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Incomplete information

Posted on January 16, 2014 by

Here’s Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale today:

dugdalecollege

Except that’s not quite EVERYTHING we need to know, is it, Kezia?

collegestats

As you can see from the top two lines in the above graph, the total number of people in colleges has indeed gone down significantly. But does that mean that there’s a third less teaching and learning going on? To find out, we probably need to hear what the Scottish Funding Council, which produced the graph, has to say about it.

A substantial fall in student numbers was expected as SFC moved away from funding very short programmes of study (under 10 hours) and leisure programmes in favour of more substantial courses designed to improve the student’s employment prospects.

Under both the headcount and enrolment measures a student studying for one hour would be counted the same as a full-time student studying for 600 hours or more.

As SFC pays colleges to deliver a specified number of learning hours a move towards more substantial programmes of study will mean that colleges deliver their learning hour targets whilst recruiting fewer students.

The learning hours and Full-Time Equivalent measures are more comparable measures over time when measuring funded activity and are favoured when comparing high level volumes over time.”

(Pages 5 and 6, our emphasis.)

For that reason, the SFC measures college activity not by headcounts but in things called WSUMs, or Weighted Standard Units of Measurement, which give a much more accurate picture of how much studying is being done overall. And how do those figures look, you might be wondering? Luckily, we can show you.

wsums

As you can see, there’s still been a fall in the total amount of teaching and learning in Scotland’s further-education colleges by the WSUM measure since the SNP took power. To be precise, it’s a cumulative fall of just over 3% across seven years (which for unalert readers is under 0.43% a year), a period spanning a massive economic crash which has seen a stranglehold put on Scotland’s budget by Westminster.

Kezia Dugdale knows only too well that retaining 97% of college output, under those extreme financial pressures, while refocusing the college sector on more practical and useful employment-targetted courses, keeping tuition free across the board and ending Labour’s £2,000 graduate endowment charge for good measure, is in fact something approaching a miraculous achievement by the Scottish Government.

But that’s no good to Ms Dugdale, so she spouts massively misleading figures instead in order to give a completely distorted impression without actually lying.

Fine. That’s politics. We’re just here to fill in the gaps so Scots get the full picture, and so they can know who’s playing straight with them.

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100 to “Incomplete information”

  1. Marcia says:

    It tells you everything you need to know about Labour spin.

  2. handclapping says:

    Ah but, there is still nothing to tell me whether Kezia is lying or ignorant. We want the truth, Rev.

  3. desimond says:

    Do Labour just go down a list until they find something they can carp about regardless of true impact or relevance in this ever challenging climate?

    They are the Party of Denial. Blaming SNP, its members and the voting public for everything that has befell them after years of neglect and abuse.

    If only they had the vision to see how much benefit there is in being an “on-message” party, working in cahoots with the SNP rather than stropping about like the sullen kid in the corner at party moaning “Nobody loves me everybody hates, think i’ll go and eat the worms”.

  4. Keir Liddle says:

    I’m somewhat confused. Doesn’t the table actually show 3% more over the time period than 3% under?

  5. TheeForsakenOne says:

    Actually the drop of 3% is deceptive as well because a chunk of the SFC’s money was taken from them and given to Skills Development Scotland to fund their employability programmes. These SDS programmes are considered external funding so are not measured against SUMs (or WSUMs).

    In the college I’m working in, we’re actually having to convert offices into classrooms to fit all the students in. This has its own problems but certainly there’s no complain about a lack of students here… Other colleges who have decided not to bother bidding for money from SDS are likely the ones whining about not having as many students or money.

  6. Bill Fraser says:

    @handclapping She is giving us lies, damned lies and statistics

  7. Adrian B says:

    Remember the 25,000 young apprenticeships that the Scottish Government made available to young people instead of the 5,000 that Labour demanded. That was also the fault of the SNP 😉

  8. heedtracker says:

    Here in Aberdeen Sec of State Carmichael is telling us today that the Scottish fishing industry will be wiped out if we vote YES. Another day, another round of troughing unionist’s lying at Scotland.

  9. liz says:

    I work in FE and the drop out rate is huge.
    You are fortunate if you end up with 50% of the students you start with.

    Now this could be due to a number of factors including leaving because they have a job offer but the students are given every help with finance and guidance.

  10. Chris says:

    It is great to see this kind of misleading nonsense being challenged whenever and wherever it arises. Truth will out!

  11. Chic McGregor says:

    “she spouts massively misleading figures instead in order to give a completely distorted impression without actually lying.”

    Is this a read the post to the end moral? (Being guilty of that failing myself on busy days) 🙂

  12. Dick Gaughan says:

    Seems to me that anybody worth a damn in Scottish Labour is already supporting Labour for Independence. What’s left are the talentless drones that would just about have made a semi-competent branch secretary 30 years ago.

  13. MochaChoca says:

    Poor Kezia,

    It must be difficult being a Labour politician in Scotland, increasingly unlikely to get a sniff of power at either Westminster or Holyrood and constantly having to juggle toeing the line of the ‘main’ London party whilst trying to appeal to an increasingly different set of values up here.

    In comparison it must look so easy being an SNP politician, they only have to put the people of Scotland first, and they’re doing it deliberately.

  14. Juteman says:

    Lies, damn lies, and slabtistics.

  15. Chic McGregor says:

    Great piece of critical analysis Rev..

    How many suspect, as I do, that if Labour were in charge they would have reduced the vocationally enabling course but created more ‘shorts’ to disguise the headcount numbers?

  16. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I’m somewhat confused. Doesn’t the table actually show 3% more over the time period than 3% under?”

    No. Total “WSUM”s delivered drops from 2,217,361 to 2,143,921 over seven years. FTEs are slightly up. Goodness knows what the explanation for that is.

  17. TheeForsakenOne says:

    No. Total “WSUM”s delivered drops from 2,217,361 to 2,143,921 over seven years. FTEs are slightly up. Goodness knows what the explanation for that is.

    Possibly a change in focus (Different subjects have different weightings) or a change in the actual weights.

  18. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

    Kezia Dugdale tells you all you need to know about the Labour Party in Scotland, more like.

    Time for a reality check, KD.

  19. Macart says:

    You can tell when party before people apparatchiks like Ms Dugdale are being more than a little misleading.

    Their lips move. (or in this case, their fingers)

    A subtle tell I know, but worth looking out for. 🙂

  20. david says:

    kezia dugstail comes across as a very dishonest individual, her facial body language stinks. it must be difficult to constantly lie and smear yet this individual like many of her collegues seem to have been brainwashed to do just that. some are better than others. anus is her male equivalent.

  21. Morag says:

    I teach college students, and I had to pare back the material covered in some of my practical classes last year because the increasing student numbers made it impossible to deliver the whole thing in the way I’d managed in previous years.

  22. Andy-B says:

    Well done Rev on setting the record straight, SLAB members speak with forked tongues.

    On FMQ’s today Alex Salmond, mentioned an astonishing fact, that as chancellors of the exchequer respectively Alistair Darling and George Osborne, have borrowed more money, than all of the previous UK chancellors put together.

    No wonder the UK is £1.3 trillion in debt, a debt that will just keep on growing.

  23. G H Graham says:

    It’s rare that any financial budget can be judged simply on the basis of a rise or fall in just 1 or 2 numbers, especially when the activity the budget is funding is complicated & can really only be properly measured by using a multitude of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

    E.g. A supermarket experiencing a slight fall in year on year gross income (sales) would appear to be undesirable. But like for like costs may well have fallen a greater amount thus actually generating higher margins & thus higher profits, all other factors being equal.

    It is regrettable but not surprising that Ms. Dugdale chooses to use just two numbers in order to make a conclusion about the performance of the education portfolio under the control of the Scottish Government.

    Perhaps when she was selected by Labour to represent Lothian, part of the candidate screening criteria was that in fact anyone with a pulse would do & especially so if they were completely incompetent when it came to reading & analysing budgets.

  24. Cath says:

    “But that’s no good to Ms Dugdale, so she spouts massively misleading figures instead in order to give a completely distorted impression without actually lying.”

    Sadly the mainstream part of our lame and useless media will pick it up and run with it every single bloody time though.

  25. creigs1707repeal says:

    Off-topic – Apologies folks.

    Coming soon to a computer screen very near you: ‘Wright Stuff Put Right’.

    You’ll all recall the Richard Madeley ‘Wright Stuff’ car crash of a TV ‘show’ towards the end of last year with rent-a-gob, Katie Hopkins and Ronni Ancona discussing Scottish Independence. Well, watch this space–the kick-ass riposte is on its way.

  26. William Duguid says:

    No incompetence involved. She knows exactly what she’s doing.

    So sick of hearing SLab automatons mouthing off about “cuts” that either aren’t cuts at all or are the best that can possibly be achieved while Westminster is throttling the life out of your budget. We were hearing the same old tripe in the Cowdenbeath candidates’ debate on Scotland Tonight yesterday.

    Politics it may be, but it’s getting expensive to keep buying TVs after I’ve kicked the screen in.

  27. Alex Grant says:

    Excellent analysis but the SG ain’t rebutting Labour’s bullshit as well as you did. AS i have said before they could do with your input to their communnication – as they could with many others. Pity they won’t accept help!!

  28. Marker Post says:

    O/T but just watched FMQ and just need to vent my disgust at the Labour backbenchers. What is wrong with these people? When Lamont tries to put Scotland down, claiming that we get more out of the UK than we put in, the backbenchers cheer? They cheer?? They have just been (wrongly) informed that their country is an economic basket-case, and they cheer?? Seriously, what is wrong with these people??

  29. Kenny says:

    Poor old Kezia – maybe she’s still drunk from working for Lord Foulkes?

  30. Andy-B says:

    O/T Rev. I do apologise.

    Alistair Darling, in Edinburgh today, at the Royal College of Surgeons, preaching to an audience of young people. Darling was telling them a Yes will be bad for their future.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-25751939

  31. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

    @ Marker Post

    What’s wrong with them is partly the hideously incompetent Scotch media which lets these self-seeking cretins bleat and yahoo about this stuff unchallenged.

    ‘What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account.’

    … as Macbeth imagined.

  32. The Man in the Jar says:

    I knew a bit about this subject. In that when the SNP canceled lots of college courses they were indeed the “Mickey Mouse” variety a couple of days stuff. I remember looking at the list of canceled courses and thinking “They run courses on THAT? what a waste of time.”

    Good to see it laid out in detail though. I can now be more confident of the argument.

  33. Andy-B says:

    Forgot to add anyone wishing to watch FMQ’s today, here it is.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-25756299

    An interesting point on FMQ’s today, Ruth Davidson was forced to recant, by the presiding officer, after accusing the FM of lying.

  34. The Man in the Jar says:

    Just to add.

    So this is why S.Labour are always going on about the number of college *places*. The penny drops. Again!

  35. Feil Gype says:

    Shes a future Scottish Labour leader ….will get her arse kicked every week at FMQ’s wi that level of debating. Will be following a long line o leaders who came and went (wi their tails between their legs)

  36. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I’m guessing that poor old Keiza drew the short straw today to do the “openly lie to the media spot.” Still not to worry it’s not like anyone is going to pick her up on her lying…oh wait a minute I wonder if that very well informed Rev Stu is around maybe he might have something to say about this. 🙂

    heedtracker @3:00pm

    I’m thinking the “cry baby” is trying to put the kybosh into the Scottish Fishing industry because Westminster are very aware that when that very nice Mr Putin sends his wee sailing dingies over from Russia to potter about in our Moray Firth it is only the Scottish Guerilla Navy (S.G.N.) that is available to keep an eye on them.

    The defence capability of UK defence forces is such that they are unable to get a wee dingy of their own up to the Moray Firth in time before Mr Putin’s dingies get tired of waiting and push off again.

    Mr Carmichael is doing his utmost to destroy any chance of an independent Scotland having any S.G.N. forces available to keep watch over Mr Putin’s dingies the next time they arrive in the Moray Firth which, according to historical records, will be in December 2014! 🙂

  37. Les Wilson says:

    She is making herself ever more unpopular,just like all,
    labour politicians.

  38. HandandShrimp says:

    Kezia can only count the New Labour way and that is to fiddle the books.

    “Look how many people we have put through college! A 80% increase!”

    Only to find out that it all of them did a one day equality and diversity course.

    I don’t think Kezia thinks we button up the back…I fear she believes this shite and she buttons up the back.

    FTE is the only really sound year on year comparator. Not just in education but in employment numbers too.

  39. Seasick Dave says:

    Poor old Fifi LaBon; I think that she was more effective as a troll.

    Its all relative, though.

  40. chalks says:

    Carmichael saying the fishing industry will be gone if it’s a Yes vote.

    Perhaps he can ask his Spanish friends where they fish.

  41. HandandShrimp says:

    Here in Aberdeen Sec of State Carmichael is telling us today that the Scottish fishing industry will be wiped out if we vote YES. Another day, another round of troughing unionist’s lying at Scotland.

    How the feck does he work that out? According that pudding we aren’t getting into the EU so no one will be fishing in our waters except us. I recall the days before the EU, our seas were teeming with fish. My dad and I would go down to the rocks and fill a bucket in a hour – gutting, drying and salting them all took longer.

  42. gordoz says:

    Kind of confirms my point on a previous thread about the lack of talented politicians within Labour in Scotland’s ranks.

    Kezia is one of those less assertive drones that just avoids facts ’cause they get in the way of reason and spin or out and out lies work much better on the rank & file block Labour support who read the record for their news.

    Its a shame really, I feel sorry for her as I think she’s bought the ‘One Nation’ Blair / Milliband Labour shit hook line and sinker. When she delivers the usual contradictory Labour message she is so utterly convinced by blurb that she misses the utter nonense of the content.

  43. chalks says:

    HandandShrimp – His comments will go down like a lead balloon in Peterhead and Fraserburgh….as well as the other smaller ex fishing communities on the East and West coast.

    They are quite stupid.

  44. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Andy-B says

    I think that Gordon Brown and Alister Darling between them have borrowed more money that the sum of al the Chancellors before them, until Osborne came along and Brown dropped out.

    That is not to say that Brown may not have been more than partially responsible for the erse baring efforts of the other two.

    How can erse have three cheeks?

    OH, I KNOW, THEY ARE ALL TORIES.

  45. ronnie anderson says:

    @HandandShrimp, they must be playing Hydraphonic recording,s of a pain in the arse,but keep it quite, Carmichael,s the wan that,s gonna get shafted.

  46. Keir Liddle says:

    Is it possible to obtain a list of the short courses that have been cut.

    As some colleges offer things such as “beginning guitar” under that bracket. I also suspect a large proportion of them will have been continuing professional development courses (or licensee holder courses).

    It would be worth knowing what has been cut. If only because a substantial chunk in the numbers can probably be accounted for by courses that would not lead to employment or rely on someone already having employment.

    Which damages the Labour narrative somewhat. Also has anyone got, or is able to make, a graph that compares the year on year headcount to the proportion of school leavers etc?

    Because the population of people who could enter college is by no means static.

  47. Holebender says:

    I wish people would stop linking to BBC coverage of FMQs when Holyrood produces its own video streams from the debating chamber. FMQs can be watched live or as archived recordings on Holyrood TV.

    http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/32362.aspx

  48. annie says:

    Seasick Dave – thanks, I have been trying to remember the name of her “alter ego” for the past few days.

  49. ronnie anderson says:

    @Holebender,I tried to watch Holyrood TV at 11.40, I had to phone the Media centre, as it wasent playing on my laptop,(wait for it). The DE CODER HAD FELL OVER,I phoned at 11.52, nobody had noticed,I was the only one to phone.It,s not finnished as far as Im concerned.Alex Neil MSP,Health Minister has been contacted.

  50. Geoff Huijer says:

    Aaah…Fifi La Bon. That explains it.

    Funny how these eternal trolls just
    keep ‘popping up’ defending the indefensible.

    These peope truly make me sick, and ashamed
    to be Scottish.

  51. Flower of Scotland says:

    Kezia Dugdale is quickly going far in the Labour Party . Lies and spin ! Yeah , she,s doing really well ,

  52. TootsCapoot says:

    Carmichael’s latest fishy waffle is easily countered. Wee Ginger Dug has a great piece up today on the impact of any potential loss of access for the Spanish fleet to Scottish waters, should Spain get shirty re our EU membership. Galicia, in particular, being very dependent on the fleet.

  53. Grant_M says:

    Dishonest, deceitful, devious, disingenuous, duplicitous Dugdale. Labour D-lister.

    Nothing more that a cynical misrepresentation of information in a desperate, pathetic attempt to dupe the public.

  54. Tattie-bogle says:

    I am currently at college because the finger painting course was cancelled I have ended up having to do an HND in Computing Damn those SNP I wanted to be the Banksy of finger painting

  55. Vincent McDee says:

    Amazing change of attitude at the BBC in Scotland

    COMMENTS ALLOWED ON FMQs

    Pending moderation, O’course.

  56. alexicon says:

    It seems that in the Labour party in Scotland the bigger lie you spin against your opponents the higher you rise in their ranks.
    Take note Lamont.

    @heed tracker.

    I read the P&J last Friday(?) and it was saying that investment levels in the North Sea had reached 1970s level.
    what was that Lamont et al were saying about Alex Salmond talking rubbish when he mentioned that there was a second oil boom coming?

    See Tavish Scott has been mixing it with his natives, telling them they can have freedom if they vote no.
    Freedom from what and whom?

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/tavish-scott-islands-could-get-freedom-by-voting-no-1-3269986

  57. Tattie-bogle says:

    Just watched FMQ’s was Johann Lamont Campaigning for a Barnett reduction in the event of a No Vote .raging “fucking idiot of a woman”

  58. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Sorry folks for going O/T but I’ve just been alerted to this on Twitter.

    http://archive.is/qXzsE

    Let the cracks continue to appear in the great political party of the 21st Century that is Lamont’s Labour party. 🙂

  59. Mary Bruce says:

    @Ronnie Anderson : I don’t understand what you mean by “The DE CODER HAD FELL OVER.” Is the de coder a person?

  60. Vronsky says:

    Everywhere we see troughers from the Labour Party telling lies with the clear and simple intention of keeping the trough available. They don’t believe what they say, they know they are lying, and they have excellent reason: if there is a Yes vote they lose the patronage, the meal ticket, the house, the servants (us), the BMW. It’s all too awful to contemplate.

    Dugdale is different. Her adherence to the party line is devoutly religious, nothing as understandable as the brutish logic of the trougher appears. Reason, even unprincipled self-interest, intrudes not at all.

    She’s very scary – a Jeanne d’Arc from the dark side. I hope she’s a one-off and we’re not seeing the approach of the Fourth Reich.

  61. ronnie anderson says:

    @ sos Mary Bruce, that,s the exscuse they gave me,I have complained to Alex Neil MSP he will get me the answer,s.My question is anybody monitoring their system, that serves the public.

  62. Bill Walters says:

    “…retaining 97% of college output, under those extreme financial pressures, while refocusing the college sector on more practical and useful employment-targetted courses, keeping tuition free across the board and ending Labour’s £2,000 graduate endowment charge for good measure, is in fact something approaching a miraculous achievement by the Scottish Government.”

    It would be even more miraculous if they could manage to keep tuition fees free post-independence, given they’d have to offer them to students across the rest of the UK (and the argument that we wouldn’t have to do this is pretty outlandish given it would clearly violate EU law).

  63. HandandShrimp says:

    alexicon

    I think even the Better Together lot are confused by Tavish’s ever more confused statements regarding the islands. He is a wonderful liability to Better Together. He didn’t do much for the Lib Dems come to think of it.

  64. ronnie anderson says:

    @ alexicon, ah could,na get past the 1st paragraph, of Tavis,s article a Parliament hunners of miles away in Emburgh, so Loony Westminster,s only a short bus ride away, the man,s a Moron.

  65. Ken500 says:

    Fifi can’t count. A wee course in Maths might help Unionists, who are economic with the truth.

    Th fall is consistent with the fall in the numbers of College age students, as a percentage of population. As a percentage of a proportion, of the number of College age students, the number could have gone up. Maths not a strong point for Labour/Unionists.The sum total = zero.

  66. ronnie anderson says:

    Ah the Bbc One Show, Glasgow,s involment in the Slave trade just now

  67. Dunphail says:

    A disgrace that The Living and UnDead: An Inquiry into Zombies in Cinema and Literature part time course was cancelled

  68. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Arbroath 1320
    at 6:35[m.

    What makes it all the sweeter is that former Labour councilor (now Yes supporter) Kevin McKeown is Michael McMahons brother in law!

    Ya Dancer!

  69. liz says:

    @ ronnie anderson – I was also going to pass that info on about the one show – I never watch that rubbish but was too slow to turn over to a much more intellegent programme – Cheers on ITV 4.

    This is what we have come to expect on the beeb – a negative story against Scotland – it’s their bread and butter.

    Why would we want to remain in a union with folk who patently despise us?

  70. DougtheDug says:

    alexicon:

    Tavish is perhaps not the sharpest knife in the block. He says,

    So the next phase of Our Islands Our Future needs to be more ambitious. The Isle of Man has enormous latitude to determine its future. But they build the best of both worlds. Manx people have health services that are linked to Liverpool hospitals. Their fishing fleet negotiates with English, Scottish and Irish boats over coastal fishing.

    Does this mean he wants Shetland to be part of the English NHS and to have territorial waters (oil and fishing rights) which extend to all of 12 miles like the Isle of Man?

  71. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @The Man in the Jar –

    Connections, connections…

    Used to love Pete Frame’s family trees of musicians, how they were all linked. It would be interesting to see a similar treatment of the relationships between SLAB and the MSM in Scotland – heaven only knows what surprises it might throw up.

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0jdqoKEBM1qz6f9yo1_r1_1280.jpg

  72. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Now that is a wee snippet that no one has mentioned…until now. 🙂

    Who’d have thunk it, a brother in law to the magnificent, the great, the obnoxious Michael McMahon is coming out of the closet to vote YES. Who wouldn’t have wanted to be a fly on the wall when McMahon learnt about this! 🙂

  73. Annibale says:

    Didn’t Kezia look as though her nose was trying to distance itself from the sh!t coming out of her mouth?

  74. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “It would be even more miraculous if they could manage to keep tuition fees free post-independence, given they’d have to offer them to students across the rest of the UK (and the argument that we wouldn’t have to do this is pretty outlandish given it would clearly violate EU law).”

    And?

  75. Clydebuilt says:

    Great piece of work Rev.

    I’ve forwarded it to my contacts

    The more people who see this the better!

  76. Roberto says:

    Watched FMQ,s today.I was appalled at J.Lamonts complete ignorance of economics in regard to Scotland’s budget and deficit.Perhaps WOS could reproduce BELLA CALEDONIA,s ECONOMIC FACTS video and advise JLamont to watch and learn.

  77. Mary Bruce says:

    Thanks, Ronnie. I think I got confused cos you mentioned the health minister, I must have thought someone got hurt, lol!

    But you are right to complain, they can’t give much of a toss if the broadcast system goes down and no-one even notices.

  78. ronnie anderson says:

    E Mail,from Blair Mac Blabber, re 25th Jan Burns Supper, get a few friend,s in,register E Mail addy, and you ll get a suprise visitor on line.That,ll be Big Davy reciteing,The Ode To The We Tiny Besty,my sincere oppoligie,s to the Bard.

  79. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I’m surprised that you were appalled by Lamont’s ignorance of economics Roberto, I thought everyone knew she was completely ignorant of all things economic. Not just economics but she’s completely ignorant of everything! 🙂

  80. Faltdubh says:

    OT, but Tavish seems to be in the cream puff and the Indy ref all along. Where was this talk of more devoloution, heck even ‘freedom’ as he speaks of in that article 5, 10, 15 years ago.

    He’s a typical opportunistic politician. If the SNP didn’t win in 2011, there’s not a jot he’d be coming away with shouts of further devolution for Shetland or the other Isles.

    I support further powers for the Isles, I just can’t stick with someone like Tavish trying to flog it!

  81. heraldnomore says:

    Aye, mind Dave on Burns

    In they breast, eh

    Guess that’s how it comes out down Bullingdon way; bunch of tits

  82. Ann says:

    I keep wondering how it can be said that the Scottish Fishing Industry will be gone if a Yes vote.

    The waters are our territorial waters and therefore if we are banned from entering the EU we can then ban all fishing vessels from our waters. Boom time for Scottish Fishermen who have suffered the most, due to Westminster not protecting our fishing rights within our waters.

    O/T nice to see Nicola having a go at Westminster for breaking the Edinburgh Agreement.

    Imagine sending their cronies up to dictate and tell us.

    The more we are told by these cretins what we will lose if we vote no, more and more Scots will be pushed towards YES.

  83. mato21 says:

    Ian Brotherhood

    The following link is a wee bit out of date although some are still around but it gives you an idea of how it was not so long ago BBC connections with labour

    http://gaiusmarcellus.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/unacceptable-links-between-labour-and.html

  84. HandandShrimp says:

    It would be even more miraculous if they could manage to keep tuition fees free post-independence, given they’d have to offer them to students across the rest of the UK (and the argument that we wouldn’t have to do this is pretty outlandish given it would clearly violate EU law).

    Bill, even if the SNP argument based on their legal position were to fall they could still adopt the RoI method of charging fees and giving grants to residents. This is legal under EU law. So the whole fees thing and the threat of mass benefit tourism from England is not a big deal. I note you assume that Scotland will be in the EU though. George Osborne made a big speech yesterday demanding reform of the EU or the UK could leave so EU laws in relation to English students could be academic (soz) anyway. One of the things Osborne wants tackled is benefit tourism.

  85. gordoz says:

    What is a Tavish Scott ?

    A – a devious weasel shit of a Scot

    He should tread very carefully as his name will soon be attached to the future common parlance as a bogey man in an Independent Scotland, much the same way as Benedict Arnold is a byword in the US for National betrayal.

    Personally I find him to be an odious, kniving worthless shit of an individual but then that goes for all in the Liberal party. Sure his family are proud though.

  86. Paul says:

    It is time all Yes voters stopped reading and making comments in the unionist media let them talk to their ever diminishing lot of no voters. Time to stop paying the TV tax and time to put that Labour shower on the spot we should keep banging on at them to tell the people what policies if any that they actually have. The unionists have been getting it far too easy.It is time for the gloves to come off.

  87. Ken500 says:

    If the rest of the UK was out of the EU. Scotland would not have to pay any of education fees. Imagine a Gov not paying for education, but expecting a smaller country to pay their fees. Despicable.

    Westminster has wasted £Billions from Scotland. They could not stoop any lower.

  88. iain taylor (not that one) says:

    I was on the board of an FE college for 7 years. Never heard FTEs mentioned in context of student numbers. Always SUMs & WSUMs.

  89. iain taylor (not that one) says:

    According to Wiki, Ms Dugdale was the Lord George Fooks’ office manager & political adviser until elected.

    Clearly learned from a master.

  90. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The deluded Ms Dugdale…”

    What a magnificent pair of finds. Well done 😀

  91. call me dave says:

    Grant_M

    Boy she over egged the Gray and Curran bit.- LOL.
    Yes as Rev implies; a magnificent pair of boobs

  92. kininvie says:

    @ Grant M

    Brilliant! That’s ‘alert reader’ rank for you, no doubt about it!

  93. Weedeochandorris says:

    Kezia Dugdale is just a lackey spouting off what she’s told to, same as all the others. Remember Blue State Digital was brought in specifically to do this, thats where all the coordinated media attacks are probably coming from, their bunker. We’re up against a massive, professional machine fulll of people who do this for a living. The KGugdales and Jolas of the world haven’t got the smarts to think this all up for themselves.

    “The campaign has brought in Blue State Digital, the US political experts who ran President Barack Obama’s web campaigns, to build a website and oversee its online strategy.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/scottish-politics/9353395/Scottish-anti-independence-campaign-Better-Together-launches-today.html

  94. ronnie anderson says:

    Blue State Digital,.Another example why the UK,s fucked, they cant do anything for themselve,s, even thinking is imported, Blue State might know about lobbying/marketing but, know hee haw about the Scottish People.

  95. desimond says:

    Not sure if this has been mentioned elsewhere but did anyone see the Lobbying discussions at Holyrood Committee yesterday. Labour MSP (Neil Findlay I think) spouting “..regardless of the Constitutional Debate, it seems more powers will be coming to this Parliament in the future”

    ‘Constitutional debate’.. is that how they’re phrasing INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM these days?

  96. Ken MacColl says:

    What a classic piece of archive material from Kezia Dugdale
    retrieved by Dave M above with a paen of uncritical codswallop about Ian Gray and Scottish (sic)Labour.

    Uncanny to think that they are now in an even worse place than back in 2010 and that the bold Kezia is now not only an MSP but that she is, apparently, thought to be one of their rising stars.

  97. Bill Walters says:

    “Bill, even if the SNP argument based on their legal position were to fall they could still adopt the RoI method of charging fees and giving grants to residents. This is legal under EU law. So the whole fees thing and the threat of mass benefit tourism from England is not a big deal. I note you assume that Scotland will be in the EU though. George Osborne made a big speech yesterday demanding reform of the EU or the UK could leave so EU laws in relation to English students could be academic (soz) anyway. One of the things Osborne wants tackled is benefit tourism.”

    Absolutely – I think it’s entirely reasonable to assume that Scotland will be in the EU. I think that debate epitomises the way that genuine issues (i.e. what our terms of membership would be) get pushed to one side by simplistic gibberish (the idea that we’d somehow be blocked from EU membership full stop). I’m not here to defend Better Together on that count – it seems to be the way of referendum campaigns that the lowest common denominator dominates the discussion.

    However, I also think the idea that the UK won’t be in the EU is just as much of a red herring. Peter Kellner had a pretty good piece on this recently where he demonstrated that when people are asked about the EU post-Cameron reform (even if the reform amounts to nothing of any great substance) it has a pretty sizeable effect on public opinion. It goes from about 50-50 to the “stay in” side having a 2 to 1 lead. Indeed that’s precisely what happened in the 70s – the government pretended they’d “renegotiated” our membership and the referendum swung round to the stay in side by a large margin.

  98. Sunshine on Crieff says:

    Just noticed something on the Scottish Labour Party facebook page that relates to this

    @Feorlean in 2007/8 there were 50,000 people going to college in ?#?Fife?. By 11/12 there were just over 24,000. Proud of your record of cuts?

    Posted this link as a rebuttal, let’s see how long it lasts.

  99. annie says:

    @Desimond “do Labour just go down a list until they find something to carp about” short answer, yes.



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