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Wings Over Scotland

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A very long time in politics 116

Posted on February 05, 2017 by

Five minutes and 51 seconds, to be precise, is how long David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland, spent frantically quacking out meaningless noise on this morning’s Sunday Politics Scotland in order to avoid answering a simple Yes/No question until the interview ran out of airtime.

We could quibble with presenter Gordon Brewer making the assertion that a Section 30 order would in fact be necessary for a second referendum (something which has never been established in law or conceded by the Scottish Government, with strong and genuine legal opinion on both sides of the argument), and with him letting Mundell get away with the blatant falsehood that an overwhelming majority of Scots don’t want another referendum – in fact, 50% want one within the next two years.

But sometimes you have to let some smaller things slide to avoid distraction and stay focused on your main point, and in our view this was one of those occasions.

Truth With Torrance 126

Posted on February 05, 2017 by

An exchange from Twitter this morning:


Should we check out that link and find out whether the then-FM really DID “claim that the Scottish NHS would be privatised if Scots voted No”, readers? Let’s do!

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The Sirens 329

Posted on February 04, 2017 by


Bringing it on 374

Posted on February 02, 2017 by

These are the comments of UK defence secretary Michael Fallon in a short interview with today’s Herald. We don’t know about you, folks, but to us it feels like Christmas.


We think our favourite line is “There are other voices in Scotland now, not least Ruth Davidson’s”, but there are a lot to choose from.

In the dead of the night 334

Posted on February 01, 2017 by

This is Conservative MP Dominic Raab, a member of the Brexit Select Committee, speaking on the BBC News Channel’s “Hard Talk” programme at 00.45 this morning. Perhaps imagining that nobody would be watching at such an ungodly hour, it seems he felt able to be unusually candid.

We left the last bit on in order to demonstrate that he was still talking about Scotland as well as Ireland. (He went on to recite the usual boilerplate about all leaving together as the UK etc etc, you can watch the whole show for yourself on iPlayer.)

But let’s just get that key early exchange down in writing for the record.

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The funeral pyre 172

Posted on January 31, 2017 by

Readers familiar with our standing advice to newspaper customers that the headline is nearly always a lie might like to consider today’s Press & Journal.


The word “pyre” comes from the Greek word “pyra”, meaning “fire”. Surprisingly, it’s NOT the same root as “Pyrrhic”, as in “Pyrrhic victory”, meaning one that’s achieved by metaphorically burning your own city down. (Which in fact is named after the Greek general Pyrrhus of Epirus.)

But why the etymology lesson?

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Not you, Scotland 149

Posted on January 31, 2017 by

The Tories yesterday:


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Time catches up with us all 342

Posted on January 29, 2017 by

Here’s the Conservative MP for Stratford-on-Avon 10 months ago:


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While the truth gets its boots on 367

Posted on January 25, 2017 by

Here’s Alex Salmond on last night’s Newsnight:

Let’s just quickly fact-check that claim.

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Fooled you again 564

Posted on January 24, 2017 by

Supreme Court ruling just in: “LOL SUCKERS!”


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With their bombs and their guns 282

Posted on January 23, 2017 by

We followed with interest an exchange over the weekend between Times columnist Kenny Farquharson and the anti-Brexit QC Jolyon Maugham, regarding the difference between the UK government’s insistence that there won’t be a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland because of the UK leaving the EU, and its continued insistence that there WOULD have to be one between the rUK and an independent Scotland, despite the legal circumstances being indistinguishable.

Farquharson, who like much of the Scottish political commentariat clings doggedly to the implausible dream of a “federal” UK, was adamant that the rules would – and indeed that they should – be different for the two ostensibly identical situations, and his given reason was a deeply disturbing one.


Kenny, it seems, thinks Scottish nationalists should do a lot more murdering.

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The Template 232

Posted on January 22, 2017 by

Actual Scottish politics news continues to be thinner on the ground than the crowds at a Donald Trump inauguration, so we sympathise once more with the gentle souls of the Scottish press as they endeavour to fill empty pages without doing anything more journalistically strenuous than slightly rewording a Labour or Tory press release.


Fortunately for us, of course, we’ve always got their dismal efforts to talk about.

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