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Wings Over Scotland

Fleeing the field 165

Posted on August 17, 2014 by

The media coverage of the first TV debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling was a classic, but transparent, stitch-up. A poll which had a majority Unionist sample before the debate began duly reported a “victory” for Darling, even though among the sample’s small number of undecideds most thought Salmond had won.

But that crooked measurement was enough to justify a week-long frenzy of front pages portraying the debate as a fatal disaster for the First Minister and an epic, decisive triumph for the angry former Chancellor. Inconveniently, two new polls this weekend both showing a swing to Yes and a single-figure No lead somewhat undermine that narrative, but the No campaign is nevertheless desperate to quit while it’s ahead.

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A circular argument 155

Posted on April 30, 2014 by

You can’t make this stuff up.


Yes Glasgow has been inviting No speakers to take part in this Thursday’s event for literally months. They’ve contacted every single MP and MSP from a Unionist party representing a Glasgow seat, asking them to participate. They offered from the very beginning to let “Better Together” co-organise and co-host the debate, which will be chaired by the neutral Electoral Reform Society Scotland.

The only reason that “everyone on the platform is a Yes supporter” is because nobody from the No side is prepared to face the Glasgow public and put their case. The opportunity is still there. We confess ourselves perplexed that they seem determined to refuse it, and then to complain bitterly that the debate is one-sided.

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Failure to engage 108

Posted on February 06, 2014 by

For some time now, we’ve been documenting a couple of intriguing aspects of the No campaign. One is its apparent shortage of grassroots activists, leaving “Better Together” to instead rely on the Scottish and UK media to get its message out. The other is a reluctance to engage in public debate with adults.


Where BT has deigned to participate in public hustings at all, the bulk of the events have been those at schools and colleges. Invited to debate independence in front of crowds of grown-ups, the No camp is oddly reticent, as we discovered ourselves last year when we offered to pay for and set up a head-to-head, with a neutral and mutually-approved chair, between respective campaign figureheads Dennis Canavan and Alistair Darling, getting only abuse in response.

Of course, a bunch of evil cybernats such as ourselves might expect to be rebuffed. But what if the cuddly, respectable official Yes Scotland organisation had a go?

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Scorched Ayrth 174

Posted on November 01, 2013 by

We’re really, really sorry about that headline, on several levels.


But wait until you see what this one’s about.

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The Tallinn Protocols 189

Posted on August 25, 2013 by

Alert readers will be aware that we like to occasionally have a bit of light-hearted satirical fun pointing out the gulf in numbers between grassroots campaigners on the Yes side of the independence debate and their counterparts in the No camp.


But we’ve been gathering evidence of a much more sinister side to the phenomenon.

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The spokesman who won’t speak 236

Posted on August 02, 2013 by

So, slightly to our surprise, we actually just got a reply from Blair McDougall to our email offering to put on a debate between Alistair Darling and Dennis Canavan at a mutually-convenient time and location and with a neutral host.


You can read it below.

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Project Feart? 41

Posted on July 31, 2013 by

We’re now in the sixth day of our attempt to arrange a public debate between the respective chairmen of the Yes and No campaigns, Dennis Canavan and Alistair Darling. Yes Scotland director Blair Jenkins accepted on behalf of Mr Canavan some days ago, but despite his “Better Together” counterpart Blair McDougall initially agreeing (on the misunderstanding that we were inviting him rather than Mr Darling), he’s yet to respond to several further enquiries.


We rang the BT offices in Glasgow just after two o’clock this afternoon, but Mr McDougall was “in meetings” (though he was posting tweets two minutes beforehand) and the person we spoke to couldn’t tell us when we might be able to get hold of him. We left a message asking him to get in touch when he had a minute. We’ll let you know when we hear anything.

The angry mob 200

Posted on July 01, 2013 by

Yesterday the No campaign’s Rob Murray responded to allegations of scaremongering by complaining on Twitter that supporters of independence “don’t like debate”.


For some unknown reason he didn’t reply to our observation that “Better Together” has banned hundreds of would-be debaters from its Facebook page for politely raising various awkward issues about “Project Fear”, but later the same day rather more disturbing news reached us of some events in the north of Scotland.

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