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Wings Over Scotland

Archive for the ‘analysis’

The news that isn’t fit to print 102

Posted on September 13, 2023 by

I’ve known my mate Chris since I was five years old and we lived next door to each other in a council scheme in Bathgate. He’s a grand lad, the sort of Rangers fan that you can introduce in polite company, a hardworking, small-c-conservative successful business owner who’d go out of his way to help you and has a few SNP councillors in his social circle.

He isn’t the least bit political. In 2014 he was a soft No whose vote was narrowly tipped by the fact that his company did almost all of its business with English clients and he feared losing them to red tape (and, ironically, English nationalist sentiment) after indy, but after the Brexit referendum he was leaning very much more Yes.

The SNP’s staggeringly incompetent rule since then blew that chance and has pushed him further back into the No camp than he ever had been before, but last night he texted me “can’t believe this actually went to print and came through our door today”.

I can’t say I blame him.

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Coming undone 196

Posted on September 10, 2023 by

I’ve always been obsessed, in cultural terms, with pivot points: the precise moment when something significant changes irreversibly.

They can be a goal that ushers in a football team’s golden era – for me, Alex McLeish putting Aberdeen level in the 1982 Scottish Cup final. They can be a twist in a movie, like (first example that comes to mind) the shocking revelation of the bad guy in LA Confidential. They can spring out of nowhere, like the latter, or be something that was visibly on the way but finally crystallises, like the former.

There are some great examples to be found in the world of pop videos, like the one 3m 40s into Pulp’s epic mainstream-career-ender “This Is Hardcore”. But for my money there isn’t one more spine-tingling than this:

(Warning: some adult content.)

Robbie Williams here is played by Humza Yousaf.

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Ground Zero 259

Posted on September 07, 2023 by

Well, there it is.

It’s not like it hasn’t been coming.

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Why the SNP surrendered 271

Posted on September 05, 2023 by

These are strange and grim times for the Scottish independence movement, but we never thought it’d ever get so strange that we’d be quoting Effie Deans.

Since pretty much day one, Wings has said that the only honest and honourable way to campaign against independence would be for Unionists to say Scotland isn’t a country, but a mere region of the UK. But they lack the courage to admit what their true beliefs are, and so they fall back on fear and lies disguised as concern, all cloaked in “proud Scot” protestations.

While that might be a miserable way to conduct yourself, it’s understandable, because the moment that you acknowledge Scotland as being a country, all the debating lines against independence crumble to ashes. They’re powerless in the face of the principle that countries should choose their own governments, for good or ill, because that’s what democracy is, and few people are willing to stand openly against democracy.

And what Effie Deans’ concession of this site’s cornerstone argument reveals is that Unionists finally feel safe against any threat of independence in the foreseeable future, and with good reason.

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To Another World 219

Posted on September 03, 2023 by

So, we guess this is the “mainstream independence movement” now.

It’s smaller than we imagined.

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The Lasting Effect Of A Single Word 93

Posted on August 27, 2023 by

This is a Sunday Mail cover story today:

And it’s almost easy to dismiss it as meaningless. You can report to the police that aliens dug up your prize petunias and they’ll record it and give it a reference number and promise to investigate, before concluding that it was actually the neighbour’s cat.

But there’s one word in the 500-word piece that makes it much more interesting.

Can you spot it, readers?

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Somebody make it make sense 42

Posted on August 26, 2023 by

Humza Yousaf today:

So… his job is to get a legally binding referendum (something which doesn’t actually exist), but he knows that if we’re likely to win it we’re less likely to get it, so… we need to look like we’re going to lose one if it happens?

So presumably with support for the SNP already plummeting through the floor, the next phase of his grand strategy will be to drive support for independence down too? We suppose that’s a more rational explanation of the party’s actions in recent years than anything else we can think of, right enough.

Or of course, it might be that the guy’s just a complete gibbering idiot. You tell us.

The Hollow Heart 192

Posted on August 25, 2023 by

Yesterday we took an extensive tour of all the red flags in the SNP’s 2022 accounts, which show a party in very deep financial trouble. But there was one part we left out because it deserves a post of its own.

The picture above – which was posted by then-CEO Peter Murrell during last year’s SNP conference – is a revealing one in all kinds of ways.

It starkly exposes how a party chose to hold an event for around 800 members in a venue with a capacity of 15,000 and then went to a lot of effort to disguise how empty the space was, rather than, for example, just hiring somewhere of an appropriate size (and cost) in the first place.

(Look how far into the hall the stage has been placed, leaving half the arena vacant, to then be hidden behind a giant screen and curtains and banners in order to give a false impression of how full it is.)

But what’s more symbolic is that there are almost no people in it.

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Don’t you wonder sometimes? 76

Posted on August 24, 2023 by

About sound and vision, we mean.

Three hundred and forty grand?

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Dead Cat Bouncing 58

Posted on August 24, 2023 by

We know the meanings of words are very flexible these days, especially in the SNP.

But this isn’t our understanding of the term “turning around”:

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The End Of The Enlightenment 487

Posted on August 19, 2023 by

Slacky The Holiday Boy is off for the next THREE weeks, gallivanting around the globe on the clearly excessive wages we’re paying him. We hope he does actually come back, because his home city is becoming a poisonously hostile place for the creative.

Around 300 years ago, Edinburgh was the birthplace and residence of the Scottish Enlightenment, a remarkable period of intellectual and scientific accomplishment built around “the importance of human reason combined with a rejection of any authority that could not be justified by reason”, and which led to the city being famously dubbed “the Athens of the North”.

But those days are past now.

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The Ultimate Joke 174

Posted on August 17, 2023 by

Fair play to The National, the use of the word “HIS” in this banner on their front page today might be the single funniest thing ever printed by a Scottish newspaper.

Because everyone and his dug in Scotland knows whose strategy it actually is, and how many years Pete Wishart spent traducing it as nonsense and furiously venting his overworked spleen at anyone who advocated it – right up to the point where Nicola Sturgeon adopted it in a desperate last attempt to keep the indy faithful pushing the SNP gravy bus, at which point it became the greatest masterplan of all time.

But today’s piece in the indy equivalent of the Daily Express (albeit with only a tenth of the sales) is so jawdropping that we doubt even Robert Oppenheimer would be up to the job of putting a scorchmark on Wishart’s brass neck, so let’s spend five minutes having a look at it before we go out for a bit of sunshine.

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