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Wings Over Scotland

Glass found one-third empty

Posted on January 29, 2014 by

As this site tends to focus mainly on the output of serious newspapers we haven’t previously spent a great deal of time scrutinising the Scottish Daily Mail, and we can only surmise that it’s upset them, because they seem to have been trying very hard this month to get our attention.


We must confess, it’s now become something of an addiction.

A piece in today’s edition (on a page solely devoted to SNP-bashing stories) pours scorn on the First Minister’s suggesting that the north of England would welcome Scottish independence. And the Mail is, for once, on hand with at least some sort of vaguely-relevant evidence for its claims:

“In a Sky News poll, 46 per cent of respondents in England said they ‘wouldn’t mind’ if Scotland became independent, 34 per cent would be ‘dismayed’, 11 per cent would be ‘delighted’, and 9 per cent did not know.” 

The same page carries news of another poll, under the headline “Only a third of women trust First Minister”. The poll was also reported by other papers, heavily qualified by Professor John Curtice as being of little value as it didn’t ask about anyone else:

“The bigger issue about this is it is a single question about Alex Salmond. There is a problem with the lack of context. We know people do not trust politicians, even if they are popular.

What this does tell us is that even if Alex Salmond is relatively popular there will be a body of people out there whose reaction will be negative. It is not evidence he is deeply unpopular.”

But it’s instructive to note the radically different approaches to two almost identical numbers. (It’s a phenomenon we also observed this week in the Scotsman, which is basically the Daily Mail for sane people.) For some reason the Mail didn’t choose to headline its first piece “Only a third of English people would be dismayed if Scotland voted for independence”, despite that being an equally true statement.

What Sky News found was that the majority of English people were perfectly happy for Scotland to vote Yes (if someone offers to buy you a pint and you say “Ooh, I wouldn’t mind”, that’s generally taken as a positive acceptance), with only a small minority opposed. In the context of the available options in the poll, 57% were untroubled at the thought of the end of the United Kingdom.

(That fits in with our own entirely-anecdotal experience of the bulk of English opinion, which amounts to “Go for it if you like, and good luck to you, we’re not very fussed”.)

We’ve noted often on Wings Over Scotland that the media’s approach to Scottish independence is based far less on crude outright lies than it is on distorting true statements with misleading contexts to give false impressions. We’re grateful to the Daily Mail for conveniently illustrating the practice for us on one page.

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    49 to “Glass found one-third empty”

    1. sneddon says:

      I read todays Mail and it had a article on Near Death Experiences. Totally fortean. Mind you given the demograph some of its readership many would undoubtly be at risk of a ‘near death experience’ from the rage the paper induces in them.

    2. BirRD says:

      It’s along the lines of – 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy. FACT!

    3. Croompenstein says:

      Barrowman still under fire over support for the union..naw Barrowman is under fire cause he is a cringeworthy cheesemeister with his half baked accent and pish delivery

    4. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      Cyberspooky …

    5. Kevin Kane says:

      Hello there good people of wings – a quick thank you to one and all – and the brilliant YES community.

      The difference a few hours makes…

      In YES we trust – a thank you from the custodian of the YES mobile.


      Earlier today I was stopped by the police. My exhaust was making an extreme racket. The whole thing requires replacing. As do all of the tyres, some even had nails poking out of them. I was given an order to make repairs within 21 days or be subject to a fine, penalty points and the car being excluded from the road. I have a slip that the garage must complete after carrying out the repairs to state that the YES mobile is roadworthy and of MOT standard. I drove to a recommended garage for quote: Looking at £400 – 450 – no discussion on VAT – so basically the best part of £500 to have her purring like a wee lion rampant, out there back on the road, spreading the good word. There was no expectancy from me that someone should pick up the bill, not for a second. I was just disappointed that in the interim we couldn’t afford to get the car going, which would mean less YES visuals, which is crucially important for generating discussions in the great year of 2014. Paragraph end note: The police got a YES paper as my goodbye present.

      So, I uploaded a photo on Facebook and took myself off to Asda (on foot!) and when I returned, to my astonishment, Keyser and Evelyn had started a wee campaign to get the machine back on the road, assisted by the excited Claire – who instilled me as one of the managers on the donation site. What happened next? Well, the fantastic YES community and it is fantastic (!) rallied round to raise £500 in less than one hour. Unbelievable! The minimum target required for the website and the amount for repairs are all covered. I am indebted and eternally grateful to the very kind people I know and the generous anonymous people I do not know. We really are lucky to be part of such an ambitious and hope filled campaign. It is moments like these I know for sure I am on the right side – it is a pleasure to be involved with such great people – the very people who are going to carry forward this greatness into making Scotland the fantastic place we know it can be. It really is a joy to be alive at this crucial moment in history. I know that might sound a bit over board to some but I mean every word of it.


      As the appeal has a 10 day lifespan, one might wonder what the point in making a further donation is? The answer is that we hereby pledge any extra funds to YES Scotland (get more decals in!) – transferred when we receive the money. My word is my bond.


      The YES mobile antics tonight is more than about getting a car fixed, it is a metaphor for achieving independence – we are putting in the groundwork now so we can fix it for ourselves later on. We all have a stake in the car now – just like we all have a stake in the future of our country and it is why this wee car will do as many miles as possible in Scotland over the next eight months to help make sure we win the referendum in 2014.

      Touched and overwhelmed – thank you one and all 🙂

    6. memaw says:

      Kevin Kane
      What a wonderful story. Well done all involved with raising the money. But if you want more help how do we get in touch?

      More good news today, received the Yes newspaper. Really cheered me up.

      We will win this.

    7. Calum Craig says:

      O/T, sorry so early in the thread…

      I have just had a wee exchange with No’er from my hometown on Facebook- he posted a picture of Salmond and Sturgeon as the Krankies in panto with a caption about letting these numpties run the show if we vote yes so need to vote no (or words to that effect). I responded with a calm, polite enquiry as to what his issue with the Scottish Government was. This was the response:

      Calum, where is it you stay as it’s interesting to me that those most vehement about Scottish independence are people that don’t live in the country! As a business owner and a UK citizen, there is no rational reason for me to vote for this. The reason that those in Westminster aren’t doing well is a matter of opinion but I CAN vote to change that! The Scottish government are at a best a half decent local authority, at worst they are a self perpetuating, indulgent and zealous group trying to push their own lifetime goals on people who don’t want it. I suppose if it happens we could move to England like the rest of the Yes campaign supporters!

      The self deluding cringe is just hideous. If I didn’t have WoS and Twitter (amongst others) I would lose faith in (Scottish) humankind… Do I just write this guy off as not worth my time or do I try to engage? I’m leaning towards the former.

    8. kininvie says:

      Hi Kevin,

      Glad you made it – and so swiftly!

      Where did you get the decals? I want a yesmobile too!

    9. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      You should’ve tapped that Banker chap while he was up in Scotland today …

    10. Bubbles says:

      Calm, I fear your man is beyond redemption. Concentrate on the don’t – knows and spare yourself the heartache.

    11. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @Calum Craig says:
      Do I just write this guy off as not worth my time or do I try to engage? I’m leaning towards the former.

      Probably best to concentrate efforts on Don’t-Knows. As more and more Don’t-Knows move to YES (as is happening steadily) the momentum will build up, and I can see even many of the seemingly implacable NOs perhaps finally tagging along when the day comes.
      There were loads of people who said they would leave Scotland if we voted for Devolution. They didn’t.

    12. GP Walrus says:

      Did she shove her Granny aff a bus?

    13. Clootie says:

      Calum Craig

      “I have just had a wee exchange with No’er from my hometown on Facebook”

      They do not want to be confused with facts when their mind is made up!

    14. X_Sticks says:

      @Kevin Kane

      What a heartwarming story Kevin. You and the YES mobile deserve it. It just goes to show we WILL have a different Scotland come September!

    15. Calum Craig says:

      I feel dirty now. Another comment from a different naysayer- again from my hometown:

      “He is a fat tin tin lookalike and she is the she devil. I can not vote but a Dutch person who has lived in Scotland for a few months can vote.

      I am close to defriending them but what is that saying about keeping your enemies close?

    16. HandandShrimp says:


      It tends to be self selecting, those with strong views actually look to make comments and so we either come across others who agree or direct opposites who disagree. The vast majority just read or will not decide until close to the 18th Sept or even go on gut on the day having ignored 99% of the debate.

      It just seems more personal on Facebook. I would just do am agree to differ and let it go.

    17. Susan says:

      I am so glad I have never read Daily Mail!
      Why do the good people of Scotland waste their money in this way?

    18. Kevin Kane says:

      Hello there Kininvie…

      The decals for the sides, front and back were put together by a local garage/sign place. All for £50.00 at the time. I think that price will be a muchness if you go in and ask at a sign place as YES 2014 is pretty easy to knock up. I handed the car, placing the order at that time and had it back a few hours later. I do have one of the large YES Scotland decals on the front too, in the middle, between the writing. Think they were around a tenner or so from the YES Scotland shop at the time but I’m not sure if there are any left at the moment, although that may just be the rumourmill. I will find out when I phone them with the donations received – maybe even request they ring fence a decal fund (!) :-p

      After YES mobile restoration….the YES Scot fund stands to gain £160 at the moment so that’s quite good – YES car back on the road and extra funds donated from the YES faithful – superb!


      Thanks again.

      Off out with Boorach tomorrow morning delivering the YES papers. Car won’t be ready but Boorach has a battle bus so all good!

    19. HandandShrimp says:

      I have had a look in of late although they rarely have the Scottish stories. It is all National Enquirer stuff, with pictures of aliens, life after death and endless pictures of people I have never heard of in bikinis. It is a very odd paper. Sort Hello meets Fortean Times.

    20. BuckieBraes says:

      @Calum Craig
      What is the ‘hometown’ of which you write, so I can give it a wide berth?

      (Just don’t say it’s Perth or Dundee.)

    21. Calum Craig says:


      I’m from Ayr- that bastion of conservatism in Scotland… Don’t hold it against me, my parents thought it would be a nice place to raise kids!

    22. Kevin Kane says:

      And, Calum…someone told me once they would not piss on a YES vote if it was on fire, now they are voting YES.

      They won’t get fair yes exposure from MSM, however, your sharing links on facebook might just penetrate and, of course, facebook is the realm of flippant commentary, at times. In short, as disappointing as this is I would stay away from the delete button but that’s just me 🙂

    23. Calum Craig says:


      I would just do am agree to differ and let it go.

      Yes, I left it at “let’s agree to disagree”.

    24. Calum Craig says:

      It is just such a deeply frustrating experience to hear people I grew up with just spout the MSM pish- I mean I was actually told that being Scottish and British was “the best of both worlds”…!!

    25. Patrick Roden says:


      I feel the best thing to do with this type of person is to mention that all of these beliefs come from the MSM/BT, so you are surprised that they are so easily manipulated, as you thought that they were more intelligent or aware than that.

      Leave it at that, as no one likes to feel that they are stupid and easily manipulated, so this little seed of doubt, may just grow into something bigger.

      If not then don’t worry, they never wanted to know the truth anyway.

    26. Sue says:

      @calum craig.
      Don’t lose heart Calum. I had a UKOKer the other day tell me he was voting No because the A9 has not been dualled while the SNP have been in government. This was after he flatly denied the well evidenced stats on which way the subsidy flows, refused to admit that the MSM are all in the No camp, and would not accept that any of the major scares have been debunked. Some you just have to give up on. At least I didn’t have to listen to any abuse of Scottish government.

      I guess we all have our negative encounters, but we also have our positive ones too. Focus on them and keep the faith. We are winning and we will win.

    27. Calum Craig says:

      facebook is the realm of flippant commentary

      Yes, exactly, I can totally understand why Stu gives it a body swerve.

    28. HandandShrimp says:

      Facebook is also the home to appalling grammar and spelling so I would imagine Stu might have difficulty containing the sharpened mangos.

    29. Calum Craig says:

      Lol HandandShrimp- very true indeed!

    30. Sue says:

      @Patrick Roden
      I like your sugestion and will adopt it. It’s always hard to know what to say to the “Can’t see, Won’t see” brigade once the discussion goes further and deeper into Fantasyland.

    31. BuckieBraes says:

      @Calum Craig
      It’s OK: my mum was born in Ayr, right on the outbreak of World War II. My grandfather used to joke that she had caused it!

    32. Taranaich says:

      That’s a lovely story, Kevin, and it chimes with a lot of others I’ve heard in the Yes community.

      @Calum: Calum, where is it you stay as it’s interesting to me that those most vehement about Scottish independence are people that don’t live in the country!

      What, did your friend think all these people drove up to Scotland for the day?

    33. Chic McGregor says:

      So, was Burns being ironic with his ‘Honest Men’?

    34. Calum Craig says:

      I’d like to think I am…

    35. boglestone says:

      @Kevin Kane: That’s dead nice. \o/

      @Calum: I’ve un-friended someone on Facebook for having an anti-Scottish rant at me. The final straw was the CAPS LOCK insults. It’s kind of weird when people you know turn into Unionist monsters.

      My advice is don’t unfriend them unless they CAPS LOCK you!

    36. ronnie anderson says:

      @Memaw, Kevin Kane, is SMNT on YES SITE,that,s Scottish Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kes & Kevin 2 good lads,came ere tae ma hoose put,YES SIGN,S ON MA WEE SHED,coming back tae put up WINGS LOGO,an paint the roof, Ma WEE SHED, Ronald Anderson YES SCOT Facebook page

    37. Geoff Huijer says:


      There is no point trying to reason with the unreasonable.

      A neighbour of mine (once he’s had a drink) posts ‘shite’ and such like on any posted links (Wings, NNS etc) I put on Facebook. No discussion…just ‘shite’.

      But(or, And)he had a big post on his page about how Independence for Scotland is all about a Vatican takeover – absolute Loony Tunes! He also refuses to believe that Labour are anything but the Party of the working class regardless of how many facts you put to him.

      With some people there really is no hope.

    38. john king says:

      “In YES we trust – a thank you from the custodian of the YES mobile.”

      I thought this was as wee tongue in cheek post but as I read I realized it was real, and by the end had a lump in my throat
      more power to your wee YES van Kevin.

    39. Quaichmaker says:

      Being an honest man masel I have met quite a few Yessers from Ayr. Sadly there is also a fair number of Sevco followers in the town who are very “loyal” to their cause.
      Incidently if any of the Ninja Turtles are about they’d be very welcome too oor wee Coffee, cake and craic on saturday night in Bonar Bridge Hall.

    40. GrahamB says:

      I was brought up in South Ayrshire when the local MP was Emrys Hughes, son-in-law of Keir Hardie and your proverbial monkey with a red rosette. By all accounts he was useless. He was replaced on his death I think by Jim Sillars, a fireman from Cumnock and another MwaRR. He must have suddenly got access to a decent library and/or some enlightening company as he eventually left Labour to help form the Scottish Labour Party (the only registered SLP to this day) along with John Robertson and Alex Neil. When the SLP fizzled out he joined the SNP and rose to the top until he and Eck fell out over fundamentalism or gradualism (think we know who was right on that one). After Sillars, wee Geordie Foulkes was installed, Kilmarnock was dominated for years by Willie Ross and North Ayrshire was ruled by the Lambie family however Ayr itself was most of the time a Tory enclave, most famously with George (now Lord) Younger in place.
      Anytime I return to Ayrshire I’m depressed by the obvious neglect and how everywhere is so run-down, so how anyone there can claim a Union Divident is beyond me. Point out to your ‘friends’ what the Union has left as the legacy to Ayrshire (insert almost any area of Scotland here) and if they still fail to see it they are beyond redemption and should be removed from your Christmas card list.

    41. heraldnomore says:

      O/T Please! One for Morag. Just finished the book. Well done, hugely illuminating and so vital to put it all out there. Review pending on my own miserable little bloggy thing.

      Go on folks, get a copy of Adequately Explained by Stupidity.

    42. Rough Bounds says:

      @Calum Craig.

      Dear Calum, some truths are eternal. The advice in the Bible about not sowing seed on stoney ground springs to mind.

      Some No voters will never change. Walk away.

    43. Callum, get the business man to watch Ivan McKee’s video. If he is a true business man then that will centainly plant the seeds. If he still says he will vote no, after seeing it, then I fear for his business.

    44. Morag says:

      Heraldnomore – thank you!

      Please read the book guys. We will have to deal with this after independence or it will fester forever.

    45. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Kevin Kane; that’s excellent news, friend. I had not got around to sending a donation, since my bank account works on the principle of ‘money in on Friday, get yer bids in, first come first served’ but it appears it wasn’t required from me this time out. You know me better as Macleod on FB.

      With regards to the article, the people of England have been subjected to ‘subsidy junkies’ headlines from the tabloids and other sources for years. Unlike Scots, they have no particular need to question this. It isn’t criticising them, why would they question it? So you are left with a hefty number of people, through no fault of their own, who believe that England would be better off without the sponging Jocks swallowing thousands of pounds each of English taxpayers hard earned groats.

      The Westminster Government must have wee civil service minions in the background furiously trying to work out what they’ll say to stop the English people going mental when Scottish revenues are abruptly halted from the HM Revenue and Customs and the Westminster Treasury. Billions of pounds; if anyone thinks our southern friends will not be phenomenally annoyed when the truth comes out they really need to think a little more about that.

    46. AnneDon says:

      @Kevin – great that you’re on the road again!

      To those interested in Yes car decals, you can contact @GrahameCase of Yes West Edinburgh – he has actually designed decals and has them on his case (he’s on Twitter and FB). In fact, his twitter background photo is his car with the decal!

      He had approached Yes Scotland to see if they wanted to supply them, but they never got back to him – but he was happy to arrange to supply them to others.

    47. desimond says:


      He aint heavy..he’s your brother! Its a long long road.

      Just stick at it, all the sweeter when they go from statements of loathing to “Oh I didnt realise that actually” and finally onto “Hey did you see the latest!”

      My friend, a London based Investment bank executive no less, was so anti Independence I couldnt even try discussing it with him 18 months ago.

      Gradually the discussions, and sharing of Wings articles and comments began, and 2 days ago he announced “2 extra votes on way!”. He and wife are moving back to Glasgow and firmly in the YES camp now.

      If he can change, anyone can.

    48. call me dave says:

      Just watched Lamont being hoisted with her own petard in another cringing exhibition at FMQ’s.

      I reckon she will be / should be gone asap. Surely there are labour people in Scotland who are better quality than this.

      Mr Salmond did not have to break sweat/perspiration to swat away her childlike argument. Resign…but not now, not now, after the referendum.

      Ruthie attacked straight away by Mr Salmond on Lang’s remarks. She had no answer to give on that.

      In addition she does not understand the ramifications in Mr Carney’s speech which means the ceding works both ways.

    49. desimond says:

      On FMQs…is this a wee slip by wee Eck or by the BBC coverage…do Wales and Northern Ireland no longer count in Better Together?

      12:15: FM says the rest of the UK will want to join a currency union for good reasons because it’s in the best interests of both countries

      Nice to see Doug Daniel get a name check too…a Cybernat Celeb in the making there!

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