The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland


Archive for the ‘analysis’


The Great British Bin Fire 385

Posted on December 06, 2018 by

Brexit isn’t really this site’s remit, which is why we’ve been relatively quiet in recent weeks as the UK’s shambolic exit from the EU hogs all the news and Scottish politics has been relegated to a largely-dormant backwater in the press.

Yes supporters don’t speak with one voice on the EU, and while we’re in favour of it we’ve long said that the indy movement can’t really move on until the fog clears and we know for sure what Brexit’s going to look like. Deciding whether to be part of the EU should be a decision for an independent Scotland to make, not a precondition.

But dear lord, this is such a mess it needs to be examined.

Read the rest of this entry →

The internationalist brigade 89

Posted on December 06, 2018 by

We all knew this already, of course. Last year we commissioned a poll from Panelbase which found an enormous 41-point gap between Yes and No voters on immigration. But it was still nice to have it both confirmed and laid out so clearly by Sir John Curtice on Good Morning Scotland earlier today.

(About 1h 55m in. We’re having some trouble recording sound on our new PC at the moment, we’ll get you a proper audio link as soon as we’ve figured it out.)

“Support for the Yes movement is associated with being more likely [around 50% more likely, in fact] to have a positive view about immigration.

So we’re certainly confirming that Scotland does have this rather unusually civic nationalist movement. It’s not a movement that says you have to be born in Scotland for us to value you, it is something that does seem to be relatively open-minded.

On the other side of the coin what we’re discovering – and the reason why in the end Scotland why doesn’t look any more liberal than England and Wales – is that when you look at those who vote for the Conservatives or for the Labour Party, for the Unionist parties, they emerge as being less favourable towards immigration than are Conservative and Labour voters south of the border.”

It’s worth keeping to hand the next time some witless Scottish Labour goon tries to tell you that independence is bad because it’s “separatist” and that voting for the Union is the international-solidarity option. Because that’s a flat-out lie.

Read the rest of this entry →

Taking the strain 284

Posted on December 03, 2018 by

We’re on about Day 79 of NoScottishPoliticsNewsGate (today’s big “EXCLUSIVE!” in the Herald is something we told you about last Friday, and was also an “exclusive” in yesterday’s Scottish Sun), so we found ourselves getting diverted by something else in the papers this morning.

The Scottish Daily Mail had a piece on the cost of train journeys from Scotland, and living in Bath you don’t need to tell us how scandalously expensive British railways are compared to almost any other country in the Northern Hemisphere.

But the Mail is the Mail, and it couldn’t help distorting even an open-goal of a story like that until it had almost no relation to reality. And it’s a very useful illustration, should anybody need yet another one, of how this country’s newspapers vastly mislead their readers without actually technically lying.

Read the rest of this entry →

Articles without faith 397

Posted on December 01, 2018 by

At a time of unprecedented political chaos and uncertainty, just about the only thing you can still count on is that for any given situation, senior Labour figures will issue proclamations both firmly in favour of it and stoutly opposed to it, usually the same day.

So the stories below, which are respectively from today’s Scotsman and today’s Times, won’t come as much of a shock to anyone.

But against the odds, we think we’ve made some sense of it.

Read the rest of this entry →

Pretending to be stupid 797

Posted on November 25, 2018 by

All political discourse is plagued with genuine imbeciles, of course. But what’s far more depressing is when educated and normally perceptive people merely act like imbeciles for money, such as the case of Alex Massie in the Sunday Times today.

Because for the last two years, commentators who ought to know better have insisted in presenting Scotland’s choice as between Brexit or Brexit plus independence, and solemnly concluding that the uncertainties and risks of the latter being piled on top of those of the former prove that independence is no solution.

And we don’t care to have our intelligence insulted in that way.

Read the rest of this entry →

The dust of the sawdust 269

Posted on November 20, 2018 by

We’re so far beyond mere “scraping the barrel” now.

Unhappy with polls based on asking the simple and clear question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”, and which have been stubbornly refusing to show any movement against independence, our dear old pals at Scotland In Union recently commissioned one of their own seeking to muddy the waters.

Their brainwave was to try to confuse respondents by tangling up the usual indyref responses (firmly and consistently set in people’s minds over the last seven years as “Yes” and “No”) with the responses associated with the EU referendum (“Remain” and “Leave”), in the hope that Scots – who of course are heavily in favour of Remain – would be fooled and/or brainwashed into saying something different.

And it very very slightly worked, right up to the point where it fell apart.

Read the rest of this entry →

It’s the same old songs 127

Posted on November 02, 2018 by

…but with a different meaning since you’ve been gone.”

Labour have now been promising to abolish the Lords for around 110 years, including 37 years as the UK government. But wait! They’ve got more promises for you!

Read the rest of this entry →

Ifs and buts and maybes 170

Posted on November 01, 2018 by

Alert readers may have noticed that for a non-holiday period, Scottish politics is a deathly quiet place at the moment. Papers are struggling to find anything to write about at all, and were beside themselves with joy this week when presented with the chance to fabricate a ridiculous “anti-Semitism” story about an obscure blogger criticising a trade union and fill several pages with hysterical fauxtrage over it.

The sheer dearth of anything happening whatsoever is typified by the Scottish Daily Mail’s front-page splash this morning.

It sounds dramatic – a potentially catastrophic en-masse exodus of Scotland’s doctors would certainly be a crisis. But anyone reading beyond the lurid headline will swiftly discover a rather less doom-laden reality.

Read the rest of this entry →

The Last Days Of Pompeii 135

Posted on October 24, 2018 by

In many ways the Glasgow equal-pay dispute feels like the impotent final fury of the dinosaurs after the dust cloud of a prehistoric asteroid impact blacked out the sun and condemned them all to death.

What we’re seeing now is a futile howl of rage against irrelevance by the shady cabal of Labour politicians and senior trade union officials who used to treat the city as their personal fiefdom, as they sink into inglorious extinction.

We highly recommend clicking that link to read the whole series of tweets from Labour member and solicitor Ian Smart, who readers won’t need reminding is no sort of friend of the SNP or inclined to their defence. Because the story goes much deeper than the common-or-garden hypocrisy we saw yesterday.

Read the rest of this entry →

We must just be idiots 79

Posted on October 23, 2018 by

On the face of it, this stuff is like shooting fish in a barrel.

But let’s treat it with more dignity than it deserves and hear her out.

Read the rest of this entry →

The definition of insanity 278

Posted on October 08, 2018 by

A famous quote commonly attributed to Albert Einstein (and hotly disputed, as always, by point-missing Quote Nazis), runs that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.

It’s been bouncing around our heads for the last couple of days, because with the SNP annual conference in full swing in Glasgow, Scottish political pundits have taken it upon themselves to start issuing bizarre assertions/advice about the party’s strategy for securing a second independence referendum.

This version, from the Herald’s cut-price David Torrance knockoff Mark Smith today, is no more than we’d expect from that source:

But we were a lot more surprised to see the notion also being taken up by someone we’d previously credited with a lot more insight and intelligence.

Read the rest of this entry →

The fine art of self-delusion 172

Posted on October 04, 2018 by

When the news is slow, we sometimes steel ourselves and go for a little paddle in the Yoonstream – a private collection of the most unhinged hardcore-Unionist accounts on Twitter – and see what they’re getting themselves all worked up about.

For a good few months now, they’ve all been posting mad graphs like this:

And we’re not quite sure why.

Read the rest of this entry →



↑ Top