"A new and awful low in Scottish politics" – Margaret Curran

Wings Over Scotland

The go-to guy 0

Posted on November 27, 2015 by

For reasons which defy all known science, John McTernan remains the first number on the BBC’s speed-dial list when they need a commentator to represent Labour views. It’s a remarkable editorial decision, given that McTernan despises the party’s current leadership almost beyond words, and it doesn’t seem too fond of him either.


But on today’s Good Morning Scotland, McTernan really kicked it up a notch.

Read the rest of this entry →

Another vow delivered 46

Posted on November 27, 2015 by

On the left, the Conservatives’ 2015 general election manifesto.


On the right, yesterday’s Press & Journal. We wish we could even fake surprise.

The conjurer’s assistants 147

Posted on November 26, 2015 by

Yesterday George Osborne treated us to an Autumn Statement in which he performed one of the most remarkable political U-turns in living memory.

The apparent need to cut £12bn from the welfare budget has long been sign-posted by the Tories as a requirement to getting us “back in the black” and on the road to a “higher wage, lower welfare, lower tax” society as part of their oft-cited “long-term economic plan”. (Or what academic economists prefer to call a risky experiment with the economy in order to score political points.)

Alert readers will recall David Cameron saying before the general election that child tax credits wouldn’t be cut in pursuit of that goal. But after the election, Osborne decided that they would. The Institute for Fiscal Studies determined that these cuts would have the worst effects on some of the poorest families in Britain.


Despite widespread opposition to the cuts, Labour infamously abstained on the critical vote in the Commons. Then, when the welfare bill reached the Lords, Labour once again abstained on a Lib Dem motion that would have completely killed the bill, in favour of a Labour one which phased in the cuts over three years, but meant Osborne would have to find another £4.5bn in his budget.

The passing of the Labour motion enraged Cameron so much that he went on an extraordinary rant about a “constitutional crisis” and announced a “rapid review”.

So we were somewhat surprised to hear Osborne say yesterday that the best thing to do was “not to phase these changes in, but to avoid them altogether”.

Read the rest of this entry →

A grand bonanza 112

Posted on November 26, 2015 by

At today’s First Minister’s Questions, the Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale oddly chose to spend her entire allotted time not on any current issues affecting Scotland, but on attacking the SNP’s 2013 White Paper on independence, seemingly unaware that the referendum was held 14 months ago and resulted in a win for the No side.

Happily for Scotland, that decision resulted in a huge £200bn oil bonanza.


Hang on, let’s just double-check that to be sure.

Read the rest of this entry →

Justified Ancients Of Mao 99

Posted on November 26, 2015 by

Here’s our old pal John McTernan, angrily condemning Labour’s shadow Chancellor John McDonnell quoting Chairman Mao to make a point in the Commons yesterday:


And for once he’s right. What sort of vile cretin would go around quoting Mao?

Read the rest of this entry →

Daily Record Maths For Beginners 364

Posted on November 25, 2015 by

We tweeted this yesterday:


Increasingly, the line between satire of the Scottish media and reality is non-existent.

Read the rest of this entry →

Down memory lane 347

Posted on November 24, 2015 by

Ah, the good old days.


Obviously, actually including the exact phrases “within 45 minutes” and “weapons of mass destruction” might have been a little bit too near the knuckle, but the message comes across just the same: “Here we go again.”

The missing story 247

Posted on November 23, 2015 by

The Daily Record has this on its front page today.


And that’s fine. The tale of a five-figure sum of money which might (or might not) have gone missing from the accounts of Women For Independence, who’ve promptly called the police to investigate an apparent discrepancy between their donated income and their expenditure, is entirely legitimate news.

But we couldn’t help wondering something.

Read the rest of this entry →

Then and now, part 99 188

Posted on November 23, 2015 by

On the left, the Daily Record two years ago.


On the right, the Daily Record today.

Read the rest of this entry →

What happens next 189

Posted on November 22, 2015 by

We don’t often bring you footage of an Armed Forces Committee session in the US Senate, readers, but this spellbinding six minutes of questioning from a Republican senator on the subject of military action against ISIS doesn’t miss and hit the wall.

(We should note that Sen. Graham is a hawk who wants ISIS bombed back to the Stone Age. But even he can see the insane, irrational nature of the action currently being proposed, which would leave Syria a shattered mess but firmly in the hands of a murderous Russian-backed dictator conducting a ruinous, destabilising civil war.)

Bye bye Barnett 135

Posted on November 22, 2015 by

For over two years now, this site has been warning that the UK government will take the earliest opportunity it thinks it can possibly get away with to abolish the Barnett Formula, the funding mechanism which the No campaign sold as the biggest benefit of Scotland remaining in the Union.


The Formula is hated almost everywhere else in the UK, by both politicians and the English (especially) public, who see it as an over-generous subsidy to the scrounging Jocks, and with the threat of independence theoretically removed after the referendum there’s very little protecting it.

Neither Labour nor the Tories – with just one Scottish MP each – would have much to lose politically from reducing Scottish funding by billions of pounds they could use to bribe swing voters in England instead. Barnett’s partial survival was the only solid commitment made in The Vow, but it’s set to be slashed by the Scotland Bill, and the smaller it gets the less resistance there will be to its total removal.

This week the House Of Lords made lots of headlines by highlighting the shambolic, half-baked state of the Bill, which hasn’t yet come up with a “fiscal framework” to replace the bulk of Barnett. But make no mistake – the Lords want it gone just as much as everyone else does.

Read the rest of this entry →

A small revision of history 183

Posted on November 21, 2015 by

This is John Humphreys on the Today programme on Radio 4 earlier this week:

(Today, BBC Radio 4, 18 November 2015)

And there’s only one small thing wrong with that.

Read the rest of this entry →

↑ Top