kicking the media until it bleeds truth

Wings Over Scotland

We don’t not need no education 292

Posted on September 02, 2015 by

Kezia Dugdale in the Scottish Parliament yesterday:

The daughter of two teachers, there.

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The lesser of two stupids 627

Posted on September 01, 2015 by

Let’s start off by losing some more friends. This site has no time for the Gaelic lobby. The obsolete language spoken by just 0.9% of Scotland’s population might be part of the nation’s “cultural heritage”, but so were burning witches and replacing Highlanders with sheep and we don’t do those any more either.

Being multilingual is an excellent thing, but the significant amount of time and effort taken to learn a literally-pointless second language (because everyone you can talk to in Gaelic already understood English) would be vastly better directed to picking up one that was actually of some use, and every extra fraction of a second spent scanning a road sign trying to find the bit you can read is a fraction of a second spent with your eyes off the road.

Non-primary native languages are a tool whose main utility in practice is at best the exclusion of outsiders, and at worst an expression of dodgy blood-and-soil ethnic nationalism. They’re a barrier to communication and an irritation to the vast majority of the population, who are made to feel like uncultured aliens in their own land.

But we’d still rather put up with Gaelic than complete idiots making our laws.

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The new binary 253

Posted on August 31, 2015 by

We can’t help feeling there’s a simpler way of putting that.


The angriest man in Scotland 475

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 next 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 283

Posted on August 27, 2015 by

War is declared, and battle come down 112

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 186

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 168

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 had 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 289

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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