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The Devil And The Pastel Pink Sea 88

Posted on December 08, 2023 by

Well, imagine our surprise.

There was very little realistic prospect of any other outcome, particularly in light of the same judge – Lady Haldane – ruling last month that the definition of “woman” was not limited to biological reality.

In doing so she placed it beyond any credible dispute that the Scottish Government’s proposed Gender Recognition Reform Act did indeed impinge on equality law reserved to the UK government, because the rules on who constituted a legal man or woman would have been different in Scotland and England.

But what now for poor beleaguered Humza Yousaf?

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Walking On Glass 203

Posted on December 07, 2023 by

The response of the Scottish media to yesterday’s momentous events in the Court Of Session has been illuminating in terms of who is and isn’t even attempting to do proper grown-up journalism, although as far as we can tell The Times is alone in having NO coverage of the hearing whatsoever.

The National’s “Politics” section has 54 stories on its main page, many of which are embarrassingly trivial, and mentioned that the hearing was taking place, but the actual outcome is in a completely different section, buried 30 stories down in the “News” category, 29 places below the return of David Jason to “Only Fools And Horses”.

The Herald has the barest skeleton of a report, while you have to turn to page 14 of the Daily Record for a similar piece that conveys the basic facts with nothing at all about the significance of the ruling, and STV News – embarrassingly – just runs an agency release despite having the estimable Colin Mackay and Bernard Ponsonby on its staff. (They also had nothing on air last night.) Maybe they were busy.

The Scottish Sun is by far the best of the print media on the subject. It first ran a extensive but very strangely-timed article that included reporting of actual events at the hearing but NOT the verdict, even though the court delivered its judgement mere moments after hearing the counsels’ submissions.

(The piece finishes “The appeal at the Court of Session is expected to last one day, with a written judgement taking weeks or months”.)

It followed up a couple of hours later with another substantial story including the reactions of the Scottish Government and the Scottish Information Commissioner (the opposing parties at the hearing). But the only actual analysis was done by the BBC.

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Huddle Formation 184

Posted on December 06, 2023 by

To the surprise of most of those watching, including ourselves, the Court Of Session delivered its judgement immediately at the end of today’s hearing, after only the most cursory of conflabs between the three august panel members.

The short version is that the Scottish Government lost, and must now comply with Wings reader Benjamin Harrop‘s FOI request regarding evidence that was supplied to independent adviser James Hamilton during his inquiry into the unlawful investigation of false allegations against Alex Salmond.

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The Spider’s Web 161

Posted on December 05, 2023 by

The Scottish Government will make history tomorrow. For the first time ever since the advent of devolution 24 years ago, it will take the Scottish Information Commissioner to the Court Of Session to prevent disclosure of information.

On the bench will be the full firepower of the inner council of the Scottish judiciary. The Lord President himself, Lord Carloway, will be presiding (and presumably lording) over the hearing. Joining him on the bench will be a former Lord Advocate, Lord Boyd, and a former Solicitor General, Lord Pentland – pictured below, and of whom readers will last have heard here.

To use the legal parlance, that’s a big-boy lineup.

To present their case, the Government are fielding not one but two King’s Counsel – James Mure KC and Paul Reid KC.

This top legal talent does not come cheap and nor does a Court Of Session hearing. So what is this vital information that the Scottish Government – which as recently as May this year pledged to “ensure that we are the most transparent Government on these islands” – is trying so desperately to hide from the Scottish public, at the Scottish public’s very considerable expense?

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An unexpected development 635

Posted on November 27, 2023 by

Apparently I’ve removed myself as the head of me for misbehaviour.

These are zany times in the independence movement, readers. Hold on.

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The Safest People On Earth 218

Posted on November 21, 2023 by

Yesterday was “Transgender Day Of Remembrance”, which was the 41st “special” day of 2023 so far for trans people.

(Including but not limited to International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia; International Pronouns Day; International Transgender Day Of Visibility; Transgender Awareness Week and of course the whole of “Pride Month”, which is now an almost entirely trans-focused event).

Citizens of Scotland and the UK were solemnly instructed to “remember the many trans people whose lives have been tragically cut short by violence”, although weirdly none of the politicians issuing the orders actually named any.

However, since we’re endlessly being told that trans people are the most marginalised, oppressed and vulnerable members of our society, and that an actual “trans genocide” is currently in progress, we expect there have been loads.

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The Bitterest Pill 204

Posted on November 20, 2023 by

It’s funny, but even when you think about politics all day for a living, there are some thoughts that just never pop into your head, and then someone says them a decade later and you think “Oh yeah, of course, it’s obvious”.

Iain Macwhirter is almost certainly right about that in today’s Times. We all focus on how it would have saved Scotland from Brexit, which of course it would, but the truth is that it would have saved the rest of the country too, because the shock would have been so seismic that politicians would have been terrified to put power in the hands of the people again for many, many years.

And of course maybe you love Brexit, or maybe you just think it would have been wrong for the rest of the country to have been denied a vote on it, or maybe you think Nigel Farage would have stormed to victory and become Prime Minister as a result or something. But those are all separate arguments. What’s beyond any reasonable doubt is that for good or ill, that’s how it would have panned out.

So as time goes on, remember who’s responsible not just for Scotland still being in the UK, but also for the UK being out of Europe and for Nicola Sturgeon having been First Minister for the last eight years and our country being run into the ground by a bunch of crooked, hapless, gender-obsessed imbeciles.

Thanks again, No voters. Great victory you won there.

The Lowest Low 342

Posted on November 16, 2023 by

This is officially the most embarrassed to be Scottish we’ve ever been.

And we’re including both the 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony AND the time Craig Levein played 4-6-0 against the Czech Republic in that.

We have a government of clowns. Please, somebody, make it stop.

Public Information Announcement 226

Posted on November 14, 2023 by

While we’re not talking about politics, here’s something else. I’ve just returned from Bath’s fine Royal United Hospital, where I’ve been getting a test done. (So as to avoid unnecessary dramatic tension, as far as anyone knows everything’s fine.)

A while ago I was having some intermittent but rather alarming trouble with swallowing – behave yourselves at the back, there – as well as a bit of general alimentary-canal oddness and mild discomfort, and went to see my doctor. She thought it was probably acid reflux and gave me omeprazole (which fixed the swallowing thing straight away), but just for safety also scheduled me for a barium scan at the hospital.

I’m a bit of a Nervous Nelly when it comes to any sort of medical procedure – this was my first time in a hospital on my own account – and went Googling to see what to expect. I found about 14 different leaflets from various NHS trusts, no two of which said the same thing, which wasn’t exactly reassuring.

What I wanted was a first-hand account or two from actual people who’d had it done, and rather to my surprise I couldn’t find any anywhere on the internet. So since I have a moderately widely-read website, I’m going to write one here for the benefit of not only Wings readers, but anyone else who might find themselves searching for one.

Stand by for some HOT REPORTING. (The above is a genuine RUH sign.)

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The Spoilers 48

Posted on November 14, 2023 by

Zilch continues to happen in Scottish politics, so to pass a bleak November afternoon we’re going to do something we haven’t done on Wings for years: talk about football.

Try not to panic, because it’s really about the Scottish media – just like it used to be back in the good old days when they, rather than the SNP, were the main obstacles to Scottish independence. But there’s going to be quite a bit of football involved along the way, so if you can’t bear it, just go and stare out of the window and wait for Spring.

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And be thought a fool 169

Posted on November 13, 2023 by

It’s not just the obvious tempting-fate part.

Yousaf himself has been demonstrating his unfitness for office ever since he’s had offices. But that’s not even the dumbest thing about that tweet.

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At the Seven-Eleven 933

Posted on November 07, 2023 by

Wings Over Scotland is 12 years old today. And since absolutely nothing is happening in the world of Scottish independence – and hasn’t for, frankly, years – we thought we’d take you on a trip back to the day we were born, since when things DID change.

Remember when we had a leader who could get the UK government to do stuff it didn’t want to do, readers? AND actually increase support for independence? Good times.



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