Telling them why

There was an interesting Twitter exchange the other day which in a single word illustrated all that is wrong with the Scottish media. The estimable Lesley Riddoch tweeted a link to her latest article in the Scotsman, a plea to the Scottish media that when they engage in their regular bouts of slagging off NHS Scotland, they should compare the performance of Scotland’s health service with the health services in the rest of the UK before rushing to condemn. The article pointed out quite reasonably that Scotland’s NHS performs significantly better than the Conservative run NHS in England.

Lesley tweeted: “New Year’s resolution for Scottish press. Next winter when opposition politicians are outraged about the state of the Scottish NHS, why not compare conditions with the privatised, collapsing health service in England before passing judgement?”

Scotsman columnist Euan McColm replied to her with a single word tweet: “Why?”

And there you have it. A journalist who writes for one of Scotland’s leading newspapers affects not to know why there should be any need to compare the performance of NHS Scotland with the NHS in other parts of the UK. That’s it right there. Everything that’s wrong with the Scottish media in a single word tweet.

I’m no scientist, and clearly neither are most journalists in the Scottish media. The closest that many representatives of the British apologia press in Scotland get to science is Doctor Who. And they think that’s a documentary. Even though Doctor Who is capable of transversing the barriers of time and space and can travel anywhere and anywhen throughout the vastness of the universe, in 2014 that same British nationalist media was very keen on insisting to us that Doctor Who wouldn’t be able to cross the border into an independent Scotland due to an invisible force field of Unionist lying mince stretching from Gretna to Berwick. But then it’s probably unreasonable of us to expect a media that can’t distinguish fact from Unionist fiction to appreciate the difference between science fiction and fact.

Nevertheless, science operates by making systematic comparisons. I might not be a scientist, but even I know that if you seek to make a reasonable criticism of something or if you wish to understand how relatively well or badly something is performing, then you need to have a standard of comparison. You can say “the Scotsman is rubbish”, but if you’re not comparing it with anything then that statement is pretty meaningless. However if you were to say “The Scotsman’s website makes a potato print collage produced by a five year old look systematic and organised”, then you’ve got a baseline of comparison.

It’s a fundamental rule in science that you compare like with like, so the Scotsman newspaper with the print products of a five year old for example. As far as NHS Scotland is concerned, we have no less than three remarkably similar systems with which it can be reasonably compared, and those are the NHS’s of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The NHS is each of the countries of the UK is administered independently, but each performs the same tasks, and each was set up in the same way. Differences in performance between then are for the most part due to differences in policy and funding decided by the administrations in charge of the respective health services.

Most often when NHS Scotland comes under attack, those doing the attacking are representatives of the Conservative or Labour parties. That’s why it’s even more relevant and valid to compare the performance of NHS Scotland with the performance of NHS England and NHS Wales, because the NHS in England is controlled by a Conservative administration, and the NHS in Wales is controlled by a Labour administration. Scottish Tory attacks on the performance of NHS Scotland might have a tad more validity and heft if NHS England was itself in the best of health. Instead, as the health of health services go, it’s like a 40 a day overweight smoker with diabetes and a raging alcohol problem. So very much like your stereotypical newspaper journalist then.

On Wednesday, BBC Scotland reported that Scottish A&E departments failed to meet the target of 95% of patients being seen within 4 hours.  The figures for the week ending 24 December were 83.3%. However over the same period, attendance in A&E departments was up 20% compared to the previous year, so really what was happening was that staff in Scottish A&E departments were dealing with a much heavier workload, but without standards slipping by the same amount that the workload increased. The rise in attendance was believed to be due to an increase in the number of patients with flu and respiratory conditions combined with dreadful weather. The headline A&Es fail to meet waiting time target for December gave no indication that A&E departments were coping with considerably more patients, because you know, SNPBad. Neither did the article point out the shocking state of Tory run A&E services in England.

The NHS in England is failing and is in a serious crisis. On the day that Lesley published her article, a rare beacon of light and common sense in the Scotsman, a consultant in emergency medicine tweeted that patients attending A&E departments in the English city of Stoke were facing “third world conditions”. According to the Guardian, in some English hospitals, some patients are having to wait as long as 12 hours in A&E. Outpatient appointments are being cancelled, and non-urgent surgery has been cancelled until the end of the month. On Wednesday, the Conservative Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who has the final responsibility for the running of the NHS in England, was forced to apologise for cancelled operations and lengthy waiting times. Scotland’s NHS may have its issues, but it’s nothing like as bad as the mess that the Tories have made of running the NHS in England with their ideologically driven attempts to “marketise” health provison.

Meanwhile the Labour run NHS in Wales consistently performs the poorest in the UK on several metrics. Labour has no leg to stand on either, not least because you’ll be waiting much longer for a knee replacement in Wales than you would in Scotland.

The news agenda in Scotland is generally driven by the news agenda in England where the “national” press is based. When the NHS in England is under the media spotlight, the Scottish media doesn’t want to be left out. On the one hand they want their news agenda to be driven by events in England, but on the other they don’t want to make comparisons with England when Scotland comes out more favourably. The Conservatives and Labour in Scotland continue to criticise NHS Scotland and their criticisms occupy pages in the British nationalist media in Scotland without them ever being called to account for the lamentable way the Conservatives and Labour run an NHS service when they are the ones with the power. The British nationalist media publishes their attacks uncritically, without ever examining how those making the criticisms actually perform themselves where their own parties are the ones who have power and authority in delivering health services. It’s like giving Harold Shipman free rein to complain about how unethical the assisted suicide services of Dignitas really are, without pointing out his own ethical shortcomings.

That’s why.

Update 6.20 pm

I’m just off the phone to my mother. She injured her thumb the other day and it’s been bothering her, so today she took herself off to the Minor Injuries Unit at Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow dreading the lengthy wait and chaos that the newspapers had warned her she was in for. She arrived at 11.05 am, was seen and attended to within 10 minutes by some very friendly, helpful, and professional staff, and was back home again by 12.20, well in time for lunch.  Elderly woman goes to hospital and gets treated within 10 minutes doesn’t fit the narrative. The great majority of times that NHS Scotland performs well never gets reported.  At least this time there’s the chance to point out that it’s not all bad.

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. You can now access this blog simply by typing into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.

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0 thoughts on “Telling them why

  1. They won’t stop being negative to the Scottish NHS because their upper class bosses won’t let them and it would be more than their jobs are worth to go against them , talk about free speech ,only if your aloud ,shame on them

  2. A really cutting piece Paul, excellent. The main stream media are as a whole pathetic and totally non professional. Twats.

    • They’re also remarkably obvious about it! It’s never at the level where it could be explained with for instance, “The article was badly edited and hence was unclear”.

  3. I think, regarding the Anglo-Scottish journalists – it’s worth having a look again at what might be regarded the credo – in this instance from a video interview with Alex Massie during the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum campaign. After being asked what he thought would happen immediately after either a Yes or a No vote, he was asked about media ‘bias’ and answered as follows:

    Youtube 2014 (Prior to 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum)

    Alex Massie on referendum: what will happen if Yes or No Vote? Is there really media bias?

    Massie’s response: “Accusations of media bias are usually the preserve of cranks and crackpots and whiners and losers..em…er…which is fine, but of course the newspapers have views…um…as they should…um…it would be quite intolerable if they didn’t……it seems to be that media bias is something that is unavoidable…um…because you know newspapers, and radio, and television and so on are made up of…and…um…you know the idea of…um…balance and objectivity might often be quite good for producing quality journalism and so on. It’s not necessarily necessary…erm…and nor is it a requirement…erm…erm…it might also not be sufficient…erm…in this day and age given the difficulties of actually making any money in the newspaper business these days. know…so I don’t take accusations of media bias terribly seriously and so on except in as much as they confirm that it’s always the side that…erm…that is behind that levels these accusations and so on and seeks, you know, someone to blame for the fact that they’re behind because, again, they can’t imagine why anyone would disagree with them…erm…so to find that people DO disagree with them has to be down to something, eh you know there has to be some sort of shady reason…erm…perhaps even a conspiracy and so on, that is defrauding the people or something or somehow conning the people into thinking the wrong way. Erm…otherwise they wouldn’t be suffering from this sort of appalling, you know, false consciousness or something. Like..erm…you know, it’s all rubbish.”

    I know the topic of Paul’s article was not specifically media ‘bias’ – but I think Massie’s response back in 2014 likely applies to every Scottish or Anglo-Scottish journalist. They set a very low benchmark and a very self-interested one which is ultimately damaging to the entire country – but then again, the foreign media are not short of derogatory descriptions about the tabloid and unprofessional nature of the UK media and particularly the press.

  4. Little humorous aside as Paul mentioned the infamous Harold Shipman. Does anyone remember the Labour campaign where they used the NHS to front it. Can’t remember what year it was. They send out mailshots to everyone trying to get them to append their name to the Labour campaign and at the end of it, the published flyers or adverts or something using the person’s name they got to support them. I think I read this in Private Eye; but one guy gave his name as ‘Harold Shipman’. Labour gaily went ahead with publishing the flyer or whatever it was headed something like ‘The NHS along with Labour and Harold Shipman’ are working for you. I know I’ve got this wrong – but it was hilarious at the time.

    According to Private Eye, both Labour and Conservatives are still incompetent sending out their letters, mistakenly sending out mail from their candidates but not filling in the ‘templates’ with the candidates personal briefing ‘bites’ or statements – so they have all been going out with things like – “In relation to the Brexit Economic Impact Studies and so forth.

    However, I digress…

    • Sorry – can’t find ‘edit’ button’. Was ‘In relation to the Brexit Economic Impact Studies ‘enter Bob’s comment here’..

      Sorry folks, I’ve really messed this up. Brain is back in 2017!

  5. This looks like the typical england jealousy of Scotland doing better than them the English people are brainwashed to believe they are superior at everything they are the best it’s so bad that being worse at anything than another nation is a disgrace and Scotland doing better than england at anything is the ultimate humiliation for the English remember the continueous bad mouthing of our team Scotland at the 2014 commonwealth games by the bbc especially by that bastard Gary lineker bigoted English twat he was the worst of the bbc for it this reminds me of that.

  6. Pingback: Telling them why | speymouth

  7. Excellent article. These characters need to have their noses rubbed in the rubbish they write. I just cannot understand why anyone would want to consistently attempt to demean their own country. What do they stand to gain – apart from cash? Nothing.

  8. You would think that eventually one of those subservient, forelock tugging journalist, would find a smidgen of courage or moral fibre to realise that they are not only letting themselves down, but they are calling into question the integrity of their profession and the system they are trying to defend.
    How committed to a system must they be, to be prepared to manipulate the truth on a daily basis to please their master?
    Surely some day soon, one or more of these journalists will see the light, leave the dark side and try a bit of honesty in their work.

  9. What amazes me is that the press and media have such a low opinion of our intelligence. Do they really imagine that we can’t work these things out for ourselves and will swallow their sh1te whole?

  10. Thanks Paul!
    Being a retired NHS therapist the criticism really gets my blood pressure up! It beggars belief that the perpetrators of the criticism of the NHS don’t want to understand what the constant pressure of criticism does to staff, especially considering that their salaries have been stalled by austerity and inflation. I wouldn’t mind so much if the critics were comparing the stats. They don’t. It’s always SNP bad. And actually the SNHS is doing pretty well on most fronts. I had someone of SM telling me that people in Scotland were waiting a year for cancer treatment and became upset when I gave evidence that that statement was untrue. What is wrong with people? Do they want the SNHS to become like England, where huge amounts of money are given to private companies to outbid the NHS, pinch the NHS trained staff, leading to staff shortages, or indeed sue the NHS when they are not awarded the contract? Personally, I would rather have a service that is free at the point of need, with trained staff working for the benefit of patients, not shareholders.

    • I agree that when you challenge these anti Scottish rangers with fact they do not like it and try to ignore you if they can.

  11. I am presently recuperating following a nice new hip and as a retired nurse have some insight. What therapymum said is absolutely true, giving the SNHS a bad name reflects on the staff, they are already demoralisd due to working so hard with pay restrictions and enticements from private sector.

    Headlines blazoned all over shout ‘YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH’. Try telling staff that to their faces and see how good your treatment gets!! Seriously, someone from Scottish gov has to nip this in the bud with a real strong rebuttal. I’d prefer to see Ms Freeman but open to ideas!

    Gĺad your mum saw a good result Paul, it’s what most people do see and that’s why confidence in HS is high. It’s not helping the staff though…

  12. I see the Guardian is running an article about how bad NHS Scotland is by its Scottish journalist with,as usual, no right of reply. He’s another who should be asked why we can’t get comparison figures -but then the SNP-bad agenda might be affected. It is just so blatant -and disgusting.

  13. A wee bit of maths:

    A waiting time target of 95% is achieved for say,100 patients. In the next period of measure, 120 patients are treated, an increase of 20% workload as the article reports, and with the same finite hospital resource. Thus the waiting times target with 120 patients would be predicted to fall to 79.1%. That a reported waiting figure of 83.3% achieved with a 20% increase in patients is truly excellent.

    • Well done, Gavin, that is the kind of objective deconstruction that is needed. It does not require any great understanding of arithmetic to work out a calculation as you have done. Indeed I reckon that it is the kind of problem which school children around First or Second Year might be asked to solve when they are learning about proportions and percentages.

      Indeed, one could go further and show that in the first period where 95 patients were treated within the time, in the second period 100 patients were treated, i.e. 5 MORE while using the same resources and personnel.

  14. Unionists in Scotland tell lies for the shear hell of it. Then I suppose if they weren’t Unionists they wouldn’t tell as may lies and vice versa? I see Alec and Nicola were the butt of Only an Excuse yet again. But no sign of Ruth the Mooth. Quells surprise.

  15. They’re not interested in why. None of them are. They know why they should already. They simply choose not to.

    They’re not journalists. They’re character assassins. They’re propagandists. Sometimes they are out and out twisters. They are first and foremost bought and paid for, willing opposition to any thought of an independent Scotland, any movement supportive of Scottish self determination and primarily the current Scottish government.

    They are heavily invested in decades of narrative, unionist party affiliations, editorial/publisher self interest and sheer bloody tribalism.

    Why? They don’t need no steenking why. They have reason enough to ask no pertinent questions whatsoever, offer and consider no comparisons and act the way they have always acted. Empathy free choobs.

  16. A timely rant on a subject which has been irritating me for some time.

    Journalists don’t, generally, understand scientific principals or statistics which means the reporting of anything which requires some understanding of these, i.e. pretty well anything outside their celebrity obsessed world, will be badly reported. This household is continually annoyed by mixed metrics because, and it may be mean, but half of all journalists are below average and 75% of journalists say one in four of them cannot count. Couple this inadequacy with a political agenda you get today’s headlines about Scottish hospital waiting times.

    Meanwhile, the Grauniad continually nags at me for money so I can pay part of Severin Carrell’s salary. But, while we know Severin Carrell is publishing rubbish, what other rubbish is being published we are not aware of because we do not have the data? Brexit is a prime example – compare the referenced detail contained within and with the fantasies presented by the msm. It is not surprising, therefore, that we, the potential customer, are sceptical about the overall journalistic integrity of the main stream media, the dead-tree-scrolls, and they are losing customers and money.

    Tick Tock – the haggis nuggets are coming into season. The Ben Rinnes ones are particularly tasty as they are partially reared on the fumes arising from Dufftown and its seven distilleries.

  17. McColm is actively seeking to deceive the readers so he denies any reason that the different Health services should be compared. That is WHY he should be considered a Propagandist not a journalist. There is reward is deceit and no consequence.

    McColm kneels in service to the powerful and simply grovels unashamedly at the feet of the wealthy. In his mind a journalist is just someone who gets stuff published in newspapers and appears on TV. The very idea that there should be any ethical framework is for him absurd.

  18. One has to assume that these journalists don’t want to work in an independent Scotland because, in spite of their best (worst?) efforts, IT IS COMING!!!

  19. McColm isn’t interested in getting a better SNHS, he is only concerned with attacking the Scottish Government, because he is a Tory wanker.
    Tho he may be ousted by the new influx of BBC reporters the UK government is supplying to the ‘newspapers’. He may simple be not up to scratch on what is required. After all he has been around for decades and nobody gives a shit about what he writes.

    • You or I could do better than these disgusting excuses for journalists Brian that’s how bad they are I could show that bbc asshole brewer how to do his job properly and hold the unionists to account especially the conservatives they’d walk out if I give them the same treatment brewer gives the snp on his crappy Sunday politics.

  20. There are hints around that Euan McColm is notorious misogynist blogger Brian Spanner? – Could this be true? It would certainly help explain such a dismissive response to a very reasonable statement.

  21. having just spent a full day in paisley A&E, i think its a disgrace that these hard working & good natured professionals are constantly lambasted for political reasons. it was like a war zone in there, but everybody was seen to, albeit eventually, with no moaning from the understanding public. i also think that these ‘journos’ forget that NHS employees are also voters

    • Hence why they had that but a nurse during the snap election bad mouth the snp on the health service yet she dissappeared stright after that just shows how low britnats will sink these days.

  22. I suppose WHY was the only thing that entered the Muppet’s Head , its a wonder Leslie got even that considered response, Most of us dont expect much from the Scottish Media , and this supposed to be funny and apparently clever response just confirms our views , everyone here could probably concoct any of these peoples efforts , It must be really depressing shovelling this garbage day after day , soul destroying probably .

  23. BBC Scotland Breakfast Time news today. all 96 seconds of it, opens with Tory news that 6 ambulances a day throughout the nation over last four years had only one crew member, and that the Tories said this was a disgrace and it was the Bad SNP’s fault.
    This is Donalda MacKinnon’s Big News Story Of The Day in our nation Scotland as we sup our porridge.
    What a fucking waste of airspace Pacific Quay
    continues to be.
    MacKinnon was a dream appointment, She’ll get her CBE for stifling the real news Up Here.
    The Not The Scottish News.
    BBC Scottish staff are now 100% Brit Nationalist mouthpieces, with the same status and remit as their colleagues in China Iran, Russia, and North Korea. Look into the camera with glazed lifeless eyes and churn out any old Tory Unionist ‘Jackie Baillie’ which the Blessed Donalda instructs you to read.

    Our Dead Tree Scrolls are also completely in the pay of the British Nationalist Oligarchy.

    Our Media are poison, and actively support Ruth Davidson, Willie Rennie, and that grey faced New Boy, whatever his name is, the one wot replaced Bushwhacker Dugdale, who are three fleas off the same mangy Unionist cur, who maim and slaughter their fellow citizens in the thousands while our NHS staff battle valiantly to mitigate the poverty driven disease, illness, and slow death Red Blue and Yellow Tory Brit Nat heartless policies inflict on a people who never voted for them .

    They are a cancer eating at the very soul of Scotland

    They siphon billions off to give to their rich Masters, starve 1/5th of their fellow citizens and would eagerly maintain their Nation of birth as a slave colony of their beloved England/Britain,

    They are the devil’s spawn, and McColm, like nearly 100% of his slimy colleagues crawls about in the dark, sometimes using pseudonyms, lying, threatening, bullying, while leaving a wretched trail of slime in their putrid wake, like fat bloated snails in the dank dark night.

    The English NHS, the one that Willie, Ruth, and that Grey Face chap, would impose on us here if we let them, is in ‘third world’ meltdown.
    Non urgent operations cancelled for at least the month of January. A&E swamped and not coping NHS Staff shortages now at critical level.
    English citizens are dying because of The Ruth Davidson’s Party’s politics.
    England is in flames, Mr McColm,

    We Scots are determined that the Brit Nats are not going to be allowed to do the same Up Here.
    That’s the ‘Why’, ‘you block, you stone, you worse than senseless thing.’

    It is my sincere wish that come Independence, you lot can find little work Up Here.
    You will not be welcome in our land when you lose the backing of the Scottish Branch of the English Establishment/Saudi Arabia.

    In words oft used by Spanner, a dead tree scroller’s cruddy alter ego, fuck off; Mc Colm.

  24. Getting very predictable and more than a little boring Jack , even with the sound down the dramatic graphics in the background give you the whole theme , scotland’s Pish .

    A different tactic surfacing over the last few days , it started weeks ago with Labour controlled Councils using Schools and children to push their warped agenda to give the scottish government a kicking , withdrawing classroom assistants , then school busses ,

    Now it appears the Unions are being used , first RMT and the ferries , the next thing will be Ambulance crews , i suspect all the Unions will be strong armed to push Labour’s agenda , well their only agenda being anything the SNP do they are against ,its kept simple for simple people .

    • Robert. you may recall Kevin McKenna’s recent article calling out the public sector fat cats who have managed to work the system over the years and self awarded themselves six figure salaries and fat index linked pension funds and golden parachute severance lump sum payments numbering in the hundreds of thousands,
      We have 32 Councils, Yorkshire has 3 with the same population as Scotland.
      Each of our Councils have management teams, with a head honcho in charge of each ‘branch’ of Administration, with each head honcho having a deputy on a six figure pay packet.

      We are paying up to a third of a million pounds to pen pushers to head Departments.
      Why do we need so many?
      Why 32 Councils?
      Because the pen pushers organised it that way.
      Similarly University Heads are on 3 and 4 hundred thousand a year.
      For what?
      I seem to recall that the Vice Chancellors of our Universities are, with one or two exceptions, English born. There are no Scots born in charge of any Higher Education establishment.
      We have eight Health Boards Executives, on footballers’ wages too, most of whom have been Unionist appointed placements.
      The Herald Britland runs a piece bemoaning the fact that there are ‘thousands ‘ of teacher shortages because it has been the devil to attract candidates to the profession.
      Yet none of these high priced public servants or Unionist Councils are ever held to account by Tom Gordon, Gordon Brewer, or the Three Idiots, at FMQ.
      It’s all the Bad SNP’s fault.
      Aye, right.
      There is one certain way to avoid paying out big fat redundancy packages and juicy pensions.
      Start holding this lot to account and sack those who are incompetent or lazy.
      They are accountable.

      Of course Brian Taylor and ‘Sevvie’ and Lindsay McIntosh will still gloat that Ruth Davidson ‘scored points’ at FMQ when she lies about health, or education at the despatch box,

      In Brian Taylor’s eyes it is NS who is to blame for everything, not the Fat Cats Yoons who run our public services so badly or the Blue Red and Yellow Tories who support their WM Masters policies of robbing the poor and rewarding their rich benefactors.
      I doubt that there is one Senior Civil Servant or Academic Head or Health Board Member who is for Independence.
      They appear unsackable.
      The riches of the status quo keep them on song’ they purvey the Brit Nat message.

      As a start we need to review Local Government. Local Authority Senior Managers in charge of Public Toilets on the same money as an EPL football player for decades, not the short career span of an athlete? Aye, right.
      It is time to invade the Corridors of Cooncil Power and root these assholes out and replace them with modestly compensated professionals who can do the job.
      Of course 50% of any Union Membership is pro independence yet their shop stewards are Red Tory unionists.
      Red Tory Branch office new leader is a perfect example.
      The clock is ticking.

        • Remember Anas Sarwar at FMQ blaming our FM for 1200 elderly patients bed blocking?
          Yet there are 32 Chief Execs Health and Social Care in post in our 32 Councils, and 8 Health Board bosses who are directly accountable for this miserable failure.
          No body gets the sack.
          Who does their Performance Reviews? Why are there no disciplinary procedures?
          GCC Health and Care Head Honcho is on one third of a million p.a., if memory serves.
          Why are they paid so much for chronic failure?
          We have 32 of everything. Why?
          Yorkshire manages on 3.
          We have a fat bloated Unionist public service structure across all publicly funded organisations.
          Because the barber shaves himself.
          I repeat; I’d back the house that the vast majority of LA, Education, Health, and Law Placemen are historic unionists.
          This combined with the Brit Nat Stockades in Oil Aberdeen and Finance Edinburgh is the bedrock of the Scottish Branch of the Brit Nat Establishment.
          They will do say and threaten anything to hold on to their expensive little sinecures.
          We shall storm their Bastille.
          Independence might be the knotted rope needed to drive them from the Temple.

  25. The British Nationalists MSN are propagandists and pamphleteers much in the same manner as the BBC.

    Such is the loss of credibility to these organisations that even some of the less daft unionists and anti Scottish types who I work with admit the bias and laugh at what is being produced.

    Many now accept that news reporting from any newspaper or TV programme is now nonsense.

    I don’t think the media types intended this to occur more aware folk have been driven into the internet. Reducing readers and viewers from the lies.

    • “You can have Britain or the NHS, you can’t have both”. Like that line, Fiona. Hope we use it in IndyRef 2.

  26. @Jack Collatin: In response to your comments on Head Honchos’ earning, simply sacking would lead to expensive and resource absorbing litigation.

    Maybe the solution that is applied in industry should be considered. Require high earning employees to re-apply for their jobs.Council budgets are being squeezed so in response, engage a management consultant tasked with assessing council management duties, and instigating cost cutting measures. Example, Heads and Deputies of departments are required to re-apply for their positions on restructured salaries and benefits. I’m confident if you halved the salaries on offer there would be a post bag full of applicants and including the incumbents.

    Councillors too are now quite well rewarded yet across the country we have faux alignment of Tory and Labour councillors to enable them to hold power. A ruling: The party with the largest number of seats must have a proportionate share in council department positions – to reflect the electorates’ wishes.

    Really the above is just tinkering and best left until we are independent, consider:

    The revelations of SUI, and so proof of the existence of a 2017 Parcel of Rogues is the story.

    Add in the article by Lesley Riddoch on the National Trust and it’s commanders – whisper it – Neil Oliver is a commoner.

    Kevin Mckenna on qualifying to be a BBC panellist.

    The BBC using license payers’ funds to assign journalists to newspapers.What will be their briefing I wonder? How many will the National have assigned?

    The Yoons are out in broad daylight now, no hiding place. Our task is to engage with and inform the public, those too concerned with survival to take an interest in politics, as said by Kirsty Blackman.

    • You have in a sense started the Review, Gavin. well done.
      We could get by with, say 10 councils, which is more than three times the number running England’s biggest County, Yorkshire, with its population of 5.3 million.
      One of our Education Chief Executives would only have to do one third of the work of one of his/her Yorkshire counterparts, at a third of the money. should be a doddle, eh?
      I can see the Head of Cosla sputtering his tea over his keyboard as I type.

      I do not advocate ‘simply sacking’, Gavin, and apologise if I came across as being as dismissive as that.
      We have all worked. Many of us have been let go, made redundant, and faced a bleak future.
      Yet if we worked at any professional level we had Job Descriptions, Key Work Areas, Performance Targets/Goals. Roles Responsibilities, and defined consequences if we failed to meet targets, achieve goals, do the work effectively or whatever.
      It happens all the time in the real world. I cannot see that by introducing Employment Law rigour and practices to TOTO Managers in public serviced will “lead to expensive and resource absorbing litigation.

      Sanctions may include demotion, loss of performance bonus, retraining, moved sideways, or for gross negligence and unacceptable performance, the sack.
      I can’t recall any Big Sacking in the Public Sphere in the last two decades, Have you?
      I repeat; to whom are our public servants accountable? How did we get to the position that an LA Public Servant is pocketing 0ne third of a million p.a., to preside over decades of failure and maladministration, unhindered and these days, actively encouraged by national Unionist Politicians and MSM not to work in collaboration with the Holyrood Administration?
      Why has not one single Scot managing our Universities?
      Perhaps because there is not one Scot on the Selection Panels?
      Roll on Indyref 2.
      Their cushy wee number is about to blow up in their faces.

  27. Jack Collatin I’ve got my reinforced tinfoil tammy balaclava on and yer still reading ma mind , it is gettin eerie , it’s great as I don’t have to bother writin it aw doon tae post it , seriously yer bang on the money and when we get indy I want everything you spoke of and more to take place .

    It is time for the people to waken up to these abusive self serving parasites who hold them in contempt , and to show them who really is in control and who they are answerable to .

    The BLOATED management structure of oor cooncils, health boards , cooncillors , and assorted public bodies needs RADICAL clearances and reviewed , there are massive savings to be made which could be better used

  28. Why ? A reasonable answer if you didnt have a scottish heart ! i myself cant comrehend the title of that newspaper ! The Britishman should be the title !

  29. Herald Britland has started the new year at its most pathetic. Australian Aborigines don’t want ‘Scots’ nuclear waste. See that Nicola Sturgeon dumping Scots waste on the natives of Australia, a maligned and persecuted people whose own white insurgents Government branded Aborigines as sub human fauna like Koalas or kangaroos until the mid ‘sixties.
    it is of course the English Government’s nuclear waste.

    Scotland is a nuclear free zone, and shall remain so as long as I have breathe.
    The ‘Scots’ Government have no power to deal with England’s toxic rubbish, and the Herald knows that.
    But that’s not how their headline reads.

    Another Scotland is shite headline.
    Small businesses are bailing out through lack of conficdence in the economy. A photie of Nicola Sturgeon shaking hands with the Chairman of the SSME, thus associating NS and the SNP with the collapse in confidence.
    The article of course refers to the Brexit disaster.

    Brexit which of course is the apocalypse visited upon us by the Devil’s Harpies, May, Gove, Davis, Johnson, Corbyn, Cable, Davidson Carlaw Rennie and the Grey Faced ex ‘union activist’ who heads the newly formed ‘North British Labour’ Branch Office.
    But Small Business crisis headline alongside a snap of Nicola? Job done; it’s the bad SNP’s fault yet again.

    Then we have Larry Flannigan Red Tory Shop Steward of the EIS on BBC Scotland all day, and featured in the Herald under the quotes;’ enough is enough’, and threatening strike action without so much as consulting his members, and it’s all that fucking Bad SNP’s fault yet again.

    If it’s that bad why aren’t teachers flooding South to the green lanes of Old England to EIS heaven?

    We are three days into the year proper, and the Dead Tree Scrolls are ion Yoon Overdrive.
    I am minded to write to every firm advertising in this poisonous little soiled nappy of a rag, declaring my intention to boycott their products for supporting a poisonous gaggle of Yoon Propagandists who belittle the country and the people in which they try to do business.
    Warning:- if you are a restaurant advertising in this rag, don’t expect my business.
    No more Mr Nice Guy.
    How many Yessers still use Barrhead Travel? How many Barrhead staff who voted Yes against the boss’s wishes still work there?
    It’s time to hit where it hurts.

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