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Wings Over Scotland


Archive for the ‘stats’


The appetite for truth 325

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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How it started and how it’s going 279

Posted on May 01, 2021 by

Our always-alert readers will probably have noticed that Nicola Sturgeon’s constant catchphrase this week has been how Yes supporters still need to “build the case for independence”, rather than actually do anything to achieve it.

But the thing is, she’s the leader of the SNP. Building the case for independence is literally her job, and she’s now been doing it for six and a half years. So how much progress have we made?

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(Running) away from the numbers 324

Posted on March 06, 2021 by

There’s a strange new affliction affecting the SNP: fear of figures.

Now, we should say that we don’t believe for even a second that the SNP has actually had 10,000 new members in the last two days. It’s ridiculous to the point of insulting. But purely for the sake of argument, let’s imagine it was true.

Why would you say it like that?

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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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Representing Scotland 244

Posted on February 14, 2021 by

Two weeks ago a Wings scoop caused quite a furore to erupt around the SNP’s ham-fisted and corruptly-motivated attempts to increase BAME and disabled representation at this year’s Holyrood election.

We’ve always been opposed to what were until recently known as “quotas”, and prior to that “positive discrimination”, but have now been cunningly rebranded as “diversity and inclusion” because that’s a much more difficult thing to say you object to.

It’s easy to make an honourable-sounding case against any form of “discrimination”, because decent and civilised people are taught to automatically think of discrimination as a bad thing, even if you put “positive” in front of it.

So the word “quotas” was adopted to move the concept from a pejorative term to a neutral noun – objecting to “quotas” doesn’t sound intolerant, any more than objecting to (say) “procedures” does. So that’s fine, because you can still discuss it like adults without too much unpleasantness.

But those pushing the agenda got smarter still by changing the name again. If you say you object to “diversity and inclusion”, you sound like a monster and a racist, because diversity and inclusion are plainly good things – no decent person wants to live in a monoculture, or to exclude anybody from society – and so the debate is immediately drowned out by self-righteous tossers screaming “BIGOT!” and “NAZI!” at everyone.

And yet in the context of social policy the three phrases mean the exact same thing. They’re all systems for overriding raw democracy so as to increase the representation of selected groups at the expense of other groups, for one reason or another.

(Sometimes it’s ostensibly just penance for historical wrongs, while at other times it’s supposedly for economic benefits, and so on.)

And while the proponents of those systems will openly argue that the only group being disadvantaged is straight white men so it’s all fine (because nobody likes straight white men and anyone standing up for them can be easily dismissed as a “gammon” for lots of woke points and Twitter likes), it isn’t even remotely close to the truth.

Because in “diversity and inclusion”, some groups are a lot more included than others.

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Riding the U 271

Posted on January 30, 2021 by

There’s still a day and a half of January 2021 to go, but it’s already been the busiest month for traffic on Wings Over Scotland in several years, despite endless claims from detractors (both Unionists and Pete Wishart types) that we’re in tragic decline.

And since Saturday afternoons are the one quiet moment we get these days – and it’s not like we can go out for a nice walk in the sunshine or have a potter round the shops – we thought we’d take a deeper look into the stats.

They were quite surprising.

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Venus and Mars 220

Posted on January 18, 2021 by

In 2014, it was women who stopped Scotland becoming independent.

But it was still a man’s fault, of course. Those of us who were around at the time, while many of the SNP’s earnest young activists of today were still squeezing their spots, will recall a multitude of media articles on how it was apparently the fairer sex’s personal antipathy to Alex Salmond that was responsible for the No camp’s victory.

And who knows, maybe that was true and maybe it wasn’t. We have no idea. But what we do know is that you can’t have it both ways.

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Rhubarb and crumbling 107

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.

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The state is not her 224

Posted on November 19, 2020 by

One of the dumber things we see regularly posted on social media is that Yes voices should stop criticising the First Minister because her leadership is the only reason Yes is now consistently ahead in the polls and we would have no chance of winning a new referendum with someone else in charge.

This is obviously nonsense, because Nicola Sturgeon was SNP leader and FM for five years in which support moved barely a single millimetre, until COVID-19 came along. Our current lead is due entirely to a tiny invisible virus and a giant Etonian buffoon.

But you know us, readers – we like to check.

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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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