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Wings Over Scotland



So tired of being lied to 237

Posted on April 20, 2021 by

The First Minister released a short film this week.

While it has the character of a hostage video, with terrorists just off-camera pointing a gun at the unfortunate victim and forcing them to read out a pre-prepared text, sadly we doubt that was the case. We think this is really what she believes and intends.

And that’s all kinds of disturbing.

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Talking nonce sense 72

Posted on April 12, 2021 by

The furore over a declaration signed by a number of Scottish organisations which appears to clearly call for the age of sexual consent to be reduced to 10 continues today, with a couple of appallingly biased articles in the Scotsman and the Times which attempt to use the controversy to attack both the Alba Party (as a distraction from its powerful key manifesto release on women’s rights) and this website.

Even just the tweet above by the author of the Times piece fails all kinds of basic journalistic standards of impartiality, but the article itself is vastly worse.

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Panic attacks 572

Posted on March 27, 2021 by

Any time you’re not sure whether something that happens in Scottish politics is good or bad for the cause of independence, here’s a top tip for you: see how the enemies of independence feel about it.

“Running scared” would seem to be a fair, if understated, summary.

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Agents of disinformation 154

Posted on February 16, 2021 by

Ulster-bred (specifically the ultra-Loyalist stronghold of Antrim) columnist Neil Mackay, a man who’s been systematically undermining and dividing the Yes movement since at least 2015 while claiming to be part of it, has an opinion piece in the Herald today.

In its own way it’s an exemplar of the infiltrator’s craft. Let’s take a look.

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The theory and practice of Crimestop 119

Posted on February 12, 2021 by

In an attempt to freshen up its usual panel of tired and tiresome politicians and pundits, last night’s Question Time (ostensibly from an oddly-vague location in “the North East”) featured moderately-known circus fortune-teller Gypsy Rose Petulengro, crossing her palm with silver for some analysis in a short break from one of her celebrated seances.

The clip above was her take on whether Nicola Sturgeon would resign if either of the current inquiries found that she’d systematically and repeatedly lied to Parliament and broken the Ministerial Code, and the strange thing about it was that for someone who was professing to be looking into the future, she didn’t even appear to know the basic pertinent facts of the present or the past.

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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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