Woof! The best leader… for the Yes campaign

Former TV fitba pundit Airchie Macpherson wasn’t happy with the independence referendum. It was a negative and depressing experience for him. He was in particular shocked that people reacted negatively to his own negativity about independence. That sort of thing doesn’t happen in the 1970s bubble where Airchie’s at his happiest. It was a time of big tie knots, and equally big knots tying Scotland into the UK. It was a time when no one scoffed at the right of the British state to rule Scotland, and no one scoffed at a dodgy comb over. But most of all it was the time of the 1979 General Election when the SNP were blootered out of the park. Woof!

Airchie’s description is a commonplace one of the independence campaign amongst opponents of independence. On the other hand, supporters of independence typically describe the campaign of 2014 as positive, uplifting, and a joyous expression of public involvement in big political questions. Neither side is lying about their own perception of their own experience. The difference is due to the nature of the campaigns that each side fought. The No side fought a negative, fearful, and deceitful campaign. It’s hardly surprising that those involved in it report it as being a negative and depressing experience. On the other hand the Yes campaign was happy clappy and resolutely positive. We’re longing for a rematch with a fervour that is only matched in its intensity by the dread with which no campaigners look upon it.

The next time, the No campaign is going to be even more negative, fearful, and threatening than it was the first time around, because the anti-independence parties themselves have blown up anything that might have passed for a positive case for the UK. They’ve trashed the Vow, pissed all over “the closest thing possible to federalism”, taken us out of the EU, destroyed the UK’s reputation for being a stable and secure democracy, undermined the devolution settlement, and have given us a Prime Minister whose sole achievement is his willingness to lie and to disregard the basic standards of democracy. Naturally Airchie isn’t at all looking forward to another independence referendum. He’d rather the whole subject would just go away and leave him in peace to enjoy his reminiscences of how well Rangers played in the 1976 cup final.

But there is one thing upon which even the most fervent supporter of independence can fully agree with Airchie. That’s his suggestion that Gordie Broon needs to be the leader of the next No campaign. Please please pretty please make it so. Airchie wants Gordie to be the leader because there’s no one else. Ruth Davidson has waltzed off in the expectation that there’s a daytime TV sofa awaiting her in a BBC studio sometime soon. She can hardly come back and tell Scotland that we need to suck up a Conservative Prime Minster and his policies that she herself so publicly couldn’t stand. The remaining Tories are stuck with defending a Brexit that’s as toxic as their party. No one can remember Labour’s Scottish branch office manager Reinhart Lunchpacker’s name long enough for him to lead the campaign. So that just leaves Jeauw Sweynseun with her amazing mutating accent and her equally mutating support for austerity. However if you fancy yourself as the leader of a campaign to keep Scotland a part of the UK, don’t you think that it might be a good idea to actually live in Scotland and not just to stay with yer maw in Milngavie when you deign to visit your constituency? If you’re putting all your hope in the Lib Dems to save the UK, you might as well admit that your team is already as sick as a parrot, to use one of those 1970s sporting metaphors so beloved of Airchie.

That just leaves the Gordosaurus. Airchie is quite correct that there’s no one else left. And Gordie would be a great leader of the No campaign, for the Yes campaign that is. He’d actually have to appear in venues other than those solely populated with tame Labour hacks and carefully selected members of the press. He might even, may all the gods help him, have to answer some questions. We could ask him what happened to his Vow. He could be interrogated on what exactly transpired with his solemn promise that he personally would ensure that the leaders of the main parties upheld their commitments to the people of Scotland. We could question him on the likely estimated time of arrival of that closest thing to federalism that is now strangely overdue. Wasn’t it within a year or two of a No vote that he said it was going to happen? And we could ask him why, given that all of his promises from 2014 have turned out to be as empty as the acreage of scalp that Airchie’s 1970’s comb over was covering, should anyone believe a word that he has to say this time around.

Realistically however, Gordie won’t be heading the campaign. He’s far happier repeatedly intervening for the very first time. Heading the campaign would expose the hollow nature of his arguments and his promises. Self-awareness might not be in the top ten list of qualities that are associated with Gordie, but he’s aware enough to realise that. So it’s not going to be him. However the fact that his name is being touted merely illustrates one of the biggest problems facing opponents of independence as we head into another referendum campaign. They blew their credibility in the first campaign, and now they’re running on empty. No politician who still has ambitions for a political career will want to lead a campaign that looks to be doomed to failure. A former PM like Gordie won’t want to lead it as his legacy is pretty threadbare as it is. He has only been saved from the title of worst PM since WW2 because the Tories have scored a hat-trick with Davie, Theresa, and Lyin’ Bastert Johnson.

The No campaign finds itself in the position of not having any positive argument to put to the people of Scotland, having to explain and defend its failure to deliver on the promises and commitments that it made in order to win the 2014 referendum.  The Labour party will not wish to be associated with any campaign in which the Tories play a major part.  And there is no one who could credibly lead that campaign anyway. No wonder that they are so desperate to prevent a referendum from happening in the first place. They know that Scotland is going to show them the red card and blooter them off the pitch. As Airchie so famously said, woof!

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37 thoughts on “Woof! The best leader… for the Yes campaign

  1. “A former PM like Gordie won’t want to lead it as his legacy is pretty threadbare as it is. He has only been saved from the title of worst PM since WW2 because the Tories have scored a hat-trick with Davie, Theresa, and Lyin’ Bastert Johnson.”
    In One, brilliant…

  2. It would be difficult to think of anyone less relevant to modern Scotland than Gordon Brown, but Archie “Oooft!” Macpherson embodies it.

    He typifies the Unionist sporting establishment who campaigned against the country of their birth in 2014, people like McCoist, McLeish, Miller and Walter Smith. The “Scottish” RFU is full of them too.

    It’s hardly surprising there is absolutely no self belief in their respective international sporting performances (and I leave aside the lamentable organisation of both governing bodies).

    I often think the deep bitterness towards independence shown by the Macphersons of the world is because deep down they know they have been wrong all their lives in accepting our cringing provincial status but simply can’t face up to this simple truth. They have made a very lucrative career out of it all and resent anything which threatens their status and income.

    Sadly, even without a “charismatic” spokesman, other means will be used in an attempt to snuil us: there seems to be a lot of Dark Money and Cambridge Analytica-style shenanigans in prospect. The cash cow must be kept at all cost.

  3. Pingback: Woof! The best leader… for the Yes campaign | speymouth

  4. Archie McFreemason is a dinosaur who, if he was front and centre of our national game’s coverage today, would be an embarrassment to football punditry. Instead, he is a political pariah, hankering after a Britain that no longer exists and never will again.

    • I can’t help thinking that Ross Thompson or Kirstene Hair might fit the bill. I’m struggling to think of way that they could adversely affect the Yes vote. Nope, nothing comes to mind. But my all time candidate of choice would be ‘Fluffy’ Mundane. sorry, Mundell. No, right the first time. Independence here we come

  5. I don’t get it. (I admit I’m a non-Scot – not that is news – , but I still don’t get it.)

    Broon is attacked (with good reason) by fellow independentistas for the reasons supplied so lucidly above by WGD. Yet he is also slated by his fellow yoon politicos and others and derided for his ‘clunking fist’, ‘dour Scots manner’ and so much more. Why even big gob Clarkson (as rabid a Unionist as Broon referred to him as a ‘one-Scottish idiot’ or some such, did he not? Playing the racist and lack of empathy cards for all they were worth – as if Broon was *too* Scottish …)

    In fact, prior to EVEL coming about, I was always convinced that the English Establishment considered Broon indeed to be *too* Scottish for *their* liking (bear with me the word ‘their’ is key to this sentence and the point I’m making), yet was too Britocentric for you, the ones who seek independence from Westminster. Further, the title of one his books, ‘My Scotland, Our Britain’ is surely indicative of this.

    And yet, and yet … He gets no reward from those he bears their message and does their dirty work for them. The Tories disown him. Blair considers him a dead weight around his neck. Darling is ennobled. And Broon gets nothing.

    Is he not sufficiently aware that he will continue to get nothing and that he serves no purpose to anyone – being the lackey of the English Establishment and half-chewed piece of chewing gum stuck under the desk of the Scottish independence movement?

    Yours, aye.

    • And yet my brother’s wife called his Broontervention “Inspiring” & caused her to cast her vote “A big fat no”

      Or was that Gordie she was referring to ???

      Britnats are so confusing, especially when one’s entire family are so inclined – lucky for me I had an arranged marriage. I arranged it myself to a Yesser 😁

  6. I think a Lord from the House of Lords a Scottish one of course just to add a little authenticity , will lead the better together campaign.
    They don’t have to be elected and most of them are people we have never heard of they have nothing to risk by leading the NO campaign.
    They will continue to be Lords in the House of Lords after Scotland becomes independent, for a while anyway.

    • Airchie Macpherson? Still hanging around like a bad smell? Another big ego has-been that wants to hog the limelight just like Gordon Brown who’ll probably forfeit that “pleasure” for all of the reasons that Paul has pointed out

      I think that cocaine snorting Gove will be at the forefront of the Better Together crew (if they’re daft enough to get together again) or rather he’ll be coordinating the Unionist cabal strikes, covert operations, from behind the scenes. He’s not been made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster for nothing; basically a one day a week job. His responsibilities include Constitutional Affairs and he’ll no doubt, imo, be preparing himself to get into debate with Nicola Sturgeon. Another reason of course for Davidson waltzing off.


  7. …as the saying goes, if there’s a god…oh please, make it be so.

    Imagine Glenn Campbell chairing an Independence ‘Debate’ with a panel made up of The North Briton, Jackhammer Carpark, Wee Willie Winkie, and, sat in the middle, Ross Greer and Mhairi Black.

    The contrast between the musty grey haired ruddy faced inanely grinning Bitter Together trio of Doomsayers and the fresh youthful faces of Future Scotland would be a joy to watch.

    Won’t happen of course. More’s the pity.

    Has anyone got footage of MacPherson frightening a frail old pensioner on her doorstep during the Referendum by lying to her about her pension being in danger if she voted yes?
    Christ this old codger’s 82…

    Loved the strip your tore off him, Paul.
    Brown couldn’t even get the nuclear waste cleaned up on a beach in his own backyard.

    You have him in fourth place in the worst PM category.
    Just like the Red Tories; fourth place.

    And on a day when Rickshaw Leanthard announces that he will forbid a Second Indyref vote even if the SNP/Greens win 59 WM Seats at the next UKGE.
    They are all stark staring bonkers or in their dotage.

  8. As leader of the ‘No- not again ‘ campaign they could get the wee flute band man in the orange jacket from Question Time .
    His many appearances on the BBC’s flagship political show should provide him with the necessary experience to take on that essenpee lot , especially if the debate is carefully edited before broadcasting to prevent any worthwhile responses from those separatists .

  9. O/T

    Leonard interview on BBC this morning outlining what he’s going to do in Scotland, such as he’s “going to strengthen worker’s rights.” Eh! That’s the man who played a KEY role in doing the dirty against thousands of women re. Equal Pay. Brass neck doesn’t even begin to describe these people.

    • As the Beeb’s fallback authority figure following Ruth’s departure, his hypocrisy and wooden delivery will matter little to them, but will doubtless niggle Jackson Carcrash. Is Labour’s historic dominance in Scotland being used as a sacrificial goat to shield the Tories, allowing them to them snipe from the sidelines?
      As with Broon’s acceleration of PFI tormenting local budgets, Leotard et al’s GCC etc legacies will not be forgotten either come the vote. The Beeb will be under no illusions Labour are finished in Scotland, but who else can they call on for “Better Together” ?
      Jo Swinson, Alister Jack, Doris Johnson?
      Better Together has no credible face aside these dinosaurs, and as Indy support continues to build momentum against the backdrop of the London omnishambles, the writing is on the wall for the Union. Bitter Together can only lick their wounds.

  10. Mr Macpherson eh? So he has some bad memories of indyref 2014 does he? Not entirely sure he knows or understands what stressful is about now. Wondering whether to eat, or pay bills kinda stress. Something he may want to bear in mind though.

    He campaigned to sell Broon’s message. That message wasn’t simply flawed, it has proven to be entirely, catastrophically wrong. It’s led to a lot of hardship, misery and worry for folk who thought they’d earned a break from all that in their lives. I’m guessing there’s not a lot of sympathy for his stressful campaign memories about now.

    That’s on Broonosaurus and, (whether he likes it or not), it’s on him. It’s on every single one of those advocates who sold that message on every doorstep. On every fake camera op. On every stage managed broadcast. The constitutional, economic, societal crisis we find ourselves attached to today? That’s all on you. Well done on that (with the slowest possible handclap).

    So, yes. We’d like to see Mr Broon head up any new bitternothigither in onion campaign too (and no, that’s not a mis-spelling). We’d like to see him and whatever passes for bitternothegithers next incarnation, explain to Scotland’s population… just why they got their vision so biblically wrong.

    As a helpful hint? A massive grovelling apology should probably start off any conversations.

  11. There is no way Gordzilla or Archiopyerxy would ever front a NO campaign. Those two fossils don’t have the courage to face the voters. It’s not their style. They would much rather jump out of the shadows when safe to do so – well protected choreographed interventions and I not facing harmless vulnerable pensioners when no one is around to challenge them. A pair of nasty little British nationalist cowards

  12. Christ is he still alive?!

    As a dedicated fitbaw hater his appearance on the small (very small) screen was always the signal to leap up (pre remote) and change the channel – to the other one of the two available!

    Who gives a flying proverbial what Archie Macpherson thinks?

  13. Biggest shock for me from your latest blog post Paul was finding out that Airchie MacPherson was still alive as I thought the dinosaurs became extinct a long time ago. I couldn’t care less about what Airchie thinks, contrary to main stream media belief most people in Scotland don’t give a damn about what retired football commentators think.Airchie is delusional to think Iron Broon would be a good guy to lead the no campaign for a 2nd Indy ref. The unionist supporters are sounding more desperate by the minute.

  14. The very fact that Archie McP. could think that Dinosaur Broon is the man to lead another Bitter Together campaign says all you need to know about how completely out of touch these arch unionists are with Scottish public opinion .
    Why not go the whole hog and bring back Jim Murphy who was such a success at putting the Scotnats in their place in the 2015 General Election ! We could all do with a laugh !

  15. O/T

    I see that the BBC is providing live coverage of the Labour Party Conference on the Jo Coburn / Politics Live programme from 11:45am to 1:00pm. Looking forward to them doing likewise with the SNP Conference.

  16. This is a fun sport. Thinking of who will lead the next No campaign. JK Rowling? Jackie Bird? Rory Stewart?

    TBH I know people who think Gordon Brown is amazing, he saved the union, etc. But they are all well over 70 and actively *wanted* to be sold lies about pensions in an independent Scotland.

  17. This is a fun sport. Thinking of who will lead the No campaign. JK Rowling? Jackie Bird? Rory Stewart?

    TBH I know people who think Gordon Brown is amazing, he saved the union, etc. But they are all well over 70 and actively *wanted* to be lied to about pensions in an independent Scotland.

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