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Archive for the ‘analysis’

Everybody but you 256

Posted on September 17, 2018 by

There’s a fascinating piece in the Guardian this morning.

It reveals that in attempting to solve the unsolvable Irish border problem, the EU’s Brexit negotiators are – at the UK’s behest – trying to come up with a plan which would preclude its use for Scotland in the event of independence.

That’s an entirely legitimate course of action. Having lacked the courage to establish itself as a nation, Scotland shouldn’t expect to be treated as one by either the EU or the UK (which has demonstrated its contempt by flatly refusing Scotland any voice in negotiations). The EU is quite properly, and admirably stoutly, defending the interests of its member state, Ireland. Would that Scotland had such clout.

But it’s worth taking a second to ponder what it all means.

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Data in depth 110

Posted on September 07, 2018 by

Last night we stumbled across an interesting little statistical wrinkle to our story from Wednesday about voters’ satisfaction with Scottish public services.

The middle set of figures there is especially revealing.

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Dickie’s Taffy Puddings 73

Posted on September 05, 2018 by

Perhaps the single most striking feature of everyday non-constitutional Scottish politics is Labour’s constantly-recurring habit of highlighting some supposedly unsatisfactory statistic about the Scottish Government’s performance, only for it to be revealed that it’s vastly better than the comparable figure for Wales, where Labour has been in power ever since the Assembly was created in 1999.

So let’s crank up the machine again and see what it says, shall we?

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The scissored isles 137

Posted on September 02, 2018 by

New polling out tonight from British Polling Council members Deltapoll.

Excluding don’t-knows, both of those sets of figures come out at 52-48 margins: for Yes if Brexit goes ahead, for No if it doesn’t. If Brexit isn’t mentioned in the question at all, the results are 49% Yes 51% No.

Excluding don’t knows, the figures for Northern Ireland are 57-43 in favour of a united Ireland in the event of Brexit, and 60-40 against if Brexit is averted.

Fair bit at stake in the next few months, then.

The National Enquirers 122

Posted on August 28, 2018 by

The data in this Scottish Government reply to an alert reader this week pretty much speaks for itself, so we’re not going to add too much to it.

The number of FOI requests submitted to the Scottish Government by the BBC in the past three years (112) is more than 25% higher than the total number submitted in the previous seven years (89).

The number submitted by Labour in 2017 was more than TEN TIMES as many as it submitted in 2008, and twice as many as any other year.

The number submitted by the Tories in 2017 was a third more than the total number submitted in the previous NINE years (92). They’ve also exceeded that total in the first seven months of this year alone.

And as the highlighted passage notes, the true numbers are considerably higher.

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A sad, sad robot all alone 137

Posted on August 28, 2018 by

It really takes some going to stand out for especially terrible journalism in the Scottish press this week, given the vast acres of page-space that are still being devoted to truly abysmal, and borderline legally-actionable, barrel-scraping articles about the recent allegations made against Alex Salmond. So hats off to perhaps the only man who could possibly have achieved it.

Ladies and gentlemen, who else but David Leask?

Let’s see just who we meet, shall we?

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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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Dear Murray 122

Posted on August 24, 2018 by

The recent former Daily Record editor and even more recent Yes convert Murray Foote caught a few people’s eyes on Twitter this morning with a rather audacious use of the phrase “decent Tories like Adam Tomkins”.

But it was a piece he wrote for The Times that we found harder to swallow.

We’ve got some spare time today, so let’s go through it all.

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The six key facts about GERS (2018) 66

Posted on August 23, 2018 by

We’re just going to reprint this piece every year, because only the numbers change.

Today saw the publication of the 2017-18 GERS stats, which are once again triggering a convulsive orgy of “BLACK HOLE!” articles across the media as every Unionist in the land falls over themselves to portray their own country as a useless scrounging subsidy junkie without actually using the exact words “too wee, too poor, too stupid”.

And once again, everywhere you look there’s a “Proud Scot” screaming about how the figures destroy a case for independence that those same people have spent most of the current decade stridently insisting never existed in the first place.


So let’s recap the truth about Scotland’s financial books. Because for all the complex arguments, mad graphs ludicrously pretending Scotland is a less viable nation than Greece or Latvia or Cyprus or Malta and endless arrays of incomprehensible charts and tables, there are (now) only six things you really need to know about GERS.

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The cereal offenders 321

Posted on August 19, 2018 by

So this didn’t go down too well on social media last night.

Prof Bueltmann, who’s made her life in Scotland for 20 years, was (as far as we can tell) the only independence supporter to speak at a poorly-attended rally in Edinburgh calling for a fatuously-named “People’s Vote” on Brexit.

Pretty much everyone else on the platform had campaigned for No in 2014 in one way or another, from Gavin “grassroots” Esler to Rory “best of both worlds” Bremner, Ming “freeze out the Nats” Campbell and Malcolm “Medics for No” Macleod.

And when some Twitter users expressed a modicum of resentment at being ordered to get behind the “People’s Vote” campaign by the very people who are responsible for Scotland still being shackled to the UK and therefore dragged out of the EU in the first place, the Unionists got terribly hurt and sniffy.

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How to turn kids into racists 196

Posted on August 18, 2018 by

Several right-wing media outlets, including the Scotsman, the Scottish Daily Mail and a far-right Unionist website called the Unity News Network have in recent days picked up on the findings of a newly-published study commissioned by the Scottish Government on young people’s attitudes towards immigration.

To give you a flavour of the Unity News Network, it was most recently seen making a Facebook post that captioned a fascinating colour video of London in 1924 with the words “Before Sadiq Khan, Before Terrorism, Before Acid Attacks, Before Moped Gangs, Before Mass Immigration…. Who wants Britain to go back to that time?”

(Some sample reader replies include: “How wonderful, we want our country back” and “It wasn’t the murder capital of the western world then I wonder why it changed was it a black cloud that descended on it?” For perspective on that claim, London recorded 80 murders in the first six months of 2018, compared to 141 in New York.)

And yet UNN still managed to put the least racist spin on the story.

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The Helter-Skelter 146

Posted on August 16, 2018 by

One of the first posts we ever wrote on Wings Over Scotland, back in November 2011, recorded the fact that total daily sales of newspapers in Scotland had dipped below a million for the first time ever (to a total of 986,657).

The six-and-a-half years that have followed have been probably the most tumultuous in Scottish history – an independence referendum, a Brexit referendum and the death of Rangers, to name but three of the significant events that have taken place in just two-thirds of a single decade.

At the very least, then, you’d imagine that the period might have given the declining newspaper industry one last dead cat bounce.

The like-for-like sales total of the same newspapers today is 492,353.

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