stooges of the Kremlin

Wings Over Scotland

An early failure 277

Posted on January 25, 2018 by

By hook or by Cook 551

Posted on January 23, 2018 by

This is an interesting one. Almost 40 years on from the event, Scottish politics is still plagued by micro-brained Labour types insisting that the SNP “ushered in” Margaret Thatcher after the devolution referendum of 1979 was sabotaged by a Labour MP.

SNP supporters counter that this is complete bollocks, largely because it’s complete bollocks. James Callaghan, the Labour PM at the time, blamed 34 of his own MPs for bringing his government down, by supporting an amendment from Islington South and Finsbury Labour MP George Cunningham which blocked the creation of a Scottish Assembly even though it won the referendum by a narrow margin.

(Cunningham resigned from Labour two years later and subsequently joined the SDP, but in 2012 the Daily Express dragged him out to demand that the same “40% rule” be applied to the indyref.)

History, though, has forgotten someone else who was apparently the true architect of the fix, to the extent that we’d never heard about it until now.

Let’s find out more, shall we?

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The Fantasists 138

Posted on January 22, 2018 by

We thought it might be worth going through this in a bit more detail.

The phrase “out of control” is in quote marks in the Herald’s front-page headline, leading readers to believe someone has said it, but who? Let’s investigate.

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Taking things personally 87

Posted on January 22, 2018 by

Call us cynical if you will, but we were very suspicious when we saw today’s Herald.

We were a little bit surprised that Oxfam would have commissioned a report into Scotland, so we thought we better check and see exactly what it said.

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Absolute Fanny Of The Week 425

Posted on January 20, 2018 by

We’ve got a shock result for the inaugural winner of this exciting new award, readers. Remarkably it’s NOT David Torrance – who wrote an arch review of a chapter of a book about Donald Trump that didn’t actually exist. Good effort, Davey, but no cigar.

And it’s not even notorious Lib Dem atom-wit Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, who bleated to Ofcom when an SNP party political broadcast unrelatedly took the mickey out of a character who may (or may not) have been the selfsame Torrance.

No, the first ever Wings Absolute Fanny Of The Week is… Anas Sarwar!

In common with half of Scottish Labour, Sarwar has been raging at Paisley MP Mhairi Black for her “silence” over the closure of a 16-bed children’s ward in the town, which has been replaced by an entire new state-of-the-art 256-bed children’s hospital 10 minutes down the road, right next to the sparkly new Southern General.

But only Sarwar did it by enclosing a picture of the local paper’s front-page splash on the story. In which there was one teeny-weeny slight problem for him.

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Nothing to see 116

Posted on January 20, 2018 by

David Torrance Fact Check 237

Posted on January 19, 2018 by

Remarkably, the notoriously unreliable and yet somehow omnipresent Scottish political commentator and reality-disputer David “Davey” Torrance was still digging last night in the wake of this story from three days ago.

Never, eh? Let’s see if that’s true, shall we?

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A sense of inclusion 234

Posted on January 18, 2018 by

Previous episodes in the series are here. If you’ve got a story like this to tell, or you know anyone who does, Phantom Power want to hear from you – drop them a line.

The Great Whiteout 360

Posted on January 17, 2018 by

Late last night in the House Of Commons saw one of the most significant votes in the history of UK constitutional politics. A group of Scottish Tory MPs voted to oppose an amendment which would have protected the central building block of Scottish (and Welsh) devolution – the principle that any powers not explicitly reserved are devolved – from the UK government’s attempted huge power grab under the cover of Brexit.

Those very same Scottish Tory MPs had previously pledged to stand up for Scotland’s interests regardless of loyalty to their party, and had repeatedly expressed their grave disappointment at the deeply unsatisfactory condition of the Withdrawal Bill.

Last night they could have fixed it by supporting the amendment (backed by every other Scottish MP right across party lines), which would have tipped the arithmetic and ensured its success. Instead they betrayed every voter in Scotland – including their own – by waving the bill through unamended and passing the buck to the unelected House Of Lords, which has no representatives from Scotland’s most popular party.

This morning, BBC Scotland led on the fact that it snowed a bit in Scotland in January.

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The Streets Of Dan Francisco 155

Posted on January 16, 2018 by

The past week saw the return to the public eye of the former Independent columnist Johann Hari, who vanished in disgrace a few years ago in a plagiarism scandal over claiming to have done things that he hadn’t.

It also saw the return of ubiquitous Scottish politics scribe David Torrance from a trip to San Francisco, the details of which he shared at stultifying length with the unfortunate readers of The Scottish Review.

Or at least, what he SAID were the details of where he SAID he’d been.

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The provision of context 118

Posted on January 16, 2018 by

We’ve commented quite a few times in recent months about the Scottish media’s habit of running statistical stories rendered meaningless by the absence of any context.

The reasons for this aren’t necessarily sinister – sometimes journalists are just lazy or the full stats are hard to establish because like-for-like figures aren’t published – but usually it’s just a way to get an SNP BAD story out of isolated numbers which, if the full picture was presented, would render that impossible.

The above story from STV News today contains no furious rentaquotes from Labour or the Tories (at least not yet), so we should place it in the former category. Nevertheless, we do feel it’s our duty in a general sense to provide readers with the information that the Scottish media can’t be bothered to, so let’s do that.

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Something to keep in mind 263

Posted on January 15, 2018 by

…as the Scottish Government releases its Brexit impact paper.

(Panelbase, Scottish adults, fieldwork mid-December 2017)

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