The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland


Archive for the ‘investigation’


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.

Read the rest of this entry →

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.

Read the rest of this entry →

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.

Read the rest of this entry →

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.

Read the rest of this entry →

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.

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 →

The tin-eared soldier 191

Posted on September 14, 2018 by

Vince Cable, who was once apparently some sort of politician, took it upon himself to issue an opinion yesterday on the subject of referendums that had independence supporters on social media hooting with mocking laughter long into the night.

The estimable Wee Ginger Dug has already dealt adroitly with just the 300 or so most obviously ridiculous aspects of Cable’s tone-deaf and spectacularly hypocritical view, so we won’t step on his paws by repeating them here.

Instead we thought we’d do what we do best, and check the facts.

Read the rest of this entry →

Counting the hours 58

Posted on September 12, 2018 by

The Scottish Daily Mail fished this story out of the news toilet today:

So “man with major and important job gets paid the same rate for a full day’s work as Britain’s 800+ Lords and Ladies do for signing in for five minutes and then going home is apparently a shock-horror scoop now. But it gets better.

Read the rest of this entry →

Data in depth 110

Posted on September 07, 2018 by

Last night we stumbled across an interesting little statistical wrinkle to our story from Wednesday about voters’ satisfaction with Scottish public services.

The middle set of figures there is especially revealing.

Read the rest of this entry →

The Old Billy Boys Club 179

Posted on September 01, 2018 by

While ploughing through hundreds of pages of hysterical drivel about Alex Salmond in the Scottish press this week, extra-alert readers may have also been aware of quite a stushie going on between the SNP-controlled Glasgow City Council (GCC) and a group of representatives and fans of Scotland’s newest professional football club The Rangers FC, such as Tory list MSP Adam “WATP” Tomkins (pictured below).

And it’s quite the alliance.

Read the rest of this entry →

Another policy change 76

Posted on August 29, 2018 by

Well, this is odd. An alert reader has sent us the response they just received from the BBC to a question about our recent banning from YouTube, and it’s curious.

“No discretion”, eh? That’s not what they said last week.

Read the rest of this entry →



↑ Top