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Soapbox: The Hangman’s Lottery 351

Posted on February 14, 2015 by

In September 2011, a group of US state employees took a man called Troy Davis from his prison cell in Atlanta, Georgia to a small room and strapped him to a gurney. They inserted a needle into one of his veins, hooked it up to some tubes connected to a machine and pressed a button on the machine, knowing that it would cause lethal chemicals to be pumped into his bloodstream until he died of asphyxiation.

These people – every one of whom doubtless considered themselves an ordinary, decent, caring member of society – participated willingly in the killing despite knowing that there was an enormous degree of doubt as to whether Davis was in any way responsible for the death of the man in whose name he was being executed.

Bafflingly, very few people found this behaviour at all odd.

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Soapbox: Happy hours 371

Posted on February 07, 2015 by

So, an experiment. Here on Wings we don’t tend to deal very much in specific political issues, other than independence. We’re not aligned to any party, and our primary goal is to see Scotland become a national democracy in which all voices can be heard. We happen to be on the left of the political spectrum, but that’s neither here nor there while Scotland’s politics are at the mercy of the whims of voters elsewhere.

But just for a change of pace at the weekends, when there tends not to be much happening, we thought we might try having a space where broader ideas can be debated outwith the framework of the constitutional debate or party politics. If there’s something you’d like to talk about in front of a sizeable audience, drop us a line.


To give you an idea of what we mean, we’re going to start off by outlining a personal pet idea we’ve had for years, and which is an attempt to tackle one of Scotland’s most toxic problems – alcohol abuse. It’s a simple concept, it’s cheap to implement, it doesn’t punish the innocent and it seems like it’d work. See what you think.

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