Scottish independence, plus jokes.

Wings Over Scotland

New readers start here 359

Posted on March 28, 2014 by

Bams to the slaughter 126

Posted on November 27, 2014 by

You have to hand it to David Cameron – he doesn’t hang about. Barely two hours had passed after the declaration of the result of the independence referendum when he started tying new devolved powers into legislation on “English votes for English laws”, in a slick knifing of his unsuspecting hitherto-allies in Labour.


And just as hot on the heels of the Smith Commission’s final report, he’s at it again.

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And now for the truth 268

Posted on November 27, 2014 by

It’ll be a brave Yes voter who buys a newspaper (other than The National) or switches on their TV or radio today, because Scotland is already enduring an outpouring of concentrated spin and outright deception that perhaps even exceeds that seen in the last few weeks before the independence referendum.


Blood pressures will be soaring across the land as people are told things about the final report of the Smith Commission that are flatly at odds with the reality, by journalists and broadcasters who either know perfectly well that what they’re saying is false or haven’t bothered to try to find out.

Below, you’ll find the facts.

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The biggest lie in history 151

Posted on November 27, 2014 by

We’re going to hold off full scrutiny and analysis of the Smith Commission report on devolution until it’s actually released and we’ve read it, rather than going on pure speculation like most Scottish newspapers this morning.


But what we CAN talk about is this.

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Vow left on bus, eaten by dog 278

Posted on November 26, 2014 by

We’ve had another letter from the government.

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The Great Devo Con 91

Posted on November 26, 2014 by

Two interesting comments from last night’s Scotland Tonight.

So that’s good to know.

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Priorities ordered 174

Posted on November 25, 2014 by

Scottish Labour-style.


Good stuff. We’re just not sure that’s, y’know, the main reason for doing it.

Another rise in inflation 104

Posted on November 25, 2014 by

The art of loquacious silence 88

Posted on November 25, 2014 by

Today we’ve become quite obsessed with Jim Murphy’s pathological avoidance of a straight answer to the question of whether income tax should be fully devolved to the Scottish Parliament or not. The BBC now has a report on his much-trailed speech in Glasgow, but we’ll get to that in a moment. First it’s worth having a listen to this.


It’s an interview taken from the “Pienaar’s Politics” podcast on Radio 5 Live earlier this month. And it makes for an intriguing study of the art of evasion.

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All things to all men 66

Posted on November 25, 2014 by

Following on from this morning’s post, we thought it was about time someone found a definitive quote from Jim Murphy outlining his position on the devolution of full income tax powers to the Scottish Parliament once and for all.


It turned out to be a surprisingly tricky job.

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How modern journalism works 95

Posted on November 25, 2014 by

It is, in fairness, a fairly slow time for politics news at the moment. But it’s striking all the same to open this morning’s papers and see almost all of them running what’s not only basically the exact same story, but also the exact same groundless spin on it.

THE SCOTSMAN: “Jim Murphy tells Scots Labour to back tax powers”

DAILY RECORD: “Labour leadership frontrunner Jim Murphy set to back full income tax-raising powers for Holyrood”

THE GUARDIAN: “Scotland [is] to be offered total control over income tax after Labour U-turn. Labour’s policy shift will be confirmed on Tuesday by Jim Murphy, the favourite to become the next Scottish Labour leader.”

THE HERALD: “Murphy to support handing full income tax powers to Holyrood”

THE TIMES: “Murphy calls for full income tax devolution”

BBC NEWS: “Scottish Labour leadership candidate Jim Murphy is calling on his party to support the full devolution of income tax to Holyrood.”

STV NEWS: “Labour candidate Murphy calls for ‘full devolution of income tax'”

EVENING TIMES: “Murphy in call for full devolution of income tax”

There’s only one thing conspicuously missing from all of the stories – a quote from Jim Murphy saying he backs the devolution of full income tax powers to Holyrood.

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The real McPravda 218

Posted on November 24, 2014 by

Peeking at the Twitter accounts of the country’s more prominent Unionists has been an especially entertaining pastime today, as self-awareness has been cast aside even more vigorously than usual in a concerted attempt to attack new pro-independence daily The National as being an uncritical mouthpiece of the SNP akin to the infamous Russian propaganda newspaper Pravda (mostly despite those concerned admitting to not having read the first issue).


It’s surely a tribute to the pedigree and potential of the new paper that the prospect of Unionists only having 97% of the Scottish media on their side has them hoiking toys from prams with such squealing abandon, and it’s both curious and hilarious that 35 newspapers in favour of the Union was a perfectly acceptable manifestation of the freedom of the press but a single one in favour turns Scotland into the Soviet Union.

But more to the point, there’s a far better candidate for the “McPravda” sobriquet.

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Welcome to Britain 63

Posted on November 24, 2014 by

There was a very disturbing opinion poll published by YouGov earlier this year and recently highlighted by the pollster, which took 16 policy propositions across a variety of subjects and set them against each other in a sort of Politics World Cup to find out the British public’s priorities. The result was predictable but no less depressing for it.


By some chillingly large margins, the policy the people of the UK want implemented more than any other is the spiteful removal of the right to benefits for new immigrants. (We suspect that if the question had offered the option of withdrawing benefits from immigrants full stop it wouldn’t have changed the figures much.)

And we couldn’t help wondering how big a deal that really was.

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