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Wings Over Scotland


Archive for the ‘navel-gazing’


Rhubarb and crumbling 106

Posted on January 11, 2021 by

Since the events of the last few days, folks, we’ve noticed a real ramping up of abuse towards Wings on social media from what one might call the small-L “loyalist” cult wing of the SNP. Like this dude, for example.

(A “miserable misogynist misanthrope” and “yesterday’s boring fart”? That’s a simply outrageous slur. I’m not misogynist.)

Alarmed at the news our traffic was apparently “collapsing”, we thought we’d check to see whether the situation was beyond saving.

Read the rest of this entry →

All Vegetarians Are Nazis 196

Posted on December 30, 2020 by

Because 2020 is the maddest year in history, Ruth Davidson opened her contribution to Holyrood’s debate on the Brexit deal today with a lengthy quote from this website.

Because hey, why NOT, right?

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The morning papers 62

Posted on November 27, 2020 by

This week on Wings has been altogether more navel-gazey than we’re comfortable with, as various SNP MPs have mounted a series of all-out personal attacks on the site before the weekend’s crucial NEC elections.

So we’ll have a proper article for you a little later on today, but in the meantime it’d be remiss of us not to tidy up the last fragments of shrapnel, so we’ll direct you to the right of reply to Alyn Smith’s column that The National kindly gave us today:

(Sadly they chose to disable comments, we’d quite have enjoyed the reaction from the few remaining diehard leadership loyalists still posting there.)

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Schrodinger’s Cybernat 200

Posted on November 26, 2020 by

We couldn’t help but chuckle yesterday when the £100K-a-year Westminster MP and obsessive Wings Over Scotland reader “Pension Pete” Wishart announced – in the space of six minutes – that this site was simultaneously an irrelevance that nobody listened to, but also somehow one of the greatest threats to independence.

It got a lot funnier today, though.

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Bustin’ flushes 107

Posted on November 25, 2020 by

Wings Over Scotland marked its ninth birthday earlier this month. To be honest, we totally forgot about it until someone reminded us. Normally we mark the anniversary with a small reflection and taking of stock over how things are going, but this year we couldn’t be bothered – we’d already mentioned readership stats in August.

But today in The National we found out that we were apparently dead.

But reports of our demise have been, as the saying goes, somewhat exaggerated.

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The distant choir 257

Posted on August 27, 2020 by

During the 2014 indyref, the astonishingly vast imbalance of the mainstream Scottish media was partly compensated by a huge rise in new media, with dozens and dozens of sites filling the gaping chasms where printed and broadcast media would have been in any country with a press worthy of the name at such an exciting time.

The subsequent shrivelling of that presence has been one of the least observed and explored phenomena of the six years since the referendum, and especially since the SNP’s election victory in 2016. The incredibly wide-ranging, mutually-supportive pro-Yes new media is now down to a tiny handful of outlets, most of which are barely read (and most of which would celebrate if the others burned down in a chemical fire).

There are many and varied reasons for this worrying situation, but before we get into those let’s have a quick look at who’s still who and what’s still what.

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The Silence 291

Posted on December 17, 2019 by

As some alert readers have already noticed, our Twitter account has been suspended again, three and a bit years after the last time. The ban is supposedly permanent. To save a lot of repeated explaining in emails and direct messages, a brief record of the pertinent events follows.

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The power of ideas 715

Posted on September 01, 2019 by

So it seems like our semi-idle musings about the possibility of starting a new list party for the Scottish Parliament generated some interest last month.

(That’s more than the whole of 2018, more than the whole of 2017, and over five times the previous biggest single month since we moved to our current stats provider in December 2014.)

But yeah, nobody cares and it’d be certain to fail, apparently.

The flip test 135

Posted on August 21, 2019 by

If you’re a writer for a living and you want to check if something you’ve written might be embarrassingly stupid, there’s an easy and quick technique you can use.

By way of example, here’s Kenny Farquharson in the Times today, on the subject of the supposed similarities in the relationships between the Tories and the Brexit Party, and the SNP and the potential new Wings party:

So here’s the trick: switch the protagonists around.

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Wings Unclipped 383

Posted on July 25, 2019 by

After it became the most-watched episode in the show’s history, the producers of The Alex Salmond Show made a double-length “Director’s Cut” of our recent interview, which you can watch below if you should feel so inclined.

The Screw 658

Posted on July 08, 2019 by

We’ve just received the verdict in the hearing over costs in our court case against Kezia Dugdale, and it’s an incomprehensible one. The sheriff has awarded costs in full to Dugdale, plus a 50% “uplift” mainly on the grounds of the “complexity” of the case, despite Dugdale having employed the services of perhaps Scotland’s highest-paid specialist defamation QC.

Full costs were awarded despite the sheriff having found that the core complaint on which the case was brought – namely that Dugdale had unjustly defamed me with a damaging and wholly false claim that I was a homophobe – was in fact wholly upheld, and that I had indeed been so defamed.

No explanation was given with regard to the supposed complexities from which the uplift arose. The case was in fact a quite straightforward one in defamation terms: an allegation was made, no supporting facts were provided for it and it was found to be entirely false, but the defender was excused liability on the grounds of honest belief – despite being unable to provide the sheriff with any rational basis for that belief.

That’s just about the bare minimum of complexity that could ever possibly exist in a defamation case, and readers might understandably feel that it ought to have been well within the normal skill set of the defender’s representatives, particularly given that the document comprising the entire core of the case was a single tweet of less than 140 characters.

Apparently if you’re a lawyer who’s been paid tens of thousands of pounds to debate a single tweet you also deserve a 50% bonus by way of extra compensation for all the stress and trauma of, um, doing your normal job.

Kezia Dugdale at no point before, during or after the case apologised for or withdrew her remarks – indeed, after our initial complaint she repeated and expanded them, leaving us with no remedy but to pursue the matter in court, and to compete as best we could with the astronomical sums spent on Dugdale’s defence by external parties and approved by the court even though the sum being sued for was relatively modest.

We don’t yet have a final bill, but we expect it to be in the rough vicinity of £100,000 as previously advised. We’ve already polled readers on their desired response in that event, and received an overwhelming majority of 9:1 in favour of filing an appeal against the substantive judgement on the case.

(The verdict on expenses cannot in practice be appealed itself, but were a substantive appeal to be successful the expenses verdict would automatically be overturned.)

We intend to carry out that decision, but any further views are welcomed.

Imagine our astonishment 242

Posted on July 03, 2019 by

When this complaint got the brush-off from the BBC, flatly refusing a right of reply under Article 28 of the Broadcasting Code to the Corporation’s grossly unbalanced and factually-inaccurate coverage of our court case against Kezia Dugdale:

We now have to go through TWO more rounds of pointless dickaboutery and dismissal from the BBC, taking up several weeks, before Ofcom will take the matter up.

(You may have noted, incidentally, that the letter gives no indication that its response can be appealed in any way. It took Ofcom to tell us it could.)

We’ll keep you posted.



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