Wings Over Scotland is a Scottish political website, which focuses particularly on the media – whether mainstream print and broadcast organisations or the online and social-network community – as well as offering its own commentary and analysis.
“Arguably the most exciting, invigorating and innovative entrant to the Scottish media world in recent years.”
– Stephen Daisley (STV News)
“Irreverent, brave, challenging, intelligent and often brilliant analysis.”
– Colin Meek (Journalism.co.uk)
“The Mumsnet of the independence movement.”
– Ross McCafferty (Daily Record)
“A highly controversial cyber organisation.”
– Barbara Davies (Daily Mail)
“The problem voice of unthinking Scottish nationalism.”
– Gerry Hassan (Sunday Mail)
“The hate-filled website Wings Over Scotland.”
– Emma Cowing (Daily Mail)
“Keeping up with the activies of the media phenomenon that is Wings Over Scotland would wear out your mouse.”
– Michael Gray (Common Space/The National)
“A world of conspiracy theories, hatred and paranoia. This is a brand of nationalism that seeks to peddle falsehoods and unfounded allegations against anyone who isn’t a believer. It is nasty, sewage politics that debases public life. And yet the Wings Over Scotland [sic] is cited as an authoritative source by some leading SNP figures who really should know better.”
– Murray Foote (Daily Record)
“The nastiest hate blog in the UK.”
– Muriel Gray (broadcaster)
“A new and awful low in Scottish politics.”
– Margaret Curran (former Labour MP)
“The press hate Wings Over Scotland, not least because it is a rival. But for hundreds of thousands of Scots it was an invaluable source of facts and arguments with which to challenge the predominantly unionist message of the mainstream media.”
– Iain Macwhirter (The Herald/Sunday Herald)
“A curry for anyone who can tell me who Wings Over Scotland is.”
– Euan McColm (Scotland On Sunday)
The site is edited and maintained by Rev. Stuart Campbell, a Liberal Democrat voter at every election from 1992 to 2010 inclusive but now non-aligned.
“A bit of a rebel, a buccaneer and a brigand who’s got far too much to say for himself. He doesn’t retreat and gets into fights with everyone. Newspapers used to be like that too. I like his style.”
– Kevin McKenna (The Observer)
“The poster boy for a certain type of online independence campaigner… an IT-literate troublemaker.”
– Paul Hutcheon (Sunday Herald)
“Prone to the kind of intemperate rants that have helped to turn Twitter into such a toxic environment.”
– Graham Grant (Daily Mail)
“A significant number of people appear to be using this one man’s personal opinion to decide how to vote in the referendum.”
– Ben Borland (Scottish Sunday Express)
“The Wings cretin is like a human sewer.”
– Chris Deerin (Telegraph/Daily Mail)
“The vilest possible person.”
– Susan Calman (BBC Radio 4)
“That snake oil salesman.”
– Michael White (The Guardian)
“The SNP’s Cybernat General.”
– Jackie Baillie (Labour MSP)
“King of the Cybernats.”
– Tom Harris (former Labour MP and UK government minister)
– David Torrance (The Herald)
The site advocates Scottish independence, but is not affiliated or connected in any way to the SNP, and neither gives to or receives money from the party, nor indeed any other party. We have an inquiring mind, and welcome intelligent contributions from all sides of the political debate.
Got something worthwhile to say about Scotland’s future? Try us.
Wings Over Scotland has an open comments policy – if you’re a new user your first comment needs to be manually approved as an anti-spam measure, but after that anything you say will be published automatically and unmoderated, and without making users negotiate irritating Captchas or social-media registrations/logins.
However, please note that the Akismet spam filter built in to all WordPress sites will sometimes place comments which contain links – and particularly multiple links – into the moderation queue, even from approved users. Such comments won’t appear until we manually accept them, which can take anything from a few seconds to several hours if we’re out at the shops or something.
This is outwith our control, unless we want to be swamped by the literally thousands of spambot messages a day that Akismet intercepts. If you want to post several links, it’s best to do it in several comments with one link in each.
We reserve the right to edit/remove comments at any time, for legal reasons or in the event of sustained personal abuse, trolling that’s aimed purely and intentionally at disrupting rather than promoting debate, or spam which somehow manages to evade Akismet. But you’ll have to try very hard indeed, and ignore repeated warnings, to have any sort of censorship for content applied here.
ETIQUETTE AND FORMATTING
There are, however, some rules. As the site’s readership has grown, so has the number of comments. Four-figure numbers in a single day aren’t unprecedented, and that brings with it certain responsibilities for commenters, because we can’t spend all day monitoring them and still produce the site. So please keep a few things in mind.
1. Write as if an undecided voter is reading.
Fewer than 1% of the site’s readers post comments. That means the comments give you an inaccurate picture of the overall readership, and things that might go down well within a small group of dedicated activists don’t sound so good to people who’ve come to the site looking for information to help make up their minds.
People without whom we won’t win.
So try to avoid puerile name-calling like “Bitter Together”, “Johann Lamentable” or hilarious mis-spellings/puns of Anas Sarwar’s name. The same goes for things like “Liebore”, “Wastemonster” and “Daily Retard”, and words like “Quisling” and “traitor”.
Do you think they’re more likely to win someone over, or to put them off? Would they work on you if the positions were reversed? If not, don’t say them.
(We’d also happily live for another 300 years without ever again seeing anyone using the phrase “parcel of rogues” as if they were the first person who ever thought of it, or posting entire poems or song lyrics. That’s what YouTube’s for.)
Use of the word “rape” to refer to anything other than the criminal offence is also unwelcome. So the sentence “Wastemonster has been raping Scotland for decades, but you’ll never hear those Liebore-apologist traitors at the Daily Retard reporting it”… well, don’t hold your breath waiting for that comment to show up, is what we’re saying.
2. Play the ball, not the man (or woman).
And by all means disagree, by all means disagree forcefully – but argue with people’s views, don’t insult them personally. And that includes calling them “trolls” or implying they’re undercover Unionists. We’ll decide if someone’s trolling or not. But in the meantime, if you think they are, ignore them.
If you know what a “troll” is, then you’ll also know that getting you angry and talking about them, derailing the conversation off the subject, is exactly what they want.
Email us about suspected trolls if you want. But don’t engage them in debate if you doubt their motives, and DEFINITELY don’t engage in on-thread discussions about whether they’re a troll or not.
3. Show other commenters some courtesy.
It’d be nice if all that ever mattered was the content of what you wrote. But it isn’t. Whether we like it or not, the way things look also has a huge effect on whether people read them and pay any attention.
If you post a comment that’s 3,000 words long but doesn’t have a single line break or punctuation mark, not one living soul will read it. But more importantly, the chances are that they won’t read anything that comes after it either, and that’s an arrogant and selfish thing to do to other people’s comments. We have some amazing commenters here, and they deserve not to have the information they impart undermined.
So please, please, please put some paragraphs breaks into your posts. One after every two or three sentences is a good ballpark figure. And as you’re using the internet, not a typewriter, there’s NEVER, EVER any reason for hitting Return once. It’s either none or two, depending whether you’re starting a new paragraph or not.
Terrible use of paragraph breaks (which includes using none, or far too many, or sticking loads of extra ones at the beginning or end of your post for no appreciable reason) will put your comment at severe risk of deletion.
4. Microsoft are evil.
Please don’t paste comments in from Microsoft Word. It creates utter havoc, because Microsoft are made of liquid incompetence and general horror. (Ref: Windows 8.)
5. There’s a time and place for everything.
Comment threads go off-topic. That’s okay. But posting about a completely different subject in the first few comments on an article is just mind-bogglingly rude.
If you have something totally unrelated that you really really have to say, either post it in an older thread or just bite your tongue for the four or five minutes it’ll take for there to be half-a-dozen on-topic comments. Break this rule and you’ll either get timestamp-shifted to two hours into the future or deleted, depending how cranky a mood we’re in.
6. Scotland has a world-renowned education system.
So there’s really no excuse for putting spaces before full stops and question marks at the end of sentences, or for starting your paragraphs with an indentation. Or for doing this: “…………………………..” or this: “ . . . . . . ” when you mean this: “…“.
Or for not at least knowing that sentences start with a capital letter.
Your comment won’t be deleted for breaking those sorts of rules, but please believe us when we say that if you do we’ll be positively itching to find other reasons.
7. Don’t mess up the page for everyone else.
If you post YouTube links with the http:// part at the start, they’ll embed on the page rather than being posted as links. That can lead to this sort of thing. So don’t include the http:// bit or you’ll find your video in the spam bin.
8. Remember you’re talking to people.
If you were in the pub with some friends and someone asked you what you wanted to drink, would you say “Pint of lager shandy, please, Bob. ALBA GU BRATH!”? If you wouldn’t bellow slogans at them every time you’d finished speaking, then don’t do it in bloody comments either.
The same goes for signing your name at the bottom of your comment. We can see your name on the left-hand side already. If you want people to know you’re called Steve, call yourself Steve in the name box, not “Super_Sovereign_Warrior952”.
Please note that spelling errors and typos are excluded from our grammar-Nazi purge. Being dyslexic isn’t a crime. But for the other stuff – especially the absence of line breaks – there will be no mercy. Those are the rules. That is all.