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Wings Over Scotland



The meaning of power 519

Posted on May 09, 2019 by

Context phobia 418

Posted on April 22, 2019 by

Alert readers will know by now that there’s nothing the Scottish media – and the Scottish Daily Mail in particular – likes more than printing scary-sounding figures with no context whatsoever by which people could judge how big or small they really are.

Nothing’s changed today (other than a rather sneaky inset shot of an old story about a different statistic which misleadingly makes today’s one look like a big increase), so rather than bang on we’ll just fill in the blanks: ScotRail runs around 760,000 trains a year, so this year’s cancellation figures amount to about 3.5% of all trains.

Which is to say, around one time in every 30 that you go to get a train it’ll have been cancelled and you’ll have to wait for the next one, which on the average commuter line will probably mean 15-20 minutes.

Which is still a pain in the hole, of course, but if it’s such a high number ask yourself why the Mail is so pathologically averse to simply telling you what percentage it is.

We’ll see you again with these figures in a few weeks, folks.

When Fact Checks Fail 381

Posted on March 21, 2019 by

Wings Over Scotland isn’t the only website dedicated to scrutinising the truthfulness of things claimed by politicians and media pundits. There’s the widely-respected and diligent FullFact.org, there’s Scotland’s own The Ferret, and there’s the BBC’s Reality Check (which frequently takes the more unconventional approach of, er, not making a finding either way about what the reality of things is).

And then there’s Channel 4’s FactCheck, which we’re going to generously assume had a liquid lunch yesterday and was a little under the weather.

Because not only is the conclusion that it reached on the subject of an independent Scotland having to use the Euro utter nonsense that’s been debunked roughly 1000 times in the last six years, it doesn’t even agree with itself.

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A trick we’ve seen before 431

Posted on March 13, 2019 by

The Scotsman is delighted to have some bad news to report:

So, the number of teachers is falling, right?

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A beginner’s guide to stupid 55

Posted on March 10, 2019 by

Michael Glackin of the Sunday Times is the only serious contender to the Scotsman’s demented Brian Wilson as the most poisonously, blindly instinctive hater of anything even passingly connected to the SNP or independence in the Scottish media. His weekly bilious rants in the paper make even Scottish Daily Express hacks wince and say “Blimey, that’s a bit strong”.

But even by those standards, this week’s column is quite something. So let’s take a little look at just how much of an idiot you can make of yourself if you never allow facts to get in the way of your rage.

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The broken telescope 539

Posted on December 29, 2018 by

An alert reader spotted this today:

Because with Scottish Labour, lying is for life, not just Christmas.

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Taking the strain 284

Posted on December 03, 2018 by

We’re on about Day 79 of NoScottishPoliticsNewsGate (today’s big “EXCLUSIVE!” in the Herald is something we told you about last Friday, and was also an “exclusive” in yesterday’s Scottish Sun), so we found ourselves getting diverted by something else in the papers this morning.

The Scottish Daily Mail had a piece on the cost of train journeys from Scotland, and living in Bath you don’t need to tell us how scandalously expensive British railways are compared to almost any other country in the Northern Hemisphere.

But the Mail is the Mail, and it couldn’t help distorting even an open-goal of a story like that until it had almost no relation to reality. And it’s a very useful illustration, should anybody need yet another one, of how this country’s newspapers vastly mislead their readers without actually technically lying.

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Something smells fishy 275

Posted on November 29, 2018 by

From today’s Daily Mail:

The headline is, of course, a lie.

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Ifs and buts and maybes 170

Posted on November 01, 2018 by

Alert readers may have noticed that for a non-holiday period, Scottish politics is a deathly quiet place at the moment. Papers are struggling to find anything to write about at all, and were beside themselves with joy this week when presented with the chance to fabricate a ridiculous “anti-Semitism” story about an obscure blogger criticising a trade union and fill several pages with hysterical fauxtrage over it.

The sheer dearth of anything happening whatsoever is typified by the Scottish Daily Mail’s front-page splash this morning.

It sounds dramatic – a potentially catastrophic en-masse exodus of Scotland’s doctors would certainly be a crisis. But anyone reading beyond the lurid headline will swiftly discover a rather less doom-laden reality.

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Another disaster for Scotland 535

Posted on October 29, 2018 by

As if it wasn’t enough that one small country had to cope with the terrible burden of hundreds of billions of pounds of volatile oil revenues, now we have to face the grim prospect that with fossil fuels being phased out across the world to protect the climate, Scotland also produces TOO MUCH cheap, clean, infinitely renewable energy.

No wonder the Unionists think we’re too wee and too poor to go it alone.

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Another crushing defeat 451

Posted on October 28, 2018 by

From today’s Scottish Mail On Sunday:

Blimey, a “hammering”? Well, we suppose after 14 years in power they’ll have had a good run, so who’s going to replace them as the next Scottish Government?

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A rapid improvement 284

Posted on October 17, 2018 by

The Scottish Daily Mail today has a big headline relaying the seemingly-unambiguous bad news that unemployment in Scotland has apparently risen by 11,000.

But cheer up, folks, because better times are ahead.

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