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Wings Over Scotland

Archive for the ‘stats’

Quick context check 174

Posted on November 30, 2018 by

The front page lead of today’s Scottish Daily Mail:

As alert readers of this site will know, the Mail has a particular fondness for presenting statistics bereft of any context so that people have no idea how big or small they really are. So is 1,600 passengers a week receiving compensation for delays a lot or a little? Let’s find out.

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The Slide 239

Posted on October 07, 2018 by

Especially alert readers may have noticed that we’ve had a new page on Wings for a while, maintaining a current list of Scottish newspaper circulations.

We were just checking it today and noticed that – seemingly unreported anywhere – the Scottish “regionals” had had their biannual figures published, so we thought we may as well keep you updated.

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The fine art of self-delusion 172

Posted on October 04, 2018 by

When the news is slow, we sometimes steel ourselves and go for a little paddle in the Yoonstream – a private collection of the most unhinged hardcore-Unionist accounts on Twitter – and see what they’re getting themselves all worked up about.

For a good few months now, they’ve all been posting mad graphs like this:

And we’re not quite sure why.

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What isn’t a fact 253

Posted on September 18, 2018 by

God bless our dear old pals at the Labour-fronted Tory money-sink that is Scotland In Union. Fresh from their latest stirring morning office singalong of “No Pope Of Rome”, they’ve decided to belatedly get in on the fact-checking game.

As the established force in the field, we had to have a look.

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Getting no satisfaction 194

Posted on September 05, 2018 by

This year’s Scottish Household Survey is out, and the press is in an absolutely gleeful orgy of misery over it. Here’s the Times, for example:

The paper’s leading line is that “only half of those polled were happy with schools, the NHS and transport provision in their area”. So readers would naturally assume that the other half were DISsatisfied, right?

The reality is somewhat different.

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Dickie’s Taffy Puddings 74

Posted on September 05, 2018 by

Perhaps the single most striking feature of everyday non-constitutional Scottish politics is Labour’s constantly-recurring habit of highlighting some supposedly unsatisfactory statistic about the Scottish Government’s performance, only for it to be revealed that it’s vastly better than the comparable figure for Wales, where Labour has been in power ever since the Assembly was created in 1999.

So let’s crank up the machine again and see what it says, shall we?

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The National Enquirers 122

Posted on August 28, 2018 by

The data in this Scottish Government reply to an alert reader this week pretty much speaks for itself, so we’re not going to add too much to it.

The number of FOI requests submitted to the Scottish Government by the BBC in the past three years (112) is more than 25% higher than the total number submitted in the previous seven years (89).

The number submitted by Labour in 2017 was more than TEN TIMES as many as it submitted in 2008, and twice as many as any other year.

The number submitted by the Tories in 2017 was a third more than the total number submitted in the previous NINE years (92). They’ve also exceeded that total in the first seven months of this year alone.

And as the highlighted passage notes, the true numbers are considerably higher.

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The eternal mystery 141

Posted on August 27, 2018 by

It’s around this time of year that we always enjoy a delve in the impenetrable enigma that is the membership of Scottish Labour. (As gathered together in the picture below during Jeremy Corbyn’s last trip to Edinburgh.)

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The six key facts about GERS (2018) 66

Posted on August 23, 2018 by

We’re just going to reprint this piece every year, because only the numbers change.

Today saw the publication of the 2017-18 GERS stats, which are once 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 destroy a case for independence that those same people have spent most of the current decade stridently insisting never existed in the first place.


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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How to turn kids into racists 196

Posted on August 18, 2018 by

Several right-wing media outlets, including the Scotsman, the Scottish Daily Mail and a far-right Unionist website called the Unity News Network have in recent days picked up on the findings of a newly-published study commissioned by the Scottish Government on young people’s attitudes towards immigration.

To give you a flavour of the Unity News Network, it was most recently seen making a Facebook post that captioned a fascinating colour video of London in 1924 with the words “Before Sadiq Khan, Before Terrorism, Before Acid Attacks, Before Moped Gangs, Before Mass Immigration…. Who wants Britain to go back to that time?”

(Some sample reader replies include: “How wonderful, we want our country back” and “It wasn’t the murder capital of the western world then I wonder why it changed was it a black cloud that descended on it?” For perspective on that claim, London recorded 80 murders in the first six months of 2018, compared to 141 in New York.)

And yet UNN still managed to put the least racist spin on the story.

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The Helter-Skelter 146

Posted on August 16, 2018 by

One of the first posts we ever wrote on Wings Over Scotland, back in November 2011, recorded the fact that total daily sales of newspapers in Scotland had dipped below a million for the first time ever (to a total of 986,657).

The six-and-a-half years that have followed have been probably the most tumultuous in Scottish history – an independence referendum, a Brexit referendum and the death of Rangers, to name but three of the significant events that have taken place in just two-thirds of a single decade.

At the very least, then, you’d imagine that the period might have given the declining newspaper industry one last dead cat bounce.

The like-for-like sales total of the same newspapers today is 492,353.

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Yes, we are a long way from homes 132

Posted on August 12, 2018 by

Several of today’s Scottish newspapers report on a marginal increase in the number of homeless people in Scotland, and in particular – for some reason – those who’ve slept rough for at least one night in the three months before declaring themselves homeless.

Things become a little clearer when you see that the reported stats are courtesy of “research by Scottish Labour”, who’ve scoured the document to cherry-pick the worst-sounding numbers in order to blame “Tory and SNP austerity”, etc etc.

That weirdly specific stat for rough sleepers has risen by 10% over two years, although this year’s increase was only 1% and overall homelessness is only up by less than 1% over the same two-year period.

But all credit to Labour – it’s only taken them two months to come up with that number (which is the second line of Table 2 in the statistics). Because the figures were actually released – and reported – in the middle of June.

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