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Wings Over Scotland


Kezia Dugdale Fact Check, Part 678 141

Posted on February 22, 2017 by

There’s an interesting story in the Herald today about Scottish Labour’s finances.

slabfinance

It reveals that the party’s income from donations plunged from £600,000 in 2015 to £100,000 last year, which in the article is blamed on Jeremy Corbyn’s UK leadership (even though Dugdale opposed him in the leadership election).

But there were a few comments in the piece that we thought needed scrutiny.

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In their back yard 77

Posted on February 22, 2017 by

We thought you’d like a wee cross-tabbed update on yesterday’s Trident poll news:

tridentnimby

Of all the people who wanted to retain the UK’s nuclear weapons, just over HALF of them (56%) were prepared to have them kept in Scotland. 15% did a total U-turn when confronted with the thought of having them in the same place they’ve been for the last 30-odd years, and nearly a third suddenly weren’t so sure nukes were a great idea when they were reminded they’re kept about half an hour from Glasgow.

It’s an interesting stat to keep in mind when the subject is debated.

The tyranny of majorities 287

Posted on February 21, 2017 by

The reliably-wise Stephen Bush of The New Statesman said something perceptive yesterday on the subject of an EU referendum, although it applies much more widely.

bushref

It’s a view we’ve held for many years, most often in relation to UK governments ruling with huge majorities won on pretty tiddly pluralities of the vote (often in the mid-30%s), where the bulk of the electorate has no defence against a party it didn’t vote for.

Despite an electoral system that makes such events far rarer, the phenomenon crops up a lot in Scotland too, and both sides are guilty, often on the same subject. Scottish employment figures, for example, alternate with almost metronomic regularity between being higher/lower than those in the rest of the UK, and whichever it is in any given month one side or the other will trumpet it as conclusive and permanent proof that Scotland’s governance is better/worse than that of London.

(Even though Holyrood in fact has almost no power over the economy, so deserves little of either the blame or credit, whichever applies that month.)

The most common case, though, is Trident.

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An auld familiar song 340

Posted on February 20, 2017 by

The Scottish media has today leapt all over the front-page lead story from yesterday’s Sunday Times, in which “top economist” Douglas McWilliams of right-wing thinktank the Centre for Economics and Business Research made an apocalyptic prediction of a huge deficit turning an independent Scotland into “a Third World country”.

The Express’ customarily restrained coverage is pretty typical.

mcwilliams1

We wondered if Mr McWilliams used to have a more optimistic view.

As it turned out, not so much.

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In concrete boots 313

Posted on February 18, 2017 by

From today’s Herald:

heraldbae

It seems a good time to bring up another piece of our poll data.

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Before you vote 100

Posted on February 18, 2017 by

No.3 in the series: Caroline, originally from Hastings in Sussex, now Edinburgh.

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Spitting the dummy 116

Posted on February 18, 2017 by

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Here comes a surprise 200

Posted on February 17, 2017 by

No voters, Leave voters and Labour/Tory voters are more racist than Yes, Remain, Lib Dem and SNP voters. Who could ever have guessed?

immigpoll

The former groups all agreed that there was a problem with too much immigration in Scotland. The latter groups all disagreed. It’s that stark, folks.

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Doublethink of a number 119

Posted on February 17, 2017 by

The one great pillar of the argument against Scottish independence – greater than not being allowed into the EU, greater than being forced to barter with beads and potatoes because we wouldn’t have a currency, greater than losing Doctor Who or having the Chinese take their pandas back – is the economy.

Scotland is far too wee and too poor to be independent, they say – while indignantly denying that they’re saying it – because we only survive now thanks to a vast bailout every year from the rest of the UK, by which they in fact mean England. (Because it’s sure as heck not coming from Wales or Northern Ireland, which by any measure you care to choose are far poorer than Scotland.)

moncktonukip2

The name and size of this bailout vary wildly. Sometimes it’s a “deficit”, sometimes it’s a “black hole”, sometimes it’s a “fiscal transfer”, and it can be £8bn, £9bn, £10bn, £15bn, £28bn£32bn or any other figure up to a hundred and eleventy thousand million bajillion squillion depending on who you’re talking to.

(The last one’s probably either David Coburn or Jackie Baillie.)

And while there are a dozen separate and compelling reasons why that argument is complete rubbish, none of them have any traction with diehard Unionists determined to believe that one of the richest and most blessed nations on Earth couldn’t possibly manage its own affairs like, say, Latvia or Ireland or Kuwait or Slovakia can.

But it turns out there IS a – surprisingly simple – way to get Unionists to categorically deny that England subsidises Scotland. You just have to ask them.

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Every revolution starts with a lone voice 256

Posted on February 16, 2017 by

From these small beginnings shall our ultimate victory come.

natanth

The votes for “God Save The Queen” being driven by Tories, English-born residents and supporters of a particular football club probably won’t come as the biggest shock in the world to anyone.

(Alert viewers will of course have noticed that due to MI5 INTERFERENCE in the poll, there were actually two votes for Hoots Mon, which have been suspiciously rounded down to one. We are conducting an investigation, by which we mean brutal purge.)

Dumbing it down for Ruth 71

Posted on February 16, 2017 by

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson managed to make a bit of a balloon of herself earlier this month when she contrived to get THREE fairly key facts wrong in a single tweet about a poll on a second independence referendum.

ruthjim

(We’re not sure who the guy in the picture with her is. Probably a colleague.)

We suspected the reason she’d so badly misunderstood the data was that there were two options for “have another indyref in the next two years” and only one for “don’t have another indyref”, so when we were putting our latest poll together we thought we’d try to make it easier for her by having an equal number on both sides.

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A close shave 71

Posted on February 16, 2017 by

There’s a nice piece in today’s Scottish Sun about one of the findings of our newest Panelbase poll, on who was Scotland’s all-time best First Minister.

mountnicmore

We thought you’d want a more detailed look at the data behind it.

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