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Feeling this 95

Posted on January 30, 2020 by

Just a matter of hours to go. Want it to be like:

But it’s more like:

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The Silence 291

Posted on December 17, 2019 by

As some alert readers have already noticed, our Twitter account has been suspended again, three and a bit years after the last time. The ban is supposedly permanent. To save a lot of repeated explaining in emails and direct messages, a brief record of the pertinent events follows.

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The Panel 426

Posted on November 19, 2019 by

This, frankly, is something that we should have done years before now. But it’s never too late to start.

One of the most annoying and undemocratic things about modern politics is the ease with which MPs and candidates can simply ignore the electorate. I’ve attempted to politely ask my own MP, Wera Hobhouse of the Liberal Democrats, a question on several occasions and had only dead air in response, and many readers report similar from their own representatives.

What that means, among other things, is that it can be impossible to have any idea what someone stands for on a given issue before you vote for them. And that’s plainly unacceptable in a democracy.

However, when there’s an election on, there’s something you can do about it.

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Going down a bad road 57

Posted on September 27, 2019 by

You now have less than 24 hours left to secure your copy of our intermittent cartoonist Mr Cairns’ latest beautifully-crafted volume of biting political satire featuring a cute lion. (No, not the one pictured below.)

For the love of God please don’t upset him or we’ll get more like this.

The Screw 658

Posted on July 08, 2019 by

We’ve just received the verdict in the hearing over costs in our court case against Kezia Dugdale, and it’s an incomprehensible one. The sheriff has awarded costs in full to Dugdale, plus a 50% “uplift” mainly on the grounds of the “complexity” of the case, despite Dugdale having employed the services of perhaps Scotland’s highest-paid specialist defamation QC.

Full costs were awarded despite the sheriff having found that the core complaint on which the case was brought – namely that Dugdale had unjustly defamed me with a damaging and wholly false claim that I was a homophobe – was in fact wholly upheld, and that I had indeed been so defamed.

No explanation was given with regard to the supposed complexities from which the uplift arose. The case was in fact a quite straightforward one in defamation terms: an allegation was made, no supporting facts were provided for it and it was found to be entirely false, but the defender was excused liability on the grounds of honest belief – despite being unable to provide the sheriff with any rational basis for that belief.

That’s just about the bare minimum of complexity that could ever possibly exist in a defamation case, and readers might understandably feel that it ought to have been well within the normal skill set of the defender’s representatives, particularly given that the document comprising the entire core of the case was a single tweet of less than 140 characters.

Apparently if you’re a lawyer who’s been paid tens of thousands of pounds to debate a single tweet you also deserve a 50% bonus by way of extra compensation for all the stress and trauma of, um, doing your normal job.

Kezia Dugdale at no point before, during or after the case apologised for or withdrew her remarks – indeed, after our initial complaint she repeated and expanded them, leaving us with no remedy but to pursue the matter in court, and to compete as best we could with the astronomical sums spent on Dugdale’s defence by external parties and approved by the court even though the sum being sued for was relatively modest.

We don’t yet have a final bill, but we expect it to be in the rough vicinity of £100,000 as previously advised. We’ve already polled readers on their desired response in that event, and received an overwhelming majority of 9:1 in favour of filing an appeal against the substantive judgement on the case.

(The verdict on expenses cannot in practice be appealed itself, but were a substantive appeal to be successful the expenses verdict would automatically be overturned.)

We intend to carry out that decision, but any further views are welcomed.

Imagine our astonishment 242

Posted on July 03, 2019 by

When this complaint got the brush-off from the BBC, flatly refusing a right of reply under Article 28 of the Broadcasting Code to the Corporation’s grossly unbalanced and factually-inaccurate coverage of our court case against Kezia Dugdale:

We now have to go through TWO more rounds of pointless dickaboutery and dismissal from the BBC, taking up several weeks, before Ofcom will take the matter up.

(You may have noted, incidentally, that the letter gives no indication that its response can be appealed in any way. It took Ofcom to tell us it could.)

We’ll keep you posted.

The Achievers 174

Posted on July 02, 2019 by

As we all know by now, the active Yes movement is split into two camps. On one side are the whiners (mainly but not solely from the fringe far left), who are always full of destructive criticism and abuse for their own side while contributing nothing of any value themselves, other than to promote their own media careers.

On the other are the hard workers who actually get things done, quietly producing materials and work that reach out to voters and make a real difference.

These people have no interest in getting their faces known by appearing as tame Nat pundits on TV and radio, no desire to get their foot in the door at the BBC or grab a lucrative seat in Parliament. All most of them care about is bringing about a Yes vote so that they can get back to their normal lives in a better country.

So let’s see if we can help a few of them out.

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The loose end 423

Posted on June 21, 2019 by

Right then. Our 2019 crowdfunder is officially over (the page is actually still live at the moment because several readers have asked it be kept open until the weekend so they can make their own donations, but it’ll be finally closed down on Sunday night).

And good heavens.

The main page alone narrowly beat last year’s all-sources total (ie including donations made via other routes like direct bank transfers) by nearly £600, and the actual final figure for 2019 [EDIT: updated 24 June] is, jawdroppingly, this much:

£171,849

Blimey.

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Call answered 289

Posted on June 16, 2019 by

Our 2019 crowdfunder now has just 24 hours to go, and to be honest it’s exceeded our wildest expectations. Despite the moribund state of Scottish politics over the last two years we’re currently around £3200 beyond the previous all-time record, and that’s just phenomenal. You never stop taking our breath away, folks.

But we’re going to rattle the tin one last time by repeating something we said last year.

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Books for bucks 193

Posted on June 11, 2019 by

We probably don’t push the annual Wings fundraiser hard enough. Sure, we tweet about it every few days, but other than that we pretty much leave it to get on with itself – we haven’t run an article about it since launching it nearly a month ago.

That’s partly because thanks to the phenomenal generosity of the approximately 1% of readers who’ve donated so far, we’ve very comfortably covered our basic outgoings for the next 12 months and then some – the vast salaries for myself and near-regular cartoonist Mr Cairns, of course, plus webhosting and various other operating costs (eg commission to the fundraising/payment processing companies), money for some more opinion polls and a boost to the Wings Fighting Fund.

But as it enters its last few days we’re going to nag you a bit now, because we don’t think there’s a better-value investment in the independence cause to be had anywhere.

With all costs covered, every £1 you donate from this point onwards will basically put FOUR copies of Wee Blue Book 2.0 through Scottish letterboxes when the next indyref happens, and if you know of a more practical and effective thing you can do to bring independence about with a quid then we’d love to hear about it.

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Last Call 716

Posted on May 13, 2019 by
Click the image or here to go to the fundraiser page.
Click here to donate directly by other means.
.

Total at 9am, 18 June: £169,266. Last 24 hours: £6,357
(Includes donations from all sources)

.

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Anarchy in the rUK 1,229

Posted on March 24, 2019 by

Well, hopefully there won’t be too much of that, as we’ve got a sitter in to keep the Separats in check while we’re away. But activity on Wings will probably be a little sparse over the next few days, for hopefully-obvious reasons.

There’s a limit on how much we’ll be able to say about the case, and chances to post on the site will be restricted in general, but we’ll try to keep on top of any important events. Normal service will be resumed ASAP. In the meantime, behave yourselves.



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