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

Wings Over Scotland

Feeling yourself disintegrate 110

Posted on August 23, 2016 by

“CRISIS-HIT POLICE TO AXE 300 OFFICERS”, blares the front-page lead of today’s Scottish Daily Mail. (Along with some exciting Prince Harry not-news.)


“SECRET cuts to police numbers will see hundreds of officers axed as the single force faces a deepening cash crisis. The Mail can reveal controversial proposals to reduce frontline manpower – while violent and sex crimes are increasing”, it continues.

So let’s see what this worrying-sounding story actually DOES reveal.

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One for the archives 69

Posted on August 23, 2016 by

Kezia Dugdale in yesterday’s Daily Record on the subject of Jeremy Corbyn:

“We can’t pin our hopes on a leadership who speak only to the converted, rather than speaking to the country as a whole.

I don’t think Jeremy can unite our party and lead us into government. He cannot appeal to a broad enough section of voters to win an election.”

So let’s be absolutely clear: if Jeremy Corbyn wins the Labour leadership election next month, as almost everyone expects him to, the UK (and therefore Scotland) is doomed to Conservative rule until at least 2025.

That’s not our view, but the official public position of the leader of Scottish Labour.

Should there be a second independence referendum in the next few years, Scotland’s choice will be a clear one: a generation of brutal Tory austerity, isolated from Europe (losing out on billions of pounds in funding) and the protections of the Human Rights Act, or taking responsibility for ourselves.

And every time Kezia Dugdale or her Labour colleagues in Better Together 2.0 protest that there’s another option she’ll be contradicted not by angry nationalists, but by her own words. So we’re sure everyone on all sides of the debate in Scotland will be watching the outcome of the leadership contest with interest. There’s a lot at stake.

Impartial Journalism For Dummies 199

Posted on August 22, 2016 by

The BBC’s most prominent politics presenter Andrew Neil, today:


There is, as there is so often, just one small problem.

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Here come the drums 262

Posted on August 21, 2016 by

Today’s Sunday Times didn’t bother with any subtlety in its signalling of how people should expect the Scottish media to handle next week’s GERS figures.


So we’ll just leave these here:

The limitations of GERS

The five key facts about GERS

The wishful believers

Gazing into the black hole

There’ll be nothing but repeats of all last year’s articles in the papers, so there doesn’t seem to be much point in re-writing all the rebuttals. We’d advise readers not to expect to hear any of the facts or arguments in any of the above articles aired on TV or radio discussions of the new figures either. For the sake of your blood pressure, it’s probably best to stick to old QI repeats on Dave for the next eight days.

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More phantom news 450

Posted on August 19, 2016 by

For several years now this site has been drawing attention to the weird phenomenon of phantom news – stories presented by the media without even a shred of supporting evidence yet treated as unquestionable empirical fact. And recently there have been more phantoms around the Scottish press than an episode of Scooby Doo.


The thing Alan Roden – who prefers intimidating ordinary members of the public by doorstepping them and vilifying them in his paper – links to in that tweet is an article on the Herald website last night. And it’s a weird article, because it’s an extensive, quote-laden story about something that doesn’t appear to have happened at all.

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Swinging free 290

Posted on August 17, 2016 by

Alert readers may have noticed reports in the press that the famous French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo this month carried a four-page feature on the state of politics in Scotland, having sent two of its senior staff – accompanied by their French police bodyguard – over to conduct a series of interviews.


We thought you might like to see it, so we commissioned a translated version.

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Making your minds up 121

Posted on August 16, 2016 by

Here’s the BBC reporting Kezia Dugdale’s speech at the opening session of the new Scottish Parliament, less than three months ago:


It seems the Scottish Labour leader’s had a change of heart since then.

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Iron seas 218

Posted on August 15, 2016 by

The Scottish media has worked itself into an indignant froth over the last few days about the appearance of Sputnik News – an Edinburgh-based arm of a publicly-owned, state-run Russian news agency, fronted by (among others) former Dateline Scotland and NewsShaft stars Jack Foster and Carolyn Scott.

(Any resemblance to publicly-owned, state-run national news agencies of questionable impartiality in other countries is of course entirely coincidental and totally different.)

The Sunday Herald ran a bizarre smear piece yesterday on the pair’s past fundraising initiatives for their two previous projects (which were obviously completely unrelated to Sputnik), and today’s Times has an even weirder column by Melanie Reid in which Foster and Scott are directly and startlingly compared to the Cuban Missile Crisis:


We tried, for the purposes of satire, to think of another country that played host to nuclear missiles that were controversially imposed on it by an external government, but unfortunately we couldn’t come up with anything. Sorry about that.

Well-orchestrated competence of the year 256

Posted on August 13, 2016 by


Tories Together 191

Posted on August 12, 2016 by

Annie Wells and Brian Whittle are two new Conservative MSPs. Look how happy and excited they are today at Labour winning a council by-election from the SNP.


The SNP candidate actually won comfortably on first-preference votes, but was edged out at the sixth count under the Single Transferable Vote system when 78% of Tory voters gave their second preference to Labour (whose own vote fell 7%).

We’re trying to think of a good reason why they’re still two separate parties, but to be honest with you, readers, we’re coming up short.

It’s that story again! 246

Posted on August 11, 2016 by

No, we’re not referring to the Spectator’s awful reheated whine from super-Unionist composer Sir James Macmillan, Knight Commander Of The Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire, in which he takes the audacious step of accusing some OTHER artistes of cravenly kowtowing to the establishment.

(A complaint he’s been levelling for several years in any publication that’ll listen, and which today’s piece hasn’t bothered to update with any post-2014 examples.)

We’re actually talking about this:


Because this one’s even older.

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A new challenger appears 75

Posted on August 11, 2016 by

We thought yesterday’s Herald story – about a Scottish Government initiative designed to increase visitor numbers to island communities “backfiring” when it, er, increased visitor numbers to island communities – would be hard to top for this month’s SNP BAD Award, but when the paper grudgingly amended it a few hours later it seemed we’d have to look for a new contender.


Luckily we didn’t have long to wait.

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