stooges of the Kremlin

Wings Over Scotland

Here come the drums 265

Posted on August 21, 2016 by

Today’s Sunday Times didn’t bother with any subtlety in its signalling of how people should expect the Scottish media to handle next week’s GERS figures.


So we’ll just leave these here:

The limitations of GERS

The five key facts about GERS

The wishful believers

Gazing into the black hole

There’ll be nothing but repeats of all last year’s articles in the papers, so there doesn’t seem to be much point in re-writing all the rebuttals. We’d advise readers not to expect to hear any of the facts or arguments in any of the above articles aired on TV or radio discussions of the new figures either. For the sake of your blood pressure, it’s probably best to stick to old QI repeats on Dave for the next eight days.

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Dirty old pot attacks non-kettle 437

Posted on July 11, 2016 by

Some of you will have missed this over the weekend:

Yes – Michelle Mone, of all the people on Earth, really did just go on TV and accuse Nicola Sturgeon of being all about ego. We’ll leave you to absorb that for a bit.

The five key facts about GERS 216

Posted on March 13, 2016 by

[EDIT 24 August 2016: This article has now been updated here.]

It’s Sunday, so there is of course one last convulsive orgy of “BLACK HOLE!” articles in all the papers, as every Unionist hack and pundit in the land falls over themselves to portray their own country as a useless scrounging subsidy junkie without actually using the exact words “too wee, too poor, too stupid”.

Everywhere you look there’s a “Proud Scot” screaming about how Scottish revenue this year being 1% lower than it was last year has comprehensively demolished a case for independence that those same people have spent most of the last four years stridently insisting never existed in the first place.


So before everyone moves on to a new “SCOTLAND BAD” next week, we thought it was worth a short recap of what we’ve learned about a devolved Scotland’s financial books this week.

Because for all the complex arguments, mad comedy graphs ludicrously pretending that Scotland is a less viable nation than Greece or Latvia or Cyprus or Malta and bewildering arrays of incomprehensible stats, there are only five things you really need to know about GERS.

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Better Together 1776 139

Posted on March 10, 2016 by

It turns out Scotland isn’t the first country to be too wee, too poor and too stupid for independence from the mighty and benificent United Kingdom.



Gazing into the black hole 93

Posted on March 09, 2016 by

Economics: The art of explaining why all of your models fail to accurately predict either the future or the past.

It’s the time of year again when everyone glances at the first page of a dense booklet of complex economic data and immediately starts using it to make wild forecasts and proclamations despite the long-known problems with doing so.


So it’s also, once again, time to try looking a little further to tease out some details that others might have – let’s be generous here – accidentally missed.

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The shorter version 122

Posted on March 09, 2016 by

This year’s GERS figures will be published today, purporting to illustrate the financial relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK. With oil revenues down, they’ll undoubtedly provoke an orgasmic explosion of glee among Unionists crowing about “black holes” and how Scotland is too wee, too poor and too stupid to survive alone.




We’ve already run an extremely detailed explanation of all the flaws and booby-traps in GERS, but of course we’re a pro-independence website and we would say that. So instead we’ll direct you to someone who’s very much NOT on our side.

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Truth and wrongs 284

Posted on January 25, 2016 by

Below is a 17-minute section of this afternoon’s John Beattie show on BBC Radio Scotland, featuring me and an amateur blogger with a keen interest in Pedigree Chum discussing the effect of the lower oil price on the Scottish economy.

(John Beattie Show, BBC Radio Scotland, 25 January 2016)

Happily, by the end of the show everyone on all sides was agreed that the lower oil price will actually benefit the Scottish economy overall, with the positive effects driving growth and outweighing the downside of lower corporation tax receipts.

So that’s genuine progress – next time some frothing Yoon screams “OIL PRICE! BLACK HOLE! SNP LIES! TOO WEE, TOO POOR!” at you, you can direct them here for categorical agreement from the Yes and No sides alike that actually the falling oil price makes an independent Scotland MORE economically viable, not less.

Unfortunately you’ll have to put up with a condescending, patronising arse sniggering randomly throughout, but it’s a relatively small price to pay.

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Chiels that ding 251

Posted on November 19, 2015 by

The Unionist media has leapt on former SNP adviser Alex Bell’s blog post about the economic case for independence this week like a starving dog thrown a sausage.

It’s been wringing articles out of it for days, the latest being Torcuil Crichton’s column in today’s Daily Record, in which the unembarrassable hack (last seen trumpeting an entirely imaginary £20bn increase in Holyrood’s budget from the Smith Commission proposals) rather audaciously takes someone else to task over an economic “lie”.


Bell’s article is such self-evidently weak sauce that we haven’t bothered with it until now. But as it seems clear that the papers are going to talk about nothing else for the forseeable future, we may as well point out the obvious.

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A poverty of imagination 185

Posted on October 24, 2015 by

We don’t follow many Unionists on social media, because you end up wasting your day arguing pointlessly with a lot of people who are never going to change their minds and getting in a bad mood. But we’re told they were all very excited about an article in yesterday’s Daily Record.


Penned by the paper’s political editor Davie Clegg, it’s a long diatribe about how the fall in oil revenues has created a black hole which now means Scotland is – stand by for a surprise! – too wee and too poor to be independent.

So far so meh – it’s not like it’s the first time we’ve heard that record played, after all. But as you can see from the image above, there’s also quite an interesting challenge printed in giant capitals at the foot of the page. We’re not in the Scottish Government, but it’s a rainy Saturday so we thought we might have a go.

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A straightforward offer 270

Posted on June 16, 2015 by

Unionists got very excited last week when the Office for Budget Responsibility once again downgraded its long-term North Sea oil revenue forecasts (which in 2011 it was predicting at £131bn) to just £2.1bn over 20 years. The new figure was as usual treated as a gospel fact and deployed to attack both independence and full fiscal autonomy by proving that Scotland couldn’t afford to run its own affairs.

We and others pointed out the numerous flaws in that argument, but of course those are just points of view. We could all debate it all day and all night and never achieve a consensus. There is, however, an easy way to settle the matter, by which supporters and opponents of independence and FFA alike can both put their money where their mouths are and everyone will be happy.


It really couldn’t be simpler.

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The party that cried “Wolf!” 243

Posted on April 26, 2015 by

There’s a fascinating detail in the latest Panelbase/Sunday Times survey of Scottish public opinion, which shows a further 2.5% swing to the SNP compared to the same company’s last poll earlier this month.


Those are some remarkable figures, but they tell a much wider story.

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Tilting at windmills 346

Posted on April 10, 2015 by

With the “biggest party forms the government” lie now sunk and rusting slowly on the seabed (weighed down even further by polls suggesting that Labour actually will be the largest party even if they lose all of Scotland to the SNP), and four weeks of campaigning left to fill, Scottish Labour have had to grab a hammer, smash the glass on the “EMERGENCY – IN CASE OF DESPERATION” box and clutch desperately at whatever they found inside.


The abject answer is “Project Fear 2 – This Time It’s Full Fiscal Autonomy”.

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