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Wings Over Scotland


Archive for the ‘debunks’


Truth With Torrance 126

Posted on February 05, 2017 by

An exchange from Twitter this morning:

twto

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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What fake news looks like 330

Posted on February 03, 2017 by

The most overused political insult du jour is for people to accuse each other of dealing in “fake news” and “alternative facts”. Normally, of course, they’re referring to dodgy memes on social media or the latest mad yelping from Donald Trump or his minions.

But in Scotland, our fake news is in the real newspapers.

highesttax

Pretty much every day of every week of every year.

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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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Contenders ready 464

Posted on January 30, 2017 by

The Sunday Herald ran an extraordinary article on page 2 yesterday, and by the time we’d finished being startled by what nonsense it was, it set us wondering about why.

shgreens

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The simpler version 292

Posted on January 26, 2017 by

Way back in October last year we analysed what now seems to have become the key plank of Unionist argument against independence in the wake of Brexit – the idea that because Scotland does more trade with the rest of the UK than it does with the EU, independence would be economic suicide because Scotland would be sacrificing “the UK single market” (a thing that doesn’t actually exist ) for a much smaller one.

wto

It’s a completely idiotic position, but to be honest we didn’t do a very good job of boiling the counter-argument down to something snappy and quoteable, so let’s have another go and see if we can manage something a little better.

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The new lie 712

Posted on January 18, 2017 by

Alert readers may recall as far back as July of last year, when we highlighted an odd thing that Scottish Labour branch manager Kezia Dugdale had started saying.

kazmajority

Regardless of the fact that it was total hooey, Dugdale repeated it every chance she got, and the inevitable Scottish-media consequences have duly followed.

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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.

hpindypoll

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

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In your free and fair press today 246

Posted on December 16, 2016 by

Let’s have a quick round-up, shall we?

budgetmail

This is a lie. There are in fact no “tax hikes” in the budget at all. The threshold for the higher rate of tax is increasing with inflation, ie in real terms it’s staying the same as it is now. Councils are being ALLOWED to raise Council Tax but not FORCED to.

But the Mail lying is a reflex action. What about the rest?

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The missing numbers round 261

Posted on December 13, 2016 by

We often say here on Wings that our job is to teach people to instantly recognise the sneaky tricks used by the media to try to create false impressions without saying things that are technically untrue. (Because despite the tiny size they’re allowed to print corrections at, they’re still rather embarrassing.)

A key technique is to look at a headline or story and immediately ask what you’re NOT being told. So here’s an easy example from today’s Scottish Daily Mail.

65trains

What’s been left out there, readers?

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What they expect you to believe 309

Posted on November 25, 2016 by

For some reason the Unionist community has this week been turning the bullhorn up to maximum on the subject of pensions. Most likely provoked by the publication of Dr Craig Dalzell’s fascinating “Beyond GERS”, the usual suspects have returned to the scaremongering tactics deployed during the indyref, attempting to terrorise the elderly with blood-curdling threats of destitution once again.

mcdougallpensions

It’s a bewildering approach, given that the situation regarding pensions is one of the few around independence about which there is known certainty. The UK government already pays the state pension to millions of people outside the UK, under rules which would apply in exactly the same way if Scotland became a “foreign” country.

But just for fun, let’s look at exactly what the situation would be in the monumentally implausible event that Blair McDougall was telling the truth for once.

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Out of the cave 223

Posted on November 24, 2016 by

Readers of this site will be well aware of the many failings and limitations of GERS, aka Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland – the document which serves as the informal accounts of a devolved Scotland but tells us next to nothing about the finances of an independent Scotland, as noted just a few weeks ago by the impartial multinational auditors Deloitte.

deloittegers

An article I produced this week for the Common Weal White Paper Project – Beyond GERS – has generated much critical response from Unionists, though some of it has at least been constructive.

Spurred on by the mention of the article by David Torrance in Monday’s Herald, in a column containing several serious inaccuracies, I’ve seen various misunderstandings and misconceptions about it which ought to be addressed.

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What’s left out 287

Posted on November 21, 2016 by

As alert readers will know, one of the primary purposes of this website isn’t just to tell people when the Scottish and UK media is lying to them, but to teach readers how to spot that for themselves. And one of the keys to learning that is to ask yourself what a story in the press is leaving out as well as what it’s telling you.

So last week, when several newspapers went on an orgy of shock-horror reporting about SNP MPs’ expenses – focusing mostly on aeroplane flights and only quoting figures for a small handful of MPs who’d allegedly been claiming far more taxpayers’ money than their Unionist predecessors – alarm bells started ringing everywhere.

gravytrain

And just as we’ve taught them to, Wings readers leapt into action to do the hard work that Scotland’s professional journalists don’t want to do, in order to provide Scots with the facts that the media doesn’t want them to know.

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