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Wings Over Scotland

The broken promise 253

Posted on June 15, 2015 by

The first five words of “The Vow” – the solemn pledge made by all three UK party leaders on the eve of the independence referendum – are “The Scottish Parliament is permanent”. This is what happened in the House of Commons this evening when the UK government was asked to make good on that pledge.

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If we could turn back time 286

Posted on June 08, 2015 by

The Daily Record’s conscience is evidently still bothering it.


Having sold Scotland a pup back in September, the paper has spent much of the time since then frantically trying to present itself as the doughty and fearless champion of home rule. But it’s hard to see what it’s getting itself so worked up about.

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Hide the tiger 266

Posted on May 28, 2015 by

Earlier today we noted that the indyref had empowered the Scottish people to an extent that they seemed very reluctant to give up on. But plutocracies don’t become the establishment by giving up their thrones lightly, and so today we get this:


The above is a passage we selected completely at random from the Scotland Bill 2015, the administrative manifestation of “The Vow” and the Smith Commission. It’s entirely typical of the full 77-page document (PDF), which is essentially an unreadable wordspew completely impenetrable to normal people. And that’s no accident.

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The unwanted vow 164

Posted on May 06, 2015 by

We’ve done another poll in conjunction with our dear chums at Panelbase, readers, which we think will be the last full-size Scottish one before the polls open. You may already have seen their headline voting-intention stats, but if not they’re below.


Those numbers suggest, depending which electoral forecaster you feed them into, over 50 seats for the SNP. The poll delivered some extremely interesting results, but we’re going to tease you and hold most of them over until tomorrow, because it’ll actually be a really slow news day.

(September 18 last year was one of the most miserable days of our lives, and we’re not talking about the result. It just seemed to drag on forever and ever, with nothing happening until past midnight. This way there’ll at least be something to read.)

But as a little taster, here’s a fascinating info-nugget.

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That’ll be yer Vow, then 117

Posted on April 15, 2015 by

The Daily Record gets up high on its outrage horse this morning with a front-page story titled “Double-crossed on devo”, echoing Jim Murphy’s claim of yesterday that the Tories’ manifesto pledge on “English votes for English laws” is a “betrayal” of the “Vow” signed by the three UK party leaders before the independence referendum.


Unsurprisingly, the Record gives rather less prominence to the news that the Vow isn’t worth the fake parchment it wasn’t written on than it did to repeatedly hyping it up and then proclaiming that it had already been delivered.

But there’s a twist.

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Daily Record Spot The Truth Competition 123

Posted on February 26, 2015 by

Can you find the Daily Record’s prominent Smith Commission correction on the front page of its website today, readers? Take your time – it’s on there, we promise you.

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The relative size of the truth 112

Posted on February 26, 2015 by

Sometimes a picture can say a lot more than a thousand words. Below, to the left of the vertical red line on our graphic, you can see the prominence that the Daily Record gave to their lies about “The Vow” and the Smith Commission report, which were found to be false by the Independent Press Standards Organisation.


On the right of the line, at the same scale, is the prominence they gave to the truth.

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The plot stupids 110

Posted on February 26, 2015 by

The comical furore about The Nurse Who Definitely Isn’t An Actress shows no signs of making sense any time soon.

24 hours and several demented pages of hysterical tabloid shrieking later, we’re still not sure whether a No activist and Labour supporter from Clackmannanshire is called Suzanne Duncan (as “Better Together” called her until at least June last year) or “Suzanne Hunter” (as the Daily Record calls her), though a bit of Facebook detective work suggests the latter.

We do at least seem to have cleared up her employment history, as the Daily Record has now very quietly and subtly changed its article of last night, which claimed she’d worked for eight years at a hospital that’s only been open for five.


But a whole bundle of other questions remain unanswered.

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The Vow remains an orphan 103

Posted on February 24, 2015 by

Another letter from the government. Sounds a lot like the others.

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Setting the Record straight 176

Posted on February 20, 2015 by

The Independent Press Standards Organisation has delivered its verdict on the Daily Record’s coverage of the Smith Commission recommendations on 27 November 2014, after we lodged a complaint with the watchdog body.


We attach its findings below. (Emphases ours.)

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Winning ticket remains unclaimed 80

Posted on February 10, 2015 by

A number of readers last night sent us copies of the response to complaints they’d made to the Independent Press Standards Organisation about the Daily Record’s infamous “The Vow” front cover. We attach the full judgement at the bottom of this article, and as far as we’re concerned it’s fair and accurate. The Vow was a deliberate deception, but it didn’t break any rules – it merely relied on readers misinterpreting it.


The bit we’re still interested in is the paragraph above.

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28 Vows Later 258

Posted on February 03, 2015 by

We pondered long and hard over how best to analyse Scottish Labour’s bewildering, oh-my-God-they’re-really-calling-it-that “Vow Plus” fiasco from yesterday, readers.


We contemplated noting the absurdity of Gordon Brown being its frontman when he’s not standing in May and won’t be in Parliament to deliver it. We considered a forensic deconstruction showing how it’s just the same old reheated, uncosted rubbish they’ve been waffling around for the past years.

(“Give Holyrood control of housing benefit, separating it out from the rest of the UK’s Universal Credit by mumble mumble! Increase pensions using the extra cash freed up by mumble mumble! Devolve workfare, which somehow magically ‘creates jobs’ by mumble mumble! Pretend we just said ‘1000 nurses’ all along, not the demented ‘1000 more than anything the SNP say’!”)

We thought about pointing out all the comical flapping the party’s done around its devolution proposals, presenting the weary and confused Scottish people with feeble, grudging, underwhelming plan after feeble, grudging, underwhelming plan – at least five different ones since 2009 – and resentfully upping the offer by the bare minimum they think they can get away with every time.

And we wondered if it was worth drawing attention to the fact that the latest effort is actually basically the Strathclyde Commission blueprint from the Conservatives with a red sticker hastily slapped on it.

But in the end, the truth is a lot simpler than that.

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