stooges of the Kremlin

Wings Over Scotland

Archive for the ‘scottish politics’

Drowning the baby 7

Posted on April 21, 2018 by

Pointing out the spectacular levels of imbecility among Scotland’s elected Tories has threatened to become a full-time job for this website in recent months. We wish we could say that today’s example was even a particularly noteworthy one, but tragically it’s about par for the course.

Today’s Scottish Daily Mail leads with a rather limp piece about some fairly minor and unavoidable loopholes in the legislation for minimum alcohol pricing. It notes, for example, that if people order alcohol online and it’s despatched by the supplier from outside Scotland, the Scottish Government will have no jurisdiction over the price.

(Because the UK has no internal border controls and there’s no law against someone buying cheaper booze in England and bringing it home to Scotland.)

Retailers, of course, can easily block this loophole if they choose to, by refusing to deliver cheap alcohol purchases to Scottish addresses, so it’s not much of a problem.

And the other “loopholes” aren’t actually loopholes at all – one*, according to the Mail, is that “loyalty reward vouchers can also continue to be offered to cut the cost of alcohol”, which is a bit like saying it’s a “loophole” that employers could give people pay rises that they might use to buy more beer.

But if you thought THAT was stupid, Annie Wells MSP is here to raise the bar.

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A hostile environment 344

Posted on April 19, 2018 by

From here:

(NB These rules do not apply to Andrew Neil, Nick Robinson, etc etc. Like, duh. In a properly democratic country we’d be able to use FOI to actually see the blacklist, but this is the BBC we’re talking about.)

A story told in pictures 106

Posted on April 19, 2018 by

Because we have no words.

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Desperate fishwives 537

Posted on April 14, 2018 by

Scotland’s political opposition and media, today:

There can surely be no country on Earth cursed and plagued with a more pathetic shower of petty, whining, gossiping harpies in those roles than Scotland. And while we knew that already, barely a day seems to go by without them reaching a new nadir.

If you’ve got the stomach to hear about the latest low point, grit your teeth, lower your expectations of humanity considerably and read on.

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The killer blow 87

Posted on April 13, 2018 by

Yes, we know the Express announces a “killer blow” to independence every couple of weeks. But otherwise we can think of nothing to add to this story, so just click the pic to read and enjoy.

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The elephant in the courtroom 429

Posted on April 12, 2018 by

In one way or another, a lot of politics is being played out in courts at the moment. Whether it’s Spain trying to crush the Catalonian independence movement, America frantically trying to impeach its President before he does something REALLY crazy or the UK trying to redefine the most basic of human freedoms out of existence without ever putting an act before Parliament, judges are having as much say as ministers in deciding the future shape of Western civilisation.

Of the most direct interest to Scotland, of course, are the UK government’s attempts to trample all over the 20-year-old devolution settlement.

The urgency of the situation, with Brexit now less than a year away, has driven the Yes movement into one of its occasional paroxysms of dispute about when a second independence referendum should be attempted, with SNP MP Pete Wishart attracting some overheated opprobrium by warning against acting in haste, and in the process serving up a juicy gift-wrapped opportunity for Unionists and a news-starved media.

But the furore masks a key issue that the Yes movement – and more crucially, the Scottish Government – has failed to address for the last three years, and which it’s really going to have to deal with at some point.

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The gloom hunters 292

Posted on April 11, 2018 by

The accountancy firm Price Waterhouse Coopers – last seen charging the taxpayer an eye-watering £20.4m for just eight weeks’ work during the collapse of Carillion – today published a report into the declining number of high-street retail outlets in the UK.

BBC Scotland was keen to put a regional slant on it.

According to the article, Scotland had put in the worst performance in the country. But that didn’t appear to be what the report said at all.

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Just plain lying 386

Posted on April 09, 2018 by

The front page of today’s Scottish Daily Mail:

The problem: it’s completely and utterly made up.

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The wrong end of the telescope 184

Posted on April 08, 2018 by

This was the front page of yesterday’s Scotsman:

As is often the case with Scottish newspapers these days, the story was based entirely on a fantasy – IF a certain number of people did a certain thing (flee to England to escape a 1p income tax rise), which the story doesn’t provide a shred of evidence to suggest they’re going to do, then a bad thing would happen.

But that wasn’t the weird bit.

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Buying democracy 149

Posted on April 03, 2018 by

“There now follows a party election broadcast by the…”


The political broadcasts at election time are a time-worn tradition in the UK (as is our reaction to them) but not too many people really understand why political campaign broadcasts take this form, nor why it’s actually quite important that they do.

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The tracks are always greener 249

Posted on April 02, 2018 by

Stuck for any actual news at the tail of the Easter weekend, today’s Scottish Daily Mail reaches once again into the bag marked “Emergency Barrel Scrapings” and comes up with that old faithful beloved of all newspapers, a shock-horror “OMG LOOK HOW EXPENSIVE THE TRAINS ARE!” story.

It’s always an easy hit – partly because since a shambolic, fragmented privatisation the UK does have pretty much the most expensive railways per mile in the civilised world, but also because regular train users tend to mainly travel in the same area all the time, and are easily persuaded that they have it worse than people anywhere else.

So let’s ignore all the Mail’s ridiculous cobblers blaming the SNP – who have very limited control over the fare policies of Abellio (the Dutch state-owned company who run ScotRail) and who have been prevented by successive UK governments from nationalising the network – and just see if that’s true.

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The rule of law 212

Posted on March 30, 2018 by

A large and imposing statue built in 1974 still stands today on Clyde Street in Glasgow. It depicts a woman called Dolores Ibarruri, known as “La Pasionaria”, who was one of the heroes of the anti-fascist resistance in Spain in the 1930s.

The statue was funded by “the British Labour Movement”, but Conservative councillors in the city protested angrily when it was erected and vowed to tear it down if they ever controlled the council (which cynical readers might consider an empty threat).

How times change. Read the rest of this entry →

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