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Wings Over Scotland

The outstanding balance 591

Posted on February 10, 2019 by

We had an interesting exchange with Scottish Labour MP Paul Sweeney this week on the deathless lie that is the “fiscal transfer” – the £10bn or so that Unionists rather startlingly insist the rest of the UK generously donates to Scotland every year out of the goodness of its heart, just for the pleasure of our company.

As you can see, the debate was of a high intellectual standard.

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The useless Samaritans 76

Posted on September 15, 2013 by

We’ve been meaning to nag someone to present this data in a super-snappy visual form for ages, then what do you know except that the splendid Stewart Bremner just pops up out of nowhere and does it without even being asked.


Independence will NOT “abandon England to the Tories”. If the people of the rest of the UK choose to vote Tory, we can’t save them from themselves, even were we to be so arrogant as to assume we had any business doing so. If they choose to vote Labour, they’re equally capable of electing them just fine without our help.

Scottish votes are almost totally irrelevant to UK elections. We have no impact on the government England gets. They, on the other hand, force governments that we voted against on us more than 60% of the time. That’s not a union of equals. That’s the political equivalent of domestic abuse. It’s never the wrong time to walk away.

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The invisible truth 4

Posted on February 12, 2012 by

There are some stories which persist long after they’ve been debunked, a recent example being Joan McAlpine’s supposed accusation that anyone opposing the SNP was “anti-Scottish”. However many times it was shown that she didn’t say any such thing, however often she explained what she HAD said, the lie kept being perpetuated (and will doubtless continue to be in the coming months and years) by people who knew full well it wasn’t true, because it suited their agenda to do so.

The notion that Scotland is massively subsidised by England is another such political legend, and we don’t imagine for a second that this story from today’s Sunday Times will stop the endless stream of idiots on the Telegraph, Mail and Express (both above and below the line) from continuing to assert it at every opportunity.

But at least now you can handily link them to the actual facts, even if they don’t want to hear them. The full article can be read below.

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Alex Salmond Dictator-Comparison Bingo! 59

Posted on February 03, 2012 by

It won’t have come as any surprise to SNP supporters that the media – the same one that devoted hundreds of column inches to misrepresenting Joan McAlpine’s “anti-Scottish” comments on Twitter – was today absolutely silent on Labour MP Denis McShane’s comparison of Alex Salmond to Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic.

MacShane, who voted in favour of the Iraq War, hasn’t deleted the tweet, despite a storm of protest on Twitter. But he’s only the latest in a long line of Unionist politicians to compare Scotland’s democratically elected First Minister (who as far as we know isn’t implicated in a single death) to murderous genocidal dictators.

Labour in particular are fond of crying about the nasty cybernat “bullies” who occasionally call Labour politicians names online, but those are pseudonymous internet users with not a shred of evidence that any of them are members of – or even vote for – the SNP. We’re not aware of any elected Nat representative or even pro-independence journalist ever having likened Gordon Brown or Tony Blair or Ed Miliband to Hitler, but the brave defenders of the Union have no such scruples. MacShane is merely the latest in a long and ignoble line, so we thought it’d be a good idea to keep track and see if we can get a full house.

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Why Labour doesn’t need Scotland 111

Posted on January 10, 2012 by

One of Labour’s sneakier tricks in opposing Scottish independence is to appeal to Scottish voters’ sense of social responsibility. The former party of socialist internationalism begs the Scots to show Unionist solidarity with their poor comrades in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who would – the story runs – be abandoned permanently to the mercies of the evil Tories if the Westminster Parliament was deprived of its traditional sizeable block of Labour MPs from Scotland.

This narrative is regularly propagated by Labour’s friends in the media (and sometimes by gleeful Tories too). Only today, for example, the Scotsman carries the line in a piece which asserts that an independent Scotland would leave David Cameron “with an inbuilt Tory majority for his party in the rest of the UK”.

There are, of course, innumerable things wrong with this argument – for one, the dubious morality of using Scottish MPs to impose a Labour government on English voters who may have rejected one, when Scotland has its own Parliament and England doesn’t. (An offshoot of the timeless West Lothian Question.) And for another, the highly questionable premise that the modern-day Labour Party is ideologically significantly different from the Tories anyway.

But the biggest problem with the notion is simply that it’s completely untrue.

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Missing the point of a referendum 3

Posted on November 15, 2011 by

Scottish Labour embarrassed themselves horribly today when they jumped on comments from SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell in which he noted that the Scottish Government was only legally empowered to hold an advisory referendum on independence rather than a binding one. Not withstanding the fact that ALL referenda in the UK are only advisory, whether conducted by Holyrood or Westminster or anyone else, Labour’s humiliating blunder was in triumphantly asserting there was something new about this position, when in fact the very first sentence of the SNP’s National Conversation website – dating back over two years – says the exact same thing:

“The First Minister has outlined plans for a public consultation on a draft Referendum Bill which sets out proposals for an advisory referendum on extending the powers of the Scottish Parliament.”

But there’s another aspect to the nature of referenda that everyone seems to be inexplicably overlooking of late. The Unionist parties have recently ramped up a campaign in which they demand the SNP “clarify” every last item of policy in an independent Scotland, from currency and EU membership to renewable energy transmission costs, pension provision, and all the way down to what colour the First Minister’s going to paint Bute House’s front door. What nobody seems to have grasped is the fairly crucial point that that’s not what a referendum is for.

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