Friday, August 29, 2014

Cammo Through the Looking Glass

Just a quick note to let you know that I have a new article at the International Business Times, about our Tory overlord's latest foray north yesterday. You can read it HERE.


  1. Farmer arrived at my work with some material to be examined, and said he'd had to detour because it was impossible to get through Loanhead. I asked why and he said it was really congested. Someone else said there had been road works there (true), must have been that.

    Cammo was in Loanhead, visiting some unfortunate company. So now we know.

  2. Excellent article as usual James. The No campaign appear to be operating under the amusing delusion that the scottish public don't know that the cowardly Cameron is the tory PM forcing massively unpopular tory policies on scotland like the bedroom tax.

    They could not be more wrong.

    FPT: scottish_skier

    "I am, and have been for a while, one of the 'Shy Yes' and was interested to find out from you what the true story was about oil."

    You probably have the details to hand anyway (McCrone Report etc.) but these are two very informative reports covering some of the most salient aspects.

    North Sea find could produce for 35 years

    An oil field due to begin production east of Shetland could produce oil until 2050, it has emerged.

    Xcite Energy said yesterday that its Bentley find – one of the North Sea’s largest untapped resources – could produce more than 300million barrels of oil over 35 years.

    The firm plans to use enhanced oil recover techniques right from the start to maximise recovery.

    A trading update yesterday revealed that the field has proven, probable and possible reserves totaling 317million barrels.

    The update also revealed the company’s profits fell from £8.3million to just £470,000 during the first half of the year – but the huge prize on the horizon means the drop has done little to dent confidence.

    Rupert Cole, chief executive, said: “We have continued to make good progress towards our near term objective of the submission of the field development plan, with expansion of the development group, continuing engineering work and constructive contract discussions.

    Xcite Energy has become one of the first firms to get into the spirit of the Wood Review by pushing for the development of the area around Bentley.

    West coast oil boom was blocked by MoD

    A potential oil boom off the west coast of Scotland was blocked by Westminster defence chiefs.

    Declassified UK Government papers from the 1980s show for the first time how the Ministry of Defence was prepared to “pull out all the stops” to prevent any North Sea-style bonanza in the Firth of Clyde.

    Ministers at the time said oil firms were “expecting something exploitable” following a series of geological surveys of the area.

    But MoD bosses objected to energy giant BP installing drilling rigs in the seas just south of Arran because of fears it would interfere with a vital training and exercise area for nuclear submarines.

    Documents from 1983 show how the MoD’s “blanket refusal” to allow test drilling effectively ruled out establishing the full scale of any reserves in the Firth of Clyde.

    Chic Brodie, SNP MSP for the South of Scotland, last night accused the UK Government of a “massive cover up”.

    He said: “We now have clear evidence the MoD in the early 1980s made it very clear to the Department of Energy it would not tolerate oil drilling and production in the Firth of Clyde.

    “This is another McCrone-type deception of the potential use of Scotland’s natural assets.

    “I am angry that the people of the West Coast of Scotland, and indeed Scotland as a whole, have been deprived of the economic benefits and income that would have flowed from oil and gas production.”

  3. I think Scottish Skier understands the oil situation better than most of us, Mick. ;-)

  4. Indeed Juteman. ;-)

    No harm in highlighting a couple of excellent reports on the matter though.

  5. Looking at that post again, yeah, you're right Juteman. I'm sorry if it created the impression of offering help where none is clearly needed, I was really just trying to highlight a couple of the more persuasive articles to my mind.

    Reason for that is it's not just scottish_skiers wife's friend who wants far more detail on this, it's become one of the hottest topics in the Yes shops locally.

    Didn't happen overnight though, it's been steadily growing as interest in the Independence referendum has been growing. The Yes shops are getting packed out now and this was the busiest week yet as you would imagine.

    It also must be gratifying for scottish_skier to see the proof of 'Shy Yes' with his own eyes. So it is in the Yes shops. A great many people come in and are extremely diffident and non-comnittal, particularly if they are on their own. But once you get a group of the scottish public in exchanging stories (and that has been very much the pattern this week) you soon see that reticence disappear as they listen attentively and then join in with their concerns and their hopes for the future.

    It's hugely encouraging. :-)

  6. Long time lurker, first time poster (and PB regular from many years ago)

    There is change taking place in the mood of the country. People I know and work with are starting to come out publicly for Yes. These are generally middle-class types, most of whom I would never have suspected of being Yes voters. My wife has also noticed this amongst her friends and colleagues. It's almost like they needed some little excuse to justify voting Yes.

    I live and work in central Glasgow and there's definitely something in the air. More Yes window posters and folk publicly wearing their Yes badges. By contrast I have seen barely any public No displays.

    BT / No Thanks have been spooked, that's for sure. The change in their tone this week indicates that they know defeat is a real possibility. Once Yes get their noses in front, they are going to gather even more momentum as people will want to be part of making history. It won't even be close. I predict 60% Yes 40% No.

  7. Reason for that is it's not just scottish_skiers wife's friend who wants far more detail on this

    Thanks Mick but I already got back to her on the issue and that was her reply.

    I've been working in the industry for 14 years, hence she was looking for my view. She'd have voted Yes anyway, although it's nice when you discover very shy but pretty damn solid yes's like this.

    I find just sending people the polls which show up to 7/10 oil and gas workers are for indy and saying 'that's the scots who work in the industry' is by far the most effective way of settling nerves.


  8. Thanks scottish_skier. Point taken and link saved. That will come in handy. :-)

    We actually had a guy from the industry in today, wanted to talk about the potential in a few areas and said it should be used in adverts to hammer the point home. Long story short, after exchanging stories and reports he was about to leave when one of the more attentive Yes campaigners asked him "Are you a Yes?" He looked slightly surprised and said he was on the fence and didn't really know yet. As we said to each other when he had left, "and that's a don't know?!?" LOL

    He got a wee blue book before he left anyway so that should help too. :-)

  9. Pop, well done that was some of the best indy writing i have read. A lovely mix if clarity and brevity

  10. Incidently, a warm welcome to Stickers and thanks for his valuable insights from on the ground.

    "(and PB regular from many years ago)"

    Then you have our most sincere condolences sir. ;-D

    Stormfront Lite must be needing hosed down with disinfectant by this stage. The PB racists and bigots will have truly taken over now. They incompetent tory moderators have reaped what they have sown.

    "People I know and work with are starting to come out publicly for Yes. These are generally middle-class types, most of whom I would never have suspected of being Yes voters. "

    I had my jaw dropped last week when one of my father's friends revealed herself as a No. One of the very last people I would have considered. They are very well to do and their circle of friends includes a vehemently tory neighbour who she is very close friends with.

    I knew something was up though when I spotted a pretty sizeable saltire flying in their back garden. "Oho!" I thought, as I knew that wouldn't go down too well with her tory neighbour. They had organised a pretty lavish Barbeque where I popped in to see my father and say hello to everyone near the end. When the guests had gone I brought the conversation round to the Independence Referendum. Sure enough, not only was she a Yes but she was fantastically well informed on the issues. Used to be a teacher and it showed.

    She also told me with a laugh that when all the guests had first arrived that about six off them had gone off on one about 'that AlicSammin' and the Indyref. There was one other friend of hers who was a Yes and they had winked to each other and then stayed quiet and let them get on with it.

    We also talked about the polling and as it turned out she had not been contacted once by any polling company. Could well be her cohort was filled every time, but it's still food for thought.

    She would never put up out and out Yes posters as she feared vandalism, but the saltire was definitely staying up.

    So ye just never ken, dae ye? ;-)

  11. *sigh*

    Too quick with the "Publish You Comment" button as usual.

    OBV. should have read..

    "I had my jaw dropped last week when one of my father's friends revealed herself as a YES."

    Much better. LOL ;-)

  12. Originally posted on Wings:

    Guys, I was paid to take part in a referendum poll much earlier this year. I cannot remember the name of the company though.

    I was paid £150 to spend four hours in the Glasgow Hilton to discuss and answer questions on the referendum. I really wish I could remember the name of the research company. They didn’t disclose who they were researching on behalf of, they just said it was a big media company. They were touring Scotland.

    I was recruited into it by a company called Taylor Mackenzie whose offices are on Blythswood Square.

    The point is, I was given £150 and told that I was to go into that day as ‘undecided, leaning towards no’

    My friend was given £150 and told to go in there as a ‘decided no’.

    I have always been Yes. I took the money but I couldn’t keep up the pretence and the cat was out of the bag pretty quickly.

    Everyone in my discussion group was also fed their independence opinions beforehand. So the whole poll was a farce. The results were pre-determined.

    There were actual No voters in there of course but they mainly just really disliked Alex Salmond.

    The rest of them in my discussion group, despite being supposed No voters undecideds leaning towards no found the Yes arguments and the videos they showed us to be more reasonable, at least in the discussions that took place. We didn’t get to see the results of the final poll they took and weren’t to find out where they would finally be published but that experience confirmed to me that polls are not to be trusted one bit. I took part in a rigged poll and received £150 and a beautiful lunch at the Glasgow Hilton for doing so.

  13. Thank you for the warm welcome Mr Pork. PB was once a site with a reasonably high standard of debate. Sadly things ain't what they used to be.

    The No campaign and it's compliant media are now going full pelt with the "Nasty Nationalists" narrative. It's all they have left now and a sign of a campaign becoming more desperate as each day passes.

    And note also the convenient timing of the terrorism alert level being raised and headline news bulletins showing armed polce patrolling the cities of the UK. Makes us all feel a little less secure and a little more fearful. They know they are losing this.

  14. @Dannyp215 As James has already pointed out..

    "Anon at 10.46 : That's a bizarre story, but obviously it bears no resemblance to how published polls are conducted. Online pollsters do pay respondents, but it's usually only 50p!"

    What that story resembles is obviously a focus group which is where Market Researchers like Taylor Mackenzie would come into things.

    However! Without the actual name of all the companies and clients directly involved, and the overall purpose, it would be impossible to pin down. So in the febrile atmosphere created by Project Fear I'm afraid it must remain an interesting but ultimately unprovable story.

    Which is not to say these focus groups do not exist. We KNOW for a fact they do. One of the most risible excuses for the comical PartonisingBTLady PPB from the No campaign was that it had been focus grouped so it must have been fine. Oh really? LOL

    Focus groups can go very badly wrong when you create a hot-house atmosphere when they aren't scrupulously even handed.

    It's also incredibly easy for a market researcher to get carried away by wanting to please their client with "incredible reaction! Hit all your key demos right in the sweet spot etc." Nobody likes to hear their key messages and tactics might just be turds that simply cannot be polished. (see Labour scottish election campaigns 2007, 2011) That's because it's notoriously easy to manipulate a focus group and you need only look at the infamous Republican PR 'guru' Frank Luntz to know the truth of that.

  15. No problem Stickers.

    I must confess the incompetent fop Cameron does seem to be intent on proving yet again he is nothing more than a second rate Blair impersonator. What with these 'new' DIRE WARNINGS about a..

    'greater and deeper threat to security than we have known'.

    All he needs is a dodgy dossier and some "45 minutes to DOOM" headlines to complete the picture.

    So that trifling matter over Northern Ireland involving decades of carnage and such things as the Brighton bombing of the most senior members of the UK government was a tad overstated in your view was it Cammie? Yeah, didn't fucking think so chum.

    He compounds his Blairite stupidity even further (hard to believe though that is) with..

    "The terrorist threat was not created by the Iraq war 10 years ago. it existed even before the horrific attacks on 9/11, themselves some time before the war."

    Well we can easily check the truth of that, can't we?

    Iraq war 'increased terror threat'

    Britons are more - not less - likely to be the target of terrorist attacks as a result of the war in Iraq, an influential group of MPs claims.

    The Foreign Affairs Committee says British interests are under threat in the short term because of the conflict.

    It also claims a failure to find weapons of mass destruction has "damaged the credibility" of the US and UK's war against terrorism.

    There was a "crisis of confidence" in the security services, one MP said.

    Not enough proof?

    Iraq inquiry: Eliza Manningham-Buller's devastating testimony

    The former head of MI5's evidence to the Chilcot panel is a savage indictment of the Blair administration and its advisers

    In straightforward, devastating testimony, Eliza Manningham-Buller told the Chilcot inquiry how she had warned about what sensible – but mostly frightened to speak out – senior Whitehall officials believed in 2003: that the invasion of Iraq would increase the terrorist threat to the UK.

    More than once, the former head of MI5 emphasised to the Chilcot inquiry that the invasion exacerbated the terrorist threat to the UK and was a "highly significant" factor in how "home-grown" extremists justified their actions.

    "Our involvement in Iraq radicalised a few among a generation of young people who saw [it] as an attack upon Islam," she said.

    Manningham-Buller said she was therefore not surprised that UK citizens were involved in the 7/7 suicide attacks in London or by the increase in the number of Britons "attracted to the ideology of Osama bin Laden" who saw the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan as threatening their co-religionists and the Muslim world".

    The invasion of Iraq "undoubtedly" increased the terrorist threat in Britain, she said.

    Yeah, maybe you should stick to worrying about your own MPs defecting to the kippers Cammie as you seem a touch out of your depth yet again.

    So perhaps instead of cheerleading on yet another attack on Iraq without UN involvement as a jolly spiffing wheeze, maybe, just maybe, this twit of tory PM might want to dial down the apocalyptic rhetoric a touch.

    For those who still don't have a fucking clue what is transpiring in Iraq, this is NOT some simplistic and easily targeted goodies Vs baddies nonsense. It's a full scale THREE WAY CIVIL WAR which has been escalating all year and has murder squads and militants on all sides creating absolute carnage and bloodshed.

  16. Further to the above, while it is indeed completely unsurprising that Cammie always was and always will be nothing more than a second rate Blair impersonator, what is perhaps far less easy to understand is the way the media seem intent on going down the precise same road they did for the Invasion of Iraq.

    As if the media and press weren't distrusted enough.

    They not only should know better but they do know better. So stop with the absurd simplifications of this as all down to one faction like ISIS. It just ain't and you know it.

    Iraq conflict: Shiite gunmen kill more than 70 Sunni worshippers at mosque in Diyala province

    Suspected Shiite gunmen have killed more than 70 worshippers at a Sunni mosque in Iraq's eastern Diyala province.

    The attack is believed to have been carried out in revenge for a bombing that killed several Shiite fighters.

    Lawmaker Nahida al-Dayani, who is from Diyala, said about 150 worshippers were at Imam Wais mosque when the militiamen arrived after a roadside bombing that targeted a security vehicle.

    "It is a new massacre," said Ms Dayani.

    "Sectarian militias entered and opened fire at worshippers. Most mosques have no security.

    "Some of the victims were from one family. Some women who rushed to see the fate of their relatives at the mosque were killed."

    An army major who declined to be identified said the gunmen arrived in two pickup trucks after two bombs had gone off at the house of a Shiite militia leader, killing three of his men.

    A Sunni tribal leader, Salman al-Jibouri, says his community will respond.

    "Sunni tribes have been alerted to avenge the killings," he said.

    Kurdish Militants Kidnap 3 Chinese Engineers In Southeastern Turkey

    Three Chinese engineers working in Turkey’s southeastern province of Sirnak were kidnapped by militants of the outlawed Kurdish Worker’s Party, or PKK, on Saturday, China's state-run Xinhua reported Monday, citing Turkish news agency Dogan.

    The engineers were reportedly kidnapped from a shop in the town of Silopi, which lies on the Turkish border between Iraq and Syria, by PKK militants armed with long-barreled weapons. The militants then went on to attack a power plant construction site operated by China Machinery Engineering Corporation at the foot of Mount Cudi in Silopi district, Xinhua reported.

    PKK Kurdish Terrorists Are Fighting IS Terrorists With U.S. Help

    The U.S.-backed battle against the jihadists of the “caliphate” is bringing Kurds together and could help them win their own state.

    So does any of that sound remotely like something that will be solved with just a bit more firepower and air attacks? Or maybe bit more Blairite rhetoric from the fop will do it? Hmmm?

    Who would have guessed an Iraq War might prove to be an intractable nightmare? Oh, that's right, EVERYONE who doesn't have the memory of a goldfish!

    Make no mistake, even if the media and some of the most vapid politicians have learned nothing at all from Iraq, vast swathes of the public are DEEPLY concerned when they keep hearing the same old tunes and the same old excuses for the same old intractable bloody quagmires.

    This new Iraq stupidity is deeply unpopular when it gets talked about on the ground.

    Turns out not everyone is up for another jolly adventure in the middle east at the cost of god knows how much in human lives and cash.

    Incidently - The last Iraq War cost some $3 TRILLION. Though I presume if they now split it up into Iraq 1.0 and 2.0 it may not look quite so obscene.

    So that's allright then. Another intractable problem solved.

  17. Hi James, I did a YouGov indyref survey last night. It seemed straightforward. Interestingly it asked what I had voted in the 2011 holyrood election, not Euros in May. I will look out for it being published or maybe it is an internal one. Perhaps the Kellner Correction is only for polls that are put out for public consumption...?

  18. Do you know if No campaigner, the BBC, had a table at the pep rally dinner?

  19. Be going back out shortly as it's jam-packed today on the streets.

    Though I fear I have some sad news for the amusing tory twits and the No campaign.

    Their latest desperate efforts to scaremonger and smear the Yes campaign are proving to be as comically counterproductive as Darling's debate disaster and the PatronisingBTLady PPB.

    Plenty of smiling faces and much humour in evidence today from a remarkably busy Yes stall. No unspeakable violence or shouting matches at all. Curious?

    Murphy's Eggpocalypse and the hilarious shrieking from the unionist press and tory twits over it just isn't cutting it I'm afraid. Now there's a surprise.

    Turns out plenty of scots do actually remember John Prescott's adventures in Eggtown and seem to be laughing pretty hard at Murphy and his tory chums absurd and hysterical overreaction.

    The "Bairns not Bombs" stickers are going like hotcakes and the stock of the wee blue book were snapped up in under an hour. (Need far more of them now needless to say) Also lots of interest in forthcoming meetings around the area, particularly Labour for Indy and scottish socialist ones.

    Someone also pointed me in this direction while I was out and it is indeed a cracker.

    The child who made up her mind - Response to better together ad

    News also reaches me that the incompetent fop Cameron is trying desperately to push the idea of massed hordes of 'Shy No' for some strange reason. ;-)

    I'm sure scottish_skier could have plenty to say on that amusing notion.

  20. News also reaches me that the incompetent fop Cameron is trying desperately to push the idea of massed hordes of 'Shy No' for some strange reason. ;-)

    Oh yes Mick, apparently those puir wee feartie unionists are being bullied into silence by us nasty YES types