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Wings Over Scotland


Archive for the ‘investigation’


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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The eternal mystery 141

Posted on August 27, 2018 by

It’s around this time of year that we always enjoy a delve in the impenetrable enigma that is the membership of Scottish Labour. (As gathered together in the picture below during Jeremy Corbyn’s last trip to Edinburgh.)

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When they care who you are 82

Posted on August 23, 2018 by

Anyone who’s ever written to the BBC, or who follows this site, will already know that the Corporation’s instinctive standard response to any request for information is “Get stuffed, pleb. Just because you pay for us doesn’t mean we’re answerable to you.”

But they do tend to show a little more respect if you used to be the First Minister.

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