stooges of the Kremlin

Wings Over Scotland



The art of escalation 87

Posted on December 15, 2017 by

The Tories kicked off yesterday’s reaction to the budget with a straight-up lie.

No promise has been broken. The basic rate HAS been frozen, at 20p, and low and middle earners HAVE been protected. Nobody who’s on less than £33,000 – which is considerably higher than the average (£23K) or full-time median (£28K) wages – will pay a penny more tax, and the large majority of Scots will in fact see a small tax cut.

(The weasel-wording justification is of course that pretty much everyone who pays tax pays some of it at the basic rate, and are therefore in a sense “basic-rate taxpayers”. But “nobody will pay any more tax” wasn’t the promise. Indeed, the manifesto pledge is a pretty clear implication that better-off people WOULD be taxed a little more.)

But the numbering was interesting. In order to try to obscure that fact that most Scots would be paying LESS tax as a result of the budget, the Tories went with a nicely vague but high-sounding “hundreds of thousands” for the number of people who’d lose out a little. And then the Scottish media went to work.

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Minor roadworks alert 406

Posted on November 30, 2017 by

Scotland has 2,174 miles of trunk roads, of which 1.7 miles (that’s just under 0.08%) comprise the Queensferry Crossing. For the next few days those 1.7 miles are going to be subject to some partial lane closures on the southbound side for maintenance.

They’ll cause almost no disruption, because as it happens there’s another very similar bridge conveniently located just a couple of hundred yards away – linked directly to all the same roads – that traffic will use instead.

Not much of a story, is it? We don’t know how many miles of Scotland’s roads have roadworks on them on any given day of any given week, but we suspect it’s quite a lot. It tends not to make the news beyond a few seconds on the traffic bulletin at the end, but today was different.

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The habit of lying 155

Posted on November 12, 2017 by

Yesterday’s Daily Record (which would increasingly be an accurate three-word name for the paper) ran an innocuous piece of page-filler fluff rubbish, and for once we’re not talking about a David Torrance column.

It featured the “psychic” predictions of a man who, the Record told us – no fewer than FIVE times in the opening few lines – previously predicted Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, and who had a track record of “incredible accuracy”.

Sounds pretty spooky. Maybe he’s got the gift.

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Anas Sarwar Fact Check 84

Posted on October 19, 2017 by

Quite a few remarkable things were said on last night’s STV debate between the two prospective leaders of the Labour Party branch office in Scotland. This one, though, was especially striking.

That’s Anas Sarwar denying three times that he was a part of the “Better Together” campaign with the Tories. A startled Colin Mackay claims to have seen photographs of Sarwar campaigning with BT, at which point Sarwar insists no, he merely appeared on TV debates which happened to also have Tory guests.

It seemed like it’d be an easy thing to check.

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Kezia Dugdale Fact Check, Part 683 147

Posted on September 14, 2017 by

The Daily Record have continued to run Kezia Dugdale’s weekly column despite her resignation as Scottish Labour branch office manager (North British division), and this week we were interested to note her assessment of the devolution years, which could be summarised neatly as “Labour devolution good, SNP devolution bad”.

We raised an especially quizzical eyebrow at the claim that the 1999-2007 Labour/Lib Dem administrations had apparently ended homelessness. So we thought we’d do that thing we do when Kezia Dugdale claims something.

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The Vanishings 133

Posted on August 09, 2017 by

The Scottish media this week has started to rather resemble Argentina under General Galtieri’s military junta – everywhere you look are the ghosts of the disappeared.

We’ve already documented at length the sudden non-existence of the Herald’s madly inaccurate front-page lead story from Monday (along with the corresponding piece in the Evening Times). And today two more things joined the missing list.

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Mundell’s Law 75

Posted on July 14, 2017 by

We already knew what David Mundell’s guarantees were worth, of course. So it’s not like we can exactly feign surprise at this.

The best we can say is that at least this time it took four months for the Secretary Of State’s promise to completely and utterly collapse, not 48 hours.

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Lies spring eternal 502

Posted on July 08, 2017 by

“Colonel” Ruth Davidson took time out from her holidays yesterday to unleash an extraordinary (and unusually defensive) 35-part Twitter tirade about the reaction to her appointment as an honorary military commander. So barren is the summer political news desert that two newspapers put it on their front page today, giving the BBC an excuse to deem it the day’s biggest story.

But that wasn’t the bit that caught our eye.

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The unsurprising twist 230

Posted on June 26, 2017 by

This was David Mundell on Sunday, guaranteeing that any extra money produced for Northern Ireland to secure DUP backing for the Tory government would be matched by more funding for Scotland (as much as £4.5bn under normal Barnett Formula rules, because Scotland has nearly three times the population of the province):

And here’s the truth 24 hours later:

Who could ever have etc?

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Not saying No 250

Posted on June 07, 2017 by

There was a minor kerfuffle on the STV leaders debate tonight.

The revelation that Kezia Dugdale may once have changed her mind about a second referendum on independence won’t have come as a particularly great shock to Wings readers, who just a week ago read a detailed account of the party’s countless U-turns and contradictions on the issue.

And what was notable was that Dugdale didn’t deny it. To anyone’s face, at least.

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Kezia Dugdale Fact Check, Part 682 128

Posted on May 26, 2017 by

We hadn’t been planning to talk any more about the curious case of Claire Austin, the suddenly publicity-shy Edinburgh nurse who – how can we put this? – seemed a rather ill-chosen figurehead for the good cause of getting more pay for a group of people who are rightly well-regarded by the public.

But yesterday, the release of a letter from Scottish Labour branch manager Kezia Dugdale re-opened political hostilities after last week’s hiatus for the Manchester terror attack by shoving the now-reticent Ms Austin right back into the spotlight.

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The training of memory 114

Posted on May 16, 2017 by

The Labour general election manifesto is officially launched today, as if it mattered. It will reportedly say that the party will block a second independence referendum if it’s in power at Westminster, which of course it won’t be.

And while Labour’s position on anything – particularly anything involving Scotland – is a complete irrelevance, it’s still quite fun to listen to them tying themselves in knots.

So with no further ado, ladies and gentlemen, we bring you Duncan Hothersall.

(Good Morning Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland, 16 May 2017)
.

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