concerted web campaign to remind people of just what was said in that chamber yesterday.

      

  46. David McCann says:

    Just a thought. Could someone out there make a short video of the worst comments, and string them all together and load them up to Youtube?

      

  47. Craig P says:

    Thanks Stu for going through the debate and picking out the choicest phrases. A gold star to James Morton for ‘a self indulgent little temper tantrum by an array of cartoonishly inept bunglers, nabobs, natterjacks and bloviating fools.’
    :)

    Dalriata – I am sure generations to come will laugh in open mouthed astonishment at today’s Labour MPs. They remind me of the Women’s National Anti-Suffrage League and similar organisations from a hundred years ago, women who argued that women shouldn’t get the vote. Sounds crazy now, and history can surely only show Scotland’s last Labour MPs in a similar light.

      

  48. EdinScot says:

    I must confess i didnt have the stomach to watch this debate and immerse myself in their muck.  They have previous  and i remember watching one such debate and the shocking partisan and diabolical treatment aimed at SNP mp Pete Wishart.  Then i had the misfortune to witness live the now infamous ‘who cares’ by bitter Davidson.  These debates and PMQ tell me that the corruption palace on the Thames isnt fit to lace the people of Scotlands boots and the sooner we free ourselves off our shackles the better for all our health!

    The writing was on the wall for those Scottish MPs when the people said Yes to a Scottish Parliament.  This journey has only been going in one direction and its not theirs!  Cue their masks falling off their sorry faces to let us all see the undiluted xxx version and it aint a pretty sight.  It wasnt about representing their constituencies north of the border, it was only ever about them and how they could feather their own nests with their ermine and gold plated pensions.  With their vile outbursts totally disrespecting us and our country they have shown theyre not fit to know the meaning of being sirs. dames, lords and ladies. 

    The pressure is getting to them of that there is no doubt.  Funny that they keep insisting albeit in trying to convince each other that it will be a no vote.  You would think then that they’d be cool and calm and inwardly content but they are the polar opposite.  I think they know there is a massive risk to them seeing out their days at the trough  and boy are they sore! I think theyve rumbled their time may be up.  Lets turn the screw by spreading these links to all we know and beyond, finish them off which is no more than they deserve and ridding ourselves off them once and for all which we truly deserve. We must say yes next year!

      

  49. Elizabeth Sutherland says:

    @ Old Nat,

    O/T. As you are a retired history teacher, have you read the book ” If Freedom Fail” by Moray McLaren. (Bannockburn, Flodden, The Union). Dedicated to the Brave of Both Nations. 

      

  50. dadsarmy says:

    Thanks Rev, good stuff. Well, by good, I mean bad, in fact, diabolical, shameful.

    Others thought that the voting system in Scotland was so cleverly devised that no single party would ever seize control, and certainly not the Scottish National Party. How wrong can you get?”
    (Michael McCann, Labour)

    Very telling remark – clearly it would have been OK if it was Labour, not the SNP.

    Apparenly at Bannockburn, 400 Scots were killed, and 11,000 English.

      

  51. Luigi says:

    “RH Ian Davidson, Bannockburn Revisionist.” That’s a new one. Desperate stuff.

      

  52. Luigi says:

    According to Ian Davidson, 100,000 Englishmen got a “doing” at Bannockburn.

      

  53. Morag says:

    [citation required]

      

  54. Macart says:

    One thing I think it is vitally important to remember in the face of this blatant provocation is that they want us to respond in kind. They are desperate to see us dig down to their level and start a slanging match. We cannot, must not do this. We must always contrast and compare. The Scottish government, the YES campaign and by far the greater extent of independence bloggers and posters have kept a positive vision of Scotland to the fore at all times. We do have a great wee country and population and it is capable of so much more when given the chance. From yesterdays performance it has been ably demonstrated just what Westminster and its MPs think of the Scottish electorate, the referendum and our ability to stand on our own two feet.

    Their call in recent days to raise the tone of the debate has been shown to be a sham, a blatant lie and it is there for all the world to see. Let’s leave the lies, negativity and indeed the Westminster posse where they belong……. way, waaaay behind us. We’re better than that and they know it, their only hope is a dog fight. I’d rather see them fight among themselves (as usual).

      

  55. Peter A Bell says:

    His “dictatorship” remark was yet another case of Sarwar’s mouth working at several times the speed of his meagre brain. He operates under a standing instruction to lash out at the SNP at every contrived opportunity. He pursues this nefarious remit with a mindlessness that would be extraordinary among the denizens of of the lunatic fringe of British nationalism, never mind the leadership of a political party that, one assumes, still aspires to power in Scotland.

    Sarwar’s only talent is his ability to memorise the SNP-bashing sound-bites fed to him by British Labour propagandists with measurably more wits than himself. He then parrots what he hopes are the appropriate words and phrases in speeches, interviews and debates like some kind of automaton.

    His task is not exactly onerous. There are simple computer programs which could perform it faultlessly. And it is made as simple as possible for him by his party bosses who can surely have little confidence in Sarwar’s ability to fly solo. Nonetheless, he manages to fuck things up with a frequency that would drive his operators to despair were they not so intent on maintaining the pretence that he is a one of Better Together’s “big hitters”.

    I personally witnessed one of Sarwar’s gaffes some weeks ago when I attended Brian Taylor’s (remember him?) Big Debate last time it was in Perth. I don’t recall the specifics of the question that had been put to the panel, but it was something to do with the army. Annabelle Ewing had spoken and Brian called on Sarwar to give his response. The first words out of his mouth were a pre-packed smear about Annabelle having “disrespected the troops”.

    I swear that, had the room been just a little quieter, you would have been able to hear the brows furrowing in perplexed consternation as even the unionists in the crowd tried to figure out WTF this clown was on about.

    All credit to Brian Taylor, he made no secret of the fact that he shared the audience’s bemusement and immediately asked Sarwar to explain how his scurrilous accusation could possibly be justified by anything that Annabelle Ewing had said. Cue several minutes of meaningless waffling from the bold Anas.

    Sarwar had simply thrown out the “disrespecting the troops” remark because that is the line his minders had instructed him to take whenever he heard certain trigger words. He probably had a couple of other stock responses on file but, lacking the wits to figure out for himself which one was required, he had to guess. And he often gets it wrong.

    A final point on this story. Had Sarwar appeared in the slightest bit embarrassed by his faux pas it might have been possible to feel some sympathy for the man. Or at least the empathy that would be natural for anybody who has ever misspoken in a public discussion – and who hasn’t? But Sarwar was totally unfazed. There was no hint that he even realised what a fool he had made of himself. He either didn’t understand that he’d screwed up, or he he was perfectly comfortable with peddling totally unjustifiable smears.

    Either way, I marked Sarwar’s card that day. And nothing has happened since to alter my low opinion of the man.

      

  56. Ian Grant says:

    A ‘highlights’ video for youtube featuring Davidson, Sarwar et al at their worst would be great. Even better would be a 30 sec excerpt of the worst which could be incorporated in YES broadcasts in the run up to the referendum to provide a contrast to the positive vision which we have for Scotland as an independent country. Negative-yes, but this footage has to be seen by the rest of the country so they can see the contempt with which Scotland is held in Westminster.

      

  57. Albalha says:

    @Erchie

    I was being slightly mischievous, though to be fair there were Scottish defectors from the English and a fair few that weren’t terribly keen on Bruce as King who fell in line post the 1314 victory. 

      

  58. muttley79 says:

    @Peter A Bell
     
    But Sarwar was totally unfazed. There was no hint that he even realised what a fool he had made of himself. He either didn’t understand that he’d screwed up, or he he was perfectly comfortable with peddling totally unjustifiable smears.


    I think it would probably be the latter option of the two.  I saw the last BBC Scotland debate on independence last year, and Sarwar appeared on it.  Tom Devine, the historian, was also on it.  He was not impressed with Sarwar at all, and I think Devine is a Labour man.   

      

  59. Dal Riata says:

    Here’s all of yesterday’s ‘debate’ from the, no doubt unintentional, but hilariously named site, They Work For You.

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2013-01-15a.742.0&s=speaker%3A11185#g786.0

    The horror! The horror!

     

      

  60. David McCann says:

    @ McCart
    Absolutely agree. Let them damn themselves by their own utterances. I must say that having viewed Angus Robertson’s and Pete Wishart’s contributions, I was well impressed by their statesmanlike speeches

      

  61. Tris says:

    Is Mr Cameron not ordering a year of celebration in 2014 for the beginning of a war that killed many many more Englishmen than were ever killed fighting Scots? Will that not trump Bannockburn?

    Does Margaret Curren ever manage a sentence that makes any sense to anyone other than herself? 

      

  62. Macart says:

    Aye they didn’t do too bad at all David. Left the rest of the chamber in their dust. Mind you I’m not saying we shouldn’t cause a ruckus when we catch them out in their lies, just that we avoid getting into the same crap they swim in. :)

      

  63. Holebender says:

    As I’m stuck in foreign at the moment and was rather busy yesterday, would someone mind telling me how the vote turned out? Did they pass the Section 30 Order, and what were the numbers for and against?

      

  64. Blindmanonhorse says:

    Outstanding contribution was Pete Wishart who in a dignified way pointed out the poor manners of the Unionist Parties! 

      

  65. Marian says:

    I was one of those who thought last year that the YES campaign should be getting stuck into the unionists “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” in response to their constant barrage of scaremongering lies and smears.

    However I am now convinced that the YES campaign have been playing a blinder all along by allowing the unionists and their MSM lackeys to have enough rope to hang themselves.

    I think we now have firm evidence of this happening judging by the vile diatribes of the unionist MP’s at their “debate” yesterday and at today’s Lords “debate” in Westmister. Davidson may think he is a wind up merchant but what he has really succeeded in doing is to peel away the thin skin covering what we now see is a deep rooted hatred at Westminster against Scotland and our values that led us to vote in a majority SNP government – something that will come back to haunt Davidson and his ilk as it will definitely not go down at all well with the voters of Scotland no matter what is their political persuasion.

    We may have witnessed a watershed moment in the referendum campaign where the unionists ran riot to the point that they self-destructed in their own hate and bile. 

    Their misconduct has now made it all the easier for the majority of MSP’s at Holyrood to justify introducing extremely tight rules for the conduct of the referendum.
     
    The YES campaign is about to gather pace judging by Nicola Sturgeons blog yesterday and Alex Salmonds piece about having a written constitution for an independent Scotland, and I fully expect that they will gradually take the initiative during 2013.

      

  66. sandy armstrong says:

    Great coverage but the problem as ever is ,how do get articles like this onto the mainstream media because without  that coverage to counter  the continuous torrent of bile there ain`t going to be independence,

      

  67. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Sandy: the answer is to keep spreading them. Tweet them, Like them on Facebook, link to them on places like Reddit, just get them out there. The bigger we get, the more impossible we’ll be to ignore.

      

  68. kininvie says:

    It can be fun to look at whatever inane twitter topic is trending in Edi/Glas, such as #proudtobeafanof and stick in a tweet with link. In fact, I’ll just go and do that with WoS…..It does no harm, and someone might pick it up and an energy-saving lightbulb illuminate.

      

  69. Pstirling says:

    Would you rather eat a burger with 29% horse meat in it or listen a westminster debate that has 100% horse shit in it?

      

  70. Fergie says:

    Ian Davidson must think that it was the SNP that organised the Battle of Bannockburn, and not an army representing a Scottish people who were starving and being murdered themselves.
    Mr Davidson, it is called defence, afterall it was England that invaded us.
    Maybe we should have just layed down and let them take our lives, like the Labour party in Scotland wants them to do with our resources and revenues.

      



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