The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland


Archive for the ‘navel-gazing’


For Karen and James 199

Posted on November 21, 2022 by

A week ago, readers, I had not the slightest interest in bringing Wings Over Scotland back full-time. I had my Twitter account again and was having fun and I was happy with that. It scratched the itch of being able to engage with politics (and people) without the depressing business of wading in it for work.

Having enjoyed a summer of long sunny walks feeding the swans and refreshing lager shandies in riverside pubs, I was preparing to hunker down over the cold dark winter and finally get some much-delayed writing for the Wings memoir done.

And then I witnessed the quite extraordinary sight of an elected member of Parliament, in the shape of the SNP’s pico-witted ambulant brain vacuum Karen Adam, publicly gloating about having managed to shut down the voice of someone critical of her party.

At the same time, an extremely minor blogger (the word “rival” would be to over-dignify them) re-opened hostilities in his campaign of self-declared “open warfare” against this site, with a rapid succession of posts (just a few of dozens) forming such a demented scattershot tirade that to patiently debunk all of it would have taken until Christmas.

And I’ll be honest, folks, it all pushed my buttons a wee bit. It really shouldn’t have, but it was properly outrageous and I’m occasionally human, so I thought “Sod it, if I’m going to have to put up with all this crap anyway I might as well make it worthwhile”.

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Challenge accepted 260

Posted on November 12, 2022 by

As a rule I try not to respond to the literally dozens of deranged attacks on this site that are posted by James Kelly of Scot Goes Pop, but I really dislike being called a liar so I’m going to take a moment for this one.

James appears to have taken extraordinary offence to a two-paragraph stats post I put up to mark Wings’ 11th birthday this week, and has written two purple-faced rants about it. So for the record’s sake I’m going to comply with his demand as best I can.

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The Eleventh Hour 95

Posted on November 07, 2022 by

Someone had to remind us that today is Wings Over Scotland’s 11th birthday.

In a grim indictment of Scotland’s once-vaunted political new media, a site that’s been officially closed since May 2021 is still far and away the most-read in the country, despite that readership now being mostly angry overgrown children squabbling with each other in the comments. People would apparently still, by a vast margin, rather read that than endure the tedium of Bella Caledonia or Believe In Scotland.

We’ve said pretty much all that there is to be said about that miserable state of affairs already, so we won’t repeat ourselves. God help the independence movement.

Getting nowhere slow 157

Posted on September 18, 2022 by

On the 8th anniversary of the indyref, and 16 months after closing down (although in fact we’ve averaged one post a week since then), Wings Over Scotland is once again getting more traffic than the next five biggest indy sites put together.

This isn’t a good thing.

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Less Is More 426

Posted on June 09, 2022 by

It’s now almost a year and a month since this website announced its cessation as a continuing endeavour, with the “final decision” clause being invoked four months later.

Since Wings confirmed its formal closure as a blog there have nevertheless been 19 posts in eight-and-a-half months, comprising a mixture of polls (the site’s remaining purpose), guest posts, admin, a couple of throwaway joke videos and very occasional one-off, polling-related comment pieces on significant occasions like the SNP marking 15 years in power or Nicola Sturgeon becoming the longest-serving First Minister.

So it’s a little bit startling that it’s still – and by a considerable distance – the world’s most-read Scottish politics site.

(In fact, bigger than the next three put together.)

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Contact with the enemy 666

Posted on May 07, 2021 by

We are, as always, absolutely enthralled at the prospect of discovering from James Kelly what our vile secret masterplan has been over the last 18 months.

So we, at least, will be reading, James.

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The appetite for truth 330

Posted on May 04, 2021 by

Wings just can’t seem to stop breaking traffic records these days.

Despite having considerably fewer posts (46 to March’s 69), April saw the highest number of unique visitors to the site in close to three years. And that’s even more remarkable when you consider how hard just about everyone is trying to stop them.

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The Backstabbers 351

Posted on March 25, 2021 by

Today is going to be by some distance the quietest one in Scottish politics this week, so I hope you’ll forgive me a personal indulgence, readers. Because while I just ignore unimaginably vast torrents of online abuse every hour of every day of every year, once in a blue moon some things get said that you just can’t let pass.

Paul Kavanagh made a lot of unpleasant personal-attack tweets yesterday off the back of an unpleasant personal-attack article on his blog, which I don’t propose to get into the many individual falsehoods and misrepresentations of here.

(While I believe his evidence in the Dugdale case actually did more harm than good, I don’t hold him responsible for that and I appreciated his willingness to try to help when others I’d considered friends had turned their back.)

But the comments above are too much to bear.

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The eyes of governance 148

Posted on March 24, 2021 by

Readers will be aware that Wings has been experiencing some enormous amounts of traffic this year, and it’s not only among the general public. Someone just forwarded us a reply they got today to an FOI request, and it reveals the site’s popularity – well, maybe that’s not exactly the right word – in Scotland’s corridors of power.

The last time someone asked that question (last October) the figure for Scottish Government computers accessing Wings over a six-month period was just under 1100, so the latest numbers represent an increase of almost 30%.

(It should be noted that the two periods overlap, so the true like-for-like increase is probably considerably more. Unfortunately the two requesters didn’t ask about the same sites so we don’t have direct comparisons, but we’re sure Craig Murray will be pleased with the #2 slot even though his site is currently closed because the Scottish Government, in the shape of the Lord Advocate, is trying to put him in jail for it.)

So a big special wave tonight to all our readers in the Scottish Government. We’re sure it’s nice to know of at least one place that’ll tell you the truth about what’s going on.

The Big Secrets 119

Posted on March 01, 2021 by

After this morning’s mini stats post, quite a few people have asked in the comments if there’s any means of comparison between Wings and mainstream media outlets. And the shortest answer is no. The Scottish press is terribly coy about its online readership, offering almost nothing by way of verified figures.

(For a meaningful comparison it would also be necessary to separate out their politics coverage from general news, sport and everything else, which they’ve never done.)

But what used to be possible was at least comparing their print sales, via the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures that newspapers published monthly (for national media) or six-monthly (for supposedly “regional” papers like the Herald and Scotsman), which we kept a record of in our Reference section.

When we went to look at the page today we noticed we hadn’t updated it in just over a year, and figured it could do with a dusting and sprucing. But we were in for a surprise.

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Truth always has an audience 139

Posted on March 01, 2021 by

Wings Over Scotland pageviews, March 2020-Feb 2021.

No wonder only dogs can hear Pete Wishart’s screeching now.

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Ain’t got nothing but love, babe 160

Posted on February 21, 2021 by

We’d been wondering why our traffic was so crazy high that we’d already smashed last month’s four-year record to bits with a full week of February still to go.

And then we found out.

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