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Wings Over Scotland

Replacement bollocks service 343

Posted on January 31, 2018 by

Alert readers may recall some articles last August in which we highlighted the total pig’s breakfast Scotland’s media had made of reporting ScotRail punctuality figures, centred around mistaking the “on time” figures (trains arriving within 59 seconds of their scheduled time, ie at the advertised minute) for the “PPM” figures (trains arriving within five minutes) which are the basis of official punctuality targets.

Several newspapers, including the Herald, Courier, Daily Record and Daily Mail, had to publish corrections after our articles, so we can be pretty sure they won’t have made that mistake again with the latest stats.

Can’t we?

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An early failure 277

Posted on January 25, 2018 by

The Fantasists 138

Posted on January 22, 2018 by

We thought it might be worth going through this in a bit more detail.

The phrase “out of control” is in quote marks in the Herald’s front-page headline, leading readers to believe someone has said it, but who? Let’s investigate.

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David Torrance Fact Check 237

Posted on January 19, 2018 by

Remarkably, the notoriously unreliable and yet somehow omnipresent Scottish political commentator and reality-disputer David “Davey” Torrance was still digging last night in the wake of this story from three days ago.

Never, eh? Let’s see if that’s true, shall we?

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Alex Cole-Hamilton Fact Check 137

Posted on December 24, 2017 by

The prissy, easily-upset and extravagantly-funded Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton tweeted this this morning:

Now, we’re not sure “you’ve had the government you’ve voted for about half the time in a two-horse race” would be all that great a selling point in the first place, but shall we see if it’s actually true, readers?

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Tory Liar Of The Week (11-17 Dec 2017) 170

Posted on December 15, 2017 by

Because to tell you the truth, readers, we’re not sure the word “idiot” is accurate any more. The tweets you’re about to read are far beyond simple stupidity and well into the shadowy realms of deliberate falsehood. (Delivered in the secure knowledge that the media won’t challenge it, and in fact will probably exaggerate and amplify it further.)

So let’s start with one of the better-known dum-dums.

That’s serial bonehead Jamie Greene there, demonstrating that he can’t count up to two, because what he evidently meant to write was “two pictures say eleven words”.

This should be good.

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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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