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Wings Over Scotland



Scotland’s alternative 182

Posted on June 29, 2018 by

Political pundits on both sides on the border often marvel at how the SNP appear able to defy the normal rules of electoral gravity, still holding a comfortable double-digit lead in the polls after more than 11 years in power. But there’s no great mystery to it, and the answer is simple, in several senses of that word.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow us to present to you Scottish Labour’s offering for who’d be in charge of all the Scottish Government’s money if the SNP weren’t in power – finance spokesman James Kelly MSP.

Let’s check those numbers, shall we?

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Counting with the Daily Mail 57

Posted on May 21, 2018 by

After 27 unbroken pages of royal wedding “news” (following on from a full 46 in its Sunday edition), the Scottish Daily Mail finally gets down to reporting other stuff today.

“Union support rising”, eh? Do we have any numbers on that?

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Motes and beams 148

Posted on September 02, 2017 by

The Times today carries an article sparking the annual revival of one of the evergreen mysteries of Scottish politics: just how many (or more accurately, how few) people are in the Scottish Labour Party?

The piece sees leadership contest avoider Alex Rowley crowing about a fall in the SNP’s membership income, based on this year’s party accounts as just released by the Electoral Commission.

So we thought we’d take a look at some numbers.

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The delusion of hubris 307

Posted on July 22, 2017 by

Today’s Daily Record covers the story we mentioned yesterday about a report from a Scottish Labour campaign group making the pretty factually-uncontestable point that the branch office’s dismal strategy in last month’s election held the UK party back.

And it made the Record really angry.

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Friendly Help For Jeremy 110

Posted on July 21, 2017 by

From today’s Daily Record:

Have you spotted Kindly Uncle Jez’s mistake, readers?

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Sub-topical analysis 138

Posted on May 30, 2017 by

Apologies in advance about this, folks, but it’s driving us mad. We got into a Twitter argument with some Tory balloon last night and this morning, and to cut a long story short it got us looking at the 1951 UK general election result.

History records it as a Tory majority, securing just over half of the Parliamentary seats (321 of 625) and forming the government under Winston Churchill despite narrowly losing the popular vote to Labour (48% to 48.8%).

But if you examine the result in the House Of Commons Library the numbers don’t add up, and we can’t figure out why.

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The new arithmetic 67

Posted on May 10, 2017 by

Most of the papers today are full of stories screaming hysterically about a (real, but somewhat exaggerated) decline in Scottish educational standards. But if the contents of those papers are anything to go by, Scotland’s schools have been disgorging idiots into the general population for a lot longer than the last 10 years.

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Chinese arithmetic 120

Posted on May 05, 2017 by

With all 32 councils now having declared, the Scottish local elections are over and the SNP have won again, taking 431 seats. Last time round in 2012 they took 425.

You might think you know the difference between 431 and 425. But you don’t.

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The swing shift 306

Posted on May 03, 2017 by

Earlier this morning an alert reader directed us to an article in the Daily Express which seemed to make an eye-catchingly remarkable claim. It turned out to be one actually made by Ruth Davidson on Saturday (which had already been reported in the Express that day), when she appeared on Iain Dale’s radio show on LBC.

A 27% swing? From the SNP to the Tories? Putting the Tories AHEAD in the polls? That would be such a stupendously Earth-shattering development in Scottish politics that you’d think the media would have made more of it than a couple of mentions in an embarrassing low-circulation comic like the Express.

So we thought we’d better check.

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Incompetence and lies 263

Posted on April 26, 2017 by

We’ve never tried to put a precise breakdown on how much of the falsehood pumped out daily by the Scottish political media is due to deliberately misleading spin and how much of it is simply due to journalists who are really, really terrible at their jobs.

But there’s plenty of both in today’s Times.

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The selective calculator 126

Posted on April 21, 2017 by

Alert readers will be aware that we’ve been running a series of posts pointing out the gap between opposition rhetoric about the Scottish Government’s supposed failure to grow the economy, and their (total lack of) practical suggestions about what it should actually be doing, given that by design the Scottish Parliament controls almost none of the country’s economic levers.

And we thought a story fed to the press by Labour this week about job creation since the Tories came to power in 2010 was going to be just another case in point, until we spotted something else about it.

Now, we can’t claim to be exactly astonished that the Tories have mostly focused on creating work in London and the South-East of England at the expense of the rest of the UK. That’s pretty much their thing. But Scottish Labour’s noted rentahonk Jackie Baillie was hopping mad, and not only at the Tories.

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Kezia Dugdale Fact Check, Part 679 384

Posted on March 22, 2017 by

Sky News earlier this morning:

Our ears always prick up when Kezia says she’s counted something herself.

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