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Wings Over Scotland


Archive for the ‘debunks’


The master of detail 70

Posted on February 19, 2019 by

Unionists have been in a purple frenzy of rage in the last couple of weeks that the First Minister has dared to leave the country not once but twice in order to try to improve relations and trade links with Scotland’s business partners. Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton – a man who still thinks the Queensferry Crossing isn’t finished a year and a half after traffic started using it – tried a different tack.

And that’s a zinger of a point unless oh dear what’s this?

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The outstanding balance 590

Posted on February 10, 2019 by

We had an interesting exchange with Scottish Labour MP Paul Sweeney this week on the deathless lie that is the “fiscal transfer” – the £10bn or so that Unionists rather startlingly insist the rest of the UK generously donates to Scotland every year out of the goodness of its heart, just for the pleasure of our company.

As you can see, the debate was of a high intellectual standard.

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Standard Wales Check 514

Posted on February 05, 2019 by

Alert readers will recall that earlier today we conducted one of our regular context checks for statistics misleadingly-incompletely reported in the Scottish press. But while those are like shooting fish in a barrel, there’s one thing that’s an even more reliable open goal for the website editor looking for content in a slow news week.

Ladies and gentlemen, once again we give you… Scottish Labour.

There’s absolutely nothing that happens in Scotland that Scottish Labour are happy with. Day in and day out they can be found putting the bleakest possible spin on any statistic for a dwindling audience of diehard supporters and Scottish journalists.

Something bad happened? SCOTLAND IS TERRIBLE AND IT’S ALL THE SNP’S FAULT. Something good happened? IT WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH AND IT’S ALL THE SNP’S FAULT. And the solution is always the same: let Labour run things.

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Another unfortunate oversight 484

Posted on January 30, 2019 by

Earlier on today we reported on a case of a Scottish Labour MP being inadvertently unacquainted with some quite pertinent facts regarding a public pronouncement they’d made. While we’d assumed this to be an isolated incident, it’s in fact our sad duty to report another example within the Northern Branch Office.

That’s the pro-Brexit former Labour minister Tom Harris, there, making just the sort of statement that this site like to fact-check. So let’s see the most recent data.

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Gloom-tinted glasses 414

Posted on January 02, 2019 by

STV News gets the new year off to a cheery start today:

The headline, as alert readers will be accustomed to by now, is a flat-out lie. As far as the article reveals – and there’s nothing on the company’s website offering any more detail, nor in the longer quotes we found elsewhere – chartered accountants French Duncan LLP have in fact made no predictions whatsoever as to the number of Scottish insolvencies in 2019, merely recorded the number that took place in 2018.

STV’s claim that the 2018 figure of 12,000 “could be even higher by the end of 2019” appears, then, to have been entirely invented. But the depressing tone – which the Daily Express turns into a full-blown crisis, roping in Murdo Fraser for some SNP BAD rentaguff along the way – is even more inexplicable than simple fabrication.

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The broken telescope 539

Posted on December 29, 2018 by

An alert reader spotted this today:

Because with Scottish Labour, lying is for life, not just Christmas.

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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.

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Something smells fishy 275

Posted on November 29, 2018 by

From today’s Daily Mail:

The headline is, of course, a lie.

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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.

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The recycling plant 351

Posted on October 18, 2018 by

The BBC’s Scottish politics website today prominently carries this story:

Our famously alert readers may recall as far back as five-and-a-half months ago, which was the last time the Scottish media tried to whip up demented scare stories about baby boxes, which have been given to every new mother in Finland for approximately 70 years and caused absolutely no documented problems.

So what’s fresh about the story to justify this significant new coverage? Let’s see.

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A rapid improvement 284

Posted on October 17, 2018 by

The Scottish Daily Mail today has a big headline relaying the seemingly-unambiguous bad news that unemployment in Scotland has apparently risen by 11,000.

But cheer up, folks, because better times are ahead.

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Before the truth has its boots on 70

Posted on September 28, 2018 by

We’ve been keeping coverage of our ongoing court battle with former Scottish Labour branch manager Kezia Dugdale to a minimum on the site, partly because little of any material impact has actually happened yet.

However, there was a mildly interesting development last night, which was scooped and accurately reported by the Scottish Sun.

Reactions to the party’s statement have already seen serious amounts of what we’re generously going to call “misinformation” generated and circulating around social media, so we’re going to have to clear some of it up. Apologies.

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