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Wings Over Scotland


Archive for the ‘reference’


Frigging around the rigging 48

Posted on April 27, 2017 by

There’s no particular reason to post this today, other than that it’s only come to light this week and today happens to be the 20th anniversary of the article below.

While it’s often said (mainly by nationalist types) that the Scottish Parliament and its electoral system were specifically designed to prevent the SNP from coming to power and holding an independence referendum, there’s been very little in the way of explicit evidence to back that statement up.

The 27 April 1997 issue of the Scottish Sun, though, had it in spades.

So we thought we should save it from Twitter’s fleeting attention span for posterity.

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GERS, by economists 397

Posted on March 15, 2017 by

The announcement that the Scottish Government would seek the uncontested legal right to hold a second independence referendum met with an outpouring of rage and ignorance from the massed ranks of the UK media that was in one sense entirely predictable yet still startling in its fury and ferocity.

Most prominent was the assertion, stated as fact by every pundit and broadcaster – including those required by law to be fair and impartial – that a second referendum would be conducted in the environment of a significantly worse economic case.

And that’s a remarkable claim, because the indisputable fact is that nobody has the slightest clue what the economic case for No will be.

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The Flounce-And-Bounce Counts 144

Posted on March 08, 2017 by

We haven’t said much about the huge furore whipped up by the Guardian in recent days around spurious allegations of racism/online abuse by supporters of Scottish independence, made first by Sadiq Khan and then by a deranged “Better Together” activist who also thinks all vegans are racist (or something).

Partly that’s because we covered the initial speech by Khan and the fallout from it pretty extensively, and partly because we didn’t want to feed the Guardian’s clickbait.

However, when the activist who was allegedly “hounded off Twitter” in fear for her life – fear caused by supposed comments that nobody has actually seen – miraculously recovered her bravery less than a week later (coincidentally just in time for the launch of her book), we thought it was probably time someone started keeping some records.

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What’s left out 287

Posted on November 21, 2016 by

As alert readers will know, one of the primary purposes of this website isn’t just to tell people when the Scottish and UK media is lying to them, but to teach readers how to spot that for themselves. And one of the keys to learning that is to ask yourself what a story in the press is leaving out as well as what it’s telling you.

So last week, when several newspapers went on an orgy of shock-horror reporting about SNP MPs’ expenses – focusing mostly on aeroplane flights and only quoting figures for a small handful of MPs who’d allegedly been claiming far more taxpayers’ money than their Unionist predecessors – alarm bells started ringing everywhere.

gravytrain

And just as we’ve taught them to, Wings readers leapt into action to do the hard work that Scotland’s professional journalists don’t want to do, in order to provide Scots with the facts that the media doesn’t want them to know.

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The squandered bounty 434

Posted on September 22, 2016 by

It’s long been a bone of contention for Scots – and not just nationalists – that the UK government, by common agreement, wasted the vast wealth windfall of the North Sea on funding Margaret Thatcher’s 1980s programme of deliberate de-industrialisation, mass unemployment, huge tax cuts for the wealthy and bribes to the working class in the form of Right To Buy.

It did so rather than investing the proceeds in a sovereign wealth fund, as demanded by the SNP (and some elements of Labour) and practiced in Norway, whose fund – only set up in 1990 – is now a literal embarrassment of riches.

bennoilfund2

But the reality is even worse than that. Because according to a 2015 report by the National Resource Governance Institute that’s just come to our attention, the truth is that if the UK had managed its North Sea treasure better, it could have done both.

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Junkies, tramps and thieves 343

Posted on September 02, 2016 by

Fear and lies work. Over many decades (and really for centuries) the Unionist parties and the media have succeeded in persuading a large percentage of Scots that they’re beggars, scroungers, vagrants and “subsidy junkies” dependent on the ever-generous charity of England to keep them from starvation.

moncktonukip2

And in terms of the facts, that hasn’t always been an easy sell.

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The SIX key facts about GERS 78

Posted on August 24, 2016 by

We originally wrote this article in March, in response to the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (better known as GERS) figures for 2014-15. We’ve updated it to take account of events since that time, of which there’s been one rather major one.

Today saw the publication (just five months after the 2014-15 GERS) of the 2015-16 stats, which are again triggering a convulsive orgy of “BLACK HOLE!” articles across the media, as every Unionist in the land falls over themselves to portray their own country as a useless scrounging subsidy junkie without actually using the exact words “too wee, too poor, too stupid”.

And once again, everywhere you look there’s a “Proud Scot” screaming about how the figures – showing an essentially unchanged “deficit” despite an almost £2bn fall in oil revenue – destroy a case for independence that those same people have spent most of the last four years stridently insisting never existed in the first place.

angryyoon

So let’s recap the truth about Scotland’s financial books. Because for all the complex arguments, mad graphs ludicrously pretending Scotland is a less viable nation than Greece or Latvia or Cyprus or Malta and endless arrays of incomprehensible charts and tables, there are (now) only six things you really need to know about GERS.

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Our Friends In Europa 180

Posted on July 11, 2016 by

If your only source of news was the mainstream media, you could be forgiven for thinking that the consensus in the EU regarding an independent Scotland was bleak. Spain would, we’re told endlessly, veto Scotland’s place in the EU out of hand, and so, allegedly, would France.

And when Scotland’s First Minister went to Brussels after the referendum vote to meet with EU officials in regards to Scotland’s membership, we were told that this bold act of outreach fell on deaf ears.

eusnub1

The language of the press was hostile bordering on sadistic. The First Minister, acting to secure the democratic will of the people of Scotland, was apparently “running out of friends” and had to “beg” Ireland to help us out.

The reality, readers will be astonished to hear, is somewhat different.

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The Chilcot Report in full 207

Posted on July 06, 2016 by

The short version is “Everything Tony Blair said was a lie”. The full report can be read in 58 sections at the inquiry’s website here, but in the quite likely event that it gets swamped today we’ve uploaded the entire thing as a single convenient RAR file here.

chilcot

[EDIT: individual sections now compiled into the print version’s 12 volumes.]

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The five key facts about GERS 216

Posted on March 13, 2016 by

[EDIT 24 August 2016: This article has now been updated here.]

It’s Sunday, so there is of course one last convulsive orgy of “BLACK HOLE!” articles in all the papers, as every Unionist hack and pundit in the land falls over themselves to portray their own country as a useless scrounging subsidy junkie without actually using the exact words “too wee, too poor, too stupid”.

Everywhere you look there’s a “Proud Scot” screaming about how Scottish revenue this year being 1% lower than it was last year has comprehensively demolished a case for independence that those same people have spent most of the last four years stridently insisting never existed in the first place.

angryyoon

So before everyone moves on to a new “SCOTLAND BAD” next week, we thought it was worth a short recap of what we’ve learned about a devolved Scotland’s financial books this week.

Because for all the complex arguments, mad comedy graphs ludicrously pretending that Scotland is a less viable nation than Greece or Latvia or Cyprus or Malta and bewildering arrays of incomprehensible stats, there are only five things you really need to know about GERS.

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The past is another country 375

Posted on March 06, 2016 by

This week Scottish Labour have been attacking the SNP’s rather timid plans for the reform of Council Tax, which is an entirely fair and legitimate opposition pursuit.

slabctax

But as is their wont, Kezia Dugdale’s branch office just can’t help overplaying their hand and doing it in a highly dishonest way.

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The sands of the times 265

Posted on February 24, 2016 by

Newspaper sales figures in Scotland now come out in a patchy and unco-ordinated sort of way, with different frequencies and at different times of year, so we thought it’d be worth collecting them together for easy reference.

scotpapers1

The numbers below are the most recent figures for each title that we know of – for papers classed as “national” that means November last year, and for those counted as “regional” (which includes the Scotsman and Herald titles) it’s this month.

Figures have all been rounded to the nearest 100, and increase/decrease stats refer in all cases to the corresponding sales for one year previously.

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