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Wings Over Scotland

Down the memory hole again 123

Posted on January 12, 2024 by

The Scottish Government’s website about its controversial and extremely disturbing new “conversion practices” legislation assures citizens that the proposal was formed after consultation with an “Expert Advisory Group”.

But all of a sudden it doesn’t seem to want you to know who they were.

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The sounds of the silenced 323

Posted on August 01, 2018 by

Before we were so rudely interrupted, we were about to write a little more about the issues around the BBC’s takedown of this site’s YouTube channel. Because while we got a very respectable five-and-a-half minutes on Good Morning Scotland earlier today, you never have the time on radio or TV to say everything you want to.

Incidentally, we get the impression – nothing more solid than that – from a number of sources that BBC Scotland are somewhat out of the loop over the whole affair, and the impetus to silence Wings has actually come from London, which is slightly scarier. But aside from that, there are a number of really rather disturbing aspects to the situation.

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Out comes the whitewash 410

Posted on October 04, 2016 by

To be honest, readers, we gave up on taking any notice of David Torrance‘s mundane attempts at trolling in the Herald some time ago. But some alert readers pointed us towards this week’s column, suggesting that it was a bald rewriting of history some way beyond their usual bland irritancy.

This was the passage they objected to:


It’s a patronising piece of “shut up and eat your cereal” condescension for sure. But to be fair to Torrance, it does also happen to be true. Wait, not true. The other thing.

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Grassroots concreted over 153

Posted on May 14, 2014 by

Well, that was odd. No sooner had we posted a rather lightweight little piece this morning, revealing that the fake-grassroots “Vote No Borders” campaign had been in development since June 2012, than the story got a whole lot more interesting.

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Nothing to see here 132

Posted on May 06, 2014 by

Yesterday the BBC finally changed the headline and body text of its story about Lord Trimble’s comments on the impact of a Yes vote on Northern Irish politics, three days after the original and two days after the peer himself told BBC Radio Scotland that it totally misrepresented his views.


Better late than never. But there’s still something not quite right in the image above, and you’ll have to be one of our extra-specially alert readers to spot it.

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Fine-tuning the news 94

Posted on April 07, 2014 by

The image below depicts three of what have been at least four different versions of the Scotsman’s story about our latest Panelbase poll. (So far, that is – who knows what might happen in an hour’s time?)


They show a fascinating evolution of editorial line, wouldn’t you say?

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The memory hole 149

Posted on May 02, 2013 by

We weren’t exactly shocked to see the Scotsman still trying to flog the “evil cybernats” routine this morning with another story about Susan Calman, with the paper seizing on some comments from Fiona Hyslop as their excuse to keep the issue alive.

Today’s article, though, is noticeably more restrained than yesterday’s. It’s liberally sprinkled with disclaimers and caveats noting that the threats and abuse had been alleged, rather than reporting them as empirical facts. It even notes that Ms Calman has declined to comment further on the supposed events, implying that there were questions to be answered.


Then we got to the comments, and things started to get a bit weird.

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The sounds of silencing 129

Posted on March 20, 2013 by

Well, what a curious day this is shaping up as. As we scoured our Twitter feed in vain after the bewildering media blackout on the workfare vote, we also discovered that “Better Together” has been running around half the internet trying to censor a satirical video. To cut a long story short, you can download a copy of the video by right-clicking on the image below and choosing “Save As…” or “Save Link As…”.

(NB: Don’t left-click, as it will attempt to stream it and fail.)

We invite the No campaign to see if they can have it pulled from this site.


But that wasn’t the end. As people started to read our story on the workfare motion, we began to get tweets and comments questioning the quote we’d used, as it didn’t seem to appear anywhere in the article on the website. Confused, we went and had a look, and sure enough the original version had vanished, replaced by something much shorter and far more innocuous.

Luckily this isn’t our first time with internet censorship. At the time of writing there’s still a cached version of the original, and when that disappears you can read it here.

We’re not quite sure what’s happening today, but we don’t like it.

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Better late than never 72

Posted on February 20, 2013 by

It might have taken three days, but we got there in the end. After:


And before:

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Karine Polwart statement 24

Posted on February 17, 2013 by

Karine Polwart is a Scottish folk singer and Green Party supporter. Earlier today we highlighted a curious editorial choice by Scotland On Sunday, which framed a column she’d written on independence as an attack on the SNP, despite Ms Polwart not mentioning the SNP anywhere in the text, either directly or indirectly.

Below is the text of a post on her Facebook page this morning, after SoS deputy editor Kenny Farquharson tried unsuccessfully to defend the use of the anti-SNP headline:

“Full text of my wee rant in favour of Yes Scotland in today’s Scotland on Sunday. For clarity, the title is not mine. If I’d wanted to frame my piece as an explicit go at the SNP then I would’ve done so.

YES Scotland is not a covert SNP operation. I believe the independents, Greens, socialists, and growing number of pro-Indy Labour and Liberal activists bless if there are any of the latter left) must shape that agenda too. Anyway, here’s to more voices being heard, and more proper heartfelt and visionary exchange between us about what’s WRONG, and why, and what might fix it (whether you think Independence is a possible answer or not).”

(Two small typos fixed for readability, otherwise unchanged. Original here.)

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Mad horse disease 22

Posted on February 10, 2013 by

Finally overcome with embarrassment as the entire internet and the rest of the media laughed at it, Scotland on Sunday has pulled its lead story from today’s edition and replaced it with an completely new piece which the old links now redirect to.

The replacement article, written by a “Julia Horton” rather than the previous two-man team of Tom Peterkin and Brian Ferguson, relegates the absurd opposition attack on food standards minister Richard Lochhead to a footnote, and entirely removes the quotes from Labour’s Claire Baker and Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie (below).


As ever, the paper’s attempts to cover its tracks are futile. You can still find a cached version of the original, but in case it vanishes we’ve copied the entire piece here.

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Glass half smashed 30

Posted on January 13, 2013 by

Readers will recall that earlier this week we heartily recommended a fantastic article written by Irvine Welsh for Bella Caledonia. Talking of the “Trainspotting” author’s happy times living with family in England and discussing how Scottish independence could enhance British cultural unity, it was an enormously positive piece which was widely acclaimed and warmly received pretty much everywhere.

Scotland on Sunday saw it through rather different eyes. Ignoring the uplifting message of friendship entirely, it grasped on a couple of isolated lines (so to speak) from the 5000-word essay and used it as an excuse to run a story headlined “Irvine Welsh says young people better off dealing drugs than studying for meaningless degree”.

After being on the website for just a couple of hours (at time of writing we can’t confirm if it was in the print paper), the piece mysteriously vanished, not even being visible in Google Cache. But an alert Wings Over Scotland reader was on the cut-and-paste case. If you want to see SoS’s twisted interpretation of Welsh’s words, they’re below.

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