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A Thousand Paper Cranes 266

Posted on March 31, 2024 by

Thanks to the dedication of our legal team in working over the Easter holiday, Wings has unexpectedly received the formal Opinion of legal counsel (hereafter called “the Opinion”, capitalised to avoid confusion with the ordinary use of the word in the article) with regard to the standing of the site in the light of the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021, which comes into force tomorrow.

We publish the Opinion below, partly to assist those worried about the Act’s impact on them but unable to afford their own legal advice.

But we also do so to place Police Scotland on notice that anything published by Wings Over Scotland is done in the light of the greatest possible care having been taken to ensure compliance with the law, and that in such a context any future attempt/s to improperly interfere with our rights of free expression under Article 10 of the European Convention On Human Rights (ECHR) will be viewed with regard to pursuing the maximum available recourse for wrongful restriction of our lawful activities.

We have both funds and the will to pursue such action.

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The Eve Of War 174

Posted on March 29, 2024 by

So, it being Good Friday, we’re definitely not going to receive our legal opinion before Monday now, so Wings Over Scotland will be shutting down, at least temporarily, on Sunday evening. No posts will be visible on the site and our Twitter account will be either locked down or deactivated while we await advice on whether either can return.

In the meantime you can hear of any developments, or get in touch, on my personal account @RevStu or on @TheGhostOfWings, both of which have had, or are about to have, all their old tweets wiped.

We’re not going to overdramatise, because we hope this is only for a few days. We’re optimistic that the Scottish Government’s abysmal, sinister and totalitarian Hate Crime Act, opposed across every sector of Scottish society and even by the police charged with implementing it, will not put an end to 12 and a half years of political journalism.

But you can’t write or tweet from a prison cell.

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The Bearers Of The Crown 88

Posted on March 08, 2023 by

The great unknown in the SNP leadership contest is an extremely significant one: who are the voters? Nobody but Peter Murrell really knows how many members the party has, but almost nobody believes the claimed number of over 100,000. (Our guess, based on pretty much nothing but a gut feeling, is 75,000 plus or minus 5000.)

But more to the point, nobody knows who they are. The average member age in most political parties is over 50, and according to figures published in 2019, more than 80% of SNP members are over 40, with half of those being over 60. There’s also an almost 3:2 bias in favour of men.

So the sample on Newsnight last night was pretty representative.

And the segment illustrated the difficulty in predicting the result of the contest.

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Pleasant Valley Monday 117

Posted on January 03, 2023 by

Alert readers may have noticed that our Twitter account has returned again. Hopefully this time it’ll last longer than a week under the inevitable barrage of attacks from transactivists and SNP MSPs.

(We haven’t had any contact from Twitter about it, people just noticed the account was live again last night and told us about it, so we don’t know what the reason was.)

And someone used the occasion to point out that it was exactly five years ago today that we published our first piece on the subject of “gender reform”.

It’s still quite a shocking read even half a decade down the line.

We’ve only actually had 93 posts on trans issues in those five years, or an average of about one every three weeks. We know it feels like more. And we know that some of you thought we’d gone mad when we started warning about it.

But hopefully some of you have realised just what’s at stake, and even if you don’t care about that, how much it might cost the cause of independence. We really hope we can stop talking about it soon, if only so we don’t keep getting banned from Twitter.

For Karen and James 199

Posted on November 21, 2022 by

A week ago, readers, I had not the slightest interest in bringing Wings Over Scotland back full-time. I had my Twitter account again and was having fun and I was happy with that. It scratched the itch of being able to engage with politics (and people) without the depressing business of wading in it for work.

Having enjoyed a summer of long sunny walks feeding the swans and refreshing lager shandies in riverside pubs, I was preparing to hunker down over the cold dark winter and finally get some much-delayed writing for the Wings memoir done.

And then I witnessed the quite extraordinary sight of an elected member of Parliament, in the shape of the SNP’s pico-witted ambulant brain vacuum Karen Adam, publicly gloating about having managed to shut down the voice of someone critical of her party.

At the same time, an extremely minor blogger (the word “rival” would be to over-dignify them) re-opened hostilities in his campaign of self-declared “open warfare” against this site, with a rapid succession of posts (just a few of dozens) forming such a demented scattershot tirade that to patiently debunk all of it would have taken until Christmas.

And I’ll be honest, folks, it all pushed my buttons a wee bit. It really shouldn’t have, but it was properly outrageous and I’m occasionally human, so I thought “Sod it, if I’m going to have to put up with all this crap anyway I might as well make it worthwhile”.

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Recharge And Revolt 338

Posted on November 17, 2022 by

The response to yesterday’s post was pretty unanimous. So let’s find out for real.

Wings Over Scotland has been produced for free for the last three and a half years. Our last operational fundraiser was in May 2019. Then again, we’ve been retired for nearly half that time, with only occasional new posts.

But Scottish politics has never been in a more dire state than it is now, with the SNP stolen from its members by a tiny cabal not interested in independence but only in power for its own sake and the “queering” of Scottish society, while the opposition is a worthless ragbag of hapless incompetents and the media is a national embarrassment.

And since Wings stood back from the fray 18 months ago, absolutely nothing has stepped up to take its place. So if you want the job doing, it looks like we’ll have to do it ourselves again.

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Tidying up 2,851

Posted on September 28, 2021 by

Right, as promised, one last piece of admin. (This post will be removed in due time.)

We left yesterday’s piece and the associated poll up for two full days to make sure the people who don’t read Wings at weekends saw it and had the chance to vote in it too. But in truth it was pretty obvious how the vote would go from about 20 minutes in.

Like, that’s not even a little bit close.

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Under Her Thumb 437

Posted on September 26, 2021 by

When the Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts died last month, the first of their songs that popped into my head, for no particular reason, was “Under My Thumb”, a mildly controversial 1966 album track the band never released as a single in the West.

Its most infamous place in history, though, is this.

Until Watts’ death I was only very broadly aware of the events at Altamont Speedway in 1969, a free festival at a racetrack near San Francisco at which four people died in scenes of malevolent chaos and which is widely regarded as the grim headstone of the hippy era.

But on seeing the extraordinary footage above for the first time on the day of Watts’ death – taken from “Gimme Shelter”, notionally the official movie of the show, although the first two-thirds of it are actually a mundane travelogue of the preceding tour dates – I did some proper reading up on it.

And as I did, a horribly familiar feeling started to unfold.

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Behind the walls 100

Posted on August 27, 2021 by

An ongoing exception to this site’s retirement is for news relating to the scandalous imprisonment of journalist and former UK ambassador Craig Murray, the only human in the history of the planet Earth ever to be jailed for the barely-defined pseudo-crime of “jigsaw identification”.

We had another phone call from Craig in HMP Edinburgh yesterday, and he continues to be in good spirits and be well treated by both staff and fellow inmates. He expressed great gratitude for the flood of mail sent by Wings readers in response to our appeal a couple of weeks ago – he’s been receiving up to 60 letters, emails and packages a day, which have been very much appreciated in helping him pass the 22.5 hours out of every 24 that he spends locked alone in his cell.

The prison authorities, however, imposed some bizarre restrictions.

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The Ship Song 1,078

Posted on May 12, 2021 by

Ten years ago this month I was in a pub called The Porter in Bath with my girlfriend and her family, buying everyone whiskies and gabbling deliriously (I’d been up for over 40 hours at that point) about the significance of what had just happened.

Alex Salmond’s SNP had just broken the Scottish electoral system, winning an absolute majority of seats in a Parliament designed expressly to stop that from ever happening. A total of 72 pro-independence MSPs had been elected, and it was already clear that an independence referendum was going to happen despite the Labour Party’s best efforts. It was impossibly exciting.

This month I sat and watched 72 ostensibly pro-indy MSPs be elected again, but this time with my heart breaking, knowing that they would achieve nothing and indeed had no real intention to even try.

And I’ve had enough of feeling that way.

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Agent Shirlie 319

Posted on April 08, 2021 by

So, this absolute bumhole has just achieved what the combined massed forces of the Unionist establishment and the SNP Twitler Youth alike couldn’t – she’s basically shut down Wings Over Scotland.

Stealthily making her way last night past all the fortifications designed to prevent her and her five associates (Pepsi, Daphne, Celeste, Coco and Rosie, if you’re interested) from travelling from the Palatial Rat Environment to the danger-strewn floor of the Wings office, the tiny furry idiot above holed herself up behind my printer, idly chewing on its USB cable to pass the time even though there was food everywhere, including the packet of biscuits the little sod had dragged down off my desk .

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The Backstabbers 351

Posted on March 25, 2021 by

Today is going to be by some distance the quietest one in Scottish politics this week, so I hope you’ll forgive me a personal indulgence, readers. Because while I just ignore unimaginably vast torrents of online abuse every hour of every day of every year, once in a blue moon some things get said that you just can’t let pass.

Paul Kavanagh made a lot of unpleasant personal-attack tweets yesterday off the back of an unpleasant personal-attack article on his blog, which I don’t propose to get into the many individual falsehoods and misrepresentations of here.

(While I believe his evidence in the Dugdale case actually did more harm than good, I don’t hold him responsible for that and I appreciated his willingness to try to help when others I’d considered friends had turned their back.)

But the comments above are too much to bear.

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