The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

The Big Secrets

Posted on March 01, 2021 by

After this morning’s mini stats post, quite a few people have asked in the comments if there’s any means of comparison between Wings and mainstream media outlets. And the shortest answer is no. The Scottish press is terribly coy about its online readership, offering almost nothing by way of verified figures.

(For a meaningful comparison it would also be necessary to separate out their politics coverage from general news, sport and everything else, which they’ve never done.)

But what used to be possible was at least comparing their print sales, via the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures that newspapers published monthly (for national media) or six-monthly (for supposedly “regional” papers like the Herald and Scotsman), which we kept a record of in our Reference section.

When we went to look at the page today we noticed we hadn’t updated it in just over a year, and figured it could do with a dusting and sprucing. But we were in for a surprise.

Because now a hefty chunk (42%) of the Scottish media simply keeps its sales figures a secret. Either their ABC certificates have been made private or they’ve withdrawn from the organisation entirely. These were the best we could do:

(All figures are full-price daily sales in Scotland.)


The Scottish Sun PRIVATE
 (Dec 2019: 137,884)
Daily Record 79,598
 (Dec 2019: 104,906)
Scottish Daily Mail 51,666
 (Dec 2019: 68,370)
Scottish Daily Express 23,891
 (Dec 2019: 31,768)
Daily Star 19,565
 (Dec 2019: 25,747)
 (Dec 2019: 13,538)
Daily Telegraph PRIVATE
 (Dec 2019: 5,185)
Daily Mirror 5,165
 (Dec 2019: 6,906)
The Guardian 1,628
 (Dec 2019: 4,234)
Financial Times 418
 (Dec 2019: 1,242)


Press & Journal (Aberdeen) 24,546
 (Dec 2019: 39,189)
The Courier (Dundee) 22,167
 (Dec 2019: 29,905)
The Herald (Glasgow) WITHDRAWN FROM ABC
Evening Express (Aberdeen) 13,696
 (Dec 2019: 17,077)
Evening Times (Glasgow) WITHDRAWN FROM ABC
Evening News (Edinburgh) WITHDRAWN FROM ABC
The Scotsman (Edinburgh) 9,074
 (Dec 2019: 11,718)
Evening Telegraph (Dundee) 8,441
 (Dec 2019: 10,237)
The National (Scotland) WITHDRAWN FROM ABC
Greenock Telegraph (Greenock) WITHDRAWN FROM ABC
Paisley Daily Express (Paisley) 3,387
 (Dec 2019: 3,917)


Sunday Mail 84,768
 (Dec 2019: 103,940)
The Sun On Sunday PRIVATE
 (Dec 2019: 100,258)
Sunday Post 52,220
 (Dec 2019: 67,661)
Scottish Mail On Sunday 52,673
 (Dec 2019: 56,111)
Sunday Times PRIVATE
 (Dec 2019: 30,721)
Scottish Sunday Express 15,696
 (Dec 2019: 17,734)
Daily Star Sunday 11,165
 (Dec 2019: 13,429)
The Observer 7,260
 (Dec 2019: 8,522)
Sunday Telegraph PRIVATE
 (Dec 2019: 3,348)
Sunday Mirror 4,597
 (Dec 2019: 5,215)



Among the papers still releasing public numbers those are some stiff drops – typically 20% or more in a year, despite public thirst for news during the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that supermarkets and newsagents have been exempt from lockdowns. (And that a lot of people have been cooped up at home and had a lot more time to read papers if they’d wanted to.)

None of that helps us make comparisons, of course. One thing we can say is that on a typical day, Wings has more unique users than sales of any paper except the Sun, Record and Daily Mail.

But if the state of the online presences of the Scottish Sun and the Daily Record in particular are anything to go by, not many people are viewing their limited amounts of political coverage on the web either, because the sites are all but unreadable under in some cases literally hundreds of extremely low-grade (Taboola etc) ads per page.

(We haven’t been able to read Herald or National pages without our browsers crashing under the strain for months and months, even though they’re both paywalled and really shouldn’t be subjecting their readers to vast numbers of ads too. The Times, Guardian and Telegraph are ad-free.)

So while we simply don’t have the data to make any definitive statements, it’s a pretty reasonable supposition that Wings Over Scotland is simply the most-read political media outlet in Scotland, full stop. And all without any ads or paywalls.

On any available metric of engagement (number of reader comments per story, say) – which might also give a clue as to readership – we’re miles ahead of any newspaper site, and that’s despite NOT getting free plugs on TV and radio every day and night in “The Papers” roundups and being studiously ignored in general except for smears.

So if we were them, we’d probably want to keep our numbers quiet too.


[EDIT 2pm: It suddenly dawned on us that there was one like-for-like comparison available, in the form of internet traffic analyser SimilarWeb. So we ran Wings’ figures for January – which are likely to be about half of February’s, but SW usually takes a week to compile monthly stats so we don’t have those yet –  up against the top-selling Scottish newspaper, The Sun.

Those aren’t bad figures even on the topline. SimilarWeb shows 3.7m pageviews in January for Wings – one bloke with a PC – compared to 12.8m for the Scottish Sun, a fully-staffed and resourced newspaper.

But how many of theirs are for political stories? Politics isn’t even one of the 14 main headings listed on the Sun’s sub-banner, and only ONE of the top 100 stories on its front page today is a politics one (and even that was really a coronavirus story).

So even if we made a super-generous estimate of 5% for the Sun’s politics traffic – probably at least five times the reality – that’d be just 0.64m pageviews for politics stories on the website of the country’s best-selling paper compared to Wings’ 3.7m.

At the other end of the spectrum, – probably the most political of all the Scottish newspaper websites – gets 8.6m pageviews according to SimilarWeb, but it’d probably still be a stretch to put more than a third of its content in that category – it has a LOT of sport and general news – which would be 2.9m.]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

119 to “The Big Secrets”

  1. ScottieDog says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised if the National was in decline.

  2. Stoker says:

    Your comparisons are misleading. You deal in news they peddle propaganda. 😉 GIRFU the lot of them. Propaganda outlets one & all.

  3. alan scott says:

    I wonder how many of your February readers are Unionists like myself enjoying the spectacle of Nationalism falling apart.

  4. Captain Yossarian says:

    Folk read newspapers for news and that requires investigative journalists.

    Scottish papers don’t employ any investigative journalists nowadays, maybe with the exception of The Sunday Post.

    The other just print pap fed to them by Nicola’s SPADS and who wants to buy a paper to read that stuff? Even the BBC, who have the resources, take the easy way-out and comply with Nicola’s SPADS. Even STV is showing more gumption nowadays than the BBC.

    Journalism, other than this website, is coming to us via the UK papers and Sky News.

  5. ClanDonald says:

    The only thing keeping these rags open is the pandemic support from the tax payers. There will be some major collapses once Covid is over and they have to stand on their own two feet again.

  6. Can you try and advertise with some of them, solely in politics stories, to find out how much that would cost to gauge their usage?

  7. blackhack says:

    I gave up on the daily record when Ewan Bain died and Angus Ogg and Big Lachie were no more….Never missed it since then.

  8. Republicofscotland says:

    Wow, there all on a downward slope, and I’d imagine those that are marked private are also on that slippery slope its just they don’t want the public to know it.

    The National newspaper claimed it had around 11,000 sales, I can’t recall if that was just online or a combination of both.

    I think the Scottish and English governments are now funding some of them and journalism as well, they’ve got to keep the propaganda on track or else the die-hards will realise that the union is not fit for purpose.

  9. Garrion says:

    What I’m curious about is translation between what people read on particular media (let’s say a blog) and them using that information to change their minds/behaviour (let’s say deciding to support indepepndence, unlike our friend alan scott up there).

    My fear is that there is still, for many, a credibility gap; if it’s in the papers or on the tv, then even if I don’t like it it must be true. If I read it on a blog, then I may FEEL that it’s true but it’s not officially true.

    It’s the Heinz beans effect.

  10. Republicofscotland says:

    Alan Scott @1.59pm.

    Actually its not falling apart by rooting out Sturgeon and her vile clique, we’ll get back to the main subject of dissolving this horrendous union.

    You still don’t get it Sturgeon’s downfall isn’t your gain its ours.

  11. Harry mcaye says:

    I thought one the Record dipped below 100,000 if wouldn’t be long before it was game over. That’s quite a dip. Pity then that the SNP government have seen for to prop up these failing papers with cash injections under the guise of advertising.

    Alan Scott – don’t get too cocky. This IS a tough time for the Independence movement but we’ll get through it. All the polls show a vast majority of young Scots want their country to be a normal, small independent one. It will come eventually.

  12. Anonymoose says:

    I can’t bring myself to open news websites or any other websites in general which are festooned with adverts, they are distracting at best and at worst they slow the pages down with all the sideloading of crap they chuck at your browser.

    In fact the only sites I actually use which are intetionally littered with adverts are Ebay and Amazon, with every item being an advert in itself.

    I run my internet dns through pi-hole, so most adverts and all trackers never make it into or out of my home network and for what little are left over I have Ublock Origin tackling adverts embedded within media.

    The internet is a far better place when you have no adverts.

  13. A Person says:

    Just a thought, what if the National had actually been “a newspaper that supports an independent Scotland” as it says on the cover rather than a kind of church newsletter written by and for a smal group of mates in Byres Road and the up-and-coming parts of Leith? I used to read the Times or Herald despite disagreeing with it, they at least challenged you. But looking at these figures it would probably be doomed anyway!

  14. Robert Mellish says:

    Just as the Herald launched a paper targeting the nationalist community (the National), can I suggest that you create a new blog for your growing army of Unionist fans.

    Let’s face it UK politics needs something like the uncompromising, fearless, factual commentary you bring to the Scottish scene. TBH you are now the first news outlet I look at when I wake up and feel cheated if you post less than three times a day.

    I think the UK needs your brand. Please launch Wings over Westminster.

  15. Ottomanboi says:

    The Scottish whatever….
    Oh the delicious irony of that adjective.
    and why would any sane person buy the Daily Star, Express never mind a printed paper.
    As news gets faker and flakier the end is surely nye for printers’ ink.

  16. Ian Mac says:

    Interesting that none of them seems able to make the connections between declining sales and the lack of real investigative journalism, of the type bloggers with little resources seem to be able to do. Imagine a bold newspaper taking on the political scandal that is unfolding and reporting fearlessly and accurately. Even with all the redactions and legal threats there is still a very important and shocking story to be told, of vital importance to Scottish voters. But they are so timid and cap-in-hand with the SNP and their ‘patronage’ that they ignore their readers in favour of their sponsors and connections. Why should we buy such tepid, dishonest journalism?

  17. 100%Yes says:

    People who don’t buy news paper are looking for the truth, people who convince themselves that they need to get the newspaper are looking for gossip and those that are just wanting to by a newspapers aren’t bothered about the truth.

  18. Captain Yossarian says:

    ‘Any chance that the Aberdein evidence will appear on the Spectator’s website?’ The answer was: ‘We don’t have it, but if we did…..’ meaning, presumably, they would print it.

  19. Republicofscotland says:

    Captain Yossarian.

    That reminds me the dodgy Lord Advocate gives his version of events (evidence) in front of the committee today.

    Will the committee take him to task or will he get an easy ride, I wonder?

  20. A Person says:

    The Sunday Mail and Sunday Post used to occupy positions one and two in a list of “readership of a newspaper in its marketplace per capita” IN THE WORLD and now look at them.

  21. Martin says:

    Non political comment here but I find this very interesting, Stuart, as in the 90’s I worked in the newspaper industry and the ABC and readership figures were extremely important as they allowed the newspapers to put a value on their advertising rates per column inch. The circulation was audited independently and the readership was arrived at by market research through JICNARS, (the joint industy commission for national readership surveys), but as a journalist yourself I’m sure you’re pretty familiar with all that.
    The thing is media buyers in the advertising agencies needed independent readership figures so that they could negotiate the cost for example of a half page. But if these figures aren’t available now how is the cost of advertising arrived at?
    Media buyers won’t accept non-independent unaudited data so how are these papers selling their advertising?
    Unless if course the print model is dying a death and its all done online now but there again how are they valuing the cost of the adverts?

  22. TNS2019 says:

    When our story broke a couple of years ago, I was shocked that there was no interest at all despite offering full disclosure, interviews with victims etc.
    I even naively contacted Andrew Denholm of The Herald in advance offering him a scoop. He ignored the offer and then printed something (i.e. propaganda) fed to him by a government agency. Mr Denholm then moved on to work for ………..The Scottish Government.
    The Courier has done a pretty fair job.
    But Capt Yossarian is right, the days of investigative journalism are long gone.
    Which is very worrying for democracy.

    So it seems that you have to do it yourself these days.

  23. Leigh says:

    It would be interesting to see how many of those are free copies given out on trains/ planes etc

  24. Al-Stuart says:

    Congratulations Stuart,

    Those figures are stunning.

    By the way, if someone really wanted the newspaper stats, from the coy cupirculation managers, most DO give these out to advertisers.

    Be wary though as some newspapers have been KNOWN to fib with their mass produced “rate cards”. Those circulation stats., are VERY UNRELIABLE.

    It tends to be the larger advertisers and those specifically who ask for the “demographics” and the number of blue collar or senior managent in a global readership etc., that get the circulation and penetration data. Even then the newspapers are a parcel o’ pogues telling porkies.

    What does matter is Nicola McStalin’s effort to control the truth getting out has failed.

    Part of me wonders whether this is the way the secret squirrel 77th Brigade and their pals gamed all of this to happen this way in the first place when they started their plans to never again risk losing Scotland’s wealth when they started gaming out on 19th September 2014.


    Split the SNP irrevocably with irreconcilable internal divisions.

    Then a precise number of weeks outisde of the Holyrood election, wake up the MSM.

    Bingo, you have the trans and fake SNP losing. Because the REAL SNP voters have said they will be staying at home.

    The result? The end of this minority SNP government. Better still for the Yoons, it may be possible to cobble together a ConDem Coalition at Holyrood with a side salad of Greens and SLab Roasters for a full meal of a tripe Rainbow Government.

    How fucking ironic would that be? The infiltration of the SNP leadership by trans McWokers cause the Tories to become part of a rainbow coloured flag of a Government.

    Someone at GCHQ has a wicked sense of humour.

    The YES movement have been stitched up better than an Arbroath smokie. Who is to blame? All those Sturgeonite McWoke SNP Branch members who flounced off of this website calling Stuart Campbell all the bad names under the sun.

    The ONLY thing that can save Scottish Independence now is IF Alex Salmond, Joanna Cherry, Kenny MacAskill and Craig Murray join one of the PRO INDY LIST PARTIES in the next couple of weeks. That should give all the REAL SNP voters a home to vote to. If we get 15 to 20 LIST MSPs that will force a minority SNP government led by supply and confidence FM Angus Robertson to agree to dissolution of the Treaty of Union. Scotland does not need a Section 30 order.

    As Iain Lawson and Colin Dunn rightly point out, England does not own Scotland’s title deeds. We are in a mutual agreement Union. Scotland gets to dissolve it at our will when we vote in a plebiscite of our choosing.

    This week will be a decider. Sturgeon spit roasted, Wolffe toasted and the Deputy First Minister ghosted (facing a vote of no confidence).

    Stuart, best you sharpen your quill and get the jar of ink out. I have an old ZX Spectrum you can borrow if it helps you.

    If Swinney gets booted out we WILL know the current opposition are able to agree things among themselves to form a new administration in May. FFS Davidson as FM and Anas Satwar as Deputy FM.

    At least that will see Sturgeon and her coterie of backstabbers relegated to a poisonous footnote in history.

  25. Natal XX and proud says:

    Alan Scott

    Nationalism always fails.

    Regaining Scottish Independence will not fail.

  26. Boaby says:

    Alan scott 1.59. You need to beam yersel up scotty.

  27. Robert says:

    Wot no Morning Star?

  28. Craig Macinnes says:

    @Republicofscotland at 2:13pm Absolutely spot on re the supposed collapse of independence. And just as an aside it’s wonderful to see Unionists like Alan on here because they might actually get to read the truth.

  29. Lawrence says:

    When you entered supermarkets in the recent past, we at least had the National to browse through.

    I would even use the National to cover up Unionist leaning papers.

    But now we have nothing, not one newspaper in Scotland is on the same planet as us.

    The Unionist owned National is so far up Sturgeon’s arse, that it is lost forever.

    Rev Stu and Wings are now Scotland’s only realistic hope of getting us back on the road to Scotland becoming an Independent Nation again.

  30. Effigy says:

    Most of the papers above must lose money
    Their main purpose these days is just to keep
    the people in check with the rich owner’s agendas.

    They don’t want to reveal their true readership numbers
    as who wants to advertise in papers that don’t sell and with
    figures dive bombing.

    My old Mum buys the Evening Times as she competes with a
    Friend to complete the Crossword.
    The have SNP Bad
    The old pictures of the past issues
    Letters page for more SNP Bad
    and old firm football feature

    70p for the crossword and the rest goes in the bin

  31. AllyF says:

    Of course, when you click through to one of the newspaper sites from a Search Engine you end up going through several re-directs before getting to the story. That’s why you have to hit the back button 3/4 times to get out. Because of this they probably get 2/3/4 page views for every visit as opposed to Wings 1.

  32. Captain Yossarian says:

    TNS2019 – There’s an irony here isn’t there….your school was safe, but was declared ‘unsafe’ by John Swinney and closed.

    My school (a new school) has been declared ‘safe’ by John Swinney, despite being declared unsafe unanimously by 40No of the best professionals in the world.

    This John Swinney chap is quite a guy, isn’t he? One would hope that, in situations like these, more Union support, political support or even legal support would be available to us, wouldn’t you?

    Alex Salmond is sure that we have not become a failed state, but I am not so sure. We’re certainly coming dangerously close. this..

  33. Andrew F says:

    You’re better than them.

    That’s just tough. They don’t like it, but who cares?

    Stuff them. And keep stuffing them, arseholes.

  34. Alison Brown says:

    Al- Stuart – you are so spot on!! Bring on the List Party we can all vote for. Let’s take control of the bus that will get us over the line.

  35. J Galt says:

    alan scott @ 1.59pm

    Ms Sturgeon is your asset, not ours.

  36. J Galt says:

    ClanDonald @ 2.00pm

    They’ll find some other pretext to prop them up.

  37. A Person says:


    You are so right. The proportion of newspapers which are devoted to “nostalgia” is quite shocking.

  38. Captain Yossarian says:

    I see Sarkozy has been given a 3-year jail sentance for corruption. I read through the details of his crime there and it is small potatoes stuff really. Some of the Westminster expenses cheats were jailed too; a number of them. I hope our Lord Advocate is paying attention to this, because the rest of us are.

  39. Big Jock says:

    The rare occasions I click on a Daily Ranger links. The website is painfully slow and the links often freeze. Then you just close it. Might partly explain their decline. That and it’s a pile of Ulster politics bigoted crap.

  40. Patrick Roden says:

    @ Alan Scott,

    No one can blame you for enjoying what you would see as this recent war between different sides of the SNP, but for us who have been watching the SNP a lot closer than you, this has been going on for some considerable time.

    As a Unionist, I’m sure you will heartily agree that there’s nothing like a good war (that is until you or your loved ones are asked to fight in it)

    This war was always going to be fought and if it is fought now we still might see Scotland free, very very soon.

    If we don’t fight the weak leadership of dishonest and compromised Nicola now, it would leave those who support the Union the ammunition to destroy the Yes side at the time that suited them best (during an Independence campaign).

    Nicola and her timid types will soon be swept away and in her place will appear a group who will not tolerate the nonsense from Westminster denying Scotland the right to vote.

    The choice will be simple, we have a referendum, or we declare independence from an entity that is denying our right to a democratic vote.

  41. Cudneycareless says:

    Like many industries the printed newspaper industry has been overtaken by technology. Rev Stu does not , I hope, have the overheads associated with producing a daily newspaper . So there is a disruption to the market and those large organisations are not nimble enough to react . One view would be “going on line will actually reduce our revenue as sales will fall”
    So there will be a decline which the newspaper industry tries to slow by annual subscriptions and readers offers. My (grown up) children don’t read the printed.
    The challenge is that they could end up in an echo chamber which is why I find it strange that when contrary views are given in the BTL people resort to name calling .

    Encourage people to read more widely and use their brains to decide what is right.

  42. A Person says:

    -Al Stuart-

    Your prediction is, to my mind, the most likely outcome of the election.

    A complacent SNP campaign based on “I’m With Nicola”; SNP voters and activists disgusted by the Salmond affair, GRA and HCB staying at home; people frustrated with Covid restrictions getting sick of Sturgeon’s Covid Queen persona staying home (today John Curtice was saying this group is now apparent from polling; indeed ironically this is kind of unfair on her as it’s just people taking out their resentment); middle-class Remainers, who loudly claimed to switch to Yes in a huff over Brexit but who feel like Brexit’s going okay and whose willingness to take any risks with their house prices is minimal, quietly voting for unionists in the privacy of a polling booth; and a highly motivated unionist base.

    Not a fashionable opinion on here, but I think Sarwar has the ability to siphon **some** votes away, as he has a modicum of personality. On the other hand, Ross is just fucking dismal, a considerably less appealing character than Davidson (yes, I know people like us loathe Davidson but she does have some charisma). And while Johnson is toxic up here his perceived vaccine success- actually, if you read into it, the civil service kept him as far away from the planning as possible- will help him a bit, while the EU’s monster fuck-up with it will harm them.

    The movement of polls correlates to this.

  43. velofello says:

    Tip 1 of easy route to upping site visits: – print a daily Racing card. Today’s National has Ayr, Wolverhmpton and Plumpton. Probably keeps the Record’s sales afloat. I don’t gamble on the horses.

    Tip 2 – provide daily articles on Celtic and Rangers. The National seems to operate on a 3:1 page ratio Celtic 3 Rangers 1. I don’t read the articles.Haven’t been to a football match for several decades.

    I subscribe to the Print copy of the National, and just about a similar ratio on the “Old Firm” articles, columnists I don’t read vs those I do read is about 3:1.

    Just trying to be helpful…. I’ll get my coat!

  44. unsigned says:

    Captain Yossarian says:
    1 March, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    I see Sarkozy has been given a 3-year jail sentance for corruption.
    Serving one year at home with a tag, two years suspended according to the BBC:
    “French ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy has been sentenced to three years in jail, two of them suspended, for corruption.


    In the ruling, the judge in Paris said Sarkozy could serve a year at home with an electronic tag, rather than go to prison.”

  45. Paul D says:

    Similarweb is generally pretty good and we use it at work when we want to do a quick comparison or trend analysis. It does claim though that Wings has 100% ‘audience affinity’ with Bella (ahem, up to a point). A head-to-head stats comparison between the two sites is interesting though.,*/999/3m?webSource=Total

    Similarweb also shows just how much traffic Craig Murray’s blog gets (40% of Wings over the three months to 31 Jan, but hugely impressive nonetheless).

  46. Argus says:

    Bella C is really pulling out all the stops to vilify Salmond, leading with an opinion piece by Tejas Mukerji that basically says Salmond affair is close to Trump’s support of QAnon.

    Apparently these people are “also fueled by base reactionary impulses such as misogyny, antisemitism and transphobia”

  47. ahundredthidiot says:

    Alan Scott

    That you don’t think being a Unionist isn’t being a British Nationalist is funny.

    Now, if you just said, I don’t care about Country and would far rather (based on blah blah blah) that Scotland should stay in the UK, then fine, but you didn’t – you said you were a Unionist – ergo, a Nationalist.

    But stay – enjoy – make friends, but be careful now…….stay here long enough and before you know it, you’ll be on of us!!

  48. Effigy says:

    I though I’d share this story with you and see how
    Captain Yoss can turn it into Scotland Bad again.

    Man calls the classified ads at the Herald.
    Admits he doesn’t know what words to use to
    say that his friend Hugh Reid had passed away.
    The operator gave him a very nice but long suggestion.
    It would cost £85 if he liked it.

    Shocked at the price, he mentioned that Hugh had left him his old Volvo
    but he would like to advertise it in the paper too.

    The operator covers model, mileage, condition and approx cost in a lengthy note
    which would also cost £85.

    At such costs he came up with his own solution.
    He asked how much would it be if I put this in-

    Hugh Reid, from Peterheid is deed
    Volvo for Sale.

    Operator hangs up!

  49. Astonished says:

    o/t Woolfe isn’t appearing today but tomorrow. And the FM isn’t appearing today at all.

    Getting their stories straight ? Or possibly getting their stories a lot less bent ?

    Is someone is getting thrown under a bus , as she’s ran out of squirrels ?

  50. Effigy says:

    Tory supporter and friend of David Cameron is given a £55,000
    contract for Reputation Management for England’s
    Billion pound Track and Trace system that does neither.

    It was to last 10 weeks from Nov 1st but hidden until Feb 19.

    Do you remember someone making you feel better about it being hopeless
    over the holidays?

    If the former French President gets 36 months for fraud we should never see
    a Conservative minister on the street again.

  51. A Person says:


    My desire not to read Bella Caledonia is fuelled by my base instincts like being able to think and not wanting vacuous slogans.

    Transgenderism IS misogyny so I’m not sure how you can be transphobic and misogynistic.

    As far as I am aware not a single person involved in this case is Jewish so what possible angle can anyone have for saying there’s anti-semitism involved? Did they just pick that slur out of a hat?

  52. Cenchos says:

    Swinney VONC:
    D Ross willing to withdraw if Swinney comes clean over legal advice.

    Sounds like a sticky situation.

  53. Astonished says:

    Cenchos – Is this some kind of midnight tryst ?

    I’ll get my coat.

  54. Robert graham says:

    Pretty interesting trends and all going down, pity that eh .

    The print media appears to be having a customer problem , the ones who used to buy their output have either died ” shame wouldn’t wish that on anyone or their families ” or their readership have lost interest in what they peddle on a daily or weekly basis.

    The fact that 99.99% of these papers are dead set against a Scotland free of Westminster rule I don’t get it I don’t get the SNP Government propping up these soon to fail titles I haven’t a clue how much money these Union supporting outfits are receiving without anyone here’s approval was it put to a vote were people asked if they wanted their taxes used for this purpose, a very strange move.

    Further to giving opponents ammunition and actually buying the guns and loading them for them I don’t see the point , it’s a bit like some of the other exotic pet projects the SNP feel free to use our money for , I know one that’s been instrumental in helping to build a case to Jail one individual who has just about survived this intense assault on his reputation and character , there are others Craig Murray being just one who are on the receiving end of some pretty disturbing efforts to jail them also.

    Everyone who is being targeted is a supporter of Independence , and we have apparently a Independence supporting Government in office , nah sometimes things don’t add up and this is one of them , you might see the point if it was a Labour or Tory administration but a SNP one ? ? ? .

  55. Republicofscotland says:

    Captain Yossarian. @3.24pm

    Radio news Sarkozy ends up doing one year on the tag, for getting caught red handed trying to bribe a judge.

    French justice?

  56. Clavie Cheil says:

    Decades ago I used to go to the Hebrides Bar in Edinburgh just to read Angus Ogg. Are those pages still hanging in the Bar. Is that Bar even still there? It has been a long time since I bought any so called Newspaper.

    I read the National a couple of times when it first came out and decided I wouldn’t buy into its wokeist agenda either. Oh and I don’t support Celtic or Rangers and crosswords arent of any interest to me.

  57. Clavie Cheil says:

    I do have a question. Who is keeping the rabidly Yoon Johnston Press afloat? Does anybody know how this loss maker is still functioning despite years of losses?

  58. Steve davison says:

    I tend to think that print is about run its course for the news as it’s a faster pace medium now so the on line input can adapt much faster to breaking stories.The trouble is making sure it’s a verified story that your reading.Personnel preference is to run through newsnow website to get a broad range of response it’s how I came across wings .It will also allow you to see how people can adopt the polar opposite view to your own as there is a lot of MSM that have a agenda to promote and are not unbiased .
    This is why AS testimony was so refreshing a despite what he knows to be true he only spoke on what he had evidence to back it up under the unfair restrictions placed upon him and still.played a blinder

  59. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been found guilty of corruption and sentenced to a year behind bars. This was for snout sharing in the trough of mutual assured tacky corruption. I am astonished at this clear and just outcome, waiting to see if we will get a purpose built prison for our errant and destructive politicians with a secure area for former first ministers, senior civil servants and cabinet ministers.

    First Nicolas, next Nicola?

    Or will this be a slow journey of denial and procrastination for her to the unavoidable outcome.
    Crimes deserve punishment and the fitting up an innocent man is really despicable. On les auras!

  60. oneliner says:

    Fine job here – hence the figures

    For those who may be interested in a UK deconstructor, may I recommend

  61. Hugh Jarse says:

    I too have to admit supporting neither of the old firm, keep no pets, and can still afford three ply, so have no need for the msm offerings.

    WoS however is essential reading.

    You may or may not be a James Hunt, but are defo a clever one.

    Page visit numbers say it all.

  62. twathater says:

    Alan Scott my interpretation of nationalist is a person’s love for their country of birth ,it is unfortunate that you conflate nationalism in the way that english exceptionalists do, you are entitled to support unionism if that is your belief but others like myself who favour independence ask unionists to outline the benefits of union

    Make no mistake Sturgeon is NOT the independence movement or the YES movement, many voters loaned the SNP their votes because of their stance on independence , now that the SNP’s or her stance has been proven to be fraudulent they and she will be replaced by another better viable option

    So Alan your celebrations will be shortlived for the dreams of many will not die , but in the interim I would suggest you do some research and educate yourself to the benefits of indy and the VAST resources of Scotland

  63. Fraser MacKintosh says:

    Nicola Murrell heading for the drop and…. then she will find out who her friends in the SNP government really are.
    They stabbed oor Alex in the back they will be so eager to stab Mrs Murrell that they will stab her in the front.
    Mrs Murrell admit that you made a terrible mistake. Go now for the future of independence and take your husband with you.

  64. Republicofscotland says:

    Sleepy Dreamer.

    He will only serve one year, and it will be home confinement instead.

  65. Captain Yossarian says:

    @TNS2019 – I beat you to it Sir.

    This was in The Scotsman in 2016. Since then, John Swinney has been saying: ‘There’s nothing wrong with this school.’ In 2017, 40No expert engineers from all over the world have said: ‘There is something wrong with this school and you had better fix it fast.’

    John Swinney still says: ‘There’s nothing wrong with this school.’

    Scottish Building Standards appear to have been turned into some type of quango, where they don’t have to get involved in anything ‘political’ and they think somehow that this political.

    Ditto the EIS.

    No-one answers anything and we have a communications embargo.

    Does this all sound familiar to you? I’ll bet you it does.

    As Alex Salmond was saying on Friday, many of those responsible for this foul-up have been promoted and have had their contracts extended.

    The extent of recent legal involvement was a long explanation on ‘how it works in Scotland.’

    The latest suggestion, made on Saturday morning) is that this is checked-out by the Health and Safety Executive, who will do it properly and they will not listen to John Swinney’s wants. As you can imagine, that is vexing a few of them just now.

  66. Clavie Cheil says:

    ” Cenchos says:
    1 March, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    Swinney VONC:
    D Ross willing to withdraw if Swinney comes clean over legal advice.

    Sounds like a sticky situation.”


    Is Swinney some kind of porcine breed by any chance?

  67. Frozone says:

    Word is the Greens are going to support the motion of no confidence in Swinney

  68. Sylvia says:

    “The Greens signal support for a NO CONFIDENCE vote in John Swinney. This is serious for the Deputy First Minister”

  69. Stuart MacKay says:

    The most important numbers from SimilarWeb are Avg. Visit Duration – 6:48 min vs 1:45 min.

    So Wings visitors actually read the articles rather skim through The Sun’s crap infested front page looking for cleavage.

  70. Effigy says:

    If Sarkozy had used COPFS and the Lord Advocate
    he would be a free man today.

  71. Adam says:


    I have NO IDEA how you keep up this volume of well written posts. Outstanding effort.

    The next question is whether NS will sacrifice Swinney…if she does then the legal advice must have been truly damning…if she (and he) publish then I suspect it will show she broke the MC….damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t ….

    the end is nigh for wee Nicky

  72. Robert graham says:

    Back to Newspapers again

    Usually before I read the comments on here to pick out the stooges I scroll down first to Craig Murray then to batshit crazy Alan Cochrane for a laugh, most times it’s a few lines you are allowed to read before you need to subscribe to get behind the paywall.

    Not today pretty well a full article no paywall no ads coincidence ?

    Maybe the idea is to give some of the Committee members a head start eh Murdo comes to mind I bet others on the committee drop by to spruce up their proposed questions as well .

    A good time to give them some ammunition eh what’s the saying make him fight fires o many fronts That works both ways honey .in case you hadn’t realised .

  73. Republicofscotland says:

    Some movement by the committee I think.

    “Holyrood harassment complaints committee is considering a third section 23 order – compelling the release of documents to their inquiry”

    “Material requested might include:

    Black small squareany notes on proposals to delay Salmond civil case
    Black small squaredocuments recovered by ‘commission of diligence’ in civil case
    Black small squareCrown messages to Salmond about his evidence to Holyrood
    Black small squaremessages involving top SNP officials (already sought from Crown)”

  74. Republicofscotland says:

    By its movement is the committee genuinely attempting to put pressure on Sturgeon before her appearance on Wednesday? Phil Sim seems to think so.

    “The intention is presumably to put pressure on ScotGov ahead of Nicola Sturgeon’s evidence session on Wednesday, but there’s also the point that the committee has about 3 weeks left to complete their work and agree a report…several reasons why things are happening so fast now.”

  75. SilverDarling says:

    I wonder if the person who came up with “I have a plan so that we can remain anonymous but see strong repercussions” envisaged John Swinney facing a VONC, NS possible facing a VONC, SNP in a minority govt and no option of IndyRef2 when they did so?

  76. J Galt says:

    Clavie Cheil @ 4.34pm

    I remember the Angus Ogg cartoons at the Hebs as well – you neglected to mention they hung in the bogs above the urinal!

    It was a great wee bar and many a good night was had there – I left Edinburgh years ago, I’ve no idea whether it’s still there.

  77. Ian Mac says:

    My feeling is that they are going to sacrifice some of the senior deadbeats to save Nicola. But they will not be admitting any guilt, just some bland reassurances about stepping down, blah blah. With a hefty pay off and pension to keep them quiet. Will be interesting to see if that is enough to ward off the feeble press and media. Once again, a tactic pinched from Boris. Wrap it up in some kind of vague ‘commitment’ to a utopian future, new policy etc. Job done.

  78. Clavie Cheil says:

    So when is the Swinney no confidence vote?

    Or will he publish the Legal Advice and sink the sgian dhu into Sturgeons back?

    I hope it is the latter!!!!

  79. Scott says:

    Lesley Riddoch’s article in the Herald must shirley only have been published to drive up their figures…do you get no-score draws in professional shark-jumping?

    Archived here>>

  80. Christian Schmidt says:

    For what it is worth, Stephen Bush in the New Statesman has repeatedly stated that the most read website politics website is the main BBC news page ( It would be nice if they produce breakdowns for, say,

  81. Katy says:

    Was just wondering if you’d ever thought of having a subreddit?

  82. JB says:

    Yup, the interesting thing is that the S23/S24 order has criminal sanctions (3 months imprisonment and/or £5000 fine?) if not complied with.

    So criminal sanctions if not obeyed, and criminal sanctions if obeyed.

    That can not stands, so possibly an referral to the Ct of Session; or just obey and use the order in defence of any action under S162?

  83. Meindevon says:

    SilverDarling@ 5.11.

    On the money there.

    When will it dawn on them the damage they have done to their own party?

  84. Scott says:

    Christian Schmidt says:
    1 March, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    For what it is worth, Stephen Bush in the New Statesman has repeatedly stated that the most read website politics website is the main BBC news page

    I visit that page about 100 times a day. I never take a paper and haven’t watched TV since 2010, so it’s the obvious place to go to see what’s being reported. Then I go elsewhere to see what isn’t. Plus BBC have a big online presence in the USA where they have adverts on-site to pay for the output.

  85. solarflare says:

    If I had to guess I’d say the Scottish Government will release V1.5 of the legal evidence, which will be more detailed than the limited summaries already published but less detailed than the full thing everyone is asking for, and hope to kick that can down the line.

  86. Geoff Bush says:

    Al-Stuart – good comment – get in touch

  87. 100%Yes says:

    John Swinney under pressure as Greens move to back no confidence motion.

  88. kapelmeister says:

    Good news about the Greens and the Swinney vonc. However, we should be cautious. Patrick Harvie might just be horse trading with the SG.

  89. Kcor says:

    The Greens can be easily bought.

  90. P Jackson says:

    Wings has been cropping up over and over again in blogs I have visited in the last 2-3 months, touted as a fervent ‘Nationalist’ website.

    As a Unionist, I imagined a woke Nicola Sturgeon, non-binary, rainbow love-fest.

    I think it is fair to say that I wrong on that point!

  91. Baxter says:

    Sylvia says:
    1 March, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    I read the” Greens signal support for a VONC” as them being open to offers from Sturgeon and Swinney for them to about turn.

  92. I think Pete Wishart deserves some of the praise,

    how many thousands of viewers have visited Wings through Toom Tabard`s obsession with Stu and Wings,

    thing is they visit to see how bad Wings is but then stay when they realise they have been getting stiffed by propoganda and misinformation from Main Stream Media for generations,

    so a big thanks to Empty Coat.

  93. Sylvia says:


    “The Scottish Government intends to release the legal advice to the Salmond Inquiry tomorrow after it looked like a no confidence vote would succeed”

  94. Hatuey says:

    Is Swinney going to be willing to lose his position in Government over this? And, even if he does, there’s still going to be a demand to see the legal advice after he has gone.

    Redacting it is the same as withholding it. What’s to be done?

    They can’t publish it. If they did, it would show the ministerial code was broken.

    My guess is they’ll work on the Greens. Winning a vote of no confidence, rather than avoiding one, is the best outcome for them.

  95. Skip_NC says:

    Sylvia, lets hope it doesn’t end up something like

    “The Scottish Government intends to [REDACTED] the legal [REDACTED] to the [REDACTED] Inquiry tomorrow after it looked like a [REDACTED] confidence vote would succeed”

  96. Tommo says:

    According to the Record your ‘Government’ is going to hand over the legal advice re the Judicial review
    However- not clear if there will be ‘redactions’ !!!!!!!
    What a shower

  97. Mc says:

    Would say The National website is just as political as Herald Scotland’s.

  98. Liz says:

    I think Covid restrictions will have an effect on those voting for NS.
    Again it shows how out of touch she is, folk are pissed off at restrictions which dont make sense.

    I can buy clothes in M&S store but clothes stores are shut.
    I can buy books in supermarkets, and newsagents but book stores are shut.

    The WHO has come out and said they do not recommend lockdowns as a first messure.
    They’re saying this is causing, amongst other things, an increase in poverty and poverty kills.

  99. Breastplate says:

    Yes Liz,
    There was a report suggesting that starvation caused by Covid restrictions will kill more people than the virus.

  100. Breastplate says:

    I think this is one of the links,

  101. Sylvia says:


    I wouldn’t trust them an inch as to what they publish.

  102. Graham says:

    Congrats on the stats, I’d love to have more analysis on that!

    If you are the biggest influencer in Scotland’s political landscape then you hold a great responsibility.

  103. Telling facts. So, well done Stu – and please keep doing it thus!

  104. Annie 621 says:

    ” You can refuse to read newspapers and be uninformed, or read them and
    be misinformed.”
    Mark Twain.

  105. BLMac says:

    I do hope all those folk libelling Salmond get a nice letter of demand for compensation from Salmond’s solicitors.

    Say £100,000 each.

    That would fund a political campaign or two… 🙂

  106. James Barr Gardner says:

    The Daily Wrecker’s circulation in Jan’00 was 626,646 and for Jan’21 it was 85,769 !

    This calamitous drop of 54,0877 strangely correlates with Scottish demographics over this same time period, in fact if that figure is doubled it’s approximately the same as the number of Scots who have died since 2000 and if you half again it matches up with say one copy per household.

    Spooky or what ? Prediction for Wrecker circulation Jan’22 80,000 ! WOW ! No wonder the newspapers are bailing out of the ABC !

    Advertisers must be coming to the tipping point soon ?

  107. Terry says:

    Help ma boab!
    Even Bella Canniewokeya gets more readers than the rags!

  108. cirsium says:

    @Scott, 5.18pm

    What a strange article by Lesley Riddoch. She did not seem to be aware that evidence had been suppressed or that revealing this evidence would put Alex Salmond in legal jeopardy. Perhaps if she had read Stuart Campbell, Craig Murray, Gordon Dangerfield and Iain Lawson, she would have been aware of the full picture.

    “Freedom of the press now rests with the honourable few: the exceptions, the dissidents on the internet who belong to no club, who are neither rich nor laden with Pulitzers, but produce fine, disobedient, moral journalism ” John Pilger

  109. John Cleary says:

    Mr Salmond comments: “I believe that the Committee should ask the Lord Advocate directly whether he instructed two unwilling complainants to make police statements.”

    I did not direct any complainer to make a police statement; indeed, I have no power which would enable me to issue such a direction.

    Woolfie in his submission.

    Wasn’t you though, was it Woolfie, it was your offices through which something wicked came. You just did what you do best, you looked the other way whilst evil took place.

  110. John Cleary says:

    Sorry, wrong thread

  111. Mark Boyle says:

    The Herald has developed the bad habit of printing the same story on its website more than once – in the same day. Martin Williams has a notable track record for this.

    It even has Elle Duffy their “Subscriptions & Engagement Editor” (at least, that’s her title this week, you know what they’re like) posting news articles on their own column pieces – classic clickbait.

    Let’s not even start on Christopher Jack – the only journalist in Britain, never mind Scotland, paid to do nothing but publish puff pieces on one football club as “Senior Rangers Writer”, and doing so at a rate which would embarrass those on Follow Follow.

    The frightening part is those in charge don’t appear to care a damn. Getting the clicks, whatever it takes, appears the doctrine, regardless of whether it’s bringing in any revenue or not (their website is so badly coded, even the most loyal reader has little choice but to use some form of adblocker just to be able to read it).

    Really can’t see how much longer this can go on for, yet they’re apparently splashing the cash on some big (ish) names like Brian Taylor and Lesley Riddoch. To what end? People aren’t going to keep buying a paper seven days a week for the few days those two appear and put up with ever declining quality from the rest of it – least of all for what’s become a glorified Rangers fanzine.

  112. Jontoscots20 says:

    Liz says:
    1 March, 2021 at 6:56 pm
    I think Covid restrictions will have an effect on those voting for NS.
    Again it shows how out of touch she is, folk are pissed off at restrictions which dont make sense.

    I can buy clothes in M&S store but clothes stores are shut.
    I can buy books in supermarkets, and newsagents but book stores are shut.

    The WHO has come out and said they do not recommend lockdowns as a first messure.
    They’re saying this is causing, amongst other things, an increase in poverty and poverty kills.

    Good point Liz it her favoured scientific advisers who are public health behaviourists Profs Linda Baylor and Devi Shridhar are big advocates of ‘zero covid” strategy. The face of the Vaccine Dentist of Doo Prof Jason Leitch is clinical director and also committed to that psychotic pathway/roadmap as these people like to refer to things.

    Like Nicola you get the feeling these people would not like this be over as soon as vaccine efficacy is demonstrated. Just as she wants the bully pulpit of daily Covid briefings, they like being on the telly to up their impact factor. They also like controlling how people can a drink,mix socially , take exercise and go to school . Behavioural scientists like to conduct such natural experiments. Contrast their approach to Prof Mark Woolhouse ,one of the most respected life scientists in Scotland and an actual epidemiologist. He wants to unlock outside as soon as possible and build distancing till vaccine protection builds to get us inside . But what does he know?

  113. David Caledonia says:

    When Dilly Dolly gets the spanish archer treatment may I suggest she applies for a position with Boris.
    I heard from good authority that No 10 is looking for a new window cleaner and general scrubber

  114. ElGordo says:

    But which legal advice are they releasing?

    The legal advice from August, September, October or November?

    I would imagine the legal advice changed somewhat as information, reluctantly, became available.

  115. alan scott says:

    I posted on here earlier today as a Unionist and some of you were kind enough to reply. Rather than responding individually I’ll respond in one post. If I have miss characterised your comment it is not intentional.

    Sturgeon’s fall benefits Indy rather than Unionism.

    I think it benefits all right thinking people whether Nationalist or Unionist as she is a nasty piece of work. Most people have more important things to do than politics so I expect all the Holyrood drama is passing them by. If however she is forced to go people will notice and I expect this to benefit the Unionist parties in May.

    We are not Nationalists we believe in Independence,

    I don’t mean Nationalist in a perjorative way. It’s what you are. You want rid of the evil colonialist oppressor. You want the right to legislate in what you see as your own country. Be proud of being a Nationalist. The Nation State is a jolly good thing.

    Unionists like warfare

    No more than seccessionists. USA North v USA South,Tamil Tigers, Kurds and of course our friends in the IRA.

    Unionism is British Nationalism.

    Absolutely true. I was born in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in a town called Glasgow. I would like to prevent Scottish Nationalists destroying the country I was born in.

    I happen to love it.

  116. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi allan scott.

    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is NOT a “country”, it is a unitary state, comprising three countries – Scotland, England and Wales – and a province – Northern Ireland.

    That is how the UK described itself to the UN. Back when they did that, Wales was described as a principality but it is now recognised as a country.

    No doubt a Winger will have the UN reference bookmarked and can supply a link.

  117. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    I did find a couple of references but is not easily searched.


    ” Examples of Unitary States

    Of the 193 member countries of the United Nations, 165 are unitary states. The United Kingdom and France are two well-recognized examples.
    United Kingdom

    The United Kingdom (UK) is composed of the countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. While technically a constitutional monarchy, the UK functions as a unitary state, with total political power held by Parliament (the national legislature located in London, England).
    While the other countries within the UK each have their own governments, they cannot enact laws that affect any other part of the UK, nor can they refuse to enforce a law enacted by Parliament. “

    (Where Scotland is demoted from a country to a region…)

    “At the very least it is “a unitary state with three special-status regions”. Other witnesses variously described the UK as a union state, a state of unions, a multination or multinational state, and a plurinational state.”

    See? You were born in the largest city of a COUNTRY called “Scotland” – oh no, you were born in the largest city of a REGION called “Scotland”.

    Well, that’s the UK Parliament take on it… But even that institution doesn’t claim that the UK is a “country”.

  118. Fishy Wullie says:

    @ alan scott

    Glasgow is a city in the country of Scotland, therefore you were born in Scotland, Britain an archipelago of islands off the west coast of europe, Great Britain being the largest of these islands comprising of 3 countries, Northern Ireland is region of the country of Ireland (an island nation) occupied by the United Kingdom (your so called country).

    So I’m afraid you’re Scottish alan like it or not

  119. James says:

    Clavie Cheil @ 4.34pm

    The Hebs is still going, but was being ripped out and refitted last time I passed (October 2020). Sadly, the Angus Og cartoons on the walls of the gents were taken down years ago.

    Hopefully when they reopen Orkney Dark Island will remain a staple.

Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top