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Stealing a wage 89

Posted on June 10, 2020 by

We’ve often said on Wings Over Scotland that we really don’t mind if journalists are biased. Everyone is biased, including us – we’d just rather people stopped pretending to be impartial when they weren’t. But what we do really hate about the Scottish media is just how astonishingly bad at its job it is.

A particularly striking example arose recently.

Pretty much every newspaper and broadcaster in the country carried the sad story of former Labour MP Paul Sweeney‘s fall from besuited lawmaker to skint benefits claimant. And yet not a single one of them asked the question that literally every single reader of the story would have been shouting at their screen.

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The Betrayer 518

Posted on January 31, 2020 by

So that’s it, then. That’s the grand plan.

We’re sorry, but we’d say the game’s a bogey, gang.

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The eternal mystery 141

Posted on August 27, 2018 by

It’s around this time of year that we always enjoy a delve in the impenetrable enigma that is the membership of Scottish Labour. (As gathered together in the picture below during Jeremy Corbyn’s last trip to Edinburgh.)

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Motes and beams 148

Posted on September 02, 2017 by

The Times today carries an article sparking the annual revival of one of the evergreen mysteries of Scottish politics: just how many (or more accurately, how few) people are in the Scottish Labour Party?

The piece sees leadership contest avoider Alex Rowley crowing about a fall in the SNP’s membership income, based on this year’s party accounts as just released by the Electoral Commission.

So we thought we’d take a look at some numbers.

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More questions than answers 130

Posted on February 24, 2017 by

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).

(Good Morning Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland, 24 February 2017)

But what she said just made the situation MORE confusing, not less.

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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.


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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Inching towards the truth 321

Posted on December 14, 2014 by

We remain perplexed, readers, by the apparent total lack of interest in the mainstream Scottish media about how many members the Scottish Labour “party” has.

Membership levels are a topical subject in the light of the extraordinary explosion in SNP and Green membership after the referendum, and with a general election just months away in which the make-up of Westminster’s 59-strong Scottish contingent could be crucial to the shape of UK politics for the next five years.


The number of members the main Unionist party north of the border can call on to knock doors and deliver leaflets will therefore be a very significant factor in the outcome. Yet on this morning’s Sunday Politics, when presented with an ideal and pertinent opportunity to question new Scottish “leader” Jim Murphy on the subject, Gordon Brewer didn’t even try to ask. What’s with that?

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Hard times 97

Posted on September 11, 2013 by

We’re most grateful to the eagle-eyed reader who spotted something today that had escaped our notice, and apparently also that of the Scottish media. When we were trying to figure out the likely membership of “Scottish Labour” back in June, the most recent set of accounts for the branch (or “Accounting Unit” as it’s officially termed) on the Electoral Commission website were those for 2011.


It turns out that we were in just a bit too early. The 2012 ones were published a mere four weeks later, and they paint a worrying picture for Johann Lamont and her pals.

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The unhappy few 84

Posted on June 27, 2013 by

Seasoned readers will recall that on occasion we’ve pondered the mystery that is the membership of the itself-enigmatic entity sometimes called “Scottish Labour”.


Establishing how many members the party actually has is a puzzle that has eluded the best and brightest in Scottish journalism for years, but thanks to a tip from an alert commenter Wings Over Scotland may be able to make the breakthrough today.

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