Delusion of the 35,000 Indy marchers

Indy march organisers claimed up to 80,000 people marched on Glasgow Green on Saturday 5th May. AhDinnaeKen takes that with the large pinch of salt it deserves. More worryingly, Police Scotland alleged a figure of 35,000. Just how could they have got it so wrong? AhDinnaeKen investigates:

Woodlands Road

Impressive as the march looked from this perspective, this is only around 2,500 to 3,000 people.

WHEN SANDRA White MSP proclaimed on stage that Saturday’s All Under One Banner Indy march in Glasgow had attracted “between 40 and 90,000 people” it made this correspondent snort with incredulity.

Having inspected the muster point at Kelvingrove Park and having walked the full route to Glasgow Green, my intuition settled on a ‘no more than 10,000’ figure.

It was an estimate that has proven to be scarily close to the mark.

The basis for this conclusion was based on standard crowd density dynamics, observation, calculations on square footage of areas occupied by the marchers, and photographic and Google maps evidence.

If you were to willfully cross into the area of, not at all credible, wishful thinking, you could reach a figure of around 18,000 maximum attendees.

But, by the reckoning of basic physics, photographic evidence and crowd psychology, half that number plus a few extra hundreds would be much nearer the mark.

Consider the illustration below.

Area with Stage Highlighted google maps

The Glasgow Green muster point – marked in red – is approx 4,800 square metres. It was only half full by the time all the marchers arrived.

The highlighted area above was the muster point and stage area. It measures approximately 4800 square meters. Subtract the space used for the stage, the stalls and the support vehicles and you’re looking at appprox 4500 sq metres, probably a bit less.

However, the object of this piece is to cut the marchers some slack. Therefore every estimate made is a clear overestimate – to boost the figure in favour of the Indy supporters.

The maximum credible crowd density we’re going to allow in this calculation is 1.5 persons per square meter.

According to Professor Keith Still, an expert in crowd density dynamics and crowd safety, at 1.5 persons per square meter, you don’t have a great deal of room in which to move but, you’re psychologically ‘comfortable’ and can move freely. If you want to move anywhere, you’re constantly squeezing past people and involuntarily touching/rubbing shoulders with them. Standing still at this density, you effectively have your own space and you’re comfortable.

Two persons per square meter is psychologically uncomfortable. It’s where you have no choice but press against each other. Imagine when you’re getting on a busy tube train, or squeezing into an elevator where a lot of other people are waiting. No one likes doing it but it only lasts for a short while: you can live with it given its short duration and purpose.

The reality of the crowd density on the ground at Glasgow Green was nowhere near the 1.5 person/sq metre mark. I stood at the barrier in front of the stage and could easily have sat down had I wanted to. Based on that observation, it puts the figure nearer the one person per sq metre mark.

Incidentally, Mr Peter A Bell walked past me with his black rod styled walking stick. Aside from one person who got in his way, he traversed the area with no issues or problems to beset him.

Aerial Pic James Dwyer

This aerial pic gives a better perspective on the muster point and the amount of free space around individuals, particularly the larger area on the other side of the path from the stage. This picture is © of an Indy blogger. I spoke to him at the march. I haven’t attributed his name due to the illegality of flying a drone in a public space without official permission or insurance.

Based on AhDinnaeKen’s over estimated calculation, the absolute maximum number of people at the assembly/stage area would have been 7,200. And that’s based on the full 4800 sq/m being populated at 1.5 people per sq metre i.e. 4,800 * 1.5 = 7,200.

As can be seen from the aerial picture above – taken somewhere between 2:10pm and 2:30pm – the assembly area is nowhere near full. If anything, it’s half full.

Area 2 Immediately behind Assembly area

There is plenty of free space in this area. Marchers dogs ran around freely, playing with other dogs and interacting with other marchers. It measures approx 8,800 sq metres but, as can be seen from the aerial picture above, it’s mostly space rather than people.

The second larger, and less populated, area (above) is approx 8,800 square metres. The crowd density is clearly much lower than the assembly area, probably about 0.1 persons per square metre. Again, cutting the marchers some slack, we’ll go for 0.25. Doing so gives you a figure of approximately 2,200 people.

Finally, there were people milling about outside the two main areas covered above. If you check the aerial photo below, you can count them individually. Some are even recognisable to those who know them. At a rough estimate the philanderers numbered around 300-500, if that. Over estimation would result in a borderline credible figure of 1,000.

Best Aerial Pic

This picture, from a further distance than the aerial pic above has a different angle of incidence and therefore makes the crowd look denser that it really was. © of the same Indy blogger as mentioned above.

All in, using our overestimated figures, the total comes to around 10,400. That’s less than a third of the alleged official Police Scotland figure and nowhere near Ms White’s triumphant proclamation of 90,000.

A more realistic figure, lies around the 8,500 – 9,000 mark. That figure roughly correlates with the numbers which turned out for the Indy rally in Edinburgh back in 2013.

Again, in that instance, the SNP and organiser estimates were vastly inflated. They claimed attendance of 30,000. Edinburgh Police, not Police Scotland, officially estimated 8,300.

These figures do raise questions regarding Police Scotland. You would expect Sandra White and, by proxy, the SNP and the organisers to inflate the figures. They have a vested interest in doing so.

What’s more interesting is how Police Scotland arrived at the 35,000 figure. The BBC Scotland website and all of the newspapers attributed Police Scotland as the source for the figure. But there doesn’t appear to be any official attribution or comment. There was certainly no official figure given on the Police Scotland Twitter feed.

Perhaps a BBC, or any, journalist who repeated the figure could provide an explanation.

Long Marsden Airfield Perimeter

In 1994, The Wonderstuff played at Long Marston Airfield, Stratford Upon Avon. The rectangle in yellow highlights the area of approx 40,000 square metres that the crowd assembled in. The official attendance figure, based on ticket receipts, was 60,000 people. That works out at a density of 1.5 persons per sq metre. See what that looked like below.

 

WonderStuff

While the perspective is different, making the comparison slightly difficult to gauge, Glasgow Green with its combined muster areas of 13,600 sq metres looked nothing like this regarding the density of people in attendance. So how could Police Scotland have got it so wrong?

 

 

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Analysis: Eric Joyce defends Wings “quality” lies

WITH FRIENDS like Ex-Labour MP Eric Joyce, you clearly don’t have any. AhDinnaeKen replies to Mr Joyce’s recent claim that Wings presents the world with “quality” analysis. 

Mail Monthly Browsers

Wings Over Scotland claims to have 346,000 unique visitors per month to his website. The Mail Online, by comparison, has 243 million. Oh!

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

DISGRACED EX-Labour MP Eric Joyce threw down the gauntlet to his readers recently.

He challenged them to compare the quality of Nationalist website Wings Over Scotland’s analysis to the standards of the BBC’s and the newspapers.

AhDinnaeKen decided to respond to that challenge.

Joyce said: “In simple terms of quality, I encourage any readers here who don’t already have a view about Wings (and there are a few) to take a look at any single Wings story and make their own judgement about whether analysis there is at least up to the standard of – frankly actually way above – the standard they’ll find at the BBC website or in most newspapers.”

To keep it simple and topical for Joyce – we assumed he was drunk or grievously assaulting someone when he made the challenge – we chose one of Campbell’s most recent anti-BBC clickbait rants: https://wingsoverscotland.com/heres-to-you-mr-robinson/

In the piece, Squealer Campbell, editor of Wings, responds to the BBC’s Nick Robinson’s claim that sites such as Campbell’s view their attacks on the BBC as a “key part of their political strategy.”

Campbell then embarks on a standard, for him, ad nauseum ad hominem attack on Robinson in which he attempts to justify his site as a plausible outlet of political commentary rather than the hyperbolic extreme propaganda that it really is.

Ironically, Campbell confirms Robinson’s claim that Wings ‘most shared and liked stories are attacks on the MSM and the BBC in particular’.

Campbell said: “Three of this site’s top 10 most-read articles of all time, including the #1 and #2, are about the BBC, and one of them concerns Robinson himself…”

So far so humdrum. Quality wise it’s pretty dull for non-partisans. Much like the low level drone of the local pub politics bore.

But then, near the end of the piece, the real, empirically quantifiable, demonstrably provable, predictably inevitable, drop in “quality” appears. And Mr Joyce should take careful note of the following and query it with Campbell.

For near the end of the piece, Campbell illustrates, through the use of a table, that his site is in direct competition – in terms of readership – with the mainstream newspapers.

It’s a cynical, manipulative, risible lie which has already been debunked by this site several times. For the sake of Mr Joyce we’ll summarise.

In the readership table below Campbell makes it look like his “Unique Readers” figures are on a direct “like for like” par with the newspapers.

Readers Figs Ho Ho

This table was published in Campbell’s recent rant in Nick Robinson’s direction. Impudent and bold it may be. But it’s a lie. Wings figures are not remotely comparable to the National Readership Survey figures.

They’re not.

They’re nothing remotely like it. The newspaper readership figures referred to by Campbell comes from the National Readership Survey which is conducted independently by IPSOS Mori and partners. It costs the newspaper industry a fortune due to its importance to advertisers who use the figures to plan their newspaper advertising strategies.

Campbell’s readership figures, however, come from his webhosts and are based on Google analytics figures. Actual reader figures can be reduced by a factor of up to ten or more. Usually more.

For the sake of clarity, Campbell’s webhosts use the term “unique visitors”. It is a term interchangeable with; “unique users”, unique devices” and “unique browsers”.

It is not interchangeable with “unique readers” because “unique readers” are living, breathing, quantifiable individual human beings.

For the sake of comparison, the Mail Online recorded 243 million monthly “unique browsers” in Jan 2017 as reported in the Press Gazette (illustrated above).

Unique visitors Wings

Campbell claimed the figures above were “something close to a like-for-like comparison of online traffic for Scotland’s biggest news brands.” That’s his ‘big lie’. They’re nothing close to a like for like comparison.

Campbell’s relatively paltry monthly figures are less than 0.15% of the Mail’s figure. And that’s a true “like for like” comparison.

Yet, according to Campbell’s table, he gets 68% of the Mail’s readership. In effect, Campbell has compared apples with oranges and got raspberries.

If a “MSM” newspaper, or the BBC, did such a thing in any of their reports or features, they would be hauled over the coals, and castigated for grossly misleading their readers.

But Campbell doesn’t have to answer to outside bodies. He doesn’t even answer to his “echo chamber” donors who – just like Eric Joyce – are clearly incapable of discerning “quality” from accuracy, impartiality, analysis or truth.

That’s why AhDinnaeKen decided to take Mr Joyce’s challenge. When diatribe dressed up and believed as quality analysis is so easily disproved, it needs to be pointed out.

Campbell’s a liar and that’s a “quality” that comes through loud and clear in  the “quality” of the piece looked at today.

We await Mr Joyce’s counter argument with distinct disinterest.

 

 

Like for Like comparison

Campbell made the above claim after his annual mendicant appeal on IndieGoGo. For “something close” read ‘nothing like’. This statement really did make AhDinnaeKen chortle. If you think the above is “quality” analysis then you should look up the meaning of the word. You clearly don’t understand it and should adjust your mindset accordingly.

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under CyberNats, Newspeak, Wangs Watch

Wings Over Scotland set to ‘block’ Wings Over Scotland “for stupid”

AS VIRTUALLY no one from anywhere in Scotland knows, @Wingsscotland’s Twitter account “blocks for stupid”. AhDinnaeKen reveals why Squealer Campbell, aka “Rev Stu” of Wings Over Scotland, is blocking himself: he’s monumentally stupid. AhDinnaeKen investigates:

By Widye Credititstupidity detector and Nationalist bullshit monitor

SQUEALER CAMPBELL, editor of Wings Over Scotland, has revealed he is set to block himself on Twitter.

The self proclaimed “media monitor” and alleged “professional journalist” discovered he is so monumentally stupid that he has no option other than to block himself and join the “blocklist” of other blocked “stupid” morons.

Squealer squealed: “We’re not remotely expert enough when it comes to the labyrinth of human intelligence to determine how significant our stupidity is.

“But we suspect readers will agree that it would seem an awfully stupid gaffe not to block ourself “for stupid” when we’ve been so demonstrably stupid ourselves.”

The “stupid” epiphany came to Squealer after he re-read one of his own “stupid” blogs entitled ‘The magic money rigs’.

Squealer reported that those English Basturts at HMRC had lied to Scotland to the tune of £15bn in unreported oil revenues.

But, unfortunately for Squealer, he had forgotten his own ‘teachings’ when he squealed:

“one of the primary purposes of this website isn’t just to tell people when the Scottish and UK media is lying to them, but to teach readers how to spot that for themselves. And one of the keys to learning that is to ask yourself what a story in the press is leaving out as well as what it’s telling you.”

Alert readers noted that Squealer illustrated his ‘polemic’ with the screenshot below – taken from the original report.

Wings Oil revenue distortion 01

He squealed: “In just two years, then, Scotland’s economy has suddenly produced over £15bn more than the official UK government figures had previously claimed it did. It’s a bit like popping out to your garage to fetch a screwdriver and discovering a Ferrari you didn’t know you had under a dust sheet.”

Not so alert readers failed to notice that Squealer had deliberately left out the following information from the same report:

Wings Oil revenue distortion

So, not only did Squealer deliberately ignore the purpose of the report, he actively left out the information above for his own Nationalist squealing purpose: the same failing he repeatedly flays the MSM for in his ad nauseum rants.

Now, we’re not remotely expert enough when it comes to the labyrinth of Squealer’s media “genius” to determine how significant that failing is (the ignoring of the conclusion not the simple ease with which it has been exposed). But we suspect readers will agree that it seems an awfully important conclusion to ignore without mentioning it, or having anyone else notice.

And, having noticed, it’s incredibly difficult not to conclude that Squealer Campbell must be incredibly stupid to think he could get away with ignoring his own teachings while pulling a fast one over his stupid followers.

But, as an expert German propagandist once said: “stupidity is the deliberate cultivation of ignorance.”

Squealer Campbell has cultivated that in abundance. Expect him to block himself “for stupid” anytime soon.

3 Comments

Filed under Lies, Media, Wangs Watch

Exclusive: Wings Over Scotland’s lies to readers of The National exposed

WINGS OVER Scotland boasted recently to have more readers online than the Daily Record, Scottish Sun, The Scotsman, The Herald or the Scottish Daily Express. He made this astonishing unsubstantiated claim in ‘The National’ newspaper. AhDinnaeKen said “haud oan a minute, surely The National are putting their reputation at risk by publishing such falsehoods.” We hope, after reading our exclusive exposure they’ll correct the glaring error:

Campbell quote re Readership

The inference is clear. Wings expects you to believe that his site was part of the National Readership Survey 2016. Oh dear!

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

STUART CAMPBELL of alternative facts website, Wings Over Scotland, was today, yet again, exposed as a cynically manipulative liar

In Friday’s The National newspaper, Campbell claimed that his website had more readers online every month than the Daily Record, Scottish Sun, The Scotsman, The Herald or the Scottish Daily Express.

The claim proved to be an astonishing barefaced lie.

We were taken aback that The National was prepared to appear to support such an easily corroborated false assertion.

In a piece entitled “What do we do about Scotland’s Unionist media in the #ScotRef campaign? We bypass them”, Campbell used a weasel worded sentence to give the impression that his site was part of the National Readership Survey of 2016.

He said: “According to figures recently released by the National Readership Survey for 2016, my own site Wings Over Scotland – has more readers online every month than the Daily Record, Scottish Sun, The Scotsman, The Herald or the Scottish Daily Express, which is an astonishing statistic…”

But it wasn’t an “astonishing statistic”. It was an “astonishing lie” intended to give an “astonishing” false impression of Wings reach and influence.

The National Readership Survey is a sophisticated operation funded by News Media Association (Newspapers), Professional Publishers Association (Magazines) and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (Advertisers).

The survey is conducted independently by IPSOS Mori and partners. It provides solid market information from which all three subscriber members base commercial strategies for the future.

The survey provides no information on “new media” Scottish political websites.

So quite what Campbell thought he was playing at by making such an amateurish, easily rebutted, claim is the question The National should be asking.

May 2016 Readership figures

Make allowance for number of browsers used, privacy settings, number of devices, crawler bots, DDOS attacks etc and “unique readers” is more likely to hit the 30 – 50,000 mark: if that. A considerable mark down from the claim above.

According to Campbell’s figures from May 2016, Wings Over Scotland had “381,977 unique readers”. But these are based on Google Analytics figures where Campbell’s use of the word “readers” is misleading. What he should have stuck to was “unique users” or the even more accurate “unique browsers”.

Contrast and compare with the table below, taken from a Press Gazette report on the National Readership Survey 2016.

Prss Gzette Updated Sep 2016

We wonder what lie Campbell will cook up to explain this embarrassing exposure. More importantly, will The National print a correction? Watch this space.

 

 

As can clearly be seen – the figures provided are in thousands – The Scotsman is read by 412,00 readers online and 729,000 on mobile: The Daily Record does better with 588,000 readers online and 3,650,000 readers on mobile.

Given that Campbell’s claimed figure of 381,977 is the highest he can provide – with the caveat that they’re dubious and mostly meaningless – it’s easy to conclude that the assertion made by him having more readers than the named papers is a lie.

Quite why he would run with such an easily disproved lie in a national/regional newspaper is the question The National should be asking.

AhDinnaeKen readers will no doubt come to their own conclusions.

Meanwhile, fire extinguishers for spontaneously combusting pants are available on EBay for Campbell.

4 Comments

Filed under Lies, Media, Wangs Watch

Sturgeon signs mutual “torture” pact with Trump and May

NATIONALIST leaders vow to torture legions of unbelievers into submission.

trump-may-sturgeon-torture

“We do solemnly declare that we do not know of any lawful impediment why we, Trump, Sturgeon and May, may not be joined in mutual torturing of our respective sovereign people and populations.”

By Owch Yabassa waterboarding and political torture correspondent

FOR YEARS it has been fashionable to express disgust at the use of torture by western governments. Donald Trump’s new pact with Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon is set to turn that norm on its head and make torture socially acceptable.

The Donald, yesterday, vowed to continue torturing the populace of the free world and claimed to have taken a leaf out of Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon’s books:

“Theresa May has tortured both the Brits and the Europeans for months now over what Brexit actually means.

“First she said ‘Brexit means Brexit” and then she said “Brexit means a red, white and blue Brexit”, which meant Brexit wasn’t a black, white or grey Brexit.

“That’s one of the most effective forms of mass population torture I have ever witnessed. Even I found it tortuous and I thought I was a master of the art.”

Theresa May thanked the Donald and even found time to coin a new slogan in praise of the new mutually exclusive torture pact:

“Torture means torture” she said. “And our torture will be a red, black and blue torture which will become infamous throughout the western world.”

Not to be outdone, but knowing her place, Firstminster Sturgeon made the following pledge:

“I swear that I will continue torturing the population of Scotland by threatening to call a second independence referendum every time someone looks at me the wrong way or says something I don’t like.

“Unlike Prime Minister May and President Trump I have managed to torture the whole of the Scottish population simultaneously.

“First I tortured the Unionists with my threats to call a second independence referendum. And then I tortured my ain folk with my pledge to take indpendence aff the table if we could compromise on Brexit meaning something other than Brexit.”

All three leaders have entered willingly into the torture pact and have vowed to continue torturing anyone who has the misfortune to hear anything they have to say.

2 Comments

Filed under Diplomacy, Law, Newspeak

Sturgeon endorses independence by Xmas 2018 – Review

Independence by Xmas 2018, a new currency, increased taxes, decentralisation of local government, a hard border with rUK and trust in the political class are the visions presented by Gordon Guthrie in his new book recommended and endorsed by Nicola Sturgeon. AhDinnaeKen took a quick peak:

First Minister endorses book which trashes previous SNP currency stance as "weak". There's a thing.

First Minister endorses book which trashes previous SNP currency stance as “weak”. Now, there’s a thing.

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

“Scotland will become independent on the same day that the rUK leaves the European Union around Xmas 2018” reckons Gordon Guthrie in his new book, Winning the Second Independence Referendum: A Manifesto For Scotland In the European Union After Brexit.

It’s a bold claim which could easily be mocked and ridiculed before being summarily dismissed. But Guthrie is no fly by night nationalist fantasist. He’s one of the unsung heroes of the SNP’s spectacular electoral successes since 2007 onward: his analysis software, know how and ‘five year plan’, significantly contributed to the SNP’s ever increasing popularity and election gains since 2002. Guthrie joined the SNP in disgust at New Labour’s Iraq policy. Labour’s loss has been the SNP’s exponential gain.

Guthrie’s opinions matter. His personal manifesto, contained within this short, punchy, cogent, fast paced book, is easily worth the two pounds sterling you’ll probably not pay for it.

For there’s a real, hard, pragmatic edge to it. It’s neither sentimental nor emotional and at times could be described as brutal. For example, in the event of independence, Guthrie says: “there will be a violent squeeze on OpEx expenditure in Scotland and a jump in CapEx . The Holyrood based political class, and the institutions that support them will be put under severe pressure overseeing that.”

It’s an admission that there will be nae money to do virtually anything with.  There’s also a tacit inference of potential social unrest with “violent squeeze” and “severe pressure” being the giveaway. Coupled with his insistence that Scotland should have its own currency while dealing with the realities of a hard border at Gretna, it presents a virtual tap in for opponents who claim that independence would lead Scotland into levels of debt, poverty and penury which could set it back for decades.

Of particular interest to Scottish Unionists will be the notion that they “can only be betrayed” by their political Unionist brethern south of the border. For, according to Guthrie, the strongest Unionists in the UK are the Labour party – and they are currently a hopelessly divided and ineffective force in British politics.

The Conservative and Unionist Party, however, are transforming into little Englander, UKIP styled Nationalists. Their finger pointing blame game isn’t going to stop at Johnny European foreigner. ‘Whinging Jocks’ up North will inevitably become a target as the SNP Executive engages in increasingly intransigent demands over right wing Tory Nationalist Brexit plans.

A steady ship from the Scots Nationalists where they “must sit and wait patiently” while Brexit economic and political shockwaves destroy what’s left of Westminster’s political credibility and stability is the crux of the Guthrie gameplan. English Nationalist anti-Scot remonstrations will drive more Scottish No voters toward the Yes camp than Yessers ever could:

“Popular support for independence will not be won by the Yessers converting the No voters – but by the English Unionists chewing up and spitting out the Scottish ones.”

It’s hard to disagree. You can see the clear and present reality of that happening right now in front of your eyes – if only you cared to look.

Where Guthrie appears to be further out of step with current SNP leanings lies in his demand that there must be a new Scottish currency. Here, his argument takes a nosedive. There is no mention of where and how we would build the needed reserves to make such a currency viable in international markets – though he does concede that higher taxes and pain are an inevitability either with or without independence.

Instead he focuses on the issues of operating a dual currency economy – citing Northern Ireland and the Czech-Slovak velvet divorce as the examples to take lessons from. The rationale is there, but the elephant in the room of where the reserves are going to come from is blindsided. It, like the Yes currency argument of 2014, is still the independence movement’s bogeyman.

He’s also out of step with SNP policy and action with his plea that there must be less centralisation and more decisions taken locally: “We are beset with the sins of centralisation too, and we must shake off those habits.”

But that’s unlikely under the current Nationalist regime. Quite the reverse is happening now in modern ‘civic’, ‘democratically awakened’ Scotland: institutions and local councils are being, almost routinely, defenestrated, hollowed out and brought under increasing Holyrood/Sturgeon/Murell control.

However, one place Guthrie’s book wins is in its strategic long term optimistic vision of Scotland as a major European player in the sphere of digital innovation. There is a convincing, aspring and inspiring case made here for Scotland’s current position in the tech scene to be expanded upon and exploited within a Brexit scenario.

Skyscanner and Fanduel, from having a couple of handfuls of employees six or seven years ago, are now billion dollar companies with thousands of employees. They are a success story which demonstrates the power of multi-national, multi-ethnic cooperation – about a quarter to a third of their employees are not UK born. And it’s this outlook and culture, combined with naked ambition, which Guthrie considers would enable Scottish companies to take on and compete aggressively with Berlin. It’s the sort of fighting talk which fires up this jaded Scot into believing in the innovative potential of oor great wee country and oor great wee people – even though a large part of the game plan hinges on the influx of hundreds of thousands of highly paid, highly skilled immigrants.

Of course, the offset of Guthrie’s infectious optimism is that it unravels with some of its appeals to trust: “The second part is to put our trust in our fellow citizens, people who just happen to work for a local council, or the civil service, or who we have elected into office.”

A major element of the success of the SNP has been in its hoovering up of this disaffected distrust of public institutions and the political class. Scots, in general, have felt increasingly disenfranchised from the political process since the election of Margaret Thatcher in 1979 – ironically assisted into power by a willing and complicit SNP. Tony Blair’s New Labour further reinforced and cemented this disaffection.

But the SNP are only as trustable as the parties they have replaced and obliterated in Scotland. And, given that much of their success has relied on the apeing of the New Labour machine politic, that’s hardly a swingeing endorsement or testament to their trustability or competence to deliver on their promises.

Guthrie also demonstrates an almost idealistically naive belief and trust in the EU as a benevolent force for good: “For Scotland, the European Union is a union of equals and the UK was not.”

You only have to take a look at the treatment of Greece and the hardship currently imposed on its people by the European Union’s Brussels-Berlin nexus to sneer at that belief. If that’s a ‘Union of equals’ then UKIP are a progressive and civic party of altruistic philanthropists – a debate for another book and another dimension in time and space.

The latter half of the Guthrie manifesto covers the practical steps with which Scotland could affect its full transition to independence. It positively hums with Guthrie’s digital expertise and optimistic ‘trust’. It reads like an integrated system of varyingly ambitious subroutines in a complex and functionally synchronised computer program.

And that’s no bad thing. If only councils, public institutions, businesses and government could integrate with such harmonious machine efficiency – we’d be laughing all the way to the Sugarcandy mountain bank.

Overall though, Guthrie has taken the brave step of presenting a cogent, honest and mostly credible vision of how an independent Scotland could look and act in a post-Brexit future. It’s not perfect and it’s not wholly convincing – but that conclusion will depend on your political leanings and outlook.

Where the book does win however is in the optimistic pragmatism of the vision it presents. It’s not the sterile Salmondesque technocratic vision of economic levers and unconvincing currency unions; rather, it’s a working template which, after a lot of penury, poverty and social unrest along the way, could just work for the betterment and enrichment of the country.

Nicola Sturgeon’s endorsement and promotion of the book earlier this month seems rather odd given Guthrie’s trashing of the previous referendum currency stance as “weak”, his belief that there would probably be a hard border between Scotland and rUK, and the need for decentralisation of local government. But, as Nicola said, Guthrie’s book is good and fairly quick to read – “recommended”.

A cogent and challenging read. Gordon Guthrie (above) presents a vision of an independent Scotland which will challenge Unionsists and Nationalists alike.

A cogent and challenging read. Gordon Guthrie (above) presents a vision of an independent Scotland which will challenge Unionists and Nationalists alike.

 

7 Comments

Filed under Culture, Opinion

I’ll smash your heads and ask questions later – Wings Over Scotland

VIOLENT DODGY liar named and shamed as editor of Wings Over Scotland – Stuart Campbell.

The five floor, five bedroom, townhouse, Campbell claimed was a "huge block of rented offices."

The five floor, five bedroom townhouse which Campbell claimed was a “huge block of rented offices.”

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

A NOTORIOUS cybernat threatened amateur copyright investigators with extreme violence after they exposed his dodgy internet dealings in the late 90s, it has been revealed.

Stuart Campbell, 48, warned have a go sleuths Damien Burke and friends: “if I find any of you outside my door, be warned that I’ll smash your heads off the railings first and ask questions later.”

The chilling threat followed Burke’s revelation that Campbell’s home address in Bath matched the billing address of a hooky software company trading as Rocketship Services.

Rocketship was raking in the cash by selling and distributing CDs packed full of stolen game software at £30 per disc.

Burke’s investigation exposed Campbell’s posh Bath town-house residence as the front for the selling and promotion of the illegal CDs.

Stolen game software included hundreds of titles from Atari, Nintendo, SEGA and Commodore with an estimated street value of around £200,000.

Sinister cybernat Campbell, editor of Nationalist blog Wings Over Scotland, had denied Burke’s allegation that he was trading as Rocketship Services.

The bathroom in one of the floors of Campbell's former residence.

The bathroom in one of the floors of Campbell’s former residence. Rocketship Services sold their illegal discs at £30 a pop.

When challenged by Burke that it was an “extraordinary coincidence” that Campbell’s residential address matched Rocketship Services billing address, Campbell defended himself saying: “And I suppose I’m also all of the 300 or so other people whose address this huge block of rented office units is?”

But the claim that the address was a huge block of rented office units was a lie.

Campbell’s residential, and Rocketship Services’ billing, address was revealed by Burke as 4 Brock Street: a five bed, five floor, town house in one of the most sought after, expensive and prestigious locations in Bath.

Campbell’s violent threat followed suggestions from Burke and associates that they would visit the building to confirm if it was indeed the “huge block” of office units’ claimed by the Wings editor.

Burke reckoned a site visit would prove Campbell was lying about his association with Rocketship Services.

And that’s when Campbell demonstrated his willingness to resort to extreme violence, threatening to ‘smash heads first and ask questions later’.

The threat had the desired effect and frightened the amateur sleuths off, leaving Rocketship Services to continue creaming off profits at the expense of legal businesses.

Burke later revealed: “Rocketship’s posts were made using the same version of Microsoft software (used by Campbell), right down to the build number. Stuart and Rocketship upgraded their software at the same time, or within hours of each other. Rocketship’s posts came from Pipex, as did Stuart’s. The message IDs in Rocketship’s posts were similar to Stuart’s.

“On attaining Rocketship’s postal address via a false request for where to send a cheque for one of their illegal CDs, the 4 Brock Street, Bath address was supplied.”

Campbell strenuously denied the accusation. He said: “It’s been proven beyond doubt – by an independent observer – that these (big old five-storey town building converted into office units) premises are used by, among others, a letting company which forwards mail to dozens, even hundreds of people.”

4 Brock Street in Bath is currently on the residential rental market for a modest £3750 per calendar month.

Campbell is believed to have moved out some time last year, after his highly successful fundraiser.

Today, Campbell’s Wings Over Scotland launched it’s yearly Indiegogo fundraiser to allegedly, “mobilise for an emergency second indyref within months”.

At the time of writing almost £23,000 has been raised – enough to rent 4 Brock Street for approximately six months at current market rates.

Beautiful well kept gardens and 'maid service' are all part of the perks of a £3750 property.

Beautiful well kept gardens and ‘maid service’ are all part of the perks of a £3750 pcm property in Campbell’s corner 0f Bath. Champagne Nationalists ‘n’ aw that.

21 Comments

Filed under CyberNats, Wangs Watch