Normally the amateur blogger, unqualified would-be economist and unsuccessful dog-food salesman that BBC Scotland and the Daily Record employ on a regular basis to openly troll Yes voters restricts himself, when attacking this site, to crude abuse or smear and innuendo like the below, tweeted on Holocaust Memorial Day last year:
We were very pleased to hear Gary Robertson challenge Kezia Dugdale on the curious matter of Scottish Labour’s membership and income figures on today’s Good Morning Scotland. Dugdale flapped and dodged and waffled for as long as she could before diverting the topic onto federalism, and eventually managed to wriggle away from the subject without any sort of proper answer (through no fault of Robertson’s).
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.
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.
Alert readers will remember that last month we debunked a front-page story from the Scottish Daily Mail about SNP MPs’ expenses, which made the spectacularly untrue claim that they were more expensive than their Unionist predecessors, when in fact they cost significantly less and did far more work.
A couple of days ago the Mail finally ran a “clarification”. And we thought you might like to know exactly how much more the Mail values lies than truth.
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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.
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.