The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland


Context in numbers 77

Posted on February 05, 2019 by

From the Scottish Daily Mail today:

As readers will have come to expect, the article is entirely free of any figures by which readers could gauge whether 1000 was a high number or not. So as usual, we’ll have to do it for them.

Read the rest of this entry →

Doing walking away 488

Posted on February 03, 2019 by

This is Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald on today’s Andrew Marr show:

While she doesn’t say so explicitly, McDonald appears to strongly imply that the SNP’s MPs would be as well to boycott the UK Parliament, as Sinn Fein’s have always done.

And that’s an interesting idea.

Read the rest of this entry →

Budgetary constraints 239

Posted on February 02, 2019 by

Another unfortunate oversight 484

Posted on January 30, 2019 by

Earlier on today we reported on a case of a Scottish Labour MP being inadvertently unacquainted with some quite pertinent facts regarding a public pronouncement they’d made. While we’d assumed this to be an isolated incident, it’s in fact our sad duty to report another example within the Northern Branch Office.

That’s the pro-Brexit former Labour minister Tom Harris, there, making just the sort of statement that this site like to fact-check. So let’s see the most recent data.

Read the rest of this entry →

An innocent misunderstanding 126

Posted on January 30, 2019 by

We had a brief exchange with Scottish Labour MP Paul Sweeney last night.

But the thing is, he’s exactly, diametrically wrong about that.

Read the rest of this entry →

A Pyrrhic Suicide 250

Posted on January 29, 2019 by

One thing that pretty much everyone agrees on is that an independent Scotland, like almost every nation on Earth, would face financial challenges. Like almost every nation on Earth, it would probably have to run a deficit. And the main reason for that is the decades of stupendous mismanagement of its oil resources by Westminster.

Had the UK managed North Sea Oil as well as Norway handled a very similar amount in the same period, it would be currently sitting on a sovereign wealth fund in the region of £750 billion, generating many billions of pounds in investment earnings in most years – in 2017 alone Norway’s fund returned a staggering £100 billion, over three times the Scottish Government’s entire annual budget.

Even with Scotland sharing that money with the entire UK, that would have meant around £9bn extra in Holyrood’s coffers for a single year – by coincidence roughly the size of the so-called “fiscal transfer” that Unionists insist is a gift from the generous UK, even though it’s actually a loan Scotland has to pay back – and a rainy-day fund of close to £70 billion for years when times were bad.

(For perspective on how much £9bn a year is, the most optimistic estimate of the extra money that would be raised by hiking top-rate income tax to 50p is about £0.1bn.)

All of that, of course, is now spilt milk. But there are decades of oil left in the North Sea yet, with huge new finds still being made, and an independent Scotland would have the opportunity to show that it could do a much better job of shepherding its precious wealth, and in particular hopefully investing it in harvesting the nation’s near-limitless potential for clean renewable energy.

And yet there are those who would throw it all away for an empty gesture.

Read the rest of this entry →

Sharpen your pencils, readers 528

Posted on January 27, 2019 by

Because it looks like you’re going to need them.

If the Scottish Government can’t pass a budget it’ll fall, and with no majority for any alternative administration that’ll leave no option but to hold a general election.

Meanwhile, at Westminster, the UK government is running out of time to get a Brexit deal through Parliament, and facing all kinds of procedural shenanigans which may very well lead to a UK general election.

Should that happen, the UK will likely ask the EU for an extension to Article 50, which would take us past the European elections in May, which would mean that the UK would have to take part in those elections  too (because you can’t have a country that’s still an EU member state having no representation in the European Parliament).

Scottish or UK general elections could lead to a new independence referendum, a new Brexit referendum, or both, sending Scots to the polling stations up to FIVE times (and the rest of the UK up to four) in a matter of months, with all the attendant campaigning, colossal expense, economic uncertainty and governmental standstill that such insanity would bring about.

Good luck, everyone.

Unchained malady 228

Posted on January 26, 2019 by

When wishes father fantasies 339

Posted on January 25, 2019 by

Obviously this site will be making no comment on the criminal allegations now facing Alex Salmond for legal reasons. But amidst a frenzy of gleefully lascivious coverage in the Scottish media (the Daily Record in particular can barely contain its delight), there’s another thread of punditry that does need addressed.

Because it is, not to put too fine a point on it, bollocks.

Read the rest of this entry →

A Portuguese Laddie 664

Posted on January 23, 2019 by

Last month the Tory government published its white paper on EU migration post-Brexit. As a result, I spent my day arguing positively for immigration on social media, sharing fact-based articles showing that EU migration has had a very positive impact on the UK’s economy in the last decade.

However, one of my tweets was particularly popular, in which I specifically mentioned my personal experience with Scottish attitudes towards immigration.

Twitter is meant to be short and fleeting, leaving little room for telling long, nuanced stories. But the story behind this tweet is one I find worth telling, and I think it reflects incredibly well on the fact that there’s a bright, open future ahead of Scotland. I hope you find what follows to be worthwhile.

Read the rest of this entry →

Today in Brexit 215

Posted on January 23, 2019 by

Then:

And now:

Chris Cairns is on holiday 932

Posted on January 19, 2019 by

Yes, still. Yes, again. But don’t worry, we still have a cartoon joke for you.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Scottish Labour Party.



↑ Top