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Wings Over Scotland

Playing with fire 178

Posted on April 07, 2014 by

Earlier today we highlighted two pieces of disgraceful, mendacious smearing by The Scotsman, in conjunction with an “anonymous” Labour MP. The articles coincided with a wider campaign of demonisation across most of the Scottish and UK media against supporters of independence, backed up by elected Labour representatives on social media in what might easily be seen as a co-ordinated attack.


The tweets above are from the account of semi-literate Labour councillor for East Kilbride, James Docherty. They follow a week in which the Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray described the placing of one or more small “Yes 2014” stickers on his constituency office windows as an “out of control” escalation of intimidation and Alistair Darling accused some people objecting to a businessman sending a document full of scaremongering lies to 500 employees of his company as “shaming Scotland”.

These hysterical smears would be laughable were it not for the consequences they may yet bring about. We highlight some of those consequences below.

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Project Fear By Numbers #2 119

Posted on March 31, 2014 by

Building into a thrilling partwork!


(When we’ve done all 12 of these we’ll be compiling them into a single massive post for easy reference, but it might have been a bit much to handle in one sudden burst.)

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They who will not hear 136

Posted on March 31, 2014 by

As we launch our exciting 12-part beginner’s guide to debunking the No campaign’s scaremongering strategy with a piece on the currency issue, a document sent in this morning by an alert reader couldn’t have come at a more timely moment.

It’s a letter written five weeks ago by Bill Munro, the elderly owner of holiday firm Barrhead Travel, which calls itself “the UK’s Number 1 Online Travel Agent”.


As you can see, it outlines a quite extraordinary apocalyptic scenario in the event of a Yes vote (“we would not be able to trade outwith Scotland for at least 3 years”), as part of a thinly-veiled diatribe aimed at frightening the company’s almost 500 employees into a No vote on pain of losing their jobs.

And even leaving aside the fact that it’s barking mad, the letter illustrates one of the greatest obstacles in the way of the Yes campaign – for all that people clamour and plead for “more information” about independence, information is only any good if people actually listen to it.

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Project Fear By Numbers 55

Posted on March 31, 2014 by

With less than six months to go until the referendum, Scots are turning more of their attention to the debate. Until now it’s largely been the province of politics nerds such as ourselves, but with the vote beginning to loom on the horizon normal people are starting to study the issues more closely.


So we thought it’d be useful to put up a handy reference guide to the core strategy of the No campaign, illuminatingly dubbed “Project Fear” by its own staff. Lacking any positive case for a No vote as Britain suffers through austerity with no end in sight, “Better Together” has by its own admission dedicated itself to terrorising the people of Scotland into sticking with the Union:

“We’re not complacent. But nothing would please the Nats more than us dumping negative campaigning, because they know it works.”

The relentless bombardment of scare stories is so frenetic it can seem overwhelming, but it’s a lot more manageable when you realise that almost everything the No camp says is a variation on one of just 12 basic themes.

So we’ve compiled a catalogue/manual of every fearbomb in their armoury, and alongside each one is the truth that defuses it. Don’t have nightmares.

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The nasty parties 162

Posted on March 15, 2014 by

Theresa May, the UK Home Secretary, yesterday told the Scottish Conservative conference that a Yes vote in the Scottish referendum would see the UK government putting up passport and immigration controls at the border.


Really? Rather than accept a common travel area, as exists with Ireland, the UK government would instigate full international border arrangements – arrangements which exist nowhere else in Europe – on the UK mainland?

Let’s just consider what that would require.

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The problem with polls 71

Posted on March 13, 2014 by

As commissioners of opinion polls ourselves, we know all too well that one of the more unwelcome aspects of the pursuit is that sometimes you don’t like the answers you get – we were noticeably dismayed, for example, by one or two of the things revealed about social attitudes in our last poll.


Today’s media extensively covers a Survation poll for the Daily Record which finds the highest Yes vote in some time (despite an “if the referendum was today” preamble, which generally works against Yes), equating to 45% Yes 55% No, with almost a quarter of Labour voters now planning to vote for independence.

The full tables aren’t yet available for analysis as we write this, so to while away the time we decided to have a proper delve in the last one from the same company, run on behalf of the Daily Mail last month. And a couple of things leapt right out at us.

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We less, we happy less 189

Posted on March 13, 2014 by

We’re given to believe that this is real, not a spoof.


Just when we thought our opinion of them couldn’t possibly sink any lower.

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All your ducks in a row 160

Posted on March 05, 2014 by

We’ve been known to remark from time to time that “Better Together” often has a little trouble getting its scare stories straight. “You won’t be allowed into the EU!” somehow manages to co-exist with “You’ll have to join the Euro!”, while “You wouldn’t be able to bail out the banks!” runs right alongside “All the banks will leave!”

So we take our hats well and truly off to all concerned for helpfully jamming them all together into one big mad super-scare today.

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The price of the BBC 204

Posted on March 03, 2014 by

We’ve been writing for quite a while now about the absurd-yet-deathless “Project Fear” scare story that an independent Scotland would lose access to BBC broadcasts (and thereby shows like Strictly Come Dancing, Match Of The Day, EastEnders, Doctor Who and, we dunno, Homes Under The Hammer or something), which was given another tired run-through last week by UK government culture secretary Maria Miller.


We’ve pointed out in some detail that it was complete nonsense, because the BBC is a commercial organisation which would actively seek to sell the rights to its output to Scotland, but what we haven’t been able to do previously was put a figure to the likely cost. Thanks to an alert reader, though, we can now fill in that gap.

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The meanings of life 81

Posted on March 02, 2014 by

This week’s edition of the Sunday Herald is a “referendum special” marking 200 days of the campaign to go (although actually it doesn’t have an awful lot more referendum coverage than a normal issue).


There are lots of things worth reading – as ever, we recommend spending a modest 69p for a digital copy via PressDisplay – but what really caught our eye were the two interviews with the heads of the Yes and No camps, Blairs Jenkins and McDougall.

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Feeling the Fear 321

Posted on February 28, 2014 by

We’ve kept you waiting for this (at least, if you follow our Twitter account), but it’s worth it. An alert reader sent it to us last night, and it’s NOT one of our always-popular spoofs. To the best of our knowledge it’s 100% genuine.


That’s right – the latest desperate plea for cash from the No camp is a chain letter.

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Nation speaking tunes unto nation 161

Posted on February 22, 2014 by





At least, we THINK we’ve got those the right way round.

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