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Wings Over Scotland

Results just in 308

Posted on August 25, 2014 by


Alistair Darling Lie Bingo 138

Posted on August 25, 2014 by

We’ve been so busy with the Wee Blue Book for the past week or so that we only just got round to listening to last Tuesday’s interview with Alistair Darling on Good Morning Scotland in time, before it vanished from the iPlayer. The former Chancellor gets a quite uncomfortable ride from presenter Gary Robertson, and flaps angrily for much of the ten-and-a-half minutes trying to turn every question into one on currency.


Mr Darling also makes some startlingly and empirically false statements throughout the interview, and we thought it’d be worth noting a few of them and seeing if they crop up on tonight’s BBC1 debate with the First Minister.

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Fleeing the field 165

Posted on August 17, 2014 by

The media coverage of the first TV debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling was a classic, but transparent, stitch-up. A poll which had a majority Unionist sample before the debate began duly reported a “victory” for Darling, even though among the sample’s small number of undecideds most thought Salmond had won.

But that crooked measurement was enough to justify a week-long frenzy of front pages portraying the debate as a fatal disaster for the First Minister and an epic, decisive triumph for the angry former Chancellor. Inconveniently, two new polls this weekend both showing a swing to Yes and a single-figure No lead somewhat undermine that narrative, but the No campaign is nevertheless desperate to quit while it’s ahead.

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The only stat that matters 391

Posted on August 05, 2014 by

As so insightfully predicted by Lallands Peat Worrier yesterday, the media has raced to proclaim victory for Alistair Darling in tonight’s STV debate. For our money, the only winners were the people who watched something else.

The debate was a mess – not quite as shambolic as Nicola Sturgeon and Johann Lamont’s effort on the same channel a few months back, but none of the lessons from that trainwreck were learned. Darling was angry and personal from the start, while Salmond was off-form and the strategy he adopted for dealing with the only subject Darling wanted to talk about – currency – was absolutely dreadful.


We warned back in February that Yes couldn’t just keep flatly saying “There will be a currency union” for seven months, even if it’s true, and the studio audience was deeply and audibly unimpressed with Salmond’s evasion of Darling’s repeated question, even if the tactic got old and tired when the No man was still using it an hour later.

But we’re not going to get into too much spin, because our view is partisan. The main evidence used for the hasty declarations of a “triumph” for Darling was a snap poll conducted immediately afterwards by ICM for the Guardian. But on even a cursory examination, the poll actually found the opposite of what the media said it did.

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Any card except THAT one 286

Posted on June 25, 2014 by

Not quite anytime 118

Posted on June 24, 2014 by

Unsolvable paradox solved 97

Posted on June 24, 2014 by

Here’s “Better Together” communications director Rob Shorthouse this morning:


And here’s the Telegraph this evening (our emphasis):

“Plans for the first proposed Scottish independence TV debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling have collapsed in acrimony following a row over the date.

The pro-UK Better Together campaign withdrew from the contest, complaining that STV was allowing the First Minister to dictate when the show would be broadcast.”

We’re always willing to believe that “Better Together” are lying, because they usually are. We’re always willing to believe the Telegraph is lying, because it usually is. But on this occasion, ONE of them must be telling the truth. Frankly, readers, we have no idea what to think.

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The people’s champion 165

Posted on June 17, 2014 by

We know only a few of you sit through these long video clips, but for the benefit of those who do this is a slightly unusual debate organised by the Prospect trade union and chaired by Magnus Gardham of the Herald, which took place at the union’s conference in Glasgow last month and saw Anas Sarwar and Nicola Sturgeon quizzed on some quite specific topics by various representatives of civic Scotland.

Readers can, as ever, come to their own conclusions as to which of the two gave the most convincing and honest answers, but one line from early on did leap out at us.

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A circular argument 155

Posted on April 30, 2014 by

You can’t make this stuff up.


Yes Glasgow has been inviting No speakers to take part in this Thursday’s event for literally months. They’ve contacted every single MP and MSP from a Unionist party representing a Glasgow seat, asking them to participate. They offered from the very beginning to let “Better Together” co-organise and co-host the debate, which will be chaired by the neutral Electoral Reform Society Scotland.

The only reason that “everyone on the platform is a Yes supporter” is because nobody from the No side is prepared to face the Glasgow public and put their case. The opportunity is still there. We confess ourselves perplexed that they seem determined to refuse it, and then to complain bitterly that the debate is one-sided.

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Frightened rabbits 205

Posted on April 29, 2014 by

A period of silence 141

Posted on April 15, 2014 by

We’ve just been watching the latest of the BBC’s big independence referendum debates, and we’d like the hour of our life we wasted back, please.


It wasn’t as though it was the worst we’ve seen by a long chalk. It was, if nothing else, relatively even-tempered, helped by some firm moderation by James Cook. Lesley Riddoch was as reliable, sensible and on top of the facts as she always is (although even we’re starting to get fed up of hearing her go on about Norway all the time). And while Brian Wilson is a dishonest and bilious wee nyaff, he does have the one huge saving grace that he isn’t Anas Sarwar.

But tell us this, readers – what was the point of it all?

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Priorities in order 53

Posted on March 21, 2014 by

Rob Shorthouse is the Head of Communications for “Better Together”. This week he took part in a debate in Dunoon. The paper’s account of the event, published today, is fascinating and unusually candid, but this bit stood out for us in particular.


We think that’s his coded way of saying he’ll be voting Yes. Would explain a lot.

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