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Wings Over Scotland


Archive for the ‘analysis’


At the margins 134

Posted on November 01, 2019 by

Alert readers will recall that among the many tirades of abuse this site has recently been subjected to for suggesting the idea of a 2021 Holyrood list party to compete for seats currently won by Unionists, one of the main themes was “We already have a reliable pro-indy alternative to the SNP in the form of the Scottish Greens”.

Now, that argument misses the point by the hugest distance imaginable, but let’s not get into it here, because something more important is happening much sooner.

As we approach a 2019 Westminster general election in which the number of pro-indy MPs returned could be absolutely crucial, we were alerted to the number of candidates the Scottish Greens are intending to stand this coming December.

So it’s perhaps worth considering the possible consequences.

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The Birds And The Bs 248

Posted on October 29, 2019 by

Wings Over Scotland celebrates its 8th birthday this Thursday. And it looks as though we just might be in for a genuinely unexpected surprise party.

Because very suddenly, through sheer dumb luck, and for the first time in over three years, we can actually see a tantalisingly almost-viable route by which the SNP could, almost entirely accidentally, lead us to independence.

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The unbreakable lock 664

Posted on October 21, 2019 by

It’s Monday morning, readers, so welcome once again to the world’s favourite situation comedy, the United Kingdom.

The current position is that absolutely nobody has the slightest idea what’s going to happen this week, or today, or by lunchtime. The Prime Minister is as we speak being taken to court (again), and a whole series of votes in the House Of Commons may or may not take place and may or may not determine anything.

But there’s one particularly interesting thing going on.

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The ultimate Scotlanding 304

Posted on October 20, 2019 by

So, almost a third of you are bloody idiots and we’ll just have to deal with that.

The good news is that at least there couldn’t be any unforeseen consequences.

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Brooks Was Here 190

Posted on October 18, 2019 by

As we write this, Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal appears to hang in the balance. According to Sky News this morning the arithmetic is poised on a knife-edge.

The four “in play” groups down the middle of the graphic are, from the top: three Tory “Spartans” (hardcore Brexiters who might yet back the deal), 19 Labour MPs who’ve suggested they might do so for various reasons, 20 former-Tory “rebels” who had the whip removed by Johnson for voting to block no-deal, and 14 independents, mainly from the “Change UK” wing or whatever they’re called this week.

The government needs 36 of the 56 to vote with it to get the deal through, and can probably count on most of the 20 former Tories. Labour sources are suggesting, quite plausibly, that double-figure numbers of their 19 will also back the deal. So it’s close.

If it passes, England and Wales will get what they voted for (Brexit), Northern Ireland will – after a fashion – get what it voted for (effectively staying in the EU), and Scotland will get shafted. It’ll be placed at a significant economic disadvantage to NI, at a likely severe cost in jobs and investment. The nation which voted the most decisively on Brexit (for either option) will be the only one not to get its democratic wishes respected.

And slightly surprisingly, the whole UK thinks that’s unfair.

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The soul of the SNP 269

Posted on October 15, 2019 by

As we write this, voting has just ended to elect the membership of a number of key SNP internal bodies, including the Member Conduct Committee which has the power to discipline members and even expel them from the party.

This year has seen a concerted attempt by a small but active faction within the SNP, led by the Young Scots for Independence and Out For Indy groups, to flood the MCC (which in normal times struggles to fill its ranks) with officers aggressively committed to transgender ideology, with the openly-declared intent of purging “gender-critical” women from all party candidate lists and ensuring that anyone seeking to protect women’s sex-based rights can be expunged for “transphobia”.

(An attempt to deselect Joanna Cherry on such grounds failed earlier this year, but with control of the MCC the faction could pretty much dump anyone it wanted to.)

The matter has not escaped the attention of the independence-hostile media.

We avoided discussing the committee elections while voting was taking place because it’s not our business to interfere in the internal affairs of the SNP, and also because a certain element of the party has been having a massive tantrum over some poll results we published last week and it might have ended up being counter-productive.

But make no mistake – the outcome of these elections will have a huge impact on both the SNP’s electoral fortunes and the chances of securing independence. We’re about to find out, in other words, how screwed we are.

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The problem of England and Wales 131

Posted on October 14, 2019 by

As we write this, in between bouts of weeping with exhausted misery, frustration and rage, Her Majesty’s Opposition’s interminable will-they-won’t-they game of attempting – maybe, one day, perhaps – to bring down the government and force a new election leading to a new EU referendum continues.

And as the SNP in particular devotes huge amounts of energy to trying to stop Brexit, against the wishes of its own voters, we wondered how the public not just in Scotland but in the two constituent nations of the UK that voted Leave felt about that.

Uh-oh.

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Faith is always blind 294

Posted on October 13, 2019 by

The first novel I remember reading is “The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy”, shortly after it came out in 1979. I was 12, and it had a huge and lasting effect on me – it was the first thing that made me want to be a writer, and both Adams’ writing style and the worldview it deftly illustrated have been lifelong influences.

Almost every line in the book is great, but this one always stuck with me:

And so to the last of the results from our current poll.

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The broad church 186

Posted on October 12, 2019 by

Our feather-ruffling Panelbase poll of SNP voters is now almost at an end, with only one further revelation to come tomorrow. So we thought it was worth taking a moment for a little bit of closer examination of just who the respondents were.

We know, of course, that the criteria for the sample was people who said they currently intend to vote for the SNP with their constituency vote at the next Scottish Parliament election in 2021. But what else do we know about them?

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With the bomb lighting 185

Posted on October 11, 2019 by

A certain independence blog has written FIFTEEN articles in the last month-and-a-bit about Wings, with a steadily-increasing tone of purple-faced rage, since we passingly suggested the idea of setting up a 2021 Holyrood list party if and only if the SNP had failed to deliver a second independence referendum by then.

Now, we do understand and empathise. There’s really not a lot to talk about in Scottish politics at the moment, with the political scene having been utterly consumed by Brexit for the last two years, and trying to attribute significance to some piddly meaningless subsamples of UK-wide polls can only take you so far.

But since over the past few days we’ve been starting to fear that they might have some sort of aneurysm if they get any more wound up, we suppose we ought to finally reveal the results from the first of a series of polling questions we’re intending to ask on the subject of the notional party.

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The Cuckoo Principle 241

Posted on October 10, 2019 by

Our latest Panelbase poll, conducted exclusively among SNP voters, has proven to be the most controversial we’ve ever done. So let’s see if we can get things back onto some nice safe ground: the transgender debate. (“Oh no!” – everyone)

Pictured above, front right, at the recent Dundee Pride is Shirley-Anne Somerville, the cabinet minister in charge of the second public “consultation” being held on the Scottish Government’s transgender policy. Somerville told the event that regardless of the consultation’s outcome she planned to press ahead with the “self-ID” proposals anyway, and that “trans women are women and trans men are men”. She’s almost literally nailed her colours to the mast in advance of the results – she’s wearing a jumper in the blue, pink and white horizontal stripes of the transgender flag.

And the issue of whether people with penises should be allowed to declare themselves women purely on their own say-so and access all female-only spaces unchallenged is one that’s currently tearing the SNP in two.

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Priority boarding 173

Posted on October 09, 2019 by

It’s been quite the week so far. For the vile and sickening crime of [check notes] finding out what SNP voters were thinking about the important political issues of the moment, we’ve had (especially on Facebook) a two-day barrage of stuff like this, and worse:

So, y’know, on with what we always do: reporting the facts.

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