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Wings Over Scotland

Scotland’s new biggest party

Posted on July 03, 2013 by

We got an email from the Electoral Commission today. Further to our attempts to discern the membership of “Scottish Labour” last week, we’d dropped them a line with a couple of queries about which information parties and their sub-divsions (or “accounting units”) were required to divulge.


The answers weren’t particularly surprising, but they did give us an idea.

Thank you for your email. Political parties and their accounting units are under no obligation to submit the size or any increases or decreases of their membership to the Electoral Commission. There is also no standardised format for a statement of accounts so, as you’ve seen yourself, different parties will highlight different information in their version and some just choose to include their membership figures.

Accounting units are only required to submit a statement of accounts to us if their income and expenditure for the year total a figure higher than £25,000. Any that fall below this threshold are not required to submit their accounts for that year.

As alert readers will recall, we already knew that – almost uniquely in UK culture and law – there is no legal obligation on political parties to tell the truth. Now we also know that you don’t even have to make up numbers to tell the official body of record.

So from now on, we’ve decided that our 50,000+ readers are all members of the Wings Over Scotland Party, and as that number is as far as we know bigger than the membership of every political party in Scotland put together, that makes us a pretty major electoral force. (We’ve already got more Twitter followers than the Scottish Tories or the Scottish Lib Dems.)


We can now say we’re “Scotland’s largest political party”, without having to prove it and without anyone being able to do anything about it even if it’s not true. On the basis of our status as Scotland’s largest political party we’ll be demanding a presence on televised debates (and Question Time), and some free broadcasts on the BBC.

Welcome to the party, folks! You already know the words of the party song. Now go back to your constituencies and prepare for (self) government!

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    73 to “Scotland’s new biggest party”

    1. Ha! Nice catch. Even the Scottish Socialist Party has more followers than those Twitter drips – although not as many as your good selves.

    2. Iain says:

      WOSsites? WOSsers? WOSPers? WOSPs?

    3. Marcia says:

      Can we have an Annual Conference in Bermuda, all expenses paid naturally.

    4. HeatherMcLean says:

      Hehehe!! Love it!!!

    5. I’m already looking forward to the first Party Political Broadcast! 🙂

    6. sneddon says:

      Can I be the part of the party that gives the rest a bad name?

    7. Shinty says:

      Seems ‘our’ song is no longer available on Youtube.
      By the way, I’m with Marcia.

    8. Seasick Dave says:

      I love the random words Oor Wullie has got plastered over his front page, none of which have anything to do with the LibDems.

    9. benarmine says:

      Love the idea but it’s a total break with tradition surely for a party to deal in so many facts?

    10. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Seems ‘our’ song is no longer available on Youtube.”

      Christ, how I loathe YouTube copyright wankers. Now replaced with alternative link.

    11. a worker says:

      Who’s holding the party whip then?

      It will have a huge bearing on whether I toe the party line or not 🙂

    12. AlexMcI says:

      Oh yes a party, will I bring a carry oot.

    13. pmcrek says:

      Good luck! Dont forget to accuse everyone except the Tories of being Tories.

    14. Douglas Young says:

      Why do the LIb Dems have “home rule” on their poster?
      Or is that an anagram for Independence….

    15. Al says:

      The worrying thing for me though is – why does Rev follow the Tories Twatter account, but, not the LibDems??? – Cause for concern??

    16. Boorach says:

      @ Dave
      I think you’ve misread Willie’s background. He is in fact being brutally honest and those ‘random words’ represent everything the LibDems have put behind them; Vision, Trust, Compassion all disappearing into the distant past! 🙂

    17. Gordon Smith says:

      It is a good idea to form a formal party (or three), you don’t need elected reps in Scotland, juts to register.
      You would then be entititled to spend ~£1.5 in promoting the Yes Campaing in the electoral period.
      Give some ballance to the one sided higher Party count for Project Fear Vs Yes.

    18. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Love the photos. Ruth Davidson with the Smugs and I hope Willie doesn’t get a hold of my nuts 

    19. Turnbull Drier says:

      Is it just me or does Oor Wullie look as though someone has just taken his cat off him..
      “Awww, but I want to rule the world, I cannae dae it withoot the moggy… “

    20. Tattie-boggle says:

      Eric “hic” Joyce should be allowed to join. As we will tell WM at the negotiating table that if they are not going to play nice Eric is getting off the leash and a bottle of malt handed to him.

    21. Sunshine on Crieff says:

      What has me in stitches is the claim by the Tories to be the only right of centre party in Scotland! 🙂

    22. Keith Parry says:

      Dear Wings do not forget your membership in Wales. At least 10,000 people.

    23. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Turnbull Drier
      Naw, oor Wullie is giving a somewhat animated description of Bella!

    24. Unfortunate that our party song lyonises our favourite rag.  I’ve always advocated Capercaillie’s Calum’s Road for our national anthem. It’s a tune that never fails to put a smile on my face and is based on an inspiring story (of doggedly determined, independent action to boot).
      It has the added advantage of having no cheesy lyrics – no lyrics at all in fact, therefore not a dead Englishman in sight. I would get Allan MacDonald to script it out in cainntearachd so we could all sing along.
      At the Olympics & Commonwealth Games, the Scottish Team would Palais Glide round the track to our national anthem (Palais Glide Unst-style that is).  How ballbustingly brilliant would that be?

    25. Fantastic, I look forward to our first party conference, where will it be held I wonder, I know, lets have it in Garmouth 🙂

    26. Dcanmore says:

      Can I be the machiavaellian one that moves in the shadows picking up large sums of dosh from tax-dodging corporations, all good for the party and country you see … ohh please? 😉
      It is well-known that Willie Rennie always opened up his act at the Scot Lib Dem conference with his rendition of ‘I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts’, but due to recent cutbacks within the Party due to a catastrophic falling of membership revenue, that Oor Wullie can no longer be provided with actual coconuts anymore. The ScotTories are continuing their ‘does what is says on the tin’ by promoting their double cross nature to the general public, even proudly wearing their ideology on t-shirts. 

    27. The Man in the Jar says:

      Re my above comment.Thats Bella as in I.G.

    28. GP Walrus says:

      I refuse to belong to any party that would have me as a member.

    29. Albert Herring says:

      This is worse than the Falkirk Labour Party.

    30. Desimond says:

      “It will be much harder to access Wings Over Scotland after a YES vote” – Vince Cable

    31. roboscot says:

      What about a think tank? Then you can write impartial and authoritative reports to get publicised all over the corporate media.

    32. sneddon says:

      Can I just get my excuses in first..”the money was resting in my account” 🙂

    33. Do we get a John Lewis catalogue, expense account and property portfolio?

    34. Juteman says:

      There is a fine picture of Vince, Useless Lowdown Cables A Nutter, in the Sun. 🙂

    35. old mikey says:

      O.T. a tad. In the Glasgow Herald, Ian Bell has a good piece re. Vince Cable. ‘Why Cables short memory is not helping Better Together’. It’s a good critique and well worth a look.

    36. Betsy says:

      Sign me up but only if we agree never, ever to put out a leaflet as jaw droppingly awful as this comic sans lunacy from British Together aka The Orange Order.

    37. I agree with Old Mikey about the Ian Bell article. We need much more of this, though.

      Here’s a link –

    38. Turnbull Drier says:

      wow.. blue text, blue background.. that nice…
      tools… <rolleyessmiely>

    39. Training Day says:

      Stare at the shitblizzard of buzzwords around Rennie for long enough and you too could soon be a Lib Dem candidate..
      Ommm…driven…ooom…trust…oommm..follows you..

    40. Turnbull Drier says:

      Sorry – that’s nice…
      Tools <rolleyessmiely>

    41. bob Howie says:

      Just because you have Scottish before your party name does not a Scottish party make even if you are populated by Scots. What makes a Scottish party is one which, at it’s heart, has the benefit of that country in it’s soul not cowtowing to their Westminster masters orders!!
      Political parties lie, oh no, catch me, my knees are buckling with the shock…….not

    42. Jiggsbro says:

      Does this mean I have to resign my membership of the Monster Raving Nationalist Party?

    43. ianbrotherhood says:

      Re the Orange Order ‘comic’.
      Where did they get the idea for that funky font?…

    44. Re: The Orange Order website. It has this helpful flash panel on the front page. Thinking I’m about to read the positive case for the union for the first time ever, I’ve clicked the button like a mad thing but the square root of diddly-squat happens. Is it my computer or has anyone managed to read this lively oracle? I dare say King Billy looks down with disdain in his marshal (sic) pose.

      Why the Union?
      We believe we are “Better Together”
      The positive case for the UK, the most successful political union, the world has ever known.
      Click here

    45. Bill Fraser says:

      The capacity of Hampden is 52063 so its gonny be pretty tight for a party (biggest place I could find). Should get a discount on the pies and pints though 🙂

    46. Betsy says:

      Oh Dear God! I thought that font looked familiar. Apparently they are going to distributing ‘tens of thousands’ of these remarkable leaflets at this weekends ‘Boyne Celebrations’. At least now I know what sort of rubbish I’ll be clearing up after these morons come the weekend. Makes a change from fag ends and empty bottles, I suppose! 

    47. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I refuse to belong to any party that would have me as a member.”

      You’re barred.

    48. Yesitis says:

      Roddy MacDonald
      Also from the Orange Order site “Scotland the brand” article:
      From the repainting of trains with fancy new saltires to the mercenary assurances of the big supermarket chains of how much they love Scotland, a pervading sense of Scottishness is everywhere …
      Ah ken, eh.
      And all this in Scotland too. Simply awful, isn`t it? How could they?

    49. Turnbull Drier says:

      @Roddy Macdonald…
      Thats good isn’t it..
      they have managed to link to their own index page.. perhaps their computer should be removed from them incase they manage to hurt thereselves…

    50. pa_broon74 says:

      I look a bit foreign, can I be useful in this new political party?
      I can also refrain from shaving which would appeal to the foreign tramp vote, although I understand that might be a bit too niche.
      Will there be any comic sans serif font usage? I’m afraid that would be a deal breaker.

    51. Gordon Smith says:


    52. Marker Post says:

      Orange Order website,, presumably because they are not allowed into the all-inclusive better together club.
      On topic, can I send in a postal ballot? Actually, I have a few of them I can give you.

    53. handclapping says:

      Gonna na dae yat Rev! You have just put all your SNP readers out their party. They’re gae touchy about memberships. They defenestrated their Party Leader, Douglas Young, over it as they did their future Party Leader, one Alex Salmond.
      Wings over Scotland, what’s that? <innocent face>

    54. Doug says:

      “Sign me up but only if we agree never, ever to put out a leaflet as jaw droppingly awful as this comic sans lunacy from British Together aka The Orange Order. ”
      If someone asked me to join that lot (plenty of my old neighbours were, back in the day) then my reaction would match the right lapel of the girl with the silly feathered hat in the poster. Loyal Orange Lodge indeed.

    55. MajorBloodnok says:

      When we sweep to power can I nominate myself as Minister for Gin and Other Comestibles?  I want to server Scotland by focusing on what I know best.

    56. Marker Post says:

      Talking of sheer arrogance of the unionist parties, the statement by James Wharton, MP for Stockton South, whose Private Member’s Bill to secure an EU referendum by 2017, said:
      “This is an issue that affects the country as a whole,” he said. “While we do have a devolved government in Wales and Scotland, this is an issue of foreign affairs and sits still in Westminster, and rightly should.”

    57. Patrick Roden says:

      Im now working in Thailand and some of the women over here are soooo beautiful…
      can I be the ‘Foreign Affairs Minister’…please!

    58. AlexMcI says:

      Rev now we are a party, how about the putting the Alistair darling taped to a chair thing in the manifesto.

    59. Cath says:

      Oh, I seem to have been signed up to a political party without my knowledge. Fair enough.
      Who is it you want us to vote in for the Falkirk seat Rev?

    60. Broon says:

      OK Rev how about a bit of balanced reporting – practice what you “preach” and include the number of tweets, following, and followers for SLAB and SNP?
      Figures not available or not suitable?
      PS What’s my party membership number and when is the conference?

    61. Doug says:

      21.5K followers for @theSNP (following 1066, 10.6K tweets)
      8176 for @scottishlabour (following 3943, 2777 tweets)
      Not sure how that affects the point of RevStu’s article, which is that he can claim to be the largest party, as SLAB does, without offering any proof.

    62. scotty says:

      tattiebogle can we just appoint joyce as minister of offence?

    63. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “OK Rev how about a bit of balanced reporting – practice what you “preach” and include the number of tweets, following, and followers for SLAB and SNP?”

      Incredibly bizarrely, I spend a large chunk of the morning putting together just such a post, which I’m planning to put up on Friday, with not just the SNP and TLPiS but the 50 most significant Scottish-politics Twitter accounts.

    64. Did I read that right, the Electoral Commision is suggesting that Labour’s Scottish region has an ‘income’ of less than £25K per annum?
      Apparently David Blunkett is starting to get worried about the excessive annoying of Nu Blu Labour’s Union backers by the Blairite faction ….
      I wonder if McLuskey will have the guts to go to his membership and ballot them to agree to stop Unite’s support of the minime Tory Party, Nu Blu Labour. We know ‘Better Together’ has problems as few ‘Labour’ stalwarts in Scotland will take to their platform as they know to do so is a political death wish. The separatist Scottish Labour for the Union group has had the life span of a Mayfly and the ASLEF announcement of their support for ‘Better Together’ was made without any consultation with their membership in Scotland.
      The reality is the STUC is fence sitting because to follow the Nu Blu Labour line means they would be supporting Tory policy, in effect, which is about as sensible as being members of a Sadduccean Suicide Squad.
      As for is the ‘biggest party’ I do not give a sh!t, just as long as Nu Blu Labour’s membership continues its accelerating death spiral.
      PS: Am I right in thinking there used to be a product, ‘Nu Blu’ which you put in your loo cistern to cover the smell?

    65. Andy-B says:

      Hang on a minute, on the Lib/Dems backboard it says “Home Rule”..whats that all about, as for the Tory followers they look like walking targets with the giant X on their chests, and Willie Rennies hands, look as though he’s about to choke someone.

    66. Edward Barbour says:

      On the point about holding next meeting in Bermuda, should be noted that they areconsidering leaving the care of London and moving towards self determination, apparently waiting to see outcome of Scottish referendum
      I’m sure you will enjoy reading the Bermudan Govt Green paper

    67. Vronsky says:

      “can we just appoint joyce as minister of offence?”
      Excellent thought.  The UK thing is not about defence, it’s about aggression, ‘power projection’.  So forget your poofy little nukes, here comes the ultimate deterrent: Eric Joyce with a broken tumbler.

    68. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Congratulations on becoming Scotland’s largest political party.
      I bet a certain George Galloway and Mr Farage are looking on in complete envy at your class and style of winning over the “electorate” of Scotland! 😆

    69. scottish_skier says:

      If we’re having a party can we invite Amy MacDonald?

    70. scottish_skier says:

      It’s going to be one hell of a party.

      Will make this look like a quiet affair.

    71. Midgehunter says:

      MajorBloodnok says:

      “When we sweep to power can I nominate myself as Minister for Gin and Other Comestibles?  I want to server Scotland by focusing on what I know best.”
      I don’t want to impede on your thirst for power but we are not a gin making nation and despite enormous (obvious) practical experience I think you should devote your magnificent talent more to the promotion and enrichment of the peat tainted golden dew currentlly sweeping all before it and enlightening the the “furrin” taste buds.
      Should you require a research assistent then I humbly offer my services as a secretary of state.

    72. Doug says:

      Midgehunter – Sorry to be a pedant, but…
      “Gordon’s and Tanqueray hail from Diageo’s giant Cameronbridge factory in Fife…”  Also Hendricks (Ayrshire), Caorunn (Strathspey), The Botanist (islay), Edinburgh gin, Darnley’s View (Fife) and Gilt (Vale of Leven).
      I do think that the Botanist and Hendricks in particular are amongst the finest gins around.

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