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Wings Over Scotland


Archive for the ‘history’


Hubris: A Warning From History 125

Posted on January 17, 2020 by

We had a brief but semi-enlightening debate on Twitter with some daft young idiot from Scottish Labour this morning, which culminated in his desperately clutching at votes for the Tories and Lib Dems last month as somehow representing a victory for Labour.

Readers can pass an idle moment by identifying all the obvious logical flaws in that tweet for themselves, but it did lead us to a striking realisation, which we instinctively knew was true but still had to double-check because it seems so ridiculous.

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From the archives #12 410

Posted on January 07, 2020 by

Over the last few days, for want of anything more interesting happening in Scottish politics, we’ve been reviewing some of the entertainingly fluid criteria by which Unionist politicians used to assert that Scotland could supposedly achieve independence. But we hadn’t seen this one before:

A view apparently “almost universally shared among English Tory backbenchers” back in the late 1980s was that independence could be won by the SNP securing a majority of Scottish MPs at not one but two successive UK general elections.

Given that that line has now been crossed in THREE Westminster elections in a row, we’re all agog to find where Boris Johnson will move the goalposts to in his keenly-awaited response to the Scottish Government’s second Section 30 request, which he’s due to deliver any minute now.

From the archives #11 95

Posted on January 06, 2020 by

We’ve never been able to actually confirm the oft-cited “quote” from Margaret Thatcher suggesting that the SNP winning a majority of Scottish seats at a UK election would constitute a mandate for independence, but here’s a verified more recent one from a then-serving Conservative PM.

“[John] Major has made it clear that a majority of SNP MPs after an election would serve as a mandate to begin negotiations for separation. There are no plans to hold a referendum”, said former Thatcher minister and party chairman Norman Tebbit a few months before the 1997 election.

It was a position the Tories held right up to 2010 – the last election at which the SNP didn’t win a majority of Scottish seats, at which point the goalposts magically shifted. Now, of course, the rule is that a majority of MPs doesn’t count, but you also can’t have a referendum.

Scotland is a prisoner without hope of parole. Time for a breakout.

From the archives #10 91

Posted on January 03, 2020 by

From less than 10 years ago:

A plebiscitary election? Now there’s an idea you don’t hear much any more.

The Hillary Step 237

Posted on December 31, 2019 by

The 2010s end in a matter of hours, and everyone and their genderfluid dog is writing retrospectives of the 10 years just past. This site, which came into existence in the second year of the decade, has very little interest in following suit – we’ve always been about the future.

But a cursory glance over the shoulder does reveal one immediately striking fact that’s worthy of passing note.

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The contaminant 123

Posted on September 27, 2019 by

Remember this guy? Go on, give it a minute, it’ll come to you.

He popped up today to chuck in his tuppence-worth about inflammatory language in politics, and how – like everything else bad – it all started with vile cybernats in 2014 (because as you’ll of course remember, it was Yes supporters who never shut up about “surrendering”) and has now sullied even the dignified halls of Westminster.

We wonder how that can have happened.

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Remember when this happened? 270

Posted on August 26, 2019 by

We see Gordon Brown is celebrating his 500th article promising “federalism” in the Scottish media today. Which is nice. We always enjoy hearing about the stuff Labour pretends it’s going to do when it’s in power.

But like everyone who’s been waiting 100 years and counting for it to abolish the House Of Lords (a pledge which also gets another runout in Brown’s latest intervention, bless him), we won’t be holding our breath.

When you’re 74 526

Posted on August 18, 2019 by

Ah, the good old days of the positive case for the Union.

But oh no! Shock twist!

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The Oracle Hole 357

Posted on July 24, 2019 by

Yesterday we reminded you of how Wings predicted Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister of the UK several years ago. But of course, other soothsayers are available, like this confident chap from August 2014:

In news that will come as a shock to absolutely no readers at all, McDougall wasn’t just lying, and wasn’t just wrong about one thing, but was both wrong and lying about pretty much everything he said.

Both of the Yes camp’s “scare stories” which were sneeringly mocked by McDougall during a BBC debate in Inverness actually came true – the Tories DID win the next election, and Johnson DID end up as leader of the party and then as Prime Minister.

(McDougall burst into tears at Scottish Labour HQ on the night of the 2015 election as his party lost 40 of its 41 seats despite his services as Jim Murphy’s speechwriter and adviser, his powers of chortling seemingly having deserted him.)

And it’s interesting to revisit the debate.

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All hail the new Britain 69

Posted on July 24, 2019 by

Let the bells ring out and rejoice.

Still, at least the Record hasn’t been so completely lacking in self-awareness as to point a finger at others in Scotland and say something like “far too many people who should know better are complicit in the tragedy”.

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Three years and a month 205

Posted on July 23, 2019 by

29 June 2016. Don’t say we don’t warn you, readers.

And this was February of the same year, when Barack Obama and David Cameron were still in charge of their respective nations:

You’ll always read it here first, folks. Even when you don’t want to.

The Thing From The Crypt 56

Posted on July 19, 2019 by

We weren’t sure whether tomorrow’s Cairnstoon was going to be delayed by technical gremlins (it turns out it isn’t), so we prepared an emergency backup plan on the same theme and you may as well see it now as a sort of trailer.

It’ll be good every time they dig him up yet again in the future too.

(With profound apologies to Oliver Frey.)



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