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Wings Over Scotland

Too gutless to even lie 139

Posted on May 24, 2014 by

While we admit that it probably doesn’t look like it (because we focus on the failures), this site’s default position with the media is to assume good faith. With the exception of newspapers that have explicitly declared themselves for the Union – the Daily Mail, Express etc – we strain every possible sinew to put errors down to incompetence, laziness or lack of investigative resources rather than malicious attempts to mislead.

We’ve even been known on quite a few occasions to publicly chide overly-paranoid Yes supporters on social media for seeing conspiracies everywhere.


But then sometimes we read things like today’s leader column in the Daily Record on the subject of immigration and we wonder whether they might be right after all.

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The bulldog whistle 328

Posted on April 24, 2014 by

Earlier this week we mentioned a nasty bit of politics from Scottish Labour MP Gregg McClymont warning that Scotland would need “a million immigrants” to be able to fund old-age pensions in the future. We were too busy picking holes in Gordon Brown to look into the story in depth, but when it handily appeared again in today’s Daily Record (this time attributed to Yvette Cooper) we checked it a bit more closely.

Any similarity to Labour and BNP rhetoric is entirely actual.

The Record went with the same dramatic figure for its headline, but it’s not until several paragraphs down either article that you get to the rather less attention-grabbing reality.

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Jackboots on Sauchiehall Street 148

Posted on February 27, 2014 by

We already know that Scottish Labour consider any government of Scotland that isn’t themselves to be a “dictatorship”. So in context this comment from South Scotland list MSP Graeme Pearson in the Holyrood chamber yesterday is actually quite restrained:

“The Police Service is insufficiently accountable and it needs to be subject to proper governance, because if it is not properly governed, there is a danger that it will become merely an army of occupation that is maintained at public expense.”

It’s no accident that Labour so regularly call the democratically-elected SNP “fascists” and compare Alex Salmond to a whole cornucopia of murderous genocidal dictators. But we suppose that regarding the Nats as an invading foreign army, deploying Police Scotland as occupying troops, makes a bit more sense of both Labour’s dogged defence of the UK, and their oft-expressed distaste for foreigners.

Steve Richards, Unionwallah 97

Posted on February 15, 2014 by

As we’ve noted before, the Independent is by a large distance the most English of all the UK’s “national” newspapers. Alone among its peers, it has no Scottish edition, no Scottish news section, no Scottish editor, not even a full-time Scottish correspondent. It struggles to shift 3,000 (not a typo – THREE thousand) copies a day in Scotland.

So if we were conducting a panel debate about Scotland on a news channel, we’re not sure that the paper’s chief political commentator Steve Richards is the guy we’d call for expertise. But the BBC, bless it, has other ideas.

That notwithstanding, today’s edition of Dateline London was an interesting watch. Correspondents from the USA, China and Greece, and host Gavin Esler, offered some largely insightful comments, only occasionally interrupted by Richards butting in in a desperate attempt to get the discussion back on the standard UK-media line.

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Like a whirlpool, it never ends 127

Posted on December 17, 2013 by

We haven’t done a “We said, he said” argument transcript for months and months, because as a rule they’re of extremely limited interest to anyone outside the political nerdosphere who isn’t familiar with the people involved.


But you don’t need any background to follow this one. So buckle up and do your best to wade past the obvious personal antagonism, because you won’t get a better illustration of the tortured mental twisting and squirming of the No campaign this year.

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Agony aunt 87

Posted on October 29, 2013 by

Dear Margaret,

I have quite the conundrum. I wonder if you could help me with it.


My Scots-born best friend moved to Beijing in 2005. She previously spent a year studying in Canada, but when she came back I found no traces of latent Canadianism.

Over the last few years she has learned to speak Mandarin quite competently. She also works for the EU. That could be another nail in her coffin, right?

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For your licence fee today 98

Posted on October 07, 2013 by

Here’s the BBC’s chief political correspondent Norman Smith on the surprise sacking of Michael Moore as Secretary of State for Scotland, having clearly been extensively and expertly briefed on the Scottish political situation by researchers beforehand.


(Click the image for the full audio.)

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The afterthought 274

Posted on September 25, 2013 by

Ed Miliband delivered just under 8,000 words to the Labour Party conference in Brighton yesterday. Of those, just 263 of them concerned Scotland. (The actual word “Scotland” was never uttered.) Here are all of them.

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No child of mine 70

Posted on June 19, 2013 by

The concluding episode of STV’s “Road To Referendum” was almost a one-stop repository of some of the most compelling arguments for independence. Not because of anything in the show’s own script, nor even any of the interviews with the Yes camp, but rather the contributions of the Unionist side.


Whether it was Willie Rennie’s cluelessness, Jack McConnell’s revolting attempt to misrepresent the views of a dying international statesman, Michael Kelly’s reference to the Scots as “they” or Jim Murphy’s misplaced arrogant complacency, the programme showcased some of the least attractive aspects of the anti-independence movement.

The ugliest bug at the ball, though, was the UK’s Prime Minister.

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Foreigner Watch 195

Posted on May 27, 2013 by

It’s not the first time we’ve had to raise this subject. But as the rhetoric ramps up from an increasingly nasty and unhappy No camp, we have to ask again – just what is the Labour Party’s problem with foreigners?


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We must be missing something 135

Posted on May 25, 2013 by

Can anyone explain to us the fundamental difference between “I wouldn’t want my son to be a foreigner” and “I wouldn’t want my daughter to marry a black man”? Because we’re not at all sure that we can locate it.

What’s wrong with foreigners? 86

Posted on October 21, 2012 by

Do Ed Miliband, Tony Benn and George Galloway and now Sir Menzies Campbell (who appeared on today’s edition of The Sunday Politics Scotland) have some sort of problem with foreigners? It sounds like they do. For instance, read these words from Tony Benn, the great elder statesman of the Labour Party, this summer:

If Scotland wants to be independent they have the absolute right to do so. But I think nationalism is a mistake. And I am half Scots and feel it would divide me in half with a knife. The thought that my mother would suddenly be a foreigner would upset me very much.”

When asked about Benn’s views in a recent Holyrood magazine interview, Labour leader Ed Miliband had this to say:

I am not the only person with family ties abroad and family is family, whatever the accent or postcode. But the Scottish people with family in England, or vice versa, will be living in a foreign country if Alex Salmond gets his way, that’s just a fact. We live in an increasingly interconnected world; we shouldn’t be building artificial barriers, we should be working out how to work more closely together.

And on an episode of Scotland Tonight a few months ago, where Galloway discussed the issue of Scottish independence with YesScotland chair Dennis Canavan, the Respect MP talked passionately of solidarity between working-class people, which Scottish independence would, he claimed, damage. He felt just the same solidarity, he suggested, with bus drivers in Glasgow, Bradford and Belfast.

To which the most obvious immediate response is “What about bus drivers in Dublin, Oslo, Marseilles, Toronto or Lagos?” Does George Galloway not have the same sense of solidarity with them? Clearly not, if he feels that Scottish independence is somehow contrary to his solidarity with bus drivers either side of the border. If Scottish bus drivers somehow becoming citizens of a different country to bus drivers in his own Bradford constituency has any relevance to his ability to be in solidarity with them, you have to wonder about the nature of his socialism and his solidarity.

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