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Wings Over Scotland

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The next pages of the script 166

Posted on January 20, 2017 by

It’s morning in America, readers.


Judge Dredd: Origins was published in 2006, although in fact the basic story of how Bad Bob Booth became the last President of the USA and what he did next was established right back at the 1970s beginnings of Dredd’s parent comic 2000AD.

We actually have a theory that it’s all the Lib Dems’ fault.

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The competition 156

Posted on January 17, 2017 by

You very rarely get useful stats about online newspaper readership, so we were quite intrigued by this snippet on tonight’s BBC2 Scotland documentary “Paper Thistle”, about the 200th anniversary of The Scotsman.

We don’t know what the numbers are or how brief the period was, but Wings’ average traffic is higher now than it was in 2014, while we suspect The Scotsman is moving in the opposite direction. For a single-issue website to be anywhere even in the same ballpark as a two-centuries-old broadsheet news brand with scores of full-time writers and production staff and a daily newsstand presence is a remarkable thing indeed.

We might start doing classifieds and sport just to see what happens.

A useful reminder 243

Posted on January 17, 2017 by

Every day from now until indyref 2.


If I’m right and you are sinful 341

Posted on January 08, 2017 by

We’ve never been all that convinced by the political strategy of parties angrily pointing out their rivals have supposedly broken their manifesto promises once in government. After all, since by definition the complaining party was very probably opposed to the policies in question, shouldn’t they be delighted if they haven’t been enacted?

(It’s different, of course, in the event of something like a referendum, where something that all of the parties concerned agree is good – staying in the EU, say, or protecting jobs in the civil service or the oil industry – is promised in return for a particular vote, but then swiftly trashed once that vote is won.)


It’s even weirder if the opposition was the REASON the policies didn’t get enacted. It’s incredibly bizarre to vote something down (as the Unionist parties did repeatedly to the SNP minority administration of 2007-11 when it brought its manifesto pledges forward), and then huff at the governing party for the fact that you outvoted them.

But today the Scottish Tories have found an intriguing new twist on the wheeze.

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The dreams of the walking dead 324

Posted on January 05, 2017 by

There’s no sign of Scottish Labour’s great voyage to the bottom of the polls hitting the sea-bed yet. Currently sitting at around 15% – a startling 10 points down on the abysmal performance that saw the party lose 40 of 41 Westminster MPs in 2015 – the North Britain Branch Office is now haemorrhaging voters to the Tories almost as fast as it previously lost them to the SNP.

With the constitution looking set to dominate Scottish politics for the forseeable future (and certainly until the Brexit process is concluded, if and when that ever happens), Labour in Scotland finds itself unenviably located in the middle of a grisly medieval execution, being torn apart as its limbs are wrenched from their sockets by the horses of the SNP on one side and the Ruth Davidson No Surrender Party on the other.


Even after Kezia Dugdale abandoned her previously-equivocal position in a panic and threw her lot in once and for all with the UK, however much it protests Labour will simply never be seen as a party of such staunch Unionism as the Tories.

No matter how many times the regional sub-department of UK Labour tries to rehash and reheat the worn-out promise of “more powers”, “Home Rule”, “federalism”, “devo super ultra megamax extreme” or whatever meaningless undefined term it’s using this week, it’ll be seen as a cowardly betrayal by one side and a hollow lie by the other, and as views polarise Labour’s hopeless middle-of-the-roading will see it steamrollered like the Lib Dems were at the last UK election.

And the prospect seems to have driven Scottish Labour quite mad.

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Hypocrisy, actually 204

Posted on January 04, 2017 by

We weren’t going to dignify the utterly absurd media stushie over a tweet by Glasgow MSP John Mason yesterday with any coverage because it was too cretinous to even bear thinking about, but this from today’s Daily Record was just too good.


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Here it comes again 468

Posted on January 02, 2017 by

It might only be the 2nd of January, but it’s already pretty clear what we should expect from Scottish politics and the Scottish media in 2017.

Yesterday saw an absurdly petty response from Scottish Labour to the SNP’s “baby box” initiative, sourly carping at a dirt-cheap measure with a proven record of reducing infant mortality and providing vital help to the poor.

Today’s Herald, meanwhile, leads on a meaningless story about people being opposed to having a second independence referendum in 2017 – something nobody has proposed and which has no prospect of happening barring wildly unforseeable events.


But compared to the inside, that’s hard news.

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Here’s to the back of that 268

Posted on December 31, 2016 by

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Order “Welcome To Cairnstoon”, Chris’ compilation of Wings cartoons and more, here.

The final surrender 233

Posted on December 30, 2016 by

From a remarkable front-page lead in today’s Herald.


Never mind running local services better. All that Scottish Labour now care about is existing in order to go into coalitions with the Tories, to prevent a left-of-centre social-democratic party with which they agree on almost everything except the constitution from wielding power in an area that has no impact whatsoever on the constitution.

We remain of the firm conviction that at some point in 2017 Labour will poll in single figures in Scotland. It might be a lot sooner than we think.

Towards a better, kinder 2017 93

Posted on December 29, 2016 by

A few people objected to this post when we first ran it a year ago, then came to regret their decision. So for their sake we’re putting it up again, in a new and updated form, in the interests of civilised and productive discourse about Scottish politics.


It’s the most constructive contribution we can think of to make Twitter a less toxic place over the next 12 months. It’s our block list.

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It’s not them, it’s you 302

Posted on December 28, 2016 by

The National has an interesting-sounding front page lead story today.


Donalda MacKinnon’s immediate predecessor Ken McQuarrie has been a hostile and toxic presence at the top of BBC Scotland for many years now, so we were naturally intrigued to hear if a change of heart at the Corporation was on the horizon.

We didn’t build our hopes up, obviously.

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Cops and cobblers 244

Posted on December 26, 2016 by

While its pages are mostly filled with toadying drivel about the Royal Family, today’s Scottish Daily Mail does manage to squeeze in a bit of supposed politics news.


We say “supposed” because as alert readers may have already suspected, the story quickly disintegrates under inspection. The figure of 3000 police officers leaving the force since it became Police Scotland (buffed up with a hysterical editorial on page 14 talking about the “truly alarming scale of the mass exodus”) is presented without any context as to whether this is a higher number than one would normally expect.

And sure enough, a few paragraphs in we find out that the vast majority have quit after 20 to 30 years of service, which is entirely normal – the article notes that “most officers retire in their late forties or early fifties”.

The line that caught our eye, though, was this:

“Last night, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: ‘Officers seem to be leaving Police Scotland in their droves.'”

Last night? You mean on Christmas Day Ruth Davidson had nothing better to do with her life than offer vacuous quotes to justify meaningless non-stories in the Daily Mail? For the love of God, someone get the poor woman a Netflix subscription.

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