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Spying on you undercover, drinking coffee with your mother – am I getting closer? – Scottish RoundupA medieval giant, dancing astronauts, Greek men in kilts singing about free alcohol, a Finnish woman in a wedding dress begging her long-term boyfriend to marry her on the grounds that she will give him “cuter babies than other ladies”…yes, it can only be that very special time of year when bloggers and tweeters up and down Scotland stop doing whatever they were doing, and worship at the altar of Eurovision instead. (And rest assured that those who don’t will be first up against the wall come the revolution.) The brilliant Sophia Pangloss got the ball rolling with this characteristically shoot-from-the-hip preview of the contest – “Moldova – musical run-o-the-mill, but a lovely frock an great hair, awfy arrestin… Finland – Trash. Next…
The Sunday Hearld, in it's latest edition, reported that the No campaign had a war chest of £2m. Nearly half of this "war chest" was donated by Chief Exec of Vitol - the Dutch multinational energy and commodity trading company - Ian Taylor. This substantial donation of £500,000, from a large oil trader, was celebrated by the Better Together campaign leaders as blow to the Yes campaign. Ian Taylor was even encouraged to write on "Why I decided to give Better Together £500,000", which can be found on BetterTogether and the Hearld 's websites. Far from damaging the Yes campaign, this Better Together donation actually came back to bite them on the arse - which could have been avoided.
Preemptive strike? Tweet from Better Together head before our article on Ian Taylor was published. On Tuesday 9th April, lawyers acting on behalf of the multi-millionaire oil-trader and principal Better Together donor Ian Taylor attempted to silence National Collective through threatened legal action.
17 May, 2013 MAX CREMA was in Edinburgh yesterday and here gives a first-hand account of UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s unceremonious bum’s rush out of Scotland’s capital . In the tightly controlled and pre-tested world of politics it’s not often that an event occurs which doesn’t fit into a narrative. A company will go bust and left-leaning papers will decry deregulation while their counterparts demand more.
The morning of 1st May was surprisingly dreich as the Edinburgh summer of 2013 faltered yet again, so having merely gazed at the garden I sat down at the computer with my egg roll and cup of tea and started browsing friends' posts on Facebook. I had no idea that I was about to be assailed by the perfect storm of celebrity pap and unionist churnalism that would see me initiated as a Cybernat. I clicked on a link to The Scotsman, hereinafter referred to as The Hootsmon as it bears no discernable relationship whatsoever to the Scottish organ of record that I used to persuade officers' mess committees should be ordered wherever I was posted in days of yore. The headline screamed Susan Calman: Death Threats For Independence Satire .
National Collective Artists and Creatives for Scottish Independence We are an open and non-party political group of artists and creatives, a campaign and a state of mind. If you believe the world has so much to gain from an independent Scotland, If you believe the opportunity of a new nation is too good to miss, If you believe imagination is key to creating a better society, And that self-determination and self-expression go hand-in-hand, You are National Collective. With the most exciting political period for centuries fast approaching Scotland, now is the time for the country’s creative community to help shape the vision of a new society and nation. <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
My brother Ian Smart is not a racist. He is worse than that. A racist is normally someone with a grievance, who out of ignorance, and fueled by urban and media myths, wrongly blames ethic minorities who have absolutely nothing to do with whatever their problem might be. My brother Ian has few problems, is rather well healed, well educated and mixes amongst the very highest echelons of the Scottish establishment. So when he asserts that there will be some sort of pogrom against the Polish and Pakistani communities (and presumably others) in a post independence Scotland, he is not doing this out of ignorance or prejudice, but out of political calculation. The calculation that if he asserts it loudly and often enough Scotland's ethnic communities and others can be scared into voting No.
The extreme limit of wisdom, that's what the public calls madness.: A Very Personal Welcome to the Scottish Government 'Don't Give Fire a Home' InitiativeI doubt many people will wake up early on Hallowe’en Sunday morning at the age of 23 to go in to McDonald’s to open the store for 6am. I doubt even more so that you will be visited by your aunt at around 9:15am, who looks like her chin is still stained with fake vampire blood, whilst wondering why she is there as her closest McDonald’s is on the other side of the river Forth. Nor will you demand she tells you what is wrong, because you suspect something is, and then run through a list of your immediate family members loudly, and in front of horrified staff and a full queue of customers, getting increasingly frantic. Nor when you mention your brother’s name will she look stricken as you demand she tells you what is wrong. I hope you never have to hear the words, especially in front of an audience, that he died in a house fire, pulled out not breathing at 7am that morning.
"Twitter now writes the first draft of history, where journalism used to." John Birmingham is one of my favourite fiction authors who also earns a crust by penning articles for some of Australia's best known and most widely read newspapers. He made the above quote in The Brisbane Times last week in an article relating to largely unreported Police action in forcibly clearing an Aboriginal tent embassy in order to make way for a Greek Paniyiri Festival.
Yes Scotland is marching on together This Saturday in Edinburgh will see the first of three marches and rallies in our capital city in the run up to the independence referendum. The importance of this first march in terms of getting supporters to become ‘activists’ for Yes Scotland in their local streets, workplaces, universities and college’s cannot be played down. For many people this will be the first march they have ever went on which in itself will be an exciting prospect. However, for the vast majority it will be the first time they have publicly showed they support independence out with the ballot box.
Can Scottish Labour survive Lamont’s plans? Through the Looking Glass: Johann Lamont has donned the stale clothing of Margaret Thatcher in her insulting diatribe about a "something for nothing society" In a truly desperate bid to give the once dominant Scottish Labour Party a distinct profile capable of challenging their bitter opponents in the SNP, Labour leader Johann Lamont reached not for Keynes or Marx but the collected works of Baldrick. He it was, in the historical comedy Blackadder, who always had “a cunning plan” – usually rubbish. Ms Lamont’s attempt was straight from that school.
Why did Historic Scotland prevent a few Scottish reenactors from having a few photos taken at the entrance area to Edinburgh Castle on Sat 22 Sept? Nicola Sturgeon - happy to be with Ed and Sandy - not so for Historic Scotland On Sat 22 Sept two reenactors who were in Edinburgh to attend the March and Rally were rudely turned away from entering Edinburgh Castle. Dressed as Robert the Bruce & Elizabeth de Burgh, Ed and Sandy of Battlefield Highland were heading up to the Esplanade (followed by many tourists taking photos and generally enjoying the spectacle) when all of a sudden one of the stewards stopped them and said " you are not allowed to go any further as this is private property". They politely asked "why is everyone else able to go ahead and we aren`t?"
December 20, 2011 by David Torrance Chameleon on a Tartan Rug Christopher Hitchens The referendum produced some fairly extraordinary campaign slogans, from the egregious ‘Leave the Market and Join the World’ to the Young Tories’ tasteful evocation of Belsen victims. But the most unusual so far, and surely the hardest to chant at a rally, is: ‘No to the EEC.
These days, alas, the only time the leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party makes it onto the front pages of the nation’s newspapers is if she’s made some almighty blunder. Sadly, Ruth Davidson’s speech to a fringe meeting in Birmingham this week was a calamity. That’s the subject of my latest Think Scotland piece :
The Scotland Office has published information today on Scotland's budgetary position within the UK over the past 30 years. The press release from Mr Moore is headlined: 'Scottish Government must explain £41 billion oil deficit'. The claim is that over the past 30 years total spending in Scotland (including our share of 'UK services' like defence and foreign relations) has been £41 billion higher than total revenues, including oil and gas revenues.
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