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Wings Over Scotland


Archive for the ‘investigation’


One week in the war on women 84

Posted on May 17, 2019 by

6th May

On April 26th, the International Lesbian Day of Visibility, a very obviously physically male Twitter user sent tweets to accompany photos of himself in which he claimed to be a lesbian (he also commented “down with cis”).

Juliet Smollett, a feminist gay rights campaigner (and mother to a lesbian daughter) replied to him “you’re not a lesbian”. For this she was said to be committing “hateful conduct” and her account was permanently banned.

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How to be goodest at numberology 128

Posted on May 16, 2019 by

Ruth Davidson led on numeracy (or as Tories call it, “numberacy”) at FMQs today.

And we can see why she’s concerned.

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At midnight all the agents 461

Posted on May 06, 2019 by

On Saturday, for the second year in a row, there was a huge and joyous independence march through the centre of Glasgow, which passed off with no incidents, arrests or disturbances despite attempted provocation from a small handful of abusive Unionist bigots led by a Holocaust denier.

Most of the Sunday papers carried largely neutral and factual reports of the event, of varying quality and size, with only a comical piece of hysteria in the extremist Scottish Daily Express standing out as objectionable for its ridiculous headline (and even then the actual copy barely mentioned the march at all).

But also for the second year in a row, one paper – or to be more specific, one man – took a rather more negative slant.

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The secret collectors 36

Posted on May 04, 2019 by

Alert readers may recall our ongoing enquiry with the Scottish Conservatives and the Information Commissioner’s Office about what may or may not constitute a lawful and legitimate “petition”, if one is conducted over a period of several years (during which signatories may changes their opinions, or die) and is never delivered to its supposed recipient, but merely used as a data-harvesting device.

And excitingly there’s been a new twist.

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The soft block 296

Posted on April 28, 2019 by

The BBC came in for a spot of criticism this week when its new BBC Scotland channel opted to show some snooker instead of Nicola Sturgeon’s major speech about a new independence referendum. But then things started to get weird.

An alert Wings reader noted that they hadn’t been able to locate any coverage by the state broadcaster of the SNP’s annual conference this weekend either, even though they send live cameras to just about any other party’s gatherings even if they amount to three people in a phone box (hi, Scottish Lib Dems).

The plot swiftly thickened.

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Minds locked shut 80

Posted on April 07, 2019 by

Alert readers may have noticed that the deadline for the Conservative Party to respond to our formal query about their fake indyref 2 “petition” was about to expire (today, in fact), but fear not, compliance fans – at the eleventh hour a reply was received.

This is it:

So we’ve asked the obvious question.

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A letter to the Conservative Party 84

Posted on March 07, 2019 by

While we dig deep into the results of our latest Panelbase poll, we thought we should update you on the progress of this story from last month.

A few days ago we received a reply from the Information Commissioner’s Office, and as a result have sent a letter to the Conservative Party’s compliance department. You can read it below.

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The Harvesters 199

Posted on February 17, 2019 by

We saw a tweet from some Tory MP or MSP this morning urging voters to sign some fake “petition” or other bashing the SNP, and it rang a bell in our minds, so we popped over to the Conservative Party website where we found this:

Despite referring to “a new poll today”, there’s no date to be found anywhere on the page, and that turns out to be because it’s been there for quite a while.

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Counting With Scottish Labour 102

Posted on February 16, 2019 by

A little snippet in today’s Times caught our eye earlier.

As alert readers may recall from our numerous investigations into the enduring enigma that is Scottish Labour’s membership figures, at the end of 2014 the branch office was claiming to have either 14,000 or 20,000 members.

And even in a world where 38% is “almost half” and five is half of seven, there’s still no way you can get 21,000 to be “almost double” either 14,000 or 20,000.

Were Labour lying in 2014, or are they lying now, or (and this is our guess) were they lying both times and their real membership is nothing like any of those unverified, unscrutinised, plucked-from-the-air numbers?

We’ll probably never know, and it’ll almost certainly never matter.

Auntie’s Favourite 188

Posted on February 08, 2019 by

Last night we observed the considerable statistical difficulty involved in getting to speak on the BBC’s flagship political debate show Question Time not just once, or even twice, but THREE times, and the remarkable ease with which shouty sectarian UKIP and Loyalist bigot Billy Mitchell has achieved it.

But readers, we’re afraid we must acknowledge a rare factual inaccuracy on Wings Over Scotland. Because he’s actually been on it at least FOUR times.

And the odds against that happening by chance are really quite something.

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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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Quick context check 174

Posted on November 30, 2018 by

The front page lead of today’s Scottish Daily Mail:

As alert readers of this site will know, the Mail has a particular fondness for presenting statistics bereft of any context so that people have no idea how big or small they really are. So is 1,600 passengers a week receiving compensation for delays a lot or a little? Let’s find out.

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