The battle of Braveheart

I try very hard to keep out of disputes between independence supporters. They’re unproductive, all too often puerile, and only serve to benefit opponents of independence. But sometimes you just want to scream at people. There is a strain of puritan middle class self-righteousness within certain sections of the Scottish independence movement which would make John Knox seem like a louche libertine. They say that they want independence in order to improve the lives of working class people in Scotland, but they are sneery and dismissive of any manifestations of anything that working class people actually enjoy.

The latest wee stushie has been provoked by the decision of the organisers of the Hope Over Fear Rally in George Square on Saturday to show the movie Braveheart on a big screen as the rally begins. I have no time for the movie Braveheart, even less do I have time for it on a big screen in George Square where you won’t be able to hear any of the dialogue and will have to stand in what may very well be the cold and the wet in order to catch a glimpse of it over the massive saltire that the guy standing in front of you is carrying.

Braveheart is a Holywood romp with a Holywood romp’s understanding of history. As a symbol for the Scottish independence movement it is deeply anachronistic, harking back to those days in mid 20th century when Scottish independence was characterised by big hairy men who put on plaids at weekends and ran about the hillsides pretending to be Pictish warriors. We have moved on. We have moved on in no small measure because a violent movie starring a right wing American with a history of antisemitism, religious fundamentalism, and who has been subject to several allegations of violence against his partner, and of making racist and homophobic remarks, isn’t really such a great advert for the kind of independent Scotland we seek to build.  Braveheart might be a good epic movie if you’re into that sort of thing, as a manifesto for an independent Scotland it epically sucks.

There are lots of other Scottish movies that I’d have far preferred to have seen, movies made in Scotland by Scottish directors which reflect a Scottish and not a Holywood sensibility – movies like Local Hero, or Gregory’s Girl, or That Sinking Feeling, or The Angel’s Share. But I’m not going to deny that many people do enjoy Braveheart, and I am not so snobbish that I can’t recognise that working class people in Scotland are just as capable as middle class socialists of enjoying things ironically and knowingly.

Many working class independence supporters enjoy Braveheart precisely because they know that it is cheesy. They enjoy it because they know that it annoys opponents of independence and middle class hang wringers. They’re enjoying it precisely and consciously because it annoys those people. They enjoy it for the precise same reason that certain middle class left wing supporters of independence loathe it.  They enjoy it because they know that it gets up people’s noses. They enjoy it because they know that opponents of independence stereotype independence supporters as Bravehearts. They’re taking the stereotypes thrown at us by opponents of independence and they are revelling in them, and by doing so they are destroying those stereotypes of their power. It’s not just middle class university goers who are able to contextualise and deconstruct popular culture you know, working class people can do it too. The difference is that when working class people do it those middle class people accuse them of literalism. The middle class hand wringers are reinforcing the strength and power of those stereotypes, the working class people in the independence movement are saying, “We don’t give a toss.”  And they’ll look back at you with their blue painted face and say – “Your point is, caller?”

Is anyone going to be converted to the cause of independence because they’re showing Braveheart on a big screen in George Square on Saturday? No. Absolutely not. But equally if someone is claiming that they have been put off voting for independence because Braveheart is being shown on a big screen in George Square on Saturday, then the chances are that that individual was never going to vote for independence in the first place, certainly not if they’re put off by something so trivial. Getting upset because the organisers of a pro-independence event are showing the movie Braveheart is a bit like getting upset about Brexit because Boris Johnson doesn’t comb his hair properly. There are far more important things in the world you could be bumping your gums about. Grow up.

Apparently it’s all over social media that I am due to speak at the rally on Saturday. Which is nice, only no one organising the event has told me about it. None of the organisers of the rally has been in touch with me about speaking at the rally in George Square on Saturday. I only found out that I was supposed to be speaking at it when someone asked me about an advert for the rally they’d seen on Twitter which has my name and face plastered all over it.

Maybe there would be a smidgeon less controversy on social media if the organisers had thought to spend a wee bit more time organising the list of speakers they claim will be there – and you know, actually doing us the courtesy of contacting us to ensure that we’re going to be available before sticking our names and faces on an advert and putting it all over Twitter and Facebook – and spent a wee bit less time on organising the showing of a movie that celebrates Scottish male machismo. Just sayin’.

Update 11.35pm:  Seems there was an issue with an email going astray.  I will be speaking at the rally in Glasgow on Saturday.  But won’t be getting there until well after that movie has finished.

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93 comments on “The battle of Braveheart

  1. bearinorkney says:

    That needed saying. Well done for doing so.

  2. Andy says:

    Did’nae miss and hit the wa’, did ye? 🙂

  3. Reviresco says:

    On the button, as per.
    Hope they’ve had the courtesy to get in touch now. Bit late though

  4. In the name o’God, who came up this idea? Playing right into Yoons hands, crazy.

  5. Macart says:

    Well said Paul.

    Oh good grief was my first reaction! Also? More a fan of Local Hero.

    So glad I don’t do twitter. 🙂

  6. Ken Clark says:

    Well said, Paul, as always.

    Mel Gibson’s “Scottish” film has divided opinion since it’s release. He wanted to make his own Spartacus and Braveheart was the result. It’s a piece of Holywood fluff and should be treated as such. He seems to have a grudge against the English as his American revolution film did them no favours either.

    There is one thing the film gets right though. We Scots are our own worst enemies, bickering amongst ourselves, missing the bigger picture, to the benefit of the London establishment.

    Well, two things actually. There are always Scots willing to accept financial reward and positions of influence in exchange for betraying their country folk. The current crop are no different, with that runt of the present litter, Mundell, lording it over us.

    The goal of independence is too near now for nonsense such as this be allowed to distract us. It’s about time we learned from our own history.

    On a personal note, I always preferred Rob Roy, which came out the same year. A tartan Western I once heard it called.

    • Marconatrix says:

      I’ll put in a shout for Rob Roy too 🙂

    • Mr MicCoinnich worked on both Braveheart and Rob Roy as a Property Maker. We both infinitely prefer Rob Roy!

      • Ken Clark says:

        Met a couple of chippies working on the Braveheart fort while on an extended Highland holiday that summer. Fort William was full of stories of the competitive shenanigans both sets of stunt men got up to while there. I believe copious amounts of alcohol was involved.

        Gibson came in to the Ben Nevis bar with his production team one evening. He is tiny, certainly no Wallace, which he had the good grace to acknowledge with a joke at his expense in the film.

        It was also the first time we heard the “lipstick” joke, although the version we heard had a Scottish extra teasing him rather than the later version crediting Mel with the line.

        Both crews certainly livened the place up. Your husband was fortunate indeed to have been involved with both. I’m a wee bit jealous. 🙂

        The film does get under the skin of unionists though. I find it funny that the term “Braveheart” is used in a derogatory way. Can’t have Scots feeling passionate about their country or history. Who knows where that might lead?

    • Jim Devlin says:

      Well-balanced viewpoints, Ken and Paul. When something so important needs our focus of attention it’s good to be able to have some ability to see things in perspective, give and take sometimes and just agree to disagree on minor points. However It would have been good manners if organisers had consulted you earlier, Paul. Perhaps a slip-up in planning chronology? Hope you can make it on Saturday, though, with an apology from the backroom team. As for Braveheart? We’ll all be too excited by the live event to even watch the screen. Even those battle scenes featuring riders roaring on charging horses will be dwarfed by the massed ranks of Scottish Bikers for Independence entering Freedom Square! Hopefully I’ll be in there somewhere.

  7. Irene Danks says:

    I actually quite like Braveheart. It really amused me when the cries of “but it’s not HISTORICALLY ACCURATE…oh FOR SHAME” came from the usual suspects. Not, you will note, given to Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, round about the same time. Dear me no. “My that’s not a very ACCURATE REPRESENTATION of the Earl of Huntington, sure it’s not, Crawford? Michty.” Anyway, hokum schmokum. Like it, don’t like it…at least it’s not Brigadoon!

    • diabloandco says:

      My thoughts too! I thought Braveheart was a great romp – thought Rob Roy was mince mainly due to the accents.

      I have watched some old film where everyone from the Lord of the manor to the understairs maid spoke in the most unbelievably plummy of accents.

  8. […] Wee Ginger Dug The battle of Braveheart I try very hard to keep out of disputes between independence supporters. They’re […]

  9. Each tae their aim on this one. I enjoyed the film when it came out but as a 31 year old unattached Scottish man I was probably the target demographic.
    Today, I’m not at all bothered that people still like to watch it; I personally feel I’ve grown out of that sort of movie.
    I’m with Ken over his preference of Rob Roy, I suppose.
    But nobody ever shows Restless Natives any more and I loved that! 😀

    It take it you’re going on Saturday after all then!

  10. Chris says:

    I disagree – I think putting Braveheart on a loop at Indy gatherings does have an impact.
    It is a gift to our opponents.

    I am always bowled over by how ignorant some (though by no means all) people who voted No are about the Indy movement. Many of my friends think it’s all about hating the English, being mean keyboard-bashing Cybernats online, or blind, flag-waving patriotism. These are often intelligent people who simply haven’t examined the stereotypes they have in their heads.

    I patiently try to unpick and challenge these stereotypes… open people’s minds, I might even invite them along to a Yes gathering if they give me a chance.

    For a pro-Indy gathering to put Braveheart on a loop… I mean, seriously??? It really doesn’t help.

    • Cubby says:

      Chris don’t think your friends are that intelligent if they think so many people want Scottish independence due to a movie. It sounds to me they are brainwashed by the media in Scotland and do not have the intelligence/self awareness to realise that fact. Or alternatively, they know fine well that the stereotype is a lot of nonsense but are happy to use it as a cloak to hide their true reasons. Reasons that they perhaps prefer to keep to themselves.

      Good on you for having the patience to try and unpick their stereotypes.

      It is not in my opinion suppose to be serious (I may be wrong ) showing Braveheart but a bit of fun. It is not an attempt to convert people to yes. It is an old (23 years) movie and most people in Scotland who wanted to see it will have done so.

  11. Luigi says:

    The historically incorrect Brave Heart is a great movie if you take it the right way – pure Hollyood fluff with fantastic battle scenes, haunting music, a decent plot and a very clever, moving execution scene. The kilts were a bit naff, but I cringed more watching Gregory’s Girl and Local Hero – two pretty dull, uninspiring films IMO. Some people got them, some people got Brave Heart. Each to his own eh. 🙂

    • JGedd says:

      Of that lot, ‘The Angel’s Share’ is my favourite by a long way and the most authentic – and directed by an Englishman too. (Bill Forsyth’s films were always a bit too fey for my liking. And isn’t he one of those ex-pat Scots who now looks back at Scotland from sunny climes with a jaundiced eye? I’m always suspicious of the sentimental and didn’t particularly like his films either.)

  12. M biyd says:


    What other best selling international film about William Wallace do you prefer?. At the very least it prompted the Germans at Lubeck to reevaluate that a letter received from Herr Wallace may have been of some historical import… the only historical document with Wallace’s signature on it still surviving despite British efforts to firebomb it into oblivion.

  13. Kenny says:

    Scotland is only a small nation, the same size as Denmark or the Czech Republic and ultimately on a par with Estonia or Iceland (no bad company, of course!).

    Films like Braveheart and anything like Nessie, whisky, haggis, bagpipes, kilts, Macbeth, Sean Connery, Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie actually help to put us on the map and “punch above our weight” without the need for nuclear weapons.

    Braveheart managed to gather amazing goodwill for Scotland from countries from Lithuania to Argentina. If you want accuracy, there are loads of brilliant biographies of Wallace and histories of the Wars of Independence.

    Would Wallace himself be unhappy if he thought a cheesy film about him would be helping his country seven centuries later? I think he would approve!

  14. Robert Graham says:

    Oh get a grip with the it’s not historically accurate mantra. It’s a bloody movie that really annoys a lot of Unionists.

    If it winds up just one Unionist supporter ,great put up two screens and lose the we are better than that pish .

    Brownie points will not be earned for not showing it , sounds a bit like the moaning about the big billboards, the thing is they worked, it bloody well annoyed lots of them .

    Lighten up for Christ sake ,

    • Well said. Believe it or not, but Braveheart wasn’t made for Scotland alone. It was made to make money and therefore the USA was it’s main target audience. Your average American, wouldn’t know the difference between , for instance, an Irish accent and a Scottish accent. Why should they know the difference? In the same way, most Scots would struggle to tell the difference between a Californian and a Washington accent
      Braveheart was an Academy Award winning movie, therefore the American Academy of Motion Arts, didn’t seem to have any problems with accents. Nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won 5, including Best Picture and Best Director.
      The movie has been criticised by some Scots for the clothing of the period. The movie was nominated for an Oscar for costume design. Of course, what do the Yanks know? It also won a BAFTA, from the British Establishment for Costume Design. Of course, what do………Eh? Ok, we were all there in those days, we know exactly what they wore and what they didn’t wear. “It’s a fcuking disgrace, they didn’t wear kilts, blue face paint and tartan at Stirling Bridge”.
      It won or was nominated for 7 BAFTAS. Of course, that was before any thoughts about the Scots wanting Independence, from the mighty British Empire.
      Now, the British Academy would do it’s very best, to ignore such a movie about Scottish Independence. As we are all sure it will do it’s best to ignore, “The Outlaw King”, the new movie about Robert the Bruce and Scottish Independence. I say ignore at best, but the British media will go for it. They will try and undermine it, because they can’t stop it on Netflix. Bad acting, bad costumes, bad accents, inaccuracies here, there and everywhere. Also, I won’t be investigating the political views of either the Scottish Director David McKenzie or star Chris Pine. I will judge the movie as I find it.
      We’re all aware, that David Cameron made sure that ‘Outlander’, wasn’t shown to impressionable Scots before Scottish Indyref 1. Scots being murdered by Redcoats, wouldn’t be a good look, just before the vote.
      Outlander has been shown in the USA for 4 seasons and is being renewed for a further 2, by the premium satellite and cable TV company, Starz. Starz is shown in 31 million American homes. Running to at least 6 seasons in the USA is a big deal. Period productions are expensive to make.
      Location work is difficult and costumes and relative accuracy to detail of the period, costs money.
      But the Americans love it. They like to back underdog Scots, against big bully, the English. Strangely, many African Americans relate to the Scots struggling against English domination, with their own fight against oppression
      I’m sure many Scots could pick holes in Outlander, for its depiction of the run-up to the 45 Jacobite “Rebellion” and it’s aftermath. It’s not being shown mainstream in the UK of course. It’s being shown on the little watched More 4 satellite channel and Amazon Prime.
      There is a bit of the Scottish Cringe in all this. If this Independence group want to show Braveheart; So what? Unionists, criticise everything about the Independence movement anyway. We shouldn’t defend anything, don’t follow their agenda. We should always attack them. Relentlessly. Brexit alone, provides more than enough ammunition.
      All of these foreign productions, in my opinion, show Scots and Scotland positively. Thankfully, the producers aren’t sensitive to Scots moaning, nit picking and whining about historical detail. Scotland, has a very interesting and colourful history. When we are Independent, we have a great story to tell. A story that the rest of the world wants to see and hear. At the moment, our story is being told by others, if at all. Let’s go for independence, then we can tell our story ourselves. Then, you never know, we might have nothing to moan about.

  15. says:

    Well I enjoyed the film when it came out, sure not wholly accurate and with the wrong actor playing Wallace, but at least the fundamental story was there. Wallace did do what was thought impossible and despite it being fluffed up, it is still an important event and the film gave us that reminder should we have needed one, of the events back then.

    There is more to come next month, when the OUTLAW KING, Netflix’s biggest blockbuster, and filmed in Scotland, this is about Robert the Bruce and ultimately Bannockburn. and I can’t wait to see it. Despite, again, not the right actor perhaps, but I will reserve judgement until I view it. Coming to cinemas too, and sure to get right up the yoons noses. They really do not like Scottish history do they, well not when they lose anyway. For us, it is sure to make the blood rise, and at the right time.

    Mary Queen of Scots is coming too.

    • Cubby says:

      I always wondered what went through the Britnat minds that watched Braveheart. Did they route for the English in the movie?

  16. Andy Anderson says:

    Seems to me the organisors of the George Square soiree are naff at planning. Outdoor film a waste of time due to noise.

    I have no real opinion either way Paul. If folk who want to vote YES are happy then great.

    Unionist will have a go at the film as they will try to paint us as tartan nutters.

  17. Luigi says:

    How about a follow-up? Convince Netflix to do a promotional big-screen showing of Outlaw King in George Square.

    Now that would really make the Britnats rage. Eyeballs would emerge from their sockets. Blood vessels would pop. 🙂

  18. J R Tomlin says:

    Sorry but if you give about five minutes thought to Braveheart, it does no more favours to Scotland than it did to the English. The Scots are too stupid to comb their hair OR actually plan a battle. They just say it would be wonderful to run screaming at a much larger, better-armed army, not to mention that it represented Scotland as an English possession.

    And people who say that only the “usual suspects” (whomever those are) objected but did not object to Robin Hood or Prince of Thieves, I have to say bullshit. Some of us actually CARE about Scottish history and I even have some respect for English history. Turning into a mishmash that just teaches people more stupidity does no one any favours. And the actual history of Wallace was much more interesting than Gibson insulting crap.

    • J R Tomlin says:

      I’ve been one of the people who has defended Tommy Sheridan, but I can find no possible defence for this decision. I don’t think that working class Glaswegians are incapable of understanding or enjoying a better movie than Braveheart can be classed as a defence.

    • Cubby says:

      It’s not a history lesson it’s a Hollywood movie. The real problem is not the movie but the fact that so few Scots had any idea of Scottish history until they saw the movie. It helped awaken, I am sure, some people in Scotland and abroad to find out more and accurate history of Scotland. Surely this must be a good thing.

      You sound like you would prefer people to remain totally ignorant if it’s not your 100% accurate version.

    • Liz g says:

      It teaches nothing, it’s not a documentary.
      It’s an American movie.. a very popular one at that, and popular it was designed to be..
      What it does do is.. it gets the story told.

      There was a soldier who fought for his country and was killed for it..
      Every country has one.. but this one was ours and now because of that movie that soldier is known through out the world, even has a catchphrase..
      Why is anyone complaining?

      Anyone who wants accurate history can go look it up, and as I understand it a fair few did.
      It wasn’t made for Scotland.. but it did raise awareness of Scotland.
      Nae complaint here about that!

      My favourite Scottish movie is a’ Fond Kiss, beats Gregory’s Girl hands down IMHO…

      Paul’s right… nobody gets to tell anybody what “should “ be popular.
      If memory serves the Critics hated Les Misirables .. the Plebs said no we think we like it… and the rest is history… but no real history… that needs looking up…ad on in…to infinity and beyond..

      • Robert T says:

        Absolutely nail on head Liz , whether people like it or not due to ( artistic sensibilities and historical accuracy ) it fricken made a lot of money for the makers and EXPOSED Scotland’s plight and beauty to the WORLD , it has also contributed greatly as has Outlander to a massive increase in tourism , which many in Scotland benefit from . This SNOBBERY does no one any good , FFS it’s entertainment not a documentary

  19. susan says:

    Can’t say I liked Gregory’s Girl, Restless Natives etc much, too sickly and full of geeks. Not a fan of Braveheart either mind you.

  20. Stuart Mcnicoll says:

    I actually think it was a pretty good movie, it was no less historically accurate than some or indeed most offerings of great britishness like Dunkirk, Finest hour, battle of Britain. The list of great british twaddle is a long one and we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be bullied over this matter. We shouldn’t allow the sneers and jeers directed at us, because we didn’t make it.
    I suspect that what really gets up nose is that fact that at the end of period of war with our southern neighbour, signing the Treaty of Edinburgh in 1328, signalled the abject humiliation and defeat of English arms.
    Of the 51 battles fought between Scotland and England, Scotland won 29.
    Sunshine on Leith should be added to the list.

  21. Cubby says:

    Can there be any independence supporter who has not been told that they have been watching Braveheart too often. I don’t think showing this movie will make any difference one way or another – Britnats have always said this and will continue to do so . Therefore I do not see how it is playing into their hands. Quite the opposite, it shows a sense of humour. As a bonus if it annoys some Britnats all the better. They deserve to be annoyed every so often.

    It really is silly for people to think that so many Scots want independence due to this movie. I’ve seen the film once- a bit of harmless fun. Not a bad film despite Gibson.

    Gibson is an Aussie and certainly not a great actor or director so it could very easily have been a lot worse.

    Don’t think I will be going to George square as it does not sound too well organised. Even though it is easy for me to get there. Looking forward to the AUOB march in Edin sat 6th.

  22. Drew Ruthven says:

    Surely against copyright law!!

  23. Weechid says:

    During the referendum I worked at a small local cinema. At work, a few days after the devastating result, I heard a customer, a known “bool in the mooth” unionist, declare “Well at least now we wont’ have to watch endless re-runs of Braveheart”. I was never that impressed with the film but for that reason alone I’d play it every day because – yes, it annoys the Britnats and makes me feel like I’m sticking two fingers up to them. Don’t care if that makes me childish – sometimes I need to react.

  24. Paul. to escape from the dialogue about Braveheart, please don’t invoke John Knox as a universal boo figure. First of all it can be taken as code for Prods which is unhelpful. Also if you had read Jane Dawson’s surprisingly kind Biography of him you would know enough about him not to write off the guy who had dinner parties on a Sunday evening in his Manse as a killjoy.
    The killjoy part comes from a ghastly early 19th Century life which attempts to make him into an old Light Anti-burghers. Now by this time I’ve lost you so don’t worry. Just don’t invoke Knox in a derogatory way. A better example of misery is Fluffy saying anything. At least having worked in England Knox was so outspoken that he fell out with Elizabeth and had to get back to Scotland from the Continent by boat rather than travel up England. OK he made MQS cry, but she was a silly bitch any way. Ed

  25. chicmac says:

    By Hollywood standards, Braveheart is amazingly accurate. Classic example ‘Krakatoa East of Java’ (Krakatoa is actually West of Java but the producers thought East sounded better).

    Edward I did attempt to annex Scotland. There was a war to re-establish Scottish independence. Wallace was one of the main leaders. He was eventually captured by the English and executed in very gruesome manner. The battles of Stirling Bridge and Falkirk depicted in the movie did take place.

    Sure, some of the padding was fanciful or inaccurate but the basic plot, so far as it went, was well up the accuracy league for Hollywood.

    The main criticisms from a perspective of historic importance were ones of omission. Murray’s success in the North of Scotland, his joining forces with Wallace at Stirling Bridge and his strategic input. The ‘rebellion’ in the SW of Scotland under Bishop Wishart joined by a young Robert the Bruce and most significantly in my view, the successful ‘rebellion’ in the NE of Scotland with no identified leader whatsoever. Also Wallace’s attempt to resume trading relations with Scotland’s trading partners in the Low Countries. The battle of Rosslyn Glen where possibly more English casualties occurred than at Bannockburn and where possibly (opinion divided) Wallace was a key strategic adviser. The backdrop political scenario regarding the rival claims of Bruce and Balliol to the Scottish throne. The Auld Alliance with France initiated by Balliol. The failed invasion of England under Balliol and much more.

    However, it is completely unreasonable for a single movie to condense nearly 40 years of political and military struggle into anything watchable so inevitably they will focus on the more charismatic characters.

  26. Macart says:


    That went well then.

    Even when Mr Barnier offers a rubber ring to keep UK gov bobbing along, they seem determined to stick pins in it.

    • Och, Sam, England still thinks that the sun never sets on their vast Empire. Divide and conquer, the imperialist way.
      England, and it is ‘England’, because the Red Tory WM Oligarchy is running Brexit, and Mundell and his 12 Apologies for MPs aren’t even manning the tea urn at Brexit meetings, will always attempt to undermine their opponents by undehand means.

      Did Raab actually believe that he could strike back door transport deals with individual EU 27 countries?
      Certainly not.

      It was a move designed to chip away at the unified EU 27 front, a sad old Imperial ploy which was bound to fail.

      Bur such is the arrogance of Empire 2, that they barged ahead anyway, fully aware that their stupidity would be made public at some point, risking a No Deal/Eff Off England Brexit.

      Then it would be nasty Johnny Furriner’s fault when England and Wales stormed out of the talks shrieking ‘No Deal!’

      The bottom line remains.
      ‘Nothing is agreed, until everything’s agreed.’

      The Irish Border, Gibraltar, Scottish independence, the Four Freedoms, Single Market, Customs Union, Freedom of Movement, the jurisdiction of the ECJ, are immutable.

      Europe is not going to blink. Belgium is not going to break ranks and join England and Wales in the global wilderness.

      No Deal is almost a certainty now.

      As is Indyref 2, soon thereafter.

      • Macart says:

        UKgov… you can smell the desperation at this point Jack. Clearly the existence of the letters were reported near as soon as they hit the desks of those in receipt. UK gov should be getting the message at this juncture that they have no friends in Europe. They’ve kinda burnt those bridges all by themselves. (shrugs) Their choice and they’ve been loud about it t’boot.

        They were kinda telt early doors about making deals in isolation behind the chief negotiators back, just as they were telt about making trade deals with other nations before they ceased to be a member state. Pretty certain Messrs Barnier and Verhofstadt were fairly clear on that.

        Yes, I’d agree. Arrogance and ignorance makes for a dynamite combo.

        One caveat though. Whilst no deal is very, VERY, close and very likely. Nothing is certain till it’s certain. Also agree that Europe won’t blink. They can’t and never could. Undermine the four freedoms and they undermine the reason for the existence of the EU. Not a difficult concept, not unless you’re a died in the wool exceptionalist that thinks rules and laws are merely serving suggestions for others.

        Also? (and as you point out) They’ve burnt more than one bridge at home. They have endangered standing national and international agreements with the home nations. They have ridden roughshod over the devolution settlements of N.I., Scotland and the B.O.T of Gibraltar. On some (Scotland), the ink isn’t even dry. The equivalent of that smash n’ grab I mentioned t’other day.

        Whatever comes out at the end of this negotiation period, only one thing is absolutely certain. Should Brexit proceed? Soft, medium, hard or no deal, the populations of the UK are looking at penury and hardship way beyond the austerity legislation they’re enjoying right this moment and for a looooong time to come.

        There is no and never has been a good Brexit scenario for the peoples of the UK. Only minor demographics. Those and such as those. And frankly? I’m not entirely sure they were giving a shit about the rest of us.

        Reason two as to why there never was a good Brexit scenario? Mainly because it was NEVER planned for. No contingencies. No restructuring of the economy years in advance. No remodelling of the infrastructure to suit a new economic model. No societal aid put in place. No reconstruction of the constitution. No consultation with the devolved legislatures. No ready made proposals over near or adjoining border issues. No blueprint or timescale for unravelling EU legislation where it joined with UK laws or legislation. No thought for the cost to the rights, lives and livelihoods of EU nationals residents. Most importantly? No proposal ready and waiting to hand over to the EU on all of the above. Nothing. Not a jot.

        Fail to prepare. Prepare to fail. As I say though, not entirely sure that those driving the show were worried about the cost of failure for the rest of us.

        • Sam, see my comment on Mike Settle’s ‘breaking news’ report on the NAO’s forecast of Agricultural Meltdown.
          I have a sense that you are right.
          The wealthy Ruling Class who think that they run the UK don’t give a toss about the well being of the Hoi polloi.
          Witness the criminal savagery of their 8 year Austerity programme.
          Willie Rennie actually boasted that the Coalition had cut the deficit, completely oblivious to the fact that, as we now know, the State engineered Ultra Right wing austerity, rob the Poor, reward the Rich, wheeze, has led to the premature deaths of 120,000 UK citizens.
          The Rich and Privileged don’t give a damn.
          The Daily Mail warns that Brits holidays to Europe may be at risk next year. No shit, Sherlock.
          Our Fifth Column Fourth Estate have covered their back for 27 months now.
          Hell slap it up ’em.

  27. K1 says:

    If our ‘inaccurate’ historical films and series are so lame…why’d Outlander get barred from out tv screens in 2014?

    People underestimate the ’emotional’ significance of such fare at our peril.

    Why’d ye think aw the last few years offerings of ‘English’ based dramas mentioned in a comment above, Chrchill, Dunkirk et al were ‘put out’ there.

    Tommy Shetidan’s no daft and he understands ‘propaganda’.

  28. My tuppence worth, then I’m off out of this ‘Braveheart’ nonsense.

    ‘The Maggie’ is a delicious little film, cocking a snoot at authority and ‘modernisation’.

    The opening sequence as the wee puffer enters the Broomielaw, a dark smoke filled hub of Second City Empire, the river belching poison into the air but jam packed with ships and industry, is an historical document in its own right.
    A gentle comedy with acting at church hall amateur dramatics level, it is still a wee dark opal presaging the destruction of the Clyde, and ultimately the emasculation of Scotland.

    ‘The Great Escape’, ‘The Dambusters’, ‘The Man Who Never was’, I could go on.

    James Garner reprised his jaunty ‘Maverick’ role in a Stalag romp.

    Reality didn’t come into it.
    it was pure entertainment with a dollop of English plucky jingoism, rather like the Brexit debacle.

    Off now.

  29. Roy Moore says:

    It is not a “strain of puritan middle class self-righteousness” to criticise the modern politicisation of this, or any other film. This politicisation of this film by some pro indys’ has an exact parallel to the sectarian triumphalism displayed by those who assert that The Battle of The Boyne, King Billy & orange sashes have any real meaning to modern Scotland. You also see this in that other piece of nonsense The Flower of Scotland. I’d no more sing that song than I would God Save the Queen.

    • Liz g says:

      It was Better Together and the British Nationalists before them who politicized that move.
      They used it as an insult towards Scots, way, before the first referendum campaign in 2014.
      Then tried to portray the first Yes campaign as just a fringe group who took the movie too seriously.
      They were wrong on both counts…

      • Roy Moore says:

        Yet, here we are showing this old, irrelevant and quite frankly awful film in George Square. As if it means something. So why add to the political aspect? Time to move on. The romantic version of Scottish history is as much a myth as is The British Empire bringing peace & civilisation to the world. We criticise, correctly, people like Fox & Johnson for indulging in a misty eyed vision of past glory. Well, I’ll criticise any Scot who thinks that Wallace or Bruce has any relevance to the aspiration of Scottish Independence.

        • Cubby says:

          Sounds to me you just like criticising.

          Dam, I guess I am criticising you so I am doing the same.

          If the movie means a lot to some independence supporters why don’t you just leave them alone.

    • “I would no more sing that song than I would ‘God save the Queen’.” You’ll be in a VERY small minority then! For goodness’ sake get over yourself, Man!

      • Roy Moore says:

        Delighted to be in a minority on this issue, Detest the song, always have always will. It’s a good example of the Scottish cringe, as is Braveheart. I cringe every time I hear it. I’ll take Highland Cathedral over Flower of Scotland & Burt Lancaster in Local Hero over that ham actor Gibson anytime.

  30. alan says:

    Well said about , I’m well over it, and get a bit hacked off when Yoonies just dismiss the Scottish independence movement as “Braveheart Twats”.
    It’s true when they say that, it’s clear they have no argument, but leave they’re insults to them.

    Arm yourself, get aware of the facts that a independent Scotland will be a richer and better country for it.

    For example: “If its geographic share of UK oil and gas output is taken into account, Scotland’s GDP per head is bigger than that of France. Even excluding the North Sea’s hydrocarbon bounty, per capita GDP is higher than that of Italy. Oil, whisky and a broad range of manufactured goods mean an independent Scotland would be one of the world’s top 35 exporters.
    An independent Scotland could also expect to start with healthier state finances than the rest of the UK”

  31. Illy says:

    There’s an old Michael Caine film called “Water” that is very appropriate for Scottish Independence.

  32. “Rural areas facing a ‘no-deal disaster’ after watchdog warns of threats to UK food exports.”
    This is from Scoop Mike Settle of the Herald Britland this morning.

    The National Audit Office has declared Brexit a disaster for UK Agriculture and Farming.

    Michael Gove’s DEFRA has recruited 1,300 additional staff and they’re still working on an IT solution in anticipation of a Hard Brexit/No Deal outcome.

    And by the way, we’re running out of time. we’re not going to make it…And Mafeking has been relieved.

    For the thick end of two years we vile Cybernats have been discussing and debating in very precise terms exactly the disastrous outcomes of Brexit, and foretold the Panic Stations nonsense Settle sets out as ‘breaking news’ in this tired, past its sell by date, Dead Tree Scroll.

    Only 25% of Scottish agriculture will survive in Liam Fox’s WTO Nirvana, There is talk of 80% tariffs on Scottish Lamb and beef.
    3 out of 4 farms will go to the wall.
    Who says so? The scaremongering BAD SNP according to Two Jobs WATP RFC Political Wing Professor Adam Tomkins.
    Well, no. It is his own Tory Masters’ National Audit Office who has finally caught up with the rest of us.
    Perhaps Settle should have had a chat with Dave Leask, his colleague and proto Yoon at the Herald..
    He has at least been reading WGD, WoS, Peat Worrier, Grouse Beater, Bella, Bateman, over the last 27months.
    The home of real journalism is in the ehter
    Ruth Davidson’s Party are killing us, and the Red and Yellow Tories have popped out to the toilet for six months, and it’s only news now?
    Let’s hope that these Brit Nat Scribes don’t have families who will be the real victims of the Yoon Brexit madness they have been supporting and covering up since June 2016.

  33. Andy Anderson says:

    Paul is this Saturday event a hoax by Brit Nats to get Yes people to waste their time. I think this as the list of speakers appear not to be aware.
    They could then tweet about stupid Yessers. Just a thought.

    • Clydebuilt says:

      Andy, photos of Yessers watching Braveheart. Is a gift to the Media. Hard to believe it’s a silly mistake!

      • Cubby says:

        For goodness sake. The whole point of independence is not to have to jump to the tune of the Britnats. I do not care what they think. They will write critical stuff whatever.

        This is a form of cringe. “Oh we need to be careful we must not upset our masters.” Get a grip. It’s a movie – if we cannot be independent enough to pick our own movies for our own rallies without all this over the top nonsense then we have a long way to go.

        I think I will go to the rally now and watch the movie. Not because I particularly have a great affinity to it, not because it is historically accurate, not because it will convert one no voter, not because I have a misty eyed vision of past glories but because it means something to some independence supporters and it demonstrates an independent mindset. We will watch in Scotland a movie about Scotland if we want to without worrying about how Britnats will use it for propaganda.

        Get off your high horse – that is reserved for the Bruce at Bannockburn.

  34. Craig P says:

    If there is going to be a film showed at an independence rally what is wrong with The Blues Brothers? Great tunes, mocks the racists, and we’re on a mission from God.

  35. Marconatrix says:

    According to Jeggit it’s “truth without being fact”. Worth reading his positive take on how it inspired his generation with a thirst for Indy and how he holds that at root was really about cutting the sneering ‘haves’ down to size :

  36. Wullie says:

    Ah. The Maggie. thee most fantastic movie I have ever watched

  37. Iain McCord says:

    Braveheart’s main flaw is in the ending.

    If you didn’t know about the sequel then it’d really be pish.

    It’s the same with Mary (ex) Queen of Scots

    And Bonnie Prince (or so he claimed) Charlie

    Romantic defeats.

    The redeeming feature of Braveheart is we know the Bruce is round the corner and that defeat is not, always, forever.

    Obvs if you ignore the history it’s a fun film in the ilk of Robin Hood.

  38. Macjim says:

    To be honest, I thought it a pretty dreadful movie… 😬

  39. While we are at the movies, the madness continues unabated.

    This from Macwhirter’s column in the Herald Britland on P1 testing, which is not testing but assessments, checking levels of understanding of 4/5 year olds at a vital early stage.

    “The Educational Institute for Scotland is militantly opposed to primary testing on the grounds that it doesn’t provide “meaningful results”. The EIS recently submitted a dossier of comments from teachers and parents that made primary testing sound like a form of child abuse. There were tales of kids “bursting into tears”, “quaking in fear” and even “soiling themselves”. Campaign groups like Upstart say that it is wrong to force academic education on five-year-olds when they should be in playschool.”

    Well, let’s look at the main protagonists.
    ‘The EIS’, is headed by Larry Flanagan, former Labour Militant councillor who was reportedly kicked out of the Labour Party for his extreme views.

    He is now General Secretary of the EIS, which put together this dossier of comments from teachers and parents, which Macwhirter coyly summarises,’sound like a form of child abuse’.

    Nicola Sturgeon is abusing infants!

    Flanagan is a Corbynista, shamelessly using his role to forward his Yoon Militant agenda.

    I find it hard to believe that there are not some children in P1 who do not on occasion ‘burst into tears’, are ‘quaking with fear’ by being away from their parents for the first time, and I have no doubt at all that there are others who ‘soil themselves’ now and again.

    Will we have access to a redacted copy of this ‘dossier’?
    You bet your life that we won’t.
    The very serious allegation is that infants are suffering ‘child abuse’ because of assessments. I demand to have sight of the evidence, Larry Flanagan.

    I’d argue that this is the fakest of fake ‘dossiers’.

    It has been cobbled together to provide ammo for the Dead Tree Scrolls to Bad the SNP, blacken Nicola Sturgeon, and to ’embarrass’ the Government .

    What the fuck are the Greens thinking about?

    The attainment gap is a poverty gap.

    Patrick Harvie is going to vote with Annie Wells and Professor WATP Tomkins to defeat the Government.
    There is a mountain of evidnce that children are wetting themselves, bursting into tears, and quaking with fear because they are starving, malnourished, shivering in homes that cannot be heated in winter, because Willie Rennie and Ruth Davidson collaborated in rewarding the rich, and taking away from the poor.
    These are the facts, not a made up dossier from Larry Flanagan’s office.

    As for Upstart?
    I’ve visited their site.

    It looks like a comfortably off bunch of educational ‘specialists’ and academics who advocate that we abandon the 5 year start point, and instead introduce kinder gardens and let the kids play until they are seven.
    Aye, right.

    We have an estimated 360,000 Scots children living in Rennie/Davidson/Dugdale induced poverty.

    They are starving, ill clothed, in poor housing.
    What planet are these ancient do-gooders from?

    There I’ve ended my sentence with a preposition.

    This nothing short of a manufactured gripe by the Brit Nats to BAD up the SNP and monster Nicola Sturgeon.

    They don’t give a fuck about the welfare of at least the 360,000 Children of the Damned.
    Rant over.

    • Iain McCord says:

      The problem with assessments is that not only does it highlight potential problems before they get out of hand but also shows where there are none. The SNP can’t be allowed to succeed where legitimate concerns have been raised. Nor can they expose any exaggerations.

      • ‘Legitimate concerns’, Iain?

        May I see Larry Flanagan’s ‘dossier’?

        At the moment all I have is anecdotal reports of infants’ behaviour, where there is a mass of evidence to demonstrate that the Attainment Gap, and the behaviours described are more likely to be caused by poverty, and social deprivation.
        I repeat; is Patrick Harvie really going to vote with the Blue Tories, who are the prime cause of a third of a million of our children living in state engineered poverty; all to flex his political muscle?
        The James Cagney syndrome.

        It reeks of a put up job.
        As for the Upstart Child Nirvana?

        Why can’t we be like Norway and Sweden, they purr?
        Because England stole our oil and most everything else produced Up Here.

        • Iain McCord says:

          I was thinking more of the concerns regarding academic achievement that were being bandied about in previous years. All the talk about falling standards. Something that assessments might be brought in to address. And the cynical response to that effort is to ensure it can’t succeed as that might increase confidence in the SNP.

          Obviously anything the SNP does is wrong and must be undermined regardless of whether the parties opposing it would do the same.

          • Iain, you hit the nail on the head.
            The ‘opposition’ Parties see their role as ‘opposing’, no matter what.
            Children’s welfare is the last thing on their minds.
            They know that they will never be in Government to pick up the pieces of the havoc thery wreak.
            They are that cynical.

            Whatever a Self Determination party propose, they oppose.

            They are not the slightest bit interested in the welfare of the citizens of Scotland.

            Otherwise Neil Findlay and Monica Lennon would be demanding Ruth Davidson’s head on a plate, and supporting the SG in mitigating the bedroom tax, condemning the two child cap, and rape clause, and urging Cole Hamilton to shut the feck up about the excellent Queensferry crossing, built to budget and a major economic and tourist boost to the East Central Belt of Scotland.

            No, we have little slugs like James Kelly smirking at his OBFA ‘triumph’ as supporters are stabbed and Burger Bar staff get beaten up by football hooligans as they lay waste of all before them on their way back from a game.

            The P1 assessment furore is a put up job.
            The general secretaries of our Unions are Labour Unionists, and do not reflect the views of at least 50% of their membership.

            Starvation and deprivation engineered by a heartless English Parliamentary system (The Blue Red and Yellow WM Tories voted Together to bring in yet more Rob The Poor Reward the Rich Austerity) is the cause of infants feeling wretched in class.
            What sticks in my craw is that they know it, and so does Patrick Harvie.
            Nuff sed.

  40. Jon Southerington says:

    The legend of Barney Thomson is the one for me.

  41. m biyd says:

    Further to my comment last night where i asked Paul what better version of Wallace’s story he has seen on the big screen i should’ve added … with the exception of Robin Hood? We all know that Robin Hood was really based on William Wallace and his brother “little” John, his wife Marion, his Bowmen from Ettrick forest and his nemesis the Sheriff of Lanark at a time when the King was held in a foreign land.

    • chicmac says:

      Yep, Bishop Wishart the warrior priest was possibly Friar Tuck, the Red Comyn was Will Scarlet.

      I have read the folk tale adaption probably made its way South from the Edinburgh area in the mid 15th Century.

      The first historic mention of a real Robin Hood was by the Scottish chronicler Adam of Wyntoun who described a rebel band leader in England called Robert Hude, but the plot line and other characters are, with most likely less historically based name changes, a direct lift from Scottish history.

      So the countless Robin Hood movies are actually a really inaccurate version of Wallace’s story.

      The lower class story is seldom recorded in history unless in the subsequent writing down of folk lore well after the event by which time the criticism of fabrication can easily and conveniently be leveled at it. Like Blind Harry’s version for instance.

      However, I did come across a very interesting fact during my researches of the period. Under the feudal systems, serfs who ran off and tried to escape their master frequently resulted in arrest warrants being issued by the courts. In Scotland, the last arrest warrant for an escaped serf was issued shortly after the War of Independence but In England, arrest warrants continued to be issued for about another hundred years.

      Not difficult to see how a lower class in England might readily embrace a tale which promised greater freedom, like that which may have existed in their Northern neighbour.

      • mbiyd says:

        Thanks Chic. I couldn’t recall the Bishop’s name.. played by Brian Cox in the film I recall. Interesting point re the Red Comyn. I think I read somewhere that the English/ Welsh soldiers who fought in the early Wars of Independence carried the story south. Wasn’t serfdom still alive until the 19th century in Scotland on the land and down the mines?

        • chicmac says:

          Serfdom into the 19th C, no.

          I think the payment of feu duty, an anachronism from the feudal past, is often conflated with those other more restrictive practices of the feudal system.

          It was a payment made for land use to whomever it was supposed was entitled, literally.

          That did indeed survive not just into the 19th C but into the 20th C.

          As an office junior for a large Law firm in the late 60s, on my daily delivery run, at certain times of the year I had to pay in the cheques for feu duty for many clients in regard to the land their property was on, but already by then the amount was very small (typically 35p in today’s money) and not much more than an anachronistic token, an annoyance more than anything.

          Indeed it was not completely abolished until 2004.

          Another source of possible confusion is the practice of feeing in agriculture where farmers would hire workers at feeing markets for a period of 6 months or a year. But that arrangement was contractual and time limited and therefore not at all compatible with serfdom.

          • chicmac says:

            comparable not compatible

            • mbiyd says:

              Just checked the last coal miner serfs were emancipated in 1799… so I was nearly right. However, the Bevan boys and the young Scottish lassies dragooned into working in English munition factories during WW2… weren’t they in a form of serfdom or indentured labour ?

  42. douglasclark says:

    I kind of appreciate Mel Gibson. There was a completely spontaneous – OK perhaps not utterly spontaneous – song on a train back into Glasgow Central after a football match at Hampden Park Glasgow.

    “There’s one Mel Gibson, just one Mel Gibson” repeated incessantly. What was funny about that is that we can parody ourselves. Frankly, I joined in, as did most folk in the carriage.


    On a different point, I think that a terrestrial release of “Outlander” might have got hackles up.

    Enough to make a difference.

    Deliberately not shown.

    Just saying.

    • chicmac says:

      Nevertheless, do you not think his demonization of Edward I (Longshanks) in Braveheart is highly ironic given his own alleged anti-Jewish stance?

      Edward I was the first to both expel and exterminate Jews in Europe, others had merely expelled them, but he was the first to kill thousands of them as well as deport thousands of others. He was, effectively, a proto-Hitler.

      The law he invoked banning Jewish people from England stood for several hundreds of years.

      • JGedd says:

        Until Cromwell?

        • chicmac says:

          Indeed. Even the darkest clouds have silver linings.

        • JGedd says:

          Also, re sefdom in Scotland, this from the Scottish Mining Website:

          ‘In the 17th and 18th centuries, coal miners in Scotland, and their families, were bound to the colliery in which they worked and the service of its owner. This bondage was set into law by an Act of Parliament in 1606, which ordained that “no person should fee, hire or conduce and salters, colliers or coal bearers without a written authority from the master whom they had last served”. A collier lacking such written authority could be “reclaimed” by his former master “within a year and a day”. If the new master did not surrender the collier, he could be fined and the collier who deserted was considered to be a thief and punished accordingly. The Act also gave the coal owners and masters the powers to to apprehend “vagabonds and sturdy beggars” and put them to work in the mines. A further Act of 1641 extended those enslaved to include other workers in the mines and forced the colliers to work six days a week.

          Even the Habeas Corpus Act of Scotland, in 1701, which declared that “the imprisonment of persons without expressing the reasons thereof, and delaying to put them to trial is contrary to law”; and that “no person shall hereafter be imprisoned for custody in order to take his trial for any crime or offence without a warrant or writ expressing the particular cause for which he is imprisoned” specifically stated “that this present Act is in no way to be extended to colliers and salters.”

          The process of emancipation began with an Act of Parliament of 1775 which freed the colliers in age-groups.’

          • chicmac says:

            Wow. I was unaware of that and will look into it. Thanks.

            It does parallel serfdom to an extent but would appear to be more like an enforced specific industrial indenture rather than enforced allegiance to an individual.

            Perhaps at that time, those particular industries were considered especially vital to the national interest? Almost like press ganging sailors into the navy or mobilisation at time of war.

            Unacceptable, of course, by today’s standards but we still today have prohibition on the withdrawal of labour for some sectors, e.g. the police.

            • JGedd says:

              Yes, I see your point but it is the inclusion of colliers’ families which makes this quite different to that of press-ganged sailors and soldiers.

              • chicmac says:

                Well, without researching further, I’m not sure ‘and their families’ is little more than a side observation which would equally apply to any en-forcibly indentured male of the period. Bearing in mind the source quoted may have some kind of agenda even if only one of dramatisation.

                The main point I was trying to make is that a specific set of endeavours considered to be in the national interest may be exceptionally addressed with regard to worker’s rights at a given point in time.

      • m biyd says:

        The late Scottish historian David Daiches wrote that Scotland was perhaps the only European country never to have had anti-semitism. Many who fled from Edward’s England came to Scotland. The tragedy from a Jewish perspective, when considering serfdom/indenture etc, was that people of the Jewish faith were restricted to certain occupations in medieval Europe. Usury being one since Christians were banned from money lending. The irony being that this has been utilised as an antisemitic slur since and back then as soon as Edward or other leaders needed money or couldn’t pay their debts the pogroms started. Cromwell readmitted Jews to England i recall.

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