Is Wings Broken?

Is Wings broken?  Not a grammatical error; Wings Over Scotland is singular, in every sense.  It’s a single-minded solo effort, the ideas of one man: Stuart Campbell.  Many people sympathetic to independence will have read – and possibly been inspired by – the website.

In 2014, as one of many activists, I was out chapping doors and running street stalls, campaigning for a YES vote.  We were almost comically happy-clappy with our upbeat message of Imagine a Better Scotland.  Still, nothing wrong with accentuating the positive.  We did, at least, help make Glasgow a YES city.

Meanwhile, the unionist case was a getting a real doing online from Wings.  Campbell was brilliant, destroying the NO side’s half-truths, dodgy statistics and empty promises.  His articles were forensically researched and meticulously written to thwart unionist arguments.  He was merciless in his pursuit of the politicians, press and media who’d been used to dominating Scotland’s public discourse.

Thousands flocked to pro-indy sites to get alternative views rather than the orthodox attitudes rife in the mainstream media.  After a day’s campaigning, it was a tonic to read Wings’ excoriating correctives of Project Fear.

What’s more, Stuart single-handedly produced the powerful Wee Blue Book.  It set out the political and economic case for Scotland gaining independence. Crowd-funded, close to a million online and hard free copies were distributed across the country. It went off the shelves like hot cakes. said Alex Salmond.  We handed them out from our stalls to help convince waverers.

After the great loss of our 2014 battle, Wings, in tune with other sites and the movement itself, ramped up the keyboard war.  With a stream of posts (and tweets till Twitter banned him), Campbell persevered, sharpening his attacks on unionist parties and press.  He also fought a fruitless libel case against Kezia Dugdale. 

But for the past year or so, Wings has shifted its aim to another target: the leadership of, and certain factions within, the SNP.

Many in the pro-indy movement are impatient with the leadership’s cautious approach.  But Stuart goes further.  He now wants nothing less than the removal of Nicola Sturgeon and her team. 

A post from last month epitomises his call to the FM: Shut up, you useless waste of space… get off your worthless coward’s arse and do the only thing that’s actually in your power – a plebiscitary election – instead of grandstanding around the world stage, achieving absolutely sod-all.

It’s hard to see how Wings’ once mighty blows against the Tories, the BBC and the press will hit home during the next referendum, when so much vitriol is being poured on those who are supposed to be on the same side. 

For some, he’s already gone too far.  One young friend told me: I used to read Wings avidly, but he’s become a bitter old transphobe.  Campbell refutes such criticism, quoting his traffic numbers – more visits to Wings than all other pro-indy bloggers put together.

I still visit the site, but I must say that Stuart’s attacks on the NO side feel a bit toothless compared to the old days.  His timing seems even more amiss.  Independence support is at a record high, so are Sturgeon’s ratings, while the unionists are in a total mess.  Is this friendly fire becoming more of a threat to the independence cause than the increasingly threadbare whining from the unionists?

Next time, the desperate NO camp will throw everything at us.  We’ll need a sharp rebuttal force.  Is it too late to get our old Wings back?

by Paul BassettGlasgow, 25 January 2021

Comments and feedback also welcome via e mail: stageleftblogscotland@gmail.com

7 thoughts on “Is Wings Broken?

  1. I don’t think that he is transphobic; much of the conversation is, I think over the definition of who’s who, and who decides that.

    Can you – as a man – put on a dress, declare yourself to be a woman, and thus use facilities reserved for women? Self-identification is the issue here, I think.

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    1. What is stopping a man doing that now? Have you ever had to provide proof of your “manhood” before using public toilets? Has any woman had to?

      When looked at calmly, the GRA’ s alleged threat to women is effectively nil. There is no invisible force field round female facilities that the GRA will remove. At the moment, if an offender wants to commit an horrific crime, they are hardly going to be thwarted by the female only status of the facilities in question.

      Trans people are a tiny proportion of the population and are generally not “that way inclined” where women are concerned. It is only the hysterical, anti-SNP, scaremongering of “allegedly” pro-Indy sites like Wings that creates a false picture of a non-existant threat. We have to ask …. why?

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  2. I heard that Wings and Stuart apparently knows lots of the grimy details about who stitched up Alex Salmond but like a few other persons, he cannot divulge them, just as Alex Salmond cannot as yet divulge them without being threated with contempt of court. Chances are that all of this will point back at a very corrupted Scottish government executive. This would explain lots about why his attention is so critically aimed at Sturgeon’s failures right now.

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  3. “His articles were forensically researched and meticulously written to thwart unionist arguments.”

    LOL Naw Not at all 🙂 just that you didn’t understand you were being fooled. WBB used old Data that were 2 editions out of date https://chokkablog.blogspot.com/2015/10/wings-and-his-wee-blue-book-of-errors.html
    which begs the question how much more don’t you know ?

    https://fraserofallander.org/gers-day-2-after-the-hullaballoo/

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  4. Ah, it all became clear when the ‘young friend’ just happened to call Stu a Transphobe. Happy clappy when Stu uses Wings to rally the many to the then too few the SNP banner had attracted, not so happy clappy when Stu prints the hard questions those of us who likewise tramped the streets are now asking.
    Next time maybe answer some of the hard questions Wings is asking, rather than doing what Sturgeon and Co. are doing to Salmond, smear and innuendo.
    Maybe start with explaining why handing control to London via a section 30 is a good thing, given that at no point does it enters into the control of Holyrood…other than the ‘please sir, can I have more’ bowl presenting bit.

    Then, as you mention the BBC, explain why they’re now, along with the Scotsman and the Record, outlets for Sturgeon and Co, although being a dramatic sort you’ll no doubt love their presentation of ‘If only the jury had believed us’ and ‘If only the jury had believed us 2’ recently released on Sunday politics.

    In short Wings attacks the current SNP regime because as it has always been, Wings is all out for Indi, and what is currently obstructing that is indeed an SNP hijacked by entryist minority interests such as the Trans lobby and an avaricious couple called the Murrells.

    Stick to stage old bean, you’re not even going to make a dent in those who follow Wings, they are head and shoulders, intellectually, above the Nicola fans, Trans youth and self serving sycophants Nicola has surrounded her self with. They are the critical thinkers, sharp to charlatans and snake oil salesmen. They cannot be bought. Stick to stage, comedy tragedies I suggest going by your blog.

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