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Wings Over Scotland

Conflicting opinions 92

Posted on May 16, 2013 by

Never let it be said we don’t do balanced reporting.

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The phantom menace 215

Posted on May 01, 2013 by

We’ve spent a fair bit of time over the course of this website’s existence documenting the multi-media witch-hunts that invariably arise in the Scottish media whenever some obscure and/or anonymous independence supporter on the internet says something slightly intemperate (or even just expresses an unpopular opinion).

We especially enjoy contrasting it against the way that the elected, taxpayer-funded representatives of major political parties can get away unremarked with comparing the First Minister to dictators and genocidal mass murderers (of the sort “Better Together” donors like to give hundreds of thousands of pounds to).


The vast difference in the amount of media weight given to abusive behaviour from British nationalists and that from the independence side (the infamous “cybernats”) has long been a feature of Scottish political debate, but over the last 12 hours the phenomenon has seen an intriguing new twist.

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Tales from Crybaby Nation 109

Posted on November 27, 2012 by

Crybaby Nation is a land without borders. But a couple of recent news items from it do have a particularly Scottish flavour. One of them, also reported in the Daily Record, concerned an expat Scot and Motherwell supporter in the US banned from having “MWELLFC” on his car licence plate, on the barely-believable grounds that someone might interpret it as “ME WELL F**KED” and be offended. The other one, though, shames us more, because it happened on our own patch.

According to STV News, two new Grampian Fire & Rescue Service vehicles have had to be taken in and repainted after two people complained that the Saltire on their front grilles was a “political symbol”, connected to the SNP and independence movement.

We’re not even going to insult you by pointing out what pathetic, cringing, snivelling creatures those making a complaint against their own country’s flag must be, or how irrational the argument is. We’re just going to slump face-down onto our desk and sob for a couple of minutes about the gutless “corporate team” who allegedly decided to back down over it. We’ll be with you again shortly.

Fragile egos and collateral damage 120

Posted on November 19, 2012 by

Crikey, Euan McColm seems to have an awfully thin skin. Today, for the second time this month, Wings Over Scotland has found itself the recipient of a cryptic threat, which on this occasion coincided with a spot of maintenance by our webhosts and accordingly caused some momentary alarm among readers.

Mr McColm apparently feels that yesterday’s post and/or some of the comments below it constitute his being, and we quote, “defamed to fuck on a cybernat smear site”, though despite our asking him some time ago to specify the offending material so that we might take any appropriate action he’s declined to identify any.

So far so ho hum, then, except that for some inexplicable reason Mr McColm is threatening to take his anger out on the SNP, and the party’s spin-doctor Kevin Pringle in particular. This morning he issued the menacing warning “dear @theSNP and @KevinJPringle.  please thank @WingsScotland for what you are about to receive”, in a tweet he’s subsequently deleted.

Mr McColm has also deleted all the other tweets he directed to us, but you can see the original and some of the others here:

(Incidentally, the second and third tweets down in the image above see Mr McColm suggesting that he doesn’t know my name, which is odd as it’s clearly printed directly below the headline of every post I make on the site. He’s not the first Scotsman writer whose journalistic skills weren’t quite up to that level of in-depth investigation, and he also didn’t reply when I asked if I was eligible for the free curry.)

Now, this sort of moaning is pretty humdrum everyday stuff which comes with the territory if you dare to stick your head above the parapet and offer a political viewpoint on anything, let alone if you dare to critique the media itself. It’s water off a duck’s back to us. But it’s another tweet, which Mr McColm hasn’t yet deleted (and which was in any event helpfully retweeted by our dear friend Tom Harris MP and by unsuccessful Conservative “2010 Holyrood election” candidate Allan Smith), that takes this case somewhere altogether more sinister.

Euan McColm is a professional journalist regularly employed by the Scotsman, which claims political neutrality. Yet here, we appear to see him directly threaten to publish a story he considers will be damaging to the SNP and/or to Kevin Pringle personally, for purely vindictive reasons resulting from him being criticised on a website run by a 20-year Liberal Democrat voter.

We would invite readers to bear that fact in mind the next time a Scotsman column with Mr McColm’s name on it professes to be conducting an impartial analysis of Scottish political issues, and we’d further invite them to consider the point of issuing this threat in public, and in what ways it might conceivably be intended to intimidate or influence the actions of SNP MSPs and the independence campaign generally.

We keenly await hearing from Mr McColm’s solicitors with regard to the alleged defamation. Our contact form is at the top of the page.

Crybaby Nation 128

Posted on November 15, 2012 by

It’s hard for any remotely aware and rational person not to be a misanthrope. If you can watch the news for any extended period of time and not come to the conclusion that humanity as a whole would be greatly served by a bird-flu pandemic or alien invasion, you’re a better person than we are (which is very likely the case anyway).

But even by our low expectations of humanity, it’s been a bad couple of weeks.

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47-year-old man bullied by nasty Nats 4

Posted on November 28, 2011 by

Our dear chum “Comical Tom” Harris is at it again, this time crying to Holyrood magazine about the evil SNP and their cyberbullying, as well as continuing to punt the hopelessly-discredited lie that online unpleasantness is the sole preserve of SNP supporters (particularly ironic given Tom’s status as the Unionist camp’s troll-in-chief). Given that Harris is fond of proudly announcing that he’s blocked readers from his Twitter feed if they post messages he disagrees with, it’s hard to see who’s managing to upset the poor lamb so much. (Particularly as he notes that these awful bullies “tend to cover up” the vitriol he alleges they bear.)

More serious is Harris’ ludicrous allegation that there will be “nothing remotely democratic” about the conduct of the independence referendum – a shameful, borderline-libellous attack echoing Labour’s previous slurs which compared the First Minister to Mussolini and Hitler – something Harris apparently manages to say with a straight face in the same interview where he asserts that:

“People say there’s just as much antagonism on the Labour side and Labour people are just as nasty – that’s a lie, that’s wrong, and it’s demonstrably wrong.”

(We await keenly Tom’s attempt to defy all known laws of reality and prove a negative. In the meantime, we’ve politely asked him via Twitter to provide some specific examples of this “bullying” so that the vicious perpetrators can be shamed.)

Of course, we’re falling into Harris’ trap by even reporting this garbage. Currently trailing in fifth place in the Labour leadership race despite there being only three candidates, Tom is lashing out bitterly at all and sundry – including Scottish Labour’s own MSPs for their understandable decision not to subject themselves to any of his demented haverings in person – in a desperate attempt to turn his indisputable car-crash appeal into some sort of political power. Readers can decide for themselves, however, if this is the sort of behaviour that characterises a prospective future First Minister of Scotland.

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