Today sees the first threatened legal actions of the independence referendum campaign, with the following notice going up on National Collective’s Facebook page – their main site being down altogether. Update: you can donate to them here.

On the 9th April 2013, Lawyers-Collyer & Bristow acting on behalf of Vitol and multimillionaire and principal donor to ‘Better Together’ – Ian Taylor threatened legal action against the ‘National Collective’ claiming that it was grossly defamatory.

Aamer Anwar, Solicitor acting on our behalf stated:

“National Collective have instructed my firm to act on their behalf, they state that they will not be bullied or silenced and state that their website is offline only as a temporary measure for a few days. A detailed and robust response will be issued early next week along with further questions for the ‘Better Together Campaign’ .”

There will be no further comment until early next week.

If you wish to be advised of any further updates please contact our solicitors Aamer Anwar & Co., on 0141 429 7090 or at

This follows the breaking by National Collective of the story of Mr Taylor’s previous entanglements, as reported by the Guardian here and the Record here.

This is a major mistake by Mr Taylor, and, if they supported his action, by Better Together. First, all National Collective appear to have done is compiled publicly available information to paint a picture of his interests. I am obviously not a lawyer, but good luck with basing a court case on that.

Second, as one wag put it on Twitter, here’s the McStreisand Effect. However much an airing this dirty laundry has already had, it’s going to get ten times more if this legal action is real (and at least a couple of times more even if they decide not to proceed).

Third, when you’re trying to win hearts and minds, as I assume the Yoonyonisht Conshpirashy still are, then clamping down on free speech is probably not the right way to go about it. It’s like a TV or radio debate – if one side starts shouting, the neutrals will assume they’ve lost the argument as well as their rag. Doubly so with what looks like attempted censorship on this scale. Incidentally, there are rumours of equivalent legal action against both Wings Scotland and “Berthan Pete” – although I believe their shared bullying manner undermines the Yes campaign, that same right of free speech applies to them.


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