kicking the media until it bleeds truth

Wings Over Scotland

The angriest man in Scotland 72

Posted on August 28, 2015 by

We were greatly amused to learn this morning that Professor Adam Tomkins of Glasgow University, the bad-tempered darling of the Scottish Conservatives and the only political pundit who can make Alan Cochrane of the Telegraph seem measured and thoughtful, plans to stand for election to the Scottish Parliament next May.


We suspect he’ll succeed, too. It now seems plain that Ruth Davidson’s move earlier this month from the Glasgow list to the Lothian one was a ploy to get Prof. Tomkins to the top of the former, and while a Tory list seat in Glasgow is by no means a certainty this year, it’s more likely than not.

(We’ll be somewhat startled if the irritable English academic finds the courage to even try contesting a constituency in Scotland’s largest city. It’s moderately possible that his abrasive hectoring of Scottish voters’ stupidity in continuing to elect the SNP might not go down too well in the council schemes of Easterhouse and Drumchapel.)

Trying to pick out the funniest line in the announcement is no easy task.

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The journey 275

Posted on August 27, 2015 by

War is declared, and battle come down 109

Posted on August 27, 2015 by

Yesterday we noted an interesting apparent shift in the BBC’s political stance with regard to Scotland. Two serving senior political reporters have made open attacks on the SNP, backed up by other media and politicians, seemingly abandoning all notions of the impartiality to which the BBC is bound by charter.

(The Guardian’s hostile editorial was particularly bizarre, suggesting that devolving control of broadcasting in Scotland to Holyrood would turn the BBC into a mouthpiece of government, which inescapably suggests that the current Westminster-controlled BBC is a tool of either Labour or the Tories, depending which one is in power.)

This morning’s edition of The Times is the latest to join the offensive.

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The end of pretence 185

Posted on August 26, 2015 by

This is quite an extraordinary thing to have happened.


But it’s not the only one.

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Many a true word 189

Posted on August 25, 2015 by

You’d put this down as a slip of the tongue, but when it came in the middle of an extended bout of bodyswerving John Mackay’s straightforward question about a referendum on Trident, maybe Kezia Dugdale really was just saying what she meant.

The sweet spot 167

Posted on August 25, 2015 by

Stat-pummelled readers will be glad to know that this is the last article we plan to write about the vagaries of the AMS electoral system, and how it might apply to next year’s Scottish Parliament election, for some time. This one also shouldn’t be full of tables and figures, so strap yourself in and let’s get this job finished.


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The narcissism of small differences 196

Posted on August 24, 2015 by

We’ve only ourselves to blame, we’d be the first to admit. When we titled yesterday’s piece “AMS for lazy people” it was pretty much an invitation for people to get us to do their research for them, and so it proved.

Even as we slumped exhausted over a red-hot calculator, several readers wasted no time demanding a breakdown of how the mechanisms of the electoral system affected last year’s European elections, in which UKIP defied some expectations (and delighted the Unionist parties and media) by taking a seat in Scotland.


So we suppose we might as well.

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AMS for lazy people 287

Posted on August 23, 2015 by

The email we’ve had more than any other since the 8th of May is this one:

“Please can you explain how the Scottish election system works, and whether it’s a good idea for me as an SNP voter to give my list vote to someone else so as to ensure the maximum number of pro-Yes MSPs in Holyrood?”

We’d planned to leave that question until much nearer the relevant time, but to be honest we’re getting fed up of reading them, so let’s see if we can sort it out now.

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None of your damn business 277

Posted on August 22, 2015 by

Particularly alert readers may recall that we recently made a simple and seemingly innocuous Freedom Of Information request for the latest viewing/listening figures of two BBC Scotland politics programmes (Scotland 2015 and Good Morning Scotland), which was met with the standard BBC “get lost” response to any uppity licence-fee payer with the temerity to ask about how their money’s being spent.


We appealed to the Information Commissioner, and we’ve just received a prompt, and impressively detailed and specific, reply. We attach it below for your enlightenment.

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The Top 10 153

Posted on August 21, 2015 by

For reasons best known to himself, and almost certainly NOT related to the recent publication of his new book, the BBC’s Nick Robinson has today chosen to reignite the issues surrounding his infamous questioning of Alex Salmond a week before last year’s independence referendum, claiming that the reaction to his presentation of the incident was reminiscent of “Putin’s Russia”.

The state broadcaster’s political correspondent then inflamed social media further by claiming on Twitter that a grassroots protest – neither instigated nor endorsed by the SNP or Yes Scotland – outside BBC Scotland’s headquarters in Glasgow a couple of days later was in fact organised by “a governing party”.

(Robinson also claimed the mob had been 4000-strong, although the BBC’s own report had put the figure at “up to 1000″. The demo was sedate and entirely peaceful – no arrests were made, nobody was hurt and no damage was caused.)


The footage showing that Robinson had lied on air about his encounter with Salmond was captured and published by this website, in a pair of videos which garnered well over 600,000 views on YouTube and one of the most-read posts in Wings history.

When we mentioned that fact earlier today, a reader asked what other posts were in the top 10. So we looked, and noticed that the biggest ones had a common theme.

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A thing that might happen next month 299

Posted on August 20, 2015 by

Social media is alive today with tales of people being refused a vote in the Labour leadership election on the grounds that they don’t support Labour values (if anyone even knows what those are any more). We suspect you’ll be hearing quite a bit about it in the press over the coming days.


The prevailing reaction seems to be slack-jawed astonishment at the planetary-scale car-crash the party has allowed to develop around the issue, with another “coup” story thrown in for good measure in the Telegraph.

We can only think of one way the farce could become even worse.

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You are all idiots 278

Posted on August 19, 2015 by

Not our judgement, you understand, but that of Scottish Labour spokesclown Michael Kelly, former Lord Provost of Glasgow, speaking on today’s Good Morning Scotland:

(Good Morning Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland, 19 August 2015, 2h 47m)

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