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Wings Over Scotland

The bones of what you’ll believe 131

Posted on June 08, 2014 by

The lies you get 137

Posted on May 25, 2014 by

Having spent the last few months pleading poverty and pitiful-underdog status, “Better Together” this week appeared to have suddenly remembered that £500,000 cheque it got ages ago from Tory oil tycoon (and friend of genocidal war criminals everywhere) Ian Taylor, and started spending some of it.


12-page colour inserts in newspapers like the Daily Record and Guardian don’t come cheap, and hundreds of thousands of Scots found themselves looking at a small booklet which didn’t identify its source until the very last page, and could have been taken by the unwary to have been a production by the newspapers themselves.

(Especially given the little pale blue “sticker” on the front using what looks very much like the Guardian’s own typeface).

But that was the least of the dishonesty in “The Facts You Need”.

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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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Liars plague our land 191

Posted on May 23, 2014 by

This is the latest cinema ad from fake-grassroots campaign group “Vote No Borders”:

And below is why it’s a despicable, shameful lie.

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Fear of flying 218

Posted on May 17, 2014 by

We suppose we should at least commend the “Vote No Borders” campaign for a certain level of frankness. While their output is little different to the daily hysterical fearmongering of “Better Together”, at least they don’t try to pretend that it’s “positive”.

Sadly, when it comes to the relationship their assertions have with the truth, however, they’re singing very much from the same hymn sheet.

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Keep fishing 87

Posted on May 04, 2014 by

Despite the strikingly unequivocal nature of David Trimble’s clarification yesterday of his comments about the independence referendum’s potential impact on Northern Irish politics, remarkably the media are today still trying to spin them into a dire warning about a Yes vote causing renewed violence in the province.

The picture below is a page from this morning’s Sunday Times.

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A pro journalism tip 305

Posted on May 02, 2014 by

As people who commission opinion polls occasionally, a thing that puzzles us is why other people who do it ask questions and then don’t talk about the results.

Some polls are done with the intention of being for private consumption only (this is particularly true when they’re commissioned by one side or the other in a debate, rather than by a notionally-impartial newspaper or the pollster themselves), and at other times results will be kept private because the results are unfavourable to the people who commissioned them.

(For the avoidance of doubt, we’ve never withheld any results for that reason.)


But at other times, results will be published but never discussed. Which is why, whenever a poll’s just come out these days, we get ourselves straight over to the polling company’s website and see what’s been left out.

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The headline ferret 120

Posted on April 29, 2014 by

Alert readers will be familiar with a phenomenon we often like to highlight in these pages – that of the dramatic newspaper headline which rapidly turns into something completely different by the time you read the text of the story.


There’s an especially fine example in today’s Telegraph.

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Bring me sunshine 112

Posted on April 24, 2014 by

Remember how the No campaign was definitely going to be much more positive from now on, pushing a feelgood “sunshine strategy” to persuade Scots that the UK was the best of both worlds?


Let’s see how that’s going, shall we?

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Politics for vegans 223

Posted on April 22, 2014 by

If you’ve ever found yourselves in a situation where you’re dating someone from the hardcore militant wing of vegetarianism, readers, you’ll know that their life – and by extension yours – quickly becomes defined by what’s missing.

Whether shopping or going out to a restaurant or a surprisingly large number of other things, hazards you’d never previously imagined loom menacingly everywhere. Veggie “beanburgers” often apparently contain unadvertised cheese, innocent-looking sweeties turn out to be glazed with beeswax, and so on.


But soon you familiarise yourself with the “everything-free” aisle in supermarkets, where much more expensive facsimiles of normal foodstuffs – now bereft of dairy, gluten, sugar and goodness knows what else – reside, leaving you to wonder over the mysteries of the sinister-sounding unheard-of substances they’ve replaced them with.

And increasingly, so it is with politics.

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Barely worth the bother 112

Posted on April 22, 2014 by

Even the faithful Scottish media can scarcely rouse itself to hype up Gordon Brown’s latest lumbering “intervention” in the independence debate this morning. The Scotsman buries the story in a corner of page 5, below a big spread about the ongoing implosion of CBI Scotland, and it doesn’t make the Herald’s online front page at all.


(Indeed, even in the paper’s “Referendum News” section it’s only story #6, below the CBI, more attacks on Alistair Darling’s leadership of the No campaign and a vile piece of “FOREIGNERS!” dog-whistle politicking from Labour nonentity Gregg McClymont.)

It’s not too hard to work out why.

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They talk a lot of wind 108

Posted on April 10, 2014 by

There’s a wonderful opening paragraph in today’s Courier that we’ll quote in full:

“The UK’S Energy Secretary has accused the SNP of employing ‘negative politics of fear and bullying’ as he warned bills could rocket by as much as £189 a year in the event of independence.”

That virtuoso display of Olympic-class irony from Mr Davey was part of the latest fearbomb from the No camp – Nick Clegg’s plea for a “Sunshine Strategy” apparently having been a casualty of Lord Robertson’s “cataclysm” – in the shape of yet another “Scotland Analysis” report from the UK government insisting that every single aspect of Scottish independence would be comprehensively and unequivocally disastrous.

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