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Richard Baker is a liar 60

Posted on March 11, 2013 by

It’s nice to see Scottish Labour taking turns. Today it’s Richard Baker who’s been wheeled out to spout idiotic and instantly-disproveable untruths at the Scottish public.


Shall we?

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Blair McDougall is a liar 127

Posted on February 04, 2013 by

This is “No” campaign director Blair McDougall, telling lies:

“There’s one thing that’s absolutely certain – if the nationalists get a Yes vote, Scotland will be leaving the UK and so we’ll be leaving the European Union.”

That’s a lie, isn’t it, Blair? It couldn’t possibly be any more clearly a lie. Nobody actually believes that Scotland will “leave” the European Union as a result of a Yes vote. No matter how much they deliberately spin, misrepresent and mislead about the EC President’s comments, nobody honestly believes that there will be so much as a single solitary day on which Scottish people are not EU citizens. (Unless, of course, they choose to stay in the UK and the Tories then take the whole UK out.)

Even the feeble semantic-hairsplitting defence that an independent Scotland might for a split second technically “leave” the EU while negotiations over the precise terms of membership were concluded and amended is anything but “absolutely certain”. Such a scenario is, in fact, a hugely unlikely, but strictly speaking astronomically-small theoretical possibility, so irrational that a lunatic might clutch desperately at it. Either way, we would in every meaningful sense remain in the EU.

The only absolute certainty here is that Blair McDougall is a liar.

Jackie Baillie is a liar 97

Posted on December 19, 2012 by

We’ve spent the last 90 minutes watching an incredible video someone linked us to in a reader comment earlier today. It’s a public meeting of the Clydebank Trades Union Council on November 29th, headed by a panel comprising Gil Paterson (SNP MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie), Jackie Baillie (Labour MSP for Dumbarton), chairman Tom Paterson (secretary of Clydebank TUC), Stephen Boyd (assistant secretary of Scottish TUC) and Cathy Leach (Scottish Pensioners’ Forum).

Throughout the meeting the sense of anger and hurt coming from the traditionally-Labour audience and directed mostly at Baillie is overwhelming. Time and again the party’s betrayal of its core audience is bitterly attacked. But an hour and 25 seconds in, there’s a particularly remarkable exchange.

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Anas Sarwar is a liar 18

Posted on April 04, 2012 by

We invite the de facto leader of Scottish Labour to sue us if the title of this article is libellous. But the facts seem to us to be clear and incontrovertible. On BBC1’s weekend political programme Sunday Politics Scotland on the 1st of April 2012, Anas Sarwar was interviewed by Isabel Fraser, along with the SNP’s Stewart Hosie.

Below is a transcript of part of the discussion, on the subject of Labour’s allegations that the Scottish Government’s consultation on the independence referendum was “designed for abuse”. It begins 43m 36s into the show, just after Fraser has suggested to Sarwar that the consultation process is in fact, as stated by Hosie, identical to those previously conducted by Labour.

SARWAR: It isn’t the same as previous processes, because you don’t even have to submit an email address or any form of identity to put in an anonymous response, and you can put in multiple anonymous responses… on the second point that Stewart raised around the Labour Party’s own website, you have to put in an email address and a name to be able to respond, so it’s not an anonymous response that you could put in from our own site.

FRASER: But you could put in multiple responses from that address.

SARWAR: No, you have to put in your own name and an email address, which, which you can’t use multiple…

FRASER: So you’re monitoring it, and you will ensure that?

SARWAR: Absolutely, there’s no multiple responses, they can see exactly who has put in a response with their name and also their email address.

Sarwar then repeats the allegation that the process was“not only open to abuse, it’s designed for abuse” by the SNP. Fraser puts it to Hosie that that’s a very significant accusation and asks him if he accepts the charge.

HOSIE: What’s more disturbing is Anas Sarwar there saying that the responses through the Labour Party website are being monitored. That clearly is very worrying indeed, if the Labour Party are able to monitor responses through their website to a public consultation. That’s extremely concerning indeed that you said that.

SARWAR: That’s not what I said, Stewart. What I said was –

HOSIE: You said they were being monitored.

SARWAR: – there are individual, individual email addresses and names –

HOSIE: You said they were being monitored.

SARWAR: – individual email addresses and names that would go in from our responses. The point I’m making, and this is clear – I am making that accusation that the SNP are looking like they’re trying to rig this referendum.

(We’ll ignore the cowardly weasel-worded smear “I am making the accusation that the SNP are looking like they’re trying to rig this referendum” for now.)

We’ll be clear: Sarwar’s statements in the transcript above are lies. That’s not a matter of our interpretation or opinion, but empirical fact. You do NOT “have to put in your own name” on Labour’s form. Wings Over Scotland has already proved this by submitting a consultation response through the form using Anas Sarwar’s name, along with the email address “anas [dot] sarwar [at] scottishlabour [dot] org [dot] uk”. We are not Anas Sarwar.

Sarwar’s repeated claim that “no multiple responses” are possible through the form is also a lie – there are no discernible safeguards against either fake names or multiple responses on the site, as we also verified by successfully submitting further multiple entries through the same form, including this one in which we used the name “anonymous” and the email address “anonymous [at] anonymous [dot] com”.

Sarwar’s position on whether Labour are monitoring the responses in order to potentially catch these abuses is doubly untruthful. When Fraser asks him “So you’re monitoring [the responses via the form]?”, he answers “Absolutely” (although our experiments suggest this is not the case), yet mere seconds later when Hosie expresses concern about this admission, he replies “That’s not what I said”, even though it was, as an indisputable matter of record, precisely what he said.

The Scottish media, it probably goes without saying, has not challenged Sarwar on these easily-demonstrable lies. As Sarwar was nominated by Scottish Labour to be its spokesman for the issue on Sunday Politics Scotland, we believe it’s reasonable to assume, furthermore, that his responses were not made out of simple ignorance.

Should Mr Sarwar contact us to explain that in fact it was the case that he simply had no idea what he was talking about, we will gladly withdraw our allegations and issue an apology to that effect. But in the absence of any such statement, the evidence makes it impossible for us to reach any other conclusion than that he deliberately and knowingly lied to Isabel Fraser, Stewart Hosie and the Scottish people.

We do not believe such a person is fit for office in one of the nation’s biggest political parties, or indeed to be a Member of Parliament. We think most people would agree, and we call on Anas Sarwar to resign both positions immediately.

Tom Harris is a liar 14

Posted on November 14, 2011 by

We’re going to come right out and say it. Tom Harris MP will not be the next leader of Scottish Labour. This is because while Scottish Labour might be collectively a bit dim, it’s not THAT dim. Despite having by far the highest media profile of the three leadership candidates (which, in fairness, is clearing a not-very-high bar), Harris failed to secure the support of a single Holyrood MSP for his nomination, a situation that would hopelessly undermine whichever unfortunate lackey was chosen to deliver his attacks on Alex Salmond at First Minister’s Questions.

Opponents of blood sports would shy away from the screen in horror as Labour challenged the FM every week with – at best – a deputy leader acting as a mouthpiece for a Westminster MP. The lack of credibility of an MSP group unable to put forward a single member of sufficient talent to lead would make the party in Scotland a laughing stock, particularly if – as might well happen – the new deputy was a Westminster politician too, such as Ian Davidson or Anas Sarwar.

The SNP, though, will doubtless be hoping against hope that Harris manages to win anyway, because the MP for Glasgow South would represent a massive liability to Labour in many other ways too.

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While the truth gets its boots on 367

Posted on January 25, 2017 by

Here’s Alex Salmond on last night’s Newsnight:

Let’s just quickly fact-check that claim.

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We are four 236

Posted on November 07, 2015 by

So, it’s our birthday. It was exactly four years ago today, on the 7th of November 2011, that Wings Over Scotland published the first post of what was supposed to be a pretty insignificant spare-time blog picking out interesting politics stories in the day’s Scottish media and challenging any inaccuracies in them.


It got a bit out of control, frankly.

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Playing tricks on memory 172

Posted on May 30, 2015 by

In its kneejerk “SNP BAD” reaction to the Alistair Carmichael affair, the Unionist establishment – politicians and media alike – has furiously tried to divert attention from Carmichael’s smear and attempted cover-up by harking back to an incident in 2012, when the press gave vast amounts of coverage to a claim that Alex Salmond had “lied” about legal advice regarding an independent Scotland’s EU membership.


Everyone and their dog has trotted out the allegation again in the past week, right across the Unionist political spectrum – “Steerpike” in the Spectator did it, Alex Johnstone of the Scottish Conservatives did it, Tavish Scott of the Scottish Lib Dems did it, Michael White in the Guardian did it, Toby Young in the Spectator (again) did it, thirsty Labour peer George Foulkes did it, Telegraph columnist Iain Martin did it, failed Lib Dem anti-Salmond candidate Christine Jardine did it, and countless numbers of shrill Scottish Labour activists and party officials did it.

And all of them are counting on the Scottish public not remembering the truth.

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The House Of Liars 162

Posted on May 26, 2015 by

The former Liberal Democrat MP (and also the party’s former Scottish leader, and until just a few weeks ago its UK deputy leader) Sir Malcolm Bruce gave an extraordinary interview to Radio 4’s Today programme this morning about Alistair Carmichael.


The whole thing can be heard here, but the short passage below stood out even in the context of a breathless, furious, scattergun performance that sounded like a man on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

(Today, BBC Radio 4, 26 May 2015)

We’re sure readers will be greatly comforted by the fact that it’s okay for the Secretary of State for Scotland to tell a “brazen lie”, on the grounds that everyone else in the Houses Of Parliament is a liar too, and by the notion that a government minister who’s caught lying to the nation in order to undermine the democratically-elected leader of Scotland is an offence for which the culprit can simply decide their own punishment.

Six paragraphs later 187

Posted on April 03, 2014 by

Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman today:

Yes, there should be No poll abuse

The independence debate has been getting ever nastier and it’s time for all sides to take a breath.”

It must have been a short breath, because just six paragraphs later:

“Bill Munro, the head of Barrhead Travel, one of our most successful Scottish companies, was subjected to a volley of threats and abuse after he advised staff in a letter to vote No.

A line has been crossed here between fair rebuttal and menacing nastiness. More of this and we could be on the way towards a Caledonian Kristallnacht.”

Because a surefire way to calm debate is to liken one side to the Nazis, right?

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How to make news from air 69

Posted on December 27, 2013 by

The Independent is the most English newspaper in Britain. Alone among the nationals, it has neither a Scottish edition nor even a Scottish news section. And for the vast majority of the time, it acts as though Scotland simply doesn’t exist at all. (Or, perhaps, as if Scotland was already independent and therefore none of its business.)


So it’s perhaps not altogether surprising that on the rare occasions it dares venture north of Luton, it invariably makes a gigantic ham-fisted hash of it.

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